Finally Some Stripey Sock Goodness

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Yesterday I took some pictures on my lunch break and here I am posting them on the tail end of my lunch break. Good use of my time I say. Last night I knit more on one of the socks and today decided I might frog a good 4-5 inches. That is not a good use of time but it's my own fault for not planning better. Anyway, on to the pictures first!

Ta-da! Look at those beautiful stripey socks. Admire that beautiful, bright, awesome yarn Marisa sent me. I love it! Maybe you can see why this yarn just begged to be made into knee-highs rather than just calf jumpers.

Take a look at this pic and see if you can spot the surprise...

Oh my gosh it's true: they match! I could hardly believe it myself until I actually saw the photographic evidence. There is a slight difference in the bright color stripes height - they look wider on the short sock - but from toe to heel they still match so I'm really excited. And it wasn't even that hard! I did have to sacrifice a few stripes from one ball of yarn but I think it was worth it.

Now, back to the frogging. Well, the socks just seemed so stretchy, and my legs are so damn skinny, I thought I might be able to get away with none (or very few) increases for the calf. But they're stretching so much to fit that it kind of looks funny. You know, like the sock is just about ready to burst at it's seams (if it had seams, that is).

So I used the handy-dandy Sock Calculator to find out what I probably should have done instead. I don't know about that calculator though... if I had as many stitches around as they called for with my gauge, this sock would be slipping off... Anyway, I then converted the increases and decreases in that pattern (top down) into decreases and increases for my pattern (toe-up) to see what (if any, please don't let there be any!) changes I would have to make. Yep, there's changes. I didn't have the heart to rippit on my lunch break so it will probably happen tonight. It's okay, I guess. I mean, I still hadn't gotten to the fabric store to buy some cotton covered elastic for the tops anyway. More math forthcoming tonight. Cross your fingers that the increases won't eat up too much yarn. I want real knee-highs here.

Movie Day II

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Actually, I can't believe I'm posting again without pictures of the socks. How can I keep doing this?? Well, someone else had the digital camera from work this weekend, so I was camera-less. But I did get a lot done on the socks! I promise to show you soon. Meanwhile, let me distract you with this fuzzy camera phone (my sisters) pic of my grandma and her new shawl:

Now, doesn't she just look like the happiest 97-year-old you've ever seen? She was practically bursting with happiness and awe that someone would make her something so beautiful and intricate. I kept telling her the pattern was actually quite simple but she just wouldn't hear it, she's in love. So much in love, in fact, that she rushed (as fast as any 97-year-old woman can rush) to her dresser drawer where she had put the other shawl I made her. You know, the one that was "just too small" that she "really liked, but it's just too small". She rushed to the dresser to get it and practically shoved it into my hands to take home. It was hilarious and fun and just the best Christmas present I gave to anyone this year. The best response in the world.

The other gifts were well-received but man, oh man, my grandma was so cute.

Now I must work because this afternoon my office is going to a movie. Either Rumor Has It, which I don't care to see at all for numerous reasons, or The Family Stone, which I do want to see because I love Luke Wilson and think it looks pretty good. Speaking of the office... I finished watching the British version of the series The Office last night as a cap-off to a wonderful movie day. Kurt and I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Secret of NIMH before he left for his grandma's house - and ate popcorn and candy and had a grand ol' time. Then he left. And then I cried. It's been much too long since he's spent this many days away from home all at once and I'm just not very happy about it (since the only real reason he's going is because I can't afford the outrageous cost his daycare charges for holiday days off.) BUT, The Office was just spectacular and hilarious and exactly my kind of TV. So much so that I have no desire whatsoever to watch the American version, which I've heard is quite less than par when compared to this one.

Anyway, like I said: gotta work. Hope all your holidays were splendid!

Christmas knitting and holiday cheer

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Listening to: Magnolia Electric Co. - I Can Not Have Seen the Light

I was finally able to take pictures of my Christmas knitting today... in a short snacking session in my supervisor's office. She makes the best chip dip ever.

Not too much has been going on at the Red house (I can't believe I just said that... but I'm beginning to understand why people do, so there it is. Internet anonymonity it is.) I finished my Christmas knitting last week. I had fun little day dreams that I would end up bringing the pink socks to Christmas Eve and finish knitting them there, thus surprising the SIL with them, but alas, they're completed. Now I just have to wrap them all up and get them ready to go.

I've also stumbled upon Blogger's picture inserting thing today when trying to figure out how to make a thumbnail-type pic in here. I guess I'm so used to using photobucket for uploading pics that I hadn't realized Blogger can do it for me. So I'll be posting one picture how I normally do and another with Blogger.

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SIL's cable socks (I also never thought I would use the acronym SIL, this is a day of firsts people.)
Needles: Katie Size 1's... since I've realized my gauge with these puppies is waaay different than my gauge with "real" wood needles. I made these.
Pattern: None, really. Wendy's generic toe-up with added cables.

These socks are so awesome. If they weren't bright pink, I'd be very, very tempted to keep them at home with me.

And the blogger pic. This is my stack of Christmas knitting. I really hope you can click it for a zoomed in version. I was amazed at my photography skills here for the clarity I got of the stitches. Never have I seen such beauty. Ahem, just kidding. But it does look much better big. And you can actually see the cables on this one.

As for current knitting, here are the WIPs of the day:

For me! This is with the awesome self-striping yarn Marisa sent me and the awesome US 2 bamboo needles she included. Knitting socks goes so much faster with these slick needles! I really will get a picture soon. And I have a surprise about these socks when I do, an accomplishment of sorts.

Fingerless gloves with mitten flaps.
I've had this pattern since before I learned to knit. See, I'm a little over-confident sometimes and I had thought that once I learned the knit and purl stitches I could figure out how to make these gloves. Well, that didn't happen. But here I am, a little over one year later, making them! I started them when my grandpa first went into the hospital, started wearing them (sans flaps) yesterday, and now have one flap done. They're sort of a interim pair until I get some yarn and decide what I really want for a matching set of winter gear. More on this in another post.

So that's it. I'm not too thrilled about Christmas but I am glad I'm almost completely ready for it. I can't wait for it all to be over and 2006 to start. The calm of January will be my saving grace, I think. Not sure when I'll get to post again but I hope you all have happy holidays for whatever holidays you celebrate. Today I'm celebrating the Solstice. :)

*edit* Blogger is the best! I'm posting my pictures through Blogger from now on!

Narnia, Knitting and Hospitals... and Cats

Monday, December 12, 2005

The movie was fantastic! Kurt and my friend Susie thought it was the best movie they'd ever seen. I am unable to say that due to my nit-picky annoyance with inconsistancies but it really was great anyway! I don't want to spoil it for anyone though so I'll keep my grudges to myself unless someone really wants to hear them. I will say the wardrobe scenes were perfect! No weird shining, they literally stumble through just like in the book.

The pink socks are over half done. Here is an attempt to show the first finished one in our pale winter sunlight on a cloudy day. I love how the cables get wider towards the top of the sock and seem tiny by the toes. They're all the same size but the stretch just makes them look so much more complex.

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I'm a little over halfway up the foot on the second one. I can't believe it's like 13 days before Christmas and I haven't even started shopping, haven't finished this gift, and haven't put up a single decoration. But I guess part of that is the trips to the hospital and just the regular busyness of the season. Yesterday we had quite the scare again with my grandpa. He had been doing so much better but yesterday they thought he may be having another small stroke. Late in the day they ruled that out but so far have no idea what happened - why he became unresponsive and his blood pressure dropped so low (it was 75/47 when we first went back yesterday morning!). An MRI was planned for this morning until he woke up last night, now it seems it's not needed? So frustrating.

Before all that happened though, I decided I should probably prove to you all that I really do have two cats. They're the sweetest little scaredy-cats I've ever met. And they're very hard to photograph, especially together! This is Fred and George; Fred is the one looking at me and trying to figure out why I'm pointing that little silver box at him.

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And here's George since he's looking away in the other picture.

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This one sort of shows how we tell them apart: George has a little white on his chest and a spot on his belly and has really deep orange colored eyes, while Fred's are yellowish-green. Also, George has thick almost coarse fur compared with Fred's soft and fluffy fur (you can kind of see this on his tail in the first picture).

Anyway, I won't go on and on about my cats but there they are, real and everything.

Polar bears and wardrodes that shine from within...

Friday, December 09, 2005

The title today is just a few of the gripes I already have about the Chronicles of Narnia movie. I can live with the polar bears since they only pull the witches chariot and not the sleigh but if that light is shining out of the wardrobe as soon as Lucy opens it I'm going to be very disappointed. In the book, every time they go into the wardrobe, they don't see a light until they are past all of the coats - then they begin to see a faint bit of sunlight. It just seems much more suspenseful to me like that. Anyway, we're going tonight as long as there aren't a hundred people in front of me in line when I go buy the tickets when the box office opens. I'll let you know how much I like/don't like it in my next post. I try not to be too picky because I realize things need to be changed for movie adaptations but often I just don't see the logic in *what* they decide to change.

