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Monthly Archives: May 2008

His toys and her toys

Well, my KP Options (metal) tips finally arrived middle of last week, and I’ve barely put them down since, except to eat, sleep, work or do the various things one does in the bathroom (LOL!).  I think I might even like them better than my Harmony tips, and that’s saying something, since I gave away every single straight needle I owned less than a week after my Harmonies arrived in the mail, and haven’t had a moment’s regret for doing so.  I also got a copy of “Big Girl Knits”, if only for the expert and amazing advice on shaping for the womanly figure I have always owned.  Even when I was a skinny little size 6 or 8, I had an appreciable bosom, a little waist and sizeable hips.  Now that my size 6 figure is a shadowy memory, I still have a curvacious body, just a bit on the larger size.  There’s a couple of things in there that I want to knit sooner or later (Bombshell, Lift & Separate, maybe Curvalicious Cardi, who knows??), but I really wanted the shaping info.  It’s good stuff.

 

So that’s my recent toy purchase, my self-selected Mommy Day present, about which I have already written some.  Meanwhile, hubby dearest has been off on a new tangent.  Backing up a step, let me note that, at the age of 44, DH decided last fall that he really, really wanted to learn to play the electric guitar.  He’s always wanted to learn guitar, but didn’t get to as a child, tried a couple of other times in our married life, gave up, and tried again.  So, present day – he is now the proud owner of 2 electric guitars, 2 amps, various guitar books, CDs, DVDs and even an acoustic guitar, plus co-owner (so to speak) of the electric guitar and amp we bought for the 12 year old (who is truly going to be a renaissance man), co-owner of a set of drums, too.  Anyway, that’s been DH’s toy focus since last fall.  With the price of gasoline ever-rising, DH’s 1973 VW Bug is suddenly seeming like a gas-guzzler, and DH wants something far more efficient with fuel.  Does he want a hybrid?  No.  An electric car?  No.  A bio-fuel conversion kit?  No.  He wants a motorcyle.  Sigh.  Here we go again.  There’s a Bug in the driveway, a Baja Bug in the garage, and an older truck in the cul de sac that’s currently driven by our older son, plus my 4 year old Aztek in the driveway, but we need a motorcyle and we need it now.  Soooooo – last weekend was all about shopping craigslist and e-bay for a motorcycle.  He eventually found one, bought it for the asking price ($700) and we have to go pick it up about 45 mins north of here on Saturday.  That’s OK, he really really really wanted it, so I will be good about it, since he never ever does more than smile and tease me when I bring home yet more yarn.  Of course, my yarn stash, which merely fills 3 plastic fileboxes and a plastic shopping bag, is nothin’ compared to some I saw pics of on a Ravelry forum thread – yikes!  One person had a 5′ tall pile of yarn in the middle of her spare bedroom!!  I’m a piker compared to that!!  🙂

Ok – off to bed now, have to get some sleep for work tomorrow.  I had a cold last week and into the early part of this one, so I’m really wanting my sleepy time lately.  Oh, by the way – the modified Dot Check Cardi (take II, this one for me) is now ready to be sewn together, after which, there’s just a little bit of garter stitch border on the neckline and the button and buttonhole bands to do.  Yay!  (already wove in all the knitting ends, too).  Coming up on a touchdown, I may actually be able to wear it next week!  🙂

 

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Knitting Day Weekend in Tennessee

Well, here it is Memorial Day Weekend, which will now be designated as Knitting Day Weekend, because we will be spending it at home, as usual. 

  1. DH *really* hates crowds and traffic and waiting in line for anything, so he never wants to go anywhere that involves one of those three things
  2. Gas is soooooo expensive – I paid $3.73/gallon this morning at COSTCO, for heaven’s sake!  I know that there are plenty of places (big cities and such) where gas is even higher, but OMG, this just HURTS.  I swear, I put the nozzle in to the tank, pulled the trigger and instantly saw $5.00 ring up on the pump.  Yeesh.
  3. I’ve got ANOTHER rotten cold, and DH seems to be battling some sort of tummy affliction, as well. 

