Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ribbed cardi done

I am always astonished that it can feel like you work on something forever and you still have miles to go. Then one day, all of a sudden, without warning, you're done! Such was the case with the ribbed cardi I cast off last night.

The sleeves are wayyyyy too long. I foolishly made them longer thinking that would be a good idea. Not such a good idea. Laugh. I may chop the ends off. I'm still giving this some thought.

I'm also not 100% sold on the wide collar but it's growing on me.

I can say that I loved the Sidar Eco wool dk the sweater is made out of. I'd describe it as a loosely spun single. A little splitty, but not too bad. Nice and warm, pretty soft for wool. Good stuff!

So what do you guys think? Shorten the sleeves? Narrow the collar?

Regardless...Yeah!... one more project down.

Ribbed Jacket with Collar
Sidar Eco woll dk book (336 Code c)
12 balls Sidar Eco wool dk (100% undyed virgin wool)
US 6 circulars
Cast on about October 27, 2008
Finished December 19, 2008

Modifications: Recalculated the pattern given that I got very different gauge than the pattern suggested. Extended the sleeves longer than recommended by the pattern.

Ravelry details here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A new day

This morning broke clear, blue-skyed, cold, and beautiful.

I love it when you can see snow blowing around on the mountain top, snug from inside a snow-free home.

Life is good -- despite my momentary melt down yesterday.

Monday, December 15, 2008

It must be a monday

  • It's raining giant bucketfulls of cats and dogs today (yes, I live in Southern California where it never rains.
  • I needed to go into the office early today to do a make-up exam (my oral exam for Spanish that I've already missed twice!)
  • Today was the day my car battery decided to give up the ghost so I couldn't get into work
  • Depite the fact that I'm wearing a turtleneck, a sweater, a jacket, a scarf (handmade alpaca of course), and boots, I can not get my feet warm.

But have no fear, all is not lost.
  • It only took AAA 20 minutes to come out and jump start my car
  • I only spent an hour at the repair shop getting the battery replace (and oh yeah... did I realize that one of my brake lights was also dead and did I want to have that fixed too?)
  • I still get to take my written final exam in Spanish in an hour
  • The rain has finally gone down to "light"
  • We have no mud to slide in my neighborhood and all that snow that I can see up on the mountains won't get down to us here in the valley
Some days you know it must be Monday.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long lost blogger

Yep... I'm still here. Long time no post. =]

Life goes on ... work is busy. I'm so looking forward to time off at the holidays. