Friday, June 30, 2006

Scoop is Done

Well, the Scoop du Jour is finished and I'm sort of "eh" about it. I guess it's more that it's not a very exciting project. This year I've finished a lot of really fun knits, and this one was quite frankly, boring. There are things about it that I like, and some things I'm not thrilled with. I'm sure I'll wear it a lot, but I don't have the same passion for it as I did say this (man, I love that sweater).

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like the Scoop, it's just not a "wow, that was a great project, I'm going to love wearing this sweater" project.

Here's the project stats:

Pattern: Scoop du Jour by Bonne Marie Burns (ChicKnits)
Yarn: TLC Cara Mia
Problems with the pattern: the pattern seemed okay. This was my first Chic Knits pattern, as just like any author, one must get used to their style of writting. The problems I had were more from assumptions on my part than with the pattern.
Changes to the pattern: the only thing I did was shorten the sleeves 2" and I could've shortened them an other inch. I know I'm short, but that seems a bit much, even for me. I would warn anyone making this pattern to check the sleeve length. I'm going to have to wear this cuffed (as you can see in the photo).
Overall impressions: Not a bad project. Fairly simple to knit. I made some amateur type mistakes when knitting this that annoy me. As I said in an earlier post, when a style is this simple, those little things are much more noticable. The picked up stitches around the neckline (and thanks to whomever left me the comment about using a crochet slip stitch... I'm going to try that next time) still aren't as neat as I would like. I goofed on my consistancy with my cast on edge (which isn't something I normally do). Those little details are very noticable to me, but not enough to really make me fix them.

So all in all, not a bad project. The yarn is very yummy and cozy. I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear from it. I may not have that elated "yeah the sweater is done!" kind of feeling, but it's good to have it finished.

So now what you may ask... well first, the repairman is coming today. Hopefully I'll have an oven by the end of the day (I'm amazed on how much I use it... I didn't realize). As far as knitting goes, in my usual post project maliase, I'll probably pull out some projects and fiddle around until one "speaks" to me.

I'm still plugging away on the Landscape Shawl, but I'm going to have to find longer needles pretty soon. Now I just need to figure out what else I want to work on. Suggestions always welcomed (but not necessarily followed!)

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sometimes you just need to sleep on it

I'm not quite done with Scoop du Jour. I finished seaming it up yesterday and got the buttonbands done. I then tried to pick up the stitches for the neckband.

I struggle a lot with this. This is the thing that I really really don't do well with my knitting. Part of it is how I do my edges and part of it is the actual picking up of the stitches.

So after the first attempt, I ripped it out as it looked really sloppy and I had holes. The second was better, but I still wasn't happy. This sweater is simple, so neatness counts. I continued along and debated if I wanted to keep going. I even thought about doing the band seperately then sewing it on...

However, I put it down last night, and it's not as bad this morning as I thought it was. So I'll go ahead and finish up the band today.

I will also add that I'm not thrilled with my button placement. The directions were a bit vague here (just the usual place 5 buttonholes evenly spaced kinda thing). This isn't actually true, as there are 6 buttons, with the top one on the neckband. So the top two buttons are closer together than the rest of 'em. I'm trying to convince myself this is a design feature (and I browsed thru a lot of finished Scoops around the web, and it's a pretty common thing to see). So I'll try to live with it...

Anyway, it will be done today.

Just need to finish up the neckband, weave in the rest of the ends and sew on the buttons.

Then I get to work on something else. Woo-Hoo!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Scoop du Jour

I got the left front of Scoop du Jour fixed yesterday. I actually had to frog down to where the sleeve shaping started, as that's where I had added the extra inch. I did pick up the first button band yesterday, but wasn't happy with how it looked, so ripped it out and decided to go ahead and seam it all up (I was going to put the sleeves in after I finished the bands)

One sleeve in and just need to put in the second. Then the bands, some weaving in ends, a bit more blocking and she will be done!

