Sunday, January 29, 2006

Beads and Beastie

A Photo Blog to start off your week:

Yesterday we tried our hand with FIMO clay.

I almost forgot to mention my original inspiration for this project. It was Kimberly who told me about FIMO and her stitch markers looked so cute, I had to try it for myself.

I even found some great tips and tutorials online.

Today, we attached wire.....

and made them into stitch markers :)

Here's my favorite one here - marking my place on Beastie (the Aran-knit sweater I'm knitting for Irishman's brother).

This thing started pretty quickly: I knit up the arms, front and back until the yoke and then joined them all up on one needle. That's when I hit the black hole and seem to advance mere millimeters after hours of knitting. Luckily, my new stitch markers are very inspiring :)

Did I mention he's just as big as my Irishman? I think I could have knit a house-cosy twice as quickly ;)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Granny Loop

For some reason, this turkish stitch looks like I tried to knit a Granny Square...
I ripped, cast on with an extra 25 stitches and am knitting with a half mm bigger.

But look at the chevrony-thing at the end of the scarf - I'm hoping, once this baby's blocked, she's gonna look way too stylish for Granny :)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Big City, Little Knitter

Alternative Title: Berlin Totally Rocks!!!
Last Thursday, I accompanied the Irishman up to Berlin and had all day Friday to find as much trouble as possible.
After a hearty breakfast, me, the camera and a pocket city map left the hotel to look for the yarn shops on Kimberly's website.
On my way, I got side-tracked by the street with Cartier, Gucci and the like. That's where I found the Cartier cigarrettes (no, Mum, didn't buy them - I just happened to see them...) Kimberly called and got me back on track and en-route to Lalaine's to check out Berlin's yarn selection.

I have to say, I was really impressed that Kimberly made time so quickly to meet up with me. I didn't find out until right before that I'd be going up but we managed an hour and a half of non-stop chat, knit tips, FO-and-Tell and "ohmigod did you see this yarn?"
Speaking of which, does anyone spot a recently started FO?? This has got to be one of my fastest knits - the moebius scarf I started for Mum was finished in the car on Thursday and sorely needed on Friday when I realized that Berlin was in the middle of a one-day blizzard during my visit. (that's my story anyway)
And just when I thought it was safe to pop into a shop and pick up a ball of sock yarn or two, the stinking shop goes and puts camel-hair/wool mix on sale! So I might have picked up a handful for another moebius scarf - it's definitely one of the most fun things I've knit so far.

We also found a great Mexican restaraunt at Potsdamer Platz. Not only was the food first class, the margaritas were quite drinkable as well :) Here's me and my neighbor's daughter, Nicole who is in Berlin for school. I met up with her in the afternoon and we did some of the touristy things. There might have been a Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks visit in there somewhere, too. Just had to be done.

So, still recovering from my adventures, but I think I might have time to cast on some camel/wool for a moebius as I casually scan Berlin websites for apartments :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I promised myself tonight I would come up with a button if it killed me.
I'm glad to report no serious injuries, but some advice wouldn't go astray. I googled far and wide, but still haven't figured out how to get the entries to scooch down so that we can all see the bleeding banner.

Any suggestions Blogland???

Update: writing "margin-top: XXXpx" gets whichever section you want to scooch a scoche :)

Moebius Mayhem

Last year, I started a Moebius scarf for the Moms the only way I knew how. I start knitting back and forth like mad to make a long strip whose ends would be sewn together after a half twist. Mere words can't describe my excitement at the idea of knitting 5 feet of garter stitch. At lease 12 inches was knit in Ireland with a Strongbow cider sitting next to me (and possibly a Guinness or two to keep it company).

Enter: Yarn Harlot (stage left) with her Cat Bordhi blog about Moebius scarves. I was trying to imagine what she was going on about so I googled Moebius scarves and found Linda's pattern. It sounded straight forward enough so I figured I'd give it a whirl. I had an absolute ball last night casting this thing on while half-watching ER reruns. The cat decided his new game was to sit and stare at me for 30 seconds and then run across my knitting (hitting the tin with the stitch markers for maximum impact) like mad, sit on the other side and do it again. It was like cat tennis and no amount of toe-under-the-blanket-twitching or "Look! There's the pope" was going to deter him from winning Wimbeldon as I started this blasted thing late last night.

