Monday, December 29, 2008

Not a Fan of Big yarn and Big Needles

I'm not usually a fan of super bulky yarn and size 15 needles. But, it was so much fun to whip Paulina's neckwarmer out in a day. And her earwarmer would've been as fast except life got in the way. I made the earwarmer a little wider by doing one extra increase. I used Lion Brand Landscapes yarn and size 10 1/2 needles on the earwarmer and size 15 needles on the neckwarmer. Fun! And I am pretty sure that my 18 year old granddaughter will like them for her birthday in February. Unless I decide to keep them for myself....Please ignore the wrinkles in my face....really I usually look better. Or not.

These patterns are definitely keepers for next year Christmas knitting quickies!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Knitting

I thought I would share my Christmas knitting FO's with you. For my daughter, I made the Cabled Lace Bookmark from Knitting Pattern A Day Calendar 2007.

Angie's bookmark

I added a few beads along the sides by using the Beaded Picot edge like on the Muir shawl. And I sprinkled a few beads in the pattern too. I used fingering weight yarn and size 6/0 beads so it went pretty fast. It actually is a little large but that's ok.

And, I made mom some slippers using the Irish Ewe's 2 needle slipper pattern. I made a few modifications for a snugger fit. I cast on 76 stitches using a size 6 needle. Then, I knit the cuff down to 36 stitches and then knit 5 rows in plain ss. Finally, I ended the cuff with 10 rows of garter. I really think if I made them again I would do about 10 rows of ss instead of 5. This would make them go up the leg a little higher. But as they turned out they fit really nice. Mom wears a size 6 1/2 shoe and they fit her well. I could even get them on my size 9's but they were a little snug. However, the pattern as written using 86 sts and size 6 needles was way too loose for me.


I also made hats for Dad and Adam and Gary Don. But they were just basic hats. No photos.

I am almost finished with the Rivulet scarf using the Jaggerspun Zephyr DK and I have the One Hour Earwarmer about half finished. Not sure who either of them are for. Maybe I will save them for next Christmas gifting. I would like to finish both of these before the end of the year. Then I will start Jared Flood's Girasole.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Playing Catch up

I haven't posted in several months and so I'll try to catch up. I have been busy. Finished the Moss & Ribs Cardi. Not in time for Kid N Ewe but a few weeks later. I love it even though it is a little tight across the mid section and I really can't button it. The button band gaps and I hate that.

Moss & Ribs Cardi

And I finished the Santa intarsia pillow KAL. I really love how it turned out. I gave it to my sister in law yesterday and I think she liked it. Although, she has Alzheimer's and so it was a little confusing for her.

Santa Pillow front

My current projects include the Rivulet scarf, Irish Ewe's 2 needle slippers and several hats for the guys Christmas presents. I want to make some fingerless mitts for my granddaughter and myself but I may not have time. Here is the Rivulet after a few inches. I have about 3' now and so not much more before I finish it.


I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas! I plan to start Jared Flood's Girasole after Christmas. I have the yarn, the pattern and the needles. Can. Not. Wait.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Christmas Anyone?

Several weeks ago I joined an Intarsia Pillow KAL (and yes, I am capitalizing it) in LSSK. I chose the small Santa pillow. I really had a struggle getting through all those dangling ends and getting the wrapping just right. But by the last 1/4, I was actually enjoying it. Now, all I have left is the back and the stuffing....

Intarsia Pillow

I think that I will knit the back in the green in seed stitch. I really don't like doing seed stitch but I love the end product.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

PVC Yarn Swift and a FO

pvc swift Let's just get this out there first. DH made this for me a few weeks ago and I think he did a wonderful job. We used the basic plan from The House at Two Palms so we can't take credit for design. Mostly, I was trying to find a project for him that would get him out of my hair for a day or two. Well, that was a total failure because he needed my input on the design and when all was said and done he had it made in less than 4 hours and that included an hour and a half trip to town to purchase the washers and a few other things. Oh well.

Anyway, I used it today and wound my blue yarn from Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co on it. And I took a picture for you of one of the finished balls, but then I accidentally erased the picture from my camera. Oops! I used the instructions from Knits With Balls for winding the center pull ball and it worked great! Highly recommend it.

So, I cast on today for the third time and the Moss & Ribs Cardigan using my newly balled lovely yarn. I really, really hope that it goes smoothly this time. I have new lovely matching yarn and am using size 4 and 5 needles which I have swatched with and they should work great. And best of all...I've done this pattern so many times now that I totally have it memorized. Yee Haw! I should've taken a picture of my progress but I didn't so I'll just tell you that I've done about 3" of the back. And just to add a little pressure to myself...I sort of promised to bring the finished sweater to Kid N Ewe in November (early November if I remember correctly) to show Grayce who was so sweet to work with me and my possibly OCD behavior regarding her lovely yarn. Which I totally love!

I finished the Leaf T today and I really like it. It is blocking right now. I tried it on unblocked and was really tempted not to block it because it fit really well. But everything I have read says that everything benefits from blocking. So...blocking it is.
Leaf T You can probably see that I added some shaping to this sweater. Hopefully it will look less lumpy when I'm wearing it than it does in this pic.

I really enjoyed knitting this sweater. Want to know why? Of course, you do! Well, for one thing I used the rest of the cone of Jaggerspun Zephyr DK yarn from Mom's Featherweight Fantasy. I mean I used all but like 10 yards. I think that is so cool! And, I knitted it in the round which was a huge accomplishment for me. I have absolutely hated and avoided all things knit in the round in the past because I always ended up with these open stitches where they weren't joined properly. On this sweater I just tugged pretty hard for the first two or three stitches at the join and voila! it looks really good. Ok, another fun thing is how easy it was. Almost boring but great for knitting anywhere, anytim. And last but not least...I knitted the sleeves using two circs which was totally awesome. No seams baby!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ballerina Shrug

Ballerina shrug This is my design for the 2008 Lone Star State Knitters design contest. I won second place! I was so thrilled and excited to have won anything. Cool. My sweet friend, Birdy, won first place with her Snow Flurries Baby Blanket. Keep checking back to her site. Rumour has it that the pattern will be for sale soon. And it is gorgeous!

