Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dusting Off the Old Sewing Machine

I've really inspired myself, I think, with this contest idea. Not only have I listed some heavy duty knitting goals for myself for this summer- but I've broken my June list down to weekly lists, and I've added things like cleaning, painting, gardeing, and even a little sewing. And in a move to get another item checked off my list I took less than an hour of my afternoon to finish a simple skirt I started for my girls way too long ago...

All that was waiting to be done was to gather and attach the ruffle, and yet I procrastinated...
Well, I finally have a finished object (FO) for my sewing memoirs- Hmmm, I really think I'm going to start 'documenting' (journaling? scrapbooking?) the things that I sew too. The memory can last ever so much longer than a lightweight cotton that's well-worn, and oft-washed...
And here's a quick pic of the finished product! Yay! That felt good. I think I always give a satisfied sigh after finishing just about any project, much like when finishing a good book...

On the knitting front- or should I say back?
The Eyelet Cardigan (on my goals list for June) is well underway! I have a completed Back and half of a Right Front, (which is on my broken down list for this week.) I may actually have a summery sweater for my very self in the near future- yay!

A gratuitous close-up of the simple eyelet lace and ribbing pattern...

Now I've got far too many contest entries to catch up on- my spreadsheet it spreading...

Happy knitting-

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Girls

No time to blog about knitting today...

(3 of my 6 wee ones)

Happy knitting-


Sunday, May 27, 2007

More Contest Entries

Wow, there are sure a lot of you knitters knitting out there- but then, I knew that...

The contest entries are still flowing in- and the summer knitting goals lists are piling up! I certainly won't have time to share all of them with you... I'm a very busy mom! But do stop by and see what some more of your fellow knitters are/will be up to-

25- Kats & Yarn
26- Wendy's Woolies
27- habsgirl
28- Craftylilly
29- Craftypiggie
30- Knit Happened
31- What I did at School Today
32- limedragon
33- Guinifer
34- Woolly Interlude
35- uberstrickenfrau
36- knitwonpurltoo
37- mjm knitting
38- Random Meanderings
39- Texas Purl Gurl
40- Barb's Knitting Place
41- Beverly Knits
42- Elan Knits
43- Robyn's Words
44- Serendipitous Opportuknitty
45- moonfrog
46- T-Town Knitiot
47- rhymes with socks
48- Anastacia Knits
49- Loose Yarn & UFO's
50- The Curly Knitter
51- working mom knits
52- Have yarn will travel
53- Knitting Err Wut? (teen guy knits! and plays flute- I play the flute too!)
54- Cats Knit and tango
55- 5elementknitr
56- M's Musings
57- Ewe Gotta Knit

**Some of you left an initial comment, but never followed up with your list and e-mail confirmation with the link to your post- there's still time...
If you missed the first 24 listed, you can still find them here.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Have No Fear- Brick House is Here!

Ooh-la-la! Yarny goodness has arrived. I'm so excited- I made my first etsy purchase the other day (per the recommendation of Jean) and had been eagerly awaiting its arrival ever since.

It's a 100% Superwash Merino Wool, Rainbow-Dyed Colorway: Brick House, brought to you by Fearless Fibers. I was tempted to cast on and swatch tonight, but the prospect of hand winding 550 yards (!!!) was just not thrilling my knitting nerves...
It's just so pretty... I'm oooh-ing and aaahhh-ing, and trying to decide which sock pattern to try with it... and the fabric it's laying on? Well, my sister was thinning her stash and gifted me a while back- I think I'll be gifting my daughters with some matching skirts here very soon! I considered cutting them out tonight, but I'm having too much fun with the back of my Eyelet Cardigan and another fair isle hat... and pouring over sock patterns...
Happy knitting-

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Contest Entries

***Scroll down for Contest!***

I really didn't realize it would grow so big, so fast- but it's all good. It's been fun to see what some of you are coming up with for sumemr knitting goals (or whatever season it is on your side of the world!)
I'm going to start listing links, please don't panic if you don't find yourself listed, there are a lot of you and I'm only going to work on it a few minutes at a time, lest my eyes go batty...
Take a look and see what your fellow bloggers are working on-
10- fiber_chic (teen knitter & spinner!)
13- KaKi
16- Sheknits (has a contest going to win some great stitch markers!)
23- Anne

Monday, May 21, 2007

My Over-Achieverness Explained

Eh-hem. Lest any more of you humble me with your exclamations of 'you humble me'... I must clarify...

