Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Another FO!

So I have a confession to make. I took this off the needles in December. But I didn't seam it. You see, I've only really seamed one item before - and it was a test knit pattern that I still can't talk about (But really really soon!). And the way I seamed it worked out fine (I think), but it wasn't "right."

For Christmas mom gave me the Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques. Wow. What a great book! And the title is deceptive - it's not just finishing in here - she covers all the basics - casting on and off, increasing and decreasing, and of course, finishing. Since I had to get this done so I could gift it, I sat down Thursday night with the book and a Dr. Pepper.

First of all, Nancy Wiseman writes in a way that is amazingly easy to understand. None of this assuming you know the secret langauge stuff. I decided I would seam up the shoulders Thursday night. What a difference it makes to do it "correctly!" I could really see how this makes the garment better and is surprisingly easy. Now, mind you, I'll have to do this next time with the book right next to me, and probably the next 5 times after that too!


Friday morning I got up early and got my coffee and sat down for some sleeve seaming. Trickier. But still not too bad. The first side went really well (from the center of the sleeve to the left), but when I went back to the middle to do the right, it didn't seem to be working out quite the same way. When I got almost to the end of the second sleeve I figured it out - I was putting the yarn in from right to left on the body portion, and then drawing the yarn diagonally across to seam from right to left on the sleeve. This caused some stress on the sleeve and showed in funny lines. I had intended to have photo documentation for this event, but I ran out of time. However, I think that the funniness in the sleeve won't matter overall, and really, I don't think a non-knitter would notice it.

I also seamed up the sides successfully. Woot!

Ready for a photo?


Pattern: Pure & Simple from August 2005 Simply Knitting
Yarn: Lion Brand Baby Soft - almost one whole skein.
Needles: Clover US 5 Bamboo Circ
Dates: Started and finished in fall/early winter 2005
Mods: None
Thoughts: An easy pattern, but not entirely well-written. A lot of the finishing is left to the "imagination" for a "simple" pattern. I would have been lost without my book. I also found that the fronts and back are not the same size, something that became glaringly evident when I tried to seam them together. I worked it out, but still. I also found that the area where you begin to decrease for the neckline cause a pucker that I can't seem to get rid of. I also did not add the snaps the pattern called for, because I didn't see them listed until just now! Argh!

I also seemed to have hit a wall in my Olympic training. I sat down and swatched with my Knitpicks Merino Style, and after getting gauge, logged on to order my yarn. Yeah, except they're out of black until the MIDDLE OF MARCH! So I spent way too much time last night looking up alternatives, and found two - Misti Baby Alpaca Sport and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I tried to order the DB this morning from Little Knits, but you have to place a $25 minimum order. Argh! So I went by the yarn store this afternoon, and they are out of the black! Argh! Is this a sign that I should withdraw? NO!

The current plan is to wait until tomorrow, when I get my sock pal match, and, when I determine what yarn I want to use/they want me to use, I will go shop/order online, and try to work something out wherever I get that yarn from. I just hope I can get it in time if I order it. Just a wee bit frustrated now!


If you log onto the Yahoo Groups home page, you see a yarn/needles icon next to the words STITCH 'N' BITCH!

How can they get away with this? Shut down my acronym only group, but list the name of the "bad/copyright infringement" group on their freakin' home page!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Monday FO! and rant(s)

Long update today – I’ll wait while you retrieve your beverage of choice and a snack.

Ready? OK. (Ugh, I just thought of cheerleaders typing that. Blech).

First, let’s start things off right with a FO!

In honor of

Here’s what I’ve been working on, and finishing!

Pattern: Anouk by Kate Gilbert.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Sugarplum, Banana and Popsicle Blue.

Needles: Sz US 6 Susan Bates Circs

Dates: Started sometime in late December, finished early last week, buttons sewn on Thursday night.

Mods: No cute flowers on pockets. L I tried intarsia (not so great), and duplicate stitch, and neither really looked great. And I’d rather have a cute dress that is lacking flowers than a cute dress with a mess on the bottom.

Thoughts: SO CUTE! I want to master that intarsia now so that I can do this again, properly! I also love the buttons – help from The Husband in choosing them. So cute!

