Monday, July 31, 2006

The Best I Ever Had

Picture heavy post! You have been warned.

Following are the details of my weekend and it was oh, so good. We started off Friday night and had the long drive up into Michigan. The weather was, well, warm and the drive was pleasant. After we checked in and had a good night's sleep it was time for me to judge rabbits. The Monroe, MI fair was nice, if a little muggy. I was finished judging at a decent hour and we made our way to Dundee, MI. What's in Dundee you ask? This statue for one.

You know, the statue. The one outside of Cabela's.

It was cool. I don't like to hunt. I don't like hunting. I'm not usually impressed by taxidermically stuffed animals. This was flat out awesome. For a person who really doesn't enjoy the killing of small defenseless animals, I'm ashamed to say that I actually liked Cabela's. ( I would like to note that they do help with wildlife conservation and education.)

I did get a picture of something very important as well. Yep, that little guy sitting in front of the statue, that's Will.

After Cabela's we headed up to Ann Arbor and checked into our hotel. Will took a nap while I spoiled myself with some knitting. I dressed up (yep, I even wore a skirt). I shaved my legs, (like actually paid attention and tried to shave my knees and everything). We ate at this great little restaurant called Carson's.

I had the pecan chicken and almost lost it when the girl asked me if I wanted the "pea-can" chicken. Hee hee hee. I say it a little bit differently. Will was even kind enough to let me take his picture.

We had a nice evening and I amused myself by knitting and watching the CBC. Canadian sketch comedy, it kills me. ( I will admit to a slight obsession with the "Kids in the Hall." Comedy Central used to play reruns of the show and I watched it obsessively. I love Dave Foley in drag. )

We slept late as I stayed up knitting a little too long the night before, had a lazy lunch, and then headed downtown. We wandered through a cute little art fair where I purchased some red raspberry/blackberry syrup from Kern Road Farm. I also found a little Christmas present for Will.

We wandered by the fire department as Will is a volunteer firefighter at home and he has to check out everyone else's equipment. The firefighters were on a fire run so I was spared having to go into the station and chit chat.

I convinced him that it was time to go wait for the Harlot and we made for the library. We were among the first people there to see Stephanie. I met some great knitters like Rebecca (sorry if I misspelled your name!). See her pretty hat. You guessed right if you thought she knit it. It's a pattern from Meg Swansen's a Gathering of Lace.

Here are some other knitters playing with Rebecca's Shawl, also knit from Meg Swansen's a Gathering of Lace.

There were a lot of knitters there, I'm confident in saying at least 200. There were so many people that they had to divert some to an overflow room on the fourth floor where they could watch via television.

These two lovely ladies are Mouse and Amanda. They both made Snowdrop Shawls from the Harlot's pattern. Beautiful aren't they?

We were all busy knitting as we waited for Stephanie to appear. She was prompt and although there was a little technical difficulty, she was absolutely rolling in the aisles, clicking my needles together, trying to NOT pee my pants, funny. She was so captivating I found that I couldn't keep knitting, I had to stop and listen. I whole heartedly enjoyed her talk and so did Will. The best part of her talk was the question and answer session at the end. There was a knitter there named Dana whose husband/boyfriend (can't exactly remember) had taken away her camera so that she couldn't knit blog! Can you believe the audacity? Have no fear, Stephanie started a petition and had every knitter in the room sign it. Dana will get her camera back. (Fiance, even worse!)

Your little Knitter Bunny waited in a very long line just to get the Harlot's autograph. I felt well rewarded though. She was warm, funny, courteous, generous, sweet (and tangy), funny, witty, and so many more things I can't even think of. Even the infamous Rams was there. I felt blessed earlier this year when she emailed me, I about fainted when I got to see her in person. Rams and Harlot, Rams and Harlot, I've died and gone to heaven.

That's me and the Harlot and our socks. I'm on cloud nine. Floating away now.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Gone, All Gone

Lost, kaput, disappeared into thin air. All of my hard work on the newsletter down the drain.

I'm the editor for our State rabbit club newsletter and I knew it needed to be to the printer by last Monday. I got it in on time, barely, but didn't make a back up. Yea, that's right, I didn't make a back up.

The file corrupted. It's gone. All gone. I have all of the parts to put it back together, but the finished work is gone. Now I have to get it finished by next Monday to go out. I'm so stressed. There went my nice relaxing weekend. I'm still going to Michigan, and judging rabbits, and eating out with Will, and meeting the Harlot, but I won't be knitting all weekend and relaxing like I had planned. I'm pissed.

These make me feel better.

I'm going to go nurse my head cold and try to regain my sanity.

