Thursday, July 31, 2008

Can't Win Every Stage

SO here we are, the end of the month and an uncompleted challenge. This is the first time that’s happened. Let’s asses why the Tour de France was not successful.

Stage 1: I will knit a French Design (probably finish Lutea-Lace Tank or create a Clapotise)

The Lutea-Lace Tank is all knit, sewn and is waiting to have the ends woven in and blocking to commence. It’s been sitting for two weeks I think. Something about finishing just doesn’t excite me as much as knitting. (Knaked knits put out a challenge to knit preemie hats asking us each to make just two. Well I couldn’t resist and five hats latter I’m convinced I need to just finish up these skeins before calling it quits.)

Stage 2: I will knit with a French Yarn (I think I’ll be ordering some Bergere de France yarn)

I thought a French sock pattern with French yarn was the way to go. Although the sock yarn was ordered on 6/30 it still has not arrived. I was hopeful it would come and did not cast on with an alternate yarn.

Stage 3: I will knit a pattern designed by a French Citizen –for this I will knit a Jacquard pattern as Joseph Marie Charles Jacquard, a French silk weaver designed this type of stitch pattern and fittingly his birthday is July 7th! Sacre bleu! (OMG) the same day as The Boyfriend! It’s fate!

I did complete a Jacquard dishcloth so I did finish this stage of the Tour.

I guess like the real Tour De France, we can not win every stage but are able to take victories in different pieces of it.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Girly Beer

Girly Beer
© Mychawd

Sometimes I drink a Margaritas or a Mudslides just to have a “Girly” or “frou-frou” drink. But then there are times when I just feel like a beer but hate to be seen holding the ugly brown bottle. Since I’m making the wines cozy, why not make the beer cozy too? So here is the Girly Beer.

8.5” Circumference, 5.5” high

1 skein of Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky, 108 yards
1 set of US size 6 needles or size needed to obtain gauge
Tapestry needle

Gauge: 4 stitches/inch in stockinet stitch

Pattern Abbreviations:
Sl1: Slip one stitch
M1: Make one stitch

Front of the body
Cast on 18 sts
Rows 1 & 2: work K1, P1 ribbing
Work in stockinet for 4”
Finish with a knit row, at the end of the row, M1 15 times for an additional 15 sts (33 sts)
You can use your cast on of choice but the Make one method allows for a looser edge which will be helpful later on when sewing the sleeves.
*While working the sleeves, slip the first stitch of each row to give a more finished edging to the cuffs.

Next row, Sl1, Purl all stitches, at the end of the row, cast on an additional 15 sts (48 sts)
Sl1, Knit 1 row
Sl1, Purl 1 row
Sl1, Knit 1 row
Sl1, Purl 1 row

Sleeves and Shoulders
Now work the sleeves and shoulders separately, attach a second ball as follows:
Sl1, Knit 20, place center 6 on stitch holder, attach a second ball and work the 21sts on the other side.
Work 2“ in stockinet on each side, about 10 rows, ending with purl row.
Knit across 21 sts cast on 6 stitches and connect to the other side, knit remaining 21sts
Work 4 rows stockinet stitch.
Cast off 15 sleeve stitches, purl rest of the row (33 sts)
Cast off 15 sleeve stitches, knit rest of the row (18 sts)

Back of the body
Work in stockinet for 4”
Work 2 rows of K1, P1 ribbing
Bind off.

Pick up 6 stitches on holder, then pick up 22 stitches around shoulders and back. (28sts)
Connect and knit in the round working K2, P2 ribbing for 1 ½”.
Bind off.

Sew along side seems and bottom edge of sleeves.
Embellish to make it even more girly. I added an S to the front of mine…Super Beer.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Decrease with Confidence

We saw The Dark Knight movie today. I had decided that based on his performance in Brokeback Mountain, Heath Ledger would giv an Oscar worthy performance. I’m not sure if he did since his Joker was so scary I spent the majority of the time when he was on the screen hiding my face. I guess that’s good, when the villain is so scary you can’t even look at him. I did really like the special effects used for Two Face. And the bonus of it all, I knit 3” of the ribbing on the Rose Ribbing Sweater. I'm using the same Nostalgia Yarn I used for the Lutea Lace Tank Top (which is still waiting to have ends darned in).

I have to confess. I didn’t go to class last week due to root canal fun. This means that I didn’t get any work done on the Ivy League Vest. Well I told myself I would work on it during the week before the next class. I have not. I’ve been too busy working on the Waving Lace Socks. Speaking of which, I had an epiphany today. I’m going to share it with all of you good little knitters. But first another more serious confession.

