Thursday, June 30, 2005

Serious Withdrawal

I haven't been able to knit the last three nights and it's making me crazy! Between work and helping my mother shop, there is no time for frivolous things. But on a positive note, I have found some nice bargains while clothes shopping with my mother. I HATE to shop (as noted in the 100 things about me from February's posts) and I never do it until I'm absolutely desperate for something. So, having to take my mother so she can get ready for a trip to Colorado for my brother's wedding, I have been forced to shop and it has been successful. Amazing what you can find when you aren't really looking.

So, work is serious today. The largest closing of my career on tap for 4:30pm. I've got knots in my stomach the size of beach balls over this one. (for those of you who think it would be so much fun to show houses for a living, believe me when I tell you that it's days like this that no one thinks about or knows about when they say that!) Keep a good thought that all goes well because you never know about these things until you walk away from the table. If all goes well it translates into YARN, baby! Lots and lots of YARN. :-)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Beaded Front

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You probably can't see the little glass beads I bought to sew on this top but I threw a few of them on just to take the photo. The fun fur I bought to put on the flipflops matches this top exactly. It will be a cute outfit when I'm all finished.

I hope the way my day started out today is no indication of how the rest of it is going to go. I got stuck in a car wash stall this morning. The door wouldn't go up when it was all finished and of course there was no attendant anywhere in sight. Fortunately, the back door didn't go down when I went in so I was able to very carefully BACK out of the stupid thing. And, of course, I paid EXTRA for the dryer and didn't get to use it. Grrrrr......

Monday, June 27, 2005

Fronts and Tea

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I got fronts! I finished the front of "W" and I almost finished the front of "Arlene". Of course I forgot to take my camera home so I don't have photos of the progress but here is a somewhat recent photo of "W". For those of you looking for a interesting pattern, W is it.

I missed the "stitcher's night covered dish" at my LYS on Saturday. I would like to have attended but one of my best friends was co-hosting a "high tea" party at her house (hat's mandatory) and you can't be two places at once. Talk about fun... that tea party was the best. Her table was gorgeous and the food was great. We laughed until we were sick. Some of the activities were such a hoot. Hats and outfits were judged, we had to tell where and why we purchased the outfit, we had to explain why we thought our favorite tea matched our personality, we had to tour the hostess's new landscaping but only so that her neighbors could see us in our finery and wonder what the hell was going on. We were informed about the history of tea, the benefits of tea and the introduction of iced tea at the world's fair in 1904! They read a humorous commentary from one of Andy Rooney's 60 Minutes segments about women over 40. Hysterical! Tea quotations were written on little cards and placed at everyone's place at the table. They were supposedly chosen to match the guest's personality. Mine said "Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. And whoever this "Earl Grey" fellow is, I'd like to have a word with him." by Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek, The Next Generation. Do you think my friends might find me a tad outspoken??? Who? Me?

Tons of photos were taken for a scrapbook that will be reviewed every year at this annual event. I can't wait until next year. I'm going to be SO much better prepared. For this party, I threw on a sheath dress and a plain, wide brimmed straw hat, and flew out the door. Next year I will do a little planning and maybe I won't win for the "most plain" ensemble!!! But, on the bright side, I won the cutest little bear candle made out of beeswax and a jar of honey. Parting gifts included a potted "lemon" plant to flavor tea, a little bag of assorted tea bags and a meditation CD suited to our personalities. Mine is the ocean sounds because the hostess knows I'm obsessed with the beach. I think it's safe to say that this sort of thing really isn't "me" and sounds like something I would hate but I loved it.
Hopefully, I'm growing. (I'm growing alright....growing old!)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Holy Cleavage Batman!

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Soleil II is finished. Sadly, I probably won't ever wear this. There isn't much I like about it. The fact that it's too low cut doesn't bother me because I'd be ok with wearing a camisole under it. It's the fact that it feels too big, too long, too flimsy, etc. I guess I could take it and do the tailoring thing with it but I'm just not feeling it. I don't think I'd like it even if it fit me. The color is good on me though. I've come to the conclusion that I just haven't knit for myself enough yet to understand good fit and how to make a pattern work for me. And to tell you the truth, I don't know if I'll ever be able to alter a pattern to work for me because my brain just can't work that way. I can follow instructions, I just can't make them up! Geez, no wonder that through the years I rarely knit for myself! This is sooooooo frustrating!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Soleil II - Not Feeling The Love

I washed Soleil II to get it ready to block and I have to say I regret the Knitpicks Shine yarn. Pure and's flimsy. The drape is lousy. Oh well, live and learn. I like the look of it in the skein, I like the feel of it, and I love the color. I just don't like how it knit up. Once again, you get what you pay for. Damn!

