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'Cause sometimes I even surprise the knit out of myself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Auburn Identity

So redheads grow up with the idea that because of a good majority of us have a fair complexion and on occasion freckles or rosy cheeks, we are limited to the colors that we can wear. It was always like a cardinal sin to wear....YELLOW. Now mind you, I realize yellow is a tough color with skin tones, especially for those with a fair amount of yellow pigment in their skin, but I am slowly discovering that I don't need to limit myself of color. I can adjust by shades, lights, darks, and style to be more wearable to my coloring.

Case in point, I just learned 2 months ago, by prodding of a few friends on a impulse shopping trip in Iowa, that I can actually wear red. I passionately avoided reds like the plague since I can remember. I know I can get away with a purple-burgundy color, but not bright, my name is Marilyn, deep lipstick red. Guess what? I surprised myself by purchasing a lovely red pea coat (because I am a pea coat whore, but that's another post) with large black buttons.

So enter the color yellow. The color of the solar plexus chakra....sign of the analytical mind, meaning joy, communication, color of summer....sunshine...cheerful. Why so often do we see the yellow colorway of a yarn, last to remain after pillaging at a yarn sale, sitting all alone in a bin amongst massive amounts of itself, unloved and unwanted?

Well rules smules folks. I'm breaking 'em. Here's an example. My newbie knitter self portrait here is a proud display of my Knitting Olympic Gold Medal Project. I went into my LYS one day and saw this soft, buttery Adrienne Vittadini Trina. Ohh for the love of cashmere, I'll pick any color. So home with me it went and became this:

But you don't come here for my philosophical verbal diarrhea do you? Of course not! I wouldn't. It's all about the Yarn Pr0n right? You betcha.

So if you visited over to Robin's blog recently, you will notice we had a little yarn swap. I bought an orange color that was a little brighter than I wanted and she dug it. It looks awesome with her coloring. So what was I attracted to in her swap bin?

Cascade Sierra in Lemon. I am eyeing up this project below for use of this skein of pure sunshine. It's called Sunshine by Lily Go.

Photo courtesy of Lily Go

Next on the list we have some lovely Queensland Kathmandu Tweed DK in a mustardy color.
For this....Katarina by the fabulous Julie Weisenberger www.cocoknits.comPhoto courtesy of

So call me a redheaded rebel....a rule breaker...risk taker...maybe even colorblind...
I'm breaking all the redhead rules and livin' on the edge.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Awwww shucks....

*Gush* Awww, I was nominated. Bobbi nominated me for the "you make my day award. Thanks Bobbi!

Here’s how it works: Give the award to up to 10 people whose blogs bring you happiness and inspiration and make you feel so happy about Blogland! Let them know by posting a comment on their blog so that they can pass it on. Beware! You may get the award several times!

Choosing just 10 is really hard because I like all of the blogs I read daily. Like Bobbi I don't like folks feeling left out at all. There are a few regular posters, (more regular than myself ahem) that really give me something fun to do when I'm trying to decompress on my lunch hour. In no particular order, here are my 10:

Bobbi of
Kelly-Green Rogue is likewise one of my daily haunts. Her photos are always fantastic and her projects are amazing. She is a red-head with a affection for GREEN so we girls gotta stick together! The more we talk the more alike we find we really are in personality, sense of humor, and projects.

Robin over at Yarn Crawl is a knitting machine! Her projects are always so lovely and my goodness she's fast! You blink and the next day she has an FO to share. She is also talented with the sewing machine and an inspiration as she chronicles her sewing classes. She is always fun to email and joke back and forth....Not to mention a great yarn swap partner :-)

Bea from BAA BAA Blacksheep is another fantastic knitter. We met on the Bulldog Knits Group on Ravelry and have been corresponding regularly ever since. So between of love of knitting and bulldogs, can it get any better? I love reading her blog and, of course, popping over to say hi her her bully babies, Abby and Gus.

Thea at Babycocktails and Knitting and I met through Ravelry. She has excellent taste in picking colors for patterns, which for some knitters, causes major anxiety. She has created some lovely free patterns and if you haven't been past her blog lately, you need to check out her Alene Wrap. It's incredible. She is donating the proceeds to the FINCA Village Banking Organization which provides support to people in poorer countries help to start their own small businesses. I so believe knitters are some of the most incredibly generous and caring folk. Here is a prime example of that. Pay it forward....

Enchanting Juno - A fellow local SnB'r who is not only a fabulous knitter, but also a talented writer. Her blog posts are intelligent, witty, and I'm always guaranteed to be entertained. All this time I have been visiting her blog and I finally ended up meeting her , at all places, but our local knitting group. Who knew? I'm glad I did because she is just as engaging in person.

