Wednesday, March 31, 2004

When things start to get a little 'ho-hum'

I posted this to the knitting group's messageboard, but I thought it might be good to post it here too, especially since I've been such a slacker when it has come to knitting and updating this blog lately.

Basically, what it comes down to is that I have issues about working in plain stockinette stitch.


Lately, I have noticed that it takes me far longer than necessary to
complete pieces that are to be done in plain, one color, stockinette
stitch. I breeze through color work and cables... Hell, I even
breeze through some lace. But, the problem is that I get so bored
with st st that it takes me roughly three times as long to complete
a project that uses it than it would if the project was full of
cables and eyelets.

For instance, I'm working on this item where one side is
gingham and the other is st st. I started and completed the gingham
side in roughly 8 knitting hours total. However, it is now taking me
three to four weeks (with practically no knitting hours because I
have no interest in the st st) to get more than a few inches worked
on the stockinette stitch side. Normally, this wouldn't be much of a
problem, except the the item is to be given as a gift in April.

Am I hitting some sort of stockinette stitch rut that is well known
among other knitters, or is this something unique and quirky that
I've managed to get into all by myself?

- Nicole, who is hopelessly bored of plain stockinette stich.


Monday, March 29, 2004

Confessions of a process knitter.

I feel like I should be wearing a witness protection disguise right now. I am about to admit something heinous. Over the weekend, I nearly completed a project that I started Friday night just so I could complete a project. I just wanted the end result!!! This is SO not like me. I don't knit ANYTHING just so I can complete it. In fact, I prefer NOT to complete things. I just don't know what's come over me. I feel like a different person.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Friday Update

Well, since there is no Friday Five this week, I'm just going to answer a Friday Five for the last time my birthday fell on a FF day.


November 30, 2001

1. What did you have for dinner last night?
French fries, an orange creme smoothie, and a cup of hazelnut coffee.

2. Do you ever get up for a midnight snack?
No. I try not to eat past 9 PM.

3. What's your favorite dessert?
My cheesecake.

4. Tell us something about you that would surprise us.
I'm slightly color blind, and I'm losing my hearing in a bad way. In fact, I'm becoming tone deaf because of that.

5. How do you plan to spend your weekend?
Quietly at home.


I started working on one of the big gifts for a gift package yesterday, and I was able to complete several inches of it during last night's SnB. I am actually much more excited about working on this gift item over the other ones that I was doing because its a really easy knit and its a lot of fun too. Plus, I get to work on the needles that I made for myself. As far as the Town Grind goes, the entertainment there last night was awesome, unfortunately, the Town Grind failed to put the performer's information up on their calendar so I can't link to who the guy is. Maybe someone who knows will comment. Also, notice how there is no one scheduled on Thursday's at the Town Grind? Yeah.

So anyway, in non-knitting news, I decided that I would go to the Bridgewater Mall this morning because Victoria's Secret opened up after their renovations again and they were giving out $150 worth of gifts with every $50 purchase starting at 9 AM. I got there a little after 10 AM, expecting a normal mall day. Let's just say that I left without getting anything at all and that it was a total waste of my time. There was a two hour wait to get into VS. The line wrapped clear arond the second floor of the mall, and there were cops standing guard. There were frosty women donning their frosted hair running with baby carriages and cutting in front of people in the line just so they could get into the store quicker than the next person. It was insanity, and I left without waiting on any line and without anything from VS. The $150 gift was not worth two hours of my time. I don't wear their cheap ass purfume anyway, ya know what I mean???

And back to knitting news, Kate and I can't decide what yarn to use for the Cobweb Frill that we want to start eventually. Mercerized cotton? Acrylic? Silk? Wool? Alpaca? Seriously, the choices are endless and I don't have the kind of time to evaluate each and every one right now. Stupid yarn!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Well, at least I'm not smoking.

Knitting has really been occupying my "gee, I don't know what to do with myself" time. Mike is home on a pseudo-vacation, so I can't work on anything for him. I don't really feel like working on my cable cardie, because I'm doing shaping on it right now and I don't feel like thinking. I really didn't feel like working on any of the gift stuff either. I feel like a whiney teenager. Anyone who knows me at all knows that this means I started (another) new project. I've decided to frog the first Cape Mod that I did (no pictures -- sorry!) using LB Wool-Ease T&Q in Fisherman, as well as the shawl I just finished using the Turkish Stitch pattern so I can make myself a big, fluffy caridgan out of it that is the opposite of fashionable. Maybe I'll even embellish the thing with some tacky flowers and crap. The point is that I'm not too concerned with the outcome of the sweater as long as it fits. (Yeah, I'm in THAT kind of mood.)

