Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Nope. Instead, I decided to start the jacket for Bugs. I cannot find a picture of it anywhere online, so you will have to use your imagination for now. It is a zippered jacket knit in a 2x2 rib with cabling in various areas, particularly the front. It has a nice big collar (very stylish and cute) and the zipper pull should ultimately have a pompom. I haven't made a pompom yet, but I guess I will have to learn! I probably need to go buy one of these things to make it nice and even.
Anyhow, I am knitting it in a nice pinkish-lavender merino yarn. The yarn is worsted weight and the pattern calls for chunky, so I am holding 2 strands together. Bugs will love it; this is her favorite color.
So far I am halfway through the back and it is going well. It's a pretty fast knit, so expect a FO in the next week or so. I just have to decide if it should be saved for a Christmas gift or give it now. The problem with knitting is that for knitted Christmas gifts, I need to get started now. But when I finish, I just want to give the gift right away! So, I have to decide on that one.
That being said, I do have another story that will make mom cringe. I threw my 3 knitted tanks in the wash machine last night. I have washed them before and it's NEVER been a problem. They are all cotton blends, so I wash them in cold and hang to dry. Anyhow, the original Shapely Tank has a hole in it. I can repair, but it will take some effort. And the new Shapely Tank got a little too much fabric softener and looks stained. I don't think it is...I think another wash or two will take care of it, but it's so frustrating!
So, wish me luck on fixing these issues. Very annoying indeed.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Now on to other tasks... I just can't decide: Mystery Stole 3 or socks? I'm thinking I need a nice pair of socks on the needles. Once I figure out the pattern and yarn, I think I will cast on. Probably in the next 20 minutes. I'm really missing socks...
Oh no! Wait! There is a project I have been dying to work on. I have just enough Debbie Bliss Cathay in a nice olive tone to make this lace nightie.
Argh! Decisions, decisions.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
I am quite ready to move on to new projects though. I need to get some socks going...since I finished the short pink socks, I have yet to start a new sock! I think my next socks will be toe up with short row heels and some lace. I have attempted toe up and know I am capable, but have not really done it from start to finish. I have not done a short row heel yet, so I'm anxious to try that. And I intend to do these 2 at a time, so that should be a good challenge as well.
My big issue is deciding on what pattern to try. I have several lace patterns that I could incorporate and just make some up as I go, but I may go with an actual pattern instead. One that I keep coming back to is the Campanula. This one looks really nice and it incorporates all the elements I want for the next socks. In addition, to get the pattern I will need to make a donation towards a breast cancer walk, which is a good thing. I did find another pattern that I really like, but it fits none of my current criteria, so it will just go on the list for the future.
As for my Ravelry update...there are now only 2,245 people ahead of me in line. They are doing a lot of invites right now, and based on the latest update, I expect to be in within a week or two. I'm certain it will be the time-suck to end all time-sucks for a while. The most exciting thing right now is that I read somewhere that you will be able to view other people's stash lists. This means that maybe I will find people that have some Elann Endless Summer Luna that may be willing to sell it! I adore that yarn and I can't find any anywhere now that they stopped making it. *sigh* I also have high hopes that there will be yarn swap groups. I have plenty of stuff I want and some pretty good stuff to trade.
Side note to goodstuf3: I found another good sock knitting resource that you may enjoy: http://www.knittersreview.com/article_how_to.asp?article=/review/profile/070719_a.asp. There are some good tips there, though the info is directed to people using dpns rather than 2 circular needles. But it still may help.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
That aside, the Shapely Tank is coming right along. I am starting the bust short rows and once those are done, it's very close to completion. Probably not tonight though...I am most likely going to the fair for some fried food on a stick for the evening. Yay!
Friday, August 24, 2007
They show one of them in a nice chenille yarn which is what caught my eye. I have a couple skeins of chenille that I have no idea of what to use them for. Now I have a project for them!
I will probably be making them for Layla, Bugs, and Isaiah. I will have to stop off at the craft store to get some stuffing, but other than that I have everything I need. My intent, however, is not to start one until I finish the Shapely Tank. We'll see how that goes...
Thursday, August 23, 2007
I really like these socks. They are very comfortable and very cute. And a very quick knit! I think mom will really enjoy them.
As for the pattern, it's one I bought from the yarn store so I can't share a link to a free pattern. It is a very simple pattern though, and you can check out ordering instructions here. The ones I knit are called the Seashell Shortie and are knit using Cascade Fixation. I really like this yarn because it is very stretchy and there isn't a lot of concern about fit because of the stretchiness. When I knit socks for mom, I always make them so they are slightly too small for me and they turn out just right for her.
