Friday, March 28, 2008

I gots me a swatch

I did the right thing and swatched for my sweater. I even washed the swatch, because I am a smidgen or scosh off from stitches per inch gauge. Both Susie and myself measured, and we think that I should be okay. Poor Susie, you see I am a wee bit dense when it comes to the math part. The patient girl, bless her heart had to explain the math to me a couple of times. Math and I just don't get along. Just ask my former pre-calculus teacher. Anyway, the citrus yoke pullover is a top down knit, so I can try it on as I go. And try (keep fingers crossed) to adjust as I go. We'll see how that goes.
Not much else to report. CBS cancelled one of my most favorite shows, Jericho, and so I sent them a nasty email. Not that they will do anything, but it made me feel better. Hopefully another network will pick up the show. The show delivers a good story every week. So sorry there weren't singers or dancers in it. I like reality TV too, but come on, we still need some dramas.

One last thing. My friend Bea over at Baa Baa Blacksheep is having a contest. The contest is a celebration of both her and her sister's birthdays and it is about her two cute dogs Gus and Abby. You have to guess at each of their favorite activities. The dogs not the sisters. So, please visit, take a guess, and tell her I sent you. Please.

And if you haven't had your fill of dogs, here is one more picture. Lucky likes to lay beside my chair and the end table. Easy access for Mommy to pet her...all night long. That's why there isn't always a lot of knitting going on!

What's with the petting mommy?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Playing Catch Up

I've been a bit out of touch between my computer crash at home and an unanticipated increase in activity at work but in the meantime due to some solid train knittng I finished my clapotis!!

It's a little smaller overall than I would like, which is really a shame since I had 2 - 560 yard skeins of yarn at my disposal!! I just knit it to pattern, no increases in either the width or straight rows and thought my gauge was good but off the needles it's about 15 x 58. I toyed with the idea of ripping it and doing more increase and straight rows since I have plenty of yarn. I used 1 full skein and 'a little bit' of the second. But as I type this, it's in the bath and I'm going to see what blocking does for it. Otherwise it's into the frog pond!!

Anyway in case you're wondering....
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: Miss Babs 100% merino superwash worsted
Colorway: Bronze Plum
Needles: size 7 us

A very enjoyable knit and I'll probably knit another one at some point. I absolutely love the yarn! It feels and looks more like a fall clapotis to me so my next one will be summery and very neutral, sandy, beachy colors! Can you picture it??

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Very busy week

Hey, hey everybody! Hope you are doing well. I am as is Suzy. WE have both had a very busy week. Work has been crazy, too many projects and meetings to count. I know meetings are a necessary evil, but they can suck up the most productive time ever! Preparing for it, traveling to it, holding it, and following up, how does anything truly get done???

Monday night I attended my last class I need for my bachelors. YEA!!! Very exciting. I have a final paper and presentation to write as well, but that is just a matter of doing. Which is hard, because I should be working on it, yet here I am blogging and thinking Ravelry, since I don't get on too much. And did I mention I am thinking of swatching for my sweater? Oh yeah, so anyway.

Other exciting news. Got a new camera! Yea! My old camera was like one of the first digital cameras ever, so this is a nice step up for me. It is a Canon Power Shot SD750, Digital elph. Read the book a couple of times, and not much as sunk in. Wee bit confusing, but I have figured out with some uses, how do the things. I think the editing the pictures after will be really cool. You see, I would like to take a cool picture of some yarn for the banner to the blog. You know jazz it up a little. So anyway, these are the first pictures I took:

My baby of course! This is Lucky saying, "Why mommy? Why must you take my picture....again?"

This is what she looks like when you ask her if she wants some cookies. "Cookies? Did you say cookies? Hell yeah mommy!" She is the princess of the house obviously. She just turned 11. I usually rub her belly with my foot while I knit, so she doesn't feel left out. You know how princesses are?

