Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Template Changes

I was playing around with the settings on Blogger this weekend and somehow managed to delete my template. I was NOT HAPPY. Luckily, I try to keep things fairly simple and it wasn't horrible to recreate. The downside is that I somehow turned off the comments on the blog. Sorry. The upside is that the new header contains a picture I took of the yarn I won on that evil, dangerous den of iniquity eBay. Psst, KimiK has some BEAUTIFUL yarns, cheap too! Then, I went out and bought this. You know what this means? Right. I can finally start winding the cobweb weight black yarn that I got to knit my first ever lace shawl for my mother-in-law. The stuff is 12oo yarns to a skein. There is no way I want to wind that puppy around my freakin' thumb. Oddly enough, last night, Eric asked how much I spend on my hobby. I was completely honest and said that I don't really know. (Hey, ignorance is bliss.) I also carefully explained that I tend to buy yarn in spurts. Hoarding ravenously as if there is a worldwide wool shortage coming soon stocking up and then carefully knitting the stash, rationing it out to last until the next 40% sale or store closing comes along. I think he may have believed me, or at least he stopped questioning. Really, though, is it fair to question the value of tools like ball winder that was had for $31 including shipping, or the 400 yards of handpainted wool for under $10. I don't think so either. On top of all of that, my mom emails me to say that she, my sister and 2 of my aunts are getting a booth at a local craft show and would I like to join in? Um, yeah. I can't wait to use up some of my stash knitting up baby caps to sell. I just have to see how much my share of the booth would be. Divided 5 ways it shouldn't be too bad. Speaking of knitting, truly, this is a knitting blog. Jaywalkers now have half a heel flap. I am so loving the heel stitch. For some reason I have previously resisted all attempts to use it. Its cushy plushness is enchanting. I think for the next top down pair, I will try to use the eye of partridge stitch.

And the baby hat? Well, interesting you ask, because it looks just like it did before I decided to rip it out.

The pooling is less obnoxious this time around. While there is still some flashing, there isn't the huge diagonal line across the entire thing. I have a feeling that this baby will be sold at the craft fair.

I also have an idea rolling around for a felted bag, but I need to work out the stitch pattern first. I have the yarn, I just need to swatch it out. Hmmm, this might just be the push I need to do it.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled sock

I picked up the Jaywalkers again last night and knit about 6 rounds when I noticed a small loop dangling free about 6 rows down. I thought about tinking back, and actually tinked a full round when I decided that was just too tedious. So I did this. The extra loops are where I pulled back the rows above the offending dropped stitch on just the one needle. There was no slack in the stitches to just ladder it back up. In the end, you can't tell what I did, which, I guess, is the point. So much easier than ripping it all out. Today I embarked on a new fiber adventure. Last summer a co-worker gave me 2 full llama fleeces. Each fills a big black lawn and leaf bag. Once is a beautiful chocolate brown and the other is white/gray. Both are filthy dirty and I haven't had the courage to do much with them. This weekend, I started pulling the guard hairs out of the white/gray fleece. Then I proceeded to wash the first batch. Holy crap - I have never seen so much dirt in my life! I washed it several times and it still is gross. A part of me is determined to stick it out and make yarn from this free fleece and another part of me is convinced that it simply isn't worth the trouble. I am just paranoid about felting the fleece before I even get a chance to do anything with it. As I don't spin yet (no wheel and no coordination for the spindle I do have), I might just dye it and sell on eBay depending on how it goes. I think it will be quite beautiful once it is cleaned. Anyone out there know an easy way to remove guard hairs from llama? Right now my current method is to take a handful of the raw fleece and pull the individual smooth and straight hairs out. Is it necessary to remove all of them? While I don't want to end up with an inferior product, these fleece seem to have a TON of guard hairs. What happens if I don't get them all out? I am guessing that it would be a bit like wearing a hair shirt because of the texture of the guard hairs themselves. (Not that I've ever worn a hair shirt myself.) Stay tuned for the next raw fleece installment.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The very pink hat

It came out so much better than I expected. I called my sister this morning to get my niece's head circumference. While I would have preferred to not tip my hand, I would hate to give it to her and have it not fit. There is something enchanting about felting. I love the fact that you start with something so ridiculously huge and it ends up being just the right size. How lovely!

I am impressed with how the variegation came out just as specks in the finished hat. Now I am back to the Jaywalkers.

Work has been insane lately. My co-worker was given an ultimatum to either stop making mistakes or turn in her resignation. She chose the latter, so now, I am doing her work as well. It is not a pretty picture. The worst is that she was not doing a good job with things (duh - hence the ultimatum) so there is a lot of clean up and fixing things that were not done properly.

