Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cover Those Ears

First things first:

Yup, yours truly was the Etsy shop of the day yesterday at Lime and Violet's The Daily Chum. How cool is that! Yes, I'm thrilled.

Ok, so I feel like I owe a knitting post after that long hiatus. As I had mentioned, I have been doing some gift knitting, but have decided to not post those pictures until after everyone has opened them so that I keep the surprise.

What I can show is all the hats I've been cranking out. Serious hat mania going on over here.

Steel Karlchen III

Pattern: Karlchen
Yarn: "Steel", alpaca and superwash merino from my own batts

Crabapple Karlchen II

Pattern: Karlchen
Yarn: "Crabapple" BFL spun from Hello Yarn

Crabapple Karlchen I

What can I say, when I find a good pattern, I stick with it. The pattern is written from the top down so that you can try it on. Or quit when you run out of yarn. They also worked up really fast, taking just a day each. I think my handspun looks great in these too.

I figured I need a little something with interest for the next hat, so I started on a Koolhaas. Who isn't doing one of these? I chose Knit Picks Andean Silk after finding a couple balls yesterday hiding in my stash.

Koolhaas Started

Perhaps I need to go through the yarn more often, since I forget I own things. Yes, "most" of the stash is cataloged on Ravelry, but that consists of the sock yarn and sweaters. Those odd balls of only a few, the lace, Shetland and gross amount of yarn purchased for stranded work remain packed away.

Well, that's all I'll get into today. Trust me there's more. Good stuff too!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Update Time

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I've been busy updating the shop over the weekend. This will be my last update before I move in January and probably until early March. Please stop on by and I hope you find something you like! I promise a real post soon; there's so much to talk about!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Hello There!

Despite what many may have thought, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth. I guess I just needed a bit of a break from the blog. My husband came home in October (yay!) and it's been quite an adjustment. After being the only parent for fifteen months, having another one in the house is both a blessing and a challenge. My personal life was turned upside down and I needed some time to let things settle in.

I've been keeping busy with planning a move back to the States and lots of family time. In the spare moments I've been knitting on Christmas presents, dyeing a bunch and spinning a bit. Most of the gifts are in their last stages and will be given a proper photo shoot once all the ends have been tucked in. You see what I've dyeing in my Etsy shop, with more on it's way.

I finally got myself together yesterday and spend quite a few hours rewinding skeins and counting yardages on all the yarns I've spun in the past few months. For whatever the reason, I'd gotten out of the habit of doing it immediately after they were dry from their bath. Perhaps I've learned my lesson...

Spinning Backlog

You can see detailed info in my spinning Flickr set (click the picture to get there). Happy knitting and spinning everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

One Week To Go!!!

Hurrah! We're on our last week of this never ending deployment. Up until last week the reality of the close end hadn't fully hit me. In a way, it hasn't completely yet either. I suppose that it'll take awhile even after he gets home. However excitement has begun to spread like wildfire around these parts. Some groups have already come home and a bunch will this weekend. The entire community has been covered with yellow ribbons, flags and welcome home signs. I'll be very happy once the entire Brigade has arrived safely and life begins to take on a bit of normalcy.

The past few weeks since I last posted hasn't been especially busy. I'm just having a hard time concentrating on any one activity so nothing gets accomplished. We had a very nice visit with Royd's father and stepmother last week. It was great to see the boys playing and bonding with family after such a long time. Being stationed in Europe has its perks, but it certainly makes familial bonds strained.

Ok, now onto the knitting part of what I've been up to. First, I have to give a big public thank you to Dave. I "won" a prize in his Dugly Uck contest awhile ago. Not only did he send me my choice of "ugly" yarn but also included two skeins of gorgeous yarn.

Rare Gem

Painted Daisy

Thanks so much Dave! They have been tucked into the bulging box that contains the other pretties and are now making friends.

I suppose that since it is Socktober, it only seems fitting that I knit some socks. In reality, I had kinda forgotten about it and just needed a mindless project to work on. Although I have lots on the needles right now, anything with patterning just doesn't appeal to me.

Ripple Socks
Pattern: Plain vanilla socks on 64 stitches with a band heel
Yarn: "Ripples" Minestrone from Yarn Chef

This was nice yarn to knit with. Katy has some great color combinations that are right up my alley. I've marked a few as favorites and hope to get some more in the future. While I have knit a band heel before, none of them were for myself. I wasn't really sure I was going to like it, but wanted to try something other than a short row heel to keep the stripes in line. When I first put them on it felt weird, but after wearing them about I found they accommodate my heel just fine.

