Monday, February 25, 2008

Knot My Knitting

This is the Baby Bolero from the One Skein book. Kelly is making it for Clare. It is turning out great in Blue Sky Alpaca Cotton.... very soft. After helping her with the finishing the only thing I will say about the pattern is that I don't understand how they expect you to pick up so many stitches around for the border on such a small piece. I picked up what I could, and it's just going to have to work. I guess we'll see. There is a K2,P2 border the whole way around the sweater that she will do now and it will be finished. The little "lace" feature on the back is so cute.

Here is the progress on my green wrap. It's coming along. I'm still enjoying the process. I'm thinking of a navy border around it in single crochet. I'd rather do an I-cord, but I don't think that can be done on something so large, can it? Don't y0u have to pick all the stitches up and do it in the round? Hmmn...

Friday, February 22, 2008

An article I read on the computer today......

From the Editors at Netscape -

You may look half your age, but if you're over 40 there are certain things you should never wear -- no matter what.
That's the word from fashion guru Tim Gunn, who serves as the mentor on the hit reality series 'Project Runway' that premiered on Bravo in 2004.
When Gunn was a guest on the 'Oprah' show, he laid down the law to the over-40 crowd.
If you're over 40, you should never wear:
1. Horizontal stripes
2. Jackets that hit at mid-thigh
3. Pleated pants
4. Double-breasted blazers
5. Capri-length pants
6. Low-rise jeans

So is this guy smoking crack or what? I get the first two things. (although I still don't understand what they have to do with age. Not too many women of ANY age can pull those looks off) But the rest?? We're not over 80, we're over 40 for God's sake. I never liked him on Project Runway and I like him even less now. I just love it when MEN decide what we should and shouldn't wear.

What in the heck could possibly be wrong with capri-length pants? I guess we should all just be condemned to wear long pants in the summer for the rest of our lives. I wonder if short shorts are more appropriate??

This guy's a nut ball.

On not knitting....

I am SO not a winter person. I become a total recluse in the winter. Sometimes, truthfully, I have my p.j.'s on at 6:30pm and I just sit and knit until it's time to go to bed. I put off doing other things in the winter. I don't want to go out. The good thing about my job is that it's slow in the winter and I don't have to spend much time out and about in the evenings because it's too dark to see anything anyway.

Last night I picked Colin up at daycare and we went to visit my mother for the evening. No knitting got accomplished and it was certainly a deviation to my normal routine. While we were there, he stuffed himself with pizza and then she got out the chocolate. He put a dent in that and then asked for grape juice, which he proceded to spill on the ottoman. She never batted an eye. Some things are just more important than stains. He calls her Gigi. She calls him Dolly Dingle (some sort of Irish thing I think). He enjoys seeing her. She really enjoys seeing him.

It made me realize I need to get out of my selfish winter rut. Life goes on in the winter. Maybe instead of hibernating I'd be a lot better off doing more important things.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Joyful, blissful, mindless knitting...

The new basketweave wrap:

This is the kind of knitting that sucked you in in the first place. Fast, easy, and gratifying.
Of course now that I'm this far I realize that there are a few things I would do differently if I ever made another one. First of all, I put too many stitches on. I'd cut it down to 90 stitches from 110. And I'd go down a needle size. I think I'm using 9's. 8's would have been better. It's more like a blanket than an wrap! But I still know I'm going to love it. I have a self-imposed deadline for this and that is March 28th. I should be able to get it finished. I don't have plans to wear it, I just want to get it finished so I can start the baby blanket (which I said I would never knit) When my kids were born I bet I got 10 crocheted baby blankets and never used half of them. That's when I said I'd never put the time in to do one of those. But then I came across a great pattern, and some great yarn, and I just have to do it. I'd show it to you... but there are lurkers here... and it's a surprise. :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wrap Obsessed

Because I am totally crazy, I started another wrap last night using this yarn. What is it about wraps? I think I know what it is. I love to knit things that have absolutely no shaping that I know I will wear. I was watching the movie "Sweet Home Alabama" with Reese Witherspoon and there is a scene where she's standing on a dock talking to her hunky not-quite ex-husband and she has on the most adorable basketweave stitch wrap on. So, me being me, I get on the computer and google a few words to see if I can come up with a pattern and I find nothing. (Although someone on Ravelry writes something about it but has nothing to show for it) Anyhoo.... I just started knitting and I think I like it so far. Hopefully I'll have a photo tomorrow. It doesn't look like much yet.

