Thursday, December 21, 2006


As if this blog weren't neglected enough... I'm heading out for the honeymoon and honestly, I'm not going to think about blogging for the next month. So I'll see you on the other side and have a merry Christmas, happy new year, happy MLK day and well any other special events you may be celebrating over the next four weeks. Here's hoping that when I get back, there will be lots of pics of DH on the volcano, in the sound, on the glacier, with the penguins, and of course hanging from a rock.

Oh yeah, and maybe some knitting pics as well.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Equestrian Blazer

So now that we're hitting the two month anniversary, people have been asking us how married life is. What am I to tell these people? My response has been sort of flippant... At least now my parents won't be embarassed if I get knocked up, and people don't start to shift from side to side and hang their head as if they just heard some dirty little secret when I mention LIVING with a MAN. But honestly, I don't really feel like anything has changed except for the outside world's view. I feel just as committed today as I did a year ago. I just have extra bling now. Okay, and maybe it's just less pressure. I'm hoping that this is all good, and not just the honeymoon period. Oh wait, that starts in about a week! Yay!

Enough about that already... I know what you're really here for.

Equestrian Blazer by Kate Gilbert
Pattern in Interweave Knits Winter 2006
Materials: Rowanspun Aran (100% wool. 220 yd per 100g skein) 340g in Gables. Size 5 Knitpicks Options needles.
Gauge: 19sts/30 rows = 4" pre-blocking
Finished size: 33" bust, 22" long (neck to middle of back hem), 21" from shoulder seam to cuff after AGGRESSIVE blocking.
Total yarn cost: $26 from Cucumberpatch UK

Started: November 8, 2006
Finished: December 12, 2006

Accidentally removed 1" of length just before shaping for armhole. Fudged the edging.

Where to begin. First, the fit I think turned out okay. I wore the sweater a bit more and it stretched some in addition to the aggressive stretching and pulling while the whole thing was wet to adjust the size. I attribute all remaining issues I have with the fit to the -1" of "petite fudge factor" I accidentally added. The collar opening is pretty wide, and since the whole thing is about an inch higher than it should be, the collar sort of sits on my chest a bit strangely. If my girls were any bigger, I think this would be disastrous. As it were, it doesn't seem to be a major problem, but I don't love the way the bottom of my shirt sticks out from the hem of the jacket. The jacket just isn't long enough. No, I'm not going to cut and graft in extra length. Not on a seamed sweater. I'll live with it, thanks. BTW, here's where I'm trying out the new camera's 3 second delay function. The old camera only had a 10s option. Yeah, 3s is just not long enough.

The edging is where I last left off, isn't it? Well, I decided to go back and pick up 4 sts for every 5 rows for the collar edging and 1 st for every cast on st for the bottom edging. I knit one more row and bound off in purl so it would be a looser bind off, and this worked like a charm. An unexpected hurdle was the simple instruction, "seam the short selvedges" between the collar and bottom edgings. Great, the only problem is that the edging switches right sides between the collar and the front opening, so it'll just look weird if I seamed it straight up. So I decided to sort of roll up the edging into a tube at the point where it meets and I seamed the pick up st of one to the cast off st of the other and worked around. At least this way, the reverse stockinette side is always facing, even if it looks a bit awkward upon REALLY CLOSE inspection. The only issue remaining was the collar's tendency to curl. The collar then met the steam iron and decided to behave. BTW, that one row buttonhole is my new favorite as it just looks so clean and has nice firm edges.

There were two things about the pattern that I would change if I had to do it all over again in addition to the edging modification I mention above. The sts for the left front (but not the right) were a b*tch to pick up on collar shaping rows. Upon careful consideration, I think this is because the increases on the left are done on the edge stitch, but on the right, they are done 1 stitch in from the edge, thus creating a nice selvedge to pick up sts from. It boils down to changing the collar shaping directions to ... purl to the last collar stitch, with the left needle, lift the purl bump two rows below last st completed and purl it, purl 1. See "Knit Left Loop" at for an example of this on the knit side.

I'd also change the sleeve increases. I followed the pattern exactly and had to knit straight from the last set of increases for 3+ inches before starting the sleeve cap shaping. This indeed formed a little, barely noticeable point under the arm as Jenna Wilson warned me. I asked the designer if this was as she intended it to be since the schematic made it look like the increases ended just before the sleeve cap shaping. She said it'd be fine, so I went with it. The sleeves look okay, but they do look a bit more roomy through the forearm than they do at the bicep, and I think that's because too many of the increases were placed lower on the sleeve. For my taste, I'd spread them out more and increase the overall length a bit as well. The sleeves seem short to me (and I have short arms!) and I made them to the specified length. It boils down to adding 2 rows between sleeve increases in the pattern.

Overall, the look is classic and there were plenty of clear, shaping instructions to keep your attention. This was certainly not a boring knit and if you like short rowing, this pattern is for you! The knitting was also pretty fast as it took less than 3 weeks of off and on knitting to complete all the pieces. It took just as long to seam and decide the fate of the edging.

A word about the yarn: Rowanspun Aran is a great bargain since the yardage is unbelievable and can be found on sale since it's been discontinued. The labelled gauge of 16 sts/4 inches seamed too loose for the yarn, but 17-18 sts was just fine. The yarn is a bit of a pain to work with as it's dry and stringy, but once washed, it softens nicely and fluffs up into an attractive fabric. There are definitely variations in the thickness of the yarn and the tweedy flecks make it a pain to maintain consistent tension. But of course, I love the look of tweed, so I'll put up with it. But DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, attempt to mattress stitch with this yarn! Pulling more than a couple of stitches together resulted in yarn breakage, so I had to be very careful to adjust the tension of the seam on EVERY row and even then I had a few breaks requiring me to undo the seam by an inch or two and felt the yarn back together. It was a royal pain and took me the better part of a day to seam everything! Unfortunately, I was stuck away from home due to a snow storm and had no other yarn to seam with, so this was my only option. A crocheted seam might have been okay, but I'd just as rather recommend seaming with a different yarn.

Previous posts about this project:
Just do it! on November 7, 2006
Progress on November 10, 2006
Why we block on November 20, 2006
The Suspense on December 8, 2006

Friday, December 08, 2006

the suspense

is apparently killing me. Will the jacket turn out? Will it fit? Will I ever learn to photograph red?

This is the state that the Equestrian Blazer has been in for the past 10 days. Seamed and ready for the border. Only I suck at picking up stitches again, so I've done it twice and ripped it out twice and I'm reconsidering my options. The instructions tell you to pick up one stich for every row. Common knitsense tells you that this is more stitches than one would normally pick up to expect it to lay flat. Sure enough, the border ruffled. So I ripped out and picked up 2 stitches for 3 rows since the gauge is 19 sts/30 rows = 4". This resulted in the bottom fitting like a boa constrictor and the collar ruthlessly curling inwards as if to hide underneath the rock that I'm calling for my own when I finish a whole sweater that doesn't fit. Should I crochet a little border on here? Maybe a little picot edging could be cute instead of a standard bind off? Or perhaps pick up some number of stitches between these and use a stretchy lace bind off?

I'm THIS close to finding a small friend to give this away to because I picked the wrong size to make. A word to the wise, when choosing sizes for this pattern, make sure to consult the schematic. The finished size that I was intending to make is 32.5". I met gauge exactly (that never happens, I should have been suspicious) and so my piece measured exactly the same across the back as the schematic shows for the back. Only, if you multiply the measurement for the back on the schematic by two, the result is 31.5".

Yes, I understand that the front has a deep V and so there's a bit of wiggle room when it comes to fit across the bust. But it just FEELS small. I wanted it fitted and have usually never had a problem with making something with a bit of negative or only one inch of ease. This one though... I don't know.

You'll have to wait though until it's sunnier out and I'm having a good hair day before I show you the fit. And maybe by then I'll figure out the trim.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Why we block

Mostly, it's because otherwise, our knitting would look like total crap. See example. I'm going to lightly block here just for ease of seaming, but I'm hoping a full-on soak will make the fabric bloom a bit to fill in those holes where the spin was a bit on the thin side.

I finished the fronts and back of the Equestrian Blazer from just two balls of Rowanspun Aran. I'm trying to figure out exactly how two sleeves and two rows of stockinette around all the edges of the jacket can possibly add up to another 2+ balls of yarn. I WILL however be slightly annoyed if I end up with almost a full 100g ball again when I'm done.

Cuz I'm living on the edge y'all. I decided that since I almost always (except just ONCE) end up with at least one full ball and maybe a partial on top of that after swatching and knitting up a garment that I'd just to hell with it go with what I had in my stash for this project even though I was a full 50 yards short of the specified yarn requirements in the pattern. What the heck. I can always make sleeves shorter to match my smaller frame.

Or inadvertently in this case, take out an inch throughout the body because I can't read directions. Check your pattern schematic, or else you could end up shortwaisted in your sweater. Which, in my case, might actually be a nice surprise.

Since I probably won't be posting again this week, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One step forward...

Woohoo! I figured out what lace pattern would work for my grandmother's pink knee highs! I knew it had to be relatively simple, so a row of eyelets was about all that could work here, but hotdamn if that doesn't count as lace! I'm using the leg chart from the Petticoat Sock pattern by Veronik Avery in Weekend Knitting. I also came up with a plan (a plan! from the Spaz! say it ain't so...) for how to do the calf shaping relatively in pattern. I won't tell you now for fear that actually vocalizing it will curse me to fugly results.

but as the rest of the saying goes, ... two steps back. In the middle there are DH's Koigu Chevron socks. Clearly I had a serious case of denial going on when DH kept stretching the things THAT FAR just to get them over his toes. Somehow, I thought turning the heel would make it all better. *sigh* If only positive progress were as fast as negative progress. I swear I knit at like 30 sts/min, but gosh darn it if I can't unknit at something like 15000 sts/min. These poor things have been frogged TWICE in one week. I guess Koigu holds up like a champ to frogging.

BTW, did y'all see the Sahara pattern that Knit and Tonic Wendy did for Stitch Diva? That's right up my alley! Only maybe tack up the neckline a bit more... no one wants to see that because let's just face it, cleavage is a whole lot sexier than no cleavage and a whole lotta sternum action. Long sleeves maybe? I'm thinking maybe a bit more fitted sleeves and belled just at the cuff instead of from elbow to cuff. Will have to wait for the pattern to come out and see how I feel then.

And because I haven't done one of these in a long time...

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

Damn! I love taking tests (freak) so I was pissed off at #10 and #14.

Friday, November 10, 2006


It occurred to me that DH hadn't made an appearance on this blog in quite some time, so I thought perhaps that I should remedy that and also show you my WIPs at the same time. So here ya go. That's my Equestrian Blazer on the left, a little bit past the armhole shaping on the back. DH's Koigu Chevron socks are on the right just after turning the heels.

That's DH in the back. How he falls asleep like that (for HOURS I tell you) and doesn't wake up with a charley horse in his neck and rug burns on his knees is beyond me. Why he felt the need to fall asleep sniffing the corner of the couch I also couldn't tell you.

I blame it on the Glenrothes and 17 yo Glenfarclas.

Yes, in fact, I just left him there and went to bed after snapping this picture. What a loving wife I am...

Edited to add: DH wanted me to clarify because apparently I made it sound like he'd had too much to drink and passed out this way. No, in fact, my DH is talented enough to do this stone cold sober. To be fair, he had come over into my knitting space to nuzzle his head in my lap as I knit and fell asleep that way. But when I got up, he didn't seem to notice and just kept right on nuzzling with the couch as a suitable substitute. I still don't get how one can fall asleep kneeling, so I stand by my initial assertion that this is a weird sleeping position.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Just do it!

Yes, I'm one of those people who isn't a well informed voter. I don't know where all the candidates stand on specific issues that I care about. I don't know the pros and cons for all of the fourteen bazillion ballot measures that are to be decided. But I'm still planning on voting. At least I can and I am free to make any decision I want, as uninformed as it might be. So my question is, which is the lesser of two evils: to vote unintelligently or not vote at all?

So when I last left off, I was contemplating the pink socks. Several of you left me fantastic links for lace knee highs and I checked them all out. So, here's where I am now.

Yeah, not so much. I found out after a couple of inches of a very simple lace pattern that this super sproingy cotton yarn has something of a boucle texture to it that looks like CRAP in lace. So I think I might have to revert to plain knee highs here and tell my grandmother that her cotton pink lace knee highs might need to wait a little longer for the right yarn. Knee high Hedera sounds good... I just need to find a mostly cotton, smooth yarn that stretches appropriately for socks. Anyone? Anyone?

But since I couldn't just be stalled doing nothing, I decided to cast on for a pair of socks for DH. That's Koigu in a chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch. It looks a lot like the zigzag Jaywalker pattern, but oh well. I tried to swatch for 4 other patterns with the Koigu, and nothing would show up with the short color changes there to muddy everything up. So, back to zigging and zagging.

I also tried a different toe here... something that Charlene Schurch refers to as a star-toe. I have no idea what that means, but I figured that with as mauled as DH's toes are from climbing, his toes tend to curl under slightly. I thought that a more round like toe might fit his feet better than the flat toe that seems to be pretty common to most patterns. We'll see how it turns out. But right now what's bothering me is the cast on. I did a Turkish cast on and then started increasing 4 sts evenly spaced every other round. So now I have stupid pointy places on the toe which I dislike. Do I pick out the cast on and just run the end through the live sts that I free to close up the toe? I'm scared of doing that, but I think it'll work. Anyone think this will be turn into another entry for Dumbest Thing I Did Today?

Finally, I got the Winter 2006 Interweave Knits on Friday. I knew there was a jacket and a sweater in there that I both have a comparable yarn for and want to make. So I started swatching for the Equestrian Blazer. First on US6 (bottom) and then also on US5 (above the purl ridge). Anyone notice a difference here? Yeah, neither could I. What's up with that? I think I'm just going to go with the US5 since neither seems tight enough to meet the gauge, but as it is, my overall size is only going to be 3/4" larger and I can deal with that for a jacket.

And yet again, forgive my inability to photograph red yarn. What's up with that?

Now, off to vote!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Winging it

Okay, so despite the horrific outcome that was my last attempt at winging it, I'm going with it again. This time, I blame my grandmother on it. So you see, something like 5 months ago, she requested a pair of lacy pink cotton over the knee socks. I'm wondering as I sit here and type this if this isn't some sort of sick dress up fantasy she's been harboring for years and years, but ewww, it's my grandmother!

