Wednesday, November 30, 2005

All Vittadini, all the time

A couple of days ago, I got to a place on Chill where I couldn't go any further without bobbins. By the way, the question of where to get them in San Diego still stands, if anyone out there knows. So, I put that project away and pulled out the sad and neglected Vittadini. I made really good progress on it and I've finished one side of the V-neck. Last night, I didn't do much on it because I had a really long day and spent the evening doing homework. It was truly yucky. I've also been doing homework this morning, but I'm hoping to get a little done on the other side of the V before I have to go to school.

In other news, it's actually cold here! Yay! The knitted objects that I made last winter can come out and play! In fact, I was able to wear my recently finished Backyard Leaves scarf to work yesterday. It's actually always cold enough in my office to wear a scarf, and a parka too for that matter. That's what I get for working with almost 100% men.

Anyway, back to the weather...I'm sure the snap will be short-lived, but I used it as an excuse to pull out my boxes and wash my winter sweaters. This one is my favorite:

In this picture, it's drying after being lovingly hand-washed in Eucalan. It was its first bath, so it was an emotional moment for both of us. You may recognize the pattern from I wore it last year on my honeymoon to Mendocino and I don't think it's seen the light of day since.

I've been elbow deep in Fortran for the past 24 hours, being inundated with it both at work and at school, so it will be a nice break to sit and knit. I think that's what I'll do right now. Toodles!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Why Math is Not a Knitter's Friend

Well, we all know that math is very useful to a knitter. It allows us to figure out gauge, yarn substitutions, sizing changes, etc. Unfortunately, it can also be our enemy. For example, if you are working on, say, a circular tea shawl, and are in row 31 of your last motif (which contains 36 rows) and you know that you have only a couple of rows of knitting and the edging left, you may assume that you are over 70% done. If you go one step further though and calculate the total number of stitches that will go into the shawl (67,435), then figure out the total number of stitches completed you can easily discover that you have not, in fact, hit the 60% done mark (59.94%). This can make you decide that the best thing to do is to shoot yourself, except, of course, for the fact that I am enjoying making this shawl. The edging alone, for the shawl will have 20,700 stitches! I guess I won't have it done for any holiday party, but since it is teal, that isn't really a hardship, is it?
Lesson learned: Don't try to figure out how many stitches are in any given project.

I spent quite a bit of time knitting over the long holiday weekend, mostly, but not exclusively on my shawl. I have turned the heel and completed my gusset decreases too! I may actually be able to have the sock done in time! I was still very bad and haven't started the blasted second sleeve for my grandmother's cardigan. I really am dreading working on it. I did, however, start a brand new sweater for myself. I am making the sweater in guess what color? Wrong! It isn't remotely blue at all, but rather more of a cream color. I am making the Lace and Tuck Ensemble from the Fall 2004 IK. It is made from Indica Sportweight Alpaca being knit on size 7 Lantern Moon straights (I have never knit a sweater on straights, but need my circs for my grandmother's fricken second sleeve, and these needles are new to me, so I wanted to use them). I have gotten through about 4 lace repeats on the back. I have not yet undone my mother's sweater, but will have to do that soon, I have to return the ball winder this weekend. Now, I am afraid, I must get down to business...

Monday, November 28, 2005

and now for something completely different...

I actually have new projects to show you instead of progress pics of the same old stuff. Yesterday, I took a class at the Grove on how to make those adorable Flower Washcloths from Weekend Knitting. I'd tried the pattern before, but found it boring and kind of hard to understand, so I thought a class would be just the ticket. I didn't manage to finish it during class, but I did when I got home. What do you think? I'm thinking of giving it to my aunt as a gift, possibly along with some handmade soap or something. She's a knitter, too, so she'd probably appreciate it.

I also started a new project: Chill from Rowan 32. I'm doing the two color version. The main color is going to be black (got it at Knitting in La Jolla at 50% off!) and for a contrast, I'm using a very light sky blue. It will be one of those sweaters that's not great fun to make but that gets worn constantly. At least, that's my hope. The color portions are done using the intarsia method and since there's about 5 or so different color sections going across the piece, I'm going to need bobbins. Does anybody know where I can get bobbins in the San Diego area? I don't recall ever seeing them, but then again, I've never looked. I tried Joann's but no luck.

