Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I smell like lace.

Hmm...not a bad thing, I suppose.

This morning, Ben comes up to me while I'm knitting the lace border on my mom's shawl and says, "Ooh, nice, Mommy!" And I say, "Thank you, Benji!". Then, I said, "Feel this yarn..." and I bring his hand to the lace and show him how to nicely (and carefully) feel the chinese lambswool. "Ooooh!", he says. All of a sudden, he leans down and says, "Lemme schmell it." And, he leans over, smells the lace and says, "Mommy! It's smells like you!"

LOL! It was hilarious! He's been pretty funny lately.....yesterday, as we were in the car on the way to the library, he asked me to play a song by FreezePop on my iPod. (It's got a great beat) I don't know most of the words, but Ben was yelling from the backseat...

"Mom-my! Sing like a dancer!!!!"

I'm not sure what that means, but I was laughing so hard, I almost had to pull over on the side of the road. I love 4 year olds!

Okay, enough Ben-talk.

I am happy to say that I've accomplished one thing this week.

I got a request from my pedicurist/eyebrow-wax-inator (does it have a name?) to dye up some yarn for her new baby. Well, not for the baby per se, but for her mom who is going to use this yarn to crochet the baby-to-be a nice blanket. She found a yarn on Etsy that she really liked and asked me to try and make it similar to this yarn. The original yarn was called, "Austin Peacock", but mine is a bit different and I've called it "Princess Peacock".

Wanna see?


100% Superwash Merino Wool
Worsted Weight
220 yards
Dyed using Jacquard Acid Dyes
Colors: Chartreuse, Deep Blue, Teal and Turquoise

This extra skein is actually for sale in my Sleepy Eyes Etsy Shop, as well as this yarn:


50% Superwash Merino/50% Tussah Silk
Heavy Fingering/Light Sportweight
440 yards
Colorway: Baby Monster
Colors: Chartruese, lime green, spring green and a bit of creamy lemon
Dyed using Jacquard Acid Dyes

I had made 5 skeins of the "Princess Peacock" (see below for the skeins all wound), but this one was left over, so if anyone is interested, please go buy it now! There's only one left!

Here is all the yarn packed and ready to send off to Melissa's mother:

Speaking of yarn, guess what came in the mail yesterday???

Oh, yes....the amazingly gorgeous "Ravelry" yarn created by the one and only, Amy Boogie of Spunky Eclectic. Isn't it fantastic??? I love the colors - JUST LIKE RAVELRY!

And, one more thing.....

I've been working frantically on the knitted lace border of my Lace Shawl every day. I am happy to say that I'm halfway done with the second long side and only have that half and the short side before it's done.

Only 350 more rows (29 repeats) to go! (Hmmm...that doesn't sound very good, does it?)

And, since it takes me 1 hour to do 8 repeats (12 rows per repeat, all rows different), that means.....less than 4 hours to go.

I'm hoping to get all the border done by Friday night and be able to block it this weekend. Anyone have any tips on using the lace blockers? I've blocked lace before, but with pins, not wires.

Can't wait for knitting tonight...have I told you that I LOVE my knitting group??


Does anyone out there in Blogland have an extra skein of Rowan Big Wool or 2 skeins of the Duotones alpaca yarn that they would trade with me?? I could dye up some sock yarn or trade from my stash...I've still got some good stuff left. LOL!

Just email me if you do. Thanks!

Have a Wickedly Weird Wednesday!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Too Eager

This is Ben when he is looking very eager. Eager to play, eager to eat "chips with green sprinkles" (Sour Cream and Onion), and eager to do new things.

With me, I am usually very eager over one thing. ( other thing as well...TMI, right?...LOL!)

Yes, you guessed it.

Buying Yarn

Before entering into the TKGA Knit and Crochet Show last Saturday, I said to Laurin, "Please don't let me buy a lot of yarn. I don't need it." After snorting loudly, she says in a tone I know only too well, "Ha!"

And, you know what happened?

Yes, you guessed right again. (You know me SO well!)

I bought more yarn than I meant to...or at least price wise. (Ian, don't read any further)

As soon as I found this Judith (I think) yarn, Reflections, at the first booth, I bought it. Oh, is it sparkly and gorgeous!

Then, I saw some hand knitted holiday stockings and just HAD to get the patterns for them. They are very unique and fun....

Then, I went to the Yarn and Fiber Co. booth and saw this shawl:

I just HAD to get it...the pattern is from the new book by Cheryl Potter of Cherry Tree Hill yarns, "Special Knits Using Only One Skein"...or something close to that. Isn't it beautiful???

Here is a closeup of the figure 8 design in it:

And, of course, I needed the laceweight yarn to go with it...

At the same booth, I got some of Heather's new hand carded batts: Coral Reef and Smouldering can see them in her shop HERE. They're not only super soft, but the colors are LUSCIOUS!

(Heather also surprised me with this fantastic sock bag, too. I am in LOVE with it! I wish I hadn't already finished Ben's socks. Will just have to knit more, I guess!)

The other fiber I got (I cannot remember at all what the company was...I WILL find it...somewhere...) is, I believe, a super sparkly (golden) mohair/wool blend roving in the colorway "Autumn Leaves with Glitz". You can't tell how sparkly and lush the colors are from this photo, though. It's so nice.

Hmmm...what else did I get? Oh, a pattern (and yarn) to make the kids a soft as hell Teddy Bear.

It was a great day (despite my headache) and we all got to sit in the vendor area "cafe" to have lunch. They had nice, big tables and our group all fit at one. Some other shoppers sat there with us as well. I think it was Heather who asked the woman (sitting two seats down from me) what she was here for and she said, "Oh, I'm signing books for the Elegant Ewe." (That's a LYS around here.) And we said, "Which one???" She says, "I wrote, 'Never Knit Your Man a Sweater'." and we almost fell over. ( I MAY have squealed.)

We were so excited to be eating lunch with Judith Durant!!! She was sweet and friendly as can be. I'll just have to find a sweater Ian likes from her book so I can knit it up! That book is GREAT! (please go buy it and support Judith!)

After lunch and much laughter, Jackie, Laurin and I were knitting at the table. Jackie and I happened to see (aka drool over, stare at and envy) a woman from the Dream Weavers Yarns table wearing the sweater we've both wanted to make.

It's the Sahara by the very, very talented Wendy Bernard. I always knew it was the most beautiful and flattering sweater pattern I'd seen, but it was even BETTER in person. Oh, I was weak. Very, very weak.

I ended up buying the pattern and the yarn...actually only 4 skeins of yarn total....3 of Pure and Simple and 1 of the Disco Lights in Ruby Wine. 100% silk. YUMMY! LOOK....

Actually, that was a huge mistake. Not because the pattern isn't fabulous...or the yarn...but for the fact that I am a.....


(This is not in ANY WAY belittling the people who have the very real condition of bulemia nervosa.)

The wise and witty Ericka came up with this phrase the other night and we couldn't stop laughing because it totally fits me to a T.

I get so super, overly excited about some yarn, I buy it impulsively and then have buyer's remorse the next day. I do love, love the Sahara...but, although I've never knit myself a sweater or tank top or anything, I did overspend on this. Yikes.

So, the Manchvegas Knitters came to the rescue. I sent out a "Yarn Distress Signal" and they came running. I brought some of my most luxury stash yarns to knitting group and sold them all to my friends so I could go back and put the money back for the Sahara "kit" I bought. All even and much, much less guilt. Whew!

Speaking of knitted luxury items....while we were at the show, Jackie almost bought the Mermaid Jacket kit. Look at how beautiful she looks!

The most fabulous Donna (our overseas yarn connection) told Jackie that she could find that kit for $100 less overseas and Jackie was thrilled. Woo-hoo for Donna! And Jackie!

Last, I have to show you this photo of our "Crochet Master" of the group, GiGi. She is holding a kit called, "Knitting with Gigi" and I knew I couldn't leave without taking her pic holding it.

Am I caught up now??

Not sure.

(I'm almost done with Ben's sweater, but have done nothing on my lace trim. I have to get motivated, dammit!)

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Off the Beaten Path...

This really isn't about knitting, but I wanted to show you some gorgeous photos from Ian's hike to Mt. Katadun in northern Maine. They're just breathtaking!

