Sunday, December 17, 2006

Fingerless Gloves

I knitted a pair of wrist warmers a whlie back that I'm giving to my mom for Xmas instead of the cardigan I had hoped to give her. Yeah! I know big difference, but once my arm started hurting earlier this year, I pretty much had to give up knitting for awhile.

I really like the gloves I made and I'm kinda sad to see them go. So I did some searching on the internet and I found several other free patterns for fingerless gloves.

Some of them actually have partial fingers covering up to the knuckle. I may try some of those later, but I think I'm going to do another pair for myself without any type of finger covers.

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Book and Magazine Reviews

Just got done posting a couple of reviews to my Knitting News Cast site. The first one is a book by Donna Druchunas called Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters. I met Donna on my KnitDesign group. She has been doing a lot of teaching this fall and is teaching next year at TNNA and the Mile High Lace Knitting Conference in Denver. I wish I could get to one of her classes. The lace in the book is so lovely. This is a technique I really want to learn now. Read the review of Arctic Lace.

The other review is on Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine. It is a special issue publication. There are some great patterns as well as gift ideas. I want to knit the sachet trio and bag by Leigh Radford on page 18. They would be a quick knit and since my arm gets tired quickly now, I need to focus on small projects. Read the review of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine.

I also got some yarn from Liisu Yarns. These are some wonderful hand painted yarns. I plan on knitting up some swatches this weekend so I can do a review. But I can tell already that I'm going to love knitting with this yarn so my arm better not start acting up!!! Check out the Knitting News Cast website later on this weekend for the review.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Where Has The Time Gone?!?

It has been awhile since I last posted. Life got fuller not less hectic like I thought it would when I started working 4 day weeks instead of 5. I've been focusing on some othere areas of my life and haven't had much time for knitting, podcasting, or blogging.

Also, I think I just figured out that knitting is part or maybe all of the reason that I have been having carpal tunnel syndrom or repetitive motion syndrom in my right arm. This last month or so I haven't been knitting much and so the symptoms had subsided. I just figured it was the brace I was wearing every night to keep it stable. My mom's doctor had recommended one for her and when she was here in May she told me how much it helped her. So I started wearing one and I did start seeing some relief.

This week I started knitting more. I'm working on some booga bags and a sock monkey hat. Well, this morning I had to stop knitting because I noticed the pain in my wrist again. And I'm still having some now.

I really like knitting and this is really upsetting. So I need to look into some ways to be able to knit but not get the pain in my arm. Anyone have a similar problem with knitting that you were able to relieve?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Goodness

Lookie, lookie! Here is the great stuff my Secret Pal 8, Angel, sent me this week. The Hot Knits book by Melissa Leapman has some great patterns in it. I especially like Mackenzie on page 12. It has ruffle trim at the bottom and sleeves. The sleeveless dress, Katherine, on page 46 has a great stitch pattern at the neck that I think would look great on a sweater. I just don't have the right figure to pull of a knitted dress! And the sleeveless tank, Diana, on page 60 is great too. More stuff to go onto my knitting list.
Angel also sent a keychain sock blocker with a pattern to make these cute little socks to put on your keychain. You could make a ton of these with a skein of yarn or a few with left over sock yarn.

In the package was 4 skeins of yarn. One is Trekking sock yarn and another is handpainted Schaefer Yarn. The final two skeins are Ultra Alpaca by Berroco in a alpaca and wool blend. These are to try my hand at dyeing. Can't wait to do that!

Finally, she sent some beautiful stich markers on a stitch holder and some cute note cards with an image of a woman knitting some mittens. All of this came with a jute bag to carry everything in.
Even RJ approves!

Thanks Angel for being such a great secret pal. And thanks for all the great knitting stuff you sent me this summer. I've had a lot of fun! Posted by Picasa

One Skein Secret Pal Goodness

Check out this great looking felted bowl my One Skein Secret Pal, Kim from NYC, sent me. It is incredible! I had seen the patterns for the felted bowls in the book, but I hadn't thought about making any. But now after getting this one, I see some in my knitting future. The bowl looks almost ceramic, especially from a distance.
Kim also sent me this great silk pouch with velcro closure. It came along with a really cute tape measure from her LYS.

