December 31, 2006


Really. Is there a better way to help your husband celebrate his 39th birthday than by gifting him with his very own felted jellyfish?

I didn't think so.

(Oh, and Happy New Year to everyone else!).

Posted by Jenipurr at 03:54 PM | Comments (6)

December 28, 2006

Last minute stash

Since a number of us had all of this week off from work, we decided we ought to do another yarn crawl (it having been months since the last one). So eight of us met in Davis yesterday morning, consolidated cars, and we set off to our first destination, Filati's Fine Yarns, in Rocklin.

I have heard a few of the others talk about this store a number of times over the past few years, but it's kind of out of the way to get to. However, once we walked in, I realized just why everyone speaks of this store in glowing terms. For one thing, it's one of the largest yarn stores I've ever seen. But more importantly, the selection is amazing. As one of our group put it, there is always going to be something for everyone - no matter if you're into sparkley, fluffy scarf yarn, or hand-dyed sweater wool. And if this wasn't enough, there is an entire section in the back that was crammed full of yarn, all on sale.

I have been pondering the size of my stash and telling myself that I need to not buy any more yarn any time soon, and there are a few of us who have been discussing how we could work out our own version of Knit From Your Stash 2007 that will still let us do a bit of splurging for things like Stitches West (coming up in February) and the occasional yarn crawl. So as tempted as I was by all the gorgeous yarns that were piled high all around me, I confined myself to the sale section, and picked up four balls of this adorable baby yarn. I've three baby things I know I need to make in the next few months, and I am sure there will be more in the future, so this will definitely go to good use, especially when I found the perfect buttons to match.

After spending a few hours there, what with the oohing and aahing and the dithering over what to get and what to (regretfully) put back on the shelves, we decided it was lunchtime. So we tracked down the nearest Olive Garden, and ate salad and soup and breadsticks, and I cast on for Richard's knit birthday present (after the last two years, I think it has now become a tradition that I make him something silly for his birthday) and managed to get a few rows done in while waiting for the food to arrive.

After lunch, we moved on to our next destination, Babetta's Yarn and Gifts in Fair Oaks. This was a new store for all of us, so we had a wonderful time. And I was being very good and resisting the allure of all the gorgeous yarn until I walked down one aisle and saw a bin of laceweight, in which sat a skein of green wool and tencel blend that has just the amount of metallic sheen and was just the right color and I have been looking for the perfect yarn for my dragon shawl for some time now, and that one skein has 3100 yards (!!) - more than enough for a dragon shawl - so there was nothing to it, but it had to come home with me. And then someone in the group spied a box of silvery pastel yarns on sale, that are perfect for fingerless gloves (one skein makes one pair) and I thought about the fact that my litlte sister has a birthday coming up, and also I wouldn't mind a pair of fingerless gloves for myself, and into the basket dropped two balls of that. And then as I was rounding the last corner to explore I found an entire shelf of amazingly soft wool and acrylic blend yarn, with what looked to be the perfect color yellow, so I called my mom and had my dad help her get online to the manufacturer's website to make sure it was the color she wanted, and once we'd established that this would work, I then had to add ten balls of that to my basket, destined to become a sampler afghan for my mom. And after all of that, somehow the two little balls of Misty Alpaca laceweight that also 'fell' into my basket didn't seem like such a bad idea either.

By the time we were all done in the second store, some of the group was starting to tire, so we decided to call it a day and head back to Davis. My knitting mom and I headed off to Knitters Playground because we weren't quite ready to go home yet, and in between chatting and laughing and occasionally eating leftover holiday cookies, I managed to finish off Richard's birthday present before we decided it was time to go home.

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:18 AM | Comments (4)

December 26, 2006

Kool-aid Feet

The week of Thanksgiving, I had my niece and nephews help me dye some yarn with Kool-aid. They got to pick the colors, and they each then got to tell me how they wanted their slippers to look. The niece wanted pink and blue stripes, the youngest nephew wanted solid orange, and the oldest nephew wanted one orange and one blue slipper.

What with everything else I was working on, I kept putting off the slippers, until suddenly it was the week before Christmas and I was still plowing through a large lace shawl. Oops. Luckily, felted slippers go quickly; slippers for small people's feet go even faster.

I cast on for the pink and blue pair on the drive down to Richard's family's house on Christmas eve and finished the first one while I was there, then finished the second one early Christmas morning, in time to wrap it and hand it over to her under the tree. She noted, with a giggle, that they are a little big on her.

And then, for the rest of Christmas day, when I wasn't opening presents or taking pictures of other people opening their presents, or playing Rat-a-Tat Cat with the family, or eating, or watching small people tear madly around in the front yard, I knit. And before I left my parents' house last night, I was finished.

Do I even need to mention how much my hands hurt right now? So much for promising myself there would be no last minute insanity knitting this year. Heh. Ah well. They turned out cute, and the kids all seemed to get a kick out of them. Hopefully they'll like the slippers just as much once they've felted down to a more wearable size.

Pattern is from Knitting at Knoon. Yarn is the Bare Merino from Knitpicks.

Posted by Jenipurr at 05:33 PM | Comments (1)

December 24, 2006

Twinkle, twinkle little shawl

Finished this last night and pinned it out this morning, before we headed off for Christmas Eve celebrations. Cat (lower right corner) included for scale.

Pattern: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star shawl
Yarn: Misty Alpaca laceweight, in cream. I used less than 2 skeins for this (and bought four, so now I have a bit over two to make something else. Hmm.)

The pattern was pretty straightforward and quick, although the instructions for the edging are incomplete - not so much that any decent knitter couldn't figure out where the errors are, but still a bit disconcerting if you're not paying attention. I suspect the error has never been fixed simply because few other people have done the shawl yet - my initial Google searches brought up no other links to text or pictures about it beyond simply pattern listings.

