Monday, February 26, 2007

"Washing Life" 3

We took a hike to the waterfall at Vichy Springs Resort property. Supposed to be an easy, mostly flat hike.
The path ran alongside the bubbling brook. How long has it been since you listened to the soothing sound of the creek? I can't even remember...

Spotted a little creature. Can you tell where he is?

And another. In fact, we spotted many of these black salamanders on the trail. Mitch said "they must be fambily (family)."

The trail was pretty unstable and difficult at times, but Mitch handled it very well. At the end, we had to give up before we got to the waterfall -- but we still had fun. I kept thinking about my childhood memories -- there were small creek and a pond near my elementary school. We often played in the water (and mud) catching crayfish. I hope my son will get to make similar memories.

We found another trail on the hill.

After a nice hike, we were all hungry!

Next day we said bye-bye to one of the most beautiful places we've visited. I thoroughly enjoyed the long weekend -- the problem is that it wasn't long enough!

On the way out of the city of Ukiah, we of course made a stop at the yarn shop -- Heidi's Yarn Haven. Mitch came in to show off his hat that I knitted for him, getting compliments as he usually does at any yarn store. The lady at the store told us about Mendocino Fiber Festival -- I think it's in September. This year for sure we are going!

My recent acquisitions --

The left is what I bought at Heidi's Yarn Haven, Mountain Colors hand painted yarn. Middle -- the first yarn I got at DeStash; Three Waters Farm hand painted yarn. The right -- my handspun, Bubble Gum!

I'm so proud of this handspun. I think I did a good job.

What to knit? I keep looking for small projects to do with my handspun -- just too little to do anything other than socks and scarves. I should try to spin in larger quantity.

I need another vacation!

Stitches West

The Stitches West conference was nearby in Santa Clara this weekend, and three of us made it to the market for purchasing our favorite item - yarn. It was yarnatopia, yarnville, yarn, yarn, yarn everywhere in addition to other knitting and crochet related items!! I wanted to take a million pictures, but unfortunately they didn't allow photography - bummer. I was at the convention center when the doors opened at 10. I had my ticket and cash in hand. I took a specific amount of cash to spend and then that was more was to be spent. Huguette and Liz were making their way south but would not arrive for another hour and 20 minutes. They called me to tell me to go ahead without them. Don't they know me well enough by now? Me, wait? For them? When there's yarn to be fondled? What were they thinking? Of course I went ahead without them. In fact, I think that I was fondling yarn when they called to tell me not to wait. Not even 5 minutes had passed when a big chunk of my cash was flowing freely from my hands. It was crazy! I had the best time, but missed experiencing it with my friends. I found all kinds of yarn that I can't get easily in my town. By the time that Huguette and Liz arrived, I had already used all my cash and whipped out my credit card twice in order to buy more. I definitely went over my limit. However, I vow that this is the last yarn purchase until September when there will be another conference in Oakland. (Ok, let's really see how long that will last!)

We had the best time looking all around at the goodies. Liz took quite a while before she purchased any yarn, but she did good. She found what she called "Happy Yarn". Huguette found lots of yarn. I was exhausted and found a place to sit and knit for a while. Liz and Huguette left their bags with me and went forth to buy, buy, buy. I had fun waiting to see who would return and with what. It was almost like a yarn treasure hunt. Before we left Huguette purchased enough beautiful, soft, luxurious alpaca yarn to make a sweater. I can't wait to see it in progress! We made one attempt to leave, but just before going through the door we realized that we had to go back. We heard some specific sock yarn calling our names. It was just whispering to us as we decided to leave, but Huguette and I could hear it yelling our names before we reached the Exit. Our second attempt to extract ourselves from the ultimate yarn shop was successful. We headed to the Hyatt hotel next door to eat. We were tired, thirsty, hungry and high on yarn fumes! Here are our purchases:

First, Liz and her Happy Yarn

Next, Huguette (she won the prize for most yarn purchased)

Then there is myself (Erin) with my purchases:

I have that "MINE, ALL MINE" look on my face. I can't wait to start using all this wonderful yarn!

We missed you Tamami!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Washing Life" Trip 2, and Mystery Dye

I just had to get this fiber at Navarro River Knits in Fort Bragg.

Can you guess what it is? Merino/Polwarth/Possum blend from New Zealand. It's very soft and nice to spin. The lady at the store said that possums in New Zealand are different from what we have here -- cuter, but abundant and they eat everything up. So, they round them up and make yarn...

Just can't get enough of the sunset in Fort Bragg. I'd love to have stayed longer there, but had couldn't get the room more than one night. So we headed out to the next destination -- Vichy Springs in Ukiah.

Mitch: "Are we going back to number two and number one?" Me: "No, we are going somewhere else. We may get some different numbers this time." Mitch: "But I like number two and number one."

On the way out of Fort Bragg, we saw the railway for Skunk Train. I was hoping that we could get on it, but they don't run during the winter. We are going to have to come back when it's running.

Checked in at Vichy Springs Resort. We were all surprised to find out that the room number was twenty one again! It made Mitch happy.

The place is quiet (other than the annoying noises from the nearby shooting range), and serene. Trees, creek, hills and paths that are laid between the cabins. Outside baths. Most of the trees on the property are covered with lichens. Oh yeah.

No TVs. So, we spent a lot of time soaking in the carbonated baths, walking, knitting (for me) and playing Nintendo (boys).

It was unusually warm on the day we arrived, but the second day was quite windy. I picked up a lot of "found" lichens. Mostly beard lichens.

I didn't realize that beard lichens are actually like nets, like an intricate knitted lace. Intriguing. Most of the lichens I collected during the trip is this kind, but I am not sure what color beard lichens are supposed to produce. The jar I got going on fermenting beard lichen is not yet showing any strong color....

Seems that I hit the limit for the photos again. This is really annoying! I have resized and decreased the color depths of the photos to make them smaller in size. I've cleared the IE cache. Tried force loading the photos. Nothing works! If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know!

I'm closing the Mystery Dye contest! Unfortunately, no one hit the answer I was hoping for, but Liz came the closest -- actually her answer "cranberry tea" is what I used to dye this wool. What actually dyed the wool is hibiscus (actually the main ingredient of Bigelow cranberry tea). So, "hibiscus tea" would have been the bull's eye. Since Liz did get the product name, she wins the contest!

I have a new contest. When do we get our 1,000th visitor to our blog? As of today at 23:20 PST, we have 894 visitors. We've been getting average of 12 visitors a day this week. Name the date and time (PST) we hit 1,000, and whoever came closest wins. The prize will be a knitting magazine -- what kind (or which issue) is undecided -- could well be one in foreign language!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

"Washing Life" Trip: 1

We call it "Washing my life" in Japanese -- when an event makes you think that you've just laundered your life fresh. I felt exactly that on this trip we made on the Presidents' Day weekend.

First we drove up 101 N to Sebastopol, then took the local road to the coast to Bodega Bay. Drove up the coast to see the Lighthouse at Point Arena. The weather was amazing, and it was calm and mild. Very few motorists on the road, and we enjoyed the scenic drive.

Mitch: "I want to go home! Are we going home?" Me: "Nope. We are on vacation!"

Our first destination was Fort Bragg. I've only been there once, about 17 years ago. The town of Fort Bragg was much nicer, vibrant, and clean. I was able to reserve just one night at a hotel right by the ocean. The view was amazing. I took the boys out for a walk on the beach.

The photos look hazy, because it was hazy -- misty. It was calm, warm, and nice. The sunset was breathtaking.

I didn't have a chance to do any reserch on Fort Bragg before the trip. So I asked the hotel manager for a good restaurant in town. I got several names, and went into the first name we spotted on the list. Mendo Bistro -- "the best crab cake" voted by SF Chronicle. "The best" doesn't cut it. It was the bestest.