So, I thought I'd offer the pattern for my shrug here. If you make one, I'd love to see a picture and will even put it up here.

I called it Ballerina Shrug for several reasons. One-the yarn color was Ballerina, two-I think it looks like something a ballerina would wear after she's been practicing, three-I saw an episode of Three and A Half Men where Charlie was dating a woman who taught ballet and she was wearing a very similar shrug. I debated about the ruffled edging around the neck and this picture shows it without the ruffle edge. I really like it both ways.

Ballerina Shrug-no ruffle

Ballerina Shrug
By wendydancer at gmail dot com
Copyright 2008
Size-36”(but this pattern is very flexible)
Yarn- Bernat Haven (77 yards/50g per skein) 6 skeins
Needles-US 10.5
5 stitch markers
Gauge-13 st x 19 rows in ss

Cast on 17 stitches.
Set up row: knit 1, pm, knit 3, pm, knit 9, pm, knit 3, pm, knit 1.

Row 1 (RS): Kf&b, sm, Kf&b, k1, Kf&b, sm, kf&b, k7, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k1, kf&b, sm, Kf&b (25 sts)
Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl across
Row 3: Kf&b, Kf&b, sm, kf&b, k3, kf&b, sm, Kf&b, k9, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k3, kf&b, sm, kf&b, kf&b (35 sts)
Row 5: k3, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k5, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k11, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k5, kf&b, sm, kf&b, k3 (43 sts)

Continue as above, knitting in the front and back of each stitch before and after each marker. On every other right side row you will also knit in the front and back of the first and last stitch. Knit until the back section measures approximately 18” wide. This was 41 rows for me and the stitch count at that point was L Front-32, L Arm-45, Back-51, R Arm-45, R front-32 for a total of 205 stitches.

Move the fronts and back to a stitch holder or waste yarn.

Continue knitting the sleeves straight in stockinet stitch for about 3 ½” with no increasing. Then begin decreasing 1 stitch on each side of both sleeves every other RS row. Decrease 10 times until you have reduced your sleeves by 20 stitches. Knit even in stockinet stitch until the sleeve is the length that you want it. I made mine to my wrists at this point.

Sleeve Ruffles:
RS-K1, Kf&b until one stitch remains, k1.
WS-K3, P3 across. Work in K3, P3 rib for 2” ending with a RS row. Bind off in pattern.

Fronts and Back:
Put the fronts and back on the needles and knit even in stockinet stitch for 2 inches ending with a WS row.

Bottom Ribbing Band:
Continuing to knit in ss, cast on about 36 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows so that your total stitch count is divisible by 6. It doesn’t matter if one side is a stitch or two less than the other. Since my two fronts were 32 stitches and the back was 51 (total 115) I cast on 35 stitches on the first row and 36 stitches on the next row so that my total was 186. Knit in K3, P3 ribbing for 1” ending with a WS row. Bind off in pattern.

Neckline Ruffle:
Start with RS facing you at the right front edge where the tie meets the body. Pick up and knit 50 stitches along the front edge to the first raglan line at the sleeve. Continue to pick up and knit 20 stitches along the neck to the left sleeve and another 50 stitches along the left front to the edge where the front meets the tie. Knit front and back in each stitch. Work k3, p3 rib for one inch. End with a WS row. Bind off in pattern.

Weave in ends.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Do YOU wear the stuff you knit?

Not a very catchy title, but it's what I am thinking about. I have been knitting for 3 1/2 years. And I've knit a lot of stuff. Started off with the usual scarves, ventured out to hats, moved on to lace shawls, then shrugs and cowls and sweaters. Now, I'm in a baby knitting phase. And I suspect it has a whole lot to do with the fact that I almost never wear anything I've knitted. And even the things that I love the most...I loved knitting them and I love looking at them...why don't I love wearing them?

Well. Let's face facts. I live in Texas. South Central Texas. It never gets cold here. And when it might be cold in January and February...I'm in deep South Texas. Ok. That is probably a lot of the reason. But it's not the entire reason.

Another reason is that I knit things like this. And while it is really pretty to look at...I feel like an old frump when I wear it.
New Vintage Capelet-Back
I tried giving it to my mom and she said it was too "old lady" for her. She is 70. Oy. So, it sits in the closet and I take it out occasionally and fondle it.And yet, it has the most favs of my Rav projects-16. What does that say about it?

Now, I do wear the shawls more than anything else that I've made. But even often do you get the chance to wear a shawl? I have the lovely Sunray Shawl hanging in my bathroom window as a curtain/valance.

So, in an effort to find things to knit that I might actually get some use out of...I've entered the sweater knitting phase. I am working on the Lace T right now and am about halfway done with it (provided I don't run out of yarn which is a very real possibility). Next will be the Moss & Ribs Cardi take 3. I got more yarn from Plain & Fancy Sheep & Wool Co (love this yarn!) yesterday so I am really excited to start this one. I plan to wear it to KidnEwe in Novemeber. Wish me luck.

I'd really like to know if y'all wear the things you knit or do they lie in your drawers and closets only to be taken out and petted on occasion?

