Yarn: Beaverslide Dry Goods Fisherman weight 100% wool, in the color Snowberry.

Pattern: Rogue, by the Girl From Auntie. Look under “Patterns to Buy”.

Started: early January, 2005. Derailed by my hand injury in March.

Finished: October 11, 2005.

For: Me!

Gauge: 4 st and 6 rows/inch. The recommended gauge for the pattern was 4.5 stitches to the inch, and I swear, I swatched. Twice. It still came out wonky at the very end.

Needles: I used my Denise needles, size 6 (5 for the hem). I can’t believe that I would need to use a size 5 needle for heavy worsted/aran yarn, but there you are.

What I learned: Patience! This one took me a long time to finish, due to my apparent ineptitude at walking. I also have learned to keep on measuring gauge as I’m going along. This sucker is a bit big for me, but there is no way that I’m giving it away, or worse, reknitting it. I wanted it baggy, because I will mostly wear it as a jacket outside (though I’m currently sweltering in it in the house because I just had to wear it today!). This is a bit baggier than I intended, but what the heck.
I learned a lot about knitting cables also. That kangaroo pocket was a hoot to knit. Next time I do something like this with a hem, I will consider doing a provisional cast on, then knitting the hem up to the body.
Verdict: I love it! It’s baggy, but I can wear it as “outerwear”, and I’ve worn it a lot already.

Spain Photos, Part 2

But first, a finished knitting project. Don’t faint, there is still knitting going on around here. This pair of socks probably has taken longer to knit than anything. They’ve been sitting in the “I’m bored with this” pile for a month, and I finally pulled them out this week and just sat on the couch until I finished them.



And they fit perfectly!

Project specs:

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces sock yarn, Watercolor
Needles: Size 0 for the cuff, 1 for the sock. I used Ivore double points, my favorite sock needles.
Pattern: Plain sock, generated by Sole Solution software. The sock cuff is 72 stitches, 2 by 2 rib, eye of partridge heel stitch, plain flap heel. Simple as pie.
What I learned from this project: Not much. I’ve done this sock so many times that it’s mindless knitting at its best. Perfect for a train trip, or a few rows after work when you are dead tired.

At first the color pooling of big yellowish stripes bugged me, but when they occurred fairly evenly in a spiral pattern down the sock, I started to like them.

Now, on to Toledo. We took the bus from Madrid to Toledo just for the day, and had a tour guide show us around town. Probably one of the funniest language moments from our trip occurred in the Toledo bus station. We were sitting and waiting for our guide to show up, and I pulled out those socks to knit. After a few minutes I noticed a woman standing behind me watching me, and we began a conversation. She spoke no English, and my Spanish consists of about thirty food-related words. I can ask where the bathroom is, and I have a collection of medical-related phrases that can come in handy, but not in a bus station in Toledo. We seemed to be able to communicate, though. After a lot of sign language and smiling, it appeared that she is also a knitter, she knits socks, and she uses circular needles to do so. Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough Spanish to ask where the yarn shop in Toledo was.

Here are the city gates of Toledo:


The cathedral is probably the biggest tourist attraction in town. You can’t take pictures inside, and mine wouldn’t have done it justice, anyway. I’m discovering that pictures inside of large dark buildings just don’t look like much most of the time. Here’s the outside of the cathedral:


Here’s one of the city streets. Yes, they drive on these.


We ran into these guys again. Though we saw Don Quixote all over Spain, this was the only statue of Sancho.


After a nice meal, we took the bus back to Madrid for another day of touring. We learned to take the metro, and walked some more. We did make it to the Palace in Madrid, though we didn’t go in due to the hot date we had with a paella waitress a little later in the day. Here’s the palace:


The next day we took the train from Madrid to the coast. This was not the fast train, and I had four enjoyable hours to listen to my Ipod and knit. Here’s proof:


While we were at the resort in Marbella, we played around on the beach, drove up and down the coast, and toured up into a couple of the white hill towns. Puerto Banus was just up the road from where we stayed, and we went there one day for lunch. John pretended that he owned one of these:


Here we are with a couple of friends that we found:



Here is one of the “white hill towns” that Andalucia is so famous for. We took day trips to Mijas and Ronda for some tourist action and more good meals.


