Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rounding Third Base

with at least 2 of my projects.

The hand-dyed socks really lend themselves to car knitting and stepper knitting and pick-up-and-do-a-round-at-lunch knitting, so I am nearly finished with the second of the pair. (It doesn't hurt that they are very tiny.)

I have another ball of this color and two more balls that started with "grape and fruit punch" and deteriorated rapidly to "mud." I'm wondering if an overdye with this "blue raspberry" or another color I have on hand would brighten them up a bit. Can't hurt!

Where is that Kool-aid?

I made nice progress last night and finished the button band on my Adult Surprise Sweater For Me (tm). All that's left to knit is the sleeve extensions. Then I get to weave in 8 bazillion ends. By the timetha's finished, my buttons will be here!


With any luck at all, temperatures will cooperate and I'll get a chance to wear it sooner rather than later.

The last couple of days have been veddy interesting! Monday, I spoke to a group of senior citizens. They were attentive and asked very good questions. Today, I did the same with a group of college students. Should I be concerned that they didn't ask any questions?

Note to self: Feeding Penny at 9 p.m. does little to extend morning sleep time. It's unfortunate That she doesn't snack on the "nasty dry crap" like Sparky.


Monday, January 30, 2006


That's when my soon to be ex-"coach" woke me up this morning.

Do we want to pick colors? Do we want to practice cutting wooly fabric? Do we want to practice knitting?

Nooooooo. We want to feed the cat.

No, really.

No, we don't.


Sunday, January 29, 2006

A Couple of Reviews

We generally watch a couple of videos over the weekend (one Friday, one Saturday, usually).

The picks this weekend were Red Eye and The Brothers Grimm. Both were relatively new on the DVD circuit.

Let me just say that if either of these wins any awards (no matter how obscure), I will probably slit my wrists.

Let me go on record, too, as having picked The Brothers Grimm, because the previews I saw made me think that I might enjoy the movie. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Though LOTR fans might like the costumes and the dark screening.

Red Eye, on the other hand was just bad. Bad premise, bad acting, really bad special effects. Bad.

The good news is, there was no gratuitous sex in either. The bad news is, there was lots of gratuitous violence in Red Eye, and lots of scary shit in The Brothers Grimm. (Come to think of it, their fairy tales were pretty "grim," weren't they?) Definitely not a kid movie!

So, two thumbs down on both scores. If you really want to see either, wait for the dollar shelf! I am very glad I did not get dressed up and shell out big bucks to see these in the Cineplex.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Once Upon a Time in Blogland

It used to be possible to easily fake the time and date of publishing a blog entry by changing the date and time on the launch screen. That possibility went out the window a couple of months ago (unless I am missing something).

Nevermind! I just found the (now hidden) "Post and Comment Options." And changed the time. (Makes me look like less of a slacker when I post three times in one day after not posting all week.)

And speaking as the Slacker of the Day (or Month, take your pick), I finished the little red socks while Riding Around, Running Errands and Wasting Gas. (I was not driving.)

I am pleased with the way they look. Especially considering how close they came to Not.Being.Finished when I discovered, after the second heel was turned, that I had neglected to "knit three rounds even" before starting the heel flap. :expletive deleted: Can you say "rip-it?"

Yarn is Stahl Socka in Sunrise, Sunset, which I find oddly appealing as a colorway for newborn's socks. ". . .swiftly fly the days, Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers. . ."

I'm pretty sure Socka isn't available any more.

I immediately cast on another sock using some Brown Sheep Wildfoote that has been aging in the stash.

The color is/was Vanilla. "What?" you say, "that doesn't look very 'vanilla-y.'"

Thanks to Kool-aid (and no, I don't remember the flavor, but the yarn smells vaguely berry-ish) for the color.

Wildfoote blooms nicely when washed. I am hoping for a miracle here, 'cause right now, it looks like sewing thread!

I have been moaning about my Olympic coach's lack of interest in the knitting progress, to the point that I was considering firing her and bringing Sparky in to replace her.