And if you made it this far...go over to the sidebar and vote in my poll.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Lone Star State Knitters have a design contest every year. And it's on now! Go take a look at the entries and scroll to the bottom of the screen for the link to vote. Good luck to all the entrants!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Leafy Tee

I started a new project yesterday and I think I'm going to love it. It's the Raglan Leaf T-shirt and I'm doing it with some modifications that I found on Ravelry done by JennBelcher.

I have been in a very conservative mood lately when it comes to my knitting. I've been using my stash a lot and even ripped a couple of things that I never wear to reuse the yarn. Just call me green, I guess.

I have a couple of inches done on the Leaf T. I'm doing it on US 5's with the black Jaggerspun Zephyr DK that I got from Jessica at Weaving Rainbow. I absolutely adore Zephyr and I had half a cone left after making the Featherweight Fantasy for mom.

The exciting thing about this is that I think I have finally overcome my fear of knitting in the round! The little hat that I made a few weeks ago was done in the round and I didn't have any problems with it. And the Ice Queen was done in the round. It was a breeze. And so far I've managed fine on the Leaf T in the round. Yippee! I actually am beginning to enjoy it. Except the needle feels so stiff. I am having to use the Boye set because the Harmony's smallest length is 24". But soon I will be able to change over.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Lessons I've Learned From Moss & Ribs Cardi

  • How to read the chart. Ok, now I am a fairly intelligent person and I do know how to read charts. I've knitted lots of things from charts. And I could not figure this one out. Period. So, I emailed the designer. She answered me quickly and didn't make me feel stupid! Cool beans!
  • When you do a swatch (and I know we all makes swatches) be sure you make notes as to the size before blocking and what needles you used. Don't do what I did...I made my swatch a month or more before I was ready to start the sweater. When I went back to it, I couldn't remember what needles I had used. Not good.
  • When you begin knitting a pattern make a few notes on the pattern itself so that if you get distracted by some other shiny project and have to steal the can come to your notes to remind you what size needles you were using. "Oh I'll remember" did not work for me!
  • When knitting a cardigan with a button band that is added on by picking up and knitting it's not a good idea to slip the first stitch on the edge where the button band will be added.

Moss & Ribs Cardi

See how much I've learned so far? And right now I have zero, zip, nada to show for it.

I did my swatch for MRC back in March. No notes. I'll remember what size needles I used. Uhhh huh. Well, of course by April when I started the cardi I could not remember what size needles I had used on the swatch. So, in keeping with my pattern of behavior I made no notes as to needles used on the cardi. In my defense, I normally finish a project within a quick enough time frame that I don't have to rely on my memory because the needles are with the project. In this case, that didn't happen because of the unfortunate incident with the unmatching 2nd ball of yarn. I finished the back and did about half of the front before deciding that the 2nd ball was decidedly lighter shade than the other 2.
Moss & ribs Cardi
I bound off the half finished front and blocked it figuring I might as well get something good from it. Sure enough it is not going to be large enough. So, I put it all aside (once again I did not make any notes as to what size it was before I blocked it)and out of my mind until last week when I decided that I love this yarn and this pattern so much and cannot quit thinking about it. So, it must be knit!

This is when things really went to hell.

So, I contacted the yarn company and she is going to try to match the yarn I have and send me two more skeins. Yippee!

I am so excited and thrilled. I dug out the pattern and the parts that I had knitted. My memory tells me that I used the size needles listed in the pattern. My other memory tells me that was 5's and 6's. Well, one of you is wrong because the pattern calls for 3's and 4's and for some unknown reason I have removed the needles from the completed cardigan back and left it dangling on the cable. Now, I do seem to remember removing those needles for another project but I don't remember having a project since April that used size 4 needles. Oh dear. This is getting so confusing. Why would I have removed the needles if I didn't need them for another project? (Edited to add: I finally remembered why I removed the needles from the back. It was to start the front you moron!) Well, sometimes I do get into an organizing frenzy.

Ok, thing I know-the cardi as I knitted it thus far will be too small. My memory says I used the needle size called for in the pattern. So, I bravely cast on using 4's and 5's and knitted merrily along.

I actually had to resort to looking at pics I had taken in an effort to figure out what needles I had used. If you look at this picture really closely you can see some white plastic showing through the stitches. This tells me that I used the Boye set. And the only reason I would've used it is that the Harmonys don't come in size 3. Ahh Hah!
Moss & Ribs Cardi
My next screw up: I read somewhere that it's a good idea to always slip the first stitch and knit the last stitch and this helps those pesky loose edges. Great! I'm doing that and it looks great. Then I read ahead in the pattern and see where the front band will be picked up and knitted 2 stitches for every 3 rows. Now, I do know enough to realize that by slipping the first stitch I only have one "chain" along the edge for every two stitches. This is not good. I check with my knitting gurus who inform me that this was a bad idea.

So, guess what I did today? Frogged it all. The whole sheebang. And I am not going to start again until I get the new yarn in hand and verify that it matches the 2 that I have.

But it will be knit.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Ice Queen Cometh Part 2

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

And here she is....
as you can see I did manage to rescue the lovely Ice Queen from her puddle of despair. I wasn't able to get all the stitches back on the needles correctly because some of them ran and I just couldn't quite figure out how to do it. But I did stop the running and get the right number of stitches back on the needles and finished the lovely Ice Queen and got it blocked before the Olympic flame was I felt like a real winner! And I really don't think many people will be able to find my screwups except for the really good lace knitters because it is lace and it's really open. And it was so close to the top edge. Like two rows later was the row with the T3 and that kind of skews the edge a bit. And, best of all, the lady I'm gifting it to is eighty something years old so I'm betting that her eyesight isn't what it once was.

Oh what the's a front view although not the best picture of me! But I want to show how pretty it is in the front. You can see the beads pretty well. They are size 6/0 and the color is gunmetal. It took 185 beads (yes I counted them). I did version A but I did the beaded picot bind off on both ends. I will make more of these. It was very fun and I know several ladies who would like one.


