Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Made It With Three Days To Spare!!!

About one hour ago, I finished the last seam on this baby.....

and it's a bit big.  I think I'll eventually redo the collar seam at the "V" and I'll see what blocking does for it.  If that doesn't solve the problem, I'll be frogging and making something else with this yarn.  I've hung onto it for possibly 10 years now--I'm getting a sweater out of it, dang it!

Of course, it might be fine once I fix the neck.  It was 95 degrees yesterday and today, and thanks to a mouse that Theo brought in and lost when it crawled into a crack underneath the bathroom cabinets where we can't get at it, we have eau de dead mouse permeating the upstairs of the house.  If we close the windows so we can turn on the air conditioning, the stink is unbelievable.  So, we have all the windows open and roast, we're hot but it doesn't stink.  I wouldn't have automatically guessed it, but it seems hot beats stinky hands down.  So, I had this sweater on for about 18 seconds, and wasn't thrilled with it, but right now I'd feel the same way about a tee-shirt. 

Since everyone enjoyed the Stashdash, or are saying they did so as not to hurt my feelings, we're having a "dead heat" stashdash July 1 through August 31.  Same idea--fill a basket with yarn and try to knit it all up--but this time I'm involving NO sweaters, and I think my basket might be having issues.  This
is what I had in my basket an hour ago.  This
is what I have added since finishing the sweater.  That's a fair bit of yarn in two months, but right now I'm justifying it because I have planned to include the new gray socks, but since I'm finished with the sweater early, I'll have the socks farther along than expected...which I'm sure will make ALL the difference.

Thank heavens I'm always so rational after finishing a project............................

Monday, June 27, 2011

All The Knitting Is Done!

And I'm onto the seams:

which is really the worst part of the whole thing, and if I didn't have an absurd goal for the number of projects I can finish this year, there's a good chance this sweater would be remaining in this stage for an extended period of time. 

Partially to reward myself and partially to preserve my sanity, I cast on a pair of socks last night:
They're going to be relatively plain toe-up socks for Andy.  The yarn has been in my stash for at least 5 years, and I think could be accounted for in my I-just-learned-to-knit-socks buying frenzy.  It's not bad yarn (Schachenma  Nomotta Regia Strato), but I'm not wild enough about the colorway to explain why I had enough of it for 3 pairs of socks.  Thankfully, one pair was made some time ago, so I'll make a pair for Andy and one for me and can get to that "44 all used up" mark in Ravelry.  


I am going to give myself credit for reaching my stashdash goal.  I went from this
to this
which isn't that exciting from a yardage perspective, but it is fun to see how much yarn volume I really have used up.  I hadn't thought about what I would do if the sweaters had leftover yarn, so I'm going to treat it as "good faith" and celebrate...........as soon as I finish those darn seam.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Want to Know What I'm Working On?

The pink sweater.  Still.  And I'll be working on it tomorrow as well.  The same pink sweater I worked on yesterday.  And the day before.

NOW I know why I work on so many projects at once.  It's not really my knitterly ADD.....it's really so I don't bore my blog readers to death.

See, isn't that nice of me?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dang!

Yes, it really is sort of painful to say this, but Martha Stewart really does have some good ideas:

Portable Picnic-Utensil Roll - Martha Stewart Sewing Projects

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's Going To Be A Photo Finish

I finished the last of the dishcloth yarn in my stashdash basket last night, so now with 8 days left to go I just have the pink sweater.  BUT I'm doing the 3/4-length sleeves two at a time, and I just switched from the 3-inch ribbing to the main pattern.  It is possible.  The REAL challenge, of course, will be to see what gives out first--my desire to finish a project or my new project lust that makes me want to cast on ANYTHING but this pink sweater!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

So, Let's Chalk Another One Up On The List of "Things I Should Not Do"

I have finished the front of the pink sweater, and have cast on for the sleeves--which means I'm showing some dedication to a single project.  Obviously, this is not normal for me, and perhaps it may be said that when I get bored I am at my most dangerous for coming up with purely idiotic ideas.  Of course, coming a close second could be when someone lays down a challenge--that does account for both the current 111-project mania and the Double Dog Dare WIP mania from a couple years ago.  I'm not sure who should take the blame for the Ravelympic madness, though someone besides myself would be preferable.  So, with this past history of maniacal behavior, and my recent spate of project monogamy, something was bound to snap. 

