Archive for the 'FOs and UFOs' Category

22
Mar
10

Resurfacing

My apologies for the extended absence.  There was some shit going down and my state of mind was not worth sharing in more than little bits and bobs on Twitter. I also didn’t trust myself to post about anything else because I figured my bitter would show through even the most benign of topics.  I don’t know if things are better.  But I do know that I need blogging, bitter seeping in or not.  I need to feel connected to others and a place where I can be open and honest without worrying about super judgy people in my real life. 

So! Onward.  Have you seen these socks?  I saw them and damn near fell over.  How awesome are they?  However it’ll have to wait.  I’m still in baby blanket hell, though I’m staring down the last curve and looking forward to the home stretch of seaming and blocking.  25 blocks is a lot of knitting.  Well, apparently baby blanket hell isn’t enough to stop me.  I’m going to be in baby blanket hell for a few more weeks, so I took the time out to do some selfish knitting.  I’ve kept exactly one thing in the year and a half that I’ve been knitting, so it was high time.  I did the Skew Socks and I love them very much. 

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock in Carabeño.
Needles: 2 US 1 24″ circulars, US0 DPNs for ribbing.
Satisfaction level: astronomical. I love these socks.  I will be wearing them as much as possible.

Not digging the holes on the sides, but knitting them on the bias like that made it hard to keep the increases from having little holes now and then.  I think of them as ‘air conditioning’.

I have also joined the Evenstar Mystery Shawl Knitalong.  It’s engrossing and lovely and the yarn is The Unique Sheep Eos in Silverlode.  I didn’t get the entire gradience set, just the skein second from the left in the picture.  The yarn is delicious and I want sheets made of it, it’s so soft.  I would wear Eos underwear if I dared make such an animal.  It’s that yummy. 

 

I also have finished another baby blanket.  I do not like the colors of this blanket very much.  I thought they would be great together, but the green and charcoal are not contrasting enough for my taste.  Alas, the blanket is done and I’m not redoing it. 

What’s everyone else up to right now?  I need to get back in the loop.

27
Jan
10

The Ride of a Lifetime

The pains started Monday night.  I was asleep and I had to get up thinking I needed to use the bathroom.  Blearily, I struggled out of bed and tried to obey the pain’s demands but it didn’t work.  So I went back to bed thinking if I laid down again it would go away.  Or if I went back to sleep then maybe I could sleep through it.

Ten minutes later I was up and in the bathroom again.  Again, no joy.  I had the presence of mind to poke Mike and say I didn’t feel very well, but that’s as far as my thought processes went.  I fell back into my pillow and didn’t think about it again.

Until ten minutes later when it woke me up again.  Dayum, I thought, shifting position.  Mike, having been roused by my earlier poke, was the one who suggested maybe I should time the pain.  It hadn’t even occurred to me.  Holy shit, was I in labor?  I timed.  I realized that yes, the pain went away and came back regularly.  Dude, I was having contractions.  After two, three, then four times when Mike told me to time just one more and then we’d see where we stood, and each successive one was between six and eight minutes, I finally said, “I’m not your fucking snooze button.  Get out of bed and call your mother.”

That was six years ago yesterday.  After thirteen hours of labor, our son made his first appearance into the world.  Today is my son’s sixth birthday.  He’s come a long way from the cone-headed baby to the chatty curious boy he is now, the one who throws his arms around me with abandon and says, “I love you, Mommy,” with the heart-meltingest smile on his face.

Happy Birthday, boy.  I can’t wait to see how you blossom in the next year.

15
Dec
09

Not So Inert Afterall

Emily Gomol was kind enough to invite me to be a contributing writer over at My 15 Minutes to Fitness.  My first post is up over there if you’re so inclined.  Please to be inclined.  I’m nervous.  But I didn’t want to belabor my knitting blog with life change stuff but I will always link to my posts over there for those who are interested.  I’m still around, still knitting, just not good at getting pictures posted (or even taken) and don’t have much to say except miles of garter stitch in the form of a log cabin blanket and a baby blanket log cabin style.  Yeah, I’m sparing you.  You’re welcome.

