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Monthly Archives: August 2008

Knitting mojo re-discovered!! Yay!

Well. It’s no big deal for anyone who has long experience in knitting, but I’m pretty pleased with this. I wanted to make a neckwarmer to match the Foliage hat. I liked the style of Robin Dodge’s The Fidget, but I didn’t really care for the stitch pattern…and I did (finally) get friendly with the leaf lace pattern in the hat. So, I used that, a 2-stitch garter selvedge and a 4 row garter border to make…ta da!! This:

My (heavily modified) Fidget

My (heavily modified) Fidget

I LIKE it, I really, really LIKE it.  Except for the part where it makes me itch.  LOL!  But it came out sooo pretty.  Fred (husband) picked the bottons, which you can’t really see in this picture, but they are a pewter look with a pretty little flower motif on them.  The best part was that, once I posted it to the Ravelympics finish line, a couple of people asked me for the “pattern”.  Now, I had to honestly admit that all I really did was combine two patterns that I liked to create something different, but I posted the information on what I did on the project page.  No way I’m taking credit for a “design” at this point, but it was sort of exciting that someone wanted to make something that I had brainstormed.  🙂
After that was finished, with several days of Olympics left, I went back to my socks.  And had a couple of bumps, but nothing terribly serious until I realized that (a) I was running out of yarn (bad) and (b) I had knitted about an inch too much leg (even worse).  So I frogged.  Now I don’t much care for frogging unless I’m doing the full frog, all the way back to the start.  I don’t think most yarn crafter care for frogging, but that’s beside the point.  One thing I really, truly hate is frogging a SOCK.  It’s round, it’s tiny, tiny stitches, and (in this case) it’s lace, and picking up yarn-overs is a bit of a pain.  But it got done.  Now I have about 2/3 of the foot done (and this is sock #2) and I still think I may run out of yarn.  Or not.  Just have to wait and see.  But that’s half the fun of knitting, the adventure – will I have enough yarn?  Will this look good when I’m done?  Can I actually do this stitch pattern without ripping the hair off my head?  And so on. 
On Karma Yarn Swap, I did arrange some cool swaps lately.  I swapped some of my charity-friendly yarns, like Fun Fur and Comfort and such for a cone of around 500 yards fingering weight jewel tone green silk that’s coming from Canada (so will arrive one of these days! LOL!) and also swapped some Patons RIo for some merino/silk Knitpicks Gloss sock yarn (WHAT?? Am I nuts??).  Yes, I know I’m allergic to wool.  But I thought I would try it, since the more rough and/or shedding a wool is, the worse it makes me itch, and the merino/silk doesn’t shed/isn’t rough.  Besides, alpaca alone makes me itch, but alpaca/silk does not.  So it was worth a try.  And it’s really pretty, I love it.  My hands don’t seem to itch from it, but my neck!  Owwww.  That’s a bit itchy there.  Younger Son thought it was REALLY itchy.  Weird.  Then again, Jake thinks slubby cottons are itchy, so who knows with that child? 
Speaking of Jake – he will be 13 on September 5, which is absolutely frightening.  Less so than the idea that I will be (eeek!) FIFTY in February, a concept that has largely begun to terrify me, since the company for which I work was bought out by another company that has a rather well-known reputation for layoffs and semi-forced early retirements that don’t give all that much money.  Sigh.  That’s the bad stuff.  The good stuff is that I just had my mid-year performance evaluation, I was rated very well (#2 on my team of 10 or so), and am scheduled for a big bonus check in September that should allow me to replace the trashed carpet in my spare bedroom, upstairs hall, and maybe even the do the stairs!  Yay!!  So that’s all really cool.  Time to bargain hunt soon, because I don’t want to pay much more than $1-$1.50/sq ft for the wood flooring.  Cheap, thy name is Marla!  🙂  But there’s a couple to three cool places I can look to find that price point, so I’m not too worried (yet). 
Vehicles have been acting up again – truck had brakes issues last week (Fred took 1/2 day off to fix), main Bug still not running well, but it is running, and Baja Bug sits in garage, lonely and sad, waiting for Fred to have some time and money for it.  My SUV, thankfully, has been angelic through all of this (knocking furiously upon wood!), as has the motorcycle.  We did find a TANK for it on e-bay finally – $30 plus $30 shipping.  Too cool!!!  It’s red, and a bit beat up paint-wise, but the inside it purrrrrfect and clean, so Fred’s pretty happy with it.  Needs to be painted, of course, but he’s crossing that bridge as time allows. 
Well, I’m on a vacation day today, and I don’t plan to waste it hanging around on this blog or on Ravelry.  I’m off to the yarn stores to have a little crawl on my own, and to get my nails done.  Woot!  So, as Porky Pig would say, “th-th-that’s all, f-f-f-olks!”  🙂
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No Ravelympics medals for me, but FO, FO, off the needles we go!

