Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Greetings and Dear Laura:

Oh yes. Knitting and watching baseball.

Working on Lizard RidgeCardinals vs Braves

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ready, set, go....

Ready, set, go....
Originally uploaded by designatedknitter
Greetings and Dear Laura:

NOT A STITCH was knitted yesterday! But the fish-fry was a success - other than the fact that we needed about 3 more people there to help us eat. I made a vegetable/brown-rice dish and some cheesy-beer biscuits. My sil brought cucumber salad, okra and sweet corn (all fresh!) Add in the fish and hamburgers (for those who don't like fish) and it was a true feast! Bad blogger that I am, I didn't get pictures. You'll just have to take my word for it!

But I am answering Lauren's request for a picture of the Lizard Ridge Yarn Collection. Here are 20 skeins - I didn't include the skein that I cast on with. I still need 3 more colors, but it seemed I'm far enough ahead on yarn that I could go ahead and start!!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Casting on.....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Let's see, this should be the last week of your session, right? That probably means finals and such, so you are probably swamped!

Things have quieted down a bit around here. I'm having company for dinner tonight, but other than that my week looks fairly calm. I heard a rumor that my nephew makes a great beer-battered catfish, so he & his wife and by brother & sil are coming over. I'll supply the fish, but he's the cook!

Somehow over the weekend, it seemed like I needed to cast on a new project. To be fair, I did finish Kate, and it always feels like you should cast on something once you finish something, even if you have several "somethings" still on the needles! Please note that these colors are much brighter in person - I couldn't get the picture to color well. (Didn't want anyone to think I'd lost my color sense!!)

Lizard Ridge Begun

Pattern: Lizard Ridge
Yarn: Noro Kuyeron Color 182
Needles: Size 7
Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Finished Kate

Kate - Kitten with Britches!
Originally uploaded by designatedknitter
Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well, Kate is finished, wrapped, and on her way to Katelynne, who will be two tomorrow! I hope that the two Kates have a great time together!

Today turned out to be busier than I expected, but that will make resting tomorrow all the nicer. (How weird is that I'm going to do laundry and clean the kitchen tomorrow, but that still counts as "rest??") The point is - I'm planning an afternoon nap!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Parts is Parts.....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well, first of all, Kate's parts are all done, so just a bit of sewing up and she's ready to go to my great-niece Katelynne. This is a fun knit, knits up pretty quickly using scraps and is a cute toy, so it's a five-star pattern to me. My friend Heidi is coming over this evening, so I plan to do the finishing work first thing, and then move to either my green socks or my Kiri shawl.


If you'd like, you can pop over to Knitting at Lunch's
blog and catch the update on our dishcloths. That was fun to do!

You may have noticed over the past week that I have been posting more often. (As in "every day instead of twice a month!) I thought I'd try it out for a week before I actually said anything about it. It had gotten to the point for me that blogging was a BIG DEAL. I wanted to post more often, felt I SHOULD post more often, but it seemed overwhelming to plan for good pictures, think of something worth saying, have some substantial progress to report, do a rough draft, edit and became a chore, so I (this will probably shock you) I procrastinated a lot. (Also a shock - I have 'perfectionist tendencies!')

There are some blogs out there that I enjoy because, beyond content that I like, they have great graphics and pictures. I always wish my pictures were better! But I came to the realization that the blogs I enjoy the most are the ones that are updated frequently. Alison at the Blue Blog - she posts daily and I read her every day. I decided to take inspiration from her, and see if I enjoyed blogging more if it was a daily goal instead of a BIG DEAL.

And I do like it. If I can snap one picture and type a couple of paragraphs about something I've done or seen and post it each day, then it's more fun! So, for now, that will be my goal. It may not always be witty or wise or weighty (altho there may be alliteration!) but I'm going to try to say something every day, except Sunday which is for rest. You will not always be subjected to daily reports on the condition of knitted cats, but I hope to post weekly progress on large projects like the Kiri Shawl, because I like to have a reference of such things.

So, this has gotten to be more than just a paragraph or two....but I have an entry into the "Is it just me?" category. For lunch today, we went to a local restaurant which opened last fall - it was our first visit. I stopped on the way out to use the restroom, and this is what I saw:


The handicapped stall had a large cheval mirror in it! This seems wrong on at least 2 levels.
  1. Isn't the point of the larger stall so that wheelchairs can more easily maneuver? Wouldn't you think the large mirror would be in the way?
  2. Who really wants to look in the mirror during this process???

