Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Return of Sweaterhag

Hello blog friends. Yes, I have fallen off of the blog map of late, but am trying hard to reestablish my blip. Funny, I thought that when I started a blog, that I would have nothing to write about. It seems that just the opposite is true, and I have been too busy to blog like I want. I will be talking about what I have been doing, but today is for remembering an internet friend.

I was stunned by the sad news of the sudden passing of our beloved list Aunt Gail; Gail McHugh, the moderator of “KnitU”, the Knitter's magazine email forum. I have been a long time member of KnitU, mostly lurking, since the early days. Auntie Gail was professional, warm, funny and unfailingly positive while dealing with what must have been the huge piles of mail that chatty knitters generate. She was also a machine knitter. KnitU is overwhelmingly a hand knitters forum, but she did all of us machine knitters a huge favor by also proclaiming herself a machine knitter. I wish I had been able to talk with her about this; what machine she had, how many, etc. I hoped that we would meet face to face one day, perhaps at a Stitches event, and we could chat carriages and ribbers. Alas, Gail has moved on to the big afterlife yarn shop. (Where I know that they have a big comfy couch, unlimited yarn, a shop cat and dog who get along, tea, coffee, wine, chocolate, and lots of good company; Elizabeth Zimmermann and Sidna Farly, among many others.) We will miss her. My heart and thoughts go out to her family.

Gail’s pet project was Covenent House in New Orleans. She and Dez Crawford were spearheading a drive to contribute 1000 warm knitted items by the holidays. I am ashamed to admit that I was only listening with half an ear as Gail urged us to make and send our contributions to wrap those devastated by Katrina, assuming that "others would take care of it." Then she was gone, so I am stepping up to be one of those others.

I've fired up my old 150 Bulky machine, and broken out the Wool-ease. This was my first knitting machine, bought sometime back in the early 1980's, and is still the dearest to my heart. For no-frills, non-patterning heavy-duty knitting, this guy is unstoppable. Since my knitting time is limited, and I lost some time at the outset coming up with a prototype that I liked and can be produced quickly, I only have a few hats to show so far (I'm getting bogged down in the seaming, too.). But now I've got a simple Fisherman's Knit cap that I can produce in under an hour (not counting seaming).

That is where I'm at, I'd like to have at least 10 hats by this weekend so I can get them off and hopefully they will arrive in time for the holidays.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Attack of the Blog-goblins

So my last post, which I had planned as a picture heavy introduction to the lastest member of my machine family, really turned into reality check of how little I know about using the tools to create an effective blog. After nearly losing a good portion of a hard fought blog post to the Blog-goblins, I have set out to learn as much as I can about how to use the Blogger software. In the meantime, I will confine myself to less ambitious posts, and work on honing my blog skills.

This is what has been happening on the small knitting front:
MS3/Swan Lake-still moving slowly along. I think one of the blog-goblins got into this project. I make good progress for awhile, then mess up on a grand scale, nessecitating ripping of about 1/2 of my progress...two steps forward, one step back. I'd love to have this ready in time for holiday parties, but at this rate it may be holidays '08.

Christmas present #1-(surprise) moving along nicely, considering I have to keep this one under wraps. Looks good!

Christmas present #2-EZ's Prime-rib Watch cap for AB-kind of sitting on the back burner...

I attended Knit-Nite at Village Yarn and Tea last night. I tend to be shy and awkward in social situations, so I tend to avoid them, even as I yearn to be more social, especially with other knitters. But I was lured in by the irresistible promise of Noro on sale! I wandered back and forth, longingly fondling fibers and contemplating luscious colors. But all the while, I was drawn to the corner where my secret crush is calling to me…
Kauni. Sigh. I desperately covet this yarn, but the color palate available on this day, while stunning, does not suit me. As I stand like a pole, fingering and dithering, I manage to snag a few moments with the very charming and very busy Deb, who is the owner and who informs me that a new order of Kauni is in the foreseeable future! Be still my heart! So I stifle my screaming desire for instant gratification on this day, and eagerly look forward to a big pay off down the road.

That's all I have for you today, my knit-friends. The kitchen is calling me; beef stroganoff and artichokes for dinner tonight, then it's off to the Princess to see "Into the Wild".


