Saturday, September 22, 2007

Back For The Moment

It's been a while since I've said hello from this venue. I just wanted to update the face of Knitting Thoughts with the fall 2007 ad photo for Interweave Knits. For the rest of my knitting chatter, please visit me at for The Comfort Zone where we have been located since the middle of 2006. I hope you will pop by and leave a comment or two. Let me know what you think of the ad photo.

Also, beginning 2008 I will begin adding some free patterns here as a taste of what you will see at The Comfort Zone. Please come back.

Happy knitting!

Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm Not Here!

It has been a while since I monitored this blog. I have moved to, so please come join me for ongoing Knitting Thoughts, and pictures of knitting projects. I'll look forward to meeting you there!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

And also to talk of “Trading Spaces,” because we are “Movin’ On UP.” Okay I’m stopping now!

Yes, the time has come and we are moving the Comfort Zone website AND Knitting Thoughts blog, which will now be known as “The Comfort Zone.” Please visit the Comfort Zone and let me know what you think of the look. Any ideas will be appreciated.

I have committed to posting twice a week to start, and then try to move into daily within the next six months. (It’s good to have goals). I appreciate so much the comments that have been made here, and hope you will bookmark the new blog and comment often.

A lot has been said lately about blogs that don’t get many comments. I am thrilled by every comment I receive, and by “meeting” so many new people over the last two years. Knitters are among the best people in the world. I find most knitters to be calm, clear thinking, goal oriented people, and a pleasure to spend time with. When someone comments on this blog I feel as though I have spent time with that person, drinking a cup of coffee and knitting a few rows. It also gives me the chance to visit other blogs that I might not have found otherwise—and, I have found some good ones! So, please come visit me at The Comfort Zone, and we’ll knit together for a while. Life is good….

Thursday, April 05, 2007

How Did Alpaca Get So Cute?

So cute, and so soft. They look like they might be good pets! I bought this brown baby alpaca yarn some time back, not knowing what I would do with it. Last week I ran across a pattern for a scarf/head wrap here, and knew I had to have it, and ordered the turquoise alpaca for the edging. I cast on as soon as the pattern and yarn came in, and immediately discovered that I love seed stitch. Yes, you heard that right, I love seed stitch. There is a nice rhythm to it that almost lulls me to sleep. I have to put it down now and then, and pick up my sock to stay awake. At first I thought it was boredom, but it isn’t that, it is more a peacefulness that comes over me as I switch the yarn back and forth to make the knit and purl stitches.

Knit, purl, knit, purl, isn’t easy for me because I am a thrower. I’ve tried Continental knitting, but it just doesn’t work for me. No, that is not an adequate description—I am Continental method challenged! I have taken two courses from knitting instructors in an effort to learn Continental style, both with no success. My brain and my left hand just don’t work that way. During one lesson I managed to get the yarn irreversibly tangled around the needles and my fingers, and in another session I became so frustrated that I threw my knitting project across the room, and then left quietly before I was asked to leave. I think the problem is that I can’t find a comfortable way to hold the yarn, even though I have tried every finger-winding method there is. When it doesn’t work again and again, the answer is give up and slink back to the English throw—defeated and disgraced. Whenever I knit in public people continue to tell me that I don’t knit as they do, or that I “knit funny.” Yes, yes, I’m just a knitting tragedy. It’s so sad…

Anyway, I love seed stitch!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Yarn Good--Hat Not So Much

Here, finally, is a picture of the red hat—the challenging, demanding, red cashmere blend hat. It looks good on the bear! I would let him wear it, but I think I will take it to Minnesota with me and see if GD#1 likes it. It will look good with her long black hair. I had so much trouble with the sizing on this hat that it has turned me off on tams. After I frogged it and resized with some mean decreases on the top, it turned out to be more of a slouch, but not as pretty as my Le Slouch hat. Not a pattern I will use again! My gauge was right-on, but the finished sizing was way off. It didn’t, however, turn me off on Lion Brand Cashmere Blend. I liked it so much I immediately made another hat with it to get the bad taste out of my mouth. I love this yarn! We’ll see how it washes and wears….

