Monday, April 30, 2007

Just an other Monday post

Not much to update, since yesterday's photo of the SOA. I should have the back done today and maybe even get to the front.

I do have a new laptop on order and it should be here either by the end of this week or early next week.

An update from the weekend race. Matt's team did the Tour de Ephrata, a two day, three event race. Saturday was the road race and Sunday was a mountain individual time trial (it's called Mt. Pain for a reason) with a crit in the afternoon. A lot of a racing.

The team has some problems on Saturday with some bad crashes. Chris broke his collarbone in the cat 4 race and Jim went down pretty hard in the cat 3 race. Matt went with Jim to the trauma center. Luckily he didn't have a concussion (that's why ya gotta wear a helmet folks), however, 15 stitches on his head. The the other injuries were minor (mostly road rash). Matt didn't go down in the Cat 3 and finished in the pack. It was a tough Saturday, but Sunday went better. Matt improved his time trial time from last year (and with a nasty headwind), with Bryan finishing 12th on the TT, Matt had the best finish in the crit, with a 17th place finish.

Next weekend is the Turkey Hill Classic, however, I don't think Chris or Jim will be racing. Maybe they'll want to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool? I'll have to ask....

Off to finish up the back of Matt's SOA!!
Keep on Knittin'!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Just for Lauren

I think Lauren is stalking this sweater:
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So I thought I had better get an updated photo posted.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Reality Sets In

So yesterday, remember that I was obsessing about the same sweater that the Yarn Harlot wrote about in her blog. I even had the Rowan book in my shopping cart... then reality set in.

The reality of 5'2" with my 42" bust line:

There's no way that sweater would be even remotely flattering on me.

So, instead, I ordered "No Sheep For You" so I can obsess about Morrigan.

Of course, I'm still obsessing over Matt's SOA:
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Actually, it was interesting to read about Jenna's thoughts on aran sweaters with no wool. I use cotton/acrylic blends mainly for it's easy care. My Spring Forward Cardigan is one of my very favorite sweaters, and I know that's one of the reasons is that I knit it with TLC's Cotton Plus. The sweater is soft and is wearing like iron. Working cables with the yarn was comfortable and it's holding it's shape beautifully. Plus I can just throw it into the washer and dryer. That makes it a "no worries" cardigan.

I can't begin to describe how nicely Matt's SOA is turning out. The photos do not do it justice, as the fabric needs to be felt to believe just how comfortable this sweater is going to be.

Okay, I'm done writing, as I basically have to type every single letter twice. My keyboard is completly wonky (I thought it was dog hair related, but I'm beginning to wonder if it's not just more issues with the motherboard. Piece of junk notebook)

Have a good weekend!
Keep on Knitting!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Slow Progress, but oh so worth it...

I spent most of yesterday working on the Shoalwater Shawl, getting the second repeat done:
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So two repeats done, making only 2 and a half more to go!!! Which sounds great, until you realize that each repeat adds 96 stitches... yikes! Oh, and let me also say that if I were doing it in a DK weight yarn, I would only have that half repeat to go. Let's not dwell on that. It's so worth it, as the lace is just lovely (the yarn is from Josyln's Fiber Farm in the plumes colorway (I think it's the angel hair yarn... don't remember).

However, let's face it, for me it's all about cables.
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The back is progressing. Actually quite quickly, as I didn't really work that much on it yesterday (spent most of the day with Shoalwater and the Jamaican drawstring purse). Let me reiterate how much I love this sweater. I still say that Janet Szabo has a lovely touch with cable combinations. (just a quick reminder: the pattern is the Son of A.R.A.N., aka: SOA, which Janet hosted as a knit along on the aran knitlist years ago. You can get the pattern here in chatty format, or you can buy the pattern in a traditional format, either by buying the first issue of Twists & Turns or from Black Water Abbey. I did do a lot of tweeking to get the pattern to work with the Cotton Ease.)

So anyhoo... I had to get back to knitting yesterday. If I don't knit, I browse patterns and magazines and plan on more projects, then I may just "accidently" swatch (usually the back) of a new project, 'cause we all know that swatching isn't "real" knitting (or we wouldn't all hate swatching so much, right?). Of course I read the Yarn Harlot yesterday and was all inspired by the project that she's obsessing over (note to Rowan: your delibrate attempt to make your designs look hideous in your magazines and books really hurts you. I think the focus should be on the sweater, not on the art direction or the model's distracting hair style... and guess what, you can have stylish art direction while still focusing on the sweater. Look at the Japanese knitting books). I admit that I don't usually bother with Rowan patterns, as I really don't like how they present them. However, I do think that Vanessa's version is absolutely stunning (and btw: she has super art direction. I am envious of her photography skills).

So anyway, I must ignore all desires to cast on something new so I can focus on Matt's gorgeous SOA sweater. Then I'll cast on something new. Of course, swatching does not count (remember that it's not "real" knitting, after all).

Today's plans? Hmmm.... a little SOA, perhaps? Some day baseball? Man, life is good!!!

Keep on Knittin'!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mid Week Update

Just got back from the grocery store... I am now prepared for any disaster. Sheez, how can two people eat so much (this might be one of the reasons)???? (and why do I keep thinking that if I buy it all now, I don't have to go back?)

So I took the day off yesterday from knitting and the PSP, trying to give my hands a rest.

It was hard.

I also don't have any update photos (obviously). I probably won't for tomorrow, either, as I'm going to take it easy today as well. I could do some house cleaning (ya, well, I just snorted at that too), or at least some purging.

It's an other absolutely beautiful day... almost wished I could ride a bike!
Enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

General Stuff

We watched Children of Men last night. I don't recommend it. It's still effecting my mood this morning. I am super snarky. I just deleted a long tirade on anonymous comments on my blog. Just as a quick summery: please leave some kind of signature when you leave me a comment. I'm uncomfortable with people leaving me comments that don't want me to know who they are. I'm sure that is not the intent of most anonymous comments, but it would just make me more comfortable having some kind of signature. Thanks!

In response to the anonymous commentator, I have to say that you seem to be an isolated case. Going by other comments, and several other people checked my site for me, the photos are loading fine for them. I'm guessing that either you are on dial up and the page is timing out before the photos load or you need to update your browser.

Debby: I do have some nice small projects that I mix in between the big stuff. I have an other Jamaican bag in the works and the summer crochet pullover (crochet is always faster). I switch between things as the mood strikes me. The Shoalwater is definitely a long term project, since I decided on doing it in such a fine weight yarn... and lace really isn't my "thing". Great job on doing hills!! Oh Matt loves the hills. Feel that burn in the legs!!!! heehee... sadly it looks like his favorite hill race isn't going to be held this year (Mt. Nebo). Maybe too many racer threw up last year?

Kate: well, Matt didn't crash... but there were some, and some nasty ones. I know at least one racer broke his collarbone. In bike racing it's not a matter of "if" you crash, but "when". As Matt says, there's absolutely no daydreaming in the peleton. One moment of not paying attention, and you go down. As far as talented knitter goes: isn't that the pot calling the kettle thing? Since we knit a lot of the same projects???

One last piece of admin stuff: I think I'm missing emails. I've been trying to get my email easier to read on my PSP so I've been playing with the settings and I think some of my emails got lost in the shuffle (since I missed several emails from Blogger about comments to be moderated). So if you've sent me an email and haven't heard back, I didn't ignore you! So if you want to send it again, please do!

The knitting: okay, so I fixed 2 out of the three miscrossed cables on Matt's SOA, both sleeves are finished and I'm now working the back (no photo, as it really doesn't look much different than yesterday's pic). The other miscrossed cable in on the front, and I'll ladder down when I get there.

I'm going to take a break from it today. Even though the Cotton Ease is nice to work with, it can be a little draining on the hands. I think I'll switch up today and work on some crochet stuff. Maybe play a little Ratchet and Clank (which has been very frustrating... very un-Ratchet and Clank like). I think I'll throw a funny movie in as well...something stupid funny (I don't like depressing movies).

Keep on knittin (or whatever strikes your fancy!!!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Second Sleeves Suck

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Matt's SOA is progressing a little more slowly. I should've had that second sleeve done over the weekend. I just couldn't work on it as consistantly on Sunday as I did Saturday (tho' I did get a lot done on Saturday). At this point all the decreases are done, so it's just a few more rows then the ribbing. Not much left, really. Then I'll get to the body.

The Shoalwater is a fairly boring knit, quite frankly... and it's slow going. However, I'm happy with the yarn I finally decided on... even if it IS lace weight:

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It's definitely a short burst when knitting it. I'll work on it when I feel like it, but I already decided that I probably won't wear it much. So it's one of those projects that will be lovely, and I'll be glad I knit it, but not a practical addition to my wardrobe.

A question from comments: Nicole asked about making the Landscape scarf slightly larger. There are two very easy ways to make the scarf bigger. The easiest is to just use a heavier yarn at a bigger gauge. The scarf calls for fingering weight, just switch to a sport or a DK and follow the directions as is and you'll get a bigger scarf. Also, the pattern is pretty straight forward so you can just add extra stitches (consistantly) before you start the next pattern section.

Other comments: thanks for the well wishes for Matt and his race... the 1/2/3 went well. Sadly, it was a bunch sprint at the end, and that's not Matt's forte. However, he stayed with the pros, so he finished in the pack. I think he was a bit concerned about getting dropped. Average speeed? 35-40 mph. Matt then did the 30+ race as well and same kind of finish. He had a good time, and it sounds like the race course had been fixed from last year.

