Wednesday, December 27, 2006

No More Fingerless Mitts...PLEASE!

Happy Post Holidays! Did you have a nice holiday? I must say that, as much as I enjoyed everything (and I was continually reminded of how superbly LUCKY I am in all ways), I'm really glad that it's all over (well, except for New Years') and I'm totally EXHAUSTED! The kids were crankier than usual (it might have been all the chocolate, cake and goodies that my parents brought over...hmmmm...) and I was running around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to be the "good hostess". Anyone else out there have the same experience?

We've had ONE SINGLE DAY with just the 4 of us since the 22nd. Every other day, we've had people staying over...mostly family...and then we're going to visit my family in RI on New Year's Day so that Tim can do the "Polar Bear" dip in the ocean. Brrr...makes me cold just thinking about it! I'm looking forward to the days when it'll just be the four of us again and even more to the days when it's just Ben and I at home during the day. If you're a stay-at-home mom, have you noticed how much more difficult it is to have your husband home during the week? I think I might murder him. (pick up your own damn dishes and clothes!!!) sorry.

I've also had a knitting-fingerless-mitts OVERLOAD and I will not be knitting anymore until at least next year. Not any sooner. I knit 5 pairs in the month of December. Hopefully, all of the recipients are wearing them. If not, they're OFF the knitting gift list. For good. Not to sound harsh or anything : P

Okay, so I'll leave you with little blurbs and pics of our holiday since the 23rd. Again, I am SOOO lucky. Any luckier and I would have to go and buy a Powerball ticket (which, for the record, I NEVER have).

Have a wonderful Knitting New Year!

G : )

1. Ben's cake (with Thomas the Tank Engine train that really works and goes around the track) and Ben opening up gifts...

2. My friends: Tammy, my sis Kim, Sarah (from knitting, who is still blogless) and Jackie at Ben's birthday party...

3. Mitts galore....Mike's Camoflauge Mitts and my mom's Fetching Mitts....

4. Ben and Tim on Christmas Morning....Ben in his new SpongeBob Jammies...oh, that boy is a HAM!...

5. Gifts to me...oh, that lovely, gimme-those-buns-to-squeeze-Ian got me.....a lazy kate to ply my spinning wheel bobbins from....

-a new RAZR phone in pink....

-awesome gifts from Jackie...Noro Kureyon for my Lizard Ridge and a beautiful pink wool/mohair from Steadfast Fibers....

-and the most beautiful swarovski crystal sheep magnets (in black and clear crystal) from Amanda...which I'm sorry to say don't have a picture right now because it came out incredibly blurry but, believe me, they are so pretty!

6. Here is the Space Invaders Hat that I made for, I was going to write the pattern for it here, but I realized that if I did knit this again, I would do it a little differently. Because I knit the hat in the round and only had one space invader motif on the front, the colorwork was difficult and not at all attractive on the inside. I will have to modify it for the next hat...Tim wants me to make one for him but with a MegaMan on the front instead of the little space invader guy. So, here are pics of the hat knitting process:

-just finished the motif...

-graph I sketched up based on one I saw online....

-hat (inside view before weaving in ends...ugh)...

-final hat knitted...

-Ian in his hat, which I think looks awesome on him...

7. Tim in his new hat from one of the kits made by Jacey of Insubordiknit which was amazingly fun to knit and, which I think, is incredibly cool...I want one of them for myself!

-and a close up.... to knitting!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy 4th Birthday, Benji!

OMGoodness...I can't believe that my little baby is already 4 years old! It seems like only yesterday that I brought him home on Christmas Day from the hospital...weighing in at a whopping 11 or so pounds! Here is a pic of Ben and I today...

and one of me about 8 months pregnant (this was at our old little A frame house)...and when I had that hideous nose hoop...ugh...

and here are pics of him during his first wonderful year.....

Laying on the bed in the light of the morning sun (with his poor little broken arm out of his shirt)

and one of the two of us right before leaving the hospital...oh, I remember that day so clearly!

This is a pic of Ben in his adorable Fuzzi Buns cloth diapers...and barely still fitting on the changing table...

