Wednesday, December 21, 2005

2nd annual yarn diet...

Moving has, once again, made me realize that my yarn stash is a bit larger than I would like it to be. The last apartment was full of closets, six to be exact. It was perfect for hiding storing things. My new place, on the other hand, has just enough closet space for two people. Well, AF and I aren't really two normal people. He has a collection of tools that has already occupied an entire closet. Plus, camping gear stealing away a third of another. So far, we have agreed that our clothes will share a walk-in closet in the hallway.

Guess where my yarn stash has been for the last the living room! Yup, I've got my big blue rubbermaid tub, busting at the seams, sitting in the way. It's just waiting for a new home. I also have other bits of yarn under my bed. Ideally, I will be able to make room in the hall closet for all of the yarn...but, it's looking kind of grim in there.

So, in another effort to thin things down, I contemplating another yarn diet. Last year, my diet lasted from January 1st, through my birthday. I need to think about whether I will do the same amount of time...My other thought is to tie it to the amount of my stash that I actually knit. For instance, the yarn diet will be over when I complete X number of projects using yarn from my stash.

happy holidays...

I'm really enjoying this holiday season, and I think I know why...No knitted gifts this year! Yup, I just been able to enjoy the season.

I finished the two stockings for AF and I...just haven't figured out where to hang them. I have until Sunday. I got AF a couple of small gifts this year. Instead of wrapping them, I will put them in his stocking.

I haven't done much other knitting. Instead, I have been reading The Chronicles of Narnia. I'm hoping to see the movie this weekend. I have 4 days off, so I should be able to fit it in. I'm also trying to get the last few boxes unpacked. Since AF and I are in an apartment, we're hoping to not do too much damage to the walls and such. So, we still have to make some decisions about whether to hang shelving on the walls, or to buy another bookshelf. Until we decide that, there will be a few boxes with odds and ends to figure out...sounds like a good time to go to IKEA!

Well, it's shaping up to be a very busy weekend. AF's family will be in town. We will be spending Christmas Eve with them. Then, we're going to my brother's house on Christmas day...I get to see my new nephew! (that sounds so weird) Then we will go back to AF's sister's house.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Stash enhancement...

Who could possibly resist Rowanspun 4-ply? I think the answer must be no one, myself included! Elann, sold out of most colors in under an hour. I ordered 15 hanks of Swarm and 10 hanks of Lunar. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with them. But, I'm sure I'll be able to find some inspiration in the book that I ordered this morning.

Unfortunately, I haven't been making much progress on Lucky this week. I had said that I wasn't going to have any holiday knitting...I spoke too soon. In a fit, I have decided to make AF and I Christmas stockings. Since, we're still not sure if the new apartment will have enough room for a tree, I figured I needed some kind of decorations. I started the first one on the bus Monday morning, and cast off last night right before going to bed. Since I will not be blocking these, I should be able to seam the first one tonight and cast on for the second...I'm still hoping for a tree, though.

Friday, December 02, 2005

just in time for another weekend...

I'm trying to get back on track...AF and I successfully moved all of material goods into the new apartment. But, most things are still in boxes awaiting their new place in the world. Why, you ask? Well, two days after we moved, we jumped in a car and drove to Michigan for Thanksgiving. It was a long drive. We left last Wednesday at 5pm, and arrived at AF's father's house at 6:15 Thanksgiving morning. AF did all of the driving, through snow and white-out conditions. Our time in Muskegon was fairly enjoyable, but I'm glad to be back in DC.

I have made some progress on lucky. I have finished the right-front, after ripping back to the point where the shaping began. I still had some extra stiches this time, but the three extra look much better than 10 extra. I have also started the left-front and will be starting the neck shaping this weekend. I'm not sure how much time I will have to knit this weekend, since unpacking should really be my highest priority.

Friday, November 18, 2005

on hold...

All knitting is officially on hold until I've moved into my new apartment. My attention span just won't allow me to focus on knitting and packing at the same time. So, to make sure that all packing is complete by the time I go to sleep on Saturday, I have to give up knitting.

Right now, the apartment looks like a war zone. The only room that looks "normal" is the bedroom. The worst part is that our entire hallway is lined with boxes, leaving little clearance for walking. At some point on Saturday, these boxes will need to be stacked in the livingroom so that we can move furniture out of the apartment. I'm feeling a little nervous about this move...We pick up our moving truck at 8:00 on Sunday morning and only have it until 5:30. Anything left after that will have to fit in a car.

Oh well, wish me luck...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

lucky, my @$$...

I did absolutely no knitting last weekend. I spent hour after hour packing up my belongings. This situation wasn't completely my choice. See, Thursday afternoon, I had a meeting, away from my office, in another building. It was supposed to start at 1pm and last an hour. Well, when I finally make my way back to daylight, it was almost 4! Argh! So, I had to decide whether to make the 20 minute walk back to my office (where I had left Lucky), or to go straight home...Hmm, guess what I did. So, Lucky sat in my desk drawer all weekend.

I picked the front piece up again Monday and continued working on the neck and arm shaping. With all of the decreases, I started flying through rows. Well, that's where my lucky ran out. I finished all of the arm decreases...But, I will have about 10 more decreases that need to be made on the neck edge. Huh? According the schematic in the book, the two edges should meet at a point. That's not what mine does!

