Can I Get A Witness?

My friends, have you heard the good news?
The blog carnival is coming to town.
It's time for Yarnival!

The time has come to sing the praises of the knit and fiber blog.
In these last days, I'm calling on all my fellow fiberists to look back over this past year and bear witness to the light, laughter and love of fiber that is shared throughout the year on our knit blogs.

In the new year, on January 15th, I will hold a gathering here of your testimony and will post with links so that all may behold the beauty of the blogs handiwork.

Oh, I know there are those among who are saying,
" You poor thing, haven't you heard?
The time of the knit blog has come and gone,
it is a thing of the past.
Blog is dead!"

The flock has lost their way, you say.
They have strayed from the truth and the light of the written word of the blog.
They have foregone the warmth and loft of the fiber blog and have been caught up in their wild Ravelry and have turned their backs to blog.

I hear you.
Oh, I hear you
and I'm here to say;
Repent, say I.

Oh, hear me my fellow knitters!
It's not too late to turn from your wanton and wayward ways and come back to the fold.
Come back to blog.
Blog still loves you,
blog has always loved spinners.

Here at Knits and Giggles
I'll be hosting an ole time revival meeting.
I'll be pitching my tent here at throughout the month of December

I'm calling on the faithful brothers and sisters
(and the, ahem, not-so-faithful*),
to submit their favorite fiber or knit related blog post over this past year.

I'm looking for those posts that inspired you to greater knitting endeavers,
posts that renewed your faith in fiber crafts,
and those posts that ended any or all doubts that you suffered alone in your trials and tribulations that is knitting.
The one you couldn't help telling all your friends and loved ones about even though they had no idea what you were going on about.

To make your entry for consideration, please submit your choice here.

*Hey now, there 's no call for the pointing of any fingers, nobody's to be pointing any fingers.
It's not polite to point, you know.

"For (s)he who is without spin may cast on from the first cone."

Err.. something like that...anyway you get my point.

Remember what I told you about pointing.

Am I blue?

My friend Max was telling me that he had taken to bribing his mom, who's a costume maker for a children's theater by trade, to finish his doublet so he could wear it the coming weekend to the Renaissance festival. Having the doublet would bring Max one step closer to completing his entire period piece costume that he has slowly been putting together over the last couple of years.
I made a show of commiserating with him a bit about it, though in truth I empathized more with his mother, having a backlog of costume requests from my own family to contend with.
As I was getting ready to leave he noticed the State Fair button on my bag and he asked after it. He asked how it was that I had a state fair button before the fair has even started.
Well, I finished that blanket that I was knitting and on a whim I decided I should enter it in the state fair competition and they gave me a button when I turned the blanket in.
What blanket?
You know. Max ,the blanket that you have seen me knitting on, the blanket that I've been knitting on and off now for almost nine months.
*blank look*
Remember? I decided to use up the left over yarn I had from knitting a Dr. Who Scarf for Suzi Q, by knitting a baby blanket for a friend who was due in October. So I decided I would square the Dr. Who Scarf using the same stripe pattern as the scarf. To do this I started with a center square (the first stripe of the pattern) and then knit the following stripes on one side of the center square, turning the square one quarter turn for each of the subsequent stripes of the scarf, circumventing the center square of the blanket until the end of the scarf. (In quilting terms it's known as the log cabin block)
I did it out of curiosity.
I wanted to see if I would have enough yarn to finish the pattern. ( I didn't.)
I decided I wouldn't alter the stripe sequence from that of the scarf, I was curious what it would look like and wondered if I would be knitting any of the same colors over itself on any of the sides. (Surprisingly, not until the end of the scarf pattern)
I wondered how large it would get. ( A lot larger than I thought. It went from a baby blanket to a lap robe to an afghan before it was finished.)
Come on, Max, the blanket I put up for raffle for the Relay for Life?
Really? You don't remember?
Max just shook his head a little and laughed and said, " You know, Kellene, you really are quite a geek."
I'm a geek?
*bows head in acquiescence*
Aye, I be a geek.
*raises head with a mischievous gleam in her eye and a wry smile*
I may be a geek but I'm not necessarily a loser.
The baby blanket, lap robe, afghan won a Blue ribbon none-the-less.
See it for yourself at the Minnesota State Fair Creative Arts Building this week when you are there.