I did say that I'm a classic over-achiever type (Alex P. Keaton...)

Anyway, I'm a list maker, a long list maker. I know full well that I will not accomplish everything on the list. But I also know full well that without the list I wouldn't accomplish much at all. The list motivates me- I love to see things checked off.

I make big lists, partly because I have big dreams, partly because I have delusions of grandeur... there are so many things I want to do that my mind would just spin with no direction without my guiding list. With such a big list I know that I could easily get 25% of it done- much less than that and I would do a little self-kicking (been there, done that!) I will feel like I accomplished something good if I complete 50% of my list. If I get to 75% of my list I'll be walking on sunshine. 100% and I'll be stiff and sore from all the knitting and need a month or two off for the physical therapy...

So really, don't be intimidated by my list! And don't feel compelled to change yours. Make your list suit you, you know yourself best, your strengths and your weaknesses.

All that being said- here's what's on my desk tonight. A second fair isle hat ready to start all the colorwork! An alpaca sport weight baby hoodie that just needs a sleeve and a half and hood trim. And a half-completed back to my very own Eyelet Cardigan- this one's for me! Yay!

Getting back to it-

Happy knitting,


Friday, May 18, 2007

My Own Summer Knitting Goals

***Scroll down for Contest***

Well, in an effort to not be too do-as-I-say and not-as-I-do...
  • Finish striped socks- write & edit pattern, plan fall photo shoot
  • Worsted stripe hat- knit 2nd sample, write & edit pattern, plan fall photo shoot
  • Finish worsted hoodie (I'm so close!)- finish pattern, plan summer photo shoot
  • Knit myself my tank!
  • Start Cropped Cardigan
  • Start an Eyelet Cardigan for me! (Blue Sky has the 2 I've knit so far...) (started! 5/18)
  • Start Valpuri
  • Finish sample Twisted Rib Socks (one sock to go!)
  • Make good progress on Rectangle Shawl sample (think of the cash payoff for motivation!)
  • Finish knitting math and cast on silk tank design
  • Work out alpaca fair isle baby hat and mitts
  • Start knitting math for BSA spring design ideas
  • Nail down logo/company identity
  • Encourage kids to finish scarves and enter in County Fair!
  • Do knitting math for men's zip-neck pullover
  • Get toddler dotted hoodie on the needles
  • Finish pattern writing & editing for alpaca heart pullover
  • Start some Monkey Socks
  • Learn to use my drop spindle
  • Master short row heels
  • Sock design


  • Work on my Eyelet Cardigan
  • Finish Valpuri
  • More good progress on Rectangle Shawl- maybe even finish!
  • Finish Gracie Sweater- write up pattern, plan photo shoot for August
  • Finish silk tank- plan photo shoot (find model...)
  • Get Ella Sweater pattern ready
  • Work on top secret web site... he, he, he...
  • Start husband's Ribbed Pullover
  • Finish cable sampler drawstring purse & pattern
  • Do knitting math for baby blanket idea
  • Finish Jaron Cardigan & pattern, plan fall photo shoot
  • Start men's zip-neck pullover
  • Start toddler shrug
  • Ladies' hat & mittens
  • Kids' hat & mittens
  • Girls' dress design- knitting math & cast on
  • Baby Bobbi Bear
  • Try to dye some yarn!
  • Practice more with drop spindle
  • Sock design
  • Fair isle baby sweater


  • Bulky felted bookbag
  • Finish Rectangle Shawl!
  • Finish Toddler Shrug & pattern, plan photo shoot
  • Work more on business stuff...
  • Get knitting on BSA spring designs
  • Women's alpaca cardi- knitting math & cast on
  • Jo Jo Basic Crew embroidered sweater (from Natural Knit for Babies and Moms)
  • Harvey Kimono (same book)
  • Silk baby dress- knitting math & cast on
  • Oz Vests (same book) for gifts for friends' boys
  • Some secret gift socks
  • Kid's Kimonos for Mercy & Grace
  • Finish striped Baby Hoodie (if not sooner)
  • Finish Royal Knee Highs (if not sooner)
  • Royal Cables hat
  • Try the spinning wheel!
  • Sock design

Like I said in the last post-"It's a long and detailed list... I'm a classic overachiever- think Alex P. Keaton..."

