24 December 2006

Dear Kristen,

I'm in England! It's lovely and cool here with a light cloud cover. Perfect weather if you ask me. ;) On the flight over I started a scarf for my dad in camel coloured Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran. It's not knitting up quite as soft as I thought it might, but the sheen from the added silk content is lovely. I'm hoping to have it finished by the 31st so that I can give it to him as an early birthday present before he leaves the country... Yes, you did hear correctly, the entire family - both sides - will be together this Christmas. It's pure insanity!

I'm also still working away on Si's Christmas sweater. In a moment of inspiration I decided to buy him a leather jacket for Christmas so I'm not quite so pressed to get the sweater done before tomorrow. Good thing since I still have half the right front panel and two sleeves to complete. I'm very pleased with the Cambridge Jacket pattern. It's been a clear and easy knit!

I'm sure there's more to say, but since I'm without a way to upload photos I'll save it for later.

Have a happy holiday! :)


03 December 2006

Soooo Behind!

Oh Kate,
I am NEVER going to finish even half of my knitted presents! Good grief. I guess planning a heavy knitting load during a move to a new city and a job search is a bad idea. Who would have thought? ;) I'll finish the shawl for my aunt Pat and the socks for Dan's mom, but that's probably it. I have some pics of those things and stuff I've been working on, but of course I forgot my camera at home. *sigh* Soon there will be pics. Really. I swear. ;)

Your stuff looks fantastic! You've been knitting up a storm and I'm totally impressed with everything. :) I hope your sister likes those socks... It's hard to imagine someone not liking handknit socks, but they probably exist. I just bought some yarn to make Dan some boyfriend socks (months from now, of course, when I have all the rest of the knitting done!) - some lorna's laces (yum!) in baltic sea. I <3 sock knitting. Your piratey argyle ones are so cute! And I can't wait to see your holly shawl all finished - I bet it'll be gorgeous! What yarn are you using?

Ok, back to the job search. Wish me luck! I'm going to check out local churches now and see if anyone needs a secretary. Woo!

I miss you!

*big hugs and love*

02 December 2006


Dear Kristen,

I went down to my LYS seeking a few more skeins of the yarn I'm using for the Holly wrap when I came across a brand new copy of the 1996 ed. of Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting. It looks just like the one pictured below. Perfect condition and everything. The incredible deal is that they charged me cover price. $34.95 baby! There are copies on e-bay going for $85-$100!

I am so psyched. I never thought I'd be able to afford this book. It's a classic, full of wonderful information on the construction of Fair Isle knits. I know I will love having it in my collection and I can't believe I found a copy being sold at it's original price!

Now it's back to the salt mines and the holly wrap for me....


01 December 2006

Hey K,

I started working on the shawl again last night and quickly decided that I didn't like what I had been planning. The color changes I envisioned are too symmetrical and I think I'm too far along to change anything. Bugger! I also only completed one row and quickly got bored. Not sure where that came from, it's been ages since a project bored me but I guess part of it was realizing that I am 8 skeins into a 14 skein project and it's only halfway done according to my measurements (I'm 104 cm into a 200cm project). After about 2 years of working on this on and off I can't even imagine ever finishing it. I suspect that it has at least another 2 years before it's done.

I also "finished" the spinning I was working on. After plying I was left with a VERY bulky 2 ply that was barely long enough to turn into a gauge swatch. It's going to take lOTS of practice if I ever expect to really get good at producing yarn. Luckily I have what has turned out to be a ton of fiber (Australian Top - super soft) to practice with. I'm thinking I need to join a spinning guild and get some expert training.

Hope your knitting (and your recent move) are both shaping up well.


30 November 2006



The pirate Arrrg-yles are done! I'm quite pleased with them although they are a little bigger than I expected...while knitting the first one I stopped short because I was worried that they migh not be large enough around the calf. Boy was I wrong!

Yarn: Dale Baby Ull
Needles: US 3 40in circular Addi Turbo
Pattern: A combination of the Moth Heaven Aarg-yle chart and the more detailed argyle pattern from a place I can not remember nor locate. It was a great pattern that I printed out in detail and barely used. (the best intentions, eh?)

When I finished last night Simon requested that I work on a project that is partway done so it's back to the saltmines and the Holly wrap from "Jo Sharp book 2" for me. (Picture of wrap below.)

The pattern in the book was incorrect so the original 6 skeins I purchased for the project was not nearly enough so at about 1/4 of the way through I siwched to a dark blue which will form the middle panel and eventually the fringe. I'm not quite as pleased with it as I would have been if it was all the same color but I think it will be beautiful in the end.

Happy Christmas knitting, friends!


20 November 2006


Knitting has been good even if I haven't really been keeping up with the posting. Simon finished getting our computers to network last week and since then I've been trying to free up space on my 5 year old iBook so that it will run a little better (and upload pictures to blogger). Last night I had a dream that I recieved a check for $8000 which I immediately used to purchase a new MacBook. I'm hoping that it's a sign (although it might just be a sign of Kate continuing to provide pulpit supply and performing weddings while setting aside the cashola for a new computer). Either way there shall be success, I'm sure of it!

In the interim, I finished the hideous sister socks. Since their completion I've been wracking my head for a way to ask her if she actually likes handkint socks since I happen to be in posession of 2 skeins of pink and yellow Lorna's Laces with her name on them. But now that I've finished sister socks the first I'm panicing that the reason we never see her wear the socks that my mom knit for her is that she actually doesn't like the slightly bulky feel of hand knits. Any thoughts? While you think enjoy the blinding brightness that is the Sister Socks the First...

