Saturday, December 31, 2005

It is indeed a purple mystery.

Happy New Year's Eve, everyone! This is really sad - it's after 9pm on New Year's Eve, and I'm blogging. Not only am I blogging, I'm wearing navy blue socks, dog-hair-covered black yoga capris, and a stained sweatshirt from my first half-Ironman, I have no makeup on, and my hair is all straight and sticking to my head from when I swam early this afternoon. Sheesh. And I call myself a member of The Sexy Knitter's Club.

Anyway, let's move on to the Mystery of the Malabrigo Shrug:

Back in September, Mike and I visited The Knitting Tree while we were in Madison for Ironman. I bought some wonderful Malabrigo to make a shrug that the owner of the store, Melissa Matthay, had designed. The colors are Purple Mystery and Lettuce. Because of other knitting must-dos, I didn't get to it until yesterday. To my horror, the pattern is wrong. It's very vague and there are typos - not little typos (well, there are some of those too), but big honkin' ones. Like "K1, k2tog, k8, yo, k until 11 sts, yo, k8, k2tog tbl, kl" for the left front. A) those are the same instructions as for the back. B) there aren't enough stitches to do that whole thing on. No schematics, no number of stitches you should have at any given point, no increase instructions given for the left front when there were increases on the back. (I've never done a sweater that has increases on the back but not on the front. Have you?) I quickly became obssessed with this shrug and was determined to figure it out ASAFP. I changed my workout schedule for today so that I could be home at 10am and call the store when they opened. Someone (a man, or a woman with a really husky voice) took my number and said that "Jackie" would call me back in a couple of minutes. He/she also told me that Melissa no longer owns the store, so I'm assuming that Jackie bought it from her. I stayed home until 1:30, but never got a call back. My guess is that they figured there's not a huge rush to call me back since I don't live in town and won't be frequenting their store very often (if ever again - not because of this incident, but because I don't foresee us having a reason to be in Madison, WI again). Or maybe they just got really busy. Either way, they forced me to do something I've never done before: write the pattern sort of on my own. Egads! I'm soooooo not a creative person - I'm very anal and can follow directions very well, but when it comes to coming up with ideas on my own, I fall short. I went on the assumption that the instructions for the back are correct, then backed into numbers for the left (which became the right somehow) front. I also used this picture as best as I could. I've sewed the right front to the back, and so far, so good.

There's some striping on the sleeves and the edging, which I'm going to use the Lettuce for.

Isn't it pretty?

Lettuce hope that I can forge on and make this shrug as wonderful as the one I tried on in the store back in September and wanted to roll around naked in. (If you've ever touched Malabrigo, let alone knit with it, you'll understand why I said that.)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Promised pictures

Without further ado, I present to you Mike's Christmas sweater:

This is the Man's Cabled Sweater out of last spring/summer's Rebecca magazine (the one with the cute short-sleeved purple sweater on front - I'm too lazy to go upstairs right now and get my copy to see what number it is) done out of Jo Sharp DK Wool. I'm very pleased with it.

Here's a closeup shot of the front:

And here's a sleeve:

As you can tell, once I was done with the ribbing, there wasn't a row that didn't need a cable needle. I do love cables, but I think I am cabled out for the time being!

I've got some more pictures! I was in a Vintage Christmas swap, and this is what my swap partner, Mo, sent me:

It's an ornament made out of a vintage spool covered in vintage Christmas paper. It's filled with little candies. I think it looks great on my tree, don't you? And if that weren't enough, her kids made this for Hayden:

A bar of soap with a Cinderella figurine inside! She saw the pictures of him with his princesses and thought that he might like it. Of course he does! It's great tool to use to get him to remember to wash his hands after using the bathroom. She and her kids are so thoughtful.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig.

After an action-packed Christmas Day, we are home again, trying to resume normal life. We had Christmas morning at our house, Christmas afternoon with my in-laws about 45 minutes away, then Christmas night in Memphis with my family (a 3-hour drive from our house). We came home the next day, so a lot of time was spent in the car. Fortunately, I do not get carsick from knitting, so I got a couple of repeats done on my Gryffindor scarf. Man, this is going to be one long scarf! It's just plain stockinette stitch, but it was really nice to have something totally mindless to work on after knitting myself into a cabled frenzy finishing Mike's sweater. Today, after doing some out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new toys cleaning and organizing(believe me, our house does not look like it's home to only 1 child), I pulled out one of my old UFOs: a brioche rib turtleneck out of Artyarns Jazz. Last year I finished the back, front, and sleeves just in time for it to warm up outside, so I put the pieces in a plastic bag. I'm working on the turtleneck part now, so maybe by the end of the week I'll have a new sweater to wear!

I have no knitting pictures to share right now, but I'll leave you with some Christmas goodies:

Ho, ho, ho!

Hayden's Paw-Paw is teaching him how to use the drums that he and Mimi gave Hayden for Christmas. Unfortunately, the drums did not stay at their house.

This is Hayden wearing his Prince cape, giving his cousin Dorothy/Snow White a kiss. (Hayden, of course, was very jealous of Dorothy's Snow White dress.) He looks more like the Grim Reaper than a Prince in this picture.

Aaah, much better.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Why are Hayden and I doing a happy dance*?

For the same reason I made a change to the WIP sidebar - I finished Mike's sweater tonight!

And I've got tons of time to spare - it's only 11:20pm.

With that being said, I will not be sneaking upstairs to do some secret knitting tonight on those ornaments I mentioned yesterday. I think Mike would kill me.

Pictures will be coming in the next couple of days. Until then, everyone have a safe, happy and healthy holiday!!!

* - This is technically our silly dance, but I'm calling it our happy dance for tonight. Happiness usually accompanies silliness, anyway.

Friday, December 23, 2005


I'm at work with nothing to do, and there's a TON of stuff I need to do outside this office! I have presents to buy and sleeves to finish knitting. Crap.

My back STILL hurts so I haven't exercised since Tuesday night (which is a long time to me) and I have found how good the turtle caramel popcorn is that we have in the kitchen here. Crap.

I have to go to Toys R Us tonight. Crap.

And now I have to knit a couple of these ornaments I just found on Julia's blog. They're just too pretty not to knit, and I know my mom and my sisters would love some. And I've got both green and purple leftover Kidsilk Haze in my stash. Crap.

Can Christmas be celebrated on the 26th this year? I think one more day would give me enough time to get everything done.

To leave this post on a positive note, though, I called my husband at home to see if he had made an attempt at winding the pink mess that was hanging in our bathroom. After teasing me for a while, telling me that he ended up throwing it away, he told me that there are 3 balls of it waiting patiently on the dining room table. What a good boy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

I travelled to the Isle of Fair...

