Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Well! Now that the Olympic knitting is done, I'm feeling a bit free! Like I could knit ANYTHING! Cast on for a million different things! Yippeeeeee!!!!! But I won't, at least not today. I do have pictures to show, sorry for the wait. I have a few shots from the Team Boston Closing Ceremonies (during which I won a mug as a door prize!). The first is the shot that most of us got - everyone in a big room. It was the perfect place to have us all in - you could see what everyone was knitting - so many fun projects.
Then, I have this picture of Cara showing Kathy all of the Jaywalkers she's made (8.5 pairs so far) and, at the same time, having Claudia show her how to spin. It was one of the greatest part of this get together - meeting some of the bloggers I read often in person.

And finally, we did have a gold medal fashion show, but I could never seem to get the picture right. Oh well.

So. Now that I can move away from sweater knitting for a little bit (THANK GOD), I can show you the finished Bobblicious for my cousin. I actually finished this last Saturday, but didn't have time to post about it until today (didn't want to take the spark out of my Gold Medal sweater!)

Looks funny without a person in it, huh? Well, it's a little short for my long arms, and I needed to send it out to LA!

Details: Bobblicious from Knitty

Yarn: Lion Brand Thick and Quick (as called for in pattern)

Needles: Size 15

Details: Blech. Hate knitting with super chunky acrylic yarn - but it sure did go fast, and I'm getting fun body products (lotions, shampoo, lip gloss) from my cousin in trade. This is the sort of funky thing that she will love to wear - and she is one of the few family members I've knit for more than once - she loves handknit stuff.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

February Socks

Just a quickie! Hot off the needles, my socks for the Sock a month knit a long:

Specs: Dublin Bay Socks by Mossy Cottage Knits
Yarn: Koigu - exactly 2 skiens
Needles: Pony pearls - size 1
Comments: I made the leg shorter than normal to accommodate my size ten feet, and the fact that I only had 2 skiens of this color. I love them - red socks always make me happy!

Gold Medal Fashion Show

Phew. Here is a somewhat decent picture of my wearing the Blithe Baby Cable Cardigan (aka the Gold Medal Sweater):

Sorry for the squinty, miserable look in the picture. It's really hard to not squint when the reflection from the snow is burning your eyeballs out.

I really like the fit of this sweater - and I'm REALLY happy the buttons don't weigh it down, because the buttons are super cool also. Here is a shot with the sweater buttoned (again, with the squinty eyes): And, a close up, because it really shows the beauty of the yarn and the simple, baby cable rib:

Off to take some cold medicine and pick out some unloved sock yarn to swap. See you at the party!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Here she waits...

The finished Baby Camel sweater. It's beautiful. It fits just right. It's soft and wonderful... and it's sitting on the banister, waiting to go upstairs.

What? No pictures with me in it? OK people, a sweater like this deserves a picture where the model doesn't have a bright red nose. I'll try to get a good picture tomorrow before I leave for the Closing Ceremonies. But, I'll give you the project specs:

Pattern: Blithe Baby Cable cardigan
Yarn: Blithe Baby Camel yarn by Classic Elite
Needles: 7 and 9 Denise interchangeable
Time to knit: cast on Feb 10th, finished Feb 25th.
Comments: This was a super simple pattern, and well written. The challenge for me was more with the color I was working with - so drab compared to my normal picks! And since the pattern was so simple, it was also challenging to not want to wander and work on something else to break up the monotony. Thanks to Steph - if it wasn't for her Olympic Challenge, I would have never finished this so quickly! The very best thing about knitting this? It was the yarn. Luxury, pure luxury.

As for my health, and the rest of the weekend? My cold is a bit better today - I think sleeping over 22 hours in the past 48 hours may have had something to do with my recovery!

Aaron and I did some work on one of the upstairs bedrooms. Aaron finished painting the smaller of the two rooms (in a plain old off white - shocking I know, but part of a larger plan), and he began laying the hardwood floor. I sat in the doorway and cheered him on - and finished the first of my Dublin Bay socks:

Do you see the very tiny bit of yarn left? I was sweating it out those last few rows, but it worked out just right. I was determined to get one sock for my size 10 feet out of one skien of Koigu - and I figured it out! The leg is only 5 inches long, I usually do 7 or at least 6, but these will still be long enough to keep my ankles warm. I have the second sock already on the needles, as these are my February socks for the Sock-a-month knitalong (I know, I'm cutting it close!).

OK Team Boston! See you tomorrow to collect my gold medal! Who's going to join me? I'm bringing my special chili, if that helps.