Naturally since the hubby is going to be home soon, I probably won't be posting for a bit. On the other hand, he now takes control of my car everyday so I'm going to be stuck at home once again... Well, I'll see everyone once things settle down here!

Psst! Lots of new stuff in the shop this week! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Warm Hands

Wow, you all sure know how to make a girl blush! Thanks for everyone's super nice comments regarding my latest sweater.

I'll admit I barely knit this past week. I entered my bi-annual cleaning spree and have been keeping quite busy with that. What little time that I did have I spent playing with dyes and wool. Ok, I did knit a tiny little bit.

Fingerless Mitts
Pattern: Fingerless mitts, a on the fly design
Yarn: my handspun Targhee from Susan's Spinning Bunny

I really like how these turned out and it was pure luck that the striping matched up. I have enough left over to do a little neck gaiter, but have yet to do some measurements and swatching. Perhaps tomorrow since I'm refusing to leave the house.

I know that I promised a post on spinning, but I realized that the last three skeins are still uncounted and I just haven't felt like doing that.

Yeah, pretty boring post. Basically I just wanted to let you know I'm still alive. Plus, I discovered that the longer between posts, the harder it is to get back into it. So, it's an attempt to keep up.

One more thing! Don't forget that I'm having a sale at my shop. Sale ends tomorrow night, so hurry on over! I'll leave you with a taste of the new stuff that just went up.

New Stuff

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


I certainly did not plan on stepping away from the blog for so long! Since I last posted Reilly has started school and that really threw my schedule out of whack. I didn't expect it to, but the adjustment was hard than I thought. We're now into the third week and we've all gotten settled but it's still pretty hectic. The redeployment countdown keeps getting smaller and I keep finding more things I'd like to get done before then. On top of that his parents will be here a week before he gets home. Unfortunately they will miss each other, but their presence will keep me busy and from going out of my mind with anticipation.

Stealing moments for my knitting and spinning has become the new norm. No longer can I sit down and knit while the kids play in the morning. Naptime is also busy with chores. I suppose that once my husband is home and he takes on some of the household duties there will be more time.

However, I have found the time to finish up two knitting projects. Yay!

Pattern: Fetching
Yarn: Bouton d'Or Ksar

These were a nice quick knit and will become a faithful companion on those early morning walks to school until it gets really cold. Guess I better start a pair of mittens soon because it's getting cold already!

Pattern: Wheat-Ear Cable Raglan, Interweave Knits, Summer '07
Yarn: Tahki Torino, color 124

When I first saw this sweater I knew I had to have it. Right after I got my copy Webs was having their anniversary sale and happened upon an awesome price for the exact wool used. Heck, I even used the same color because I thought it was a gorgeous color and it's one that not too frequently shows up in my wardrobe. I'm glad I went for it. The yarn is super soft and I really like how the color looks on me.

I did however have some issues when I knitted it up. First, my gauge was slightly off. Knowing this, I went ahead and figured I'd leave a row or two out every few inches. Well, when I finally bound off for the neck and tried it on was I in for a surprise. It was a turtleneck that was at least three or four inches too wide . Boy did that look funny. Yeah, I had to rip and reknit the entire yoke with faster decreases and a smaller needle. I think the end result is better, not great, but I'm happy with it. It's still a big on the big size and I should have made the smallest size with short rows in the bust. There's some flaring at the underarms, the sleeves are a bit bigger than I'd like and it sits kinda funny on my waist and hips so that it gives me "handlebars". Ok, so maybe I do have them, but they're nowhere near that big! :)

All in all, I'm happy and have learned some things along the way. First, I need to remeasure my entire top side, not just that one number in order to make things fit better. Since the last time I've made a sweater there's alot less of me and I have a hard time figuring out what size the new me wears. Hopefully my next sweater will come out much better. Especially since I've already casted on!

I know that Autumn doesn't start until next week, but it's already here in Germany. The leaves are changing and the air has started to take on that wonderful crispness. It's my favorite time of the year and I'm feeling the urge to bake. Yum! Since I'm in a very good mood, I'm throwing a sale in my Etsy shop until the end of the month. Be sure to hop on over and I hope you find something you like. I suspect that with everything going on I won't be updating there much for the next month or so.

Well, there's spinning to talk about as well, but I'll leave that for another time. Happy knitting!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Turn for the Better

Wow, the past two weeks just flew by! It was a flurry of back to school madness that isn't quite over yet as Reilly doesn't even go until Tuesday. Today we had our home visit with his teacher and that just about pushed me over the edge. I started cleaning last week and continued all week for a visit that lasted all of twenty minutes. Trust me the house really needed it, so it was the kick I needed.

