Sunday, February 26, 2006

Time's up!

According to Stephanie's countdown timer, the Knitting Olympics ended 19 minutes ago. So did I earn my gold medal?

It's all knitted and sewn together, but it's soaking and will be blocking soon. Does that count? Or do I get silver? Bronze maybe? Am I on the podium at all?

I could've been done on time. I should've been done on time. But...
...I ran out of yarn and ordered some more, but I lost 1 entire day waiting for it.
...I went to dinner with a friend on Thursday night before going for a makeover. Sushi+beer+makeup=not a lot of knitting getting done.
...Friday night I was almost ready to steek, and I got scared, so I did LOTS of other things - went for a run, drove my run course to see exactly how far I ran, read blogs, emailed friends.
...after I finished steeking the vest yesterday (which wasn't so bad!), I had so much nervous energy that I went for a 40-mile bike ride instead of continue working on it. Vest isn't totally done, but boy did I have a good time!
...last night I HAD to go to a party. Earlier in the week, I told a friend that I'd come unless I wasn't where I needed to be in my Olympic knitting. She informed me that if I missed her party because I was home KNITTING, she'd crown me the nerdiest person ever. Mistake on my part. I should've said, "I'll try," and left it at that.

Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

1 hour later:

Everyone has a knitting disaster, right? I've never had one - until now. I laid the vest on my blocking board, looked down, and saw a vest that would fit only a big fat Amazon woman. It grew in length, it grew in grew all over. I didn't block my swatch like Eunny told me to do, so I guess this is my fault. I've never blocked a swatch before, so I didn't see the need to do it. Boy, was I wrong in this case! This yarn has grown like a Sea Monkey. I called my mom, also a knitter, and she told me to put it in the dryer for 5 minutes. I did that, but no change. I put it on, and it's almost down to my knees, the v neck is down to my's total crap all around. (However, the puckering that was going on before blocking went away.) I can't believe it - it fit me great before blocking, and now it's 10 sizes bigger. Anyway, I'm very disappointed in myself for not being able to produce a great vest like others out there. I'm upset because I just spent 16 days working on something that's going to end up in the trash. (If I'm not embarrassed to take it up to my LYS, I may do that and see if they can offer a solution. So it's not immediately going into the trash.) I'm embarrassed because lots of people knew I was doing this and now I have nothing to show them. It's almost like the few times I've had to drop out of marathons that friends knew I was running, and having to tell them what happened when they asked me how it went. Eunny, I hope that you don't think badly of me because I failed at my first attempt at your wonderful pattern. I really love the vest and would like to take a second stab at it. I've already been looking at Knitpicks Merino Style - 100% merino wool in lots of great colors for not a lot of money.

Ugh. I'm going outside for a bike ride. Sorry to disappoint.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Waiting Game

I'm sitting here at work with nothing to do, but I'm scared to knit since a)this is only my third week here, and b)my chair faces away from my office door (yes! I have an office!) so I don't know when someone is coming in until it's too late. So I sit here and play the waiting game for 45 more minutes. Waiting until I can go home, change my clothes and work on my vest. I want to be done with the knitting tonight so that tomorrow I can steek. Yikes!!! Then Saturday will be spent doing edging and blocking, and hopefully Sunday I can get some good pictures. I am anxiously awaiting (yes, waiting again) the finished product and hoping that it looks as good as I think it will. I'm even contemplating doing another one!

And speaking of waiting, I'm being good and waiting until my vest is done before I start another project. I have my Fair Isle cardigan on the needles right now, but that's so boring (I'm only on the sleeves and the body - not up to joining them yet) that it can't be my only WIP. I'm pretty sure I'm going to give the Jaywalkers another try. I've got sock yarn from Wendy plus the sock yarn Hayden and I dyed over Christmas break plus the sock yarn I bought for my Sockapaloooza pal (some yummy blue Koigu with just a tiny hint of purple - y'know, to add my signature), so it's fitting that a pair of socks get knit. I also want/need to swatch for a Rebecca sweater out of Soft Kid before we head up to Baltimore in 2 weeks because I'm planning on that being my mindless knitting project for the trip. And I'm also in the process of joining Eunny's KAL for the Sampler Stole out of A Gathering of Lace book, so once I have my book and my yarn, I'll be starting that as well. Egads - sounds like I'm going to be going from 1 WIP to 4!!!

20 minutes left - maybe I'll go blog-lurking.

(P.S. - I stupidly forgot to thank Wendy for the snake whistle/toy that accompanied Woody and Buzz to Nashville. Hayden has been enjoying that as well, making it whistle and wiggle, much like she probably did when she was his age. So thanks, Wendy!)

Sunday, February 19, 2006


I'm having gauge problems lately. For years I've made things that fit the recipient to a tee. (Hayden's orange sweater is an exception. Way too big when I made it, but I like to look on the bright side: he's going to be able to wear it for several years!) However, I had the Jaywalker mishap right before the Knitting Olympics started, and then tonight I nearly pulled a Michelle Kwan and dropped out of contention because I realized my row gauge on the vest is off. I was terrified that it was going to end up this tight little argyle vest mini-dress. After dinner I decided to put it on a scrap piece of yarn and try it on to see exactly how long it is:

Not bad after all! I'm going to adjust the decreases a little the rest of the way up to the shoulders so that there are less rows (only by 6 or so) and I don't have armholes that are too long, but I think it's going to work out allright. Looks pretty cute with my weekend workout pants, huh? We're all breathing sighs of relief in the Honeycutt household. DH actually said, "I'm probably more glad than you are that this is going to fit after all. Things aren't good when you're not happy." Was he being sweet, or was he trying to tell me that I can be difficult when I don't get my way??? I choose to think it was the former.

Obviously, the vest is not at the point of steeking yet, which was one of my goals for the week. Because my row gauge is off, I need more yarn. Fortunately, I realized that last week and ordered 2 more balls of lilac from Woodland Woolworks last Wednesday (yes, I made sure the dye lots are the same!). They should be here Tuesday (I almost typed "tomorrow" but then remembered that mail won't come tomorrow due to it being President's Day), so I feel pretty good about this vest being done in time for me to get my medal. (Boy, I hope that I haven't just jinxed myself!)

And speaking of goals, here are mine for this week:

1. Finish the vest.
2. Do all of my workouts on my training schedule. I was short this week by 45 minutes because I had a total brain fart on Friday and forgot I was supposed to ride. Oops.
3. Do abwork 3 times. My abwork goal from last week was too vague (and didn't get met, heh heh) so I'm making it more specific in hopes that that'll make me stick to it better.
4. Eat better than last week. Last week DH was out of town, and I was trying to be friendly with the people at my new job, so I ate bad stuff. And it showed up on the scale - yuck.
5. Buy the book, A Gathering of Lace. Eunny is hosting a KAL for the sampler stole out of the book, and I'd like to join it. She's being nice and not starting this until March 1st so that all of us knitletes can recover from Olympic competition.

One last picture to leave you with - my mother's Mrs. Beetons, her birthday present:

They look a little like blue fuzzy artichokes, don't you think? They're supposed to have beads on them, but I skipped that part. Didn't want to mess with them, and thought they'd look fine without them. I think I made a good call. I really wanted to get a picture of me modeling them, but that's when Hayden broke our first camera, and by the time we got a new one, they had already been shipped to her. I've asked her to get my dad to take a picture of her modeling them, but that hasn't happened yet. And I wouldn't hold my breath over it, if I were you.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Happiness is...

...opening the mailbox and smelling the sweet smell of the sachets Wendy includes in her packages to me,

...finding some yummy handpainted yarn inside:

...and seeing the joy on Hayden's face as I give him what she added to my order:

Hayden is VERY into Toy Story 2 right now, so he was elated to get Woody & Buzz. And I was just as elated when I found them with the yarn. I have not blogged about his interest in Toy Story 2, so I was amazed at what a perfect fit her gift to him was. I had to call her immediately and express my excitement. (I left a totally goofy message on her voicemail!) I really am touched by everyone's thoughtfulness when it comes to Hayden. He's such a delightful kid, and I wish all of my knitblogging friends could experience him in person. I'll just have to try my best to portray his happy go lucky, fun-loving nature through pictures.

Okay, enough gushing about the cutest kid in the world - onto the yarn! The mohair is painted in greens with a touch of blue here and there. I thought it might make a cute little Airy Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts to wear around my neck when spring comes. The other yarn is sock yarn, handpainted in greens and blues and also in colors that remind her of berries: fushias, purples, turquoise (although I've never seen a turquoise berry, but it looks awesome with the other colors). I got them both, thinking that I might keep one for myself and use the other for my Sockapaloooza pal, but I've decided to be selfish and keep them both. I'll come up with something else for my pal. I'm pretty sure I have a pattern picked out, so I just have to find the yarn that'll fit. (BTW, hi to my sockapaloooza pal! I know she's lurking around my blog because she left me a sneaky comment.)

And, last but not least, this is for you, Jen:

Gracie is the German shorthaired pointer, and Rudy is the Jack Russell terrier. (Wendy included prezzies for them too: Greenies for both!) That was them when we first got Gracie in December of 2004, and this is them now:

(Jen specifically asked for pictures of the dogs with Hayden. Gracie will hardly sit still for anything, much less pose with a kid. We do have one picture of Rudy with Hayden, but it also includes DH's hairy chest. Per his request, I am not posting it. But trust me, it's cute - the dog/kid combo AND the hairy chest.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Have you seen this or this yet? Pretty cool, eh? Can't wait to get mine done!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Finally - a picture of my progress on my argyle vest:

See what I mean about the puckering, Eunny? I feel fairly confident that it'll go away with blocking. At least I hope so - if it doesn't, I may have to spend some time in an asylum. This shot turned out darker than what I thought it would, so the colors don't look as good as they do in real life. (And while looking at the picture while previewing this post, I might've found a mistake. Must investigate when I'm done blogging. Now I've got you examining the picture to find what I'm talking about, huh? Well, I'm not telling you! Hopefully I'm wrong anyway.) The combination of the lilac and cream are so happy and springy. And the pattern is so great. I strongly urge anyone who's remotely thinking of buying this pattern from Eunny to go ahead and do it. She wrote a terrific pattern (of course - what else would you expect from her?) that's very easy to follow.

And here's a picture of Hayden modeling my Gryffindor scarf:

He's kinda looking like a rabbi to me, Hogwarts-style. Does anyone else see that? Maybe I should make him a matching yarmulke. Oh wait - this is my scarf. Miles and miles of stockinette stitch. I think it turned out cool, but it was sooooo bor-ring to do. I cut it short by 2 repeats. I was running out of burgundy yarn, and I was really tired of doing it. Long enough anyway.

I realize that I didn't post goals for the week on Sunday like I normally do, so here I go:

1. Get the vest to the point of steeking by Sunday night. (Yikes!!!)
2. Do more abwork. Strong abs and a strong back are key to becoming a stronger triathlete, yet I do not do it enough. Plus, DH bought me a bikini for Valentine's Day from Victoria's Secret. If anyone gets the catalogs (he bought me something from them for Christmas, so we get at least 3 catalogs a week), it's the one on the cover of the swimsuit issue. Fushia and turquoise in a batik pattern. VERY cute. Must have a flat stomach to look super-hot in it when we go to Florida in May.
3. Do all of my workouts on my training schedule. I can feel that I'm becoming stronger, so that's great. I want to kick ass at the Gulf Coast Triathlon in Panama City on May 12th!!!! (I will not be wearing the VS bikini during the race, though. That's for the day before and the post-race party. I used to wear swimsuits for races - not the lay-out-by-the-pool suit, but the I'm-a-kick-ass-triathlete suit - until DH told me my ass jiggles when I run in a bikini. The D stood for dumbass that day! I wound up with a new bike as a result of that faux-pas. But I digress.)
4. Look into summer school options for Hayden. The past 2 summers, he's gone to therapy at the same place he goes to play group therapy right now. However, the schedule is really weird, so I have to do some major maneuvering of my work schedule, and that's tough. Also, he's a little older than most of the kids that go there, and he's definitely higher functioning, so I'm thinking that maybe if I find a Montessori school that he can go to over the summer that we can supplement with private speech and autism therapy sessions in the afternoons like we do now after school, that might be better for him. He really needs social interaction with other kids, and I don't feel like he's really getting that with the kids he goes to play group with right now - one is pretty out of touch with what goes on around her (and is almost totally non-verbal) and the other has spent the last month screaming bloody murder through the entire therapy session. If those are the kids he's going to be in therapy with over the summer, then maybe I need to find another option. Who wants to spend their mornings with a kid who screams for hours on end? Not me! Definitely not Hayden!!