I've really enjoyed having Kim spoil me this summer with yarn and gifts. Thank you Secret Pal!!!! Posted by Picasa

Wrist Warmers

As promised. Here is the wrist warmers I finished up last week. I need to post the pattern. Really, I'll get to that soon! Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 04, 2006

Knitting Weekend

I like 4 day weekends because I can spend a whole day knitting and not feel like I haven't had time to do other things during the weekend.

So today I've been working on the cardigan I started earlier this year. It has been way to hot this summer to have it in my lap. I think this summer we had more 100 degree plus days then typical. At least it felt that way.

But I've gotten the cardigan back out and I'm making progress again. I've got the back and two front sides knitted. I did the bottom portion to the armholes in one piece so I wouldn't have to seam the sides.

I've seamed up one shoulder and should have the other one done later today. I need to do the dishes first. Getting back to knitting my cardigan will be the "reward" for doing a chore. Do you ever do that with your knitting? Bribe yourself to do something you'd rather not do with getting to go back to your knitting feeling guilt-free?

I'm hoping to pick up the stitches for the neck ribbing today too. Then after all that is done, I will knit the arms. I'm knitting those top down by picking up stitches at the armhole. I really do hate sewing seams!

This week I also finished some really cute wrist warmers. I adapted a pattern I found to fit my arm and hand better. I'll be posting my version on the Knitting News Cast website later this week.

I can't post pictures right now because my camera quit on me this week. Looks like I'll finally be spending my tax return money on a new one. Got any ideas for a good digital camera?

Oh, and now I've gotten both Caramel and Coco eating alfalfa from my hand. Coco really doesn't want to, but he wants the alfalfa more. Right now I'm feeding them with a fence between us. Next weekend I'd like to get in the area they stay in and try feeding them that way. So far I haven't gotten spit on. And that's a good thing.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pre-Felted Bags and Clutches

I've been working on knitting up some bags and clutches to felt for holiday gifts. I want to use them like gift bags for my girlfriends and female family members. I plan on putting little items like lotion and shower gel from Bath and Body Works (doesn't their stuff smell great?) along with chocolates or something.

I've been using Cascade 220 for the zipper bags and Lamb's Pride Bulky for the clutches. The zipper bags are based on a pattern a woman at the Sunday morning brunch at HCW told me.

Basically you cast on 90 stitches on 10 1/2 needles and knit in the round till you get to the right height. Then you bind off. Once it is felted, you sew in a zipper. I try to get the bag felted down to a little bit longer then 9 inches so that I can use a 9 inch zipper.
The pattern for the clutch comes from Leigh Radford's One Skein book. I've made 4 of the clutches so far. Posted by Picasa

Got Them Eating Out of My Hand

Well, at least I have Caramel eating out of my hand. Coco is the more skittish one of the two alpaca. So he didn't.

I've been feeding them alfalfa the last week or so. So now when they see me they come to the fence as fast as they can, but not to close to the fence.

I've been putting the alfalfa closer and closer to the fence and me each time I feed them. Coco liked it the least and at the slightest movement would step back. Caramel was less afraid and would come up right next to the fence in front of me.

Today, however, instead of dropping the alfalfa on the ground, I held it through the fence at head height. Caramel was a little hesitant at first, but finally he started eating it. Right out of my hand! That is the closest I've been to either of them since they were sheared and I actually got to touch them. Of course, they were restrained that time.

Now Coco is still having nothing to do with eating out of my hand. He would come close and then step back. He still isn't trusting yet. But maybe I'll have him eating out of my hand by next weekend. I didn't expect Caramel to do it so quickly.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Podcast Up

Yeah! I got the 17th episode of the Knitting News Cast up. I spent a good part of the day getting it ready and recording it.

This morning though I worked out in my garden before it got to hot. I dug up some of the flower beds where the plants had died from the heat and drought. I covered up the beds with tank liner so nothing will grow until I'm ready to plant some flowers later this fall.

I have gotten one row of knitting done today. One row! Luckily, the 4400 is about to come on. So I will get to knit during the show and the one after it, The Dead Zone.

Now that I've finished the SWTC V-Neck Shell, I need to get started on another project. Need to look through my holiday knitting list as well as my knitting wish list.