So, I searched through the knitalong and found this post. It made me feel better because I wasn't alone, but it still doesn't solve my problem. So, I could do what the designer suggested in her response, or I can try to work out the row-by-row directions...Knowing me, I will take the time to work this out, and end up re-knitting the front.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

4-day weekend...

Yup, that's what I'm looking forward to. I'd love to say that I'm going to spend most of that time knitting, but I really don't know if that's going to be true. I've been sick all week, so the first thing I'm going to do is try to get some extra sleep.

Next on the agenda will be packing...AF and I are moving to a new apartment. We put a deposit down a couple of weeks ago, and we should be able to get into the place early next week. That should give us a week to do some painting and moving before we go to Michigan for Thanksgiving. I think that if I get a lot of stuff packed early, I might be able to keep myself from freaking out about this move. So, this weekend, I'll be packing up books/magazines and probably some other small housewares that I can live without for the rest of the month.

Finally, it's also my Mom's birthday...She usually doesn't make a big to-do about it. But, she does wait until the very last minute to tell the family what she wants to do for her b-day. Hopefully, she's already been thinking about it.

If/When I do find time to knit, I hope to make some progress on my Circular Shrug. I put it down for a while because I have been dreading the 5-6 inches of 2x2 ribbing that needs to be completed. Instead, I've been working away at Lucky. I finished the back last weekend, and have been making steady progress on the rd front.

Friday, November 04, 2005

i <3 lucky...

I know it's only been a few days, but I'm pretty sure I'm in love. This project has just been zipping along. The pattern is very clearly written. And, the Silk City yarn looks great...I'd say that this pattern was made for it. I've been working on the back, and have made it through all of the body shaping. I'm about an inch and a half away from the raglan shaping.

Well, that's my little knitting update...

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

new start...

Over the summer there was a Lucky Clover knit along. I would have joined, but I was already busy with the B^4. Then, that was followed by weddings and wedding-related activities. Followed by my second grudge match, AB^3. But, that's all over now!

This project has been on my wishlist for a while. And, seeing the great results that other bloggers have had only made me want to knit this sweater more. So, now that I find myself with only one project on the needles, it's the perfect time to get Lucky!

Last night I knit up a swatch using the Silk City Perle 3/2 Cotton that I bought from Elann back in July. I'm going to make Lucky in the Silver Sage color. I got gauge perfectly on size 3 needles on the first shot! So, I cast on for the back.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

finishing frenzy...

I'm not quite sure what bit me Sunday, but I was on a roll! I started the morning with the Leaf Cravat. I finished knitting it, and quickly went to sewing in the loose ends and giving it a quick steam block.

Next, I tackled the job of blocking AB^3. Since the blanket is larger than my blocking board, I had no choice but to pin it down to my mattress. I wish I could have tacked it down to the floor, but my cat would have walked all over it and probably tried to eat some of the pins. By the end of the day, the blanket wasn't completely dry, but it was close enough.

I think it looks great and was completely worth the effort!

Finally, I sat down with Posy and started seaming. At first, I was hoping to just set in the sleeves and call it a day. But, since I got into the zone, if you would, I was really motivated to finish it. And finish, I did! (Actually, there are still a few ends to weave in) The fit is a little small, but I can definitely live with it.

So, that's three finished object! Not bad for a weekend, huh? That leaves my Circular Shrug...I'm workin' on it.

Friday, October 21, 2005

progress report...

It's been a really slow week for me. The changing weather has really been hard on me. There's something very, very wrong about suddenly having to leaving the house in the morning when the sun is just rising. This happens to many every year at about this time. I usually only lasts a couple of weeks...So, for now, I'm a little SAD.

I have finished the border for AB^3. Well, kind of...I'm not sure if I have it in me to re-knit the first edge. The one that I forgot to switch from size 3 to size 1 needles. I could probably leave it as is without anyone noticing. If I decide to leave it alone, I can seam the corners and block the beast tomorrow, and have this project finished this weekend!

I started working on the leaf cravat again, and I'm zipping along. When I started this project, I just wanted something small to take with me on the bus to work. I don't actually need a scarf. In the end, I will most likely give this to a friend whose birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks.

Finally, I have two other project sitting on the back burner. Posy is still waiting to be seamed. I pushed her aside in order to complete AB^3. And, the circular shrug hasn't been touched in a couple of weeks. It seems that brioche stitch is only slightly more interesting than knitting 1x1 rib.

I'm looking forward to clearing out all of my WIPs, so I can start a sweater.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

the end is near...

I made some really good progress on AB^3 this weekend. I was able to finish the body of the blanket on the ride to and from Charlotte. Unfortunately, I forgot to pack the pattern book with me, so I wasn't able to start on the borders. The body took just under 8 balls of yarn to complete.

Here's the entire body of the blanket:

And, a close-up:

I had yesterday off, so I focused on the boarder. The border is made up of a 12-row chevron pattern and then several triangles formed using short rows. Here are the first few triangles along the top boarder.

The 12 row pattern went by pretty quickly, but the triangles are killer! It took me hours just to finish the bottom boarder. I completed the entire top border, then realized that I hadn't switched to smaller needles, as the pattern directs, so the triangles are kind of floppy. I go back and fix that problem after I've done the other 3 sides.

