Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Tuesday Tidbits

I'm going to be lazy today so no new photos. Nothing really looks that different from yesterday anyway. Imagine a few more rows on the Spring Forward back, a few more rows on the Jaywalker sock, and oh, some intarsia blocks.

I sorta goofed on the Checkered Cardi back. Since I'm not a good "counter" my blocks are supposed to be 8 X 10 and I put in 9 X 10 on a couple. The back only has 3 repeats, so I'm not sure if I'm gonna worry about it or not.

I also remembered why I dislike doing intarsia. This one's not bad, since it's just blocks (no chart reading on both sides), but I'm going to have a lot of ends to weave in when I'm done. (and before someone leaves me a comment about doing the "as you go method, ala Philosopher's Wool, I don't like the way that looks, so I won't be doing that. I'll take the time to weave in the ends as I think it looks neater).

Amie asked in my comments about the book the Checkered Cardi was in (my apologies, I usually alway include that when I post about a pattern)
Could you tell me the name of the book that has the cute sweater pattern with the blocks?

(Okay, I know there was no reason to do a quote, I just like the way this template does the blockquote)

Anyway, for those that are also interested, the book is called Quick Knits To Wear and it's put out by House of White Birches. All the yarns featured in the book are by Brown Sheep. Some designs are better than others, but there's several I'm considering doing. The book is almost comical in the models. They can be a bit distracting/distrubing. However there are about 4 or 5 patterns that I like and that was worth it for me.

Today is grocery day (that's why it's raining here, btw) and I'm about halfway thru the last Myst game (well, there's 4 ages that I know of, and I'm thru 2.5 of them). I'm finding this Myst game to be a bit annoying. There's a lot of things that must be done within a certain time period and there's a lot of back tracking, especially while I'm trying to solve the puzzle. While I'm sorry that this is the last one they're doing (if you believe it... they've said that before $), I think the "cleverness" is gone. They've run short on how to make the puzzles unique and instead have just made them annoying.

Well, that's it for today! Off to the store then some knitting/game playing.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday Misc

The back of my FLAK is at the armhole depth. So I get to put it aside until the next installment. I really like this process, as it lets me work on other things and keep my anticipation up.

I'm very happy with how it's turning out. I also think I've come along with my bobbles. They're nice and round and neat. We'll see if I still feel that way when I hit the "space/time continuum" at the body.

I'm still plugging along on the Spring Forward. I'm better than halfway to the armhole on the back.

Oh, and here's the new yarn I got yesterday at Knitty Knotty:

I already had the pattern so the yarn is perfect for it. The multicolor yarn is called Alpine Pearl from malabrigo and the purple yarn is from Steadfast Fibers. Both are hand dyed and just lovely to the touch.

So that's the current project line up. The FLAK can be put aside for the time being. I'll continue to plug away at my second Jaywalker sock and try to get the back of the Spring Forward to the armhole depth. I've already swatched up the new yarn (of course) and figured out how long to make the yarn lengths for the intarsia blocks).

I did get some other yarn over the weekend...

I ordered yarn from KnitPicks to make Sam the Ram (Matt got me the pattern for Christmas). I am very very tempted to make him for my Olympics Knitting rather than icky socks. Actually, it's just going to be fun to knit! We'll see. Socks would be more of a challenge (tho' there is a lot of shaping to pay attention to for Sam the Ram).

I also ordered a couple of weaving yarns (small cones... like about 300 yds) from Halcyon to try for the Japanese crochet book. The gemstone silk is crocheting like a dream! Perfect for the cover wrap.

So lot's of projects to play with! The silk will have to wait a bit for me to order enough for the shawl. I've got plenty here to play with, so it'll help me focus to get some things finished!!!

Have a great Monday! Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What? An other weekend post????

Well, there's a reason.

A very good reason.

A yarn crawl.

A yarn crawl with a 25% off coupon.

Long lines, good friends...

Lauren waiting in line to check out.

Theresa and some complete strangers (that's my sock being passed around) waiting to check out.