The team did well in the Cat 4 race, with their riders coming in first, second and fourth. Hopefully, Matt will have more details on his blog later today.

It was a gorgeous weekend weather-wise, and it looks like today will be a continuation of that... and I fully intend to enjoy it! Finish up the second sleeve on the SOA and hopefully move onto the body too. I'll probably work on an other project, but the secondary project isn't as important... it's more just to give me a break from working on the same thing all day.

Have a great Monday!!!
Keep on Knittin!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Same Old Same Old

One of the problems with working on the same project is how boring my blog becomes.

Matt's SOA is progressing nicely. The second sleeve is already at the start of the decreases. I plan on working a bit on it today.

I didn't work on any of the other projects yesterday, but I did work a few rows on my Shoalwater (it's a lot further along than that photo)... I'm wondering if I can have it done by Maryland Sheep & Wool? Ya, me either (not even thru 2 repeats... and I need 4.5 total with the lace weight yarn).

I also spent some time getting frustrated playing Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters. Here's the deal. The thing that I always loved about the Ratchet and Clank games was the pure "Fun"ness of them. While some sections could be challenging, I never got overly frustrated with them... at least with the main story (some of the skill points could get very frustrating, but that's why they're "skill points"... and completely optional). However, the PSP controls are so hard to deal with, especially with camera issues, that it's making it very frustrating. Not being able to move the camera in certain platform sections (or fast enough when you can control it) makes the platform sections about memorization, not about game playing. You can't see what's coming, so you guess, die, and start at the beginning... over and over again. So each platform section I'm having to work it at least 10 times or more. It might just be my "newbie" status on the PSP. This is the first game I'm playing on it, and I might get more comfortable as I progress, but why oh why didn't they put in a second thumbstick so I can control the camera better?

It looks like we're finally going to have a lovely weekend. Matt's race is on Sunday this weekend, and it's a crit (meaning they ride around in circles...pedal hard, turn left, pedal hard, turn left, rinse and repeat). It's also a Cat 1/2/3 race. So he'll be with the big boys. He's done a lot of 3/4 races, but this is (I believe) his first 1/2/3. And it's a crit (not his specialty at all). So there's zero expectations on results. The hope is that he can work for Tim or Bryan and get out on some breaks. We'll see. Elite races are a lot different than the lower cat races (you see a lot more team strategy at that level).

Oh, and Stephan put up some photos from the Thursday night crit on his blog. It's hard to pick out Matt (he's so small he gets lost in the pack), but this is what he does every Thursday night.

Have a good weekend!
Keep on Knittin'!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Updates from The Shire..

The advantage of being married to a self described freakishly small man:

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The knitting goes fast. One sleeve done and the other started. It's so beautiful, let's take an other view:

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Yes, I'm working it flat. I just don't like doing cables in the round. Plus I don't mind seaming. Again, I can't get over how lovely the fabric is. The color is perfect for Matt and the Cotton Ease is wonderful to work with.

I did have a moment of panic yesterday as I was cleaning up projects. I only found 4 more skeins of yarn! What was I thinking???? I only had ordered 6 skeins (I guess I thought I was going to do a straight forward sweater... with not so many cables). Luckily, Theresa ordered her's at the same time and she has a few extra skeins in the same dye lot that she could part with (she's using her's to do her Sitcom Chic... tres chic indeed. Can't wait to see it!).

So many projects (again, if I don't have enough room to store the WIP's and the stash, how do I expect to store the finished projects?????), so what else did I work on yesterday?

The Split V is in one piece:

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I'm doing only minor changes to this one. I'm continuing the garter at the neckband down a few rows and making it decorative. I'll probably also short rows some bust darts... we'll see. I'll try it on to see how much bust room I need. The last time I tried that with a top down tee, I underestimated how many short rows I needed... not pretty.

One other project in the rotation... a crochet summer sweater:

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That's the Bernat Miami that's on sale at Smiley's right now. A really soft ribbon yarn. I don't like knitting with ribbon yarns too much, but I do like them for crochet. I'm using a Lion Brand pattern for a shaped V neck pullover, with a couple of changes. I'm not doing the bottom ribbing and I probably won't do the circle neck thingie... not me.

So that's my latest updates. Oh, I did do one other thing yesterday: I started a spreadsheet for my Mermaid kit. I did email about the one that's already been done, but it's been almost 3 weeks, and I never heard back, so I'll just do my own. The pattern is very poorly written with directions all over the place. I just need some way of tracking all the different elements that are going on.

Thanks to everyone that left comments yesterday!!!

Okay, so back to Matt's addictive SOA... enough of this computer stuff! I've got knitting to do!!!!

