Saturday, September 30, 2006

A not so painful death

Yesterday, my Sock's of Doom came in the mail. I must admit to being a bit relieved this is over so quickly! I sent off my almost finished pair to my assassin.... but look how great my new socks fit!

They are a perfect fit, and the yarn is (Debbie Bliss Merino dk) is soft and wonderful.

As I think all of us warriors now realize... Doesn't matter how fast you knit, it's how fast your assassin knits. Catseye is a noble warrior, and I hope she has a long sock life.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Not for me knitting

Well, seems like all I've been knitting this week (edited to delete the 'end' I had on the week. I guess TGIF is in order) is stuff for others! Which is fun!

First, the progress on the Socks of Doom.

I may actually get one 'kill' under my belt before my socks arrive.

And then, my dishcloth. I am so excited by how much fun this was to make, I'm going to post it even though my match knows where to look for her dishcloth. I used photoshop to at least keep the color a surprise:

I LOVED knitting this! I see many more of this pattern in my future.

10 Knitterly things you don't know about me

I don't have any real exciting progress to show... I finish one of the Socks of Doom, and am halfway down the leg of the second. Life continues to interfere with my speedy knitting on these. And today, I'm taking a mini-break from knitting them so I can finish up my Dishcloth for the dishcloth shuffle.

So, I figured I'd entertain you with Gumperina's meme:

1. The first 'real' thing I ever knit was a sweater. I had knit numerous scarves for my cabbage patch doll, but no real 'person' sized scarves or mittens or hats. Nope. I went straight to a sweater.
2. I knit that sweater in the summer, while I was living in my families cabin, working as a lifeguard. I remember going to K-Mart to pick out the yarn... I think the total cost for the whole sweater was $20. I would knit all week, and when my mom got there on the weekends, she would check it out, and make sure I hadn't made an major mistakes.
3. About two weeks before my high school sweetheart broke up with me, I had knit him a pair of mittens. Very cool mittens, may I add - with blue and black stripes. I hadn't heard of the 'sweater curse'.
4. The 3rd sweater I knit was for my then boyfriend, Aaron. I still didn't know about the sweater curse. But for us - guess it wasn't true!!! I've knit him 2 more sweater since. He doesn't wear any of them (hence, my new rule of hat only knitting for Aaron).
5. I hate knitting with colorwork. Love cables. Love any kind of textured knitting.... but hate colorwork. And once knit up, doubt I would ever wear a fairisle.
6. One exception to this rule is slipstitch. LOVE patterns with slipstitch colorwork - I just think it is cool.
7. I seem to have some sort of disfunction when it comes to knitting hats. It takes me at least 4 tries, if not more, to get the proper gauge when knitting a hat. This problem is the reason that only just this year have I been able to knit a hat for Aaron that actually fits right.
8. When I buy new yarn, I am more likely to knit with it if I use it right away. Once a skein of yarn goes into my yarn room, it then becomes precious.... and it'll take a lot for me to finally use it.
9. For that same reason, it is a matter of great pain for me to gift yarn. If I have given you yarn, and it wasn't for a swap, I must really love you.
10. I don't think that their has been a day in the past 5 years that I haven't knit a stitch. Maybe on the day I got married.... but that is about it.

Tomorrow, some knitting pictures.... I promise!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sock of Doom Progress

Life is totally getting in the way for my Sock Wars sock.... I was away all weekend, and today, didn't get home from work until 9 PM! But - I did make some progress:

I'm using the yarn that Annie sent me over a year ago.... if you can believe it, that is the only DK weight yarn in my stash! Loads of fingering, lace, aran and worsted - but no DK!!!

Even though I know my survival in the war will be short lived, I feel I must at least make a decent effort. Hopefully I can knock off my target before I am assassinated!

I will be taking a break from knitting this to whip up my Dishcloth Shuffle stuff.... but for now - may the sock force be with you!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Dead Already

While I was away this weekend, the Sock Wars began. I don't know if I mentioned that I had signed up, but I did. I got the pattern, and my intended 'victim'... and decided I would start knitting tonight.

Yep. Big mistake. My assassin's socks are already in the mail. No matter what, I'm dying soon - but they are coming all of the way from England, so maybe I can make some decent progress between now and then...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Better Owl Pictures

Well - on Friday, my owl buttons came in the mail! I sewed them onto the sweater right away... and I fortunately had my little 4 month old nephew visiting for a modeled sweater shot:

Yeah. He is really that cute. Here is a better shot of the buttons:

And then a fuzzy close up:

I can't decide if they are perfect, or if I've overdone the owl thing.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Random and WTF Friday

First! Thanks for all the great birthday wishes! It was an all around great birthday.