...and had a really good time! This is my husband's ski hat out of Rowanspun Chunky. (This is the Super Secret Present that I spoke of in earlier posts. He reads my blog sometimes, so I couldn't mention it. He's off work now until after Christmas, though, so I feel pretty sure he's not going to visit my blog. Reading knitting blogs is not his idea of a fun way to spend vacation time.) I used the Jayne Cobb hat pattern floating around on Craftster and used part of a chart out of the Handknit Holidays book. I'm planning on doing a Fair Isle sweater for myself after Christmas (or should I say Festivus? I'm watching Seinfeld right now) and wanted to get some practice in. I think I did a pretty okay job! It was fun. I'm looking forward to the sweater. I'm also looking forward to giving my husband this hat. He said he wanted a fun ski hat with ear flaps and no pompom - this fits the bill! He'll be really surprised because he won't be able to figure out how I fit this in, especially without him noticing.

And while we're on the subject of my husband's Festivus gifts, progress on his sleeves was thwarted today by my ever-so-precious son. After lunch, Hayden found the Kool-Aid and said, "Dye yow, Mommy? Pink!" It didn't take much twisting of this Mommy's arm - we got dressed and drove up to Angel Hair Yarn Company to buy some yarn to dye. Although I don't wear shoes that show off my socks, I've been inspired to do those cute Jaywalkers that everyone is crazy over. So we bought some Sheperd Baby Wool 4 Ply and went to Kroger to pick out some more colors. Then we came home,

wound the yarn,

picked our first color (he chose Pink Lemonade),

and dyed the yarn. (Looks like I need to clean my stovetop!)

My original thought was to dye the whole thing pink then go back and do part of it red (Tropical Punch), but so far I like the way the yarn didn't soak up the color evenly, so I may keep it as is. It'll turn out different shades of pink, I think. That's if I can wind it into a ball from the mess I have hanging to dry in the bathroom. I tied the hank in 4 different places, but I think my knots were so loose that the yarn slid out. What's drying in the bathroom is such a mess that I didn't want to take a picture of it. If it works out - if my husband can untangle it without divorcing me - I'll take a piture then. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Last scarf done!

Thanks to my staying home from work today (yay for school breaks!) and an episode of MTV's "The Gauntlet II" last night, I was able to finish the last of Hayden's therapists' scarves. This one was dyed with Arctic Green Apple, and it's not as bright as you'd think a green apple would be. Next time we'll use more Kool-Aid packets. I'd also like to try my hand at doing multi-colored dyeing.

Next on the list are Mike's sweater sleeves. I'll work on those a little today, as well as a Super Secret Present To Be Revealed Soon (hopefully by Saturday!).

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sunday goal setting

Well, I met all my goals from last week except the exercise one, and that's because I've developed some sort of pain in my lower back that has kept me from running since Wednesday night. My trainer thinks it might be sciatic nerve pain, so I've got to be really careful about stretching and maintaining good posture. Also, no running this week. I can bike and swim as long as it doesn't hurt. And I'm getting a massage tomorrow. Hopefully this will go away soon because running is the thing that I love the most, and is the easiest to do around the holidays when the gym is closed and you can't go for a swim or a Spin class. I did end up exericising 9 hours and 18 minutes, so I really wasn't that far away from my goal. And there's still time left tonight. If I want to, I could jump on my Spin bike for 45 minutes, which is what I was supposed to do today anyway (in addition to the hour run that I attempted this morning but had to stop 7 minutes into it).

And on the knitting front, not only did I finish the front of Mike's sweater, I sewed the shoulder seams, finished the neckline and did the ribbing on both sleeves! Yippee for me! Maybe there's hope for a FO by next Sunday after all!

The yarn dyed for the third and final therapist scarf is hanging in my bathroom. Hayden chose Arctic Green Apple. It didn't turn out nearly as bright as I thought it would, but it's still pretty. More like a seafoam green than a green apple. Mike and I will wind it tonight and I'll have the scarf done in time for Hayden's therapy session on Wednesday.

Here are my goals for this week:

1. Finish Mike's sweater by Saturday night.
2. Do all my swim and bike workouts.
3. Stretch and rest enough for my back to get better.

There's also another goal I've secretly set in my mind, but I can't blog about it because the person it pertains to sometimes reads this blog and I don't want to give anything away. But, once I meet it, you'll find out about it!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

7 Great Things About Being a Triathlete in December

1. You can go out for a bike ride and have fun with people who, in 5 months, will kick your ass.

2. Bike rides are about having fun, not about speed. They're about seeing who can coast the furthest down a hill.

3. 40 miles is long. (Come May and June, it almost won't be worth me getting on my bike to ride only 40 miles. And that's not meant to scare off anyone who's thinking of taking up triathlons. That's because I will be Ironman training. Yes, I am crazy.)

4. You get in the shower after a riding your bike in 43 degree weather and laugh because one of your toenails is blue. Geez, I must've been colder than I thought I was!

5. You don't have to go fast in the pool or during a run. In fact, you WANT to go slow. This time of year is all about perfecting your technique and building a great aerobic base.

6. You can eat a lot at all your holiday parties and not feel guilty about it because you, being the obsessive training junkie, are going for a 12-mile run in the morning then for a 45-minute spin on the indoor bike later that day.

7. You laugh when meeting up with your friends for a bike ride in the 43 degree weather because you don't recognize anyone. Sure, you spent countless hours with these people every weekend this past summer, but that's when you basically didn't have clothes on.

Promised pictures

Here are the sweet things that were in my SP package: chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate! And some organic snackbars. (I ate the banana bread one yesterday. Delish!) And some more Greenies for Rudy and Gracie. They give you props for those, Wendy! I think you can tell in this picture that I've already broken into one of the chocolate bars. YUMMY!!!

Here are the smelly things from the package: lavender body lotion, lavender bath gel, lavender foam bath, lavender shampoo, a lavender lotion bar from the Lavender Fields that are near her house, and peppermint foot cream. She's ensuring that nobody can call me Stinky! There's also another tube of Disney Princess toothpaste for Hayden.

And here is the softest, silkiest thing: a skein of 100% bombyx silk handpainted yarn in lovely shades of violet and purple. She said she had "Ironman Stephanie" in mind when she did it! Go ahead, stroke your monitor - feel the softness of the yarn. I've been fantasizing about what I'm going to make with it ever since I got it.

Here's a picture of the contents of the UPS Urgent package that was delivered to me last Sunday. I've been coveting that Folk Shawls book ever since I saw Eunny's Fir Cone shawl. I've got some alpaca silk laceweight yarn in my stash waiting to become something out of that book.

