Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's a new day

The good news is that we found a replacement cooktop last night at Lowes, in stock and affordable. The bad news is that we had to spend a large chunk of money on a new cooktop. However, we can't survive without one, and over all it was a fairly painless process.

So Matt switched out the broken, unusable one to the new shiney one and we'll see how well it works tonight when I make dinner. It looks great (I love the solid surface electric cooktops. If I can't have gas, this is the way to go... so much easier to clean!) and it fit like a dream. We were afraid we would have to do some patching/cutting to get the new top to fit, but in fact it slid right into place.

At least I don't have a stove/oven combo... that would've been a royal PITA to change out in one day.

So that disaster is over and I'm a dunce for dropping a heavy glass jar onto it, but we survived.

The doggie sweater stalled a bit yesterday while I was taking care of some chores (and busily breaking my cooktop) but I hope to spend some time with it today. I do have to make a quick run to the office supply store for some paper items and I have some more house chores to take care of, but I should be able to get a good chunk of the sweater done today.

Then I need to really get back to Matt's vest Only 25 Knitting Days Until Christmas!!!! My, oh my, that's not a whole lot of time!!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

So, How's Your Day Going?

Now, where did I put that Chinese take out menu?

Sampler Project Notes

I forgot to give my project information for the Sampler Afghan yesterday.

Pattern: Leisure Arts Sampler Afghans (60 Easy To Knit Pattern Stitches)
Yarn: Berella 4 in natural

I didn't find any errors in the pattern, but I did change how I constructed the squares. Each square has a crochet border around it to "force" it to the same stitch count. To make this easier, I did a selvage stitch on each block (slip the first stitch as if to purl, and knit the last stitch). This made the crochet border much much easier. I'm still not thrilled with how some of the blocks are really huge and some, not so much. If I were to make the afghan again (and with 60 blocks to work from, I probably will), I'll cast on the same number of stiches and do increases and decreases to get a better "border".

Since this is my second sampler afghan (finished), let's do a quick comparasion. The Taste of Aran Afghan is a much much better designed project. Janet Szabo took some time to get her squares to work well together. The Leisure Arts is more of a bodgering system and it's not quite successful (maybe working with a wool yarn would help, but I just can't justify a wool afghan in my house). While I enjoyed the variety of having 60 blocks to choose from, I still prefered the garter stitch border that Janet used in her design.

So now that that sampler afghan is finished, what's the next one? Well, I've been working a bit here and there on the Leisure Arts Crochet Sampler that I've started. These blocks are much smaller (only 7") and work up pretty quickly. As far as the next knit one? I'm not sure. I swatched up Joan's Country Sampler and I'm having a real gauge issue with the yarn that I was planning on using, so I may do something else or look for a different yarn.

I enjoy having these samplers around. It's great for my short attention span. A 12" block is fun to knit (just as I get tired of the stitch, it's usally just about done) and I think afghans are handy to have around. Even if I can't use them, Project Linus can.

Okay, so that tidies up that project. I have to say I'm surprised I finally finished the afghan. The pattern was the second project I ever bought and I've spent the last 13 years trying on and off to make that afghan. It feels great to have it done... so I can start the next one).

The Holiday Challenge Update and Goals:
Yesterday I wanted to get past the arm, I mean leg, opening on the Soft Basketweave Cardigan sweater I'm doing for Mason County. I got that far. However, I did underestimate how long this sweater is going to take me to make (I hate when that happens... yet it happens everytime). I should get most of the body finished today with just the hind end decreases to do.

I also have a confession here: I'm enjoying knitting this sweater a lot more than I expected. I've never had a big desire to make my dog clothes, but I may change my mind. This sweater is sized to fit Jake and now that he's older and stiffer, he may appriciate something to keep him warm in the winter. (Gena is well protected from the cold... she's already got 2 coats on).

So today's goal? Get to the hind decreases on the dog sweater.

That's it. Hmmm... that's not a lot, but it's doable. I also have some house related chores to take care of today. Our Stitch n Bitch group is meeting at my place on Thursday and I need to make sure that I have space cleared for seating (Matt doesn't understand that this group isn't really bothered by my piles of knitting projects strewn through out the house...)

Monday, November 28, 2005

The Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan

Yep, it's finished. I ran it thru the washer and dryer, but will probably do a wet block on it. The washer and dryer really softened it up, but I still want the blocks to lay flatter.

The picture isn't great. It's hard for me to get a good overall picture and that was taken before I ran it thru the washer and dryer.

So because of the weird Thanksgiving weekend, I really didn't work on things I should've worked on. I spent some time with Marnie and I started a dog sweater for the Mason County Animal Shelter. I hope to have it done tomorrow so I can mail it out.

I've got to run for grocercies today (yuck) and instead of my normal Monday schedule, I'll concentrate on the dog sweater for Mason County. I'm using a pattern from Dogs in Knits. The Soft Basketweave Cardigan is a fun quick knit. I'm using my favorite acrylic yarn: TLC's Heathers. (remember this is a shelter, they need easy to wash items. Handwashed items not a great idea). I'm just about to split for the leg openings. If you have any dog sweaters or blankets that they could use to keep the animals warm, you can mail them here. Even though only one cat survived the fire, they will still be needing cat things, as more will be coming to the shelter.

So I hope everyone has a great Monday!!! (oh, and don't forget it's only 27 knitting days until Christmas!)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mason County Animal Shelter Help

For those fast knitters... the Mason County Animal Shelter is being housed temporilily in a facility with no heat or hot water. They are now desperate for anything to keep the animals warm. Dog sweaters, blankets, etc. If you have any ready to go, they really are desperate.

They've also posted a wish list for items that they need on their site.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

It's not about the turkey

Well, I was expecting to be spending the day cooking and eating, as per tradition on Thanksgiving. We're going to be postponing our celebration until tomorrow (hopefully). Matt has picked up a bug, and being typical of Matt, he didn't do it half assed. So a nice bout of a stomach flu and we'll plan on a meal for tomorrow.

So I have lots of time on my hands (I'm hoping he sleeps the day away... one because he was up all night and he needs it and two because the constant sighing really really gets on my nerves. Why can't men suffer in silence?) so I'll watch some football and do some knitting, while trying to make sure he's keeping down some liquids.

So instead of spending the day cooking and doing dishes, I actually have time to evaluate what I'm thankful for. All I can say is that I lead a very fortunate life. I have warm shelter. I don't worry about my next meal (except what the choice will be... and I'm thankful that I have the choice). I am thankful for all the creature comforts in my life that are easy to take for granted, but should never be. I am thankful that I have a loving and supportive husband (even when he's sick...). I am thankful for the friends and the support I receive from them. Let me just say again that I lead a very fortunte life and I am very very thankful for it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Shelter Fire

The shelter that Gena came from had an explosion and fire yesterday. They are desperate for money to help rebuild and place animals. You can read about it here. Please consider making a donation to help out the surviving animals.

Bikes and Knitting

I know I may have mentioned this before, but I have basically 2 (maybe 3) topics of conversation. I either have conversations about knitting or about biking.

Last night was about biking. Getting a chance to hear one of the world's greatest professional cyclist was very interesting. (Floyd Landis is the best hope for a US Tour de France winner in 2006. He finished 9th in the 2005). He's obviously not someone who enjoys doing this kind of event, but was very graceful and funny.

However, even tho' this event was to be able to get autographs and photos with him, I still felt like I was imposing by asking to have Matt's picture taken with him.

The funniest thing? Guess what they served for dinner? Yep, a little turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. Just in case we weren't going to get enough of that this week.

I knew that knitting there would not have sat well with Matt, so I didn't take any. No one else was knitting. Instead there was a lot of discussion on biking, racing and the local news story.

We've had an interesting week. We've done several things we've never done before (and like the skunk road kill removal, hope never to do again).

So today is the normal pre-Thanksgiving cooking fest. Since there's only three of us, I'm doing a pretty small meal, but I'll still try to get as much done today as I can (the curried squash soup, start the filling, prep the bird). I also like to serve the meal pretty early on Thanksgiving so we can all relax and watch football in the afternoon.