In the past 4 ½ years I’ve been knitting, I’ve never known the difference between SSK & K2tog. It’s only in the last six months that I began to understand that they should be knit differently but I still had no idea about which was which and how they should lean and all that. If I pattern said “left leaning decrease” I would have to go through a period of trial and error each time until I found the right end result.
As you can imagine being SSK & K2tog dyslexic is a bit of a challenge when knitting waving lace. I’ve kept my handy note card with drawings of each on it at my side the entire time. But today was a different day. Today I decided that enough was enough and I wanted a mnemonic to help me remember which is which. I recruited The Boyfriend for help but turned out not to need it. Just looking at

K2tog SSK

made me realize that the K is the stitch that ends up on top!

K2tog, the K is on the left, and that stitch is on top, thus it’s a RIGHT leaning decrease.
SSK, the K is on the right, and that stitch is on top, thus it’s a LEFT leaning decrease.

Bloody Hell!!!! Why didn’t somebody tell me this sooner! I can know decrease with confidence!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sometimes the music doesn’t stop and that’s ok

Day two of our vacation was funny. We laughed all day. My aunt took me for a ride on their ATV during which we broke multiple laws and I was certain I needed a helmet. Later we drove to Canada where we ate at Boston Pizza. Good food but I had to chuckle that the city of Boston was being packaged into this trendy bar loaded with sports memorabilia. I’d say about twice an hour either Mum, LT or I would break into song, Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia, Take A Chance on Me. We really are all stuck on the Abba songs but don’t seem to mind. The only one voicing discent is my uncle who insists on responding to our singing by singing Cold Kentucky Rain by Elvis. It makes us all laugh but does not get the Abba songs out of our heads for long.
I have to admit that there was a distinct drop in knitting time. I worked on the second sock for the waving lace only to find that the waving was more of a straight line and I had to rip back the 19 rows of the first repeat. The pattern requires about 20% of my concentration as I need to remember when I did the YO & K2tog or SSK two rows back at any given moment. That makes it a little tiring.

Last night as we were about to settle down around the campfire for smores, the Two Old Crows arrived (my grandfather’s sisters, but I believe that was his nickname for them). While unexpected they were welcomed and joined us for a few hours. As they regaled us with tales of their adventures, we laughed that you never see one without the other. Both of them are forgetful which adds to the hilarity of their stories as one asks the other questions about details. Sometimes they say they can’t remember and other times they say they were checking to make sure the other could still remember. It’s all very funny. They did check out the sock I was knitting and asked if it was galoot warmer. I demonstrated that it was much too wide for that and we all laughed. They really are crazy old ladies. One of them looks so much like my grandfather, it’s shocking. I don’t remember that from childhood but I’m guessing without all the polish of hair dye, make-up, etc. there is more of a resemblance. I knit until it was dark and then put my socks away.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


When you go on vacation it’s exciting. For me, part of the excitement is getting up for an early morning flight. Although we were not flying, I still wanted some of that excitement and Mum & LT humored me. I set the alarm for 4am and surprisingly they both got up and got ready to go. By 5am we were in the car and on our way. I am crazy but they are just as crazy for going along!

Mum and I switched off driving as we sang a majority of the way. Mamma Mai! That’s the Name of the Game! Waterloo! We are all doomed. They saw and loved the movie just as much as I did.

Upon arrival we had a quick bite and then spent the afternoon talking by the pool. Mum laughed that the younger generation was knitting (silly stereotypes confusing people). Now if only I could get LT beyond a garter stitch scarf. Oh well she’s happy so who am I to change what she knits. I spent most of the afternoon working on my waving lace socks. I had set them down for too long to easily find my place. But I’m back at it and almost at the heel on the first one.

Tomorrow promises to be more relaxing and knitting. Can’t wait!

Monday, July 21, 2008


I am finally free of the demon that’s been residing in my left molar! After two days of maximum pain killers I had an emergency root canal! Not the most pleasant of experiences but I was brave enough to do it without the gas (but I did shake through the entire proceeding). I can’t tell you, almost immediately after he had “cleaned it all up” I felt like this giant weight had been lifted off my jaw. Now it’s just a little Ibuprofen for the surface pain from the procedure. I feel SOOOO much better. Back to my normal chipper self. And back to my knitting self. I swatched for Who Loves Turtles sweater. And is discovered I don’t have any size 7s in Addi Turbo needles. Can you believe it? I think I might have to convince my fellow travelers to take a detour tomorrow.

Did I mention that Mum & LT & I are heading north to visit family for the rest of the week? We’re going to hang out by the pool and relax and laugh. I’m anxious to let our hair down.

I am a bit sad that I still have not received the French yarn. It’ll be a race for the end for sure.