Now that I'm done with the body,I think I'll start taking this with me to work. I would love to finish AB^3 this week so I can get it to my bro and SIL soon.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

a day off...

Yesterday, I took a much needed break from working on AB^3. I have been working on it for a little over two week. Plus, I had a pile of laundry to do so that I could pack for this weekend's trip...I would hate to make any mistakes while running back and forth to the laundry machine. So, with just one more set of "blocks" to go, I decided to rest for a night.

AB^3 will be the main project that I work on in the car...but, I'm thinking of bringing another, so that I feel like I have some variety. I'll probably bring the circular shrug with me. I'm making the body of mine in brioche stitch. It looks like a big chunky rib pattern that has been blocked out, and it doesn't stretch as much. I have about half of the body knit...I'm going to add the 2x2 rib border once I have finished the body. That way it will truly be circular.

Monday, October 03, 2005

baby steps...

I hoping to finish AB^3 in the next two weeks. I'm going to miss my SIL's baby shower, which is next weekend, but, I would like to give them the blanket soon. The good thing is that I'm really enjoying this project. Since the entire body is charted, there's not much time to get bored. The downside is that I haven't put much priority on finishing Posy. I have finished all of the knitting, and I have blocked the pieces.

If only I could find someone to seam it together for me!

Speaking of AB^3, I've made a lot of progress. As of last night, I am two-thirds of the way through the second chart. I'm driving down to Charlotte, NC for a wedding this weekend. Since, I'm not actually doing the driving, that means plenty of time to knit!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

looking forward to the weekend...

1. No wedding to attend this weekend...

2. Crafty Bastards Arts/Crafts Fair. I missed last years, but heard that there were some great vendors.

3. Tomorrow is my Friday off, and I intend to have some quality time with AB^3. Perhaps I'll even take the show on the road and set up camp at a cafe.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

chart one...done!

Last night, I finished the first chart of AB^3. It looks pretty good, and I've managed to avoid too many major mistakes.. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take any pictures.

So far, the only complaint that I have is with the yarn. I'm using the yarn recommended by the pattern, Debbie Bliss wool/cotton. I love the color. I love the way the stitches look. I hate the fact that every ball has had a knot in it! That's right, I've gone through 4 balls so far, and every one of them has had a knot in it. The worst part is that I keep finding them once I get to the middle of a row. So, I have to tink back to the beginning of the row to rejoin the yarn. This is supposed to be high-quality yarn. I would understand if I found knots in one, maybe two, of the eleven balls...I'm a little aggravated.

Thankfully, I will be picking up stitches all the way around the blanket, so I should be able to hide all of the extra loose ends.

Friday, September 23, 2005

where did i go wrong?

I've been making great progress on AB^3. I actually made it past the first two-thirds of the first chart. (FYI, the first chart is 130 rows long, with 187 stitches in each row). That's not too bad for one week's work. Of course, the 7 hours in the car last weekend helped a lot.

This morning, after knitting a couple of rows along with my morning coffee, I noticed that something had gone amiss. So far, I've made few mistakes, but they've been easy to fix. You know...stuff like forgetting a yarn over, but catching it on the next row. No big deal. So, I'm not sure how I let this one slip!

I know it doesn't look like much on it's own, but when compared to the chart, this is one major flub! From the looks of it, I misplaced a "K2tog, yo, K2tog, yo" and never noticed. (it's the top-right side of the "V" that is wonky.

Not being one to leave such a problem alone, I quickly decided that it needed to be fixed...Now! In order to get to the problem spot, I had to drop 11 rows of work. 'Cos, face it, I wasn't going to rip out 11 rws @ 187 st per row!

(WARNING: The next picture is not for the weak at heart)

Using another set of needles, I was able to correct the err of my ways. And, thankfully, this bit of morning madness has a happy ending!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

i must knit this shrug

Seriously! I have been thinking about this thing since the first time I saw it in UO back in July! Since they are charging $54 for a mostly acrylic/nylon blend, I knew that there was no way I would buy it.

Well, while peaking around blogland today, I ran across a link to a group on craftster that has reverse engineered this sweater! Oh, happy day! This project is going to the top of my to-knit list.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

stash diving...

Like many, I'm in an ongoing struggle with my stash. On one hand, I hate the fact that it takes up half of my hallway closet. At the same time, I keep coming across yarns that I want for projects that I would like to make. Right now, my stash is right on the verge of being "out of hand." I even went so far as to put myself on a Yarn Diet at the beginning of the year. I was able to go four months without buying new yarn, but it's been downhill from there.

Well, this morning, I pulled my tub-o-yarn out of the closet. I was looking for something that would make a good project to take on the bus with me. I thought a scarf would be perfect. Thankfully, I didn't have to dig too deep. I came across the two skeins of KnitPick's Andean Silk that I had leftover from the Rebecca Wrap that I made back in the spring.

So, my new bus-project is Teva Durham's Leaf Cravat from the Winter 2003 Interweave. I've made one of these before, but it was gifted away as soon as I finished it. This one is going to be all mine!

Monday, September 19, 2005

false start...

Since I can't take AB^3 on the bus with me, I needed something to occupy my time this morning. I probably should have thought about this earlier...With about 5 minutes to spare before I had to leave, I decide to take the easy route and grabbed the Froth Scarf gift kit I got when I renewed my Rowan membership. It seamed like the perfect choice a the time, but now I'm starting to wonder.

