Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

It's officially the last day of 2005. Can you believe it? I remember when it was 1995 for crying out loud. I remember 5 years ago, when I brought in a new millenium and everyone was surprised the world didn't end (-I wasn't surprised. I'm not one to buy into doomsday theories). Time flies when you're enjoying life. To everyone: a safe and Happy New Year! Now, onto the knitting:

So here are the three skeins of Bernat Boucle I got for christmas. I'm wondering what I should do with them besides make yet another scarf or hat. Something unique. Interesting. Unexpected.... but what? Posing them on my leather couch was not a good idea but thankfully photoshop worked it's magic and brightened it up a little bit. The colors are wine red, navy blue (looks black, I know), and blue denim (also looks black, but it's really blue, trust me). I am open for suggestions. :)

I finished the Practice Sock from Knitty last night. I used some more of my wool-ease that just never seems to go away (not that I'm complaining). I am so glad I did this. One: it got me familiar with the basic sock construction and terms like "instep" and "heel" as they relate to knitting. Two: I plan on magic looping socks with one circular needle (because DPNS are the DEVIL). It was a little awkward working with one circular and some of the heel stitches are a little wonky, but, eh, it'll improve with more practice. So now I think I'm ready for the real thing. Sometime today or this weekend I'm going on a yarn binge, because Joann's is having a sale on all Lion Brand yarns including wool-ease and Homespun. I'm planning on using Homespun as a substitute for the Ballet Wrap featured on the cover of Interweave Knits. I don't have the pattern yet, so I'm not sure if I should get the yarn, but it is on sale. Oh, the dilemma. Anyway here's the practice sock for you macro viewing pleasure. EXTREME CLOSEUP!

My mom has also put in request for a hooded scarf. And I'm thinking of adjusting the Irish Hiking Scarf that I adore to a Hooded Irish Hiking Scarf. I'm planning on using, yup, wool-ease for this one. Machine washable, warm, and afordable. Can't beat it!

Well, my fiber friends, I'm planning on bringing in the New Year with Mr.V, knitting, movie-watching, book-reading, and Andes manhunting. I'm still wondering if I'll do the New Year's Resolution thing. How about you? Do you have a New Year's Resolution?

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Andes Ransom

I hope everyone had a good holiday! I know I did. I'm still waiting for my Winter Interweave Knits issue and my ball winder. My brother and SIL, gave me 3 balls of Bernat Boucle (different colors) and I need to figure out what to do with it. The colors are denim, navy blue, and wine red. I'll post a pic tomorrow. I also got a booklet of knitting patterns, and Joann gift card from my mum. My presents mostly consisted gift cards and craftiness. (oh, and pair of "jammies" and personlized coasters from my Dad and Stepmum-cool). So yeah, I'm happy.

During the relaxing holiday I managed to cast on and complete a really fun stashbusting project known as Kate from Knitty. You know, that anatomically incorrect pussy *ha* sporting the nifty britches. I'm sure you've seen her. If not, click on the button that says "knitty is toasty" NOW! I stashbusted some left over LB Wool-Ease (oh how I love thee) in three colors: dark brown, "mushroom", and a light mint green. The combination went together pretty well, I thought. But I think I'm going to rename him (yes, him) Andes because his sweater reminds me of those famous after- dinner mints (and Edie's ice cream flavor). Observe him chilling on my bedroom lamp:

This was my first EVER knit toy, and believe me, it won't be my last. It was a lot of fun, and quick enough to please any knitter in want of instant gratification.

Unfortunately, Mr. V detests his "humpty-dumptines" and thinks him more of a hacky-sack than a decoration. After admiring him for a while, I placed him neatly next my lamp while I pondered what exactly to do with him. The next day, while talking about where he should go, I looked over and he was gone. I immediately knew who the culprit was.

Mr. V has abducted Andes and is currently holding him for ransom. I'm still waiting for the ransome request, but... can I trust him not to harm my creation!?? It's been two days now and Andes is still MIA. Folks, this is serious...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays to You!

It's Christmas Eve morning, and I am in day two of my extended holiday weekend. Not much going on right now, and that's perfectly alright. Didn't do too much yesterday either: napped, watched some shows, knit, read (Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen). Later on in the evening we went grocery shopping, which wasn't that bad. I was feeling like I wanted to be "out", so we unloaded the groceries and went to the mall.

