Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Listening to: Modest Mouse - Live at the Showbox 12.22.02 (so fun because I was at that show)

I used to knit and knit
Sweaters, scarves, and socks
Now I sit and sit
And wait for a big brown box

Can you guess what I was thinking about as I tried to fall asleep last night? I know it hasn't been that long since I ordered my yarn (nine business days) but I'm very antsy since last time I ordered I had such a quick shipment. I'm getting excited about my scarf, even though I haven't chosen a pattern yet and I don't even have to tell you that I'm excited to start swatching for my sweater.

The more I think about the scarf, the more the idea of the plait and cables appeals to me but I'll have to take a better picture of the sample and decide. Seeing a picture of something just makes or breaks it sometimes, you know?

In the meantime, I've been knitting dishcloths. No pictures because, let's face it, they're seed stitch dishcloths. Light blue, pretty small - about 6" squares, boring dishcloths. Maybe the monotony of dishcloths finally got to me because I went out and bought a shiny new cell phone today. This thing is amazing. The pictures are really pretty (at least in small camera view) at 1.3 megapixels and I'm planning to purchase the memory card which will allow me to transfer MP3's to my phone and pictures to my computer for free. I'm usually not a material person so it's a weird experience to fall in love with a little tiny piece of technology that cost more than my car payment... but here I am, taking that plunge.

With all this talk about dishcloths and plunging you'd think I was in the kitchen clearing a clog out of the sink! I'll post again when I have something fun to talk about.

Friday, Friday, Hooray!

Friday, January 27, 2006

The mailman still hasn't left me any giant boxes of yarn. But I have high hopes for this weekend.

Not too much to say today. No knitting was done last night. I've started exercising and it has been just whooping me in the ass. I get done, pick my son up from his martial arts class, go home and lay on the couch for a bit, maybe read part of a book, then just crash. Before 10:00 pm and, dare I say it, some nights before 9:30 pm.

But I thought I'd share my Knitting Olympics picture. I really like it but I don't know how to make the text still visible when I shrink it down to button size. I'm afraid it might be something really easy so if you know the trick, please let me know.

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

I had high hopes for the cables pictures I took last night but, as you can see, they did not turn out very well. This is, believe it or not, the best of the bunch. From the bottom up I did 1) C6F in the middle every 8 rows and C6B every four rows on the sides, 2) C6F in the middle every 8 rows and C6B every alternating 8 rows on the sides, 3) A 9-stitch plait in the middle with C6B every 8 rows on the sides. I know you can't see that last one at all so you might have to imagine it. My next thought is to try the C6F in the middle and flat cables on the sides. Not sure how else to explain that. They would have the two twists and then a flat area for maybe 12 rows or something.

If you happen to know of any beautiful, super-cool cable scarf patterns (other than the Irish Hiking Scarf) please let me know. And cross your fingers that the mailman brings me something special today.

Filling in some spaces...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Okay, so it IS Cranberry in the sweater amd Hollyberry just for the winter set. Since I'm such a visual person I had to change the Hollyberry picture to Cranberry in my previous post so if you're curious about how the real colors I chose look together you can scroll down to see. But then scroll back up again because I'm not done yet.

I've taken a picture of my current cable swatch ideas but can't upload it until tomorrow morning. The reason I say "current" is because I ripped out the first set to start the second set with a fresh idea. Still not loving any combination of cables in particular yet. In the back of my mind I see myself giving up the search and just knitting the Hermione Hat and mittens. But I'm just not sure I'm a cable and bobble type of gal. I like cables but those bobbles just kind of throw me off.

And the book I was trying to mention yesterday was The Ultimate Sourcebook of Knitting and Crochet Stitches. Another Reader's Digest one. Do they make great knitting books, or what?

Last but certainly not least, you may notice a new button on the sidebar for the Knitting Olympics. I tried making my own and failed miserably (but it was so cool, it had an eagle holding yarn and everything!) so I grabbed one of Jessica's beautiful buttons. Feel free to use one of hers, just save it to your own server.

P.S. I just realized when I have to republish 5 million times, which I always do because I'm a perfectionist, Bloglines makes it look like there are multiple new posts. Sorry about that. It's just me being anal.

Knit Talk

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Not having a current project to work on sure doesn't put a damper on my knitterly thoughts. In lieu of a project, I picked up the Reader's Digest Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley from my library. My knitting theory thus far has been to pick a project and learn the stitches required to make it. Come to think of it, that's my theory on just about anything. But looking through this book has inspired me.