I knew that this was going to be a comfy sweater. I tried it on after I got the sleeve in and yum! I'm still a bit concerned about the sleeve length. I'm not sure shortening 2" was enough. We'll see how it fits after the neckband in on.

Matt's on vacation the rest of the week (he was going to be doing a stage race up in MA, but his roommate had to cancel and it would be too expensive to do it on his own). He's hoping to get some chores done around the house... the stuff that he used to do on weekends before he started racing. I'm hoping we can also sneak in some fun things too!

Off to the grocery store (ugh) then back to Scoop!!!
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Well, at least the house didn't burn down

Our neighborhood got hit with a powerful power surge yesterday. Apart from 3 surge protectors and the $1600 oven, we were very lucky not to take much damage. Of course the oven is the most expensive appliance in my house (aren't we lucky?). However, the surge protectors did their job and apart from the acidic burning smell and an arcing outlet, we were very very lucky.

We're hoping that the oven is fixable. We'll call in a repairman and see what can be done. Fingers crossed. I'm a bit tired of buying new appliances. It's a new dishwasher that I want... not a new cooktop (December), dryer (May), phone (April). Let's not even talk about Matt's hope for a power tap...

So half the day yesterday was spent with out power. Not very productive.

I did frog back the Scoop to where I need to fix the neckline. I just need to actually do it. I've also been trying to block open the ribbing and not with much success. Wet blocking did an okay job. Yesterday I tried a steam block (before I lost power) and I don't think I steamed it enough, so I'm trying it again.

I'm not sure I'm going to like the cardigan if I can't get the ribbing to stay open. I want it to be boxy, not a snug fit around my hips and waist. We'll see. I'm trying to stay optimistic, but I'm thinking I should've used a nice blockable wool rather than the Cara Mia.

Well, off to fix the neckline on Scoop! Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Beautiful Monday!

Well, okay, not really. It's raining like a muther out there, it's dark, dreary, windy and just generally krappy!

The weekend was a busy one here as Matt had a race on Saturday (now there's a surprise, eh?) and his buddy Jim moved. The race was messy. Very messy. The rain and horse poo make for a very messy and gross race (ah the joys of racing thru Amish country). Matt had a nice high finish... until he got slammed from behind by an other rider. Luckily Matt stayed upright (he only seems to go down in the parking lot... it's a running joke actually) and kept a 12th place finish. Disappointing, yet impressive at the same time.

Then off to move Jim, his 5 basses and 6 bikes (he didn't want to load them into the moving van). Matt spent all day Sunday moving. In the rain.

I did get a lot of knitting done at the race, as I decided to watch from the car (did I mention the rain?). I was able to finish up the second sleeve on the Scoop du Jour. Woo-hoo! I was already to block it today, until I noticed that one front neck shaping is almost an inch longer than the other. (insert favorite curse word here, I probably used it). So I've got to frog back the one front a bit and re do the neck shaping. No biggie, but I was so thrilled to have it ready to block!!

I'm also still plugging away here and there on the Landscape Shawl. I am going to need 36" circ needles. Now I just need to find a project that I'm using them on.

I had to frog back the short row heel on the latest Jaywalker socks. I have a terrible time with the double short row. If I lose one stitch, I'm lost (and picking up those wraps with my tight tension is a real challenge). So I'm going back to the traditional heel on them. Eventually.

Now that Scoop is nearing the finish line, I'm starting to think about what's next. Something brand new? An abandoned UFO? Hmmmm... I'll have to play with some ideas while Scoop is blocking.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Great Valley Thursday Night Training Crit

In case you hadn't noticed, I'm following Matt to a lot of his bike rides right now. Basically, it's the best way to spend time with him. The team is also looking for a sponser for next season and we're trying to get some photos for promotion (if you know anyone looking to sponser a strong local race team, let me know).

So the latest Jaywalker sock and I headed off to watch the local training crit last night. What a great group of guys. Jaywalker and I had a lovely time, even if it was a bit warm.

