Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Dear Yarngrovers,

Jane asked me to brainstorm some fun ideas for a yarn grove contest. Do any of these strike your fancy?

Kitty Couture Contest- best pet outfit or accessory (everyone loves posting pictures of their pets!)

One Skein- how creative can you be with just one skein?

Love Your Mother (Earth)- crochet or knit up something using recycled materials

Piece of Scrap- Empty out that bucket of scraps and free form it baby!!

Post some comments if you see one you like. Maybe we should have a contest to see who can come up with the best idea for a contest...

Speaking of kitty Couture...isn't my Mona just adorable??? Ok, off to teach my 3rd and final knitting class of the day!

Two more ... Coming up!

2 more socks ... coming up (pun intended). By golly, I think I've got it. I suffered so terribly by the SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) and felt I was wasting yarn (I hate to waste anything). So ... I decided to buy another set of needles and just do my version of 2 at a time. I am knitting with J-Knits SuperWash me Sock Yarn in colorway AC-141. Sock Blockers made by the talented Holly of Knitting Haven. She sells them and this is my second pair. Love them!

Only thing I'm stuck on now is if I like flap/ gusset version or Short row. So this pair will each have a different heel. Then I will decide. I love knitting on these Colonial DPNs. They are 5.5" long and as I posted before, I never thought I would not use my CPs. Try a set. They are smooth enough for easy knitting but just enough "bite" that your yarn doesn't slip off so easily... And they are inexpensive (I also love a bargain).

Speaking of inexpensive, we decided it was time to get our puppy dog, Junior, fixed. So I called our vet last Thursday and spoke with the receptionist to schedule an appointment. They know Junior well ... or so I thought. She said we can do it tomorrow(last Friday) - just have him here by 8am. No problem ... by the way, Melissa, how much is it? She said, and I quote, between $225 and $250. I gasped and said, and I quote, "Let me start over again. This is Junior, you know, 6 mo old Silky Terrier, 9 pound canine MALE". She said, of course I know ya'll.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. The last time I got a pet "fixed" it was $69.00. No kidding. So I hung up the phone without scheduling an appt and decided I would price shop. So I did. Next place ... $205.00. Next place ... $210.00.. By this time, I was on the sofa trying to process all this. Oh yeah, I always adopt old animals! Cats and dogs, doesn't matter. Remember ? You've never had a puppy before ...

So last Friday, he went to the vet (our regular one, why change now) and got the ol' snip snip... Care instructions ... Watch for redness, swelling. Limit activity (Huh??) ...

Well, we had visitors over the weekend. Bowden and Molly came to visit and they had a big time playing in the backyard. Wow, I said to hubby, I sure am glad he is feeling better . So yesterday, I check his incision. OMG... What is that goop coming out ?? To the vet we go and sure enough, the incision was opened. 2 staples later and an E-collar ... we're home. Questions I got from the vet made me feel like a dumbass new parent again. Q -Did you limit his activity? Answer - yes, for a day or so but by Sunday when his friends came by, he felt great! Q - Did you take him out to potty on his leash? Answer - are you kidding me? he hates his leash - he just sits down ... He has the whole backyard to potty in ... We used to go outside with him to protect from the hawks when he was so little but now he goes outside alone.

This collar is killing me... It hurts me worse than him ... kinda like when my kids got the ol' jab & stab innoculations - I cried, not them... He is pitiful with this collar on ...

Sunday, February 25, 2007


You know you're a yarn-a-holic when your idea of a good Saturday night involves fiber, bamboo, and hours of uninterrupted knitting time. Tonight, I reached a new level of bliss. I guess you could say I dyed and went to heaven. Using lemonade, fruit punch, and lemon-lime kool aid, I had a blast dying some wool. I call the green one "Lime Light" and the pink one "Daquiri." I have 3 more skeins of wool and a dozen more ideas!!!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Meet Gladys

