Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Day with Cece

Well, after yoga today, Cece came by for some lunch and some knitting. She finished knitting her Klaralund, and started on her Shetland Triangle, which is now done blocking. Here are several pictures. First up, a closeup of the pattern: Next, me in the courtyard near my home, smiling like a silly idiot:
Third, a nice shot of the whole thing- I still don't think the awesomeness of the yarn shows AT ALL:And finally, a nice lion statue struttin his stuff:
Here are the project details:
Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style
Blue Heron Yarns, Rayon with some sparkle, 550 yds
Denise interchangable needles, size 7
16 pattern repeats
66" wide, 29" long
Started 9/24, finished knitting 9/28, blocked 9/29
Comments: I hadn't knit with such an inflexible, nonstretchy yarn for a while, and at first, it was a little weird. However, once I got going, I rather liked it, and it is soooo pretty! I found the pattern fairly simple, and was able to memorize what was going on after giving it some thought over the first several pattern repeats. I would call it a good 'first lace project' kind of pattern.

Next, here is the Sweater with Lengthways and Crossways Ribs, in all of its glory:

I liked the way it turned out, but in looking at this pic, I have decided I need to invest some time in buying a belt that doesn't stick out so much- I swear I have more of a waist than that... really!

Project Specs:
Sweater with Lengthways and Crossways Ribs from Rebecca Magazine #25, size 34/36
Wildflower D.K. from Plymouth Yarn, 51% cotton, 49% acrylic, 4 1/2 balls
Needles: Denise Interchangeables size 6
I believe I lengthened the torso a bit, and found that the armhole portion started getting longer than I thought it should be... quite possibly, my row gauge was a bit longer than expected... This was a fairly quick and easy knit. I will mention here that I miscalculated how many balls of yarn I needed, and when I got a fifth ball, it was not of the same dye lot, and it shows a bit. Luckily, my hair is just long enough to hide the flaw! Hee hee!

And last but not least, a shot of my latest project, the Counterpane Carpet Bag from Handknit Holidays:
I don't yet have the lining fabric or the purse handles, but whatever.... that's just a detail! I am again using my very favorite Noro Kureyon colorway, #95, and am happy as a clam to see it again! Therefore, I shall tarry no longer and return to my knitting.

I have been quite bloggerly lately. I might or might not continue this trend, so don't think I've turned over a new leaf or anything...

Friday, September 29, 2006

New Blocking Method

(At least for me)

Here is the Shetland Triangle, all blocky and drying pleasantly. I fortuitously ran across a blocking technique that was previously unknown to me, and as soon as I checked it out, I knew it was the method for me! I bought some T pins, (finally) then I went to Kay Bee Toys and bought a large foam puzzle. As you might be able to tell from the picture, I do believe I will need to buy another puzzle to add to it for next time, but I squeaked by this time! It was so easy in comparison to the 'ghetto' sewing pins and towels technique I used in the past... nothing ever quite looked totally even, but whoa. I am doing awesome, baby! What symmetrical halves! What a perpendicular middle line! What nice, even and pointy points! I was previously unaware that I was capable of such precision, such PINNING! I love squishy foam puzzles! Unfortunately, the foam fishy inserts and multicolored nature of the puzzle pieces make it a wee bit difficult to actually see the shawl in any kind of appreciable kind of detail, but so it goes. I will try to get Cece to take some pictures of me tomorrow. Although I love living by myself, it means that I don't have a built in "picture taker of me in finished knitted items", so I must catch as catch can. So far on this blog, I believe that all pictures have been taken by me at arm's length. Good thing I have long arms. I really must whip out that camera manual and refresh my memory on how to do the automatic picture taking thingy. I'll bet that would be good. And as I mentioned once, if you set the camera on the counter in front of a metal bowl, you can totally see the viewfinder's reflection and see what you're going to get a picture of. Stellar. (I found that out by accident, not that the picture actually got taken... but if it had worked, I wouldn't have accidentally cut the top of my head off or anything, I swear!)