Flower Basket Shawl from Fall IK '04
I also worked feverishly on a shawl for my mom. It's also a christmas present. Below is the in-progress shot that shows the yarn. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in the Aslan and Sand Ridge colorways. My mom is overwhelmed with yarn so she gave me two skeins of each colorway and I decided that since I thought I might use all of the 4 skeins of yarn that I would go ahead and alternate between the two. I think that it's a little too busy and I'm tempted to rip it out and start over since I didn't need more than 2 skeins total for the finished product. :/ But, Si says it's a keeper. He really likes the way that the colors accentuate the "v" shape of the shawl.

I added a repeat to make the shawl just a teeny bit bigger and it's currently waiting to be blocked. I've just been too lazy.

Maggie would like you to know that she continues to inspect my finished products. This one passes muster, but just barely... :P

What definately passes muster is when her "Mom" decides to learn how to spin. Oooh yarn, and dangling things and sheepy smelling fresh wool!

Friday I took a comp day (I've logged over 80 comp hours this semester) and headed out to the Mannings. www.the-mannings.com While there I met some enticingly enthusiastic spinners and purchased roving and a drop spindle (as well as 2095 yds of Jagger Spun and some Dale Baby Ull for "We Be Pirates" mittens, but then who's counting?). Anywho, the spinning is sucking at the moment but I figure that with a determined effort I can learn to spin with the best of 'em. Besides, my suckage is another person's luxury slubby yarn. If nothing else I'm really happy with my choice of beginning on a drop spindle. This one isn't the nicest, but I figure if I can learn how to use it well before Maryland Sheep and Wool then while I am there I can pick up something much nicer and have a better idea of what I need. :)

My new project is the Arrrg-yle socks which I had intended to knit in July. No time like the present, eh? I've got one mostly done and a second started. Alas matey, they will be taken the piss out o' me, while I try to sew up their blasted seam and add me sigil. (Which is to say that the finishing is extensive so it might be awhile before they are completed.)


11 November 2006

Dream Diary

Dear Kristen,

Last night I dreamed that I was purchasing a drop spindle so that I could make my own laceweight yarn... This fiber infatuation, it's a sickness, a disease I tell you! I think about the fiber at work, I worship the fiber at my LYS, I DREAM about the cursed fiber! If anything keeps me out of heaven it will be that whole thing about trying not to covet another's wool silk blend...

On an unrelated side note, I watched "The End of Suburbia" on Thursday. One of the best things about working at an academic institution is that I can go to see a movie and it counts as "work"! It's a fantastic documentary. You should really try to see it if you can. Simon and I have been talking ever since about the issues it raised for us. Peak oil is a scary concept and could be an even scarier reality. I mean, what if they can't ship me my fiber?!?!?!?


08 November 2006


Dear Kristen,

I'm totally excited! The picture function is working... Wahoo! So, here you go, a bunch of ancient projects that I'm still very pleased with. First up is the shawl that I am actually wearing today. It's from the IK Summer '06 staff projects. This is the summer shawlette. I added a few rows to the bottom as I wanted it to be a bit longer and I am very pleased with the results. The yarn came from 2 seperate dyelots of Noro Cash Iroha. A Silk/Cashmere blend that I found half off at my LYS. WOO HOO! It's a little darker in person, more my kind of color really.

Second we have the shawl I made for the International Scarf Exchange. It is from the same IK staff project. This is the Little Arrowhead Shawl in a Noro Cotton silk blend that I can't for the life of me remember the name of... Below you can see details of the stitchwork and some of the stitch markers I made for my pal. I think she was pretty pleased with it although she chastized me for giving too much away in a post I made to the blog. *Shrug* whatever

Finally, socks. Actually these are a now copleted Christmas present for my sister! I hope she likes them. They are even brighter in person!

Happy knitting...


31 October 2006

Dear Kristen,

I am back to work after a VERY long weekend of work with a Monday off for good measure, so in an effort to remind myself that a one day weekend really is enough I thought I would list Tuesday's finer points for you.

1) It's Halloween!
2) I have a jack 'o lantern in my house.
3) My car is getting an oil change.
4) Tonight is the student knitting group at my house which means I will hopefully finish the socks I am working on!
5) Our Director of Student Activities is dressed up as a Witch with green and black stripped tights and all.

Alas there are still no pictures...I've been too lazy.

Happy Halloween!


17 October 2006

Pastoral Provocation

Dear Kristen,

The muse 0f blog maintainance has not been kind to me and refuses to allow me to put up any of my FO or UFO images so instead we must be content with this particularly pastoral photograph which torments me.

When I visited CT for my ordination Simon and I took his parents to Old Surbridge Village. It was wool dying day and I fell in love with a small skein of yarn (photographed in the basket - it's on the far left) dyed this incredible melony-peachy color. It was subtle and vibrant at the same time, so completely different from anything I had ever admired before. I lusted after it. I visited it 4 times while I was there. And I was DENIED... They sell charming fabric squares, miniature spindles with miniature fleces, cable needles, and learn-to-knit kits but NO YARN! Are they INSANE????

In other knitting news...
I've completed the first in a pair of socks for my sister for christmas.
I finished a miniature shawl for the International Scarf Exchange and it is now on it's way to Singapore.
In order to complete the shawl in style I also made about 14 beaded stitch markers, two of which are accompanying the shawl on it's trans-atlantic journey.
My first shawl made for me is also complete - I wore it to work yesterday!
I'm about 3/4 of the way finished with the back of my Sabbath Sweater.
I haven't touched the cabled summer sweater in ages but I'll get back to it soon...

