Monday, September 26, 2005

Progress Report

Pictures!! Yay!!

I decided that yesterday was going to be "BABY PROJECT FINISHING DAY". (It was also "Watch Football All Afternoon and ignore the fact that this little bit of a sniffle is actually going to be a really bad cold Day")

Finished: Teeny Tiny Hoodies
Pattern: Family Circle Easy Knitting Holiday 2002
Yarn: Double strand of Peter Pan (?) 4 ply & DK weight acrylic (so soft...)
I downsized the pattern by knitting with a finer weight yarn and smaller needles. I hope they fit! (I get to see the babies this weekend, if the cold I have doesn't keep me from going.)

They still need buttons, but I'm calling them done.

Almost finished: Camo Cargo Pants
I have both pairs just about done, but I only have a picture of one pair. Use your imaginations: The second pair is blue/white camoflage
Pattern: Cargo from the Summer 2005 Knitty
Yarn: Bernat Camoflage in "Mash" (I think. I don't have the ball bands anymore) and in "Blue Frost"

I just need to insert the elastic in this pair. The other pair needs the waistband sewn down and the elastic inserted.

Finished: Earflap Toques
I had made these a few years ago for my friend Cobi's twins, but by the time I had them done, the babies were too big and the toques were too small. So, I suddenly remembered them the other day, dug them out from their hiding places and they will be on their way to the new twins in my life.
Pattern: I downsized an adult pattern from Jennifer Appleby at the Woolen Earth in Vanderhoof, BC that Cobi gave me for Christmas one year. I knit them using much finer weight yarn and smaller needles than what the pattern called for and they turned out baby sized.
Yarn: Probably Red Heart or something. Acrylic. Luckily it softened considerably with washing.

Finished: Cabled Toque
Pattern: Inspired by Knitty's Coronet, but I didn't use the pattern (I actually didn't look at the pattern). I wanted to see if I could do this without, and if I can make enough of them I would like to try to sell them at a craft show.
Yarn: Recycled from a pure wool sweater from Value Village. Dyed rather haphazardly with some sort of cheap-o dye.

I didn't pick up the stitches very evenly, and I should have done more rounds before the decreases, but I like how it looks. I think these would be a good way to use up stash.

Finished: Sock
Mostly, I just really love the colors of this sock. For me. ME ME ME ME ME. ehem.
Pattern: none. Basic top down with short row heel & toe.
Yarn: OnLine Supersocke 101

Completed-ish: Cabled Cardigan
Before I show you the completed cardigan, I'll show you a picture that made my heart stop and caused some swearing:

On the needles there is the bottom of the body. It's about 7 inches. I needed at least 14 inches. The yarn in balls that you see there... I had a massive panic because I thought that was all I had left. (insert swearing here)

Luckily, I had lots more squirreled away in the stash basket.

Pattern: Um. None. I used a Cropped Cabled Cardigan from Vogue Knitting Fall 2005 as an inspiration. I used the cables in the pattern, but didn't work as many repeats of the pattern. I also moved the cable band from the top of the body to the bottom. Then, I joined the sleeves to the body and knit it using raglan decreases.
Yarn: Katia Twist. It has been in time out in my stash for some time.

This cardigan is in a try-out phase. It has to prove itself. I am not sure that I like how it fits. I need to put on the toggle buttons and see how I like it if I wear it for a while. Considering that I didn't use a pattern and didn't really plan it out ahead of time, I guess it could have been worse. I, um, forgot to do any shaping for the neck, and the body is too wide under the arms (not horrifyingly so, but just enough) and I wish I had made the sleeves a bit longer... Oh well.

I'll post a pick of it in action soon.


**The following may not, in fact, be as amusing as it seems to me right now. If so, please consider it generic-dayquil-induced delusions. My internal censor seems to be sleeping at the moment.

Yesterday morning, on my way to church, there was a yellow 4 door Mitsubishi with yellow tinted windows in one of the visitor spots at my building. I had never seen this particular car in the parking lot before and the yellow windows with the bright yellow car struck me as particularly funny.

