Tuesday, March 30, 2004  

New Things

Last week, while working on the beginnings of Pines during lunch, I discovered that, although I had seemingly packed everything else I could possibly need, I had no cable needle. D'oh! Not to be deterred, however, I realized that the yarn, being fairly well-behaved, could probably withstand the cable-without-cable-needle routine. Plus, none of the cables for Pines involve anything too complicated. So, without further ado, I said goodbye to the cable needle, and entered a strange and wild world where stitches are constantly rearranging themselves... and I must say, I love it! I recognize that it won't be appropriate for all cables or yarns, but for this project at least, it's all good. ;)

Not content to merely peer over the edge of the box, I decided that I also needed to learn to let go of my cable chart- at least for such a simple and repetitive pattern. I think that in the past I've been doing much more complicated cables- more aran style- and there was just too much to keep track of without the charts and a highlighter. But not this project! Consequently, without the added burden of the cable needle and the chart, I've been almost flying through the back. I'm just about to the arm shaping!

For my next project, I'll be (finally) working on the Sirdar pattern:

I am, however, seriously considering replacing the buttons/button band with a nice, clean zipper. I'll be ordering one from zipperstop.com anyway for Pines, so it won't be much more to add the second one... plus, in general, I'm more of a zipper girl than a button girl. But I'm still debating. I guess I'll have to decide somewhat soon, or else make Pines pine for its zipper! (sorry, i couldn't resist!)

I hope everyone is having a great week so far- mine just got MUCH better now that my long, boring meeting this morning has been cancelled!


Monday, March 29, 2004  


So now that Sable is officially off the needles and into my closet (isn't that a song? or maybe it was something about a car...), I've been working on my next project- a cabled hooded zip-up from Debbie Bliss. I believe she titled the pattern "cabled hooded sweater" or something equally boring, so I've renamed it Pines. Not only is the color appropriate, but also, perhaps as a result of too much red wine, the diamond cables kind of looked like pine trees to me... ok, maybe more like those funky topiary things rich people put in their yards, but still... ;)

Now why, if they are so fabulous, can't weekends last longer? {sigh}


Thursday, March 25, 2004  

Another FO!!!

Wooo HOOOOO!!! I'm wearing Sable this morning... and I'm loving it! I would like it to be just a smidge longer, but I'm thinking when I wash it, I might give it a bit of an upside-down hang to stretch out the cotton a tad. Of course, it's even harder to photograph a plain black sweater than it is to snap a pic of a jet black kitty, so please excuse how much I had to lighten this photo- before I cropped out my face, I looked like some sort of strange, sweater-wearing ghost!

I've also *almost* cast on for my next sweater- a cabled cotton hooded number by Debbie Bliss- I"m knitting it in the same yarn as Rogue, albeit a different color (green). I was all set to snuggle up to some mind-numbing American Idol last night (perfect for casting on 124 stitches!) when first the phone rang, and then there was a knock on the door, and I was treated to a surprise visit from S. :) Ah well- maybe I'll have a chance to cast on during lunch today.


Wednesday, March 24, 2004  

So Close!

Well, I thought I *might* be wearing Sable this morning, but 2 things intervened- (1) I didn't like the way the v-neck ribbing looked, so I ripped it out in preparation for 'take 2', and (2) I forgot that I needed to sew up both sleeves. But hopefully, I'll be wearing it tomorrow- here's the list:
  1. sew up second sleeve
  2. graft first underarm
  3. graft second underarm
  4. re-knit collar
  5. weave in ends
We'll see how it goes! And I could take a picture, but, well, it's a solid mass of black stockinette, so there's really nothing to see.

I was struck last night (I admit it- I was watching American Idol in order to facilitate sleeve-seaming) at the new Fox show The Swan... the basic premise, as far as I can tell, is to take 'normal' (tv speak for ugly) women and give them a complete overhaul via the miracles of plastic surgery, and then make them compete in a beauty pagent against the other formerly ugly women who have been "fixed". EW. So basically, they take women who don't like the way they look, and reinforce their insecurities by having a bunch of doctors tell them what needs to be "fixed," then, once they are supposedly beautiful, they make them COMPETE in a beauty pagent?!?!? What a great way to make them just as insecure as they were before! "You may have a great new body/face/exterior, but, well, you still suck." Thank you, Fox, for reminding us how screwed up America is when it comes to beauty.

