Monday, October 31, 2005

I WON!!!!!!

I've been crowned the Queen of Fug! Check out the October 31st entry:

You Knit What??

Should I be proud of that?? Maybe not. But I won! Yippee! Yeehaw!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

I think I have knitting ADHD...

...because I knit on so many different projects yesterday. I worked on Hayden's Harry Potter sweater up to the point where the "H" needs to start, and now I'm stuck because I don't know how to do intarsia in the round. (I picked orange as the H color, by the way. It blended better with the main color of the sweater than the navy did.) I'm going to my LYS this afternoon while Hayden's in therapy to see if they can help me. I actually own a copy of the Fall 2003 Interweave Knits that has an article titled "Learn Intarsia in the Round," but I need help deciphering their instructions. I probably should practice first, but I don't really have time for that. So then I picked up my Greek Pullover (which I got to start this weekend in the car to Louisville to see "Stomp" - great show - everyone should see it when they get a chance) and worked on that until it was bedtime. Before all of that, though, I got started on a charity knitting project. My hairdresser is organizing some fundraiser in 3 weeks, and he asked me to do something for the silent auction. My first thought was to do a cabled hat from Stitch n Bitch Nation (I think it's called the Jellybean Hat - I don't have the book with me), but after several false starts, I nixed that idea. Then I proceeded to start a Child's Rainbow Scarf, but I didn't like the look of it, so I nixed that idea. So then I ended up with a scarf that my SP5 pal Kel had been working on. It's called My So Called Scarf, and she has a link to the free pattern in her WIP section. It's turning out cute (after several false starts) but a little stiff for my liking. But I didn't want to start it over yet again, so I'm going to be okay with it. It's not going to be my scarf anyway, and I think the stiffness is due to the stitch being used. When it gets to a decent length, I'll post pictures so that you can see the cool stitch.

Friday, October 21, 2005

So here it is!

The Ugliest Top in the World! This is my submission to the You Knit What? Halloween contest. I don't see how this can't win. (By the way, my friend, the top's recipient, came over last night to help me determine the placement of the elastic straps, and she said she thought it was cute and she's planning on wearing it in Miami next month. I hope she was just trying to be nice in front of me and make me feel like the time I spent slaving over these horrible novelty yarns was worthwhile.)

This is my usual boring pose:

This is a silly pose. I thought the cowboy hat added character to the whole ensemble:

Uh-oh! Where's the back of my top?

Before I got the elastic straps on, my husband and son started finding different ways to wear the top. This is my favorite:

Yay! Mommy's going to win the You Knit What? Halloween contest because this is the butt-ugliest thing I've ever seen!!!

Now, back to some normal, pretty knitting with real yarn.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Questions and answers

I went to the doctor yesterday and got an answer to "What the hell is this rash on my hands that sometimes spreads to my feet and face and legs?" Unfortunately, it's not an allergic reaction to ugly novelty yarn. I've had a hacking cough for over a week now, and sometimes viral infections can cause you to break out in hives. He gave me the medical term for it, but don't ask me what that was. I've been breaking out on a daily basis since Friday night. Sunday morning it was just my feet, Monday morning it was my hands and my right knee (!), Tuesday morning it was my hands, Tuesday afternoon it was the backs of my legs, and this morning it was my hands and both knees. How weird. I've switched to taking Claritin for it so I won't feel horrible from the Benadryl. I'm a little disappointed that it's not an allergic reaction to the gold yarn, but at least this means I can start working on it again and maybe enter it in the You Knit What? Halloween contest.

In addition to giving me an explanation of my rash, my doctor also gave me some kick butt cough medicine so that I can sleep at night without being woken up every hour with a coughing fit. Last night I went to bed lying down (as opposed to sitting straight up, which I had been doing in an attempt to curb my need to cough) and slept until I got hit with a coughing fit at 4:30am, then I went back to sleep until my alarm went off at 6:30. I was so excited to sleep! Sleep makes Nakedie a very happy knitter.

