Friday, September 30, 2005

just a post

to see if this forces Bloglines to update my feed. Nothing is showing from yesterday's blog. Anyway, no time to play on the computer anyway. Much cleaning needs to be done to prepare for the attack of 3 preteen boys. Wish me luck!

Oh and I did finish one of the Donna sleeves. Still not done with the sleeves from hell (aka baby sleeves from raglan sweater by Debbie Bliss). Of course the problem is with doing them both at the same time, although I am doing decreases now, so I'll soon be casting off.

And the good thing about getting the boyo involved in other activities (such as karate last night) is more knitting time while sitting through a karate class. Yay! And there was another mother there crocheting. How cool is that?

Allrighty, I'm off now.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Knitting ensues

So the last post was just a diversion from the fact that not too much knitting has been going on. I did knit a little at the Boulder Knit-Out on my shrunken cardigan, but otherwise after that, no knitting. Last week was just so busy, that even when I came home, I did knit a little on the sock or on the cardigan, but I wasn't too enthused with anything. And now that I cast on for yet another project, I'm starting to feel burdened with all the projects. My project max is usually 4 and right now I'm at 6, really 7. Although the 7th one hasn't been restarted, but I am anxiously awaiting getting re-started on the cardigan.

Yesterday as I left the house and the temperature dropped to a crisp 50 degrees, it definitely felt like fall was in the air. I really wanted some cardigans at that point and knew that I want to finish the cardigans I have on the needles. Although that fall day of yesterday was really a fluke. Today it's in the 70s, it does make me think that I need to wrap up a few other things so I can really focus on my cardis. So first up, are the Donna sleeves. Remember her? Well, the first edition of the sleeves weren't quite right and were actually longer than I wanted and they didn't fit when I was trying to seam the sleeves in. So since my friend Susan helped me redo them, I decided it wouldn't take that long to knit them up, since they should be much shorter this version and I ripped them out and started reknitting. I'm doing decreases on the first sleeve now.
Donna sleeves Posted by Picasa

I should be able to get this one done today and get started on the second one. Once I get the sleeves done, then I will finish up the sleeves for the baby sweater and knock out two things there. Then I can work on the lacy scarf for a little bit and start swatching on the other cardigan, so I can get gauge with the other yarn for the two-tone (variegated and solid color) cardigan, as well as keep working on the other cardigan and the socks.

In between a lot of other stuff with tracking down job leads, etc., here's the other reason I've had little knitting time, which has been some home repair. The carpets in our 2nd bedroom (M2, the preteen's room) are just atrocious and we're not sure what happened there. It's so dirty, although the carpet is pretty new that we don't think it will be cleaned well, so we're putting in hardwood floors. In addition to putting in hardwood floors (M's job), I decided to move my desk downstairs, which meant taking everything out of the drawers and moving both bookcases downstairs. My weekend was filled with cleaning and sorting and still consists of these things, blech. The flooring is also going into the kitchen. M says he will he have to shut off the water, and we may have to eat out! Yay! The kitchen stuff will happen on Saturday though. But M is doing a great job of doing it himself. Just a sneak preview . . .
hardwood flooring Posted by Picasa

And whilst trying to get in a little knitting time for myself, much cleaning and laundry will commence today. Tomorrow a total of 3 preteen boys will be invading my space for a number of hours (although, not a sleepover), but will need to be entertained by movies, snacks, game-playing etc. Whoo-wee! This stepmommy thing is really something else. Naw, it's not that bad, I'm just griping b/c I have to clean and the thought of 3 preteen boys is slightly nerve-wracking.

That's about it for me and the knitting update today. Maybe more tomorrow, you just never know.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Boulder Knit-Out recap

Hi all, things have still been pretty busy. I completely forgot I had to work at EB this weekend (well, Sunday and Monday mornings, v. early), so I'm still sleep-deprived, but wanted to post some updates.

Saturday, Cynthia and I headed out to the annual Boulder Knit Out, hosted by the Boulder Hand Knitting Guild, of which our dear Jenifer is the newly elected President. I wasn't sure what to expect, as I'd never been before. I saw some ladies I'd met before and met lots of new people. I had a great time and met some new knitters. I met Carla, who described me as bubbly! Which is quite funny, but she introduced herself as a blog reader (what, who reads this rag, anyway?!) ;-), so that was quite funny and we became fast friends! Cynthia says I talked to everyone and that did seem to be the case, but I had a blast. I've also set up a photo set on my flickr page, so feel free to hop over here to see all the pictures.