On the plus side, I now get to cherry pick which of the job duties I would like. She did tradeshow coordination as well which means that occasionally she had to travel. As I started as an Account Representative in the company, I know a lot of the customers, so getting out and seeing them is very attractive to me. We'll see how it all shakes out once the shock wears off. Unfortunately, I am having to bring work home on a regular basis now, just to try and keep afloat.

Monday, April 17, 2006

What was I thinking?

The last thing in the world I need is more yarn, right? Which is exactly why I bought this off of that evil, dangerous den of iniquity eBay. It is approximately 330 yards of handpainted fingering-weight merino. Not quite enough for socks (in my mind) and it isn't superwash. I have real issues about knitting socks that can't go in the washer. I am envisioning a hat of some sort. Any ideas to show off the beautiful yarn? Last night, I truly wanted a change from knitting things on teeny, tiny needles. So I decided to start this. So far, it looks like this. Not much, besides the eye-searing pink. However, my 3 year old niece will love it. She generally starts most conversations by telling you that pink is her favorite color. Meanwhile, the third second Jaywalker is proceeding.

Oh and the other baby hat - still not going anywhere...

Saturday, April 15, 2006

One down, one to go

I finished the first of the Jaywalkers. However, I ended up with just 14 yards left over. That's with using the yellow for the heels and toes. All in all, I like the way they turned out. I did discover that I do like the feel & look of the heel stitch, even if I am somehow too dopey to manage to keep track of it properly.

It does look a little stretched out from being tried on several times.

This weekend, I picked Caleb up from my sister's and tomorrow, Easter Sunday, we are heading to my mother-in-law's. Busy, busy, busy.

On the plus (or should that be minus?) side, I have lost 15 pounds since I was at my folks that last time in late February. So, just a little over 2 pounds a week. Not to shabby, and the truth is that my pants are all swimming on me now. Hopefully, I it will be less painful to go shopping now. The strange thing is that I don't really look any different to myself. I do notice the clothes not fitting, but that is it.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Let freedom ring

We are having so much fun while childless for the week. Last night was knitting at Starbucks. My friend Tracy cracks me up. She is taking a new exercise class based on pole dancing. I was laughing so hard at her descriptions of the women doing all of these moves.

Hi Tracy! Again the Jaywalker is proceeding apace. I am down to toe. I have to admit that I am not looking all that forward to knitting the next one. I like the pattern, but as I swatched the stitch pattern about 3 times and have done the heel twice it's as if I have already knit both socks.

I was playing on ebay tonight and won this. Not like I need anymore sock yarn. But, as this isn't superwash, I am thinking that it will become a hat for me. I like the color and the price. However, my next project is going to be a tank top for me. I have 3 skeins of a very rich purple cotton that I am hoping will be enough for a snug fitting tank. We went downtown again tonight to an old industrial section that has been renovated into a very cool, hip area with shops, restaurants and tons of condos. We got dinner at a place called Wicked Hop. The food was very good, mixed drink was excellent and the atmosphere was very cool. The place was an old warehouse (multiple story) and the restaurant was on the first floor. There was an upper area that overlooked the bar area and the ceiling was all open to the original beams and studs. Very cool to think that someone hand crafted the building nearly 100 years ago. As you walk through the neighborhood, many of the buildings are on the National Historic Register. Too bad that my way cool new purse is not big enough to accommodate my camera.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

How do you get a 3 year old to smile?

Please, if anyone know the answer let me know. As you can see, mine won't for pictures. These were taken on a family outing on Saturday. I particularly like number 2. Last night, while we were eating dinner, Eric suggest that we take advatage of our relative freedom and go out. It was so nice. There is a bar called the Safehouse that I have wanted to visit for a while, just to see it. The whole place is done up with spy memorabilia, very kitchy. The fun part about it is that the entrance to the place has a different name, so you have to know where you are going. On top of that, once you get in the first unmarked door, you step into a small ante-room that has 2 seemingly real doors and another secret (and only real entrance into the bar) door. The place has closed circuit TV so the patrons can watch newcomers look foolish trying to get in. It was neat to see the place, but it wasn't the atmosphere we were looking. We walked along the riverfront for a bit and ended up in a microbrewery. We tried a sampling of the various beers (even me, and I don't particularly like beer). I ended up with my old standby, Captain & Coke. We ordered and appetizer which completely blew my diet but was completely worth it. It was such a wonderful time. I need to give a huge thank you to my sister for making this possible! It is even better that you can imagine.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Empty Nest

