Thursday, December 29, 2005

WIP's, traditions and looking towards the future

I haven't been knitting lots so I'm not sure if I'll have any more FO's for 2005.

Here is sock #2 of the STR Mesa Footie....these are so pretty and as chilly as it's been here lately, I can't wait to wear them! These have a decent shot at being completed soon.

Here is the progress on the Market Square bag. I'm on tier #6 (of 15). I just LOVE these colors and I can't wait to see the bag after it's felted. It's really fun to knit, I highly recommend it! It goes pretty fast but I think it may be my first FO of 2006, rather than 2005.

Being of a superstitious nature, I have lots of little New Year traditions I love to execute to bring good luck in the New Year. One popular tradition here in South Florida is borrowed from so many of Cuban heritage. On Jan. 1, Cubans eat 12 grapes, one for prosperity and luck in each month of the coming year. Another of my favorites is if you drink a glass of champagne with a diamond in it, you will always have wealth throughout the year. I eat a piece of apple on Jan.1 for good health and I toss a glass of water out my front door to toss out all the "bad luck" as well as the southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas and greens. Hey, I'm a busy gal on January 1!! What are some New Year's traditions YOU observe every Jan.1....I'd love to hear them!!

I believe that whatever you do on the first day of the year, you will do thought the coming year so I try to laugh lots, be happy, tell someone I love them, eat chocolate, cast-on and KNIT! Since I've returned to knitting these last 3 years, I always start a new project on January 1. This last few months my knitting ennui has kept me close to smaller projects but I'm ready to jump back in! After much deliberation I've chosen this as my January project:

It's the Lacy Aran Pullover from Knit One Crochet Too. Isn't it lovely? Looks like a challenging, interesting knit as well.
The pattern calls for K1C2 Second Time Cotton and I've heard really good things about this yarn so I decided to use some of my holiday spoils to try it. Now I need help in choosing a color!!!
I've narrowed it down to these three choices:

L-R : Valencia, Glacier, English Heather

I know what I am leaning towards but help me decide, o faithful reader! :)

I wont be able to start this on Jan.1 since my favorite vendor (hi Judy) is ordering all three colors for me! I guess I'll cast on a new pair of socks on Jan. 1 for luck and wait for my new yarn in January....And for those that are interested, the Ample-Knitters are hosting a Knit-a-Long for this lovely pullover!! The pattern ranges in size from 36" to 54" so everyone is welcome, including the non-fluffy :) If you're interested in more info or where to purchase the pattern, I'm just an email away....come on, join the fun!

Of course, a post from FKD isn't complete without a visit from the P-Man!

Pumpkin wants you to meet his new friend Brittany....

Brittany lives in the same condo complex as Pumpkin and I. I met her when she came around selling candy to support her school. The minute Pumpkin and Brittany met it was love at first site. Brittany's Mom told me that Brittany has a real affinity for all animals and really wants to be a Vet when she grows up (she's six!)

To help Brittany get even more comfortable with animals she chose 3 residents in the condo complex and every Saturday she comes by to provide a "service" for the chosen pet. Every Saturday Pumpkin gets thoroughly brushed by his new pal Brittany. She carries him throughout the condo and I've never seen him so docile, content and well groomed...see?

It's true love, I tell ya!

So what will you be casting on for knitting luck on January 1?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

And to all a good night.....

Image hosted by

Be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Festivus.....To all my blog friends Pumpkin and I wish you .....


Monday, December 19, 2005

There be DOOR here!!!

Finally, after 8 LOOOOONG weeks, the homestead at Chez FKD is secure!! YAY DOOR!!!!! I never thought I could find a door so attractive but just have a look at that cheesecake shot! :)

Even Pumpkin is swooning!
Bob, the door guy, did a great job and I can finally have some peace of mind! YAY BOB!!! And I can start fixing the rest of my hovel disaster area condo....anyone know someone in the market for a slightly used kidney? heheh....

Despite all the chaos, knitting is the constant at FKD so here is sock #1 and the beginning of sock #2 using the Mesa colorway Socks That Rock yarn. The color on my monitor is very's a pretty vibrant, saturated mix of colors reminiscent of a painted desert. The pattern is a simple lace rib called Elongated Corded Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. This new book is another must have for the avid sock knitter! It's a formulaic compilation of many sock patterns that can be adapted to the yarn/gauge of the knitter's choice! A really good all around book, even for the beginner sock knitter! (Thanks Darilyn !!)

I've again used my two new favorite sock knitting techniques.....a 2 x 2 tubular cast on and my new Eye Of Partridge Mini Gusset Short Row heel. Both of these really help with the perfect fit for fluffy feet!

I've finally been able to overcome my indecision depression ennui and focus on a project other than socks! I've chosen these five colors of Cascade 220.....

To make the Market Square Bag from Knitter's Magazine Summer 2001. This entrelac, felted bag has been making the rounds on blogs since the magazine came out with a resurgence last year because the pattern is also featured in the book, Bags, a Knitter's Dozen. I've loved the bag ever since I first saw it and collected the yarn that's been marinating in stash for about 2 years! I figure it's a small enough project that will hold my interest cause I love doing entrelac! Yes, shoot me now, I'm one of those weirdo knitters who actually loves to pick up stitches.....hey I even love mattress stitching and you know I'm the Kitchener Queen, right Margene? I love these colors and I think the bag will be spectacular!

And finally since happiness abounds at FKD Pumpkin is seen here doing something that makes him VERY happy! He loves to jump onto the back of my office chair and balance precariously! The chair is quite "swivel-y" so he really does have to hang on! You can see how badly scratched the top is cause he digs his little nails in HARD! I guess this is the P-Man equivalent of Space Mountain, hehehe.....

Enjoy your week, don't stress over last minute gifts and hang on just like Pumpkin!!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Everything's coming up orange!

I'm still hanging in there, sort of...

