Thursday, July 28, 2005

i AM a knit blogger. (yes i am)

A while ago I wrote about prerequisites for knit blogging. Kids, Husband/Significant other to knit for, and at least one finished Clapotis. I forgot one!


I have knit a pair of socks in chunky weight yarn, they aren't much use with shoes, but they're nice as slippers. I have knit a pair of worsted weight socks for my sister to wear in her steel toe shoes for work. I've knit a couple of pairs of fuzzy feet (felting! fun!) But I haven't knit socks with real sock yarn. The needles are so tiny, the yarn is so tiny... I'm a chicken with the sock yarn.

Until now.

The sock is still in progress and it is only one sock, but I feel like I've reached a knitting/blogging milestone. Of course there are pictures. Of course I plan to foist them on you all.

I am "cheating" a bit and using a 12" circular instead of dpns. I just can not get the hang of teeny dpns. The pic above is the sock with the ribbing done and most of the heel flap. I'm using bernat sox (cheap! acrylic/nylon! cheap!) in a rather boring grey (practical! boring!). I'm working the sock in the round using a US2/2.75mm needle, but for the flap I decided to use needles that my mom had that belonged to my grandma who apparently knit socks all the time. I wish I had known that, but I wasn't as, um, "interested" in (obsessed with) knitting when she was alive. I think i learned to knit through a combined effort of my mom and my Granny Bergen (mom's mom) when I was little. It's kind of cool to use her needles. They are a lot longer than the other dpns I have, I don't know why that is, but they are a little smaller than US0/2mm

The US2 looks HUGE compared to the teeny US0 in this pic!

I decided to use the smaller needles on the flap b/c I have noticed that my gauges is a lot looser on straight knitting than on circular. I don't know if you can tell from this pic of the heel (knit flat) and the beginning of the foot of the sock (knit circular)

The top of the pic was knit with the TEENY needles and the gauge is about 7 st/inch but the foot of the sock is about 7.5 st/inch! I don't know how that happened...

Anyway, this is how far I am now:

I'm showing you this because
1. I'm a little proud of myself for getting over the teeny yarn/teeny needles fear
2. If I show you, maybe I will feel obligated to update my progress (aren't you excited? more boring! gray! sock!)
3. I don't have any other knitting pics to show today. I forgot to upload other stuff to flickr...

If I can manage to actually make a pair of socks (these will probably go to my mom, who can't wear wool) I hereby promise to attempt socks with fun sock yarn! self-patterning! superwash wool! fun colors! for me!

Now I should knit some more so that the next picture doesn't look exacly the same...

Monday, July 18, 2005

one of those days...

Ever have one of those days? You know, the day that seems to just keep dragging on, the mountain of papers grows higher, no matter how much you work at it, you just want to go HOME already...

So Friday turned into one of those days. I won't bore you with specifics (I know! I thought I'd give this a try instead of rehashing EVERY LITTLE DETAIL) but relatively minor things conspired to make me exhausted and just, well, sad on Friday afternoon. I finally got home, (well, I got home the same time I always do, it just felt like "finally") and checked my mail. I had a delivery notice from the post office. I could not think what it could possibly be, but an unexpected parcel is better than no parcel at all, in fact it's sometimes better than an expected parcel!

I braved the Chinook Centre parking lot (the postal outlet is in the mall) and braved the mall (I am not big on malls or crowds or shopping, although I love wandering in the mall to look at things and watch people... a paradox? a sure sign that I am two steps closer to crazy than most?) which was full of PEOPLE! Some of whom were dressed for Stampede, which always makes me laugh. Those guys in the Wranglers and the boots and the hat? That swagger is not the walk of a cowboy. That "swagger" is the walk of someone who is wearing new boots and whose feet are killing him (or, possibly, that of someone whose jeans are WAY TOO TIGHT). Plus, most of the people seemed to be in couples. I hate that. It's Friday evening and my big exciting outing is going to the mall to pick up a package. I am so hip and now and cool. You know. Cause I went home right after picking up my parcel. Cause I'm cool like that.