I’ve already started thinking of the August challenge, I think it’s time to knit another mile, but it’ll be sock yarn since I’m itching to knit socks.

Hope fully can finish the Waving Leaf Socks this week so at least I’ll be moving forward in the Year of Favorites.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's Done!!!

I just finished sewing up the blanket and am about to go block it. ~happy dance~happy dance~

Because it’s for a baby I really want to wash it with wool wash before she gets it. You never know where you’re yarn has been, especially when it’s yarn from a chain store. I completed the booties and added a little checker board of pink and white to the top of them only to realize once they were finished that they were definitely not wear now booties. They looked more like something 2 year old Sophie would wear. So I whipped up a second smaller pair using Christine’s Baby Booties Pattern, alternating pink ridges to match the blanket and hat. I am thrilled to have this set nearly behind me. And if I never see another pastel pink yarn it wouldn’t be a tragedy.

Now I can return to my regular knitting. Well not just yet. This afternoon I’m heading to see the new movie Mamma Mia with the girls. I'll need something to work on in stockinet or garter stitch so I can knit in the dark theater. Probably will finish off those dishcloths or work on the Native Vest which has been on pause for a couple weeks.

In Tour De France news, I’m still waiting for Stage 2 yarn to arrive. I did receive a notice last week that they shipped it. I really am itching to work on some socks so if the yarn doesn’t arrive soon I might have to work on another pair.

The blanket is all pinned out and drying. IT looks amazing! All of the XOXOs really show.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Thursday's Progress Report

Thursday progress report is coming a bit late today.
I was fed up to my eyebrows with knitting squares so I decided to switch it up and work on the hat and booties. The hat came out awesome!
I’m so pleased with it. Although I would’ve liked more XOXOs around the base it’s still good. For sizes up to 6 months and there’s an O on the top!
As you can see Billy modeled it very nicely.

The booties are a bit slower owing to the fact that I’m kitting bullet proof fabric with smaller needles and more stitches. I’m using size 6s and the pattern from Holiday Knitting. They are a cute white and pink blend but until they are sewn together they really just look like a rectangular cube taken apart.

Today was also a Five Mile Friday. I actually did a little longer than that, I did 5.6 miles. It’s interesting that as I’m walking along about half way in my hips hurt, then that passes and my knees start to ach a little, then at about mile 4 my calves really start to scream and they don’t let up until I get home. Good to note that my energy levels stayed at about normal after the walk. The two weeks previous I was exhausted until I finally broke down and took a nap.

I walked a big loop through a couple miles of canopied roads that had horse farms on the sides. It was around 8am and the temperature was almost perfect, 5 degrees cooler and I’d have been in heaven. Did you know that there are these ugly black flies in the woods? I think they are technically called deer flies but I blamed the horses for their presence. Oh were they annoying!

After that I rushed off to Plaistow to Knit Pickings with the girls. I took the plunge and bought 16 skeins of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. I just love this yarn. I used it to make both of the Better Bucket Hats. Perhaps this is my favorite yarn, at least in my top ten. So I bought enough to make the Longorias Something. It’s a turtleneck vest. I’m so anxious to cast on but I’ve got to finish my booties and baby blanket.

Also while I was there I bought these Ginger Sissors. We will not have a repeat of the events of Sunday.

This morning I knit one more square which means there are four to go. I’m thinking I can whip those out tonight while The Boyfriend is off at his brother’s Pre-Bachelor-Party-Party. I did get invited which pleased me but I don’t think I want to be around any of the guys this weekend. Their brains will all be mush.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday Progress Report

Here is Wednesday night’s progress report. As you can see I just need one more strip for the blanket to be complete. I feel like I should add a disclaimer for all of the non-knitters. Blankets do not normally knit this fast. This has been a superhuman feat. Something that belongs in a comic book or on the show Heroes.
I am Super Knitting Girl….knitting faster than a speeding bullet.

MacOban felt the need to point out exactly where that 5th strip was missing. He walked over to the pieces displayed on the floor and slid one out of the way to make space for himself and the 5th strip. I always knew I had a smart cat.

I am of course getting rather tired of knitting these little squares after completing 7 yesterday and knowing that there are 5 more in my future for today. Perhaps I’ll do the hat today to break it up.

Last night we had another fun filled evening of knitting. It’s sad to realize that we will not all be here together, knitting and laughing forever. We must enjoy the time we are given.

