Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Recovery is an important of training

Thanks so much for all the commens about Sam the Ram! I've never had so many comments about a finished project. So thank you for all the kind words!!!

So yesterday I did some much needed housekeeping. But, just like any athlete, I did "active recovery" by working on a few things.

I'm still obsessing along on the Spring Forward. I'm better than halfway down the back and still plugging along.

To continue with the "finish one, start two, buy yarn for three" mantra, I started Elsebeth Lavold's Garnet (from her book Sentimental Journey) in Cotton Patine (color is "periwinkle"). I bought this at on a SnB yarn crawl last year. It was so lovely knit up and so far it's been a lovely knit. The Cotton Patine is very nice to work with (it does split, but don't all plied cotton yarns?) and the windowpane check is just interesting enough to keep me interested. I'm about 2" before armhole shaping:

So more of the same today. A few rows on Spring Forward, a few rows on Garnet, etc. I'm definitely getting ready for warmer weather....

Thanks again for all the comments about Sam the Ram. I almost hate to do a new post, as I liked him being at the top of the page.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

And she wins gold....

Sam The Ram was finished just as the Finish hockey players were. This was a perfect Olympic Knitting project for me.

Some info about the pattern/project (since I was asked in comments).

The pattern is from Earth Heart Designs, but Matt bought me the pattern as a Christmas gift. He purchased it from Black Water Abbey (and Marilyn sells it as a kit, too). Since Matt was too cheap to buy the kit, I ended up buying some Knit Picks Merino Style DK and was very happy with how it turned out.

I will say that this is not a project for the faint hearted. It is a challenge. It's a lot of directions, not only in written form, but with charts. You have to be able to do some advanced shaping skills, including short rows, lifted increases and be able to handle a lot of dpn at one time. (when the directions say you need two sets of dpns, you might want to consider a few extra. I had nine and wish I had more). There's also a lot of grafting. In rib stitch.

It was a super fun and challenging project and I just love the way he turned out. Yes, I know there's a Sue the Ewe, too, but my lace skills aren't nearly as strong as my cable skills, so she's going to have to wait for a bit before I tackle her.

Now I guess I should vacuum up 17 days worth of dog hair? Or should I just work on Obsession Spring Forward???

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Not So Horny Sam

All but Sam's horns are finished.

Friday, February 24, 2006

2 more days to go...

...and Sam is getting a bit tedious. The grafting isn't a lot of fun, so I did half of it yesterday and one foot. I then tried to sew in the first foot and wasn't happy with how it was looking and decided to take a bit of a break.

Here's Sam's hind end grafted closed:

and the back view:

So I'll work on finishing up the legs and foot and maybe graft close the front end.

You'll never guess what I worked on as a break?

I will say that Obsession Spring Forward is probably the prettiest pattern I've ever worked on. Every row I just love it more and more... Sadly, I'm going to put it aside for a bit more to finish up Sam the Ram.

Well hockey is about to start and I've got some grafting to do.

Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Onto the quarterfinals...

I'm nearing the finishing line with Sam. My legs are done and attatched, and the belly has been started.

I will say that I am not looking forward to all the grafting left. Those little lamb legs get grafted on to the body. I'm also supposed to graft the belly ribbing closed, but I think I'll do a crochet closure for the belly seam.

So that leaves the feet to knit (one is almost done), the horns and ears to knit and lots of grafting....

...better get to it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Step Forward, Step Back

Sam the Ram is progressing nicely. I'm just about done with the body and I have one leg cuff done.
He's well on his way to being finished by the end of the Olympics. I can't say how much I've enjoyed knitting him. He's definitely a challenge, but so much fun!!! If you've been thinking of knitting him, I say go for it!!!

The Vine Lace socks are an other story. I tried the first sock on yesterday and they don't fit. I'm on gauge, but it's just too small. Now, I have a small foot... at least in length, but I do have a wide foot (I wear a size 5.5W shoe and that wide width is a must). I can barely get it on and even the heel flap seems to stretch weirdly over my heel. So I have two choices... re do the sock (again) on a larger needle or ignore them and work on something else. Right now I'm leaning towards the second option. I'm so ready to get back to Obsession Spring Forward. Or something new... (some new yarn purchased last week is just sitting here beckoning me...).

So I'm going to work on Sam today. Finish the body and get all the legs done, then I might treat myself to a non Olympic project. I should try to get the fronts done on my FLAK so I'm ready to go for the sleeves... hmmm.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Wish It Was Always That Easy...

Sam's butt is all fixed. Now I just have to work on mine...

Also finished up the first Vine Lace sock, but the toes are a little snug, so I'm going to rip back and add a few rows.

Lot's of hockey on today and I'm going to try to finish Sam's body today. Maybe even get the legs done.

