Friday, October 31, 2008

Why yes, those ARE demon baby dolls.

The one closes to Maya has pentagrams drawn in his eyes and horns on his head, the center one has vampire teeth and the one in the scotty dog dress is a more traditional dead baby doll. Maya actually thought it was hilarious and insisted on this photo, but Zoe doesn't look so sure she wants to sit down next to the freaky babies.

But she did have fun in the graveyard looking for the oldest headstone - it wasn't as pretty as this one, but it was way older.

Knitting again soon. And costume pictures.

PS - anyone want to guess where we were for these pics? It's very Halloween-y.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

First, see the finished sock? That's one looooong sitting project done!

Three purple projects. They look so different, but really, they're all purples - even the sofa is a dark eggplant. (What can I say? My kitchen cabinets also - a deep shade called blackberry) It's a favorite color. For a while there I was buying nothing but different purple yarns, so it shouldn't be a surprise as I knit down into my stash that I've hit a theme here.

I'm loving the therapeutic aspect of this little project - having never knit with laceweights really, I decided to keep it simple in the hopes of not abandoning the project. It's a stockinette scarf with eyelets along the sides. I have an unknown amount of this lovely alpaca laceweight yarn - dyed by old friend Dani of Sunshine Yarns about 3 years back.

I've always loved the lavenders in it, but kept putting it back since it was lace and the idea of those #3 needles is enough to make me shudder. Now I'm hooked on the simple stitch and the pretty, feathery texture - knit up on #5 needles :-). Reminds me of the great Rowan scarf Carol knit up a while back - everyone who draped it over themeslves wanted to keep it since it felt so amazing.

Still not so sure I'd be doing lace stitches in this stuff, but for now, it's my preferred TV knitting - and I had a few Dexters to catch up on this weekend!

The new project - for once - is an existing pattern in The Proper Yarn. I couldn't believe when I read the specs for the Cabled Bolero here that it called for 5 skeins of Rowan Aran Tweed, and when I went upstairs, that's exactly how much was in the stash. I had taken it out intending to use a completely different yarn, of course, but seeing the specs I decided to give this a shot. I even did a gauge swatch and was right on gauge. Now let's see if I fare better when following the rules...

PS - on the cocktail front, still playing with Cherry Juice. Haven't hit the right mix yet, but am thinking it goes well with bourbon. Since i was reading a novel about some elderly Brits (Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym) the last few nights, I've had sherry and port, just like my literary subjects. It's OK on a rainy night, but not so fun as the mixed ingredients!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yep, another finished February Lady Sweater.

This one was knit completely off gauge, in Sublime Merino DK. Almost frogged since I was convinced it would fit only Maya, but lace and garter stitch like it when you block the crap out of them, and now it fits just fine.

The Sublime Merino is soft and clingy and drapey, which feels amazing and works great in a sweater like this as long as I'm buttoned up. I decide to unbutton, I lose all shape here and the flaps hang heavy and off to the side. Someday I'll learn my yarn sub lessons. In the meantime, I used up 7 out of 10 skeins on this, so I have enough left for some sort of amazingly soft and cozy gray scarf. I loved working with this yarn and would definitely do it again - although I might use a pattern intended for it next time :-)

As for buttons, I decided not to gild the lily. This sweater has a lot going on, so after trying out a ton of different options, I went with these. By keeping it simple, I'm hoping this can be more of a basic item that could go with a lot of different things.

I think I might take a break from garments for a while and concentrate on things without fit and gauge and other issues. I have a few smaller projects going that could use a little loving.

And it's time to get back to the cocktails, isn't it?

We decided to play with cherry juice that I'd bought at Trader Joe's by accident. I meant to get cherry cider, which is sweet and tasty by itself. This stuff has got a tartness to it, so it needs a little balance. This worked out just fine - and although I drank it cold, I'm thinking it could be really tasty warmed up a bit on a snowy day....

1/2 cup of apple cider
1/4 more of cherry juice
a shot of cointreau
a double shot of rum

We were bored, so we came up with an option #2 as well.

1/2 glass cherry juice
1/4 tonic
shot of simple syrup (more if you want more sweet)
shot of rum
squirt of lime

(this one, don't warm up)


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's not exactly knitting, but I had to make a trip to Micheals to work on these this week.

Maya's going to be a Zombie Bride for Halloween, so here's her bouquet.
(this was waaaay fun to pick out)

And for Zoe, who's going to be a tiger, an old Gap playsuit was taped up with masking tape and then sprayed with some black paint.