On a separate note, we had a visitor the other night:
Cool huh? It turned light to try to blend with the blinds, but did not get light enough to hide. DH took him outside and let him loose in the tomatoes. This picture isn't very clear, so in case you can't tell, that is a giant praying mantis. Those are 2" wood blinds and he was as big as a slat. He was very happy to go to the tomatoes.
Well, I guess the next item to finish will be the purple Shapely Tank. I better get busy!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
So, I went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to get some organizing cubes and went to work. Here is what I started with:
And here is what I ended up with:
I still have some work to do. I just threw all of the yarn in random cubes, except for the sock yarn. Sock yarn is all in the upper right-hand corner. Mom's feet had better watch out!
On my to-do list for Operation: Yarn Organization is to sort the rest of the yarn in the bins in some fashion. I just haven't decided if I will sort by weight, or fiber, or color, or what. We'll see what strikes me.
Another task is to get a binder to sort my patterns that are not in books. I have only a very few knitting books, but I print patterns from the internet all the time and they are in no particular order.
While doing this project today, I did do one very good thing. I started an Excel spreadsheet for my stash. All pertinent details of my yarn stash are listed. This will really help me when I am trying to decide what I want to do, and also if I decide to sell some of my stash at some point. Eventually I want to add my needle info here as well, but I ran out of time and energy. One interesting fact though...I have the equivalent of over 13 miles worth of yarn. Eek! That's a lot of yarn. Spreadsheets are both a blessing and a curse sometimes...
Now, on to the FO report. Here is a picture of DH's completed Uniscarfity:
I am very happy with how it turned out, though I do think it should have been a little longer. But DH thinks it is just fabulous. I hope to finish his second glove this week, but no promises!
As for the WIP list, here is the update. Aside from a few items that will be tough to frog, I frogged several WIPs that were not working for me or that had been in "time out" for quite some time. I now only have WIPs that I actually intend to finish, and I will frog the remaining things when I have a free evening and when my brain isn't fried from all the yarn play. Here is my current list of WIPs:
- Shapely Tank - a little over half complete
- Short pink socks - 75% complete
- Cardigan for Arwen - Less that 5% complete, and very possibly going to be frogged to work on it in a different manner (different hem line)
- Mystery Stole 3 - About 40% complete. I need to get busy if I want this for Grandma's b-day! Probably not going to happen, if I am honest about it.
- DH's Fingerless Gloves - About 75% complete, should be done soon.
The good thing here is that I put each of the WIPs in it's own Ziploc and they are fairly ready to grab-n-go. I need to print a few patterns to put in the Ziplocs though, since a few of these have been worked on while looking at the patterns on the computer.
In addition to a nice and neat list of WIPs, now I have the materials and the organization to plot out my future projects. For example, the jacket for Bugs that was a WIP wasn't working. The yarn was not thick enough and the jacket (though nearly complete) was too small for her. I greatly underestimated her size. She is long and skinny, and the arms alone were at least an inch too short. Now I have the same yarn neatly wound into center-pull skeins and ready to use doubled up, or I may use some pink yarn that she will like even more I think.
Well, I feel like I make progress. My yarn is neat, my major chores and errands got done today, and I am ready to relax. You didn't think I just did yarn stuff today, did you??? Heck no! I also did the following:
- Mervyn's - Returned some slacks that I didn't love (Mom is probably so proud to read this. I am notorious for buying, not liking, and never returning. See, I'm growing up!)
- Bath & Body Works - Hand soap and lotion. They had a sale, and we needed soap. DH likes the foaming hand soap at the sink, and I like when he uses that as opposed to dish soap to wash his hands. The lotion was free with a coupon.
- Ulta - Shampoo, hair spray, mousse, makeup, face wash. All on the list. But they were out of hair color, like always, and I was irritated, like always.
- JoAnn Fabrics - Tiny crochet hook that turns out not to be small enough to use for adding beads to the Mystery Stole. I will either have to deal with my current method or order one.
- Grocery Store - Needed some food
I can't believe it's already Sunday night... I am really not ready to work tomorrow. Oh well. At least I have things to look forward to. In less that 2 weeks, mom and I go to the fair and the water park like we do each year and I'm totally excited. Fried food on a stick, here we come!
My big excitement today is that I did a zillion errands (and got the done fairly fast!), which included going to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get some shelving to properly store my yarn stash. Theoretically, I will do a "Flash Your Stash" photo shoot sometime this week. We'll see how fast I get it all sorted and put away.
Well, I am going to go try to complete some chores now and I will try to come back with pics of FOs and whatever else my camera points to.
