Friday, March 30, 2007

A FO!!!

This one doesn't count for the Bustalong, as I had to go out and buy yarn for my mother's very specific NAVY BLUE yarn requirements. And, I know I said I wouldn't be knitting any more 'on demand' projects... but I guess my mom trumps that rule. Here is the finished and blocked Swallowtail Shawl: Full size (I did 20 repeats of the budding lace pattern instead of 15)

And yes, I even did the nupps!
One final, arsty shot:
Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl from IK Fall 2006

Yarn: Gold from Mondial (20 % cashmere, 80% new wool)

Needles: Size 3

Thoughts: I wanted this to me a more 'substantial' shawl - so I went with Amanda's recommendation and picked a somewhat thicker yarn than called for (I would classify this as sport weight - not lace weight). The pattern was easy to memorize - and the nupps - although a pain with this thicker yarn - weren't as bad as I thought (considering all of blogland was complaining about them!).

It's off in the mail to Mom right now!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A project of a different sort..

Mom's Easter Shawl is blocking, and there really isn't much exciting knitting to show. So - I thought I'd show you something that Aaron is working on. Our porch used to look like this:

Which, you probably think looks rather nice. Besides the fact that the tile floor is cracking, that wallboard is warped and the windows are paper thin.... what I can't convey in the pictures is that the previous owners of this house used to leave their dogs in this porch. ALL DAY. It smells (but of course, only when it's warm, and we bought the house in Feb) very musky. So - our plan is to rip everything out to the studs, put in hardwood floor, and take down the walls in between this porch and the office - making one nice big room.

Here is where Aaron is now:

Down to the studs, the floor is totally exposed, and he is ready for the next step. Exciting, right!? Who needs knitting when you have home demo work to entertain you?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wanna see some swimming?

This weekend was the NE Master's Swimming Championships.... and I competed! I didn't take home any medals (think I would need to show up a bit more at swim practice to do that), but I did have fun. Instead of knitting pictures, I'll let you see some of me swimming!

At a backstroke flip turn:

Breaststroke in the 200 IM:

A neck in neck race (I actually won this one! But only the heat, I came in 14th overall in my age group):
People watching from the deck:

All in all, a really fun weekend. I do wish I had gotten my act together and worked out a bit more before this meet - as I know I could have done MUCH better. But it was fun to see 'grown-up' in a swim meet - and having a blast! One guy there was 90 years old and still competing. It was amazing.

I did knit on Mom's Easter shawl, but didn't finish yet. I was too wrapped up in watching the meet and chatting with everyone there. I will admit - I don't remember being so wiped out after a three day meet when I was in college.... I guess 10 years and more than a few extra pounds does make a bit of a difference, huh?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Things I like....

Lots of progress has been made on Mom's Easter Shawl.... but nothing that can be seen in a picture. I'm sure it'll be finished by this weekend - I'm competing in a swim meet - which means hours and hours and hours of waiting for (at most) 6 minutes in a row of swimming. *sigh*

But, I've seen this list floating around blogland, and thought it would be a good time to list out things that I like:

- The sound of rain on the roof
- The smell of baking bread
- Watching movies in the movie theater
- Knitting (der)
- Swimming in a lake
- Ice cream
- Babies
- Fresh Paint
- Spending time with friends
- Watching Ice Hockey (live, not on TV)
- Going for walks when it just finishes snowing
- Sleeping in
- Eating dinner outside in the summer (only happens when the bugs aren't around, which is, um, NEVER)
- Speaking of summer, fresh corn and tomatoes from the garden
- Cowboy boots
- Good, strong coffee
- White buttondown shirts
- Sleeping next to Aaron
- The way dogs greet you when you come home
- Pencils
- Mexican Food and Margarita's
- NPR's Wait Wait Don't tell me
- Hot Tubs
- Massages
- Cooking with Aaron
- Going out for 'high tea'
- Daisies
- Goldfish
- Porch swings
- Kites
- Waterfalls
- Aquariums
- Things with flame designs on it
- Purple
- Sangria
- Bikram Yoga
- Handwritten notes in the mail
- Yarn
- Belly Laughs
- Motorcycles
- Mermaids
- Glow in the dark stars on ceilings
- Sleeping with the windows open

Obviously, I like other things... but this was a fun list to make!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Short on Words, but I have pictures!