They had to be done early since there are parties and events this weekend that involve wearing costumes! (neither of which mention treats for the adults on the invites. Hmmmm)

There's knitting going on too, but I'm so close to being done, I've told myself I'll save the pics and post for tomorrow. Finished objects and brighter light for better photo taking, right? I have some button options to throw by you too, unless I make up my mind tonight.

I also have a cocktail idea to try this afternoon, and if it's good, I can share that too. Am going for something autumnal, maybe even warm. With cherry juice and cider and rum.
I know I'm looong overdue in the cocktail department, for which I send apologies. I just haven't felt like it. Which is weird, but true. I blame the frigging surgery - which is done now and healing right up. I was bummed to miss Rhinebeck, but that last weekend on my butt was a smart move. I'm walking around now and barely feeling a thing. I think it calls for a drink, don't you?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've always considered myself a really lucky Stay at Home Mom, since I've managed to land in a a spot with a group of people that I'm very comfortable with. There's enough women here who seem to live as I do and raise their kids with the same basic values and attitudes as me, which is great. I've always felt like I have a good batch of friends here in my little town, and I'm totally appreciative.

That said, never has it been more apparent than in Zoe's latest birthday invitation.
I had to laugh when I opened it. ;-)

This particular mom is an old friend of mine from the days before babies, when we both worked in the same advertising agency and ended up at Grumpy's, the bar across the street, most nights. Have I stacked the deck a bit with this one? Maybe so, but I've never actually looked forward to staying at one of the kid parties, and this time I'm thinking it could be fun.

(PS - In taking about kids and values and attitudes, don't think this is it. I'm staying off my educational, political and social soapboxes in the spirit (:-)) of talking to you, my dear readers)

So, for the blog, we stay with the knits and cocktails, yes?
But in real life, I'm not shallow as a petri dish.

So, in regards to knits, a sock.

This is a second sock I'm doggedly trying to finish. I did the first one ages ago, and sent it to my Mom earlier this fall when she'd broken her foot. The joke there is that she will not sit still, no matter what her doc tells her - so if she only had ONE sock, she would have to keep the broken foot elevated and on the sofa.

I'm not so sure it worked, since she ended up bruising her heel in the cast from all the walking she wasn't supposed to do in her one sock.

Anyways, it's time to send the second sock, and would you all believe I cant' remember how to do the heel? How many socks have I knit? But in the year or so since I did my last one, I absolutely forgot how. One of the reasons this puppy has languished is that I was too stubborn to trot upstairs and get the sock book to refresh my memory.

But stubborn has morphed into acceptance, and since Feb Lady is way too big for travel,
the sock is getting finished.

As soon as I get up to the attic for that book.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The counter is fun. Honestly, I'd have been pretty amazed to see anything over 25 hits in one day, but over 250? I had no idea you were all out there! Very validating, I gotta say. My family usually walks away mid sentence, so you can imagine my joy at having an audience.

Although.. there's really no way to check if you all walk away mid sentence, is there?
I'll never know, so let's just say you hang on my Every Word.

Well, since you are out there, I figure I should pony up some knits, huh?

This is the current state of the Now October, and Maybe November Lady Sweater. Plugging away. Loving the pattern and the yarn, so I can't really explain why it isn't done yet. Distraction.

On top of it is my latest Sock Yarn Scarf - a basic diamond lace pattern, in a fall colorway I fell in love with for both the colors and the cheapo price tag - it's a new line from Plymouth and it's $6 for about 200 yds. Gotta love that.

Here's the lady again. I cannot wait to be wearing it.

Next, my favorite question: What buttons?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

is the link to Cassie's Cowl. Enjoy!

Today's all about the administrative details.
Tomorrow, back to the knitting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm so behind the times, but I just added a counter to see if I AM talking to myself or not.
How many times a day will I check in to look at this in the next week?
Feeling better now - thanks for all the wishes and sympathy - did anyone notice the bee sting spam comment, which I thought was pretty funny. Anyways...

Yet another non professional photo, I know. I do this stuff when the kids are not home, so I'm the only photographer around here, and my house is a little dark. Johanna sugggested a tripod, which would probably solve my problem and allow for some gorgeous sunlight outdoor shots, but honestly I'm a little too cheap and pressed for time to go through a lot of trouble here, so enjoy the dark fuzzy photography - which by the way, could hide a plethora of mistakes. Bonus.

