Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Is this yarn the right color?

Has anyone out there knit with Heilo Light Heathered Sheep yarn? It looks really strange to me. Like it's dirty. Nothing like the pattern photo looks. Here is my progress (I took the photo without a flash so its a little dark but you can see the darker streaks):

I hope its right because I'm NOT going to start over again.

Very cold and snowing (of course) in Denver. Hoping its not too bad on Friday when I'm taking the day off to go to the Creative Festival.

Have a good day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


No photos today but found out last night that I can knit Stockinette on size 2 Addis even when I'm tired from a full day's work. I am making good progress on my St Moritz - have about 3 inches out of 11 done before I start the pattern.

I made a decision this AM and I'm already feeling guilty. No more dog walks until the ice on our sidewalks is gone. Which means until either all this snow stops melting or else until the temps are above freezing at night. The Yak-trax which worked at first aren't working anymore - not sure why but it must have to do with how hard the ice is. Its just too risky for an old lady with osteoporosis, neighbors who walk their dogs off leash at the same time as I do, and 2 manic dogs. Too risky! So now I have two border collies giving me the "border collie stare". You have to own one to understand. These dogs herd sheep and they use their stares to get the sheep to move. Baaaa!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

A new beginning!

Its been a whole week since I've blogged. I was home sick at the beginning of the week and not very energetic until maybe Friday. Saturday AM - waiting for my Fosamax to "take" - I casted on 270 stitches for a second time (now on size US 1 Addi's) - and here is my progress. I only have about 4 more rows and I'll be where I was when I frogged:

Nothing too exciting. The bottom section under the purl row is a facing. There are buttonholes at the beginning and ending of the round (I'm assuming that will be the side seam?) - to put a cord into the casing. I have about 11 inches of stockinette to do before the pattern starts so I will be boring everyone to death for awhile. Bear with me.

Ordered some new DPN's to match my newly discovered Addi Turbo sizes. Bamboo DPN's come in even stranger sizes.. The ones that matched the metric sizes in the pattern are US 1.5 and US 2.5.. I will never understand why the sizes are so inconsistent.

This Friday is the Creative Festival. Looking forward to a day off (when I'm not sick) and meeting the PW Bourgeois's. Also plan to stop at the Honda Dealership on the way home to test drive a Honda CR/V.. After this winter and all the snow/ice - I have decided its time for me to get an SUV with 4WD. Also thinking about a Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forrester. The latter comes with manual transmission. I don't have a clue why Honda and Toyota decided nobody drives manual shift anymore. Hey! Over here! I do! And it may push me into a Subaru. Saw the Forrester last week and no offense to Subaru - but it looks like a station wagon to me. Kinda plain and nothing exciting about it. But it has a manual shift. Sigh - what's a gal to do!

Dogs are still driving me nuts. Windchill was 1 degree this AM and my cutoff for a morning walk is 10 degrees so we didn't do it. Hopefully it will warmer tomorrow?

Can anyone tell me why I cannot search my blog in regular Google? It comes up in blog search mode but not plan Google. Wish I knew..

Have a great week!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Where have I been?

Am I the only person in blogland who didn't realize that Addi Turbo Size 2's are larger than any other US Size 2? It doesn't even fit into the size 2 hole in a standard needle sizer. It only fits into the same hole as an Addi Size 3. Add to that the fact that - at least with my eyes - I cannot find any other marking on the needle that specifies it's size I'm hoping that I put it back in the right package after I used it last.

I discovered this after finding out I only have 12 yards of Heilo yarn left in color bronze after finishing the bottom of my St Moritz. And I still have accent work and two sleeve bottoms. Hmmmmm...

Another lessons learned - from now on I follow the metric size in the pattern - not the US size. But I do love my Addi's almost as much as my Denises which I would love even more if they came in size 2.

Photos coming when the St Moritz looks like more than just Stockinette.

Later: I have to start over again on my St Moritz.. Just realized that my Addi 3's are too big too. The pattern says a US 3 or 3mm. My Addi 3's are 3.25 mm. So I am going to have problems with them too. So I need to go down one size except for my Addi 4's which are correct. Oh well.. now I know

Sunday, January 21, 2007

And so it begins

Ahh.. it feels so good to do boring stockinette for awhile (I know I will get bored soon) after following the Starmore charts (unsymmetrical). I got gauge on the first hit (I find that if I use the same yarn as the pattern I have a good chance of hitting it) and I'm off. I love this pattern and it will be nice to have so few steeks after Starmore.