Ben and Mommy just after nursing...we're nice and relaxed....

And these last two pics are of Ian and Ben during the summer (Ben is about 6 months old) taking a swim in our old pool...aren't they cute???

awww......look at that face!

Happy, Happy Birthday to my sweet, loving baby...who brings me happiness and laughter every single day. I love you so much! (not that he can read this or anything...but someday he will, right?)

P.S. (I'm taking this idea from the wonderful Jackie for birthday blogs)

Monday, December 18, 2006

I've been TAGGED!

How did you know that I have many weird tendencies, Julie? This will be a piece of cake for me to list and I only wish I had to list more...wait...maybe I don't....who knows if you'd all still read me if you really knew how WACKY I really am???

5 Weird Things about Me:

1. I am very particular about bathrooms....I really HATE dirty bathrooms...especially hair in the sink and soapy faucets. I am weird about having the bathroom trash can emptied pretty regularly. I don't go camping because I truly do NOT like peeing in the woods. EWwWWWW! Sadly, Ian must camp alone or with other "camping crazies", as I call offense to you, of course.

2. I sing approximately 16 hours a day...and, of course, the songs I sing are mostly made up ones that make no sense and bug the hell out of my hubby and my older son, Tim. Some titles include, "Hot Dogs in the Garden", "You are a Butt" and "Don't Put the Cheese on Louise." 'Nough said.

3. I'm a bit obsessive about my bed. I like it made every day and I like hospital corners. I like nice, clean sheets and pretty blankets and such. Drives everyone I know BONKERS. I just can't sleep in a messy bed.

4. I love hot stuff (crushed red pepper and cayenne, compared to jalapeno) and will put it on and in everything...including hot cocoa (my favorite hot drink) and in tuna sandwiches. Yummy! My tolerance is so high that most hot things in restaurants don't phase me. The XXX Mega hot burritos I got in Portsmouth were a GREAT disappointment, I must say.

5. I like to do the same things before bed at night....comb hair upside down (50 times), brush teeth, wash and moisturize face and then take out contact lenses. Boy, I sound even crazier than I thought I was! I mean, I always knew I was a bit odd, but I guess that was just the tip of the iceburg!

I am going to tag...Heather , Nichole, Lis, Laurin and Kimberly for this weird blog-thing. Remember to link to the person who tagged you, list your 5 weird qualities and then list your tagees....oh, and I think I'm supposed to comment on your blog that you're tagged. Hope I remember!

It's nice to know that other people are also weird like me. (you can try to sing the words "Weird Like Me" to that song, "Dontcha" by the something girls...forgot their name.....)

Pattern: Christmas Eve Cabled Mitts

Hope you like the pattern and, if you find any errors (which I hope you don't), just email me and let me know, okay?

YARN: Elsbeth Lavold Angora, 1 skein (91 yards): 17 stitches to 4 inches on size US 7-8 needle for the gauge on the label.

NEEDLES: Size 6 dpns (4) or 2 24" circs for 2Circ method, 1 40" circ for Magic Loop

ACCESSORIES: tapestry needle, scissors, marker for beginning of round, cable needle, row counter and 1 yard or so of waste yarn in a contrasting color.


Using the long tail cast on and 3-4 inches of tail, CO 36 stitches. Arrange 12 stitches for each of 3 dpns and, being careful not to twist, join in the round with a marker to note start of round.


Round 1: *(k2, p2)....*repeat to the end of the round.
Round 2-4: repeat row 1

Round 5: (k12) on N1, (p3, k9) on N2, (k9, p3) on N3
Round 6 & 7: repeat round 5
Round 8: N1 - Using cable needle, place 4 stitches on this needle, hold this needle to the BACK of the work, knit the next 4 stitches, knit the 4 from the cable needle and then knit the last 4 stitches. N2- (p3, k9), N3- (k9, p3)
Round 9, 10, 11: repeat round 5
Round 12: N1-(k4, using cable needle, place 4 stitches on this needle, hold this needle to the FRONT of the work, knit the next 4 stitches, knit the 4 from the cable needle.) N2-(p3, k9), N3- (k9, p3)
Round 11, 12, 13: repeat round 5