For example, for my first Ribby Cardi, I used the Tubular Cast-on because someone mentioned that it was nice and stretchy and "looked good". But I never really thought about it too much. Sure it looked nice and stretched on the Ribby Cardi but did I understand why? Nuh-uh. But Montse Stanley is teaching me why. *nods solemnly*

So, follow my train of thought here, having that awesome knitterly resource at my fingertips made me wonder what else could be sitting there getting dusty in the library. Couple that with the fact that I'm waiting (oh so patiently) for my Knitpicks order* to arrive and you can find me at the library checking out this great book of knitting patterns. No, not that kind of patterns... I don't have the book on hand for the name but bear with me. In it, I found dozens of different cable designs I could use for my cabled hat, mitten, and scarf set. So I spent the whole weekend swatching for my scarf and it was so fun. Good thing I'm a process knitter... I'll try to get a picture of the finalists to show you before I start (the scarf will be my pre-Olympics project).

*Whew. So, Knitpicks. For my Essential Stripe Olympics Sweater we have Wool of the Andes in:

Actually, since I don't have my knitting folder in front of me, I'm unsure if the sweater has Hollyberry in it. It may have Cranberry and the Hollyberry is for my winter stuff set. I'll verify later.

Anyway, this was my first big yarn order ever. Along with the sweater and winter set stuff I had to throw in some sock yarn, didn't I? Bless my tax refund, shopping is fun.

(Sorry this post is such a mish-mash of half-finished thoughts. I've been super busy working on a big grant and work and my mind is a bit mushy. Hopefully it'll clear sometime late next week after the grant is in the mail.)


Friday, January 20, 2006

I thought about tackling the meme Marisa and Ellie did yesterday but I can't think of any habits that are interesting enough without being outright crazy. I'd rather the internet didn't know how crazy I can be. Though I will admit that I sort of agree with Ellie's mirror thing - not that I think Bloody Mary is going to come out, but I just don't like them, especially in dark rooms.

Instead I'll do the meme I saw on In the Pink. More straightforward, which is what my poor brain needs today.

4 jobs you have had:
Assistant librarian
Record store clerk (aka record store bitch)
Lab Technician (QA on McDonald's french fries)
Tours Editor (volunteer position but it's still a job, right?)

4 movies you could watch over and over:
Lost in Translation
Le Mepris
Drugstore Cowboy
End of Evangelion

4 TV shows you love to watch:
The Office (British Version)
Becker reruns
Will and Grace if it happens to be on
I really don't watch TV that often...

4 places you have been on vacation:
Huntington Beach, CA
Bellingham, WA
New York, NY
Every tourist trap in South Dakota

4 websites you visit daily:
Tiny Mix Tapes

4 of your favorite foods:
Fettucine with Ham and Cream (homemade noodles, one of my specialties)
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Tortilla Soup (clear broth version, not the creamy kind)

4 places you would rather be right now:
Knitting on the couch
Sleeping in my cozy bed
My dad's farm
Chicago. I love Chicago.

4 bloggers you are tagging:
I'd rather not but if anyone wants to do it, feel free. I love reading the responses.

Olympic knitting

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I love the Olympics. Much like Friday the 13th I'm not really sure why. I've heard the arguments against, including the opinion that Olympic athletes are all rich snobs. I don't quite understand why that, if it's true, should exclude them from being appreciated for training so hard to be so good at their area of expertise but, I digress. Many of you probably read Harlot's moving piece about the Olympics and Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger). I think my love for the Olympics moved me a bit too much on this one because I signed up for the challenge.

Okay, okay, I'll be truthful: what really moved me to sign up (even though I don't see my name on the list yet) was the Essential Stripe Sweater, long-sleeved and v-necked. I've been eyeing this sweater for awhile and finally bought the pattern a few weeks ago. True to fashion, I've read the pattern at least three times already. I've bought some new needles. I've ordered color cards from Knitpicks and made some really close color matches to the picture. (Yes, I know I'm admitting to being one of those people who makes sweaters the same color as the model's but I can't help it on this one: I love those colors and I think they'll look good on me. So same colors it is.) I'll probably be ordering the yarn this week sometime in hopes that I can become an Olympic knitter. My challenge is really the whole top-down on circ's for the first time WITH gazillions of stripes. Man, oh man, 16 days.

Also, I'm wearing the socks today. It makes me grin just typing that. I LOVE these socks. They're so fun and so cute and so cozy. I may have to add elastic but, for now, I'm just basking in the fun, cute, coziness.

Unfortunately, this means I have to survive a two-hour each way drive tomorrow for work without a good knitting project. I may just have to offer to drive.

Friday the 13th

Friday, January 13, 2006

So I've been dropping Happy Friday the 13th's all over blogland today. I love Friday the 13th. Have ever since I was a kid. But it's not like I do anything for it or celebrate, or get reckless, or superstitious. I just like it. So Happy Friday the 13th!

