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January 2007

Happy Birthday Wonderboy


Wonderboy is 5 year old! I can't believe time has gone by so fast. It seems like it was yesterday when I spent 15 hours trying to bring him into this world. It seems like it was yesterday when I woke up at 5am with a terrible back pain and I thought for sure that I was going to die, so I jumped in the shower because I didn't want the doctor to see me dirty. But, I was so unsure of what was going on that I left my hubby sleep. As I showered, I kept singing to myself and as tears just rolled down my face, the pain was unbearable, but I was sure that the warm shower would do my back good and the pain would go away.  It didn't work. I got of the shower and the pain was still there but it was still only 5:30am, there was no way I was going to bother the doctor by calling him--I had heard plenty of stories of women being sent back from the doctor's to wait at home a few more days--I refused to be one of those women. So, I endured a bit more and decided since I was already up that I should do the dishes, wash one cup then double up in pain, wash another cup and again more pain, washed the plates and even more pain. All the dishes were done and the pain was still there so I decided that I should move a bit more, maybe a bit more movement will stop the pain. I cleaned the kitchen and tidy up our little apartment. But the clock still only marked 6:30am but by then my clanking of pots and pans woke hubby. He watched and asked how I was feeling and I paced back and forth murmuring under my breath about the bloody pain! Blood and ashes the pain was not ceasing.


As soon as the clock marked 7am, I rang the doctor's office, they quickly got him on the phone and he only needed to hear my voice to let him know that I was in labor. But I wasn't holding any high hopes, I knew that it was only the beginning. I had heard that first time Moms spent a good 12-24 hours in labor. Blood and ashes, I wasn't ready for that and sure enough, labor was terribly long. Getting to the hospital just made me more irritated as I felt like a caged lionness dressed in a stupid robe that for some weird reason let my bottom open to the air so I had to hold it and try to walk the stinking halls followed closely behind by my hubby. Waited hours after hours to get dilated so they could give me an epidoral, when 8 hours had passed and not one bit of dilation occurred the doctor decided to help me along by breaking the water and that my dear friends brought me from a 1 to a 5 in 60 minutes and with it sweet drugs! After the drugs were in me I didn't care how long it took, I felt good...really good, although I was a trifle hungry. A couple of hours later, the fruit of my labor decided to come and say hello. He was beautiful, the most wonderful thing that had ever happened to me--my little Wonderboy.


It still seems it was yesterday when he was small enough for me to cradle him in one arm. Now, he is running, riding bike, learning his ABC's, and talking back...but he is old enough to come and give me a hug and tell me that he loves me and that he is sorry that he touched my knitting stuff. He is my other man in my life...and I love him! Happy Birthday my little Baby B, because you will always be my baby even if you are 60 years old, and if I am around, I will still put a car on top of your birthday cake just to see you smile :).

Dsc01623_1 Dsc01967 

Loomy Q & A Day

The weekend has been eventful around here--hubby took me out on a date on Saturday. It is rare when him and I go out without the kids, but this Saturday we were able to drop them off at my in-laws house and we went out to dinner--alone! It is such an event for us to have dinner just the two of us...and actually talk. We had a delightful time!


But when we came home things got really interesting (take your mind out of the gutter), our house felt cold--really cold. We try to keep the temperature around 69 degrees but when we checked our thermostat our house was at 56 degrees which makes the temperature in our downstairs living room around 40! I quickly asked him if he paid the gas bill and yep he did, so that wasn't the problem. Neither him nor I changed the thermostat which meant only one thing--our furnace broke! Drats! What a time to break, middle of winter and on a Saturday night.

We had one of my BIL's come and over and look at the furnace, apparently, the furnace has a button--and the button is faulty, a not very expensive fix, crossing fingers that he is right! Anyways, our romantic date ended up with 4 people in a queen size bed--hubby at one end, Wonderboy, Little Benny and me at the other end, all of us trying to keep warm. Perfect! :)

Picture above: A lace heart pattern for us loomies. I will be posting the free pattern for it this coming weekend (or sooner if I get the chance to sit down and write it). The lace works best with fine gauge knitting looms. Although I made a small section (the size of a dishcloth), I can see it being used in a scarf, a long scarf with many lace hearts! I will try to post the pattern for needles too, but I am sure there are some better needle knit patterns than what I can write up.



Our Loomy Q & A day is here, today's questions have to do with length of scarves and working with two strands of yarn at the same time.

Question 1: I am making scarves for my family but I don't know how long to make them, can you help me or guide me to a website that has the recommended lengths?

Answer: I haven't come accross a website that has recommended lengths of scarves (if any of you know of a website, please let me know), but I recall reading some place to make the scarves as long as the person is tall. Thus for a small child of 5 or 6 years of age, I would probably make it about 36 inches, or the average height for that age group.

Question 2: I am working with 2 strands of yarn at the same time, but the yarns keep getting tangled around each other. How do I prevent them from tangling? 

Answer: The easiest way to keep them from tangling is to put the skeins of yarn in a separate container or a bag. I like the big Clorox wipe bottles to put skeins of yarns, they have a nice opening at the top and they are tall enough to fit a regular skein of yarn. Once the yarns are in separate containers, set the containers one on your right side and the other on your left, keeping them separated like this should stop them from tangling too much.


