Sunday, January 29, 2006

Urban Neccessity Mitts: check

They're gloves:

No, they're mittens:

They're glots..ummm... you're MOM!

Well, whatever they are they're warm, they're functional, and they're all mine. I figure these will come in handy when (either this year or next) the temperature drops below 20º which is when my fingertips get painfully numb (yes, oxymoron) while trying to clean off the car in the morning. Even on days when it's not so cold they'll be better when compared to the rather thin fleece gloves I where now. Anyways, the specs:

Project: Urban Neccessities by Colleen Michele Meagher from MagKnits Sept 2005
Yarn: LB WoolEase Worsted in "Forest Green Heather" 80% Acrylic, 20% Wool, 1 skein
Needles: Size 6 Denise Interchangeable long circular using Magic Loop Method
Mods: No design on mitten cap, used kitchener stitch to close mitten cap
Woulda-Shoulda: I understand why there was a design chart for the mitten cap. My mitts are kind of plain, so if I could have mustered some patience and determination I would have done something different with the mitten cap like a cable panel or something. Honestly, I just didn't feel like it. I wanted these to be a quick finish, so I didn't bother. I had a hard time with the directions for starting the mitten cap. It might be how the pattern is written. I might be me. If you plan on making this be careful when picking up stitches for the mitten cap. Try and predict how the cap with lay when deciding where to start picking up. Oh, I was able to complete the medium sized mitts with a little less than 1 skein. The pattern calls for 2. Other than that, it's a fast easy knit and a FO no one can say they can easily buy at Wal-mart.

So, next up is the Traveler Sock. I'm using the same yarn for this, and after I click to post I'm going to start winding my yarn. Cheers!

NOTE: This post was edited on 1-30-06. It was brought to my attention that part of the orginal form of this post portrayed a certain person in a negative light. Out of respect for that person and regret for my actions I have modified this post and deleted the comments pertaining to that section. I very much appreciate the feedback given from Karin, Erleca, and Latoya as well as others who take the time to read and comment on this site. Thank you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Next up, more SOCKS!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Not too much going on in the knitting world. I’ve started the second Urban Neces Mitt and I’m about to work the fingers. This is a deceptively easy pattern, really. Gloves seem like they’re hard, but this pattern is easy in my opinion. However, I would stay away from this pattern if you ABHOR weaving in ends. Because of the way the fingers are worked (from the hand up) you start and break new segments of yarn for each finger which in turn = weaving hell. For me, once I get started weaving I’m good to go. The mitts should be picture ready by the weekend so be sure to check back soon. Hmm.. maybe I can get some goofy action shots since it seems winter is upon us again (luckily, without much of a vengence).

It’s so weird knitting something without Hourglass sweater looming over me. I was feeling a little anxious not knowing what I will do after the mitts are done. But thankfully a Craftster post eased my mind. I’m going to knit one of these socks (probably the Traveler sock). It looks like I might be able to finish the mitts with only one skein of wool-ease, leaving an extra skein for some more socks. What’s great about these patterns is that it uses worsted weight yarn (ideal for stash-busting) AND follows the magic loop method. Freakin’ sweet. I could kiss the girl who made these patterns. And she even included checkboxes in pattern so I can keep my place! This will be my first attempt at a “toe up” sock and a provisional cast on. Luckily, I know a little crochet thanks to mumsie ;)

Other than that, there’s not much ado besides the usual: work (blah), watching lots of Naruto (most annoyingly addictive anime EVER), some movies (Transporter 2, 40 YO Virgin, Corpse Bride), and taking naps when I normally knit, thus, the reason why my mitts are not done yet. Ciao!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Urban does not equal Fashion

I'm just about finished with the first Urban Neccessities mit. I'm liking this pattern a lot and I'm really excited at the prospect of having warm glove/mitts for those extra cold winter mornings that require cleaning snow off the car. Knitting the hand, thumb, and fingers were surprisingly easy-peasy. Picking up sts for the mitten cap was a little complicated. The issue is knowing where to start picking up so you're mitten cap faces the right way. After working a few rows for the design chart for the mitten cap I realized it wasn't looking that anything remotely close to snowflake or whatever it's supposed to be so I re-knit it plain jane style.

I'm about to close off the top of the mitten cap, but I'm going to use Kitchener Stitch instead of the pull-through method the pattern calls for. You can see my mitts are not too fancy and they look kind of weird when they're on your hand, but this is an Urban Necessity NOT a Fashion Necessity people.

Hallejuah! Hourglass is Finished!

