Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Monday, February 26, 2007

Request for Donnations!

Before I put up the important info, I have just one side note. Did anyone notice that even though February is the shortest month of the year, I put up the most posts during this month? I'm probably the only one keeping track of that:-p

Now, onto the info:

My friend at vegheaddesigns is organizing a fine arts and crafts auction to benefit OperationmFirst Response. This is a 501(c)3 (ie. registered non-profit). The mission is to provide supportive services to family members of injured soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

The agency puts together backpacks that are given to injured soldiers which include some clothes (because soldier's uniforms are often cut off when they sustain an injury), toiletries and comfort items. In addition, they also fly families to see their injured soldier after they are returned to the US, or provide car services and financial assistance for hotels so families can spend time with their loved one.

If you are interested in donating a piece of fine art or a craft please email her (you can get her contact info from her site), or leave a comment on my blog and I'll pass the info along. Just an FYI: Things such as culinary arts, web design and graphic design are also considered fine arts. You can donate a website, the design of a company brochure or certificate for two dozen pieces of fine chocolate if these are your mediums.

This is an amazing organization and the chapter here in PA is experiencing serious financial strains due to the large number of injured troop being cared for at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. (The volunteers have even paid for fights with their own credit cards).

She am collecting donations over the next 60 days and plan to organize and ONLINE auction. You donations are tax deductible and I can arrange for you to receive the appropriate tax info if you request.

If you'd like more information on Operation First Response, please visit http://www.operationfirstresponse.org.

Thank you in advance for your support and interest!

New Craft

I really spent my weekend doing research. really. But there's another craft fair coming up in June and I had some ideas rolling around in my head that I just had to test.

I take a lot of pictures. I'm particularly a sucker for great pictures of nature or "winter foliage" as I like to call a lot of the shots. I wanted to do something with all of these pictures for the next craft fair, and I had some ideas for stationary.

I probably won't work on these again until April or May, but I had to do a test run just to feel confident that my ideas weren't crazy. So here you have it:

Friday, February 23, 2007

New Hat.

I finished the green hat last night while knitting with my little knitting group. We are a small group and we seem to get smaller by the week; girls keep moving on to fun and exciting jobs in far away cities!

Anyway, the hat turned out perfect. I used some of my Ironstone Yarns, Harmony. It calls for size 11 needles, but I went down to a size 8. I wanted a hat that would be densely knit, but nice and stretchy when I slipped it on.

The pattern is just a basic hat:
-Cast on 65 stitches.
-Knit two purl two for about an inch (more or less depending upon your preference).
-Knit stockinette stitch until hat is about 5/6 inches long. I try it on until I'm comfortable with the length. That is - until it fits my big head with only a small space uncovered at the top.
-Start Decreases: knit 11 stitches, knit two together. Repeat this four more times. Knit one complete round.
-Repeat the decrease rounds until you try it on and you're happy with the fit.
-Pull the yarn through all remaining 'live' stitches and scrunch closed.

As you can tell, this was a "fly by the seat of my pants" hat, which neither flies nor covers like the seat of my pants.

And -- it goes perfectly with my scarf! Who needs match.com when you can produce this in an evening?

I also baked some lemon bread for the knitting girls. It wasn't as soft and delectable as I wanted, so I may make another loaf this weekend. You can never have enough lemon bread when you're waiting for spring to hurry up and arrive (after I get some good wear out of my hat, of course).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Big Thaw

I'm knitting, but I can't blog about it. Knitting surprises doesn't provide for much material. I could talk about the weather. The 40 degree, ice-thawing weather that we're having in Boston! Though, it (both my post and the weather) may not last long and I need a nice hat to go with my new scarf, so I just put something on the needles. Who knows, maybe I started it just so I'd have something to post.

Let's not forget, this is my third hat of the winter. The first two are ok, but they aren't great, super-warm and cozy hats for the blustery days we had the past couple of weeks. Plus, they don't quite match the scarf.

Watching the ice melt as I wait for the train.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lazy Sunday

I'm waking up slowly today. A little under the weather and very sneezey, but happy to spend a cozy Sunday inside.

So before I get to my real work, I thought I'd browse some blogs and this is what I've found:

I LOVE this turtle!

I think it would be fun to make blue cheese.

And of course, I think many people have been loving the photography on 3191.

I want to thank Whipup for being a site I rely on daily for a bit of inspiration. They just recently posted a link to a video tutorial for continental knitting. I might try it out. It looks like such an efficient form of knitting, but I'm so comfortable with knitting the way I do, that I'm not sure if I can make the switch. Will this be as hard as learning to write with my left hand?!? If so, there's no hope.

and lastly - a NEW BLOG is online. Check it out, it's from a crafty partner in crime. She's a crocheter, sewer, and knitter extraordinaire!