Yes, the mall on the Friday night before Christmas. It wasn't that crazy really. We really didn't need anything, but once we got in there Mr. V asked if I wanted to look for running shoes. Hmmm... yes, please! Our vision was then focused on one thing last night: running shoes. I spotted a comfy and affordable pair of Avia's at the shoe haven DSW, our first stop. They were reasonable, but me being the die-hard bargain knew I could do better. So we hit every shoe store in the mall. Unfortunately, my shoes weren't made by Nike, Adidas, or New Balance, so I couldn't find another store that carried them let alone one that selling them for cheaper. (and I noticed at those sport shops with the really loud annoying music, you know the ones with the shoes displayed on the wall, the ones that sell $150 sneakers that will never actually be used in athletic endevours-these store's so-called running shoe collections amounted to 18 pairs of the same shoe but in different colors). So passing DSW on our way out, I had a decision to make. And one fake-out later I was standing in line to pay for a new pair of running shoes.

I told Mr. V while in line that he must know that I'm going to be walking around the house all weekend in them. To which he replied that I can't, not until Christmas. The sneakers are still in the box, in the bag, under the tree. Torture just thinking about it. Love you, Mr. V

Enough of the senseless babbling. In knitting news, I started Kate from Knitty which I'm making from leftover wool-ease. What a fun knit. I have the lower body stuffed already, and next I'll be embroidering the eyes and mouth. Cute! I'll admit she's not the most anatomically correct cat, but I love her nonetheless. The Hourglass Sweater is still laying, neglected in the other room.

I have to say, I'm really liking this "no traveling during Christmas thing". So relaxing. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday whatever their plans. And a safe one as well.

So my fellow yarn whores, have you been naughty or nice? I'll guess we'll know tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday? No, It's Monday!

Well, I said I would post about my cookie baking adventures on Monday... it's now Wedne.. No it's Monday (you are getting very sleepy).

Once again, my posting time kept getting filled with errands, movies, appointments, and all that hoo-hah. I can't wait until this weekend: Just me, Mr.V, christmas dinner and dessert, and a some knitting. Lots of knitting. I haven't even cast on for Kate (from knitty) yet. Hourglass is inching along, and I think I'm getting the stockinette-blues. I need some moss stitch, RIBBING, YO's, SOMETHING. Really, it's not that bad. But I'm not projecting that I'll be finishing Hourglass anytime soon.

But on to the cookies! I made three kinds like planned for my co-workers: sugar cut-outs, pb blossoms, and chocolate pb chip. They all turned out pretty good. My sugar cookies always turn out more like mini-cakes than cookies, though. Why is that, do you suppose? I like the chewy, soft (buttery) sugar cookies. But anyways, I ended up with about 4 dozen each (we ate a few. you know, to make sure they're ok). Then, we dashed to the dollar store to find suitable containers for these confectionary delights. Mr. V spotted these cute little christmas bags while I was looking at cheapo plastic bins. His choice worked out much better. (thanks, mr.V)

A fold here, a stick-on bow there, and I had very cute office gifts. I handed them out already and everyone seemed really excited (cookies seem to have that effect on people, I guess). Baking is my thing when it comes to food. I always had a sweet-tooth. *grins, toothlessly*

So, Mr. V and I are out and about again tonight for some last minute shopping. We'll be splitting up. Mr. V to Joann's. Me to Target. Hmm... I wonder what santa will get me?

I already know of one of my presents: a one year subscription to Interweave Knits. Yeah! I've been drooling over the wrap sweater on the cover of their latest issue. Can't wait! No more National Geographic for me. *screw you, educational reads*

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Alive and kicking

Yeah, I've been a little lazy about this blog the past few days. I've been meaning to post, really, but somehow I was always busy with something during my normal posting time.

Christmas will soon be hear my fiber-friends: are you ready? I have but one gift card left to purchase. I have a small pile of christmas cards to mail out, and two packages. I'm not worried about the packages, because they'll be prioritied to PA on Monday. The cards, I think may be late. I finally set-up the tree. It's a fake four-footer we decorate with the same garland, lights, and bows every year. It's small, but cute. Simple, yet elegant. I'm not one for overly decorated, 1001 twinkly light trees. Just not me.