And one last shot:

This is our tree that we FINALLY decorated this past Wednesday. See the box underneath? I'm in a Secret Santa swap, and that's my present. I'm not supposed to open it until December 23rd, but man, is it tempting! I actually received it about a week ago but kept forgetting to mention it. I hope the person who sent it to me hasn't been reading my blog and wondering if it ever got to me. This is proof that it did.

Okay, I must return to my husband's sweater. By this time next week, I'd like to be ready to sew the sleeves in. Right now I'm a couple of inches past the armholes on the front and I've done the ribbing of both sleeves, so I still have quite a bit to do.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Compa Secreta revealed ...

... and it's Wendy!

She's been a super terrific Secret Pal - er, Compa Secreta. I got a package from her yesterday that included sweet things, smelly things, and the softest, silkiest thing EVER. I want to carry it around like a woobie always. Pictures will come later, I promise. You should check out her blog if you want to see cute dogs and wonderful handspun, handpainted yarn. She has an online store, too. Once I finish my husband's sweater, I'm going shopping!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Are you thirsty?

Here are the Kool-Aid scarves. The blue one is a keyhole scarf, and the red/pink one is just a plain ol' scarf. Pretty cute, eh? Gotta love the garter stitch - it flies by and is done in no time. We gave the blue one away last night, and she seemed very appreciative. One more to go. Its recipient will be at our house tomorrow for an in-home session, so we'll wait until Friday to dye the yarn. Hayden has picked Artic Green Apple.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Just in time!

Actually, I have almost an hour and a half to spare. It is now 3:35pm. At 5pm, Hayden and I go to speech therapy, our last session until February. The last end of the therapist's scarf just got woven in! I took a picture of it and of the first scarf, but my husband did something to the computer and I can't post pictures right now. Will do so later. One more Kool-Aid scarf to go! This one will be Arctic Green Apple flavored/colored. I think the next time I do some Kool-Aid dyeing, I'm going to try multi-colored. Eunny just made some really pretty self-striping sock yarn to do another pair of Jaywalkers.

Another picture I owe you is one of what the UPS man delivered to my house on Sunday: the book that was the subject of the Dirty Santa game that got blown way out of proportion last week and 3 skeins of some pretty purple yarn. There wasn't a return address or a note, so I can't be sure of who sent it, but I have a pretty good idea. Thank you - unnecessary, but thanks nonetheless.

Also, I had to disable the comment function on my blog. Sorry. Got tired of hearing about what a mean and hateful person I am and how I need to crawl in a hole and stay there. Somebody hiding behind anonymity really has it out for me.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday goal setting

Well, I met my goals from last week: I finished the back of Mike's sweater on Friday night, and I did all of my swim and strength training workouts that I was supposed to do. I actually did all of the workouts my trainer gave me, so I was pretty happy. I got quite a bit done on the front of Mike's sweater yesterday, but today hasn't been as productive. I ran this morning, took Hayden to "The Nutcracker" this afternoon, then we went Christmas tree shopping followed by dinner at my fave sushi restaurant (where the chef is Japanese!), so not much knitting has been done. That's okay, though - Hayden and I had fun together, and that's more important.

This week's goals are as follows:

1. Finish the front of Mike's sweater by Saturday.
2. Finish therapist scarf #2 by Tuesday so I can give it to Michelle.
3. Dye the last batch of scarf yarn.
4. Complete at least 10 hours of the scheduled 11 1/2 hours of training.
5. Don't drink too much at the Christmas party I'm going to Saturday night that I won't have the energy to do anything on Sunday.

Those are some lofty goals, so I better put my knitting clothes (I wear a 10 year old sweatshirt, a pair of teal colored sweatpants that are even older, and some blue and white handknit socks that used to be my aunt's when I knit at night - my husband can hardly keep his hands off me) and attack that sweater!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Come up and see me, make me smile

My Compa Secreta left a comment on yesterday's post, and she suggested I make a list of things that make me smile.

This ALWAYS makes me smile:

And as of last night, this makes me smile too:

Yes, it does look a little small, but the ends are curling up, and my husband is thin. I've held it up to him and it's going to fit just right, I believe.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I think I need to crawl in a hole for a while.

Don't you get really bothered by people sometimes? Here's a list of the people whose heads I might chop off soon:

1. The office manager at Easter Seals. Hayden used to go there for speech therapy, and I paid for every session we attended at the time of the session. Somehow one of my checks got posted to someone else's account, so we're still getting bills from their billing company. Several months ago I talked with the office manager and sorted this all out (or so I thought), but now I find out that she must've suffered short-term memory loss after our conversation because we still have a balance according to their billing company and no matter how many details I can recount for her of our conversation several months ago, she still thinks we owe money. So now I have to recreate all of the information I gave to her months ago and give it to the billing company so I can prove to them that a)we do not owe any more money, and b)she's a total idiot. I had problems with the billing company at the private school Hayden attended when he was 3, too. Maybe these larger companies/whatever you call them think they can just overcharge us and because we have other things to do and worry about than look over our bill and make sure it's correct, we won't catch it. Doesn't work with me. I'm very anal and organized, so I keep track of everything. And I used to be an accountant, for Pete's sake! I have my undergraduate degree in Accounting and my MBA in Finance - there's no tricking me into overpaying!

2. People who think that all wool is a) too warm to knit with, and b) yucky because they associate it with some gross outfit their mothers made them wear 20 years ago. I was having a conversation with 2 women I work with, and they just don't see the beauty in the Jo Sharp DK (100% wool that doesn't pill - yippee!) that I'm using to knit my husband's sweater with simply because it's wool. All wool is scratchy. All wool is too warm. All wool is yucky. I eventually just had to walk away and take pity for their poor, ignorant, Red Heart-loving souls.

3. People who, when playing Dirty Santa, don't take other people's needs and wants into account and steal gifts just for the sake of stealing. For hypothetical purposes, let's say that person A ended up with a book that she had been coveting for months but she hadn't been able to buy because the only yarn store she goes to has been out of it. (Sure, she could buy it on the Internet, but she'd really rather give her money to the LYS she loves so dearly. Or receive it as a gift.) She's got certain projects planned (but she can't talk about them yet because they're Super Secret) that she needs that book for. When it came time for person B to pick a gift to open or steal someone else's, B went after the book. A let her know that she really wanted this book and that she'd be upset if B took it, but B did it anyway. If I had been person B, I wouldn't have done that. Yes, I know, that's the way the game is played, but I also try to be nice to people and let them have what they want. Maybe that's just me.

But this is all hypothetical.

And I'm not playing Dirty Santa anymore.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

How Kool is this?