Anyway, that's all the direction I got. I've been looking but just haven't found a pattern that I like, so to heck with it... I'm winging it. I decided that she didn't really want all over lace on the foot anyway, so I went ahead and knit the foot plain. I had read the directions for Widdershins or maybe it was Baudelaire on how to do a heel flap toe up sock, but of course, I decided to start these while traveling and I didn't have the foresight to print out either of these patterns. So, random spazzing ensued, but I managed to reinvent the wheel correctly.

Wow, do my feet always look that flat and squat?

Anyway, I really like this toe-up heel flap thing. DH has extremely deep heel cups, high arches, but very low volume feet, so the short row heel didn't seem to fit his foot type as well. In fact, he can barely get his Jaywalkers over his heel, but once he does, those babies are NOT going ANYWHERE. So I think I'll be using this construction for all his socks in the future.

Another plus... no picking up stitches and the slipped stitch heel flap thingie hides my embarassingly sloppy wrap and turns quite nicely. Now if only I can come up with a better way of hiding the holdes at the top of the heel flap and gusset intersection... something better than Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice of knitting a stitch together with its neighbor. Any ideas?

So now, it's off to research some sort of lace pattern to use on the leg. What do y'all think? A large lace panel up the front of the sock, or two smaller ones on either side? Any suggestions on a lace stitch to use?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

So now what?

I'm sure that anyone who's had a big blowout wedding has probably experienced this... the so now what phase. I've spent most of the last year stressing out about getting married (notice I didn't say planning... my mom took care of everything. I just stressed out) so now that I am married, what the heck to worry about now?

Well, conveniently, the holidays are coming up! I could stress out about how I've spent the past many months selfishly knitting myself 4 sweaters, but I've decided that a stressed out Spaz is an unpleasant Spaz. So, people get what they get if I decide to make them something. I may even NOT knit for one or more of the three newborns coming up this spring. Who'd a thunk it? Does that make me self-centered? Maybe. But does that also make Mr. McSpazzitron happier? I'm quite sure it will.

Decided to finish up a UFO after having absolutely nothing new to cast on for. Yes, I guess that means that technically I was lying about not having anything on the needles, but long forgotten projects don't count, do they? It was a bag that I had looming for quite some time. So long in fact that I can't even remember when I cast on for it. Anyway, it required about 3 balls of Kureyon, and I had visions of an uber-cute flap type bag along these veins. But instead... here's what I ended up with:
I knit fug. I'll admit it. It was best laid plans, but it's just plain fugly. I think it had promise, but it just turned out strangely proportioned: 13.5" wide and 5.5" tall... aesthetically unpleasing. It started out as a good enough idea... knit a multidirectional bag using two circular needles to avoid seaming that still ended up with a three dimensional bag instead of just a flat pouch. If I had it to do over, I would have added an extra ball, shortened the straps and knit it a bit taller and omitted the flap. Yes it would have ended up being a run-of-the-mill bucket bag but the corners knit on the diagonal at least would have provided some interest . I took notes as I went in case anyone else wants to reproduce my fug.

The worst part of it all? Kureyon felts SO slow and I spent an hour and a half of my life standing over a steaming kitchen sink hand fulling this thing, and it's not even completely felted. I'm starting to rethink my luck with knit bags. Witness the tweed misproportioned flatness completely devoid of any function despite its promises of being a "roomy tote". And yet...

BTW, did anyone notice that the top in the picture is actually a real pattern? How did I miss that before? If only I had tons of scraps in the same yarn to play with this. I could totally go for a tartan plaid top... maybe just without the shoulder draping panels though. Whoa. I think I just got my engineering geek on there. Only engineers and the late Payne Stewart can pull of plaid.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Mrs. McSpazzitron!

Okay, okay, I did it! I'm officially Mrs. DH! We had a great time at the wedding, and for the most part everything came off without a hitch. All I can say is that when they opened the doors to the church and I started walking down the aisle, I couldn't stop myself from smiling from ear to ear and had to restrain myself from giddy laughter. It was such a high. And marrying my DF, now DH, is everything I could have hoped for. But he still smells. Anyway, I posted a link to the photographer's webpage on my wedding blog, so if you're really all that interested, feel free to flip through the 1400 pictures...

But nothing's changed on the knitting front... I'm still madly knitting away.

Icarus Shawl by Miriam Felton
Pattern in Interweave Knits Summer 2006
Materials: Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud (100% alpaca. 440 yards per 50g ball) 80g in Horizon. Size US3 32" Addi Turbo circular needle.
Gauge: Does it matter on a lace shawl?
Finished size: 32" from neck to center point and 75" along neck edge.
Total yarn cost: $8 from Knitpicks

Started: August 1, 2006
Finished: October 9, 2006

Modifications: eliminated one of the stockinette repeats... so how did it end up this BIG?

One of my friends said that triangular shawls are like puppies, they start out all cute and small... and then they grow. I'd have to agree with this project. I just about wanted to pull all my hair out so that I'd match DH by the time I got to the second to last chart. Then he went away and left me to my own devices. Which meant that I ate too much junk food, drank a lot of soda and watched the entire first season of Grey's Anatomy as I finished the last two charts of this project.

I had intended to finish this shawl in time for the wedding. I did... and it was blocked 4 whole days before the wedding, but alas, it stayed in the car in the mad rush to get dressed. So while I was freezing in my reception for the first hour, it sat idly by and watched me freeze from the garage.

But, it's not too awful. I didn't have a shawl pin, and I have absolutely no idea how to wear a shawl. See picture at right. We'll see if this one's a keeper. Hard to say because it's just so yummy soft, but again, I'm pretty petite and this shawl certainly isn't.

Previous posts about this project:
Last post as Miss McSpazzitron on October 6, 2006
MIA again on June 9, 2006

Sienna Cardigan by Anne E. Smith
Pattern in Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Materials: Plymouth Suri Merino (50% alpaca, 50% wool. 109 yd per 50g ball) 340g in color 799. Size 8 24" Addi Turbo circular needles.
Gauge: 18 sts and 24 rows per 4"
Finished size: 32" bust, 20.5" long, 22" from shoulder seam to cuff.
Total yarn cost: $25 from Bo Peeps Wool Shop

Started: October 4, 2006
Finished: October 22, 2006

I changed the gauge because I didn't think that the published finished size was a good size for me and also because I didn't think I could get gauge with this yarn. I went ahead and just used the same stitch count and row count for everything and went with the principle that all proportions would shrink down appropriately with the smaller gauge. Also, picked up button bands and collar stitches all at once instead of separately and seaming the collar to the button bands.

Okay, so the style is a tad on the old librarian side, but hey, everyone needs a cardigan, right? At least it's not black. But more importantly, this is my first seamed set-in sleeve sweater, and I didn't have any major seaming issues this time! It took me the better part of 4 hours to just set in the sleeves, sew sleeve and side seams, but I honestly think I did a pretty good job. I even took a picture of it. Okay, most normal people don't take pictures of the inside of their sweaters, but I thought the seams and the places where I picked up stitches around the button band and collar look very nice. I'm taking a step away from the super Chinese mentality and actually allowing myself to say that something is good without wishing it would be better.

The shape is pretty classic, so what makes this sweater different is the details. First of all, I don't think that the picture in IK did a very good job at actually showing what the faggoting cables along the front edges looks like, so I took a close up here. I didn't realize that the inside of the cables was open until I started knitting the front... and that was a pleasant surprise.

