Thursday, December 28, 2006

Cutest Little Yarn Store in WA

Hi Flan,

I got to visit the cutest little yarn shop in the town where The 93yo Grandma lives. She built or converted a room of her house into a yarn store (what a dream) and can open the door into her living room and police her young and adorable children (who were very hungry when we were there). She had a surprisingly diverse collection of really beautiful yarn. That's where I found the LL blackberry swirl and was so close to buying it for you (but then restrained by the memory that The Hubby is currently unemployed). I found some fantastic Cascade Sierra on sale and am thinking about doing a warshrag blanket in blue and green.

I went to a second yarn store today. Originally, she was in one location. When I visited in April she had moved to a second location. When I returned today she was back in the first location. Confusion made worse by scads of tourists, but all was well in the end. I found some lace weight Misti Alpaca but resisted it's siren song. I did, however, succumb to some Debbie Bliss cashmerino. The SIL needs a second hat and in something a little more luxurious than 220 to go w/ her alpaca scarf. I am also jumping on the bandwagon of the fingerless cable glove thingies from knitty. I think The Hubby's cousin on his father's side might like a pair. Did you enjoy the Broad Street gloves? I was thinking of a second cousin who might like a pair.

While in an overpriced but independent bookstore I ran across this book. It has a trendy title but surprisingly good patterns. Had I not just purchased some yarn (second time in two days) I would have snatched it up right away.

My mittens are going quite well. I am surprised the progress that can be made on 1s. I might even have one done by the time we get home. Tomorrow is a day in Seattle. Lots of seafood and we get to go to THIS bookstore, but probably no yarn stores (good for the bank account, sort of sad for me).

Safe travels for your trek home.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas...

... and would the judges please allow me an extension?

Hi Flan,
I hope you had a lovely Christmas. We spent ours smushed into the back seat of a very small car w/ luggage every place you could think of (and a couple that you probably wouldn't). It turns out that five adults plus 12 suitcases were not what an economy sized car was designed to haul. Thankfully, the passes were clear, so we were able to get over them in good time. There is snow in WA so The Hubby is happy. We are celebrating Christmas today and in true fashion, I have woken up at the ungodly hour of 6am. I used to wake up at 4am on Christmas, so this is actually an improvement.

So with the knitting... I discovered why none of the patterns for mittens have them done top down. Top down mittens look stupid. At least the one I started four times did. I then got out my travel size floss, cut the yarn, and started at the cuff. Knitting saved me yesterday as I happily worked away whilst squished in the middle seat. I love mohair. It might be too early to say that without the knitting gods laughing maniacally, but so far I love it.

The Brother tried on The Sweater. There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the sleeve length looks good. Now I just have to finish the second sleeve. The bad news is that there are a couple of places that don't look good where I picked up for the collar. Hopefully my knitting skills have improved in the past three years and when I do it this time it will work better. Fingers crossed but am not holding my breath (which The Sister and The SIL did on the express way bridges, kind of exciting considering The Sister was also The Driver).

The Baby Blanket... So, I thought I might want to make it bigger. I know baby blankets don't need to be big, but I have lots of extra yarn. However, bigger means more time.

The thought of time brings me to my next little hiccup. What kind of nutty am I that I thought this could all be done in a week? The projects are as follows:
1. The sweater will probably get finished, no problem.
2. The fact that I forgot one of the colors for The Hubby's socks and was thus not able to bring them with us is a problem. I'm halfway down the top, still have the rest of that, plus heel, gusset, foot and toe. In my holiday mania I thought it would be absolutely no problem to finish this on the 31 before we go to a fondue party at The Little Girl's house.
3. The Baby Blanket might require an extension on the deadline. Prognosis does not look good.
4. The Mittens are plane knitting and should be exempt.

I just found out that The SIL lost the hat that I made the scarf to complement and now need to do a replacement. That should also be exempt.

More later.

Merry Christmas and Happy 36 Anniversary to The Parents!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

You Rock!

Yesterday was a really good mail day! And you totally rock!

I have always wanted a ball winder, so when I opened the package last night, it took all my restraint not to immediately set it up and wind every hank of yarn in sight! I managed to put it back in its box, and put it on the shelf. I'm continuing to ignore the siren song of the ballwinder, for the shawl is still not done.

