Monday, March 31, 2008

A Fetching Capitan

Shhhhhh, I've been working on a gift for my knittyboard secret pal. Here is a pair of Fetchings and a Capitan Hat. Made with the Mooncake Yarn I showed you last week. The Capitan came out small again, so I added an extra cable repeat. Now it's just about the right size. I'll be ripping back my own Capitan soon and adding that repeat there too.And I really couldn't have found a better button for my pal than this one......

A celtic knot :-)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A nifty, thrifty day....

We have a new toy in our backyard. (First I typed backyarn - I really am obsessed!). The boys have been learning to balance at school. They are constantly saying to me, "look Mommy" and standing on one leg.

They've been asking if we can get a balance beam for them to practice on. From where, I had no idea. Until I had an idea, that was. We took ourselves off to Lowes and bought a plank of wood for $3. I retrieved my unused yoga blocks from the garage, and lo, a balance beam was born. See, nifty AND thrifty.The little beauty balancing on the end there is my next thriftyness. It's my first hat for Hats for Alex, a charity which I'm sure most of you are aware of. Made with some acrylic I bought at a thrift store, oh, at least a year ago. I used the umbilical cord hat pattern from Debbie Stoller's Stitch'n'Bitch book. It's the first time I've knit that pattern and, boy, was it easy! I see many more in my future.
And my last thriftyness is actually some gorgeous yarn. I'm taking part in the Spring swap, which has encouraged us to gift yarn already in our stash. This is Mooncake Yarn's Tranquility in Blue Jewel. It looks and feels just like Malabrigo and is the prettiest pale blue. I'm going to be attempting to make two whole projects with this. It's going to be a squeeze, but I have to try.

Here's a bit of a poolside shot, for everyone in the frozen North. Actually, take heart, it's a bit chilly today, even here in SW Florida.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Here's the Capitan hat I finished a couple of days ago. I've tried it on several times, hoping to get used to it, but I really think that it's just too small. Of course, it could change with a good blocking - my malabrigo beret and clapotis, which were involved in last week's mass blocking, stretched out a bit. Maybe I'll try that before i gift it away. I know I have another sachet of Soak somewhere.....Speaking of the beret and clapotis....I wore both last night. It was raining cats and dogs here in FL, so I needed a little coverup from car to restaurant on date night. The clapotis felt so velvety good. And the blocking really sharpened the edge of the beret, making it look more like, erm, a beret. Blocking really IS a revelation.

And today, the Lord is risen. Along with a billion others in our parish who don't normally attend 8.30am mass. Not only was our new church packed to overflowing, but so was the old church building. Yes, 2 simultaneous masses, FULL of people.

This wouldn't happen in the UK. God bless America!

And a happy Easter to you all. :-)

And I leave you with a couple of Easter cuties :-)

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I really only have a couple of WIPS right now.

This pink hat, I am trying to design for a friend. She bought one similar in the Gap for her older daughter, now wants one for her younger daughter. This is prototype no.1, made with Rowan All Seasons cotton, 2 strands held together. It's a bit stiff and also not big enough. It just kind of sits on top of the head! I have some bamboo yarn i might try for prototype no.2
And this is the sorry tale of a neglected Jaywalker that I just can't get into. The pattern is actually quite easy, but for some reason I can't stick to this project. It's already been a few months on the needle - and this is only the first sock.

The onesie with the BSJ was a plain white Gerber onesie that I put a transfer on. I made a few more and will be posting them on my etsy shop , for very reasonable amounts of $, in the next few days.

I'm not going to check, but I think I could knit 12 pairs of socks from my sock yarn stash. From my total stash? Well, that's another question.....

This ended up measuring 18" cuff to cuff and 11 1/2" neck to hem.

Well, I got more than some and less than others (who shall remain nameless, cough, cough).
I bought, I think, 8 skeins of STR. Most of them were bargain mill ends and the ones with names were for actual planned projects - which, come to think of it, are already finished.
2 hanks of Brooks Farm Mas Acero for my mom's Provincial Waistcoat.
2 bags of cotton/linens for summer tops for me.
2 very small hanks of periwinkle very soft wool for something lovely for my mom again. They were only $3 each in a bargain bin, so they barely even count, right ;-)
A bag handle for a bag I have yarn in my stash for.
2 buttons for a Capitan hat I had planned from stash yarn (and also finished - another post, another day)
Kid's needles for my son who turns 5 later this year. I've been promising to teach him to knit when he's 5, since he could first ask to knit like mommy :-)
I also had mini-sex in San Francisco, where I bought a cone of "Rush" from Artfibers. Gorgeous.
I am trying to use stash yarns as much as possible this year - let's see how I get on......

