Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Blog Anniversary To Me!

I don't have any new photos to show today but I wanted to wish myself a Happy 1 Year Blog Anniversary! I can't believe I've been doing this for a whole year.

I know I don't post as often as some bloggers - but I also don't have as much knitting time as some bloggers. I do what I can and still juggle all the other responsibilities in my life.

This blog has been good for me. It has given me an outlet to express myself - not only creatively through my knitting but in other parts of my life. I probably am not 100% open (I have an employer to think about) but having a blog is much like having a diary. It puts a lot of things into perspective and I feel more in control of my life.

Thanks to all of you that read my blog. I don't get a lot of comments but I appreciate that so many of you find time to stop by my little corner of the world. I hope to "see" you in the new year.

I have been working in the computer industry since 1978 (I just hit my 30 year anniversary) - before we had PC's - back when we used to hand write our code and then type it directly into a single console in the computer lab. I was blessed to work on the first Enhanced 911 system for AT&T. My program looked up your address when you dialed 911 and sent it to the police station. That program has been since rewritten in newer technology but it was the highlight of my career. We received so much kudos when it was first deployed regarding lives that were saved. It made me feel that I did something socially meaningful in an industry that was mostly technical and business oriented.

Since then - my assignments are not as exciting but it constantly amazes me how the computer industry has reached out to everyone. The PC and the Internet touch everyone now. These blogs make our world a little smaller. I feel blessed again that I can be part of that interaction!

And Charlie is doing fine! He got a new soft bed this AM and is peacefully sleeping!

Have a wonderful 2008!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Amoxicillin and 24!

Thank you everyone for your kind words about my sweater.

Its been a long week. My long planned vacation (to get so much done) was turned into a lot of worrying and traveling back and forth to my vet in snowstorms. Unfortunately the ride to my vet includes some very steep inclines. So - as you can imagine, despite my wonderful new CR/V with AWD and new Blizzak's - my cowardly self was white knuckling it. I haven't made a lot of progress on my sweater.

On Thursday - my vet called me to say that Charlie was still not eating and maybe he would eat if I was there. So I drove (in a snowstorm) to the vet. He wouldn't eat for me either.. So I drove back home (in a snowstorm).

On Friday - my vet called to tell me that they are force feeding Charlie - he wasn't vomitting so they would let him come home and I would have to force feed him at home. I drove (the day after the snowstorm on snow packed roads) and picked him up. Got him home - took him out of the car, went in to get my dogs behind a gate, came back into the garage and Charlie had escaped from the soft carrier I bought. By the time I got him from under my car - my two dogs had jumped over the gate. I tried to carry Charlie in the basement - but he jumped out of my arms when he saw that the dogs were loose. Alas - Belle caught him - got him in her mouth and was shaking him. I was a mess. I FINALLY stopped the attack, got the dogs upstairs and retrieved my poor cat from behind the washing machine. I cleaned up his wounds and put antibiotic ointment on them. I also managed to force feed him and gave him more Amoxicillin.

I was a wreck. Am still feeling SO GUILTY to put him through all this. I should have put the dogs in the backyard.

But the good news is that later that night I gave him some new cat food I bought (Whiska's Purrfection ) - and he is EATING on his own!! He loves it. I only had to force feed him once.. which is a good thing since it is not very effective. I had more food on me than him.

By this AM - he is doing a lot better than me. He is eating, playing with his toys, and his wounds are still not infected. I figure he still has so much Amoxicillin in him from last week (I still have about a day's worth to give him) - that he would fend off any infection if he does get one but he looks fine. I know - I keep checking.

So - I still have 2 more days of vacation but its been nerve wracking. Somedays I think I should find him a new home without prey-drive happy border collies - but then he is 8 yrs old and I just don't think He would be happy. He might just try to find me.

So - I sit here today - watching the Season 5 "24" marathon on WGN (they just found out that President Logan was helping the terrorists!) and still working on my PW Southwest sleeves. For some reason - using Addi 8 16 inch circulars is giving me hand cramps. I cannot knit for long periods of time. I don't remember having such problems when I knit the traditional. I must be getting old. Here is where I'm at. I did end up putting some stripes at the top since my measurements were off:

So - I am praying that my pet life improves this week. And maybe my next vacation will be more productive??

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Two repeats!