Monday, August 13, 2007
I am not trying to fool myself into believing that she is not sick. The tests confirmed that she is not healthy...she wouldn't even make it through a surgery. But I am truly wondering if it was/is actually cancer. That could not be definitively confirmed without the surgery, but she showed every symptom including an ultrasound showing a mass in her intestine and likely in her lymph nodes. But there was a small chance that she had some sort of infection that looked like cancer, so maybe the antibiotics cleared it up? I doubt it, but you never know.
All I know for sure is that she seems like she feels fine and I am getting to enjoy every day with her for now. She hasn't put on a ton of weight, but she has put on a little. I think this is largely due to the fact that she is eating kitty junk food and not barfing up everything she eats. I am normally a firm believer in feeding pets the food that is best for them rather than the cheap crap, but this is an instance where I am making an exception. We are all about the canned food and potted meat around here. I still don't even know what the hell potted meat is, but she likes it a lot.
So, keep good thoughts for Cassidy please. She is doing well and enjoying life, and that is the best I could ask for.
As for socks... I think I am addicted to making socks. If I don't have a sock on the needles, I feel like something is wrong. I am going to finish mom's other little pink ankle sock this week (I hope) and then I need to figure out what ones to make next, and for whom. I think mom may be getting a little overwhelmed with socks. Mom? Do you want me to stop making you socks? And if so, who should I make them for?
I think my next sock projects will be toe up, 2 at a time on circulars. The reason is that I got a great deal on a bunch of single skeins of Lorna's Laces, and it is important to knit from the toe up and 2 at a time so you don't finish one sock and run out of yarn for the second one. I have made several pairs of socks out of single skeins, so I know it can be done. And since I don't like to make socks that are super long, this works well for me.
Anyhow, my goal is to finish some of my WIP's before starting anything new, but I will have to have some socks going. It's a sickness, really.
Oh, and about socks and sicknesses, mom has an issue with all of her handmade socks. She seems to think that if she washes them that they will disintegrate or something. She flat out won't wash them! I have made all but one of her pairs in machine wash and dry yarn, but she won't do it. I have to steal them and wash them when I am visiting. Fortunately, she doesn't wear them often enough for them to get all dirty or smelly, but come on! Mom, I swear. Your socks will not fall apart if you toss them in the wash machine. I think there is only one pair that will shrink, but you would have to remind me what socks I have knit for you because I don't remember. I know the navy ones are fine, as are the purple ones I gave you in Reno and the striped ones I just gave you. The burgundy ones can also go in the washer, but I can't remember if the dryer is a good idea. Don't you have one other pair though???
CRITICAL UPDATE!!! Mom just informed me that she does now put the socks in the wash machine and they do not fall apart. Good mom!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Anyhow, mom and I got to the casino at around 2:00. I started on a slot and lost so I headed to Pai Gow. I adore Pai Gow poker. It's my newest favorite. Anyhow, I played for a while and we headed off to lunch. Yum! Mom was a little ahead at that point and I was a little behind.
After lunch the Pai Gow tables were packed so I sat at another card table, Ultimate Texas Hold Em. It went well for about 10 minutes and then my money started flying out of my pocket. *sigh* I made it back to Pai Gow after a while and won back some of my money. We ended up leaving there at about 10:30 and headed home.
I was tired, but stayed awake by boring mom with work information (sorry mom!). We got home and sat around for a bit and eventually went to bed.
Today was terribly unexciting. Just some lounging around and stuff. I worked on mom's computer for a bit and then dad came back from a doctor's appt. I don't have a ton of info just yet, but it appears that he does have a heart thing going on. We should know more soon. Hopefully it's nothing serious.
Of the productive things completed this weekend... I am halfway through the waist shaping on the Shapely Tank. It seems like it is taking forever, but I think it's because I haven't devoted a ton of time to knitting this week. I also got my house in reasonable shape before my parents arrived. It needs some deep-cleaning on a few things, but it's fine for now. Included in the cleaning was completion and putting-away of all laundry, so for the first time in ages we are starting the week with all clothes in order. That's a very nice feeling.
I can't recall any other productive stuff taking place this weekend, so that's all I have to report!
Oh...notice that I did move a few things around on the blog, and I added a poll. Please add your vote!
Friday, August 10, 2007
And here is a picture of what we do with children in our house when they misbehave. Just kidding! She thought that spending time in the dog crate was a fine idea. The dogs were completely perplexed.Had enough of Layla? Didn't think so. She's so cute. But, I must show you a few other things. Namely, the fact that my yard is under attack. This is threatening to take over the world, and it has a few friends that are nearly as big.