When I first got the kit in the mail, I was glad that I had gotten black since it goes with everything. Unfortunately, now that I've knit a few pattern repeats, I'm not so sure. Between the color and the yarn's haze, the stitch pattern doesn't show up at all. If I continue, I imagine I will end up with something that looks like a black, mohair scarf that has been infested with moths. So, I'm going to call this one off.

But, what should I do with the 2 skeins of Kidsilk Haze?

humble beginnings...

Friday morning, I completed the front of Posy. The knitting is officially finished. Now, all I need is the motivation to block the pieces and do the seaming. I usually don't have the energy to pull out the blocking board once I get home from work. But, I'm really looking forward to finishing this project, so I'll have to make an exception.

Once Posy was off the needles, I strolled down to the post office to figure out what had happened to the package I had been expecting. The counterperson was very helpful, but not at all apologetic. She quickly found my package, but said nothing about why my mail carrier had not delivered it to my apartment or left additional notices in the last 2 weeks. In the end, I was just glad that it had not been returned to sender, and my 2 week delay was ended. With new yarn in hand, I headed back to the apartment.

With nothing else planned for the day, I wasted no time casting on for AB^3. To avoid having to pick up 187 stitches to create the lower border, I used a provisional cast on. In the first hour, I think I had completed 5 rows! That's when I knew that this project was going to really test my endurance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


In case you need some proof that I really am a knitter, I thought I would go ahead an post some pictures. Now, remember, that Posy is being knit in these aren't the best quality. But, if you squint a little, you can make out the stitch pattern.

Here's the cast on edge:

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A sleeve cap:
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and, the back neckline:
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I just started the armhole shaping this morning. Just 32 rows until I start the neck shaping!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

usps has hijacked debbie bliss...

It's been over a week and my mail carrier hasn't delivered my package of yarn from jimmy beans! After the labor day weekend, I made sure to tape my package notice to my mailbox instead of just leaving it in the box. The mail carrier took the card the next day, but hasn't followed the request to re-deliver the box and leave it. Argh. And, unfortunately, I haven't had time to go to the post office because it is only open 9am - 5pm...Conveniently, I work from 8am - 5:30pm. I have this Friday off, so hopefully I will be able to pick up my yarn then.

I'm not completely bent out of shape by the missing package because it has given me plently of time to work on Posy. I had a very productive weekend. Friday night, I installed myself on the couch and knit compulsively for a few hours. I was able to sneak some more quality time in on Saturday morning. As of this morning, I have one more pattern repeat before I start the arm shaping. The pattern tells you to work the two sides of the neck separately. I think I'm going to try working them at the same time instead of finishing one half and then going back to do the second.

I tried snapping some pictures of Posy last night, but there just wasn't enough light to see the lace pattern. I'll add this to my to-do list for Friday.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

just past the half-way mark...

This morning, before leaving for work, I finished the back of Posy. So far, I'm really happy with the way this project is going. The arm and neck shaping were pretty easy to follow...although I still hate seeing any pattern that tells you to "complete to match first side, reversing shapings."

I cast on for the front this morning. It took me a little over a week to complete the back. So, with any luck, I should be able to finish Posy before the end of the month. I plan on starting the Alphabet Block Baby Blanket (aka AB^3) this weekend. The USPS site says that my package was brought to the local post office last Thursday night. But, we got a couple pieces of mail on Friday and nothing Saturday. In theory, I could have started AB^3 last weekend, but my mail carrier decided to take Saturday off.

I have the apartment to myself this weekend. If I'm lucky, I'll get to roam around in my pajamas and knit.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

i want a new template...

I just don't have time to sit down and think about what I want it to look like. I really just need to sit down and sketch some ideas out...wish I weren't so busy. Perhaps I'll have to move this on to my to-do list. Maybe once work slows down next month, I'll be able to devote time to a re-design.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

another endurance challenge...

I'm thinking of starting a project that could very well consume all of my knitting time from now through November (or longer). My brother and his wife are expecting their first child in late-November. They know that they are having a boy. And, from what I understand, they have starting talking about names, but affectionately refer him as Boy...I guess you would have to know my brother.

Anyway, when they got married this spring, they said they didn't want gifts. Part of me wanted to get them something, but nothing on their registry screams for me to buy it. So, I'm thinking I'd like to do something special for Boy. How special, you might ask...

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How about Debbie Bliss' Alphabet Block Baby Blanket special? I've been thinking about this for a while. Heck, I've even bought the book already. The entire body of the blanket is charted out over something like 4 pages. Then the border is knit onto the body. I think this will hold my interest a little better than making another B^4.

The blanket is knit with Wool/Cotton, which I guess is (being) discontinued. Both WEBS and Jimmy Beans still have some in stock. I should order the yarn soon, and plan on starting once Posy hits the blocking board.

*Oh, and, it's completely possible that Boy will look like the child in this picture. My mom loves to tell everyone about how my bro was born with a full head of curly hair.

posy zips right along...

So far, posy is turning out to be a perfect late-summer knit. I'm using yarn from my stash, so I'm saving money that can be spent on yummy, fall knits. It's cotton, so it's not scratchy and it's easy to carry along with me. And, it knits up pretty quickly. This is turning out to be a very simple lace pattern...once I got the hang of it. I've managed to get through most of the increases for the back without having to backtrack.