I even had a good time picking out buttons for this piece. I chose these buttons because they're a classic shape and color, but the swirls of green in them picked up the color of the sweater so perfectly it just made it that much better. And by the way, when sewing buttons to your sweaters, how do you do it? I took one ply of the yarn I used on the sweater and used that, but the individual plies are so easy to break that I'm a bit worried about it.

And the cuffs. There wasn't a good picture of what the cuffs looked like in the photo spread either. So here's mine. The directions tell you to go back to the cast on edge at the cuff and pick up stitches and then immediately cast off. I tried this, but my usual cast-off is so tight and when I went up a couple of needle sizes, it still didn't look like anything much. So I decided to try out the lace cast off that was used on the Icarus Shawl. I like the way it looks... kind of like it was crocheted on, and it's stretchy!

So now what? I have absolutely NOTHING on the needles right now. How crazy is that? I guess I could start on my Christmas knitting, but I'm feeling really selfish right now. I think this is a holdover from last year's crazy holidy knitting blowout. How much fun will this be when I start to panic come November? Stay tuned...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Last post as Miss McSpazzitron

Because next time, I guess I'll be Mrs. McSpazzitron! and DF will turn into DH. Sadly though, dear husband just doesn't have quite the same ring as dumb f*&^#! or *sigh* dear fiancee. Wish me luck in the next week and hope that we come out on the other side of it okay. But, we'll be wearing these when all is said and done, and I LIKEE!

But in the meantime, I should probably show you all the pictures of everything that I've been working on in the past two months of non-blogging.

I started on Icarus and while it's STILL not done, it doesn't look that much different from this:

Sadly, this picture was taken two months ago, and it's still not done. At least now I'm done with the stockinette part and only have 23 really LOOONG rows left to go.

But here are the FO's in finishing order:
Two-Tone Bag
Pattern by Kathy Merrick in Fall 2005 Interweave Crochet
Materials: Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed (100% wool, 100 yd) 200g each in color 06 and 04. Size H hook.
Gauge: 15 HDC = 4"
Finished size: 23" wide and 16.5" deep

Started: August 4, 2006
Finished: August 28, 2006

I see why crochet is so popular. It goes just so darned fast! The only problem with this bag is that the handles stretch a lot and the size. I've decided that the red-headed Interweave model must be about 7 feet tall because in the picture it looked like a great roomy tote, but on my it's clown-sized. Completely out of proportion for my height-challenged frame. I was planning on using it only for a knitting bag since it's huge and well, knitting doesn't tend to be very heavy but can definitely be bulky. It doesn't keep stuff in very well, so I might consider felting the whole thing, but I'm still as yet undecided there.

Previous posts about this project:
Really MIA on September 24, 2006
43+ on August 31, 2006
Back again on August 13, 2006

Hooded Pullover
Pattern by Vladimir Teriokhin in Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting
Materials: Filatura di Crosa Ultralight (53% alpaca, 22% wool, 25% nylon. 154 yards per 50g ball) 270g in color 61. Size 7 Addi turbo circulars.
Gauge: 4 sts/in
Finished size: 34" chest

Started: May 4, 2006
Finished: September 18, 2006

Knit the sleeves in the round from the top down by picking up the total number of stitches called for in the pattern before sleeve cap shaping and reversing the sleeve cap shaping with short rows around the armscye. Lengthened the length of the hood.

I discovered yet again that I'm short with a long neck and sputnik sized head with this sweater. The high empire waist ribbing on the model looks cute, but on me, DF says, what's up with that weird ribbing thing around your middle? It's supposed to accent the boobage, I think, but I'm not sure. Instead it just sits in a weird place on my ribcage. Oh well, it's roomy and comfy and just a little warm. Not as warm as I had hoped because well, the huge slash down the neckline to my belly button allows for a lot of heat escaping.

Also, this was a good candidate for playing, "What's she hiding?" The model is looking down at the ground and has her hands up by her ears supposedly "pulling" on exercise rings on the beach. Okay, we all know that these models are starved to the point of not being able to hold themselves up, so what's really going on here? Well, it's the abysmal hood shaping really. The instructions have you knit until the hood measures 6.5" from where you pick up stitches around the neckline, then knit about 1" of top shaping and bind off. Well, the last time I checked, most people have necks AND heads, so the hood comes out to be way too small to allow for anyone to have both of those body parts without the shoulders of the sweater pulling up around your ears. So much for the "roomy hood" in the description.

A note about the yarn substitution... I'm pretty happy about the alpaca blend that I used here. It's a bit rougher than I'd have hoped for an alpaca, but it certainly gives the same fluffy appearance as the Skacel Alpaca Leggero that's suggested in the pattern. But given that I couldn't possibly afford (at least I don't really want to) 16 balls of the stuff at about $10 a ball, I was especially happy with my substitution at $25 for the sweater. The color really isn't that neon pink, BTW, it's much more muted, but still hot pink. Yes, my wonderful photographic skills when it comes to reds rears its head again.

This sweater was really pretty straight forward. The time it took me to knit it is not at all indicative of how difficult it was. I blame the protracted knitting time on alpaca not being terribly fun to deal with when it's 100 degrees outside.

Previous posts about this project
Really MIA on September 24, 2006
Decision point on June 2, 2006
Designing on May 31, 2006
Legacy on May 9, 2006

Cross Over Tank
Pattern by Gayle Bunn in Spring/Summer 2005 Vogue Knitting
Materials: Patons Katrina (92% rayon, 8% polyester. 163 yards per 100g ball) 240g in Lilac. Size 7 Addi Turbo circulars 24".
Gauge: 21 sts/4"
Finished size: 24.5" bust (unstretched)

Started: September 24, 2006
Finished: October 2, 2006

Omitted side seams and neckband seams.

Who in the world would want to seam with elastic yarn? With my finishing capabilities, I knew that the seaming would have been a disaster if I had elastic yarn thrown into the mix, so I deferred to seamless knitting. In the end I had a total of 6 ends to weave in. I like that.

And let me just say, never again will I knit a tank top with 6 inches of negative ease no matter what they say about the stretchiness of the resulting fabric. It's just plain scary to see something that small come off the needles. I like it too though, and with the help of Elann I think I managed the cheapest garment of the year. Okay maybe my super on sale t-shirts from the gap were cheaper, but can you really beat $8 for a hand knit garment? For an adult?

Oy, I just noticed that I'm wearing this tank backwards in the picture. There's supposed to be interior waist darts on the front that you don't see here. Oh well, at least it's mostly reversible!

Ugh. Gotta get my hair chopped off after the wedding. These last few pictures were just HIDEOUS! If you're still reading this, man are you devoted! Thanks for hanging in there with me and I'll be gone for at least a week or two. Hopefully there will be more non-knitting related pictures to share by then.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Really MIA

So sorry about not posting in almost a month... it's been a bit crazy here. I think in the past 6 weeks, I've been in LA for all of a 2 weeks TOTAL if you add up the weekends here and there and random days I've dropped off my bags to dump the dirty clothes and immediately pack again. Anyway, the rantings and ravings will be on pause for a little while longer. I promise some effort in this blog in, wait, what does the countdown tell me... 19 days or so.

