July 8, 2009

Way more than you ever wanted to know

So a certain person (who will remain Tanis) has noticed that it's been a while and has been pestering me to update. Since I'm just coming off a week-long LEGO jag, in which there was very little knitting, I did what any sane blogger would do and offered her a guest-blogging position.

Now it may be the journalist in her (do you have journalist in you, T?) or perhaps because her mother dropped her on her head when she was a baby, Tanis thought it would be fun to play 20 questions. And while Tanis is smart as paint, and talented to boot, she overlooked the fact that I'm not nearly as interesting as knitting. So proceed at your own peril. If you make it to the end, you get a cookie.

Tanis: ok, i have my 20 questions
Elli: Wait! I have to get a snack first!
Tanis: surprise surprise. i'll go wash my apple
Elli: Ok, I have foodstuffs
Tanis: as do i
Elli: Don't get all foul-mouthed on me, or I'll have to bleep you
Tanis: s**t, really?

Tanis: ok, shall we? we'll start off easy.
Elli: Fire away!

Tanis: cats or dogs?
Elli: Definitely dogs. Cats make my nose itch. They also seem way too interested in yarn. I don't want the competition.
Tanis: so i should return that cat i'm fedexing you? i poked holes in the box and everything
Elli: I suppose I could just leave it out on the porch and feed it kitty kibble through the air holes

Tanis: Most beautiful place you've ever been (and I hope you brought your knitting with you!)?
Elli: Ooooh...lemme think. What kind of pretty are we talking?
Tanis: Interpret as you see fit
Elli: Ok, I haven't been many places outside of North America, so I'm going to have to be incredibly tame and say California. I love the green rolly hills and they have fabulously diverse geology and lots of huge pretty trees. Plus there is water. I love water.

Tanis: favorite snack?
Elli: Are all food groups available?
Tanis: yes. unless you eat dirt or trash. i don't want to know about that.

Tanis: best place you've knit?
Elli: Everywhere, all over London last year.
Tanis: cheater. narrow it down
Elli: I felt particularly smug while knitting in a crypt.
Tanis: as in "ha, ha, you're dead but i'm here knitting?"
Elli: pretty much

Tanis: Favorite book/movie (yes, I'm cheating by asking 2 questions in one)?
Elli: I'll cheat by giving multiple answers
Tanis: fair enough
Elli: Book: Anything by John Irving or Stephen Fry. Don't make me pick
Tanis: cheater again
Elli: Movie: Truly, Madly, Deeply; Christmas movie: Mixed Nuts (there is knitting!); Old movie: Roman Holiday

Tanis: and a follow up: what are you reading right now?
Elli: I'm reading "Tears of the Giraffe," "All Creatures Great and Small" and listening to "When you are Engulfed in Flames"

Tanis: Desert, forest, ocean or city and why?
Elli: Ocean! Because I love everything about water. Except, perhaps, drowning. Though I hear that it's not so bad as ways to die go.
Tanis: i've heard it's the 2nd worst. But then again, how do you rate that sort of thing? Do you even love the creepy fish that live in the deepest darkest part and have electricity running through them?
Elli: YES! I have a creepy fish print in my living room.

Tanis: Email or hand written letter?
Elli: Definitely E-mail. I have the worst penmanship known to man. Also, I constantly edit myself, which is hard to do on paper. Oh, and I can't spell.

Tanis: Pullover or cardigan?
Elli: Cardigan! For some reason, it's ok to wear the same cardigan day after day but pullovers can only be worn once every couple of weeks. It's a great mystery of the universe.
Tanis: solve that one and we're all set

Tanis: Lucky number and why?
Elli: Not really a luck-oriented person, but 17 has always been my favorite. Because I was born on the 17th. Plus it has a pleasing look. Nice and angular.

Tanis: Day or night and why?
Elli: Night! I feel very creative when I'm supposed to be in bed.

Tanis: Last concert you attended?
Elli:'s been a while. Lemme think. Does the opera count?
Tanis: indeed
Elli: lemme look up which one it was. brb.
Tanis: memory isn't what it used to be, eh old bean?
Elli: I think it might have been Massenet's "Cendrillon" last February. I don't get out much, it seems. I did just buy my first tickets EVER to a pop concert this week though
Tanis: which one?
Elli: Regina Ann Arbor in September
Tanis: i know you harbor a deep love of all things backstreet boys
Elli: uh huh

Tanis: Subway, car, bus, walking or teleportation and why?
Elli: I like subways. They make me feel urban and sophisticated. Also, they're windy! I love wind. That said I hardly ever use subways, so I probably over-romanticize them.
Tanis: yes you do. a lot.