I never mentioned my little "accident". The day before Thanksgiving I had ventured out for the second time since the hurricane (a month prior) because I STILL have no stable front door. Walking back thru my parking lot I tripped over some hurricane debris that I didn't see because the lights in the parking lot that were damaged have not been replaced (yes, it was one of the dreaded hunks of roof that were still not removed in over a month jutting out onto the sidewalk!) When I fell I cut both my hands and really slammed my knees into the concrete. Both knees were bruised but my left knee was badly damaged. It swelled to the size of a small watermelon and I was black and blue from mid-calf to mid-thigh. I went to the doctor the Friday after Thanksgiving and have lots of soft tissue damage but nothing was broken. My knee is still very swollen and completely numb but the only treatment is keeping it elevated, anti-inflammatory meds and a warm heating pad until all the blood that seeped into the joint and tissue is reabsorbed. So even if I had a front door that locked, I wouldn't be going very far....Lovely, hmmm? Is 2005 done yet???? 2006 HAS to be better!

There is good news on the horizon tho....I have an appointment for a NEW DOOR on Sunday! Now let's hope the dude shows up!

On the knitting front, the bad news is the Jaywalkers are no more and the real expensive Opal is in the trash! I did ok with the pattern for the leg portion but even tho I was still getting gauge, the foot portion came out way too big. After ripping and re-knitting a good portion of the sock three times I decided the Jaywalker pattern, being designed as close fitting with negative ease, was not the best choice as a gift for someone who's feet were not accessible to me for ongoing fittings. In addition, the Opal did not hold up to frogging very well and altho it hurt my heart to toss the skein that was so dear and spendy, I couldn't live with the now fuzzy, worn appearance of the yarn! Sometimes a knitter's just gotta cut her losses so Jaywalker and $500 Opal, R.I.P!

Seems all I can knit these days is socks. Perhaps I need the relatively quick sense of accomplishment or it's all my present short attention span can handle. Here's the sock that took the place of the Jaywalkers.....It's the "Child's First Sock" from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush made in Louet Gems Quartz....a light sportweight, ultra soft merino in a orange/terra cotta marl. I adore this yarn and the pattern is a very fun knit. For any sock knitters, the Knitting Vintage Socks book is a must have! Full of lovely patterns for men and women with lots of history and various interchangeable toe and heel treatments.

The pair is finished but I'll allow the recipient to show off the completed pair on her blog if she wishes. I just hope they fit and she likes them!

Since it's been all orange all the time here lately next I give you........drumroll please.......


I've been wanting to design the perfect pair of footies for my extra fluffy feet and I thought, what better yarn to use than the extra special, dyed just for me, Pumpkin Yarn?

A bit of math and a bit of experimentation and these fit PERFECTLY!! And I love, love, love how they came out! They are sooooo soft and I love how the color goes from apricot to almost rust, just like the P-Man!!


Knitpicks "Dye Your Own" Fingering weight yarn, expertly dyed to match my Pumpkin by
La of JenLa fame
Pattern: My down, tubular 1x1 rib cast-on for cuff, 2x2 rib for leg and instep.

I really like the look (and less bulk) of the YO short row heel but I find the heel cup a bit shallow. To combat this I unvented my own version. Here's a close up......


After dividing the stitches for the heel, I worked eight rows even before beginning the short row/yo decreases forming a "mini-flap". I used an Eye of Partridge slip stitch pattern starting with the work even rows and throughout the rest of the heel construction for extra cushion and strength. I worked the heel as I normally would for a yo short row heel but when I had completed the heel I picked up nine stitches on each side of the "mini-flap" for a mini-gusset.


Once I picked up the gusset sitiches and joined them with the instep, I decreased one gusset stitch (two stitches per row) every other row until the stitch count was back to the original number.

I'm really proud of the look of this heel and the fit is superb!! I think I've finally found my "formula" and can expand on more sock design from here.

La, thank you again for this lovely sock yarn that's inspired me to build a better mouse trap and will always make me think of you and my P-Man!

Even the P-Man has a thing for orange these days.....LOOK!

He was huggin' the Gems Quartz like no tomorrow! He knows soft and delicious orange yarn when he sees it! Just like, soft and delicious :)

Now a girl can't limit herself to only the orange spectrum, especially when she gets something like this in the mail......

Yes, it's a beautiful skein of Socks That Rock yarn in the Mesa colorway!! My favorite grrlfriend Margene and her buddy Susan sent me a splendid care package that included this amazingly beautiful yarn, some patterns, a cute quilted bag, and a few other little goodies to make me smile! Thanks Utah Grrls! You made this knitter's day (week, month....) I'm planning another pair of footies, this time with a bit of textural interest that should do this lovely yarn proud!

Thanks for all the ongoing support and kind words, now please think good "door fixing" thoughts for Sunday!! See ya soon!!

Monday, December 05, 2005


As promised, here are some finished objects.....

These are the socks I knit as a thank you gift for my generator endowed neighbor who was so kind and helpful during our EIGHTEEN DAYS without power!!


Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool in "Wildnerness". 2x2 tubular cast on and 4x2 rib, my own design, on size #2 US (2.75 mm) Crystal Palace Bamboo DPN's. LOVE this colorway and the yarn is sooooo soft! My neighbor has already sampled sock #1 so he is eager for his first pair of hand knit socks!

It is with great joy, I announce the completion of the Ocean Lace Stole!! Since I've been bitching about the "ick" factor of this yarn since I cast on, I'll spare you yet another harrangue!


Ocean Lace Stole Kit from Just One More Row. Knit on #9 US (6.0 mm) Denise Interchangeable Needles. A very easy lace pattern and a lovely stole in the end if you don't stab yourself with your needles because the yarn is THAT heinous!
The color in the above shot is true and it's a gorgeous turquoise, teal, purple and green colorway. It's a light, airy stole and a classic that can be casual or dressy. I think the recipient will LOVE it!!

Ubiquitous over the rail close up

Altho the end result is a winner, I would NOT recommend this kit....The lace is a basic one and it would be much easier to choose a suitable lace pattern from any stitch dictionary and knit up a comprable stole in a nice soft alpaca or merino and step away from the nasty boucle!! Thank god this is finally DONE!!

