Monday, November 29, 2010

Down To One!

Bob:  In a surprise move yesterday, Ms. Sutton abandoned the expected cornucopia-finishing and instead surprised us with a flurry of scarves.

Ron:  How right you are, Bob!  We were predicting all 11 cornucopias to be necessary for Ms. Sutton to hit 100 projects for 2010, but seemingly out of nowhere came project 98:
a pair of scarves that no one predicted. 

Bob:  This certainly is getting interesting.  These scarves were a complete experiment for Ms. Sutton.  She was attempting to use a combination of threads on a rolled edge 
and I think it would be fair to call the results only moderately successful as the edge doesn't have that nice finish that Woolly Nylon would have given it, but as Woolly Nylon has become almost impossible to find in Boise, I think she was a bit too desperate to finish the scarves to wait until she could mail-order the missing thread. 

Ron:  We are certainly seeing a slight relaxing of project standards as we near the end of this 11-month push.  Project 99
 is a perhaps a bit short for a traditional scarf, but when questioned, Ms. Sutton snapped that she had shorter friends who would probably love it, and accused me of shortness-discrimination.

Bob:  Do you think it's possible that Ms. Sutton has totally snapped at this point?

Ron:  She certainly gives every indication.  With only one project to go and TWO cornucopias still needing cording, 
Ms. Sutton has started TWO Christmas aprons,  
lined up yarn for another attempt at mittens,
and has been spotted looking through quilting patterns.   It may be that once project 100 is finished, we will be in for a project-starting whirlwind. 

Bob:  I think it might be more of a project-starting hurricane, knowing Ms. Sutton.

Ron:  Too true, Bob!  After the immense pressure of this event, I think Ms. Sutton is certainly a couple colors short of a fair isle sweater.  Let's just hope no one gets hurt in the euphoric aftermath.  Some residents of Chateau Sutton-Goar are already looking for hiding places.....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And We Are Down To Three!

Ron:  Here we are at Chateau Sutton-Goar and with cornucopia number nine being finished today, the question now is what will give out first:  cornucopias, quick knitting projects, or Ms. Sutton's sanity.

Bob:   It's looking like an even race at this point.

Ron:  It does indeed, Bob, though Ms. Sutton did manage to complete the Ravelympics sweater even after completely parting with her sanity, so anything could happen now..........

Friday, November 26, 2010

Knitting Things I'm Thankful For

*  that not all yarn behaves like mohair when one needs to frog

*  that my husband has a 40-inch chest, not a 48-inch chest

*  that Theo's favorite craft is sewing.  He can do so much less damage to fabric than yarn.

*  that I didn't make the 100-Projects goal "knitting only."

*  that today, with a tryptophan and carbohydrate hang-over,  I have a very simple project to work on

*  that one can replace broken knitting needles for relatively small amounts of money, and one doesn't have to wait months for defective parts to be replaced

*  that I have great online knitting buddies, even if I may never meet them in person

*  that I have already learned that some people are not knit-worthy, and won't be wasting my time on them

*  that I have almost reached the 100-project goal, and could be a normal person again in the very near future.  (I said "could.")

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This Holiday, My "Goodwill Toward Men" Is Unlikely To Extend To The Bastards At Husqvarna

The good news is, towel number 3 is done
which finished project number 94.

The bad news is, Jeeves is definitely having problems--not the card or the design. 

See the little "jag" on the inside curve there?
That isn't supposed to be there.  Nor is the line of random stitching BELOW the solid orange.  These are problems caused by Jeeves randomly resetting his location.  He still did it in the place he did on the other two towels, but this time he expanded and did it several other times.  Luckily, I was ready for it this time and was able to readjust him so that it wasn't too obvious.

Now, want to know what makes this even MORE fun?  THIS IS HOW THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM WITH JEEVES STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!  You know--that first repair that took two weeks, which then spawned the much LONGER repair because he came back with more problems than he went in with. It is just two months since I got Jeeves back.  Oh, and just in case I didn't hate my dealer enough today--the part that I asked them to order two months ago still isn't in.  At least I know it was ordered the SECOND time I requested it.

