Friday, September 29, 2006

A Woman Possessed...

Must. Finish. SKB.

A little in the morning...

A few more minutes in the afternoon...

Family movie night...

I'm loving this pattern, especially since I'm just getting to the fun part. The yarn is great to work with and the color is perfect but...

Time for a sock break!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Just Stopping By...

don't have much time... gotta knit! I joined this SKB KAL thing ya know so now I *have* to knit! I mean, I'm a part of something bigger than me... I'm one of the gang... people are counting on me... waiting to see my pictures... I don't want to lose... can you lose a KAL? I mean I'm not trying to win... that would be silly of me... I mean some people have already finished. I just don't want to be a slacker... will they talk behind my back if I don't have progress photos soon? See it here? Doesn't my computer make a great model? I don't think it's a KAL ready photo yet though. Gotta keep knitting.

I'm actually so excited about this KAL that look what I did...

I finally started the 2nd sock to go with the first sock I ever knit. (Second sock syndrome hit early on for me.) Love my Lorna's Laces! And if you're counting, yes, that's three projects I've cast on in the last few days and I feel better than ever! Yep, this is what knitting is supposed to be like!

But before I go, mail call...

I *had* to order some size 2 Brittany Birch 5" dpns (my faves) so since I was paying shipping I figured I might as well order another hank of Fancy Image Hand-Dyed DK sock yarn... ya know, since I was paying the $3.95 anyway.

Back to the needles.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What can I say? It was the week of knitting monogamy that weakened my resolve... just when I hit bottom and was really anxious to move on, my pal Julie calls me and says, "I want to buy some yarn! Let's make Ella, let's make Lady Eleanor with that great Silk Garden on clearance at Webs! Will you come to the yarn store with me? Let's shop!" Now you just tell me how any dedicated knitter could possibly resist such enthusiasm? How could I not be there for a friend in need?

So here we have some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Lakeview for Knitty's Ella (she got some gorgeous Gold Hill) and the beginning of my SKB. Oh, and a couple of balls of DB Baby Cashmerino for some socks.

I had to start the SKB because I jumped in on the SKB Knit-A-Long. I've never done a KAL before so I thought it would be fun. The gals have been making some gorgeous sweaters! And look, I even swatched! Yep, that would be about the extent of any swatching I do. My general non-swatching technique is to go down a needle size (apparently I knit loose) and just start knitting and measure after a few inches. Sure, it's a bummer when I'm off and have to rip back but it works more than 50% of the time and feeds my need to start a project *now*.

Yes, I know the "rules"... I know how important swatching is... I know that it will "save" me time in the long run. But if I were to play by the rules, it may be days of swatching, washing and blocking before I get to start knitting! The waiting would do me in! Anyway, you all have my permission to publicly humiliate me when my SKB doesn't fit due to gauge issues, shrinkage, or stretching.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's Done & What's to Come...

As promised...

Gedifra Top Soft Sweater
10 - 12 balls of Gedifra Top Soft
(This one is definitely a keeper!)

Blue Sky Cropped Cardigan
Knit Picks Andean Treasure in Granite
(just over 8 skeins)
Modifications: chose (ahem) to start ribbing towards bottom of sweater instead of under bust as pattern suggested.

On the way...

A "swatch" for Knitty's Viveka that is turning into a sleeve since my gauge was spot on. Knit with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. (This yarn is heaven to knit with!)

Some Cascade Pima Silk in Pistachio (I think) for Stitch Diva's Simple Knitted Bodice. Do you think it will come with the model's long hair and svelt shape as well? I'm guessing some modifications might be needed along the way but it will make a great Christmas party sweater!

Now I must go and read The Horse and His Boy to my children to enrich their day and lighten my knitting/blogging guilt.

I guess now I just need to figure out a way to step into Narnia myself so I can work my way through some of my never ending project list while my absence goes undetected by my family.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The No-Knitting Zone

"Are you really going to bring your knitting in here? Can't you just walk around and look with us?" These are the words of my DH as we are about to enter - get this - the North American Reptile Convention. I think, "But what will I do? It's a reptile show! A family trip (remember - all boys) and I even have a good attitude!" I say, "But what if I get tired and want to sit and rest?" He says nothing (he's a good guy) and I lovingly respect his request and drop my purse back into the car (quietly remembering that I want to place an order with my friend later for Noro Silk Garden on sale at Webs for Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style).

