Saturday, December 10, 2005

It started off rocky but got better!

Yesterday I dutifully knit 2 more swatch squares for the Follow The Leader Knitalong. One was in the Peruvian Highliand wool that I pictured before but this time on size 7 needles. The second was with Cascade 220 in a lovely navy blue. Both came out with the correct gauge! I dutifully washed the swatches last night and layed them out on the counter overnight to dry.

When I arose this morning and stumbled into the kitchen, I noticed that the swatches were missing. The navy one was on the floor but the purple one was gone! I suspected it was one of The Cats but nobody was talking. Looking around the house produced no swatch until I noticed Tia Kitty. She was trailing my swatch! Apparently the game last night was 'shread the swatches' and she had one tangled in her back legs and tail. Now this is the kitty that can't be caught so the chase was on. I finally was able to step on the swatch and that stopped her. After a few minutes of de-tangling, she was free and my now hairy (4 white longhair cats - enough said) swatch was saved. I won't be recycling this yarn for sure .. LOL.

Tia Kitty admits nothing - see how angelic she looks? I had to laugh because the swatch that was tangled was the purple one and Tia is a Lilac Point Birman. She must like the color.

To relieve the stress of the incident, a trip to my local yarn shop was in order. Stash enhancement is always a reward :) Look at the haul!

Included are 11 skeins of Arauncania Nature Wool in a lovely variagated cranberry, Size 6 and 11 bamboo Clover needles, Size 7 Addi Turbo circulars and 2 books :) I bought myself the new Yarn Harlot book by one of my favorite bloggers Stephanie. I also brought home Nancy Bush's new Vintage Socks book that I just love. Merry Christmas to me :)

Two of the other brats kitties look on with approval. More yarn to get hairy!

That is Nicki on the left and Andi on the right. Nicki is the mother of both Andi and Tia who were from the same litter about 5 years ago.

Remember the socks I am knitting for The-One-who-married-The-Daughter? I thought I was designing something new but I found that the pattern I'm using is a variation of the Lozenge pattern in Nancy's book. Who would have thunk? The difference is that I'm just putting the pattern up the sides and not all over. I guess with a finite number of pattern stitches, duplicates will occur.

I'm off to swatch the Araucania!

~~ till later ~~~ Dene

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Being a Dunce

This is why:

Do those look like US size 5? :: shaking head :: 5.0 mm = US size 8
See that 8 to the left of 5.0mm? I swear it wasn't there before!

No wonder I wasn't getting gauge. Off to the yarn shop this weekend - YIPPEE!

~~ till later ~~ Dene
Camera Blues

I hate my digital camera. I have a Kodak 4800 ancient camera that is on it's last leg. It was a great camera but no more.

So, in the interim, I will resort to the scanner. At least until The Hubby returns from Russia with the good camera :) So good pictures when he is home, bad pictures when he isn't.

This is my gauge test for the FLAK Knitalong . The yarn is Peruvian Collection Highland Wool that I bought from Elann. The yarn is wonderful but I'm not getting the gauge that I desire. This swatch was done on US Size 5 needles and I'm getting the needed 22 stitches/4" but I'm only getting 24 rows/4". It should be 28 rows. I'm not sure what to do at this point but I also have a skein of Cascade 220 that I'm playing around with. If that gauge swatch comes out on target, then I might switch yarns.

I love the color of the Highland Wool. It is a purple heather and is just lovely. the fabric is also lovely being soft and drape-y. The Cascade is firmer. Decisions.. Decisions.

I am also back on track on the socks for The-One-who-married-the-daughter. It is my own pattern and I'm trying to come up with a name. I'm thinking of calling them the "Double A" socks since his name starts with two A's. It is a basic sock with a diamond panel running up each side. I'll post a picture once I have this camera thing figured out.

~~ till later ~~~ Dene

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


A new start for this blog that has actually been around for 2 years - with a total of 2 post. Time to "cast on" and get this blog started off right by deleting those 2 posts!