Today, she hopped up on my lap to check out the Adult Surprise For Me (tm) sweater.

I think she is eyeing it as a replacement for her Pink Blankie (the one she co-opted several years ago) that was originally intended to be a charity donation. What Penny wants, Penny gets.

Not this time! Penny, Love, this one's for me!

And here it is, in all its glory:

Miles and miles of Kool Wool garter stitch. I have picked up the edge stitches (354 of them), marked the 2 inner and 4 outer miters and have completed 4 rows (2 ridges) of the border, after much re-reading of the pattern, mulling, sweating, swearing, and adaptation.

I'm right at the point where I must decide. Button(s)? Clasp(s)? Nothing? In which case, I could use shawl pin or some of the great Bakelite pins I have to hold it closed.

I've been browsing button sites and thinking about a trip to Joann's. There are some pretty cool choices at Buttondrawer.com . I've never ordered from there, but I'm really tempted right now. (Check out the Garcia Collection and the Celtic buttons! I'll wait.)

Fact is, I can't move ahead until I decide how I'm going to close this puppy.

Well, truthfully, I can finish the sleeves and weave in the ends while I wait for buttons to arrive.
I could also compromise and use 7 of the gazillion buttons in my jars and jars of Buttons In The Basement, replacing them later with the Perfect Buttons. (Did I ever mention that I have a button stash? That could be a topic for a future blog!)


Thursday, January 26, 2006

If It's Not One Thing

it's another!

I was all set to do my early morning posting, but no Internet! Every time the wind blows lately.

I made some progress on the Adult Surprise Sweater For Me (tm) last night. It's starting to look like a sweater.

Elizabeth's directions say, "Nearly done." I still need to lengthen it to cover-butt-length, finish the sleeves (or decide to leave them short) and do the edging on the neckline, center front, and bottom. But it's lookin' good!

And knowing that I would have lots of "sit and listen" time today, I packed a basket of sockie odd balls of Socka (red), Koigu (blue) and Trekking (gray).

Those are my size 2 Brittanies, so much nicer for circular knitting than those 15s. And just perfect for making cozy little toe warmers!

It turns out that I did have lots of sittin' time after driving 90 minutes (okay, 70 minutes--traffic was very light) , and what with down time and making motions and seconding them, listening to reports (and making them), there was just enough time to finish one little Socka!

Crew style with ribbing the whole way to the heel. Labor of love, that one!

And I started the second to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome, because the feet these will warm are due to emerge in the next 6 weeks or so.

So, back to knitting!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Going to the Dogs (and Cats)

During the moments I felt halfway human today, I got a little applique work done. It amazes me the number of different colors of denim I've collected in this humungous pile. Everything from nearly white (I think those were the Bigger Kid's from junior high school) to almost black (those, sadly, were probably mine).

I cut some shapes, set the sewing machine to zig-zag and did some cute stuff. Does that cat look a little strange? Nah, I don't think so either.

I'm using an old burgundy flannel sheet set for backing on some of these. It's well-worn for softness, and been through so many washes that all the dye that's going to bleed already has. I have bits of quilt batting scrap that I zig-zagged together to stuff a couple, and an old blanket for others, and a bunch of faded terry cloth beach towels. All of the materials have been through many washes. These mats should stand up to the industrial machine that will be used to keep them clean.

Because there are people following my progress (such as it is), here's the latest on my Surprise For Me (tm). I've passed the point where the neck is moved to holders.

Looks like I am coming into the home stretch.

There will be a lot of ends to weave in. I'm thinking seriously about braiding them and tacking the braid in place.

And on another note, I am feeling as though I might live. Today was a godsend since I have crazy busy days the rest of the week and all of next week. I really needed the time to just be sick.

Monday, January 23, 2006

It's the Key

We got new doors at work. Not earthshattering news, I know, but they needed replacing seeing as they were rusting out and a good gust of wind could open them just the tiniest bit and set off the freakin' alarm (which meant a trip in the middle of the night to reset the freakin' alarm)! So. We got new doors.