On the knitting front, I finished the first hot pink sock last night and it looks awesome! The more I knit the brighter the pink looked but I'm pretty sure she'll love it. I'm going to try to get a good picture on my lunch break - last night the camera batteries were dead and it was really dark and crappy in the house.

Also, my last package arrived at my Secret Pal Jessica's house so she knows who I am and is thrilled with her package. Go over to her blog and check it out! I can't wait to find out who my pal is.

Secret Pal was so fun but I don't think I'll be participating in the next round. January and February are going to be quite hectic for me, I think, so I'll just watch this one from the sidelines.

And last, but certainly not least, my grandpa is doing much better though he has still not regained movement in his left side. Unfortunately, this means he will not be able to go home. Talk is that they are going to send him to Fargo (an hour south of here, two hours south of where he and my grandma live) to a long-term care facility. This sucks but I've heard it's a pretty good place so hopefully he'll improve even more while he's there. I have mixed feelings. On one hand I would rather he go home but on the other, if going home means my grandma has to take care of him like he is a child and further demean his sense of independence and decency I would rather he go to the long-term care facility.

So, that is my super long update. Have a great weekend!

*edit* What in the world was I thinking "pictures on my lunch break"?! I had to get Narnia tickets! There wasn't a crowd there but the lady in the box office told us to come an hour early in order to get seats together (there will be five of us). An HOUR! Guess I'll be bringing the sock. ;)

Worrying + Knitting = Comfort

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thank you so much for your comments. Things are looking a little better now though Grandpa's still not "in the clear," IE: sent to his own room out of the critical care unit. Throughout the weekend I spent quite a bit of time up in the waiting room with my Grandma and other family and the mood is definitely more optimistic.

I'm sure you know the little equation in my title today since you're all knitters. :) I've always been one to create when things are looking dim. So far, I've now finished one fingerless glove, minus the flap, the cuff of the second (my hospital project) and knit up to the heel of a sock for my sister in law. Hah, that's right. Everything I tried to make for her wasn't working and driving me nuts so I thought "Well, what *is* working right now?" and the answer was socks. I took a bit of time on Saturday to stop by my LYS, which I found out was CLOSING, for GOOD, THAT day, and bought some Baby Ull in bright, hot pink. I'm doing two little cables up the foot and am thinking about doing cables instead of plain ribbing on the cuff. They're awesome and it's going swell. Amazing what happens when you find the "right" project. Though I am very sad about my LYS.

So my socks are sort of on hold until hers are done. Then I will knit for myself! Really!

Oh, and I got a message today from my Secret Pal with a Yarn Market gift certificate. I'm overwhelmed by all the beautiful yarn and have no idea what I'll buy yet. Thank you, Secret Pal!!

And the new Knitty... well, it never fails. I'm underwhelmed. I do love Tubey but not sure how the square neck would look on me - usually they're not too flattering. i think it's because I have such a long skinny neck and white pastey skin. Oh well, it's always fun to look at the new patterns! And it reminded me that I was going to post pictures of my Knitty submission that wasn't chosen. I shall do that soon. For now, I'm off to try to concentrate on work...

The Good and the Bad

Friday, December 02, 2005

Well, I probably should have posted yesterday. Yesterday was a pretty good day. You see, my grandpa is in the hospital and is not doing so hot. But yesterday he was doing good. He had surgery on Wednesday for a clot that was bleeding in the back of his neck and it went well, and he was doing well yesterday. Today, not as much. Last night his breathing stopped and they put him back on the ventilator, via an emergency trach in his throat. You know, like you see on ER all the time. Ugh. This is tough. They're not too optimistic right now. If he does get out of the hospital (50/50 chance they say at this point) he'll go to a nursing home and well, the thought of my grandpa - who always needs to be busy with something, whether it be farming, fixing machinery, or the like - in a nursing home is tough indeed.

I've been wanting to post because I got a package the other day, which really helped with surgery day, helped me smile, you know? Thank you so much Marisa! I plan on posting pictures just as soon as I can - the card is so beautiful. And how did you know my favorite incense is Nag Champa? :-) I've already started a pair of socks with the yarn, though not in front of my Grandma, of course - not that she would necessarily notice at this point. It seems I knit a hell of a lot tighter with nice slick bamboo needles though so... they're a bit small and will have to be restarted.

Anyway, I just wanted to update and say "thanks". I also heard from my Secret Pal the other day and am excited about that. I'm headed to the office then the Post Office to send *my* pal's last box. I'm so excited to let her know who I am! Excited and sad and anxious and everything else. It's a difficult mix of emotions today. Hope you have a good one.

Stupid scarf

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Current listening: White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan

Um, so here is the curly scarf, dying a slow painful death.

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It's only problem was that it was a little too wide - so wide that it sort of looked like it was going to attack and eat me starting at the chin and then heading south. You have to trust me on this one because during it's short life, the curly scarf did not have any pictures taken of itself. They would have been R rated for violence anyway due to the aforementioned attack possibility.

This was another lesson in listening to your instincts. If I had, I wouldn't have this pile of pink yarn puke right now. Once I realized it was going to be garter stitch I *almost* frogged and did it in stockinette instead because I knew it would look better. When I realized it was going to be too wide and hideous, I *almost* bound off right there and saved it while it was still cute. But for some reason, this illogical part of me just kept thinking: "if it looks bad, you can always frog it and start over." I just kept clinging to that... not really thinking about what it would be like to frog 720 stitches per row for four rows, or k in front and back loop increases, or hmm, let's see REALLY FUZZY YARN! How stupid can I be? This pretty much sums up the whole project. Oh yeah, and the fact that it was a waste of like ten bucks in nice yarn. Now broken, bedraggled, and impossible to use yarn.

So I started a different project for my sister-in-law. A Minisweater, aka Boobholder, that is also doomed to die. I think one of the problems here (heh, yeah, only one) is that I'm not currently feeling real lovey with this particular relative anyway at the moment. We seem to have a difference of opinion on something important but instead of talking to each other about it, we hear the other's side of the story from a mutual family member. This is ridiculous, I know, but I think her opinion on the subject is none of her business in the first place. But this is all rallying around my point instead of getting to it.

When I knit for someone, I find that I think about that person and our relationship. When that relationship isn't doing so hot, the knitting really suffers, which in turn drives me up the wall. Instead of being relaxing and fun, I've just wanted to throw my knitting across the room lately. Hopefully something will magically knit itself up for her and I'll have this over with.

Until then tell me, do you find that your knitting reflects your current relationships or emotional state?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Before I head out for the holiday I thought I would post some pictures. First off are Kurt's socks, which are not yet completed. I think I'll bring them along to my Dad's house but can't knit them at Thanksgiving tomorrow because my Grandma will be there. The grandma my sister wrangled foot measurements out of... so I'm afraid if I bring the socks she'll put two and two together. Anyway, here they are almost completed.

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Then the curly scarf that I blogged about yesterday. You know, fizz stardust and all. I was a bit disappointed to find out this scarf doesn't give the instant ruffley satisfaction that Marisa's does. (Would you prefer I just name your blog instead of use your real name? I can change it.) But it's a much easier pattern so I guess I deserve to have to wait. Here is my attempt to make it look at least a little bit curly.

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Next is the Mock Cable scarf from Stitch and Bitch Nation. Different needles, different yarn, just basically used the stitch pattern. It's so soft to the touch but a little scratchy on the neck.

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Here it is on my neck, it definitely IS cozy. Don't mind the washed out look, that's just the flash and the bright light in my face. Help! I'm caught in the headlights! Erm, maybe that's only funny to me. Like when I started mumbling during my budgeting presentation about a funny typo...

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The only other thing of note, I think is that I still haven't figured out how to fix the banner in Internet Explorer. Not sure what to do about that yet either. I'll think about it over the weekend and maybe ask someone who knows a little bit more about these things than I.

Well, have a great weekend! I'll be back next week!

House... What House?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Yes, I believe the house deal is falling through as we speak, or type rather. It's been a rollercoaster of sorts. At this moment in time they may be willing to lower the price a little but I am no longer really willing to purchase it - or go as high in price as they would like. I'm sort of a commitment-phobe and while I really really REALLY love the house, this was all just too much, too fast, too hectic. When I find the house I'll buy I know it will all just fall into place... and I won't be worried about making the payments as they do so.

So, yet again, I am no longer a homeowner. Damn. There's a lot more to the story, of course, but for now let's all just go "Awww." and leave it at that.


As for knitting, it's been few and far between. I remembered I had one more knitted Christmas present on my list: my sister-in-law. She's in her first year of college, likes pink and brown, and doesn't need a hat, a scarf or gloves. So I thought a nice bolero would be perfect. A small, fairly easy, machine washable and inexpensive project. I gathered up a few patterns I liked (there were very few I could find that I did) and headed off to the various stores that carry yarn in this here town. Without going into detail, lets just say this shopping expedition, like the majority of my shopping expeditions, doesn't have a happy ending.