The restaurant is situated on the mezzanine level of a historical commercial building on the main drag. You can see the first level below you as you are seated. There's an empty store space in the middle of the first floor, enclosed by glass walls.

Charlie: "Wouldn't that be a perfect spot for a yarn store?" Me: "I was just thinking that myself!"

Mitch: "Let's go back to number two and number one!" Our room number was 21.

Later that evening back at the hotel, I looked up yarn stores on the phone book. I found one. Hm? The address look familiar. It is the same building Mendo Bistro is in! They must have been in that space we were just talking about, and have gone out of business. Oh, sigh.

Next morning, I decided to go back to the building to make sure I didn't miss the yarn store. No signage of a yarn store. Went to the cafe on the first floor and asked about the yarn shop, and they said; oh yeah, they moved. Off we go, in search of Navarro River Knits in their new location!

They are now located in a small slot in a new'ish mall. I of course liked the old building location, but the owner of the yarn store said that the building leaked rain and they lost so much yarn. The store is cute and cozy, and I found some interesting yarn and fiber -- I was glad I brought my spindle to the trip.

It looks like I hit the limit of the photos again? I can't add any more pictures. I have much more to show and tell -- To be continued.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Spinning Bubble Gum

Don't these yarn remind you of bubble gums?

I got the wool from eBay. This is from the seller I was talking about earlier -- she sent me the fiber more than two weeks later I paid for it (I always pay the same day I win the bid). It was described as clean, ready-to-spin hand-dyed romney (correction made on April 9 -- this was Cotsweld, not Romney). "Very little veggie matters, they will just shake out." Nope. It was greasy, full of VMs, matted and tangled. I ended up washing it twice, and carding it before spinning.

Yes, I am having fun with all that. It's a great practice for carding, and it is a lot of fun to go from the matted fiber to nicely spun yarn. I'm just disappointed that the seller didn't present it as such. "You'll enjoy the yarn-making process with this hand-painted raw wool. Carding required before you can spin." Honesty counts.

I'm thinking that I might knit socks with this yarn, but it may be a bit scratchy. It would be a cute pair of Easter Pastel socks though!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mystery Dye Hint #3

If anyone's still wondering what dyed this wool... Here's the hint #3.
I was hoping for this to come out pinkier.

Mitch insists that Erin is his Valentine. Consider yourself hugged, Erin! Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Broadripple Spring

I cannot believe it took me so long to produce the first FO of year 2007. It's been busy, and there has been a lot of distractions, but I'm finally done with Broadripple Socks, by Rob Matyska.

I know I've said this before, but I LOVE this pattern. It's simple, and even I can memorize it. Looks pretty, but practical, and comfortable -- everything a sock pattern should be! This is by far my favorite.

The pattern uses Cascade Fixation with size 3 needles, but I used Lorna's Laces Shepherd Socks with size 2 DPNs. The colorway is called Georgetown. The finished product weighed only 58 grams (2.05 ounces) -- so close to just one-skein socks! I started with the leftover yarn from knitting Mitch's socks, and I now have a smaller ball of leftover from the second skein. I will definitely knit another pair of this pattern.

Huguette came over yesterday, and we talked about my cat Punky, who died last month, and her cat Wednesday, who's experiencing some health issues. It is hard to care for sick four-pawed loved ones. I have gone through that many times, and the helplessness felt was heartbreaking every time.

My 3 1/2 year old son had to come with me to the vet's office when I had to put Punky to sleep. He waited in the waiting room alone, and since then he had asked several times when Punky was coming home. I told him that Punky never would come home -- Punky was sick, and the doctor couldn't make him better -- that's what I had told him.

But the other day, I finally had to tell him that Punky had died. I didn't think Mitch would understood, but he did -- tears instantly welled up in his eyes, and said in his shakey voice, "You mean, he's never going to come back?"

The perception and understanding kids have are amazing. I spent some time explaining what death meant, but I had to stall many times to think it over before I verbalized it. I realized how much I didn't know about what I wanted my son to know, and didn't want him to know.