A word about Kraemer yarns. I really like them. A Pennsylvania product, I've been buying them here:

Victoria's House of Needleart

for a few years now and I haven't found one I haven't liked yet. They have a little bit of everything. The Summit Hill is a superwash wool worsted and it feels great. I was hooked on Cascade 220 for a while but this is much softer... and washable! I made Mr. C. a sweater with some of their cotton yarn and it turned out great. I made myself a shawl using their Alpaca and it is totally awesome. Anyway, try it, you'll like it.

As I was surfing the web this morning, I came across this incredible afghan: » Great American Aran Afghan

I would absolutely never have the patience to finish something like this, but it sure would be fun trying. I love the square with the sweater on it. I made an aran afghan once that was only a fraction of the work, and it took me 10 years to finish it. Yes. Way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Nupps From HELL

I decided to get the Estonian Garden wrap back out since there is no longer any urgency for Colin's ex-sweater (which is now slated to be gifted to a baby to be named later). I have finished the middle of the wrap. But before I get into my rant, which of course I'm going to, I just have to say to you lace knitters out there, if you haven't tried addi turbo for lace needles, you don't know what you are missing. They are awesome beyond words. What a difference they made after doing the bulk of the work with regular needles.

Here is a photo of my finished "middle".

Here is a photo (from the pattern) of the border that I attempted to start last night.

Because the photo is crappy, you can 't see the "nupps", but they're there. I read the pattern, I practiced on old yarn, and I got it without any problem. But there was a problem. At the end of the first nupp row, which is always a right side row, I was proud of myself because I had the correct number of stitches and just assumed I did everything right. On row two, everything was screwed up. I did this SIX times! I finally had to put another 8 row repeat on the body of the shawl just to finally use that beat up yarn so I don't keep abusing it trying to figure this out. And don't even get me started on how difficult it is to purl the 5 nupp stitches together, even WITH addi turbos for lace! My problem, obviously, is in trying to stay in sequence with the pattern on the initial row, although every time I did it, I had the correct number of stitches at the end, so that really doesn't make any sense. And the pattern can't be wrong. Too many people have made this and there is no mention anywhere of errata. So. Frustrating.

My plan of attack at this point is to find a simpler border. Something easy that will still look nice. I'm open to suggestions. I really truly do not want to revisit the original instructions. Way too frustrating!
Candle Countdown... getting there slowly.
Since yesterday was a bank holiday, I lit the little bugger before I went to work knowing DH would be home all day. (heh heh)

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Fun Factor

If there is one thing I've learned over the years, it's that you have to stop every now and then and just knit something little for fun. Wendy Bernard's Dream Swatch pattern is exactly what the Dr. ordered for times like this. This pattern is so much fun to knit. I just love switching those stitches around on the needles. And dropping the wraps is almost as much fun as letting the stitches run in the Clapotis pattern. One word of advice though... if you are using left over Koigu from socks, you'll run out of yarn for this pattern. Mine is not nearly as long as it should be, but I still think it will tie around someone's head without too much trouble.

I babysat Colin over the weekend and I found out for sure that his sweater will never fit him. That is why I am redirecting the love with that one. I have another intended recipient now... he just has to turn out to be a boy. I have a 50-50 chance. Not bad odds. And I think the little mother knows what she's having and isn't telling. I guess I'll just keep my fingers crossed on this one.


Maybe 1/16th burned. A LONG way to go. (cough, cough)

Friday, February 15, 2008


I've had such a boring week. Nothing is going on at work. Real Estate is so weather driven. When the weather is bad, real estate activity dies. And we're in the middle of a dry spell. But it is the calm before the storm. The tide will turn in March as it always does. So I guess I should just shut up and enjoy the lull. But I do hate to be bored.

