Nittany Knits

Thursday, November 30, 2006

After an emotion roller coaster week, my knitting has once again become my calming influence. And the good news is that it is my Falling Leaves Shawl that is bringing the peace. How could I have put it down for a second???????? The yummy lofty yarn that feels oh so squishy in my hands. The pattern that mocks me when I don't pay it enough attention to it ( kind of like having a third child). The desire to be wrapped up in it on a beautiful night like tonight. Oh I am a fickle knitter!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enough of this blogging, I must return to my shawl before I forsake it again...

PS- If anyone out there knows who makes the FABU knitting bag that Sookie was sporting at the Stars Hollow Knit-A-Thon, please, please, please let me know! I sin every time I think of this bag. If I own the bag- I will stop coveting the bag, and will therefore stop sinning. Warped knitting logic. Work with me!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Have you heard about the Sock Wars being over? In honor of the occasion, I am posting a picture of what my socks used to look like. I have loved them so much that they have felted on the bottom, and the heal is now more at the arch of my foot. Javajem had reported hers did the same thing, so perhaps it's not just me.

Also pictured are some of the creative ways that people announced their "death by socks". Brutal, yet amusing.

Happy Knitting...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yes, the Steelers got shut out against the Ravens today, but Duckie (like me) is a true fan who shows Steeler pride even when we aren't winning. Pittsburgh black and gold still waves proudly in this Maryland household!

Lucy is finally finished. Large Marge thinks it would make a great bag for a newspaper carrier. Perhaps I'll try the smaller version after my Christmas knitting is completed.

I'm currently trying to knock out a hat in Oakland Raider colors as payment for a bet made on a previous Steeler loss. Perhaps knitting it today during the game was bad mojo for the Steelers. Because of today's game I've got to bake muffins as payment for another bet. You would think I would have learned my lesson by now!

Happy Knitting...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Dear Santa,

You may remember me from the nice list a long time ago. I seem to have been demoted to the naughty list the past couple of years, since I have not been receiving the one thing I keep asking for- yarn and knitting related items. In an attempt to regain a spot on your nice list, I am willing to make a few lifestyle changes.

First, I am willing to admit that perhaps my behavior at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival was a tad bit competitive. Perhaps I didn't need to crawl on the dirt ground (the crowd was in my way) in order to grab a ball of alpaca that is still sitting in my cedar chest unused. It is possible that I could wait patiently and remain standing at this year's festival. It could happen.

Second, when my children bring me yarn back from their trip to Ireland with their father, I will not immediately check the fiber content on the label. I will thank them first, before shouting the word, "ACRYLIC!"

Last, but not least, will not cut in line with Large Marge at this year's Super Bowl Sale at the local yarn store (the fact that the Steelers have no chance of playing in this year's game is by no means a factor in this decision).

Also, if a bribe would help, I would be willing to increase the amount of cookies left out for you this year. Or, how about some chocolate covered pretzels for a change? Just say the word!

Please give my best to Mrs. Clause. (Is she a knitter, by any chance?),
Nittany Knits

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful that all of my cooking yesterday gives me time to sit and knit and watch rainy parades and football today. I will say that tasting everything I was cooking yesterday has made my jeans tighter to put on today. I used to think that knitting was a bad hobby for my figure since I was sitting more often. Knitting is so much better than cooking! When I finish a row of knitting I don't have to taste it to make sure it's right. Even when I am using food to count my rows while knitting, I at least have healthy snacks like raisins or peanuts. Yesterday was straight sugar. We made a gingerbread house, a layered pumpkin dessert, oatmeal butterscotch cookies, and ended the day with chocolate covered pretzels. My downfall was the cream cheese filling layer of the pumpkin dessert. Yummmmmm.

My Lucy bag keeps growing and growing. Many who see it ask if I am knitting a sweater. One of these days I will finish the 64 inch strap I am knitting , so that I can start the other strap (which is only 24 inches). Just for the record, the 64 inch strap is only 5 inches shorter than me. Why do I manage to miss this part of the directions before I start my projects? The pattern clearly states that the bag is 24 inches before felting. Silly me didn't realize this measurement was not including the massive straps to said bag. The pattern is very deceptive to the actual 64 inches that you are knitting. It tells you to knit 24 inches, and then the next direction is to repeat for another 40 inches. They never come out and say, "Knit 64 inches. " I bet the gals who wrote this pattern could trick Veruca Salt into missionary work. They are clever!

Have a safe and blessed holiday! Happy Knitting....

Monday, November 20, 2006

Last night, Large Marge and I went to a Pat Green concert with her hubby. Her hubby (affectionately referred to as Big Head), not being a knitter, did not find amusement in the question, "Can we take our knitting with us?" The Rams Head Live in Baltimore is a great venue for knitting. I think. It looks like it would be great. The second level has gymnasium style bleachers that would allow you to watch the concert while knitting in relative comfort. I spent most of the concert looking longingly in the direction of those bleachers, and wishing I had ignored Big Head and brought the Lucy bag along. Mental note to self, next time my boss gives me free concert tickets- only invite fellow knitters who will not be embarrassed by my multi-tasking!

