Sunday, July 27, 2008

Living Dead Dolls

There are only a few things I spend my money on - I'm cheap with everything else, but with some stuff you just can't restrain yourself. The first is food, specifically chocolate and sushi, second is yarn, and third...LIVING DEAD DOLLS. I love my Living Dead Dolls. Think Madame Alexander gone horribly wrong. CopperScaleDragon kinda got me rolling to take some pics and post them. They came out very fuzzy, but I'll eventually put nicer ones.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

First Fair Isle at Stix

We missed Flynnie, who was feeling very under the weather, when half the ChalkDust Knitters went to Stix and Stitches for a Fair Isle lesson with Sunday. Pepper had already been practicing, so she and my mom took to it pretty quick. K and I, however, two throwers, stumbled a bit, but we both got it (at least I hope I did).

The second part of the lesson will be next Friday. Sunday from Stix is one of the most talented knitters I've ever met. She's really this incredible wealth of knowledge. The pattern is the Nordic Headband by Heidi Nyberg. Ravel it and the PDF is right on there for free, but here's her blog. I'm planning on turning it into a hat; the pattern is very pretty.
I've also done some more work on Griffin's Tomten, adn bought the yarn for his cousin, Sophia's as well.

I took some stash pics too for Ravelry, and took this one of two favorites...

Araucania Pehuen and Philippa Gregory. Are they making Pehuen again? I've seen some of the newer Araucania labels...they all kinda look the same...on pics of Pehuen on Flickr. That's one of my favorite yarns and I would love them to bring it back into production. It's a cotton boucle incase you haven't seen and fell in love with it, and it feels awesome.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

7-23-2005, Aurora's Estate Sale, Tomten for Griffin, and Central Park Hoodie

Tomorrow Mr.G and I will have been married for three years. We were going to go away but between my knee injury and all this stuff going on with Aurora's (my late mother-in-law) estate we were unable. So we'll be bonding in the tri state area tomorrow.

Aurora's estate sale was this past weekend. I would suggest that if anyone reading this every finds themselves in the position to have to sell the belongings of someone you cared for to hire professionals if at all possible. This is also a reminder to myself...may I never forget how emotionally hard this was even with help and not do this on my own ever.

The company we hired is called Dusty Old Bags. It's two women and their husbands who come into the home, research and price things, and then conduct the sale. I just sat in the background. The sale was Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I was there with the help of the DOB ladies and their hubbies as well as Mom and Pepper. This was the more difficult of the two days. Some people came in like beasts, throwing Aurora's things around in order to find what they were looking for. Some people tried (and I'm sure some were successful) pocketing things. Loosing whatever dollar or so we would have made off the stolen items wasn't what bothered me, it was just the thought that something my mother in law had used was stolen from within her own house. Some people were very mean, I assume not knowing or caring that there were family members in the house and criticized my mother in law's taste, spending habits ("What kind of person spends so much money on herself," sort of stuff). She did spend a lot of money on herself. She was a shopaholic. She was not proud of the fact, and told me that she wished she weren't that way. It did not make her a bad person, but the way some of those people spoke...There were two girls in particular. Both had the I've-Plucked-My-Eyebrows-To -Oblivion-&-Now-They'll-Never-Grow-Back disease. Wherever you are, ladies, may this message be carried on the wind to're emotional age needs to catch up to your late twenty something but somehow saggy faces! Get thee to a salon to get thy brows done properly! Three fold, man, that's just what I kept telling myself.

Some people said really nice things, ("This lady had great taste," or "This is someone's home and stuff we're going through, how sad.") Those people were like a breath of fresh air and I hope their actions come back to them as well. Kind words meant so much.