Then this evening, I finally opened the card my vet had sent me. I knew what it was -- another tear-jerking, and kind, sympathy note. I thought I could handle it now. But there was a small card with Punky's paw print. I bursted into tears, and Mitch came to console me.

Spring is approaching. Acasias and Cherry blossoms are in bloom already. A year passes by so quickly...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Latch Hook'n Kiddo

Latch Hook'n Kiddo

So, I guess I am raising a crafty kid. First finger knitting, next was making a chain (aka: Necklace, bracelet, anklet) using a crochet hook and now making a rug with Latch Hook.

About a week ago we were watching Uncommon Threads (DIY Network - and they had the "hookers" on to show Latch Hook rug making. Nicole was so excited and wanted to try "hook'n". Just so happens that Mom did latch hook for years - last year Mom bought a kit to make a pillow/little rug for Nicole but never started it. During the move I found the kit and tucked it away with my sewing/craft supplies.

On a sleepy Sunday afternoon recently, I pulled out the kit and gave it to her. Nicole thought I was a hero!! Like magic! The trouble started when I realized, I don't know how to latch hook and Granny was sleeping. I tried to read the directions but they didn't make sense to me.

Nicole was impatient and didn't want to wait for Granny to wake up and realized that I didn't know what I was doing, so she took matters in her own hands. She grabbed the instructions away from me, looked at the pictures and figured it out by herself! As you can see, she is moving along on her new project! And you will also notice, she is still wearing her handcuffs! ;-) Liz

Pictures for - Fingerless Gloves, Fingerless Mittens or dare we call them Handcuffs!

For the life of me, I cannot post the pictures when I try to modify my previous entry about Nicole's handcuffs. So, I thought, why not just write another entry!!!

Nicole told me last night, she wanted a pair of socks and leg warmers and a blanket made from the yarn, she LOVES it so much. Jury is still out - I am not sure she is going to get what she wishes in that same yarn. Again, I am not thrilled with the color, it is nice to work with, but not thrilled!!

Update - She still wears the hand cuffs, day and night - night and day!!! ;-)liz

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

No One Can Stop Her Now

Oh my gosh. Our blog queen Liz debuted, blogging away. Five posts in three days! Way to go Liz!

Mystery Dye Hint #2

What dyed this wool? So far, the votes from the readers were: Saffron, Mustard, Tea, Green Tea, Lichens, Coffee, Chocolate, Cedar Bark.

No right answer yet. One of the answers is partially right, but it's missing an important ingredient. Someone gave me the correct answer, but it was given to me orally so it doesn't count!

It's dyed with a food item. Caffeine free. It smelled pretty good while dyeing it.

I spun some of this fiber over the weekend...

These are some of the roving I got on eBay recently. Beautiful roving, great price. I think the seller (yarn1merch2) is quite new on eBay, and I hope she does well.

On the other hand, the other eBay merchant I bought from was pretty bad. She sent me the fiber more than two weeks later I paid for it, after four email inquiries. The wool is full of veggie matters, and greasy. I don't think I will ever buy from her again.

Huguette is now interested in spinning -- at last Knit Night, Charlie made a spindle with Erin's old CD and some bits Erin found in her garage [it was an amazing job!], and Huguette was off spinning! She has placed an order for a Golding Spindle (the same one I got). I'm so excited to have another spinner in the group! Maybe we'll change the name of the blog to Designated Spinsters :-)

Turtleneck Shrug Scarf

Turtleneck Shrug Scarf
Scarf Style: Innovative to Traditional, 31 Inspirational Styles to Knit and Crochet,
by Pam Allen (Editor)

Also, check out the knit along blog site for Scarf Style. You can search for Shrug Scarf and see the beautiful works of others! I just might need to post my creation when I am finished.

So, I have started my very first double pointed needle project, the Turtleneck Shrug Scarf from Scarf Style. Erin gave me the book for Christmas this year and I love it!! I am making the project using Nashua Creative Focus Worsted, Soft Pink US size 7 double points. The yarn is yummy and a great pinky-purplish color. I love the color because it isn’t baby pink, but a mature pink that is soft but rich.