Best part: Gifting it on Friday to one of my best friends. A few months ago I mentioned that one of my nearest and dearest was moving back to Tejas. Well she’s been here since December, and we’ve both been so busy that we couldn’t get together before the holidays. And then she was put on bed rest in January, so no travel for her. Since we had the day off Friday (teacher inservice!), we headed out to see her. Sadly, we had to drive right by Ikea (no $$ to spend!), but we’ll be back!
It was SOOOOOOO good to see her – we seriously have only seen each other a handful of times since we graduated five years ago. L She had mentioned that her son loved his mittens so much that he’s been wearing them around, even though it’s been close to 70 most days! J Knitty love! And she was showered with more knitty love on Friday – Anouk, the bunny hat and the pink booties and the baby cardi! (Pictures and details of that tomorrow!). And the pink bag! Whew! Her reaction was to say – “You’ve really got to teach me to knit now!”
AND, yesterday morning when I fired up the old computer, I got an email from her hubby – baby #2 was born Saturday night! Got those gifts to her just in time! Everyone is doing well, and the little one is so cute! Can’t wait to see her in the knitted goods!

Friday was also a great day because I got to hang out with two of my knitster girls (I kind of hate that term b/c of Vicki Howell), Jen and I supped and knit together and Sarah and I just hung out. So nice to spend a day with three lovely ladies!

Rant #1

The Husband took the red scarf to Einstein’s on the way to work Saturday. They told him that “we didn’t get any, so we’re not sending any in.” Um, hello? You got mine! Jerks! I’m a bit peeved, and I’m going to try to drop it off again on Tuesday, and if that fails I’ll donate it to a local charity/shelter. But really, you’re supposed to take it stinky bagel place!

Rant #2

I know some of you have been following along with the craziness over the Sew Fast Sew Sleezy nonsense. But they’ve really hit an all time low now.
They posted a statement (which has since been removed) about the “fight” over the S&B trademark, in which they referred to Debbie Stoller as “Ms. Stole-it” (aren’t they clever?!), accused her of “stealing” ideas and patterns, (um, I thought she put out calls for submission?), and were generally rude and unpleasant (hell of a way to win fans!).

They had previously wiped the forum boards clean at SFSE, and have since created new topics under several major US cities, asking if anyone “wants to get together to sew, knit or crochet?” Um, HELL NO! Today they went a step further and “clarified” their policy. My favorite part is that they are going to “contact your ISP and local authorities” if you discuss, link to, or advertise the S&B books. Right. How’s that going to work? I’m sure local law enforcement doesn’t have enough to do if I mention the books that got me started knitting on a public internet forum.

The “fighters-back” have posted a timeline of S&B usage. They are calling for a list/info of groups that were shut down by CafePress and Yahoo – tell them if your group was shut down, like ours.

In light of all this crap, and because I don’t want them to win twice, I changed the name of our Yahoo group – to FWKnits. Now they can’t get us!

A big thanks to The Girl from Auntie and Ms. Pea for keeping us updated on all this crap.

Whew! And for sticking through all of this, two lovely Jaywalker photos for you! Love these!
More FO tomorrow!

ETA: Oops! I almost forgot to tell you that Miles loved all of the attention from the other day - he sends his sloppiest kisses and lost of jumping up on you to everyone!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

(Tardy) KAL Update

Sorry for the tardiness – I have been under the weather and didn’t have the energy required to blog yesterday.

But here’s the KAL update, late but great!

Theresa is working on three(!) sweaters! She is onto the front of Winter Folly, past the hem pick up on the back of Rogue and learned the tubular cast-on for Am Kamin. Wow!

Laura cast on for two new scarves this week, Backyard Leaves and Edgar (from Knitty), and finished her Jaywalkers! They look great!

Chris is onto the edging of her Kiri – looks awesome!

Sherrill started working on a vest. Can’t wait to see pictures!

Aria is thinking about knitting socks for her Olympic challenge. Go encourage her!

Tara went on a yarn store crawl this week – so jealous!

E got her yarn and began swatching for the Olympics – looks great!

Erica is planning her lace project for the Olympics – can’t wait to see what she comes up with!

Jess is already planning to defect to Team Cable from Team Fair Isle – but whatever she chooses, it will be great!

Newcomer Julie just finished up a pair of beautiful Mountain Colors socks – they look great!

And, finally, me. I only knit one thing this week for me, but it was fab!

One finished Jaywalker!

ETA: Blogger won't upload the damn pictures - and I don't have the energy to fight with them tonight. Use your imagination! It's realy purty!

On to the second, after I finish the turtleneck shrug (also for me!).

Saturday, January 28, 2006


KAL update and other info to come - tomorrow, when I can (hopefully) breathe.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm a bad, bad mommy

I forgot Miles' adoption day. It was Tuesday, something I just realized today. I had a lovely long post with the story of how he came to live with us but *&^%$@ blogger ate it TWICE now. Third time's the charm - but you're just getting pictures now. Too tired to recreate it.

I love you baby!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

B is for

B, in our house is for books

We have a lot of books - somewhere over 1,000. This number does not include the books for my classroom, which number somewhere around 400. Yikes.

