Monday, February 28, 2011

a little clue

This morning I had two different starts sitting on my kitchen table!
Guess what my plants are by March 1st and get a little surprise!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

epic lace fail

Today is one of those "why am I a knitter again?" days. I've been crazy-busy this week and haven't really touched my knitting in a few days and was very excited to knitting with the Zionsville group this morning. But I had a little surprise visitor last night- my brother came home from school which means there will be no sleeping until he leaves Monday morning as our sleep cycles are the exact opposite. I went to bed last night and had to listen to screams and gurgles of blood all night as he watched the Saw movies very loudly in the living room. I can't wait to move out and have a place where he can't come crash for the weekend.
Today got up and went knitting. Found cat pee on the floor. I've been blaming Madeline for the past few "accidents" but caught Tubby Custard in the act the other day. Can't decide if Tubby is senile or angry. I don't really care- I just don't want to clean up cat pee first thing in the morning. Or at all really. Anyhoo, went to knitting. Knitted a lot on my Queen Anne's Lace. Made it to row 72. Realized I've been knitting it wrong since row 23. Will be frogging it tomorrow and starting again, making this knit-along, take 3. I'm just embarrassed at how badly I've blown this. It's like the Yarn Harlot says, "experienced knitters don't make fewer mistakes, they just make bigger mistakes faster." The chart shows every other row (1,3,5,7,etc) until row 23, at which point it kinda just does what it wants, skipping a plain row here, adding an extra repeat there. I wasn't really paying attention because hey- it's a chart, how hard can it be, right? I kept doing the chart row, plain row system and now while my stitch count is perfect, my row count is far from it and I'm afraid that's something that no amount of blocking will hide. Bought some Dream in Color Classy (colorway Wisterious) because I was angry. It will be a hat. Really wanted to buy 10 skeins of Kureyon in a fabulous new color I'd never seen before but was somehow able to restrain myself.
I've got a million things to do tonight but I'm going to try to catch a couple hours of sleep before the Saw marathon resumes.

***Little reminder- you have until March 1st to try to leave a comment guessing what is in my garden. There's one prize for a knitter that wins and there's another prize for a non-knitter, because you never know who is reading.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

cloud 9, 10, and 11

Ever just have one of those days where nothing can go wrong and everything turns out a little better that usual? I'm on my third of those days in a row. Sunday started a little rough after a late Saturday night that involved 15 pounds of sausage, key lime cupcakes, lots of balloons and a little booze. But Sunday got a lot better when I got in the car to go to my awesome Sunday knitting group and GOT TO SIGN AUTOGRAPHS! I know it seems really silly, but it's a first for me so I was tickled pink when I got to sign not one but *three* magazines with my pattern in it! It was so fabulous.
I left knitting early for my cousin's going-away party (he left for Basic Training today- good luck Torey!) and worked on my chemo cap there a little bit once things were quieting down and I was getting twitchy from sitting without knitting. I got pretty far in to the hat and was able to finish it during Big Love. One project down, eleventy-billion to go.
Monday began with a text- no work. It's a holiday and my boss was out of town anyway. Always a great start to the day. I spent the day writing, napping, spinning, knitting and repotting plants that had outgrown the planter they came with. I also had to take a little trip to Walmart for another pot- the pot I had planned to use contained chives that I thought were dead but after bringing them inside to dump them, I realized that not only had they made it through the winter, they were already growing! Score one for the chives! Bought some groceries while I was there since keeping food in the house is not one of my strong suits. Had plantains sauteed in butter and brown sugar for desert and then sat down to watch my Monday shows, Being Human and Castle. I seriously want to be the Queen of Rick Castle. Grrr.... But the awesome doesn't stop there!
I finished TWO projects during my shows! I finished plying some llama that's been an on-again-off-again project for 2 years and gave it a bath and then kept on going with the scarf I started for the neighbor girl as payment for cat-sitting. Boom! Finished that too! I threw that in the wash and it had a little knot or something come untied and unravel a bit, but that was a real easy fix. Since I was knit-invincible, I figured I'd cast on for the Fino knit-along I abandoned last month and poof- was 40 rows in. I must have gotten in the groove or something- I had no idea I could knit that quickly. So here are my finished things and my new circular shawl-my pictures aren't great- it was kind of overcast today and getting dark when I got home but here's the gist of it.
Today started a little earlier than I would have liked- I had a doctor's appointment before work. I'll spare you the details, but something's been a little off and I had some tests run last week. My blood tests came back absolutely perfect. This is the first time since I can remember that they haven't come back to say that I'm super anemic and should really consider giving up this vegetarian shenanigans and eat a steak. So boo yah, wimpy blood. I am not anemic right now and I feel fabulous! After that I went to work and had a super-productive day with my awesome not-anemic blood and had an awesome lunch while reading my awesome book and heard an awesome new song on the radio and then remembered that Glee is on tonight and that's really awesome too. Now I'm going to go have some awesome dinner and hit the treadmill. Make it a great day, readers!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