Savannahchik Knits - As another fellow local SnB'r, I stumbled upon her blog as a new knitter. I found her tutorials helpful and her knits inspiring. She's really nice to chat with in person and offers her skills for those of us that might need serious help with our Rogue hood seams. Thanks Jody! I'll let you know how I do.

Ms. Green Apples is a super knitter and crocheter. I find her extremely talented and found her blog when I was looking for folks that had done the same pattern I was contemplating. She is another knitter with a perfect knack for choosing just the right color and her sizing is always perfect. Not too mention, she is another fellow redhead. I always enjoy seeing her perfectly finished objects and commentary.

A Friend to Knit With takes breathtaking photos. She has a knack for all things crafty. She completed the most beautiful version of Silver Belle from the Vogue Knitting 25th Anniversary. It inspired me to put that in my queue immediately. If you haven't seen it, go check it out. It's gorgeous.

Jessica at Zarzuela Knits and Crochets is a fellow knitting group member. She knits socks that make my head spin and she can knock them out fast. Speaking of spinning, she does that too with very pretty results.

Kristy at Eleven Stitches is another fellow SnBer and talented knitter. She is also a prolific knitter cranking out sweaters, hats, and socks, in what seems like lightning speed to me. Her blog posts are fun and so is she. She just got married too. Yeah! Congrats!

Keeping true with my daily reads, I hopped on over to
Robin's blog and picked up this cute little meme she did. Here are my answers:

What time is it? 12:44 PM

What's your full name? Sharon Ann Burket

What is the most recent movie that you have seen in a theater? *um kicks rocks* I don't go to the movies often so....The Simpsons Movie with the "Hubs"

What are you most afraid of? Lightning. Tampa Bay, FL would NOT be a good place for me to live.

Place of birth? Trenton, NJ

Favorite food? Couscous and really any Indian food

What's your natural hair color? Auburn-ish

Ever been to Alaska ? No, but my BIL lives there. I really should go visit.

Ever been toilet paper rolling? My Dad would have killed me so let's just say NO

Love someone so much it made you cry? Yes

Been in a car accident? 1998. I had to leave the Fire Company and EMS unit I volunteered with because I couldn't lift people or wear an air pack anymore. The hubs wasn't too thrilled about the idea of running into burning buildings. *shrugs*

Croutons or bacon bits? Croutons, of the Paula Deen, cornbread variety

Favorite day of the week? Saturday

Favorite restaurant? Little Marrakesh or Crown of India (it's a toss-up depending on how my GERD is that day)

Favorite Flower? Gardenias, bet your thought I was going to say Rose of Sharon, huh?

Favorite sport to watch? Hockey with the hubs

Favorite drink? Non-alcoholic= Gold Peak Iced Tea, Alcoholic= Mojito or Guinness (depends on my mood and location)

Favorite ice cream? Chocolate Chip Mint and I don't care if it's "green" or not.

Disney or Warner Brothers? Disney

Ever been on a ship? Twice

What color is your bedroom carpet? Eeeeeh, wrong answer. Hardwood floors

How many times did you fail your driver's test? Never, cause dear old dad let me drive around the neighborhood on his lap when I was eleven. Sshh!

Before this one, from whom did you get an e-mail? I pilfered it from Robin's blog.

What do you do when you are bored? Knit, buy yarn, play on Ravelry, read blogs, watch Bollywood music videos, Food TV

Who will respond to this e-mail the quickest? Not sure
Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond? Not sure
Who is the person that you are most curious to see their responses? Not sure

Favorite TV show? Good Eats on Food Network

Last person you went to dinner with? My SIL, Tammy, my MIL, and Hubs

What time do you get up? 7:00 AM

What are your favorite colors? Green and orange.

How many tattoos do you have? Zilch

How many pets do you have? 2 beastie dogs- Cartman, the snoring English bulldog beastie, and Annie, the Daschund, otherwise known in our house as "little girl" or "dragon breath (DB for short)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I really care not sacrifice a fold in my brain to answer that question.

What do you want to do before you die? There's so many I couldn't possibly list them but I am working really hard on checking things off in that "1000 Things to See Before You Die" book. I got the rare ones in India down as well as Tunisia.

Have you ever been to Hawaii? No

Have you been to countries outside the U.S. ? India, Tunisia, Italy, Spain, Malta, Ireland, Germany, Aruba, Mexico, Bahamas, and Canada so far.

How many people are you sending this e-mail to? 1 post to the blog. Play along if you'd like. C'mon, it'll be fun.

