Wednesday, February 22, 2006

10 Fingers

I posted one picture a couple of weeks ago about being hooked on knitting i-cord fingers and then the project never made another debut. They are still on the knitting lineup, although they got pushed aside for a time as I tried to finish up some projects in time for the Knitting Olympics. Sadly, I wasn't a real contender for the Olympics, but that's okay too.

I did finish knitting all ten fingers and I've put them all on scrap yarn. I was really motivated to knit these i-cord gloves when I saw them, but right now I'm not as in love with them, although the fingers were relatively painless. However from following the pattern exactly, I had to go back and reknit some of the fingers as there were too many stitches for my fingers. I reknit one finger 4 times before I got it right. Thankfully knitting a finger only takes about 30-40 minutes, but still. I was going to knit the whole glove on dpns, but I was curious to try it on 2 circs and as my Inox circs are fairly cheap, I went by my LYS and bought 2 on Monday. I hope to work on these more this project this week. We'll see.

I went back to knitting on M's sweater as I've finally made it through the 2.5" of ribbing (k1, p1tbl) on size 3 needles and moved up to my (bigger?!) size 5s for the body. After one row of increasing evenly, the rest of the sweater just starting moving so quickly. As of now, I'm at about 18 inches into the body. Men have such freakin' long torsos. I was going to make the Port Orford Pullover, which has about 15 inches of stockinette, a couple of purl ridges on the rs and then about 9.5 inches of double moss stitch. As I was getting nearer doing something a little more interesting, M decided the body needed to be longer (28" instead of 26") and that he wanted the body to be all stockinette, which is fine. I love knitting stockinette, usually in the round, but no matter. 28" is a whole 'nother matter, but oh well, I'm over halfway there. You can't see it in the picture below, but the yarn when knitted up in stockinette looks like it's cabling with every twist, so it looks really good. This sweater will definitely take awhile to be finished. But here's a progress pic just for you:

M was pretty impressed by the length of the sweater from last Monday night when I was just disgusted with my "Olympic knitting" and switched to his sweater. And to answer Cynthia from the comments a while back ago,Yes, I can knit at work now. At least in my training class, the trainers are totally cool and everyone asks to see what I'm knitting next. As a lot of it is lecturing, it's pretty neat that I can knit. The only thing is now M's sweater is getting heavier, so not quite as much fun carting it around, but I'm going to keep working on it so I can finish the back soon (w/in the next couple of weeks, so I can start again with the front). I really want to get as much of the body knitted while in training, b/c there are lots of hours of just lecturing in class, so I enjoy getting to knit and pay attention. And that's lots of knitting time that I won't have once the job actually starts. I'm all about taking advantage of the time I have!

Well, speaking of that place called work, I do have to go there, so hasta luego.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day, all hearts and flowers . . .

Happy Valentine's Day to you all. You probably think this will be some mushy post, but umm, not really. I'm trying to be in a better mood since titling it Olympic progress will be a farce. I'm dropping out kids! That's right, me and the Olympic knitting are not getting along well. Let me tell you my tale of woe.

The cast-on Friday night was exciting and a bit grueling. The knitting has been fierce. After knitting fast and furiously on Sunday, my Hourglass sweater grew to 5 inches. I had a plan as far as how much I could achieve each day. As I measured the length of my sweater, something told me to measure my gauge. As I did so, my gauge had changed from 5 spi to 5.5 spi. I had another friend verify it last night. That means my Olympic progress went from this:

to this:

Not an Olympian feat or much progress to show. My friend Susan told me that I should try to go up a needle size, as well as redo the hem as it looked very warped and that I would need to do a provisional cast-on, which I could do with waste yarn and not require a crocheted cast-on, so I decided to give it a whirl. Cast on more stitches and used bigger needles. After joining in the ball of regular yarn after 3 rounds of scrap yarn, it dawned on me that if I was using bigger needles, I wouldn't need to accomodate for the smaller gauge by using more stitces, so once again I was screwed. At that point, I threw down the Olympic knitting and began knitting on M's sweater for about 1/2 hour. I figured if I had problems with that sweater too, I just needed to put down knitting for a little while or else it would go like butter. It went like butter.

Now, or last night at this time, I'm thinking the Olympics is 16 days long. As of Monday night, that was 4 days in or 1/4 of the time allotted. That leaves me with 12 days to get re-cast on, rework the hem, (which is a bit fiddly and time-consuming to me, although well worth the efforts, so I won't have to worry with sewing down the hem afterwards) and then attempt to zoom through the body. I can knit at a good clip, but I don't want to feel pressured, especially since I lost so much knitting time and I really don't want to start over while I'm stressed about the whole thing, so I'm putting the Olympic gauntlet down and backing away. I've decided that I'll stay on Team Colorado and just attempt to get some projects finished and then I will restart the Hourglass sweater. But it's just not working out right now and if I'm committed to Olympic knitting, then I expect that I will finish and I know right now that that is not likely.

I was hugely bummed last night, but then thought, what am I really knitting for, the glory of an Olympic finish (probably!), but yet am I a failure because I don't finish. Not at all. So I give up my Olympic dreams and go back to my regular life of Wanda, a knitter and go back to a simpler life. My competitive streak isn't all that deep anyway. I was really cranking away on the knitting, but that's isn't always the best to go.

This way it will give me time to give M's sweater a little love. I'm still on Team Colorado and I will just be focusing on two projects, M's sweater and my i-cord gloves. If I could finish the gloves that would be nice, but if I don't, oh well. I figure progress will be made no matter what.

Oh and because I owe Kim a meme reply, here goes:
Tagged, yet again. This one comes from Strange Little Mama.

Instructions: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.

Woman Obsessed
strange little mama
Chef Messy

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Not really sure. At this time, I was in a training class starting at my new job (where I worked at for over 9.5 years). I was still pretty new to Denver, having moved there the September prior.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Meeting new friends via the Internet and blogs.

What were you doing 1 hour ago?
Waking up to type up a blog entry.

List five creative things you want to achieve this year:
1. Cook more.
2. Knit more.
3. Learn more knitting techniques.
4. That's it.

List five snacks you enjoy:
1. Too many to list

List five things you would do if money were no object:
1.Pay all of my bills, M's bills, my mom's and my sister's.
2. Buy all of my family new houses and cars.
3. Travel around the world, visiting different cultures, studying different ways of life and learning the languages.
4. Be happy and enjoy a restful life.
5. Pay for my nephew's college.

List five bad habits:
1. I don't put clothes away after folding them.
2. Not cleaning up behind myself.
3. Being lazy.
4. Attempting to do too many things at once.
5. Not taking good care of my car.

List five things you like doing:
1. Taking walks when the weather is nice
2. Hanging out with my boy
3. Knitting
4. Reading
5. Hanging out with friends

List five favorite gadgets:
1. George Foreman grill
2. Digital camera
3. computer
4. PalmPilot
5. M2's iPod

Name one thing you like about yourself:

I like being the friend that my friends call when they need someone to talk to.

Anyone who wants it.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A plethora of FOs

Thank you everyone for your kind words. I'm very relieved and happy to pass both tests! It's now all out of the way and I can just focus on the regular training which is only 8-5 and then come home to a semi-normal life. At least it's not all hectic most of the time with frantic studying, so I'm happy for that. Normal, as it were, that's a whole different animal.

Anyhow, there's snow on the roads which means I need to leave early for work, so here's a few FOs for your viewing pleasure.

Something that I'm sure is a surprise, is the viewing of my Marilyn NSS Cardi. Mine is not as shrunken as the original and is a bit longer in length, but still short enough to have a long-tail shirt hanging out, so I'm quite pleased with it.

and one from the back:

Project notes
Project: Marilyn NSS Cardi
Yarn used: Jo Shark DK Wool in color, Cyclamen (006)
Size needles: Size US 4 for body, size US 2 for turning the hem

I was originally helping Wendy test-knit this pattern for a larger size. I ended up making a combination of 38 and 40. I wanted a 40" for the bust, just so that I had enough room to wear a shirt underneath. I think if I'd stayed with my bust size, it might have been a bit tight, although the button band does provide some extra room too. I really like the sweater, but I'm not really happy with the button band. I think because I opted to use bigger buttons than the size the pattern called for, I should have made the button band a little wider. But I don't know if it's enough to make me do anything about it. Probably not. The more I wore it yesterday, I loved it. And I wore it to work and received lots of compliments and no one knew I made it until I told them. All in all, a great knit.

Next, we have the
Cabled Scarf pattern. The pattern uses Karaoke, but I figured my Noro would work just as well and guess what, it did. It's a skinny scarf and only used about 1.5 balls of my 3 and it's way long, but I love it. I'm usually not a skinny scarf girl, but it's great and very colorful, which I love.

Lastly, we have the Regia Strato socks. I've finished them over a week ago, but have yet to get a picture for the blog, so no time like the present.

So just in time for the Olympics, I've got three projects down. Fair Isle Jazz is hanging out at the cabled section. I just haven't had the time to get more done. The i-cord gloves have 5 fingers (not enough for one hand though), just need 5 more to go. And I finished the first 2.5 inches of M's sweater ribbing (which he loved so much, he wanted the whole sweater in ribbing, on size 3 needles, thank you very much!). After much discussion, I decided that while I loved him, if he ever wanted the sweater in this millennium, then we would go with the sweater pattern and so we did. There's probably something else I left out, but oh well.

Today I get to cast on for my Olympic project and I'm tres excited about that.

Later all.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I passed!

Sorry, some knittng has been happening, a bit over the weekend. And I even have a couple of FOs to show you, but, I had the second of my tests yesterday and just have been snowed in with studying. However, I did pass my second test, the 63, for which I was very thankful!

I'll post more tomorrow or tonight with pics. Thanks for all the well-wishes guys, they are very much appreciated. Now, hopefully my life will settle down a bit. I'm still in training, but that shouldn't take up my life 24/7 like studying for the test was. And just in time for the Olympics!

More later . . .

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Not Much Knittin' Happenin' Here

I realized I posted last week 3 times (which is also unheard of for me), but all of those times, I don't think I posted any of my knitting pictures, just asked for suggestions. Pretty funny, at least to me.

Anyhow, thanks for all the thoughts, prayers, suggestions and comments regarding my cousin's situation. I found out yesterday that the doctors have determined that she does not have cancer! So thank you all for your encouraging words. My cousin has had so many female problems throughout the years, that when she had some very serious pains a few weeks ago and had to go to the hospital, after further examination, this was their diagnosis, but after they sent her labwork, biopsy and x-rays, etc. to a surgical oncologist, they said they did not see any cancer, but that she would probably have to have a hysterectomy. Since I don't live nearby, I've been relying upon info from my mom, but since she recently moved from my hometown (to Atlanta to be near the grandbaby), she's not in the loop as much either. I received a text message from her 2 days ago stating that she had surgery scheduled for yesterday. When I called yesterday evening to hear how the surgery went, that's when her husband told me there was no cancer and that she had the hysterectomy. I'm very pleased to hear that.

I decided to make her the scarf, as she doesn't strike me as the shawl sort. And I gave her mother the mohair scarf I made last year in December and apparently they were "fighting" over who got to keep it, therefore I will make her her own. And with that in mind, I'm going to stay in the Olympics. I'd heretofore decided to drop out, but now that she is well, I'm going back to my original plan.

Since I started my new job a couple of weeks ago, I have to be licensed in Series 6 and 63 for my job. Very stressful and lots of reading about mutual funds, variable contracts, NASD regulations, bonds, stocks, taxes, etc, etc, etc. Blah, blah, blah, very dry and boring stuff, except some of it was actually interesting just to read about in terms of investing and learning more abut this stuff, so leave it to me to find the one interesting thing. My job is paying for us to study for 3 weeks, 2 for the 6 and 1 week for the 63. You can fail one (and many people do, it's just that tough), but not both. If you fail one, you can retake it at least 30 days later. I definitely do not want to fail the first one as it's over 300 pages of information to crush into my tiny brain. But I took the test yesterday and PASSED it! Yay for me! I'm so happy. I almost fainted after seeing the test results. Trust me, here in the WWK household, things were tough, I was v. stressed, the ever-wonderful M attempted to calm my nerves the night before the test, but nothing would soothe the savage beast called, "Oh, my God, if I fail, I could lose my job" woes. Which is typical me getting all stressed out. I passed it, not by much, but you don't get extra points for passing with a 90, you just get the distinction of passing. You only need to get a 70 to pass and I did by the skin of my teeth and that's all I needed. I still have one more to go, but it's not nearly as much information as the 6. So obviously that's where my mind has been as of late and thusly, why there's been no updates nor much knitting happening.

However, I did cast off for the "body", if you will of Spork and am now on to the strips that need to be knitted. I started them last Friday, but have knit on it since. I'll try to work on it this weekend and possibly get the side panels done and the reinforcing strip. After that, who knows what will happen, but basically the knitting will be done.

I did finish the cable scarf, but I still need to work some tassel/fringe on the ends. But here's a progress pic in case you're interested. This one was at least semi-better lighting.

I've completed all of the fair isle stuff for Fair Isle Jazz, so this picture is also inaccurate, but that would require me going upstairs to take a new picture and sorry, that's not happening either today. I'm at the cable part, but I don't even understand how to execute these cables nor the bobbles, but it will be going on hold until after the Olympics anyway.

The i-cord gloves are coming along, albeit slowly. I don't know if I will get them finished before the Olympics, but oh, wait, I forgot the Superbowl is on Sunday, so I'll have plenty of knitting time then!

I also plan to cast on for my cousin's scarf sometime soon. I may be working on it in tandem with the Hourglass Sweater for the Olympics. We'll see.

Progress on M's sweater has been halted and I'll explain that in my next post. Off to work to study more.