Monday, June 30, 2003  

Why is the Weekend Always Too Short?

At least it was a good weekend! On Friday, we celebrated mom's birthday, and she loved the vest. Of course, being the genius that I am, no pic... but she did agree with me that she liked the "unfinished" front edge- no buttons etc... She said she likes wearing things like that open in the front- "more slimming". So between that success and the yummy Italian dinner and yogurt mousse cake, definitely a good time had by all!

On Saturday, after aerobics, it was pool time. FINALLY the weather cooperated with my schedule, and I spent a good long afternoon basking in the sun/water... a little red on my face, but not much, especially considering how pale I am! Sushi for dinner and margheritas later that night finished off a great day... and I even made a little more progress on Dalmore that evening.

Sunday was mostly a knitting day. After a good apartment cleaning, I packed up Dalmore and walked over to the neighborhood Barnes & Noble, complete with the ubiquitous *bucks. As a non-coffee drinker, I don't usually get anything at the *bucks, but since I was planning on parking my bum at one of their tables for a couple of hours, I tried their chai... MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!! So now I know what to order when I go there... :) Chai in hand, I found a table, whipped out Dalmore, and went at it. I noticed some looks my way as I sat there, but no takers... until a very nice, somewhat older lady came up and asked me some questions. She crochets, but hasn't ever knit, so I explained briefly what fair isle was all about, and suggested she go to one of the craft stores for some relatively inexpensive (but pretty!) yarn and some needles, and give it a try! I also suggested some resources on the internet, and told her about the local knitting meetings I know about in the area... she seemed interested... who knows, perhaps she'll be casting on soon! All in all, though, a very pleasant K-I-P afternoon. I think I may have to make that a Sunday tradition!

I'm just a few rows past the v-neck steek on Dalmore. I lengthened the armholes by about 9 pattern rows before I started the neck steek, and not only will that hopefully make the vest fit my dad better, but it also had the added advantage of allowing me to finish the armhole decreases before starting the neck steek and decreases... one less thing to keep straight each round! This morning I finished charting out the v-neck decreases for the front... I think I have about 5 more pattern repeats to go until the end, although the last couple of repeats should go pretty quickly as the rounds get smaller and smaller!

Here's a close up of the neck steek:

I think I'll have this finished before August. And then comes the torture of waiting all the way until Christmas for it! I'll go crazy... at least that'll give me plenty of time to block it really well. I'm thinking about buying one of those steamers to help out- I guess I can try with my iron first, and see if I need some more steam power. I guess my next project will be the cotton aran- I have to finish the rest of my swatches, do some laundry with them to test shrinking, and then pick the cables I want to use... and, of course, keep my next fair isle project in the back of my head. I think I'll have to design something from my book of Celtic designs. Oh, and with the leftover shetland from my dad's vest, I think I'll make some gloves and mittens... between those and the ever-present sock projects, that should keep me pretty well set for the next few months! :)

The photographs of Dalmore were taken with help from my lovely assistant:


Friday, June 27, 2003  

Friday Happy Dance!

Aerobics last night kicked my booty. I missed Tuesday due to the cold that would not die, and the previous classes had been easier since we were still learning the routines. Last night was the first full class of the session... and my body is well aware of it this morning! Even so, there's something oh-so-satisfying about "good sore" muscles.


Hopefully this weekend I'll get the armhole decreases done, and get ready for the front v-neck steek. Although I'll probably need to take a break at that point and chart out those decreases too... just so I don't get too confused! So far so good, though... I'm still nervous about picking up the sts after I cut the steeks, but if I have to rip it out, that's fine. I have plenty of time before December to get this right- at this rate, I'll finish well before the end of the summer!

Thanks to Cricket-the-Curious and her yarn skein destroying ways, I'm winding the rest of the shetland I bought for the vest into nice, stackable little "balls." Um, yeah... so I bought way too much yarn for this vest. On all the colors except one, I'm still on the first ball... I have 2 extra in the drawer. I'll probably get into another ball for each color, but I very much doubt I'll touch the third. And as for the black, I think I'm on my third ball, and I have 6? or something crazy like that in the drawer. Well, that's what you get when you switch yarns... and overestimate the amounts on top of the overestimation built into the pattern already. I think the extras will be destined for some gloves or mittens for some wool-enabled friends- I've been dying to try out some of the designs in this book, and since I'll have the right yarn for it...

