Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Brenda and Me

I sound like Brenda Vaccaro. The Crud has progressed to where I feel a little bit better but sound a helluva lot worse.

Maybe I'll get back to knitting today. That's the one thing I loathe about being sick - I don't have the attention span to knit. I make silly mistakes so there is no point in trying.

We did get the wallpaper down in the foyer and mud it and put on a layer of Kilz. AND I found paint I like. Amusingly enough, when I went to look for a color "similar to a manilla folder" there was, in fact, a color called "Manilla Folder". It sounds a bit bland, but in the same room are a blue loveseat with tan and red in it, a multicolored wingback chair, a black piano, and dining room furniture stained a brown with alot of red in it and with cranberry red chairs. Believe me, we need a nice soothing background for all of that.

Monday, November 22, 2004

She who waits

loses out.

I was thinking of using the Peruvian Highland Wool over at Elann to make the Nicky Epstein Floral Felted Bag from IK Summer 2004. I'm not the only one. I worked out my colors and then promptly went on to feel a bit of guilt over having too many projects. Today I decided that maybe it was something I should buy after all as it's a really good deal. Alas, several of the colors I wanted are sold out. I'm taking this as an omen. I really do have plenty of projects already in the stash as well as enough yarn for several (OK, many) undertermined small projects. I have 4 sweaters not including the half-finished Lara or the Lopi sweater or the other sweater from the Stash of Shame that I haven't talked about yet because it involves 11 color changes. I really don't need another project (whine). And then there is the list of things for The Bean.

Ah well, if I had really wanted to make the bag right now, I would have bought the yarn. As it is, I'll keep waiting and maybe in the future. Besides, I'm thinking of buying the tapestry yarn to make Color on Color from Scarf Style at the big after Christmas sale at my LYS. That's only 42 color changes...

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Ick and argh

I seem to be developing a case of the Creeping Mongolian Death Crud (CMDC). (Don't ask me how I came up with CMDC but I got some horrible lurgy one year and called it the CMDC and a number of my friends have adopted the term as well. The good news is that the CMDC is not quite the flu.)

We finished ripping down the wallpaper in the foyer and put a layer of Kilz on hoping that Nature might be kind to us and let us take the easy way out without having to take down the backing and mud the foyer. No such luck. And we couldn't paint over the wallpaper because it was textured vinyl. And not a texture you'd want. So, Hubster has gone off to the Home Despot to get supplies. My being sick isn't helping anything. Nor is the fact that an old friend is coming in town in about an hour and I am expected to be at our ex-hangout for cocktails in about an hour and a half. Man, to think I used to actually drink in the afternoon. (To think I used to actually drink...) So, poor Hubster gets left with the mud and The Bean. (My husband is the most indulgent man in the world.) I did make a big pot of beef stew (really boeuf borgignon with carrots and celery) so I don't have to feel guilty about dinner ;>.

Needless to say, this has put something of a kibosh on knitting. The fog of sinus prevents me from paying much attention to Lara. I have managed to read some of All I Did Was Ask by Terry Gross who is the host of NPR's Fresh Air. Great book. I love Fresh Air and she has the Gene Simmons interview which was a total disaster.

Meanwhile, I have to print out 500 mailing labels by Wednesday. From an incomplete mailing list. That I have to update.

I think I need to go back to sleep.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Whys and wherefores

I was bopping around in blogworld a few days ago and, on a blog I cannot remember, I read something about knitalongs to the extent that this person was not much interested because she wanted to knit things for her own reasons whether than because other people were doing them. Its' an interesting point and she was in no way saying anything bad about KALs, it was more like I feel about mohair. It's just not something I'm nuts about. Nothing wrong with it. Just not for me ;>

At any rate, it got me thinking about how I choose projects. Before I discovered the online world of knitting, I picked things I knew I would wear or that I knew the recipient would like. Projects that I could learn a few techniques from or that were guaranteed to be relaxing and mindless. I don't feel that my projects wants have changed that much, but I think that the online knitting world has expanded my projects and increased my interest.

Some of the projects are KALs: Clapotis, Lara and Butterfly. I doubt I would have attempted Clapotis had someone on the Knitty boards not mentioned that Soy Silk Phoenix would be a good substitute for Lion and Lamb. And I actually had the requisite amount of Soy Silk in my stash! So, while the pattern repeats intimidated me (limited attention span), I jumped right in. And could not stop. Until I realized that I loathed the colorway of the Soy Silk. So, I bought some new yarn and am happy as a clam with the finished project and I had a blast knitting it.

Lara and Butterfly I wouldn't have knitted without seeing pictures of real people (as opposed to Debbie Bliss or Rowan people) wearing said sweaters and looking nice in them. I love the chevron pattern in Butterfly and am having a ball with Lara. I have learned how to cast on in the middle of a project.

On the other hand, Rowan Summer Tweed doesn't appear to have a huge blog following but it's really appropriate for Texas weather. I chose Plum from Debbie Bliss Seven the second I saw the magazine because I want to learn short rows and come on, it's Cashmerino! Not to mention that every project I work on these days uses 8US needles and I wanted something big and chunky.