Oh well!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Still no Kate.....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Wow - 7 weeks already! GO you! Now, is there any down time between session? Will you get a week or so off now and then? Cute dishcloth! I can't believe you still have yarn left on that cone. You're sure getting your money's worth on that.

I didn't get Kate done last night. (And yes, I did have another nap - but it was short!) She does have ears and arms tho!


Yesterday was a bit weird for me, altho I'm hoping that my fellow knitters can follow my "logic." My sil and I were planning our weekly trip to Weight Watchers, and she mentioned that she wanted to pick up something from "the health food store that is by the yarn store that you took me to."

Well, that's all it took. 2 words. "Yarn store." It set me thinking.....Oh, I'd like to go there. What would I look for? Well, I do need some pink & purple yarn for those socks Renata asked for. I wonder if they have any? Ok, I have to go and see what they have." Next thing I knew, I determined that they close at 5 on Wed, so we couldn't go together after the meeting, so obviously I had to leave work 15 minutes early so I could get there before they closed! Talk about a leap of logic!
At least I found the sock yarn. Colinette Jitterbug, Alizerine colorway. It's beautiful!


Of course, they also had Noro Kuyreon, and I'm down to needing just 5 skeins for the blanket....well, 2 skeins now. I have a list of particular colorways, and I had planned to buy these three, and since they had them...well, I have no defense of this purchase, but hey! It's yarn! It makes me happy!



So, anyway, that's the news from here. Napping and knitting, throw in some new yarn. Oh, and no offense taken that you rooted for the Brewers. What offended me was that they swept us! Yikes. Oh well, you win lose some....

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PT School week 7, and a little knitting

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

WOW -- Week seven! Only two weeks left to go and I'm done with my summer session and will have nine credits of grad school completed. The work load for this week has been the lightest of the summer so far, and having some extra time today, I went to the Sow's Ear for a few minutes to purchase this nice little magazine:Madison knitter/designer/photographer Elizabeth (SABLE) is quite involved in this publication, and if you are interested in checking it out (and don't live in the south-central Wisconsin), check here. (Please pardon my poor photography -- I am being tapped on the shoulder right now because my five-year-old wants to play on the computer for a few minutes before he goes to my time here is limited.)

In dishrag news, I found this little dishrag pattern via a link from Knitting At Lunch. Mine is smaller because I increased to only 45 stitches (instead of 55 as given in the pattern): It is great fun, and a nice variation on the "Grandma's Favorite Dishrag" theme. I think it would have looked much nicer if knit using a solid color. By the way, this is the 14th dishrag knit from the same one-pound cone of "Kitchen Cotton" I purchased a couple of years ago.... I don't have a postal scale, but I'm guessing I have used roughly 80% of the cone?? It seems like it will never end.

Nothing else too exciting going on here. I've been enjoying your posts lately! Too bad about the Cardinals. (Yay Brewers, no offense..... :-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Not quite finished.....

Originally uploaded by designatedknitter
Well, here is Kate - no arms, legs or ears yet, but coming along nicely. I might have finished last night, but I fell asleep as soon as I sat down in my chair! That cost me some knitting time, but it sure felt good!

Another loss to the Brewers, so waking up for the game was not so much worth it.....

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Greetings and Dear Laura:


What's this, you ask? Well, this is the body of Kate! Remember Kate from the
Winter 2005 Knitty?? I made one for my great-niece Grace when she turned 2, and now I've been invited to Katelynne's 2nd Birthday Party, so I thought it was time to give this pattern another go. I remembered that it went fairly quickly, and I have leftover scraps from one of my 'graduation blankets.' I cast on last night, and the picture is the entire body.

Lauren and I discussed yesterday whether I would need to knit this at lunch this week (I need it next Sunday.) My initial feeling is that I could get it done by working on it during the evening, but Lauren was skeptical.

I sat down to watch a ballgame last night and picked up my yarn scraps and needles. I started with the purple color, and I suppose my progress was sped along by how quickly my little ball was disappearing. You know what I start to notice that the ball is getting smaller at a faster rate than your project is growing.... I had pegged the larger ball to do the body stripes and the 2 smaller ones for the limbs. That was optimistic! Despite my knitting faster to make the yarn last longer (??) I soon had to step back and make a decision.

Do I continue knitting, denying the reality that I don't have enough purple or do I rip out and choose a different color from the scraps? Before doing anything rash, I rummaged the stash again. Lo and behold, I have a FULL SKEIN of the purple! So, by time the Brewers finished off the Cardinals 6-3 in 10 innings, I had the body done! This section is more than 1/2 of the main piece and contains most of the shaping, so I'd say I'm just about halfway done. Probably I'll finish up tonight, else tomorrow night.