Yesterday I spent my knitting time actually crocheting. My friend Rosie gave me a bunch of baby weight yarn for a Project Linus blanket, and I had been debating the best way to use it. I started a simple shell stitch scrap afghan yesterday and I'm very pleased with how it's turning out. I also got started on the border for the Sampler Afghan yesterday and I think I can finish it up today. I'll wait a bit to try to do the blocking, as I'll need a pretty good size space to let it dry.

So today's Holiday Challenge Goals?
  • make curried squash soup (and try not to eat it all)
  • toast bread cubes for filling
  • prep turkey
  • work on the border for the Sampler Afghan

Not bad, but a little food focused, as to be expected.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Hero

You know it's gonna be a long day when a skunk is killed right in front of your house. The smell was bad enough that it woke me up at 3:00am and I wasn't able to really fall asleep. However, I am married to a real man.

What a man.

Luckily, it's garbage day. Hopefully the stench will clear out as the day goes on.

What else is on the menu today, apart from skunk road kill clean up? Well, I'm off to the grocery store to get my supplies for Thursday. Then tonight we're off to a charity dinner to meet Floyd Landis. (okay, that's an older photo, as he now rides for Phonak, but ya gotta love the wheelie on the Champs Elysees... you can see his official site here). So plenty to do today (note to self: Do Not Forget The Camera)

I did very well on my goals yesterday. Got one swatch done for the Basics, Basics, Basics, worked on the Cable O's Vest and not only did I finish the third triangle on the Skygge Jakke, I started the 4th.

I'm not going to set any goals for today. I'll work on what I can, when I can. I may avoid the house for a bit today, too. (did I mention it smells like someone hit a skunk right in front of our house?) Maybe get a head start on my holiday shopping?

Well, off to shower and get out of here...did I mention it smells a bit?

Monday, November 21, 2005


There's a reason I never have photos from vacations. We suck at remembering the camera. Sorry, but no pictures from the christening. It was a very moving service (even if the priest thought there were only 3). We were honored to have been invited.

So, what have I been up to other than that?

Well, the weekends are mostly for "me" knitting. So I worked on a simple cotton crochet pullover (in some Biwa cotton from stash):

Not a great picture (it's a little overcast and the picture is a little blurry), but it's a simple crochet stitch that moves very quickly. The Biwa cotton is making it a little dressier than I expected, but it's going to me a nice pullover when it's done.

The other "me" knitting is a little progress on the Skygge Jakke:

That's the third triangle for the back almost done. I'll probably try to finish that triangle today just so it's done.

And here's a progress picture of the Cable O's Vest:

As I figured, it's going much much faster now that the armhole decreases are done and I'm into the neckline decreases. I'll spend a little more time with this today, too.

However, it's Monday and I'm going to spend some time with Part II of the Basics, Basics, Basics coarse. One of the things I'm going to do with the start of the new year (yep, already thinking about resolutions) is to get on a "production" schedule. I want to get more organized so I can get some more things done. Mondays will be "classwork". Once I'm done with the Basics stuff, I'll then start the Master Knitters work. I'll continue to use Monday for that. I'm also going to take one day a week and concentrate on charity knitting. Probably Wednesday or Thursday. I really enjoy doing the Project Linus stuff, but I need to get a little better focued on getting projects done. Weekends will continue to be "me" knitting... meaning whatever I feel like working on.

While browsing yesterday, I stumbled across this sweater:

It's a Dale sweater, but it looks like you can only buy a finished sweater. I tried looking to see if they had a pattern for it, but found nothing online (and Dale's site looks like it hasn't been updated in a year). If anyone knows if this pattern is going to be available, let me know. I love this sweater, but I'm not paying close to $300 for a pre-made sweater.

So today's goals:
  • start swatches for Part II of the Basics course
  • finish up the triangle on the Skygge Jakke
  • half a repeat on the Cable O's Vest

Hope everyone has a great Monday (hmmm, need to think when's the best time to go to the grocery store for Thanksgiving supplies...)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Hair Cuts, Christenings and Maybe Even Some Knitting.