And, I got medals for finishing...

giftknitspenthalon cowljump Pretty impressive, huh?

I have some really exciting news about the Moss & Ribs Cardi but I'll save it for another day. Betcha' just can't wait huh?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Ice Queen Cometh

This is a play on words from an old movie called The Iceman Cometh. Really dark movie but it has some great actors in it.

And since this post is about the Ice Queen and how great it was coming along it seemed to fit. I mean it was really going fast. And I was loving it. Notice the use of the word "was". uhh huhh

I had decided yesterday that 14 repeats of the pattern would not be enough because I'm using a size 7 needle and this yarn is really sproingy. My swatch came out a little small and just really wouldn't block out as much as I wanted it to. It is mystery laceweight of unknown content but I suspect it has some acrylic or manmade fiber in it. I do know it has wool too because it will felt somewhat if washed in the machine. But I digress...

So, I knitted my ass off today and got 19 repeats done. Decided that was enough and proceeded to transfer the lovely Ice Queen to my size 5 needles per the pattern for the final 4 rows and then the lovely beaded picot bind off. Ohhhh the anticipation was building and I was so excited.

This was at 2:15 this afternoon while waiting for DH to get ready to leave to go dancing. I really should not have started it when I knew we needed to leave in 15 minutes. And I really planned to put in a lifeline before I transferred the stitches. But in the heat and excitement of the moment...I forgot the lifeline. And the phone rang while DH was in the shower and I swore a little and looked up and somehow the lovely Ice Queen slipped off my size 5 needles and landed in my lap.

Then I really swore. A lot. And used some really bad words. Not your normal everyday swear know the ones I'm talking about here. Uhh huh.

So, we left to go dance and I left Ice Queen lying in a sad little puddle half on the size 7's and half dangling. We just got home. And I am not going to touch the lovely Ice Queen until tomorrow morning when I am well rested and the light is bright and I've had coffee.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ravelympics/Llympics BSJ is FO

babydressagemedal ravthlete

I think it turned out pretty cute. I love the collar. It really adds a finished look, I think.

Kari's BSJ
I'm not 100% happy with it, however. I don't like the way that last white section looks. I was trying to make it border the button band but didn't figure it right. But I was too lazy to rip back and fix it. The way I look at it...the Mom will probably take one look at it and toss it aside in favor of the cute little Gap sweater. I'm such a cynic. But that's ok. I made it because I wanted to and the baby was just an excuse. I am also making booties and hat to match for said baby. Or really, I guess they're for myself.

I have about 4" done on the Ice Queen and it is really addictive. I have to force myself to put it aside and rest my hands. I would post a picture of it, but basically it looks like a very pretty blue blob.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Day

There was good news and bad news today...

Our kitchen faucet has been leaking for a couple of weeks (bad). DH decided that today was finally the day to fix it (good). So, of course, he needed to go into town to get some parts...yee haw...I get a few hours of peace because that's how long it takes him to go to town and back. He left at 10:30 am and got back about 3 pm. (good)

However...his job is to do the dishes. So he did not do the breakfast dishes before he left and he did not unload the dishwasher. Even worse than that he took the freakin' faucet off and turned off the water in the kitchen sink. (bad, bad and bad)

I had my own agenda for the day and it did not include unloading the dishwasher or doing the breakfast/lunch dishes. I knitted. (good)

We did get the faucet repaired later in the day. So, the day ended on a good note. (good)

The End. (good)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Olympics, Ravelympics and Llympics

It has been several weeks since I posted last but I've been very busy, as usual. I changed the look of the picture at the top and new colors. How do you like it?

Ok-let's see...what have I been doing....

Oh yeah! Finished the Featherweight Fantasy in Black for Mom. I love love love it! I really would like to keep it for myself. It is so nice and cozy. A really great size too. I used Jaggerspun Zephyr DK in Ebony on size 10 1/2 needles.

I joined in the insanity that is Ravelympics and my projects are Baby Surprise Jacket for Kari's second baby boy, Foliage (which I probably won't get to) and Ice Queen (which I love after seeing Deb's at Borders last month. It was already in my queue and seeing it made it move to the top of the list). I have been wanting to make something for Bertha who gave me something like 30,000 yards of laceweight yarn last year. I will use the Blue Heather and it will really be beautiful on her.

Here is a picture of Kari's BSJ taken a few days ago. I am almost finished with it now. I have just 4 rows and then bind off.

Kari's BSJ-row 75

I am seriously considering adding a hood to it ala saradenise who was so sweet to share her method of adding the hood.

I bought some gunmetal gray beads for the Ice Queen and used a few on the swatch Ice Queen Swatch

and also some white ones, gold ones, clear ones...but now I'm thinking that they may be too heavy and I should use 8's instead of 6's. I have ordered a 16" circ from Knitpicks which should be here any day. I can't start it until the needle arrives!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Domestic Miss - A Sweet And Sour Slice of Life: Knitting Give-Away

Domestic Miss - A Sweet And Sour Slice of Life: Knitting Give-Away

Domestic Miss is having a give away on her blog. Addi Lace Turbo needles and some very cute cupcake buttons. Check it out by clicking on the link above.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Having fun is soooo exhausting!

