Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finished my Baby Surprise Jacket tonight

My local knitting group has several members working on these sweaters right now, and it was fun to knit along with them.  I'm finally done with mine, and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

I'll post a picture later on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another identity crisis

I finally settled on a name for my fiber based identity, Dancing Starlight.  Unfortunately, I had used up all of my "change your name" chances on Ravelry, so I asked the powers-that-be there to change my user name for me.  They said it would take a couple of weeks.  I waited over a month, to no avail, so I went ahead and created another Ravelry account with the name I wanted.

It will take time to fix everything to reflect my new name, but it will work out eventually.

To all of my friends on Ravelry who are wondering what the heck happened, I'm sorry for the confusion.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Knitting away the day

I've spent a lot of time knitting today.  However, all of it was being done while watching documentaries on Yellowstone National Park, about which I am giving a presentation during Labor Day weekend.  I guess you could say that I was knitting while studying.

I'm getting close to the heel of my Charybdis sock, and I'm a few rows into the pattern of my July Rockin' Sock Club sock.  I've been switching between the two today, just to keep from getting bored.

Unfortunately, I have to leave my TV and knitting behind for a while.  I need to fix dinner, then I desperately need to get upstairs to finish some customer quilts.  I do miss quilting, whether I want to admit it or not.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Regarding the affliction known as "cast-on-itis"

I have a very bad case of cast-on-itis right now.  For you non-knitters, this is basically an overwhelming need to cast on as many projects as possible, usually filling up every spare set of knitting needles in the house.  In severe cases, knitters have been known to lose their minds temporarily if they are not allowed to continue starting new projects.  (And those that do continue to start more projects often suffer from insanity, too.  It's a vicious cycle.)

There are no less than six socks on my needles right now, plus three baby afghans and two stuffed monsters.  All I want to do right now is buy more needles, so I can start more projects.

I think it's stress related.

Over the weekend, I slipped on a puddle of water in my bathroom and slammed my littlest toe into a corner of the wall.  The impact tore off my entire toenail, and the fall left me bruised and sore all over.  Add this to the stress of midterm exams and other college-related stuff, and you might be able to understand that I'm not feeling too wonderful right now.

Knitting makes me happy.  When everything else is getting me down, and when I just need a pick-me-up, knitting is there.  There's something soothing about picking up my needles and yarn and working with my hands.  I can't explain it.  It just works.

I'm running out of needles, though, so I need to slow down on my burning desire to start new projects.  Either that, or I need to buy more needles.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Thank goodness for good news!

Princess is fine.  She just needs some very strong eyeglasses.  What a scary weekend, though!

My Rockin' Sock Club shipment is due to arrive in the next day or two.  I can't wait!  I've been totally spoiled, so I know what it will look like, but that doesn't compare to the fun of actually fondling the yarn in person.

I am such an addict.

I broke down tonight and ordered another set of 2.25 mm Addi Turbo Lace circular needles, since my local yarn shop is completely out and isn't expecting more anytime soon.  I do all of my sock knitting on two circulars (16" and 24"), and that size is perfect for making socks with Blue Moon Fiber Arts' lightweight sock yarn.  I have skinny feet, so using that yarn, those needles, and 64 stitches in circumference makes the perfect sock for me.  At least it has so far.  I'm sure something will come along and completely throw that formula out of the window.  For now, it works.

It would help a lot if I had the willpower to finish one project before starting another, but I don't.  Some socks require too much attention to work on during my social knitting nights, and sometimes, I just get tired of working on the same sock for days on end.

I have four size 6 circular needles, too.  All Addi Turbos and all 32" long.  Three of them have baby afghans on them right now.  Those are for babies (my future grandchildren) who aren't even conceived yet, much less in need of afghans.  In my defense, I'm making them using my own patterns, so I'd like to be able to show off my own finished product at some point (other than the close-up of the stitch pattern that's posted online right now).

Time to get back to my Charybdis socks, for July's knit-along.  Only a few days left in the month!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A long day

One of my little princesses woke up with crossed eyes this morning.  She complained of eye pain and a headache, and she kept squinting.  This was not normal for her, so I took her to the local children's hospital emergency room to be checked.

