Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Suzy Girl

You Belong in 1963

You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

And I thought I was doing so well with the quiz… 1963!!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jenny Girl is....

You Belong in 1980
Wild, over the top, and just a little bit cheesy. You're colorful at night - and successful during the day.">What Year Do You Belong In?

How accurate is this? I do love my 80s music :)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Adding to the stash

Last week, Suzy and I took a field trip to one of our favorite LYS Nangellini on South Street here in Philly. It was Monday, February 18, and it was about 60 degrees. 60 degrees? Yes, you read correctly. So, me with my leather boots on, and Suzy carrying her hat took a walk to go shopping for some wool. BTW, 4 days later there was 3-4 inches of snow on the ground, and parents wanted to know why school wasn't cancelled. When I went to school, if the snow wasn't up tp your knees you went, none of this close school BS.

I digress. So, I just wanted to look around at Nangellini because we have a yarn crawl coming up in about two weeks, and I was in the process of ordering my sweater yarn from Knit Picks. I said I really wasn't going to get anything, maybe some sock yarn. We no sooner got there and this bright pink yarn was screaming my name.

It is a cashmere/merino blend from Newton Country Yarns. It is so pink, squeeshy, and soft. There is about 440 yards there, so I'm thinking a pretty lace scarf is in order. It is a bright pink and unfortunately this picture really does not do it justice. Suzy and I are not professional photogs, so we do the best we can. instead of my kitchen table for background, we used a bench in Suzy's office. This bench is awesome! Everytime I go in there I sit on it. You could lay on it and take a nap. You know, if you had to.

This is the other yarn I bought, because you can't buy just one. 3 skeins of Ejido for another felted bag. One that I could use comfortably, and not think my stuff is going to fall out. Pink and brown. Suzy had originally picked this up, and when she showed me I got a little dazed. Needless to say, Suzy pretty much said, "Take this you need it more than I do." I certainly did turn it down. I just love the colors together. Can't explain it. A lot of the things I pick are pink, red, warm colors. You would think I am a girly girl, but I'm not. I am most comfortable in sweats with my hair like pebbles, falling out all over the place. Kind of the way I look right now.

On to my WIPs. I only have one, this multidirectional scarf made with Inca Print left over from my urchin beret.

I made a mistake the first time around, so this has been frogged once. It was going in an L shape, which is not scarf friendly. The pattern is easy in garter stitch, so it makes for good tv knitting. I love Lost, Big Brother, Survivor, Jericho, and Torchwood, just to name a few. My husband thinks I'm crazy for the BB but these people just crack me up. And regarding Jericho which deals with an apocolyptic event in the U.S., I awalys think, well at least I can knit garments if need be. But where will I get the yarn? Hurry! Run to the yarn store before someone takes it all!

I did also have a sock OTN, but realized, just after the heel, that I was not knitting my yo correctly. The sock should have looked more open, and it didn't. I just couldn't go on doing it wrong, and then it's mate wrong. So to the pond it went. So sad. I do like the Zokni pattern from Pepperknits blog I'll co again after I wait a while. I need a timeout.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sweater a go....

Suzy Girl's got a sweater OTN! I decided on a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, the Scoop Neck Cardigan #278 and cast on over the weekend after swatching several times. Swatch #1 doesn't really count. It was just for fun, the night I picked out the yarn, Ella Rae Classic wool in a sage green. At that point, I hadn't even settled on a pattern so it really was a pointless exercise.

Then, determined to "do it right", I knit swatch #2 on dpns as recommended on the KPS website's top down knit along page, especially written for first time sweater knitters. Yup, size 6 us dpns, in the round. And then went up to size 7's in an attempt to get gauge. In the round.

It was only after I washed and blocked this swatch that I realized that I would be knitting a cardigan back and forth on circulars!! So much for that swatch. On to swatch #3. I grabbed my size 6 us bamboo circulars. And after knitting and washing and waiting for this swatch to dry I did learn a valuable lesson. Apparently, like most knitters, my gauge, knitting in the round on dpn's is a bit tighter than when I'm knitting and purling back and forth. Size 6 it is.