They say out with the bad, in with the good right? Well the boucle was very very bad but look at the "good" that showed up in it's place!! Two glorious skeins of Diakeito Diamusee Fine yarn! My great friend Liz sent me these as a "cheer up" gift along with the cutest hand made survival kit, some kitty-themed doodads, some treats for the P-Man and the all important chocolate! Won't these make the dishiest socks EVER?? I'm not knitting so much now but footies for me with the Pumpkin Yarn are next up in the queue and then these little beauties if I can stop petting them long enough! Thanks so much Lizzie Lui!!

I wanted to show off one of Pumpkin's most unique features. Aside from his devastatingly handsome face he has tufts of hair growing from the tops of his ears like a Lynx! Doesn't he look ferocious? Har.

I've gotten some emails inquiring about my well being because I haven't been posting much. I really try to keep the content of this blog focused on my knitting but I am really having a hard time coping with my ongoing situation. Knitting is really my only salvation because I am emotionally, financially and spritually spent. I'm not sure when I'll feel up to posting again but I'm greatful for the concern and that I'm missed. I'll be back when I'm able.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The World's Most Expensive Sock Yarn

See this innocent ball of Opal? Yeah, it's vintage. Yeah, it's pretty. But is it worth more than $500??

Here's the story....

Last week I decided to join
Cara's Jaywalker Knit-a-Long so I shopped the stash that ate Ft. Lauderdale. I wanted something unique cause I have a special recipient in mind. And I came upon this REAL EXPENSIVE skein of Opal.

You see, about 2 years ago, I signed up to participate in the "Great Stash Redistribution Project" but I was reading more and more disappointing reviews of huge boxes of Red Heart and the like transversing the nation! And my yarn snobby soul grad student's budget said "NO WAY am I spending my yarn $$ to mail a half ton of Red Heart to Outer East Jabip, Nebraska!" So I bowed out.

Then to my delight I was contacted to join the "Snob Stash Redistribution Project" so join I did! SNOBBY.YARN. ROWAN!!! The SSRP guidelines were you could only put in "a projects worth of yarn - no snippets and left over ends, Rowan and other 'snob-worthy' yarns, and only high end acrylic blends like Rowan Calmer or All Seasons Cotton." NO RED HEART. NO LION BRAND HOMESPUN , NO POUND OF LOVE :::::shudder::::: I was so excited, I even agreed to "donate" stuff to start the box off. I donated a Philosopher's Wool Cardi Kit - $200, ten balls of pure French Angora - $200 and two hanks of Charisma New Zealand Wool - $40. Posatge to mail all this to South Dakota - $30

Now, dear reader, you know JUST where this is going don't you? (yes, there is a sucker born every day and her name is DEBI!)

Again, the snobby yarn morphed into lots of acrylic, kitchen cotton and the like. Then the box totally disappeared never to be heard from again!! (why do people sign up and act like this?? - sheesh!!)

To try and make things right, the organizer started a new box....which finally arrived about a month ago. I had earmarked some new donations which then allowed me to "double dip" since I had already donated a bunch of stuff. I put in some Bryspun DPN's, some Addi Turbo Circs, the book "Style at Large" and 4 large skeins of Shetland yarn- enough for a shawl - that totalled an additional $100 or so. What was in the box? It had improved from the dreck that it started out as but still it was small lots of many yarns I've never heard of, lots of novelty acrylics, some cottons in odd colors and a very few "name brands" like a bag of 20 odd balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran and some cotton/silk blends.....

And what did I take out of the box? One skein of Opal Sock yarn! ~~~

Yarn donations and mailing costs: $500 plus

Skein of Opal yarn: $15 (or $500 - $15 = $485!)

Lessons learned: Painful but priceless!

But the good part is the yarn is lovely, I think it looks great in the Jaywalker pattern and in honor of the special person I'm making them for, I'm changing the name from Jaywalkers to L.A. Walkers (hint hint) and she's definately worth the world's most expensive sock yarn!

Today I got the most amazing package! My friend La (who lives in L.A. - imagine that?) sent me all sorts of comfort type goodies for my ongoing "still living in a hovel without doors" distress....chocolates, candles,chocolates, herbal teas, chocolates, yummies for Pumpkin....oh, and did I mention chocolates? AND THE MOST AMAZING YARN!!!!


She hand dyed this lovely sock yarn to match my P-Man!! How cool is that??? La, I'm overwhelmed and amazed and crushing on you, big time!! I can't wait to make some Pumpkin Yarn footies for me!! And look, it's P-Man approved too...... (please excuse my cement living room floor!)

One second after this shot, he did the "Bite, hug and kick like crazy with your back legs because you're so happy" cat dance so I know he loves it! And isn't it s great match??** Thanks La for the unique and gorgeous yarn and for being a great friend to both me and the P-Man!! (tell the furries and Mr. La thanks too!!)

I finished the Neighbor Thank You socks which are on the blocking board drying as I write and the dreaded Ocean Lace Stole has grown slightly despite days of knitting so both will be available for their close ups next week Mr. DeMille!

Enjoy the weekend and knit lots everyone!!

** in person, Pumpkin's actual color is much more orange than brown as it appears here and in person the yarn and the P-Man are a much closer match!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

If you're looking for GREAT Knitting pics...

Don't look here :)

I'm plugging away on the Ocean Lace Stole and I'm convinced this thing is laughing in my face! I knit, knit, knit and the thing never seems to get any bigger nor the "skank" any smaller!! I even place a stitch marker on the last row when I pick it up for the day....I knit, knit, knit and the marker shows me I've knit 4 inches....I hold up the stole, and it's the same length it was yesterday!! D'OH!! So no pics til this thing is finished (if ever?)

In addition, because I am so focused on the stole, the Neighbor's Thank You Socks go untouched. I WILL have both of these projects done sometime next week, I WILL!!