And now for the question (and this may sound like a stupid one, but for an intarsia virgin like me, it's a necessary one): how do you do intarsia in the round? Is it going to be a pain in the butt? I'm working on Hayden's Harry Potter sweater, and I've decided to do it in the round because sewing with Rowanspun DK is horrible. When I get 8 inches up, I have to start the initial. I can put it on with duplicate stitch later if need be, but I'd kinda like to do it intarsia because to me, that'll look better. But in the round, I'm never purling back, so my CC will always be on the other side. But I am doing an H, so really the only part that'll be wider than a couple of stitches will be the middle. Does anyone have any advice for me?

I have redone my USM sleeves. I did the first one last Saturday, and was really nervous before I blocked it. Because the yarn had already been used and blocked, it was really kinked up and looked horrible re-knitted. But Rowan Cashsoft 4ply blocks like a dream, so after blocking the sh*t out of the redone sleeve and doing the Blocking Dance, it came out fine. I sewed it in before starting the second one to make sure it was the right length, and it looks good! I finished knitting the second sleeve last night, so it's blocking right now (and yes, I did do the Blocking Dance again). I'll block it again this afternoon and hopefully sew it in tonight. Then all that's left are buttons and twisted cords and weaved in ends (oh my!), and c'est fini! In perfect time too - it's about to get cooler here. (It's 86 degrees today, but by Sunday, the high will be 56 - how weird is that?)

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Is it possible to be allergic to ugly knitting?

Two years ago I knit a Faux-fur Halter for myself that I must say was rather cute. My friends were having a going-away party for someone, and I wore it with low-rise jeans and high heels. I was a big hit. (I'll post a picture of it sometime - right now I've got wet hair and dog-hair covered yoga pants on, so it wouldn't look right.) I forgot what yarn I used, but it was mainly purple with flecks of pink, blue and green in it. A friend of mine has wanted me to make one for her, and she finally went out and bought some yarn for it last month. Hers, unfortunately, is turning out butt-ugly. Not just any old butt, but dog-butt-ugly. It's white, brown, and gold, and I really hate it. I started it yesterday and got about halfway through with it until I had to put it down because it was making me so mad. Here's a pic:

I'm a very good friend to keep knitting this, aren't I? I think that if I get it done this week, I may enter it in the Halloween contest at You Knit What?

Fast forward to 11pm: as I lay in bed, coughing and thinking about the sleeves of my USM (I'll tell you about them later), I realized that my hands were really itchy. When I got up and went to the bathroom, I looked at them and realized that they were really red. I tried to ignore them and proceeded to lay in bed, coughing and thinking about USM sleeves. This morning they are still itchy and now are swollen. I can't even get my wedding ring on. See?

I've been trying to figure out what could've caused this, and the only thing I can come up with is that ugly novelty yarn in that dog-butt-ugly top. My feet are a little red and splotchy too, but nothing like my hands. I've never had this happen before. I'm going to not touch the top until my hands calm down, then I'll work on it and see if the same thing happens. If so, I will have caught the culprit red-handed! Maybe it'll give me an excuse not to finish this. If I do finish it, she better a)love it, b)wear it every chance she gets, and c)wear it even if it has the same effect on her boobs. (Having your boobs swell may sound appealing to some, but she definitely doesn't need that - she's rather well-endowed, 34D to be exact.)

Okay, onto the USM sleeves: when I got so mad at the top, I decided to start sewing in my sleeves. I got one in, and it was too long. Poo! It looked like it was going to fit perfectly, but I guess I was wrong. So what I'm going to have to do is frog it back and make it about 2 inches shorter. What a bummer. I thought I was going to have a FO this weekend.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I love having a stash!

I started doing my gauge swatch this afternoon for Hayden's Harry Potter sweater, and found that a) I don't like using size 10.5 needles after working furiously with size 3 needles, and b) the yarn (Rowanspun Chunky) was knitting up too bulky and stiff for me. Also, I was having flashbacks of knitting my husband's sweater last Christmas that he's worn only 3 times b/c I knit it with bulky yarn and therefore it's too warm to wear in Nashville. So I started getting bummed b/c I really wanted to start working on that sweater tonight during the guild meeting. All of sudden, I remembered that I had some Rowanspun DK in my stash - 6 hanks of it! I had bought it on sale, hoping to make Hayden yet another Rowan sweater. But since I have no definite plans for it, and it's tweedy and therefore deserving to be a Harry Potter sweater, and I have leftover yarn from Hayden's school picture sweater vest (also Rowanspun DK), I'm putting the chunky stuff back in my stash and winding the DK for the sweater. This also means that I can use Alison's sweater pattern, which I'm sure will be a better choice in the long run than the pattern I was going to use. Here's my new dilemma: should the initial on the front be navy blue or orange? The main color is sort of mushroom. I'll try to take pictures of the yarn later tonight or tomorrow and post them so y'all can see and cast your vote.

The reason I'm starting on the HP sweater is b/c I finished knitting my USM sleeves! Whoop, whoop, whoopie!!! Unfortunately, though, my iron has decided to die, leaving me no steam with which to block the sleeves (which are in desperate need of a good blocking - the hems are rolling up). So on the blocking board they sit, waiting until I can buy a new iron. After that, all that's left is sewing and buttoning!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The pros (and cons) of being sick

So I haven't been sick in nearly 2 years, but today I feel like sh*t. I think it's a combination of a)my defenses still being down from Ironman, and b)I have a husband who was puking all night last Monday night and a son who was coughing for 2 straight weeks. Yuck. When you're sick, though, you can get all sorts of knitting done. I'm almost finished with the second sleeve of my USM. I'm so close, in fact, that I'm thinking about what new project to take to my knitting guild meeting Thursday night b/c I'm afraid if I take the sleeve, I'll finish it there and I'll be forced to sit in a meeting with no knitting, which would be a complete crime. I'll try to do a gauge swatch for Hayden's Harry Potter sweater tomorrow so I can take that.

The downside to being sick is that there's hardly anything on TV in the middle of the day and you're forced to watch stupid stuff (even more stupid than the MTV stuff I watch now). Remember my July 4th post when I talked about watching the hot dog eating championship? Well, today I watched the soft taco eating championship. The same people put it on (the International Federation of Competitive Eating), and it was called the Tour de Gorge. The commentators, 2 brothers, are actually pretty funny. The girl who won is this tiny Asian woman named Sonya. Her nickname is the Black Widow (like the woman who plays pool) and she set a new world record - 48 tacos in 11 minutes. That's over 4 tacos each minute - can you imagine??? She beat the previous world record (that she set last year) of 42 tacos. Amazing. I'm now very curious about this sport. How do you get interested in taking this challenge on? How do you train? Not that I want to get into this; I'm just curious. I think competitive eating would seriously hamper my ability to do Ironman triathlons, and I think that racing 140.6 miles and pushing your body to its absolute limit is way more fun than seeing how fast you can stuff your face.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

They're vultures, I tell you! Vultures!

Yesterday afternoon, after I did the AIDS Walk, I hung out at my LYS for some weekend knitting with friends. Our table is near the clearance shelf, where yarn is 50% off. There were some ladies hovering around it, picking out some really pretty Baby Alpaca Brush. I thought to myself, "When they're gone, I will pick out some for my Secret Pal." However, when they left, some other ladies IMMEDIATELY took their place, then when they left, another woman came and snatched up what was left of the only color I thought my Secret Pal would like. So I was left with no Baby Alpaca Brush to buy at $3.25 a ball. Bummer. Moral of the story: grow some balls when you get near yarn on clearance, and push your way through the masses.

My Union Square Market Pullover is getting closer and closer to being done - yippee! Here are some pictures:

This is the body of the sweater on my ugly blocking board. Don't worry - I don't really like fabric like that. I think that years ago, that was given to me for the purpose of becoming a little shortall for Hayden, but obviously it never made it to that point.

