Monday, January 31, 2011

Home cooking and another sweater

So this is what Brrrr looks like on the inside of our house. I made the roast with veggies and gravy. Can you see the steam rising from the plates? I went to sit down and it looked so cool hot that I had to take a picture for you.

The other night I made another one of my cold weather go-to meals. This is cheesy hamburger stew or as we used to call it can casserole. In the past I used canned vegetables instead of frozen ones. I think I like this dish more than D but he seems to see the point of it when it is really cold outside.

I've been working on my oops sweater to see if I can finally finish it. I thought I was running out of yarn so it was consigned to time out. I bought two colors (because I am indecisive). I was trying to figure out which color to use so I was going to put it to a vote here. But it turns out I am also impatient, because I knit to the correct length with the remaining blue yarn then I added in the red yarn. Then I knit for a bit more and added in the gold yarn.

See what I mean about hard choices sometimes you just suck it up and use both of them. I will show you results when I get it done. Soon D will be very happy to have another sweater, and I can start on my Central Park Hoodie with no UFO (UnFinished Object) guilt. Oh happy knitting day.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I admit it

OK I admit it, I may be a bad influence. I contacted Kisknit to ask her opinion on which classes to take, because Anne Hanson and Cookie A are coming to a yarn shop near me. Well not really to the yarn shop but because of the yarn shop. They will each be teaching three classes.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for my bank account, they are all held the same weekend. So I needed to be selective, how to decide? I called my KS (Knitting Soulmate) and asked her what she would take. True to form she picked the one class I was 90% sure I would take, and another class I wanted to but could not make up my mind on.

Once she confirmed for me what I really wanted by choosing it herself, I pulled out the card and paid my fees. I may have sent an email and said that the classes were filling fast, but that part is still a bit hazy as my moral compass was spinning rather fast. Is it wrong to encourage your friends to take more than one knitting class in a month? On a scale of 1 to 10 how bad am I?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Yep it is officially winter here in NY. We've had snow, more snow, and oh guess what, even more snow. I don't think we've received as much as the city but it is coming down even now. These pictures were taken during the first or second round of snow. So that has all compressed and been added to again.

I love snow, it makes the world so much prettier. But the end of my driveway is screaming UNCLE! The plows come through many times which is good until you realize that you need to go dig out the end of the driveway again. 

See it does make the whole world more beautiful. We quickly realized the differences between NY snow and SD snow. I freely admit that NY gets way more snow. Way more. But it just drifts beautifully down from the sky and settles till the plow pushes it about. 

In SD the snow is controlled by the ever-present wind. Which means it comes down sideways and forms huge drifts, usually in front of any door that you wish to go out of in the winter. It closes the interstate too, because it is hard to keep the car on the road when you can not see the road only white snow everywhere.

NY may get more snow but SD knows how to use it against you. (Blizzard anyone?) SD usually gets some nice bitter cold in the winter time too. We will be in the negative degree range for the second time in our 10ish years here. Back home in SD much of the winter is spent on that end of the thermometer. Now remember I did not do any fact checking in this report it is just my general impressions of both areas. I could be wrong.

I do remember flying home for Christmas one year from Charleston SC. We were at the airport pretty early and the gentleman checking us in had plenty of time to talk to us. I don't think he had ever checked in someone going to SD in the wintertime. Just for fun we asked him to check the temperature at our destination. (This was before smart phones)  -14 degrees F. I think we were leaving 50-60 degree weather at the time. I can tell you that made this guy's day, at least he was not flying there! It also explained our huge parkas, a rare site in the warm south.

I think I will go start a roast in the oven. Because I was raised by my mother and this is what we do when it is cold outside.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

On Knitting

My friend Kisknit (my knitting soulmate) were talking last year and I was astonished to find out that she had never taken a knitting class. I find this amazing because I just assumed that once people found a level of obsession with their knitting that was the next step in the process, you use every available source to expand your knowledge, classes, podcasts, blogs, the internet and now Ravelry. I assumed everyone else went after knitting knowledge like it was the Holy Grail too.

So since she made a bold declaration to knit her stash down this year I antagonized her by inviting her to take a knitting class with me. Wait before you all start sending me hate mail, it is within the original rules. She did say that yarn could be bought if it was for a specific project. What is more specific than a knitting class?