So now her house is almost empty. The basement is still a hell hole. I've found so much, keepsakes, precious documents, but until Sunday I hadn't found very much baby stuff from Mr. Grimm Witch's childhood. Late Sunday night I was tunneling through the ancient grilling utensils, bills from 1987, broken glass, fake flowers, etc and found it. Like some wooden crate out of Indiana Jones, preserved and forgotten, a box of baby shower paraphernalia circa 1974, and three baby books, one for my husband, one for my brother-in-law, and a thin pamphlet dated 1927 for their dad. I also found a heap of slides with cherubie baby images of my b-i-l and husband as well as 8mm films...Disney World, Great Adventure, and all you Jersey kids...there might be pics of Jungle Habitat! I feel a lot better having found that stuff.

So I started this tomten for Griffin - who, by the way, is one of the most beautiful children ever born (aren't they all, though:)

No, I have not finished his ripple blanket, but I'm almost done. It's just the yarn felt so great! The label says Raggi Jarbo Garn. I have to look into this on Ravelry. They had a girlier yet awesomely unbabyish colorway of the same stuff at Stix and I think I'll make his cousin a tomten as well out of that so they can match.

Still working on the Central Park Hoodie.

Moving along.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The pattern I wanted to write.

I was looking at the newly added patterns on ravelry and found the Summer Gold Cardi. The pattern used to make the sweater looks remarkably like the one I was using o try to make my Lace Crop Sweater, but done much better. Wriiten by Arja Viitala, it's so beautiful.

She has other pretty patterns too. This one was only published in Finnish I believe. It may be the same for the others...but it's late and all good witches should be in bed.

Monday, July 14, 2008

ChalkDust Knitters Blog

I've been a bit busy as far as a school teacher's summer goes (I haven't worked during the summer since the summer before I got married so usually it's just sitting around at Mom's house b/s-ing and watching the View or something). With physical therapy for my knee injury, knitting, school, and taking care of loose ends my mother-in-law left behind, I've had a pretty packed summer so far.

The group of women I knit with have met up a few times. It was good because I really missed them. I made a blog for the group to help us schedule meetings, and keep connected. I suppose it may come in handy, if not I'll chuck it, but the free layout looks so darn cute, even with a pinky pink pattern (I may be a hot pink and pitch girl, but you'd never catch me in pepto pink - flashback to Catholic High School - Eek!).

Just over the weekend we went to Stix-n-Stitches one day and plan to go back soon. We went to eat at Raymond's in Montclair as per Stix-n-Stitches' Monica save-the-day suggestion. Thank you! I had been dying for eggs, and they were perfect. When we walked in I realized I'd seen the place's add in Weird NJ.

If you love Jersey and weird stuff you need to get yourself a copy of this magazine. I've been collecting them for about nine years. Weird NJ comes out twice a year, and the web site, while cool, doesn't do the mag justice. This new one, seen here with my new clear, pink ribbon bag from Stix and the beginning of my Central Park Hoodie, is a particularly interesting issue.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The UnWicked Witch of the West of Central Park Hoodie

I casted on yesterday. I forgot how much I love this yarn! And I got this one for half off, although I can't remember where, but I'm going to need more. I want to try to do different cables...I think I figured out how.

I pilfered this from Jess of Fig and Plum who recently posted a February Sweater in the incredible color. I'd started one for a co-worker's grandbaby to be, but the lace was coming out real tight...I was okay with it, but looking at Jess's beautiful one...mine's so lacking detail with the slightly too chunky yarn I'm using...I'm going to frog it! the stolen goods...

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was just graduating high school. It was one of the most refreshing, liberating experiences of my entire life. People say those are your golden years, but I’d never want to go back to that. I feel like every year life gets just a little bit better.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
1. Type up my Freakin’ homework that has been done for two days but putrefying in my notebook.
2. Get more yarn for the Central Park Hoodie
3. Clean the Computer room
4. Finish Griffin’s Ripple Baby Blanket
5. Do laundry

3) Snacks I enjoy:

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire (in no particular order):
Buy a house for myself and Mr. GrimmWitch, one for Mom and Dad, and one for Pepper and my brother-in-law. Adopt like, five or six more animals and get Mr. G a toucan. Set up a scholarship for students of the high school in the town where I teach. Treat my little guys to Six Flags in September. Go to Europe. Pay for a weekend for all the ChalkDust Knitters to got on a yarn crawl through NYC, eating at an awesome restaurant, and see a Broadway show!