I made major progress on "W" last night. I can't put it down. The pattern is addictive...sort of like clapotis. As I was knitting, it amazed me that someone came up with that design in their head. Having a mind for design like that is so foreign to me. I'm guessing that being able to do that involves the same part of your brain that enables you to be good at math. The part of the brain that is virtually non-existent in my particular organ. When God was passing that out I think I was still in the fat-gene line.

I'm anxious to start my first lace project. The LYS hasn't called me yet to let me know the pattern came in. I'll never have it finished for the beach if I don't start it soon. I know I need lace weight yarn but I don't want it to be fuzzy and that's how I picture most lace weight yarn. I'll have to give this some thought.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


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I got it into my head on Sunday that I just had to start's pattern "W". It was one of those "I have to do this and I have to do this NOW" type of things. So, not being able to find any good Aran weight yarn that wasn't wool anywhere, I headed off to A.C. Moore and did exactly what I know better than to do. I bought cheap yarn. Really cheap yarn. And I love how it's turning out. I'll hate it of course after the first washing but for now I love the colors and the feel.
This pattern is so much fun. It is constantly changing and it's fun to watch the pattern emerge.
I think I'll do it again in good yarn at some point in the future because I like how it's taking shape.

It sure beats the boredom of this:

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Arlene is so pretty but it sure is boring to work on. I think I'll bounce back and forth between the two of these until they are both complete. And then, for sure, it's on to Christmas gift knitting!

Friday, June 17, 2005

The beginning of Arlene....

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Since I have to wait for the Knitpicks shine yarn to come to finish Soleil II I did cast on for Arlene. It's going to be a boring knit but I think I'm going to love the thing when it's completed.
I think I'll go look for the beads today at lunch time.

I stopped at Walmart early this morning on my way to work to buy a cheap pair of black flipflops to do this:
Free Crochet Pattern: FUN FUR Flip Flop Sandals

I can get the Fun Fur at A C Moore when I buy the beads. I think they are cute. But, they look like an obsession in the making. When I start making things like that I usually end up having to make a pair for everyone. I can't stop at one pair.

Weight Watchers is going great. I promised myself I wouldn't get on the scales until the next meeting but I couldn't stand not knowing and I hopped on this morning. To my surprise I lost 5 lbs. in 6 days. I know the remaining lbs won't come off that fast but you still have to love that instant gratification. Appleby's has a good Weight Watchers menu and I went there for dinner last night. It's great to be able to eat out and know exactly what you can eat. They are going to be seeing a lot more of me!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Are You Sitting Down????

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What is wrong with me??? I ran out of yarn. Again. It may LOOK finished, but I still have to single crochet an edging around the arms and neck and I have no yarn left. Zero. Zilch. Yes, the good news is that I can buy more Knitpicks Shine in the color Butter without a problem. Thank goodness! But I did order more than the pattern called for so where did it all go? I thought I would have an entire skein left over. I don't get it. The good news is that this one does fit and it fits very well. I thought it looked big but it's perfect actually.

Knitting two of the exact same tops with different yarns has taught me a lesson. The total for the yarn I used for the red one (Butterfly Mercerized Cotton)was about $40.00 with almost a whole skein left over. The total for the Knitpicks (Shine) yarn for this one was $16.00. (including the additional skein I ordered last night) The red one feels like a million dollars. The drape is awesome, it's heavier and I love everything about it. The knitpicks one feels like a t-shirt. It's comfy and soft but in no way measures up to the Butterfly. It occurred to me,however, that when I spill something on it and ruin it, (as I have a habit of doing) I'm not going to feel nearly as bad as I would with the red one. So there is a good side and a bad side to everything!

I guess the bottom line is this. If you are going to sit for hours and hours on end to make something for yourself, you might as well go the extra mile and buy the good stuff. It definitely makes a difference.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Funny Stuff

I found this today on another knitting blog that I read. I think it's really funny. I was going to put it on our family blog but somehow I think only knitters would really appreciate it.