So....the new card has a one-year warranty on it (of which there are only 8 months left because two of those months were sucked up by the incredibly long time required for the second repair--and don't think for an instant that a company like Husqvarna gives you credit for anything like that), so I'm going to wait for a few months before taking Jeeves in this time & see if I can get my list of projects done before I have to turn him over to the "repair" guy to break other things.  And if the other part is going to go out as well, that will give it some time to fail as well & I can just get it all taken care of at once.

Thank heavens for Bernie!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Will 99 and 100 Be?????

Unless something goes majorly wrong (or I finally snap and Andy finds me running around the house with an unfinished cornucopia on my head yelling "I'm an elf!  I'm an elf"), the next 5 Finished Projects are likely to be cornucopias.  That will leave me just two projects short.

No promises, but possible contenders are,

a new scarf, using a clever but somewhat boring pattern by the Yarn Harlot.

It is going quickly, and is good for multi-tasking--like while embroidering with Jeeves.  My trusty side-kick and I
have been making towels as prizes for our upcoming Christmas party & cheese tasting.  I need 3
and just finished the second one tonight.  There's a problem, happening with the design--it keeps moving at a certain spot.  On the first towel, you can see the black, which is supposed to be the shadow of the cheese, quite a bit lower than the cheese.  I had enlarged the design on the machine, and thinking that might be the problem (not that it should be a problem, but I think we have all learned what to expect from Husqvarna machines by now), redid the design on the computer and added a second holly design to cover up the flub if it happened again--and this time it flubbed in a little different spot.  See those white stripes on the Parmesan wedge?  Yeah--not supposed to be there.  The fact that it's slightly different leads me to believe the problem is again with Jeeves, and thankfully the repair has a one-year warranty.  (unfortunately, of course, two months of that warranty were sucked up by the lousy Husqvarna service on the subsequent repair).  I really, really HOPE it is just the design, but I am WAY too irritated to do the third towel tonight. 

Maybe it's time for a new hat............................

Monday, November 22, 2010

Anyone Else Tired of Cornucopias Yet?

Things to be thankful for:

     1.  There is a finished project 93

     2.  It is a cornucopia, and it looks like the preceding FIVE cornucopias, which is just as well as that is actually what I'm aiming for.

     3.  The cornucopias really make nice gifts

     4.  We actually get to keep one this year, which is nice because I ended up giving away all the ones I made last year

     5.  The decorative cord is half-attached to cornucopia #7

     6.  When all 11 of the darn things are finished, I will have used up just over 96 yards of fabric for the year, and have finished 98 projects so far this year

     7.  There aren't 12 of them

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We Have Hat!!!!

Meet project 92:
It's a much cuter hat that the picture might lead you to believe, but in the final scramble to get to 100, it's the projects and not the pictures that are getting the attention.  That I stayed up late on a Saturday night to finish it is open to interpretation.  I prefer to think of it as "showing extreme determination to reach goals," versus "pathetic and sad and well on the way to being a batty old lady." 

So, 8 projects left and if I use up 9 more yards of fabric in the next 40 days I will have hit the new secondary goal of using up 100 yards of fabric for the year--which really won't make much of a dent on the fabric stash as I haven't been on a purchasing ban for fabric and have recently been lashing out with my poor little Visa so often at Joanns that my poor credit card can be heard whimpering in pain at the bottom of my purse.  BUT it will at least make me feel good to know that I might have used up more fabric this year than I have purchased....or at least up until the after-Christmas sales which I plan to take full advantage of.  Then maybe a fabric ban for next year as well........?  After all, the sewing room is actually never going to be less cluttered if every time I free up some space by using up yarn I cram it up again with fabric.  Which has taken me 2 years to realize, unfortunately.......

Friday, November 19, 2010

We're Down To Single Digits

Bob:  This just in:  with 42 days left in the year, Ms. Sutton has finished project 91
 and has made astounding progress on the next 6 cornucopias.  

All 6 are ready for the hand-stitching to close the opening and add the decorative cord.

Ron:  That's  quite a bit more progress than we've seen from Ms. Sutton lately.  What prompted the recent burst of productivity?

Bob:  Obviously realizing that Ms. Sutton was slacking off a bit, her newly self-appointed coach
woke her up at 4:30 this morning to get cracking on Finishing Friday.

Ron:  Theo's hard work has certainly had the desired effect.  Can we expect the same tenacity tomorrow morning.

