Sunday, April 30, 2006

Project Spectrum--Yellow and Orange

As I have stated before, yellow and orange aren't my bag, baby. BUT I started Magic Witch specifically for the yellow and orange around the candle. Would you believe that there are at least 6 shades of yellow around that candle? Maybe more(I'm afraid to count).

I'm looking forward to a May of green(even though I'll be working on Turquoise--that counts as green right?) Maybe my grass will actually be green by the end of May--dare to dream :)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

WIP Wipeout/Magic Witch 3

Well, there was no knitting here this week. BUT I did recommit myself to my Stashalong project beginning May 1. I have to give myself a little bit more free time ;)--I'm debating over whether to place a Knit Picks order or not, I really want to try some of that Main Line and I think I have the perfect summer project for it. I have actually only bought 6 balls of yarn since Stashalong ended(and two aren't even for my stash)--not too shabby, I say.

Magic Witch--7600 stitches

Now, there was stitching this week. I'm up to 7600 stitches(as of last night). Unfortunately, that is well below where I need to be in order to reach my goal by Sunday. I would have to stitch 1100 stitches per day in order to make it and that just isn't going to happen. I'm kind of bummed about it; I hate it when I set a goal I can't reach. I'm trying to take solace in the fact that I'm averaging about 292 stitches per day(which is a little over my usual capability of 200 per day). I'm not going to make excuses about it though; I am doing the best I can with the time I have and that's all anyone can do :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Music Favorites

Thanks for the idea Lolly :)

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

You Made My Day!

I love it!

A great big thanks needs to be given to Marina. Friday I received a package. It was unexpected and a very pleasant surprise. In it was a box of candy, some stitch markers(in Project Spectrum's April colors, no less), a very cool skein of yarn key chain, and a book(containing a pattern bearing Marina's name--I love it!)

Thanks again! You didn't have to do that--it's a big enough treat for me to visit your blog and see all the gorgeous things that you work on. Your work is truly inspirational :) Everyone needs to stop by for visit!

Friday, April 21, 2006

SBQ and Booking Through Thursday

Today's SBQ was suggested by Jenna (
and is:

Do you do obligation or deadline-based stitching? Why or why not? If
you do, do you tend to get in over your head and why?

Obligation/deadline stitching--my nemesis! When my sister got engaged(1997), I decided to stitch L&Ls The Wedding for her. I actually finished it for her 5th anniversary! So obligation stitching and I don't play well together. I enjoy deadline based stitching to the extent that I like to challenge myself to get so much done in a set amount of time(like my Magic Witch Marathon this month), but as far as getting it done for a specific event--NO WAY, I refuse to put myself through that anymore.

Booking Through Thursday

This was suggested by Mary.

Connect any six books in your library to each other by any way you want. One book will remind you of another because the author's name is similar, a fictional character shows up in someone else's book, another author is talked about by characters in a book, maybe the same friend recommended both books, or whatever. Books from a series count as one entry in your list.

Okay, in high school I read an article in Rolling Stone or somewhere about Sting and he said that one of his favorite reads at the time was Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice around that time we also did a unit on Edgar Allen Poe in English class. Those two authors have pretty much led me into everything else I have read to date. There was a big break in my "free" reading time as I was a Literature and Education major in college so when I did have free time I did NOT want to read(usually I wanted to get drunk). After college I was starting work and working on my Masters, so again, not a lot of free reading going on. Then I decided to combine my love of Rice/Poe into something related to adolescent lit.(because that's what I taught). That led me in 1998 to Harry Potter(which of course is much less edgy and grim). Harry led me into spending more time in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section of the book store where I happened upon Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind that series had me hooked until about the 5th book when it started getting too weird for my liking. In my search for a place to discuss Terry's books online, I found out about Laurell Hamilton's books, I remember when I first read Guilty Pleasures; I finished it in two days and ordered everything else she had in print at the time. My long standing love of vampires/werewolves and my new found love for the way Laurell brought them into the present led me to Sherrilyn Kenyon. I read Fantasy Lover rather quickly and as I read more of her books I became completely obsessed with the Dark Hunters. I could go on and on about them--I'm not so much into the love story aspect of each of the Dark Hunter books, but of the culture and hierarchy of the Hunter's themselves--the way Sherrilyn has used ancient history to form their present.

