Showing posts from 2010


I should know better than to blog while hopped up on coffee and my mother's baklava....

The original plan, brilliantly conceived of last night, was to knit 1 hour per week on the giant pink afghan. But when I was typing earlier I couldn't remember what the plan was and so made up the idea that I would knit one ball of yarn on it per week. 

While a ball of yarn per week is not unrealistic insofar as how much knitting I do, it is when we consider this particular project, the fact that it is not meeting type knitting, that's it is rapidly becoming too big for the train, etc etc. 

So...back to 1 hour per week. That's a couple episodes of  Columbo and Sibling the Younger has given me five seasons to watch now....

The Pink Thing

In packing to head down to the Incredibly Patient Mother's house for a few days, where we had a lovely Christmas that was a full day of eating and family and catching up, I managed not to bring my camera cord.  I have the camera. I remembered to pack the battery charger. The two (yes, I finally found the other one that I knew I'd moved--promptly after buying a new one) camera-connect-to-computer-cords are both in Chicago. Now, there might be one around here, I haven't asked either of my siblings.  Actually, it's a pretty safe bet that there is, considering that my mum's digital camera is around here too somewhere.  Anywho...

In May 2007, if my own admissions on Ravelry are to be believed, I cast on the pink behemoth. I had several pounds, quite literally, of Red Heart in rose and burgundy. I grabbed a pattern from somewhere, I'm not sure where anymore. It was before I signed on to Ravelry, before I moved to Wisconsin, etc etc etc.  Why I have that much acrylic …

It's Going to be a Really Long Hike...

At the beginning of 2010 I signed up for a Stashdown 5K. The goal was to knit 5,000 meters of yarn from my stash. So I had an idea of where I was going, I ran the spreadsheet that Ravelry so generously provides we woolly many (over 1 million) that tells us how much is in our stash.

I was at 55km of yarn. This wasn't a fully accurate count and I knew that. There was yarn that I hadn't included--it wasn't a full admission of stash. I've spent the year working to be more diligent about admitting all of the yarn I have in my apartment and making sure it's documented so I have a chance to see it and want to use it.

I gave away yarn at the Knit In. I gave away yarn and sold yarn when I moved. I've knit a lot this year--over 12km according to KnitMeter--which is a wonderfully simple and fantastic tool. We still have almost 3 weeks left in the year too and since I don't count projects until I bind off (woven in ends optional), there are some socks that will probabl…

Wade Amongst the Water Lillies

These socks were a bit of demonstration, a bit of test run, and ultimately, a bit of a path down a slippery slope.

It all started so innocently. Having had my size 1 9" circulars disappear in some parking lot or other (what I get for keeping my knitting in my purse), I grabbed a set of size 2 9" circulars the next time I was down at Ewetopia Fibers, whilst AudioGirl was visiting.

When we got back to Chez Hedgehog, I grabbed the Water Lilies yarn that I'd purchased at the same shop on another trip to demonstrate the efficacy of 9" circulars for knitting socks. AudioGirl tried but ultimately decided DPNs were more her style, though we agreed that for the first couple of rows, it's much easier with a circular.

These socks became a coping project. Supposed to be packing? Lets knit a row on the socks. Supposed to be having meetings and getting things cleaned up? Lost in the sock. So on and so forth.  There are many times in life where I feel very unsuccessful at many…


I was doing quite well and being relatively project monogamous. That's all gone by the wayside.

But first, some proof of progress that things are chugging along here at Chez Hedgehog.

I'm on the second green sock, apparently at the heel or thereabouts.  I have to admit, it's been hanging out in the bag that G made me since Friday. I honestly had it in my head that I was on the toe.  Apparently not.  Ooops.

Anyway, it's not truly stalled. It's cold out and all of my wool socks are in the wash, I'm going to need to finish more soon. Or do laundry.

However, I was out a bit over the weekend and apparently remembered Saturday that I was at a heel turn--which isn't really conducive to adult beverages and hanging out with My Friend the Lawyer.