I've come to the conclusion that customer service is non exisistant. It was one of those days. Matt went to the bank to get savings bonds for the christening tomorrow and they really really don't want you to get them. Between the standing and waiting in two lines just for them to hand you a form to fill out, then stand in line again, etc. Matt's trip to the bank was not a fun one.

I, on the other hand can not find a stylist that respects my time. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that my last hair appointment I actually walked out on. She was 20 minutes late getting to my appoinment. Then as soon as I sat in the chair and she put the cape on me, she took a personal call. Not a "oh, I have a client in the chair, let me call you back" phone call, but a "oh, what are you going to do this weekend?" kind of personal call.

It happened yesterday again. My stylist sells her husband's artwork while she's at work. She washed my hair and it's wet and dripping, and one of her art customers comes in. She says to me "I'll be just a minute" and she shows this women the artwork and they happily chat about how lovely they are, then my stylist says, "oh, I want to show this person it too before you take it" then tells me she'll be right back. (did I also mention that she had just cut Matt's hair and knew he was waiting for me?). She asks if that's okay, and I said "well, I thought I was here for a hair appointment" the response "oh, are you in a hurry?"... geez, no, let me sit here with dripping soaking wet hair, while my husband is waiting for me while you go take care of personal business. Ugh.

I have very little patience with that kind of disrespect. I don't have an issue with someone taking care of personal business while at work. It happens, but when you have customers, show respect to them and their time.

We won't even mention that I had to pay an extra $10 thanks to the length of my hair (my hair cut: $38, Matt's? $22). However, since my dryer got a clump of hair caught in it somewhere and my last load of laundry now smells like burnt hair, it's a good thing I got it cut. It was simply too long. (I'll also add that I had to turn off the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. What a crappy movie for such a great book.)

So that's my bitching for the day. I now have to go get the christening gifts today, since the savings bond thing obviously wasn't the right choice. I'm debating between just nice pictures frames or small trees for planting (which puts a burden on the family, as they would have to plant them. I'm guessing that with 4 new babies, they really might not appriciate having to plant 4 trees... but I think it's a nice idea).

I did have a lovely morning and lunch out with Betty (just in case you think I had this horrible nasty day). It was a great time and definitely the high light of the day!

Oh, and I did finish sewing up the Sampler Afghan. Just needs the crochet border and one final attempt at blocking it.

So today's goals?
  • finish the decreases for the armholes on the Cable O's Vest
  • get 4 christening gifts
  • a nap

I confess, I did start something new. I crochet pullover. I might spend a little time with that today as well.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I should have a boatload of pictures on Monday (I'm hoping to get pictures of the babies in their sweaters tomorrow!)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Time for a Quickie?

Quick post, as I've got some things to take care of today, but wanted to do an update.

The Cable O's Vest is now moving quite nicely. I'm about halfway thru the armhole decreases and well into the neck decreases. As of right now, it's moving nicely!

I did get the 3rd afghan strip sewn on for the Sampler Afghan and I hope to get the fourth done today.

That's actually my only goal for today, as I've got some errands to run... and the biggie. A hair cut. (I haven't had my hair cut in probably a year and half?)

Oh, and I did finish something yesterday: Sly 3
so hopefully I'll be able to concentrate on my knitting a little more. Less game playing means more knitting time, right.

Well, off to get my day started. Happy Knitting!
(38 days until Christmas)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Geez, Now I've Got To Pay Attention!

I finally did it! I'm officially on the row that I can start the armhole/v-neck shaping for the Cable O's Vest!!! (I'ld post a picture, but quite frankly, it still looks the same as yesterday. Just add 4 rows).

Since I'm doing the armhole and the v-neck at the same time, I've got to set up a little cheat sheet to help me count. I'll do that today and get started.

I'm thinking this baby is gonna make it under the tree this year after all!

I got the first two afghan strips sewn together for the Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan. I do think that sewing them is helping keep it's shape, but I still wish I could do better blocking on the squares. I think it will be fine, however. It's just an afghan and they don't look "bad".

I made it out to Stitch n Bitch last night and had a truely delightful time. Nothing like hanging out with other knitters! Do all knitters have such great senses of humor? Or is it just the ones I know? Theresa did scare off a Barnes and Nobles customer by modeling the helmet liner that Rosie made. He completely missed the escalator!