Ooh and last but not least, I'm the giddy recipient of a little Sansa monsta. I love love love it! Pictures, music, and video at my fingertips.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pen Pals

Remember pen pals? I remember the idea of them, but I don't really remember having one as a kid. I have so many friends that are far and wide, and we do most of our communicating by email. Which means - I HAVE PEN PALS! Of course, the best part of having pen pals are the surprises that come when you open each email.

For example:

These are pictures of my friend Stephanie. She calls this her "hold the wisp-ies back" creation, which she knit while on the job in Argentina. She has a great job coordinating research field-work groups. Can you find a more interesting pen pal?!?!

You can read all about Steph's adventures on her blog.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Today's love

Happy Valentine's Day! Here are a few of the things that pulled at my heart strings today:

Waking up to snow!... and ignoring the fact that it turn to slushy rain!

Knitting socks that appear super long and skinny. I can't explain it, there's just something about the long and skinny knit sock that makes my smile. Ooh, and another sock love - colored toes and heels combined with a solid sock body. Unfortunately,
the foggy/snowy day wasn't great for taking pictures in my office.

Hope you ate some chocolate and enjoyed a snuggle or nap today!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Productive weekend

The entrelac scarf is finished and the sunshine lasted long enough for me to get some great pics and enjoy a walk in the arboretum. Now that I have the header figured out, I wanted more winter foliage shots for banners.

The scarf is great, I highly recommend it. I was thinking that with a bulky yarn and larger needles, it would make a great baby blanket.
Pattern - Danica
Needles - size 8 (i think)
Yarn - Patons SWS, 70% wool & 30% soy.

In other news - My counterpane carpet bag/purse is still drying. *hopefully*, i'll sew it up tonight. The one snag in my plan may be that I haven't opened my sewing machine in over a year... sometimes I have trouble getting it working without some motherly help.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Deal

Me to myself, "Here's the deal. If I work really hard today and do a LOT of research, then, I get to finish the counterpain carpet bag tomorrow!"... (then do more work.)
hard working cows

Friday, February 09, 2007


As everyone knows, it's cold outside. Although, the days have been beautifully clear and sunny lately. So clear, that I've been taking shadow shots.

I've been knitting away, but don't have much to report. I haven't finished anything, but am close to finishing my scarf! I want it finished so that I can still bundle up while the weather's cold.

To fill out this post, I thought I'd share some of my knitting inspiration.

The Art of Knitting, by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne. This is the MOST beautiful knitting book I've seen yet. It's full of pictures of nature & built objects right next to pictures of knit stitches. The author does a beautiful job of imitating nature through knitting. The only (possible) downside of the book is that directions for actually knitting any of the stitches can be hard to interpret, although, I think any experienced knitter can make sense of it.

Vogue Knitting Stitchionary 2, Cables. I'm sure you've all seen the Stitchionary series. This one has provided the foundational information I need to make my sock pattern come to life. I have the pattern written out, but I haven't started it yet. That might be a project for late spring.

Speaking of sock knitting, this little Hand Knit Socks pamphlet is something I love! It was my grandmothers, and it has some great pictures inside:

I want some "Trews" for next winter!

Now, I'm going to try to fix up my banner... I guess you'll know if I succeed!

Monday, February 05, 2007

To and Fro

I find socks to be the perfect knitting for travel - they're small and don't require a lot of yarn. PLUS - if you're smart* and using the magic loop technique, then there is little chance that stitches will ever fall off your needles while the project is in your bag.

As I go back and forth on the T (Boston speak for subway, El, trolley, etc.) every day, I work on a pair of socks. Right now I'm working on the Monkey socks from this Winter's Knitty. This pattern was easy to memorize, which means that I don't even have to carry a pattern with me!

I've decided that the first sock pattern I design will be named Charlie.

Even in the bitter cold of winter, hydrangea's don't dissapoint -

*You definitely don't have to be smart to use the magic loop method. It's really simple. BUT - if you aren't using it, then you might be a bit crazy. Would you rather have to worry about stitches falling off of 8-10 points of your DOUBLE-pointed needles OR the two lonely points of the circulars? I'm just saying.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007


ignore this post (and the man behind the curtain!)... but check out the !new! post below.

Always Learning!

Did you notice that I added a picture to my header at the top of the blog?! I'm so excited that I FINALLY figured this out. It was something that I wanted to do from the start, but was having trouble finding help. I did notice that my picture was slightly off-center. Hopefully it won't bug me too much and eventually I'll find a way to center it. yay!