Friday, August 26, 2005

gettin' my groove back...

I didn't get as much knitting done last weekend as I thought I would. But, I've been making up for it this week. I've been bringing my knitting with me on the bus to work again. Honestly, I think this is the most productive time of the day.

I've been working on Posy. So far, I have finished both sleeves. (Thank goodness for short sleeves). And, I have started the back. I'm not really sure what to think at this point. The 1x1 ribbed band looks pretty narrow. Stretchy, but narrow. Part of me is fearful that this project will be too small. Unfortunately, another part would rather deal with it being too small than go back on re-knit 30 rows of 1x1 rib using size 1 needles. I think we all know which side is going to win!

Oh well, I'm glad I'm knitting again. Now all I need to do is get in the habit of including pix in my posts.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

knitting news!

Okay, I'm trying to break out of the slump. So, I'm taking baby steps.

1st - I have started Posy. Mine will be black with light blue trim...very functional. The lace pattern is easy to follow, though I wouldn't say I have it memorized. So far, I have a sleeve and a half. I'm taking this with my on my road trip this weekend.

2nd - Another LAST-MINUTE KNITTED GIFTS rant. This weekend, I'm going to a bridal shower. The bridesmaid who arranged it decided to have Christmas theme. Everyone is supposed to bring an ornament for the couple's first Christmas tree. I set about making an ornament like the ones that I made my mom last year. Well, when it came time to insert the bulb, the f#*king thing broke!

I had to think, I picked up the aforementioned book and quickly decide that I would make the mini-sweater ornament. It is in the section of one-hour gifts. You'll never guess how much time I spent making a little green and white striped sweater! I started last night and got to the point where you join the pieces at the yoke. That, alone, took a little over an hour. I finished knitting it this morning before leaving for work. I was then left with a disproportionately large number of ends that needed to be woven in. I got most of those done on the bus to work. And sewed up the sides at my desk...Thankfully I got to the office early.

All in all, I would say close to three hours were spent! Once again, I find that these are great last-minute gifts, but don't believe the times in the book!

3rd - I got my copy of the new Rowan! I <3 Rowan. I can't wait for it to cool off so I can make Tara or Pandora or Electra! In the meanwhile, I might make the scarf that came as a gift for renewing.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

non-knitting news...

I'm not sure what happened. Once I finished B^4, my knitting streak was broken. I had been knitting daily for the last few years. But, somehow, the flame blew out. Now, before this starts to sound too negative, I'd like to say that there has been some knitting. Just not much.

I've been driven to distraction by another project, of sorts. Since the wedding I attended in the spring, there's been a lot of buzz in my BF's family. His step-brother is getting married in October...leaving my BF and his younger brother as the single siblings. Well, his mom set her sights on us as her next project. Yup, she's ready for us to get married. At first, it felt kind of like she was meddling...But, over the last few months, I could tell that BF was getting very excited. So excited that he just couldn't keep it to himself. (BTW, my BF can't keep a secret to save his life!)

Then,at the end of June, BF's mom gave him her mother's engagement ring. I know this, because he told me, and he showed it to me. (Really, he can't keep a secret) But, he didn't propose when he showed me the ring. Nope. Another month went by.

Well, two weekends ago, it happened. The two of us rented a cabin near Shenandoah, and he "popped the question"!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

slow knitting month...

In case you couldn't tell from the fact that this is only my 4th post this month, I haven't been knitting much. In turn, I haven't had much to say...well not much to say about knitting anyway. Ask my about my crazy mother, I'll tell you something. Ask me about the weather, I'll tell you it's hot and humid. And that's just it...The weather is throwing me off. All I want to do is sleep all the time. Even watching a movie feels like a chore.

So, it was a huge relief when I finished knitting B^4 last night! Yup, no more lugging around the beast. I'm going to weave in the ends tomorrow. Hopefully, I also have time to wash and block it.

Usually, this is the point when I would be looking forward to starting something new...Unfortunately, that's just not the case. I would like to work on one more cottony, summer project. And, I will most likely be Posy, since I've already done a swatch. I have lots of thoughts about what I want to make next, but I don't really have the drive. Maybe it will rain soon...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

big bad baby boredom...

I picked up B^4 the other day after a two week hiatus. Once I realized that I wouldn't be able to complete the project in time for the baby shower, I lost motivation. I told the mother-to-be that I was knitting something else, but didn't mention that it was a blanket. I didn't want to ruin the surprise,and I had just seen her showered with several gift, including some of the softest baby blankets in the world.

This week, I received a thank you card from the parents-to-be. That was just the motivation I needed to return to knitting B^4. Don't get me wrong, I love the project. The best part of this blanket is its simplicity. You get a marvelous looking blanket using such simple stitches. At the same time, the worst is its simplicity! I had run amuck with so much stockinette and reverse stockinette. But, I'm getting back on track.

As of this morning, I still have 10 rows of the body and 20 rows of border to complete. I have decided to continue bringing this project with me to work...which, of course, sucks when it's 90+ degrees out. But, I'm truly focused finishing, and will not begin another project until this one is off the needles.

So, what have I learned? 1) Allow as much time as possible to complete B^4, or any other large, repetitive piece that is meant to be a gift. 2) To maintain interest and motivation, the next baby blanket I make as a gift will be a little more involved. 3) Don't knit large pieces on the bus in the middle of a DC summer!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

new yarn...

