Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Prettiest Skies

No knitting pics today because I'm *this* close to finishing my shawl so hopefully that will be the knitting content of my next post. One thing that's making it go a bit quicker is I taught myself to purl backwards!! The border of the shawl is garter stitch lace so every row is knit but to avoid having to flip this huge shawl for every other row, I figured if one can knit backwards (I never tried this but I have read about it) why not purl backwards? So I followed the path that the purl stitch makes and success!!! Now with the RS facing me I knit the lace row right to left and the purl back row, left to right!! And I'm able to keep in pattern with the garter lace with no more flipping!! Perhaps this isn't earth shattering but it's got me totally chuffed! :::Debi Does Happy Dance:::

We had the weirdest weather today. About 4 pm the sky got very dark and I could hear really loud thunder. Then I heard these strange bang,bang,bang noises...both Pumpkin and I rushed to the front door to see what was happening...quarter sized hail stones!! with torrential rain. In about 5 minutes it was over and the sun was shining and this is what I saw from my front balcony...

Florida doesn't have the most attractive foliage or lush green terrain but we do have weather that keeps you guessing! And we do have some truly beautiful skies! Actually this rainbow is nothing...sometimes we get enormous double rainbows that stretch like a giant semi-circle in the sky that you can see from end to end. I hope I have my camera the next time I see one of those but I think this one is pretty and all the more surprising for the hail shower 5 minutes before!

Now if you want to see some beautiful knitting and some cute socks, go visit my bud Ada

Have a happy Monday and a Memorial Day full of hot dogs, apple pie and your "Knitting Water" of choice!

Friday, May 27, 2005

New WIP and a questionnaire

I still can't decide what color to choose for my Shaped Top that I plan to knit on World Wide KIP day but I did start a new WIP.

This is a sock of my own design...well actually I picked out a pleasing stitch from one of Barbara Walker's Stitch Treasuries and plugged it into to my standard sock formula.

I wanted something *manly* as I find it rather hard to find patterns that meet manly approval yet have some interest. I think these fit the bill, especially in these robust colors (can't you just feel the testosterone? hehe)

This is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Camouflage for the body and Cedar for the contrasting ribbing, heels and toes. I absolutely LOVE this yarn! It's so soft and so easy to knit! These will be a gift for a special friend and I'm sure he'll love them too!

And now for the questionnaire portion of our broadcast. Secret Pal 5 is about to begin and it is suggested that the participants answer some question so their secret pal can get to know them a little better, so here goes....

1- Are you are yarn snob? Most definitely!! Yes, acrylic has it's place (like for kids) I hate working with 100% cotton but a cotton/microfiber/acrylic blend rocks my world. I prefer natural fibers. No Red Heart or Lion Brand for me, thanks!

2- Do you spin? Crochet? I don't spin and have no interest in learning. I can crochet but only do to accessorize my exclusive crochet projects.

3- Do you have any allergies (smoke, pets, fibers, perfumes, ect.) Smoke makes me ill and some perfumes too. I don't know that I'm officially allergic to alpaca but I feel uncomfortable around it and my hands itch and feel all prickly.

4- How long have you been knitting? I learned about 30 years ago when I was 8 and knit thru college but stopped for 15 years. I came back to the fold just about 3 years ago and have pretty much knit every day since!

5- Do you have an Amazon or any other online wish list? I have an Amazon Wish List and both Judy at or Mary at The Knitting Zone know me well enough to tell you what I like :)

6- What is your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products, ect.) I love the smell of limes and lemons! Fresh, clean scents like linen or cotton, juniper or sweet pea.

7- Do you have a sweet tooth? Now you don't think I became a *fluffy* knitter on Slim Fast, did ya?

8- What other crafts or do-it-yourself things do you enjoy? I used to do counted cross stitch and needlepoint but now I devote my time to knitting.

9- What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3's? Pretty eclectic musical tastes here. I like hip hop and dance and 80's. Right now listening to the Clash, Dido and the Cranberries...I said eclectic, didn't I?

10- What is your favorite color? Or do you have a favorite color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand? My favorite color is green to look at but I cannot wear it!! Fav to wear is pink, red, cool blues and grays and I find myself strangely drawn to orange these days. My official season is Spring but I prefer the more vibrant palette of Winter. I HATE brown, beige, tan ect. at least on me!!

11- What is your living situation? Any pets? I live with my two cats, Mickie and Pumpkin - altho Mickie is quite ill and is probably headed for the big kitty litter box in the sky soon :(

12- What is your life's dream? To visit Australia and Holland.

13- What is your favorite yarn to knit with? Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport, Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool and Naturespun Sport for wool, Calmer and All Seasons Cotton for cellulose fibers.