02
Oct
09

I Promise, I Really Am a Knitter

So! I swear I still do knit.  I have been a knitting fool!  It’s just that I haven’t had much chance to take pictures of my knitting, but that changed the other night when I found myself bored and waiting for Glee to start.  *cue harmonized a capella singers* Man, if I weren’t already married, I’d be throwing myself at the feet of Mr. Shuster and his pretty crooked smile and curly hair.  Frak me, he’s dreamy. 

As I’ve been watching my shows come back to life with the Fall season kicking in, I’ve made serious progress on my pinwheel blanket for a friend’s baby.  Good thing, because he was born last week.  Knitting like a fiend on this, but it’s slow.  The rows are pushing 500 stitches per, and it takes a good 20 minutes now to finish one.  I have just a little more green to go and then a brown i-cord border, and I can wash it and send it on.  It’s not the prettiest of blankets, but a little baby boy doesn’t need much pretty.  Plus, they didn’t find out the sex, so I needed something neutral.  I love the way the middle turned out.  Looks like a flower.

DSC_0487 by you.

DSC_0482 by you.

This photo is better to show the true colors. 

This next FO is a secret.  I call them Pick Me Ups.  That’s all I can say.  I didn’t love the colors when I tried the first pattern I had in mind for this yarn, Malabrigo in the Carabeño colorway.  Hopefully they’ll be winging their way to the recipient this weekend along with some other goodies and I can rest easy knowing they’ll be used and cared for.

 DSC_0496 by you.

DSC_0497 by you.

 These are the first socks I’ve knit for myself.  I love them.  They’re also Malabrigo yarn in the colorway Velvet Grapes.  I don’t like wearing socks much but the Fall weather has necessitated them, and my feet are happy for them.   Handknit socks are far better than commercial packaged socks. 

DSC_0498 by you. 

DSC_0501 by you.

This next FO I’m extremely proud of.  They’re the Viper Pilots I started in June for my sister, and the color is intensely hard to photograph.  It’s Yarntini Semi Solid Sock yarn in the colorway Strawberry Frenzy.  I loved this pattern so much that I bought more yarn to do a pair for myself.  Mine will be in Dream in Color Smooshy in the Midnight Derby colorway.  Yummy.  But I love the swirls along the sides.  I love the cabled design down the front. I love the ribbed heel and toe with the cabled embellishment.  I love these socks.  My sister may not get them.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  I think I’m kidding.

DSC_0507 by you.

 DSC_0509 by you.

DSC_0510 by you. 

There has also been stash enhancement.  I have gotten more Yarntini.  Lots more Yarntini. 

CaipirinhaDSC_0518 by you.

Lemoncello

DSC_0514 by you.

Summer Sunset

DSC_0492 by you. 

I also received my last Sock Club shipment from Yarntini.  It’s the colorway Concord, a deep rich purple with blue and red undertones and it’s gorgeous.  I’m already itching to roll it up and cast it on, which, if you notice the Summer Sunset one, seems to be a common reaction I have to Yarntini yarn. 

Dream in Color Smooshy, Midnight Derby for my own Viper Pilots

DSC_0512 by you.
I just realized that in this picture, there’s a hair clinging to the yarn, and I keep fighting the urge to reach my hand into it and pluck the hair off. It’s driving me batty.  

I received a package in the mail yesterday from The Loopy Ewe with my latest order, a yarn I thought would work for a scarf for the Red Scarf Fund but it’s not red enough.  The Red Scarf page specifically says no purples and this yarn is way more purple than I expected.  So perhaps I’ll donate it to Norma for prizes, I haven’t yet decided.  I have a cousin who would love it if I were to do it up for her.  Or hell, everything I’ve ever knit has been for someone else.  Maybe I’ll keep it for a change.  Maybe. 

The beauty of the order that came yesterday was that it was my sixth, and frequent shoppers of The Loopy Ewe know what that means.  I’m now officially a Loopy Groupie.  Will Whore for Yarn.  I need to whip up a button for that.  Anyway, the package included an adorable bag, a new sock pattern, some treats that I passed on to my kids, and a free skein of Cherry Tree Hill yarn in Foxy Lady, that has some red in it, among other gorgeous fall type colors that perhaps would look good for the Red Scarf Fun scarf I was going to do.  The wheels, they have been turning.  I didn’t get a chance to get that picture, but I will.  Oh, I will.