But hey, photography aside, this is one cozy and awesome cowl. It is also mistake free. The easiest thing ever on #10s with a 4 row lace repeat. And a fun knit since the yarn is so yummy. I am going to write it up and post for free if any of you have some bulky soft stuff laying around - about 100/125 yds should do it.

I'm thinking I'm going to be making a few cowls in the next month or so.... They would make great christmas presents AND help me in depleting my slowly decreasing stash.

This cowl is off to my friend Cassie soon (Hence the name). I'm hearing a few "Ahas", aren't I? I like the way it sounded - and she named her little boy Theo, so now we're even.

Considering the warm weather out here, I have a little time before she actually needs it.

In other knitting news, the October lady sweater is swimming along again and that lovely blue cowly number is headed to the frog pond. I must do something else with the amazing yarn, but the sweater wasn't going to fly.

I did try and take in the sides, but after an afternoon in TJ Maxx with my sister (a huge What Not to Wear expert), I've realized that a loose fit requires trying on, not knitting and then seeing how it drapes. It would probably have been OK if I made it long, to avoid boxy, but really, some shapes just need to be eyeballed on the bod - and after trying on a few similar sweaters, it was amazing how small differences in each made a big old difference on me.

So, frog. But the lace pattern on the bottom is the same as what's going to be on the cowl pattern, so you can add the ribbing to anything you'd like if you were a fan.

anyways, thanks again for the wishes. I think my surgeon could use a few lessons on invisible seaming, but otherwise I'll be good as new in no time.
Cocktails will resume next week.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I used to come home from a good Girls' Weekend with a hangover.

This time I get back with some funky stomach pain, a golf ball looking thingy sticking out of my belly button, and a weird red rash. I find out I have an Umbilical Hernia and am rushed off to the hospital for emergency surgery. Honestly, I prefer the hangover.

And. oh yeah, my first night back at home afterwards,
there's a wasp in my bed who stings me. My forearm is huge and red. So not fair. Insult to injury.

I'm now trapped at home since I can't move more than 5 feet at a time, and I'm missing out on all the fabulous holiday weekend activities we had planned. Apple picking, Renaissance Faire, last night's big Yom Kippur dinner, and tonight, I'm missing a stargazing party with a real live astronomer and cocktails. (you know how I love the cocktails....)

And alas, Rhinebeck is doubtful, since it involves a little too much time vertical and is only a week away.

But look above since not all is lost.
Sara and Carol sent me lovely sunflowers and all that down time between
the hospital bed and the sofa meant a new shrug for Maya.

I'm figuring I'm like the stock market now - nowhere to go but up....

I'll be much happier next week. Kind of like when I had the hangover.

Friday, October 03, 2008

It's a whole bunch of quick diversions.

Time to pack for the plane - and the train and the bus, too. I only live a few miles outside Boston, but there's no straight line to the airport, so it's a walk to the bus, a bus to the train, two different train lines and then a shuttle from the airport T to the terminal.

The little gray neckwarmer/shrug sounds just about right for all that fun.

And for the actual 3 hrs on the plane, Maya's new shrug and a autumn-y scarf.

As for the blue tee I finished up and went, "Hmmm" about, I'm either going to seam in the sides and redo the neckline so it's a little more snug around the acutal neck - still a loose cowl as it goes up, but I am going to try and pick up the stitches and knit the first few rows a little differently -

ORRR, I'm going to let Carol have it.
She'll deserve it after her big run.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

One more sweater done, but my brow is furrowed. (really it is - look in the pic)

I'm not loving the final product here. Even with the shaping, the square shape is seeming too boxy and the neck is a little much for me -- I have a little head, apparently. Must be why I don't wear so many cowls to begin with? It drapes OK actually, I think I did fine with creating it, I just don't think I like it so much - somewhat of a problem.

Here you can see a little more of it. Just not so flattering. Makes me look very short waisted and thick - funny how it changes when all seamed up. I liked the fit when it was just pinned and the neck stitches were on holders. I think adding the loose neckline just loosened the way it falls and then altered the whole thing's fit a little more. Lesson learned.

Maybe a new neckline? Here I am trying that option out. Would it bring back my fitted shape? I"m not redoing the waist shaping - if I go that far back, i might as well knit something else. In the end, it just maybe the frog pond. I do love the yarn. Time to check out that overgrown queue, right?

Ah well, back to my Oct lady sweater and some easy airplane knitting accessories with no fit issues. Then I'll come back to this after my weekend away in Atlanta.

Maybe in the meantime one of you will come up with an amazing solution :-)