So, just another slow, dull weekend in paradise, which is OK by me, really.  It’s fun to go away and see new places and such, but it’s just good to relax at home, too.  I’m sure that we will get the requisite amount of shopping for something and nothing done over the weekend, too, but a weekend at home does mean LOTS of knitting time for me!  YAY!  Because last weekend, as I predicted, DH found some ways to keep us fairly busy, and I didn’t get as much knitting time as I had hoped.  Still, I’m about 2/3 done with the back of my own modified Dot Check Cardigan, with both fronts already completed.  I should be making sleeves by Monday, I would think.  🙂 

I finally got my self-chosen, self-ordered Mother’s Day gift(s) in the mail this week – 3 sets of the original Options needle tips; two sets of Harmony dpns; the Knitpicks view sizer, which will actually show my sz 6’s, 7’s and 9’s as such, rather than having to figure it out by the process of elimination, which is about a half-step removed from purely guessing; and my very own copy of “Big Girl Knits”.  I’m on the smaller end of big girls, with a 46″ bust or perhaps slightly less, but I am rather curvy, so I quite love most of the patterns and think I will learn a bunch of really useful tips on altering patterns to actually fit me.  Can’t wait to make Bombshell…or maybe Cherry Bomb…or Lift And Separate…maybe even Curvalicious…

Anyway, the Knitpicks package came in during the day on Wednesday, while I was working at home (because I was already not feeling too well from the cold coming on).  Of course, because I was working, all I could do was open the box, make sure everything was there, and pet the packages.  Pout, pout.  I managed to get through the workday, but the *moment* I was done working, I grabbed the new metal sz 7’s from the box and swapped them with the Harmony tips I had been using on my Dot Check Cardi.  WOW!!  They really are different.  The Harmony tips are wonderfully slick, but nothingcompared to the Options metal ones.  I’m in LOVE!  I wasn’t too sure about ordering them, because I have usually liked that little bit of grab on my Harmony tips, but I guess I’m getting more experienced, because the super-slippery Options are great.  I’m surprised, as well, because other metal needles (including Inox) have always made my hands and wrists hurt, but not the Options.  Of course, most of the time I’ve been using them, I’ve been running a fever, but they don’t feel cold at all, so they don’t cause me pain, and they are light as a feather, too!  I think that there will be more of these tips in my future. 

Sadly, I haven’t gotten as much knitting done in the last couple of days as I wanted.  This cold really got me feeling dizzy and stupid, and I just couldn’t keep the pattern straight, plus I kept sneezing or having to stop to blow my nose, etc.  Just YUCKY.  And a complete and total waste of a perfectly good vacation day.  Sigh…I did get a couple of nice naps in, thanks to the cold.  Naps are good, too.

Well, happy Memorial Day, everyone.  Enjoy the picnic or barbeque or whatever you plan to do with this U.S. holiday weekend.  And if you’re not in the U.S. and not celebrating this weekend, then have a hot dog for me anyway!  🙂

 

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Told you so!

Update to my weekend:  DH wants to go yard-sale shopping in the a.m.  What he really wants to do is drive around town in hopes that someone will have a $500 motorcycle for sale in their front yard, but needs the yard sales as an excuse to nose around other people’s neighborhoods.  He’s been fidgeting around about finding a motorcycle for a couple years anyway, and what with the price of gasoline, now he’s in panic mode.  Personally, I think the cost of insuring a bike will probably cancel the gas savings, but DH is not listening on that point.  🙂

Anyway, he probably thinks I don’t know that he couldn’t care less about the yard sales and that it’s all about the motorcyle.  Heck, almost everyone in my little city who has a yard sale is trying to get rid of baby stuff and kiddie toys, none of which is of use to me.  So, it sounds like a fat waste of time in my mind, but I’ll probably ride along in the vain hope that someone will have a decent set of patio furnishings for sale at a reasonable price.  Our table is OK, but our chairs are pretty well trashed after 4 Tennessee winters, and I’ll be damned if I’m paying several hundreds of dollars for another set that will be rusty in just a couple of years…