Time this survey ended? 1:07 PM

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Almost Wordless Wednesday- Ye Mera India, I love my India

Kinna sona des hai mera...

How beautiful my country is...

Dhartii sunaharii a.mbar niila

Golden earth and blue sky,

dhartii sunaharii a.mbar niila har mausam ra.ngiila

golden earth and blue sky, every season brilliantly colored

aisa des hai mera ho aisa des hai mera...

that's what my country is like...

bole papiiha koyal gaa'e

The cuckoos cry out;

bole papiiha koyal gaa'e saawan girke aa'ethe

cuckoos cry out and down comes the rain. aisa des hai mera ho aisa des hai mera...

That's what my country is like... gehuu.n ke kheto.n me.n ka.nghii jo kare.n hawaa'e.n

When the breezes comb through the fields of wheat, bira.ngii kitnii chunariyaa.n uR uR jaa'
rainbow of scarves go flying.
pa.nghaT par panhaaran jab gagrii bharne aaye
While the farm girls come to fill their pots at the well,
madhur madhur taano.n me.n kahii.n ba.nsi koii bajaaye lo sun lo
someone plays the flute in a sweet, soft melody: listen!
qadam qadam pe hai mil jaanii...
At every step, you encounter...
qadam qadam pe hai mil jaanii koii prem kahaaniiat
every step, you encounter a love story. aisa des hai mera ho aisa des hai mera

That's what my country is like...

baap ke ka.ndhe chaRHke jahaa.n bachche dekhe mele

where children watch festivals from atop their fathers' shoulders,
melo.n me.n naTke tamaashe kulfii ke chaat ke thaile
festivals full of dance, spectacle, and delicious food.
kahii.n miltii miiTHii golii kahii.n chuuran kii hai puRiyaa

Here you might get a sweet dessert; there, a salty snack.

bhole bhole bachche hai.n jaise guDDe aur guRiyaa.n

The innocent children are like dolls,
aur inko roz sunaa'e.n daadii-naanii
and every day, their grandmothers...
roz sunaa'e.n daadii-naanii ek pariyo.n kii kahaanii
every day, their grandmothers read them fairy tales.
aisa des hai mera ho aisa des hai mera
That's what my country is like.
mere des me.n mahamaano.n ko bhagwaan kahaa jaata hai

In my country, visitors are considered gods;
ho yahii.n ka ho jaata hai jo kahii.n se bhii aata hai

you're made at home no matter where you come from.
tere des ko mai.n ne dekha tere des ko mai.n ne jaana...

I've seen your country; I've gotten to know it...
jaane kyo.n yeh lagta hai mujhko jaana pahachaana

I don't know why, but it seems so familiar to me;
yahaa.n kii vahii shaam hai vahii savera

The same evening, the same sort of sunrise...
yahaa.n kii vahii shaam hai vahii savera aisa hii des hai mera

The evenings and the dawns in my country
jaisa des hai tera jaisa des hai tera jaisa des hai tera
are just like those in yours. aisa des hai mera

This is what my country is like.

jaisa des hai mera

It's just like mine.

aisa des hai mera

This is what my country is like.

jaisa des hai mera

It's just like mine.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Sorry for the sporadic posting folks, but I just felt so tired and disconnected this past week. My sinuses are in an uproar with the change in weather and my head was pounding earlier today. I hope I'll be more alive tomorrow.
I have been knitting and, in fact, I am finished with the back of the Urban Aran Cardigan. Now on to the fronts. Sorry for the blurry pictures, but I'm so meh today that I couldn't be bothered with the ligthbox either. I must say it's showing up brighter than the color really is in natural light.

I think it's time for a glass of wine and a nap. Have a good next week everyone. Sorry for being so blah today. I'll be back to myself as soon as my sinuses stop being so pissed off with the weather changes. :-)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

When stash acquisitions go horribly wrong

First I must state the irony of this post. We were just talking about this in Stitch n Bitch last week regarding an online yarn purchase that just isn't quite the color you pictured it to be.

So I am a lover of WEBS and their end of year sale. I also love supporting my LYS. I cannot resist yarn I wanted for a project in my queue on sale at a sickeningly cheap price. So what is the price I pay for this gluttony?