This is me modeling the left sleeve. Fits perfectly! I was trying to strike a pose like the model on the cover of the magazine is, but my husband made me laugh, so I just look stupid. The shirt I am wearing is from the AIDS Walk I did earlier in the day. I walked with a group of friends from my LYS, Angel Hair Yarn Company, and we raised money. In return, the shop made those shirts for us to wear. Cute, huh?

My goal is to get the right sleeve done this week. I did the left sleeve in 5 days, so I should be able to do it. I won't be interrupted by a sick husband this time, hopefully. He was puking all night Monday night and left me to be the single parent. Cut into my knitting time drastically - damn him!

After I get the right sleeve knitted, I'm going to start Hayden's Harry Potter sweater. I just finished Book 6 Friday night, and I bawled. (Did anybody else? Please say yes so I don't feel like a loser.) I've also seen the trailer for the next movie, and it looks SO GOOD!!! Can't wait. For the sweater, I'm using a pattern that's written for all different gauges. I bought a chunky yarn so that it'll knit up quickly, but I had a thought the other night that chunky might not have been the best choice b/c the real Weasley sweater isn't done in a chunky yarn. Oh well. I'll start it, and hopefully I won't change my mind. I've got too many projects lined up for this sweater to take very long.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

I am hereby proclaiming...

...this Christmas to be a "No Knitted Gifts Christmas!"

Aaahh. Feels so good to say that. Every year I try to make everybody in my family The Perfect Knitted Gift That Doesn't Take a Long Time to Knit or Isn't Too Expensive. That usually ends up being a felted bag, a scarf, a pair of socks. I had every intention of going through the process again this year, until the other day when I was making one of my famous lists and decided that I'm just not going to have enough time. It amazes me still, to think that I'm actually admitting that I'm not Superwoman and don't have the time to make gifts this year. They're probably not as appreciated as I'd like to think they are, anyway.

So with that being said, this is The Plan:

1. Finish my Union Square Market Pullover in the next 2 weeks.
2. Knit Hayden's Harry Potter sweater before the movie comes out in November.
3. Knit my Greek Pullover (for which I bought the yarn last Monday - very pretty red Rowan Kid Classic. I own nothing red, so this will be great.).
4. Knit a sweater for Hayden out of a really unusual shade of blue Rowan Handknit DK Cotton. This will become his holiday sweater. I try to knit a new sweater for him around Christmastime, but I don't want it to have a Christmas theme or be red or green because I want him to be able to wear it more often than December. Last year's holiday sweater was a grey cabled sweater ("Jack") out of the Rowan Junior pattern book. I think this year it's going to be "Action" out of Rowan Pipsqueaks.
5. Knit a sweater for my husband that will be more useful than the sweater I knit for him last Christmas. He kept saying last year, "You'll never be able to knit a sweater for me. It'd take too long, and the yarn would cost too much." So to prove him wrong (like I like to do), I knit a simple v-neck sweater for him that is teal with a grey chest stripe. Fits him PERFECTLY. The only problem is that in an attempt to get chunky yarn so that it'd go by quickly, I used Lamb's Pride Bulky, which is way too hot to wear in Nashville very often. He wore it a total of 3 times. This year I'm not surprising him, and I let him choose between 3 different patterns. Wouldn't you know it - he chose the most complicated one! It's a Rebecca pattern with cables and ribbing. I'm going to use Rowan All Seasons Cotton (geez, do I sound like a Rowan whore, or what???), which I love. Haven't bought it yet, though.

There may be a couple of random projects thrown in here and there, like a halter top for my friend or a baby hat for Hayden's speech therapist who's due in December or January, but those won't take long, so that's why I didn't include them in The Plan.

So that's it. There are only 5 things, but a) every single one is a sweater, and b) Christmas is less than 3 months away (YIKES!!!), so 5 things is a lot. If anyone sees or hears me try to add something to it, PLEASE STOP ME. I'd like to keep my sanity this winter.