**as I am sitting here thinking about it, I think there is even a series I started reading before Anne Rice. It was the Vampire Chronicles, I think. It was a series of four books about a high school girl in Virginia who met a vampire attending her school(remember I was, in fact, in high school at the time). The four books went through their relationship. I want to say their names were Elena, Stephan, and Damon(Stephan's brother). Does anyone else remember those? I think I still have them somewhere.

Booking Through Thursday

Reach out a hand, and grab the book that is closest to you. Turn to page 231, or pick a page at random if the book isn't that long. Locate the first sentence of the last paragraph on that page.

  1. Type the sentence here: Insert right needle into first 2 stitches on left needle, beginning with second stitch from end of left needle.

  2. Does the sentence make sense out of context? Yes, if you understand knitting terms it does.

  3. Does reading the sentence make you want to read the rest of the book? Why or why not? This sentence specifically doesn't make me want to read the book, unless I want to know more about k2tog ;) The Book is The Knitting Experience Book 3: Color--which is a great book!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

WIP Wipeout/Magic Witch Updates 2

Not a lot of knitting going on here although when I was outside with the kiddos on Easter I turned the heel on my lacy socks(or as I call them, the funeral socks). I'm trying a short row heel--it looks okay, we'll see how it fits. I have a question for all of my knitting crew, why am I having so many problems with my straight versus circular knitting? I don't know if you can tell by the picture but the heel looks larger than the rest of the sock, gauge wise. I know that I tend to purl looser than I knit and I think that's the root of the problem. Anyone else have it? If so, what do you do to fix it?

Lacy Funeral Sock

Magic Witch is 20% done--sounds great unfortunately I'm behind on my goals for the month. By next Thursday I need to be at 10800 in order to meet my minimum goal--so that would require 550 stitches per day and as I am heading back into the dreaded "book" zone I just don't see that happening, I suppose I could cheat and start working somewhere else in order to catch up--hmmmmm ;) Despite the crazy schedule I'm trying to tie myself to with this, I am really enjoying stitching it. I think it is fascinating how many colors are used to get the depth in the piece--I spend my evenings stitching with my face pressed up to the fabric so it just looks like a jumble of colors to me--BUT when I come back in the morning the design really pops, that's what makes it fun for me :)

Magic Witch(6400 stitches)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Recent Acquisitions

Recent Acquisitions

Recent Acquisitions:

(1)Mason Dixon Knitting--Love it! I bought it for the Log Cabin Blanket pattern, but fell in love with everything in it!

(2)Aran Sweater Design--I'm still going through this one, but it's autographed and it looks like it's a wealth of design information(something I've really been wanting to try--aim high I say).

(3) Japanese Knitting Stitches--Joanne turned me on to this book--I think it's the perfect companion for the Crossed in Translation book because it actually shows you how the symbols/stitches used in Japanese Patterns.

(5) One Skein--I love this book there are quite a few things I would like to try.

(6) Knitting Rules--I have only skimmed it so far, but you can never go wrong with Harlot :)

My Easter Basket :)
DH was actually off today--unbelievable for a Saturday and I got to go out sans children for a change. First stop was the cross stitch shop and lucky me all cross stitch fabric was 20% off. So I got two quarter yard pieces of 25 count Lugana(I would have liked a bigger piece but that was all they had in the color/fabric/stitch count I wanted)--and ultra awesome shop that it is, they serged the pieces for me so no fraying :) I also got a cute cross stitch key chain with I'm contemplating turning into a stitch marker and a sheep needle work magnet(for you non stitchers you put the sheep on the outside of your piece and the magnet underneath it so that it can hold your needle when you have to put your stitching down). Then it was off to String where I got a 40" size 2 addi(to try Magic Loop) and two skeins of cotton(35% off no less) for a summer tank for Little Diva. Finally, the skein of Opal was a giftie from Cynthia--I promised to give it a good home :)

ProjEGGct SpEGGtrum

Happy Easter!! Eggs dyed by Little Diva(writing by her Mommy)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

WIP Wipeout/Magic Witch Updates

I feel like it has been forever since I last posted! I have finally finished Little Rage's sweater. I wanted to go knit with my friends on Friday but I had told myself I couldn't knit until I finished the sweater, SO guess what I did during naptime on Friday:

Little Rage's Sweater--finally finished
Sweater specs: Pattern from Vogue Knitting on the Go Kids Knits(it's a pattern by Debbie Bliss), Yarn Encore Worsted. It was a fun knit with a ton of seaming. Next up on the knitting front is either the lacy socks or the top down raglan I'm working on.