(Mike also loves his shirt, and it makes me laugh)

I've given up on the idea of being able to block the shawl here. So knitting will be happening on the plane to AZ on Saturday. Incidentally, my plane leaves at the ungodly hour of 7am. I don't even want to think about what time that means I need to leave for the airport. However, an early morning flight guarantees that I will be drinking lots of caffeine, so I ought to be able to knit, right?!

I'm more than halfway through the border (hooray!), and then of course there's the edging. I still have hope though.

Tonight I'll be continuing to studiously ignore the ballwinder, as I pack (must decided what other knitting projects to take!), do dishes, and get my apartment into a reasonable shape such that I can leave for more than a week.

Next post: the other thing that made yesterday a great mail day!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

6 Weird things about me

Found at the Keyboard Biologist.

Here are THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

I find it hard to come up with things that you may not know. But I tried. Also, I'm not tagging anyone.
  • When I lived at Grand Canyon, I could be woken from a sound sleep, and be up, dressed, out the door, and driving safely in 60 seconds. It was one of those emergency responder talents which I think I've lost.
  • I love thunderstorms. I grew up watching them from my front porch, and when there's a good storm going on, I turn off the lights, open the blinds, and just watch.
  • I hate making phone calls. I don't mind receiving them, but there are very few people who I pick up the phone and dial without having a very specific reason and planned out conversation.
  • I read 5 newspapers a day online. Sometimes more.
  • There are some books I can read an unlimited number of times. The Harry Potter series, Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons (set right here in Minneapolis), The Lord of the Rings series, etc. I traditionally read all three Lord of the Rings books over Christmas break.
  • I am addicted to Minnesota Public Radio. I listen to it most of the time when I'm home, in the car, and I often stream it at work.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I'm so glad you liked your Christmas package! The socks are amazingly pinkl

This weekend I knit a lot on this:

Blurry shot of the edging courtesy of the flash on my camera. Still not done. Slowly separating from reality about finishing. I've concluded that I can knit the edging (as opposed to the border I'm currently knitting) completely on the the plane to AZ. Delusions may have come into play here. Either way, I think my mother will be ok if she gets it on the needles. Knitters understand.

We went to a party dressed like this: Mike is always a big hit in his kilt. Oh yeah, he's growing a beard again.

Last night we went to the pub quiz, and Mike's team won 4 tickets to the Nutcracker at the State Theater tonight. There were only 3 people on the team, so I got the extra ticket. Fun times! Unfortunately, this means no shawl knitting tonight. I'm taking a just started sock, but I've never tried to knit during the Nutcracker before. I may be too absorbed.

Speaking of socks, have I told you how much I love these?

Pony Pearl needles are my absolute favorite double points. They're quiet (plastic over metal) the metal core gives them strength, but they're soft feeling, and they don't snap (how many wooden and bamboo needles did I have to snap before I gave up? Kind of ridiculous). I just bought size 1 for the first time, and I'm not loving them, but I love all the other sizes so much that I'm willing to forgive them for that.

Also, I bought clasps for Eris, but I haven't sewn them on. Honestly, I think the clasps cost more than the yarn for this sweater!

Punch Drunk Tired

Hi Flan,
a.k.a. The MOST fabulous knitter friend any one could ever have!

Never have I ever had anyone make me anything quite so delightful as these socks. AND they're pink. I cannot even tell you (although my rambly voicemail attempted) to express how utterly delightful they are. I'm so in love. The Hubby says he understands (and didn't even mention that I haven't made any progress whatsoever on his new pair of socks- Xmas gifts? Ha).

It turns out you really can knit and felt a Christmas socking in 36 hours. Yarn was purchased on the way out of town, knitting commenced, did dinner for The Inlaws, then knitted, stayed up late, knitting, slept a little (sadly no knitting progress), knitted on way home, arriving half way through heel flap. Got Hubby off to work, made chocolate peppermint bark, started load of laundry, contemplated knitting, slept a little more in preparation for all nighter, up, forgot to eat dinner (had also forgotten about lunch), went to work, knitted and knitted and knitted and knitted. It turns out 9p-12a is very productive for knitting, 12a-3a not so much. Got to the toe and sort of forgot how it all worked. Did the I-cord, still igorning the toe, got clients up, showered, made, served and fed breakfast, did their laundry whilst thinking about my laundry, home for a shower, took The Hubby some food, home for a few hours of sleep, got to go to a cookie exchange and stitch marker making party w/ The Ladies, finished the toe, threw the thing in the washer and had some happy felting. Now only have to get some charms and embroider the tree, then pray to the postal service gods that it might have a prayer of arriving on time. The maniacal laughter is mocking me on that point. Naturally, in this sleep deprived state, I dreamt up two more stockings that I think would be really fun to do (Naturally, the fact that there is no human way to accomplish this in one week has nothing to do w/ the fact that it could be done "before Christmas". "Christmas" and "one week from today" have no connection).