I left with no answers and a lot of fear.

Something is not right with my little girl.  She's only four years old.  I don't want anything to happen to her.

We have to wait until Monday to see what the eye surgeon has to say.  Until then, we make her as comfortable as possible.

And we wait.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Crazy Knitting Days

I've been knitting a lot lately.  I wish I had more hours in the day, because I do have other work that needs to be done.

Knitting is just so relaxing.  And I need that right now.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sad news

This week has been rough on my family. Sunday morning (Easter, of all days), I woke up before dawn to catch my flight to Orlando. The space shuttle, Discovery, was due to launch first thing Monday morning, and I was looking forward to being there to see it go.

I almost stepped on Midnight, our female kitten. She was laying in the middle of the bedroom floor, and she wasn't moving. I picked her up and immediately knew that something was horribly wrong with her, because she was incredibly limp. She was still alive, but when I moved her from the dark bedroom into the lighted hallway, her pupils didn't contract in response to the light. Sweetie took over and tried to comfort her, but we both knew that she wasn't going to survive whatever happened to her.

Sweetie practically had to shove me out of the house that morning. I couldn't stand the thought of going on vacation while my kitten was dying. However, launch tickets sell out within minutes now that the shuttle program is being retired, and Sweetie worked so hard to allow me to see my first and only shuttle launch. I didn't want to hurt his feelings by missing the launch, especially since we both knew that there wasn't much that I could do for Midnight at that point.

He took her to the animal emergency room as soon as they opened Sunday morning, but Midnight died in the car before he arrived.

We are all heartbroken. We worked so hard to bring that kitten back to health after her early setbacks, and it seemed like we finally had her back on the road to health and vitality. She was finally gaining weight, she was playing with Lucky and the kids, and she drove us nuts by pestering us whenever we sat down to eat.

The vets think that she had a stroke. I guess it's common for cats to develop blood clots that travel from their hind legs to their brains. The only thing I am thankful for was the fact that she didn't suffer for very long.

I miss my kitten.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My first pattern!

I am very close to publishing my first knitting pattern.  I'm really excited about it!  I just need to create the nicely formatted pattern sheet, rather than the working chart I've been using up to this point.  Considering the fact that this shawl has 609 stitches worked over dozens of rows, it's important to make everything as neat and tidy and easy-to-read as possible.

I did run into a bit of a problem with my chosen yarn, though.  It's so incredibly fine that I can't stand working with it for very long.  It literally sticks to my fingers, and it falls off of my needles too easily.  I'm disappointed, since that yarn is very pretty and so incredibly soft that it feels wonderful.  It would have made a beautiful (and soft!) shawl, but I can't bring myself to keep using it.  I certainly can't recommend it to my pattern customers, since a difficult yarn will reflect poorly upon me and my design skills, and I don't need to earn a bad reputation with my very first pattern.

I guess I'm going to be forced to buy more yarn.  I have my eye on another skein of Laci, by Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  I just need to choose a color.  :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kittens and Knitting

Well, I joined a Black Cat owners' group on Ravelry, so I needed to post pictures of my kittens. I don't use the major photo places online (Flickr, etc.), so I'll take advantage of my blog to show off my newest babies.

Both pictures were taken of the cats when all they wanted to do was play. It's hard to use an iPhone to capture a moving animal, in case you didn't already know that. :)

This is Lucky, who is our male kitten. I wanted to name him Domino, but my seven-year-old son overruled me. Lucky has three white patches on his chest and belly, but it's hard to see them unless he's on his back or facing you directly.

This is Midnight, our female kitten.  We suspect that she and Lucky are siblings, since they were found in the same location and are approximately the same age.  Midnight had some health issues when we first adopted the kittens, so she is almost two pounds lighter than her brother right now.  Thankfully, she's gaining weight and will probably catch up soon.

So now you know who likes to interfere with my knitting at bedtime.  :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not enough knitting time

I miss being able to knit without guilt! Unfortunately, my college classes are calling to me, so I need to do my homework. This is final week, so after Thursday, I'll be done for over a week.

