Knit by Nora
Compulsive ~ a strong, irresistible impulse to act (i.e., to knit) and Obsessive ~ to occupy the mind excessively (thus this blog)

Monday, June 30, 2003  

Knitters Rule the Roost

Amanda wins the Friday “What is it?” contest and Alissa takes an honorable mention! The wood crate was used to haul chickens many years ago. Some people, as Alissa mentions, use it flat as a coffee table with or without a glass top (after a good scrubbing). I use it as a sideboard along a wall. My favorite guess was by Chris --- a lobster trap. Becky’s swatch is on its way to France; photo on Wednesday (I am taking a 4-day holiday July 3 to 6.)

Today’s Knitting News
I loved my TGIF project: the Mission Falls Vera Bag! I will crochet the drawstring for it tonight post a pic on Tuesday. Milano and Tuscany were neglected this weekend. I wound the Inca cotton into a ball for my next tank top and have it ready for a swatch.

Alison writes that she is about to start a tank that will make her sixth tank of summer 2003. I want a six-pack, too! After Milano, I need two more tanks. Inca will be and one that has been smoldering in my RIP (resting in pieces) bag would make it six! The RIP tank will be a surprise as it has never been mentioned in the blog and only needs seamed as I knit it before I started posting. Note that the June gallery is now up, along with wedding/vacation snaps.

posted by Nora | 11:18 AM

Friday, June 27, 2003  

Any Book Worms?
Has anyone read or perused this book? A History of Hand Knitting sounds interesting and I would like to learn more about the evolution of knitting. The price, even discounted, is somewhat high (reg. $39.95; $27.95 @ and I would like to know if it is worthwhile. So far, it is not at my newsstand or LYS for me to browse through the pages. I also need to pick up the newest Harry Potter book; I want to scout for the best price.

The boys recently found a new place to play. Does anyone know what this item is? The first correct answer wins a surprise from my stash! Bowie is hiding out in said item by trying to blend in with the woodwork.

Today’s Knitting News
I only have 2 inches to go on the back of Milano and would be done if I had not begun Tuscany last night. You can see the armhole shaping that will have trim to match the hem (moss stitch). Tuscany is made in one piece from sleeve to body to sleeve. Knit on #8 US, I see it will be a quick knit as long as my first short row experience goes smoothly.

posted by Nora | 10:51 AM

Thursday, June 26, 2003  

Hot in the City

I worked in Pittsburgh today, attending a satellite broadcast training session. Afterwards I went to look for a newly opened LYS, Knit & Bead. It is located in Squirrel Hill, a very trendy but traditional part of the city. My sister and best friend have lived there is the distant past. Although I am not a beader, this area was impressive. The yarn area is not extensive, but it is well thought out and nicely organized. And since the store is more open, the yarns seem to jump out, especially ones I have not seen before in person.

The staff was young to me (20s or less), but each cheerfully offered their assistance. I brought home Jo Sharp’s The Holiday Island Summer Hand Knitting Collection; 9 Balls Of Plymouth Yarn Stone Cotton (52% cotton, 48% acrylic) in burgundy red to make the ¾ sleeve, ruffled edge Chaise; and a ball of Lamb’s Pride Bulky in ebony to make the knitting bag from Hollywood Knits. A ball of natural has been sitting around for a year or so; although this will be a fall-winter project. The handles of the bag are #17 US Brittany bamboos, a neat feature. Although I would not make a special trip (the prices seem a wee bit higher), I will visit if I am in the neighborhood.

Today’s Knitting News
Becky’s swatch is blocked and the ends are woven in. All I need to do is add the embroidered accent! Are you wondering what it looks like? Next week, I promise.

posted by Nora | 5:25 PM

Wednesday, June 25, 2003  

(Not So) Happy Helper

Mick likes to help me sort yarn, usually by chewing it to see if it is still fresh. This is a yarn basket that he appropriated, chewing on the handle, then curling up to cry about the lack of yarn within. I found these adorable cat buttons at my LYS at a good price, they feel like ceramic or pottery. I would like to make a cardigan in one of the darker denim yarns to go with the button; I just need yarn and a pattern and time and money.