Last night, I did finish making a knitting tote bag for myself using pillowcases. It looks AWESOME. In fact, I want to make more of them for myself since they are so cheap to make, and I want to use them as my every day bags -- not just for knitting. I even made a needle holder pocket on the inside! I'll take pictures and post them soon, but the gals who go to this week's Stitch 'n Bitch will get a look at it first since I'm already using it.

... Okay. Hold up. I'm listening to Freezepop right now, and they cover the Jem Theme Song on their Fancy Ultra Fresh CD. Can I just say that their cover is SO AWESOME!?

Anyway, I'm outta here for today. Mike wants Taco Smell for dinner, and I can't deny him that since it is his birthday.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Annoyed.

Well, I can't do any more in the kitchen until the dishwasher is finished with the last load I put in; I can't do any knitting until my nails are dry from the Maybelline Colorama Top Coat in Frosty Pink that I just slapped on. (For some reason, I can't find a Maybelline site in English to reference this nail polish to. Anyway, since I'm really into totally sheer nail polishes right now, this Colorama Top Coat stuff is pretty awesome since its nice and VERY sheer. The idea is that you buy a base coat, and then change up the colors with the top coat, but whatever. I'm wearing the top coat by itself.)

For some reason today, I got into this whole big kick that I would do all I could to "plan" a wedding; meaning, I was online making up the guest list, researching potential reception sites, and "finalizing" my idea of the perfect wedding dress. Why am I doing this? I don't know. It just felt like the thing to do today. It also confirmed that perhaps the whole big ass wedding thing isn't quite for me as much as it would be for my family. *sigh*

As far as knitting goes, I keep getting all these ideas, but I haven't acted on any of them. Nothing jumps out at me right now as something that I really want to make, so I'm really looking forward to Thursday and receiving this sometime within the next day or two so I can start working on the Cobweb Frill. I actually checked out some yarn for this while I was out, but decided not ot buy anything yet since I have no idea what the pattern suggests.

This is all jibberish, isn't it. Hmpf. No more internet for me today.

Blogger Support: BEST EVER

Also, because I failed to mention this previously, Blogger's user support is the best I've received from any company to date. This boggles my mind even further because I am not even a paying customer -- I use their free service. I don't plan on moving this blog to any other server. In fact, should I acquire the fundage, I'll be upgrading this to a paid account. The support is THAT GOOD.

Three cheers for Blogger. Seriously.

Weekend Update.

This weekend went rather crappy. I attended my grandmother's funeral where there was an underlying degree of family drama, and I got pretty much nothing else done. Poor Mike believes that HBO's Sopranos is based on my family now. Poor guy.

This morning, I got some more required knitting done, however I haven't updated my little progess bars yet. How lazy is that? I also just cut my hair using a three mirror system and my good scissors and I love the way it looks now. I should do this professionally, except only for myself since I don't think I trust myself to do other people's hair.

I'm about to leave the house to go get some supplies to make a nifty (not so) little tote bag for my knitting supplies because I'm feeling rather down and I think that "shopping" will help. I know it won't, but I'll use any excuse I can come up with.

Somehow, I did manage to finish the red shawl I was working on in time for yesterday's viewing and I haven't stopped wearing it yet. Too bad I used rather crappy yarn to make it.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Grumble, grumble. Pout, pout.

Gee, look! I'm online again! *waves*.

I needed to take a break from my maniacal knitting because, so far, I've almost finished what I was working on last night, stopped, restarted on smaller needles, frogged that, and then started AGAIN. The cats (those aren't mine) are going insane because I've got them "locked up" in the basement so I can get some work done. Apparently, they don't like not being able to see me. They won't stop singing to me from behind the door.