Now, I have some random things to talk about, but I'll do the WTF first. Right now, my house is over-run with inlaws. One of Aaron's cousins is getting married this weekend, and all the out-of-towners have descended on my house (and our Aunt's, which is only 3 miles away). My mother-in-law has invited 15 people to MY HOUSE for dinner. She wants to serve leg of lamb. The only place that I could think of to order it from is Blood Farm. My mother-in-law is Jewish by birth, but celebrates Christmas and Easter. I'm working today. And so is Aaron. But she refuses to go get the leg of lamb that SHE requested because Blood Farm slaughters pigs. You know, because she is Jewish. WTF!?!? So, somehow, I'm supposed to get over to this freaking farm, and pick up the meat for the dinner party that she has planned at MY house.

Honestly, WTF.

Ok - onto the Random bits, some knitting, some not.

1. I finished the front on Klaralund (or the back. whatever)
2. Chicago was a good trip. Lessons learned. Wine + tequila + beer + cheesecake = bad idea.
3. I sold my motorcycle. I'm dropping it off tomorrow. I'm a bit freaked out about it, but at the same time, know it's the right thing to do. It's almost the end of the season, we need the money for other things (read: fertility treatments) and I'm just not riding it that much. The good news is that it's going to another girl! I'm feeling good that it's going to a good, female home, at least.
4. My lace swap pal sent me ANOTHER surprise. Dark chocolate. From Harbor Sweets. I would take a picture, but they are in a safe hiding place that I don't want my MIL to know about.
5. I got the freaking CUTEST buttons for the Owl Sweater. When I get them, I'll show you guys. Green! Owls!
6. My friend Amanda got her new website up and running - got check it out.

Monday, September 18, 2006

They say it's my birthday....

And Happy Birthday to me!!!

Tee hee. I love my birthday, and this year is no different. I've have lots of fun this weekend - starting with Friday night, and my pals over for dinner (a few were missing, but I'll survive). I got some fun yarny presents:

Blue Heron yarn from Amanda. I can't even explain how wonderful this yarn is - it is soft and sparkling.... she also bought a skein for herself, so we are going to do some sort of 'along' when we decide on a pattern.

Susan gave me the most wonderful Hanna Falkenberg kit! It's for Lascala:

The colors are bright and wonderful. It's all garter stitch and slip stitch...and it's just perfect.

Saturday, my mom was visiting. So we went out to breakfast, and then watched Aaron's soccer team OBLITERATE their main rivals. 4 - 0. It was awesome. Then, mom and I had a nice afternoon tea at the Tea Pot Tea room. After that, we came home and spent the rest of the weekend working on the house (cleaning rugs, organizing closets, cleaning my desk) - it was worth it because....

This morning Aaron gave me my present - an entire spa day! I'm starting off my day at 10 AM, using the jacuzzi tub and sauna. I then move onto a 'deluxe' facial, lunch, a 'deluxe' massage, and finally an herbal wrap. He told me not to make plans for today - but I was thinking it was because he was taking the day off with me. Now, not that I don't love spending time with my husband, but seriously, Yipppeeeee!!!

I'm off to Chicago for work tomorrow and Weds....see you guys in a few days.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Circle of friends (and family) Quilt


Over a year ago, my knitting pals went on a trip to Keepsake Quilting. They decided to go on a weekend when I was trapped at work, and as a little 'we are sorry your job sucks' present, got me a grab bag of very colorful scrap fabrics.

I was able to make a pretty awesome quilt out of just those scraps. The only thing I need to add was the black and white fabric, and the fabric I used as the binding.

And another view:

A close up of the handquilting that my Grandmother did!

Then, I was having so much fun making this, I even pieced the back:

And one parting shot:

Maybe the reason I'm not pregnant yet is that all the babies up in heaven are fighting for who gets to come down and get all the cute baby stuff?! LOL. Hope you are all having a fun weekend, I know I am.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Too funny.

So. I have started taking spin classes 2 times a week. I used to go to spinning classes everyday way back when (like 5 years ago), and I remember now why I got so addicted to them. I love biking, but the loud music and fun atmosphere makes it a great way to exercise. Anyway. These classes are at 5:45 in the morning on Tuesday and Friday. I usually blog in the morning before work. I don't think I need to tell you guys that as much as I love the blog, I'm not getting up before 5 AM to do this!