Thank you for sending your questions in, without you this column would not be possible, if you have any, feel free to email me or drop me a note in the comments section (below).


Hellooooo, anybody there...The Phone Call Part 2


I did it! I did it! Yay for me! I called my Dad on Tuesday and I got my sister's phone number. I got his number off the Mexican White Pages--gotta love the Internet! I spoke to him for about 15 minutes, at first it was a bit awkward--I didn't know if I should call him Dad or by his first name, at the end, I ended up calling him plainly Papa. The conversation was so pleasant and I felt like I was talking to a friend. He asked about my children and he even got to talk to them on the phone--Little Benny said "hi grandma" to which he said, "I'm not grandma, I am grandpa!". It felt sooo good inside to hear him say those words. I plan on calling him again...soon, as soon as I establish a long distance plan with my phone service.

My Papa gave me my sister's phone number and yesterday I was so caught up with thinking about the phone call to my Dad that I decided to call my sister today--actually, I called but no one answered, so I just decided to try today.


Talking to my sister was like talking to an old friend--we chated for about an hour! We laughed and talked about the things we like and dislike. She loves reading fantasy books just like me! She says she loves to cook and she is pretty good at it too! As you know, I am not that good at that and I told her but she didn't believe me. She invited me to come over and visit her and she said she would take me out to the beach and we can take long walks on the beach and just get to know each other while our children play in the sand. She was so interested in knowing about me and what I have done with my life and I was asking questions non-stop that we barely had a moment to catch our breath. It was so amazing! We talked about simple things like how tall we are, how tubby, how many scars we have, color of hair, eyes--we are getting to know each other like little children do. Oh and guess what, I am the aunt of 7 little tykes, she has 3 little girls, my other sister has 2, and my other sister has 2 too.

Right now, I am bursting with happiness--I know I have a little brother to talk to all the time, but it is so great to finally have a relationship with my sisters--to be able to talk to them and get to know them is so joyous. I am feeling very blessed at this point in my life...I feel like a void inside of me is filling up little by little.

After talking to my sister the other day, I told hubby that it would be so great if I could go and meet my sisters this year. It would be so wonderful to see them after 23 years, to touch them, give them a hug and to laugh together or cry together. After thinking for awhile about the possibilities of going to Mexico, I went to Travelocity to price tickets and I came to the realization that it is a dream, a very expensive dream. But, I have my heart set on going to see them...I have to! As a result of this, I have decided to cut down on my yarn purchases--I am going on a yarn diet (the yarn I bought last week and hasn't arrived doesn't count as I already bought it). I am going to start a little piggy bank "Isela's Dream Piggy" and put all my pennies in there. I was saving for a fancy camera, but seeing my sisters is more important than a fancy camera. It is going to be difficult raising the money as I don't have a regular job but I will be placing all the monies from my patterns and any video donations into my Dream far, I have about 5%...only 95% to go.


Pictures: I am knitting the Hedera socks right now. I have about half a sock completed...the pictures were taken this morning.

Writing Style: I know that it probably reads like a kid wrote the above but I feel so bubbly right now, I hope you can forgive my writing.

Good tidings all around and The Phone Call


Little Benny is doing great! My little princess has gained all her health back--temperature is still around 99 but it is not going above 100 which is very good news for us. Thank you everyone for your prayers/good wishes/good karma and for the overall love that you sent our way. The past two days have been a bit difficult but your emails and phone calls let us know that we were not alone. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts...we needed the support and you all reached out to us and touched us.

I just don't understand how something so important could have fallen through the cracks of my brain--Febrile Seizures, I think I shall have a serious talk with my pediatrician next time I go visit him. I think first time Mom's should be told about something of the kind. Although the doctor's claim it doesn't have an impact on the child's future, it for sure has an impact on the parents, a little preparation would have been appreciated on my part. It really scared us to least it did me.


I am still watching every move she makes--I am not leaving her alone climbing the steps nor am I jumping in the shower for a quick cleaner-upper. The experience left me with a bad taste and  it will probably stay with me forever.

But, let's leave the unpleasant experiences behind us and focus on more happy yarn, or in my case my phone call.


Today at around 11pm, I had a phone call. An international phone call to be exact. It was my sister. You may recall that she emailed me about a year ago and then she never emailed me back nor responded to my emails. Well, she called. She called me at the most unexpected moment and it brought so much happiness to my life. She spoke to my little Benny too. It is the first time that I have heard her voice in over 23 years! It was wonderful! She was laughing, I was laughing, and I could hear my voice in squeaky-mouse-like voice. I didn't cry because I think I ran out of tears over the weekend, but my heart was jumping from joy at hearing her voice. We talked about my other 2 sisters, her children, and their children, my children and how her baby was sick recently and about little Benny going to the ER. We connected! We were so happy chatting that she didn't realized that she didn't give me her phone # and her phone card finished when we were in mid-sentence. I tried calling back but the phone number that my cell phone had was from the phone card. Bummer!! Very big and absolute bummer! But--I got online and I found my Dad's phone number. I will be making the awkward phone call to him tomorrow morning and see if he can provide me with her number. Who knows, I may even get to have a conversation with my Dad.

My heart is full of joy: my little ones are safe, my dear sister called after an entire year of waiting for her email and she said my other sisters would like to talk to me, and I may even get to talk to my Dad. Dare I dream and wish that I may go to Mexico and see them wonderful a meeting that would be.

