Friday, February 28, 2003  

Half A Sweater

Last night, due to the snow, my aerobics class was cancelled. :( But I did take advantage of the extra time to (1) watch survivor as well as csi, and (2) make significant progress on assembling Ocean. The left front and back are attached, the left sleeve is almost completely attached. This weekend I'll finish attaching the sleeve and sew it up, and also properly measure for the button-hole placement. I also made good progress on Ocean's second sleeve at the gym and on the bus. I don't think I'll finish Ocean by next week, but maybe the week after? I really want to wear it! :)

My friend is still learning to knit- her mom pulled out her old needles, and was showing her a bit. I don't know whether she'll really "get the bug" and learn or not- but since she's a teacher and has yet ANOTHER day off of work due to snow, she should have plenty of time to practice! I'm jealous, although actually I don't mind coming in usually- especially days like today where I have a project to keep me busy. And I'll also get to go to the gym, which is nice.

I'm wearing my Aran today- between the sweater and the hat, I'm a veritable blur of handknits! :) I am really enjoying the hat, though- which is great, especially since I have ALWAYS hated hats. My mom recalls many struggles to get me to wear those cute baby caps- she said I could throw them farther across the room than she could. Apparently I was born hating hats. But I like the one I made... especially when my ears are getting cold- and it's nice, no hat hair!

Tonight, weather permitting, my boyfriend and I are going to go out for Thai food and live jazz... yummy! I'm really excited, and hope the weather cooperates, since I've been looking forward to going all week. I know, big dork. ;)

The Latin phrase for today:
Deo favente
"by the grace of God (with God's favor)"


Thursday, February 27, 2003  

Self-Striping Yarn... Accidently!

Yesterday, while waiting for the seemingly interminable training to finish, I was looking closely at my new hat.... and noticed that on the lower stripe, the yarn made vertical stripes of color. I don't know if you can see on the photo or not... When I dye the yarn, I dye most of it blue and torquoise, and then accents of bright green. Somehow, on the hat, the colors all lined up! You know if I had been trying to do that, it never would have happened.

Last night, instead of working on Menagerie like I meant to, somehow I found myself whizzing through the sleeve of Ocean. Oops! How'd that happen? I guess because I'm so anxious to actually WEAR Ocean, I really want to keep working on it. And, in my defense, I really did think I was a lot closer to finishing the sleeve than I actually was- I was planning on doing the "last part" at home so I wouldn't have all the decreases etc... to keep track of on the bus. As it is, I'm still finishing up the sleeve cap... ;)

This weekend I'm going to try and do some finishing work on Ocean- doing the ends, sewing on buttons, sewing side seams... that type of stuff. Oh, and working on the innumerable ends of Menagerie. As much as I love the way it looks, I am definitely NOT a fan of intarsia. Well, now I know! :)

The Latin phrase for today:
dux gregis
"leader of the pack/flock"


Wednesday, February 26, 2003  

More Snow?!?!?

The leftover snow from 2 weeks ago hasn't melted yet, and some sidewalks are only now beginning to peek out from the snow. And now we're getting more? Maybe 5-6" ? ARGH!!! Although I must admit it is beautiful to watch from my window, walking in the swirling snow is NOT very fun.

I have my last day of training today- I've spent Monday and Tuesday learning "the 7 habits of highly effective people." Now, I'm sure some people find this seminar invaluable. I am not one of them. As far as I'm concerned, these 3 days have been a total waste. After all, how useful is it for someone to suggest that all families sit down and develop a family mission statement? If my parents had ever done that, I think my brother and I would have had them committed. I mean, REALLY! And the irony yesterday would have been delicious if I wasn't forced to sit through the training- we learned that we have to be proactive about eliminating "time wasters" from our schedules. I was VERY tempted to raise my hand and ask whether that means that we can leave training early? At least I am getting paid for this- and thankfully today is the last day.

Here is a photo of the hat that ended up being for me.... I wore it this morning through the snow! I like the way it turned out- I used the pattern from "Knitter's Handy" and Kool Wool from Lion... 2 skeins, plus the hand-dyed merino for the stripes. If I want to be a big dork, I can wear Ocean with its matching hat!!! ;)

Speaking of Ocean, I've made good progress on the first sleeve- the cuff is in black chenille. I'm planning on edging the other pieces in the chenille, and doing the collar in it.

The Latin phrase for today:
nox luna inlustris
"a moonlit night"


Monday, February 24, 2003  

Short Weekend?

After last week's snow-extended weekend, this "short" 2 day weekend seemed cruel! Where are the extra 2 days for knitting and relaxing?