So, Sunday night, while watching Colin Firth, I mean Jane Austen, on my local PBS station, I got started.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Not another bunny?!

Oh yes, I made another one of those bunnies. This yellow one was for the wife of a very dear friend and coworker of mine who was expecting (she had a baby girl, yea!). You may recall I made one of these before Christmas for a female coworker. That was blue for her little boy.

Well, let me just say two times were enough for this little project. Although it didn't take long, the yarn is on the thick side and my fingers were hurting a wee bit as I worked with it. Besides, been there and done that you know? Both of my coworkers loved their bunnies, but the bunnies stop there. No more of these ever! There is someone else in the office who is due in June with their second child. I haven't decided yet if I will make her somehting. If I do it has to something quick and easy and different. Susie has told me that was enough with making things for our coworkers. And I kind of agree with her. But if I can find a small simple project......hmm....

So, Susie has mentioned our sweater project attempts. Yes it's time to make that first sweater. I am a weanie and don't want to do any seaming, so I am choosing the Citrus Yoke pullover by Katie Himmelberg from Interweave Knits Winter 2007. I have spent all week searching out yarn on the internet. Sometimes I am just not good with decisions. However, after much searching and mind changing I am going to use Wool of the Andes Bulky from Knit Picks. Not too expensive, and I figure I good choice for a first sweater.

I also want to order some Shine Worsted from Knit Picks for the comfy shoulder shrug from the septmebr issue of Creative Knitting 2007. I did a swatch from a skein from Knitting Novice via Susie Girl. I really like the way it knitted up. And it feels nice and soft and silky. I'll probably order over the weekend

The purpose of the shrug is for my vacation. Which I finally booked today, yea! Hubby and I are going to HAWAII!!! For two glorious weeks in november. Poor Susie has had to listen to me about this trip. You see I have been researching for almost a year, because it's not cheap. Decisions to be made, and you know how I am about decisions. Susie and I have even had conversations about what kind of projects I should bring on the trip, since flight time is 12 hours each way. Oh yeah, I know there are beaches and volcanoes, but what can I knit on the road? Socks baby! If only my hubby knew what I really think about sometimes :)

As far as current WIPs I have a sick with the heel turned, and a multidirectional scarf which I had to frog, because I apparently wentt in the wrong direction. Maybe some pictures next week. Until then take care!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Let the Games Begin....

Some new projects are in the planning stages for me and my 2 knit compadres, Jenny Girl and Knitting Novice. Our first “made for me” sweaters!! I know, better late than never. Just because spring is on its way, doesn’t mean we can’t knit wool sweaters!

I don’t want to steal Jenny Girl’s thunder, so I’ll let her blog about her plans but I will say that Knitting Novice is planning “Wicked” as her first sweater and I think that it’s a great choice!! Be sure to stop by her blog over the next few weeks and check on her progress!!

I’ve made a few sweaters over the years for the kids, but never one for myself. I think because I don’t feel confident about my finishing skills I’ve avoided making a sweater for me. I felt less pressure putting a little sweater together, knowing if it didn’t turn out all that great, oh well, they were only going to roll around in it and it’d be outgrown soon enough anyway. On the other hand, for myself, I wanted to be sure that I was happy with the final product and the fit. But finally, this year, in the spirit of fearless knitting, I’m ready to tackle my first grown up sweater for me!!

Since tonight is “knit night” with some of the knitters from the Bucks County Guild, at Just a Knitting Basket in Huntingdon Valley, I decided to pick out my yarn. After much debate (and touching), I chose Ella Rae Classic, a very basic, reasonably priced worsted wool, in a pretty silvery, sage green. It feels nice!

Now to decide on the pattern. I have 3 potential directions I could go in. I originally thought that the EPS sweater, a la Elizabeth Zimmerman, would be my first sweater project. But I do like the idea of being able to take a top down off the needles and try it on as you go along. So I'm also considering “Something Red” by Wendy Bernard over at Knit and Tonic or one of the Knitting Pure and Simple patterns.

As you can see, I started swatching tonight. So, in the next few weeks my plan is for my sweater to be my mindless (can you say stockinette in the round), long term project for knit night Wednesdays.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

I left my heart in San Francisco

This is a picture heavy post, so I apologize for slow load times. I just found my pictures from one of my favorite trips of all time, San Fransico in October 2002. Yes during their World Series run, just fell that way.
I have always wanted to visit San Francisco. Can't explain why, just always wanted to go. Back in 2002, my DH volunteered to go to the SF office for his company and I got to tag along for a week. He worked all day and I wandered the city by myself.

I loved it! Walked to lots of places, and yes...even walked a steep street that I had no business walking up. When there are steps cut into the sidewalk, that is usually a sign that you shouldn't be walking up there. But the view was soooo worth it. View from Coit Tower

I took a bus across town to a museum to see an Egyptian exhibit. Walked around China Town, and the along the piers or bay, you where Fisherman's wharf was. Had lunch or ice cream and just enjoyed myself. Sat a cafe and people watched. I spent a week there like I was a native. San Francisco is definitly I place I would move to; if I could afford it. And if DH were up for it. He is not crazy about the west coast. Idaho, but not Cali. Long story. Please enjoy these pictures.

Gate or entrance to China town

Masses of sea lions off of Fishermans Wharf
Tourist trap, but I liked it.

Alcatraz, the big house. The tour was definite must see, especially at night. Spooky!

And a ride on a cable car of course. And yes, I hung off the side and loved every minute of it!


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What's Up with Suzy Girl Wednesday - The finale

What was I thinking? Wednesday night is knit night! The Wednesday night "what's new with me" post sounded like a good idea last week when I was home all evening by myself. And there wasn't a new Project Runway on. But, tonight I went to a knit night with my friend Knitting Novice. It's only our second time going and we had a great time!! I think we'd like to become regulars. It's a great group of women, interesting and very talented knitters. The shop is very nice, good yarn selection and the owner is sweet and funny. Bonus.

So getting home later on Wednesdays, makes a regular Wednesday update with pictures a bit of a stretch.

But there was progress this week on some WIP's. The short version.

  • I finished my Sheep Shop One Row Harlot scarf. Just in time too. It was 65 degrees here in Philly today.
  • I got back to work on the Monkeys. I'm through the gusset and decrease rows and it's all knitting around to the toes now. Yea!!
  • Ripped the Orca Tails scarf. I'm going to try it on bigger needles to see if I get a fabric I like a little better.
  • Cast on tonight for a 2nd Koolhaas hat. In Cascade. A pretty shade of blue.
  • Looked at the Celtic Tote and wished there was more hours in the day, or better yet that I didn't have to work for a living. I will get back to this soon.

Project Runway anyone?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Can I Keep It Mom?

Look what followed me home. I didn't buy it. Honest. It followed me home from Frankford.

Hill Country Yarns
Sweet Feet Sock Yarn
100% merino
Pecan Orchard colorway

Mmmmmmmmm.... soft and pretty. This lovely yarn was a surprise from my knit sib, KnittingNovice .
Does she have good taste or what?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Good Day Sunshine

What could be better than coming home on a cold dreary Monday and finding a package on your front porch?? Well, finding out that the package sitting on your porch has traveled to you all the way from Phoe in the UK!!! That's what!

Phoe had a 30th birthday blog contest and I stopped by and wished her a Happy Birthday. Go check out Phoe's blog (or she's phoeknits on ravelry). She's a terrific blogger and has amazing knitting projects (Jenny Girl you'll enjoy the post about Jane Austen's house). I love her version of Mr. Greenjeans and I think I need to add the Fountain hat to my knitting queue.
On her birthday, Phoe had posted a picture of a collection of wrapped, brightly colored, packages as prizes. Her idea, which was a really cute one, was to have the commenters pick what color package they would like to receive if they were chosen. I picked the sunshiny yellow. It called my name. So imagine my surprise when Phoe contacted me to let me know I was one of her winners.