I didn't get a chance to take pictures of the completed blanket. When I get the blanket back I'll do a proper post with all the particulars and numbers.

I know my blogging has been pretty spotty these past few months and I'm hoping to find my way back to some sort of balance, at least I keep hoping, anyway.

The C word

In which "C" stands for Charity, but of course, I am sure that that was exactly what you were thinking. (Right? *cough*Lisa*cough* Right?)

This Friday July 18th, my daughters and I will be participating for the third year walking in the Relay for Life with the Cure-Rageous Knitters to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

We walk in celebration of our friends that have survived cancer, in particular our friend Lisa who has survived ovarian cancer and is the honorary chair of this years event. You can read Lisa's story by visiting her blog here.

We will walk in remembrance of those who we have lost to this disease and we will walk in the hope of a future in which this is a disease that no longer threatens our lives.

Ani, Kate and I want to invite you to show your support in the ongoing fight against cancer by joining us for this year's event. Our relay is held in Eden Prairie at the Central Middle School starting at 6:00 pm Friday night, the party lasts all night until 6:00 am.
The Cure Rageaous knitters have been knitting in preparation for this years event and there will be knitted items available for your perusal and to sweeten the pot this year the knitters planned to knit a lap robe to be raffled but we ran out of time to coordinate the effort.

But not all is lost for I have offered to donate the Dr. Who Squared Blanket that I have been working on for the past couple of months for this years raffle. (next year we'll make an earlier start on knitting a blanket for the Relay)

This is a project that began as an experiment. My idea was to use up the yarn left over from knitting a Dr. Who Scarf to knit a baby blanket using the same stripe pattern as the Dr. Who Scarf (season 12) only this time knitting it in a log cabin block pattern. (That is starting with a center square, each stripe is then added to one side of the block, going around the outside of the center square.)
I was curious to see what it would look like (pretty cool), how big it would get (bigger than I thought) and whether or not I would have enough yarn ( I didn't).

The blanket will be at the Relay for raffle. (I've been knitting as fast as I can, I'm hoping to have it done by then. Let me tell you knitting an ever growing wool blanket in 90 degree temperatures is no summer picnic)
However, you don't need to be at the Relay to enter the drawing.
For every dollar you donate to our personal page or team page your name will be entered into a drawing for the lap robe. For every donation of $10.00 not only will we make you a luminary but also enter your name 12 times in the drawing.

The drawing for the Blanket will be held on Friday at the Relay. The latest that I will be able to accept entries so I can be sure to get your name in the drawing is Friday, July 18th at noon.

And as bonus, my daughters and I have been making these tiny temari balls to be made into a key chains. These will be at the Relay, but Ani has offered to make a temari ball key chain for anyone who makes a donation of $10.00 or more to our relay page.

Don't wait too long to decide, the relay is in only a few days.

With Love From Me to You.

All Things Anne

In which we will collectively ignore the fact that I am inexcusably truant in my blogging obligations as I blithely blog along as if nothing were amiss.

For me A has always been for Anne. Years ago when I was a young school girl I read the book, "Cheaper by the Dozen" by Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr and Earnestine Gilbreth Carey. The book is a memoir of their life, recounting tales of growing up in a family of twelve children with a father, and then later their mother who worked as efficiency engineers.
I was charmed by the story* and became enchanted with the idea of having a large family and decide that I wanted my first child to be girl and to name her Anne, as was the oldest child in the book. My "plan" remained so until after I had my first two children, both of which were boys and both of which I referred to as Anne while I was pregnant up until the moment they popped out and were revealed not to be good candidates for the name.
After the first two children arrived, we thought it prudent to scale back the "plan" for a large family and on the third pregnancy decided to opt out for a moderate family of three**
I still held out hope for a daughter to name Anne, and in the wee hours of a cold January morning, my wish was granted and we were blessed with the daughter, whom was the first child we had had that we had no trouble agreeing upon a name. We couldn't have been happier.
That's all well and good you may be thinking, but how does this relate to a knitting/fiber arts, ABC Along?
Well, let me tell you, how about this.