You guys are so great! Thanks for all the nice comments on Marmalade. After wearing it for 3 days straight, I have decided that the color DOES look good on me. But - strangely enough - no one commented on it (except you guys and Aaron, of course). When I finally said something at work - they said YOU MADE THAT!?!? Ha. Why yes, yes I did.

I've been doing other things besides wearing my new sweater....

I put the lining in my Entralac Bag:

I bought that fabric over 2 years ago - when it first came out (it's a Kaffe Fassett). I could never decide what to use it on, as I like it so much. I think this is perfect.

Next, my mom caught me at a weak moment. I had just finished my Marmalade, and was having problems getting gauge on a baby sweater I was knitting. She asked if I could make her a navy blue shawl for Easter. I said yes, figuring I could make another Shetland Triangle - but then changed my mind - I'm making her a Swallowtail shawl:

I didn't have the yarn in stash (although I do admit to trying to sell her on a grey shawl - to which she answered YUCK). But this falls clearly in the Bustalong rules. I hope to have it done this weekend so I can get it blocked and sent to her.

And finally, Dulaan item #5:

This the the Asymmetrical Cable hat from One Skein. I love the cables, hate the construction. It call for you to knit a tube, sew up the top, and then sew to corners together to make the peak on top. I think that is weird. But hey, it's for charity, right!?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I have conqured the UFO Mountian

Started in Dec 2005. Over 15 hours worth of work ripped out. 3 rounds of attached i-cord edging. It is done.

And it fits! It still needs buttons - but I'm wearing it today anyway. I do see it being a nice spring jacket also:

And the back:


Pattern: Marmalade jacket from Shelridge Farms

Needles: Size 2 and 3 Turbo Addies

Started - Dec 29th 2005. Finished March 17!!!!

Thoughts: First - this was a kit. I bought it because I just love the colors that they put together - I would have never used this mix of colors if I hadn't bought the kit! (mostly because they aren't 'my' colors, which is a fear for the actual wearablity now that it is done, but we'll ignore that for now) The yarn is a very nice, superwash, worsted weight - soft and pretty colors. I would definitely use the yarn again!

The pattern, though well written, was hard for me to follow. Obviously some of the issue was picking it up again after putting it down for months... but it was a 8 page long pattern, and was different than anything else I've done. I would get cruising along with the color changes (the slip stitch patterning was really fun), and then forget to do shaping, and then need to rip back. More than once. I thought that the 3 sets of attached i-cord for the edging was a bit much... but it really seems to tie the whole thing together. Plus - it gives a nice, sturdy button band. I may even get some glass buttons to finish this off! I'll go to the yarn store tomorrow.

Would I knit it again? No. Am I nervous that it's not the right color for me? Yes. Do I love the finished product? Yes! And, I will admit, that even with all the trials and tribulations, I started to slow down towards the end. I've been knitting on this for so long - it seems weird for it to end, you know what I mean?

I won't be posting for a few days - I want everyone to have ample time to tell me how wonderful this sweater is... and I even expect some of you lurkers to comment!

ETA - Thanks for all the comments! I'm wearing it to work today - and thought of a great way to keep it closed - not the perfect color - but good for now!

Friday, March 16, 2007

I see the light!