I am close to finishing the first sleeve for my Southwest.. and it is looking fine:

I only need to do 9 more rows of triangles (as I did at the bottom). The pattern calls for random stripes at the very top of the sleeve but I am planning to shorten the sleeve per the measurement I used for my Traditional (about 1 inch shorter) so I will probably leave off the random stripes.

I have some good and bad news for Charlie. The bad news is that he still hadn't eaten as of this noon - so I took him back to the vet The good news is that the vet did bloodwork and everything is normal. The bad news is that he needs subcutaneous (under the skin) fluid injections so that he won't get dehydrated. And since they are predicting another snow storm tonight - I decided it would be best for him to stay at the vet. I can't take the chance that I can't get him back there tomorrow. So I feel a lot better about Charlie now - I know he is in good hands and will be home soon.

Maybe the storm will pass us by? It has happened before. I loved having a white Xmas - but enough is enough!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

One repeat!

Merry Xmas and Happy Chanukah everyone!

Its been somewhat stressful for me. Charlie (my kitty) is sick (he stopped eating on Sunday). I took him to the vet yesterday. He doesn't have a fever and the vet thinks it is either hairballs or a mild stomach infection. He is on antibiotics (I have two deep clawmarks to show for - when I give it to him) and I'm still waiting for them to work. As of this AM - he sniffed his food but still isn't eating. I need to take him back for bloodwork if he isn't better by tomorrow.

But I am making slow progress on my Southwest. I have just finished one repeat thru the color chart:

I love the result - but my hands are sore from so much weaving plus having to stop and tug the yarn to make sure it doesn't show from the front. There are so many colors with so much contrast that it is slow work to keep the back color from showing in the front. But I still love it! The final sweater will be a work of art!

I splurged this week and bought a Prime Rib to make today with Yorkshire Pudding. Yum!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Love these colors!

I don't have a lot to show (I had to start over again yesterday after realizing the cuffs were too big and my memory is too bad to remember how I did them last year when I didn't take copius notes - arghh!!) - but here is my first sleeve for my Philosopher's Wool Southwest cardigan in colorway Navaho. Aren't the colors marvelous!

This technique weaves every other stitch so it is slow going but very satisfying. No weaving at the end which suits me just fine.

I also spent part of the day starting to clean my garage.. I am hoping that I can at least clean it well enough to move some of the appliances I have parked on top of my dog kennel in my dining room! Hah.. as if I ever use that either. My house is very cluttered. I have a collection of small TV's that don't work , old PC's, and lots of cans of dried latex paint. I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of all this. The curse of living in a house for 20 years. When I used to move more often - I had an excuse to get rid of things.. now I don't and it just collects dust.

But that is what vacations are for - right?

Later: I decided to rip out about 15 rows of the sleeve... at this rate I will be doing this thru next summer. I didn't like the way the yarn was showing thru the sections of the fabric where I have alternating purls and knit stitches (and still weaving every other row) . Now I'm tugging the back yarn which is working much better.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Onto bigger things

I decided to get them all done before I posted a photo.. so here they are! I think they are the prettiest socks I've done so far! They are "Gingerbread Dude" light STR yarn in plain stockinette:

Some knitter have complained about the pooling but I kinda like it.. adds to the variety in the color.

And I have finally decided what next:

I think I need to get more PW under my belt before attempting the Cossack I bought for Xmas. Actually this one is called "Southwest" and is the same pattern as Cossack - just up and down. Tonight I'm going to watch the PW DVD again as a refresher course.

In the meantime - my Kauni and St Moritz are all done too. ends woven, etc. That's one nice thing about PW patterns.. no ends to weave.

I love vacation! Still have 12 more days off!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

So so busy!

Yes I'm alive but just barely. I always plan to do "big" things when I'm on vacation. This year it was pulling down all the wallpaper in my master bathroom and painting it light rose. I have very high ceilings so I had to get up on a ladder with a roller or paintbrush at the end to reach them.

I am very pleased:

Good thing I got it done in one day. My muscles hurt so much I couldn't climb a ladder if I wanted to.

So today is back to knitting.

I also save all my "finishing" work for vacation. Today it was my Kauni. Wove in all the loose ends and tacked down the facings. Tomorrow is my St Moritz and then I need to weave ends in on two shawls. My camera battery is recharging so I will show photos later.

And did I say how much I love "Gingerbread Dude"! I am into the gusset of the second sock and will show photos of those later too!