Happy Knitting...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

This is how far I got on my Falling Leaves Shawl last week. I have not knit a single stitch of it for an entire week! For some reason, I have knit everything BUT this. Why does this happen? We start these projects and love everything about them. We love the yarn. We love the pattern. So what happens? Is it fear of commitment? Are knitters incapable of monogamous project relationships? Inquiring minds want to know!

Had a great time shopping at the Art Asylum event today at the Queens Ink in Historic Savage Mill. I went over my budget, as I knew I would. Miss Sheila's booth was so great. Everytime I went by, she seemed to be the busiest of all the vendors. I got a present for my mother at one of the other vendors, but the most damage was done buying for myself at Miss Sheila's.

Friday, November 17, 2006

How do you rip out a project that you know just wasn't working out, but you still invested alot of time in? You give it to a friend who will happily put it on her swift(while she mocks the project), and gleefully unwinds it with her ball winder. Yep. Lesson #1: Others have no emotional ties to the time you have invested into your knitting. Give to them what you yourself cannot bring yourself to rip out!

Today was the Thanksgiving party at the Lakeside Cafe. As if we needed yet another reason to love the home of our weekly Sit 'N Knit and yearly Knit-A-Thon! Mr. Mike knows how to bring out the party. TONS of food and great jazz music were on hand this afternoon. I can't believe that any other sit 'n knit has a better location than us! Thank you to Mr. Mike and his family for once again amazing us with their generosity. (I even got a doggie bag of yummy Korean food. Yeah me!)

Happy Knitting...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This is my blurry picture of my Twined Mittens from my Stitches East class. Do not reach for your glasses, the picture is that bad. It gives you the general gist, though.

Had a great time again at the Central Maryland Knitting Guild last night. In a fit of giggles Miss Sheila, Large Marge and myself decided that since we will not be able to afford one of the fabu knitting cruises that are offered to exciting destinations, we are going to offer our own knitting cruise. A weekend getaway to Rehoboth, Delaware will be capped off with a knitting cruise on the ferry to Cape May, New Jersey!!!! We figure we will bring our flasks full of our favorite beverage and pretend we are headed someplace wonderful. If we get too rowdy, they can drop us in a lifeboat and we will still have our knitting and our beverages. Woo-Hoo!

Happy Knitting...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I seem to be surrounded by the name Lucy. I started knitting the Lucy felted bag, and am also going to be casting on some Socks That Rock in the Lucy colorway!

Maybe now is the time to get the cat I've been craving. I can get an orange one, and call it Lucy! "Lucy, I'm Home," has a nice ring to it! Although, if I get a cat- I would be the single lady who knits and is approaching her fourties, and who also has a cat. Wow! How's that for cliche?

Happy Knitting...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

I love how the heels came out! These were a birthday present for a gal turning 6 who is a knitter herself. They were made out of Tess's baby/sock yarn I purchased at the past Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. I loved working with this yarn, and can't wait to grab up more at the 2007 Sheep and Wool Festival. (Like I need more sock yarn!)

Monday, November 13, 2006

This last weekend was perfect for getting lots and lots of knitting done! I have been so productive that now my oldest UFO is from September. Of this year. I know! Who ever would believe this from ME! I always have something hiding in a corner (or perhaps kicked, but you would have to prove it) that is at least almost a year old. I even finished a Christmas present! I know! In November! This is just freaky.

By the way, I can take full responsibility for the Steeler victory this weekend. My oldest UFO before this weekend was a scarf for my mother (showing my point from above, it was for her birthday last February!) made out of the Pittsburgh Steeler colors. This scarf was started during the playoffs last year. I finally finished and assembled the scarf this past Saturday night, and magically- the Steelers start winning. Coincidence? I don't think so!

Happy knitting...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

There is a squirrel in my neighborhood who is stalking me, and I think he can smell all of the natural fibers I have in my house.

It started this summer when the windows were always open ( I'm not a fan of the AC) and the darn thing would be hanging from a tree and sniffing in our direction. This act would have gone unnoticed if it weren't for the crazed look our friend had on his face. I've seen that look before. I've had that look before. The look that shows how much you are coveting the yarn you have just spotted . Only this little rascal had smelled it!!!!!!

Well, just as we knitters can get a bit over the edge when yarn is being withheld from us, our newly crazed friend went quickly over the deep end, stalking the place day and night. He even went so far as to sit in the lawn chair I had been knitting in just the night before.

As the weather turned colder and the windows started to be closed on a regular basis, I thought he might be able to control himself. Not so much. We have caught him peeking in through the blinds at us, as well as taking out his frustration on my garden bed.

Indian Summer has arrived to Maryland this weekend, and I am going to attempt to sit outside and knit this afternoon. Here's hoping I do not get attack by the psycho yarn obsessed squirrel while I'm at it!

