Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Toxic Socks

Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
I know I've been a slacker about posting, but I will try to make up for it a bit here. I've been working on all types of knitting projects, and will try to catch up a bit. Of course, now the Christmas crunch is on.

These are one of my main projects that I am working on. The pattern is Toxic Socks from Knitpicks.
Here is a link to my project page.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Busy and Eventful Month

I have to say, the last month or so has been memorable, to say the least.  Between, my mom and her knee replacement, a joint flare up that parked me in bed for almost a week, I have been quite overloaded.

I ended up staying the night at Mom's a lot when she first got home, because at that point, she was so off-balance and sore that we were afraid to leave her alone.  She is doing much better now, praise God.

The joint flare up started when she was in the hospital and continued for nearly a month.  Bad pain the first week, then I progressed to functional but sore.  Bad news: my hands and wrists hurt too bad to knit for a few weeks.  Good news: read a lot of books.

I got my Citron shawl done near the end of last month, and it turned out very cute.  Since I can use it as a scarf as well as a shawl, I am sure it will get a lot of use. 
I am almost finished with my Swallowtail, which will be shawl #4, and have started on Ella, which is a shawl.

On a sad note, our ram has passed away, which makes me sad that he died, but happy that I will no longer have to fear being smashed to death by him.  His progeny live on though.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crisis Knitting

I think that all crafters, and knitters, in particular, revert to form when stressed, and dive in to their chosen form of artistic expression.  To me, nothing relieves tension like spindles or pointy needles.

When choosing a knitting project to get you through a crisis, there are a few things you may want to consider

1. Choose something that you can put down if interrupted.  I am working on the 10 Shawls in 2010 challange on Ravelry, and cast on a shawl just to work on when taking my Mom to doctor's offices and sitting in the hospital.  It is something that I can set aside if needed

2. Choose a project that requires little counting and brain power.  I opted for stockinette, and soothing.  My project only requires counting on two out of every twenty rows.

3. Pick something that you can wash.  My project can take a gentle soak in warm water and soap.  Cotton may have been a better choice, or even superwash wool.

Basically, when I am looking for a project to get me for a crisis, I go for easy, soothing and portable.
This is the shawl that I have been dragging back and forth to the hospital.  I decided to go with the Citron form's Winter 2009 issue because it met all of my prerequisites for portability.  A very soothing knit without being boring.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
Since I last posted, I have finished two shawls, the first being the pink Chinook, which has gone to a new home, and this lovely little number, the 10 in 2010 Shawlette.
This took me twelve days to knit from Knit Picks Stroll Hand-Painted in the Lullaby colorway. It is also my second shawl for the 10 Shawls in 2010 challenge on The next shawl up is Swallowtail.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Handspun Yarn

Handspun Yarn
Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
As you can see, I've been at the spinning wheel lately, which has gotten me a few more skeins to play with, but not much further on my Chinook Shawl. Deb informed me yesterday that she hit Row 150, while I am still languishing somewhere in the 120's.

The skein on the far left is wool from PA that was locally dyed down there. Deb brought it back for me from her trip to Lancaster. The middle skein was from fiber I get at Rhinebeck last year. It is BFL in a Peacock Colorway, that I spun fairly fine and Navajo plied. As I am new to this plying method, it started out a bit tedious, but slowly got better. The skein on the right is wool/mohair plied with a single of silk, which turned out better than I thought.

Yesterday was a bad knitting day. I was working on a shawl for my neice's first communion, and somehow managed to go from 55 stitches all the way up to 64. I think it had something to do with the fact that I was trying to knit with the wrong hand. Even though I'm a righty, I carry my yarn in the left hand and pick it. I tried carrying it in my right and throwing, but it obviously didn't work out so well. Aside from ending up with too many stitches, I think they were also backwards, which I can't quite figure out. Definitely weird. So I ended up at a coffee shop in Clifton Park waiting for Chris while he was in his class, and the bad mojo even extended to my sock. I haven't been plagued by bad stitch counts in years, and I started coming up with bad numbers on my socks, as well. I took the hint, put the knitting away, and read my book.