Round 14-24: repeat rounds 5-13

Round 25-31: repeat rounds 5-11

Round 32: N1-(k4, using cable needle, place 4 stitches on this needle, hold this needle to the FRONT of the work, knit the next 4 stitches, knit the 4 from the cable needle.) N2-(p3, k9). On N3- (k2, drop the main yarn and, using the waste yarn, use this to knit the next 7 stitches. Place these 7 stitches back on the left needle. Knit these 7 again with the main yarn. P3)

Round 33, 34, 35: repeat round 5
Round 36, 37, 38: *(k2, p2)...*repeat to the end of round.
Round 39: Bind off in pattern.

THUMB (for both hands):

With dpn, pick up 7 stitches from top of waste yarn. With another dpn, pick up 7 stitches from the bottom of waste yarn, picking out the waste yarn as you go.

Round 1: Starting at the corner of one of the needles and using a third dpn and main yarn, pick up 2 stitches on the "bare" side, knit across the 7, pick up another 2 stitches, knit across the last 7. Place a marker here to indicate start of round.

Round 2, 3: knit 2 rounds
Round 4, 5: *(k2, p2)...*repeat until the end of round
Round 6: Bind off in pattern. (if you would like a longer thumb, you can add more knit rounds, but you might end up needing more than one skein of this yarn. I had some left over from my set of mitts, so you might actually end up having enough. Let me know if you do!)


(Copy all of the left hand until you get to round 32. This should read:

Round 32: N1-(k4, using cable needle, place 4 stitches on this needle, hold this needle to the FRONT of the work, knit the next 4 stitches, knit the 4 from the cable needle.) On N2- (p3, drop the main yarn and, using the waste yarn, use this to knit the next 7 stitches. Place these 7 stitches back on the left needle. Knit these 7 again with the main yarn. K2). N3- (k9, p3).

Follow rounds 33-39 for left hand.


Using tapestry needle, weave in all ends....cuff, top of mitt, and base/top of thumb. Try on your mitt and admire your handiwork!

OH, and guess who was the winner of the my podcast "Questions? Questions?" contest???? I think GiGi has got herself some Harvest Moon STR!!!! Congratulations!!! I'll bring it to ya on Wed knitting!

Happy Knitting! (oh, and I'm not sure if I'll be doing another podcast before the holidays. I'll try if I can. If not, hope you all have a very wonderful holiday and new year!!!)

Love, Gina : )

Friday, December 15, 2006

FO Friday: Christmas Eve Cabled Mitts

I thought that maybe I wasn't being productive ENOUGH and since it's FO Friday, it seemed wrong if I didn't finish something. Then, I was thinking, "I could do one better than that. I'll DESIGN something!". Did I have a lot of free time today? Well, I had a lot of waiting to do while the laundry was being washed and dried...and Ben wanted to watch a dvd or two, so I took advantage of a super knitting opportunity.

I thought of the best parts of the mitts I have so far (or ones I've read, but have yet to knit) and found a pretty braided cable to use as the focus of the mitt. I was able to use only ONE skein (actually about 3/4 with more left over if you wanted to add an extra inch of length to either the top or bottom of each) of yarn and they BOTH took me less than 12 hours to knit...taking time off for eating all three meals, playing with Ben, talking to Tim (and maybe Ian) and going to the bathroom several times. So, I figure that this is the perfect Christmas Eve long as you start them in the MORNING of the Eve Day...not at 11 pm on Christmas Eve. K?

I'll post my pattern on Monday (or sooner if I get the chance) but here are the ingredients if you want to grab them:

-One skein of Elsebeth Lavold ANGORA (60% angora, 20% wool, 20% polyamide), 91 yards...the gauge for this yarn (not for my pattern specifically) is 17 stitches for 4 inches on size US 7-8 needles.

-Size 6 dpns, one 40" circular or 2 24" circulars...depending on your method of choice.

