Friday, December 11, 2009

Final Shipment of Year One of the Lord of the stRings Sock Club

If you have not recieved your December shipment- you may want to wait before reading.....


Sorry about the picture. I didn't actually have a working camera at the same time that I had the sock- so I had to scan it..... lol

This design was inspired by the main village of Rohan. The majority of the people in Edoras had long golden braids. The tombs of the kings were covered in simbelmyne- also called Evermind- delicate white flowers. At the entrance to Meduseld- the king’s hall in Edoras- the guards had shields with the emblem of the blazing sun on them. Hence the gold “braid”, and the delicate vine flowers, and the blazing suns on the socks. And since horses were immensely important to the people of Rohan, they had to be represented somewhere. The horseshoes on the soles of your feet won’t leave imprints when you walk, and they won’t press into your foot- but they do make a fun finishing touch.
Fun socks. I like colorwork. I admit this sock didn't quite work out the way I intended, but at this point, I can't remember what I did intend. So I'm very happy with these. :-)
They'll be for sale from The Unique Sheep 6 months after the club.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Child of the Yarn

I had to giggle this morning. A friend of ours used to call my children either
"yarnies" or "children of the yarn". Well, today, it was quite obvious why (I don't think he wanted his picture taken)
He decided to let me take pictures after all. :-)
Now, I have to confess- that in all honesty, this was not my work. Well, ok, dressing him and taking his picture was my work; but the knitting is not mine. I was blessed to have some dear friends from The Parlor throw me a cyber-baby shower and send me a plethora of hand knit baby items. It was super cool, b/c I was so busy designing this year, that the time I would normally have filled w/ knitting for my baby was filled w/ designing. I only had time to make 2 little hats, 1 little jacket, and 1 pair of socks. None of which he is wearing in these pictures.
I like to think that it's cute that my children are "children of the yarn". I think they like it. Last week, ES asked me to make him some pants that match a sweater I made for him. And YS has been wearing his handknits every day until I have to force them off him to wash them. I suppose the suddenly cold weather may have something to do with that.....

In other news, one set of grandparents finally got to come spend some time with Babybug:

We are eagerly awaiting the time when the other grandparents can come do the same thing....

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

This post is 2 days late- but Happy Thanksgiving anyway!!!
Thanksgiving is definitely one of my favorite holidays. I love spending the day with lots of family and friends and being thankful for all the good things that have happened over the last year.
This year was not what we expected or wanted in that regard, however. We all got the flu this week and have been sick through the holiday. So no family or friends got to come hang out and be thankful with us.
I am very thankful, though.
Thankful that this sickness hit at a time when Joel is able to be home and help me with the 4 sick children. Thankful that we went to the Dr. before the big weekend and got some medicine and lots of helpful information so we could avoid the ER trip....
I am thankful for my 4 (Four!) children- that, on the whole, they are pretty healthy.
Thankful for our new big home with a backyard! (and on weekends like this, thankful for our free Wii so we can rent games and have something to do between nose blows... )
God is good to us. There is so much to be thankful for!!! Even when we don't get what we want, we have an amazing amount of good things that happen to us.

The last 6 weeks have been wild!! Babybug is growing well. He is a good baby- as long as he is being held, he is happy. ;-) It makes it a bit difficult to get things done; but I am enjoying all the cuddles. We've finally gotten back into doing school with the older 2. Life is gradually sliding into "normality", I suppose. At least as normal as it gets with us. ;)
I finally finished a knitting project! It took me 7 weeks to make a pair of socks.
That is an amazing amount of time to make a very basic pair of boot socks; but I figure, since there were days I could barely work one round, and days I couldn't even pick up the needles for taking care of children and home- 7 wks is ok. :-) I have 2 more Christmas presents to knit, then I really want to start working on some designing. I haven't done any designing for 2 months- and it's driving me crazy! My email has been getting notifications: "such-and-such magazine is taking submissions for......" I want to do it! But I have no time, and can't promise to get anything done at a certain time right now. Probably not for a long time......Oh well, at least I can knit- one round a day.... :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This post is rather late due to life circumstances. :-) But- in October, I had my 2nd pattern publication in Yarn Forward Magazine.
Issue 19, November.
Ruth's Tunic
This is my photography-obviously. And the way I intended the sweater to be worn. A high collar, simple herringbone pattern that changes direction with the color changes. The yarn is, naturally, The Unique Sheep Sashimi. In Tritiziana Gradiance colorway.
This was the hardest pattern to write I have ever attempted. The knitting really wasn't that difficult, but the writing so that the knitting could be duplicated was very hard. There's a lot of things happening at the same time in this sweater. But I am thrilled with how it turned out. I absolutely loved working with the Sashimi yarn. It is so light, soft, and smooshy. It was wonderful. To get the color changes with this sweater, you have to use Unique Sheep yarn. They are the only ones who do the Gradiance colorways. You could do it with other yarn- but then it would just be a basic sweater with a lot of seaming. With Gradiance colorways- it's something more.
The funny thing about this sweater, is that when I sent it in to the magazine, I apparently didn't explain properly how it was to be worn (it was so obvious to me). This is what happened in the magazine- photo copyright St. Range Photography.

