Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shucks

We had school today. And the weather wasn't nearly as bad as it was supposed to be. We did loose power for a while at school today, and it was starting to get pretty chilly, but they kept us at school and the power came back on in the early afternoon. One of the news channels erroneously reported that we would dismiss early, so of the dozen kids I had who actually came to school, several left after lunch as parents picked them up early. It was pretty much a wasted day - I didn't want to get ahead with so many kids absent, so we played a few (educational) games and had free choice centers, but by the end of the day my kids were BORED. They were asking for work to do. Repeatedly. Poor things.

We'll see how tomorrow goes - we're supposed to have a hard freeze, but the roads are mostly dry and there is no more precipitation in the forecast, so I'm guessing we'll go on time. Several districts have already delayed, but we hold out for the bitter end.

Luckily, even though with the windchill it was about 17 degrees at dismissal, my head was warm thanks to my new hat!



Pattern: Meathead hat by Larissa - test knit for her new book!
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky - one skein.
Needles: Size US 15 Clover Bamboo Straights
Mods: None.
Thoughts: Love this hat. I hated this yarn when I used it for the felted bag I taught at the store this summer, but something about the bulky version is so much softer. Love the bulky. Wish I could get it locally. I picked this up at mom's LYS while visiting last week. May have to order some so I can make some more meatheads!

Hubbo and I agonized over the embellishment. I tried several things, and settled on these cute wooden buttons we found at JoAnn's. I'd like to make some more hats and try some different embellishments. (Have y'all seen how Larissa embellished her first version? Go see!).

I knit the adult small/medium size and had a few yards of yarn left over. I may add a few rows to the next ones I knit before I start the decreases.


My feet will be warm tomorrow - I finished the Rib and Cable socks tonight! Pictures tomorrow in daylight (and maybe snow!).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Warm feet

Here in Texas the weather is always a topic of conversation. This is most true whenever there is the slightest possibility of "Weather." That possibility looms tonight - a winter storm warning is in effect. What makes this really odd is that we're currently having a good-sized thunderstorm and just came out of a tornado watch. At any rate, we're taking bets on whether or not we'll have school tomorrow - with all the overpasses and the idiot drivers, they usually err on the side of caution and cancel school for almost no ice. I will admit that I'm looking forward to the possibility of an extra day of Christmas knitting and cookie making. Hubbo will have warm feet though!



Pattern: Simple sock pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns.
Yarn: Wool-Ease Sportweight (discontinued).
Needles: Size US 2 Susan Bates DPNs.
Dates: Started way back in May. Finished Saturday November 25.
Thoughts: So glad these are done. So glad. Hubbo is too, but I'm so glad to not have to work on them anymore.

I may have a new pair of socks for myself as well, if I can buckle down and get them done!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How fetching

And the finished objects just keep on coming!


Pattern: Fetching from Knitty.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran - not sure of the colorway. Pretty.
Needles: Susan Bates Size 6 DPNs.
Mods: None!
Thoughts: Very cute. Very cushy. If they were for me I might have made them a few rows longer. Oh, and I had plenty of yarn left over - not as close as some others have found.

Sister got them and reports that she loves them - apparently her office is always cold - yay for a good gift!


Oh - and on a different note - loved Gilmore tonight. I've been so bored this season, nearly to the point of wondering why I loved this show in the past. But, of course, I loved it because of the knitting. Well, and because there was a bit more witty dialogue than there has been. But mostly because of the knitting.

P.S. The blue blob is Icarus. But I'm only knitting gifts, and Icarus is for me, so I'm not really sure how it got knitted. Elves? It is that time of year after all.....

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Amazing Lace

Finally. My first "real" lace project. Done.














Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl bought from Yarnies. Knit the largest size.
Yarn: Knitpicks Shimmer in Happy Dance. A bit less than two skeins.
Needles: Susan Bates Silvalume Size US 4 29" Circular.
Dates: First started back in January. Ripped out in April due to idiocy. Restarted for the Amazing Lace in May. Barely worked on for many months. Reinvigorated toward the end of the summer. Powered through to the finish in November. Finished on Thursday November 23, blocked on the 24th.
Mods: Used one size smaller needle than pattern called for to make the leaves look more "cohesive" - not as holey.
Thoughts: Love it. Even with the varigated and the pooling. Love it. Was a bit murderous towards the end, but sitting for several hours while others watch football/play video games/drive the car makes for great lace knitting time. Came out the perfect size - I was a bit worried before I blocked it. But man, oh man. It really is magic. Wow.