This is Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in VW Bug. Squishy and vibrant and squishy and cashmere and yum....It's more green than this picture is showing--that's too blue/teal and this is a much greener shade. Apologies. …

Adventures of License Plates...

Part of the joys of relocating is always relabeling your car as necessary by the various states in which you live. This is particularly important in Chicago because having appropriate stickers allows me to actually park on my street.

Before I moved, on the day I signed the lease actually, I went by the alderman's office and bought some guest passes. You can get up to 30 of these per month, per household, at $8/15. This would, I believed, give me plenty of time to get moved and downtown to the DMV at the Thompson Center.

Only, to change things over, the state would like two items that prove residency (along with my passport and social security card--despite the fact I was a registered license holder here before). My lease wasn't enough and so I had to wait until a bill arrived. Comcast wins the race for first bill in Chicago. Aren't we all thrilled?

It meant that I was well into the first few days of my new job before I had all of the paperwork. This also meant that every m…

Year in Review

Can you believe it's been almost a year since I broke my knitting content out from Hedgehog Librarian? On one hand, seems like forever, and on the other, wasn't that five minutes ago?  One of my favorite "year in review" things that I see around the biblioblogosphere is a quick summary of the first sentence posted in each month. It kicks me back through the archives and is usually good cause for amusement.

January: I have some specific knitting goals set for 2010 and wanted to blog about them a little more at length, but without overwhelming my primary blog: Hedgehog Librarian.

February: Oh ducklings, how I wish I could tell you stories of knitting.

March: Mousie came to live with us shortly after Gypsy did.

April: It's a beautiful day here and I'm going to go put the ham in the oven to torment Gypsy.

May: By 11 a.m. today it was 90 degrees outside.

June:  In what can only be described as a cruel twist of fate from Mother Nature, following an exquisitely sunny …

Gypsy's Birthday

A year ago, when I brought Gypsy home, I decided upon her adoption date of December 10 as her official birthday. She's three and has fluffed out into a fully mature 8 lb cat.
It's been a fun first year. Gypsy is very social, strongly prefers women to men, is described as a busy cat (read--nosy), and is much better at snuggling and chatting than the house plants. She's a decent car passenger, an early riser,  a big fan of ham and Cheetos, and a bit of a klutz.  She's firmly convinced that she can jump higher than she's actually able to and this is pretty entertaining and occasionally frustrating as she knocks things down.
Here's a picture taken right after she arrived at Chez Hedgehog.

Hanging out on the balcony--she obviously misses going outside here but with the cold, her skittish nature and the large dogs next door it's not really an option. Hoping to make use of a harness next summer.

Once I lay something out to block, she considers it her …

City far as the eye can see

Before I left La Crosse, I knit shawls for women that I worked with at the library.  This wasn't a new idea, I'd contemplated knitting them shawls several times. As these women had already been recipients of washcloths and crocheted grocery bags, it was time for something a little bigger.

And then there was, of course, the news that I was leaving and wouldn't be around to entertain them with deliveries of yarn, knitting through all the meetings or the occasional slight glow after catching a really good sale.

Add to which that my stash grew exponentially while I lived in La Crosse. I had room. I filled it with yarn. Lots of yarn. Beautiful yarn. I needed a pattern that would allow me to not have to move ALL of the yarn. So I went into the stash to see what was around. I figured I'd have enough for four or five shawls at least if I went for the worsted weight.

The City Shawl by Stephanie Japel calls for 350 yards of Bulky yarn.  I cast my first one on back in August ou…

Speed of Knitting

I have no idea how fast I knit. Compared to the Yarn Harlot, I'm a tortoise. According to my knitting kids, I'm a Road Runner (mee-meep). I knit at a decent pace and after retraining my hands a couple years ago to hold the throwing yarn over my index finger, I've speeded up a bit, but I'll never win a fastest knitter award. This is fine by me. Process knitter and all that.