What is next? I'm not in the mood to finish Mermaid. I really want to do some colorwork. But haven't decided what yet. Maybe a Poetry In Stitches? Maybe Philosopher's Wool? Maybe Starmore? Maybe Autumn Roses? What to do??

Monday, December 10, 2007

This Gingerbread Dude is Cool!

A special post for a special dude:

This is STR lightweight in Gingerbread Dude. Don't you love it! I'm so enjoying it without any special patterns. Just plain stockinette Dude!

4 days and counting!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

One more week to go!

I'm in countdown mode.. only 5 more days until my end of the year vacation and I can't wait. I am so anxious that I am behaving very irrationally. I almost don't want to admit it..

We had snow last night. The first shovelable (is that a word?) snow this year. But hah! no fear - I have a snow blower. I took it out - plugged it in with my new cold proof electric cord - and ran it for the length of my driveway. Turned around - thought I had moved the cord out of my path and started again. Suddenly I heard a bump and of course.. I ran right over the cord. It was VERY stuck in the belly of the snowblower. I spent the next half hour - cutting the electric cord, using my wire cutter to take the outside wrap off the wire so I could pull it away and getting VERY cold and VERY wet. Sigh.. Luckily - I found another cord and was able to finish the task at hand. Oh well. its just a cord and at least I saved the blower.

Then I finally reached the point in my Mermaid sleeve where I only had to knit all the YO's with the following stitch. I dropped a stitch. I REALLY tried to save it but managed to put this big hole in the sleeve. What's a girl to do - but rip out about 15 rows... luckily short ones. But I got that done and all that is left is the bind off. I have sent the final size small spreadsheet to Amy to be distributed to those who have already bought the kit.

Once I finish that.. I plan to do another pair of socks (no lace pattern please). Haven't decided what yarn to use but it will be something autumny. More on that next week. I also decided that I want to learn the Cat Bordhi circular needle method for socks in the not too distant future.

Every year I buy myself a Xmas gift. Last year it was the electric yarn winder which thankfully I got back into working order. Two years earlier I bought a Lendrum spinning wheel and then decided that it wasn't something I could ever teach myself and if and when I retire with time to do things like take classes - I would buy another one. In the meantime - I would rather sell it on Ebay and use the money for yarn!

So - I pondered what to do this year and decided to get this:

Ain't she purdy! Eugene with co-owns Philosopher's Wool - wrote me to ask about my experience with their patterns. I guess this is one of their more challenging ones. I hope I'm up to it. I think I will. This will really be more of a coat than sweater and their heavier yarns should work out well with this.

5 days and counting!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

The Return of the Yarn Monster

This has been a good week yarnwise! I won't get into my work headaches - they give me a headache.

First of all - my Baudelaires are done!

I'm pleased with them but found that I didn't enjoy doing lace on socks as much as I expected. Too much to think about. I think I prefer plain stockinette. Plus the fact that I can't find many patterns (other than ribs which I hate) for my smaller stitch count. Not many patterns with a multiple of 7 or 14.

And then - I decided Friday night to see if I could redeem my yarn monster. If you recall - a few months ago - my $$ electric yarn winder made a mess of my Kauni yarn. This is the wonky shaped skeins it was making - not pretty:

So I pulled it out and tried to analyze what was wrong. The motor was still working and the core was still turning so what could be wrong. I tried tightening some screws to no avail. Then I compared what my manual one was doing compared to the electric one. The cone of the manual one had a stronger angle. The rim was closer to the base. So I pushed down a lot harder on the cone of the electric one. And voila!

I couldn't be more pleased. The cone must have loosened up after I pulled so hard to remove the Kauni mess. I will still use my bigger manual one for things like Kauni which has a ton of yarn on it - but this will be so much easier for normal size skeins. Fixing this really was the highlight of my week!

And then I decided to I-cord around the front edge of my Mermaid body and work on my Mermaid sleeves. I am making them 10 stitches shorter than the pattern calls for - since there are so many KAL posters who said the sleeves grow when you block it. Since I'm so petite - I don't want to deal with that. I am creating the spreadsheet to match the original pattern in case anyone doesn't want to shorten the sleeves.

And here is where I am today:

These will take awhile - and knowing me I will probably take a break between sleeves but at least the spreadsheet will be done.