Just in time for my second Rockin' Sock Club package to arrive from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lots of projects in progress

I've been alternating between several different projects this week. Thank goodness for multiple needle sizes!

When I'm not able to concentrate very well but can sit in one place, I'll work on my pink mystery socks. When I can't concentrate and need to be mobile, I'll work on a simple garter stitch shawl. At those times when I actually have peace and quiet, I'll work on my daughter's lace shawl. Finally, when I can't knit at all, I'll work on my shawl pattern at the computer.

Believe it or not, I'm getting quite a bit accomplished, even if the work is spread out among several different projects. I'm certainly not bored!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sixth time's the charm

I am working on my oldest daughter's mystery shawl right now. It's my first lace shawl, and I kept making the mistake of trying to knit lace while little kids were running in and out of my bedroom. It's very easy to mess up a lace pattern! One little bit of distraction, and my place is lost and the wrong stitches knitted.

This is the sixth time I've started this pattern. So far, it's going well. I'm only knitting when I have a reasonable chance of not being interrupted. And when I do get interrupted, I go back and check my work to make sure I'm on the correct part of the pattern. I just hope that I can finally get this shawl knitted. Spring is going to be here eventually, and I know my daughter will love having something pretty to keep her warm in the mornings.

I visited another local yarn shop yesterday. They had a huge selection of sock yarns, and I bought a couple of skeins of bright variegated sock yarn to make some spring socks for myself. As much as I enjoy shopping at the local stores, I still prefer to shop online as much as possible. I know that there are a lot of other stay-at-home moms who are supplementing their income by dyeing and selling yarn on the internet, and I want to support them as much as I can.

Last night, I dreamed about buying beads for a knitted lace shawl that I was making. I think I'm getting a little too obsessed here, but I'm having too much fun to care. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Starlight Mystery Shawl #1

I've finished my creative designing for this mystery, and now I just need to create the chart and figure out exactly how many stitches will need to be cast onto the needles to start the shawl.

It is going to be really pretty, I think. I can't wait to start knitting it!

Tonight is a quilt guild meeting that I need to attend, if only for a few minutes. I don't have anything finished for show and tell, and I have too much to do at home to stay for the whole program, but I did promise one of my customers that I would be there tonight. I'll drop in to see her, then I'll head home.

It's been a long day already. While I was in my loft, trying to finish a customer's quilt, my two little girls stole a loaf of bread from the kitchen. My loft is directly above their bedroom, but they were sneaky and didn't slam the door when they returned from their caper. I grew suspicious when I heard giggling and discussions about making a cake. I walked into their room to see most of a large loaf of bread broken into tiny pieces and crumbs all over the bedroom floor. Thankfully, they didn't add water to their "cake!" It took me much too long to get that mess cleaned up as it was. Water and bread crumbs would have been a horrendous mess.

Tonight will be a good night for a relaxing bath and some knitting time. I need some peace and quiet.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Coming Soon

I am in the process of creating my own line of mystery shawl and mystery sock patterns. While I love creating what other people design, I figure that it's time for me to branch out on my own.

After all, I learned to knit when I was 11 years old, years before I learned how to crochet or quilt. It's time to put that experience to the test.

Once I get established as a designer, I plan on creating patterns for baby afghans, too. I might even add coordinating hats and booties at some point, if all goes well. I'm having an unbelievable amount of fun using my knitting pattern creation software. Now all I need to do is take my creations from paper to yarn.

I enjoy creating mystery patterns for quilting, too, but those are harder to do. Just about anything that I could create has already been done, and all I can do at this point is to come up with different color combinations and/or fairly unique combinations of blocks. Knitting seems a little more open to interpretation, as well as much more portable.

It's time for a new challenge. This is going to be fun!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I'm not doing well in the sock department. I was making good progress on my pink socks (using two circular needles to knit both at once), but my extremely curious two-year-old daughter decided to try knitting when I was in another room. By the time I discovered what she was doing, my pink socks were off the needles and in a tangled mess on the floor.

No, I didn't punish her. First of all, she's too cute, and secondly, she was just trying to help.