I've also been working on the june socks from the sock club. I LOVE this colorway, and this is my first real experience with a lacy pattern. So far, so good... I think these will be for me, especially since I've decided to give my mom the red fire socks (the march socks). They are just too small for me... she has smaller feet, so hopefully they'll fit her better. But since I did wear them, and haven't washed them yet, she'll get them as a Christmas gift... I doubt very much she'll be inclined to wear wool socks much before then- especially as today's humidity is at 97%. That's right, 97%. They say this weekend will be much nicer, so I'm hoping I get to hang out at the pool for a few hours!

ANYWAY, here's the first Bluebell sock- I'm just now turning the heel:

and here's a picture on my foot (so you can kinda see the lace pattern):

Ever tried to take a picture of a hyper kitty? ;)


Thursday, June 26, 2003  


I didn't take any pics, because frankly the first row of a steek really isn't all that exciting. But Dalmore has the beginnings of some armholes! This morning I fired up Excel and charted out the rest of the armhole decreases... in the pattern, you end up doing the end of the armhole decreases concurrently with the beginning of the front neck decreases, but since I'm stretching this guy vertically a bit, I'm finishing the armholes, THEN starting the vneck. It should add about 9 rounds, and hopefully make up the length difference between my dad's armholes and Dalmore's original measurements. :) I was going to chart out the vneck decreases too, but then I realized that I couldn't quite visualize where the steek would be on the pattern, so I'll wait until I get to that point, and then do some careful thinking and visualizing (oh, and measuring!) so I don't go all screwy.

Tomorrow I get to deliver my mom's vest to her... I really hope she likes it! Not that it was a tremendous investment or anything- a relatively simple pattern in a yarn from stash, but I did put some serious thought into trying to design something she would like. Fingers crossed!

My cold is just about gone... not quite, but close. It did cause me to miss the blood drive at work AGAIN... but as much as I would like to "do my duty" and give blood, I know that a cold like this could be very bad for someone getting my blood, so better not risk that a virus or bacteria could sneak through. Sigh, there's always next time!

Summer has officially started... good old heat advisory for today, and code red (aka "nasty air") air quality warnings. Between the temps and the humidity, it'll feel well over 100 today... wasn't I just wearing jeans and a SWEATER this weekend? It looks like it should cool down slightly this weekend, though- but right now, they're still calling for some sun... I think it's about time I tried out the pool! I would have gone this week, but I haven't exactly felt up to it. Hmmmm, I'll have to make sure I bring my "lunch-sock" knitting home with me for poolside... somehow I don't think I should lug Dalmore out.

Oh, and don't worry, Cricket knows how to cool off on a hot summer day- nothing like a tall glass of iced tea:

"What? Of COURSE I didn't touch your iced tea!!"


Wednesday, June 25, 2003  


There's nothing like 90+ degree weather and humidity to make me want to knit with wool... all I have to say is thank goodness for A/C!!! Otherwise, Dalmore would be on a short break until... october? november? Instead, thanks to the miracle of chilled air, I'm almost to the armhole steeks:

Last night I went through the remainder of the pattern trying to get the various decreases in the right places. It's a little complicated because my dad is quite a bit taller than whomever Dalmore was designed for, so I'm having to add in a pattern repeat before the armhole steeks, and half a pattern repeat before the v-neck steek... but that makes it complicated when the instructions say something like "on the round 12 of the 9th pattern repeat from the beginning" when I've added pattern repeats... I think I've gotten it figured out, but needless to say, I'll have my schematic (with dad's measurements) and my tape measure handy before I start any steeking/shaping. It makes it slightly more complicated to measure too because the vest tends to bunch up quite a bit coming off of the needles... down towards the bottom, I can just smooth it to the right width, but by the needles, it takes a good stretch. Eventually, of course, the needles will be gone, and a good blocking will get it the right shape...

More proof that Cricket has an extremely tough life...

amo ut invenio
"I love as I find"


Tuesday, June 24, 2003  

Cough Cough!

Well, the sore throat that had been toying with me for the past week decided it was time to take over. Sunday night and all day yesterday were pretty miserable... I came into work 2 hours late yesterday, and ended up falling asleep at my desk later in the afternoon- thank goodness my door was closed! But, thanks to a LOT of tea, some birthday cake (chocolate = universal cure), and lots of kitty-snuggles, I'm feeling a whole lot better today. Still not GOOD, but better.