I'll be sending them an email with the corrections, but just in case anyone else out there is searching for the pattern and stumbles across this, I'll be nice and post them here too:

Edging Corrections - I have included the missing instructions in italics for the relevant rows.

Row 5 - Knit across and knit the 13th stitch together with the first stitch of the shawl, knit 1 st into next st on shaw. (If you do not do this when you start the edging, you will be one stitch off as you start into the edging chart).

In addition, finishing the edging is left out of the instructions entirely.So *before* the line "Bind Off", repeat rows 1 through 5 as originally written to add the garter stitch edge to the remaining side.

Posted by Jenipurr at 07:08 AM | Comments (7)

December 16, 2006

Well, what do you know

Who could that be, peeking nervously over the edge here?

Richard's niece is getting "Over the Hedge" (the DVD) for Christmas. And what better to send along with a cute movie that includes animated baby hedgehogs than her very own stuffed (and finally) felted hedgehog? This morning I stuffed him and sewed him shut and gave him eyes and a little nose, and then hastily shot some pictures before Richard wrapped him up and headed off to the post office to send him on his way.

A finished, felted (formerly unfeltable) hedgehog. Will wonders never cease.

Posted by Jenipurr at 01:34 PM | Comments (7)

December 12, 2006


What knitting I've been able to do the past week or so has been pretty much solely focused on the lace shawl. I'm nearly done with the first chart, which means I've got over 450 stitches on the needles now and the purl rows are endless. I am reminding myself that they are going to get far, far worse before they get better, since by the end of the second chart I'll have added another 300 or so and if I think the purl rows are bad now, there may quite possibly be a little bit of weeping, or swearing, or both, by the time I reach row 150 of the chart, and we will not even discuss the fact that there is also edging to add, and also that I am toying with adding an i-cord border to the top.

There hasn't been a lot of time for knitting, however, because until Saturday I was a little bit distracted, what with rehearsals and then our concert (I'm in a 7-member women's vocal ensemble). But now that is done for the year and last night I went to Monday Night Knitting again for the first time in almost two months, and it was so nice to see everyone again.

The Kool-aid dyed yarn for the niece and nephews'' slippers is still hanging in my bedroom where I put it after Thanksgiving and I am hoping that by this weekend I will have some time to wind it up into little balls and get started. I may just do it earlier anyway, if only to keep the weeping and gnashing of teeth from interminable purl rows on lace to a minimum.

Posted by Jenipurr at 08:09 AM | Comments (1)

December 04, 2006

Social knitting

Friday was First Friday Craft Night at my knitting mom's house, so my mom and I headed off to join in the fun. Since this is the December gathering, we had our annual ornament exchange, so Friday afternoon I zipped off to Michael's to find two reasonably priced ornaments for my mom and I to contribute. I also decided that, now that it is December and Christmas is looming, I should stop with the rabid knitting of socks already, and actually start on the lace shawl that I am supposed to be making for my little sister. She picked out the pattern and she picked out the yarn, so it's not going to be a surprise (and I prefer it that way because if I am going to spend a huge amount of time knitting lace out of slippery laceweight alpaca on tiny needles, I would prefer it be something she actually *wants*), but it would be nice if it was actually finished in time for the gift giving event, and even better, it would be good if, just once, I was not staying up until the wee hours of Christmas morning frantically finishing my gift knitting. So I stuffed both ornaments into gift bags and I hastily printed out the pattern charts, and I picked up my mom and we drove off to my knitting mom's house and then, because I am ever so slightly insane, I cast on for a fiddly lace project while at a noisy gathering of about a dozen women, and somehowe did not manage to screw up for at least four rows. The fact that I had to rip out a few rows on Saturday morning because I did not bother to read the pattern all the way through does not count.

Sunday afternoon was another holiday exchange, although this time it was an exchange of yarn. In the spirit of holiday fun, Knitters' Playground hosted a white elephant yarn swap, where we were all to rummage through our stash and wrap up something we didn't want, then bring it in and see if we'd end up with something we liked better. Conveniently, they also set aside a bag for any yarn that ended up unclaimed, to be donated to local schools, or somewhere else that might be in need of some free crafting supplies.

We sat around for a few hours and we chatted and laughed and met new people and ate cookies, and checked out what everyone else was working on, and we knit (and thank goodness this lace pattern is on the easy side, because lace + crowds usually would be a recipe for disaster) and had a wonderful time with the yarn swap. The price range was $10, but I suspect that every bag on the table was worth quite a bit more than that. It was obvious people had had fun going through their stash, pulling out all kinds of wonderful things they had bought at one time, but never ended up using. And for the most part, I think almost everyone ended up going home with something they liked much better than what they'd come with. After all, it is always fun to acquire new yarn for the stash, and it is even better when that new yarn comes completely free.

Posted by Jenipurr at 09:50 AM

December 01, 2006

Tinkling the ivories

The December Magknits is up, and in it you'll find a picture of my dad, my sister-in-law, and oh yeah, this scarf (grin).

It's an idea I had brewing around in my head ever since I first learned to do illusion knitting last year (and made that Linux penquin scarf for Richard) - the colors just naturally brought to mind a piano keyboard, and this year I finally got around to sitting down and charting it out. Ah, if only all the rest of the pattern ideas rattling around in that wacky brain of mine were so straightforward to design!

Special thanks, by the way, to Jeremy, who identified the brown striped mystery socks in yesterday's Circle of Socks as Opal Rainforest Owl.

Posted by Jenipurr at 06:04 PM | Comments (8)