Once I got home, I started crocheting (yes, I know this is a knitting blog) with some brown Wool-ease and pearl beads and soon became disillusioned with my crocheting skills, which I previously thought were pretty excellent. I did, after all, start crocheting doilies at the age of nine. Ahem. Due to this little exercise and subsequent starting and stopping of three other projects with various needles, patterns, and ideas, my wrist is freaking killing me. Therefore, little knitting this weekend. I now think I'm going to make her a scarf - a Fizz Stardust Corkscrew Scarf to be exact. Yes, I realize she doesn't need a scarf and I'm copping out here but it's just too much stress and worry and whine for me. She's getting a pretty curly scarf. In a yarn that's more "cotton candy" than "fizz stardust". And actually, to help make me sound like less of a horrible sister-in-law, she will love this scarf. It's totally "her". But first, I'll finish the scarf for the Secret Santa exchange here at work, also made with cotton candy yarn.

Speaking of secret exchanges... Secret Pal... Are you out there? Haven't heard from you in, you know, a long time.

Fridays suck

Friday, November 18, 2005

Whenever Kurt and I talk about our favorites, which we seem to do a lot, I always say that Friday is my favorite day of the week. Mainly because it's the day we spend the evening together watching movies and eating popcorn and being silly. But I'm realizing it's not entirely true. While Friday evening is my favorite evening of the week, the actual day is anything but. In fact, it may be my second worst day next to Monday. Work is soooo slow and unmotivating because there is no one here. Really. In an office of 20-something, on Fridays we usually have 4-6 people here. This afternoon there are three. There are good things about it though: my boss usually lets us leave an hour early and sometimes, like today, he buys us lunch. But getting through the day is pure hell. So I'm taking my afternoon break to whine and complain to you all. I'll stop that now.

I *am* excited. Excited because after I finished eating free pizza for lunch I took off for the movie theator and got us tickets to Harry Potter. They weren't even sold out! I thought for sure they would be but I think the midnight showing last night really helped. So this Friday night movie night will be even cooler and more fun than it usually is. I'm wondering how I can convince Kurt to bring his invisibility cloak* without actually suggesting it. I just think it would be fun. While I was at the theater getting tickets there was a guy - about my age - wearing a Griffyndor colored polo shirt and that was just fun.

And while I took the sock to Turkey Bingo last night at Kurt's school, tonight it will have to stay back at home. I know I could bring it along and knit before the show starts, during the 30 minutes of previews and commercials (commercials! at a movie! I hate it!) but I'd rather sit and talk about the movie with Kurt. It's so fun.

So, ahem, this entry is all about fun. I hope everyone reading this has a fun weekend and I'm sure I'll be back next week with some more knitting content and even *gasp* more pictures.

*The invisibility cloak is just a big square of shiny goldish blackish see-through fabric we bought at the fabric store. It cost less than $5 and has been a source of entertainment for like two years already.

And a snag...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Well okay. T-Bomb (can I call you Talitha?) left a comment letting me know that Internet Explorer (I'm assuming a little here) doesn't like my new design. Tis true, I opened my blog up in IE and all I see is the main posting area. The banner and sidebar are completely MIA.

Anyone know how to fix this?

I use Mozilla Firefox and with that my new design looks splendid but in IE it looks unfinished and, dare I say, ugly? Help if you can. I will do what I do best in situations like these: Google.

And a leap!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Holy shit, huh? I decided to sit down "for a little bit" tonight and try to figure out what I was going to do about my blog. HTML hates me now. Blogger seems to hate the tables I make even though they're just like the ones I've used in the past. So I just edited my CSS style sheet one. line. at a time. I made damn good use of the Preview button tonight. Take THAT blogger!

Anyway, right now, bleary eyed and tired, I really like the slightly altered layout and I sort of like the new color scheme. I really like my banner. More than I thought I did. Does it make your eyes water? I know it's blurry but it's from a painting I did and I really liked the way it turned out even though it's blurry.

I'm rambling now. The second sock continues! I think I'll get to the heel tomorrow.

P.S. Don't be surprised if there's a new entry from me tomorrow morning saying I hate what I did to my blog... Hah. Hope not.

Baby steps...

Some teeny tiny changes to the page today. I realized last night (while knitting...) that I didn't even get the Secret Pal banner up and, um, Secret Pal is over in a few short weeks. So the little banner is up, as well as the Knitting Blogs one. I'd like to get my links to the blogs I read back up too. I know that's how I delved into this whole blog-reading thing - skipping from blog to blog - and I'm sure new readers (I know there are a few because I've had some comments. Hi!) would appreciate that. So I'll try to make time for it. The overhaul though, on the site, is going very very slowly... mainly because I'm having to reteach myself HTML and most nights I just feel like knitting and not HTML'ing. Anyway, some changes today. Hooray for little tiny banners!

In knitting news: I've now knit the toe on Kurt's second sock three times. THREE. But no matter how many times I do it, the stripes are not going to match up so we're going with what we got. And what we got are non-matching striped socks. Oh well, he'll love them anyway.

That's all. Have a great evening!


Monday, November 14, 2005

It's the Wave and Shell Shawl! And it's completed!

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Here it is pre-blocking. Forgive the dark picture, I had to take it Thursday evening so I could get it blocked Friday before I left town.

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Blocking Friday morning on my bed. This is the first time blocking on my mattress but not the last for sure! The pins go right in, and stay in, and I can shut the cats out of the room. PERFECT. I counted the pins as I took them out (weird habit) and there were exactly 100. Strange.

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Completed. Picture taken this morning before I left the house. I guess we have a storm rolling in so there was no sun at all to light it up. Had to use the flash.

Pattern: Wave and Shell Shawl
Yarn: [I'll post later]
Finished dimensions: ~63" x 22"

I'm so glad to have it done and I love the end result. It's so cozy and pretty. You can see, in at least two of those pictures, the dark rows in the middle of the shawl. Thank God I decided to switch back to a lighter ball of yarn because that dark is really really noticable in the final shawl. It would have looked horrid had I just kept going.

With that out of the way I flew on Kurt's first sock and finished it last night. He's so excited and can't wait to have a pair. I'm so excited because this means I get to start a new project. Well, not counting the pink fuzzy scarf I started on Saturday for my Secret Santa exchange at work. I didn't get pics of that yet though. It's just the Mock Cable scarf from SnBN. I substituted some baby alpaca for the yarns in the book though. Cheap, easy, and looks great. Maybe I'll get pics of these projects sometime this week. But, for now, I'm off to work.

Did I promise pictures?

Thursday, November 10, 2005

...I'm slipping the digital camera in my bag right now. I'll take pictures this weekend and post next week.

I was just sighing over the new Interweave Knits preview that was linked on Jessica's blog. Never have I loved so many projects in a knitting magazine. The Windowpane Jacket, Fair Isle pullover, Bicolor Cables jacket, Retro! Even the Cabled Bandeau is calling to me even though I *know* for a *fact* it would look horrible on me. Tube tops never flatter the flatter chests. Not that I'm like a 7-year-old or anything but I'm certainly not curvy enough to hold that puppy up.

ANYway, the point here is that I have to buy this magazine.

For this weekend though: a dentist appointment, supper with my mom, completion of the Wave and Shell Shawl (finally!), blocking of the shawl (I can't wait!) and work on the ugly *ahem* on Kurt's socks. He doesn't like it when I call them ugly so I'm no longer allowed.

Also, I put a bid in on "the" house but we'll see if they take it. I doubt it, it's pretty low. And I wouldn't close until April 3rd due to renters living in it until then. Weird situation and a long story. But I'm off to have a wonderful weekend! Hope you do too!

No pictures yet...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

and for good reason. I fell in love with a house this week. I've been casually searching for a home for over a year now. I browse the realty circular every few weeks and look at when I'm bored but I've never had anything pop out at me and say WOW. I've looked at a few houses, maybe 6-7 and there was only one I liked quite a bit but it needed too much work and sold like hotcakes anyway. There's been this one a few blocks from me that I've driven by but I thought it was a duplex because there are two front doors. This week I set up a time to view a different house also near me but it sucked. I mean really sucked. Weird layout, horrible painting jobs in almost every room and weird renovations. So on a whim I asked the realtor to show me this other one. Walking up to the house I sighed thinking that it didn't look like anything I'd want to buy: too big, too bland, too not what I want. Well, don't judge a book by the cover they always say... as soon as I walked in my brain screamed "this is it!" It's exactly what I want in a house. It's old (107 years!), original hardwood floors and woodwork, character seeping out of every pore, big rooms, a claw foot tub. Need I say more? Okay, it also has closets galore, three bedrooms exactly where I want them, a decent basement, and the neatest windows I've ever seen in the living room and main floor bedroom.

Alright, I'll stop gushing before I throw myself into another panic attack. Suffice it to say I was busy last week. Trying to coordinate some city grants I'll be eligible for, meeting with the bank to be approved for financing (which I was,) frantically working my budget to make sure I can afford it (I can,) and all this in the midst of the business of our every day lives.