14- What fibers do you absolutely NOT like? anything coarse and scratchy. I know this is blasphemy but I'm not a big Kureyon fan, I like my wool without "things" in it and I don't care for alpaca. Pure cotton at any gauge larger than fingering hurts my wrists if I knit for any length of time.

15- What is/are your current knitting obsessions? Lace Lace and more Lace!!

16- What is/are your favorite items to knit? Socks, Shawls whatever attracts me really. Don't care for fairisle (too hot for Florida) or intarsia (too fussy).

17- What are you knitting right now? The socks pictured above and a beautiful Faroese shawl in fingering weight cotton.

18- What do you think about ponchos? ICK!! Altho I knit one for my Mom cause she asked me to.

19- Do you prefer circular or straight? Circs all the way!! DPN's for socks tho...I don't like socks on circs or magic loop.

20- Bamboo, plastic, metal? I'm a total needle freak and have a LOT of needles but what I use depends on the project. I will usually swatch with more than one type (crystal palace/addi natura bamboo, Denise plastic and addi turbo metal) and choose the one that feels right and gives me the best gauge/fabric.

21- Are you a sock knitter? IN A BIG WAY!!! I always have a sock on the needles, it's my staple grad school knitting :)

22- How did you learn to knit? My mom taught me.

23- How old is your oldest UFO? I don't have any....

24- What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal? I used to love Ren and Stimpy. I love the Velveteen Rabbit and have one on my dresser.

25- What is your favorite holiday? Easter, Halloween and Christmas/Chanukah/Kwaanza

26- Is there anything you collect? Crystals...the rock kind, not the Waterford kind but I am very open to starting that....hehe...I have some cat figurines and frog figurines....oh and YARN!!!

27- What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Cast-On, Interweave Knits and Knitter's....and I'm a Rowanette.

28 - Any books out there that you are dying to get your hands on? The DaVinci Code...yes I am the only one who hasn't read it yet! As knitting books go, I'd love the Sally Mellville books.

So enough about me!! Have a great weekend and great holiday for those that celebrate!

Hopefully a finished shawl and lots of Pumpkin next week!!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Kitchener Stitch Made Easy!!

Well, I got your attention, didn't I? heheh...

Here's my helper for today's post...

See? He's feeling so much better he's helping mom at the computer!

So today's post is about how I make kitchener stitch, if not *easy*, at least easier!

Now what on earth is this? A wooden light bulb? A marital aid? nah...


I do the kitchener stitch in the usual manner but I never worry about the tension of my stitches while I'm making them. That's where the darning egg comes in.

I slip my freshly off the needles, kitchenered toe over my darning egg...loosely tensioned stitches and all.

Now, the stitches are taught against the darning egg and oh so much easier to see!! I tighten them up stitch by stitch, using the end of my sewing needle.

Et Voila!!

It may not be the cure for cancer but it certainly makes it much easier for me to do the dreaded kitchener stitch!!
And here are the finished socks.

Now Pumpkin says.....

Whew, I'm exhausted!!

Have a wonderful week full of knitting!!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

KIP Day Project....decision, decisions!

Since my last post showing off the Adreinne Vittadini Shaped Top I plan to be knitting on World Wide KIP day a few friends have asked what color All Seasons Cotton I plan to use. I have these two colors in my stash:

On the left is "Valor" a deep mauve-y, plum shade and on the right is "Ravish" a light periwinkle-bluish-lavender. Both are lovely and would do the Shaped Top justice. So fellow knit friends, which would you choose?

My two current WIPs, the Regia socks and the Cotton Faerose Shawl, are very close to completion so I figured I would wait to post them when they are completely done. Since tonight is Knitting Meet-Up night, I should be closer to that goal, at least on the socks! Our group is expanding our monthly meetings to include a second meeting one Saturday per month and our first Saturday Meet-Up will be....yes, it's true....JUNE 11, World Wide KIP Day!!! Thanks Kim, for being such a good organizer and for making sure Broward Knitters represent on KIP Day!!!

On the Pumpkin front, we are still a *cone zone* but his eye looks really good so I've been taking the cone off when I am here to watch him and make sure he doesn't re-injure his eye. See?

Pumpkin and I wish everyone a great weekend with lots and lots of perfect stitches!!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I just found out about this from my dear friend Ada and I'm so excited!!

Image hosted by

I hope this is a rousing success around the world!

Imagine knitter's across the globe sharing a craft that knows no color, no race, no wars, no gender, no boundaries!! Let's ALL KIP on June 11!!

Now what I hope to be KIP'ing is this:

I just fell in love with this sweater! I bought the Adrienne Vittadini Spring 2005 pattern booklet on line because I saw another shell that I found intriguing but when the booket arrived I rethought my first *crush*. The original shell I was intrigued by was heavily textured with a twist (knotted) front and I am not sure how this would look on a *fluffy* girl like me. Enter the Shaped Top ! Now this is me :) And I have just the periwinkle (Ravish) All Season's Cotton in the stash to do it with!! YAY! summer knits....anyone care to join me?

