Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It cannot possibly be the end of the year!

Hi all!

I am madly trying to finish up what feels like a billion things so no real post tonight, just a quick one to say:

Happy New Year! Wishing you all love and happiness in 2009!

Monday, December 22, 2008

They'll Turn on You So Fast...

As I mentioned in my last post, it has been quite snowy. Gwen has enthusiastically embraced all the frozen goodness, happily romping in yard and sledding down the street.

Until now. I'm thinking a case of housitosis is setting in:

G: Mommy, is it still cold?

Me: Yup. Still cold and snowy.

G: Mommy... is spring almost here?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland

There is much knitting here at Chez Sheep: a beep for [censored] for example, but I'm afraid I will have to wait to share those projects with you until the items arrive at their intended destinations.

It has been cold enough here this past week that I have actually had opportunity to wear some of my hand knits- very exciting! And cozy :)

Now I admit that my decade here in Seattle has made me a skeptic, winter weather-wise. I hear the little weather dude earnestly predict snow for our area and I see the local news reporters go through their song & dance, touting the latest "Snowpocalypse" but my brain? It says, "Meh. Not happening. Not a snowball's chance in hell." (If you'll pardon the awful pun.) 99.7% of the time the predictions are wrong. No snow. Or at least not enough to alter my plans in any serious way. At most, we get something like this:

Pics 12-21-08 010

My backyard, earlier in the week.

And, the forecasts were wrong again this weekend. But... this time they were wrong in the opposite direction. Our snowfall was supposed to taper off late last night or earlier today changing to snow showers or freezing rain.

Um..... Not snow much:

Pics 12-21-08 025

This was my back porch almost three hours ago. Our most recent snowfall (the third this week!) is still going strong more than 24 hours after it started. Now some of you who live in hardier climes may scoff that a mere 7"-10" can be a serious Snow Event. But let me remind you that I live in Seattle. A city of many BIG hills, drivers with little to no experience driving in snow (heck, they can't even drive in the rain and it rains all the time) and woefully little snow removal equipment.
Snowpocalypse indeed.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


I cannot believe that there are only two and half weeks until Christmas- where has the time gone? I think the late Thanksgiving and the resulting shorter pre-Christmas run up really has my brain flummoxed (love that word- I think we should bring back into regular use, it so precised describes that sort of baffled "what the heck?" feeling I experience so frequently these days).

I think I'm making progress. Gifts have been purchased. Gifts have been made, not all are done but I'm getting there. I am slowly getting the house decorated...
And... my children are slowly un-decorating it for me. My main accomplishment thus far was decorating the tree. Gwen's big accomplishment?

Removing the ornaments.
"But Mama, I liiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiike holding them."

well. Who can argue with that kind of logic?


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I'm an Auntie!!

Yesterday my sister in law (hubby's brother's wife) gave birth to a beautiful little boy making me an aunt for the first time (I'm not posting a photo because I don't know how they'd feel about it).

Guess I'd better buckle down and finish up the knitted gifts... I'm working on the trio from the original Mason-Dixon Knitting

Yellow Bib

Baby Bib o' Love, still needs a button...

Baby Kimono

Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. I'm now considerably further along than this, the back & left sleeve are completed and I have about ten more rows to go on the left side.

Burp Cloth

The Baby Genius Burp Cloth - done. Thank goodness something is done.

If you are wondering about the massive quantities of yellow for a baby boy I'd like to point out that the sex of the little one was a surprise until yesterday. This is actually why I am still knitting at this late date (no, it was just my natural tendency to procrastinate this time). I was all excited to knit cute little boy or girl things- had lists of them in my mind- but then my brother-in-law told us they weren't going to find out what they were having.


All the air left my balloon of baby knitting happiness. I just couldn't get excited to knit unisex baby things. No idea why. It was terribly irrational. But then a week ago I realized that the due date was RAPIDLY approaching and some knitting must be done, so here you have it. Hopefully I'll have it all finished it the next couple days...