While that picture shows that I have a big zucchini in my garden, I don't feel that it truly captures the magnitude of the threat. So, here it is posed with a bottle of wine. If you don't hear from me again, please send help.
On to a corn update. Here is the corn "field". It just keeps growing...
But more importantly...I HAVE CORN!!! Also, I have an ANT IN MY CORN!!! Damned ants. DH thinks they were just crawling up to get away from the water, but I am worried that I won't be the first one to eat this corn. I have at least 7 like this...
Well, I think that's enough for the evening. I also had a little photo shoot with Miss Daisy in preparation for her story. Which will be coming soon...I swear!
Monday, August 6, 2007
Uniscarfity (http://magknits.com/Nov06/patterns/uniscarfity.htm) for DH. Making this out of KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, and it's about half done. I can't bring myself to work with wool during 100 degree days. Update: I haven't touched this one and DH is getting discouraged...
Jacket for my niece. I don't have a link to the pattern, but I am making it out of Elsebeth Lavold Angora. So far, the yarn is just a bit too light so I may rip it out and use a double strand. It's a super fast pattern and the yarn is so soft. I've made several mistakes and had to frog a lot though, so starting over may be a good plan. Update: I haven't touched this either!
Cardigan for Arwen from the Winter 07 IK. I am making this out of a dark navy wool from elann. I made the baby version for my friend's little girl, so the cable pattern is easy for me at this point. But again, knitting with wool is a bit hot right now. Update: Same as the others!
New projects and FOs
Cute Striped Socks - I made some really cute basic striped socks and gave them to mom with her Kew socks. I have a picture of them but am not sure where the camera is right now. I will add it later. These are done and delivered.
Mystery Stole 3 - There is an online knitting project out there that I started called a Mystery Stole 3 (the 3 is because this is the third annual one they have done). A lady makes this pattern for a stole/shawl and sends out 1 clue a week to the participants. The participants knit each clue without knowing just what they will end up with. I decided to try it and I really like it so far. I am way behind because I started late, but it's working well. It is knit with KnitPicks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor with beads and I think I will try to finish it for my grandma's birthday.
Pink short socks - These are really cute and one of them is complete. I finished it in a day, so the other will be done sometime soon. Maybe before mom visits this weekend. I used some left-over Cascade Fixation, which is a nice stretchy elastic-cotton yarn. The finished sock is really cool.
Shapely Tank - I am making a second one using Debbie Bliss Cotton-Cashmere in a dusty plum color. I like the pattern so much and I had this yarn laying around, so I'm working on another. It's a good easy knit for working on while watching TV. I am knitting it in the round this time and it's working well.
I did start another project that did not work out. It is the pattern for Coachella from the recent Knitty and it doesn't fit right. My boobs are way too big to make the sweater fit in a non-obscene manner. *sigh* Now I have to figure out how to unravel a half-tank knit with 2 strands of yarn held together. I don't think it will be easy. Eek.
I think that's it for my WIPs (Works In Progress).
On a separate knitting note...welcome goodstuf3! goodstuf3 is a friend from another site who is re-taking up knitting and is going to work on socks. I can't wait to see her progress!
I woke up unnecessarily early and sat on the couch to knit. Eventually I got up and straightened up my house because I had guests coming to visit...MY PARENTS AND PAYTON!!!
They got here around noon and we all proceeded to lounge around in a lazy fashion for the day. I love having every other Friday off...it really makes the weeks go by easier.
Anyhow, dad started being a pill immediately. He hates that I only have the 100 channel Dish package at my house, and he complains loudly every time he visits. This time he complained because he would be missing the Giants game, and eventually wore me down. I upgraded to the 250 channel package and that shut him right up. Since the game didn't start until later, he watched that damned shark show where they were eating seals again. *sigh*
After upgrading the TV, mom and I started badgering dad (as we do always). We begged him to let us go play bingo, but he was having none of that. He's such a pill. So instead, we stayed home and made him a snack. He is a spoiled pill. He's just lucky he's cute and charming.
Later in the afternoon my friend and her little girl came to visit and stayed for dinner. It was great to visit with her. She's had a lot of rotten health stuff to deal with for a while, so it was nice to just have a mellow evening. Her baby is just the cutest little girl ever.
Saturday was the family reunion, which is the reason my parents were up to visit. It's a long drive, but it's in a nice park in a nice town with very nice weather, so it was good. I got to see my niece and nephew, and we brought Bugs (my niece) back home so she could go home with my parents for a week.