The second hat with Cashmere Blend is pink, cute and holey. I did some k2tog’s and yo’s to give it a little personality, and I like the way it turned out. The pattern will be on the new website (which will launch soon) along with some of my other patterns, all now downloadable as a .pdf file—a neat addition by The Supreme Web Master. If anyone wants it now, just email me at, and I will send it to you.

Hats are great rainy day knitting projects. Yesterday we had storms with lightning and wind. The second time the computer went down I gave up and turned it off. If you can’t work, what else is there to do but knit? I had just picked up Happy Feet at Costco, so the knitting was in time to the beat. It doesn’t get any better!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Getting There

Never mind....I have just removed a link to my new blog until the person designing the site gets a chance to make it receive comments properly. Thanks Ina for letting me know about the problem.

I have finished the long, brown skinny scarf. Just plain garter stitch in brown Moda dea Cache’ with a sparkly copper thread running through. It is pretty and warm (Minnesota here I come). Also finished the first STR Bunny Foo Foo sock (photos next post), and the red cashmere blend tam as seen here.

O-hhhhh the tam—it did give me such a fight! I followed the “Cashmere Tam” pattern that is going around, and can be found here. Where it says to knit 32 more rows after the rolled band and ten increase rows—big mistake! It was so big that it fell down around my ears and hung down my neck in back. I’m sure there is a rap singer around who would think it is quite fashionable (yeah, I know that’s not the way he/she would say it). For me, I looked like an orphan in a hand-me-down hat. So I frogged, and frogged, and frogged some more. After an hour of rather tightly decreasing the top, it was more to my liking. If I hadn’t been bored to tears—real tears—with the whole project I would have done a more polished job of finishing the top. But I was just glad to close it up and throw it in a drawer. It’s going to take a cool down period before I’m ready to wear it without wanting to rip it apart or dispose of it permanently. Some projects are like that….

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Have My Priorities Straight

Have you ever seen anything like the bendiness in that needle? This is why I love Comfort Zone needles. They bend beyond reason. The second photo shows the same needle resting and straight after its ferocious struggle with my hands while knitting Bunny Foo Foo. It is ready for another fierce row. I have been using this set of size #2s for two years and they still keep ticking along. CZs never leave marks on my fingers, or make my hands ache. Love ‘em!

I am in the throes of a knitting quandary, what to do, what to do. I have only so much time to knit between tax clients, before we leave for GD#1’s college graduation in Minnesota on April 28th. I finished one scarf, but I need the other scarf too, and I need the hat, and I need the socks. I think I can get everything finished, but it is going to require knitting like the wind after April 15th.

I believe DH thinks I’ve been slacking off on the accounting and taxes, but I don’t call it slacking off when I knit during phone calls or after one client leaves and before calling another in. I call it efficient use of time. Also, knitting while doing computer research, and knitting during morning planning meetings is a resourceful use of time, and not the least unprofessional. Geesh, why can’t men get on board with these things? It’s as simple as this, knitting makes me happy and relaxed, and taxes don’t. I wonder if it would seem more acceptable if I knitted an illusion scarf with a picture of a 1040 on it. I’ll have to work on that…right after April 15th.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hiccupped And Died

That’s what my computer did. It was very sick and its demise was sad. The CD drive stopped working, then the USB ports, then it whimpered through processes until it gave one last hiccup—and drifted away. There is a new, shiny computer in its place, which is also sad in a way. The other had served me well for six years—a long time in computer years!

After the better part of three days reloading all the software in the computer I then discovered Vista…. The word Vista, makes one think of mountains, streams and valleys filled with flowers. Microsoft Vista—not so much. I would like to know who devised this new attempt to finish off what’s left of my mind. I am taking it personally. Microsoft has moved everything, changed everything, made all those things we are used to doing and seeing, disappear at one fell swoop, MacDuff! I can’t even figure out how to insert my Jack Russell Terrier wallpaper, and that’s serious!

