Thursday, August 31, 2006

Still just a little unfocused...

and not just with my pictures.

I'm definitely having issues concentrating on just one project right now. I'm working a few rows here and there on a bunch of different things.

Matt's Natural Beauty Fair Isle is split for the armholes.

The Landscape Shawl is still slowly progressing one or two rows a day.

I've made a little progress on some gifts.

The Shoalwater Shawl is looking sharp:

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I have to admit that I'm just sort of floundering a bit. Normally that an indication to cast on something new, but even that's not appealing to me. So I'll just work here and there on some things until I can get obsessed with a project. Meanwhile, I'll do some laundry and try to get some progress done on these projects.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Why I love knitting for Matt

I'm slowly trudging along on the Natural Beauty Fair Isle. Let's not forget that this is attempt #3. I'm a wee bit bored with the garter rib pattern (and the humidity issues of the last couple of days hasn't been condusive to knitting with wool). It seems endless. I swear I kept measuring and measuring and it was still 15" long (I was shooting for 16" before I split for the armholes.

Okay, let's do a body check. Ya, that 15" is just fine (hmmm, maybe that why it wouldn't get any longer) for Matt's height. The second attempt of this sweater I went too far... way too far. It was the day I met Rosie for the first time and we sat and chatted and knit and chatted and knit, and I knit too far.

Matt doesn't like his sweaters too long. It's a height thing. While longer sweaters look great on big guys, they look ill fitting on the more compact man. So it's ready to split:

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The other current project that's moving along well is the Landscape Shawl. I had an issue with a yarn over so frogged back a couple of rows, but everything is fine and dandy now.

Today is a trip to the dentist. Should get a little knitting done there.
Happy Knitting

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Still nothing to see here...

... but this time it's not camera related.

I spent all day yesterday on gift projects, so not only can I not show progress pictures, I also can't talk about what I did.

Yep that's right, the summer is winding down, fall is approaching and before you know it, Christmas will be here. I don't do a lot of gift making, as my experience is that it's not worth the work. (my favorite is the reason why Na Craga sits in a closet: it's too nice to wear around the house, but it's too warm to wear out). So I'm very particular to only make projects for people that I think are going to appreciate (and use) my handmade gift. This list is fairly short. I also usually don't do surprise knitting. I want the recipient to like the project (and in case you're wondering: Na Craga was not a surprise. The pattern and yarn choice was approved before I started knitting it). Matt always knows what his hand knit sweaters (or more likely vests) are going to be. He always signs off on the yarn and pattern, and I work on it in front of him.

So I'll still have progress to report on my own projects (and the Natural Beauty Fair Isle will hopefully be done before Christmas for Matt), but I do want to get my gift knitting done, so I'm not all stressed out in November.

Off to the grocery store today (woo.hoo.)
Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Just needed more coffee?

I got the pictures off the memory card:
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I feel so organized! Now here's the problem... Do I really think I need all those sweaters?

Nothing to see here

I've just spent the last hour trying to get my camera/memeory card/photoshop to talk to each other. They've decided that I really need to be annoyed this early in the morning and won't co operate. So no pictures. This camera has been such a disappointment. An other camera is not in the budget.

Which is a shame as I had pretty pictures of my stash room. I spent yesterday cleaning out my cloest (good bye ill fitting clothes) and re organizing my yarn stash.

The main reason is that my Garnet got sun faded. Severly (if my ^%*^$@# camera worked, I'd show ya). I'll try over dyeing it, but I needed to move things around a bit as I don't want anything in that much sun.

Ironically, the re arrangement gave me much more room for my stash. Which I took advantage of. I have a very scary amount of yarn. I have about 5 pieces of clothing now hanging in my closet, but boy, do I have yarn!

That's going to change (well, I still will have a lot of yarn), but my hobby money is going to go to clothes. I simply need more than what I have. When I was a professional recluse and only left the house to go to the grocery store, one pair of jeans, sweatpants and Flyers jerseys were just fine. I'm going out more and need things to go with my hand knit sweaters. I'll make some, but I also will have to do some more shopping.

