Monday, June 23, 2008

The Good, the Bad, and the Looney!

I had a that kind of weekend. Mr. T was given Friday off to make up for having to work so much over Father's Day weekend. After I finished my work for the day, we went to the nursery and picked some perennials for my new flower bed. That was about all we had the energy for that day, but it was nice to all be home and have nothing going on.

Saturday rocked! It was a lovely 85 degrees here with a breeze - not too warm, not cold, and not a hint of humidity. We went fishing.

The good (a nice bass),

Fishing 6/21

The "bad" (the world's smallest sunnie!),

Fishing 6/21

And the Looney!

Fishing 6/21

This beauty was only about 25 feet from the boat. The kids love them and Ben can do a mean loon impression. Frankly, it's not that hard for him.

I wore my newest yarny creation - another Fun in the Sun Hat!

Fishing 6/21

I made this one from Peaches n' Creme from the stash and an H hook. Super easy, super fast, and super functional. Cute too! I love it and it was perfect for a warm day on the lake.

We fried the sunnies, beer-batter fried the bass, and ate them with fresh corn on the cob. We finished the day with a fire and s'mores out back. It would have been totally perfect if the neighbors hadn't ruined it. The guys behind us whooped it up until 1:30 a.m. with huge (and illegal) fireworks, girly screaming, and manly belching. Yeah baby. We were exhausted. We turned on all the lights and ate toast in the kitchen at 1 a.m. hoping they'd take the hint. Who knows if they noticed us, but they did stop at 1:30. Or maybe we just passed out. One or the other.

I'd hoped to sleep in on Sunday, but my lovely son who never sleeps past 6:30 decided to open the garage door before we got up. The alarms went off and I flew downstairs to disarm before I'd even opened my eyes. Spent 5 hours cleaning and the rest of the day moaning my aching back. Oh well.

I was looking forward to my endodontist appointment today - not because of the excitement of dental work - but because I'm in PAIN! However, that plan was foiled when the roofers showed up at 8 a.m. Would it have killed them to give me a heads up? My daughter didn't feel like staying home alone with the boys while a roofing crew was here so I rescheduled my appointment for next week (the earliest I could get in after today). Crapper! Must ration the pain meds!

As for knitting/crocheting, I'm still doing washcloths and I'm crocheting another Fun in the Sun Hat. That pattern is addictive! This one is taupe/ecru striped - a little more neutral this time and slightly darker. Next time I'm at Michaels/JoAnn, I'll pick up a color or something for another one. The stash does not have quite the color selection I'm looking for. Love it and must have more!

I suppose that's enough for now...back to work, back to work, work work work work!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...

...and the dentist couldn't put her tooth back together again! The title is a tribute to today being Hump Day and to my feelings regarding my tooth and its failure to behave.

Another visit to Dr. John, another x-ray, and a referral to an endodontist. I don't know how they'll handle this, but I hope it's handled soon. I go in on Monday. In the meantime, I think it's a perfect excuse to pay a visit to my LYS this afternoon: Silver Creek Cabin. I'm dying to see the new Berroco Fall/Winter patterns in person. They're gorgeous!

Here's my own little bit of gorgeous-ness. Well maybe not actually gorgeous, but this will be my go to sweater for a long time.

Knit it Down FO (4)

I love love love and ADORE it! It's so comfy and the yarn is ridiculously soft. It cost me all of about $8 to knit because sadly, I think the yarn is discontinued, but that just means that I should try to snag some more before it's all gone. Yes, Bernat Denimstyle is an acrylic/cotton blend, but that cotton makes such an enormous difference. It's one of those sweaters that you don't even want to take the time to wash because you want to wear it any chance you get. I could have knit the small size just fine and it would have fit me more like the model, but it's great the way it is. The collar sits just fine and I love the deeper V. AND, no seams whatsoever. Even the crossing of the V-neck was achieved through switching and passing stitches. I could make this again in a heartbeat.

Look what I started with the leftovers:

Easy Lace Scarf

It's the Easy Lace Scarf from Knitter's Review. I just realized that mine kind of looks like the one in the article. It's really turning out well and moves along so fast. What more could you ask for in a scarf?

I finished the first sleeve of 28thirty yesterday and instead of immediately blasting through the 2nd sleeve, I decided to go on a washcloth kick. I found a few great free patterns for diagonally knit washcloths, grabbed some leftover bits of 100% cotton and cast on. I made a reverse mitered washcloth last night and got halfway through Bernat's Eyelet and Ridge Washcloth this morning while I watched Angel. Fun fun fun! I love diagonal patterns because there's always something to look forward to. Plain straight up washcloths feel like they take longer. Maybe not, but they feel that way. Here they are so far:

Mitered Washcloth

EyeletRidgeWashcloth (1)

I'd better call it quits today and get back to work. I have a few things to do before I take L. to therapy this afternoon. Amazingly, it's 74 degrees here and it actually feels warm to boot! All the windows are open but I may even have to turn on the AC today. Could it be true? Summer? Really?

Have a great day!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Monday....seriously??