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Soleil Boredom

I was bored with Soleil last night and I wanted to cast on for Arlene in the worst way. But, I am committed to finishing Soleil before starting the other one so I ended up doing NO knitting last night. I just couldn't talk myself into picking it up. I guess you'll have days like that.

In totally non-knitting news I started Weight Watchers on Saturday. I've tried to lose this 20 extra pounds on my own but it's obvious now that I have to answer to someone or I won't get it done. I have to say this program is not bad... not bad at all! I'm still enjoying my all important glass of wine with dinner and eating mostly what I want.... just a lot less of it. To me, the 8 glasses of water a day is the most difficult part. In truth, I can't do it. Thats too much water and way too many trips to the bathroom to my way of thinking. I guess I'm going to do this like I do everything else.... MY way. I have some important functions and two very nice vacations coming up in August and September and I'm too vain and self-conscious to go with the extra weight so I'm totally committed to this diet. I just wish I had the desire to excercise. I hate the "E" word!

Monday, June 13, 2005

Self Image

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It's official. I must think I'm a lot bigger than I actually am. I keep making everything too big. This one is going to be better than the last one. I'm going to be able to wear it without taking it in, but, there is no doubt that it's going to be "roomy". I must be like one of those people who look in the mirror and see themselves as bigger than they actually are. Either that or I'm doing something else drastically wrong. I don't know... I measure myself, I check my gauge.... what else IS there?

So why did I kick such major butt on this project this weekend??? Because of this, of course:

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How do I hate this camera? Let me count the ways. Anyhow, this is Arlene just waiting to be cast on. The directions say to make the front and back exactly alike. I'd like to do it in the round. How hard could it be to figure that out?? I'm thinking not very. I'm really hurrying Soleil II so I can start this. I am going to bead the front of this. I saw a cute top at T.J. Maxx with the kind of scattered beading that would be perfect for this. I'm not crazy about the thought of sewing every little bead on but I think it would be worth it in the end.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Parking Lot Knitting

I had to work at the Altoona Curve game last night for my Ambucs organization. What a commitment. You get there at 5:00pm and leave at 10:30. But, on a positive note, I didn't have to deal with one rude person this time so, all in all, it wasn't too bad. ( I hate rude, there is never any need for rude behavior) It was fireworks night, so, unfortunately, the crowd was just leaving as I was and I got tied up in the parking lot madness. Fortunately, I had my trusty knitting bag with me so I just sat and knit and paid absolutely NO attention to what was going on around me. I probably got 5 rows of soleil II finished before the crowd dissipated. I was glad I had it with me.

I went to the LYS yesterday and got some Butterfly 100% mercerized cotton to do the cute summer top (below). The name of the pattern is "arlene" by the way if anyone cares to check it out on Berroco's site. For those of you who haven't worked with Butterfly yet, I highly recommend it. The drape is awesome. It's heavier than Knitpick's Shine, and although I like that too, I do prefer Butterfly.

While I was at the LYS, I ordered Fiber Trends Seascape Shawl pattern for my first Lace project. I'm hoping I can have it finished for Kiawah in August but that is doubtful. I have too many other projects in the works. My Christmas knitting has gone totally by the wayside. I don't know how I hope to accomplish all that when I'm obsessed with summer knitting. As I recall, in a previous post, I stated that I was not going to knit cotton and that I was on a mission to complete all sorts of wool gifts for Christmas. Ha Ha. So much for that.

However, speaking of Christmas knitting, I found a scarf pattern through the magic of a google search and the kindness of this blogger: The Yarnpath I searched the words "masculine" and "scarf" and found her pattern called "Tweed and Seed Scarf". It IS masculine and just what I was looking for for my boss for Christmas. I think all of the scarf patterns in ScarfStyle are too "fussy" for him but that one is perfect.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cute Summer Top

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Hey check it out! I just found this and I love it!! Free Pattern at under the Cotton Twist yarn. Of course I'd leave out the shiny round things. I'm not a shiny round thing type of person. I'm thinking little beads might be cute to dress it up though. Yep, I'm makin it!

Stuff, just stuff

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Here's the latest progress on Soleil II. Hopefully this one will fit me. I did take the other one to the seamstress to get it taken in a la Bonnie Marie. That should be interesting. The way I look at it, it can't hurt. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I DO like this KnitPicks cotton yarn. It's soft and nice to work with.