And I have fantabulous photos of all of it! But the muses are not on my side.

I can't wait to see the photos of your completed Christmas knitting! Especially the Cambridge sweater. I'd really like to make one for Simon but I'm not sure about my sweater knitting skills yet (actually it's the seaming that scares me). Your ideas sounds really incredible and I'm sure they will be much loved.

It's been great to hear from you! Sorry I've missed the updating boat. It keeps leaving port when I'm in the middle of a crisis at work. Are we surprised???


10 October 2006

one skein pal strikes again!

oh my word, i just got the coolest package from my one skein pal! he knit me a pretty noro tea cozy and just had to send it complete with tea pot, mug, and some tea! i'm soooo excited. i'm pretty sure you already know how much i love tea, but if not, I LOVE TEA. and i've never tried the stuff he sent, so i'm uber-excited about it!

isn't it all gorgeous! i can't wait to use it. today's the perfect day, too, as i have a nasty cold and need some hot beverages. :) i'm also going to add his blog to our little list over there (now that i know who he is) - he seems like a really cool knitter and besides, he gave me awesome gifts!

in fact, i don't know whether i ever posted pics of the last gift - i think it came while my internet wasn't working. anyway, i got some noro and a cute little garden gnome and a copy of a tale of two cities. i made the noro into a felted hat:

ok, that's all for now. i'm pretty tired and sick-feeling, but i just had to share my new awesome stuff! i'll post pics soon of dan's scarf, dad's sweater, and my grandmother's sweater. (i haven't started her sweater yet, but it'll go quick - it's manos on size 9s or 10s. much faster than dad's - sport weight on size 4s!) i hope you're doing well! i can't wait to hear what you're working on and how we're doing!


19 September 2006

kristen's christmas knitting

dear kate,
ok, i'm posting this all here so that i can keep track of it all. and also so i can get your input/approval/disgust at my choices. :) i have most of my gifts figured out, and some of them have even been started. woo. so here we go. as i start them, i'll italicize them and as i finish them, i'll cross them out. i'm very visual - i need coded lists of things. :)

brian (brother) - cambridge jacket from summer '06 IK of wool of the andes in sapphire heather.
alaine (sister-in-law) - tubey from knitty in various wool of the andes colors.
pat (aunt, my giftee in the family exchange) - garden path shawl of wool of the andes in arctic pool heather.
mom - bayerische socks of gloss in dusk
- knitpicks sock memories shawl (no longer available) of sock memories in rocky mountain dusk.
dad - leo from knitty of merino style in moss.
grandma - i have no clue. she likes glitzy stuff. any ideas?
grandpa - some modified broadstreet mittens from knitty (i don't like the shape of the mitten cap, but the template is good) of sock memories in cape cod
dan - not sure yet. he wants a gryffindor quidditch sweater, so maybe that + something else.
dan's mom - bayerische socks of gloss in concord grape.
dan's dad - irish hiking scarf and hat of andean treasure in granite.
dan's stepmom - bayerische socks of gloss in woodland sage.

ok, i think that's all of them. *phew* time to go chat with dan. :)


18 September 2006

oh my!

dear kate,
have you SEEN the new sock pattern that eunny wrote? it's the most stunning thing ever. i think everyone's getting a pair of these for christmas this year. :) i'm tempted to try out the new knitpicks sock yarn, gloss. it's a merino-silk blend that looks absolutely delicious! (i know you're not as big a knitpicks devotee as i am, but have you tried it yet? i'm hoping to find some reviews of it before i shell out the dough. not that it's expensive, of course, but i'll be buy most of my christmas yarn at once in order to save on shipping, so i'd hate to spend all that money and find i don't like it.) anyway, i'm slightly concerned that the silk content will make the cables not as crisp; i guess i'll just have to try it and see. i may need to go with something else.

i'm starting to think about christmas knitting and am feeling a touch overwhelmed. my projects this year won't be NEARLY as ambitious as last year's (think: aunt nancy's song of hiawatha stole) but i will still have a lot to do. this year the big project will be another stole/shawl/wrap thing on which i need your advice! ha! my aunt pat, a fellow knitter who has just started grad school, has requested "a light weight throw/shawl to put on [her] shoulders while studying." do you have any favorite patterns that would fit the bill? i have some ideas but none of them are particularly sparking my imagination. some input would be more than welcome. :)


13 September 2006

Wahoo! Kristen is back!

Boy has it been quiet around our blog over the last few weeks. Sorry that I've been away but the start of the academic year is always crazy and while I've been knitting like a fiend I haven't had a chance to take pictures or post. So, here's the whirlwind written tour of my knitting life... For a girl who is usually a project monogamist I've got a lot of projects on the go.

I completed the socks for Si, yep the yarn in the picture from late August has become some fabulous socks. Sadly it isn't quite yet cold enough for Si to wear them yet. But, he's pretty pleased with the finished product so I'm thinking they'll get a lot of wear this winter.

I couldn't bear the thought of not knitting socks so I've started an insanely bright yellow/orange/red/gold pair in Dale Stork. I was sure these socks were destined to be a Christmas present for my sister but I've taken a bit of a shine to them. The red is pretty fabulous and I can't help but giggle when I see them... I'll have to decide soon since I am about to turn the heel and I'll be needing a foot measurement (length) to go from soon.