New leaves

I'm turning over a new leaf tonight. I'm not going to my Thursday night knitting group. And I don't think I'll ever go again. While I love all of the knitters that go, there's just been drama. Too much drama. So much drama, I can't remember the last time I left on Thursday night saying, "wow, I'm really glad I went tonight" because it's just not fun anymore. I look at knitting groups as a small sort of sanctuary- I may go feeling miserable but after a few rows and the company of friends, life is great again. The past few times have been the opposite- I've gone feeling great and just absorbed everyone else's drama, so I'm done. Knitting needs to be fun again.
Continuing with leaves, I've made it to the third repeat (I think I'll do four) of the large leaf chart in my green silk shawl. This project is sort of bittersweet- I love working on it, but I'd also love to see it off my kitchen table. We've been together since last May, and it's time to move on from the silk. I'm starting over on my knit-along for the AWAT group but am still hoping to finish a couple other projects first, including the scarf for my neighbor (could finish tonight if I actually sit down and work on it- crazyness!), a chemo cap for my cousin's friend (I can't say no) and of course, green silk beast. There has been a minor setback in that project- I ran out of beads and the shops where I bought them is going to be closed until March. So my ideal deadline is blown, but I can still totally finish it for my Q1 challenge. Totally.

Let's see- oh yes! We had a holiday in there, didn't we! I skipped my usual Valentine's sulking and chocolate eating tradition and watched a lot of tv while cleaning the kitchen. I've been doing that a lot lately- helps clear my head. You should have seen my house Friday after Thursday's knitting group- it's never been cleaner. Anyhoo, I was going somewhere with this....oh yes! I got a Valentine's Day surprise! One of the ladies that I've knitted chemo caps for left a little surprise in my mailbox, which totally made my day! Aren't they cute? There's a pretty little bracelet that I've been wearing all week. I'm not normally a pink person, but I feel quite thrilled to be gifted something from one of my hat girls.
And now that I've bored you all to tears, let's see who all is reading! I'll do a little giveaway (prize yet to be determined but it should be pretty good!) to the person who guesses what is in my garden.
Just to be fair, all regular members of my Sunday knitting group are disqualified- y'all already know what it is. So is my mother. She has no need for a knitting related prize anyway. To enter leave your guess, a way to identify yourself (avatars/names/email addresses) and your favorite color of crayon. Very important step. Submit your guesses by March 1st to qualify. If you'd like to suggest an idea for a prize, leave that too. I'm open- but the green silk shawl is not on the table for this one.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Just go with it

I'm trying very hard to keep chugging along on my current projects- especially socks and my lace shawl (because that now has a deadline). But sometimes you're digging through your stash trying to find one of the dozens of sets of size 7 dpns that you own and can never find, and you see a skein and a half of green Lion Brand Cotton-Ease and you decide that right now, you need to make a scarf for the neighbor girl from this exact yarn because you promised her one back in November. Since I was there I grabbed a few yards of a few other colors (I'm trying to be more creative with my weaving) and suddenly I was warping across the kitchen. And then I'm dressing the loom. And then I realized I'm doing this part backwards and try to be all sly and just pull it through the heddles. And then I get a really big knot, swore a little and went hang out with friends and have a couple hard ciders while thinking about whether this green cotton is worth trying to untangle, or if I should cut it off the loom and throw it away.