I had some update pics, but seem to have left the pics at home. Oh well! Dalmore looks about the same, but I'm now into the 6th pattern repeat- I should be starting the armhole steeks after this repeat. I also finally finished seaming my mom's vest- I'll give it to her this weekend. :)

Oh, and in between snuggles, Cricket has been trying to eat her new fern... a beautiful hanging angel hair (I think!) fern that my dad brought over and hung up this weekend. She's figured out that she can nibble on it if she stands on top of the tv and stretches out just as far as she can. MMMMMMMMMMMMMM... salad bar! She had even more excitement this weekend- I took her, on her little leash, downstairs to the grassy areas in the courtyard. On our way back in, we saw a bunny. Well, I should say I saw a bunny... Cricket was a little busy... it seems she had seen one of the first floor kitties who goes outside. So instead of running towards the bunny (which I was expecting), she hissed, screamed, and ran towards the other kitty. She's such a bully... I'm not sure what would have happened if I hadn't had a good grip on the leash, but I think Cricket was ready to rumble. More evidence for why I can't get another kitty!

I also got to see my California friends one last time- I went and picked them up on Saturday, and they stayed over at my place Saturday night. At 530 am on Sunday, we left for the airport... perhaps another reason the sore throat finally beat my immune system!

sola virtus invicta
"virtue alone is invincible"


Friday, June 20, 2003  


One problem with having a sore throat (leftover from all the singing of the last few weeks) AND getting together with good friends you never get to see is that you talk a lot, and then you lose your voice. Or at least sound somewhat like a lifelong pack-a-day smoker. Lovely. But hopefully I'll talk very little today, and my voice will forgive me. Because I'll be seeing my friends from California one more time before they leave...

Due to all the catching up, I pretty much ignored all knitting projects. I did give my friend her (early) birthday socks, and she liked them! :) I also got my june sock of the month kit in the mail... love the yarn and the color, but there doesn't seem to be enough... only 2 oz instead of the 3.5 ounces called for by the pattern. On the email list for the club several other people mentioned having the same problem... I guess someone had an off day measuring out the skeins! I'll be interested to see how they handle this... I would be fine with the remaining 1.5 oz being included with next month's kit... she could save a little on postage and packaging that way. Plus, there are PLENTY of other things I can be working on in the meantime!

Speaking of other things I can work on, I'm thinking that I need to make myself a basic white shell. I have a beautiful, shiny, white yarn that looks very similar to the yarn I used for my mom's vest (oh yeah, still need to finish that!), but with more shine to the yarn. I think it wants to be a basic, white shell. I wear tank tops constantly, but it would be nice to have a somewhat dressier option! I can work on that project during lunch and at the gym, but I need to play around with what gauge the yarn wants to be knit at... I don't want it too tight, but I would rather not give everyone a peek while I'm wearing it either, so I'll have to see. Once I get it started, though, it can be my "mindless" project... unlike Dalmore!

I'm wearing my march fire socks-
I love the way they fit, but I must say that when I was walking to work this morning, the cuffs itched. I'm trying to ignore it... hoping that my legs will forget the socks are wool... they don't itch my feet at all, just the sections on my ankles where my pants brushed as I walked. Since I've just been sitting here, though, there hasn't been any problems... so hopefully I'll be able to keep wearing these! Especially since the June kit is in the same yarn (different colorway).

My friends brought a plethora of kitty toys yesterday... Cricket was thrilled. She usually doesn't like toys that actually cost $$- she prefers to recycle... yarn, paper, paper bags, feet... :) but my friends (who have their own kitty) had GREAT taste, and she went nuts! I only opened 1 of the packages before we went to dinner, and had left the others on my bed... when we got back, the other packages were mauled (but not opened) and were scattered around the apartment. When I get home this afternoon, I'm going to see about gathering up some of the toys strewn everywhere and putting them in a basket or something... I'd rather not have to dodge through the "minefield" in the middle of the night on my way to the bathroom! :) Between all the playing, though, and the adventure outside (I took advantage of the brief lack of rain to take her out on her leash!) Cricket had quite an exciting day, and was a VERY tired kitty last night. Luckily, unlike some people, she gets to sleep all day to recover!

esse quam videri
"to be rather than to seem (motto of North Carolina)"


Thursday, June 19, 2003  

More Rain

Enough already.