In the midst of sock work I've picked up the cotton angora Debbie Bliss sweater again. I find that I wander away from it easily, turning to my good friend the hand knit sock which requires almost no brain power to complete. I think I'm afraid of failure on this one. What happens if it's too small or too large or just plain ugly?!?! Not to mention that I have absolutely no talent for weaving in ends or seaming, and this is one expensive sweater to screw up. So, I'll work on it slowly until one day it is done and then I'll head to my knitting group to find some finishing wisdom.

A few weeks ago I signed up for the International Scarf Exchange. I was sure I would get a pal in need of a wonderful wooly scarf which I could knit using some of the fabulous yarn in my stash which has no purpose. Alas, the knitting gods conspired against me and I am forced to knit something lacey in silk for someone who lives in a land of sunshine. I'm hoping to purchase the yarn and begin this weekend. So sad...I must purchase and knit with silk. Oh darn. :P

I'm also about to embark on a project that excites me to no end, a Sabbath sweater. The pastor of the church where I was raised moved to a farm with his wife when they retired. They raise sheep (he began by shepherding people and has comfortably moved on to shepherding the real thing...I wonder if sheep are easier to deal with?) and she spins, weaves and knits. I'm purchasing some black mid worsted weight yarn from them and I intend to spend my Sunday afternoons working on this sweater with the idea that the finished product would be something I would be able to wear on cold Sundays in January, February and March. An incredibly ambitious plan for the woman who is afraid of sweaters...

Last but not least, I've got three knitting groups going. First is the group I run for my students. At our first meeting we had 4 students which is a good turn out as groups like this tend to increase in number as the semester goes on (and students realize what the group is all about). Second, I've started a Stitch and Bitch in the city I live in. It's a once monthly group and there were 3 of us at our first meeting. We had so much fun that I think I have some regulars and a few other friends at work have expressed interest. Here's hoping for a massive turn out in October (4 would feel massive to me). Finally, I've been attending the North Montgomery County (MD) Stitch and Bitch. It's a big hike to head out there on a Thursday night, but the women are fantastic so it's all worth it!

All in all, knitting is good and life follows suit.

12 September 2006

oh, fudge.

dear kate,

i'll do the regular "i'm back" stuff in a minute. i just got off the phone with my grandmother. *sigh* my grandmother doesn't knit. a few months ago we went to the yarn shop near her house. she'd been there a few times and really wanted me to go with her and look at yarn. i went and offered to make her whatever she wanted as long as she bought the yarn. she picked out some manos del uruguay in granite and we decided to do a simple raglan pullover to better show off the yarn. we bought about 1000 yards of it and i brought it home to make the sweater. well, about 2 weeks ago i started winding the yarn into balls to start knitting. i sat down with yarn and needles and realized i hadn't gotten grandma's measurements. so when i took her measurements she told me she now wants a mid-thigh length cardigan and might not even like this yarn anymore! of course, now that the yarn is in balls i can't return it. i'm kinda nervous about this whole thing. just now, she called me from the yarn store and is trying to find her own pattern and yarn. i wish she'd told me she was going; i'd have gone with her and helped. i mean, she's not a knitter - i'm a little dubious of her picking the stuff out on her own. *sigh* this could be a disaster! then again, it could be just fine. i'll just have to wait and see. she said she'd call back.

well, anyway, i'm back from oblivion! i now have internet access again, which is much better than life sans-internet. for starters, if i have no internet, i do not have our blog! sad. anyway, things are ok here. i've been doing lots of knitting, though i have no pictures yet. i made a felted cloche hat for myself and have started a sweater for my dad. dan wants a john muir scarf of knit picks andean treasure in summer sky and eventually a gryffindor quidditch sweater. i'll try to take some pics this weekend and post them. in the meantime, i'm going to kalamazoo to hang out with dan and start looking for jobs.

so that's the scoop around here. as usual, i'm coveting lots of yarns and have lots of patterns in my head that i want to make, but i need to focus on christmas gifts. there's a question for you - what are you working on for christmas? i'm so curious!

i'm glad you're well. i missed you!


23 August 2006

Dear Kristen,

I was hoping to have something to say that was intelligent and memorable about my ordination but my mind has only managed to hold on to a series of snapshots and I am at a loss for words. Instead I direct you to "The Ice Floe" on the sidebar. The author is a good friend of mine and has written the post about my ordination that I never could have composed. I am incredibly honored to have such a special day commemorated in her eloquent writing. The one facet that she misses are the details about my mother's ordination which occurred at the same time. My first act as an ordained clergywoman was to lay on hands for my mother's ordination. Incredible indeed...

In things related to knitting I'm feeling a little frustrated. Students are arriving which means that my evenings are so busy that I hardly ever see my beloved needles and yarn. While driving to and from CT I finished one sock for Si and cast on for the second but made no sweater progress. There was plenty of time for knitting but I was so tired it was difficult to make my fingers work. All in all, not a particularly photo worthy experience. In order to increase knitting time and try to make a few more friends I had hoped to start an SnB here in littlecity southcentral PA but the person who was going to assist in the endeavor hasn't responded to my e-mails and I'm wary about going forth. As a newly ordained pastor can I advertise a SnB in a conservative community without receiving incredibly negative feedback? Should I call it something else and advertise away? Am I willing to sit in Starbucks by myself on a monthly basis in an effort to get this show on the road?

Stay tuned...this is knitting in transition!


17 August 2006

Exchange land...


It's been awhile since I participated in an exchange, but the pictures from your last exchange inspired me so I joined the International Scarf Exchange. I'm hoping to recieve a giftee who is interested in lace because I'd love to do something a little lacy...maybe the "Trellis" lace scarf in the Fall 2006 IK. Although that might be a bit much for a month long exchange.