After starting this thing over a year ago, ripping out significant amounts of work 4 times, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

I'm on the last row of attached i-cord edging. I thought it was a bit crazy, but now I'm thinking it looks nice. I'm in a little bit of shock that I am so close to finishing.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Random Thursday

No pictures today, dear friends - but perhaps tomorrow I will show you just how close I am to finishing Marmalade. There are about eleventy bazillion ends to weave in, plus 3 (count them 3!), i-cord edgings. I'm just finished with 2. And have about 50% of the ends woven in. I'm thinking that this weekend we may get a fashion show.

Random thoughts for today:

1. It was 75 degrees yesterday. Tomorrow, there will be 6 inches of snow on the ground. Gotta love New England.

2. But - this mean that spring is coming... and this year I bought seeds that I want to plant inside ahead of time. Any thoughts on when I can start those? Is this weekend too soon?

3. I need more socks. Thankfully I'm almost done with the second Bird Of Paradise sock. I think my next one to go on the needles is Hippy Crunchy from the STR SOTM.

4. Still standing firm on the Yarn Diet. Although I will admit to signing up for 3 more months of the Sundara SOTM club - somehow Amanda and I justified it. We justified the yarn we are getting from socks clubs we joined before the Bustalong, claiming that we didn't actually BUY the yarn in the 3 month time period... and we've somehow convinced ourselves that paying for the new sock club is OK, since the yarn won't be delivered until after the official end of the Bustalong. That all makes sense, right?

OK - gotta get some work done... exciting Marmalade pictures soon!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The 2 Week Wait Hat

As I've mentioned before, Aaron and I have been working on having a baby for about 2 years. And in the meantime, I've been knitting for this future baby. I would like to present to you all, my 'Two Week Wait' baby hat:

This is the most ridiculous pattern for a baby that I have ever seen. Also ridiculously cute, but I think the actual hat (sized for a newborn) took me 2 hours to knit. The embellishments? Over 20 hours, I swear to god. There are 3 little curly things on the top, over 80 inches of i-cord, which I then had to attach, and all the little French Knot dots!

Why do I call it the Two Week Wait hat? That is what people who are going through fertility treatments (or people just trying to conceive) call the time between when you could be pregnant, and when you actually test. I was knitting this hat and hoping the positive karma of such a cute baby item would somehow help us get pregnant this month. On Friday, I was sorely temped to put a picture of this hat on the blog with a picture of my negative pregnancy test. Amanda talked me down from doing that, good friend that she is. But seriously, would any 'normal' woman knit something that took this long for a baby that will outgrown it in weeks?

When I went to put the hat away, I snapped a picture of the sweet little stash of handknitted goodies that await our future baby:

3 sweaters, 3 pairs of booties, 3 pairs of baby socks, and 2 hats. Maybe I should start another hat, so it's all even!?

Sigh. I know we'll have our turn someday, but I get discouraged sometimes. As the Indigo Girls say: "You have to laugh at yourself, because you'd cry your eyes out if you didn't".

Sunday, March 11, 2007


The last few weeks have been rough for me. No need to go into details, because I have found the perfect solution to soothing the worn out soul. A weekend at the cabin with some wonderful girlfriends!

I admit that knitting is my first love, but when my mind is swirling, it's quilting that is calming. I need to concentrate much harder on quilting projects than I do when knitting - so it's all I can think about. All the other crap gets pushed off to the back of my thoughts... and by the end of the weekend.... they were totally gone!

This is what I turned that pile of fabric into:

Perfect, no? This was certainly not an easy quilt - but not as hard as I expected. I still have to put on a border, but I was pretty happy with it - and Mom also. Of course, this is yet another quilt for her. I think it was good for her to watch and see just what goes into making a quilt - as she currently has 4 that I have made her (this will be her 5th!)

I also decreased my stash and bit, and put together some fleece blankets for Dulaan:
That gets me to 3 out of the promised 5 items I'm making. Although I'm pretty sure I'll do more.

Finally - a picture of my cat with the sewing machine. My mother couldn't bare to part with Gus when I moved out- so he lives with her now (plus, Aaron is allergic). He was completely fascinated with the sewing machines!
It was hard to get him to leave the thread alone when we were trying to work - silly cat.

