Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This and that.....

Thanks everyone for the wonderful compliments on my Shaped Triangle! I'm glad you like her as much as I do! She's made her debut outing and I got lots of compliments so despite all her fractious challenges, I have a shawl I will love for a good long time!

Julia tagged me for a new meme. Here are the rules:

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag five people to do the same

My 23rd post's fifth sentence is

As they say, whatever floats your boat and if knitting ADD works for you, god bless ya!

I was talking about how I'm a two project only knitter and how when I read that other knitters have 5, 10 or even more projects on the go, I break out in hives and wonder how they ever get to a FO??

Since this is so apropos of our many conversations, I tag you Dorothy as well as Kris, Ada, Agnes and Heather

Well, the birthday may be over but the presents keep on coming!

I got these bee-you-tee-ful stitch markers from

Aren't they adorable?

Even the P-Man got a gift! His wonderful Auntie Agnes sent him a gift certificate to Petco! How cool is that? He knows I'm gonna get him something yummy and/or fun with it, can't you see his excitement? :)

La and Agnes sent me even more presents!! La very generously sent me the adorable note cards with both a kitty and a sweater motif, a "chick" mug (and being it's not Easter, I'm guessing it's cause I'm a cool chick, hehe), some yummy tea and some delicious smelling personal care stuff for my bath. Agnes sent me the very beautiful skein of Sockotta sock yarn in my favorite color combo of pink, orange and yellow! Thanks ladies, your generosity makes everyday a birthday and your friendship makes me blessed!

Here's a close up of the tea box....**STASH** Tea!! Get it? Stash tea? Leave it to La to find knitting themed tea!! Of course she might have been referring to the illegal smokeable other kind of stash but since this isn't Amsterdam, we won't go there!! hehehe......

So what's being knitted at FKD these days you ask?? I'm almost finished with the "Socks for Fluffy Feet" that I've designed so once I finish, if there is any interest, I'll write up and post the pattern. I've also started a Ribby Cardi for my Dad but being that I've not gotten very far and it's not very fancy to look at I'll post when I have something of interest to show.

Speaking of something of interest, here's one of my favorite pics of my lil guy......we were playing with his "bird" (some feathers on a string attached to a wand) and he was having a fine time! You can just see the tip of the red feather and that ratty thing in the lower left is his well loved and oft played with knitted catnip mouse.

Pumpkin and I have lots of fun here a FKD, hope your week is fun filled too!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Shaping Linen

Can a knitting project be the love of your life and the bane of your existence at the same time? Cause I think my latest project fits that bill to a "T"!!

I refer to the pleasure of the Shaped Triangle and the pain of knitting this lovely shawl in Linen!!

When I first perused the wonderful book, A Gathering of Lace, and spied the Shaped Triangle I knew executing it's lacey beauty would be in my near future. I decided I needed a "lightweight" black shawl since afterall, I do live in a tropical climate. I had heard great things about Euroflax Linen (mostly from Kay) and had always wanted to try it. Ah, the perfect marriage of pattern and yarn, the Shaped Triangle and black lace weight linen.....or so I thought....

First off, finding a needle that was pointed enough for intricate lace and worked well with the linen was no easy task! I swatched with Addi Turbos (a horrid coupling!) Crystal Palace Bamboo circs (too grabby) Denise Interchangeables - these were very good except the needle size that produced the fabric I liked best was a #4 US (3.5 mm) and the Denise needles go no smaller than a #5! I finally ended up with Aero Gray Teflon (Aeros are the same as Inox but sold in Canada). The Aero needles are nice and pointy for the lace with soft, flexible cables and grabbed the linen just enough to tame it's slick, slippery nature -- mostly....

The shawl is knit from the center top down and the first pattern is a sort of bramble stitch so NO MARKERS could be used!! And believe me, that slippery linen had a mind of it's own! I re-knit that first section a few times too many and I became intimately acquainted with life lines! Thank god for life lines!!!