Anyway... I stopped at Chapters first and looked for a book that I wanted to get my niece and then drooled over the knitting books that I can't afford. Some of the patterns and pictures are just so beautiful but I just can't afford the books.

And then, I finally got to the post office and the postal worker brings out this box.

It's heavy. I couldn't figure out who/where it was from. Then I saw this:

I had totally forgotten that I had signed up for Crafter's Choice!!! Suddenly, my crappy day turned into the best day ever. I'm that easily swayed. Sad, really. But, it doesn't matter to me that i seem to be that maleable, because in the box was this (and this, for the price of $1.00 CDN (+shipping) totally makes many negative things not matter...):

left to right: Last Minute Knitted Gifts, Knitted Toys, Loop-d-Loop!!!!!!!!!

***Edit July 22/05: So, I had this post written and had published it on July 18. There was much more here about what I liked in the books, etc, as well as a picture of the incredibly boring cardigan and a description of said incredibly boring cardigan. I just realized today that, not only did my post vanish from the site, it had reverted to a saved draft in the edit list. So, I will continue on from here, pretending that this never happened.

You will never know how much more there could have been.

Is that a life lesson or what?? A cynical life lesson, perhaps, but a life lesson none the less.

Okay, so, because it is a finished object, and they are few and far between, I will show you this. But, before I do, I feel the following is not only appropriate, but perhaps necessary:

***WARNING*** Viewing the following picture could cause severe boredom resulting in a sudden urge to yawn, stretch and possibly even fall asleep. In rare cases viewing the following picture resulted in bruising to the forehead, caused by the forehead meeting the keyboard in a sudden onset of a sleeping or even unconscious state.***

Now that you have been warned, here it is. Basic, Sweatshirt grey, comfy, cozy, really long sleeves (yay). A utilitarian cardigan if ever there was one.

I hope you have access to good, strong coffee. It's that boring. And good, strong coffee is that good.

Part of the post that vanished had a pic (that I can't find now) of the beginnings of the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I decided to use the vegetable-looking yarn that I dyed to knit this. I'll see what I can do about a pic later... it looks kind of cool. I have the bottom cast on on one needle and i'm doing a sleeve on my 12" addi turbo.... love the 12" needle for sleeves!!! I either need to get more of those 12" needles or make all of my sweaters of a gauge that uses 7/4.5mm needles...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

get that crazy lady away from the fabric dye

I think i have always been a person who looks at something that is the "wrong" color and thinks "oh, yeah, i can change that" whatever it might be. a shocking pink shelf from Salvation Army? No problem. just sand it a bit and paint over it. boring trunk from ikea? sure, you can paint that.

So, when i started to get more yarn obsessed, it provided just another opportunity to change the color of things. of course, i haven't really bothered to find out the "right" way to do it... i just go along in my haphazard way, dying however i feel like it.

current case in point:
This is perfectly nice, recycled cotton blend (so soft I wanted so just sleep on it... ) probably a heavy-worsted weight. A full, formerly cabled turtleneck sweater's worth. From Value Village.

Now, here's the thing. I don't wear white. It's not a good idea. I may be a full grown (I hope) adult (I think) but I have an amazing capacity to spill on myself. I don't even have to be around food or dirt, and anything white will end up dirty. I could work in a clean room, you know, the kind of place where everyone's in lab coats, hair nets and those footie things over their shoes and any molecules of dust get automatically sucked up by giant vacuums, and I would still come away with something on my white lab coat. Something that would stain.

So, what was I going to do with this mass of really nice white yarn? I wanted to make something with it, but I wouldn't wear it if it was white. What to do? So with much less deliberation than it sounds like, I set out to dye it.

I wasn't sure what color I wanted exactly. I tend towards blues (as you may have heard) but I was determined to try something new. TEAL I thought. Teal is not technically blue.

So I set out to dye my yarn, using my very meticulous method of dumping dye powder into a bowl until I feel like it's enough, then mixing it with water and immersing the sopping wet article. (Feel free to consider the above paragraph a tutorial... )

Every time before now that I have tried this, I have been fairly close to the colors I envisioned. This time, I ended up with leaf green. I don't know how it happened, I used far more blue than green, but it happened.