I love their photography, mine is horrible-- but the sweater is on backwards. :-) But, you know, it works great! So, unintentionally, I made a sweater that can be worn 2 different ways. If you like a high collar- or if you don't, this works. :-)

(the professional photo really does much better justice to the colors- they are lovely....)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


At 9:08pm Friday October 16th, Milo was born. 8lbs, 2oz. Healthy and doing well.

He was allowed to go home w/ his family Saturday night. Where he promptly became an adorable little starfish.

His brothers and sister were thrilled to meet him- and cannot leave him alone for even a minute. We are all so glad he is here safely! Thank you to all of you for your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Countdown shortened

Well, we had a good Dr's visit this morning. Came away with a plan, and a definite date. Now, don't get me wrong- I am all for waiting and having as natural a birth as possible. In fact, I really wanted to have this child without assistance from medication- but you know, sometimes, you have to take other things into consideration. Quite honestly, if I had my preference, I would have had all of my children at home with a midwife. But I have some health issues, and that is just not advisable- as was proven at the birth of my first child, where I would have died if I had tried to have a homebirth. No, some people really have to have medical intervention. And thank the Lord it is available!
Anyway, to get back to my point- for a variety of reasons, my Dr is concerned for the baby (and me) that it is not advisable to go past my due date with this pregnancy. So if this little bumper doesn't decide to come on his own in the next 7 days, we will go to the hospital for an induction. In the meantime, I'm going to use whatever safe "natural" methods possible to convince him it's time to make his appearance. Which basically means we'll try some chiropractic and acupuncture next week.
Come back in a couple weeks! I'll have pictures for you. :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Pattern that brought about the Lord of the Rings Sock Club

In the interest of saving space and time-
Read all about it HERE


Well, it's been a busy week and a half. So much has been going on in babyville. Unfortunately- not what I want to be going on; baby hasn't decided to make his appearance yet. But it has been busy!! (Is this a taste of the future?)

So, a week ago last Monday, I found out at 2:15pm that I was supposed to be in the hospital at 4pm to get an NST (fetal Non-Stress Test: fetal monitoring of the heartbeat). So we dashed about and made it in time. During the NST, baby's heartrate dropped rather low for a few seconds, so they whisked us downstairs for a BioPhysical Profile (in depth Ultrasound). All of this b/c at the Ultrasound 2 weeks ago, they discovered that while baby is (finally) in the right position, I have more amniotic fluid than I should (don't google it- it's not reassuring). While we can't find a reason for the extra fluid, we are being very very careful and monitoring the baby very closely. Which means NST's twice a week, and the normal Dr's visit once a week (with some added checks on baby during that visit...) Hopefully, he'll decide to make his appearance in good time- as the NST's are rather expensive. Yes, we have health ins; but it only covers a percentage...

The important thing, everything (except the fluid level) seems to be fine. Baby's heart rate has been good at each subsequent check, and he is actually staying in the correct position ('course, now that I've said that.....).

So now we wait. I am not a patient person; and this is the hardest part for me. I am ready- ready to move on to the next phase- ready to hold this child in my arms and show him the world and all the other people that have been waiting for him. I'm trying to stay calm and use this time wisely. Use it to spend extra time w/ the other kids before they feel neglected for baby brother- use it to get things done that won't be so easy when this little bumper crys for attention instead of kicking me- use it for (you guessed it!) knitting. I'm trying..... the nesting is a bit out of control, though..... (I can still clean the bathtub!!!! Never could at this point w/ the other 3!)

Today, I intend to dust.

Yesterday; well, yesterday, I finished this:

The Evangeline Tunic. Done in Elann's Incense. I think I'm happy w/ it. It is so hard to know when I can't try it on..... I did the neckline differently, and lengthened the sleeves a bit. We'll see in a few months if it's a keeper or not. :-)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Pictures

Last Wednesday, we went in for an UltraSound of the baby. I was really hoping to have pictures to post today- but at 36 1/2 weeks, it is hard to get a good picture- and baby wasn't exactly cooperative. In fact, this child truly seems to hate the US and Doppler- always kicking them. And putting his arm over his face when we tried to look at him. Very cute, really.

We got an UltraSound b/c this child has been moving all over the place and won't stay in the right position. Most of the pregnancy, baby has been breech. But for the Ultrasound, he was in the right position. Which is encouraging- if he will just stay there. ;-) The hope is now he's too big to flip- but that is debatable.....

Yes, I can say "he" now with knowledge. We are having boy #3! DD really wanted a girl, but she is taking it quite well. Even getting in on trying to find a name for him. The boys are excited. I'm not sure YS knows quite why- but he's happy about it all anyway. :-)

So, sorry for no pictures. You'll have to wait 'til after the birth like the rest of us......

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Month later....

Wow, it is hard to believe it's been almost a month since I last blogged! So much has been happening, I just haven't had time to sit down and write about it. I know I'm not the only one. I've seen a lot of blogs lately that say something similar.
So what's been going on?


1)Joel went on the Canada trip with Skatechurch. It went well. Unfortunately, he was injured before he even went- so didn't get to skate much. But since the whole point of the trip is discipleship, he got to be involved in the important ways.

2)Speaking of Joel being injured, we found out that he most likely has a partially torn ligament in his left knee. He's able to use it; but is being very careful. We need to get him to an orthopedist, but are waiting until after the baby comes- prayers much appreciated on both those fronts.

3)The kids and I started school! Early, actually, b/c I know there's going to be a big break for them next month after the new kid arrives. We're trying to get as much done as possible before then. It's going really well! Much better than I thought it would. DD's in (mostly) 3rd grade, ES started 1st, and YS is doing some pre-school and a lot of playing. :-)

4)ES had his 6th birthday!!! We had some friends over, ate cake, had fun. He loved it. It is so crazy that he is 6. It seems like such a short time, and yet at the same time, I don't easily remember life without him.

5)Baby is growing so much! I am tired most of the time, but otherwise, doing alright. Ok, I'm a bit irrational- particularily in the emotional aspect- and not thinking clearly most of the time; but it's all normal pregnancy stuff. The amazing thing is, that even w/ how big the baby is getting, this child is flipping all over the place. Mostly, he/she seems to want to stay in the breech position, but every once in a while he/she will spend a week or so in the correct position just to give me false hope. So, next week, we are going in for an Ultrasound to see what's up and what we need to do for this child to be born safely. (again, prayers appreciated)

6)Knitting!! I actually have been doing some! I'm slow right now, it's not top on my priority list, but I have been doing a bit. I actually finished my 3rd design for Yarn Forward magazine this last week. I have now completed all my currently commissioned designs. I am so glad! I will be doing some designing on my own; but there are no deadline pressures to bother me now before or after the baby comes until I'm ready to go seeking them again. In the meantime, I am working on a double knit baby hat, a pair of socks for Joel, and another sweater for me. Since the last time I posted, I've completed several other projects as well.

This (there are 2 of them done) is the Milo sock from Sock Innovation done in The Unique Sheep's Tinsel Toes in The Fellowship colorway. I love how they turned out. Of course, it's me- the pattern is not followed exactly. The gauge is off, so the pattern looks different, and I had to make some sizing adjustments along w/ that. But I like it. They fit, and they are pretty. :-)

This is the Nordic Tradition Sweater from a 2008 Vogue Knitting Magazine. I've had this lovely yarn for 2 or 3 years, and finally put it to good use. I do like how the sweater turned out, but I'm not sure it's one I will wear a whole lot yet. We'll see how I feel about it after the baby comes. At this point, it is very hard to estimate how it will look on me. ;-)

This is a laced tank. Pattern again from a 2008 Vogue Knitting magazine. Not in the yarn called for- it's a ribbon yarn my mom bought for me about 3-4 years ago, plus another ribbon I got on sale about 2 yrs ago and finally found a pattern that worked for them. Lengthened the body and the armholes both, but am still concerned I will find it shorter than I like. Again- not that I can tell right now.... But I am fairly happy w/ the results.

Really, I could have designed something for both those yarns, I know. And maybe I should have. But my creativity seems to be in decline at the moment, and I am finding patterns that I like- so I am using them. I seem to design for others and follow patterns for me. It seems odd to me, but that's how it goes.

So it has been quite a busy month. While life is beginning to fall into a somewhat calmer routine at the moment- I don't expect to find any extra time on my hands in the near future. B/w school, baby, and normal life, time just seems to disappear somewhere. I know I'm not alone in experiencing this!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

LotR Sock #4

I'm not putting the spoiler picture up, b/c I am quite sure everyone has their yarn and patterns. I am very late in posting this- but I have good excuses. :-) B/w Sock Summit and Joel being gone to Canada for a week, as well as starting school w/ the kids- well, I've been a bit busy this month. But! the fourth sock from the LotR series was released the first week of August, so here it is!


This design was inspired by the mountain Caradhras that the Fellowship tried to cross but had to turn back and go under by way of Khazadum. The various stages of the mountain are depicted in the different texture stitches used. This sock is worked from the toe-up; mimicking the climb up the side of the mountain.

This was actually the 2nd sock that I designed for this club. It was a very fun quick knit. Working the different texture stitches kept it from being boring; but the pattern is really relatively simple. It's a great knit for men's socks, as there really is nothing frilly or feminine about it. There couldn't be- considering the inspiration. :-)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Things we want to share

Last night I was reading to the kids before bed. We got into a conversation about something we'd read a long time ago. DD said, "I remember that picture!" ES: "me too!!"
YS: "Mama, do I remember it?"
Me: "I don't know, honey, it's your memory. I don't know what you remember."
YS: "I-- said I could have his memory!!"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to Kansas

"We're not in Oz anymore, Toto."
Okay, that's a misquote- but it's true. Last week was like being in a knitter's Oz- a magical world where anything can happen. I didn't meet any wicked witches- but good and helpful people abounded! What a great time!
It started Tuesday evening for me- when I got to meet the wonderful women behind the name "The Unique Sheep". I've known them for awhile online, but meeting them in person was better. :-)
Then on Wednesday- the Teacher's Dinner:

