Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Look at what arrived today!

That would be a gently used Yamaha Clavinova CLP-240. And it plays pretty well for it not being an acoustic piano. Well, at least well enough to fool this piano player. The sound is great, and I'm surprised I'm actually blogging instead of playing it.

A few answers to reader's questions: Chrissy - no I haven't found a distance where running starts to feel good. It just seem to hurt less now, but I suspect that might be because I'm walking most of it with only short bouts of slow jogging. Actually, my walking is sometimes faster than my jogging, so wrap your head around that! Steph - I'm training for the Disney half marathon. Supposedly DH's family is going to make a trip of it and DH promises that he'll do a Goofy (marathon plus a half on two consecutive days) if I do the Donald (half). I think he's pretty goofy.

But this post has been long overdue, so I'll just show you quickly the couple of finished objects that have been off the needles for what seems like forever...

Helmet Liner
Pattern: Found at Operation Home front here.
Materials: Cascade 220 (100% wool. 220 yds per 100g) 75g in color 8407. Size US8 needles.
Gauge: approximately 4.5 sts per inch

Started: February 6, 2007
Finished: February 20, 2007

Yes, this is finished, but I unfortunately have no pics of this to share. Maybe after I do another one. I gave this already to the ladies at Compatto, so you'll have to wait for the next. Fortunately, I have some black Cascade 220 in my stash with no particular plans for it. Off it goes to become yet another liner for the troops! Somehow, the charity knitting gives me so much satisfaction that I've dug out some old orphan leftovers from my stash to try to make some preemie hats for Stitches from the Heart. Yay me! Sorry... I'm trying to have a much more positive mental attitude, so you'll have to suffer through all of the sunshine I'm blowing up my own rear end for a while now.

DH's Koigu Socks
Pattern: You're Putting Me On Socks by Judy Gibson
Materials: Koigu KPPPM (100% superwash wool. 175 yd per 50g ball) 100g in color P830. Size 1 US Addi Turbos, 24" and 32".
Gauge: 8.5 sts/in in st st.
Finished size: to fit a Men's size US11 foot

Started: November 6, 2006
Frogged: November 7, 2006
Frogged: November 12, 2006
Re-started: January 26, 2007
Finished: February 19, 2007

This was a standard 68st toe up sock with 2x2 ribbing for the leg. Boring as all get out to knit, but DH loves them. I was having serious trouble getting the fit right with the Chevron pattern from Sensation Knit Socks, so I punted. DH wanted plain socks anyway. He commented when he first wore them (unblocked of course - I hang my head in shame) that they had a certain texture to them. Not bad, but definitely noticeable. We threw them in the washing machine and they softened up REALLY nicely. I might be a Koigu convert now! If only the pooling didn't bother me so much...

Godson Sweater
Pattern: Top down simultaneous saddle shoulder sweater in Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top with argyle border from Nicky Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge.
Materials: Knitpicks Shine (60% cotton, 40% modal. 110 yards per 50g ball) 175g in Sky and 25g in Cream. Size US3 Addi Turbo 24" and 32".
Gauge: 25 sts/4"
Finished size: 22" chest and 12" from top of shoulder to hem and 6" from underarm to cuff.

Started: January 27, 2007
Finished: February 13, 2007

What finally worked for me on the border? Well, I took a hint from Eunny and spread apart my stitches on the needle every few stitches, and that seemed to help me from making my floats too tight. That worked like a charm for me! Anyway, I'm quite proud of this sweater, but I don't really have the energy to blog much more here.

Besides, the piano is calling...

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

No knits for you!

So I haven't been knitting that much lately... well save for a little charity project that Compatto is organizing. I've been in many times since my last post about them, and I'm really getting to like it there and keep wanting to go back. It doesn't hurt that I run by there about 3 times a week these days. I'm trying to convince myself that I'm training for a half-marathon, but I do have issues with follow-through at times. Keep me honest, and keep asking me about it!

Anyway, I did manage to finish a DH's godson's sweater on Tuesday at SNB this week. For such a small sweater, boy did it have a million ends to weave in! I'll post the FO picture at some point when it's finished drying. IF that ever happens.

So I'll leave you today with pictures. Yes, I know, wedding and honeymoon pictures are SO trite, but that's all I have and I still have yet to finish going through them all. And I swore to myself that I'd post about my entire honeymoon, so you are unforunately the ones who have to suffer through the slideshow.

For some reason, I really like this picture. Can't explain it, except that I think it's because neither of us looks like we have a stick up our butts posing for the camera. And well, we look happy. Can't ask for much more than that, right?

Routeburn Track Jan 1-3
The Routeburn Track is designated as one of New Zealands' Great Walks. They apparently go through and designate some of their hiking paths that they think are particularly beautiful or whatnot as Great Walks and then put in extra plush facilities. I think I'd agree that this one was a great walk. It was my first multi-day hike and yes, I carried a pack with my gear in it. It only weighed about 15 pounds, but I'm still proud of myself for doing it!

Anyway, here we are looking clean on our first day... that wouldn't last. This was just one of many mini waterfalls we encountered on the first day of the hike through the forest. Lots of crystal blue streams and swing bridges. We stayed at the most flash (not flash pasteurized as I originally thought, but rather swank, fancy, upscale) cabin you could imagine in the wilderness: gas stoves, mattresses, lights at night, flush toilets and running drinkable water were all provided. This was the view from our cabin at the Routburn Falls.