Tanis: What are you afraid of? (that sounds like a threat!)
Elli: I harbor a great fear of nuts, and by extension, anaphylaxis.
Tanis: so the cashews i stashed in the box with the kitty were a bad idea?
Elli: I also fear cutting my eyeballs.
Tanis: yikes. i can't imagine that being high up on the "to do" list for many people?
Elli: on a meat slicer or on a nail
Tanis: that's specific
Elli: I can't explain it.
Tanis: no need. Cut eyeballs are icky. enough said.

Hidden talents?
Elli: Um, I can touch my nose with my tongue?
Tanis: that's more like genetics, no?
Tanis: heh
Elli: my hands are quite magnificent
Tanis: if you do say so yourself
Elli: I am nothing, if not modest. Oh, and I'm always right. Does that count as a talent?
Tanis: always eh? I'm sure Thunk can back that one up.

Tanis: Favorite saying?
Elli: I can't say I've got a favorite saying. Should I make one up?
Tanis: naturally.
Elli: Oh wait...I remember..."the Merganser duck has very little commercial value, due to the distinctly fishy flavor of its meat"
Tanis: why do i feel like you just Google "favorite saying" and that's what popped up first?
Elli: Actually, I read that in the encyclopedia when I was a wee small thing. That fact has never abandoned me in a crisis.
Tanis: while avoiding cats and eating dirt?
Elli: Well, that was before the cats, but after the dirt.
Tanis: silly me. ok, moving on...

Tanis: what's your worst habit?
Elli: Thunk says that it's either picking at my thumbs, OCD cleaning, or shoe shopping
Tanis: those are bad habits?
Elli: I know, right?
Tanis: sounds to me you just like clean thumbs/house/feet?
Elli: truly

Optimist or pessimist?
Elli: Optimist! Except when I'm pessimistic.
Tanis: except for that
Elli: I'd like to think I'm realistically optimistic.

Tanis: Would you rather be stuck in a crowded room or be by yourself?
Elli: Definitely by myself. I like people but they exhaust me.

Tanis: If you were told you had one day left to live, how would you spend it?
Elli: alone, in a room, by myself.
Well, honestly I'd probably just get all weepy and maudlin and call everyone I've ever known, and spend the whole day saying "this is the last time I'll ever ___" and bursting into tears.
Tanis: remind me to not come over that day. Or at least bring you some tissues and pretty yarn
Elli: I'll just call you

Where do you want to travel to the most that you haven't been?
Elli: Oh wait! I remembered where the prettiest place I've ever been is!
Tanis: no turning back now!
Elli: Carlsbad Caverns, in New Mexico!
Tanis: just kidding
Tanis: apparently!
Elli: ok, place I want to go?
Tanis: focus Stu, focus. yes.

Elli: I really want to go to Savannah right now.
Tanis: like the desert or the city?
Elli: I don't know if it's the ULTIMATE vacation, but I'd like to go. City.
Also, any island would be good. Scotland would be fun. I'm not horribly adventurous, actually. mostly I stay at home
in a room
by myself
Tanis: and knit
Elli: that's implied

Tanis: ok, last questions, #21! ready?
Elli: yes
Tanis: If you and I were in a knitting battle to the death, who would win and why?
Elli: You would win, because I would eventually have to sleep.
Tanis: ha!
Elli: Also, you have wrists that never get tired
Tanis: best answer ever. how do you know i'm not animatronic? It would make a lot of sense
Elli: are you like the plug-in grandma? will you serve me hot chocolate out of your finger?
Tanis: creepy
ok and we're done! exhausted?
Elli: yes! Also, still hungry.

If you're still reading, mad cookies for you!

April 13, 2009

Fiber Infusion

It's that time of year again! On Saturday Wendie, my friend Deb and I made the yearly pilgrimage up to the Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana. There was fiber. Oh yes.

also, there were alpaca. did you know they hum?

Saturday the weather cooperated and we had beautiful sunny spring day...a bit chilly but just perfect for poking fingers into bags of fiber and squeezing everything wooly in site.

I resisted buying a raw fleece (I am so Not Allowed to have more than one of those floating around the apartment) but I did buy a variety of yummy lumps for sampling.

Reading from left to right: black Shetland, aqua Coopworth/silk, light brown superwash Merino lamb, light gray Shetland lamb/silk/cashmere, aqua Shetland/linen, light brown California Variegated Mutant/silk (I was sold as soon as I found out that the "M" in CVM stands for "mutant"), gray Shetland.

