Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sign me up

I spent a good part of my holiday weekend looking at other blogging options. There are many good things about blogger that I like, especially the ability to modify almost every part of my blog by digging into the html. However, I am completely enamored of some features that blogger doesn't have. I want the ability to reply to comments I receive a la Typepad. I would love to have static pages that are outside of the blog hierarchy like Wordpress. Then I found it. Blogger Beta. While I am much to lazy to move things over, I am quite excited about what it will have to offer. It looks like it will have the drag and drop customization that Wordpress has. It can integrate html into it unlike Wordpress. It does not have static pages. But, curiosity did indeed kill the cat and is quite like to to be the death of me (either that or the sudden avalanche of wool). So, long and short of it is that I want a cooler url and now I have one. http://www.houseofwool.blogspot.com/ Come on over and check it out. It will be undergoing some refurbishing as I get into the groove of CSS. Does anyone out there know of a good cheat sheet? I have a great one for HTML but the new blogger is CSS based. Let me know what you think. New posts will go up there. If I get ambitious, I will try to move some of the old ones over, but that probably won't happen any time soon. Update bloglines and see you on the other page!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Blogger is buggy today

I have been trying to post most of the day today. I get so frustrated when things that you expect to work don't. I finished another felted hat today. It came out pretty well. If I were to do it again, I would add the contrasting color to the outermost rim of the hat and make the stripe a bit wider. The crown of the hat is 40 rows before the decreases. I made the stripe 7 rows tall. I think I might make it 8 or 9 rows next time. The colors on the darker picture are more accurate. Naturally, the red doesn't photograph worth crap.

Eric has started a new rotation and while overall the hours sound like they will be better (pre-rounding at 7 versus 5:30 am), the call days are definitely worse. Today he is in the pediatric ER until 10 p.m. Blech. I have not worked much on the shawl in a futile, desperate, pathetic attempt to get a few more pieces done for the craft show. I am realizing that it is much closer than it should be. Mostly I will be doing hats. I love the felted ones and they are great stashbusters for me. This one was done from the same wool as Eric's hat and the red left over from a Christmas stocking. Hopefully this will off set the guilt of several recent online purchases. Destash is quickly becoming my worst nightmare, or at least my bank account's. On Saturday, I made my first purchase from Knitpicks. Yes, I realize that I am the last knitter alive to do so. I decided to try my hand at kool-aide dyeing again. The last one was so successful and I always need inexpensive wool for the felted hats. I also needed a needle and even with several balls of wool, the cost of the entire order with shipping was under 20 bucks. A decent needle would have cost at least $15 at my lys. Here's hoping it is a decent buy. Have a happy and safe Labor Day to all of those here in the U.S. We are really going all out by having Caleb's best friend over for the afternoon. (Yes, this is a bald faced attempt to keep him occupied while Eric is gone all day, thank you very much.)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A quick little knit

I have been working on the shawl nearly every day. It is progressing. I just finished row 100 which puts me about halfway through the fourth chart. I am ignoring how many more rows I have to go. Along with how many more stitches that is if I increase by 2 every row. (Really, it is 4 st on every odd row, but hey, who's counting.) I've noticed a few small errors, but nothing that I am willing to rip back for. Time to let my inner zen shine through. I am using lifelines because I am freaking paranoid about having to start over because I drop a stitch. For some reason, I did not wig out about doing my first true lace project with cobweb weight black yarn. Speaking of yarn, I am completely amazed that I have knit this much and only used 12 grams of yarn. I have another whole hank of this stuff. We'll have to see what becomes of it. I can't imagine wearing many shawls, but they are so lovely and really test my mind (not to mention my ability to refrain from profanities). I knit up the first hat from the clearance yarn. It is cute and simple. I plan to make a matching scarf for it using a broken rib pattern. It should be cute. I do love the sherbet-y color of this one.

On a completely different topic, I found the following blog entry on the top 10 ways to create angry employees. Tell me you haven't experienced at least a couple of them!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What's your favorite game?

Mine apparently has become "Where the fuck did I leave my car?" Every night I walk out of work and can't remember where I parked. Granted, the parking lot at work is larger than the parking lot at my supermarket, however, I park in the same row every day just to make life less uncertain. Today as I left work I couldn't remember where I parked and had to stop and look around. Makes me wish I had one of those fancy alarm key fob thingies so I could beep the damn thing and find out where it was. But that would take away the charm of the game. It would also seem that my other favorite game has become, "what is the most creative punishment for a 3 year old that isn't cruel and won't land me in jail". Caleb had developed a sassy attitude that rivals most teenagers. Sunday's outburst netted him a 30 minute timeout in his room. Tonight, he was in bed a full 45 minutes early. Give me the terrible two's any day. Nothing new on the knitting front. I am still working on the shawl and have put the tank into a temporary time out. I picked up some yarn on clearance at Joann's last week to knit up into simple hats and scarf sets to sell at the craft fair. I got the orange, blue and purple. Someone explain to me why I keep buying more yarn at Joann's if I don't like their selection?

Monday, August 28, 2006

Off the needles

Finally something is done around here, the RPM socks are off the needles. Grab a cuppa cuz this is fairly picture intensive.

I like this pattern, but would make the purl stripes swirl the opposite direction on one of the socks if I were to knit them again.

