Tuesday, March 31, 2009

This Could Be A Really Cruel Trick....

So, under close kitty supervision
I decided to lay out the latest quilt blocks (see, I have been doing something since I finished that book), and see what blocks I still needed & how many more I thought I should makeand for future reference: This quilt would be SOOOOOOOOO much easier if one of the materials didn't have a directional print on it--and there would be less foul language in the sewing room. Probably.

The blocks create this nice pinwheel effectbut for fun, I decided to try laying it out another way.
When I uploaded that photo I thought I must have broken my camera. Looks all blurry, doesn't it? Nope, it's just the way the blocks make it look.It's bad enough that the print all has to be going the same direction, but it's printed crookedly on the fabric, and I think an entire quilt looking like thiswould drive someone crazy.

We'll be sticking with the original layout. I have no intention of ending up in the funny farm from quilting this thing......

Monday, March 30, 2009

Let's Play "Guess the Decade"

While digging through some older boxes in the sewing room, I ran acrossa sweater that I seem to have abandoned after the back was finished:Is it just me, or does the color pattern just scream 1990s??

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thank You Mr. Deaver

You may blame ALL of this weekend's lack of knitting (and sleep) on Mr. Jeffrey Deaver. I was seduced by one of his books--Cold Moon--and while I can normally knit while reading, when I am stressed out about where & when a serial killer is going to strike next my gauge gets so tight that I can no longer get the knitting OFF the needles. There may even be permanent yarn grooves now.

Thank heavens I have finished the book and can return to my knitting......and Andy has temporarily approved the use of a nightlight.......

Friday, March 27, 2009

So....

I was having such a fun time with the striping of the Baby Surprise Jacket that it set me thinking....wouldn't that make a cute baby blanket....????

So, ignoring the 13 WIPS already in progress, I have started this I might get tricky and make it rectangular--or just square--and maybe a crocheted border in blue? I think it's pretty cute. The cats are a little less enthusiastic...I don't know what's wrong with them--they just don't like knitting half as much as they like sewing.....maybe it's because I won't let them play with the yarn.......

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A New First

It is possible that I just finished a project before even mentioning it on the blog. It's a Baby Surprise Jacket, one of Elizabeth Zimmermann's most popular patterns. We're doing a BSJ knit-a-long in the EZ Fans Yahoo Group and I finished mine this morning. According to my projects page on Ravelry, I started this in January--I believe I did it to have something to knit at stoplights or in the vet clinic.

I was really hoping for some cuter buttons, but out of all of these buttons
nothing else matched. I had high hopes of these
but the pink is just a bit too off for my taste.

I always love how the back pattern differs from the frontand babies are young enough not to complain about a big wide stripe going right across the rear end. Ah, those were the days.....

I seem to be back in my sidekick's good graces today. Calisto is a bit afraid of the noise from the downstairs closet and all the activity, but Theo is fascinated and has been pretty disgruntled about not getting to explore everything. It may not look like it, but thisis a kitty-gateway into curious kitty nirvana. He got loose twice while the bathroom door was open, and both times we had to fish him out of the walls. The first time I caught his back legs just as they were disappearing under that fluffy white insulation. The second time we weren't as fast and he had to be bribed with a shaking treat bag. I'm pretty sure our homeowner's insurance does not cover wall destruction to rescue a kitty--no matter how cute he is.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You Can Blame This

--which took an entire day and a great deal of measuring just to locate as the darn thing was actually within the wall where it was merrily leaking vast amounts of water through a big hole every time the outside faucet was turned on--for the general lack of knitting & blogging. Andy was able to replace it, and since it's the pipe for the OUTSIDE faucet, it is now wrapped in INSULATION, which would have probably prevented all of this in the first place. And this is our new house guestwhich actually has two friends down in the crawl space helping to suck up the water our little pipe problem caused. I realize construction is almost synonymous with cutting corners & doing things as cheaply as possible, but we bought a builder's OWN HOME so I would have thought he might have paid more attention, but as builders aren't actually licensed here in Idaho, maybe he never built a house before he became a builder.

I did manage to ge the reversible scarf doneand it looks great, but even with a 2-stitch seed border on each side, it still has a tendency to roll, so maybe 3 stitches next time. It's headed for my "gift bin," where I try to keep a few baby gifts, scarves, socks, etc. ready for birthdays, babies, etc. It was severely depleted after our wedding & has been ever since, so I have decided to make a few "just in case" scarves, so.....I actually had 4 balls of this yarn because I got it to do a Pi shawl with, but I didn't like the colors well enough to do an entire shawl, but I do like it for scarves. This one is just simple mindless moss or seed stitch, so I think it could be a man's scarf, or is variegation "manly?"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's Done!!!!

