My Etsy Shop!


Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Guess what I saw today? I was driving my husband, whom I love tremendously and who will be out of town for almost a week (I am miserable about this-let's not speak of it), to the airport and just chattering away like a magpie when what to my wandering eyes did appear right there in the median? Something that made me giddy with excitement-the first Daffodils of the year! I LOVE flowers, but Spring flowers are my absolute favorite because it means there is an END IN SIGHT of yucky Winter!! Spring is without a doubt my favorite season and I was literally whooping in the car about my daffodil sighting (ok, I am a sad shell of a person who gets joy from silly little things and needs maybe a wee bit of a life-that's neither here nor there) and the fact that Winter is on it's way OUT! I suppose that means I'd better get those mittens finished pronto or they'll be sent to the abyss next to the couch that is The Basket of Not-Yet- (and May Never Be)-Finished Objects. They do not deserve such a fate as that is usually reserved for things that started off ok but just sort of went all blah for me. And I still have great affection for my Peekaboo mittens and their wonderful purpleynesss and so they must be finished ASAP-they probably would've been finished today or tomorrow had my hubby not gone out of town and left me alone with 3 little Things-but I said we would not speak of it, alright? Anywhoo, back to the daffodils-they just made me want to cast aside all my woolly projects and grab up my ball of Cherry Tree Hill silk beautimous yarn for which I have no project in mind. I got this beauty of a ball of yarn in a freak "accident"-or as I like to call it "God's smiling face shining down upon me, endorsing my knitting by giving me this yarn for pretty much free" when I got a whole bag of supposed "leftovers" and " practice yarn" from some lady at a yard sale whose 10 year old son had wanted to learn to crochet. She had gotten all these yarns for him to use for practice (hello? that is the reason for the existence of Red Heart, no? why ELSE would it exist-other than for senior citizens and plastic mesh?? but I digress...) then he lost interest (even when using such beauticious fiber-he was not ready for the fiber arts, my friends) and she sold me the WHOLE BAG for $12. Yeah, you read it -TWELVE DOLLARS. AND IT HAD CHERRY TREE HILL CASCADE SILK, 666 (not a bad omen, just a coincidence, btw) YARDS OF IT, IN IT!!!! List price somewhere around-sitting down?-$55/skein. Not to mention several balls of 100 % Peruvian wool, a skein of Lamb's Pride, 4 balls of angora, some sock yarn, and about 10 or 12 other assorted balls of beautiful wool yarn-"I'm not sure what all is in here, but it's all natural fibers", the nice lady told me. Twelve dollars. The "God's Face Smiling Down Upon Me" description doesn't sound so off base, now does it? (Mostly after I got it, I just kept taking it all out on the table and looking at it-a lot.) So anyway, I need to find something to make with this beautiful silk yarn-it is in the Green Mountain Madness colorway (lovely turquoise, steel blue, and periwinkle colors) and is fingering weight. I've looked at some lace shawl patterns but nothing jumped out as most of the patterns would get muddled by the varigation of the yarn, I'm afraid. So, I've got until around April to find a good use for this yarn seeing as I have about 5 other things to finish before then-I'm open to suggestions/ideas/patterns-brainstorm with me!! And stop and smell the flowers if you can find some!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Peekaboo, I See You!

While this was going on last nite:

I did this:

It is my Peekaboo Mittens from the winter issue of Magknits. The mittens have basically a giant buttonhole on the palm for your fingers to peekaboo! right out of as necessary. I really love this pattern-it's fun, fast and completely brilliant! Convertible mittens without all the bulk, hassle and ugliness of a separate flap. I would never have thought of it but it makes perfect sense. And the purple I chose makes me very happy-it is a very rich purple, like royalty-you know, because I'm on track to become royalty. Oooh! Plus I bet I could do that queen wave pretty well with these things-just pop! out goes my queeny little fingers to my adoring fans and pop! in it goes to be snuggled in woolly loveliness out of the cold as I ride along in my royal carriage pulled by beautiful Arabian horses...OK, so it's more likely to be pop! out go my dry, cracking , desperately in need of heavy duty lotion fingers to get out a baby wipe, diaper, barf bag (Thing 2 gets carsick VERY easily), tissue, answer the cell phone on my 57th trip to go pick something/someone up for something/someone else, zip a jacket, put in the Things' favorite CDs while on the 57th errand trip and then finally realize when thinking "My hands are SO cold! I hate driving all over the place in the Winter!" that I can just pop! them back in again, usually when I pull in the driveway at the end of the marathon errand run and don't need mittens on anymore anyway. That is beside the point-I still love these mittens and may make another pair after these with some fancy sort of fiber in the super-soft baby alpaca or cashmere family or maybe some of the new Sublime that is overflowing in Blacksburg. Oh, the possibilities!!