Stephanie certainly puts things in perspective.

Hope you have a Happy Monday.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas Delusions

Christmas timing delusions are a well documented disease for knitters. I'm just saying that it seems you and I are both operating under them.

I actually made my stitches goal last night, but discovered a small mistake, which I was then too tired to fix. That gets first priority tonight, then more stitching! It does look really good though. I'm becoming resigned to the idea that this might be an "on the needles" gift...but I'm still pulling for being able to finish it on the plane. I've knit this whole thing without lifelines (living dangerously, I am), and it worked with this specific yarn and pattern, but I think any more complicated lace will get lifelines from now on with me!

I also have a small "one more project" thing going on, but its deadline is my arrival back from AZ (January 1, conveniently enough), so I'm feeling good about it. I'm reprising the Knitty Manly Mitts for our friend J, who admired Mike's when they were on the needles, and very sweetly requested them. (And then dropped hints all over the place about when they'd get done!) I've completed one cuff, mostly while waiting in lines and in cars, so they're progressing. Luckily, they're a simple enough knit that I can work on them in almost any situation, so they make a good socializing project.

Stephanie is back! And she has an amazing post up about Doctors Without Borders. I gave the last time she did this, and I'm eying my end of year budget to give a little bit again this year. Such a great organization, and I like Stephanie's idea. This is what tugged at my heartstrings, even though I was already convinced:
It won't be easy, it might even pinch a little, but it can't hurt as much as doing nothing, or it can't hurt as much as being one of the people in the world who needs help for a loved one and is watching them die because they have the bad luck to live in a country where you can't call 911.
I've been the person who answers 911. I've called 911. I take it for granted. And everyone should have that. And just a safety net. And the things we don't notice. Like, as Stephanie said, "4 million people have quietly died" without the world noticing. Really, Stephanie says it best.

just One more thing...

Hi Flan,
Remember that felted Christmas stocking I made last year? It was scarlet and very plain. I spent 6 months trying to figure out how to embellish and then did a cute little embroidered tree w/ charms as ornaments. It was requested as an auction item by The Mommy. However, her auction got postponed so she gave it to one of The Aunties who was having an auction. That Auntie ended up purchasing it for her partner, The Other Auntie, in a bidding war against one of her lifelong friends ($60 for Campfire). The Friend now wants one. I'm thrilled, flattered, and have lost all grip on reality and how long it takes to do. I figure if I pick up the yarn on the way out of town that it's definitely doable to finish it this weekend (there's that whole staying up today and tomorrow nights), felt it Sunday night, get charms Monday and send it off so it has time to arrive before Christmas.

Tell the nice men w/ the white jackets I'm now ready.

The other projects are feeling neglected, but I don't care. I'm infatuated and was looking for a new project to start.

Woops, time for a staff meeting. Sadly, they won't let me knit.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Princess Indeed

And a very happy birthday to your hubby (and the innumerable other people we know whose birthdays were yesterday). The mental image of the pink tinsel headband has made me smile all morning.

I didn't make my goal of 1200 stitches yesterday, but I remain hopeful that this is an achievable goal. The only reason I didn't make it last night is that I was working row 1 of the lace pattern, and figuring it out and making all possible mistakes to that I can understand them all before I delve in at full speed. Even with that delay and my late start due to a goodbye party of a former coworker, I knit about 600 stitches last night. Maybe I can even make up the difference tonight.

We're enjoying unseasonably warm weather here, so I'm wearing my Eris again today, without even a jacket when I ran across the street to pick stuff up at Lund's. As this is Minnesota, I'm sure this will change without notice, but currently I'm enjoying the sun and the predicted high of 51 today! This is a nice contrast from cold weather last week, and rainy weather much of this week. On Tuesday though, I saw one of the coolest weather things I can remember here. I was driving across the Mississippi on my way to work, and there was so much fog coming off the river that there were 10 foot walls on it on either side of the bridge, and the gorge was full of it. Spectacular (though dangerous if you were on the water!)