I was the only one prepared for the checkout line... Jaywalker and I spent some quality time while we were waiting to check out. I'm not kidding, out of the 30+ knitters, I was the only one knitting! Amateurs!

Oh, and Lauren won the "how much did Theresa spend" showcase. (I went over, should've just said $1)

It was a truly delightful day! I feel very blessed to have found other obsessed passionate knitters!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Spring Forward, Part Trois

Third times a charm, right?
I took my previous attempt, sat down with tape measure/pencil/paper and my body measurements and "tweeked" a few things.

I moved the two rope cables out of the neck opening and put them on the saddle. I removed all moss stitch filler on the sides. Oh, and thanks to Carissa's suggestion, I reversed those rope cables on each side. It's not something that I normally care about (I think only knitters notice mirrored cables), but I think it'll look nice (just remind me to do the same on the front!!)

While I was sitting down with my tape measure, pencil and paper, I thought I would recheck my gauge one more time... oh and I was smart enough to actually do it over the entire 4" (I'm soooo lazy with gauge, it's not even funny) and I am getting 21 sts to 4" rather than 20. Well, gee wonder why my sleeves were too tight. Doh!

However, that's okay, as now I have a great swatch to do my own math. I now can make this sweater in the yarn that I want to fit ME! Yeah!!! It was all simple tweeking and I'm much happier with the size of this neck opening (now if in three months I complain that the neck is too small, don't you dare come back to this post then proceed to make fun of me!)

So now I'm switching between this one and my FLAK (only about an other 3" on the back for that one). I'm going to be doing both as cardigans. My FLAK I'm planning on a zippered front. Both are going to be high V necks. The Spring Forward length is going to be based on how much yarn I have. I'm hoping fro a traditional length, but I'll be fine with it if it's a bit cropped. The FLAK is going to be a bit longer than waist length. Mid hip, perhaps?

Friday, January 27, 2006

Spring Forward, Frog Back

Thanks for all the comments about the Spring Forward. Let's review some of the suggestions and some questions about it.

Just a quick update on my issues with it. I changed the suggested yarn in the pattern from Cotton Fleece to Cotton Plus (as I wanted something machine washable).
My gauge is fine, but my body is too wide and my sleeves are too tight.

The 8.5" neck opening is from the "middle" of the pattern on my swatch (if you look at the picture, you'll see the top actually measures over 9"), so even after I put the ribbing on and account for "cable spread", it's still going to be pretty wide... plus my experience with cotton (even cotton blends) is that the ribbing stretches and doesn't hold it's shape. So I don't think that adding the ribbing is going to bring it in 2" and keep it in.

My cross chest measurement should be 17" (according to the schematic) and mine's about 18.5", so that's going to make my entire sweater about 3" larger than what I wanted.

The armhole depth for the pattern is 8.5", so that's what I knit it to (and this was when I took those measurements as law... didn't think to check my own depth) and that's not deep enough for me. I need at least 9"... probably closer to 9.5". My sleeves are too tight (and they're too tight all the way down, including over my forearms.)

So sadly, I can not use what I've done so far. It officially is in my "two problems, must fix it" rule. I had hoped that blocking open the sleeves would make them big enough, but they're still too tight for me to wear with a long sleeve shirt.

So I appreciate everyone's suggestions and support, but I'm going to start it over, change the numbers to match my knitting, as I think this pattern is too gorgeous not to have a flattering fit. What a waste to have a sloppy looking cardigan with such pretty cables!

Beadlizard asked:
Do those cables make a stable (sufficiently firm) saddle? Ever since seeing your first photo of this sweater I've been pondering them, and I think they might become part of my FLAK

I think they're stable enough. Having the twisted stitch on either side probably helps, but they seem to be keeping stable (and again, I'm using a cotton blend yarn, so I would expect some stretching).