Speaking of beauty, Cricket would like to remind everyone that a sunbeam is all you need:


Monday, March 22, 2004  


I am so loving this sweater- I'm wearing it right now, and it is fantastic. A great big thank you to Jenna for a fabulous pattern, and to the NCAA for filling my saturday with non-stop basketball, which enabled me to finally finish off this sweater!

click on pictures for larger images:

I had an amazing 4 day weekend... I was "sick" on thursday, mostly because I went to a guitar concert on Wednesday night that resulted in me getting to S's home around 11ish, and then, thanks to an electrical fire in the metro, not getting to MY home until almost 11 the next morning. So thursday and friday were spent doing laundry, and knitting, and watching bad daytime tv... really, what more could you want in a mini-vacation? Saturday was devoted to basketball, including watching the poor terps fall to the #$*($#* orangemen... and then Sunday I took my friend C to the shoe-store mecca (DSW) and actually found shoes for the wedding in may, and they were only $30! Plus, I think they would be adorable with a pair of black pants, so I should be able to wear them again (they are silver strappy heels).

In other knitting news, I'm into the yoke of my Sable v-neck- I'm dealing with both the raglan decreases AND the v-neck decreases. At least the number of stitches is dropping quite dramatically this way! Depending on my dilligence this week, I just might finish this next weekend!

Cricket, waiting patiently for her treats, wonders why I bother to go to work at all.

I hope everyone has a great week- and stop by Rachael's to wish her a speedy recovery from pneumonia (but don't let her breathe on you!) :)


Wednesday, March 17, 2004  


For some reason, I can't seem to motivate myself to finish Rogue... and I'm so close! Luckily, though, I'm taking the day off tomorrow ("mental health day"), so I'll have a 4 day weekend to recover from all the family-time, and also to finally finish Rogue.

I've been making some progress on Sable... I've finished the body to the underarms, and am almost done with the first sleeve. I was going to knit both together, but realized that when I started the sleeve during lunch, I only had one ball of the yarn, so I decided to do one at a time. There is something kind of refreshing about a completely basic stockinette sweater... especially when I'm crashing in front of the tv with a mostly non-functioning brain! I was also able to work on it while watching UMD beat Duke on Sunday... go Terps! ;)

Hopefully by next week, I'll have Rogue finished, and will have made some significant progress on Sable. Or, I may snuggle on the couch for hours with Cricket...


Wednesday, March 10, 2004  

Wait, You Mean Women Have CURVES!?!?

So yesterday, I was wearing Sage while getting a good start on Sable (the basic black v-neck I'm designing). I decided to use Sage as a guideline for length since I really liked where it hit me, so I whipped it off and took out my trusty ruler. I noticed, however, that Sage has no waist shaping- it's just a straight shot from waist to boobs... and darn it, I have a waist! A few quick calculations later, and I've added some slight waist shaping to Sable. Hopefully, it'll follow my curves without looking like I've put a belt around my waist (what was that fashion trend back in the 80s anyway?)

I'm still plugging away on the finishing of Rogue... I've finished grafting the hood and I've woven in the ends on each sleeve and the body... according to my list, I still need to attach each sleeve, clean up the front neck cables a bit, weave in the ends on the hood, and add the chenille edging to the sleeve cuffs. I'm hoping I can find time to finish it by next week... although my brother, sister-in-law, aunt, cousin, cousin-in-law, and their amazingly cute baby are all joining mom, dad, grandma and me to celebrate my dad's 60th birthday- so knitting time might be curtailed!


Tuesday, March 09, 2004  


As of yesterday, the knitting on Rogue is officially over- and hopefully, provided I can force myself to deal with all the tedious finishing work, Rogue will be completed later this week. Today, my grand ambition is to finish sewing up the second sleeve seam, and then weave in all the ends on both sleeves.