We had to laugh tho, Lauren and I, when we were trying to figure out how long it might take me. I turned to Ravelry to see how long the first one took me....but it's not in my notebook. I didn't load my entire history into the project section - I decided to do "going forward." I've added some older projects as I run across pictures, but I didn't have any info on this one. So, obviously, I went to our blog....which began a month after I gave Grace her kitty, so no help there. I checked my old "Designated Knitter" blog, but evidently I moved it to blogger just a few weeks before we began, so the bottom line is I've got nothin'.

It is so strange to think of life, especially knitting life, before Ravelry and Blogger!


Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The shawl grows slowly...

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Wow - this shawl is not moving along with any real speed! We are basically working on our shawls at lunch time. We find an empty conference room, close the door and knit in silence for an hour! Maybe eventually we'll be able to talk and work on this pattern! The slow speed is mostly due to the fact that we been too busy to knit during lunch lately; hopefully this week will be better! I do want to keep track of the progress tho, so here is a current shot.


The main body of the shawl includes a 5-row pattern in which there is 12-stitch repeating section. Each 5 row section adds an additional repeat, from 2 to 3, 3 to 4, etc. I have started the 4-repeat section, but I have to rip back because the left 1/2 of the repeats are off by one stitch! EEK!

While we were knitting last week, Lauren wondered how far along we actually are. 5%? 10%? I told her that's the sort of question I would usually ask of you, Laura - but not now that you're in grad school!


I started the second sock over the weekend. This pattern is too much fun to let languish again! I have the picot hem done and I'm ready to start the lace. I forgot to mention when I posted the first sock that I weighed the sock, and then the remaining yarn. The sock weighs 55 grams. I have 56 grams of yarn left. WHEW!!! Cannot waste an inch on this!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

I had a little accident.....

Greetings and Dear Laura:

It was a bit of a "yarn accident."


I was bored and decided to clean up my email. There was an ad in my spam folder from a craft store. I never open these because I think of them as only having yarns that I'm not interested in. Fun furs, acrylics, just not my usual. For some reason, instead of "delete," I hit "open." Imagine my surprise when they had Noro Kureyon at a great price. They had 3 of the colors that I need for my Lizard Ridge Collection.

I mentioned to Knitting at Lunch, and she began browsing and found Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino! Wow! So, we had a simultaneous accident, and the box arrived this morning.

Yay for yarn sales!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Another dishcloth!

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Well, it's been rather warm this week - highs in the 90's with plenty of humidity to steam it up. I can't really complain tho, since I am a fervent devotee of that most blessed invention - Air Conditioning! I tend to endure only the heat long enough to move from one air-conditioned place to another.

Last week, when Amber & the kids were staying with me, we air-conditioned pretty aggressively, trying to cool off the upstairs for them. I closed the registers in the basement and main level to help push the cold up to their level, and turned the thermostat lower than usual. It did get to the point that they were comfortable, but by that time the basement was FREEZING! Obviously, I'm not one to complain about that - I enjoyed the time in my long pj's and extra blankets! Now that they have left, however, I've reverted to normal. I'm comfortable in my shorts and t-shirt, and don't need anything heavier than a sheet to cover up at night.

We are having a charity collection at work - it's Christmas In July. I think it's a sensible idea - there is so much to do and give to in December, but service organizations need help all year long. One of the items they are collecting is dishcloths, so Knitting at Lunch had a light-bulb moment, and we are knitting dishcloths for this.

Thanks to the wonder of Ravelry, we could browse patterns and find something that caught our fancy. I had been interested in some of the circular patterns, so I chose this one. I cast on yesterday at lunch, and today when I started working on it again, it looked like this:

And after lunch:

All I have to do is seam it up and weave in a few ends. The only mod I made was to change colors when I was at the center, so that I didn't have to keep cutting the yarn at the color change.

I like this one!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is it November yet??

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Wow - I love your socks! I agree with you tho, that I think I prefer one-at-a-time. I do like Magic Loop over DPN's tho - mostly because I've never been able to conquer the ladders between needles. But when I did two-at-a-time, I felt like I was constantly fiddling with the balls of yarn to keep them from tangling. Ah well, in the end, socks are always good!

I'm having some sock happiness of my own!! I finished the first sock of my green "Embossed Leaves" socks from "
Favorite Socks." I fell in love with the pattern as soon as I saw it, and the Collinette Jitterbug yarn that I'm using is WONDERFUL! I can't wait for winter so that I can wear them!