After the first day of freedom, The Boyfriend informed me that “the best part about you not working is that there isn’t a shower conflict in the morning." I had no idea we had a shower conflict. He just always let me choose. Poor Boyfriend. I like visiting in the mornings instead of running around packing lunch, walking, and getting ready.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

6 Questions

As of Tuesday night, the Emergency blanket is half finished. Thank you to those who asked, the finger is useable. I had hoped to knit a strip each day for five days and then have the 6th day for the hat, booties, sewing, and blocking. So really I should have 3 finished strips not 2 ½ but I can’t complain too much.

I’m dreaming up what the matching hat should look like. I thought I’d take a shot at drawing on the computer. The crazy things I can do now! so exciting!
Here is a first rendering. I tried to get some knit texture in there.
My only concern is that worsted weight yarn might not allow for as many XOXOs as I’d like.

I take lots of notes, and record my thoughts on patterns and projects here and on Ravelry but I don’t do it consistently. For example the Fake Isle hat, when knit the first time killed my right hand as I was double stranding the black yarn. I loved the color variation of the Noro yarn but didn’t find the end product particularly smooshy as a good hat should be. And the end result was a ½ an inch to an inch too short so that throughout an evening it sneaks up over my ears. These are all good notes but will the help me in the future when I knit the pattern again? Will they help me if I work with the yarn again? Perhaps if I can sift through my other thoughts on the subject and find them. I want to attempt to be more organized and a bit more thoughtful about each project I complete. To that end, I’m going to answer 6 questions about each and hopefully that will help me recall what I liked, disliked, learned, felt, etc.
Yarn Questions:
  1. How did the yarn feel in my hands?
  2. What do I think of the drape or texture of the knitted fabric?
  3. Do I want to use this yarn again?

Pattern Questions:

  1. What would I do differently next time?
  2. Are there any problems in the pattern?
  3. What did I learn from this project?

I believe that my motivation to knit is directly proportional to the amount I’m learning. That’s the main reason why I cast on a new project with anticipation instead of knitting the same socks, bag and hats over and over. I have always hungered for knowledge. I listen to podcasts to learn new tricks and techniques. I read Elizabeth Zimmerman to capture her experience. I constantly talk to my knit sibs about their projects and want to know all the details and their thoughts on them. Something inside drives me to gain as much knowledge as possible (don’t worry, I do want to know about things besides knitting). Of my six questions, I think the last one is the most important and informs my happiness with a project more than all the others. Now enough knitting philosophy, I’ve got an Emergency Blanket to knit!

Also, I'm still waiting on my French Yarn. Stage 2 might be an uphill sprint if it doesn't arrive soon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Knitting Emergency!

Saturday we had a knitting emergency! I know I know you are wondering how to deal with a knitting emergency. Well the first step is not to slice open your left index finger with a pair of scissors. That definitely does not help resolve said emergency.

Saturday morning I awoke groggy and anything but rested. The night before we’d watched Gone Baby Gone and found it disturbing. Not because of the images on the screen, or an resolved plot but because of the fear that inner city life here in the Northeast could be that coarse, grimy, vulgar, treacherous, and cruel. The movie wasn’t set in some distant past or foreign country. It was set during present day in a city not 100 miles from my front step. It was definitely an eye opening film and worthy of acclaim for both Afflecks. But the movie did not cause the knitting emergency.

So Saturday morning the folks, The Boyfriend, and I pile into the car and head north for a family reunion. 4.5 hours there, visit for 4 hours, and drive 4.5 hours back. It was crazy but Dad was driving so I knew there’d be some quality knitting time. As I’m knitting along on the boy’s hat, Mum mentions that the neighbors daughter recently had a baby and…(insert dramatic music here)… Mum would like me to knit a baby blanket, booties, and a hat for her… for say next weekend!

Now I’m a fast knitter owing mostly to the number of hours I spend knitting in a week (typically 30 but that’ll be increasing). Red warning lights start spinning in my head and I hear the ambulance approaching…I think a blanket, booties, and a hat in a week is that even possible? I do like a good challenge... and my calendar is pretty free this week. I say ok I’ll do it. I’ll need worsted weight baby yarn and a pattern, neither of which are in the car so I continue working the boy’s hat and nap intermittently throughout the ride.

We arrived back at the house around mid-night on Saturday and I’m doomed to have another night freighting over life in the inner city. Sunday I awake and watch the clock tick by to 10am when I can make a break for A.C. Moore to get some baby friendly, worsted weight, pink and white yarn. Mum has said she wants pink and white. She picks an XOXO baby blanket that is knit in 5 long sections. I get the yarn and race home. Sit and start my marathon of knitting. Sunday I knit for a good 8 hours and completed 5 squares, about 20% of the blanket. I’m doing good. Saturday shouldn’t be a problem.