I made some progress on Colin's sleeves last night.
I've never done two sleeves at a time but it seems like the way to go on a baby sweater. I just want to get this sweater done an move on. I've had such trouble with it. And, truly, I think it's going to be too small now. If I would have finished it when I had planned to, he would have gotten some good use out of it. (But don't get me started on Zoe.....)
My son's girlfriend is visiting for a few days so that should be fun. She lives in Cecil which is a town I'm sure my Pittsburgh buds are familiar with. I'd like to take her to the LYS tomorrow. I got her knitting over the holidays but I haven't had a chance to ask her if she has kept at it.
Valentine's Day was interesting. I love Yankee Candles. But there is one that I abhor. It's the one people should keep on hand to use if someone passes out. Stick it under someone's nose and use as smelling salts. It's that strong. And, yes, it's the one DH chose to get me for Valentine's Day. Out of how many????? I thought I'd take it back but he thought it would be nice to light it last night when I wasn't paying attention. Naturally I didn't tell him I didn't like it... because, after all, it's the thought that counts. But I can tell you now I'm going to light that thing and let it burn forever just to get it out of my house! And in case you were wondering... It's Home Sweet Home. A better name for it would be Die Lungs Die. But my sweet Mr. C. made up for it with chocolate covered strawberries. He's such a good grandson to know exactly what I'd like.
I have thoughts of the Pinwheel Blanket running through my head for Clare. I'm trying to ignore them. (Did I tell you the new baby's name is Clare??) Anyhow, I really want to cast on for that but I must. get. other. things. finished first!!!!
Happy Weekend. Knit on.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

What could be better than some red yarn today?

Check out the yummy stuff below.... you can buy this here... and I'd like to... but, alass, funds are low and it would be too much of indulgence for me. But can't you just picture a cute scarf for next Valentine's Day out of this stuff? That Natasha is one fiber artist extraordinaire. I love all of her stuff!

Or you could satisfy your hunger for red on Ebay. Below is a current offering for RED 100% Cashmere. That would work for me too.

There was knitting last night. With the help of a girl on Ravelry, I was able to proceed with Colin's sweater sleeves. Her suggestion was something I should have thought of myself, so simple it's too embarrassing even to relate, but like I've said 100 times before, that's how my mind works (or, um, doesn't work). I have a real thing for numbers. They hate me, I hate them.

Unfortunately it's a trait I have passed down. But back to the sweater... the sleeve instructions are so wrong in that pattern. Doesn't anybody ever proof read? It's very frustrating. You would do well to steer clear of this book:

Just sayin...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Snow Day...

This is our downtown area at 8:00AM this morning. This was taken from outside our court house. Not a lot of activity. The roads were terrible. I barely made it to work. Although it's not deep, my tires were spinning everywhere. I really need an SUV. My boss is vacationing in Phoenix. He had the nerve to call yesterday

and say he was relaxing by the pool. Ugh.

I'm feeling better but I still don't have my knitting mojo back. Of course the sleeve instructions are incorrect on the Zoe Moller sweater I'm making for Colin so that has me stalled once more. I think I can figure it out, I just need to be in the mood to sit down with it which I haven't been. If I ever get that finished, it will be a miracle. And I'll never buy another one of her books again in this lifetime.

Valentine's Day came too fast this year. Maybe it's because I was so sick, but I am not prepared. I didn't get any cards in the mail which isn't like me. I guess they will just have to be late this year. I'm going to take Colin to Barnes and Noble for Valentine's Day. Because if I have to read those books of his one more time, I'm going to scream! We definitely need new books! The thing is, HE doesn't seem to get tired of them!

Friday, February 08, 2008

Sick as a dog....

You know you're sick when you're too sick to knit. I don't know whether I got the flu at home or at the office because people are dropping like flies in both places. And I didn't escape. Today is day 4 of feeling totally lousy.
I had a few rows to finish the back of Colin's sweater and I forced myself to do that last night. I didn't want to, but I got it finished.
Yesterday marked one year since my father died. I don't think I ever knit anything for him ever. Which is strange. But he didn't wear hats or scarves. He wore baseball type caps, but not warm hats. He probably would have liked a warm pair of socks though. I sure wish I could still knit him a pair of socks.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Weekend Chalet Knitting at Blue Knob

My chalet knitting resulted in a Koigu sock. The second one is moving right along too.

Blogger doesn't want to cooperate today so most of my photos won't load. But here is Kelly, Marsha, and my sister in the background knitting away. Kelly learned some lace stitches and decreases so I think she actually accomplished more than anyone. She is making the baby bolero from the One Skein book. It's looking great.

Here we are early morning yesterday with sleep still in our eyes I think. You have to love these no makeup photos.

Lots of knitting was accomplished and many calories were consumed. Oh well, you have to have to have fun every now and then. But back to the diet today!