Jan 22, 2009

It Never Lasts!

The warm up in the weather was just to good to be true. Actually it was unseasonably warm here with some days hitting into the mid 60's (Fahrenheit that is). That all changed this morning. When Kaity left for school it was 42F outside and in less then 2 hours the temp was registering in the 20s. Sheesh! It appears as if we are going back to the subzero temps again. Anyone wanna remind me why we didn't take those orders to Las Vegas? Their temps are in the 60's for the next 5 days. Oh, I remember now, it was the crime, crowds, traffic, etc. OK maybe I'll keep dealing with the cold.

For those of you wondering, my root canal went great with very little pain afterward. The pain was from the 500 million times I was stuck with the Novocaine needle. Ok, ok, it was more like 6 or so and the dentist was really nice. I still need to get my crown put on but my dentist couldn't get me in until the beginning of next month. I may still have to have one more root canal on a smaller tooth but at least now I know what to expect.

I have done a wee bit of knitting since my last post.

First up is my hat. At least my head will be warm now that the temps are dropping.

Watch Cap

My goofy assistant helped model the hat although my head is bigger then hers so the hats a tad to big. The pattern is the Classic World War II Watch Cap (Ravelry)(non Ravelry). The yarn is Tosh worsted and it took about 3/4 of a skein.

Watch Cap

Don't you just love those decreases! I still have about 1 full skein and maybe a total of about 1/2 a skein left over between the cowl and the hat. I don't have any plans as of yet for the last skein but I was thinking maybe a nice pair of boot socks. I'm going to let it marinate in my stash for a wee bit.

Dishcloth #2 for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL.

Mid-Jan KAL dishcloth

The picture isn't all that great but that's what you get for trying to take a picture when the natural light stinks. There will be a total of 24 cloths by the end of the year. The group knits two cloths each month. It's about the only KAL I can actually stick with. Most are to long and lose my attention quickly.

The stripey-stripey socks are making progress.

Stripey-Stripey Socks

They now have heels. I have no idea how long I'll make the cuffs on this pair. I'll knit until I'm tired of them and then start a new pair. I only work on these when I'm in the car which is probably why I haven't gotten tired of them yet.

I've started Shawn's cabled hoodie but I haven't made a whole lot of progress on it. 240+ stitches in garter stitch in the round is slow going. Plus I've set it aside to finish up the test knit I was working on. I'll pick it back up in the next few days.

That pretty much sums up everything here. It's been a little dull. I think it has to do with the diet Shawn and I are on. Basically the first 9 days are a vegetarian type diet and then you slowly add meats and other things back into your diet. There are no really "no-nos" with this diet after you finish all the phases, what it's teaching you is to make proper choices like instead of grabbing a bag of chips for a snack get a piece of fruit or a yogurt and that exercising is important. Not to mention helping you drop the weight. This diet has made me realize a few things: (a) I am not cut out to be a vegetarian. I Like Meat!!! I really really miss meat!!!, (b) I can live without Starbucks but don't want to, and (c) I really miss chocolate but can live without (shock, gasp, I know who would have thought it). 4 More days and I get a reward of a Grande Caramel Frapp from Sbux. I will succeed! I shall be like The Little Engine That Could, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

It appears that we are trying to come down with a head cold. Kaity started it with a stuffed nose and a sore throat and has moved on to a cough. Bree and I are starting to feel yuck too. I'll be back soon with another post. Hopefully I'll have more to update on the hoodie and I know I have some club packages coming in so the post will probably be full of goodies.

Happy Crafting!

Jan 12, 2009

It's A Heat Wave

Wow things have really warmed up here. Mid 40's may sound cool to some people but to me it sounds like a heat wave after the bitter cold we had last month. I am going to try to enjoy the warmth while it lasts. You never know when the cold and snow will be back, not that the snow is completely gone. It's piled up so high in some spots (from snowplows, blowers and shoveling) that I swear it'll be there till July. There are some seriously huge mounds of snow out there in some of the parking lots.

We managed to get the root canal issue straightened up and it looks like everything is going to be alright and it's scheduled for this Friday. I was a little worried I was going to have to do the unthinkable and put a skein or two of Wollmeise out on eBay. Do you know that Wollmeise generally goes for around $100 a skein....totally crazy, I know! I don't know about you but I'm not going to pay that much for wool/nylon sock yarn no matter how pretty it is. For $100 it better be special yarn like qiviet. Shoot I wouldn't pay the $50 for a skein of Sweet Georgia yarn (this was the lowest price I found it for after she stopped dyeing yarn) even though I really wanted to try it. I still haven't gotten any of that come to think of it. Oh well! Anyway, I got side tracked, back to what I was saying: thankfully the Wollmeise is safe, the insurance is going to pay for 60%, and we have enough to cover our portion so life is good. Wish me luck!

