Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I could be pumping shit out of a port-a-potty....

Let's start with happy news!!!The Boy has a new Jayne Hat. He's quite happy about it. This was taken at his first trip to a yarn store. He was a good sport. It was done exactly the same as the first one, in the exact same yarn, exact same skein actually. But I think I may steal it for myself. How could I be so mean?!?

The Boy found the lost bag of handknits.

There was much rejoicing.

So now he has two. I think I should get to wear one.

Despite my absence from the blog, not much has gone on around here. Work, sleep, knit, eat, knit, read, clean, knit.....

It's that work thing that has gotten me down though. I have a crappy, boring job. Even druing the interview, the guy told me it was boring. Don't get me wrong. I am thankful I HAVE a job and even one that has benefits. But I am determined to have a job that gives me something other than a paycheck. The title of this post has become my mantra lately. Yes, it could be worse......but it needs to get better.


Along the lines of getting things in order, I am in official destash mode. I finally sat down and told myself that I really need to cull things down. I have even gotten very cold-hearted about it. I came home one night and sorted though the yarn, allowing myself to only keep a third of it. One third will be donated and the other third I will be putting up for sale.

I am working on getting pictures and loading up the flickr so keep an eye out. Remember, I'm being cold-hearted. There's cashmere. There's 220. Folks, there's Lorna's. Some of ya'll know how I am about my Lorna's.


There really has been knitting done. I'm currently working on a Haruni shawl out of some yummy Dream in Color Smooshy. I would love to post a picture, but I can't find one that does lace or the color justice. I'm still working on the Tomato and it's almost cool enough that I can knit on it without getting heat stroke. I've done some small spurts cause it just needs a sleeve....that's like 50 rows.

Really ready for cooler weather.....and a new job.......

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In Memoriam: An Ode To Never Cleaning Again

About a month ago, The Boy and I went on a little vacation. His family was having a family reunion and, unlike mine who tend to get together every other day, his rarely congregate so we decided to head out a see everyone for a week.

In preparation, we got into a heavy "cleaning the apartment" mode so when we came back, it would be lovely. It had gotten to the point where pretty much everything was out of its place. Even hats, mittens, and scarves were still by the door, waiting for me to go buy a nice Rubbermaid and cedar balls to store them in. This was June people. Way past time.

So we cleaned.....and then off we went.....and did come home to a very lovely, clean apartment.

Fast-forward two weeks. I come home proud of myself because I finally got said Rubbermaid and cedar balls and was going to store all those lovely woolens that we put in a sack while we were cleaning. However, the sack was not to be found. We searched EVERYWHERE about ten times. We finally came to the conclusion that in all the cleaning, the sack must have gotten mixed up with the trash sacks and.....taken out to the dumpster.

Yea....I know. I would like to take a moment of silence for some of the woolens lost that day.

The Hannah Hat - Best hat for those with the long hairs.

The Jayne Hat - The Boy was very, very sad to lose you.

There were others lost as well, but sadly, no pictures to remember them by. Replacements are in the works, starting with the Jayne Hat. I'm contemplating a different pattern for my mittens. Nothing wrong with the pattern....just something different. Hopefully, I can get stuff done before it gets cold.....in like 4 months.....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Knitting is much cheaper than reading....

Yea, not much knitting today. And here's why.

The Tomato has come along swimmingly and only lacks a sleeve and neck ribbing. I love how the top-down sweater all comes together with the ability to try it on a adjust as needed and there's little to no seeming. However, when you are knitting a wool/acrylic sweater in this manner in the middle of summer, the pile of knitting that ends up in your lap is rather warm. When you get to the part of summer we have come to where you are only comfortable sitting in front of the A/C in your underwear, having a wool sweater in your lap just isn't going to happen.

I did have my week vacation where The Boy and I went to St. George, UT and Bakersfield, CA for his family reunion. Yay for travel knitting! I decided to tempt the knitting gods and start a new project, the Plum Frost Sweater, and just work on the sleeves, especially since I haven't decided whether it's going to be a pullover or cardigan. Nice, small, compact. And with the driving and flying I could possibly get both sleeves done on the trip.

Yea, that didn't happen. Well, I did get about 2/3 of a sleeve done. Sidenote: This was the first time I went through airport security where they didn't take my knitting out and inspect it. huzzah! So how did I pass the time? I read....a lot.

See, I work(ed) at Barnes&Noble for a few years. Been a big reader and this just fed my addiction and increased my usage of said drug. I have gotten to the point of reading 1-2 books a week. I don't always buy the books (library, friends, secret stash) but even with my "free" books, I figured out I spend more money on books than yarn, when you look at the "cost of entertainment" value. Allow me to explain...(knitters already know this because it's how we justify spending $12 on a pair of socks).