I decided I wanted some white to break up the not-teal so I hung the hanks over a wooden spoon and dyed. (them).

I kind of like how they looked when they were all laid out, sort of like random vegetables.

And, of course, we must have the "just off the yarn winder" shot...

and then I did something I never do:

I swatched. In pattern.

Now, granted, this was just because I was dying *(get it? har) to see what the yarn would look like knit up, and because i was being bored to tears by the cardigan i'm knitting. pictures of said cardi in progress would only cause such mass yawning and falling asleep at the keyboard that the entire blogging community (yes, i'm feeling full of myself today) would fall apart. It's that boring. (and it's being seamed as we speak, er, as soon as i post this it will be seamed, er, hopefully sometime this evening it will be seamed)

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Swatching is not normal for me, and rather than being seen as an example that I am maturing into a swatching knitter, it actually is a sign that I am easily distracted. I had no choice. The yarn was calling to me. It was pretty. It was soft. You would have swatched too, right?

So what will this yarn be? I'm leaning toward a plain cardigan with the lace pattern up the fronts, but I might actually do a v-neck with the lace pattern up the front. A cardigan I would wear in summer at work, but a v-neck would really only be worn inside at the office, and would be too warm for the rest of the summer, but I would wear it a lot in the winter... thoughts?

So, now for the crazy lady and the fabric dye part.

After dying my yarn, I had a lot (A LOT) of dye left and, as if I was going to dump it down the sink. I have these light beige capri pants that are so comfortable (stretch cotton... yay) and I like the cut of them, but they are practically white (!!). What was I thinking when I bought them? I literally have to think through every situation I might be in over the course of the day and try to decide whether it's worth wearing them or not. I don't like thinking about my clothes that much.

So, (you totally know where this is going, right?) into the dye pot they went. (I added some black dye powder to darken up the leafyness)

I really like how they turned out, except there are a couple of spots where the dye didn't take as much. I may over-dye them at some point.

I have more yarn I want to dye. I have all this beige cotton that has been recycled from a REALLY REALLY large men's sweater. Color suggestions? I am thinking of doing sort of a painted dye, make it varigated but not crazy. I have a pattern in mind, but I can't find it right now.

*i would like to formally apologize for the pun. long long long day at work. it won't happen again. i hope

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad

Today is my dad's birthday. I want more than anything to call him and tell him Happy Birthday, but I can't. My dad passed away in the evening of February 1, 2003. Earlier that day, the world watched as CNN reported the space shuttle disaster. I happened to be in the tv room next to my dad's hospital room, taking a break from the constant family presence in his room, when I saw the footage. The two events are inextricably connected in my memory. I have been trying not to dwell on thoughts of that day, but with the now-scrapped launch of the next space shuttle in the forefront of the news this whole week, it has been impossible not to think of. Dad slipped away from us after falling into a coma while in hospital to see a respiratory therapist.

Dad had A.L.S. (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. I found out that there was something wrong with Dad when I called home from Pakistan on September 12, 2001. I had just spent the entire evening before (the evening of Sept. 11/01--10 hour ahead of EST) watching in horror as the situation in New York and Washington continued to unfold. I called to tell them that we were alright and that it didn't seem to be affecting us there (yet) when my mom told me that they had bad news.

I don't want to just tell you the story of my dad's last years. That part of his story points out how great a man he was, he was strong in his faith, courageous, full of humor until the end. My last conversation with him was the day before he fell into the coma. He joked with me about one of the nurses flirting with him. Looking back at that conversation, I am glad that we laughed together, but I wish I had known that I would never get to talk to him again. I would have said more. I would have listened better.

I want to tell you about my DAD. He was the kindest, most generous man I have ever known. When I was little, he helped some strangers get their car out of the ditch (they had slid in in a snowstorm). When they got back to our house, Dad gave the man his boots because the man didn't have any proper winter footwear. Winter footwear was very important to my dad. His feet were always cold, so of course everyone else's feet must likewise be cold. In fact, if he was here with me right now, he would ask me where my socks are, since I'm sitting with my feet tucked up under me, they must be cold.