I did make some progress on Menagerie- I have 114 rows to go (180 done). Of course, I still haven't tackled any of the ends of the giraffe.... I think I'll make some more progress on the ends once I'm done with the hippo in 2 rows. I also made some progress on Ocean- I wanted to get past the sleeve cuff since I didn't want to have to switch from the chenille to the merino on the bus... I thought that would be a little difficult. I also knit myself a hat on Thursday/Friday... it was originally for my boyfriend, but he already ordered himself a new windproof fleece hat, so I put a couple of Ocean stripes in the black, and made it for me! I didn't end up needing more yarn, and it is very nice. I wore it on Saturday, but of course forgot to take a pic. ;)

I'm back on the bus this week as the snow has mostly melted enough to manage waiting at the stop... at least I don't have to stand in the street! So hopefully I'll continue to make good progress on Ocean. I would really like to finish it in the next couple of weeks... oh! and I ordered some shell buttons for it- they came on Friday. I really like them- although I'm still debating whether plain black buttons would look better with the edging. I guess if I don't like them, I can always save them for another project!

The Latin phrase for today:
cassis tutissima virtus
"an honest person need not fear a thing (virtue is the safest helmet)"


Friday, February 21, 2003  

Update Pictures, Teaching Knitting

Before everything started melting, Cricket and I went for a little snow walk- this was on Tuesday, and, as you can see, the snow would be well over Cricket's head if not for the shoveling efforts of my boyfriend. :) I think she was suffering from cabin fever too- she sat in the snow for about 10 minutes, and didn't seem to mind the cold!

Because I needed to retreive something from my car, I carried Cricket along the little path we had made through the snow drifts, and put her down on the shovelled out area by the car, thinking she would sit there for a few minutes while I grabbed what I needed. HAH! She, as she had tried to tell me repeatedly while I was walking to the street, did NOT want to go that far away from the house. And if I was going to put her down, she was going to remedy the situation and get back to the warm and cozy couch.

Luckily for her, she, being so small and dainty, balanced delicately on TOP of the 2 foot snow drifts. I was not as lucky, and was forced to plow through the deep snow trying desperately to keep up with her, afraid to let go of the leash in case she DID fall through, or run into the road, or some other such mishap. As you can see from her ears, she was NOT pleased with my behavior. Just goes to show you that you can't really properly train a human...

Last night my friend "forced" me to go to the craft store.... so of course, I had to buy some yarn. My boyfriend seems to have lost his black knit hat.... and of course, none of the stores are stocking winter clothes anymore! So I figured I would knit one quickly for him. I chose black "kool wool"- I'm knitting it at a tighter gauge than recommended, so hopefully it'll be a smidge warmer. They didn't have enough yarn at the store last night, though, so I'll be ducking out at lunch to pick up a few more skeins (hopefully the other store will have some!) When I stopped by my house to pick up the proper needles for the hat, I also grabbed the needles and instructions from my "learn to knit" kit, and also some yarn, and gave them to my friend so she could start to learn. She was getting the general idea, but was having trouble getting everything to stay in her hands.... it'll just take practice. She's a teacher, though, and has had the whole week off of work thanks to the snow, so hopefully she'll get the idea! We were watching CSI and I was trying to get some progress done on the hat, so I didn't have a lot of time to sit with her and practice, but hopefully this weekend, if she's still interested.

I finally got around to taking some update photos (with help from my lovely assistant):

Here is the extra cute bag I found to hold my sock projects- I reinforced the sides and bottom with some cardboard to give my little toothpick needles some extra protection.

And progress on Ocean- I finished the left front yesterday:

My thoughts go out to all those who lost loved ones in the terrible tragedies in Chicago and now in Rhode Island....

The Latin phrase for today:
per vivam vocem
"by the living voice"


Thursday, February 20, 2003  

Menagerie Marches On

First, let me say that there will finally be update pictures tomorrow. ;) Instead of my usual 2 nights a week home, thanks to the snow, all my activities have been cancelled, and I've had lots of knitting time! I'm trying to be good and power through Menagerie, and mostly it's working. I'm over halfway done- I'm almost done with the hippo, and I wove in all the ends of the elephant. So far, between the turtle and the elephant, there have been 52 + 72 = 124 ends!!! There will easily be as many ends on the giraffe. ICK!!! But at least I like the way it looks. I hope my cousin will too! :)

In a few weeks, I'll buy the yarn for either Gustava (from Stranded) or Faroe (from AS's fisherman sweaters). I really like both designs, and I can't decide which to do next. I'm leaning towards Gustava since it is a cardigan, and will be more practical as the weather warms up...there are so many projects that I want to knit!!