This? I have no idea where this came from. I'm only knitting Christmas presents. Not lace.


Y'all know you can always click the picture to make it bigger, right? Just checking!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

X marks the spot

X is for Cross Stitch. I know it's sort of cheating, but you do make x's in cross stitch!



I was an avid cross-stitcher in high school and just after college. It was one of the first needlework things mom taught me to do, and it was by far my favorite.













I love the detail you can get in cross stitch, but it does take forever to do anything of any size.




I have completed several more items, a few of which live with mom now - including the one I am most proud of - a Mary Engelbreit Santa. Perhaps when she gets her holiday decorations out she'll take a picture and send it to me?











These are two currently in progress. One is nearly done and one is just started. I would love to have more of both of these done (especially the one that just needs one more color and the backstitching), but I can't seem to put down the knitting long enough to get to them. Perhaps this summer when I'm not working and it seems too hot to knit. It was a "resolution" way back when that just didn't get kept. We'll see if I can do better next year.








More FOs to come this week!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another one crossed off the list

Thanks to all the driving done by the hubbo, I managed to finish one project in it's entirety en route to see the folks. Sadly, it was given away before I remembered to take a picture of it. Luckily, this was a repeat knit, so I have a picture of the previous version already!


Pattern: Dinosaurs from x-treme knitting.
Yarn: Red Heart Sport in Paddy Green, less than 1/2 a skein.
Needles: Sz 6 Susan Bates Circ.
Dates: Started back in October. Ripped due to idiocy and restarted (and finished) on Saturday November 18.
Mods: No tail spikes again. Don't care for them. Still looks cute.
Thoughts: Very cute. Hope that the reciepient likes it!

If you can believe it, there are more knits still waiting to be showcased! Wow! But, in an effort to conserve slightly interesting blog fodder, well, you know. One a day. C'mon - you know you would do the same thing!

Thanks for all your sweet remarks on the sweater. Theresa had a great point in the comments - how often are we 100% happy with a store-bought sweater, but we still wear it all the time? I am 90% pleased with Licorice Whip, and plan to wear it a great deal. Plus, it's really soft. If you haven't tried the Blue Sky Dyed Cotton, go get some. Yum. Pilly, but yum.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Whip it Good!

Coming in dead last, after several other knitters (who all started after me!), I finally sat down and survived sleeve island (take four) this past weekend. What a relief to have this done!


Pattern: Licorice Whip from Blue Alvarez Designs.
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca Dyed Cotton - 4 and a smidge of the fifth skein in Espresso, purchased from kpixie.com. (Wonderful speedy service!).
Needles: Sz 10.5 US Clover Bamboos - Circs and DPNs (for the sleeves)
Started: Labor Day Weekend
Finished: Monday November 20
Mods: I couldn't get gauge with the recommended needle (in fact, I couldn't get gauge at all), so I jiggered the maths and knit a bigger size to get a smaller size. I also didn't follow the sleeve decreases as written as they made the sleeve too big, and then too small, so I knit straight until to my forearm, and then did a few decreases and bound off.
Thoughts: Could be a skotch longer in the sleeves, and not as narrow in the wrists. Seems a bit big in the neckline, but not enough to bug me.

It's been all finishing all the time around here, so stay tuned for more FOs to follow over the next few days!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thankful

For being home. For dogs happy to see us, and a cat that won't leave my lap. For the opportunity to see my family so many times this year. For a peaceful, safe car ride to see my parents and siblings. For wonderful brothers and sisters-in-law that get along so well with my crazy family. For the wonderful jobs hubbo and I have (finally!). For the financial means to keep myself in yarn! For wonderful friends, real and virtual, who indulge my knitting craziness. And thank you, dear readers, for your sweet and encouraging comments - I treasure each one!
Enjoy your day (well, evening at this point), and give thanks for all your blessings.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Y'all are gonna riot if I don't show you the knitting soon

But I had another loooooooonnnng day yesterday, so no pictures here. In fact, there wasn't much knitting the past two days. My class had their yearly "program" last night, so much of the week we've spent practicing, and we're leaving town tonight, so we've been frantically cleaning/laundering/packing in our home time. We're really probably ready to go, but I hate this rushed feeling.