His generosity was not just in monetary or material things, although he loved to give gifts and he financially supported more missionaries than I could name right now (myself included). He was generous with his time, with his talents, with his knowledge and with his compassion.

Dad only went to school until 8th grade, and I think even that was a stretch for him. He was a farmer from the moment he was born. He loved his land. I grew up on the farm that he grew up on. My first 10 years were spent in the house that he grew up in. When I was little, if we went on vacation, he would be itching to get home. He couldn't be too far from his fields. We would travel and he would look at other people's crops. He loved to drive, and it was a blessing to him (and to us) that, until late fall/early winter 2002, he was still able to get himself into his truck and drive, very slowly, around the farm and to town. He wasn't able to help with the harvest work that year, but he ran errands for my uncle and my brother as they continued on with the harvest. the picture at the top is of my dad in his truck. Dad's truck only drove well for him. The steering was really loose, it was slow and clunky, but he loved it.

Dad was one of the funniest people I know too. More often than not he was funny unintentionally, but he had his moments where he had us crying with laughter on purpose. He had this bit he did when he would imitate flawlessly one of the older men in our town. He (the man Dad imitated) has this funny way of talking, like he never really lost his German accent, and Dad would get going with it and have Mom and I sprinting for the bathrooms. He would tell jokes and when we laughed, he sometimes wasn't sure if we were laughing because he got it wrong, or if the joke really was funny. Which, just made it funnier, of course.

Dad was smart in ways that mattered so much. He often put himself down, but I think of all the things he knew, and there is no way that he wasn't intelligent. He didn't have a lot of schooling, but he knew so much about the land, about grain and finances, and politics. He was very smart.

My dad was a born grandpa. My oldest nephew's birthday was the day after my dad died. They were so close. I have a picture of my dad holding Ty when he was a newborn and you can see then that they would be that close. There are 5 grandkids that my dad got to know, the youngest was a baby and didn't know my dad very well, but my dad would have been so thrilled with him. For, you see, the youngest came out of the womb a farmer. He is 3 1/2 and he knows all of the farm equipment by sight, he spends the whole day out in the tractor with my brother, he talks non-stop about farming. Dad would have loved to see that. He had infinite supplies of patience, energy and time for all of them. My younger brother and his wife are expecting twins. I can't imagine how hard it is for my brother that my dad won't ever get to see them, or that they won't get to know my dad.

My dad loved my mom.

I think that is one of the best statements I can make about him. He looked at my mom like he was the luckiest man alive, that she had chosen him. They were married in 1967 and I don't think they ever spent more than a few days apart in all that time. When my mom had breast cancer and was going through chemo and radiation, he drove her to appointments and cared for her. He loved her and he loved us. He had this way of making everyone feel equally important to him, no matter what was going on.

I could go on, and on, and on. I won't. I just wanted to talk about him today. Thanks for letting me.

**sorry about the crappy photo quality. I didn't have digital pics of Mom and Dad, so I took pictures of photos.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

nothing but the chirp of crickets and the gentle drone of the martha

Martha's Poncho Party???

Did anyone else get the Lionbrand newsletter?
I don't know which thought is haunting me more: that the poncho (and THIS poncho in particular) does not seem to be going away or the thought of the entire audience wearing "Martha's Poncho" (in my imagination, the martha ponchos are sitting staring blankly forward while there is some sort of mind control indoctrination thing going on. then they are sent out into the streets to martha-ize everything they see) Oh, yeah, OR the fact that Martha is starting a new show called: Martha


Now, before I am labelled a "Martha Hater" or one of those women who are threatened by Martha, let me explain myself.

I don't hate Martha, I don't even know her. I just think that it's kind of darkly funny that she got caught doing whatever it was that she was doing, and she went to "jail" when there are so many people out there who do so much worse, don't get caught/and/or stay out of jail by some fancy legal manouverings. I wanted to see what she would craft with limited resources. I think that would have been interesting: is Martha still "MARTHA STEWART" if she doesn't have access to all the high falutin' ingredients and craft supplies?