So there I was, probably barely clinging to reality--and there might have been a glass of wine involved--and Andy and I were on the patio having dinner, and Andy asked how the progress on the sweater went during Finishing Friday, and asked who the sweater was for.  It's for me--largely because there are very few people I would make sweaters for, and I had just finished his sweater the day before and wasn't likely to give him one in hot pink.  It turns out that while I will make gifts for almost everyone I know, I consider very few people sweater-worthy.  Growing up (and presumably being a slow-learner) I actually made TWO sweaters for my father, and at least the second one was really well done.  He has never ever EVER worn either one.  Ever.  Which I suppose trumps my sister, because the last sweater I made for her (or WILL ever make for her), she not only didn't thank me for it, but when I called to find out if it had been lost in the mail, she told me she hadn't liked it.  If she wasn't in the "mandatory family gifts" realm, she would have been bounced from the gift list altogether for that one.  This launched Andy and I into a discussion about those who are "sweater worthy" in our lives (and who don't live in warm climates like Andy's parents).  Our friends whom I made the primary colors placemats and napkins are truly some of the best people we've ever known, and they are always doing kind things for us, and just a joy to know.  We agreed that THEY were sweater worthy, but that it might take me two full years to get sweaters done for them for Christmas--which isn't a bad thing necessarily, but we were actually trying to think of something for more immediate gift-giving.  Then I thought about vests--which they would both love.  But, like an idiot, when I went to my Ravelry library to find patterns, I landed on
which I think they will LOVE, but are both pretty complicated knits, and ones that even I am not going to attempt to be finished by this Christmas.  In fact, I'll be jumping on them immediately to get them finished by next Christmas. 

Our friends are Irish, so I wanted to make both sweaters in green of some sort, and luckily the stash contains almost enough (or enough with a slight pattern alteration) for the man's sweater, but that was really the only large chunk of green yarn in my stash (aside from lace and she doesn't strike me as a lace-sort of person).  So, there are now 6 balls of green fingering yarn on their way to our house from Elann.com.  I thought about waiting until the end of the year for my "window" of buying, but I decided I might postpone the "window" this year anyway, and judging by the 4 pages of charts in the book,
I might need all 18 months ahead of me.  So, I have made an exception to the Cold Sheeping for the year, and in order to make myself feel huge amounts of guilt over doing so, I went looking for the missing Fun Fur. 

You might remember that I have said that I thought almost everything in my stash has been accounted for on Ravelry, but not the Fun Fur that I knew was still lurking somewhere.  Well, it has been found and de-lurked:
Thankfully, it all fits in one shoe box, and I have some young nieces who are just the right age to appreciate scarves that look like they've been made from Muppet pelts.   They're small enough that I think I can make them scarves from just one skein of this stuff, or maybe one and a half, which means I could use up this:
three skeins of Fun Fur in "confetti" and all three are slightly different colors.  Or I make make them hats and just trim them with this stuff.   Or I'll make them into boas for when they play dress-up.  I might make this one:
into an adult-sized boa for our costume bin.  We were discussing hosting another murder mystery party.......which involves a lot of work, lots of planning, sewing new costumes, and sounds just about crazy enough for me to commit to while in a project-monogamy-stupor.

Someone stop me!

Friday, June 17, 2011

2 Sleeves, 13 Days

So, the "Spring Stashdash" challenge I'm leading on Ravelry ends on July 1.  I started with this:
and everything is finished except maybe 2 more dishcloths and the pink sweater.  I've almost finished the front, though
and might actually finish it today, thanks to a mysteriously early start today.........

like 4:30 AM.  I'm feeling slightly less guilty about everything we had to put him through during the broken leg episode.............