I also managed to knit up a tiny baby beanie and mittens for my cousin who's baby shower was on Saturday. I'll post pictures when I get them back - I had to take them with a friend's digital. Then yesterday Kurt and I wound up the third ball of yarn for the shawl. I couldn't do the darker colors. I just couldn't. I left the three pattern repeats with it in there but then switched to this lighter ball (which, of course, is TOO light). The three repeats will be the exact center of the shawl and since I'm a centering freak this worked for me. I worked and worked on it this weekend in an attempt to keep myself calm about the home purchase stuff (I'm so scared someone else will put an offer in before me!) and it sort of worked. In any case, I'm now two pattern repeats from completion. Hooray! No more boring shawl progress shots! Now I can finish Kurt's socks and move onto making some fingerless gloves.

Wish me luck on the house! I'll be calling my realtor first thing in the morning. :)

Ten days is a long time...

Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm back! I've been back but it's been buuuuu-say! I had to find a flapper girl dress for my Halloween costume, which I did in record time on Friday afternoon. First thrift store I stopped at had one for $7.50, then it was unpacking and knitting up a cloche hat (alright, alright, I ended up crocheting it because I SUCK at knitting hats) and starting the laundry (in order to felt the cloche hat - I DO have priorities here.) Anyway, I won't bore you with the details but I will have a pic once I get my hat back from my friend's house who hosted her annual Halloween bash. Once again it was so. much. fun.

The trip went well and I actually got all knit back up to where I was on the shawl before I frogged. Looks great and I *think* the darker color is going to be okay. Well, it's going to have to be actually. Since it's a half and half thing I think I can live with it. Then again I haven't laid it out in the sunshine again lately to see it's fully glory.

I also knit a little on the ugly sock for my son and had a Yarn Harlot moment at a restaurant in Rapid City. After ordering and knitting away on the sock for a few minutes I realized that I only had a $10 bill in my pocket and my meal was a little more than that. Thankfully the server was very sweet and gracious and the manager thought my idea to work it all out was great (still not sure why a manager at a classy restaurant wouldn't have a plan for this in the first place.) I left my cell phone and knitting bag (with ugly sock and grandma socks) at the restaurant, walked back to my hotel and got more money and drove back and paid... and left my wonderful server a nice hefty tip.

While I was gone I received word that my blog has been accepted to the Knitting Blogs ring. Hooray!

Pictures forthcoming. (of the knitting, not the blogring)

Taking a trip...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Well, well, well. The Wave and Shell Shawl and I took a trip the other night. A trip you may know well. On the way there, we picked up my son and enlisted his help. Yes, it was a trip to the frog pond where 10 year old boys smile with glee as they get to rip out rows and rows of beautifully knit objects and knitter's cringe at the thought of reworking 3 hours of stitches.

I wanted to do some cool arrows and text-on-picture action but I didn't have time for that at home last night because I was sewing Luke Skywalker's pants*. So you'll have to peek into this photo to see my silly mistake.

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If you look up the shell rows (note: they're actually upside down here in between the vertical rows of YOs) you will see two nicely spaced rows of garter stitch at the top (bottom in this picture) of each shell. Then, all of the sudden, three pattern repeats from the top there are four nicely spaced rows of garter stitch at the top of a shell... where there should only be two of course. I've worked the math and realized this must have happened at knitting group last Sunday. I must have done a few rows on the shawl before I left, then started the pattern repeat again when I got there. Damn. So we ripped.

I wouldn't have been so anal [maybe] if it had been for myself or someone else but my grandma is the queen of perfectionism. She used to make those giant crochet doilies and if she was like an inch from being done, but she noticed a mistake back at say, row 10, she would rip ALL the way back and fix it! So yes, I know she would love a gift from me even with mistakes but I'm determined to make it perfect.

And the other picture for the day is Kurt's ugly socks. Boy oh boy, when you let a kid pick out his own sock colors you gotta watch out. But he loves the colors and will treasure these socks until his feet get too big for them (and maybe even after that).

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I plan to bring these and the shawl along on the work trip next week. If anything, it will keep me busy in my hotel rooms since I know now that I'll be going alone. Long story. It's okay, this just means I get to crank up the music while I drive across two states. But unforunately, no knitting while driving. Or goofy shenanigans with my supervisor.

* My sewing skills must have improved in dormancy because I finished the top and pants to Kurt's Halloween costume in record time and they both fit on the first try. Hooray! Now I just have to find a dress for me to wear. I'll make sure to post pictures of the day when all is said and done. But until then, au revoir!

Almost forgot! Here is a pic of the darker blue colors in the second ball - just a garter stitch stripe in this pic. I'm beginning to think it will look alright since it does happen about halfway through but it sure is darker.

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Katie needs

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Alright, alright, I finally broke down. Google your name and the word needs to find out what YOU need. Here's what I need:

Katie Needs IV fluids
Katie Needs To Go.
Katie needs a Project Manager
Katie needs help with feeding and drinking but she does manage to use the litter
Katie needs a C-section
Katie This lovely, gentle girl is in need of a new home.
Katie needs to talk to her friend
Only Katie needs our financial support.
Katie needs your help with vocabulary words to win.
Katie needs to get a grip.

This is an update, named update

Currently listening to: The Velvet Underground - "Who Loves the Sun"

My grey sweater may be done for. I washed it in the washer again and dried it with the other clothes for an hour or more. And it looks... better, but not as good as it did before this mess. It's too big. I mean, my point for making the next size up Ribby was so I could wear it over long sleeve shirts and still be comfy - my other one fits too snugly for that. So I guess it still serves it's purpose but it sort of looks like crap while doing it. The sleeves are back where they should be though so that's good.

I'm thinking I must get to work on new sweaters for myself once I'm done with my projects for others. Kurt's socks (in such and atrocious colorway I MUST post pictures once I get them done up a bit) and my Grandma's shawl, which is looking lovely. Except for the change in colors in the second hank. I should post pics of that too. The dark blue in the new one is waaay darker than the dark blue in the first one. I haven't decided if I can live with it yet.

In other news, I'll be gone almost all next week - traveling for work. I'll try to post the pictures before I leave so I can show all the progress I made when I get back. Well, that is if my supervisor gets to come with. If not, I can't very well knit and drive at the same time. But I would turn the music up really loud and sing like an idiot all the way to Rapid City.

Secret Pal is fun! I went shopping for mine this weekend. Don't want to say much about it publicly but I hope she likes what I got her. And that it's a big surprise!


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I have pictures! Yesterday got really busy after I posted so I took the camera home last night and got some crappy pictures. It's SO HARD to get good pictures at night. Here's what I have:

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Grandma's shawl. Could NOT get a good picture of this no matter how hard I tried. Hopefull it'll work better once it's done and blocked.

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Finished socks and some of those lovely apples I've been raving about.

The other budgeting presentation was okay but the group was much quieter than the first and I was a little distracted for some reason and kept losing my place. Felt a little bit more like what I *thought* the whole experience was going to feel like. What didn't feel feel weird and uncomfortable though? Talking to my son about sex last night. It ended up being one of the easiest conversations in the world and I wonder why I've stressed about it. He's awesome and so much like me. He doesn't ask common kid questions like "how does the baby get OUT of there?" no, he asks "so what determines whether it's a boy or a girl?" and is fascinated about XX and XY chromosomes. The look on his face when I said we were going to talk about sex though... hilarious.

I think I need a second project to work on along with the shawl but I'm not sure what it will be yet. Socks for Kurt, fingerless gloves for Kurt, a sweater for me, who knows. Most likely socks though. Or gloves. It's so hard to decide.

One last note: I LOVE bamboo needles. And one more: I'm not sure about the name of my blog anymore. I really really liked it and now, not so much. It's so long.

Did I Shrink?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So I washed my second Ribby Cardi. The grey one that I never posted pictures of. I wore it this weekend while helping a friend put up a chain link fence (this is more work than it seems like, just so you know) so I threw it in the wash on Sunday. I thought, "I'll throw it in the washer, like I do with my other one." They're both made from Wool-ease so in THEORY this would be fine. But somehow it was not fine. My poor comfy grey Ribby that I wear at work almost every day because it's cold in my office, is now HUGE. The already long arms now extend past my fingertips, the ribbing is completely stretched out so it hangs like a bag around my body, and it's so frumpy-ugly I could just cry. Well, not really but I am pretty pissed about it. I know the sleeves stretched because I layed it over the arm of the couch to dry instead of laying it flat (didn't want cat hair on it) and let the arms hang. But the rib-loss? Why did it do this?? And what can I do to make it better? Right now my tentative plan (even though I know I should never do things out of anger) is to throw it back in the wash and then pop it in the damn dryer for an hour. THAT'LL show it.

Either way, whether it lives or dies, I need a new sweater. A nice comfy (real) wool sweater. Maybe in a pretty orangey/nutmeg color since my stupid biceps have outgrown my old pretty orange sweaters. Not that I'm buff or anything but when you look like a toothpick all your life and then start exercising, clothes have a way of seeming much smaller than they used to be. That'll be my next budgeting-for-yarn project, I guess. I think I just have budgeting on the mind since today's the day I give two budgeting presentations to Head Start parents. The first went really well, the other is right after lunch.

