aswim in knits

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

Let's celebrate 2008 with some fiber. If you're in the area (northeastern Massachusetts, Merrimack Valley area), join me at my house on New Year's Day in the afternoon for knitting and spinning.
Send me an email for address and directions, or leave a comment (with your email address!).


Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas recap

Whew. It's been a while. Let me try to get through the last several days in one post, not too many words (yeah, right!).

I was paired with Yaga for the knitting wars. (Thanks, Yaga, for adding some posts in English!). Which means, I was busy knitting! Here's the final tally of 2007 Christmas gifts:

My in-laws get something knitted every year. This year, my FIL got some socks, and my MIL got felted slippers, both of which were requested, or at least strongly hinted at.
Spey Valley
(Da's socks -- Spey Valley, from Knitting on the Road, in Regia 6 ply)

slippers for mim
(Mim's slippers -- Fiber Trends' Felted Clogs, in 2 colors of Araucania Nature Wool)

Both were well received, although I need to felt Mim's slippers a little more -- I left them big on purpose, rather than felt them too much. So, back in the washing machine they shall go.

My boss, a.k.a. Boss Lady, requested some mittens this year. I opened up Ravelry at work (umm, because it wasn't open already, of course!) and we started looking for patterns. She saw a few convertible mitten patterns, and said "oooh, I want something like that -- I didn't know you could knit those!".

She traced her hand for me (teeny tiny little hands!) and I made these:
flip top mittens for Boss Lady
flip top mittens for Boss Lady
(My own pattern, Elsebeth Lavold Classic AL in black)
(Boss Lady would like you to know that she did not plan for a photo shoot and had not had her nails done recently. She apologizes for the chipped polish!)

I also knit some ornaments as gifts. I'd like to start a tradition of making an ornament for each parent, sibling, and grandparent every year. I forgot to label these with the date, but here are my 2007 ornaments:
Christmas ornaments 2007
For the following people, from the top left: Thom's sister and family, my brother and wife, my mom and dad, Thom's brother and family, my Grandma and Sam, and Thom's parents.)
(More details on Ravelry.)

The Mafia, in another command performance, decided that the leftover yarn from her fingerless mitts should not go to waste, and managed to convince me to knit this for her:
the Mafia's So-Called Scholar Collar

I'm calling it the "My So Called Scholar Collar", since the stitch pattern is from the My So Called Scarf but the button idea and approximate size are inspired by the Scholar Collar. I finished it before Christmas, but not in time to connect with her before she went away to visit her family, so she'll get it on New Year's.

So, 10 knit gifts -- not bad! Oh, and I made my mom her earrings, too. She and I picked the beads together, and I made them. I've been making her jewelry since I was in high school, or maybe even earlier. She loves the brightly colored earrings that I will never wear myself. So, it's a win-win. I get to play with beads, and she gets earrings (and necklaces, and bracelets) that she likes!
earrings for mom
(Click to Flickr-ize for more detail.)

I also got some lovely crafty presents. My mom made a donation towards the "my crazy daughter decided to take up spinning" fund. My MIL gave me a copy of Knitting America, a history of knitting in the US, with loads of photos and 20 period patterns. I've only read the first few chapters, but it's fascinating.

My sister in law (my brother's wife) made us the cutest possible Christmas ornaments with polymer clay:
ornaments from Joanna
These guys are tiny -- only an inch and a half tall. Both the penguin (right) and Santa angel (left) are dusted with fine glitter powder, so they look like they've been out frolicking in the snow. So cute!! She also made my mom a little sculpture of a polar bear, seal, and penguin all pig-piled upon each other. She's quite talented!!

So, this post has now exhausted me. I'm off to go watch some DVDs and knit some more. I started a pair of mittens for me on Christmas Eve, and I'm cranking through them (one done, except for the thumb, and I've started the cuff of the second one). Any guesses as to the pattern?

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Monday, December 17, 2007

FO, FO, FO, Merry Christmas!

Yesterday, I promised to give an update on my Christmas knitting. I don't have the name of my knitting war competitor yet, so I don't want to give away too much information. I will, however, tell you that I finished three projects since Wednesday. One is a Christmas gift, and 2 are not.

Not a gift #1: Socks for me! Insane and striped. Perfect antidote for the winter blues. (Regia self striping yarn, size 1 needles.)
stripey socks

Gift: Ornament, to be sent to my inlaws in Wisconsin. Looks much nicer in natural light, but we won't see that at home until next weekend.

Not a gift #2: Mittens for Soaring Eagles. (Debbie Bliss Chunky Donegal Tweed, size 7 and 9 needles.)
for Soaring Eagles

Back to the holiday knitting. I'm off for now. Ciao.

