Monday, October 30, 2006

Yarntastic updates

So I have some yarnular news. First off, do read below this post- there are a couple of backdated posts that I never finished up, due to Blogger being a jerk. Call me scattered, call me disorganized... heck, call me Ishmael, if you wish...

Prior to the most recent project (cotton short sleeve sweater that is now awaiting blocking and seaming- yeah, don't hold your breath for completion OR a picture), I had genuinely been wanting to knit yet another item out of my favorite Noro Kureyon color. So, I decided not to wait any more!!!
Please witness the Kureyon fabulosity! I am making Rosedale United from Knitty. Please note the interesting intarsia rectangle! In the real pattern, it is a bit more to the side, but it's early and I'm in a hurry! In three more inches of the body, I get to connect the sleeves to the whole deal and begin the raglan shaping. Yayyy!
Now, when I first cast on for this, I believed that I only had eight balls of the necessary yarn left, and the pattern calls for nine. Then, the other day I was going through my giant sweater drawer, and I found... another ball! I held it up and cheered, as though there would be someone nearby to share in my glee... but I live alone, so said glee was really only enjoyed by me. So it goes.
This is the first time I have made an effort to match up the yarn- the sleeves match, and I have been matching up ends/ beginnings of skeins. Once, I came across a knot that caused a significant color change, and I pillaged the ball that's being used for the intarsia rectangle. I'm serious about the matching, folks!
After this project, I think I will finally be able to lay to rest my obsession with Kureyon #95. Of course, at some point, I will have to pick another color, but that is another post for another day...

Monday, October 23, 2006

ARRRRRGH!

I have just drafted a letter to the Reynolds Yarn Company via snail mail, as I couldn't find a website. I have been knitting with their lovely yarn, and yet am being driven crazy! The yarn is nice, but there are soooo many knots in each ball of yarn, I am losing my mind! The knots are the kind where the yarn has split in two- the kind of knot that if you just leave it there, it will undoubtedly give way at some point and your garment will explode. And since it's cotton, I can't just spit felt and keep knitting, I have to tink back to the beginning of the row and work as though I'm joining a new ball of yarn. Instead of having just a few ends to weave in, it will be a weaving bonanza at the end of the project. Arrrrgh.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Back to Basics

So, one of the first things I ever knit (after the weird, holey Barbie scarves) was cotton washcloths made out of the tried and true "Sugar & Cream" yarn. The colors have certainly improved over the years, and I recently cast on four stitches and started knitting the pattern (as I remembered it). Then, I thought to myself that the index card that the pattern was written on had been in my knitting bag for SO many years, that I probably still had it around. It literally took me about 35 seconds to find it (not in the knitting bag, but in a logical enough spot- my sewing pattern box). It is all yellow and the pattern is written down in my elementary school handwriting:

The rest of the pattern is on the back of the index card. And, of course, a shot of one of my ancient washcloths next to the new one. I notice that my knitting is looser now, but other than that, the knitting 'skill' seems about the same on this easy of an item:

Aah, nostalgia. Happy is me.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crafty Updates

This week was the week of cancellations: the polymer clay class was indeed cancelled for Saturday, and my yoga class was cancelled tonight. That was a bit of a saga- first off, I drove up to NH right from work, so as not to get sucked into the vortex of the post-work nap. I went to Parlee Farms to buy some apples, then scoped out the Salvation Army to see whether they would accept my donated clothes. They will, but I need to put them in bags. No problem. Then, I went to the River Art Studio, which is right around the corner from the yoga studio, to see what kinds of classes they offer. The woman who was there seemed pretty vague about when a polymer clay class might be available, or how much a private lesson would cost. I'm not going to hold my breath... then, I went and parked in the yoga parking lot and knit and talked to my mom for 45 minutes, until it was 'kosher' to go inside, 1/2 hour before class. It was cancelled. What an ordeal! Almost two hours 'wasted', and no class at the end. Sigh. However, there are updates. First off, my Swallowtail Shawl from the most recent Interweave Knits is blocking:

Second, I am knitting this fabulous short sleeve sweater named "Camisa" from the most recent knitscene from Interweave Knits. Here is the front so far:

The construction is fairly interesting- first, the basketweave panel is knit from side to side, and then stitches are picked up on either side for the rest of the panel- cute. I am almost at the armholes on the front.