This is, quite possibly, the fastest project I've ever knit. God bless big needles!!!

After a couple hours of morning knitting, my trusty sidekick and I were ready to wash the finished scarfTheo is just fascinated by bubbles, though he seems genuinely shocked every time his paws end up wet. At least it isn't kitty water aerobics.

We'll see what it looks like when dry, but I think it turned out nicely. You can see the beads better here:but this is a bit more accurate
And now I am free to return to the Kauni cardigan! YAY!!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day To Me!

Remember these?I made them for Andy for Valentine's Day this year. Not that they were done by Valentine's Day or anything, but that's what they were for.

While I was gone, Andy finished my gift.
It's a needle storage box!
Complete with a pullout tray. I had him make it really tall because I've never really rounded up all my straight needles and I thought the results might be truly frightening. And they probably would be if there were ever a point in time when I didn't have 15+ WIPS going....See? I have all those WIPS purely for health reasons......

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Really, I Can Explain

Thismight lead you to think I have Knitter's ADD....and you'd probably be right, of course...but THIS TIME I do have an excuse!

The lovely lady who loaned us her condo last week refused to take any money for it, so I wanted to knit her a scarf, but have frogged the first two attempts. I thought she was in Arizona until sometime in later April, but it turns out she has returned early, and I want to have a gift for her when I return her keys & everything. So, yesterday I dug theseout of the stash, and with size 8 needles to speed things along, I've been knitting and beading like a mad woman.The cats seem to have forgiven me and have been lending their moral supportOr perhaps they just know that I am the bigger softie on tummy-rubs.

And I swear that having the Kauni cardigan bogged down in the gold & orange colors has nothing to do with this.......

Monday, March 16, 2009

We're Back!

There's nothing like a little winter vacation to give your knitting meaning. Surrounded by this:knitting seems almost mandatory.

The Kauni cardigan is almost ready for armholesa secret project is 95% done, the stamped cross stitch baby blanket sucked up several hours
and looks pretty much like it did in the last picture (am I missing some important information about a stitchery space/time continuum or what?), and because the best thing to do when one has 5 quilts in process already is to start another one.....
And I am happy to report that it only took one block with tree-alignment issues to figure out that all the blocks would need to have all the trees GOING THE SAME DIRECTION. I have given up on the possibility of figuring things out ahead of time, and am now just aiming for "Before it becomes necessary to bury it in the back yard." Progress is progress.

Someone likes the new quilt, but isn't speaking to me just yet.
Apparently he wouldn't even play tape measure with Andy while I was gone. I have tried to explain to Theo that people do not generally take their cats on vacations, but I don't think he believes me. Looks like it's time for some quality sewing time.....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Kauni Cardigan and I Are Running Away Together!

Only for a week, but the sweater and I are heading to McCall for a few days.
No computers, no internet, just wool and snow and fabric (the sewing machine is coming along too).

The gift bags aren't, as one is finished:
and the others are just waiting for handles:
Overall I'm pleased with them, but while these are actually more useful than these,
I still like these better. Are wine bags that would have trouble holding bottles of wine really so bad?????

I haven't told my sidekick I'm leaving him for a few days. It will be interesting to see if he gives Andy the 4:00 AM wakeup treatment while I'm gone, or if that privilege is reserved only for the Most Favored Human. Frankly, I'm willing to share that status--especially as Theo caught the time change more easily than I did.....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We Have Some Catching Up To Do!!!

Tonight I decided to check out upcoming events at the Egyptian Theater--one of Boise's few independent theaters and the only one listed as an historic landmark--because it always seems to have really great events. Last month we went to see a couple silent movies as a fundraiser for the Treasure Valley Youth Symphony, and we've been to several lectures there.

I was surprised to see that on March 18, the THIRD ANNUAL Fly Fishing Tour will be held there. Now I might be easily impressed, but how many hobbies have their own film festival? Andy does woodworking, and they certainly don't have a film festival (although that might actually be because there are few titles the wood working world could use that couldn't be misappropriated by the porn industry). I knit, and while the knitting world has its own social networking site and our own conventions, I don't know of a single film about knitting. (You can bet, though, that if we did have a film festival, we would leave some dim lights on in the theater so everyone could knit while watching). I don't know--maybe we're falling behind. I think we need our own film festival.