I figured that during this break from the insanity, I would take some time to do the Friday Five. I used to do these in my LiveJournal, except my LiveJournal is 'friends only', so no one could actually SEE anything. I'll start doing them here, I guess. :)

Friday Five

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?
Home cooked food. I would be the head chef, and all dishes would be based on my recipes. Those recipes include everything from vegetarian dishes, Italian dishes, Japanese dishes, Mongolian dishes, Southern dishes, and BBQ.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell?
I would sell common sense to common sense deficient individuals.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be?
It would probably be a book similar to Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach?
See Question #2.

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it?
Think Nellie McKay meets the Lunachicks meets Coldplay.

No, I'm not crazy... Blogger is.

I just found out that I am not crazy. Blogger keeps changing my template back to the old one -- complete with old WIPs and old progress bars. If I have to change my template back to what it is supposed to be everyday, then I'm just going to move this blog somewhere else.

Blogger is Getting on My Nerves, Again & I'm Getting On My Nerves, Too!

Now, I changed the colors/backgrounds, etc. on this blog on Wednesday. However, every once in a while, when I view my blog, the OLD colors/backgrounds, etc. show up. I'm not an internet novice. I cleared everything in the computer from my history, to the cache, to the cookies, to the files. Hell, I even hit refresh a few times. For some reason, the content remains updated and the graphics do not.

Is it just me? Perhaps, but I'm looking for some confirmation on that...

Do you see a purple scheme, or a green scheme? Can you sometimees see green, and other times see purple, still? Let me know.

---

On to knitting news.

Last night, I discovered that I, too, can knit Continental. Imagine that. As if I need to knit faster. I'm applying this newfound skill on the st st fabrics that I need to finish for some of my projects. Hopefully, I will be less bored with knitting them now that I can practice a different knitting style on them.

I also had a moment of clarity this morning, specifically at 9:22 AM. I stopped, stared down at the US5's in my hand that held the stitches for the project I need to finish by this afternoon, and said, "Well, hot damn. I should be doing this differently!"

I didn't want to be too hasty in my decision, so instead of frogging the work, I actually just cut the yarn this time and left what I had completed so far on the needles in case I have another moment of clarity and decide to go back to what I was doing originally.

I've determined that I need to switch to US2's, and I need to have DOUBLE the number of sts to form the body of the piece. I also figured out that it would look less "stretched" if I followed the chart by skipping stitches in between each stitch. Doesn't make sense? Well, I'll elaborate after this weekend when I am able to without ruining the surprise. I'm also starting from the bottom instead of the top this time so I can get the colorwork out of the way and return to the monotonous K1P1 ribbing later in the day when I don't want to think anymore.

And, last night's Stitch 'n Bitch was a hoot, and I really don't need to elaborate here. Bar, anyone?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Links and a Thank you!

A super huge ENORMOUS Thank You goes out to Kate for pointing out that no one could see that there are links in my blog entries. Apparently, my googling skills were going unnoticed, and we just can't have that.

All links are underlined now, so feel free to check them out! The links in the "About Nicole" entry have been fixed too.

And I'm totally looking forward to Stitch 'n Bitch tonight because I haven't gotten any knitting done in days!

Another Day, Another Dollar.

Well, I'm pretty excited tonight. I get to drive the Trailblazer to tonight's SnB instead of the trusty Hyundai. Its a good thing I quit smoking last week, otherwise I probably wouldn't be so happy about this. But, we're expecting MORE snow, so what can ya do?

So far, for the past couple of days, I haven't done any knitting at all. I've done blog renovations, worked on the front page to a website, uploaded pictures, sent emails, researched how to make a rosary, etc. But, I haven't done any knitting.

I am in the process of uploading more pictures to the WIPs/FOs folder. And if you really want to, you can check those out by clicking on that cute little link over in the sidebar. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Ta-da!

I just spent the better part of the day renovating this blog a little bit.

Under My Personal Links, if you click on "About Nicole", you will be directed to a short autobiography that includes pictures and perhaps a few facts that you weren't aware of about yours truly.

The background image now is of the cabled sweater that I am currently working on, and I changed everything up to match it. It is, in fact, just a coincidence that my blog is now green and today is St. Patty's Day.

If you click on "WIPs and FOs" in the sidebar, the link will take you to my Yahoo Photos page, where you can see some pictures of everything that I am working on currently, and things that I have completed more recently (i.e. since January '04). If you would rather just view one project at a time, feel free to click on each individual link underneath the WIPs and FOs header. A couple of the items listed do not yet have pictures to accompany them. This will change soon.