We made a pit stop at Target last night to get tights for The Girl, and came home with a *few* other items. Including these.





Couldn't resist. I also got some cute sheepy slippers, but I cannot find a picture anywhere on the internets to show you. Take my word - they are cute.

I have a good deal of knitting packed, mostly because of the two 17 hour car rides, and because I'm near the end of several projects. I hope to return with a few FOs. I do have one FO to show you, but it's my sister's birthday gift, so that will have to wait until I gift it.

Don't forget that Knit Unto Others starts tomorrow. Who will you be knitting for?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wet Wool

During the purging and scrubbing the socks got washed too.



I was pleased to see that I can wash almost all of my socks in "pairs." - Two similarly colored pairs together. Must knit more "pairs."



Miles (the lab) likes to lick the wet wool socks. Momma does not like this. Grrr. But I have them all clean and ready for their trip to Indiana this weekend. Brrrr. Seeing all these socks makes me want to knit up enough to fill the entire drying rack. Soon.....
I washed my Sock Pal socks for the first time (it was too warm to wear them when I got them), and while they are reddish and blue, they turned the water hot pink. Sure am glad I wash like colored pairs together!


My apologies for the toilet picture. Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.
We barely made it home with any daylight today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just another Manic Monday

I wish it were Sunday (especially next Sunday since we're out of school for a week!).

Sadly, I have no knitting photos for you today, due to the darkness before leaving the house, and upon returning. Daylight Savings Time really screws with my picture taking abilities. And it's not even late in the year yet. Gah.

Instead of regale you with tales of the weekend purging and scrubbing and knitting(!), I'll wait until I have pictures to share.

But I do have a question for all ye expert types out there (and well, anyone with an opinion really). I gifted the cupcake hat and the cute momma didn't realize it was a handknit. (In all the excitement - and with three kids helping her open her gifts - she missed the note.) Then, on Friday, during our inservice, she met one of my dear knitty friends Kerri (fellow art teachers they are). And Kerri mentioned that I *probably* made the hat. Art teacher was astounded, and immediately, upon her return to school, pulled me into her room. She's a crocheter. She wants to learn to knit. What beginning books/patterns for baby items do I recommend? She has used some of Erika Knight's crochet books, but says they have received mixed reviews on Amazon. I didn't knit any baby items as a beginner, so I'm not sure what's "easy" enough. I do think she'll catch on quickly (she already understands one tool!), but the wee one is due in a few weeks (and she's already having Braxton-Hicks), so something quick and easy is the ticket.

What do you think? Let me know, and I'll pass them along. Thanks!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Weekend Plans

Well, we won't be living it up at the Kid 'n Ewe festival this weekend, but we will be busy. We decided not to make the trip as we're driving to Indiana next weekend, and can't really face two weekends in the car. Plenty to do around here though!

We have big house cleaning/purging plans. We already took seven boxes of books to the used book store - not that you can tell at all from our shelves. I've also gathered one huge bag of shoes, and three bags full of just my clothes (and about two of hubby's) and filled three large trash bags (with actual trash). Oh, and the recycling cart is full. It feels good. Hubbo's afraid I might throw him out too though. Tomorrow - the scrubbing!


I'll try really hard not to let these get in the way of my plans, but no promises!


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Quick and Cute



Pattern: Cupcake Hat
Yarn: Plymouth Dreambaby DK
Needles: Sz 7 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Dates: Saturday November 4-Tuesday November 7
Mods: I used DK weight instead of worsted weight yarn. Babies here in Texas don't need superduper warm hats, and I was knitting for a newborn instead of a 1-4 year old as the pattern calls for.
Thoughts - Hate the row of nubbles. But looks so cute! I finally think my pompoms are getting better - they were quite anemic for a while. This is a great standby baby girl pattern - quick and cute!