I have been doing a little knitting. As if there is ever a day when I don't knit! Although I haven't finished any super exciting things.

The first dishcloth of 2009 for Monthly Dishcloth KAL.


Ice Skate Dishcloth

I'm trying to knit every cloth this year. It's a twice a month KAL with a small handful of rows each day so it shouldn't be to hard.

My socks are making good progress.


Toe Up Socks

They are just a basic toe up sock. I've found that casting on two at time socks is much less fiddly when you go toe up. The yarn is Red Hearts sock yarn Heart & Sole.

I finished my Urban Necessity Gloves (Ravelry)(non Ravelry).


Urban Necessity Gloves

I really like this glove pattern. It's a quick knit and the fingers were really easy. They're a tad fiddly to work on 6 inch dpns but not impossible. Kinda makes me wish I would have bought the short little glove dpns I saw when I first started knitting. I think they were about 4 inches long. My gauge is a little tighter then the pattern states instead of the 21sts per 4 inches I'm knitting them at 24sts per 4 inches but even with the gauge issues I'm still only knitting the Medium and it's turned out perfect.

I still haven't started the swatches for Shawn's hoodie but I have plans to get those started soon, which is why I added it to my Ravelry projects page. I've also started a hat for Kaity with the yarn from the hat I frogged. The pattern was just way to slow and tedious. Kaity wants a new hat and with the way I was going I would have been lucky to finish for next winter. So I'm going to knit a watch cap for her using both yarns. I'll post a pic when I have more to show.

I'm also working on a test knit for Woolgirl but obviously I can't show that so you'll have to settle for my one and only pitiful yarn acquisition.


Opal Brasil

It's a skein of Opal Brasil, color 5001. I've been wanting this one for quite some time and I found someone destashing on Ravelry before I went to the dentist and found out about my tooth issues. Luckily for me I still have my 7 Deadly S(p)ins club and Yarntini coming in this month, my first Lord of the Rings sock club and Yarntini next month and my final Deadly S(p)ins shipment and Yarntini in March. I'm in no fear of running out of yarn. Thank goodness for the stash. :~)

I've decided to do more charity knitting/crocheting this year. I've picked to knit/crochet Snuggles for my local animal shelter and I want to help a local animal adoption program raise money by making things they can sell. They don't have a shelter, all animals stay in a foster home until they are adopted. They get donated blankies, animal toys, bandannas, and I even seen some potholders that they sell. It doesn't have to be pet related it just needs to be something that will likely sell. They use this money for medical treatment for the animals.

The Snuggles aren't an issue. I have plenty of patterns to pick from and tons of acrylic in my stash and a local wally world to acquire more if I run out. My issue right now is trying to decided what to make that the animal adoption program can sell. I was thinking maybe some dishrags. Does anyone have any ideas?

Happy Crafting!

Jan 7, 2009

A Measure of Common Sense

** I actually started writing this on the 3rd of Jan but things got in the way of me finishing my post and it's sat unfinished for the last few days. It's warmed up into the 40's and the snow is melting now....woot! I'm kinda sick of snow right now. We had a record breaking 30.5 inches of snow for the month of Dec....well record breaking for this town anyway. A good 9 inches of that fell in one night. Lucky for us our neighbors borrowed a snow blower and cleared our driveway when they cleared theirs. Shawn was sick when all of this was going on so I would have been the designated shoveler. 9 inches of snow + a bad back and knees = lottsa pain later on.

Today we're going to talk about common sense or lack there of. The stupidity of some people gives me blog fodder so I'm going to run with it. Lets set the scene:

The sun has set, the parking lots have been plowed, although anyone who lives in snow prone areas know that there is still plenty of snow on the ground even though it's been plowed. Anyway back to the set up, the temp is a balmy -10F not factoring in wind chill....I have no idea if there was a wind chill or not my car only give ambient temps. So anyway, you get the picture it's freezing ducks and the ground is slick. Now the sensible lady (that's me) is sitting in her warm car with her heavy winter jacket and warm winter boots happily knitting on her new pair of socks while patiently waiting for her Super Hubby to get back from a quick trip into the store when into the wintery wonderland parking lot drives Pretty Pretty Princess and Hunky Boy Prince in their BMW SUV (no I don't have a problem with people who drive BMWs or SUVs, I drive an SUV). Now Princess and her man step out of their car dressed like they were strolling through LA on a balmy spring day. The sensible lady mutters to herself about the craziness of some people when she notices that Princess is trying to walk through a snowy, icy parking lot in 3 inch heels and a very lightweight 3/4 sleeve jacket. This of course made the sensible lady think WTF! Princess did manage to make it through the parking lot and down the sidewalk without falling. She had a very bony butt so I'm sure it would have really hurt if she fell. The entrance into the store has you going at a downhill slope so it's easy to slip if you're not careful. Cutsie little jacket $200, 3 inch high heels $600, walking through a parking lot while wearing these when its -10F outside, Stupid!