Though it was a bit too cool to swim in the Mediterranean, we did stroll along it in the evening. Note the gin and tonic in hand.


Yes, we dipped our toes in:


And the obligatory sunset shots:



Next time: Gibraltor, Granada, maybe even Sevilla! And the Case of the Missing Sweater Sleeve, in case any of you are interested in knitting around here.

Spain Photos, Part 1

Where to even start? After weeding through the multitude of photos, we still have literally hundreds left to choose from. I have picked a handful, and will show them in stages over the next few days as I have time to post. It’s a ton of fun going through them and remembering the trip!

First up, Madrid.

We saw this guy all over Spain:


One of the days that we were there we took a guided walking tour of the city. We went to a typical local market, where we were astounded by the variety of produce, and especially the meats, olives and fish.




Here’s one of the many plazas in Madrid, Plaza Mayor.


We stopped at a typical tapa bar, where locals stop in for what we would call “a little lunch” in the midwest, and what Hobbits would call “elevensies” or “second breakfast”. (They seem to eat all day in Spain!)


Here is one of the places that Miguel de Cervantes lived in Madrid.


The city symbol is a bear. Here is one that we saw:


And here’s another bear that might be familiar to those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile:


Yes, that’s Sweetpea. Yes, I took her to Spain. She goes everywhere with me, right in my carry on bag, on top of the knitting. I’d jettison the extra underwear before I’d leave her home. And yes, our hotel in Madrid had turn-down service and left a little flower and chocolate on the bed every night.


That’s the sign post right across the street from our hotel. That indeed proves that we were in Madrid.


That strange woman is me hiding behind a statue at the palace in Madrid. We didn’t do the tour, as we had reservations for a swell late lunch, and we all know that food is much more important than a palace tour, right?

Here’s the meal that won out over the palace:


Paella! Paella is actually what got us to Spain in the first place. We have a friend in the military who, while she was stationed in Bahrain a few years ago, kept sending packages of saffron home. Not having a real clue what to do with a lot of saffron, we did research and came up with paella. Of course then we had to buy the cookbook, and the paella pan, and the right rice, etc. So the “free” saffron wasn’t so cheap, especially when you add in the cost of a three-week trip to Spain. We’ve gotten to enjoy making and eating it, though, as it’s a great way to use up all sorts of stuff in the refrigerator. It’s sort of a Spanish version of “hotdish”, but much better.

Here’s a close-up:


Here’s me after the paella:


Last but not least, here’s an early morning shot from our hotel window.


Next time: on to Toledo, and then the Costa del Sol! (And maybe even some knitting content!)

Google It

Norma posted about this Monday. I love to check my Typepad stats to see how people got to my blog. The Google search strings are sometimes especially funny. After she wrote about this, I, being the completely original blogger that I am, went right off to check mine. Here for your amusement are some of the more recent funnier ones.

“be nice, things could be worse”   I was #11 for that one. That might have to be my new motto.

“bodily damage doctor”  I can only hope that this one refers to my hand injury in March. I was #1 for this.

“nifty knitter”  This one may not seem all that interesting, but it is a recurring search, which I find rather funny for some reason.

And my favorite:

“knit bandages for the lepers”  I am # 7 for this, no lie, and more than one person has gotten to my blog with this one. I’ve never knit bandages of any kind, much less for lepers, though it appears that someone once mentioned it in my comments. I would think that buying them at the drugstore would be cheaper, faster, and more sanitary, but that’s just the doctor in me talking.

There will be vacation pictures soon, I promise. Yesterday was the re-entry day: laundry, the mountain of mail, cleaning up cat hairballs, etc. Plus my brain hasn’t quite figured out the time change yet; from experience, it will be several days before that happens!