Today’s Knitting News
Becky’s swatch is knitted; it needs block and ends woven in to go in the mail on Thursday or Friday. I am saving the photo for next week’s blog as I have enough stuff to post this week. Back to Milano’s back today and tonight as I hope to move onto the front tomorrow. I would like to get a good start on the Tuscany (my name for the Ram Wools Linen Cardie-Shrug) this weekend. I just re-read Frances Maye’s Under the Tuscan Sun and am starting to re-read the second book, Bella Tuscany. They are like a mini vacation as her writing is very descriptive.

posted by Nora | 10:35 AM

Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

The Coolest Things

As a result of blogging, an unexpected, yet cool thing that has happened to me is trading knitting stuff with others. Better than E-Bay, it costs only postage and yields not just yarn, but nice relationships also. And sometimes, I get more than I bargained for, as was the case with Jennifer (Jenn), another Pennsylvanian, albeit an “easterner” (:-)) The trade was for two cones of gorgeous plum cotton yarn for my item #1 posted a couple of weeks ago. Due to de-stashing, Diane sent two extra skeins of fuzzy wooly yarns. One is already in my basket for a quick scarf knit (a Friday night project) as the colors just grab me. The other, Pullover-Garn, will be … well I do not know what it will be, yet. (Must mull this one over.) I am always amazed at the generosity of knitters. Bonus yarns have come to me several times now, both from bloggers and yarn stores and each time I feel that other person’s warmth and personality come through this act. Thanks Jenn!

Today’s Knitting News
I was in the mood for swatching for my summer cardies and playing with yarn. The taupe linen color swatch on the left is for my Ram Wools linen cardie and the coral red in the middle is for my Lucy Lu cardie. I will probably work up the linen cardie first. I cast on the colorful wormy-looking yarn, Adriafil Explosion, another E-Bay find. I hope to get two scarves from 3 skeins to sell or give away as gifts. This is a tough little yarn to knit, the worms want to hide under the rick-rack like thread. Notice the ball (top) and the scarf (bottom) look much the same at this point.

This scarf is a TGIF-SICK (thank god its Friday, so I can knit) project. This acronym is strange, but true. I must be sick to want to be at home knitting on Fridays instead of heading out. But after a 45+ hour workweek, I just want to veg on my couch! Saturdays are a better party night for me, both physically and mentally.

The Yarns:
1, 5 Trendsetter Eyelash
2 Euroflax 100% linen
3, 4, 8 S. Charles Cancun/Rialto
6 Berocco Zen
7 Berocco Plume FX
9 Adriafil Explosion
10 Fiesta Yarns Gelato (will make a small shawl for summer)

posted by Nora | 12:53 PM

Monday, June 23, 2003  

Smooch in the Wind

Yesterday was our first beautiful summer day. Last night, Mark and I went to get ice cream on his bike. So I used that time as a Smooch photo opportunity.

Today’s Knitting News
Milano’s armholes are started and I am now knitting back and forth to complete the front and back. I organized my yarn Friday night. Playing with all the different yarns put me in the mood for instant gratification. I had 2 skeins of Colinette Point 5 in Venezia won on E-Bay so I knocked off a hat and scarf set (this is for me to wear when this winter). Friday nights for the remainder of the summer will now be instant gratification night where a project of two hours or less is executed. This will build up my gift stash and move the yarn out of the jelly closet. Other knitting time will go to the project of the moment. To help out, I have bagged about 10 quickies and my next 3 or 4 major projects in either large Ziplocs or the nicer zip bags. They are in the basket waiting to be listed on the template.

posted by Nora | 2:30 PM

Friday, June 20, 2003  

Today's Knitting News

Introducing Milano, the work-in-progress. Milano has six beautiful stitch markers (thanks again, Alissa). Why is it so much more fun with cute markers than plastic rings? No knitting last night as I had a work dinner. A package of yarn arrived from Jennifer (from our trade) and she included bonus yarn as a result of de-stashing! Yippee! I will show it next week, along with an E-bay win: Campus Hand Knits for Men and Women published in the 1960's. Only $3.00 with shipping and handling and some of the patterns are still stylish. The hair dos are not. I also won issue #20 of Rowan magazine for less than the original price. I feel very lucky. Have a great knitting weekend.