Magic Witch(4200 stitches)
A week has passed--and what a week it has been. The books on the bottom corner--the *&^%$#@! books! I was doing great at my 400 stitches a day goal until I hit those *&^%$#@! books--I was up until 1-2am every night fighting my way through that section, last night I passed out at 10pm no stitching done. There are 90 colors in this piece and let me tell you I must have stitched all of them at least once during that section of books. Hopefully I can makeup ground now that I'm back to some sky and the kitty. By next week I need to be at 8000 stitches, so I'll have to push a little harder this weekend--I joined the HAED Easter SAL just to push me through.

Another thing slowing down my crafty progress is the weather--it's gorgeous out. HOT and SUNNY--my two favorite weather words! Maybe if it's nice enough out I'll try and stitch outside(wind permitting).

Friday, April 07, 2006

SBQ and Booking Through Thursday

Today's SBQ is:

Do you stitch "on the go?" (On the commute to and from work, during
your lunch break, waiting for the kids, etc.) If so, do you have a
specific "travel" project or do you just grab whatever you happen to
be working on and take it with you?

No, I don't stitch on the go. I have such a process to get everything set up that it isn't really conducive to the car or out in public. Plus, I'm using stitching something large and complex. I save my knitting for an "on the go" project. That being said I'm thinking of taking Magic Witch to my knitting group tonight; we'll see if I can actually work on it though.

Booking Through Thursday

This week's questions were suggested by Kim.

  1. Do you have a favorite character(s)? I have four favorite characters at the moment: Richard Zeeman, Sirius Black, Acheron and Zarek.

  2. What book/author is he/she/it from? Anita Blake series/Laurell Hamilton, Harry Potter/JKRowling, and Dark Hunter Series/Sherrilyn Kenyon

  3. Why do you like this person--what is it about the way he/she was written that drew you to them? All of them have a duality in their characters that really drew me to them. They all seem to struggle with their good and evil sides and what really draws me to them is that you aren't entirely sure which side is going to win the battle.

    Richard struggles with being a teacher/athletic/normal all around good guy and an alpha werewolf--his character has become so tortured and torn during the course of the series. He seems to be heading more to his beast than his normal life. When I met Laurell Hamilton, the one thing I asked her was not to kill off Richard--he was heading that way for a while.

    Sirius, my dear Sirius Black, when you meet him in the series he is painted as a ruthless killer escaped from prison. Through the story you learn more about his personality, what gave him the strength to survive 12 years in Azkaban, how he interacted with his friends/enemies. I find his character intriguing because of what Azkaban did to him physically/mentally. He changed in many ways but also stayed the same.

    Acheron is the leader of the Dark Hunters and I was drawn to him because he is over 9000 years old. I'm actually rereading the series now so that I can get a better handle on him. You only get little tidbits about his character through the series. It's enough to make you love him and fear him at the same time. Honestly, I'm drawn to him because of his unknown characteristics and his power.

    Zarek--he's crazy(bordering on insane) and he's hot.

    Looking over this list I'd say I have a thing for bad boys ;)

  4. Is there something more you would like the author to tell you about them? Yes.

    First and foremost I NEED to know more about Sirius Black; I need to know more about his time at school, his time in Azkaban, and what he was doing when he was a fugitive. Truly she could write an entire series on him and I'd be happy.

    Acheron is a close second--his character has so much potential for a really good story based just on him. I'm hoping that when Sherrilyn gets to writing Acheron's story she departs from her normal formula, because he deserves a quality piece of literature written about him(the Dark Hunter series is billed as Romance, but I read them for the actual Dark Hunter stuff).

    Richard, well I think as readers we know a lot about him already, but I'd love to see him embrace more of his dark side. I'm anxious to see what Laurell does with his character.