Remember this skein of "Anne" from Schaefer yarn Company?
A little over a year ago I regaled my knitting woes to all regarding a Pooling Colors Scarf that I was trying to knit for a birthday gift for my daughter Anne, and it has occured to me that although I have listed the scarf in my projects on Ravelry that I haven't shown you the finished scarf here on the blog, most unfair of me, I know.

So with out further ado, I present to you my version of the Pooling Colors Scarf

As I stated in my earlier blog entry, I had difficulty working the stitch pattern as was written, so I played around with a few different stitch patterns and settled on this stitch pattern as follows: Row 1 - K1 *yo,K3, K3tog, K3, yo, K1* repeat between *'s to end.
Row - 2 Knit
This pattern will produce a zig zag pattern if you knit the scarf in stripes but as you can see it doesn't zig or zag much unless you alternate colors. None the less, I liked the laciness of the scarf and decided to use it anyway.

There may not be horizontal stripes but none-the-less there be stripes. If you knit this scarf just so the colors will pool in long vertical stripes, or as I like to say knitting a vertical striped scarf the hard way. However I found the process intriguing and interesting and I was in the end quite pleased with the results.

As was Hobbes, (though he isn't very discriminating, he will sit on any wool I put down to photograph)

and also quite pleased was the intended recipient....


(How about that Anne? Two whole scarfs in one year, I'm on a roll, yay me!)

* I was less charmed by the recent movies, loosely based on the book.

**My husband scheduled and had a vasectomy after the birth of our third child and yes, we have four children, sometimes life takes an unexpected turn, but that's a story for another time. (perhaps when we get to the letter K.)

The Thing Is.

The thing is I don't really have a recipe box. If I look really hard I may be able to find a plain metal box, but the box I'm afraid would be empty.

Because the thing is, cooking is my least favorite thing to do. I, do it, of course, out of necessity, we do not have the money to employ a full time chef, so it's mostly up to me that the cooking falls to. So I do the cooking, but believe you me, if I didn't have to, I wouldn't. I've got nothing against food, mind you, I find it most pleasing and tasty...when others do all the work.

It's just too labor intensive for something so temporary. It takes up way too much time to plan a menu, shop the groceries, chop, dice, or otherwise prepare the food and then serve it to my ravenous hoard who will devastate all my work within minutes and leave me with the clean up. No, the pay off is definitely not worth the effort and the worse part is that within another couple of hours the whole cycle will need to be repeated. No cooking is not for me.

But the gals over at the Mason Dixon knitting blog were curious as to where I keep my recipes. Here they are, this is my recipe drawer.

These are not my recipes per se, they are mostly my mother's and mother-in-law's recipes that they have tried and refined over the years, I've just borrowed them. The recipes I most use are written in two notebooks, The other books are cooking and baking books that have been given me in an attempt to excite my interest, it's not working, but I hold on to them just in case.

The recipe on top is a recipe for Potato Soup that my mom wrote on a recipe card and reduced the portions for a single person for when I went to college.

This is a favorite recipe among my family. I'm a potato girl, we are potato people, we eat potatoes cooked anyway. Potato soup is a very plain recipes it doesn't have a lot of ingredients mostly just potatoes.

I have doubled the amounts from the above recipe and then I usually double it again. Actually I don't measure anymore I just make whatever amount I think will be enough.

4 cups of cubed raw potatoes - I used a large pot full.

Cut up potatoes in cubes add 6 cups of water and cook. It doesn't say to add salt to the water but I do, and so did she.

2/3 cup chopped onion - I used - One large & one medium sized onions.
4 med stalks of celery -chopped - I used six stalks.
Fry onion & celery in 1/2 cup of oleo...aka margarine. I use butter. Cook about 10 minutes or until the onions begin to look clear. (I add the salt and pepper and sweet basil to the fry mixture) Add the mixture to the potatoes and continue cooking until done. (Done is when the potato's are cooked through and are soft easily pierced with a fork. That's not on there either that's just common knowledge among us potato people.)
When just about done take the 1/2 c milk and flour (about three Tbsps) and shake together in (a covered shaker cup) and shake real hard so there is no lumps, and add to potato mix.

Add cut up wieners if desired.
This soup is a comfort food and a few weeks back we had an unexpected death in our extended family so I made up a batch, a large batch for my family at home, I expected to have left overs, there was none.

