Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Well . . .

it seems as if I am knitting a little of this (streakers is almost finished), and a little of that(flower b = 5th repeat, and not finishing any one thing(green gables . . . well, I'm still working on the sleeves!). Except the little baby hat above. A co-worker is having a baby (girl) and there is a little shower for her tomorrow. So I whipped this up, using some leftover Trekking, and I was also going to make little socks, but time (and, I admit energy) got the best of me. This person is a new knitter, and is smitten with the Pumpkin Hat pattern, so I think I am going to go to my lys, pick up the pattern, the yarn and the needles and wrap it up with the little hat as her shower gift.

Oh, that skein next to the hat? Trekking, color 130--purples, greens, yellows: looked like summer to me. Yes, it is a new purchase. No, I don’t know what I am going to use it for yet. DId I need it? Well, my sock stash seemed to think so!
Monday, May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day!
Friday, May 26, 2006

If it is not one thing, it is another!

Still tearing the house apart looking for the camera charger--everyone who lives with me swears they haven’t seen it and, after all, “isn’t that your job?” Apparently it is, and I am not too good at it.

My ADHD knitting episode continues:

I am decreasing away on the shrug (I’ll finish it this weekend, which means I need to start worrying if I have enough yarn--again--for the cuffs).

I am almost finished with the lace top of Green Gables (which means rows of stockinette while I obsess about the strategically placed increases and decreases!!).

I have completed 3 repeats of the Flower Basket Shawl--while I am completely paranoid that I am making mistakes, the stitch count works, and it appears all is well. Besides that paranoia, there’s also the pending fear that I’ll need more than the 3 skeins of blue sky alpaca that I have (and bought about 9 months ago--let’s not even go to the "gee, I wonder if I can get the same dye lot?" place).

I cast-on and started a mesh market bag in Aunt Lydia’s Crochet Cotton: bright gold and orange twist----sooooooooooo summer (no, I couldn't wait until I finished the other one).

I am finishing up the mesh market bag in sugar’n cream--I love that potpourri ombre (there must be something else to use it for, besides a dishtowel).

I want to knit cute little booties, hat and mittens for a friend of mine: by Thursday (in Trekking, size 1s).

In my world, Memorial Day = the start of summer. Happy summer, happy knitting, happy long weekend!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Challenge #1--The Amazing Lace

My Flower Basket Shawl Affair . . . What you might want to know----
Specs: Interweave Knits Pattern, Fall 2005
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca, sport weight/color: blue sky 030
Needles: Size 10 Addis
Our past: I had just finished my very first lace project, Knitty’s Branching Out, and was feeling bold where lace knitting was concerned. So I cast-on for this shawl, planning on giving it to a friend for Christmas (well you don’t need to wonder how THAT turned out!). *

Strategies: I wrote the pattern on this handy-dandy ring-cards, and flip the card at the completion of each row. For me, this was much easier than trying to knit from the chart. I also marked off the repeats with stitch markers, so I could figure out where I was in the row.

Our issue(s): As in many relationships, you think all is well, and then a problem sneaks up on you: I would knit the pattern, confidently, and I would purl back, gleefully thinking about my next row. Somehow, the stitches to the right of the center stitch worked perfectly, but on the left side, I was consistently short 1 stitch, and would have to frog the row.
Again, as in many relationships, the problem was reoccurring, and I just became worn out by my inability to get it right (and this, my friends, is a personal characteristic in my own relationships: the get-it right, or fix-it-before-it-goes-wrong gene). I was also inhibited by reading and hearing about everyone else’s success with Flower B.--that green-eyed monster reared his ugly head!

This Time: I have vowed to forge a kinder, gentler relationship with myself and my shawl! I am going to take my time, and take advantage of the support I gain from my other Amazing Lace friends.
I ended up frogging the whole thing, so I could start from the beginning, I also bumped ny needle size up to a 10 (originally I used a 7, as in the pattern, but in a stroke of brilliance I decided to swatch and get the correct gauge!!)

In Preparation:
During the month of May, I have been working on Green Gables, Streakers Shrug and hoping to make a European Mesh Market Bag, all of which have a lace pattern variation somewhere in the piece. I consider this helpful in building my confidence to re-approach Flower B with a new attitude!

I am confident in our partnership--so much so, that I believe my friend will have a lovely shawl, and I will knit another one, just like it (different color) for myself . . . by the end of the summer!