**I hadn't started taking the generic-dayquil yet, so maybe it was actually funny. Or maybe I am just that easily amused.

Then, a couple of hours later, I came home from church and this is what I saw:

Was it some sort of cell-splitting thing? Were they breeding or just multiplying asexually? I half expect to come home to a parking lot full of them this afternoon...

**Unrelated note: at the 7-Eleven across the street from my parking lot, the gas price reads "100.4" (that's cents/litre)(Canadian). Every weekday for the past week or so the price on that sign has been 1 Cent/litre cheaper when I arrive home in the afternoon than it was in the morning when I went to work. I'm hoping that it will read 99.4 when I get home today.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

my favorite book...

while I was at home on vacation, i sorted through some boxes of my stuff that had been stored in the basement of my parents' house and that mom had brought with her to the new house in town when she moved this summer.

Lots and lots of, well, crap that I had amassed over the years. Why I kept or even bought some of that stuff I don't know. Most of it went into the garage sale pile.

However, there were a couple of keepers, including one of my favorite books from when I was little. I thought of it a while ago and how appropriate it was for me. I'll share some of it with you now (not the whole book, I don't want to break any copyright law or anything. I think/hope it's okay for me to share some of it with you like this)

Yes, that's right. Socks for Supper. I love this book even more now. It's the story of a poor couple who only have turnips to eat. I don't think I ever had turnips when I was little, and after reading about this couple eating them exclusively, I didn't want to eat them.

The couple find a pair of socks to trade with their neighbours for some cheese and milk. I wonder if Safeway would accept socks for cheese and milk.

So they eat the cheese and drink the milk and are happy. But, soon enough they run out of cheese and milk and start looking for more stuff to trade. They don't have any more socks to trade, so the wife says what any of us would say:

"I will knit some!"

**warning: the next picture may cause you to feel an overwhelming urge to go check on your own yarn stash.

"But she didn't have any yarn."

Let's take a moment for this poor old woman. Poor poor old woman. No yarn. None.

But, never fear. She did what I would do (and, probably, what you would do too)

I love several things about this picture:
1. She didn't unravel the man's sweater and THEN knit with the yarn. She's knitting and unravelling at the same time.
2. The old man's hair is exactly like my Dad's hair was (I think I liked that about this book when I was little)
3. She is knitting a sock, from the toe up with a shaped heel on a pair of straight needles. How? I want to learn to do that!
Also, either that man is the most patient guy in the world, standing there for hours/days while she knits a pair of socks from the sweater he is wearing, or she is the FASTEST KNITTER IN THE WORLD!!

1. Who says little old men can't rock a belly-baring shirt?
2. They are just WAY too happy about the milk and cheese.

So, this went on for a while. She'd knit socks, he'd wear his Britney Spears inspired ensemble over to the neighbours and then they old couple would pig out on milk and cheese for a while.

(you know where this is going don't you?)

Eventually the old man ran out of sweater and there was only enough yarn for one sock! He took it over to the farmer's to see what he could get with it. The farmer gave him a whole cheese and a bucket of milk, just like before because the farmer's wife needed that sock!

(you weren't really surprised by this were you?)

Of course she's using the socks....

Also, she is knitting a top-down pullover with the sleeves knit on with... 2 STRAIGHT NEEDLES!!! How are these women doing this?? I must know!

Well, it turns out that the farmer, who looks a little like Little Lord Fauntleroy, is a bit smaller than the sweater. So the farmer's wife gets a brilliant idea: That little old man, the one with the socks? He doesn't have a sweater! So she gives it to him.

And, you know what? Shockingly, it fits!

(sorry, I don't have pics of the end of the book.)

like sand through the...


I finally finished it. or, rather, I finally frogged the finishing I had already done and re-finished it. When I finished it the first time, I was just so excited about finishing it that I didn't try it on to see if the neck was gonna work on me. It didn't. I didn't wear Flashdance inspired clothing in the 80s and I don't wear it now, so it needed some frogging and re-knitting.