We’re Back!

It’s 6AM here in Western Washington, but the whole Knitting Doctor household has been awake since 4:30. That would be 1:30PM in Madrid, in case anybody is wondering. We both stayed in bed for a bit trying to get back to sleep, but my brain is telling me that it’s time for tapas and a little copa de vino tinto. The pets all looked at us like we were nuts for getting up in the middle of the night.

We flew back yesterday, in what seemed like a 24 hour travel marathon. Actually it was a 24 hour travel marathon, now that I think about it. Hotel to airport, Madrid to Atlanta on a 9 hour flight, then 2 hours in the Atlanta airport, most of it spent standing in crowded, sweaty, and noisy immigration and customs lines. Then another 5 hour flight home. John’s son and family were keeping Riley for the time we were gone, and we just could not wait another day to get her, so we drove there last night to pick her up. By the time we got home and collapsed in our own bed, it was over 24 hours from the time that we woke up whatever day that was in our Madrid hotel. It’s enough to make you despise travel.

But, but, Spain! What a wonderful place! This was one of the best vacations we’ve ever had, and I’m just ready to go back in a heartbeat. (For the record, the immigrations and customs process in Spain went much more smoothly than in the good old US of A.) We were there for three weeks, which seems like a lifetime, though we didn’t even begin to really “see” Spain.

Here’s what our itinerary looked like: We started with 4 days in Madrid, which is an exciting cosmopolitan city, with great food, and two of the finest museums in the world (Museo del Prado, and the Thyssen). We didn’t actually get to them until our last day in Spain, but you could spend weeks in either one and not see everything. The Thyssen was actually my favorite of the two, despite the fame of the Prado. If you ever get to Madrid, don’t miss it. It has the most amazing collection of paintings, and gives you the whole history of art in one museum.

The middle part of our trip was spent  on the Costa del Sol, in Marbella. This actually was what started the whole idea of going to Spain, as we have one of those timeshare weeks, and they have a resort near there. Though the Mediterranean is wonderful, the south Spanish coast leaves something to be desired. It’s one long strip of big resorts, some fine, others just big concrete block buildings, and the region has little Spanish flavor or culture remaining. That said, it’s hard to complain when you are walking on the beach in November and sticking your toes in the Med. We took a day trip to Gibraltor which was also fun. There are many little Spanish hill towns up in the mountains near the coast, some of them plastered with tourist shops, but mostly they are very charming, and we did a number of drives up to the hills.

From there we rented a car and drove to Granada, yet another fabulous city. Here we actually stayed at the Parador in the Alhambra, which was the only Parador we stayed in while in Spain. (Spain has a system of state-run hotels called Paradores, which range from ancient buildings remodeled as small hotels, to more modern accommodations.) The Alhambra itself was incomparable. (I’m struggling with finding enough adjectives here to describe all this!) It was built as a walled city/palace during the time that the Moors ruled Spain, and most of the palace dates from the 13th century or so. We had arranged for a private tour guide to show us the place, and spent hours just roaming around.

Our next stop was in Arcos de la Frontera, which is another of the small hill towns, close to Jerez. This might be my favorite of the hill towns. It’s not nearly as touristy as some of them, and has an old part of the city that is just the most fun place to walk around getting lost. The older part of town is a warren of tiny streets and ancient buildings, many not even close to wide enough for a car to pass. Our hotel was a charming old place right on the edge of a cliff, with a rooftop patio to watch the sunset at night. I think we walked every inch of Arcos, and tried numerous tapas bars in an effort to find the best one. Our best driving trip was on the way to Arcos; we took a side road up over a mountain pass through another hill town called Grazelema. The road was spectacular, and we stopped for lunch and a little more vino there…yet another place that I’d love to go back to someday.