And last but not least, I have created a new polymer clay friend, "Bird With Teeth". I am definitely still at the point of copying someone else's pattern. I think that the expression on my bird says, "Stop cancelling things on me, dammit!" (Or, perhaps, "Tomorrow had BETTER be Friday!") I think this bird means serious business:

I still haven't baked him, but my polymer clay benefactress donated to me a clay-dedicated toaster oven, so NKA birdie (No Kidding Around) will get toasted soon. Oh, and you know what I totally love about polymer clay? You can leave it out unwrapped and it will not dry out overnight! Awesome! A non awesome factor is the somewhat poisonous nature... it is not 'non toxic', like Play Doh is, for instance. I am not the most fastidious of humans, so I am going to have to watch this. No snacking while claying!

Tomorrow, I am going to an all day conference- and will hopefully be able to do some knitting during the lectures. Whee!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Because I Don't Have Enough Hobbies...

I have signed up for a polymer clay class this weekend! Unfortunately, I am only the second person to sign up, and they're not sure that the teacher will come for just two people... I am crossing my fingers for this one! Anyway, I had been becoming a little more curious about polymer clay, and several things have converged all at once... and I'm taking them as important signs that I should give claying a try. First, Michael's had all polymer clay on a GREAT sale. Second, I received a flyer from the Bead Gallery with their class schedule, and they are holding a class on the technique that I am the most interested to learn. And third, my friend Kathy gave me ALL of her polymer clay (there is a ton of it!) AND, she gave me her pasta machine! The only 'catch' is that I am going to give her pendants that I made... as soon as they are actually good! Oh, and if I decide that clay is not for me, that I will pass along all of the materials to a good home. I can indeed do that!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Gross Thoughts

So, some of you did not heed my warning long ago when I posted a picture of my foot blister. I will again warn you, I am having gross thoughts. There are, however, no pictures. So, read this post at your own risk. There is no knitting or yarn talk in this post, so you will not have missed anything fibery.

So, I was just sitting quietly, eating a cookie and having a glass of milk, when it suddenly hit me that I'm not so sure I like drinking a glass of milk any more. It is so.... milky. It is cow boob juice. It squirted out of a chapped, hairy udder. eeeewwWWWWWWwwww. Now, I have been drinking glasses of milk for longer than I can remember, and this is the first time ever that I can remember feeling a little icky about drinking milk. I have felt that way a few times recently. I still feel fine about yogurt and cheese and even cottage cheese. But milk? again, I repeat, eeewwwWWWWWwwwww. What is wrong with me? Am I going weird? Please tell me I am not about to turn vegan. I would hate to have to give up steak. Or bacon. Or leather shoes, for that matter. Help!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

If Buying Beads is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right!

Today, I went to the Bead Affaire Bead Show, which is a great show with some super high quality glass beads and other stuff, too. I got some pretty yet relatively inexpensive beads, but a set of beads kept calling me back to them. These beads were made by Ann Campbell of Kennebunkport Bead Art, and I HAD to have them. They were not cheap. They were not a bargain. But I assure you, I either had to buy them or steal them, and not being the theiving type, well, I bought them. Of course, I rushed home and made this:


It hangs down about five inches from my collarbone, and is about 28 inches long. The big beads are 3/4" wide, and are super awesome. I am quite sure that the picture doesn't do them justice, as usual, particularly because I didn't bother to rotate the picture or anything. The beads are more glossy and delicious in real life. It is my new favorite thing. I also made earrings, but let's face it: any picture I tried to take would most certainly suck.