So I guess I need to come up with today's Challenge goals, eh?
  • make cheat sheet for keeping track of decreases for the Cable O's Vest

  • shoot for 6 rows on the vest

  • add an other strip to the sampler afghan

  • laundry?

That's a pretty basic list! Truely do-able!

Oh, I almost forgot what I worked on last night at Stitch n Bitch!!! I got the I cord done for the start of Mermaid!! I'll need to find needles to pick up the stitches so I can start, but at least all that I cord is done. (however, I'm still trying to do the Skygge Jakke first before I concentrate on Mermaid)

So, off to sort laundry, decide what's for dinner and play Sly 3 work on Matt's vest.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Oh, You Cable O!

I fell a bit short on my goal for the Cable O's Vest yesterday. I had really hoped to get to the armhole shaping, but I've got 4 more rows to go. I hit the "big" cabled row (the one where every rib needs to move) and just couldn't bring myself to do it.

However, it is getting there, see....

I also know that once I get to the armhole and V neck shaping, there's really not much fabric to work on, so it'll go a little more quickly. Well, that's what I keep telling myself.

I feel bad, as I've been sorta whining about this project. It's making Matt feel guilty. For no reason. I chose the pattern (which I love) and the yarn (which, for cotton, isn't bad to knit with... just maybe not with this many cables) and in the long run, while it's taking me a while to knit (thanks to the cotton/cables combo and I can only work 2-4 rows at a time before I need to take a little break), it's well going to be worth it. This vest is going to be gorgeous.

So here's today's Holiday Challenge goals:
  • Must get to the armholes on the Cable O's. No excuses!!!

  • at least one seam on the Sampler Afghan

That's it for today as far as my Holiday Challenge goals. Tonight is Stitch n Bitch and I'm really looking forward to it. I missed the last one thanks to the dentist appointment. Not sure what I'll take. Since the Cable O's is going to be in the "shaping" mode, I need to be able to concentrate (oh, and I guess I need to pull out the directions and even read them). The afghan is a little big to lug with me at this point. I could use something fairly mindless. Maybe I'll take the Scoop du Jour. I'm easily bored with stockinette stitch, so doing it while I'm chatting is probably good!

So that's the plan! Off to catch up on blogs and email! (40 days until Christmas, btw)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Oooooh, Lucy...

The Lucy Bag is done and felted. It's an "eh" on how happy I am with it. I think I actually over felted it. It's a nice dense fabric, but it's smaller than I wanted. I used a different yarn than the one I used for my mother in law. (Note to self: Brown Sheeps Lamb's Pride is my favorite felting yarn).

As for my other goals for the weekend? Didn't do any of them!

The afghan is in strips ready for seaming. The Cable O's Vest is still about 12 rows short of the armhole shaping and the house still needs to be vacuumed (well, it always needs to be vacuumed).

So I took the weekend off. Saturday was spent on Lucy and I played with a crochet pattern I got from Ebay. It's not what I consider a sampler. It's done in strips instead of blocks and the patterns do repeat, but I love the look of it. I do find the chart a little more complex to read than is necessary, so I may do my own. I also have some white and navy in my stash, but I think it really does need the cobolt blue.

Other than that, I worked on the Skygge Jakke. I'm about halfway thru the third triangle on the back.

So today's goals for the Holiday Challenge?

  • work to the armholes on the front of the Cable O's Vest

  • go for grocercies

Yep, that's going to be my main concentration. It really is the only holiday knitting I'm doing. While it's not a surprise, I really want Matt to have this vest and I need to get it done.

The only other holiday project is a 2006 Jake & Gena calendar. I made them last year and they were a lot of fun. So I'll go thru my archives of photos of Jake and Gena and put together 12 photographs that I can use in the calendar and then start thinking about printing them out and getting them bound.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Holiday Challenge Update!

Not only did I reach my goals yesterday for the Holiday Challenge, I was able to start today's.