I will admit, I almost gave up my needles on this one. I had no idea how to start on double points and no matter how much I read or watched. On the advice of Erin, I went to to see the video. I must have watched it two dozen times and still didn’t get it! For whatever reason, it just didn’t make sense to me.

One evening after I started to cast on for the 5th time (I ripped and started over 4 times previously because it just wasn’t right.) I threw down my project and went to bed. I had a plan, the following morning I would gather all my knitting needles, books and other supplies together and give them away. They deserved better! They deserved to be in the hands of a real knitter!! Not me, a hack knitter who couldn’t do it, couldn’t use double points, couldn’t cast on and couldn’t handle a simple knit2,purl2 pattern. It was clear that I could not knit – I would let go of the idea that I could and go back to my crochet hooks.

The following morning the first thought I had was, “It’s no wonder you can’t knit, with that attitude! – YOU CAN DO IT, it is only yarn and needles, don’t take yourself so seriously Liz, lighten up!!” And guess what, I did. I started fresh, for the 6th time. And what do you know, I cast on without an issue, I lined up my edges, no problem, I joined the round by incorporating the tail for the first two stitches, and before I knew it, I was two inches into my project! It was taking shape, taking life, I was knitting in the round and building my Turtleneck Shrug Scarf, I fondly refer to as my “tube scarf”. I was doing it, and so very proud of myself!

Well, half way up the first sleeve I realized, I must not have enough yarn. I checked and sure enough, not enough. I calculated my yarn by weight, not yardage. Oh no, what to do. I called Knitterly (#1 4th St, Petaluma, CA 94952 707-762-YARN, where I purchased the yarn, they were out of my color. I called the local shop in Novato, and she had the yarn but not the exact dye lot. I went to pick it up and whew, it was super close no one will even know. Whew I just barely escaped having to start over again!!

I am just about 20” into my first sleeve. I got slowed down because I had “handcuffs” to knit last week. I have a little trepidation when it comes to binding off to go flat for the shoulders and then the 2nd sleeve and the turtleneck and picking up stitches, but I will keep the faith and keep trying! I have to admit the more I stretch myself and the more I believe I can learn at 45, the more fun I am having!! ;-)Liz

Knit, Knit, Purl Scarf – That’s not a pattern!

I was told that Knit, Knit, Purl was not a pattern. Really? Is that so…. Well, guess what, it is a pattern and it is FINISHED! I have never been so happy in my life to finish this scarf. It took me about 5 months to complete and about 5 skeins of Rowan Aran Scottish Tweed with size 5 needles – but it is done, finally done! I was so happy to ship the scarf off to my nephew in Tennessee. He called to thank me for the scarf, he wears it every day!

What did I learn from this project?

Knit, Knit, Purl is a pattern.
Never – ever – ever knit another scarf on size 5 needles again!
Knitting for someone who loves the product is worth all the “oh my GOD, will I ever be finished!” conversations.
Follow the Yarn Harlots guidelines for scarf making (Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks, by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (Author)) – she really helped me to understand that I didn’t need to wait until I ran out of yarn, I was finished.
When tempted to make a matching hat – STOP –STEP AWAY FROM THE YARN…. After a week, if I am still inspired to knit a matching hat or mittens or anything with the scarf yarn, I can always do it later!!
And lastly, Never – ever – ever knit another scarf on size 5 needles again! AGAIN!!!!

See how happy I was to be done!! Finally DONE!!!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fingerless Gloves, Fingerless Mittens or dare we call them Handcuffs!

