Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I

I think it's pretty appropriate that I knit this one while watching Snakes on a Plane. i used some leftovers from a skein of handspun (also from the Knitting Olympics swap - (thanks, whoever spun these!) and leftovers from a skein of light blue worsted I had used in the stripey sweater. Unfortunately the skein of worsted was in small balls, hence the snakes...



And here's the finished sherbert hat, although it doesn't look so sherbert-y in these shots.

Below is Arwen. We're moving along, but I'm having issues.

First, the Sublime yarn is not so sublime right now.
It's still soft and beautiful, and has only a few knots, but...
You can't see in these shots, it's a gray fuzz appearing sporadically on the finished fabric. It's not pilling exactly - more like fluffing. I don't know what it's called - but it bugs me.

I'm hoping it will stop soon, since it bums me out, especially since I bought the yarn specifically because it was not supposed to get pilly. I thought it would be like my beloved Aurora 8. Anyone ever have a similar problem with a sweater? What did you do? Does it go away?



My other issues are more knitter based... My needle here is pointing to a misfired cable. I didn't think it would bug me, but it does. I might redo it, or see if I can rework it somehow. It really just needs to have a crossover over it, am wondering if I can somehow knit over it without frogging so far down? (it's pretty far down the side...)
Again, anyone an expert at cable fixes???

Also, I messed with the sleeves to change the dimensions and am not sure I like what I did. I shortened, which was OK. But then I added a few rows to make the arm looser and think I have added a few too many. I'm thinking I should have trusted the pattern on this one, esp since my arms are pretty small.

The sweater itself is kind of boxy and the sleeves give it a little fit, I'm thinking. I didn't want to make them loose, just not tight. ugh. The middle is tough to do - I have to make the cables match to do the kitchner, so it's either tight or loose, I can't stop mid pattern or it will look funky. Unless I bail on the cable arms and go with some seed stitch?

I might just frog the entire left side down to the waist to fix both sleeves and errant cable at once. But I can't handle it yet. So I've started the other side and will revisit the side once
when I feel like thinking about it. Phhhhhht.

Off to Stop and Shop, the doc and tennis today! See you.

Friday, February 23, 2007

and grows and grows.
I should have thought about it when I read the pattern. Adding sleeves as you go makes the thing completely unwieldy. Add huge ass long needles, and I'm pretty much housebound if I'm working on it. But it's soft and seems to be going OK. I didn't make the sleeves as long as the pattern suggested, having heard a few rumblings and done my own math. 90 stitches would have given me 21 inch arms. I'm more of a 17-18 inch girl myself,
so we'll see what happens with 75 stitches.



Since Arwen isn't leaving the house, I've picked up some handspun I had gotten back from the Knitting Olympics wrap party. I made one hat already and am going for another. The first was blues and greens and pinks. I don't know if you can see the colors here, but this yarn looks exactly like sherbert. Makes me think of champagne punch with sherbert floating on top.

Besides Arwen and my sherbert project, I've had a lot of time around the house this week. School vacation and all, so, I've been checking the Knittyboard and sending packages out. I managed to get rid of a few things that needed new homes and am getting new stuff back.
Mail's apparently pretty quick this week, so I already have cool new stuff to share.

First, yarn and pattern to match - just as God and Jo Sharp had intended. The light gray is a color I'd never have bought in the yarn shop, but I like it and think it will make a cool vest for summer. Fun when a swap yields something different. I didn't really pay attention to what color was coming, but figured it would be fine. It's almost pearly gray or light blue.

It's going to be this vest. Has anyone seen one of these knit up?
I've been looking, but so far I might be the first.



And second, this amazing book. I've only flipped through a couple times, since it's been in the house for all of about an hour, but it's great. And brand new, so it even has that fabulous new book feel to it!


I did some intarsia this year - fishy hats, flowered sweater, knitty hats - all of which you can see in Finished Objects! I liked it, but my little graph paper drawings were proving to be quite limiting. The stuff in here, not so limiting. It's awesome, completely inspiring. I can't wait to get back into the stash and use up some of my stray skeins with this stuff. Remember all that Debbie Bliss Cotton? I still have lots of colors to play with.

Lastly, Zoe in her coordinates.


Getting small, but she has been in it all week. In her hand is a purse shaped like a dog.
So, sorry about the dog's ass shot.
It's full of polly pockets and according to Zo, matches everything.

