Sunday, December 30, 2007

Looking Back. Looking Forward. Oh, and 27 forever.

Whew! Christmas is over, and the year is coming to an end. It seems like this year has passed in the blink of an eye. I've moved, changed jobs, started a blog, and fallen in love (more on that later perhaps). I turned 27 in November, and while it is not one of those big milestone is significant because from now on every birthday is going to be 27 (with experience of course)...for example...30 will be 27 with 3 years experience...35 will be 27 with 8 years experience, etc. I have always been ok with turning a new year older and I have full intentions of keeping it that way :D .

As for the new year, I of course have some resolutions. I have been sitting on the whole idea of blossoming my etsy store...I've put on an item here and there, but haven't been completely serious. I am considering this post to be my public announcement of seriousness about selling some of the things I design. Which means more time spent designing, which I love. You heard it here first!

I also have plans for this blog. I would like to post at least twice a week in 2008 (with a little break in Feb., more on that later perhaps). I have really missed working on creative pursuits recently and I think it is high time I buckle down and begin pursuing.

On an FO note - My So-Called Scarf was finished so long ago that is almost so-called Worn-Out! (Hehe not really, but I had someone take a picture of me wearing it almost a month ago and it has been so crazy around here I still haven't posted it.) Yes, I am posting a picture of myself!!! Yikes! :D . Note how long ago it winter jacket!!!, just a fleece!

On the needles: A tank top in bamboo, and mittens, lots of mittens...yes, that's right, I have not finished Christmas knitting! Hmmm, next year, I think I will give everyone needles, yarn and a few hours of my time.

Happy New Year everyone! Stay safe, and I hope all of your resolutions come true - especially the fibery ones :D .

PS - NH knitting mama - I have promised myself that I would budget enough to get one of your lovely skeins from etsy in January - I have been eyeing them and I can't wait to order one!

wonderful = looking back. looking forward. oh, and 27 forever. - jj

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

snow. mittens. and so-called scarves.

Hi everyone! Well, it has happened. The snow that is. Yes, it was only enough to make the ground white and only slippery enough for my car to end up facing the wrong way in the wrong lane (thank goodness it was in the parking lot and not on the road!!!) on the way to work the other morning, but it is here.

So - in honor of the cold weather I've been doing a little knitting to keep myself warm. I'm still working on dishcloths and only have a couple more pair of children's mittens to I felt good about doing something to keep my own hands warm :) First, I have had six balls of Australian alpaca sitting in my studio - screaming that they wanted to be mittens -. I needed them to be extra thick, extra warm soooo....I googled chunky weight mittens (The yarn is 8 ply - dk weight), I held one strand of grey and one strand of burgundy together and ta-dah! new mittens.

I have been wearing them every day and I love them! Only problem, though my hands are cozy, my neck is always cold! So, even though I had sworn off scarf knitting about two years ago, I decided that it was high time I got a warm neck! I began surfing immediately , determined to find the perfect scarf! I settled on "My So-Called Scarf" because the pattern was something completely different to me - you know - one of those things that you see on people on the street and go up to them to have a chat to see if they might possibly be able to help you figure out how their garment was made. It is pretty slow going as each stitch takes almost twice as much time as a regular stitch, but the pattern is completely worth it! Check it out, I started it yesterday and am about a foot into is made out of two strands of light worsted held together in a dark plum and a color that is halfway through tan and grey. PS - note to Bells - I had the link to the dishcloth pattern saved in my favorites and now I can't find it! I'm going to do a little searching and put it in my next post - I don't want to just type it out without the permission of the designer - Thanks :) - Jenn

wonderful = snow. mittens. and so-called scarves.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

October 31st. Christmas. Knitting.

It's October 31st. October 31st. Where has the time gone? It seems like yesterday that I was thinking ohhh, I've got plenty of time to start all of the gifts I want to knit this year. Yes, I think I will make 5,675, 345 washcloths for all of my friends and family. Oh, and ALL of the kiddos in my life are getting mittens. That's right, all of the adults requested socks last year too (note to self, do not wear hand knit socks to Christmas parties from now on). I was thinking it might be nice to make an afghan for my parents too. And so on.

Oh dear, that WAS yesterday. And now it is October 31st. Almost November! Less than two months to Christmas. On the up side I only have 5,675,344 washcloths left to knit. Here is the one that is finished...