Happy Knitting...

Friday, November 10, 2006

This is one of the stash buster UFO's I completed this week. I am not a fan of Noro yarn, and had purchased it only because it was on sale last year on Superbowl Sunday. My Steelers were playing later in the day, and obviously I wasn't concentrating on yarn, since this came home with me. My biggest greivance with Noro is the fact that they have no problem selling you a ball of yarn with six different knots in it joining unmatching yarn together. When I saw this pattern in Debbie Stoller's second book, I thought it would be a great way to get rid of the yarn. If you look close, you might be able to see the cables.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tonight was Sit'n Knit at the Lakeside Cafe. We celebrated Large Marge's birthday and got to see lots of finished projects. More donations for the Knit-A-Thon came in. Yeah! Thanks to everyone who is still knitting for the charities!!!!!!!!!!!

Miss Sheila has been invited to be a part of the 5th annual Art Asylum in Historic Savage Mill next Saturday November 18th from 10-9. This event is being presented by The Queen's Ink and is a great way to get a jump on your holiday shopping and acquire unique and one of a kind artworks and artwear. Miss Sheila will be selling her hats, as well as her line of stitch markers. Hope everyone can come out and show their support!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I finished enough UFO's over the last couple of days that I can almost justify to myself why on earth I have started a project for myself. If you saw the list of items that need to be finished for Christmas, you would be laughing at me right now. A project for myself this close to the Holidays????? I had to! All of my projects for the last couple of months have been for someone else, especially with the Knit-A-Thon. This goes against my natural tendency to be a very selfish knitter. I love knitting things for me! I am not a shopper. I do not go to the mall. I own clothes that are older than my twins- and they will be 11 in January. Knitting myself a garment is my trip to the boutique. With this in mind, I now sit with my work in progress 'Falling Leaves Shawl' in my lap. To make myself work as fast as humanly possible on this new project, so that I can get back to my regularly scheduled holiday knitting, I have worked out a plan.

I am a knitter who counts her rows not by a row counter, or writing the rows down, but by eating something. If the pattern tells me to knit 10 rows, I will take ten peanuts or raisins or skittles or other small food item and eat one after the end of every row. When I am finished with my pile of food, the 10 rows are finished and I can proceed with my pattern. For my work in progress I have chosen to use peanuts. Not just any peanuts mind you. These peanuts have an expiration date of Nov. 11, 2006. This is my inspiration to knit faster! If I can finish my project this week, I do not have to eat expired peanuts.

Here's hoping I make it...

Monday, November 06, 2006

I know many knitters are going through a yarn-hangover right now. After four straight days of Stitches East at the Baltimore Convention Center, I have taken the day to do nothing but recover. Luckily, someone in my children's school district ( a knitter no doubt) had the foresight to schedule a teacher in service day today, so I had to take the day off of work. Darn.

I did get some time yesterday to stop by the Caps to the Capital area at Stitches. I made a cute hat that will be sent to the President in January to demonstrate that Americans want to do more to save the lives of newborns around the world. Four million newborns die each year within the first month of life- half within only the first 24 hours after being born. All the caps that have been donated will then be delivered to newborns and families in countries that Save the Children works. Be sure to check them out ( and mail them your own handknit or crocheted hat before January 2, 2007.

In other cool news, the latest Interweave Knits is out and has, among other great articles, a great story about a gal who has a website called that encourages other knitters and crocheters to join her crusade against sweatshop labor. Corporate logos are her focus and she offers a free software program that lets you turn any image saved as a GIF, JPEG, or PNG file into a knitting pattern. This allows you to knit any logo you want from Barbie to Nike on your favorite hand knits!!!! Check it out.

I'm off to speed knit some more of my unfinished projects. The more projects I wipe out, the quicker I get to start my new list of must knit immediately projects. Happy Knitting...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Yesterday was spent learning the wonderful technique of Tvaandsstickning (Twined Knitting) from Beth Brown-Reinsel. This Swedish technique has been dated back at least 3 centuries, and found a resurgence in the 1970's after a glove was found underneath a slag heap in the town of Falun, during an archeological dig. The Swedish, being the dedicated knitters they are, have placed the glove in a museum where it is not just an ordinary exhibit. According to Ms.Brown-Reinsel (who has visited the museum) it is in a glass case under low lighting and no pictures are allowed, so as to preserve the glove for future generations. Now that is a country dedicated to knitting!

The technique uses two ends of a ball of yarn, which are twisted around each other after every stitch, producing a very firm and warm fabric. The outside of the work appears to be worked conventionally, while the inside reveals the twisting.

I made a wonderful little mitten using the technique, and am so excited to start a larger pair of mittens for myself. The technique is a slow one, and lots of yarn management is required. I even had to learn to knit with my right hand for this technique, so I am now officially an ambidextrous knitter!!!!

What a wonderful way to spend a Friday in the fall! Happy Knitting...