Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A few answers

A few answers:

1. a) Using a glove. b) Now it's headless.

2. Errr.....Ummm......Hey, look at that over there (she says in a distracting kind of way.). I've been ignoring it for a long time, but I just got back to it yesterday. Pictures in a day or two.

3. Yes, these 2 pictures are the same sock. (You might be able to blame some of the problem on the flash.)

4. I guess you can't try on a sock during a conference, can you?

5. Finish the neckline first? But that might be extra knitting. (Not that I did any of that.)

6. Nope, sorry. Too easy for me.

7. Knowledge is power only when you know something more than nothing and aren't just shooting in the dark. (Me: Let's save this change and see what it'll do.)

8. Snow has melted, so don't be jealous any longer. Now we have a mushy mess.

Oh, you want the questions? Ok.

1. Nancy: Now I know this is probably a stupid question, but how did the kids do that hand? BTW, I love the snowman.

2. Janice:
(This is a paraphrase. I ignored this question so much that I deleted it.) What ever happened to the afghan made from knitted stripes?

3. Nancy: Are you sure a darker background would make it look lighter? I would be interested to know the results.

4. Sheila: Better too long than too short, I guess. I was knitting a sock at a conference this last December and I measured wrong. The darn thing was 1.5 inches too short.

5. Marguerite: Also, when trying sleeves on for length I've found it's important to finish off the neckline first. Pulling the neckline together with ribbing or whatever can noticably change the hang of a sleeve.

6. Valeria: If it's possible i knit my sleeves from the shoulders to the wrist, so you can change the length when it's too short. Just reverse the pattern and it's easy. I also enjoy doing that because it's getting quicker when you come to the wrist.

7. Cactusneedles: Yes, but knowledge is also power.

8. Valeria: We have no winter in holland (yet)and don't think it will. I just love winters with snow so ...jealous..

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I've been playing around with my sidebar. Cleaning up and adding title separations. I finally got a google search added that searches just my blog. Give it a try! I found the code here at Google.

If you find my sidebar disappearing or otherwise doing strange things, let me know. I don't really know what I'm doing, so it could have ill effects.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

When bored

What my kids do when bored:

What I do when bored:

It snowed today

It snowed today...

in big fluffy snowflakes....

that stuck together well.

And it added up.

(Previous pictures by DD#2 were not cropped or balanced or anything. Is it fair that they look so good without even trying?)

But it was cold, even in my new sweater.

(And hat. Gotta cover up the messy hair.)

I frogged the end of my sock, tried it on, then reknit it. The needle shows where my toes end.

Think I need to try again?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A truly DUH moment

Not once in the last 24 hours, when I was freezing cold, did I think about putting on my BRAND NEW handknit sweater.


I must need a nap.

The difference the sun makes

In the last 24 hours I have been working on this CIC sweater. It's Marguerite's pattern Cozy in Cables Big Kid Sweater. I'm doing the smallest size, 36" I believe, using the yarn that my dad got for me when he went to a benefit auction. It's Killowen Double Knitting in a rust color by Tivoli spinners, made in Ireland. Using double strands and 50 gram balls, I'm on my second set of skeins already.

I spit-spliced them during today's basketball game. Although I'm used to knitting in public, I'm not used to spitting in public. I chose my moments wisely. During the boys' game, I joined them during a fast break on the floor. (Don't worry, DD, I did not embarass you. Not more than normal, anyway.)

I had 2 comments of "what are you sewing?" and a couple of "wow, that's going to take you a long time to do." (Not really, I cast on 24 hours ago.)

In the last 24 hours, I knit at basketball practice, while monitoring a baseball game (checking it out online while at home), at a basketball game, and at a soccer game. All the time I was cold. Not just cold, but freezing. Four different places (including my downstairs) that are incredibly cold. It's like there's no heat on. I kept my coat on at all times. (Except at my house. Then I was bundled up in a blanket.) Plus, I went to the grocery store. Ever walked down the produce aisle? Or the frozen food section? There's only so much coffee I can drink, people, something's got to give.

Now I have to interject that if you haven't tried Marguerite's patterns, you need to. (this one, or any others. They're all equally well written.)

I am normally an exact pattern follower, keeping a copy underneath the edge of my leg so I can refer to it each row. This pattern? I actually memorized it (the cable pattern part, not the whole thing) so I could do it without the pattern. That shows how well it's written. Interesting, but still easy to memorize.