I finished the body for the Lucy Bag. I really am going to have to make myself one of these soon. It's such an easy fun project (once you get started... the bottom is tricky with all the dp's and just 8 sts). Today I'm going to try to get at least one of the straps done. I think I can have the entire bag completed (including felting) by the end of the weekend. The pre-felted knitting always looks so odd to me (but then, I like a very tight, firm gauge)

I did work several (about 8) rows for the Cable O's Vest. I also think I'll have that to the armhole shaping this weekend. (no update picture today)

Oh, and the bonus knitting? Well, I'm half way thru sewing up the Sampler Afghan:

Again, I think I can have it all sewn together by the end of the weekend.

So here's today's goals for the Holiday Challenge!

  • sew the rest of the afghan squares into strips for the Sampler Afghan

  • do one strap on the Lucy Bag

  • finish the current repeat on the Cable O's Vest

Yet an other very do-able list!
Here's my weekend goals:

  • finish all the sewing of the Sampler Afghan

  • finish the Lucy Bag (including the felting... but maybe not the drying)

  • get to the armholes on the Cable O's Vest

  • work on something for me (like the Skygge Jakke)

So we'll see how I progress. I think those are realistic goals and I should be able to keep my focus. A nice varity of projects to work on!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More Progress, Less Pictures...

I finished up all the afghan squares yesterday. All the ends are woven in, the "backwords" crochet border was fixed (I had done the crochet edging on the wrong side) and they are officially ready for seaming together. I still need to play with the layout a bit, as I want blocks to sort of help each other stay to shape.

I also chose a quick, fun project for Nicole's auction:

That's The Lucy Bag from Two Old Bags. I made it last year as a Christmas present for my mother in law. It's an easy to knit project and I love the way it looks.

So it's cast on and I'm about half way thru the body of the bag. I still think I can get the Dayflower Scarf completed as well. The advantage of not doing holiday knitting (apart from Matt's Cable O's Vest) is that it does allow me to take the time to do things like this.

So let's review my goals from yesterday:

  • decide on a project for charity auction and hopefully cast it on
    Done. I started The Lucy Bag and got about half way thru the body of the bag

  • finish weaving in ends on the rest of the squares for the Sampler Afghan
    Done. The afghan is now reading for seaming

  • finish the current repeat on the Cable O's Vest
    Not Done. I actually didn't work on the Cable O's Vest at all. I'm going to make it the focus for today

So what's on the menu for today:

  • Cable O's Vest. I'm shooting for 6 rows

  • The Lucy Bag. I think I can finish the body today

I think that's about it. I've got to make the Cable O's Vest a priority so I can have it done for Matt's Christmas gift.

Hope everyone has a great Thursday!!! Happy Knitting!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Babies, Charity Knitting and the Holiday Challenge

We got to see the babies yesterday. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I made these for our vet's quadruplets. The babies are beautiful. All are gaining weight (each weighs in over 7 lbs) and healthy. The great thing is that she has a lot of help (one of her aunts was there to help with the feeding) and Grandma is always handy (the vet practice is right on their property). I got to see the christening dresses that they're making (to match the sweaters I knit) and they're beautiful. I can not remember ever making something for someone that was so appriciated.

Oh, and Gena's check up went with out a hitch. She's dropped a little weight, which they're very happy about. She's very good at the vets. They stick her with needles and she gives them kisses. So a clean bill of health and cute babies. A fun way to start the day.

Nicole is collecting some items for a charity auction event, so I need to dig into my stash and patterns and come up with something by the end of the month. I'm thinking that the Dayflower Scarf that Kristen knit would be a pretty and fairly quick project? Considering how well I do with lace, I'm not sure a "quick" it would be for me. I'll have to decide today what I'm going to make.

Now the Holiday Challenge Update:
I did okay yesterday. I now have 12 blocks with all the ends woven in and I steam blocked a bunch of squares yesterday. Some I'm seeing an improvement and some, not so much. I'll hold judgement until the squares are all sewn together. I'm thinking that they'll work better together than as individual blocks.

