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March 2006

Cables Handbag--Loom Knitted

Cableshandbag Last night, I was feeling creative and I designed a cables handbag--loom knitted. The bag was very simple...pattern to come soon after I finish working out all the instructions.  What do you think? Is it a keeper? I don't know if the handles go very well with it but they were the only ones I had at 1am in the morning.

I just wish I had a sewing maching to make a liner to line it, but I think I know someone whom may have one not in use. If not, I will have to go and invest on little cheapy one. Any suggestions on a good, stupid user friendly, and inexpensive sewing machine?

Today, I will go and pick up more yarn, a different set of handles, and a snap closure and knit it again. I have enlisted the help of hubby to help me make a couple of these awesome handles that Stacey made for her bag. Of course, hubby saw them and said ok, I could make them for you, how many do you want?  And wouldn't you like some that were made with spindles instead? Wow, isn't he just the bestest.


Check it out!

Check this out!!! Uncle Sam was very nice this year to give me some little extra mula, and after Dsc04940_2 seriously considering what to do with it: a)Spend it, b) spend it, c)spend it, I decided, well, to spend it! heheheh. I think I made a wise decision on the choices, what do you think? I got the 4 Treasury books by Barbara G. Walker--wow, it will take me a lifetime to read them all. I also got Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis...woooooww, I am in love with her designs, especially the Celtic Icon sweater.

Celticife

Isn't this sweater just gorgeous!! I love those cables, the way the flow, the color of the yarn....I love it!

A few loom knitters have asked me how I have time to do all the looming and loomy things that I do--well, it is time I showed you my secret weapons. It is not me. I am not superwoman, I wish I were. Are you ready to see the truth? I think we all need a few little guys like mine. Enjoy!!

In the mornings, he gets dressed all by himself. Then, he makes his bed. If I am busy, he goes and even makes his own breakfast which consists of Tortillas and Cheese. Most of the time, I cook him breakfast, but sometimes, he likes to play big boy and he makes us Peanut Butter and Jelly for breakfast and/or lunch.

Dsc04938 Vacuuming time at my house--fun time for the kids. They both love the vacuum (now, Bryant used to be terrified of it) now, he tells me that it is his job to vacuum while I knit--heheheh, I have him well trained. I am seriously considering getting 2 little vacuums for them. They really enjoy the chore and it could

Dsc049141)Free my time to do some other chores

2) Teach them responsibility.

Dsc04932Sweeping the kitchen floor is one of the daily fights. Bryant wants to do it and of course, most of the time I want to get it done fast so I can move on with the day and get the mopping done. Most of the time, he gets to hold the little sweeper plastic thingy (which the name just flew my mind) . He is really sweeping in this picture.

Dsc04934 If you really want to get some knitting done, then you must get a dishwasher, and no, not the electric kind, but the kind that actually scrubs the dishes. See him in action--he loves doing the dishes--really :).

Dsc04935

The laundry is a family affair at this house. I told them all that if they wear clothes and want them clean, they all need to pitch in. Mom can fold them, but they have to help doing the laundry. B & N put the dirty clothes in the washer (I hold Nyah in my arms while I give her the clothes). To put them in the dryer, they both stand by the opening of the dryer while I hand them the wet clothes. It is a nice operating system we have with the laundry. When it is dry and the clothes have cooled off a bit. They both run to the dryer and take them out and put them on B's bed.

Dsc04937 Picking up stuff off the floors is their responsibility. They know that they have to pick up their toys, if not, in a garbage bag they go.

Well, my secret is out for you all to see. We are an efficient family in the house. I have my little helpers whom help me all day long keep my house decent. Of course, sometimes their help is not really help, but in time, they will learn and then I will be free (hahahah, I keep telling myself that).


Cables on a knitting loom

Cables_3 I remember the first time I saw knitted cables, my Grandma was calmly sitting on her rocking chair watching her favorite Mexican soaps on the telly, she was knitting a stunning v neck red sweater and it had the most gorgeous cables I had ever seen. I remember looking at her fingers knit away and manipulate the stitches from one way to another. I swear she was able to knit a complete adult sweater in 3 days! I was only 11 years old and since then cables have been one of my main attractions to knitted garments. Maybe it is my connection to my Grandma that makes me want to knit them, maybe it is the intricacy of the twists, whatever the reason, I have an attraction to them that will never end.