Yes, I bet you had almost given up hope of ever seeing this day. But I pulled through, just for you. It's been a long journey, but I'm glad I made it. *chorus in the background sings: "Hallejuah, Hallejuah, Halle-e-e-ju-ah"*

Drumroll please. Here it is, in its FULLY FINISHED GLORY:

It looks so nice sitting on the bed. I'm pretty much in awe that I made something that is even remotely wearable. During my sewing period, I never had good luck with wearable finished products, but then I never spent as much time on sewing something than I do knitting something. And no, I'm not teasing you. I promised model shots and here they are, damnit:

Is it possible to ever get a good mirror shot? It's actually sunny here this morning, and one would think that gobs of sunlight would totally negate the reason for using a flash for a mirror shot knowing that the flash will do nothing but dominate the picture. Anyways... Here's a finished project summary I see on a lot of blogs. It's a great way to summarize, I think.

Project: Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Lion Brand Jiffy (100% Acrylic) in "Country Green" about 7 skeins
Needles: Size 10.5 Denise Interchangeable circulars
Mods: I used a thicker yarn than what was orginally called for, thus, making this sweater a bit bulkier. BUT I would venture to say it was a lot quicker to knit. I had to do some ratios to convert the CO stitches and row counts.
Woulda-Shoulda: You might remember I started making this sweater one size smaller and got about half-way through the body and realized it would be to small (underestimated boob size). So I frogged and knit the next size up. This brings me to my first gripe about this pattern: the sizes are really wonky. There is a pretty big difference between the sizes, which is a problem for someone who fit exactly in the middle of two sizes. I couldn't make the small one because it would be too tight, but the larger size turned out a bit bigger than I would have liked. Exhibit B:

As you can see there's plenty of room around the waist. If I were to make this again (which I think I'd like to, but in Caron Simpy Soft) I would add some stitches to the CO of the body of the smaller size to allow more room for my jumblies, but keep it more fitted around the waist. (people, just cuz a girl got boobs doesn't mean she got belly). Gripe Two: the main gripe about this sweater for many people was the wide neckline. I would have fixed this by doing a couple more decrease rows, but I didn't have enough yarn. So I have to where a tank top underneath when I where this, which isn't a big deal because I normally do that anyway for big sweaters. Gripe Three: Knitting in the round is nice but doesn't help when you have to HEM your edges by hand. Hemming lives stitches wasn't as bad as I thought but it still tested my patience.

Overall, I see myself wearing this. It's a simple but flattering design. It's an easy and mindless knit if you're into that sort of thing. *pats self on back* Hmmm.. now what?

Friday, January 20, 2006

5 Weird Habits! Another MEME

5 Weird Habits of Mine:

This should be pretty interesting. I got this MEME from Erleca, and I’m finding I had the same problem that she did. It’s hard to think of five weird habits. So, these are more like weird/bad habits/quirks. But here goes:

1. I have a habit of sleeping on my back with my knees up. I find this weird because I never fall asleep in that position. I assume it in the middle of night when I’m fast asleep. *shrugs*

2. I like bread. In all its forms. Bread is a snack for me, and possibly even a meal. Toasted with butter, toasted with jelly, plain with butter, plain with pb, toasted with cream cheese and topped with jelly, or just plain. Biscuits, crescent rolls, Italian, French, artisan just hand it over. I fill up on rolls during Thanksgiving dinner, not turkey. I don’t know why, but bread is fulfilling to me. Roll over Dr. Atkins!

3. I’m in the habit of spoiling surprises for myself. It’s related to my slightly obsessive personality, I think. For example, when I’m reading a good book I’ll jump to the last few pages to see how it ends instead of savoring the story as it unfolds. I spoil TV shows and animes for myself by reading fan sites. I say it’s spoiling, but really I don’t mind it. When all is said and done I’m still excited to read or watch what happens. Also, I snoop for presents, and even ask about them directly.

4. When it snows (which normally happens a lot around here, but we’ve been getting a break lately) I clean my car off in this manner: 1. Turn car on 2. Turn on front defroster, rear defroster, heated windshield wipers, and heated seat (high or low depending on how freakin cold it is). 3. Grab ice-scraper and get out of car. 5. Scrape snow and ice off driver-side and passenger side windows first, then clean rear-windshield, and lastly, front windshield. The last step is essential because I believe it maximizes snow removal efficiency. Side windows aren’t normally hard to clean off and since they don’t have a defroster they get clean first. By the time that’s done, cleaning the rear and front windshields should be easy since the defroster should be kicked in. When I get back into the car the wipers should be nice and clean thanks to the heated mechanism and the seat should be nice and warm, thus, optimizing driving comfort.

