Thursday, February 26, 2004  

Rogue Progress Continues

Yesterday, I took the day off so that I could spend some time with the boy before I took him to the airport... he'll be in Berlin for the next week... I probably won't see him until next Friday! Of course, on the one hand, I'll miss him... but on the other hand, lots of knitting time! Speaking of, I'm making great progress on Rogue- I'm almost done with the body:

It's very hard to get a picture where the cables show up! At least you can see the chenille edging at the bottom- here's a closer view:

I'm going to knit both sleeves at the same time- I'm hoping it'll be faster that way. I considered knitting them in the round, but I think I'll stick to seaming for this sweater.

Right now, I'm drooling over a few of the yarns at elann... I won't be placing my order until next week, but I'm trying to figure out what combination of yarns I absolutely must have. I'm definitely buying yarn to make 2 sweaters- I already have the patterns... and I'm debating about yarn for a third. {sigh} I think I've decided... 2 sweaters for me, and enough yarn to make my dad a cabled vest for next year's Christmas... I've been going back and forth about colors, but I think I've decided to order the yarn for my dad in the same color as 1 of my sweaters... it's a really nice green, and I think that way I can maximize my yarn usage- hopefully if I've overestimated for the two projects, I'll have enough left over to be somewhat useful! And, since after that order arrives, I'll have enough yarn for 8(!!) projects, the "no yarn purchases" period begins... and I start working through my stash. I've been getting more and more into "to-do" lists- I like the satisfaction of crossing tasks out, and also of knowing I've accomplished what I've set out for myself- so my knitting is getting the same treatment!

So let me commit myself right now-

Upcoming Projects
  1. basic charcoal v-neck (yarn ordered)
  2. cabled cardigan (yarn ordered)
  3. green/black capri sweater
  4. cabled hoodie (yarn ordered)
  5. peach tank top
  6. Trinity cardigan from Rowan book
  7. cabled vest for dad (yarn ordered)
  8. simple gloves for me - regia sock yarn


Tuesday, February 24, 2004  


I'm flying through the body of Rogue... only 25 more rows to go before I split for the front and back sections! And, even more exciting- using the leftovers from my quick chenille scarf, I did a simple single crochet edging around the waist... I love it! The colors match without being exactly the same, and the 2 different textures really add a bit of visual interest. I'm planning on edging the sleeve cuffs and the neck/hood edge as well. Of course, right now it would make sense for me to post a picture of the edging... but no time to take one, so I guess it'll have to wait.

It's getting increasingly hard to motivate myself for work... first, it's now certain that I'll be leaving in 5 months... my last day will be August 5. But, since I can't really tell them yet (5 months notice is a bit extreme!), I have to pretend like I'll still be here when whatever we're discussing finally gets off the ground. {sigh}... I'm trying to find that elusive balance between trying to get enough work to keep me sane, and trying NOT to take on responsibilities that I know I'll just have to dump on someone else in a few months. Well, only 5 months to go... and I have a wedding/vacation in May, and then I'll be going to Seattle to visit my brother after I quit in August, so lots to look forward to! Plus, it's almost spring... I LOVE spring (second only to fall!) :)

Oh, and thank y'all SO MUCH for your nice comments on Sage... comments make my day! :)


Monday, February 23, 2004  

Woo Hoo!!!

Thanks to the threat of a cold on Friday ('forcing' me to stay at home and knit, rather than go hiking like I really should have...), I finished Sage! :)

Unfortunately, even the unbelievable softness of Alpaca is itchy... not unbearable, but not 100% comfy either, so I'm wearing a shirt underneath. {sigh} But I LOVE the color, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out... I still need to give it a proper bath, and a proper steam ironing... I just did a quicky steaming of the bottom hem so that it would stop trying to flip up, but I haven't given it a really good blocking yet. Overall, though, I think this is definitely the best sweater I've designed so far! I even have 2 balls of the alpaca remaining!

Of course, once I finished Sage, I had to IMMEDIATELY cast on for Rogue... I was a good girl and washed my swatch first... I'm dead on for stitch gauge, but my row gauge is slightly smaller... so I'll have to add a few repeats for a bit extra length. I don't think it'll be a problem for the upper part of the body... I'll do a bit of pattern altering though to add in a few extra rows.

I'm using Winter Cotton from Elann... in the "brick" color (even though it looks brighter red than a brick!). I LOVE this yarn... so much, in fact, that I'll soon be ordering enough of it in other colors to make 2 sweaters for me, and a vest for my dad. :)

Here's my progress on Rogue so far:

I would have made MUCH more progress on Sunday, but the boy and I decided to finally get off our butts and go see Return of the King on the big screen... needless to say, once the extended edition DVD of that bad boy is released, I'll be watching it a few more times. :)

I should be getting a lot of progress done on Rogue in the next week or so... the boy is heading off to Germany for a week, and he's kindly letting me steal his netflix rentals while he's away, so I'm planning a "Shakespeare and Rogue" festival!