I barely knit at all this weekend. I'm going to go sit with Aaron and watch some saved episodes of 24. I'm just so thankful that I have a wonderful circle of friends. They really make life better!

Thursday, March 08, 2007


I acknowledge that I have been a bad blogger of late. I've just been bogged down at work, and honestly, my knitting just isn't all that exciting. A second sock, the final piece of Marmalade.... BORING!

But, this weekend, I'm going away for a 'girls only' weekend! 2 of my good friends, plus my mom, will be up in the Berkshires at my families' cabin. We are planning on eating good food, drinking, and quilting all weekend! I don't have a quilting project currently, so I went to the store last night and got some fabric:

I'm planning on making a 'Lone Star' type quilt. The red on the bottom is actually from my stash (just a little over a yard) so technically, this is a little bit of stashbusting (although I then needed to buy over 8 yards more fabric for the quilt... so does that work? I'm not sure).

I was digging through one of my drawers at work, and found one little baby sock that I started last summer. Again, in the spirit of the Bustalong, I finished up the second one:
The pattern is 'Heel and Toe Socks' from 50 Baby Booties to Knit. The yarn is leftover Schaffer Anne (I think?) that Amanda gave me a long while back. I think I like the other baby sock pattern I found better - but can't deny these are cute!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Friends Again

Well, I just kept knitting, and was able to finish the right front of Marmalade. There is just so much going on, you really can't tell that a color is off.

Now, I just need to make the same mistake twice!

I also finished my first Bird of Paradise sock:

I love these! I also got my STR SOTM kit on Friday, but since Amanda didn't get hers yet, I will wait to show it off until she does.

Ok - off to work.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mistakes have been made.

OK. I need some opinions here. I have made YET another mistake on Marmalade. But this is just a color issue, versus the other THREE mistakes that absolutely needed to be ripped out. Those were mistakes with the shaping of the garment. This, is a color change mistake.

Here is the correct way it's supposed to go (this is the completed back of the sweater). Notice the Mango stripe, in between the Green Apple and Cornsilk stripe, 4th stripe down from the top:

Now, here is the right front. If you can see (first finished stripe from the top), I reversed the small block color and large block color (it's supposed to be small block pink lemonade, large block lemon lime.)

This is the first front. I am thinking that if I just make the same 'mistake' twice, it'll look fine.

Opinions? Note that I'll need to rip out about 3 hours of knitting to fix it.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Pictures! And new stuff!

I have decided that I will put down Marmalade until this weekend, at which point, we will make friends again. In the meantime - I've been working on other smaller projects. I'll show them to you in order of smallness....

First, the Baby Boy Parfait Hat:

Can you stand how cute this thing is? This is another kit that I got years ago - I can't even remember when... but I know I won it at a retreat raffle. Thank god it is small - otherwise I'd go batty making all that i-cord to embellish it. I will admit to being tempted to go out and buy an i-cord maker, but decided against it...

Next up, we got our Sundra yarn sock of the month! Amanda called me at work to tell me it was in her mailbox - so I was excited to get home and see it. When I pulled it out of the box and unwrapped it, I took a deep breath - it is exactly what I needed. On the skein you could see it better - but I just didn't think to take a picture. Beautiful, vibrant colors to chase away the winter blues! Sundra calls it Bird of Paradise:

This is a simple slip stitch ribbing pattern - which right now is the perfect kind of sock knitting for me.

And the other thing I've been working on is the Figure 8 shawl. I'm about at the half way point with this first of two lace panels. I've got the pattern memorized, but it's so going - almost 400 stitches on each row.

I'm getting nervous that this shawl will make me think of mustard and ketchup every time I wear it! But then, I realize that once blocked, will look completely different - and I knit on.

So - there you go - some new and exciting pictures. This week is dragging by SO SLOWLY... I really can't wait for the weekend. Only 2 more days!