This weekend we're going to buy our ham. And I'm going to do some baking. I'm making sugar cookie cut-outs, peanut-butter blossoms (the one with hershey kiss in the middle), and chocolate-pb chip cookies (one of my personal favorites). I need to make the pb blossoms first otherwise I'll eat all the kisses. I don't have much will power when it comes to chocolate.

In knitting news, I managed to finish my Dad's b-day gift from LMKG. What a quick knit it was! Size 11 needles and chunky yarn really help move things along. Now, that concludes the gift-knits for me. Back to the selfish knits: hourglass sweater. Which has been patiently waiting it's turn since I put it down last week. I'm not forecasting a yarn binge until after Christmas so I'm pondering some stash-busting. I have a couple partial balls of wool-ease, so I think I'm going to knit this cutey from knitty. I've never made a stuffed animal before, but that looks like fun. If I decide to keep it I'll place somewhere in my office... maybe. We'll see.

Check back tomorrow or Monday for my cookie baking adventure! Ciao!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Saxon Scarf, fin!

Finally, the Saxon Scarf for my MIL's x-mas present is finished and posted:

I still have to weave in the ends, but other than that... My main complaint with the scarf is that the quasi-ribbing I added to border the cabel panel makes the scarf curl. The hair conditioner wash helped a little with that, but it still curls a bit when worn (thankfully the little bit of wool-ease itch is gone). It bothers me a bit, but hopefully it won't bother recipient too much. Here's a close-up pick of the stitch work:

In the mean time, I've started (and re-started) my Dad's b-day gift from LMKG book (project ID will remain anonymous until recipient's b-day). Thankfully, the project is a quick knit due to the use of size 11 needles and Bernat Softee Chunky. BTW- softee chunky is a cool yarn; a good amount of soft and squish for a 100% acrylic yarn-cheap too. I haven't worked on Hourglass since Friday, the gifts are taking priority at the moment. But I'm not at all stressed though. Two knitted gifts over the holidays isn't bad. I'm glad I decided to not knit everyone something for x-mas. I'm just not willing to donate my sanity to a cause like that, call me selfish.

I'll be busy this week christmas shopping, setting up the tree (yeah, I'm a scrooge), mailing gifts and cards, doctor appointment, retirement account meeting, blood drive, and a baking marathon this weekend. I guess I'll have to give up some sleep time for knitting. Oh, well. Nothing like a little sleep depravation to make the holiday's bright. :)

I'm such a drama queen... :)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Saxon Scarf down low

I just want to take a second and say thanks for all the compliments on the Saxon Scarf. And thanks, of course, for just tuning in all the time. *warm fuzzies*

So here are the details on Saxon Scarf for those who are interested in making one:

  • I'm working this with LB Wool-Ease Worsted (in Mushroom) on Denise Interchangeables US 9. I'm figuring I'll use about 1.5 skeins.
  • The cable pattern is a generic Saxon Braid. You can find a chart and written instructions here. I'm using instructions from my copy of Donna Kooler's Encyclopedia of Knitting (see previous post by that title).
  • I added some rib edging and border to the panel. So... here's my first psuedo-knitting pattern (please, be kind):
  1. CO 38 sts
  2. Work 4 rows in 2x2 rib (k2,p2 repeat)
  3. Row 5 (WS): K2,P2,K2 , row 1 of cable panel, K2,P2,K2
  4. Row 6 (RS): P2, K2, P2, row 2 of cable panel, P2, K2, P2
  5. Continue with border and cabel panel until desired length
My scarf is about 5" wide. If you want to widen it, I would just add more border ribbing. Also, my edges are curling a bit, which I hope will relax when I soften it up with a hair conditioner wash. If you choose a 100% wool yarn a good blocking will cure your curling blues.


On other knitting news: I'm still working Hourglass (take 2), and I plan to finish Saxon Scarf this weekend.

Naughty Me...

Charming Amorous Temptress Hungering for Erotic Recreation and Intense, Naughty Embraces

Monday, December 05, 2005

One step forward, two steps back

So yeah, Saxon Scarf is looking pretty good.