posted by Nora | 8:54 AM

Thursday, June 19, 2003  

Knit Envy

Smooch has lace and ruffles, Maude shrug has ruffles and navy Pagan has instarsia. What did white Pagan have? Nothing, until last weekend and now the neckline sports what? A ruffle! It has added a feminine edge to this plain white tank. I plan to wear with a flirty summer skirt (white with pink, blue and yellow dashes) and delicate white lacey sandals. No photo of me in Smooch yet (I had it on yesterday but it was too cool here to leave on). This weekend I will snap me wearing it, but here is another view.

This is the 1st triangle scarf made up and the yarn of the 2nd (also now complete).

Today’s Knitting News
Knit Milano last night and I am so close to the armholes, I cannot wait! My Anny Blatt angora and ribbon yarn scarf kit came the day before my anniversary. This is a yarn gift to myself; I love the colors. The website I ordered it from also does custom-blended novelty yarns and fibers. They sent me five samples, with enough to use as as accents (I had filled out my comments section to tell them how I found their website). Visit them at:!

Note: I am told comments are not working (although photos have been restored). I cannot even bring my blog up so something is rotten in Demmark!

posted by Nora | 10:15 AM

Wednesday, June 18, 2003  

At Home
I am off today from work and blogging. Hopefully, Blogger has its sh*t together about posting photos. I plan on knitting a bit and will be back tomorrow. (Great dinner with Mark last night! Had sangria and 24 oz. lobster tails. Very romantic evening.)

posted by Nora | 9:35 AM

Tuesday, June 17, 2003  

Light at the End of the Tunnel?
No file upload function, again. But this note was on blogger this morning:
"Monday, June 16, 2003 There is a problem with the Upload File button such that the option buttons do not appear as clickable from the dialog box. We will be fixing this problem very shortly." Yippee, the photos were starting to accumulate.

Today's Knitting News
I swatched for the Ram Wools linen cardie-shrug last night. This pattern uses short rows for shaping; this will be my first experience with this technique. I plan to re-read the Knitty article on short rows today. Timely, huh? I am going swatch the Zen for Lucy Lu next to help decide which cardie to do after my last tank.

Milano came to work with me and may get attention if I have time at lunch. I am leaving early today, as it is our 14th wedding anniversary. I am taking Mark to a cool restaurant in a trendy, hip section of Pittsburgh since he gave me a great pair of earrings.

posted by Nora | 8:49 AM

Monday, June 16, 2003  

Sorry, still no photos. Has anyone else at blogspot experienced problems?

posted by Nora | 11:01 AM

Blogger S**ks
Today my settings and template screens returned, but my ability to post photos is gone. Even though the part of the photo upload screen did not work on Friday, I could store the pic on the server and code the file myself. Did I mention the Blogger "Complaint Form" called Blogger Control has not worked; it comes up with a header and no form. Clever of Blogger to have the main means of communication also down. However, their new links to pages selling Blogger apparel are working quite well. I have been e-mailing them through an obscure address buried in their site so I am holding my breath. So, no photos today. Stay tuned.

My email to blogger did not go through. I made it onto the complaints page to let them know about the upload problem. As I purchased Blog*Spot Plus100 on April 3, I have a long time to spend at this blog host. I hope they get better, not worse.

Today’s Knitting News
This weekend was productive as I finished Smooch (looks good with jean shorts); put a ruffle on my white Pagan (act surprised when you see the pictures); and knit two triangle scarves. This week I will go back to Milano to wrap up my tank girl mission. After this final tank, it is summer cardie time. I signed on for Yahoo Knit-Along, although I will not be doing Sitcom Chic. I have Berocco Zen for Lucy Lu or natural linen for a Ram Wools cardie-shrug.

posted by Nora | 9:04 AM

Friday, June 13, 2003  


Lambs eat oats and does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy.
If you were a kid, too, wouldn’t you?”