I did work quite a few rows on the Cable O's Vest, but didn't get a complete repeat done. I'm about 12 rows before I start the armhole shaping for the front. Since the back is done (and there's no sleeves), this project is finially getting to the downhill section. While the cotton and the cables are a lot of work, it's well worth it, as it's going to be one truely beautiful vest when it's done (just remind me next time to use wool for this pattern. What was I thinking????)

Today's Holiday Challenge Goals:

  • decide on a project for charity auction and hopefully cast it on

  • finish weaving in ends on the rest of the squares for the Sampler Afghan

  • finish the current repeat on the Cable O's Vest

Oh, that's very very do-able!

Well, I'm off to do my favorite part of knitting: The Quest! (you know, where you look for the perfect match of pattern to yarn?)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Big Fat Thank You!!!

Matt and I want to thank everyone for their anniversary wishes. We had a delightful meal last night. FYI: going out on a Monday night at a swanky resturant is great! We had the place to ourselves (they said they had 2 reservations for the evening. Ours and an other one for after 8:00). It was a lovely lovely dinner.

As for the Holiday Challenge Goals? Well, I did okay. I got a few afghan squares ends woven in (mayb 6 or 7 total) and I did finish the second triangle for the back of the Skygge Jakke.

(colors in photo may not be accurate. Actually, I can guarantee that they are not accurate).

I didn't touch the Basics stuff and I'm still procrastinating on actually steam blocking my afghan squares.

However, last night there was a discussion on Christmas gifts and Matt did say he really would like the Cable O's Vest. I knew that, but to have him put it into words made me realize that I really need to make it a priority.

So here's today's goals for the Holiday Challenge:

  • weave in ends on at least 5 more blocks. Try to steam block one (maybe the easiest to knit incase I screw it up?)

  • one repeat on the Cable O's vest

  • any extra knitting time will be spent with the Skygge Jakke

  • take Gena to the vet for her annual

Hmmm, that's a very do-able list! Maybe we'll even get to see the quads at the vets today!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Happy Anniversary To ME!!!

Ya, I know a second post in one day, but this simply couldn't wait!!! Looky at what came in the mail today for my anniversary gift from Matt (he even chose the colorway!!!)

Not a great picture... but who cares! So I now have physical proof that I have the perfect husband for me! (in case you're wondering Matt's getting a skinsuit for time trials)

Get A Cup of Coffee... it's a long one:

Well, let's start off with the most important aspect of the day:
Matt and I have been legally married for 13 years as of today. (we've actually been together for 17 years).

I'm a very very fortunate woman. I found the perfect man for me. He's smart and funny (an odd combination, really). He's supportive. He's caring. He's very sweet. He's generous. He's sexy. He loves me just the way I am.

That last one is a biggie for me. It's wonderful to be with a man who understands who I am and accepts me for being me. We go thru life trying to change the people we love into something we think they should be. I don't get that from Matt and he has made some serious sacrifices for me and my well being that I truely appriciate.

He's still my very favorite person in the whole wide world and there is no other person I would rather spend my time with. So thanks honey for sharing your life with me!

Onto the knitting portion of todays blog:

I've finished all the blocks for the Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan!!!

This is definitely one of my favorite blocks. I love the staghorn cable, so it's hardly surprising.

Matt chose this block. I just couldn't bring myself to chose the last one. He chose 2 blocks for the afghan. Neither are blocks that I would've chosen, but I loved them after I started seeing them develop. This one went very fast (only one day to knit) and has a great, diminensial texture.

So now I get to weave in the ends, try a better blocking method, then I get to sew them all together. The crochet edgings are going to make that pretty easy then a quick crochet border. I may do an other series of photos of each block before I sew it up to see if I can better consistancy in the photographs. The Sampler page looks like each block was done in a different yarn, doesn't it?

Well, apart from the afghan, I've been working on the Skygge Jakke and trolling ebay for more sampler afghan patterns. I will say that knitted sampler afghans are hard to come by. I have several in my collection that I don't consider to be true samplers, either (like the free ones from Lion Brand or the Patons one). If I have to make the same block more than once, I don't consider it a sampler. I want each block different. However, I've been getting a couple of crochet sampler patterns. The other thing I need to remember is that this Leisure Arts afghan can be made 3 times (there's a total of 60 patterns in the booklet).

