Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Remember that show?

Also had a flashback the other day when I saw a dude (yes, a dude) at the mall with a comb in his back pocket. Haven't seen that in ages --- yep, there was a time when I wouldn't have even thought of leaving the house without mine. I had a big red one with a handle at one end, comb at the other. Always put it in the right hand pocket. Thought I was pretty cool. I mentioned the sighting to my husband, wh0 very matter of factly informed me that HE sported a VENT BRUSH in his pocket. What??? A vent brush? Keep in mind, he was a BOY, not Farrah Fawcett. I'm vaguely embarrassed for him, but need to remind myself he grew up in the Valley (San Fernando that is) In LA they tend to take their fashion statements pretty seriously. Apparently.

Anyways, onto the knitting.

Inspired by Johanna's (jofrog) adorable little dinos, and in possession of a ton of this Cherry Tree Hill Pot Luck Superbulky in deep lizard like greens, I'm making the prehistoric trio for my nephew's birthday this month. He's 3. My thought is that I'll use other solid colors - I have orange, red and yellow- for the spikes and fan on Trice, the fins on Mr Stegs, and make some colored elephant like toes on Bronty, but that all three dinos will be out of the same stuff. I just began Mr Stegs here - and about an hour later, I'm pretty far down the tail. These little dudes will fly.

Also have gotten going on hub's socks, but am afraid that they seem v-e-r-y wide and know hubby is a picky one. Stuff could "itch" his feet. He tried 'em on yesterday and said the heel seems a little loose. Am taking a little break before I become too committed. They could become a hat before long. I love the yarn and he's alreaady mentioned how sad it is to hide the colors on his feet. (Am i just ignoring the signs here?)

Anyways, am currently ignoring wails from Zoe, who has been wronged by her sister....

but wanted to also add how great it was to meet a bunch of you from Team Boston this weekend and see all the great stuff you made. My little socks were WAY too easy, and you've all inspired me to shoot higher next year - intarsia? A whole sweater? We'll see. Thanks again to Cara and Wendy for all their efforts - I keep lurking around all your blogs looking for the photos to appear!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

See, if you set your expectations low, and change the rules a few times to suit your needs (as in not doing it, yes doing it, changing the pattern so I CAN do it) it all works out. Not sure who that makes me Olympic-wise, but hey.

And doesn't Maya look sweet in her Granny's hat? It's a little big, so the holes don't all look even on her head. Or maybe they aren't really even in real life, I haven't looked too closely yet!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

I lost a good hour or so trying to figure out how a yrnfrn and a yon are different from a yo and illustrations to show how they each go. Godddammmit. You think the Rowan people would list ALL the abbreviations in the back of the book, but no. Finally I figure out they're all really the same, just different b/c of the knits and purls that surround 'em. Thanks to one of the online help sites with pics.

But here we go as of midnight last night. It's weird to knit a hat NOT in the round, but I think this will turn out pretty well. It needs pressing so the bumps turn into flat lace -- it'll be tight today, with plans and girls, but another late night should do it!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Went to A Good Yarn today and now am in possession of a new hat pattern and new yarn, courtesy of Rowan. I'll be making the Safi Hat from the Cotton Rope collection - out of great soft pink. Am thinking it will be a good call. The yarn is soft and thick, so it'll be warm enough and not at all itchy - and the pattern has holes throughout for some breathing in the hot LA sun - but not too much breathing, since we do want to hide the lack of hair below...

I'm thinking with a little commitment, I can get the puppy done in a couple of days in time for the Closing Ceremonies. We'll see!

Gotta say, it's fun to walk into a yarn store where you don't only know the staff, but the customers too! I didn't expect to be seeing fellow Knitsmiths Claire and Lisa B in addition to Johanna and Dani - what fun! I felt a little like Norm from Cheers...