I was able to get to the heel last night, and I decided to do a short row heel. We'll see how it goes. It's easy to change if it ends up not working.

Yesterday I spent most of the day on the Scoop du Jour and the first sleeve is just about done. I had hoped to finish it up, but I have maybe 10 more decrease rows (meaning about 20 more rows). Right now I'm concerned that shortening the sleeves 2" wasn't enough.

This weekend is a busy one: a race on Saturday and our friend Jim is moving into his first house this weekend. So it doesn't look like Scoop will be done this weekend... hopefully by next weekend!

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Boring Progress Pictures

Today is not the best day to get decent pictures. It looks like we've got a bit of a storm about to hit, so it's dark out... really dark out. So I had to do my photo shoot under very unnatural light.

First up: The Landscape Shawl. I figure I'm almost 1/3 done (going by how much yardage I've used compared to what the pattern calls for)

I've hit the point where I can't spread it over the length of my needles. I'm hoping I can keep the shawl on the 24" needles, but I'm guessing I'm going to eventually have to move it to 36".

The other project is the Scoop du Jour. I'm still plugging along on the first sleeve:

I needed to shorten the sleeves from the written pattern (ya, like that's a surprise) and I decided to just take it out of the ribbing. I wasn't real keep on the long ribbing on the sleeves anyway. 4" seems just fine to me and made for an easy shortening technique.

So the pictures are bad, but the knitting is going at a nice clip.

Today's plans include a quick grocery run (which I hate to do in the rain) and if it's not raining, I'll go with Matt to his training ride tonight to get some pictures.

Maybe I'll try to get that first sleeve done on Scoop?
Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Not much to report... about knitting, that is

I'm still plugging away on the Landscape Shawl and the Scoop du Jour. I still think I can get Scoop done by Sunday. We'll see. It's been an interesting week and I've got a busy weekend coming up.

I went shopping with my friend Betty yesterday. Always enjoy shopping with her, as we have similar tolerance (basically we kill time until we can go out for lunch). However, I did get the new sheets sets that I needed and a few fun things for me. The highlight, however was that our waiter was a dead ringer for Derek Jeter. I actually did a double take. Hmmm, anyone want to hit the local Ruby Tuesdays soon?

One of Matt's teammates crashed last night during their training ride. Compound fracture of the clavical. It's always very sobering and Tom has not had a good season this year (he broke his pelvis back in February during a training ride). Sadly, Tom skipped the Iron Hill Crit to avoid injury as he and his wife are (were?) planning a second honeymoon. All riders are at risk for these kinds of serious injuries, and it seems unfair that Tom's been dealt two bad blows this year.

I've got a few things to take care of today and dinner with our friends, so I'm not sure how much progress I'll have to show for tomorrow.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Back to the Knitting

Whew, what a busy weekend.

As I said yesterday, I did take some knitting with me, but only knit during the Pieffer Hill Race. I got a lot done on my Scoop du Jour. As a matter of fact, the back and both fronts are done. The first sleeve is cast on.

The color is a bit brighter than the actual sweater (it's a much dustier blue).

This is the back after blocking. I think I'm going to have to do a light steam block, as I want the ribbing to be a bit more open.

The other knitting I got done:

The Landscape Shawl is back to where I had to frog. Right now this is a fun knit, but I'm guessing as I add one stitch every row, that it's eventually going to become very tedious. However, it's just what I wanted. The drape on the fabric is fabulous. It's denser than most shawls (not much lace in it) so it will add a little warmth for when I need it on those early chilly mornings.

So those are what I seem to be working on right now. I think I can Scoop done in the next couple of days... let's hope. Sleeves can be a bit of a challenge for me. I'm already thinking about the next "main" project since it's so close to being done.

Have a great Monday and Happy Knitting!!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A Rare Sunday Post... and it's not about knitting

Yesterday was one beautiful, busy day for us, and I wanted to share.

