Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas '09 Recap

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas. I sure did even though we had three separate gift openings this year. One on Christmas Eve another on Christmas day and the last Christmas evening. The company was wonderful and the food fantastic.

I didn't finish all the scarves but the brothers were pleased anyway. I ordered a beading kit to make mom's gift and when it hadn't been shipped out after a week I was afraid that it wouldn't arrive in time. The mailperson delivered it on the 23rd and I finished it the morning of the 24th. I would have finished it on the first day if I hadn't started so late and wasn't doing other things. The kit is the Circle of Circe (which is no longer listed) from Earthfaire.

She loves it and put it on as soon as she opened it on Christmas day. I must say I'm a little envious because it is truly gorgeous but as always she'll let me borrow it.

I gifted four of the beaded bracelets and everyone loved them. I'm glad that I made them for specific people otherwise it would have been hard for me to give them away.

One of lys' in the area, The Needler, had their after Christmas sale on the 26th. I purchased a Halo sweater kit by Jojoland, enough Berroco Lustra for a sweater and found a closer source of the Kreinik Metallic Braids that are used in the bracelets. Now I need to find a source for the Silk Serica used in the necklace. I'm already assembling beads to make a kit so that I can knit another one.

Once again we will be hosting a New Year's Eve get together. I kinda thought I had gotten out of it this year since I do all of the food preparation but when mom asked me for the grocery list I knew what was coming. It will be a fun time and I'll be taking it easy on New Year's day.

I haven't made any resolutions but I'm going to try to buy less yarn and knit more especially for me. I didn't do much charity knitting in '09 some I'm going to try and up that also. In other words I hope to have a very knitterly 2010.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Caera and Green Thumb

I needed something fairly quick that would give me a break from the Christmas knitting and Caera was indeed the right pick.

Pattern: Caera by Lucy Sweetland downloaded from a black pepper.
Yarn: Sublime cashmere merino silk DK
Needles: 6 circular needle and dpn's
Size: One size

I like the feel of the yarn but it has given a strange cast to the hat. I could see the small fibers coming to the top as I knitted. I'm glad this is a hat that won't be subjected to the rubbing that would cause it to pill. I've already picked off several tufts of fiber today.

I searched high and low for the fingerless gloves that I'd made for mom and finally came to the conclusion that she must have taken them with her on the cruise. She said she used them on the bus to and from Miami to keep her hands warm so I'm finally getting around to taking pictures.

Pattern: Green Thumb by Mooseknits
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark Bayberry
Needles: 3 US dpn's
Size: Medium

She loves them and has worn them regularly since I gave them to her. I have another pair in the works but she probably won't get them until after Christmas. I highly recommend this pattern.

That's the update for now and thanks for the gingerbread suggestions.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Clickety Clack

The knitting needles have been clicking away at Chez Morris. I finished one scarf set and cast on the second scarf.

This is an in progress shot of the first scarf. I need to block everything so I'm saving them for one blocking marathon. I've enjoyed knitting the hats and scarf and didn't find the 286 stitch pick up as tedious as some have indicated. This is truly an inspired design and I've enjoyed the details that went into making the scarf.

To give myself a break I cast on the Caera hat by of Zebraknits of {a-black-pepper}. It is available as Ravelry download.

I'm using Sublime cashmere merino silk DK. It knits beautifully but is already beginning to show some of the tell tale signs of pilling as I knit it. I keep having to dislodge little bits of fluff. I'm at the crown shaping so this will soon be in the FO column.

I thought I'd add another photo of the cactus since I only included close ups in the previous post.

This is always the first bit of holiday cheer that we have in the house. We put up the last Christmas tree yesterday and the in-house decorations. I'm almost finished with the shopping and will soon start wrapping.