Febrile Seizures are a b&^%#!

Today was a day that I don't wish to anyone. I could have definitely gone without this experience and I am sure my little one could have gone without it too.

She woke up fine, she way playing, running around, she felt a little hot but not to the point to worry me. We were playing, I was laying down on the couch downstairs, she got down to pick up her blankie and her zippy cup, she reached out for me and I picked her up to lay her down next to me. As I picked her up, she just looked out into space. I layed her down next to me and she didn't respond. I got so baby, my little one was not responding. I hugged her, I called her name. Her little eyes just started rolling back, her little body got all rigid. My baby...I was so scared. I gave her to my husband and he just started talking to her while I called the doctor's office. The doctor's office just said to call 911 all the while my little one was unresponsive. She couldn't move...her tiny little body was just so rigid, her little lips started going blue. The ambulance took what seem to me a lifetime...a lifetime when my little one's life was in their hands. By the time they arrived she had gone completely unconcious and she got lethargic, she looked so peaceful as in a deep sleep--which just sent my mind racing for an answer and to find away to bring her back to me. The paramedics took her temperature, pulse and she had some oxygen. She started slowly waking up, looking around.

She started to come fully awake while in the ambulance on our way to the ER, with tears just streaming down my face I tried to talk to her and ask her questions, at first she didn't respond just looked at me and cuddled next to me. Slowly she started squinting her little eyes and she started talking. The paramedic was trying to get her to talk a bit, he took out a little stuffed animal just for her, my sassy one took it and said forcibly "NO". That moment was one that I would cherish forever--she got sassy which meant she was all there again.

At the ER tests were done to make sure that the fever was not caused by something that needed antibiotics. They all came back negative which means that it could just all be a viral infection that needs to come out of her system. The experience at the ER was not pleasant at all for her as she was wide awake and responsive to everything. She just wanted to be held and cuddled. My little one was with me again.

She is home with us, fever is up and I am up keeping an eye on her and trying to keep her cool.

She is okay--Mom is not--but she is okay. I am watching her like a hawk, if she does anything I am there with her. Although picking her up to lay her down on the couch is not something I want to do--my brain connects it to this morning's event and I don't want that to happen again. At first I thought it was something I did, maybe the way I picked her up, maybe something I gave her to mind can't really understand what happened.

The doctor's call it Febrile Seizure caused by a quick rise in temperature in the body. Little ones deal with the rise in temperature by shutting down their system and "re-setting" it. Only about 30% of children get it and only 30% of those who get it will have a repeat episode before their 5th birthday. The convulsion followed by the lethargy and then tiredness seem to be normal according to the doctors. Me, I call it: wake up and realize that they can be taken away from you in an instant. No book that I ever read on children told me or prepared me to today's experience. I really thought that I was losing my child and it hurt, it hurt so badly. I wanted someone to do something for her as I couldn't, I felt so powerless...I reached out to my husband and I pleaded to him to bring her back to me, to do something for her, to stop whatever was happening to her. My poor husband...he is my rock...he is there when I am weak and he holds me and lets me cry a river on his shoulder.

And my little one...she is safe...a little hot...but she is with me and I will hold her tonight and tomorrow and God willing the days after.

Note: There will be no Loomy Q & A day this weekend.

Like caged lions...


This is the time when each year hubby and I wish we lived some place besides Utah. We are in the middle of winter and although snow has been absent the cold hasn't. It is cold, really, really cold. We have realized that our windows are not the best either, you can feel the cold coming through, could it be the windows or is it the insulation around them? It has been so cold that we resorted to putting a thick blanket over our bedroom window, not very fancy but it works a little bit. Little Benny finally got better from her cold, but it has been so cold and she kicks her covers off during the night that her cold seems to be returning (grumble, grumble).


I am usually pretty good about not complaining about the weather but previous years my kids were either too little to know that they were indoors or they just didn't care that they spent all day inside. However, once they learn to discern night from day and learn to talk, they believe that it is their right to be outside during the day and if they can't go outside, they believe that destroying everything within reach is fair game...for them it is Mom's fault that they can't go outside. It is the moment where the horrid words pop out "Moooom, not fair". What is a Mom to do at this time? Blooming winter come to an end, for my sanity's sake!


One of my caged little lions, Wonderboy, managed to get into my glue and use half of it and destroy the other half, used an entire roll of tape, cut about a gazillion papers and make notecards for his friends (who also happen to be caged little lions in their homes), and even manage to break something in the bathroom. What is a Mom to do? What? We took out the chess set (made out of plastic and 1 piece missing and no mat) and started teaching Wonderboy how to play chess, despite the fact that we didn't have a mat (made one in Excel, printed it out and glued it onto a notebook) and despite the pea size knowledge that I have about the game. He is interested in the game and he already knows the names of the pieces but I am afraid that I don't know enough or how to teach him about it. But, we will keep going at it, it would be great if he learns it.


But teaching him/playing doesn't take much time off the day for the little lion. He needs more mental stimulation, so we have started on the schooling. Yeah, you can laugh about teaching my poor kids the ABC's, me who has a hard time keeping "I" and "E" straight in my head, me who needs to recite the entire alphabet when I need to file something. He is doing well, and even little Benny is learning the ABC's and numbers. He is so excited about having his very "own" notebook. I wrote the first two letters for him and he just tries to copy them as closely as possible. Today he even woke up and started working on his "homework" as soon as he got out of bed, he spent most of the day studying at the kitchen table not even stopping to watch TV--made me proud!