Two more weeks until Xmas break! Its a good thing. Work is really beginning to annoy me.

Have a good week!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Where did the week go?

Back to work tomorrow (wahhh..) and I thought I would be further along on my Baudelaire's than this:

The longest part was doing the leg where the pattern wrapped around the whole sock. I figured out that eliminating one stitch at each end meant I had to eliminate the cable stitches between the front and back but it is still time consuming to do the pattern on both sides. Good thing I'm a process knitter and am not too impatient (hah!) about getting them done.

And I don't know what is wrong.. but for the first time in a long time - I am losing some of my passion to knit. Maybe its cuz I have stopped doing much anything else. I haven't picked up a novel since Harry Potter. Or maybe its just that I don't know what to do next. I OUGHT to finish the Hanne Mermaid if only to provide the sleeve pattern to Amy to add to the spreadsheet. I also OUGHT to finish the objects that are off the needles but not 100% done. My plan is to that over Xmas break (I have 2+ weeks off) as I did last year.

Part of me is thinking about Fair Isle. Maybe start one of my Philosopher's Wool kits or maybe one of my Starmore kits. Don't know. After the Baudelaires - I'm not in a mood for socks anyway.

I have been perusing the internet for toe up sock patterns. My problem is my 56 stitch count. I've found that there aren't as many patterns that can be easily adjusted down.. Most are multiples of 8 or 16. If I continue the pattern across the back - I need an even multiple so we are talking about 64 stitches. How do I get that down to 56? I considered using a smaller needle but I'm already using size 1's. Not sure I want to use toothpicks. If anyone reading this knows how I convert these patterns down to 56 stitches.. please help!

So - I think that maybe after these socks are done - I am going back to what I used to do - read my books on Sat's, knit on Sundays and lunch breaks. Maybe some balance will help my mood.

I ended up with 16 big bags of clothes to donate after my closet cleaning. Amazing. I am getting to the point where comfort is more important to me than fashion so I had so much in my closets that I don't wear anymore. I put the items (after photos and tallies) into my Its Deductible (TurboTax) program and it added up to over $2000. Wow!
I'm babbling today. I love vacations but its so hard to go back to work when they are over.

Have a good week. I will try!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things don't disappear!

I have just spent the last hour looking for my last two pairs of knitted socks! I remember taking photos of them (my STR ones on sock blockers) but don't have a clue what happened to them after. I went through all of my project totes, my new sock yarn, my piles of "things" (yes I'm a packrat!)

When I was about to accept the fact that I accidentally threw them away, I moved a bunch of "things" from one of my cardboard drawers (my clothes runnoth over a few years ago) - I FINALLY found them behind them. They had fallen over - don't ask me when. Sigh.. I am so absent minded. So I just washed them for the first time and set them aside.

And here is my progress on my Baudelaires. I just finished the gusset. Much truer color.

And another! I love this pattern!

I decided to order a set of Knitpicks Harmony needles - after having my Denise set fall apart on me. I swapped my Options with another knitter awhile ago since they were too pointy for my knitting style so I'm hoping these aren't as pointy. I tend to push the tip of the needle with my left hand so its deadly if they are too pointy. I also ordered their DPN's.

Tomorrow I get new Blizzak's put onto my new CR/V. Just in time - they are predicting 3 inches of snow tonight and 2 more inches tomorrow. I have AWD on the car but I want to feel as safe as possible. I'm a big chicken driving on snow/ice especially with all the hills I drive over on my way to work.

I am also spending my vacation cleaning my closets. I haven't been this resolute about tossing stuff in years. I have been experimenting with my 2007 TurboTax Its Deductible program and I should be able to deduct quite a lot towards charitable donations. So far - with 8 bags (and I haven't started cleaning my winter clothes) - my tallies total over $1000. I just don't wear so much of it!

I love vacation!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who would have thought?

A year ago if anyone asked me if I would ever knit socks I would have told them never. I struggled enough having to use DPN's to knit the cuffs on my sweaters. But look at me now!

Not only have I knit 4 pair of socks (2 toe up) - now I'm venturing into patterns. I love this pattern - it is Cookies Baudelaire pattern on And the yarn is Aunt Maude's Mauve Handpainted Fingering Superwash Yarn from ThreeWatersFarm. So pretty.

The actual color is not as bright as the photo. It is more pink than red. The mauves are more brownish. Actually - this photo does not look like the yarn at all! Hah! I will adjust the color when I take another photo!