I have been trying to find a way to make the cables on the looms without having to move and stretch the loops too much. In this tutorial, you will find one of the methods I have found that make a nice 6 stitch cable on rake (round loom) that won’t stress the stitches too much.

Enjoy!

Materials:

  • Any loom with at least 12 pegs (I used a small gauge loom in sample)
  • Bits bulky weight yarn
  • Knitting tool
  • Cable Needle (or stitch holder)

Pattern Notes:

  • Work loom from right to left
  • 6 stitch cable demonstrated
  • Flat Panel knitting
  • K=Knit=Single Stitch
  • P=Purl
  • Pattern Stitch: multiple of 12; Cable consists of the middle 6 stitches; the 3 stitches at each side are background stitches.

Instructions:

12pegrakecables_3

Starting at peg 1: Cast on 12 stitches

Garter Stitch Border:

Row 1: Purl

Row 2: Knit

Row 3: Purl

Row 4: Knit

End Garter Stitch Border

Row 5-9: P3, K6, P3

Prep for cables:

E-wrap peg 4 once, e-wrap peg 5 twice, e-wrap peg 6 twice, e-wrap peg 7 twice, e-wrap peg 8 twice, e-wrap peg 9 once (pegs 5-8 have 3 e-wraps on them, pegs 4 & 9 have only 2). Purl the last 3 stitches. Knit over 1 over 1 on pegs 4 & 9, knit over 1 over 2 on pegs 5, 6, 7, and 8) You should have 1 loop on each peg, except pegs 5-8 will show 2 wraps.

Take off the loops from pegs 6, 5 and 4 (unwrapping the 2 e-wraps on pegs 5 & 6 and thus elongating the stitches**). Place them on the cable holder (in this order 6, 5 and 4) let it fall to the back of the work.*

Take the loop from peg 7 and elongate it and place it on peg 4.

Take the loop from peg 8 and elongate it and place it on peg 5.

Take the loop from peg 9 and place it on peg 6.

Now, you will take the loops off the cable holder and place them in this order.

Place the loop that was on peg 6 on peg 9

Place the loop that was on peg 5 on peg 8

Place the loop that was on peg 4 on peg 7

Row 10: P3, K6, P3.

Repeat rows 5-10, 4 more times. Repeat rows 1-4 Bind off: Remove with flat removal method. You can find the PDF for this tutorial at Loom Knit

Enjoy!

**I take the top loop off the peg and tug it a bit with the knitting tool and this unwraps the bottom loop.

*If you place them towards the back it crosses the cables to the right. If you place them to the front, it will cross the cables to the left.

For complete instructions, please download the PDF file.

(c)Isela Phelps. All rights reserved.


Lying by ommision--update on the BOOOOOOK

My dear friends, I am guilty of a terrible crime. I am ashamed of not telling you all the news about the box. I actually received some news about it last week, news that will affect my future. I still cannot believe the outcome...can you guess it?

Yep, the book deal is going through. I will be writing a book on Loom Knitting for Quarto publishing, a division of Quintet Publishing.

Yah, I almost fell of my chair when I read the email from my publisher and then my editor--hahah, I feel so weird saying those big words. You can guess what I will be doing for the next 2 months--writing and loom knitting non-stop! Thankfully, I have recruited the help of a dear Dlandra....hahahah, the two of us will be working non-stop, we will emerge for fresh air every Saturday, heheheh.

I finally broke down and called my Mom and my little brother. I didn't tell her before for fear of it not going through and just building high hopes (of course, she said that the fact that they contacted me in the first place is enough to make any mother talk about it). She was so happy and I could sense that she felt proud of me. She has always had high hopes for me (I guess every parent does) but, I am the only one of her children whom actually went to college (ok, disregard the fact that I don't know how to write, hahahah). Anyways, she was psyched! My little brother, well, his exact words (yah, I had to write them down, cuz it was just soo awesome) "woooooowww, Mom, I am the little brother of a big time book author!!!" For once, I felt that I may be a good influence in his life, that maybe, just maybe I can be the one he looks up to, and maybe he will follow my steps and go to college and gets his life going in the right track.

That same afternoon, I received a phone call from my Mom's English teacher congratulating me for the great achievement. I just couldn't believe it, Mom is really telling everyone about it, heheh. I'll probably get a note or a phone call from her doctor this week :).