Keep on Knittin'!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Perfect Day

I had a wonderful birthday. Matt and I just spent the day together. We both are having fun with the new PSP (me with the games, him with all the geeky techie stuff... and he's playing with our servers and our music files).

I have to say when I asked for the PSP, I really only wanted it so I could play the new Ratchet and Clank game (and yes, the controls are wonky on the PSP, but it's still Ratchet and Clank so it's fun!) I really didn't expect all the other aspects of it to appeal to me.

However, having internet access anywhere there's a WiFi connection absolutely rocks! I can now knit at Wegman's and read an online pattern right on the PSP. I can watch videos, listen to music. It's much more than I expected.

We enjoyed lunch at Simon Pearce (as always) and went to see Blades of Glory, which we both thought was very funny (FYI: Tuesday afternoons are a good time to go to the movies... plus they had free small popcorn).

So no new photos (unless you want to see the photos I took of Matt on the trainer in his time trial position). Some knitting was done (on Matt's SOA) and I received my Smiley's order of the Bernat Miami. I'm going to make a summer crochet top with it... and that was started last night. I'll have some photos of it for tomorrow's blog.

Now I just need weather to justify a summery project. I'm soooooooo ready for warmer weather. I want to open my windows and get some fresh air in this house!!!

So I've got some clean up to do today (again, too many projects laying about) but I still need to finish up that first sleeve on Matt's SOA and I would love to get the second sleeve stitches picked up. Probably also work a little on the new crochet project. Maybe vacuum? eh. We'll see! (oh, and I also got Lumines for the PSP... that one is a wee bit addictive, too).

Thanks to everyone that sent me an email or left me a comment about my birthday! It was muchly appreciated!!!

Keep on Knittin'!!!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Busy....


All so I can play this.
Lots to do today... Matt's taking me out to lunch then we'll go to the movies.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Why yes, I AM flipping off Mother Nature

I wanted to get that horrid San Fran Pullover picture off the top of my blog... sadly to be replaced with this:
ya, you don't really want to enlarge this one, do you?


So anyway, since most of us are dealing with this crap, either with unseasonably cold weather all week, this crap snow... a good ol' nor'easter, let's move onto the good stuff: KNITTING!!!

this one is better to look at larger

I actually could've had the sleeve done yesterday if I hadn't done a huge basic math error (seems that there's a huge difference between 11" and 21" when figuring out my decreases... who knew?). The color in that photo isn't very good (see pic one for an explaination on that). So after having almost the entire first sleeve done, I realized that it was waaaay too short (damn 11" vs. 21") so I pulled back to the elbow and adjusted my decreases. I'll have that sleeve done today ('cause I sure don't have anywhere else to go... again, refer to pic one).

Let me just say again how much I love the way this one is working up. The color is just yummy (for Matt) and the Cotton Ease really is delightful to work with... even with all those cables. I really do think that I'm leaning more and more towards cotton/acrylic blends, even for cable work. It's not "splitty" and the way this is draping and showing the cables is fabulous. I wish the color palette was a little larger (the new colors are too dusty and the old colors were too neon. Expand that palette Lion Brand and you might just have the perfect yarn!).

So... what else did I work on? Well, as I said, I really do like to have a simple st. st. project around... so I went ahead and cast on the Knitting Pure and Simple Split V in the Adara (hyacinth):
probably not a huge difference if you enlarge this one


I'm just about to join the fronts to work in the round... then it will become nice and boring and I'll complain a lot about how boring it is and question why am I knitting this... it's so boring... blah blah blah.

Okay, lot's of comments to catch up on:

We'll start with the general thanks to everyone that left me comments about both the Sitcom Chic and the San Fran Pullover. I appreciate everyone taking the time to leave me comments about it!

Several comments were made about the neckline on the San Fran Pullover. I actually use that neckline a lot. Now, it's more obvious on such a huge scooping neckline as the San Fran, but it's actually the same I'm using for Matt's SOA. A simple 1 X 1 rib followed by 4 rows of st. st., which then rolls forward. I like it for several reasons... I think it looks cool, but it also keeps me from casting off my ribbing too tight.

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I'm sure the San Fran will find a nice home somewhere. The combo of the cheap acrylic yarn, the business of the multi color yarn and the dropped shoulder style (and the huge neckline) makes it just so not me.

Today I'll be knitting. On Matt's SOA... yes, I know I have his Natural Beauty Fair Isle to finish up (and I even cast on a new project before it was done... but hey, I did get TWO projects finished). It just shows me that I would rather knit cables that deal with stranding. I like the look of fair isle, but it's not my favorite to knit. Let's face it: I'm a cable girl!!!

Okay, I'm off to knit...

Keep on Knittin'!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Yet an other FO!