Monday morning I get up, work on it a bit and head off to knitting class. As this class is devoted to the Ivy League Vest I do not work on the blanket. I work on the blanket some more throughout Monday afternoon intermingled with playing with kittens. Go ahead and tell me Big Papi, Nessa's boy isn't the cutiest kitten eva!

Then Monday night after completing the 4th square I cut the white yarn and am about to switch to the pink when my scissors slip and I cut an inch long slice out of my finger! Yeah it hurt but you know I was willing to work through the pain only the excessive blood wouldn’t go so well on the pink yarn. Phooey! I had to stop knitting for the night and allow the finger some time to regenerate.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Closing in on Stage 1 and Stage 3

Today was the second Five Mile Friday. I woke up early, drank some coffee and was out the door by 6:02am! I did a great big loop through the surrounding neighborhoods. It was a bit brisk for the first thirty minutes. I’m really enjoying Leona Lewis’ music right now. And I did load the Ipod with ABBA in preparation for the movie Mamma Mia. It was a good walk but I’m very tired, the knitting girls kept me up way way too late last night.

Next the electrician came and turns out our dead outlets needed the little ground button the laundry room outlet pushed. Did I feel dumb? You betcha! But hey, live and learn and move on. Next time I’ll flip the circuit breakers and press all the ground buttons in the house.

Now what, well what do you think? Of course I’m knitting. Working on the boys hat. He saw my Expectant Hat and wanted one of his own. I didn’t want to use Noro since their colorways aren’t as dark as he’d like, and the whole non-tussah silk thing. Mostly he wears blue, black, brown, and green. So I’m using some self stripping Jasper yarn in shades of black, along with some chunky MGH Frog Tree Alapaca. It’s wonderfully soft but oh so complicated to work a chart where the black boxes are really the grey yarn and the white boxes are really the black yarn. Several times I’ve had to stop and rip back a row or two. I’m about half way through the chart, enough so that I can read the knitting itself and determine where I am so it should get easier going forward.

Oh and the Lutea-Lace just needs the shoulder seam sewn and it’s done. Well it needs to be blocked too, but then it’s done. And some ends need to be sewn in, but then it's really done! I’m very excited; it fits perfectly and is just what I envisioned. Only thing, I have 4 skeins of yarn left. Loose knitter and all, I think I should always plan to use one size smaller needles to compensate when it’s a garment or something that the gauge really matters on.

The Ivy Leauge Vest is pulling ahead in the polls.
Exactly what polls I’m referring to here I’m not sure but I do feel this sense of hopefulness as I continue to work through the pattern. I need to make it to 13” at which point I begin to do the ribbing at the bottom of the V-Neck. As promised here is a photo of my progress so far. I’ve done about 3” since it was raised from the dead. I must admit. I’m a bit concerned that it’s only a 42” chest measurement. I know the V-Neck will accommodate a larger bust size, but I’m concerned that the mid-section might be a bit snug. All the more reason to keep walking and loose a few pounds.

This morning my soon-to-be sister-in-law gave me the opportunity to work the “Zig Zag Jacquard” Stitch pattern I found for Stage 3 of the Tour De France. She’s given me free rein for colors and shapes so I’m thinking a few squares, a few circles, and flowers using some of the odds and ends of kitchen cotton I have.
(Later) Regenerated from a little nap I’m ready to head to the local Greek Festival. Let me tell you, those little Greek Grandmas really can cook so much better than any restaurant I’ve ever been to. I can’t wait to get my yearly serving of Spanakopita (Greek "σπανάκι + πίτα", spinach + pie)!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Go Team Michellows

What is the purpose of this blog? Really it’s an outlet for my knitting babble that would cause The Boyfriend’s eyes to bulge if he were forced to listen to it. This blog has also turned into a record of my life as it overlaps with knitting. Cat shows and designing, shopping sprees and bond fires, yarn ravings and pedicures. I enjoy the creativity the blog offers as well as the freedom of expression. It’s a soap box all my own from which I can paint the world as I see it.

I’ve been painting a lot lately, attempting to distract myself from an unpleasant working environment. You may have noticed my angst in the Dear Abby posting. I try to keep my postings upbeat and pleasant, after all there’s nothing worse than a depressed podcaster dampening your whole day. You don’t read my words to feel sad. You read them to learn what’s going on in my piece of New Hampshire, and laugh (hopefully) at what a silly person I really am. Alright, so get to the point, your acting like a certain Boyfriend I know, taking a leisurely stroll down a tangent or two on our way to the conclusion.

What I’m struggling to put down for you is the recent decision I’ve made to resign my job. The boyfriend and I are in a place financially where I don’t need to work. So why am I forcing myself to do a job I dislike with a person that does not respect me? We’d both rather see me happy than whatever it is that I’ve been.