-Tapestry needle, scissors, cable needle, row counter and a foot of waste yarn.

(if you decide to use something other than this yarn, please buy extra just in case and keep in mind that it will probably be a gift, so buy one that is REALLY nice...splurge a little...and if it's for you....BUY CASHMERE!)

I'm calling the pattern (that is almost perfected), "Christmas Eve Cabled Mitts" . It is not a "professional" pattern per se, but still a WONDERFUL pattern and, hopefully, easy to use and understand. Did I tell you that KPixie has asked for MORE of my Haiku Flower Sock patterns??? Woo-hoo!!!!

Podcast 5: Bing Bong

Alright sweet and sassy knitters....another podcast is up and running. Woo-hoo! Hopefully, I will not turn you off with my incessant babble and never -ending questions/answers. If so, please don't hesitate to shut this one off and try next week's instead : P

Here are some of the links and pics that I mentioned on the podcast:


(some pics were posted last blog, so scrolll down and you'll see them there)

-The modified Fetching mitts with angora/lambswool edging:

And a pic on me...


-Spunky Eclectic fibers:

-KM Stitchery zipper bag, Monty the Monster:

-Row counters from the lovely and talented, Kimberly of The Giving Flower:

-Yarn balls from Danielle at Mystical Vibes Candles:

and also Donut tarts that smell like Baked Apple Pie!!!....

-I completely forgot to mention the beautiful stitch markers that Heather of Sereknity made...which I gave as part of my holiday knitter's gift. They're BEAUTIFUL!!!:


Lora (so sorry I didn't have your blog address handy!)


Deidre Flint with "Food" and "The Boob Fairy"

Mossback with "Askin' Why"

Thanks for listening you wonderful knitters and spinners! Have a SUPER KNIT-A-LICIOUS weekend!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Flaming Hatred of the Web

Now, I'm not one to be incredibly angry over life in general, but the ONE thing that makes me more angry than anything...angrier than if someone stole my yarn when my email doesn't work. Might sound completely ludicrous to you, but it really makes me wish for the days when I would receive an actual letter in the mail....some pretty stationary with a person's handwriting (and not typed) message and maybe a sticker or two, if I'm lucky. Boy, those were the days, huh?

So, I'm sure you can guess that my WEB email doesn't work (the one that I just told everyone to use for's the sick sense of humor of the parallel universe, I think) and I have not been able to get email from anyone there. Because of this harrowing event, I am extending my questions deadline to tomorrow night and I will be posting the new podcast, "Bing Bong" on Thursday night...since I cannot possibly give up my Wed night knitting group....right, everyone?

I think the ONLY way I would give up going to knitting group is if one of my children (or maybe one of my close family members) was seriously ill or something....God forbid) Does that sound horrible? I feel like my Wed nights is therapy and rejuvenation...where I can breathe and remember that I am ME again and not just Mommy/Honey/or Bum Wiper. When I have two knit nights a week (very rare, but happened this week b/c of my party), life just seems BETTER, you know?

Oh, and there will be 2 prizes for the "Questions" is a skein of STR, which I mentioned before (will be sent so you can receive it BEFORE the holidays) and also a Vogue Knitting on the Go book, Shawls with a little trinket thing as well.

Send many healing energies to my webmail, k? (woooo-oooohhh-arrrllll-oooooh-wwoooo) (that was supposed to be magickal like energy noises....)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Questions? Questions?

Okay, sweet and sassy knitters, Tuesday at 2:00 pm is the deadline for my "Questions? Questions?" contest. Do you wanna win some luscious STR ??? I have one skein that will be raffled off to anyone who sends in a question for me...could be about:

-my kids or hubby
-weird and wacky stuff in general

I can't promise that I'll be able to answer all the questions (or even answer them correctly), but I will do my very best. You get extra entries for originality, as well. As of this moment, I think Ericka will be the one to win...I can't imagine anyone else beating her question for originality...except maybe Jackie or Denise. (hello, Denise...where ARE you....????)