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

christmas knitting

I'm in! I don't have a partner yet, but I will be participating in the 1, 2, 3, 4 Knitting War that I posted about yesterday! I'll be paired up against someone and we will race to finish our holiday knitting. Some anonymous donors are going to contribute $5 to charity for every item that the winner finishes.

So, for those following along at home, here is what I plan to knit for the holidays. I won't tell you what I have knit yet or not. I'll save that for the next post :)

  • 1 pair of socks for Da (my FIL)
  • 1 pair of felted slippers for Mim (my MIL)
  • 1 pair of flip-top gloves for Boss Lady
  • 6 knitted ornaments -- one each for the families of our parents and siblings, as well as my grandmother
In addition to that, I will be making beaded earrings for my mom (4 pairs, I think) and some beaded stitch markers for my MIL.

I made her these ones two years ago, and she really likes them.
On Friday night, I visited Beadworks and got some beads and crystals for this year's version.

What do you think? Can I do it? Any guesses on how much I've knit already?

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Friday, December 14, 2007

mysterious ways

I got a mysterious email ... apparently so did some others.

Hello Danielle,
SO you thought you could escape the knitting war 'eh *grin* nope, not so fast little one....YOU have been chosen.
Why you ask...........because of your gorgeous knits, and your great attitude even during the busiest time of the holiday season!!
sooooo should you accept, you must post this message on your blog, with my name blured please. All contributors will become known at the end of the game. You will also be given a website to go to for tracking your progress, for information and for your fans to follow you. You must also post the website:)
Well dear warrior, do you accept????
1,2,3,4 I declare a KNITTING WAR…………………………..YOU have been chosen…should you choose to accept this mission, you will receive your orders soon….via your blog….your war will be against another yet fun and famous knitter.
What are the details you say… see who can finish ALL Christmas knitting before Christmas……the reward for winning this war you ask……a donation of $5 per winners project to afore mentioned charity of their choice…….anyone wishing to join in must sign in to whomever’s blog they represent by stating “I’M IN” this means they too will meet with every finished project $5 to the charity of winners choice. The secret agents at hand will be keeping track of whose who. I cannot tell you who these 3 people are….well, I could, but then I would have to take all your stash so mumms the word ‘eh.
So strong warrior…………… you choose or not!!!!

Your blog address:

I'm intrigued!! I do have a bit of a competitive streak (stop laughing, Mafia!). There's one little wrinkle that I need to get sorted out ... I've replied to the sender, so we'll have to see what happens next ...

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about the white stuff ...

Did you see the beautiful snow photos all over blogland today? Amanda posted some lovely ones, as did Julie and Caro. Fluffy white goodness, making everything clean and bright.

Let me present the alternative perspective.

(Thanks for the photo, Boston Globe.)

This is what we saw while driving home on Route 93 last night. Yes, that would be GRIDLOCK. People just stopping on the middle of the interstate highway to clean off their cars. My personal favorite was the guy in the panel van who reached out the window with a 6 floot long broom to clean his windshield. While driving. (Yeah, it was only 3 mph, but still...)

It took us FOUR AND A HALF hours to get home last night. Usually, the drive is about 50 minutes. Yesterday, the first 58 minutes of my commute were spent in here.

That's my parking garage on a sunnier day. See that street in the lower left hand corner? Completely backed up, which meant that NOBODY was getting out of the garage. Lucky for me, I had a sock to knit. I think I completed about 2" before getting out to the street. What did non-knitters do???

The Mafia parks in that garage too, but she got a 15-minute headstart on me, and there was no line when she left work. She lives about 15 minutes from me, and stayed ahead of me for the whole commute. She was my "advance man," calling from along the route to let me know which street or intersections to avoid. If it wasn't for her, I would probably have been on the road at least another half hour, maybe longer. Thanks, Mafia!

[I'm done whining now. Although, I hear that this weekend's expected storm is supposed to be equally messy ...]

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

snow day!

The best news I heard all day ... pardon me while I go park my butt on the couch and knit.

It just started snowing an hour ago, but we are expected to get several inches. The state of MA sent its employees home at 11:30, and most schools and many businesses are also closing early, so the commute may still be pretty crappy. But, woo hoo for 3 extra hours of butt-parking!! I might need to go get some videos too ...


study break socks

While I was studying for a final exam last week, I decided that I needed to take a little break and knit something. Unfortunately, none of my projects were at a stage where I could just pick up and knit mindlessly, so I started some socks. The yarn is some Regia Crazy Color that I picked up in the back room of Webs for $4/ball. Such cheerful colors!