And then after 2 episodes of Six Feet Under, I had this.
I'm so in love. It's cotton, it's cascade 220, it's some berroco shiny yarn, it's awesome. And I totally made the warp long enough for 2 scarves so I can have one too. I'm even marking it every foot so I know when I hit 5 feet and can start the second scarf without ever taking it off the loom.
Sometimes when you get the urge to start something new, you just have to go with it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Things that are Awesome

Just a quick little post today. After a very big day of Super(bowl) knitting, I have a little progress to show on my two main projects right now! I'm sorry for the not so hot pictures, I took them in the murky light this morning before work and planned to take more this evening, but used up all the daylight sitting in the vet's office.

So...first things first- my Valentine's Day socks! They're not even remotely Valentines-y, and that's how this bitter knitter likes it. I worked on them furiously through the Superbowl and was able to kitchener during the Zombie dance on Glee. I wanted to go to bed (still not 100% back from my strep) but casted on the second sock immediately so I wouldn't put it off for months and months. It's a little bigger now since it was my waiting room sock this evening.
Secondly- the shawl. If you look closely and know what you're supposed to be looking for, you'll see that the leaves are getting bigger! Have I made it to the fourth chart? Or am I just holding the camera closer to the ends to play tricks on you?
And lastly but so not least-ly, I made a pair of socks! I actually made them in July, but had to keep them super secret until now because....drumroll please.....
They're my first pattern published in a magazine! They spelled my name right and everything! It's the March issue of Creative Knitting magazine and I'm thrilled with how they made my socks look! The model even looks all happy to be wearing them and everything. I was so happy to get this in the mail on Saturday that I...just kept doing yarny things, but with more confidence.
And that's a wrap (and turn). Have a great day and knit on!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stuck again...

I finally got the ice to break up enough to get the Yukon out on Friday for an afternoon of work. probably wasn't quite ready to go back- I got really tired after a couple hours back in the warehouse. That being said, it was nice to get out of the house. Iwent back home Friday night thinking I'd do a quick turnaround and go meet some friends, but that didn't work. I ended up knitting in front of the tv and calling it a night early.

I woke up today with a to-do list and saw that winter wasn't over with- another few inches of snow had fallen on the six inches of ice. The bank and Joann Fabrics will have to wait. Luckily my brother came home from school last night, and his truck can get through anything. I ended up using it running to the vet when Madeline started acting funny and bleeding in strange places. This cat will be the death of me.

I'm mainly chugging along on just a couple projects while I try to get things finished. My Sunday knitting group has pledged to knit 12 pairs of socks this year (ideally a pair a month) and since Jo's socks took much longer than I predicted, I'm already running a little behind. We've also committed to a quarterly challenge- this is different for every crafter in the group. My first challenge was to knit a sweater on size 4 needles in 3 months. I'm a little too ADD for it and it's been stuck in the naughty corner while I changed my goal to finishing the green silk shawl with beads. I explained in the last post how the repeats work, and I'm on 21/22 for the main section of the shawl. I'm not going to make it to 24 repeats- I desperately need to move on to something more exciting. Here it is as of Thursday ( I think). I've put in quite a bit of time on it, but you really can't tell. It's moving very very slowly.
Here is the newest sock, the first sock of my second pair of the year. (My first pair is one Farrow sock and one pooled orange/purple sock. Who said they had to match?) Yarn is Berocco Sox Metallic, it's from a trip to Florida several years ago, and I adore it so far. I knitted a large chunk of it on the treadmill yesterday.
And finally the Pi Shawl. I joined a Pi shawl knit-along on Ravelry and I'm hardly enchanted with it. I was really in love with it until I started the second chart, which has tons of YO's and twisted stitches, and 6 rows in I was over it. I've frogged it and will be starting something shiny and new when I finish a couple other projects.
Wow this post was boring. I really need to leave the house.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

From actual fever to cabin fever

It's day 2 of winter storm insanity, and day six of being stuck in the house with 2 fussy cats, one of which will not stop bringing me her mousies to play fetch again and again and again. It's only cute for a couple hours, okay Madeline?