Of course, I do have to finish the second sock.....
Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

PT school week 5, and FINISHED SOCKS!

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

It's knitting, so it's okay to not be so monogamous! I'm confident that most of our readers would agree. (In fact, I've seen the knitting bags of some of our readers, so I **know** this is true! :-)

I'm more than halfway through my summer school session. Last week I had a major practical exam, an anatomy lab identification exam, and an anatomy lecture exam. It was probably my most difficult week of the whole summer, and I'm feeling great that I got through it, not perfectly, though in good shape. Phew.
I am **finally** done with the "two socks at a time on one circular needle," and no offense to those of you who love the technique, but I couldn't be more thrilled to have that behind me and go back to knitting socks on four or five little pointy sticks, one sock at a time. It's true that I'll be more prone to "second sock syndrome," though I'll take my chances. On the plus side, I didn't have to count my rows as I went in order to make them the same length. On the big (HUGE) minus side, working with two balls of yarn throughout bordered on being too much like intarsia, and I spent a lot of time untangling the two yarn sources from each other.

And look, your show and tell about all of your dishrags got me going on a dishrag kick , too:My current dishrag stash was depleted, so I'm "re-stocking." One nice thing about dishrags is that I'm not supposed to care if there is a huge amount of color pooling... I just keep repeating to myself: IT'S A DISHRAG!

We're having a busy summer, though I'm having a great time with my classes. I still must **run** from the bus to my 7:45 class on most mornings, though occasionally DH drives to work and drops me off on his way. I've gotten back into a more normal workout schedule, too, exercising three or four times a week. It's not like I'll ever run a marathon or anything, though after some exhaled air gas measurements I did last summer in my physiology of exercise class, it's clear that even only 30 minutes three or four times a week makes an incredible difference in the way your body is able to utilize the oxygen delivered to your cells. One of these days I'll get on my "exercise is soooo good for you" soapbox... (I guess you've been warned that it's coming...)

This is what the path to the laundry room looks like, in spite of my mantra "keep the path to the laundry room clear, so that Mommy doesn't trip on something and break her neck:"I tell my kids that I am unable to see what is in front of my feet when I have a big laundry basket in my hands, so now it appears that they're making the obstructions taller so that I may see them. If this past week had been one day longer, I would have run out of clean underwear. As it was, dh ran out of his decent white undershirts and was donning a shirt having huge holes in the underarms on Friday. So, I spent most of yesterday getting caught up around the house paying bills, cleaning, laundry, etc.

Now I'm off to plan the dinner menu for the week and go grocery shopping. Have a great week!

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Knitting promiscuously...

Greetings and Dear Laura:

So, I am currently enjoying a 10-day visit by my oldest Goddaughter and her two children. Hmm, her son Logan is my youngest Godson! We're having a wonderful time - took Monday off and went all of the great nieces and nephews and some sil's and nieces to the zoo and picnic in the park - that was SO much fun!


I've been knitting quite a bit, it seems like, and I've thrown all sense of project monogamy to the wind! I think we can blame Knitting at Lunch, actually! AND the Thursday Knit-In group at the Wool Barn in Avilla. I had JUST finished this pair of socks that Isabella asked me for, using the leftovers from my socks.
These socks mark the project where I figured out the short row heel - thanks to the article that you pointed out to me! Thank you so much - it makes perfect sense to me now, and I can actually look up from the instructions occasionally and just knit.

So, I had finished those socks, and was at that odd place where I did not have a major project with a deadline to focus on. Always dangerous. While I had started playing around with a dishcloth pattern, I was at a bit of a 'loose end,' so to speak. When Lauren broached the subject of knitting shawls together, I jumped at it, being in a bit of a 'lace mood' myself.

This meant a lunch run to the downtown LYS. I reluctantly chose not to buy the Rowan Kidsilk Haze, because they did not have a color that grabbed me. I was hoping for the lovely green shade of the original. Since I couldn't have that shade, I paid heed to countless warnings that the mohair is 'difficult to rip back.' I can't tell you the last time I did a project without ripping back! I chose a lovely red alpaca laceweight, and I'm really enjoying it. The yarn.

The pattern was a bit challenging at first, and I've already ripped back twice so avoiding mohair was a good choice! Now that we're in the body repeats, it does seem to be going a bit smoother. I've only worked on it at lunch tho, and with everything else going on I've spent a lot of lunch breaks running other errands, so I'm hoping to make more progress soon!

And then I made it to a session of Knit-In. It happened to be the night that they were doing a dishcloth pattern exchange. I took the slip-stitch pattern that I've been working on with some kitchen cotton.

