Saturday, December 30, 2006


So I was looking at Kelly's blog and she listed everything that she had knitted in 2006. I started thinking to myself about all of the things that I've knitted this year and I got out my knitting journals. (I use big 3-ring binders.) I started listing out everything that I've made, and it's, um, a lot.

Cat Toys-17
Pairs of Socks-12
Baby Sweaters-4
Teddy Bears-4
Mantle Runners-1
Christmas Stockings-1
Felted Bags-1
Dog Blankies-1

That would be 88 knitted things this year. I think I may be a bit obsessed. My goal for 2007 is to knit more large items, and fewer small items. I think that will cut down on the total number of items and hopefully I'll feel more accomplished after tackling the larger items.

This has been a year of great growth for me in my knitting and I look forward to learning intarsia this coming year, as well as continuing to expand my knowledge. Thanks for coming along with me for the ride this year. I treasure all of the fun we've had since I started this blog in May.

I won't be blogging much in the next few days. I've been treating rabbits and have a lot to do before I gear up for classes next semester. See you in 2007.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

What's This? More socks?

Why, yes it is. Spunky Eclectic "Toronto Stipes" Superwash Wool/Nylon blend, 500 yds. These socks are for me. :) Knit on US 1 Brittany birch DPNs. I used a short row heel and only 60 stitches for my size 9 feet. I was surprised that they fit so well, I've been using several more stitches than that (apparently I think my feet are HUGE) and this has caused my last few socks to be a little, shall we say, big. These turned out very nicely though, don't you think?

My Christmas was nice and while I didn't get many fiber related gifts items, the B&N gift cards were quite nice and put to good use today. My latest acquisition is Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis. I love the name Fiona. I had a pretty goat named Fiona once too. :) But, back to the book, there appear to be some real gems in this book, I've been eyeing it for weeks and finally purchased it. We'll see if there is a cabled something in my future. lol

After having a lovely weekend with Will, and a nice Christmas with my family, I was a bit puzzled when I pulled into the driveway to see a box sitting on my doorstep. Silly Kelli! It was my Sundara sock yarn club package. And is it ever gorgeous! Look at how beautiful this is and I can't believe that she was still able to get the club packages out on time after the storm and everything. I can't wait to knit this, but it will likely go on the back burner until I can get my queue ready again. I'm running short of planned projects!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas! Or Happy Holidays!

I know that many of you will be reading this after Christmas and I hope that yours was merry and bright. Or if you don't celebrate Christmas, then I hope that any holiday gathering you attended was joyous.
Tonight I finished the first of what I hope to be four Christmas stockings. One for Will, one for me, one for Beau, and one just in case I need a forth (like for Stash and Hook). It's my own design, but fairly basic. I did make it out of Pakucho cotton (the naturally colored kind), so I expect it to stretch some when it is hanging. I just love the feel and overall look of this though, so it should make up for the stretching. :)

I love the colors on this. The green is greener and the brown is darker than in the picture, but I just had to share. I hope that the sharing you did with your friends and relatives was pleasant and cheerful. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Chocolate Mint Moose Cookies

My gift to all of my bloggy friends this Christmas, is my special Chocolate Mint Moose Cookies. I whipped up this recipe a few weeks ago when I was searching for a cookie recipe to use that had chocolate, but not chocolate chips. That is a very hard thing to find, so I made up my own recipe.
Chocolate Mint Moose Cookies:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. (You may need to increase the temperature to 375 at higher elevations.)

1/2 cup room temperature butter
1/2 cup sugar

Beat together.

1 cup flour
1 egg


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons coacoa powder

Mix well. The dough should be somewhat sticky at this point and not satiny. A little shine is ok, but you should be able to touch the doe without it sticking to your finger like cake batter. If it is too sticky add a tablespoon or two of flour to make it more like dough.

1/2 bag of Andes mint chips
OPTIONAL: approx. 1/4 bag of chopped walnuts or nut of choice

Mix coarsely. Drop by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. The cookies should be somewhat dome shaped and will flatten out slightly.

My cookies were made with pecans tonight and I didn't put in quite enough flour, plus I had a bit too much oil in tonight, so my cookies flattened out. I think that they taste best when they've cooled to room temperature. :)

Happy Holidays all!

Friday, December 22, 2006

To Float or Not to Float, That is a Silly Question

Well, I finished the hat this morning, and decided not to embark on the mittens just yet. I want to finish the simple lace scarf that I'm making first and then I'll cast on another project. Here's a very bad picture of the hat.