So far so good. I'm doing the blue/natural/wheat/bronze pullover on the left.

Just came in from snow blowing. My driveway has about 5-6 inches so far (drifting) - and it is still coming down. The winds are so high - the snow blew back in my face if I pushed my blower towards the west. Lovely. The snow wouldn't be so bad if we didn't still have about a foot of packed snow/ice on the streets underneath it. I'm wondering if we will ever see the floor of my cul-de-sac. A guy at work told me about a tool called a chipper - guess it is heavy and you drop it over the ice to break it up. I know - I shouldn't live in Denver if I don't like snow. That is what everyone tells me.. Blaaahhh!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Rosarie is off the needles!

I just cast off the second arm band on my Starmore Rosarie vest! Yay! I was getting really tired of working on it especially doing 2 color purling. What a pain! Here it is - still needs buttons, a lot of ends woven in, and a GOOD blocking. I am very small in the shoulders and these kinda stick out so I'm hoping that I can shape them some more. plus the steeks which I crocheted (never again..) are really bumpy under the shoulders. I may need to tack them down. But - all of that later. For now - I just want to set it aside and start my Dale of Norway St Moritz gauge swatch.

Here she is:

My sister wants me to put my photo up on the blog.. Not on a Saturday night when I look like I just spent the whole day doing chores - which I did. I will take one with the vest once I finish it 100% after I get ready for work and look human.

Remember my post which justified buying Lorna's Laces Helen's Laces since I wasn't going to the Denver Creative Festival? Well - I got online and saw the vendor list - Cheryl Oberle Designs, Interlacements. So - I'm going. I signed up for 1 day admission (Fri) and to take the Philosopher's Wool seminar. It will be fun. And who knows what I'll see. Maybe even get inspired to sew again?? Nah..

Good news on the health front. My doctor put me on generic statins for my cholesterol - it was up to 259 last year! I just had it retested - total is 187, HDL is 58, LDL is 112. Wow! Statins are a wonder drug. I'm impressed. Doctor is very happy with my results. So am I!

So now - onto this

I'll be doing the wheat/cream/blue pullover on the right. Hopefully - by the time its done - my hot flashes will be gone too or else I may regret not doing a cardigan.

Thanks everyone for the kind words on my FO's. I love them too!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A good day!

No photos but I had a good day today! Finished crocheting and cutting apart the armholes so all there is left to do (on the needles) is to make the arm bands. I may not get to my dale gauge swatch until next week - but its so close I can taste it!

I also found out that a court hearing I was supposed to attend Jan 25th has been postponed until May! Its a long story - but my dog got into a fight with another dog at a dogpark; the other owner was bitten and I am now a real criminal. Yes - I have a record. SO this is a subsequent restitution hearing. We are hoping she settles out of court with my insurance company. If she does - the May hearing will be cancelled.

And I just received the most comfortable pair of Shearling mocs from Eddie Bauer. I think I'm getting to point in my life (finally) when comfort is my primary driver! No more being a clothes horse for me.

And I am making a swap with Linda from the Dale group - she gets my Knitpicks needle set and I get Helens' Laces in mulberry plus the book with the Fox sweater pattern! Such a deal! I hated those needles - they kill my finger tips since they are so pointy and I keep pushing them. Don't ask me why I do that but I do.

Also its getting warmer here and my dogs are getting walked. They are so much easier to live with now!


Sunday, January 14, 2007

I didn't last

Well... last night I was looking at the list of classes for the Denver Creative Festival (during which I planned a yarn splurge in Feb) and the only "knitting" related one was Philosopher's Wool. Everything else was sewing. I used to sew - but frankly - I cannot do both sewing and knitting and reading and working so - I picked knitting. So I am not expecting a plethora of yarn choices. Not sure if I am going. And I just found out that I will be receiving $3600 more in a refund from IRS this year than I expected (later: I think this was a mistake on my mortgage lender's website for YTD interest so I don't think its true). Plus I don't knit socks so sock yarn isn't an option. And I think I'm just tired of all this snow and ice and cold and long work hours and having antsy animals around.

I'm trying to justify why I just ordered this. Its Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace yarn (silk/wool) in color brick. I have been looking for that color to eventually make the shawl on page 133 of Victorian Lace Today. Sigh.. Guess its time to take the button off the blog.

(Later): left front band is done. So far so good on the yarn.

