Wednesday, October 31, 2007

With Pictures!

Pictures from AZ:

The scenery:

Mike and I at the wedding:

Mom's new puppy:

He doesn't much like having his picture taken, so fully half my photos looked like this:
But he's pretty cute:
And since this is still a knitting blog, here's the yarn I bought for socks for Grandpa:
And the beginning of the toe (in contrast color picked out by the Knit Night ladies:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wedding Report and Socks for Granpa

We're safely home from Arizona, where I met my mother's new puppy, did quite a bit of work, and attended a lovely wedding. Pictures of all of these things when we unpack and I manage to get the camera and the cord that connects it to the computer in the same location.

Last week at Knit Night I was on a mission to accommodate a special request. You see, my mother had called me about the dreaded Christmas knitting. She's knitting socks for my grandmother, and it turns out that my grandfather would like a pair too. Nice warm wool ones for cold Michigan winters. And when someone so charmingly requests a hand-knitted item, and you know how much they'll appreciate it, what knitter could turn them down?

Mom assigned my grandparents to measure their feet, and in my mail appeared the vital stats....which leads to the question: why do all the people (except you) that I've knit socks for have such enormous feet?

So at Borealis on Tuesday I searched the sock yarn with enabling provided by the full cast of characters at Knit Night. I finally decided on Dream in Color Smooshy, which is truly Smooshy and has a lovely hand. I picked out a skein in beautiful shades of green and brown (color name to be added once I'm home with the ballband). The lovely ladies of Borealis wound it up for me, and then I was off.

Once home I scoured my books. Nothing jumped out at me in Favorite Socks. Likewise in Socks, Socks, Socks. Nor in Folk Socks. But then I opened my copy of Knitting Vintage Socks (one of my used finds at Powell's on my Oregon trip). And there was a treasure trove of patterns appropriate for a gentleman who is a bit conservative in his dress.

I cast on in Arizona and knit most of a foot, but promptly ripped my progress out when I returned home, deciding that the yarn and the pattern were not a match. But now I know what I want to knit: the Gentleman's Fancy Socks, though I need to buy a contrast color for the heels and toes. I'm modifying to knit toe-up to use all my yarn, but I'm looking forward to the simple yet attractive and stretchy pattern! Pictures once I cast on tonight at Knit Night!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Finally Fall

Hey Flan,

It seems the weather has finally decided it is fall. I'm so excited. Fall here is defined as "lower than 80". The night lows are in the 50s, day highs in the mid to upper 60s (low 70s predicted for tomorrow). There was a lady at the library yesterday wearing lined winter boots. She made me laugh.

Let's see.... Knitting... I finished The Sister's first Xmas Sock! It took 3 weeks. I emailed The Sister and she said the gifts would need to be to the people delivering them by the first week of December- 6 weeks from now. At the rate of 3 weeks per sock that leaves me one sock short of a pair. I might have to start knitting them at more times than just lunch. I started the first sock of the other pair so as to not get bored (as well as to fully commit to two pair) and am loving the colors. So far so good.

I seamed my sweater! The last part is picking up sts all around the outside and putting on the ribbing. I tried it on post seaming and am having a confidence crisis. I'm not sure I like it very much. This is the gamble with knitting and this time I think the knitting gods may have won. I am trying to reserve total judgement until after it is actually complete and has been washed.

Sadly, the sweater for me was not the designated October sweater. The Dad's Sweater had that prize and I have until Wednesday to knit 1.75 sleeves in order to stay on schedule. It could happen, especially since sleeves get delightfully smaller as you go along, but unless I make some serious progress this weekend it will be unlikely. Fingers crossed.

Hope you're enjoying AZ.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Super Secret Projects

Like you, but apparently unlike the rest of knit-blog land, I was not at Rhinebeck this weekend....but I was wishing we were there enjoying the sheepy goodness.

Instead, I worked, hung out with lots of people who were in town for a wedding, and spent lots of time playing with fiber.
  • Inspired by all the SOAR posts, I managed to get quite a bit of spinning done.
  • Inspired by the crisp weather, I knit a bunch on both fronts of Rogue before discovering a potential problem. You see, Rogue is perfectly symmetrical...but the cables on either side of the neck are not mirrored...they twist in the same direction. So I'm deciding how much this bugs me, and thinking about re-charting the cables. My thought is to re-chart only the neck sides, but not the cables at the top of the hood. Just so that when the hood is back, the cables that fall on either side of my neck are mirror images of each other.
  • Inspired by upcoming holiday deadlines, I worked on some super secret projects.
  • Inspired by my chilly neck, I knit more on Henry.
Despite all of this, I have a total of 0 pictures. I know, bad blogger! But until today, our day after day of rainy weather got in the way of any decent photos. Hopefully tonight! In a last ditch effort to stretch my Oregon pictures as far as they can go, here's a lovely Hippo:

Mike and I are off to AZ on Thursday for a combination business trip/friend's wedding, and I'll be taking knitting...but also a ton of work!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Book Reports

Hey Flan,

Thank goodness for Lime & Violet. It's so nice to have crazy knitters to listen to whilst seaming a sweater. Once it's finished I'm going to take pictures and show it off like there's no tomorrow.