Like last year, my goal was to get a variety of breeds but somehow I just ended up with a goodish bit of Shetland and stuff blended with silk. I may have gotten a little careless there at the end. Must have been all the fiber fumes.

Now, to find a place to buy more bobbins so I can spin some of this up!

June 30, 2008

here's a llama, there's a llama...

Howdy peeps!

Everything is out of my kitchen now (and it has been for a bit) but life, the universe, and everything have conspired to keep me from doing much significant knitting. Luckily for you, I have fun-loving fiberphillic friends who like to go places. The most recent trip? Yellow Wood Llama Farm.

hey there. I have lovely llama lashes

If you want details, pop on over to to Orata or Hapagirl's blogs and you can get the skinny. This may be construed as bloggerly laziness, but I view it as doing my little part to reduce knit-blog redundancy. Share the love.

Orata with Michelle the llama

Llamas were petted. Yarn was purchased. A lovely time was had by all.

Michelle, Fred, Hapagirl, Hopper, and Laura

In conclusion (because I've decided that a post with no actual content should definitely have a conclusion) I'd like to remind you of this forgotten gem.


May 27, 2008

London, May 7

Thunk_Victoria.jpg park.jpg

pastoral_knitting.jpg Bham_guard.jpg

I'm starting to go through the trip pictures a bit...I've gotten through day one! It helps that all we did that day was arrive, nap, and mosey down to Buckingham Palace.

May 26, 2008

Global knitter, on land and on sea

So I went to England! I've been back for over a week so it's about time I blogged, eh?

England was fantastic. We saw all sorts of interesting things, my favorites being any and all old churches/cathedrals/minsters/abbeys I could find. What can I say, I'm just a churchy kinda gal. Here I am, having climbed all the way to the top of St. Paul's.

See? Happy as a clam in mud.

Another highlight was finally getting to meet one of my favorite knitters, Philippa!

the inaugural meeting of the Transatlantic Sock Sisterhood

I wanted to take Philippa home with me

Philippa and Deri treated us to a picnic in the park, showed us Philippa's fountain and a nice hill and then we spent the rest of the evening in a pub having a fabulous time. The night culminated in getting a little lost on subway and Philippa giving me presents (an excellent combination...I recommend it). She knitted me this plummy hot water bottle cozy, which makes me fantastically happy every time I look at it.

hello. I am snuggly and lovely

She also gave me some yummy British sock yarn. Pictures of that and the yarn I bought in York to come...

This afternoon's assignment?

hello. I am unseamly. and slightly out of focus...

April 13, 2008

In which there is much fiber

Did you know I have a spinning wheel? Probably not. It's been a while since I hauled her out. The truth is that I've never practiced enough to become consistent and I have a bad habit of buying quantities of white fiber (with the intent to dye and spin up enough to make a garment) and then never quite having the confidence to get started. So you could say that things have languished in the spinning department.

Fast forward to yesterday when Wendie and I made our annual sojourn up to the Fiber Event, in Greencastle, Indiana*. Wanna see what I got?

Romney, Alpaca, Cormo x Border

Blue Faced Leicester & silk (indigo/osage), Corriedale & silk (osage/cochineal/madder), Corriedale (indigo)

more Romney, Shetland lambswool (from Theodora the sheeplette)

Clun Forest, Wensleydale, Border Leicester

Icelandic handspun from Schacht Fleece Farm (spun by Mandy from Chloe the sheep)

the coolest cotton towel ever, handwoven by a fellow named Ivan, purchased from his granddaughter and great-granddaughter

That's mostly fiber, isn't it? All natural and local and (best of all) in small enough quantities that I can just mess around and see if I like it...kindof like a fiber buffet. Looks like my inner spinner may have woken up (or alternately, my inner misguided fiber-buyer may have just gone on a wild rampage).

*proof that I was actually there can be found on Nicole's blog. I did not take pictures. In my defense, it was horribly cold and rainy and I didn't want to take off my mittens. Had I taken pictures they would have been of the gals (Wendie, Orata, Nicole, Kalani, Leigh, and Bloggless Norma), the poor frightened sheep that was bolting around the grounds with people running after it (strangely enough, the ONLY live sheep I saw there yesterday), and my blue lips. Thankfully we had boys and a nice lasagna to go home to. There was also a Wendie-made blueberry pie for dessert which was FANTASTIC. A good day.

March 2, 2008

The world has turned upside-down.

Let me just start by letting you know that I am making fabulous progress on the argyle vest.