Hope everyone likes the changes! I know I do.

---
As far as knitting goes, I worked on the cable sweater last night for a couple of hours and I now have 4 1/4 inches of the back completed.

I also discovered that while it only took me less than a week to accomplish some of the colorwork pieces that I had been working on, it is now taking me over three weeks to complete the plain st st sides of the pieces. I think I have just discovered that st st work no longer holds my attention, as these projects would surely be completed by now had I done colorwork in place of the plain pieces.

I have also abandoned all hope of finishing the "Along Came Polly" interpretation shawl before tomorrow because I have so much to do around the house, and everywhere else that I just don't see myself sitting down to finish it. I would much rather work on the cable sweater than the shawl at this point. (How did I know that was going to happen??? See March 10th's entry: I really need to finish the Liv Tyler/Kyoto-esque sweater that I started though. The yarn shipment from Elann is going to get here soon and I know I won't want to be bothered with the sweater once there is new yarn for me to play with. )

And, I really need to get crackin' on that one gift knit that I'm working on. Its "due" soon. Very soon, and I don't want to be cramped for time on Friday to finish it before Mike gets home.

Tomorrow's Stitch 'n Bitch appears to be somewhat small... Just Anne and myself, so far. I think I will end up bringing the gift knit that is due this weekend with me to SnB to try to finish it up there, and I'll bring along the shawl too, in case I get bored of knitting the plain stitches.

Do Over!

Ever feel like a kid playing in the street with your friends and then a car comes and interrupts your game? And then you call a "do over"? Well, that's what I'm doing.

Expect changes (some drastic perhaps, some subtle) to take place on this blog. I can't stand that it looks so 1999. I also can't stand that the extent of my learning HTML, XTML, and Java ended in 1999 either. Oh well.

The cord and thingy to plug the actual digital camera into the computer have been relocated (joy!), so I will be able to upload pictures of much better quality than the ones I threw up on here originally. I'm also working on linking each individual WIP to its own folder containing images and information in my Yahoo Photos. Its after 12:30 in the morning, and I'm still uploading pics. I haven't linked any yet, but the transition will take place. Don't you worry.

I'm also going to be replacing the background image, as well as the colors of the blog in the next week. I'm trying to make it as functional as possible, but with my limited page making skills and the fact that this is on blogger, I'm not having too much luck as of yet.

I apologize to anyone who reads this for not overhauling this blog sooner, because if blogs could go on TV shows, this one would totally be on What Not To Wear.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Whole Lotta Love

When I was a little girl, I believed that Robert Plant was singing, "You need Kool-Aid." Imagine my surprise when I was a little older and discovered that the lyrics are actually, "You need coolin'." Interestingly enough, when I was a little kid (we're talkin' about 3 years old here), my favorite movie was The Elephant Man and I didn't understand the look or horror on my parents' faces when I asked them for an Elephant Man doll. What can I say -- I was unusual!

Last night, I was supposed to register a name for my site (yay!), but that didn't happen. I'm really not too pleased with Blogger and the layout of my blog, and that will all be changed once I jump ship to something more "fun". Links to seperate pages showing my WIPs, Links to FOs... Basically just better navigation as well as better bells and whistles.

I also started working on the cable cardigan again since Elann delivered my yarn in Fresh Pesto. I cast on 138 sts last night and I've got an inch and a half worked up already. Go me. I figure that I should be able to finish this thing at least by September if I calculate my time correctly. I also did about half an inch of one of the gift projects, and two rows of the Along Came Polly Shawl. Today, I really need to get my ass into gear and work on something that needs to be finished by the end of the week.

P.S. I can't stop touching the inch and a half of sweater!

Monday, March 15, 2004

Oops, I ranted again.

Poor Kate. I just spewed a whole big rant about knitting, patterns, and copyright in an email to her. I should have just put my thoughts here so that they could either be ignored or read by interested parties... But no. Sorry Kate!!!

Anyway, here is my rant about knitting, patterns and copyright. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on this.

In my opinion, nothing that anyone knits now could ever be considered novel and ingenious. It surely has all been done before, right? Knitting has been around for centuries and it would be ignorant to say that something you have knit yesterday is of a brand new design and has never been done.