Oh, well, I can knit in the car between stops, at least.  😉

 

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Nothing but knit? Maybe…

It’s finally Friday, thank heavens.  It’s been a busy week at work, and the next several weeks should be even busier.  Thankfully, the work-week is now just a few short hours from being officially over.  Yay!  On a conference call this morning, one of my colleagues mentioned his weekend plans, which, knitting aside, are so much more interesting than mine!!  He’s driving to the west coast of Scotland with a bunch of friends/family, where they will take a walking tour of the area where Robert the Bruce and the Black Douglas lived.  If you’re into English/Scots/Irish/Welsh history, then you will be as jealous as I found myself to be.  Sigh….lucky colleague lives near the Scotland border with England, so it’s only about an hour’s drive for him.  There’s nothing that fascinating within an hour’s drive from my house, except perhaps The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home (I’ve already been to all the other historic homes nearby).  So – while my colleage, John, goes to Scotland, my weekend plans are…oh, wait, I don’t have any interesting weekend plans, do I?  So, therefore, this weekend appears to be all about “nothing but knit”…I hope.  

 That’s a good thing, of course, because it means I can just relax and sit around the house knitting up a storm.  I’m currently working on the right front of the Modified Dot Check Cardi that I’m making for myself.  This is, as noted in prior post, take 2 of this pattern modification, as I liked take 1 so much I decided I wanted one for myself.  Anyway, got the left front done Wednesday night and also started on the right front, which is not progressing well.  I seem to be in a knitting slump, making too many mistakes and apparently only good at frogging for the time being.  I know it will work itself out, but I really do hate the slumps.

Sadly, I know that my full weekend of nothing but knit will go out the window – it always does, as my husband will cook up some ways to keep my out of the house and away from my comfy knitting spot on the couch.  He’ll want to go shopping for something we can’t afford or don’t need, and he’ll grump around if I say “no” to riding along, eventually deciding not to go, either.  Ah, well, such is love, I guess.  🙂 

 

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So much for the Tank of One Color (again!)

Well, I started to work on it again, really I did, and I got a good 8 inches or so done on the new side.  Then I took a look at the completed side (supposed to be the back), and realized that the gauge is really loose on that one and the stitches are all twisted.  UGH!  So that put a big damper on my enthusiasm for completing the tank…especially once I had to frog back about 2 inches to repair a gaping hole of a tangled stitch.  Grrrr.

In the meantime, I went to www.hausofyarn.com last Saturday, searching out some good cotton blend yarn to make myself one of that beautiful (if I do say so myself) modified Dot Check Cardigan.  I was thinking to get Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, and I did really like the yarn, very soft, nice sheen, etc.  Sadly, it is hand wash only, and I’m something of a machine wash/dry kind of woman.  As I browsed for an alternative to that, as well as one to my constant desire to purchase Blue Sky Dyed Organic Cotton (which is the softest yarn I’ve ever touched that wasn’t silk), I suddenly realized that the yarn the original yarn called for was in front of me.  A rather limited assortment of colors (5), but still, there it was.  It’s Plymouth Jeannee, and it’s quite affordable at $4.25 per 111 yd ball at the LYS, or even cheaper from some online resources.   I fell for the Jeannee like a rock, and bought it at the LYS, then also bought some previously-expensive novelty yarns from a $2/each bin by the cash register.  Happy Mother’s Day to me.

When I took the Jeannee home, I was absolutely dying to use it.  Once I realized how screwed up my Tank of One Color was, I frogged the 2 inches, and placed that piece on another set of needles, so that I could use my KP Harmony tips to swatch Jeannee.  Just swatch, that’s all, then I’ll go right back to that tank top, I said to myself.  And I meant it.  But I didn’t do it.