Whew! The scary thing is- there's so much more I want to do! There are only so many hours in a day and I still need to homeschool my 6 kids... oh, and cook a few meals here and there and keep up with the laundry...
We'll see how it goes. My lists are long, and I know I won't finish everything, but with the list written out I now have a plan. I have direction. New knits will come up, and some things may be frogged, it's all a part of the game. The point of this exercise is simply to get some goals defined, some things to work towards. I've listed specific knits as well as practicing techniques, even general business stuff... variety is the spice of life, and keeps me from tunnel vision.
If you haven't set your goals yet- I encourage you to start thinkingg about them... and then start working towards them!

Happy knitting,

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pre-Summer Contest Fun!

Wow, I'm thrilled that this contest is being so well received! I'm so glad so many of you are excited about it. I've gotten some really great comments both here and in my e-mail- thank you for your enthusiasm!
I've already seen some great summer knitting goals posts- there are some very basic & achievable goals, some very challenging goals, even a few questionable goals... (Better intoxicated knitting?! What have I started here? lol!) Whatever your goals may be, having them written down is empowering and will really help you to 'own' not only your goals, but to 'own' your actions in working towards your goals!
I'm thinking of putting together a contest progress post soon with links to your goal posts. I'm a little behind on my week already as I've had sick kids- my 4 year old spent Mother's Day and Monday in the hospital with double pneumonia (she has asthma, this is not the first time this has happened, 3rd time in the hospital actually, with many more non-hospital bouts.)
I'm working on ironing out my latest pattern and then I'll have some more knitting time again- yay! So back to work I go- keep the contest entries rolling in!
Happy knitting-

Friday, May 11, 2007

Pre-Summer Contest!

Okay, I finally have a few stolen moments to sit down and let you know about the contest that's been brewing in my mind for a while. I'm sorry if this appears as shameless self-promotion, but I happen to have several clean crisp copies of my first published design- the Fitted Tank I did for Blue Sky Alpacas- ... so that just happens to work out great for a first contest, don't ya think? Here goes-

First place winner will receive 1 copy of the pattern along with 4 hanks of Blue Sky Dyed Cotton in their choice of colors! Second & third place winners will each receive a copy of the pattern and whatever other goodies happen to jump into the package just before sealing and sending...

The warmer weather has moved in, even here in Minnesota, and I will be casting on a tank of my own very soon- maybe 2 as I can't seem to decide which color to do!

Okay, so here are the contest rules- all you have to do is:

1.) Leave a comment on this post letting me know what color you want and mention who's blog you heard about the contest on (if you jumped from a blog and if you can remember...)

2.) Then head to your blog and post a list of your summer knitting goals (there may be an end-of-summer contest of some sort to celebrate summer knitting accomplishments...) and mention this contest (with a link to this post-

3.) Lastly e-mail me with the link to your post! (ali AT skeins her way DOT com) Be sure to mention in your post for anyone who follows your link to let me know what blog they jumped from as every 'referral' will earn you another entry!

Contest will run through the end of the month (May) and my talented children will draw three winning names (or secret blogging identities) out of a container of some sort on June 1st.

Think about your summer knitting, make your lists, and get blogging!

Happy knitting,


Pea Pod- Finished at Last!

The poor thing has been sitting mostly done (seams seamed and ends woven in) for a week or two now... I finally got around to sewing some buttons on this afternoon!

Here it lies, unblocked but wearable-
And here it lies on the baby it was intended for- my sweet pea!

That was a fun knit. I enjoyed some simple pleasure knitting for my baby! I spend a lot of my knitting time working up samples for trunk shows or working out new designs, either way I end up parting with the finished product- and not by way of gift-giving. It's a nice way to earn a little money but it can be disenheartening at times to think of all the knitting I've done over a few months and how none of it ended up on my children... So I am determined to devote a good portion of my available knitting hours to personal projects, at least most weeks, weeks with no deadlines looming near... speaking of which, I've got more editing to get to...

