Monday, October 29, 2007


The kids and I got home at dinner time last night, after a really wonderful visit with my parents (more about that tomorrow). I already knew my FFBE package had arrived, and I waited until after dinner to open it, which was hard, but I thought I should give my husband a little bit of attention before attending to yarn-related activities.

Anne is a GREAT swap partner! Check out all this stuff:

And then, there's the actual bag:

It's a purple gelato bag, and it's even lined! I can't tell you how much I love the gelato bag. It's not a mommy bag, it's a cute, girly, all I need is my wallet, lipstick, and keys bag. I LOVE IT!

Anne really paid attention to what I like - the frog stitch markers are adorable, and fit right in with my other frog-type things. (They're hanging out with the baseball frog right now to celebrate the Red Sox's win!)

(Hmmm. The photo is kind of blurry - I'll try to get a better one later.)

She sent THREE types of yarn - some Sugar 'n Creme for dishcloths, in pretty purple/fall type colors, blue malabrigo for mittens - I can't wait! I'm so excited to knit myself some mittens, and some lace-weight yarn (Have you seen the new One Skein Designer Wonders book? There's a lace dresser scarf I would love to try!)

And then, there were all the other goodies - candy and candy rings (Big Boy says thanks too!), a cat candle holder, a wonderful fall scented candle, a calendar mousepad (very cool), Halloween temporary tattoos (all three kids say thanks), potpourri (which makes all the yarn smell really good!), a Halloween themed grocery list pad, a knitting pad, and a Caribou who's been out raking. The caribou was especially appropriate, because little girl spent the last hour of the car ride home twirling her hair in her hands and telling me "I'm a moose."

Anne, thank you so much! This package was such a joy to open and look through, and I'm so excited to use the bag, and start knitting mittens! I'm just learning to read a chart for color, so I'm hoping to be able to figure out lace charts soon!

And now, for the final FFBE Question:

How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the bag you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!

I had a BLAST with this exchange. It's really my first swap that's not just a "Send off a quick package" kind of thing. I've loved reading everyone's blog, and wish some of you posted more! I LOVE the bag I received, and so appreciate how much the whole package was tailored to me (in fact, I was sort of hoping Anne was my partner, after she posted the gelato bag she was making, and I saw the frog stitch markers on her blog. Not that the rest of you weren't making beautiful things, but I REALLY like purple. And frogs. And the gelato bag.) I especially enjoyed the weekly questions, and that this swap was a 2 month affair. I liked having time to get to know my downstream partner before I had to assemble a package for her.

Thank you, Anne. Not just for my package, but for all of the hard work that you've done to host this swap!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa

Hello everyone!

Yesterday, I drove with the little ones to the Buffalo area to visit my parents. We're going to be here for a little over a week. Which, I have to say, is pretty exciting for us. However, it also means that I missed the package that arrived at my house yesterday. I can see it too - just as I pull around the corner, the mail truck stops at my house. So, if, say you are my felted fall bag pal or crochetaholic Debb, please understand why you aren't hearing from me. I contemplated having my husband ship the package to me here, but I didn't think I'd be able to talk him into it.

Also, I don't know how much I'll have to post between now and next week. Although, I am going to a Norwegian Mitten class on Monday at Have Ewe Any Wool.

Have a great week!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

FFBE Question 4

My favorite Halloween ever, so far, is this one! We just had a Halloween Party for the kids yesterday, and it was so much fun! Little girl dressed up as a Pumpkin, and Little boy as a puppy. ALL of the kids who came to the party looked so cute, and they had so much fun! I had a ton of fun decorating cupcakes.

My friend Kim made these great popcorn hands.

I always had fun at Halloween as a kid, but I have so much MORE fun as a parent! I think I get more excited than the kids do for their little parties and Trick or Treating.

I've been working on hats for little ones, in between the busy-ness of my life this week!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

My Winnings!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday:

I wish I could show you ALL of the designs. I really had no idea that women knit themselves entire dresses in a very fine gauge. I knew they WORE knitted dresses, I just thought they bought them. Here's an example of one of the outfits:

(Sorry about the flash. I should scan the picture, but I'm in a hurry.)

The yarn is a cotton/linen blend, and it's sort of a pumpkin color. Any suggestions on what to make with it?

I finished Big Boy's scarf during football on Sunday (Dallas lost to the Patriots. DH is very happy, I was very bummed. HOWEVER, my Cleveland Indians beat the Red Sox last night! DH is walking around calling me the enemy.) I've cast on a hat for a small child. I'm making matching ones for him and his new brother. BTW - if you remember, I posted about baby Joshua, born too early. Praise the Lord, he was released from the hospital last weekend, and went home weighing over 7 lbs!