I did find a cute rasta style baby hat in this weeks Knitting Pattern A Day calendar. It is adorable!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

South West Trading Company V-Neck Shell Finished

I finished sewing up the seams this morning on the V-Neck Shell for South West Trading Company. It was fun to knit up. I really enjoyed using the Phoenix yarn. The drape of the shell is just lovely.

I only wish I could actually try it on. But I'm an XL and the size they wanted me to do is a medium. I did sew the shoulder seams first so I could at least try it on over my head and see what it could look like on me if it was bigger around.

I really am going to have to get some of this yarn for myself so I can knit one of these up. It is the perfect summer top. It is cool and breathes well. Plus, I can wear it under a sweater or a jacket when it gets colder.

Now I'm off to Home Depot to buy some gardering stuff. We just inherited an orange tree from Amy's grandpa. The poor thing is root bound and needs a bigger pot. When I get back I'm going to transfer it and give it some more potting soil and fertilizer.

Then I need to finish up my notes for tomorrow's podcast. I've got a lot of material so it will probably take some time. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

SWTC V-Neck Shell Front And Back

I finished knitting the back of the V-Neck Shell I'm doing for South West Trading Company. It is knitted in their Phoenix yarn which is 100% Soy Silk. I've had a great time knitting this and can't wait to get it all sewn up. I should get to it by the weekend. Then off it goes back to SWTC.
I'm thinking of knitting one similar for myself, but I'll knit it in the round instead of knitting a front and a back. That way there is only two little seam to sew at the shoulders rather then that plus the two sides.

There is a color way in the Phoenix yarn called Imposter. It would be perferct for the fall. It is just the right colors. And it is colors I look good in. So I will have to be on the look out for some. I think I'll need around 5 balls. I need to knit an XL for myself and it took a little over 3 balls to knit the medium.

Of course, I have a lot of other projects I need to be knitting. I've started holiday knitting. And I guess that will be my main focus for knitting over the next few months. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Next Podcast - August 20, 2006

I plan on recording and publishing episode 17 of the Knitting News Cast next Sunday, August 20th, 2006. I had thought and hoped that I would do an episode every 2 weeks but it just seems that I run out of time to do the research and reviews I like to do for each episode within that time frame.

So for now, I'm going to publish an episode at least once a month. More if possible, but I don't want to make a bigger commitment to myself then that for now. Amy has started working full-time again so more of the housework has come my way. I don't mind but it does eat into my weekends. Next month I'm hoping to go to a 4 day work week, but I have to wait to see if my contract is renewed (they have told me it has been, but it is a state contract and anything can happen). Working 4 days a week will give me more time to focus on my podcast, knitting, and chores. Plus it will cut down the hour and 1/2 each way commute to 4 times a week instead of 5.

Yesterday, I went into Austin with my MIL to take a drop-spindle class at Hill Country Weavers. Carol H. Rhoades taught the class. She has been spinning for over 30 years and is a wonderful and patient teacher. She writes for Interweave's Spin-Off magazine and teaches all over the country. She is moving to Wisconsin next year so I'm glad I got the opportunity to take her class before she left.

After the class we went to Central Market. I bought healthy food (for once!) and ran into a woman I know and just think is wonderful, Kelly Iris. She is a red-headed goddess with a great sense of humor. And she always has something intersting going on in her life. I love listening to her stories and she is a great Tarot card reader. She is always on the mark with me. It was great to see her.

So now all my weekend chores need to been done today. I usually write a few reviews for each episode. I usually include a magazine, a book, and a yarn review. I haven't got any of those done yet. My plan is to do each of those over the course of this coming week so I'll have them for the podcast next weekend.

In the meantime, if you have any knitting news, let me know and I'll try to post it on the website on the knitting news page and get it in the next episode.

Making Sense Of My Stash

Here is a picture of my stash of one skein yarns. I organized it by color weight according to the book, The Yarn Stash Workbook: Great Ideas and Dozens of Projects by Laura Militzer Bryant. In this case weight is by saturation and intensity.

The book really helped me make sense of what I have in my stash. Before this stash was a jumble mess of colors that I didn't think I could make anything out of. Laura also suggests different ways to combine the various weights of yarns in projects. I now have several ideas about some projects I can work on using a couple or a few of the skeins together.