In other news I've almost completed the first Sock for Si and I've made absolutely no progress whatsoever on the Debbie Bliss Cardi that I'm working on. This weekend is my ordination and the preparation for that event has taken over my entire life. It's worse than planning a wedding! I will be so thankful to be ordained and done with it all. There is so much other work I need to be doing right now, what with students arriving next week...who has time to knit?

Much Love,

11 August 2006

And...We're back

Or at least I am.

Kristen, where art thou?

The beach was beautiful. Seven days filled with my favorite life routine. Wake up when you feel like it. Eat breakfast in your bathing suit while your sunblock soaks in. Wander out to the beach. Wander into the house for lunch. Wander out to the beach. Wander into the house for dinner. Read a book. Knit a little. Repeat.

The days were hotter than Hades with a heat index between 110 and 115 the entire week. Believing delusionally that an SPF 30 would protect my seriously white self I received a glorious burn the first day. (Who the heck did I think I was ignoring the beach and sun for 5 years running?) I also managed to read 5 books and work a little on this sweater. It's Debbie Bliss' "Grace" pattern worked in cotton angora yarn. I adore this yarn even if the color is not really me.

That's right folks. You did indeed spot a rogue piece of knitwear. This is not a Rambling Rose, nor is it a Somewhat Cowl. It is not even a pair of Arrr-gyles. You see the full moon came a full week and a half early for me. While everyone else was happily packing for vacation two weeks ago Saturday I was freaking out because the one yarn store in town was closed. Simon and I had planned a fabulous day in Shepherdstown, W.Virginia where we would poke around cute shops in an even cuter downtown, consume a lovely dinner and watch "An Inconvenient Truth" in a movie theater that served beer. So, I did what any self respecting knitter would do, I located their local yarn store. Except it the internet didn't bother to tell me that it was CLOSED - not just closed on a Saturday closed, but closed for good, never to reopen again! And by the time we realized our folly there weren't enough hours in the day to get to the yarn store in Frederick, MD before it shut. So I cried in a parking lot (literally) and then sucked it up and went to the movies. It was a very sad moment. But seeing "An Inconvenient Truth" mostly balanced it out. I highly recommend both Shepherdstown WV and the movie. Both are excellent.

On the drive to Topsail Island I completed the Neil Gaiman socks. They are fabulous if a bit slouchy in the way of cotton socks. I would certainly knit a few more pairs of cotton socks but I'm not sure I would work a lace pattern. I prefer it when socks involve lots of mindless stockenette.

Happy feet!
Pattern: Carousel Lace Socks by Saratoga Knits
Yarn: Fortissima Cotton 2 skeins
Needles: Addi Turbo size 1
I'm still knitting one sock at a time, top down. I really should learn how to do the toe up 2 at a time method, but I just plain like it this way...

And now there are new projects. I am a complete and utter project monogamist. There is something incredibly satisfying to me in seeing something through from beginning to end in one fell swoop, but I am beginning to believe that this behavior is also limiting. So I'm working on expanding my reach to monogamously working on two things at once. The first project was the one you saw above, my "at home project". And the second is a pair of socks, my "traveling project". The socks will be knit using the yarn pictured below. C.W. Ewe dyed especially for the Mannings in the "Uptown" colorway. This yarn was purchased at MD Sheep and Wool so I could knit a pair of socks for Simon. He's pretty excited about them since this particular colorway features all of his favorite clothing colors. Yay for stash!

Upon arriving home I succumbed to the need to at least own the materials for the Arr-gyles so below you see the new additions to the stash, Red, Grey and Black Dale Baby Ull (I already own the white). I love this yarn so much that I was willing to pay exorbitantly for the pleasure of owning it. (Don't even ask...It's embarrassing, I could've purchased this yarn more cheaply online including shipping...) The LYS not only overpriced this, they overpriced everything and were rude both to me - don't you know I look too young to actually be a knitter - and another knitter who was new to the area and *gasp* asked if they might know of another store that offered night classes when her husband could watch their 2 year old for free. They are now officially on my shit list and I will always purchase online or haul ass to the Mannings instead.

But new yarn can overcome any evil and this stash enhancement will be worth it when the Arr-gyles are finally mine!

Much Love,

28 July 2006

Knitting APB

Hey friends,

Just wanted to let you know that our favorite incredi-knitter, Grumperina, is leading a needle revision charge. The vice president of Skacel, makers of the Addi Turbo needle has stated that she would be willing to consider offering a second line of Addi Turbos with a pointier tip. That's right Lace and Cable knitting fans. Addi Turbos with a pointier tip! But, she needs to know that this is something that knitters would appreciate since it would require offering 2 versions of the Turbos in a variety of sizes. That's a big investment on Skacel's part that needs to be matched by a big demand on our part. So this is where you come in. As Jesus once said, "Ask, and it will be given to you, search, and you will find." Who knew that Jesus would want us to have pointier sticks too? :P Check out this post from Grumperina's blog for more information:
Thanks, Kathy!


27 July 2006

Panic! at the knitting disco

Dear Kristen,

I'm about to finish the Neil Gaiman socks and on Sunday I head to NC for a week of beach time (and 8 hours of un interrupted knitting on the drive there and back). I'm in a state of panic. I have a bajillion projects I want to start (ok, that would be 3) and NO APPROPRIATE YARN for any of them. I need help. I need recommendations. I need someone to tell Simon that adding to the stash is not a problem, and no, I do not already own something that will work. Stash is precious yarn I can't live without but has no purpose. This is purchasing with purpose...it's a different type of yarn acquisition entirely!