PS. I know. Two posts in a week. Try not to faint.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Um, what happened to November? I swear I was just dressing the kiddos up in Halloween costumes yesterday.

I hope you all had scrumptious Thanksgiving dinners and survived the madness that was our retail establishments this past weekend. For our part we had a quiet turkey dinner at home with all the fixins'...

Knitting 12-1-08 004

...and pie of course!

Knitting 12-1-08 010

And we limited our post-Thanksgiving shopping to getting a Christmas tree so we have nary a stubbed toe to show for the Black Friday craziness.

I have been knitting up a storm recently but many of the items will be winging their way to rest beneath Christmas trees so I cannot share them here yet.

So instead I'll share one of my favorite projects from this past year that I haven't shown you here yet.

Yarn 7-20-08 051

Pattern: Faberge Cowl by Nina Machlin Dayton (pattern available on Ravelry)
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Vetiver
Needles: Size 7 Addi Turbos (20" I think, maybe 16")
Beads: Size 6/0 Japanese Seed Beads

I knit this as a test knit for Nina and I love it. The beads add just the right touch (they are place with a crochet hook instead of pre-stringing the beads). This is a fantastic pattern: clear instructions, a fun, interesting knit, and beautiful result.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Little Math

So looking over things I discovered some disturbing math. I've only posted here 11 time in 2008. That's 1.1 posts per month but that isn't what disturbed me (although maybe it should).

You might think that no posts on a knitting blog might mean no knitting:

0 p = 0 FO

But that isn't the case. In fact, the opposite is true. Since the beginning of the year I've completed 23 knitted items.

11 p = 23 FO

Even if I had managed to put a finished object in each of my paltry posts (I didn't) I still would be 12 FO's behind when it comes to sharing. In reality, I think I have 18 or so FO's to share.

That's a lot. Daunting almost.

But I shall not be defeated.

As I have nothing clever or profound to add I'll just get straight to it. I was going to do this chronologically but I am missing some pictures so it'll have to be haphazard.

Last week I decided the kiddos needed Pumpkin Hats and so, voila!

Pumpkin hats. This is the Little Pumpkin hat (Ravelry link) from Itty-Bitty Hats.
I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted in Glazed Carrot, Sapphire Green, and Marron Oscuro and knit them on my trusty size 7 Addi Turbos and dpns. The pattern goes up to a 1-2 year size but my little ones have not so little heads so I opted to use a worsted weight yarn instead of the called for DK weight. The hats are a little big but they'll fit for several years- better big than too small :) This is a quick knit, each hat took me less than two days to knit so I'm sure some of you speedier knitters out there could crank these out in no time. Overall, I am very happy with the results and hope that the weather this fall is cool enough that they get lots of use.

And while we're on the subject of hats, a while back (April!!?) I did a test knit for a friend of mine from Ravelry.

This is the Warwick Hat by Nina Machlin Dayton.

I made the child's small size but Matt has since outgrown it so I guess I need to make another one (in a solid color this time). The yarn is Malabrigo worsted again, the main color is Lime-Blue and the contrast color is Lettuce. And once again I used my Addi Turbos (size 8) and dpns. The hat is knot from the top down and has this cool contrast braid detail at the top and down at the brim. I'm bummed it's too small now...

So that's it for today. I don't want to over-do it. See you soon with more FOs and if I ever get caught up with those maybe I'll show you what I'm working on now... what a concept.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fully Vested

I finished my gift for Todd just in the nick of time, threw a ribbon around it and handed it over to him minutes before our anniversary ended.

This is the Subtle Stripe Vest by Lara Killian. The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash in a Green/Blue/Grey with flecks of gold (#867 I think- it is a great color). I used my trusty Addi Turbos in size 5.

This was my largest garment project to date and I am pretty happy with the results. The vest is exactly what I wanted: simple, but with just enough detail to keep it from being boring. If I make this vest again I will pick up more stitches along the armholes and neck than the instructions indicate because I felt the ribbing was not as “dense” as I would have liked in an ideal world.