I am currently having a devil of a time with Blogger. This seems to happen every once in a while- I will upload pictures over and over and over again; Blogger will tell me that they uploaded successfully, but NOOOOOO. The really didn't. Same with posts- I will go to publish posts, I will be told that the published just fine, but NOOOOO. They are not showing up on the website. ARRRRRGHHHHH. I have AT LEAST one or two people who would quite possibly like to look at my posts- I feel it in my bones! Oh, well.

Regardless of these ridiculous snafus, I feel confident that, if Blogger can cooperate, there will be even more pics of finished objects this weekend, as Cece is coming on over to knit tomorrow afternoon. KNITTTTTT!

*****UPDATE*****

Little Amanda was sleepy this evening. So sleepy that she took an unusually large nap and then did not go to to a party she had been planning on. Instead, she... um... did some knitting- duhhhh! What could it be? Well, there is one nonsurprise item, and then, there is a new surprise that perhaps there will soon be an update on! How marvelous! But for now, I will sleep. Of course, I'll probably dream about knitting- sometimes that happens if I overknit, which it is possible that I did tonight. At least my arm isn't tingling. No, that has never happened. OKAY, IT HAS! STOP GRILLING ME ALREADY! But it did not happen tonight. Which is good. Okay, enough already. I'm outty.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wuh-oh!

Hmm. It appears as though I have made a minor error. I have been knitting along happily on my shetland blob, and casually decided that I had enough yarn to do several extra repeats. However, I now have this much yarn left:

and still have 5 knitting rows (of almost 300 stitches on a size 7 needle) and one bindoff row left... pretty sure it's not QUITE enough. I am going to do some research and see if I can leave off the last two knitting rows, as they are repeats of the ones before and do not add any extra stitches. I wish I had weighed the yarn or something, but don't have an appropriate scale. I should get one- it would be helpful both with knitting and with beading. But alas, there is not one in my obviously impoverished home!

This is not a desperately terrible situation; just a lame one. The yarn will take nicely to frogging, as it is rayon and not all fuzzy and meldy. So, worst case scenario, I frog approximately two dozen rows and delete one of the pattern repeats and keep on going. It will be okay. Sigh. What do I blame for this snafu? A desire to utilize as much as possible of a very beautiful (and fairly expensive) skein of yarn- I felt like if there was even a scrap left, it would be a waste! Silly girl. I will naturally post, with all of the gory details and pictures, with the results...

And, regarding the nice ribby Sweater with Lengthwise and Crosswise Ribs (picture attached was my inspiration for wanting to knit this little number), I had run out of yarn, but the new ball just came in the mail! Once I finish this shetland blob, I shall be moving on, baby! Finished objects shall abound!

*******UPDATE ALERT*********

Whew. I guess I made the right decision- here is what I have left for yarn- with so many stitches, I'm certain I would not have enough yarn for two more rows!

And, here is the Shetland Triangle lying on the floor- it is way too late tonight to start the blocking... but the next pic of this baby will be in the blocky state of being, I'm sure!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Very Own Shetland Triangle Blob!

As previously mentioned, I bought some beautiful yarn that was just begging to be knit into a lace shawl of some sort. So, I decided upon the Shetland Triangle from Wrap Style. Of course, I didn't OWN Wrap Style yet, so had to order it, and then WAIT for it to arrive! It got here during day 1 of Open Studios, but I managed not to start knitting until Sunday evening. It has grown rapidly, into a nice, yarny, bubbly blob. It is initially gratifying to knit a shawl from small to big- rows of under, say, 50 stitches go by really fast- but I'm now almost at 200 stitches, and each row is taking somewhere between 7-10 minutes, depending on how distracted I'm getting. The lace pattern is simple- nothing more difficult than a slip one, knit two together, pass slipped stitch over... but I really like the pattern, so it's all good:


Oh, yeah... it is clearly difficult to actually SEE the pattern in this picture, but I assure you that it's there. Really.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Having Difficulty!

