Thursday, November 29, 2007

2 saddles

The Irish Moss sleeves each have a cable-y saddle. (The maple man thinks of them as officer's stripes.) The front has been frogged back to before the shoulder shaping. I'm quite pleased that I put in a lifeline before starting the shaping.

I'm off to knit another inch or so of cables then more shoulder shaping. And watch the cowboy game. ;-)


Monday, November 26, 2007

Yarn for sale or trade

yarn_for_sale 076
Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
I've just loaded some yarns onto my stash for sale or trade page. If you're not on ravelry and you're interested in some yarn, let me know what you're looking for. I have Noro and sock yarn and recycled silk and sock yarn (KP sock garden geranium, and tap dancing) and wool gatto. Also KP Sierra and spinnaker. And some Fire Ant Ranch singles.

Here is a link:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

All is well

Still adjusting to the new computer... [Scoll way down for knitting content.]

itunes is ticking me off. Anybody know of another program to use with my ipod to keep up with podcasts and load a bit of music from CDs?

The maple man has to make a pdf to send in related to the rhodie convention next year in Tulsa. I did not move over his make-a-pdf shareware. Worse than that, I got rid of it (on the old computer, I asked first "are you going to make any more pdf's) because the name of the program looked suspiciously like some software known to cause problems with some thumbdrive software. Who knew they were so complicated?

But I digress... So we had to re-download, and re-install primo pdf. And he made a pdf yesterday. But he didn't send it off. He wanted to think about it. Today he couldn't find it. So he made a new one and sent it off. This evening I'm knitting. He starts asking questions about the program files directory. What?? He wants to know where the program files directory is. He thinks his lost pdf is in there. What?? He will not be dissuaded. I have to put down the knitting and find him the program files. First I had to tell Vista to quit hiding system files and folders. Don't remember what all I clicked but about a half hour later, we found all the program files and his lost pdf's (one from yesterday and one from today that he had not mentioned). Then he announced that all is well with the world.

I was ok with that until I noticed the time and the fact that I had missed the first part of Desperate Housewives...

In other all-is-well news, the irish moss is coming along nicely. And it fits. Well, it will with minor adjustment. I really really needed to try it on the maple man before more knitting. The front and back and sleeves were knitted. All was. complete save the saddle shoulders and the neckline ribbing.

I basted the side seams and the sleeve seams and basted the sleeves to the body parts. But what about those missing shoulders? I could not ask him to put it on and try to hold it up. So I used a t-shirt.

I could have cut it up to have just the shoulders and neck ribbing but there's no need. And it fits. He commented right away that the sleeves are just right. Looked a bit long to me but poor guy's probably never had sleeves too long. And the length will take up a smidge with elbow bend wrinkles. The sweater front and back do need to be an inch or so longer. I've already blocked in some length to account for the bloom of the wool/silk blend. I have lifelines holding the back stitches before the shoulder bind-off. And lifelines holding the front stitches before I knit the shoulder shaping.

So I'm knitting saddles. And preparing to knit an inch or so more body. And I'm ready to be done with cables for a while.


Friday, November 23, 2007

On the day after Thanksgiving...

I usually go shopping. I didn't do the mall. And didn't go for the 4 a.m. openings or the 5 a.m. openings. But I did do Office Depot. At 5:45 a.m. And got a new laptop. And it is a pain in the patooey to move over files. Especially the maple man's collection of pictures. Many of which are more than 4 meg each... Good thing I also got a big external hard drive. And it's a good thing, this struggling computer did not give up the ghost before I finally got around to upgrading. So far, vista is fine. And plenty of memory is good. Now about those rebate forms...

Then to Simpatico [link] for the sale. I got LOTS of fiber. A bag full of mostly red (with some black and white) that is a mill end roving from brown sheep. Probably wool with a low percent of mohair. Some lady from California was there last week and bought all the black and brown and all of the punta top. Also I got a couple of ounces of colored cotton for when I feel up to trying cotton. And a bit of yarn. Who could resist hempathy for 70% off? Before you rush right up there, I got the last of it. But there are were some good deals left, when I left. I think the sale is still on tomorrow.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving 1

I am losing it. Not sure how this happened. I told the maple man that he may need to check me in to the funny farm. I know how to make pies. I became the official pie maker in my family, when I was 13 or 14, in self-defense. My mom made really bad pie crust. She tried. Really she did. It just never came out flaky and tender. Sometimes tough. Sometimes doughy. Sometimes burned. But I digress...