One thing I really like about AV designs is that she always includes *real* sizes in all her patterns! Most of her designs go from XS or Petite to XL/1X/2X and go up to a 48" - 52" bust which is great news for a fluffy knitter like me! And the few designs that don't are relatively easy to upsize. Unlike Vogue and Rowan who consider an XL a 40" bust!!!!! ON WHAT PLANET???? Hello, the *average* woman is a size 14!! Yeah, yeah a sore spot for me....but I'll save that rant for another post :)

Pumpkin update: unfortunately we are still with cone :( He was doing great before the Vet visit and the Vet confirmed the ulcer is healed!! YAY! But when we got home, he started rubbing his eye like crazy!! I think the stuff the Vet uses to illuminate the ulcer irritates him and frankly, I don't think the Vet washed it out throughly enough! So to avoid re-living the last SEVEN weeks all over again, I put his cone back on, gave him some eye drops to soothe him and wash out his eye a bit and will continue with the antibiotic ointment twice a day until Saturday. I will also keep his cone on for another week without meds just to be safe and sure that everything is all healed! Needless to say, I will be finding another Vet!! I just wish Pumpkin didn't have to suffer all this, he just so sweet and loving, even through this!! See....

Poor lil guy!! Maybe some *chicken* will help!

Happy knitting!!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Festival Envy and New Gadgets!

Never having been to any sort of fiber festival, I suppose I'm not really *bitter* because I don't really know what I'm missing......but when I read about the anticipation on many knitting blogs, I do really wish I was there! The camaraderie of the knitting community never ceases to amaze me and to be at the festival and meet, in person, all the authors of the many, many words of wisdom, comfort and friendship that I've shared over the last 2 years does leave me with a twinge of envy. The cute sheep and the lovely yarn would just be icing on the cake! So have fun, knit buds and take lots of pics to share for those of us left to hold down the fort!

Now I may not be at MDS&W but I do have these:

FOUR of the highly prized PINK Chibi needle holders!!!! Quite envy worthy, wouldn't you say? :)

New Knitting Gadgets!!

LOOK!! Stitch markers on steroids!!
These are some of my favorite knit "gadgets". They are "Locking Ring Markers" and are made by Clover.

I use the little ones all the mark inches, decreases/increases, midpoints for accurate measurement, ect. but my favorite use is as stitch holders! I use them to hold my toe stitches in socks when I do a 3 needle bind off instead of kitchener stitch because I have to take the stitches off the needles and turn the sock inside out. I also use them to hold my raglan sleeve stitches awaiting joining for the neck -- they are great because they are washable!! I can wash/block my sleeves prior to seaming but don't have to worry about the stitch holders rusting! Imagine my excitement when I found these giant ones! They are new from Clover, made for use with larger needles, up to size 35 I think!! I got mine at and they are great for all the same uses as the small ones but they hold more stitches :)

One more pic to close with....close up of Pumpkin with his cone! He's missing MDS&W too, can't you tell?

Friday, May 06, 2005

This one's for you Ada!!

I couldn't sleep (surprise, surprise!) so I went surfing around the knit blogs and came upon this:

Your Inner European is Dutch!

Open minded and tolerant.

You're up for just about anything.

Who's Your Inner European?

On the knitting front I'm making good progress on both my shawl and the Regia Jubilee sock but they are not worthy of another pic just yet so I bring two recently completed projects.

From January to March of this year, Alison of
The Blue Blog hosted the first Sockapalooza. This was a fun sock exchange with over 100 participants from across the globe!
You were sworn to secrecy and provided with minimal information about your pal, mainly size info, color/style preference and location. My pal was Helga, a German ex-pat living in San Francisco.
Here are the socks I sent Helga:

They are my own design of feather and fan stitch interspersed with wavy rows of garter stitch. I used 2 shades of Wildfoote fingering weight sock yarn which as I already stated, I really don't like...too twisty and splitty!! Helga liked the socks and coincidently, she told me Wildfoote is one of her *favorite* sock yarns! One knitter's nightmare is another knitter's dream, right? heheh....I can't WAIT for Sockapalooza Two!!

Here is another recently completed project and one of my favorites!!
This is the Leaf Lace Shawl designed by Evelyn Clark for Fiber Trends. This was a perfectly written pattern and a fun and interesting knit!! One thing that makes this pattern so special is it's written for 2 sizes in four weights of yarn so it gives you lots of options!!
I used 5.5 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in the colorway Neon and I knit the large size as well as adding one extra pattern repeat. I adore Lorna's Laces sport weight yarn, so soft and easy to knit with and this shawl just makes me smile!