I have been keeping busy too, not only trying to keep my little cubs out of trouble but also clicking away. I finished a test knit for Knit Picks in a new cotton yarn that they will be unveiling soon. And I am still knitting on the test knit for Soysilk--the picture of the pink blob above. I am looking forward to finishing the Soysilk test knit and then I will be moving on to knitting a little something for myself, Rusted Root to be more specific. I would like to have this top ready to wear as soon as Spring comes.

Today my day was a bit warmer though, I received a little love package from the blogger who changes themes faster than she changes her underwear aka Stacey, we did a little trade, 3 of my Berroco Pleasure skeins for a gazillion skeins of Cotton-Ease (I think I got the better end of the deal), she also sent me some wonderful handmade soap that I already put to good use and a little sock that can be used as a purse. The little purse is not in the picture, as soon as I opened the package, my kids took off with it and filled it up with coins, right now it is in the possession of little Benny.

Well, it appears that it will be another freezing day, if you have any ideas of fun things for my kids to do that don't require a ton of work to prepare, drop me a note in the comments, my cubs will appreciate it and so will I. 

De-Lurker Winner & Runagogo mileage

Just a big shout-out to everyone who de-lurked last week. I appreciated your comments! And now, we have our winner--I plugged in the number of comments received during last week (from Monday to Sunday at midnight) and the winning number went to....the Knitting Bandit.

She wins a skein of Yarn Pirate in Paris color--Thanks for delurking, please keep on de-lurking!


In knitting news, still chugging along on the Soysilk test knit. It is not much to see, just a big blob of stockinette. I'll show it to you when it is all assembled as right now it doesn't look like much.

Runagogo update: I have ellipticized 35.5 miles!! It so totally rocks! My pants are fitting a bit better and I have been able to exercise 45 minutes for 5 days straight. I have also set up a new goal: I would like to run a 5K this year. I know that if I keep my exercise routine of ellipticizing 45 minutes at least three times a week, I can work my body to the point where I can run a 5K. I will also be getting my recumbent bike back and that should allow me to change exercises at least twice a week. But as soon as Spring comes, I will be hitting the street and training for my 5K. Anyone else has plans for a 5K? This is the year where I will get my tush in gear.


Loomy Q & A Day

Our Loomy & Question day is here, today's question is on shaping.

Q: I want to translate a needle knit pattern that calls for decreasing. How do I decrease on a knitting loom?

Decreasing on a knitting loom requires the manipulation of stitches from certain pegs to others, we will need to do a k2tog (knit 2 together)or a ssk (slip, slip, knit or in loom knitting--skip, skip, knit).

You will use decreases when shaping, as when shaping a raglan edge on a sweater, or when creating shapes. I created a triangle shape for demonstration purposes (update: the triangle was taken by Wonderboy and has become a monster with many little eyes and two hearts).


The picture below, has a flat panel with 7 stitches. We will be moving the loops as follows (click on all the pictures to enlarge them):


K2tog (knit 2 together): Move the stitch from peg 2 to peg 3. Peg 3 has 2 loops on them. Once knitted, the stitch from peg 3 will be at the one that "shows".

SSK (slip, slip, knit): Move the stitch from peg 6 to peg 5, Peg 5 has two pegs on it.


Move the loops from the outside stitches inwards (stitches on peg 1 and peg 7). Now, you will have 5 pegs with stitches.


Knit the remaining stitches. If the pegs have 2 loops on them, lift over and off the two loops, so only 1 loop remains on each peg.

All_movedKnit_over  After_knit_over

The process above will decrease the row by two stitches, one at each end. On the right you have a k2tog and on the left you have a ssk.

When shaping raglan sleeves, the pattern will probably say something along the lines of Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of next row, then you will only decrease on one side. Although the pattern says to decrease at the beginning of the row, you will find that seaming is easier if you place your decrease one or two stitches from the edge.

Here is a close-up look of the tip of the triangle.


Thanks for sending your questions in to Loomy Q & A. Please leave your questions/comments/thoughts in the comments section.  Hope you found this tutorial helpful.


Happy Birthday to my Mami & her Guacamole recipe

My Mom just got internet access two days ago and since then, her and my little brother have been browsing through the blog and reading all my archives. My little brother is a bit sad that I haven't spoken about him much. Let me tell you about the little tyke. He is 11 years old, his short name is Edi and around this house the kids love to call him "Uncle Edi" which they think its quite funny as he is almost their size. When he comes to visit, my children love it, they have a playmate that can go outside with them all the time. Even the little neighbor kids come under his wing and he "is in charge" of all the kiddos--which is something my little brother loves. He is a smart kiddo too, he recently got a scholarship to attend a private school. But he is in a bit of trouble lately, it appears that he goes to the library to "study" and instead he plays with his friends, thus the reason of acquiring the internet at home--my Mom can supervise him there and make sure he does his homework. He is my little brother and I love him dearly--eventhough he arrived on my 18th birthday thus throwing out the window my big bash party, tsk, tsk, tsk. I am planning to celebrate his 18th birthday with him...maybe I should have a baby that day and make him spend the day at the hospital like I did when he came--that should be good payback.


