There’s a meme going around blogs “Ten Knitterly Things You May Not Know About Me”. Or something like that. For lack of knitting pictures here goes:

1. I’ve been knitting (are you ready for this?) – about 40 years! I started way back in high school.
2. I started out throwing, but learned continental about three years later and have never looked back.
3. My big “breakthrough” in knitting came when I bought “Knitting Without Tears” – yes, I have a first edition. Well worn, loved and read over and over.
4. I have been blessed through the years to have knitted with a lot of experts – Meg Swansen, Lily Chin, Eugene Buegler, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, Nancy Bush, Alice Starmore, Lucy Neatby et al. I know, shameless name dropping, but . . . My favorite – Meg, hands down! And A.S. has gotten a lot of bad press lately, but she was a great teacher and a very nice lady.
5. I still have the first piece of lace I ever knit – a little, wonky 5″ square. I keep it to keep me humble.
6. My book stash is probably larger than my yarn stash.
7. My needle stash is probably even larger.
8. I taught knitting in a yarn shop in Alaska while I was pregnant with my son. One day while packing a box to be shipped out to the Alaskan bush, I rested it against my stomach and Ben kicked it all the way across the counter!
9. My main job teaching was to teach ladies to knit Mary Maxim intarsia sweaters! Everyone in Alaska wanted one with a husky on it. Or a polar bear. In self defense I did knit one – a toddler size with Snoopy on it. I still have it. Don’t think Izzy will ever need it in Florida.
10. I knit, quilt, do hardanger, have done counted cross stitch, sewn clothing (I taught that as well), but if I could choose only one, it would be knitting – although around town I’m much more well known for my quilting.

“If you’re not confused by now, you’re probably not paying close enough attention.” Ya gotta love it! That’s an exact quote from my statistics textbook! In some ways it’s comforting because the authors realize how confusing statistics can be. One of the things I’ve learned so far is how anyone can use statistics to prove just about anything. It just depends on the spin! The good news – I have passed the first unit with a perfect score!!! There are four units and you have to get at least 85 (out of 100) to master that unit. If you master all four units, you get an A, three, you get a B and so on and so forth. So, no matter what, I now have a D in the class – only one more unit and I get at least a C. Of course, getting 100 in the first unit does not carry over into the second – it’s like starting over.

The other good news is that I was so far ahead on my school work last weekend that I rewarded myself with some significant knitting time. Since I finished the CIC gansey, I started a new one:


It’s a little hard to see, but there are hearts up the center. I just started the armhole gussets. And, because I felt a little bereft without a lace project, I started Icarus:


I was spurred on by Alianne’s beautiful pink Icarus. Go on – take a look; I’ll wait. . . . . . Gorgeous, isn’t it? I love the beautiful pink. I had a pale pink lace in my stash that had been waiting for just the right project and I think this is it. At this point it is pretty mindless – as long as you can count to 7, you’re in good shape.

And, after four hours of studying today, my reward was to pick up FLAK. The weather is turning cool and I’m starting to get interested again. On pulling it out of the bag, I was a little dismayed to see how little I had really accomplished on it:


But, except for the ribbing, most of the decision-making process is over and it’s straight knitting from here on out. I almost decided to frog, but decided to do a few more inches and once I got into the swing remembered how much I really do like this and remembered how gorgeous Marguerite’s turned out. Go ahead, take a look at that one too. I find other bloggers to be an enormous source of inspiriation.

Don’t know if I’ll get a chance to blog next week. I only have to work one day so will have lots of study time. And on Thursday we head over the mountains to Pullman. I have a seminar at WSU (the one involving dog training), so I have lots of reading to do before that. Besides the seminar, there is a reception, a tour of the ice cream factory on campus (an offshoot of the vet school and a dairy herd) and lots of socializing with Bill’s brother and family. And – lots of knitting on the drive over and back!

Wow, you guys rock! I asked for advice and both regular commenters and lurkers stepped up to the plate. I started out trying to answer each comment individually, but gave up. So, thank all of you for your comments – I read each and every one and mulled them over. The advice pretty much split both ways, although no one actually said they loved the rolled neckline (I think the term “wonky” was bandied about). Several people commented that the neckline needed to be large enough to go over a child’s proportionally ginormous head – and they are correct. Reading all the comments, it came to me that the size of the neckline was just fine, so I left the number of stitches be. But I ripped out the rolled part and put in a shorter, ribbed neck finish. Voila! Problem solved:


The neckline is essentially the same size, but doesn’t flare out in a “wonky” way. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions! Oh, the specs (I always forget those). Pattern: Snakes and Ladders Gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel’s excellent book. Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Blue Bonnet (about 5 1/2 skeins). Size 4 needle.

Now I’m off to study statistics for a couple of hours and then my reward: Casting on for another CIC gansey – a heart design in bright red!