Of course, that meant new keys. Which meant a trip to the hardware store to get duplicates cut (6 of them) for the "key holders," the security officer, and the fire department. Trot off to the hardware store.

My first clue that something might be amiss was when the hardware store lady fired up the key-cutter machine and did.not.don.protective.eyewear. Hello, OSHA!

None of the keys fit. You knew that was coming, didn't you?

Fact is, all of them fit but none of them would turn. Hmmm.

Trip today for new keys. This time I went to the Hardware Store Right Here In Town. The one that also serves as The Biggest Gun Store in Eastern Pennsylvania. They have guns that you would not believe. Lotsa guns!

While I am waiting for my keys, I look up. There's a huge honkin' moose head on the wall above the nuts and bolts. And what's that, over the cash register? Do I spy a wildebeast? And a sable? Good lord, there's freaking endangered wildlife decorating the hardware store. And what in the hell?? An entire stuffed giraffe? Fully 12' tall. Maybe more.

If I have to return these keys, I'm taking my camera!

My size 15 double points arrived in the mail today. They're birch.

Shown with a size 2 for comparison sake.

I'd have shown a broom handle too, but there would be very little contrast!

Here's why I needed the 15's. Two balled up balls of Hand Dyed Wool.

Big, fat stuff that knits up at 2 stitches to the inch. On 15s.

And here's what I made. Kim Salazar's 42 Stitch Hat.

I'm planning to make a second one with the Flaming Embers colorway.

And here's the begining of the Jean Conversion Project.

I had bunches of old jeans parts that I planned (originally) to make into a wonderful big quilt. (Any idea how heavy that would be?)

Now I'm putting them together into cat mats. These are just the first 2.


Moving Right Along

I made some nice progress on the Adult Surprise Sweater For Me (tm) yesterday. In fact, I believe I added about another 40 or so rows. (good game, wasn't it? Go, Steelers!)

Because of the randomness of the stripe pattern, Claret no longer appears to be the main color, but the edging (and cuffs) will remedy that.

I'm liking the "serape" feel that this sweater is acquiring.

I've started another of the little tabbard vests in an effort to use up the mint green Red Heart. This one will have little fuzzy sheep scattered on the bib. That's a fence already in place to contain the fuzzy beasties.

I can "step" 85 times while knitting 2 rows. Either my stepping or my knitting will speed up as I get more confidence in my balance.

I'm aiming for 150 steps a day every day this week.

And this is the start of a new project. Pile of old well, worn, soft jeans legs that I plan to transform into cage cozies for the SPCA in New Orleans.

They are back on their feet (sort of) and are in need of mats for the small animal cages (knit, crocheted, sewn) and fingerless mitts for the workers.

The shelter is currently housed in a warehouse that is slowly being transformed into useable space. But it's cold and drafty (as warehouses are). If you can help with this effort, cozies of all sizes (washable/dryable materials only!!--Cotton, acrylic, blends, and superwash wool--No eyelash or "novelty" yarn) from 16" squares up and fingerless mitts (also washable) in adult sizes can be mailed to :

Dez Crawford
701 Thayer Street
New Orleans, LA 70114

Thanks for considering the furry beasties.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Then, Don't!

I have a hard time understanding the need to disparage and mock those folks who participate in mass projects, even if that behavior begins to approach lemming-like status.

Case in point: the Knitting Olympics challenge that the Yarn Harlot started last week. At last count, well over 500 hardy knitters (including several cyber friends) have signed on.

Of course, the popularity of the Harlot enters in. Let's face it, had I been the one with this idea, how many takers would there have been?

And that popularity tends to spawn some dissent. I've counted at least five anti-Olympic groups. Is it envy? Outright jealousy? An attempt to be funny? To be different?

I joined in this challenge as a challenge to myself. There's no Knitting Olympic official looking over my shoulder so that I don't cast on before the 10th. There's no one gauging my "personal best." And I daresay that no one will be judging my finished object (small steeked sweater in case you missed my original posting), at least not until this summer's fair. The challenge is for me!