Even the girls had a good time, thanks to a little dollhouse in the corner and Barbie Knits - in addition to the ever fabulous Dani who put up with some questionable restocking "help" and Johanna who is always way sweet to the kids, Lisa got down on her knees to assist Zoe with a new magnet toy - now THAT'S a fellow Mom!

Anyways, off to the gym for a quick shot of energy and then back for dinner and the final push on this project...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Not forget it as in I'm not doing it, but forget it as in something I'm going to churn out in a few days.

Turns out my yarn is all wrong - too thick for a warmish weather hat, and has no elasticity at all. It's a beautiful cotton, just not for this. I gotta get new stuff - something with no wool in it, fairly delicate, somewhat warm - but not too warm since the woman lives in LA. She's extra picky - most likely to call with a "thanks, but it's not perfect". Therefore I must make it perfect. Will take time....

Instead, I'll start socks #2 today and plan yarn shopping this weekend (always fun) - It will be a few weeks before the hat is really needed anyways - and better it's late and gets used than early and not, right?

Any suggestions for a good DK weight cotton with some elasticity, that's soft and warmish? (I know it's LA, but she insists her head gets cold....)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Under construction

And done. Socks aaaalllll done. Nice knees shot. Think I need some moisturizer?

I know it's early in the games and that this wasn't a real exercise in time management. The whole sock challenge was more about trying something I didn't really have a big desire to knit. I saw everyone else doing em, but they really seemed a little too technical, too fussy, and I was not not not going to do anything on those frigging little needles. But I did - turned the heel, did the gusset, kitchenered the toes. And although I don't dig those #1s too much, I managed not to use up all my kids' Scooby Doo band aids. And I like these - kind of funky, very comfy.

But it is early in the competition, so I have another event to add.

Another smaller one, but a project I like and I've tried before and been frustrated with, so again - points for technical difficulty? It's Marnie McClean's Nautilus Hat. I know it's not crazy hard, but I CANNOT knit that thing. Have tried like 3 times before and always given up after a few days. Something about the counting that's just beyond me. I"m a pretty big idiot when it comes to following directions that don't spell it out EXACTLY - I tend to go off and figure out a new solution for myself... and Marnie leaves a few details up to the knitter here - where exactly do you increase? Think I'll email her for the specifics and finally get it done.

If I make it an Olympic Challenge, I'll eventually either shoot myself or figure it out so.... it's going to be a chemo cap for someone about to begin treatment this week, so I need to send it off, wishes included, by next weekend. She's gone through all this before, and usually slaps a baseball hat on. But no self respecting LA woman can turn her back on fashion, can they? And an older woman in one of those matching sweatsuits, fanny pack and baseball hat? A walking DON'T. So a more attractive chemo cap for when she wants to see and be seen. Maybe she'll even ditch the fanny pack if I make a matching bag...

And before I sign off...... see this?
Yep, that's a brand new ball winder. Got myself a little birthday present with Grandma's check this year. Always wanted one. Will have lots of fun winding everything in the stash into attractive and space saving center pull balls. And no, I don't have a swift. What I've got is an enthusiastic 6 year old with able arms instead. We 've been taking turns holding or winding.

And the drink? It's kind of a Rum and Tab. Diet Coke, Lemon and Rum. Sounds a little scary, but it really hit the spot! Don't judge till you've had one.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

One down, one to go! For all my bitching and moaning, I actually LIKED knitting this puppy - once I got the proper needles.... And they feel soooooooo good on my feet! Why do people wear socks bought at the mall??? (Probably because they don't cost $20 in yarn and another $7 in needles...)

And to my Knitsmith buddies, now I see what you're talking about. The whole sock thing....

Now halfway to the finish line, I can see the gold. Am thinking it might be too easy a goal though - these guys knit up fast. It does depend on the house projects remaining around here , but I could easily be done by Monday!
Days to spare....

So, with that in mind... I stopped by The Knitting
in East Arlington yesterday to get me a ball winder, (can't wait to use it!!!) and was easily swayed into


For more socks. The colors are amazing - deep purples and oranges and blues on a dark maroon background. I added them to hubby's Valentines bag o spices from Penzey's and told him they'd be socks before long.