So, I am home on a Saturday night, in part because I was too lazy to find something to do (again), and because I promised that I'd have new jewelry to bring over to a nearby museum- my 'collection' over there is lookin' pretty skimpy. So far, I have made 9 pairs of earrings and 3 necklaces. The bracelets never really sold well before, so I figure I'll only make a few. Okay, this is boring. Change of topic.

As I was typing this post, I noticed a burning smell. What could it be? Well, it COULD be the burner I turned on to make some tea... the burner, in fact, directly IN FRONT of the one that the teapot was actually sitting on. Good grief.

So, tomorrow I'm supposed to do a charity bike ride. My only qualms about this? What should only take a couple of hours out of my day (it's only 20 miles) will end up taking maybe 5 hours, because it's a point to point ride, and they pick you up and drive you to the starting line, 2 1/4 hours BEFORE the ride even starts! Why, why, why! It is so dumb. It is so dumb, it is dum. You know, so dumb that it forgot the 'b'. I am considering not going and just sending in the money, because I don't feel like sitting around in the cold waiting for the ride to start. Does that make me a bad person? Please say no. I will be sitting around in 40 degree weather in biking clothes, being sad and angry. Oh, and bring along warmer clothing for before and afterwards? No thanks- last year, it took HOURS after the ride was over for the clothing to arrive at the end point. Totally ridiculous. But still, I just might be stupid enough to show up and do the ride. That is just the kind of girl that I am.

Then again, maybe not.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

NUPPPPPP!

I was again fretting about what knitting project I was going to start up on next. I actually pulled out my last balls of Noro Kureyon #95, as seen in such projects as the Counterpane Bag and the Butterfly Sweater (which I still haven't taken a final picture of), but then decided to do a little stash diving. I stumbled upon this, which I actually had thought I had thrown away in a cleaning frenzy a while back... I guess it remains safe. Look how gigantic this cone is- Chapstick is present for comparison:

I have been knitting the center pattern furiously and have the tired hands to prove it. I have now reached the nupps, which involve k1, yo, k1, yo, k1 in the same stitch, and then p5tog on the way back. NUPP! this is all cotton yarn, so it is not unusually stretchy, and I am knitting on my Denise interchangeable needles, which are great in many ways, but definitely do not have unusually pointy tips. Errrgh. I am therefore nupping very loosely. Here is a shot of my progress:

And, here is a shot of the cone of yarn. I see no noticeable decrease in size. (Note: If anyone likes this difficult to wear color, feel free to borrow the cone... I'm pretty sure it's one of those neverending cones!)

A couple of winters ago, I knit a cardigan for my grandmother... which, now that I think about it, I do not believe I have ever seen her wear... it was out of this horrifyingly pink mohair, on a cone, and I swear there was enough to knit about 15 more of them... I was very tired of pink mohair by the end of that sweater! EWWWW! She was all excited about the sweater, and that thing was torturous to knit, and she never wears it. That'll teach ME!

So, I tried to get a good shot of the nupps, but to no avail. My photography skills are clearly not as good as I'd like. Sigh.

How many of you out there are like me- all excited to leave work on a Friday, and then you're so tired you fall asleep and don't end up doing anything? I hate that. However, I had a funny dream during a post-work nap tonight- I dreamed I went to Wal Mart (or a similar store) and was buying candy. It was all awesome candy that doesn't even exist in real life, and I was soooo excited to bring it home and eat it. But when I reached into my pocket to pull it out, there was a hole in my pocket and some of the best candy had fallen out! I woke up sad. It was genuinely awful. :(

I can't wait to block the shawl, although I have quite a ways to go. The shawl calls for a smallish finished size, and since I am tall, and for fashion reasons, I need/ like a bigger shawl. I did about 50% more repeats of the center pattern than were called for, and my hands are tired! The lacing bloom will make it worth it, though!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Olive, meet Baudelaire. Baudelaire, meet Olive.

First, giant olive:

Now, granted, I do have thin fingers. But still, you must admit that I have stumbled across an exquisite olivial specimen here! It tasted good, too. I guess I wasn't impressed enough to save it from a dismal death.