Why 42 stitches?
An inside joke at work. Whenever someone doesn't know the answer to a question, they say 42. Not sure how it began but it continues to this day. So, 42 stitches seemed appropriate for this blogs because I am far from having the answer to any question.

So, if you are still following me, here are 42 things about myself:
1. Dene is not my real name. It is short for Denebir which was the name of my now defunct cattery. My real name is so plain that I'd rather use Dene.
2. I still have The Cats - 4 champion show Birmans that are now leading the life of luxury as just plain cats. Plus one outside barn cat. Oh and then there is The Dog that thinks he is a cat even though he is 50#s.
3. I don't have a barn but do have 2 pastures on our 4.67 acres of Texas real estate just NW of Houston Texas.
4. I occupy that real estate with The Hubby of 30 years and The Son of 23 years.
5. The Son doesn't live in the main house but in an attic room over the garage. We see him daily when he comes down to shower and whenever he needs to do laundry. He works full time and is basically self-sufficient - YEAH!
6. I don't mind The Son living here as The Husband works every other month in Russia. It is nice to have someone in the house even if it is a reclusive young person.
7. The Daughter doesn't live her but instead lives in Virginia with The One-who-married-The-Daughter of 6 months. No grandkids yet .. darn!
8. I'm passionate about a lot of things.
9. One of those things is knitting. My mother and grandmother taught me about the same time I learned in 4-H. That was when I was about 10 years old
10. My current passions are socks, lace shawls and Aran sweaters. I've finished lots of socks, no shawls or sweaters complete, thought, but not from lack of trying
11. I'm a sucker for knit-alongs and sock-of-the-month kits. I have many, finish few
12. I'm a yarn snob.
13. I have a healthy stash of yarn.
14. Another passion is quilting.
15. I have a healthy stash of fabric.
16. I have a healthy stash of thread.
17. I'm a fabric snob.
18. I have no time to knit or sew because I have one of those jobs that eats up ever minute of your day.
19. I collect patterns - knitting, quilting, cross-stitch.
20. I swoon over Mel Gibson.
21. My favorite color is Tan (another joke that has perpetuated for over 2 years). It really is blue but nobody will let me change my mind.
22. I love God and attend church regularly.
23. I don't finish a lot of things and thus have a healthy collection of UFOs.
24. I endured survived an total house remodel in the past 8 months. It is almost done!!
25. I know how long it takes to seal 3,000 square feet of tile grout.
26. I am a pattern tester for Quilters Cache.
27. I work at home so I don't ever complain about traffic unless you count stepping over the cats in the hallway.
28. I work online and am Bi (work on a PC *and* a Macintosh computer).
29. Sometimes working from home has its pits but mostly it is great to be able to work in your jammies and bunny slippers.
30. I've worked for the same company since 1998.
31. I have a BS degree in Biology and Chemistry, part of a Masters degree in Wildlife science and an Associate's degree in Veternary Technology. Why I work in the Internet industry is beyond me.
32. I solve algebra problems for fun.
33. I am an avid reader. Comes from being the daughter of a librarian.
34. I am a faithful friend and have a few that I get into trouble with - but it is so much fun!
35. I worry about others who are in any type of strife or trouble.
36. I'm very emotional - I cry often.
37. I love chocolate and bread pudding.
38. I love oatmeal soap and my new Jacusi bathtub.
39. I love my husband and family deeply.
40. I'm a native Texan and only lived out-of-state once for 5 years when I was in grade school.
41. I long to travel overseas. I've only been once - to The Netherlands.
42. I love to read blogs!

So that is who I am. Now I'm off to rip back a pair of socks I'm doing for The-One-that-married-The-Daughter. I dropped an edge stitch while under the dryer today at the salon and couldn't recover it to where it looked correct. Now that sounds funny "dropping an edge stitch" when I'm knitting in the round..LOL! It is actually the edge of the heel flap that I dropped off some short Britney Birch double points.

~~ till later ~~~ Dene