Update: I am leaving tonight and will not return until late Sunday. I promise to post on Monday night, but will not get a chance to post tonight or Sunday unless I can arrange it from the hotel room. It will be the first time I haven't posted on a Friday or Sunday since I started the blog in May. Thank you for your support and comments as I attempt to recreate the newsletter and still see the Beloved Yarn Harlot. **Hugs**

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I'm sitting in my chair slowly rocking as I type this. The yarn is calling to me from the corner. "Kelli. Kelli. You know you want to knit us. Just one more dish raggy, Kelli. You can make just one more raggy tonight." I'm trying very hard to resist. The sweet caress of bright cottons is luring me into never ending raggy splendor. I want to walk down that cotton boll path and revel in the happy instant gratification of raggies forever. Ah, temptation.

I may have given into it slightly. I mean three dish rags in three days isn't so bad, is it? I'm not that addicted, I could stop slow down any time I want to.

Dish rags aren't the only thing on my mind though. I bought some lovely yarn, 8 oz., 500 yds. of merino in a hand dyed colorway called "Duck Season." I'm going to knit something for Will. I don't know what yet, but as my duckie shooting fiance tends to get cold sitting in his cornstalk covered duck blind waiting on ducks in November, it will need to be warm. (Note, I'm not really fond of this hobby, but I try to keep my mouth shut and Will warm.)

There are also four skeins of sock yarn in this picture. Um, well, I bought more sock yarn. I'll confess. Send me your three-ply, your four-ply, your tired sock yarn yearning to be knit.

What better companion to your knitting time than a sweet little kitty? How about five sweet little kitties?

We have Black Boy and Black and White Boy.

Black and White Girl, Black and White Boy, Black Girl (hiding in the bachelor buttons) and Fluffy Girl. (Yes, I know there are two fluffy ones. I generally call them Black Fluffy and Fluffy Girl. Not really original, but I want the new owners to name them.)

These sweeties will be up for adoption (through me) starting Aug. 6. I'm hoping to find really good homes for most of them, but I would be up for keeping one. I'm having Dottie spayed so there will be no more kitties born. I love her kittens, but I whole heartedly believe Bob Barker. (I was a shameless Price Is Right junkie at one point.) "Have your pets spayed or neutered."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Glorious Day

The drive was beautiful, the show was different, the kids were eager to learn. All in all, I would give this day an A.

I have another dish rag on the needles. They are addicting I must say, and the fact that I bought a whole lot of cotton Sugar n Cream does make me want to whip up a couple dozen. Christmas presents here I come!

I took my raggy with me but didn't have any time to work on it today. I luxuriated in the luscious green growth in southern Indiana.

I also learned that I won't be judging really late on Saturday so Will and I will get to have a nice dinner in Ann Arbor and a nice lunch the next day before I get to see the Yarn Harlot. I'm really looking forward to this weekend because our five year anniversary is today and this weekend will be sort of an anniversary trip. We're staying in a hotel and having dinner and maybe we'll see a movie and I'm just really looking forward to it.

More knitting content and kitten pictures tomorrow.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I didn't forget.

July is the color purple for project spectrum. I just had a few other things to finish first. You know, all of those fair projects that are due Friday. :)

Tonight I sat down and made a great little dish rag. It was the perfect companion for a good movie. In Shining Through Meg Ryan plays a spy who infiltrates a Nazi household. It was a little unbelievable at times, but the love story made up for it.

Here we behold, my first dish rag. So, I made one mistake. Eh, I can live with it. I have a lot of yarn. I can make soooooo many more.

Kristin of Needlefingers my ever so helpful Enabler, set me on the trail of some interchangeable wooden knitting needles. I dutifully viewed them, reviewed them, checked them out again, and then I bought them.

They even came in a purple case. Not my first choice, I liked the blue and green, but it was on back order and I wanted my needles, so we have the second choice, pretty purple.

Needless to say, I tried my needles tonight. Lightweight, good length, nice finish, good join. I think they would be better with more cable options. They also screw on as opposed to my Denise needles which you lock with a quarter turn onto the cable. They are definitely secure, but it does take more time to take them off. I think they might be better with a shorter screw, but I like the tight threading. It will take me a little more time to decide which set I like better, but these are definitely keepers.