I know that one of my big goals for this year is to reduce the size of my stash...But,I just couldn't help myself. Last week Elann had Silk City Perle 3/2 Cotton featured. At $11 per 500 gram cone -- 1,386 yds each -- I bought two! I got one cone in Henna, a deep red/brown, and Silver Sage, a light green. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with them, but I wanted them.

I would consider using the Silver Sage to make Hush-Hush from last summer's Knitty. Or, perhaps I could get lucky with my gauge and make a cotton version of Rowan's Butterfly. Hmm, both projects seem so girlie. That doesn't really bother me as much as making sure I have somewhere to wear either one.

Monday, July 11, 2005

maya, i'm over here...

I didn't really go anywhere...I've just been a little to busy to blog. Right after the overwhelming family weekend, I went straight into 4th of July mode. This week, that included shopping for food for 8 people and packing it all up for transport to a cabin.

But, to round up the knitting haps...I did not finish the blanket on time for the shower. I should be finishing it up this week, if all goes well. The mother-to-be did enjoy the sweater, and I got several oooh's and aaah's from the other moms in attendance. I picked up Toledo over the weekend and went over it weaving in ends. I should have a finished picture some time this week. I also started the Fiery Bolero from this summer's Interweave.

Once I finish these projects, I will be wiping the slate clean. All of my other UFOs will be ripped out and returned to the stash. I know that sounds really serious, but there are only 2 projects that will be getting the axe.

There you have update, in a nutshell.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

i'm knitting as fast as i can...

But, I'm still coming up short. I've been knitting every free second that I have had this week! As of this morning b^4 is 21" long. That means that I have to knit 9" between now and Friday evening to even have a chance! And, even then, I probably won't have enough time to give the sucker a good blocking.

Frustrated? Yeah, I'm F*#KING frustrated! I guess this is where I should start formulating Plan B. (I hate resorting to a backup plan, but sometimes there's just no other choice). So, Friday, I will be taking the Metro out to the 'burbs. There's a Toys'RUs in the same strip as the A.C.Moore...So, I'll be picking up a few small baby gifts to go with the sweater, and I will mail the blanket once it's done. Since, I didn't spend much on the yarn for the blanket, I don't feel too bad about buying so little gifties.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

back on track...

I pushed past the half-way mark on the baby blanket and I'm picking up speed...I have decided that the only way that I even have a chance of finishing this project before the end of the week is to bring it on the bus with me. I would prefer not to do this since the blanket is wider than most projects that I have made. Thankfully, this morning, I left the house a little early and was able to get on a fairly empty bus. I will also be staying up an extra hour every night this week. I am determined to finish this thing.

Friday, June 17, 2005

out of whack...

I haven't been up to much this week. I haven't been sleeping well, and have a lot on my mind. Surprisingly, knitting hasn't been able to distract me...That translates into no progress on the B^4. So, this weekend and next week will be a real test of strength.

Right now, I have 12" down, and another 18" to go. The way I see it, I will have to knit ~3" a day for the 6 days so that I still have time next Friday (my day off) to weave in the ends and block it. Assuming I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight, I'll get up tomorrow morning and dig right in.

Monday, June 13, 2005

another bun in the oven...

I guess I wasn't kidding when I said that it was baby season! I just found out this morning that my brother and his girlfriend got hitched last week. And, Mr-I'm-never-getting-married-or-having kids is also a father-to-be! I'm simply in shock.

They got married at the courthouse. No glam, or glitz. Just my brother's style, really. And, the due date is in November, so they've been sitting on that tidbit a little longer! My brother and I aren't very close...haven't been for years. But, I feel really happy for him.

I see another baby gift in the making!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


Surprisingly, I was able to work on the B^4 on the bus yesterday on the way to and from work. I figure I might be able to tote this project around for a couple more days, then it will be an at home only project. This pattern is super-easy. The only thing that I'm having a problem with is the transition between the different color yarns...of course, that's not actually part of the pattern.

Since Trish asked for them, these were taken this morning. Please excuse the yucky lighting.

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The sweater still needs to be blocked. That's on my list of things to do while I'm off this Friday.

Monday, June 06, 2005

BBBC moves into phase II...

After many more hours than expected, I have completed the Child's Placket-Neck Pullover. Friday night, I cast on and knit the second sleeve while watching Finding Neverland. It took almost the entire movie for me to make a 6.5" long sleeve!

Saturday, I made it my goal for the day to finish this sweater. Nothing else mattered...not eating, showering, or leaving the apartment. I got up around 8am and started joining the sleeves to the body. Once I started the decreases, I thought I was homefree. So, I went upstairs to the neighbors apartment and watched Emma while working the yoke. I was rather disappointed that I wasn't able to finish the sweater while watching a 2-hour movie! Feeling a little defeated, I figured I would give in to showering and jump back into things refreshed.

Finally, at around 4pm, I had cast off. The sweater is pretty cute and well worth the time I put into it. I would never say that it could be knit in under 10 hours. However, I would still consider this a last-minute gift since it can be completed in under a week. Admiring my work, I decided to give my fingers a rest Saturday evening. But, I wasted no time Sunday morning.