Yup, that's the 40 teachers (and the 2 wonderful women behind Sock Summit- Tina and Stephanie). What a fun time! I didn't talk much; just sat and soaked up as much knowledge as I possibly could. And there was a LOT of knitterly knowledge in that room!!
Thursday, I taught 2 3-hr classes. I think they went very very well. (especially for being the very first time I've ever taught more than one person at a time.) I loved it. If I had more time- I would love to do more teaching (of knitting); lots more. But at this point, I've got 3 wee ones to teach a bit more than knitting to- and another wee one that will soon be here needing teaching as well.... Anyway, Thursday was great. I was totally worn out by the end of it, and barely made it through the Opening Ceremonies that night. But that was all the work I had to do that week; and then I got Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to play!
And I did. I went through the Marketplace a lot- but missed so much. I just couldn't take it all in. I walked and walked until I got overwhelmed- then went home. I really didn't buy a lot, but did get some great yarn that I am excited to use. Yarn that is totally new to me; and I can hardly wait to play with. :-)
I got to audit classes as well- and that was just wonderful. I've done the vast majority of my learning about knitting from books and my mistakes, so getting to actually learn from other people was a wonderful new treat. I learned sock shaping tricks, speed knitting tricks, and spindle spinning basics. The teachers were fantastic. I even learned cast on tricks in the "Lucy Booth". My mind is still reeling from all the knowledge that got thrown at me! I have so much to practice now!
And then, at the end, The Luminary Panel. In the room where knitters shattered the Guinness Book of World Records current record for the most knitters knitting simultaneously- This picture shows less than a third of those who came to hear 9 famous knitters answer questions. What a lot of knitting! (not to mention yarn....)

Lucy Neatby, Deb Robson, Anna Zilbourg, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, (Tina and Steph) Meg Swanson....

Meg again, Barbara Walker, Judith McKenzie-McCuin, and Nancy Bush. The knowledge- I'm telling you- I can spend a lifetime learning about knitting, and never know the half of it. I love it. I think I can safely say that I am not the only one.... ;-)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Big Week

This is the week of Sock Summit! I am teaching on Thursday- and hanging out with hundreds of knitters the rest of the week. I've been looking forward to this for months and months, and it is finally here!
The mayor of Portland has declared this week "Sock Knitting Week". There are 2 events at the Summit that are attempts to make a new record for the Guinness Book of World Records. If you knit, you should come! If you don't, you should come see what all the fun is about!
See you there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A First!!!

My first published pattern can be found in this magazine:

My "name" is in print!!

(very small in this picture, but it is there....)
I am very excited about this! Can you tell? It still seems a bit unreal. But it is my design- a sweater that I knit (on a model I've never seen before, which is also odd)- and my name; in an international magazine. Wow.
I'd put up pics of the sweater- but I think I may be pushing copyrights as it is. I'll get photos from the magazine to post later, I expect. In the meantime- you can check it out by purchasing YarnForward, August Issue 16. :-)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Settling in

Well, we've been here for 3 weeks now, and loving it. There is room for the kids to run- we're close to so many things that the kids and I do- it's quieter. We are very thankful for our new home!
I worked very hard on the moving in for 2 weeks. Then I absolutely had to go crazy with the knitting.
Yesterday, I finished a little outfit for our baby. I've been wanting to make something for this baby since I learned of his/her existence- but have been so busy w/ being sick/designing/moving that I just couldn't get to it. Well, here it is at last.

Made w/ some scraps of yarn I had left over from a design I did months ago. Gorgeous, soft yarn- Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Love it.
The jacket is a modified version of the kimono pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Teddy Bear buttons-- had to be. :-) Since the baby is due in October, I made this outfit a little big- hoping it would fit a 3-6 month old. I may have miscalculated. The jacket just might fit a 1 YR old....

This is an afghan square I made for a friend in the UK who is moving into a narrow boat. She's making an afghan just for the boat, and this is my "boat-warming" gift. :-)

This is another modified version of the kimono pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting. This one was done for a friend's baby that is due next month. I loved the finished product so much, I wanted to keep it---- which is why my little baby set happened this month. It's a great pattern- I actually used it twice. :-) Quick knit for gifts-gotta love that!

These socks took me over a month. That doesn't happen much anymore- but I have the excuse of moving for why they took so long! Once I finally finished them, I was so excited over having a finished product, I really started knitting again. I was sort of dabbling in knitting while life was overwhelming- but after 2 weeks in the new place- finishing these really got me going on knitting again. It's nice to be back. :-) These are the ones that the heel flap took me 2 days. I finally got to use some of the yarn I won a year ago! Stash knitting is a good feeling. :-) So I'm doing more! Designing a vest for my MIL with some lovely hemp yarn she got for me over a year ago. While waiting for yarn for a design I'm supposed to do for a magazine, I'm using the time to get rid of some of this extensive stash---I have to; now that Joel has seen the actual extent of my stash during the course of the move, purchasing new yarn is a no-go. I knew that would happen....... *yes, my face is red- I have a big stash. I was well and truly on my way to SABLE*

*SABLE: Stash Acquistion Beyond Life Expectancy

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Beginnings

This week is a week of endings and beginnings for us. Ending a long and enjoyable stay in the little house on the corner- and beginning what will hopefully be another long and enjoyable stay in the bigger house out in the village. It's not really that far out- we're still considered a part of Portland (even though it doesn't say it in the address), but it is farther out than we are now. And bigger. We are really excited about this house. The landlords seem to be just great, and the house has all the wee little details I wanted and thought I would have to do without. Even some that I really like and wasn't thinking about.... ;-)
It is so very nice to know where we are going! The stress is just lifted. No, we aren't actually there yet, but the moving part is not that stressful for us- we've done it before....:-)

In the meantime, I've been trying to knit- but when it takes me 2 days to work one little heel flap, you know it's not been the highest on my priority list!