I used some waste yarn and threaded it through the last round of decreases before the turning round that forms the neatly finished neckline. you can see up there at the top what the inside of the neck looks like. I had to un-stitch the live stitches from the sweater, which was easier than I thought it would be and then I just ripped. I like doing that when I know that it won't go any further than i want it to go... I think I got a little over zealous in my decreasing, the front of the neckline touches my neck, which is a wierd thing that i can't deal with (hence the no-turtleneck thing) but thankfully it stands out a bit and it didn't make me uncomfortable.

I LOVE this sweater. The patterning the dyed yarn makes is a bit strange, and it's a bit big on me (my math-addled brain didn't get the conversion of the gauge quite right) but I want to wear it every day. It's comfortable, it's kind of like a favorite sweatshirt that you've had for years. It might be the super-soft cotton/acrylic yarn, or it might be the pattern, or it's both. I don't know. Either way, people who know me will probably get sick of seeing it!

P.S. I think my computer is working (for now)!! Yay!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

i got tagged!!!

I got tagged! I’m so excited! It is just like that time in grade 7 when I got PICKED for soccer at lunch time and wasn’t just the last one left over after everyone else got picked. Not that it was a significant event for me. No, not at all. I just happen to remember it even though it happened over 20 years ago…

So anyway, back to the excitement: I got tagged! Leah at use your hands tagged me with this meme. Yay! I’m a real blogger!

TEN YEARS AGO: I was just back from Germany where I had worked in a boarding school for 2 years. I decided to go back to finish up my degree at Bible College and was in school as a student for the first time in 5 1/2 years. Scary scary stuff. However, I discovered that time off from school did wonders for my attention span and my desire to learn. I was living in a "quad" dorm room (2 bedrooms with one bathroom, a sitting area and a kitchen) with 3 other students who were considered "mature" by the college. So much fun. One of those roommates was Cobi, who is now one of my very best friends. (the one with the twins)

FIVE YEARS AGO: I was working at a boarding school in Pakistan. I had finished one semester at the school and was starting on the fall semester of what would turn out to be the best and hardest year there. I had 13 girls in my department (Senior High Girls -- I was their houseparent, sort of a big sister, aunt, authority thing. Think Mrs. Garrett, but without the gigantic hair...). That fall also saw me on a trip to Hunza with a group of staff from the school. On that trip, which was a blast overall, I went on a hike to a glacier and almost never came out of the valley. fun times. I'll tell you about it some day.

ONE YEAR AGO: I was out of work, searching desperately for something, anything... I was about to begin on the crazy "crochet an afghan for each nephew and niece" plan. Good times. (I started my job in November 2004. whew)

FIVE SNACKS: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chip cookies; pakoras (deep fried batter with vegetables and spices. drool); those "Hint of Lime" corn chips; popcorn; chocolate anything (almost. i don't like chocolate and mint together for some reason)

FIVE SONGS I KNOW ALL THE WORDS TO: "Fast as You Can" by Fiona Apple; "Hand in My Pocket" Alanis Morrisette; "Monkey Wrench" Foo Fighters; (um... is it weird that while I know the words to songs when they come on the radio i can't for the life of me remember names of the songs? ) "Small Town" Pearl Jam; "In the Road" Weeping Tile

FIVE THINGS I WOULD DO WITH $100 MILLION: pay off all of my bills; set up trust funds for my nephews and nieces; pay my mom back for everything she's helped me with; do relief or mission work without burdening anyone else; have a place to live that had a HUGE work space so I could do all of the millions of crafty things that pop into my head. (oh, and buy yarn, but that's a given)

FIVE PLACES TO RUN AWAY TO: Italy. Germany. someplace warm, with beaches and good food and no snakes. That's only 3 right. um... I've always wanted to go to Africa, but i don't know if it would be running away really. I would love to see Central and South America too. That's probably more than 5 places.

FIVE THINGS I WOULD NEVER WEAR: Big logos (any logos actually); pink; tight, revealling clothing; frilly floofy clothing. ridiculous shoes (sorry all you shoe lovers. i just can't do it.)

FIVE FAVORITE TV SHOWS: CSI (like 'em all but the original is the best); Amazing Race (not too sure about the family version though); Friends; The Office; Football (not really a "show" but it's on TV and I watch it).