Above: Chimney Pond

Pamola Peak Knife Edge

Ian and Gopi Taking a Break (Apparently, he's trying to fly to the top of the mountain...)

Gopi, Ian and Dan at the Cabin (Gopi and Dan are his co-workers. Ian is in the middle.)

Oh, it just looks so peaceful, doesn't it? Ian had a blast and, despite being very sore, was pretty happy : )

I DO have pics of the Knit and Crochet show and also of the Manchvegas Knitters (including a fantastic picture of Jackie, but my camera's battery is dead and currently charging, so I can't get the pics off until it's done. I had such a fun time...and, OH, the YARNS!!!!

But, as a teaser:

1. I did finish Ben's socks last night (while watching the new Harry Potter movie...OMG...I loved it! Ericka, were you drooling as much as I was??) Socks came out really great and Ben's been wearing them ALL DAY so far!

2. I had my xrays done this morning. I wish my camera had been working because the sweet radiologist let me see my skull on the digital xray screen. It was so cool. It's amazing how great your head can look without the skin and bloody stuff. My bones are pretty neat! I'll know the results on Friday. Cross your fingers!

3. I was still feeling sick with headaches after taking my antibiotics, so I talk to someone at my dr's office you know what? The bottle says to take the antibiotics on an EMPTY STOMACH with lots of water. The nurse said, "Oh, no. I don't know why it says that. You should definitely be eating something first." Oh, man.

4. I bought yarn for a certain summer sweater that I've been eyeing for months now. Can you guess what it is and what yarn I bought? (Manchvegans already know...)

5. Make an estimate of how many times I (as Laurin calls it) " squealed" at yarns and patterns on Saturday? (Hint: it's more than once)

Well, hope you are having a prolific knitting (or spinning week) and next post should have lots of pics and yarn porn. Woo-hoo!

P.S. Last call for favorite knitting book(s) for the podcast......comment or email me : )

Friday, July 13, 2007

Ho Waiting

As soon as I saw this on my prescription, I laughed out loud. Yes, I am a HO waiting. (First two letters of my last name..and I was waiting for the prescription, not picking it up later....hence the label.) Little do they know how appropriate that title is! LOL!

Well, it's official. I am S-I-C-K.

I visited the doctor (not my usual one unfortunately) on Wed and I found out that my headaches have been caused by:

1. Sinus Infection (correctly diagnosed by the masterful Melissa)
2. Ear Infection (my ear, which didn't even hurt, is apparently is worse than the sinus infection)

and, possibly,

3. Temporal Arteritis (a constricting of the arteries in your head)...this, though, was looked into the informative and lovely Jackie and is not very common and is usually a condition of people over 50. So, I probably will not have to worry about this. I'm having xrays, blood tests and, if necessary, an MRI to see if I have this. I don't think it will be necessary for me to have the MRI, though....I think everything should be okay. Just cross your fingers anyway.

Here are my drugs:

Nice, huh? The doctor also told me that my muscles (in my back, neck, shoulders and head) are extremely tense and gave me muscle relaxants as well. Have yet to take those....I'm a bit nervous about it and think I might just get a massage instead. Safer and definitely more enjoyable.

Also, a small update on the lace and Ben sweater:

Lace Edging in Progress

The Body and One Arm of Ben's Reversible Sweater

And.....guess what else I made (while sitting in bed sneezing and moaning...not necessarily related to each other....LOL!)???


Melissa placed Knit Picks order a couple weeks ago and I ordered some of their new self striping, superwash merino/nylon, fingering weight sock yarn called "Felici". It is one of the nicest and softest sock yarns that I've knit with. Nice colors, great striping, soft as butter (very close to Regia Striping sock yarn), and the yarn didn't split once. I have to buy more colors!


Pattern: Ann Norling's Basic Baby and Kid Socks #26
Size: 7 inch foot, 4 inch leg (for a size 11 or 12 child's shoe)
Yarn: Knit Picks' Felici sock yarn.
Needles: Size US 2 dpns, bamboo
Gauge: 7 stitches to the inch
Time: 24 hours for one sock. On my way to make the second.