At least this is how I remember this nursery rhyme. Isn’t the planter outside my LYS cute? Here is the storefront. It is a long narrow, yarn-packed place with an incredible inventory.

Today’s Knitting News
I completed one side of the neck for Smooch and one eyelet on the second side. I think I can finish knitting at lunch. Look Monday for finished photo (deadlines give me an excuse to knit more). My next project will be a couple of commissioned scarves, the colors I purchased were approved last night and one more scarf was ordered. I will post a photo next week as the yarns are pretty: Stacey Charles Cancun with Berroco eyelash. Yippee, yet another trip back to the yarn store.

Afternoon Update
The front is done! I have only used four balls of ASC for a size small. How did I do that? This means I can exchange it for a skein of something else next week! Blocking tonight, seaming tomorrow, photo on Sunday and Monday, the debut. What to knit this weekend? Should I give Milano my attention or knock off my scarves due for delivery on 6/26...

posted by Nora | 9:56 AM

Thursday, June 12, 2003  

Learning Curve

Smooch has shown me that I am capable of lace, which is good. Previous forays into lacey scarves were not as fulfilling. But, I have learned that lace knitting (unless it is an element of a garment) is not what I want to be knitting.

So I have two items (details below) up for trade if someone out there in blog land has an interest in such things. My interested is yarn for as I learned from my previous trades; it is a good way to experiment with fibers I might not usually buy for myself. So e-mail me an offer. Those that respond first will be given first consideration.

#1 ---TRADED TODAY -- #2 is still available!--- One cone (6-7 stitches = 1” on #2-#4 US, 8 oz./1000 yards) of Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, made of 80% Pima Cotton and 20% Merino HW with pattern for Fiber Trends Lacy Accents (three lovely, easy-to-knit lace scarves). According to the Patternworks 2001 Catalogue, “Looks as gently crisp as it feels, combing the comfort of cotton with the softness and elasticity of merino wool.” One cone of Cotton Fine is enough for three scarves.” The yarn was originally $16 and the pattern $4.00. Note: the cone would also make one shawl, although I do not have a pattern for one.

#2 Also, from 2001 Patternworks: One skein of Cashmere of America brand Cashmere 2 Ply (6-7 sts = 1: on #2-#6 US, 50 gms/438 yds.) with a rectangular and a triangular lace scarf patterns. This is 100% Cashmere HW that originally cost $38.00 with patterns costing $4.00 each. “Pure cashmere is prized for its warmth without weight, its downy softness that increases with each wear and its exquisite fineness. Sheared or combed from healthy goats by farmers and ranchers across America, this cashmere has been grown, processed and spun under the strict standards of their cooperative, Cashmere America. Use this lace weight cashmere for the ultimate in luxury!”

Today’s Knitting News
Smooch -- I made it to the armhole last night after frogging a couple of times. The size of the needle and the stretchiness of ASC created some large stitches I could not live with. And I would like the neck and arm seams to be perfect, as possible. I am heading to my local yarn store today to pick up yarn for 2 commissioned scarves while spending the anticipated profits. For some reason, Yarns Unlimited has a copy of #6 Rowan magazine, so I am picking that up with issue # 19. I still hope to finish Smooch this weekend as Mark has rented several newly released videos including the James Bond movie with Halle Berry.

posted by Nora | 9:40 AM

Wednesday, June 11, 2003  


A package arrived last night! I thought it would be my #8 US straight needles ordered Friday for 2-day delivery from Patternworks. (Mark broke mine while using it as a probe.) But to my surprise, it was a packet from Emma! She sent two Rowan books (love them) and a sample of each yarn, one slated for an adorable hat.

This is the best part; I have never used either Rowan yarn (cork and cotton tape). A creature of habit, I often tend to use the same yarns in garments:
§ Enjoying the texture of the yarn when I knit,
§ Liking the yarn’s appearance in a garment, or
§ Adoring the feel of the yarn against my skin.

I do the same with shoes, pants, etc. If the item fits well and is a bargain (sometimes not), I buy in more than one color. Emma is helping me expand my yarn boundaries. Of course, I immediately cast on the cork yarn and feel in love. It would also be great for sweater for Mark who hates scratchy (but good for me as it feels and looks good knit up). Thanks for making my evening! But what has Patternworks done with my needles? Since the company was sold, this is my second order and the second time I’ve had a problem. There may not be a third; there are too many resources on the web.