Once you get past the brambles, the pattern is more amenable to using stitch markers for landmarks so managing the linen and keeping the correct stitch count got a little easier. And honestly, it's a great pattern....fun to knit, well written, and the pattern changes throughout so there is no boredom. **Be sure to check the XRX/Knitter's site for errata because there are lots of errors in various editions and printings of the book**

The linen, on the other hand, showed it's evil nature all the way through! This stuff sheds like a mofo! There were tiny black hairs EVERYWHERE!! And during my sweaty bout with Katrina, they were all over ME! In fact, when I washed and dried the shawl, this is what was in my lint trap....

I put in the skein of yarn for perspective...that's a big, honking wad of lint there!! Almost as big as my head, LOL!!

Despite all the slipperiness and the shedding factor, in the end I have a shawl I really *love*! She's soft and light with a nice sheen.....Here, let my spokesmodel, Pumpkin give you a glimpse of the Shaped loveliness.....

And a close up of the lovely border and point....

One of the **Best** things about linen?? NO BLOCKING!! These pics are straight out of the dryer! As much as I love knitting lace, blocking lace is not for the weak....and not having to worry about blocking definitely made up for the unruliness of the linen!

Here's the ubiquitous outside, over the railing shot....

Isn't she pretty?


Shaped Triangle from A Gathering of Lace
using approx. 1300 yards of Euroflax Paris (laceweight) linen in Black and a size #4 US (3.5 mm ) Aero Teflon circular needle.

I really enjoyed making this fun to knit and beautiful shawl and I plan to make it again someday . In fact, I have some dark teal Koigu picked out already because I am eager to see the contrast between the resilient wool vs. the very inelastic linen. I also a plan to use linen again but not anytime *real* soon, hehehe....

I'm really happy with the finished product and I heartily recommend her to anyone looking for some lace knitting with a bit of a bite!

Have a good week and think good thoughts for our brothers and sisters in the path of Rita!

And thanks for all the sweet birthday wishes!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005


It's all socks, all the time lately at FKD! First up we have the completed pair of my first successful ever short row heels! These were knit top-down with the Priscilla Gibson-Roberts short row heel. I usually knit my socks top down with a flap heel so this was a bit outside the box for me. I'm really happy with the way these turned out and my Mom (the recipient) is totally thrilled.

My next foray into sock adventure will be to go even further outside the box and do a toe up sock with a short row heel...WOOT!! Can you stand the excitement??
Actually I'm working on a pair now with a lovely lace pattern and the Turkish Cast-On I mentioned in my last post. These socks will be easy to upsize or downsize in the foot or calf area so if the socks come out the way I hope, I'll post the free pattern...stay tuned!

This week was the finale of Alison's wonderful Sockapalooza 2 and look what a lucky girl I am......

Since this is my birthday week, my wonderful sock pal sent my socks wrapped in an adorable personalized birthday sock label!

And could these socks be any more gorgeous!!! They are made of the softest Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in the stunning Wild Cherry colorway. My sock pal Susan (unfortunately she doesn't have a blog) used the Go With the Flow pattern from IK and I've never seen such perfect knitting! They are just soft and lovely and wonderful...THANK YOU SUSAN! I love my new socks!

Coincidently, I just knit the Go With The Flow socks myself! They became an impromptu gift for an admiring fellow blogger, Heather. And because Heather is such a sweetie, she sent me a little something too....behold.....

A beautiful bottle of my favorite nail polish - OPI, an adorable cat picture frame soon to be filled with the P-Man visage, a stunning agate and silver bracelet that Heather made herself, a Belly Dancing kit (this could be very scary!!) and a whisper soft hank of handspun merino that Heather, who is obviously a spinning prodigy as she *just* took up spinning, spun herself!! Double WOOT!!! Thank you so much Heather! Oh, and a bag of plain M&M's that seem to have, um, disappeared :)

Tomorrow is my actual birthday, so the P-Man is resting up in anticipation of the day's festivities. Hope everyone has a great weekend ....the linen Shaped Triangle is finished so lots-o-pics next week, see ya then!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Look ma, NO HOLES!!!!