That said, my wrist needs a little break from the tiny stitches now and again, so I cast on for something a little chunkier. Join me in welcoming the Snowy Tomten to the family...

Hola. I am Scandinavian.

And can I just say Holy Cow, this thing is knitting up quickly.

For those of you who will ask (because you always do) the yarn is Joann's Bellezza Collection Doceltto. It's a hugely soft wool/nylon/cotton blend that seems to be machine washable. I'm hoping that will appease whomever will be laundering this white baby garment.

flashing a little garter

In other news, Bloomington FINALLY has a new yarn store! A couple lovelies and I went and checked it out today. I'm giving it a 7 out of 10 for now. Points were docked for a) no Rowan (what?), b) small needle and handpainted sock yarn selections, and c) shelving all the yarn with ball bands hidden (why oh why?) but points scored for a) general friendliness and helpfulness b) having a pretty decent stock for having recently opened c) carrying more than one kind of wool wash and, most importantly d) the fact that they exist.

And is it as warm by you today as it is here? It was 69 degrees on my car's thermometer when I was driving home an hour ago. The windows are open! There are birds! The sky is blue! I'm going to go knit outside.

February 15, 2008


Not having a functioning camera is making me stretch the old noggin for blog ideas and, strangely enough, makes me want to blog more. Because you always want what you can't have, right?

So today you get my sisters.

See? There they are. Rae and Krick.

Besides being some of my most favorite people in the world, they've also got blogs. Sally forth and give them a visit, whydon'tcha? Better yet, flood them with commenty love for me.

Made by Rae
Rae mostly sews adorable things, but there's a little crochet and other craftiness in there as well. She's the mother of the wee nephewling so there's some general baby-upkeepy stuff too.

Bibliokrick aka We Have Unlimited Juice?*
The hilarious account of the life of the fledgling librarian who is my little sister. With promises of embroidery soon (hint, hint, krickie).

What are you waiting for? Go and give them a holler for me.

hello. I am your designated knitting content for the day.

*this is the current name. Yesterday it was different, so don't be surprised if it's called something else tomorrow.

September 30, 2007

Farm fresh

Schacht Fleece Farm had a open-farm day today, so Huan-Hua and I took the opportunity to drive south of town and soak up a little of the charming farminess. They have cute little Icelandic sheep, and today was shearing day.

ur_next.jpg shearing.jpg
Dude. You're next.

Nekked sheeps.

huan_hua.jpg silo.jpg
Huan-Hua and a guard llama; one of the cool old silos.

As the sun moves, so moveth the chickens.


The sun was out, there was a lovely breeze, and I did not get chiggers or poison ivy. A perfect afternoon, and the perfect way to say goodbye to September, if you ask me.

p.s. Thanks for all the nice noises about the herringbones. Worry not; a pattern will be forthcoming.

September 21, 2007


Hi there. We are lovely, lovely, lovely...

Good mail yesterday! Freshly married Ms. Moon Tea Julia sewed me a fantastic little bag-lette, which is just the right size for a sock project. So cute! Can I say again how much I love it when people sew things for me? And how birthday contests rock? She also sent along the Amy Butler Swing Bag pattern, which I adore, as a consolation prize for waiting while she sewed it. Not that I was in need of any consolation, but I love it all the same. Yay! Thanks, Julia!

In other news: as the phlegm is still in residence (though much better than it was), all I've managed to knit this past week is the herringbone mittens. Pictures soon.

July 31, 2007

Show and Tell

Good mail seems to come in clumps around here. I'll go for weeks with nothing more interesting than a bank statement and then I'll hit a happy patch and something nice comes almost every day. Lately things have been pretty terrific in the mail department...

Hello. I totally rock.

Circular needle case from Dan of Spin | Knit. I won his blogiversary contest and I'm not ashamed to say that I totally played to win. You're kinda jealous, aren't you? Maybe he'll make some and put them in his shop if you ask nicely enough.


Sample-sized Soak packets from Chris in three promising-sounding scents (citrus, aquae, and a scent for celebration). I plan on doing a very faux-scientific review of these when I get a chance. Maybe next week? Everybody loves a good product test.


Rowanspun Aran, for the next big sweater project...which I'm already six inches into. Any guesses? Clues: it's for me, and it's cabled (what a shocker)!

July 18, 2007

Goings on

Wow! It's kind of hard to come down from that Demi post, but I guess it's time to move on. Thanks much for all the thoughtful comments; I'm all pink and blushy here.

