Sunday, September 30, 2007

Warm Head

The weather seems to finally be cooling down. Autumn is my favorite part of year. Cool night, but days warm enough to just need a light sweater (like my new duster!). So, despite a basement flood (so that everything that went through the upstairs kitchen sink and garbage disposal ended up on the basement floor and was not discover for up to 7 days, yeah, gross!), we spent a good deal of time outside enjoying the weather. Lots of time in the sandbox and biking. I thought I'd post pictures of my two latest warm projects. I am still chugging along on the cobblestone (working on the second sleeve).

Here is the Black Sea Hat (by grumperina) that I made on the way home from the Jets game last weekend. I made it using a dk weight wool I bought cheap at Joanns (I think it is a store brand) and hematite beads (6/0 size). I am loving it!!

And here is my calorimetry. I'd been dying to make one sinc eI first saw the pattern, but never had yarn for it. I got this skein of yarn (it was Berroco Jasper in ) from a swap with a fellow knittyhead. It is the softest ever! The button is great, though you can't see it. It is a silver oval with a little figure playing a flute. Very cave man like!!

Back tomorrow with my blogstalker assignment: how I go from place to place!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Indian Summer

I'm not sure if the weather we are seeing is technically an indian summer, but it was 90 degrees here yesterday (a new record). Just to hot to do anything except go to the local pond and relive summer!! So, after I picked the kids up, that is just what we did.
I briefly tried to knit on the Misty garden scarf which is nearly done:

But was quickly called into service as expert castle builder. I don't design 'em, I just build 'em! Here is Abby's fortress.
And PJ's.
We spent almost 2 hours. Then we took a quick hike to check on our letterbox that is planted here. Gathered a bunch of twigs, bark, and acorns which became boats (with a bunch of hot glue). All in all a wonderful day!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cambridge Jacket

I finally got Wook to model his Cambridge Jacket on the way to a Board of Ed meeting tonight. Plus, it was 80 degrees out so you need to give the guy some credit.

Pattern: IK's Cambridge Jacket, I knit the 51 ish"

Yarn: Patons Classic Merino in Natural (light tan)

Changes: I made the collar a bunch shorter (by Wook's request). Looking back I should have taken 2 inches off the sleeves. I might cut them and then BO to lose the extra length.

Great pattern. I'd definitely knit it again.

Blogstalker: Purse guts

My purse will be here any minute. I just need to find it....
Here you go. REALLY dull this week! First the bag.
I am going to admit where I got this. It came with a sample from my Ob/Gyn a few years back. Go ahead. Laugh. I'll wait.
Back? Here are the insides:

There are: coupons, a hair band, a kleenex that despite its appearance is unused, my checkbook/wallet that came out of a purse I used about 10 years ago, 4 pennies, 2 stitch markers, a pen, 5 count em' 5 library cards (because you can never have too many! 3 are from our local libary (mine, Abby's, PJ's) and two are for our library at the Cape (Abby's and mine)), a pen, a new lip gloss that I just bought (Burt's Bees lemon lime), and my favorite a sparkle filled blue plastic ring. Why is the ring my favorite? PJ gave it to me one day after I scolded him for something or other. It was like a little I'm sorry and I love you present.

And just to let you know, I only carry this purse if I am going into a store to buy something and Wook isn't there. Otherwise it sits under my seat or on the passenger seat.

Weekend Getaway!

Well, Wook and I enjoyed a weekend away in beautiful NJ (hee hee). Seriously though. We stayed at the Hilton in Hasbrouck Heights near the Meadowlands Friday and Saturday nights. It was a nice hotel, comfy, and we had a view from the room of the NYC skyline. Also got to see the Miami Dolphins who were staying at the hotel Saturday night!! It was great though because Paul had worked in NYC for a bit over two weeks last spring. He was between jobs (old company went bankrupt in spectacular fashion) and was offer this contract. Anyways, he stayed on their dime at a Hilton hotel (embassy suites) in Time Square. Which on a side note is a GREAT hotel with kids. It is right in Times Square and had two good sized rooms. We (the kids and I) spent about half the time there with him. So, long story long, we had enough Hilton points that this stay was free. Except for the $20 pot of coffee at 10:30 on Saturday night!