The quick and dirty (and pictureless) update is:

  1. tension is mounting as the date draws closer... I think everyone just wants it to be here already and we're all just getting antsy
  2. finished VK fall 2005 hooded pullover on Sept 18
  3. finished my first crochet project (two tone bag in Fall 2005 Interweave Crochet)since forever ago on Aug 21, but it's a bit strangely proportioned for my body and the straps stretch
  4. clearly I'm almost exactly a year behind in my projects!
  5. am about 75% of the way through Icarus
  6. have been a bad bad girl when it comes to sock yarn

Pretty much, nothing really changes around here except for the frequency of my posting! Hope all is well with all of you, and thanks for the kind comments on the pics from my last post.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


So yes, I have disappeared off the face of the planet. But it's because I have been working on that thing that I'm counting down to on my sidebar, which right now tells me I have a little over 43 days remaining. Yes, it's been hectic, but actually things are coming together nicely.

I won't bore you with all the details, but I thought I'd at least share a pic with you. This is what we paid a professional to do to my hair:

Okay, not really. This is after I took out all of the pins and elastic and everything that was holding it all together and all that was left is the hair spray. I took my mug shots bridal portraits today and was just happy to let my hair down afterwards and give my scalp a break. If you're not DF, click HERE for a really FUNNY outtake from that session that my dad took. No, you don't get a real one until after the wedding.

On the knitting front, I finished the Two Tone Bag on Monday. Apparently I've been extremely horrible about blogging because I haven't yet managed to actually post any progress pictures. Oh well, I guess you'll just have to wait for the FO picture. I'm hoping it won't be 43 days from now.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Oops! I managed to completely miss the fact that it's been just over a year since my first post. I was reminded of it by Karen, who just about shares my anniversary.

I never actually thought that anybody would ever actually read my blog, but somehow people have drifted over from various places. You've seen me through my engagement, histeria over my first almost entirely knitted Christmas list, reckoning with an increasingly unwieldy stash, a death in the family, wedding planning, and some 34 finished objects. Wow, I just realized that's more than an FO every other week. Huh... when did I get to knit that many items? Oh yeah, when babies started popping out of everyone around me.

That, ahem, is not what's in store for the next blogiversary...

I don't have any fancy contests or giveaways planned for this blogiversary... just a heartfelt thank you to everyone who's ever read or commented. Your praise for my work and encouragement for the many spazzing moments accompanying my knitting and life in general mean quite a lot to me. Who knows where we'll be in a year, but it'll be fun finding out!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

back again

Thank you everyone who complimented the wedding dress. I've been so excited to have it and it's been really difficult to not take it out of the bag and play dress up. I had to promise the dress shop ladies that I wouldn't handle it except to take my bridal portraits and get the train bustled (which BTW, means that they attach loops and buttons onto the back of the skirt to pick up the enormous train so I can walk around without tripping).

Sorry I've been so remiss in my blogging and commenting. I've had two work trips over the past two weeks, so I've just been too zapped at the end of the day to post any new progress. I've started two other projects since last posting... a bag that's (gasp!) crocheted in tweed started on Friday, Aug 4 and the Icarus Shawl finally on August 1. But here are the two finished objects that I've finished a while ago but am just now getting around to posting:

Sweater with Interlacing Cables
Pattern 37 in Rebecca number 25 (Jan-Sept 2003)
Materials: GGH Goa (50% cotton, 50% acrylic. 66 yards per 50g ball) 5 balls in SH24. Size 11 Denise Interchangeables.
Gauge: 11 sts/4 in
Finished size: 32" bust

Started: July 27, 2006
Finished: July 31, 2006

Huh, I must be knitting for sheer relaxation these days because this is the second project recently where I actually used the specified yarn. And on top of that, no mods! This one went extremely fast and I like how drapey the fabric is at this gauge. I used Goa for the baby sweaters on a much tighter gauge, and I didn't like the drape near as much. The only complaint I have about this sweater is that the yarn ends like to poke through to the right side (and there were many) and the armholes are a touch large. I might go back and crochet around the armholes to make them a bit smaller and have them lie flat too.

Otherwise, I'm suprised there weren't more issues with reading the pattern. I'd heard how notorious Rebecca patterns were at leaving things to the knitter's imagination. The only thing I noticed was that the instructions specified a number of rows for the front but had you knit to a certain measurement for the back. This is fine if your row gauge exactly matched theirs, but mine didn't, and so I had to fudge the chart for the front a bit so the back wouldn't end up shorter than the front. They also conveniently left off a bit of information about the chart... namely that the chart represented the middle stitches and you were supposed to work the rest of the sts not shown on the chart in stockinette. Okay, so you could figure that out based on the picture, but it's still frustrating that they publish patterns this way.

Hooded Sweater
Pattern by Debbie Bliss in Special Knits for Babies
Materials: Caron Simply Soft (100% acrylic, 396 yards per 198g skein) 180 g in Autumn Red. Size 8 Addi Turbos.
Gauge: 18 sts/4 in.
Finished size: 22" chest

Started: July 11, 2006
Finished: July 25, 2006

Pretty straight forward knitting with a sole intention of having something to do while trapped in a Montana airport (no one guessed it... I was in Dillon, MT and the closest airport was Butte, MT). It worked, and I have a baby in mind for it, just not yet born. I did the sleeves top down once again, but I noted that for these kinds of sleeves, I needed to leave a bit of a tail so that I could close the small hole formed by changing from knitting in the round to dividing for front and back. The only other thing is that I found the Simply Soft to be soft indeed, but not nearly as soft as other natural fiber yarns I've been working with lately (Malabrigo and Calmer come to mind). That being said, the yarn requirements were a steal at $3. A little squeaky to work with, but good for its intended purpose of keeping a baby that may have its moments of mess warm.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Wedding dress!

Okay, I know I shouldn't post it, but I just can't help myself. I just picked up my dress over the weekend and I LOVE it! The manufacturer doesn't have a size chart, so they just cut the dress to your measurements, and let me just say, no alterations for fit are necessary. Whew! I just have to get the train bustled and that's it.

Anyway, for anyone who may be curious to see what it looks like, CLICK HERE or HERE. Please ignore the bad tan lines and funny look on my face on the latter... I didn't want the dress shop to have to stand there taking pictures of me all afternoon until I looked right. I think I showed DF already, but just in case I didn't and he wants to be surprised (which the answer is, I'll look if you want me to - how frustrating to not just get a yes/no answer!), I didn't want to just put the pictures up for accidental viewing.

Also, I finished two more objects... or at least one plus close to another. One is a baby sweater and the other is a tank top for myself. I'm not quite done with the tank since I need to weave in the ends and block. But it should be done tonight with no pics until later this week since I'm in San Francisco almost all week.

BTW, it's cooled down here significantly... I was walking at lunch wishing that I had brought my Blackberry it was so cool: 60-65 degrees!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Men's Zippered Raglan

Men's Zippered Raglan
Pattern: in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: Malabrigo (100% wool, 215 yards) 6.5 skeins in Burgundy. Size 10 circular needles.
Gauge: 4 sts/in.
Finished size: I'm guessing here... 46" chest, 22" sleeves, I have no idea how long.

Started: January 14, 2006
Finished knitting: June 28, 2006
Finished: July 24, 2006

Yarn substitution resulted in a smaller gauge than the pattern, so I had to modify everything to correct for my new gauge. And I decided to make a size that was between 2 of the sizes in the pattern. I used the sleeve modifications from Alison to get the raglan to look nice on the front and back. I added 1.5" of armpit depth before starting the armhole shaping. I decreased to the neck until it looked right rather than the specified raglan length. I ripped out a bunch of times.