So I have 13 days to finish 2 sleeves, the seams, and the neck.  I think it could happen.  It won't technically empty my basket as I'm positive I'll have pink yarn left, and I have almost 3 balls left over from Andy's sweater
as he didn't seem to think the idea of a sweater and matching hat combo was particularly "manly" once one is over the age of 5, and he might have a point there.  I haven't exactly seen Antonio Banderas or Brad Pitt walking around in sweater and tam ensembles.  Yet.

I am, of course, already starting to fantasize about working with new yarns
and might even be tempted to cast something on if this pink sweater weren't now so close to being a Finished Object, and it being possibly the oldest yarn in my stash, and if I use it up then it feels less like yarn hoarding than just yarn stashing.   There's probably a very fine line there, and while there's enough pressure being surrounded by yarn I actually want to knit with, I think it would be sort of disturbing to be surrounded by yarn I was never going to use.  Unless for some strange reason I was in Walmart and then that make a lot of sense, but that seems unlikely.

And the big news of the day:
The new monitor is here!!!!!!!!!  And it is larger than our television, which is sort of funny as the only reason I got a 19-inch television after my old 15-inch one finally stopped working is that I had received so much flak about the 17-inch monitor I had then being bigger than my television screen.  Personally, except for subtitled movies, I don't see why television screens need to be huge.  I've heard that other people don't treat watching television as just something to do while knitting, which amazes me.  Isn't that the whole point of tv? 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Almost 11 months late, but Andy's birthday sweater,

is finished!  And the picture is even right-side up (thank you RobinH).   Now that Unix, F-Spot, Blogger, and I have reached a truce, it's time to see more pictures--especially since I am not quite ready to discuss the first zipper experience.......

More of the primary colors placemats and napkins:
with my helpful assistant, of course.   We don't even pretend that I can get sewing pictures without him anymore.  He did need to go outside to tear up the garden for a while, so I got a quick picture of the latest chemo cap:
AND.....what Andy made for me for my birthday (which was in September, but Andy was running a bit late this year as well, though not quite as late as moi):


A writing desk!  It's made from walnut from his grandparents' farm in Indiana, and I now have an official desk for writing thank you notes and letters.   So far, Theo has shown no interest at all in the writing desk--possibly because vast quantities of shedded fur won't stick to it at all--though we'll see what happens when fall comes and he doesn't have the garden to play in any more.  I vaguely recall a time when I could sew without Theo as well.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

This Is Why Yarn Is My Friend

*  Yarn does not have a monitor that will suddenly decide that 30 seconds should be enough time for anyone to wish to see whatever it is they're trying to type.

*  Buying yarn doesn't involve any cable specifications, except the kind with the cool needle

*  New yarn rarely costs $200 to replace, and if it does, it's cashmere and I pretty much want to roll around naked in it anyway, which I wouldn't be sharing that on the blog

*  If I want my yarn to be sideways, I turn it.  If I don't, I can turn it back.  I do not have to wrestle with computer programs that may or may not be compatible with whatever Blogger is doing today in order to see my knitting right side up.

*  Unless one bought really silly yarn like Fun Fur, yarn is never outdated and "not forward compatible"

*  When new yarn arrives, there are never instructions written by a 5-year-old Chinese translator that can only be deciphered after 3 glasses of wine and 4 wrong attempts in order to use the yarn

*  I don't have to haul old yarn to the dump in order to get rid of it

*  Buying new yarn is generally not sold by 20-year-old men who speak a foreign language involving MEGA Dynamic Contrast Ratio and HDMI

*  My loving spouse is not--in the gentlest way possible--about to suggest that I get bigger yarn because now that I'm over 40, my eyesight may not be what it was....

*  A new monitor on its way to my house just doesn't have the thrill that new yarn on its way to my house does.....