Cost of entertainment
2.5 hour movie / $8 ticket = $3.20/hr
10 hours to read a book / $8 book = $0.80/hr
48-60 hours to knit a sweater / $15 = $0.25-$0.30


For those who are fans of reading, I thought I would give you a few of my favorites. I am a big fan of series, so I will list or give links to the reading order for books.

"Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon
By far my favorite books ever...ask anyone. I'm known at my store for getting people addicted to them. There are currently 7 published books in the series (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, A Breath of Snow and Ashes, and An Echo in the Bone) with at least one more in the works. The above reading order is important! These books are a mixture of historical fiction, fantasy, time-traveling (a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff) and an all-around great story.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
I was skeptical about this series (I tend to be with ones in the romance section) but the characters and world that she has developed is phenomenal. It is a contemporary paranormal series with pseudo-vampires (NOT THOSE KIND!!!). Highly fun and enjoyable.

Rachel Morgan Series by Kim Harrison and Harry Dresden Series by Jim Butcher
Paranormal crime-solving series. They are extremely similar but one has a female protagonist and the other has a male protagonist. I personally feel that they are not "girl" books and "boy" books. I am currently in an experiment with a guy from work who lent me the Jim Butcher books. He agreed to read the Kim Harrison books so I can prove this. :D

Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Very cool fantasy series that has some elemental science in it that I really enjoyed since I'm a nerdy chemist. I'll admit that I have only read the first one at this point, but I could hardly wait to run out and buy the other two.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I almost feel embarrassed that it has taken me this long to read these books. They have been around a long while. Classic science fiction that everyone should read.

More to come later....I need to get back to my book....

Friday, May 21, 2010

It's about time.

Gosh....it's almost been a month since my last post, but real life tends to get in the way. First I was sick, then The Boy, then I had a case of TMJ (muscle relaxers are fun!) and then we had a wave of tornadoes and flash floods that didn't make for good picture taking weather.

What? There are pictures?!? Oh yes....wonderful FO pictures.

Pattern: Ivy League Vest by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Knit Picks Palette in Salsa Heather, Autumn Heather, Brindle Heather, Twig, Fog, and White
Needles: US 4
Size: 34.75"
Notes: Spit splice, spit splice, spit splice (say that three times fast) Cannot emphasize this enough. Wish I would have done it the entire time instead of just half the time.

This has got to be my favorite project I've ever done. I have caught the Fair Isle bug and you WILL see more in the future. Pre-blocking it fit like a glove....like a latex glove. But with some help from Turtlegirl, I got it beautifully blocked on a wooly board and it's now perfect! The floats are stretched wonderfully and the crochet around the steeks has felted slightly and makes me much comfortable about it not unraveling. See Mom!! It's not gonna unravel!! The wooly board* was a godsend and will be saving my pennies to get one. It made all the difference.

And just so you don't think I've been sitting around waiting for the power to go out....well, I did do that, but there was knitting as well.....and hoping I wouldn't have to knit by candlelight....

I started the Tomato in the Encore and I am loving it! Top-down is definitely the way to go. Just two sleeves left and it'll be ready to go! Well, ready for when it gets cold again....in 4-5 months. But you have to stock up, right?

*Totally just found out that Wal-Mart sells these site-to-store. Much cheaper than other places and seems to be the same. Intriguing....

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

St-EEK!That's all I've got right now. I'm still recovering....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I'm trying to be a good monkey....

....I really am. See! I've even been knitting.

See? Good monkey. I've got about 50 rows left and they have been just flying by. However, since casting on the steeks, I've been worried it's not going to fit. It fit before, but I have passed the point where I can try it on to check. Hopefully just paranoia...

Now that I'm getting closer to finishing (and with the possibility of a trip coming) I have been researching my next project and I can't decide. I have three sweater's worth of yarn in my stash. However, the sweater at the top of my list is sadly, not in my stash.

The Choices:
The Tangled Yoke Cardigan, but making it a pullover instead.
The Simple Knitted Bodice, in a 3/4 sleeve. Yea, I know the yarns look the same color, but I couldn't get this one to come out right. It's more of a graphite color.

The Tomato, done long sleeve and possibly without the color band. If I did, I would move it down, under the boobs, more on the waist and probably in a gray or maybe blue (cause I have the blue in stash!). Plus, I love that this is top-down, which I have never done and always wanted to.

And now....the thing that is making me want to be a very bad monkey....

The Plum Frost Cardigan/Pullover....*evil grin*........../insert favorite emote/

What to do....that to do....help me! Leave me a comment and tell me you opinion. And I apologize in advance for any enabling I have done.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In which I get a little philosophical....

FO's are always a good way to start off a post....

Pattern: February Baby Sweater (ravelry)
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Fired Brick - 3 skeins
Needles: US 8

Notes: The above picture is misleading. The color is not that red, but I wish it was! It's has more of a maroon color to it, almost like a "christmas red". I put the sleeve stitches on holders so the whole thing is seamless, which was nice. I screwed up the buttonholes the first go around and, frankly, I'm not happy with how they turned out the second time around, but what can you do. As I found out later, if you want the "3 buttonhole look", do the buttonholes every 8 rows, not ridges, as stated by EZ. 8 ridges is 16 rows and that's too many.