FIVE BIGGEST JOYS:My nephews and nieces (counting Cobi's kids as honorary niece and nephew); yarn; Giving someone something they don't expect and having them love it; being appreciated; getting lost in the music when i'm playing/singing by myself or with others.

FAVORITE TOYS:Yarn and needles, of course; my sewing machine; my guitar...

PEOPLE TO PASS THIS ON TO:Hmm... let's see here. This is why I don't have a "blogs i read" section on the side! i don't want to miss someone really interesting... if you're reading this and i didn't list you and you want to join in, answer the questions and let me know. (I realize this is probably terrible blog etiquette, but what do i know??)
Kimberly at The Giving Flower
I was going to tag Agnes at Knitting in the Valley but she's already been tagged...
Steph at Craftoholic
and Shelby at Shelby's Shelf

Thursday, September 15, 2005

objects. finished? unfinished?

So, you know how we knitters fall prey to second sock syndrome? or second sleeve syndrome? You know... you've knit one sock and instead of casting on the second one, you get distracted by different sock yarn, or by some other beautiful yarn and the first sock just lies there, quietly wondering when he will have a partner. "No pressure dear knitter, but, wouldn't it be nice to have 2 socks?" he asks you.

Well, I seem to be in the midst of second baby sweater syndrome.

As you know (since I KNOW that every detail of my life is burned into your collective memory... ehem) my sister-in-law and brother had twin boys a couple of weeks ago. I started planning, thinking and knitting when I heard they were expecting. I now have a grand total of 3 complete sweaters knit. The problem is that I have been distracted by different patterns, so instead of having three pairs of sweaters, I have three individual sweaters.

Well, NO MORE. I am breaking free of the second baby sweater syndrome.

(there are sleeves for the second sweater. they just haven't made it ON to the sweater yet... )

I feel a sense of accomplishment. Keep in mind that these are teeny TINY sweaters. Why is it taking me so long?

I'll tell you why. I am apparently very easily distracted.

For example:
1. I finished the birthday socks:

i am insanely proud of the fact that the striping matches. truthfully, it was accidental. the first sock ended right at the point where i needed the yarn to be to start the second one.

They were enthusiastically received. I love giving people presents. Usually I can't wait until the occasion the gift is intended for. My friend who received these socks is a very appreciative giftee and this time was no exception. I love that. It makes the effort so much more worthwhile.

2. I finally was inspired regarding the Katia Twist that I got on a crazy sale in the spring. You may recall the unfortunate lying pattern incident. The katia twist has been in time-out ever since.

On Monday, I was home, sick (and realized that A&E was showing the first 4 episodes of 24 and it would start in half an hour and i had just enough time to cast on for something)(I have never seen any of 24.)(i am now officially addicted. must tape 24 reruns.) and was flipping through some magazines and came across the cropped cabled cardigan in the Fall Vogue Knitting. I decided to try the cable to see what it would look like in my yarn.

I like how it looks, even though the yarn is not what I would normally want to do cables in. (a microfibre/cotton blend) I am making the sleeve bottom narrower than the pattern called for by 1 complete pattern repeat and I have 2 sleeves ready to be joined to a body.

Oh, yeah, that's the other thing. The pattern in Vogue Knitting is only acting as inspiration. I'm going to do the cable on the body at the bottom edge instead of at the chest and I'll join the sleeves to the body to knit the raglan decreases. I'll let you know how that goes, since I will be winging it!

3. I am considering this a finished project, since the goal of the activity was to deconstruct my sweater... So, it's finished! (it's my blog, my rules. a frogged store-bought sweater successfully wound into balls is a finished project.)

This was a turtleneck sweater from American Eagle. I loved the yarn and the sweater, but I can't deal with turtlenecks. Anything touching the front of my neck makes me feel really uncomfortable. I don't know why I would have bought it...

HOWEVER, The yarn is really nice. It's a bit thin for chunky but a bit thick for worsted. I plan to make a ribbed jacket from it. (i cast on and knit about an inch and a half of the body tonight. told you. easily distracted).