From this:

to this:

to this:

This is one of three batches of yarn Hayden and I are dyeing for his therapists' scarves. The color shown here is Strawberry, using 2 packets per 1 skein of Galway. (If you're an astute reader, you'll notice that the packet that Hayden is dumping into the pot is blue and not pink. That's because that picture was taken while dyeing the second batch using Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, which is making a pretty pale turquoise color.) An article I read in Knitty said that you need 1 packet per ounce of yarn, and a skein of Galway is 3.5 ounces, so I figured I'd use 4 packets. 4 packets per skein, Stephanie, not 4 packets total. I realized when I got home from Kroger that I had bought half the amount of Kool-Aid needed. Duh. So my color isn't as saturated. Oh well. I kinda like what we got. And Hayden is enjoying helping me, which is totally Kool. When he saw the pots out on the stove for the second batch, he immediately went to our dining room and got his chair to stand on. Every time he poured a packet in, he'd say, "Yay! You did it! Good job!" What a cute little boy. I just want to eat him up.

Doesn't the last picture look like a man with a funny crooked nose? Maybe I'm just silly, but that's what I saw right off the bat.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Aack! It's growing!

I f*cked up tonight. Hayden and I went to his speech therapist's house today for our regular session, and I took with me one of his autism therapist's scarves to work on during the session. (I usually sit right at the table while they're working so I can observe and carry over the things that she does at home.) Michelle, the therapist, saw it and commented on what a pretty color she thinks it is. (It's one of the Kool-Aid dyed scarves. I'll post pictures maybe tomorrow, if you're lucky.) Our conversation went like this:

Michelle: How pretty! I love that color!
Me: Thanks. Hayden and I dyed this yarn using Kool-Aid, and I'm going to make Marcy and Laura scarves for Christmas.
Michelle: Wow, that is so cool!
Me: Thanks. It was really easy. I'm not making one for his teacher, though, because I don't really like her.

Okay, so what does this mean? This means that I now have to make Michelle a scarf because she knows a) that I'm making Marcy and Laura scarves, and b) that I'm not making a scarf for his teacher because I don't like her. The paranoid side of me says that I must make her a scarf or else she'll think that I don't like her. I was already planning on knitting something for her, but it wasn't going to be a Christmas gift; she's due with her second child at the end of the month, so after I get all my Christmas stuff done, I was/am going to knit her a baby hat. But that's a baby gift, not a Christmas gift. Dammit. Looks like I gotta buy 2 more balls of Galway, do some more dyeing, and whip out a scarf before next Tuesday's session. Hee hee: I said "whip out."

On that note, I did a search for "keyhole scarf" (I'm anal and must have a pattern for everything, and I thought a keyhole scarf would be good for Michelle since she'll have a newborn and an 18-month old and needn't worry about scarves being wrapped correctly), and one of the results said "Fun Fur slit." Ha ha! Do you knit that out of pink yarn with some brown eyelash?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Greek Pullover

I guess my computer was just tired of downloading pictures last night, because today it seems to be working just fine. Anyway, here's my Greek Pullover:

The yarn is Rowan Kid Classic, which I love. The color is red, which I own none of, but have decided that I love nonetheless. The sweater looks good without the ruffles I have decided to forego, thus saving myself time and heartache - that I most certainly love. The sweater can be worn with black pants as well as my favorite jeans that I'm modeling here - that I definitely love! What I don't love is that the neckline is so wide that it feels like it's going to fall off. It has caused me to buy a strapless bra, which I also don't love. Should I have made the smaller size? To me, it looks like it fits me the way it's supposed to fit. Maybe the model had the same problem with the neckline that I do. In the picture in the magazine, she's looking down and her long hair is cascading down her chest - maybe she's covering up brastraps that are peeking out, or maybe she's just not wearing a bra at all and letting her hair cover up any nipple activity (after all, we're talking about Interweave here, not Rowan or Rebecca, who are more than happy to show us every nipple on all their models).

Anyway, I like it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sunday progress report (and a couple of pictures)

This is the Fluffly Lace Cowl out of my Compa Secreta mohair. I went to Target today and bought a long sleeved purple shirt that this cowl will look stunning with. (The black top was fine, but it didn't have the wowza factor I wanted. I think this purple top will.) You can't see the color very well in this shot, but there's a beautiful mix of blue and purple throughout. You also can't see the lace pattern that I used. Overall, I guess this is a pretty shitty shot of a very pretty cowl. Sorry.

Here is the progress I had made on Mike's sweater as of Thursday night. I've worked on it a lot today, so it's further along. Unfortunately, it's not quite to the armholes, which is the goal I had set for myself for the week. I've got about 3 inches to get there. I might be able to do it tonight, but I also have to pick up the house since my cleaning fairy just called and said he'd be over in the morning. (We have a couple of gay men clean our house once a month, and my husband has dubbed them our cleaning fairies. My original name for them was Agador Spartacus.)

This is a picture of Hayden modeling my 2-year old niece's hat that I finished last night. It's just a simple hat out of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and Online Smash. It was painful working with the novelty yarn after the Faux-Fur Halter fiasco, but I didn't have to work with it very long, and I knew it'd be adorable on a 2-year old. If I get a wild hair up my butt in the next 3 weeks, I may even sew (you didn't know I sew, did you? used to do it for money for other people's kids, as well as smock) a coordinating jacket. But don't count on that. (What Hayden is doing in this shot is sitting on my bike which is sitting on my trainer. I'm a wuss when it comes to riding in the cold, so I've turned my bike into a stationary one until the temp gets above 45 degrees again.)

And for some reason, just as I'm trying to upload the one decent picture I have to share with you, it's not working. Figures. I'll have to post it later this week. I decided not to put the ruffles on my Greek Pullover, so it's done. I wore it while running errands today to see if I'd like it as is, and I do. I had to go to Target and get a strapless bra for it, though, because the neckline is really big. I like the sweater, but in hindsight, I would've made the smallest size.