Thursday, February 19, 2004  


{begin random thoughts} I've been mulling this over for the last few days- how American society, in some ways, preprograms us to be dissatisfied with the present, and to always be desirous of "something" that we don't have, but think we should have, or just want. For example, I was reading an article about how a growing percentage of people lock themselves into extremely extended car loans, and then buy a new car before they have paid off the old one- and usually end up owing MORE on the old car than it is worth, so they therefore have to finance both the new car, and the balance on the old car. The people they interviewed who were in this situation spoke of "wanting a new car" every few years. On some level, I understand- after all, things that used to be considered for the "wealthy" are now seen by most as "normal," and ad campaigns urge us to "buy now, pay later"- we 'deserve' the finest things in life, regardless of whether we can actually afford them!

I find myself struggling with this pressure- I am satisfied with my life in terms of my material possessions and comfort, but there always seems to be something else I 'need' to buy. So far, I have done a very good job of living within (and slightly below) my means, but I have to make a conscious effort to say "no" to the almost overwhelming consumer culture. One of my main goals this year is to be content with what I have, and to consequently save money by refraining from whipping out the credit card. In general, though, I think we're all conditioned to be DISsatisfied with our current lives, and to always chase happiness in the malls... why should you drive an old car when you can have a new one for only $200/month (of course, you'll be paying thousands in interest, but you can have it right now!) Wouldn't your life be perfect if you had a bigger TV? Cable has become a $50+/month 'necessity'- so much so that I have had friends who, despite trying to save money, hadn't even thought of cancelling their service, and protested that they couldn't give it up!

I'm not really sure that there is a point to all of this- just a hope that we can, in our own small ways, fight back against the growing tide of commercialism and consumerism... and teach ourselves to find happiness in what we have- not what we want.

In knitting news, Sage is almost a sweater - I'll hopefully finish it by next week. Left to do:
  1. finish knitting neckline
  2. trim sleeve cuffs in white - picot cast off?
  3. add another inch or so of stockinette to waistline
  4. waistline edging - seed stitch
  5. edge neckline- rollneck in white? green?
  6. graft underarms
  7. tidy up ends
Doesn't seem TOO insurmountable... we'll see how I do!

ecce signum
"here is the proof (behold the sign!)"


Tuesday, February 17, 2004  

Blissful Long Weekend

Too bad long weekends eventually end... I got a good amount done on Sage- I'm finally to the yoke- all the pieces are joined together, and the raglan decreases have begun. I would have taken a picture, but it's really hard to spread it out enough to show anything, and I just didn't have the energy to put the sts on waste yarn for a pic. I will, however, have to try it on in a few inches in order to decide about the neckline shaping, so I'll be sure to take a pic then!

Cricket, apparently satisfied that I had spent enough money on her vet bill, decided to be in perfect health all weekend. I'm still not sure how I managed to get a kitty with asthma, but, well, there are worse things! Not only is Cricket feeling better, but apparently she has decided that the flowers I got for Valentine's Day were actually intended as a salad bar:

I quickly realized that the flowers would not last very long if left on the coffee table, so I moved them to the highest part of a bookshelf:

At that point, I bribed her with treats, and she seemed to be willing to let me lure her away from the flowers. But, lest you think that she was somehow being mistreated, I went to the pet store yesterday and bought her her own little pot of "pet grass," so she has some greens to munch on.

I'm getting anxious to start Rogue... but I still have to wash my swatch, and, of course, finish Sage, so I'll have to be good for another week or so. {sigh}.

casus conscientiae
"a case of conscience"


Wednesday, February 11, 2004  

Cricket Update

Well, $123 later, I now know I have an asthmatic kitty. Joy. Good thing is that, as a former asthmatic myself, I know what's going on... but I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able to just ride out the (hopefully) VERY few and far between attacks, and she'll be able to go about her happy little life.



The Serendipity of Provisionally Casting On

The more I knit, the more I learn to trust my gut. This is not to say that I immediately change everything the second I have a "hmmmm, I'm not sure about that" moment- sometimes I'm wrong. But I have learned to embrace any doubts I have, and REALLY REALLY think about whatever is making me wonder- if it's still bothering me after a good long reflection, then I probably need to change it. I had just such a moment yesterday as the body of sage grew... something about all those cables on the whole body just seemed off. I slipped enough of the working stitches onto scrap yarn so that I could try it on (cabled tube top, anyone?) and decided that it was just not happening. But all that work! Was there no way to salvage the design? Plus, don't forget the two sleeves waiting patiently at home for attachment... It took me about 15 minutes of sketching, thinking, and visualizing, but I not only came up with a design change I like better, but I also managed to save all but about 2" of the body cables. The result- the new and improved sage:

As you can (maybe) see, I flipped the body over... I'll now use the provisional cast-on edge to continue with the yoke, and I'm now knitting down to the waist in plain stockinette stitch. The knitting muses must have been in full swing with me yesterday, because I even remembered to calculate the new gauge in stockinette, and decrease the number of stitches by 20% so the stockinette section doesn't blouse out below the cables. Now, I'm desperately trying to figure out the neckline before I get to the joining round... I had my heart set on a v-neck, but now I'm leaning more towards a simple crew neck- but I'm thinking a rather low one. I think what I'll have to do is set up a lifeline, and then experiment- maybe knit a few inches of a v-neck, and see how that's looking, and if I don't like it, go with a low crew, and if I don't like that, a regular crew neck. By that point (which hopefully won't be necessary), I think I'll be so sick of knitting the neck that I might need a huge dose of red wine.