I love sheep. Actually, I am just a plain ol' animal lover. Doesn't matter. Love them all. So when we got in the pattern Felt Flock from Fiber Trends, a copy was mine. The cutest little sheep. Depending on the size needles you use and yarn, you get different size sheep. I used Water Chestnut in Mauch Chunky by Kraemer for her body and Licorice Snaps in Mauch Chunky for her tail, feet and nose.
They are a lot of fun to knit and I am sure they will multiply fast ... Gladys needs some friends...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Just me

This week seems like 2 weeks long and it is only Wednesday. Monday, I thought my 9 year old granddaughter, Halley has spinal meningitis. Monday was 1 week long and then we were in the clear for spinal meningitis but she was still in the hospital. Today is Wednesday and she is better and going home. What did she have? A headache and a high fever. So much for modern medicine...some things have no explanation...but we are one happy family here to have a well Halley back with us.

Now on to the yarn. We have Duet Sock Yarns at The Yarn Grove. This yarn is beautiful and fun. It comes with 2 yarns, one for the body of the sock and a contrasting color for the heel and toes. "Basic after-thought heel" sock pattern included with purchase. There are no dye lots and some colorways will never be reproduced the same way again, so if you see a color you like, grab it as it may never be again. This makes for great original socks that won't show up on half the knitters in your group.

Now on to the odd stuff. Odd stuff you say? Yes, when I really zone out for relaxation I make strange little things. Some pictures have been added below, below because I did not want to run anybody off by thinking this was a voodoo site. My 2 point protectors are my favorite. My grandchildren say they are scary. what do you think? Then there is my tiny yarn angel who has a special hat made from Lorna's Laces Layette. The two little bowls are what I use to count rows. (I made the little bowls with clay, such artistic abilities there) When I finish a row I put a bead in the red bowl...don't have to write anything down, or fool with a bracelet or any other contraption. These ideas come straight from my strange brain but it is fun to go away for awhile and just see what is created. How do you count rows? Any special method we might all want to know about? OK, lurkers, I know you are there because I have actually spoke with some of you and know you are live people lurking on my blog...take a chance, post, no one will laugh or put your comments on the nightly news. It's just friends here.

If you would like a discount at The Yarn Grove, go to Knitters Review forum and find our ad. This is the last day for the ad until March 1 so do take advantage of the discount code. We have other ads around the net with special discounts so be on the look out for us. The yarn pictured in the ad is Reno by J Knits. Gorgeous, huh

Signing off until next time....which Jane says is way to few times....she is the writer, I am the talker. What can I say

PS: I added a picture of a sock I am making with Lorna's Laces Layette. Thought there ought to be a picture of something I am knitting

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Pair

Done, kaput, finnisshhhed! The Lorna's Laces Shepherd Socks in Seaside are on the blockers. Just a toe up pattern using the Turkish cast on I learned and yo's, not short row heels. But I am going to try those on my next ones.

Speaking of sock blockers, Debby ordered us each a set of Sock Blockers from Holly at Knitting Haven. She is making them now out of plastic, which won't warp. They are great! The neutral color of the blockers allows you to really showcase your beautiful sock colors. I highly recommend them. I wear a size 10 but I like my socks tight and while I got a large, I am going to order the medium as well. Way to go Holly!

Currently OTNs is a Fiber Trends pattern we just got in yesterday. It is called a Felt Flock and they are little sheep! I am using Kraemer Mauch Chunky which felts great. Progress on those soon.

The only reason I will venture out today is orders to the PO. Otherwise, it's inside for me. I am not usually bothered by the cold but it is so cold here in Georgia. I know some of you are probably smirking and snickering but yesterday the high was 37. That's cold for this ol' Southern girl.

Sit and knit... that's what I will be doing ... of course, after my jaunt on the treadmill ...

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

8 minutes to spare ...

Happy Valentine's Day to all! And my Valentine's gift 26 years ago today was my bouncing baby boy, Christopher. Who only likes to be called Chris. Yep, he was born at 11:52pm on 2/14 and there were bets with the nurses and my doc as to whether I could do it or not. At 11:15pm, as they were standing around munching on cheese crackers that was so very annoying to me , one nurse said, ... no way ... and I glared at her and said very loudly (or maybe even screaming since I had no epidural), WATCH ME. And watch me they did.

