Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Indeed I have been quiet, lately, but do not mistake that for idle. In fact, it seems I have been nothing but busy lately. Even if the hands aren't working, the mind is racing. Thankfully, this last part of the ene's has been rather repetitive and progressively easier. Well, it was easy until I ran out of yarn. I know, I know, you are surprised, that I of all people would possibly run out of yarn, but it's true. Sad, but true. In fact, it wasn't so many rows after this shot was taken that I came to the last 12 inches of yarn and had to come to terms with going to the LYS and praying that there was more. Some of you may remember that I purchased this yarn on sale, and so the chances of there being more were not so good. Thankfully, when I raced over there the next day, there was, in fact, one lone ball of ice blue sitting on the mountain of fall colors that she had gotten in. And, lucky for me, it was the same dye lot. I snatched it up and thanked my lucky stars.
Ofcourse, I don't really understand how it happened this time. The recommended yarn is two skeins of blackberry ridge laceweight which amounts to 700 yards. I bought four balls of Rowan 4-ply soft which amounts to just under 800 yards. I used virtually the same size needles (4.25mm instead of 4.0 mm), which is the only thing I can think is to blame. I'm a little surprised that that .25mm could eat up a hundred yards, but I suppose it's possible.
Nonetheless, all that matters now is that I have the ball and that I only have about ten rows and grafting left to do. That, and my other yarn has finally been shipped, so if I am left without a shawl to work, it won't be for long. I'd say left without lace, but I'm working on the embossed leaves socks, and considering it's got a YO every row, I guess those count. Even if they don't "count" they sure are as addicting to work on. Just like Beth said, they practically knit themselves!

Also, I currently have a thousand other things going on. As soon as I can get my act together, there will be a little parade of FO's around here and possibly some big changes. Hopefully the long weekend coming will afford me the time to catch everyone up to date!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In the air

I feel lately like I have eight or so balls in the air, and for one reason or another, I'm waiting for them all to come down so I can juggling them some more. Amongst those balls are wedding things, crafty things, health things and life in general things. Come to think of it, it's probably more than eight balls, but I don't want to think about that, because that might cause me to spontaneously combust or worse, cause some mental health things to juggle as well. This carnival act that I'm doing is why the blog posts have been few and far between, and likely incoherent, even on the good days.
Many a day, I have thought about posting and then gotten caught up in something else, or have gotten as far as getting some pictures loaded, but haven't had the brain power to put together the post. I have, at least, managed to take pictures of my knitting progess. The knits can therefore grow before your eyes, all in one post. Like miracle grow for wool.
Like today, above we have a picture from last Thursday or Friday where I had just managed to get through the completely painful chart 2 of Ene's. The garter stitch nightmare, if you will. And to the right-ish, we have a picture from Monday (I think, I can't even tell you what day it is, let alone remember when I took pictures), where I finished one repeat of Chart 3. I have to go through that chart at least three more times, so, it's going to be awhile. At least I'm supposedly decreasing like mad, which I tell you it doesn't feel like. The purling back is as painful as ever. But, eventually I should be able to notice shorter rows and have the whole thing just zip by. Then one wee Chart 4, a three needle bind off of 7 stitches (which I've never done before, or even read the directions for, so it should be interesting), and a good soak and pin and we're done. The best (or worst, I'm trying to be optimistic here) part here, is that I bought this yarn because I was tired of not having a lace project to work on while waiting for my zephyr yarn to arrive. It's still not here, and it's possible that I might finish this project that wasn't supposed to happen, before I even get that yarn. I'm not really excited about this prospect, because it would leave me project-less again for awhile, but it might be amusing in a few years. Maybe.
But, for now, I will try not to think of all the not so funny things that might happen and concentrate on getting some of these balls out of the mix, and try to get a post in every now and again.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


So, there she is. All set up and ready to go. And go she did. On Sunday, I pulled her out of the box, watched the DVD and started rolling. It was much easier since I've used a sewing machine before, but this machine is very easy to use straight out of the box. My only complaint is that they have this handy dandy needle threader that makes me blinder than trying to thread the needle normally. It's this tiny hook that is supposed to go through the eye of the needle and you catch the yarn on it and it sucks the hook and the thread with it, through the eye of the needle. The problem is, that if the needle is a little askew, this way or that, then the hook doesn't go through the eye and you spend all your time trying to figure out whether the hook went through or not. It's just easier to thread the damn needle the old fashioned way or with one of those little silver dealies that look like dimes. Other than that, I got no complaints. Granted, I haven't done much with this, or any sewing machine before, but so far, so good. What you see here is a picture from a couple of days ago. I've actually managed to:
  1. finish piecing this project
  2. sew together the backing for it
  3. buy a bunch of other fabric for other projects
  4. wash some of that fabric
  5. restrain myself from using said fabric, and force myself to finish what I started
  6. learn how to spell peice peace piece.
So, the next hurdle is basting and machine quilting. And if all else fails, I've still got Ene - that might be missing a stich. Well, I've still got my embossed leaves socks - that might be missing a row. Hrm.....well, there's always save the date cards that need to be done, sooner rather than later. Oy, excuse me while I go bury my head in the sand.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words about my back. I am seeing a doctor about it as it's not going away on its own, and I did finally get medicine for it. Which I forgot to take this morning, which is letting me know that the problem isn't just going away. I have had an MRI and it's something muscular, so we're on our way to figuring out what it is.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Pain in the back

Last night I managed to get quite a bit of knitting done. Partially because I wanted to, and partially because I can't really do anything else. At this point, I'm not sure what's going on, but my back is in constant pain. It really stinks, but it sure is condusive to getting a lot of knitting done. What you see here is the completed first chart. I think I did four or five rows last night to finish this chart and then I managed to get two exceedingly boring rows of chart two done. The second chart is really, really boring. It's basically garter stitch back and forth. The repeat section is two knit stitches repeated 73 times on each side of the one center stitch. Good times. There's not very many rows on the chart, but goodness are they painful. If I thought I could sleep and do garter stitch, this might be the time to start.

Anyhow, after I finished the first chart repeat, this is all the yarn that I had left. I was pretty excited that I made it through the chart with the first ball. Ofcourse that should mean that I'm a quarter of the way through! In fact, it should mean it's a little more than that considering I have just under 800 yards and the pattern calls for 700. I'm extatic and I'm hoping to get more done this weekend.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The dark side

What you see here in these pitifully sad photos might be some fabric that I bought yesterday and I might be planning on sewing it together with the sewing machine that I got for my birthday that I might have asked for exclusively. Just might. I mean, I wouldn't want you to think that I was just going to abandon knitting for sewing, or something crazy like that. I mean, the machine isn't even out of the box yet. And frankly, I'm a little scared of it. I've never used a brand spanking new sewing machine in my life. I've worked with plenty of old, crotchety machines that all had their share of stories and attitude problems. I've had to nurse plenty of machines through the last couple of yards and love them and clean them out after they pitched a fit. But never something new. Never one that someone that knew what they were doing hadn't used before. Someone that had set it up and worked on it. One that hadn't already proven it's worth. So, needless to say, I'm a little nervous. A little aprehensive, maybe. Just a little. I mean, after all, it came with a dvd. It's going to be okay.
But, having said all that, I refuse to tell you what I'm going to make. You know, in case it doesn't actually work out. In case, it becomes signifigantly smaller than planned and you say to yourself, I thought she was make a (insert project here). Doesn't that look a little small to you? I'm just sayin'. But, when it's done, and it will be done, I'll fill you in.

In knitting news, I cast on, several times (as in, ooops, damnit! riiiiip. repeat as necessary), for the embossed leaves, and I think I'm good to go now. I'm using the koigu and I'm doing it as written. I only managed to get 5 rounds knit, but it slid over my ankle and on to my leg, so I take that as a good sign. I shall push forward and see how it goes after a pattern repeat.

And in entertainment news we have pictures:

Fiance has a laundry system that involves washing all his white socks at once, and then sorting them on the couch. However, he doesn't always get to them right away. I call this phenomena sock mountain. Sunshine loves sock mountain. You should see her stalk over to it and try to make a cat shaped hole, big enough to get her wide load into, in the socks. If she could figure out how to burrow into them, she would. She spent all night like this on sock mountain, and if it was available, she'd probably make this her new kitty perch.
It's funny, as long as it's not my socks. =)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

August Birthday Package!

On Friday, which was my birthday, I received my birthday swap package from Jennifer. I was so excited. This is actually the first swap I've ever done, and believe me, I'm pleased as punch. Below are the pictures of my great package.
Mine will be going out soon to a whole 'nother continent later this week. It's all gathered, I just have to wrap it up, and hermetically seal it so no one is tempted to crack it open. I've found that the more painful something looks to open, the less likely it is to get inspected at customs. Lots of packing tape is used to acheive this effect. =)

Left: The box all wrapped up nice. If it looks a little mutilated, that's my fault. Bull in a china shop I tell you.
Right: Look at that kitty face in all that yarn! Cats are so cute when they're in pictures and aren't shedding all over creation.