4. I am about to knit the heel on a sock for myself. This one will be challenging to get a match. I couldn't figure out where in the pattern I was when I started, so it will be a bit of a guessing game when it comes time for the second sock.

I'll post a pic when I have a sock done or when it's sunny, whichever comes sooner.

5. I decided to make myself a v-neck sweater from the chocolate brown peruvian highland wool from elann that I got last winter. I don't remember what I had planned to do with it, but I had bought it for something specific. I'm using the body shaping and v-neck shaping from knitty's leftovers and I'll figure out the sleeves when I get to them. (it will be raglan and i will knit the decreases along with the body.)

no pic yet. it's a brown ribbed bottom of a sweater. use your imagination... (ha)

6. i finally FINALLY finished the neck and hems of my hourglass sweater. You may recall the unfortunate off-the-shoulder neckline that I ended up with due to my lack of math ability and the fact that I forgot to figure out the neck line in advance. I think I maybe went to far, but it's done and i'm not re-doing it again. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

(pics tomorrow. they're in the camera. the camera cord is at work. you do the math.) (seriously though, if you CAN do math, can i call you in the middle of the night when i'm trying to figure out gauge and i JUST CAN'T GET IT??)

7. second self-striping v-neck baby sweater. I'll post a pic when i get further along

8. mystery knitting project and a play along at home game...

Now, many of you will know what this is. It's one of the many prerequisites for knit bloggers. Can you guess what it is?

It's kind of fun, but i'm not working on it steady.

Now, here's the bonus point question: Can you guess what yarn I'm knitting it with? I can't really afford to send out a prize for guessing what the project is, but if anyone could correctly guess the yarn, I would be so astonished that I would find something awesome to send you. probably something hand made. like a journal. or a messenger/knitting bag that i sew for you.

Here's a hint as to why i am using this particular yarn:
This is how much it cost me:

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

This has got to be some kind of record for the number of meaningless posts in one day.

2 things:
1. I turned on the comment verification thing. Sorry if this is inconvenient for you real people but I got 6 (SIX!!!!) spam comments in the span of about 10 minutes. Those sneaky spam-jerks. Try to butter me up by telling me they like my blog and then offering to let me invest in their laser hair removal system. Hmm... laser hair removal investment schemes? thanks, I'm good.

2. I may have accidentally deleted a real comment from a real person. If this was you, I'm sorry!

The mystery present is done and ready to be given away! what to knit now...??? hmm...

I should start on projects for a craft sale I'm hoping to sell at in November. Mittens here I come.
Dear Lady in the Alero,

I want to cut you some slack and assume that your memories of Driver's Ed are fuzzy. I would like to refresh your memory. The large, octagonal, red sign with the word "STOP" written in white lettering, when it is facing you and you are in your car, means "STOP."

Now, I realize that the guy on the motorbike who expected you to actually, you know, stop, should have known better. It was clearly his fault for continuing on as though he didn't have a stop sign. (By the way, he didn't have a stop sign).

Also, I don't know much American Sign Language, so I'm not sure if the sign you were using really means "I'm sorry, you go ahead" but where I come from, it's not so nice.

Also, all of us behind you in line at the lights thought that your hair looked fine the way it was. I mean, it was just from the back and we were all waiting for you to notice that the light was green, but really, your hair looked fine. You didn't need to worry about it.

Thank you,

Oh, yeah, it was really nice of you to just stop dead in your lane like that when you couldn't figure out which lane you wanted. That was a lot of fun, as it let me test out my seatbelts. They work great! Thanks!
Brace yourself: I just saw something on the news that made me gasp a little.

Someone is stealing sheep.

Will this mean a spike in the price of yarn? Were there knitters in the area? Is there, somewhere, a former yarn-shop-aholic now searching for spinning equipment? Where do you go with a thousand sheep?

***PLEASE NOTE: I am not meaning to make light of the loss to this farming family. I am a farm kid and this is a HUGE loss for this farm.