B is also for bicycles and ballet in our house, but sadly, I have no pictures of these items. Use your imagination!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Cop-out post

I'm a bit tired and grouchy today so a brief quickie for you. But really it's a good thing because I have been lax in the knitting updates, right?

So, a KAL update:

Red Scarf Project: Nearly through the end of the first skein. Gonna take two. Really not liking that realization, especially since this has to be done by Saturday and tomorrow is Wednesday. Yikes.

Cover Your Head: Em's hat has a ribbed brim. Yup. That's it.

Irish Hiking Scarf: See above.

Evelyn A. Clark: No progress since the last post. But really, my goal for it this month was only to start. This totally counts.

Six Socks: Hoping I like the next sock, but since it has beads, I'm not sure.

KOTR: No progress since last post. Hoping to have them done by Valentine's Day for The Husband. However, I do realize that this interferes with the start date for the Olympics. So I guess I have to have them done by then. Yikes.

Jaywalker: About 1/3 through the foot. Loving the yarn, loving the pattern, hope the sock fits. No progress as all knitting time (and there hasn't been much of it) has been devoted to the red scarf. Have to be done by Valentine's Day - for me! See above for potential complications.

Scarf Style: About 1/2 way done with the turtleneck shrug. No knitting time recently, though I am wanting to wear it!!!

Ribby Cardi: Back completed. This was the goal for January, so I think it will be set aside to try to complete other goals.

Knit the Classics: Started Mrs. Dalloway. Liking it so far.

200Socks: Two socks knit!

Count your socks: Started with four pairs, now at five!

Branching Out: Um, yeah. Ignored completely.

Handknit Holidays: Nothing since the ornaments. Really want Log Cabin socks, but again, too many projects.

And the real sickness here? I keep wanting to join knit a-longs! What is wrong with me? If only I didn't have to work. So far, no job for tomorrow, and while that would be some prime knitting time, it won't pay the bills.

Wish I had more excitement for y'all, but a long day and general crabbiness make me pissy. May your knitting be better than mine!

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sewing Sunday (and Monday night)

I've been burning the midnight oil on my dear old sewing machine lately. I had one deadline item, and one I wanted to make, so off I went!

This is for one of my dear friends who is expecting a little girl in a few weeks. We are going to visit her on Friday, so this had to be done. It's just a simple tote, but I wanted her to have something "girly," as her oldest is a boy. I had to go back to JoAnn's this afternoon for some matching handles, and I could not resist the beaded trim. I've been eyeing it since I bought the fabric (sometime in December) and I just thought it would add a little "somethin' somethin'" to the bag. I must say that I am inordinately pleased with how cute it is!

Here's a closeup of the pattern. So cute!

I really like that it's girly without being obnoxious. It's a fine line!

I've also been wanting a holder for my circular knitting needles. I keep mine in their little plastic pouches, which works great for knowing which size they are, but I have no good way to organize them, and their cords stay all curly when I use them. So I dug into the fabric stash (yes, I have a small one!) and whipped this up. The pattern calls for you to use iron-on labels for the sizes, but that was more work than I felt up to, and I changed the way it attaches to the hanger. I didn't have velcro (which the pattern calls for), so I made the ties longer and I plan to tie it around the hanger's "neck". I used a sharpie to write the sizes and I think it looks pretty cute! When The Husband saw it, he said, "All your needles are falling out." No, honey, that's the greatness of it!

I also worked on a top secret project that I am in love with. Can't say more until it is gifted (hopefully sometime soon!), but who knows, it could be for you!

Off to sign up for sockapaloooza - I stayed up late for this! DORK!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I learned how to focus the camera!

Aren't y'all lucky?

Aren't y'all lucky?

I am loving this! I had myself contorted into all sorts of positions trying to take that kitchener stitch photo. Yikes. But so pretty!

They just finished drying, and will be off in the mail tomorrow! Just in time to sign up for round three on Tuesday!

I have several inches done on my red scarf (after ripping and adding more stitches and reknitting), but no pictures yet. I'm doing 2x2 ribbing, so it's a *bit* boring, and in my attempt for some excitement I worked on the sewing project I wanted to finish, but can't finish it until I go to JoAnn's tomorrow. So I picked up my Jaywalker. And I can't put it down. So far the fit seems to be good. I'm in the gusset, which I know I just complained about the other day, but today it's not bothering me. Weird. A short row heel was suggested, and I've done one once (my ankle socks that got ripped), but I worry about the durability of them. I've heard that heel flaps hold up better.

