Thursday, May 31, 2007

Broccoli as big as your head

or at least my head. S pulled this out of the garden yesterday. Pretty impressive in my own lowly opinion.

On the knitting front, my gauge check for the drop stitch lace tank has been growing and growing. I started with US 7s, the size called for by the pattern. Definitely not going to fit... too big (that's the bottom 6 rows in the pic below). So I switched to 5s (yes two sizes below). You know what, not much difference (see the middle six rows).

Last night I knit the top six rows (and this time I only did 4 of the eyelet repeats... guess I'm not a total brick) and I'm now at pattern gauge. But this is using size 3 needles?!? Could this possibly be right? I guess the only way to tell is to cast on and do a bit of full sized knitting. There's nothing like holding something up to your body to really know. I am worried that my ribbing will end up too tight but on the other hand, maybe I really need this to keep from being too loose.

It's a mystery to me right now.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sweater number 4

Having finished my cropped cardi, I've launched into my next project, the drop stitch lace tank from Fitted Knits.

I swatched a few nights ago and thought I was pretty close to gauge with SS. Last night I cast on for the front of the sweater and it didn't take long for me to realize that my gauge is way off in pattern. Everything looks ok from way up here in the first photo, but look closer.

I think those little drops would show just a little too much skin. Beyond that, the sweater would be about two sizes too big for me if I kept going. I'm going to try going down two needle sizes and see what impact that has.

I've always know I was a fairly tight knitter. Knitting SS in the round always gives me a tighter fabric than knitting SS flat though. My purls are just looser. Well in this pattern apparently I'm just loosey goosey all over the place. I'll be interested to see what happens with the smaller needles. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Let the fun begin!

Previously, I believed that S had excellent photography skills. Recently his work has been challenging this idea [grin].

Nevertheless, we can celebrate today with the completion of my Cropped Cardigan with(out) leaf ties from Fitted Knits.

Here's the mellow photo, taken by moi.

Isn't she nice? An easy little project despite my many vacations from knitting. This was the first time I used an applied i-cord to finish a neck line and I quite like how it turned out.

Are you now ready for the laughter to commence? Here's the wall of shame that S took for me yesterday to model said FO. Shameful, shameful it is!

The "look at the ground" "look at the ground" "let's be artistic" shot.

The "catch me in the act of talking and trying to explain that looking at the ground will give me a double chin" shot. Amazingly, double chin not in evidence although the resulting image does look like I'm modeling and admiring certain body parts (not true!).

And last, but certainly not least . . .

the "move your hair out of your face so I can take a picture of you with your eyes closed" shot.

Really, I don't think I do things like this in real life! It is a testiment to my self-confidence that I post these photos for general entertainment. [grin].

All in all, a good easy project, my second from fitted knits (and my third sweater ever). I'm looking forward to my next project from the book, the drop stitch lace tank which I swatched last night.

Cropped Cardigan with leaf ties from Fitted Knits
by Stephanie Japel
Lion Brand Cotton Ease (50% cotton, 50% acrylic)
less than 4 skeins 194 Lime (lot 35035)
US size 6 (4mm) circular and dp needles
started April 29, 2007
finished May 28, 2007

knitted as specified, at gauge, for 34 1/2 " size. Modification include knitting sleeves in the round, leaving leaves off ties, and doing a 3 stich i-cord along the front sides to give them a bit more heft and to prevent curling. One minor error in stich count in pattern, but this is at the end of the body and doesn't affect any work.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Wanna know what I did today?

Well, I and some of these neer-do-wells . . .

got together and threw one of these . . .

to help some of these . . .

do some of this . . .

Yep, today was graduation day at my university. I coordinated (with help mind you) the small celebration for our masters students who graduated this semester and then also read students' names at the big university-wide graduation. Fun stuff you know. It is nice to see students very happy and to celebrate with them.

Next up... a long weekend. I can't wait!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The slowest sleeve ever . . .

of course, that's at least in part because I've been going days between knitting!

The cardi is still coming along, but slowly. Work has kept me hopping for the last two weeks. I'm hoping next week will finally slow down a bit. Last week I had to work on the conference quite a bit and we had interviews for the graduate program I chair. In my "spare time" I collected some information for a research project I'm doing. Over the weekend it was more conferencing and then the conference program had to go to the printer Tuesday. Tomorrow is graduation.

[catching breath]

Is it any suprise that I haven't been knitting?

Not all has been work in my absence. I did have a b-day which was nice... at least one day that was fairly low key. I think this weekend may be slow as well. S and I are planning a hike Saturday morning and then hopefully nothing else. This is good because we have comprehensive exams to give at work next week and then the conference is the week after. Summer... don't let anyone tell you it's a time where work slows down!

Hope everyone else is enjoying their May.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

How do you knit?

I got this one from Indigirl's blog… The items in bold are things I’ve tried.

What have you done?

Afghan... does it count if I did three square and don't think I'll likely finish it?
Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up (this is on my soon to learn list)
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk -- blend yes, 100% no
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL -- Fitted Knits Along
Sweater - working on number 3 now
Drop stitch patterns

Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn -- recycled tshirts
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn

Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own hand-spun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting - I've tried to teach myself but am very slow
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Participate in an exchange
Teaching a child to knit - wonder if Bre will come back to knitting?
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s hand-spun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting

Teaching a male how to knit - S has, briefly, learned and swatched
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton

Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Steeks -- still seems scary
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Fulling/felting - both on purpose and accidently {grin}
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitted flowers
Knitting with beads
Swatching - I try my best to do what's best and swatch every time {evil grin}
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Free-form knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/arm-warmers
Knitting a pattern from an on-line knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair - doesn't everyone with a cat and/or dog knit with hair even if not on purpose?
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Thursday, May 17, 2007


As time keeps racing by, I'm getting lots of work done. In fact, I have to say that I am astonished at the amount of work that I have accomplished this week and I still have another work day to go!