And the obligatory hat guts. I discovered that in several places on this hat, I switched the top and bottom yarn, but it took me until I was into the dots to find a way to comfortably hold and use both colors at one time. What I finally had to do was tension one yarn with my pinky like I usually do, and the other with my ring finger. I finally had a good system going by the time I finished the hat, so the mittens should be much easier. I also switched the colors that I originally planned to use and I like the results a lot more. As we are getting much closer to Christmas, I thought that I would let you in on what my baking plans are for the next few days. Tomorrow I plan to make gingerbread cookies and Chocolate Mint Moose Cookies (which if I actually make them, I promise to photograph and share the recipe). Then late tomorrow night, I'm going to make cinnamon rolls from scratch which I have never done before, but should be great fun. Sunday morning the rolls will pop into the oven and we'll dine on yummy icing and cinnamon goodness. My backup plan in case the rolls don't come out well is homemade biscuits and gravy (one of Will's favorites). And I'm going to knit, knit, knit.

I don't often share the news of what is happening in the bunny herd as generally they are healthy and normal. Sadly some of my bunnies are sick right now and I'm fighting what appears to be pasteurella in the herd, this is resulting in the quick culling of some of my favorite animals which makes me very sad. In order to save the many though, I am having to cull a few. This does not make for a very merry Christmas and I hope to have better news by the first of the year. Keep my bunnies in your thoughts, please, and wish them healthy so that I can keep as many as possible.

Your Knitter Bunny.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It's Beginning to . . . Well, It's Still Raining

I'm lucky too, because I would have been snowed into the house, if it was colder here. The weather man said that we would have had about two feet of snow with drifting if it wasn't so warm. Instead we've had two days of constant drizzle, drip, pitter pat rain.

I've made progress on the Checks and Charms hat that I was discussing yesterday, but I'm not quite ready to show it to you. I promise hat guts so you can see how I improved over the course of the hat. :)

I also received my Loopy Ewe package today. How awesome is that? A three day turn around from order to delivery! And, oh! The yarn that I bought. What? You want to see what I bought? Um, well, I sort of stuffed my stocking already, but I thought you might like a shot of Christmas at the Bunny Ranch instead.

My little Christmas display and a sneak peak at what I bought. ;) And before I forget, bring on the light! Reflective and Merry Solstice to you all.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Making Floats

Last night I embarked on a journey involving stranded knitting and the Checks and Charms Hat and Mitten set from Knit Picks. If you recall, I bought this kit back in July after I made an announcement in June that I was going to learn how to cable, knit fair isle, and knit intarsia by New Year's Day.

I've managed to cable and mom's ornament was a small stranded exercise, so I decided that one of my next projects should be the Checks and Charms set. This is what I worked up last night. I like it, but I don't think that the green shows up very well with the light purple. So what I thought about doing was switching the light purple and the green. Any thoughts?

I'm worried that the same combination will create the same problem only reversed. This is my first sort-of-like-a-fair-isle project, and I'm not very practiced at putting colors together. I picked out these five as I thought that the resulting colors would look nice together, but I'm worried that the hues are too similar between the green and the light purple to have good contrast.

Harkening back to my list (ha! I love to use that word), I've completed two of the three tasks that I set for myself, but I still haven't tried/learned intarsia. I have an idea though. A really big idea, since I haven't tried any kind of intarsia. I want to design a Dutch bunny pillow. I'm thinking a purple-blue (something a bit more blue hued than lilac) background with a black and white Dutch rabbit. This involves finding good yarn with the colors that I'm looking for and my dear friends, this is where I need your help.

I'm not as concerned about yarn weight although something a bit heavier than sock yarn but not thicker than a worsted weight yarn is what I think I want. However, I want a wool yarn that I can find in a good black and a nice ivory-cream colored white that will have good definition when I create my intarsia pattern. I'm willing to negotiate my idea for the background color, so I'm really more concerned about the other two. I even thought about using naturally colored wools for the black and white, but I worried about finding a yarn for the background color. Ideas are greatly appreciated at this point.

I know that I won't make my goal of learning intarsia by New Year's Day, but I would like to learn it soon so that I can enter my Dutch pillow at the National Dutch Show Arts and Crafts competition at the end of April. Hugs to you all for your help. :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

History and the Present

Today as I was popping around some of my favorite websites I somehow stumbled on to this book. It looked promising as I love to read about history and what's better than learning about history directly pertaining to a hobby you have?

