Thursday, January 31, 2008

January Roundup

Where has the month gone? I'm happy to report several finished items.

1. The teal cardigan. This was my oldest UFO, started somewhere in the fall of '06. It sat for a year waiting for the sleeves to be done. Now they're done (and too wide/long). I've worn it a couple of times, and it's growing on me.

2. A second BSJ for charity (most likely CIC).

3. One lonely pair of CIC toddler socks. I had big plans of knocking more of these out, but so far it hasn't happened.

4. A wrap out of Moonlight Mohair. Not sure what I'll do with it yet.... but the yarn cost a total of $6 and it only took a couple of days to knit.

5. My second pair of Horcrux socks, third if you include the worsted weight ones. Love this pattern! (Only found in the 6sockKAL yahoo group).

6. An Unoriginal Hat made out of my very own handspun--the very first from my spinning wheel!

7. I get 1/2 credit for DD#2's purse. 1/2 credit is still good! (DD#1's purse has shown up at my house. Apparently the straps s--t--r--e--t--c--h a whole lot and need to be shortened.) (DD's request was that I shorten the straps, and mend something else (I can't remember what, but it's in one of the boxes she brought home recently. I thought that when things leave home with children that they never come back. I guess I was wrong.) Then I can mail them back to her with a box of goodies. Hmmm....with Valentine's Day coming up, what could she be thinking about? Chocolate?

A couple of things are carry-overs to Feb. The scarf is almost complete (you don't need to hang on the edge of your will come. :), the something new project was quickly abandoned--too tight for the size needles I have and don't have bigger ones. The pattern wasn't touched and will be taken off the sidebar. I still have hopes of working on it, but it sits there at 0% and mocks me, so it's going into timeout.

And my "guess what I'm working on" project will be revealed shortly. (But it's not gloves.)

P.S. In case I want to know later how much money was spent on yarn this year (not committed to the whole "knit from your stash" thing, but in general it sounds like a good idea), I spent $12 on six skeins of Moonlight Mohair.

Onwards into February!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Like riding a bike....

All that finishing gave me startitis. I've started a scarf, abandoned it to make some of these, which will be abandoned for something new.

Some of these? What are they, you ask?

Can you guess?

As you can see, there will be several of them. And they're crocheted. It's nice to see that I remember how to do that.

Just like riding a bike....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Time, Frozen Smile, and Paper

(I'm gonna give up on doing a regular "Sports Saturday" post. Not only did I forget my camera today, but I didn't even bring my knitting. This is why I also don't do "Eye Candy Friday" and "Saturday Sky" and the "ABC-along" even though they look interesting. "What's on your Needles Wednesday" is in every post, so I cover that by default. "Tuesdays are for Spinning" will again occur when I take off the current spun stuff from my bobbins--and get another Tuesday off work. Anyway, too much pressure to remember...)(Tough games today. DS's soccer game tied and DD's game was lost by one point.)


I've been working on several little things. Three to be exact.

However, I've been leaving them not-quite-finished and have moved on to the next.


I decided to finish them and time myself to see how long it really took.

1. 6 minutes. Yep, that's it. I actually BO and pulled the yarn through to a knot, but didn't cut and hide the ends.

This is a shawl/stole that took 3 skeins of Moonlight Mohair (on sale for $2 each, regularly $8.99 thankyouverymuch). Cast on 40 sts on size 15 needles, knit every row increasing at each end every row until done. (Save enough yarn to bind off. And hide the ends.)

(Thanks to DH for the pics, he's trying out a new flash.) (When's it flashing? Now? oh, ok, now. I love frozen smile pictures.)

2. 38 minutes. It took longer than I thought. There was only one toe to do which had already been decreased part way. (I thought I was done, so I cut the yarn only to realize that I had one more decreasing row to do, which needed more yarn than I left, so I had to join the yarn again for one row which made 2 more ends to hide and which got in the way when I did the Kitchnering. Not that I was in the least way annoyed.)

Horcrux socks using Trekking XXL color 108, sz. 2 dpns and 70 sts.

3. 36 minutes. I had a bit of yarn left over, so I ripped back the hat to add a couple of more rows. Why so worried about using every inch?

Because.... drumroll please....

It's made with my very first handspun yarn from my spinning wheel!!!

The yarn is incredibly sproingy and thick and fun to work with. It's going to be great to wear at those frosty bus stop mornings at o'dark o'clock.