Speaking of books, I just finished Adrienne Martini's book "Sweater Quest", and enjoyed it very much. It did, however, give me terrible nightmares about doing a huge afghan in Fair Isle, knitting flat with size one needles and laceweight yarn. I can't think of any knitterly thing more terrifying than that! She is supposed to be at Stuyvesant Plaza at the bookstore signing books and hosting a knitting get together tonight (good timing) and I am contemplating whether it is worth the trip down the Northway during rush hour.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Athena's New Ram Lamb

Athena's New Ram Lamb
Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
Well, Athena surprised us yesterday with a lamb, sooner than I expected, and wonder of wonders, she is actually taking care of him. She is one of those sheep that is just dumber than the average sheep, and that says something, since sheep aren't exactly known for their brilliance. It looks like she will be a good mom. We are going to call the little guy Bilbo, which for some reason seems to suit him.

Gracie's lambs are growing like weeds. We are going to call them Bam-Bam and Bri-ella. We are hoping to get them out and about soon, weather permitting, of course.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Grace, Izzy, and the Twins

Grace, Izzy, and the Twins
Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
Well, she finally had them on Friday, April 2. I went out in the morning to check her as usual, towing Bella along for the ride. I heard their little "maaas" before I even saw them.

I got Chris and Mark up to come out and help dip navels and get them nursing, and much to my disgust, nobody wanted to cooperate (I'm talking sheep, not family). Those lambs wanted to nurse, but every time they tried to latch on, Grace would walk away and knock them over.

After an hour of trying to get the nursing going, the lambs were wearing out and getting cold, and Grace still wasn't cooperating, so we hit the road for some colostrum and Save a Lamb. $40 later, we get home to find them happily nursing. I'm thinking that it is a small price to pay for not having to bottle feed.

So now we have ram and ewe babies, and are looking for "B" names!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Chinook Shawl

Chinook Shawl
Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
I don't have a whole lot of lace knitting experience, but this is one knit that I am really enjoying. This is my version, in progress, of the Chinook Shawl knitted on a KnitPicks lace sampler.

The charts are a bit messed up in their numbering, but other than that, it is a good knit. Enough of a pattern to keep your attention, but not so complicated that you need to stress over it. I can't wait to see it blocked.

I am in the midst of a bit of a "shawl down" with my friend Debbie B., who got the same kit I did. I was well ahead in my knitting, and then we had the great sheep tragedy, and she's now catching up. Gotta push myself or she will buzz right on by me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My Poor Isabella

I have decided that breeding sheep isn't for us. If we had a nice big farm and lots of money, and now personal attachment to the critters, then maybe I would reconsider.

In my last post, I talked about waiting for Gracie, maybe Izzy is bred, yadda yadda. I will admit, I got fooled. I got home last night, and Izzy, who was still out with everyone else, was out in the shed in active labor. Mark and I got her up and into the stall with Gracie, and then the real excitement began.

At first, everything seemed OK. She was doing a lot of pushing, pacing, and grunting, but then again, so did I when I was in labor. After about 45 minutes I got concerned and called Chris, who is not home at the moment, of course, to see what he said. Of course, he hasn't delivered any more lambs than I have, so I moved on to calling Bernadine, our sheep mentor. Get worried, she said. Lube up and check her. So in I reach and find a head and legs. It was right there and just not coming out.

At this point, she and Olivia headed over, and Bernie checked her herself. We tried getting hold of feet, encouraging, etc, with no success. So we start calling vets. Calling a vet that isn't your own, after hours, is not a cheap proposition. After a few calls and consultations, we got Dr. Roher in (thank you Debbie B and Deborahlee for making this happen in the midst of my crisis).

Dr. Dan's first comment on examination was, "Did you breed her to a Hostein or something?"
"Why?" says I. "Does the lamb have a big head?"
"This lamb has a big everything," he replied.