After Arcos, we spent three days in Sevilla, which easily was my favorite of the big cities that we were in. We did the usual tourist things: took a tour, saw the cathedral (third largest in Europe), saw another Moorish style palace, the Alcazar, did a riverboat ride. The best thing, though, was just walking. Sevilla’s old town is another of those mazes of tiny streets, most of them undrivable. We found ourselves wondering how people move into apartments in these places, with streets barely big enough for a wheelbarrow, much less a moving truck. We just walked and walked, stopping into more tapa bars and fun little shops. Our hotel there, the Convento la Gloria, was recommended by the Madrid travel agent that we used to help set up parts of the trip, and was probably our favorite of the trip. It was indeed an old convent, and the rooms were tiny and fairly spartan, though with a huge bathroom by Spain standards. It was right in the heart of the old town, just a few blocks from the Cathedral and the famous Santa Cruz district. The service was outstanding, and the restaurant that was part of the hotel was fabulous, though we didn’t find it in any guide books. (Meson Don Raimundo)

From Sevilla we took the train back to Madrid, and got to ride the Ave train, the fast train. Spain’s train system is really wonderful. When they say that the train leaves at 1200, they seriously mean it. It does not pull out of the station at 1201. If you are not on it, too bad. They don’t wait. They get you where you are going, at exactly the time that they say they will. (I probably don’t need to make comparisons to our train system, or lack of one.) We checked back into “our” Madrid hotel, which was the Gran Hotel Canarios, which was catty-corner from both the Prado and the Thyssen. We spent the afternoon at the museums, then overhauled our luggage in preparation for the trip home, then went out for one last meal in Spain. Our travel guy, Carlos, recommended a place near Plaza Mayor called Taberneros, which was an upscale tapa place that had some of the most creative food that we ate in Spain, as well as a great wine list. They didn’t speak much English, and I don’t think that it is on the usual tourist list of places to go, but after three weeks in Spain deciphering menus, we were able to manage pretty well. Our limited knowledge of the Spanish language improved during the three weeks, though certainly nobody will ever mistake us for locals.

There are whole provinces of Spain that we didn’t even think about getting to, and Barcelona is on my list of places to go next time. It’s a wonderful country, with friendly people and centuries upon centuries of history and culture that is fascinating. We took hundreds and hundreds of photos, but haven’t even started sorting through them, so photo-posting will have to wait. And the pictures don’t do it justice anyway. I did get some knitting done while I was gone, but still on the same projects, so no pictures of that either, for now. I didn’t find one yarn shop in Spain, though I didn’t really look very hard. They have a lot of sheep, though, so I’m sure there is yarn there somewhere. That will be for the next trip! Adios for now!


There has been very little rain in Spain so far while we’ve been here. (Honest, that song ran through my head on the plane ride over here.) Internet access may be a bit limited during our trip, but I thought I would take advantage of free wi-fi at our Madrid hotel to post a short entry with one or two photos.

Madrid is lovely, I haven’t thought once about work (sorry, boss), and I’ve hardly had any time to even check email. Tomorrow we get on a train and travel to the Costa del Sol for a week on the Mediterranean. Then we spend another week driving around Andalucia, to Grenada, Arcos, and Sevilla. Then back on the train to Madrid for a day and then home. We’ve eaten lots of good things already. drunk lots of good wine, and walked all over Madrid. Tonight we get to go to a flamenco show, followed by some tapas tasting late into the night.

It’s the 400-year anniversary of Cervante’s Don Quixote, and we’ve seen this fellow everywhere:


I started reading Don Quixote earlier this summer, never finished it, but have resumed reading it on the trip.

OK, only one photo, as someone else is saying it’s his turn with the computer. I haven’t found any yarn shops yet. (How do you say “yarn” in Spanish?)

Adios! We’re off to flamenco!

Lorette Needs…

Nothing, apparently. I swiped this one from Deb, though I’ve seen it around the blog world. Go to Google, put in "your name needs", with your name of course, and the quotation marks. List the results on your blog. When I put in "Lorette needs" I get nothing. No hits. That must mean something, I’m sure. So I tried "Lori needs" instead. That’s fair, because my sister Diane called me Lori for years. Here’s what I get:

Lori needs our help and support now more than ever.