I stayed true to my word and cabled my little heart all weekend! .... Ok I cheated a little. But I would say I'm about 3/4 of the way done. Say: another 12" to go? I should definately finish this in time for x-mas. I have to admit that my bubble burst a tad when I saw this post on Craftster. When this was all said and finished I was hoping to get some bragging rights on my favorite crafting forum, but someone already beat me to it. (I like mine better anyways) :P

So after hunching over Saxon (O.o) all weekend I caved in Sunday night and worked on Hourglass. Ahhh good old mindless knit. The lower body is coming along nicely. Well, WAS coming along nicely:

Until I held it up to my body and realized that it was turning out to be a tight knit. Hmm... I pondered. I checked the pattern. I'm working the size that will be 37" when all said and done. That sounded right at first. At least it did to my delusional brain. So I went to bed trying to convince myself that I knit the right size. I mean, I wear a 36 x bra. So 37" would fit me right???? RIGHT??


I took a tape measure to myself and it turns out that my chest is a good 38.5" (not that I'm complaining). Conclusion: the sweater I'm knitting isn't getting over my jumblies. Tonight I will be ripping out hourglass, and starting anew with the next size up. Grrrrr..... You see I have a love/hate relationship with my chest. Sometimes I like it, and sometimes I wish I were a bit smaller so I can wear cute little tanktops without showing off my OSBH (over the shoulder boulder holder). I guess this mistake was me wishing I was a teensy bit smaller. Anyways: Hourglass Sweater, take 2 --> next up on eat-sleep-knit

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Nuttin' but a Nutcracker Snob

Happy weekend, everyone. I'm sitting here eating my breakfast: Grapenuts and vanilla soymilk (YUM... seriously). Mr.V is still snoozing, so I'd figure I'd give a little update.

BTW, Karin- I totally agree about not having to work so I can craft all day. Why, oh, why am I not independently wealthy?

As I promised myself, I worked on the hourglass sweater yesterday. This weekend: Saxon Scarf. I'm serious. And I'll be sure to post some progress pictures ASAP. These projects aren't too terribly complicated so I won't bore with redundant pictures.

Oh yeah, what's up with being down for so long? I mean, I know WHY. But I like surfing that site, and I miss it. It always seems like switching hosts or whatever is such a for websites. Oh well, absense makes the heart grow fonder!

So Mr. V and I went to the Nutcracker Thurs. night. It was a fun night, and not expensive in the least. As for the performance: well, I've seen better. The music, performed live by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, was fantastic but the performance on stage wasn't all there. I am by no means a ballet expert, but I have seen the Nutcracker many times in my life. And this just wasn't very good. So on the way home, I proceeded to knitpick every part I thought was lackluster, and Mr.V proceeded to dub me a "Nutcracker Snob" and barred me from seeing anymore Nutcracker ballets. This being Mr. V's first ballet experience he wasn't too impressed either. He's more of a play person. He just couldn't get into the telling of a story through dance. He also noted, much to my amusement, that "he doesn't need to see men in tights like that" further noting the "definition of the cheeks" and "spread" of some of the male performers. LOL...

Back to knitting: I'm constantly thinking about future projects and right now I'm pondering a cute little poncho. Yes, I know, there is a whole group of anti-poncho knitters out there. But some are really cute (I've been eyeing the Lace Poncho from the Staff ponchos on Interweave Knits website). Not that I care too much about what's in or not, but what are you guys? Pro-Poncho, or Anti-Poncho knitters?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thursday Fun Day, take two

So yeah, I spent a good bit of my lunch break writing a nice long post, but stupid blogger decided to not work so I lost the whole damn post. (I hate you blogger). So here's the gist of what I was going to say since I now have to get back to work:

  1. Didn't get too much knitting done the past few days. Only a couple rows of Hourglass Sweater were finished due to errands, wal-mart, Inuyasha, and LOST.
  2. The new Magknits is out. I like this bag, though I probably won't knit it because I'm not much of a bag person.
  3. Going to Nutcracker Ballet this evening, and how cool is Mr.V that he's willingly going along with me? Thanks for not being macho, Mr. V. (i heart you)
  4. Resolved to devote Sat and Sun to knitting Saxon Scarf. Hourglass until then because it's a mindless knit
  5. Bought a skein of Bernat Softee Chunky at wal-mart to knit Dad's B-day present featured in LMKG (you figure it out). Cheaper alternative to the 100% cashmere called for in the pattern. (chaa-right)
  6. Also bought crochet hook to practice mad-crocheting skills. (thanks, mum!!)

Peace out!

PS- I hate you blogger...