Knitting was on the back burner during the struggles with machines. I did, however, finish Rhodonite STR, and cast on for Bunny Foo Foo. I wore Rhodonite today and DH said they are the prettiest pair of socks I have knitted. Just wait until he sees the Bunny. Bunny Foo Foo has become my deliverance in the last few days. What would we do if we didn’t have knitting to relieve stress? Whenever the battle with machine became unbearable, I would pick up Bunny and knit a few rows. This will become known as the war that Bunny won. The knitting is good, and life is good.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bunny Is In The House

Little Bunny Foo Foo has arrived. I think it is my absolute favorite STR, and that’s saying a lot! Just look at the photo—at the bottom the little belly is fuzzy white, the back is a soft brown, and at the top the ears are pink, to form a perfect bunny yarn. I am finishing the toe of the second Rhodonite sock this evening, and will cast on for Bunny. While I am knitting, I will be thinking of Kathy who is going on a STR fieldtrip this weekend. Can you imagine—a Blue Moon Fibers hunting trip. Kathy, I hope you “bag” a lot of yarn. What fun!

I have also reached another multiple project bottleneck. I currently find myself in the middle of the Oro y Vino scarf, the Flair sweater in emerald Swish, and another Le Slouch hat in red cashmere blend. I really don’t like to hop from one project to another, so why do I do it? I think having yarn around makes me want to knit all of it at once. Also, I just got a new electronic row counter that counts rows on three projects. Well, there you are—I have to have three projects going to see if it works. Right?

I am really pushing to get all three projects and the Bunny socks done before we leave on our trip the end of April. I can do it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I Did It Again

I said I was finished with hats for a while. But there was this hot pink Louisa Harding cashmere blend yarn sitting on the shelf and I wondered, hmmm, what can I do with that? Immediately my blue hat with the lace edge popped into my mind and I struggled with the idea of knitting yet another hat for all of 30 seconds. I guess it is okay since it is such a quick knit, and I only have three or four projects on the back burner right now, so it seemed like a quick way to destash.

I was supposed to be knitting the Something Red sweater in blue for a KAL, but the sweater is not going to survive I’m afraid. Have you ever started a project that was fraught with problems from the start? A couple of minor mistakes in a project do not put me off, but when every other row contains some deficiency, I have to rethink the whole thing. Something Red in blue was extremely flawed, and I decided that it was better to find another use for the beautiful blue wool. While I was still in the failure funk, knitting a lacy little pink hat was just what the knitting doctor ordered.

I have put the blue wool aside and picked up jade green Swish from Knit Picks to knit Wendy Bernard’s Flair sweater. I feel revived and sure that this project will be a success—and all it took was another hat.

Also nearing completion—STR in Rhodonite, and a skinny scarf in Oro y Vino Malabrigo. And the knitting goes on....

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Christmas Year-Round

Blue Moon Fibers Socks That Rock in the Christmas Balls colorway—ultra festive. I used a cute little dippity-doo pattern on the leg called Little Shells by Judy Sumner, from the Yahoo Knitlist group. I also used the STR heavyweight yarn for a change. It was much heavier than I’m used to, and produced a stout, tight weave using size #3 needles. They will be great socks for the winter, but not summer socks by any stretch of the imagination. All of you who live in cold country might want to try this yarn. I guarantee it will keep your feet warm!

So another pair finished and I immediately started STR in Rhodinite, a hot pink and purple blend. Now I am in a hurry to finish the Rhodinite socks because I have just ordered STR in the Little Bunny Foo Foo colorway (chocolate and pink), and I can’t wait to get started. I might even give the Rhodinite socks to DD. How many pairs of pink socks can one woman use anyway?

Other news—I have been working with a web development group to create a new web site for Comfort Zone Needles. The old one has been with the same host for two years and we are finding that it will not perform some of the functions that we want to offer to our customers. The new site will include a new blog, which I hope will stimulate me to post more often (at least every other day). I have been promised that everything will transition seamlessly, and link with the present site and blog for a while. This will all be taking place over the next two to three months, and is more exciting than I can tell you. It would seem to mean that Comfort Zone is growing, and the way needles are flying out the door, I would say it is true! More info as changes occur.

Life is good….

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mélange Malabrigo

First, the last beautiful remnants of Valentine's Day.

And now knitting....

The set is set. What started with the Malabrigo Autumn Forrest hat, ended with a hat, scarf and fingerless mitts set done in a Rojo Intenso and Arrecife Malabrigo combination. This is what I mean when I say, “What I start out with isn’t always what it ends up to be.”