Bob:  Hard to say, Ron.  Rather than expressing gratitude for his help, Ms. Sutton has threatened to lock Theo in the garage for the night tonight.  Coaching certainly is a thankless job.

Ron:  How right you are, Bob.  Poor Theo had to nap all day to recover from his early morning exertions. 

Bob:  Such dedication!  Let's hope he can push Ms. Sutton through these final 9 projects.  Keep it tuned here for the 2010 100-Project Challenge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ten And Holding

Ron:  Things are still holding steady with 90 finished objects and only 10 to go. 

Bob:  Frankly, Ron, we really haven't seen much crafting happening here at Chateau Sutton-Goar.  It seems Ms. Sutton has been temporarily derailed by Christmas decorating.

Ron:  Christmas???  It isn't even Thanksgiving yet.  What on earth could she be thinking?

Bob:  When I asked, I received a very stern look
and no reply.
Ron:  This puts an entirely new angle on things.  We were expecting output to slow down over the Christmas season, but if Ms. Sutton begins the holiday season a full week and a half before the day-after-Thanksgiving kick-off, what will this do to the 100-project challenge?

Bob:  It's hard to say, Ron.  With "Finishing Friday" coming up tomorrow and two half-decorated Christmas tree, anything could happen...........

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Down To Ten

Bob:  It's an exciting moment here at Chateau Sutton-Goar today.  Late last night, project number 90 was completed

leaving just 10 projects left to finish in 45 days. If Ms. Sutton can manage to finish a project every 4 and a half days, she'll make her target! 

Ron:  A real breakthrough for Ms Sutton certainly.  though the fifth cornucopia was, in fact, the last one that was so very far along.  To finish the remaining 6, Ms. Sutton will have to spend some dedicated time in the sewing room, and her behavior yesterday
leads me to wonder if her dedication isn't slipping just a bit.
Bob:  I think you may be right, Ron.  Ms. Sutton will have to stay focused, which is going to be a real struggle for the woman who managed to rack up over 35 WIPs at one time.  There was a bit of a "mohair incident" this weekend
which makes one wonder if she is indeed slipping.  While the lace jacket will someday be a lovely project, to get sidetracked by such a large project now could be fatal.

Ron:  That was indeed an unfortunate detour.  Let's just hope Ms. Sutton's recent work on this
shows her getting back on track.

Bob:  Wasn't that hat going to be done in only two colors to save time?

Ron:  I believe you're right, Bob, though considering there was a brief flirtation with the beaded ostrich plume scarf
it's still the best move she has made in knitting during the last week. 

Bob:  Looks like it really could go down to the wire on this one.  Keep it tuned here for our continuing coverage of the 2010 100 Project Challenge.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Return of Bob & Ron

Bob:  We're here at Chateau Sutton-Goar to bring you continuing coverage of the final push of the 2010 100-Project Challenge.  With 47 days and 13 projects left to go, it may be down to the wire here.

Ron:  That's right, Bob.  As things stand, Ms. Sutton needs to average a finished object every three and a half days to get there.

Bob:  And what would you say her chances are at this point?

Ron:  I'd say better than 50-50 if she sticks to the hat regime.  It goes without saying that lace or cables would be a tragic mistake at this stage in the game.

Bob:  Now wasn't there some expectation of Ms. Sutton finally tackling some advanced WIPs--such as Fleur--to make her goal?

Ron:  There certainly was, Bob, and I can tell you that I've been surprised at Ms. Sutton's obstinacy in ignoring almost-finished-projects in pursuit of new ones.  A smarter game plan would have been to skip the two quilts and go straight to the Project Time Out Bin.  But Ms. Sutton is an unusual competitor.  It's unclear whether she doesn't SEE the easier path or just completely and utterly ignores it, but her unusual strategy may still get her through this.

Bob:  So with 13 projects to go, what sort of activity have you seen from Ms. Sutton this week?

Ron:  We have been seeing some dedication to the cornucopias.  Two are finished, one has the decorative cording partially stitched on, and two more are ready for the cording.  That leaves six that are still waiting for assembly but that are at least cut out.  If she really digs in and finishes the rest of them up, we could see Ms. Sutton hit goal a bit early even.  
Bob:  Tell us about the winter pillow covers--weren't they going to be a fast project?