The camera thing is always a bad way to start off the day (I get easily frustrated, especially when something doesn't work for no apparent reason), but I've got lots of fun things to work on today. I'm not sure if I'm going to sew or knit (it's really really muggy today and that might be a deciding factor).

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 25, 2006

More on Sewing

My playdate with Julie and Ann was great. Since both sew, I was able to get some feedback on the wrap dress (remember Matt's only feedback was "it looks frumpy on you"). I didn't think the style was right for me (I have a very "shapely" figure) and thought it was the tie around the middle that made the dress look frumpy. However, it does come back to poor adjustment on the shoulder area. I thought I had done enough, but my shoulders are more narrow than expected.

While I've done considerable amount of custom sewing in the past (5 wedding dresses to my credit).. it's much harder to custom fit on yourself. You can't get accurate measurements, and sometimes your own prececption can be a drawback. As with all of us, what used to work for me on my adjustments, doesn't anymore.

So basically I'm going to try the dress again, drop down two sizes and adjust for my ample bust line. The pattern is so clever, easy to construct and should be simple to alter. The problem is... summer is just about over, do I need a sun dress right now? (however I might pop back to the store to get more of the fabric to retry the top section, why make the skirt again?

The other thing that Ann, Julie and I discussed was my fabric choice. I used a 100% cotton print. Not a lot of drape. It might work better in a drapier fabric. Oh well, I haven't given up yet! Quite frankly the dress was a lot of fun to make and I'm more than willing to give it an other try.

Ya, let's talk some knittin'

Nothing really to report. Gena decided that the row counter on my Shoalwater made for a really tasty chew toy and destroyed it and the Addi's that I was using. So off to Olde Peddler's Wools in Morgantown to replace them (and get an other set.. I am still working on the Landscape Shawl). I love shopping at Olde Peddler's Wool. Darlene is a delight and we end up talking more about biking than knitting. How great is a yarn store that you can talk about knitting, biking and across the street you can get soft serve ice cream. Life can be good, folks, that's for sure. (It doesn't hurt that I was shopping with Theresa and Lauren too. So much fun!)

I've got some chores to take care of today, but hope to spend some time knitting. Maybe a few more rows on the Shoalwater? Measure Matt's Natrual Beauty Fair Isle to see if I can split for the armholes yet? Cast on the Sunrise Circle Jacket again? Oh decisions decisions decisions....

Happy knitting!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Step Away From the Sewing Machine...

I spent yesterday finishing up a simple and clever pattern:
The fit was pretty close to being accurate (the shoulders are still a little too wide on me. I've got some fine tuning to do there). However the big problem? It looks horrible on me. I showed it to Matt and he was like "eh, not very flattering on you".

I also had to use my back up sewing machine (everyone has more than one sewing machine, right?). My "high end" machine just doesn't work well. Granted it was a floor model and probably has way too many miles on it, but the tension just "goes" on it every once in a while. I can't fix it and the repair shop fix seems to be only temperary. My cheap heavy duty "who cares if I break it" machine (I bought it so I could hem jeans and stuff) works like a charm.

So I have a couple of choices: lose weight so I get down to an average size pattern (like I used to do... the problem with sewing patterns is that they use a "sliding scale" to size... each size you go up makes the neck/shoulders larger. I'm not heavy in the shoulders... just the bust, waist and hips area). Stick with skirts (the last two successful sewing projects for me have been skirts). Or just give up and stick with knit pants or jeans and hand knit sweaters.

The problem is that I really want to update my wardrobe and I like to sew. I just wish sewing patterns were a little more realistic in their sizing. If the average woman in the US wears a size 14, she shouldn't have to buy a size 18 sewing pattern that's not scaled properly.

Oh well, I would rather buy yarn.

I've got a play date set up with Julie and Ann today, not sure how much knitting I'll get done. Ann's coming to felt and wind some yarn and Julie and I'll probably play with some fabric.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Dabbling in Projects

I'm unfocused a bit right now... I'm working a little on several projects right now. Let's do a run down:
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The Natural Beauty Fair Isle has about 2 more inches to go before I divide for the sleeves. It's starting to get a little warm in my lap, so I can only work on it in the mornings before the house warms up.