I also need to add that I liked the yarn more than I thought I would. While I would never call it soft it never bothered my hands and was quite tolerable. I anticipate using it again in the future. I feel like I am the last one on the Cascade 220 bandwagon but better late than never, right?

Friday, August 22, 2008

I'm just a Jamaican Bobsledder

For so many athletes the joy of the Olympics is in the participation. The accomplishment is merely making it to the Games perhaps setting a new personal best if they are lucky.

And so it is for me in the Ravelympics. I will not be completing my event, the Shawl Relay. Let's just say I am emulating the US track & field relay teams and I fumbled the baton hand-off.

Actually, the hand-off is the problem. Instead of attacking my Clementine Shawlette with single-minded focus and determination a la Michael Phelps, I spread myself too thin, taking on another large project at virtually the same time, the vest for Todd.

That's not to say I haven't tried. I've made a good effort, putting in the time and doing the training. I felt good going in but it just didn't happen for me this time. The Clementine will not be done before the closing ceremonies. Here are my results:

The shawl has passed the halfway point. The first half is complete and looks great. I'm just into Chart B for the second half, a few more rows than shown above. I am only working on the Clementine when Todd is around because I need to dedicate every free moment when he isn't present to this:

The Anniversary Vest. I am half a row away from dividing for the front and back (two more inches than pictured). FINALLY! It is going to be really hard to finish it by the 31st but I am going to go out there, stick to my game plan, and give 110%.

Hopefully I'll be back with a finished vest and fewer sports cliches next week. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ravelry Killed My Blogging Star...

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having lovely summers... I haven't been reading any blogs lately so I'm a bit behind- hopefully everything's groovy.

Groovy? Really? Man, I am out of practice.

Anyway, we're doing well here at Chez Sheep. A quick catch up:

The littles are still cute.

Matt turned one!!!

Gwen now thinks everything is a balance beam (even before the Olympics).

And I am still knitting...
This is my main Ravelympics project, the Clementine Shawlette from Interweave Knits (that's a Ravelry link, if you aren't signed up, MOM, get over there and do it). The yarn is Malabrigo Silky Merino in Camote and it is just delightful.
I'm not as far along as I'd like to be and I'm starting to think I won't finish before the closing ceremonies because I am also working on this:

The Subtle Stripe Vest by Lara Killian. This is going to be a gift for Todd for our anniversary at the end of the month so it has a definite deadline. (And I really hope that he doesn't read my blog... he says he doesn't so if he lied, well... too bad. No surprise for you.) The yarn is Cascade 220 Superwash which I like more than I thought I would. As much as I would have like to use Malabrigo Worsted for this vest Todd would felt it faster than you can say "Handknit."
That's it for now... I don't want to over do it- I might pull something as I work my way back into blogging shape.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Still more crazy weather!

We went out to brunch this morning and as we sat there big fat flakes started pouring from the sky... Insane. Did Mother Nature lose her calendar?

The kids were sick all week:noses running like faucets, huge hacking coughs, ear infections, and yes, throwing up. Good times. I'm a little worn out from all the associated tasks and the increased crankiness so I'll apologize for my incoherent post ahead of time.

Since the little ones were sick, I was stuck in the house most of the week so I am suffering from cabin fever and I am really looking forward to getting out to see the Yarn Harlot tomorrow night at Third Place Books. I haven't picked up her new book yet but I plan on getting it tomorrow as well. I'm excited to reading the book since her books always make me laugh out loud. Unfortunately, I realized tonight that I do not have any socks on the needles... Going to see the Harlot without a sock to work on. Yikes. Possible heresy. I may have to rectify the situation before tomorrow night. Hmmmm.... what to do? What to do?

When last we talked knitting I was stalled on the cardigan I was knitting for Gwen. I'm still stalled. I guess I have Second Sleeve Syndrome. My goal is to get the sleeve cast on this week. We'll see how that goes, I'm not holding out any great hope...
I think I had also just cast on for my Foliage. I am happy to say that that particular piece of knitting is no longer a WIP but a lovely Finished Object! Hooray!