Ron  They were indeed, Bob, but Ms. Sutton took a surprising turn in deciding to hand-stitch several beads onto each one, which was clearly a mistake with so little time left.  One pillow top out of 4 is done, and she needs to complete all 4 for a finished project.  

Bob:  Truly a tragic move.  Let's hope it doesn't cost Ms. Sutton the contest.  On another note, what are we likely to see from Ms. Sutton today?

Ron:  In an interesting move, Ms. Sutton has invited some girl friends over this afternoon for a crafting day.  Strategically, this could be a good move as there will certainly be some dedicated crafting time today.  Of course, it will depend on whether Ms. Sutton uses this time to finish cornucopias or perhaps a hat, or if she will break stride and work on something much more time consuming, like lace.  As we have seen in the past with Ms. Sutton, anything is likely.

Bob:  And there are numerous lace projects in progress.  Anything that is truly likely to be finished by the end of the year?  

Ron:  There's a Pi Shawl with less than half the edging left to finish, which could be a contender but only with some serious knitting time, which Ms. Sutton just doesn't have at this point.  There's a new Ostrich Plumes Scarf that could be seeing more progress if Ms. Sutton hadn't decided to add seed beads every 8 rows.  The dem fischer sin fru shawl still has at least one entire clue to go, and the new lace cardigan is only at about 10% completion, and would be positively fatal at this point.

Bob:  Isn't that the cardigan I saw Ms. Sutton working on just last night?

Ron:  Sadly, it is indeed Bob.  

Bob:  Let's hope it was just a moment of mohair weakness for Ms. Sutton and that she gets back on form today.  47 days, 13 projects.  Can she do it??????  Keep it tuned here for our continuing coverage of the 2010 100-Project Challenge.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Close Enough

The GOOD news is, the hat with the 'manly" leaves is finished.  The bad news is

notice anything about the top of the hat?  Like the color not matching the rest of the hat?  Yeah, I noticed that too.  The yarn is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes, and since both skeins would have been ordered at the exact same time, I guess I assumed that they were the same dye lot.  Obviously not.  Oh don't get me wrong--this is November 12 and I'm counting it as a Finished Project no matter what--the truly desperate having no shame at all--but I will either be keeping the silly thing or finding a not-too-observant person who would like to give it a home no matter what it looks like. 

The winter pillow covers took a bit of a detour.  I decided they would look better with beads
which is, of course, a great way to REALLY slow down progress on them.  So is this:
Thank heavens he picked the washable project to shed on.  I spent the day working on cornucopias, and have one that looks terrific:
and one where I didn't measure quite so accurately:
Hm, guess which one I worked started  after Andy brought the white chocolate martini.........

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting A Little Bit Desperate.....

 I'm guessing you might have noticed that the "days left" number is moving a lot more consistently than "projects left" is.  I keep hovering right around that need-a-project-every-three-days-to-make-it mark, but I'm not really getting projects done every 3 days.  The manly-leafy hat is getting close:
but if I were a bright person I would have remembered that colorwork really slows me down because A) there's a chart involved, B) I am too lazy to put the yarn on bobbins to spend large amounts of time undoing big multi-colored yarn snarls, and C) I don't care much for colorwork, so I won't work on it with much dedication.  Thankfully, I have about 4 rows left then it's a stockinette free-for-all to the top.

Of course, since the chart makes it a not-portable project, I have started a new tweed hat
and will hopefully have the sense to only use one other color for the tweedy part, which should still make it an easy project as only one color is actually used on any given row.  This is the theory.

Knitting, sadly, is probably not going to get me to 100 in 51 days, so Sunday I spent barricaded in the sewing room.  While Theo helped me to cut out lining, material, and batting to mass-produce some cornucopias,
 I dug out some navy plush to get some winter pillow covers going on Jeeves.  
and somehow managed to mess that up before I even STARTED sewing:
I've had this washer for about 7 years now, and this honestly was the first time I have ever created a solid wall of foam in the thing.  It took 2 more full wash cycles to get rid of the stuff, though not until after I had sprayed it all over the laundry room by slamming the washer door shut.  I assume if Woolite is truly gentle enough for delicate fabrics, it probably didn't do any harm to the walls, floor, and ceiling. 