As a distraction, I've seen this on so many blogs and found them all so interesting! After reading a friend's list and sharing some similarities, she encouraged me to do my own list so here goes!!

100 Things About Me

1. I am a Florida native, born in Hialeah
2. I grew up in a small town on Long Island, New York
3. I’ve lived in Florida since 1989
4. I’m a published contributing author of a professional textbook
5. I’m very superstitious and collect good luck charms
6. I have one sibling, a younger brother
7. When I get dressed I ALWAYS put my right shoe on first
8. I’m very sensitive and cry easily, sometimes just as a release of stress
9. My parents have been married for 52 years and I’m very proud of that fact
10. I don’t think I want to get married
11. I’ve been engaged 3 times
12. I will never have children
13. I’d love to be a foster parent to an older child
14. I have very strong nails and can grow them quite long
15. Almost every day, someone comments about my nails when they are long
16. I always start conversations with strangers when I’m out and about
17. I hate flying
18. I’m currently in grad school for the second time in a field unrelated to my profession
19. I lost both my precious cats, Jaxon and Mickie this year (2005)
20. I had my tonsils out when I was 25 and my gallbladder out at 32
21. I love the color green but look terrible if I wear it
22. I wear only cool, blue toned colors like blue, gray and pink
23. I’ve been fluffy my whole life
24. I think diets suck and make people miserable (and fatter in the long run)
25. I love veggies and try to eat a least 5 a day
26. I am trained as an Oncology (Cancer) Clinical Specialist
27. I smoked for twenty years – 1 ½ to 2 packs a day
28. I myself am a cancer survivor
29. My Mom is a cancer survivor too
30. I miss my childhood sweetheart sometimes
31. I am really very shy but know one knows it
32. I am very confrontational
33. I have been an assertiveness trainer
34. I am a very eloquent speaker and writer, especially subjects I’m passionate about
35. I often think I would like to run for Mayor of my city and probably will someday
36. I worry about America’s future and fear for it’s children
37. I wanted to be an ichthyologist when I was young
38. My favorite toy in my youth was Play Doh Fun Factory and Creepy Crawlers
39. I have owned 5 cars in my lifetime: an orange Plymouth Vega, a blue Ford Maverick, a silver Honda Civic, a blue Mitsubishi Gallant, and a green Toyota Camry
40. I lust after a Porsche Boxster in Midnight Blue (of course I'll need the jaws of life to get me out of it! hehe....)
41. I am not religious but believe strongly in God
42. I believe God has no religion and we are all his children
43. I’m a registered Democrat but always vote my conscience
44. I pray often
45. I love swimming in pools but hate swimming in the ocean except in the Keys
46. I’m pro-choice
47. I am very fairskinned and burn like a lobster in the sun
48. I love to fish in the ocean
49. I’ve never freshwater fished
50. Someday I dream of catching a Black Marlin, but I’ll release it
51. I think about becoming a vegetarian but I would miss fish a lot and chicken a little
52. I met Sissy Spacek while shopping in Kroger
53. I stood next to Harvey Firestein during the opening ceremony for the Names Quilt in Washington DC
54. I learned to crochet when I was 8
55. My mom tried to teach me to knit then too
56. I couldn’t warm up to knitting
57. About six months later I wandered into a LYS near my home and the “old ladies” there taught me how to knit again and that time it took
58. My Mom still thinks she taught me…I let her :)
59. I knit until I moved to Florida and then stopped completely for about 15 years
60. In 2002 I re-discovered knitting via the Internet
61. Now I knit just about every day
62. My favorite food is pasta
63. I love Thai and Sushi when eating out
64. I love to cook but don’t do it all that much
65. I’ve only had one non-romantic roommate once in my life for one year
66. I did not go away to college but lived at home
67. I went to Adelphi University in Garden City, NY for my BSN
68. When I took my nursing boards, it was a 2 day long test held in Nassau Coliseum. If I failed, I couldn’t re-take the test until December
69. I took boards in July and didn’t get results til November. Now nurses go to a proctored computer center, take a computerized test that shuts down when you get to the question at which point you fail or continues to the end and tells you you’ve passed on the spot. If you fail, you can reschedule at a test center in two weeks
70. I went to the University of Miami for my MSN
71. I’ve only been to one football game in my life, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta
72. I love baseball but only live (in Joe Robbie Stadium!!! Go Fish!)
73. I was at the World Series when the Marlins won it their first year as a team
74. The first person I ever met from the internet was a Dutch ex-pat living in San Jose. I was in Cali visiting my brother and I met Frans – I was unable to recognize him from the pic he had sent, it was that different!
75. I was engaged to a man I met on the Internet
76. He had a nail fetish, we met in a “long nails” chatroom on AOL that I popped into thinking "what on earth could people be talking about in here??"
77. I moved to the convent shortly after ….just kidding :)
78. My favorite place to visit in the whole world is the Florida Keys
79. Looe Key is the #1 dive spot in the continental United States and in the top 5 in the world. I have snorkeled there many times
80. I am fascinated by tornados and would love to see one someday but not one that hurts anyone
81. I would love to see a waterspout too
82. I almost never remember my dreams
83. A recurring dream I do remember is about many tornados spinning around a city
84. When I was young my dad had an office in the Empire State Building on the 84th floor
85. He used to take me with him to work and he would take me to see the World Trade Towers being built
86. When I was about 4 my Dad had a horrible case of chicken pox that nearly killed him. It was so bad he had pox on every inch of his body including in his mouth, eyelids, “privates”
87. I slipped into the room despite my mother’s admonitions and two weeks later had one lesion on my forehead, no fever, no other pox or symptoms.
88. I have one tattoo, a small flower on my left upper arm
89. I don’t like cut flowers, I think it’s very wasteful
90. I have horrible insomnia and sometimes go 2 or 3 days without sleeping at all
91. I’ve often been told I have a very soothing/sexy voice and once auditioned to be a phone sex operator on a lark – I got the job but turned it down
92. I have a phobia for elevated highway on and off ramps and will NOT use them and ask people I am driving with not to either. If they must, I close my eyes and sing as a distraction so I don’t freak out
93. I’m very romantic
94. When I die, I really don’t care what happens because once my soul is gone, who cares? It’s not “me” any longer
95. When Jaxon died, against everything I believe, I took his ashes – somehow they gave me comfort and I am still comforted looking at his urn
96. I’m a perfectionist in many ways and in other ways things can go to hell in a handbasket and I’m unconcerned
97. I used to cross stitch all the time and have a closet full of floss, fabric and charts. I haven’t touched them in at least 8 years
98. I find intelligence very very attractive
99. I once worked for a brilliant Oncologist who I had such a horrible crush on I sometimes couldn’t speak - the feeling was mutual :) the other women in the office realized it when he nick named me “Pookie” – our feelings remained unrequited :(
100. Writing this list was a real adventure in “flight of ideas” and it was easier than I though it would be