And this has been a day of firsts: used my snow blower for the first time. It's wonderful - not to have to lift up that shovel over my head anymore. And I used my electric ball winder for the first time. Once I got the tension right - it was a snap. Got those two hanks of Hybridean balled up in secs!

Almost forgot - Season 6 of "24" starts tonight!! So excited!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The good new and the bad news

Sorry I have been away so long. Worked long hours this week (13 hr day yesterday and I worked another hour this morning) and didn't get much knitting done. BUT - ta-da! The good news is that I think I have rescued my unraveling Rosarie vest steeks. I knitted up fake ones and seamed them to the side of the vest. And the neck band is done! I am pleased if I say so myself. This vest was close to being toast. Here are the results:

It is actually beginning to look like a vest that will fit me:

But here is the bad news:

There is no way that I am going to get two armbands, and the two front bands with what I have left over in Calluna and Red Rattle. Luckily I have those two colors from a different Starmore kit (I know - my stash runneth over) - but it irks me that I have to borrow - and then eventually buy more. Part of me just wants to put it aside and start my St Moritz gauge swatch - but I may never get back to it. So - I will keep going until one of us gives out - the yarn or my patience.

My other discovery this week was the magic of YakTrax:

My dogs hadn't walked longer than 10 mins since our first blizzard due to the sheet of ice on our streets/sidewalks and my fear of falling (bad case of osteopenia). With these contraptions - its like there is no ice. Its a miracle. So - just when we thought it was safe to venture out in the world again we are now living with zero/below zero temps. Its about 4 degrees right now and I think that's our high for the day. And I won't venture out when its this cold - so - once again - I have two hyperactive dogs driving me nuts. But we are warm and safe and that's all that matters!

Have a good week - and I will try hard to start my St Moritz on kick-off day!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Third times a charm!

I think I should have just spent the day reading!

The Starmore pattern says to graft the shoulders together. Since I have never grafted before - I pulled out my Meg Swanson Sweaters From Camp book and she has a wonderful photo with detailed description. So I was merrily grafting along but the seam was too loose. I pulled the yarn and it broke. I pulled the seam out and picked up the stitches I had used. Started over again.. and yep - it happened again. At that point I dipped into my memory and decided I was more of a 3 needle bind off kind of knitter.

I turned the vest inside out and started the bind off. It went so smoothly - and looked so nice. I turned it back inside in to see my accomplishment - and realized that I seamed the left shoulder front to the right shoulder back. Waahhhh! And this was using navy yarn which at my age is almost impossible to see. I decided to cut the seam - ravel down to a reasonable row - and I reknit (in the flat) the two pieces I had cut. Got them back on holders and FINALLY I think I have done the 3 needle bindoff correctly. Here are the shoulders:

On to the crocheted steeks.. this has to go smoother?

LATER: I sure hope crocheting the steeks saves time later since they take a lot more time than using the sewing machine. May not do this in the future.. but they do look nice once they are cut.

LATER STILL: I almost threw the whole thing out. Have you ever gotten to that point? I had just cut the last steek and I noticed that one of my "redone" shoulder seams was unraveling. SO I redid it another time and the ends of one of the steeks came apart. So - I think its time to put it aside for the day. I will need to reknit the ends of the steeks just to have a facing to turn under. But not tonight!

Just to throw one more negative thought in my mind.. they are expecting a 4th winter storm to hit Denver this week.. I WILL NOT SHOVEL ANOTHER SNOWFLAKE. So I just ordered this:

Its an electric one - I hate to deal with gasoline - and I have an outlet in the front of my garage so it should be easy to use a cord. Now lets hope it arrives before the snow!

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A picture is worth a thousand words!

This is what we are dealing with (this is only one half of my two car driveway)..

And this is just one side - with a yardstick (I'm only 5 ft 1 inch - so I cannot throw it any higher!):

And the other side (do you see that white car at the front of my driveway? I almost hit it 2 days ago!):

Will we ever be able to go for a walk ever again Mom?

But here is some progress... hopefully will get the neck band done this weekend:

I'm attempting to add Charlie to the right (having Blogger error issues) - he wouldn't stand still so it's not the greatest photo!

Have a good day - I'm going to try to stay warm (its 11 outside right now) and figure out how I'm going to drive over all the snow in the cul-de-sac so I can get some food!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

For those of you that work full time

I actually knit two more rows of Rosarie over my half hr lunch break (all I could afford) yesterday so I'm getting close to the back neck shaping.