Anyway, on to some book reports! One of the absolute best part of working at The Library is that I get to see all of the new knitting books that come in. PLUS, the ladies who have lunch when I do are impresesd by the knitting and I think may be ordering more knitting books so that I'll be inspired to knit something for them. They've also dropped several hints about how cold their offices are...

This is the first book. Knitting Classic Style by Veronik Avery. Now usually I am very impressed by her designs but do not actually lust after them. This book is different. There are TWO sweaters that I MUST have. Naturally, these are both knit on size 3s. I am completely insane, but these are so very pretty that I absolutely have to have them. Pg 26 has a cable cardi that is fabulous and I really must have it. It's the perfect cardi I've been searching for forever. Also, Pg 116 has this sweather thingy that I really really do not like, but the under top is so fantastic I cannot tell you. It's also on 3s, but out of cotton. SUCH lust.

This book, Folk Style by Mags Kandis. Most of the time going through this book I mostly said, "hmmm...." There is only one pattern that mildly interested me. Scarily enough, it's also a Veronik Avery. There's a hat on Pg 119 that I might be interested in, even though it's on size 2s. There are mittens but I don't think they coordinate enough. If you don't mind embellishment on your garments you will probably like this book. I usually feel that I don't want crap on my knitting, so this one is going back to The Library soon.

Last book for the day is The Best of Interweave Knits ed. by Ann Budd. Here we inadvertantly continue with Veronik Avery. Flan- you must have the sweater on pg 9. It would look fantastic on you and it's very pretty. I think you'd also enjoy the one on pg 49. Short sleeved and sassy. I do kind of wonder how they determined what the best is. Even though most of these patterns are nice, I probably wouldn't have chosen the majority for the ultimate prize of BEST. I do, however, think I'll be making the Icarus from the front photo. Thankfully, I already own that issue of the magazine, so I don't have to buy the book.

Enough literary-ness for the day. I'm off to vaccum the floor of the second bedroom. Apparently it bugs The Hubby. We need The Hubby focused. Ironically, large piles of dirty clothes and dishes do not bug him. No one said he was logical.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No New Yarn?

Remarkably enough, I spent a week in Oregon (a place with, by all accounts, great yarn stores) and didn't manage to visit a single one. At the very end of my trip, I tried to squeeze in a visit to one, but arrived just a minute after it closed. Probably good for my budget, even if I didn't get to fondle any pretty yarn.

For spending a week away, I didn't really accomplish that much knitting. I made some progress on Henry (but no new pics), and on the plane on the way back I finished the back of Rogue and worked some on both fronts. I'm almost done with the fronts section, but that leaves the hood and sleeves to still be completed. However, after a week of cool and rainy weather there, and then coming back to cool and rainy weather here, I'm inspired to finish Rogue and be able to cuddle up in it!

Incidentally, I have freakishly long arms to go with your unusually short ones. The reason I wear 3/4 sleeves so much on store bought sweaters? They actually look like the right length on me. Store bought sweaters with theoretically full length sleeves ALWAYS look like bracelet length or shorter on me: sometimes a cute look, but not all the time. Thus, I added 2 inches to the length of my sleeves for Eris, and I'll be adding at least an inch to Rogue's sleeves as well.

We have another crazy week at work this week, so I'll sign off with a few last pictures from the Oregon Zoo:

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Unusually Short Arms

Hey Flan,

I love the pictures of Portland. I'm trying to convince The Hubby to move across the river from Portland (WA having no property tax means we might actually be able to afford purchase something at some point in our lives. OR on the other hand has property tax, but no sales tax, so we'll be shopping there).

So I think I may have unusually short arms. I've been working on a sweater. Not The Rotting Pumpkin per se- this one is actually for me. And I am freaking out. There is a good, solid reason that I knit for others. You can GIVE IT AWAY when you are done. It doesn't matter if it fits THEM because THEY own it and it's out of YOUR house and mind forever.

Knitting something that is intended for ME means that I have to try and measure articles of clothing, as well as myself, and try and choose the closest approximation from the pattern. The pattern is Swedish. Apparently every single drop of my Finnish heritage (both of The Dad's parents were full blooded Finns thankyouverymuch) has either completely deserted me or everyone over in Sweden took all the long arm genes and left absolutely none for their neighbors.

I started making the size L. This seemed about right. However, about 2 inches in it was coming out really really big. I then remembered that a gigantor busom was included in my genetic package and that the chest measurements apply to everyone except myself. I ripped out and cast on in the smaller size.