101. This list was my clever ruse for your distraction from the absence of the %#$@* Ocean Lace Stole....muahahahahahahaha.......
102. I'll be back soon with a finished stole and socks, promise!! :)

Happy Thanksgiving to those that celebrate and happy knitting to everyone!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Meet the Ribbys

Meet Manly Ribby....

I'm always knitting socks for Dad but haven't knit him a sweater in about 25 years and I thought it was about time to revisit that even tho we don't need warm woolies very often 'round these semi-tropical Florida parts. We *do* have seasons and it's all relative as we Floridians are acclimated to HOT so when the thermometer hits um, 60, we're all freezing!! :)

I wanted a nice, warm comfy sweater for the 'rents and Ribby fit the bill!

I knit the Mom Ribby a few months ago and finished up the Dad counterpart during my powerless Wilma days! Here's Dad's....


Pattern: Ribby Cardi designed by Bonne Marie Burns of Chicknits - flat front, ribbed back, collared version Size 44 - 45

Yarn: Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Redwood - 13 skeins

Needles: US #7 (4.5 mm) and US #8 (5.0 mm) Addi Turbo circs

Mods: I knit the sleeves to 20 inches and the body to 17 inches before the raglan decrease for a more manly fit. I also did the sleeve increases as a flat panel rather than increasing in rib to decrease the cling factor. Despite these mods, I used less yarn than the pattern specified...odd!

Custom length separating zipper from Zipperstop - mailed them a butterfly of my yarn and in 3 days I had a perfect zipper for $5 including shipping!! I HIGHLY recommend Zipperstop for your zipper needs!

Wonderful pattern...well written and super easy to follow but we already know that about Bonne Marie's patterns! Just a great all around basic sweater for any member of the family that I plan to knit again and again! And now I present

The Ribby Family....

Even tho my photography skills are rubbish (it was too sunny, yeah, that's it!) I'm including this pic so you can see my "new" post Wilma view! There used to be two huge trees outside my balcony that now do so many now. So many that I practically have an "ocean view" condo :(

On that note, post Wilma update: things are still pretty ugly at FKD and the rest of south Florida. Some people are still without power! I finally got a service guy to come and give me an estimate on the door repairs....almost $7000 for "just" my front and sliding glass doors! I may have to sell a kidney :) I keep telling myself "that which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger!" and I know there are people worse off than I. At least I have my blog buds, knitting and the P-Man! See, he's chillin'...

What? Me worry?
Doors? We don't need no stinkin' doors!

I'm working on sock #2 of the Neighbor's Mountain Colors Thank You socks and yes, I am still working on the Ocean Lace Stole. It's not like me to procrastinate on a project like this but I really hate the yarn!! I'm not a boucle lover and it's the first time knitting is more a chore than a pleasure! So I'm determined to finish soon so I can move on to some fun knitting.

Enough whinging, is it December 1st* yet?? :)

One last note.....Thanks for the great response to my Fluffy Hurricane Sock pattern. Seems many of my fluffy footed bretheren have been making do with very cold feet while knitting "regular" socks for everyone else! I know when you are outside the "average" it can be daunting to change a pattern to suit your needs. I've been knitting socks, so many socks, for three years now and the Hurricane Socks are only my second pair! So enjoy the pattern and keep contacting me if you need a copy. I plan to design more fluffy socks that I'll share as they develop. No foot should be unsocked no matter how fluffy :)

Knit on, friends!!

*hurricane season ends on November 30th, please God!!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Me again :)

Posting five days in a row.......Boy this power thing vs. battery is addictive! Who knew? :)

I've gotten some nice feedback on the
Fluffy Hurricane Socks and since the pattern is my own, I'm glad to share it with the fluffy-footed among us (or those that knit for the fluffy-footed!) The pattern is written based the stats of my *huge* feet but they are easy to adapt and customize.

They can also be made in a manly color for those *husky* footed men in our lives (I didn't think the "XY's" would be thrilled with the fluffy moniker, hehehe)

If you're interested in the pattern, send me an email and it's yours!

Happy weekend, happy knitting!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Thank you, more aftermath and a promise kept

First and foremost I and the P-Man want to thank everyone for their ongoing support and kindness during the acute phase of this horrible situation. Without all the wonderful comments and generosity I'm sure I would not have been able to cope! I am truly grateful for the kindnesses of "strangers".

And now the aftermath begins.....I have yet to hear from FEMA or my condo association's insurance carrier....real surprise, right? There was so much damage sustained in the south Florida area that there is a THREE MONTH waiting period for repair appointments at places like Home Depot or Lowe's. Late last week I began calling repair services in the phone book and left over 30 messages! I follow up every other day... and so far I've gotten only ONE call back! And he can only work on my front door, not the sliding glass door and he's not sure "when or if he can fit it into his already very booked calendar" altho I suspect for the right price an opening would magically appear! I have a rudimentary door rigged in the front just so I'm not living "al fresco" but I am unable to lock it and there has been lots of looting and theft in the county and I'd really like to hang on to the few possessions I still have left! Soooo, I can't really leave my condo for any length of time.....No one in the area has television because all the cables were badly damaged and stores remain very low on supplies.Debris is still everywhere and combined with non-functional traffic lights, driving is more than treacherous The litany goes on and on.....