Getting back to the slightly more's the latest Plain Old Sock project I've been carrying around with me:


This is Luna Park, color 203* and you're looking at sock number two. I haven't posted about this project yet because, well, let's just say that I'm a bit underwhelmed. The colors aren't quite as charming knitted up as they were in ball-form, and the yarn is annoyingly unbalanced which means both socks have a bit of a twist to them. Also, for merino it feels an awful lot like regular old sock yarn. Nothing special folks. Move along.

In other project news, I finished the first half of Hanami, picked out the provisional cast-on and started knitting the second half. Everything was looking lovely...I got a few inches in before I noticed that I was getting some nasty pooling. What gives? Needless to say, Hanami is in time-out for a while.

Fortunately, I have (relatively) new yarn to console me:

Hello. We are an impulse purchase.

Two Saturdays ago I may have spent some quality time in the sale section at Stitches and Scones in Indy, and we all know I'm nothing if not helpless in the face of discounted lambswool. I blame Wendie for taking me there and Jared for making a cameo as the little voice in my head who kept saying "but it's Tweeeeeeeed...**"

All right, I'm off to go knit now. More new-projecty excitingness coming soon!

*Didja see how I remembered to tell you what yarn I'm using for a change? 10 points for me!
**I'm sure he's not this whiney in real life.

April 20, 2007

I went, I froze, I stashed

Wendie and I had a lovely time at ye olde Fiber Event on Saturday. It was indeed cold as all getout. And rainy. And muddy. So yucky, in fact, that it seems that most of the animals stayed home and I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was there. So if you need your cute fleecy beasts fix, I'll refer you to last year's post.

Here's what I came home with this year:

z_burntorange.jpg FA_green.jpg
Fingerling wool/llama/mohair, Fleece Artist sock yarn.

My first purchase was some Fleece Artist. I found a lovely skein of sock yarn in shades of green. When Wendie started making covetous noises I absolutely knew I had to buy it. Sorry Wen. You know you have too much sock yarn already.

In another hugely cold corner of an unheated exhibit barn I found a whole shelf of yarn that was going for $1/ounce (which on one hand triggers my "wheee! affordable yarn!" response and simultaneously trips my "what aren't they telling me?" alarm). Most of it was pretty uninspiring, but I found myself drawn to a few lonely skeins of orangey 2-ply fingerling-weight wool/llama/mohair. And then I spotted the same yarn in a natural brown. So now I have 19 ounces of this stuff and no plan. Socks maybe? Anybody know much about llama? I'm going to have to swatch it up and see what sort of itch-factor it has.

More fingerling wool/llama/mohair.

al_paca.jpg icelandic_bumps.jpg
8 oz of alpaca-y goodness, 8 oz of Icelandic roving.

My favorite find was some really soft and lovely dark brown Icelandic roving from a farm right here in Bloomington. They've got a nice website where you can read about the sheep (my roving was a blend from Huldah, Saphira, and Shua). They've also got an amazing looking adopt-a-sheep program which gets you a whole fleece (raw, processed or as yarn), an adoption certificate, quarterly letters about your sheep, and a bunch of other stuff. I find myself sorely tempted.

The plan for this weekend is to regroup and get knitting on some of those UFOs. I've been a little lazy lately and have just been knitting away on some plain socks. *Yawn* Coming soon: more finishing! Less futzing around!

April 13, 2007

Get yer fiber

Tomorrow I’ll be making my yearly sojourn north to Greencastle Indiana for a bit of wooly fun at THE FIBER EVENT.* I’ll be there with the lovely and accomplished Wendie, who is flying in from Virginia solely for the purpose of being my yarn-buying companion. Ok, I’m a liar. She’s really out here for other reasons, but it’s a happy coincidence that she’s around the one weekend that we have a fiber festival.

At any rate, if you happen to be at the Putnam County Fairground tomorrow and see two knitbloggers hopped up on fiber fumes, say hi! I’ll be the one completely freezing my arse off.

*formerly known as the Fleece Fair. Freshly renamed to sound like a convention for people with slow colons.

April 4, 2007

More Babies and Knee Highs

So I’ve been avoiding blogging a bit because I’ve been a bit on the tired and complainy side (see last two posts). But I promise, only nice things today!

Nice thing No. 1: Yarn

YaiAnn did a little shopping for me at Stitches West. I pretty much asked her to stage a mini-raid on Cookie's booth and she thoughtfully obliged. To feed the kneesock fiend in me, I now have my very own German Stocking sock kit:


I also had her nab me the Twisted Flower sock pattern (no pic, but it’s here if you haven’t seen it yet.) and some of Cookie’s handpainted sock yarn in a green colorway I’d been coveting since I first saw it up her blog. YaiAnn also surprised me with a skein of Lisa Souza merino sock yarn in a gorgeous almost-solid colorway called “pumpkin.” Yum! I’m currently obsessed with the idea of turning it into some snickets.

we are delicious.