The verdict? DF says he likes it! It's soft, warm, and apparently fits okay. He must like it okay if he'll model 1.5 pounds of wool in our 90 degree apartment. But only if you give him a popsicle. I must like him if I'll keep 1.5 pounds of wool in my lap for hours on end installing the !@$#%^ zipper!

I'm actually quite proud of the finishing on this sweater. You can barely tell the difference from the inside and the outside of the sweater and the neckband seam and zipper installation are both quite nicely done if I say so myself. I backstitched the zipper in place at virtually every row of the sweater front. There were times when I skipped a row, but not that many! I am still, however, paranoid that the thing will fall apart. I'll blame it on the softness of the Malabrigo though if you ask for my official stance.

This is the longest enduring project I've ever finished. I love how five months ago I called this sweater something that's been on my sidebar for ages. Little did I know. To give some perspective on how much I dilly-dallied on this project, in the time it took me to cast on for this project and weave in the last end:

  • I cast on and finished 5 pairs of socks (finished a 6th pair that I cast on for two weeks before), Clapotis (if you count the second time I knit it), a pair of armwarmers, 4 hats (one pattern I knit twice and never mentioned it), 2 baby sweaters, a bolero sweater, 2 headbands (I knit the second Molly without mentioning it and one headwrap I ripped out), a baby dress, and a tank top - 19 objects.
  • 3 different seasons of Knitty have been up.
  • The temperature has gone up 70 degrees.

Much angst went into this project so I'm happy that I managed to finish it in time for DF's half birthday. Now I need to find a meat locker for him to stand in so that he can get around to using it!

Since this one's been blogged to death, I'll leave you with just a list of previous posts if it's been so long you've forgotten how I felt about this project.

Previous posts about this project
Pictures galore! on July 21, 2006
Dried berries on June 30, 2006
Tweed indeed on June 29, 2006
Do I look like the FBI? on June 26, 2006
Candy Cane Hat on April 17, 2006
No knitting pictures here! on April 10, 2006
He's too sexy for his sweater on April 3, 2006
It's not election day but... on March 5, 2006
Hey that's not burgundy is it? on February 23, 2006
So much for being regular on February 16, 2006
Let's play a game on January 19, 2006
gotta love having a camera on January 17, 2006
Beware! on January 16, 2006

Next up: Another baby sweater finito!

Monday, July 24, 2006


Pattern: Deciduous by Marnie Maclean
Yarn: Rowan Calmer (75% cotton, 25% acrylic. 175 yards) Exactly 2 skeins in color Laurel (474). Size 7 Addi Turbo circulars (24").
Gauge: 22 sts/4" in st st.
Finished size: Length - 12", Width at bust - 12" relaxed and laid flat.

Started: July 19, 2006
Finished: July 23, 2006

Followed pattern exactly except omitted last 4 rows of chart and used 3 st i-cord for straps.

As I mentioned before, I absolutely loved working with Calmer. It couldn't be nicer stuff... so soft, so springy and the color is just so... calming. Which is good because right about now I about want to tear somebody's head off I'm so miserable from the heat. Anyway, I highly recommend the yarn, but it can take some getting used to to get a consistent gauge and the yarn has a tendency to split.

As for the pattern, who couldn't resist a pattern that calls for a measley 2 balls of yarn? Especially when the requested yarn is more than I'd usually pay for yarn and it magically appeared on sale right when I wanted it? Anyway, I was superpsyched to make a whole top for about $17... the only problem was the yarn shortage.

I'm not sure if my gauge was a bit off or what, but I most certainly ran out of yarn here. I started to panic as I was ending the chart and watching my ball of yarn dwindle down to nothingness. So I aborted the pattern 4 rows early in hopes of managing to get the back to stay up. Thankfully, I got to about here and weighed the remainder of my yarn. I decided to plow ahead and add straps using an i-cord instead and I even had a whole 1g of yarn leftover! If the i-cord straps didn't work out, I was planning on using a length of wide ribbon to hold the thing up. Honestly, the lacing appears to be what's holding the top up - not the straps - but I figured it'd look pretty dumb without any straps at all. I do absolutely love the back of this top. The pattern also gives alternate instructions for making a straight across high back. But the combination of the heat, my cheapness (I'd have to buy an extra ball for the high back), and DF's fondness for seeing my back made me give the low back a go.

All in all, I'd recommend the pattern for its simplicity, lightning quick finishing time, and super sexy (at least I think so) results. I might just warn those who are thinking of making the smallest size: buy 3 balls if you want wider straps or don't want to unravel your gauge swatch or want the last 4 rows of the chart I omitted. You could probably also omit a few rows at the beginning (I'd guess 5) to get away with 2 balls without making any other changes.

Next up: DF's zippered raglan is done!

Previous posts about this project:
Pictures galore! on July 21, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pictures galore!

It's been a really long time since posting, but I completely blame it on Delta Airlines once again. This time, in touring the Lewis and Clark region of the country where the explorers picked up the lovely and indispensible Sacajawea, I had to endure two cancelled flights in a row! Can we call that fun? Brownie points go out to anyone who can name what town the Spaz was working in at the time. Hint: I picked up some less than half price rain pants at the Patagucci outlet in this town of approximately 5000 where the closest airport is an hour away up I-15 and has a grand total of one gate and three flights daily.

But, of course, flight delays do mean that I get a good bit of knitting in. I cast on July 11 for another baby sweater since they're also super portable knitting and DF has told me that I have too many knit socks. This one is the hooded sweater in the Debbie Bliss Special Knits for Babies book. Again, this one is going seamless, so I've finished the body and half of the hood. I tried to sew the shoulder seams so that the seam is invisible, but I think it looks a bit funny. The 3 needle BO seems to be the least bulky of all shoulder seams I've tried so far.

Upon my return, I spent a good day relaxing and knitting in the park. If you can call it knitting. I decided to push through and finally finish DF's zippered raglan. It took me something like 2 hours just to baste the zipper in place so that the zipper lined up on both sides. Then, actually sewing it in place with backstitch... just shoot me now. This is how much more I have left to do on the last side after 3 hours of sewing by hand. The white thread is the section that's just basted in and remains to be sewn. I sure hope that sewing down the collar doesn't take as long.

Having burned myself out on sewing, I decided that some good old-fashioned knitting was in order. Some of you may have noticed that I went yarn shopping with Jillian a couple of weeks ago. I decided to turn my purchases into something a bit more in season than the fuzzy alpaca long sleeve hooded sweater I've also been sorta secretly working on (working on the sleeves top down like you all egged me on to... it seems to be working!) So, I cast on for Deciduous by Marnie Maclean on Wednesday in the oh so delectable Rowan Calmer. I'm so in love. Just for scale, here's Deciduous on top of DF's zippered raglan. The thing is so SMALL.
On the wedding front, it's less than 3 months away and I'm getting more nervous. My Dad sent me a CD of my baby pictures to be used in an unabashedly cheesy, tear jerking video story of the two of us for the reception. Most of the pictures contained were just awful Go Fug Yourself moments (see them on the wedding blog, but please come back here to comment). But since this is a knitting blog, I thought I'd share these two:

I want to say that this little cardigan was hand-crocheted by my grandmother, but I can never remember her having crochet needle in hand. Even now, I think this one's too cute! I might however have to question my parents' judgment at pairing a pink cardi with a red checkered pant suit and sailor themed bucket hat.