Happy knitting!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Diary of a Fall Felted Bag

I received a comment on my blog today that my FFBE Partner got her package! She is going to the Women of Faith Conference this weekend (so jealous!), so you probably won't see anything on her blog for a while. But, I can finally share with you the bag I made!

Days 1-9

I am assigned a pal - Shawnee! I spent a lot of time looking at patterns, and comparing them to Shawnee's bags of choice. She's a fan of the Noni bags (aren't we all?), but I just don't think I possess the necessary skills yet. She really liked the Bobble bag, and then I found this bag from Crystal Palace yarns. I thought to myself - hmmmm...if I used Crystal Palace's Popcorn yarn instead of Dragonfly, I could make something similar to the Noni bag. I also modified the pattern to work it up in the round, rather than having to seam up the sides. Gather up all the extra goodies for the package. Not particularly difficult, since Shawnee likes Mary Englebreit stuff.

Days 9-12

Call a few yarn shops who carry Crystal Palace Yarns. None of them have Popcorn. Finally, Butterfly Yarns in Wakefield mention that they have Bobble yarn by Cascade. I think to myself - that might just work!

Day 20

Go to Butterfly Yarns. I have to say, I had been there at the beginning of the summer, and I just wasn't impressed. Have I mentioned Linda at Have Ewe Any Wool? The woman understands customer service, and thus, I have pretty high standards.

This second visit was such a different experience! Donna couldn't have been more helpful (I don't know who was running the store the first time I was there). Cascade Bobble wasn't exactly what I expected, but then I discovered Little Flowers. I was psyched! But, as often happens, as I looked over other yarns, and at sample projects, I decided Little Flowers just didn't cut it. Shawnee had described herself as liking crazy bags. When I saw Squiggles, mixing up tealish colors and purple, I knew I had it! I left the store feeling so proud that I had my yarn, and that I was going to use a pattern I had modified all by myself!

Day 13

Cast on for the bag. Love the way the Squiggle looks, happy that it's knitting up fast. I work on the bag during the second monthly Knit, Craft, Snack, and Chat night at my house. Realize there's a lot of snacking and chatting, but I seem to be the only one knitting/crafting.

Day 14

Decide to add an actual bottom, rather than just sewing up a seam. Put stitches on holders, garter stitch a rectangle, three needle bind off, and figure out how to attach the side stitches. Starting to get nervous about the actual felting process. Wondering how forgiving a person Shawnee is, if she gets a bag NOTHING at all like what she had in mind.

Day 15

Knit the handle, attach, and felt the bag. I LOVE IT! It came out so much cuter than I thought it would! Even Big Boy is impressed, and that says a lot! Stuff it with towels to dry.

Open up Excel spreadsheet of projects, and wonder....what will I cast on now?

Too much effort...decide to bask in the wonder of a finished object, and go to bed.

Day 18

Realize I need a box in which to mail all the goodies!

Day 24

Find box. Put package together. Have lots of fun imagining Shawnee opening up the box, with the leaves in it, and finding all the Mary Englebreit goodness AND what I think is one beautiful fall felted bag!

Many thanks to ALL of you who participated in the swap. I had a great time reading your blogs and getting to know you. A special thanks to Anne for all of her organizational work.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


This Thursday, a year ago, I learned to knit! Thanks Linda and Mom!

I've been working on the Give it a Whirl bag - here's a picture, but honestly, it doesn't really look like much yet.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

FFBE Question #3

How often do you change the purse or bag you're carrying? Do you change based on seasons? Outfits? Something else? What's your favorite bag in the world (and it doesn't have to be a knit/felted one!)?

I try to use a black purse with black shoes, and a brown purse with brown shoes. I have a blue purse too, but I haven't really been wearing blue shoes recently. I alternate between two woven bags in the summer, and a leather bag and nylony bag in the fall/winter. However, I have a few other non-neutral color bags, and I LOVE when I have the opportunity to use them! My all-time favorite bag is a woven, black evening bag. It sort of resembles the Saks bags, but it has some more detailing. Paired with a little black dress, I always feel super-sophisticated.

I'm so excited that bags are being sent out! I can't wait to see how my downstream partner reacts to the bag I made her, and to be surprised by what my upstream pal made me!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm a Winner!

I'm so excited! I won this month's Knit the Classics project challenge. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was the only person who entered a project this month.) But, I'm still very excited! I worked really hard on the cowl, and I'm really proud of it! The prize is some linen/cotton blend yarn, and 3 vintage knitting magazines. I'm particularly excited about the magazines. I've been told they'll be in the mail tomorrow, so hopefully I'll have pictures to share with you soon. In the meantime, you can check out the prize here.