    And Zarek, he had so much promise as a psycho, but unfortunately during his story(Dance with the Devil) he was tamed by the love of a good woman--don't ya hate when that happens!! I wish he would go back to what he was--I guess three out of four isn't bad :)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Stitching Focus

April will be a stitching focus month for me.

At the beginning of the year I set up a few goals for myself. Some of them dealt with cross stitch. One specifically was to pick a QS(quick stitch)from HAED and finish it.

Well, I have finally found one that I want to do; it's Magic Witch. I'm not really sure what drew me to this piece. I like the subject matter and I think that I have witches on the brain(my Harry Potter addiction is responsible for that). In the spirit of Project Spectrum it's also a March/April transition piece. I'm not a fan of yellow and orange, but the candlelight in this picture will satisfy the yellow/orange of April.

Watching everyone's progress and success with the Knitting Olympics really made me want to set a personal challenge for myself and originally my plan was to try and finish a QS in a month. This piece has 31,350 stitches in it--that's 1045 stitches per day! Now I am not saying it's not possible, BUT on a good day I can stitch about 400 stitches. I suppose I could bag cleaning my house, taking care of my children/husband/pets, eating, exercise, knitting, sleep, etc. Hmmmmm, not a bad idea ;)

I wanted my goal for this to be attainable but not too easy, so I had decided to shoot for 600 stitches per day--which would give me 18000 by the end of the month(over half of the piece).

**EDIT--I seriously had to rethink the whole 600 stitches per day--I kept up with it for 3 days, but it was taking 3+ hours per day to do it. I think that I may have to adjust my goals to a minimum of 400 stitches per day--so by the end of the month I should have between 12000 and 18000 stitches into this piece. I'd be thrilled if I could get more that halfway done!**

Here's what I have done so far(I started on the 1st):

Magic Witch--Week 1(2200 stitches)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

WIP Wipe Out/Stashalong

Tuesdays will henceforth be my WIP Wipe Out/Stashalong(the continuing journey) updates. I have quite a few started pieces that I would like to get finished so that I can start something else with no guilt.

7 WIPs

Here's what needs to get done(in no particular order):
1. lacy socks(started on the whirlwind NY funeral trip)
2. top down raglan(March Project Spectrum piece)
3. hooded T shirt(started last year and very close to being finished)
4. Rogue Revisited(one sleeve done)
5. Beginner's Triangle(the first KAL I joined and it's still not done)
6. Little Diva's scarf(my longest WIP and now I'm not sure I even want to finish it at all)
7. Seaming Little Rage's sweater.

Here's what's itching to get onto some needles:
1. Mim's shawls(Adamas, Mountain Peaks, Seraphim, and her as yet unpublished one in Summer's Interweave)--I have stash yarn for all.
2. My Albertville Olympic Sweater(which I have wanted to start since I started my blog)--again yarn is in my stash for this
3. Socks--I think I'm past my sock burn out from Christmas 2004--also have stash yarn for this, but will buy some new stuff as well.
4. Some more lace from A Gathering of Lace.

I'm only working on WIPs this month as most of my month will be cross stitch focused(see tomorrow's post). Although I'm hosting the continuing adventures of Stashalong, I'm not rejoining for a few weeks--I need to shop people!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Stashalong--the Final Update!

Stephanie asked what the Stashalong Losers get. First, I wouldn't say anyone was a loser for leaving Stashalong--getting yarn is always a good thing. If you would like one of the buttons, take one(just note the dates you participated beneath it--after all you may not have finished but you did hang in there for a while!)


Here's how I finished up:

Stashalong Start

Stashalong Finish
**Little Diva's Top Down Raglan
**Little Rage's hooded sweater(which still needs to be seemed--I'm not knitting on anything until it is--enough is enough already)
**garter stitch scarf
**2 mini sweaters(for Christmas decorations)

Yesterday's Purchases

: got some KnitPicks yarn.


: during Stashalong she made a crocheted cat, 3 Mini Weasleys, Baby Cardigan, Postcards for swap, Itty Bitty Bear, Vinter Lue, Pot holder/hot mat, House Unity Hat, Womb, Another crocheted cat, Finished circular shawl.

: got some gift yarn(Brooks Farm no less) and got into her doctoral program(congrats!)

: flashed her stash(very impressive). She finished these during Stashalong: Sweater with wide collar, Several cable knit purses, Sweet baby pullover set, Yvette's poncho, my Big Sack Sweater, and a wrap cardi.