I mention all this not for pity or sympathy but because I feel it is a story I MUST many people have said "now you can get back to normal". Well, normal will elude South Florida for a very long time! And it kills me that there is barely a mention in the news across the country!! When did Brittany Spears latest brand of diaper become more important than "WE THE PEOPLE......?"

Ok rant over.... for now :)

On to knitting content!!!

I got tagged for this meme that's been floating around Knitbloglandia by my good bud and knitting *goddess* Agnes (hurry over and see her amazing Old Tile -- intarsia in cotton, WOWIE, WOW, WOW!!) and I promised I would do it as soon as I was on power vs. battery juice so here goes......

What is your all time favorite yarn to knit with?

In the animal fiber department it’s a close tie between Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport and Mountain Colors Weavers Wool. Both nice and soft and such beautiful colors!! In vegetable fiber, I really love Blue Heron Mercerized Laceweight Cotton, Rowan Calmer and Rowan All Seasons Cotton. All wonderful to knit with and no hand/wrist pain! Lastly, I don’t love knitting with it but the finished product is amazing…….Euroflax Linen.

Your favorite needles?

I’m a total needle ho so I have TONS of needles! In fact I have an entire piece of furniture to hold them all and it’s completely full :) All circs, except for my really extensive DPN collection. The needle I use depends on the project and if it’s a new yarn I will swatch with all my types of needles. I have Addi turbos (wool, some cotton blends), Addi naturas (great for what the turbos can’t play with), Crystal Palace bamboo circs, Denise Interchangeables and Aeros/Inox Grays (my choice for laceknitting and linen). I prefer DPNs for sock knitting and there I have Brittany’s, Pony Pearls, Addi Metal, Addi Bamboo, Plymouth Bamboo, Aero Teflon, Bryspuns, and Crystal Palace Bamboo which I love, love, love and use more often than all the others. Listen, I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, rarely drink so I might have a lil needle addiction, ok? Don’t judge.

The worst thing you've ever knit?

No pics cause the evidence is long gone! When I was about 12 I was a new knitter who knew nothing about gauge. My first ever sweater was navy blue worsted weight wool with rainbow stripes across the bust supposedly for me. The sweater came out beautiful….for an ELEPHANT! I mean, I was a fluffy kid but not this fluffy!! I remember thinking “it will probably fit better once I sew it together”…….um, no! And the really weird thing is as huge as the sweater was, the neck opening was so tight it wouldn’t fit a Cabbage Patch doll! It’s I wonder I wasn’t put off knitting for good! Thankfully things have improved enormously since that fiasco!

Your most favorite knit pattern? (maybe you don't like wearing it...but it was the most fun to knit)

Hands down, my Shaped Triangle shawl! Lots of interest and pattern changes so no boredom! A really fun knit that I will do again!

Most valuable knitting technique?

“Spit” splicing and the Russian Join. Love the smooth, finished look these two techniques give my knitting and not having ends to weave rocks my knitting world!
Also, discovering the German Twisted Cast-On, which I use almost exclusively cause it’s attractive and nice and stretchy.

Best knit book or magazine?

I have many but the one I turn to most often is The Big Book of Knitting by Katarina Buss – great pics and easy to follow instruction. Second place goes to Vogue Knitting. I think Interweave Knits is the most appealing magazine for me and I love that they almost always include a great sock pattern.

Your favorite knit-a-long?

I haven’t joined many KAL’s but I loved the Ample Knitter’s Cabled Tee KAL. I made a lovely tee in lilac Calmer that fits me *perfectly*. I also have been in both of Alison’s Sockapaloozas and had lots of fun knitting for other sock knitters and got my own beautiful hand knit socks (my first!) in the bargain. Being part of Wendy’s Seasons of Lace has been great too.

Your favorite knitblogs?

As many have said, there are too many great blogs to single out just a few favorites. I’ll just say that I’ve learned a lot, shared a lot and made some wonderful friends! I’m so glad to be part of this community!

Your favorite knitwear designer?

I love Kathy Zimmerman’s intricate cables, and Evelyn Clark’s patterns are exceptionally well written and user friendly. Kim Hargreaves for her classic styling but I wish she would remember us fluffy knitters, too! 2XL is NOT 40” !!

The knit item you wear the most? (how about a picture of it!)

I wear all of my shawls a lot as they are the perfect covering for Florida in my opinion. Lately, I’ve been wearing this all the time! Why, it's my Shaped Triangle shawl again.....and one of my favorite P-Man pics!

Who to tag?

With all that’s been on my brain of late, it’s hard to remember who has or hasn’t been tagged already.Jen and La, if they haven’t, Kris, Beth, Liz and Ada.

Last but not least some FO's and WIP's.....

Here are the *Hurricane Socks* whose heel I turned in my closet during the Hurricane. Not really sure how I feel about these, even tho I think they are beautiful, they do illicit some not so great feelings. I figure if they aren't meant to be, the heel or toe will blow out within a week, hehe....they are Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in the Potluck Blue/Green colorway. This was my first time with CTH and altho it's very soft and lovely, it's already pilling like crazy and I haven't even worn em once! See? maybe they know they were knit under extreme duress! I would donate these socks to charity so someone else could love them but altho the socks look deceptively "average" in the picture, I have REALLY wide, fluffy feet and legs and being made to fit fluffy me I don't think they would fit anyone else! Alas they are short and VERY wide, just like me :) We'll see how they fare....

This is the sock I'm currently working on. It's just a 4x2 rib in Mountain Colors Weavers Wool in the Wilderness colorway. These socks are a thank you gift for my kind and generator endowed neighbor!

This was my first time using the Tubular Cast-On for socks and I love it!! I've used it for flat knitting but never in the round. So stretchy and neat, see?