Other than my 10 hour work days, I've fit in only a few minutes here and there.

S is coordinating a conference this weekend and asked me to help with centerpieces for the banquet. We decided to go california natural... we're going to use lemons and oranges right off of neighbors trees (no we won't steal... they've offered to share), votives, and newly planted herbs. Here's my little potted garden in prep.

On the knitting front I have finally finished one sleeve on the Fitted Knits cropped cardigan. Wow these sleeves seem like they've taken for-ev-er. I suspect that it's just because I'm not knitting much right now really.

Nevertheless, Issac is glad at least one is done.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy mothers day

This weekend has been quiet for us. We tended to our garden a bit yesterday and are quite pleased with how it's coming along.

No visit to the garden would be safe from a little taste-testing...

Everything has really taken off over the past week or so.

The artichokes are gigantic. We don't know if we'll have fruit this year or not, but we're hoping.

The pole beans now completely cover the trellis and are full of blooms.

Our japanese eggplant have even started to bloom... fruit won't be far behind here either.

The strawberries have been very prolific this year. Every weekend I do a harvest and pull at least 40 berries out. They are still fairly small fruit, but getting sweeter as the season continues.

And of course, big excitement... the broccoli have started forming heads. Won't be long before we have many things to eat from the bed.

In indoor news... all members of the family are happy.

Dylan here displays the ultimate level of comfort (take a look at that hind foot, up in the air, bent at a 90 degree angle... interesting). Issac also continues to be of excellent health... his med condition seems to be well maintained at this point.

And Sterling... well he's fabulous. This afternoon we decided to have lunch on our front porch (72 degrees, sunny... how could you not eat outside). He was just enthralled with the grilled corn we had. So after the meal was over, I gave him a cob. You'd think he just got the best rawhide ever.

He carried it around like this for at least 20 minutes before he settled down for a snack.

At first he was nibble, nibble, nibbling. When he started breaking off chunks to eat whole, we had to take the snack away. Ah the joys of doghood.

Happy mothers day moms and grandmoms!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Where has the week gone?

It always amazes me when a week has suddenly disappeared without a trace. Where does the time go?

So where have I spent my time this week? Well I spent many, many hours in my office. At least I had these cute recycled glass paperweights to look at as distraction.

Several evenings this week were spent in the back yard, creating this mess...

We had (notice the past tense) a fairly large size pine-variety type tree growing along one of our fence lines. This same fence line also had a bougainvillea on it. Well, have you heard the idea that you have to be careful because vining plants can pull down fences? Well ours didn't pull down the fence, it pulled down the pine tree. No joke, pulled it down, snapped the trunks. The picture above shows some of the left overs after I hacked away at the remains for several days.

You can see the remaining stump here too, along with the remains of the vine which I have pruned unmercilessly! I'll teach it to kill one of my trees!

Knitting has been scarce. In fact, I didn't knit even one stitch for two whole days. I am now back on track though.

Isn't she inspirational... all the way down to the picot edging.

I'm not sure why I love all those little holes so much! I've actually finished the body since that picture was taken and have started on the sleeves which I'm knitting in the round. Maybe this weekend will get me back on knitting track!

Monday, May 07, 2007

And she continues

A few more inches done on the cropped cardi.

I'm convinced that I'm knitting in a time warp though... I knit and I knit and I knit and it seems that the length barely grows!

Here's an upclose pic of the KFB increases in the yoke for Koko. Those cute little holes line right up to create a nice detail.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The long haul

Progress continues on the cropped cardi from Fitted Knits. I've reached the straight body portion of the sweater and am about half way through (the picture above was from this morning and a few more inches have been finished since then).

Size is still looking good and I think it will work out fine for me with the cotton ease (Lion Brand) substitute.

While it's not much of an issue, there is a small error in the pattern. As Stephanie points out, there is an error in the stitch count on page 60 under the body section. You rep. only one of the last 2 rows once more so the numbers are off by 2. They are not 128, 140, 152 etc. they are 126, 138 etc. This doesn't affect anything later since it's just straight SS from there down, but might trip up a strict counter.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Cropped Cardi continues

Don't you love it when the yoke is done and you get to separate the sleeves from the body? I do!! And how. It's as if instantaneously you have a sweater! I have to admit, I also was getting quite bored of the fairly long rows of plain knitting (not to mention the even less fun long rows of purling). Of course I can't complain... they weren't that long and there weren't that many of them. [Laugh] Just something to complain about I guess.

This little cardigan is sailing along. An initial try-on at this point suggests I'm on the right track size-wise as well. I'll be taking another test drive after the body knitting to see where I am, but so far, so good.

In future planning news, the postal carrier came with delicious gifts this week.

Cascade Cloud 9 for the Elizabeth Bennett cardigan (merino and angora... soft!). Although I won't be starting this one right away, the yarn is on closeout at webs so I scooped it up while I could.

Lana Grossa Royal Tweed for the Textured Tunic. This wasn't as easy to find, but I ordered it from Yarns International which is in Maryland. Very nice people, helpful on the phone, sent the yarn right out.

I'm excited to finish up the cropped cardi and move onto more fun projects!