Next, meet my newly finished socks:


Here is a side view:

And, an awkward pic of the back:

Project details are as follows:

Pattern: Baudelaire by Cookie A from Knitty.com.
Yarn: Jawoll by Lang Yarns in color 83.0178. Love Germans and their orderly color names.
Needles: Well, I initially used four size one bamboo needles and one metal one, but then one of the bamboo ones broke in my checked luggage... I then made to with one less needle, but used the broken one as a makeshift cable needle. Now that I think about it, I suppose I could have dug through my stuff to find an actual cable needle, but why go through the aggravation???

Overall, I liked this pattern. It gave me a chance to try a couple of toe-up options, and i had never used a sewn bindoff before. I also really liked the cable running up the side, and I still continue to totally dig how yarnovers and sl 1, k2tog, psso's all mixed together can result in such vastly different lacy results! I mean, I used the same stitches in this pattern as I did in the Shetland Triangle, but they look so different! Yay!

So, now, I am back where I started: what to knit next? There are a TON of projects I've seen lately on the Internet that I'm dying to knit (thank you, o knit bloggers, for trying the patterns out and showing us all how they REALLY look on NORMAL people without perfect lighting and zillion dollar cameras! However, I don't think that my stash matches up appropriately with said patterns... tune in next time to see what I picked! Wheeee!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I Have Found My Way!

A couple of evenings ago, I managed to finish off the knitted portions of the Counterpane Carpet Bag I'm making... and even set it out to block. However, I'm not in a sewing mood, and am not completely happy with the handles that I picked out, so that project will be on hold for a little while. As an aside, I did find some nice hot pink canvas lining fabric for the bag, that I think will be nice and sturdy... plus it's hot pink- what's not to love???
Here is a preview... once I manage to drag out the sewing machine, I will be done in no time, I'm sure... and sorry about the sideways situation... I just didn't feel like fixing it, despite the short amount of time it would have taken- ha!
So, last night, I found myself feeling a little lost... no pressing projects that I really wanted to do (well, a couple of jewelry things that I want to do, but I don't have the supplies I need at the moment), so I started knitting a hat that I have since frogged. It genuinely sucked and did not deserve to be a hat. So, I decided to pick the Baudelaire socks back up... and started sock #2 but with a twist. The sock is worked from the toe up, and requested that I do a figure 8 cast on. I found this method to be unusually lame and fiddly and awkward and ugly and I hated it, so I took a move from the Shetland Triangle, and made two little crochet lengths out of scrap yarn (read: same yarn as project, but I'm so awesome I won't get confused- really!), and did a provisional cast on. At some point, I will zip out the crochet with a hearty tug....zzzzzip! and then will close up the toe with a kitchener stitch. I think that will look much better in the long run- the toe on the first sock is a tiny bit more holey than I would prefer. The less said about that, the better. It's really not all that bad, but I am dissatisfied. So, here is a shot of sock #2, with the toe completed:

You will, of course, notice a lot 'going on' around the toe. Trust me, I've got it all under control!

So, I realize that I'm not all THAT old in the grand scheme of things, but I feel like I have more trouble sleeping than I should. Particularly the night before I have to get up to go to spin class. Then, I'm super duper tired at work, and then come home and literally cannot manage to stay awake, so I fall asleep after work. Then, I feel all perky and awake until past a good bed time, and the cycle continues. YEEEARRRRRGH! What's a girl to do? I need to hire someone to keep me awake after work or something, or just wander the streets like a vagrant until bed time. Or maybe take tranquilizers at 8 pm until my body resets itself not to take naps. Or become independently wealthy so I can sleep whenever I feel like it and don't need to worry about feeling all tired and stuff at work. Hmm.
At any rate, I feel better now that I have a project on the needles. If I finish that one, I will then only have two UFO's flying around- the Carpet Bag, and the dreaded yet beloved Gibson Girl Pullover... all she needs is seams and buttons and a bit of neck blocking... what exactly is keeping me from finishing this one up? No clue. No clue at all...