I may be late tomorrow night as well as I'm judging down in Daviess county. You know almost in Kentucky? Have a great day tomorrow!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Right on Track

Project Status:
1. Knitted Shawl-Done! Triangles Within Triangles Shawl
2. Knitted Accessory- Done! Here There Be Dragons Socks
3. Single Ply Yarn-Done! Ile De France/Dorset Cross 296 yds. of lace weight
4. Plied Yarn- Done! Tussah Silk in Yellow, Orange, and Red 124 yds. 2-ply sport weight
5. Knitted Handspun- Done! Knitted Knucks (without embroidery for Fair)

I am done. Shout it from the roof tops. I am done. Twist set, yarn dried, lace blocked, ends woven in. I am done. Now I have five days to make it presentable before I turn it in. lol

Pictures for your viewing pleasure. :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Ah, Spinning Nirvana

This sense of peace is accomplished when spinning silk. I have only recently discovered how happy I am when spinning. (Well, that's not entirely true, I knew I was happy before, BUT I never made time for it.) Hence forth one day a week I am going to spin. Maybe only a few yards, maybe an entire 8 oz. bump, but I am going to spin. I am also going to save up for a lace flyer, a woolee winder, and a second wheel.

I promise sock pictures on Sunday.

I'll leave you with this: Firestar Silk Roving Singles. I'm plying this for my fair entry. A pretty hat you say? My thoughts exactly. Cheerios! (Wait, that's not right.) Bye!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Makin' the yarn is makin' me happy

Woohoo! 290 yards of pretty reds in a slightly heavier than lace weight yarn. I still have a good hunk of my eight ounces left too, so I will be making more of this after State Fair. I just need to set the twist on this. Now I can start my two-ply in the pretty fire orange and red silk. Or maybe I'll make the two-ply out of the blue and green soy silk. I'll let you know soon.

I'm going to go work on my socks now. I promise that I will start doing my proper posts after I get my projects done.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My Wheel is Home!

I have an Ashford Traveller and I let a friend borrow it for part of the summer while I focused on my knitting. I was getting a bit worried though as I was running out of time to finish my entries for the State Fair. Tonight I picked up my wheel and set about creating some single ply Ile de France/Dorset cross fingering weight yarn. I'm thinking a great lacy scarf out of this.

Now I just have to get this finished and move on to the two-ply.

The flower from yesterday was a clematis.

Now for kitten pictures! Once again the kittens have a look of terror in their eyes. Its the flash people, I am not terrorizing the sweet little fluffies. They are quite happy to play with me, they just aren't very impressed with camera.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Anwers and More Questions

The socks are "Here There Be Dragons" pattern by the Keyboard Biologist. I first saw the pattern on Claudia's Blog. I love the pattern. I'm hooked. It is easy for me, but keeps my attention. If you're interested, pop over to the Keyboard Biologist and get yourself a fun sock pattern. I am going to be making this again.

I have a pretty little flower blooming. It makes me happy. Do you know what kind of flower it is? Answer tomorrow along with kitten pictures, because Wednesdays are for kitten pictures (At least until they are too old to be absolutely adorable. Then I may have to resort to Dutch baby Wednesdays.)

Monday, July 17, 2006

What have we here?

Beginnings of a sock, but what kind of sock? What pattern am I using? I'll give you a hint, it's a knit blogger pattern and I fell in love with it on one of the blogs that I link to. However, the pattern was not created by one of the bloggers that I link to. Answer tomorrow.

The yarn is the Mossy Frog yarn from my trip to Michigan. It's Sleeping Dragon Yarns, 440 yds, 100% merino wool. I love how its knitting up.

Short post, gotta go to bed. I have to be up at 5:30 in the morning. Ugh! I hate getting up.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Oh, This Heat Is Killing Me

Usually I try to avoid talking about the weather, but I've spent the last three days in a game of ping pong between home, my parents, and the places I've been judging. The heat is stifling with the humidity. I'm miserable, the rabbits are miserable, and Dot is miserable. That's enough whining, you're here for the knitting.

I have the knucks done except for the embroidery. I need to buy the thread first. I'm trying to decide between putting an antler on each glove and putting "BUCK SHOT" across the knuckles as they are to be hunting gloves. I modified the pattern a bit and decreased sharply along the edge. I was using the 48 stitch size with the correct gauge. Brett needed the larger finger, but a slimmer palm, so I took it down 8 stitches and shaped the bottom of the palm more. I also used a K2P2 edging. Nothing like taking the pattern and "fixing it." lol

I've also decided to spin the silk or the soy silk with the intent of making a hat. Perhaps Grumperina's Odessa. I love the look, but without the beads for the two yarns that I have.

In other knitting news, I've started a new pair of socks. I'll post more later after I've had time to work on them.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Eep! Need Help! Creativity low, must have chocolate.

The next few days are very busy. I have WAY too much to do and not enough time. I'm prioritizing. Immediate things: animals, work, grad essay, and judging obligations. Can be finagled things: knitting, spinning, and any "me time."