Being a *fluffy* knitter means upsizing many standardized patterns. I'm an avid sock knitter yet I've never knit myself any socks! Upsizing the pattern itself is no problem but knowing how much yarn to use can be. Yes, a 100 gram skein of Opal or 2 50 grams skeins of Regia are enough for the *average* size foot and yes, I can measure the exact gram weight of half of a ball of sock yarn so I can use half for each sock but if I knit the sock top down, how do I know I'll have enough yarn to reach the toe? So I needed to learn how to make socks from the toe up so that I can knit until my yarn runs out. I found the GREATEST cast-on for toe-ups called the Turkish Cast-On. It is demonstrated by Meg Swansen in the fall issue of Vogue and it's definitely worth the cost of the magazine!

NOTE: I usually don't buy Vogue because of the absolute dearth of any patterns written above a size 10 but I was waiting for a study group at Border's and it was the only knitting mag I hadn't read! For those that don't buy Vogue or have no access to American Knitting Mags, I will do a tutorial here on FKD of this technique in the near future because it's REALLY great!

So learning how to do short row heels has been my quest over the last week and by George! I think I've got it! LOOK......

Not too shabby, huh? I was using Plymouth Sockcotta yarn which is a cotton blend sock yarn and kinda splitty so I'm thrilled with how they turned out!!

My inspiration was
Alison and her short row tutorial, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' book, Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy and a little encouragement from a favorite perfectionist and short row heel knitter, Terry ....thanks for your help ladies! These are for mom (my sock guinea pig, hehe ) who has already tried on the finished first sock and LOVES it...she's also happy because all her prior socks were made top down with flap heels and since the short row is a bit less bulky, it fit into her shoe perfectly where sometimes the top down socks do not! :::Debi and Debi's mom do the happy dance together!:::

I got tagged by my great friend Ada so here's the 411 on Fluffy Knitter Deb:

TEN YEARS AGO: I was living in Hollywood, Florida and working with the Visiting Nurses Association of Miami. I was a Clinical Manager for Infusion Services and working mainly with AIDS patients because when AIDS became epidemic (Florida was the state with the second highest number of people diagnosed with AIDS in the country) Oncology Nurses were the most qualified to work with patients who were immunosuppressed.

FIVE YEARS AGO: I was still living in Hollywood, Florida :) I had 3 cats at the time, Jaxon, Mickie and Beau. Beau was a 4 year old Blue Point Himalayan who died suddenly of a pulmonary embolus that summer :(

ONE YEAR AGO: I was just starting grad school for the second time (the first was 13 years ago at U of M for Oncology Clinical Specialist) This time I'm getting a Master's in Human Resource Management and an MBA. I was living in my condo in Plantation, Florida with my precious boys, Jaxon and Mickie both of whom went to the Rainbow Bridge this year.


1- Any cheesy chip like Sour Cream and Cheddar Ruffles or Puffed Cheetos

2- Plain M&M's

3- Spicy V-8 juice with lots of black pepper, lime, hot sauce and some celery stalks

4- Ben and Jerry's ice cream

5- Fruit Salad with melon, pineapple and grapes


1- Oh Christmas Tree in German!! (I actually don't know the words in English)

2- American Pie

3- Paradise by the Dashboard Light

4-Train In Vain

5- The Star Spangled Banner


1- Pay off all my debt (school loans and such)

2- Put at least 50% in the bank/investments

3- Give to charity

4- Buy a house with a pool here in Florida and one for my parents in California

5- Take a cruise to Holland and Australia

6- Open a killer great yarn store/coffee shop/book store ( I had to add this one!)