But that's not how it is. There are magazines devoted to "new" patterns, books devoted to "new" patterns, and there are even online 'zines devoted to "new" patterns. People come up with their own patterns all the time. However, every once in a while, if the pattern is made public, the "new pattern" is a subject of dispute because someone else scoured the earth and found a pattern that is nearly identical to the "new one". I like to consider myself an internet sleuth. Ask anyone I know personally -- I can find out ANYTHING. But even I failed at locating some "originals" when I search.

I believe that since no pattern we come up with now could possibly be new, if a knitter works up a pattern using what I would consider "common knowledge" (for shaping, sizes, etc), then they should be able to say that the pattern is their own without having to scour the inner earth core and the internet archives looking for something similar. I mean, if the knitter does a search and nothing comes up that is an exact pattern for what the knitter has done, then can't the knitter assume that he/she has created a new pattern? I just can't see why you would be required to do hours of extensive research in books and online patterns just to figure out whether or not your idea is "original". Its ridiculous! Mainly because, like I've said before, after hundreds of years of knitting, no idea is original anymore!

Its like a never ending battle circle where those with A LOT of time on their hands can yell "copyright infringement" at just about anything.

There are no new patterns, only improvements. And according to copyright law, improvements are not to be made lawfully by anyone except the pattern author otherwise it infringes on the author's copyright. So where does that leave us, in the 21st century? Can there possibly be a new pattern that no one has ever thought of before? Maybe. Isn't it possible that this pattern was around forever in someone's family and it was never copyrighted? Probably. Is it just that knitters and other yarn crafters are so vain that they like to stake claims on ideas? I don't know the answer to this. But this is my view.

Post-Weekend Update

I got off to a bad start on Friday. I happily decided that I would start one of the gift projects that I need to finish soon and discovered that I lost (gasp) the chart I made for the project. I pouted and stomped around the house looking through pretty much everything trying to locate the missing graph paper, but I caved in and made a new one instead. I actually like the new one better than the first one. Maybe the first was one was just too ashamed to be found because it knew it sucked. Or, maybe I subconsciously knew it sucked and threw it out. Or, maybe its just folded and tucked into a page of one of my knitting books and I didn't see it. We will never know. I'm really excited about finishing it though because it just means that I will be able to post pictures of it. Yay! (Or, Boo!, if you don't like my pictures.) :)

In other news, I learned to crochet at last week's SnB. I will admit right here that I couldn't crochet to save my life until Sunday. Now, I'm happily crocheting along (I'm already on row three!) and making one of those JS Shawls in purple. Seriously, though. I don't care if its a trendy, hip thing. You know what I have to say to that? GOOD! That means I won't be the only freak of nature walking around with wraps and shawls on. Can we get an "amen"? Amen.

I also started another one of those Turkish Stitch Shawls, but this time it is in Red (Red Heart TLC in Claret), on Size US 11's, and uses a single strand of yarn. This is probably one of the quickest knitting patterns EVER. I started this on Friday, put it down until Sunday, and I should be done with it by Wednesday since I'm going to be working on gift items for the majority of my time.

"Majority of my time". I feel as though I need to clarify that statement. It should read, "majority of my KNITTING time". Yes, it is true I don't work (I like to refer to myself as a S.M.I.T. -- soccer mom in training), but that doesn't mean that I don't have responsibilities and it certainly does not mean that I sit at home and knit all day long. I *wish* that's what I did, but it isn't. And in all honesty, if that is what I did, then I would lead a very sad, boring life. Generally, I get no more than an hour of knitting done during the day, unless someone has requested that I make something for them by the end of the day (I'm looking at you Anne, re: The Hat). In the grand scheme of things, I do far more housework, cooking, baking and organizing than I do anything crafty. So during the day, I get about just as much time to knit as someone who knits during the day only on their lunch break. At night during the week, I generally pick up my knitting again after dinner while we watch TV, or while Mike plays a video game. If its a REALLY GOOD show (i.e. The Sopranos, or Curb Your Enthusiasm), then I don't even THINK about knitting. And if I'm playing the video game with Mike, then its pretty much impossible to knit. If I knit without interruption on week nights, I generally can knit for about two and a half to three hours. And, on the weekends, I knit for a couple of hours here and there unless we are out somewhere. So, to sum it up, being a S.M.I.T. doesn't automatically give me the go ahead to do nothing but crafty things all day long, so don't go assuming things. :)

I haven't touched the Liv/Kyoto sweater since the last time I blogged about touching it. Ideally, I would like this thing to be done by May, but I can't guarantee that.