I was just wondering how others with high stress full time jobs find more time for knitting. I get up at 4:15 - eat, walk the dogs, sometimes have to get on a 5AM call with our India office, exercise, shower, drive 30 mins to work, work, try to take a break, drive 30 mins home, get home by 5PM, make dinner - and by then my mind is too tired to even think about looking at a fair isle chart. And I need to be asleep by 8 to do this all over again the next day. 80% of my knitting is done on weekends which doesn't make for much progress. The desire is there but not the time.

I have pulled out my St Moritz pattern which is next on the agenda. I'm thinking that maybe it will inspire me to get Rosarie done sooner!

By the way - I also have a cat.. Yes, poor Charlie who was raised by my late gentle Golden Retriever Nikko and who is terrified by my two new manic border collies (Jesse has a very high prey drive). Charlie has the option to be upstairs (he could go outside and come in thru my doggy door) but doesn't want to be upstairs with us. So I have set up my finished basement so that he feels safe, has his own TV, all his toys, food, etc. I open up one of the windows when the weather is nice and he goes outside - just to our back yard. The last time I tried to keep him upstairs he went out the doggy door and didn't come home for a week - when it was freezing outside so I wont' do that again. I will add his photo to the blog over the weekend.

Have a great day and I WILL spend an hour knitting today!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Back to Work!

As usual - I schlepped my knitting stuff with me to work and as usual - I got too busy to even take a lunch break. One of my resolutions was to stop working thru lunch and to spend more time knitting. But everytime I thought about it - my boss came around with something he wanted to talk about.

The good news is that they FINALLY picked up my garbage today. Its been 2.5 weeks and the garbage was about ready to walk away on its own.

Another thing I learned today (thanks Marina) - was that a neck steek is attached to a front steek if you don't clip the yarn before casting on stitches for the neck steek. This was the first neck steek I've made and I thought I had done something wrong. So I decided to cut the yarn and nothing unraveled. Yay for Shetland yarn.

Well - as you can see I have nothing to show today. But maybe tomorrow?

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year!

Happy 2007 to everyone!

Thanks to all for the kind comments on my blog. I am just learning how to do this so I suspect it will be awhile until I have it working the way I want it.

This is my last day of vacation - sigh. I have been at Qwest for 29 years and they give me 35 days of vacation per year. We have a "use it or lose it" policy - no carry-overs - so I usually have a lot of days to use up in December. This year I have been off since Dec 15th. So nice.

I hate to admit it - but I usually end up spending part of that time "finishing" up (seams, weaving) my not quite FO's during that vacation.

I dug out my old digital camera which will work on AA batteries and took photos of the items I finished over my vacation.

Here is the current state of my Rosarie vest - colors are a little darker than in person (which is why I bought a new camera) . Note that I knit 9 steek stitches and not 10 as the pattern called for because I plan to do crocheted steeks per Meg Swanson's books. I'm hoping the edges are neater doing it this way. 6 more rows and I'm ready to do the neck steeks. I'm a bit afraid its going to be too big even tho I made the gauge. I decided to do a size small after seeing Jade's photo with the pattern since she does not have hips. Guess I should have made XS.

Edited (I took a better photo which is closer to actual colors and bit further along):

Here are the other items I finished this week:

A grey wool turtleneck that was on the cover of VK years ago - I made this before I started having hot flashes (that's a story for a future post) - so I'm not sure if I can tolerate it anymore - which was my excuse for not finishing it earlier.

This is a tennis sweater (Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere) that was in Spring 2005 VK for which I finally seamed and wove in the ends. I think I will be able to tolerate this one:

This is the Misty Garden scarf from Scarf Style which I made last month. I'm not planning to block it since I love the puffy look of the mohair.

This is a shawl I made a year ago called SeaFoam using Lalana silk yarn. I love the pattern but the colors are a bit muted for me. I finally blocked it last week:

And this is the Xmas gift I bought for myself this year.. Decided it was time to give my arms a rest:

And now - its confession time.. Here are the two halves of my stash. You can see why I have to join Wendy's KAL since I will never use up all this yarn. But I intend to try. Hopefully - since I plan to retire in 9 yrs I will eventually get to all of it! This will make everyone else feel a lot less guilty.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Hope everyone has a great day! Mine will be a lot better if the garbage man picks up our garbage. Last time they came was Dec 15th before our first blizzard.

Jesse and Belle are asking for ice free sidewalks so we can take a long walk again. That may be awhile!