Happy Knitting!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Sadly Lacking In Butt Decreasing Skills

Poor Sam, he's being made by someone that really struggles with butt decreasing. If I can't decrease my own, I guess I should've known I wouldn't be able to decrease his properly either.

However, I can live with it. It's certainly not noticable enough for me to frog back to the point that I got off center, then figure out where I am on the different charts.

He is moving along well other than that:

I'm still switching between the socks and Sam. I'm not quite finished with the first sock, so I'll work a bit more on that this evening.

Okay, two posts in one day is enough... back to my knitting (and laundry)

After looking at Sam's butt for a while (yes, I know that doesn't sound right) I'm not so sure I can live with it. The whole idea behind Sam is the challenge and cleverness of the design, including the butt decreases. Honest opinions sought. What should I do?

Another Quickie

No pictures again today, must concentrate on my Knitting Olympics projects.

Olympics Update
The first Vine Lace sock had to be frogged all the way back to the ribbing thanks to reversing the ssk and k2tog. Oops. Looks much better and I'm now on the gusset. Should finish the first one up today.

Then back to Sam the Ram. I did want to get a progress picture, as I'm done with the tail shaping (and I only have the 2nd repeat to do on the body). I'll get one taken today for tomorrow's blog.

Baring any more set backs (which I'm sure I'll have) I should get both projects done by Sunday. Then back to the Obsession Spring Forward.

Other Updates
Our SnB group had an impromptu knit in/yarn crawl on Saturday. A few hours of knitting in the morning then a carpool up to The Mannings. Always fun! I behaved myself and bought some silk regia to make a solid pair of the Vine Lace Socks, some Petticoat so I can make a pair of socks just like Theresa's and some pretty Cotton Fleece , which I'm not sure what I'm going to use it for (probably a cardigan... did you know that all my cardigans are green? and they all clash with my green khaki pants).

Okay, back to lace sock knitting....

Friday, February 17, 2006

Happy Friday!!

Okay, let me just say that we need to explain to spouses that this is The Knitting Olympics and grocercies are not on the schedule. I mean I have knitting to do:

Sleeves fini' and the back started (I decided not to do the body in one piece... that way it will feel "faster" to me)

As promised, once I finished the sleeves (well and after I started the back) I worked with Sam a bit:

Sam and I spent some time working out our problems, including a little change in where some of the cables crossed so that all the cables crossed on the same row. I'm far enough that I can work on 2 circs and eventually I should be able to just work with one (maybe, I sorta like the 2 circs process).

Oh, and the Vine Lace Socks have actually been moving pretty well:

Yesterday I literally watched hockey and knit all day. I took a lunch break, a bathroom break here and there and eventually went to Stitch n Bitch last night (and had a super fab time, as always). Grocercies??? What do you mean we need milk...

Today? um, well the women's hockey games are on... enough said. He knows where the grocery store is...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Just a quicky...

I'm so engrossed in the Olympics and Obsession Spring Forward that I just don't want to stop and take the time to take pictures or update the blog.... but here's where I am:

I'm about 13 rows to go before the ribbing on the second sleeve on Obsession Spring Forward. Once I have that sleeve done, I'm going to tackle Sam the Ram again. I need to pull back, and I need to be very very careful doing that so I don't mess up any more than I have to.

A question from my comments:

Jennifer from Canada said:
I knit Sam last year and loved it. I may do his mate later. What yarn are you using? I'm tempted to join the SFC but have to get yarn first. Love your blog.

Well, I'm using Merino Style DK from KnitPicks and I'm loving it. I'm also using this yarn as a substitute for a 5 ply gansey yarn for Janet Szabo's Lasso Gansey and while I know it's not going to be as durable as a 5 ply, I'm loving the way it's looking.

And since Jennifer from Canada mentioned it, the Obsession Spring Forward KAL is now a Yahoo Groups and you can join here.

Back to hockey and Obsession Spring Forward.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day

I'm still in love....
Even after having to rework 12 rows thanks to a mis-crossed cable. It's fixed and I'm not quite at the halfway point on the second sleeve.

Sam and I are still testing the waters a bit on how much we love each other. He definitely needs a lot of attention. I didn't do my set up rows right, so I'm going to have to re do them. I also see a bumpy road ahead for us... cables in the round. Not my favorite. I'm going to have to do a little preliminary work so I can track my cables a bit better. I find tracking cables in the round more difficult than working back and forth, so I just need to pay better attention.

Nothing much planned for today. Some Olympics, some knitting and a quiet dinner at home. Sounds like a lovely Valentine's day to me!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Short and Sweet

Just a quick update since I had so much yesterday.

Sam is moving along. The spine is done and I've picked up the stitches for the body. Now I just need to set the cable patterns. I definitely can only do this project in stages.

I am also still working on Obsession Spring Forward. The second sleeve is always a bit slower than the first, but even I'm surprised at how quickly it's going.

So a little Sam this morning, followed by a little, okay, maybe a lot, of Obsession Spring Forward.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Picture Day

Well, winter came early, took a break and now is back full force. Sorry the picture is so dark, but it's still snowing. I would say we're over 20" right now. The snow is much finer now, so I'm not sure how much more it's going to accumulate. It was a fun night. My first thunderstorm during a snow storm. Quite a bit of lightening and thunder last night and some nice gale winds.

This is our smart dog, Jake. Jake is smart enough to not go out in the snow.

Gena is a love, but maybe not as mature and experienced as Jake. The snow reaches past her belly (and she's the tall one).

So a warm stew is simmering on the stove. Matt's out trying to blow off the driveway and we'll snuggle in the rest of the day and work on projects.

My training got finished for the Olympics:

Overall, I'm pretty happy with them. They're a little hard to get on, as there's not a lot of stretch in them, but once on, they fit great.

So the decision on the Knitting Olympics was made. I'm going to do Sam the Ram. Sam is a high concentration project. You have to follow both a chart and specific row by row directions. It took me about 18 tries to get the neck set up properly (part of the problem is that I lost my center marker when I frogged back after my first attemp and poor Sam's head wasn't centered.
I'm just about to start his "spine". If I finish him before the Olympics is over, I'll try to finish a pair of lace socks (I did cast one on), but right now I'm switching between Sam and Obsession Spring Forward.

Speaking of such... I've started a Yahoo Groups for the Spring Foward KAL. The tagboard only works well with smallish groups and I think that most people are more comfortable with an email KAL. If you're thinking of knitting this most beautiful sweater, be sure to join us!

Well, back to Sam and women's hockey.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Decision on my Knitting Olympics

I guess I need to settle into a project today, huh? I still can't quite decide what I want to work on. I might try to do both the lace sock and Sam the Ram. We'll see. I'll start the socks today and see if I can crank 'em out nice and fast then work on Sam.

However, I still need to finish my training socks. The second sock is almost done. The body of the sock is finished, just need to add the afterthought heel and weave in ends for both socks.

Since I took that picture, the toe has been grafted closed and I'm currently getting the heel on the needles. I should have them finished this morning.

Don't think I've abandoned Obsession Spring Forward. I finished up the first sleeve yesterday and picked up the stitches for the second.
I don't think I can stop working on this. Especially now that it's going to be "cheating" on my Olympic Knitting... makes it even more appealing.

Well, we're expecting a Nor'easter this weekend. We'll have a nice fire going, watch the Olympics and I'll get knitting! Between 8-12" of snow... winter decided to return with a bang...

Have a great weekend and best of luck to the Olympic Knitters!
Happy Knitting!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Obsession... by Janet Szabo

That's right, it's not a perfume, it's a sweater. I'm so completely obsessed with the Spring Forward that I didn't even bother blogging yesterday.

I'm almost done with the first sleeve.

As you can see, I'm not knitting the sleeves in the round. I really don't like knitting cables in the round. I like having the "wrong" side to knit the knits, purl the purls. It's like a row "off". I also don't mind seaming.

I'm also thinking I'm going to work the body in pieces as well. It's a psycological thing for me. Having the entire body on the needles seems to take sooo long that I don't feel any progress.

Tomorrow starts the Knitting Olympics and I'm still not done with my training (the Jaywalker socks). I could put the Spring Forward down and finish the second sock today. If I wanted to. I'm also thinking that the Spring Forward might become my Olympics knitting.

I'm mostly a process knitter. I enjoy starting things, but once I see what the pattern is going to look like, I lose interest and start something new. This sweater is so completely different (hence I'm on attempt #3). I WANT this sweater. I WANT this sweater RIGHT NOW!!! I want to wear it as soon as possible, so I obsessively knit on it.

So I'm off to knit on Obsession.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What? More Spring Forward Progress??

Yep! I can't seem to put this one down.

I do so love the way this is looking.

So I've started the decreases on the first sleeve and it's all down hill from here. Let's just hope that a: my math is right and b: I don't make them too short (something I seem to do when working top down, yet I make cuff up sleeves too long. Go figure).

That' it. That's all I have to update today. The FLAK installment for the fronts is up and I haven't even looked at the directions. I can't put the Spring Forward down. Well, except to play Riven. It's been so long since I've played it that I don't remember a lot of the solutions, so it's been a lot of fun. (and not having to constantly switch disks is great!!!)

Oh! and the Spring Forward KAL has been busy. There's been a lot of interest in this pattern from other FLAKers, so the tagboard gotten active. It's great to see this pattern getting the props it deserves!!!

