Saturday, June 30, 2007

New Project

yep I blew off everything on the UFO list and started my Kauni cardigan last night. Hey, life's short, I'm doing the project that's calling my name first.

I knit 2 cm of ribbing last night during the Mariners' game, 1 more centimeter to go and I get to start on the fun part. So far my cardi colors are yellow and green *not my all time favorite color combo*, but I think a pretty blue is coming up next. This yarn is rainbow colored with long stretches of each color, and by using 2 balls of the yarn, I will get a different color combo with each pattern repeat.

Still coughing and snuffling around, had to send Skyn (that's my hubby's nickname) up to the drugstore to sign his life away for some good cough suppressant. Since Spokane is evidently the meth lab capital of the world, we may be getting a visit from the po-po to see what we're cooking up here lol.

And boy am I glad I bailed on the this week's camping trip! My friend Lorraine called me this morning to say they had a HUGE storm last night with trees crashing all around their campsite. Yeesh, that's why hotels were invented I say.

Friday, June 29, 2007

And a 2nd finished project!

Got Huggable Hedgehog stuffed and sewn up and he now has eyes (they're a little wonky but he's a nice guy and he's not complaining). Pretty cute! This is a felted toy from Fiber Trends (#228X). I think I also have a squirrel kit around here somewhere so I may have to make him a forest friend.
Glad to get this guy off of my UFO (UnFinished Objects) list!

The Princess!

And here is Miss Precious Pup herself! Hadley models the Crazy Daisy Hat I made for her. What a good sport she is to wear Auntie Lowdie's wacky creations! Too cute (the kit is by Debby Ware, comes with all the glitz and glam you need to knit a hat for your own little queen)

One Finished Project!

The cold is lingering, but slowly getting better. At least I'm no longer coughing so hard I pee myself (or maybe that is just one of the things we menopausal ladies do?) Despite spending most of the last two days either coughing or sleeping, or waking myself up from sleeping because my cold has turned me into a loud snorer (some mean people say I already snored but I'm denying that), I did manage to finish the somewhat fugly little cardigan for Hadley.

It's done and I'll send it over to little Miss Hadley, she can wear it to clean up the yard with mom and dad, or change the oil in Ruby or just dress one of her dollies in it. The buttons are cute anyway! It's actually purple and green, though the picture makes it look blue and green.

I also found Huggable Hedgehog patiently waiting to get eyes and be stuffed so I'm going to see if I can finish him today. Here's a picture of him in his present deflated condition. He's pretty cute even blind and flat.
And the mailman just brought my yarn for my Kauni cardigan which is very exciting (to me at least). I said I would finish my other things before I started this project, but my resolve is weakening. Blame it on the meds. I'm not a well woman.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nyquil induced rants

I (to quote my DD Katie) feel like 'ass' today. Why do summer colds feel so awful? I have been coughing and feeling like crap for 3 days now. boo. Today's post may be somewhat incoherent due to the large slugs of Nyquil I've ingested; I'm now swigging it straight from the bottle, to hell with the measuring cup!

I did manage to finish the little Peace Fleece cardigan and it's laying on the table blocking itself right now. I'm glad I got it done, but this is one of those 'meh' projects. It looked adorable in the pattern picture, but I'm not totes thrilled with it. Hadley, I'm sending it to you, you can use it as your 'dog feeding' coat (this is one of my family phrases -- we have a gazillion of them -- for a coat, hoodie, pair of shoes, etc that you'd only wear out to the dog run to feed the hounds and shovel up poop).

BTW, Megan, I had no idea your hubby was Mr. Harry Potter Fan Club lol. Maybe I will surprise Ry with his very own Wizard cap and/or wand case!

Hot topic on the knitlist today has been 'yarn diets'. A number of listers have declared themselves to be overwhelmed by their stashes and sworn off of yarn purchases for a period of time. I find it an interesting topic. There seems to be a fair amount of guilt involved in 'stashing' yarn, why is that? Do men feel this way when they buy things for their interests/hobbies or is this a women-centric phenomenon?

Personally, I enjoy having my "YRA" (Yarn Retirement Account) and adding to it. I do purge the stash pretty regularly, selling off or giving away things that I feel I'm not going to knit up any time soon. One thing I wish I did better was to keep track of WHY I purchased a particular yarn. Often, I'll see a pattern I like and buy the yarn...but just as often, I fail to put pattern and yarn together and by the time I pull the yarn out of the stash I no longer know what project it's intended for.