Happy weekend, and Happy Mother's Day!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

I'm a two project kinda gal!

I guess it's the Virgo in me, but I like order and control.

In my knitting life, I'm a two project kinda gal....usually something portable (socks, socks and more socks!! and did I mention, socks!! hehe...)and a second larger, less portable/more complex project. To be honest, when I read blogs or lists and knitters admit to having 5, 10 or even more ongoing projects, I feel dizzy and I break out in a sweat just contemplating all those unfinished WIP's! How does one make any progress when your knitting time is spread out over so many projects? As they say, whatever floats your boat and if knitting ADD works for you, god bless ya! I just know, for me, it makes me a bit crazy thinking about it.....bring on the Paxil!

My socks are my school knitting for the most part. I freely admit I love to knit socks! There are an infinite number of patterns available, from plain to colorwork to lace to cables to suit any and all tastes, they require a minimal investment relative to the amount of yarn you might use for a bigger project like a sweater, they allow you to try out small amounts of yarn before you invest big bucks, they are very portable, you can "cut loose" and go for something really bold outside of your normal comfort zone and everyone I know has feet :)

Here's my latest sock in progress:

It's Regia Jubilee in the Taiga colorway in the Fluted Banister pattern from the Six_Sock_Knitalong. These are gonna be for Dad for Father's Day.

My current "big" project is a shawl by Myrna Stahlman from the book, "The Best of Knitter's Shawls and Scarves". I'm using Blue Heron fingering weight Mercerized Cotton in the colorway Opal. I am just LOVING this project! The yarn is beautiful, soft, shimmery and easy to work with. The pattern is fun and interesting. I usually don't like knitting with cotton but I am really enjoying this and not having any of the hand/wrist pain that I usually get with pure cotton. I'm about one third finished, here's the visual:

To anyone who loves lace knitting and shawls, I highly recommend this book...there are some really amazing shawls in it. I have at least 3 more on my short "to do" list. $19.95 very well spent! I also have Myrna Stahlman's Shawls and Scarves book winging it's way to me, so I can compare the two once it arrives!

Lastly, a little update on Pumpkin. We went to the vet today and unfortunately we are still with cone :(
The vet last week was not our regular, Dr. Romano, as she was on vacation. Dr. Ohms told me Pumpkin was healed and we just needed one more week of medication "to be safe". Today, when Dr. Romano saw him, she found a tiny little slit of unhealed ulcer! I was so disappointed, I actually burst into tears! It's been six weeks and although Pumpkin has been an angel about all this medicine/pain/conehead collar business I know it must frighten him and I just hate hurting him in any way! It surely is getting on my last nerve, especially when he runs away from me :(
So here's my boy....think good healing thoughts for us when we go back to the vet for the *seventh* time next Tuesday!!

Knit on through all crisis, right? I'm trying!!!

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Happy May Day!

Living in South Florida is a diverse, multi-cultural experience. There is a huge Hispanic population, especially Cuban-Americans.

When I worked in Miami my Cuban-American co-workers shared this delightful May Day tradition with me....

They believe that rain in May is special, especially rain on May 1. Anyone who stands out in the rain on May 1 will always be beautiful and always have beauty in their life! If it doesn't rain on May Day, the first rain of the month of May will have the same effect!

So if you see a bunch of folks standing in the rain on May Day, we are just looking for a little extra beauty in our lives!

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess the pictures I have posted of my Pumpkin, to date, were taken in March. Today I give you the poor baby's real current pic:

Five weeks ago, my sweet little boy got some kitty litter in his eye!! Luckily I was there when it happened and rushed him to the Vet but even with such a quick response, he had a HUGE ulcer on his cornea! His whole eye was ulcerated! So for the last five weeks my boy's been a little conehead and has had to suffer thrice daily eye drops and antibiotic goop. Actually I'm probably taking it harder than Pumpkin...he's really been sweet and tolerant about the whole ordeal. Of course the post-medication CHICKEN FEST 2005 I treat him to probably isn't hurting, hehe... His eye has been healing steadily so hopefully when we go back to the Vet on Tuesday, he will be all healed!!

On the knitting front, I will post pics of my WIP's later this week but for now - STASH ENHANCEMENT!!
The skein on the left is 1400 yards of Interlacements Rick Rack, a fingering weight, slightly textured rayon in the Grape Harvest colorway that will make a spectacular shawl someday soon. The skein on the right is 500 yards of Interlacements Toasty Toes, a sportweight sock yarn in the Poppy Fields colorway. Aren't these two just lovely? I've never worked with Interlacements before but they were an end of semester gift to myself :)

Now go out and stand in the rain and get yourself some beauty!! Can't everyone's life use a little more?