While I know this is the right decision there is part of me that is concerned about my future. The part that never changed her name after the wedding, because she is her own person not someone else’s. The part that got a degree to be self-sufficient. The part that has always insisted housework be done together, 50-50. I’m a bit nervous but also a bit excited about my new freedom as the Boyfriend and I forge into a new world, one in which we maintain the balance while acknowledging that we both contribute in different ways to this team, Go Team Michellows!

Monday, July 7, 2008

In Love with My Knitting

As you can see MacOban is recovering from his Brain Slug encounter. He was sunbathing on this 85+ degree day when I brought over my Lutea-Lace Tank Top. Clearly he wanted one of his own. Or perhaps he felt a kinship with this similarly colored garment. Either way, Stage 1 of the Tour De France is going well. Yesterday it seemed like I wasn’t going anywhere but today I seem to have turned a corner. I finished the right back shoulder after work today. I’m pleased with it and anxious to do the other sides. I really enjoyed working the short rows at the chest. It’s a great way to raise the V-Neck above the armholes so it isn’t too plunging. It seems like the majority of my work tops are raveling to varying degrees. So this more modest tank will be a nice switch. I’m trying to be patient, but it’s so hard. I don’t like ordering yarn online anymore. Delayed gratification is so un-satisfying. My French yarn hasn’t arrived yet, and I’m itching to cast on the Springtime in Paris socks. They are delightful with their mini Eiffel Towers running down the sock. Nothing has happened with Stage three, Jacquard, although it is his birthday today so I say a Happy Birthday to Mr. Jacquard!

This morning I started a class at the LYS to help push me to finish the Ivy League Vest. I know that’s not a name you’ve heard recently. In fact 10” of vest has been folded up in the corner for the past 3 months, sufficient time for me to completely forget everything about it except the fact that I don’t know where to start the V-Neck since I’ve lengthened the body. With a little detective work and some guidance it took about 30 minutes for me to be on my way again. I’m surprised that I still like the vest. Seems like I should’ve gotten sick of it by now. Photos to come later when I have more progress to show. You know it takes a long time knitting Fair Isle on size 4 needles for anything tangible to show.

Now off to watch the new Futurama movie…review to follow.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Double Success

Busy weekend here in NH. Yesterday I went on a Boston Yarn Crawl with some friends. The weather was perfect for me. Mid 60s and overcast. We all had success at Woolcott and Co. I of course got some Malabrigo. I fear I may be becoming a collector since I buy it for no other reason than it’s pretty. I don’t have a project in mind... or worse yet, I don't like the way Malabrigo looks when it's all knit up. It has more of a halo than I like on my hand knit items, yet I can’t stop myself from buying it.
Later we had some Watermelon beer at Boston Beer Works. While it was a bit watery, it was definitely refreshing. And after walking close to 5 miles, I crashed in the car on the way home. Wait that sounds bad, by “crashed” I mean I fell soundly asleep, but not while driving, I was ridding. But thank you to Katie for putting up with us snoozers.

After a full day of shopping I headed straight over to K & K’s house. It’s been too long since we’ve seen them. Such good people. They make me smile. I worked on the Waving Lace Socks quite a bit. I’m glad my non-knitting friends all accept that when we’re together there will be knitting on my part and it’s now just an accepted fact, not even worth commenting on. It’s very comforting to be able to chat while doing ones favorite pastime. We spent an enjoyable evening filling ourselves with sweets and wine, and listening to The Boyfriend regale us with stories of his glory days at Colvin Hall. 14 hours after leaving the hourse we returned. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed crawling into my bed as much as I did last night. Then at 5:25am the “kitty kitty bird” perched on the fence outside our window and began to serenade me. Oh what a lovely little #$&%!!!! I was up and that was it.

Later after working on the Lutea Lace Tank for a few hours and really not making much progress, my parents came to take The Boyfriend out for birthday dinner, which was delicious! We laughed and talked about motivation (affiliation, power, achievement…10 points if you can name the person who came up with this theory) and baseball scoring. Odd as it may seem, I found it all interesting.

OHHHHHH and my scatter brain is missing the fact that The Boyfriend LOVED his brain slug!!!! While I was glad the Brain Slug pleased him I’m more excited to see the number of knitters favoriting and queuing my patterns over on Ravelry. I’m thinking I will release a pattern a month and hopefully be able to charge for the more difficult ones, see the Fair Isle Top Down Gloves. I think it’s the feedback from my comrades that is so encouraging. I just hope to be creative enough and popular enough to become a full fledged Hand-Knit Designer.