I feel like the KALs are a great thing. They provide encouragement because there are people to ask about projects. I'm the only person I know at my LYS knitting Butterfly, Clapotis and maybe Lara. Sure, there may be a few other people, but it seems like I don't know anyone personally who is working on these projects. It's nice to have internet friends from whom I can glean helpful hints.

Lara is progressing. I'm through with the back and have started the eternal ribbing on the left front.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Good the Bad and the Purple

Brit commented on my quote from the Bean on Sunday and it made me re-read the post and realize that my remark that I didn't laugh at Amen and Firemen might be misinterpreted. I didn't laugh because I didn't want to offend her. Hubster and I laughed 'til we cried after I left the room.

I went to my LYS yesterday and learned enough crochet to finish the Medley sweater. I had some Patons Super Chenille from the Stash of Shame (Motto: It's Small But It's Oooooooooooooold.) in a red that matched perfectly. It really finishes all the edges nicely. I may take out some of the crochet and redo it. Since this was a new technique for me, it's not even everywhere. The collar in particular could have been better.

Meddlesome with a row of single crochet at the hem(?) of the sleeve

Yesterday's trip to the LYS also provided some drama in the form of frogging the Lopi sweater. I'm not finished with the frogging (that yarn has been sitting in sweater form for 12 years or so and doesn't really want to go anywhere).

I really wanted to finish the Lopi sweater in a timely manner in order to reduce the Stash of Shame (two half-finished sweaters and a sweater's worth of the aformentioned Patons Super Chenille and some really nice but really purple Takhi Chelsea Silk and assorted Pingouin cottons that may get donated to charity knitters along with the large bag of yellow Encore I bought to make a baby blanket for a now 4-year-old).

Yes, I do have other stash, but it's not Stash of Shame if it's less than 5 years old ;>


I need to post a picture with me wearing it but that requires the presence of someone to take a pic.

I told you it was really really purple!

Monday, November 15, 2004

From the mouths of babes

We're putting the Bean to bed and she says her little prayer* and then she decides to follow it up by singing the blessing they sing before lunch at Mother's Day Out. "A-men". Long pause. "And Fire-men."

I did not laugh.

*I see the moon and the moon sees me
God bless the moon and God bless me

It was a busy weekend at Chez Casa Liz

Progress so far on Lara. I am about 2/3 of the way through the fourth ball and I've completed 22 rows (out of 32 total) of the first body section. I think I may add two extra rows on each side. I tried a store sample on of the small (which is what I'm making) and the body fit a bit too perfectly. But a medium would swamp me. So, I need a small-and-a-half. I also only knit three inches of the ribbing on the sleeve rather than four due to my extremely short arms.

I'm using 36" Clover bamboo circs. I really prefer Clover bamboo needles to just about anything else. I have several pairs of Addis, but I rarely use them. I find them way to slippery for the way I knit.

Resting beneath the top part of Lara, you can see my newest book acquisition - a copy of Last-Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson.

Meddlesome Posted by Hello

I still need to weave in the ends and then take her to my LYS to get some advice about finishing. I need to do some sort of whip stitch or crochet edging or something to complete her. I have a nice matching chenille in a solid red color that I happened to have in my stash that is a perfect complement.

A detail of the yarn. It's a fairly gloomy day outside so that's about as good as I could manage for light without moving some lamps into the kitchen.
Posted by Hello

Time to go to the grocery store. Risotto tonight.

Friday, November 12, 2004

On the list of "what was I thinking?"

Add hosting Thanksgiving dinner. This is not a cooking problem. I love to cook. Even though I only have one oven and it's a really small one. I can get a turkey in there but nothing else at the same time except maybe a spoon. And that would be a tight fit.

No, the problem is my living/dining room and foyer. The foyer that I ripped half the boring wallpaper off of last weekend in a fit of pique. The living/dining room that not only needs new lighting but also desperately needs to be painted. Hubster is taking Turkey Week off so we can work on the painting portion. This means that next week will be spent buying paint and taping up the room so that next Saturday (not tomorrow), we can jump in and paint paint paint. I forsee a bit too much TV in the life of the Bean that weekend. I think it only took us two days to paint it from prep to finish last time. I'm hoping that prepping early will take some time out of the equation. Why did I paint the room green in the first place? I hate green. Oh well. It'll be fine. That and some judicious cleaning (read cramming stuff into overstuffed closets so it's out of sight and the house looks neater), and we're into smooth sailing.

Hopefully, either tomorrow or Monday, Hubster can go with me to the lighting place and we can pick out a new "chandelier" and some can lights and get that installed pronto. (Yeah, I know I'm borrowing a page from the Yarn Harlot in home redecoration, but I'm hoping that it will all magically fall in place the way it seems to for her.)

Hopefully, the installation of the framing around the back door will be complete this weekend.


Holly O very kindly RAOK'd me with a $5 gift certificate to Adagio Teas. Just time time for the weather to actually approach cold down here.