I was nervous about doing this since my stitch count is 56 and most patterns provide the smallest count to be 60. But this one had 4 stitches on either side of the pattern so I just changed it to have 3 stitches on either side. So easy! Not sure if some of the other patterns I have been oogling will be as easy to adjust.

I would have posted yesterday (I'm home on vacation this week so I have no excuse). I was tooling along, had a good 4 inches to show, and then noticed a section of fuzzy yarn (already knitted). Silly me thought I could pull out the fuzz. I pulled it out so much that the yarn broke and a huge hole exploded! Wah! So I started to pull out a few rows thinking I could recover at least some of my work. I tried twice to pick up the stitches without any success. So - I just pulled it all out and started from scratch. Today's photo is my second attempt. From here on - I check out the yarn before I knit it. This yarn is gorgeous but may have some more sections that aren't well spun. What's a new sock knitter to do!

Yes - I stopped working on the Fleece Artist triangular shawl. I think you are supposed to use the entire skein in one shawl - but around 8PM Friday night I realized that it was not meant to be. I rationalized it by telling myself that I'm petite and don't need more humongous shawls, right? So it was bound off and I went on to bigger and better things.

Its so good to have time off. I am cleaning out my closets (hit my downstairs coat closet this AM). Embarassed but this is the first time I REALLY have cleaned it out for maybe 15 yrs? Hah! There were lots of old dog leashes, a bunch of broken hangers, and old gloves. I found jackets I forgot about and FINALLY tossed some oversized coats with big shoulders that I can't believe I ever wore. Now I can actually see the floor. Tomorrow I start on my upstairs clothes closets. I think its finally time for me to accept the fact that I want to be comfortable and will NEVER wear those clothes I used to wear. It will go to charity.

About all for now.. I will blog more often this week. If not - happy Thanksiving to all!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's all about the yarn!

This Fleece Artist Goldielock's yarn (color = FruitPunch) is so pretty! I am up to 118 stitches and over 2 feet across the top (I want to take it up to 225) and its just mindless knitting.. creating this fuzzy fabric of color.

If there is anyone out there who has knit this.. did you block it? Seems that it doesn't need to be blocked.

Here is the result:

On the other hand - I find myself wanting to put it down. In fact - I got my whole backyard raked this weekend. Kinda strange for me since I haven't done much anything but knit over the last few months. Could it be that I'm kinda bored - Doing a Church Lady gaze look.. I'm thinking that it could be!!

So - unless this moves faster - frankly the larger it gets - the slower it goes - I will probably start my Baudelaire socks next weekend!


Later: Whoa!! That was close. I love Denise needles for shawls because you can keep making the needle longer. But I hate Denise needles because they can sometimes come apart. And - yes - they just came apart on me! This yarn is not easily rippable - so I had to undo one stitch at a time to put them back on the needle. Its back in one piece now but I think that's it for me today!

Monday, November 5, 2007

New things to learn

I normally don't blog twice in two days but I'm so excited about my Fleece Artist Goldielocks shawl I had to post a photo (easier than emailing my sister...).

I brought it to work today and struggled for a half hour trying to figure out how to do a YO at the beginning of a row. I finally gave up and decided to just do a K1 and then YO.

But then I found a website (can't find it right now) that explained - if you do this - to hold the yarn in the front (purlwise) before you start. Voila! It works. I had been holding the yarn in the back and was basically wrapping the yarn around the needle twice in the first stitch making a very large big hole at the end but now I have corrected my technique! So here is my lovely start. Isn't it purty! The YO's create a scallop along the edge. I LOVE it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

13 rows to go!

I am going to make a real effort to finish the Mermaid body tonight.. but with the change in time I have a feeling I'm going to zonk out early. I am so close to the end but yet so far. The size small pattern is definitely done (body only) and my last minute edits have been sent to Amy. So here is the current state of affairs. As you can see its getting hard to fit it in one photo:

And a closeup of the final section. I know - I still need to do the applied I-cord but that is going to wait until I take a break:

And to those that wonder what is next.. here is a gorgeous skein of Fruit Punch Fleece Artist silk Goldilocks yarn that I bought on Toadal's (Love that site) Ebay shop to make the triangular shawl:

Then I'm planning to knit the Baudelaire socks (Cooky) from I think that will be enough of a break to come back and finish the Mermaid. Maybe its time for me to start knitting more than one thing at a time anyway..just to break up the boredom. I guess the total time in hours/garment won't change but I will be happier. I really do get bored with anything that takes longer than 2 weeks.