I'm slightly more than halfway through the fourth pattern repeat, and am still loving it! :) Last night I was all prepared to watch some truly trashy tv... American Juniors followed by Paradise Hotel. Alas, both shows were so terrible that even I, despite my willingness to subject myself to mind-numbing TV, had to turn them off. I consoled myself with some Law and Order later on, and did manage some knitting progress throughout. And even though I'm not a big reality TV person, even I was shocked with how terrible Paradise Hotel was. The host was annoying, the people were annoying, the editing was terrible... and the premise of the show seems pretty lame. Ah, the perils of summer network television!

I finished the zebra socks during lunch yesterday... well, I still have a few ends to weave in, but otherwise all done! The bind off on the first sock is a teeny bit tight, but not so much that I'm motivated to take it out and re-do it... but it did teach me to bind off VERY loosly, and the second sock is better. I think on the next pair I might try a larger size needle instead... we'll see.

Tonight I get to see my best friend from college- she is out here from California, and we'll be able to spend a little time together today. Cricket thought she should get ready for the occassion:


Wednesday, June 18, 2003  

I Must Have Moved to Seattle in My Sleep!!

Our high temperature yesterday, 65 degrees, is the average high for mid-April. Between the cool temps, the constant clouds, and the intermittent rain, I feel quite sure that I have been transported to the Pacific Northwest. It would be nice to go swimming once this summer!!!

Aerobics started up again last night, so not too much progress on Dalmore. I'm almost halfway through the fourth pattern repeat... I got a little knitting in before I left, and a little more during Keen Eddie- I thought last night's episode was the best so far. I wouldn't say that this is my favorite show or anything, but I definitely enjoy watching it after aerobics! :)

Tonight I have to assemble the bookcase I just bought.... it is the same as the bookcase I already have, but, well, I have a lot of books. So $60 later, I have another bookcase. I ordered it from Staples, and I must say that it was a great experience- not only is $60 for a solid wood bookcase very reasonable, but that included free to-my-door delivery. The bookcase isn't so heavy that it would have been impossible for me to lug it around, but I very well might have needed another person. Plus, it was delivered 1 day after I ordered it! But I didn't have the energy to assemble it last night, so the box is still leaning against the wall. It won't take long to do... and then I can finally start getting my books organized! I think I still have a few boxes of books at my parents' house. As I said, lots of books... being a history major really does that to you! :)

Cricket didn't seem interested in bookcase assembly:


Tuesday, June 17, 2003  

More Rain?!?!?

Although I'm certainly not complaining about the temps, I am complaining about the rain. ENOUGH already!!! At least yesterday was amazing... 74, mostly cloudy, not at all humid... I spent a couple of hours hiking around Great Falls National Park. We saw lots of deer, and some pretty crazy looking mushrooms and fungi. It was such an odd experience, though... hiking, in mid-june, in DC, and being cool and comfortable! Low humidity makes SUCH a difference. Supposedly this weekend is supposed to be nice... I'll believe it when I see it. But if it IS nice, I think a trip to the pool will be in order!

After the hike, I got some work in on Dalmore... as you can see, I had help not only with the knitting, but with the photography as well!

I am now into my fourth pattern repeat... I think I'll need around 6 to get the right length before the armhole steeks. But I'll start measuring after five...

prima lux
"the break of day (first light)"


Monday, June 16, 2003  


The concert was a great success, and all those rehearsals did end up being worth it. :) But it will be very nice to have a little vacation until the fall... I can hardly believe that I don't have anything to do tonight!!! I'm planning on taking Cricket out on her leash... unless it rains AGAIN. ;) AND provided I can wake her up:

My birthday was on Saturday, so after rehearsal I met my family for Mexican food and something frozen, lime-y, and made with tequilla. :) Needless to say, afterwards I didn't get much knitting done!

I did get a few hours on Sunday before the concert... a few more rounds done on Dalmore. I'm guessing I'll need 5-6 pattern repeats before I start the armhole steeks... I guess at some point I need to get my grandma's sewing machine from my parent's house. First, I guess I should make sure it works!

I'm getting a lot better at using both hands for the 2 color knitting... my tension still isn't great with my left hand, but as long as I keep the "less-used" yarn in the left hand for each round, it seems to be ok. I'll have to give the vest a good blocking anyway- it tends to be a little scrunched together coming off the circs. I did make sure that I wasn't floating the yarn too tightly- I can stretch out the patterned sections quite a bit, either longer or wider, and the floats don't pull, so I should be able to block it to the right size. It'll be so hard to wait until Christmas to give this to my dad!

patris est filius
"like father, like son (his father's son)"


Friday, June 13, 2003  


Now, if the daily thunderstorms would just stop... last night, the storms mostly passed me by... I didn't get the worst of the weather. It still rained a good amount, and the thunder was loud enough to make Cricket a little nervous!