You know, it is really hard to take pictures of your own feet, particularly while you are trying to get a picture of the detail on the back of a handknitted sock. "Open Studios" is today, but I was pretty much all set up by bedtime last night. I did a good job cleaning up my condo and hiding things that I didn't quite know what to do with. Note to self: PLEASE do not turn on the oven without checking inside! (It's actually okay- I hid extra plates in there- rather than, say, my vast collection of oily rags...)

So, the knitting project that was begun on my trip to Eastern Europe is now... half finished! I have been quickly trying to take a few shots of the finished sock, but I have run into a couple of snags: dead camera battery, poor lighting, and most importantly, non-rubber legs. I will most certainly continue my quest for a flattering shot of Little Miss Baudelaire. Speaking of socks on Knitty, have you seen the new issue? This pattern looks like a real noodle twister- five zillion 1x1 cables on size 1 needles. SUPER. No, really, sounds like FUNNNN.

Okay, I think I continue typing because I am trying to avoid the fact that I probably forgot something super important in setting up for the day. You know, like putting on pants. Hmm, let me see... Pants? Check. Other important clothing? Ditto.

Okay, real quick, I am going to try and take a couple of pictures of Miss Baudelaire... and as thought, the one of the back of my leg just didn't work out. Sigh. But, here we go so far- first, the top view:And next, the side view. I like the little cable that runs up the side:

As usual, the color is not accurate at all. I mean, it IS actually blue, but it is a brighter and nicer blue, in my opinion. Okay, over and out... gotta make SURE I actually put on pants...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Amanda's Food Groups

Okay, so I was just thinking about foods that are bad for you, and I have decided to create some new (and pleasing to me) food groups:

1. Fluffy. (think whipped cream, FROSTING, puddings, mousses, etc.)

2. Cold and creamy. (Ice cream. Trust me, in my world, it would have its own group!)

3. Salty and crunchy. (Cheetos come to mind pretty immediately)

4. Doughy. (I suppose pizza crust, doughnuts, soft pretzels, and other various bready items would go here)

5. "Turns the paper clear". Rub it on a piece of paper. Can you now see through the paper? Yes? Okay, it goes in this group. And yes, I did steal that idea from the Simpsons episode where Homer is trying to get super fat so he can go on disability and work from home. He also purchases (and wears) a muumuu in that episode. Muumuu is an awesome word, by the way.

6. Sticks in your teeth. (Butterfinger, Starburst, Toffee, Salt water taffy)

7. Makes people make inappropriate noises. (Godiva chocolate, perhaps?)

What prompted this list? Well, I went shopping for various brownie/ cupcake/ cookie mixes and bought some 'fluffy white frosting'. I decided to give it a taste test. It satisfied both food group #1 and #7, as it was both fluffy and also made me do some sort of Homer-like "ggggaaaagggghhhhhuoooooooooggghhhh" kind of noise. Yeah, it was good.

So, with the full knowledge that large numbers of people are coming over to my home in two days, I continue to avoid cleaning. Actually, I DID just put some DVD's that were lying around into the cabinet. And I put my scented oil burner near the sink- it does appear as though it could use a bath. Yes, I'd say I'm well on my way, wouldn't you? And before you snicker, I am definitely on my way over to the shelves- I am gonna bust out the duster and give them what for! Yeeeearrrrrgh!

Speaking of yeeearrrrrgh, we all missed "talk like a pirate day", which was on September 19th. WHY did nobody remind me??? Arrrrrr. I be disappointed, be I. I would have heartily enjoyed calling ye me maties and possibly swabbing the deck (yes, the poop deck) and even shivering me timbers. I would have called someone a maiden and probably would have referred to a 'bosom' here and there. And, while we're on the subject, can someone remind me what a foc'sle is? I seem to remember that word from my various pirate-y readings... and no, I am not quite sure that is where the apostrophe goes, but it was a good guess.