The Pinwheel blanket isn’t the only thing on the needles.  I have a pair of socks for my dad coming along nicely.  They’re Whitbys from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush.  I love the ease of the pattern, the yarn is springy and soft (Cascade Heritage Solid in Navy) and I think my dad will like them.  I took crappy camera phone pictures and I will burn your retinas with them.  Trust me when I say that they look much better in person than in the pictures.

Dad's whitby 2 by you.

dad's whitby by you. 

Told you the pictures were bad. 

Anyway, I have two more baby blankets to do in the coming months, and plans for one are in the works, and the other one I have the yarn purchased and have cast on.  And that’s about as far as I’ve gotten on it.  For me right now, it seems to be about socks, socks, socks.  For someone who doesn’t like wearing them that much, I’m interested in knitting way too many pairs.  That’s good for the people I know.  More for them, right?

Next up, finish baby blanket 1, get serious about baby blanket 2, and get yarn for baby blanket 3, knit up that delectable Cherry Tree Hill, consider what I’m going to do with some of this yummy yarn, and wait patiently for a preordered yarn from ThreeIrishGirls that I ordered back in July before Sock Summit that I HAD to have.  As if I don’t have enough to do working full time with two kids.  Luckily, football season is ramping back up, which means Sundays are spent on the couch knitting while husband watches men in tight pants (and truthfully, I’m eyeing them up now and then too) beat the crap out of each other.  Ah, Fall.  I’m so happy you’re here.

24
Aug
09

Consuming

Brain consuming: current state of the checkbook.  Ugh.

Time consuming:  This weekend, we decided to purge the house of all the dirt, excess, and pet hair.  It was quite the undertaking, starting with our mail.  Oh my word, the mail is out of control.  We broke the shredder with all the purging, and now we have a pile of old bills that have to be burned since we reorganized our file cabinets for the new stuff.  Then, we moved on to other areas of the house, pulling out furniture and finding all kinds of gems fermenting under couches and hiding behind end tables.  We steam cleaned the carpet.  We went through the toys.  That in itself was hilarious because the kids were all, “Oh yeah, I remember that toy!  I haven’t played with it in a year, but I looooove it, don’t take it awaaaaaaaayyyyy!”  It was like Christmas for them, but sadly, we took the toys they hadn’t played with for a good bit and hid them in plastic bags for Goodwill donation.  We weren’t totally heartless and the things they seemed extremely interested in again we kept.  But there were things that needed to be said goodbye to.  We’re down some big stuff, and the space it coughed back up will only be filled in again by Christmas. 

There was also a deck staining project.  Mike built a beautiful deck in May and I wanted to keep it looking like new wood, but between our summer plans and the weather being wetter than normal, we weren’t able to get the stain put on until this weekend.  It turned out to be the perfect weekend to do it.  The sky was dotted with big puffy clouds so the fact that I don’t have a pair of sunglasses, having lost my last pair on a float trip, wasn’t an issue.  The air was dry, humidity nonexistent, which is extremely unusual for this time of year.  I got almost all of it done, with only one corner left to do this week as time permits.  I rolled up my sleeves into my bra straps and with some tunes pumping I got into the project and my thoughts.  Much as I hate painting and anything that resembles it, I found a place of zen and peace out in the sunshine, the clear air with a nice breeze and a dog at my side. 

I still hate painting activities.  But this was less bad than it could have been.

Food consuming: tomorrow is Mike’s birthday and so we were invited to his grandparents’ house yesterday for cake and ice cream.  Mmmm, cake.  Tomorrow, I’m taking him to see a Cardinals game, diamond box seats, the closest we’ve ever gotten to the field.  I think we’ll be 4 rows back, and while it would seem as though I’m spoiling him, I’m the one who is spoiled, having scored the tickets through my work so his birthday present is essentially free but for the parking and the food and beer we’ll have.

Yarn consuming: none.  I hardly knit at all this weekend.  However, I did get some tubs for my yarn so the storage options for me have improved and maybe I can move it all out of the cramped closet organizer and into the tubs. It feels better to have it all in tubs also because they’re air tight and I don’t have to worry about the cat getting into it or moths. 