Needle Arts Things to Complete by July 28.
1. Shawl- done
2. Knucks- in progress
3. Knitted Accessory-uh, nope, not even an idea
4. Single Ply- day's end roving ( I also need an end purpose for this, I have no idea yet)
Amount spun: none
5. Two or More Plies- two choices silk or soy silk ( I also need an end purpose for this, I have no idea yet)
Amount spun: none

Help welcomed at this point.
Pictures will be sketchy until further notice.
People, we are in Flaming Silk on the Coffee Table Alert Here!

PS Kristin of Needlefingers, you are SO an enabler.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


I know that a lot of knitters are averse to double pointed needles. They don’t like the fact that your work can slip off of either end and you can lose a stitch or need to frog the project. The solution to stitches slipping off of the needles is to use point protectors or a small case to hold your knitting, but finding those things when you need them can be a hassle. There are advocates of straights and circulars, bone, wooden, metal, and plastic. One brand with pointy tips and another with blunt tips. Certain needles that work wonderfully for a sleeve, but are horrid for a sock.

I’m not saying that you have to like double pointed needles, but I think that it is important to try different needles. I’ve tried straights and found that straights are not the most comfortable needle for me. I hold my hands close to my chest and off of my lap when I knit, so having straights is hard on my wrists. My roommate likes the straights because she can set one needle end on her belly and knit off of the tip using her torso to support it. I think she looks like a circus acrobat, but that’s just my opinion.

I do use circulars for most of my projects. I truly prefer my Denise knitting needles and find that I have very few problems with the needles coming loose from the cable or with losing my work off of the tips. I know that they are plastic, that the cable has some “memory” to it and that many people find them useful only in a travel situation, but they work for me. Metal needles grate me, I find the constant metal click irritating and the feel of them bothers my hands. Truthfully, my preference is wood, but finding an interchangeable wooden needle set? I don’t know if they are out there, but if they are I want to try them.

This brings me back to my double points. My first set of double points were metal, blue and red Boye needles for a sock. I hated them. They were a pain for me to use, the colors bothered me, and I had trouble with them “splitting” the sock yarn that I was using. I finally got tired of fighting the needles after frogging my first socks twice and gave up on socks for the time being.

It was after I discovered my local yarn shop, River Knits, that I stumbled upon the Clover Bamboo needles. I was skeptical at first as my past experience with double points (read the nasty metal DPNs) had left me with a bad taste in my mouth, but I decided to try them. They were perfect for me. I knit with them and my work just flew. I was in love and over the course of a few months bought a set in every DPN size I could find .*

I use them constantly. Between my Clover DPNs and my Denise knitting needle set, I can contantly have a project on the needles. I love how the wood feels in my hands, how my yarns will glide when needed, but “stick” when I need a little more tension. I love using the DPNs on socks and gloves especially. I know that DPNs are not for everyone. I know they look scary and intimidating ( I love using DPN’s on campus. Grin.), but they work really well for me.

Now, if only there was some way for me to convince Will that knitting with DPNs in bed is not dangerous to his health or my own, even if he did find a set under my pillow.

* I should also mention that I may or may not knit like most knitters who use DPNs. You see, I was teaching myself how to use DPNs and I wasn’t exactly following a book, I just thought, “I can make this work,” and jumped right in. So when it came time to switch needles, I would slip the last stitch that I had worked onto the new needle and then start knitting from the next. My theory was that it made the knitting more even, so I would use several stitch markers to track the various parts of the gussets and toe, and go from there. It was as I was reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s latest book that I realized that most knitters just start knitting with the new needle and don’t slip a worked stitch. I had one of those amazing “OMG!” moments and just sat, stunned. I use both methods now. One for the leg and one for the foot. They both work.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Kitten Wednesday!

Pictures of the kittens! They aren't very happy to stay still for a group picture, so I had to take pictures of them when I could.

This one is a fluffy girl.

These are the two boys.

These are the fluffy girls, the black and white one is the same one as in the top picture.

This is the black and white short haired girl.

I promised that I would tell you about the package that came in the mail yesterday. It's a fleece. A lamb fleece. A Cormo lamb fleece. It is so pretty, still in the grease, but oh the fine sproingy crimp. I have 3.6 unwashed pounds. I don't have a clue what I'm going to make with this. None whatsoever. I just knew that I wanted it and I bought it.

Any ideas what I should spin it for?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I'm goin' to see the Harlot!

I booked my room and I am going to go see the Yarn Harlot in Ann Arbor! Woopee! I'm so excited I could pee my pants. It's a little more than I wanted to spend, but this might be my only chance to see her as the likelihood of her coming to Indiana is slim to none. It's sad, but I think of it as a dream come true.