I still remember sitting in my math class back in 1992 and not knowing what the teacher was saying. I understood the numbers, but goodness, I couldn't understand one single word. Needless to say, my first test was a 14! Yah, a 14 out of 100! I felt awful. I felt like the dumbest person in the whole planet. Decision reached by the teachers and counselor--She doesn't understand English. She must learn the language first then she can be in English classes, in the meantime she needs to take them all in Spanish. My heart was crushed! During the next year, I immersed myself in books, after school programs, and even sleeping with the tv on so that I could by some miracle absorb the English language by osmosis. I guess the studying worked, the tv I don't know, but, the studying did! My only hope is that I do all my teachers and my mother proud with this book, it is not a story book, but a book nonetheless :). 


Capelet in design

Last Thursday, I picked up a copy of Knitter's magazine at Yarn Today. Why, well, I fell in love with this beautiful capelet.

Pearlspurls It makes me want to go to Prom night again! It has little pearl accents and a ribbon. I couldn't leave the magazine behind. I brought it home with me. Only one bad thing--I don't have any yarn for it, nothing similar to it at all :(.

I know the design is there for needles, but the loom knitter in me wants something Capelet_2 similar made on the looms, so I grabbed yarn and loom and started it at midnight last night. There was a lot of frogging of different swatches to get my desired size of wedge, but I think I have finally found the exact number of wedges and the magic number of short Dsc04888 rows to get the desired effect. It doesn't look like much right now, but I think I may be in the right track. The color is not the best either, but I will go and pick up some fluffly yarn today and see if I can make a dreamy cape.



Hearts and Boats

Dsc04858 In knitting fair isle, I have come to realize that the most difficult part is coming up with the design, then combine the difficulty of the design with a set number of pegs on a loom and you are in for an afternoon with Mr. Math!

I had a simple heart design already drawn up from a few years back, but changing Dsc04857 the yarn and stitch, changed my entire design, so I had sit and re-design to account for the changes. The crown of the hat has some colourwork too. I am not sure if I should add anything to the tops, like pom poms or maybe a I-cord knot. Any suggestions?

The little boats were a bit more difficult to come up with--drawing was never my Dsc04856 strength and I feel so inept at it that even drawing a little boat took me a few hours. Again, having the little boat fit into the peg number of the knitting loom was the most difficult part.

In case you are wandering how the Inside looks, I have included a picture; things look a bit stranded but not too fugly.

Dsc04855 Are they ok, what do you think? Oh, they were made on a fine gauge knitting loom. Fugly? Would they end up in YKW, but maybe they are even too fugly to end up in there...oohhh dear. Do the boats look like boats? Hubby suggested me to make little planes, but I couldn't make a design with little planes :(. I really wanted a girly hat and a boyish hat--no, I am not expecting, I just wanted a design for each.


Oh you are sooo fine!

No, I am not talking about me, but yeah, I am kinda hot too! (nod in agreement) heheheh

Dsc04820 I was referring to the little sock loom from my previous post. While I have been knitting away at my sweater, I have also been designing on the side some knitting loom patterns. I have to admit that my beloved sweater has fallen to the side, with Spring around the corner, the color is not calling my name right now, so I am in no rush to finish it just yet. I have the body and one sleeve done, one sleeve to go and then the neckline. But, it will probably sit in the "to do" basket until next winter.

But, again, I am digressing, the oooh so fine sock knitters will be available to the public (I know you are all excited and can't wait) So far, there are only plans to make them in sizes for socks--but, I can already see the line growing to include hat looms! The unknown land of 7+ stitches per inch awaits us all loom knitters, so exciting!

In the past few weeks, I have been very much in the mood of knitting things in pink. Good thing that it is Project Spectrum's color for this month, so I have an excuse to show you all my pink stuff that I have been creating.

Dsc04839 My fancy pink camera cozy, with my own cable design and applied I-cord around the top of the baggy. It is really cute (to my eyes anyways). Of course, I cannot take a picture of it with my camera inside cuz well I only have one camera and if the camera is in there, then I can't take the picture...duh moment! If you think you recognize the yarn, you are in the right track. It was done with left overs from my Pink Steps socks.

Dsc04836_1 Next in line, we have a pink garter stitch hat done on a knitting loom--the crown has decreases to reduce in the bulk. Done on a super secret knitting loom that only 3 people have seen it. Right now, said knitting loom is in the testing stages, but it is niceeeeee!