May you all find a comfy spot to lay your head.

Monday, February 06, 2006

All Spring Forward, All The Time

It's such a good thing I'm not tired of the Spring Forward, as didn't I have to frog back the right front. Somehow messed up the increases (I'm not used to increasing every row).

However, I did get the fronts finished and I'm ready to pick up the first sleeve.

My other goal for the weekend was to get past the heel for the Jaywalker sock and I was able to do that too. I should have the sock done this week. Probably take it with me tonight for Stitch n Bitch (or Spring Forward)

So Springy and I are spending a lot of time together. I'm in a good rhythm with it and I'm so looking forward to having it done. These weird warm weather days are so spring-like that it's keeping me focused.

Have a good Monday and Happy Knitting!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

More Spring Forward

So, let me ask, is anyone tired of the Spring Forward?
I'm not... and let's not forget this is the third time I've done this section!!!!

Anywho, that's the right front about halfway to the armhole depth. I did add a bit more on the back yesterday before I started the front. No more tight sleeves for me!

I am wondering about the high V neck. That's the pattern as written. My first attempt, I misread the directions and only increased on the right side, but the pattern is actually written to increase each side. I think I like the high V. It will allow me to wear it by itself as a sweater rather than just as a cardigan.

I was planning on doing the same thing with my FLAK and I probably still will, as that one will be a zippered front. Almost jacket like.

In other news, I'm still plugging along on the back of the Checkered Cardi. I even started weaving in some ends on the intarsia blocks. The Jaywalker second sock is slowly progressing. I should still get it done in time to start my Olympic Knitting.

The goal for the weekend? To have the fronts done on the Spring Forward and maybe get past the heel split on the Jaywalker? No problem!!!

Have a Good Weekend (and go Steelers!!!)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Spring Forward Update

I should be at the armhole depth on the back for the Spring Forward. However, since I measured it last night, and I'm notorious for "forcing" my measurements, I'll double check that this morning. I would rather they be a little deeper then not.

I also worked a bit on the Checkered Cardi
I do have some concern about the seed stitch border. I've never had good luck with this style of "ribbing". It always flips on me. Let's hope with the wool content in this, I can block it down.

I also finished Myst V: End of Ages yesterday. I'm very disappointed. First the game was surprisingly short. I mean, really short. Second, I found the puzzles very easy, but the implementation of them difficult. To the point that I had to check a walkthru to make sure I did have the proper solution. The storyline in the Myst game is always intriguing and I did enjoy the story and feel like they've "cleared" up the plot line.

There are so few games that combine good story with good game play. Myst has been one of those over the years (as has any game by Tim Schafer... go buy Psychonauts. Clever, fun and and funny), but many of the best storyline games kinda suck in the gaming department (Oh sweet Legacy of Kain... how I love your soap opera, but slashing and hacking a bunch of vampire hunters gets annoying after about the 100th time).

So on to the next game. Probably back to the Star Wars: Republic Commando (this one was getting irritating. Walk into a room die, figure out what was killing me, kill it, then move forward 4 steps, die, figure out what is killing me, rinse and repeat). I also got Darkwatch for Christmas and that looks promising.

However, I'll probably spend the bulk of today with my knitting. I want to get my Spring Forward front started today.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wednesday Whimseys

Okay, the 'clever' title thing is getting old.

So not much to update today, except that I can't get the #$*&$^ slate to recognize my snake symbol in the $#*^%*#& Myst V: End of Ages game.

Here's the Checkered Cardi start:
One more intarsia repeat on the back, then just the purple the rest of the way. I'm loving the yarns. Both are very nice to work with.

Since I don't have much of my own work to show for the last 2 days, I'm going to steal an idea from Bron's Blog. I'll show you pictures in books! Here's some of the patterns from the Quick Knits to Wear that I'm using for the Checkered Cardi:

This is the main reason I bought the book. I love this tee. I do find the model to be very very disturbing.

I like this one too, but I'll be adding some bust short rows:

This one is really pretty. I can see this in a lot of yarns...

I actually considered this one for the new yarn that I'm using for the Checkered Cardi. I like the stlye, but the green isn't me.

I like this one too:

Not everythink in the book is "me":

Do dogs really need leg warmers?

So that's a handful of patterns from the book that I would be willing to make, so it was a good deal for me.

Oh, I did get 2 or 3 more rows done on the back of the Spring Forward yesterday. At this rate, I'll have it done in 2 years. Actually, once I'm done with the Myst game, the knitting will pick up again. (I even knew when I installed it that it would become my focus).

It's laundry day so I can play/knit and still feel productive! I also have to say that even after 10 years of being in our house, I am still thankful for my own washer and dryer. No laudrymats! Yeah!!!!!

Happy Knitting!