Nice thing No. 2: I have a new nephew! Actually, I’ve had a new nephew since March 25. If you know me in real life I’ve probably already made you look at pictures. But for the rest of you, here he is:

I am delicious too. (picture by Krickie)

He belongs to my older sister Rae and BIL Natey. I think they did a rather decent job, don’t you? We’ll go up to visit his humongous adorableness and the rest of the family this weekend. I am very excited. Here's the other picture Krick sent (I want his hat).

In other news, the yellow soaker has been done for weeks and the cabley baby sweater is pretty darn near completed. More on those when I get my act together.

February 22, 2007

Mail call!

Guess what? Thunk's saddle shoulder aran cardigan is finished, blocked, be-buttoned and ready for action! Unfortunately, we still haven't gotten out to do a photoshoot. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to distract you with some pictures of the unexpected knitting-related surprises that have shown up at my door lately. It's been like Christmas over here, people.

First there was some yummy yarn from my MIL. You know you've got it good when the in-laws start sending unsolicited fiber.

I am soft and fuzzy.

A couple of days later my friend Deb swung by bearing a copy of the 1943 Red Heart classic "Woolies for Babies" which, aside from having the single most petulant-looking baby in all of creation featured on the cover (though you can't blame her as she is sporting the Wynken, Blynken 'n' Nod Toe Toasters, Hug-me-Tight, AND Cuddly Cap), has a couple of patterns for "Soakers" inside.


For those of you who haven't run into a soaker lately, it's basically a pair of wooly underpants for your baby to wear over a cloth diaper (which explains the name, though I'm told it's not really as gross as it sounds). Anyway, my pregnant sister Rae (pics here, if you need a refresher) has declared that she's going the anti-disposable route and wants some soakers. I've found a few patterns online, but if any of you have soaker experience and can share any tips/recommendations/favorite patterns/whatever, just drop me a comment or an e-mail. This would be a good time to point out that I've finally put my e-mail up in the sidebar over there. Took me long enough, didn't it?

But back to the mail. A little over a week ago, I received an extraordinarily lumpy package from my cousin Jessica (pic here if you need a refresher) and this little guy was inside!

Hello. I am here to kill you with my adorableness.

Think he's cute from the front? Just wait until you see his little backside:


We decided to call him Max for obvious reasons. Tee-hee.

January 19, 2007

Friday pm

It's Friday afternoon, I have the rest of the day off and the sun is shining! Time for a progress shot on Demi.


That there would be one completed back and a decent start on a front. Apparently a year-long break was just what I needed to clear my head. Now everything seems to be flowing pretty easily and the cabling is pretty intuitive.

Not much else to report, so I thought I'd show off a couple of the handmade gifts I received recently...

side view

This would be the world's cutest pincushion, made my friend Deb. It's perfectly constructed out of wool felt and she weighted it so it's got a little bit of heft to it. I just want to carry it around with me everywhere I go.

side view

My pop made us this bowl for Christmas. I think it's cherry (though I'm not absolutely sure about that one...correct me if I'm wrong Dad). It's made out of a log that I helped my dad lug into the car back in the days when I was a young thing living at home. I think someone down the road had cut down a tree and he'd talked them into letting him have a chunk.

Isn't it pretty? If you look at the side view you can see a bit of the bookshelf Pop made for our wedding gift too.

Time for a snack now I think. Have a lovely weekend!

January 12, 2007

Christmas 2006 Wrapup

It's Friday! For a first week back things have been busier than I would have liked but being on the verge of a three day weekend makes it all seem a lot better. Maybe I'll even get my suitcase unpacked.

So how about that Christmas thing, eh? Let's have the complete rundown:

-Chunky scarf for Kricket. Check!
-Branching out scarves for Mum and Grandma Betty. Check!
-Heirloom bag for Rae. Check!
-Beau sweater for Natey. Check!
-around 30 Korknisse for various friends and family. Check!
-Aran Cardigan for Thunky. Um, not done. Here's where we left off. Like last year, T's sweater is going to be more a birthday/valentine's day sort of sweater.

So not too bad, right?