So there I was, 3 hours of reptiles and no yarn! But the boys (from youngest to oldest) all had a blast and I even managed to enjoy myself. Heck, it's not often that you get to hold a tarantula, view exotic snakes and pet an alligator all in one day. (Not me mind you! But those boys I was with.) I could have some great pictures... if I had remembered my camera. Yep, some things never change.

And of course we couldn't leave such an event empty-handed. 12 yos got a baby Western Hognose that's about 4" long. Apparently this is a very docile and even "lazy" snake that rolls over and plays dead when it feels threatened (so far we don't seem to threaten it) . I also read that "Although Western Hognose snakes are rear-fanged venomous, this is nothing to worry about." Yeah... care to make a wager on that one?

But don't ya just hate it when your 7 year old cries 'cause he wants his own snake? Apparently, my husband does... so he was quite proud to buy him his first reptile... an Arizona Mountain Kingsnake.

Oh well, at least little guy was thrilled with just a cap... with a rattlesnake on it (ya know... memories).

I feel my Silk Garden is well deserved.

Edited to add...

I am not kidding you... Never one to be out done, my middle child took a quick bike ride down the street while I was blogging and came home with this quick catch... a California Kingsnake (much bigger than his brothers' snakes too we might add)! Who needs a stinkin' reptile show anyway? And yes, apparently this one is staying too.

(I'm feeling less guilty about the Lorna's Laces for Ella now too.)

Seaming, blocking, weaving...

.. it usually makes me wonder why I knit to begin with or at the least vow to only knit in the round or stick with socks, scarves and shawls. But at the end of today, I not only saw 2 of our 3 football games and made a trip to Costco but have *3* finished objects that (fortunately!) I love!

Anything look familiar mom?

Fashion show tomorrow... tonight it's bedtime!

Friday, September 22, 2006

I've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'...

or monogamous project knitting and how it's killing me.

Since last Sunday, I have used whatever knitting time I could grab to work on my (not-so) cropped cardigan. Nothing else. No socks. No Allhemp Tee. No swatching. Nada. And I've got to say... it's bleeding me dry, lifeless, hopeless... yet determined to finish. Look... it doesn't even want to be photographed. (I'm really not sure why I take these things so seriously... but I'm sure a good therapist could offer some suggestions.)

Don't get me wrong... I love this sweater and the yarn is amazing. It's soft, even squishy and feels even better on the body than on the needles. (Just ask the little guy.) It feels so light, yet I can tell it will be plenty warm. I really want to wear it too... soon. I just don't want to finish it. Will it end up doomed in the still waiting to be seamed pile? Yikes... I hope not! Actually, it's that fear that keeps me going. (yeah, I know... ask the therapist)

Then there's the sock... look at it tempting me, peeking out of it's bag with it's bright bold colors on those little tiny needles. But how can I put down this sweater when I'm on the ribbing of the last sleeve? But how can I keep going? Can I stay true to one project from beginning to end? All this and trying not to buy more yarn at the same time?! Sheesh... and I thought marriage was hard.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rep last 2 rows until... 7 1/4"

That's all I read... so that's what I did... I continued for 7 1/4" (+some) from the under arm . Then I returned to the pattern and read that I was now to rib for 7". Huh? 14+" from the under arm is one long cropped sweater. I was thinking I was almost done. So I back up...

"Rep last 2 rows until front measures 7 1/4 (this is pretty much where I faded out)
(7 3/4, 8 1/2, 9)" from CO row, ending with WS row complete."

Uh Oh. I stared at the picture but because of the model's crossed arm pose, you can't see the transition to the ribbing which I guess is supposed to make a more form fitting sweater.

Well, since I don't have much form through the waist to fit and I refuse to rip back 5" of my quick, easy sweater at this point, I'm taking creative license and beginning the ribbing where I'm at...