I'm looking for a good gingerbread cookie recipe. If you have one please share or direct me to a good one. I plan to make cookies with the boys on the 19th and this will be my first time making gingerbread cookies. I was tempted to purchase a couple of the copper ones at Williams Sonoma but at $8 a pop we're opting for a cheaper version. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


I've been diligently working on the first Mars scarf. The shaping and construction is far from normal and consists of two ribbed panels that are picked up along a central strip. One of the panels is shaped to form a collar that fits snug around the neck. It is this design feature that drew me to the pattern.

The 8-row repeat works up fairly quick but it is still taking a good bit of time to knit the 45+ inch center. I'm hoping that I can get all three completed before Xmas and finish the sweater for mom, although I've already decided that if push comes to shove I'll give them the hats and they'll get the scarves later. I put mom's gift on hold last year and she didn't get it until well after Xmas so it wouldn't be fair to have her wait again.

My favorite plant, the Holiday Cactus, is blooming like crazy this year. We left it outside longer which allowed the plant to set almost 3 times as many buds. I've been practicing using the macro setting on the new camera to capture close shots.

The next thing I'm going to work on is re-organizing the craft room. It is in such disarray that I almost hate to go in there. I have maxed out all of the storage space in the room and with all the additional yarn and book purchases I made this year stuff is everywhere. I'm not into resolutions but I have to make a serious committment to use what I have. Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The first major fall Holiday has passed and it was great! I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephews since we don't see each other as much as we used to. Several of them are on the way to adulthood and usually have other things to do in their free time.

My youngest brother surprised us on Thursday. His plant was scheduled to work the night shift but at the last minute they cancelled and gave them the day off. That meant that all five of us were together.

Even with the number of people we had for dinner and the take-out plates that were packed, there were plenty of leftovers. I've been plowing my way through them since Friday and Byron, baby bro, took some home with him today. My sister also prepared a package for my niece who's on her way back to Clemson.

I didn't do any Black Friday sales. Never have and probably never will. There's something about getting out in the crowd that doesn't appeal to me. I had already found my best deal prior to that...

A Canon Digital SLR. It's a very early present for my 50th birthday in September next year. I've been reading the operation manual and playing around with it. One of my guild members, Kim, has agreed to give me some lessons.

I reached the halfway mark with the Xmas presents for my brothers. All of the Mars hats are finished and I've started the first scarf. I also completed 3 more bracelets two of which mom has taken on her cruise. She is enjoying wearing them and I can't blame her. They are gorgeous and I'm glad I decided to make them for gifts. These are two of the most recent ones.

This evening I started on the beaded Xmas ornaments. For some reason I didn't make any last year. I usually try to make at least four of them for the color scheme that is used that year.

Christmas Joy

Holiday Greetings

I plan on making a few more for the themed tree and the traditional tree in addition to the ones I plan to make for my brother Charles and his family. I farther ahead than I've ever been in my Xmas knitting so I don't feel the pressure that I have in the past when I've knitted for Xmas. It's going to be a wonderful, thankful, joyous and relaxed holiday season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Phews (as in Nephews)

While there has been a lack of activity on this blog there hasn't been a lack of knitting at home. I've been making Xmas presents and spending time with my two favorite boys, Jaylon and Isaiah.

Once a month I get them for the weekend. We've been to the movies, the zoo and have had fun playing games, drawing and doing other things kids like to do. It has added another dimension to my life and theirs and made me realize even more how much I love them.

They fed the Lories and Lorikeets at the zoo and loved it!

I finished the Bead Soup bracelet kits and was hooked so I created my own. With the exception of the black and the blue bracelets, I'll be giving them as gifts. I still have three or four more to string and knit before I'm finished.

I cast on a Noro Jacket for mom. It is design 15 from Noro: Collection Jenny Watson Book 3. There are several designs I plan to make from this book but this is the one that struck me as a great gift for mom. I'm making some length adjustments so that it won't be as short.

I'm almost finished with the Knotty Gloves. They've been languishing for a while with only the ring, pinky and index fingers left to be knitted. This is on my agenda for tomorrow. I also cast on a pair of fingerless gloves for mom using some of the leftover Knit Picks Telemark from the Vine and Lace Beret. They are Green Thumb from Mooseknits.