Well, I'm off to finish mitten number 1 and loaf out on the couch looking at this for awhile:

Friday, February 23, 2007

You Put Your Right Foot In

I present to you the first original Hokie Bird Sock!! Finished and even the right size-woohoo! Of course AFTER it was finished, my husband said, "Wait-I thought you were going to do the toe maroon, too!" oops. So maybe the second of the pair will have a maroon toe, just to make it even more "original". I hate when I do stuff like that. Usually I just end up fretting about it enough that I will take it apart and re-do it-but not this time. Me and these socks need a break from one another. I do love kitchenering toes though-isn't that weird?? I don't really love sock knitting (don't hate it either-just sort of "eh" about it), but I find myself looking for ways to use the kitchener stitch in other ways- shoulder joins? blanket squares? any possible seam I can find anywhere? It's not because it is easy-it requires me to talk out loud to myself an awful lot (you know, more than normal) to remember which step I am on (which gathers odd looks from family and passersby in general-although probably not from fellow knitters) and if I happen to mess up, I'm usually better off taking it back to the beginning-it is just that I like how it joins two sides together as if by magic!!! COMPLETELY INVISIBLE!!! And I do NOT understand it, even though I stare at and analyze the way the yarn is woven-still don't get it, but I really love it. Weird, I know. The black line embroidered on the Hokie Bird's beak and wattle nearly put me over the edge, however. I'm not so much with details-in life in general, and also in knitting. I thought it just looked weird at first but once it was all complete, I decided that it DOES in fact look like the tough, scary, angry, butt-kicking bird it's supposed to look like. I was quite please with the final product, so much so that I did the Hokie Pokie and turned myself about.
Which, as we know, IS what it's all about.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


A friend and I went to Roanoke today to look at cabinets and granite for her to remodel her kitchen and for me to pick up my husband's birthday gift (his birthday is Thursday! woo hoo!). We also made a side trip to Black Dog Salvage, one of my favorite places to poke around and daydream. We are not from Roanoke but have been to the major places there and are 2 pretty intelligent women so after leaving Black Dog, we decided not to just backtrack the way we came. We turned out the opposite direction from which we had entered the parking lot because we "felt" like it was the correct way to go to get to where we wanted to eat lunch. A few miles into it, we had NO idea where we were but we still "felt" like we were headed in the correct direction. We went through a beautiful neighborhood, a nice neighborhood, an OK neighborhood, a decidedly not OK neighborhood and then we were on some random road with no neighborhoods at all. Did we stop? no. Did we ask anyone for directions? no. We maintained our stance that we "felt" it was the right way and kept going. Somehow (due to fantastic intuition I'm sure), we popped out on the right road (and then passed the road we had just been on-huh??-explain THAT one!!) We both agreed, through fits of uncontrollable laughing when we were utterly devoid of any clue as to where we were, that we would NOT call our husbands and ask directions because we already have a bit of a "reputation" for getting into trouble when we're together and also for not quite "getting" maps-which, by the way, we did not have. Sometimes I think I knit like I read maps. I see the big picture. I know where I'd like to be. But all that stuff on the map sometimes confuses me and I say things like "go over a little on the squiggly grey liney thing and then go down at the red line by the black star." It is as this point that my methodical, engineer husband looks at me as though I have just spoken in Cantonese and ask some stupid question like "What are the NAMES of the ROADS? What are the NUMBERS of the EXITS??" Jeez, some people are so picky. How should I know that stuff? I don't MAKE maps, I just read them, sort of. Soon after some of my (perfectly acceptable) excuses for why we missed our exit because it did not resemble the aforementioned grey squiggle, the map is ripped from my hands and I am no longer in charge of playing GPS for our road trips. But anyway, back to knitting-I know in my head what I want to knit. I know what I want it to look like. I will sometimes even-gasp!-find a pattern and use the ACTUAL yarn/directions/stitches specified. But other times, I sort of read the pattern before starting to knit. Or I am "pretty sure" the yarn will get gauge and so I do not bother with swatches. Or I decide it would look better with a (fill in the blank) here or there. And most of the time, it all comes out OK eventually, even though during the process I am thinking "what the heck am I even DOING to this poor (insert fibery object here)??" Which leads me to believe that sometimes knitting is understanding directions and sometimes it is intuition and creativity. But most of the time, it is both and it is an amazing, fun way to express my artistic inner spirit.