Friday, February 24, 2006


OK - I've got a stupid cold. I've pretty much managed to go through the WHOLE winter without getting sick, and I have to go and get a cold 3 days before our fun Boston Blogger party. Pooh. I'm drinking fluids and trying to get better as quickly as possible.... don't want to miss the fun.

While staying home sock (added later - SICK - I meant SICK. guess I should go knit socks.) today, I've gotten my whole sweater sewn up, and the button placement figured out - here is my progress so far:

Aren't those buttons great? They are some sort of rock - they remind me of marble. I just hope they aren't to heavy for the sweater. I'm a little out of it thanks to the cold medicine, so I'm going to take a break before I sew them on.

Nap time.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Banner Day

Lots of good things happened yesterday, both knitting and non-knitting related. First, the final piece of the Olympic sweater is blocking! *insert happy dance here*
Tonight, I'll start putting it all together. But, since I finished that early in the evening, I got to work on something with color. THANK GOD. I picked up Bobblicious again. I'm at the point where I'm just knitting in stockinette until I hit 55 inches, and then I have the other set of bobbles to go. It just felt good to be working on something else! In this picture, I'm at 48 inches:

In non knitting news, I finally got to move from my cube, into a real office at work. I figured I should take some pictures before I make a mess of it. Here is the view from the door looking in:
Ok, so it isn't the biggest office in the world - but it does have a door that I can close whenever I want to. And then, the view from where I sit:

Here, you can see the very cool wall hanging one of the members on my team brought me back from India on his last trip home, my KnitBits calendar, and the little sheep my friend made me for Christmas up in the window.

OK - I'd better get on the road - need to be in that office soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

4 days 6 hours 24 minutes

Is what I have left to finish this:

I got a little obsessed yesterday, and got up to 21 inches. 4 more to go! It'll need to block over night, then I can start the buttonband and color.

So - I'm sure we all remember the success of Grandma's sweater. She even sent me a wonderful thank you card, where she said "The sweater is great, fits well and looks great. It's been years since anyone made me something that took so many hours and showed so much love and I want to thank you for my great '80 year old' masterpiece". Isn't that sweet?

Of course, there has to be a flipside to this great outcome. Every family member on Nantucket now wants a sweater. I even get patterns and sample skiens in the mail!

Aaron's mom is first in line (considering I promised her a sweater for Chirstmas). I tried to make that chunky sweater for her out of the Rowan Biggy Print - but I hated it SO much that I traded the wool for a necklace. Amanda took the yarn, and I'll get a Dutch Spiral necklace out of the deal. I just couldn't work on those big needles.

The good thing about this deal that everyone is striking with me is that these are people who are TINY - so I get to make sweaters that I would never make for myself. But - it's funny to have non-knitters picking out a yarn and a pattern... not one of those balls of yarn match the gauge called for in the pattern. And there is no way in hell that I am making an adult sized sweater out of mercerised cotton!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Well here we are - 13 inches into the back. I've got 12 more to go. It's taking me about 1 hour per 1.5 inches.... so that's 8 more hours of knitting - and then I need to do the finishing.When the gals got here for the knitting day, we talked about if I needed to order more yarn. Like I said yesterday - we figured we should 'just to be safe'. Well... I tried, but Colorful Stitches didn't have any more of the yarn. But I'm getting about 7.5 inches out of a skein - so I'm feeling a bit better. What is a little 'sport' knitting without drama?

So -I'm thinking I'm in a good position for the gold medal, but the bottom of the course is where medals are won or lost, right?

Monday, February 20, 2006


Just wanted to document where I was BEFORE the knitting day began:

I've done both fronts for the cardigan, and both sleeves. You see the front blocking in the picture, with 6 inches of the back finished.

I ran into a bit of a snag while blocking - the sweater grew about 3 inches in length... but I think I have it under control now. Other crisis is that I'm dangerously close to just having exactly enough yarn. I'm calling Colorful Stitches today and getting 2 more skeins... just to be safe.

I think I'm ready for a full day of knitting - banana bread is in the oven, friends to entertain me, funny TV show to watch.... and chips and dip and chocolate for when the going gets rough.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Just keep knitting....

You know how in the movie Finding Nemo, Dory sings 'Just keep swimming, just keep swimming'... well that is my mantra for my Baby Camel Sweater - just keep knitting. Here is the pile of knitted goods one week into the challenge:
In that pile is the finished fronts and 7 inches of each sleeve (as I'm doing them at the same time). In the next 9 days, I have 10 more inches on both sleeves, the entire back, the collar, and the button band. I'm still hopeful. This weekend, I'm really going to commit myself to finishing the sleeves - and then on Monday - I'm having an Olympic Knitting day at my house. There will be food, fun and Coupling. Heh heh.