So that's where I am. I've decided this year I'm not going to finish a project unless I love it. I love this, but I'm not loving the fit. Best solution is to learn to knit for my figure and be willing to adjust when something is not fitting me properly. So what if I've already basically knitted the sweater twice in the last 2 years... what's one more? It truely is worth it, as it really is one of the most beautiful patterns I've seen. Oh, yeah, and I still plan on making it in wool one of these days!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Quick Post

I spent all morning waiting for Blogger to finish their 30 minute maintance from yesterday. I got tired of waiting, so I installed Myst V: End of Ages. I then rebooted (as I always do after a big game installation) and checked Blogger again. I probably should've re booted earlier...

Anyway, here's my blog for the day.

I did check the Spring Forward Cardigan measurments and I'm way off.
My filler stitch gauge is right on, but my neck opening is about 8.5" rather than 7" per the instructions. I knew it just wasn't right, and should've checked it earlier. So I'm basically going to restart the entire sweater using what I have done as my "swatch". I need to really get smarter about stuff like this, especially since I almost always substitute yarn. I know that different yarn "cables" differently and I need to swatch more than just the filler stitch.

I also remember saying at one point that I probably wouldn't be able to memorize the one braid chart... I'm thinking that might not be an issue any more. I've now knit it so many times that I think I'm starting to get the hang of it without constantly checking the chart.

Oh, and I'm about 6" down the back of my FLAK, but the second Jaywalker sock is only on it's third color band....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Part 4 of the FLAK instructions are up. Since I have done a couple of sweaters this way, I knew what to expect, so crunching the numbers didn't take long (well, actually, I had already done it).

That's the back stitches all picked up. Okay, let's try a couple of rows to see how it's going, then I'll get back to my second Jaywalker sock:

Socks? what socks? I'm knittin' a sweater! Yep, sort of found a rhythm and just couldn't put it down. I'm already about half way down the back.

I had started second guessing some of my cable choices as I went, especially the bobbles, but kept going and I'm glad I did. They are really growing on me as I go further.

Looking at this one compared to my Spring Forward, makes me think that I might go back and take a look at that one. I stopped working on the Cascade Sierra version as the body was HUGE and I didn't particularly like working that many cables at the tight tension with a mostly cotton yarn (did you follow that?). Looking at the neck opening on my Spring Forward compared to this one (and Janet's measurements for the pattern), I might have to re work the numbers a bit.

This process has really been beneficial. I've always been willing to change certain numbers when knitting (mostly related to height: especially for sleeves. I always have to change the increase ratio on sleeves since I have to shorten them so much), but I've never really bothered dealing with things like this...

Hmmm, even as I write this, I know I'll be starting the Spring Forward again. Yes, it's almost done, and yes, this is already the second time I've tried knitting it, oh and yes, I did already re knit this sleeves on this one, but I looooove the pattern and I'm willing to keep plugging away at it until I get the fit I'm looking for.

I suddenly feel so free about dealing with numbers...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

First Sock Done and a Meme

A scan of the first Jaywalker sock (click on the picture for full view). The second sock is still on the ribbing. Let's see if I can handle actually finishing it...

Bonnie Franz tagged me with the latest meme, so here it goes:

  • Four jobs in my life:

    1. Production coordinator/assistant art director for two different medical publishing companies (one periodical and one book)

    2. exhibits construction for the Please Touch Museum

    3. assistant manager of a retail book store

    4. professional seamstress/tailor

  • Four Movies you could watch over and over:

    1. Monty Python's The Holy Grail

    2. When Harry Met Sally

    3. Blazing Saddles

    4. The Sure Thing

  • Four Places you have lived:

    1. Bellefonte, PA

    2. Philadelphia, PA

    3. Norwalk, CT

    4. West Chester, PA

  • Four Places you have been on vacation:

    1. Disney World

    2. The US Virgin Islands

    3. Alaska

    4. Antwerp, Belgium

  • Four websites you visit daily:

    1. the blogs on my bloglist

    2. www.gamefaq.com

    3. Old Grandma Hardcore

    4. Elann

  • Four of my favorite foods:

    1. pizza

    2. ham

    3. most anything with cheese...

    4. crack, also known as Baked Cheetos

  • Four places you'd rather be right now:

    1. nowhere, I'm very happy right here

Okay, that took me longer to code than it did to come up with the answers. Hmmm.

