Sunday, April 29, 2007

getting away

where does the time go? i'm here, i'm healthier, i don't have much to blog about.

plum gable: i'm into the decreases on the body. i think i'm on the 4th decrease. i'm happy the decreases are according to length not stitches because my row gauge is way off. i'll just decrease until it is long enough (11.5 inches, i think) and then see if i need to add in some of the hip increases. maybe a try on picture later this week.

painting: i've pretty much painted every single wall and ceiling in this house except for the basement stairs. last year some time i tore off the horrid wallpaper and then stopped because i was pregnant and didn't want to TSP the walls, inhaling fumes. anyway, i TSPed last night. i spackled. today i sanded and spackled a bit more. i even filled the quarter-sized holes from where i ripped out the banister (it is 2 steps to the landing. no banister required.). i plugged the holes with drywall and spackled it in. a hack if there ever was one.

anyway, i'm going to pain the ceiling and walls. i think i'll even paint the door to the garage. i've got leftovers from the kitchen so the project isn't costing anything. i bought a little recycling bin to hang on the wall to catch flyers and such. i'm kinda excited about having basement steps that are not so assy. it is the door i rush to close when people are over. wee!

baby stirs...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

snotty snot snot

we're all sick. there's lots of snot. it aint pretty.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


lookie what i got today.

i've been battling wrist pain for months now. carrying around a 21 lbs baby will do that to you. the pain is now radiating up my arm, across my shoulder, up my neck, and into my scalp. ouch.

this stupid thing is supposed to make everything better. i must say, it is easier to type than i thought it would be. but can i knit with it on? i haven't tried that or lifting or carrying the monkey yet.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007


here's the plum (green) gable on. i'm feeling hmmmm about it.

(it is hard to get a flattering picture of the chesticular region. i had to cropped the girls to keep them from dominating the picture and encourage you to instead look at the sweater.)

anyway, the sweater. the sleeves are a good length but roomier than i was hoping. i'm glad they are not tight sleeves but...i...hmm. they aren't bad-awful. i think they'll be ok. i think the sweater will be much improved when it is longer and covers the girls, helping tug the thing down and into place. and blocking the neckline will help with the curl.

so i maintain hmmm for now and will see what i think after a few more inches. i do like the top-down construction of the sweater. it's neat-o keen.

Monday, April 16, 2007

long distance s&b

for beckystar, pf&b:

insert your needle to purl:

wrap the yarn (i know, it is not the greatest picture. trust me, that yarn is wrapped.):

pull the right needle with the new purl stitch away as per usual BUT DON'T SLIP THE (old) PURL STITCH FROM THE LEFT NEEDLE:

instead, move the right needle to the back and pick up the back leg of the old purl stitch for a new purl stitch (click on the picture to be astounded and amazed).:

wrap your yarn:

pull the right needle with the latest and greatest purl stitch away:

slip the old purl stitch from the left needle:

et voila!

Saturday, April 14, 2007


a mite too soccer mom:
pony before:

pony after:
and pretty flowers for spring:

Friday, April 13, 2007


the plumb (green) gable update as requested by ms. hedda. where are your pics, missy?

i am about 5 rows past the lace. wee! (apolpgies for the flash; it is a dismal day out there.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

oh dear

back in february, amy and i were pawing through baskets of yarn at the LYS during their sale. amy pounced on the new jo sharp yarn and picked up her latest book knit 1. i drooled over the cowl sweater and amy drooled over the cardigan. she bought the yarn for the cardigan but passed on the book, hoping the guild had it in the library.

at the next guild meeting amy bailed on me but i asked the library ladies to pick up the jo sharp book. they did and it was in at this month's meeting on tuesday night. i picked it up for amy and have barely put it down since. there are 5 (5!) sweaters and three pairs of socks in that book that i want to knit. one sweater is for the boy the rest are for me! me! me!

i think i need to buy the book. i think 5 patterns in one book justifies a purchase. i am afraid to go to the LYS and paw through the yarn. here's the specs:

30% Alpaca, 40% Kid Mohair & 30% Merino.
Tension: 22.5 sts & 30 rows measured over 10cm of Stocking stitch using4.00mm needles (USA 6) (UK 8).
Length: 111m (121yds), 50g ball (1 3/4 oz).