Today was a lovely day for knitting - chilly and rainy! Finally!, though it has made our backyard a mud pit as all the grass is beyond dead. So much fun to de-muddify the dogs every time they have to pee.

I finished my third book for the year - I promise reviews this week! On to Mrs. Dalloway, my copy was dug up today, so I'm ready to go! Now to dig up the yarn for Flora to knit with it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

For Me, From Me

It's Saturday's KAL Update! Woo Hoo!

Jess has gone to town on the back of her Tubey, and needs help deciding what project to knit for the Olympics. Go vote!

Sherrill has finished up her Hourglass Sweater! Looks great!

Aria has completed her first felted project! Can't wait to see pictures!

Theresa finished the back of her Winter Folly and is working on some fab argyle socks!

Tara also needs help deciding on her Olympic Project! Go help her decide!

Chris knitted up some oh-so-cute ankle socks (that I missed last week! OOPS!), and drug her Kiri back out for some work. Chris I think we're using the same colorway for our lace projects!

Laura finished up her lovely Rib and Cable socks (so pretty!) and got some more beautiful sock yarn! So jealous! Can't wait to see it knit up!

Erica needs help deciding what to knit for the Olympics too! Wow, there is a lot of that going around!

E is joining team Fair Isle with me for the Olympics (though her project is much more ambitious than mine!), and made us an oh-so-cute button!

Take it, but save it to your own server, blah blah blah.

Finally, this is not about my knitting, but I have to have a small rant. Looks like the fuckers over at SFSE got their way with Yahoo. Without ANY warning, our local Stitch & Bitch (yes I WILL say it!) group is gone. Poof. No trace. What really pisses me off about this is that there are other Stitch & Bitch groups still exisiting on Yahoo. And, since I had no warning (other than reading about other groups being threatened, but I never even got an email and I'm the group moderator), I did nothing to save the info on all of the members we had (about 50). God Damn It. (Excuse my French mom.)

I really cannot tell you how angry this makes me. Especially since the name of our group was SNBFW. That's it. Just an acronym. Ass hats.

So we have a new group. Let's count the days until this one is gone. However, on The Husband's advice, it has a new name. We're now the Fort Worth Bitchin' Stitchers. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it SFSE. Ass clowns.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Progress, progress, progress

One piece down, four to go!

This is the completed back of Ribby Cardi. I finished her up on Monday during our X-Files marathon. She's two inches longer than the pattern calls for - I have to have my sweaters go down beyond the top of my jeans. I haven't worked on any other part of her yet, I've been busy with other things.

The Turtleneck Shrug almost is ready for the second side. Just an inch or two more and then I'll start sleeve two. I know, try to contain your excitement. All ribbing all the time here baby!

The front of Anouk is nearly done. Just a bit more, and then I'll do the pockets. I'm still thinking duplicate stitch for the flowers. I'm trying to finish this up so I can get it delivered to it's new momma. The front has gone much faster than the back - I did this tonight in just a few hours.

I was a bit unfaithful to my sockpal socks this week. I could not resist the Jaywalker calling on Tuesday - aren't they lovely? I'm really pleased with the way the Koigu is knitting up. It's soooooo soft and springy. I'm still worried that it's a bit too big, but we'll see. I plan to spend a great deal of time with her this weekend because....

The sockpal savior socks are done! I have to admit, I was worried that these wouldn't be done by my self-imposed deadline (today). But give me some great TV knitting time on Wednesday and a day off work on Wednesday, and voila, finished socks! Whew!

Pattern: Generic - from the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
Yarn: Trekking XXL in the ???? colorway (Miles ate the label)
Needles: Susan Bates DPNs, sz US 1.
Dates: Started mid December, finished Thursday January 19.
Gauge: 9 spi

I promise more pictures of these tomorrow - must wash and block them now!
Some thoughts on socks:
What it is about the gusset that makes me dread the sock? I used to hate picking up stitches, but now that doesn't bother me at all. It's the damn gusset. I'm not sure what exactly bothers me, but I think it has something to do with all the extra stitches and the having to keep track of which round I'm on (decrease or knit). Of course, in persepective, this is ridiculous. I enjoy the leg, but by the time I'm done with the gusset, I want to be done! Get me to the toe! I think part of that was all the knitting on a deadline I've been doing. I hope, that being able to work on the socks at my own pace, I'll enjoy them more.

Thanks for the thoughts on the ripping - I'll thinking I'll try it this weekend. The Husband and I also bought some kool-aid on sale last night, so there may be dying this weekend!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What's goin' on....

Too much! Whew - we are busy little knitters!