I love the's easy to do while listening to a podcast or watching don't even have to worry about looking at it - we're talking elementary lace, which is great for making a dishcloth/washcloth the perfect scrubby it's pretty. Downside, there is only one of them. Yep, one lonely washcloth. I finished a second one today but, I managed to spill hot cocoa on it right before I cast off, which means, I can't give it as a gift. Upside? I get to throw it in the washing machine and use it for myself! Now, I know that there are only a few more weeks til Christmas, but I am still insisting on doing as many handmade knitted items as possible. From reading other blogs, appears to me that many knitters do the same thing - we like giving our works of art as warms the soul...even if we don't go to bed until 5 am Christmas morning because we just haaavvvveee to finish this @#%* toe!!

Speaking of warming the is a pic of one of the socks that I was going to send to my bf's grandmother...note that it is already past her birthday...luckily he thinks she will understand - I hope so!!! I am about to frog it. Yep, that's right, I've completed the ankle pattern, knit the heel flap, turned the heel, and completed the gusset. I'm already an inch into the foot and I can't stand the sock. I have decided that the pattern I knit competes with the pattern of the yarn. I am going to frog it and just do a simple knit 8 or 9 and purl 2 combo...I did that for the top of the foot and I really like how it compliments the yarn. So how does that warm the soul you ask? Well, it means that in the end...even with all the frustration...I will have created something pretty and something that she can really cherish. I love that.

wonderful = october 31st. christmas. knitting. - jj

Monday, October 22, 2007

old buildings. great service. oh, and coziness, definitely coziness.

Hi Everybody!!!

Thank you, thank you Nikkianna! The LYS that I mentioned in my last post is The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH. It is gorgeous!!!! Off of Rte 9, halfway between Concord and Keene, NH, it is a one of those little gems tucked away, waiting to be discovered! It is in a beautiful old building, and is jam-packed with amazing yarns at reasonable prices and the women who helped me when I stopped in for the first time last month were sooo sweet...if you ever have a chance to stop by I highly recommend it! If you would like to turn your stop into a yarn crawl...I also recommend The Elegant Ewe on Main St in Concord. Amazing yarns there too (especially the sock yarn - ohh and the lace weight)...and the staff is wonderful as well (of course now that I mention it the staff is wonderful at all three of the stores I wanted to tell you about). Third stop on your crawl (or first, depending on where you are coming from) is The Knitting Knook on West St. in Keene, NH. It is a tiny, cozy little shop hidden in the upstairs of a building next to The Savings Bank of Walpole. What it lacks in size it makes up for in quality - quality of yarn, quality of service, and quality of coziness.

Well, I'm off to knit for a bit, and then head to bed... it's almost midnight... oops make that 12:01. If you get a chance to visit any of the above let me know :) Also, if you have traveled to any other yarn stores in the area...let me know that too - I'm always willing to visit more - It's getting on winter and my house is not insulated as well as I like...I've heard yarn makes great insulation :D Have a great night everybody! Talk to you soon. wonderful = old buildings. great service. oh, and coziness, definitely coziness. - jj

Saturday, October 13, 2007

cables. socks. australia. hidden yarn stores.

Hi everybody!!! I have missed you!!! My life has turned into utterly complete busy-ness lately! A couple of exciting knitting related things have happened to me recently - I have started a cabled baby sweater that I'm considering turning into a bag - those cabled bags really are hot this season! I have also started a new pair of socks (yes, just started - I think I have first sock syndrome let alone second s.s.) to send to my boyfriend's grandmother. Of course, these have to be finished by October 29...and yes it is October 13.
I also desperately need to take some photos of all these things. I have a procrastination problem with photos - I love to take them - it is the downloading and then the subsequent uploading that doesn't seem to happen anywhere near as fast as I'd like it to. I am inclined to believe however that the new gadget that I just purchased so that I can use usb 2 rather than usb 1 (aka the slooooooowest possible way to work with any kind of information) may help ten-fold in the process of photo downloads. I would cross my fingers and pray that it works, but I think I may have to forget the crossing of fingers and just pray as I have less than 10 days to finish these socks. Yep that's right, 10 days. They are flying to Australia, so I have to account for travel time as well. Yikes, eh?
Ok, I'm off to knit...I will catch up some more very soon, promise! PS - NH Knitting Mama - Have you ever been to the yarn store on Rte. 9 halfway between Concord and Keene???? It is amazing!!! I will look for the name of it...
wonderful = cables. socks. australia. hidden yarn stores. - jj

Monday, September 10, 2007

Kathy. Baseball. Maytag. and Felt.

What have I been up to during the past few weeks? Work. More work. Um, more work. Ohhhh and some fun stuff too :) ! Last night I got together with my friend Kathy (that's her in the pic). We intended to do some scrapbooking, but ended up making invitations to her son's fifth birthday party. I designed them based on his absolute loooove of baseball. It was great to get together and just hang out and create...I haven't done that in a while. I find that the world keeps turning and I get swept up in the mundane, everydayness of it. Sometimes it is wonderful to sit back, relax and play.

P.S. I swear these pictures were right side up when I uploaded them!!! Anyone know how to rotate a pic once it is in blogger???

Speaking of playing...I just got a NEW washing machine and dryer!!!! Ok you have 3 guesses as to why I'm incredibly excited. Is it a. I no longer have to drive to wash my clothes? b. they are beautiful objects of modern machinery and I am using them as part of my new interior decorating theme or ..... C. I can now FELT the stack of sweaters I've been collecting to recycle

Bet you can't guess hehe

Yes, driving to wash is a pain, but it isn't the end of the world and while they aren't bad looking washing machines aren't exactly the most decorative objects I have seen in a while so yes, you have figured it out. It is option c. I can FELT!!! (or full - I am usually a woman who loves the technical terms...but I have loved the word felt ever since I was a small child so that is what I still call the process - please forgive me) Woohoo!!!! Here is my first project - a sweater I purchased at a yard sale this summer. It is absolutely gorgeous and I am going to repurpose it as a purse...stay tuned to see how it comes out...

Until then, I hope you have a chance to take at least 10 minutes to have a creative frenzy today - it's totally worth it!

wonderful = kathy. baseball. maytag. and felt. - jj

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

projects. cleaning. and procrastination.

Monkey See, Monkey Do. I found my sock! Amazing what a little organizing can do, huh? I had my best friend's kids overnight on Sunday and as I was cleaning up to get ready for them, I found the monkey sock I had lost. I just finished the fourth repeat on the first sock and as I was working on it today I couldn't help but think of, first, how talented Cookie is to have come up with such a simple yet beautiful lace pattern, and second, how much I would like to come up with my own pattern. Sooo...I'm going to toss around the idea of coming up with something I can call my own...we'll see how successful I am at it.

In other parts of my knitting life...I am still working on the French Market Bag from Knitty and I am continuing to turn out squares for my fuchsia granny square afghan. While I am happy to make the squares the seaming is looming over my head like a big storm cloud. Strangely enough I actually like seaming so I'm not sure why...I'm thinking that I might start seaming it before all of the squares are finished so that the actual project isn't so huge.

Last but not least, I am finishing up the itty bitty sweaters I'm donating to Marly's KAL/CAL prizes. Several posts ago I mentioned that I might put them on etsy, but I have yet to follow through with it. Procrastination is such a difficult thing. It seems like such a brilliant idea at the time, but later, when you really want to see results it comes back and taps you on the shoulder saying, "Um, hello, you decided not to do that when you had the time, remember?" at which point, I usually think, "Oh, hmmm, maybe I should do that now, since I didn't before..." and then proceed to do something else.

Note to self: work on the procrastination thing.

wonderful = projects. cleaning. and procrastination. - jj

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I don't like to post without the pictures are my favorite part of blogs...but it has been almost two weeks since I last posted! Since then, I have been up to northern NH for a 4 day teacher conference (which was fantastic, btw) and I am almost done with the French Market Bag from Knitty. I have also found the "I thought I had lost you" Monkey socks that I had started about a month back (also a fabulous Knitty pattern). I haven't worked on them as I have been working and cleaning and working and cleaning and...well you get the idea :) . I don't have to work tomorrow, and even though there is much cleaning in order, I intend to post with pictures so, .... until then ... have a great night!

Friday, August 3, 2007

stockinette. blue skies. potato chip yarn.

I really must learn to post more often!

The monkeys have not been worked on in a while...the main reason can't find them. I was cleaning out my tote bag and I put them in a safe place. Ahem...very safe, apparently. I went to take a picture of the progress I had made on them and they have disappeared! I'm sure they will show up soon, I hope they will show up soon!

In the meantime, I have started a French Market Bag from Knitty (that orange blob in the pic above is what I have accomplished so far...I have done all the increases and am currently working on the body)...and I can't wait to felt it! I think it will be a bit deeper than the original (I like to carry lots of stuff) but other than that I am following the pattern. If you need a good knitting project to do while reading a book...this is it! LOOOOTTTSSSS of stockinette. Yep, LOTS.

Did I mention that there was a lot of stockinette in the French Market Bag? I did? Ok, just checking.

Also, I went to the beach the other week with a friend of mine. There literally wasn't a cloud in the sky. Here's a little eye candy for you :)

Just a side note...I now know why people don't knit at the beach...So much salt got on the yarn and my hands that it was like knitting potato chip yarn. If you like crispy yarn feel free to knit at the beach...otherwise I suggest reading a book. LOL.
wonderful = stockinette. blue skies. potato chip yarn. - jj

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Monkeys. Yard Sales. 57g of sock yarn. and Bears.

I woke up this morning, stretched, rolled-over, woke up again, stretched, got out of bed, and walked into my studio. What the? I rubbed my eyes, and look again.
Yes, I was not mistaken, there was a bear, in my knitting bowl, wearing my new Tofutsies socks on his paws!!
"Hi Jenn!" he exclaims, looking up, "I found your knitting, and I see that out of the 100g ball that you purchased you only used 43 g for these socks...will you make me a pair too???"

Yup, that's right! Even stranger than a talking stuffed animal (his name apparently, according to his tag, is Gilmore), THERE IS ENOUGH YARN LEFTOVER FOR ANOTHER PAIR OF SOCKS!!!! I made the socks to fit my size 7 foot, and the ankles are a little on the short side, but A WHOLE PAIR OF SOCKS! 57g left!!!! Cool, huh? :)

In other knitting news...I cast on for a pair of Monkey Socks by Cookie today :) My first pair! They have been so popular in blogland that I thought, "Why not?, I'm going for it!" I just finished the twisted rib at the top...and I'm ready for the lace...I think I might even do a pair in all twisted rib at some point...I love how it looks.
Best part about these socks? The are silk, nylon, and angora. And they are going to cost me $1.00 with yarn leftover!!! Why? Yard Sales are wonderful! I am recycling a sweater by taking it apart and balling it up.(Thanks Cheryl - the felting is coming I promise :) )

Even better??? There is a possibility that there will be enough yarn for a tank top too!!! (Though I may need to combine yarns...I'm not sure yet :) )
All in all...Good knitting weekend!!

wonderful = Monkeys. Yard Sales. 57g of sock yarn. and Bears. - jj

Saturday, July 21, 2007

etsy. Summers. The Lake. and. Acrylic.

My first item to ever be placed on etsy - I am sooo excited :) What is it you ask? And, why is it not KNITTING! Well, my second love is origami and I have been making these folded ribbon stars as package toppers / Christmas ornaments for years...I finally decided that I would do these as a jumping off item...with more to follow (I am still working on the itty bitty sweaters...I have shrunk them down a bit and changed the pattern, I will be revealing those hopefully within the next week). The new studio is almost completely set up so I decided to jump right in...feet first with my eyes closed as they say.
Ooohhh that makes me think of the lake - I used to looove going up to the lake as a kid. Picture this...11 yr old blonde girl in a ponytail and teeth too big for her head...the ONLY kid there with crochet hook and a ball of acrylic yarn...that's right, that was me, dry bathing suit, 85 degrees and sunny outside, sitting on a chair crocheting a blanket. :) Those were the days.
wonderful = etsy. Summers. The Lake. and. Acrylic. - jj

Monday, July 16, 2007

College. Ravelry. Pictures. Oh yeah...and some knitting... :)

I am back from starting to get settled in the new house...and I'M ONLINE!!!!...

Things have been so crazy around here for the past several weeks. This week I am vowing to go down to the college that is in town and sign up for classes...I am no longer working at the school I have been at for the past 4 years as it is almost 1.5 hrs away. I talked to the assistant principal at a middle school about twenty minutes away and she said, "We'd love to have you work here as an education assistant!" I said, "I don't have a two year degree" and she said.... "Oh dear." Sooo......I am going to fast track my associate's... I have been collecting classes for the past eight years and I'm soooo close! Here goes...

On the knitting front... I have been working on a simple pair of 2x2 ribbed socks (the ankles are ribbed and so are the tops of the feet). I also finished a scarf out of the most incredible bamboo yarn (omg - I love this stuff!!!, now all I need to do is figure out a way to make enough $$$$ to make a sweater out of it...hmmmm....any ideas???) Usually I am not the scarf type, but I could only afford one skein this go round and I thought...hey why's soooo soft, might as well make something I could snuggle up too.... I am also considering the French Market Bag from Knitty...I have some Cascade 220 (colourway 7824, burnt orange) that reallly wants to be felted, so much so that it has been sitting in the stash ruminating about what it wants to be... it has finally decided that it wants to be a toss-up between the Market Bag, or Fiber Trends felted clogs...what do you think???

Speaking of stash, and projects, I have spent a little time on Ravelry...and I love it!!! If you are on...come say hi... I'm rhymeswithsocks...

