Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My first Noro experience

Well, I have another opening night tonight. It's Man of La Mancha. For those of you unfamiliar with the piece, it is a musical about Don Quixote. I don't like musicals. There, I said it. I really want to stay home a work on my FPS, not go to a required work event. Well, i want the free drinks... I didn't design this show, so you can understand my reluctance to go. Ehh. At least I am finished with tier 13. more than half way!

I like the encroaching blob picture. The stole that ate my dining room!!
Oh! Check this out: I am mainly using my KP size 3 circs on this stole, but I did buy the DPNS, just in case. I have been using them when the "giantness" of the stole starts to annoy me. Not as holders, just as working needles. I use one side of the circ, and one DPN. It's odd, but it works for me. Anyway, check out the tarnish on the DPN:

Maybe I need to knit with more than one DPN. Using the same one all time time may not be the best idea. FYI - I'm not upset about this. I strip the finish off of every needle I come in contact with. I expect it, and am surprised that the circ is holding up so well.
I also whipped up the hat for my friend who is going "ice climbing". (i.e. death wishing) She cannot wait for it to dry! SO excited. That's the way I like it!

The info:
Yarn: Silk Garden Lite
Needles: KP options size 5
Pattern: ummm.... yeah. I just made it up. It's a top down hat, and I did some ribbing. Then I did some cables. Seriously. Just went at it. No real rhyme or reason - just like my friend. I loved the yarn. I bought this originally for a pair of fingerless mitts for me. I now realize that I don't need two skeins fo yarn for fingeless mitts, so I could use one for Sam's hat. It is the perfect yarn for her. Thin, warm, and random. I can now compltely understand the love for Noro. So pretty, and so addictive. I still think that the kureyon feels rough, but the silk garden softened up a lot. Maybe the all wool would too. I might need more of this......

The little green sweater is blocked, woven in, and ready for buttons. I would have it finished, but I changed my mind on the buttons. I need to find something... better. Maybe bugs.

The next Socktopia Socks are "formulating" in my brain. hmmm. I can't wait to vote for this past month! So many pretty socks!

That's it for now! Tomorrow, pics of the socktopia march yarn!

Monday, February 26, 2007

It's been a while

I am officially back! While it has been a sad week, it has also been a good week. I saw all of my relatives, some of which I haven't seen in years. We reminisced. We laughed. We cried. We sang the saddest song ever written. Grandpa even got to teach us one last lesson. All week it was 50 degrees. Spring was in the air. On Friday we had the funeral and interment - and it was 20 degrees, and really windy. Grandpa was the coldest man on earth, and it seemed to be his final lesson - "why aren't you in long underwear?" He always wore them. He might take them off in the summer. Most of the winter he wore two pair. We should have known better.
I managed to get some knitting done, even with the driving and the family time.
I finished the little green sweater:

I still need to block it, but it is looking good!
the details:
pattern: Top down hooded cardigan from Knitting Pure and Simple
yarn: Ella Rae Super wash worsted
needles: Knit Picks Options size 6 and 7
notes: Super easy and adaptable pattern. I decided not to do the hood - as I thought I might not have enough yarn. (I easily would have) I added the stripes - as I wanted to. Over all, very cute and fun pattern. I now remember why I dislike stripes - so many ends! I'll definitely keep this in my pattern library. It is so fast and easy. Great baby pattern.

I also finished one pair of mitts for my friend at work. (The odd bulge is my watch)

The yarn is leftovers from a Christmas present scarf. It is Plymouth Suri Merino. I am tempted to keep these for myself.... I made the pattern up as I went along, and used Susan Bates size 7 DP needles. I have a pair or two left to make for her. what yarn to use.......

Another friend from work wants me to make her a hat to go under her ice climbing helmet. First of all, I didn't even realize that this is a sport, let alone a sport that a sane person would do. She told me that he is going this weekend, and can't find a good hat for underneath. What I heard was, " I am going to go and try to kill myself this weekend, and can't find a good warm hat to wear." I have some great silk and wool blend yarn that will be a good thin, but warm hat.

I also got an e-mail from Socktopia about the themes for March. They are:
It ain't easy being green
What's on TV?
Around the World
Spring Fling
Dance Dance Revolution
I've been "pre-thinking" about these socks. I am all set to do the green theme, but now I am leaning towards Dance Dance...... hmmm. I can't start until Thursday anyway, so I have plenty of time to think....