The first project I thought about is an open weave scarf using two of the bulky yarns I have. One skein is a pink alpaca yarn from Blue Sky that I've been holding out using because it is so soft. I wanted to do something special. But one skein of most things just don't seem to go far unless you are making baby stuff or things from Leigh Radford's One Skein book, which I have used to make a couple of things.

I'm hoping to use up some of my stash to make Christmas/Holiday/Birthday gifts. That way I don't have to spend a lot more money, yet I can make some really nice gifts. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 12, 2006

First Spinning Class Results

Here are my first two balls of spun yarn. I took a class today at Hill Country Weavers on drop-spindle spinning. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Back From Spa

Just got back from spending the weekend at The Crossings celebrating my birthday. Amy works there so she was able to get an employee priced room. She bought me a spa treatment that included a body polish and massage. It was very relaxing. We sat by the pool, swam, and ate really good healthy food.

I'm almost done with the V-neck Shell I'm knitting for South West Trading Company. But I ran out of yarn. I let them know that I need another ball.

I didn't do a podcast today. I'm going to do it next weekend after I take my drop-spindle class at Hill Country Weavers on Saturday.

I've started on some Breast Awareness socks in a pink Lorna's Lace Shephard sock yarn. This is one of those patterns that will require my full attention. So noknitting it in front of the tv.

Speaking of which, it is time for The 4400. Gotta go.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Chicks With Sticks

I went to Chicks With Sticks last night at Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe in Cedar Park yesterday after work. The weekly knitting group meets every Wednesday from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM officially, but some people get there as early as 2 PM. I got there around 5:30 PM.

There was about 20 women that came and left while I was there. Each time someone left a new person quickly replaced them at the table. We even had the designated waiting chair where the new person seemed to move on to the table with in 10 or 15 minutes.

I loved meeting all the women and hanging out talking about knitting and our projects (current, WIPs, and FOs). I hadn't been to a knitting group in a while. I had been going to the Tuesday night SNB group at Book People but it doesn't start until around 7PM and I like to leave Austin between 7:30 and 8:00 so I'm not driving most of my 1 and 1/2 hour commute in the dark.

I worked on my V-Neck Shell that I'm test knitting for SWTC in Phoenix yarn. On experienced knitter was impressed a ribbon-like yarn had really good stitch definition. I got several more inches done on it and should be starting the armhole shaping soon. Hopefully, all the knitting will be done by the weekend. Maybe then I can sew it up and finish it off.

Monday, July 31, 2006

My First Writing Payment

Today I received a PayPal payment for the Knitting Podcast article I wrote for the Summer 2006 issue of

I've done a lot of self-publishing myself on various websites over the years. But this is the first time I've been paid to have my writing appear on another site. And not just any site, but


Sunday, July 30, 2006

SWTC V-Neck Shell Front Done

I finished the front of the SWTC V-Neck Shell this afternoon. It looks pretty good. It is supposed to be 25 inches long but mine is only 23 inches.

The pattern says to knit until the front is 16 inches long which I did. Then the armhole shaping and shoulder shaping along with the v-neck is knitted. When I finished all that and bound off, I came up short. I will have to check to see if I somehow misread the instructions.

I like how the front looks though. I can't wait to do the back and get is all seamed up. I may have to find one of my friends who actually wears a medium to try it on so I can see what it looks like on a person. Posted by Picasa

South West Trading Company Basic Shell

I have about 1/2 of the front side done of the South West Trading Company test knit I’m doing. I have already used one ball of the three balls that Kat sent and I’m hoping it is enough. Of course the top half won't take as much yarn as the bottom have due to shaping. So the third ball may be all I need. Kat did say to let her know if I need another ball.

I'm having a great time knitting the shell up. The drape of the Phoenix Soy Silk yarn is wonderful. I wish I were making the shell in a size I could wear and that I was getting to keep it. I will have to use this yarn again and make myself a tank/shell. And out of this colorway because it is just beautiful.