The only project (?!) I'm working on right now, my grandma's shawl, is still beautiful but isn't growing very fast. I promise I'll take pictures today on my lunch hour and post them up later.

And here's a "hello" to Nerd Knits, who I'm assuming is my new subscriber - bumping my blog subscriptions to a healthy two. And yes, I am the other subscriber, I subscribe to my own blog. I just like to see what it looks like from someone else's point of view.

Apples and pickles

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Last week a coworker told us about some apple trees he has at a rental place here in town and said we could go pick as many as we wanted. Hell yeah! So we went, my son and I, and no we had never picked apples before. I had done a drive-by and saw that most of the apples were up high so we went armed with some grocery bags and... a hockey stick. You can tell by that statement just how "hockey" we are. Quite awhile later and after a nice little chat with one of the tenants and we left with one large grocery bag fun of apples. We made Apple Crisp, which was super delicious, but in all my weekends strange busy glory, we didn't get to make anything else yet.

However, on Monday, the aforementioned coworker brought his apple picker* to work to let me borrow. How cool is that? So we went back tonight after parent/teacher conferences and I loved the apple picker so much that I want to marry it. Or at least buy one for myself! I could hardly stop myself! I think I would have picked all night if my hands hadn't froze to the handle. Yes, that's right: froze. We had snow here last night! Luckily very little, less than an inch, because our neighbors on the western part of the state got 18-24". Eighteen to twenty-four inches IN OCTOBER. The first week in October! Yikes. A strange weekend topped off with a strange week.

I'm a little more long-winded when I post at home, no?

Last night we stopped by my LYS to find some shawl yarn. Choosing yarn is the hardest part of a project for me. Imagining the way things will look when completed is not one of my strong points so I stress about every possible color and yarn choice. But I went with my instincts on this one and chose a beautiful lightly variegated blue yarn - just one of the many recommended ideas by the patient lady at the store. It's Araucania Nature Wool, which I've never heard of but love almost as much as the apple picker. I wish I could show you a picture but, you know, I'm not THAT together this week. I actually got spontaneously sick with a terrible cold on Tuesday and then got spontaneously "better" on Wednesday after sleeping for almost 12 hours but I'm still a little tired, hence the quotes on "better."

Did I mention the wool was pretty cheap? What a bonus, huh? AND, it knits up in the Wave and Shell pattern so beautifully I can hardly believe it. But, alas, no pictures yet.

What I meant to come here and post about were all the great discussions about blogs, blogging, blog-reading, and etc. that I've been reading around blog world lately but maybe I'll save that for another day. Suffice it to say that I like my blog, plan to continue it, but don't be surprised if life gets in the way pretty often.

* It's a tool, I learned, with hooks and a basket at the end of a pole.

Finally Friday...

Friday, September 30, 2005

Knitting this week has been pretty sporadic. I always look forward to my son's martial arts class so I can knit and watch. I even have my own little spot on the floor between the racks of chairs and the weights. The music coming from the weight room behind us is always okay too, which I sort of missed when I started bringing my own headset to block out the sounds of Kurt's teacher. I really, really dislike the man but Kurt learns well from him and really enjoys this type of martial arts. There is a gigantic backstory to all this that I won't get into, let's just suffice it to say I don't like him. Anyway, Wednesday I forgot the headset and was reminded of how fun it is to listen to the radio (mix tapes??) I hear from next door. There were The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and plenty of other fun indie rock mixed with some weird rap song reminiscent of Cypress Hill and a couple really screamy metal songs and Bush. Such a strange combination. I think that's what makes it so great to hear things like Modest Mouse in the midst of it all. They never get real obscure - like the Califone that makes up my banner title - but it's fun.

Knitting though. It's been really great in some spots and absolutely atrocious in others. Lara. I can't stand Lara. I don't know if it's the increase in stitches since I put the sleeves on or the extra weight it adds or that I'm so used to nice non-slippy wooden needles now but Lara makes me want to just cut my wrists off and see if I can live without them. I'm thinking of asking someone at the knitting group if I can borrow a US 3 circular wooden needle to complete her. If I have to continue on with this metal slippery POS I may seriously begin to contemplate just frogging her. But what a waste since I'll probably never use the yarn for something else and who would want it after it's been knit lacey and then frogged and well, it's 100% cotton and it SUCKS. Ahem. Anyway, I hate Lara.

My grandma's socks on the other hand are awesome. I love them so much. Lorna's Laces is so beautiful and nice to work with. I finished the first sock last weekend and am already halfway through the second. So fun. Here are some pics.

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I would have cut the first pic to make it look nicer (I think cutting is one way to become a better "photographer") and kept the cut up second one bigger to show the cable better but as I may have said before, I don't have any good photo software at work. And I don't really take the time to blog at home. It's not like I'm always skipping out on work though. We're alloted a 15 minute break in the morning and afternoon and I TRY to blog during those times. My whole point here though was to tell you I think I did okay with what I had to work with. The cable shot? That was cropped in MS Word. Can't tell me I'm not resourceful.

Also, I finally remembered to take a picture of some of our garden goodies. This is the last haul of the year. We may get a few more tomatoes but, for the most part, they've been eaten by slugs (I didn't know slugs ate tomatoes?!?) and since it's now lightly freezing at night, I think we're pretty much done. But doesn't it all look so pretty and tasty?

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We made carrot casserole last night and it was soooo delicious with the fresh carrots! I can't wait to garden next year.

Well, times up. Great weekends to anyone who reads this!


Monday, September 26, 2005

My project for my Grandma's Christmas present has been found at long last. I've been searching for some sort of shawl for the past month or so and it's been slow going. Nothing I found was quite right. First, my grandma has arthritis really bad so her fingers are all twisted and she fumbles with some things, so I didn't want anything with big giant holes that might catch on things (this took out any drop-stitch projects like Clapotis); second, she's in a wheelchair now unless she's in her recliner so I didn't want anything too long because it would get bunched up behind her back or under her and be difficult to get comfy in (this takes out most triangular shawls); second, it has to cover her arms because she says that's what gets cold (this really takes out the rest of the triangular shawls, they just don't cover enough arm).

She was really no help in deciding either, wouldn't even tell me a color! She just kept saying "No, don't bother making me anything. It's too much work." Pshaw, like anything is too much work for her. But I found it! I was looking for the wrong thing the whole time. I wanted a WRAP, not a shawl (even though this one is called a shawl.) I know, I know, on with it, right? here it is. It's beautiful, it's lacy, but will be cozy and not too hot, plus it could double as a lap blanket! She's going to love it.

As for my other Grandma, I finished the first sock last night. Hope it fits... It fits me but is sort of loose, not a nice snug-fitting sock, so it should fit her slightly wider feet. I don't have a picture today but it's an ankle sock with little tiny cables running up both sides of the ankle part. I can't get over how gorgeous the colors are and how perfect my stitches look with wool. My 45% cotton socks sure didn't look this nice right off the needles (but they do now after a wash so that's good.)

That's all. I'd better get back to work. Lunch is over!

Correlation between shoe size and feet length

Friday, September 23, 2005

Current listening: Modest Mouse - Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks

Never in my life had I thought about this before. It actually surprises me because I know so many useless facts and research every tiny question I have about things but I guess this one just hadn't come up until last week. My sister casually got some info out of my grandma about her foot size (8 in women's) and width (wider than average) so I thought I was all set to go. I figured I wear about a 9.5 so her feet must be... smaller than mine? Duh, Katie. So I looked up a chart and found this but I just couldn't believe that her feet are only .5" smaller than mine! I mean jeez, she's a size 8! I'm a 9.5!

So I did a little research. I had the girls over at the Punk Knitters LJ group measure their feet and give their input. Thankfully, their evidence confirmed that the chart was right. As did my supervisor measuring her feet at the office for me... She now thinks I'm the most random person she knows. First thing in the morning, here's me: "What shoe size do you wear? Oh, could you trace and measure your feet for me?"

And, of course, since I'm so impatient and always cross my fingers and hope things will work out: I had already done the heel of the sock with my general guessing measurements which makes the foot of the sock approximately .75-1" too small. So I spent 10 minutes of my lunch hour frogging the heel. Not so bad, I mean, it's not like I *don't like* working the heel - it's fun! So that's what I'll be doing tonight during Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Post like no one is watching...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Currently listening to: Oneida - The Wedding

This week has already been draining. I swear I had two Mondays in a row and I just want it to be Friday so Kurt and I can eat popcorn and watch Star Wars for our Friday Night Movie Night. Sooo tired.

But I have finally taken some new pictures. Definite progress has been done since the last ones too! Here are my beautiful socks:

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Size US1 needles (homemade)
Sockotta yarn, can't remember the color's name
Wendy's Generic Toe-up pattern
I can't believe how much yarn I have left! Maybe I'll take a picture of that later.