That’s a weird sort of creativity! I discovered, mid-way through the scarf, that the Rojo Intenso was much too bold for the Autumn Forrest. It took something as audacious as Arrecife to stand up. I think the colors blend well, and the hat, scarf and mitts are certainly warm. Because warm was the objective, I’m happy.

I have developed a passion for Malabrigo! It is soft—almost as soft as the cashmere I am using for a pink hat. In addition, it comes in beautiful, exciting colorways. I am 40 inches into a feather and fan scarf using an olive and black variegated Malabrigo. I’m already thinking, “I want to wear this scarf year-round.” It is somewhat amazing to me that a yarn can be so versatile that it lends itself to bulky patterns as well as lace. Surely, it is one of the most versatile yarns around. I once said that I would keep buying Blue Moon’s Socks That Rock until I have a pair of socks in every colorway. Now I have developed the same passion for Malabrigo, and don’t want to stop until I have a knitted item in every color. Maybe I’ll knit a sweater or vest next. I wish you all a lifetime full of STR and Malabrigo!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pure Elegance



This scarf is called, “elegant ribs masquerading as skinny scarf.” It looks good skinny (the way I choose to wear it) or blocked into stylish ribs. I picked up a couple hanks of Malabrigo—my favorite—and started knitting. Many times that has turned out to be a disaster. I’m not a “fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants” knitter at all. I usually have to have a pattern, or take the time to write out a pattern before I start. This time, when I started knitting I really didn’t know where I was going with it. I just knew I wanted an elegant scarf. I thought, for about 2 seconds, that I would opt for lace, but the yarn is somewhat thick and thin, and gorgeous without fancy stitches. I quickly decided that long and uncluttered would be elegant, so after four rows of seed stitch I started with k3, p3 ribs. I slipped the first stitch of each row, thinking it would help prevent curling. That didn’t work, and I’m glad, because the slight curl on each side contributes to the charm of the skinny form. The longer I worked on this scarf, the more I liked it, and after 70 inches, I was in love. Some days are better than others!

The Christmas Balls STR socks started at the same time are finished too, as well as the hat that goes with this scarf, in a different colorway, and fingerless mitts in the combined colors. The hat and mitts had ends to be woven in, so I will post photos of the “set” next time.

Yes, I have been knitting like the wind! There are only a few months before we leave warm country to go to frigid country. I want to be prepared. There is also the Something Red sweater in blue that is half finished. If I grow wings on my hands, I might be able to finish it too. Is there anything better than having an excuse to spend your free time doing nothing but knitting? Life is good….

Monday, February 05, 2007

Froggy Socks

These socks are TCU Horned Toad purple. I didn’t really knit them to wear at TCU football games, because that would mean I would get to wear them once every couple years, when TCU plays Army (DH’s alma mater) here in Fort Worth. Nope, I had this Monarch Fly Dyed yarn in my stash and decided that everyone needs a pair of purple “Froggy” socks, including me. I wore them yesterday, and when I sat down, and my jeans slid up just enough for my socks to peak through, I thought, “Oh my gosh, those are PURPLE!” To top off this “what-was-I-thinking” experience, I used what I thought was a nice dark blue fingering weight yarn to reinforce the toes. It turned out to be a much brighter marine blue in the harsh light of day. (Darn those fluorescent light bulbs DH has been using in all the light fixtures). I’ve decided it’s about time I bought myself a nice big Ott light! The eyes are not getting any younger.

Speaking of getting younger, lately I have become aware of the amount of junk I purchase every year to stay young looking, and I’ve decided it’s time for me to age gracefully. There have been numerous face creams and scrubs, there used to be the hair dye before the $60,000 haircut, and now there are pastes, gels and goops to spike the fashionably short silver hair. Add to that, all the “young” clothes to stay up with fashions--and considering just the amount of money I’ve spent since January, I should be 20 years younger by now. Okay, I admit it—it’s not working! Besides, youth is a state of mind. My grandkids keep me young, DH’s love keeps me young, and gratitude for just being alive keeps me young! Wrinkles notwithstanding, life is good.

Now for some youth inspiring doggy love…Macy in her stylish sweater, ready to go out and “swing” with the squirrels.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

In The Forest

A hat in Malabrigo Autumn Forest. This yarn is so soft and beautiful in the variations. The finished product is quite satisfying—made all the more satisfying when a complete stranger stops you and tells you your hat is “handsome.” I hope that doesn’t mean masculine in appearance!