I want to send a big heartfelt thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. The words of encouragement, congratulations and appreciation put a huge smile on my face. I am quite sorry that I didn't respond to many of them, since life just got the best of my time.

So, I'm sure you're all wondering who the lucky person is, and that is Rachel!!! Congratulations! I hope you enjoy it.

Thankfully things have been looking up in my world. First, although we still don't know when my husband will be home, we have been given a time frame. Granted it spans about three weeks, but it's something. Also, redeployment events are starting to happen so the feeling is that it is finally happening. Second, we have been given orders back to Fort Benning, GA. Although it isn't the nicest place to be stationed, it isn't the worse by a long run either. More importantly he will be in a position that doesn't deploy. That's all I can ask for. Hurray!

Ice Princess
Fiber: "Ice Princess" merino
Stats: 11 wpi, 290 yards

This is the latest spinning to come off the wheel. I think it's very pretty, but not me at all, so it'll be up in the shop in a day or two.

Then, I've been working feverishly on the Wheat-Ear Cable Raglan. I just joined the body and have still alot of knitting to do. I'm trying to hurry through it, since my yarn for the Tangled Yoke has arrived and I can't wait to start on that.

Wheat Ear Raglan

Ok, gotta cut this short. Two children are screaming....

Monday, August 20, 2007


Handspun Knee Highs 2

Pattern: Worsted Weight Knee Highs, my own making
Yarn: handspun "Flapper" Merino from The Yarn Wench

Handspun Knee Highs 1

I've been wanting a pair of knee highs for quite awhile now. I tried with my last pair of socks, but that didn't work out so I dragged this yarn out and gave it a try. I think they turned out wonderful, though I may have to reinforce the cuff with some elastic thread. They feel just a bit loose, but we'll see how they wear. I'm sure they'll keep my legs nice and warm once it gets cold and I have to walk the eldest to school.

As the title may have suggested, today is officially my third anniversary blogging. Wow, I can't believe it's been that long! I originally had started this blog because I was bored out of my mind and needed something to do. Royd had just left for his last deployment and I didn't know anybody. The online companionship I found really helped through a difficult time.

This deployment however has been entirely different. I'm sure many of my regular readers may have noticed my lack of enthusiasm. I sit down to the computer armed with pictures and stories to tell, but for whatever reason the words just don't come. The next two months may or may not be any better. He's now been gone for over a year and it's really starting to take it's toll. But on the brighter side of things, Reilly will be entering Kindergarten in two weeks and I will have more time to do other things. Maybe my mood will brighten with him out of the house every day.

Long story short, I want to thank everyone that visits my little corner of the internet. I've made some fantastic online and real friends out of this. Thank you!!!

So, what's a celebration without a giveaway? (Although this will be my first time celebrating, but whatever) How about some handspun yarn, spun especially for ya'll.

Greek Isles

Here's the skinny. Just guess how many yards are in this hank(oh, it's superwash merino btw) and the closest one wins! I'll leave the contest open until midnight Friday EST.

Greek Isles 2

Good luck!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Gosh, I have no idea as where to start this post. I had stepped away from blogging for a couple weeks and now I've got a ton to share. Diving right in sounds good!

Pattern: My So-Called Scarf
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay, Wildflower

This has been "technically" done for a few weeks now, I just hadn't gotten around to weaving those ends in until this morning. Honestly I forgot all about it until I cleaned out the knitting basket. That process deserves another whole post to itself.

Pattern: made up as I went
Yarn: handspun superwash merino

I made this one for Marc and it fits great. I just wish he would leave it on so that I could get a picture. He hates hats.

Pattern: Hot Head from Stitch N Bitch
Yarn: handspun from the previous post (this color is more accurate)

Yes, another Hot Head! Can you tell that I love this pattern??? This one's for me too.

Yarn: Wollmeise, Krauterbeet
Pattern: toe-ups with gussets and picot hem

These were originally intended to be knee highs, but about three inches into the calf shaping I had to rip. The pooling just got plain ugly. So, I've got enough left for another pair in the future. I love this yarn! I'm waiting to see how they wear and wash up before I go ahead and do a big order. There's at least eight colorways I have to have and then a few more I wouldn't mind. Sock yarn problem? Nah.

These are the handspun I finished in the last three weeks. You can get all the dirt on them at my Flickr Spinning Set.

