twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Only 91 Days Until Christmas, or A Ripping Tale. September 24, 2009

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 11:28 am

Can it be true?

I’ve already fooled myself into thinking that I have plenty of time to make a couple of gifties for the guys in my life. But only 91 days?

Please don’t remind me that now is my most busy/important time of year for jewelry making and that I desperately must take pictures of new jewelry goodies to post on my website and on Etsy.  Blah blah blah. My same old story.

So this weekend, while CR went off backpacking, I started his present: “Smokin'” by Jared Flood, who is, may I say, the King Dude of Cool Patterns for Guy Stuff. Check out his blog in my sidebar. Amazing photos of his work. This pattern is from the book “Son of Stitch & Bitch.” 

The second time around

The second time around

Anyway… I’ve had the yarn well over a year. I wound it and swatched it as soon as it hit the front porch. Came up with size 9 needles but never managed to find time to cast on.

Fast forward to last Sunday morning when I dragged out the tub of yarn, my old swatch with notes, and smugly cast on before leaving to take the Bug to see the movie “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (cute movie with a funny twist on the “be careful what you wish for” message) (seems like there was a fire sale on quotation marks this post–sorry.)

Well I learned 2 things that day:

1) I can knit in the dark! Hooray. Okay, it was only garter stitch. But I did it! I actually knit 7 looong rows of the bottom edge of the cardigan.

2) If more than 1 year has passed since you last swatched for a project, swatch again. Things change, sometimes.

Indeed I must be rather more tense (no surprise there) than I was a year ago, because instead of my stitches gauging 3.25/inch, they were a full 4 stitches to the inch. Ah well. Making this a ripping tale indeed.

I also worked this week a bit on the Bug’s sweater. Need another 7 repeats of the pattern before I can start the bottom edge and move on to the sleeves. At least it’s still hot as Hades here.

Gettin' there...

Gettin' there...

I just hope I can get back to those Composed Mitts. They’re fun as heck, and go fast.

And maybe one of these days I’ll finish up my “Something Rum Raisin.” I’m nearly to the sleeves.

And then there’s Poppa’s gift that I have to start. The thing about that is, that since it’s entrelac, once I start it, I won’t want to stop, ’cause I think it’s truly one of my most favorite things to do.  Ah well.

Ho ho ho.


Pick a little, talk a little September 18, 2009

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 12:16 pm

So I finally cast on for my “Self-Composed Mitts” yesterday. I’ve been waiting, like, for 2 years to get to this.

Ready and waiting for me and my Chicago coffee mug...

Ready and waiting for me and my Chicago coffee mug...

Unfortunately, I also chose this pattern to learn how to do the Magic Loop method of knitting in the round. Well let me say that this pattern and yarn combo were not the place to learn this technique. After 7 attempts at starting, I decided to just go back to my regular, 2 circulars method. You see, I totally got how it worked, but the combo of the Elann Pure Alpaca Fina (verrry hairy, and verrry splitty) and the inclusion of a bobble inserted in the very first stitch (and every 5 stitches in the first row), made for a mess crazy enough to require a gin and tonic, and a laundry-folding, dinner-making break before I admitted defeat. I’ll definitely try that method again, but I’m gonna do it on a plainish pair of socks with more of a light worsted weight yarn.

Well after I got restarted last night, I went 15 rows before I dragged my sorry tired bottom to bed around 12:30 or so. Bad me. But I did remember how much of a kick I get outta doing Fair Isle. And I found that I could make good progress holding the 2 yarns in one hand and picking the yarns as I went along, as opposed to throwing one color with the right hand, and picking another color from the left.

Sorry about the fuzzy picture...some of it's the yarn's fault :)

Sorry about the fuzzy picture...some of it's the yarn's fault 🙂

I’d like to learn this way, too. But I decided that this time, I’d just go with the one hand picking.

I’m just happy to get to be working on this finally. It’s like entrelac, a bit, in that once you get going, you just want to do another row to see how the colors change and the pattern appears. Like I said, kept me up late.

Oh yeah, and in case you wondered about my heading “Pick a little, talk a little,” and couldn’t recall where you heard it before, I borrowed it from that wonderful old musical, “The Music Man.” 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to post your comments to win those earrings!