I can't believe how fast this year is going!?!?! More depressing - that it's nearly halfway over and we haven't had any real summer-like weather yet. No, seriously, I can do without scorching heat and choking humidity. The weather dudes don't think we're going to get much of that at all. It would be nice to save a little on the AC this summer, but hopefully there will be enough heat to coax the kids into playing with water outside.

We had a pretty darn fantastic weekend here. Mr. T's job makes things a little unpredictable so luckily we got in some fun prior to the actual Father's Day. On Friday we went out to eat at a local restaurant/bar called Chatter's. It was a perfect evening. The kids had a blast, we ate prime rib, and it's the kind of place where the kids can be themselves and nobody blinks. Then we drove out to a few lakes to check the status of their access ramps. Our favorite lake's access ramp was newly reopened so we all anxiously awaited Saturday and our first fishing trip of the year.

Fishing Fun

Fishing Fun

I was able to make a decent amount of progress on 28thirty. Here she is as of about 7:00 a.m. this morning:

28thirty - making progress

I will probably shorten the sleeves because 19" sleeves sound just too darn long for me. Or perhaps 3/4? Or I'll make another with 3/4 sleeves? I know I'll make one, if not two, more of these. Cropped, for sure, and I think I'll do one with the full-length sleeves and one with 3/4 sleeves. I'm excited to make the cropped (original) version because what I noticed when making this one is that the yoke feels like it takes FOREVER, yet once you separate the sleeves, it's done practically before you know it. The shaping helped the full version move along, but I kept having to stop and try it on to make sure I got the length and shape I wanted.

I had a fit of scarf frenzy last night as well. I swatched for a lace pattern (oops, can't remember off-hand the name but it was in Knitter's Review) with some extra Denimstyle and Moda Dea Silk n' Wool. Not sure if either is really right for that pattern, but I'll figure it out and get something made out of those.

I'm in a major-league mood to liberate some crap yarns from my stash. This morning I thought I'd try to be creative and see if there was anything I could do with a less than desirable shade of Lion Brand Homespun. All it took was a few stitches on plastic needles for me to throw my hands up and the yarn out. There's more upstairs - make no mistake, it will soon join it's friend in the trash. I wouldn't even give that stuff away. I, by no means, consider myself a yarn snob, but I honestly can't believe I ever considered that Homespun as one of my favorite yarns. I'm over it and I won't go back.

Anyway, I guess that's all for today. I'll work some here the rest of the afternoon, knit some on 28thirty, and then it's off to Eden Prairie for a soccer game. I'm cautiously optimistic about this one and the girls have chosen once again to wear their confidence-building mojo-cookin' black jerseys. They're awesome!

Friday, June 13, 2008

I've got great news...I'm wearing my Lutea Lace-Shoulder Shell for the first time!

The link above takes you to Angela Hahn's blog (the designer) who shares her many adventures with pattern submission and pattern modifications. If you'd like to make one too - and have the Summer '07 IK - check out her site (and IK's errata) because you'll find lots of great tips to make this your favorite summer knit.

On that note, the calendar may say it's June 13 and in theory that should be a fairly summery time of year. We are, however, hovering at 66 degrees with strong and very cool winds a-blowing. I am determined to get some wear out of this, my first warm-weather knit - even if I have to shiver my behind off to do so!

I finished another She-Knits bag yesterday. This is Lorin:

Lorin (6)

I modified her slightly from the original pattern. After the base, I increased enough to allow for two more motifs than originally called for - I think it was 16 stitches more. Then after pattern #2, I decreased 8 stitches around on two separate rows (with straight rows in between) to get back to the original number of stitches to finish off. I also made pattern #2 a little wider. I'm not sure about the I-cord straps yet. A little too long for me so we'll see how she wears. No biggie if they don't work out. I'll just cut them off and buy something to work better.

I have several things nearly ready to fly off the needles. Firstly, my Knit it Down sweater - remember this one, with only one sleeve?

Knit it Down

Well, it's a couple sleeve ribbing rounds shy of all done and I couldn't be happier. It looks great - a little less fitted than the original photo on the cover of Creative Knitting - but very comfy and the perfect layer for a cool spring-summer-fall day. You take your pick!

28thirty from Zephyr Style is one that is surprising the heck out of me. I'm making it with Bernat Denimstyle as well and I love it! It's cloud-soft and really nice to work with. I liked the pattern when I first saw it but fell in love with it when I saw so many nice full-length versions on Ravelry. Here's the only photo I have of the collar, though I am nearly done with the body:


What I found as I made it was that I think the cropped version would be extremely flattering and very good for my almost-short 5'5" stature. I have a tendency to look rather squatty if I don't plan my outfit just right and a short cardi would do wonders to help visually stretch me out a bit. So would losing some weight, but that's a whole 'nother issue. I think I'll make the cropped version in TLC Essentials. I have a boatload of sage green that is begging to be made into something. I think acrylic would suit this pattern just fine.

It's Friday people! What are you doing this weekend? I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow the wind will die down enough to facilitate our first fishing trip of the year. The hail storm on Memorial Weekend incapacitated our truck such that we had no way to pull the boat - much to my sons' dismay. We finally got it to the adjustor, then to the body shop for a windsheild (body work is on hold until July) so now it's back and ready to haul the ol' Crestliner. Sunfish, here we come!