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The Belted Box Stitch Cardigan is almost to the belt loops. That should be fun, as each "loop" is a seperate piece of yarn (and yes, Kristen, I do think it's easier than doing intarsia, as at least it's all the same color, but by gosh that going to be a lot of ends to weave in).

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A new project! I've been playing around with some of my stash sock yarn to find an other good choice for the Slip Stitch pattern I used for the Claudia Handpaints socks... not all handpainted yarn works well with this pattern. I tried the two Cherry Tree Hill yarns in my stash and they didn't work at all. The short color repeats makes the slip stitches disappear... good for some patterns, but not the slip stitch. So I pulled out some Blue Moon Fiber yarn (in County Clare) and they seem to be working well. Nice yarn to work with, too.

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And finally, the Shoalwater Shawl. Tonight is our SnB KAL night for this project, so I'll probably try to get a few more rows done on it today. I've got a looooong way to go.

So I'm just sort of dabbling in a bunch of projects right now... fairly typical of me after I finish a sweater. I'll probably do the same thing today... just a little of this and a little of that...

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Knitting One Inch At A Time

Not much new to report...

A few more inches on the Natural Beauty Fair Isle, with just a few more to go before I split for the armholes.

The big news? I have one whole repeat done on the Shoalwater Shawl!!! 3.5 more repeats to go! No problem right?

Oh, and I've got to frog back at least 2 rows on the Landscape Shawl. I screwed up a yarn over and I can't fix it by laddering down. Hrumph. So it's off the needles.

I then proceeded to steal those needles for the Shoalwater Shawl. I was using Bates on the Shoalwater and I was constantly struggling with slidding the yarn. I was using Addi's on the Landscape. Well, the Addis are working so much better with the Shoalwater! Hopefully I won't have issues with the Bates on the Landscape (a lot less "lace" on that one, so let's hope, eh?)

I did break down and order some of the Knitpicks needles... just some of the smaller gauge (I've got my eye on an Alice Starmore Gansey pattern) a size 6 (we might give it a try for the Shoalwater, too) and a pair of dpn's. We'll see. I'm a "pusher" so I'm worried about the sharp points, but there are times when I need those sharper points. It I like them, I'll probably get the entire set.

Well, today is one of the few days this week that I've go no social activity going on... but I do have to make a grocery run. Let's see if I can get the fair isle to the armholes?

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Uh Oh.... I'm late posting!

Happy Monday Morning... ya, I could use an other cup of coffee, too.

Here's the new/old sweater for Matt:

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I was pretty far with the body, but I had screwed up the transition between the fair isle border and the garter rib section. I decided I just couldn't live with it, so frogged it back to the border. It's moving along pretty quickly now.

The original pattern is done flat. Uh-hu... ya, like I'm going to knit fair isle flat, plus the garter rib is easy to do in the round. So I'll work in the round until I divide for the armholes. I even considered changing it to raglan, but Matt says he doesn't want raglan sleeves. Okey dokey... I'll just (shudder) follow the directions.

Here's the original pattern with my progress:

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It's a pattern from Family Circle Easy Knitting Fall 1999 issue. Sheesh, I think I need to get this done. I started this sweater when I first saw the pattern! However, to be fair, I did have to restart it once thanks to Matt's size change! I orginally started the 58" size for him. I'm now worried that the 44" might be too big for him. Sigh (ya Matt's at my goal weight).

So thanks everyone for the comments about the Silver Creek Gansey!! Some responses:

first, yes Matt can wear it. The armhole depth is a little shallow for him (for as small as he is, he's pretty muscular in the upper body... more so than most cyclists) and the sleeves are just a little short on him. I might try to block it a little longer so we can share it. I do think I'll knit him one too, but maybe in a navy or dark green.

Oh and see, Debby, it can take me 6 years to knit a sweater for Matt (see sweater above!), plus Matt's freakishly small (his words, not mine). Being under 5'6" and with a 29" waist, it's like knitting for an average sized woman... heehee. (oh and everyone needs to go check out the latest cycling gear on Debby's site!!).