Which brings me to my second point. I used to buy the magazines. I got some good ideas out of them, but i NEVER EVER purchased the high price ingredients or supplies that she (in this case I am referring to the magazine, its editors and contributors as Martha. you know) listed, I always subbed for what I had on hand. I know that some people were intimidated and felt threatened (like if you can't do all these things that MARTHA can do, you are somehow less than...) but I didn't get that. I guess it's a difference between people who need instructions for the crafts that they do and those who view instructions as more "suggestions" or idea boosters.

My friend Robin and I were talking about this the other day. I have some friends who are very into stamping. The things that they make (cards, scrapbook pages, etc) are beautiful. Really. I have saved the cards my friend Cobi has made me (Hi Cobi!) and I think they are beautiful and creative, but stamping is not something I can get in to. It's too: "this goes here. Not there." I am, of course generalizing. But anyway, Robin and I are very similar in our approach to crafting pursuits. Much more of the: "oh, that looks interesting, I'm gonna try that. and if it works, Great, if not, oh well" variety. I don't think one or the other is better or worse. Sometimes I wish that I was more able to follow a pattern or have my finished project look like the picture, but it doesn't stress me out if it doesn't.

Oh, i guess if you don't get the newsletter I should 'splain (or at the very least cut and paste from the newsletter (actually the newsletter cut and pasted from the letter from Martha's people):

We would like to cordially invite you to be a part of Martha Stewart's new daytime television show MARTHA, which will debut nationwide on September 12th.
The MARTHA PONCHO SHOW will be LIVE in our New York City studio on Tuesday, September 13th 2005 at 10:00 A.M. with everyone in the audience wearing the poncho that they have made. "

Finally, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to show you this. I unearthed this in my closet when I was on the cleaning binge the other day. This, ehem, creation dates from late summer/early fall 2004, before Martha even WENT to prision, let alone when she was getting out, so I feel that I can still feel my sense of horror about the Martha Ponchos. But I felt that I should show it to you. I just started crocheting until I had this (what what I thinking? I think I thought it would be cozy. This was way back when. Back when the poncho had not completely worn out its welcome.

so, here you have it: my pre-"martha goes to prison and wears a poncho to go home in"/"martha's poncho" craze-poncho

Thursday, July 07, 2005

obsessive knitting at its finest

can you name this fibre?

Background to the picture above:
On Canada Day (July 1), yarn harlot listed what it is to be a Canadian Knitter. #10 mentioned The Bay (Canadian department store and the oldest trading company in the world)(BTW there is a rumor that you can STILL pay for purchases at The Bay with pelts. I would love to get my hands on a muskrat pelt and go to the makeup counter to buy something. can you imagine?) (where was I?)

Oh, yeah, yarn harlot also talked about Canadian Tire (hardware, home goods and... tire store) and how cool it would be if they sold yarn, cause then we would have something to buy with all of the fairly useless Canadian Tire Money. (you get Canadian Tire Money with every purchase. You can use it in their stores when you buy stuff, but who ever remembers to bring it along?) (Not me, that's for sure)

Anyway, this week has been a very VERY tight money week and I've been trying to decide if I should just try to find someplace cheaper to live. The thought of having to pack up and move (not to mention all the cost involved) has been leaving me feeling really, well, not so good. I don't think I'll move, but I did think a lot about all the CRAP that has taken up residence in my closet. Not clothes, just all the stuff that I don't use but can't bear to get rid of. you know.

So I decided to clean out (part) of the closet last night. In doing so, I came across a Canadian Tire bag that I remembered getting last summer. In it was this:

What? Is that a bag of jute twine? Why, yes, yes it is. Also, there is some Canadian Tire money in there still from last year,

which shows you how much I value the Canadian Tire money...

Anyway, I bought this twine last summer, thinking I could knit or crochet a bag out of the thinner stuff. In the Canadian Tire bag is an almost completed crocheted bag out of the thinner twine and there was a big mass of this thick twine. (the pic at the top of the post is a close up of the thick twine).

What did I do with this, since my goal for the evening was to clean out the closet? Did I put it to the side and continue cleaning?

(if you said "yes, yes you did put it to the side and keep cleaning", then you really don't know me at all.)