I have gotten a little bit of knitting done this week. I had a tape measure moment last week with respect to my shrug. See, I am not too good at the measuring part. I know, this is a pretty easy skill, but you just don't know. I measure something, and it's 5 inches. Suzy does it and it's 10. If I measure something with her, it comes out to the necessary length. Can't explain it. I miss measured so badly, I almost frogged the Aloha shrug. I even started to cast on for a new one on different needles. Yeah, that took a couple of nights of precious knitting. Well, after consulting with Suzy, I again realized I can't measure, but my shrug is just fine. Phew! Here are some progress pictures and a different background:

It's coming along nicely. The stitch pattern is easy. No thinking required. Perfect TV watching knitting. I am starting to get a little bored though, hence the sweater swatch possibly later today. I don't know we'll see. Other than that, I don't have many WIPs. My multi-directional scarf which is languishing somewhere. I think I'll pull that back out today too. I just got a dark hot pink rain coat and the scarf will look cute with it.
Well, that's it for now. Take care and TTFN!
Mmm..malabrigo! Cinnamongirl is having a contest for 2 skeins of malabrigo. I found out because Bea mentioned it on her blog. Go see Cinnamongirl and please tell her I sent you!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Yarn Crawling in Philly

Last weekend Suzy Girl, myself, Knitting Novice, and a bunch of great gals from the PhillyKnitters blog went on a yarn crawl. Although the torrential downpours may have kept the sane people in doors, us crazy gals braved the weather for some yarn purchases and to meet other knitters. Despite the rain and the need for Noah's ark, I kid you not, we have a fabulous time. We laughed, got wet, bought yarn, knitted, and made friends along the way.

Sparkcrafted was the organizer, and she did a marvelous job. There are 4 yarns shops in center city Philly: Rosie's Yarn Cellar, Sophie's Yarns, Nangellini, and Loop. We started out at a coffee shop, and went in groups to Rosie's. From there we went in the order that I mentioned. I would have to say a good time was had by all.

Now obviously I got some yarn, because how could I pass up this opportunity, especially when my first stop had a sale basket. I told Suzy, I wasn't going to buy a lot, because I had a lot of things going on, and my stash was pretty big. just some yarn for a hat. You know nothing major. Now to some of you, my purchases may not be major, but when then don't quite fit in the stash container, well....lets just say I won't be making any purchases any time soon.

This first one I got at Rosies for $7 a skein on sale. The red was screaming out to me. The color is actually a little variegated, in that it is light and dark. And it is so soft. It really just jumped into my arms. I'm thinking clapotis.

Next purchase was at Sophie's. Just 1 skein of this Cascade Pastaza in blue. What? Blue? Yeah, I know I never really buy anything blue, but I do like the color. And my favorite football team's colors are blue and white (Colts), so you know. I'm thinking a hat.

The last purchase was at Loop. I saw this Lamb's Pride and immediately Celtic Tote came to mind. Gotta have it!!! There are 3 grey skeins and 1 black for contrast. I already have that pink and brown I want to use for a felted bag, so that's why I chose a different colorway.
Yeah, don't know when I am getting to these projects, but at least I have the yarn for them.

Crawling the (Wet) Streets of Philadelphia

I'm a bit tardy posting about the very successful, but wet, Philly Knitters yarn crawl last Saturday the 8th. I'm having computer issues at home but finally decided better late than never. Jenny Girl, KnittingNovice and I joined yarn forces with a crazy bunch of knitters from ravelry and Live Journal to terrorize the good citizens of Philadelphia. It was organized by Heather, aka sparkcrafted at ravelry and as she noted... "we emptied out a couple of coffee shops". This was one of our Starbucks stops where we did a little knitting and ball winding and tried to wait out the rain.
We also met some terrific knitters that I had previously only known by avatar and blog, like Heather and Rachel. And we bought yarn. I'll save my yarn purchases to share with you another day but let's just say it was a productive day!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

A package is delivered

Ahh yes! My package from Knit Picks! It actually came some time ago, but you know I am a tardy poster. It arrived 3 days after the order was made. Great turnaround time.

The bare yarn is a merino wool for Suzy's dyeing purposes. I can't wait to see what she makes. No pressure though. Seriously! And the blue yarn is my first sweater yarn. I just realized I should have taken a better picture of the yarn. But I was trying to get all my loot in there. I had to get some needles for hat knitting as well.