Why the title, you ask? Obviously if it was summer and the sun was shining down on me I wouldn't BE SO COLD!!!!!

But also, I took 3 pictures of my sweater (thought I'd never get around to it, didn't you?). These are all at the same time on the same deck, just turning around and snapping.

This one is a bit too dark, although I like the sunshine in the corner.

This one has high contrast. It looks like it's sunset time, but it's really only 3:15pm.

This one has the best definition.

There you go. The difference the sun makes.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Done! My sweater is sewn together and is done.

I'll try to get an outdoor picture once it's blocked (Okay....not completely done. But done sewing, and that's the hard part).

When I measured the sleeves of my favorite sweater, they were 19". When I measured the one I made last year, they were 20", and I have to roll them up an inch since they're too long. When I made these sleeves 20.5", they are barely long enough. What's up with that?

And while you're explaining, how did my hips get so big? Is it trick photography, or do they look like that in real life? (Smart cookies will ignore this question.)


Check out my son. He's a closer for the U of Miami and here he's pitching at one of the games. (If you click on the picture, it takes you to Webshots site where you can see it much better.)

OG6Q5242 copy

If you're reading this, son, remember me? Your mom? Call me once in a while, okay? Or an email. That would be nice too. (Like he reads my knitting blog. )

He's not avoiding me, he's just busy.

That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Weekend update

Seeing that I had lots of sitting around time yesterday, I managed to finish this prayer shawl.

Marguerite: It's Lion Brand Homespun color 318 Sierra on size 13 needles. K3, P3 pattern using 57 stitches. It used almost 3 skeins. (I'm helping to prevent frown lines on Marguerite's face by posting the yarn specifics. You're welcome. Check out her blog--she posts lots of pretty bird pictures, among other things.)

This will go to someone undetermined yet that is going through some kind of crisis. The hope is that the shawl will bring her comfort as she goes through it. Two ladies in my church started a prayer shawl ministry in our church, so they get to distribute it. (My challenge was to pray for someone, while knitting, who I don't know who it is yet, or what she's going through. Quite a challenge, but one I'll do again soon.)

Valeria: I have worse sentence structure than usual. If you can't figure it out, don't worry. People born speaking English are having problems, too. (Haven't you been a busy blogger, lately? For those of you that can't read Dutch, she adds an English translation. Anyone want to write one for me? An English translation, I mean.)

Ruth: (Not me, another one)(Also not my twin cousin.) (Isn't it interesting how many Ruth's I know?): No wood floor yet. However, I'm getting used to plywood.

I've also been working on my socks. A little bit too hard, as you can see. The extra needle marks the spot where I should've started the toe. I guess I over estimated the length of my foot.

This sock went with me to the basketball and soccer games today. (I looked again for my sunglasses where I had dropped my stuff last week, but they weren't there. I figured that since it didn't look like it had been cleaned lately, that they might've been hanging around, but nope.)

Marguerite: Plain vanilla sock, Lanett Superwash on size 1 needles. This yarn was from MD Sheep and Wool festival from....errr....2005.

Nancy: Dark sock with a light colored wall. It needs a darker background so that the sock doesn't look this dark.

I've been needing more stitch markers for awhile now. I had a bunch on my Clapotis (Morehouse Merino laceweight--I think--size 8 needles. 10% done since last summer. Languishing in UFO land.) Finally, I realized that it would take about 4 minutes to remove the markers and replace them with snips of yarn.

My brain is slow, but effective.

Janice: I got this yarn from MDS&W from 2006, but they also have a website where they post a daily free pattern. I buy lots of yarn online, and haven't had a problem yet.

Nancy: I cropped out my foot where it snuck into the photo.

I've also been working on MY sweater. (Grey: Cascade 220, Purple: Paton's classic wool. Green: no longer used. Size 7 needles, classic raglan sweater using Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system. Tweeked a bit.)

I haven't posted pictures because they look just like the last set.

You'll have to take my word for it that:

The first sleeve was ripped out and reknit as a solid color. The second sleeve was knit, added on an inch longer and 2 stitches wider, then the first sleeve was ripped out to the armpit and reknit to match. (Aren't all the stitch markers lovely?)

Then, since the raglan was also made longer both under the armpit, and up top, the body was ripped out to the armpits and reknit.

It looks exactly the same, but trust me, reknitting was done here.

I just thought you'd like to see my pattern as I have it written down:

It reminds me of my physics cheat sheet in college. We were allowed to bring one piece of paper to our tests. This could have anything on it that we wanted, but it could only be one piece. We put in all our formulas and lots of sample problems. I wrote extremely small, and would section off each problem with it's own little box. We were also encouraged to study the old tests, and I would have lots of those problems on my cheat sheet. One test, I had 4 or 5 exact problems on my sheet that were on the test. That day, 12 of us got 100%, and the teacher switched the way he made the tests.

On that note, I'm off to knit.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Check out what my DH gave me yesterday.

First, a t-shirt of the chocolate molecule from thinkgeek.

Here's the description:

Yummy Theobromine.

Caffeine is our favorite stimulant. It is easy to get and comes in many forms. But did you know that Caffeine has a sexy younger cousin. Her name is Theobromine, and she's the tasty little number who puts your mind in a happy place while you are eating chocolate. Molecularly similar to caffeine, but with just enough differences to make her a much smoother date...


Need I say more?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

I've never liked my photos very much. Most of the time they are barely good enough. I don't want to take the time to set them up, but rather I just snap away and crop later.

However, I've been reading yarnstorm lately and was inspired to try some photos like hers. (Check hers out--they're gorgeous!)

Most of the time she uses a white or grey background with natural light from a window.

That's what I did. (None of these photos were balanced for color.)(Obviously.)

This red heart makes the white background look very grey, and there's not enough contrast between the raspberry kisses and the heart. (DD#1 left the kisses with me, and I'm the only one who will eat them. Not that I like them very much, they taste weird, but they're still chocolate.)

A white heart on a white background turns everything grey.

Moving on to something lighter on the inside. Everything's still grey.

Switched to a grey background. Now the heart looks white.

This one is better. More interest to the shape.

This one definitely shows the white heart now.

Must be time to eat!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Reasons why not

While I appreciate all ya'll's good suggestions concerning MY sweater, I couldn't do any of them for the following reasons:

First and foremost: Remember the title of my last post? It was "Let's pretend". Pretending that it was still Wednesday and that I hadn't totally ripped it out already (I hadn't told you that yet, but that was part of the next planned post.)

Second: I didn't really want to buy more yarn to make 2 sweaters the same. The grey was bought on ebay, and the eggplant was bought in October. Not a chance of matching the dyelots.

Third: Overdyeing the grey wouldn't work because it had a yellowish cast to it that would stay to fight with the green no matter what shade it was. (Sorry--bad sentence. Valeria: don't try to understand it.)

Fourth: I own very few sweaters (preferring to wear DS#1's leftover long sleeved t-shirts that mysteriously shrunk in the wash), and even fewer handknit ones. I can count three that are in my closet, and two are from the early 90's. Therefore, I don't really need two that are exactly alike except for the color.

Fifth: Not only was there color problems, but there was also fitting problems. Remember my careful measuring? Not so good in... real life. Or in...real sweater. I need the sweater body an inch longer, same with the sleeves. The sleeves also need to be wider to have more stitches at the top for the raglan (to accomodate my wide shoulders.)

Therefore, I ripped out the sleeve back to the cuff, increased four stitches when switching to stockinette, and continued on.

Now that I knew what I was doing, I took it to Saturday's sporting events.

Here's a blurry picture of DD#2's basketball game. DD#2 is in yellow and is the tall one in the middle. She scored 5 points on Saturday!

After swinging by baseball registration, we went to DS#2's soccer game. (I'm not actually sure which one he is. I'm guessing he's in the yellow in the middle.) They won also, and DS scored a goal.

He also played goalie for one half. Since the score was 8-0, he was quite bored.

As I knew it would happen, I dropped my knitting between the bleachers and onto the gross floor below. DD had to lay on her stomach to reach the various supplies.

My sunglasses are still down there somewhere.

A photo study by DD

(Thanks to all ya'll for letting me know the pictures didn't show. They showed on my computer until I rebooted so I didn't know anything was wrong.)

"Hey, stop disturbing me. Can't I sleep on your bed if I want to?"

"I'm going back to sleep."

"Oh, look, a friend!"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Let's pretend

Let's pretend that's it's Wednesday (when these pictures were taken) and that this blog entry is witty and clever (it was totally funny the four times that I wrote it in my head. Now? I got nothin'.)

Let's pretend that we got enough snow overnight to cancel school.

Do you think there's enough snow for that?

How about in this picture?

Not enough snow, you say? Well, the school apparently thought it was enough. There wasn't even a two-hour delay. Nope, the school was cancelled for the whole day.

The bad part about this was there just wasn't enough to have a decent sledride. And it was too cold to make a good snowball.

Here's MY sweater's sleeve. I used the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34,...) for the stripes. I really had fun with this and it turned out great.

Until..... I basted it on to the body.

In this picture it still looks okay,

but trust me, the green on the stripes and the grey on the body fight with each other.

No amount of pretending can make me think it goes together.

Sigh, it's off to the frog pond.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Thought I'd post a Project Spectrum picture or two.

Here's a grey/white picture of my used-to-be-all-black dog. He didn't have a speck of white on him as puppy. But now at age 14? Lots of grey.

Old dogs have learned where the best places to sleep. On the pillow in the middle of the bed. When there's a girl there also, there's a fight for the best place. The dog usually wins.

I've finished the body of MY sweater. It's something that I actually think about when I fall asleep. How soon can I start knitting on it the next day? It's been exciting that it's going so quickly.

It's very stressful trying to get the right measurements, though. I measure, and figure, and knit, and measure, and figure, and knit some more.

The fatal part is when I try it on. I panic and think I need to rip it out. I let it rest, re-measure, and figure it'll be okay. This is why I don't make very many sweaters for myself.

Too much pressure.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Project Spectrum

I decided to join Project Spectrum that hosted by Lolly on Lolly Knitting Around. It's a celebration of color in any kind of crafting or photography, whether you have a blog or not. I watched it going on some last year, but thought I'd commit to it this year. Check out the above links to read more about it, and to join up.

For February/March I'll have it easy since I'm already knitting my grey sweater.

February / March
Blue, White, Gray

April / May
Green, Yellow, Pink

June / July
Red, Black, Metallics

August / September
Brown, Orange, Purple

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Crisis Averted

A couple of notes:

1. Happy Birthday, Janice! You're not getting older, you're getting better!

2. For those of you who checked this blog earlier today, here's the words to go with the pictures. I had tried to load the pictures and thought there was an error, so was going to try again later. It wasn't until one of my astute readers informed me that it was my bathroom, that I knew. Which leads me to....

3. Yes, it's my bathroom! That's what all the purple was about. DD#1 was home on a l...o...n...g college break, so thought she'd redo the bathroom. I said that that would be fine, as long as she finished it before she went back. (Can you tell where this is going?)

The theme was rubber duckies and we picked out the shower curtain and went from there.

Things rolled along without my help (in a relative way of speaking:
Mom, where's the blue tape?
Mom, she just sat in the paint... can you do something with her shorts?
Mom, they forgot to let me help....
Mom, this prep work is making this NOT FUN at all.
Mom, what do you mean we have to prime first?)

Things continued to get done until the day she left.
Mom, do you want to help paint the polka dots? (This was the day she was leaving, after a basketball game and a soccer game and before a three hour drive.)

I caved.
No, go ahead, we'll take it from here.

So DS#2 and I painted dots. And fixed where we messed up, and added a second layer, and fixed what we messed up. (Any oddball shapes I get to blame on him, and he's doing the vice versa with me.)

As I told DD#1 in a recent email,
Next time, you know that tablecloth and big sheet of plastic that I gave you? They're supposed to be used as drop cloths to catch the paint, not just to get kicked around the floor and get in the way. If you used them to COVER something, someone wouldn't have had to spend hours getting paint drips off every available surface. Not that I minded, you see, not at all. That's what a mother is all about.

You can see in the above picture that DD#2 will be painting some ducks as soon as I remember to buy the paint.

My work is never done.

4. I bet you think I didn't have any knitting content, huh? Well, here it is: my sweater, posing with my favorite fitting sweater.

(This red sweater has been a staple of my wardrobe. I wore to many high school games since it matched the school colors (the kids, not mine--it's not that old), it got a lot of use around Christmas. If the weather is cold, I'm sure I'll wear it around Valentine's Day.)

Anyway, I've been using the red sweater measurements to make MY sweater fit. (That's what I'm calling it...MY sweater.) I tried on MY sweater like a tube top, then laid it on the red sweater. It seems 2-3 inches too wide! Achh!

I'm thinking....that dratted gauge--it got me again.

However, when I let it rest a bit, then laid it out again, it seems to be okay. I guess I stretched it out and and it hadn't stretched back yet.

Phew, Crisis averted.