To make a long story short, the vet spent hours here trying to get this lamb out, but it wouldn't come out. After facilitating removal, we gave her tons of drugs and antibiotics, and the poor man never left here until after 1 am. By the time we got Izzy all situated, it was 2 am. She did sit up and drink some water, which is a hopeful sign, but she's still not out of the woods.

So the sum total of this affair was, we still have is, and hopefully we will be able to keep her going, and we have no lamb to show for her suffering.

Next at bat, Miss Gracie, who hopefully will avoid having another freakishly large lamb.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Waiting on the Lamb

Originally uploaded by SpinningMommy
Well, our Cotswold ewe, Gracie, should be ready to deliver any day, but as of yet, no lambs. And let me tell you, she would rather be out running around with the rest of the geepers than sheltering inside and staying dry.

My guess is that she is the only one that is bred, although Izzy might be. I'm really not sure. Time will tell, however.

As to what I'm knitting, the question is: What am I not knitting. I'm working on my Chinook shawl from KnitPicks. In pink, of course ( it was on sale ), I'm working on an Easter Egg Love dishcloth, and an accordian scarf. I just rotate through. Aren't my powers of concentration mindboggling?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Pattern - Pucker Up Cloth

Pucker Up Cloth

Materials Needed:

Size 6 knitting needles
Craft cotton, such as Peaches and Creme (Lilac Ombre shown here) or Sugar and Cream
Abbreviations used:
K= knit
P = purl
Yo = yarn over
K2 tog = knit two together

Cast on 31 stitches using long tail method, or method of choice.
Pattern is a multiple of 11 sts + 1

Rows 1-4: Knit

Row 5:K4, k1,*yo, k3, [k2 tog] x 2, k3, yo,k1. Repeat from * to last 4 stitches. k4

Row 6: k4, p23, k4

Row 7:knit

Row 8: k4, p23, k4

Repeat Rows 5-8 eight more times for a total of nine repeats.

Repeat Row 5

Knit 4 rows.

Bind off loosely

Weave in ends.

This is a smaller, easy to handle cloth that makes for a quick knit.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Pin Knitting Pattern

In honor of my friends Carrie and Raema, and all women facing breast cancer, I worked up a quick and simple pattern for a knitted breast cancer awareness pin. Feel free to share it with a link to this page.

Pink fingering weight yarn (I used Knit Picks Stroll), although any fingering weight will do
Size 0 or 1 knitting needles
Safety pin

Cast on 40 stitches using your favorite cast on method. I used long tail.
Knit 3 rows.
Bind off.
Weave in ends.

Cross your ribbon over to form a loop, and use a scrap of your yarn to secure it. I just used a sharp yarn needle to tack it down. Attach to your pin, and you are done.

It actually took me longer to bind this off than it did to knit it! Very quick and easy. You could do other memorial ribbons as well, just by changing the color.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yearning for Spring

Once again, it is snowing here in the great Northeast. While it looks beautiful coming down, I can only wish that spring would come soon. Over on A Virtuous Woman website, they are gearing up for their second annual Proverbs 31 Spring Clean Challenge, and I'm more than looking forward to it. If there are any Christian women out there interested, go to and check it out. It starts March 1, and goes through the month of March. It's sort of a combination of house cleaning and heart cleaning.

In the meantime, I guess I will continue my usual winter routine of knitting, spinning and reading. Knitting at the moment is socks that were supposed to be done for Christmas, and some scarves. I'm spinning silk yarn, and reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffeneger, and "Animals Make Us Human" by Temple Grandin. I highly recommend the Grandin book if you have any animals, and the Niffeneger book if you want a great read that leaves you sobbing through the final third of it.

As much as I wish for great weather, though, I think that winter will be here for a bit, so I will leave you with the following blessing, which I LOVE!

May you have-
Walls for the wind,
and a roof for the rain,
and drinks beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you, and all that your heart may desire.