In searching Amazon and looking for other books that might pique my interest, I linked to this book, by the same author. Prehistoric textiles? Sounds neat. I think to myself "Wow, I want to read these books. I'm cheap and I don't want to buy them. Drat, what am I going to do?" Then it hits me, I'm at Purdue University. I'm on a campus with thousands of books, and at least ten separate libraries. Somewhere on this campus, I bet they have the books I want to read.

So off I go to the Purdue Libraries homepage and lo and behold, there are the books I want! Being an impatient person, I hightailed it to the library where I got a little lost, but a kind knitting reference librarian (she was making the nautilus from Knitty btw) directed me upstairs.

Off I went on my merry way where I found both of the books that I wanted and promptly parked my butt on the floor to look at the books around them. Oh, the delights, the treasures, the titles! A History of Lace! Tapestries! Andean Textiles! This little Knitter Bunny nearly passed out from the thought of all of the fiber, however I persevered and perused the books until one more title caught my attention. Who could resist a book titled The Lost Tapestries of the City of Ladies: Christine de Pizan's Rennaissance Legacy?

Now, I am a merry bunny today, and I may have been smiling a bit goofily as I filed past rows of books that tantalize me even as I write this. I was tempted by books on myths and legends, folklore and fairy tales, mermaids and vampires, but I kept to my original intent and checked out my three books that related to fiber.

Which leads me to this posting, where as I'm writing I'm contemplating the origins of these crafts that I am so new to. I imagine small children learning to spin and knit and weave to clothe the family. Countless women toiling over stitching so small it takes bright light and a good magnifying glass to see, and the emotional outpouring that would have gone into the finest pieces that we still see today. In addition to this, I wonder about the common cloth and knitting. The child's doll made from leftover bits of wool that we will never see and socks that were worn until there is nothing left.

The thought of those pieces of love and devotion touch me in a way that I never comprehended before learning to spin, knit, and weave. It makes me think, ponder, and question what we have come to know and how many millions of people learned these same crafts, generation after generation passing down the techniques without benefit of paper and pen.

Changing tracks, I want to mention my FO's. Two catnip mice finished. Sadly, Hook will have to wait until I have some more manly yarn to get a mouse. I'm sure that Stash will share.

And, I ordered yarn from the Loopy Ewe today. Not only was ordering easy and efficient, my order was processed today. Probably even shipped today. I'm shocked, delighted, excited, and amazed at how quickly my yarn will get here. If it makes it here by Christmas (OMG, I might get it by Christmas!) I'm going to stuff my stocking with it. What? You want to know what I bought? Too bad, you'll have to wait until it arrives. ;)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Drat, I avoided memes for so long

First “THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.” -unashamedly stolen from Julie's blog aka "the tagger."

So six weird things about me:
1. I do not like my food to touch. At all. As in, keep your little juicy green beans away from my mashed potatoes. No, don't leak, don't leak, aw damn it! Now I have to build a little wall of food (that I will not eat because it has combined two food servings) to keep the two foods apart. Yes, I know this is a problem, but it is my problem and damn it I will embrace my problems. (No, I am not changing.)

2. I like warm pop. As in at least room temperature.

3. I do not like ice in things (hence, the warm pop), but I love to eat ice. Beau and I have been known to share a bowl of ice on hot summer days (and cold winter ones.)

4. I like a grilled peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich better than a plain one. I like the ooey-gooey peanut butter all melted into the jelly. And it has to be strawberry jelly. I like to try other jellies, but I can't bring myself to eat them with my peanut butter.

5. I like plain socks. No tricks, no fancy schmany patterns, just plain socks. I find them soothing to knit. I don't find them boring either. I could knit all of my socks plain for the next year, and not get tired of plain socks. Having written that, it does not mean that I will knit only plain socks for the next year, you never know what will strike your fancy. :)

6. I name every one of the rabbits that I keep. Every last rabbit that has lived long enough to produce babies or be shown in my herd has a name. I have named a thousand or more animals over the years. As a result, I have resorted to baby name books, movies, and friends for name ideas. In fact two of the bunnies most recently named are named for bloggers Aija (a sweet blue doe) and Dixie (her black sister) are named for the bloggers that I linked to.

As for the second part of this meme, I'm not going to tag 6 bloggers. I'm only going to tag one. Cynthia, you're it! HA HA HA HA HA. Anything to sneak a post out of you. ;)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Puppies, Itty Bitty Socks, and a Contest Winner

So Saturday, Will and I went up to see the Brittany puppies that Mike and Mary Ann had for sale. They were born November 4 (two days after my birthday) and I had been waiting for weeks to go see the little puff balls.