Foliage from Knitty knit in Malabrigo Chunky on Size 9 & 10 Addi Turbo circulars and a set of size 10 dpns.Finally, a hat for me. ::happy dance::

Friday, April 18, 2008

Global Warming??

Ahhhhhh.... April in Seattle.
Really. This was the view from my front porch this evening. Craziness personified. And let me ask, if April showers bring May flowers, what the hell does April snow bring you?

More blogging soon. Have actually been knitting. At least when the littles ones are not spewing snot and spit up on me. Good times.

More later.

And... the return of cupcakes (da-da-daaaaaaaa).

Friday, March 07, 2008


In the wake out the latest pathetic disaster from the publishing world, allow me a moment to provide a little public service to all you wanna-be memoirists out there:

From the American Heritage Dictionary:

mem·oir (měm'wär', -wôr') n.
1. An account of the personal experiences of an author.
2. An autobiography. Often used in the plural.
3. A biography or biographical sketch.

In other words, if it didn't happen to you (for reals) it's fiction. Sell it as such.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A Knitting Update

I have been plugging along on a project for Gwen but I have yet to share it with you so allow me to rectify the situation.

This is the Lace Edge Cardigan from Debbie Bliss Simply Baby. I am using Baby Cashmerino in Chocolate and I had to go down a needle size (#2) to get gauge. I know the picture doesn't really show you anything but right now the cardigan is pretty much a brown blob of garter stitch so trust me, a picture of it all laid out is even less interesting.

So far I have finished the body (fronts & back are knit as one piece) and the above sleeve is now finished.

I need to cast on for the second sleeve but I am a bit bored with all the brown garter stitch so I did this instead:

Yes, I have finally jumped on the Foliage hat bandwagon. Goodness knows I have enough Malabrigo in my stash, I need to start using some of it. (I uploaded all my Malabrigo to Ravelry last night so now I know exactly how much of the yummy stuff I have been, ahem, collecting.) I am using Malabrigo Chunky in Lettuce and so far I am very happy with the project (I'm a little further along than in than in the photo). The pattern is easy but interesting. I found the beginning of the hat a little fiddly with the dpn's but I have switched to a circular now so that is behind me and really, it wasn't annoying enough to prevent me from making another hat in this pattern. I think part of the problem is also that I have been using small needles so much (see brown garter stitch blob above for example) that I find that the 10.5's feel like tree trunks!

Hopefully I'll get some pictures taken in the next couple days so I can show you everything I have on the needles. I have a shocking number of WIPs right now... Which is not good because I feel I case of cast-on-itis coming on, the downfall of documenting my delicious Malabrigo stash and reminding myself of what I could be making instead of what I am making... because you know, the grass is always greener when it is Lettuce Malabrigo.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Today's Post is Brought to You by the Number 2

I've got a lot going on right now and most of it is irking me so let's get straight down to business because if I get off topic, well, let's just say War & Peace might start looking like a novella. So not a lot of chit chat, just the bare bones of a post.

The theme for the day is things that come in pairs...

First up, Socks!
Try to ignore the bin of awful acrylic craft yarn in the background. It's left over from my pre-knitting days when I "crafted" and didn't care (or know) about 100% merino and such. It was hard enough to get the picture while bending over and hanging upside down, I decided not to retake the photo to edit out my past yarn indiscretions...

These are my finished Toe Up Socks from Shibui Knits. I used Shuibui Sock in Orchid and I used a variety of Lantern Moon Sox Stix (#2 for the main body of the sock, #1 for around the ankles, and # 3 for around the calf). I shortened the leg length because I usually wear short socks and I don't really like having stuff around the middle of my leg. If I had to do it again I would use #1 needles for everywhere but the calf because they are bit looser than I would like. Overall I am very pleased... I admit I was a bit worried at first since these are 100% merino wool and I have a wool sensitivity but I am happy to report that Sock is so soft that I have worn them for whole days with nary a twitch or itch!

And next, Mittens!