Matt's home yet today, but his pox are clearing up nicely. I'm sure he's no longer contagious, but we're playing on the side of cautious so one more day in (but I'll wager that he goes out on the bike today... any takers?).

Have a great day and Happy Knitting!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2006

A little this... a little that...

First, remind me not to go to the grocery store at 8:00 am on a Monday. Especially if I need things like fresh salad or milk.

Second, Matt's doing much much better. The worse part of the chicken pox for him was the 2 days of fever before the welts showed up. He's been a little itchy, but not as bad as some poison ivy he's had. He's well on the mend, but he's going to stay in for an other day or two. He wants to say thank you to everyone that sent good wishes!

Third, I'm almost done with the first Jaywalker sock. I'm finishing up the afterthought heel (I don't like doing heel flaps with the self striping yarns, as it breaks up the pattern).

So I'll finish that up today and get the next one started. I did order two other colors of the simple stripes yarn. (Just because I don't particularly enjoy knitting socks doesn't mean I don't enjoy buying the yarn).

Fourth, Marilyn and I are going to see other people for a while. I didn't think she was communicative enough, and she felt like I didn't know how to follow directions. Basically, I messed up all the work I had done when I re-started working on her this month. It all has to be frogged and re-worked. So a little break, but she and I will come to terms eventually.

Fifth, Bonnie tagged me with a meme, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow to do it.

And finally, I'm also back to working on the Lasso Gansey. I had put it aside earlier this month as I thought the tight gauge was the cause of the sore arm that kept me from knitting for a few days (in retrospect, it's been decided that in fact I had a mild outbreak of the shingles, hence Matt's chicken pox). So I'm more confident doing that tight gauge again.

So thanks again for all the well wishes for Matt. He truly appreciated them!

Happy Knitting!!!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Poor Matt

Matt got in to see the doctor yestday. At first it was thought that he had shingles. The problem with that? Matt's never had the chicken pox (yes, I even have verified this with his mother, as you know you can't trust him to remember something like that). Until now that is. As the day progressed yesterday, the little bumps starting popping up all over the place. It became more and more obvious that it couldn't be shingles, but rather good ol' chicken pox. Poor guy. 37 years old and has the chicken pox. The good news is that he's no longer running a fever... the bad news is that he hasn't started itching yet. I'm so not looking forward that.

Well, after some discussion, it was decided that there was no reason for me to stay home with him, so I made it to Stitch n Bitch last night anyway. Yeah! A truely wonderful evening out again... except to the distress of one little ball of Sockotta. Please send good thought to the Sockotta that it makes it way back home soon...

Speaking of socks, I thought I would train for the Knitting Olympics and give the must discussed Jaywalker socks a try.

I can see why this pattern has become popular. It's a nice balance of simple and interesting. I'm using the Simple Stripes yarn from Knitpicks (sweet tarts. yum.) We'll see if we can actually finish these. That's the training. See if I can actually finish one pair of socks...

Oh, and don't think Marilyn is being ignored, she's slowly moving along. I'll have update pics soon!!!!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Joining I Am

Well, I have been playing around with the Knitting Olympics hosted over at the Yarn Harlot (do I even need to link to her site? doesn't EVERYONE already read it daily???) and thinking about what I could do.

Let's think about what a good challenge for me would be. 2 weeks of Not casting on a new project, perhaps? Maybe finishing a second sleeve? Maybe finishing a project, any project...

Okay, that's not really the idea behind this, is it? Well, then let's consider the two things that I dislike knitting. The stuff I find challenging: socks and lace. Well, socks aren't so much of a challenge, as much as I just don't particularly like kniting them. I prefer making sweaters and sampler afghans. Lace is a challenge. I have to actually follow directions to do lace. I'm not a good direction follower.

So I guess that's what I'll do. I'll make a pair of lace socks for the Knitting Olympics. I looked thru my Socks, Socks, Socks book and found a basic lace sock (the Vine Lace socks for those that are curious). They seem simple enough that even I can make them... we'll see. I don't have good luck with socks. Or lace. I'm not sure what will happen when I combine the two. The cosmos might implode or something.