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday's are Random!

Looks like Thursday are turning into 'Random Day' here at FiberFish. Here are a few random observations:

1. Although I'm loving the Baby Camel Sweater, it's killing me that the color is so neutral. My next project is DEFINITELY going to be the Diamond Fantasy Shawl that Donna gifted me in December. With the great spring green yarn I bought at Webs. Give me some color, baby... and no more sweaters for a while!!!!

2. I'm teaching a knitting class! AND a felting class. My MIL (the one with the job I'm jealous of, at the Nantucket historical Craft Center) has asked me to teach a few classes in August. I'm going to teach an adult beginning Sock Knitting class, and then a kid's wet felting class. I'm pretty excited - and I'm even getting paid for it!

3. The Olympic Knitting progress... last night I finished the fronts, and cast on for the sleeves. I think tonight I will sew in the ends on the fronts, and get them started blocking. So, at this point, I'm about 1/3 done... and we are more than a third through the Olympics - but I'm still optimistic.

4. Tomorrow night, I'm having a 'spa date' with Aaron! I can't wait. I'm getting a massage, and he is getting a salt scrub. We found out on our honeymoon, that he loves the salt scrubs, while I think they are torture. To each their own, right? Then, out to a sushi dinner. Great way to start a long weekend, don't 'cha think?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Well, Grandma got her sweater, and she loves it. I called her at around 6 PM, and here is the conversion:

Me: So, you get the sweater yet?

Gma: Yes, it's sitting right here on the back of the chair for everyone to admire.

Me: Do you like it?

Gma: You can knit a sweater for me anytime! And I even think it will fit!

Me: You haven't tried it on yet?

Gma: I'm thinking of just hanging it as 'art'.

Me: Sigh. Please tell me you will wear it.

Gma: I'll wear it, I'll wear it! I'm going to wear it to dinner tonight, OK?

Me: Ok. Happy Birthday!

Phew. So - she did like it. And it did get there in time. So that is great!

And, here is OSU Number 3. It's day 6 of the Olympics, and I'm just about to finish the fronts of my cardigan. At the beginning of this challenge, I was getting all cocky, like it would be no problem at all for me to finish this in time. Now, I'm getting a little nervous. My hands are pretty tired from the whole Grandma sweater marathon.... and I'm also cutting into my knitting time by going to the gym and yoga. I was considering pulling back a little on the gym, for more knitting time, but doesn't that seem to go against the whole Olympic Spirit?! But, expect this weekend for there to be a bunch of catch up knitting. And, thankfully, I work for a large bank, and we get Monday off as a holiday.

She's still in medal contention, people.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Weekend Knitting, part two!

While I have to admit, I'm still pretty damn excited about how great Grandma's sweater turned out, and that I actually finished it on time, I feel the need to give an Olympic Status Update (hereafter referred to as an OSU).

I have definitely picked more of a mental challenge for myself than a technical one. I know that once this sweater is done, I will love it. But the only thing it has going for it right now is the wonderful yarn. The color, although I know it will look great on me, eh. The pattern, although perfect to show off the yarn, again, eh. The finished sweater - awesome.

So, I knit on. How is everyone else doing on their Olympic knitting?

*oh, and if you didn't know, I expect a bunch of comments on how great Grandma's sweater is, because that is the kind of girl I am*

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Weekend knitting, part one.

Well, this has been a very busy weekend (my mother is visiting, I saw the Vagina Monologues with some friends, and we peeled wallpaper) but I did manage to get some knitting done.

First - here is the beginning of my Olympic Knitting:

I managed to get in a conference room at work for a few hours (conveniently had a bunch of phone meetings in the afternoon!). It's hard to capture the texture of the baby cable in the tweedy yarn - maybe I'll get a better picture when the sun comes out. The pattern is easy, and still loving the yarn!

But, the biggest news in my knitting weekend is the completion of Grandma's Birthday sweater. I had all of the pieces done as of Thursday, so the big piece for me was getting the 'button' band (well, really the zipper band, as I changed that part of the design) knit in. Since I lengthened the body of the sweater, and didn't want to have the shawl collar that the pattern called for, I just started picking up stitches with the rule of 3 stitches in 4 rows. I knit in K2 P2 ribbing for about an inch - and decided that was just right.