Ben loves his sock....and now, instead of asking "Is my sweater done yet?"...he is also asking me..."Is my other sock done yet?" Oh, the pressure!!!

Now, lemme ask you a question: (for the podcast)

"What is your favorite knitting book and why? And, also...along the same there one pattern book that you always go back to over and over again? If so, what is it?"

And, this is for Chris.....

While I have my peppermint tonight, I will think of you.

(he he...just teasing....)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I Rock, U Rock, We all...Rock!

Right after I blogged, I went to check out my favorite blogs...and, in my travels, I read THIS. The fabulous and ever-so-prolific Julie Noolie has given me (and four others) the Rockin Girl Blogger award. Well, what else can I do?? I have to award some of these babies myself!!!

And, although I love all my favorite blogs (see right), there are 6 that I just COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT. Luckily, Julie has already received the award (for she is definitely one of my ultimate favorites that I check every day), so I can pick 5 instead of 4 more.

Drum roll please!!!! (These are the gals that are in my bookmark BAR, not just bookmarks!)

I hereby award this button to:

1. Jackie for her classy & beautiful pictures and style of she is so inspiring to me.

2. Cayli for such luscious handspun, fantastic pics and also her lacy (and spinning) inspiration.

3. Amy for always creating something utterly unique and wonderful...her yummy recipes and gorgeous yarn and fiber.

4. Ericka for her dry, laugh-your-ass-off humor and always finding something interesting to knit and blog about.

5. Kimberly for always blogging with grace, style and beauty. Every single finished knitted (or crocheted) object is a work of art.


Little Sweater Love

Introducing the adorable and super cute, Catharine....the sweet 16 month old baby girl that I made the Angel Sweater for. Her mom was wonderful and sent me some great pictures of her in the sweater and also the Sweet Leaf Toddler Hat I designed.

It made me so happy that the sweater fit well and the hat, too. I love seeing my knitted things being, she is so cute in both....I just want to squeeze her cheeks!

I just sent off the Tulips Sweater with my sister....she's giving it a friend of hers that had a baby recently....a little girl named Aidyn. Can't wait to see her wearing that. Do you see a pattern emerging here?? LOL!

On the subject of little sweaters, here is the progress on Ben's "Inside Out" sweater:

I'm even farther along on it than the picture shows....the weather's been so overcast, I haven't been able to take a good picture of it. The body is 13 inches up to the arm pits and I've got one sleeve almost done. Little Ben is still asking me every morning, "Is it done yet?" and I show him how much I've done and he still says, "Is that it?" I'm working my fingers (and knitter's elbow) to the bone so I can get this done quickly. I forgot that he's bigger than a toddler now and I'm making the sweater in a 6 years size, so it's even bigger than his normal clothes. Whew! Keep...chugging...along....

Thought this cherry looked so interesting next to Ben's sweater....

I also have yarn to knit up the Pea Pod Sweater....Knit Picks' Merino Style in Cornflower....and the Sweater for Merry in Knit Picks' Lagoon Heather. Both are extremely sweet and I'm looking forward to knitting both. I can't believe the little sweater kick I'm on!

Along the lines of new yarn....Jackie brought me some gorgeous souvenir yarn from Washington, D.C. when she was vacationing with her family...where she visited the Stitch DC store.

I got two skeins of fabulously soft, 100% tactel nylon Suss Supple in lovely...and also one skein of the super squishy warm Pear Tree 8Ply in blush pink. I am sooo lucky! (Plus, she gave me the Stitch DC bag as well....very cool!) Thanks so much, J!

I was also gifted some absolutely to-dye-for handpainted, handspun yarn by the very talented and always thoughtful, Cayli. We swapped some laceweight (from me) for some great, green Koigu (from her) and she sent me THIS yarn with my package:

It's a Cayli's Creations Handspun/Handpaint in the colorway, "Purple Violets"....130 yards of merino wool plied with cotton and strung with hundreds of glass seed beads. You can't tell quite how amazing this is from the picture, but it's not only baby soft, but truly well spun and the beads sparkle in the light. I have another skein of this yarn (though plied with silk not cotton) in a different colorway, "Sea Glass" that I may use with this new one to create something special. Only a really simple, but elegant pattern will show off the loveliness of this yarn. Thank you so much, Cayli!!!