Oh, and I got back my first part of the Basics, Basics, Basics. What a great program. Lot's of great information and the positive comments (including my blocking... not something that I consider myself skilled in) has made me more self confident on starting the Master Knitter Level I. After I finish up the Basics program. I do think doing the Basics before the Master's program is a great idea. Lot's of useful (and citable) information and great feedback on where you can make improvements!

So here is today's goals for the Holiday Challenge:

  • weave in the ends of 5 afghan Squares and block them

  • finish the 2nd back triangle on the Skygge Jakke

  • go get dog food and water filters

  • if time, start part II of the Basics, Basics, Basics program

Hmmm, that's a lot of stuff and we're going out to dinner tonight. I didn't even count in my workout or any time playing Sly 3. Better run and get cracking on these projects!!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

No Progress

I got my 2" done on the afghan block yesterday, but I ended up frogging them. The yarn had two bright red spots that I didn't think would wash out. So yesterday's work was more or less lost.

On top of that, I had a dentist appointment to try to fix a filling that she had replaced in September. My mouth and jaw were very sore (and it's still sore this morning). However, I do think the bite is better, but we'll see once all the swelling and bruising goes down how it feels.

So my goal for today is to actually finish the afghan square (it can be done) then choose the last block and cast it on.

I've decided my next sampler afghan (knitted) will be Joan's Country Sampler. Now I just have to decide what yarn to use. I think I'm going to do it in a solid color instead of different colored squares? Not sure yet. I'll play around with my stash.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

1.25 Afghan Squares To Go

My goal yesterday was to get 6" finished on the latest afghan square. I got 8" done. I'll have this square done in no time! Easily by tomorrow so I can cast on the last block over the weekend.

I'm having a problem deciding on the last square to do. Since it's the last one, I can't make up my mind, as I can't say, "Oh, I'll just do that one after this one". I'm also trying to get a good balance between textures, cables and lace.

So today's plan: a fun and exciting trip to the dentist to fix a filling that's not sitting right (she replaced a filling in September and it's just not right and now it's become very sensative to cold).

I also think I'll be able to get at least 2" done on the current afghan square today.

Oh and there's 50 days until Christmas...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Beautiful Fall

I have to admit, I wasn't expecting a pretty fall this year. We had a really dry hot summer. This usually means the fall is short and not very pretty. However, because the warm weather stayed around for a bit and then lot's of rain in October... it's turned into a beautiful fall:

and one for Sandy:

It's just beautiful weather right now.

Speaking of beautiful...

So did that distract everyone from the lack of knitting content? Well, I didn't get my goal done yesterday. Instead of 3 repeats on the afghan block, I got about 3 rows. My excuse is that I had a birthday dinner for my friend Betty so I spent most of the day in the kitchen (okay, okay, any down time was spent playing Sly Cooper...).

So I'll focus today and shoot for 6" completed on the current afghan block. I still want it finished by the end of the week (very do-able, I might say).

Betty asked me last night what I planned on doing with the afghan when it's done... well, start the next one, of course!!! I'll need to get back to work on the crochet sampler too.

Hope everyone else has a gloriously beautiful fall day today!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And We're Off...

Okay, October and Halloween are done, so now it's time to focus on all those gift projects that we need to get done.

Today kicks off the special Holiday Challenge. You can sign up here.

Here are the guidelines:
  • Leave a tag with the projects you plan on finishing for holiday gifts.

  • You do not have to be specific, just in case you are concerned that the recipient will stumble across this page. (ie: "Gift #1" works as well as "Socks for Dad")

  • The projects are not limited to knitted projects. You may include any handmade gift you are planning on completing.

  • Be sure to keep the group updated on mini goals and progress. Remember these challenges only work if we all participate to encourage each other on.

  • This Challenge starts on November 1 and will end at the end of December.

  • I am now clearing the list at the end of each Challenge, so if you are not listed and want to participate, just leave a tag!

Okay, and here we go with my first mini-goal:

My first focus is going to be finishing the Leisure Arts Sampler Afghan. I want to finish one block this week, so today I'll focus on getting 3 repeats done on my current block.