For whatever reason, the littlest one isn't napping very well lately. He's up, so my computer time is over. Happy knitting!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tour de Fleece: Day ???

Ok. I'm lazy. Sure I could go count, but that would be too hard. I'm also way too lazy to go take a bunch of pictures of what I've been up to, so today it's just the spinning.

Wool: "Crabapple" BFL from Hello Yarn
Stats: 172 yards, chunky weight

Fiber: "Royale" Superwash Merino from Funky Carolina
Stats: 310 yards, sportweight

This will become a pair of socks no doubt.

Fiber: "Feelin' Pretty" Finn wool from Flawful Fibers
Stats: 190 yards, chunky to sport weight

Wow, Finn is nice! As soon as I can justify another wool order, I'll be including alot of this to play with. I really wanted this to be a nice thick yarn, but it kept telling me to go thinner. I managed to force it into submission for the most part.

Also, the color is way off. It's much softer in natural light. Funny, it looked great when I saved it, but who knows what happened.

I promise to include some knitting next week, since there has been a little. See you then!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Handspun Happiness

It's all about the spinning right now. Yet as much as I'd like to all day long, other little people have other things that they'd like to do. Since the sun has finally decided to visit Germany this summer, the playground and parks beckon. I needed some nice mindless project that would be easy to tote around as I wander behind them. Socks are out right now since I'm having a bit of boredom with them.

These came into the picture as the next best thing:

All were knit from recent handspun and all followed the basic pattern, Hot Head from Stitch n Bitch. All had different gauges than the pattern suggested, but were an easy enough modification. They also look adoreable on the boys, but pictures were out of the question. It's simply too hot for them to leave on for more than a quick try-on. Now that the required blue hats are finished, I can make some fun ones. There'll also be matching or coordinating mittens in the future. I just am not in the mood for thumbs.

Being the true sports like person I am (ha ha, not really), I've been busy doing my pedaling.

Fiber: "Hibiscus" 4 0z. merino/tencel from the Susan's Spinning Bunny
Stats: 658 yards

You may have remember me mentioning that I was going after fingering weight with this one. Oops. Well, it's my first laceweight that hasn't sucked or fallen apart during plying so I'll take it. The colors are bright, so I'm not sure what to do with it. I'm thinking maybe a very simple lace scarf. Well, we'll see.

Fiber: superwash merino and nylon with angelina
Stats: 468 yards

That's better! I'm glad that I decided to test the blend out before selling it. Not only did I have to up the nylon content, but I got to see how much sparkle the angelina adds. Although I wasn't going for alot of bling, I would add more in the future.

Speaking of sock batts, they're up for sale! I only managed to get two different ones done, since I haven't had much time to play this week. Hopefully this weekend I'll get to. Here's what I've come up with so far.

Oh, and just so that y'all know how bad the sickness is, these were in my mailbox this morning. Yum.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Le Tour de Fleece: Day Seven

In my wanderings across blogland, I noticed that some people that are spinning along in Le Tour de Fleece had set some pretty big goals and challenges. Me, not so much. Here are mine:

1. spin something boy appropriate
2. spin one new fiber to me
3. finally finish that merino/tencel that's been in the works for way too long
4. not buy any new rovings

That's it! The best part is that I've already knocked off two of them.

I've already broken Goal 4, but it was all things that were on sale and I would never dye myself... Okay, I'm just weak.

Goal 1

Fiber: "Summit" Falkland wool from The Yarn Wench
Stats: 242 yards, 3.3 oz., bulky weight

Although there are streaks of purple, which I consider more feminine, it blends in very nicely and I think this will become a nice hat or scarf.

Goal 2

Fiber: "Kimono" merino, alpaca, silk and angelina from Loop
Stats: 256 yards, just short of 3 oz., mostly fingering/sport

This is what the batts looked like prior to spinning. This particular blend was a challenge to spin. At times the fiber spun so nicely and flowed through my fingers, and then it would just clump up and not budge. It also drifted apart causing my pants to become quite red. I'll have to remember this next time I use such a blend because I've got a few others that are quite similar.

This is what I'm working on now. I'm testing out a blend of my own that are going to be for socks. Right off I know that I need to add some more nylon because I screwed up my calculations. Really, this is basic math and shouldn't have been messed up. Oh well. I spent all day yesterday dyeing over two pounds of solid colored superwash for these blends. Once they're dry and I get to blending, I'll be sure to let you know.