I promise I'll get a modeled picture up soon...

Well, I guess I'm off to work on some projects today. I have some chores to take care of (think as a full time housewife there's any way I can justify getting a housekeeper? ya I didn't think so) then back to the knitting needles!!!!

Happy Knitting!!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

FO Sunday

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The Silver Creek Gansey was finished yesterday right after dinner. I still want to block it (wooly board? or just flat? hmmmm).

Project Stats:
Pattern: Light Worsted Weight Gansey by Silver Creek (S-806)
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool in Natural
Problems with the pattern: I didn't find any mistakes in the pattern
Changes to the pattern: I did some minor changes. I shortened it a bit (um, I'm short). I made the 44" finished size, but I did the small sleeves so that my armhole depth was shorter. I also made the neckline a little deeper than the pattern (I hate crewneck sweaters that choke).
Other Details I used a tubular cast on and cast off. I think it works really well with the sleeve cuffs. I twisted the cabled stitches so they popped a little bit more.
Overall Impressions: Two thumbs up on this pattern! While I was disappointed that I couldn't use the yarn I originally bought for the pattern, the Paton's worked out well. (there will be an other conversation about this yarn later... new vs. old). The pattern was fun to knit. I love the way the finished results look. It's simply a great sweater.

So that means something else will get moved into the "main project" catagory. I'm thinking it will be something for Matt. I heard the "you haven't knit anything for me in a really long time" whine the other day (and he's right... I haven't finished a project for him since Christmas). I'll probably work on his Natural Beauty Fair Isle... as I pulled it out to compare the Paton's Classic Wool from a couple of years ago to the new balls I just bought to make the gansey... and quite franky, the yarn is different weight. That photo is no longer accurate, as I frogged it back to the fair isle section to redo the last the couple of rows.

I'll probably cycle thru some other projects as well, but I want that one to get done for Matt.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday's Post

Ya, not the most exciting blog entry. I actually had a little rant going today defending video games after reading the Yarn Harlot's blog (specifically some of the comments), but decided that it's just too early for that kind of thing. I also know that once people make up their mind, my opinion isn't going to change theirs.

All I will say is that I love playing my video games, and yes, the Kinetic game is fun, but I don't think it's a good workout... for those looking for a good interactive workout (and less wonky to use than the Eye Toy... which is frustrating with the camera at times), go look at Yourself!Fitness. I've been using it for almost 2 years now (I bought it as soon as it came out for my Xbox) and you can see the results over at my Fitness Park blog). Yourself!Fitness is a more traditional workout (no camera required) with aerobics and weight training (and some yoga workouts to boot). It's random steps, so you don't do the exact same workout everytime. Maya (the personal trainer on the Y!F) is much more positive than the Kinetics game (which actually punishes you for missed targets, etc). No Thanks, I'd rather someone tell me I'm doing well then "oh you need to try harder next time".

Anyway, I keep that kind of stuff for my fitness blog. This is my knitting blog, right?

I don't feel like dealing with pictures today, so I'll just give an update on current projects.

I'm cruising along on the second sleeve for the Silver Creek Gansey. Ya, how often have I said that? I've started the decreases and I hope to have this baby done by the end of the weekend.

See, I told you it was a boring blog today...

Have a great weekend and Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

One Sleeve (top) Down

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One sleeve done and the second picked up. The tubular cast off on the sleeves looks fab, and definitely my preferred way of casting off top down sleeves.

I did play around with the Belted Box Stitch Cardigan from the new Cast On. I even had a similar color in my stash (KnitPick's Wool of the Andes in Spruce). I think the dark green really makes the style and it's my kind of knitting... at least until I hit the belt loops (which is done in an intarsia technique... clever idea, but I'm not looking forward to the implementation).
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So I'll try to get some done on the second sleeve of the gansey, plus that's good social knitting for tonight SnB. I'm sure I'll mess around with an other project today as well.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Oh Ya... Knitting

I finished up the Slip Stitch Socks in the Claudia Handpaints yarn. The yarn was delightful to knit with. The stitch pattern was fun, interesting, fast and makes for a pretty stitch. What more could you ask for in a sock pattern?
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Project Stats:
Pattern: Slip Stitch Socks
Source: free pattern with yarn purchase from The Yarn Gallery in Reading, PA
Yarn: Claudia Handpaints in Purple Earth colorway
Problems with the pattern: Well, apart from using the stitch pattern, I did my own sock pattern.
Overall impression: a great sock pattern for handpainted yarns. Easy and fast and really shows off the handpainted yarn.