Today is Thanksgiving. We must have pie. Pecan pie. Some of you might say pumpkin pie but around here, if there is one pie that is mandatory, it is pecan. Last night, I didn't have bell practice so I went to an extra knit night. The maple man thought the knitters should be home making pies or thawing turkeys but I had different ideas.

So, I'm making pie this morning. I make crust from a recipe in my head. Roughly, per crust, 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup crisco, some salt, and water to moisten, with minimal mixing. [The trick is to measure the crisco by displacement in ice water. Now you know all my secrets...]

Sooo I commence to make the crust. I measure 2/3 cup of Crisco. 2 cups of flour (can you see where we're going with this?) Mix the crust. Divide in half and roll out (with the one-handled rolling pin I inherited when my mom moved in with my brother... The story goes that Grandma Shorty broke off the other handle on grandpa's head.) I put the crust in the pie pan. And then I started to wonder what I was thinking. A pecan pie is a one-crust pie. What is that other crust for???

The pie is in the oven. The other crust is in the freezer.

saving nine contest

Rush on over to Nichole D.'s blog, saving-nine [link]. (Scroll down to the November 9 post. I couldn't figure out how to link directly. So sorry.)

She's having a contest to promote her cute knitting needle endcap earrings. Entries close today, 11/23, so hurry on over and comment to enter.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

let the holidays begin...

I'm off work today and next Monday, plus the holidays, so we're having a nice long weekend. There will be cooking tomorrow but I've convinced the maple man we don't need to cook a turkey for the two of us. I think we've decided on butterfly pork chops with some of the traditional side dishes. Watch this space for a list. We have different favorites so it will be interesting to see how many we end up with in our effort to not get carried away.

But, and you might have guessed this, a long weekend means lots of knitting time. Last night at knit night, I finished knitting the last rows on the back of Irish Moss. Now there is the binding off, but we'll have no normal binding off for Alice. In the cables, there are decreases during the bind off so I have to pay some attention. I considered briefly doing a three needle bind off for the shoulders, and then I remembered the saddles (which I still need to knit. Forget about it, I said to myself, and follow the bind off instructions.

The maple man asked this morning what I was going to be knitting. I told him I was about ready for the bind off. Then I'll do some blocking and basting-together to make sure this thing is going to fit. Not sure how I'd make adjustments but, ummm, there will be no frogging and reknitting. In the back of my mind, I am thinking about my brother who is a smidge smaller than the maple man, tall, but not quite as tall, and no dun-laps (def. when your belly done lapped over your belt).

Back to the knitting plans... I said the ribbing would be knitted soon. He says "I've been meaning to talk to you about that". I'm thinking, this is all I need, suggestions from the peanut gallery a non-knitter. He says "How much ribbing am I getting? 1/2 inch, 1 inch?" I said about an inch or a little more. I don't have any idea how much Alice has in mind but I figure it's up to me. We need enough ribbing to make the neckline stable and look good. I guess I'll be considering the suggestions of the maple man and Alice.

Then he explained about the glasses. He says he likes to take his sweater off with his glasses on. The things you learn about a man after all these years.


Monday, November 19, 2007

into the toilet...

Podcaster Kelley Petkun from knitpicks has gone over the deep end recently with an extensive review of a book about toilet paper covers.

Umm, I grew up in a house with a crocheted toilet paper cover. It was yellow, I think. I don't recall that we used the toilet paper in the cover. It was for decoration. This (the making of toilet paper covers) would be more complicated these days because of the downsizing of the regular size toilet paper roll, and the introduction of double rolls and triple rolls. And whatever other new size rolls they are making this week. It seems we have lost our standards.

I'm not linking to the book. If you are interested, I'm sure you can google it. Or listen to the podcast.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

a shoulder

Irish Moss has a shoulder:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Well, almost two shoulders. I'm off to finish knitting shoulder 2, but first a close-up of cable-y goodness:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

poke berry yarn update

poke plyed111307 002
Originally uploaded by soapquiltknit
I have plyed the darker yarn from the first week's poke berries with the lighter yarn from the second week's poke berries. It's pretty and I think it will knit up tweedy. But, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised, it's chunky. Two singles, that both looked like fingering or light fingering, ply together to make chunky. It's not over-plyed so that is progress. I looks a tad under-plyed to my untrained eye but hangs without twisting as pretty as you please. I understand that means it's balanced.