Enter Exhibit A: The brightest skein of Elsebeth Lavold Chunky Al in "poppy". I was looking for a burnt orangey/peachy color. I got bright Home Depot reddish-orange. I think I about popped an optic nerve when I opened the box. Trust me, this picture is not as bright as in real person. I think it actually looks ok seeing it on the blog, but man is this stuff bright.
I adore orange, but I think this might be a wee bright for my pale white arse and auburn hair, no? I wanted to make the Citrus Yoke Pullover out of it, but I'm not sure now.
A color that never goes wrong for me is GREEN. The greener the better. Now this one is an ace in the hole set for the Green Gable hoodie.
In other news, I took a little progress shot on the Hippy Chic Tunic. I can barely put it down. Ahhh, the healing capabilities of mindless stockinette. No matter what I do, I can't get a decent picture of the true colors, either with a lightbox or outside. I'll keep trying.
Toodles for now. I'm heading up to Teaneck, NJ tomorrow to train an associate. I am not looking forward to the drive during rush hour in the least bit. I wish I could auto-pilot and knit on my stockinette stitch up there. What a great 2 hour car ride that would be huh? *sigh* Unfortunately, there is no option for auto-pilot on the NJ Turnpike.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Is is really Sunday already?

This weekend flew by, didn't it? With all the excitement from last week and finishing the christening gown, I got a major case of startitis. First, let me explain my rationale on the stash utilization for 2008. For every new project cast on, I want to use up some of the older stash with every second project. You know, recycle a little bit. Re-evaluate the patterns I had intended them for and so on. So with that, let's move on to exhibit A shall we?
The swatch that got out of control: Recognize this one? It's the beginnings of my Urban Aran -Cardiganized. My friend, the blogless Kelley and I will be working on this one. This is a swatch that got out of control, meaning I kept knitting on it which wasn't my original intention. So I stopped working on it so Kelley can finish up the Jamesy sweater and get that off her back before she starts this one with me. We are both using Elann Peruvian Highland Chunky. The color I'm using is Harvest Heather. It's orange, but anyone that knows me well enough, knows how I dig orange, yes even with my red hair. Kelley is using a blue-grey color called Tranquil something-or-other. I can't remember the name off-hand.
And of course, with the use of new stash, comes the use of old stash. This one has been languishing in the stash forever along with the pattern. When I first started knitting about 4 years back, I saw this one in a Patternworks magazine and fell in love with the tranquil and casual look of this tunic. I am a tunic wearer. I acquired most of them on my trip to India, but also my friend's family sends them home for me. So this is part of my casual top with jeans repertoire.
The Reynolds Odyssey was a little out of my price range at the time, but I had spotted Jojoland Melody on Ebay and just fell in love with the subtle color changes like the Odyssey. So I snapped up about 2 bags of 10 balls (220 yards a piece). This is a fingering weight so I'm holding two strands together and I was spot-on for the gauge. The pattern is written by the lovely *bows in her general direction* Norah Gaughan for Reynolds Odyssey and pattern support of the yarn.
I decided this may be my Stitch n Bitch project for a little while considering I occasionally have to hold a frog-fest when I come home that night. Apparently, I either 1.) Talk to much or 2.) Cannot multi-task. Being that I am the queen of multi-tasking at work, I'm going to have to say 1.) is most likely the case. Nice easy stockinette to avoid frogging will be my project for now. I am working on two cabled things and I really don't care to frog cables with a yarn that is a wee bit fuzzy. Nuff said. Remember my comment some time ago about frogging mohair? Yep, right up there on my fun list.
The last project has been one of those projects you work a little, put it away, pull it out, do another few rows, and so on. It's like an old friend you, run into, have lunch like three weekends in a row, and then don't see for another year.
We have hood progress here:
Oh I so love the cables. I'm using Noro Cash Iroha for Rogue. It has a thick/thin single to double ply nature and some slight variations in color which I think give it some character. Not to mention, this yarn is super soft.
I need to figure out how to graft the hood with the cables. This will be a new one for me and I may need to bust out the Merlot. Once that is done, I'm taking a flight to sleeve island. See you in a week or so. I'll try to remember to hug a palm tree for you while I'm there.
By the way, Andrew and mom are back from the hospital and doing just fine. I am planning a trip to Iowa for the end of January to meet my new man. I also appreciate all of the kind comments on the christening gown, both on Ravelry and on this here blog. I am humbled by your praises. This was an emotionally-driven project and I am really happy that you shared the joyous occasion with me.
I hope you have a nice rest of the weekend!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I guess I've changed my taste in men..... short, toothless, and bald. I'm in love.
It's a blurry phone picture, but it's all I have right now being in NJ and he is in IA. So how do you like my new man? He's not much of a morning person just like his Mama, which cracks me up. We'll give that to him. It's much brighter and cooler than it was all toasty baking in the oven.
This kind of cuteness should be entirely illegal.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The timeliness of two long-awaited Finished Objects

Well I can no longer call him the "soon-to-be kidling". I proudly announce the arrival of the most anticipated FO of the year......kidling Andrew is fully-baked and plumped to perfection. He arrived at 7:30 exactly one day before he was scheduled to arrive. I got the phone call around 11 this morning from my friend's mom in Iowa. My friend's back has been in bad shape since I've known her so they decided to completely put her out for the C-section. I heard he is gorgeous and has the cutest baby butt ever. Don't they all? Grandma was simply giddy.
So with the timeliness of Mr. Andrew's early arrival, I have another promised FO to share with you. I finished all my super-picky tweeking and got down to pictures earlier. Here it is....Andrew's christening gown.