Due to the weather, I have been driving in to work this week- so not much progress on Ocean. I have been getting a little done working out, and hope to get more done today. Next week I should be back on the bus, knitting away! I'm trying to decide if I should do the right front of the cardigan next, or the sleeves... I guess the other side of the cardigan, since it will be so similar to the other side and the back. I do need to figure out where to put the button holes, though. And this weekend I need to see if I can find some suitable buttons. Hopefully I'll be able to find something nice! ;)

The Latin phrase for today:
gratia gratiam parit
"kindness produces kindness"


Wednesday, February 19, 2003  

Back at Work... Grumble!

Well, the great "dig out" has begun. I drove to work today since the busses are "running with delays and detours," and also because there is a 5 foot snow drift where the stop would be. As much fun as it would be to wait for the bus in the middle of the street, somehow I think a frazzled commuter would run me over.

It was lovely to have the day off yesterday, though- a very nice treat. Of course, I got no knitting done at all... I baked cookies, went for a walk, and then succumbed to my icky cold thing and curled up in bed. Oh well- tonight I'll dye some more yarn for Ocean, and hopefully get some more work done on Menagerie.

I will definitely be glad to get back into the gym later on today- sitting around for 4 days in a house with cookies and tea doesn't make for many opportunities for exercise- unless you count getting up to get another cookie! LOL!

The Latin phrase for today:
crede quod habes, et habes
"believe that you have it, and you have it"


Monday, February 17, 2003  


Well, the storm came in.... all 24 inches or so of it. Even after shoveling the walk, the snow is above the door- ahhhhh, snowed in with knitting! I'm making great progress on Menagerie, and hopefully will get even more done today. I'm also hoping I get to stay home from work tomorrow- the way I see it.... if they're going to declare a state of emergency, at least I shouldn't have to go to work. And considering that most of the neighborhood streets won't be plowed until Wednesday, it'll be very difficult for people to go in. So I'm crossing my fingers!

Today I'm going to knit Menagerie, dye some yarn, and drink tea. Oh, and eat chocolate chip cookies- I made sure I had the essentials before the storm hit, and baked a batch on Friday night! ;)

Oh, and Cricket is NOT impressed with the snow. Cold, wet... thank you anyway, she'll stay snuggled on the couch.

The Latin phrase for today:
ibidem (ibid.)
"in the same place"


Friday, February 14, 2003  

Ready for Socks

Funny how no matter how quickly a project is knitting up, I always manage to find the next project I'm dying to start... right now, it's the Opal tiger stripe socks. As soon as Ocean is off the needles, here they come! Last night I stopped by Ross and bought a cute little cosmetics bag to use to hold the sock project as I tote it around. I think I'll add some cardboard reinforcing to the sides, just to make sure those toothpick-thin DPNs don't snap in my backpack, but overall, the bag is really great- and only $7! I was going to take a pic this morning, but, well, Cricket didn't want to get up, and since I was her mattress, she didn't want me to get up. By the time I negotiated the release of the hostage (me), I was definitely running late.

I am really looking forward to the nice, long weekend. Thanks to an extra long CSI last night, I made good progress on Menagerie- but it is still going so slowly, especially compared with Ocean! Oh well... hopefully I can squeeze in a good amount of knitting on it this weekend. Now that is a project I am definitely ready to be finished! At least it is turning out well- it'll actually be quite large- big enough for a lap throw, I think. Hopefully the little guy/girl will get some good use out of it- I think it'll really brighten up a kid's room.

The weather is supposed to be lousy this weekend- I guess that's just one more excuse to curl up with a kitty, a fire, and some good knitting!

Hope everyone has a good "Love Day," and a great weekend-

The Latin phrase for today:
e pluribus unum
"out of many, one"


Thursday, February 13, 2003  


Just in case there was any doubt...

What Was Your PastLife?



Project Recap

I discovered from my comments that, occasionally, someone happens across my blog without quite knowing what the $&#& I'm talking about, what with my "Menagerie" this and "Ocean" that. :) In case anyone is wondering, I usually keep a pretty current anthology of pics of my WIPs here: Current Projects . The photos are all "reprints" from blog entries, but if you would rather have them all on one page rather than scrolling through the archives, there you go! :)

Menagerie (the baby blanket I'm knitting for my cousin), is chugging along. I'm almost to the solid part of the hippo, and I'm into the body of the giraffe, so things are a little easier. I still can't face all the ends of the giraffe. Maybe if I ask really nicely, they'll weave themselves in. Last night, I forced myself to do some work on the elephant ends... I think I did about 5, and probably have another 10 or so to go. ICK.