At that point, I hadn't actually started the shawl, so when I saw the cool new cotton yarn they were using....well, I had a bit of an accident.


Considering the fact that I rarely knit with cotton because it makes my hands hurt, and this yarn is CONSIDERABLY more expensive than basic kitchen cotton, I can't say it was my most shining moment. But I've been having fun with it nonetheless.




I came very close to casting on a new pair of socks, but remembered that I had a pair in progress.

I started these almost a year ago, and had done several pattern repeats. I don't remember why they were put aside - I think because the lace required too much concentration to be portable. However, I've done enough lace now that these don't seem difficult to me. I don't have to pay as close attention to the pattern, and I'm loving the yarn and pattern combination. I did a short row heel (easy-peasy!) and I just less than one full pattern repeat until I reach the toe! And since I've technically only knit 1/2 the sock in the near past, I still feel fresh about starting the second sock!


I do still have several UFO projects, and of course, I've planned 3 or 4 more in the very near future, so you needn't think I'm only really knitting 3 things right now....

Anyway, hope this finds you well - busy, I'm sure! Hope you had a break for the fourth - we had a lovely time! I'm enjoying my visitors, and I may have another new knitter to report. Amber is anxious to learn to make some baby gifts for her friends!

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Keeping busy......

So, event-wise, I had a few quiet days after the Anniversary party, which was much needed. My parents left on Tuesday to go back to their place in Kentucky, so it was nice and quiet. Until the next weekend, anyway!
I went to a surprise 30th birthday party for my nephew-in-law. I had a really nice time, and even enjoyed the 3 1/2 hours in the car.


On the way home, I spent most of an hour talking on the phone to Ruth! (She is knitting, by the way! And just got back from a trip to Peru - they had a really nice time. She highly recommends it as a travel destination.)
The other fun that weekend (and the following week) was a visit by my niece and great-niece from Texas. Josie was born last March and we hadn't gotten to see her yet! Her approval rating was very high - her grandfather declared her "a keeper!"
See?? She's a very happy baby, and she was a very good traveler. They spent 10 days here and it was a really fun time. We had a family get-together the second weekend they were here, which makes three big family party weekends in a row! Can't beat that kind of fun!

Dad had meetings and appointments in KY, so they weren't able to come home during that time. I volunteered to meet them 1/2 way to bring mom here so she could at least get to meet Josie. At first dad was reluctant to do that drive, but when I arranged the meet to be in Louisville, I knew I had him! There is a resturant there that serves a "fried lobster." It's his favorite thing ever. Let's just say that once on his way from KY to his cardiologist in Indy, while having chest pains, he stopped to have a fried lobster. (Yes, we see the problem there!) I had never had one, but I won a bet last fall, so he owed me one. I can see why he loves it, but I'm not going to be making that 4 hour drive just to have one!


Since mom was home for over a week, I lent her my car to drive so that she could take advantage of being so close to all her kids and grandkids. She spent a couple of days at the lake with my youngest brother's family, and got to hold lots of babies! While she drove my car, I borrowed my brother's "beater Mercedes." It has been quite a few years since I drove that quality (or lack thereof) of car. I adjusted to the most of the quirks pretty quickly, although I gave up on it the day that the driver's door handle came off in my hand, requiring me to go the passenger side and crawl across! Fortunately, that was a Friday, and over the weekend they repaired the door handle AND fixed the driver's side window, so that I had TWO windows to use. My favorite feature is the "clock."
There is a wristwatch hanging from the air freshener! (It was 10 minutes fast - I was going to be helpful and reset it, when I realized he might be late if he had in his head that he had the extra time!)

Mom turned 76 last Wednesday, and by happy coincidence, my brother had a cow that needed to be butchered, so he supplied fresh liver for our traditional birthday dinner menu of Liver & Onions. Yummm! We all went together and got her a canopied swing, which they'll enjoy using to sit outside before the sun goes down and the mosquitoes come out!


By this time, mom had been home for a full week. She and dad do not tolerate being apart for any longer than that, so she put me on notice that if no one else would take her home, I'd better start packing! Having just had a fried lobster, dad wasn't that excited about driving half-way, so on Friday afternoon I drove her home, spent the night, and then drove back on Saturday. I've had another wee bit of quiet time, which I've enjoyed, and I'm looking forward to the long holiday weekend. (Alert - more excitement is coming soon!)

I'm going to stop this post here, because it's gotten longer than I had planned. Up next, Cynthia forsakes project monogamy and embraces lace with reckless abandon! (At least there will be knitting content!)

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter!)

Teaser picture.......