The contenders:

The Somewhat Cowl - http://knitandtonic.typepad.com/knitandtonic/2005/12/the_somewhat_co.html - I absolutely adore this pattern but I'm nervous about the arm hole openings (i.e. will they pull across my big ole boobies).

Rambling Rose - http://girlwhoknits.blogspirit.com/archive/2006/07/09/a-rambling-rose.html - Simon's mother sent me this issue of Rowan for my birthday and I've been crushing on this pattern ever since. I adore this particular finished object photo. It looks amazing on Girl Who Knits. Question...would it look this good on me or am I too curvy to pull it off?

Now Option 1 and Option 2 have the same major drawback. THE SECOND SWEATER CURSE. *insert doom-y music* I knit a monstrosity of a first sack, I mean sweater, about a year and a half ago and I'm very nervous that my second sweater will reflect the same lack of skills. What if it doesn't fit? What if I ruin the yarn? What if I'm not on gauge? What if this sucks? Enter Option 3...the wimp's way out.

The Arr-gyle socks -
http://www.mothheaven.com/ - Amazing, and they are Argyles! I must know how to knit the argyles. I love to knit socks. I’ve done fair isle with success so intarsia can’t be any worse. In fact, this looks like it would be relatively easy.

Commence pre-vacation panic! Do I knit the argyles now because I'm too chicken shit to knit a sweater? Does it protect my sanity? Can I find the yarn in time?

Tune in at the end of my vacation to find out. (And comment comment comment with advice to help a sister out.)


20 July 2006

When life sucks knit.

Dear Kristen,

This summer has been full of stuff "to do" and completely lacking in down time. The stress of it all is about to undo me so I've been knitting to stay sane. Thank God for knitting. Here are a few more finished objects. This is a finished "Perdita" in the correct size blocking (the previous Perdita is now a rather lovely bookmark). Luckily it's so tiny that it blocks in no time.
And I was able to finish the crocheted edge, button holes, and attach buttons last night. I'm wearing the finished project while I type. If I had a better camera you'd be able to see all the fun details. I really really liked this project!
And completed socks! It's still a little warm for them since they are a wool/cotton blend, but I'm sure I'll be wearing them all the time come fall. This is the 3rd (?) pair I've made for myself - or the first depending on how you count it - and I can't wait until I have hand knit socks for every day of the week. I think I already own the yarn to make this a reality I just have to keep on knitting. :P

Back to work!

18 July 2006


Dear Kristen,

I'm back to what I like best! Knitting socks. :) While gaming last night I finished 2! Wahoo! First we have the fabulous stitch pattern of the Carousel Lace Socks from a little company called "Saratoga Knits". I don't know much about this company and it might be something you can only get in that area. I purchased this pattern and the yarn (Fortissima Cotton) at the Stitchin' Post. I haven't really done much lace knitting so I was impressed when the decreases created what looks like a little cable pattern along the YOs.

Alas, the two completed socks do not match... On the Right is my very first sock knit with Lang Jawool Cotton (which is about %50 wool, %45 cotton and %5 polyamide). This sock had a french (?) toe - the kind where you decrease every x number of stitches to create a rounded toe - like the top of a hat. I HATED wearing it. Not comfortable at all... So, when it came apart at the toe seam I took it as a sign that I just needed to rework it. The new toe is lovely! And my feet are super happy. They love the handknit socks.

I also took the opportunity to learn a new trick. Kitchener Stitch! Alas, it didn't go so well the first time. UGH! This is ugly...
I think I eventually figured it all out though... I'm not sure I'm a huge fan. It seems like you really need to pull the kitchener sitching tight as you go along rather than pulling it tight at the end as you would if you simply ran the tail through all the remaining stitches. But it worked, and I kitchenered both of these socks in manner much more appealing so I'll do the same for their mates and see how I feel about it in the end.
Speaking of the end, I leave you with an image of a "first" that is now wearable. I <3 this sock! It's time to get working on some mates.

Happy Knitting,

13 July 2006


This photo heavy post is brought to you by the letters F, I, N, the Cast-On podcast by Brenda Dayne, and coffee.

Dear Kristen,

The wedding afghan is FINI! Wahooo! It turned out much better than I ever expected, although it was still much narrower than it should've been. Ah, well. Meg and Kirk were appreciative and kind. It is soft and stretchy and should cover either of them from shoulder to toe. Sadly it will not cover them both at the same time. Alas, I forgot to take a picture after I had woven in all the ends, so below you will find the photo I took as soon as I cast off. :)

I still think the colors are hideous, but Kirk was adamant that the blue is absolutely perfect. Meg is already dreaming of baby afghans! God help me...
It was a battle to the very end as is evidenced by the lack of yarn left on the skein. For awhile I thought I might have to employ the "I have no yarn left" cast off gleaned from the writings of the Yarn Harlot. The thought of that cast off alone kept me sane during the last few rows.
In the end I may have won the battle against an afghan that was determined not to be completed, but it left it's mark when I sustained a minor injury... This is the look of a repetitive strain on the wrist. Say it with me folks. U-G-L-Y!

Does this brace make my hand look fat or what? :P It's hideous, but it keeps me knitting. I'm attributing the injury to knitting too tightly. Not that it's a surprise with all the stress in my life!