Then, the game on Sunday. Which we won. Phew. It was fun, though the guy next to us smelled bad. And the guy on the other side thought it was okay to be partly in my seat. Still, really fun. And here is a pic from my seat with Wook' s phone cam.

As you can imagine, LOTS O' KNITTING took place. I got 3 of PJ's 4 birthday dinosaurs knit. Just need to knit the stegasaurus and put them all together. I finished 2/3 of a Misty Gardenscarf. It is lacy and fuzzy and I like it way more than I usually like lacey or fuzzy things! Promise a pic later. And I knit myself a Black Sea hat with hematite beads. So pretty. Pics later, I swear!! Time to get Abby to school. They, in case you are wondering, had a FAB time with Grama and Grandpa. Went to the Big E, made birthday cupcakes with Auntie Connie, went to 3 tag sales, saw Aunt Tina and Uncle Dave. All good.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Blogstalker: Who Am I?

What fun this will be! All of us knitty blogstalkers will answer a question or post a photo on a certain subject each week. I am looking forward to being stalked and stalking others (never thought I'd say THAT!). The first assignment is to answer the Who am I question. First a few easy ones. Oh and can I say that 3 posts in one day.....I think I have a problem!!

I'm Rachel. I'm 32 (had to actually think on this for a minute!). I graduated from Providence College in RI in 1997 with a BS in Biology and BA in Chemistry. Yes. Science nerd. Then I got married that July to my sweetie of 5 years.

We began dating my junior and his senior year of high school. He was in the Army stationed in NC at Fort Bragg. I started grad school at UNC-CH that fall. I did my grad school work in the lab of Jack Griffith. I studied telomeres, which are the ends of chromosomes. I used electron microscopy to study their structure (loops, which we named t-loops). If you are still interested, why?! But seriously it is interesting and you can read more here and here and here. I had my daughter Abby in 2001 and just a few months after got my PhD. I wrote my dissertation while on bedrest for preterm labor! I worked as a postdoc at Duke briefly before deciding I could be a great mom OR a great scientist, but did not want to be a good mom and good scientist. So I quit when I was a few months pregnant with my son PJ who was born 16 months after his sis in 2002.
I didn't start knitting until after PJ was born. They would nap in the morning at the same time (I miss that!!) and I began to crochet and then knit. We moved back to Vernon where I grew up. We are diagonal backyard neighbors to my folks and my sister is two more houses away. Practically a commune I know!

Now, Wook and I have been married over 10 years, together for 15. Abby is 6 and PJ almost 5. He is in school half days and she is all day. So, I find myself with a bit of free time again. I fill it with errands, cleaning, and knitting. I also recently began to work knitting samples. Getting paid for knitting. Could it be any better. Well, I could make enough to not need an actual job next year!!! So, that is me in a nutshell.

Tilted Duster Finished!

All done except for a trip to find the PERFECT buttons! I am just loving it. It is ready in time for next weekend when Wook and I go to the Jets game. We are leaving Friday and staying at t hotel nearby the Meadowlands. Relaxing and then going to the game Sunday.

Here are the specs:
Pattern: Tilted Duster from IK Fall 2007
Yarn: Cascade Ecological Wool in 8087 (chocolate brown)
Size: I knit the small. It used two full skeins and just a bit of the third. Lots left.
Mods: I added a teeny bit to the length of the sleeves since I hate sleeves that end on my wrist. I prefer them a bit lower or at 3/4 length.