Now I'll report on my goals that I set for myself for this week, and I'll make my new ones. I met 2 of them - I didn't let Hayden's teacher bother me this week (of course, I didn't see her very much because Mike took him to school 3 out of 5 days), and I finished the St. Jude's 1/2 marathon in Memphis in under 2 hours. The race was fun. Our friend Amy went with us, and we all did what we wanted to. Mike and I ran together, and our finishing time was 1:57:33. I felt pretty good, and I had enough gas to kick a little in the last 1/2 mile. There was a girl wearing an outfit that I didn't like, so I decided that I had to pass her. Then there was a woman who looked like a total nerd, so I had to pass her as well. The nerd was a little bit of a challenge, and for a moment, I was scared that she in all her nerdiness was going to beat me by something stupid like 2 seconds. One big thing that I like about this race is the fact that you get to run by the Target House, the place where families of St. Jude's kids stay while the kids are in the hospital. There's always tons of people in front of the Target House, cheering the runners on and thanking us for helping raise money for St. Jude's. Some kids are even out there, and it lifts your spirits to see them and slap their hands as you go by. One very funny thing happened yesterday: the entertainment at about mile 10 1/2 was just a DJ playing fun music loudly. As I went past, he was playing "Da Butt." ("Doin' da butt/da da de da...") I noticed that he was directly across the street from The Pipeline, which is a gay bar. How appropriate - "Da Butt" near a gay bar! I got a kick out of it. As I was telling this to Amy after the race, she said that when she passed that guy, he was playing "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy." She didn't see the humor in that at the time because she didn't know there was a gay bar right across the street. (I used to live in Memphis and was a fag hag to my high school's only openly gay guy during my senior year, so I know where all the hot spots are.) Geez, I think the DJ knew what he was doing! I wonder what other songs he played? "Over the Rainbow"? "It's Raining Men"??

I didn't meet my other 2 goals, but to no fault of my own. I didn't get to ride my bike for the hour I was supposed to on Wednesday because my plans got a little screwed up, and I didn't ride today either because I think the combination of the race and sitting in a car later the same day caused my IT band to hurt. IT bands are nothing to mess around with, especially for a runner, so I'm taking it easy and icing it a couple of times a day. Mike's sweater is not quite to the armholes, like I mentioned earlier, but I may get there before I go to bed tonight.

This week's goals will look something like this:

1. Get the back of Mike's sweater done.
2. Do all the swim and strength training workouts done for the week.

That doesn't sound like much, but I think it's reasonable. I'm not going to tell myself that I'll complete all my workouts this week since my IT band is messed up, and I'm not going to set any other knitting goals because the back of the sweater will be quite enough!

Off to pick up toys, fold clothes, and do some knitting!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I slept with my cable needle last night!

As I was making the bed this morning, I discovered the cable needle I've been using on DH's Christmas sweater laying so innocently between the sheets! Ha ha! I do LOVE doing cables, but I didn't realize I wanted to sleep with them! The sweater is coming along quite nicely. I'll post pictures once I stop knitting for a moment long enough to take a picture of my progress.

I also need to post a picture of the finished Fluffly Lace Cowl done out of the mohair my Compa Secreta sent me. It's really pretty. Very fluffly, very lacy, very purple-y. I worked on it a lot last weekend at my parents' house, which is where we're going (again - egads!) tomorrow night, so I'll have to be sure to take it with me.

Finally, I stopped by my LYS (something which I wasn't planning on having time to do yesterday, but because DH changed my plans around - much to my displeasure, by the way - I had over an hour to kill there) yesterday and bought some white Galway. (I also made another purchase, but it's for A Project That Must Not Be Named right now.) Hayden and I are going to Kool-Aid dye it so I can make scarves for 2 of his autism therapists. Hopefully we'll have time to do that either tonight or Sunday afternoon. I'm supposed to ride my bike for 2 hours on Sunday, but there's a 70% chance of rain and a predicted high temperature of 50 degrees, so I have a feeling a bike ride is not going to be happening (also much to my displeasure, like DH's change of my plans for yesterday). I should look on the bright side, though - more time to dye yarn and to knit the cables I'm so dearly in love with!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Soon there will be new addition

No, I'm not pregnant. (Thank God!) I meant a new addition to my sidebar. Remember how I said that I wasn't going to knit Christmas presents this year? Well, I've been making exceptions to that rule, and now the list has grown big enough to make my joining the Holiday Gift KAL inevitable. Here's my list:

1. Mike's sweater
2. A hat for my niece Dorothy
3. & 4. 2 scarves for Hayden's autism therapists (I figured that Hayden and I can dye some yarn with Kool-Aid together, then I can whip out -- hee hee, I said "whip out" -- some garter stitch scarves on big needles. That way they'll be things we made together. Awwww. How cute.)
5. Secret Present for Secret Person

That's not too bad, huh? The only thing that's time consuming is the sweater, and it's fun (so far), so I don't mind.

On the Greek Pullover front, I took it to my LYS yesterday and checked out the ruffle ribbon Habu yarn that people had suggested I use for the ruffle (instead of the chiffon the pattern calls for). It looked cool, and it'd alleviate potential headache-inducing steps needed to make a chiffon ruffle, so I got some. It's a pewter grey color. I'm going to sew it on the sweater this weekend, so I should have some pictures to show off Sunday night or Monday.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New Sunday tradition

Tradition is not really the word I want to use, but it's Sunday so therefore my brain isn't working that well and tradition is all I could come up with. Anyway, what I've decided to do is list my goals for the week every Sunday evening on my blog so that I'll be held more accountable to them. I have a trainer that writes out a workout schedule for me every Sunday for the upcoming week, and I have yet to do everything that's been on the schedule. The first week I hurt my neck really badly and couldn't exercise much (figured out how to knit while laying flat on my back, though!). Other excuses have included: husband out of town for the weekend; tornado warnings keeping me at home; Thanksgiving and the travel that goes along with that (more on that later). My anal personality hates the fact that I'm not doing all the workouts on my schedule, even though those are all legitimate reasons to skip a workout. (Plus, I have to keep reminding myself that I am in the off-season and therefore it's not horrible if I don't go to the pool now and then.) And I don't want my trainer to think that I can't handle the load he's giving me. I can, but I've just not been able to this past month. So, without further ado, here are my goals for the upcoming week:

1. Do all workouts listed on my training schedule for the week.
2. Complete the Memphis 1/2 marathon in 2 hours or less. (My best time is 1:46:27, but I haven't been running fast lately, so I'll be happy with anything under 2:00.)
3. Finish my Fluffly Lace Cowl.
4. Get past the armholes on the back of Mike's sweater.
5. Start my niece's hat that's going to be part of her Christmas present.
6. Don't get angry at Hayden's teacher for being the silly person that she is.

I had to put that sixth goal on there because I got really annoyed at his teacher last Tuesday, and I just need to get over it b/c we're stuck with her the rest of the year, and the more annoyed I stay at her, the worse the rest of the year will be. She's just very abrasive with me, and she's a Close Talker (Seinfeld reference), and when an abrasive person is a Close Talker, it's super annoying.

Notice that there's not goal related to my Greek Pullover on the list? That's because she's done, minus the ruffles. I finished her this morning and she's lovely. I don't have a picture because today is a dreary Sunday, so I never got dressed for the day until I went to the gym to swim. I've had bedhead or goggle eyes all day, and neither of those make for a good sweater model. Plus, I guess since she's missing her ruffles, she's not completely done. Some of my knitting friends were recommending using this funky Habu yarn that our LYS sells rather than making chiffon ruffles, so I'm going to check it out tomorrow. It sounds cool, so hopefully it'll work. There's supposedly a grey color that they think will look good with the red of the Kid Classic. Red and grey will be a neat combination, I think.