As for fiber...yes, I promised some fiber and spinning updates, but things are still at a standstill because of the headaches. It's a bit easier to knit with a headache than spin. I can close my eyes for most the sweater knitting if I'm relaxed, but I really have to look when I'm spinning. I still have the purple/white angora/merino from Sereknity on my Joy and the pink/peach bamboo from HollyEEQ's Oceans of Fiber on the Traditional. Both are looking great...but no progress as yet.

Speaking of the Fiber Queen, HollyEEQ......I want to send her a very belated Happy Birthday wish (hugs!!!) and please check out her store and blog to see some gorgeous pictures and new fibers and handspun yarns. Believe me, they are so creative, colorful and you'll love the quality, too. I just ordered some more aqua cotswold lambie locks and also some other goodies, which I will take pics of very soon and blog about. I can't tell you how vibrant the colors are and how soft the fibers feel....I'm in HEAVEN!!!

Okay, what else am I forgetting to tell you? Hmmm....well, besides the ongoing headache problem, things are pretty good. I've got a few more rows done on the lace shawl and I'm determined to get it done in the next 2 weeks. I want to start my new lace fingers are itching to cast on with my handpainted yarn. What else? The podcast is one step closer to being done...I have the microphone out! Woo-hoo! Sigh...if only I had a whole day to myself...with quiet and Ian had the would be done. He is supposed to be coming home tonight. It's a 6 hour drive home from the trail he was at...he is hiking Mt. Katadan with his friends from work. Maybe he'll have some pictures for me to share....

Oh, I know!

Kiyomi from North Carolina knit up my Sweet Leaf Toddler Hat pattern and sent me a pic. Isn't it adorable?

She used Malabrigo in the colorway, "Cuarenta".

I promised weeks ago to put it in a new gallery, but still haven't had a chance to set it up. So, I at least wanted to show her beautiful work. Thanks so much, Kiyomi!!!!

If anyone else has pictures of things that they've made with my designs, I would LOVE to see them. Please send any pics to me and I will blog them, mention them on the podcast and, eventually, put them up in the Sleepy Eyes Gallery. (Oh, the procrastination!!!)

Happy Knitting!!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Playing Catch Up

I can't believe that it's been so long since I blogged. I think the warm weather is making me you feel that way, too?

Plus, I've had the most horrible migraines for the past 4 days...don't know why. Stress? Excess yarn fumes...? (yeah, right...) Ian thinks that it's him (since he was gone for so long for work and now he's back) and I hope that's not it. Can a husband cause a migraine attack?

Anyway, I am KINDA back....the podcast is still just sitting there waiting to be produced.....I'm feeling a bit scared that I'll have no listeners left now...but I'll go ahead with it anyway. It's only been a month or so, right??

Here is what I've been up to since the last blog:

Dyeing Yarn

I dyed two skeins of yarn the other day and I tried a new "arrangement" when dyeing to see what effect I could get. I used a skein of superwash merino and a skein of superwash merino and silk. Both came out really cool.

1. The silk/merino, which I call, "Baby Monster" is SO friggin soft and over 400 yards, too. I think it's either sport or worsted weight...for $20 with free shipping. I'll be putting it up on my Etsy Shop this week. If anyone wants it before then, just email me.

2. The superwash merino, called, "BlueBerry Muffin"...very soft...but this is for me. I'm making something special out of it and here is how the colorway looks knitted up: (I'm pretty sure the silk/merino will have a very similar look)

Working on the Lace Shawl

I've been knitting my a** off (if only you could knit AND tone at the same time!) on the lace edging for this shawl. So far, I am LOVING it! It's not something I can just pick up and do, or bring to knitting group, but once I get into the "groove", I can do at least 4 to 5, 12 row repeats in an hour sitting. I was a bit confused over what a "single join...SJ" and what "double join...DJ" was, but after reading the back of the Victorian Lace Today book, I was able to figure it out. A "SJ" is just when you knit one stitch from the lace shawl to one stitch of the lace edging together...through the back loop. A "DJ" is when you do an "SJ" ...then you do another "SJ" in that same stitch on the shawl. So, two in one. Makes sense, right?