As he grew up, he loved to tell all the girls he was a sweetheart because he was born on Valentine's Day. They all loved him. What a wonderful young man he has grown up to be. Happy Birthday my boy... Oh yeah, and he was born with the Clemson University Football Helmet and jersey on too. He bleeds orange! The second picture is he and his wife, Cheryl on campus.

On a knitting note, my girlfriend, Paula, sent me a pair of socks she had knitted with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Gold Hill colorway which has been a hot hot seller for us. Scrumptous. Although the story is long, she sent them to me to take pictures because everytime she tried to load up to our FOG, she had everything ELSE in the picture except the socks. So she said a few choice words and decided to mail them to me to take my own pictures. Well, I wonder if she will miss them???

Kiss your sweethearts today and don't forget those 4-legged ones too!

Monday, February 12, 2007

A Little of This, A Little of That

I love books. I love all kinds of books. I must own 1500 books or more. Right now I am into knitting books. Just bought Barbara Walker's first and second treasury of stitches. Should have bought them sooner. There are so many different patterns that I could knit for years and not use them all.

I am also interested in books about William Bartram. He lived in the mid to late 1700's. William traveled all over the eastern coast of the United States, gathering plants, flowers and seeds to send to England for them to grow. Now this probably sounds boring but his books are published in his own words and it is interesting to see how one person's view of the happenings of the day differ from what our history books teach us. His writings on the American Indian are incredible and provide a great insight into the real American Indian. Not savages, but intelligent, gentle people who loved this land. I find his books to be spiritual in nature with a unique understanding of people. Well, enough about my hero, William Bartram.

Exciting things are going on at The Yarn Grove. We have new books which I can't wait to own. Lace Style with 21 inspired designs to get you going on lace knitting, Favorite Socks Book, with 25 patterns in a great spiral book that lays flat....and No Sheep For You by Amy Singer. A book of patterns for bamboo, cotton, silk, hemp and more but no wool.

Also, our Duet Yarns are on the way to The Yarn Grove. The colorways will have you wanting every one of them. Superwash merino dk weight, 350 yards which includes coordinating heel and toe yarn. Basic after-thought heel sock pattern included with purchase. Most colorways will not be repeated exactly so you will have a very unique pair of socks. I can't wait to make a pair and use my new sock blockers made by Holly at Check out our sock blocker keychains that come with a pattern to make a tiny sock to fit on the sock blocker, socks for all seasons.

That is enough of my babbling for today. I am off to knit some ufo's so I can be ready to knit socks when the Duet yarns arrive

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bag of My Dreams!

Last week, I was scheduled for the opening shift at the coffee shop, which means I had to be there at 5am. Well, I survived the week, so as a reward to myself, I took a little trip to Thrift Mart, the biggest thrift shop in Huntsville (it also happens to be less than a minute from my apartment!). I found a few things, and I was headed to the checkout when something told me to go look at the pillows. I always trust the suggestions of the thrift gods, so I walked to the back of the store. There was nothing special in the pillow section, until I turned the corner and saw this bag. Its actually a bowling bag, and its so sixties, and so MOD....and its so my new knitting bag!

In other news, Spottie Dottie got skunked right in the snout last night. We soaked her in a solution of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish detergent and got most of the smell out...but there's still a faint aroma right around her nose. We even had to flush her eyes with saline solution. Poor puppy. I mopped, disinfected, vaccumed, laundered and scoured the whole apartment last night. Mona, the cat, was completely disgusted with the whole ordeal and tried to run away this morning. Oy!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Am I really that Slow?

I guess you could call me a slow knitter but considering the fact that I am doing 2 at a time and add that to the fact that life gets in the way sometimes, well there you have it...

I am also auditioning some new yarns - one specific lineup - so am knitting swatches and trying those out. So far, so good! And we wait with excitement for our new books to arrive as well as Duet Sock Yarns!