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I started these socks last night at knitting night. I have a philosophy... crazy though it is.... I won't work on anything there if I haven't purchased the yarn for the project at the shop. It doesn't seem to bother anyone else to do it but I'm weird like that. I wanted to work on Soleil II but, sorry, Knitpicks yarn and I'm behind on my sock knitting anyhow. I like to give socks as Christmas gifts and I've got a few pairs to go. Knitting night was poorly attended. This is a busy time of year for everyone. There weren't too many of us "knit knuts" there.

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So here is another new obsession. I don't think I'd put the bobbles on it though. I love this sweater. But, I was thinking, I bet if they showed it in any other color but the light blue I wouldn't have even noticed it. Sometimes I think I'm attracted to color more than pattern. I have LOTS of new 0bsessions in that Vogue Quick Knits book. I want to make everything in there.

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My roses are blooming. They are beautiful. They will look nice for a while and then they will get black spot which I never seem to be able to control every year. I spray and do all the things they say to do but they still get it. And this variety was supposed to be black spot resistant. Right.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Ta Da! Weekend Quick Knit

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I love this pattern. ( - archives - coronet hat) This hat looks so cute on and it's fun to make. And this time, I actually followed the pattern. I'll take this to knitting night, which should be tomorrow, to show to the girl who spun the yarn. (I can't think of her name!) If I went to all that trouble to spin and dye, I'd like to see the finished product.

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I got this at Barnes and Noble. I think the only thing I'm NOT crazy about is the sweater on the cover! I hate chenille. I can't stand the feel of it. But this book is FULL of great patterns, both summer and winter. And there's a nice shawl in there I'm thinking about. Check it out at your local bookstore.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Stashbusting... and other things.

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I felt like I needed a little diversion from the worn out projects (soleil and clapotis) so I took a little break and decided to knit up another Coronet Hat (archives at I am using the hand spun and dyed yarn that I got from a local spinner at my LYS knitting night. It is turning out ok but has this ... almost... "felted" feel to it. I can't explain it. Anyhow, it's just what the doctor ordered to get me out of my knitting slump. It's going fast and you have to love that instant gratification.

I got a new book at Barnes and Noble that I just love. (photo tomorrow) I think it's called Vogue Quick Knits. (I'm at work, the book is at home) It's got tons of winter and summer projects... almost all of which I love. Just what I needed, more future projects to add to the list. I don't have enough already.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to take the drastic measures mentioned in Tara's blog ( to make Soleil I smaller. As I don't know where my sewing machine is, I'm going to take it to a seamstress to have it done. Anyhow check it out...
ChicKnits : TEKtalk : Downsizing Drastic? Yes, but in this case, I think it's the only option. And, yes, before you say anything I know it will screw up the lace design on the sides. At this point I'm going to suck that up and live with it. The other option is the trash can so I'm willing to give it a shot. I think the yarn would be too stressed out to rip it one more time and start something else. Remember, it used to be a baby jacket!

More photos tomorrow... and, yay, hopefully only a few more weeks of lousy photos as I am going to get a new digital in a week or two.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Interesting.....verrrrrry interesting....

Last evening, after making some sense of laundry piled to the ceiling upon my return from Florida, I got Soleil out of the knitting bag to work on. Seems I lost my knitting instructions on the plane. No big deal.. I can always print them out again but my printer at home is broken so there was no knitting on that last night. I hate running back and forth to the computer. So I decided to work on Clapotis II. I picked it up, and low and behold, half of the stitches were off the needle. So all the markers on that half are no where to be found. That's not a big deal either. The pattern is so repetitive that I could easily have figured out on the next row where they were supposed to be. However, upon further inspection, there was a huge pull in the middle of the piece with yarn dangling loose and a HOLE in it as plain as day. When I tried to gently pull the piece back into shape, the stitches ran. Now, I don't get this. First of all, obviously it was messed with while I was gone.... my fault for leaving it sit out. But, more curiously, if I had dropped a stitch earlier on, I would have known it. You can't do that pattern without the correct number of stitches between every marker. I cannot for the life of me figure out what happened. To make a long story short, in my frustration, I frogged the whole thing. I hadn't gotten to the first dropped stitch yet so it wasn't A LOT of knitting but I only had two rows to go to do that and it was enough to make me want to SCREAM.

I might try something different with that yarn now. I saw a wrap in Vogue Knitting that my sister said she liked. Maybe I'll make that for her instead. Also, on the plane, my mother commented on a lace scarf that she liked while leafing through the Vogue magazine. That makes life easy when trying to decide on gifts!