Dsc04838 My other pink project, has a pretty bluish/greyish stripes. Ths project is done on a knitting board--simple project for beginners. Again, I am testing a super secret knitting loom--the same knitting loom that made the Pink Garter Stitch scarf

Lastly, another pink, this time combined with a beige for one of my favorite Dsc04835 Dsc04834 combinations of colors--Neopolitan! You can't really see much from the picture, but it is just some simple fair isle, nothing fancy, I will probably have more pictures from this project tomorrow. The entire design is still in the works as I would like to add some simple lace eyelets to it, or maybe add more colors than just the two.

I am in the Pink mode right now, I don't know what I am going to do next month with Orange and Yellow...maybe I make a felted carrot! But in the mean time, I will listen to some Pink Floyd to round off my pink life ;)


Extra Fine

Dsc04829 My new hot knitting loom! I have looms, looms galore, but I have always wanted something that I could use some of my sock yarn with. Okay, so I could have used it before with my Fine Gauge sock looms, but I had to use the double stitch, thus making it impossible for me to use the Purl Stitch and well, every knitter knows that you need to use both the purl and the knits to make a nice ribbed cuff.

What is a maiden to do when you have these needs, but nothing to fulfill it. The maiden simply calls her wonderful, magnificent, crafty knight of her life and whines, tells him her needs. Then, the knight in shining armor shows up at 6pm, kneels down by her feet, and hands her this jewel of a loom, with the tiniest little pins. The maiden swoons at this precious gift, takes it aways (without even saying thanks to the knight) and plops down on the couch to begin her knitting.

Dsc04830The clicking of the tool was all you could hear for hours. The only thing that stopped her progress on the little stocking was the clammoring kids' voices claiming they were hungry. Finally, after a few hours of knitting, the maiden got her prized sock!

Her precious sock knitter gives her an amazing, never achieved 7.5 stitches per inch and 10 rows to the inch. What? Are you sure? Sure, sure, check it for yourself. I am not kidding you, click on the picture and look closely.

The new sock knitter loom that will provide 7.5 stitches per inch using Magic Stripes yarn or similar and the single stitch! Pretty knifty!

Dsc04826 Wondergirl was asleep so she couldn't really pose with the little sock. I put it on her, but there were no smiles or chasing around like I usually have to do when I put some of my knitted items on her. So, I had to recruit Wonderboy, the sock is a bit small on him, but you can see the stitches really nicely.

Dsc04822 So, what do you think, c'mon let me know, let my little elf (aka hubby) hear your amazement at his new creation. I am so spoiled :)!


We have a winner!!! 1000th Comment

Not even a year later, my blog has received the 1000th comment!! I must be a blabber mouth  (in this case blabber fingers) and blog quite a bit.

Thank you all for the great comments and for bringing me a great blogging experience.

Bring out the balloons and the confetti, our 1000th comment...drum rolll pleaseeeee.....cheeesseee...

The lovely and gorgeous.... Teri!

She will take home, Wallace and Gromit, the Curse of the Were Rabbit!

Wallacegromit_4 

Thank you all for participating!

Next month is my blogiversary and my real anniversary: 1 year blogging, 5 years married! It is an exciting month...I have some news that I will leave for another couple of posts...stay tuned to the Purling Sprite Channel.


*Splash*

SaxonysockYep,  many of you were right my anal retentive self could not let that sock be made the wrong way. I had to rip it! It is not in my nature to do make something  wrong purposely.  Not only did I forget the 2 purls before and after the cable, but I forgot to add the stitches to the body of the sock altogether. I am really a doofus! I was so concentrated in following the chart that I forgot to follow the written directions.

So into the pool it went to visit Mr. Frog. But, now, it is a pretty, perfect sock (note: perfect in the sense that it at least fits me, even if it does have laddering problems in some parts).

Dsc04817The picture of my sock was taken down in Salt Lake at the SnB meeting! Yah! me at a SnB meeting :)! Kim was here visiting and her and Mim were going to go down, so Dlandra and I tagged along.  It was my first girl's day out too and I loved it (granted by 8pm I was missing my hubby and kids).  A must stop at Black Sheep yarn store was in order. The spoils of the evening: 2 skeins of Cashsoft DK, some awesome Crystal Palace dpns, and 1 skein of handpainted yarn (handpainted yarn was purchased at the SnB meeting)!