I've been busy as usual. Take yesterday for instance...we left the house at 10:30 am to go do a demo dance at a "retirement community". We danced from noon until 1 pm. Then they fed us lunch (hot dogs and watermelon, but I only ate watermelon. I just don't care for hot dogs). Then we danced a little more. When we left there, one of the other couples invited us all over to their house for wine, snacks, margaritas and visiting. Fun, fun. We left there around 3 pm. I made a quick call to some other friends whom we've been intending to go visit. We figured...hey we're on a roll. Might as well do it. Yes, they said, come on over. So, another hour or two was spent visiting with friends. Got home about 5:30. There was a message on the answering machine from another couple. Hey we're going to take the boat out for a cruise this evening. Want to come? Sure! Gulp down a quick South Beach dinner (nasty things but they do come in handy). Change clothes, grab a bottle of wine and we're off. There were 7 adults and 4 kids and one dog on the cruise. It was really nice. We cruised over to Rick & Cheryl's "manse" and played in the pool for awhile. The return cruise was really great....full moon and Camp Champions had a gorgeous fireworks display so we just sat out on the lake and watched. We pulled into our driveway about 11:30 last night. Whew! Being retired is hard work!

So, I have been knitting a little. The Myrtle Leaf Shawl from VLT was cast on a week or two ago. I'm using Claudia's Handpainted Laceweight in DF Green. Love the yarn! I'm not sure about the shawl though. It seems too holey and I don't know that it's worth the time and effort that it will take. It is patterned on both sides with SSP and P2tog on the WS. SSP is a PITA! There are so many other shawls that I love...Icarus, Adamas, Fir Cone, Swallowtail, Highland Triangle....why should I spend time doing this one if I don't love it? Anyway, here's a picture. I tried to smoosh it out so you can see it. This is after one repeat. Oh yeah, another thing that I don't like about it is that on row 13 the first stitch of the first repeat is done as a K1 and on all the other repeats on that row the first stitch is a k2tog. The last stitch is a k2tog. So that totally screws up the markers for that row and the next row. PITA!

Myrtle Leaf
The Featherweight Fantasy is coming along very fast. I am more than halfway done with it. I'm using Zephyr DK in Ebony. I LOVE Zephyr DK. It has such awesome stitch definition.

Featherweight Fantasy 2

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rescue and Recovery? NOT!

This post is very unusual for me and I promise not to make a habit of things like this. But....I am just amazed and stunned by this whole ordeal and have to share it with somebody. Lucky you!

I have a Lenovo 3000 series desktop computer that I bought about a year ago. It has Vista on it and 225 gb hard drive. It came pre loaded with some Lenovo software called Think Vantage, Rescue & Recovery. I went through the tutorials when I first got the computer as we all do (right?). I found out that the system is set to automatically make backups of your ENTIRE system so that in case of a failure you can recover. Sounds good huh? One glitch, the default is set to make the back up to your hard drive. Now, excuse me, I'm no computer genius, but doesn't it seem a tad bit let me to put this fairly....IN-FREAKIN'-SANE!! to backup your hard drive that might go bad to your hard drive. Somebody please explain the logic to me!

So, I went in to the program and turned off the automatic backup and assumed all was cool.

Fast forward to this spring...I began noticing that my hard drive space was down to about 50 gb. And everytime I would look at it, there was less space. Last week I finally got really concerned when I saw that I only had 11 gb free. I went through all the files and could not come up with anywhere near the 200+ gb that I must be using to only have 11 gb free. I downloaded a program called Treesize (freeware) and it didn't show any unusually large files.

Enter google....I googled "lenovo disappearing hard disk space". And found some information that said the Rescue and Recovery program was the culprit. No way, I thought smugly. I turned that backup off. Hmph! But what the hell, I'll check into it. As it turns out, there are two different places that you have to turn off the scheduled backups. One in the Rescue and Recovery program which I did and another in the Maintenance program which I did not. So, it was making backups to my hard drive of my hard drive. Genius!

So, I opened the Rescue & Recovery program, clicked on the advanced tab, clicked on Delete Backups....and it gave me a list of the backups. There were six and they totalled 150+ gb. Can you believe this?? So, I went through the list and deleted them. A word of advice here...start with the most recent backup and delete in that order. In other words, start at the bottom of the list and delete up. Any other order takes forever. Trust me, I tried.

I am so happy now. I have 160 gb free!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


There was no bloodshed in the house. MS3 is done. Can we all breath a sigh of relief? Well, I will anyway. You can see the seam down the back, but I'm ok with that. I'm just so thrilled with it and actually once I got the groove of grafting it wasn't so bad. But, I will certainly shy away from projects with that word in them. Or at least lace projects.

MS3 back

So, now that that's done. And, by the way, it took me three days less than one year to finish it. Of course, I didn't work on it exclusively. In fact, I didn't touch it for several months.

Last night I finished this really cute crocheted Floppy Brim Hat. Pattern here. I had to modify the pattern to make it fit my tiny head and it still turned out a little large. But, I like it fine. Except that I don't look nearly as glamorous as I'd hoped. A good grip on reality has never been one of my strong points.

Next up...Featherweight Fantasy Shawl in black Zephyr DK for mom. I'd also like to start the Myrtle Leaf shawl in the Claudia's laceweight that I got at WHIBSIB. The VLT yahoo is doing this as their KAL for July.

We're dancing this afternoon so I better go get my butt in gear.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Holy Grafting, Batman!

MS3 grafting

Back several months ago when I blithly commented that I was going to make the MS3 in two symmetrical panels and graft them together, why oh why, didn't someone slap me?


Do not be mislead...grafting lace is not for the faint of heart. I almost puked after about 15 minutes of it. Seriously. It took me an hour and 15 minutes (not counting the time I spent just staring at it swearing) to do just the 20 or so stitches in the edge. And when I came back to it the next day it was seriously screwed up. The little row of yo's did not match up. Not even close. So, I bravely set forth to un-graft. You ever done that? Well, let me tell's even harder than grafting.

So, this is how much I have done now after about 3 hours. I am halfway. Yippee. I have kindly pointed out my f&%$ups aahhh errors for you by circling them in red.