We went to Memphis for Thanksgiving. My parents live right outside of Memphis, so we got to see all 3 of my sisters, my grandparents, one sister's boyfriend, another sister's husband and daughter, an aunt, her son (is that my cousin? they're blood-related to my stepdad, so I've never really figured out the relation totally), and my stepdad's cousin. It was nice to see everyone, but I always overeat at my parents' house. We have to have dessert after every meal - breakfast, dessert, lunch, dessert, snack, dinner, dessert, then dessert. It's crazy. Everyone except us left on Friday. Friday I spent shopping with my mother, and eating lunch at a sushi restaurant. (Shopping wore me out. WTF? I can do an Ironman triathlon, but I die after spending an afternoon at an antique mall.) I have yet to go to a traditional sushi restaurant in Memphis. The first time I ate sushi, we picked it up from a gas station. The second time, we had it at a Chinese restaurant that also serves french fries. This last time, we were at a Japanese restaurant, but the sushi chefs were Mexican. I don't get it. Nothing's wrong with any of those deviations from what you think of when you think of eating sushi (except maybe the gas station - yikes!), but it's just not the norm. My husband said, "It sounds to me like you're becoming a sushi snob, just like you're a yarn snob." Does Memphis have any Japanese restaurants that have Japanese sushi chefs? That'll be my mission the next time we go to Memphis: to find a Japanese sushi chef in Memphis. (Well, maybe not the next time we go. We're going back this coming Friday night to run the Memphis 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, then coming home that evening. No time for sushi.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fra-gi-le! Must be from Italy!

(The above title is a reference to "A Christmas Story" for those of you who don't know. TBS plays it for 24 hours starting on Christmas Eve, and I try to watch it at least twice every year.)

Saturday my Grand Prize from the You Knit What? Halloween contest came in the mail. I was at my knitting retreat, so I made my poor husband open the box and tell me about its contents:

3 skeins of Lily Chin Gramercy yarn in a very pretty light blue, 1 skein of Regia sock yarn, 1 skein of some colorful merino wool from Fleece Artist (it's very pretty so it might become something other than a pair of socks - scarf, maybe?), 2 sock patterns, a sample of Simply Sock Yarn yarn, and a set of 6 inch size 2 bamboo double pointed needles, all in a YKW? tote.

And mail never stops coming! Yesterday my Patternworks order came so that I can start my Gryffindor scarf. The total yarn snob in me wouldn't let me do it out of Encore (what with the acrylic and all), so I had to order some Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted.

I'm going to make myself finish my Greek Pullover and my lace mohair cowl before I start it. (I should probably do my niece's hat also since it's a Christmas present, but whatever.) I'm very close to finishing my Greek Pullover (thanks to sitting my butt on a hotel room couch from Friday night to Sunday morning, with a break on Saturday for a 12-mile run), though. See?

I do have one more picture that I'd love to show you but won't for fear of getting in trouble. Husband took a picture of Hayden yesterday wearing nothing but the red long sleeved shirt he sleeps in and my knee-high, high-heeled brown suede boots. He paraded around the house for at least 30 minutes and didn't stumble one time. Much better than me, little snot.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Wha' happened?

As today is the opening day of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hayden went to school looking like this:

(Actually, he had a coat on as well because it was something like 20 degrees at 7am. Crazy, especially since it was in the 60s at 7am 3 days ago.)

When I picked him up from school, he looked like this:

WHAT?!? I did NOT knit that sweater and cuss under my breath while duplicate stitching to have it be something he carries around like a blankie! His teacher (whom I'm not very fond of) had brought him out since his assistant had taken the day off, and when I asked him why he wasn't wearing his sweater, she hesitantly said, "Well, we were in the very warm Nashville Children's Theatre." (They saw "Seussical" today. Unfortunately, they didn't need any chaperones to accompany them. Dammit. And she had to answer for him because the only words out of his mouth when leaving school for the day are the words to the "Hi Ho" song from Snow White.) Well, then, take the down jacket off and keep him in the obviously handmade sweater! Part of me thinks that she's against Harry Potter and therefore did not want him wearing the sweater. Husband thinks I'm nuts, but I could be right. There are some very religious people out there who think HP is bad, and she is a very religious person. (How do I know that? Because she's constantly wearing t-shirts to school that advertize her church.) But maybe Husband was right. Or maybe they were doing art activities and she didn't want it to get messed up. Maybe I'm crazy. Maybe I'm having those anti-HP thoughts just because I don't like her. But still, I wanted him to be wearing the sweater. As soon as she walked back into the building, I took his jacket off and put the sweater back on, and we skipped all the way home, singing "Hi Ho."

I'm off to a knitting retreat this weekend - yippee! Some of my friends and I thought it'd be fun to stay in a hotel here in town just to get away from the fam and have some guilt-free knitting time. Last time I went on a knitting retreat, I knitted for 15 hours straight. Let's see how long I can go this time!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Trying to fit a size 16 butt into size 10 jeans

We've all done it - laid down across the bed, sucked it in, and yanked on the zipper with all our might. Then we stand up (if we're able to), look at ourselves in the mirror, and think, "Do these look too tight?" I was getting that feeling when I had to switch to size 8 needles on my husband's sweater. The only 8s laying around were 16" circulars, so the poor 23" back of the sweater was scrunched:

I do own longer 8s, but they're in use on my Greek Pullover:

I'm tired of this problem. So what did I do? (You all know the answer to this quesiton, I'm sure!) I sent my husband to my LYS to pick up a set of interchangeable Denise needles! (I called ahead and had them reserve some for him because although he tries to act interested in my knitting, he wouldn't have had any clue what he was looking for.) My mother was going to buy a set for me for Christmas, but she said I could go ahead and buy them early and she'll pay me for them. Plus, I'd rather buy them because my LYS would be getting the money, not her LYS, and I love my LYS dearly. Everyone I know who has Denise needles swears by them, so I'm anxious to get this poor scrunched sweater on them to see if they live up to their reputation. I'll also be using the size 10s on this:

Lace knitting in fluffy mohair is tough to do when you have blunt-tip bamboos. Blunts are good if you're a smoker, I guess, but not when you're a knitter working on lace mohair.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

You can tell by the many princesses (and 2 Teletubbies, unfortunately) on the chair that he's not into Harry Potter, but I am!

"Mom, I'm trying to watch TV. If I smile nicely, will you stop taking pictures and get of my way? Thank you very much."