The weather yesterday was pretty muggy, but we also got our electric bill for last month. That little heat wave was pricey! So we're trying to keep the central air off as much as possible. The sock knitting was a good choice. After I finished up the Slip Stitch sock, I cast on the second sock of the basketweave sock in the Opal Cotton that I did a while ago, but never started the second sock.

I also did work on the Silver Creek Gansey a bit. The first sleeve is at the cuff ribbing. I want to get that done today so I can get that second sleeve picked up.

Due to vacations, we don't have our weekly Shoalwater Shawl KAL night tonight (plus we have our regular 3rd Thursday SnB tomorrow night). I haven't touched my shawl since last week. I guess I should work on that a bit today. Since I'm the only one doing it in lace weight, I have the most to knit. I don't want to get too far behind.

So lots to work on, plus the temptation of new projects (the new Cast On has a lovely Box Stitch Belted Cardigan that is soooo me. I was going to link to their site to show you the picture, but their pictures are worthless. Too small to see the designs and you can't enlarge them to get a better view. Ya, that's helpful, eh?).

Lot's to do today! Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Good News!!!

A non-knitting announcement, but a big deal here!

Matt has been upgraded to a Cat 3 rider. The races will now be even harder, longer and quite simply tougher!

Congrats sweetie! All your hard work has paid off. (Here's a photo of him doing the time trial on Sunday.)

New Toy

Argh, now I can't upload pictures on my blog today. Dang, that means I have to manually type in the code. Fun!

Matt and I have moved into the 21st century. We've had a cell phone (emphasis on "a"). It was the cheapest plan you could get, we shared the phone and it had no minutes. Basically it was an emergency phone only.

That's not going to cut it any more. We've both become busy in the social life department and each needed our own phone. We've been talking about upgrading for a while, but never got around to it. Until the cell phone died. Time to upgrade.

We spent the week trying to upgrade the service we had, with no luck. So strike the old package (I think Verizon was thrilled to get rid of that contract) and new service was set up. It all came yesterday and I am now the proud owner of my very own cell phone.
So I spent yesterday figuring out how to use it (sorta... still have some things to figure out) and putting in phone numbers. So not a lot of knitting got done.

However, I'm just about to start the toe shaping on the second Slip Stitch Sock in the Claudia Handpaints: The color is a little closer to the real thing, but the greens didn't show up that well.

I had several comments about the slip stitch pattern. It's very very easy. It's worked over 5 stitches: K2, (sl1, K4), to last 3 stitches of round, sl1, K2, knit one round even. It moves quickly and I think it really works well with hand dyed yarns.

So I'll finish that up today then work on something else. It's gotten muggy again so the Silver Creek Gansey might have to wait (now that the body is done and the first sleeve is almost done, all that wool in my lap is a wee bit warm). I'll probably work on something small.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Busy and Disappointing Weekend.

So I've been trying to upload pictures to Matt's racing blog and it won't take them and I'm being lazy about coding them myself).
However, Blogger uploads them to my blog. Hrmuph.

Anyway. Aren't they cute? That's Matt's team. From left to right: Tim, Marty, Bryan, Jim and Matt (who must dress alike, even if they're not in team gear), Chris and Jason.

If you look closely at Bryan, you'll notice the bandages (and I'll apologize that he has a shirt on, believe me I am truely sorry). There was some carnage over the weekend. Both Matt and Bryan had tough crashes (seperate). Bryan was in a break and the guy behind him was riding head down and hard and literally just ran right into him. Ran over him and his bike (both wheels broken: that's $1000 in wheels, guys). Matt was in the front for the finishing sprint when the rider in front of him touched wheels with an other rider and went down. Matt had nowhere to go. Luckily, he didn't break any teeth and his cut lip didn't require stitches (however, his lip looks pretty bad).