Unless you're currently without the internets, I'm sure you've heard of the Harlot's Knitting Olympics. Of course, the sucker in me signed right up. So far, the plan is to join Team Fair Isle, and knit the We Call Them Pirates hat. If you know my current favorite joke, you will agree that this hat is perfect for me. :) The plan is to enter training, er, swatching next week, and determine what yarn needs to be purchased for this endeavor.

I've also heard to call for red scarves. I went to JoAnn's last night to buy red yarn, and they only had a burgundy color. This just wouldn't do. I thought to myself "maybe they're out of 'real' red because of Christmas." Huh. Red yarn......Christmas.....stockings....oh wait, I do have red yarn in the stash - leftovers from our stockings! Yippee! I can knit for charity and bust my stash!

Many of y'all are familiar with this load of crap by now - that Sew Fast Sew Easy wants to trademark "Stitch & Bitch" as their own creation. Their discussion board states that the term was never used until they used it. Ha. Debbie Stoller has fired back at them but lawyers are expensive y'all! The Cafe Press store is helping to raise $$ to pay for legal help. Go buy a button! Buy ten!

I've been a busy bee here - but I have no pictures. So I'll do a lovely post tomorrow full of all my progress. Can you wait?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Hole Truth

I haven't been completely honest with you. Miles has eaten yarn before.

A few weeks ago, The Husband put Miles in his kennel, and one of my sweaters was on top of it. Not just any sweater. One of my two favorite sweaters. When I got home it was in the kennel. And it was not whole. It was hole. (OK, really I'm done now.)

So, what to do? I was thinking of trying to fix it, but I really don't think I could ever find any yarn even close to this color.

I thought about ripping it out, and using the yarn to basically reknit the sweater, but smaller (it was a bit baggy on me). But I've never ripped anything. I've read some things on ripping, but I'm nervous.

The other option is felting it. But I love this sweater. I would like it to live on in more than a bag.

Any thoughts? Have you ripped? Special hints? Much appreciated!


The Girl appears to have the flu bug - so she and I will be staying home tomorrow unless she shows improvement in the morning. In a touch of, well, something, there are NO sub jobs in the system tonight, so I guess I'm supposed to stay home! A whole day to knit!

I have to admit, I don't do puke very well. I have a very low gag reflex. And somehow, she has not had the stomach bug before. Ever. I guess we're due.

I'm sure I had more to say, but I've been distracted by the hideousness on Project Runway. Must go cross fingers that Santino gets the boot this week.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blogging

Because the spring Interweave preview is up!

Here's what I like:

(Minus the bobbles!)

(This is my favorite!)

Will shrugs still be in when I get around to knitting this?

Wish I could see this one better.

And I like the socks and wristwarmers and scarf, but I can only upload 5 pictures b/c of stupid blogger. You get the idea.

More excitement tomorrow, I promise!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Yarn P0rn!

So, I had this gift money that was just burning a hole in my pocket. Perhaps I shouldn't have spent it all at once, but I just couldn't resist. Plus, all I really have stashed is some Cotton-Ease, sock yarn and leftovers. Now I have some sweater yarn stashed!

First, from Elann:

Yarn for the Union Square Market Pullover (Cashmere!), and for the Fairly Easy Fair Isle. And tiny Brittany US 1.5 DPNs.

I decided I deserved some nice yarn for the USMP. Sure, it was expensive, but not as expensive as the yarn called for. Plus, it's cashmere! Say it again, cashmere!
For the Fair Isle I went with black for the main color, dark and light purple and light grey for the other colors.

And the biggie. The one Miles so enjoyed Saturday night. A giant box from Knitpicks.

Orange is Andean Silk for the Hourglass Sweater, dark green for the Men's Zippered Raglan for The Husband, Cranberry for Bristow, from Knitty, Dusk (blue) Merino Style for Baltic Sea Stole for Em's wedding, multicolored Andean Silk Twist for Cozy, Winter Night for Mom's Sophie and grey for hat for friend.

Whew, that's a lot of yarn! (I apologize for the out-of-focus picture, I didn't realize it until I had already put the yarn away, and I'm too lazy to retake it.)

Let's have a closeup of that Andean Silk Twist.

Ooh, pretty.

I also got some patterns - the Felted Clog Pattern, the Baltic Sea Stole and Knitting Vintage Socks. Not enough hours in the day.

And, finally in enhancement news, I got a gift from Jen! We kept her babies last week, so for a "thank you" she brought us prezzies!

My own sheepy mascot, a book I can't wait to read, and an oh-so-cute card. Can you read it? It says "Need Yarn." Ha ha!

But, sadly, there must be more stash enhancement in my future. I have signed on for the Harlot's Olympic challenge, and must decide what project to make. Choices, choices......