Here is what the edging looks like so far. It's not at all impressive...not until blocking, I'm sure. I'm just about halfway done with the lace edging. woo-hoo!

Movie Knitting with Melissa and Cindy

Melissa and I decided to go see a real "adult" movie (not Xrated...get your mind out of the gutter!!! LOL!) and not a cartoon/digital animation. As moms, we have had our fill of children's shows and wanted to see something, well, like I said, "adult-ish". We saw "Knocked Up" (a movie recommended by Not-So-Newbie Mike and my mom) and it was SOO funny! Lovely Melissa brought her fantastic and adorable daughter, Cindy...who I love. She is so sweet and funny. (We also went to Cracker Barrel for lunch before the movie and that was YUM-MY!)

Melissa and I looked at each other (over our knitting) and cracked up quite a few times. A couple of the things in the movie were shocking, but not in a bad way...just...well, I was thinking, "I wonder how much that woman got paid to show her nether-regions during the crowning part of the baby's delivery?" I am NOT that confident about the condition of my nether-regions that I would show them on camera. (I think the woman definitely got a wax job!) Especially after having two babies...and one of them with a 10 and a half pound body. (Lordy!)

That day was tons of fun and I think we should do it again. It would've been better if I didn't make a mistake in my knitting halfway through and had to stop...darn my non-seeing-in-the-dark eyes!!!!

Benji wants a Sweater...and FAST!

The whole time I was knitting the Tulips Sweater, Ben kept asking, "Is that for me?" and I'd have to sadly tell him no. That it is a baby sweater and much, much too small.

The other morning, I was trying to find a size 2 circular (didn't find it) in my yarn closet (it's supposed to have clothes in it, but sadly (or not sadly), there are only 5 things hanging on the rack...and the closet is the length of the wall. Go figure.

Anyway, Ben comes in, goes right to the Blue Bin (all my bins of yarn are clear and organized by color...I know, I know...I'm an organizing freak) and starts searching around. Finally, he sits up with his chubby little arms full of yarn. He's picked out 4 skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca a gorgeous, royal blue.

He starts running downstairs to Ian...and dropping a skein or two down the stairs on the way....saying, "Daddy! Mommy is going to make me a sweater! Out of THIS bwew yarn!" (He loves the color "bwew"). His eyes are shining and he's got this HUGE grin on his face. How can I say no to that? I figure, I can put the other 10 ufos away for now and make my beautiful boy a sweater, right??

That day, I spent laying on the floor pouring through all my books for a little boy sweater (why are there only cute little GIRL sweaters???) with my head pounding and Ben throwing his "bwew" balls of alpaca over the cat in the living room. Finally, I grab Jacqueline Fee's "The Sweater Workshop" know, the one that I made the cute full size sweater sampler with? In that book, I found a pattern for a Reversible Sweater that is fantastic! You knit it in the round (very easy with hardly any sewing involved) and it can be worn either with the right side out or inside out! It is sooo cool! I think I'll need one more skein of this yarn, so I should go and find that soon, I guess.

Only thing is....the yarn is almost fingering weight, so I have to use size 2 for the ribbing and size 4 for the body. I think even a 3 would've been better....but I REALLY didn't want to knit a sweater on size 3 needles. [shiver]

There was lots of math involved, but I'm proficient at that and got a whole page of numbers cranked out so the sweater will be the perfect size for Ben. A little big, so he can wear it next year, too. Well, depending on how much he grows I guess!

Wanna see what I've knit so far?

Every morning since then, Ben's been waking up (my eyes are still closed at this point) and saying "Is my sweater done?" and I excitedly show him how much I've done (which is probably only a inch or two since the day before) and he says, "But, is it DONE?" Can't my fingers knit any faster???

Today is the first day that I haven't woken up with a terrible migraine, so I'm going to take advantage of it. I'm going to meet Jackie and her kiddies at the library, we'll knit and gossip for a bit...get caught up...and then I'll try to work on my podcast more. Hopefully, get some more lace trim done as well.

I'm really behind on reading blogs, maybe I can get some of that in as well. It's wonderful to have my head back!

Happy Knitting to you!! (next blog will be a fiber/spinning update....have lots to show you!)