First time use of the Knit Picks Swish yarn and it really is a good multi-purpose yarn. I wanted something that would be soft for the kiddo, while being easy to care for for the new mom.

All in all though, I'm happy with the sweater and am glad that I finally did one. This was done for a baby shower for a friend of ours. It was very well received and there are already plans in the works for her to wear this at Christmas.
The vest....it continues....

I'm just fixing to cast on the neck steek, which is very exciting. This project has kept me more interested than most of my projects have. I hate feeling that I have to push myself through a project. With this, not so much. I think everyone has their little knitting niche and I may have started to find mine.

I would like to be a well-rounded knitter. I want to be someone who enjoys knitting things for small children. I want to be someone who likes to knit up beautiful lace shawls. I want to be someone who has a drawer full of hand knitted socks. (Hence the insane amount of sock yarn I have.) However, that is just not me I think. I like the idea of being that person. I want to be this person, but I'm just not. Are we destined to be a certain kind of knitter? If we don't knit bits of everything are we somehow a lesser knitter? I don't think so...

I love that, with this vest, it has kept me intrigued an motivated the entire time. I think it has somehow tapped into my unique mindset of how I look at things and all the little weird things I enjoy....like how something is still awesome looking inside out....

One of the first things I did when I started was that I mapped out, row by row, all of the decreases, increases, and special instructions that went along with this project. I got a special, nerdy little joy out of that. I like how every row has that magical combination of being both being difficult and easy at the same time.

Have you found your niche? Is there one thing that you really like making more than all of the others? A you a lace knitter? Sock knitter? All-around knitter? Whatever you are, I'm okay with that.

As with most knitting, it also applies to life...but that's a diatribe for another day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Yep, I have it. Remember that February Baby Sweater I was working on before the Ivy League Vest? Yea, so I got a baby shower invitation for the recipient. When you get a shower invitation for a person whose project is half-finished, kinda motivates you to finish it.

Well, I'm having a problem with that and it's the same problem I have with most of my projects. I get close to the end and don't want to finish. How much is left of this sweater? One sleeve. And then it's done. And I don't wanna. I have told myself that I can't knit anything else until that sweater is done. No reason not to finish it. Even tried putting on a movie. If I knit through the movie, I would probably be done. But it just kinda sat in my lap.

Hope this isn't the start of a funk....cause I wanna knit on the vest some more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Sticky Situation

With the Olympics going on, everyone is off doing their Olympic knitting. I am super impressed with what people have been able to accomplish since the beginning of the games and what they have learned in the process. I am not officially participating, but I am in the spirit of competition. I officially admit, I didn't cast on with the torch-lighting, nor will I finish by the time it is extinguished. But I am doing a project that challenges me and has given me new skills to add to my arsenal.

Behold the WiP.........aided by the decorative pine cone.

I can't believe how far I have gotten in a week. This thing is breezing by and it is so much freakin' fun to knit. (Yes, I know I am calling attention to myself and the knitting gods are going to smack me for it, but whatever.) I am about 12 rows into the pattern and have begun the waist shaping. I have taken the suggestion of spit-splicing the ends together for this portion and have found it very nice, even though I got even more weird looks in the employee dining room on my break. A word to the wise though: DO NOT spit-splice if you have been eating Jolly Ranchers. It does not make for happy knitting. Trust me.

I am glad that I didn't just jump into this project without having had some fair isle experience. When I was making my mittens, I came across several people telling me to hold my yarns several different ways. I have determined, figure it out for yourself. Because whatever works best for you is going to give you the best chance at keeping even tension, and that is even more important on this project. Start with something small, get used to your fair isle technique, then jump on in!

Other things that have helped:What I have found very helpful with this project is my KnitPicks pattern holder (keeps everything together), my rigged, clipable row counter (doesn't get lost), a blown-up copy of the color chart ('cause I'm blind), a copy of the pattern ('cause I scribble on stuff), and a row-by-row listing of the decreases ('cause I get distracted....SQUIRREL!!).

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lack of Water Leads to Knitting

Before I went to work yesterday I found a flyer hanging on the door to our apartment that said they were rerouting pipes from the hot water boiler and, long story short, we would not have any water from 9am-5pm on Tuesday. Now, Tuesday is my first day off from work and that is usually when I do all of my chores, like laundry. No water means no laundry.

Oh darn....that means I'm going to have to knit. Can't tell you how sad I am that I have to knit instead of doing laundry.

I finally finished all the planning and have gotten all of my materials together so I decided today would be a good day to cast on my Ivy League Vest. I fully concede that I ripped the color choices from the Turtlegirl and her lovely vest. She even helped me get some of the colors that have been discontinued. Hers is just too pretty....

....I must have it.