Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I have new projects! Remember that list of six things I was excited to start working on? I've started knitting away at it.

Shrug This is done.

The Bed and Breakfast Pullover is swatched and cast on for the second time. The first time, I made a really stupid mistake with the set up row.

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The Baby Cobblestone is swatched and cast on and I'm working my way up the body. Not in any big hurry, because it's not going to take long and it's good mindless TV knitting, at least until I get to the yoke and have to figure out the decreases.

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The Candleflame Skirt is about three inches long and, as long as I don't run out of the unidentified yarn I'm using, it's going to be a fun project. The lace pattern is an extremely easy 10 stitch repeat and the rows stack up in a way that makes sense. I'm not sure why the designer recommends putting a stitch marker after ever single repeat. Of course, now that I've typed that, I'm jinxed and will do something so stupid that I have to frog the whole thing.

I was going to start the striped garter stitch sweater yesterday, but put the magazine someplace safe while I was in that housekeeping frenzy. sigh

And I keep making new excuses not to cast on the Reversible Rib Shrug, even though I'd like to have it done so I can wear it. I don't think I know where the yarn is... I'm using the needles I want to swatch with for something else...that provisional cast on makes me nervous...

Friday, October 26, 2007

It's been the kind of week when your husband wakes you up at 4:30am to point out that the water bed is leaking and you're lying in a puddle of water, and the satellite dish (or the receiver, they weren't sure but they'd send me a new receiver as long as I committed to subscribe for another year) goes belly up, and there's been too much housework getting done and not enough knitting.

But I did finish Shrug This --

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Pattern -- Shrug This
Yarn -- Caron Simply Soft Heathers (1 skein Truffle)

I was trying to copy the modifications that sparklingscraps had made to the one I saw on Ravelry, but when it came time to cast on I went from memory and changed the changes. I put the cables in the wrong place, but did keep the ribbed sleeves which were what drew me to the pattern in the first place. Even if they aren't in the pattern as written. I also changed the gauge and the measurements.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I want to knit. Yes, I just about always want to knit, but right now I really want to knit. I want to start a bunch of new projects all at once and get them all done and then cast on for more. My hands don't seem quite as excited about this as the rest of me, which kind of stinks, but I've got patterns and yarn, most of it stuff that's been aging quietly in my stash, and I think I'm going to spend the afternoon pulling things together and swatching and casting on so that when I do have time for some serious knitting it's ready to go.

So far, the ever-changing list of things I've gotta start now is:

Bed & Breakfast Pullover
Reversible Lace Rib Shrug with Swing Shaping from Elann
The Luna Flickering Flames Skirt from Elann
The Garter Stitch Stripes Sweater from Winter 2003 IK
Shrug This
a toddler-sized Cobblestone Pullover

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Sometimes, it takes me an awfully long time to figure out the obvious.

After I finished Heath's latest sweater and pulled it over my own head to make sure that the neck was big enough, it hit me that with not too much more time and effort that I was spending on his over sized sweaters, I could've made one for myself. The Cobblestone actually fits me -- like a second skin with five inches of negative ease - but the point is that if I'd cast on 30 or 40 more stitches, I could've been making a sweater for me.

Then, when I was rooting around in my sewing room for those wooden needles that I still can't find, I had to move the copy of Interweave Knits which has been lying open to the Bed & Breakfast Pullover for I don't know how long. And it hit me that I can knit that. I've been wanting to knit that. I bought yarn to knit that a very long time ago. I did think seriously about casting on at some point since Leif was born, but took one serious look at the pattern and backed away in terror.

Now, I can't figure out what I was so scared of. It's a sweater. With lots of ribbing. And a big panel of cables. I can knit cables. I can definitely knit ribbing. Hopefully, I can get gauge.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"You knit it!"
"It has holes!"
"I need to take it off now."

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I can't say that I disagree with the little guy's evaluation of Presto Chango. Except for part about the holes. There are no holes that aren't supposed to be there. But if you stretch the knitting hard enough, you can sure make it look like there are holes.

Maybe it'll grow on us. I could improve it by making the front panel longer, but I'm not that motivated. I'm not even motivated enough to go out and buy a set of buttons. This neckline just isn't going to work for Quinn, who insists on tugging the sweater down as far as it'll go.

Now that I've got the front of my Knitting Needle Knitting Bag done, I'm more desperate than ever to find those old wooden needles. This bag is going to need a great looking set of needles. I love the way the yarn looks in seed stitch, and it's coming out bigger than I'd expected.

There's a set of size 15 Clovers at Joann's that I could get with a 40% off coupon. And that'd be the perfect solution, if I wasn't halfway sure I had two better sets already. But they're not in the drawers of the steamer trunk, or on the fireplace mantel, or in the box with the zillion pairs of old aluminum needles Mom picked up dirt cheap at an estate sale...

I'm about out of places to look. So do I buy a new set, or stick the bag on a pair of aluminum needles and wait?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Falling leaves are "eeewww!"



I like watching leaves fall past the big picture windows, but this afternoon Leif was pointing at them and saying "eeeewww!" That's one of his favorite words, right up there with "ow!" and "bite?"

Bill's theory is that since the leaves have fallen onto the ground, Leif thinks they're garbage. I don't know what's going through his little head, but it's sure cute.

Today's been a good day. We drove to the feed store and bought huge pumpkins, then stopped at Costco to pick up a pumpkin pie on the way home. The little guys didn't nap, so it's almost bedtime and I rented a couple of movies to watch while I knit. Maybe I can make some more progress on Presto Chango.

Now that Cobblestone is done, the Knitting Needle Knitting Bag is going to take its place as my mindless TV knitting. At least until I cast on something new.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cobblestone Pullover


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Cobblestone Pullover from Interweave Knits Fall 2007

It took three skeins of Sierra Pacific Accord, which I picked up for $1 a skein at Craft Warehouse last Christmas. Cheaper than Red Heart Super Saver, and about as much fun to work with. Not saying that's a bad thing, just that the two yarns are in about the same league.

I like this sweater. It could've been better if I'd used nicer yarn and actually adjusted the numbers instead of just working at a tighter gauge, but I'm not starting over at this point. And Heath loves this sweater, which is what matters.

The pattern is easy and was fun to knit, but it did convince me that I'm not a huge fan of knitting garter stitch in the round. I'll do it if I like the pattern enough, which in this case, I did.

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It's also occurred to me that with the same amount of energy I'm spending to make Heath these over sized sweaters, I could just about make one for myself.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I actually got out of the house by myself last night to go scrapbooking with my mom and a couple of friends. Quinn's birthday is coming up, so I left home at 2pm to do some shopping first, and didn't get back here until almost 1am. I should've been back around midnight, but we dawdled and talked on the way out to the cars, then there was a line at the drive thru when I stopped to get my diet Coke, then the onramp to I-5 that had been open earlier was shut down for construction so I had to double back through town to use one farther North....luckily Bill was already in bed and not waiting up for me!

I found a couple of presents for Quinn (how am I going to Christmas shop for two toddlers, 15 months apart?!) and stopped at the LYS to see if she still had copies of the Summer IK. Those are all long gone, but I got the Holiday issue. And I stopped at Costco for a couple of Christmas presents I'd been meaning to buy if I could get there without kids before they sold out -- and the Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar is finally in -- yippee! I've spent the past couple of weeks darting into Costco at every possible opportunity to see if they had it yet.

And I stopped in one of the antique shops in Lebanon to see if they still had the crochet booklets I spotted when Bill and the kids and I were there last week. I couldn't really look at them with a baby in my arms and I hadn't been able to get them out of my mind. I was going to pick out one or two, but then I got sucked in by all of that pretty lace and they all had to come live with me.



No, I still haven't made a serious attempt at learning to crochet, but at a dollar a piece, I spent the same on the whole stack than I did on the Holiday IK issue. Even if it turns out that I can't crochet to save my life, they're wonderful eye candy.

And, despite all of this wonderful stuff that I haven't even really looked through yet, I've spent a good chunk of my morning on Ravelry printing and queueing patterns for cabled hats. I don't wear hats.

Smariek Knits has some great hats and scarves, which I'd seen before but forgotten. And Knititude is making me absolutely drool. I want the Sorelle Lace Edged Pullover. And the Chinese Lace Pullover. This is the same designer who did that Wisteria dress I was considering for Alex a while back, then forgot about.