I mixed together the saved poke berry juice from both batches (there were no mold or off-scents). There were about three pints total and stewed up (that's a techical term) another couple of yards of roving. One yard of targhee, marked with a green thread, and one yard of rambouillet. I wanted to test whether it was likely the roving source that was responsible for the color difference. It wasn't. Both rovings are very similar in color. So the difference is likely due the the berry ripeness difference between week 1 and week 2 or some processing difference. After the rovings came out, there was still plenty of juice so I dyed some of my early spun yarn (ok, all my spun yarns are early, as I've just been spinning for a couple of months...)

I haven't decided what all this yarn in various shades of poke berries wants to be. Nominations are open.

p.s. there's still a pint and a half
Are you asking yourself, will this saga every end?

p.p.s. I've read that carrot tops make a nice green. I've never had a lot of gardening success with carrots. Maybe it's time for another try?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

a sweater for dad

Today’s knitting daily post comes from guest contributor, Amy Clarke Moore, editor of Spin-Off magazine.
Amy tells about the sweater she’s been working on for her dad since 1996. She knits on it from November to February. His birthday is in February and when it’s not done in time for his birthday, she puts it away until the next dad-sweater-knitting-season.

I’m not sure how old Amy is or how old her dad is. But I’m guessing Amy is grown, since she has a position as editor of a spinning magazine, and her dad is, what word should I use, mature.

Life is fleeting. We never know when our number will be called. I lost my dad, suddenly, in 1992, when he was 65. I think he knew, because before he passed, he made the “tour” and visited each of his kids and their families. And I wasn’t a knitter then, but if I had been, I would have wanted him to have his sweater.

Amy, finish the sweater.

knit stamps

Have you seen this year's Christmas stamps from the USPS?

This picture is from last year. The stamps a co-worker showed me this morning say 41.

Monday, November 12, 2007

hats for 3 year olds

Here are some hats I've been knitting:

The pink hat is for my cousin's granddaughter Anna Mae. It is knit with two strands of custom dyed not-so-light yarn from Socks that Fit [etsy link]
I think it will be just right for a 3 year old girly girl who likes pink. It reminds me of pepto-bismol or Barbie playhouse pink. My cast-on was 80 and the needle was a kp 16 inch circ size 5us. The pattern is my own and will be published here soon.

The red hat is for the 3 year old grandson of one of the maple man's suppliers. Carl Munn is the developer of the popular and hard-to-find Moonrise maple. The colors of the hat are designed to capture the fall colors of Japanese maples.
This one is Acer Japonicum Oisami.

Same pattern as above except the cast-on was 84. Same size 5 kp 16 inch circ. The yarn is one strand of Silja red and one strand of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in the fall foliage colorway.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

dog time

We changed the clocks a week ago. It's time to "fall back" but on my first effort to reset the microwave clock, I went a hour the wrong way. The maple man understood the time change more clearly than I did and I reset again. I've only been resetting twice a year for mumble mumble many years but I guess I was confused.

About 4:00 last Sunday afternoon last week, the dog's were acting hungry earlier than the time they usually eat. The maple man understood that they don't go by clocks and their tummies were telling them it was time for dinner. I also declared that my tummy said it was time for dinner.

All week, I've been waking up early. Before the time on the clock when I usually get up. And I've been getting yawn-y and sleepy earlier than my usual bedtime.
Add to this time confusion that things have been crazy at work and I've been staying later than usual.

And one more problem with time changes, it's dark when I get home from work, or at least the good light is gone. Which makes problems for blog pictures... I think I took some at the farm yesterday but they're still in the camera... Maybe later?
My tummy says it's time for dinner.


wayback time machine

There's a contest you need to hurry up and enter. Entries close at mid-night tonight (not sure what time zone). Kitkatknit wants you to turn back your wayback time machine and tell her (in the comments) and on your blog what you were knitting this time last year.

My wayback machine is not working very well. Last year in November, I was a bad bad blogger and did not post. From what I remember, I was knitting feverishly on tooo many Christmas presents, mostly clogs (love love FTs patt) and hats. Can I still be in the contest?

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Yea!! A new she-knits podcast is downloading. Just when I was all out of new podcasts.

And my ravelry t-shirt came in the mail today. And we may have some weather in the 80's this weekend so I guess it's t-shirt weather again.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


There is knitting, nightly, on the Irish Moss. But it doesn't make for much blog fodder as it looks pretty much the same day to day.

So I'll distract you with a pretty picture.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I think he's smiling.