So what will we be making, you ask? The Central Park Hoodie (CPH)

We merrily went to the yarn store on Sunday and each bought yarn. She got a bright beautiful green and I wimped out and went with my original choice after contemplating many colors. I will be knitting it in the same British Racing Green as D's current in progress sweater. I think it will look OK as it is a different style sweater than D's and it is very unlikely that we will wear them at the same time. I tried to look at other colors, I tried to tell myself that a lighter color would show the cables better, I really wanted that color! They did not have enough for my sweater but I think I will have 2 skeins left over from D's sweater. I took the plunge and bought what they had hoping that it would be the same dyelot. The amazing thing is that it was the same dyelot. See it was meant to be mine.

Oh, D's sweater is going along fine. I have most of it done now, I'm working on the collar, and just need to go back to the body bottom and knit some ribbing. I am not cutting yarn or weaving in ends till I have it all knit up and he tries it on. I want to be sure so I don't have to pick back any woven yarns to make changes.

So Kisknit and I are just counting down the time to class in February. Our homework is to knit a swatch, do you think I can just use D's sweater as an acceptable swatch?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A day in the life of Yarnkettle

So the problem with taking picture and organizing things a bit it that I have more than enough blog fodder but I seem confused and overwhelmed by it all. Now I want to tell you everything in one huge blog post.

I don't think any of us want to see that so I will try to limit and organize today's post by telling you about today. I know a day in the life of Yarnkettle seems as interesting as the Russian book. (A Day in the Life of Ivan Ivanovich.) Well I don't think it is going to work that way but it is way too early to tell.

We started dance classes again. We had taken 4 or 5 sessions of dance class through community education a few years ago, then D started graduate school and he was way too busy. I was happy to stay home and knit. You can really get a lot of knitting done when you are a school widow or golf widow or bike widow. But now he is back to having more free time for us and we jumped at the opportunity to try dancing again. We will never be Fred and Ginger but we can do better than looking like we are attempting to kill each other on the dance floor. We have our issues but I think we are more resolved to be ourselves and not worry about what others think. I have what I refer to as 'the anti-rhythm.' There is no help for it we just work around it. I also have problems with being lead, turns out I am a total control freak on the dance floor too. So to combat it I close my eyes, hard to try to lead when I can not see where I am going.

But after a few years off I am happy to report that the first dance lesson went better than I thought it would. I think we were both happy to be doing it again and that makes for a much more enjoyable time. Oh I still hate the Foxtrot but I will enjoy the swing portion. Who knew walking backwards would be such a big problem for me, oh yeah you do it in time to the music, that will get me every time.

I have talked a friend into taking a knitting class with me. We are off to the yarn shop tomorrow to sign up and make sure we do not choose the same yarn. Hey that is a real possibility with my knitting soul mate. We were married in the same year, her in NY and me in SD we picked the same dress. Of all the wedding dresses they make how likely is it to meet a person that wore the same style as you a month later? Since she gave her wedding dress away and I kept mine I have offered to let her daughter wear mine. Don't worry she is just over a year now I have some time to get used to the sharing idea. She may not want to feed her too many veggies since I am shorter than Mommy so she may need to stunt her growth a bit.

So I really like the color of the sweater I am knitting for D now, would it be wrong to make a sweater for me in the same color? It would be a different style, does that help?

My cats have taken to cuddling with me when I am knitting. Gus to my left and Jack either on me or to my right.

Jack even crawled into D's sweater as I was knitting the sleeve. Everyone in the family loves Mom's wooly goodness.  You can conserve many BTUs wrapped in wool next to a knitter.

That red thing would be my upside down cup cozy on Jack's head. Wool is warm and never goes out of fashion. Words to live by people, words to live by.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


After reading my friend Crafty Corner's  blog post about "Merry Christmas to me", I decided I needed to learn from her. I don't have a problem buying yarn (mostly for myself) but I do have a problem "treating" myself. I have run across posts on Ravelry that talk about getting a bonus and what should I spend it on? I always think wow wouldn't that be nice?