It was great that my mom was visiting, as she put in the zipper for me - and, she tried on the sweater for the fashion shoot. We are having a big Nor'easter here, so it was hard to get good shots, but I tried! First, the front:

Then, the back:

Here is the best shot of the pattern, and a close up of Mom's expert zipper placement:

Yarn: Mission Falls 1825 Wool
Pattern: The Faye Jacket, from the pattern book Decade, by Mission Falls
Needles: Size 5 and 7.
Started on Jan 18, Finished on Feb 12th

The good news is that Aaron's Grandma is about a size 14, and my mom is a size 10ish - so looks like it's going to fit just right! I'll FedEx it over night tomorrow, so it will arrive just in time for her birthday on Tuesday.

Tonight, I'll work some more on the Olympic Sweater - so tomorrow I'll post 'Weekend Knitting, part 2' - to show the progress on that.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A winner before the games begin!

On a whim, I entered a contest over on Knit Whit - and won! She was looking for someone to guess how many blogs she subscribed to on bloglines - I guessed 110 - since that's how many I have. Guess how many she had? 111! How funny is that? Anyway - I got the most wonderful prize. First - on the front of the package there was a big motorcycle sticker, and inside, well look for yourself!
Great sock yarn (always welcome!), a blue chibi (I actually have the famed pink chibi - and am always digging around the find it - it's great to have 2! One for my yarn room, one next to my knitting chair!), and look at those fun mints... Biker Chick mints, lol. And finally chocolate. Can't go wrong with a little chocolate!

What a fun, personalized prize. It was nice to get a reminder of the fun of motorcycle riding in the middle of winter. Thanks so much, Carrie!

In Olympic news, I wound a few balls of my camel yarn so I can cast on today with the rest of the knitting world. I also did a little swatching, and read the pattern. Now, I know that the point of this is to challenge yourself, and admittedly, knitting a sweater at a gauge of 4 sts to the inch in 16 days is not a HUGE challange. I just (almost - still have the button band to go) finished a rather fiddley cabled cardigan (and the gauge was 5 sts to the inch) in 20 days. For me, the challenge is not about the finishing, but more in the process. Sit and enjoy the knitting. Don't 'power' through and time myself as to how long each piece will take. That is why switching to this wonderful yarn and somewhat simple pattern happened. For me, the challenge will being more mindful of the knitting. Not necessarily slowing down, because, in the end, I still want to wear a finished sweater to the closing games, but letting the knitting be a balm to my somewhat stressful life. Which, it already is, but I think I take it for granted sometimes.

Let the games begin!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Random day!

Something funky has happened to my camera - the pictures I wanted to post this morning are gone. Sigh. I'll figure it out and post again later today. But I figured I could give you a bit of a 'random' day.

1. The good news is that I am super close to finishing the sweater for my Grandmother. I have only a few inches on the right front to finish, and then the band for the zipper. I called Zipperstop on Monday, and had the custom cut zipper in my hand in hand yesterday - great service.

2. Of course, I haven't done any training for the Olympics. I don't even know if I'll get to cast on tomorrow! Must figure that out.

3. One fun thing, that I was thinking my Tribe friends would like - is Skype. It lets you talk to people across the world for free! I was talking with my father in law in China for an hour - totally free. My husband says it's 'old' technology, but new and fun with me. Maybe sometime, we could all get on the phone and talk to each other.

4. A new house project has begun, and I will be spending the day Saturday removing wallpaper. Again.

5. Is it sad that I am so jealous of my mother-in-law? She has a job running a historical craft center on Nantucket. Which means coordinating knitting, quilting, sailor's valentine's, felting, lace, and pretty much any other type of craft class. Of course, on the plus side - she wants me to teach some classes, which would be fun for me. I suggested she get in touch with Beth Brown-Riensel, Nancy Bush and Meg Swanson.... any other great knitters (with a historical knitting perspective) that you guys could suggest?

6. I was driving home from the gym on Friday, and I see this license plate ahead of me. I starting laughing out loud when I read it. I took the picture with my cell phone, so it's a little fuzzy:

If you can't see it, it's a HUGE SUV, with the vanity license plate as REPENT. It just strikes me as hilarious. He should repent for all the gas that freaking machine uses every day!.

I promise to post knitting (and quilting!) pictures soon. Hope everyone is carbo-loading for the Olympics!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yarn P0rn

Well. It seems that my month(ish) of not buying yarn is over. I have been looking at all these items below for a long time, and finally - just went out and bought them. The most long awaited is the Estonian Arches Lace kit from Nancy's Bush's online store. I've wanted that every since Stitches midwest. I was tempted to get it in a purple color - but went with the more practical Hearthstone (grey). I also got her new sock book - which, if you buy from her, she'll sign for you! Also in that picture is the Limited Edition Heirloom Knitting Shetland Lace Wedding Ring Shawl. I've been eyeing these ever since stitches East in 2003.... and this seemed like the right time to pick it up - only 500 copies of this pattern will be sold. And the little ball of pink? My Cashsoft Dk for the Odessa pattern.
But that my friends, is not all. Remember my mention of Colorful Stitches 25% off sale? Well, I swear I was just walking around the store when this yarn JUMPED from the shelf.