This is mainly what I've done in the last 2-3 weeks. 2 very wee little socks, and I'm not even half done.
Okay, yes, I did write out an extremely complicated pattern and one not so complicated(you'll get to see it later, I promise)- but knitting has been slowed way way down.
I am liking these socks. It is a "mystery" pattern, where the pattern is released one part at a time. I've kept up alright so far, but am really getting slowed down now. I need to finish the heel and work the foot. My guess is, it'll take me another 2-3 weeks. There's a lot of twisted sts and ribbing- which I'm not especially fond of doing (probably b/c it slows me down), but I am liking how it looks.

Now, I'm off to clean and pack!! We've got people coming tomorrow evening to get us moved out the new place, so I've got a lot to finish up. Knitting will have to wait once again.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lord of the Rings Sock Club Installment #3

The Fellowship

This design was inspired by the Fellowship of the Nine
Walkers in the Lord of the Rings. Frodo, Sam, Merry, Pippin,
Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, and Gandalf. Each
member of the Fellowship is depicted by one strand of the
cable. Worked from the toe up, the cable intertwines and
gradually unravels, just as the Fellowship traveled together
and then began to take separate paths.

This was a fun design to put together. I started with 9 strands to cable, then interwove and eventually separated them. The color I originally did it in was this:

Which turned out nice- but it needed just a little boost. With The Unique Sheep's Gradiance technique of dyeing yarn, we were able to incorporate some story into the color as well as the traveling cables. Blue typically stands for courage and Red for danger. Green can signify growth, health, and inexperience. Purple is associated with nobility. The flow of the colors along the traveling cables enhances the symbolism of the journey of The Fellowship.

I am so pleased with how this sock turned out and the response we are getting from the club about it. It was Laura's (the dyer) personal favorite, and probably my 2nd favorite.
I should have posted this a couple weeks ago- but with the move and all, I've been a bit busy. But here it is now, and I hope you like it too!
Like all the patterns from this club, this one will be available for purchase 6 months after the club. :-)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

End of an Era

Well, here we go again. Moving. This will be the 11th time Joel and I have moved in our 8 1/2 yrs of marriage. This one is a bit different- this move is not our choice.
We've lived in this rental for the last 3 1/3 yrs. It is the only house our elder son remembers (even though it is the 5th place he's lived), and of course the same for our youngest- since we came here when he was 3 weeks old. So it's the hardest to leave. We love it, we've invested time, work, money into this home. We're sad to leave. But, as the owners need to live here (this whole economy thing is lame), we need to leave.
Now what?? We have over a month (they tried hard to give as much notice as possible), but it seems like no time at all. Where do we go? We don't have money to buy- rent prices have gone up- our family is too big for most places now...... Please pray for us- we need it!

On the upside- really, since it had to happen, I am so glad it happened now. Another month, and the time crunch b/w SS, the baby, and everything else would have been way too much. The timing works. (If I can just squeeze out knitting time to get these designs done as well....)
And, a funny thing--- DD has been saying ever since she found out I am pregnant "I can't wait to go to our new house!! When do we get to go to the new house?!". We kept saying we weren't going to a new house...... Out of the mouths of babes, huh? But then, why wouldn't she think that? We've moved with every pregnancy. Usually twice, but I'm trying really hard to forget that part.....
Back to packing.....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bunch o' Crazy Knitters

So registration for the Sock Summit(see button on side bar) opened at 10am PDT today. The organizers did a fantastic job- tried very hard to get the techie type people to prepare properly- and the server crashed within 5 minutes. The big, brand-new server that the techie's thought would be way way bigger than was needed......(silly techies- obviously know nothing about knitters!;-D)
It was inevitable. Really. When you have 12,000+ knitters waiting with bated breath from all around the world for the chance to get a limited number of classes...... Really, it was bound to happen. (yes, all around the world- I happen to know there are people coming from Down Under....)
They got it back up and running within an hour though!!! I think that is impressive. Of course there have been glitches and problems with it all day, and it will take a long time to get everything fully straightened out; but, wow, I really think they've done a great job! (Get more info here, it's been wild)

People actually did sign up for my class. I really wasn't expecting it, as I am probably the least known teacher that will be there! This is going to be wild. I'm excited.
Hope to see you there!!

[I know you non-knitters probably don't get all this- but really, it is a big deal, and us knitters are extremely excited. Yes, maybe we are a bunch of weirdos- nerding out about yarn and manipulating it with sticks..... but there are those that go paint themselves up and nerd out about creeping around to shoot other people with paint balls. There's a lot of odd hobbies to be involved in... I just happened to pick knitting. :-)
What's your hobby??]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Best Part of Being a Mother- Part 1

As I was tucking my elder son into bed the other night, he asked me to sing "The Sunshine Song". You know, "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...."
So I did.
At the end of the song, he asked very quietly, "Mama, am I really your sunshine?"
I said, "Yes. You do make me very happy."
He got very embarrassed, and then started crying.
"Honey, why are you crying?!"
"I don't know, Mama, I'm just so happy!"
"Okay. Goodnight, I love you."
As I blow him a kiss from the door, very quietly, he says,
"Mama? You are my sunshine too."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Not a secret

Well, not really. These are baby bibs for a friend from church. I decided to take a break from the intense designing and just adapt a pattern really quick before the baby shower. Since I quite doubt she reads my blog :-) I figured it was safe to share this project early.