Of course, as soon as Rogue was off the needles, I had to cast on for something else... in the process of moving just about everything I own from one spot in the apartment to another, I discovered some random black cotton blend yarn that I vaguely remember ordering from ebay months and months ago... so I decided I would use it to make a simple black v-neck. After all, stitch textures will be completely lost in the black, and I don't have any other colors, so my options are pretty limited to start with. Plus, I envision this as being a sweater I'll pull out of the closet constantly- I wear a lot of black anyway (must have something to do with the fact that cricket makes sure to give all my clothes a nice coating of kitty-fur!), and I think this will be a sweater that'll look great with just about anything. Of course, it'll be mind-numbing to knit... and there probably won't be too many update pics, unless y'all enjoy staring at a black blob of stockinette!

But once I finish my mindless project, I've got another one on deck (actually, I have seven more on deck...) I'll be making the Sirdar cabled cardigan recently finished by Teresa. You may recall that, as part of my $200 extravaganza at elann, I bought the yarn for it... here's a little preview:

The yarn is really interesting- I haven't swatched it up yet, but I think it'll be a neat effect. I also have some more random ebay yarn in my stash that I'm thinking about carrying along with it, but I have no idea how much yardage of it I have... I'll have to do some weighing and calculating I guess!

I've also been sadly neglecting the socks I've been making for my friend Daf- she's getting married in October, and her birthday is in September, and I'd like to have at least four pairs of socks finished for her before then! I think that, if nothing else, I'll take socks on my trips to California in May and to Seattle in August... those nice long flights should give me time to knit a few pairs, I hope! I'd really like to have at least 4 pairs to give to her- plus I'll make her a fun accessory scarf in eros.

I hope everyone has a fabulous tuesday- and thanks, Rachael, for the compliments on the apartment- I agree, twinkle lights make everything better. ;)


Monday, March 08, 2004  

Moving Envy

After seeing Rachael's amazing new apartment, I started getting envious- I wanted a fabulous new place! But then, thinking about it, I realized that I love my apartment- I love being able to walk NEXT DOOR to trader joe's... I love the location, and the building, and the fact that they allow me to have kitties. :) So, after deciding that I would definitely renew my lease in May, I decided that I needed to shake things up. Bear in mind that I live in a 525 sq. ft. efficiency... so I have to make the most of my space.

Step 1- the bed. I decided to put the bed right next to the AC unit- I can live without air conditioning for the most part, except for when I sleep. Hopefully this way my electricity bill won't go crazy this summer-

I'd also like to point out that it is very difficult to move all that furniture around by oneself... of course, I suppose MOST people are smart enough to get some help!

I debated about what to do with the rest of the furniture- I decided it made sense to put the table by the kitchen pass-through (my bed had been there before), and then, after MUCH grunting and dragging of couches and bookshelves and tv's, I figured out where to put everything else.

(notice the "shelf 'o yarn"? Let's hope Cricket doesn't....) :)

By the time I got everything settled, I was both exhausted and hyper... I kept thinking of things to do and adjust while at the same time understanding that I really did need to re-hydrate and stop running around like some sort of headless chicken. Luckily, Cricket had mostly recovered from the chaos (at one point she was sitting on the couch as I was trying to move it... what a helpful kitty) and solved the problem by sitting on my chest.

So I hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday... I'm even more excited to go home to my "new" place! Hopefully in a few days I'll have pics of a finished Rogue... I'm so close!

And Cricket adds that you can find happiness in the simplest of things- especially really crinkly paper bags.


Thursday, March 04, 2004  

Grumble Grumble

Good news- knitting on Rogue is continuing- I've finished both sleeves, and am making good progress on the hood:

I'm adding in about 16 rows on the hood... my row gauge is more compressed than the pattern's, so hopefully this will compensate. I was able to find a repeatable section of the cable pattern, so it hopefully won't mess up the cables! I hope to finish this weekend or next week. :)

Bad news- I think one of the rims on my car is bent, resulting in loss of tire inflation- so I get to spend $100 on replacing that next week. Of course, I might also get to spend more $$ on a new tire... but hopefully not for a few months! Good thing I've already placed my order with elann... otherwise I might be convincing myself that I really don't need more yarn.