Stats: Yarn: Shaffer's Lola - the colorway is no longer on their site. I adore this colorway much more than I had anticipated. At first I didn't like the teal, but it makes what could have been a very bland/boring sock great. I truly love the Lola yarns. I knit them up on US size 2 needles so they go pretty fast and make a very dense sock. This is the second one I have done and they are nice and sproingy. Heel: I changed from doing the heel stitch specified in the pattern and used the eye of partridge stitch instead. I am enthralled with how it comes out in hand painted yarn. Toe: The pattern was written to decrease down to 4 stitches and run the yarn through them all. I have very wide feet, so I increased the length of the foot and did my standard toe, decreasing to 24 stitches and kitchnering. BTW - have I mentioned that I like kitchnering as much as I like seaming? The first toe was fine, but that was last month. This second one was a bit more challenging. It probably didn't help that I stayed up way past my bedtime to get the darn thing done. It took at least 17 dozen tries because I kept repeating to myself "knit, purl" for the front needle. Okay, so far so good. Heading for the back needle now "knit, purl". DOH. *Frickafraca. Undo that. Okay, front needle "knit, purl". Yep, that looks okay. Deep breath, back needle "purl, knit". Yep, okay. No funny misplaced bumps. Front needle "knit, purl". Back needle "knit, purl". Where the hell did that purl bump come from. Repeat from * until no more stitches remain. Seriously. A retarded monkey could have done it faster. Not better, but faster. Eventually I got it right.

How sad is it that this is the one picture in which my ankles are visible that I don't have cankles. It truly is an injustice to an avid sock knitter to be cursed with ankles that would fit The Refridgerator Perry perfectly. Just as a side note, I discovered that I am not as flexible as I used to be. It is very difficult to photograph ones own toes in this fashion.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Seaming sucks

I managed to seam the sides of the tank fairly well for a first timer, especially considering it is reverse stockinette. I am satisfied with it. (I won't tell you about the multiple false starts and panic moments. I don't mind looking stupid, but this would be beyond measure.)

Okay, I will tell you, but there is no photographic evidence. I had to start over/rip out the seams several time because a) I picked up the wrong horizontal bar and moved the seam over a stitch, b) I picked up the wrong horizontal bar and missed a row, c) my tension was all wonky and it looked like ruching not seaming. Bah, I prefer knitting in the round. I am struggling mightily with seaming the shoulders. No matter that I am matching stitch to stitch, the ribbing isn't lining up and I am not satisfied. I looks like crap.

The worst part are the directions for the back. I have seamed the shoulders before I am supposed to because the directions are exceedingly vague.

Cont even on 13 st each side until neckbands, when slightly stretched, meet at center back of neck.

HUH? WTF does that mean? The schematic does not show this as being a halter top. I think that I am suppose to make the neckbands meet the back where I bound off a bunch of stitches, but unfortunately there is no photo of the back. I should have seen that as a red flag when deciding on the pattern. I am wondering if I am suppose to make the neck band go all the way around the back of the neckline to meet in the middle, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense as the neckline on the back is a square. Idiot designers. I checked and there is no errata for this pattern. I am going to try the shoulder seams again, but I am so not happy with this part of finishing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Nearly FO

I have nearly finished the tank top and there are a couple of things that I am not thrilled about. I lovelovelove the front. The shaping (once I fixed the increase issue) is very nice and fits well with the twisted ribbing. But for some reason the same attention to detail is lacking on the back. I am going to seam the sides up and see how it looks. Because it is cotton, I am planning on machine washing and drying it in lieu of blocking. Thank god for knittinghelp.com because I have never done the mattress stitch before and am petrified a wee bit concerned that sloppy finishing make the entire project spontaneously combust in a huge burning ball of flames in my very hands will prevent me from wearing the tank. Someone out there, please hold my hand through this. I have never seamed a garment before. I dislike finishing and really dislike sewing. Sewing is sewing, never-mind if it is with thread or yarn. An Un-Amazing Lace Update Truly, you have to knit a project for any progress to occur. The Peacock Feathers shawl has fallen victim to my perpetual ADD. I must have at least 6 projects on the needles currently. So much for getting the shawl done this summer. It blows my mind that I have done as well as I have with it so far (knock on wood). I found a small mistake on it last night a couple of rows down but I think I will be able to fix it with a good solid blocking. (a left versus right leaning decrease) I am on the 4th of 7 (8?) charts and am on row 97. That's nearly 200 stitches per row. Every odd row adds 4 stitches. There are ~250 rows including the edging. I must stop thinking about how many stitches that is. RPM I am still working on this slowly. I have finished the gusset and have started the the foot. This is just a filler project until the weather turns colder and I am am jonesing for another pair of wool socks. Odessa Yep, another of Grumperina's designs. As always, cleverly designed and meticulously written. This is for sale at the craft fair this fall. I am using yarn from my stash that is finer than what the pattern called for. I didn't make any changes and so it is coming out too small for an adult, but it will be fine for a child. Felted bag I have started this again. The shape is vaguely based on the Sophie Bag, but with some serious modifications. If it works, I may submit this one for publication. For now, it is under wraps. I have come to the conclusion that part of the reason I had been feeling so crappy about work the last few weeks is partly because of hormones (gotta love the ability to reproduce and the wacked out things it does to the female psyche) but also because I had stopped knitting. I was working on stuff at home and not taking any time to do the things that I enjoy. So, this week I decided that this approach obviously wasn't working and decided to knit some more. Not surprisingly, I am feeling better balanced. Hmm, scientific enough proof for me.