Wednesday, August 29, 2007  

Tangled Love

Tangled Yoke... she is done!!! I blocked her yesterday/last night... and I stretched her sleeves and body as much as I could. This yarn (School Products merino/acrylic) is a bit strange - I had blocked the sleeves to 18" before joining them to the yoke... and then, when I went to sew them up, they were a nice 17.25". Huh? So right now the sleeves are the smallest touch too long, but I'm thinking they'll snug back up to hopefully between 18 and 19".

I love this sweater. LOVE LOVE LOVE. I love the color that I ended up with, even though it wasn't what I had in mind when I poured in the dye, and I love that I finally managed to dye MORE yarn than I needed to finish a project. I think I'll use the extra for a little girl baby gift... maybe I'll knit a little sweater or something!

I went with plain buttons since the cables are what should stand out - the buttons are kind of pink/white swirly, but blend in quite well.

I'll try to take some proper pictures later today!

And on a totally unrelated topic, last night S and I took Abbers on a field trip... just a few minutes up the road. It was a nice reminder of how beautiful DC can be...

Of course, Abby is WAY TOO COOL to sit by us when we took a break. She is exactly like that teenager whose mom insists on coming with her to the mall, so she tries to pretend that she is NOT WITH MOM.

Apparently, though, she's totally happy to be snuggled when she's at home... here's a random sampling of pictures I've taken after S comes home from work...

It's a good thing Abby likes me, or else S might have to re-think this whole wedding thing... boys and their doggies are pretty adorable!



Sunday, August 26, 2007  

Oh What a Tangled Yoke We Weave...

I have been terrible about updating. I'd like to pretend that I've been busy doing all sorts of important things, but mostly I've been sitting on my tush and knitting, with a few breaks to finalize wedding details.

I've long since finished (and blocked) both sleeves of Tangled Yoke...

Cricket, as you can see, is my Executive Vice President in charge of Blocking Board Supervision. She takes her job extremely seriously.

She also moonlights as a knitting-bag weight (you know, in case high winds threaten to blow away the knitting). This strategic position also allowed her to bite both strands of yarn (I'm alternating balls), and also to effectively prevent me from knitting anything. What a good kitty!

Abby, meanwhile, is on a Doggy-Diet. She went to the holistic vet for a chiropractic adjustment, and she said that our sweetie needs to slim down. It's especially important since her weight is only being distributed over 3 legs. So Abby is currently getting between 300 and 400 calories each day, and all of her food is being strictly measured so we don't cheat. We even had to bring the scale to the Doggy-Menu restaurant... she actually got an extra gram of chicken!

And finally, I'm just about finished with Tangled Yoke... I worked on it at an Orioles game (made possible by S' undergrad alumni association - we had one of those cool "party suites"!)

All I have to do is sew down the neckline, sew up the seams, and add the button bands. I can't wait to see how it turns out!



Saturday, August 18, 2007  

Madison Avenue, Anyone?

Let me preface the stunning background (and crappy lighting) in these pics by pointing out that the temps were in the upper 90s, and there was some pretty unbelievable humidity. So stepping outside in a wool blend sweater-coat was NOT an option. So, in a move that I'm sure will sweep the advertising agencies, I set up the shot in my (not cleaned-up) kitchen, with terrible lighting.

But look... SWEATER!!!

Tilted Duster

Tilted Duster from Interweave Knits (Fall 2007)

Yarn: GGH Solitaire, 9 balls

Notes: I love this sweater. The yarn was 50% off, and, even with the extra ball I ended up needing, I still made the sweater for under $50. I actually think I prefer the sweater unbuttoned! The only thing I changed? I made the sleeves a smidge longer.

Speaking of sleeves, I may have already finished the sleeves for the Tangled Yoke...

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Thursday, August 16, 2007  

Celebrating, Doggy Style!!

I shudder to think of the google hits that will come out of that title. Sorry to disappoint...

For Abby-Come-Home-Day, we took a trip to Alexandria's Pat Troy's Irish Restaurant... they have a Doggy-Menu. Abby got chicken, even though she would rather have had the burger or the lamb stew. But in the summer, she doesn't get a lot of exercise, so S was being a hard-ass and put his foot down. Poor, abused doggy!

She's obviously suffering here when S makes her wait while he blows on the chicken (it was too hot!)

And, in my free time, I'm trying to try a bunch of new dinners... on Tuesday, it was poached chicken and a supper-yummy green beans and potato salad... lots of ginger and soy flavors. Yummy! And yes, Abby helped a little with the chicken.

And, even though I seem to spend a lot of time finalizing wedding stuff, I have managed to knit a bit here and there... behold the Tilted Duster!

I'm blocking it as soon as I hit "publish," and I went out and bought the buttons a few minutes ago. So by the end of the day, Tilted Duster shall be done!!

And, so as to not leave out Cricket, I just have to ask... what is it about cats and bags? I swear that Cricket can hear a bag hit the floor from 2 miles away!!



Monday, August 13, 2007  

More Camping, and a Smidge of Knitting

Today is the 2nd Anniversary of Abby-Come-Home-Day... 2 years ago today, a fuzzy little doggy left the animal shelter for the last time. So in celebration, we took her to the funnest place ever... CAMPING!!!

On the first day, we took a nice 4 mile hike (with a stop in the middle for lunch)...

... and she only needed a few carries. Poor doggy - it was nice and cool (high temps in the 70s with no humidity), but she hasn't been getting a lot of exercise lately because it's been so hot.

