Thursday, May 31, 2007


We have been having visitors near the house lately. One I've seen:

He likes to have breakfast in the same spot in the backyard most mornings. I believe he is the same little fellow we saw back in February. I am tickled pink every time I look out the window and see him, although I do get a little worried when I see him run off to the garden to hide. (He seems to favor a big clump of catnip I need to pull up).

The other visitor(s) I haven't seen, but I've seen the evidence:

%&$#@! deer have been munching on my tomato plants. Four of the six plants have been damaged; this one is the worst. (No, it wasn't the bunny; much of the damage is too high up.) I think they'll all recover, now that I've put out my deer deterrent--each tomato tower now sports a bar of soap. The cheapest, stinkiest deodorant soap I could find (Walgreens, 3 bars for $1).

I've been working on my Lopi vest, and I swear, the neck and armhole ribbing is going to take me as long as the rest of the vest. It's just three rows of ribbing, but I spent two days trying out different bind-off techniques for the neck until I found one I could live with. The Lopi really responded well to all that ripping, I can tell you. I ended up doing the basic bind-off for the neck, and it's acceptable, but I thought I'd try this one for the armholes.

BTW, I love the cable on my new Knit Picks circular needle. Wonderfully flexible; a joy to use! But the needles are slippery as all get-out. I know some people like that, but I'm not one of them. Maybe it's because I tend to knit loosely, but I feel like I have to keep a death-grip on them to keep them from falling completely out of the sweater. If Knit Picks put that cable on some bamboo needles, I'd be in heaven.

Speaking of Knit Picks, they told me it'll be a month before I can get a color card with the new Telemark colors on it. :( They said I can return the one I received and get a refund. I am tempted to go ahead and order the Charcoal Heather and hope I like it in real life. I'm getting really antsy to cast on for my next sweater; I think it's separation anxiety since my Lopi vest is so close to being done. I find that I'm craving bigger projects in addition to the socks and mittens. Maybe another BSJ is in order, just to tide me over...


Monday, May 28, 2007

In Memory

In memory of those who have sacrificed all.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My first mitten

A mitten challenge has been issued and I needed a small project to occupy me while waiting for my Knit Picks needles to arrive, so I decided to give mittens a try. Here's my very first attempt, made from tapestry wool. I borrowed from a few different patterns and used EZ's thumb trick. Sure goes fast! 32 stitches around and 5 stitches per inch, my books tell me it should fit a 6-8 year old. Looks a little wonky right now; I'm hoping that blocking will improve that. I plan to try doing a thumb gusset on the next pair (after completing this one's mate, natch). Since that one mitten took less than one 25-yard skein, I'm thinking this will be a good way to use some of the boatload of tapestry wool I got a while back.

My Knit Picks order arrived today; I can hardly wait to try out my new circular needle! The cable seems remarkably flexible. I was disappointed, tho', when I took a look at the Telemark color card I ordered. My interest is in one of the new heathered colors, and they didn't include the new colors in the card! What a letdown. I'm almost finished with my Lopi vest and champing at the bit to start a sweater. I was really hoping to place an order this weekend. Damn. I tried calling them to find out if I could get samples of the new colors, but they're closed until Tuesday. Double damn.

On the plus side, I also ordered a Spinnaker color card. My bathmat is disgracefully tattered, and the idea of shopping for a new one bores me to tears. Knitting one sounds like so much more fun. Coastline is exactly the shade of blue I need. And, the yarn's on sale. Woohoo!

I should be working this weekend, but my boss decided we all get to take the weekend off. I'm especially glad because the b/f and I have been planning to make this a Pirates weekend. Last night we re-watched Curse of the Black Pearl; tonight Dead Man's Chest is scheduled. And tomorrow, we go see my beloved At World's End. Swoon.

The sun is playing hide-and-seek today. We got a little rain earlier, probably more on the way. I could do a little work in the garden, but I'm thinking Yitzhak has the right idea:

I'm going to take a nap.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday was two months ago, but I just got around to spending the b-day check from my parents. Such decisions are very important, and require careful consideration. I split the money between the garden and knitting; a nice new watering can, a cheery yellow (and durable) "trug" for mixing and toting (no more desintegrating buckets for me!), and two EZ books: Knitting Around and Knitting Workshop. I have $14 left to spend, and I'm thinking that some nice sock yarn is in order. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I couldn't stand the suspense anymore, so on Sunday I took my Lopi vest off the needles and tried it on. It fits great, even though my gauge is off and it's narrower than it should be. But who cares what the measuring tape says, it fits great, so I've been knitting merrily. I even took the lifeline out (had to, to try it on; it was too tight to go over my shoulders). I finished the front, and there isn't much left of the back to do. I realized last night that I don't have 16" circs in size 4 to do the neck and armholes. Since chances aren't good of finding them locally, I decided to try Knit Picks' Options needles. Placed the order last night; hope they get here soon, 'cause I'll be needing them!
Knit Picks has added some heather colors to their Telemark line, and the Charcoal looks like a nice candidate for the sweater I'd like to make next. Since I don't want a repeat of the Sea Moss incident, I ordered a color card. Of course, then I'll have to look at 4 inches of yarn and try to imagine what a whole sweater will look like. Oh well, no one said this was rocket science.
Now, I'm off to shop for sock yarn; decisions, decisions...

Saturday, May 19, 2007


I finally got around to sewing up the seams and adding the buttons, so the BSJ now qualifies as an FO! Before sewing on the buttons I weighed it so I could figure out how much yarn I used. It weighs in at 153 g, which is about 337 yards of Cascade 220. I put in the stripes because I was afraid that 2 skeins of blue wouldn't be enough. Now I know that 2 skeins would have been plenty, but I'm glad I did the stripes anyway, since I like the way they look.