I could easily challenge myself at any time. In fact, I believe I did just that in December. I don't need the Knitting Olympics to push me, I choose to participate.



You betcha!

And now, I am off to challenge some people to do the right thing. More later. Maybe.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Throwing in theTowel?

On oh, so many levels!

Meet the objects of my torture:

First, we have , my Mini Stepper. It's the second one. I ordered #1 during a momemt of weakness (okay, I saw my butt in the mirror and just knew that I needed to do something and it was on sale!). Numero Uno arrived in less than perfect condition. No wonder the delivery guy dropped it and ran! The box was busted (clue the first) and the "computer" (the little gizmo that counts your tortured steps) was in pieces.

Foolishly, I called for a replacement. Clearly, if I had been thinking sanely, I would have just returned the damned thing!

But Walker's Warehouse (home of disount New Balance shoes) very kindly told me to keep the broken one (IOW, "put it out for the trash pickup, we aren't paying to bring its $49 - 22 pound self back to Florida thankyouverymuch") and sent a replacement that arrived yesterday (in perfect condition, I might add).

Now, seemingly, this is a good thing. But here's the bad news. It's a painful way to get a firm butt. I'm thinking that lipo without benefit of drugs might hurt less. In fact, I am certain of it.

One hundred steps later, my legs and bottom are screaming at me. And the words aren't nice ones, either. The other thing is, at least for the time being, I cannot knit (or possiby even chew gum) while using it. It requires complete, full, undivided attention. I do not have time for torn tendons or sprained ankles, so I will comply.

Object of Torture #2:

Mitered Square Baby Blankie. Pretty, no? Evil, pure evil! The ABM Fluffy (long discontinued for oh, so many reasons) is a royal bitch to knit! Especially double stranded.

This stuff is put up in ginganious balls (4 bazillion grams, I think) and it freakin' sticks to itself. Look at it cross-eyed. Allow two strands to touch. Instant magnetic attraction of the super-glued variety. This would be fine if the two strands in question were one each of the two colors I am double stranding. Sadly, they are not. The yellow, especially, doubles back on itself, forming tight little knots and fuzzy pills.

I'm seriously worried about all the bad knit vibes that are being worked into this blankie. I mean, it's a baby blankie for a baby I don't know who is coming into the world with at least two strikes against her/his small person. Doesn't that little one deserve all the good thoughts I can muster? This blankie ain't cutting it!

As I see it, I have several choices. I can 1) think happy thoughts (difficult, very difficult) 2) put the project aside temporarily--but I am :insert whine: on a mailing deadline 3) abandon the project completely. :whimper:

But there is some good stuff happening.


I've passed row 50 of my Adult Surprise Sweater For Me (tm), have incorporated all the Kool Wool colors, and have stated on the increases.

Colors are (from the point) Claret, Loden, Blue Jeans, Claret (MC), Camel Heather, Camel, Claret, Navy, Loden etc.

I'm using the stripe pattern from Knitters Fall 2000, sort of, but doing 2 stripes of CC followed by 1 stripe of MC. It's a little less random than I would normally do. I'd really like this to be wearable!

The pattern is eating up yarn at an alarming rate, too. I am so glad that I went back and ordered more while it was still available!

I'm still gearing up for the Knitting Olympics! Collected my button from JenLa this morning.

I selfishly requested something customized to my Steek Event. If I get it, you'll be among the first to know.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Uniform and Other Ravings

Every competitive athlete needs a uniform, and this knitlete is no exception. I scoured my wardrobe (including the out of season bins under the bed) for something appropriate.

Finding nothing (appropriate), I threw together this very knitterly outfit.

It has 1) sheep, 2) a little flag designating thatI am a member of Team USA, Steek Division, and 3) great comfort.

It's also washable, so that if I sweat, I won't stink. (I don't plan to sweat, but 16 days in the same outfit is bound to take its toll.)

All I need is a hat.