The pattern (mostly, I fudged a bit) is The Yarn Harlot's Unoriginal Hat for bulky yarn. Size 11 16" circs for the body, switching to 10.5 dpns for the top ('cause that's all I had and it worked.) (By the way, the pattern is in pdf form which I just discovered right now, but unfortunately not when I printed it out earlier. That time I printed the blog entry which is a whopping 43 pages. A few pages for the pattern and the vast majority for the comments on how much everyone liked it. While I agree, I didn't really need to keep the comments. I actually tried to print "selected" but automatically clicked "print all" then tried in vain to cancel the print. I gave up, and used up the paper that was laying around on the floor getting stepped on, then got the brilliant idea of sending the same paper through twice. After all that, the actual page with the pattern didn't get printed, just the chart. Sometimes charts are a challenge since I knit left handed, but this time I made it work.) (Phew, still with me?)

The pdf pattern is two pages.

That's 6+38+36=80 minutes, a frozen smile, and a ream of paper.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Final Pics - Teal Cardigan

Today was a nice day. I went out with a friend for lunch. She's the type that you can see for the first time in two years, but it will seem like yesterday. Also, I took a nap, and then I did some knitting. (Supper was cooked, but not burnt, how unusual was that?)

I wore my teal cardigan for the first time today. I was asked whether I like it better now that it's done. And the answer is....

just a tad. I'm still not thrilled, but it's passable.

Somehow the sleeves managed to get too long. Before I didn't like the fact that they were too wide. Now they're too long and too wide.

However, rolled up they look better. They've lost the belled effect, but they don't come down to my fingertips.

Do I plan on fixing them?

Not a chance.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Finally a Finishing Frenzy

Finally finishing some items, mainly by sewing on buttons and doing "non-knitting" type of stuff.

The BSJ now has buttons.

Really cute hippo buttons.

DD#2's purse now has a lining.

Here's a closeup. This fabric with its cute little ladybugs was the basis for the yarn colors.

Two ladybugs are on the straps. They're red and don't quite match, but are still really cute.

The ties were thumb crocheted by DD#2. (done without a hook.)

My teal cardigan has a button. Or rather, a clasp.

I'm done with the finishing already. Back to some knitting!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Second Sports Saturday?

Remember last week when I so glibly stated that I could keep Sports Saturday going every week until June?

Well, it's week two and I've already faltered. Apparently it's easier to post pics of my knitting at games if I remember to bring my camera! Sheesh. (DS's soccer team tied while DD's basketball team won.)

Not only that, but DS asked why I knit more during his games than DD's games. Were her games more interesting???? Huh??? Gotta fix that.... Maybe I'll just make sure I knit equally at all games from now on.

Here's my pathetic attempt at sports pictures today.....

My pile of spun yarn is growing. (Ooooh. a basketball.... AND a baseball.. It must be Sports Saturday!)

And I've gotten back to the Horcrux socks again. This was my sports knitting today. (Aaaahh. A soccer ball.)

Next time, maybe there will be a football. Can you stand the excitement?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

In the hours between 10am and 2pm today...we got snow! After that it turned to rain (and mush), but for four hours there it was really pretty.

In between wandering around the house and eating, I managed to finish knitting the teal cardigan. I kept going around and around the edges.

Adding a neckline and some button bands:

...and lengthening the hem by this much.

It is now being spun out in the washing machine (after a soaking) prior to being wet blocked. Final pictures will be coming when dry. I'm not thrilled with it, but the idea that it's done is a weight off my shoulders.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A little pair of socks

I took a break from the teal cardigan (where I keep plugging along, but I'm not liking it any better). Perfect time to knit a small pair of socks using up some leftover yarn.

I thought this would work.

I was wrong. I tried to convince myself that it would look better when finished. So I finished it. And wove in the ends of the toe.

It was not better.

I think the proper term is "yuck".

Letting it rest for a day convinced me to rip it out and try again.

Better. Enough so, that I made its mate. And wove in all the ends.

(30 sts, size 4 dpns, for CIC now that the challenge is for sweaters/vests. I'm always slightly off.)

15 down, 13 to go.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A purse in the making

This is our second attempt at making a purse for DD#2. The first was knit, then deemed too small so this is version two.

I had already bought the fabric for purse #1, and she liked it, so I suggested that she dye yarn to match for the next try. (This would be a good point to show you the fabric, but I forgot to take a picture and too sleepy (lazy) to go do that now.....)

She loved that idea, so this is what we came up with.

She knit a rectangle on my knitting machine and let it rest. Too small, so tried again. This time was good.

Next was my part: Making the i-cord. And sewing the seams.

It needs to be washed, dried, and then the lining will be put in.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sports Saturday

As I was packing up my knitting for today's sports events, I realized that I could take "Sports Saturday" pictures weekly from now through June. I don't know if I'll be able to keep it up (not unless I can come with some more interesting pics, I can't), but I'm going to give it a try.

Showing off my knitted sock on my foot (guess which one's mine :)

Here we are at indoor soccer where DS#2 is the goalie. He just loves this sport, and since it only lasts 1/2 hour no matter what, we do too.

His favorite thing to do is kick the ball high enough to hit something hanging from the ceiling. Today he took out only one light.

Then, we wasted time at McDonald's before heading over to DD#2's basketball game. They lost their game today, but got the exact same points as last week where they won.

We got a chuckle out of last week's coach. He was telling his players who to cover.

"You, cover #8."

"You, cover #6."

"You, cover the tall girl." meaning DD#2.

We got a lot of fun out of that all week. "Hey, tall girl! pass me the salad." (She said the first time the coach said "big girl", so at least that was an improvement since she's not at all big.)

Lots of knitting was done at the games today. So much so, that by the end of the day I had two sleeves.

And they were attached to the body.

Seemingly close to being done, I actually still have the neckband, two button bands, and maybe lengthening the body (since it's now looking short).

Not so close after all.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Various and sundry things

Definition of sundry as listed in the Student's Dictionary (that's sitting within arm's reach):

Sundry: adjective. various, more than one or two.

Therefore, this is a discussion of sundry things from this week.

First of all, I didn't blog about it on Tuesday, but since Tuesdays are for spinning, then I spun on Tuesday.

I made some red singles. Then plied them with the mojave (purple) to get my yarn. This is the first of many skeins of yarn.

The spinning is going better and easier and I'm enjoying it. Right now my wheel is smack in the middle of my living room. It's sharing space with my knitting machine that is being used for DD#2's project. (See top left corner of above pic.) We've hung out there for a couple of evenings, working on our creations. (Pics of DD's project to come later.)(Note to self: take some pics of DD's project.)

Four and a half hours at work yesterday were spent unloading a truck. (Some people spent six, so I guess I got off lightly.) That made me very tired and complain-y for the rest of yesterday.

On Monday, my dog had a little stroke. He was all disoriented and drifty. He got a shot of steroids and some pills and has recovered very quickly. So much so, he's back to his normal "hey, if you're sitting at the computer then I must need to go out. And come in. And go out." routine.

He also did his "let's get in the pictures" routine.

It's nice to see him being his usual self.

As promised, I've been working on my SECOND teal sleeve. Lots of little dpns are being used since that's what I'm in the mood to use. (I don't know why, so don't ask....)

Things are getting back into a normal routine. Dog is better, DH is back at work (he just used up lots of use-or-lose vacation time), DS flew back to school today, and I have hopes of finishing this sweater.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A year ago

Here's the BSJ all knitted but not sewn together. If you look at the left side, you can see the little notch (5 sts worth) that becomes the neckline when folded up.

The sleeves always seem short to me, so I added the gold foldup cuffs for extra length. Buttons are now the only things missing.

I was worried that I would run out of variegated (2 skeins of Lion wool), so I used the maroon in the middle to stretch it out. It might have made it, though, since I actually have this much left over.

I'm thinking little CIC socks.

In other knitting news....remember this? Yep. My teal cardie. (Look, Janice, my teal cardie. You've been asking about this for the past year, and it's finally made a reappearance!)

I looked back in my archives, and the sleeve was actually cast on in Jan. 14, 2007. Almost an entire year ago.

I got it out tonight, did a 3-needle bindoff on the shoulder seams and sewed in the sleeve.

After all that, it's looking okay and I'm going to continue on. I could've done this a year ago!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fodder for the post

A friend commented that it must be a challenge to come up with new blog topics so often. And it is.

Considering that this is a knitting blog and I do a lot of knitting, that helps a bit. Some days, however, there's not much to say.

I may not have done any knitting, or like today, not very much. I can show you another picture, but since it looks just like the last, it's not very exciting. And sometimes, like today, it looks like a mess.

(That's the genius of the BSJ--it looks like a mess until you sew the two seams and's a sweater.)

Sometimes I look around the room for something knitterly to talk about or take a picture of.

Like this picture of my desk in front of me right now.

There's lots of knitting things on this desk. Going from left to right:
1. a ball of orange acrylic that must be DD#2's since
a) I have to knowledge of what it's there for
b) it's orange and
c) it's acrylic.
2. The yellow sticky note has a coffee bean stitch pattern from Valeria that I plan on trying soon.
3. My 2007 Stitch-a-Day calender from RB. I can't bear to put it away, so I've started it over again.
4. A bunch of printed patterns (that I'm sure haven't been bookmarked).
5. TWO pairs of reading glasses, one that belongs in this room and one that was on my head when I started this blog.

Sometimes I talk about the never-ending house remodeling. Today I could talk about painting a bit more of the woodwork. I warned the sons that there was wet paint when they walked in, but still DS#1 got paint of his pants.

"How did it get there?" he asked. "I didn't run into anything."

"Well, what do you think happened? That I said "hi, son fling fling (as I fling the paint), how are you fling fling?"

Sometimes I talk about my lack of grammar/spelling ability and how my brain cells are leaving me one by one. (If you look at my desk picture, you'll notice a dictionary under the orange acrylic that I only just now realized that I could use. Brain cells. They are leaving.)

I'm constantly worried about how the sentences are badly constructed. Way too many ,,,,, and (((())))) are used, and the sentences always seem to end in prepositions. The random English major who reads this might go running from the computer in horror. If you are a Math/English major, however, you might look at this post, notice the English errors, and do some kind of statistical analysis on the various types. (Yes, I do know a Math/English major. If I'm correct in remembering, English was added to fill up his free time. That's what happens when you're a math genius. If he happens to be reading this, I just want to say thanks for all the help in college. And my GPA says HI!)(Don't analyze my grammatical errors. Let's just say....there's a lot.)

All that's to say.... a random thought, comment, or email, it's all fodder for the post.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


(Either my contacts need cleaning or the first two pics are slightly blurry. Sorry. No time to take them over--I should be cooking supper right now anyway....)

I don't really have any resolutions for the year, but instead I'm been working on some goals. If I write them down, then I'm accountable, so here we go.....

Short term goals--finish by the end of January:

1. Finish or Frog. I only have one major UFO, my teal cardie, and my goal for January is to get it done one way or another. (I'm leaning towards frog, since I have a sneaking suspicion that the sleeves are too wide compared to the body, but it needs some more analysis before it hits the frog pond.)

2. Finish writing a new pattern. It's an idea that been rattling around in my head for more than a year now. I can't seem to focus enough to get it finished. January will be a good time to give it another go.

That's it. Really.

Those are the two things that are hanging around my head and bothering me.

Along the way, though, I plan to do a bit of fun knitting.

Like finish this BSJ:

That won't be much of a problem, since I just started it a couple of days ago, and it has captured almost all of my knitting attention.

That is, when I'm not working on these:

Another pair of Horcrux socks out of Trekking XXL, just 'cause I love them so much. (Yep, I didn't bookmark that pattern either, so you'll have to look it up yourself. I don't want to lose my blog post yet again....)

Mid-term goals--finish by end of June:

1. Finish doing 28 pairs of Magic 28 socks. I believe I've done 14, so I'm halfway there. This is a realistic goal, considering that baseball season is coming up. (51 days and counting.)

2. Learn something new. Maybe a new cast-on. (Since I only do a knit-on cast-on, this leaves me plenty of options.)(That's right. I only do one cast-on.)

Long term goals--finish by end of December:

1. My yet-to-be-spun sweater. That should give me plenty of time.

I started spinning today, and here's the first bit:

It'll take a long time to finish this sweater. About 12 months, I should think.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Nagging works

Yep, I just did what is sooner or later inevitable. I closed my blog post before saving it. Let's see if it can be recreated...

As all mothers know, nagging works. At least, nagging works enough times that we keep doing it.
RB has heard my nagging "Hey! Send me pictures already!" and has complied with my demand. er...request. (Naggy and bossy, that's me.)

Here it is, Christmas present #1:

With every picture comes along a couple of explanations, so here they are:

1. She needed nosewarmers for cold days at the motorbike racetrack (don't we all?)

2. Even though this was finished in November, I hadn't washed it 'til the last moment. I still needed pics and I didn't want it to be...well....snotty.... so I was going to wash it after pics, which never happened. That meant that she had to send the pics.

3. She did send pics, but it wasn't on her, so I made her do it again. (What's the point if you can't tell what it is, right?)

4. There were actually 3 presents: 2 nosewarmers and a headwrap/scarf thing. The ever-so-attractive orange acrylic nosewarmer was left out. (Her daughter just didn't seem to want to model it for some reason.)

The nosewarmers were knit using this pattern on Knitty. It uses a very small amount of yarn, and a decorative tassel can be added to the nose. (Don't you want one?)

The Ribbed Headwrap pattern is from Morehouse Merino website here. (This is where I deleted my post as I searched for the pattern since I hadn't bookmarked either of these patterns. Grr. Why don't I ever bookmark the patterns I actually use? Am I in such a hurry to knit them that I can't even bookmark them?) It can be pulled up over the nose or slid under the chin for more balmy racetrack weather.

That finishes the pictures of the Christmas gifts.

Now go clean your room.

And bake me some brownies.

The End.