The only problem I had with these socks was, well okay a couple problems. One was the pooling of the colors. In the pic you can see all the white on the bottom of my foot and the foot on the messy coffee table shows how weird stripey it got. I knew I wasn't a fan of varegated yarn in the first place but this just looks funny. The other problem was some minor difficulties with learning short rows. I have a couple little holes on the first one but I'm not too worried since they're pretty non-existant in the second one. Just needed to pick up another extra stitch in between.

Also, I'm not 100% positive I'm doing the short rows right. When I get back to the wrapped stitches I move the actual stitch to the right needle, pick up the wraps with the left and then pop the stitch back to the left and knit (or purl) the whole mess together. Just looks a little more raised and holey than I thought it would, I guess.

With all that said: I ADORE the toe-up pattern. I easily memorized the little formula and can start a pair of socks without even looking at the sheet. As evidenced by this:

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My grandmother's Christmas socks. Every year she buys all the kids and grandkids and great-grandkids socks so I thought it would be awesome to knit her a pair for herself. She totally deserves them. I'm using Lorna's Laces and it has been a dream to work with. I love it.

Last, but not least is the Eyelet Ribbed Top (Sweater??) which I've recently renamed Lara for the yarn she's made out of. I thought this would be a UFO forever but decided to pick it up the other night and get the sleeves on. It's made me appreciate straight wood needles even more. I hate, hate, hate, these Susan Bates circs! They're the slipperiest needles in the world. And this shirt is probably going to be the worst thing I've ever knit... it looks too short, too small, and too not my style. But here it is. All I have left is the yoke.

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Now if only I could get used to posting a few short posts a week instead of one or two gigantic ones...

Secret Pal Post

Monday, September 19, 2005

I haven't heard from my secret pal yet but I bet she's (he's??) out there lurking or maybe on vacation or maybe working hard on trying to decide what she'll (he'll??) do to surprise me. In any case, here's my questionnaire:

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I’m becoming more of a yarn snob, I think. I’ve used Lion Brand Wool-ease for a couple sweaters and more than a couple scarves (to save cost on the sweaters and to avoid extra scratchy scarves) but have started branching out lately. Red Heart has definitely become a “no” for me. Once I knit with natural fibers, most 100% acrylics just feel gross and sticky.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I actually started crocheting when I was very young and it’s what got me into knitting but I haven’t crocheted a thing since I learned to knit. And I don’t spin and don’t really plan to but, you never know. My dad says he’s going to get a couple sheep so I may have to. ;-)

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
Perfume gives me awful headaches but I’m pretty easy to please otherwise. If something smells like smoke or has cat hair on it, I can always wash it, right? (Plus, I have cats so I’m used to it getting everywhere and cleaning it off later.)

4. How long have you been knitting?
Coming up on a year in November.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
I have one at Knitpicks but I think that’s the only one. I can always start a new one if you need more ideas!

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Mmm, I used to buy hazelnut coffee candles that smelled delicious. Usually I just go for the milder sweet or fruity smells. Flowery smells trigger migraines, unfortunately. Not too many candles in my house though because of the cats but incense is okay (nag champa is my favorite scent of that.)

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, definitely! Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. Truffles, toblerones, swiss chocolate, hostess cupcakes, candy bars… I’d have a hard time living without chocolate.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I love to work on my house, even though I only rent. I don’t do many other crafts though except for a very little amount of sewing. I draw and use oil pastels, I read a lot, and watch movies instead.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I would assume my computer can play MP3s but I know my stereo doesn’t. It’s as old as the hills. I’m an indie rock geek so music in that genre is pretty safe. I also like alt-country but I get a little pickier there.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
Red and brown are great colors. I also like dark blue and oranges together. I also own a pair of lime green polyester pants so, you know, I’m pretty open to colors. If I had to choose some that I don’t really like I’d have to say anything purple-y or mauve.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
My son Kurt, he’s ten, and I live in a little tiny house with two cats, Fred and George.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Hah, who knows! I work in the asset development field right now and really enjoy it for the most part. I see myself someday getting a cushy research job at a university and spending my time reading about weird and interesting subjects. Then again, when I was my son’s age I wanted to be a professional gymnast so these aspirations may change.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Ooh, I made a friend a felted purse out of Paton’s wool and it knit up like a dream. If that’s any indication of how most wools knit up than I really like wool. I’m also really loving the Lorna’s Laces I bought for my grandma’s Christmas socks. But I haven’t really experimented with many yarns so I don’t really have a definite favorite yet.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Well, I like cotton but I HATE knitting with 100% cotton. There’s this Lara yarn from… ugh, I hate it. Oh, and anything even remotely novelty. Not a fan of the novelty yarn at all.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
I’ve been sucked into sock oblivion…

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
So far, socks. But I also really like the process of knitting sweaters and constructing them. It’s very satisfying.

17. What are you knitting right now?
A pair of socks for my grandma for Christmas and the Eyelet Ribbed Sweater (aka, the 100% cotton yarn sweater that just won’t die.)

18. What do you think about ponchos?
No. I can see the attraction for others but not my thing, not my style, not anything I’m interested in knitting or wearing.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Straight definitely.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Bamboo. Metal and plastic are much too slippery for my poor wrists to deal with though plastic is better than metal.

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Yes, I am now!

22. How did you learn to knit?’s tutorial. Then later the Stitch-n-Bitch book because I realized I was doing my stitches backwards.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Probably 3 months? I’ve just picked it up again though so maybe it will be done soon.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Animated character would have to be someone from Hayao Miyazaki’s films: Chihiro from Spirited Away, Nausicaa from Nausicaa from the Valley of the Wind, or Rei from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Or anyone from Furi Kuri. You did mean animated character in general and not a Disney character or something right? Hah. Animal would be cats and I don’t like birds. Well, I like the way owls and hawks look flying around but I’m not a big fan of birds in general.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving. You get to see and visit all of your relatives without the rush and pressure of gift-giving!

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Dimes, but that’s not on purpose and a whole other story.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None actually. I’ve thought of getting one but have no idea where to start.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Can’t think of any. I haven’t really spent too much on books since most only have one or two patterns I would use. $20-$25 for two patterns isn’t too much of a bargain.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
None that I can think of at the moment… Wow, I hope I’m not totally ruining the hint part of this. I just honestly don’t know of any patterns because I’ve been obsessed with finding cute free patterns.

30. What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?
My feet are 8 ¾” around the ball of my foot and I’m a size 9–9½. I like any kind of socks really. I’m not a huge fan of variegated sock yarn (though that’s what I used for my first pair), I love stripes and oddball color combinations, and knee socks that I can wear with skirts.

Get Bent

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Or rather I already did. Bent my beautiful newly made wood needles that is. One (both?) of my cats got ahold of one last week while the sock bag was on the coffee table and chewed up the end a little. Luckily not too bad because I can still knit with it, just with the other end, if that makes sense. The problem comes in when, instead of finding a safe place for the sock, I just put my knitting folder over the top of the bag... this results in bent needles. Is there any way to fix this? I tried rubberbanding all the needles together for 24 hours but that didn't seem to do anything. Anyway, I can still knit with them, it's just a little weird.

Conference calls blow. This is the most boring, redundant call EVER. Plus it's really freaking hot in here today. Normally it's freezing so I wore a light merino wool sweater. Ugh. I wish I could strip down to my little tank top but I just don't think spaghetti straps and belly showing would be very business casual.

So knitting. The project is done and I'll be conducting a photo shoot sometime later this week and emailing the whole shebang to Knitty by this time next week. The second sock is almost done! I just started the ribbing. Haven't touched the eyelet ribbed top in weeks and I don't even care. Can we say hurrah for my first official UFO that will be stuffed away in a closet somewhere? Maybe not, but maybe.

Also, I don't think I've talked about the new Knitty yet. Usually there's only one or two things I *think* about knitting from Knitty (and I haven't knit any of them yet actually) and this issue is no exception. Revolution is the only one I'm seriously considering but the cost of the yarn is really holding me back. I'll keep on with my current "to knit" list instead and contemplate it. I do really want to knit Sesame from Magknits though. But I have a problem with choosing the colors.

Boy this is getting long. Last note, I'm going to be redesigning my whole site as soon as I get time to either make up all the HTML or learn CSS and write that up. Doesn't seem too terribly hard. The other night I made a banner that I really like, chose a name I finally like and it's giving me hope that this site can become more of what I wanted when I thought: knitblog.

P.S. My secret pal for SP6 should be visiting soon. Psst... hi!

Back to school, back to socks

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

During my Chicago trip I did get some time to knit, on the plane and otherwise. I even met a lady who told me she was knitting a sock with the same yarn and even in the same color as mine. She was regretting not bringing it along for the conference. I learned that she was doing hers top down on two circulars, which seems interesting but I can't imagine you can try it on as easily as you can with the toe-up. That was the biggest plus about toe-up for me. We also talked about how to know when to stop one sock and start on the other. I thought I could weigh the yarn and when I got close to 50 grams I could bind off and start the next but she thought it had to be done by yards. I'm still uncertain of how the pair will come out but I did try the weighing, leaving myself quite a bit of leeway. The second sock is just a few inches past the toe, and I'm scrambling to finish my secret project in time for the Knitty deadline, so it may be awhile before I find out if it worked. Meanwhile though, here are a couple of terrible pictures of the sock.