Edited: Well, I found some great buttons made from coconut shells!! Here's a closeup:

PJ's Without Trainers!!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Some finishing..almost

Well, the tilted duster is done and I am loving it. Definitely need to block it to open up the ribbing a bit and to make the bottom settle down. I also need to buy the perfect buttons. Since the Cambridge Jacket still awaits a zipper, a trip to Joann's is in order for Monday. I'll post pictures as soon as they are all finished (hopefully Tuesday).

I'm halfway through the Backyard Leaves scarf from Scarf Style. It is designed by Annie Modesitt and is done in two bits from the back of the nexk down. I never really thought a scarf book was worthwhile, but this one really is great. I got it from the damaged book sale that Interweave had, but if it is damaged somewhere, I can't find it!!
On the homefront, I am feeling under the weather. Sore throat like fire. Wook has been trying to get me to rest. I tried to explain how setting in sleeves IS resting. He doesn't seem to agree.

This is PJ being Santa the other morning!

Abby with Merlin the Magical Cat

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kathleen's Sweater

For awhile I have been meaning to make a sweater for Abby's doll, Kathleen. She is an American Girl like doll that we got her for Christmas last year (From AC Moore). I tried to find an available pattern, but then thought they'd be a good idea for the fall craft shows. So, Kathleen had a fitting and this is the result.
It came out well. I sort of winged it! It fits Kathleen, an 18" doll. It also fits her Bitty baby (the smaller American girl doll).

Details: I used leftover bits of ww wool (some eco wool, cascade 220, and handdyed Lion Brand fisherman's wool) on 8's. A great way to use up leftovers!
On a side note, you'd think with how popular these kind of dolls are there would be knitting books/patterns more easily available! I found a whole list of great looking clothes to SEW, but no knitting. Maybe I'll write up this one!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

School days

Well, you might think with the kids in school I'd have more time to keep my blog up to date. I would have thought that too!! But I find myself frantically trying to run errands, clean the house, and do little projects I've put off. Hardly any extra knitting, but I've squeezed in a few extra each day. I regrouted my kitchen counters, which are tile. NOT a kid-friendly counter top. Not great, but it looks a lot better. I'll finish that this week. I also hung these roman shades on your 3 bedroom window, 2 study windows, and 2 dining room windows. I wouldn't have gotten these, but they were on clearance at my Kmart for $4.00 each!!! They look a lot nicer than the old curtains which were left by the woman who lived here before. They were really nicer quality, just not my tastes.

I've also been busy with PTO stuff. I am in charge of assigning room parents to each class and assembling lists for each room parent of other parents who will help out with parties. With the privacy laws, we can only give the names and numbers of parents who give us permission. So some classes have 10 parents willing to help. One class has ONE. That poor poor lady. Hopefully more will sign up at the open house next week.

As for knitting, I made another sample knit bag. Done in the round from the center in. Very cool design. It was in the silk yarn but in 4 different colors which was pretty. It worked up pretty quickly, though my needles are now purple. I also have been making button hats like a fiend. And I just finished (all but the neckband) of a sweater for Abby's 18" doll (American Girl look-alike, named Kathleen). Lastly, I have been working on my Tilted Duster. More on that, including a picture of progress,

Since I hate posts without pics, but don't have one, here is a movie for your viewing pleasure!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Play Park

My kids and I spend many long hours at the local play parks during the fall. I wanted a cute, fitted cardigan that I could slip on when the weather turns cool. When I couldn’t find what I wanted, I came up with this design. Play park falls just to the hips, is fitted at the waist, and has a scoop neck. Right now it is only in my size, to fit a 35-36” chest. If I get interest, I will provide other sizes. Enjoy!!


6 balls of Bellezza Collection Tesoro (100% wool, 87 yards/50 grams), lime (MC)

3 balls of Bellezza Collection Tesoro (100% wool, 87 yards/50 grams), lilac (CC)

Note: Any worsted weight wool would be fine. You can easily make this solid color. It would also look really cute with the seed stitch in one color and the remainder in a second.