Now mind you, I don't know when I am starting this sweater, but at least I have the fixin's ready to go.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Aloha shrug and what is so super about this Tuesday?

Happy Super Tuesday Everyone!

I think every day and or week now has a special name. I am just afraid by the time Pennsylvania has their primary in a couple of weeks my choice will be made. Regardless of who it is, I still want to feel as though I had a choice. I don't like things being dictated to me. Although do we really have a choice in our leader anyway?
Alright enough of that bitchin, on to knitting! I have dubbed my vacation shrug the Aloha shrug. Well duh! As mentioned previously, I 'm using the comfy shoulder shrug pattern from the September 07 Creative Knitting Mag. That pattern called for bamboo yarn which was pretty difficult to find on the web, believe it or not. So I am using Knit Picks Shine Worsted. These pictures are from last week, so it is actually bigger now.

I am really enjoying working with yarn. It is soft and smooth, yet not too slippery. I just know this will feel great against my skin. I read Shine may shed, but mine hasn't and I am into the second ball. I needed 10 total. Before I forget, 7 of these balls have come my way from Knitting Novice via Suzy Girl. Neither one of my gals could come up with a project for this yarn, so luckily it was given to me. Yea!
I have to boogie on out the door, so TTFN!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Big Ball 'O Yarn

I spent some quality time this afternoon with an empty paper towel cardboard tube. Standing on a chair, listening to a podcast and winding my latest yarn acquisition into a big ball 'o yarn. Ahh, the excitement of my life even overwhelms me at times.

This yarn is intended for a clapotis. I've been wanting to knit one for some time now and the hunt for just the right yarn has, at times challenged and obsessed me. I've spent hours, (I hate to think of how many hours), looking at finished clapoti on ravelry, searching out hand dyed merino/silk blends on the web, reading all the blog posts on the multiple Clapotis KAL's.

I came very close to buying Sheep Shop 3, a 70/30 merino silk handpainted blend. I've considered Brooks Farm. Several etsy sellers. Maybe even dye my own. I even, for a short time, considered saying to hell with it and just spend $90-120 for the Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb (but I always came to my senses before getting too attached to a LL colorway).

Well, a couple of weeks ago I came across some hand dyed yarn by Miss Babs, on the Woolgirl site and fell in love with a colorway called Bronze Plum. It's a %100 merino superwash in a 560 yard skein, very reasonably priced. No silk in it, but merino alone is nice too. And since there were only 2 skeins left, I decided to just buy them before anyone else did. Regret, over a yarn purchase not made, is a terrible thing.

It was the first time I ordered from Woolgirl and it was a very positive experience. The yarn came quickly, wrapped in pretty color coordinated tissue paper, tied with matching ribbon, a couple of sample products, and a sweet thank you card with a kitty cat. I'm a sucker for presentation, and cats. Nice!

So I decided today was as good a day as any to swatch. And I recently joined the latest clap KAL, Fashionably Late in '08 so that was a little added incentive to get going. I don't have a winder or swift. I usually just wind a hank of yarn on my thumb and carefully drape the skein over my knees or around a chair. But I thought 560 yards of worsted weight yarn called for an alternate plan, the paper towel method. And in my case, it also involved 4 cans of Progresso soup. Don't ask.

I only wound up one skein. I know I probably should alternate skeins since it's a hand dyed yarn but I'm going to live dangerously and hope there's not too much variation between the 2 skeins. What do you think? I swatched on size 7 and 8 needles, I'm going to go with the 7's.

I also "made" some sock blockers for my finished Monkeys. I'll probably treat myself to some nice wooden blockers at some point (or hint to my family when they're looking for Mother's Day or birthday gifts) but in the meantime I did the DIY thing on a very simple level. I found a blog, Little Sesame Knits and following her general directions went ahead and cut up a gift box. I'll try to find a heavier cardboard or other more attractive material next time I'm at the craft store but these do the trick for now. So here's the finished purl-less Monkeys by Cookie A. in Louet Gems Wild Cherry colorway. They are %100 superwash merino and very soft.

So it was a fairly productive start to March. Come on Spring!
Happy Knitting!