All my knitting reference books said this was not a good cast on for 2x2 rib, it was only for 1x1. In her book "Cool Socks, Warm Feet" Lucy Neatby says it works for 2x2 so I figured, why not give it a try? Well I think it looks great, no twisting or wonkiness and not *too* hard to do! I will use it again without a doubt and if there is an interest, I can even do a tutorial :)

Now I leave you with a picture of the **best** change that Wilma brought into my life....even tho things were/are kinda terrible here at FKD, I got to meet two very special men......

"Spiderman" is Dante - 5 and "Buzz Lightyear" is Darren - 3. These are the children of the generator endowed neighbors and made me smile more than I thought possible. They are also crazy about my Pumpkin. I'm crushing big time :)

Time to go play Cootie with the guys! See ya!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

To celebrate my return to civilization (sort of)

Look what my good friend La made me:

Image hosted by

I'm so excited!! I guess this means I'm not velveteen any more, I'm REAL!!!

Thanks La!!!!

(Feel free to yoink my button from my sidebar but please don't steal my bandwidth!!)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Dude, where's my power??


About an hour ago, Casa de FKD moved back into the 20th century! I say 20th cause I still have neither front, nor back door, ripped out carpets, a very empty fridge/freezer, ect. but I see the 21st century in the distant horizon! All hail Florida Power and Light!!

OMG....a HOT shower*.....BLISS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Later, Dude!

*for the record, I have showered in the last 3 weeks (thanks a lot Rob!!) but they were the icy cold, gasping for breath, heart stopping, wash the crucial bits and get OUT kind, not the nice, leisurely HOT one I took today :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Happiness is a new mousie!!

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and kindness.

Week 3, still no power *sigh* Pumpkin and I keep hoping tho! Altho much power has been restored, many people are still without. One thing that is very dangerous is that still more that 60% of the traffic lights are still out in Broward County. And with tempers high and stress levels soaring, you can imagine what that means...LOTS of road rage!! I think once you get into week 3, the thread of kindness that a disaster brings out in many people starts to fray.

One thing I find very interesting is that when I query my friends in other states, or even other parts of Florida, they tell me there is virtually no mention of this situation on the news.....scary, isn't it?

I noticed changes in Pumpkin's behavior too in response to the stress of all the changes in his world..... for one I found him trying to lay in his litter box! Anyone that is owned by a cat knows that they are usually fastidious about cleanliness and would find laying in their own "litter" completely abhorant. I was so worried especially since the only other time I witnessed this behavior was right before Jaxon died in February! I know he was doing it for comfort but it freaked me out!

It's very difficult for me to ask for help despite the fact that many of my internet friends were right there for me ready to send food, water, know, the essentials! When a certain someone asked if there was anything she could do, as hard as it was, I reconsidered for the good of the P-Man. You see one of the casualties of that bitch Wilma was the P-Man's beloved mousie. It was knit of sock yarn and stuffed with cat nip and he loved that ratty old thing to death. It got soaked with God knows what in the big blow and I didn't want him putting it in his mouth any longer. I know the loss of his mousie was making a bad situation even worse for my P-Man. Enter salvation :)

See, this certain someone is a very speedy knitter. And she has an excellent quality control supervisor to help her along. So I asked this knitter and her supervisor to knit my Pumpkin a new mousie and happiness abounds at FKD!! Just look:

Pumpkin is beside himself with happiness and hasn't stopped playing since I opened the mail. This wonderful someone also included a bunch of yummy treats for my furry one and some yummy YARN for me and even used her own beautiful *handspun* to make this wonderful and generous gift!!! So THANK YOU WENDY! THANK YOU LUCY!!! The P-Man and I send many hugs and many chirrrps of joy for your kindness and generosity and friendship!!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Like the Energizer bunny...

I wrote this post the day before the hurricane and planned it as my next post.

Wilma had other ideas.

I'm posting it now, as written, because altho things have changed drastically for Pumpkin and myself, knitting is still an integral part of who I am and knitting has made me part of an amazing, generous, loving community. Knitting has kept me whole in a time when feeling fractured is my norm and brought so many really special people into my life....FRIENDS.

Thank you all for your continued support and friendship. Hopefully my next post WILL contain actual knitting content from the comfort of my living room (such as it is) with a computer that's running on my electrical current rather than battery power!!


Originally written October 22, 2005:

The birthday celebration keeps going on and on and on......not that you'll hear any complaints from this fluffy knitter!

Now they say you can never be too rich or too thin so since neither of those are likely to happen I'm sticking with "you can never have too much yarn!!"

First we have this lovely yarn from a special friend, Judy. Some lovely Sockotta in my favorite color combo of pink, orange and yellow - I just love cool cotton blend sock yarn. The dark skein is some super soft Mountain Colors Bearfoot in the colorway Lupine - isn't this just so rich and glorious? And last but not least, some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Glenwood colorway - orange, yellow and green in the softest sock yarn, yum! Thank you so much Judy, I love the yarn and it was an unexpected surprise!

Then my postman gave me a package that really made my heart was all the way from the Netherlands from my good friend (and I believe, my sister -we were separated at birth, hehe...) my dear, sweet Ada.

First she sent me all sorts of Dutch goodies....Dutch chocolates, Wine Gums (my favorite!!) some Stroopwafels and some Stroopkoeken! Even Pumpkin was excited - you can see a bit of his tail on the left side of the second later he turned around and gave the box of chocolates a big bite! Of course his Mom then *had* to taste the chocolates to make sure they were still good :) I can't wait to try the "cookies" with a nice hot cup of coffee as Ada tells me that's the best way to enjoy them!

Mr. Nosey Pumpkin found this part of my gift from Holland quite interesting as well - some Fa body wash that smells so fresh - it's heavenly! Some bath confetti in a delicious Fruit scent and some lovely sock yarn in my favorite colors, orange and yellow!! I best get knitting and these are all gonna be socks for me, me, me!!