So, I locked the cat in the bathroom for 10 minutes, got cast-on, knit-on and did my half twist. After all that effort, my needles didn't want to move anymore. They were locked up in the twisted-curl that the directions say are my goal. I bullied my way through the first row, one stubborn stitch at a time and then went back to read ALL of the directions (RTFM????). She says it gets looser further into the scarf. I'm also hoping this will actually fit my mother instead of just my cat. Because, after last night, that Aran-blanket-for-kitty project was pushed down the list - and he's definitely not getting my handspun from the SockLady.

Love This!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Magic Moment....

...will hopefully yield a Magic Scarf sometime this afternoon. I'm knitting it a bit longer than the pattern and I'm seriously considering opening up the cast-on edge and casting off with the prescribed cast-off. Just thinking it might be better to have it on both ends, ya know? Semra is sitting across from me stomping her feet under her desk to keep warm. She asked through chattering teeth if she could possibly wear the scarf when I'm finished because I won't let her turn the heat up. This place is boiling!! And knitting this yarn doesn't exactly keep my hands cool. So, I think Semra can try out the scarf, but only if she reports back with a scratchiness-gauge and warmth factor.


She likes it. Good thing, too. Because I think it came out way too thick and once wrapped around my neck felt like I was being strangled in a love embrace by Gonzo!

I saw two of these scarves in Ireland and was kind of excited about making one. They were cool to play around with. Megan had a white one that Ciara wore around a nightgown to be the White Witch as she ran up and down the halls of Grandma's house playing Narnia.

Example Consversation heard outside my bedroom door when I was trying to nap one afternoon:

Ciara: You come back here after all these years and just expect to be Queen.
Megan: I didn't go away! I was sent away!
Ciara: By who?
Megan: By you!!
Ciara: It wasn't me who sent you away, it was her!
Eva: I didn't do anything!

I had this running through my head the whole time I knit the above, which sort of made it worth the trouble of knitting Fun Fur with mondo 12mm needles. Never again....

Friday, January 13, 2006

Knicking Needles (or Traveler's Blues)

I lost a pair of addi turbos circs to the Dublin security check. To a woman no less. There should have been some sort of sisterhood, crafty sympathy there, eh?

I know, I know, we go over this at least once a week in the KnitList and every 2nd blog comments on it. But I've been traveling inside Europe, to Canada and USA and back and never (repeat NEVER) even had a blink from security. When I left from Munich they picked my bag out and I said "oh, it's just knitting needles" to which they shrugged and waved me on.
Then Ciara's bag got pulled out of the line in Dublin due to a flashlight and it wasn't until they searched it that they removed the needles from her poncho in progress. I explained to the lady how much I fly with needles and she said "not through Dublin you haven't" I mentioned I'd only been through 4 times with needles and was on the threshhold of saying "and you just scanned through my backpack which contains half my collection!" until I realized I'd better quit while I was ahead. God forbid she check my bag.

So, have we all learned our lesson now??? When traveling: leaving the freakin flashlights at home!


Monday, January 09, 2006

Friday, January 06, 2006

Portumna Forest Park

Killary Harbour and Kylemore Abby

Ireland's only Fjord is in Killary Harbour. It's a shame we were out there on a bank holiday because they had a wool musuem. One of those living museum things where they demonstrate carding, spinning and weaving. Truth is, I can show the kids that stuff any day of the week at home, but it would have been cool for them to see the whole sheep-to-shirt process.

I wanted to steal the Sweeney's hotel sign for Mum. I mean, everyone knows she's just a boarding house for us to visit and gorge on comfort food and back scratches from the master, I just figured we ought to make it official, hehe.

Mullingar and Gort

Dinner at Owen's and Caroline's.

Visiting the cemetary and round tower in Gort with Craig.