I knit this for the art teacher at our school who is due in a few weeks - her 2 year old loved it and wore it the whole night after the baby shower!

I have quite a bit of yarn left over, so I may save it for another baby (none due right away) or add it to the pile of yarn for the charity knitting, more of which I hope to crank out in a few weeks during Knit Unto Others. More on that later!

P.S. Had to rip back the damn sleeve AGAIN tonight - still too small. I think I'm going to knit straight for quite a bit - my arms are pretty much the same girth for most of the arm length - until about mid-forearm. Then I'll do some decreases. At this rate I could have had this sucker done by now. Arrrrggghhhh!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WIP Wednesday

I've just got a handful of projects on the needles, so I thought maybe a rundown of their progress would be helpful (for any of you who care).

Central Park Hoodie - the back is done! Woo! I would really like to have this done for Christmas (since it's green and all), so I'll keep working on it at a fairly steady pace.

Licorice Whip - sadly, I had to rip out the sleeve AGAIN tonight, as this time it was too small. Argh. So I spent the evening ripping back and starting again. I'd really like to have this done for Thanksgiving dinner, so I see quite a few nights on sleeve island ahead of me. Hopefully these will go better than the past few attempts.

Plain Green Socks - stalled at the gusset of the second sock. What can I say. Boring. Don't like the yarn. Don't want to work on them. So I don't.

Green and Pink Trekking socks - thisclose to the heel flap of the second sock. I'd love to have these done, but since it's supposed to be 90 degrees tomorrow, wool socks are not an immediate necessity.

Leaf Lace Shawl - I'd really like to have this done. It'd be so lovely to wear to church on Christmas Eve. We'll see. I just can't seem to make any progress as each row is over 300 stitches and I have to concentrate on it. But I want it done already!

Rib & Cable Socks - one done, one not cast on yet. Love the pattern, love the yarn. Would love to wear these soon.

Log Cabin Blanket - in timeout.

Gift socks #2 - First sock is through the gusset. Must knit faster.

Hubbo's Trekking socks - in the cuff.

Red Scarf - not much recent progress. Will work on soon.

Gift Scarf #2 - one ball of yarn down. Five to go.

Lacy Scallops socks - no recent progress. Very pretty, but also low on the priority list.

Dino - barely started. Need to finish.

Grey socks - I actually worked on these a bit last week. I like the pattern, but also low on the priority list.

P word socks - Pretty. Low on priority list.

Regia bamboo socks - Very nice. Love the yarn. Nice for mindless knitting.

Anastasia socks - cuff done. Ready to power through them, but low on the list.

Spey Valley socks - barely cast on.

My So Called Scarf - a few rows done. Enjoy the pattern, but for me, not a gift, so not a priority.

Glastig Hat - barely cast on.

Dublin Bay Socks - through the cuff.

Secret Gift Knit - half done.

Hubbo's Sweater - absolutely no progress.

Gift Socks #3 - through the cuff.

Whew. Enough projects for you? Yikes. Still powering through, in the finishing race. Must get things off needles.

What's on your list?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What I did this weekend


I worked on several projects in fits and starts, when I wasn't feeling nauseated*, and hope to have a few FOs and partial FOs for you later in the week.

Please go vote today. Make the time, and do it because you can. Heck, let yourself stop by the LYS as a reward when you're done! :)

*I know someone will ask, so let me reassure you that no, I'm not pregnant. I just have this weird stomach thing - hungry, so I eat, and about an hour later I feel like I'm going to toss my cookies. It eventually passes and I get hungry again and the cycle repeats. Fun!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Because I need it like I need a hole in the head

More sock yarn.

From Hill Country Yarns - yum. Took forever to get here, but due the the Christmas knitting it will have to wait some time to be knit up, so it doesn't really matter.

And a lone skein of Trekking XXL in color 05. The colors are right up my alley. Sadly, I can find no pictures of this knit up, so it will be a bit of a mystery. Whenever I get to it, that is.