That yarn is SO unexpectedly yummy.  It’s really silky and just glides along my Harmony tips.  Yum, yum, yum.  Once I swatched, there was no going back to the Cotton Rich DK from Cascade (which is actually rather nice yarn!).  So here I am, about 12″ or so into the left front of the modified dot check cardi for me.  The sweater itself will again be cream color, but the garter stitch bands at the hems, button bands and neckline will be a really pretty shade of medium brown, instead.  That, with a cream tank underneath, chocoloate brown pants, and a scarf of some sort made from the Wendy Melody novelty yarn in browns, bronze and golds should be a really pretty outfit…especially since my mouse-brown hair was changed over via chemical adjustment (aka hair color) to a very light auburn on Saturday night.  Looks fab, if I do say so myself.  🙂

That’s all for now.  Thanks for reading!

 

Back to plain old stockinette (aka, the dot check cardi is DONE!)

 Yee-hah – my modified dot check cardigan is now officially finished – or might as well be. OK, I still need to get a little hook and eye for the neckline, just cuz I made it a bit too wide and it separates, since the buttons were put on before I did the neck. And I will want to wash and block it before I send it to my friend, of course, as her S.O. is wildly allergic to kitties, of which I have several. But I think it’s absolutely gorgeous, if I do say so myself. (Not at all excited or proud, am I?)

view of sleeve

Sadly, now that this is done, I really have to finish that pink Tank of One Color I started so long ago – February, maybe – no excuses not to get back to it now, but it’s really boring, just all stockinette, and endless rows of it with the occasional decrease or increase here and there.  Sigh.  Oh, well, I bought the yarn, I did the back, I might as well finish it.  Besides, the color is absolutely gorgeous and the yarn is pretty yummy and soft once it’s worked up…a little hard on the hands while knitting, but so nice once knitted.  🙂

 

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The end is near (or, whining about finishing handknits)

Well, I actually completed all of the pieces of knitting – the fronts, sleeves and back are done.  I am on to the finishing parts now, which included weaving in far too many ends (took two nights!), seaming the shoulders (done, and rather well, too), setting in the sleeves (1 down, 1 to go) and then sewing up the side seams and underarms to turn it into a real sweater.  After that, I will still have to pick up and knit the button band, button hole band and the neckline, but it’s fairly simple, just six rows of garter stitch knitting.  Unfortunately, it is 2 rows each in 3 different colors, which does add just a touch of complexity and a heck of a lot of ends to weave in.  LOL! 

I had to run off to the bookshelf and consult with Ros Badger (“Knitting”) to select a seaming method for the shoulders, and that worked out really well, the shoulders look beautiful.  The set-in sleeve I’ve completed was a bit more challenging, as there is a TON of ease in the armhole versus the sleeve (not something I’ve seen before, it’s usually the other way around when I sew, with lots of sleeve ease being set into a rather flat armhole.  Oh, well, another lesson learned.  Luckily, my friend that’s staying with us is a fabulous seamstress and she pinned the sleeves for me.  I’ve gotten one sewn in and it doesn’t look too bad.  I see that the excess ease in the armhole area acts a bit like a dart or a series of short rows (which would have looked odd on a lacey sweater!), providing some room for the bust.  Very cool.  One more sleeve to sew in, then up the sides in mattress stitch, and away we go to the pick up and knit part.  That should be fun – I’ve never knitted button holes before.  I”m VERY tempted to do afterthought ones on the sewing machine…but I really do want the whole hand-knit experience for this sweater, so I’ll probably do it the “right” way.  🙂 

But not until I get some buttons, which won’t be until the weekend anyway, as there is NO way that I’m driving 30 miles round trip at $3.64 a gallon of gas just to get some buttons!!  Wish a Joann or a Michaels or something similar would open here in my little city.  Sigh…maybe someday.

 

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