Same thing with the crochet look here. And um, no, I didn't have the mumps. Clearly, it's drug store cheap acrylic, but darn it if there wasn't some impressive stitch pattern and colorwork going on here. Go grandma!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ribbon Tied Dress

Ribbon Tied Dress
Pattern: by Debbie Bliss in Special Knits for Babies
Yarn: Lion Brand Microspun (100% acrylic, 168 yds in 70g ball) 2 balls in French Vanilla. Size 4 Addi Turbo Circulars, 24" and 32".
Gauge: 22 sts x 30 rows = 4" square in st st.
Finished Size: 19" chest

Started: July 2, 2006
Finished: July 10, 2006

Many pattern modifications. I wanted to use stash yarn but my gauge at 5.5 sts per in was larger than the pattern gauge. As it was, the fabric was stiffer than I like, so I wasn't about to go down a needle size to achieve gauge... hence recalculating all the stitch counts. I also downsized the pattern by about 1 inch in length and width.

In addition, I changed the instructions to be completely seamless. For the body, this was straightforward. For the sleeves, I decided to knit from the top down to avoid seaming the sleeves into the armholes.

The sleeve is a modified drop-shoulder sleeve. I re-calculated the number of final bound off sleeve sts from the pattern to adjust for my different gauge. Then I picked up half that number of sts up the front and the other half down the back. Finally, I picked up 1 additional st per bound off stitch at the base of the armhole. These additional stitches were decreased at either end of the sleeve one at a time every two out of three rows, kind of like turning a heel on a heel flap sock.

This is where I differed on either side. On the first sleeve, I used SSK with the body st and the first sleeve stitch, knit to the the last sleeve stitch and k2tog with one body st. On the wrong side, it was p2tog, purl to last st, then p2tog-tbl. This left visible strands (picture on left), so I reversed the decreases on the second sleeve. I think the strands disappeared into the faux-seam (picture on right), so I think this approach is worth doing in the future.

I love the look of this dress, but for some reason, the fabric came out really stiff despite being a chunkier gauge than what's specified on the ball band. Weird, huh? Anyway, if I make this dress again, I won't use Microspun. But hey, I used up 2 out of the 3 balls in my stash. Only 2! According to the pattern, I was supposed to need more than 3 since the labeled gauge for Microspun is the same as the recommended yarn, Baby Cashmerino. Hence I opted to downsize the dress by an inch in width and length. Apparently, I over-did it. I guess I'll have leftovers for a hat and booties for the next time.

The modified drop shoulder sleeves knit from the top down were great! I don't think I described it very well, but it really was pretty easy. The armhole "seam" is not bulky at all, and it would have been even less bulky if I had picked up sts a half st in instead of a whole st in. Given my track record with seaming, this was the perfect solution for me. Now if only I could figure out how to tie a proper bow...

BTW, these drop shoulder sweaters just scream to me, "Hug me! Pick me up!" which is good since they're for babies. I just need a baby to actually model these sweaters to see if they don't look so home-made when on a real body.

Previous posts on this project:
Nightmares on July 6, 2006

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I've been having nightmares lately. I'm not sure what it says about me that I dream about my wedding, but I have the wrong dress and it doesn't fit. Or that I'm getting on the plane to go to New Zealand for the honeymoon and all of the sudden, the flight went from being a 12+ hour flight to an 20+ hour flight and darn it if the only thing I have in my knitting bag is a sweater that I only need to weave in ends on.

After waking up in a cold sweat from the last dream, I made sure that for this last trip, I had plenty to keep my needles busy despite recognizing the need to sleep on the redeye on the way out. I did manage some progress though:

Molly's Headband
Pattern: by Pam Allen in Interweave Knits Summer 2006
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Superwash Merino (100% superwash merino wool, 250 yards.) ~20g of a 117g skein in color Passionfruit.
Gauge: Didn't measure it! Knit on size 6 Addi Turbo circulars, 24".
Finished size: 17" long without ties and 3.25" wide.

Started and Finished: July 1, 2006

Quick to knit and easy to memorize. It's a great use for leftover sock yarn sitting in your stash. In fact, I still have enough Zen Yarn Garden to make a slightly smaller version. I think I made it a bit too long and too wide for my head. Despite what DF would argue (my head is not the size of Sputnik, nor do I need snaps at the shoulders of my shirts to allow for the passage of my ginormous head!), I think I have a relatively small head. The next one I make will have one fewer stitch in the stockinette panels and I think I'll make it shorter.

For the cheapskate in me... How cool is that? A pair of socks and 2 headbands from one skein of yarn?

For the rest of you, would anyone be interested in taking this larger version off my hands? Leave me a comment if you know someone who might like a very girly colored headband...

Okay, if you can tear your eyes away from the train wreck that is my hair in the above picture, I actually have more knitting projects previously unblogged. Having completed the above headband in record time (for me anyway) I cast on for a baby present on Sunday after an all day and not quite all night Fourth of July picnic - my hands were a bit twitchy from not having knit all day... I had to at least cast on and get a few rounds in!

My friend is due any day now, so I'm feeling the heat to get this one done. The pattern is the Ribbon Tied Dress in Special Knits for Babies by Debbie Bliss. I'm using up some Microspun left over in my stash. Yay for stashbusting! Anyway, I have woven in all the ends on the body and am getting ready to add the sleeves. Of course, I could just give up now and call it a jumper, but I sort of like the idea of a winter dress. It's freaking huge at 19" across the chest (despite downsizing from the 3-6 month size specified in the pattern), so by the time the baby has any chance of fitting into it, it'll be winter anyway.

The ladybug is just because it seemed appropriate for a child's sweater and the SD card is for scale.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Dried berries

So we put the blocked sweater on DF last night and he had it on long enough for him to determine that it fits, but not long enough for me to get a picture. Sorry, y'all. You're just going to have to wait for DF to strut his stuff for the camera until it's not 10000 degrees in here. I'm hoping also to install the zipper and get a REAL FO picture out of it since DF doesn't much like wearing sweaters in the summer. I'll have to agree though, the sweater is freaking warm! Now I want one.

But, I'm not above a little bit of overheating for my readers. So remember the incredible growing sweater phenomenon with Blackberry? Well, it took me almost two months to get up the guts (and get off my butt to soak the sucker... the wet dog smell just isn't pleasant) to try and resize the sucker. After a little soak and pat dry, I threw Blackberry in the dryer with a load of whites. DF insists that he needs socks and underwear to wear to his parents for the Fourth, but is his family really checking to see if he's going commando?

Sorry, getting my mind out of the gutter to get back to the story. Like Jillian suggested, I stood by the dryer and checked every minute to see if things were progressing too quickly. Did I mention it was hot? That didn't last very long, so I had to step outside the laundry room and keep going back. During this whole process, I had these nightmarish visions of locking myself out of the laundry room with my sweater held prisoner in the dryer shrinking down into nothingness. Thankfully, this didn't come to pass. Twenty minutes and no noticeable difference later, I gave up. I wondered if Rowan had somehow mislabeled the yarn as it was clearly not falling apart or shrinking like mad so it must be superwash.

But I think it must have shrunk slightly because it seems to be a whole lot cuter on now. The sleeves are at least 2 inches shorter, so that makes it infinitely more wearable. Or at least it looks like it fits better through the shoulders in looking at this picture and the last one. What do you think?