Thanks to commuting and working out, I'm making great progress on Ocean (the hand-dyed cardigan). I finished the back yesterday, and am a good 6" into the left front. I hope to finish by the end of February. And another great side-effect... I haven't been this motivated to work out at the gym in a long time! I hardly ever miss a day... after all, that's another hour of knitting time!

Last night I made a roaring fire, and snuggled up in front of it knitting for as long as I could- eventually the heat radiating from the coals got too intense for comfort, so I moved to the couch. Cricket, however, seems to like things toasty- she walked past the fire, felt the wall of heat, and visably "lost the will to move." It was like watching Superman meet kryptonite. She sunk to a crouch, and then, obviously unable to resist, flopped over on her side. I tried to pet her, but her fur was so hot it really wasn't very pleasant... she seemed happy. After about 30 mins, she got up, stretched, and curled up next to me on the couch. I really want to be a cat....

The Latin phrase for today:
sic passim
"here and there (thus throughout)"


Wednesday, February 12, 2003  

Woo Hoo!

Finished the back of Ocean! :) I love all day training sessions, especially when here is a LOT of downtime. Isn't knitting great? It takes time-wasters and turns them into opportunities! :)



Well Trained Owner

Last night, Cricket, my kitty, taught me a new trick. Notice I don't say, or even imply, that I taught her... we all know who serves whom when a cat is involved! Last night, she finally got me to understand what I needed to do to play her game. Quite simply, when she brings me her ball of yarn, carried in her mouth like a triumphantly captured trophy, and drops said yarn by my feet, I am to pick up the yarn, wind it back into a tidy little ball, and throw it across the room for her enjoyment. Luckily, she had a witness for this whole thing, or else no one would believe that she had actually trained her human so well! ;)

I am a few rows away from finishing the back of Ocean. I wanted to start on the sleeves and test whether I like the cuffs knit in black chenille, but I need another skein of chenille so I can double up. Not to be incredibly cheap, but I'm waiting for the store's weekly ad (and 40% coupon) to come out before I pick up another skein... hey, it might only be a few $$, but every little bit will help over the next 18 months- I figure I'm looking at a law school debt well in excess of 135k. OUCH!!! I'm still debating trying to get a weekend job... but then again, I already do so much as it is... perhaps I would be better off enjoying my free time. But the belt is definitely tightening around my wallet... after all, not only do I have to put away as much money as possible, but I also have to have the funds available to support my yarn habits! LOL!

The Latin phrase for today:
vis viva
"kinetic energy (living force)"


Tuesday, February 11, 2003  

Ocean Progress

Yesterday during the "tour downtime," I made it to the armhole decreases on Ocean's back. I think I have about 3.5" left to knit on the back- hopefully I'll be able to get that done during my workout later today. I think this weekend I will go shopping (just what I need!) for a bag/box for my soon-to-be-started sock.... I realized that there is no way the toothpick dpns will survive being stuffed in various bags unless they are at least somewhat protected. I'm hoping I can find a makeup bag or something similar that will hold both the needles and the yarn. It needs to be a little stiff to prevent widespread needle snapping... I think I'll head to Ross and see what they have.

I continue to get at least 1 row of Menagerie done daily- I must say, using wooden spring clothespins for bobbins works really well. Not only does it definitely cut down on the tangles, but the clothespins were very inexpensive, and do a great job of "grabbing" the yarn so as not to unravel.

Tonight I need to pick up more (!!) kool-aid- I thought I had plenty, but the yarn for Ocean is very thirsty. I am very pleased with my dyeing abilities so far, though- there hasn't been a noticible difference between skeins so far. I wonder how much kool-aid I'll end up using? Luckily the grocery store that carries it is right across the street from aerobics, so I have 3 chances a week to pick some up if I need more! I dyed quite a lot of yarn this weekend- really the max I could do at one time since my drying rack is only so big. I'll probably do another batch tomorrow (if I remember to pick up more kool-aid).

The Latin phrase for today:
candor dat viribus alas
"sincerity gives wings to strength"


Monday, February 10, 2003  


Thanks to Cricket's constant vigilance, I'm sure that I didn't leave any stray yarn balls under the couch. I don't think I ever have lost a ball under the couch, but I guess she figures that I could, at some point, and she should check, just to make sure. :)

I took the day off so that I can go tour American University's law school today- I'm hoping that I can also get some more progress done on Ocean! My progress so far:

I got a few rows done yesterday while I was judging the 7th grade science fair for my friend.... it was actually a lot more fun than I was expecting! Some of the projects were really interesting! :)

I also managed to get a little work done on Menagerie this weekend- I'm finally done with the giraffe legs! :) I haven't finished all the ends from the elephant yet, but I really needed to make some knitting progress so I wouldn't feel like I would never finish the thing! My goal is at least 1 row per day. And I will get it done.... :)

Here is the back- notice all the ends for the giraffe? I'm pretending I don't see them.