I'm making the Mars Hat and Scarf from Twist Collective. I subbed Berroco Ultra Alpaca for the original yarn. I've completed one of the hats and it is perfect. A nice warm and tight but not tonight fitting beanie. I think the brothers will love these for the few cold days that we do have.

So while things may be a little slow right now there's lots to come.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

State Fair '09

Usually by this time I've posted the news about the State Fair. The Palmetto Purlers, my knitting guild, gave their demo on the first day which was Wednesday the October 14th. Earlier that day the results of the competitions were finally posted. I won two blue ribbons, two red ribbons and the sweepstakes.

Blue ribbon for Vine and Lace Beret and Blue Ribbon and Sweepstakes for Vilai socks.

Red ribbons, Second Place, for Noro Silk Garden Shawl and Belted Wrap Jacket.

This marks the third time I have won the Sweepstakes and each time it has been in a different category.

My knitting has been all over the place. I finally finished the Aestlight Shawl.

Name: Aesthlight by the Shetland Trader (Gudrun Johnston)
Yarn: Frog Tree Alpaca Fingering (2.25 skeins out of 4)
Needles: Addi Turbo Lace 6 US
Started: August 14, 2009 Finished: October 13, 2009

I started this in August and got tripped up on the eyelet section. I put it down and picked it back up in October. I frogged what was already done and had no problems at all completing the eyelet section this time and zoomed right through to the finish. This is an excellently written pattern and I highly recommend it.

On Friday I started a pair of Knotty Gloves for Mrs. Rainey our family friend in Maryland who we visited in September. I'm knitting from a large cone of Henry's Attic Tennessee which is a sportweight superwash merino. It feels fantastic and the gloves are looking great. I'm toying with the idea of dyeing them once they are finished.

Today I picked most of the remaining tomatoes. The majority of them are still green so I'm going to put them in a brown paper bag to ripen. I still have quite a few remaining on the plants as well as several bell peppers. I hope that the coming frost will kill the plants so that I can begin to clean out the area.

I'm focusing most of my knitting time on gifts with the exception of some fingerless gloves for mom. Her hands and wrist have been hurting lately and they get worse as the weather cools down. I may also make some for my brothers time permitting. I have the beads and am impatiently awaiting the arrival of the braid to make several beaded bracelets. I've completed two kits I purchased from earthfaire and love the way the look.

That's it for the updates. I'm heading back to the needles to work on the gloves.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Legal Scams

I'm finally getting back to blogging after going on a computer-free vacation and resolving DSL issues once I got home. I am often glad that I tend to know more than the average person about computers. I called my service provider's helpdesk to resolve the DSL issue and they ended up wanting to charge me between $99.00 and $249.00, depending on the service plan, to repair the so called problem in my computer. I resolved the problem by re-installing the DSL software. It pisses me off that I pay for the highest speed and they want to charge me when their regular helpdesk can't solve the problem. I can't begin to imagine how many people they have ripped of already.

I'm working on several projects at this time. I still haven't decided on entering the fair. I ordered my entry forms and for some strange reason they sent me a duplicate set. Last year I had planned on entering and it made things much easier because I knitted projects that I was going to enter. This year I've been waffling so much that the time is almost here.

I casted on a sweater for my goddaughter. She won't be able to wear it any time in the near future. It is the Beaded Cardigan from Special Knits by Debbie Bliss. I love all of the designs in this book. This is my third sweater from it and there are a few more designs I would like to make.

I finished the first foot of another pair of Angee socks. These are one of the current pairs in the Sock Innovation Knit-Along. I'm using the Lanett I dyed using the immersion method that was on Monika's blog. I love the way the colors shade from dark to light. I dyed three colorways using this method and I'm so pleased with the way that these are turning out that I'm sure I'll be doing more.

I have a shawl to cast on and maybe one or two other items. I'll be knitting like crazy the next few weeks. With that in mind I plan to do better at documenting and posting my progress. If all goes well I'll have some Christmas presents out of the way.