I did finish the Owl Sweater yesterday.... but neglected to take pictures. Aaron is working from home today, so I asked if he could take a couple shots for me, and I think these will make you guys laugh. First, the full sweater:

Like his cropping? Too funny. And then, I asked for close-ups on the owls:
And closer:

Project Details:
Pattern: Baby Owl, by Penny Straker
Yarn: Elann Sonata, cotton yarn, discontinued color
Needles: Size 1
Started July 31st, Finished Sept 14th

My quilting friends turned me on to this pattern, and the way the owls are constructed are just too cool to pass up. Aaron is a bit nervous that our future baby is going to be totally clothed in knitwear featuring animals. Well, they are cute, and that is what matters.

I made one major mistake on this, on the front, you start with 50 stitches on each side, and are supposed to decrease to 45 after the ribbing. I forgot that part, and didn't notice until I started the SECOND front... so the front is about 2 inches bigger than the back. I was all stressed out about it when I noticed, and then decided - it's for a baby! It's FINE. And I left it as is. Once it's on a wiggly baby, you'll never notice.

I haven't knit with cotton in a while, and I really wouldn't recommend doing this pattern in cotton. The gauge on this sweater is pretty small (I was getting 6 sts to the inch, but I think it may have even called for more sts to the inch, I don't have the pattern in front of me) so the cabling with the cotton and the tight gauge was rough. I do like the finished product...although I had a little button crisis. You can see that you need to use tiny tiny buttons to make the eyes for the owls. I thought I have gotten matching larger buttons for the closures... but nope. The color is totally off - more of an olive green.

So I'll need to go do some button searching. The good thing is that I'm volunteering at the Boston Knit Out on the weekend of the 23rd - I'm hoping Windsor Button is open on Sunday (nope, they aren't. Just checked. Heavy Sigh) so I can get these buttons and buttons for the other little baby sweater I've made this summer.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ridiculously close...

I've been knitting off and on with this Owl Baby sweater for a while. Yesterday, I decided it was time to just FINISH the thing! I finished all of the pieces, and am one row from binding off the collar. I just couldn't stay up any later last night!

There also is a bunch of finishing to do - I need to put tiny buttons for the owl's eyes, along with the normal buttons for the sweater.

Hopefully, I'll have an FO Friday!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Klaralund progress

I've mostly been working on Klaralund (with a few sewing projects thrown in for good measure, but those aren't ready to show yet). I am very secure about my decision on the sleeve width and length.... so that is what I started with:

I'm still wavering on the amount of ease for the body. Especially with the work I'm doing on dieting. I think I will go with 3 inches, but I still have a bit of time to decide. I have almost read all of the Klaralund along posts on the yahoo group - and it seems that most people were happy with between 2 - 4 inches of ease, and others had even more, and loved the baggy feel. So, still deciding!

While I was taking this picture outside, I turned around, and Abby was just staring at me. I figured she was posing for a blog picture!

Mom. Give me a treat.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fuzzy Cuteness

Lookie what I made this weekend!

Super cute baby booties from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. Not only are they cute, but a VERY quick knit - I made this pair in just about an hour.

We had a fun weekend - getting some little projects done around the house, going out to dinner, watching Aaron's soccer team's game, helping some friends do work on their house... a great weekend all around.

I guess I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow. Maybe. ; )

**Edited to add** Annie points out that the hands holding the booties are 'working hands'. That is just what I was going for in the picture. Sweet little angora booties, held by Aaron... whose hands having been working on a brick walkway, painting rooms and furniture, and helping install flooring all weekend! My hands are also covered in paint, but not big enough to fit two booties!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Some pictures... and proof that I am weak.

I had a little photo shoot last night with my rollneck sweater. Here it is (with a little help from the dogs!)

And this one is a bit blurry, but you can see how comfortably it fits:

If you remember back, I decided that I needed a sweater like this after making the baby version for a friend. Here are the details:

Pattern: Knitting Pure and Simple, Neckdown Pullover for Woman #9724
Yarn: Bartlett Yarns, in Mountain Blue (discontinued color)
Needles: Size 7 and 5
Comments: The pattern was awesome. I would even knit ANOTHER of these. I actually may have to, if after washing the sweater, the yarn doesn't soften up. The yarn, as I stated before is very 'rustic' and I found at LEAST one knot in every skein. In one, there were 4! I don't know if this is because it's the last batch made of this color, and they wanted to stretch it, but that was very frustrating. To make matters worse, the yarn still has a significant amount of spinning oil on it, so when I would hit a knot, I could just spit splice - but it tasted NASTY. So I had a little glass of water sitting next to me at all times while knitting. I'll report back after washing to let you know how it softens up, but now, you couldn't wear this sweater without a turtleneck, it's that rough.