The H took longer to duplicate stitch on than I thought it would, and it doesn't look as good as I wanted it to (which is why the closest picture I'm taking of it is this):

I told my SP5 pal Kel that I now know how Neville Longbottom feels when he can't get his curses done as quickly or as accurately as his classmates. I started the H twice and thought about ripping it out and starting it a third time, but then I decided that no matter how many times I do it, it'll still look the same. Which is why I really need to learn intarsia. So many people know how to do it, so I should. I even took a class from Sasha Kagan, for pete's sake! Oh well. The sweater is still cute, especially when worn by The Cutest Boy on the Face of the Earth. I do realize that it's not as oversized as Ron's is, but Hayden is so tall and thin that oversized garments don't look that great on him. I'll just have to make him another one next year, I guess! I won't mind - I LOVE Alison's pattern. I did the body in the round, then picked up stitches for the sleeves and worked them down to the cuff in the round. This is a great, super-easy sweater pattern. You will definitely see this on Hayden in the future - different yarns maybe, stripes perhaps...the possibilities are endless!

And whatever happened to my craving for a Gryffindor scarf, you ask? I gave in. I had to. My LYS carries Encore, and they had the right colors, but I just couldn't do Encore - after doing that fugly top for my friend, I have turned into a complete and total yarn snob. No acrylic for me for a while, I tell you! It's like shying away from a certain food after you've puked from eating it. (Just like me and M&Ms when I became a lifetime Weight Watchers member!) I ordered some Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted today from Patternworks. 100% wool and $6/ball. Allright!!!

Monday, November 14, 2005

(Not so) Weasley weekend

Okay, I did end up going to sleep on Saturday, so I did not finish Hayden's sweater. He and I had a blast, though. First, we went on a hike:

That was my choice, so the next activity was his. He wanted to slide down the slide head first:

then put dirt on his face:

That night, I took him to see a local theatre company's production of "Beauty & the Beast." The minute Belle was on stage and they started singing, he was the happiest kid in the world. After the play was over, the cast lined up outside the door so you could meet them on your way out. Hayden got to meet Gaston and the prince, and he got to hug Belle. I had my camera with me, but stupidly didn't think about taking a picture until we got to the car. Oh well. We're going to Disneyworld in January, so there will be lots of opportunities to take pictures of Hayden with Belle and Jasmine and Snow White and Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and Ariel and...

I did get to work on the sweater a lot on Sunday, but I didn't quite get it done. It'll be done tonight, though, so pictures will be coming soon. I'm really getting the itch to do a Gryffindor scarf for myself, but I just don't know if I can add one more project to my ever-growing list. It's a stockinette stitch tube that's sewn together at each end, so it's be a perfect mindless, "I've got 30 seconds at this stoplight so let me knit a couple of stitches" project. However, before Christmas, I have to:

1. Knit my husband's sweater. It's a Rebecca pattern and it's got cables, so you know it won't come without its own set of heartaches.

2. Finish my Greek Pullover. It's actually not a requirement that I finish it before Christmas, but I've already started it and it's red, so I really feel like I should.

3. Knit a hat for my 2-year old niece. She's 2, though, so that won't take long.

4. Knit the Fluffly Lace Cowl from Weekend Knitting out of my Compa Secreta mohair. Again, this isn't a must-do before December 25th, but I've already given into temptation and cast on for it. Bad deadline-oriented knitter, bad!!!

I want to add a fifth item to my list, but the sane part of my brain tells me not to. Every year I knit a new sweater for Hayden. It's not a Christmas present; it's just a cute sweater to wear on Christmas that nobody ever compliments me on because they're too busy opening up their gifts to notice. I have a pattern and some yarn already, but if I can convince myself that if I don't have this done by Christmas the world won't fall apart around me, things will be so much better and less stressful in our household. ("I can't go to sleep tonight! I have to get this sleeve done!!!") But the over-achieving, have-to-make-my-son-the-best-dressed-in-the-room side of me really wants to do it. Ah, the dilemma of too many things to knit and not enough time to knit them in lives on. Will the madness ever stop???

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sorry for my outburst.

I apologize for last night's rantings. Sometimes I just let my emotions get the best of me. I found out that a)the Farrelly brothers (of "There's Something About Mary" fame) are behind the movie, which totally makes sense b/c Mary had a mentally challenged brother who was the butt of jokes in that movie (which, by the way, I didn't like, even before Hayden was around), and b)Special Olympics gave them permission to use their name and footage from some real events. I don't really understand that, but I guess that means there must be some kind of feel-good message in the movie. That, however, does not change my opinions of it, Johnny Knoxville, or the Farrelly brothers, and I will still not support it. And that's the last thing I'm saying about that.

On a happier note, I just finished 1 sleeve of Hayden's Harry Potter sweater, and it fits him perfectly. (And, of course, it's adorable, but you already knew that.) I've been trying it on him periodically to make sure I get a good fit, but the other night a friend of mine said that it's bad luck for the recipient of a knitted gift to try their present on, both for the knitter and for the recipient. I've never heard that. Of course I've heard of the boyfriend curse, but not this one. Has anyone else heard that? I hope there's no truth behind it. Anyway, my goal is to have the entire sweater finished before I go to bed tonight. My husband left 3 hours ago for Huntingon, West Virginia to run a marathon tomorrow, and it's an absolutely gorgeous day outside, and Hayden and I are going to see "Beauty and the Beast" tonight, so I figure the only way I'm going to meet this deadline is to not go to sleep.

And speaking of Harry Potter, yesterday I was watching TRL on MTV (yes, I do realize I'm 34 and not 13, but I do have a crazy obsession with MTV) and Daniel Radcliffe was on. They showed a couple of scenes from the movie, and it was so exciting! Then later, ET on MTV was totally dedicated to the new movie. It was great. We won't be able to see it until next Sunday, unfortunately, because I'll be at a knitting retreat all weekend. But believe me, I am so psyched!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005


My husband, Hayden and I went to the movies today to see "Chicken Little." (Sorta cute, but definitely not worth the price of movie admission.) While waiting in line to buy popcorn, I saw something that made my blood boil: a big poster for the movie, "The Ringer." I read about this 2 years ago in Time magazine, and I was hoping that it just kinda went away. Johnny Knoxville plays a guy who pretends he's handicapped in some sort of way so that he can participate in the Special Olympics. Why on earth would anyone with the littlest ounce of a brain think that is funny? I absolutely HATE EVERYTHING about this movie. I am a parent of an autistic child, and more than likely, we will be doing Special Olympics things when he is old enough. To have an entire movie dedicated to poking fun at these kids has got to be one of the most disgusting, evil ideas anyone can have. Do they not realize that there are people out there, like myself, who are extremely offended by this? This is so hurtful. Hayden is the joy of my life, he makes me smile and laugh, but sometimes I get really sad when I stop and think about the likelihood of him not being able to go to a regular school as he gets older (he's in a typical kindergarten class but he has an assistant with him almost all day), or to speak normally, or to go to college, or to do triathlons ... I could go on, but I'm not trying to make this into a pity party. I don't know who the director of this movie is, but I will never see a movie of his EVER, I will never watch another thing Johnny Knoxville is in EVER, and I will urge everyone I know to do the same. I know you people out there who read my blog really don't know me, but I hope you'll support me in this. For all the parents out there like me who love their children and do everything they can to make the world a better place for them (which includes sheilding them from the nastiness that unfortunately exists in our world, like some ass who would make a movie so that people can laugh for an hour and a half at special needs kids), join me in the boycott of this movie. Please.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Being a mom is hard sometimes.