Well, off into the snow sprinkles to see if AU is in my future...

The Latin phrase for today:
aurea medicritas
"moderation in all things (the golden mean) (Horace)"


Wednesday, February 05, 2003  

New Toy

Yesterday, my new ball winder arrived in the mail- very exciting! Of course, I had to try it out right then- it is so nice... the only problem being that Cricket really wants to be "helpful" by trying to control the tension of the yarn.... at least that's what I assume she's doing when she pounces on it and tries to chew on it! She, of course, denies all knowledge of such incidents, and asks that I please stop disturbing her bath.

I knit all of my dyed scraps into a swatch for Ocean- I tried to convince Cricket that it was really a very chic kitty-scarf, but she would have none of that. When I showed my friends the result of my "fun with kool-aid," they were very disturbed, and wondered why people drink that stuff! MMMMMMMMMM artificial colors!

Ocean continues... wow, knitting on the bus makes the commute amazingly pleasant. :) It's no longer time wasted in traffic, it's knitting time gained! And since my work will pay for my commute, I really have no excuse.

The Latin phrase for today:
de nihilo nihil
"from nothing nothing can come (Persius)"


Tuesday, February 04, 2003  

Knitting Budget

This year, I've given myself a "knitting budget." I can only spend $60/month on knitting- books, yarn, tools, whatever.... It was originally $50/month, but I realized that wasn't going to work. For January and February, my total (so far) is $134.36... which means I'm almost $15 over. Hopefully I will make it up though...

This whole budget idea has definitely made me think carefully about what I'm going to knit next, where I'll get the yarn, etc.... Of course, so far, I already have about $200 worth of "future purchases" lined up, just waiting until the next month...

Looking ahead, my next "home project" will be Gustava. But not until I finish the Menagerie. UGH! I'm glad I have Ocean to distract me, because the Menagerie is really annoying right now- probably because I keep putting it off! ;) I did read a great hint that will hopefully make Menagerie easier.... use wooden clothes pins as bobbins... the clip keeps them from unraveling, but it's really easy to get more yarn when you need them. Tonight I'll see if I can find some at the drugstore. Presumably people still hang clothes up, right? I know I don't, but I would if I had space for a clothes line.




Last night, during choir practice, I started the hand-dyed cardigan. I am really pleased with the color-way... I'll have to post a pic! It reminds me very much of the ocean on a crystal clear day- all mottled blues and greens. So, being the creative genius that I am, I've decided to name this project "Ocean." I made about 2" worth of progress on the back last night, and another 1/2" on the bus this morning... this will work up quickly! :) I'm already thinking about adding yet another project to my list... a chunky turtleneck sweater in the same yarn, but dyed in the reds.

I found out my sock yarn was shipped yesterday.... it'll be my first sock attempt- a pair of Opal Tiger socks for my friend Jen. If successful, all my friends will get socks for their birthdays... since I can't wear the really cool socks myself (stupid wool!), I figure I'll pass them along to people who will enjoy them. I figure it'll add up to about 5-6 pairs per year- maybe more depending on how much I like them, and whether I can knit them on the bus! :)

I'm thinking about making another needle holder for my straight needles- it'll take a lot more fabric vertically, but I don't think it'll be as wide... I'll have to make some measurements and sketch out a pattern. But the DPN Holder came out so well that it seems a shame to have my straights stuck in the cabinet in a big pile... :) Of course, with my straights, the needles are only labeled with millimeters, so I'll have to attach a tag that matches up mm with American sizes. It would be SO much simpler if everyone just used the actual measurement of the needle (mm) rather than the sizes!!!

The Latin phrase for today:
brevis esse haboro, obscurus fio
"in trying to be concise, I become obscure (Horace)"


Monday, February 03, 2003  

Some Knitting Progress...

I dyed 2 skeins of the yarn this weekend in the varigated blue/greens- I did less green than in the swatch, so hopefully the yarn will knit up with more blue. I think it'll look great!

I also spent a few hours on Sunday making a DPN holder a la Tracy. I used fabric left over from a beautiful dress I made in high school for our Madrigal singing group (we all dressed in Renaissance wear!):

I'm really pleased with how it turned out... and what a great way to use some leftover, but VERY expensive fabric!! :)

The Latin phrase for today:
in silvam ligna ferra
"to carry wood into the forest"


patterns for sale:

ireland cardigan

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Alpine Lace
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