And by the way, if anyone reading lives near me in Boston, check out The Knitting Room! Jackie, one of the owners, is buying out her partner and going to go it on her own. Its her's as of the end of the month. She's great and the store is a really cozy spot to knit and shop around! I admit I tend to get my stuff everywhere, but I always try and stop there if it's something I know they have - they have a great selection of felting yarns, awesome stuff for baby projects, Malabrigo, Manos, Debbie Bliss, Noro - all kinds of stuff. We gotta support our local guys, right?

Off to work on sock #2!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Am about to turn the heel - Dani's (Sunshine Yarns) yarn is just striping along... Again though, the color is off in the shot. It's purple, periwinkle and yellow.

Thought Id get much more done this weekend in the snow but lots of things were happening over here - I have a houseguest in from Denmark and we had my little one's second birthday celebration with Granny and Grampy on Saturday - Turns out Granny used to be quite the knitter - she loved argyle socks and fisherman knits. Who knew?? She's my husband's stepmother, so I never did. I've only seen her knit garter stitch scarves in the past few years. Now she's begun a new afghan! Yay Granny!!!

I made an awesome (if I do say so myself) cioppino yesterday which took a while but was worth it. All this socializing cuts into the olympic progress. So it's a slower start out of the gates than one may have thought - and I had to frog a few rows on the heel when I got out of sync - so take off a half point for distraction... but I do think I'll get 'em done in plenty of time. If I'm super early, I may go for another pair - but don't get cocky, right?

Changed to bamboo needles - shorter bamboo needles - and what a difference! Am taking my band aids off and even starting to like this. But must see how this heel-turning escapade turns out. Will post again later if I get it!

Ah, and for cocktails -- what my husband likes to call a "ski lodge" (which is really funny coming from a LA Jew who I've never even seen on skis) was on the menu this weekend.

One mug about 2/3 full of hot chocolate
An oz (or so....) of peppermint schnapps
A touch of milk
Marshmallows for garnish!

It's like a York Peppermint Patty in a mug. Mmmmm. We also got the fixins for mulled wine, but it was pretty hard to beat the ski lodge. Drank the wine plain with dinner instead!

Friday, February 10, 2006

I'm not making it out to Doyles tonight, since my entire family has conspired against me as far as getting out of here at all, but I did cast on and am a few rows into my Olympic socks. Have already poked myself about a hundred times with my new little weapons and have decided there will be NO knitting with #1s on our leather sofa! But like any great athlete, I will triumph over my limitations and endure the discomforts ahead and plod on. Big snowstorm this weekend could mean some real progress in the next few days.

If any of you see me with Scooby Doo band aids on my thumbs you'll know why!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

because look at the havoc I'm creating with my spare time. Can't cast on till tomorrow, so really why start something new before then?

I decided the family room needed to be painted and painted NOW (last night, during Lost - usually knitting time).

I had already bought the supplies the day before, when during Zoe's nap (again knitting time) I decided this had to happen. The current yellow was too pale, too boring, too yesterday's news. The NEW yellow is much deeper and darker! Oooooo. I do like it. But honestly, it's still yellow. Not a huge difference to the outside eye. And it cost a whopping $80. Will finish up tonight.

But the actual painting needs to be done when Zoe's asleep, so what project did I tackle this AM while she was awake? Shopping! All the crap we need for our soon to be finished bathroom. Yep. Another $200 of hooks, towel bars, toothbrush and soap holders and a little cabinet (not in photo). A few of my new items are displayed on the turlet seat. Lovely.

I haven't even picked paint or towels to match in there yet...

Looks like the yarn habit is actually a financially smart move. This other stuff adds up fast. Maybe faster than yarn.

