Through the Back Loop

Adventures in knitting, fiber arts, and family.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Back to the drawing board

Remember this?

Well... I have decided to tear it apart and make Traveling Shells from Vogue Spring/Summer 2004. Tear it apart? Did I really just say that? I have sweat and toiled over this thing and have been proud of it's laciness. I have spent hours just trying to figure out what row I was on after having let it sit too long. But, I just wasn't happy with the Sassy Shawl, even though I have spent about 8000 hours working on it from the designing stages to the knitting hours. I must be crazy to rip it apart, though. Seriously crazy.

I don't have anything I like to work on right now, but I love this alpaca wool, so I thought ripping out the shawl and starting the Traveling Shells might be the ticket to get out of the Knittin' Blues. I tried to find a picture of the pattern from Vogue Knitting's website, but they only have the most recent magazine listed to preview. Trust me, it is yummy. And I will still make it for my sister-in-law who gave me the wool...maybe I will give it to her. How naughty of me!

Ok.. I am skirting around the real issue here. You are reading this waiting to hear if I have gotten the mitten done. Nope. Maybe tonight, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

I will.....

I will ........finish this mitten....... TODAY!

I will ........start the second mitten and not come down with SMS (Second Mitten Syndrome) as Stephanie was so kind to educate us about.

I will.... fly kites more often, especially after the great kite-fly I had with the girls last Sunday.

I will... clean that closet, and then the other one.

I will.... learn how to spin.

I will....start a knitting project I enjoy.

I will.... have a better attitude about my boss... or maybe I'll just ignore her.

I will.... remember to send birthday and anniversary cards on time.

I will.... thank my DH for being such a great "at home dad" while he is job hunting.

I will... hug my kids

I will... count my blessings.

But most of all,


Now go and knit your socks off, because I gotta!

Monday, September 20, 2004

The Knitt'n Blues

I can't believe it. I started these mittens almost a month ago and they should have taken about a week to get both finished. After a month this is how far I am....

These are double knit mittens for a friend to wear at her son's football games. Our high school's colors are red and white, and I quickly found a pattern to be able to knit a white "V" on the red side and a red "V" on the white side. Here is the mitten turned inside out.... it's reversible.

I read the article in a Cast On magazine about double knitting and worked a swatch. It looked great. Color changing was easy, but for some reason when I tried to change colors on the actual mitten, it looked terrible. The stitches were loose at the color changes, no matter how snug I made them. I ripped and ripped and ripped and reknit and reknit and reknit. Finally I gave up. I have now decided to cross stitch the stinkin "V"s on after the mitten is done.

Now I have no ambition to knit at all. I have no idea why, but I haven't picked up the needles for about a week. The chunky yarn on these smaller needles does hurt my hands after awhile, but that has never stopped me before. I have the knitt'n blues.... and I dunno why. I guess I need to mosey up to the bar, light myself a cigarette, listen to some sad songs and order something strong to drink. Maybe the booze will kill the blues.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Identity Crisis

When I first decided to blog, I tried to think of a name that would be fun. I'll be honest, it wasn't easy for me. I looked at all of the cute names that others had created and most of my ideas were already taken. "Keep Me In Stitches", "Just One More Row", "Queer Joe" - ha!

My cousin gave me a coffee mug as a gift for knitting her several scarves. It says "Knitting God" on it and has a picture of a black sheep. (I'll have to take a photo of it). I didn't think "Knitting God" would be a great name since most people equate god with male and I'm pretty female most of the time. "Knitting Goddess" seemed good. I never really liked it.

First of all, I immediately realized that there was a book by the same name, and I had actually forgotten that I had read it. I felt like I had stolen the name. Then, I found another site using "Knitting Goddess" and I felt like a copy cat.

Last night, while traipsing across the countryside in our van, the family had a contest. Who could come up with a great new name for my blog. There were several suggestions, but "Through the Back Loop" was an early suggestion, and became the proud winner. I checked the ring surf site names, not one of the more than 400 sites had this for a name. Finally.... Identity crisis over!

My Site Has Moved!

Please visit my new site at
Through the Back Loop

My Site Has Moved!

Please visit my new site at
Through the Back Loop

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Cozy Toezies

Finally.. a picture of my feet in the socks made by Anne!

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Baaaaa-uuutiful Day at Fiber Festival!

The original plan: Leave Friday night with the girls, the dog and the camper. Set up camp at state park near fiber festival and enjoy a bonfire before going to bed. Saturday, enjoy the fiber festival, return to camp for nice meal with the girls and a campfire. Sunday, have a nice breakfast at camp and leisurely pack up to go home.

What ended up happening: Thursday night.... allergies descend like an iron curtain. Head pounds, sinuses fill, and I fall asleep on the couch at 6:30pm without having packed a thing for camping. Girls cry at unfairness when I tell them we may not be going because Mamma doesn't feel very good.

Friday: I drag my sickly body out of bed and take a shower, hoping that the steam will open up my sinuses and maybe I can still have the energy to go camping. At work, I feel "pretty good", if "pretty good" means pounding headache, body aches, runny nose and itchy throat. At least my asthma hasn't kicked in yet. I arrive home and decide that no, we won't go camping. This is a MAJOR disappointment. I was really looking forward to a "girl's camp". I bribe the children with the option of going out for a nice dinner instead of camping. They are not pleased, but accept the bribe. DH buys me some sinus medicine and begins to get ready for his trip to St. Louis for the Rams game.