Now then, let's catch up on what I am knitting right now... Marilyn. I love Marilyn. She's such a dear. Yes, I might get tired of doing those huge long rows, but when you're in love, does it really matter. It's worth it.

I didn't bother with a picture, as she's now just 6 or so more rows longer than yesterday's picture, but she is at least 6 or so more rows longer. I have 2 buttonholes done... let's see that leaves only 3 more buttonholes. See, she's flying off the needles!!

Today will be an other quiet day here. Matt's still feeling under the weather (he's got a low grade fever and is just exhausted). So he's working from home again today with lots of naps, but I'm still going to go to Stitch n Bitch tonight!!!

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Next, please....

So one project down. Thanks so much to everyone who left me comments about the cardigan. I wore it all day yesterday and I love it! It's warm, yet light. It's soft and drapey. It also fits better than I thought (yes I can button it... the sleeves and back were never the problem, it's the front real estate that can be difficult to cover).

So that leaves the "what's next" issue. There's the FLAK, but my saddles are done and I'm waiting for the next installment (I could work ahead, but I'm doing it as a KAL, so I'm waiting). I like doing a project like this. It keeps the anticipation up. Anyway, what did I work on yesterday as my next project?


Yep, Marilyn (by Beth Brown-Reinsel in Black Water Abby's Iris yarn). Lovely, no?

My only issue? I don't think I like working a project in one piece. It takes forever to do just one row. I don't get the same sense of accomplishment as the fabric doesn't grow as fast... yes, yes, I know, it's as long as it broad, but I like to see things develop.

Well, that's about it today. It's an other dark dreary day. Matt's feeling a bit under the weather (over training perhaps?) so I think we'll take it easy today.

Happy Knitting!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cropped Cardigan Redux Finished!!!

Finally, the simple, quick Cropped Cardigan Redux in done! Here's the project info:

  • Pattern: Paton's Canadian Living (they don't name their patterns).

  • Yarn: Elann's Peruvian Pure Alpaca

  • problem with pattern: none that I found (second time knitting it, so didn't spend as much time reading the directions...)

  • changes to the pattern: I added a moss stitch filler to the center of the main cable section. Used alpaca instead of wool.

  • notes: this is the second time I've knit this sweater. I made it years ago, while at my heaviest. I wore it a lot, but it's not a flattering fit any more. Decided to do an other one.

Overall, I'm very happy with it. The alpaca makes for a lovely, soft drapy fabric and I got much better stitch definition than I expected (bonus). I probably made one size too small, but since I rarely button it, it's fine. Special thanks goes out to Tori who provided me with a gift certificate to Elann as a thank you for some yarn I sent her.

Yesterday I started a webring for the FLAK. It did take up a lot more of my day than I expected, but it's sooo nice to jump from blog to blog to see everyone's swatches and saddles! So, here's my obligatory FLAK picture (yes, the saddles are close, but not quite done... between the ring management and finishing up the Cropped Cardy Redux and a little... well maybe a lot... of Ratchet and Clank, I didn't quite finish them. It's first on my list today).

So I can now check one project off my list... that means I get to start 3 more, right?????

Monday, January 16, 2006

Getting There!!!

The sleeves are blocking on the Cropped Cardigan Redux and I've sewn the shoulder seams (I also started the neckband... but had to frog back a couple of rows. Forgot I had to put a buttonhole in it. When will I learn to read directions????)

I can not get a decent color of this sweater, so just as a reminder to what it actually looks like, here's the color swatch swiped fro Elann's site:

So I'm just waiting for the sleeves to dry a bit more, then I'll have this baby finished up!

I did start the saddles for the FLAK and I'll have pictures of them tomorrow.

Today I'll finish up the second saddle for the FLAK (about an inch to go) then I'll see if my sleeves are dry. If not, I'll have to decide what to work on. I should probably choose something "non-cabled" since I plan on working on the FLAK with the group now, but Marilyn or the Spring Forward might be hard to resist. There's always the Lasso Gansey, too...