1- The Florida Keys

2- The Netherlands

3- San Francisco

4- Tahiti

5- Hawaii


1- High heels

2- Mini skirts

3- Fur

4- A nose earring

5- A size zero....hey, a size ten would be a stretch :)


1- 30 Days

2- Nip/Tuck

3- Rescue Me

4- Leno

5- Gray's Anatomy


1- A great night's sleep

2- My Pumpkin

3- knitting

4- Learning something new

5- Friendship


1- Yarn, yarn and more yarn!

2-My Laptop

3- My knitting needle collection

4- My Dyson vacuum :)

5- Beads

PEOPLE TO PASS THIS ON TO: Kim, Liz, Agnes and Kelly

Can't wait to read your answers ladies!

The end of the Shaped Triangle is in sight so I should have some FO pics soon...Pumpkin will be sad tho....one of his favorite things to do is something we call *push-push* around here. He loves to stand on my knitting and knead it, rhythmically pushing alternate paws deep into the pile of knitting I usually have by my side! He can do it for 15 minutes or more and he purrs like a motor boat the whole time! Here he is caught in the act doing push-push on my Shaped Triangle...

Can't you see the rapture on his face? Hope you enjoy your knitting as much as Pumpkin enjoys mine!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Let the festivities begin!!

Ah, the glorious month of September.....my *birthday* month!! And so the celebration begins!

Earlier this week, the FedEx guy knocked on my door with something that looked like a letter....odd, cause I wasn't expecting anything but it is the *birthday* month so one never knows what to expect! What did Mr. FedEx bring me??

SIX Gift certificates for SIX pints of Ben and Jerry's fabulous ice cream!!

These came from New York City Mouse of Country Mice in the City just because she's wonderful and she just had a birthday too! With Ophelia lurking too close for comfort, I don't think I'll be re-stocking my freezer with these goodies til winter but they will be thoroughly enjoyed eventually!! Thanks a million, NYC Mouse, your thoughtful gesture was beyond sweet!

Now a birthday girl can't have enough sock yarn, right? Another friend (who doesn't blog or knit no matter how hard I try!) knows me pretty well cause she sent me the gift that makes my heart sing!! Beautemous SOCK YARN!! Oh BOY!!

Left to right, Meilenweit Cotton Yarn - color #2220, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Champlain Sunset and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Black Watch. I'm an avid sock knitter but I've never tried CTH before and this colorway is GLORIOUS!!! I'm really eager to try it but I think I'll just pet it for a while! I love cotton sock yarn, Meilenweit knits up like a dream and I love that stripey goodness! Lastly, Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport got my vote for "the perfect yarn to take to a deserted island" right
Ann? I love the Black Watch colorway and this is my favorite all around yarn for more than just socks! Thanks J, you really made my birthday special!

Every year I treat myself to one special gift and this year I chose this........

To make this.....

This is the Forest Path Stole from Interweave Knits - Summer 2003. I fell in love with the pattern and I've been looking for the perfect yarn for a while. The pattern calls for Suri Alpaca but alas I am allergic to alpaca and it's a bit warm for Florida anyway. I didn't want a plain cream yarn as the pattern shows or a plain solid yarn but I also didn't want a busy colorway to obscure the beautiful lace patterning. I finally decided on the custom dyed merino from Mystical Creations Yarns you see above. It is supposed to be reminscent of a rose garden which I felt was appropriate for the flowery lace in the pattern. I'm very happy with the delicacy of the colors but the green is a bit more "neon" than I expected. The color in the pic is very true on my monitor, what do the masses think?

To add to the birthday celebration, September 15 is the mail date for
Sockapaltwoza so I'll be gifting my sock pal and getting some wonderful hand knit "birthday" socks....good thing cause the P-man seems to have appropriated my Ugg slipper for his own and that leaves me with chilly feet, heheh.....

To assuage my feelings of guilt over all this "conspicuous consumption" when so many Americans have so little right now, I remind everyone to visit Give a Little and make a donation so you can win some gifts of your own AND make someone who needs a smile and a helping hand feel like it's their *Birthday* too!!