I have to have the shell knit up by the end of August and sent off to SWTC so that they can have it for an upcoming show. I do like the idea that something I've knit will be seen by lots of people. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Yarn Harlot Coming To Austin

On Saturday I'm going to Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's appearance in Austin at Hill Country Weavers. I wasn't sure I would be able to attend because I'm going to Dallas tomorrow to meet up with some women from an online paper craft list I'm on. We are going to be rubberstamping and making books. I'm bringing a piece I felted for a cover for one of my books.

But I decided to leave Dallas on Friday night so I can get back home and then get up on Saturday morning and make the drive into Austin.

Stephanie's publicist suggested that I record some of Stephanie's "stand up" routine and I may be able to get an interview too. I'd love to include some of that on my next podcast.

Gotta run. I've got laundry to finish and I need to get my clothes, art supplies and knitting together for my trip.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Test Knit - Phoenix 100% Soy Silk Yarn and Pattern Received

Today I received the package from South West Trading Company for the test knit I am doing. Inside was a pattern for a Soysilk V-Neck Shell designed by Annette Casoglos. The yarn that they sent is Phoenix 100% Soy Silk Yarn.
Phoenix is a tube style yarn that lays flat like ribbon yarn. Isn't this a beautiful colorway? It is color number 99.
Here is the swatch I knitted up. Doesn't it look great? It has great stitch definition and is easy to knit with. I was worried I'd have a hard time knitting with it because I had read where other knitters using tape or ribbon style yarns kept spliting the yarn. I have not had that problem at all even when I poke the yarn in the middle while knitting.

I did have to go down two needle sizes to get the guage the pattern calls for so I guess I'm a loose knitter. The fabric feels soft and cool. I think this shell is going to be a dream and should knit up quickly. Posted by Picasa

Re-Knitting My Podcast and Blogs

Darren over at has started a writing project, “what I’d do differently if I had to start my blog again?”. This post is my response to that question.

Since one of my goals of starting my knitting podcast, Knitting News Cast, was to give me one of several revenue streams in order to be self-employed while enjoying my hobby of knitting, I've recently been thinking about how I could do this. I really have enjoyed doing the podcast and finding the knitting news content for my website and podcast, but it takes up a lot of time. I spend an hour or so a day reading blogs and doing other research for the show. Then every other weekend I spend all day Sunday doing the podcast. I'm usually happy with the final result. I feel like each podcast gets better then the last one and I feel more and more comfortable doing them.

The first thing I'd do differently is I would have created my blogs on WordPad hosted on my own domain rather then use Blogger. With Blogger, I can't label my posts with different categories like knitting, crochet, yarn, podcast, news, knitting book reviews, free knitting patterns, etc. Also, since the blogs reside on Blogger, I don't get the benefit of all my visitors and pages views being reflected together. So there isn't a complete total picture of how I'm doing.

The second thing I'd do differently is I would have combined all my different blogs together. I have Rhonda's Knitting which is a personal knitting blog, Knitting News Cast, which is my podcast blog, KNC News, which is my knitting news feed, and my Knitting News Cast website. If I had combined all of these different blogs I'd have had a much richer base of content that would have satisfied many more types of knitters. I'd at least would have each on my website. Maybe I'd keep the personal blog separate and combine the podcast and news feed on the website.

Finally, the last thing I'd do differently, is I'd have a game plan on how to best use these blogs and my podcast to inform and entertain knitters, while being able to earn enough money to at least cover my costs (domain name, hosting, knitting magazines, knitting books, yarn, etc.) and at best make a decent living so I could quit my day job and get other opportunities like writing knitting books and patterns. And, of course, I’d get more knitting time!

Now back to our regularly schedule knitting adventures!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Double Cable Scarf

Here is another double cable scarf I made from One Skein by Leigh Radford. This one is done with Cascade Yarns Pima Silk Yarn in Pink - Color Number 6915. I used only one skein so it is rather short. Will make a great tuck in scarf to wear during October during breast cancer awareness month.
I really like the way that cables look. They are a little twitchy though with the cotton yarn. Knitting the stitches that are held on the cable needle is a little hard. I've tried both knitting off the cable needle as well as moving the stitches back onto the left-hand needle. I like knitting off the cable needle best.