  • Baby Surprise Jacket
  • Cascade 220 - Blue Boy (I think, lost the band) and Tweed #9440, about 337 yards total
  • 5 stitches per inch in garter stitch on US6 needles
Finished measurements:

  • Cuff to cuff = 19"
  • Chest = 9" across
  • Hem = 10.25" across
It is now my considered opinion that all knitters should make the BSJ, at least once. The pattern is available here (it's number 1B), for a measly 3 bucks. If you don't have a baby to knit for, knit it for charity! Watching this piece of knitted origami form on the needles is fascinating, not to mention instructive. I had no idea it was possible to make knitting bend and fold like that. I definitely plan to knit it again, while I ponder ways to use these magical skills elsewhere.

Here is the BSJ again, with the matching hat that my coworkers insisted I make, as well as a pair of socks that will be joining them in the package for Afghans for Afghans. Everything was exclaimed over by my coworkers in a most satisfying way.

I've been working away on my Lopi vest, and I'm fretting about the gauge. Now it looks like I'm getting about 5 stitches per inch, instead of 4.5. Which would make it totally too small. But I think my gauge swatch grew when I washed it (is that possible? did I dream it?). So I keep knitting, while wondering if I should just rip the whole thing and start over. Except, Lopi doesn't seem to rip too well; it really likes to stick together. If I had any fingernails, I'd be biting them.

To ease my tension (wasn't knitting supposed to do that for me?), I spent some quality time with the b/f's father's cat, Peter:

Look, Pete, it's a mousie...

Got it!

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Lopi Progress

So, here's what I've been up to at work today: a little Carl Hiaasen, a little Stuff on My Cat, and a little knitting. So far as I can tell, I'm still on gauge with my Lopi vest. I took it off the needles and checked after completing one skein; in between wrestling with it's attempts to roll into a tube, and the cats' attempts to "help", I calculated that the gauge was still spot-on--as best as I could tell, anyway, under less than ideal conditions. I'm just about done with skein 2, but I'm having to slow down a bit. Now that there is some weight on the needles, they're fighting me a little (don't want to bend as necessary to make a stitch). My wrists can only handle so much, so I've been working on it for short amounts of time only. Which is why I brought it to work instead of the work sock, to give me more opportunies for those short bouts. That, and the fact that work sock the first is done and waiting for its toe to be seamed, and work sock the second hasn't been cast on yet.

It's a sunshiney day today, nice and warm, so when I get off work, I'm heading straight for...the movies to see Spiderman. Doesn't an overchilled movie theater seem like the place to be on a warm spring day? I'm really looking forward to seeing Spidey, tho'. And ruining my dinner with greasy popcorn. Mmmmm...I love being a grown-up.

Since today is Caturday, I'll leave you with a pic of the b/f trying to correct the splotchy paint job on Princess Daisy. He never seems to make any progress, but Daisy seems to like it.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blue Skies and Caturday

The rain finally stopped yesterday, and by this afternoon the clouds were gone, all but a few picturesque wisps. What a difference a day makes. The air feels positively wet, but at least the sun is shining. I was seriously missing the sun.

Today I seamed up the BSJ and gave it a wash. It is currently blocking in the spare bedroom (aka The Yarn Room). Now I just need to pick out some buttons. Hope to have an FO to show off soon.

Yesterday I cast on for my Lopi vest. I'm finding that it takes longer to knit a round on 164 stitches than it does on the 32-56 I'm used to with socks. This probably isn't as much of a surprise to most of you as it was to me. It's probably a good thing that it will be a while before I need warm woolies.

The white thread you see is the lifeline I put in above the ribbing. I totally don't trust the fact that I got gauge with the recommended needle size. That NEVER happens for me; I ALWAYS have to go down a size or two. This way, I figure when the immense lies told me by my gauge swatches are revealed, I can just rip down to my lifeline instead of starting the whole thing over. Since the ribbing is done on needles 3 sizes smaller than that used on the body, and since there is no way I am knitting the ribbing any tighter than it already is, I can at least save those measly 5 rounds.

Last but not least, I have decided that this day of the week will now be known as Caturday (idea gratefully stolen from, a day for sharing pics of the vermin that infest our home. This is Hilfy, the youngest of the trio.

She is going to hate me for this.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Magic 28 - Pair #1

I recently joined the Magic 28 web ring, with the goal of knitting 28 pairs of socks for charity. The socks I finished up on Sunday are pair #1; I'll give you another look at them:

My usual sock pattern, made with Knit Picks' WotA, plus some tapestry wool for contrast. Both yarns were generously given to me by other knitters. Added a little wooly nylon at the toe for longer wear. As mentioned earlier, this pair will be heading off to Afghanistan.

Now I'm sorting through the HUGE pile of yarn given to me by another CIC knitter, and planning what to make next. With all the little skeins of tapestry yarn, something striped seems likely.

We're getting lots and lots of fairly gentle rain, which is good for my garden, but unfortunately, also good (too good) for the lawn. The rain started Tuesday evening while we were mowing the lawn. We managed to get the front lawn done, but had to give up before starting the back yard. I swear, you could practically see the grass getting higher as the rain fell. It rained Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. It's raining intermittently today, and the rain is supposed to end sometime on Friday. By the time it's over, I'm going to need a machete to hack a path to the shed where the mower is stored. I think one of our neighbors has a goat; maybe I should borrow him for a while. A goat can mow even when the grass is wet; yet another example of the superiority of nature over technology! ;)

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