On Monday I had two meetings. First was a two hour meeting going over Benefits information. I knew that I'd need to pay attention but that this would not be requiring much serious note taking. HR people like to send all the information home with you. Second was a four hour continuing education program that I would need to take notes, but still hoped to get some knitting in.

Only, I was at the toe of my current sock. In a mad dash Monday morning I rummaged through the stash room/library, came up with the skein of Spruce merino sportweight sock yarn from Ewetopia Fibers, got my size 2 DPNs out of …

Birthday Yarn and Fall Baskets

Alright I know I said I'd stop with the stash yarn but I  never showed you my birthday yarn, did I?

The Incredibly Patient Mother has a spinning wheel (though I need to nudge her back towards it) and Sibling the Elder sits down and a lace shawl falls off her fingers when she stands up five minutes later.  These are good women to have shopping for you when you are a bit of a yarn-a-holic. Which I might be. Perhaps.

Anyway....back to birthday wool.

My sister knows I love all things blue and teal and purple and green and such. I'm in good company, if the Sanguine Gryphon and Wollmeise updates are anything to go by--those always seem to be the first colors that sell out. 

So she went in search, this sister of mine, for yarn that bore my name and was of a proper shade to fit in with the rest of my stash.

Isn't it pretty? :) Apparently, there is only one store in the United States that carries this particular type of Schaefer yarns. Others carry Schaefer Anne and other such b…

Change of plans...

I was going to show you detailed pictures of all of my recent stash acquisitions, many of which have interesting stories. There was going to be LONG blog posts about all of it.

However, I was getting tired of writing it all. Which meant, I suspect, that you were getting tired of reading it all.'s time for a stash flash.  A quick view and no more than a line or two description....

This is a double skein of Ewetopia Fiber Sport Weight Handdyed. Kathryn had it behind her counter where she was going to split it up into two skeins. Ferreting it out with AudioGirl, I asked if I could buy it whole and Kathryn agreed. It has no ball band, I'm calling it Midnight Sky. 

Next up... EcoWool+. Now they make this stuff in colors other than Sheep! Not that there is anything wrong with the sheepy colors. I have a lot of Latte in my stash. But's purty.A score with AudioGirl from Baskets of Yarn.

Now, you know I love my sister very much. So much that when we were IMing …

20 Days to Christmas....Stop Me From Shopping

So..there's not a lot of space at the new Chez Hedgehog. I've mentioned that already I think. Certainly it's a lovely 1.5 bedroom garden apartment and for one small female and one small gray cat, it's plenty of space.  But for a girl with a large library and well fed's um...kinda tight. 

I own a lot of yarn. Beautiful yarn. Yarn that has stories behind it. Yarn that I can't wait to knit up whenever I dig it out of the bins and remember that I own it. And we're 20 days from Christmas. By now I should be absolutely crazed with Christmas knitting.  I should at least be contemplating what I'm giving people for Christmas. I am sitting, reading archives of the Yarn Harlot's website, and trying to justify to myself the purchase of more sock yarn. I don't need sock yarn. I have over 50 skeins of yarn that fit into the "sock weight" category, though most of them are fingering and not really sock yarn.  We're looking…

Strawberry Chocolate Progression...

A few months back I saw the Yarn Harlot talking about cotton. That in and of itself caught my eye, as she's a self-proclaimed not-really-a-cotton knitter. I'm increasingly less so, wool is so much more forgiving and alpaca is far more squishy. Still, I was fascinated with the color progression shown in the skein and clicked over to Wolles Yarn Creations.

Color changing cotton is all she does and it's lovely! There are a lot of variety of shades and you can request custom blends.  Most of her blends come in two skeins --a light to dark and dark to light with the same shades. I threw her store feed into Google Reader (my new favorite way to follow Etsy store owners) and waited for something to catch my eye.

What came up was the Strawberry Chocolate. I have a friend who lives the pink and brown combination. As she's a beach bunny, cotton would probably be perfect for her for a small shawl. It'll be far more washable and usable than wool would. It's four ply and 480…

Let Someone Else Drive....(Part 3)

But of course, on this long adventure of the LPL Yarn Crawl, we didn't go only to one store! After YD and buying a new vase, (Seriously--what's wrong with me that a month before moving I'm buying vases?) it was off to What in Yarnation! in Cannon Falls, MN.