Dsc04800_1 But there were more fun stored for the evening--I got to meet so many wonderful knitters. Some of which I have read their blogs for many months now--knitter's present at the wonderful gathering: bloggers: Mim, Kim, TinaMargene, Eliza, Susan, Laurie, Katherine, Bonnie, Teri and non-bloggers Julie, Heather, Jessamin, and Karen.  A gathering of knitted socks was a must!  Of course cameras came out to record the moment in history!

(Photo Caption: Kim and Me!)

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The Gathering of Socks!

The gorgeousDsc04801 Mim when trying to take a picture of me and Kim at SnB.

We miss you Kim...come back to Utah after law school, I need my free lawyer near me!

It was an amazing girls date night out!


I am such a doofus!

Saxony Leave it to me to mess up the simplest chart! Ah!!! I finally took courage to try out to knit something that contained only a chart, and guess what! Yeah, I messed it all up. I am knitting these gorgeous, Saxony Socks by Lisa Lloyd, and they are not hard, really, they are not.  They are written out with perfect instructions, the perfect chart. It is the driver of the needles that has problems. I just don't know where I went wrong. Actually, I do know, I skipped a very important part: clearly written, it says to P2, before and after the chart, and big Dumbo Mama forgot to P2 before and after!

Saxony2 Now, the big question, should I frog it and start all over, or should I just make the other one to match this one. Executive decisions must be made within a day! Does it bother me enough that I need to frog it? Would anybody else notice the huge mistake besides myself. I know that those in my house won't notice, I think the only way they would notice that something is amiss is if I were a pink sock and a black sock.

Besides that silly mistake, my first knitting from a chart is going fairly well. I feel confident and I have to admit that it is easier to knit from a chart than from written directions. Yep, it took me almost one entire year to realize it and to admit it.

I can now say very proudly that I can read instructions from a chart. A whole new world has opened up. I have the golden key and it will open doors that hold the most wonderful treasures within! Wait, somebody pinch me, I was dreaming while typing--first, I have to learn to read the ENTIRE instructions! heheheh

Back later with the conclusion of to Frog or Not To Frog! I shall go and sleep on it, then I will wake to make the executive decision. 


Pretty in Pinks

Pink_2

PinkwithnyahTwo years ago if you had stopped me in the street and told me that my Pinksocks favorite color was pink, I would have laughed and turned my back on you. Then, wondergirl was born and pinks filled my life. I never realized the freshness, the sweetness that the color pink has in it. When I wear pink, I feel as if spring has finally arrived.

When looking at yarns, I now tend to pick pinks, reds, and purples, when once, I used to pick grays, blacks, and burgundys. In a sense, wondergirl brought with her more than just her light and freshness, she brought me the gift to see a new side of the color wheel.

Dsc04782_1When I saw Project Spectrum's first colors: pinks and reds. I had to join! It is my color now, I couldn't pass it up.

My first Pink Project Spectrum: A pair of socks! Yippee! I have added another pair of handknit socks to the drawer. Count: 4 pairs of handknit socks. My goal: to have at least 7 pairs by the end of the year.

I casted for the Pretty Pink Socks on Thursday and finished them this afternoon. They are a bit in the poolly side of the spectrum, but I love the color. It has pinks of all shades with purples.

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Next on the needles: something red! Stick around to see what the something red project will be.

PS: Don't forget the fun contest! 1000th comment almost there!


The Tools of the Trade

The tools that we use everyday to create our knitted items say quite a bit of ourselves. The way we store them, the way we care for them, the way we treat them, all of these things show how much we love our craft.

When others gift you with something so dear as a tool that you can use with your hobbies, it can only mean one thing: in some way, you have touched their lives.

Now, when someone takes time to make you something just for you, something unique, a one of a kind item, then that can only mean one thing...they must really care for you.

Thus, I have dedicated this post to this wonderful present I received. It is not just a tool, it is truly a designer's inspiration!

Dsc04774Angelique, a dear friend, whom I have never met in person, but we have exchanged countless emails. She gifted with a knitting tool that I can only call, the Artist's Knitting Tool.  It is one of a kind! I really do not know what I did to deserve such a wonderful gift, but, I love it so much and I wanted all of you to see it. With this knitting tool, I shall design many future loom knitted patterns as it inspires me to make beautiful items with my knitting looms.