On top of that, Matt missed his time for the Time Trial so lost about 45 seconds before he even started. Uh. Not a good karma weekend for him. However the weather was beautiful and they had a good time (they're a fun group of guys). Here's some more pictures from Sunday:

That's pretty much the end of the racing season. There's one more crit Matt will probably do, but now he'll concentrate on getting the sponsership thing done and start training for next season (he needs to build his sprinting strength and work more on the time trial).

Well, this is a knitting blog, no? Not much to report on that front. I'm still finishing up the second sock for the Slip Stitch Sock in the Claudia Handpaints (lovely lovely yarn), but the second heel is being fiddly (I keep dropping stitches). I could get it done today, but I'm sort of in a sewing groove right now and I might try to finish the dress I cut out on Saturday (thanks to Kate and Lauren for their help in helping me pick out some patterns).

So I'll try to finish up the socks today so I can get back to my other knitting (Silver Creek Gansey is so close to finishing) but we'll see how the sewing goes.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Quick Friday Post

I'm off to the grocery store in a minute, but wanted to give a quick update:

The Silver Creek Gansey is slowly progressing. About 2" to go before ribbing on the first sleeve (this will make the sleeves long enough for Matt to wear too):
I did start a new project yesterday. A pair of socks (sorry Lauren). This is a simple slip stitch pattern and the yarn is a lovely Claudia Handpaint yarn (the photo doesn't do this yarn justice at all:
As you can see, it's a fast knit, as I'm already at the gusset decreases.

Well, gotta run! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Too Much To Talk About

Man, after a couple of days of sorta minor stuff, I've got a lot to catch up on.

First the skirt is done and I love it! It's a pretty cotton green print with pink flowers... perfect for the fall with the Spring Forward Cardigan (and it will be lovely in the spring too...). I did cut out and start a simple plaid jumper yesterday as well.
I'm up to 64 rows done on the Shoalwater Shawl. At 75, I'll have one entire repeat done! Then only 3-1/2 more repeats to go!!!! The KAL was lovely last night as I was able to knit maybe 2 or 3 rows.

I did get a few more rounds done on the first sleeve for on the Silver Creek Gansey. I thought I was going to get it done this week, but other projects (the shawl and the sewing) have slowed it down a bit. (oh and it looks lovely with my new skirt too).

I'm still working a row or two a day on the Landscape Shawl. I need to get this done, as I really want to use the needles for the Shoalwater Shawl:

Theresa had recommended Seahorse Designs for some stitch markers. Well, I browsed her ebay store and ended up with some beautiful markers. They really are jewlery for your knitting. I'm using a set on the Shoalwater Shawl and they are really nice to use (she does a wrapping technique, so the yarn doesn't get caught on the markers at all).

Well, today is unscheduled. No lunches, no knitting social events... just me, my knitting and maybe some afternoon baseball (I have to check the schedule). Even Matt is actually going to work today. Man, I should just be too productive! (anyone willing to bet something gets cast on?)

I'll leave ya with a photo I took last night when we let the dogs out. This spider web was brilliant. It ran the span of our deck and the spider was HUGE ... not Mothra huge, but larger than I'm comfortable with. It was gone by this morning.
Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Crash n Burn

No pictures today, and really not much to update. I didn't get much done yesterday as it was just one of those days.

So the skirt isn't finished, the Silver Creek Gansey has maybe an inch or two longer sleeve, the Shoalwater Shawl is up to the 53rd row and I did get two more rows done on the Landscape Shawl (getting close on that one!)

Tonight is the Shoalwater Shawl KAL night. It's more of a "check in", as we've found the pattern a little difficult to work in a group setting. However, I like the idea of the accountability once a week. It keeps me working on the shawl, and having decided to do it in the lace weight (and it is so totally worth it) I need all the help I can get to stay focused!