And, last but not least... I have posted my picture! I am one of those shy types...a bit self-conscious if you will... but, I thought, hey why not! Might as well put a face to a name right? I am... (the pic is from my dad's surprise 50th birthday this past February)

College. Ravelry. Pictures. Oh yeah...and some knitting... :) = wonderful. - jj

Sunday, July 8, 2007


Hi Everybody! Quick update... My internet at the new house doesn't get hooked up til the 18th and this is the last time I'm logging on at the old I will see you all in a few weeks... I just got back from Philly on Friday...I attended the National Education Assoication Representative Assembly last week...Philadelphia on the 4th of July is an incredible place! Oooohhh and a minor brush with fame... I got to shake Barack Obama's hand...and Richard Dreyfus as well as just about every democratic presidential candidate spoke to the delegation (+ one republican)... I had a great time! I have lots of pictures - I'll put them on when I get the internet hooked up (though I may make a trip to Panera at some point before then). In knitting news...I was so busy that all I knit was half a sock during the trip :( - and those of you who will be flying any time in the near future...they were very nice about letting me carry wooden dpns in my carry-on (I had to have my bag searched on the way back to NH and they didn't even bat an eyelash...not even one). The caravan is headed out so I have to go...but I'll be back soon :) - jj.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sleep, tonight? Doubtful.

WHEEEEEEE! I got the Ravelry invite today!!! Woohooo! I was seriously starting to worry that I had typed in my e-mail wrong, or they had so many people that I would get in after they had stopped beta. I am so excited that I had to post to you guys first...I haven't even gone over to the site yet! I am making the anticipation Ok, I'm ready...I'll post later and tell you what happened...

Oh dear. I just thought of something. My entire stash, save a few skeins I am using for some afghan squares I'm making for Rebuilding Greensburg, is at the new house! It's an hour and fifteen minutes from me right now.

Ok, there are two ways I can look at this right now. I can be very sad that I can't go wild and crazy entering my entire stash into the computer right now...or I can be thankful that I can't enter my entire stash into the computer, right now, one half hour short of midnight. This means that there is a slight possibility that I will actually get some sleep tonight. Doubtful. But I might. - jj

Here's the scoop....well worth the wait!!! I took a peek around and I can't wait to start adding my wips and stash...if you haven't received your invite yet don't is coming! If you haven't signed up...go, go, go!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Studio! A Real Studio!

I have been renting the basement of my parent's house for the past few around here are super expensive for a single person. Well, they have finally decided to sell their house after 23 years...I was almost four when we moved in. Until the building permit goes through on the new house (it is in a small town and it could be a year or more) they will be renting a house about an hour and fifteen minutes away from our current house. They are very kindly allowing me to share the rent and use a few rooms while I finish my bachelor's (I've got almost two years in classes, I might as well finish - then I might be able to afford rent or buy my own place!!!!). Soooo, the new house lease has been signed, and the old one is closing in mid-July. What does this mean? I have started to move! Two loads have been brought over already and since my job ends Wednesday...several more will be brought over in the next week.

I got to see the inside of the house for the first time yesterday. They are allowing me to use two of the five "bedrooms" and we will share the living room, and kitchen. Sidenote: Hurray for separate bathrooms!

One of the two rooms that they are allowing me to use will be a REAL STUDIO!!! My current one is a glorified closet. I can't wait!!! It has three beautiful almost floor to ceiling windows...the current one has zero. It has gorgeous wide panel wood floors...the current floor is concrete. All of the fixtures and design elements in the room, except for the windows are OLD - but they have soooo much personality. Did I mention I can't wait??? Oooh guess what...I have pics!!!

wonderful = A Studio! A Real Studio! - jj

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Purses? I don't know. Dishcloths. Afghans. Mini Sweaters fit for a mouse. Oh My.

Wow! I haven't posted since May 29! So much has happened in the past two weeks...

Two of my students have finished their first knitting projects.

This one is a purse...

this one is a ... well ... she was undecided what it is ...

I did make sure to lavish them with lots of pride (they worked sooo hard on these). I also taught two more boys how to knit today - at their request. Since school ends next week and I will not be working at the school next year (I am moving in a few weeks and the hour commute would essentially eat up all of my wages) I will probably not get to see what they create with their new-found skills. I do allow them to keep the needles and a ball of yarn so I hope they will decide to stick with it.
I am the president of the para association and we had our last meeting of the year last week. As a big thank you to vp, treasurer, secretary, and building reps for all they have done over the past three years I made them these:

Some of them don't wear pins, so I figured I would whip up a few dishcloths so they could have an option.

In other news... I am really having a tough time with the whole idea of moving... I know it is a good thing, but change is never easy... In order to make it easier on myself I have been thinking of doing a bunch of mindless crochet (read: basic granny squares) and was thrilled to find that Michael's had clearanced some Lion Brand Homespun. Even though it is acrylic I really like the texture of this yarn, and given the price, it just SCREAMED afghan at me - seriously, it almost jumped out of the little wire bin it was living in. Last night I took a picture of the two squares that miraculously appeared... (the third materialized during lunch today, and therefore was not included in the pic) 3 down, 27 to go...

Last, but certainly not least, I have been experimenting with materials for the itty bitty sweaters I have been making - in anticipation of an Etsy store. Here is one that I created out of some heavyweight crochet cotton...It reminded the kids at school of something that a mouse, or one of the Borrowers might find quite comfortable...

Well, that's it for now...
wonderful = purses? I don't know. dishcloths. afghans. mini sweaters fit for a mouse. oh my. - jj

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Itty Bitty sweaters. knitting in traffic. art supplies. and yarn, lots of yarn.

I am addicted.

somuchso that I am planning to open an Etsy store to sell them as pins! somuchso that I have been knitting them exclusively for a week! somuchso that I have rewritten the pattern over 10 times in the past week! somuchso that I found myself knitting at a stop light today! (yes I put it down when the light turned green and I promise I won't make a habit of it :) )

Here's the lowdown...My friend Karen gave me a cute pattern for a tiny sweater - she makes embroidered cards and someone on one of her Yahoo! groups had posted it. I loved the idea of a super miniature sweater...yes that's a dime...even Barbie couldn't wear this one.... I knit one up and reallllly wasn't happy with it. So, I did what I always do when I don't like a pattern. I made one I do like. I switched it to a top-down version...and promptly got a headache from it. Then, I went back to the original pattern and switched up the stitch pattern for the bottom hem, the cuffs, and the collar, changed the proportions a bit...and VOILA! a cute little sweater! Did I mention I have become addicted to these??? :D
In other parts of my life...
I am overhauling my studio - putting all of my supplies in cute white boxes, categorizing the stash, labeling the stamp sets, straightening the origami paper, organizing the paints, markers, and other coloring materials. I will be moving in a month so everything is getting a once over - if it won't be used or hasn't been used recently, it is going in the yard sale pile. I have been diligent about this across the for...uh...
I haven't decreased it at all. Actually, I stopped at a yard sale the other day and bought ten brand new skeins...75% wool 25% acrylic, in a pretty tan/blue-black colourway (one color per ply)...that would have cost me $5.99 a skein at the LYS. Look at me, validating increasing my stash!!! I should feel ashamed for not wanting to reduce my yarn clutter, but I'm not. Not one little bit. If yarn is clutter, then I am perfectly happy with it. Plus, it looks pretty and nothing like clutter as far as I can tell.
wonderful = Itty Bitty sweaters. knitting in traffic. art supplies. and yarn, lots of yarn. - jj

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Sooooo.....where have I been since almost a week ago???? Well, it's a secret...

Ok, I hate secrets, so I will give you a hint...

Size 0 straight needles...

That's it! I want to say more, but I can't. Not yet. Soon. I promise.

wonderful = curiosity. - jj

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Cowboys and Yarn. A Match Made in Heaven. Who Knew?

It rained today. That means indoor recess. For the children who had been taken over by boredom and who had not been initially drawn to knitting, I pulled out balls of yarn and taught them how to finger-knit. Finger-knitting consists of a looping pattern that is essentially identical to a crochet chain; the only difference is that you just use your fingers and forget about the crochet hook. A couple of girls wrestled with it for a few minutes and finally got the hang of it...taking their balls of yarn with them as they distributed themselves in every nook and cranny in the room. After recess was over, one of the boys, who had decided to play Tiddly-Winks rather than bother himself with Yarn, came up to me.

"Will you please show me how to make a Cowboy Ring?" he asked in the sweetest little voice.

"A what?" I was slightly taken aback by the question considering I don't know any cowboys, and even if I did, I would assume few of them wear rings due to the nature of their work.

I pondered the question for a few minutes, until it dawned on me. Literally. I believe the lightbulb that went on over my head was probably visible from the moon. The aforementioned little boy beamed as he realized that I indeed knew what he was talking about.

"I would love to teach you how to make a yarn lasso! (read "slip knot" :D )" I declared, thrilled that he had been watching the fibery pursuits of his classmates.

He smiled, nodded his head slowly, signaling that he was quite appreciative, and sat down with the class satisfied that he would soon learn a new skill.

Cowboys and Yarn. A Match Made in Heaven. Who Knew? - jj

Thursday, May 17, 2007

tank tops. Christmas in July. granny squares. socks. yes. socks.

Knitting To Do List:

*Finish cream colored cable tank top that I started a few weeks back. I would like to do this before the end of that I can actually wear it this summer :)

*"Tie up loose ends" (yes, I do like puns :)) on several WIPs including the celery iPod case, the cable socks, and my mother's socks. Oh yeah, I should probably do the kitchener stitch on my friend's 5 yr old's socks (we are talking about 8 live stitches here...That's right. 8. Total.)He might want to wear them before he has grown out of them, and considering that I have let them sit for the past month, that could be sooner than I think. :)

*As there are only
221 Days, 7 Hours, and 49 Minutes left until Christmas I think I had better get started on the presents. I have already promised waaaaay too many pairs of socks. I will definitely be knitting for Christmas in July this year. Luckily I promised socks...not afghans!

*I have been craving the feeling of crocheting an afghan, so I may devote August to something a bit fancy, and starts to get cool here toward the end of the month. Of course, I may go with plain old granny squares as well....we'll see what kind of burn-out I'm feeling from the July sockfest.

wonderful = tank tops. Christmas in July. granny squares. socks. yes. socks. - jj

PS - What is the best part about this post? Ali is having a contest! All you have to do is go to her blog, leave a comment telling what colourway you would like, and tell her you were referred from this blog (psst - RHYMES WITH SOCKS ( Then, list your knitting goals for Summer, 2007 on your blog and e-mail her with a link to your post. Tah-Dah! You're entered...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Warm Spring Day. Playing Tag. Anyone for Lemonade? I'll get the glasses.

I've been tagged by Marly

I am relatively new to this concept...but I am going to give it my best try :). In order to keep the chain (not a crochet pun - promise ;) ) going, the instructions are as follows:

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write on their blogs 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and need to read your blog.

Now, as I have just started my blog, I don't know very many bloggers. I still wanted to participate in this game of tag, so I started surfing. Here are seven blogs that caught my eye...I found their photography, topics, and/or writing style to be quite interesting...hope you enjoy! Amanda's Weekly Zen, Knit Annie, Knitting for Sanity, Dances With Wool, Knittens, Sugar Bunny Boulevard, Pen and Purl

Here are my Seven Random Things:

1. I quit smoking cold turkey over six months ago...not surprisingly my FO list has increased exponentially since then. (my theory was, if your hands have needles in them you can't hold a cigarette). Oddly enough, I also have more $$ for yarn...hmmm why didn't I think of doing this sooner?

2. I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in 1988, at the age of 8

3. My favorite number is 24. My birthday and my mom's birthday are both on the 24th of the month, exactly 6 months apart. I turned 24 the same year my mom turned 48 (24 x 2) and get this...this happened in 2004. Cool, huh?

4. Another one of my favorite pastimes, beside knitting, is origami. I really enjoy modular origami particularly (the final piece involves more than one piece of paper)

5. I love math. Especially geometry, and patterning...hmmm surprised at my hobby choices???

6. I have actually read both War and Peace and Moby Dick from beginning to end. I read War and Peace because that is the "classic" example of a really long book that everyone talks about, but no one has read and I wanted to see if it was worth reading. Turns out it is a great book! I highly recommend it. Ditto with Moby Dick.

7. My favorite vegetable is asparagus.

Oh, btw, if you stop by, please say Hello! I would love to meet you :)

wonderful=Warm Spring Day. Playing Tag. Anyone for Lemonade? I'll get the glasses. - jj

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

iPods. Headphones. Walkmans. Mitres.

Since I purchased my iPod a few months ago, I have been secretly wishing for the greatest iPod case in the world to knock on my front door and say, "Hello! I am here to keep your iPod safe and happy and warm and to look quite stylish in your knitting bag."

Everytime I walked into a store that seemed to be of the type that might sell such a bag I would look in every possible section...hoping that "it" would just appear, with a bright orange 80% off clearance tag, screaming "Buy Me! Take me home!" No luck. I even considered *gasp* paying full price if the perfect case came along. Still no luck.

At the same time, I was having a lot of trouble with those little ear bud things (you know the little speakers you stick in your ear). Apparently my ears are too small, and if, while wearing them, I attempt to do a silly thing like, say, turn my head, they fall out. I decided to go out and purchase a normal set of headphones.

"Oh no!" you say, "Now you're never going to be able to find a suitable case for your iPod! Headphones were not intended to go with iPods! They were made for things like, um, well, Walkmans. Jennifer, you're dating yourself."

Oh, dear reader, do not dispair!!! I have solved the dilemma!...with mitres!