Happy knitting,



Tuesday, May 08, 2007

First Blue Sky Fall Sneak Peak

Okay- I can't leak everything early, but this is a fun one for me to leak because I've already knit up a sample of this hat so I know firsthand how quickly and simply this knits up- add to that how wonderful the Royal is to work with and you've got a nice knit. And the best part (in my stash-building mind) is that you'll have enough yarn to make two... or maybe a baby item or two- the Royal makes absolutely luscious baby items... There's a lot of yarn in that there skein! (Keep that in mind when faced with the price tag!)
It's hard to tell in such a small photo, but the hat has a simple 1x1 rib band, and then a dainty "knot stitch" pattern on top. The knots are spread out for a clean and crisp look, which also makes it nice on the hands and wrists with minimal tediousness... too many knots or bobbles on any given garment can wreak havoc on sore knitting muscles...
Hopefully I'll get a pic or two of the baby stuff my wee one modeled for soon and very soon. I will definitely share those when they come, so stay tuned for more!

Also, I'm working out the details for a contest to be posted soon, so check back often.
That's all the time I have for now-
Happy knitting,

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Squeaking In...

Well, I did it... just barely! Procrastination is my middle name... In high school my biology teacher once told me I could do anything I wanted, I could be president some day, if I would just stop procrastinating all the time... I told him I'd stop tomorrow...
(And you'll notice that I'm not the president yet, nor does it look like it's in my near future, or the distant future for that matter...)
So life is busy, and with my "put off until tomorrow anything that doesn't need to be done by sundown tonight" modus operandi, I naturally came in just under the wire with my second project- the fair isle hat and mittens- the mittens took much longer than I'd anticipated... but finish them I did! (And it didn't require any all-night knitting like last season...)
The photo shoot for the new patterns for the fall line was Monday morning, and not only did I have 2 designs being photographed, but I had my soon to be a star baby modeling in 3 shots- fun, fun, fun! I was a little nervous as to how she would do- wondering if she would get frustrated with trying to sit up (she's not quite 6 months- she doesn't really sit up yet) but she did so well- that was the most she'd ever sat up! She was pretty easy to work with as she just looked around in wonder at all the people and props and flashy shiny things... This was our 3rd shoot, and the 3rd different child modeling, and it was probably the most fun so far. There's the obvious baby factor, but I think location had a whole lot to do with it this time. We were in an adorable antique store just outside of downtown Minneapolis. This was not your average country antique store, this was quite the upscale place- the type of antique store with $7,000 clocks... and I was there with 3 of my children (thanks again dear SIL for watching the other 3!) maneuvering a stroller through the not so wide walkways... thankfully we didn't break a thing!
I am pretty excited about getting permission to sneak some peaks at the photos here on this very blog even before these patterns have been released! It's all in who you know... :-) So stay tuned and keep checking back for some fabulous teasing. As soon as the shots are ready I can start 'leaking' them (I feel so special, he, he, he!) and you can see the designs that will be hitting your local yarn shops shortly after being released at TNNA in early June.

In other news, my Pea Pod is finished, except for the buttons and the blocking, photos to come...
My kids had another violin concert on Monday...
We had an outing at our favorite historic farm on Tuesday...
Long, busy day Wednesday and church in the evening...
Visit to Blue Sky to talk shop and pick up some new yarn Thursday and helped a friend with a knitting emergency 'til way too late Thursday night...
Mega grocery run Friday in addition to some house cleaning for our First Fridays Knit Night- 7 ladies including myself, and 13 children including my 6, with 4 of the young ladies (including my 6 year old) working on some knitting!
Which brings me to today... time to catch up around here, cooking, cleaning, laundry, lesson planning for next week (we homeschool), and some knitting and editing... hmmm, I wish Saturday were about 72 hours longer!
I'd better hop to it!

Remember to stay tuned for sneak peaks and my first contest to be announced sometime next week...

Until then,
happy knitting,
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