Why do nurses make you feel like a total idiot when you're concerned about something? Just because the thing you're concerned about is no big deal to them, that doesn't mean it's not a big deal to you. Two nights ago my husband was brushing Hayden's teeth (he somewhat does it by himself, but to ensure a good cleaning, we have to help him out), and he called me into the bathroom. There, right behind his two front bottom teeth, are some more teeth coming in. They look like they're forming a second row of teeth. His baby teeth aren't the least bit loose right now, so we got a little concerned. Hey, we're first-time parents, we don't know anything. And to us, when you get your permanent teeth, your baby teeth fall out first, not the other way around. I called the dentist yesterday morning but had to leave a message with the answering service because they're closed on Wednesdays. (Oh, to be a dentist and have a day off in the middle of the week!) A nurse actually called me back yesterday during the 5 minutes that I was away from my cellphone and left me a message to just wiggle the baby teeth out so the permanent teeth can take their place. That response wasn't good enough for me because his baby teeth aren't the least bit loose, just like I said before. So I called again this morning and spoke to another nurse. She took this snotty attitude with me, like "You dumb lady, this is so totally normal," and told me that I could bring him in for Dr. Adams to look at, but that I just need to feed Hayden apples and corn and wiggle his teeth until they fall out. The only thing I need to be concerned about is if they come all the way in (and she enunciated "all the way in" about 5 times, just to make sure I understood - I gotcha the first time, b*tch) and his baby teeth are still there. Sorry if I was a concerned mom. Sorry that I made you talk to me on the phone for 2 minutes. Sorry if this seems backwards to me. Grrr.

Onto more pleasant things: I think I've discovered The Perfect Project for This Beautiful Mohair: the cowl that goes with the Fluffly (that's not a typo on my part; that's how it's spelled in the book) Lace Camisole with Pull-Off Cowl in Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. (Her last name always makes me laugh!) If you have the book, go take a look at the picture. If you don't have the book, make a trip to your LYS and take a look at the picture. The pattern calls for Kidsilk Haze, which I think is the same weight as the mohair I have. They don't say how much is needed for the cowl, but the entire pattern calls for 2 balls, so I think I'm safe. Plus, it's a cowl, much like a scarf - if I seem to be running out of yarn, I'll just stop. I got so excited about this last night that I wanted to not work on the Harry Potter sweater sleeve and roll my yarn so I could start it. But I withstood the temptation, just like a good knitter who is up against self-imposed crazy deadlines. This morning the mohair beckoned to me again and I almost wound it before leaving for work so I could start it this morning, but again, I didn't give in. Wow - what willpower! If only I could exhibit the same willpower when those little snack-size Butterfingers in Hayden's Halloween candy call my name!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

It's 82 degrees outside, so I think I'll knit a scarf.

This is My So-Called Scarf, done in some Outback Wool that I got at a sale a couple of years ago. My hairdresser is organizing some fundraiser this weekend and asked me to donate something for the silent auction, so I whipped this up. Actually, I shouldn't say "whipped up" because that stitch is not the quickest thing in the world. It's cool looking, but it eats yarn like I ate food while I was Ironman training over the summer, and it takes a while to do. It also creates a somewhat stiff piece of fabric. I went up 3 needle sizes from what the yarn gauge called for, and I still had to concentrate on knitting loosely. Because of all of that, this is not my favorite thing I've knit. But it's not for me, and it's not for anyone I know (well, I guess someone I know could bid on it), so I'm okay with that.

Here's a closeup shot so you can see the detail of the stitch. I like the look of the stitch. I think I read somewhere it's like a sideways herringbone stitch.

On the Harry Potter front, the sleeve in progress is now in progress on double pointed needles - yuck. I just have to keep reminding myself that I won't have any seams to sew, and I'm almost to the end. One more sleeve and an orange H, and I'm done!

And here's a question: what should I do with 300 yards of handpainted mohair? My Compa Secreta sent some lovely purple-y/blue-y mohair to me that she handpainted herself, and it's beautiful, and I'm trying to come up with The Perfect Project for This Beautiful Mohair. I feel like it needs to be by itself, as opposed to being held with something else, so that the colors don't get "lost." I feel like it should be something lacy, like a scarf or wrap, and not something simple like garter stitch on big needles. I haven't knit with it yet, so I don't know the gauge, but it looks like it'll be close to Kidsilk Haze. (Compa Secreta, am I right?) Anyway, if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. I love mohair and I love the colors she chose for me, so it deserves to be something scrumptious.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What's missing?

Yeah, you got it - an H. This is Hayden's Weasley sweater, on which I was going to do an H in intarsia (in the round, no less). I went to my LYS and got some help, and I understand the concept behind intarsia in the round (lots of slipped stitches is all I have to say!), but that doesn't help the fact that my intarsia, in the round or not, sucks. It doesn't just suck a little, it sucks a lot. So, almost halfway up the H, I decided that the suckiness just wasn't going to block out and Hayden would be wearing a sweater that looked like crap if I didn't rip it out. I'm taking the wimpy way out and doing the H with duplicate stitch. Oh well. I guess I should perfect my intarsia technique before deciding to do it on a sweater. The sweater still looks adorable (even though Hayden is being silly - he was watching something on TV and I couldn't get him to smile for camera to save my life), and will be even cuter when the sleeves are done and the H is on. (This pattern is great, by the way - you should check it out on Alison's blog.)

And gracias, Compa Secreta, for the subscription to Bark! Rudy is excited to take a look at it and see if he can find any cute female Jack Russells. (Pardon Rudy's glowing eyes. If I didn't take the picture quickly, he wouldn't have been sitting there.) Gracie's excited about it too, but since she's a 1-year old German Shorthaired Pointer, she won't sit still for ANYTHING, so I can't take her picture.