First I swatched the variegated yarn that I bought last week. I wasn't looking for gauge in this case. I wanted to see how the colors might line up. I was trying to decide whether to use the variegated yarn for the border to B^4, or to use it for part of the main body of the blanket. Alone the variegated pattern looked kind of freaky, but with a solid border next to it, it calmed down a little. For now, my plan is to make the border and half of the body using the same color green as the sweater. The other two "blocks" will be done in the variegated colorway.

With my plan of attack in place, I cast on 160 stitches for the blanket. I got about an inch into the border, while watching Garden State. And, later completed the bottom border while finishing Love Actually.

(Okay, in case you weren't counting, that makes it a 4-movie weekend.)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

in other news...

I'm very close to finishing Toledo. I actually finished knitting the second piece on Friday. I also blocked the pieces over the weekend.

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I have also done the garter stitch borders around the neck and sleeves. All that remains is seaming the sides and weaving in a few more of the loose ends. Perhaps I'll have something new to wear this weekend!

Here's a close-up of the neck:
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And, the bottom boarder:
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Also, before I was invited to the baby shower, I had started swatching for Posy.
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The lace pattern is fairly simple. It's made up of a 10 row repeat, and you purl all wrong side rows. Hopefully, I will be able to memorize the pattern quickly. I plan on using "lifelines" for this project. Since I will be working with black yarn, I think that will help me keep my place while knitting the lace.

Oh well, I will start Posy once I finish the BBBC. Or sooner, if I find that I can't take the B^4 on the bus.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

don't wait for the last-minute...

I have had Last-Minute Knitted Gifts since it came out last fall. I originally got it so that I would have some ideas for last year's holiday season. My first impression was that the patterns mixed really nice yarn --read expensive-- and simple patterns to create great, quick knits. Although I didn't make any of the projects around Christmas, I was happy with the book and put it up on my shelf.

Once I was told about the baby shower, this book seemed like a logical place to turn. The patterns are grouped by the length of time. The placket neck pullover is the first project in the 4-6 hour section of the book. Not only does it look cute, the pattern has simple raglan shaping and is done in the round...NO SEAMING!

Since I already had the yarn that I was going to use, I was able to start pretty quickly. I even did a spot on, but close. I decided to make the size for 6-12 month-olds, and cast on yesterday morning before heading out for the bus. I knit on the bus (~20 min), I knit at lunchtime (~45 min), I knit on the ride home (~20 min), and I knit after dinner (~2 hrs). That's about 3.5 hrs. In that time I have knit about 5" of the body.

I'm having a hard time seeing how the average knitter could finish this project in 6 hours. It's true that knitting in the round make the body fly by...But, since I haven't even cast on for the sleeves, I don't feel like I'm halfway through the pattern. All-in-all, this is a good pattern. It even looks good in simple yarns (like TLC Cotton Plus). BUt, I would give yourself a couple of days...just not several hours.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

it's baby season...

Over the weekend, I was invited to a baby shower the last weekend of June. The mother-to-be was the maid of honor at the wedding that I attended earlier this month. I had met her a few time over the past few year, but we really hit it off in Florida. She mentioned that she was going to be having a shower in the DC area and I told her I would love to come...Now, the pressure is on. I know that I could just go buy something and call it a day. However, the BTB is really creative and I know that she would appreciate something handknit.

Today I start the Big, Bad Baby Challenge! The shower is on June 26th, so I have exactly 26 days to knit. All other projects will be put on hold until I finish the challenge. I cast on this morning for the Child's Placket-Neck Pullover from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I already had some "kiwi" TLC Cotton Plus in my stash. And, as luck would have it, the MTB had mentioned that they were decorating in a lime green and yellow.

I'm also thinking about making the Big, Bad Baby Blanket from Stitch 'n Bitch, but I'm having a hard time determining how long this blanket would take to complete. I have scanned a few knitblogs, and there's a hug variation. I found some knitters who finished this in about 2 weeks. On the other hand, there were many examples that took well over two months. My personal speed will depend on whether I am able to work on this project on the bus.

Oh well, I'll just focus on the pullover for now.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

slow day at the office...

Perhaps it's because people are already taking time off for the holiday weekend. Or, maybe, it's because the supervisors in my office are all away in meetings...All I know is that it's super quiet in my office today. And, I hate to admit it, but I've actually been knitting at work.

Oh well, I know it won't last long. There's a ton of work on the horizon, and it's going to be another long summer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

at a snail's pace...

Over the weekend, my knitting hit a speed bump. It's partly due to hanging out with friends, and partly helping a friend through a hard time/tough situation. I've been trying to kick-start my knitting but all I manage is a few rows on the way to work and a few more on the way home...I still haven't gone back on fixed the toe of my sock. And, I'm at the point where I should either stop working on Toledo (so I will have mine to show Anne the short-row shaping for the neck), or I can rush on through to the end. Anne has made slow progress on her shell. If I wait for her, I might not finish the shell until mid to late-June. She hasn't asked me to wait for her, so I'm leaning toward finishing the project and moving forward to something new.

Back to my own reduced knitting pace. Perhaps, I'm really just in a funk after such an odd weekend. Or, maybe, I've just become bored with my current projects. I guess what I'm looking for is some inspiration! So, what should I knit next? Maybe picking my next project will be the incentive I need to finish off Toledo and my sock.