Lori needs ideas and volunteers.

Lori needs to be aware of her own anger and how it


It’s a gettin’ closer…

Here’s where the Not-Really-An-Everyday-Cardigan is at the moment:


One back, one front, and the second front started. This is a little bit closer to what the color really is (did I mention that I got a new camera?).  I’m having loads of fun taking pictures, though so far I’ve deleted most of them as a little experimental.

We spent a couple of days playing in Seattle this past week. My sister is here visiting for a work meeting, and we went to the big city to see her, get a few really great meals, and play tourist. I didn’t even get to one yarn shop. She had never been to the Space Needle, so we took the ride to the top and managed to catch a wine tasting and some great views. Here’s us drinking wine:


And the view from the top:


If that one looks a little blurry, it’s because the wind was blowing about 80 miles an hour, and I was trying not to drop the camera over the side. Here’s a view of the Needle from below:


Though you’ll note that I’m holding a real wine glass in that first picture, I’ve been banned from any activities that involve wine and walking. We are scheduled to leave for that postponed Spain trip in eight days, and I am going even if I do major bodily damage to myself between now and then.

Here’s the other thing that I’m getting ready to do:


November is National Novel Writing Month! I did this last year, and finished. In case you’ve never heard of this, you commit to writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, starting on November 1st. Here’s the website, in case any of you want to sign up. I was waffling a bit as to whether I wanted to do this again this year, but finally just gave in and signed up. I figure if I don’t finish, that I’ll be in good company. The only thing that I was concerned about is that it means I have to take my laptop to Spain with us, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted to haul it along.

We’re off to Seattle again today to have lunch with my sister. I’m hoping to get one more post in before we leave for our vacation!


First off, a big thank-you to everybody for the birthday wishes! I just finished one of those 7-day work stretches, so I haven’t answered any emails in a week. (And given my historically lousy letter-writing skills, I may never get to all of them!) The nice thoughts are very much appreciated, though.

Here’s something little that I bought myself for my birthday:


And when you buy a set of four, you get a fifth one, with a custom picture:


Need a close-up? I thought so.


I got them at Zephyr Style, you can find ’em here.

I haven’t figured out even a quarter of the features on my new camera, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying. The pets are getting a little sick of getting their pictures taken. Lucy has gone into the witness protection program again, and I can’t find her to get a shot, but here are the other two doing what they do best, during one of those famous Pacific NW “sunbreaks”.


And finally, the knitting content. Rogue is at last done. Here are a couple of pictures:



Yarn: Beaverslide Dry Goods Fisherman weight 100% wool, in the color Snowberry.
Pattern: Rogue, by the Girl From Auntie. Look under “Patterns to Buy”.
Started: early January, 2005. Derailed by this in March.
Finished: October 11, 2005.
For: Me!
Gauge: 4 st and 6 rows/inch. The recommended gauge for the pattern was 4.5 stitches to the inch, and I swear, I swatched. Twice. It still came out wonky at the very end.
Needles: I used my Denise needles, size 6 (5 for the hem). I can’t believe that I would need to use a size 5 needle for heavy worsted/aran yarn, but there you are.

What I learned: Patience! This one took me a long time to finish, due to my apparent ineptitude at walking. I also have learned to keep on measuring gauge as I’m going along. This sucker is a bit big for me, but there is no way that I’m giving it away, or worse, reknitting it. I wanted it baggy, because I will mostly wear it as a jacket outside (though I’m currently sweltering in it in the house because I just had to wear it today!). This is a bit baggier than I intended, but what the heck.
I learned a lot about knitting cables also. That kangaroo pocket was a hoot to knit. Next time I do something like this with a hem, I will consider doing a provisional cast on, then knitting the hem up to the body. This pattern was just so much fun that I might make it again.
I also just LOVE this yarn. It is so soft that I can wear it without any itch-factor at all, even right next to my skin. I already have another batch on order to make another sweater. Maybe another Rogue even??