Well, I shall go drown my piratey sorrows in some rum. I mean, frosting.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

LAZY AS HELL

That is how I've been feeling this week. I did manage to go to spin class on Tuesday morning and get SOME household chores done Monday night, but I have sooooo much to do to get ready for Open Studios and have barely done anything. I mean, the PUBLIC is going to be coming into my house, and it is a mess! It is not as bad as it can be at times, but it is certainly not 'ready for the public'! I am a giant, lazy loser.

What do I REALLY feel like doing? I feel like knitting! Whoa, where did THAT come from ??? Well, who am I to argue with spontaneous spurts of emotional outbursts!!! I am going to go work on the socks I was knitting in Eastern Europe. Sweeeeeeeet.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Website is LIVE!

Well, I avoided that pesky nice weather this weekend (sob) and finally got my website in working order. Feel free to visit it now. www.amandahosmer.com. I selected a small portion of my finished jewelry to put online, but I tell you, it took me all freakin' weekend! Now, my business card doesn't have to say 'website coming soon' any more. Whew. So glad that is done.

Believe it or not, I saved my new yarn (see yesterday's post) as a reward- I will now hand-wind its beautiful lengths. I will have to wait another week or two for the pattern to come in before I can start knitting it, but that's okay. I have a couple of UFO's floating around that it will be nice to knock off and take pictures of... the Noro sweater will now have a clasp, and the Gibson Girl will not be in three separate pieces any more... at least, in theory...

Okay, I have seen WAAAAAAY too much of my computer today... I'm outta here!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Emotionally Reparative Experience

Well, I passed the 'evil sweater' off to Cece last night. Good riddance to evil knitting. RRRRrrrrrr. However, I convinced Cece that she did not want the rest of the yarn, (by the way, darling, there are currently two balls left if you want them back- speak now before they are knit) and in order to flush out the evil spirits, I knit this:

The satisfyingly simple Spiral Rib Hat by Song Palmese, available from Ann Norling. This yarn was just right for the pattern, so I was happy to be knitting with it. It was a shame that I was growing to LOATHE the Debbie Bliss alpaca silk... and so I feel better now! I have actually made this pattern before out of Noro Kochoran , and it is one of my faves. Notice how the different size yarn looks so different in the pattern!
So, Monday is Cece's birthday... so go on over there and wish her a happy 31st! (God help us all if I've gotten her age wrong...) For her birthday, I bought her some SUPER YUMMY yarn from Blue Heron Yarns... it is a beautiful fingering weight rayon with a metallic strand running through it. Of course, since I bought it at the very last minute from the Hub Mills Factory Store (and on the last day of their sale), I didn't get a picture of it, but managed to buy a skein for myself, heh heh:

The pink is a little more 'pinky' in real life, and the brown is a little more 'coppery'. I am planning ot make some sort of a shawl with it- I have determined that if I wear shawls with a jacket, I look totally cool. No, really, I do! :)

So, upon looking at Blue Heron Yarn's website, I have decided that they have awesome yarns. I'm just saying. I am going to keep my eyes peeled for more.

Today is GORGEOUS out. However, being the total dumbass that I am, I have squandered several months avoiding taking pictures for my new website. As next weekend is Open Studios and I will be passing out tons of business cards, I feel that I absolutely MUST have a working website for people to go to after they SPRINT home with my business card to do even more online shopping. Or something like that. So, I am sequestered inside today, taking pictures. And doing laundry. Might as well kill two unpleasant birds with one sunny stone. (Trust me, it made sense before I typed it)

Last but not least, I am considering trying to host a "UFO-along" after the holidays. I think it would be totally fun to get a bunch of knitters together to dig out their unfinished projects, and spur them along to get them done! It's perfect for after the holidays, since we'll all be broke from buying gifts and such. Thoughts?

Okay, back to the evil picture taking. It's really the picture editing that completely sucks. Bleh.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hmm.