The next time you hear from will either be finished or there will be bloodshed in this household. Ok, maybe not quite that severe. But, let's hope for finished.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quilted Blocks Baby Blanket

Here's a baby blanket pattern that I made a couple of years ago and thought I'd put it up here as a freebie. It's also on google docs and listed in the Freebies! link at the sidebar along with the two spreadsheets that I made for yarn weights and yardages for VLT and Folk Shawls.
Edited to add link to pdf file that you can download.
Quilted Blocks Baby Blanket
Copyright © 2006 by wendydancer at gmail dot com

Materials: Worsted Weight Yarn (I used Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I used about 5 ½ balls.) Size 8 29” circular needle, 2 stitch markers. The Quilted Blocks pattern comes from several sources including Barbara Walker’s Treasury.

Cast on 176 stitches. Work 6 rows of seed stitch. The first and last 4 stitches of each row form a seed stitch border along the sides. The markers are used to mark the border. Slip all markers on all rows when you come to them. pm=place marker

Row 1 (WS): k1,p1,k1,p1, pm, k3, *p8, k6; rep from * until 15 stitches remain, p8, k3, pm, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 2: p1,k1,p1, k1, knit to marker, p1,k1,p1, k1
Row 3: k1,p1,k1,p1, k3, *p8, k6; rep from * until 15 stitches remain, p8, k3, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 4: p1,k1,p1, k1, knit to marker, p1,k1,p1, k1
Row 5: k1,p1,k1,p1, k3, *p8, k6; rep from * until 15 stitches remain, p8, k3, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 6: p1,k1,p1, k1, k2, *p2, k6, p2, k4; rep from * end last rpt k2, p1,k1,p1, k1.
Row 7: k1,p1,k1,p1, p3, *k2, p4, k2, p6; rep from * end last rpt p3, k1,p1,k1,p1.
Row 8: p1,k1,p1, k1, k4, *p2,k2,p2,k8; rep from * end last rpt k4, p1,k1,p1, k1.
Row 9: k1,p1,k1,p1, p5, *k4, p10; rep from *, end last rpt k4, p5, k1,p1,k1,p1
Row 10: p1,k1,p1, k1, k4, *p2,k2,p2,k8; rep from * end last rpt k4, p1,k1,p1, k1.
Row 11: k1,p1,k1,p1, p3, *k2, p4, k2, p6; rep from * end last rpt p3, k1,p1,k1,p1
Row 12: p1,k1,p1, k1, k2, *p2, k6, p2, k4; rep from * end last rpt k2, p1,k1,p1, k1.

Repeat these 12 rows until desired length is achieved. End with row 5. Work 6 rows of seed stitch. Bind off loosely.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some Goodies for Ya!

A couple of years ago I got really frustrated because I was spending a whole lot of time thumbing through some of my books and then researching yarns online to find out first) the weight of the yarn used in the book and then second) an acceptable substitute. I started making notes and before long my book was crammed with little post its and odd scraps of paper. Finally sat down one day and made a spreadsheet of my research. So, for what it's worth, I am going to link to my spreadsheets that I made for the Folk Shawls book and Victorian Lace Today. And please remember that I am human and make mistakes so please verify anything before you take it to the bank....Look for the links in my sidebar. The spreadsheets are stored on google documents and you should be able to print or download them from there.

Enjoy and let me know if you find them helpful!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moss & Ribs Cardi Disaster

Moss & ribs Cardi
Originally uploaded by wendydancer
I am feeling really sick right now. I've been trying to tell myself that it's my imagination or the lighting or that it'll look ok once I get more of it done. Well, I'm nearly halfway done with the front left and it definitely is lighter colored than the back. Even DH says so. And we all know that men can't see color variations, right?

I think you can see it in the picture. The back has a lot of really dark blue bits and the front has none, zero, nada. It's almost a stone washed denim look. Very pretty, but not very matchy!

The yarn co/dyer was very accomodating and offered several options to remedy the situation. One of which was for me to frog, send her the yarn back and she would dye me up 3 hanks that match.

I told her that I will try to find another project or projects for this yarn where it doesn't matter so much that the color varies. I do love this yarn. And I love the sweater pattern and I think it would look awesome in this yarn! Waaaaaa!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Let's take a look at those New Year's Resolutions

Since it's already June and the year is half over I thought it would be appropriate to review my knitting resolutions. Here they are again as a reminder:


#1- MS3. I am still working on it and have about 100 rows to complete it. The picture above is of both halves. The first half (the completed one) is through row 258 and the 2nd half is at about row 180. I'm not sure how many more rows I will knit because I'm just going to piece together two of the Chart D's and try to find a place that looks good. Melanie said to stop at row 313 and graft the two together there but if you do that the Cat's Paw (I think that's what the pattern in the middle is called) won't be offset at the join. Anyhoo...I'm trying to do 10 rows a day on it.

#2- Well, I am knitting a sweater. Finished the back and started the left front. But I'm worried that it's going to be too small. Will that moss & ribs pattern flatten out with blocking? But I digress. And I do have an awesome idea for a sweater. Just waiting for my abilities to catch up with my ideas.

#3-Mom's afghan is finished. However, it is now a baby blanket. And a damned ugly one at that. Maybe if I add some fringe or ribbon it'll look more baby'ish. I am not proud. But, at least it is off the needles. So, I can check it off my list because that's just how compulsive I am. I even took a picture to prove that it's done. (Which I should've cropped before putting it up because you can see my toe and part of my shorts leg.) I think this may be pushing the envelope of what's actually allowed to be counted as completing a resolution...but frankly my dear.....