40% Alpaca, 40% Merino & 20% Silk.
Tension: 25 sts & 33 rows measured over 10cm of Stocking stitch using 3.25mm needles (USA 3) (UK 10).
Length: 130m (142yds), 50g ball (1 3/4 oz).

i told you i was fickle.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

silk, linen, hemp, oh my!

we have an independent bookstore 5 blocks away from our house. they valiantly struggle to stay afloat among the chapters/indigo/amazons and their cheap cheap books. i stopped in a few weeks ago to take a flip through amy singer's latest, no sheep for you.

they had it on order and offered to put one aside for me. they finally called last week and i happily went to pick up the book. i've been looking forward to this book. i like wool, i have no wool issues, but how can you not love luxury yarns? i figured the book would have small projects that you could knit with a ball or two of silk or bamboo. some large projects with cotton, hemp, or linen, but i had envisioned lots of little luxuries. maybe because to me, nice non-wool yarns are usually out of my budget and i can only afford one or two balls to make something pretty.

there are a handful of small projects (socks, a bag, mittens, knit collars, a scarf, a hat) but there are also lots of sweaters. unfortunately (fortunately?) for me, there isn't one sweater in there that i was immediately all ohhhhhhhhhh i want that! (which is odd because i'm a fickle bitch when it comes to knitting. oh well, i have a long enough list of must have knits) i'm sure the knitters out there with wool allergies were thrilled to see so many sweater patterns and not another book full of scarves or hats, rather a book just for them full of possibilities.

amy's contribution to the book, the tuscany shawl, is beautiful. wendy wrote recently, you are either a shawl person or you are not. at the time i thought "i am not." but who knows, maybe i need to try a bit of lace and i like the idea of using silk to knit lace.

what i really liked about the book was the first chapter. there is lots of information about the different non-wool fibres, including histories and useful things to keep in mind when using non-wool fibres to create a garment. she may actually have sold me on the idea of washing a swatch before starting any non-wool knitting. i have a new appreciation for silk and the price that comes along with it. and there's a hemp sweater that would look good on my man. i'll see if he's interested...

i wanted to save this post until after amy's visit to our guild. amy singer! at the guild! last night!

amy is a friendly person but she seemed to recognize me. we've had a few brief interactions over the last few years (including stalking her and stephanie at the knitter's fair in 2005) but enough to remember me? cool. maybe is was my 30 seconds of fame on the yarn harlot's site back in january.

her talk was great. considering she had to be at breakfast television this morning at some ungodly hour, she was remarkably relaxed. even when the microphone died and it took them 15 minutes to find another battery. instead amy happily signed books and let me take her picture.

it was great to hear her speak and expound on the book contents. the patterns in the book were all selected for specific reasons, designed to highlight certain aspects of the various fibres. amy brought all of the garments from the book; it was fabulous to actually fondle and squeeze the lovely lovely fibres. i have a new appreciation for the thrummed mittens (knit with cotton and silk roving) that i probably never would have given a second thought (how woolly of me!) and the bathrobe! oh la la! amy admitted it costs between $400 and $600 of yarn. go big or go home, right? and the tomato pattern is much nicer in person than in the book.
oh, and i have a new button to put on my knitting bag. thanks, amy!

Monday, April 9, 2007

by the skin of my teeth

now that it is officially spring (not that you'd know it what with the snow and all), i've been feeling guilty about that not quite finished clapotis. it would looks smashing with my new spring coat (i took ms. hedda's advice i bought a smart new coat) and new fluevog boots.

to recap on the clapotis situation, i finished it but i wasn't happy with it. i was paranoid of running out of yarn so i cheated by doing a bunch of k2togs in the repeats to reduce the number of rows i had to knit. so about 12 rows from the end, my clapotis suddenly got skinnier. no one would ever see it but i would know it was there.

i pulled it out saturday, threaded yet another lifeline in (that's 4 for those who are counting), and ripped back confident that i had enough yarn to finish it properly.

let's just pause for a moment to laugh at my naivety.

so even thought it was becoming clear that i actually did not have enough yarn to finish, i kept knitting. the rows were getting shorter and shorter, with fewer and fewer stitches, surely i could eke it out (did i just split an infinitive there? is it "eke out"?).

alas, it was not so. stubborn, i dug around in my knitting notions bag (where the scissors, tapestry needle and stitch markers live) and pulled out the end i had snipped off when i joined my second ball. (this is exactly why i fear throwing out things that i might need later) really determined now, i admit to one k2tog and really tight stitches and this is what i have.

i'm leaving the ends like that until i can show it off to the guild tomorrow night (amy singer! is coming! to talk to us!) and the tuesday night knitters. then i'm going to sew them in with thread because there aint no way i'll be able to weave those suckers in.

the other mildly amusing aspect of the scarf, one which i hope goes away with enough wear and scrunching, is the obvious point where i started to worry that i would run out of yarn. three quarters of the claptois has nice drape, loose, even stitches. the last quarter is *tight*. meh.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Saturday, April 7, 2007


last night we popped in season 1 of angel and laughed at how bad the vampire makeup was while remarking how it was so much better than the first two seasons of buffy. the makeup came a long way in seven years.

i debated over knitting a few more rows of part C on the green (plum) gable. i counted up the number of stitches on the arms (49) and compared to the pattern (47, 53, 65, 75, 84). i decided to increase to 51 and started knitting away, only to change my mind midway through the first sleeve section. i tinked back, slipped the arm stitches onto spare yarn, knit, slipped the other arm, and then slipped half the sweater onto a second needle and tried that sucker on!