To get us kicked off in the right direction, my suggestions for the first Knitting Film Festival:

* Chariots of Fiber
* Adam's Ribbing
* Blazing Saddle Shoulders
* Close Encounters of the Felted Kind
* Dr. Strageknit or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Test Swatch
* Driving Miss Daisy Crazy or: Learn to Check For Errata
* Fatal Attraction to Fun Fur
* Gone With The Wool
* The Good, The Bad, and the Frogged
* A Lace of Their Own
* A Sweater To Three Wives
* Merinostruck
* Of Moths and Men
* The Patternist
* Rebel Without a Skein
* The Sweater Year Itch
and that perennial favorite: You've Got Mailorder

I think it could be BIG......

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Maybe Went a Little Too Far.....

Two days ago, I was bored with knitting. Not knitting itself--just everything I was knitting. The lace scarf was disappointing, the Warm Up America blocks were boring AND not using up stash, the January Aran was scaring me with its threat of steeks, and I had restarted the Kauni cardigan for the fourth time using the alternating colors on every-other row and while it wasn't rolling I just wasn't crazy about the way it was lookingI was SOOOOO close to ripping it back...but then I discovered that what I had initially read as 3 inches of ribbing was only 3 centimenters, and after ripping back about 6 rows I decided to plunge ahead.

There are a lot of steps between bored & obsessed, and other knitters might be able to visit them. I, on the other hand....Did you notice the lack of content on yesterday's post? That's because I can't type while knitting. I am OBSESSED with this sweater. I LOVE IT!!! If the wool weren't so darn scratchy I would sleep with this sweater. I finally love how the colors are lining up, and if the relatively slow progress of knitting can ever be called "exciting," it is exciting to see how the colors change and line up. I have worked on this for so long my eyes were starting to cross, so I finally shoved it into a bag and...My March Project of the Month is done!!! I originally planned to do more than 2, but as cute as they are, they don't have handles or ties or anything and I'm not sure if they really make good wine gift bags. As decorations, though, aren't they adorable?

Since I still had a lot of felt, I decided to branch out a bit. This one is waiting for a hem and handlesand this one is just finishing up on the designand I have 3 more cut out. And you know what the best part is? I can work on the Kauni cardigan while the sewing machine does the embroidery. I'm craft multitasking!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Have You Ever....

....wanted to cast on something new and been unable to decide what to cast on?

Today I have that New Project urge, and yet none of the yarn is really calling to me, and I'm not lusting after any particular pattern. I can't even narrow it down to sweater, scarf, lace, stockinette, simple, challenging--nothing. Just NEW.

I suspect it's because the January Aran--which I have been loving ever since I figured out the twisted stitch pattern--is creeping closer and closer to THE DECIDING MOMENT. When I brace myself and cut those darn steeks....or decide that I am too much of a coward to go anywhere near my knitting with sharp scissors and doom it forever to the Bin of Shame. I finished the first sleeve today, so that only leaves the second sleeve between me and The Steeks!

Are there support groups for this????

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Just the Two Of Us

The Kauni cardigan and me....well, and Theo.......we're trying it AGAIN.My last attempt looked okay color-wise, but the ribbing was rolling, so this time I'm striping only on every-other row of the ribbing. No idea yet if that will still look striped or if it will stop the ribbing, but I did learn a couple things yesterday:

1. Unless you rip back both yarns simultaneously, the alternate stripes function as double knitting and it can be really hard to figure out what row either one of the colors is on.

2. This might increase frustration, and when one is frogging and realizes that one will have to rip everything out and start over, one might get annoyed enough to pull a little too hard, thus breaking the yarn.

Thank heavens I have other, better behaved knitting projects. The scarf is zipping alongAnd the first sleeve for the January Aran is almost done!Theo was obviously enjoying playing "Vanna" this morning. You can see the fur on his leg still hasn't completely grown back, but his leg is getting stronger all the time and now he's allowed supervised but leashless visits to the backyard in the early afternoons before the crazy soccermom school traffic begins.

I don't know if Theo realizes he's done with the kitty therapy or not, but he no longer wants anything to do with the purple blanket that always accompanied him to and from the vet clinic, so...
Finders, keepers!