As most readers know, my husband does bike racing. It's a bit of an addiction (there's even been a discussion about an intervention...)

I tagged along yesterday so I could get some pictures, and while they might not be about knitting, there's still some beautiful scenery:

We started the day bright and early and headed up to Sevens, PA (hmmm, some of my SnBer's might recognize the town... as we weren't that far from the Yarn Store on the Farm). This is serious Pennsylvania Dutch territory, and the local Mennonites turned out for the race. Here's Matt's race just as they were getting ready to start.

And they're off to ride the roads in beautiful Lancaster County:

These gentlemen were standing behind me commenting on the race in Pennsylvania Dutch (a local language that's a combination of German and English).

Here's Matt (the one in the beard) and his teammate working hard. Both had a great finish in the top 10!

Then back home, fuel up, shower and nap before he warmed up for the Iron Hill Twilight Crit:

Here's the race just about to start.

I would say that less than half the guys finished the crit. Crits are short 4 corner races... think NASCAR on a bike. 33 laps with sharp turns and some racers that shouldn't have been in the race made for a messy, dangerous ride (with speeds averaging between 25-30 MPH).

However, the Iron Hill team did their sponser proud (being the title sponser of the race) and had 2 in the top 20:

Yep, that's Matt. He finished 18th, which for a Crit is a fabulous finish for him (Crits are for the strong sprinters, not the tiny climbers).

So that was my day. I did knit during the Pieffer Hill race, but the Crit is hard to do that... the laps are short and I was nervous the whole race (did I mention there were a lot of crashes?)

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Good, The Bad, and the Usual

The good?
The camera is usable. The on/off button is a little wonky, but the problem was battery related and Matt fixed it. (woo-hoo)

The bad?
The Landscape Shawl had two mistakes on the edge increases.

Ya, I know you can't see them... that's why I missed them myself until I was showing Matt how the increases worked (ya, like he cares, but he feigns interest so well).

The usual?
A froggin' we do go. I ripped back to where I messed up the increase. Man, that's a lot of knitting gone.

I confess I didn't start a new project yesterday. Not from a lack of looking... I spent a lot of time browsing patterns and fingering stash. I ended up working on my Scoop du Jour. The right (or left... never remember) is past armhole shaping and she's moving right along. The stockinette stitch sorta bores me, but this is going to be one high wear sweater. I love the color, love the style and the yarn is sooo soft and cuddly. It's keeping me motivated to work on it.

Matt has a full schedule of racing this weekend, including his team sponsor's crit. I'll be tagging along and working on a sock while cheering on my boys.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hope you enjoyed the pictures...

as the camera has to go back.

What a piece of junk. I'm not thrilled with how this camera has worked from the beginning: to have it break within 6 months of purchase, the length of time it took them to fix it. Then to send it back with a different problem. They replaced the optical unit, but somehow managed to mangle the on/off button.

When it came back and I tried to turn it on, it wouldn't work, but I assumed the batteries were dead. I changed batteries and messed around with it a bit, and it did eventually turn on.

Today it won't turn on at all-and those batteries are obviously brand new. Looking at the on/off button, I can tell it's wonky.

So dear Canan, this might be a DOA as far as I'm concerned.

Sadly, Matt chose this camera due to it's high customer reviews. However, I wouldn't give this camera any kind of positive reviews.

So my day isn't starting on a good foot. As not only am I having the camera issues, I was showing Matt the increases on the Landscape shawl this morning and I found two errors. Errors that are going to have to be fixed. That's a lot of knitting to undo and I'm not happy about it.

Okay, that's it, I'm casting on something new.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Yay! Pictures!

Gena is thrilled to have the camera back.

So let's see what I've been working on:

I did get the increases all done for the left side of my FLAK... now I just need to finish up to the armhole depth then match the other side...

The Landscape Shawl (in Naturespun fingering weight) is moving along. I'm about to start the next section.

Yet an other pair of Jaywalker socks. This is the Artyarns Ultramerino4 yarn. Yum.

Here's the basketweave sock in the Opal Cotton yarn. It's done with the expection of the afterthought heel. I'll wait until the other sock is done (as I'm at the perfect spot in the colors to start the second sock).

None of my other projects are picture worthy right now. As you can tell, I'm a bit restless with my projects. Still can't seem to quite settle into a "main" project since completing the Rose Leaf Pullover. It happens.

I even cast on a new project yesterday... for Matt. He's been whining requesting a simple ribbed pullover. We had decided on a yarn-Classic Elite's Lana D'oro-but I couldn't find the pattern that I wanted. A simple top down raglan sweater done in 2X2 rib. Okay, I did find the pattern, but I didn't want to buy the kit. So I did a little math, crossed my fingers and cast it on. I did some short rows for a little neck shaping, and so far, so good. The yarn is lovely to knit with, but I'm so not looking forward to the body and all that 2X2 rib over and over and over again. However, it's something he really really wants, so I hope I can stick with it (and it works out... I am math challenged).

So yay, the camera is back, let's hope that it last longer than 6 months before it breaks down again.

A little grocery shopping today and a little knitting planned.
Happy Knitting!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

One more day... I swear!

There was a little miscommunication between what Canon considers "2-day shipping" and what FedEx considers "2-day shipping". FedEx is scheduled to deliver my camera today, so no pictures again today.

So let's discuss my comments from yesterday :D

jenknits asked me where I bought the Opal Cotton yarn. Well, I actually got this yarn by "accident" so to speak. I put a bid on 8 skeins (one of each color) on ebay because the price was so good. I assumed someone would outbid me (since the price was so good). Nope. I won the auction. It came from Germany and had excellent service. Here's a link to the ebay store.

Kristen: I can't wait to get pictures of these projects too! I know I know, I do have the old camera, but the picture quality is pretty low and it's a long process to download, convert, etc with that camera. Tomorrow (let's hope, right?). Oh, and I guess I should mention that I'm also working on the Landscape Shawl. My kind of shawl: not lace (heehee).

Liz: I swear FedEx has a "black list". Once you make any kind of complaint, they give poor service. The thing that bothers us the most is the out right blatent lies. We had an issue with a driver not waiting for us to get to the door, so I called (he was just leaving my driveway, but they "have no way to contact their drivers so he couldn't turn around"... blatent lie #1) they said it would be delivered the next day (blatent lie #2) even tho' it was New Year's Eve. Well, we waited all day New Year's Eve, and called at 7:00 pm to find out if it was still going to be delivered (we had a party to go to). They responded that they had until end of the day (12:00am) to deliver (blatent lie #3). So we asked our neighbor's to watch for the truck. We got home, no delivery attempt had been made. We called again and they said it was still scheduled to be delivered (it's now almost 11:30 pm) (blatent lie #4). After thinking about this... it's New Year's Eve... 11:30 pm... are they really still trying to make deliveries... so we called again. After the usual "we have until the end of the day to make deliveries" "we have no way to contact the driver" etc, Matt asked if they even knew where the truck was... why yes, they did... it was in the depot. The driver wasn't out making deliveries. So basically they spent all day lying to us so they could hold us hostage. That's just one of the long dramas of dealing with them (the woman who didn't even ring the bell, then was surprised when I came out "oh you are home" is a whole other saga).

Basically FedEx doesn't want to do home delivery. They don't wait for you to come to the door. If they even bother knocking.

Okay, that's my rant for the day :D

Let's talk knitting!

Not much new to report. As I mentioned, I'm working on some gift knitting, the Jaywalker socks and I spent some time on the Landscape Shawl yesterday. I must admit that I need to add a cabled project to my rotation. It's odd for me not to have something cabled in rotation. I might take a gander at what I have... the FLAK is handy, but I'm at the Vneck increases and that's not my favorite part... plus it's mid June and a warm wool sweater seems odd to be working on right now. However, once those fronts are done, I should be more excited about it (but why in the world did I decide to add bobbles?-oh, ya, because I think they look cool.)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Coming Soon: Pictures!!!

Well, Canon finally decided to send my camera back to me. I "should" receive it today. It's coming FedEx with a signature required on it... which means they put a notice on the door, but don't bother knocking (we've had "issues" with FedEx and their drivers not waiting for anyone to answer... and the last time she didn't even get out of the truck. I literally had to flag her down and got the "oh, you are home"...ya, maybe next time you should try knocking... hrumph).

Anyway, let's do a quick catch up of what I'm working on:

The Scoop du Jour didn't block as well as I had hoped. A simple wet block ain't gonna keep that ribbing open. I'm going to try a steam block and hope that works. I don't normally block pieces as I go, but getting that ribbing to lay open is key to the design and I want to make sure I can do it before I continue (tho' the left front is cast on and about 4" into the ribbing).

The Opal Cotton basketweave socks are still moving along. The first one is done minus the afterthought heel. I've cast on the second, but that's as far as I got.

I started a pair of Jaywalker socks in the Artyarns ultramerino4 that Kathy and I bought on a little excurtion to a LYS. Don't worry, I'll have pictures of it tomorrow (let's hope). They are lovely and the yarn is scrumptious!!!

I played around with some mosiac knitting over the weekend. I'm going to have to do an afghan for us with this technique. Fun!!!

Saturday was a really long, tiring day for me. I did my duty and KIP'd in three different locations. Matt had a time trial in Philadelphia Saturday morning. His start time was 7:11 am, so I tagged along (meaning I was up before 5:00am). I knit on the new Jaywalker in front of the art museum while cheering my boys of the Iron Hill race team while they battled the strong head wind. We then drove back and I met the gals in Downingtown for a little KIPping, then we headed up to Lancaster County to hit the Yarn Store on the Farm. She's retiring and closing the store down. 30% off (or more) everything in the store. I did some damage... mostly patterns/magazines, but I did end up with 3 skeins of Lorna's Laces Butterfly and Bullfrog yarn. Lovely... not sure what to do with it?

I've been on a pattern spending spree. I spent part of Sunday reorganizing my patterns, books, and magazines. Geez, there's a lot of stuff I want to knit! Better get cracking!

Well, I think I might go grab a lawn chair and my knitting and go sit in my driveway so I don't miss the FedEx driver...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Progress Update

Still no camera. I'm waiting very impatiently at this point. I'm not impressed with this camera. First, for it to stop working within 6 months of purchase, and the extremely slow turn around for the repair. Compared to my computer, it's been almost twice as long...

Anyway, I've been doing some obligation knitting (and Matt's dangling Ratchet and Clank 3 as my carrot... he knows if I get it now I'll never finish what I need to finsh. Smart man).

I'm also moving along on the Scoop du Jour. I actually finished the back and blocked it yesterday. I wanted to make sure the Cara Mia would block well, as that bottom ribbing really needs to open up. So far so good. I also have the first half of the front cast on and plugging away on the ribbing. Having half the width sure does make it go faster.

So a little of this, a little of that is the plan for today. Some new sock yarn purchased this week needs to be put in a ball so I can swatch it... probably for the Jaywalker's? Hmmmm... just not enough time in the day.

Have a great weekend... and be sure to KIP tomorrow!!!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Tired of the old camera

Still waiting for my camera to come back from Cannon. So the krappy pictures continue.

First thanks to everyone that left me such nice comments about the Rose Leaf Pullover. Let me say that I wore it yesterday and it's just what I wanted... with one minor flaw. Handwashing. I'm sooo lazy about sweater care. If it were machine wash/dryable it would be perfect. However, it's pretty enough to be worth the work of handwashing (and trust me: Cotton Fleece is not machine washable. Been there, done that).