5. I take a long time try on clothes at the store. I believe this has to do with how I critique my appearance while in front of the mirror. Trust me, it’s not that I’m obsessed with my appearance or I’m really vain (or maybe it is, not that I really care), it’s just that I look over a lot of things. I think of all of the usual things when trying something on, but I also have to analyze other things. I mean I always think I look different in front of dressing room mirrors. Then I think “well is that really how I look, or is it the mirror, the lighting….” Basically, I over-analyze such a simple question as “does this look good on me?” and get completely off track. Meanwhile, Mr. V is wandering around the store listening to music that is probably driving him crazy…

Ok, if you’re reading this and haven’t done this MEME yet consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Bring on the Mitts

I’ve started the Urban Nec. Mitts (with LB wool-ease, of course) and it’s going rather well. Though I understand when people say that knitting gloves are a bit of pain. But it’s not as bad as I thought. As of last night I picked up and cast on the stitches for the mitten cap for the first glove. This should be interesting considering there’s a design chart (gives the mitts a bit of decoration). Also, I don’t normally work with charts. They don’t intimidate me, but I do tend to lose my place a lot when I read them. Progress pics of the mitts will be coming soon.

Ok, so I’ve agreed to this umpteenth resolution for Hourglass Sweater. Since I post my pics on the weekend I am resolved to finish the damn thing in time for picture posting. Really, it’s not like I have a lot more to do. Why do I insist on dragging it out? Maybe I have “finishing trauma” from a previous knitting life. It would be nice to have the sweater ready and wearable, especially since I had to “put down” one of my favorite store-bought sweaters this morning when it was shedding blue velour fuzz all over my bathroom. It was also forming unflattering wholes in inappropriate places. Strange, but crappy velour seems to wear out very quickly. Oh, well. Hourglass will fill the void.

Oh! Let me share this link with you. I found this FREE knitting patterns site from a post of Craftster. Oodles of knitted items freshly translated from their Norwegian counterparts. And from what I understand they’re still translating. Enjoy!

In response to a previous post, I am was quite proud of my yarn stash. But it is definitely put to shame when compared to

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Socks! First FO of '06

WTF! Two days ago it was in the 50's (maybe higher), today it's snowing and 10ºF (according to my weater toolbar). I'm sorry, but in January it should be consistently cold and snowy. January isn't one of those transition months like October or March. But I did enjoy it while it was here. I had to put my sunglasses on during the drive home from work twice last week. Oooh, baby!

Anyway, as promised I have some pics for you. I was able to finish my socks (from Knitty's Socks 101) last night and have since then been prancing around the house in warm, thick tootsie covers. Yes, I have socks fever! Must knit more socks! Maybe I can stash bust some yarn and make some funky striped socks. Hmm... But anyways for your viewing please: my first FO of 2006

Yarn: LB Wool-Ease in "blue mist" (the color I made my clapotis out of), 1 skein
Needles: Denise Interchangeable's US 6 (long-ass circular using magic loop method)
I could have made the cuff longer since I had a bit of yarn leftover, but there's enough cuff to make my ankle nice and toasty so it's alright. Also, I shouldn't have frogged the original cuff and re-started with a larger circumference. The socks are a bit "baggy" and could use more fit. Trust the tutorial, measure your ankle and subtract the alotted amount like it says. One toe is pointier than the other, but oh well. Also, the finished sock without foot looks really freakin long, and, thus, funny-looking. Nothing like a pair of hand-knitted socks to make you confront your inner-sasquawtch. Overall, it's a very easy to follow tutorial and a highly recommended beginner sock project. I also recommend the beginner sock pattern to aquaint yourself with the motions of sock knitting. *patting self on back*

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for. *insert dramatic pause here* Ladies and gentleman, in its semi-finished glory... the HOURGLASS SWEATER!

(click to enlarge)

I haven't touched the damn thing in a week, but as you can see, it's almost finished. The sleeves and bottom or all hemmed. All I need to do is hem the neckline, weave, and fix some stitches. Almost there. Just. a.

I'll be sure to model it when all said and done. I really like it so far, I see it getting a lot of wear. Sweaters are pretty much a staple in my winter wardrobe, so... yeah. I spent some time last night playing with some of my stash yarn. Anyone ever do that? I was trying to get inspiration for what do with my boucle yarn I got for christmas so I just started knitting a few rows on different needles to see what it looked like. I love the yarn, but I just can't figure out what to do with it! With the one skein I think I might make my own stuffed elephant (I love elephants!) since I had such a great time with the Kate/Andes cat from Knitty. The other two skeins... I don't know.