Have any of you made gloves/fingerless gloves using sock yarn? If so, I'd like to know the pro's and con's as well as some pattern ideas. Thanks for your help.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


When I looked through the Fall '09 issue of Vogue Knitting I knew I had to buy it. There were several patterns that immediately caught my attention. Two were in the hat section, the Lace Beret and the Vine and Leaf Beret. There are also several hats in this issue that are either very strange or very poorly designed.

The first hat I casted on was the Lace Beret. It is more of hat and less of beret. It lacks much of floppiness that I believe characterizes a beret.

Pattern: Lace Beret from Vogue Knitting Fall 2009
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine Pea Soup Mix (last two photos show true colors)
Needles: 1 & 2 circular needles and size 2 dpn's
Size: Medium

I enjoyed this pattern. The only problem I had was gapping between each lace section once I started using the dpn's. This usually isn't a problem for me. I tinked several rows and thought I had corrected the problem but there are still two areas that gap after blocking. I also need to tighten the top. It relaxed too much after blocking and there is a hole.
Started: 8/26/2009 and Finished: 8/29/2009

I couldn't resist casting on the Vine and Lace Beret. I'm using Knit Pick's Telemark from the stash. Depending on how this works up I'll probably knit it using the Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino that the pattern calls for. I have several colors in the stash but I wanted to see how this fits before using the "good" stuff.

It is a true beret and I can already see hints of the prerequisite floppiness. I may end up making several of these for Christmas presents. These will be added to the "hat basket" project.

I'm also toying with idea of making fingerless gloves. Personally I don't care for them too much but they seem to popular with the younger crowd. I need to cover my hands completely in cold weather to prevent them from getting stiff and achey.

All of my nieces are below the age of 20 so I think they'll enjoy them. Time permitting I may make matching gloves and hat. I'm not trying to got out on a limb so nothing is written in stone especially since I've already purchased some of my presents. If you have any good hat suggestions let me know in the comments.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've finished what I believe is my favorite pair of socks to date. Of course they are from Sock Innovation by Cookie A since that is where most of the socks I've knitted lately come from.

Pattern: Vilai from Sock Innovation by Cookie A
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy Absolute Magenta
Needles: 1 / 2.5 mm dpn's
Size: 9.5
Started: August 17, 2009 - Finished: August 26, 2009

The hardest part of this sock was the cable crossing which required 2 cable needles. After the first one I understood the directions and it wasn't that difficult. This pattern is not as difficult as it looks and I enjoyed the challenge. It never got boring and as each row is different. I did have to pay attention to the chart until I got each new section established. I wouldn't recommend it for a beginner.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rick Socks

For some reason I was thinking that I had already posted these finished socks. I was getting ready to do my regular Sunday blog reading when I realized I hadn't. I can't say why these socks took so long. Once I got restarted with the first foot I whipped it right on out. I took a couple of days break before starting the second foot and whipped it out in about two days.

Pattern: Rick Socks from Sock Innovation by Cookie A
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino Peacock
Needles: 1//2.25mm Knit Picks 6" dpn's
Size: 10
Started: July 20, 2009 Finished: August 13, 2009
Modifications: I cast on 72 stitches instead of 60 and decreased to 64 while doing the gusset. The foot is nice and snug but the leg feels a little loose. Next time I will do the entire sock on 60 stitches. These socks used almost the entire skein of yarn.

**Edited to change photos.
I enjoyed the pattern and love the socks even though the aren't for me. I highly recommend this pattern. It's very rhythmic and easy to memorize. The only time I had to consult the charts was for the foot which after few rows also had an easy to remember rhythm.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

I find it fascinating that every pair of socks I make for my mom I end up wishing I had made them for myself. I'm loving this pair of Rick socks from Sock Innovation. I've completed the first foot and finally got the second started. The "Always a Bridesmaid" knitalong due date is looming on the horizon.