So, the wedding itself was delightful and is delightfully over. Thankfully about the same time that the wedding ended I found that Knitty had put up a new issue. I HAD to try my hand at "Perdita" so here is my very own black version of the "bluebell" pattern. Alas I thought that it looked small when I was knitting, and after the afghan shrinkage issue I panicked and added a repeat of the pattern. In the end the pattern was spot on and this bracelet is a little to big for my wrist. I'm thinking it looks like it might want to be a stunning handcrafted bookmark, or a gift to the first person with a 8in wrist who sends me an e-mail with their address. What do you think?
I wish you could see the beadwork in this photo. It's really amazing to me! I can't believe that I managed to figure out lace and beading in the same project. :)

I'm also working on a pair of summer weight socks. This pattern is the one featured in the earlier post with my autographed copy of Niel Gaiman's "Anansi Boys". I purchased it almost a year ago in a little LYS in Saratoga Springs, NY.

I really like the look of heel design, although the ultimate test will be how it feels on!
And with that glorious photo of a sock-butt I say farewell!
What are you up to these days?

Much love,

PS: I saved the labels from the Afghan yarn but I forgot to write the details down. I'll try to remember for next time. :/ Sorry!

29 June 2006

Dear Kristen,

A few new things for your perusal. I just remembered that there are a couple of fantastic blogs that I wanted to point out in my last post. Oops!

www.soapturtle.blogspot.com - Laura is a part of a Knitting group in MD that I keep intending to join. She's a fun person and a great knit blogger....

www.mamaespot.com - Same as above, except Erin is also a fabulous dye maven. I have a skein of her sock yarn waiting for the completion of the Wedding Afghan. It's gorgeous!

And then there are a few lean a little more toward ministry (rather than knitting) content and thought I'd point you in their general direction. I think it would be fun to add them to our regularly scheduled reading list, but that's just me. Let me know what you think!

www.kewp.blogspot.com - "Any Day a Beautiful Change" - this woman is a DoC pastor at a church in California. She's a gifted writer and theological thinker. I <3 her work and her sermons which are featured at www.southbaychristianchurch.blogspot.com

theiceflew.typepad.com - This blogger is an ordained presbyterian minister, a good friend and a wonderful mentor from my grad school days. She's an incredible preacher!

revgalblogpals.blogspot.com - This is a great place to find fantastic blogs and theological content. Wahoo!

If you see anything you like would you mind adding it to our sidebar? I know I figured out how to add some of the blogs I read awhile back, but I've forgotten...

Hey Kristen!

I'm so sad that your tubey doesn't fit. :( It's a beautiful knit. Your sister-in-law will be so pleased to receive such a lovely gift. (If she isn't she should be kicked. :P ) I

The wedding afghan is proceeding very nicely. I spent a LOT of time knitting it this weekend. On the way to the bridal shower, after the bridal shower, on the way to my meeting in Ohio, at the meeting in Ohio (NACUC exec runs meetings that could rival any Presbytery - I knit for 7 hours on Monday while we kindly debated a million different things), and finally on the way home while I waited for a flight delayed by the downpour that has taken over this area of the country. Alas, while I thought about taking pictures each time I picked up the project I did not. So, here are pictures of last night's work (taken by S). I am SUPER pleased with the length. It's fun to knit something that covers your toes. :) But the width leaves a little to be desired. Live, Learn and Knit...

Alas, this picture while cute is super blurry so S took a second that is much less so. Although I'm making quite the face... S says it's the "serious knitting" face. I wish it showed my super cute haircut a bit better. But, it's just not so super cute when it's tucked behind my ears, a must for dedicated knitting time. What you can't see in either picture is that the sweatshirt is one I picked up while visiting our Alma Mater. Go fighting scots! :P

Take care and Happy Knitting!
Much love,

27 June 2006

all sorts of things!

hey kate,
love the little hat! so adorable! congrats to your friends on the baby. :) and your afghan is coming along really nicely! i forgot - what yarn are you using? it looks great. :)

well, needless to say, i haven't been getting a lot of knitting done over here. i've been spending lots of time with that boy and have been neglecting the yarn. but i'm completely ok with that. ;) anyway, i still have a few things to show you.

first of all, i just got my first package from my one skein secret pal and it's AWESOME. my pal is the best ever. she sent me a skein of handspun, handpainted blue faced leicester yarn that's absolutely GORGEOUS, as well as two teeny little plant kits (black-eyed susans and forget-me-nots) and a sweet postcard. thank you, pal! i love it! so, any ideas what to do with the yarn? it's 103 yds of worsted to heavy worsted.

second, i finally finished my tubey sweater. (to refresh your memory, i used knitpicks wool of the andes in coal, hyacinth, tulip, and hush on US 8 needles.) when i started i was torn between making a small and a medium. i went with the medium. big mistake. literally. ;) it's a lovely sweater, but it requires someone with bigger boobs and broader shoulders than me. so my sister-in-law will be getting it for christmas. :)

third, now that i'm essentially done with tubey, i got to start on the quidditch sweater i'm test-knitting. i'm using wool of the andes winter night and fog. (guess which house i am!) i'm not sure whether i'm allowed to post pics of the WIP since the pattern isn't published yet, so i'll find out before i share it with you. anyway, i'm very excited about it. i cast on while watching goblet of fire the other day. fun!

what else? hmmm. oh, i'm knitting some blythe doll clothes for our favorite goth panda. hat, sweater, legwarmers. she'll be totally rockin'. AND i think i'm going to knit a scarf for that boy i like so much. i sent him an email with a bunch of different stitch patterns; we'll see what he likes. i'm excited. :) he's super-awesome and i enjoy making stuff for people about whom i care. i just hope he likes getting handmade stuff! and, of course, i hope he ends up liking the scarf. but that's why i'm getting his input - then he can only complain so much if he doesn't like it. ;)

i think that's all. i hope your sister's wedding shower goes well!