I took a couple of weeks off for Christmas to go to Michigan (my family) and California (Thunk's family), so there was a goodish bit of hanging with knitters over the holidays. Highlights included:

-My cousin Jessica!

she mostly crochets, but we still love her

Jess is the cousin that finally moved to Michigan AFTER I moved away, for which I'll never forgive her. Despite this cousinly slight, I love her dearly and have been dying to check out City Knitting in Grand Rapids where Jessi works (lucky). Cool place! You know it's a good store when you come away with a complete knitting trifecta in your bag (knitting book, yarn, needles).

I consider it a personal triumph that I managed to leave the 2006 Brondsema family Christmas party with the crocheted hat that Jessica contributed to the free-for-all gift swap. Now if I could just figure out where on earth I packed the darn thing I'd get it out and take a picture for you. I have this bad bad feeling that I left it at my parent's place.


Why yes, I am hysterically happy to see yaiAnn. Why do you ask?

Thunk and I met up with yaiAnn and B. on New Year's Eve in San Francisco. We started off at Imagiknit (oh my...), and went on to eat really yummy burritos and ice cream, shop after Christmas sales, and then knocked around the city and generally had a lovely time. The day was gray and gloomy, but we got a few pics to prove that we both actually exist in real life.


hello! my bag looks an awful lot like your bag!

And lastly, but certainly not leastly...
-Thunk's Grandma Betty!

note the shifty, yarn-greedy look in my eye...

We got to stay with Thunky's Grandpa Carl and Grandma Betty for almost a week while we were out in California. Betty really did herself proud this year with the Christmas knits...she made a purse for each granddaughter-in-law and knitted enough cute little sweaters and things for Thunk's niece O. (the only great-grandchild in the family) to last her a few years. Almost made me want to provide great-grandchild number two. Almost.

On our last day Betty took us to her favorite yarn shop, Sonoma Yarn (see above). Despite not having any more room in my suitcase, I still wandered out of there with yarn and knitting mags. Oh well, how often to I get to this many cool yarn shops? Nevah.

So I'd say this vacation gets a rating of 10 for lovely knitters and stash-enhancement. Next stop, stash assessment! I bet you'll never guess what number one on my list of knitting resolutions for '07 is...

November 6, 2006


This past week was a bit on the unproductive side…it’s amazing how much less I get accomplished when I have a cold. A bit sad really. But I’m all healthy now.

One thing that wasn’t at all dismal was the mail. Early in the week a package arrived from Lois (all the way from Singapore!) with my prize from her birthday drawing. Thanks, Lois!


See that yummy looking yarn? It’s pretty much a direct sub for Kidsilk Haze. I keep having visions of it knitted up in a simple shawl. Maybe something similar to the bubbly curtain from Mason-Dixon Knitting except, you know, less curtainy. It really wants to be something simple to show off the colors. Still, it’ll be a couple months before I have time to cast on for that. Plenty of time to think, but suggestions are always welcome if you have any!

On Friday another package was waiting for me when I got home, this time from the lovely Angela! Guys, she knitted me socks!

Do I have the whitest white-person legs or what?

Hooray! We had to have an artsy-fartsy photoshoot to celebrate (Thunk is really a good sport about this whole knitting photography thing). The socks are absolutely perfect…and I’m talking down to the very last stitch. Here’s the proof:

Beautiful, eh?

I took them on a test run to the doctor’s office this morning. Nothing’s better than a pair of nice hand knitted wooly socks to keep you warm when you go in for your yearly lady-parts appointment. Though a heated examining table is nice too.

If you want the specs and back-story on the socks, check out Angela’s post for today…it’s pretty funny, actually.

Thanks again Angela!

In other news:

Saturday I felt a sudden inspiration to cast on for Beau (gotta get those Christmas gifts in gear!) and cranked out a goodly sized patch of knitting while listening to Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation (which I loved). It’s amazing how quickly things go when you aren’t knitting cables or lace.


At this rate Beau should be done in no time. Hooray for mindless knitting!

September 10, 2006


I know that as a (nearly) grown woman I'm supposed to start having a more adult attitude towards birthdays and be, you know, poised and stuff. But I'll be the first to admit it: I love presents. There are so few times in your life that you know, for certain, that as soon as you do something (open the box or bag or envelope) something nice will happen.

Some of the best ones I got this year were ones my family made for me, so I thought I'd show them off.

Apron, sewed by my big sister, Rae:

In case your curious, Rae says she got her inspiration from one in Amy Butler's new book (link with small pic of said apron here).

Watercolors, by my Mum:

Embroidered Pillowcase, by my little sister Kricket:

Er, yes...that would be my nickname. Why do you ask? Focus on the sheep. See the sheep?