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The San Francisco Pullover is done. It didn't get any better with finishing. It's just not me. It fits okay, but simply not my style.

Ironically, I'm actually glad I used crappy acrylic yarn for it. I consider it to just be a big swatch. If I had made it using an expensive hand dyed yarn, I wouldn't be too happy. Instead I have about $12 in yarn and some time. No biggie. I now realize that this just isn't a sweater I'll do again.

Project Stats:
Pattern: San Francisco Shirttail by Just One More Row
Yarn: cheap acrylic yarn from stash
Problems with the pattern: Jill's patterns are always easy to do and I didn't find any errors in the pattern.
Changes to the pattern: did some playing with the neckline, but it's pretty much the pattern as written.
Overall impressions: this sweater just isn't me. I wanted it as just an around the house sweater (can't clean toilets in cashmere!) but I'm just not comfortable in it. Simply not a flattering style for me.

Okay, one more thing off my list. Actually, I updated my 2007 finished list and I'm doing better than I expected... 7 projects finished so far. I should have a few more small projects finished up next week and I still hope to get Matt's Natural Beauty Fair Isle done soon, too. Plus his SOA and my Fall Back Cardigan... I still might break down and get a simple st. st. project going. It's nice to have a basic project handy.

Well, I'm off... gotta teach a class this afternoon!
Keep on Knittin'!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ah Finished!

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The Sitcom Chic is done, washed, blocked and ready to wear. I love it. Looks really nice on (better on me than on my dress form... I'm thinking because she doesn't have arms). A thumbs up project.

Project Stats:
Pattern: Sitcom Chic, from Knitty
Yarn: Cara Mia, Light Mulberry (discontinued)
Changes to the pattern: only the buttons. I added three pearl buttons instead of just using the one at the yoke
Problems with the pattern: just the never ending amount of st. st. heehee. I didn't find any errors in the pattern.
Overall impressions: A great little sweater. Easy enough for beginners. Well written step by step directions. The Cara Mia has a little color distortion thru it... making it look like a hand dyed yarn. I'm not sure if it's delibrate or just not a good dye job. Either way, looks fine and I love the way the sweater feels. It blocked beautifully and I didn't need to steam the front bands. So I definitely give the project a thumbs up. Thanks to Susan for inspiring me to cast it on!

So that's one down, two more to go. I should have the San Fran Pullover done today. Lauren accused me of not blogging much about it (I'm guessing meaning that I haven't shown any pictures of it). Okay, here's a picture:

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See, not really me. Several issues with it. Dropped shoulders are NOT good for me. With my narrow shoulders and very large bust line, there's simply too much fabric at the underarm area. The neckline is still too large, and since it's basically a "bias" design, it actually pulls out at the neck. The colors are pretty, but too busy for me. While I don't normally mind acrylic yarns, this one isn't cutting it. We'll see how it washes up (right now, the project is musty smelling since I've been working on it for so long... and that might be part of my not wanting to work on it).

It's so close to being done... just the rest of that second sleeve and a few more ends to weave in (I've been doing a little of that here and there as I've been working on the sleeves). Then just sewing up the side seams and doing a reverse sc around the bottom and it'll be done. I'll reserve final judgement until after I wash it... but I'm guessing it will be gifted to someone.

Yesterday's Comments:
Sarah: yes, I'll be Maryland Sheep and Wool this year! I'll be there the whole weekend as a matter of fact. I got two colors of the Adara. Lagoon and Hyacinth. Both are just lovely. I'll cast on that Knitting Pure and Simple Split Neck Pullover as soon as I finish up my final two projects.

Pat: Yes, it's been cold enough to work on wool (hrumph)... and the sleeves are small, so it's not like I have the entire sweater in my lap!!!!

Debby: I like to have one st. st. project for the same reason... it's nice to have something that is portable and a "no brainer". Glad to hear of the improvements... oh and I just caught up on TBV's site after a couple of days. Yikes! it's just getting worse and worse. (everyone should be aware of what's going on. The way Floyd's being treated is absolutely unbelievable. I'm shocked that the USADA thinks that this is a fair process!)

Okay, so what's the plan for today? Well, laundry. I love doing laundry. Makes me feel like I justify my "full time housewife" status without really having to do much... and it gives me lots of time to knit!!!

However, I've got the Spring Forward class tomorrow, and I need to do the next step handout sheet. Oh and have my saddles done to demonstrate that next step.

Have a super great weekend and good luck to all those bike racers racing tomorrow (Matt will be at Mt. Joy).

Keep on Knittin'!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Baseball Chic

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I'll have the Sitcom Chic done today. I'm quite happy with it so far. It fits comfortably and I love the color (NOTE: NOT AN ACCURATE COLOR IN PHOTO.. it's raining out so no natural light today).