And last but certainly not least, the second success came when The Boyfriend finally consented, after months of hard work on my part, to an addition to our family. Curlfect’s Once in a Blue Moon will be joining us in about a month when she’s old enough. While she’s not Nessa’s daughter she is a petite little blue female who is shy and sweet. Isn't she just the cutiest, look at those ears, and eyes and a little white near her nose! Just this past week she fell asleep in the crook of my arm. This limited my ability to knit (and we all know how I turn rabbid from lack of knitting) so I shifted her to my leg and propped her head up on a skein of yarn. It was the sweetest thing…


© 2008, Mychawd

Finished Measurements:
after felting, 5” high x 8” long (including tail)

  • Knit Picks Wool of the Andes; one skein of each red, yellow, and black.
  • US size 10 needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Polyester fill for stuffing

Gauge: 12 sts/14 rows =4 inches in stockinet stitch

Pattern Notes:
knit using two strands of yarn.

(Make 2)
Cast on 2 sts
Finished measurements 1½ x 5”
K1, M1, K1
Purl row
K1, M1, K1, M1, K1 Tail: (Make 2)
Purl row Cast on 7 stitches
K1, M1, K3, M1, K1 (7sts) Stockinett stitch for 5 inches.
Purl row Bind Off
K1, M1, K1, K2tog, K2, M1, K1 (8sts)
Purl row
K1, M1, K2, K2tog, K2, M1, K1 (9sts)
Purl row
K1, M1, K1, M1, K1, K2tog, K2, M1, K1, M1, K1 (12sts)
Purl row
K1, M1, K1, M1, K1, M1, K2, K2tog, K2, M1, K1, M1, K1, M1, K1 (17sts)
Purl row
K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K1, K2tog, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2 (22sts)
Purl row
K2, M1, K2, M1, K5, K2tog, K7, M1, K2, M1, K2 (25sts)
Purl row
K11, K2tog, K12 (24sts)
Purl row
K11, K2tog, K11 (23sts)
Purl row
K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, SK2togPSO, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2 (17sts)
P1, *P2tog, P1 repeat from * across row to last st, P1 (12 sts)
K5, K2tog, K5 (11sts)
Purl row
K4, K2tog, K5 (10sts)
P4, P2tog, P4 (9sts)
K2, K2tog, K1, K2tog, k2 (7sts)
Bind off

Finished measurements ~7 ½” high ~5” at widest point
Cast on 2 stitches
Knit into the front and back of both stitches (4sts)
Purl 1 row
K1, M1, K2, M1, K1 (6 sts)
Purl 1 row
K1, M1, K1, M1, K2, M1, K1, M1, K1 (10sts)
Purl 1 row
K2, M1 across row to last 2 stitches, K2 (14sts)
Purl 1 row
K2, M1, K3, M1, PM, K4, PM (these 4 stitches mark the center of the belly) M1, K3, M1, K2
Purl 1 row
K2, M1, K2, M1, K3, M1, K4, M1, K3, M1, K2, M1, K2
Purl 1 row
K2, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, M1, K4, K2
Purl 1 row
K2, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K5, M1, K4, M1, K5, M1, K3, M1, K3, M1, K2

Work Stockinet for 6 rows
K to marker, K6 wrap and turn
P8, wrap and turn
K9, wrap and turn
P10, wrap and turn
K11, wrap and turn
P12, wrap and turn
K13, wrap and turn
P14, wrap and turn
Knit across the remainder of the row
Purl 1 row
K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K6, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K2
Purl 1 row
K2, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K4, K2tog, K2, K2tog, K3, K2tog, K2 (24sts)
Purl 1 row
K2, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K2, M1 with black K2 (center 4+1), K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog, K2 (19sts)
Purl 1 row using the same color as the previous row
K8 in red, K3 in black, K8 in red
Purl in the same colors
K8 in red, K3 in black, K8 in red
P6 in red, P7 in black, P6 in red
K6 in red, K2 in black then center 3 in yellow, K2 in black, K6 in red
P6 in red, P2 in black, do center 3 BEAK as noted above, purl across the top of the beak in black, P2 in black, P6 in red.
K6 in red, K7 in black, K6 in red (19sts)
P4 in red, P4 in black, P1 in red, P4 in black, P4 in red
K2, K2tog, K1 in red, K3 in black, K3 in red, K3 in black, K1 , K2tog, K2 (17 sts)
Purl row in red
K4, K6, wrap and turn
Purl 5, wrap and turn
Knit 5, K2tog, wrap and turn
Purl 6, K2tog, wrap and turn
Knit 7, K2tog, wrap and turn
Purl 8, K2tog, wrap the last stitch and turn (13sts)
Knit 9, K2tog, wrap the last stitch and turn (12sts)
Purl 11
K2tog across the row (6sts)
P1, P2tog, P2tog, P1 (4sts)
Treat as I-cord P4 stitches
K2tog two times
Bind off

using yellow yarn P3, turn, K3, turn, P3 turn, K1 K2tog turn, P2 turn, K2tog, cast off 1 stitch. Separately cast on 1 stitch, P1 turn, K into the front and back of the stitch, turn, P2, K1 M1 K1, P3 turn, K3 turn, P3. Place the 3 stitches on the left needle above the lower portion of the beak.