PS. This is what is actually in the back of the notebooks, recipes that haven't made it into the official notebook. I have asked my daughter as a birthday gift to enter all the recipes in the computer database so that we can print them out and then put them in plastic sleeves in a binder. This would benefit her as well, if she would someday like to have a recipe from my collection she could print out her own copies. She's thinking about it.

PPS. And these sit atop the microwave. A gift from my friend Amy at Knit Think.

I love them!

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

...and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot? and auld lang syne ?

In the interest of fairness, before we move onto the new and all the newness of the new year, I felt that perhaps it would be a good time to look back and update the progress of the projects that I have been working on in this past year that remain incomplete for one reason or another.

So here we go, just in case you had been wondering what ever happened to that one thing she was working on. Let's start with the oldest (of last year, at the end I will show you the projects that I still intend to finish that are from years past that also linger in indefinite stasis. )

The Forest Path Stole remains unchanged.
After polling the blog, I had come to the conclusion that most of you thought that it would be best to keep the stole all one color.
Which meant that I would have to make a search to find more yarn in the same color. Going back to the yarn store that I bought it from was out of the question. I had bought their last remaining skein.
So I did a search on the Internets and there is someone in England who is selling the same yarn in the same color on ebay.

And just as I had made my mind up that this would be the best course, I started receiving comments on the stole on Ravelry.
Comments that said that the stole was absolutely lovely and that they loved the colors of the stole and that they thought the cream border should stay. Gah, now what do I do?
So I have decided that I cannot make this decision and that I am going to leave it up to the recipient as to which way she prefers,
( Which in retrospect, is what I should have done in the first place, hindsight is 20/20.)
She has seen the stole, I worked on it while my daughter was having her lessons. She doesn't know that I intended to give it to her for a wedding gift though, but I am so unsure of what direction to go on this that I think I need to consult her, I'm willing to finish it either way, I just want it finished.
The Mystery Stole 3 also remains nearly untouched since the last up date. There is no problem with this stole. It remains a lovely project, and I love the beading, and I am more than pleased with how it is going.
However, this project requires uninterrupted blocks of time with little to no distraction. The kind of time that has been in very short supply as of late.

I have begun the feathered section of the stole but that is where it remains. I am hoping that as things begin to slow down now that the holiday season is over and everything will grind down the eternally slow pace of Minnesota's endless winter that the opportunity to finish this stole will once more arise.
The Stellar sweater that I am knitting for my sister is progressing nicely. I have finished the body. I am currently in the progress of joining the shoulders and then I will cut the arm steeks to begin the sleeves.

I've decided to knit the sleeves down from the armhole to the cuff. My sister has long arms so I think this would be the best method to insure that the sleeves are long enough.
However the pattern is written for them to be knit flat from the cuff up so it will mean that I will have to do a little translating to get the shaping correct for a top down knitting.

And then one last project that I haven't shown you yet, although I actually began knitting this project back at the beginning of last year and then lost interest in it because I couldn't decide how I wanted to do the striping.
Needing another gift for my son and after two or three different tries, I finally decided upon this one for a tie for my son. Why, yes it is Packer colors, go figure.

BTW, this is knit in Jamieson's Shetland Spinthrift. The way the cat acts toward this yarn you would think it's made of catnip.

The dude will steal this yarn right out from under my hands. I must keep the yarn zipped in a bag even as I knit it or he runs away with it any chance he gets. I cannot put this down for a moment to do anything that he doesn't make a play for it. He's stolen yarn out of my bag before but has never shown this much persistence or been this bold in his thievery. Who knew that Shetland wool was his kitty crack?

Auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Now for my hall of shame, for old long ago.

Latvian Mittens

Bazaar Socks

Rogue Hoodie

Great Adirandack scarf for Lalle.

Monk's Travel Satchel

Same Old Lang Syne

Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling New Year's eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve

She didn't recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried.

We took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totalled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation dragged.

We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.

She said she'd married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn't like to lie.

I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw doubt or gratitude.

She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was hell.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how.

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence
Another Auld lang syne...

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away.

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain --

Dan Folgelberg - August 13, 1951 – December 16, 2007