Baseball is perfect for boring st. st. While I really struggled getting thru some of those really long areas (right after I attatched the sleeves), I got thru it quickly, thanks to baseball season (love the early spring season: lots of day games).

I will say that the Cara Mia yarn is a bit drapier at 18 sts to 4" than I like. It also means that my fabric isn't real even. I'm sure blocking (ie: running it thru the washer on delicate, laying flat to dry) will help a bit with that.

So I have to sew up the one underarm seam, weave in the ends and add the neck and front bands. That's the plan for today.

The San Fran Pullover is really hard to work on. While it's soooo close to being done (less than one sleeve to go... and a lot of ends to weave in) I know I'm not going to like it. I will finish it at this point and find it a home, but it makes it hard to work on something that you simply don't like.

Then all I'll have left is Matt's Natural Beauty Fair Isle (started in 1999). Seems odd to be trying to finish a wool sweater in April, but he'll then have it for the fall and it will be one thing off my UFO list.

Okay, Debby, let me confess. I have a lot of projects on the needles. So many in fact that I actually have no idea what the actual count is. I think I can safely say over 100. I love to cast on projects, see what the yarn/pattern is going to look like, then I grow bored with it, or sometimes it's just a matter of distraction... I find something else I want to cast on. I go thru phases where it doesn't bother me to have all these projects started (which is, quite frankly, most of the time) but every once in a while I go thru a phase of "let's finish up some things" (like right now). I'm absolutely a process knitter, and while I love having things finished, I love just playing with the yarns and patterns and techniques. So normally, my volume of UFO's doesn't bother me (and I've even been accused of being proud of them... and I probably am!!... heehee). Hope Chris and Bike are recovering well!

Thanks Romi, I'm loving Matt's SOA... and he can't wait to see it finished too!!!


Just because I'm not casting anything new on, doesn't mean I'm not swatching! I've been playing with the Elann's Adara and my initial impression of it being closer to a dk weight is wrong. I've done two swatches, one on size 7 needles and got 20 sts. to 4" and one on 8 needles and got 18 sts. to 4". It does need to be at a loose gauge to have a decent drape. Any tighter and I would've gotten cardboard fabric. So I'm actually quite pleased. Now that the Sitcom Chic is about done, I will need a boring st. st. project, and one of the Adara colors will be for this.

So today I'll continue with the finishing of the Sitcom Chic and maybe even work on the krap San Fran Pullover. Must get some things done!!! (however, I still want to get a few rows done on Matt's SOA today, too).

Keep on Knittin'!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Closer

So I spent yesterday putting away the new yarn and some misc. projects that were sitting around my knitting nest.

I came to a sad realization: I don't finish my projects. I have several projects that are sitting here that are soooo close to being done, but I just can't close. All this new yarn, new projects and I get so excited that I abandon projects no matter how close they are.

Matt's Natural Beauty Fair Isle needs sleeves (and the first one is started), I have a San Fransisco Pullover that just needs sleeves and my Sitcom Chic is at the yoke decreases. All close to being done, but either I got bored with them (Sitcom Chic), not sure I'm going to like the finished sweater (San Fran) or they just seem like high concentration (Natural Beauty).

So I'm going to concentrate on trying to finish them up. I'll try not to cast on something new until all three are done. Wish me luck (heehee).

I spent yesterday with the San Fran Pullover. I finished up the first sleeve and realized that I wasn't happy with how large the neckline was, so I'm now adding a ribbing around the top, then I'll do the other sleeve. I'm not sure it's "me". I like the colors of the yarn and the pattern is interesting, and I know that I'll be using this as just an around the house sweatshirt style of sweater (I'm using an acrylic yarn). I just don't know if I like enough to even wear it for that. We'll see. Maybe when it's finished and I can actually see what it's going to look like on me, I'll be alright. If not, I'll give it away.

Let me also say that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop working on other projects. I just want to get those three things done, but I also have other projects that I want to work on. Including:
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Matt's SOA is moving along. I have the first sleeve picked up. I still have that miscrossed cable to deal with on the front, but I'll take care of that when I have those stitches back on the needle. I do love the way it's looking. I'll also have to work on a couple of projects for class.

Debby asked yesterday in comments about the pink Classic Elite pattern that I showed. Sorry! I usually always link to the pattern, or give a source (as there's nothing more irritating to be looking at blogs... 'cause come on, we don't read 'em, we look at pictures... and see a project that we want to do and there's no source for the pattern!!!) Anyway, yes, that's one of the new booklets. It's from Summertime Knits (and don't you love the cover sweater???? that's on my list too!!).

Matt didn't have a race over the weekend (Easter weekend), but he's got a few good ones coming up. Including the Tour of Ephrata. They changed the road race course to include Floyd Landis' parents house. It's going to be a good race: The Mount Pain Time Trial (and as Matt says, not just a clever name) is Sunday morning followed by a tough crit. It'll be a killer weekend.