As expected, I spent most of the time at the reunion knitting. I decided to make mom some short socks for summer. I finished one and it turned out very cute. The funny part happened when I was working on it in a lawn chair... One of the random old lady relatives saw me knitting a smallish (but not that small) light pink sock. She came over and asked if it was some sort of "announcement". Note to self...possibly do not respond with "Oh hell no!" when at a very religious family reunion. Oops. But honestly! Who asks a question like that???
After the reunion we made the long drive home. Since Bugs was going to mom and dad's, she came home too and mom and I spent the evening in the park so she could play.
Slept in a little and got up to see off mom and dad and Bugs. :-( I spent the rest of the day being fairly lazy. The weather got really weird here and it was downright cold and VERY windy. I think the only productive thing I did (other than knit) was some laundry.
Went to work and got some of my confidence back. I am in a completely new role for a while and feeling a little out of my comfort zone. But today I started to get into my groove and got some stuff going. That was good. The first week or so in a new role is always very tough for me. I tend to freeze up internally a little bit and it's hard for me to deal with. I don't think anyone notices but me, but it's mentally taxing.
Anyhow, on the work front things are interesting. Not for me but for DH. The opportunity for him at my company did not pan out (long story that I won't be going into, but nothing we could have done different) and he officially gave notice at his existing job today. This stresses me out but also feels good. He was working so many hours that it was about to kill him! The good thing is that he is a hard worker and a good guy so he will make money until he finds the right job. But for now, I will be a little stressed.
After work and all of that I decided that I needed to do something useful when I got home. I hemmed and hawed up until the last moment, but I finally got my lazy ass to put on my shoes and walk on the treadmill. Yay! I went for about 40 minutes at a reasonable speed and watched "Cash Cab" on the Discovery channel. That is a fun game show. I told myself that if I want to watch TV that I would have to do some of it while on the treadmill. Now I have to make sure to stick with it. I can't let the damned thing become a giant coat hanger like DH said it would!
After the exercise I started to work on a second Shapely Tank in a different yarn. I have some purple Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in a dusty plum color and it's perfect for the pattern. I will make this one with slightly wider straps so that I can wear it to work and be within dress code. You know? I have a lot of WIPs (Works In Progress) going...I think they deserve their own post.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
The discussion started with her asking us a Very Important Question. Said question was if we would take Payton (their dog and Deacon's German Lady Friend) if they die. I said that of course we would, who else? WTF is one more dog in this house, ya know?
She also informed me that Payton prefers to sleep on the sofa. As I well know, since she gets very peevish when I go on vacation with them and take over the sofa. Very. Peevish.
She also told me there were other things I was to know and I reminded her that I know many of those things already... Mom is to be cremated, Dad wants a box. If Mom goes first, she wants to be placed in Dad's box. If Dad goes first, we are to either sprinkle her over his plot or dig a hole and put her in his box. Also, I am to keep an eye on my niece, Bugs.
I figured since we were on the topic that I should remind her that I am against being plugged in and I am all for donating my guts. But not my kidneys, because that would just be mean (they make kidney stones like nobody's business!). Mom is a little more pro-plug, so I just need to keep reminding her that I wouldn't be fond of being a vegetable. DID YOU HEAR THAT MOM???
In other, lighter, news... it's Shark Week on the Discovery channel. And lucky me, I have a DVR. (That was sarcasm, BTW) DH has every shark program taping and we have 20+ hours so far. *sigh*
And more on summer TV... I am hooked on a few shows, most of them REALLY bad. The worst? That one on VH1 where Bret Michaels from Poison is looking for love. Rock of Love or something? This show makes 7th Heaven look like good television.
Some of the fun and/or less stupid ones are: Don't Forget the Lyrics, Army Wives, Burn Notice, Side Order of Life, Saving Grace, and a few others I can't remember.
OH MY GOD IT'S A SEAL SNUFF FILM!!! The shark show is showing sharks mutilating seals! The poor seals are leaping to try and get away. THIS IS AWFUL! And the camera man is saying how you just can't help but root for the poor little seals.
I hate Shark Week. Poor lil seals!
Let's see...in other news, DH won't be working with me right away. The job got filled before he got an interview. We are pretty bummed, but are moving on to plan B. We just have to figure out what plan B is.
OH MY GOD THEY JUST RESCUED A SEAL THAT IS NOW MISSING A GIANT CHUNK! So. Gross. And sad. But they said it will live.
Okay, I have to stop writing now for fear of alienating my few readers with awful shark stories.
On the knitting front... I am making a few things right now that I will post about soon. I also have at least 1 FO to show a pic of. Maybe tomorrow I will bust out with the camera.