If you click to enlarge the photos you can see the awesome detail in these socks.

The pictures are of each side of the same foot. The left sock will be a mirror image of the right. At first I had to keep undoing one of the k2tog in the left foot because I was unable to anticipate it coming from a different direction. My brain has finally made the adjustment and I'm moving right along.

My Knit Picks book order arrived yesterday and I am totally fascinated by Double Knitting by M'Lou Baber. I'm going to have to take some time to wrap my brain around the techniques in the book, but I am chomping at the bit to knit the Crop Circles coat. I plan to make a couple of the practice projects and maybe a hat or two before I tackle a large project.

I'm a little overwhelmed with all the great projects I've come across lately. It's getting harder and harder to decide what to do next. I've been trying to prioritize my lists but they just keep getting longer and longer. The next move is going to involve some type of process of elimination. The only thing in my favor is that they are very organized lists. I hope in the coming weeks to kick up the knitting progress a notch and make a dent in the stash. There aren't any holiday knitting plans just lots of stress and guilt free knitting.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Silk Garden Sock Triangular Shawl

Sometimes you just have to believe.

I was not at all convinced that I liked the color of this shawl while I was knitting it. There is a gray stripe between the blue rows and the colors are deeper than they appear in the picture. It is a beautiful shawl and warm. I tested it in my office on Friday when I took it to work to show it off.

Pattern: Based on charts from Knitting Lace Triangles by Evelyn Clark
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock color S8
Needles: 6 Addi Turbo Lace
Started: July 28, 2009 Finished: August 6, 2009

I could see myself knitting a lot of shawls based on this book. All the patterns are very straight forward and the directions excellent. I love the size of this shawl but plan on making several smaller ones. I used most of the 3 skeins of the Silk Garden Sock I purchased and could have easily stopped at 2 - 2.5. I have 3 skeins in another color which I also plan to use for a shawl.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Little Peacock

Yesterday evening I blocked the Little Peacock cardigan. During this process I realized that I need to make a serious adjustment to the back neck ribbing. It flares so I'm going to rip it out and reduce the number of stitches.

Pattern: Little Peacock from Knotions Summer 2009 designed by Sarah Hoadley
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic Linen White
Needles: 6, 7 Clover Bamboo straights
Size: XL
Started: June 14, 2009 Finished: July 26, 2009

Modifications: None. I came across an error in the sleeve but I adjusted the stitch count in the directions to correct it. My sister's friend Patrice graciously modeled it for me.

I made my final purchase at the Christmas in July sale yesterday, a cone of Jaggerspun Zephyr in Elderberry.

I'm going to knit the Three-Cornered Shawl from Victorian Lace Today once I've finished the Silk Garden Sock shawl.

I'm on the second skein of three. I want this shawl to be somewhere between 50 and 60 inches wide so I probably won't use all three skeins. The depth will be determined by the width. I've been surprised by the color changes. There is grey and an unexpected tourquoise. I'm not to sure about the colors but my mom loves it. This will be one of a collection of "house" shawls meaning that they aren't knit for a particular person but for any of us to use when we need one.

I'm also toying with the idea of knitting a basket of "house" hats. I always know where mine are but mom can't seem to keep up with hers. The plan is to have a basket in the den that contains hats in various styles and colors so that you just grab one when you need it that way no one will have a cold head.

I didn't get my second pair of socks finished for the Sock Innovation Knit-Along. They are offering a second chance option for those of us who didn't finish their May, June or July socks. I'm debating if I should try to get the Rick socks finished for this. I like the patterns chosen for this month, Vilai and Summer Socks, but there are other projects I'm itching to do now that the sock addiction is starting to wear off. It's time to start thinking about the fall and winter sweaters.

Over the next few weeks I'll get my patterns and yarn together and establish some type of plan for the sweaters I'd like to make. There are so many I like that I'm going to have to come up with some type of list. Between me and mom I could spend all of my spare time knitting but the I'd have to give up Ravelry. Not!!!