But wait, there's more! I saved the best for last....LOOK! Adorable little porcelain "wooden" shoes with windmills on them! Now what could be more Dutch than these? Ada knit the adorable little pouch for them as well AND she even made a lucet type cord with her fingers!! She did this before I bought my Lucet or ever mentioned one to her - see? sisters separated at birth! Thanks for the wonderful gifts Ada-sis! You made my everlasting birthday extra special!

Since it's all about the P-Man at FKD I've been wanting to capture one of Pumkin's cutest features....his tail!! He's got this really chubby tail that he swishes like mad when he's happy or excited! It's it cute? My brother calls it his "beefy" tail.....I just think it's another thing that makes him devastatingly handsome, don't you?

Next up, actual knitting content....imagine that! See ya then!

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hurricane Wilma Week 2 or BITE ME REALLY HARD, JEB!!!!

First off, Pumpkin and I want to thank everyone for the support. Every single comment means more than I can hope to convey because it helps me feel connected in this surreal tableau that continues into yet another week...

We are still without power here at the hovel I now call home Casa de FKD. I have a rudimentary door out front that doesn't lock and the back glass door maintains it's precarious perch unchanged. Water is dwindling and food is getting pretty scarce, last's night's meal was some defrosted pasta sauce, hold the pasta :) -- ya gotta have a sense of humor, right? My carpets have all been ripped out because the mildew was running rampant on my saturated floors. Power may not be restored until NOVEMBER 22!!! And because my life isn't interesting enough, I now have a wicked cold that I'm convinced is bird flu with the luck I've been having!

Here's the latest FEMA fubar...I registered for assistance on Oct. 27. At that time I was told that the agent would attempt to contact me but if he couldn't he would "just show up". I called back today to make sure my claim was in the system and verified with the FEMA phone person that the agent did NOT need to contact me directly for an inspection to be made because I still have no phone service and no where to charge my cell (but for the kindness of a neighbor with a generator but I hate to impose!) and this time I was told "oh no, the agent will attempt to contact you three times and if he can't reach you, WE CLOSE THE CASE!! Fucking GENIUS!! And just how is he supposed to do that when I HAVE NO POWER?? Sheesh!!

I have a few minutes computer time now and again thanks to said kind and generator endowed neighbor so I'll say hi when I can.

I finished the Hurricane Socks, now I'm on Wlma's Week 2 Socks.

Pumpkin's hanging in there, still really jumpy and nervous but still a handsome devil and keeping his Mom's spirits up!

And asshat Jeb?....I HAD provisions for three days....YOU DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THREE WEEKS!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Wilma - 1, Fluffy Knitter Deb - 0

I'm posting this mainly to have a permanent record. Pumpkin and I are ok, Casa de FKD is not!

This morning at about 8 am, Wilma arrived at FKD with a vengence. The winds had been clocked at 120 miles per hour (category 3) and were howling like a freight train outside and rain that sounded like machine gun fire was pelting every window. The front wall of Wilma was to last about 90 minutes, the eye about an hour and the back wall another 90 minutes. She made lanndfall on the west coast of Florida and headed for Broward County with a spiteful gleam in her eye.

The winds were so brutal and frightening, Pumpkin and I retired to the safety of my walk-in closet. I brought my knitting for comfort, some Diet Coke for me and Greenies for the P-Man, a cell phone and a flashlight and we hunkered down to ride out the storm, thinking that all would be well by noon.

At about 8:30 I heard an enormous BOOM and my whole condo shook!! With trepidation I peeked out my bedroom door and to my shock and horror, saw that my front door had been blown right off its hinges and a giant, twisted hunk of metal was wending it's way over my threshold and right towards me!! I quickly shut the door and ran back into the closet.....

Suddenly, another huge BOOM....the pressure from the missing front door caused the huge sheet of glass that was in the the sliding glass door in the back of my condo to be sucked right out of door frame, sucking the vertical blinds out with it!!! And the wind and rain that was now ripping thru my HOME was almost strong enough to knock me off my feet! I grabbed on to my bedroom door and with Herculean effort slammed it closed and ran back to the relative safety of my closet where I could do nothing but shake and cry. I have never been so frightened in my entire life!! Poor Pumpkin was curled up in a firghtened ball way in the back of my closet. I know he was crying too!

At about 9:30 everything became eerily silent....the eye of the storm was passing over. I ventured from my "bunker" to see what damage had been done....OMG! I returned to my closet and my uncontrollable sobbing, as the raging wind and rain again began to batter my condo in resumed fury.

At about 11:45 am the winds began to slow and the pelting rain to taper. I has gained a modicum of composure by this point when I heard a male voice calling my downstairs neighbor Alberto, had come to see if I had survived. I thought it was the voice of God.....

This is what I saw when I by Alberto. Click to see a larger view.

door from outside

door from inside

wood from door frame

giant metal roof piece

roof chunk in living room, flattened door behind it

living room

shattered glass curio cabinet


kitchen 2

sliding glass door to balcony

back door with bowed out glass, verticals sucked thru

I have no power and my computer battery is about done. I have no front or back door so I can't leave, and I've had no word from Mom and Dad who live an hour north! What else don't I have? Well, that would be homeowner's insurance.....I'm a "starving" Grad student, remember? I do however have leaves everywhere, a completely saturated carpet and a melting fridge and freezer, torn screens on my porch and raisins scattered everywhere as they were sucked from my kitchen cabinets. The good news? I , and my condo association president I might add, do see this as clear culpability on the condo's part since the giant, flying metal thing that caused all this just happens to be big hunk-o-condo ROOF!! ( there were other peices hanging from tree branches and scattered around the property) Between the condo association's insurance and FEMA, we should be ok altho it will take a while and I'm not sure where I'll be staying or when I'll be able to post again but thanks for all your well wishes! Imagine if the P-Man and I didn't have those? ::::shudder::::

Oh, and knitting content? I actually turned the heel of a new sock thru my tears by flashlight, in my closet.

Hope to be back soon.... addendum: Bro in Sanfrancisco spoke to the 'rents, they are fine, no damage but no power.