Today will be a fun post then. Screw the frustrations of the day. Presented here is my favorite gift I received this holiday season. It's from my friend Courtney who also gave us a jar of Nutella because we'd never had it before. It's so yummy! The gift though, is a clock... made out of a Rolling Stones record. How cool is that?! It's a new addition to my kitchen. I can't wait to own a home where it will probably go in my office/craft/music room.

Have a great weekend, knitters! I'll be finishing up the socks and hopefully starting something new!

Knitting Content Here

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This week has been so busy with so many different projects (not knitting related) I hardly know how to blog about knitting.

This weekend though I knit up a neck warmer thing for Kurt. A friend of mine told me the name for such things but I seem to have forgotten it already. There was a problem though. While it knit up nice and tight and squishy and perfect it didn't wash very well. Remember my grey Ribby Cardi? Yeah. This was done in Wool-ease as well and, when washed, grew to gigantic proportions. So I dried it, hoping it would shrink up but... it didn't. It's still much too big. I HATE HATE HATE Wool-ease now!!! With the fire of a thousand suns I hate it! The first sweater I knitted using it is great. I wear it aaaaall the time and, if anything, it's shrunk a little in the wash. The only possible difference I can think of is that I was still knitting in the combined fashion when I knitted that particular sweater.

So that little neck warmer experiment sucked.

I think I can just take out the seam and seam it much farther in, then tack down the extra seam flaps on the inside but it still makes me too angry every time I look at it.

And, since I went "out" Monday to a Pampered Chef party with a friend and had one too many glasses of wine, and have had appointments and grocery shopping and everything else, the socks have hardly been knitted on all week. Just a little ribbing while waiting in the dentist's office yesterday. I hate the dentist. I took a picture of the socks anyway.*

I also took a couple other pictures but am trying to learn the joy of saving pictures and posting more often with them instead of getting stuck at home with the digital camera at work all the time and only posting once a week. So those will come in due time. ;)

I hope your knitting is going better than mine!

*If anyone is wondering why there have been no standing "here are my knee highs on" pictures it's because I took a couple and was completely embarrassed by how skinny my legs look. I look like a stick person! I have toothpicks for legs! And I just hate the way they look.

Premature posting....

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Okay. Well. The math seems to have overtaken me after all. Since when does the top of socks need to have zero ease? Um, for knee highs to stay up, I'd think (now, after they're done I would think) the k2p2 at the top should have negative ease. Hmm. Well. But then there might be the problem of getting that negative ease over the calf muscle (hah, like it's all muscle).

They are wearable, don't get me wrong. And they look spectacular. Not to mention I love the idea of telling people when they ask about them that they're "custom made" just for my skinny little legs. Teehee.

But... it would be nice if "custom made" meant I wouldn't have to pull them up all the time like I do store bought knee highs.

Am I crazy here? Should I rip out and do more decreases before the top? And maybe lose the elastic that doesn't seem to do a damn thing?


True Stories

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Listening to: Silkworm - Blueblood

Well, I finished the stripey socks. The math did not overpower me, the frogging didn't kill me, and by God they actually fit. I can hardly believe it. I ended up using elastic in the k2p2s at the top but I can't feel that it did any good. I've only had them on about 10 minutes and I can already feel them slip-slip-slipping down. So that sucks. But just wait till you see them. They're gorgeous.

I'm also blogging from home. Wow, it feels odd.

Also, I found out today that when I paid bills last week I accidentally sent my car payment to my landlord and (hopefully) my rent check to the bank for my car payment. I laughed so hard when I got the message from my landlord and then again on the phone with the bank lady (who was so nice and actually laughed with me a little bit) and then throughout the day every time I stopped to think about it. Damn those holiday-time bill paying sessions. Too much to do and not enough time and look what happens. Hah. The good(?) news is that the bank won't care. They'll cash the check no matter who it's made out to. Isn't that strange? I still find it strange. Mostly in a haha strange way but sort of in a creepy haha way too. I just keep picturing this big machine at the bank ripping open envelopes and eating checks whether they belong to it or not. Hilarious, yet wrong. I mean, it's made out to my landlords... What do you think: funny or creepy or both?

One last true story also has little to do with knitting so if you're here just for the knitting you might want to skip it. It has to do with music. Specifically my CDs and how I have this tradition of listening to them all, from A-Z, alphabetized by band name, every year around this time. It's a big job that takes at least a month. And in the past couple of years has been really sluggish. Mainly because, you know,
it's hard to go through 6 Black Crowes or 8 Modest Mouse CDs in a row no matter how much you like them. But this year my son had this awesome idea. He suggested, smart little guy that he is, that I rearrange the whole shebang according to ALBUM TITLE instead of band name. EUREKA! Or should I say ZAIREEKA! This whole marathon thing is just flying by this year because it feels so random! Who knew it could be this fun again?

I hope to have pictures of the Stripey Socks tomorrow. And I suppose I have to find another project to replace them. Hmm... I'll get back to you on that one.