Left: Contents of the box. The box itself is wooden and has little tape measures painted all over it. I have picture but it's horribly dark. You're just going to have to take my word on this one. It's very cool.
Right: A ton of enormous smarties. I love smarties. Can't get enough of them! And these one are ginormous. I literally jumped up and down when I saw these candies =)

Left: Dog used for scale to show you how big these smarties are!
Right: The final contents of the package. That's a wire knitting pattern for earrings, some wire to work with, 2 skeins of garnstudio cotton/viscose, a wee scrapbooking kit, 2 fabby lotions and some balm from bath and bodyworks, 1 giant skein of the softest yarn ever, 1 sock pattern, and another very cute card. (excluding enormous bundle of smarties)

In knitting news, all I have left to do is kitchener the toe of the second jaywalker. I would have done it last night, but I need an hour of peace and quiet to kitchener and then another hour of cussing and general complaining to fix my grafting mistake. Good times, I tell you. I didn't have said time last night, but I should later this week.

Since I didn't have time to finish something, I cast on and knit through the first three pattern rounds of the embossed leaves socks for IK. I used the medium weight STR that I got at MD S&W, but it's not working out. I thought that I was going to need an extra 4 stitches in the sock to make it wide enough around, but it ended up being too big. This is the second failed attempt with this brand of yarn, and I'm thoroughly frustrated with it. I have some dark green koigu in the stash and I think that since the pattern is written with that, that that's what I'm going to use. I have to decided if I'm going to put those extra stitches in or not. I definately didn't need them with the STR, but it's a good deal heavier than the koigu. I think I'm going to stick with the pattern and see how it goes. Really, the sock cuff is as good as a swatch to me, and what's another trip to frog pond? *sigh*

Friday, August 04, 2006


Working a charted peice off of a little peice of paper with post it notes on it, balanced on the arm of the couch wasn't really cutting it anymore. Especially with the large number of stitches on Ene's, so I went out and created myself a little work space. I bought this dry erase board that is also magnetic and got myself a couple of rulers. The metal ruler had some cork on the back of it, and once I put the magnets on the back it was too tall and casted a shadow, so I pulled them off and since the cork was destroyed anyway, I yanked all the cork off the back of the ruler. I got me some goof off to clean up the adhesive and it was better than new. I took some low profile magnets and stuck them on the back, and now I have the perfect thing to line up the row. The colored ones are in case I have a repeat that I keep going past. This way I can block myself in with rulers and also so I can look at some happy colors to look at =)

And speaking of happy, despite the fact that my little counter over there -------------> says that it's -1 day until my birthday, it is actually my birthday. Yay! to me and to all the other fabulous things in history that happened today:

1755 Nicolas-Jacque Conte inventor (modern pencil) - really, it would still be stone and chisel without the pencil

1901 Louis Armstrong New Orleans, Jazz musician & bandleader, "Hello Dolly" - oldest musician in Billboard history to have a Number One song - How cool is he??

1955 Billy Bob Thornton Hot Springs, Ark. US. actor, 'Sling Blade','A Family Thing' - How not cool is that?

1693 Dom Perignon invents champagne - Oh the beauty of champain champagne

1881 122ø F (50ø C), Seville, Spain (European record) - Talk about a heat wave. Phew!

1970 Jim Morrison arrested for drunkenness - Maybe he had the champagne.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Move along, nothing to see here

I have been extremely busy this past weekend, and haven't had much time to knit at all. I did manage to get Ene's scarf cast on again and the first four rows of chart one completed, but that's about it. I'd love to show it to you, but it just looks like a bunch of blue shoved on a needle. The scallops at the bottom are starting to take shape, but I doubt a visible pattern will really emerge until I finish the whole of the first chart, and that's going to be awhile. I'm averaging about 45 minutes a row. It's very sad. It takes me about an hour to make it through a RS row and a half hour to do a WS because it's mostly purling all the way back. I know the more I knit on it, the faster the rows are going to be, but this starting big and decreasing down just isn't for me. I think it's because I get so overwhelmed at the number of stitches. Both times I cast on this puppy I counted and recounted and put stitch markers ever twenty stitches, but I still had issues. Even on the second try I was still short a stitch and I just made it up with the tail. It looks like it will hold, and it was that I was short a stitch and not a pattern mistake, thankfully, so the rest of the rows are working out. I hope it keeps working out. I need to get a lifeline in, sooner, rather than later, so that I don't go nuts if something does happen. Hopefully I won't need to use it, and sometime in the next twelve months, I should have a visual update for you. Until then, I'll just keep plodding along....