Today’s Knitting News
I went about 10 rows too far on Smooch and need to frog before starting the armholes. I also have decided that knitting back-and-forth on circulars is not for me – give me straights. My cork hat, named Elsie, is halfway done. It has been modified for a tighter fit like a seaman’s cap; the original has more of a shower cap appearance. I was still in the mood for instant gratification.

posted by Nora | 12:18 PM

Tuesday, June 10, 2003  

No News, Except Knitting News

Today’s Knitting News
Although I made progress on Smooch, I spent an hour or so on instant gratification knitting last night. As a result, the blue Gedrifa Cubetto belt with beads is finished! I cast on 7 not 8 stitches to make it longer this time. The beads are between the blocks on the yarn, not knotted on (2 beads per strand). I think it will go great with faded denim shorts/jeans and khakis this summer.

posted by Nora | 11:00 AM

Monday, June 09, 2003  

Rowan Extravaganza

On E-Bay today, there are a multitude of Rowan magazines up for auction that include: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #8, #9, #10, #13, #16, #18, and #19. Some are priced well and some are going very high. I read one comment that said certain early Rowan magazines have sold for over $400.00 US! Since I splurged on my lucky #s 7 & 17, I probably will not win any of these auctions unless by fluke. I have not even bid (yet). My mags arrived Saturday and I am in love with 3 intarsia designs from #7. It would take me a while to afford/collect the necessary yarns. If you have been searching for a special volume, these issues appear in good shape with many coming from France.

Today’s Knitting News
Smooch’s back is finished. I started the front and hope to have Smooch wearable by the weekend. For those who inquired about availability of printed Rowan All Seasons, here is a color list and web addresses PrintedASC.pdf. I purchase mine at my LYS (no web site) and the patterned ASC costs slightly more than the plain. The colorway has knit up beautifully for the back, no pooling.

posted by Nora | 11:47 AM

Friday, June 06, 2003  

Mark and Nora

I received an email with Colorado wedding photos in black and white from the two guests. (We were a party of six.) Although it does not do the background justice, we look happy in this snap.

Today’s Knitting News
I dropped my college ring in the middle of my car while driving and it disappeared. In helping me look for it, Mark grabbed my #8 US needle from my Smooch tote to poke around and snapped it half! He has compensated with cash, but my LYS does not have 14” size 8 bamboos in stock. For now I am knitting on the same size circular and notice that I'm slower knitting back and forth. I think it is because I hold my straights further down and circular needles are not very long. After seeing Jen’s adorable Smooch in the color Kiss, I want to finish mine. Now! Actually I want a 2nd Smooch in that color. She is very cute and her photos show every Smooch detail. No knitting photos today, just an artistic rendition of Bowie in a laundry basket.

posted by Nora | 12:17 PM

Thursday, June 05, 2003  

The Lure of Rowan

I thought I was just browsing, but I gave in to temptation. As a result of 2 E-Bay auctions yesterday, I now own Rowan magazines # 7 and #17. The earlier issue’s claim to fame is that of the Foolish Virgins pattern by Kaffe Fassett. The cover’s flowered intarsia cardie has a wacky cat motif on the left breast that appeals to me. It could jump to another pullover or tee. The price on #7 was good, #17 a small investment. But seriously, I could re-auction these and get my cash back. And if I hold onto them for a while, they may appreciate. Perhaps this is better than putting my money in a 401K!? I’ll just blame my LYS clerk who said if I see an older issue I should grab it after I said I wanted to collect all the back issues. No one said, "No matter what the cost." ... I did not run home and tell Mark, "Guess what I bought on-line at work today?" Glad to have the blog to gloat instead about my victory.

Today’s Knitting New
This lace chart was my first, as I have never knit lace before. At least not successfully – there was a scarf I abandoned when it ended up looking like one big knot -- I still have the fine cashmere I purchased for it. I probably should trade the skein and pattern for something I am capable of knitting.