Good luck on cooking and such. I would recommend Season 1 of Grey's Anatomy if you didn't start watching it when it premiered... otherwise, my favorite tv show to watch remains Seasons 1-4 of the West Wing. It never gets old, no matter how many times I've seen it!

Happy Birthday Princess

Hi Flan,
Yesterday it was The Hubby's birthday. Having worked 14 hrs the day before you might have said that I had not really prepared anything in particular. Thankfully, he worked until 6:30, giving The Best Man and me ample time to grocery shop for dinner, shop at the party supply store and decorate his car...

... With a Pink Disney Princess Balloon and color coordinating crepe paper.

We also went into BB and made him wear a pink tinsel headband with "Happy Birthday" on it. Nothing says Happy 25th Bday for a Man like a Pink Princess balloon and a tinsel headband.

I gave him the @)(#*&% ribbed scarf and hat. It turns out that the hat is a bit too long, but if you flip the edge up it works pretty well (and disguises the fact that his ears kind of stick out). He (and The Best Man) really like the scarf. I told The Best Man not to steal it because I would have to kill him and I told The Hubby not to lose it because there will never ever be another one made by me.

Stephanie's blog explanation was the most coherant computer related thing I've ever heard. We need to hire that man to translate "computer to closet" things for the rest of us.

There has been pitiful progress on the knitting front. I am cooking tonight in preparation for The Birthday/ Bon Voyage Dinner tomorrow. The menu is as streamlined as I could make it but these in-laws are nuttier about food than my family is (three groups, raw vegans, gluten free, and people who actually enjoy food). I signed up to work an awake overnight Saturday night, so am going to try and stay up late Friday. Hopefully some knitting will get done. Maybe I should find some TV series and do a marathon watching session. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Shawl, we may have a problem

Your comment yesterday led me to do some reckoning last night. According to my oh-so-scientific calculations, I must complete 1200 stitches a day in order to finish the shawl before flying to AZ. If I factor in my ability to knit on the plane, I would need to do about 1,100 stitches a day (this would mean blocking in AZ, not necessarily a problem, but inconvenient). Then again, Mom is a knitter, she would understand.

Now I realize that is really isn't that many stitches. In fact, this is plausible if I just buckle down and work on it. But it may be a struggle to complete. My knitting speed is improving this project, so I remain hopeful. My hope is to get ahead this weekend so that I have a little more flexibility next week, which is packed to the gills! 1200 stitches today, 1200 stitches Thursday, 1200 stitches Friday (that could be a challenge, as we have a party), dare I hope for 4800 on Saturday and 2000 on Sunday? That would make this totally possible.

No new pictures, because more than ever this looks like a tangle of scraggly brightly colored yarn. I'm putting a lot of faith in the magic of blocking!

By the way, I bought some yarn from Jenna (the designer of Eris) last night as she was destashing (oops!). What I bought is no longer up, but it is six balls of Kidsilk Haze in a lovely shade of green for a remarkable price. In the process of buying it, Jenna visited our humble blog, and wrote me a nice note about my Eris. I'm so excited!

BTW, have you seen Stephanie's amazing explanation of why her blog is down? Red Alert

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Slow and Steady

Slow and steady once again. The sum total of last nights knitting was picking up the hundreds of stitches for the border of my mothers shawl, and knitting the setup row. Happily, I have the right number of stitches at this point, so I think I can start cruising on the edging after work. I have a netflix movie, so it should be a lovely evening.

Before I sit down to knit tonight, my plan is to figure out how many rows I have left so that I can plot out how many rows I need to accomplish a day to finish the shawl in time for Christmas. Then I'll do the same thing for the First Year Shawl for after Christmas.

Other than that, I'm contemplating things I can throw out when we move, and whether I'm going to go crazy since my office moves on Jan 15th, and Mike and I are moving around Jan 31. Ack! Packing is going to rule my life once I come back from AZ.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Center Triangle Cast Off

Three tries later, I have successfully cast off the center triangle of my mother's shawl. I couldn't get it loose enough with the needles I knit with, so I went up two sizes and cast off loosely, and I'm now happy with how it looks.

And a second picture for a marginally more accurate color:

Next on the agenda: picking up stitches for the (very wide) border. Hopefully tonight.

This weekend I managed to pick up the stitches for the border of the First Year Shawl, and knit the setup row. Now I'm once again stuck contemplating border options. I'm thinking of using the edging from Stephanie's Snowdrop shawl (PDF). No pictures yet, cause currently it's boring.

Monday Again?

Hi Flan,
The shawl looks fabulous. Though I will admit I'm so exhausted that I focused more on the fact that the comforter in the picture looked really soft and warm (the shawl looks warm too, but the needles look cold).

I don't remember last week and am trying to suppress the PTSD flashes that sneak up and jog the memory. This weekend was quite productive if not actually restful. We finished the Christmas shopping! Granted, it was all of one item from Dillards and a delightful afternoon in TJMaxx, but still, the damnable is now done. Also, washer and dryer are hooked up! I think I've washed every piece of clothing we own. They were all dirty, but still.

The knitting however.... Such a sad story. I think I have it down to three projects; The Hubby's socks, The Baby Blanket and The Sweater. Oh the sweater... One of my PTSD flasbacks reminded me that I had a panic whilst knitting the first sleeve. I was convinced that it was going to be too long, so even though I was decreasing more often than recommended, I decided to make the decreases even closer together. All this was decided after approximately 4 inches of sleeve, leaving the whole remaining sleeve extremely short. Now, I could have just undone the ribbing, knit one more inch, then redone the ribbing. But no, that was not to be. I decided to rip out the entire section of extra decreases. Yup, it's gone. Was skeined, rinsed and is now dry and ready to be reknit. This exercise was not done by a healthy mind, but, for my first regular sized sweater I wanted everything to be symmetrical if nothing else (ok, I realize at this point that someone could say that no one other than myself would ever know- but that would be just mean).

I also ripped out a half completed hat. Naturally, it had beads and whilst looking at it drying after the dunking I realized I hadn't actually removed all the beads. Nice. It's Rowan Calmer and I'm hoping to use it as the lining when I do the brooklyn tweed hat. I don't think The Hubby would appreciate the beads.

Break time's over, back on your heads.

Friday, December 08, 2006

(Lace) Surgery Completed

I have survived my first major lace surgery. Last night I sat down with strong light, West Wing Season 4 on DVD, and lots of knitting needles. I completed the surgery, and kept right on knitting. I have now finished knitting the center triangle of the shawl. The next step is to cast off the top and pick up stitches for the edging lace pattern.

I'm feeling a great sense of relief. As always, you can't see the pattern at all yet:

But I stretched it over my hand so you can see it a bit:

Tonight I'm baking Pumpkin-Ginger Cheesecake and we're decorating the Christmas Tree, so I'm not sure any progress will be made. I hope to get some done over the weekend though, I need to keep moving or it isn't going to make its deadline! I think I'd like to finish and block this while I'm still here, but that may not be possible, as the deadline looms. Luckily, my Mom is also a knitter, so I think she'll forgive me if I have to block it in AZ.

We have a pretty packed weekend, so I'm not optomistic about getting much lace knitting done. I do have some time tomorrow where I won't have the concentration for lace, but should be able to knit, so I think I'm going to work on the First Year Shawl, which has been languishing.

Have a good weekend, and good luck emerging from under your work stuff!

P.S.: New Knitty!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Link Post

Just a quick second post to note:
Brooklyn Tweed posted that fantastic hat pattern.
Eunny Jang posted a fabulous mitten pattern.
And Anne at KnitSpot posted two pattern, one for cabled wristers, and the other for a beautiful lace.

Now all I need to complete the patterny goodness this month is a new Knitty....should be any day now!

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Remember how I said that I seemed to have finally stopped screwing up the lace pattern? Right. Bad idea. So I'm knitting along on my first row last night when I glance down and realize that 6 rows down, I'd made a stupid and yet immediately obvious mistake. In a lace motif that includes only two pattern rows (with different numbers of plain stitches at the beginning to create a repeat), I had switched which pattern I was knitting three-fourths through a row.

ACK! I immediately sprang into action. Having no desire to rip 6 full rows, I decided to only drop the stitches for the affected section. I was inspired by the memory of this post at Stephanie's. Moments into it, I was instead reminded of this post from a few days later.

Sadly, between the red yarn, less than ideal light, and aging digital pictures are pretty bad. Note the many strands of red yarn coming out of the top of this shot:

This shows how many stitches were affected:

And this is halfway through the repair.

By the way, I particularly identify with the second post I linked to, because Mike called, the phone startled me, and I was very unhappy, even though I didn't actually drop a stitch. In fact, I was rude because I was so stressed at that point.

The damage is not fully repaired yet, though I think I only have one row to reknit at this point. My entire evening was heart stopping as a result, and I think I'll be taking a break from this project tonight to allow for recovery.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inching (Not itching)

That's how I'm beginning to feel about my mother's shawl. I worked on it diligently last night, and made progress, but I still feel like I'm just barely inching along. I have 4 rows left of the last repeat section in the middle (which, knock on wood, I seem to have finally stopped screwing up), and then I think an additional six rows before the bind off row and the beginning of the edging.

Luckily, in my world Tuesday's are for knitting, much as they are for spinning for Stephanie. This is because Mike plays basketball Tuesday nights, so I generally park myself on the couch with a Netflix movie (recently Grey's Anatomy), and knit all night. Tonight will be a bit abbreviated because I need to run out to Roseville before I head home, but then I will knit. I'm hoping to complete the repeat, and at least part of those additional 6 rows tonight. Also I'm going to Kitchener the second Broad Street Mitten, though probably not get to weaving in the ends.

This will be my first real experience with the magic of lace, detailed beautifully by Stephanie here, and I'm looking forward to it. I'm a bit nervous about making the cast off row too tight, so I'm thinking very hard about what size needles to use, or whether to place the top stitches on waste yarn and cast off after blocking.... any thoughts? My plan is to block it on the futon couch that was once yours. I think I'll take the current cover off to protect it from the pins, so you'll probably be treated to garishly clashing pictures of the red and purple shawl blocking on the green futon!

I too love both Techniques with Theresa and Brooklyn Tweed. In fact, Theresa is who I turn to for a reminder on how to Kitchener just about every time.

I assume its warmer there than here! The high on Thursday is supposed to be 14 above, and I have to wear a skirt suit to work!

"I didn't notice I was distracted."

A direct quotation from The Hubby (who happened to not have taken his ADD medication yesterday). It was a particularly interesting night, especially after he ate an entire bag of peanut butter MMs...

By the way, the dress is beautiful. Kudos for braving The Mall of Doom on a Saturday in December. Although I do love the Nordy Rack, so I can understand the pull.

A few more FOs: The Alpaca Octopus is finished!! Thank goodness for Techniques w/ Theresa. She kindly (and slowly w/ lots of pictures) explains rudimentary things that some of us never got the first time around but everyone else seems to know. I have a deep urge to now print every article she's written for knitty and laminate them, creating a "knitting for people who are intelligent (ergo, not a knitting for dummies) but were never taught in the first place" book. Also, decided that the ribbing on The Mommy's socks was actually fine, so cast off the remaining sock and a half. They're pretty comfortable, so I hope she likes them.

BTW: check out the absolutely gorgeous hat over at brooklyn tweed. This man has great photos, as well as an accomplished color sense and knack for creating men's knits that are cool and young and don't look like they were designed by your great Aunt Mildred w/ glaucoma. I love the stuff he does so much I immediately want to go out and knit it for The Hubby. When I show select pieces to The Hubby he also wants me to go out immediately and create him one. One of those "happy but will make you poor but warm because you're wearing gorgeous handknits" situations.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Progress Progress Progress

That sounds like quite the productive weekend and quite lovely as well!

I managed to complete my goal for the weekend, I completed the knitting on the Broad Street Mittens.

Displayed on my sofa pillow, though at first glance it closely resembles my mother's shawl. You'll note that I said I finished the knitting. There is still the weaving in of ends and the Kitchenering of mitten #2.

Glove style:

Mitten style:
Sorry for the blinding whiteness of my forearm, and the generally bad lighting. THese pictures were taken at about 10pm last night, which necessitated both a bright light and the flash on teh camera.

I also am making "slow and steady" progress on my mother's shawl, and am only about 12 rows from finishing the body. The rows are taking a long time though, and then there is the edging.
Goal: Finish by December 20th, so as to block before leaving for AZ. On the other hand, it sure would dry faster in the lovely AZ dryness. Hmm. More thought on that.

I haven't touched the First Year Shawl, though I have come up with a solution for the edging, so at least I know what I'm doing now!

In other weekend news, on Saturday we braved the Mall of America (seriously, one of my least favorite places) in order to buy Mike new black dress shoes at Nordstrom Rack. This had to be done on Saturday because we had a formal cocktail party to attend Saturday night, to which Mike was wearing his kilt, and the brown shoes simply did not go.

So we arrived at 10am and left at 11:10 am. Not too bad. Also accomplished in that time: I exchanged a dress for a different size, and I bought this dress for the party:

(Giselle from Ann Taylor, currently on sale here.) For anyone who reads this and doesn't know me, that photo is a model, not me!

I love it! The cocktail party was lots of fun. Mike got lots of attention with the kilt, we chatted with people we knew and didn't know, we stayed out late (for us), and it was in general a great party. Sadly, we neglected to get any pictures of us dressed up. On the other hand, we have a cocktail party to attend in a few weeks with a completely different group of friends, and we'll be wearing the same outfits, so there is hope!

We also had a lovely brunch out on Sunday before returning to the mundaneness of grocery shopping, etc. All in all, a lovely weekend with lots of quiet knitting time and a good amount of social time. It's amazing how nice that kind of weekend can be, isn't it?

Woohoo Weekend

Hi Flan,
I had the most fabulous weekend & hope you did too. There were enough places for all the ladies to sit when they came over Saturday. The Little Girl was a perfect angel. Yesterday The Hubby and I spent the day reading in almost total silence. (and I knit). All in all completely perfect.

PLUS... There are now some fabulous FOs! Bamboo Doom was finished and all ends are woven in! The (@*&# Ribbed scarf is also finished!!

There are, however, a few projects now in the "one st forward, two tinked back" category:
1. The Alpaca Octopus. Somehow the Kitchner and I are not on the same page and some serious scary is resulting. All the beautiful diagrams look simple and I think they are leaving out the bit where you have to sacrifice goats and pray to the dark forces.
2. The Mommy's socks. I got to the ribbing! I finished the ribbing! I think I should have gone down a needle size to do the ribbing. Granted, I had this thought after I was two rows in. The fact that I continued to knit on the same needle size for another inch and a quarter, then cast off half a sock does not bode well.
3. The Brother's sweater! Somehow, inspiration siezed me and I knit like a little devil. In one evening and a morning I had the entire second sleeve knit to the point of the ribbing... Wait a minute... The second sleeve (ready for ribbing) is now as long as the first (completed w/ ribbing) sleeve... There is something off about that. So am now waiting for The Brother to respond to the email asking exactly how long his arms happen to be, can then adjust accordingly.

The un-knit upon but still think about:
1. The Hubby's socks.
2. The Baby blanket.

All in all, not too bad. I have even started dreaming up new projects, which is a sure sign that the fear of not finishing has mostly passed. Ah the miracles resulting from an afternoon of friends followed by a day in almost total silence with my hubby, knitting all the while.

Friday, December 01, 2006

O Lawd

Hi Flan,
And Happy December. Wait, December, oh no. Fortunately, there are 31 days to this month. Unfortunately, I seem to be making absolutely no progress on anything. Granted, this week was especially bad with time-sucking events, but in every area of my life it seems like there has been a whole lot of effort and really very little progress.

Last year I had some freaky ultra productivity going on. I made 4 Christmas stockings and multiple scarves, plus a few snowmen, all in a weekend it seemed. This year I don't understand what's going on. Here are the current projects (granted, it would have helped had I not spent time making The Aunty's socks- then having to solve all the problems w/ the socks- and hadn't knit 216 inches of The SIL's scarf)

In order of closeness to completion:
1. Bamboo Doom. 8 rows to go. Thankfully, they are short rows with the longest being 11 sts.
2. Alpaca Octopus. 2 rows + Kitchner end, then have to tack together where the braiding crosses.
3. Ribbed Scarf (Who says men have fewer ribs?). 11 rows, but involves alternating colors. Coordinating hat is finished!
4. The Mommy's socks. Have to finish the ankles and do some @*&# ribbing. Am really not loving Cascade's Fixation (I know, I'm the only one).
5. The Hubby's socks. Have to finish decreases on one of the toes... Then knit the entire second sock. Involves two colors.
6. The Bro's sweater. Ribbing on one sleeve... Then knit the entire second sleeve.
7. Baby Blanket. Am knitting faux entrelac corner to corner and have just hit the half-way point, so it should theoretically get smaller from here.

Am seriously going to have to focus on one project at a time, sort of a divide and conquer mentality. Together they will take me to my knees, divided they should only make me short of breath.

Oh right, and The MIL has now officially moved out of her apt, so all of the stuff she didn't want, plus all of the stuff that The Hubby boxed up is strewn from one end of the house to the other and the Knit Night Ladies are coming over tomorrow. When dropping off the last box of stuff yesterday the MIL looked at me and asked where I expected them to sit...