Below is a photo of a completed, three-color version of Chill:

I'm starting Week 10 of the quarter, so finals are next week. I should be getting my Aerodynamics exam back tomorrow morning and I'm already feeling sick about it. I'm just looking forward to this quarter being over!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Backyard Leaves Scarf is finished!

I finished my scarf!! I'm so happy. That means I've finished both my Falling Leaves Socks AND my Backyard Leaves scarf and I haven't started any other projects. Since I'm sooooo good, surely I deserve to start something else, don't I? Anyway, here it is to the right, all sewed up and ends weaved in. The seaming was a little screwy but since it goes on the back of my neck, I didn't worry too much about it. The stats:

Yarn: Classic Elite Wings
Color: Panama Periwinkle
Needle Size: 7
Pattern: Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style
Special Fact: Bought the yarn on honeymoon!

When I first felt this yarn in the shop, I thought it was cashmere, but knitted up, it isn't nearly as soft as cashmere. It's got a slight itch factor to it, made worse by the fact that it simply isn't cold enough to wear it. Nevertheless, I'm wearing it around the house.

I also took the Blogthings Quick and Dirty IQ test, and I was both startled and pleased with the results. The number was pretty high, and I did well in most of the categories, but look at the results for Logical Intelligence! I guess that explains a lot about my behavior sometimes. Anyway, here are the results:

Your IQ Is 135
Your Logical Intelligence is Below Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Now I'm working on Birch, but I've got a wandering eye. I've still got the Vittadini sweater to keep me occupied, but my unfaithful heart is pushing me to search through my brain roladex for patterns that I've been wanting to knit. There's a sweater from an old Rowan magazine that I'd like to make out of Cork and there's always Samus that I'd like to make out of Rowanspun Aran. Hmmm...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

I hope that everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving. Kicking back with family, friends, or both and just enjoying the moment rather than stressing over whether or not the meal will be perfect.
I will be joining Emily and Mara, as well as Emily's boyfriend for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving being prepared by Emily. Before going to dinner I expect to spend as much time as possible in my pajamas, mostly knitting, but not entirely.
I just took a test on which was called "what advanced degree should you get" I should be working, but since it is the day before a long weekend, I just am not in the mood to. I took that test just out of curiosity, you see, almost from the start of law school I realized that I did not want to be a lawyer. Unfortunately, law school cost quite a bit of money and I believed that the only way I could pay off the debt was by staying the course and getting the stupid degree. Since that time, I have been regretting my stubborn persistence at following a course that I selected back in Junior High. Well, guess what the advanced degree test told me I should obtain?

You Should Get a JD (Juris Doctor)

You're logical, driven, and ruthless.

You'd make a mighty fine lawyer.

Last night, during my Wednesday night S'nB I was pushed to the brink of murder or suicide. I was working on mom's sleeves, reached the 17" mark and was worrying out loud about whether I would have enough yarn to finish when Mara asked if my sleeves where the right width. Turns out my sleeves are 17" wide at the base, when they are only supposed to be 11"! This would be bad, but I could start the sleeves over and not truly want to kill myself, it was the implication for what that meant for the body of the sweater that was pushing me to the edge. I came home and measured the body an guess what? The stupid body is over 60" wide! My mother is not nearly that large. The whole G*D*F*ing project is going to have to be torn out. (sorry for the language). Yes, I did do a gauge swatch, no I am not using the recommended needle size, I went up one needle size and yes my gauge was bigger, though not big enough to account for this disaster. Guess what my mother will not be getting for Christmas this year? Rest in Peace dear White Lies Design Cardigan. Perhaps you will be resurrected next year.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Pre-Turkey Day Update

I'm so relieved that my test is over. I wish I could say that it went well, but it most definitely didn't. It was a midterm that the prof gave us because he was mad that more than half the class failed the first one. Well, he can be sure that a lot more than half the class failed this one, too. It was cruel and vindictive. I couldn't even finish 70% of it. Mostly I didn't have enough time because the problems were complicated mathematically. But anyway, it's over and I'm on vacation now.

So today, I've done absolutely nothing. Well, I've been knitting which is a nice change from studying. Since my test, I've worked four repeats on my Backyard Leaves scarf. Isn't it strange how different it looks blocked than unblocked? I'm almost done with the second half and it's so much shorter and more squished up. I'm SO excited to finish this scarf. I'm going to have to find someplace to wear it...maybe Julian, although I'm sure it will be crazy this weekend. For those of you who don't know, Julian is a little historical town in the mountains east of San Diego. It gets quite chilly there in the winter and, in fact, it snows!

Anyway, back to Backyard Leaves. Here is a close-up of it unblocked:

It doesn't look too impressive. It's amazing beauty truly comes through after blocking.

I haven't really worked on any other projects. Today is going to be a cooking day since I'm helping my mom with Thanksgiving dinner. I'm cooking a Bourbon Pumpkin Pecan Streusel Tart and an apple pie today. I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A Hopeless Case? (now with more photos)

This Saturday was my Grandfather's surprise 85th birthday celebration. 57 of his family, friends and neighbors gathered at a restaurant in good old Springfield, PA to congratulate him. My Aunt baked the cake and she and my mother patiently and laboriously decorated it. I also helped (see the wobbly thin line of icing separating the sparkley side from the rest? That's my work, pathetic, no?) I wore my most recently finished sweater and got plenty of compliments on it. I am wondering though if my family has given up on the idea of my every getting married or being in a serious relationship, etc. I don't really care, I have professed a belief that marriage isn't necessary. It is just that I was surprised because several relatives asked my brother if he was dating anyone and told him that he had better hurry and get married. I, on the other hand, did not have to field a single question about my dating/non-marital status, and I am 4 years older than him. I also discovered that out of my grandfather's grandchildren, there is only one shorter than me, and I am the oldest grandchild. That just strikes me as unnatural, especially since I am 5'9" so it isn't as if I am short, though I must confess that two of the taller grandchildren are male, though one is only 14!

Thank you to The Bitter Knitter for taking care of Isis while I was away. I really appreciate it!

On to more relevant babbling, I took the bus to get down to PA, so I had plenty of knitting time. I had glorious plans of making my grandmother's second sleeve. I packed the woolease (which I hate working with) and my size 7 needles. When I got on the bus though, my second mitten was calling to me, after all, it could be cold when I got back into town, clearly if it was I would be very unhappy that I hadn't done the other mitten, right? After the skein I was working with ran out, I started that stupid second sleeve, right? Wrong. Instead I worked on my Tea Shawl, lace seemed more interesting than ribbing followed by stockinette stitch. Can you blame me? Over the weekend though I decided to be good and to start that stupid sleeve. I opened the Winter VK which I brought with me for the pattern, and pulled out the icky woolease. When I read the pattern though, it told me to cast on using smaller needles. Well, wouldn't you know it, the smaller needles would be a size 6. Crying shame that I couldn't work on it. So I did more work on my Tea Shawl. The circle on the picture of the finished shawl shows how far I have gotten, because the picture of the actual shawl shows nothing. I finished the second mitten on Saturday morning while visiting with my parents. Sorry the photo isn't great, it is my right hand in the glove and I am right handed.

The next dilemma that I face is whether or not to start my IK sweater. I have the yarn already (got it for under $40, sport weight alpaca!) The only reason it is not on the needles already is that the pattern calls for size 9 needles. My 24" size 9s (Addi Turbos) are being used on a UFO that may never become an FO. I can't decide if I should buy a pair of size 9's in a different length, or pillage the UFO for the Addis.

My final comment for today, is congratulations to K for hitting her 1 year knitaversary (approximate date). You are an amazing knitter!

Crappy Weekend

There hasn't been much knitting going on this weekend because most of my time has been filled with have-to's. My weekends tend to be that way lately. I'm looking forward to next weekend when it shouldn't be too bad. I have a programming assignment due tomorrow and a midterm on Tuesday morning. I spent several hours yesterday fighting with one of my programs, and that was after spending the morning assisting at a Beginning Scarf Class at the Grove. Today was more programming hell, although I did manage to knit a few rows.

There is some good news. No, I'm not going to tell you that I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. But, I did finish my socks! That's good, right? I've also knitted one and a half repeats on Birch. Each row takes FOREVER, and I can't say that it's a fun knitting project. The lace is pretty simple, so it's going to get awfully repetitive doing 30 repeats. Luckily, on average, the patterns calls for 1 decrease on each row, so eventually it's going to start moving quickly, just when I can't standing knitting another stitch on it.

I've also knitted about 3 repeats on my Backyard Leaves scarf. I'd have to say it's my favorite proejct right now and I'm really looking forward to getting it done. Although, with these 80+ degree days, I can't imagine ever wearing it.

I don't have much else to post about. I'm kind of in a funk due to all of the homework issues. I haven't even started studying for my midterm, either, so tomorrow is going to be equally awful. The quarter is almost over though. I just have to hang in there.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Leaves, leaves everywhere

Ok, I apparently like leaves...a lot. Leaves are the theme of today's post, albeit non-intentionally. It didn't occur to me that I had an obsession with leaves until I started planning out which projects to talk about. I do think they make for a beautiful knitting motif. First up, a project that I have been working on only very occasionally: The Backyard Leaves scarf from Scarf Style. The pattern was designed by Annie Modesitt, and it is truly beautiful. It is knitted in two parts and then seamed together at the end. So far, I have the first half done. The yarn I'm using, Classic Elite Wings, has a little bit of history for me. I bought it on my honeymoon in Mendocino at a 50% off sale, and even since I bought it, I've wondered what to use it for. I think this scarf is perfect for it. I only bought four balls, and that's what the scarf calls for!
Next up is the Falling Leaves sock from knitty, which I've posted about several times previously. I was rather proud of myself that I made some more progress yesterday. I went to the Knit Salon at the Grove and did two lace repeats. I think I only have one more to do before I start the toe shaping, so I'm almost done! I have a lot of knitting time today, so I see myself getting these done very very soon. This sock fits much better than the other one because I made the gusset shorter. For the first sock, I used a rule of thumb that said to pick up one stitch on the heel flap for every two rows. Doing that made the gusset too long, causing the sock to bag at the arch. So, I picked up 2 fewer stitches and that seemed to do the trick. Now the sock hugs my arch nicely.

Finally, for my last leaf project, the package from J arrived yesterday with the Birch pattern and the Inox needles that I need for the project. The very first instruction is to cast on 299 sts using the lace method. There's an article in this issue of the Rowan mag for casting on, and it turns out that the lace cast-on is nothing more than the knitted cast-on method, so I've gotten that far on the pattern, as you can see from this photo. I'm hoping to work on it more today. I have wanted to make this shawl for months, so I'm so thrilled! I'll be knitting it using Kidsilk Haze in Meadow.

That's all for the leaves. I'll leave you now (snicker).

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Big Headedness

Apparently I have a big head. Given the fact that I am a lawyer, I know that there is a joke in there somewhere, and not very far away either. I followed Lissy suggestion and undid my binding off and re-bound off using needles 3 sizes larger than I used to knit the collar. The collar used size 7, so I used my size 10 needles. After finishing I very anxiously proceeded to try to tug the sweater on (I didn’t really tug, after all, I who tugs their hand-knits?) no luck, at all. The damned thing still wouldn’t go over my head. So, like I said I must have a big head. Since I know understand that I have a big head, I would like to apologize to the woman who sat behind me at the Chestnut Hill movie theater for the movie Walk on the Moon (or something like that, good flick by the way, whatever it is actually called). The woman complained throughout the movie about the size of my head, at the time, I thought she was simply an obnoxious bitch, now however…but, I digress. Not being one to give up I undid my binding off yet again and bound off for the 3rd fricken time, this time using size 11 needles. Well…Ta Da!!!!!!!!!

I think that this is how I will wear the sweater, with this dress, do you think it works? It took awhile for me to get a picture where my head wasn't completely cut off or my side wasn't cut off, so I was getting a little goofy.

Tomorrow I head down to PA, via bus, to go to my grandfather’s surprise birthday party. He is turning 85. I decided yesterday that I should knit him a scarf as a present. Then I decided that he wouldn’t wear a scarf. Now, I don’t know what to do, I am thinking that perhaps a scarf for a b-day present isn’t necessary (after all I am going down to PA (see, there is an example of my big head)) but perhaps for x-mas. I will have to ask my mother about this one.

In other knitting news, the cuff for my second ribbed sock is done. My mother’s sleeves are further along, I haven’t felt like working on my VK shawl, and my Tea Shawl is on hold while I try to get the sock, my grandmother’s sleeve, and my mother’s sleeves done. Would it be very bad of me to start a sweater for myself? I already have the yarn in my stash? I may have to bring a skein or two down to PA so that if I get bored with grandmom’s sleeve, I have something to work on, my socks will not be traveling since my dpns frequently take flight.

Finally, last night my North End S'nB group met and afterwards Wendy, Mara, Emily and I went to try taking some photographs of the full moon with the Old North Church Steeple. Apparently, Wendy and I forgot to cc the moon on our emails discussing the plans, because the moon did not show up. Mara and I did both get a ghost moon shot, which when we saw the images on our cameras we thought it could have been the moon (even though there was absolutely NO moon visible. Here is our ghost moon, what do you think? Interestingly the pictures that looked overexposed on my camera do not look nearly so overexposed on my computer screen, there is still definitely over exposure. I will have to remember that for the future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


My cat, Giselle, is a great cat. At least I think so. Most of my visitors don't take to her because she doesn't like people very much, she doesn't come out to see them and rub against them to get her ears rubbed. She hides under the bed like she's nuts. In fact, she very likely IS nuts, but that's only one of the reasons I love her so. The other is that she doesn't exhibit any of the aforementioned behavior around me. She loves her mommy and no one else. She doesn't even like her daddy very much. She takes to very few people. She and I chat all the time and she sleeps in the bed with me. She has a few strange quirks (a few?) such as playing in clean laundry. When I come back from the laundry room with a fresh bag of laundry she follows me into the bedroom, watches me pour it onto the bed to be folded and then jumps right in the middle of it and plays around in it before curling up to go to sleep. Sometimes, I can't bear to fold it right away so I let her sleep for a while. I've also got a great photo of her sunbathing. I have two other cats that I love dearly, but I don't have quite the same connection with either of them. Princess is my husband's cat and she doesn't let me forget it. Teacup is so friendly that he's everybody's cat. If you come to see either Joe or myself, you will be fondled, end of story. You will probably be drooled on as well.

So all of this was to sort of hide the fact that I don't have a lot of knitting news to report. I have made some progress on my sock, although it seems very slow. I'm tired of these socks and I just want them done already! But my package with the Birch pattern hasn't come anyway, so I don't have any excuse for not working on them. Here is my progress so far. It seems to be fitting well. I have made the gusset shorter because the first sock was a little baggy around my arch.

Last night when I got home from work, I was so tired that all I could manage to do was knit a swatch. Isn't that pathetic? I've been eyeing some Rowanspun Aran that I got at a 50% off sale for Samus from knitty. The published gauge s 15 - 16 sts/4 in and I need 19 sts/4 in. I figured I'd do a swatch on size 8 needles and see what I got. My 19 stitch section is LESS than 4 inches, if you can believe that. It's very close though, so I think it will work perfectly. This yarn was very interesting to work with. It's a traditional wool, but it's felted which gives it a sort of softness, although I still wouldn't use it right next to my skin. It's also the first yarn that I've used that is coated with lanolin. I could really feel it rubbing off onto my very dry skin as I was working the swatch. The photo is a little bleached out, but that's OK because it really lets you see the tweedy bits that are in there. It's a great looking yarn. So that's all of my progress for the last few days. Not so great, huh? Well, maybe next time my socks will be finished. Ya!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Quest

I have always believed in quests, though bk (before knitting) the quest was likely to be for a teapot with a strainer1, or some other such item. Knitters also go on quests, their quests are likely to be for the perfect substitution, the perfect hoodie, etc. My personal quest is for the perfect mittens. This quest actually began bk, and has continued ak (after knitting). My hands get cold easily, gloves have done nothing to keep them warm, I tried every combination of gloves, including a fur lined leather glove2, but my fingers still froze. One day bk, I finally threw up my hands and gave into mittens. Mittens, you see, are impractical, all your fingers jammed together, and they are goofy, what person over age 10 wears them? Well I bought a machine knit pair on sale for about $15, and to my amazement my hands were warmer than they had been in the gloves. I was actually starting to like the mittens when tragedy struck, on mitten went AWOL. I remembered that I had some mittens from when I was younger that I never wore (see previous anti-mitten comments for reasons). They were white fur (fake I believe) lined with a fleece (fake also I believe). The fur mitten look is, granted, over the top, but desperate times call for desperate measures, so I pulled them out of storage and wore them, I wore them until they fell apart (which wasn't that long actually), I continued to wear them safety pinned together, my hands were warm for the first winter since I came to MA. They were not the perfect mittens though, they were very goofy looking and falling apart. K partially saved me though. She gave me a pair of mittens that were fleece lined and exceptionally warm. They would have been the perfect mitten but for the fact that I have to take the mittens off in order to get my keys, unlock my building door, use by bus pass, etc. This may not sound like that big of a deal, but the bus pass part is exceptionally problematic because my fingers don't warm up again. I did nothing about my mitten problem though until ak, at which time I discovered The Broad Street Mittens. Bingo, all my problems solved, right? Not quite. The pattern said it was for a large woman's hand, I didn't know how to judge the size of my hand. Well, what I learned is that my hands are not large, the mittens were way to big. Spring came, I put aside my quest and worked on other projects. In September I took the quest up again, after knitting the sweater hereinafter referred to, I had several skeins of a 50/50 silk cashmere blend yarn that I bought at the Webs annual tent sale, this was a thicker gauge yarn, but I figured that I could knit it down, and that might make for warmer mittens. I calculated the changes I would need to make and started fresh. I also dressed up the mitten by adding a cable, which took me to the second mitten to finalize. The fit was perfect, I was ready to go, the quest was over, right? Again not quite. Now, even though the mitten fit, it wasn't warm enough. I know, the weather hasn't gotten that cold yet, how can I tell that they won't be warm enough? Well, my fingers got cold one brisk Sat morning as I wore them outside on a trip to Woolcott & Co. in Cambridge. What a disappointment, after all, isn't cashmere supposed to be very warm? After poking around at the yarn in Woolcott I settled on some Plymouth Baby Grand Alpaca, which I was going to use to make traditional mittens to wear over my defective Broad Street Mittens. Then, K to the rescue again, this time she told me about a pattern for a Broad Street type mitten made at a worsted gauge. Even though the Alpaca is a bulky, I decided to knit it to the worsted gauge and give it a try. Well, the first one is done, very quickly I might add, though still a touch to big. After finding the pattern, I modified it quite a bit, made it smaller, did the fingers more like the Broad Street, than as described in the pattern, and did a cable surrounded by garter stitch on the cap, only issue left is to discover if they will do the trick. The other question I have, and please give me your opinion, should I reduce the size of the second one to try to make it fit, or should I keep it the same, to have a matched pair? I am leaning towards sizing down.

The next item on my blogging agenda is the start of purchasing yarn for my next major project (major mostly in terms I price I guess). After the holidays I plan on making the Victorian hooded jacket from the holiday VK. I am going to use the called for yarn, and have chosen a color and bought my first skein from Circles, where Allison is allowing me to pay for one skein at a time, the yarn will still need to be ordered, I am just getting the money into the store so that I won't have one large payment. Here is the main color I will be using in all it's sunlight glory.

Finally, what was meant to be a grand finale to this post, but which is really something of a disappointment, I finally seamed together my Vittadini, Fall 2004 cover sweater. I finished the collar last night. I planned on modeling it today and posting me in it. Unfortunately, there was a hitch. My big head won't fit through the neck hole. Now I will try to un-bind off and do it again looser and hope that will resolve the problem, though I am not sure it will. It fit without the collar. This is the first time this has happened to me. Any ideas? In the meantime, here is a picture of the wrong collar sized sweater. Hopefully, on Thursday I will be able to model the sweater.

1 Now to find a teapot with a strainer doesn't require a quest but at that time it was a quest that ended without major victory, the strainer was not just right.
2 I do object to fur, but my hands were freezing and something had to be done!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Baby Booties!!

I have the most adorable photo of my neice, Savannah, modeling the baby booties I made for her! Even though she's only 11 weeks, they almost don't fit her. Her mom put them on over her socks, so that may have had something to do with it. I bought more of the yarn in lavender, so I'd better get cracking on them if she'll be able to wear them. I love that hoodie that her grandma got for her. She's the only grandchild so far, so she gets totally spoiled by my parents.

Today is one of those crappy, miserable days that will be spent doing homework...all day. Except for when I have to go out and run errands. I have at least one midterm this week, maybe two, one of which is tomorrow. I also have homework due in Aerodynamics on Tuesday that I haven't even started. So, I suppose I have brought all of this on myself.

Next weekend, I plan on taking a sweater finishing class, where they will show me how to do buttonholes, picking up stitches (evenly and neatly) around the collar and seaming. I know how to do all of these things, but I don't know how to do them well. Should be interesting.

On to knitting progress. I finished the $60 cat bed on Friday night, complete with fun fur trim. I didn't actually use Lion Brand Fun Fur. I used a Joanne Fabrics yarn called Cello, which I actually liked better than Fun Fur. It was also the only one that came in a coordinating color. I would love to find time today to felt it, but we'll see. I'll have to felt it at my mom's condo so I can control the size of the load. I think the colors are really beautiful and should match my decor perfectly. I'm thinking that I'm going to save it for a Christmas present for my cats. This photo is (obviously) the pre-felted, completed version.

I've also made some minor progress on my second sock. I've done three repeats of the lace so far, and I believe on the first sock, I had to do four repeats before I could start the heel flap. I'll probably finish that this morning before I get down to studying. Priorities, you know. No, that isn't a beer bottle in the picture. It is a bottle of furniture polish that proved to be the best object in my house to stand in for a leg.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Kitty Alarm

Does anyone out there know how to reset a kitty alarm? My only complaint about my beautiful, long haired cat, is that she believes that I should be awake and feeding her at 5:30 a.m. (maybe 6 a.m. on weekends). I stayed home from work on Thursday because I was feeling unwell (btw can Sudafed cause stomach pain?) and despite the fact that I would have loved to sleep in but at 5:30 a.m. she began her wake up call. First she meows (wake up, time to feed me) then she tries to use the Venetian blind just above my head as a scratching post, this causes me to reach out in semi-sleep to stop her and to pet her a bit. Then she rubs against the door knob of my bedroom door, which because my room is too small, is positioned between my head and the wall with the window so when she rubs against the knob she causes the door to bang between my bed and the wall. She must know by now that I can't stand that noise first thing in the morning. Again when she start this, I pet her a bit. While she is making noise with my blind and with my door she continues to throw in a meow here and there. Any advise on resetting my wake up call would therefore be greatly appreciated.

On to knitting, now. I have finished the body of my mother's sweater and have started the sleeves. Fortunately this sweater has moved very fast, so it should be done in time for x-mas. I am heading down to PA to visit the family next weekend and since I don't think I can continue working on this sweater around my mom, I think I will finally do the second sleeve for a sweater I am making for my grandmom (dad's mom) I have had most of it done since spring, but the sleeve seemed absurdly long so I stopped, planning on starting over again from scratch. I no longer think that I will do that. I haven't really examined the sleeve lately, maybe when I do I will find that it isn't absurdly long. By the way, guess what color that sweater is?

I was able to use some of my sick time well. I finished the first sock. I have left the toe open so that I can make sure it fits and then do the kitchener stitch on it. The challenge on this sock now is going to be getting the white fur out of the navy stitches. I can't say that I am looking forward to that second sock, but it must be done (groan) I also did some work on my Shetland Tea Shawl, no picture to post though because the way it is bunched up, you can't really see the progress.

Finally, I just wanted to add a blocking picture of my Adrienne Vittadini sweater. I have knit up the Fall 2004 cover, which I finished knitting about a month ago but never go around to blocking. I blocked the back (or front as the case may be) several weeks ago, but then never finished. I want to wear the sweater to my grandfather's (a/k/a Pop-pop) 85th surprise party, which is next weekend, so now I have to block it so that I have time to sew it together, do the collar, make sure it fits, and figure out what I will wear on the bottom. In the meantime, here is a blocking picture, which also establishes that I know how to choose and knit some color other than blue. In case the photo doesn't show clearly enough, the sweater is GREEN! Oh, I am going to be blocking the other sleeve while waiting for my dial up connection to upload the photo. Blocking is done (at least pinning for blocking is done) and photo is still uploading. Dial up is such a pain in the tush. I ran out of straight pins part way through the sleeve and switched to thumb tacks, do you think it will make a difference? F* the photo (please pardon the language), I have been waiting about 1/2 an hour and can't even tell if there was any movement on uploading, so I give up, I cry uncle, no photo of the alleged green sweater. Perhaps on Tuesday I will post this photo, or if I have it complete I will post a different one.

Friday, November 11, 2005

More FO's

J and I have not been very good posters lately. For her part, she's been under the weather, and for mine, I've just been busy, but luckily, I have also been busy knitting so I have some FO's to show you.

First, I finished Joe's hat. Personally, I love it. As I mentioned before, the yarn is so soft! It's incredibly comfortable to wear and not too warm. He has seen it (I had to have him try it on to check the fit) and he wants to wear it before Christmas, but he needs to have something to open under the tree, right? Bunny was a very gracious to let me model it on him.

I also finished my sock. Overall, I think it turned out well, although the toe pulls a little bit. It really shouldn't. There's plenty of fabric in the sock foot for my toe to fit comfortably, but the lace needs to be blocked. I think once it gets washed, the fabric will relax and fit much better. To avoid SSS (see previous post), I have already cast on for the second one. Once I cast on, finishing it isn't usually a problem.

I haven't touched Vittadini in days, so no news there. J was kind enough to pick up the Birch pattern for me at an LYS in Lexington, MA, so I should be getting that as soon as she is feeling well enough to send it out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I'm almost finished with my first Falling Leaves sock. I have to be very careful not to get a case of SSS, the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. To date, I have not suffered from this affliction. I have been protected by a natural immunity that is fostered by an obsession with wearing handknit socks. My desire to hang around the house wearing them is so strong, that it has carried me through several second socks. It does not, however, get me through SS's that I knit for others, hence my brother's second Christmas sock, which sits in my WIP pile, approximately 75% done, but more on that later. To the left, a blurry photo of my sock. Naturally, the camera focused in on the cat hair and litter clinging to the rug, but my lace pattern is obscured. By the way, that cat hair and litter is just what gets tracked in by us. They aren't even allowed in this room. I have three cats, two of whom are long-hairs, so cat hair, litter and hairballs are just a part of life.

Back to my brother's SS. First, I had to borrow the size 5 Lantern Moon dpn's that I was using to make his sock to make baby booties for my neice. Then, before they were done, I wanted to borrow them AGAIN, and leave yet another project unfinished to start my husband's hat. Well, I triumphed over my inner child and finished the damn booties:

Finally, the aforementioned hat... I went to the Grove yesterday and finally bought yarn to make the hat my husband wants for Christmas. I'm going to knit it in Wool Cotton, which is one of my favorite yarns. It is wonderfully soft and combines the comfort of cotton with the loft and elasticity of wool.

First, I carefully measured his head, then obsessively calculated my gauge, and the damn thing is STILL too big, so I'm going to have to rip out my progress, which is OK because it only took around an hour to get over 2" done. It should be a quick knit. He has a rather small head which is going to involve me tweaking the pattern. This should be interesting since I've never made a hat before, so we'll see. Anyway, this photo shows the colors I'm using. I think they're stunningly beautiful, but naturally, my husband thinks the lighter green is too feminine. Whatever. Anyway, until Friday!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Ball Winder and Swift

The ball winder and swift may be the greatest invention of mankind (or woman kind as the case may actually be). On Saturday, after an all day s'nb at The Wellesley Needlepoint Collection (who allows me to hand out even though I have been knitting and not needlepointing (after the holidays I will have to make sure to bring my needlepoint to the group)) I was given the chance to borrow one of these wonderful, fabulous, glorious items. The prospect of winding by hand 1,350 yards of laceweight yarn was not something I was looking forward to. Can you imagine how long that would take? The mind shudders at the thought.

I awoke on Sunday morning at about 6:30 a.m. (this was not my choice, Isis didn't give me an opportunity to sleep in, after all she needed food immediately, and there was always the rest of the day to sleep, right?) After taking care of those who were immediately going to die from starvation (i.e. Isis) I set up the winder and swift and settled in for what I though would be hours of winding the little crank. The remaining 6 skeins of my mom's yarn wound fairly quickly, but the real test was still to come. Before starting to wind my Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud (approx 440 yds) and my new laceweight merino (approx 1,350 yds) I popped a dvd with Desperate Housewives into my laptop and settled in. I was shocked, SHOCKED when I finished both of them in less than one episode! I am SO getting myself one of these! To the North End knitters, if anyone has yarn that needs to be wound, if you want to come by my place tomorrow after s'nb, bring your yarn and we can wind.

I was able to make a great deal of progress on projects this weekend. I now have 4 active projects on the needles (I also have a couple of inactive projects but we won't go there).
1. I started another shawl, this one knit in the round. After winding all that merino, and buying a new book, I couldn't help myself. I started Sunday night. This is the Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace.
2. My sock is now a couple of inches into the foot. The gusset decreases are done. I don't think I will want to make more men's socks using size 0 needles, it just creeps along at a snail's pace. Also I am almost through with this skein of yarn. Thanks to Lissy for ordering me another skein, I think that these socks will require 3 to finish.
3. My mom's cardigan is FLYING. In this picture you can see that I have split the front sides from the back. After taking the picture (this am) I finished up with the left front and started on the right front. This should be done well before xmas.
and 4. my VK shawl. It is coming along. It is one of my travel projects, my mom's sweater being the other. Therefore, I am not speeding with it, but it is moving at a fair pace I suppose.