I see UFOs (and a contest!) September 16, 2009

Filed under: jewels,knitting,life — kathy @ 1:39 pm

So, it’s that time of year again. That time of year when I think (in my typical Pollyana way) that I can make a couple of Christmas presents for the guys in my life (by Christmas), as well as knit on my current UFOs, finish a couple of custom orders, get ready for my huge holiday jewelry open house, update my Etsy store, and all the typical school stuff for the Bug, not to mention keeping this house fairly dust bunny-free and stocked with stuff to munch on.

And now I’ve upped the ante like, 1000%. We’re gonna start working on remodeling this old Eichler (which, coincidentally as old as CR and I both). God knows it needs it. Those of you who’ve been here know well the drawer with the wine corks as pulls. That’s only the beginning of it. Along with a (mostly) new kitchen, we need a bathroom, new floors, new electrical, and a new roof.  Sheesh.

Here we go...

Here we go…

I must be insane.

Well, at least I’ll have my fiber to keep me distracted when I’m desperate for a distraction.

Actually, I must admit I’m pretty excited about the prospect of making this house look the way it’s supposed to look. It’ll be great when it’s finished. The thing that’s daunting is packing up my life and finding someplace to put it. Ah well. It’ll all be worth it.


The February Girlie sweater for Bug is finally starting to look like a sweater. Problem is, here’s where I start getting bored with most every sweater I start. Here’s where I need to dig in and push through the malaise to prevent having yet another UFO.

It's starting to look like a sweater!

It’s starting to look like a sweater!

See, here are the things I’d like to start, two for Christmas, one for me:

A “Smokin'” Sweater for CR,

Smokin' Sweater for a Smokin' Guy

Smokin’ Sweater for a Smokin’ Guy

An”Eleanor” shawl for Poppa,


Mine, all mine!




Talisman Rocks Tiny Dancer Earrings

Talisman Rocks Tiny Dancer Earrings



I promised a contest, so here it is…You can win this delightful pair of TALISMAN ROCKS autumn-colored earrings (for yourself, or a present for a deserving friend) simply by reading my posts and commenting. On October 16th, one month from today, September 16th, I will count up all the comments for each reader, and the reader who posts the most comments, wins. By-the-way, anonymous posts will not be counted.I made these Tiny Dancer earrings with some of my favorite, fall-colored semiprecious stones and metals: Tiger’s Eye, Amber, Gold-fill wire and Gold Vermeil. Amber is said to be calming and promotes positive energy, while tiger’s eye attracts wealth and good luck. Read more about gemstone meanings at luck! Tiny Dancer Earrings–Enter and Win!


Great way to start a whole new chapter… September 7, 2009

Filed under: knitting,life — kathy @ 2:37 pm

So, back now from our 20th Anniversary Celebration in romantic Napa where, thanks to my BFF Erica (she took care of the Bug for us), we ate way too much, kissed way too much (just kidding–that’s not possible if CR’s around), and actually didn’t drink too much (seriously, no kidding). We had our Dinner at this amazing restaurant: The Restaurant at Meadowood Resort and totally indulged ourselves in the Tasting Menu which was slightly different due to what the chef deemed freshest. It was a once-in-a-lifetime meal of amuse bouche type plates…kind of like Top Chef on steriods. In a word, it was amazing!

On the knitting front: brought the February Girlie sweater for the Bug. Didn’t get much knitting done on it, though, until after we met Erica in Petaluma, collected our girl, and made our way to part 2 of our Anniversary Weekend in my fav city in CA: Mendocino.

What can I say about Mendocino with its lovely victorian buildings and homes perched on a peninsula overlooking the ocean? I guess one of the things I love about it is that it looks like it belongs on the east coast, say, Cape Cod. Here’s a little peek,  if you haven’t seen it before:,_California

Anyway, I digress…knitting up the FLS in DIC Classy (Blue Lagoon) is actually going quite well. I had a bit of trouble deciding how to make it Bug size, but in the end, I must admit it was the gauge swatch that figured it all out for me. Yes, the magical, mystical oracle…the gauge swatch. Just knitting on #7 needles gives me 5 stitches to the inch instead of 4.5. Voila! The smallest size sweater should now be just right, with a bit of room for her to grow. and the fabric is still nice and soft–not stiff. DSCN0127 Now I’m up to the eyelet increases. Frankly, I think they look a bit weird. Seriously.

I think I’m the only one who feels this way, though, because I haven’t seemed to notice anyone else with this opinion on Rav.

At any rate and without any angst, I’ve already decided to make the EZ backward loop increases instead. And if it doesn’t look good, maybe I’ll try the eyelet increases…

Gonna go work on it now. She grows even as I write this!


%d bloggers like this: