February 15, 2010

Mysterious Intrigue

Several years ago I had an epiphany while swatching. On that uneventful day in early May 2007 I realized one of my greatest pleasures in life was figuring things out. What can I say, I love a good puzzle. So why, oh why, dear reader has it taken me so long to jump onto the Mystery KAL bandwagon? Perhaps it was my preoccupation with teaching mathematics these last few years that had diverted my attention away from the knitting shenanigans happening across the blog-a-sphere. But let's leave speculations for another day and discuss the cold hard facts. Today I joined the Mystery KAL sponsored by my LYS and am completely and utterly hooked. I'm already halfway through the first installment and have no clue -- not a one -- as to what I'm making. 

Ahhh, the joy of a good puzzle.

February 15, 2010 in Fun & Games, Knit Along - Mystery | Permalink | Comments (48)

May 07, 2007

Excellent Suggestions!

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to the many creative commenters who contributed their 2-cents to possible doily uses.  Because of you, I laughed, got inspired, and casted on another doily.   This new, smaller doily will be a tester pancake for some of your spray starch and/or Plexiglas ideas.  Heaven help me, but I have images of doilies suspended from the ceiling, hanging in the window, and sprawled across the fence.  Luckily -- for the nona-family -- these are only images dancing in my head.   Speaking of crazy fiber uses, check out this crochet chair.

The original doily is temporarily flung over a chair awaiting its ultimate fate, which is TBD and depends on the above experiment.  Here's one last peek with a few requested project details.

Pattern: Stor Rund Dug
Yarn: Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift; 100% pure Shetland Wool; 105m per ball in Cinnamon (6 balls) and Chestnut (1.5 balls).  The green was a bit of yarn I "borrowed" from my Mermaid Sweater.  If substituting yarn, I estimate that this doily takes about 800m (880 yards).  But be sure to have extra, you know, just in case.
Needles: US 4; double pointed, 16", 24", and 40" circular
Dimensions: 44" diameter after blocking

May 7, 2007 in Fun & Games, Project - Lace | Permalink | Comments (3)

May 01, 2007

I'm Last, I'm Last!

When my boys were young they loved to race from the car to the front door.  Inevitably my older son would win screaming all the way, "I'm first, I'm first".  My younger son, with equal joy, sped down the walkway hollering, "I'm last, I'm last".  This wise child knew that the real joy of competition is the race itself.

So with equal joy I'm hollering, "I'm last, I'm last"!  Congratulations once again to Michelle for winning the 2007 KnitOff.  Her speed, persistence, fabulous knitting skills, and excellent attitude make her a true champion.

I cannot wait to wash and block this beautiful piece of lace -- It should be large enough to wear as a shawl.  Interested in knitting one for yourself?  You can find the pattern here.

May 1, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (28)

April 30, 2007

KnitOff Finals: Day 3

We're into Day 3 of the finals for KnitOff 2007.  My worthy opponent Michelle and I have spent most of our weekend knitting away on this gorgeous doilie, which will eventually reach over 900 stitches.   

7:48am -- I can feel the anticipation mounting -- who will be the first to yell BINGO?  For some strange reason -- perhaps it's fatigue -- I'm particularly drawn to the wrong side center of my doilie.

2:11pm -- Integrating production style knitting into the responsibilities of day-to-day life has been challenging and has helped me appreciate the generations of women who have supplemented their household income by knitting.  Can you imagine knitting a sweater a week -- week after week -- while raising your children, running your household, and working.  Thank goodness this is only a fun, light-hearted competition.

On a different note, have you ever wondered what 1344 stitches would look like on a 40" circular needle?  Wonder no more...

5:17pm -- I just had a visit from one of my knitting friends who brought me a few necessities -- Peet's coffee and candy.  Thank You Esther!  Based on yesterday's swatch, I've decided to add some color to the final border of the doilie. 

5:33pm -- Michelle has finished her doilie.  She's an awesome knitter and a well deserving KnitOff Champion.  I have 7 rounds left to go and plan to finish tonight.  This was an excellent pattern and the perfect "final" challenge.  I definately wanted to win, but to quote nona-son-the-younger -- "I'm over it already".  Knit On!

5/1 1:29am -- I was intent -- some might say obsessed -- with finishing my doilie tonight, but have bonked out with only half the crochet bindoff left to finish.  Will finish tomorrow and post a photo.  This is an amazing piece of lace, which I think can be a shawl once it is blocked out. 

April 30, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (21)

April 29, 2007

KnitOff Finals: Day 2

Many, many thanks to you all for your cheers and support.  You keep me smiling and knitting -- Thank You!

8:57am -- Knitting lace reminds me of the classic children's story of the ugly duckling.  While the lace is on the needles, it resembles a muddled mess at best.  To get glimpses of its real beauty you need to forcefully spread it open.  Just be sure you don't force the stitches of the needle -- whoops.  My hands were a little sore this morning, and I a bit groggy.  But once I got knitting -- and had my coffee -- I found my rhythm.  Knit On!

3:06pm -- Background sound helps keep me focused through the many hours of knitting.  I don't know what I'd do without my PAL radio.  Besides the fact that it looks super cool, it's portable, rechargeable, and can serve as speakers for an i-pod or CD play -- allowing me to listen to baseball games, music play-lists, audio books, and lecture series.  What would I do without my PAL?

7:38pm -- I was desperate for a few more stitch markers, so made a few out of scrap yarn.  I love this bright yellow-green against the coral and am thinking about working the last few rounds in a couple of accent colors.  When in doubt, swatch.

11:01pm -- I'm starting to feel like the Energizer Bunny -- still going.

April 29, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (17)

April 28, 2007

KnitOff Finals: Day 1

6:45am -- I've been up for over an hour knitting away on this for the 5th -- and final -- round of KnitOff 2007.  At 5:48am I was zipping over to my LYS -- hee, hee I have a key -- to get some Shetland Spindrift yarn for the shawl.  I wanted a yarn with a bit of bite, which I think will help me go faster in the end.  If you're interested, I'll be posting my progress throughout the day.  Back to the needles...

11:14am -- Are you as shocked as I am that Brady Quinn didn't go to the Miami Dolphins as the 9th pick?  What?  Not watching the NFL draft?   It's the perfect knitting accompaniment.  I'm off the double pointed needles, off the 16" circular needle, and onto my wonderful 24" Addi Turbo lace needles.  Looks like a fancy hair net, doesn't it!

3:57pm -- Ouch!  I made a silly mistake that took about an hour to recover from.  I suppose this is one of the joys of lace.  I was forced to take a working lunch to recover the time -- leftover spicy chickpeas, yum.

9:44pm -- Sometimes loving math is not a good think, especially when coupled with curiosity.  I peeked ahead, did a few rough calculations, and realized we'll have over 800 stitches per round by the time this beast -- I mean doilie -- is complete.  Luckily both Michelle and I are enjoying the lace knitting, although I'm going to try to forget about the behemoth rounds in my near future.  A big thank you to the nona-mom who brought us dinner tonight -- Thanks Mom!

Lots and lots and lots of stitches with lots more to come.

P.S. -- Thank you, kind readers, for all your support, cheering, and fun comments -- I appreciate you so much!!!

April 28, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (27)

April 19, 2007

To the Finals

Please beg my pardon, cheering reader, nona's been terribly rude to keep you in the dark.  My excuse?  Well, I've been caught up -- some may say self absorbed -- with my Rowing Out dilemma and with your many helpful suggestions and tips.  So caught up, that I forgot to mention the KnitOff 2007 results.  Unofficially I won my semi-final match against Marie, finishing a massive hunk of Entrelac -- which, by the way, I loved knitting -- Tuesday at high-noon.  The finals are set to begin Saturday, April 28.  I'll be facing the extremely speedy Michelle.  I'm going for it, my friends, going for it!

Who knew Entrelac was so fun to knit?

April 19, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (24)

April 16, 2007

In the Throes

I'm in the throes of intense knitting for the semi-finals of KnitOff 2007.  The answer, understanding reader, to yesterday's quiz must wait another day.

Knit nona, Knit!

April 16, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (12)

April 03, 2007

March Madness Winners

March Madness has come to a close with the University of Florida winning the championship and with Connie being crowned Queen Supreme of the nonaKnits Pick'em pool.  Check over there on the left sidebar for a listing of the top 10 finishers.

As for prizes -- for what good is a competition without prizes -- the following Pick'em Participants all win prizes:

  • Connie was our Pick'em pool Grand Champion, winning with a total of 168 points and finding herself in the 99th percentile of all Yahoo Pick'em participants!
  • I feel a little guilty, but I was second with 161 points.  In lieu of a prize, I'm going to treat myself to an ice cream cone.
  • Maryse was third with 146 points.
  • And 'hepinblanc' was a close fourth with 145 points.
  • The Spirit Award goes to Al who may have come in 33rd but displayed the kind of attitude I most admire when she posted the following message on our Pick'em message board:

i am so proud of myself, even though i am totally losing...i didn't even know how this all worked until i signed up. my boyfriend was amazed when i told him i'd picked my bracket ("who ARE you?")

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to all the Pick'em participants.  If the winners can please email me their snail mail addresses -- nonaknits at gmail dot com -- I will mail out the prizes.


April 3, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (10)

April 02, 2007

Knit Off Round 3

I've been known to strongly declare -- some might even say boast -- that I can knit all day.  This declaration was put to the test on Saturday when I knit all day -- all day, all 18 hours with a lovely  break in the afternoon to attend Ingrid's baby shower -- in a frenzy to win the 3rd Round of Knit Off.  For this round we knit the Triangular Purse, but instead of using big chunky yarn & US 10 needles as the pattern directed we knit our purses in DK weight yarn on US 6 needles -- lots more stitches, lots more knitting.  In an attempt to 1) mimic the strips of the sari silk, 2) keep myself from going crazy, and 3) show off my newly learned spit join technique I added random strips of color to the Leprechaun green background.

I will never, ever use this purse, so once the competition is officially over I plan to dismantle said purse and use the large bias striped rectangular body to make a pillow -- or some such. 

As for the question at hand, "Can nona knit all day?".  The answer is sort of -- 18 hours was too long and required many self-pep-talks to keep going especially through the 64 inches of i-cord required for the strap.  Will I do it again?  You betcha, cause I won Round 3 and will compete in the semi-finals April 14th.  I may not be the fastest knitter, but I can plod along with the best of them.

p.s. The March Madness Pick'em winners will be announced in tomorrow's post -- drum roll please.

April 2, 2007 in Fun & Games | Permalink | Comments (21)

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