I do have high hopes for it's appearance after washing - because I have a friend how uses this yarn often. I will say that for a XL woman's sized sweater, I was able to get this yarn for under $60.... which does make some of the troubles worth it.

In other news, I'm weak. I sat down yesterday, and figured out how long it takes me to do a row of the Figure 8 shawl (15 minutes) and how many rows I have left (lots) and learned that I have almost 40 hours of knitting to go. So, I've decided that I'm going to need to split that up between now and Rhinebeck! If I promise to knit 7 hours a week on the Figure 8 shawl, I decided it was ok to start playing with the yarn I got myself for my birthday. And knitting for 7 hours a week should be easy, as I'm traveling for work a bunch in the next month or so.

Therefore, I have started Klaralund! I've gotten a lot of great advice, but decided to start with a swatch *cough* sleeve - and got gauge with the first try... so I'm knitting on:

Notice that these colors are not my normal BRIGHT picks. I grudgingly admit that I wear the brown camel sweater more than anything else I have knit. So - if I'm going to spend mucho dinaro on yarn (I got 2 bags of Noro Silk Garden to be sure I'd have enough with my modifications) I'm going to be a bit more sedate. And there are splashes of color in this... which you'll see as the knitting progress!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

An FO!

But no picture. I'll have a modeling 'session' when Aaron get home from work tonight so I can show you guys - but I finished the rollneck sweater! I love how it fits - like a nice big sweatshirt.

I was feeling like I was getting nowhere with the Figure 8 shawl... I'm on the side panels, and each row is 432 stitches. Ouch! So, I finished up the sleeves on the rollneck sweater to have a sense of accomplishment. But I do want the shawl done for Rhinebeck (there is my Rhinebeck project, Ruth!), so I'll get back to work on it today.

I have a question for you all. When I was at Webs, I bought some Noro Silk Garden for a Klaralund. I was convinced that I would be able to figure out how to upsize it for me. I think I'd like to get it to 50' across... has anyone upsized that pattern? And is 2 inches of ease correct? It seems like it's just 4 rectangles that you sew together, but I'm nervous about where the body gets joined to the sleeves. The picture in the book is not giving any help - the model is sans boobs, and I got plenty! Where should the seam from joining the sleeves to the body hit? Any help would be awesome.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Going over to the dark side?

So. I was over at my Aunt's house on Sunday, and she asked me if I would like her grandmother's spinning wheel. Um. Let me think about that.


I've often thought of trying out spinning, but the cost of my own wheel was a little to much allow me to consider yet ANOTHER hobby. But - now I have an opportunity to learn something new, with something that my great-Grandmother (Della) used to spin her own yarn.

I've taken a few pictures - hoping that you spinny folks out there can tell me if this is even usable. This is a side view - my Uncle says there is a metal piece that attaches the wheel to the treadle to make it spin: Top looking down:
Close up of other side:
Far view of other side:
Random extra bits:

I'd really love it if some of you experienced spinners - Cate? Carole? Could take a look and tell me what they see. Is this even worth getting excited about? I am going to Rhinebeck, and Cate mentioned that there was someone that will refurbish wheels there.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Reporting back!

Well, I've just returned from my long weekend. And since Aaron really wants to go to the movies, I'll put this into bullet point form (with a few pictures).

  • Had a fun lunch with Cate. No pictures. Der. But great to spend some time with her catching up!
  • Did a LOT of shopping. Got yarn at Webs, a new book at Northampton Wools that finally allowed me to make Aaron the perfect hat (! I've only been trying to do that for 5 years!), MORE yarn at Colorful stitches, fun fabric from Valley Fabrics... and assorted clothes from the Lee Outlet Shops. What? It's my birthday in a few weeks. I needed it ALL. I swear.
  • We had lunch at the Red Lion Inn:
  • We went to the Mount. What a cool place. I protested at first ($16 a person!!!), but the history of Edith Wharton is pretty interesting, and the gardens were gorgeous. Here I am showing the progress on Aaron's hat:
  • Aaron arrived on Saturday, and tried on the hat. It fits, isn't to big, isn't too small.... in fact it's JUST right.

I'll give more details on everything later - but I would recommend the new book from Northampton Wools - they have a bunch of great patterns in there!