Turns out it is nice. I received a Christmas bonus this year and decided to buy my wish list on Knitpicks. Shhh I even added a few items to it before I emptied it. Most of my items were even on sale (3 out of 4 sock yarns). The light blue "Dolphin" yarn will work out to be an amazing $5 pair of socks. Who could resist the purple "Royalty", my "Tea Party" brown and pink yarn, or Jade gloss yarn? I replaced a set of 2.25 mm needles I lost somehow, with lovely Harmony DPNs. I got a needle sizer for all the Knitpicks sizes. A set of connectors to make my Harmony interchangeable set even more versatile. I had had my eye on the magnetic pattern keeper for when I start doing more colorwork or charted lace patterns. I had worked with a similar idea in my former life as a cross stitcher. This one is just a tad up the ladder because it folds closed and buttons open to be a stand. I'll show you pictures later how it works.

I got the CD versions of 2006 Interweave Knits magazines. I think winter 2006 was the first time I noticed the magazine after I started knitting but it sold out by the time I got around to buying it. That red sweater on the front called my name even when I thought I would never knit a sweater. Now I have the set.

And what kind of a sock knitter would I be if I did not get Cookie A's new book? I am so in love. This one has the patterns in multiple sizes so I don't have to do the math to make socks that will fit me. Usually I am figuring how to add quite a few stitches without losing the fun pattern. I am really looking forward to making the German Stockings, I fell in love with those a couple of years ago on the Yarn Harlot's blog. I wonder if she ever finished them? It was actually Cookie's book that led me to the thought of using part of my bonus.

That book and a swift on sale started me thinking about how nice a order it would be. Yep I got myself a swift too. I had been wanting one in theory for quite some time. It seemed like such a high ticket item that while useful, I could make do without. Now I don't need to.

My swift is not in the picture because I mounted it and wound some yarn for D's sweater. Which is moving right along. It now has most of the body, most of a sleeve and part of another sleeve. I decided to not rib and bind off any part till it is mostly done. That way if I need to rip back a bit I will not be so devastated, I will however be bored of ribbing. So I think by this time next week D should have a new Friday sweater. He says he saves them for Friday so he can enjoy them more.

Happy knitting!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dreaming about things

OK I admit it I really love getting gifts. I know I feel shallow just saying that, but love getting things because I have a hard time buying things for myself. Hey all you snort-laughing people out there the problem does not seem to affect me when yarn is in the picture.

This would be the dinner and a movie portion of the love fest. Can you tell I love Disney movies? I am probably one of a few "grown ups" that has a collection for themselves not for their kids. 

Oops I forgot to put in the silicon pastry brush in the photo. I knew I was forgetting something. I am now a proud owner of a dough scraper (red thing), and a Danish dough whisk (for making bread dough.) I am sorry to say that I have not yet made bread since Christmas. I know, I feel so un-baker-ly. 

I think D enjoyed giving me The Joy of Sox. Sort of a man joke. As you know I tried to talk D into a pair of mittens but he wanted a silly sweater instead, something about being able to wear it indoors. I'm having a great time looking at all the patterns and dreaming.

Dang it I forgot to put The Eclectic Sole; Socks for Adventurous Knitters in the photo too. That is the problem with trying to catch the good photo light. I think that one is sitting beside my bed and did not make it into the round up. Sorry Mom-in-Law, seems like the gifts not pictured were both from you, except for my lovely bread book.

So that is what I am playing with, I know I can hardly contain myself. Thanks for all the great gifts, now you know how much I appreciate them.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Atta Boy

D had a run today so I toughed it up and went to watch him run. Well mostly I just watch him start and finish. It was cold and windy, so cold and windy my knitterly goodness could not keep it out. Brrrrrr!

D's 3 mile group

Combined 10 &15 mile group

And they're off!
I went to find the finish line but it was way too cold for me to stand outside the whole time. I have come to the conclusion that you're not being a wimp if the cold is getting in through the stranded color work mittens. Those things are double thick!

I am so very proud of my Hubby for doing his winter running thing. He ran in a first night 5k and a hangover 5k the next day too. I know he loves this weather and it is great to see him out having fun. He did let me off the hook for the next few runs. What can I say the man wants me to knit him a sweater and there is no real convenient way to do that at runs.