Inside was the sweetest note from Phoe on yellow stationary. A beautiful beaded necklace she made herself (in yellows) and a skein of Yarn Chef Buttercream merino laceweight yarn in a color called "Sunflowers". Absolutley gorgeous. The name Buttercream says it all. Soft...mmm! I see a laceweight buttery yellow shawl in my future, maybe as soon as this spring. I'll have the shawl and the necklace, just gotta' find a dress and a guy to take me to dinner, lol. I'm so psyched about it. It's the perfect yarn for my first lace project. I think I'll go browse ravelry for a pattern.

I love it!! Thank you Phoe!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Truant Jenny

Yes, it's me…truant Jenny. Sorry for not keeping up with the posting. I have been getting side tracked lately. Trying to leave comments on blogs, watch TV, and knit. And don't even mention Ravelry. I'm surprised I even remember my log in. I just can't keep up with everything. I am only human. This is the vicious circle I live in.

Okay enough of that. So, I do have some FOs. I think they were end of 07 beginning of 08, like by the 5th. It was so long ago, I don't even remember. I just glad to be done with them. You all remember my Garden of Eden Scarf:

Pattern: None. Simple garter stitch. 24 or 25 stitches across
Materials: 2 balls of Eden from Moda Dea
Needle: 10 1/2
Start Date: Oh God, sometime in the summer
Completion Date: After December 25, 2007
Size: N/A

Okay this yarn drove me insane, hence the long completion time. There are many dropped stitches but you will never see them because of the bobbles in the yarn. I must admit though, the scarf is warm and just the right width to cover my neck. No need for wrapping, which is good because I don't have the length for it. The scarf is pretty, but never again with that yarn.
Next I have my brown stripped socks:

Pattern: None. Just a simple sock pattern.
Materials: 1 ball of clearance yarn from Rosie's. Think it's Trekking, but don't hold me to it. Needle size: 2
Start Date: September 2007
Completion Date: After December 25, 2007
Size: Women's 9

Wasn't crazy about this yarn when I was working it. But since washing, the socks feel much nicer. I wear green and tan a lot, and these sock do look nice under pale green pants. These were my second pair of completed socks.

I gotta say, as I sit here, I'm thinking, "What the hell were you doing all fall?" What else were you knitting?" These are excellent questions that I really need to think upon. I was taking a class. Knitting a few things, that I can remember off the top of my head. But other wise, I'm drawing a blank. I know sometimes when I get home from work, I'm too tired to knit. Like I haven't really knit at all this week. But this fall….I just don't know. Oh well, I'll just have to work harder at getting more FOs And posting :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

True confessions... or sometimes you just have to treat yourself!

I bought more yarn. This is what happens when I take a day off from work. The yarn store is too near my house and well, I found myself over there this morning fondling the Sheep Shop yarn. I've had my eye on Sheep Shop yarn for a few weeks now. Checking out all the colorways on the company page. Stalking it online at WEBS. And online at Loop in Philly. And even on ravelry, I've been perusing stashes, looking at Sheep Shop. I'm considering it for a clapotis. Sheep 3 is a merino/silk blend that I think might be a reasonable substitute for the Lorna's Laces. But I really wanted to see (and touch) the colors before committing and just ordering online.

Well, I just happened to finally track some down at, of all places, the LYS 3 blocks from my house!! Obviously, she doesn't have all the colorways. But I really liked what she had and think when I get ready to cast on for the clap, it'll be with Sheep 3. Today, just to test the waters, I bought some Sheep 1, 100% wool, in color number G129 and I'm going to cast on for a scarf. Probably this afternoon. It's so pretty!! Oh well, so much for finishing my socks.

The other recent purchase I want to share with you is some Araucania Nature Wool I bought when I went to a knit night at another not-so-local yarn store with my friend Knitting Novice. This yarn isn't really mine, so I'm trying not to get too attached to it. I bought it for my daughter. I'm trying to lure her into the knitting world. She's expressed an interest but isn't sure she's "crafty" enough. And let's face it, if I keep giving her scarves and socks, there's no incentive for her to learn. I love her madly, but I think it's time she made her own hats, scarves and socks. She's 27. Now if for some reason she doesn't catch on.... well, I'll adopt the Araucania.