Words do not exist to tell you how soft and wonderful this yarn is. If you can't read the label - it's BABY CAMEL. Sigh. It is the most wonderful yarn I have ever touched... and I've been knitting for over 20 years! This yarn has become my new Olympic knit.

After over 18 days of knitting solid on my Grandmother's sweater - in super wash wool, I really don't think I'm up for the challenge on continuing to kill my hands on knitting a whole sweater for me out of anything but this! I've decided to knit the Blithe Baby Cable Cardigan. With the way my hands feel after knitting straight on the cabled sweater - and realizing that I am a VERY fast knitter, who after 18 days still hasn't finished that sweater (which, for the record, is a bit smaller than something I'd knit for myself) I'm getting realistic. Plus! I can't WAIT to cast on for this!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Yoga of Knitting

*Warning picture heavy post*

What a wonderful weekend. So much more than I ever could have expected! First - here are some of the pieces of inspiration that Karen brought to show us - her work is just amazing!

Karen couldn't have been a more wonderful, down to earth or knowledgeable person! She had us captivated by her knitting, and of course, when a few of the group couldn't resist asking about her acting!(yes those were real snakes in Indiana Jones) Here she is showing the technique to our group:

And then - the people! What an amazing bunch of knitters. We were together for what, 48 hours? I feel like I made a whole new group of friends. I tired to capture the 30+ of us knitting in a room - and it was difficult - but here we are:

Some of the gals there were SUCH a hoot! (Hi Lorraine! Hi Ann! Hi Lynda!) Lorraine is convinced that we should have a knitting TV show with me as the star.... the opening credits would have me riding up on my motorcycle - then showing how to knit sweaters, doing 'location' shoots at different yarn stores and fiber festivals - we were laughing SO hard at some of their ideas! I really felt a wonderful connection, and I already miss you all!

Here is our show and tell at the end of the weekend (can you pick out mine?) :

And, because I know the gals from the weekend will want to see this, here is the finished back of my Grandmother's sweater. Finished as the Super Bowl ended tonight:

Lots of yarn has moved into our house in the past week, but that will have to wait for another day. I'm tired! Off to bed for me.

Friday, February 03, 2006


Today, I'm all packed and ready to go for my Yoga for Knitting Retreat. And no, we aren't going to be doing yoga while we knit (at least I don't think so!). Here is the description from the website: This weekend is an opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the yogic aspects of knitting and to explore the imaginative and artistic possibilities of color, pattern, and design. We will learn and practice the techniques of "tying on" and "weaving in" that are used by extraordinary knitters such as Kaffe Fassett in intarsia (multicolor) knitting, and experience how using your own sense of color with simple geometric patterns can open you to new creative freedom and possibility.

Therefore, I thought that it made total sense to cast on for some Fairisle, to warm up. Grandma's sweater? What's that? So - I cast on last night for the Pirate Mittens from Hello Yarn. First - what a fun pattern! I couldn't put it down! Here are my results after an evening of knitting:

Looks cool, right? Well, it's WAY to small. There is my first lesson in Fairisle - that even though I usually need to go down 2 needles size to get gauge - not this time! So - I had to rip:

But - instead of being a good girl, and working on Grandma's sweater last night, I cast on again, and now, I'm almost back to where I was:
Hope everyone has a great weekend. I'm taking a half day from work to travel to Kripalu. But, before I get there, I'm going to stop at Colorful Stitches to get the yarn for Gumparina's Odessa. I want to use the Rowan Cashsoft DK, but my LYS doesn't have it - so I figured they would. I called to check - and they are having a 25% off sale this weekend! Yippee!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Well, I've been trying to stay (mostly) faithful to the the sweater for Aaron's grandmother - and I've made more progress than the last picture (although, I'm noticing that working on this one project makes for boring blogging - hopefully during the Olypmics you all don't abandon me!)

The color isn't perfect in the picture, but you can see I've finished the sleeves, one front, and about 6 inches of the back. I still have a week and a half to go before the Olypmics - I'm hoping to make it by then. If I finished it by the 10th, it would get to her in perfect time for her birthday.