Have a great Monday and Happy Knitting!!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Well, I really didn't have much left to do, so I figured I would just finish it up yesterday. (I really should learn to read better... there's a big difference between "for" and "to" in crochet directions...)

That's the Chanson en Crochet from Wrap Style. I'm sort of "eh" about it. It was fast (when I took the time to read the directions). We'll see how it looks when it's done blocking.

Other than that I did finish up the sleeve increases on the Cropped Cardigan Redux. I think I can have that baby done by the end of the weekend. About 14 more repeats on the staghorn pattern and then a little seaming!

Not much else planned. Oh, well collect bolts in Ratchet and Clank...

Well, off to collect bolts get a few repeats done on the Cropped Cardy sleeve.

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Final Swatch

That's it. The FLAKesque swatch blocked and scanned. I'm pretty happy with it. Now I just need to finish up the other 50 projects before I tackle it... well, let's say 2 projects?

I worked a repeat on the Cropped Cardy Redux yesterday. For an easy little cardy, it sure is taking me a long time to finish!

Oh, and I tried on the Spring Forward after the sleeve blocking and I'm fine. My sleeves might be smidgeon short, but they're top down, so I can add length if I need it (it's hard to tell without neck ribbing). I'm just thrilled that the sleeves blocked open a bit.

So I'm going to concentrate on the Cropped Cardy today. Maybe I can get all the increases done!

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Peer Pressure

Well, I succumbed to the peer pressure of swatching for the FLAK. However, as I was showing Matt the swatch and asking his preference on a couple of the cables and I explained how I changed basically all the cables, he mentioned that it was more FLAK"ish". Well, let's call it FLAKesque?

Hey, I kept one of the original cables! I changed the horseshoe to a braid (from Janet's Cables 101 Vest), I changed the wave a bit by moving the cable over a reverse st. st. background and adding a bobble. I didn't like the way my mini honeycomb was coming out, so I switched it to a basic 2/2 cable. I'm still playing a bit with the wave and bobble cable. I still have to block the swatch, but I'm pretty happy with how it's looking.

I'm planning on a cardigan and I'm using Peruvian Highland from Elann.

However, I still want to get my Spring Forward Cardigan done, but realized that I was having a mental block with it. The sleeves were too tight (and I had already pulled them back once and reknit them, so I don't really want to have to do that again). Well, let's see if they just need a little blocking, shall we? So I wet it and put it on the wooly board to see how the TLC Cotton Plus blocks (it's a 50/50 cotton acrylic blend... so I'm not over optimistic).

It's pretty much dried, but I'll let it sit today and they I can try it on later tonight.

Oh, and just to prove that I'm still working on my UFO's very diligently:

That's the second sleeve... it's getting there!!!

So today I'll work a bit more on the Cropped Cardigan Redux and play a bit more with my FLAKesque swatch.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Clean up makes for a boring blog!

Still putting things away. Yes it's taking me a while. I blame Ratchet and Clank.

Had a quick, yet lovely visit with Kate yesterday and got a few rows done on the Cropped Cardigan Redux.

The bins are back in the closet so now it's just a matter of dealing with these orphans... projects that need to be frogged, yarn that needs to be put up in the stash room and yarn sorted out for ebay.

On top of all this yarn, all these projects and overwhelming amount of patterns, some new yarn came yesterday.

It was on sale.

50% off

How could I resist?

Sadly, not 2 days after I ordered it, I got a flyer with a coupon for free shipping (argh), but it was still a good deal!

Now what in the world do I do with it? (20 skeins).

Off to do some laundry and try to find space for my new yarn....

Monday, January 09, 2006

Who bought all this stuff????

Well, that's some of the bins of started projects. Kate thinks I should change the name of my UFO/WIP list to "swatch" list...