I'm hoping that with a less stiff yarn it will be easier. Not that this yarn is stiff. It is really soft. I was surprised since before knitting with pima cotton yarn all I had used was Peaches and Cream which is scratchy.
Close up of cables. Pink and cables. My new favorite! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

My One Skein Secret Pal Rocks

Today I received my July package from my one skein secret pal. And she went way over board!!

Instead of sending me just one skein, she sent me a whole box of great stuff that she picked up on her trip to Cape Cod earlier this month. Sounds like she had a lot of fun with her friends on their yarn store expedition up and down the cape. What a great way to spend a summer afternoon.
My skein is Manos del Uruguay yarn. This is a lovely yarn that I've admired several times at my LYS. Its in blues and greens. The picture makes it look more blue than it is. She got the yarn at Blue Heron Yarn Studio. You can see the bag in the background of the large picture above. I am going to have to find some special pattern to use this for. Will have to see if the One Skein book has something worthy enough for this yarn!
Also included in the box where these great stitch markers. They are lovely enough for a charm bracelet. They will look great while I'm knitting.
Aren't these sock shaped point protectors and sweater shaped needle holders too cute!

An extra ball of yarn was included in my package. It is blue and red metallic yarn called glitterlash. It does look like fireworks. My secret pal said it was okay if I didn't like this yarn. But I think it is fun and would make a great accent on a bag or purse.

My secret pal also sent a couple of postcards from her Cape Cod adventure. One has a great recipe for clam chowder. Yummy!

And finally, she sent me a pattern for felted fish. What a great idea and they are so cute. I think these would be cute additions for gifts in gift bags I put together at the holidays.

My secret pal has given me so many options that it will be hard to know where to start. For now I'm going to fondle my new yarn and play with all the notions.

Thank you secret pal!! You've really made my day! Posted by Picasa

South West Trading Company Test Knit

I'm so excited, I've been chosen to do a test knit of a tank top pattern using South West Trading Company's Phoenix yarn.

This should be fun. The Phoenix yarn is 100% Soy Silk tape style yarn. Can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To Sick To Podcast or Knit

I hate when I have to cancel a podcast. This last weekend I was supposed to record episode 16 of the Knitting News Cast. I usually do this on Sunday morning. Then I have all day to get it edited, write the show notes, and upload it on our very sloooooow connection.

But Sunday I felt like crap. So much so that I didn't even feel like knitting until the evening while I was watching the 4400 and The Dead Zone on the USA network. Most of the day I just sat on the recliner, read Knitting Rules! : The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (highly recommend and to be reviewed on my next episode) and slept.

I'm working on a double-cable scarf. In pink cotton yarn. For October Breast Cancer awareness month. The pattern is from One Skein : 30 Quick Projects to Knit and Crochet by Leigh Radford. Hopefully, now that I'm feeling better I'll finish it this week and post a picture.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Secret Pal Goodies

I was feeling a little bummed today because of a misunderstanding with another knitting blogger. She took an e-mail I sent the wrong way and even though I tried to be nice and clarify what I was asking from her, she ended up being upset.

Why is it that I've let a misunderstanding with someone I don't even know and will probably never meet in person bother me? I guess I'm taking it too personally. Time to let it go. "Put that woman down" as A and I say to each other when we are stuck on some person or incident. You do know the story about the two monks don't you?!?

Anyway, I spent the day putting the final touches on a felted clutch from the One Skein book by Leigh Radford today. I added a flower button with a beaded loop as a closure. I think it turned out cute if I don't say so myself. :)

Somehow the package I've put together kept getting bigger and bigger. I'd see something here or see something there and I'd set it aside for my secret pal. And then all of sudden I had a very full box!

Too cool. I'm mailing it on Monday.

I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed putting it together. Posted by Picasa

First Turned Heel Sock

Here is a pair of my first knitted turned heel socks, or short-row heel socks. They aren't perfect, but I like them nonetheless. I don't really like the toe part of the socks. You can see my metalic nail polish through them. But Faith told me about wooly nylon thread which is a reinforcing thread. I'm going to look for some and try them out in my next pair of knitted socks.

My secret pal for the secret pal 8 exchange gave me the yarn. It is Lorna's Lace Shephard Sport Yarn #12, Iris Garden. I love the colors and it knitted up beautifully. And I only used one skein of the two skeins she sent me.