This week, we’ll be busier than a two dollar whore at penny pitcher night.  Tonight I have to finish the deck (but I might take a night off from that since I’m single-mothering it) and tomorrow is the ball game.  Wednesday I’m single-mothering it again and if I don’t do the deck tonight, I’ll be doing it then.  Thursday, we’re getting ready for a kid-free camping trip and float and then we have family coming into town for the next week or so.  Getting the house ready for that, packing ourselves and the kids for an overnight with grandparents, and then dealing with our every day lives is probably going to leave me ready for a day off on Monday of next week.  Not to mention that there’s been pitifully little knitting content on this site and so I need to get out the camera and take pictures of a finished pair of socks, progress on other socks, progress on blankets, a new cast on, and some ideas I have in the works.  I have pictures to post of Son’s first day of school and a post about that to write.  And more to post to my writing group for feedback on the story I’ve decided has lain dormant long enough.

What has everyone else been up to?  I’m feeling a little out of touch lately.

13
Jul
09

Sock = 8, Me = Smackdown

So the socks I started eight times.  I finished them.  Booyah!  Take that, socks!

Herringbone 1 by you.

Proof that there are really two:

Herringbone 2 by you.

Specs:
Yarntini semi-solid sock yarn in the colorway Cabana Boy.  It’s 75% Merino, 25% Nylon in a light fingering weight 3 ply.
I love this yarn.  It’s soft, doesn’t split easily, and is vibrant and exciting to watch the subtle variations of color emerge, especially on this herringbone pattern.  The pattern is from the Winter 2008 Interweave Knits magazine and is available for free here but you have to sign up for the newsletter, which is also free.

I added an extra pattern repeat because both my mom (the recipient of these) and I have big feet, and if I couldn’t get them over my feet, there would be no way she’d get them over hers, since hers are a smidge bigger.  Adding the pattern repeat also meant changing the heel and toe a bit, and I’m not sure I got the toes quite right, but they look the same for both socks, so if they’re wrong, at least they match.

This pattern got to be fun after I got used to it, but it’s fiddly.  It’s great for car rides, but not so much for watching TV at the same time or anything that will break your attention to it.  A mere dropped YO can be disastrous, so I would suggest a lifeline on these, at least until the pattern becomes second nature.

I’m glad to have these off the needles, but after I bound off, I was feeling a little empty.  I have four blankets, two pair of socks, and a scarf going, but I still felt naked, like there wasn’t enough.  So I started Nancy Bush’s Whitby socks from Knitting on the Road and I’m using Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway Pansy Golightly, a blend of light purples, blues, greens, and grays.  It’s lovely so far.  I really like this pattern, as it’s written in a very straightforward manner and is clear on the directions.  I have also finished one sock for Son and am halfway up the foot on the second one.  I am stalled on the Viper Pilots because I keep finding reasons to start over.  That one is up to three restarts, but now that I’m using sharper Addi Lace needles, I’m hoping there will be no more dropped stitches and I’ll be better able to do the cables with the sharper tips.   I’m no further than I was three weeks ago.  

The reason I have so much on the needles right now?  Startitis.  I am a process knitter as opposed to a progress knitter.  I enjoy the process more than the finished object, and while it’s gratifying to get something finished and off the needles, by the time I get to the end of one, I’m already daydreaming about what to cast on next.  I feel a bit neglectful of some of the items on the needles though, and I want to start a sweater this fall so I would like to get some of the other stuff completed before I tackle my first sweater. 

As for non-knitting content, please say a prayer for my friend Kari-Mel, who undergoes surgery tomorrow for lung cancer.  I would imagine such an undertaking would scare the bejesus out of any of us, and I can only imagine what she’s going through.  If I could be in her neck of the woods to sit and wait for news or hold her hand, I would.  She recently has had a bad run of luck, not only with her health but also with a break-in, so things need to turn around for her.  I really hope you can take a minute to send up a good thought or a prayer if you’re of the praying persuasion.  Things in life get shoved into perspective when you think of it in terms of life or death, which this most certainly is for her.  Kari-Mel, I hope those socks go with you to the hospital and keep your feet toasty warm!