***PLEASE NOTE 2: I am not in any way trying to make light of the news of late. I still find myself heartbroken, shocked, angered and praying as I watch the news from the hurricane zone

ALSO: What is the deal with the freaking celebrities? Get out of the way. How can you possibly think that posing with the displaced for pictures is going to help anything? Do you think that no one has noticed this was going on and maybe you can bring some attention to it? WE KNOW it's happening. Either roll up your sleeves and get in the water or just dig into your pockets.


Sorry bout that. Celebrities really get on my nerves.

Back to the point of this post. Where are the sheep?

it's not you. it's me.

I do come to visit you all. Just so you know.

I LOVE getting comments on my blog. I know that those of you who comment must love it too. I feel like this is not a reciprocal relationship right now, because I have not been holding up my end. I want to communicate, I just can't. It's not you. It's me.

I go by to see you, my commenters, bloggers who would make great blog friends. I see your cool FOs, I read your stories. I try to comment. I just can't. I start typing and then, just as I feel like I'm starting to get somewhere, everything freezes up. My computer is standing in the way of my communication.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the computers supposed to HELP with the communication? Isn't it sort of counter-intuitive for a computer to hinder communication?

It seems to very random. My computer is moody on top of being elderly and showing the initial signs of alzheimers (poor memory). I have been able to comment on some blogs and sometimes I get all the way through the fields that need to be entered before it craps out on me.

I used to do a lot of my blog reading and commenting at work over my lunch hour (ehem. not during business hours. no. not me. never. ehem) but now if I'm at my desk during lunch it's because i have so much work I'm not taking a lunch, so i have to, er, sneak some blogging/reading in here and there.

So, please don't go away. Don't be mad. I do read you all. I enjoy our time together, even if it is rather one-sided at the moment.

Now, the exciting almost news: (well, if you are me it's exciting)
Apparently, my aunt has a line on some computers from the school she teaches at. I'm waiting to hear from her, but it sounds like I will be able to get one. Likely they are PCs which will mean a change for me from my Mac powerbook (with not so much power), but if it works and has more hard drive space than what I have now and doesn't sound like an airplane taking off when it's running, I'll take it.

The surprise present will be done tonight and delivered this week, so I will post pics after it's been gifted. I know you are all quivering in anticipation. It's just THAT exciting. There will soon be pic(s) of finished baby-wear and possibly a mystery pic for you to figure out. Exciting, huh?

Friday, September 02, 2005

here comes the awwwwwwwwwwwww....

This post will be without Title for the time being. My computer has a tendency to just shut down my browser when I begin to enter text in some fields in forms online. Just part of the fun of having a geriatric computer. Whee.

Just thought I'd show you the latest sock that I made. I seem to be somewhat sock obsessed on a bit of a sock kick lately. I know that my total sock count is not terribly high yet, but there are several partial socks and partial pairs hanging around.

The latest addition:

"Hmm," you think, "A plain blue sock. What's the big deal?"

Well, let me show you. (of course, at this point I'm assuming that you are playing along and have not noticed the scale of the above sock)

Cute huh? I got the pattern from here at Jesse's Branch Charity Crafts.

(can you tell I'm a tad excited about the new babies?)

I also completed and delivered the Incredibly Boring Sweater, the Sequel. My co-worker gave it to his girlfriend and reported to me that "She liked it a lot". It's a little weird knitting something for someone you have never seen.

So, because I'm a little camera crazy and I have no other pics to post, here is the Incredibly Boring Sweater, the Sequel:

Must go knit on the mystery gift for my friend. I'll post pics when it's done and given to her. (it's not so mysterious really, this is all just in case she would happen by here before she gets the gift)(it's been a long day)(we find our amusement where we can)


On a serious and totally non-knitting note:

I have never been to New Orleans, Mississippi or any of the Gulf States, nor do I know anyone there, but my heart breaks for the residents of those areas everytime I see any of the footage of what has happened and is happening. I can't imagine what the people there are going through.

I can only pray as I watch the footage. I pray that the aid will get to the afflicted and that order will be somewhat restored; that hearts and lives and bodies will be healed; that some measure of comfort will be made available and that some sense of dignity will be restored.