Monday, November 05, 2007

poke spinning update

I don't think I've showed you my spinning recently. I've been spinning the roving I dyed with pokeberries.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Clock-wise from the top:
batch 2 roving (targhee)
batch 2 roving pre-drafted
batch 2 single on the spindle
batch 1 single on the spindle (rambouillet)

The roving that I dyed, the first weekend that I picked poke berries, is what I'm calling batch 1. There are about 46 grams of single. I would call the color magenta and in two weeks, I've noticed no fading.

The roving I dyed last weekend, started out lighter in color than the first batch. It's more of a rose-y red. Could be because I dyed more roving and yarn in the pot. The "dye" did not exhaust, but maybe natural "dye" doesn't exhaust? Could be because the berries were at a different stage. Could be because the rovings are from different sources. The batch 1 roving is from Heritage Arts from the bulk white bump. Sue said it is likely rambouillet. The batch 2 roving is targhee from Woodland Woolworks.

I plan to ply the two together but they haven't told me what they want to be. I'm still at the stage of being surprised what weight the yarn will be after it's plied and finished. I'm guessing worsted. Stay turned and we'll see.

And here is the pre-drafted roving up close:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Pretty? On my monitor the color is close, maybe a little lighter than in person. When spun, it is darker and richer in color.

I also over-dyed this sock yarn in batch 2. It from the custom-dyed yarn we [my Sisters of the Wool] got through Grace's co-op. The yarn is a wool bamboo blend. The little skein shows the original red-purple. It's now red-darker.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Labels: ,

Sunday, November 04, 2007

library books

I really enjoy library books. Recently most of my choices have been of the knitting and spinning persuasion. I get to read newer books before I make a buy decision, and out-of-print books that are not available except at astronomical prices and also the oldie-goodies. My local library has a program that allows me to have a library card also from the close-by larger library systems so I can check out their books too. I can also borrow from farther-away larger library systems but I'm not so interested in driving an hour or two to a library. In any case...

I currently have these books checked out:

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

This is an excellent book. Currently out of print but I understand it's being re-published. I'll be one of the first in line. Even though she expresses a preference for throwing over continental, and seaming over in-the-round. And she doesn't call my favorite long tail cast-on by the name we know and love, long tail cast-on.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

An excellent resource for natural dyeing. Also out of print but there are some reasonably priced copies for sale used. I'll be adding this one to my personal library.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Focused on sweater patterns knit from handspun. A bit too cookbook-y for me, so I'll just enjoy the library's copy for a couple of weeks.


Saturday, November 03, 2007


Yea!! Blog hits have passed 12,000. To all of my readers, thanks for reading me.

Hopefully, Irish Moss will be over complete soon. Then blog content and variety should hopefully improve.

Attention: podcasters

Turn off the phone or at least turn off the ringer.
If you pause your podcast to answer the phone,
we don't need to know it.

Now back to your regularly scheduled knitting...


more irish moss

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I think this is the front. I soaked and blocked a sleeve and it grew in length two inches (about 10%) so if the other panel is the front, I think it will may be too long (although I don't think a man who is 6'4" has ever had a too long sweater), so it will be the back and this the front.

I'm still on ball 11. 19 grams are left. Which could be knit up by early next week. If I knit more and spin less...


Friday, November 02, 2007

book delivery

The post office and UPS were good to me today:

From amazon:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Seems more about dyeing and spinning than socks.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Mentioned on the knitpicks podcast last week, written in the same vein as EZ

And an out-of-print spinning book from ebay (thanks for the heads-up Judi, it looks like it will be a goody, and for much less than Amazon used book sellers):

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm looking forward to reading my new books, and I'm really tired tonight as I spent the day working on a Habitat house, so this may cut into tonight's knitting time.



I've been watching the porch for books. I have two on order from Amazon and an out-of-print spinning book from a slooow shipping ebay seller. Imagine my surprise when I found the Winter 2007 issue of IK in my mailbox. The website said it was due on newstands on November 13 and I find it in my mailbox on November 1. Good job Eunny.

I haven't taken time to give it a thorough read but none of the patterns have jumped onto my "must do" list. So far. Looks like some nice articles on sleeve caps and alpaca.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

November 1 status

Another status report that was quick to post and will be quick to read. Another month with not so many finished objects to blog about. Another month still slogging along with the Irish Moss sweater.

finished during October 2007
Scott’s hat
most of the back of a sweater (Irish Moss for dh)
some of mom’s sweater
no socks
So the sock total for 2007 is still 14 pairs

For November knitting, I plan to continue to focus on Irish Moss.
Mom's sweater will be alternate knitting for times when I need to knit mindless.
There’s also a pink hat for a great niece. Think pepto-bismol.