And if that weren't enough, I also was the recipient of a really fabulous swap package from Philippa:

I am now the proud owner of my very own British hot water bottle, complete with hand-drawn instructions on how to use it by P's little sister (this was the item that got the swap started...don't laugh at me), French tea and soap (you have never smelled anything so delicious), beautiful vintage knitting needles for my collection, and some v. cute polka-dotted lightweight corduroy fabric to play with. Thanks so much, Philippa!

July 26, 2006

Yarn. Lots of yarn.

Hmmm…I seem to have bought yarn. This is why I never tell people when I'm on a stash diet.


On the left there we have Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran* in Tusk (cream, 8 skeins), and Muffin (yellowish, 9 skeins)...I got enough of each for Christmas sweaterage, but I'm not telling which sweaters until I figure out how Christmas on the Blog will be handled this year. The Briggs and Little Heritage 2-ply (6 skeins) was an impulse purchase…I snapped it up when moon tea Julia was destashing a little while back. I didn't have a specific project in mind, but it's also an aran weight and I was rendered powerless by its slightly-heavier-than-worsted-weight siren song.

This package arrived last week as well:

It's from Steph (she of the beautiful FO shots), who was in a lovely and generous mood and giving it away. I know, I know...crazy, right? I'd never encountered Soft-Kid in the wild before, but imagine something impossibly soft and sportweightish and you'll be mostly there. This begs to be something super-snuggly in the neckwear department. Thanks so much Steph!

Continuing in the theme of giving stuff away, I have an extra Spring 2006 Knit.1 here. This would be the "Travel issue" (the one with all the piratey patterns). The best feature is the "knitting dictionary" where they translate common knitting terms into 10 languages. V. useful stuff. If you want it, leave me a comment and I'll have Thunk draw a name on Friday, ok? Excellent. I'll ship to wherever (as long as you have mail carriers). While you’re commenting, tell me something interesting or funny about yourself…Caitlyn did this a while back and I loved reading the responses she got.


In actual knitting news: River is almost finished. Almost.

*Rowan is discontinuing all the Yorkshire Tweed yarns which is tragic, because a huge number of patterns from Rowan Vintage Knits call for it. Fabulous deals with free shipping can be found here.

April 9, 2006

Fleece Fair Report

I had a v. excellent time with Wendie at the Fleece Fair yesterday. There’s really nothing better than spending hours meandering through booths of knitting and spinning stuffus. I pretty much just took pictures of animals. (So did Wendie…she's your gal if you like the cute baby bunny and lamb shots).

sheep.jpg alpaca.jpg

We cruised all the booths a couple of times and then fortified ourselves with fair food before making final purchases. I managed to be fairly restrained, and only bought things that I can't normally find around here. Aside from some needles and a pound of white merino roving, I got some Romney lamb's wool in a lovely chocolaty color:


The owners of the booth had wound all of their rovings into beautifully spherical eight ounce balls. I'm such a sucker for presentation.

The least expensive thing I bought:


A copy of Wool Gathering #63, the Saddle-Shoulder Aran Cardigan. This fetching design has the much-coveted spousal approval necessary to become the next Thunk Sweater. Besides, I've wanted to knit an Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern for ages, and this fits the bill almost perfectly (almost, because the pattern is by Meg Swanson, not EZ). Close enough, I say. I'm going to finish a few other projects that are hanging around before starting this one though.

I'm off to go work on the Apricot Jacket, but I'll leave you with a shot of Cold Sheep:


November 21, 2005

Weekend Knitting

There wasn't as much weekend knitting as originally anticipated...but I bought yarn!

Funky colors, eh?

On Saturday, Thunk and I went to see the LOTR exhibit with our friends Jason and Wendie. It was v. cool, though the museum wouldn't let us take any pictures. You'll just have to use your imagination...lots of costumes and props and one very creepy wax body double of dead Boromir in a boat. Wendie is a knitter too (yay!) so we hit Mass Ave. Knits in Indy after the museum. I was v. restrained and bought only the Regia sock yarn (which was on sale) and a pair of long size 6 Brittanies.

Sunday I resisted casting on for the socks and finished the back of Mum's Laurent instead. I really hope it doesn't grow much when I block it. It is the perfect size right now.


I started on both Laurent fronts last night. I'm working both at the same time so it feels like things are moving pretty slowly, but it's just mental. I'm past the fancy edge bits now, and on to the miles and miles of stocking stitch. Provided I remember to read the pattern (not always as easy as it sounds) things should be fairly zippy from here on out.