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Debut of the Machine Fiend

We went to see L today. I have been wanting one of these for a while.

Can’t tell what it is? Either can Badger.
Okay, it’s an LK! Light Knitter 150 by Silver Reed. I've been trying to get my hands on one for awhile-I thought I had a line on a used one, but after much waiting, that door closed, maybe for the better. This one is brand new out of the box, just like a first timer would bring home a brand new LK 150.

I have really wanted one of these guys; yes, I have a whole lair full of the "big boys", but they can be complicated and/or intimidating for the beginner, not to mention expensive. At about $400.00, this is a great entry level knitter. Good quality, nice features, light and full of possibilities. My goal is to become proficient with this guy, so I can answer questions and show how easy and fun knitting machines can be.

This guy has a lot in common with the big guys, and is still different. I want to explore what can be done with this fella, using just what comes with this machine-no running to others for garter bars or extra hand tools.

That being said, I did cheat a little bit; I have the luxury of having a spare tilt table, so I don't have to clamp it to the dining room table

I'm going to wrap up and call it a day; the gremlins have gotten into the blog, and are trying to destroy this post. I'm happy today that I've gotten some picture mojo going, and will quit while I'm ahead.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


I just wanted to mention a wonderful yarn shop that I visited today-it’s called Renaissance Yarns, and it’s located in Kent, on Meeker Street in the heart of downtown. Yes, I live in Edmonds, and Kent is a bit out of the way for me, (about 35 miles) but I grew up in the South end, and my Aunt still lives out in Kent. What a nice shop! Stunning yarns, beautiful atmosphere and lovely people. They have a charity event every 3rd Friday of the month; they get together to make chemo caps for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. This is definitely a shop I am going to put on my “must visit” list. I also got a call from L tonight-she has procured for me that which I have been questing for. (Teaser!) If all goes as planned, I should have it tomorrow. It also occurs to me that I have yet to document the Lair. That is going to require pictures. If I’m not too exhausted from another whole day of errands, I plan to become the master of the digital camera! (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Sigh. I’ve been pleased with the slow but steady progress I’ve been making on MS3, then Yarn Harlot has to go and do what’s been rattling around the back of my brain:
She added more beads to the design.
Sigh. I’ve been (mostly) happily plodding along, making slow, steady progress. I’m about ¼ of the way thru clue 4, and I’ve noticed that the beautiful beads that I love and were liberally sprinkled thru the first 3 clues have dried up.
So now I’m faced with ripping back all my hard won progress. It means taking out about 60 rows back to the middle of clue 3.

Sigh. I want more beads.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

So I've figured out why I'm not posting-I'm still not comfortable with the picture thing. Lacking time to play with and become proficient with camera and computer, I haven't been posting. Time for a change. I will become picture savvy, but 'til then, please forgive unillustrated postings.

This is what has been happening in Sweaterhag's world:
We went to the Puyallup Fair; I love fairs, we try to go to Monroe and Puyallup every year. We eat too much fair food, look at the displays and the animals. The draft horses are one of my favorites. They’re just huge! We went to the show, and afterwards we went out back of the barn and saw the horse wash. I guess even guys who weigh 2000 pounds need a shower after work.

What I always look for are the knitting entries, naturally. The Puyallup is the biggest fair in western Washington, and the knitted entries are always spectacular-the best of the best. And with the current knitting boom, I was expecting magic. Imagine my surprise when I found-not a heck of a lot. Don’t get me wrong; what was there was very nice; exquisite and beautiful, actually. But there really were very few pieces. I must have expressed my surprise to Curt a few too many times because he turned to me and said “So where is YOUR entry?” That shut me up. Where is my entry? Still scrawled on the back page of the someday file...
So here and now, I promise I will have an entry for next year’s Puyallup. (Gulp). I do have an idea, and maybe the yarn and pattern.

I did get Ty-Dy boxes done in time to wear to see the Yarn Harlot when she was in town. I was pleased to see that we were both wearing the same shade of chocolate brown, but she was wearing a beautiful lace shawl of apple green mohair as a contrasting piece. She is soo funny! (…“dropping the ‘K’ bomb.” Snort!) It really is a great time to be a knitter. Knitting humor-who'd a ever thunk it?
I got to meet the very charming Morgan. I am very interested in meeting other NW knit bloggers, so this was a great pleasure for me.