I am proud to report, I now have TWO mittens, and they're virtually the same size! I think they'll be a birthday present for next month. I've cast on for a cotton "Give it a Whirl" bag from Creative Knitting (a Christmas gift) and today, I worked some more on Big Boy's Scarf. For some reason I'm having a hard time being motivated to do this scarf - it's just garter stitch, and should be done in NO time! I dunno, it's just been that project I dread doing.

No pictures at the moment - I'm feeling too lazy.

My throat is still sore, but I do feel better. Thank goodness - the kids and I have an insane couple of weeks ahead of us!

Happy knitting everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mystery Project Revealed and More

Okay, the mystery project is my September project for Knit the Classics. We read Sylvia Plath's In the Bell Jar.

Sorry for the shadows across the picture. (Although, it looks kind of artsy, doesn't it?)

I've knit a lace cowl for Esther to wear while wandering around the Boston Common. Now, I know it's summer, but since she's feeling pretty off anyway, I didn't think it was a far stretch for Esther to be wearing one winter item. It's a fashionable item, but worn in an unfashionable way. I think the cowl is particularly appropriate for Esther because it's noose-like. She feels strangled by the fashion/expectations of women at the time. Furthermore, it's red, the color of blood. I particularly like that it's lace - there's little loops all over the place. The pattern is from One Skein Wonders.

I'm really proud of this project - I did A LOT of unknitting to make it look perfect. And, on close inspection, everything lines up the way it should. I tried to do a close-up, so you can really see how nice the pattern is - this is the best I could do.

I've also finished the mitten! Not sure that I'll have enough yarn to do the second, but I'm determined to find out by tomorrow. I have a 50% coupon at JoAnn's, and they sell Patons Wool! I know the whole dye lot thing might be an issue, but I've decided not to worry about it - they're only mittens.

Strep Throat - AGAIN!

So, I have strep, again! I just had it in the summer, and now it's reared up again. The good news - the kids don't have strep, although they've had low fevers most of the week. I went to the Drs. right away, and got on antibiotics quickly. Also, I'm on one of those super antibiotics - six pills in five days (last time I was on penicillin - 40 pills over 10 days!). I don't feel great, but it could be a lot worse. Of course, the weather is BEAUTIFUL, and I feel stuck inside!

Of course, since I don't really have energy to clean the house or anything, I've been knitting! I finished my second pay it forward project, and now I'm starting on some mittens. I know, I know, I'm supposed to be knitting hats. But, there's a slight chance I'll be taking a Fair Isle mitten class later this month, and I thought I should make sure I can make regular mittens. Plus, this skein of yarn just won't get used up. (Now watch, I'll only have enough for 1 1/2 mittens!)

If you live somewhere where the weather SHOULD be chilly, but it's really warm - run around outside for me, okay?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

FFBE Weekly Topic #2

The colors of fall tend to be oranges, yellows, crimsons, and other 'leafy' colors - what is your favorite "Color of Autumn" and where do you see it?

This is rough. I LOVE when you see all those colors mixed together on the trees. And, in my mind, there's a beautiful yarn that blends all those colors into something perfect for a hat and scarf. But, I probably wouldn't wear it. I'm not a big fan of wearing orange, and I feel like that's a dominant color of the season. (I have to say though, my high school colors were orange and black - Go Tigers! - and I wore a lot of orange back in the day!)

Okay, I've got it - when they're outside playing in the yard, my kids' cheeks get apple red (for real, APPLE- I think it's the Norwegian in them). Rosy cheeks - that's my favorite color of autumn.

Their cheeks get really red when they're tired too - it's like a little meter. The more red, the more tired is the child!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Knitting is actually going on...

I haven't posted in a week. I wonder, does anyone miss me, the way I miss people whose blogs I read?

There has been knitting going on - I've finished the mystery object, and all will be revealed by the end of the week. It took a lot more time than I thought it would. The pattern repeat wasn't difficult, but it required paying attention. I think I unknit just as much as I knit!

I also finished little boy's hat in the "Americana" Superwash from the football swap. I'm so tickled with it! I plan on knitting several other hats this month as Christmas gifts for little ones' friends. I already have most of the yarn I'll be using in the stash, so I just have to get to knitting!

Today, I cast on for one of my pay it forward objects. I hope to be done soon! I also have received my partner for the Christmas Around the World Swap. I've made contact, but haven't heard back from her yet. I have heard from the person sending to me (I never remember - which one is upstream and which one is downstream?) I'm VERY excited for this swap!

Happy Knitting, all!