* Last night, I cast on and knit the first 24 rows of the pattern: that’s what you see in the photo!
@#$#@%%^#@ This is the last photo before my camera battery died, and I can't find my charger!!!
Monday, May 22, 2006

The Mesh Market Bag Saga

I thought it would be simple--hmmmm: I think I’ll make a mesh market bag (I won't have to worry about how it fits, and I'll have instant gratification!!); I bet peaches ‘n cream would be cheap and great (Mason-Dixon Knitters love this stuff--why don't I just jump on it, too!)!!! I think I’ll try to find a free pattern (maybe I’ll go on the Knitty Board and ask those resourceful knitters!)
Whooo--I received some leads on patterns, and also some advice on yarns to use (and not to use). Seems to be that sugar ‘n cream doesn’t seem to be the yarn that others would favor--Euroflaz ($18 a skein) and linen, along with nylon, seem to be the yarns of choice.
While I am sure I’ll live to regret it, I am going to go ahead and try it anyway, throwing caution to the wind!!!
Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Out of the Pond, on to the Needles

The frogged pinkaboo is back on the needles, for Green Gables (I couldn't wait until Streakers was finished!). I am in the 12" stretch of the Malabrigo Shrug. See that Sugar' n Cream? Rosewood, hot purple and potpourri ombre: at about 2:00 this afternoon I got it in my head I had to (yes, HAD, as in absolute necessity) make one of those chic little European Market Bags--you know, those mesh bags everyone in Paris puts their fruit in. And at $1.49 a skein, I allowed myself a $5.00 budget.

I consider these mesh bags as preliminary training for the race with lace. There's a method to the madness . .
Monday, May 15, 2006

The Frog Pond

This is what’s left of Sitcom Chic:

Lovely color. New destiny: Green Gables--the exact yarn called for in the pattern, with size 6 needles. Please tell me nothing can go wrong.

Look familiar? Water Green Malabrigo . . . again. Good thing I love to knit.
Sunday, May 14, 2006

Sitcom Chic . . . oh really?

I am feeling a meltdown coming. It seems that lately, I can't knit anything without trauma and drama (socks? shrug?)--I was so tickled with myself to finish sitcom chic in time to wear for Mother's Day today. Does it fit? Seems to, that's the good news. The bad news: the neck stitches are doing something wonky, the front is curling, and some of my stitches look a little funny. I gave it a bath, thinking that would help: hmmmmmm: not feeling it. It is almost as if the yarn (Brown Sheep Cotton, love it) needs to be heartier or denser than it is. Maybe I should have gone down a needle size (I knitted on an 8, to get gauge for the pattern). . . what am I going to do with the collar (I think I picked up too many stitches)? It is wet now, but maybe when it dries I'll riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip. Thinking of it makes me want to cry.
Mother's Day Rule: Don't even think of making anything for yourself . . . it is bad, bad karma. Happy Mother's Day to everyone who mothers: in any and all ways! xoxo

The eyelet and shoulder seams are nice, though.
Friday, May 12, 2006

One Skein Pal

Between the Amazing Lace, Knit the Classics, the Summer Reading Challenge and the One Skein Swap, I think I have plenty of kntting and reading entertainment for the summer. I received my secret pal information for One Skein. Now I need to make a plan for what my new friend is going to get from me. . .

I haven't heard from my secret one skein pal yet---

UPDATE: I heard from my secret pal-----wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! This is going to be so fun!
Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Summer Reading Challenge

Knitting aside, I love to read. Next to a knitting store, a book store is my favorite place to be! So is it any wonder I didn’t have to think twice about joining Amanda'’s Summer Reading Challenge?! This is so up my alley. My biggest problem is trying to decide whether I should knit or read; after this, the next problem is what to knit and read next!
So, what am I reading this summer? I have oodles of books on my “I want to read this" list--classics, contemporaries, and young adult (I often read what my kids are reading, so we can talk about books together). I think my goal will be 25 books from June 1st-August 31st, and I will post what I am reading as I go along!

Current Reads---Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice and Alexander McCall’s 44 Scotland Street

Coming Soon--Bronte's Wuthering Heights and Newbery Award Winner Criss-Cross
Monday, May 08, 2006

Body, Sleeve, Cuff . . . Shoot!

The body and first sleeve are finished, and I have a third of the second sleeve completed. I really love knitting with the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece--and the pattern is really wonderful to follow. The best part, no seaming to do, except for under the sleeves!! I am hoping to have this done to wear this weekend . . . let’s see how the rest of the week shapes up in terms of knitting time!

I am thinking about more Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece--the Green Gables Pattern is calling my name!!!
Friday, May 05, 2006

The Race with Lace

I joined the Amazing Lace, a summer lace knit along. After reading about it, I thought this would be the perfect motivation to knit some of those lace projects I have had in the cue! IK lace socks, kpixie'’s hemp ponchellette and the notorious Flower Basket Shawl (remember, one of my New Year'’s resolutions was to finish that thing!!!). So, instead of buying MORE yarn, I am going to resurrect the Flower Basket Shawl, and ready it for the race, which begins on Memorial Day! This will require me to determine some sort of coping strategy for my pervasive disability with this project: where on the right side of the work, the stitches BEFORE the center stitch always work perfectly, but after I pass the center stitch, I am ALWAYS 1 stitch short on the OTHER side, no matter what!!! It will be an amazing lace . . .
Monday, May 01, 2006

When feeling defeated, start a new something

Knitty’s Sitcom Chic, in Brown Sheep pink-a-boo is what I cast on for last night. I couldn’t deal with the malabrigo disaster, and I thought perhaps I would find comfort in the pink yarn.

See the malabrigo, all wound up into four lovely balls (that frogging was today's project)-- I am still suffering.