Buttonholes are as close as I have come to making "lacey" holes. Like the ruffle, it was tense knitting and more frogging occurred. ASC certainly holds up under duress, this is one tough yarn! It should be clear knitting on the rest of the back. Since I am using the printed surf color in ASC, there was a concern whether the lace pattern would be lost in the colorway, but I think it looks okay.

posted by Nora | 10:33 AM

Wednesday, June 04, 2003  

Hello Mick

As promised, my photo shot with Mick. He is very professional, waiting patiently while I set the timer on the camera between shots. Mick is a natural in front of the camera, although he did not like sharing the spotlight with the silly kitty on Pagan. Here is a shot without Mick clawing Hello Kitty.

Today’s Knitting News
I picked up my Smooch pattern and 3 balls of printed ASC in Surf (I had 2 intended for a Bucket O’Chic, but did not like how the colorway knit up on the small item). An older issue of Rowan magazine also followed me home.

I used Kerstin’s cable cast on approach, then totally went insane over the second row. Instead of spending quality knitting time over it (I jumped back to Milano), I sent Kerstin an email and as my new Smooch guru, she let me know I missed Alison’s blog last week about a Rowan typo for the pattern. Again, this knit-along concept is very cool, as normally I would abandon the project after hours of frustrated attempts.

posted by Nora | 9:33 AM

Tuesday, June 03, 2003  

Daily Doldrums

I am out of the office, blogging at home. Alas, I have no drivers (all my CDs are at work) to transfer pics via Sony Cyber-Shot or Clie. Cables I have, but no software (almost sounds like a knitting issue). And on a peevish note, I have wasted at least 1/2 hour looking at Sony's website for a fix (i.e., copies of drivers). Last night I snapped a self-portrait in my ASC Pagan and Bucket O'Chic AND (hold onto your hat), Mick posed with me! Something to look forward to tomorrow, if you are so inclined. It is only because of the other brave tank girls that I would take a photo at 11 p.m. I loved seeing everyone modeling their Pagans as having a face to go with the personalities is great for people like me who are visually oriented. (I am tactile too, obviously, but audio -- not. Mark would agree that I do not listen. I am also no music buff).

Today's Knitting News
As my home computer is a slug, I am knitting my Smooch swatch and may write out my line-by-line instructions. Knocked off more Milano last night. I am half way to the armholes which is a good thing for in-the-round knitting. Totally a different mindset for knitting -- I feel a kinship now to those who use circular needles.

X-rated Alert -- I may also gratify myself by finishing my Cubetto belt tonight. (You thought it would be much sexier?) It has beaded fringe, which is calling me. My LYS is offering a class in beading in June to make a beaded handbag, but I am passing to go on a garden tour. This fall, I would like to tackle socks (I have been a hold out) when they offer a workshop. Too many of you bloggers are making it look way hot and I was fondling sock yarn that makes its own little block-ish patterns at Yarns Unlimited.

posted by Nora | 1:25 PM

Monday, June 02, 2003  

I Wanna Be A Cowgirl

Colorado is the most beautiful place I have visited, with the possible exception of Maui, Hawaii and St. Lucia, West Indies. Mark and I visited Durango, Telluride (main street in photo above), Gunnison, Crested Butte, Ouray, and Silverton and each mountain was more majestic and beautiful than the last. We tried to drive to Aspen, but the snow had not melted on the pass even though most of our days hit 70°F. We had a blast horse back riding with the character below, Roudy who says, “Gentle horses for gentle people, Fast horses for fast people, And for people who don't like to ride, Horses that don't like to be rode.”

Today’s Knitting News
I also took a huge break from knitting last week, only working on the plane and over the weekend at home. Milano is so slow on #4 US that 20 rows (roughly 200 +/- stitches) took me 4 hours. I do like working a sweater in-the-round with only the knit stitch and no pearl! For instant gratification, I had to knock off an All Seasons Cotton Bucket O’Chic in aqua to match Pagan. Both are blocking and should be photo-ready tonight. No pics today, as my camera cable is still at home and I am, alas, back at work.

posted by Nora | 11:12 AM
On the Needles