As with any completion of a project, I always flounder a bit with what to concentrate on. So I spent Tuesday just sort of cycling from project to project until something struck my fancy. I found two that seem to hit the bill.

One is the recent start with the Crystal Palace Deco Ribbon. I'm using a pattern from the Summer 1999 issue of Knitter's. I was halfway done with the front, but it was way off on gauge and it was too stiff... so up a needle size and here's the result:

It's a fast knit, but I've changed some of the design features a bit. There's a garter section that I just didn't like, so I ripped back and tried it with st. st. Didn't like that. Now I'm just continuing the slip stitch pattern and we'll see how that goes.

I'm not 100% sure it's me, but the colors are so pretty and it's such a fast knit that I'm going to finish it and decide after it's done.

The other project that I ended up working on is my Scoop du Jour:

This falls into the catagory: not fun to knit (yawn), but I know I'll get a lot of wear from it. I'm at the back neck shaping. It's just plain boring st. st. Not my idea of fun. The yarn (Cara Mia) is so soft to work with, and I'm keeping the finished sweater as my goal. Even if I only work on it while taking a break from more complex projects, I know I'm going to love this sweater.

I'm also still working on a couple of pairs of socks: Matt's Retro Rib sock, which is too short in the toe, so I've got to frog that back and add about a half inch or so to the toe, and I'm still working on the Opal Cotton sock.

Lot's to do so I'm off! Thanks again for all the comments on the Rose Leaf Pullover.

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rose Leaf Pullover

I did finish up the seaming/weaving in ends last night at SnB. Theresa was kind enought to get a picture of me modeling it:

Here's the obligatory "deck photo":
(click to get a larger view)

Project Info:

Pattern: Rose Leaf Pullover (that's not an official name)
Pattern source: Paton's leaflet Great Inspirations
Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Provincial Rose
Needles: size 4 (3.5 mm) and 6 (4.0 mm)
Problems with the pattern: none that I found
Changes to the pattern: Well, apart from my usual yarn change (the pattern was designed using Paton's Paridiso Cotton... not a fun yarn to knit with), I reversed one of the lace/moss stitch patterns so they mirrored.
Overall Impressions/Notes: This was a great project. I had started this pattern back at my heaviest with the Paton's Paridiso yarn. It was a nightmare to knit with. It was taking me forever. As I lost weight, I realized that a: that it wasn't going to fit any longer and b: I knew I would never finish it as I hated knitting with the yarn. The Cotton Fleece worked out beautifully. Much nicer to knit with and I just love the color (I have yet to get a good photograph of the color- I had to do some manipulation this morning to even get close!) I see this getting a lot of wear: a nice weight sweater, not too warm, not too cool. A good "between seasons" pullover in a nice bright cheery color.

So that's done, now what? Well, the Deco Ribbon vest isn't working out. It's stiff and too small. I think I'll restart it on a larger needle, as I do like the pattern a lot. I have a couple of things started that I want to move into the "priority" project, but I'll have to see what strikes my fancy... I'll keep ya posted!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Update Monday

I promise that I'll have pictures by the end of the week. I should get my camera back at some point this week. Fingers crossed.

Plus I really need it. I'll have a finished project to show!!!!

The Rose Leaf Pullover should be finished either today or tomorrow. The last sleeve was cast off yesterday and I've sewn the shoulders together. Just need to do the neckband, seam it then weave in the ends. I think this is going to get a lot of use. A nice 3 season style sweater and I love the color.

The color has been interesting. The yarn is Cotton Fleece in Provencial Rose. I've seen this yarn since I bought my batch, but for some reason it looks nothing like the one I bought. My color is a bright, dusty rose. The other's I've seen seem dustier, maybe even a little duller. Weird. I know that dye lots change, but this one almost seems like the other dye lots are actually a different color. Either way, I loooove the color I bought and I'm thrilled with how the sweater is coming. Pictures soon (let's hope!)