US 8 circular needles, or size to obtain gauge

Zipper, mine was 10” but I suggest waiting until you are finished and measure for best fit


18 st and 23 rows to 4 inches

Main Body

Cast on with CC 39 stitches, place marker (pm), 74 stitches, pm, 38 stitches.

Work in seed stitch as follows for 1 inch: K1 *P1, K1* repeat between the stars to the last stitch, K1.

Purl 1 row.

Change to MC and work 2 rows in st st.

NOTE: Colors are now changed every 6 rows.

Waist shaping

Decrease Rows

Row 1 (RS): * K to 3 st before marker, ssk, K2, slip marker, K2tog* repeat, then K to the end of the row

Row 2-4: Work even in st st.

Row 5-6: Change to CC. Work in st st.

Repeat rows 1-6 (keeping 6 rows per color) four times (135 stitches).

Work 4 rows even

Increase Rows

Row 1 (RS): *K to 2 st before the marker, m1, K2, slip marker, K2, m1* repeat, then K to the end of the row

Row 2-6: Work even in st st in stripe pattern

Repeat rows 1-6 four times (151 stitches).

Work even to 13” (~12 more rows) or desired length, ending with a WS row.You are now at the armholes and will be working each section separately.


Knit 1 row. BO 6.

Row 1: K to the last 4 stitches, K2tog, K2

Row 2: P

Repeat two more times.

BO 8 stitches for the neck.

Decrease 1 st at every end four times.

Work even to 6 ¾” from the armhole (19 ¾ total from cast on)


K one row. BO 8.

Repeat these two rows.

LEFT Front

Join yarn with RS facing. BO 6 stitches.

Row 1: P

Row 2: K2, K2tog, K to the end.

Repeat these two rows 2 more times.

BO 8 stitches for the neck.

Decrease 1 st at every end four times.

Work even to 6 ¾” from the armhole (19 ¾ total from cast on)


BO 8. Work one row.

BO 8.


Join with the RS facing.

BO 6 at the beginning of the next two rows.

Row 1: K2, ssk, K to four stitches from the end, K2tog, K2

Row 2: P

Repeat these 2 rows 2 more times.

Continue to 6 ½”.


BO 8 at the beginning of the next 4 rows.

BO 24.

Sleeves (make 2)

CO 36 stitches in CC. Work 1” seed stitch.

Increase Row 1: K3, m1, K to the last 3 stitches, m1, K3

Rows 2-6: Work even.

Switch to MC and repeat these 6 rows 7 times (62 stitches).

Continue straight to 16 inches (or ~ 1 inch less than desired length)

Shape top

BO 6 at the beginning of the next 2 rows.

Row 1: K2, ssk, K to the last 4 stitches, K2tog, K2.

Row 2: P

Repeat these 2 rows 2 more times. BO all stitches.


Block all pieces. Join shoulder seams. Center sleeves and sew in place. Sew sleeve seams. Attach zipper. If desired, using CC, K 4 stitch strips to length of zipper. Sew in place to cover facing of the zipper. I think this gives a more finished look but it is completely optional!

Zip up and Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

First of a few FOs

Edited today to add this picture : Here is one of 3 button hats I made this weekend. These were a big seller last year at the craft fair that I did. I made one dinosaur (that is the picture), one ladybug, and one vehicles. (and just have to say, is my sweetie not the cutest!)
Well, I finally put batteries in the camera. I swear someone is taking it out at night because I JUST changed them. Anywho, I took Little Red out for a photo shoot. If you remember, Little Red was requested by Wook's aunt for her granddaughter (Wook's cousin). Lucy will be 2 in December.
I'm less than thrilled with the feet and am considering doing something to them. She still needs some ribbon added for a belt and around the wrists, but she is very cuddly and very sweet I think!

I'm hoping to get pictures of both the Cambridge Jacket (still sans zipper) and my own designed striped sweater (also no zipper) tonight. So, check back tomorrow!!