We did watch the US Open Championship, as one of our local guys (Matt trains with him) rides for Rite Aid. He didn't have a great day (flatted out before they hit Richmond) but his teammate came in third!

Okay, I'm off to try to concentrate on finishing projects!! And dream of warmer weather!!!

Keep on knittin'!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Sorry No Photos!

Matt borrowed my camera over the weekend and of course I have no idea where it is. Which is a shame, as I do have quite a bit to update.

I worked on two main projects over the weekend. Matt's SOA pullover and a new Jamaican bag.

The SOA is looking great! the body has been worked to the armholes and I went ahead and put on the neck band (it's so much easier to do it before the whole sweater is done. Less cumbersome!) I did see an error on a cable last nigth, so I'll fix that today before I pick up the stitches for the first sleeve.

Let me say again that I love the Cotton Ease. The fabric I'm getting with the cables is wonderful and the Stone color is very Matt.

I also officially started my SOA as well, as I wanted to show the Spring Forward class what their assignment will look like. If you've never done top down with shoulder saddles knitting before, it can seem "weird". We're used to knitting from the bottom up and usually flat. That's how most sweaters are knit. However, once you do this technique, you start to look at all patterns "upside down". It just makes more sense (however, some cables don't work when knit top down).

Anyway, the Hot Pink for my SOA is quite awesome. If I had a camera, I could show it... but you can look at my swatch from the other day! I'm not very far with mine, with only one saddle done and the second cast on and just a few rows done.

Yes, I did start an other Jamaican drawstring bag. I bought some Boku at Olde Peddler Wools on Saturday (and some other yarn...*cough* I'll update the yarn stash enhancement later...). I had to cast it on, of course. It takes two skeins (the bag takes about 200 yds) and I'm almost done with the first skein. The Boku is lovely lovely to work with. It does remind me of Noro's Silk Garden, but the quality is much nicer (better, more evenly spun and less knots). It's doing just what I wanted with the spiral ribbing and the self striping yarn. This bag is addictive! I will have to use a ribbon for the closure, as I don't think the yarn will be smooth enough to pull the drawstring in.

Ya, so I have some new yarn...

Webs is having their anniversary sale, and that means it's time for my annual Cascade 220 stash enhancement (at $4.89/skein you should too). I kept it to two colors and they came on Saturday. I got Matt some of the Khaki Drab, just because I thought it was a great name for a yarn (may as well just call it "Matt"). I was surprised how incredibly lovely the yarn is. Yes, it's a khaki, but it's not the least bit drab. I'm already thinking of either making him Na Craga or Irish Moss (both from Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting book). I got myself a lovely blue heather.

The other yarn that arrived on Saturday was my order from Elann. I ordered two colors of their new cotton/linen marl yarn Adara. The yarn is lovely and I only crocheted a quick swatch (which I haven't washed yet). However, I can't believe that this would knit up as an aran weight yarn (18 sts to 4"). Seems much closer to a dk weight. I'll see how much it blooms when I wash it, but it's seems way too thin to be an aran weight yarn. One of the yarns was to be for a crochet lace pullover and the other for a Knitting Pure and Simple 3/4 sleeve pullover. I'll have to rethink those, since the gauge is so far off from what they have listed on the label (again, swatch not washed: so I might be wrong on this).

Last and not least was what I brought home from Olde Peddler Wools. As I mentioned, Darlene stocks the Kraemer yarns. I love their cotton/acrylic yarn. They make a baby/child yarn called Little Lehigh. One of the colors is my kind of pink. While they make a soft baby pink, this is the brighter, almost neon pink (called Peek A Boo). This will become a lacey summer cardigan (still debating between two patterns).

A Classic Elite Pattern (and it does look fab in that shade of pink, eh?)

or:

Green Mountain Spinnery's Lace Cardigan.

Hmm, decisions decisions!!!!

Either way, right now, it's all about working on some things that are sitting here (like Matt's SOA) and I've GOT to do a knitting nest clean up. All that new yarn needs to find a storage spot (yikes!) and I've got to just simply get things put away and better organized.

So that's the plan for today!
Keep On Knittin'!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

More of the same

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Matt's SOA is coming along. I'm not sure if I can really call this the SOA, as I'm only using the basics from the pattern. I'm using a different yarn than the original, so I had to redo the math, including removing some purl stitches between cables (there's supposed to be two purls between each cable, but the cotton/acrylic yarn stretches too much, and it would've made the body too wide anyway. The pattern also doesn't have any front neck shaping, so I worked the numbers for that yesterday.