Today is my Mommy's birthday and as always, I get a kick out of sending her flowers. Every year I send her a few bouquets for different occasions and each time she gets so excited. I order them from 1800Flowers and they are always so nice, although the balloon options are in English, they usually change them to Spanish just for her. She is at work today and I am hoping the florist waits til about 4pm EST to deliver them.

I would like to dedicate today's post to my Momma or as I usually call her Mami. She is a great Mom, a wonderful friend, and the bestest Abuelita. She is young enough to play hard with my kids and they love that...they love being able to go out and ride bikes, run, jump and dance. We love you Mom!

To celebrate her birthday, I would like to share her Guacamole recipe with you. We love to have guacamole with chips, or with tacos. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.


  • Avocado
  • 1 medium size Roma tomato
  • 1/4 of onion (or less if you would like)
  • 1/4 of jalapeno or serrano pepper (optional)
  • 3 or 4 little sprigs of Cilantro
  • 1/4 of a juicy lime
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper powder (optional)--we use Pico de Gallo

Serves 2, in our house it will serve 1.


Step 1: Cut the Avocado in half, not lengthwise but widthwise. Cut all around so you have two halves. Once they are cut, insert a spoon between the skin and the inside of the avocado. Place your avocado above the bowl where you will stir the ingredients so the inside falls in it. Run the spoon around the skin of the avocado, kind of scraping the skin.

Before repeating with the other side, squeeze out the seed by simply squeezing the avocado, it should pop right off. If it is stubborn, take it off with the spoon. (If you are not going to eat the guacamole right away, save the seed to place in the guacomole dish--placing the seed in there supposedly helps in keeping the guacamole from turning black--I don't know if it is true, but I don't tempt fate, I just leave it there) Repeat the spoon procedure with the other half.

Cut Cut2

Spoon Spoon2

Step 2: Once the avocado is in the bowl, with your knife cut it into small pieces. Now get a smasher. I don't have anything for this purpose so I use a cup that has a flat bottom. Hold the cup and smash away. The avocado needs to be in a mooshy consistency.

Step 3: Chop all the other ingredients: tomato, 1/4 of onion, 1/4 of jalapeno pepper and cilantro sprigs. With a spoon, mix the chopped ingredients with the avocado.


Step 4: Add a pinch of salt (or to taste), pinch of cayenne pepper powder,  and a pinch of black pepper (or to taste). Mix.


Step 5: Squeeze the lime into the mixture. Ta-dah! It is ready. Serve it with chips at Superbowl time--be sure to add lots of jalapenos for the guys. Chill in the refrigerator if you are not going to eat it right away and put that seed in the mixture--you never know, best not tempt the fates.


How to choose an  avocado: One of the hardest things that I have had to learn is how to choose fruits and vegetables. I still don't know how to choose a good watermelon or canteloupe or pineapple. But, I can definitely point you to the right avocado. Choose one that feels soft and yet firm to the touch. You don't want to choose one that is overly soft--those are too ripe and may have lots of black spots inside. The black spots sometimes are due to bruising but when the black spots are by the core of the avocado then the black spots indicate over ripeness. Do not get avocadoes that are hard, those are not ready. Place the hard avocadoes in a brown paper bag, away from the sun and allow them to ripe.


Fetch me a scooby snack and more yarn...

for another pair of Fetching mitts. What is that you say--another pair of flaming mitts! I know, it is getting boring around here, but I still have 1 more pair to knit, promise, I will only knit 2 more pairs of Fetchings this year (the one for my friend and a pair for myself) and then I will be done for this year. As I look at the little stack of Fetchings, I just want to keep them precious.

Fetchings_1 Lotsa_fetchings

And my dear loom knitting friends, I have great news--I got permission from Cheryl, the designer of the Fetching mitts to post instructions on how to do them on a knitting loom. So stay tuned to this station, I will be working up a small tutorial on how to work the thumb for the mitt, everything else is pretty much the same, we just need to have a knitting loom that has a peg multiple of 5. I am so excited to try this out on a knitting loom and place the loom knitted and needle knitted pair next to each other.


In my 100 miles challenge, I have elliptized (is that a word) 15 miles! Yay! Hopefully today, I will do another 5. 


A few more days for the De-Lurness contest

Knitting loom pattern for fingerless mitts

You may recall the picture of the fingerless mitts that I did last week, or was it two weeks ago, anyways, whenever it was. I typed up the pattern and it can be found on the left side under Free Patterns, it is called Bellita Fingerless Mitts.


You can use any adjustable knitting loom in regular gauge, like the WonderLoom or the AJAL or if you have the mitten looms (hand and thumb) you can use it. The pattern is fairly easy to loom knit. It has a ribbed cuff, body in stockinette stitch, then the ribbing around the fingers to provide a more flexible opening. The thumb is knitted in the round in stockinette stitch.

I have had a few inquiries on making this pattern on the Knifty Knitter looms, don't despair although the pattern is worked for the adjustable looms, the boooook has a pattern for fingerless mitts made on the KK. 

The Bellita Fingerless pattern will be "taught" in the Loom Class yahoo group at the end of the month. It is not much like real teaching as all I need to do is be there to answer questions that may come up from the pattern. I expect a few questions will be asked when it is time to pick up stitches for the thumb.