Gracie's Monica

Gracie's Monica was completed a few days ago. And here she is on another of our cute hangers - they were a gift a few years ago, from John Lewis Dept Store in the UK.The hem and ruffle lay down nicely after being soaked and blocked.
I had my first ever soaking and blocking session on Monday. I used Soak for the first time. It is lovely and makes the garments smell really pretty, without being overpowering. I will try to do this with all knitted garments from now on.
Also blocked (finally) were my clapotis and beret, along with Linea. The sleeve edges of Linea are now staying down more (they were kind of curling under a little beforehand) and the Clapotis GREW. Like OMG, it really did spread out. I love it even more now that the dropped stitches are more defined. And the malibrigo turned ssoooooooooofffffftttttt.

So I said I'd have a draw from all the comments on the Green BSJ post and here we have the boys picking names from a dish. First up, Teddy picked Jo.
Then Matt picked CPurl17.

Congrats ladies, email your addresses to me at discoknits at gmail dot com and I'll forward a little something to each of you :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy St Pats

We celebrated on Saturday at the Naples St Patrick's Day parade. Here are my two little leprachauns waiting for the parade to start.And this next photo is just for Carrie :-) ND had just about the longest part of the parade. Who knew?!

Happy St Patrick's Day

Feeling a little green......

Ms Mary's Surprise Baby Jacket was completed a couple of days ago. Isn't it just beautiful. I am going to sing the praises of Socks That Rock again. It's wonderful to work with and the colours are amazing.
Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Yarn: Socks That Rock Heavyweight in Falcon's Eye - I used the whole skein, less only a few yards, phew!
Needles: Why do I never make a note of these things?! It was either 4mm or 4.5mm. The larger, I think.
I waited to photograph this FO until I got round to completing another. I saw this cute iron-on transfer in Joann's and thought it would be a cute gift with the jacket.
And how could I resist putting them together on this adorable froggy hanger. Like the green theme? Like I said, Ms Mary's having a surprise baby - we won't know the sex 'til it's born :-)

Now, if I'm not mistaken, this is my 100th blog post. So a little competition would be appropriate, no? Add a question for me to your comment on this post and I'll draw a winner on Wednesday.

Bon chance :-)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Monica Rocks

I fell in love with this gorgeous STR colourway at Stitches West and knew it had to be made into something pretty for Gracie. That girl is going to be spoiled with handknits:-)

The colour is called "Mist" and has the most beautiful combination of pinks and a really pretty pale, almost mauve-y gray.Pictures of the skein before and after winding. Couldn't you just squish it and stare at it all day? No? Well, I could.
I didn't think the colours needed to be made into something with a fancy pattern - they'd be just pretty in a plain stockinette stitch. So I decided on Knitty's Monica. If I don't have enough of this yarn to do a matching ruffle, then I will get some contrasting - maybe in darker pinks (all suggestions welcome). Here is the stockinette from a distance.....

and close up......

I enjoyed working with the STR for the Baby Surprise Jacket so much, that I couldn't wait to start this project too. I officially have fallen heavily for Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Now I understand Irishgirlie's addiction ;-)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

See how our garden grows.....

The boys and I planted some seeds a couple of weeks ago. We went to the garden centre and bought six pots and six sets of seeds - they had the choice of what they wanted and chose peas, carrots, tomatoes and sweetcorn. Yes, sweetcorn!!!

I chose a more acheivable spinach and basil. Each day we inspect our 'crops' for growth and to see if they need watering. Luckily for us, or rather for the plants, the morning before we planted, the boys watched an episode of Higglytown Heroes, where a gardener explained how too much water was just as bad for plants as too little.

We haven't had to water for the last few days as it's been rainy, at least not since we bought a new watering can, as the end of the last one fell apart - not from too much use, I can asure you.As you can see, the boys are VERY excited about their new 'garden'.

These are the plants doing the best. Don't ask which is which. I forgot to put the name sticks in before we moved them and they got all mixed up! I cannot tell a germinating pea from a germinating tomato to save my life.
The droopy looking thing in the pink paper is the hyacinth I bought myself for Valentines Day. I have no idea what to do with it, so it's staying outside - maybe it'll flower again, maybe it'll shrivel and die. At least outside, it stands a fighting chance :-)

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Purple Momma

At least she will be when this hank of purpleness is knit up. This is the yarn I got at Stitches West for my Mom's Provincial Waistcoat.

It is Brooks Farm's Mas Acero, a mix of wool, silk and viscose. It has both bluey purples and reddy purples and is nice and soft.When I wound the first skein yesterday, leaves actually fell out of it. Fresh from the fields :-)
I have no idea when I'll cast on. This will be for her birthday on Sept. 2nd, so I have plenty of time to admire it before I have to actually work on it.