5) Places I have lived:
Only my beloved Jersey, and I love it!

6) Jobs I have had (I feel like I'm forgetting some, as long as the list is):
Receptionist for two seconds
Aid for special needs kids in a speech path office
Thomas Kincaid employee
Art Teacher
Language Arts/Social Studies Teacher
Rockin Math Teacher! (ironically the most enjoyable one).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Griffin was born yesterday, July 8th, at around 4:00.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Prototype Crop Sweater, Niyaz, Threadbanger, & A New New Jerseyan

My new Library Media class started today. This morning I was very excited, but I know that when I have a week that is particularly heavy with chores and work and I can't knit or read I will wonder why I got myself into this again. I do want to be a librarian, I just hate homework! I sound like my students, but its true:) And now for the knitting...

I'm not totally in love with this, but I'm happy I made the attempt.

I'm working on the next, hopefully more likeable version of the pattern. Changes...
Cotton to Alpaca (Berroco Ultra Alpaca)
Longer length for body & sleeves
All seed stitch to 1 by 1 rib - it looks much better.
Shawl collar
Lace @ the raglan increases as well (by the armpits:)
We'll see.

While wandering the internet I came across this site I didn't know about. Threadbanger seems to be a site for creative, possibly rock oriented DIY type people. The site boasts a forum where readers share their DIY objects, a blog updated regularly, and video & instructions on how to make a lot of the stuff mentioned on the site. Most of it is sewing, but I'm very interested in that so it was cool. I found this demo turning a band t into a totebag posted by "Zanooka". Very awesome site!

Niyaz's new album, Nine Heaven's is out. The lead singer is Azam Ali, she's this unbelievably gifted musician with an incredible voice. She also does solo work and other music projects.

photo pilfered from

Here's a video of a performance of a song, The Hunt off the last album. friend's doctor advised she head to the hospital and will be induced (is that how you spell that?) within the next 24 hours.
The blue and yellow cotton baby surprise with the duckies was for this baby. I was ofcourse going to be happy for her, but I didn't realize how excited I'd be to meet this little person. She is one of the most amazing people I've ever met, and I love her, so that has something to do with it, but I think I was and still am so interested in her journey through this part of her life because I want it so badly, and I'm just facinated by the whole thing. She's the first close friend of mine that will be a mother, and I hung on her every word when she was discribing how she felt, what she needed to do during her pregnancy. Keep Alyssa and her family in your thoughts, and I want to be the first to say, Welcome to Jersey, Little G!

Friday, July 4, 2008

One of Two on the Fourth

I finished my first sock ever - for Mom, with tons of help from Mom and the Yarn Harlot's book Knitting Rules: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricks

About Me

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Zel, The Grimm Witch
A woman on a number of missions...
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as zelphine, my favorite alias:)

My Favorite FOs

Baby Poncho from
Knit Baby Blankets
Berroco's Vintage

Ribbed Lace Bolero from
10 feet high
in Cotton Ease

Short & Sweet from
The Happy Hooker
in Caron Simply Soft

Wicked Bunny Baby Sweater

Griffin's Cotton
EZ Baby Surprise

Emma's Cotton Tot's
Debbie Bliss Baby Bolero

Griffin's Cotton Tots
Ripple Blanket

Sophia B.'s
EZ Baby Surprise

Yarn Harlot Sox
in Rio de la Plata
for Geek of All Trades

Grumperina Jaywalkers
in Regia
for Lupie

EZ Tomten
in Jarbo Garn

Noro Silk Garden
Top Down Crop Sweater

Green Woman Sweater
out of
Berroco Ultra Alpaca



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