Friday, June 10, 2011

No Wonder

There's still no word on Jeeves yet, but I have a lot of faith in the new dealer and I know he's actually looking for the problem, so I'm not too worried about it.  I did, however, finally find an answer to a question that is bouncing around the internet.

Husqvarna sewing machines have changed drastically since the VSM buyout.  They used to be made in Sweden.  They are NOW made in Shanghai, China.  So, it doesn't just feel  like the company has changed and that the machines one used to be able to depend on are total crap.  When was the last time you heard of a product made in China that wasn't cheap unreliable garbage?

The good news is that Jeeves and Emma are both old enough to have been manufactured in Sweden, so I'm set for a while, but I would never buy a Husqvarna again.  Thousands of dollars for junk produced in China?  Not likely.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Actual Knitting On The Knitting Blog!

With less than a month left in the stash-dash challenge, the pink sweater now has a back,

there's another shower cloth,

and the last chemo cap is in progress,
 leaving me with just this:
left to use up. This weekend I hope to work on Andy's sweater and maybe even finish it, but I don't think it will take all of the remaining black yarn. I'm not sure exactly how to account for that as far as the stash-dash challenge, but maybe I'll see if Andy would be interested in a matching hat.....

There has finally been actual sewing:

and Theo is just beside himself with joy over the new projects to fur.
The placemats and napkins are either 1/3 or 1/4 of a gift for some close friends coming over on Saturday.  They recently redecorated their dining room using primary colors, so I'm making 2 yellow, 2 red, and 2 blue placemat/napkin sets (and will throw in green if I have the time).  This is the first real sewing I've done since cleaning the sewing room, and I am working really hard to keep things nice and tidy.....which could explain why only the first color is done.............

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hey, I'm a Trend-Setter

According to this article from Threads magazine:

Color Coordination - Threads

I predicted the "Color of the Year." Apparently what I have often referred to as "Pepto-Bismal pink" may in reality be "Honeysuckle" and THE color for fall.

Um, yeah. I knew that.....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Um, Was That A Full Length Month? Really?

So some months doing the stash tally is quite exciting. This, however, isn't one of them. For May, I have the following sad, little, pathetic report:

Projects finished: 3
Yards of fabric used: none
Yards of yarn used: 1543
skeins of yarn used: 6

May was only 2 weeks long this year, right?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Getting Back To Normal

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes, though I guess I should have explained that I actually turned 40 in September, and Andy's sister and her family had lined up the birthday adventure for when we joined them in Colorado for our niece's graduation.  We were there 5 action-packed days, and I think I just caught up on my sleep last night.  :)

It technically wasn't my first white water rafting trip, but it was certainly my first one involving Class III or Class IV rapids.  I believe the technical classifications involve something about water per square foot or speed, but for we laymen, I'd say Class III is when you start thinking you could die, Class IV is when you think you really might die, and Class V is when you start converting.  We were with a brilliant guide who didn't tell us until we were through it that one of the first rapids we went through was a Class IV, so that made it much easier to do the rest of the trip.  I'll admit, I was quite nervous about the whole thing because I'm not an adrenaline-sport person, but A) I was so touched that Andy's sister and her family would think of doing this for my birthday, B) they're always fun and I would regret not being able to do the things they come up with, and C) I don't think very many things are nearly as frightening to do as they are to think about--with the sole exception of steeks.  So while I'd definitely say it was a bit frightening, it was also a LOT of fun--which I have never said about steeks.

Since this was a visit to the folks we have now dubbed The Adventure Family, there wasn't time for much knitting while we were there, but I did finish a scarf on the plane,
and I have finally knit up all the yarn from the first attempt at the back of the pink sweater, and can finally start counting yardage again.
There hasn't been a great deal of crafting since we got back--though Theo has been staking out the sewing room just in case:
He did get to "help" me iron some fabric for a birthday gift for a friend,
who luckily likes cats and will understand that no crafting projects are ever allowed to leave this house without a layer or two of cat hair.  

Or three when Theo feels he has been neglected for a few days.............