The stash has funded several trips and special purchases for me, so it's my little hedge fund against a rainy day. Of course, it would be much more sensible to put the money in the bank and use THAT to pay for trips etc. but where's the fun in that. To mangle a quote from Barbara Kingsolver: "yarn will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no yarn". Knitting has seen me through just about every event in my life since I was 12 years old, both happy and sad times and having a stash of yarn to fondle is one of the small pleasures in life.

and to finish up for today, here's an anonymous "Ode to Nyquil":

O NyQuil!
As red, thou art, as the chilled blood of a cherry bat!
O NyQuil!
You burn with a fire in my throat that could melt the winter sky!
O NyQuil!
You bring upon me a soothing sleep that rests my aching nose!
O Nyquil!
You are far better than DayQuil!
O NyQuil!
Drugs like you that make me sleep are grand!
O NyQuil!
You make me write beautiful poetry!
O NyQuil!
Don't you think that any respectable ode has an excessive number of "O"s?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


I love books, especially knitting books! I just got three in today's mail, and they are each unique. Here are my thoughts on each of them:

"Fleece Dog" by C&T Publishing. First, this isn't a knitting book and second I'm basically terrified of dogs (well of all animals to be perfectly honest). But these little pups are so dang cute I just couldn't resist this book! I've used a felting needle exactly once, to make a nose on my Huggable Hedgehog. That was pretty fun, so I'm hoping I'll be able to make something that looks vaguely doggish using this book. You can use fleece or you can use dog hair to make these guys. The breeds in the book are kind of exotic (Shiba Inu? what's that?), but I'm going to try to make black labs, in honor of grand-dogs Lois and Walt and neph-dog Rudy. And black fleece will probably cover up any oddities in my technique. Anyway these are soooo precious, you'll want to make one even if you are a dogophobe like me.

"Charmed Knits": this is the Harry Potter project book. I have several major HP fans in the family so I had to have this book. Pretty cute! Of course there are some projects I'd never make (the Molly Weasley sweater which has crocheted sleeves, and I don't do crochet) but overall I thought the patterns were a lot of fun. I could def. see knitting the various sweaters for the big and little Potter-heads in my life, the socks are cute and the there are hats and mittens and scarves that are all wearable. The little HP sweater and Golden Snitch ball Christmas ornaments are really cute, my daughter would love those for her tree. I also like the wizard hat and the robe, but I'll have to be asked very nicely before I'd make those I think, though I imagine my little buddies would love them for dress-up. Oh the wand cases were cute too, and could double as sword scabbards for pirate play.

Runway Knits: wow these are gorgeous designs! In a world where size XL is a 40" bust, I may not be fitting into much in this book anytime soon (sadly, my boobage has significantly expanded over the last few years, along with the rest of me) However, I have others who would look beautiful in these and I can always dream. One thing I didn't realize, the designer is the owner of Karabella yarns, so all the patterns in the book call for this brand. I might have a little trubs finding it here in Spokane, but it's a good reason to take a trip to Seattle. Anyway, there are some really interesting details in these patterns, very unique! One cable pullover has bust shaping and detail created by the cabling, a cool idea. There are several shrugs which have cool shaping too and lots of jackets, sweaters, a skirt, dresses etc. Lace knitters will like a lot of these patterns. So if you are a friend or relative, and you are skinny, ask me to make you something gawjus from this book!

That is all for tonight

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Nifty Way to work Front Bands

I am finishing up the Peace Fleece Baby Cardigan today (between Nyquil induced naps, somehow managed to catch a cold during the hottest spell we've had so far). The front bands are worked in a nifty manner, which I've never done before, but me likee!

You cast on the required # of stitches for the front band (in this case, it's 6 stitches) using your smaller set of needles (assuming you are working the edges, collar etc on a smaller size than the body of your sweater). You then pick up the first edge 'bump' (my cardigan is worked in garter stitch, so each ridge has a nice bump to pick up) or thread and work it together with the first stitch of the band, then work across the band stitches. The second row is worked back on the band stitches only. Repeat these two rows, picking up a half stitch on the sweater edge every other row and working it together with the 1st band stitch. No sewing on the band after you've finished knitting it, woot!
The picture shows your first row with the blue side the body of the sweater and the green side the front band.