Progress continues on Dalmore... I've been trying to master 2 handed knitting- one color in my right hand, one color continental in my left. I'm doing pretty well- but my continental tension isn't great. I've figured out that I need use my left hand for the color with the fewest stitches in that round. For most rounds, that's black, so I was doing fine. But for 2 or so rounds, the black dominates, and my tension went too. So now I know to switch colors and hands on those few rows. It is much faster to not have to switch yarns in one hand... although in general I think I prefer throwing to continental, especially when there are any purls! So I think this will be a technique reserved for 2-color knitting.

Is anyone else getting pretty sick of the "soapboxing" on some of the lists, especially socknitters? UGH. Not that I needed another reason, but I will definitely be leaving ALL of my knitting lists once I start school. Right now, I have plenty of free time (and a fast connection) at the office, so reading the list emails is at least a way to pass some slow time. I hardly ever check the lists at home, though, and find that over weekends or holidays, I don't miss the lists at all. I much prefer reading my favorite blogs... and yes, I do usually check in on the weekends! :) The 2 things that annoy me most about the lists are (1) the "let's all get together and criticize something/someone so we'll feel better"... and the corresponding "don't bash that/me/them let me bash you for doing that" posts, and (2) the "i just finished something and want to tell everyone all about it" posts. LIKE I CARE that you finished a pair of socks! WOOO HOOO! Get a webpage/blog if you want to chronicle your finished projects... oh wait, never mind... I don't really want to read dozens of emails about how you need help with the HTML or can't figure out how to add pictures or whatever.

Ok, I'm done now. :) I hope everyone has a great weekend- and if you're in the DC area and want to come listen to a free performance of Bach's St. John's Passion complete with orchestra, come by the First Baptist Church in Dupont Circle (16th and O streets) at 6 pm on Sunday.

Cricket would come, but she has other plans.

et nunc et semper
"now and always"


Thursday, June 12, 2003  


I am SO excited to have an entire night at home tonight... no choir, no aerobics, nothing (except a date with some laundry!) Last night's rehearsal was good... but i t was SO hot between the lack of A/C and the bright lights, that it was a little hard to deal with. And we have another rehearsal tomorrow, and another on Saturday, and the concert on Sunday. But tonight... nothing planned except a little CSI, a lot of knitting, and some relaxation!

I don't even think I completed a round on Dalmore yesterday.... but I have been making progress on the Zebra socks- I would have gotten a lot more done yesterday during the solos, but it was WAY too hot.

I do like the way these look and feel, although the yarn is a little hard to work with- VERY prone to splitting into the black and white sections. The ragg effect is neat, though, and since these are for me, I can be a little extra excited. :) Of course, by the time I finish them, it'll be way too hot to wear socks, but I'm sure I'll think of something!

As I was getting ready this morning, Cricket was busy "hunting" the birds and squirrels outside the window...


Wednesday, June 11, 2003  

97% Humidity

Is summer finally coming to the DC area? When I woke up this morning, the weather guy was cheerfully announcing that the humidity was at 97%, and was RISING. Perhaps the "warm, sticky blanket" of humidity is finally moving in. I can't say I'm particularly excited about it... last night, I fired up my AC... more for the humidity than for the heat. I did sleep better...

Progress on Donegal continues... in this picture, you can see one of the hedgehog earrings I've modified to use as a stitch marker... I just took the wire and wrapped it around a needle, then snipped off the end. I think the hedgehogs are perfect for this project! :) I am REALLY pleased with how the blues and greens make stripes... I like that they blend into each other, but also do the horizontal striping thing. :) I LOVE knitting this... I'm definitely sold on doing fair isles, and I really love the yarn. Plus, considering that I ordered it from ENGLAND, the service was amazing... I got the yarn in a few weeks after ordering it. Of course, with the dollar being so weak right now, it's probably not the best time to buy more... but hopefully by the time I plan my next few fair isle projects, the exchange rate will be a little better. :) I'm thinking that both my mom and I will eventually "need" fair isle creations... ;)

On another good note, I was able to sell my LSAT prep book! I bought it from amazon for about $20, and since the test is over, I decided to sell it. I used the amazon marketplace or whatever they call it- very easy to do! It sold... in 1 day! I get about $18 from amazon, but I have to pay shipping, so it'll probably end up being more like $15. But still... talk about a good experience! I would DEFINITELY do it again if the occasion arose. I'm glad too that I decided to keep the book in good condition- I didn't write on any of the tests, so I was able to sell it. :)