So now I can't wait to knit another pair. I think they would make a great Christmas gift or holdiay gift for my mother, SIL, or MIL.

They don't take nearly as long as a knitted garment like a sweater. The satisfaction of completing a project comes much more quickly.

I need to get back to the cardigan I was working on. And I've already started another project. I'm playing around with felting and seeing if I can't bring an idea I have to life. More later on that....

I have some more sock yarn that I bought last year from Knit Picks. I'm sure I'll be starting another sock really soon. I may use this same pattern or try another one.

Happy Knitting! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 Article Published

Today the Summer issue of was released and so is my article on Knitting Podcasts.

I'm so excited. This is my first published article.

It is one thing to produce your own podcast or websites or articles and publish them on your own. You never know if people will like them or not.

But at least one person (Amy Singer) thought my article was good enough to publish.

The only thing I wish was different about the article is that I wrote it before a lot of the current knitting podcasts came out and they are not included in the article.

I'm think I will write an article on the Knitting News Cast site that includes a list of the current knitting podcasts.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Knitting News Cast Episode 15 Up

I just got done recording, editing, and uploading the latest episode of the Knitting News Cast.

I can't believe I'm on episode 15 already. When I started this back in December, I wasn't sure how long I'd stick with it. And there has been a few times that I've felt overwhelmed about getting an episode out.

But there is always a feeling of satisfaction when an episode is finished and uploaded and ready for the world.

I feel like I'm getting better at recording them. I've loosened up and I think that you can hear that when you listen. Before, I'd stop and re-record if I messed up something. But now I just start over with what I was saying and keep on going.

It has increased the amount of time I have to edit each episode and sometimes I just can't get it to sound exactly right, but overall it has decreased the amount of time I spend on episode.

Also, since I'm writing up knitting news stories a few times a week and posting them to the Knitting News Cast website, it is much easier to pull my show notes together.

I still don't get a lot of feedback from my listeners. I know that people are listening because my stats on Feedburner show that I have a lot of listeners. I guess since my show is a news program rather then an entertainment show, people feel less inclined to interact.

Oh well, as long as I continue to enjoy doing it, I'll keep doing it. I love the fact that I keep up to date on the latest news and happenings in the knitting world. It has really enriched my knitting hobby.

And I've met some great knitters online who do send me e-mails and leave me comments. I try to reply to each e-mail I get and it really makes my day when I get one, well at least the nice ones!

I've learned a lot though from the constructive criticisms too. Although, it all hasn't been kindly said. I guess the anonymity of the web lets some people be harsher or at least sound harsher then they would in real life. Not too many people will correct the way you say something while you are on stage giving a talk but I've had several people do so publicly in my comments.

Ah, I didn't mean to sound so negative. I really do enjoy doing the podcast and mostly look forward to doing it every two weeks.

I hope you take a listen and if you like it leave me some feedback in the comments or send me an e-mail.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, July 03, 2006

First Turned Heel Sock

I finally finished my first turned heel sock today. It took me several tries before I found a pattern that I liked and that knitted up nicely.

I got the pattern for this sock from the Knitting Pattern-A-Day: 2006 Day-To-Day Calendar. It is from Friday, October 20th (okay, so I cheated and looked ahead!) and is called "Classic Socks on Circular Needles". I substituted the circular needles for double pointed needles.

I had to redo turning the heel several times and every time I worked the heel to the instep, I kept getting big holes. So I redid that too. I figured I wanted it to look right if I plan on wearing the socks.

I used the Kitchener Stitch to close the toe, but like my first pair of knitted socks which were just a tube without a turned heel, the top of my toes are visible through the top stitching. So I may have to redo that part.

The pattern calls for reinforcing yarn which is optional. I'm not sure if this is a special kind of yarn or just any ole yarn. I will have to research this. You use it at the heel and the toe. Which seems like a good idea since these areas get the most wear. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Yummy Yarn Received

Thank You One Skein Secret Pal!!! I just got my lovely skein of yarn in the mail this morning before work at my post office box.

I won't have access to my camera until later this week when I'm back at home, so I can't post a picture today of this beautiful yarn.