Man - there is one GREAT thing to say about not making boocoo bucks. We are gettting a very nice tax return between federal and state. This will take the heat off of the ol' savings account for a while. Meanwhile - I have been enjoying Destash quite a bit. I bought a skein of sock yarn from Grumperina and sold some mohair. As my birthday is coming up soon and DH prefers to shop on Amazon because of his obscenely busy schedule, I took advantage of this and created a wish list searchable by my email address. This way - I get the EXACT book I am drooling over. YUM. This next week I should get TONS of knitting done because my wonderfully generous sister has my 3 year old for the week. Her 5 year old has the week off of school because of the Easter holiday and he goes crazy with his 2 sisters. The boys adore each other and I've never seen any troubles between them even with the age gap. The jaywalkers are progressing nicely. The yellow that I picked up for the heels and toes is a pretty good match. The socks are snug on my ankle and somewhat loose on the foot. However, mom has narrower ankles and her feet are about the same width, so I think these will be okay. Mom - they will get washed before I deliver them! This hat has met an unfortunate demise. While I liked the pooling on the ribbing the flashing on the main portion was driving me crazy. So, now I am looking for some sort of stitch pattern to help break up varigation. I tried eye of partridge, but it didn't do it for me. I did add 4 more stitches and will see if that is enough to change the pooling. I was blog surfing the other night (as there was a lack of knitting progress - hence very boring blog fodder and lack of recent posts) and stumbled across this gem. I like the idea of a post that tells you my faithlessful reader of neat stuff I have found. (Again, this will help out when the knitting is scant.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Destash for cash

I have added a button on my sidebar for the new destash blog here on blogger. I am way loving this site and could easily get into LOADS of trouble. I have put up my first offering and I have a feeling that there will be more on the way. It will be a good way to get rid of some of the odds and ends that I have in my stash. Happy shopping to all!

Monday, April 03, 2006

I'm Ja-ay Walking

(in my head that sounded just like the Bee-Gee's Jive Talking.) Jaywalkers are progressing, mostly because I am not ready to rip back the neckline on Blaze quite yet. You can see that I was able to match the yellow pretty closely. Not too bad considering that they are from different companies. The stripes is Regia and the yellow is Kroy. Anyone care to take a bet if I will run out of yarn before I reach the toes? I am guessing that I will. Tonight was such a great evening. Now that it is light out later (thank you Daylight Savings Time), Caleb and I started cleaning out the flower beds. I got the front one pretty much done and it filled up the huge dumpster style garbage bins that the city has. My hands feel all rough and scratched up from last summer's detris, but it was lovely to spend time outside. As an added bonus, Caleb and I went for a walk/run - he is three after all and goes nowhere slowly. Woo hoo -a sleeping child! Edit: I just realized that I have not done the slip stitch on the gussets as directed in the pattern. Grrr. No way am I knitting the d*mn heel a third time.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Sorry for not being around more. This last week at work we had our semi-annual sales meeting. This meant that our entire sales staff, from around the world, was in our office for the week. Thankfully, all of them from abroad are now either home, or on there way. I truly love having them around. I get a chance to brush up on my Portuguese while chatting with the reps from Brazil, I get to sit down and talk about the intricacies of language acquisition with our Polish rep, and above all, I eat like a pig on the company. All in all during the last week, I probably sat through close to 15-20 hours of meetings. On top of that I was at work early several days. I am so glad it is done. The (work) projects I had been working on are now either done, or nearly so. The online store that I had been merchandising is up and functional. The other big project, the first phase is complete and we intend to have the rest done by the end of next week. The net result is that I haven't had much knitting time lately. I did finish Blaze and wore it on Tuesday when I had to give my presentation, but it needs some revamping before I put the final pics up on the blog. I need to redo the neck line because it sagged a bit by the end of the day. Thanks to everyone for the comments on Blaze. And Joe? Thanks for the complement on the new do.

My intense desire to not get started on another big project has yielded this. A friend from work is having a baby and they are not finding out the sex. So, this will be just a generic baby hat once it is done. I was to lazy to try again actually like how it pooled on the ribbing. There is a bit more of the pooling on the body of the hat, but we'll see how it finishes up.

I have ripped out the heel on the Jaywalkers and joined the new ball that I found that matches pretty well, but because I desperately want to knit without a pattern, I have been working on just the hat.

I have a quick summer tank that I want to do, but I am not sure that I have quite enough yarn for the pattern I have picked. We'll see how it swatches. I am hoping that my gauge is off and that I can drop some of the st st areas down to fewer stitches. Hopefully, it might be enough to do it.

Today Caleb and I went to Wal-mart and got this. I am inordinately excited. Granted, we rent our apartment, but we have white/cream carpet in 3 rooms including the living room. With a 3 year old, it gets a lot of foot traffic and looks pretty grungy. My choices were to rent every time I wanted to clean the carpets or buy. As my time is precious to me and I hate being beholden to someone else, we broke down and purchased it. If we use it just 8 times, it will be paid for. Not a problem. I did the bedrooms today and they both look so much better. (I refuse to show before and after pics because it will just emphasize how slovenly I can be.)