Thank you Angelique! It is the bestest knitting tool ever! As my son says: you rock!

Dsc04770 Dsc04771


Catching up

Circlebag The baby is on the mend. She finally woke up today with a hearty appetite. She had 2, not 1, but 2 yogurts for breakfast. She is still acting a bit wonky, but she is looking much better and despite going to bed at 3am, she had a good night's sleep. She slept well and looong--she didn't wake til noon today! Now, it would have been perfect, except B woke up early so I had to get up and take care of him. Responsibilities...bahumbug! I remember the lazy days when I could sleep all day long, or whenever I felt tired.

Bryantandknittingknoddy I picked up the cutest little knitting knoddy last week at Yarn Today. I brought it home and it was instantly pried from my hands. He believes he is knitting, I don't have a heart to tell him that he is not. He has taken tons of yarn out of my closet and started winding it around the knitting knoddy. Again, he asked if I can take him knitting with me. He is really softning my heart, one of these days, I am going to break down and take him with me.

I really think that my hobbies are sinking in...I hope it is a good thing and I am not doing him any harm. I guess, we will see in the years to come...if he asks for some yarn for Christmas, then I'll know.

I have been playing around in designing a little round bag on the knitting looms, Caracolito is almost there, except, I want it bigger, maybe with a longer handle. What do you think, like it, not really?


Babies should come with a book

Little N has been sick for the past two weeks. She started with a regular cold. I thought she was getting better, but after almost two weeks, her cold didn't go away. Then, Saturday night, she started crying in the middle of the night (something extremely rare for her), I cradled her close to me and despite her burning little body, she just cuddled right next to me. I didn't know what was wrong, I presumed it was just her cold. Then, the cold got worse on Sunday. She spend all day with me at home, she refused to eat and was acting lethargic, just barely getting off my arms to walk around and play with B. Then again, last night, she cried in the middle of the night, no fever this time, but she woke up crying, a cry that could only describe pain. I held her close and rocked her for most of the night. She finally succumbed to sleep, but she again woke with the same cry. I knew in my heart that something was wrong, she is always of good disposition, a little one whom always has a smile and a "bye, bye" for you.

Morning came and I told hubby that I was sure that little N had an earache. Since he suffered from terrible ear infections when he was a child and he still remembers the pain, he quickly suggested to make an appointment for her. I held back thinking that I will look like an idiot if I went to the doctor and the diagnosis was just a cold! But, I gave in and made the appointment.

Diagnosis: An infection in each ear. The left one is very red---probably on the verge of bursting. Right now, she sleeps. She has medication and some Motrin to help ease the pain. But, she woke a couple of minutes ago, crying inconsolably. I tried holding her in different forms, but she couldn't stand the pain. We tried placing warm towels near her ears to help ease the pain, but that didn't help. Finally, I just placed the palm of my hand against her right ear and her left ear right against my chest. She was able to go back to sleep. Right now, she is sleeping peacefully. I hope it lasts all night long and that she wakes with a renewed little ear and ready to eat lots and play lots.

I will tell you a deep secret about me...and please don't laugh.....Every time my children get sick, I am on the verge of tears. I am afraid I will lose them. I can't tell you the number of times I cried holding little B thinking that for sure that was the last time I was going to have him in my arms. Now, I have the fear in a double dose. I wonder if this is normal....maybe I do need to go see a quack.

Moral of the story: If you are a mom and your gut tells you something, go with it! I learned my lesson. I should have taken little N to the doctor's on Saturday. I could have saved her the current pain. Bad mommy, bad mommy.

Back tomorrow with some knitting updates! Now, I will go get some rest too, pulling all nighters are hard now.


Beep....beep...beep

We interrupt this program to give you the sad news that Purling Sprite's main computer went belly up.  Some nasties entered its body and it is acting very nastily....very much like when a kid throws a temper tantrum. Me, well, I am the replacement...lowly laptop, I am newer than the counterpart, but I have less bells and whistles so I only get used very little.  But right now, I am feeling the love! Everyone needs me, so I am in my best behaviour and enjoying the use.

Stay tuned...the Sprite should be back in working order by Monday or Tuesday after the doctors at Xtreme Computers disect my opponent and look inside of it to see what part needs to be replaced. In the meantime, my owner is suffering from withdrawl symptoms from many of her favorite blogs.