30
Jun
09

Weekenderies

My weekend was somewhat uneventful with just one exception.  Saturday, what turned out to be the hottest day of a two-week long heat wave humidity fest in the Midwest, we had an outdoor birthday/reunion.  Mike’s grandfather’s sister (whom they call Aunt Sis) turned 86 and wanted to celebrate it on the lot of the river clubhouse the family used to have that was washed out by the huge flood in 1993 that spanned whole states.  It was a beautiful location, very well shaded and on the banks of the river, it was actually a couple degrees cooler than it would have been at a park.  

Mike was driving to the location with directions but as we neared the smaller, more secluded roads, he began to remember and reminisce about childhood memories involving the clubhouse he and his family so enjoyed.  Along the way, we saw signs pointing people to the back roads leading to a wedding.  Little did we know, it was located on the lot right next to the one where we were having Aunt Sis’s birthday gathering.  We pulled up to a small grouping of white chairs and a plant draped wedding arbor.  I wondered, as I climbed out of the truck, if the sound of the generator someone in Mike’s family had brought to provide electricity to a camper for the air conditioning should someone get heat sick would bother the wedding.  I assumed we’d be asked to turn it off, but it turned out that the wedding wasn’t in the afternoon.  People didn’t arrive to add to the decorations until near 3 pm, right when Mike and I were leaving.  I did have the presence of mind to get a couple snapshots of a typical Southern Missouri outdoor wedding setup, complete with Port-A-Potty.

Big ass truck, check.
Hot weather, check.
Chairs, check.
Port-a Potty, check.

Outhouse at Wedding by you. 

But the kids had a good time, despite the heat. 

I'll Get This Open... by you.

Chocolaty Smile by you.

Dancing by you.

Chilling Outside by you.

There was some knitting done in the car to and from, and I made good progress on my mom’s socks in the last week. 

Mom's 1st pair of socks 3 by you.

 

I’m nearly to the heel on the second sock and the evolution of a knitting pattern has nearly run full circle with me.  First, the enchantment with the new project, quickly followed by frustration at the complexity of the pattern (given that I’ve only been knitting for a few months) and then determination that this pattern would not beat me, and next came boredom with the project as I mastered the pattern and moved into round after round of the same thing.  Then, wanting to set it down but not doing so because I’ve been working on them far too long and need to finish.  Shortly after that, I became reenchanted with the subtle variegation of the yarn, the way the herringbone pattern showcases those subtleties, and it’s no longer just miles after miles of yarn overs and psso stitches. 

Mom's 1st pair of socks by you. 

Given that I’m reaching the end of this project, I thought it would be prudent to begin the next pair of socks, these for my dad. 

Dad's 1st pair of socks 2 by you.

This project I know is going to be tough.  I hate the yarn.  It’s splitty, not at all soft, and the stitches cling in a manner that makes even decreases and increases a pain in the butt.  I did a short row toe and while it looks okay, I managed to muck it up a bit because the wraps were so hard to negotiate through the sticky yarn.  I’m using US 0 needles so I’m considering upping the size so that maybe the fabric being produced won’t be so stiff since the yarn is stiff itself.  I plan to stop at my LYS to pick up some sharper pointed needles for another project so maybe I’ll use them for these to see if it helps the splittiness of the yarn.  But I’m not relishing doing over those wraps, which means I might be switching to a different toe construction.  We’ll just have to see. I frogged once because the wraps looked like crap and the yarn didn’t hold up well to frogging at all.  I may take this ball of yarn and give it to the dog or cat to play with, it’s that awful.  The crappy thing?  I have two more skeins of this in my stash.  Ugh.  I’ll keep going with it, just to see if it improves since all I have are the toes and maybe it gets softer after washing.  Regardless, it may be that I start prowling for something else before getting too far into these. 

The cutest thing that happened this weekend was that Son asked me for a pair of socks for him.  Green.  Then an orange pair.  He likes orange.  I told him I’d do some for him when I get some of the socks I’m working on right now done.  Since they’re such smaller socks, and I’m having the dilemma with the yarn for my dad’s socks, maybe I’ll knock Son’s out first while I’m contemplating Dad’s sock yarn.  We’ll see.

What did you do this weekend?




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