The kittens are growing and rolling around on the floor. I laugh every time I see them. They even ventured out of the bunny barn tonight. Usually they would stop with their toes on the door jamb and they wouldn't put even a whisker beyond the opening. Now they are skipping back and forth across the door jamb and hiding in the bachelor buttons by the step. I was even "attacked" by the little black and white boy. He hooked a nail into my pant leg and hung on for the (albeit short) ride.

I have no projects on my needles as of 9:10 last night. None. I have not had a project on needles for almost 24 hours, may this day go down in history as I am about to cast on. :)

More on the package that arrived when I post tomorrow.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Good Witch Prevails

Though there was copious black magic being cast by this pair of fiendish dog magi, I managed to avoid their combined "tug" attacks to complete my shawl o' the triangles. It was a heated battle at times as they sent the spells of laughter to plague my counting and cause me to curse copiously.

They were aided by a dark lady of the night who seemed so innocent, and yet could wreak havoc upon the most noble of yarns. With frightful yowls of "hunger" she set her eyes on the delicate magic in my hands, coyly pretending to want to be "petted" when in truth she wanted to destroy the spell in my fingers.

Yet in the end the ingenuity of the yarn allowed me to avoid their soulful eyes begging me to fall into the trap of never ending petting, grooming, ball throwing, belly rubbing, and treats.

Behold the magic of blocking!

Your clever Good Witch will leave you with this image as she confronts the sandman in the continuous battle for "just one more row."

Many thanks to Monica for assisting me in the blocking of the shawl. The lady of the night portrayed by Zoie, the fiendish dog magi portrayed by Beau and Sadie, and your Good Witch, of course, your humble Knitter Bunny. ;)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Edging and Binding Off are sooooo much fun

I love this bind off in the edging business. I don't even have to worry about binding off after I finish the edging or attaching an edging after I knit it. This is heaven. I still have a ways to go, but I am excited to be close to the end. I should have it edged by tomorrow night. Please forgive the dark picture, it was later this evening when I took it.

I can't wait to block this baby and see what it really looks like.

The kittens are growing and starting to follow me around the bunny barn. I feel like the momma duck with all of the little ducks waddling along behind. Dot even brought the kittens a mouse to play with. It was somewhat macabre watching them bat the dead mouse around, but I look forward to them catching mice when they are older. No little mousies to scare Kelli in the barn!

I'm itching to cast on a new project. Namely some "knucks" from the new issue of Knitty in my handspun leftovers from the Project Spectrum shawl. I'm also working on getting the kinks out of a pattern for some gloves for my brother. I'll keep you updated as I finish my design elements in the next few weeks.

Hop on, amigos.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Bunnies, and Kitties, and uh, that's all

The dogs have been playing "tug" with each other, every night. It's very amusing, but not conducive to knitting.

Look! Kitten picture!

Look! Bunny picture!

Knitting? What knitting? I don't know about any knitting. ;)

We will return the regularly scheduled Knitter Bunny programming this weekend. I desperately need to work on the Fair projects and I have a pattern cooking. I've never created a pattern, but I've been ruminating and I'm close to having the kinks worked out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Fast post tonight. Kitty pictures abound. I am still working on the triangles shawl and have 155 rows done. I know, not much progress.

Melissa, thanks for the heads up. I'll check the feet of the two guys I'm making socks for out of the yarn I posted. I'm only making three pairs of mens socks total. I know that I'll need a third ball for Will, he has size 12 EEE feet (almost basketball star sized).

Did I mention that I have more zucchini? MMMMM, zu-cchi-ni.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Who says Fair Isle? I do!

Yes, I bought yarn from knit picks to do a very simple Checks and Charms hat and mittens, I'm calling beginner fair isle. I'm thinking of it as a little something to get my feet wet before I try a larger project. It will not be knit for a few days maybe a few weeks.

I also purchased some sock yarn to make Christmas presents. Christmas presents you say? It's only July. You are my witness, I am going to make Christmas presents early.
I'm steadily working on my Triangles shawl. I'm at row 151 as of this post, only 41 rows and the edging to go. Um, did I mention that I entered a few other categories for the Fair and um, I don't have any of the projects done yet? He he, oops.

To distract you from the lack of knitting material, Kitten pictures! We have one black short haired boy, one black long haired girl, one black and white short haired boy, one black and white short haired girl, and one black and white long haired girl. I am going to start giving them away in early August. I think that I have a home for one of the black and white kittens. Only four more lovelies to find good homes for! More kitten pictures tomorrow.