Baby mittens - which means they are automatically cute (the Second Law of Babydynamics). I made these using a free pattern I found on Ravelry (surprise) "Baby Mittens" designed by Kaitlyn Wong. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a light blue, #202 I think but the ball band is upstairs and I'm lazy. I knit these on my fabulous Addi Laces, US #3. The pattern was really clear and well written but if you are looking to make mittens for a really small baby you might want to use something else, these are a bit big on Matt now (almost eight months!) and also fit just fine on Gwen (two). My gauge was a little larger than called for but not that much. I tried two new techniques in this project: two strands held together and magic loop. Neither was difficult but I found magic loop to be pretty fiddly with such a small item. The two strands makes for a nice tight fabric that keeps Matt's little mitts warm and toasty.

So a pair of finished objects! I was going to show you my Lace Edge Cardigan (Debbie Bliss, Simply Baby)- I've finished the body and moved onto the sleeves (another pair) but I think I will save that for next time.

I'll leave you with my favorite pair because Grandma reads the blog and we like to keep Grandma happy, even if she just lurks and never comments...

Matt being Matt, which in my book equals adorable but I'm biased.

And Gwen, checking out the spring Interweave Knits. Of her own accord. Can you stand it? We'll have her hooked on fiber before she knows what hit her.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Knitting galore on Martha!

If you are a Martha Stewart fan, you might want to set your DVR for next Monday, 2/25, which is "Homemade Knitwear Day" featuring an audience of knitters and a knitting inspired show lineup.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

She Still Knits!

Hey, check it out, I'm posting twice within eight days- that must be some kind of new land-blog speed record... or something.

I feel so out of practice, I'm not sure I even have any command of grammar anymore... in fact, I was trying to multi-task and watch Barefoot Contessa while I typed this up but I'm having a really hard time concentrating so I had to put BC on hold. Sorry Ina!

On Sunday I went to a baby shower given for my good friend from dance, Jen, and I gave her this:

It's the Geordie Stripe Yoke Jacket from my favorite knitting book (everyone say it with me now) Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. I used Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton in Periwinkle (2 skeins) and Pickle (1 skein) and Crystal Palace Bamboo Straights (5's and 6's). I adore the buttons... I got them at Acorn Street Yarn.

Love how this sweater turned out, I'll definitely be making another one at some point. It was not difficult at all but was not boring to knit. It took me forever but only because I did not work on it for a couple months at all and then once I had the knitting done it sat around for another month before I seamed it.

I was thrilled when she opened it and the whole party ground to a halt for several minutes with everyone ohhhhhing and ahhhhhhing over it and asking me to make one for them- it is so gratifying when a handmade gift is appreciated :)

I also had a little crafty fit the day before the shower in which I produced this:

A diaper cake! I have seen them before at showers and what-not and I had some newborn diapers lying around so I made a quick run out for some blue tulle and brown ribbon (Jen's theme colors). The cakes I've seen before featured diapers that were rolled up individually and then taped together but that struck me as being difficult to take apart so I experimented... not bad for a first attempt if I do say so myself.

So that's it for now, I have a couple more things to share so you might be seeing me a bit more regularly... and for those of you who might worry that my copy of Natural Knits might get lonely now that the Geordie is done- never fear! I already have another project on the needles... It's almost like a Julie and Julia thing for me with this book- I just feel this compunction to make (almost) everything in it.... too bad "Katie & Louisa" doesn't have a better ring to it...

**note: Blogger's spell check seems to have already gone to bed for the night so I apologize for any spelling errors! I tried to proof but, well, it is past my bedtime**

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Knitting is Coming, The Knitting is Coming

As is the, um, posting... I just remembered how to hit these little buttons with my fingers in order to form these really cool things called words and paragraphs.

But for your effort to come here and read this I give you this:

An adorable just-turned seven month old in the Cutest outfit ever courtesy of Grandma and get this, the overalls are completely reversible!!! Turn 'em inside out and you have adorable plaid overalls with a truck. I love a good two-for-one...