I hope to cross this one off the 'unfinished projects' list tomorrow. Must finish at least two projects before my Kauni yarn arrives because I KNOW I will want to start that right away. We are 'empty nesters' for a couple of days as my daughter (Pia, our housemate) is off on a mission trip with her church youth group for a few days. Who knows what wild and crazy things we might do while she's gone!?

As far as weekend excitement, there was none. Floated in the pool and sunburned my front side, ala the ladies in "The Dinette Set".

Saturday, June 23, 2007

As if I needed another project...

The 'Granny Smith' Cardigan 'in the rotation' click on the picture to purchase the patternPeace Fleece Baby Cardigan, one of my projects 'in the rotation'

The Kauni Knitalong; click on the button to join in!

but I couldn't help myself! I fell in love with the Kauni cardigan and HAD to succumb to it. I ordered the yarn yesterday (from Jannette's Rare Yarns on eBay), and it's on the way. If I'm lucky I will have it in time to take on our next attempt at camping over the 4th of July. If you'd like to participate in the Kauni Knitalong, click on the Kauni KAL button above. I ordered the rainbow colorway, which looks like the colors Ruth used on the pattern.

This is my favorite kind of knitting: colorwork in the round with steeks! Honestly, using steeks makes color knitting SO much easier, you knit every round and there's no purling with 2 or more colors, which I truly do not enjoy.

You can download a .PDF file with the free pattern here

So I'm now up to 3 1/2 projects in various stages of completion (not good, I get nervous when I have more than 2 going at once!): the Peace Fleece baby sweater (just have to do the collar and bands on this one), the Granny Smith cardigan (pretty lace pattern in Rowan Kidsilk Haze; I have knit the back on this, then put it aside for unknown reasons. I am making this sweater for myself, which may be why it is now on the bottom of my 'to do' pile), the doll sweater and panties for Vicki (this really needs to go to the top of the rotation, as she has been waiting for me to finish this for ages), and now the Kauni cardigan. Help me Jebus! I need to finish SOMETHING soon!

OOPS, that's 4+ projects, I forgot about the Touring Wrap I started on the last camping trip. No more new projects until I finish at least one of these!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Disco Darling!

here's my adorable great-niece Tatum (she's on the right--doesn't she remind you of Dora the Explorer?) modeling the bolero jacket I knit for her. Evidently she and her pal are on their way to a swinging disco dance, and she looks ready! The bolero is knit in Debbie Bliss' Cathay yarn, and the pattern is here. This yarn is a real dream to knit! I enjoyed the pattern and thought the color was lovely, and an interesting choice for a child's garment. With Tate's gorgeous coloring, it is a perfect shade! It's super flattering that she chose my sweater to wear, too; she is very fussy about her outfits and Auntie Lowdie feels very special.

Almost the first day of summer!

86 degrees today, so we are swimmin'. Despite the fact that our backyard pool is about 66 deg., the boys and I braved it to 'swim' today. Mostly floating in our massive pool toys which completely cover the surface of the pool, so that we don't have to actually get IN the water (except Liam, who flipped off the donut and went under for a second. Very brave little guy, he only cried for a few seconds!) I anticipate many pleasant days this summer floating in the pool. If you read the comic "The Dinette Set", you will recognize us!

Too hot to do much knitting, unfortch. I WILL sew the buttons on Maddie's new sweater and mail it (along with your fancy hat Hads!) to Zaide's house for pickup. Then try to work on the doll sweater swatch, which is incredibly slow going.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Our Motto: Be (un) prepared!

Maybe we were meant to be city people...our first camping outing of the year (actually, my first in about 30 years) was a bit of a bust. We made it up to the campground no probs. The place was beautiful, Round Lake State Park in Idaho. We brought a whole pile of stuff that our friend had forgotten (like shoes and socks, coffee mugs and vino for the grownups) plus our own supplies. EXCEPT a tent. Yeah, no place to sleep.

We were prepared to sleep in the back of the car, and got on with the activities of the day: fishing with the boys (thanks to a nice lady who let them use her rod), participating in Junior Rangers and learning about porcupines and bats, roasting 'smarshmallows' and feeding the campfire, walking around and enjoying the outdoors.

Then surprise! a flat tire on the Buick! yikes. We only had one of those temp tires, so decided we'd better head into town and get it fixed. Only to find out that nothing is open after 7 pm on a Saturday night. So we filled the tire with fix a flat and limped on home to sleep in our comfy bed instead of on the cold hard ground or the car. Maybe next weekend we'll be better prepared.