In other knitting news, I am working on a test knit for Soysilk, it is a V shell top, similar to the one I completed last year, actually, it is the same one, just different color.

Lots of yarnia

A monster took over this weekend! I had a chance to go down to SLC and meet Mim at Black Sheep Wool, Co., and the black sheep in me took over. I came home hauling 2 bags packed full with yarn. I blame it on Mim--she is a yarn enabler! Instead of holding me back, she kept telling me that I deserve to knit something for myself--and I am so gullible that I easily gave in. Alright, she is not all to blame, I am easily influenced by others, especially when those others have great taste. Cascade

(Acquisition 1: 1200 yards of Cascade to possibly make Rogue, need to swatch and make sure that it works, if not, it is enough yarn to make another type of sweater)

I am guilty of buying 1 of a skein just to try it out. The problem with that theory is that you end up with a closet full of one-skeins and not many projects call for one skein (thus the gazillion Fetching mitts that have been gracing the blog).


(Acquisition 2: 12 skeins of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool in a nice dark green (045) to make Borhild. Now, I have a bit more than the necessary yarn, why? Well, when I was at the store and overzelous me grabbed yarn by the armfulls and didn't take five minutes to read over the pattern. It appears that the pattern calls for 12 skeins of Silky Tweed but it only calls for 7 skeins of Silky Wool, so I have 5 extra skeins, just enough to make a sweater for Benny or Wonderboy.)

I did find 2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Merino Aran in the stash and I was able to procure something other than mitts--a pair of house slipper/socks.


Pattern: One Skein book

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Merino Aran

Needles: 4.5mm by Crystal Palace

Modifications: I made one of the socks with c4b and the other sock with c4f. The heel is done in stockinette stitch rather than the heel stitch that the pattern calls for.


(Acquisition 3: Now, this came by mail from KPixie, it is Aurora 4, and I am hoping to be able to make Anny's mini-version of Arwen from IK for little Benny.)

I also got a skein of black sock yarn to make Wonderboy a pair of socks to wear to church. His foot is at a weird stage where socks for kids his age are too big and the small ones are way too small. I am thinking a simple pair of cable socks.

As far as my one skein habit, I am dropping it right now. It has finally sinked in that to make a sweater I need at least 1200 yards, or at least 700-800 for a top, so from now on, I will be purchasing lotsa yarnia at a time.

Oh, one last thing, I am cleaning some of my stash of books and yarnia that I don't need/don't use/or have changed my mind about. If you are interested, please come look at my De-Stash blog. Thanx!

Happy De-Lurking Week! C' can do it-you can say "ET Phone home"


To encourage you to De-Lurk, I will choose a random commenter from this week's comments and give them something from my stash--a skein of handyed sock yarn by Yarn Pirate yarn in Paris color. 

Loomy Q & A Day


Hi my dear loom knitters. I hope you are all having a wonderful New Year. I am hanging there, finally got a little sleep last night, the past week has been a bit hard on me, my little Benny is sick, slept only for a few hours each night (on the downstairs couch with little Benny). Then Friday night when going up to the kitchen, in my groggy state I fell down the steps. I thought I was fine, but today my entire right side is aching, especially my ribs, ouch! I guess I fell down harder than I thought. My little Benny is still sick and not eating much of anything. We have found out she likes to have soup and she only eats the carrots, so guess what we will be eating for the next few days. 

But you are here to read the Loomy Q & A day, without further ado, on to our questions.


Question 1: I read everywhere to knit a swatch before starting my project. What is a swatch and how do I knit one.


A swatch is a small piece of knitted fabric that is knitted with the same knitting loom (or needle), pattern stitch, and yarn weight as called in the pattern. Knit the piece of fabric with the same stitch as called in the pattern. Some patterns indicate the pattern stitch for the swatch, some do not, when it doesn't say the stitch pattern, knit the swatch in the overall stitch pattern of the item you want to knit.

Almost forgot: if the pattern says the gauge was knitted in the round, knit your sample in the round. Gauge may vary when knitting in the round or a flat panel.

How small to knit the swatch? The gauge in the pattern should be your starting place, if the gauge in the pattern says something along the lines of:

8 stitches and 12 rows=4 inches

I suggest casting on the stitches above + 10 more, in this case, cast on 18 stitches. Now you have the number of stitches, but how long to knit it?

Knit at least 12 rows + 10 more, so about 22.

The above panel should give you a panel wide enough to measure for gauge.


When measuring for gauge be sure to count everything: 1/2 of a stitch counts, and even 1/4 of a stitch.

  • Having too many stitches per inch will give you too small of an item.
  • Having too few stitches per inch will give you a bigger item.

If you do not get gauge, try the following:

Too many stitches per inch:

  • Try a thicker yarn, maybe a different gauge loom.

Too few stitches per inch:

  • Try a thinner yarn, or a different gauge loom.

Only try one change at a time, it may be that you only need a different thickness of yarn.

If knitting with the variations of the Knit Stitch, try the different methods of knitting it: the flat stitch method--lay your yarn above the loop on the peg and just lift over. U-wrap method--lay your yarn above the loop on the peg, but instead of just lifting over, *hug* the peg with the working yarn (so there is more slack on the yarn) then lift over. The knit stitch as when it is done like an upside purl stitch as demonstrated in this video.