I should have finished one of the package gifts either the last time I blogged about working on it, but I didn't. I lost most of my inspiration, and I am very slowly regaining it back. I haven't heard from one of the recipients in, like, two weeks, and while I was completely touched (and therefore inspired) by what she had last written to me, I feel less inclined to bust my ass to complete the package now because of that. Also, while we are on the topic of people who EXPECT to recieve gifts from me because I knit, I feel like I should bring this up. That's a major no-no. In fact, when I find out that someone EXPECTS me to knit something for them, it makes me less likely to do so because it makes me realize that the requester has no concept or appreciation of the craft. Their name gets put on the end of my "gift list". Does anyone else do this, or is it just me? I just like knowing that the hand knit items that I make go to people who actually appreciate them. I can't stand people and their "I want, I want" attitudes. As if I'd really rather knit something for you, Mr./Ms. Unappreciative, than for myself. Pffft.

On Saturday, Mike and I went to Evan's (my nephew) birthday at my step sister's house. I got to check out his newly decorated room, as well as the new baby's room and of course I was inspired. I plan on presenting something to Evan (he's two!) at Christmas that will go with the room decor perfectly. I'd really like to start working on it by June, though, because I don't want to get myself into a bind like I did last year.

And speaking of last year... I've decided that I am only going to do ONE larger scaled knitting piece as a gift per Christmas. As much as I would love to give everyone in my family huge knitted gifts, its just not going to happen. Last year, I wore myself out by starting late in the game (October) and struggling to complete afghans and other large items for people. Not this year. This year, Evan is getting the big gift, and everyone else gets little ones. Next year, someone else will get the big gift, and everyone else will get little ones. Its fair that way, don't you think?

In completely non-knitting news, I discovered that Dawn Liquid Dish Soap is more awesome than I originally thought it was. Over the summer, I impressed a friend when I revealed that my hair was shiny and soft because I washed it with Dawn. I always impressed myself everytime I used Dawn to get out oil/grease stains, and unidentified spots on our carpet. On New Years Eve, I impressed other people when I got a crapload of red wine out of someone's light blue button down shirt. So yeah, you would think that I would be completely unphased when the power of Dawn gently removed dried kelly green acrylic paint from my pink sapphire/diamond ring. That paint was REALLY up in there too. But yeah, its gone now. Soaked the ring in some warm water with a few drops of Dawn for a couple of hours.

Don't underestimate the power of Dawn, people.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Welcome to a picture packed entry.

Anyone who reads this knows that this has been long overdue, and frankly, I was getting tired of looking at my picture-less blog. These pictures aren't really the greatest -- I took them using one of those Logitech eyeball-like web cams. But they are still pictures none the less! And I'm really sorry that I am a co-star in these pictures, but it was the best I could do.

The Cat's Paw Lace Shawl
Source: www.freepatterns.com/fp_pdfs/pre-database/ knitting/Cats_Paw_Lace_Shawl.pdf
Materials: Size US 8(?) needles, mill ends of acrylic nubby multi-color flecked sage yarn
Notes: The pattern, as written is inaccurate. If you are going to follow it, be sure to use your head and don't rely too much on the written instructions about 3/4 of the way through.

Cat's Paw Lace Shawl - Sage (4)Cats Paw Lace Shawl - Sage (1)
Cats Paw Lace Shawl - Sage (2) Cats Paw Lace Shawl - Sage (3)

My (Bad) Replica of the JS Shawl using a Turkish Stitch Pattern
Source: knitting.about.com/library/blshawl4.htm
Materials: Size US 17 Circulars; 2 Skeins Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Fishermann
Notes: This was by far the fastest knit pattern I have ever followed.

Turkish Stitch JS Replica Shawl (1)Turkish Stitch JS Replica Shawl (2)
Turkish Stitch JS Replica Shawl (3)

The Valentine's Day Wrap
Source: www.knitlist.com/97gift/quickthrow.htm
Materials Used: Vintage White, Antique Rose, Baby Pink and Off White Acrylic Yarns on Size US 10 Needles, as well as two dozen glass rose and antique white colored beads that didn't show up very well in any pictures.
Notes: I *love* this particular pattern and I try to use it for everything. As it is written, the pattern knits up to about 30 inches wide, and you stop knitting whenever you feel as though you have enough length. This wrap measures 32" by 92".