But I will finish this before I start Rogue, so that's some pretty good motivation. Plus, S. will be out of town this weekend, and he's kindly letting me hijack his netflix rentals while he's gone... nothing like movies and a couch to encourage knitting!

Cricket isn't feeling too well- I think we'll be heading to the vet later today (if they have an appointment)... she had been sneezing and coughing about a month ago, so we went in, and got her a cortizone shot- she sneezed a lot for about 2 weeks after that, and then seemed to be getting much better... until Monday night, when she started having trouble breathing. As an almost life-long asthma sufferer myself, I would swear that's what she had Monday night and most of Tuesday- then she started her coughing again. Plus, as far as I can tell, she hardly ate at all yesterday... so, even though she'll be VERY mad at me for taking her BACK to the vet, I think it's time for another checkup. Poor kitty...


Monday, February 09, 2004  

Monday Again?

I finally remembered to (1) TAKE and (2) UPLOAD some pictures this weekend! First of all, let me present the tea cosy... I still need to do the tiniest bit of finishing work on this one, but, since it's working just fine, I seem to keep putting it off. :)

I would be happy to share the pattern with anyone who is interested, but they would have to have a copy of A.S.'s Celtic Collection for the chart... obviously I can't share that here! Overall, though, it was a really fun weekend knit, and it was a good way to use up some leftover shetland. :)

Last week, I also bought a new coat- on sale for $100. :) Here I am modeling my new purchase:

click on pictures for larger images:

Of course, I couldn't let the new coat languish without a classy knit accessory, so I knit a quick chenille scarf:

At some point this week, I'll knit another scarf in a teal blue chenille. In the store, I couldn't for the life of me decide which color I liked better, and, since the yarn was on sale, I bought both. :) I'll have enough leftover yarn for a hat or something, but I hate hats. I'm sure I'll think of something to use it for, though!

And, even though I'm anxious to get started on Rogue, I've decided to finish the Sage alpaca sweater before I let myself get carried away with a new project. I've finished both sleeves (well, to the underarm), and finally got started on the body... I'm still using a provisional cast-on for the pieces since I'm not sure yet what edging I'll do. I'm going to definitely use some creamy white yarn on each sleeve cuff, but not at the waist... I also like the way the cables make a scalloped edging, so perhaps I'll do something that allows that ruffle to stay. We'll see! :)

(close up of the sleeve)

(a weekend's worth of work on the body)

Although it's Monday, at least *most* of the snow and ice has melted along the sidewalks on the way to work... and I only have 26 more weeks of work until I start law school! Always a nice thought to get one through the week.


Tuesday, February 03, 2004  

Productive Monday

Well, despite staying up late on Sunday to celebrate with the Patriots, I managed to kick major booty on Monday. First, finished the taxes, and submitted them. Second, finished the FAFSA, and submitted it. Third, registered for the other financial aid form I have to fill out. I would have finished that one too, but, since I'm under 30, apparently it's a given that my parents are still supporting me financially, even though they aren't, and aren't going to pay my way through law school. But I guess rules are rules, so I need my dad to help me fill out the rest of that form. After all the financial forms were out of the way, I sold a book on amazon, and finished the first sleeve of Sage. Whew! Then, before choir, I took a trip to the kitchen store- my baking stone had an unfortunate encounter with my kitchen floor, so I needed a new one. I also found adorable cookie cutters, a nice rolling pin, and FINALLY, new tea mugs. I'm very picky about my mugs... they need to be nice and thick, and BIG (I drink a LOT of tea!). Plus, they need to have comfy handles. I'm sure the lady at the kitchen store thought I was insane for spending so much time looking at mugs... but, $10 later, I have a green and a black mug. :)

Tonight I'm hoping to take some update photos of the tea cosy and sage. I also swatched for Rogue... I am spot on with sts/inch, but I'm 1 row/inch over gauge. I still need to wash my swatch, though, and see how it goes... but I'm confident I can do a bit of lengthening without too much trouble. I'm using Stahl winter cotton... I really really like this yarn! I'm actually going to buy more of it in green as soon as I convince myself to spend the extra $$. Elann... such a blessing AND a curse! :)

One last note... S (the bf) stayed over Sunday night after the game, and I obligingly reset the alarm clock for about 2 hours after I got up since he gets to work much later than I do. Somehow, by Monday night, I had completely forgotten this fact, and blithely turned on the alarm and went to bed... never thinking to check what TIME it would go off. My first clue that something was wrong this morning was the amount of sunshine filling my apartment (well, not really sunshine since it's raining, but still- light!) I looked at the clock, groaned, and rushed out of bed. Well, we're in the middle of a nice round of freezing rain, so I watched the news and saw that the Federal Government was opening 2 hours late... so, by providence, I was actually RIGHT ON TIME! :) I love it when things work out like that.... but I did reset my alarm clock before I left! ;)


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