In the continuing cycling life of our household, Matt ordered a Time Trial helmet yesterday. At this point the only thing left for him to take time out of his time trial time is to ride faster. He does not do well with time trials. A combination of size and personality. Time trials are all about riding as hard as you can... the goal is to work to that point where you feel like you're going to just about throw up, then keep that pace until the end. Sound like fun? Ya, me either. Freaks-and let me remind you that they pay for the privilege of this abuse. Don't get it. Never will. I watched a lot of guys throw up at Mt. Nebo. Why work that hard for 43rd place? I think I would rather purchase yarn. Much more fun.

However, I do get some benefits from his hobby. Pretty sweet, huh?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Ya, this whole morning thing sucks

Yesterday ended up being a lovely day. I worked on my new skirt and I'll finish it up today (just need to hem the lining and hand sew the rest of the waistband on). Last night was SnB (I don't think Lauren and I are going to be allowed to sit together again... but go and look at how cool her entrelac satchel* is turning out!!!). I had a really fun time!

My problem right now is I'm not sleeping. I'm getting about 4 hours and I'm not getting up in a cheerful, bright eyed and busy tailed way. Part of it is weather related and part of it hormone. I know that I'll eventually get back to my regular sleep habits soon, but right now, mornings are not good.

So the skirt is looking great as is the Silver Creek Gansey: I'm about at the elbow on the first sleeve. I'll have this puppy finished up this week (but I'm guessing it's going to be too warm to wear to the Knit In at The Mannings this weekend, eh?).

The other progress report is for the Landscape Shawl (sorry, no pic). I've hit the last section, so I figure about 30 more rows to go. I'm averaging about a row a day (I only knit on it in the morning while I'm having my coffee).

So today's goals: finish up the new skirt. Decrease away on my first sleeve for the Silver Creek Gansey. Take a nap.

Happy Knitting!

*I've added a link on the sidebar for the Entrelac Satchel. The first link is for the pattern and the second link is a step by step guide on entrelac with photos.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I See a Bad Mood Monday.

yep, starting the day off pretty grumpy. Apologies if the blog is whiney or just rude.

Matt says thanks for all the birthday wishes!! We celebrated on Friday by going out to lunch and just spending the day together. Very nice.

Saturday he raced in two races (well, it was actually just one race, but he raced in two different catagories: the 3/4 and the 4/5). The second race just about blew him up (he still finished 18th). The first race was a sprinter's race, yet he managed a 4th place finish. He said it was like a Seasame Street number: one of these things is not like the other. All those big, strong sprinters, then there's Matt: the angry lawn gnome.

This coming weekend is the Tour de Christiana. This is one of the biggest races in the area and is actually a stage race. Saturday will be the road race (which Jim won last year). On Sunday they'll start with an early morning Time Trial and then have a crit in the afternoon (Jim actually won the overall race as well last year... and has a good shot this year as well). It was a good race for the team last year.

Sadly, the Tour de Christiana and the Knit In at The Mannings is the same weekend (again), so I won't make the road race. However, I'll make the Time Trial and the Crit on Sunday (and note to self: even if it's overcast: WEAR SUNSCREEN!!! I got burnt to a crisp last year and couldn't move for 3 days).

I've been working away on some projects. Specifically the Silver Creek Gansey, which is now at the sleeves: The neckline is done and I love the way it's fitting so far.

I also am up to 50 rows finished on the Shoalwater Shawl: Dang, that's going to take a while, eh?

I actually got some fabric to sew up some skirts yesterday, so I may spend some time sewing today. Or I just may work on some sleeves. Or cast something on (Sunrise Circle Jacket that I've been obsessing about since I tried it on last week while at the Yarn Gallery in Reading, perhaps???)

So off to make something!!! Happy Knitting!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Got it!

I broke down and cast on the Joslyn's Fiber Farm lace yarn in peacock yesterday from my stash.

Yep, that's what I had in mind. It's a little hard to tell in the photo, but I think this yarn is going to show the waves really well.

Thanks to everyone that made suggestions, but I really wanted to try to use something from my stash before I bought more yarn.