A quickie post because I need your opinion on something. I’m getting in a little bit of knitting, and rather than start something new, decided to finish up a CIC sweater I had started. Just the sleeves to go, but I am very dissatisfied with this neckline. Pretty ugly, huh? I know that it will slip smoothly over a little one’s head, but is it way too wide? Should I rip back and do a ribbed neckline instead? Any and all comments and opinions are welcomed.


And I finished a pair of socks. These are Old Shale socks, pattern courtesy of Marguerite. Great pattern, great socks. The Old Shale top is Trekking, the rest is St. Ives. Can’t wait for the weather to get cold enough to wear them. Maybe tomorrow?


I’ve been able to do a few rows on the afghan as well. I am practicing cabling without a needle. I have attempted it in the past, but found that I actually could go faster with a cable needle. However, with a little practice I’m finding that I like it. I wanted to master it because I have a habit of losing my cable needles or finding myself stranded somewhere without one. I still have to think about whether I’m picking up the stitches from the front or back, but I’m getting better with practice.

I have the blogging blahs! Part of it is that I just don’t have an awful lot to blog about. After last weekend’s flurry of activity, my life has settled into a rather boring routine of work and study. I have finished the first section of my statistics class by taking the exam yesterday. I don’t know if I passed the section or not – you have to have a score of 85, but I think I did ok. That’s one-fourth of the way through the class. I’ve also spent a lot of time this week writing essays on Abnormal Psych – so if you want me to analyze you . . . .

I have to remind myself at this point that all of this was my choice. I am getting so tired of school! And I’m especially getting tired of people saying, “Aren’t you done yet?” No, I’m not done yet. There is one dear lady who has been a big supporter and encourager for me. I saw her at church the other day and told her that I had a projected graduation date. She said, “For your master’s?” I felt I had really let her down when I told her it was just for my bachelor’s. Sigh.

Ok, you didn’t come here for whining. On the knitting front – I had told myself when I got the statistics unit over I would reward myself with a new lace project. But I decided that for now adding another project to my already stressed schedule is probably counter-productive. So, instead I worked on some previous projects. Some is secret Christmas knitting – Izzy’s sweater body is done, so all that’s left are the sleeves, cutting, sewing and finishing (yes, steeks are involved).

And, I rethought the Aran afghan and frogged and started with a new pattern. I decided that as much as I love my sister’s afghan, I didn’t want to have to sew panels together. Here is the new effort:


This is from one of the Jamieson and Smith books and I’m really liking it. By the time it gets long, the weather will be cold and it will probably feel pretty good. But if it’s not done this winter (and it probably won’t be), it will have to be put on the back burner during the summer.

I also rewarded myself with some time puttering in my sewing room. I’m also a quilter, but haven’t been doing much lately. I felt the quilting bug bite, though and worked on this:


I had been a little frustrated with the block because originally I was using the ladybug fabric for the windmill blades and they just didn’t “pop”. In a flash of inspiration, I switched everything around and I really like this better. Thank goodness I hadn’t cut out all of my blocks so I spent yesterday after my exam happily cutting while watching “Law and Order” reruns.

That’s all for now. Once a week will probably be as much as I post until end of semester, so see you next week!

No, really – I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Just busy working and studying and well, working and studying. To say nothing of a whirlwind social schedule that has left me breathless! Saturday it was off to visit Lorette, The Knitting Doctor. What a gracious host and hostess John and Lorette were! I was wined, dined and entertained in style. On Sunday we picked up Kris and headed off for a Seattle yarn crawl. We only hit two shops – the Weaving Works and Acorn Street Yarn Shop, but our heads were spinning with all of the fibery goodness. Kris and I did not leave empty handed:


Come to think of it, neither did Lorette. Just let it be said that we left the yarn economy of Seattle in good shape. After a dynamite lunch at Cedars, we were off to Acorn Street and then to Bothell for the Yarn Harlot’s book signing. Stephanie was an absolute riot and had the whole audience in tears with laughter. We stood in line almost an hour to talk with her, but Lorette and Kris made it seem much shorter:


Sadly, I am the only one without groupies. Both Kris and Lorette had knitters come up and recognize them from their blogs. Or maybe I just don’t attract knit stalkers. Yeah, that’s it! We finally reached the head of the line and Stephanie was as gracious as ever. I think by that time I’d be telling people to hurry up and move along!


They actually closed the store around us but wisely decided to let the knitters stay on to avoid a full blown riot. I left early this morning to avoid the worst of the Labor Day traffic. I pulled off the highway in Mt. Vernon (about 45 minutes from home) because I was starving and decided I needed reinforcements and a potty stop. As I pulled into a parking lot, I heard a beep behind me, and who should it be but my very bestest friend, Jan. What a serendipity. We had a lovely lunch together and a nice break in the three hour trip home. I’m now home relaxing and convincing myself that statistics will NOT be on the agenda tonight. Thanks Lorette for a lovely weekend, and Kris, it was wonderful meeting you. Maybe next time I’ll get to see Anna Grace too!