Well, I know that one of the upcoming projects will be to knit Sock #2...not the inspiration I was thinking of. I believe I've mentioned Posy, from Rowan #35. Then, there's the twisted rib sweater from Vintage Knits. Or, how about Jenny, from Rowan #37?

Whatever I choose, I want to use something from my stash...I've got some Rowan Cotton Glace, and some Handknit DK...Oh, and some yarn that is really similar to 4-ply Cotton. It shouldn't take much to find a pattern that I like.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

hmm...just something to think about...

I found this one over at Maya's blog.

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (corrected...again)
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Thursday, May 19, 2005

on my tiptoe...

Yesterday, I worked on my sock a little more. I was at the very end, shaping the toe. Once I went through all of the short-rows, I decided to try on the sock before stitching the toe closed...

It's a good thing that I did. The sock is about 1/2 an inch too long for my foot. I'm not sure what happened. I either measured my heel incorrectly, or my gauge changed once I started knitting the sock. Either way, I will need to rip back and re-knit the toe. I'm going to save this for the weekend, instead of trying to do it on the bus.

Stay tuned...Next week, I cast on sock #2...I think.

Monday, May 16, 2005

works in progress...

Yesterday, I got together with my friend Anne to work on Toledo. She had started one of the pieces but got stuck once she got to the part of the chart that included a "K2tog, yfwd twice, K2tog tbl." On the wrong side you P1 into front, then back of the double yfwd. This makes a whole large enough to thread a braid of contrast yarn through. Anne picked up this maneuver very quickly and marveled over her handy work.

I had completed the front half of this shell on Friday, while enjoying my day off. Saturday morning, I cast on for the second half so that I would be able to demonstrate the stitch pattern for Anne. I will probably work this piece up until the shoulder and neck shaping so that I can use it to teach Anne the short row shaping.

I'm also still slugging away at my first sock. I'm about 2/3 of the way through the foot/instep. This is the first project that actually makes the joints in my hands tense. So, I've been trying to alternate between the sock and Toledo. I'm about 15 rows away from shaping the toe.

Surprisingly, those are the one two projects that I'm really working on right now. I'm trying to think of what I want to start next. I might also take some time to go through my UFOs and determine if any of them should be ripped. I can think of at least one project that I'm certain will not be finished.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

super-secret revealed...

Now that SP4 has ended, I think it's safe to show off some pictures of my secret project. First, I'd like to say hello to Trish. She's the gal on the receiving end of the game and the proud owner of the multi-media project.

This project is none other than the Heirloom Bag from Rowan 37, but I made the version without ribbon. I used some 4-ply cotton that I had left from one of last summer's projects, Rosa.

I wish I had taken more pictures while constructing this bag to illustrate my different levels of frustration. The only pictures that came out are of the knitted portion. Here are the two sides blocking:

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And a portion of the strap and gusset piece. It's a little blurry, but there is actually a line of slipped stitches that creates a foldline.
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Oh, and I can't forget the finished product.
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In the end, this project worked out beautifully. It's just the right size to carry small items, like books or the random sock-in-progress. Unfortunately, I still don't think I'll be making a second one for myself. I'll just have to hope that Trish gets good use out of it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

the gift that keeps on giving...

I'd like to thank Rachel, my Secret Pal, one more time. Her generosity is simply amazing! When I got home from Florida, I was greeted by a letter from Doctors Without Borders informing me that my SP had made a donation on my behalf.

Thank you!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

hittin' the road...

I'm finally ready for my trip to Florida. I finished shopping yesterday. I dropped $30 on the strapless bra, but still had the hardest time finding jewelry. I helped my BF pack last night, even though he wanted to put it off until today...Last, but certainly not least, I have successfully mailed my package/reveal to my Secret Pal.

I'm taking two projects on the plane with me, Toledo and my first sock. Toledo is moving very fast. I cast on Saturday morning, but ended up ripping it 10 rows later when I realized that I had been knitting with size 8 instead of size 6 needles. I started again on Sunday, once I was done with shopping. Since then, I have knit about 8 inches of the front.

I'm also bringing along my first sock. This is what it looked like Friday, before I turned the heel:

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(btw, that's my stapler acting as model)

Since then, I have turned the heel! It was a little bumpy...literally and figuratively. I had to rip out my first attempt 2/3 of the way through because I wasn't sure if I was doing the short row correctly. My second attempt went better, but the two sides look uneven somehow. I'm happy with the way the heel turned out. Sorry, I didn't have time to snap a picture once I finished the heel. I should be able to finish sock #1 on the trip, but I didn't pack the other ball of yarn to start sock #2...I was trying to pack light.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

i call it booty...

I want to thank my Secret Pal one more time! Rachel sent me these really awesome gifts last week just before revealing herself. Everything is awesome, and the color selection is right on!

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From left to right:

  • bath salts, for relaxing;

  • sock yarn & bamboo dpns, to feed what looks like the beginning of a beautiful sock fixation;

  • a personalized coffee cozy & coffee -- jamaica blue mtn no less;

  • handspun silk yarn -- spun by Rachel herself!;

  • Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush.

  • not shown -- a great pattern for socks in three differenct yarn weights

Also, I'd like to let Rachel's cat know that Auggie likes the Alpaca best. I think because it's she knows that baby blue is her color...Oh, and because it's super-soft!
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