The pattern is an adaption of the baby bib pattern from "Mason-Dixon Knitting". I used the alphabet and sheep pattern from "1000 Great Knitting Motifs". It took 2 1/2 days, so probably around 4 hrs per bib. Quick, easy and fun. Instant gratification. ;-)

Now back to the intense and secret knitting........

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Plugging away

The day to day is keeping me busy- and I don't blog as much as I would like to. I don't think I feel like I have to- I would like to, though. At the end of the day, I'm not really sure why I was so busy, but it always seems like I really was.
Homeschooling definitely takes up time. But it's good time, and I am so very glad I get to do this- to not miss out on any of my kids' learning time. It's so fun to see when they finally get a concept- or figure out just what that great big word really says. I love it. :-)
And cleaning takes up time. Not as much as it should, if I'm honest. My house needs some serious spring cleaning! I managed to get the bedrooms done- but the rest of the house is pleading. Sorry- not right now- I'm knitting!
And that is what is taking up as much of my time right now as I can spare it. I've been frantically working on a new design for a magazine. I've got a deadline, and it is very close. And of course, b/c of that, this has been a harder design than I anticipated. I have frogged, and frogged, and frogged, and..... you get the idea. I do finally feel that I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am very excited about it. I think this design is going to turn out the way I wanted, and that makes me happy b/c they don't always.
And seeing the light at the end of this tunnel has me looking ahead to the next tunnels. I've got a good bit of knitting I've GOT to get done in the next 5 months. I absolutely have to have all my designing that I've agreed to finished before October. I'd prefer before August- so I'm not having to think about it during teaching at the Sock Summit- but I think that's pretty unrealistic. (doesn't mean I'm not going to try though!). Plus the knitting that I want to do that's not required b/c of promising it to someone. Yes, want to do. You know, the knitting that's for me- the knitting that's going to teach me more cool design stuff I can obsess about. I actually bought a couple knitting books this last month- and I'm very excited about some of the patterns (more on that later).
But that's 3 sweaters, 3 socks, and a vest away. Deep breath.

Monday, April 6, 2009

2nd Sock of the Club

Warning! If you are in the Lord of the Rings Sock Club, and have not recieved your April package- this post contains spoilers!!

Here is:

The Prince of the Wood Elves

"The son of Thranduil, king of the Wood Elves in Mirkwood, was Legolas, one of the Nine Walkers of the Fellowship of the Ring. An elf of elves, a prince indeed. An expert marksman and lover of the forest, his sock had to have images of his tools and his home on it in colors that would make one think of the oldest parts of a birch forest."

The leaf cuff folds down over the ribbing, adding a 3-D effect to the top of the sock.

A lace with resemblence to falling leaves goes all the way down one side of the sock.

The heel and toe are done in a loop stitch to add depth and strength to those parts of the sock.

And on the side opposite the leaf lace; a bow and arrow done in lace. It just couldn't be Legolas' sock without a bow and arrow.

I had to do a sock design for Legolas. He is definitely one of my favorite characters. Strong, capable, loyal, but quiet and self-sufficient. (I guess that describes a lot of the supporting cast of the books, doesn't it!?)

Anyway, this sock wasn't hard to design- but it was hard to write the pattern in a clear way that others could duplicate it. The hardest part was getting the cuff to work the way I wanted and be able to explain how I did it. I wound up settling on an easier way to do it than I originally wanted to just b/c it was so hard to explain.

I love the colorway for this sock. I tried to explain what I wanted to Laura, and she was able to get a color that was absolutely perfect. I can't imagine any other color fitting Legolas as well. I love the color she made so much, I fully intend to use it for other projects of mine! Although- not in this club..... ;-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Finished Object = FO

I have finally completed a knitted article. It has been- what- 6 weeks? I finished one sock. Natually I can't share it with you, as it's for the LotR club. You'll get to see it next year. But the point is, I finished it. I have an FO. For the first time in too long. And now that I have one done- I want to do more.
I've discovered that that is how it works.
When I at last get an FO, I bask in the satisfaction of having completed it- of having something useful where once I just had a ball of yarn. That basking lasts as long as it takes to show everyone in the house how marvelous this new article of clothing is-- and then I am off- planning the next one.
Maybe the next 3 or 5.
See, it's addicting.
One FO is never enough.
(Trust me, it's worse than those Pringles potato chips)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Urgent Sunday

Yesterday was quite a day. It was Sunday, which is always nice; we all love going to church and seeing our friends and learning something good. However..... poor DD tried to have a snack there, and got something she was allergic too. Not a huge issue, we've never had to go to the ER for that- she just has an "owie" tummy until she is able to throw up the offending allergy. But that doesn't mean it's fun- 'cause it's not.