After our delayed tea and scones time today I managed to take some pictures that I will be using here on the blog. Usually by the time I want to take pictures the light has changed and I am out of luck. So my awkward season of placing things on the floor or couch and photographing them has begun. I guess it is better for my neighbors to not see the crazy lady next door taking pictures of yarn and socks in the grass.

Here is to finding you're wintertime fun activity and making the most of it. Me? I will be on the couch with some wool and at least one cat companion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


OK so I am trying something new this year. It will not be a resolution (not that there is anything wrong with that) but just time for something new.

I am going to tap a wee hole in my shell and start to comment on other blogs. I am what is referred to in the online world as "a lurker." A lurker is someone that reads blogs but never comments or interacts with the blog.

I only recently started to look at the comments others leave on my favorite blogs and found that you can then go to the commenter's website (blog). I knew you could do this I had just never thought to check out some of the links myself. As with people in real life some are more interesting than others. Some I will connect with and some I will not. 

I find commenting to be like inviting someone into my house. I am always afraid that they will find something about me lacking. "Did you see the inside of her oven? I don't think she cleaned it this week." "Did you read her comment? Who would like that color?"

Is it as Abraham Lincoln said "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"? I don't know. I do know that it is much easier for me to stay in my shell, but I am not sure that is the only thing I want anymore. 

I know that knitting has helped me develop friendships easier than anything I've ever done before. I now have friends that I trust my beloved kitties to, because of knitting. I know I have "My Canadian Blog" friend because of knitting. 

So this time next year I may have more friends because I made the decision to lurk less and comment more. I know I like reading comments, lets me know there are people out there. Last year I received one on my Library Love post from an employee of the Charleston County Library system. I thought to myself how cool is that? Someone in Charleston now knows how much I appreciated their job. And that my friends is a good thing to know somedays. 

I was shocked to receive a comment from Clara Parkes on my mentioning that I received a copy of one of her books for Christmas. I was going to play it all cool, but come on that is on the super side of nifty. And because of her comment I found her blog that I had not thought to look for, even though I read her Knitter's Review column. I am enjoying both books.  

So I know that the world is not all hot scones and tea out there but I think I am more willing to be part of it. Oh and if it turns out you don't think I am interesting, that is OK too. I think I am interesting most days and that is enough for now. And yeah I don't clean my oven very often either.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Last year we were home in SD and all I could think about was the start of the new year. Well a huge snow storm, to keep you inside and new knitting books will do that to you. None of the posts that I wrote in my head made it here to the blog. Sigh

This year seemed to lack much of last year's contemplation. So does that mean I will have more action? I don't really do resolutions because they are so easy to break. I think I try to be more realistic and adjust things as the year goes on, rather than deciding the week before a date that I don't really want to be the same person in a month. Resolutions are just too difficult, gradual change is much more attainable.

I have set a goal for the next year, I want to learn the cyrillic alphabet with the long term goal of being able to read Russian. I know it is an odd one but I like to learn. I have trouble understanding spoken languages at times but then thought maybe I can learn to read and write another language. Silly me I choose one that includes learning another alphabet too. A girl can dream can't she? I would like to surprise D's coworker with a handwritten note in Russian. Turns out the good thing is that in the Russian language things are spelled as they sound so once I get the sounds figured out spelling should not be an issue for me. I am a phonetic speller so I may have found a language that I can use.

I went to my yarn store today to find a solution to the knitting problem I have been ignoring. This sweater is now 90% completed with not enough yarn to finish it. It has been weighing heavily on me but I have been ignoring it. I took it to the shop today and had help picking out two yarn colors that may allow me to finish it. The sweater is a blue-grey color, I want to do the collar and cuffs in a red or gold color. I am not sure how it will turn out but I am sick of avoiding the problem. I am a product knitter and the product is just not coming out yet. This baby may have to come out by cesarian!

I felt like I was dressed as a real knitter this last week for the first time. I had on my new Multnomah shawl and my Norwegian mittens and the cold did not affect me. I felt down right knitterly! Hey my computer does not know that knitterly is a real word in my world.

If you're keeping score D's British Racing Green sweater is moving right along. I have separated the arm stitches from the body stitches and am about halfway done on the body. The third skein has been joined in and I am happy. I have promised this will be ready this winter for him to wear.