Seems she and Maya are on the knitted bandwagon these few days,
digging up their homemade garments for wear. I love it...
(Note however, that the stripey sweater is still in the drawer. It's killing me!!!)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Vacation means a little time outside - and look what hat she's wearing!
It looks much better on her head than on the photo I posted a few entries back.
I'm just glad I finally made something she loves.

About a half hour after this was taken, we walked into town and dropped the hat while crossing the street at a busy intersection. Luckily a driver honked and pointed, but we had to wait one entire cycle of the stoplight before we were able to run out and get the poor hat,
which was stranded in the center of the intersection.

I thought Maya was going to lose it as each car drove past, narrowly missing the little yarn bump in the road by inches! I think they saw us standing there, craning our necks and watching breathlessly. Most of them swerved to avoid it, but she was terrified it would be flattened and ruined by some slushy nasty tires....whew.


Vacation also means some quality knitting time on Arwen.

I'm done with the boring back and find my gauge is a little off. Instead of 19 inches across, I'm a little over 20. Am thinking I can fix that at seaming? Has anyone done something like that?
It's only an inch or so, it shouldnt be a problem, right???

Now I'm working my way up the first side. Once I got the hang of the cable, it's been fun. Enough of a pattern to require some attention, but still OK for TV knitting.
The band is turning out kind of cushy and soft, since it's cables on both sides. I like that.
(or maybe it's the silk, cashmere, merino yarn?)

Don't look too close, there's a little cable misfire in there.
I'm thinking only a knitter will notice, (and only an asshole will say so) so I'm ignoring.

Here's the finished gift for baby Eliot.

Made of Artyarns Merino - a little topknot hat and some baby mitties. I made these up, using a 32 stitch ribbed sock as a base and measuring to a big stuffed bear we have! It worked pretty well. I like how the yarn pools differently in the hat, the mitties and the string. And I am thinking a little headband for me out of the leftovers.

And lastly, what every bored Mom does on school vacation.

A trip to Target!
We found the Valentines stuff for 90% off, so the girls got matching valentines tee shirts - with little dogs on them. 40 cents each! If only my LYS had stuff for 90% off....


Saturday, February 17, 2007

I had a $30 credit at the LYS. So I went and talked myself into buying Jo Sharp Ultra for $50 more. Still not so bad, right? It's almost 50% off. I bought 10 skeins in a really beautiful deep purple. It was soft and fluffy and solid colored, something I need more of in the stash. (Like a wardrobe, right, the stash should cover all your bases....) I took the stuff home and realized that although I loved it, I had managed to acquire another batch of yarn for which I had no project.

So I figured I'd do the responsible thing. I picked a project.

I took my Winter IK with A Cardigan for Arwen and went back to exchange the yarn. Cascade, I'm thinking. Next thing I know, I've got 14 skeins of this gorgeous new stuff called Sublime, in a deep pinky-red color. it really is lovely. Part cashmere, part merino and doesn't pill. Kind of like Karabella's Aurora 8 - which I'd buy again in a heartbeat if only someone around here carried it again --- where did that stuff go????


Problem is I've now spent $120. $30 credit = $90 out of pocket. Like I said, bad math.

But even if I did a bad, bad thing, I also did a few good things yesterday. Actually 3.

First, here's my happy sister.

Amazing how a finished sweater got her out here in less than 24 hours - snow, slush, ice and lack of a parking space all taken into consideration. She even hung out to babysit Zoe while I did my good deed #2.

Second, I had volunteered to teach knitting at Maya's school. Yesterday was the big First Lesson. Here I am all packed to go.


No photos there, since I don't think other parents would appreciate pics of their kids out on the web. There were 7 of them . Snacks were important. I found I'm pretty patient with other people's kids. Good to know. It gave me a new appreciation for mine, even. A hard thing to teach 7 year olds. The whole holding the needles piece was the toughest. I ended up casting on for most of them, and concentrated on the knit stitch. We did get a couple of rows down, but for the most part they weren't exactly diligently knitting away.

3 of them already had taken a lesson or two, and dubbed themselves "The Professionals". They did pretty well. Knitting away, chatting (is THIS how it begins???) and then coming over for specific mistakes.

One of them had no idea what she was doing, but insisted she did and wouldn't take direction. She just kept coming back to ask me to fix her crazy loops and knots, before rejoining her "Professional" buddies. She was a riot. She insisted that the needle went in the front to knit, not the back. She'll grow up into a yarn store customer who comes in for way too much help, drives the staff nuts and never tries to figure it out herself..