I love this whole Ravelry queue/favorites thing!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

While I've been fantasizing about lace and cheap pretty acrylic, I've been slogging along on Heath's Cobblestone Pullover.

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Last night, I finished the second sleeve and got the pieces knit together on one circular so I could start the yoke. So now I guess I'm on the home stretch. Those alternating knit and purl rounds, with short rows thrown in to keep it from being too easy and mindless, are looking kind of ominous. I know I need to make the yoke shorter, but I'm not sure how to do it and still get the short rows and decrease rows to work out right.

My enthusiasm for the Sierra Pacific Accord is fading fast, especially after I've been knitting with it for a while and then switch to something softer like the Wool-Ease I'm using for Presto Chango. But I'm this close to having the sweater done, Heath is really excited about it, and I'm just happy to be knitting.

Why I'm happy knitting this and not something nicer, I'll probably never figure out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

It seems like we always wind up taking Bill's vacation time in October. We get home in time for the kids to trick or treat on Halloween, but I miss most of the scary movies on television and never quite manage to get my act together enough to decorate the house or carve pumpkins or any of the rest of it.

But we're home this year, with no plans to go anywhere, and no vacation time left if the urge did strike. I've got cheap paper mache tombstones in my kitchen window, and drippy red blood that won't quite stick to the window.



And while we were at Walmart looking for costumes and cheesecloth to use, I took my first trip down the yarn aisle in months and my heart sank a bit because the shelves were so empty. There's an ugly rumor that they're going to close the whole section, and the manager tells me it's true, they just don't know when.

But the end must not be here quite yet. They've got new colors of Bernat Softee Chunky and a new-to-me yarn, Caron Simply Soft Heathers. The colors are gorgeous and it's almost as cheap as the regular Simply Soft -- $2.07 for a 250 yard skein.

I'll be buying enough for a Mommy-size sweater on the way to scrapbooking Friday night, when there aren't any little witnesses.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

It's cold in here. I'm bundled up in flannel pajama pants and an old sweat shirt I bought at a thrift shop while I was pregnant with Alex ten years ago, fantasizing about this and that.

I found great-grandma's hairpin lace loom while Bill was tearing off the roof and I was moving boxes from one end of the attic to the other, trying to get the whole thing done before I ran out of daylight or it started to rain. And I printed out the tutorial from the Stitch Diva Studios site. Now I apparently need to find a crochet hook.

Assuming I can figure out how to actually do hairpin lace, I'll order the pattern and some yarn. Drapy dk weight, according to the pattern description. Sounds like Callista to me!

The Driftwood Victorian Shoulder Shawl is even more tempting. I already know how to knit lace, I've got the perfect yarn, and the pattern isn't too expensive (assuming I can find a place that won't charge $4.95 to ship it.

I'm resisting that temptation because I have plenty of other shawl patterns I'm not knitting and I know darn well I wouldn't cast on for this one as soon as the pattern got here. It could happen, like it did with the Callista shawl, but it's not very likely.

Ravelry and my dial up connection are playing nicely today, so I stumbled across this. I've been meaning to knit a squid hat since I stumbled across the pattern on Knitttingpatterncentral. But the felted squid is much cuter. And then I found this one. The big kids are just a tiny bit fixated on giant squids. And any stuffed animal that will eat someone's head is guaranteed to be a huge hit around our house.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm having a bad night

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My Hemlock Ring Blanket is all scrunchy. The receipt I need for a stupid rebate on the stupid washing machine isn't in the drawer where I know I put it. I can't get Ravelry to work, or get through to the library's website to renew our books...

Tonight has not been a whole lot of fun.

Hopefully the blanket will look better if I block it again. It looked almost great until I used it -- maybe it wasn't dry enough when I moved it? Hopefully Lowes can send me a copy of the receipt, but I won't be able to find out until morning.

I did get a couple more inches done on the Cobblestone Pullover while we watched a DVD this afternoon. And somehow I wound up knitting this on Sunday night --

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I swear, I made it from casting on to binding off almost without it sinking in that I had a new WIP. Calorimetry, knit up with a partial skein of Encore Colorspun that I don't quite remember getting, so it must be more auction yarn from Grandma. I absolutely love the colors and wish I'd had more of it.

Oh, and I started Presto Chango.
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