I wound the thick twine (on the ball winder) (yes, I'm a geek)

are you REALLY that surprised that I took a picture of it? really?

and started to knit a mat for the doorway. That was the plan when I bought it last summer, but it never got very far. I was trying to crochet with it, thinking that it would be easier, but last night I decided to try to knit it and it's going well. I can't work on it for very long, it sheds and is making me sneeze, but still. (you can see what I've knit on it in the picture of the bag of twine above)

Also, as an added bonus (is that a redundant phrase, or what?) I found this:

(foot added for scale)

I started this sometime in the fall, using up all of the crappy acrylic bits that I had clogging up my yarn stash. It's crocheted in the round with a 10mm hook and 3 strands of worsted weight acrylic. I just chose 3 random colors and went round, changing when I ran out of a color or when I felt like it.

On a more serious note, If anyone from London ends up coming by here, I hope that you and everyone you love is okay. I was saddened and horrified to see that your city had been targetted this morning. My prayers have been for you and your city today.

On a less serious note, Yee Haw. The Calgary Stampede starts tomorrow. "Sneak-A-Peak" or half price admission night is tonight. My friend called to see if I wanted to go, but I couldn't afford it. How sad is that? I haven't taken part in any stampeding (the term for anything to do with Stampede: the free pancake breakfasts that spring up EVERYWHERE, actually going to the Stampede Grounds, Stampede barbeques, Stampede parties... etc) for about 8 years, and I don't know if this year will be any different. I'll try to take pictures though, there is always enough ridiculous "cowboy" wear elsewhere in the city to satisfy any cynical Western Canadian. (we really really really don't dress like that throughout the year. Really.)

Monday, July 04, 2005

d'oh: d, apostrophe, o, h

So I have pics: an FO (zippered cardigan--the one that i didn't frog. the good kid, let's call her, not like that disappointment her sister the katia twist zippered cardi turned out to be); pics of a baby sweater in progress - still technically a UFO; as well as pics of ... (dramatic pause) sewing! BUT as you have probably guessed, computer decided to NOT play nice with camera this weekend. The pics have been downloaded (uploaded?) finally but I have not been able to convince computer to let iphoto make usable copies of them. sigh. it's like having 2 year olds, except that in this case I can just unplug computer when it's making me crazy, however, there is no hope that eventually computer will just grow up already and get to a stage that i can have a reasonable conversation with it. If/when i'm able to pry the pics out of iphoto, I'll edit to add them.

(also, I'm writing this rather stealthily at work. computer (at home) has decided that any time i fill in a blank on an on-line form (like, for example, the title field on blogger) it is going to shut down my browser altogether. WHEE. I don't get to sit at my desk and websurf at lunch anymore, so I have to do this, under the radar, so to speak... shh)

**Edit (top secret - eyes only) I finally had a chance to crawl under my desk at work and find the USB port so I could up/down (?) load my pics on the computer here. Yippee (shhh ... keep it down) so I'm gonna load them into flickr and finish this post at home...

I took a knitting break Sunday b/c my wrists were hurting, which was not fun and a bit worrisome. What will I do if my wrists hurt and I can't knit? Honestly, I didn't know what to do with my time. I mean, other than read. Or play guitar, or go for a walk, talk to a friend, sew something... oh. I guess I could probably come up with SOMETHING...

Why were my wrists hurting, you ask? (aw, thanks for your concern.) This is why:

Zippered Cardigan, free pattern from It has the odd name of "Panda Ski Jacket". (I realize that "Panda" is the name of the yarn. But still, doesn't it make you picture puffy coats on black and white bears?)
The yarn is a bulky cotton/acrylic that I recycled from a sweater from Value Village. It knit up quickly, but it made me realize why knitters often complain that working with cotton is hard on the wrists/arms. yikes.

To give my wrists/arms a break (and because of the crafting ADD. yeah, you know) i also started another baby sweater for yet-to-be-born/named twin nephews that my sister-in-law is having (I guess technically, I should say "my brother and sister-in-law are having" or vice versa, but since it's her carrying them around right now, I'll let it be her credit). It was a fun knit, but knit with sock yarn on tiny (compared to the bulky sweater) needles. A teeny sweater shouldn't have 114 stitches across... really.