Tuesday, June 10, 2003  


Well, the LSAT is over, and in another 3-4 weeks, I should know my score. It wasn't too bad... but definitely not a fun experience. It was especially painful to be stuck for about 6 hours in a room on the nicest day we've had in months. Ugh. I did talk with my friend in California who also took the LSAT yesterda... we were both pretty drained from it, so I'll call her again tonight so we can really talk. Last night, after the test, I went to my parents' for a little TLC... homemade spaghetti, some chianti, and a trip to baskin robbins. Oh, and a neck/shoulder rub courtesy of my dad. :)

One good thing about the test yesterday- I woke up early (of course!) and, since I was taking the day off anyway, got in some knitting to help keep me calm before I left. And, (of course) I got to the testing center an hour early, so I got some more knitting done! I met another knitter who was taking the test also, but she ran into one of her friends from high school, so I didn't get a chance to talk with her too much. She was very impressed with Dalmore, though... she said all she knits are hats and scarves on size 15 and above needles. I told her it really wasn't as hard as it looked to knit a sweater, and she should go for it, but she didn't really seem that serious.

Speaking of Dalmore, I got through one pattern repeat:

And I'm sure some people will think I'm committing sacrilege by gasp! CHANGING THE COLORS of an AS design, but, frankly, I thought the original colors were pretty ugly. Also, since pretty much NONE of the yarns in Celtic Collection exist anymore, I was going to have to change them anyway! I'm MUCH happier with these gentle greens and blues, and I know my dad will love the colors. I can't really see him in the original colors. And, now that I know my gauge in this yarn over a fair isle pattern, I'll have to make something for myself... there are a few other AS patterns from Celtic Collection that I like, although in general I'm not a huge fan of the garment design. So maybe I'll play around... I think maybe a cardigan is in order, considering I won't be able to wear this yarn against my skin (ah, the joys of a wool allergy), and I think I'll bake if I have to wear a stranded shetland wool sweater OVER a turtleneck or whatever. So I'll let the idea of a cardigan rattle around my head for awhile, and see what I come up with.

"I have spoken"


Sunday, June 08, 2003  

New Project Happiness

Well, let's review the list.
  1. finish mom's vest
  2. measure for dad's vest
  3. cast on for dad's vest
  4. work on next swatch for aran

    I love this vest so far. I'm not through a pattern repeat yet, but I love the colors. I've even been pretty good about weaving in the ends as I've gone along. Of course, if you look at my list, I haven't done anything else. Oh well!

    Here's a pic of the inside:

    Since you probably can't tell from the picture so far, but it is the Dalmore vest from AS's Celtic Collection. Of course, I've completely changed the color scheme, and used different yarn, and.... but well, it's still the basic pattern. But I must say that I am VERY glad I stole one of my dad's vests to measure... the width is fine (he's pretty skinny), but the length was about 5" short. I knew my dad was tall (about 6 feet), but I had no idea how that translated to vest sizing. So now I know to start the armhole steeks (ahhh!) when the length is about 15.5", not when the pattern says to. And the armholes need to be a little longer. But it should all work out!

    Cricket spent the day working hard:

    what I'll feel like tomorrow during the LSAT:
    de pilo pendet
    "a precarious situation (it hangs by a hair)"


    Friday, June 06, 2003  


    Of course, it's going to rain all weekend. Ah well- I have plenty of knitting projects to keep me busy. The list for this weekend:
    1. finish mom's vest
    2. measure for dad's vest
    3. cast on for dad's vest
    4. work on next swatch for aran

    Speaking of swatches, I finished another one last night... I think this pattern is from Barbara Walker #2. I really like the way you can work it in mirror images, and I have a feeling this one will find its way onto the sweater. But I still have quite a few swatches to go before I can start playing with combinations. And I still have to decide whether or not I want to make this into a cardigan! Anyone have experience adding a zipper to worsted weight cotton? I'm afraid the sweater will stretch, but the zipper won't. Maybe I'll do snaps? I don't really like buttons all that much in cotton. Hmmmm.................. Well, good thing I have a few months to figure it out (maybe longer depending on how long my dad's vest takes!)