But, I'm wandering around town covered in paint, with a ponytail, no makeup and my shittiest jeans and a huge paint splattered T shirt. I'm much more presentable after a morning of knitting...

But I can already see a few more things that could use some attention ... Maybe tomorrow AM we'll do some more....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

So after much preparation, I am ready to move on to the Olympics without this hanging over my head. Grace, from Debbie Bliss, made out of Karabella Aurora 8 in #3 - shocking purple. (Don't think that's what they call it, but it's what it is.) Turned out great - if I could manage to take a good photo of it on my body, I would, but that's apparently not the plan today. Instead, here it is draped attractively over our barbeque. Since it's winter, I figure it's gotta be good for something these days... I completely recommend the Aurora 8 to anyone, it's really great - soft, even, and when you put it on , you can tell it won't be stretching out or anything (like that Cork did...)

And the thing I am MOST proud of, my shoulder seams. Everything lined up perfect and I managed to do a great job across the back and the shoulders. No stray threads, no bunchy bits, just a straight even seam on all fronts! But don't look too close under the arms.. By the way, this photo is pretty true to the color. The seam one.

And now, I'm moving on to my swatch. Said I wasn't swatching, but I had to see what it's like to knit on tiny needles. First I tried #3s. Pretty small. Vaguely annoying for the cast on. But the yarn seemed a little loose still. So, yep, I took the plunge. #1s. Hate em. Pointy little bendy needles. Stabby little fuckers. But can't argue with how much better the yarn looks. And this IS the Olympics, so a little pushing of the envelope right? Dani's yarn is looking very blue here, but it's actually a yellow, periwinkle, purple stripe. And it is extremely soft and delicate looking on these teeny little nemesis needles ---

Well, a few days break now. No use starting anything before Friday...... As for cocktails, I'm on an orange juice and Zicam diet these days. Goddammn cold won't go away. Check back in a few.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I wonder if we all get socks as groovy as #33.

Found this on Bookish Wendy's site and had to steal it. Am about to put Grace together as soon as I add an inch to each of the shoulders on the fronts. It gets a substantial collar, so the knitting part isn't really over either. Have only one skein left, am hoping for the best! If we get a good nap tomorrow, I may have something to post.

Lost some quality knitting time today since I couldn't make it to Knitsmiths - hubby's off on a business trip and the limo came at 4pm - can you believe the nerve? Prime knitting time.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

I have three - count em, three - options in the stash!

Option #1 - Sunshine Yarns, dyed up by our own Dani. Purples and yellows -
Option #2 - lovely pinks and peaches in my usual colorway, from Colleeen of Subway Knitter fame.
Option #3 - most attractive since it's thicker than the other options, but not sure if there is enough for 2 socks here. Got this on Ebay for like 5 bucks.

What to knit? Really, I need to stop screwing around with the socks and finish up Grace before next Friday. This morning already I've lost an hour looking at yarn, reading Olympic Posts and doing this, while Grace sits patiently in her basket already seeing the writing on the wall. She knows it's now or next month....

Anyways, off to the Aquarium, must get showered before Spongebob is over or it will all go to hell over here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Why not? This whole Knitting Olympics thing is kind of fun.

Am waiting to see if I make the cut for Team Boston....

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Yep that's right. I don't know if it's Alison's cool maps, Colleen's slippers, the fact that I've been watching the Knitsmiths do it so many times, or the Sunshine Yarn Dani made in my stash, but I have this itch to try a pair.

Almost done with Grace, just finishing up the back and will put it all together within the week, I'm hoping! The socks seem like a good break from cables and sweaters and I do want to try something new so, hey. I even have a set of #3 DPNs.

Does anyone know a good beginner sock pattern out there on the web? I have seen a few, but don't know how to judge what's going to work well or what's too complicated.

Something simple, basic - you know, a classic sock. I just don't really want to buy a book since this might be my only pair. (I imagine the itch will soon give way to enthusiasm, but for now, it does seem like toe in the pool caution, doesn't it?)