The plan for Sunday is to take everyone to see Kung Fu Panda at the "big movie" as Lucas calls it. He has been to a few movies at the theater and each time it's a bit of an ordeal. I think he gets a little sensory-overloaded and overwhelmed and thus wants to spend the first 20 minutes of the movie in the bathroom. We've prepared him though and he really wants to go see this movie. Again, crossing fingers that we can all go out and have a good time together.

Time to go get some work done, then I'm plopping on the couch for an afternoon of knitting. At my office, on Friday the 13th's, they always take the afternoon off to go bowling and have pizza - since I can't join them, I may as well have my own little yarn party here, right?

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My brain is on cruise control.

Thus, I forget things the whole reason I started talking about my Hourglass Pullover woes yesterday!

Like I was saying. It's a great sweater. The shaping is perfect, it looks great, color is awesome, fits like a flattering glove - I just have my own personal issue with things touching my neck.

So what am I going to do about it? Here's my dilemma. Do I keep the sweater as is and hope that I get over my creeped-out neck feeling? Or, do I take matters in to my own hands and try to steek the sweater and make it a cardigan?

I've never steeked before, not to mention this is a sweater that was finished with lower and neckline hems. I (in theory) could rip out the neckline and start the hem finish lower, but I really don't want to do that. Plus, now that it's been worn and washed a few times, is it really going to work up the same way?

I just don't know. Another solution would be to just make another sweater. After I finished the first one, I did immediately think how lovely it would be to have a cotton Hourglass. Perhaps I'll do that and when the time comes to think about wearing wool again, I'll reconsider the first Hourglass.

I'm pleased to say that today is the last day of teacher gift knitting! Fluffy Lap Blanket #5 is one purl row away from the bind off. Weaving ends will be minimal since I tried to weave as I went along. I have two washcloths all tied up with soap ready to go and two more blocking. I may try to make a few more, but I also have a lot of work to do today so if not, no biggie. I'd like to do something for the moms who helped me out this year with rides. I think I might do the basket liners from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I might even splurge on EuroFlax for it too!

No photos today, but perhaps if I get ambitious, I'll drum some up for later.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who let in the wet sheep?

Naw, it's just wash day! For Mr. Greenjeans, Ms. Oblique, and the redheaded step-child Hourglass. What better way is there to spend an overcast June 3rd when it's 57 degrees outside?

Wash Day

It's about time, really. This is the first washing of Oblique. I blocked each piece separately prior to seaming, but then I was so in love, I couldn't part with it for a wash/block. I've worn it everywhere and the itch on my neck is starting to get to me, so hopefully a soak in Sweater Soap will have solved that.

Laziness kept me from washing the others. All my wool things have been sitting in a heap on the upstairs hallway floor for a couple months collecting dog hair. Mr. Greenjeans will be a nice one to have clean again. I still adore that sweater for its simple and stylish practicality.

Why do I call Hourglass the red-headed step-child, you ask? Well, it's beautiful enough - I love the color of the yarn, the design, the hems, the fit...mostly the fit. This is one case where Ravelry did not work in my favor.

You see, nearly everyone commented on the neck turning out all Flashdance-y and nearly everyone commented that they solved this problem by knitting 3 more sets of decrease rows on the yoke before starting the neck hem. Or they said they wished they had. I foolishly thought I'd be fine by blindly following what everyone else said and taking it as a personal truth. My reality, however, is that the sweater would have been just fine and indeed, preferable, without those 3 extra rows. It hits my neck it such a way that scratchy or not, it irritates the heck out of me. It could be because of my thyroid nodules, but nevertheless, the neckline bothers me too much to wear it.

The other thing I've realized about my sweater preferences is that I am gravitating towards cardigans. For me, they are more wearable, have more style options and best of all, I can take them off if I get too warm. I never used to have that problem, but lately I've been overheating something fierce. Maybe it's just that I have 10-15 extra pounds hanging on. There are so many cute ones though, that it's difficult to choose. My queue and favorites lists are brimming with the best of them and I know there are more I want.

Lastly, I'm trying very hard to stick to my yarn diet. Today I scored my last 2 balls of Faded Khaki Denimstyle - go the the call last week that my order was in. I also snagged a ball of Lion Wool in Sage for $.97. I couldn't pass that up. As luck would have it, the Denimstyle was marked down even further than what I'd already paid for it and the difference paid for my Lion Wool and a ring pop for B, with some change left over.

Yesterday, I bought Lace Style by Pam Allen. I'm a little obsessed with the cover pattern. I'm going to swatch for that with my multitudes of Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds in Earthy Brown.

I do believe I need to take a little nap before L gets home from school. I've been trying to work and losing a hard fought battle with the Sandman. I plan to finish the last Fluffy Lap Blanket tonight and block all the Mason Dixon Washcloths tomorrow and be ready for gift-giving on Thursday, the last day of school. After that, all the knitting is selfishly for me!

Remember, play fair and see ya next time!