    Of course I started another pair of socks yesterday... from the sock of the month club. I really like the feel of the yarn, although the black and white tend to come un-wound, and I have to be careful about splitting stitches. I knit tightly, so my gauge is totally off from the pattern, but since the pattern is cuff-down, I'm not using it anyway. For the sock of the month socks, I just use my/wendy's pattern (taken from wendy, customized by me), and whatever stitch the sock club pattern features. Seems to work out well, and then I don't have to "think" about what to do next! :) It has been really fun to get a new package of yarn each month, and it's always nice to support a (more or less) one-person industry.

    oleo tranquillior
    "smoother than oil"


    Thursday, June 05, 2003  


    Since it has been unseasonably cool, I've been leaving my windows open pretty much all the time. Unfortunately, I believe the tree outside my window is inhabited by a Screamapillar. For those of you that don't watch the Simpsons, the screamapillar is a caterpillar that screams pretty much constantly. It is also endangered... but that's another story. ANYWAY... whatever animal is living outside my window sounds EXACTLY like the screamapillar. And it seems to wake up around 6 am. Sometimes I can ignore it, sometimes it wakes me up. I really hope it finds a mate or whatever SOON... I'm getting pretty tired of it!

    In knitting news, I "finished" Daf's socks last night. I still need to do something with the cuffs- I'm thinking dark gray chenille. But I needed the needles for my next pair (I think... not sure about gauge yet), so I figured since her birthday isn't until September, I can get to the cuffs later. :)

    ad vitam aeternam
    "for all time (for eternal life)"


    Wednesday, June 04, 2003  


    I know that it's shocking, but it's raining. AGAIN. Ugh. After 27 days of rain in May, I'm really not in the mood any more! Especially when my cuffs get nice and wet on my walk to work. Tomorrow and Friday are supposed to be nice, at least!

    No update pics today... but here's a "vintage" Cricket shot:

    I finished winding the yarn for my dad's vest into balls, and understand why real shetland wool is suggested for fair isle style garments. It's like velcro! It made winding a bit difficult, but I learned to go SLOWLY and carefully, and managed to do it without too much trouble. I also worked on a mini-swatch... my tension is VERY even, so I tend to shortcut on the swatches. I know, bad habit, but, having never done fair isle before, it was really difficult to keep changing the yarns on such a small piece. I won't be able to start it, though, until after I get one of my dad's vests from my mom to measure. I'm pretty sure the size as written will be slightly large for my dad, but I'm hoping it'll be close enough. I guess I can always go down a needle size to get a slightly smaller gauge... right now, I'm planning on knitting it on 3's and 4's, instead of the 2's and 3's called for.

    I guess it's good that I won't be able to start that project until the weekend... it'll give me time to finish my mom's vest. My plan is to sew up the seams and weave in the ends on Friday. Her birthday isn't for another few weeks, but if I put it off, I'll end up trying to finish it right before we get together for her birthday.

    Last night, after aerobics, I watched the last 15 minutes or so of American Juniors while I made dinner. I can't imagine how people would want to watch week after week of that! I mean, part of what was so popular about the regular show was the cruelty and humilation aspect... the "you suck so much" comments. I guess it's good that they don't really do that with the kids, but without that edge, it becomes really boring. Not that I'd be home to watch it much anyway! Afterwards, though, I did watch the premier of Keen Eddie. I can't say that it'll become one of my favorites, but I'll be glad to have something to watch after aerobics on Tuesdays (Thursdays I have CSI!) I don't get back from class until about 845, and then I make something quick for dinner... it's nice to have something to watch while I eat and try to relax. It's always so hard to fall asleep at a normal time!

    Speaking of dinner last night, I made a GREAT dish with my herbs... sage pasta. For 1 person, you take about 6 sage leaves, a tablespoon of butter, some salt and pepper, and some parm cheese (and 2-3 oz of pasta- I used capellini). Melt the butter over med/low heat, add the chopped sage, salt, and pepper, cook on low until butter is browned, stir occassionally (mine took 3-4 minutes). Cook your pasta (time it so the pasta and sauce are pretty much ready at the same time). Pour sauce over pasta, stir well, add parm cheese to taste. I also added some meatballs- I make them ahead of time, and freeze them so I can use them as needed. MMMMMMMMMMM- and really quick and easy!