I was thinking that this is the reason I enjoy software programming. Every day is different, the problems changes, and I am never bored. Doesn't mean I want to do it forever but it has been a good career. At least for now. Retirement still sounds a lot better!

I'm awaiting my first Zen Art Sock Yarn shipment.. supposed to arrive this week. Can't wait!

Wish me luck tonight.. I can finish this if I stop blogging now!

Later: YAY!!! It's done!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Size small body pattern changes are done

A short blog to let anyone who is waiting that I have mailed the complete body pattern - size small Mermaid to Amy. I just knitted past row 600 so I may find errors. I want to take a break before I do the sleeves.. but I'm suspecting they will be easier than the body.

Good luck and let me know if you find any problems. I paid more attention to stitch counts than ridge counts - so the ridge counts may not be 100% accurate.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Down the home stretch!

This weekend was a lot more productive than last! I have finished the back and now I'm into the arm gusset. Spending a lot of time working on the spreadsheet since I have to reverse my previous work for the rest of the pattern. This is where size small diverges a lot from size medium, fewer stripe ridges, fewer decs (or incs), different ridge where the decs (or incs) start so its easier to just compare each section with my previous work than to use anything from Amy's spreadsheet. I'm close.. very close. I think the pattern should be done within a week or so. I am probably not being 100% mirror image since that would take comparing every row to every previous row and I don't have the patience. But I'm satisfied with the results and I hope others can benefit from the time I've spent on this.

Here is where I'm at:

And a closeup of the back:

I feel so bad for the Rockies! They were doing so well and now they can't do anything right. Oh well - there's always next year!

Have a good week.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

One of those days...

Well I had just completed the striped section and the first hem gusset after the back neck gusset - counted my stitches and Waaahhh... I had two extra stitches. I ripped out the gusset and I still had the wrong stitch count. Then I noticed the bottom of the striped section before the gusset.. it was angling out. So - I had to rip out 4 stripe ridges too. How I did that I don't have a clue but I have been watching movies all day and knitting and apparently didn't pay enough attention. Sigh..

Oh well - I would have had more progress to show you but I don't.. Here is where I am now:

And a closeup of the back neck gusset - very pretty:

So - I'm a little further than yesterday but not much. Some days aren't good knitting days. I have revised the pattern up to row 608 (730 total) - so I do see the light at the end of the tunnel patternwise. I do still need to do the sleeves but how hard can they be? I probably shouldn't ask.

Have a better day than me!

Friday, October 19, 2007


I had an "aha" moment today. A year ago I decided to "knit from my stash" along with "Wendy Knits" but I failed miserably. In fact - the worse part is that I used to be happy with $3/skein yarns on sale at Elann. In fact the "aged" section of my stash is full of that. But no more.. no siree not me. Now I lust after silk/mohair blends that run for $30/skein or more. And I long for (and satisfy my longing for) sweater kits that cost a lot more $$ - I'm too embarassed to admit - Bohus, Fleece Artist, Poetry In Stitches, Starmore, etc. And now I even pay for Int'l shipping. Geezz Ricki.

I know I have only myself to blame - but the internet, all the blogs, ravelry, have given me a window into others' projects and I want what I see. I know - I'm old enough to know better.

Well - I'm now 58 and a half years old now. And - Waaahhh - I want to retire!! I don't hate my work but it really does chew up too much of my day.

The dilemma is - even tho I have a wonderful pension in my future - if I don't stop buying yarn and start saving more.. I will not be able to afford to retire anytime soon - and that means I will never get enough time to use all this yarn. Catch 22!


So - other than the two yarn clubs that I recently joined (ArtWalk from Zen, and Sundara's new "Seasons" club) - I REALLY REALLY REALLY am going to stop buying any other yarn until I'm retired. It shouldn't be a hardship. Just my kits should keep me occupied. And those monthly tidbits should keep me happy. Right?

So PLEASE everyone - stop blogging with all these amazing photos of your new projects with links going to every online knitting store in the world.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Doing socks spoiled me!