Felt until desired measurements are achieved. When sewing the body, make sure the top of the head is flat. Sew the back of the beak together closing the hole. Sew all pieces together leaving an opening in the back for stuffing. Place the tails at the center back above the tip of the body at slightly different heights and somewhat overlapping. Cut the two tails in half lengthwise and rub your finger on the cut edges achieving the same finish as the rest of the piece. Allow to dry, stuff with polyester fill, and finish sewing. Now place in house plants to confuse cats.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Inaugural Five Mile Friday

Today was the firsts in what I hope will be a standing occasion. Today was the inauguration of Five Mile Fridays! My Mum informs me I need structure in my life, and that I’ll quickly grow tired of a “life of leisure”. So I thought, I’ll take some classes, cook dinner two nights a week, walk every day, and on Fridays I will make a point of doing a lot extra. I will walk for 5 miles instead of the standard 30 minutes.
So today Dad and Simon (their dog) headed out for the first 5 miles.

This is a man-made pond in what used to be a gravel pit. We also saw some lovely soccer fields that are built right on top of land fills. I think this is the ultimate in reclaiming the land, in correcting the mistakes of our ancestors, and in healing the planet. Once the area was a dumping site for a tannery. Now it’s a lush field in the middle of the woods near a pond.

Walking 5 miles wasn’t as bad as I expected. It took close to 2 hours and was 14,000 steps according to my pedometer. By the time we finished my hips and the outside of my knees were soar. We ate a delicious Thai lunch but I still didn’t feel “right” until about 3pm. Walking for 2 hours is a big exertion for this sedentary office girl.

This afternoon I finished the Retro Rib Footlets, the first pair of socks from the Favorite Socks Book. Now I’ve cast on the toe for the Wave Lace Socks. Love the way the Jitterbug yarn is semi-solid.

I have some sad news, this afternoon we had our first Brain Slug tragedy. I did all I could to revive MacOban but he it was too late.
And last but not least I cast on the Native Poncho in some Araucania I got during a Webs Expedition. Knitting on size 13s after knitting socks on size 2s is amazing! It should be illegal to knit this chunky and this fast!
Yes I know you're saying, none of this is French. I know I know. I just checked I have 14 active projects on the needles or in line for the felting machine. I can handle multiple projects at once. Really the Tour De France is an attempt to focus on some specific themed projects in addition to what ever is moving me at the moment. Which this moment happens to be the Native Vest! Anyway the new French yarn hasn't arrived yet. I could be working on the Lutea-Lace Tank but you know how it is, I'd rather be doing something new and exciting!
Off to see the local fireworks display tonight. Humans are funny, bright lights + big bangs = fun. I bet we’re the only species on the planet that thinks this way.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tour Prep

So the Tour De France is a bit more challenging than I anticipated.

Stage 1: Update…
I’m leaning toward finishing the Lutea-Lace Tank. At this point I’ve knit 14” and am ready to split off for the armholes. Since adopting the challenge I’ve knit one row. I’ve been “working” on this tank since April. Clearly I need some motivation to push me to finish it.

Stage 2: Update…
After a few hours of searching I located a Bergere de France sock yarn in a color I liked from a UK seller that accepts PayPal. So that is on it’s way. I also found “Springtime in Paris” which was inspired by the designers visit to France and the façade of the Eifel Tower. If I can get a copy of the pattern I'll do this.

Stage 3: Update…
Sacre Blue this is difficult! If I had done a bit more research I would’ve realized that Jacquard is a type of woven fabric. I mean really, I’ve taken the Textile Science courses at the SFD in Boston, I should have recalled that this is woven on a LOOM! But never fail, I will come up with a creative solution. Typically Jacquards are tonal floral designs in satin or some other shiny finish (think of bedspreads and fancy curtains). I may whip up a wine cozy with flowers spiraling up the sides in two shades of purple or something like that. I may also follow Nightlyknitter’s “Zig Zag Jacquard” pattern for a washcloth. But that doesn’t really fit my grandiose scheme for the Tour De France.

Although, completing a sweater, a pair of socks, and dishcloth for the Tour as well as a pair of socks for Year of Favorite Socks my We shall see.