and it looks great! i love it! i was convinced it was going to be ginormous but it sits perfectly across the chest, the lace ends at a decent spot just above the cleavage, the neck is wide enough but not too wide that my bra straps will show. yippee! (no photo evidence because it was dark and taking a picture of myself in the mirror with a flash wasn't going to work.)

the arms are a bit too short and a bit tight under the arm. a few more increase rows should solve that problem clickety-click.

i was admiring the lace in the mirror when i noticed this:

see it? a couple days ago, i was waiting for a friend to pick me up and was standing and knitting in the front door, watching for her car. when i dropped the right needle and lost a bunch of stitches. i thought i picked them up correctly but was worried i missed a yo. i couldn't see it though. i knit another round and still couldn't see it. so i kept going. but last night in the mirror, that missed yo is way obvious. it is front and centre. curses!

i am considering my options and trying to remain positive.

1) keep going because no one is ever going to notice unless they are staring very closely at my chest. which if they are, they are not going to admit to it.

verdict: meh. i won't be happy. if people are staring at my chest i want to know they are looking at my breasts, not my knitting mistakes.

2) put in a lifeline and mark the offending spot. rip back.

verdict: i've never done a lifeline in a lace pattern (i don't think the clapotis counts), it seems way complicated and time consuming. i'll likely miss another freaking yo, the whole thing will look like ass and i'll end up frogging it.

3) frog it and start over.

verdict: currently in the lead. i started this sweater last week, i think. i've barely had any knitting time all week and yet i'm just about finished the complicated part of the sweater.

opinions and words of encouragement are welcome!

Friday, April 6, 2007

brittle disappointment

can wool become brittle over time? would lack of proper care cause the fibre to weaken? old age? is wool just like people?

i tried to save the aran sweater, i really did. alas, even gentle tugs on the yarn caused it to snap like an 85 year old's hip on an icy day.

the only way to save this sweater now is to make it into a pillow cover. but it doesn't really fit into our design aesthetic. anyone want a slightly scratchy aran pillow sham?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

bottles and cans, baby clap your hands (where it's at II)

i brought green gables with me to tuesday night knitting and managed to knit a couple rows last night during america's next top model. ahem. i can't help it! antm is like a car accident.

anyway, i've knit maybe 6 rows of just plain st st (part C in the pattern) and i'm thinking that my sleeves are long enough. i might knit 2 more rows just to be certain but if i hold it up to where i think the neckline should be sitting, the sweater sleeve is the same length as my t shirt sleeve.

so i'm not even close to the 15 rows of part C with all the increases that go with it. (we've already established that i am not getting stitch gauge, i'm definitely not getting row gauge.) i need to take another look at the pattern and figure out if i can continue on with the fewer stitches. it'd be like making a medium upper part and an extra small lower part. that can't be good. or maybe it is pure genius!

when i'm done the next few rows and can try it on, i'll know if i need to frog. stay tuned!

have you read the yarn harlot's tale about being trapped at the chicago airport? it has everything! it'll make you laugh, make you cry, make your heart swell with pride. go read it!

i have my own tale of woe concerning chicago and the airport but it pales in comparison to stephanie's. at least she didn't puke in the middle of an El station at rush hour. or in the back of the cab on the way to the airport. i haven't had many truly bad days in my life but that day in chicago is right up there.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


when i was 11 my mother tried to teach me how to sew. these little sessions were not fun because i wanted to be outside playing or in my room reading or fighting with my brothers over the remote. anywhere but in the basement learning how to stitch a hem or wind a bobbin.

in highschool i made a couple pencil cases and my mom was quietly thrilled from the sidelines as i finagled a zipper in place. i also tapered a lot of jeans, breaking needles like crazy as i put my mom's kenmore through its paces.

for one of my brithdays in my early twenties i asked for a sewing machine. i pull it out from time to time when i need to sew things quickly but largely it has languished in the background.

since i've been on mat leave, i've trawled the 'net for crafty inspiration and have found the most amazing, talented bloggers. i'm always thinking, i could do that. i secretly dream of having a craft room with a big table and lots of organization.

today i took the plunge. the wee monkey and i headed off to the local len's mill store and i pawed through some fabric. (len's mill is really indescribable. it is the messiest, craziest, dirtiest store full of crap that is really all about flukes and bargains. cheap yarn, cheap fabric, cheap everything. you just need patience and the ability to maneuver around piles of crap. it makes thrift stores look like chic boutiques.)

i bought a cutting mat and rotary cutter, snap pliers and snaps, thread, a couple zippers, a fabric pencil, and some fabric. i am so excited! if everything goes well, i'll have pictures soon. if not, i'll have some gently used snap pliers, a cutting mat, and rotary cutter for sale...

Monday, April 2, 2007

where it's at

(got two turn tables and a microphone...)
i'm on the last row of the lace repeats. the sweater is knitting up quickly but i'm still a mite concerned about the size. can't wait to get the sleeves done so i can try it on.
the colour is a bit more plum-y, less purple.