I am officially half way through my tiers! I finished 12 last night. Chug Chug Chug!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Teir 9

My Grandpa passed away this weekend.
He was 85.
When someone is 85, people like to say, "well, he has a good long life." I guess so. I still miss him. I grew up about 10 minutes from all of my Grandparents. I was closer to them sometimes than I was other times. I rebelled, and reconciled - just like everyone does. What I will miss most about our relationship was the quiet understanding. Grandpa always new what was best. He was a man of few words, but the words he spoke were important. I don't know if he really understood what I do for a living, but I do know that he respected me for doing it. He was proud that I have a good career, a good husband, and a good head on my shoulders. He never needed to say it, you could just tell.
I spent a big part of the last day thinking about all of the good things he has done for his family, the community, and his church over the years. He raised 4 great boys, who have raised their own broods of pride. It's hard to sum up a life that meant so much to so many. I choose to remember the fun things. The story of teaching my Grandma to drive. The story about Uncle Thane out running the police in his hot rod. The stories about moving with his parents from Virginia to Pennsylvania by horse and carriage. Grandpa hanging out the dining room window smoking stogies, so he could put it out when he saw Grandma coming down the street. The day he mixed all the leftovers in the fridge together and declared that the taste was "not as good as you might think." When he taught me to shoot groundhogs with the little rifle. When he used to go out in the ocean with me and my cousin's on the tractor tube. And his smell - pipe tobacco and peppermint.
I'm thankfully didn't have to work yesterday. Tech was long and complicated, and the news of Grandpa's passing pt me over the edge. I am not a terribly emotional person, and under normal conditions, I would have been sad, but wouldn't have cried at work. I ended up leaving early, and going home to talk with my brothers on the phone.
Yesterday I just sat and knit, and thought about my family. I did get another tier done - 9 now! I just couldn't manage to knit with any speed. I kept drifting off in my thoughts. I wonder if I'll be any more productive in the next few days. So much time to sit and be sad. It's good to have something to do with your hands. I hope my family understands that.
Right now, tier 9 is the sad, tear stained reminder of my Grandpa. That feeling will pass. Eventually I won't remember what tier I knit while I was crying. Then, I won't remember what project I was knitting. But that's OK. Grandpa would be proud of me, no matter what. Proud that I can make beautiful things with my hands. Proud that I am a nice person. And proud that I give of myself when I can.
In that spirit, I must wish everyone a "Happy Fausnaught day!" It is a PA Dutch thing. You give away homemade fausnaughts (doughnuts) as a sign of good will. What you give away, you get back ten fold. I made a mess of fausnaughts today. Giving away what you can. Definately a trait my Grandpa admired.
Good bye Grandpa. See you when I can.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

another one bites the dust

uh uh uh . Another one bites the dust. and another one gone, and another one gone....
Some Queen to brighten you day. It's definitely brightening my day! I have completed another tier last night! Down with 7 on to 8! I am just moving on this shawl! I am currently at that place where you stop paying attention and go into "auto mode". It makes it a little scary. I realize suddenly that I am knitting and watching t.v., then PANIC because I don't know when the last time I actively looked at my knitting was! Check Check! ACK! whew. All is well. I am not yet at the place where I feel I can trust "auto mode". Those little adrenaline spikes cannot be good for you.
and some proof:

I am going to try to finish tier 8 tonight. I won't be able to work on it again until Monday, so I want to feel "ahead", and I'll be 1/3 of the way through the tiers. That's a good even place to stop for a few days. I know it is not a race, but I hate UFOs. (shut up about that rust sweater.)
The green sweater has a sleeve! (awww) I have come to the realization that I hate seed stitch even more beacuse it screws with me when I am doing K1P1 ribbing. I keep trying to seed stitch. (scary voice) May this serve as a warning to all those who seed stitch in the future! Try not to do a K1P1 project and a seed stitch project at the same time! You will mess up! (end scary voice)
As I near the end of this little guy - or girl - I dread the end weaving. I've been weaving as i go, but that only goes so far. I still have a butt load to do. Ugg. I remember why I don't like stripes. Seriously, how am I going to meet my goal of completing a fair isle project this year if I hate end weaving so much?
One of the people I've taught to knit recently has gone crazy with the knitting bug. She is producing mass amount of projects, and has really taken it upon herself to learn EVERYTHING she can. Very cool. The only thing she can't wrap her brain around is stripes. I told her, "If you can cable, you can stripe." She is making changing colors so much harder than it really is. Maybe when she sees the inside of this little guy she will change her mind about stripes.
I am proably not going to post again until Fausnaught Day! (also known as next tuesday.) if I do, well, Surprise!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Have a Happy V.D.!

My assistant made Valentines for everyone using stuff around the office. Awesome use of office supplies, if I do say so myself. This one is mine.

You are so jealous if my boyfriend. I can tell.
DH and I aren't doing much for Valentines day this year. We are a little cash strapped right now. He is cooking me dinner - don't get me wrong - I like that - but we are skipping our usual trip to Red Lobster. Don't laugh. We're not foodies, and Red Lobster holds a lot of tradition for us. It was the best place we could afford for a long time. It's like being newlyweds again. Crap. Now I want crab legs.
My FPS is growing like a weed. (HA!) I finished tier 6 last night! I am a quarter of the way through the tiers!! I have officially memorized all of the patterns, and have reached cruise mode. I also don't really need my placement chart anymore. I can tell what pattern goes next. I'm still using it because I get to cross each panel off as I finish it. I am obsessed with lists because I get to cross off things, so my chart is just a fun extension of that obsession. I've been reading the othe FPSers blogs. It is nice to see and hear the progress of others. I feel a bit left out though. I don't have any trouble with the nupps - and I do them "as written" in the pattern. The first time I "nupped" was during my Swallowtail shawl in August. I didn't have trouble then either. (In fact, I kinda like them.) I suppose I'm just weird. And I suck, as I forgot to take a picture. Although, it looks just like it did before... just longer.
My baby sweater (awww) has a collar. I have sleeves and button bands to do yet. I totally forgot my DPN's yesterday, so I didn't get very far on that project. Smart, I tell ya.
Lastly, I have chosen yarn for the first pair of fingerless mitts for my friend from work. I am using the extra ball and 3/4 I have of Plymouth Suri Merino left over from my Falling Water scarf.

I plan to use it to make Knitty's Fetching mitts. hmm. A seeming departure from Green. But, not really. When you look really close at the yarn, it is made up of lots of colors, a lot of which is green. ah. sweet justification.
oh, and for some Valentine's Day fun, read Franklin's post:

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A little sweater update

My little green sweater.

All together now... "Awwww." This is a nice super quick project. Seriously. If I just worked on this project, I could probably make it in a weekend - including blocking. The pattern is "Babies Neckdown Cardigan" by Knitting Pure and Simple. It is very well written, with out being fussy. It is super easy to adapt to striping and such. I will most likely make this again. (No seams make me happy!)

Yesterday, I said that I should tally up my projects by color, starting when I started my blog. I did. What a supreme time waster! Just in case you need to find a way to waste some time......

the totals:

red 7

pink 1

orange 1

yellow 0

green 8

blue 6

purple 9

black/ grey 4

white 1

brown 2

multi 5

The multi category is anything that is not one color more than another. Something mostly blue went in blue. So, turns out, purple is still in the lead. Green is close behind, and will catch up in March with my Socktopia socks. I anticipate a surge by purple in the spring, as I have lots of purple sock yarn, and plans for most of it. hmm. I guess we can tell which color is my least favorite. I also have a lot of white yarn, so it seems odd that I only have one project in white. Curious.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My green period.

Artists are always defined by their "periods". Wether it is working in a specific color, or creating multiple works on one subject, the point is - they do something over and over again. Right now I am in a "green" period. If you remeber, I did it with purple this summer. Everything I was working on was purple. I even was dressing to match my projects. I've also had mini-periods. Brown for a couple projects, red for a few in a row...but, I now seam to be immersed in another one. It's weird really. I like green. I find it refreshing to look at, but can actually wear very little of it. I tend to look a bit sick if I wear too "yellowy" of a color. I find it especially odd to have so many projects in the green world OTN.

My FPS has moved into the 5th tier! I took this picture when I finished 4. It is very hard to photograph this project mid tier, mostly since I am not doing the holder thing. (I am using one long circ.)

Oh the wad that is my FPS. I am trying to get as much done on it as I can over the next few days. I have another tech coming up, and I know I cannot work on it then. I will feel woefully behind schedule. Maybe I can get through teir 5 tonight!
Just to show everyone, this is how I keep track of where I am in this pattern:

The baby sweater is moving along as well. I took this picture yesterday morning.
Last night, after my "lace skillz" conked out, I worked on it a bit. The body is done already! SO much for having this project to work on during tech! I'll have to find another one to play with, cause this will only get me through Friday!
My third green thing OTN is another "slingshot" from Knitty. It is for a freind at work that is so jeleous of mine that it hurts. SHe also is allergic to wheat, so she can't have any fausnaughts next Tuesday. (I'm going to give it to her as a present instead) tricky.
In the works is agreen pair of socks - St. Patrick's day is a short half a month away, and you can't tell me that ONE of the themes for Socktopia isn't going to be SOMETHING to do with St.Pats. I, sticking with the rulels of Socktopia, am not going to start them until the first, but I am daydreaming them already!
You know, maybe I'll go back though my projects since I started my blog, and total up how many FO's I have in each color. I kinda want to know....

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm sleepy

My ceiling, OK part of my ceiling fell in in my bedroom. Not while I was in it, thankfully. We've had a leak there since we moved in the apartment. The landlords know about it, and "fix" the leak every now and then. It never stays fixed, and well, it finally fell in. It has been like this for a few weeks. Today, they came to fix it. Good, yes? no. The guy came at 7:30 am. We knew he was coming, but 7:30!! The banging for the rest of the building must have been awful! not to mention that I had to get up early enough to do my normal routine, as well as move all of my furniture out of the bedroom.
I whining, I know. Lots of people get up early. I really don't have a problem with it, but I hate interrupting my schedule. Like I said, I'm tired. If I was 5, my Mom would be telling me that I need a nap.

I worked on my FPS in my morning haze, finishing another rectangle. Including last night's work, I am now up to.... 3 rectangles. I really just want to work on this project! Why must I do things like CLEAN?! By the time I sat down last night I only had about an hour of lace work in me before I needed to switch to an easy project. Frustration. At least I have more time to work at SnB tonight. Maybe I'll feel like I got somewhere!

My "thigh of my jeans" blocking method, showing off the lily of the valley panel.

Also, because I have a brain aneurysm, or something, I started another project. (Yes, I know, my DH's sweater is still unfinished.) I cast on for a neck down baby cardigan for a friend. I want to get past the "divide for sleeves" part before my next Tech. Entrelac Lace and knitting in the dark do not mix. Light green Stockinette works much better. No pics yet. It's just a green curve right now.

I don't think I'll have a chance to post tomorrow, so I'll say goodbye until Monday!


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The promised update.

Well, the new blogger is up and running. My issues with it aren't that I couldn't get certain functions to work, it is that I liked "old blogger", and had no real desire to switch to "new blogger". eh. It just took forever. Two easy steps my ass.
anyway, enough grouching. on to the knitting!

The February Socks

Knit for Socktopia, these socks represent the Laissez les bon temps rouler!(Let the Good Times Roll) theme. I chose this theme because I love "Fat Tuesday", also known as Mardi Gras, and known where I grew up as "Fausnaught Day". The PA Dutch celebrate the day by making little fried doughnuts and passing them out to others. The idea is that you get back ten fold what you give away, and giving away fat and sugar in the middle of winter reminds you of sacrifice. Mardi Gras is like the exact opposite celebration to kick off the Easter season - Party Down 'cause you ain't doin' it again for 6 weeks!
A little about the socks:

Name: Bourbon Street Socks
Pattern: my own toe up, short row heel pattern, knit over 64 stitches.
Needles: Knit Picks classic circs - size 0
Yarn: Lorna's Laces "Mardi Gras" colorway, one skein.
Notes: I used a lace "bead stitch" around the toe and on the cuff of the socks, to represent the obligatory beads thrown on Bourbon St during Mardi Gras. Obviously the colors are the official colors of the event, and I like that the pattern is obscured my the colors. Normally, that is not a desired effect, but since mardi gras is such an assault to the senses, I decided to carry it over into my socks.

In FPS world, I decided to work on my socks, and mostly put off the stole until last night.
(as a side note, I have to say that I love getting design work. It is what I went to school for, but I hate giving up time right at the beginning of a project to doing actual work. This makes me a bad person, I know.)
This is my progress:

That wad is me finished with one rectangle on one tier. well, at least I got the bottom border, the set up triangles, the first side triangle, and one rectangle finished. When you put it like that it seams like a lot.....

Like I said yesterday, I went on a bit of a yarn crawl on Sunday. Every store was having a Super Bowl Sale. I'm am SO down with that. I set my limit at $60, and decided to only get sock yarn, as I have a few holes in my color selection, as well as ideas for a few pairs that I don't have yarn for.

I started at "the Yarn Garden" in Meriden. In this store all yarn was 41% off. Sweet. I only bought one pair worth though. I should have gotten more, but I didn't want to buy tons in the first store, then be sad when I got to the last store and fell in love with ten things I couldn't afford. So I just bought two skeins of Regia Silk in a gorgeous butter cream color.

I've been interested in this yarn for awhile, and am so happy to have it in my collection. I have stopped myself from getting it a few times because of the cost (!) and the fact that I always come across dark colors. I love dark colors, but I wanted some lighter colored yarns for more variety in my knitting choices.

Next up was umm.... the store I call Wallingford Yarn. I can't remember the real name. well, it's the only one in Wallingford, CT, so it should be easy to find if anyone is so inclined. I like this store, although I don't go very often. It is open on Sunday, which I love. It is also pretty spacious, as yarn stores go. They have a lot of novelty, but they carry a really good selection of basics and luxury as well. I decided to stop when DH pointed out that we were going to go past it on the way to the next store. I said that I wasn't sure they were open on Sundays anymore, but why not stop? They were open, and I did shop!

Four skeins of Gems Opal. I love this yarn. It makes me happy. It is soft and shiny, and machine washable and dryable. sweet.
Lastly, I made my way to the Yarn Barn in Woodbridge. This sale was the one that EVERYBODY was going to. Honestly, I wasn't too impressed with the sale. Lots of stuff was on sale, but of course not any sock yarn. They were doing a "pick a slip of paper to see how much you get off of non-sale yarn". I got 15% off my yarn. ok, but not great. It was a madhouse! i was there about 10 minutes after they opened, and it was already super full. Holy Crap. I waited for 30min!! in line to buy my three skeins of yarn. They only have one cash register, and it is a slow process. There were only 3 people in front of me, but when I got done paying the line had to be 40 people long. I love my yarn, but I really don't like this store. I have a less than stellar experience each time I go. I could go on and on about it, but I'll stop. I did get good yarn, though!

The regia nations stripe is for a pair for my brother. His school colors and Red White and Blue. He'll love them. the other skein is Tofutsies! I have been coveting this for months. I keep putting it in my shopping cart on line, then taking it back out. I just wasn't sure I wanted to get it, or maybe it cost too much.... I saw it, and HAD to get it.
wow. Long post! Maybe tomorrow I will have more progress to show about my FPS!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I haven't posted in a while.

Bad me.

But, to be a little kid, "I wasn't my fault!"

I HAD to switch to the new blogger. Piss and Hell. They woiuldn't let me ot of a stupid loop until I did it. Craptacular. Not that it really matters. I just hate farting around with things that are working just fine.
I sound like an old lady.

So, I have no time to write, since playing with this stupid problem has taken all of my time.

Tomorrow February Socks, FPS stole update, and yarn porn from my weekend yarn crawl!!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It 's here! It's here!

February 1st is here!

My FPS KAL starts today, AND my February Socktopia socks start today!
SO much to start!
SO much still OTN......

The February themes for Socktopia are:
Life is like a box of chocolates
Forever in my heart
Bed of Roses
Short and Sweet
Laissez les bon temps rouler!(Let the Good Times Roll)
I had a hard time picking one this time. I have ideas for all of them. I came down to the yarn choices. I want to knit from my stash as much as possible, so I just had to see what I have floating around. I have tons of good choices, but not really any great ones for most of my ideas. I settled on this yarn:

I think you can guess my theme. I am making the pattern myself, and am pretty happy with it so far. I am just about ready to turn the heel. (I had a lot of time in the car today) Pictures when I'm done! Maybe Monday, if I put off the FPS.

Speaking of FPS, I really don't want to put it off. I am going nuts to start it! We'll see which wins out.

I've still not frogged the DISASTER sleeves. I know how I will fix them. I just don't feel like doing it yet. I've got the stupid project blues.

Then what, you ask, have I been working on for the last few days? Well, I have been readying my FPS pattern, I've wound my February Sock yarn, and my School Products yarn, I wrote the February Sock Pattern, and I worked on a "Slingshot" for my friend from work. I've been kind of busy in my non-knitting life, as I have another design coming up in March, and I am opening two shows before that. Not so big of a deal, but the one show is "Man of La Mancha". The show in March is a huge one. I find out how huge on Monday. At least I have all weekend to knit away, and not worry about it too much.
I really want to hit a yarn sale or two this sunday. It seems like every store is having a Super Bowl Sunday sale, or a going out of business sale. If I go to all of the ones I really want to go to, I will attend 4 slaes this weekend. The number of sales doesn't bother me, but if I do it, I will get very little knitting done. and it is, of course, also rent week. Poo. I wasn't going to go crazy at the yarn store, I just want to check it out. I probably *will* buy sock yarn if I go to any of these sales. no... I will. No "probably" invloved.

well 'till tomorrow!