Not in the slightest knitterly: I know that you will allow me a small rant. I just got off the phone with a fundraising person from my political-party-of-choice. During the last presidential campaign, the Other Half received a mailing from The Party, asking for Money.

Let me go on record here. We contribute to a number of Worthy Causes. I write the checks. If The Worthy Causes depended on The Other Half for check-writing, they would still be waiting. Forever. He supports the concept, but dudes, he wrote about 3 checks in the last 12 months. One was for his car inspection, one was to the eye doctor. The last one was to close an old checking account.

So when it came time to support the Party, I wrote the check and signed it. His name starts with a letter that doesn't look the slightest like the letter that my name starts with. There is no mistaking that signature! And because of the amount, I was required to complete the form that says who we are (both) and who we work for (both) and a lot of other info that the Federal Election Commission and the Office of Homeland Insecurity deem important. Dudes, they had the information. I was required to provide it!

When I write (and sign) a Substantial Check to a Worthy Cause, I'd really like to Not.Be.Ignored. That is to say, when the Worthy Cause sends its thanks, I'd like to be included, as in "Dear Mr. and Mrs." (if they can't bring themselves to Word Process just "Dear Mrs.") And when the calls come (and they do), I'd like someone on the other end to realize that joint checking accounts are owned jointly. That's all. (Side note: One of my job tasks is to personally write--okay, word process--the thank you letters for all Substantial Donations that come to my program. I make a real effort to decipher those signatures; sometimes it's really, really hard! But I feel really, really strongly about expressing thanks to the person who actually made the effort. Yeh, Ms. Anal. Bite me!)

So we will see if fundraiser chick on the other end of the phone call was listening. She's the second one to claim to be writing down my name. And to apologize for the "oversight." It's been nearly 2 years.

The jury is out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Go For the Gold!

The Yarn Harlot has issued a challenge! And, of course, I rise to the occasion:

Pick a challenging project. Cast on during opening ceremonies (or no sooner than 2 p.m. local time on February 10). Knit your heart out until the Olympic flame is extinguished on February 26. Claim your medal (assuming you finished, blocking and all).

So I picked a pallette. Yes, you've seen this stuff before. It's something like 2700 yards of Pingofrance wool/ack that I got in a swap. Many shades of blue, a lot of that caramel color. Should make a nice warm cardigan, because my personal challenge (faithful readers will remember from my New Year's Resolutions (tm) see December 31 post) for 2006 is to steek! :eek:

Pattern choices remain unchanged. I am not, after all, entirely crazy. If I'm going to cut into newly knitted fabric, it's going to be a very small cut. I'll work my way up to things that fit adult humans. I'm thinkin' that a size 2 would be just about perfect.

I'm leaning toward the Scandanavian Cardigan. There are no armhole steeks, just the one up the middle. Call me chicken. I can take it!

I've enlisted the assistance of a small fuzzy cheerleader.

She'll be helping me along the way, I'm sure.

Knitting and steeking. It's a team sport!

Definitely Not Eggplant

Several people have asked if I broke down and ordered the eggplant Kool Wool before the price went up (all the way to $1.99, by the way--still a bargain!).

I did not. It seemed rather silly to be thinking ahead that many projects. I'm trying to be more mature here. I've added fiber to my diet, for the sake of the FSM!

However. I did order more Kool Wool.

Just a few more skeins of Claret. Because I was afraid, so afraid, that I would run out. and some Camel Heather, because the Camel was a bit too bright with the other colors I had. And Blue Jeans. Just because.

And I added a color of Cervinia Sorrento that I didn't have before (troops knitting). They call it Dark Green Heather. I call it, oh, Spinach Salad with Bacon and Those Garlic Butter Croutons. Yes, that yummy! (Did I really type that about ack?)

And speaking of yummy. I couldn't resist the Luxury Hand Dyed Wool. This one's called Tropical Heat. I have Flaming Embers still on the way.

Each is destined to become Kim's 42-Stitch Hat from her November 24, 2004, archives. All I need is the size 15 DPNs to make this beauty my own.