 I did finally get it all cleaned up, rinsed, dried, cut out, and started on Jeeves
which is probably a really long way to say that I don't have a single finished project to show you. 

51 days and counting...................

Monday, November 8, 2010

Strange To Think.....

It occurred to me today that there probably are people who do hobbies just for the fun of it and don't make up bizarre challenges in order to drive themselves completely crazy.

Hm.  To each their own..............

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Are You Sitting Down?

Finished project number 82:

which is a fall table-runner type thing to go underneath some stuff, so the fact that some of my embroidered leaves stand out a bit too much really won't matter.

Finished project number 83:

the absolutely adorable purple tweed hat.

The new hat project:
 which is at the "manly leaves" part and keeps loading sideways for unknown reasons, and finally, after lots
and lots
and LOTS
of time over the last 2 days (like almost all of it), we have finished project number 84:

The Christmas quilt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Done AND done early enough to be mailed off in plenty of time for Christmas. 

I sincerely hope the shock wasn't too much for anyone, though I could certainly understand if it was.

Friday, November 5, 2010

And What I Would Be Showing You TODAY If I Could Find the Camera....

I have a new chair pad! 

Neither Andy's desk chair nor my office chair are the greatest chairs.  Which makes sense, because unless you are really going to spend about $600-$700 on a desk chair, it's going to hurt your back or backside in a few years.  Not being independently wealthy, we of course do not own $1400's worth of chairs.  However, we ARE now the possessors of $25's worth of foam pads for our cheap chairs.  We went to a local foam place--believe it or not, there are such places--and got the foam that would be IN the $700 chairs. 

My butt is in love!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We Have Hat!!!!

I have finished the purple-tweed hat!
I have taken pictures of the finished purple-tweed hat!
I have misplaced my camera after taking pictures of the finished purple-tweed hat!

I know.  Sometimes I even amaze myself.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Husqvarna Service Update

Remember the bobbin cover that was missing from the new sewing machine?  I stopped into my local dealership to see if they had one--which of course they didn't--but they found a used one in the back that they sold to me for half price.  That was fine--except that it was the wrong one.  To be fair, Husqvarna discontinues & redesigns their machines so often that it would be very hard to keep track of everything, so I simply called them to ask if they could order the right one for me.  "Sure thing."  ONE MONTH LATER, I hadn't heard from them, so I called and spoke to the repair guy.  He didn't bother to look to see if it was in--just assured me it must be, or that he probably had one on-hand.  I know--at this point I should have reminded him that he was the one who sent me home with the wrong part in the first place, so he obviously "didn't just have one," but one thing I have learned about dealing with him is that he's so absolutely sure that he's right that he is talking before he's had a chance to listen.  (This is the man who sent me home with a "fixed" machine that had more problems than it went in with remember)  Knowing he wasn't going to be the least bit helpful no matter what I said, the next day I stopped by the shop to see if the part was in.  In the same level of customer service I have come to expect from Husqvarna, the part hadn't even been ordered.  Now, I hope you don't think I've become cynical or anything, but I wasn't even the least bit surprised.  Luckily, they have computerized their records and my account seems to now show my "service" record (including my call to order the thing), and the owner was the one I spoke to this time.  He was a bit less than pleased to discover it hadn't been ordered, so in another 6 months or so, I might finally get this silly $5 part.

The crazy thing is, the next-closest dealership is over two hours away, but it might really be faster in the long run!

Monday, November 1, 2010

It's The First Of The Month......

.....and I've decided NOT to pick a Project of the Month bag.  I have 19 projects left to finish and two months in which to finish them.  I think it's time for a little project selectivity, or in other words, HATS!!!!!

Meet hat number 2:
 which maybe wasn't the brightest hat to select since it takes THREE rounds of knitting to get each of those tweedy-looking rows, so this is not a true project for speed, but it is getting a lot of attention because I just love how it looks.  This
is hat number 3, and also my new portable project.  It's going to be a stocking cap with a teal design of some sort--maybe leaves?  I am told by the resident expert on manly attire (aka Andy) that leaves are more manly than snowflakes.  Glad he feels that way, since he's out there raking some manly leaves right now......  :)