*big hugs*

p.s. i forgot to say that the yarn from my secret pal is from spritely goods. it's really really lovely. :)

23 June 2006

Whoa Doggies!

Dear Kristen,

Long time, no post-y. Life has been busier than I thought it would be. Work is much easier over the summer, but I find the time for self reflection to be, well, a little overwhelming. I think I like more work and less self reflection better!

Knitting is good! And I have proof of its goodness in pictorial abundance (or something...). Here we have the hat I made for Sebastian, the newborn son of two of my favorite people, and younger brother to the fabulous Miss Q! I knit it in 3 hours on my birthday just in case it would induce Sebastian to come join us. He did so, but that was 5 days later. This was knit in Rowan All Seasons Cotton on size 7 needles. I used a basic pattern from the Yarn Harlot's book, "Knitting Rules". If I make a matching hat for big sister Miss Q it will be knit in the round. I'm not a fan of seaming (mostly because I am very ill equipped in stitcherly ways)!

And finally, progress shots of the afghan. It's turning out much better the second time. As is evidenced by the shot below. Look! A lace pattern emerges! Alas, the lace pattern does not seem to make the blanket any wider and by the end I will have produced a lovely if rather small lap-ghan. *sigh* I'm hoping that blocking will work wonders, but I'm not overly optimistic. If I was smart I'd invest in blocking wires this weekend, but instead I will host a bridal shower in Connecticut (and I will knit the afghan while I fly).

Below you will see the Afghan progress as of June 14th. It's about 3 times that length now and growing at a rapid rate. I would absolutely repeat this pattern. It goes so quickly!

Much love,

06 June 2006


Dear Kristen,

There could be pictures, but today there are not. Suffice to say that the wedding afghan has risen like a phoenix and it is beautiful. The untwisted YOs leave a beautiful little pattern of holes., and the afghan is now 2 inches or so under the proper width. Sighs of relief abound, I did not frog without reason! I'm working on it daily, making good progress and constantly looking for opportunities for more knitting. The big day is only a month away so I am VERY nervous that the big gift won't be done. Time for some serious prayer and hard work!

Which brings us to the rest of life. Time for some serious prayer. Now that the students are gone there is time to reflect and I find myself paralyzed by it. All around me I hear of "success" but it's hard to see in an honest way. My boss is a very kind woman, but she knows nothing about what I do here which means that any improvements I make are mostly a direct result of my own self reflection. Have you ever noticed how accurate we humans are when it comes to assessing our own work? Yeah. Same problem here. I either think I'm amazing or terrible and neither are accurate. The best suggestion I've heard recently is "find a spiritual director" but I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter - and ideas from readers as well! If you don't find other people in your workplace who can help you see your successes and failures in their full spectrum how do you reflect honestly on what you have done and what you need to do to improve?

In other news I got a fabulous hair cut. It's a cute little professional a-line. The President stopped twice in one day to tell me it was a great cut. *phew*

This weekend is reunion. I hope to see you there, but if not I'll send you photos!

Much love,

31 May 2006

Finally! There are pictures...

Dear Kristen,

Finally, pictures of the completed Whitby socks! As you will see, Simon loves them. Loves them so much in fact that his feet are doing the happy sock dance of joy...

(He is insistent that these poses are merely an effort to show off their marvelous construction...)

And finally, a pose with the cast off store bought. They do pale in comparison, don't they?

Thus ends another project this year! (Now I just have to find something other than socks to make...)

On Wednesday I had the joy of spending time with some of our favorite people, Joe and Rachel. As of one week earlier it was a complete surprise that I would be in Portland for work. Wa-hoo! They picked me up at the airport and whisked me off to Joe's (relatively) new house for the grand tour. I am so impressed with his adult abode. :) Afterward we were off to a Martini bar. Amazing how city-dwellers live in such style. I'm really starting to feel like a country mouse!

We had much to chat about, so while we awaited the drinks we swapped stories. I am totally in love with the Portland they shared with me. Not to mention that hanging out with the two of them is like getting together with long lost family members.

It is also important to note that Joe and Rachel are terminally cute. One of these days I'm going to keel over dead because of the cuteness! (see the evidence?!?!)

Drinks arrived. Mine is the one with the whipped cream and cherry. I can't remember what it was called, but it tasted like dark chocolate. As I was required to get up and work (give a presentation to alums and The President) the next morning I only had one, but oh was it tasty! Only God could come up with such perfection in alcoholic form...

After spending time with Joe and Rachel it was work, work, work, on Thursday and Friday after which I spent many many hours in the Sea-Tac airport. If it wasn't for this view and their wireless internet I think I would've gone crazy!

On Saturday morning (after the red-eye...never again!) Si picked me up and we headed to Baltimore to attend a Neil Gaiman signing. Ahhh...bliss. We heard him dialogue with Peter S. Beagle, read some phenomenal unpublished short stories, and then we waited in a very long line to have our books signed. Here the sock of the moment lounges with the book to be signed. It's appropriately black and lacy.... :P

And thus concludes the post!


PS: The wedding afghan? What wedding afghan? Oh, that's right! The one that I frogged completely when I realized that the fact that I was twisting my YOs when I knit them meant that it was 10 INCHES too narrow!!! *sigh* I cast on a second time last night and I'll share photos when...when....well, eventually anyway.