According to my husband, however, reading maps is not. Whatever.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Stick a Fork In It

I finished this on Friday but have had a crummy last couple of days and didn't get around to writing about it till now. Here is my completed Diamond Shawl....ta-da!

I really do like it-it's really soft and snuggly, mostly what I was going for with this. It is a good Fall/Winter shawl. I'm not proud, but I did use this yarn which is a nightmare to knit, but I like the way it looks when it is knit up a lot of times. I looked for a good wool substitute but wanted the cushiness and the fall colors of this one even though I really don't like to knit with it. It is not that I have total snobbery against synthetics if they look and feel good, but I really hate this particular one because it is snaggy and tricky and makes me say tinsy cussish words while I'm knitting it. But as I mentioned, if it looks good, I'll go with it-maybe that's why I dated some losers back in the day.....

Anyhoo, I have not gotten much knitting time in in the last few days but I am nearing completion on the first, one-of-a-kind Hokie Bird sock designed specifically for my husband, per his request. Actually, he asked me to make him a sweater. So I got all the yarn and started it for the Knitting Olympics. Then, right in the middle of the Olympics, I got the flu and needless to say wasn't able to finish it. Then the pattern bored me and it has been stuck in a bag ever since. I have made a LOT of things since then, including 2 sweaters, neither of which were for him and I was starting to get little "reminders" like, "oh, another sweater-for someone else" and "oh, you're making something for someone-who I'm sure is not me" and "it's OK, I have given up and know you will not ever make me anything" from my husband. So, this winter, I told him I'd make his sweater. I got out the pattern, and the yarn, and I looked at it....and that's why he's getting socks, got it? They were going to be simple socks, but then he said "hey, could you make the toe and heel contrasting colors?" So, since I was still getting out of knitting a huge sweater, I said "sure!" and then he said, "it would be really cool if you could knit the Hokie Bird on them but I guess you can't, huh." That man knows how to work me!!! From the moment "you can't" was uttered, the design of the socks WITH a Hokie Bird began-I'm pretty snippy when told I "can't" anything. So, needless to say, the socks are underway with number one hopefully being done in the next couple days and my husband is happy. All is well in the world.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Pug Fever

Here's what my kids did the other day :

Yup, they taped ears and a curly tail to their oblivious baby sister to make her into their pet pug. Nice. (Incidentally, cheapo tape sticks surprisingly well to baby hair - you know, in case you ever need to stick something to a baby.) To give them an outlet for our, um, their pug obsession, we went to visit Purl this afternoon at Mosaic so I could also look for a shawl pin because I finished the Diamond Shawl listed in the side bar-woohoo! It felt so nice to finish something and wear it-the last 50 million things I've knit have been gifts (and/or are unfinished) and while gifts are lots of fun, making something to keep out of yarn I really like (as opposed to what would be good for someone else) is just really nice sometimes. I will post pictures tomorrow-too tired to fiddle with the camera tonite. I also bought some yarn (in Clematis) to make these. I'm excited because I LOVE to knit mittens-kind of like other people love to knit socks-and they are a little different than most convertible ones out there-plus it's so freakin' cold I need more mittens to wear with my mittens!!!!

SO, I'm jumping on the "Things About Me" Bandwagon so here goes:

1. I don't really love chocolate that much and if given a choice will always choose vanilla (sacrilege, I know)

2. I do not like wet bits of water on things (and if there is also any sort of fuzz involved in the wetness, shudder)

3. My hair is naturally curly and I spent most of my growing up years trying to straighten it

4. I don't drink alcohol because I honestly really do not like it (bonus: I remember college)
4a. I have never been drunk

5. I dated a guy for 6 1/2 years but we never got engaged-my husband and I only dated 3 months before getting engaged (when you know, you know-do not waste your time with losers)

6. I really like clear things and used to only buy clear products (soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc)

7. I really don't like the words "moist", "panty", or "pus" (and do NOT put them all in one sentence to try and gross me out-it's been done before)

8. I love soda with an embarrassing passion-it used to be just Coke, but it has grown into anything fizzy, diet or regular (nowadays mostly diet, though)

9. I really love french fries and cheeseburgers and would choose them over chocolate any day of the week (I know, I know....)