Matt's Retro Ribbed Socks are half way done. I just have to graft the toe closed on the first sock. I think I'll have him try it on just to make sure it's long enough. If not, they'll fit me (heehee).

Hmmm, other knitting? Well I cast on the Landscape Shawl in some Brown Sheep Naturespun fingering weight. My kind of shawl. Rosie had one and I put it on and I loved the drape. It's also not real lacey so it should keep me a little warm on those cool mornings.

I also cast on a vest from an old Knitter's magazine (summer 99). It's called "Directional Points" and originally used Adrifil's Ibiza. Well, I had purchased a couple of balls of Crystal Palace's Deco-Ribbon and it's substituting well. Should be a fast knit.

It was like finding a whole bunch of new patterns when I was looking for that pattern. Back in 99, I couldn't wear a lot of the designs due to weight issues. Now that I can, I found some really pretty things that I never really paid attention to because the sizing wasn't right. My "To Do" list may be getting even longer!

Well, I'm going to concentrate on the Rose Leaf Pullover today. I have Stitch n Bitch tonight and I'll take it with me, as it's a great time to weave in ends.

Happy Knitting!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Let's Talk Stash!!!!

Okay, this is a regular subject I see brandied about on knitting blogs. "I'll never knit all the yarn in my stash" "I have too much yarn" (of course, we know there's no such thing). "I must use up some of my stash before I can buy more yarn".

I think the problem is that most people don't understand that knitting and yarn collecting are actually two seperate hobbies. They are related, and most people that knit also collect yarn.

I've never heard someone that collects baskets say "oh, I'll never use all my Longaberger baskets". Of course not, because the idea behind Longaberger baskets is to collect them. Why can't we do the same thing with yarn?

I get the same pleasure buying yarn for my stash as someone that collects any other item. I know comic book collectors, Longaberger basket collectors, Hummel collectors and even spouse collectors. I like buying yarn simply for the sake of having it. To display it, to touch it, and yes, maybe even to knit it. Okay especially to knit it. I love planning what I can do with a yarn. Choosing colors/patterns/needles, etc is one of the reasons I knit. I like the idea of the practicallity of my hobby- turning something I've bought into something useful.

So embrace your yarn stash collection just as any collector would. Display it. Catalogue it. Rearrange it. It's a collection.

Oh, and yarn doesn't need to be dusted.

Friday, June 02, 2006

TGI June

It's been an interesting week for me. As many of you know, Joan had some pretty serious surgery last week. She was released from the hospital over the weekend and then she would be home alone during the day. So I went up to stay with her for a few days to keep her company. We had a lovely visit (tho' she is still in a lot of pain.) I was planning on staying until today.

Alas, we had a minor disaster at home, and we thought it best for me to come investigate.

During the night, a seal broke on our toilet in the master bathroom. It flooded very very quickly. Matt said he woke up to the sound of a jet engine. Basically it was all the water pressure hitting the side of the tub. It proceded to flow down into the powder room below then into the family room.

It could be worse. It could be A LOT worse in fact. Matt was able to shut the water off very quickly and limit the damage. The powder room is going to have to be gutted, but it needed some work anyway.

As Julie said, it's good thing the dryer broke before the flooding so we could dry all those towels.

May was a very expensive month for us (MDS&W didn't help, btw). I'm now on a strict yarn diet. Which is probably good, as I have some things I really want to get to.

I did get the second sleeve started on the Rose Leaf Pullover and I'm on the second repeat. I'm hoping to get it done this weekend. I'll be casting on something new after I finish this one up. I have so much pretty new things that are calling to me.

Oh and camera update: the problem falls under warrenty and I should have it back next week (hopefully).

So the weekend will be spent mostly with Matt racing (he's got a race on Saturday and Sunday this weekend) and maybe a little tile/drywall removal. Oh, did I mention he still has to finish the deck addition? It just never ends!

I'm off to do what I do best: ignore the problems and knit.

Happy Knitting!