Sunday, March 26, 2006

Catch up

Even though yesterday's post was only about Blaze, I actually did quite a bit on Saturday. First and foremost, I got a long overdue haircut. The last time it was cut was Halloween. I committed a huge faux pas because I went to the same salon, but saw a different stylist. I wasn't thrilled with the guy that had been cutting my hair and the silence was always very awkward. So, I decided to try a new stylist. Wouldn't you know it the other one was working and actually said hi to me. Oh well, I L.O.V.E. the new cut and the new stylist was much more talkative. As he was drying it, the owner of the salon came over and complemented the new cut and played with my hair. Somehow, that just made my day. I also mailed off the little leftover balls of sock yarn to Major Knitter. I was wondering what to do with them, now they have found a much better home and are no longer staring me in the face every time I dig into the depths of my knitting baskets. I love getting rid of guilt. A quick stop at the LYS yielded a skein of bright yellow sock yarn to use for the heels and toes of the Jaywalkers for Mom. To ensure that I had the best choice, I drove to the other side of the city and checked out a new (to me) store. It was a cute shop and I found just the right pattern for a felted hat for my 3 year old niece. I can't wait to start it. I will post pictures of Blaze once I bind off and block it. I am dying to wear it to work. I finally decided to do a 3 needle bind off under the arms. It isn't as pretty as grafting (this assumes that the grafter knows what they are doing - not necessarily a valid assumption for me), but it is done, there are no holes and no profanity was uttered during the process. It is the only seam on the sweater and it is under the arm. I can live with that.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Nearing the finish

I have finished the first set of neckline decreases and am pretty happy with how it looks. (Ignore the lovely plaid pants. We know how to live here on a Saturday night!) Personally, I like the look of the circs under the arms. I still haven't figured out how to graft the ribbing. I tried it earlier tonight and it didn't work so well. Thank goodness for lifelines. The neckline gapes a bit, so I think I will do one more set of decreases, but I am pretty sure that I will need to do some sort of short row over the shoulders because I don't want the neck to be too high, but it definately needs more coverage over the shoulders. I want to be able to wear this to work. Any thoughts on the grafting or the neckline issues?

Friday, March 24, 2006

my first meme

I was reading Kathy's blog and found this meme and couldn't resist the opportunity to highlight some of my favorite blogs. The original is on JenLa . The rules are pretty simple, you aren't supposed to repeat a blog for more than one entry. 1. A blog which you think people have not discovered.
I have 2 that I really like. I can totally relate to the location for Marisa's blog, not to mention being amazed her beautiful cabled sweater. The other is Pink Dandelion. Who can resist such a great name, besides, she's awfully funny.
2. A blog whose author lives close to you physically. Just get as close as you can, it’s all relative. This one I am drawing a blank on - I don't surf that many blogs... 3. An unusual or weird animal picture. I'm skipping this one as it isn't knitting related. 4. An entry that made you laugh and got you strange looks from family or co-workers.
This one had me nearly in tears. It brought back memories of Marlin Perkins from Wild Kingdom whispering in the background while pointing at a pack of lions.
5. An idea you wish you’d thought of.
Gosh - there are so many. is one of them. I love the idea of having all of that useful knowledge in one place. Knitters Review is another. Clara rocks for putting together such a great site.
6. Something you’d like to knit.
I can't wait to knit Grumperina's Odessa hat. I am supremely confident that it is as easy to follow as the rest of her patterns. There are a couple of sweaters that I adore on a French site. But as my French is subpar, these will have to linger in the want to knit pile. I will add a link when I am back on our PC, I am posting tonight from Eric's laptop which doesn't have any of my bookmarks.
7. A picture of something you consider beautiful. I'm going to have to come back to this one. 8. A blog whose author you’d like to one day meet in person.
Besides our beloved Harlot, I would like to meet Grumperina. I get a kick out of her obsessive perfectionism, but love to reap the benefits.
9. A blog of someone you have already met in person.

This is my friend Tracy's blog. She is part of the knitting group that I go to on Tuesdays. She is one of those amazing people who lights up a room the instant she walks into it. She is hysterically funny and a damn fine knitter.

On an actually knitting note, I have finally started the decreases on Blaze. I am so excited that I might actually be able to wear this sweater before winter is over. Unfortunately, it doesn't look any different than it has in days.

I just keep hoping that this sweater will eventually end and be wearable. I am not feeling all that confident. There is nothing wrong with it. My gut says that it is just that I am tired of the project and that there is no problem. On the other hand, my supersensitive skin is feeling a bit itchy when I try it on and it does weigh significantly more than I had anticipated. I would have thought that with the 50+% alpaca that it would be lighter weight than it is. I still love the color and the pattern, so I don't think that is the issue.

On top of all of that, I still have so much work to do for work this weekend. We are having a sales meeting next week and there are 2 massive projects that both are due Monday. One should have been done today, but it just wasn't possible. I was supposed to put together my presentation (thankfully it is short) by the 20th, but that date has long since passed and I still haven't started it yet.