The puppies are so cute. I want to snuggle up with all of them. Only they'd poop and pee all over, I know.
I took some great pix of the little cutie-pies. There are five females and four males. Will picked out a little male. I didn't get a shot of the two of them together, but maybe for Christmas. :)

Aren't they sweet? I love the little female on the left side of the picture above. If I could have bought two, I would have picked her out for myself. Oops! I guess I took this bottom picture turned.

I also finished a great little mini project. Thank you Kelly! I love this little mini sock blocker keychain. I had enough Koigu leftover from my socks to make a mini sock and I love the little thing dearly. It makes me think of giving tiny sock ornaments for Christmas. :) (Sorry that the picture is so fuzzy.)

On to the contest. I put everyone's name in a bowl and pulled out Ren! So Ren, send me your mailing address and I'll ship this sweet calendar off to you asap.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Tiny Projects

I cast on for Mike's hat on Tuesday night and finished it last night.

Yarn: Um, some Acrylic crap, but it will wash well
Needle: US 8 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Pattern: Um, kind of like Will's hat, I knit K2P2 ribbing for a while, then stockinette stitch for a while, and finally I worked out the decreases and voila! A hat!

Wednesday night I cast on for Mom's ornament and tonight I finished it up.

Yarn: It came in a kit.
Needle: US 3 Brittany birch DPNs
Pattern: Supplied by the kit
Mods: I used a US 3 instead of a US 5 because I liked the look better.

This was my first attempt at stranded knitting and I have to say it came out much better than I anticipated.

Now, I meant to post yesterday and talk about my kitty catnip toys that I knit up today for Zoie and Stash ( I still have to make one for Hook) and the lace scarf I'm planning with the leftover yarn from Grandma's shawl, but I got distracted. What could distract me?

Blockbuster. You can now take your mailed DVDs to Blockbuster and exchange EACH ONE for an instore rental. AND you get new DVDs mailed out quick-quick-like-a-bunny from your online Queue. So that's like a lot more DVDs a week than I used to get and um, I sort of watched movies last night and I kind of bought a few more (love that 4 for $20 deal) so I'm going to go watch movies and work on a scarf.

Progress tomorrow and don't forget to enter my wee contest. :) I love love love reading your holiday memories. :)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Oh, What Knitting I Have Finished!

First, we have the Grandma Shawl.

Yarns: Alpaca With a Twist Fino 100% Alpaca laceweight (yummy) and Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Mohair Wool
Needle: US 15 Denise Interchangeables
Pattern: Scribble Lace from Mason Dixon though you can find it elsewhere
Mods: None, shockingly

Second, a lovely hat for Will.

Yarn: Malabrigo 100 % Merino Wool in Autumn Forest
Needle: US 7 Clover DPNs
Pattern: Um, pattern? What pattern? I've knit some hats before, so I put some K2P2 ribbing in and some stockinette, and I worked out the decreases for the top.

Third, socks! Happy KPPPM socks made from the beautiful yarn that Kristi sent me.

Yarn: Koigu KPPPM 2 skeins 100% merino wool
Needles: US 1 Brittany birch DPNs
Pattern: Wendy Knits Generic Toe-Up socks slightly modified to fit my foot and a K3P3 ribbed cuff

My trip out to California was great. Smooth flights, good hotel, good shows, great people. I got to see my Jeannie and her family, and Scott. It was so relaxing for me. Plus, I got a lot of knitting done. A hat and socks people. In four days. With flights and traveling and judging and eating and talking and sleeping and I still managed a pair of socks and a hat. I'm ecstatic. Tonight is finishing night for some lingering projects like the glove that I started in October.

Then I have plans to start a hat for Mike and Mom's ornament, the last two things on my knit list for Christmas. I'll probably knit a couple of catnip mice for Zoie and Stash and Hook too, but those are so small I can knit them on Christmas if need be. :)

Don't forget to enter my contest by leaving me your favorite holiday memory. I'll be pulling a name on Saturday night or Sunday morning. You see, Saturday we're going to Cross Hart Farm to pick out a Brittany puppy for Will.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Off to Cali!

Hey Everyone! I'm off to California in just a few hours, so here's a little something to keep you busy.

Contest! Have A Holly Jolly . . . Um, Holiday?

