Sunday, December 30, 2007

Loose Ends

I did it! I finished both sweaters in time to wrap them up properly and gift them for Christmas. =) *pats self on back*

The sizing turned out to be perfect for Cici (9mo old), just slightly too large, which means it will fit her all winter, yay. Not sure about the sizing for Riley (2yr old), she's a little small for her age, so I'm sure the sweater is big on her.

I also started, and finished, a helmet liner for my buddy Mike. FAST project, good result, also fits well. I'm happy enough with it to consider making more of them to ship off to operation helmet liner. After I pay off my credit cards that is... need to continue not buying yarn for a while.

So now I feel the same as I do after I've finished a good book, at loose ends. What do I knit next? Should I continue a long ignored project? Start something new? Not knit for a while? haha. That last one was funny.

I'm either going to pick up on my brother's sweater, or start on a neckwarmer.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Almost done the sweaters

Yes, it is the weekend before Christmas and I am almost done the second sweater. I started randomly weaving in ends since I forgot the pattern a couple of times while I was working on it away from home, and knitting up the collar.

I've been making a lot of mistakes at work lately (wandering mind I guess) and have been triple checking my work, and going back over things I've done in the past weeks. I guess I carried that over into my knitting on my lunch break because I went back through the pattern, colored the measurements I was working to (as I should have done at the beginning) and found out, oh dear! I made both sleeves 2" too long! Well, patting myself on the back for finding the mistake, and shaking my own hand for deciding that yes, I DO have to fix that before Christmas. A two-year-old's sleeves don't need to hang over her fingertips.

So at this point both sleeves are done, again, and I'm about halfway through the collar, shoulder seams joined. Must finish the collar, sew on sleeves, sew up side seams, and finish weaving in ends. Not so bad, definitely will finish by Christmas gifting time.

My next project I think will be the helmet liner. I wonder if I can finish it in a week's time? My buddy Mike is at home until January 2, I'd like to have him take it back with him. I guess I'll find out.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Saturday Shopping (shudder)

Silly me... or maybe it should be STUPID me... I completely forgot that today is the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, and therefore, the worst time to go to any shopping center or mall.

Okay, actually, I didn't forget it's the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, what I forgot that THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF INSANE SHOPPERS OUT THERE THAT WILL RUN YOU OVER FOR A "DEAL"!!!

UGH! I hate crowds of stupid people. All I wanted to do was buy a couple of gift certificates without 1) being run over 2) running someone over and 3) strangling some slow-moving cell phone talking poopie head!

Temper tantrum completed. On to the knitting news.

I finished the front!!! Yes, I am now finished the back and front of Riley's sweater, and have started on one of the sleeves. That sleeve however, I'm not happy with it, I need some bright color in between the heather purple and the blue.

Mike's socks have stalled, I'm just not feeling the thousands of tiny stitches they're going to take. I also need to modify the pattern to match my stitch gauge, 10spi.

I feel like I should write more, but I'm not feeling really bloggy right now. Ciao.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

More on Socks & Sweaters

Hmm, these socks are going to be a bit more challenging than I thought.

I knit up a gauge swatch with this Regia stretch using size 0 needles and got about 10 stitches in an inches. I got ready to toss it into the wash to be abused in a hot cycle with some towels and see how much it shrinks and decided to take another look at the pattern... gauge for fingering weight yarn is 7-8 stitches per inch. Okay... but that doesn't help me, I have a good swatch with the smoothness and lack of holes you'd expect from a good sock at my 10spi gauge. I'm not going to jump up to a holey swatch using #2's or #3's just to follow the published pattern.

...also, the patterns themselves are kind of ugly, if you know what I mean... not laid out very well, bad punctuation and grammar in the "intro / info" section, they make the graphic designer in me cringe, and the knitter in me huff at the inefficiency of it all.

So I'm sort of reinventing the wheel here by taking all the best things out of the pattern, from the "tips and tricks" section, and from my own gauge and measurements, and creating a fresh sock pattern, cuff down on DPN's. It's a bit frustrating.

On to more exciting news, I've started Riley's pullover! A random striped little girlish (but not sickeningly girlie) creation. I loved the colors when they were on the ball, became a bit leary of it when I first started, but now that I'm about 60-65% through the back I'm really liking the play of the colors. I need to take some pictures of it and update my Ravelry page.