Click to enlarge for better detail on all pictures.
Pattern: Heavily modified version of the Love and Kisses Christening gown by Judy Lamb.
Yarn: 10 balls of Plymouth Royal Bamboo in an antique white
Needles- size 5 addis
Started: October 2007
Finished: January 8, 2008
Recipient: My new fairy-god baby, Andrew, born today, January 9, 2008

Mods: Tons. No heart motifs. I modified the cables, the neck, sleeves, and upper body significantly to suit my and mama's tastes. Overall, I am thrilled with the project and honored my friend asked me to do this.
Here is the back view complete with a little butt bow and 3 delicate pearl buttons. My apologies on the photos but it is so hard to photograph white on my camera. I had to go outside and hope for the best.
Close-up of the back
Close-up of the cables
More close-ups of the skirt cables
And the booties to go with the gown that I presented back at the baby shower in December. These are the infamous, Saartje's booties.
I never had siblings or babies around as a kid so I can honestly admit he scares me a bit. I don't have any kids of my own.
Letter to Andrew:
Well kiddo, you know I love you already. I'm really excited to finally meet you. In fact, I'm tearing-up writing your first letter to you. You mom is a good lady and you'll just love her. She's been waiting for you for a long time so she is really happy you are here now.
I can't wait to take you fishing and have you come visit your fun Auntie and Uncle in New Jersey. We'll have such a great time together. Maybe we'll even stay up a little later than mom allows and play games or read a book. Shhh don't tell your mama. Although I did promise your mom, I wouldn't sugar you up and then send you home to her. Heheheh.
I'm about to learn anything and everything that I ever need to learn about babies from you. I promise I am a quick learner. So you are my teacher. Please be gentle...and if at all possible, can you go easy on me with the colicky bit?
Love always,
Your Auntie Sharona

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The only marathon...

The only type of marathon you'll ever see me run is that of the knitting marathon. I hate running for some reason so don't expect sneakers and a coordinated track suit.

You've heard me mention Andrew, the soon-to-be-kidling, for quite awhile now here at Chez Knitballs. He is the greatly anticipated first child of my friend in Iowa. Well, we are officially on code red here as he is due by c-section on Thursday, January 10th.
That being said, I have commenced the knitting marathon on the christening gown that was requested of me. Quite the honor it is, I gladly accepted the challenge. Those of you on Ravelry have seen a few progress shots, but this is the first I am blogging about it with pictures. I discovered she can't even remember my blog name (dude seriously?) soooo I think we are in the clear with mama lurking before the actual reveal in person. We're in the home stretch and I think the sleeves will be done today. I think I will have the shoulder seams, buttons on, and sleeves in by tonight.
This pattern is an improvisation of the Hugs and Kisses Christening Gown by Judy Lamb. If you know the pattern at all, you can tell I made major modifications to suit my taste and mood. Namely, I don't do heart motifs in my knitting. So along with the 5K marathon run, you'll never see the heart motifs either, unless I am either highly caffeinated and delirious or drugged with uppers. The only shot you have would be the strung out on espresso option. The uppers just aren't part of my knitting gear. :-)
Here's a little close-up of the cables. Originally, I was working on a lace pattern that we had looked at previously, but the yarn is too drapey. So after the frog fest, we started on cables.
My friend chose Plymouth Royal Bamboo in a antique white color because she is allergic to wool. At this point in the game, although I love my friend dearly, I don't think I want to play in the sandbox with this yarn again. EVER. It's so splitty and slippery. You'll have a dropped stitch ladder down in the mere seconds of one espresso sip. Yep. So as you can imagine, I've played repair clinic more times than I can count the amount of espresso I've had while knitting on it.
I guess my monogamy with this project is paying off because I refuse to touch anything else, although very tempting, before this is done. I wanted it knitted by the birth, unless he comes sooner, and well before the christening which will be March. I would say I'm on track unless she has a...............gasp..............10 lb baby. *fans self*
Back to my latte and knitting. I will post the FO picks shortly.
Happy 2008.