Okay, what else has happened? I went to Knit Night at Village Yarn and Tea. They were having a trunk show by the Fleece Artist, Kathryn Thomas. The yarns were amazing: the fibers delectable, the colors iridescent. I'm afraid I had a yarn accident, and spent an indecent amount of money.
Hi, I'm Petra, and I'm a yarnaholic. Sigh. I wore Field of Flowers and got lots of nice compliments on it.

Currently in progress:
  1. MS3. Or should I call it Swan Lake now? I keep plugging along, but this one seems to move very slowly. Still, I love it and I want to finish it. I know me, and if I let my attention wander, it will end up in the UFO bin.
  2. The Puyallup Project. Still in the early preliminary stages
  3. Aunt Betty's Christmas hat. I'm doing EZ's watch cap from some bulky hand-dyed handspun wool I got from the spinner as she was spinning in the goat barn at the Monroe fair. This is easy knitting, which I need after Swan Lake and the PP.
  4. Christmas present. Shhhh! It's a surprise! (Looks good, tho')
Alright, that's enough for today. I'll try not to get so far behind again, and WILL figure out how to access the pictures so I can use them easily. I took some good ones at the fair that I want to share.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Panic Setting In

Now it's down to crunch time: I'm trying to hurry and finish my version of Ty-Dy boxes so I can wear it Friday when Yarn Harlot is in town. The knitting is mostly done, now it's just the finishing up...and setting in the sleeves.
For me, this is where the wheels come off the wagon. I love set in sleeves, I just don't love setting in the sleeves. And of course, the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get.
Ty-Dy boxes is an unconventional construction, which makes it fun to knit, but makes the finishing a bit of a challenge. Add in the rush factor and, well, let's just say it's not moving along as fast as I'd like. (Understatement) I'm not ever sure it will fit when I'm done. I'm using every spare minute I can scrounge to finish, and what's the result?
Yup, I want to start something new.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

No time for pictures...

Just wanted to dash off a quick one today. It's amazing how how busy days off from work can become.
So between errands, housework, cooking and cat maintenance, I've been busy trying to finish the sweater I want to wear when Yarn Harlot hits town next week. She will be here.
I want to hurry and finish Ty-Dy boxes from Knitter's magazine, Summer '07, I think. No time to check the details, no time for pictures...
I'm making it out of Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in a dark coffee color. It goes perfectly with a strand of pearls I bought here the same day I bought the yarn. Would anyone believe that one event was not related to the other? It's true, I swear on cashmere.
So I'm hurrying to finish, and hoping it fits. I'll post a picture of the finished outfit. Back to it!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Many Apologies...

Many apologies for having the lamest blog on the net. In my defence, to kick off my knitting blog, this is what I have been doing

We are building a new deck. (I'm going to toot my own horn here, and gloat about the small victory in posting my first pictures. Hazzah!)
This is a big deal for us, as the old deck was rotten and falling down
This is the old, sad, unsafe deck. You can see me underneath, proudly waving Old Glory through the rotted out hole for dramatic effect. Obviously, destruction and rebuilding are required.
And that is what we have been doing, with some timeouts for knitting, of course

Here are four of my favorite things, in no particular order...
New deck
Knitting magazines
Knitting (MS3 in Misti Lace Alpaca)
And one last favorite thing;
husband Curt on brand new deck. He did most of the work, and he deserves most of the credit. The deck is beautiful, and is my new favorite knitting spot. Good job, baby!

Look for more knitting content coming soon.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Hello from Sweaterhag

Is there room out here in the blogesphere for another knitting blogger?
Hi! My name is Petra, and I knit as much as I can. I do other things, too, but I am hoping, by blogging, to meet other yarny friends.

I am not young (48), hip (love Fleetwood Mac), or computer savvy (still working out how to post pictures). But I do have a screen name...(drumroll) I am the Sweaterhag (cymbal crash). Okay, not so impressive. But I do have a lair, and I was planning on posting some pictures to kick off this blog, but, um, there's that whole still working out the pictures bit. But I will, and soon. So till then, I just wanted to say Hi!

Oh, and happy 4th of July!