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Yes, that's me with my feet up at work again but I'm on my lunch break this time so it's okay! I was hoping to knit on the sock during my lunch break but all this hurry-up to get done knitting on the other project the past few nights has really worn my wrist out. So I decided to knit blog instead... though that's about just as bad on the wrist so I'm about done here too. Time to twiddle my thumbs for 15 minutes...


Friday, September 02, 2005

Yes, I'm back from Chicago. I'm almost done with my first sock and I'm very excited about that but I'm more excited to share this information with you:

I've seen many many posts about people wanting to do more for those devastated by Hurricane Katrina but, so far, the only contributions possible were monetary. Community Action Agencies are stepping up to the plate. This makes me very proud to work where I do. For more information on the Community Action Partnership, visit their website.

There is a list of items in need of donation following the info and addresses of where to send it.

Community Action Partnership National Office Coordinates Operation: Unity Relief

On Thursday, September 1, the national office hosted a conference call with state association leaders in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Also taking part were national board representatives from the affected regions and the national chair. The purpose of the call was to gather contact information from each state so the Community Action network can begin to forward desperately needed contributions and supplies to the area.

In the very spirit of "Helping People and Changing Lives," Community Action has exhibited a tremendous outpouring of caring and generosity, mobilizing CAAs to give to this relief effort. The State Associations and the CAAs face many months of recovery, relocating, and rebuilding. Millions upon millions of lives have been
affected and forever impacted. Community Action Partnership and the network will do whatever possible to assist the CAAs and the states in their efforts.

Please send monetary donations to the following contacts in each state:

Monetary Donations
Community Action Partnership of Alabama
Mr. David Bolware, President
172 South Broadnax Street
Dadeville, Alabama 36853
Phone: (256) 825-4287
Please make checks payable to: Community Action Partnership of Alabama

Donated Goods and Supplies
Attention: Tom Gardner; Bonita Whitlow
Montgomery Community Action Agency
1066 Adams Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104

Monetary Donations

Florida Association for Community Action, Inc.
Ms. Wilma McKay, Executive Director
207 W. Park Ave., 1st Floor
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: (850) 224-4774
Please make checks payable to: Florida Association for Community Action

Location for donated goods and supplies for Florida will be coming soon. (I'll edit this in when I receive it.)

Monetary Donations

Mississippi Association of Community Action Agencies (MACAA)
Attention: Operation: Unity Relief Fund
P.O. Box 3782
Jackson, MS 39207-3782
Phone: (601) 944-1747
Please make checks payable to: Mississippi Association of Community Action
Agencies (MACAA)

Donated Goods and Supplies
Mississippi Association of Community Action Agencies (MACAA)
Attention: Operation: Unity Relief Fund
Central Parking System - Facility 3
100 Capitol Street
Jackson, MS 39201

Monetary Donations

LACAP Disaster Relief Fund
2900 Westfork Drive, Suite 200
Baton Rouge, LA 70827
Attention: Jane Killen
Phone: (225) 298-1288

Donated Goods and Supplies
LACAP Disaster Relief Fund
C/O Vernon CAC
1307 South Fifth Street
Leesville, LA 71496

A general listing of items needed may include:
Laundry Detergent
Bath Soap
Air Mattresses
Feminine Products
School Supplies
Baby Powder
Baby Wipes

The Community Action Partnership national office will also be coordinating with the American Red Cross National Headquarters on relied and volunteer efforts on the local level. We will post more information in the coming days.

Community Action Partnership
1100 17th Street NW, Suite 500
Washington DC 20036

Uniting America to End Poverty


Friday, August 26, 2005

When I was younger I was fascinated with rearranging my room. Then I was fascinated with rearranging every room in the house when I had my own place. Maybe it's because I live in such a tiny house now that rearranging EVERY room is not even close to an option that I rearrange other things: the way I store my archived emails, my files at work, and today, my blog. I like the color and the style much better but I still yearn for the time when I'll be able to sit down and revamp the whole site. I want a banner! I want a different title! I want! Yep, I just want... things right now.

Still nervous about Chicago but doing okay. My wrist hurts a bit so it's a good thing I'll be able to rest it up over the weekend: doing laundry, packing, cleaning, dishes, etc. Resting from knitting, I should say since it irritates my wrist pain more than chores. Too bad about that, I'd much prefer it the other way around.

In other news, a blogger I read just found out she's having twins! I love announcements like this because you know you're in for a ride reading about the progressions that will take place. In our family there are twins on both sides and my sister is convinced she is going to get them. I hope she does!

And, in case you haven't seen it elsewhere, Berroco announces: The Ugliest Knit Object I've Ever Seen.

Off for now. Have a great weekend!

Closer to completion

Thursday, August 25, 2005

No pictures today but I wanted to post about my Eyelet Ribbed Top sleeves. They're completed! Now I just have a couple more pattern repeats on the body of the sweater before I can join the sleeves to it and knit up the yoke and neckline. Then I figure I'll wear it once and hang it in the closet to rot. Well, maybe not, we'll see.

The reason I started the sock this week was to get through the toe so I could bring it on the plane to Chicago next week for work. It's been really hard to stay away from it though. I find myself thinking about it when I'm at home and forcing myself to do something else. I just don't want to get on the plane Monday to find a little bit into the flight that I have to start the short row heels... not something I want to try while on Xanax, which I take for my flight anxiety. So I've done a few rows here and there but have been pretty good at putting it down and backing away.

And now, to work!


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Each week seems to get more and more busy for me, at work and at home. School starts tomorrow and my son is understandably a bit nervous. Last year he didn't have the greatest first week and I was out of town for work, which only made things worse. Unfortunately, I have to be out of town for work again next week, the first three days of school. But we're taking what we learned last year and learning from it. I'll make sure to be in touch with his teacher and to speak with him every night about his day. Many things have changed for him in the last year - for the better - so I really think this year will start off right.

As for knitting, I went out to buy sock yarn this weekend and found some Sockotta in a variegated grey, white, and light blue. Now I'm not a huge fan of variegated yarn and was really hoping for some true stripey stuff for my first socks but almost as soon as I started them I realized what a great (accidental) choice I had made. It's so much easier to keep track of my progress, number of stitches and show detailed pictures with variegated!

I'm going toe-up and swept through the short rows just trusting that it was going to come out right because I just couldn't work my little brain around HOW it was to work. And it worked! I only ended up with one mistake: a little tiny hole that I'll patch up somehow later.

Here are the obligatory toe shots (I've seen so many and they never cease to amaze me...) The second is actually just a picture of my pretty pedicure. My supervisor always tries to do fun activities during our monthly staff meetings and this month it was pedicures at the cosmetology school here in town! So today I'm wearing pretty sandals to show it off (not pictured.)

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Sorry for the extra floor in the pic but I don't have any good photo-editing software at my disposal today.

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A shot of my pretty pedicure.

I also went to knitting group again on Sunday and had a very nice time. We talked about Harry Potter and movies and knitting and other fun subjects and I felt a little more at ease.

Posting at work again...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

I know I should have learned my lesson yesterday but it's just so easy to post quick here instead of at home since I have to unload pics from the camera here anyway (I don't have a digital so I borrow the one from work). Plus yesterday was such a horrible day here I think I deserve a few minutes to post before I really start into my day.

Last night I took pictures of my new needles. To continue from yesterday when I was so rudely interrupted (haha, um, whoops) after I sanded the points and got the needles to the size I wanted I stained them with some stain + polyeurothane I had lying around. I don't know that this was the best idea but it seems to have worked.

I've begun knitting with the US 2s and while it was slow going at first I'm not sure if that was because a) I was starting a new sleeve and having some difficulties or b) I've never knit on wooden needles before or c) that maybe my homemade needles suck. As I worked though, they seemed to get a little more slippery and smooth and by the time I stopped for the evening I was flying. I love them! I can't wait to attempt my first socks on the 1s! (I hope I can use ones anyway...)

So, onto the pictures so I can get some work done before our company picnic this afternoon.

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This one is really dark but the needles just gleam in it so I had to post it.

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Here is one in sunlight from the window.

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And a slightly blurry close-up.

I'm not sure if it's the camera or me (probably me) but I end up taking a million pictures to get even the most "okay" shots. I wish I had the talent to take beautiful knit pictures like I've seen on other blogs but I guess I'll just have to practice. And maybe eventually buy my own digital camera that is slightly better than this one.