Last Photo…..

…with my old camera, that is.

Because today is my BIRTHDAY!!!!

And here’s what I got from my sweetie…


And another…


It’s a Canon Digital Rebel XT, which I’ve been coveting but couldn’t quite justify just to take photos of yarn. My sweetheart knew that I needed a great camera to take pictures for the blog, so there you have it. What can I say, he spoils me.

Now I have to go knit some good stuff, so I can take some swell pictures to justify this baby.

And Dena, (new and improved-i.e.-correct spelling!) if you’re reading this; say “hi” in the comments! I was in the hospital deli this morning with a mouth full of donut when a woman came up to me and asked, “”Are you Lorette? I read your blog; I’m a knitter, too.”  I was so surprised that I truly acted like a dork. I hope we run into each other again! Say “hi” if you see me again…maybe I’ll have the presence of mind to actually have a conversation!

Back From Georgia

Blog Rule #1:

When you don’t know what to write, lead off with a cute baby picture, preferably a cute baby wearing something that you knit:


That’s Huck, wearing the baby bear suit that I knit for his big brother two years ago. It was a bit snug for Griffin, and I think he only wore it once for a photo shoot before it was passed on to the next child. It fits this baby pretty well, don’t you think?

We are back from Georgia, and stepped off the plane to rainy cool weather. It’s finally Rogue-wearing season! I seamed the sleeves last night and installed the first sleeve before I just got too tired to go any further. I wore it around the house with one sleeve for awhile to celebrate, but I’m not taking any more pictures of it until it’s really done. It fits fine: I could have made the next smaller size, but it is just really not cold enough here to wear this much indoors, and I wanted it big enough to fit as a quasi-jacket over my clothing. I’m hoping to finish the sewing parts in the next day or two.

I did get some knitting done while away. We had four hours on the plane each way, and I worked on the Not-Really-An-Everyday-Cardigan all the way there. Here is the progress: a finished back piece, and part of one front…


This is really an easy, knit-in-front-of-TV project.  Or the project you go to when your eyes are crossed from too much lace:


Notice anything sad about that picture? Here’s a close-up to help:


At least the stitches didn’t fall off the needle. I worked on this on the way home, and as we were in a bulkhead seat, the bag went in the overhead bin for landing. I think somebody shoved it in a little too hard.  One would think that I would have another pair of needles in this size, given this collection…


…but I actually had to search a bit for a replacement pair. I don’t think that the busted one is salvageable, at least not with my lack of patience for anything fiddly. I learned something new while working on the lace scarf. I reached the end of the first ball of yarn, and realized that I needed to learn how to join the next ball. Usually when I’m knitting garment pieces, I just knit the first few stitches with the old and new yarn held together, then drop the old yarn end and weave it in later. Most of the time this works just fine, and the extra bulk doesn’t really show.  That method doesn’t work so well with lace. So I learned the Russian join. Spit splicing is also an option for lace work, but this is a cashmere-silk blend, and when I tried it I just ended up with a spitty mess. I think that works better for mostly wool yarns.

I’m off to sew sleeves!

New Project Monday

It is Monday, right? I’m never quite sure unless I’m at work and have to write the date nine hundred times.

The kids are all back home, and the house is mostly cleaned up. It’s awfully quiet around here, is all I have to say. They were here for 5 days, and I think we ran fifteen loads of dishes and ten loads of laundry, at least, while they were here. I have a new respect for my grandmothers. My mother’s mother had nine children, and fed and raised all of them along with the usual collection of shirt-tail relatives who lived at her house off and on over the years. She helped my grandfather run a farm out in the middle of nowhere, with no running water, and no conveniences of any kind. She made all their meals from scratch, and grew or raised most of the ingredients herself. She washed all the laundry by hand, and hung it out on a clothesline to dry, summer and winter. And here I am, bamboozled by four small children, with all the conveniences in the world! The one thing that they did leave behind was an unwelcome viral visitor. I estimate that the incubation period of that cold virus was less than 36 hours, given how fast it moved from one kid to nearly the whole family.