So we went home and dealt with that while lunch was cooking. I am not kidding you- the instant DD was feeling better, YS slipped on our hardwood floors and split his tongue open. Not as bad as it could have been- thank God, but bad enough to warrant a trip to Urgent Care. And as I was home alone with the kids (Joel takes kids to skate after church), it was an interesting trip. I called Joel and told him to meet me there. (that was fun in and of itself- he can't hear me over the skaters- I finally wound up literally yelling into the phone "STITCHES"- it's pretty funny now....)
Poor little guy. This picture is him trying to get some relief with an ice cube last night. He was so exhausted. This morning his tongue and lips were quite swollen, and really sore. It's odd not to hear my little chatterbox babbling about the house; he really doesn't want to talk right now. But he didn't get stitches, and I can already see his tongue healing. We are so thankful that everything worked out the way it did. He could have gotten hurt much worse; but he's going to be chattering about again in a couple days, I'm sure. :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I found it!

I know where my knitting mojo has gone. It's gone in an entirely different direction. I am knitting constantly now. Just not with sticks and strings!
I am knitting a new person. Well, technically, I guess I'm not knitting- but a new person is being knit inside my body.

"For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb."Ps 139:13

So with that happening, I've been quite tired and sick- hence the desire for knitting is just not there.
I have been making myself do some knitting; as I have some designs due. It's been a bit frustrating though. Something that normally has taken me 6 days, I have now been working on for 10, and am nowhere near done with it. It hasn't helped that the last 3 days, I have frogged all the day's work at the end of it b/c it just is not turning out the way I want. *sigh* Oh well. It will get done eventually.
But getting back to the main topic- we are very excited for this baby. DD wants a girl, of course. ES doesn't really want another brother either; and YS wants one of each. I don't think that's going to happen, but he can wish, I guess. :-D
Today, we got to hear the heartbeat. Always such a relief to hear that for the 1st time!! We actually had our first Dr's app't 2 wks ago, but were unable to hear the heartbeat then; so I've spent the last 2 wks trying not to stress about it. So thankful that things seem to be going well. All prayer still appreciated, though! It's still quite a ways to October!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fun For Springtime

Yesterday, Joel was able to go pick up a swingset and bring it home for the kids! We got it from Freecycle . Have I mentioned before how much I like Freecycle?? Well, I do.
We've been wanting something like this for the kids for awhile. It's old, but still in good shape, and has a lot of fun stuff- a spinner, 3 swings, a hanging bar and a slide.

The kids love it. They mobbed it as soon as Joel got it put together. And just in time for spring, too! Of course, being in Portland, spring involves a lot of rain- but I don't think that is going to deter them.....

Friday, March 20, 2009

Date Night

Last night, Joel and I got to go out for a date! It was so fun! I realized last week when planning for our date, that it was the first date we've had since our anniversary last September. Way too long. Going to try to not let that one happen again! Thanks to my great sister for making it possible by babysitting (baby?? kid-sitting, sorry) for us. The kids had fun, Joel and I had fun- and I think my sister did too...... Win, win!

Anyway, our date. A couple months ago we got some coupons in the mail for some restaurants in Portland. This has happened once before and we were able to use it and really enjoyed it. This time, there were 3 coupons; so we decided to go to all 3 restaurants, and make a real night of it.
The first place we went was Stanfords. (They have the yummiest shrimp appetizer I think I've ever had!) We spent about an hour talking there, then went on.
Next up was the Portland City Grill . It was a bit different for us. They asked Joel to take his hat off in the dining room. I don't think we've ever had that happen before! It was wild to be up so high- but I didn't notice it as much as I thought I would. Maybe b/c it was dark outside- well, it was dark inside too. Their mood lighting is very minimal. Nice, but not entirely my style. Great for a date, though! After an hour there, (and 2 more yummy appetizers), we went to restaurant #3.
Newport Bay By this time, we weren't even close to hungry, but we knew we wouldn't get out again for a while, so we decided to go anyway. We brought most of the food home, but definitely enjoyed our last hour of conversation.

It was such a fun night!! I'd never gone restaurant hopping before, and had a great time. 'Course the best part about it was spending time with my wonderful husband. Sometimes it amazes me that after 8 1/2 years of marriage- plus the time we knew each other before we got married, I never run out of things to talk to him about. That may not seem odd to anyone else, but for someone who has a hard time with normal chit-chat, it occasionally strikes me as great. :-) I am so looking forward to the rest of my life with this man. :-D

Knitting? ummm, not much right now. Look for the next installment of the LotR club in April....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Somewhere around here.....

I lost my knitting mojo. If you find it, please give it back!

I haven't posted in weeks- sorry- but there are reasons. Really. See, my little family got sick. The flu came to visit and stayed a long time. Joel came home sick on a Monday and wound up missing 3 days of work. 2 for him and 1 for me. The kids got it on Wednesday, and it came to me on Thursday. Friday I had to call Joel home from work to take me to the Dr. to get antibiotics for pneumonia. It's been a few weeks, but we are all finally well. *phew*

But in the midst of all that, all desire to knit ran away from me. It's been so long since I picked up the needles, that my knitting callouses have grown out. This is not a good time for this to happen to me.