Who says adding fiber isn't fun?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Only One?

That was a cheap shot (or sheep shot), Rabbitch to imply that my being reduced to only one WIP was anything more than temporary!

I give you the latest collection:

Or I would if Blogger weren't being so *&%$# pissy this morning!

I have 4 very lovely WIPs going. Or at least I did.

This one is finished. It's a very old Leisure Arts pattern, adapted to knit in the round, with an image from "Picture Knits" added to the front. I cheated, though and stranded that butterfly, rather than following the bobbin directions. Next one. . .I did the duplicate stitching though. Does that count?

It took seeingthe photos (don't we all live in 2 dimensions?) for me to notice that the other three WIPs are all in garter stitch! Not at all surprising, since I've turned my mind over to the mindless side.

There's the Surprise Sweater For Me (tm) in exactly the same state it was before. I am waiting for additional yarn to complete it. The Camel Kool Wool I initially selected is way too bright with the other colors, I think. And I feel in danger of running out of Claret, so I ordered more Claret and some Camel Heather, and a bit of Blue Jeans and some Sorrento, and 2 balls of that great new handpainted bulky wool for a couple of 42-stitch hats.

Yarn diet? Who me?

The ABM Fluffy is being combined with odd bits of baby weight brights to make a mitered square blankie. Just wanna use this stuff up to make room for other stuff (see previous paragraph) and also to warm a little soul. (36 hours in the cold and dark does a lot to raise awareness!)

This will be 36X48 when finished. 12 squares is all.

And a pair of slipper socks for Ship Support. I used a bootie pattern that calls for fingering weight yarn and size 3's with two strands of chunky and 10.5's.

These just need finishing.

So, now, what was that about Only One??



Monday, January 16, 2006

Thirty-Six Hours!

That's how long our power was out! And it's 21 degrees here at noon today, so you can imagine how cold it is in the house. We bailed out at 3 yesterday afternoon and spent the night in a motel. Where there was heat and running water.

This house is all electric. With no alternate heat source (like a fireplace). And a well. So no water.
Imagine your very worst sleep over camp experience. Remember the out house? And the showers? Now imagine it in the winter.

That awful! Or worse.

I will now attempt to recreate the entry I was working on when the lights went out Saturday night. (It really was incredibly clever.) Please forgive my frozen fingertips!

I started out writing about these:

Yes, I know they are granny squares. They are all that is left of several very large boxes of granny squares that were sent to me for joining over the past couple of years. I think all told, I put together about 10 laprobes and crib-size blankets from these squares.

This last few were edged and stitched together into a couple of scarves. Not the warmest in the world, but definitely trendy. (I got the idea from a grocery store knitting ragazine--not a typo--for new knitters.)

And here's a little bit of cleverness I cooked up while working on my Adult Surprise Sweater For Me (tm). Recognize this?

It's an earring (one of a kind) with what I believe is called "french wire."

The Surprise sweaters call for lots of decreasing and then increasing at two points along the sleeve/body/sleeve section. Marking the double increases isn't difficult. You isolate a stitch and M1 on either side of it. However, the double decreases (slip, k 2 tog, psso), that's a whole different story. The center stitch (the one you'd need to mark) is consumed in the center of each decrease. That means moving the marker every other row (tedious but doable) or knitting it in (fine if you are using those skinny little rubber bands, but not with any marker you'd like to use again since you have to cut them out).

But look at this:

One of a kind earring put to good use marking the center stitch! Easy to move. Easy to replace.

Truth is, the decreases are so very obvious that after the second or third, you can see right where you need to put them. The marker serves as a tactile reminder when you are breezing along on this many miles of garter stitch. (Yes, I can knit without looking. I've been knitting longer than many of you are alive. )

You just keep moving the little hook dealie up and up so that you touch it when you get to that place on the row. Isn't that just the coolest thing??

I am pleased to announce that the software for my new camera (with zoom and closeup and all sorts of nifty features) has been installed on this computer.