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. William Shakespeare

A few weeks ago Erin came over for a knit. Erin had just finished a lovely pair of fingerless mittens or are they called fingerless gloves? If they have a thumb but no fingers are they not mittens? Nevertheless, Erin’s fingerless mittens/gloves were lovely, purple with a sweet picot edge. Hopefully she will post a picture of them. My daughter Nicole (5) fell in LOVE with Erin’s “handcuffs”. We have no idea how or why she thought they were handcuffs, and despite our attempts to correct her – she insisted they were handcuffs and she wanted Erin to make her a pair, that very night. Bless Erin’s heart, she redirected Nicole into trying to knit a scarf (with needles no less!). Since starting her first project using double pointed needles seemed a bit daunting.

The following morning the first words out of Nicole’s mouth were “Mama, can you make me some handcuffs today? Oh-boy was I in trouble, because to tell the truth, the thought of knitting with double pointed needles scared me to death! I had never started a project on double points. That morning, I was able to redirect Nicole by having her learn to finger knit, I just barely escaped. I also knew my daughter, and the chance of her forgetting about the handcuffs was just about nil. With that said, each day afterwards she asked me about her handcuffs. I was in serious trouble.

I knew I had to attempt the double points. But how in the world would I knit the thumb of the fingerless gloves, mittens, handcuffs, whatever name I gave them. I mean they are called fingerless, not thumbless, right! So, in an attempt to learn to knit with double pointed needles, I started a tube scarf-type project which required no thumb from my new scarf book. (I will post that story soon, because I almost gave away all of my knitting supplies over that project!) I also looked up a few fingerless mitten/glove patterns online and they all had thumbs – so I ruled them out, out, out. I told Nicole I needed to learn to knit my tube scarf first before I could knit her handcuffs. She seemed to be patient enough while I learned, however, no way was she forgetting.

A few weeks passed and we found ourselves at my favorite little yarn shop in Sebastopol. Knitting Workshop, (707) 824-0699, 117 S Main St, Sebastopol, CA 95472. I love the feeling of the store, full of beautiful yarns and an owner who is approachable and knowledgeable! During our visit Nicole found the “perfect” yarn for her handcuffs. I thought the yarn was less than perfect to be honest with you. It was variegated with purple and blotches of orange. Yes, ugly came to mind. (Bengali - Queensland Collection, Color 4 - you can see the yarn and colors sample on the novayarn website:

Oh, and please remember my terror around the whole thumb thing, so I was not excited to buy the yarn because I knew I would be that much closer to knitting a thumb or at the very least part of a thumb. I told Nicole we needed to put the yarn back, it had to be washable. Just then the owner of the store piped in to say “it is washable”. Oh, no, I was a dead duck – and before I knew it Nicole had the ugly-purple-variegated-with-orange yarn back in her grubby little hands. I told Nicole to remember I needed more practice on my tube scarf before I could knit her handcuffs. The owner of the store piped in again to say, “You can knit flat – using size 8 straight needles cast on about 22 stitches and knit2 purl2 rib until it is long enough – when sewing the edges together just skip about an inch for the thumb. You can have them done in a few hours tonight!”


Well folks, it was true! I did just as she said and made a perfect little handcuff – actually I made two – 1 for each hand!! The handcuffs were a little tight around the hand at first but the yarn and ribbing stretched, so it worked out very well. They fit perfectly now. Nicole was and still is so excited. She only takes her handcuffs off long enough to wash her hands and take a bath. It has been two weeks now, and she is still wearing them day and night.

Side effects of fulfilling someone’s dreams by knitting them something they love…. They want you to knit for their friends! So, no sooner did Nicole take her handcuffs to school, did I have two new orders – one pair of pink and one pair of rainbow handcuffs for Teagan and Gracie!

The next attempt at the handcuffs I changed the pattern a bit. I cast on 30 stitches and knit2 purl2 for about 1 ½ inches – then I switched to stockinette for about 3 ½ - 4 inches and then finished with about ¾ - 1 inch of knit2 purl2 ribbing. They turned out very nice!

My next version I will be pulling out my double points! I am tired of seaming the edges, I am just rotten at it – so my next attempt will be to use double points to avoid the sewing of the seams. I will let you know how it goes. Also, Nicole now wants a pair of leg warmers to go with her handcuffs. She saw the leg warmers knitted on Knitty Gritty the other night.