Okay, off to work on the vest (and hopefully find that I didn't make a mistake) before going to a Valentine's Day sushi-fest with my best friend. Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Just like Chad Hendrick... Olympic debut has gotten off to a terrific start. Last night I did 16 rows of the ribbing on my argyle vest, and today I've managed to finish the ribbing and 26 rows of the argyle pattern. I'm a little slow - this is my first real foray into colorwork - but it's turning out very nicely. It's "bubbling" a little bit, but not enough to make me worry. I looked at Eunny's entries while she was working on her vest, and hers did the same thing before it was blocked. I'm trying to get as much work done on this as possible over the weekend because my time for mindful knitting (as opposed to the mindless knitting of the sleeve in the round for my Fair Isle cardigan)during the week is limited. I wish I had a camera to take a picture of my progress - that's on my to do list for tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My first meme

I've been tagged by MeBeth for a knitting meme. I always like reading people's answers, so I'll try not to disappoint with mine. Be forewarned: my previous life was nowhere near as fun and exciting as my current life is! Anyway, here I go:

Instructions: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place, then add your blog to the bottom slot:

sassy stitchess
mebeth rambles

Then add 3 people to tag (sorry, gals!):

see eunny knit!
the blue blog

What were you doing 9 years ago?
In February of 1996, I was a faily new resident of Nashville. I had come up here from Memphis in March of 1995 to no, not pursue a music career like most transplants, but to run a race, and had so much fun that I decided once I finished grad school, I'd move. I lived with my aunt and uncle until I found an accounting job, then I got my own place. However, I met Mike (my husband) in October of 1995 and moved in with him almost immediately. So by February, I was living in sin with the man who I would end up marrying. I was working at a now-defunct company in their accounting department, making less than $25,000/year and thinking that I was rich.

What were you doing 6 years ago?
In February of 2000, I was on maternity leave with my 1-month old Hayden. We spent a lot of time sitting on the couch, nursing and watching TLC shows. My mom had taught me how to smock while I was pregnant, so that was my craft du jour. Hayden wore a LOT of smocked daygowns and bubbles when he was a baby.

What were you doing 1 hour ago?
Hayden and I were at Kroger, something I should've done on Sunday but was either on my bike or too tired from being on my bike. He dropped an apple today right in front of this old lady, and I felt like a heel putting it back. But I didn't want to buy a bruised apple - who does? I was really glad that she wasn't one of those crotchety old biddies who feel like it's their duty to a)rip me a new one for letting my child drop an apple on the floor, and b)rat me out to the produce manager.

Name 3 movies/tv shows you can't turn off if you stumble across them on TV:
1. Eurotrip
2. Malibu's Most Wanted
3. anything related to MTV's "Real World" or "Road Rules" or Landon from "Real World:Philadelphia" (I am soooooo in love with him - if anyone out there knows him or knows his mother, please send him my way!)
*Geez, my answers made me look like I'm 12 and don't have a brain in my head! I guess I just really like light-hearted TV shows.*

Name 3 things you want to improve upon this year:
1. not letting things get under my skin so much and stay there
2. my Ironman finish time
3. my creativity - going beyond a pattern, coming up with my own ideas

Name 3 things you can't live without (aside from knitting):
1. dark chocolate
2. my running shoes
3. the sight of Hayden walking across the playground towards me when he gets out of school - he's so excited to see me that his hands start flapping like crazy, and it never fails to put a huge smile on my face

Name 3 things you could live without:
1. onions
2. snobby women
3. rednecks that think it's funny to honk right behind a cyclist/rev their engine while passing a cyclist/veer towards a cyclist so that the cyclist thinks he's about to get hit

Name 3 things you really like about yourself:
1. I'm a really fun mom
2. my quick wit
3. my short curly hair (on my head, that is)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My friends don't call me IronSteph for nothing!

Yes, it's true - I kick ass. I was supposed to train for 15 hours and 15 minutes this week - I did 15 hours and 20 minutes, thank you very much! And that includes a 50-mile ride followed by an 8-mile run today in under 40-degree weather! Woo hoo!!!

I also met my knitting goals this week. I bought Eunny's Deep V Argyle Vest pattern and have chosen to tackle that as my Knitting Olympics project. Friday night I ordered the yarn for it from Woodland Woolworks - Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK in cream and cupid. Cupid is - yup, you guessed it - lavendar. Honestly, I really tried to get away from purple. I really wanted to do cream and pink. But the pink they had wasn't enough of a contrast, and the woman at Woodland Woolworks, who doesn't know my history with purple, kept telling me how pretty the cupid looked with the cream. So I finally gave in. After all, I do knit for myself and purple makes me happy, so why should I try to stay away from it? Not everything I own is purple, and what I do have or have knit that is purple are different shades of purple. At least that's how I'm trying to justify it to myself. Anyway, the order is being shipped tomorrow Priority Mail, so I'm hoping to get it by Wednesday. I need to swatch and make sure my gauge is right and I have the stranding technique down before the opening ceremonies on Friday because I have a feeling it's going to take me every minute of the 16 days of the Olympics to complete this vest.