10. I have a tattoo of a ladybug on my back.

11. I hate winter and cold and my favorite season is Spring

12. I have a Golden Retriever and a Russian Blue cat and used to have 2 pugs-but I WILL have another some day!!!!

13. I am terrified of heights.

14. I used to Rock Climb and was oddly not afraid of heights while climbing and rappelling

15. I usually stay up till at least midnight every night and have a really hard time going to bed

So, there you have some peepholes into the life of Jody the Knitter! Exciting, aren't I??

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

M-y-y-y-y...Funny Valentine...

Does that song make anyone besides me think of Janice from "Friends"?? Well, today my funny valentine was Thing 1, my beautiful oldest who presented me with a written list (it's bit messy-she's currently having handwriting "issues"in school, called "laziness") of her 3 wishes today. Her first wish is to fly-not a bad wish I think-would be fun, could go lots of places, no airline/terrorist worries, a relaxing way to spend time-an all around pretty good wish. Her next wish was to be a FPMB. "A what?", I asked. "An FPMB-fairyprincessmermaidbarbie.", she informed me-ahhhhh, it's all clear now. We excell in all things fairyprincessmermaidbarbie around our house with 3 girls. Her third wish was the one that brought tears to my eyes- "to be able to sing like Mommy." Now, I love to sing and I love music and I can sing ok, but to have my daughter include my voice in her list of unattainable things was really unbelievable. Of course I got teary and thanked God for such a treasure. That was early on in the day.

(Incidentally, whoever invented Valentine's day did NOT have children in
mind-my girls were so jacked up on sugar all day it is lucky they made it to the end of the day alive.) Nonetheless, I still had warm fuzzies about her lovely list by the time bedtime rolled around and it was time for good nite hugs and kisses. She gave me a huge hug and said "Mom, I love you SO much" and I hugged her back and asked her if she'd like to do a "date" soon-we go out on dates every so often when we are lacking in one on one time-and she asked about Sunday. I told her that would be great and I had an idea-she's been wanting to learn to knit (FINALLY!) because I gave her her own set of needles for Christmas (and Thing 2 learned, thus upping the stakes for her to learn-she will not be outdone by her LITTLE sister) so I suggested teaching her in the next few days and maybe taking her to Mosaic Sunday afternoon. She got a huge smile on her face and said "Yeah! I think it would be so fun to knit with Mimi and Gina and little baby Purl-I could purl with Purl!" Those of you with small kids be warned-THEY WATCH AND REPEAT EVERYTHING YOU SAY AND DO!! and obviously, Thing 1 misses nothing. I just cracked up and gave her a huge hug. What a fun outing it would be: mommy/daughter time, knitting, surrounded by beautiful yarn? Does it get better? She squeezed me nice and tight and said she wished she could sleep snuggled with me tonite to which I replied, "I know, that would be nice" and SHE SAID, "yeah, 'cuz it's just that you're so cuddly with your stomach all squishy."

She's grounded till college.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fat Butts

Flabby Abs and Saggy boobs. Such is the state of things around the house these days and there just doesn't seem to be a thing I can do about it. As noted in my profile, I've got 3 wonderful kids-and all of them are against me. Thing 1, my 7 year old, is an amazingly intelligent child who has an immense creative capacity that, while beautiful and awe-inspiring, in reality boils down to her needing a full-time personal assistant just to make sure she can actually mentally reside here on planet Earth long enough to remember to pick up the cyclone of clothing she's left behind, finish the homework 1/2 done because something else caught her eye, clean up the bakery's worth of crumbs she leaves behind that put Hansel and Gretel to shame, and provide her with band-aids and ice packs for the inevitable results of her "experiments" with the laws of gravity. The next enemy to my Jennifer Anistonesque physique is Thing 2, my almost 5 year old. She is tiny, quiet, painfully shy around strangers and for the most part very very sweet and thoughtful. It is the rest of the part that is about to do me in-she has a temper that rivals a rabid muskrat and goes from nice to volcanic in a nano second. This usually results in things being thrown, broken, smacked, screamed, and even, on occasion, thrown-up on. (I will not say who is doing those things, just know that they happen and we will not discuss it further) Her little "moments" require vast amounts parental fortitude and cleverness to diffuse. I am not always so much with that, given the negative balance of my sleep account. Which brings me to Thing 3. Thing 3 is the newest Thing on the block. She is not quite 4 months old and very cute and sweet, a wonderful baby, really-as long as you hold her about 15 hours of each day. Not to say that she is fussy because she truly is not-as long as you are holding her. Did I mention that?
Things 1, 2, and 3 are really the most amazing blessings I could ask for, but they do a great job of eating up any time I may have for exercise or thoughtful, nutritious eating-let alone knitting!! And given the choice, if I do have any extra time, I'd rather spend it knitting than exercising-duh, wouldn't you? A Lady of Leisure, plump on her cushy sofa, knitting away like the olden days. In fact, "there are moments in history, such as we see in the works of Rubens, or Renoir, when a bloated figure was seen as desirable. Yet unlike today such mass was not seen as a sign of ill health. To the contrary, in these times before the discovery of saturated fats, trans-fatty acids and heart disease, such plumpness was seen as a sign of wealth and good health."