I realize now - that after being able to finish a pair of socks so quickly, I'm spoiled. I've been working on my Mermaid maybe 1 month - I'm nearing the middle of the body and it seems like an eternity! I love the results but all this garter stitch is beginning to get to me. I WILL finish it but I think I may have to break my rule of "one project at a time" and throw in some socks in the middle.

I have decided its time to do some patterned socks. Haven't decided which ones but I have some gorgeous Dream In Colors smooshy yarn in Ruby River. Do I dare knit two things at once?

Here is where I am on the Mermaid:

Four gussets in all:

And I am about 6 rows into the back gusset:

I have modified Amy's pattern up to row 384 - the end of the gusset. From that point Hanne's instructions are to reverse what you just did. Argghhhh!!!! Thank goodness I have Amy's size medium to compare with (not the best grammar!). As much as I admire Hanne's work and I know the final product will be magnificent - it isn't the easiest pattern to follow.

Well - it is 41 degrees in Colorado - snowing in the mountains and they are predicting a mix of snow/rain here tonight. I had the A/C on last week. Geezz..

Have a good week and stay warm!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Version 1 of Amy's Spreadsheet - size small

I emailed the first version of Amy's Mermaid spreadsheet for size small to her this AM. She has agreed to handle the distribution. Not sure if she will just add it to the size medium spreadsheet or keep it separate. The body pattern is finish up to row 340 and I have knit up to row 255:

I love the way the Mermaid is shaping. All kinds of curves. Here you have a better photo of the armhole gusset:

If it fits as well as it looks it will definitely be one of my favorite creations. So glad I have the yarn to make one in coral/tomato too - so pretty.

When my life is tied up in one project- my mind starts looking at other ones - despite the large number tbd in my stash. I bought the book Lacy Little Knits by Iris Schreier and fell in love with this:

Its made up in Artyarns Silk Rhapsody which is a mohair/silk blend and VERY $$. I almost think I would prefer it in something less hairy.. but definitely silky soft. Not sure what yet. But love the look.

Fall has finally arrived in Denver. Only 57 right now after a week of 85+ days - I'm ready. Brought in my barbecue, doggy swimming pool, and chaise lounges. Love this time of year.

Go Rockies!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

How do I love thee?

Let me count the ways.

After throwing my money away on that expensive electric ball winder I am so pleased that I found something for less than $20 that has organized my life!. It comes with a bunch of plastic baggie like inserts (I bought some extras) and I have all of my DPN's and circulars organized. Luckily - I use my Denises for large sizes so I didn't have to get them in it but here is the top layer:

I love, love it!! So cute and I don't have to go searching when I need something. Plus I won't go out buying something I already have. Now if they could do this for my yarn stash!

And I'm into the first armhole of my Mermaid:

I'm not normally a garter stitch lover but there is so much going on here at the same time - its good to have something mindless in the mix.

Here are two closeups of my first two flares (or gussets as Hanne calls them):

And here is the neckline edge:

I was thinking this week - that my blog must be very monotonous since I spend so much time on one project. The alternative is to spend twice as much time on two projects. Can't help the time.. Things will get better in 7-8 years after I retire. Hah!

I have decided to join a new socks club - Here is their blog. I quit redknits - at the time I was trying to cut back on my yarn spending - ahem... but frankly, I wasn't that excited about my first two kits - I don't get my first artwalk kit until Nov 1st but it looks really interesting. She has another club called the Harmony Sock Club but that doesn't open for membership until Jan. This gal does amazing color work and I'm looking forward to getting her kits.

Back to the Hanne!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Slow progress

I'm still moving forward. I'm spending half of my time reading and reworking one section of the spreadsheet at a time until I'm comfortable that it reflects Hanne's directions and then the other half of my time knitting it. I'm almost done with the first striped section - have 4 more ridges to go - and then I'm ready to tackle the first gusset (my spreadsheet is ready for that section).

Here is my progress today. As you can see - I have already done the cast off that ends the collar at the neck edge.

It really is a nice design. If I can keep my nose to the ground - hopefully I can get this right.

The gal who is running the Hanne KAL has asked me to contact Amy before I provide anyone with the size small pattern. I'm thinking now that I may just send it to Amy if and when I get it to work and if she is interested - she can add it to the one she has already created. If not - that is OK too. I will just have it for future knitting.

I FINALLY received my invite to join Ravelry. I was so excited to see what the hoopla is all about. One more thing to surf. What did we do without the internet? Talk to each other? Hah!