It feels good to have evaluated the projects. I found some things that won't work anymore (I used to wear a size 24 and I now wear a size 12... 54" sweaters ain't gonna cut it anymore) and some projects that I just know aren't going to work out. The good news is that I have a lot fewer projects started than I thought. Not even 50! woo-hoo!!! I do think that I'm going to try to follow a similar focus schedule as I did from last year... one or two "main" projects that I set up specific goals. Allow myself to be distracted after I reach that goal.

While I had the projects out, Matt finished putting down the new tile flooring.

Now I get to put everything back in and I'll be all organized and stuff.

Back to the actual knitting. I worked mostly on the Cropped Cardigan Redux over the weekend and a little on the Spring Forward. I also spent a lot of time at the ball winder frogging a few projects.

So today's concentration will still be the Cropped Cardigan Redux. The goal for today is.... hhhhmmmm, let's see how about 4 repeats on the second sleeve? I also want to get one swatch/classwork done for Part II of the Basics, Basics, Basics today.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Completely Off Topic

This is all Nicole's fault:

Ya, I don't think it looks like me either, but Matt's turned out scarily accurate:

You can play with your own here.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Christmas is over...

I started taking down the Christmas stuff yesterday. Quite frankly, I need the space where our tree is so I can continue to clean out the UFO closets.

Doesn't everyone use their yarn swift to hank up their lights?

I played a bit with my new Japanese crochet book yesterday. I did one motif for the cover shawl in Zephyr wool/silk. It came out a little big, so I'll go down one or two hook sizes. The zephyr is a two ply yarn, which makes crocheting it on the small hooks a bit more of a challenge, but the drape is lovely! I'm also looking at some weaving yarns for a pure silk option.

I updated the UFO/WIP list yesterday, so I'm up to 33 43 projects so far, but I think I have about 5 that I'm going to abandon. If I add it to the list without being tempted to work just one row before I put it back, then I figure I'm not going to finish it. One closet is almost cleaned out... then the other closet (which has more yarn than projects right now).

So today I'll add a few more projects to the list, finish taking the Christmas stuff down and maybe work on a little knitting. I might have to take a break from the Lasso Gansey, tho' (boo-hoo). I think those size three needles might be too hard on my hands right now. Oh well, I've got lots of other projects to work on...

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Some Info on the Japanese Books...

I got a comment yesterday from Sue asking me about how to order the books I got from the Amazon.jp site. It never showed up in my comments and I don't have an email address (since comments come from Blogger). So I'll answer here.

The Amazon.jp site is in Japanese, but you can set up some of the stuff to English and you can use a translator to sort of translate for you (like babelfish).

I found the New Styles in Heirloom Knitting by searching by ISBN, then once I was on that page, I found these other books by going thru their suggestions. You won't be able to search by using English words.

However, here's the info on the books: (and I linked to the Amazon.jp for ya... how's that for easy shopping!)

The Aran and Guernsey Book (ISBN: 4529041557)

Stitch Dictionary (ISBN: 4529041727)

Fair Isle, Nordic and Lopi Sweaters (ISBN: 4529041565)

Traditional Accessories (I'm making up some of these titles, btw) (ISBN: 4529041409)

Clear and Simple Knitting Symbols (ISBN: 452902413X)

Clear and Simple Crochet Symbols (ISBN: 4529024121)

Crochet Lace (ISBN: 4277261221)

It cost me about $101 US to get these books (with shipping) and it took about a week and a half to get here. Some truely lovely pattern books.

Well, still not knitting (or much of anything right now) and as a matter of fact, I've got to cut back on my computer time too (I think the typing is bothering me too). Before you ask, no I'm not going to go to a doctor. He'll ask me what I do, and I'll say, Oh I spend maybe 10 hours a day knitting, crocheting or playing video games, and he'll say, you need to take a break. So that's what I'm doing. So the heating pad on the shoulder, a little more stash clean up here and there, and I'll be good to go as soon as can be...

Happy Knitting!!!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Turning Japanese?

Well, after browsing thru the Amazon.jp site (which is where I ordered the New Styles in Heirloom Knitting), I decided that I needed some more Japanese knitting books. I put an order in on December 23 (Merry Christmas to me!) and the order came yesterday!