I think I'll go lie down now and hopefully it will be better.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

the black hole of knitting

It really does exist. I have been diligently knitting away on Blaze. Yet no matter, how many hours, how many stitches I knit, it does not get any longer. Okay - I was going to try and show 2 different shots of Blaze that look almost the same, but Blogger won't upload my pics. So, here is a link to the shot from today. Compared to the shot from the other day, you can also just scroll down for the second picture. I'm not thrilled. I have knit for hours and gotten nowhere. Remind me why I like knitting again? Since the darn thing is in the round, I'm just going in circles, literally and figuratively. Bah. Add to it that the sweater is much heavier than I expected. I have visions of it sagging right off my shoulders when I wear it. I'm a bit nervous, but I put so much time into it that I don't want to quit now. The masive projects at work are still sucking up my knitting time. I have also realized that I am not going to have enough yarn to finish the Jaywalkers. Right now, my plan is to try and find some matching yarn to do the heels and toes. Hopefully it will work, otherwise, I will be ripping them out and doing them toe up. Here's hoping I find something close. Anyone have a ball of bright yellow sock yarn to spare?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Blazing away *cough, cough*

I am still recovering from viral bronchitis. Blech - I highly recommending catching the bacterial version. At least then you can get antibiotics instead of festering in your misery. This has kept me pretty under the weather - I missed 3 days of work last week, not my idea of smart. However, this weekend, I got caught up on laundry. Here is the evidence - my empty hamper. I'm not sure what is worse. The fact that I had to take a picture of this rare phenomenon, that I'm blogging about it, that it was the highlight of my day or that it only lasted about 10 minutes. I don't think it really matters - it's pretty pathetic all the way around.

The plus side to being ill, is that once I was feeling a bit better I got some knitting done on Blaze. Here she is with both sleeves attached.

It was interesting joining the sleeves on this sweater because the circs that I am using (Crystal Palace - love them) have a fairly long needle and it was tight going around the sleeves without putting too much tension on the joins in the sweater. Now that I am a couple of inches beyond that it is much better.

I was too lazy to find a braidkin and spare yarn thinking ahead and decided to use some spare circs as my stitch holders under the arms. We'll see how that works in the end. I am NOT looking forward to grafting ribbing. Grafting is not something I do well. I invariably end up with one purl looking stitch - but I don't know how it happens. Each and every time I had to graft, I drag out The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fey because her directions make the most sense to me. I follow them meticulously. And yet - the purl bump appears. I may just have to take this sweater to a master for this - hopefully one of the ladies at the LYS will be able to help.

There has to be someone out there who can graft ribbing without it looking like a rank amateur did it.



Monday, March 13, 2006

Really, I do have a problem

Now, I've caught Caleb's bug. Sunday night I had a fever of 103 - and I typically run a bit cool. I felt like I was burning up. But that's not my problem. This is. This is 6 skeins of assorted colors of the Joann's Marvel yarn. Not sure of the yardage, but it is a thick and thin 100% wool that was 60% off. I am guessing that these will become felted at some point.
This is 4 skeins of the lighter pink, 5 of the fuchsia/pepto bismal pink and 5 of the earthier colors on the bottom. Again, 60% off, 100% wool. I am thinking of felted mittens for my niece who LOVES pink out of the middle stuff and who knows what with the rest. This is all Moda Dea yarn.
As I was running errands on Saturday, I went to a store right next to a Joann's that is going out of business. The yarn was already pretty picked over, but this is what they had left in 100% wool. The rest was all acrylic novelty yarn. So much for the stash along.
I'm keeping this short because I can feel my fever creeping back and I have got to go back to work tomorrow. BLECH.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

I have a problem

Actually, the truth is, I have several problems (frizzy hair, sick kiddo, blah, blah, blah), but only one is the providence of this blog. As you can see by the button in the sidebar, I (unofficially) joined the Stash-along. Not because I have a huge stash (which I don't, really), but because I have multiple projects on the needles and at least as many waiting to be brought back out to light. Add to that, with Eric in school, the yarn budgets gets pretty slim at times. (Alas, no cashmere for me - not that I would know what to do with it if I had it. I think I would be afraid to knit such loveliness.) The knitting group that I belong to was started by a couple of the employees of my LYS (my favorite shop in the area). So, on Tuesday one of my friends mentions as she is leaving that the shop is having a clearance sale. Buck a ball. "Um, buck a ball", I repeated unsteadily, weak at the thought of all of that unloved yarn finding a safe haven in my stash. She confirmed the price, adding that most of it was novelty yarn. All I could think was that she said most - which meant that there was a possibility of finding something else, cuz yarn junkie or not - there is no room in my stash for novelty yarn*. So, Wednesday, I stopped after work and this just fell into my hands, honest...

What can I say, a wool/alpaca blend with enough synthetic so it won't felt. I'm thinking of making socks for Caleb, specifically tube socks so he won't grow out of them too quickly. With the alpaca, they should be good for playing in the snow next winter. Needless to say, I won't be starting these for a while (to allow for the eleventy-third growth spurt of the year) even though my fingers are just ITCHING to cast-on. Because there was only one ball of each color and there is only 100 meters a ball, they may have to be striped tube socks. I'm just not sure how far 100 meters of this stuff will go.

The Jaywalkers are not moving much at all. Work has been so busy that I haven't even brought them along. Blaze is moldering in the basket, for no good reason, especially now that winter is just about over here. Dang - I swore I would wear that sweater before spring. To top it off, I cast on for a felted purse today. Yep - nothing like startitis in the spring (or any other time of year for that matter).

*This is not to say that I won't knit with novelty, I just won't put it in my stash. I've got nothing against novelty yarns in general, especially as they are the crack cocaine of the knitting world - just one garter stitch scarf and you're hooked for life. Obviously Berroco is striving for world domination.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Turning a corner

Or rather a heel. The Jaywalker is coming along nicely.

I have not had much of a chance to do much knitting since last Thursday as I am completely swamped at work and at home.

Can someone please explain to me how come my little family of 3 can create such monumental amounts of laundry? I swear, it is never ending. Blech.

I will post more shortly as I get a chance. But take a look at the cute hats my friend Tracy made...