Enjoy the prettiness :-)

Friday, March 7, 2008


Here's my surprise. A mess, isn't it?! It starts out like this and ends up like...........this. Once you figure the folding out. It wasn't too tricky. Anyone knitting this for the first time should use a spreadsheet of EZ's pattern. You can have mine (cribbed from someone else on the net. Whom, I cannot remember, sorry). Mrs EZ does not write patterns in any conventional sense, so it can be quite tricky to follow, but with a list of translated row instructions beside you, it becomes easy.
This first BSJ was a practice run for Teddy's teacher, Ms Mary, who is expecting her 4th (God bless her) in July. And here is the yarn I'm using for her baby of unknown sex.
Socks That Rock heavyweight in Falcon's Eye. Beautiful pale greens which, hopefully, won't offend either a girl or a boy :-) Bought at Stitches West a couple of weeks ago, under the guidance of Ms Irishgirlie :-)
Here it is all wound up. I'll be casting this on today :-)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Total RANT

I did have a lovely FO and yarn-pronish post planned for tonight. If I had gotten home this afternoon to take pics, it would totally have happened. But now you have to wait for that AND put up with a pictureless post.



Yes, the whole fucking day.


Because when you mix the USA's two finest institutions of education and medicine you get, guess what? A crock of shit!

Because my son's doctor (or rather the nurse/pen-pusher who fills in the forms) couldn't fill in the correct forms, or sign in the right spaces. And the beyotches at the 'School-of-Choice' office couldn't correctly define to me which colour forms they wanted and whether it was copy or original.

Twice they sent me away. The first time after a 3 and 1/4 hour wait (included in that time, one of them inspected all my paperwork and said it was all in order!!!!!). The second, they sent me away with a flea in my ear for being upset (aswell as having the wrong forms, of course) - like I shouldn't be upset at spending a whole day traipsing the length of Tamiami bloody Trail!!!

I am now in possession of the third set of medical forms which I will take in tomorrow morning (they closed at 4pm today!) and pray they are the correct colour with correct signature and name on them.

Oh, and tomorrow morning, while I'm doing that, the Hispanic 2nd grade reading retards (sorry, I can't think of a more PC word right now) that I usually volunteer with, will have to go without.

And the doctor's office had the cheek to charge me ten freaking bucks for the forms (which I shall be calling HO for a refund tomorrow, grrrr).

And this is all for a school which, although it is nearest my house (within a couple blocks), I may not be allocated but may be allocated to one in the far regions of the district where my son will know no-one. What happened to the good old days of the neighbourhood school, when you went to the school down the street and you knew everyone, 'cause they were your neighbours, and you all played out after school?

My message to America tonight: just pay more tax and get quality health care and education for everyone. Stop being fucking cheapskates.


Disclaimer: I know I shouldn't start a sentence with 'because', or 'and' but tonight it's about ranting, not semantic-ing
Disclaimer: Please also excuse my French.
Disclaimer: I am also thanking God that this is the biggest of my worries tonight ;-)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Future of Soccer in the USA.....

We haven't had a picture of the boys for a while, so here they are, on the football field last weekend. Of course, the action is at the other end of the field, but my boys just like to be close to each other.

Matt has learned to celebrate a goal. Now he just needs to learn how to score one :-)


Monday, March 3, 2008

An FO: Linea

I worked on this most of the spare time we had at Stitches West last week - was it really the week before already?! It still took me over a week more to finish. Argh, all that stockinette.

I love the lace part, which is made with just bamboo yarn. The stockinette part is made with bamboo and an elastic yarn held together, I guess to give the fabric more substance. I made the bodice a few inches longer. If I hadn't, it would have started mid-boob. Not a good look for me. The fabric is a bit thicker than I might have liked in this Florida heat, but I'll still wear it.......

Here's a picture of the lace close-up.
The first few repeats I didn't follow the instructions, so my top two holes of lace don't line up properly. Oh well, I wasn't about to rip it for a tiny mistake like that. Like, who's going to notice, right?
I didn't pick up as many stitches as the pattern calls for around the neckline. It was still too many and the rib fell forward (and backwards on the back), so you know what I did? I ripped it. Congratulations me on taking the plunge and correcting my work.
I couldn't wait to block it, so I wore it out to dinner Sunday night. The rib on the armholes turns under, but I'm sure a good blocking will fix that (I hope). Otherwise, I like it very much.
Pattern: Linea by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Rowan Bamboo Soft (9 skeins) Elann Esprit (2 1/2 balls)