Hmmmm...desirable, eh? I've even read that it was a symbol of nobility if you were plump and fair and had servants to do your work for you. Well then, throw in some dry skin and stubbly legs and I could be the next Queen of England! Pass me some yarn....and a roomy pair of sweat pants.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Ya' Old Bag

I am on an ongoing quest to find the perfect knitting bag. I have about a thousand bags that I keep rotating through when I get annoyed with whatever bag I am currently using. I have obtained these bags from many sources-my closet, my mom's closet, my sister-in-law's closet, the thrift store (i.e. someone else's closet) and they all have their problems. There is The One That is Too Big, also known as the light sucking vortex that hides all my necessary items from me just when I need them, usually when I'm knitting during church and a loud "where the crap is my needle?!" is probably frowned upon. Next we have The One in Which My Pointy Needles Like to Poke Holes-it is a pretty black leather bag with nice straight sides which would seem to be perfect for keeping everything tidy and organized, but alas it has these little tinsy invisible holes where the bottom corners meet up that must be magnetic for they draw my metal needles right through them, usually resulting in a needle-in-the-thigh episode followed by my pondering the date of my last tetanus shot...and maybe a tiny cuss word or two. Then there is The One That is Pretty-you know, it just is fun to look at? But useful in ANY way for knitting projects? Not so's the bimbo of the bags. I've got many others-The Bookish Backpack, The Basket, The Former Diaper Bag, even the nice Triangle Shaped Mosaic Bag sometimes-but so far, the Perfect Bag has not yet been discovered. I got to thinking about this and I would really like to find a The Great Bag to carry my knitting around. I have only a few requirements-pretty, sturdy, lots of pockets, no cheesy logos of crazy women w/ yarn, and not too expensive (even though I LOVE this in deep red and I really really really want it-did you read the above closet reference? I'm a bit on the, uh, "fiscally conservative" side, k?) Oh, and if it could hold about 5 diapers, changing pad, a container of wipes, extra outfit for the baby, blanket for boob-bearing emergencies when nursing, hand sanitizer, wallet, keys, cell phone, umbrella, lipstick, ibuprofen, hairclips, and a pack of gum, that'd be great, too--any suggestions?

Friday, February 9, 2007

Check this thing on?

Hi there! I'm composing my very first blog entry (and, Gina, I figured out how to do it all by myself!) I'm a knitting and yarn addict who has mentally been knitting and loving handknits for most of my life but only actually learned how to do it myself 3 1/2 years ago-and it was like a fish to water! I was meant to knit, baby! I love love LOVE it! I love the colors of the yarn, the textures, the way a single piece of string turns into a beautiful creation, the ability to create beauty with my own hands, the way it frustrates me to the point I want to light it on fire and then I finish whatever I'm working on and all is forgiven, the joy I feel when giving someone something I made just for them, the way it brings fiber-loving people from all corners of life together with a common passion, the community of knitters that has no geographical limits, the way it has taught my children to appreciate colors and patterns, the resourcefulness of folks who have turned dirty animal fur into something breathtaking, the way it relieves stress, the way it doesn't talk back when I mutter my frustrations about life out while I'm clicking away--I could go on and on...and on. So, my question for you visitors is-why do you love knitting?

I look forward to getting to know you!