What in Yarnation!* opened in September 2010, so I think we were the first big tour that they'd had. We were greeted with cookies and wide open arms. As we were rejuvinated and came with wide open checkbooks, this was good!

The store is lovely! It's not huge but they've packed a whole lot of yarn into it. It's a Berroco store, so I got to play with all of those different blends. As the shops near me were all Cascade, it was a nice change. I nearly bought 2-3 sweaters worth of a tencel wool blend that just glowed in the skein. But the owners showed those of us who were drooling that it loses a lot of the sheen when knit up. That was disappointing but I appreciated the honesty.

There was a lot of variety i…

Let Someone Else Drive....(Part 2)

After cleaning out Yellow Dog, which we did with credit cards flying, there was lunch and a bit of time at the local Antique Emporium. Leave no corner unsearched for elephants and hedgehogs!

But it was neither collectible animal that caught my eye. In the back corner of the second of three floors, I spotted some silver vases and tea pots. I'm a magpie and this was irresistible.

I had a look at a couple of pieces and picked up one of the teapots. Everything was plate and the prices were okay but not fabulous. And then I picked up a vase.  Over a foot high, it was much heavier than anything else on the shelf. More interestingly, it had hallmarks on it. Now--I like silver but I'm not quite up on my hallmarks. And wouldn't you know that M, who knows these things, was out of the country that weekend?  Most inconvenient. I asked the gentleman behind the counter but all he could tell me was that it was plate and that it was English, which I'd already figured out.

And it was t…

Let Someone Else Drive....(Part 1)

Every good yarn crawl should come with someone else behind the wheel. So when the reader's advisory librarian at La Crosse Public Library asked me if I thought we could fill a bus for a yarn crawl, I hastily agreed. We took names at the spring Knitting in Public Day.

The date was finally set for October 30. I had to get up at an entirely unreasonable hour to go. Gypsy was very confused that I was leaving the house before 7 a.m. That may be a more common occurrence now, *sigh*..

We headed out from the K-mart parking lot as the sky grew light. Our bus driver was a delightful man who teased us good naturedly about having so many beautiful women. I drank my coffee and knit and watched the sky lighten. I spend so much time behind the wheel, it's rare that I have the opportunity to just enjoy the scenery as it rolls by. I was a bit reminded that I can only knit for so long while riding in a car, I do get a smidge car-sick but nothing too awful.

The project was one of the endless Cit…

Japanese Bags

If there's a link about hedgehogs, it often gets sent my way.  So when a friend found a Japanese bag maker who makes cute bags and fabric bins with hedgehogs on them....

Well, I might have had a bit of a falling down. Just a little one.

Here's the haul.  I got three CD case bins, one large bin that's for DVDs, and one pencil case. Four with hedgehogs, one with coffee.

I got them with the intent of using them for knititng projects.  The smaller ones are just the right size for a skein of sock yarn, the pencil case will get traveling DPNs and the larger bag...not sure yet.  I actually am using a couple of the smaller ones for music cds at the moment.

They are very well made--lined with pretty coordinating fabric.  And Gypsy, of course, had to be all nosy about them. 

If you're interested in other pretty such things (not ALL hedgehogs), check out Seabreeze Studio on Etsy.

Warm Monkeys....

So remember that late October I went to KidLitCon and spent the day knitting 2x2 watchcaps for the Navy ship?  That project has gone awfully well-- see here for the update from Shanti's mom.

But it wasn't my only knitting that weekend. As one of my best friend's parents were so gracious as to host a wandering and sneezing hedgehog (I was seriously ill that weekend), I brought them something warm in return.

Sock Monkey cup cozies!