For now, I will leave you with some poignant words.....I'll be back, heheheh


Down the Looming Road, not Just Hats

As a loom knitter and now a needle knitter, I tend to blog about both of them. I know some of you are not familiar with knitting looms, others are very new to knitting looms, so I will take you down a little loom knitting road trip.

Have you ever knitted on a little corker, or knitting spool? They are made like a little tube that has 4 little prongs on top. You wind your yarn around the little prongs then you life the loops off the prongs. They make loooong strings of I-cords, well imagine one of those, except with lots more prongs.

Heartloom Knitting Looms: They come in all shapes and sizes, from heart shaped ones, SInfinityfamily  shaped, and your regular round ones.

Commonly, knitting looms are misunderstood tools. Most people think of them as items that make just hats! But, they are for so much more than just hats. We can make sweaters on them too, scarves, socks, bags. We can even create lace stitches and cables on them!

Let's start with the common ones that you can find at Michaels and other big box stores.

Kk2

The Knifty Knitters:

These are made out of plastic. You get about 2 stitches per inch using 2 strands of worsted weight yarn. Gauge wise, they are known as large gauge.

The makers of these looms are coming out with a new set that will allow you to use 1 strand of yarn and get a tighter stitch, about 3 stitches per inch, using what we call a double stitch.

The knifty knitters are usually the looms that get a loom knitter started in the hobby. They are easily available and fairly inexpensive. A great way to try out the hobby!

If you get really into the hobby, you see that your "needs" grow, and the KK looms do not fulfill those needs, that is when you move on to the other, high quality knitting looms.

I am somewhat of a snob when it comes to looms, and I prefer to knit with my DA looms, as they allow me to get a tighter stitch.

Adultsockloomfg My favorites:

You saw the little sock I made yesterday, that was made on what we call the Fine Gauge looms. The fine gauge looms are made with cotter pins. Since the stitches need to be closed together, you need the pegs to be closed together also.

These fine gauge looms can give you an average of 4.5-5 stitches per inch using DK weight yarns (similar to Caron Simply soft).

So far, these are the finest gauges available on the market right now. In my heart, they are my favorite.

12inchajalsmall The AJALs--one of my ultimate favorite knitting loom. You can do almost everything with one of these. You can adjust it to knit in the round just like a round knitting loom, or you can use it as a knitting frame to create double sided items. You can also decrease in the round with one of these which makes tapering for hats and socks a possibility.

Now, I guess the question might be, why would I use a knitting loom?

Making tubular items is a breeze! If you don't like knitting with 5 little sticks to make a tube, then, using a knitting loom may be the answer.

Want to see some of my loom knitted creations, I invite you to take a trip through my photo gallery and through the patterns page at DA, you can see that you can make about everything on a knitting loom.

The knitting stores are beginning to see that knitting looms are a hit and some of them are starting to carry them. And finally, we have the first ever  loom knitting booklet available for us!  It is a beginner's guide, but it is a start :). Maybe one day, we will have books at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon! (I guess, if my book deal goes through, we will have at least one more) We can all dream!


Ribbed Sock Pattern & 1000th Comment Contest

Toddlersockwithname Shhh...I am not available. Please call back later :).

I was really busy. Last night, I started knitting a little sock so that I could get the pattern written out. I first started with the infant size, then I realized that if I was going to write it, that I might as well sit down and write the same pattern for all the other sizes. I was crazy and delusional! I thought it was going to be an easy task, but no! I was absolutely, and magnanimously WRONG! It took me about 5 hours to write up the heel part for all the 5 sizes of sock looms. At one point, I was done, then I realized that it looked terrible, so I re-did it all with some tables, a table for each size of sock.

I am done! Now, I just need to sit down and upload it to the DA website and to my Loom Knit website.

If any of you are interested in the pattern, just drop me a note in the comments section.

*edit* pattern is right here!

*Edit* I had a request to make the pattern available for the Blue Knifty Knitter. You can access the pattern here. Let me know if it works and if you want to share a picture :)

Now on to the fun Contest!

Wallacegromit_2 

I am approaching my 1000th comment!! Yippee! I am so psyched. Anyways, whomever gives me the 1000th comment will win a copy of: Wallace & Gromit: The curse of the Were-Rabbit. I have two copies: I pre-ordered one back 3 months ago, then B bought it for his birthday. So I have two copies. The shrink wrap is gone--blame it on B but the movie is brand new. Bring on the 1000th comment :)

Movie


Hecktic*

Life has been a bit hectic the past few days. Two days ago, I got a phone call from the landlady. It was around 9 am.