I guess I should do the same to Cici's sweater--all the ends are woven in, now just have to wash and block it, and sew in the "made with love" tag. ;)

I also think I need to decrease my stitch count to match a smaller size. I was talking with Tina and Andrea this evening (Riley's and Cici's moms) and Tina mentioned that even though Riley is 22 months she's still wearing the 18 month sizes. I think I cast on this sweater in the 3-4 year size, I'll decrease down to the 1-2 year size, which is the next step down, and just have a bit more of the side in the seam for the back section. No biggie.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stretchy Sock Yarn [ribbit]

I've discovered that stretchy sock yarn and me don't get along very well. Several weeks--okay, I'll be honest, it's been months--several months ago I ordered some really good sock yarn from a not-for-profit group I'm a member of, Socks For Soldiers, look it up on Yahoo Groups. Regia stretch, 10 balls, potentially enough to make two pair of size 12.5 work socks for my buddy Mike over in the big sand box. I decided that I was going to use the toe-up pattern instead of cuff down because I like it better but... This stretchy yarn is throwing me off.

I made the cast on at the toe very tight because it looked like it was too holey to be the toe of a sock when I did it looser. I did that cast on three times before I was happy with it. Keep in mind doing two socks at once that is actually six cast ons. Now, 2+ inches into it, I look at them, look at the cast on, look at the increases, and think, yuck! They're ugly, too tight compared to the stockinette of the rest of the toe. That can't be comfortable in a pair of boots.

Last night I ripped them out, frogged the whole thing. I'm calling the already used yarn a loss and am reknitting it into a gauge swatch on a smaller size needle, I'm dropping from size 1 to size 0 (American sizing, I forget the mm's). So far my swatch is looking good. Once I use up the little bit that is left from one of the frogged toes I'll bind off, measure a few times to be sure I've got it right, and then toss it in the wash with the towels to be abused by a hot agitated wash cycle and hot dry, then I'll remeasure. I am determined that these socks will be great so the second pair, and all subsequent pair that I make for other soldiers, will be perfect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Argh. That is my word for the evening.

I'm in physical therapy to fix my knee problem. I have IT Band Syndrome, go look it up. Part of the PT is deep tissue massage of the IT band to help make the fiber of the tendon more pliable. You know what that means? Pain. Because there are nerves all over me, and deep tissue massage HURTS. This has the added benefit of making me want to get better that much faster.

Try to stay flexible people, it will make your life so much easier when you get older...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My String Is Laughing At Me

My string is laughing at me. Yes, the pullover for Cici is still in progress, still a UFO, and still laughing at me. In fact, all of those ends that I must weave in from the striping is more like peanut gallery guffawing. It's even pointing at me while it laughs!

I mean seriously, count with me here... I have dark purple (1), lavender (2), baby blue (3), mint (4), lemon (5), apricot (6), and back down through lemon, mint, baby blue, lavender, and dark purple (7, 8, 9, 10, & 11). 11 stripes. Now multiply that by 2 to account for each end of the yarn, and then by 4 to account for the four sections of sweater on which I have to weave in the ends, and that gives me 88 ends to weave into their respective colors.

You see? They're laughing at me. And pointing.

In other news, I found out that the Tae Bo class that totally kicked my rear end was not only not a beginner course, it wasn't even an intermediate course, it was the ADVANCED Tae Bo class. It was not labeled as such on the class schedule. At this point in my exercising career, I do not feel one ounce of badness from not being able to kick it with that class level.

I'm hitting the beginner step class again tomorrow. Now there's a class I can stick around in.

Back to my string, I've got the front and back shoulder seams sewn up and the collar knitted up, one sleeve seam sewn and I plan to finish the second tonight. All I have left (all, All she says! The string is still laughing...) to do is that second sleeve, sew on the sleeves and up the sides and weave in those 88 ends. Fun fun, I'll finish it this weekend hopefully. Perhaps over some wine...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Not for Beginners...

MAN! I am going to be one sore chica tomorrow.

My boyfriend and I are determined to get in shape again, and to that end we joined our local group of gyms. One of the benefits, besides the closest gym to the house being a 24/7 facility (woohoo!), are the group classes that are available at no extra charge. I tried getting into "Zumba" tonight but was too late (latin dancy aerobic like classs), it was full by the time I got there. So I stuck around for the Tae Bo class.