Now, I'm not a huge fan of sock monkeys. I don't understand the appeal of them. But the Master Sergeant had mentioned that his dad was a huge fan and that they had some sock monkeys around that apparently, I'd missed. Okay, duly noted. 

The sock monkeys are out of Cascade 220--mostly superwash. I forgot that I needed to use superwash and grabbed some red non-superwash that was leftover from another project. Face-palmed when I realized what I'd done.

Pattern: George Sock Monkey Cup Cozy
Modifications: I didn't do the solid ear…

Not Dead...Just Wrapped in Cardboard

I was leaving a note on another blog and realized I hadn't blogged over here for a bit.  I popped over to see just how long I'd left you all hanging.

And now I hang my head in shame.  Sorry all, it's not that I haven't been knitting, that I don't love you or anything like that.

Reasons I haven't been Blogging Faithfully
1) I'm moving tomorrow and that's required a lot of prep work
2) Part of that was leaving my old job and I knit something for all of the women in my department (and the one boy). This meant that every spare moment was for knitting, not for blogging.
3) I'm a little overwhelmed with how much stuff I've knit recently and bought.  You'd think that a woman getting ready to move could restrain herself. Apparently not.

I did have a stash sale with one of the local groups.  They were very nice and bought up a bunch of yarn that I wasn't feeling totally viscerally attached to.  Of course, then AudioGirl came up and we went yarn s…

Where I Am a Bad Blogger and Did Not Take Pictures...

I'm a regular WendyKnit's reader--I'm a Lucy the Cat fangirl...

So when Wendy posted about Shanti's mom collecting hats for a navy ship, I thought that sounded like a brilliant idea. Because, you know, I don't have any holiday knitting or requests or anything like that and I'm not on any deadlines or timelines or such.....

I did, however, have a conference to attend last weekend. So I rummaged about the apartment and found some black superwash wool. Most of the sailors on the ship, I assume, will be of the male persuasion and the men I know like black and possibly gray. Really just black though. I grabbed the pattern Wendy suggested too and cast on...

And by the morning of the Saturday conference (KidLitcon 2010 in Minneapolis, covered over at Hedgehog Librarian), I had most of a 2x2 rib hat done. Finished it during the first full session after the keynote and spent most of the rest of that session winding the rest of the black wool into a center pull ball.  Th…

Pack the Yarn Stash....I'm Moving to Chicago

That's right! I've decided I can no longer live this far from Loopy, Lorna's Laces, and Stitches Midwest.

I've taken a new job at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I'll be at the Health Sciences Library doing all of my librarian things. I can't wait! I'm so excited!

I have to PACK.

The good news is that the stash, by and large, lives in plastic bins. Packing it involves making sure all the lids are on.  That being said, I have a 1 bedroom apartment with den that needs to be gone through, weeded, pruned, and boxed. Did I mention I haven't got an apartment yet? Working on that.

Much to do, not much time to do it in (new job starts 12/1) and lots to figure out....

But there will continue to be wool!!

Lipstick Red...

The Clapotis is done! I just need to block it and weave in the ends.

Of course, this is what happens whenever I try to block anything at Chez Hedgehog. Well, anything that I'm hoping to block on the floor. This is Stash

One of the things I love about Webs is their discount program. Spend $60 and get a 20% discount. This meant when I was placing my recent Cascade order, that it was cheaper if I purchased more yarn than I needed.

So what does a girl in need of extra yarn to round things out and get that discount do? Head straight for the Malabrigo bin, that's what.

Malabrigo Sock yarn in Cote d'Azure never goes wrong does it? 450 yards is enough to make a lovely small shawl or lacy scarf or warm hat or or or....

And while I was down at Kathryn's (Ewetopia Fiber Shop) I had to have a rummage through her handdyed.  I know you've heard me rave about it before but she has good bases and I appreciate her eye for color combination.  Not everything she creates appeals to me, but neither does everything from the Wollmeise.

So anyway, this time I grabbed a skein of her 100% Merino Sportweight in the Water Lily colorway.

Some of the blues are a bit more teal/green than the camera captured. It…