Tho photos really don't do this sweater justice. The cables look stunning in person and the fabric is fabulous. It's soft and cuddley (don't tell Matt... he might not think "cuddley" is a positive).

Here's the other project that I've been working on here and there:
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The Textured Stitches Crochet Afghan. I'm having fun thinking of different stitches to use in it. I'm probably better than halfway done... I might keep going until I'm out of yarn. I nice big, lazy day afghan for next winter.

I think I'm going to have to go out today. I haven't gone out in two days and I'm not in a great mood. Maybe some fresh (if cold) air will do me some good. At least the sun is shining today.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

More of the same

I have Matt's SOA to the back armhole depth (no picture. Just look at yesterday's post and add a few inches to what's there).

I've got to finish up my afghan block for Saturday's class and do my illustrations for the handouts. I think I'll concentrate on the afghan block...

It's cold and dreary today... a good day to stay in and work on an afghan.

Keep on knittin'!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

That Son Of An Aran!!!

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Matt's SOA is moving along. The Cotton Ease is making a great fabric and is easy to cable. I know Matt will get a lot of wear out it!

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Mine is swatched and ready to go... when I'm back to working on wool sweaters! which can be at any time).

As much as I love the Spring Forward, the SOA is going to a great project too... and easier. I've already memorized the cable patterns (and even all the time I've spent with the Spring Forward, I still have one cable pattern that I have to follow the chart on).

So I'll be cranking along on Matt's today. I should get the back to the armhole depth today!

I'm off to get my photo license today. Should make for some quality knitting time! Okay, Lauren talked me out of going today... as I have a hair appointment next week. Well, why not go after, eh? My hairdresser is right across the street from the DMV photo place and the appointment is in the morning. Sounds good to me... and so I'll just knit today!!!!!! (this would also explain why I have a disjointed blog today... I was chatting with Lauren on IM while trying to write).

Gena says that spring is in the air:

Monday, April 02, 2007

It's All About The Team

Now that racing season is well underway, Matt's entire focus is on biking. It was a busy weekend, with the Friday night fundraiser and followed by the Kirkwood race on Saturday. Sunday is always a 3 hour "recovery" ride (sorry, I don't do ANYTHING for 3 hours and consider it "recovery"). Matt's blog has the race covered, but here's some fun shots from the Fundraiser:

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A shout out to the team sponsors and to the race team!

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Keith wants to know which lap is the beer lap.

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Jim giving Tom advice on how not to crash (Tom won the "bad luck" award last year with two bad crashes: first breaking his hip, the second breaking his collarbone and scapula).

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Here's Mike, Geoff (showing off his skinny former pro racing body) and Jen. Keith peeking around the side with Mike's wife (whom I'm sorry to say I didn't get a chance toe meet), then Keith's lovely wife Tara.

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The big disappointment of the evening: Bryan with his shirt on. I was at least hoping for the skin suit... be assured that I WILL get a picture of that this season...

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No knitting needles to be found, but we were busy drinking beer and oogling those big thighed hot biker bods!

The Iron Hill Brewery donated the evening's food and beer and facility. Iron Hill has been a fabulous supporter of local cycling. They are the main sponsor for the West Chester Cycling Club and and the title sponsor for the race team. Without those kinds of sponsors, the guys wouldn't be able to do this. The food was good, they provided us with a super fabulous bartender and made it easy for the guys to raise some money.

So other than that, what did I do over the weekend. As I mentioned, Matt raced all day on Saturday. I was going to go, as this is the last race I could attend for a couple of weeks, but Matt and Bryan decided to carpool, and that left me out. (ya, Bryan definitely owes me a shirtless shot now). So I knit all weekend.

Thanks to everyone about the Half Linen Cardigan. I'm really happy with it. The yarn was sooooo fabulous. I will be getting more. Oh yes, yes I will.

So in typical post project restlessness syndrome, I sort of floundered a bit on what to work on next. I worked a bit on my Mermaid, which isn't very far, but the directions are "high maintance"... more than they should be for the project. So I put it aside while I wait to hear back from Amy who's created a spreadsheet with row by row directions.

Then I remembered that I have my Spring Forward class on Saturday... guess I need to start putting my material together for that. So what did I do for it?

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Well, I started a Son of Aran Pullover for Matt, of course!!! bwahaha
I'm using the written out pattern that I purchased from Black Water Abbey and I had to rework the numbers, since I decided to use Cotton Ease in stone. It's going to be a nice 3 season pullover for Matt. So I swatched it, and worked the numbers. Oh, and I also swatched a version for me in Cascade 220 and it's blocking right now....

Since it's offically baseball season (YAY!!!), I'll run to the grocery store this morning (new neighbors, so we'll gift them with township garbage bags... we pay by the bag for garbage) then settle in to watch some day games with my knitting in hand!!!

Keep on Knittin'!