It is Buckwheat Bridge Angoras Hudson Valley Worsted Spinning Mill Yarn. It is 50% Mohair and 50% Wool. It feels so soft! And the colors are purple, blue and greens! Just lovely.

I can't wait to get it in a ball and knit up a swatch. Now the hard part begins. What to knit with this special yarn?!?!

Knit, Check Pattern, Rip

I've been trying to knit a sock for the last 5 or 6 days now. I'm using the sock yarn my SP8 sent me but I just can't seem to find a pattern that is knitting up the way I like it.

My SP8 did send a great lace sock pattern, but I figured it would be a good idea for me to start out with a basic sock. I went to an online sock pattern generator, but the sock was too loose.

So I found another pattern and started knitting on that. Well, that pattern was too tight!

Right now I'm knitting to just be knitting anyway. And not to really get something accomplished, although that would be nice. It is helping me get through this week.

Amy's grandfather died on Sunday morning. We've been staying in Austin with her Granny. I've been going to work but when I'm at the house, I'm knitting. It helps pass the time and keeps my hands out of the cookies.

Looks like the funeral will be on Thursday morning. The final arrangements are being made today.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Knitting At Work

I'm stuck at work today watching computer process run. We are trying to get ready for a demo of our program on Tuesday.

I started a sock last night with the yarn my secret pal sent me knowing I'd be waiting around a lot today. I've gotten about 3 or 4 inches done.

I'll take a picture tomorrow and post it. I love how this yarn (Lorna Lace's Shepherd Sport) is knitting up. Beautiful!

Knitty Article To Be Published

WooHoo! An article I submitted to is being published in the Summer 2006 issue!

I submitted it back in March or April and hadn't heard anything, so I figured I hadn't made the cut. But yesterday I got an e-mail from Amy Singer, the editor of, saying I was in!

Not sure if I can write about the topic of the article before it is published, so I'll wait to reveal it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


 I've started working on my next project, a cardigan sweater. I'm designing it with the help of The Sweater Workshop book. I used their worksheet to figure out how may stitches to cast on. The book also show me how to work a slip stitch edge and how to do the button holes.

I'm using Andean Silk yarn from Knit Picks. It is 55% Alpaca, 23% Silk, and 22% Merino Wool. It is so soft and a dream to knit with. The color scheme is based on the Tubey sweater pattern from the winter issue of

I had originally bought the yarn to do the Tubey, but decided I'd rather have a cardigan instead of the body hugging sweater.

I'm almost to the arm holes and then I'll need to decide how I want to do the sleeves and the yoke area. I'm not sure how it will look as a ragalan with the stripes going around the yoke but not the sleeves. I could do a drop sleeve instead. That might make the stripes work out better. The book shows how to do both. Posted by Picasa

Friday, June 16, 2006

Japanese Knitting Books

Oh no! I'm may have found another knitting related obsession. First, there was the yarn, and then there was the patterns, and then there was the alpaca, and now I've discovered Japanese Knitting Books.

I had bought some Japanese bead books about 10 or so years ago. They are just wonderful. And late last year I was reading about Japanese craft books but I didn't see anything about knitting ones.

But today while I was reading some blogs and I saw an entry about Japanese knitting books and before you know it I was down a rabbit hole where I ended up on the Amazon Japan website ordering two books/magazines of knitting designs/patterns. It is crazy because I can't even read Japanese. But if the knitting books are anything like the bead books, then there will be some high quality eye candy for sure!

Here are the two books I ordered:

I think the second one is a crochet book. There is no English descriptions on the Amazon Japan site. It is pretty much a crap shoot. But several people had great things to say about the first.

I used a online tutorial on how to order on the Japan Amazon site. It made the whole ordering thing a snap.

There were a lot more that I would have liked to get but they are kinda pricey. And the shipping cost me more then the two books. All told it is about $30.

My mom lives in Seattle and I read on a couple of blogs of a book store there that sells Japanese Knitting Books, so I just might be asking for that for my birthday (hint, hint mom!)

It will be 6 to 8 weeks before I get the books. I'll post more when I get them. If you have Japanese knitting books leave a comment and let me know which ones you like best. Thanks!

Japanese Knitting Patterns and Japanese Knitting Books