Foliage cap on me

Foliage cap on me

 

Well, I finally managed to finish something.  It’s a miracle!  It was a battle, I confess.  Apparently, I have little talent or patience for anything more than an 8 row repeat of lace.  Beyond that, I lose my place too much.  Plus I kept finding I had one too many or one too few stitches.  Yeah, I tinked some, I frogged some.  But some of that, I just did an extra SSK or K2tog or M1.  I really had trouble with the bind off, came out tooooo tight just knitted, came out tooooo tight crocheted.  In fact, it was so tight crocheted that, when I tried it on (see other pic), it actually broke open!!  Finally found a good article from an old issue of knitty that showed lots of good, stretchy bind-off methods, picked one

Foliage cap looking better than on me

Foliage cap looking better than on me

that I thought I could do well, and went for it one more time.  I swore that if it was too tight this time, I was givin’ the darned thing away to someone with a normal-sized head.  But it worked.  YAY!  It’s a very pretty cap, but I don’t look so hot in it.  But I love it anyway. 
Once I finished that, I moved on to making a matching small scarf (has to be small because I only bought two skeins of this lovely chunky alpaca yarn, and used most of the first one on the hat.  I had already chosen to loosely base my scarflet on Robin Dodge’s Fidget, and it only took me a few minutes to plot my couse (modifications) to make it work.  Using the basic stitch count from this pattern, I expanded my number of CO stitches to twenty, assumed two stitches at each end of the needles would be done in plain garter stitch as a border, and that I’d have a 4-row garter stitch border on each end of the scarf, as well, allowing me to place buttonholes that would not interfere with the pretty leaf lace pattern.  So, with just two lace repeats across, it’s really quick and easy.  Not brainless knitting, mind you, but quick and easy.  And it got to somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 done when I discovered that I was over-exposed to this beautiful, soft, maddeningly-shedding alpaca yarn.  I began to itch like no one has ever itched before.  Sigh.  So I took a few days off from the Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky, and spent that time working on another project, a WIP that was going awfully slowly.  Or goofing off with other Ravelers on the Karma Yarn Swap forum.  🙂
The WIP I’m working on is my 2nd pair of Hatsuyo’s Lacy Socks, so they should eventually look just like these that I made a little while ago.  Of course, right now, the sock looks like a curvy-tube-shaped hedgehog, but that’s beside the point, huh?
Ooo, yarny yumminess!  I haven’t gotten a pic of it yet, but I acquired two balls of Plymouth Royal Bamboo through a swap on Ravelry (at the afore-mentioned KYS forum).  Two different shades of purple soft, silkiness.  Yum!  Of course, it’s only one ball of each color, so heaven knows what I will make with such a small amount.  But I will certainly get a taste of the yarn and know whether I like it or not.  I also have a single ball of

Knitpicks Shine Worsted in the colorway Mallard, a dark teal green, that is on the way. I have never used any KP yarn except that dreaded laceweight that I sold to a while ago. So, even though it’s tiny yardage, it’s enough to knit a swatch up on a brainless knitting day to find out if I like it. Dead cheap way to do it, too. Only cost me 2 balls of discontinued yarn I scored in the craiglister run back in March. 🙂

 

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Yarny goodness – on sale!