So what's next? Well, since I don't have yarn for Mom's hooded scarf, I'll just move on to Urban Necessities from Magknits. I have some green Wool-Ease for these puppies and one skein is already wound up and ready to go.

I will TRY to finish Hourglass before I start something new, but I'm not making any promises.


Saturday, January 14, 2006


It turns out that I don't have to do work over the weekend. (Probably not I haven't checked my email yet). So that's good. As you've probably noticed I've been apologizing about not posting as frequently as I hoped. When I started this thing in november I was hoping to post about every other day. But now I'm really only posting about twice a week. My intentions are there, trust me. But there two obstacles that block my good intentions:
  1. Yes, I sit at a computer all day at work (and I call myself a chemist?) that has little-to-no internet controls. I'm pretty much given total freedom when it comes to the internet. My job is also stress free about 99% of the time. But the good work ethic in me says to stay away from posting at work, especially since my posts tend to me short novels and I can't post pics there.
  2. Since I sit at a computer all day (away from my darling Mr.V) I normally stay away from the computer after work. Plus, Mr. V pretty much dominates the home computer anyways...
In short, I have to enact a plan in order to post more frequently. Mr. V suggested that I post at least once during the week while I'm at work, and then post (with pictures) as much as I want during the weekends. So that way, even if I only post twice a week at least you get one post during the week and one during the weekend. No long-ass dry spells. Anyways... on to the knitting:

Yeah, so I didn't finish Hourglass sweater yet. I'm damn close, though. All I have to do is hem, weave, and fix some stitches. It's already semi-wearable and you better believe I checked the fit. It looks good considering it's slightly too big (sizing on this pattern is not very good) and I used chunkier yarn (hence no draping). I'm happy. But of course I'm a procrasta-knitter who hates finishing so I distracted myself at the 11th hour last sunday. I started knitting SOCKS!

Oh what joy, I say. I finished one sock and knew I was in love!! I'm just about finished with the second sock and I'll have pictures for you tomorrow. Must make more socks....

huh, hourglass?

On Wed. I went to Joann's to pick up some Homespun (on sale) for the ballet wrap cardigan on the cover of Interweave Knits, which I still haven't received. Any day now...

Tomorrow, pictures!!

Friday, January 13, 2006


Sorry, about not posting for a few days. I'll be busy this weekend with some work, but check back later in the weekend for some pics of Hourglass sweater, Socks, and my stash (of yarn that is).


Monday, January 09, 2006

Have you ever...?

Have you ever...?

Smoked a cigar: Yes, a couple times. Not really my thing, though
Crashed a friend?s car: Umm, No
Stolen a car: No
Been in love: Absolutely
Been dumped: Technically, no. But I have felt rejection
Dumped someone: Yes
Taken shots of alcohol: Yes, in a former life…
Been fired: No, I’m a good worker bee
Been in a fist fight: No (I was just talking about this with Mr.V) I want to just to see if I am capable of kicking someone’s ass.
Snuck out of a/your house: No
Had feelings for someone who didn”t have them back: Yes
Been arrested: No
Made out with a stranger: Hell, NO
Gone on a blind date: NO
Lied to a friend: Yes
Had a crush on a teacher: I don’t think I have…
Seen someone die: No
Been on a plane: Yes
Thrown up in a bar: No, I don’t normally frequent bars
Miss someone right now: Yes
Laid on your back and watched cloud shapes go by: yeah, duh
Made a snow angel: Yes
Played dress up: Almost all the time when I was a kid. I had/have a very active imagination
Cheated while playing a game: No
Been lonely: Yes
Fallen asleep at work/school: Yeah, but not at work. Only at school on rare occasions
Used a fake id: No
Felt an earthquake: No
Touched a snake: Yes, they’re cool
Run a red light: Yeah, but not blatantly
Had detention: Every once in a while for something stupid like forgetting my gym clothes or being late to class.
Been in a car accident: No
Hated the way you look: Yeah, I feel that way sometimes, but I’m becoming more accepting of myself as I get older.
Been lost: In more ways than the obvious.
Been to the opposite side of the country: Almost, does Las Vegas count? :)
Felt like dying: No
Cried yourself to sleep: Yes
Played cops and robbers: Yes
Karaoke: Yeah, fun-times. But not at a club though I want to try that sometime
Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t: Yes
Laughed till some kind of beverage came out of your nose: Yes
Caught a snowflake on your tongue: Yes
Kissed in the rain: Probably
Sang in the shower: Yes, but not too loud
Had a dream that you married someone: Umm, sure
Glued your hand to something: No, lol
Got your tongue stuck to a flag pole: No
Worn the opposite sex's clothes: Yes, but only around the house
Been a cheerleader: Nnnnoo!
Sat on a roof top: Yes
Talked on the phone all night: Yes
Ever too scared to watch scary movies alone: No, but I normally regret it
Played chicken fight: No
Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on: Yes
Been told you’re hot by a complete stranger: Yeah, a long time ago in a grocery store parking lot, but he said I was beautiful, not hot! Still weird, though.
Broken a bone: No
Dipped snuff: Ewww, no
Lived overseas: No, but I’d like to. I have a feeling I was born on the wrong continent
Ever passed out/fainted: No