The back came out pretty well. I then started on an arm. I figured that I would probably want to shorten them because I prefer 3/4 sleeves (yes, this is a completely new preference. Somehow working at the library means I detest anything covering the wrists- I can't explain it). So I knit a sleeve, shortening it by SIX cm.

I was pretty happy with this sleeve.

I knit one front. This is sort of a shrug/ sweater combo thing, so the fronts went quickly. However, upon finishing the sleeve it's looking disturbingly long.

I took a sweatshirt and compared arm lengths to the finished (shorter) sleeve. Yup, it's a full length sleeve. IF I flip the ribbing up it might be alright. However, this pattern has you cast on a bunch of sts for the ribbing, then decrease at the end of the ribbing so that the beginning of the stockinette has far fewer sts than the ribbing so it's really not that tight.

What to do??

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lions and Tigers and Bears.....Oh My.

Having finished up my work for the day relatively early, today I made my way to the Oregon Zoo. It turns out that the zoo on a slightly drizzly weekday afternoon is an excellent traveling alone occupation. I took a camera, and just walked and took pictures. And it turns out that walking around the zoo alone is one of those things you can do alone and not feel strange. :)

Two hours at the zoo, followed by two hours at Powells (terrible picture below, but the place is amazing...and I even bought knitting books).

Monday, October 08, 2007

Productive Weekend

Hey Flan,

I hope your OR trip goes well. Portland? Probably. Like Seattle it's the one and only city anyone knows and, also like Seattle, is NOT the capital.

Last week whilst knitting during lunch someone asked me what it was. I said "a sock". They looked at it for a minute and said, "it even looks like a real sock too!" I don't know exactly what she expected a knitted sock to look like, but whatever I'm doing looks "real" apparently.

So my lack of a size 6, 16" circular lasted about 30 seconds after my last post. I took myself over to Knitpicks and ordered one. With Shipping & Handling the whole thing was less than $7.50 and it got here in Saturday's mail. I was very impressed and am completely besotted with my shiny new needle.

Whilst on the site I just happened to notice the set of Harmony sock needles. They're so pretty. With all this new sock yarn I have I thought it would be prudent to have a back up just in case of breakage and the Harmony-s come with SIX needles per size. They're going to email me when the set is ready and I'm so very excited.

This weekend I managed to find beads for The Mommy's sweater! I tried to shop locally, but when I told them what I wanted they just looked at me funny so I had to go to one of the chain "craft" stores. In the end I found some in a good color and bought the world's teeniest, tiny-est crochet hook that will fit through the bead hole but is big enough to pull the yarn through. The pattern sucks and the sizing is all weird, so that sweater is again on hold whilst I work on The Rotting Pumpkin with my shiny new needle.

Happy Monday.

Friday, October 05, 2007


I'm prepping for a business trip to Oregon (I'll be there for a full week), and I'm running into the classic knitter's dilemma: What knitting do I bring with me?

In my carry on, I'm bringing Henry (so soft!), which I am exactly 1/7 done with, according to the pattern. Note to self: scarves knitted lengthwise eliminate the needing to turn the knitting every minute problem, but those rows are LONG. I also never measured for gauge, and I'm thinking I may eliminate a repeat, because I don't want Henry to be too wide to wear comfortably. I'll probably also toss my SIP in the carry on, just in case.

In my checked bag, I think I'm going to take Rogue (languishing due to the return of warm weather here), in the hopes of getting lots done there. So is that enough knitting for 8 days, including two long travel days? Is it too much? I truly have no idea, though I do hear there are some great yarn shops in the Portland area....

And at what point does the yarn start to compete with the clothes for the trip? I'm taking the camera, so there should be knitting pics as well as pretty Oregon pics over the next week.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Fuzzy Brain

Hey Flan,

The BSJ looks fantastic! Also, thanks for the pics of little Harmony. The Hubby and I looked at them together and he said, "wow, E looks the same." I told him that he looks the same as he did in MN. To which he responded, "yeah, but when you have a kid you should look older."

The Hubby had a massive cold last weekend. I'm trying (valiantly, I hope) to avoid it. I'm not sure how good a job I'm doing, especially since today my head feels extremely fuzzy.

I have revived The Rotting Pumpkin for October. For the first bit I could use the 24" circulars. Then it was time to switch to the 16". It was at this point I realized I don't have 16" circs in that size, so am slogging along on dpns. We'll see how long this lasts before I just buy some smaller circs.

I'm working on The Sister's socks at work. I have a couple of inches to go before I get to the heel. I'm hoping to average a sock every 2.5 weeks so that two pairs will be done in time to send for Christmas. I'm still loving the Ultramerino, but it is over twisty at points, so every so often I have to hold up the yarn and let the sock untwist before continuing. As I'm doing this during my lunch break while reading, I think it gives an extra little bit of fodder to the co-workers who think I was weird enough to begin with.

Right now I'm trying to figure out if taking cold medicine would make me feel more or less fuzzy headed...

Happy Wednesday.