And I'm off! I know I don't have any subscribers to this blog yet but if anyone is reading it, leave a comment so I can say hi. :) I'm thinking of joining a blogring but it's a little intimidating at the moment.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

So this weekend, I made knitting needles. A lady at the knitting group had mentioned that a friend of hers did this with dowels so I thought I'd give it a shot. I also realized that the bamboo skewers I use to make chicken satay are right about a size US 3. I ended up sanding the bamboo ones down to a US 2. There are five of those, double-pointed. Then I used the smallest dowel I could buy (I think it was 1/8") and made a set of US 1. There are also five of those, double-pointed. Then I made a pair of single-pointed US 8. I had wanted to sand those slightly to a size 7 since I rarely use 8s but I was so tired of sanding by that point that I didn't. The dowels were poplar so we'll see how they hold up - I have no idea of the strength.

Whoops, I forgot about a meeting. I'll finish this later.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

so i finally got some pictures of my ribbed eyelet top. i got antsy and decided to start one of the sleeves last night so i could feel like i'm actually making some progress. somehow finishing the 12th repeat of the pattern on the body, when i need 21, does NOT feel like progress anymore.

however, the sleeve feels sort of tight. the ribbing is almost completely stretched when it's on my arm but i can still get the fingers of my other hand underneath so i don't know if it's too tight. i might email the author of the pattern to see. i had to tweak the pattern to make it one size smaller than the smallest listed because of my skinny self and non-bustiness. maybe my biceps are really a small instead of extra small?

on to the pictures!

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the body and sleeve hanging out by the pattern so you can sort of see what it looks like. if you can't see it well, try here. it's the one right smack on the front page.

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detail of the pattern repeats on the body. don't try to find the mistakes... there are quite a few but i'm trying really hard not to be a perfectionist on this project.

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and the sleeve on my arm. see how tight it looks?

in other news, i went to a knitting group this weekend for the first time. it was nice. there were two older ladies who were both very nice. they said there are 5-7 people who usually come and several that have shown up once or twice but not come regularly. they also said there are a few ladies in their 20's and 30's so that was helpful. i don't really mind people's ages but i just feel like i would have more in common with folk around my own age. that whole starting a career and settling down phase. so, you know, it was nice and i look forward to going back. they meet at a starbucks in the university bookstore so maybe it will attract more college students that way.

that's pretty much it. my secret project is coming along and i'm very pleased with the way it's turning out. and i seems to have some plans sneaking into my head about making another shawl for my grandmother for christmas (the last one i made her didn't really fit).

oh, and when i get some time, i'll be updating this site a little. a banner, more links on the side, that sort of thing.

knit blogging...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Well, I've decided to give it another go. Watch out knit blog, here I come.

I've edited in my knit posts I made during the knit blog downtime from my livejournal. One thing I really love in a knit blog is lots of pictures that AREN'T behind a cut so I'm hoping to take and post lots of pictures. Maybe I can increase my photography skills by doing this because they're pretty lacking right now.

Also, I need to design a banner for my blog. I'm thinking maybe a drawing of a katydid knitting? Would be adorable but I'm really not that cutesy of a person. If you have any other fun ideas leave a comment.

Current WIPs:

Blanket Squares for the John Glick Blanket Project. I'm going to complete one more square and mail them off, hopefully, next week.
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Eyelet Ribbed Top with Lara from Elann
[No picture yet but I'll take one soon and post it here]

Secret project I'm planning to submit for Knitty's winter issue. Cross your fingers for me.
[Obviously no picture for awhile on this one.]

Friday, July 15, 2005

i've decided i am going to knit socks. i just have to wait until i have a little cashola to spend on the yarn. right now i have three projects going so i can't justify buying yarn for a new one because i just don't have the willpower to wait to start the socks if i have the yarn lying around. but soon! socks!

Friday, July 08, 2005

okay so i'm working on three different knitting projects right now. gone are the days when i just knit one thing at a time and didn't start another until that one was completely done. oh well.

this past week i knit up this bag from a pattern in stitch and bitch nation. in the book they put an initial on the front of the bag but i decided to plop some cherries on there because my friend susie likes everything cherry. after knitting and sewing all the pieces together (which turned out to be a huge pain in the ass for a 3D project) susie came over and we felted it. here are the before and after pictures:

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and susie with her brand spankin' new purse:

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i didn't think i would like felted stuff as much as i do. it turned out so great! i may have to make one for myself...

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

today i received a birthday card from my co-workers. it was about wieners cuz, i guess, there just aren't enough birthday cards with the word wiener in them.

kurt's sweater is almost finished being knit. then i just have some duplicate stitching, sewing together, and blocking. it's going to be the coolest sweater in his elementary school's third grade!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

kurt (my son) and i went to my dad's house on saturday to go sledding and see the horses (he has two, an older mare and a little filly). it's always fun to hang out there and my dad cooked for us and had some great snowhills in his yard. unfortunately i pulled a muscle in my back (too damn old for sledding) and, at one point, spooked the horses who broke the fence again and decided to go for a run. i do have to say though that they are really beautiful running in the snow and josie, the older mare, looks downright magnificent when jumping a fence.

i also taught my mom how to knit. well, the knit stitch anyway, no purling for her yet. she did 4-5 rows on a little swatch and actually got pretty good for awhile. then the sun went down and it was harder for her to see and she kept screwing up. i'm going to buy her some size 8 or 10 needles and better yarn and try again with her next time i see her. i think if she can learn it will give her a lot of pleasure and confidence to have this to do during the day instead of staring at the tv and the walls. plus, she will be able to make cool stuff. (long background story about my mom's recovery from a brain aneurysm that i don't feel like sharing at the moment. sorry.)

sunday was a laundry/knit/movie day. pretty standard for sundays around my house this winter. mulan almost made me cry, as always, and i finished my dad's scarf and started kurt's "jesse's flames" sweater from stitch and bitch nation.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

ah yes, the knit blog. poor little neglected thing. i've pretty much decided that there is no point and too much stress trying to keep up two blogs. if you'd like to see my latest knitting projects or hear stories about work and cats and friends you can check out my live journal.

it's been fun, it's been real, but i just can't take it no more.


Thursday, January 13, 2005

it has been so busy lately! mainly with work but home and dealing with my son's school has taken a lot of time lately too. i have gotten quite a bit farther on my ribby cardi but after all the commotion at work i haven't really been in the mood to sit in front of my computer and post, put up pics, or anything. but i have a solution: post pics at work! only because i have some time after completing my entire "to do" list for the third day in a row.

so here are some updates:

earflap hat goes in the disaster pile. i figured out where i went wrong but i don't think i'll be attempting this one again until i learn the art of dpn's or maybe circulars. i accidently doubled the amount of room i would need for the front of the hat and it turned out GIGANTIC. it might be hard to tell in the picture but, trust me, it was waaay too huge. oh, who am i kidding, you can totally tell in the picture; but it's when having it on my head that you get the full effect. my son and i pulled it out and i'm now planning a 1x1 ribbed beanie to match my scarf instead.

gigantic earflap hat

the scarf it was meant to match

ribby cardi is going great! in the above picture you can see the two fronts but there is another picture below just because i'm so proud. i've now also completed the back and am almost halfway up both sleeves (knitting them together). my only concern is that the colors aren't going to look as great together as i thought. the blue is just so cool and the brown that i chose is very warm and dark. we'll see how they look when i'm done and if i don't like it, i guess i can always knit new sleeves.

ribby cardi fronts

i've also begrudgingly started another pair of fingerless gloves. i plan to breeze through the four pairs i owe and possibly never make them again. or at least not for a long time.

tonight: i knit! hopefully to finish my sleeves.


Wednesday, January 05, 2005

i tried to make a pair of crocheted fingerless gloves with chunky yarn that i found on sale. i hate chunky yarn so i've chucked the idea and given the yarn to susie.

without that project i've, of course, started two more: 1) my red and brown earflap hat to match my checkered scarf and 2) my first ribby cardi.

first off, the earflap hat is being done on two straight needles because i don't have the right size dpn's, nor the money to buy any, nor the excitement needed to make a hat on dpn's at this point anyway. it's going surprisingly well though. i've used the general idea from a pattern i found on the internet and fashioned it after my current ear-flap hat that i love. we'll see how it works out.

the ribby cardi i ended up starting before i got my yarn from elann and that may end up being a good thing. the reason i started is because, well, because i got antsy, but also because i found the exact color i was looking for at the store last week. it's wool-ease seaspray and i'm going to make the sleeves chocolate in the same yarn. it's soft and not really scratchy at all unlike the peruvian wool that showed up from elann yesterday. that doesn't feel too nice through the hole that was in the top of the bag. i haven't actually taken it out of the bag yet just in case i decide to send it back - i'm not too thrilled about the colors i finally chose.

anyway, the only problem with the wool-ease is that it splits pretty badly but i've gotten used to it and it's knitting much nicer now. i've finished the left and right fronts of the cardi and it looks like it's going to fit perfect - close fitting but that's the way i like them. the decreases at the top confused me quite a bit but i think i've got it all figured out now. i was hoping to start the back tonight but it looks like that's not going to happen. too many damn phone calls in between filling out my FAFSA for the 05-06 school year.

i'll try to post some pictures tomorrow or friday. in order to do that i must smuggle home the digital camera from work. hehe.