As far as knitting goes, I did manage to get a couple of inches done on the Touring Wrap, which was good considering I generally had a little boy on my lap. I think it smells like campfire too, which may or may not be a good thing.

Here are some pix of the day's fun.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Weekend plans...

I knitted madly on the swatch for the doll sweater all during the Mariners game and have about an inch to show for it. Argh, this little sweater is probably going to take forever to knit! We are going camping today, so I'm packing a little bit sturdier project for the trip. I'm going to start the shawl pattern I picked up from the Seattle area Yarn Crawl last month. It's the "Touring Wrap" from Village Yarn and Tea shop, which uses 1 skein of Fleece Artist Suri Blue yarn (my yarn is a gorgeous sunset colorway). You can get the pattern here along with several other 1 skein patterns.

Hopefully we will survive the first camping trip of the summer with our friend Lorraine and her four little hooligans!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Doll Outfit update

I've been fiddling with various yarn weights and needles this evening, trying to match the original. Lace weight from Schoolhouse Press and 000 needles---bleh. Too thick. Moving up to 0 and 1 needles, didn't look right either. I'm now swatching with a double strand of the very very fine yarn Vicki sent me to use in the first place, and we may have a winner. It's similar in weight/feel to the original sweater fabric (which I'm now suspecting was a machine knit item looking at the seams) I am realizing my old eyeballs aren't up to this fine work at night, I need fresh eyes and strong light for this kind of work.

Doll Outfit Challenge

I'm working on 'recreating' an outfit for a doll. Victoria is the owner of the cute little dolly, and I think the outfit and doll are from the early 20th century. She's asked that I copy the sweater, panties and shoe/socks pretty much exactly. Here is the original outfit:

I'm still fiddling around with getting the right gauge for the sweater, but haven't had too much luck thus far:

I'm going to try again, with a lace weight yarn and I think about #000 needles and see if I can come up with the right look. I've got a pretty good idea of how I'm going to knit the sweater, and the panties are pretty straightforward (knit in a strip with the lace edging on the right side, then two of the points are tacked together to make the crotch). The shoes and socks are going to be more challenging with probably some short row shaping involved.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Babies Babies Babies

My darling nieces and nephews are turning out baby girls at an alarming rate! However, this fecundity among the next generation is a knitting opportunity for Auntie "Lowdie". But thanks to Pam & Josh, Megan & Ryan, and Lis & Kip, I've been turning out girly stuff like mad! Here are some pictures of the latest projects off the needles:

For baby Hadley I knit the Crazy Daisy Hat from Debby Ware. Fun to knit, easy project and a pretty wild hat! Hads is still reeling from having to pose in the Ducky All-In-One I knit for her, so all I ask is that she pose for a picture for Lowdie, then she never has to wear it in public.

For baby Maddie, I have two little gifties. For her toes, a pair of angora bunny booties (I got this darling kit from Spin a Yarn in Edmonds Washington), and for dressing up, a wrap sweater in Organic Cotton yarn and the pattern from "Natural Knits for Babies and Kids" by Louisa Harding (a wonderful book, I've knit 3 things from it, a new record for me. Usually I just look at the pretty pictures and never knit anything from books) Must find some super cute buttons and then it's officially a done deal.

"The Guys" We don't want no stinkin' pink stuff, we want superhero capes & dinosaurs!

Since my little friends Riveria, Alex, Liam and Michael scorn anything pink, ruffly or in any way girly, I've been deprived of 'fluthery' knitting for a while.

What's A Fluther?

I've been thrashing around trying to come up with a clever name for my blog...and this is as clever as I'm going to get. Ray on the Knitlist asked what to call a collective group of knitters, which led me to (what else) Wikipedia to look at collective nouns. This had actually come up on my road trip from Virginia to Spokane a couple of weeks ago with daughter and fellow road tripper Katie, who wondered how 'a murder of crows' was created (no real answer on Wiki but a good question)

Anyways, I found some fun collective nouns that I thought worked well with knitting. My fave was "A fluther of jellyfish". Somehow a fluther sounds to me like lace knitting, Miss Marple, the way I behave when I can't find my needles, tape measure, project instructions, etc. All of which happen with great regularity.

Hence, this blog has the name "A Fluther of Knitting"