Pumpkin and I wish everyone a great weekend!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Knitters ROCK!!!!

Wowie WOW WOW WOW!!!
Thru Margene and Susan's Give a Little Campaign knitters have raised almost $55,000!!!!!! What an amazing and generous family the knitting community is! Thank you once again for organizing this campaign and all your hard work ladies and thank you knitters (and those that love us) everywhere!!!

To briefly remind everyone, to "sweeten the pot" Susan and Margene will be drawing names weekly to award thank you gifts for everyone who makes a donation to The American Red Cross

As well as monetary donations, knitters have donated some amazing and *coveted* items as thank you gifts! I thought I would post pics of what I am donating so everyone can see what they can win!

First up, here is the Caryl's Kerchief I've donated

It's a lovely golden, olive, cream and rust Koigu with pretty orange beads*....perfect over a warm sweater on a crisp autumn day! Wouldn't it look glam over a nice warm brown turtleneck? Go on, make a donation and it could be yours :)

Next we have 8 skeins of Rowanspun 4 ply in deep, rich, tweedy jewel tones: 2 in Sapphire, 4 in Burgundy and 2 in Jade. Single ply these would make a beautiful, rustic shawl or even a color block sweater and used doubled, they would make dense warm mittens, a scarf or hat. This yarn is sooooo lovely (and now discontinued!!!), knit up it looks like tweedy velvet! Interested? Make just a lil donation :)

There is knitting happening at Chez FKD.....here's a peek at my linen Shaped Triangle. The body is complete and I'm working on the border. I fear I will be working on the border for many moons to come because it's really slow going!! I've finished 15 out of about 70 repeats! WOOT!!!:::insert sarcasm here::: I have to turn the shawl for every row and it's a *PIA*....I can't "purl back backwards" like I did for my faroese shawl because altho the border is garter stitch just like the faroese was, this border has a K2tog at the beginning and that is next to impossible to do backwards! In fact, it takes longer than it does to flip the shawl and knit so it's not worth the trouble....grrrr!! So I should have a finished object sometime next spring, heheh.....

Doesn't the inelasticity of the linen make my shawl look like I've already blocked it? I wish!!! I cannot wait to wash this albatross lovely shawl and see what the final product looks like!!

Now I do have a query for the knitting masses....I *always* have socks on my needles and I *love* sock knitting but I'm trying to expand my horizons. I've tried the short row heel before and was unsatisfied. I've come back to it again and I'm still unsatisfied!! I've tried wrapped stitches a la
Wendy and the backwards yarnover a la Alison and Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and I'm still getting huge, wonky holes!!! I tighten my stitches to within an inch of their little fibery lives yet I still have unappealing short row heels. I've tried both metal and bamboo needles, all without success....any tips/suggestions oh wise knitting community?? Please leave suggestions in the comments, I'm desperate!!

In my last post I used this pic to remind people of the animal friends that have been affected by Katrina. I love this pic of the P-Man so much, I'm shamelessly using it again, only this time you can click on the pic for the super, duper enlarged version of Pumpkin the Wonder Cat! And you can donate to help the animals here
The Humane Society

Pumpkin says Thanks, and have a great week you amazing knitting friends!!

* altho I've made the Caryl's Kerchief before, this was my first attempt at adding the beads using the crochet method rather that the stringing on method the pattern suggests and I'm VERY happy with the result! I'll be using only the crochet method from now on!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thru all crisis...

Knitters come together!

Click the button if you can help!

Thanks to Margene and
Susan for rallying and organizing this wonderful and supportive community!
And if you let these two amazing women know that you made a donation, you could win a FABULOUS prize!

And Pumpkin reminds you not to forget some of his buddies might be hurting too! If you click on his picture you can help our four legged, furry, or feathered friends who might be suffering from this disaster too!