Friday, February 26, 2010

dog gone it

Isn't she cute? It's gosh darn lucky for her that she is, cause...
This is how I think yarn should be:

This is how my puppy Purl thinks it should be:

Thankfully, it isn't one of those kinky yarns that folds in on itself and gets all tangeld so I was able to undo the damage with relative ease. (Thank goodness also for the ball winder - if I didn't already have one, I'd certainly be getting one!)

I'm not sure what this yarn will become. I bought it for the capitan's hat, but in looking at the pattern again, I think it is just a tad too bulky. Maybe the yarn harlot's unoriginal pattern.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Not only are these mice fun to knit, it turns out they are great toys for standing in line at Disney World! Dd was perfectly content to set up an entire fantasy world while we slowly moved along waiting for the next ride or show. That made everything more pleasant. The last picture is the wildlife at Disney. What a great place to be a squirrel!

The pattern for the mouse can be found at Just scroll down a ways. The doll is a blast to knit too - pics coming soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One of my prizes for finishing the sweater was a great apron and a bunch of cupcake cooking supplies, which arrived today just a head of the kiddos getting sent home early for a giantsnow storm (which was just rain for most of the afternoon)

Perfect activity. Some how, miraculously, I had all the ingredients for the cupcakes – but just enough butter. I used a “Boston Cupcake” recipe that called for mace, which adds great flavor. I filled up the 12 baking cups as the recipe specified and wondered briefly why I had extra batter, but I figured that happens. Well, half way through the cooking time I figured out why - I’d added twice as much milk as called for! It turns out, however, that this is okay, it just takes way, way, way longer to cook! But they are so worth the wait.

Then for the frosting – again miraculously, we had enough powdered sugar, but not really enough butter. I found a recipe that would work anyway – hot water and powdered sugar, but why stop there? I added what little butter I had left, some milk and Fluff! I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a frosting recipe calling for Fluff, but it works pretty darn good. The kids loved it. Of course, how could they not with all that sugar?

If you're interested, here's the recipe:

2 tablespoons of hot water, 1 tablespoon of vanilla in a bowl.

Mix in 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat until smooth.

Add 2 tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of half and half (or milk)

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of Fluff

Add another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar if it doesn't look thick enough.

Add a few dabs of food coloring if desired.

It occurred to me later that I could just have used the fluff.

Monday, February 08, 2010


I've had no time to post and little time to knit because I've been doing double duty around here. DH was sent to Haiti last Friday to write about Harvard's humanitarian efforts there. After reading what he has written, I'm glad he went. He is a marvelous writer who can show readers with his words what he sees. And, it's so important to see what is going on there! These doctors have created hospitals out of virtually nothing. They are doing it on largely on their own dime. They didn't take the time to raise funds, they put up their own money and took off hoping to work out the finances later. They are giving up so much to take care of some of the poorest and neediest people in the world under some of the harshest conditions in the world. I may be giving up some free time, but it's nothing compared to what these people are enduring. If you are looking for a worthy cause or a way to help - this is it.

Al's first article:

FOND PARISIEN, HAITI — Nearly a month after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti, paramedic Anthony Croese looked into the crowd outside a destroyed orphanage near Port-au-Prince and spotted an emaciated baby cradled in his father’s arms.
The baby looked far too tiny for his eight months of life, and a short conversation explained why. His mother died in the Jan. 12 quake, and his father, Emilio Eliassaint, in the weeks since had been feeding him sugar water, devoid of the nutrients in mother’s milk.
Croese, who feared the baby wouldn’t survive long on such a diet, bundled him into a car and sent him to a field hospital that has sprung up amid the thorny trees and dried grass at Fond Parisien, near the border with the Dominican Republic. full article

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mousie Mania

What could be better to follow up a long complicated pattern than a really quick easy one? Enter the mouse. I found it during the great sweater race and even enticed Allison to take a side tour to knit one (sorry about that).

This one is for a special certain 4 year old who loves yellow!

Check out this site: for the mouse pattern, a darling bear pattern and a delightful doll.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mr.Greenjeans complete

I told my friend Allison and Bonnie that I wanted to knit a sweater this year, so they challenged me to a race. First one done gets a prize from the other two. Who could resist such a challenge? We all used the same yarn, but different patterns. Mine is Mr. Greenjeans from
I wanted something with special details but knit from the top down to avoid seaming, which I hate because I don't really know how to do it. I also knew from all my reading is that the advantage of top down is that you can try it on as you go to make sure the size is right. That's a great idea if you know what the heck you are doing, which I don't. I tried it on at several points and it always seemed fine. Except that it really wasn't. It's too big. Not a lot too big, maybe a size or so. I will admit that I didn't actually check measurements - I just assumed I should use the size I usually wear.
I modified the collar, making it a shawl collar using short rows. It doesn't fold over like it should and keeps coming around to being flat. I wonder if I should have done the short rows at the edge of the collar instead of closer to the body?
I'm also not terribly pleased with where the button falls. It's not quite as flattering to my body type as I had hoped. This is one of the disadvantages of not being able to try on a style before you spend hours and hours knitting it!
Overall, however. I love the color and the yarn is wonderfully soft and warm.
I am also thrilled to be done. which I am only because of the motivation of my friends. Being in a race helped me stay focused and put off other projects that would otherwise have distracted me.
I am now more determined than ever to figure out how to design my own patterns. So often, I like some of this one and some of that one. I want to become proficient in putting all the pieces together.
Oh, and by the way, yes - I did "win" :)