#4-Hmmmm. I forgot about that one. Well, I still have 6 months to work on that.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Peppers and Tomato

We've been to North Carolina to see our granddaughter graduate from High School. She was Valedictorian and is a very smart and beautiful and poised young lady. We are so proud of her!

We drove our little Ford Focus all the way. It gets 33 mpg which is pretty good but I'm still afraid to calculate how much we spent on gas. We took a leisurely trip going up there. We left on Saturday around 11 am. Yes, I said 11 am! We'd helped host a party the night before and didn't get to bed until around there! We stayed in Fairfield Inns all the way up there and they are very nice for the most part. They have indoor pool and hot tubs which is what we wanted because DH's left hip is really bothering him. And we did enjoy the hot tubs. I must say that the Fairfield Inn in Jackson, MS was not great. But the others were wonderful. Especially the one in downtown Atlanta. Very nice.

We stopped at a Popeye's Chicken somewhere in Alabama on the way up. It was Sunday afternoon and very crowded with the little old ladies in their church finery. We were munching away when I heard a small voice "hi". I turned to look and this tiny little black boy was smiling at me. I said hi back and he put his arms around my waist and laid his head on my chest. Oh my heart be still!! It was so sweet. Then he looked at me and said "heart". Seriously I almost bawled. Then I realized that he was looking at my heart pendant. So, I said yes, it's a heart. And he pointed to his t-shirt and said "SPIDERMAN!!". Cute, cute, cute. (It wasn't a spiderman t but I guess he didn't know that.) Meanwhile his mama and grandma were telling him to come back over here and eat your lunch and fussing at him and they were just in shock that he'd done that.

Another cute story ...we were in the hottub at Fairfield Inn in Jackson MS the next night. I had my eyes closed and was really relaxed....when I felt water splashing my face....I ignored it for a few minutes but it kept on. You know sometimes those hot tubs can get a little rambunctious. I finally opened my eyes to see this little doll of about 2 yrs old splashing me. He was squatting on the edge of the tub and leaning over to splash water on my face. When I opened my eyes he gave me the most beautiful, sweet smile. I guess I am just a magnet for little 2-3 yr old black boys. {grin} Where was his mother, you ask? Sitting right there letting him splash me. Hmmmmm....

Oh yes, the subject of this post....The weather was very hot and windy here at home while we were gone so I was a bit worried about my tomato and pepper plants. But, they survived. We have ONE tomato! Several jalapeno peppers and I picked one today and used it in my gazpacho. It was very good, not too hot but a little heat there. There is a whole story about these pepper and tomato plants that is quite funny. About 6 weeks ago, I got the idea of planting tomatos and peppers in pots on our deck. And it seemed like a really great idea and DH was into it too. So, we trotted off to the garden center and bought pots and soil and plants. Somewhere in the range of $25 spent. It's all good. Tomatoes are so expensive at the grocery and they don't have any taste at all yada, yada, yada. Well, a few days later we realized that it was a possibility that the deer might come up onto the deck and munch our lovely plants. Remember the Hibiscus debacle? So, we went down and bought cages for the tomatoes and netting to put over the plants. Another $20. It's all good. We are loving it. Then we had like 8" of rain in four days and 3 hail storms. Oh the plants are not looking good. I fertilize. I turn the water off. I worry. I fret. I trot over to my neighbors who has this humungous garden and inspect her tomato plants. They already have tomatoes on them. I ask her what should I do for mine because they look really, really bad. She tells me about this stuff called Bloom Set. But it at the garden center. A natural growth hormone for vegetables. Spray it on when you see flowers. Ok, another $4.95 and I'm ready. I go out and inspect the plants every day waiting for blooms.....waiting...waiting....oh to hell with it. Spray 'em.

So, we're sitting on the deck one evening having a glass of wine and discussing our lack of vegetables and the upcoming trip to NC. DH has an interesting thought....what if the deer come up on the deck while we're gone and no one is around and they eat up the veggies? Yikes. What can we do? Well, we can enclose the deck with more railing and a gate. Yee Haw, he's a genious. Off we trot to the building supply place. You dont' even want to know how much we spent there. Suffice it to say that those 5 peppers and that one tomato are very, very expensive.

Well, since I'm on a writing about a little knitting content?

I finished the back of the Moss & Ribs Cardi while on the trip and could've gotten more done but I forgot to take my US 3 circs with me. And being the tightwad that I am....I refused to buy a set of size 3 straights when I know I'll never use them again. The only places to buy yarn or needles was Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Wal-Mart. I also made another of the circular washcloths. I was 8 rows from finishing when I ran out of yarn. I searched everywhere for matching yarn, but the afore mentioned stores did not have it. It's some kind of striped cotton yarn. Sugar & cream or peaches & cream or some such.

I have decided that Mom's afghan is not going to be mom's afghan. It's going to be a baby blanket for a preemie. I am just sick to death of knitting that thing. It's time to put us both out of our misery. But again...I am such a tightwad and so wierd that I cannot bear to rip it out so I am finishing it and will give it away.

If you've made it through this post to the deserve a medal!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

VLT Scarf finished

Well, dang. I hate that I cannot find more exciting titles for my posts! What a dork. Anyhoo...I did finish the scarf a few weeks ago and here it is.
I really loved making it. Not sure what it's good for...too small for a shawl...too wide for a scarf. Maybe a table runner!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I'm Terrified of Knitting in the Round

Yep. It's true. Knitting in the round scares the crap outta me.

I have only knit a couple of hats in the round and they weren't really pretty. Wish I had (not) pictures to share. There is always a gap thing going on at least on the first 3-4 rows. I don't really know why and I don't like it. Really. I'd just rather knit flat and sew the sumbitch. Ok, so I said it.