I appreciate all the comments on my last few posts. I have discovered the secret to getting lots of comments: just post a picture or two of cute babies, and you’re all set!

Here’s what’s happening in my knitting world. Rogue is still drying. That yarn is so heavy that it is taking forever to dry. I didn’t just steam it lightly to block it, as it’s been all over the place in the last several months, and I figured it needed a good washing. I’ll be out of town for the rest of the week, so it won’t get put together at least until I get back.

Here is what the Peace Fleece looks like now:


That color is just wrong. In real life it is much greener. This is going to be my Not-Really-An-Everyday-Cardigan cardigan. (Scroll down the page on that link to see it.) I purchased this as a kit a long time ago, but don’t really like the pattern that comes with it. It’s a bit too cropped for me, and the sleeve shaping has some issues, and I don’t like the way that those dropped sleeves look. And I don’t really like the roll neck, either. So I am using a pattern designed with Sweater Wizard software instead. It is a plain cardigan, crew neck, with set-in sleeves. It’s as basic as it gets, and I bet I will wear it to death. It’s also a pretty quick knit, given the heavy worsted weight and plain stockinette stitch.

We’re off to Georgia to visit John’s sister for the rest of the week. It’s been in the nineties there, so I’m not sure I’ll even bother to take the heavy wool with me to knit. Am I the only sick person out there, or do you all also think “I’ve got x number of hours just to sit on an airplane and knit”, when you contemplate a vacation?


I keep forgetting to mention this in a post, but I separated out the “knitting medical types” in my “Blogs I Read” section. If you are a “knitting medical type” with a blog, and I’ve missed you, leave me a comment and I’ll get you listed over there.

Do The Puyallup!

Yes, we did it again this year. John’s kids and their kids have been visiting us this week, and no late summer vacation is complete without a trip to the State Fair.  Our trip this year looked much like the trip last year, except that the little ones are a year older and enjoyed the rides and petting farm more. It was also warm and not raining this year, unlike our visit to the fair last summer. We ate lots of junk food, rode rides, looked at cows and chickens. I missed the sheep again this year, except for the few in the petting barn. I think they showed them earlier in the fair. I also didn’t make it to the craft pavilion this year to look at the knitted stuff. We all just wore out and couldn’t have looked at another thing.

I think the grandkids favorite thing was the drumming contraption:




That middle picture is Sam, and the last one is Griffin. Yes, John’s grandchildren really ARE that cute in real life.

Here’s Penelope practicing being a fireman:


She’s cute, too. They’re all cute, did I mention that?

George and I appear to have started a tradition of riding the scariest ride at the fair. Last year we did the Extreme Scream, more or less on a dare. That was pretty scary, I might point out. We decided to branch out this year. After looking them all over, we decided on the Turbo Force. Here we are getting ready to go:


Here is what it looked like:




That is pretty much the most terrifying thing I have ever done. After you get swung around in a big arc about a million times, it pauses at the very top for a few minutes while they change the passengers in the bottom seats. Then you get to do the whole thing again for another million times. And they are right, you don’t get sick. You are just plain too terrified to even think of nausea.

Here’s the sock:


This doesn’t really qualify as Extreme Knitting, because there was just no way in hell that you could have peeled my hands off those safety bars to pull out the sock at the top. Maybe next year.

Here’s the kitchen packed with kids after the fair:


And me and Huck in a quiet moment. He’s even cuter than he was when he was born.


There aren’t many quiet moments in a house with six adults trying to make themselves heard over four children under the age of four. Pandemonium just about describes it. I have gotten some knitting done, even amidst the chaos. The knitting part of Rogue is finished, and all the ends are sewn in. It’s washed and on the blocking mats. All that’s left is to seam the sleeves and put them in, and then to do the hems.



While I’m waiting for that to dry, I’m already plotting my next sweater project. This is a stashed project from a couple years ago, and here is the yarn:


That’s Peace Fleece, in Kamchatka Seamoss. I’ll tell you what it’s going to be in my next post!