As soon as I figure it out, you should see a remarkable improvement in the quality of the photos here. Or not.

Now I think I'll go nuke some water for tea and see if I can get some blood circulating in my body.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Change of Mind

Nothing drastic.

It occurs to me after, what, 18 months of struggling with every blog to come up with a movie title for a subject (and believe me, some days it's a real struggle), that no one but me has noticed how incredibly clever that is. What! You didn't notice? See what I'm sayin'?

So this will be the last one of those and from here on out, unless there's a really good fit to a movie title and my subject du jour , there will be no more clever cuteness (at least not in the title line). I can retire my copy of Leonard Maltin.

Some random thoughts have occured to me: Though I do not subscribe to the one-project-at-a-time school, I seem to be knitting one project at a time. I don't think it's deliberate. I finished the baby sweater late last night and noticed that I have (yet again) only one WIP:

This is another mindless beanie for Ship Support. I think the addition of the navy stripes will make it look enough more "mature"that it will pass, but the rest of this green yarn is definitely going to become toddlerwear.

I can knit a hat in the round a week as my mindless knit-in-the-dark, knit-in-the-car project that fits between other stuff.

I'll be casting on an Adult Surprise Sweater this weekend. For Me. In claret Kool Wool.

I managed to get the Black Scarves (tm) to their recipients yesterday. They seemed pleased (and shocked) that someone would do something like this. For Them. Glad I thought of it.

Three day weekend coming up. Time to clean the bathrooms whether they need it or not.

(They need it.)


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Little Man, What Now?

And so we come to the end of another WIP. Lillie's Little Sweater (Cottage Creations' latest hit) is finished.

It really is cute. And quick. In the 6 month size, the pattern calls for 430 yards of worsted weight yarn. on size 7s. I used a slightly fuzzy ack and wool (80/20, I think) blend. Long discontinued. It's called Fluffy. ABM made it.

The sweater is knitted from the front cuff of the hood, over the top of the head, to the neck, then down to the hem. There are tips on making it in sizes for dolls through about 3 years. I think I'll leave off the hood and add a cable up the front on the next one. Or maybe add a little intarsia motif or some stripes. I will be making this one again.

And on another note. The Mary Maxim catalog arrived today. If you got one too, please look through it and tell me if there's anything at all worthwhile. I couldn't get past the plastic canvas stuff on the back cover.

And another: I received "A personal invitation to join the knitting elite." Yep, Vogue Knitting. I'll be sending my regrets.

Also: Crafter's Choice wants me back. they miss me. Problem is, there's only one book that they have that I want. I think I'd rather Barnes and Noble it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

At Close Range

Here's what I had hoped to show the other day: the M1 increase line at the edge of the sleeve.

Carol (Anderson, Cottage Creations) has a couple of nifty "why didn't I think of that" tips in this pattern that are making the whole thing look so well finished (no, it isn't but it's getting there!), from the front edge to the bind off.

I'm not sharing what they are. You'll need to get the pattern and see for yourself.

All that's left is the sleeves and the buttons. I can finish this tonight if I can get some uninterrupted knitting time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Dance Goes On


was waiting for me when I got home this afternoon. It was not a surprise. It was stuff-I-ordered. From myfavoritepusher.com . Late last week. I was hoping that I would be the one to discover it. And would get a chance to open it alone. Not because I have anything to hide. My stash is stored in plain view.

More because I wanted the chance to fondle it alone. And I did.

I popped the top. Yummy stuff inside. Such pretty colors. Such wonderful textures. And the smell of new fiber.


There's wool.

Red Woolbale, black solid sock yarn (that will be an accent, just so you know, I'm not crazy), and some interesting variegated sock yarn that I think is destined to become baby sweaters.

And there's cotton in pale yellow (daffodil, I think) and sage. The light and the camera doesn't do them justice!

And in the foreground a bit of alpaca insurance. It's the same color, but not the same dye lot as some I already own. I decided that I might not have quite enough to finish a sweater I have planned. This could be the cuffs. Or I might not need it in which case, it's destined to become a hat and fingerless mitts.