I think she was happy, though...

Plus, her frequent rests gave me a chance to play with the camera's macro function. I really need to learn how to use all of my camera's fancy features!

Later that night, I practiced my "reading while knitting" skills - I'm almost done with the Tilted Duster from the latest Interweave, and I can't stop knitting it! I'm not sure when I think it'll be cool enough to wear it (given that I have a whole stack of finished objects waiting for a photo-shoot!) But right now, it's way too hot to wear anything knitted, even in the air conditioning. Is it fall yet?

The next day we took it easy and only hiked 2 miles. Abby showed us that even though she only has 3 legs, she can too climb the huge rocks...

and S found this little guy - super cute! But he was a little unsure about the dog, so we left him alone.

Before we got in the car to head home, we had to take a little nap (even though she wasn't tired AT ALL)...

I'm loving my extended vacation - I feel like I should be doing something productive today, but i just don't seem to care. I'm making a bunch of calls trying to finalize everything for the wedding, and there are a few other loose ends that need tidying.

But then there's the knitting and the netflix... Maybe I'll just take a little break and knit a few rows. :)

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007  

So... Hot....

I have several finished objects to photograph, but it was 102 degrees today, with a heat index of 2,345 degrees. It was so hot that even Abby wouldn't go outside... poor doggy! So consequently, the idea of wrapping myself in knitted objects for creative photographs just really didn't do it for me.

Henry, for example, categorically refused to come out of his bag until the "infernal furnace" cooled off. I personally think he's still sulking because his marriage proposals keep getting refused, but he insists that he'll feel much better once he has a turkey leg or two. (Is it wrong that I imagine old Henry VIII as Cartman?)

See, Henry has gotten to his, ummmm, "more meaty" stage.

All steeked up and nowhere to go!!

Henry gets a taste of the executioner's axe scissors...

So Henry is fully steeked, and is ready for the final finishing. I've done one of his arms, but it was WAY TOO HOT to work on, so I'm letting him hang out for a bit.

Speaking of hanging out, Elspeth came over on Monday for a dyeing day, and helped me pin out my newly-dyed Print O' The Wave.... I am in mad love with this stole. The dyeing came out perfectly - navy with the turquoise peeking through and making the whole thing shimmer. As soon as the temperature dips below inferno, I'll try to take some proper pictures!

Cricket, as you can see, was extremely helpful with the whole blocking process...

She promised to let us know as soon as it was dry.

I also dyed up a mess of sportweight merino-acrylic for the Tangled Yoke cardigan from the latest Interweave... as soon as I finish the Tilted Duster (also from Interweave) that I started on Saturday, I'm casting on for this puppy. I was aiming for a darker reddish brown, but ended up LOVING the soft coral color that I ended up with. I can't wait to see how this turns out!!

And finally, speaking of "how things turn out," this is a cautionary tale. If you go to Ross, and you buy at least 2 king-sized comforter sets and a whole mess of other things, you should NOT take the convertible sports car.

It took the driver quite a lot of stuffing to have enough room to get in.

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Thursday, August 02, 2007  

Oh, Henry!!

Henry and I spent an entire, blissfully study-free day yesterday hanging out at Knit Happens. It was lovely, even if Henry DID ask everyone and everything to marry him...

He's almost done... and I think he's getting a little bored - I caught him catching up on some reading this morning. Apparently, he's a little bit self-absorbed.

Also while at Knit Happens, I "finished" my Print O' the Wave...

We were having a goofy day. If you notice, I sort of totally ran out of yarn, and (of course) couldn't replicate my hand-dyeing. So I'll be overdyeing the entire thing on Monday.

(We channeled the Rowan photo-stylists for this one. And the new Rowan magazine? FREAKIN' AWESOME!)

I think there was a laughing-gas leak - here are Holly and Elspeth bursting into a spontaneous "Sound of Music" moment brought about by an inquiry about "favorite things."

Those crazy girls.

Speaking of crazy girls, check out the 2 fuzzles chez-Musing at bedtime. For scale, that is a KING-sized bed. And yes, Abby is using the turtle (and S' arm) as a pillow.

Before I forget - a couple of housekeeping matters...

First, Abby's AWESOME cooling mat was purchased from Active K9, but they don't seem to be in business anymore!! Here's a similar one.

It is really great - we keep it under Abby's plush dog-bed until she needs it. It helps her stop panting so much faster!

And second - here's my banana bread recipe... stolen from an awesome church cookbook from the Lutheran ladies of a small town in South Dakota!

1 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sour milk (add 1.5 tsp lemon juice or vinegar to milk) - I usually use half-and-half
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup nuts
2 frozen, 1 fresh bananas (or use 3 frozen)
1+ tsp. vanilla
1 cup choc. chips (I use semi-sweet or dark)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar
Add eggs, mix well

In separate bowl, compine flour, baking soda, salt
Add dry ingredients and milk (alternate) until mixed
Add bananas (if frozen, thaw first)
Add nuts, chocolate chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

It often takes more like an hour and fifteen or twenty minutes for my bread to be done - I cover it loosely with tin foil after an hour to keep the top from getting too brown.


I'm sitting here watching the coverage of the bridge collapse in Minnesota - thankfully, all of S' family and friends have checked in and are fine, although his best friend drove under the bridge less than an hour before the collapse. I still can't believe the images...

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Alpine Lace
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