I’m one of those people who take compliments at face value, and never look for ulterior meanings or concealed messages. I guess that makes me naïve. Maybe that’s a character flaw, not recognizing subtle messages behind others’ statements, but it sure makes life more pleasant. I just keep going—head down into the fray, and more, with a smile on my face. Call it naïve or dense, but it helps me remember that life is good, and people generally are kind.

So, the hat, masculine or not, is going to be part of a set which includes the Malabrigo scarf in Rojo Intenso (next post), and fingerless mitts combining the Autumn Forest and Rojo Intenso. I decided to add the scarf and mitts when I remembered that we are going to Minnesota in late April for GD#1’s college graduation, and I’m sure it will be colder there than it is in Fort Worth in April! My hair is growing back, and I’ve decided to keep it short, but I’ve noticed a distinct chill on my neck this winter. Hat and scarf are a must combination

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pure Heaven

That’s what yarn acquisition is when you are as sick as I was. DH brought home some horrible bug that laid us both out for three days. Forget what they say about 24 hour virus—there’s no such thing! So what do you do from a sprawled position on the couch (with a bucket nearby)? You shop for yarn online, that’s what. That is how I found my new favorite yarn shop PureKnits. I ordered all of the yarn in the photo, except for the Christmas Balls Socks That Rock. The other yarn there is mauve Fable baby alpaca for beaded mitts, Kona Bay worsted for bubblegum pink socks, and Malabrigo in Rojo Intenso for a long, elegant scarf for moi. All of this comes after receiving a skein of Malabrigo in Autumn Forest for a hat, from said Pureknits. Photos of the hat will be forthcoming.

Yesterday I was working, trying to catch up with the backlog from the time I was on my deathbed (or in the bathroom as the case may be), and the Mailman brought boxes with yummy yarn and hope for happy knitting experiences. Wow, I love being a knitter. We get all the goodies!

So let me tell you about PureKnits—they are the greatest! My yarn was received quickly, each package tied with a brown ribbon, and wrapped with brown and coral tissue. A personal, hand written note was included with both orders. It’s so nice to do business with such gracious people. They have a good range of yarns such as Yarntini, Tilli Thomas, Laines du Nord, and their own PureKnits yarn, and the price points are better or equal to other online stores. Truly a case of “try it you’ll like it.”

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Six Jaynes and a Jill

Have you ever seen a goofier group? The Jayne Cobb hats were a real hit—probably the hit of the century. Firefighter son (top-second from left) asked for the same hat in black so he can wear it with his turnout gear. The others say they will wear theirs for paintballing and four-wheeling, except for Dad (bottom center) who walks the dog in his, and Brother John (bottom left) who shovels snow off the sidewalk in Chicago in his. Each hat was packaged with a card that bore the original quote from Wash in Firefly, “a man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.” Trust me, this group is afraid of nothing!

The photo should be titled “A rose among the thorns.” The center beauty is DG#2 in her Peruvian Alpaca hat that will keep her ears warm in Ireland, where she went when she left us here in Fort Worth. Big change in weather for her.

On another subject, I met a woman in Hobby Lobby this morning. She watched as I picked up two crochet hooks that I will use to pull yarn through beads on the beaded mitts I am planning to knit. She asked if I crochet. I answered that I know how to crochet, but that I mostly knit. She showed me a beautiful crocheted scarf she was wearing and said that she has decided that she wants to “do that.” I commended her, saying she has chosen a relaxing and very rewarding art. She frowned and said, “Oh I’m not an artist. I just want to do something with my hands, and have it look like this scarf.” Okay, here I am again—the utilitarian art advocate. I assured her that producing a beautiful product using ones hands and any medium—oils, acrylic, paper, wool—is most definitely art! She frowned a little, but then said, “If that’s true then I want to be an artist. Would you help be gather the things I will need?” And I did. I left Hobby Lobby thinking about the fact that another artist has been added to our flock, another person who will enjoy the peace, tranquility, and accomplishment of crocheting and/or knitting. Though we are many, there simply are not enough of us!