But....there is this sweater that I really love. But it's done in the round. And the freaking gauge is in the round. What does that mean? Oy! But, I think the yarn pictured above would work really well. It is Plain and Fancy wool sport. It's so soft and squishy. I just love it. And I have swatched with it. Just not in the frickin' round!

Fortunately,I still have the VLT scarf to keep me occupied...and I am loving it right now. I'm in the groove on the last border and it's like magic the way that border attaches and becomes one with the scarf. Who comes up with this stuff? I'm willing to bet that no one has thought up an original knitting idea in....forever!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Party Time

The past few 10 days has just been crazy busy around our house! Our friends from Michigan, John & Diana, came through on their way back home from the Valley. We had a little party on the day they arrived, Sunday, March 30. Then we danced the next night, then another party for them the next night, the next day we spent all day long working our asses off at Rick & Cheryl's new "playhouse" helping them clean up and move furniture into it to get ready for....yes, another party on Friday night. But wait...let's don't forget there was another party on Thursday night with more food and even dancing. Friday night was an awesome dance from 6:30-8:30 and then the afterparty which went on until 1 am. There were about 40 people there.

Rick & Cheryl's "playhouse" is a 4 car garage with one bay for a motorhome. The top floor has a gorgeous kitchen with granite countertops and custom cabinetry and built in entertainment center. It also has two bathrooms upstairs and one downstairs. The key is the beautiful hardwood flooring upstairs. Everything in this place is top quality. But why wouldn't it be?? Their home is even more gorgeous!

Ok, so we're up to Saturday now. Saturday we spent much of the day preparing for the dance that night. And nursing a severe headache....couldn't have been caused by too much wine and not enough sleep could it? Saturday night the dance was just wonderful and there was another afterparty. This one at Evelyn's. Another beautiful home. I think there were about 50 people at that party.

Sunday, we rested!!

There was a little knitting content during this period. I worked on the VLT scarf and got to the point of starting the last border. I spent all my spare time over Friday and Saturday which wasn't much trying to figure out what was wrong with that blasted pattern because I kept ending up at row 1 in the chart but the shawl was on the WS. Finally on Sunday, I found the problem. ME!! I had failed to read one little sentence in the directions. PURL ONE ROW, YOU IDIOT! So, now I'm rolling on that. The really embarassing thing is that I posted on several sites all about my woes and then had to go back and basically say, "never mind. I'm an idiot."

In between all the partying and knitting there was also dentist appts, mom & dad needed computer help and massive amounts of laundry.

But it's all good.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Double Digit Favs

I'm so excited because one of my Ravelry projects has been faved by 10 people! Yeehaw!! It's the beautiful Horseshoe Lace Shawl designed by RainyK. I don't know why it thrills me so much that it's been faved 10 times, but it honestly does. Maybe because I LOVE that shawl, too!
I am ready to put the last border on the VLT scarf. The photo is at the 60% mark so it's longer now than that pic. But, anyhoo....I can't quite get the border worked out in my head. Even though I've done a knitted on border before on the MissyLace Shawl for some reason I can't get my head around it this time.
Here's where I am having trouble..
After the last repeat of Chart B you end on a WS row. Then it says knit one row (that would be RS). Then it says don't turn. Crochet cast on 41 stitches. Ok, so this is on the right side and now I've got this long cast on. And I'm supposed to start the Chart A at this point. But if I turn the work here as normal, I'll be on the WS and the chart starts with RS. Argh! I need help.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tomorrow is Easter

Doesn't this sweater just scream Easter? So, I finished this Baby Surprise jacket a few days ago and it just reminds me of Easter and spring and Easter eggs. It is so cute. The little buttons are either butterflies or bees, I can't really decide. But they are so cute! I don't have a baby to gift it to so I will just hold on to it until I find one.

Today we went over to some friends "Ranch" and danced and ate and had a wonderful time. Met some new people and laughed 'til we cried. I had one of those moments where you just look around you at the beautiful blue sky and the smiling friends and think "Wow! This is really special!"

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and Mom & Dad & James are coming over for lunch. I am making a ham, sweet potatoes, salad and chocolate cake. Mom is bringing bread and James is bringing ice cream. Yummy!

Now, I haven't showed any progress reports on the VLT scarf in awhile. I did work on it in the valley and I am about halfway done with it. I am using the Elsebeth Lavold hempathy yarn. I used most of one ball for the first edge. My scale says there is 12 g left in the first ball. I got 9 repeats and 7 rows done on Chart B with the second ball and just went to the third ball today. So, I should just barely be able to make the scarf as called for in the pattern with 21 repeats of Chart B. I love the main body of the scarf but am not so crazy about the edge. I just think it looks too different.

I still have the afghan for mom otn and the blasted MS3. The other day Mom asked me to knit her a lightweight shawl in off white. So tomorrow we are going to look at patterns. I am thrilled that she asked me for a shawl. I made the Wool Peddler's for her a couple of years ago but it's really too small and a little heavy. This will be fun. I would like to make the Highland Triangle Shawl but I don't know if she wants a rectangle or triangle shape.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Plain 'ol Cuppa Joe

Sadly boring, but true....

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe

But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicated

You're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guys

Down to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.

And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What I've been doing the past 2 months.....

Ok, so there was some New Year's Eve partying.....with our friends John & Nancy.

And then there were the cookouts and potluck dinners and more partying.....

There was some birdwatching.....(yes those bright orange and yellow spots are birds). In fact they are beautiful Altamira Orioles. There are also Green Jays in the picture and Kiskadees.

And there was even a little knitting. This is the finished first border for the scarf from VLT pg. 100.

And a whole lot of dancing, although I didn't get any pictures of dancing because....well I was dancing.

So, Thursday we are off the Big Bend National Park for a week or so then we'll be back home in mid March.