And yes, I did match the stripes.

sock tops.JPG

Obessive? Moi?

sock heels.JPG

Maybe just a little!

One more pair towards my goal of having a month's worth of handknit socks (inspired by Margene). I don't much care for doing laundry.

I'm a little further along then when I took these photos. I'm about an inch past the gusset decreases on both socks. I'm going to take these to lunchtime SnB today, and work during the commute. It looks like we might get 2 good sized storms in the next 4 days, so I'm thinking I'll spend some time indoors this weekend! Maybe a new pair of socks by the weekend's end?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I have been a lucky blogger this fall. I got all sorts of nice gifts and contest prizes recently. This is a long-overdue thanks for all of them! Sort of in chronological order, as best as I can remember ...

The first prize is from Susan from KitKatKnit, who had a contest to see who could guess how many photos she would take on her trip to Alaska. (By the way, her gorgeous photos, not all 830 of them, but many, can be seen in a Flickr set.) She sent me some squishy chunky tweed to make mittens with, and a cute sheepy tape measure. Oh, and some chocolate and candy, but that's long gone.
Donegal Chunky Tweed

This morning, I used the yarn to cast on for a pair of mittens for the Soaring Eagles Project.

mittens for Soaring Eagles Project.JPG

I'm shamelessly using blog-contest prizes to knit something to enter in another blog contest. If you knit a pair (or more!) Sandy will enter you in a contest -- she'll custom knit a pair of mittens for the contest winner!

Back to the prize patrol ...
Maryse sent me a skein of Mama-E C*EYE*BER Fiber sock yarn in the Jolene colorway after I donated some hats to the store where she volunteers. (I've used some of this already -- you may recognize the yarn from the Wooly Legs.)
Mama-E's C*EYE*BER Fiber Sock

Then, I won a contest at Bertha's blog for guessing the name and color of her yarn. In return, she sent me some yummy ShiBui sock yarn in the Wasabi color. And some chocolate with raspberries in it. Also gone :)
Shibui Sock

I think these will become socks for a friend who wears a lot of this shade of green.

Then, for no reason at all, Haddy brought me back a little present from a trip to Spunky Eclectic -- a sparkly yellow batt. It will match perfectly with some silk roving I got at Rhinebeck.
Spunky Eclectic Twinkle Batt

I also won a superwash sock batt from Farm Witch, who sells her batts and other fibers through her etsy shop. It too has a bit of glitz, and I can't wait to spin it!
sock batt
sock batt closeup

Also, I won a contest at Cara's blog, and I'll be getting a skein of Socks That Rock from her.

THANK YOU ALL!!! (So much for stash busting, huh?)

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Friday, December 07, 2007

stick a fork in me ...

... I'm DONE!

As of yesterday at 8:30 pm, I am done with my classes for this semester, and don't go back until January 16. I took an exam on Wednesday night, and am still waiting for results. In my other class, remember that pesky little paper I whined about last week? I got an A on it, so I don't need to take the final exam for that class. Woo hoo! Thank you for listening to me obsess, and for sending me good vibes.


In honor of being done with class, and therefore in a generally festive mood, I've decided to host a knitting and spinning party on New Year's Day.

If you're local, and I know you, you probably got an email from me (umm, check your spam filter, Cheryl). Unless you're local, and I know you, but didn't have your email in my address book ... in which case, email me or leave a comment with an email address, and I'll forward you the details.

Or, if you're local (Boston/Southern NH area) and I don't know you, please introduce yourself :)


In between studying and whining, I've been knitting, and doing a teeny bit of spinning.

Last month, Meghann, Beth, and the Mafia came over for a spur-of-the-moment knitting and spinning evening. We taught Meghann how to spin, and she took to it like a duck to water.

(Julia, your wheel sure does get around!)

This is her first skein of yarn. Dude, it looks like yarn! My first skein looked more like something the cat had spit up.


While she was there, the Mafia took one look at a skein of BFL that I had spun and plied earlier that week, and decided that it was hers. Apparently, in her world, all green yarn belongs to her. Who am I to argue?

She demanded politely requested that I turn the yarn over to her. We tussled a bit, and the compromise solution was that I would get the pleasure of knitting with the yarn, and she would get the pleasure of telling me what to knit, and would own the end product.

Thus, I present "Mafia's Mitts."

help, I have no fingers!

tree climbing
(This image gives new meaning to "you're driving me up a tree".)

Project specs:
Yarn: Handspun BFL from Clover Leaf Farms
Pattern: improvised
Gauge: 17 sts/4 in
Needles: Size 7 Addis
On Ravelry.


I'm off for a computer-less weekend full of synchronized swimming and teenage girls. See you on the flip side.

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