So while I'm actually feeling okay to go to work again thanks to those miracle antibiotics- turns out it was just a really nasty case of strep- I always thought there was a point/age when you just stopped getting strep, like there's an age when you just stop peeing your pants...before the age that you start your pants again of course. I guess not. I firmly believe that strep sucks a lot more as a 22 year old than it did as a 12 year old though. But anyhoo, even though I think I'm ready to go back, there is no way of actually getting to work. The Midwest has spent the past 2 days getting pounded with layers of snow and ice and it has turned my neighborhood in to the Himalayas. Okay, that's a slight exaggeration- or is it?
*View from my back door, the small bowl you see at the bottom is the bowl I keep out for the unloved kitties next door, the table and chairs in the distance are actually bar stools/tables and are actually up fairly high- I'm not angling my camera funny to give the snow drifts more credit than they've earned.

So in dealing with the cabin fever (since there's no actual fever as of yesterday morning) I've watered all of the house plants several times, rearranged some furniture, moved it all back, written a few partial articles, contacted several knitting related publications about selling these articles, made a fort in the living room, vacuumed the main floor, watched daytime television (that was scary) and naturally, done lots of knitting and spinning including the starting of one new spinning project and one new knitting project. I did stop myself from starting a crochet project while I was at it since I started one of those a couple weeks ago and haven't touched it since.


1. Farrow rib socks. Haven't touched those in a few days. Should probably try to finish them so they can leave my kitchen table forever. I really hate ribbing on socks.

2. Green Silken Beaded BEAST. I actually added 4 lace repeats, but you can't really tell unless you study the pictures from the last post. I need to start placing markers in to prove progress or this could be a few weeks of really boring blogging coming up. The shawl is Photosynthesis by Emily Wessel, and like many triangular shawls, it's a series of several charts.
You work the set-up chart once (naturally) and then work the subsequent chart 10/14/16 times to be the bulk of the shawl. Since I have done this 16 times and have nearly 1000 yards left of green silk laceweight, I figured I'd do a few more. As long as I have an even number, it shouldn't mess with the pattern, only test my sanity. I think that last time I knitted this shawl, I decided 22 repeats was ideal. I might as well for that again, but maybe I'll do 24. Depends on how long this storm lasts I guess.

Then you move on the transition chart, which only happens once thank goodness. Then you move on to a much bigger chart, which happens 2/3 times but I might throw it in four times- depending on how my yardage is looking at that point. Then you move on to the 18 rows of border stitches, which happens once and then on to a very time (and yarn) consuming bind off.

3. Cabin Fever Sweater. Pattern is called $5 in Paris, they're all over Ravelry. I an untangling a giant rayon knot that has formed over 5 years of neglect (since I last touched this yarn) and unraveling nearly finished sweater that it currently is. In case you were curious, I had only to finish the sleeves and assemble it. But then again, I'm not the same size as I was 5 years ago, so finishing it would actually be quite pointless. Plus I need a sweater to go with my Jeggings.
Yarn is Patons Katrina, which is an extremely sproingy rayon/polyester blend that would ordinarily make me gag a little, but I'm kind of loving it. And the fact that once I finish it, I can have my favorite Kate Spade uberbag back for non-knitting purposes.

4. Handspun! I finished the llama handspun which I have been spinning on-again-off-again like a bad boyfriend for 2 years now, but I'm going to let the twist set for a few days before I ply it. I also spun some more of my Spunky Eclectic from Christmas a couple years ago, but once again, letting the twist set. Plus my wheel is busy again with a Crosspatch Creation roving from the Trading Post. It's the same bag that I carry around the store for an hour every time I go there before I decide I don't need more fiber. I really didn't need more fiber this time, but it was 20% off.
So that's it- back to writing/knitting/polishing the cat.