So, just email me at the usual place ( and tell me your questions. I have a whole bunch that are figuratively "sealed" on my mantelpiece that I am NOT going to open or look at until the very moment that I answer them...and, for me, that's a BIG deal. Believe me!

I've been pretty productive lately, even though I've been sick. Had a sore throat, was super cold and sneezing for two days. Feeling better now. I managed to get three projects done since the last blog which, I think, is pretty damn good.

First, we have the Lacy Cap using 100% Mongolian cashmere ("Candy Shop" colorway) from Jade Sapphire...which is one of the BEST yarns ever...YarnGasm....ooh, baby.

Next, we have my grandma's Railroad Rib (pattern by Fiber Trends) socks using Maine Woods Yarns"Winter Scene" superwash merino sock yarn. I think they came out sooo soft and pretty.

Finally, we have the fingerless mitts from called "Fetching". Jackie made a pair of these a couple weeks ago and I was thinking of doing a set for my sister-in-law. very own sister, Kim, came up for a visit from RI and says to me, "I think we should take a trip to the mall. I need a pair of fingerless mitts. I saw a pair in Old Navy I wanted."

I look at her. She looks back at me like, "WHAT???" I say, "You don't need friggin Old Navy fingerless mitts. I will make you fingerless mitts!" She seems excited. I take her to my yarn closet and she picks out a gorgeous skein of Cleckheaton's Angora Super in a baby blue (70% lambswool, 30% angora....droool). It is MORE than a pleasure to knit up and I finish the whole pair in a little over 24 hours. And you know what? She LOVED them! (score one for the big sister)

Here she is modeling them:

Besides all of the sickness, visiting sister and fo(s), I also had my third annual Holiday Knit Party on Sunday. Almost every "regular" ManchVegan (hmm..can I say that?) was there. It was the BEST party yet. There were:

-fabulous gifts given and received by all
-delicious food, champagne and wine (some of which was NOT drunk by sweet Heather)
-Christmas tree, holiday music and LOTS of laughter

I received all of THIS kick-ass stuff:

(top to bottom, left to right)...(2 skeins of a pretty varigated pink Japanese wool from the infamous blog-slut, and awesome, Amanda; goregous beach roving and pink crystal earring hoops from Heather, a JUMBO HUMONGO skein of Alpaca with a Twist's 100% baby alpaca in a soft, soft gray (550 yards!!!), handmade Lavender/Eucalyptus soap from Ericka and Chris (oh, the smell is incredible!), and a skein of a beautiful aqua ribbon yarn by Classic Elite...also from my rockin' Amanda.

Am I lucky or WHAT?

Wanna see some pics of the awesome party guests? Of course ya do!

Here's the beautiful Jackie with the handspun cashmere yarn she bought from me wrapped around her neck and also the lovely Ericka in the handknit Rowan sweater she got from Westminster Fibers last week.

Here is the sexy Heather, who is not letting me take a pic of her pretty face...bad Heather!...and the cute and funny-as-hell Lora looking at her yarn gift goodies.

And, finally, here are sweet Donna and awesome Amanda (both are "blog sluts"...meaning that they've been on other people's blogs many, many times but who are also blogless.) and amazing, "I-will-flash-for-the-good-of-the-group" Caroline sitting next to Crochet Queen Gigi.

Not pictured, but who also came: Chris, Mike, Jenna, and Sarah. Will HAVE to get pics of them next time. Sadly, there was no group pic...I guess I wasn't as organized as I thought I was!

I have so much other stuff to show you and tell you about in the podcast: I have new fiber from Spunky Eclectic, a cute-as-hell Monty the Monster bag from KM Stitchery and oh-my-gosh row counters from the always wonderful Kimberly of the Giving Flower.

Oooh, do you wanna see my pattern on KPixie?? Click HERE

Did I mention that you can purchase this pattern, not only from me (link up soon), but also from One Planet Yarn and Fiber? (store link on right sidebar) Pretty great!

Okay, I'm SO tired. I'll hope to hear from more of you for questions tomorrow and podcast up on either Tuesday night or Wed afternoon. 'Night, Knitters!