When knitting a knitwear item such as a sweater or a vest, or something that needs to fit a specific person, be sure to knit a swatch before knitting your project. You do not want to knit the entire sweater just to find out that the item you made doesn't fit.

Question 2: I am about to attempt my first project involving Intarsia on a loom and I would like to ask if you have any tips or special advice for me.  I have knitted a swatch using the technique and it came out ok, some of the spaces between colors did seem a little big, maybe gaping a little.  

First lets define what we mean by loom knitting intarsia (some of us are a bit new to the world of knitting and we are not familiar with the term).

Intarsia is a knitting technique that uses a different yarn(s) to knit a motif on a piece of fabric. The different yarn(s) are woven together at the back of the work to eliminate any holes/gaps between the color yarns to provide you with an even fabric. Darning and blocking when the item is completed is also imperitive to provide your knitted item a professional look.

The pictures below show the front of an intarsia motif and the back of it. As you can see, you will have many ends to weave in but take it slow, when you have completely finish an area, sit down and weave in the ends. Do not wait until you finish your entire project, if you do you will have a huge amount of weaving in to do and it could be a bit frustrating.

Intarsiafront_1 Intarsiaback 

How to work with the yarns: if possible, obtain a few yarn bobbins, if no yarn bobbins, wrap the different color yarn(s) that you will be using in a piece of card board. Working with small bobbins of yarn is easier than working with a huge ball of yarn--less tangling.

Attaching the colors: When you reach the area that needs the different color yarn, attach the new yarn to the main color (X) by making a slip knot, snug the slip knot as closely to the work as possible, continue knitting with the new color (Y). When you reach the other side and you need to pick up main color, reach over, attach the yarn the same way.

After the colors have been attached: you need to be sure to weave the yarns around each other. When picking up the secondary color (motif color), drop the main color, pick up the secondary (motif) color under the main color--by doing this, you will be wrapping the yarns around each other.

Sweaterscapes has a great tutorial on Intarsia knitting (with needles) but you can see how to weave the yarns around each other to eliminate the gaps.

Remember: block your intarsia project--it will even out the stitches and the places where you joined the yarn.


Thank you for sending in your questions, please keep them coming, til next weekend,


With *Bated Breath*....


I reckon someone is trying to get educated around here! With some luck, maybe that person will start writing correctly...nah, fat chance of that happening!  But they are sure entertaining and you are bound to pick up a thing or two, like stop using the word Bare and Bear incorrectly...a piece of advice, never say "Bare with me" unless you really want to get close to that other person.

The new acquisitions to my library, Common Errors in English Usage: book and calendar, were influenced greatly by the Red Marker Project mistress. When I read her post a few days back, I laughed my butt off and a passing thought came to my mind--you should get that book Isela. Next day, I received a gift certificate to Amazon and the book and calendar were on their way to me. I waited for them with **baited breath, I was excited to read them and start polishing, oh wait, to polish you have to have something to start with, I didn't have anything to begin with, oh well, like I said above, fat chance of my writing getting any better. Where was this guy when I was learning English?! Now, I have to start from the beginning...what the heck is a pronoun and a subject...I really need to head back to school, starting at Pre-K level.

In knitting news, there are none. I have a sick little one and my time has been spent at her side. Both of my kids had their vaccinations this Monday and while Wonderboy wasn't affected by them (or is that effect--oh, crap, I have to read that part in the book again), Little Benny is fevering, coughing and all that yucky stuff that comes with a cold. 

*When I read Norma's post, she posted something about Baited Breath, at that time I had no idea what it meant nor how it was used, thanks to the book now I know how to use them (I think). Another thing I picked up from the author/guru--"nobody ever said English was logical: just memorize it and get on with your life." I have a lot of memorizing to do!

**baited breath is not correct, the correct form appears to be bated breath...they sound the same (at least to my ears)but they should be written differently--my brain, my poor brain is hurting.

I think I can, I think I can....choo, chooo!

I did it! I jumped in and joined the 100 Miles by April 1st challenge. I am going to take advantage of the flood of cheerleaders and the enthusiastic leadership from Stephen (super-marathon-runner-trainer/leader/inspirational guru), Scout (who runs about 100 miles a week--how she does it? I think she doesn't sleep, she dyes yarn, plays soccer, takes care of the kids and she runs, or maybe she dyes yarn while she runs...hmmm?), and Rachael (the enabler and fearless leader of our great movement!)


I put on the old sneakers and I climbed on my elliptical--I was lazy though and I had my children bring the sneakers down to me from my bedroom. Tomorrow though, I shall climb the steps myself to add a bit more exercise to my day. Half-an-hour yielded 3.3 miles, not enough calories shed (nothing compared to the amount I consume every day--I am a bread lover), and a few drops of sweat. But, I feel happy, look at my ticker, I am 96.7 miles away from the goal. Yay for me!

In knitting: today I picked up a knitting loom rather than the needles, the mini-wonderloom to be exact, and I finished the matching mitten for the mitten made back in December. The matching mitt was loom knitted quite fast and I still had a few hours of daylight (night time) to burn, so I took the knitting loom for another whirl. The playtime resulted in one fingerless mitt, I guess my mind is stuck in making fingerless mittens. Nothing fancy, just a ribbed cuff,  stockinette for the body--and a stubby thumb section.