It is supposed to sleet here this afternoon. Oh boy, the grocery stores will be emptied of bread and milk - but it is not supposed to stick. Me personally, wish it was spring. My daffodils are still trying to show their faces ... poor little things are so confused with the weather.

Enjoy the weekend, my friends ...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Granny Blobs and Knitters Block

Well, my adventure into crochet was not as life altering as I hoped. I couldn't find the patience to learn all the stitches. I did attempt a granny square...which looked more like a granny blob. My second attempt was better. Chris goes out of town in a few weeks, so maybe a few chick flicks and a bottle of wine will help me through crochet 101.

I've got a few knitting projects going, but I can't seem to get inspired to finish any of them. I've got a serious case of knitter's block. Somebody help!

Monday, February 05, 2007

My version of 2 at a time

So here is my version of 2 socks at once. Yes I start them on 2 circulars but end up on dpns. I decided that since I need 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces yarn I would start both socks and by the time I am done, wal-lah! I have a pair of socks. Oh yeah, in Seaside colorway.

Speaking of DPNs, we have some Colonial bamboo dpns in sizes 0 - 4. These are 5.5" in length and let me tell you ... they are my new favorite dpns. I NEVER thought I would knit with ANY needle for socks other than my 6" Crystal Palaces. But these are truly nice. And inexpensive. Try a pair. They are great.

So yesterday, Debby and I had our first annual The Yarn Grove Super Sunday Yarn Sale which we broke down into quarters. It was so much fun. I was in charge for the first "two quarters" and Debby handled the second half. Neither one of us knew what the other was going to put on sale so it was a hoot. Our phone was ringing off the hook because our website was so sluggish due to the amount of traffic, and our emails were full. Then poof! it was time to change again. It was a blast. Even my husband got involved helping me pack boxes. Thank you all, my friends, for all your participation. We enjoyed the party with you!

Coming soon to The Yarn Grove is Duet Sock Yarns from Swell Yarns, owned by a delightful fiber artist, Angela. We have no idea the colorways we will be receiving but I can promise you one thing, they will be gorgeous. We are very thrilled to put these in our ever growing line-up.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Good enough to drink... and dye

Many many months ago, I was fascinated by the prospects of dyeing my own yarn. So venture I did. I wanted quick and easy so I chose the Kool-Aid route. Armed with a buggy load of vinegar and unsweetened packs of Kool-aid, the cute checker-outer boy at the grocery store asked me if I was having a party. I said I was making Kool-aid into yarn. He looked at me like I was David Cooperfield's aunt or something.

I printed instructions from the web and began the journey into powdered abyss. I quickly became enamoured of all the cool colors I could make (and not make). The only color for me that was not successful was grape. Ugghhh.

In my backyard was a clothes dryer rack I had bought at the thrift store that quickly became my yarn hanger. And quickly is right . This does not take long. My ultra smart hubby made me a board with 2 posts - evenly set apart -so that I could wind the yarn back into nice even hanks. Of course, Debby had to have one too.

I dyed 100% worsted weight wool, cashmere and wool blend, lace weight (there is a secret to that) nothing was safe. I even overdyed some yarn that came out really crapola. A favorite saying of a friend of mine when I get over zealous about something is ..."Folks, she drank the kool-aid". And drank it I did.

I saw a couple of skeins turned into head turbans for the hospice I volunteer for and gave some skeins away to the nursing center ladies (and a gent) that I knit with. They loved it and even more loved the fact that it was "homemade". Now if I can just get my property rezoned so I can have my own sheep ... well that would be the sugar in the kool-aid for me!

Try it sometime. Would love to hear your experiences with different types of dyeing of yarns. I did try some cotton but we won't talk about that ultra disaster ... Lost a pot over that one ... I think I'll stick with the Kool-aid kid... We also won't chat about how much undyed yarn Debby and I purchased one time either. It's long long filed away ... Huh, Debby?