Valentines Day Wrap (1)Valentines Day Wrap (2)
Valentines Day Wrap (3)


Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

GAH!

Okay, I just typed up this SUPER LONG DESCRIPTIVE post, and the internet ATE IT!

*sigh*

I'll try to recap as best I can.

You know those priorities that flew out the window last week? Well, they are half way to Japan right now.

Let me put it this way. I got REALLY BORED of knitting the same stuff. I like variety and this new knitting method was totally cramping my knitting style. On Monday night, I decided that I would do the unthinkable, and start something for myself. Notice how I didn't say "work on something for myself that I have already started". That's important, because that is the kind of knitter (baker, cooker, painter, organizer, etc.) that I am. Like many people, I also got totally sucked into watching Jessica Simpson be dumb for 30 minutes each week on Newly Weds. My jaw could usually be found 2 inches from the ground in awe at both her lack of common sense as well as her amazing wardrobe and accessories. I absolutely fell in love with her shawls, and her buttery leather bag (SHE HAS TWO!!!!!). Don't think that I didn't try to work up a plan to make a replica bag, but I am no leather worker, and frankly, that hobby seems much more expensive than knitting. So, I decided to do my best to replicate (and I'm using that term very loosely) Jessica's shawl. I am not a very flowery kind of person, and I don't crochet, so I was left with airy, openwork stitches and my imagination. My imagination started running away from me, so I turned to the internet and found this pattern (http://knitting.about.com/library/blshawl4.htm).

Two skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick in Fishermann, that pattern, and a couple of hours on a set of size 17 circulars was all it took to create a really cute (and stretchy) shawl. I LOVE IT. Well, I might love it more if I use one more skein to make it a little bit larger. I like my wraps and shawls super-sized (My Valentine's Day Wrap measured 32"x92", and its my favorite). Plus, I have about 6 skeins left of the yarn so it wouldn't hurt to use a little more up, right? I'm going to bring (i.e. wear) the shawl to tomorrow's SnB so I can see what the gals think about adding more to it.

Also, notice how I started (and finished) a NEW project for myself? Let's not forget about the fact that I have a couple on needles (and on stitch holders) already waiting to be finished. This is very important because it is a perfect example of how I work. And not just for knitting either. I'm like this with baking, cooking, painting, writing songs, organizing, etc. It's a personality trait/flaw that I have learned to embrace, even if it does make my life more difficult at times. :)

I really need to finish the Liv Tyler/Kyoto-esque sweater that I started though. The yarn shipment from Elann is going to get here soon and I know I won't want to be bothered with the sweater once there is new yarn for me to play with.

Scratch that.

I really need to finish the gift items that I started before I finish my Liv/Kyoto-esque sweater, and before I even open the Elann package.

Yes, I really do owe my conscious for that one.

Before I end this entry and go back to knitting, or whatever else I need to do before Mike gets home, please share in this obsession with me. I have been sucked into WEBoggle for the past few days, and I just can't seem to get enough of it. Its really fun, in a boring sort of way. It reminds me A LOT of Bookworm, which I absolutely love, except you play against other people and the letters don't shift. Go here (http://plutor.org/boggle/) and play. If I'm playing, I'll be on there as "nik".

Happy Knitting! (And WEBoggle-ing!)

Monday, March 08, 2004

Elann Sonata

I am so excited. Apparently, I am getting enough Elann Sonata in "Fresh Pesto" to complete the cabled cardigan that I have been having such yarn anxiety over lately. I seriously cannot even begin to describe how excited I am about this. I really hope that using good (better?) yarn doesn't sway me from ever wanting to use acrylic again. I would much rather spend a glamorous budget on things for the house and finishing the basement, not yarn.

Friday, March 05, 2004

My priorties just flew right out the window.