Only time (and ribbing) will tell how this comes out.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mindless, Quick... Lovin' It

Making a little progress on my Blue Sky Cropeed Cardigan. I love the Andean Treasure... its soooo soft and doubled is making a lush, quick knit. I think this cardi will get a lot of wear.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Good, the Bad, and the just plain Insane...

**Big Sigh**

I just fought a tremendous battle with the last sleeve of my Gedifra sweater that, I think, I finally won. I was determined to finish this sleeve before starting anything new and, well, the more determined (and more anxious to move on) I got, the less cooperative the sleeve became.

For some reason, the more comfortable I got with the pattern and repeats, the more mistakes I made. My first mistake was thinking I was comfortable enough to knit on while I watched the season premiere of Survivor on Thursday. This led to surgery #1. At some point around surgery #3 I started taking pics with the hope of remembering my foolishness and avoiding future mistakes but my blind determination could not be deterred. I was going to finish it *now* at any cost!

There was one blaring cable error (picture #1) that I still can't figure out how I progressed so far before I noticed it (possibly Survivor related but it's all a blur now). But the sleeve underwent at least 5 other surgeries for minor (in hindsight, hardly noticeable) errors then culminated in me ripping back the last few inches on the 2nd to last row for a detail that would have ended up in my armpit.

See, I have this kinda stubborn perfectionist streak (that is usually hidden quite well behind my even stronger cover of laziness) that rears its head at the worst of times. I mean how could I invest all the hours and money in this (better be) beautiful sweater and leave a stitch out of place in the armpit? What kind of knitter would I be? What kind of sweater would I have? Surely the person sitting behind me in church would notice and wonder these things! (Yes, this was my main concern... and yes, this embarrasses me.)

Anyway, the battle has been fought and I've come out the victor! The sleeves are complete! Of course I guess I should hold off on any great celebration until I block it and attempt to seam it all together (which, I'll tell you right now, will not be happening until I have not looked at it for at least a week or more). And yes, I realize there is no logic here either. I have absolutely no trouble putting aside an unseamed sweater (just ask my more-than-patient mother), it's just the knitting I feel compelled to complete.

Boy, how can something like knitting bring out the best, the worst, and the insanity in a gal, yet at the same time be such a comfort and joy? Go figure.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Buckeyes & Birthdays

The mailman was good to me today...

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport hand-dyed in Ohio State Buckeye Colors! (Not an easy find my friends!)

Go Buckeyes!

Andean Treasure in Granite for the Blue Sky Cropped Cardigan.
It's sooooo soft... I bet this will be next!

(There was also an Old Navy package that is not really worthy of mention since I was simply ordering larger pants to replace my just-a-bit-too-tight-for-comfort ones. But still, it was another package and I always love that!)

Then we have a new castle (and then some) from a shopping trip with Grandma for the birthday boy.

And a good time was had by all!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sick here... I've been struck by an out-of-season sinus infection that has been wiping it out. Here's the view of my world from where I've been sitting way too much of the time. It seems that this could've been some really productive knitting time except this laptop thing constantly lures me into the cyberspace world of knitting patterns, yarn, blogs and chat. I'm sure I spend more time reading about knitting than actually knitting.

The good news is that I've found two patterns that I love that I can knit from my Stash! Aside from my sock yarn stash, this is an entirely new concept for me as I find buying the yarn a tantalizing part of the whole knitting process... but I'm really excited about being able to dive into these sweaters.

The first is the oh-so-famous Simple Knitted Bodice. I'm going to use the 9 hanks of Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed that I got not too long ago in a swap! I'm also loving the new Knitty and plan on knitting Viveka with some yummy pale blue Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I have... in my stash! But maybe first I'll have to use my brown Blue Sky Cotton to knit Something Red while the weather is still warm. While I must confess to a couple of goodies coming in the mail, I am still quite proud of my new resolve to dive into my stash. (Disclaimer: my "plans" are not much more than daydreams since they are likely to change at any moment and I'll never get anything done at the rate I'm knitting these days.)

At any rate, first I'm determined to finish the last sleeve of Top Soft sweater seen above next to my computer. But then... oh, who knows what I'll actually do next.