: got some gift STR.

: got a delicious looking chocolate gift basket and is planning a major yarn shopping trip.


: is continuing for another 3 months.

: finished during Stashalong a Seaman's Shawl, Shari's Socks, Peg's Scarf, Horseshoe lace scarf, Baby blanket, Hank's Vest--most of these she designed herself :) And she has an impressive list of what she is buying now that we are done!

: finished: Spherey, Harry Potter Book Scarf, Ribbon Scarf, Texas Socks, Knitty Gritty Boots, Skirt, Sockapaloooza socks. "If I've learned anything from this, it's that I am a much slower knitter than I ever seem to assume when buying yarn. I've finished a lot of projects in the last three months, and I haven't really made a dent in the stash." She is planning a Knit Picks purchase.

: went on a buying frenzy(Cascade 220, Cascade EcoWool, and Cascade Eco +, Malabrigo, KP Merino Style, Shadow, and Gossamer, Manos and Louet Gems, Lorna's Laces and Bollicine by Cascade, Crystal Palace Squiggle). She also ordered yarn for Eris and has decided to Stashalong for the rest of the year!


: is gearing up for the Wool Festival buying season.




: has embarked on a yarn buying adventure of epic proportions(I can't wait to see what you get).



: "I actually did very well with this Stashalong. I didn't buy any new yarn - and I'm totally OK with it!! I didn't need it. During the months I really didn't use up too much of the old yarn, but I got LOTS from SPs - so I am set for awhile."

: finished HP scarf and her first pair of socks. ". . .the addiction to knitting and yarn had to go somewhere. I now need to by a bookshelf display the knitting books I purchased!! It really was a fun 3 months and I've met some new bloggers!."(I did the same thing Wendy)

Thoughts on Stashalong(from the departed):

Margene: "What I learned on the StashAlong. Look in the stash first and knit the projects you love most. Be discretionary in all purchases and only buy if it is a very good deal or you may never see it again and then you may still not need to indulge every time. And lastly├é…I will never do a StashAlong again!"

Wanda: "I think it's a great idea and I did manage to go 2.5 months without buying yarn and that was longer than any other time, I think, so it was good too."

Winnie: "I think it's a great idea and I did manage to go 2.5 months without buying yarn and that was longer than any other time, I think, so it was good too."

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Congrats to all of us who have been able to resist the pull of yarn for the last 3 months--I had a GREAT time getting to know all of you! I'll be going around for a final check today and tomorrow BUT first I am going shopping! Have a great day and Happy April Fool's Day!

Here are a few buttons you can use to proudly display your Stashalong Survivor success. I used Cool Text to make them and if I can do it(being the webtard that I am) any one can :) If you don't like one of these, feel free to design your own--display your Stashalong success proudly. You have earned it!!

If anyone is interested in continuing(with a few changes of course), come join me at the Stashalong blog. Here are the new rules:

(1) Choose a Stashalong time frame(1 month(minimum choice), 2 months, 3 months, etc). Personally, I would think about month to month--just in case :) Remember that during that time frame you will not buy any yarn(buying patterns, bags, and books are up to you). You can join at any time--if the weight of your stash becomes too much to bear hop on the wagon again.

(2) Choose some of your stash you would like to knit on during that time(maybe it's something you can finish, maybe it's for a gift or deadline or KAL).

(3) Post your start date and finish date. You could also include a picture of the yarn you'll be using and maybe some details about the pattern.

(4) Post your results at the end--did you finish it, did you crack and buy something, fill us in on your Stashalong victory!)

(5) Have fun.

OPTIONAL CHOICES(I decided during the first three months that it would have been nice to have a couple of options, but being the "follow the rules" person that I am I didn't change anything--now I can, hopefully you'll find them helpful)

Option 1: If you choose to Stashalong for 2 months or more, you can allow yourself ONE(1) day off per month for stash enhancement. The days off are not cumulative--use 'em or lose 'em.

Option 2: Post weekly triumphs or crys for help(when the call of yarn becomes too much to bear).

Option 3: Start and end anytime(within a one month minimum). You don't have to start at the beginning of a month just pick a date spanning 30 days and you're ready to roll!