Or a scarf.

And the real reason I ordered:

Kool Wool. This will be a jacket for me. Maybe EZ's Surprise. Maybe her Tomten. (I know it's Lion--maybe they got it right this time.) At a buck and a quarter a pop. How could I resist? .

Here's how. I waited. I wanted eggplant. It was gone. So I got claret instead. Two days later, you guessed it. Eggplant was back.

I very nearly ordered more. I still might.

Price goes up in 5 days.

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, it's all stashed away, but will not enter my spread sheet until late April. It's not stash yet.



I'm not sure that it's possible to see the difference in these two garter stitch scarves in a photo.

The one on the left was knit on the diagonal (start like a dishcloth, when proper width is achieved, continue to increase at the bginning of one row, decrease at the beginning of the next. Repeat to proper length, decrease both sides to 1 stitch, fasten off). The one on the right is knit lengthwise (cast on a zillion stitches, knit some rows, bind off). Feel free to follow these directions to make your own garter stitch scarf.

The diagonal scarf (even post-block) has a rough edge (from the end of row turns). Note to self: get in the habit of slipping that first stitch if the edge will be exposed!

Aside from the smoother edges on the lengthwise scarf, side-by side, they look very different. Make some swatches if you are so inclined. You'll see what I mean.

And so that the colorful part of my life feels less neglected, I started a beanie (no kidding!) in this color that Red Heart chose to call "mint." (It's like no other "mint" I've ever seen. More of a teal or turquoise. Maybe that's why it turned up "remaindered" at Smiley's?)

Seems much better suited to baby/toddler things. I'll be toning it down with navy stripes (or black, I seem to have a lot of that), or some other color. Can you say "too bright?"

Its companions will become a toddler vest or sweater. Definitely not more beanies. Press on with the task on the needles, though.

And speaking of "on the needles" (What? No?) the Little Sweater is progressing. I am almost to the bottom border of the body. Two short little sleeves and done!

I seem to have picked up some sort of stomach cooties. Came home early from work yesterday and slept the afternoon away. My nausea has abated (TMI, I know) and I might just live. Isn't winter wonderful?


Monday, January 09, 2006

Black Beauty

The second black scarf is finished. Ends are woven. Needs a good wash and block.

Time to spare (I need to drop them off on Friday).

No pictures. Picture scarves. Two. Black.

Nothing to see.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


Yesterday, I alluded to a payback I needed to make. Seems somewhere along the way, a whole huge Excel worksheet went missing. The name was still there. The folder was, too. But all the little worksheets inside (and the computer records on close to 2500 people) were MIA!

Now, the paper records still exist in file folders and a big, big box. Reconstruction would be possible, just incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Fortunately, we back up all files every single night!

I believe I mentioned how my heroes saved the day by reloading those files for me. I may have even mentioned that I felt the need to somehow "return the favor," though not quite in the way that Rabbitch suggested. (Her regular readers will know immediately that her suggestion is one I definitely could not follow. . .)

So, having eliminated pizza, cookies, and brownies, I settled on knitwear (my options being somewhat limited). One was easy. Black. No doubt in my mind. The other not so easy. Frankly, I was thinking day-glo green with little LED crystals that blink and maybe some shiny gold and silver bling, but their scheduler came to my rescue (more than once, but I digress) and said: "black."

So, black it is. For both.

Spillaine's (the closest crafty-crappy emporium, definitely not a LYS) was fresh out of Super-saver in black, but had TLC. I bought all they had, 35 ounces. and set to work.

Double thick, 7"wide, wrap twice around the neck diagonal scarf. Finished it this morning. It's drying on the pool table.

Here's what's left of the first 2 5 ounce skeins:

Yes, that really is barely 3 yards.

And here's my progress on Number 2:

This is a lengthwise one. Both are garter stitch. I avoided the temptation to fire up the Bond and made them both by hand.

Time must be repaid with time. That's my motto.

Will they wear them? Don't know. Don't care.


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