In other shop related news, I did a HUGE update this past weekend. Since I have limited space for storing stuff and need to make room, I'm running a special on shipping (see store announcement for details) and to sweeten the deal, I'll even throw in a special offer for my blog readers. Just mention "knittinmama" when you pay and I'll take off 10% one item (highest priced and offer expires 7/20). You can either request a revised invoice or if you don't want anyone to snatch it from under you, just pay and I'll refund you.

Okay, self promotion over. I've got to go get the boys ready for some errands. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Boredom Busting

For the last three weeks, it has rained pretty much every day. This means alot of inside playing and lots of downtime for me. I'm running out of interesting activities that are appealing and have begun to resort to new Leapfrog cartridges and marathon movie sessions. I picked up where I had left off in pre-move activities when the extension was announced and have been cleaning like a madwoman. (not that you'd really be able to tell, since the boys tend to follow me around and undo everything) When I can't clean anymore, I turn to the fiber. This week, more so than ever. I've gotten ALOT done.

Pattern: Whisper Lace Socks from Have You Any Wool
Yarn: J. Knits Superwash Me in New Jersey

Love these socks! They're the first pair I've knit for myself in awhile, since it's been all about the holiday gift pile. I can't recommend the pattern enough, they're so delicate and feminine. Just what every girl needs!

I had been merrily knitting away on the Wollmeise socks until the heel didn't quite work out as planned. Rather than redoing it, I casted on for a pair of Monkey. Don't worry, I've begun the heel again, and if it ever stops raining they'll become my playground project.

The Tour de Fleece starts this weekend and I've been busy warming up.

Wool: Superwash merino dyed with spruce green and vermillion
Stats: 322 yards, sport weight

Wool: "Tulip" BFL from The Spunky Eclectic (June club offering)
Stats: 278 yards, dk weight

Wool: black corriedale with purple and teal colonial from the following batts
Stats: 176 yards, dk/worsted weight

These batts were lots of fun to make. They're three layers total. One black, then wide strips of the purple and teal and then another black. Then I pulled them into roving so that the three colors would mingle nicely. Then I made another two to put into the shop. Afterwards I went digging and found some roving from another Etsy seller that almost matched these colors. Heh. I guess I'll get a matching set of mittens and hat cuz it's just screaming to me mittens. When the yarn screams at you, you just gotta listen!

Friday, June 29, 2007


Hello out there! I am still alive, the universe hasn't exploded and I'm doing quite well. Thank you for all of the very nice comments that were left for me earlier this week. I've been avoiding my inbox since it seems to be breeding. Heck, I'm still working on last week's emails! I suppose if I would just sit down and do it, instead of playing with fiber... Nah.

I don't know about you, but I highly enjoy reading the Yarn Pron/Fiber Fridays that some bloggers do. Unofficially I've been doing them occasionally, just not always on Friday and thought it might be a nice installment on this blog. Of course, due to my sporadic posting, you'll get to see the goodies whenever I get around to posting them.

This week I got a few packages that really helped with my mood.

These would be my latest sock stash enhancements from the Loopy Ewe. Yes, I did swear to Kathleen a few weeks ago that I would not be buying any until I finished quite a few more socks. Oops! Oh, and yes those are some fingers in the bottom of the picture. A certain little baby is quite fascinated with the yarn, grabbing and running whenever the opportunity presents itself.

These two came from Funky Carolina. I just realized this week that I had spun some of hers awhile back and never showed it here. It's now in a new home and I hope she is enjoying it.

Ok, enough of that. Onto what I've been doing already!

Yup, I started another sock with the Krauterbeet Wollmeise. OMG. I love this yarn. The yarn itself is firmly twisted, kinda like Lorna's Laces, but is still oh so soft when knitted up. Can I just tell you now that I'll be ordering much more of this? Eight colorways will be mine, at least.

Fiber: 3.5 oz Falkland "Welder Brook Hollow" from PippiKneeSocks
Stats: Bulky weight, 158 yards

These are one of her solar dyed wools that she described in her article for the Summer Knitty. I saw it and thought "boy". I'm trying to make a conscious effort to buy more boy-friendly wools since I have to tendancy to just buy for myself. So far, I've made a good contribution to the stash, and just need to spin them.

Look! I finally made some batts! The colors a little funny in both pictures. The top is a bit more blue and the bottom doesn't show the chocolate brown all that well. These will be up in the shop sometime this weekend as soon as I can get some decent pictures and final weights. Of course, if you can't wait for that, you can always email me.

Phew, is that enough for y'all to drool over?