I have a lot of contracted knitting to do this year, and having no desire to knit is not helping. Unfortunately, when I do get this knitting done, I won't be able to post about it, b/c it's almost all secret knitting. But, I will get to periodically reveal some of last year's secret knitting! So the blog will not be knit-less. :-)

In the meantime, here are 2 pairs of socks I finished earlier this year-

This is a pair that I made for me from some yarn I bought from a fellow Raveler. It's Cascade Fixation yarn (cotton/elastic), and I haven't decided yet if I like it. I started with small needles, and it was hard to knit. I moved up a needle size on the cuff, and enjoyed it more. But it was good to have tighter knitting on the foot. I played with these a lot b/c they were for me. There's sections of stitch patterns from my books here and there, and I did an afterthought heel just 'cause I'd never done one before. I am quite happy with how they turned out.

These are Rosehip socks. The st pattern is called Rosehip, and I made them for my MIL. They turned out well, and I am pleased (b/c she likes them...) The yarn is Panda Cotton, which is mainly bamboo, and I love it. It is one of my favorite yarns. I have discovered that I like Bamboo yarn in pretty much every combination I have tried it in. I like the softness, the shine, the smoochiness.... It's a lovely yarn. And really, very "green". Bamboo is incredibly useful. Think about it- it is used to make fabric, yarn, knitting needles, fences, floors, baskets, blinds; it's used as food, medicine, in construction- there are so many uses!! Find more here. Besides the fact that is an amazingly renewable resource. Bamboo is cool. :-)
Oh yeah, this is a camera cover I made for my new digital camera! I really felt very clever about it. I had made a prototype of a hatband that just didn't work out; and when I decided I needed a camera cover and didn't have money to buy one or time to knit one..... I dug out this old bit of felted knitting, cut it up, sewed it up, put on a button, and hey,presto! A camera cover to protect the screen of my new camera!!
And now, with this lovely camera, I can share even more fun pictures......

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's Official

This post is only 5 days late. Forgive me, it's been busy here!
Anyway...... I am officially listed as a teacher for the Sock Summit!! And here is the comprehensive list of bio's.
I am honored, humbled, and shocked to be on a list with these amazing people! I'm not published yet, much less have my own book or line of knitwear (unless the LotR club counts.....;D). I'm really not quite sure how I got there. It's amazing. I am so looking forward to being in the same room with these people- I'm just going to soak it all in, and learn as much as possible!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It gives me shivers....

To see my designs knit by other people! Today I had a treat- seeing someone else's blog post about one of my designs! I've been designing for a few years now, but only very recently for the public. Most of my designs have been knit for family, and the patterns are not reproducible b/c I design "on the knit". But in the last year or two, I've started really getting into knitwear design. (Much thanks in that quarter to TheUniqueSheep, who has given me the opportunity to design for them!! That's the only reason my name has been getting out into the knitting world so far.)

Anyway, it was really cool (overused word, but can't think of a better right now...) to read someone else's opinion about one of my designs, and see what she's done with it. I love it. I am so excited to see more!!
Another reason I love Ravelry. I'm also getting to watch sock club members work up the other LotR designs- oooh, I'm getting shivers!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

At Last!

If you are in the Lord of the Rings Sock Club by The Unique Sheep- STOP. Don't go any farther unless you have already recieved your first shipment!! (Unless of course you don't care if the surprise is spoiled...)

This is the first release of the 2009 Lord of the Rings Sock Club.
I introduce to you:


"Inspired by the home of Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam; this sock is a fun knit. As Bilbo said: “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your front door. You step on the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Well, in Hobbiton, the roads are all connected to hobbit holes. On this sock, there are cabled “hobbit holes” connected by roads of reverse st st. See where the road will take you…."

When I designed this sock, I wanted to give a feel for the home of Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin. It had to be in a bright cheery green- as growing things are so important to hobbits. (the color is more accurate in the 1st picture).
The hobbit holes had to be represented somehow, as well as the hobbit's busy social life. Hence, roads and hobbit holes!
Even the heel flap was very carefully considered. It represents the hobbit's gardens- the neat, cultivated rows and texture.
Of course this had to be the first sock of the club- after all, it's the first place you enter when you open the book.....Welcome to Hobbiton.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Argyle Skater Sweater

Well, here at last is a design I have been wanting to do for a couple of years! Originally, I wasn't going to show it to you b/c I wanted to submit it to Knitty- but I decided that with everything else I am doing right now I do not want to take the time to resize this pattern 4 more times for a magazine. So, here it is. I'm offering the pattern for sale for $3.oo. It is a one size only- 41" chest.
The length is customizable, as it is a seamless top-down knit. B/c of the intarsia, and the number of strands of yarn that it gets going simultaneously, I would say this is a knit for an experienced knitter. But if you are fearless, and want to learn some new techniques, this is a great sweater for it.

The saddle shoulder sleeves extend down to fingerless mitts- perfect for a skater ;-)

The detailing on this sweater is fun, and makes the knitting go quickly.

This version is extra long, but you wouldn't have to make it that long.
The ribbing on the bottom has extra cabling detail. Very fun!

I am so stoked that I have finally made a sweater long enough for my tall husband!
Now back to socks....