As of right now, I have no socks in progress. If I'm going to have any hope of finishing something for the Ravelympics, I had better get back to work. Socks should be fairly easy to knit, if I could just keep working on them for more than a few minutes at a time. The constant interruptions are bothering me quite a bit, but I know that they are only temporary. Before I know it, the kids won't be interrupting me anymore, and I'll miss having them around.

Today will be a busy day, with furniture rearranging and housecleaning on the agenda. And quilting. And college homework. And whatever else needs to be done before the new week begins tomorrow. I'm tired already.

However, my husband has a hockey game tonight, so I will be able to knit completely uninterrupted after the kids go to bed this evening. I'm looking forward to that!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not feeling the Magic Loop love

I started my two green socks using the Magic Loop method last night.

The cable kept getting in the way of my yarn, so I removed one of the socks and concentrated on knitting just one sock using the method. I officially gave up on Magic Loop when I pulled one of my needles right out of all of the stitches I had just knitted.

Yes, the two circular needle method is more expensive, since I'll need to buy two needles in each size for the socks and mittens and gloves I plan to make, but I find that it's easier and less complicated than Magic Loop. Of course, that's just my opinion, and personally, I'm glad that there are so many sock-making methods out there. Everyone can find just what they need. :)

With that said, I also spent last night starting my first lace shawl over again. I keep getting halfway through the first clue, only to mess up on the lacework. This time, I am definitely going to create a "lifeline" through my stitching, just before the lacework begins. If I mess up, I won't have to start all over again. Maybe I'll make some progress on it pretty soon.

I need to get something (anything) finished for the Ravelympics this week. Finding time to knit or crochet is not very easy, though, but my husband is supportive, and that helps.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I just recently learned about Ravelry, and I have to admit that I am completely hooked on it now. I wish quilters had something like this. Sure, we have a lot of different forums that we can join, but we really don't have a single website that allows us to post pictures of all of our work in one place. I wish I was better at web design, because I would love to create something like that just for quilters.

Anyway, Ravelry is sponsoring the Ravelympics this month. For the duration of the Winter Olympic Games, we can challenge ourselves to start and finish projects, just for the fun of it. I'm working on several projects for this, including three WIPs (works in progress). The WIPs have their own category, separate from the all of the new projects started during the Games.

Unfortunately, I don't get to count the mystery shawl I started late last month, despite the fact that I had to rip out all of my work and start over AGAIN today. From now on, I am not going to knit lace while the rest of my family is running in and out of my room. The interruptions are making my knitting life difficult, to say the least.

I love my family, despite the interruptions, but I really do want to get this shawl finished someday.

Last night, I learned that I can work on my favorite crocheted afghan pattern with my eyes closed. I was very tired, but I wanted to get something accomplished, even if it was just a few clusters on that afghan. This particular pattern is the first one I used for a large afghan, and I've made four afghans out of it so far. The one I'm working on will be my fifth one, as well as the largest afghan I've ever made. I can't wait to finish it.

I'm about to splurge on some beautiful pink lace yarn for a beaded shawl. The person who dyed the yarn is raising funds for her Susan G. Komen 3-Day Breast Cancer Walk, and since breast cancer claimed Mom's life, I want to help this woman reach her goals. Besides, Mom loved pastel pink, and she would have adored this ultra-feminine shawl.

My husband is surprised that I haven't been buying a lot of quilting fabric lately. It's hard to justify spending money on fabric when I'm spending so much on yarn. I need to get some projects finished, so I don't feel so guilty. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Games Begin!

We stayed up late and watched the Opening Ceremony for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games tonight.

Beautiful ceremony!

Over on Ravelry, the Ravelympics kicked off tonight, too. I plan to enter a few events, just for the fun of it.

For now, it's time for bed. :)

A Blog for Yarn Enthusiasts

I said I wasn't going to change my username on Ravelry and other knitting/crocheting communities. And I honestly didn't expect to do so.

But quilting and knitting aren't terribly complementary, and I figured that now would be a good time to change to a new nickname.

So here I am. Starlight Knitting. I like the sound of it. I'm an amateur astronomer, as well as someone who loves to stay up late at night to work on my hobbies, so this name suits me on a personal level.

I'll be adding more posts here soon. Thank you for stopping by!