    I may not have any new pictures, but I did remember a quote:
    ad vitam
    "for life"


    Tuesday, June 03, 2003  

    Almost Finished

    Well, yesterday before choir I managed to finish knitting the remaining section of Mom's Vest. I had already sewn the other front section to the back, so really I only have to do the shoulder and side seam, and then take care of some ends. I haven't decided what to do about the front... I'll try it on once it's sewn together, and decide if I want to add ties or something. Right now, I'm leaning to leaving it as is... designed to NOT be buttoned etc..., but to show off the contrasting color of the shirt below. Also, my mom has quite a few lovely pins that I think she could use if she wanted.

    Of course, as soon as the vest was off the needles...

    I only had time to wind the black into a nice little center-pull ball, but the others won't be far behind. Once I get them all nicely balled in their little labeled plastic bags (more for cat-related security reasons than for anything else!), I'll start swatching. I really hope I get gauge... I knit rather tightly, so I probably need to bump up a needle size or 2. I also need to get my mom to swipe me one of my dad's sweater vests that fits him well so I can measure it... I have NO idea what size to make him. I'm guessing the smaller size since AS designs tend to be large, but my dad is over 6', so I might have to make it longer.

    I've been TERRIBLE about bringing in Latin quotes, but I've been MUCH better about taking pictures. Hmmmm.... maybe I can only have one or the other? Actually, I think I need to be a little more organized in the morning!


    Monday, June 02, 2003  

    Happy Monday!!

    The weekend after a holiday weekend always seems so short! At least it didn't rain TOO much this weekend... and it's not supposed to rain today! I took advantage of the non-rainy day Sunday to FINALLY get my herbs in order. I ended up having to replace all my "old" herbs... they did not ever recover from the winter above-ground in pots. Not too surprising, really, since for almost a month the pots were completely covered in snow. So I took a trip to the local garden store, and spent a $15 gift certificate my mom had gotten from one of her students. THANKS MOM!!! I'm hoping there'll be enough light to keep these guys going...

    notice the cat paw prints in the basil?

    So I'll cross my fingers and hope these little guys thrive in the apartment. I LOVE having fresh herbs to cook with... plus, I love having plants around, so if I can make them culinarily-useful plants, even better. Of course, Cricket would argue that the fern is VERY tasty...

    I did (surprise surprise) get a good amount of knitting done this weekend too... although no pictures. On Saturday night I watched Billy Elliot... a charming movie... and got a good deal done on another swatch. On Sunday, I watched Bourne Identity... I started the movie working on my mom's vest, but quickly realized the movie was WAY too gripping for something I needed to concentrate on... I'm at the decreases for the armhole and v-neck, so lots to keep track of. So I switched to a sock, and knit away like mad, especially during the exciting moments! All-in-all, a VERY enjoyable movie.

    On Saturday, I finally got sick of my hair, and walked over to the Hair Cuttery to take care of it. My hair is perfectly straight (just try to curl it. With anything. It will LAUGH at you.) and very fine... I think the stylist called it "baby fine." ANYWAY, when it gets to a certain length, the ends get too thin, and it breaks off. So my hair pretty much trims itself... but eventually, the ends get gross. Anyone with long hair will understand what I mean. Also, since my hair is so thin, NO volume or body. AT ALL. So I got about six inches chopped off, and got some long layers put in to give it some "oomph." So now I love my hair again. :)

    Lest you think she wasted the brief sunbeams this weekend, Cricket submits as evidence:

    Shortly after I took this picture, I gave her a good rub... and almost burned my hand! One advantage to being a black kitty is that she can make full use of solar energy. I'm actually surprised she didn't start to smoke.


    Sunday, June 01, 2003  

    Sunday Already?

    I'm in denial that it's the first of june. It feels more like march... chilly, cloudy, and VERY windy. Well, I'm sure I'll be complaining about the heat before long...

    I motion that we make EVERY weekend a three day weekend. :) I am taking next monday off... but it's not going to be fun... it's the dreaded LSAT. I would MUCH rather be at work instead of sitting through a 5 hour test. Ugh. And after that comes the wait for the score. Too bad it's not instantaneous results like some tests... but I guess since they curve it depending on everyone's score, they couldn't really do that. Oh well!

    I have been getting SOME knitting done this weekend... another swatch:

    and more progress on my mom's vest- I'm to the decreases for the armhole:

    And, of course, some inspiring pictures of Cricket the Cute... so inspiring, in fact, I may have to go back to bed for a nap!!


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Alpine Lace
Astrakan Cardigan
Baby Gifts
Dad's Vest
Denim Skirt
Elizabeth I
Gathering Intentions
Grandma's Blanket
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