This was fun!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


oi, what a time I've been having with the internet these last few days! If you have multiple choices of high-speed ISP's where you are I would recommend you avoid Verizon at all costs. We've had them for about a year and every couple months it seems the internet and/or phone decides to get horribly inconsistent or just not work at all. And when you call to bitch/inquire you gab with a machine like an idiot, get transferred to one place then the other, and when you do talk to a warm-blooded organism finally they transfer you somewhere else. ARGH!

Anyways... I have a chance to post again this morning so I'd figure I share some knitting fantasies with you. ;)

I was surfing the Anthropologie website looking at their lovely (but pricey) clothes. Anthropologie is a clothing store along the lines of J.Crew, but I didn't know of their existence until I started reading the Craftster forums. It seems a lot of people like this store, and some even make copycat knitting patterns of some of their sweaters. I don't blame them. Their stuff is gorgeous but even if I'm filthy rich I don't think I'll ever spend $88 for a cardigan sweater like this:

I am just in love with this sweater. I must knit it. But I'm rather new to this whole knitting thing. The thought of making my own sweater pattern intimidates the funk out of me, but maybe I could make this a long term project. It seems rather simple in its design. It has that curved bolero-esque body going on. So I think I could knit a back piece and two small curved front pieces, sewn them together, pick up stitches on the outer edges and 2x2 rib for maybe a good 8-10 inches to allow for a good overlap, add a buttonhole and button on side. Then of course there's the sleeve issue, or rather, shaping the armhole and sleeve cap. The little I know about sweater construction is that sleeve caps and armholes are tricky. Or, they require some thought and planning.

So what do you think? I could tackle this sweater if I plan accordingly, do some measuring, some math, sketching... Maybe I'm not so intimidated anymore. For yarn, I'm thinking Caron Simply Soft. Maybe about 4-5 or skeins would do the trick and that would cost me no more than $10 at wal-mart. A mere fraction of what Anthropologie wants for theirs. Sweet Jesus, I love bargains!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Simple minds....

So, I've been plugging away on Hourglass Sweater. I would say I'm just about done. I'm focusing all my knitting time on this somewhat neglected piece because, well, it's about damn time I finished it. Like I said in previous posts, I'm itching to knit some socks, a hooded scarf for mom, and the ballet wrap sweater from IK Winter issue (which I have yet to receive), yada yada. Still no Andes. He's been neglected lately too, but I did get one of my Christmas presents in the mail the other day: my ball winder.

A pleasant surprise. A new toy for me to play with! I would like to note it's a rather pricey toy for what I received. I'm also not too happy that I paid $8 for shipping, and it still took 7-10 business days, and then they just plopped it on my front porch (not even hidden in between the doors). For $8 they better serve it to me a silver platter, the bastards. Also the fact that it's cheap, "made in japan" plastic, doesn't justify it's $50 price tag, or so my initial impression told me. Thankfully, we used a coupon. But after a few minutes of bitching and threating to return the overpriced item, I was happily converting my skeins into some easy-center-pull-cylinder goodness. I wound up some Jiffy yarn for Hourglass, some Wool-Ease for future Urban Necessities and Socks, and some christmas boucle. FUN!!

*sigh* all is forgiven.

I know I said I was going to adjust the Irish Hiking Scarf to make my mom's hooded scarf, but now I'm not so sure. Sometimes I'm not good at thinking outside the box. Anyone have some design ideas for a hooded scarf?

I'll post Hourglass pictures when all is said and done. Sorry I've been so inconsistent with posting lately. Please be patient with me. Lata!