Another two were very interested in learning and did make some headway, which was great. It's so rewarding when a kid puts their head down and works to figure something out! Ice skating, bike riding, tennis, whatever. Amazing to watch them actually LEARN something. And the last one, who also really wanted to learn, had to leave after 20 minutes for a doc appt
(which isn't even long enough to figure out how to hold the needles, poor thing!)

A friend of mine who teaches kids often told me the first lesson is always chaos with the kids, so I will try again. We'll see how they do. At the least, they definitely had fun. I also had two kids who wanted very much to come who couldn't make it, so I should give them a chance too.

Another Mom helped me out teaching. She's a big fan of novelty yarns, so my last good deed of the day was a little self-helping too. I gave her two bags out of my stash (from my Mom's big heave ho) that I have not been able to trade or swap, but couldn't part with since they were nice yarns, too nice for the art class! One bag of various novelty yarns, one of mohairs.
A little thank you, a little stash cleaning.

Anyways, another snowy day. The beginning of school vacation.
I've casted on for my $90 Arwen, so let's start getting my money's worth out of her.......

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I'm going to give it to my sister no matter what, but finished and flat on a table,
it's pretty cool. Makes me want to keep it.

I think I just love the yarn - and to be honest, it took less than 3 skeins to make the vest so,
I still have 7 left. Wanna bet I can find something more flattering for me. I was thinking Arianna, but I have some purple Rowan Harris Tweed I really want to make that out of.

Any ideas for Arcuania Nature Wool? Stuff you've seen knit up? A universally flattering pattern idea? Maybe it needs to be another Hourglass ( but yawn....) I think a V neck or tunic type neck might be good. Hmmmm.

The top shot is the REAL color. The ones below are darker for some reason.
But I wanted to show off the pretty details.


I love this ribbing in the pattern - twisted rib on the edging, and a purl row to set it apart. I've done ribbing a hundred times, but starting with a row of purls and doing the twisted rib really makes it look defined.



And a pretty bottom too. I love how cables begin!

By the way, Knitsmiths - Did I miss Shireen last week or is she coming next week????


Monday, February 12, 2007

It seems there's way low interest in the cocktail part of things, so back to the knitting.


Here's a shot of Vest Evereste, before seaming.

I loved the pattern and the yarn and the color. The Arcaunia Nature Wool is really pretty stuff - and although it feels a little itchy next to my sock yarn, it's actually great for a sweater. It doesn't have a lot of drape, but it looks nice in the cables, had very few breaks, and isn't too heavy or itchy with a tee shirt underneath.

So, I was very happy with the result and happily blocked and seamed and tried on. Turns out, I hate it on me. Still looks great on the table, but not so much on me. It's one of those designs that give you some extra boob, and, since I added a little length on the bottom,
some extra hourglass action on the hips. Neither of which I need. ugh.

I folded it up and resigned myself to frogging the whole thing, since I love the yarn too much to have it be unworn as some kind of garment. I was thinking Ariann, as it's one of the sugggested subs on Chicknits.

But then my sister came over and tried it on. It looks great on her - since she's only 20 something and has no flaws to hide. So it's unfolded again, waiting for some ribbing around the neck and sleeves. You'll see a finished shot of it soon.
But it'll be nice and flat on the table.....or maybe modeled on Melissa.

I'm apparently going through a green and blue phase, as you'll see below.


A few more small projects to keep working through the stash. The scarf is out of Danette Taylor handpainted wool. I love the colors on this. I got it in a Knitsmiths swap a while back, and although I've looked for Danette's yarn again, she seems to have closed up shop.

This will be for our elementary school's silent auction when finished. It may get a matching hat if I have enough yarn. I'm thinking simple ribs. It's very Manos-like, this stuff.
I still have one more skein in a similar colorway. I may use it next or save it to swap.

Also out of the stash, one more baby cable hat.


I love making this pattern - it's so easy, I can do it anywhere. Maya's been bugging me for one ever since Anna Rose's purple version. Cables without the needle! The yarn was in my stash, and I have no idea what it is. It came from my Mom, who has no idea either. I think she liked to gather the yarn more than she actually liked to knit with the stuff, and by the time she unloaded it all on me, it was a big blur to her.

It's very soft and a lovely shade of deep teal, with little green flecks. Maybe it's alpaca? I have a skein and a half. Whatever it is, Maya has tried it on her head a bunch of times and
swears it's the softest woofiest hat ever.