Thank you very much Holly!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Steek through the heart

When I dragged this Lopi sweater out of my shamefully UFO pile, I knew something wasn't quite right. I knew my stitch count was off. I knew it would bite me in the rear eventually. I just wasn't sure how. Today I figured it out. My steek is off. Way way way off center. Not in a fixable way either. You can see the yarn coming off of the top of the work - that's where the steek is. four little arrow thingies on the left side of the steek but only two and a bit on the right side. Not. good.

The off-center steek.

So what so I do? First, I'm going to take it to my LYS and have them help me figure out where I went wrong. I think I'll have to rip it to right before I put the sleeves on, but hopefully not any more.

I want to finish this one because, Hallowig notwithstanding, even if a project is horrible, I want to finish it. I still have the last piece of Grace waiting to be seamed because I'll bet it will look good on at least one friend. I really really wanted to complete the yoke before Thanksgiving and then knit the button band after the start of the new year. At this point, I'm going to rip it back to where it needs to be in order to be correct and then put it away until after I finish Lara and Plum.

I hate "learning experiences". I'm frustrated, but I also know that I made the mistake at least 12 years ago - I think this was my third sweater. The intervening dozen years have taught me an amazing amount about how to figure out if I'm knitting it correctly or not ;>

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

I've been RAOK'd!

Yes, I realize I've gone post happy. But I've been RAOK'd! Thanks to Wendy! She sent me a wonderful notepad stating "Proud to be a Yarn-a-holic", some Key Lime Iced Tea and a yummy scented candle in Coconut Pineapple. What a lovely thing to get on this gray and increasingly blustery day. Posted by Hello

Knit 1...or 2

Yesterday I picked up a skein of Cashmerino superchunky with which to knit this hat. I have the yarn to knit Plum from Debbie Bliss Seven in the purple color depicted - although my flower is going to be in a light purple rather than the plummy purple shown. I like purple but I vastly prefer blue purples to red purples. At any rate, I thought the red for the hat would look great with a purple trim and would be fun with the sweater. Of course, Plum has to wait until I finish Lara. And Lara is languishing until I finish Meddlesome.

I also bought a copy of Vogue's new Knit 1. I've seen several blogs trashing it and several more saying it's not completely horrible and I thought I might as well buy a copy and see what I think. I'm still not sure. To start with, I rarely like much in Vogue Knitting so I didn't really have high hopes. I thought the military-inspired sweater was kind of dashing. I don't even really care that all the projects are in Lion Brand yarns because I frequently make yarn substitutions. My main problem is that I think that quite a few patterns were oddly close to patterns in Knitty. The flower-covered sweater? Reminded me instantly of Folly only not nearly as nice.

In the end, I'm not going to subscribe, but I'll may purchase a copy every now and again.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

You oughta be in pictures!!!

OK, I'm an idjit. That took *much* less time than I thought it would. Obviously, I'm still working out how to post multiple pictures in the same post but at least there are pictures!

Look! It's exclamation girl! Abusing punctuation at every turn!

I swear I'm not a teenager on WebTV... (does WebTV even exist any more?)

Tomorrow, a picture of The Bean in her very harlot poncho.

Clapotis in Interlacements merino superwash. The color is Summer Fruit which makes this Clafoutis rather than Clapotis! Posted by Hello

Closeup of tassel and a more accurate color representation. Posted by Hello

The world's smallest Harlot poncho! Posted by Hello

Clapotis is Clamplete!

And I am claput!

And yes, I'm still working on pictures.

I was possessed by the knitting demons yesterday and absolutely had to finish Clapotis. Tonight, I think I'll give my hands a rest and work on the pictures rather than knit.

Clapotis was a close thing. I feared I was going to run out of yarn. And since the Interlacements yarn I used only comes in 560yd skeins, there was no chance I was going to buy another skein to finish the last few repeats. Fortunately, I ended up with a loaves and fishes scenario and had just enough yarn leftover to put two small tassels on each end. I seem to be incapable of leaving patterns alone ;>

OK, off to work on pics!!! Really. No, really.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Something delightfully funny to start the week with:

The Bean goes to Mother's Day Out program at our church. For those of you not familiar with MDO, they go to a play day from 9am to 2pm. The Bean loves it. The teachers have the kids sing a little pray before lunch and Bean sings the same around the house. Last night she sang the end - "Amen" - and then looked at me for a minute and piped up "And firemen!" HOWL!

What a time last week! We had a new back door put on the house. The Jeep died (needed a new battery). Not that bad, just time-consuming. I had to pay bills (I hate paying bills).

On the up side, I figured out how to put pictures up on my blog and am waiting for the camera battery to recharge so I can take a few pics.

In knitting news, Clapotis is coming along nicely. I have two more repeats in the straight section and then I get to decrease. I'm ready to get it over with. I may only do one more straight repeat since I had less yarn to start with. Not sure yet.

I also frogged the Rowan denim jumper and have completed the front side again. I'll be glad when this one is over as well. It sounds as though I hate all my knitting right now. Not true. But Rowan denim is a rather splitty yarn and, after working with the lovely Interlacements merino superwash for Clapotis, it's not near as nice. It'll be cute though.

I also took a few hours Friday night and created the littlest poncho for The Bean. It's teeny. I used Plymouth Encore and 10US needles. No fringe. That's going to be the first picture.