Sidekick here loves keeping me company while I'm knitting. Such a buddy. We just enjoyed a great Jim Weiss CD full of Tom Sawyer stories and I finally got my computer back from him after he spend about an hour playing Rainbow Rock, his new math game.

BTW, we have gotten off to a great start with our school year!. D here doesn't even realize he's done school today and his brothers are working so hard. I'm very proud of them all. There are moments... oh yes there are moments... but overall they all have good attitudes and are making my work a joy!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Opening Day

Football in the morning...

Football in the evening...

Lousy picture but you get the idea... it's dark, it's late, it's time to go home.

Too bad I didn't take a picture at the grocery store, then my whole day would be recorded. Actually I did get 2 hours of knitting time while most of the boys were at an out of town game in the middle of day but that doesn't really count because when my time was up I realized that I had made a mistake on the 2nd row of the lacy cabled sleeve I was working on and had to frog all the work I'd done. (Yeah - we won't talk about that anymore.)

Good news is that my knit in the round Allhemp6 Tee is the perfect project for idle hands during sporting events!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

A Good Combination

A whimsical sock and a serious read... and I'm loving both. The sock is Knitty's Crusoe in Lorna's Laces Daffodil. (Yes, I ditched the chevron sock below. If you were feeling some love I wasn't please let me know... I'd be happy to send it to a loving home.)

Stepping Heavenward is an encouraging look at a young woman's spiritual journey as she struggles to move past her own sin and inadequacy into a mature, loving relationship with God. Her honest self-revelations caught my attention immediately (in a looking-in-a-mirror kinda way) so I am eagerly hoping to share in her journey.

BTW - I hit the huge sale at the LYS yesterday and left with... nothing! How's that for self control. Just patting my own back. :)

Train 'em young...

Such concentration... such dedication... committed and ready with his sword to protect the yarn from any approaching danger! Who says good help is hard to find? Of course we had a few issues with spin direction, sword entanglement, and... well... dinner burned while I supervised and snapped pictures (but heck, at least I had an excuse tonight... kinda).

J is hard at work winding the hemp I frogged from the Allhemp Tee I was working on. I knew I was struggling a bit with gauge (which in my opinion should get honorary recognition as a four-letter word) but the problem was a bit worse than I originally thought because I think the Tee I was knitting that was sucking up yardage would have fit around both my husband and me at the same time. So, since I've already determined that it is physically impossible to obtain the suggested gauge, I'm simply going to cast on again and knit it at my gauge a couple of sizes smaller. (Of course, despite my swatch test, my experience with this Tee to this point leaves me convinced that the final product will shrink up enough to fit my friends 12 yo.)

So proud! Too bad you can't see that he's wielding his sword with pride... but yes, I do see the sad little whole in his shirt. *blush*

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Rusted Root! Yay! Not the greatest picture but I had to pull my 14 yo away from his math to snap the shot (ya know - priorities). In hindsight, I wish I had gone ahead with the puffy sleeves but I'm still quite pleased with it. I love the lace and I'm sure I'll wear it a lot.

Now for a question... what about this sock? I just can't decide if I like it or not... I love the yarn - Regia Silk Colors and I like the colors in the ball and I really like the chevron pattern but I don't know that I like the colors knit up. (It was also my first afterthought heel and, while I'm impressed that I was able to pull it off at all, it has a few gusset gaps.) I'm just not feeling the love. I know they're just socks but they're driving me nuts. Do I just trudge along (wasting my now-that-school-has-started precious knitting time) hoping I'll like them in the end? Or if it's not just me and they're really ugly, will you let me know... or maybe they're just not my colors and one of you would like to give this yarn a shot? Let me know, I'm willing to pass it on.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sneak Peak

Yep... that's a completed Rusted Root. It just needs a blocking then I'll post a better shot. The yarn in front is my dk sock yarn from the Fancy Image Yarn of the month club. I just love the colors and it matches my new sweater! In the upper right is a chevron pattern sock I've started with some super soft Regia Silk Color from e-bay. I love this pattern... very addicting.

Well, tomorrow's the big day! School starts in our busy home. That means less time for knitting but a little more structure to our days. And... the LYS is having a big 40-50% off sale starting tomorrow... a little back-to-school bonus for the teacher!