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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freakin' out...

I left the house this morning very optimistically. But, things quickly turned south. As I mentioned yesterday, I have finished the multi-media SP4 project and need to send it to its final destination. This morning, before leaving for work, I packed a goodie bag with the intention of dropping by the post office at lunch.

Well, half way to work, I realized that I was running early and thought I could go to the post office before work instead. I looked through the goodie bag, making a mental checklist. That's when I had my D'Oh moment. I had forgotten one piece of the package...one sheet of paper, in fact! As I cursed quietly under my breath, I realized that my SP4 package & reveal would have wait one more day.

(Big apology from me to my Secret Pal)

Monday, May 02, 2005

trying not to freak out...

So, do you want to know what I really did this weekend?

  1. Took my Mom to lunch on Saturday as an early Mother's Day celebration since I won't be in town next weekend.
  2. Went shopping, but not in the good way. I spent Saturday searching for a strapless bra and jewelry to wear in the wedding next weekend. Unfortunately, I didn't find jewelry and I'm unhappy with the bra I bought...I'll have to go to another store. Argh.
  3. Went shopping again...still not in the good way. My BF, who is not in the wedding party, didn't realize until late last week that he needed new dress shoes, shirt & tie. He insisted that we go to Nordstrom Rack...It took three hours for him to find what he wanted.
  4. Cleaned 2/3 of the apartment
  5. Laundry -- I still have one more load to take care of when I get home tonight.
  6. Attached crochet bits to the multi-media SP4 project...Yes, I realize I'm really late now. This package will go to the post office tomorrow.

I'm tired and grumpy today. I'm thinking about making a sign to wear around my neck to warn people that it's best to just stay away from me. And, I don't see the week getting any better. I'll just have to trudge through with as much grace as I can muster.

Muchos Gracias, AC!

I got the nicest, most thoughtful package in the mail on Friday. I know it will sound cliché, but good things really do come in small packages!

I had taken some pictures of the booty that my Secret Pal graced me with. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera with me today...it will have to wait one more day.

I just wanted to take the time to say...You Rock, AC!