Saturday: DH kisses me goodbye at 4:30 am and I immediately realize that 1)I am really not feeling good. 2)I may not be going anywhere today, and 3)my asthma has just kicked in. At 7:00 I get up (we were planning to leave at 8:00), shower, and begin drinking coffee. At 8:00 I'm not feeling much better and now the girl's have gotten up on their own, excited to hit the road.

"Are we going? I thought we were leaving at 8:00?" the oldest asks.
"Uhhhh, I really want to go but..."
"Mamma, this was supposed to be your birthday present. I really want to go," she tells me.

We hit the road at about 8:30 with the kleenex box, inhaler, nose spray, sinus medicine and a huge cup of coffee in the front seat. The girls' had decided that their gift to me was that they would not fight all day. Hmmm, can miracles really happen?

We got there and....


I lived in New Zealand for a year as a high school exchange student. While I was there, sheep became my favorite animal and border collies (stock dog trials) were my new favorite sport. I think that NZ came to Wisconsin yesterday! We watched the stock dog trials (I have also watched One Man and His Dog on BBCAmerica. We watched the border collie dog show (very cute), the girls wanted to see sheep judging (not that exciting when you don't understand what is happening, but still cool), we walked around to see all of the sheep and both girls wanted to buy Max, a shetland ram for sale for $200. He was sooooo sweet! We sampled grain-fed and grass-fed lamb (grain fed was our favorite), watched a sheep shearer (who of course got his training in New Zealand!) and walked around the country store.

Country Store makes me a future spinner!
Who knew roving could be a reasonable price? Who knew that so many people spin and love to talk about how to do it. Everyone was so friendly, I can't wait to learn how to spin. I know someone at work who has a spinning wheel, hopefully we can come up with a trade for me to borrow it and learn. I can't wait! Roving...... what a cool thing!

After six hours, the girls didn't want to leave, but I couldn't walk anymore. The sinus medicine was wearing off (a note about my allergies: I am allergic to EVERYTHING environmental EXCEPT.... pigs and... you guessed it... sheep! so only the dogs could bother me and I didn't pet any of them.) We climbed into the car, and after I used up some of my pharmacy store located on the front seat, we went off in search of good food. We had spent a little more money than I thought (food, gas, entrance fees, root beer floats and 3 pencils cost $40 and I only had $65 to spend), so we ended up at one of our favorite inexpensive restaurants... Noodles & Co.

We got home at about 8:00 at night, and put in a chick flick (Kate & Leopold), but I had forgotten that the ending had been taped over. At about 9:30 the girls woke me up to complain about not being able to see the ending of the movie and I went to bed.

They did not fight with each other all day!

What a great birthday present!

This morning I woke up at 8:00 and I feel a bit better, but still fighting those seasonal allergies that have caused a slight sinus infection. I have spent the entire morning looking at spinning and fleece websites. I can't wait to talk to my co-worker tomorrow and see about her spinning wheel!

Off to watch for DH on the television! Go Rams!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Happy Birthday to Me

What a great day! I turned 21...... again.... and I had some great gifts, most of which weren't bought. At work I had been promised a laptop computer, and it was backordered. Yesterday it arrived, the the tech department didn't think it would be ready (they only come to my building once a week). I told them not to worry, I could wait. This morning the laptop was on my desk, ready to go. She didn't know that today was my birthday. YIPPEE!

A co-worker gave me a really cool lanyard to use for work keys. I love it and started wearing it right away. She didn't know that one of the buildings I work in will require me to wear a lanyard everyday starting in a few weeks.

Another co-worker baked a sheet cake (she sells her cake to a local bakery and makes them for weddings) for the building and wrote "Happy Birthday Kristyn".... not only did she make a sheet cake, but when I mentioned yesterday that I didn't think my daughters and DH would be making a cake.... she made a small one for us in my favorite color. When I got home, it turned out that the girls and their dad DID make me a cake, so we have two!

My newletter from my LYS arrived in the mail. They sure didn't know it was my birthday!

It was a great day! And for my present, the girls and I are going camping this weekend and attending the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival! I can't wait!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Super Sock Swap Sister!

I received my socks from my sock swap sister a few days ago (THANKS AGAIN ANNE!). They are awesome. My feet are cozy and cuddled every evening and my toes say "ahhhh" as I put them on. They are anklets, and I actually like anklets better than socks, which is why I became so nervous about sending what I had made, a pair of almost knee-high socks with a funky color pattern. The socks I made should arrive on Friday - hopefully Anne will like them.

I'm going to take a photo, hopefully tomorrow at school, of the anklets on my happy toes. Anne also sent the leftover yarn which was a great gift, cuz now I can make even more... and add from my stash if I need to for the heels and toes. Anne must have been a reader here at least one day when I talked about dark chocolate because there were some mini-dark chocolate bars in the box, too. I savored each one and saved the last one to go with a great cup of coffee. After I poured the cup and turned on the TV, I went for the last one. I fumbled around in the box, lifted the tissue paper and stuck my nose inside looking for that candy bar. I then tipped the box over and shook really hard to get that rascal free. DH watched with eyes like a puppy. "I ate it," he finally said.

He is lucky to still be alive, and I have moved his name to the bottom of the "I'm going to knit this for you" list. I should never save candy in my house.

Live & Learn!