As I said yesterday, the only reason I hesitated with this yarn in the first place was because I know I've got a lot of knitting down the road. Those rows are gonna get pretty long! Hey, at least the even rows aren't purled! If I had decided to buy yarn, I probably would've ordered in from Joslyn. Thanks for all the suggestions!

I didn't do much knitting yesterday. I cast the Shoalwater on and did a row or two on the Silver Creek Gansey. We had a lovely dinner and visit with our friends last night and we don't have much planned for today. I asked Matt what he wanted to do. He usually has a training ride on Thursday nights, but his calf is a little sore so he might rest it since he has a race on Saturday. I already made plans for tonight assuming he was riding, but he said he doesn't want to go out for dinner or anything. So he's going to have a pretty low keyed birthday today. (anyone willing to bet he still ends up riding tonight?).

I'm going to spend the bulk of today knitting on the Silver Creek Gansey and I'll work on the Shoalwater tonight at our first SnBKAL night!

Happy Knitting!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

YarnQuest: The Shoalwater Shawl Saga

So here's where I stand: either I'm not really thrilled with the Shoalwater Shawl pattern or I just don't know what yarn to buy for it.

I've now purchased two yarns to make this shawl and neither are working. Both are gorgeous yarns, with lovely colors/fiber/sheen. However, the colors are very subtle and not really showing off the waves in the shawl.

I tried the Brooks Farm yarn I got at the TKGA (as suggested by Lauren). It is what I bought the yarn for, and I had tried it when I got it. I thought I would try it again. Nope, the colors are beautiful, but the subtle color change and the consistant value of the yarn doesn't work with the pattern. The pattern hides the beauty of the yarn while the yarn hides the beauty of the pattern.

I have an other canidate in my stash and it scares me. It's lace weight. I'm kinda avoiding knitting this pattern in lace weight. There's no reason I couldn't, or even shouldn't, but I'm looking down the road when I've got the 1 billion stitches on my needles and thinking "why didn't I chose a nice sport weight yarn?"

Anyway, I'll swatch it up today. If it doesn't work, then I'll go buy something else.

The Silver Creek Gansey is now officially on the front yoke. I finished the back up yesterday. I'll work in it a bit today. I know I know... 103 degrees F today. Wool sweater. I don't really care. First I'm sitting in my nicely air conditioned house, second I love the sweater so much I can't wait to get it done and third, Matt's still out training in this heat so I think I can handle a little wool sweater.

Speaking of Matt, tomorrow is his birthday and tonight we're having a little celebration with our neighbors (Bob's birthday was mid-July). It's a guy's themed dinner: steak, corn on the cobb, ice cream cake. Which also means easy for the cook!

So off to do a quick grocery run (maybe via Morgantown?) and do some knitting (and some Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenol?)

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dang, that's not gonna work

I cast on the Shoalwater Shawl over the weekend and worked a few rows (35 to be exact) and realized that this yarn, as lovely as it is, isn't working well with the pattern:
I think it needs a more stripey yarn to highlight the waves in the shoalwater stitch pattern. Hrumph!

So a yarn searh is on, but this Anne yarn by Schaefer is just lovely and it will not go to waste. I'll use it for an other shawl pattern (Flower Basket perhaps?)

That's about all the knitting I got done yesterday. I only worked a couple of rows on the Silver Creek Gansey, but I'm hoping to get the back yoke done today.

Julie's and my playdate was a huge success. We got Theresa's handbag done:Nope, sorry, it's a surprise!!!

Nancy J asked in my comments about the Silver Creek Gansey pattern. I bought mine from a vendor at the TKGA conference in Valley Forge this year (and Kate bought her's from the same vendor at MDS&W). However, after a quick google I found it here. The pattern is by Silver Creek Classics. It's under their Light Worsted Weight and pattern number S-806.

I have to agree with Kristen: the photo on the pattern doesn't do it justice. The photography really doesn't show off the stitches at all. It makes me re evaluate all their patterns. I might be taking a second look at a lot of them.

Today I'll concentrate on getting that back yoke done and maybe swatch up an other yarn for the Shoalwater Shawl.

Happy Knitting!