One of the fun things is to see are all the beautiful knits that others have made and everyone, is of course, wearing some of the handknitted finest! Cyn and Jenifer both fell sway to the dark side, spinning, and tried spinning with a drop spindle,as pictured here:
Jenifer and Cynthia both spinning

I met Kristi, of Knitting Fool blog, and we are also on a knitting list together, so it was nice to meet her in person. She was there with spindle in hand, helping those who were interested in learning to spin.
Kristi spinning

And the lovely Amanda (not a blogger, but we've been on a list as well and never met in person). It cracks me up when someone says they read my blog, b/c I think, really! Amanda had the most amazing shawl/scarf on and it was a Fiber Trends patterns, I believe and it was beaded. So pretty. Amanda should really have a blog too! See it:

Many others were there to knit and hang out as Cyn and I did. We also toured the Farmer's Market and they had some tasty items. I came home with a small bag of Honeycrisp apples, which are delicious. I'm still waiting to hear of Cynthia's report of the hot, hot garlic she bought.

I forgot to mention that I also received a couple of gifties. One from Nik, which was a copy of

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Thanks so much Nik.

And Cynthia gifted me with a copy of Scarf Style, since I've been coveting everyone else's copy for awhile. Thanks a lot Cyn. I can definitely get use out of this book.

I'll post more later, but that's all for today.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Believe it or not, I'm still around

This week has been terribly hectic, especially for someone that is unemployed. It's a bit funny. Nonetheless I did make it to 2 job fairs this week and attempting to follow up on some leads with those, so hence no time to blog. In fact, very little time to knit. Although last weekend I did get started on a new project, making a ton of baby sweaters. I figured it out and I need to make 5-6 baby sweaters and I'm on baby sweater #1. The front and back are done and I am working on the sleeves now. The pattern is a Debbie Bliss pattern which calls for DB Cashmerino Aran, but I didn't want(and couldn't) spend that kind of money, so I'm using up some of this Cotton-Ease. Yay, I am using up stash and that's always a good thing!
Here's a pic of the front and back:
(sorry for the blurry picture quality, but I was in a rush)

and the sleeves:

and a little further progress on the Marilyn shrunken cardigan:

I also joined another KAL, the Spork KAL, hosted by Brynne at her site. The pattern for Spork can be found here. I'd originally determined that I would use 3 skeins of Noro Kureyon in my stash, but upon further reading of the pattern and realizing that I would need more yarn, I'm going to use the yarn Wendy sent to me in its stead, as there is some Noro Kureyon (2 skeins) in a black, purple colorway and some purple Cascade 220 to use as an accent color. I will probably also have a stripe of purple to break up the variegation and have one stripe in the middle of the bag, and purple side panels as well as the interior panel. I'm excited for this as I've wanted a messenger/courier bag and this fits the bill nicely.

I also cast on for a pair of socks for the stepson. When will I have time to get all of these projects done? I was doing so good with only a couple of projects on the needles, but apparently that's gone to the wayside. Plus, I get bored with just one or two projects anyway. I'm just not looking forward to all of the baby sweater madness I've got to knit. Maybe I'll knit one or two and then see how I feel about making them all. At least maybe I'll get the motivation from looking at the yarn laying out to finish up the sweaters. They do knit up fast, but knitting both sleeves at the same time gets boring.

My Sock Pal, Nicole received her socks and loved them, so I'm quite happy. I would say take a look at her blog, but it's all in German, so if you speak German, go for it. If you don't and you still do want to look at it, feel free. My German is nonexistent, but she's made some beautiful projects. I enjoy just looking at her work.

I'm out of here for now . . .

Friday, September 16, 2005

Summer Knitting Lineup recap

Some of you may remember a post about my summer knitting lineup in April. Well I thought since summer is almost over, we should have a recap at WWK to see what projects were finished and what wasn't.

First up,

1. Tempting in Katia Bufalo in a steel blue-grey color, Check!
Completed Tempting

2. Donna in a dusty grey color in Katia Beetle, not exactly a check! It has been started and almost completed, however the sleeves you see in the picture below don't quite fit, so I will be reknitting the sleeves. This project will not sit until next summer as I want it finished so it can be ready to wear for next fall, but it is not yet completed.

3. Cabled V-Neck Tennis Sweater from this summer's VK in Debbie Bliss Cotton Cash
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This project was never started, although the yarn was purchased for it! It will be saved until next summer or rather early spring.

4. Reynolds' Jenny (variegated in a purple, green, blue colorway) for a seed stitch tank, also not a check. Decided I don't like the colors and it will be put up for sale on Ebay.

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5. 4 yarns for multi-color poncho, which is supposedly a quick knit, and all garter stitch. This is a big 'ol check too. Done and completed.

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Completed summer poncho pic:

6. The front or back to a tank, one piece already finished from 2 years before, in Sirdar Rio. Double check-check! And no need to put up another pic as it was in my last post!

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7. Finish the back of a V-neck tank in Katia Bonita (in a red-orange colorway) that has one piece finished and the second piece is 60-70% finished. Triple check-check-check! I don't have a finished pic and not with me in it, but both sides are sewn together. This top requires some yarn pulled through the Vneck to give it a dropped stitch look, but I'm not sure if I'm going to do it or not. I know I have a little of this yarn left over to do it with, but I can't find it. And as one ball costs $9, I'm a bit reluctant to shell out the cash for a little string of yarn that I need, so we're undecided at this point. I'll just give you a pic of both sides finished. I also had a friend's daughter add crochet around the armholes and neckline, which takes the V up a little higher, so I may just wear it without the Vneck detail and call it a day. If I wear it today, I'll try to get a pic in.

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So I would say 5 out of 7 projects completed or on the way. Not too bad. We knew all 7 of them wouldn't make it, it was a pretty ambitious lineup to begin with. And with 5 projects completed or mostly, I also managed to finish up 2 pairs of socks, the Waffle Stitch socks and the Sockapalooza socks, a nursing shawl for my sister and 2 one skein wonders. Not a bad summer after all, eh? I'm quite impressed.

Now I'm off to shower and go see my favorite middle schooler run at a cross country meet. Guess whose stepson made the cross-country team?

Happy knitting all!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tango Tank complete!

Wow, two posts in two days, what is the world coming to? And two FOs in two days! Can I get woo-woo? Okay, so I'm a little psyched. Anyway, this montrosity that hung around like the proverbial monkey on my back is finally completed.

I started this project two summers ago when I was living in Dallas, TX. When I bought the yarn and pattern, it was my first year of knitting. Whilst living in Dallas, my knitting skills were emerging, but still a pretty novice knitter. Since I'd initially purchased the yarn and pattern in Denver and then moved to Dallas, I didn't feel comfortably asking a yarn store there for help and the knitting groups I did attend in Dallas didn't meet that frequently. And over the summer, it seemed none of the knitters I knew even had time to get together. So once I hit a bump in the pattern I didn't understand, I just put the neck stitches on holders and left it alone.

I vowed to myself that the next summer I would pick it up again, but last summer was far too busy. I'd just met M, my best friend moved out here from Missouri and was living with me, I was looking for a condo and then subsequently moved into it (which was a lot o' drama) and starting a 2nd job (part-time), so needless to say I never picked up the second half. I just carted it around on a couple different moves.

This summer, the goal was to either finish it or rip it. As one half of a tank top with no sleeves was already done it seemed foolish to not attempt to at least finish it. After I started the second top, I realized the gauge I had 2 years ago was a lot looser than now and I was concerned the size top I made was going to be too big. I cast on for the largest size, a 40", but now that looked a little large. Now don't ask me where I got the feverish idea that I could make the second half 3 sizes smaller and they would both fit together! After I finished it, I was really concerned about it, but yet, it did work.

As I knitted the second half, I kept measuring against the finished one, so as far as the knitting was concerned, it was a perfect match. I noticed as I did the ribbing on the second one 2 or 3 times (I ripped it out a couple of times to get it right), that the second half was going to be much larger, I counted the number of stitches in difference and just made the second smaller, which worked into making the 3rd size, as opposed to my original 6th size. If I were to make this over again, I would just obviously do a gauge swatch to see which size I would make again, probably the 38. The funniest thing just happened, I looked at the pattern to see what the largest size was and realized that the bust size was a 42! I think when I first started knitting, I found in most situations, my size was the XL, usually 38-40". And depending on the ease or lack thereof, I might make it a little larger if I didn't want something to be skin tight. The other Sirdar patterns I've knitted usually had the 40" as the largest size, so I'm sure I assumed this pattern that 40" bust was the largest too, but a 42" is a bit big for me. I'm really a 38" bust, although lately with a little weight gain, it's a 40", but I'm not planning on keeping this weight, so we'll say normally a 38" bust. That makes sense why I thought the 1st half was so big and if I'd made the second half that size, I would not have been happy with how it turned out. In the end, it turned out pretty good.

In fact, I'm really quite pleased with this top. I stayed up till 1 a.m. weaving in ends (not that it took that long, just didn't start it until 12 a.m.) and then threw it in the wash and dried it this a.m. I put it on and with trepidation in my heart, looked in the mirror and it fits! I love it! I think I love this one more than all my other ones. Some of the other tanks that I love the v-necks, I don't want my whole bosom flashing and that has happened a number of times that I can wear it out, but if I were to wear it to work, I'd be pretty self-conscious. This one can go everywhere. I definitely think this pattern will be a template that I will use again. I will probably make the neck a little lower next time, not down to the bosom area, but I don't usually like tanks so close on my neck, although this isn't like the turtleneck feel that makes me feel like I'm choking. The picture on the pattern front makes it look higher than it is, but I might just start the neck shaping down 1/2 an inch and maybe not pick up the stitches around the neck, but then again I might. This is the first tank that the sleeves don't roll and that's saying a lot! I sent two of my summer tanks to a friend's daughter who crochets to crochet around the armholes and necklines of two tanks for me that the straps didn't want to lay flat for me and I was sick of them curling.

Anyway, I guess enough rambling on about the project and I'll just let you see some pics. I'm so thrilled with this top that I'm wearing it today! I think the dk-weight fabric is also more wearable in the summer months than worsted too. Okay, here's the first picture from the front:
sirdar tango tank front
Project Specifics:
Yarn used: Sirdar Tango DK color: 156, a pretty, bright blue
Yarn composition: 58% acrylic, 42% nylon
Size made: first side, size 42", back side size 36" (?)
Date started: July 1st or 2nd, 2003
Completed: September 13, 2005

from the back:
tango tank back

and with a surprise twist, the Tango tank, as I am now enjoying calling it paired with a OSW:
tango tank with OSW

Yesterday was a good mail day, although not as good as Cathi's, courtesy of Wendy. She sent me some great gifts as a thank-you for test-knitting her pattern and I was so surprised and pleased. Purple is my favorite color, unlike some people I know. Which is funny b/c I don't think most people know what my favorite colors are. When shopping for my birthday gifts, Stacey told me it was hard shopping for me as they've seen me knit with lots of different colors, so it's hard to tell my favorites! Which is true, I've knit with all sorts of colors, so from gauging from my knitting, one might have a hard time deciding.

Anyhow, I am showing a picture of my lovely goodies, 2 skeins of luscious purple Cascade 220, 2 skeins of Noro Kureyon in a purple and other variegated colorway and a skein of Regia Strato sock yarn in black, reds, purples,etc. and a book, Pursenalities by Eva Wiechman, who is the proprietor of Wendy's LYS who wrote the book.

There's enough yarn to make one of the bags in the book that I wanted to make before I read her note indicating that was the same pattern I wanted to make, how cool is that? I love purple, so the mix of purple and black with the Noro is great and I'm very excited! Yay! Thanks again, Wendy!

In case any of you are interested, I also started another blog, one that is more personal in nature and non-knitting here. If you're not interested, no worries, don't check it out.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sockapalooza socks completed

Yay, we have a FO to report. The socks are finished and are going through the wash. I expect to mail them out tomorrow to the intended recipient. I only hope my sock pal loves her sock as much as I do. Now I don't want to let them go.

Here are the socks:

And another shot without me attempting to model them and having no one else at home to take a picture:

Yarn used: Lang Jawoll superwash (wool/cotton/nylon)
Pattern: Clover Lace Rib (from Sole Solutions Sock Challenge '03, in a .pdf file)
time elapsed to knit: 1 month, maybe 1.5 months to knit

These socks were made out of Lang Jawoll superwash, the socks' fiber compilation was of wool, cotton and nylon. I'd been concerned about knitting these socks as I knew the yarn was a little finer than most sock yarns I use, which isn't a problem, it just means that I'm lazy. I've perfected the art of sock-knitting for myself and on most yarns (i.e. Regia and Trekking), I can get away with making socks on sz 1.5 needles, which is preferred. I love Opal socks, but hate knitting them on sz1 needles, it just seems like it takes longer. It probably doesn't, but still that's what it feels like. The Lang Jawoll, I knew would require me knitting on size 1s too. But I did enjoy it, really liked the sock pattern I used (will probably use it again) and overall like the socks, so much so, that I don't want to give them up, but I hope my sock pal does like them since she mentioned she didn't like earth tones, no maroon or browns, so I think this will do the trick.

And another project which isn't at FO status just yet, is the Sirdar Breeze tank top. I'm mostly finished, since I took most of the weekend picking up stitches around the neck and for the armholes too and sewed up the side seams. I've woven in a few ends, but there are still more to do. Weaving ends just sucks eggs, but I'm going to try to suck it up and finish. Hopefully a finished pic tomorrow. Here is a picture of it, just to show you that I have been doing some knitting and finishing anyway.

And of the super-secret knitting variety, here's the progress on the Not-So-Shrunken Marilyn Cardigan from Wendy that I was helping to test-knit. Far from being done, but I am under the armpits now, but kind of tired on knitting on the dk-yarn for a bit, so I'm going to work on a lace scarf as a brief interlude and then go back to this project.
shrunken in progress 090905

And something I neglected to mention, that one of my SP angels, Courtney really brightened my spirits last week when she let me know that as my final SP gift, she sent in a donation in my name to the Hurricane Katrina victims. That is truly awesome and thanks again Courtney!

Till next time . . .

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Not Much to Say

After watching all the news about Hurricane Katrina incessantly for a few days, I had to stop watching it, as I was too upset. As someone else said, time moves on. So while they are not forgotten, I had to get on with the things I do in daily life.

At first, knitting was hard, but then knitting became comfort and that is what I've mostly been doing, but just not feeling up to blogging. That and job hunting have been my primary activities.

No pictures today, but the Sockapalooza socks are almost done. Down to the toe decreases. Almost done and then they can be shipped off to my sockpal in the next week or so.

In another post I mentioned Donna was close to being finished as I was going to seam up the pieces, well, the sleeve just didn't fit. It's too short and I have to rip it out and reknit both the sleeves. I'm not really happy about this, but what can you do? It just needs to be done and done right, so I'll have to rip it out. Darn. I really just want to put it to the side and come back to it next summer, but that I cannot do. So I will re-work the sleeves, but as a side project and then try to attach them again.

As far as the blue Sirdar tank, I'm up to the neck on it. The shoulder seams are joined and I need to pick up stitches around the neck and just haven't done it yet.

That and I cast on for a new project that I've been working fast and furiously on. That's about it.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


I feel completely and utterly devastated by the loss and destruction that has wreaked havoc on the lives of so many in LA, AL, MS and FL. Louisiana is my home state, the place where I can hang my hat. I'm from a smaller town, Monroe, which is located in northeastern LA and was not affected by Hurricane Katrina. I'm fortunate that none of my immediate family was affected by the hurricane. However, I have many friends that live there, have families there or know others that are somehow affected by Katrina.

My heart goes out to all of these people who have lost family members, homes, ways of life, jobs. Most were lucky to escape, but have no home to come back, no jobs to go back. A way of life and culture is being lost and that too is heart-breaking. I've heard from so many of friends that are in TX that have family living with them.
My mother told me some of my sister's friends from college have family living with them in Atlanta.

I feel like I don't know what to do, but that I want to do something. This time I can't sit idly by. I just can't.

I received an email today about a relief effort spearheaded by Kim Rutledge, a member of the Crocheters Guild of America. Many of the hurricane victims are being evacuated to shelters in Houston, but many are going to other cities across Louisisana. Kim lives in Lafayette, Louisiana, on the southern coast and many are being evacuated to the Cajun Dome and this facility does not have places for people to shower. Most people are coming with the clothes off their backs and have nothing. She is requesting anything you can spare, clothes, shoes, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. Also, if you have any yarn, she has a knitting machine that she can make baby blankets. Please see the link above to her site for an address and other places locally that you can send in your requests to help others.

Susan and Margene have set up a program for donations to the American Red Cross and then you can send an email to the address listed and be entered into a raffle to win prizes as well. Also, if you want to donate a prize, you can send an email to the same place for an address. Go see Margene's blog for more details.

Lastly, Shannon's soon-to-be mother-in-law is a quilter and is calling on all quilters to donate quilts for the Hurricane victims. This effort is called Quilts for Comfort and they are requesting that quilts be no smaller than baby crib size be donated, but something larger is also appreciated. See today's post on Shannon's blog for more information as well.

I've called the American Red Cross to see what I can do in terms of volunteering, please won't you do the same?