Pretty Things...

Decorating the house has never been a talent of mine, we have lived in at least half a dozen different places since we got married, each time we packed everything we owned in under a day and unpacked and settled-in in less than 2 hours. Our house decor consisted of four then soon five picture frames: a family picture or the one with the two of us of our wedding day, one of the children, the third a religious picture gifted to us on our wedding day, and the last two, drawings made by my hubby. Those five picture frames made up our house decor for the longest time. It never bothered me, not really. We had little (as most students around here) and getting trinkets for the house was never at the top of my mind, not to mention, I don't have much of an imagination on how to decorate around, nor the desire to dust.


But when we moved into this house, things changed a bit, first and foremost, I love the house. It is perfect for us, a nice backyard for the children, a good size kitchen where we can cook some good family meals and make great family traditions, and enough bedrooms to fit our little family and any friends who would like to come and visit. My heart longs to make this beautiful house a home for us. I know that we only have a little less than 2 years before we move from this house but I want to make it ours. I want it to look like someone lives here, not like the other six other houses we lived in that had bare walls for our entire stay.


In an attempt to make our home a bit prettier, I went out today and acquired a little something to add color to our walls. It is a set of three black plates with painted flowers and a golden trim. The wall they sit on is a lighter green than the green on the plates. I think the black of the plates make the plates  "pop" and for some reason they remind me of the Flamenco dance.  What do you think of them? Be honest...I can still return them.

At the same store, I saw some other little things that caught my eye, a black table, a black inset picture frame that had different arrangements of gorgeous dried flowers, and some popular sayings (to Utah) in fancy lettering. When I got out of the store, I told hubby about the sayings and how they caught my eye, I babbled to him about them all the way home, I was sure he had not listened to me. We had talked about them before but like today the conversation went on one-sided.


Then, tonight he came home bearing gifts. He made not one but four original lettering art pieces for our lovely home, three of them are depicted in the picture, the other one says "Family" in italic lettering. I love those snowflakes! I am so glad that I didn't pick up something like that at the store, his are so much better made, nice thick wood, and well sanded (although he claims that they are not sanded well enough). He is so wonderful to me! We have to pick up some pretty blue and white paint and some nice glitter to jazz them up.  We are making it a pretty place, slowly but surely.


In knitting events: I finished another pair of Fetching gloves, that makes three pairs, two more to go. I think I am going to take a wee break though, maybe I'll try my hand at another pattern, another short project.

One Step Forward

Do you think welcoming the new year by having an FO and then welcoming the first day of the year with another FO is a good sign for the rest of the year? I really hope so! I have been to a few of your blogs and I have been impressed by all of your beautiful knits of 2006.  I didn't knit anything special last year, nothing besides the pair of Anna Socks....tsk, tsk, tsk.


I have big plans for this new year, (besides turning the big 3-0!), I am hoping to get a chance to knit a few items for myself. As I was looking through my knits' history in the pictures, I realized that I am an accessories knitter and I would like to change that this year. Maybe I'll get the courage to try my hand at Rogue, or maybe even Josephine. I hope I am able to knit at least one sweater, maybe Rogue--my heart yearns to knit Rogue.


But for now, I will try my hand at a few more pairs of Fetching fingerless gloves, I am making 5 pairs to send to a few friends....shhh, I won't say whom as I think some of them read the bloggy.

I am following all the instructions from the pattern (same yarn too), except I omitted the picot bind off edge and replaced it with a garter stitch edge. I am also using size 5 dpns instead of the 6 that are called in the pattern.

First Things First.....HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Welcome the year when I turn 30! Eeek! Last night we had some friends of ours over whom came from Texas, our friends Sarah and Spencer--lovely couple, we call them Aunt Sarah and Uncle Spencer. Our kids love them to pieces and everytime they leave Wonderboy is just sad for about a day or two.

Anyways, last night when we were celebrating the new year, Spencer who happens to be a few days younger than me, said "this is the year when we turn 30!" eek--realization hit me on the face, eeek! Of course, I told him he was the one who will turn 30, I was going to turn 28! hehehehe.

We had a wonderful small but cozy gathering with our friends and we watched movies and ate and drank sparkly cider--yuummmy. We even got to see fireworks that our neighbors were firing off.

I was tagged by Denise for a meme that is sort of fun, so here we go...

What is the first thing you did in the New Year...

I kissed hubby, then I kissed my son.

What is the first thing you ate in the New Year....

Salame with cheese on a cracker

What is the first thing you knit in the New Year...

I actually finished a pair of Fetching mittens right by New I snuck in a last knit in 2006!

What is the first blessing of the New Year...

Being surrounded with family and friends

What is the first thing you will do to make the world a better place...

Be kinder and more loving to my children--they are the future and they deserve/need to be treated kindly and with love

Post the first photo you took on New Year's.....


The pair of Fetching while I hug my lovely polar bear--I love polar bears :)

I tag 5 people whom I would like to know what they did on their New Year (Norma, you would be in the list, but you don't do Meme's, so I wait for you to post, hehehehe). I tag....

Dlandra, Kim, Mim, KnitPastis, and Zonda


And something fun, I found this on Cpurls blog and I tried it out too...I am a C-list blogger...find out which list you are on?

C-List Blogger