She'll get it when she gets out of school this afternoon, so we'll see if the love affair continues
or fizzles - as in the case of the still unloved stripey sweater.....

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As for the pattern, it's a simple 2 x 2 ribbed hat.
I do an inch or so of ribbing for the edge and then go to the cable part.

Cable Patt
Row 1&2: K2,P2
Row 3: k2tog, leave on needle, and knit the first stitch again before slipping, P2
(I got this from a sock pattern)

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Lastly, a little purchase still unknit.


This is Artyarns supermerino - and it's going to be a baby hat for my friend Edwidge, who's just had a little boy. I'm thinking baby spiral hat. I've seen them made before and never tried one,
but i know it's a pattern that won't be lost in the bright colors of the yarn.

And from this weekend, here's the big news around here.


Zoe's 3!
and sideways....


(Sorry Shireen!! I couldn't leave.)




Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Well, you guys hear about the babies all the time
(not exactly babies anymore)
but lately, I've lagged way behind on the cocktails.

So....

This photo was taken during my computer induced absence. Think back when it was unseasonably warm out here. Champagne, Apricot Nectar, Rum and Lime juice. They were pretty tasty - and it was about 65 degrees, so something fizzy and fruity seemed perfect.

Truth is, there's always plenty of booze round these parts, but now that it's cold -
and trust me, it's COLD these days - all I really have the urge to pour is a bottle of red,
and that's just not exciting enough to blog about.

I don't usually mix red wine with stuff in winter. (There's the occasional mulled wine, but we haven't made any this year - and I don't know if that really qualifies as a cocktail. The whole cooking step makes it seem like a new category) I looked in my Mr Boston and found an interesting cold weather wine recipe - have you heard of Hot Buttered Wine? It contains muscatel, actual butter and maple syrup. I didn't make any, so maybe it's great and I'll never know. I'm thinking it probably isn't though.

There is one thing I've been mixing up. I have a new French Press coffee maker and a fabulous milk frother. You just can't improve on a latte with Kaluha or Baileys! We've had a few of those.

Soon, I need to try a Hot Chocolate and schnapps with the fluffy milk too.

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That pretty much brings you up to date with what we've been drinking up here in Boston.
Wine and coffee drinks.
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But, here are some DisneyWorld vacation photos with more fun cocktails.
Because I have them, and I feel like sharing.

Did you know there is no booze in the ENTIRE Magic Kingdom?
Not so magic.

But they've got it at the restaurants in Downtown Disney.
(Looks like my kids are the ones hitting the bottle in this shot..)


And out by the pool.
(what a husband!)

As you may have guessed, I have no new knitting pics.
I started a scarf and decided the yarn was so ugly, I tossed the 8 completed inches plus the remaining yarn in my friend's trash can. I was really that bad.


Planters Punch on the lanai. See the tiny castle in the background??




Saturday, February 03, 2007


Who doesn't love new stuff?

First I have a new camera, which means my pictures will finally look as pretty as all of yours. Second, I have a new chair to knit in. This one's not covered in 16 years of spills and unmentionables and it's soooooo comfy. And just look how the sun hits it. Mmmmm. I also bought a new table that you can't see. It's on the other side. It's for resting coffee and cocktails on - and it has a door so I can put all the yarn IN....

(and I know I owe you a long post specifically dedicated to what I've been drinking! I have the shots, will do soon.) As for what I've been doing in the chair besides drinking... On the subject of New Stuff, I've gotten a French Press coffee maker and a Frother.

You'd be amazed how many coffee type drinks are better with a little somethin' added. And some (as Maya calls it) Fluff.


OK, maybe I still have a little ways to go with my photographic abilities. Big shadow. This is Arcaunia Nature Wool in apple green - it's going to be a cabled V neck vest from IK. I think it's called Veste Evereste -- I'm lengthening the body and making the V deeper - So far the back is done, front coming along. Am thinking vests may be my new thing - no sleeves to worry about = less seaming, less yarn, less time. But lets see if I wear the thing first.


I'm doing a little better on the photo here - Who doesn't love Noro? I actually love knitting with it, but have little desire to wear it, so this one is a ribbed hat for charity. The colors are so fun to knit with when they change on you, and they're gorgeous. But gorgeous on someone else's head, not mine.

Anyways, off for the day. Things are planned for me - it's my Birthday!!
We started with breakfast made for me
I'll find out what in a little bit.