Now that I've had my fun I can move on to the things I've finished knitting and some of the projects I've started.

First up, another stupid monkey.

Sock Monkey

I should have made one for Bree for Christmas but I didn't think she would want it since she isn't a stuffed animal kid. Boy was I wrong. She kept running off with Kaity's monkey which of course caused fights between the two of them so I cast on for another monkey post haste. I knit this bad boy in a record breaking two days. So now both girls have monkeys and everyone is happy.

I finished my modustar cloth (Ravelry).

Star Cloth

This cloth is way bigger then a standard cloth. I gave it to the girls and they're using it as a blankie for their dolls and beanie babies. I'd definitely use thinner yarn if I wanted one about the size of a washcloth/dishcloth. Someone on Ravelry gave me the idea to make these in wool and then felt them down to coaster size. Love it! They would make great gifts and wonderful extras for swaps and such.

I finished moms Errant socks (Ravelry) from the second Mason-Dixon book.

Errant Socks

The foot is pretty stretchy but once you get past the heel and start working on the leg there isn't as much give in the socks because of the cables. Hopefully they fit her. Oh well, no point in worrying. If they don't fit mom she can send them to my sis and I can make her a new pair.

I finished my Mocha Chai socks.

Mocha Chai Socks

These are just a basic toe up sock with k3, p2 ribbing on the foot and leg. The yarn is Crystal Palace Merino 5 print and the color is #9814 (if I remember correctly). I had no problems at all getting a pair of socks out of two skeins for my big foot with a cuff that measures around 8.5 inches long not counting the short row heel. The yarn is a worsted weight (if I remember correctly). At less then $14 for a pair of boot socks, I'd definitely buy it again.

I've also started a few things for myself. I know, I know! It's about time I started something for myself.

I've finished cowl for myself.

Forest Canopy Cowl

The pattern is Forest Canopy Cowl (Ravelry)(non Ravelry) and the yarn is Tosh Worsted, colorway: Jade. This pattern worked up very quickly and the cowl has a nice close fit....very warm!

My Stripey-Stripey socks.

Stripey-Stripey Socks

I'm using some Red Heart sock yarn I bought awhile back. I originally picked out a skein of Beyond Basic Knits self striping out of my stash but as it turned out the yarn was variegated and had the wrong label on it. The dyer has kindly offered to swap the skein out for some self striping so I picked the Red Heart to use this time. The yarn isn't to bad. It has the typical feel of a wool/nylon sock yarn. Not super soft but I'm betting it will soften up quite nicely. These socks are going to be bright! I shooting for matchy matchy stripes which isn't as difficult when you are knitting from two 50g skeins.

I'm also planning on starting a pair of Urban Necessity Gloves (Raverly)(non Ravelry) for myself out of some Tosh worsted and the swatches for Shawn's cabled hoodie. This is going to be a big project so I want to knit up a bunch of swatches to wash to see which one will be best. The last thing I want to do is spend all that time on the sweater and not have it fit right.

I'm not making any New Years Resolutions this year. I've never really been big on New Years Resolutions. What's the point, most people never follow them and aren't committed to them when they write them down in the first place. I'm sure there is something new I can add to my knitting bag of tips and tricks. I need to exercise more, lose weight, eat better, etc etc etc. I do want to make more time to really put in the effort to spin. It's been hit or miss for me when it comes to spinning. I will say that if I'm not using the wheel more by the end of 2009 I'll find it a new home where it will be loved and used.

I was planning a big contest this month but with a root canal and crown looming in the very very near future I've decided to put it off. All extra spending has been curbed until that's taken care of. Thankfully we have insurance so part of it will be covered but the portion we have to pay is still going to hurt. The only exception is the few clubs that I'm in since I'm already obligated to continue them and I hate having to back out of things. Plus two of them will be done very soon anyway. Never fear I have plenty of stash to keep me busy and now have confirmation as to why it's good to have a stash. You never know when you might need it.

Happy Crafting!

Jan 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

2009 was a  busy year for us. We were still working on getting settled into our new place. We're settled in and looking forward to 2009. On the knitting front I was very busy. Flickr has made it easy to share my 2008 FO slideshow. This does not include pictures of test & sample knits that I did.

I had this big post planned but we were busy yesterday and today is going to be just as busy so the shorter abbreviated version is what everyone is going to get.

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Years celebration.

Happy 2009 Everyone!