Monday, March 01, 2004  

Monday Again?

Somehow, no matter how long the weekend is, Monday always sneaks up on me. Just when I'm really getting into the whole weekend thing... BAM! back to work. {sigh}... I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I really hate my job... and I know that I'll only have to deal with it for another 5 months.

ANYWAY... I had a fabulous weekend- even without the boy. Friday was spent running some errands (wouldn't it be great if somehow food could magically appear in the fridge WITHOUT the trip to the grocery store?) and watching Hamlet... I think when I'm obscenely wealthy, I'm going to have my own private (but amazing) troupe of actors at my beck and call to perform Hamlet every few months. Saturday, my friend K and I took a day trip up north to see the new condo she will move into in August... really cute, but I wish it wasn't so far out there- it's a 30 minute drive north with NO traffic on the highway... and M-F there is ALWAYS traffic. {sigh}. Then we went even farther north to the outlet mall- it was a beautiful day, and a great day for shopping- I found a pair of fabulous black pants, really cute black shoes that are actually COMFY, and FINALLY- a white shirt that I actually LIKE that I can wear for choir. When I first mentioned, back in January, that I needed to buy a basic long sleeve white shirt for choir, the boy said "oh, that shouldn't be a big deal!" HAH HAH HAH... poor thing- he's obviously never dealt with women's fashion. First, all shirts are 3/4 sleeves. Second, most are see-through- not the look I'm going for with choir. Third, almost all are 100% cotton, and, even though I say "I can just iron it," I never do, and I end up with a shirt that I can't wear because it's always wrinkled. But, thanks to K's brilliant scan of the overstuffed shirt rack at the dress barn outlet, the perfect shirt is mine- it even has french cuffs (well, the fake ones... but still...) Plus, it was on sale, so you know it was meant to be. :)

I did get a little knitting done despite seemingly never being home- I'm onto the boring stockinette sections of the sleeves. I have learned, however, that I definitely need to continue to knit both sleeves at once when they're done flat- it's so nice to know that when I finish, I'm DONE with these- no trying to remember what I did on the first one, or having that "ugh, not again" feeling. :)

I also just ordered $200 worth of yarn from elann... maybe I should report that site as porn and get it blocked from my computer... might be the only way to keep me from spending my last cent there! But I did get yarn for 3 sweaters- a cabled hoodie for me from one of the debbie bliss books, a cabled vest for my dad for christmas... I'll have to design that one, and the sirdar cardigan that Teresa just finished.

On a more frustrating note- I've given up on the yarn I ordered from ebay- my order for 2 different colors went through on Feb 5- paid that same day. About a week went by- no yarn, no email... so I email the seller with a "whats up"... she responds a few days later with "I can't find one of the yarns you ordered... I'll keep looking". Then a few days later, "don't have that color, was a software mistake, want to substitute?" I replied that I didn't want the other colors, so just send the batch she DID have, and refund for the second. After a few more days, no refund, no yarn... so I emailed again- about 3 days later, the refund shows up. But now it's March 1, and I still haven't received the yarn... plus, she and I live in the same state, so it should have only taken a few days for it to arrive. So this morning I disputed the non-refunded part of the order with my credit card company... I'm still hoping the yarn shows up (in which case I'll cancel the dispute, or send her money again- I'm not trying to get yarn for free... I'm just hoping to get yarn for my $$!) But definitely disappointing... especially since it SHOULD have been such a simple thing. Good lord- I could have driven to her house and picked it up with less trouble!

But I will stick to my project list- I'll just have to scrap the basic charcoal v-neck unless the yarn miraculously appears before I finish Rogue. Either that, or buy more yarn... but no, my yarn budget for the next several months is completely shot. I'll finish all but 1 of the projects on the list, and THEN I'll buy more yarn. Maybe I should go ahead and disable elann right now... :)

I leave you with a picture of Cricket examining her new friend... a little froggie that holds your dish sponge. Can I say again how much I LOVE outlet malls?


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