I guess the best thing about knitting for children is they don’t see the mistakes! They don’t care if suddenly we notice 4 purls in a knit row after we have bound off.. They don’t care if the sewing is a bit sloppy. All they see is the beauty of the piece, the yarn and the love we put into our project. Her appreciation of the project makes me believe I can do it! So, as you might have guessed, yes, my next project is leg warmers! I think I am going to have to call Sandi at The Knitting Workshop to get instructions and more washable- ugly-purple-variegated-with-orange yarn!

The lesson I learned on this project - knit as if you are kitting for a child – the mistakes don’t matter – it is the love that matters and makes the difference! ;-)Liz

Monday, February 05, 2007

Softest Baby Blanket in the WHOLE WORLD!!

Early this fall, I made the softest baby blanket in the whole world. I am so not kidding! Everyone that touched the baby blanket wanted to keep it as their own.

What is it made from?

Berroco Plush Color - light yellow with dark yellow flecks. I crocheted a little trim using Frog Tree - dark yellow.

The story------
So, the story goes, I went into our local yarn shop in Novato (DEVRIE CHRISTINA'S KNITTERIE , 1202 GRANT AVE #A1, NOVATO, CA 94945 (415) 236-1536) to buy some baby boy blue yarn, something smashing - I was thinking a tweed type color, because I LOVE LOVE LOVE tweed. Anyway, I didn't find what I was looking for. So, I started to chat it up with the owner, who directed me over to the Berroco Plush Color. They had pink, a very light blue and this yellow. She suggested I pick the yellow - 5 balls of yellow. She also told me to trim it in the Frog Tree, dark yellow. I was in a yarn shop trance, I followed her directions to the tee! Without will of my own.

She then instructed me to go home and using my size 10.5 circular needles (knit flat) - cast on 100 stitched - and knit until I ran out of yarn. Add a crochet trim in the dark yellow Frog Tree and I would be done.

Well, I left the store and before the hour was out, I had gotten my whits back and thought I made the biggest mistake in the world, or at least in the yarn selection world. I could not have been more unhappy with my purchase.

That night, at our Friday Knit Night - I cast on the yarn. I complained the whole time. But I began knitting. Before the week was out (I am a slow knitter) I started to like the yarn, by the next Knit Night, I was in love with the yarn.

It could not have been easier, the yarn knitted into this beautiful, lovely, amazing fabric. The BEST baby blanket in the world. Just the right size, just the right feeling - perfect recommendation for a new knitter who wanted to produce an AMAZING blanket!!

I loved the feel, the look and the fact that you cannot see a single mistake! It was so easy to make and so yummy when it was done. I would recommend this yarn to make a baby blanket, a soft hat, scarf, shrug - anything to keep warm and to feel baby soft!!!

I would love to hear from anyone else who had made a blanket or anything from this yarn. I am just looking for another Berroco Plush Color inspired project!! ;-)Liz

Finger Knitting

Finger knitting? I first heard of finger knitting on Knitty Gritty (DIY Network). Nicole (5) was instantly excited - yes, she watches Knitty Gritty too! Anyway, we pulled out a little washable yarn from my stash and before I knew it, she was finger knitting. The funny thing is the scarf is really nice! It forms sort a roundish tube, and looks really nice. The fluffier and bulkier the yarn, the nicer it looks.

Later I found instructions on a website. Finger Knitting for children

The nice thing about finger knitting is the child has a product in less than an hour, and they feel so proud of themself. Nicole is making scarves for everyone she knows now!

Below are pictures of her first scraf - made from a bulky Lion Brand yarn. I took a crochet hook and some novelty yarn to add the fluff at the bottom - I just wove the yarn in between the finger-knitted stitches, no real pattern to make the fluff.

The scarf is starting to form..... it grows out the back of the hand - like Magic!
Before we knew it - the yarn became a scarf!!

Nicole wears her scarf every day to school, it also doubles as a belt!! ;-)