Pattern from Summer 2003 Knitter's magazine (found very on sale in a 2 pack at Chapters a month ago! hoo-ray). Pattern name: (I am NOT making this up... and why would I?) "MexicaliBaby Ole" (imagine the accent on the "e" in Ole). It is knit from cuff to cuff

which was interesting. Can you see what I didn't notice until I bound off? I started over there on the left side of the pic (right sleeve of the sweater) and knit over to the left sleeve. Can you see it? How bout a closeup?

NOW do you see it? I knit this with DGB Confetti sock yarn. What I didn't realize until I BOUND OFF was that the color # was printed in the spot for dye lot and the dye lot, which I didn't even see, is ONE DIGIT DIFFERENT from the first ball to the second.

Say it with me: D'OH.

So, I decided that if anyone says anything about the baby sweater I will just say that I meant to do that. and look smug as if to say "and what hand-knits did YOU bring for the babies?"

So I seamed it

(can you tell I'm just excited that I got the pics off the camera and onto flickr?)

and worked the short-row-ish collar:

See how high the collar is in the back? D'OH. I followed the directions but my collar is really really tall. The one in the picture in the magazine doesn't look like this. hmm....

I'm planning to just rip it out and do a ribbed v-neck, after looking at the pictures, I like the v-neck better than the big honkin' collar.

When I was finishing this up on Saturday, I realized how much my wrists were hurting. This called for drastic measures, namely, taking time off from knitting. So, I decided to do some sewing (sorry. punny. unintentional). I had bought a bunch of remnants at Fanny's Fabrics closing out sale (not the best sale prices I've ever seen, but TONS of stuff).

I have this thing about fabric. Cutting into nice, new fabric freaks me out. Picking out fabric on a bolt and being sure that I will want to make and wear something out of it is so hard for me! Then, I get the fabric home and am scared to start b/c what if I mess it up? I paid for that! And, it required someone in the store helping me to obtain it! With yarn, it's so easy to get a do-over. Fabric, not as easy.

The weird(er) thing though is that I have NO problem cutting into remnants. Same fabric, it's just already cut and rolled up. Why this is such a distinction in my head, I don't know.

Anyway... So I had this fabric from Fanny's and I thought I would try to make something out of it. It's a jersey/knit fabric and I just have a regular old machine with no fancy stretchy stitches, so I figured it was gonna be an experiment all around.

I pulled out a tank top that fit like how I wanted the new one to fit, traced it out and got ready to cut. This was complete figure-it-out-as-you-go sewing. I just cut extra pieces as I needed them, and somehow it worked out.

As I was pinning pieces on my floor (no table big enough) I pulled a pin out of my plastic pin box with the little piece of foam on top. the top decided to come off and all of the pins decided to see what it was like on the floor. D'OH. (or, if you want to imagine what it was really like, think of some more colorful language). So, I started picking them up and putting them back in the plastic box. They did NOT want to lie down and behave. I couldn't close the box. D'OH (or, again, more colorful language) So I started putting the pins into a jam jar that I had from jam my mom gave me. Then, I realized that one of the little balls of yarn (too little yarn to be used for anything, too much to throw out. you know) was exactly the right size to fit in the top of the jar. So, seeing as how necessity is the mother of invention, or whatever, I did this:

I like how it looks, and it works really well. Yippee.

So, back to the sewing. I had everything sewn but the side seams and the hem, when I started on the first side. I got the side sewn up and then this happened:

Can you see that? That, my new internet friends, is the tip of the needle. The ONLY needle I had left.

D'OH (once again, you can safely assume that my language here was slightly more colorful)

So, I started knitting again, cause you know, can't sit still without something to do with my hands, and counted the hours until I could go to the store to buy needles. Cause, you know, this happened after the stores closed. Of course.

Here, finally, is the finished product. I'm really happy with it (see the smile?)

Side view:

See how the side has that vertical bit? That was not part of the plan, originally. I somehow managed to cut it too narrow, so added that as I went. I like it better this way, so I guess it was just one more happy accident in a weekend of them!