You know what my problem is? I knit too damn quickly, and I *hate* completing projects. I'd much rather everything I have on needles STAY on needles. Somehow, that's so much more satisfying for me. So, I determined that I can knit up the the stuff for the packages in less than two weeks. That gives me a lot of time to play with other things on needles. So I am. [insert evil laughter here]

The other night, Liv Tyler was on Jay Leno, and her top was GORGEOUS. It sort of reminded me of Knitty's Kyoto, but nicer -- flouny-er and more shapely. So, of course, I decided that I needed to make a top that was inspired by Liv's for myself. I'm using Knitty's Kyoto as a guide and Liv's top as my main source of inspiration. Isn't this wonderful? I'm even going to be cutting into my yarn stash to make it! And I never thought I'd find use for 2000 yards of Antique White 3-ply Acrylic Baby Yarn.

I've already cast on and started working on the first half of the criss cross in the front -- three inches so far!!! I'm so excited. A sweater I can wear during the spring and summer. Yay.

Last night's SnB was so much fun. There was a poetry reading going on (apparently, there is a reading the first Thursday of each month) so we moved to another section of the cafe because the front half was like a library. The poetry reading would have been cool if there were more than three poets participating in it. And if one of the poems wasn't called "The Sound of Paper". And if the participating poets didn't look at US like we were the crazy bunch. Yeah. We're knitting. Must you comment on it and say that it is "cute". It was still fun though. Anne learned how to use circulars, and frankly, I hope she continues using them because they will put much less stress on her wrists and arms since the weight of her knitted pieces will be on the connector and not her wrists from supporting the straight needle. And Katie mentioned something about "stitches east", so I need to check that out. (Note to self: check out stitches east.)

One thing I was impressed with last night was the fact that I actually got some knitting done. More than two inches of something from Project 2P, to be somewhat exact. Last week, I got about three rows done of a 78 stitch wide wrap, and a few rows of a baby bootie that I ended up frogging while I was there. The week before, I got almost nothing done on the sweater that I was working on. I think I like "bitching" more than I like "stitching" when I'm around other people.

I've got to get back to doing some more work on my kimono style top and I'll scan in some shots of it later. :)

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Stitch 'n Bitch Tonight.

I'm a little disappointed at myself. I literally have about 5 inches left of the difficult side of something for Package 1M before I have mindless knitting left on it, and I didn't finish it. I was planning on working on it during tonight's meet-up. Now, I'm all "AHHHHHHHHH" because I don't want to bring anything with me that requires concentration, I don't want to work on anything for myself (priorties, remember), and I really don't want to start anything new. *sigh*

I'll probably end up working on the mindless part of something for package 2P, actually. Don't ask me why I didn't think of that. I don't think my brain is enjoying working out complex situations today. And when I say complex situations, I really mean working my pattern backwards. You would think I'm dealing with brain surgery the way I worried about this, lol. See? This is what happens when you don't get a lot of sleep.

I figured out (another brain surgery level of thinking here, people) that I can slap my work on the scanner and upload it to the web. Of course, you won't get the full picture of items, but you'll get the jist. I have to do that this weekend.

I have been hemming and hawing over what yarn to choose for my cable sweater. I'd LOVE to work with some Debbie Bliss Tweed or Cashmerino, but are those really worth the price? Aren't there comparible yarns that are less expensive? Maybe there aren't, but I wouldn't really know. I haven't heard too much about either except that some people are not happy with the way the Cashmerino holds up after some wear, and since I plan on wearing the sweater all the time I don't know if its worth it to buy that yarn for it. Decisions, decisions.

Anyway, I'm outta hee-ere. I've got to get ready to leave in half an hour.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

The Bedspread.

Last night, Mike came home with a package for me. He handed me a first edition (1982) hardcover book in PERFECT condition, The Bedspread by Sylvia Fair. Some time ago, I expressed to him that between the ages of three and five, this was my favorite book. I remember clearly returning home with that book from the library on many occassions. Apparently, that book is no longer being printed, and the copies that are in existance are mostly from libraries, have weakened bindings, have writing on the pages -- if the pages are intact at all. Mike had gone on a quest for nearly a year trying to locate a better-than-decent copy of this book for me and had to deal with horrible ebay and paypal to get it. I read the book to him last night, and he laughed and said that it was typical that The Bedspread was a favorite of mine when I was a child. The book is about two sisters who sew, knit, embroider and embellish a plain white bedspread to reflect their memories of the home they lived in as children until they die. Then, the bedspread is put into a museum for everyone to view. Its such an amazing book and I really wish it wasn't out of print!