The second day we ascended above the tree line and walked up to a saddle between two mountains. I can't tell which is exactly the view from the saddle because it was all just so darned gorgeous, but here's what I think it looked like:

After the saddle, we walked along a very dry ridge which was really weird considering the lush green terrain we had experienced the day before. It's a good thing we like mountains because that's pretty much all we saw for this entire section of the track. We then descended back into a different type of forest that reminded DH of the Ent forest from Lord of the Rings and then arrived at our cabin. Again with a spectacular view:
The last day was spent again circling around a valley along a ridge with intermittent breaks in the forest to reveal more mountain scenery, but the highlight of the day was definitely the giant waterfall:

We like waterfalls. I don't like how dirty I was by this time, and thankfully you can't smell us here, but we still had fun.

And I dare say that I might have liked this hiking thing. *gasp!* Don't let DH find out or else he may send us on some two week winter camping expedition through the Andes with a 3000 vertical gain daily.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

On hold

Sorry about the last couple of posts lacking content. I think the template has figured itself out on Blogger, but y'know, these things never really are finished. I'm just putting my frustration with the lack of comments on old posts on hold.

Also on hold is DH's godson's sweater. I'm mad at it. Check this out:

Yeah, so if this were a waist cinching sweater for me, the 2 inches of puckering (10%!) would be okay, but let's face it... the waist isn't exactly the trimmest part of a baby. So, out goes the border. I've yet to pick it back up, but I think at least the yoke turned out okay.

I also discovered a new (to me) LYS in my neighborhood. I literally ran into this one while deluding myself that I could in fact manage a half-marathon in one year's time off the couch when I hate to run. Sometimes I wonder about my logic. Anyway, the store is called Compatto Yarn Salon and they seemed like a nice little store. They have a selection of yarns that complement the offerings of the other 6 stores within a 5 mile radius of me (obscene that density, isn't it? lucky for me though...). The owner, Nancy, is quite friendly and is willing to talk with you for days. The shop dog is fluffy and mellow, both a big plus in my book. If you're in the area, go check out Compatto. The other 6 shops in case you're interested are of course, A Mano (the furthest, but still my favorite), Stitches from the Heart, Jennifer Knits, Yarns Unlimited, Wildfiber, and L'Atelier on Montana.

Belated FO postings:

Grandmother's Pink Socks
Pattern: Petticoat Socks by Veronik Avery in Weekend Knitting
Materials: Elann Esprit (98.3% cotton, 1.7% elastic. 100yd relaxed per 50g ball) 150g in Pink Pearl. Size 4 Addi Turbos.
Gauge: 15 sts & 24 rounds/2" in st st.

Started: October 25, 2006
Finished: January 24, 2007

Most importantly, this sock was worked from the toe up instead of top down, so the lace motif is actually upside down. I also figured out what pattern to use half-way through the sock, so the instep pattern is omitted. Here, I used a short-row, heel-flap heel and worked the lace pattern as specified. After the sock was long enough, I threw in 4 m1 increases evenly distributed and did this once every 2 pattern repeats. I tried to alternate the locations of the increases such that the lace pattern stayed symmetrical.

Here's hoping that my grandmother's much more shapely calves fit into these socks. They're pretty stretchy, so I'm hoping the elastic will do its job...

MIL Scarf
No pattern
Materials: Knitpicks Decadence (100% Alpaca. 131 yds per 100g ball) 200g in Winterberry. Size 10.5 Knitpicks Options.
Gauge: What, does gauge matter on a scarf?
Finished size: 5" wide by 54" long unstretched

Started: December 7, 2006
Finished: January 27, 2006

This scarf was a winter gift for my new mother in law. A couple of years ago, I gifted her with the Branching Out scarf, and she loved it. I figured this time, I'd go for something warm instead of decorative, so I just cast on something like 22 stitches and worked a fisherman rib with slipped stitch edges until I ran out of yarn. The scarf stretched A LOT when worn, so it should be plenty long enough to wrap around her neck and keep off the mid-winter Ohio chill.

Yeah, all the self-portraits I took with this scarf made my nose look ginormous, so you don't get to see any. I'm vain.

Dunedin Dec 29-31

Ha, ha! I'm barely a month behind. That's not so bad, right? Yeah, at this rate, I'll be done telling you about my honeymoon by the time our one year anniversary comes around.

We drove down the coast towards Dunedin and on the way stopped off at Oamaru. There's a blue penguin colony there and disappointed though I was to discover that blue penguins are nocturnal animals. We didn't have time to wait around, but I would have loved to see the little guys hopping out of the ocean and marching home to their nests across the beach. As it were, this was all I got to see:

We were told that Dunedin is the most Scottish of all the New Zealand cities. Cities is a term I of course use quite loosely here as it's home to around 100,000 people and that would barely register as a city back home. Anyway, the architecture was all quite beautiful with churches taking center stage. We did attend mass during our stay in Dunedin, and well, I was just creeped out that Away In the Manger didn't sound at all like the tune I know. The church also bordered on sadistic wth the unpadded, fixed kneelers and 8 inch deep pews. I'm glad that masses don't last for 2 hours. No pics of the inside, but it was actually more attractive than the outside.

The sole reason for us traveling this far south was because I have a certain thing for animals. And the Otago reason is one of the best to see them all. So we signed up for the best tour of our trip to see the royal albatrosses, fur seals, sea lions, and yellow-eyed penguins with a bonus Fjordland crested penguin thrown into the mix. I was suprised to see the fur seals and sea lions in such close proximity to the penguins as I though the former ate the latter. But I guess if you're hanging out on the beach, you live and let live. Here we are a few meters from an adult sea lion and a group of adolescents:
The rest of our time in Dunedin was spent at the Speight's brewery and the Cadbury chocolate factory. The former was actually an excellent tour on the history of brewing, that facility in particular, even for a non-beer drinker like myself. The latter, well, let's just say that dumping a ton of chocolate from 20 meters up does NOT qualify for an interesting attraction. And DH never let me live it down. Here's the highlight of the Speight's tour... Yes I am ridiculously pleased that the sign actually applied to me.