"Mitres? Solving an electronics transportation device problem with mitres? Oh dear, she has been knitting too long! All of those ssks have turned her brain to mush! The kitchener stitch has taken over her thought processes!"

Don't worry. :) While the kitchener stitch does hold a dear place in my mind, it has not taken over yet. I promise. In fact, mitres were the perfect solution. I cast-on thirty eight and then created a mitred square out of this cheap acrylic that has been sitting in one of my stash boxes for years (I really like the color - celery). With the size square I obtained from this experiment, I determined that I would need ten squares (four for each side and two for a cute little flap). This allows plenty of room for both the iPod and its new headphones. At the moment I have eight squares finished. Two more, then a seam (and maybe a button). Ta-da, the perfect iPod bag for a woman with smallish ears.
wonderful = iPods. Headphones. Walkmans. Mitres. - jj

PS - for some amazing mitre inspiration check out Wendy Knits and january one

PPS - Thank you Marly from Yarn Thing for showing me how to put up buttons...and, to everyone reading this, check out her podcast - it will make you want to buy an iPod and knit (or crochet) a bag for it while you listen, and then buy some wool to crochet and felt a bag to put your new iPod case in.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mother's Day. Is Sunday. Oh No! Worsted Weight to the rescue.

For some reason my brain decided that Mother's Day is two weeks away. Unfortunately, it is wrong. Try four days. I am feverishly attempting to put together a pair of socks by noon time Sunday. Yikes. If only there were more minutes in the day...knitting minutes that is. Luckily my mother made it easy for me. She recently asked for a pair of socks to wear in the house (read...worsted weight...hurray!), and she likes her socks plain (read...k2p2 ribbing, all stockinette foot...hurray again!). Earlier tonight she saw me knitting them and asked what they were. I don't think she knows yet...let's hope I'm right. I've always been terrible at keeping a secret, but I am set on succeeding this time. This is my first pair of gift socks and I can't wait to wrap them! 'Course I have to finish knitting them first. wonderful = Mother's Day. Is Sunday. Oh No! Worsted Weight to the rescue. - jj

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Third Grade. Knitting. Doors Locked? Don't Forget Your Keys.

In through the front door,

Around the back,

Peek through the window,

Off pops Jack.

"Good, you guys are doing great! Ok, one more time..." I use a metered chant to speak to the small group of 8 year old girls and boys balanced on the edges of their blue chairs, rather uncharacteristically focused. They quietly sit, tongues firmly between their teeth, haltingly repeating this new rhyme as they attempt to make yarn and needles do what their brains bid them to do. Suddenly a ball of red yarn sails through the air landing between the legs of two chairs and rolls, bump!, into the bright yellow bookcase in our classroom. Following the yarn back to its source, I look at her, with her mop of blonde hair shaking, cheeks red, and two needles clenched in one sweaty palm. The colt-like little girl looks up with fire in her eyes and exclaims, " gggrrrrr, MS. JAAAAAACCCCQQQUUESSS, THE FRONT DOOR IS LOCKED! Do you have a key?" *sigh* I smile, and say, "Yes dear, I certainly do have a key. Needles at the ready - that's right, working yarn is on the right needle, remember? Good, let me show you how this works." wonderful = third grade. knitting. doors locked? don't forget your keys. - jj

Spring. Cotton. Tank top. - Love it.

Tank 5/8/07
Originally uploaded by rhymeswithsocks.
Q: What do you call a tank top with eighteen identical cables in a row, that just insists on turn up at the bottom? A: A nightmare. After frogging the nightmare and replacing it with a garter stitch hemline transitioning to a plain stockinette pattern with two simple cables (one in center front, one in center back - see pic), I am finally happy with this tank top. (click on the pic for the frogged version as well as the original design swatch) Don't get me wrong...I love lots of cables and I love the tank top I designed originally. In my head. On the needles, not so much. I am much happier with the new design. As they say... simple = wonderful. wonderful = spring. cotton. tank top. - love it. - jj

Monday, May 7, 2007

rhymes with socks? What does that mean?

For the past four years I have worked as a teacher's aide in an elementary school classroom. When children, or adults for that matter, see my last name they tend to have a difficult time pronouncing it, as it is French and has several strange letters in a row. I have taken to introducing myself as Ms. Jacques rhymes with socks (or more properly - sock - but as my family has been in the US for almost a century, and over a hundred years in Canada before that - the pronunciation now tends to lean toward English). I love language. I love art. I love to knit. Especially socks. So here it is. rhymes with socks. My world in blog form. I hope you enjoy it. -jj