Also, I was just noticing... a post every day this week! When was the last time that happened? Never as far as I can remember. I must be glad to have not gone anywhere this week. Anyway, we're off for the Fourth, so happy grilling, happy birthday America, and I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

tweed indeed

So I made the mistake of visiting my favorite eBay store today - Jannette's Rare Yarns (though for the life of me, I can't seem to figure out which of the yarns she carries are rare). I got the twitch. And by the title of this post, you can probably figure out what did it.

But in an effort of trying to consult DF in the habits of mine that may lead us both to the poorhouse down the line, I called him.

DF: What's up?
Me: Yarn.
DF: What yarn?
Me: You know the stuff I made my Blackberry out of? I saw it on eBay.
DF: How much tweed does one little girl need?
Me: The question is not how much tweed, but how much aran weight tweed?
DF: And what did you do with that whole box of orange tweed you got off of eBay?
Me: You don't understand... I swatched with that and the red tweed and neither was right for that one sweater. And it's discontinued... I might not be able to get it anymore... and it's half price... and there's free shipping...

Can you say, beg much? I did pick up 5 balls, and it was indeed a great deal. Now if only it weren't 1000 degrees in my apartment I might actually consider knitting with heavy wool.

The good news is, the heat has made blocking DF's sweater go much faster. Wait, that means, yes, take a deep breath, I finished knitting DF's sweater. I couldn't believe it either, but proof positive that it's off the needles and that I have no freaking clue how to block...

Yup, that's me being a spaz in DF's fresh off the needles sweater. Unblocked it measures a whopping 32", but with the length through the shoulders and arms, I don't think I could pull off this look. Not for me then. I'm still waiting to see what it looks like when DF actually puts on the blocked version.

BTW, please ignore the mess in the background. It's like that all the time. You can, however, spy on top of the filing cabinet what DF has stashing issues with. It's only there because his other stashing locations are full.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Warning: Long vent ahead!

I received a letter from Delta a few days ago telling me that I have xxxx miles that may expire and wouldn't it be great if I redeemed those miles for one of many fabulous magazines! DF says, well, can you transfer your miles to me and we can combine our miles to use for a free ticket instead?

So I go online because I generally hate talking to customer service representatives to see if this is a viable option. They want me to log in. I have no idea what my pin# is, so I click on the link for a forgotten pin. They tell me that they'll mail my pin to me.

Being the ever-patient spaz, I decided this was not good enough. So with dread, I called customer service. They ask for my membership number and then my address or date of birth. I give my address since clearly they already have that. "I'm sorry, that's the wrong address for this account. Please give me your date of birth." So I do. The rest of it went something like this:

Me: I'd like to see if I can transfer my miles to another member.
Delta: You can log in to and transfer miles through our easy to use website.
Me: I tried that already and I can't log in and the website told me to call you to help me out.
Delta: So you cannot log in?
Me: No, I don't know my pin.
Delta: I can't give you your pin, so I will have to mail it to you.
Me: That would be great, but the address you read back to me is my old address from two years ago. Can you change it to my current address?
Delta: I would need your pin number to change your address.
Me: But I don't have my pin.
Delta: We can mail your pin to your home address.
Me: So, wait, you're telling me that you need my pin to change my address, but I can't get my pin unless you mail it to me at my incorrect address.
Delta: Yes ma'am.
Me: *taking deep breath* Is there any other way I can have my address changed?
Delta: Yes, you can mail a letter to us requesting a change of address. You must show proof of your new address and proof of identity such as a government issued identification card.
Me: I don't really feel comfortable sending you copies of my driver's license for this. I try to minimize the chance of identity theft whenever I can. Is there anything else I can send?
Delta: Yes, you can also send a copy of your social security card.
Me: How about if I just mail back the letter you sent to me with my membership number printed on it and the correct address and circle that and with a note to change your damn files!
Delta: I'm sorry, we'll need a social security card or passport or other government issued identification.
Me: Thanks. Have a nice day. *click*

I just hate circular logic.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

let's play a game

poker? No, too overdone right now.
cribbage? Um, that involves a board with pins and cards or something like that maybe I think...
ultimate frisbee? right... didn't you read the post about my boot camp class?

I know, how about find the keys!?!

Yes, this is a game that we play at La Casa de la Spaz at least twice a week. DF's keys hide in various locations... in the bathroom, on top of the refrigerator, on the filing cabinet. Usually, I try to make a mental note whenever I see DF's keys. That only works when they actually make it in the house. Today we found his keys in the most obvious place we should have looked. No, that wouldn't be the bucket for keys by the door that I keep mine in. That's too inconvenient. No, the more logical place to keep your keys is the last place you used them: in the front door.

Lessons learned:

  • our neighborhood is reasonably safe: your keys can stay outside in the door all night and still be there in the morning.
  • this is an inherited trait - my future FIL does the same thing. Let's just hope it dies out over the generations.
Also, I did the unthinkable. I THREW AWAY YARN.

Okay, it was really just scraps from the socks I finished yesterday, but there was almost 5 g of yarn in those scraps! The cheap side of me is considering never buying self striping yarn ever again to avoid having to waste yarn by cutting out pattern repeats to get the stripes to match up. Which will win: my cheap streak or my anal retentiveness?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Do I look like the FBI?

So having lived at the same phone number for the past almost two years, it depresses me to think that an old lady named Dorothy, Great Expectations dating service, and the FBI all get more phone calls than I do at my current home phone. I've gone so far as to reverse lookup Dorothy in an attempt to be able to redirect her phone calls to her instead of having to disappoint yet another little old lady or doctor's office that I'm not Dortohy. The good news for the day however, I now have Dorothy's phone number! One of her regulars gave it to me today... Why is it the little things that make me so happy?

What's making me ridiculously unhappy right now is this scene out in front of my apartment at 7:00 am:

*Beep, beep, beep* that's all I hear all freaking day every day except Sundays for the past several months. Why oh why do trucks have to ever BACK UP? I'm considering sabotaging the reverse gear on every single truck that comes 'round these parts while the construction guys are taking their lunches.

Okay, knitting content. I finally finished the quickie socks for my Grandfather and they took quite a bit longer than they really should have. These were done on size 1 Addis two at a time at a gauge of 8.75 sts/in with Schachenmayer Regia Patch Antik (75% wool, 25% nylon, 432 yards) color 48030 with 11% of the ball left over. Finished dimensions: 10.25" long, 8.25" circumference. Started June 4, 2006 and Finished June 26, 2006.

Check it out though, the stripes are matched and go uninterrupted up the front!

And back from the dead is DF's zippered raglan sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I finally brought myself to rip out the yoke (for the second time) and reknit it without shaping for the first two inches after joining the sleeves to the body. That gives the sweater significantly more room through the shoulders... and I can use all the room I can get with as broad as DF's shoulders are. It still fits like a shrunken T right now, but still hoping for the magic of blocking.

Since I forgot to mention it in my last post (excuse the unbridled lust, I didn't have control of myself when I posted), I did get a chance to stop in on the Purlygirls while I was in Seattle last week. They were all quite nice and welcoming, and I'll definitely be back next time I'm in the area. I also have to mention that about half the group is training for a triathlon. More feelings of guilt for not being in better shape and and shame for my performance in my recent exercise endeavors washed over me as I listened to the ladies recount their training regime for the weekend which included a race on Saturday morning, a training ride on Sunday and a half mile swim on Monday. I'm tired just thinking about it. Jessica and Molly, if you're reading this, it was great to meet you and the other blogless purlygirls!