I got two "learn to" books. One for knitting and one for crochet. It has the symbols and directions on how to knit (or crochet) them. Great reference books, for sure:

Then I thought I would get the other book by the same author as the Heirloom knitting book (who is a musician that studied in Europe, and fell in love with the traditional knitting). This book is mostly gloves and mittens with a couple of hats and scarves. It's just as beautiful as his other book.

I thought I would give a crochet book a try, and I find them even easier to read than the knitting (crochet in symbol format makes so much more sense than written directions!)

Wanna see a couple of beauties?

The problem is going to be finding the beautiful yarn to make them (anyone know of a good silk crochet thread?)

I've heard great things about the stitch dictionaries, and I wasn't disappointed:

The lace patterns in the book are lovely!!!

Now for the two books that are just drop dead gorgeous!

The Aran book was basically bought site unseen. They didn't have a cover image and I bought it purely based on the poor translation thru Babelfish. It is by far the best purchase of the group!

So here I am full of new books to look thru, but I'm still taking a break from the knitting/crocheting/gaming... and now even the closet clean up. I've got to let this inflamation settle down and I think I've got to truely rest it. Good thing I've got some new books to drool over!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, I did start my new UFO/WIP... only 24 listed so far...

Happy Knitting!

Added: I've received all sorts of emails and comments about these books. For ordering info, please check the follow up blog entry. I've listed each book with a direct link to Amazon.jp for ordering.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No Knitting Means Housecleaning...

I'm having some shoulder issues that causes pain down my left arm and hand. So I'm taking a little break. No knitting, no crocheting and no gaming (sigh).

However, I was planning on doing a little house cleaning anyway... rather some yarn and project cleaning.

Wow, what a mess! I've got globs of projects started that I need to catalogue and decide what I'm going to do with. I've got stash yarn that needs to be moved up to the stash room. I've got yarn I'll never use that will go up on Ebay.

So today, I'll be pulling out bins of projects. Deciding what to do with them (finish, frog, reassign, sell), getting a picture of the work in progress and getting my UFO page up and running again.

So no progress pictures for a couple of days... but I'll have some UFO sitings instead!

Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Is Lasso a Verb?

So I'm Lasso-ing away!

I so do love the way the basketweave is popping out on this sweater! Now I just need to get the back done.

Yep, I know it's Monday, which means "classwork", but today still feels like a holiday, as Matt is still on vacation. We have few things we want to do today (after his morning bike ride...). Maybe I'll do one swatch or at least some of the writing I need to do for the Basics, Basics, Basics class.

Plus I've got to work on the Selfish Challenge KAL! I hope to get a couple of repeats done on the back section of the Lasso Gansey!!

Yep, a short blog today!
Have a great Monday and Happy Knitting!!!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Knitting Year!!!

Well, I had taken pictures of our Stitch n Bitch New Year's Party for Losers (meaning that we counted down the new year at 9:00 and went home around 10:30), but I'm still getting used to my new camera and none of the pictures turned out.

What a great night of knitting, eating and meeting "the spouses". A perfect night for the kids and us weenies that can't stay up til midnight!

So a new year and a new set of goals.

I'm going to try to stick to a schedule this year. Certain days will be concentrated towards specific goals. Mondays will be for "classwork"... I'm going to finish up the Basics, Basics, Basics class then tackle the Master Knitter Level I program. I want to finish that this year! I'm also going to take one day a week for Project Linus... I'm thinking Thursday, but I'm going to keep that one more flexible so I can stay in the mood.

Today also kicks off the Selfish Challenge KAL! I'm going to focus on the Lasso Gansey and the Cropped Cardigan Redux.

The Lasso Gansey is moving along very nicely! I have the fronts done and I've started the back. The more I work on it, the more I'm loving it!

The Cropped Cardigan Redux is still slowly progressing, too. One sleeve is done and I've cast on the second and have maybe one or two repeats finished.

Well, off to figure out how to use my new camera so I can get pictures up on this blog!!!!

Have a Happy New Knitting Year!!!!