O. M. G.

I am SO out of shape, I didn't even last a whole 15 minutes of the hour long class. By minute 13 I was shaky, light headed, and done. I was so done. I felt bad for leaving early, but then again, I was just a dead weight hanging out in the back. Fortunately I was wrong, I thought I was attending the "beginner" class, but that was the regular class. Beginners are Saturdays at noon. I'll have to check that out instead. I am now determined to work my way up to the regular class.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Christmas Gift Pullovers, part one - Cici's

Well, I'm about 85% done this pastel rainbow pullover I'm making as a Christmas gift for Cici, my boyfriend's not-quite 4 month old niece , who will be about 7 months old by the time it's gifted. She was pretty big when she was born (11lbs 2.2oz!! no joke!) and has been wearing big baby clothes ever since. Started out in 3-6 months up until she was almost 2 months, graduated to 6-9 months, and I believe by the time she's 6 months old she'll be wearing the 12 month sizes. Big baby!

My very first project for Cici as a "welcome baby" present was a bolero made with Sirdar Snuggly DK, a super soft and easy to wash acrylic. I made that in size 3-6 months, and after hearing what size clothes she was into (already almost into 6-9 mo by the time I finished, yikes!) I was terrified that she had outgrown it before it was off my needles. Fortunately, mommy Andrea reassured me that it does in fact fit, and fits beautifully as of right now; she tried it on Cici a few weeks ago during the first coldish snap and said that the sleeve come down a bit over her knuckles, so it should fit for a while. *whew!*

So when I started this sweater, I chose to make it in the 9-12 month size so it will fit until the end of winter. This project is almost a no-brainer as projects go. Not quite as simple as a garter stitch scarf, but nothing like an aran sweater. It's made up in four pieces; front, back, two identical sleeves. I'd prefer to work it as much in the round as possible but I didn't feel like doing the math to convert the pattern. Oh well, it's a lazy project.

Entirely stockinette with garter stitch hem, cuffs, and turn-down v-neck collar. The pattern picture and colors make it out for a boy, but I chose a pastel rainbow from medium purple through apricot and back. Medium purple, light purple, baby blue, mint green, lemon yellow, and apricot are the colors I chose. I think if I used all one color I would only use 2 or 2.5 skeins of this yarn, instead of I have 6 partials. Maybe I'll use the scraps and make a matching log cabin blanket... hmmm.


Yes, so I'm finished the back, front, one sleeve, and am almost done the second sleeve. I've been working on it on weekends, and really only for a few hours on one day of the weekend. It's been 4 weekends now, and I'll finish it by the end of the next, so a 5 weekend project, not bad. Not bad at all. I purchased the yarn early because I tend to want to hop from project to project as I get bored with them, but working on it only on the weekends I think I've avoided the need to "graze" on something else.

After this one, I'm doing another for Cici's older cousin, Riley, who ironically at 2 years old, will only be wearing one size larger by the pattern's measurements. Fun for me, it will work up almost as quickly. =)

Saturday, September 29, 2007


This blog came about because of my "beta testing" of the ravelry website, a mecca for all internet savvy knitters and crocheters. (

I LOVE this website. Did I mention that I LOVE this website? And by the way, I LOVE this website.

The very first weekend after being invited to join the thousands of beta testers, I spent the whole time photographing my projects and stash. Then of course I had to take the time to reorganize it in my rubbermaid totes--did anyone else discover yarn/thread long forgotten in this process?--and then more time editing and posting the photos to my ravelry "notebook". Then I pulled out all of my knitting and crocheting books...sadly, not many, mostly I have magazines and pamphlets (which you can't post [yet!] on ravelry). And after that, I... grazed. Yes, I grazed on the website, I absorbed all the wonders it had to show me.

I'm still absorbing the wonders, as new people appear, new friends made, new groups joined, there is always something new and interesting to see there. I am hooked. ...Sorry for the bad pun.

playing with string

oh how fun, to loosely quote the yarn harlot, I could play with string for hours and never tire of it.

typing about it though, that could prove more challenging. Fresh blog versus gorgeous weather... I will take advantage of the weather and type/knit later.