Okay, so the color is NOT accurate at all. And Cece, you're in charge of blocking. (Heh heh) I am not completely confident about the way that the sweater hangs, although I assure my vast readership that I followed that cockamamie pattern to a T... other than the length modifications that Cece specified.

Cece, my friend, if you know who does not like this sweater, I would probably prefer that you not tell me, and that we never enter into this type of agreement again. I'm just saying.

And now, I believe I will go back to the Gibson Girl Pullover - a UFO if there ever was one! I am a 'finisher' of projects, but this one is somehow an exception to the rule. Stay tuned, faithful reader(s), for update(s)!
WHOA.

I have been shirking my bloggerly duties. For one thing, I have been shirking my beading and knitting duties, and therefore don't have much to blog about. I did do some work on a cotton tank from an old Rebecca magazine- I found a picture of another blogger's FO of the "Sweater with Lengthways and Crossways Ribs" (Germans are so utilitarian with their names, eh? And in German, it's called "Pulli mit Rippen", which I assume translates as "Sleeveless Pullover with Ribs"... "Pullover" = pullover; "Pulli" appears to be "sleeveless pullover"... but I digress).

ANNNNNYWAY, it also appears that I may have gotten too little yarn and am about 1/2 ball short. Sigh. That is good news for CECE, and it is also good news that I have a headache and won't be going to yoga tonight, because it means that I'll be staying home and doing some seaming on the evil cardigan. I believe I have referenced said cardigan in the past. If I finish it tonight, I shall plop a picture up for all to witness. If not, I suppose I will finish it tomorrow night, or possibly Friday night. One may never know.

So, it has been so long since I have posted that I forget if I mentioned the two dates I went on a couple of weekends ago. I had a repeat date with one of the 'gentlemen', who ended up being a BIT more.... um... aggressive than I was in the mood for, and he called me again since then. I called him back, but my heart was pounding out of my chest. Even though I come across as someone who would have no problem telling someone to go jump off a bridge, it is hard for me. I am dreading the conversation, but just imagine how happy I'll be when it's over and I won't have to worry if he'll call again! Yay!

Okay, off to seam the sweater from Hades.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Productive Weekend

Amazing but true, boys and girls, (well, probably no boys, if we want to exist in the realm of truth) I have been immersed in a weekend of productivity. With the advent of a new school year, I have thrown myself head-on into a project of self improvement: eating my fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, and tidying that which is inordinately messy. I have a huge pile of clothing to be donated to whichever charity will take them (any tall size 12's out there are more than welcome to anything from the pile), have organized my beading and knitting books and magazines, and have kept my kitchen clean all weekend. Laundry is done, the fridge is stocked, and I am back at Bikram Yoga, sweating my brains out and falling over during most of the balancing poses. One of these days....

I am also (buckle your seatbelts) working on my website. I have been threatening to do so for quite some time... three months, to be somewhat more precise... and it is turning out to be a LOT less painful than I had initially feared! I do believe that the basic framework is all laid out, and I will now need to begin the arduous task of photographing the jewelry pieces and adding them in. The changes I have made are not yet on the web, so stay tuned. Yipeeee!

And last but not least, Miss Bead & Fiber Babe managed to have TWO dates yesterday. I set them up through match.com, and one of those two dates was really fun! Stay posted... there ought to be a 'let him down gently' update, as well as a 'juicy details from date #2' update in the future. If not, I guess it will be back to the drawing board. Same story, different day. I tell ya, there are some weird, weird, WEIRD dudes out there. I am just glad that I manage to find a normal one out there every once in a while.

The only knitting news is that I have unraveled the sweater front from Cece's mother in law's sweater... the piece that I knit several inches of without remembering to add button holes. I have every intention to get that finished... I truly do. I wish I could burn it afterwards, but sadly, that would defeat the purpose. I might instead just burn any leftover scrap yarn- that might make me feel better. Or maybe I'll tie it to a brick and throw it in the river. Yes, that would be FUN!!!