Me: Huullloo (imagine a very groggy voice)

Her: Hi! (all chippery and happy)

Me: Yep, how can I be of help?

Her: Well, I have some bad news and some good news.

Me: (Alert now, ready for a bucket of cold water) Ok.

Her: The good news, we will be replacing your carpet.

Me: Ok, great, but the one we have is not really that old and it looks pretty good.

Her: Oh, we decided to sell the house and we want it to look spotless

Me: (laughing inside, yeah! right, spotless with two children, highly doubt it!) Ok, we are game.

Her: The bad news. It is happening tomorrow at 11am. So, we need to move all your stuff out of your living room and children's bedroom so that we can tear up the carpet this afternoon.

Me: (looking around at all my junk! thinking quickly about dinner and breakfast for the next day. If I can't get into the kitchen because of all the furniture, how am I supposed to feed my kids). Phone goes silent

Her: Are you ok?

Me: yeah, I guess.

Her: Is this ok with you?

Me: Do I have an option in the matter? I mean you have already made the arrangements.

Her: Ok, then we'll be at your apartment at 5:00pm to tear the carpet.

Me: Ok. (hang up the phone)

Me: She is freaking NUTS! As I explain the conversation to hubby whom was standing right next to me during the conversation.

Crap--we both wish we owned our own house. This crap never happened to us before at any of the other places we have lived in. Now, we have lived in this apartment for almost 2 years, in those 2 years, we have been flooded 3 times, so we have had to evacuate to either a)Grandma's b)hotel c)work

Since we gave in our notice to move out about a month ago, she has shown our apartment about 8 times, each of those times, I have had to clean the house spotless--and any of you with kids out there can relate--it is a difficult, if not an impossible task!

The cherry on the cake was this evening after waiting at work for them to finish doing the carpeting, we get into our driveway at 7:30pm. Hubby runs downstairs to our apartment to check if the carpet business is finished--guess what--no, it is not!! So, I call the landlady.

Me: Hi, do you know when the apartment will be ready?

Her: Hmmm, we are almost done, we just need to do the coving and then clean up. Why? where are you?

Me: Well, we are right outside our driveway.

Her: Oh--whispers to her husband--"they want to come home, we need to finish".

Me: (blood boiling, almost foaming at the mouth. Bloody heck! it is almost 8pm and she just barely realized that we want to come home!!! Thankfully, my children are asleep in the car.) Ok, we'll be back in 30 minutes.

Her: ok, we'll hurry and clean up for you.

Hubby and I drive around and park and eat our dinner in the car while the kids sleep.

As you can see, life has been a bit troublesome, not badly, but just a triffle troublesome. The adventure at this apartment has been of historic proportions. From all the apartments we have lived in, we will remember this apartment the most. As we sit across each other 40 years from now, we are still going to remember the floods, the super fast cleanings of the house, and the mid-night cries of our little neighbor upstairs. The good thing is that in 40 years from now, we will probably laugh about it--so in the end, let's not sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, it reallly doesn't matter if the house is in shambles, or if my knitting ended up under the couch with one of my dpns missing for eternity, or that my sketches for my book are all misplaced, we are all together, safe, and toasty under the covers. Life is grand!

Newbies_1  But, in all of this, I do  have some really neat news. Check out the picture and I will let you spot two things that are new in my house--besides the carpet.

No, it is not knitting related--but pretty neat nonetheless. I got some mad money and I got to spend it whichever way I wanted.  We have finally graduated from a little 13" tv to a mega big 32" flat panel! How I wish I had had this little puppy last week during the Olympics. I would have enjoyed watching it in almost life size.

It definitely brings a new meaning to watching action shows. Now, I feel that I have to go and re-rent every video I have seen during the past few months. Although action shows are cool--watching cartoons is kinda of freaky--too much color!

Speaking of Olympics, I have claimed my medal. I really feel great in showing it off, so it will have a little permanent spot on my sidebar.

Medalwebsmall *Hecktic=Combination of heck + hectic. Heck being the nice way of saying "hell" Most Utahn's say heck as opposed to heck (hehehe) It is more PG rated :)