More Rogue, Again

But first, the baby! John’s grandson Huck was finally born Friday night. Here’s a just-born photo:


Even though he’s a respectable 9lbs, 2 ozs, the Jolly Green Sweater won’t fit him for awhile. I made his mom promise to get a picture of him in it eventually. He’s of course perfect, which makes four perfect grandchildren in a row for John. We’re all glad he’s finally here!

Here’s where I am on Rogue:


If that looks suspiciously like where I was a week ago, look again:


One sleeve down, one more to go. I had forgotten just how much fun this pattern is. I knit a row, and think, well, I really need to get up and do something else. Then I look at the cable chart, and think, well, really, I’ll just knit another row and see how it looks. This, despite the fact that I know how it is going to look, because I’ve done these very same cables on the body already. I’m easily entertained.

Here’s my newest knitting spot:


We have more or less finished this phase of the remodeling project, and have most of it straightened up. That used to be the kitchen, where there was a traditional kitchen table and chairs. As we have a dining room table about ten steps from here, we decided to do away with the kitchen furniture and put in comfortable chairs for people to sit in. Everyone always ends up in the kitchen standing around and talking, so we decided to go with this. It’s a lovely place to sit with a cup of tea and the newspaper, or a glass of bourbon and my knitting, depending on the time of day. We have a new sofa for the living room on order (to replace the one that is ancient and cat-trashed), and I’ll show pictures of that room in its finished state when it’s here. We’re pleased with the whole thing, though my spouse has that look again, so I’m thinking that if I hold him off on more projects until next spring, I’ll be lucky.

A month or so ago I mentioned knitting while getting my hair colored. Someone dared me to post pictures, so here they are, Laurie.


Yes, that’s glop on my eyebrows, too. Here’s what it looks like done:


Yes I know, I forgot to smile. And yes, it’s redder than it used to be. If I choose to believe that this is the color I was born with, so be it. My husband hasn’t quite decided if he wants to be married to a redhead or not.

And last but not least, my favorite Bush-bashing photo of the week. What can I say, he’s so easy to poke sticks at.


Huck’s Hooded Sweater


The model is not yet born, so here is Sweetpea as the stand-in:


Project Details:

Pattern: Daisy, by the Yarn Harlot, pattern at

Yarn: Butterfly 10 mercerized cotton, in the color Hydepark, from

Started: late August 2005, finished September 8, 2005.

For: John’s newest grandson, Henry, AKA Huck, not yet born, but we’re waiting patiently.
Gauge/Needles: 20 stitches to 4 inches, on 5mm needles. This yarn would look a little better knit at closer to a sport weight gauge. It’s a little floppy at worsted weight.

What I learned from this project:

This pattern has front bands that are knitted right along with the sweater body. The first three stitches of the front edge are knitted in seed stitch, creating the bands as you go. This has always sounded like a good idea to me, and I’ve wondered why more patterns don’t do this. Here are the reasons: First, they don’t lay quite as neatly as bands that have been picked up and knitted after the body is done. Second, in some pattern stitches, the gauge would be a bit different for the band pattern and the body pattern. You might need to use a smaller needle for the bands unless you wanted them to flare out. For a three-stitch seed stitch band, on a baby sweater, this all doesn’t really matter.

I also learned to look at my buttonholes when I space them. These came out unevenly spaced, but I didn’t notice until I sewed the buttons on. They are staying the way they are.

Yarn Notes:
I really liked this yarn. The colors are rich and vibrant. I washed this in the sink in cool water with a bit of Kookaburra Wool Wash*, and then tossed it in the dryer till it was nearly dry. A few  hours pinned to the blocking board, followed by a session with the Rowenta steamer flattened the bands into submission.

*This is my favorite hand washing solution. It is great for wool and all hand-washable fibers, and has tea tree oil so it smells great. If you don’t like the smell of tea tree, don’t use this, as it is pretty pronounced.