My local LYS had a big sale yesterday, and I almost didn’t go, because money is a bit tight right now. I made a list of things I was interested in acquiring yarn to make, but it’s back-to-school time here in Tennessee, so I pretty much broke the bank outfitting my 12 year old. Did this stop me from buying yarn? Almost, but not quite – my dear husband talked me into going, so it’s all his fault! 🙂

Anyway, I popped in, not daring to think I’d find something I could afford that would work for my list-o-projects. I walked in the door, and one of the employees greeted me, saying, “Hey, this is YOUR sale – you’re going to love this!”.   And she was right. I loved it. 

I found an additional skein of a cotton-blend yarn/colorway I thought I needed a bit more of to make anything in my size. Same dye lot, so that got popped into the shopping bag. Then I browsed and drooled, petted and played.

A lot of the sale items were woolly, which is bad for me. But then…but then I saw it…Artyarns Regal SilkFIFTY PERCENT OFF! 

 Oh my.  I have been literally drooling on this yarn since the first time I stepped into a real LYS last winter.  Pure silk.  Hand-painted.  Shiny, soft, slick and just beautiful.  I resisted…for about 5 minutes.  Then I bought 4 skeins of this colorway, RS108, at $11/each – eek!  I can’t believe I did that.  I’m really cheap about that sort of thing normally, but 50% off??!!  Irresistable. 

 

Not content to rest on my laurels when the prices were SO amazing, I hunted a little more.  And drooled.  And petted.  And tried to avoid the wool.  And started to itch.  (I then realized I had made a fatal error that day, in that I didn’t take a Benadryl an hour before hitting the yarn store, which happened to be literally MOBBED with yarnaholics fondling wool and mohair and angora.  Ugh!  Eeek!) Finally, I could resist no longer, and grabbed myself two soft, delicious skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky in a pretty baby blue, 30% off the regular price, which will look very nice with my winter jacket. Selfish, I know, but there you have it.

All in all, I *spent* far more money than I wanted to, but could content myself with the knowledge that, because I bought on sale, I *saved* over $50.  Total crap, really, but I can try it.  The reality is that, had it not been on sale, I wouldn’t have bought those yummy luxury yarns it at all.  Well,  I might have bought the one skein of cotton-blend, cuz it’s under $5 regular price!  LOL!

 

Outside of knitting, well, there is that back to school thing.  After a long summer of my 12 year old complaining about how bored he was and how summer sucked and school should just be year-round, blah, blah, blah – NOW he’s not ready for vacation to end.  Sigh.  Typical kid.  I was the same way.  

 

Hubby’s motorcycle is running well, and he likes it a lot, but also doesn’t like it much.  It’s not the “Style” of motorcyle he likes, he prefers that Harley-Davidson cruiser look, and this is what’s called a cafe racer.  I think it’s a nice bike, or at least that it will be once he paints it…and gets it a new gas tank so he can have more than 2 gallons of gas at once.  Silly man…almost ran out of gas on the way home from work on Friday, never realizing until he was pulled over, playing with the motorcyle and wondering why it was acting sluggish, that he might be low on fuel.  He shook it a few times, got just enough gas into the filter to go the 1/2 mile to the gas station, and ran out completely as he got to the pump.  Silly man.

Don’t have too much else today.  Thanks, as always, if you’ve read through my boring blog.  🙂

 

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Raveling in the forums

Oh, the waste and yet the fun of it!  I swear, I’ve spent more time in Karma Yarn Swap and ISO/Destash forums, among others, than actually knitting this week.  Consequently, there’s no finished objects, no semi-finished objects, nothing.  There is, however, a sale at Threaded Bliss this weekend, so maybe I’ll find a yarn and pattern that get me all excited about knitting again. I really want to try some new and different projects, maybe nothing too big – just something like a bag or maybe a wrap (Clapotis, maybe?), but just don’t have the right yarn in my little stash. So funny, though – night before last, I spent the entire night frogging everything I had on the needles and putting yarn away (less mess, more organized) and found yarn I didn’t even realize I had. So that should be a good thing, right? 🙂

Hmmm…I still have time, maybe I’ll sign up for a Ravelympics event to get me jump started…maybe…

 

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