And yes, this was all ordered some time ago, so I haven't broken my "no new yarn for me" rule yet. I even managed to go to knit night at the LYS and only buy yarn for a gift. It was tough, but I just kept remembering how much I had at home, and how many projects I need to get done, both for myself and for the Christmas knitting. Yikes.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Because it's Friday

And we all need a chuckle - this was in my inbox this morning.



And did you see that Lion Brand is apparently carrying "luxury" fibers? Click here to see their cashmere. They also have a mohair/silk blend and another mohair/silk. Crazy.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bringing back the lit

I've been reading quite a bit lately, which has been unusual for me this year. For whatever reason, the reading mojo has been lacking of late. Luckily, I have found it in a few new books.

The first one I finished, way back in September, was Size 12 is Not Fat by Meg Cabot. I really enjoy Meg Cabot's books - they are lighthearted and entertaining without pandering too much to our collective desire for happy endings. This one is the first in a new series, that are "mysteries." The heroine is a former teen pop star, now washed up and working in a NY dorm. The mystery is decent - I didn't figure it out ahead of time, as I often do, so I enjoyed that. Overall, a lovely piece of fluff.

Also in September, I finished Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton. Another in her knitting murder mystery series, set in the same yarn shop as the others. This time a friend and artist has been murdered. Eh. Pretty predicable, and I'm getting a little tired of her recycled descriptions of the knitting scenes and yarn shop imagery, but I keep reading. What can I say, I'm a sucker.

While we were on our trip to Austin I finished Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark. I've been a Clark fan for years, and although the writing has gone downhill a bit, and the plotlines are very predictable, I often pick them up every now and again. Eh. I didn't like this one too much.

I also read Janet Evanovich's latest "romance" Smitten. Blech.

Last week I finished Scott Smith's The Ruins. Hailed as THE mystery of the summer, I was eager to read this. It sucked. SO not worth your time. I've read many more mystery novels that were FAR superior to this. Remind me next time to not listen to the hype.

I tried to read King Dork, as the hubbo loved it, but I couldn't get past 20 pages. Must be a guy book.

I'm in the middle of another Meg Cabot, and I started an older Linda Fairstein this weekend. Love me a good mystery, and Fairstein is a great writer. I'm hoping to get back into reading more this winter. Lord knows, I've got hundreds of books on the shelves waiting to be read!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

It's all uphill from here

How'd I do? Not so great.

October Goals:
1. Start and finish dinosaur. STARTED
2. Finish green socks. - second sock half done
3. Finish Trekking socks. - second sock almost half done
4. Finish purple socks. DONE
5. Back of Central Park Hoodie done. - half done
6. Body of Licorice Whip done. DONE
7. Work on Leaf Lace. TWO ROWS DONE
8. Finish gift socks #1. - first sock almost half done
9. Work on grey socks DONE! I did about 8 rows last night, but that counts!
10. Start gift socks #2. - STARTED
11. Start hubbo's xmas socks. STARTED
12. Start socks with All Things Heather Yarn. STARTED AND FINISHED
13. Start socks with some of birthday yarn before hubbo takes it away (he's threatening). ONE DONE!
14. Work on dye-o-rama socks - RIPPED
15. Work on Lacy Scallops socks - NOT DONE

I sure didn't finish as much as I wanted. I wonder if the umpteen trillion pairs of socks I kept casting on for had anything to do with that??????

So, what's in store for November?

1. Finish dinosaur
2. Start and finish secret gift knit
3. Finish green socks
4. Finish Trekking socks
5. Finish back of Central Park Hoodie and start sleeves/fronts
6. Finish Licorice Whip
7. Finish Leaf Lace
8. Start and finish Gift scarf 2.
9. Work on some of the trillion socks.
10. Work on Glastig.
11. Work on My So Called Scarf.
12. Finish two sets of dishcloths.
13. Knit two ornaments.
14. Work on gift socks.

I really want to FINISH some things this month. Not start anything new (that's not a holiday gift), but I *might* start a new sweater. We'll see.

Also, I'm going to try to be good. No new yarn for me until after Christmas. I have plenty of yarn, and plenty of projects already started. We'll see if I can be good. Oh, and some has already been ordered, so it doesn't count. I will have to order a bit more for gift knitting, but that also doesn't count, of course. :)