Tell me a story, no really, a story about your favorite holiday memory. I'm not looking for Christmas or Kwanzaa or Channukah (sorry if I misspelled anything).** I'll pick the one that I like best (ok, I'm really going to pull names out of a hat) and you'll win a fabulous prize.

**Ok, so what I meant to say was, it doesn't have to be a December holiday. lol It could be any holiday. And since, I am such a mush-head, I'm going to leave the contest open until this Sat. at noon my time. That's 12pm EST. Sorry about the confusion. I blame the cold and the wool fumes.

Not bad eh? Have a great weekend!

P.S. I finished Grandma's Shawl before I left, so no need to take it with me. Pictures when I get back. Oh, and I started my first pair of toe-up socks last night. I'm excited to take them with me too. Pictures of these too when I get back. I'll see you all on Tuesday or Wednesday night.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Read Knitter Bunny and All I Got Was This Lousy Post

I have so many things that I want to post about, but I'm still having trouble organizing my thoughts. As a result, I am going to atempt a very Harlot list.

1. Stash had her surgery Monday and is doing fine. She will get her stitches out in about 10 days. I do wish that she would stop trying to climb into the attic in the bunny barn. I know she's going to pull a stitch if she keeps up those shenanigans.

2. I am two pages into my last real paper of the semester. I need to write two more pages and do my edits before I leave on Friday.

3. My nose is as bright as Rudolph's. No you are not getting a picture of it.

4. I may have invented a new cookie. I'm thinking of calling them "Chocolate Mint Moose Cookies." I may or may not let you know more later on. I may also be having them test baked by a few friends.

5. I have this sneaking suspicion that my wool fumes may have caused the mother-of-all-colds that has smacked my ass this week. I also suspect that I may still be experiencing wool fumes and as such may not be thinking quite right.

6. I am gearing up for California and trying to decide what knitting to take with me. Help. Please help. Take my knitting options away so that I MUST take Grandma's shawl with me. I have some of this Louisa Harding Kimono Angora . . .

7. Well, I thought that I had a seven. Oh wait, I do. No, no, I was wrong, I don't.

8. Oh, so, CygKnit had this really interesting post up that made me think about Christmas and holidays, and religions, and what it means to have those symbols. You should read it.

Um, that's all. More on the contest tomorrow or Friday.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mantle Pieces are LONG

I finished the matle piece for my office manager. It was a bit longer than I anticipated. It stretched all the way across mom's bed on the diagonal.

Yarn: Cascade Sierra 80% pima cotton, 20% wool

Pattern: My own. Green stripe is dot stitch, cream stripe is broken rib stitch, and the chocolatey brown stripe is seed stitch. I increased on the ends on every row to point it and decreased on the other side to match. :)

Needles: Denise Knitting Needles Interchangeable set, size 6 I think.

I think it came out quite well.

I'm feeling better today. I have one paper down and one to write. I'm flying out Friday and back on Monday for the bunny show. I've been in touch with my friends out there and I can't wait to see them. While I'm thinking about it, does anyone know where to find the FAA letter that allows knitting needles? I want to have a copy with me so that I can prove that I'm allowed to have them, just in case I'm asked.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Horrible, Icky, Yucky, No Good Day

I'm sick. Blechy sick. Fever, headache, sore throat, stuffy nose. I was working along so hard the last few weeks with school and work and I knew that I was getting sick, but I kept trying to avoid it. This morning it finally hit me.

Luckily, I am dropping down to half-time work until the start of the next semester. so I have Monday and Friday off. Which is great, because Friday I'm flying to Fresno, CA to judge rabbits all weekend.

I'm also nearly done with my classes. I have two more papers to write by Friday at 5 pm. The tylenol is finally starting to subdue my raging head, so I am going to attempt to write one of my papers today.

Stash, (remember my sweet little kitten?) will be 6 months old this week and as a result has an appointment with the Doctor tomorrow. We will not be having any little kitties sired by her brother. No incest in these kitties, thank you very much.

Now, as luck would have it, I have a little gift for you all for the holdiays. While I'm gone I will be running a contest. The contest winner will get a very nice prize. I'll tell you more about that before I leave.

As I'm having a little trouble organizing my thoughts, I'm going to go curl up in the chair, eat a little chickie soup and work on my papers. Then I'm going to convince Will to put up the Christmas lights so that I can see happy little lights along my walkway. Then I might take a little nappy, which I've never told you before, is very difficult for me. I can't seem to take naps. This vexed my mother to no end when I was little. ;)