Because I've decided on the vest for the Olympics, I started the Fair Isle cardigan. I only started it this morning, so it's not very far along, but it is on the needles. Nothing exciting to report about it so far.

And the other goal was to get to the heel of my first Jaywalker. I did that and got past the heel, but then I encountered a problem: the sock is too small. Not just a little too small - the damn thing won't go over my foot, on the needles or not. I was/am heartbroken. It was turning out so great. Even my husband thought so. I will take partial responsibility for the mistake. In the excitement of starting the socks, I skipped the gauge swatch. I am typically on gauge, so I just figured it wasn't necessary. But the mistake was also caused by someone who sold me the wrong size needles. I bought Pony Pearls size 1 dpns at first. I wasn't excited about using plastic, but that was my only choice. A couple of rounds into the sock, I broke the tip of one of the needles. I went back to my LYS to hopefully find some bamboo or metal. I was told that these metal dpns that were marked as size 0 were really size 1 - different manufacturer. I said, "Are you sure?" and she said yes, and that's all it took. After all, she's the expert and I'm not. I measured them this morning, though, after taking the sock off of the needles, and whaddya know - they are size 0! Frustrating. I guess I'll have to go to another LYS tomorrow and buy some true size 1s, and maybe size 2s just in case my gauge is too tight. Please, O Sock Sister who's keeping up with my Sockapaloooza progress, don't think I'm incapable of making a sock that'll fit. I really can, I just had bad luck with this one so far. I'll crank out some Jaywalkers that'll be awesome and fit me like a dream, I promise!

And now one last thing to tell you about in this already too-long post: the secret thing I was working on last week that I couldn't tell you about until now were a pair of Mrs. Beeton's from Knitty for my mom for her birthday. She fell in love with them, so I had to do them. They're not entirely practical, and the top ruffle was a total bitch to do, but they did turn out cute. I used Rowan Kidsilk Haze and Cashsoft DK in blue. I didn't put beads on them because I thought that'd be a little much - and I was being lazy. I had a perfect picture planned in my mind - I was going to wear them and have them peeking out of my sleeves while my arms were wrapped around Hayden - but he broke the camera before I could get my husband to take that shot. Oh well. I've told my mom, who got them yesterday, to take a picture of herself wearing them and send it to me.

Off to knit and join my husband on the couch for the Superbowl. He's downstairs drinking beer and eating hotwings by himself, so he needs company.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Busted camera

In the process of Hayden learning how to take pictures last night of things other than his thumb or the floor, he broke my camera. Doesn't he know that cameras are extremely important to a knitblogger?!?? Hopefully I can get it fixed soon (like tomorrow) so I can show you my finished Gryffindor scarf and the process I've made on my Jaywalker sock. I know I'll sound like a broken record when saying this, because I think every other Jaywalking knitter has said this already, but it's a super fun pattern and I'm totally loving it. I'm over 4 inches into it, and it's turning out quite nicely. Boy, I'd love to show you. Dammit.

In other news, I purchased Eunny's Deep V Argyle Vest pattern yesterday (or whatever day it was first available - this week has seemed like one big day to me) and have decided it's going to be my Knitting Olympics project. I'm very anxious to get my yarn so I can "train" - erm, swatch, which is allowed before the opening ceremonies. I went to the Woodland Woolworks website to see what they had in the way of DK weight merino wool (they came through for me when I desperately needed the Nature Spun grey for the MC of my Fair Isle cardigan - you know, the one I haven't started yet but needed the yarn for right away - so I thought I might throw some more business their way)and I came across some Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Wool that is the gauge I need and comes in lots of different colors. There is a cream and a pink (I think the name is petal) that interest me a lot. Before I order, though, I guess I should check out my LYS. Since Hayden is out of school tomorrow for a teacher in-service day, he and I will have to go shopping.

And last but not least, I got my sockapaloooza pal assignment! I'm so excited about this. I'm going to read her blog for a couple of weeks before I decide on yarn and a pattern so that I can get more of a feel of who she is and what she likes. This talk of sock knitting is making me want to work on my Jaywalkers. Bye for now!