Have a great week.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Can I do this?

I am slowly getting thru the first rows of my Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid (number 3) - but I'm wondering if I'm smart enough to do this! The yarn is gorgeous (the turquoise has flecks of green) and the fabric resembles boiled wool:

But the pattern is not clear at all. Lots of "AT THE SAME TIME" sections. And she doesn't tell you when to start counting where to start the decreases.

I thankfully have the spreadsheet that Amy did for the KAL - but that is for size medium and I am trying to adapt it for size small. So I need to first understand why Amy did what she did in order to modify it. I'm spending hours just figuring out the pattern.

I know this is worth it.. after all this I will definitely make more of these- but I sure wish Hanne was more prolific!

Here is the long first edge.. this is knit from left to right all in one piece except for the sleeves

I think I can , I think I can, I know I can , I know I can.... I hope I can, I hope I can..

I also ordered one of these in burgundy this week along with extra inserts.

I only knit with circulars and DPNS and they are all over the place in their original plastic for fear that I will not be able to tell the difference between a 3.25 mm Addi and a 3.5 mm Addi. So I have decided I need to get organized. Love this bag.

May post tomorrow or not.. depends on whether I completely destroy this pattern. Say a prayer!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No Worries!

For those that wonder if you can knit a pair of socks using 1 hank of Sock That Rock lightweight yarn (360 yds)- I am living proof that it is possible. You can see that I had plenty left over. Here are the results:

Maybe it wouldn't be enough for a fancy pattern - but it sure wasn't an issue for plain stockinette. I knit a gusset followed by a short row heel - per Cookie's patterns on Knitty Gritty.

I'm hoping that the yarn softens up some after I wash them. It is much stiffer than any of the sock yarns I've used up till now. On the other hand - the plies didn't separate at all which made it easier to knit.

So now that I have knit two pairs of Toe Up socks (and found them a lot easier and better fitting) - I am going to put my sock addiction aside and start my Hanne Mermaid. I have added blog buttons with links on the right side of my blog.

I also joined the Eunny Yang Autumn Rose KAL. Such a pretty interpretation of fair isle. I will get to that one day too!

Dogs are barking at me to pay more attention to them! See ya!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Money Down The Drain!

Do you ever feel like kicking yourself for spending a lot of money on something that breaks after 3 uses? Yep - that is me yesterday.

I finished my Juliet Fondly yarn first toe up socks - I'm very happy with them altho I think I am going to take out the bind off and make the cuff longer:

So it was time to break out my first hank of Socks That Rock.. in Minestone. Gorgeous! Well it was a mistake. I thought my electric ball winder had time to heal since the Kauni fiasco and would perform. Not! I ended up with this big mess of a ball of yarn. Lucky me though - two week ago I forgot I already had a hank of Minestone in my stash when I ordered a second one - I know my stash is so big I don't know what I have anymore. Anyway I planned to give the extra one to my sister. Well - I knew she would understand my predicament so I said a fond farewell to the overpriced yarn monster -

and wound the second hank with my old manual Royal. It worked just fine.. And I started a new sock. This yarn is wonderful - here is the start of a new sock:

Then I decided I really need to do something about this ball winding issue. I have more large hanks of Kauni and its too hard - when you have a large number of small balls - to remember which ball ended and which ball started at the same place. I had insomnia last night so I got online and bought one of these:

Its a Jumbo Ball Winder by Royale - is manual so hopefully it won't break and it has received super reviews. Colorsong says: "I can't begin to tell you how much I love this ball winder - winding has become one of my favorite parts of knitting! Unlike smaller winders, the action is smooth, steady, and simply entrancing to watch." So I think I will like it.

Then my insomnia was so bad that I stayed up till midnight untangling my blob of STR - got it all done, rewound it manually, and sending it off to my sister.

I think - once these socks are done I am going to FINALLY attack one of the Hanne Falkenburg kits I bought awhile ago. Its a Blue/Green Mermaid. They are supposed to have complicated patterns but Amy on the KAL has created an easy spreadsheet to follow. The yarn is to die for - very soft.

It will probably be a couple week until I start since right now I'm exhausted and plan to plop.

Has anyone seen The Last King of Scotland. I netflixed it and Forrest Whittaker is amazing as Idi Amin. Sad movie but so good.

Have a great week.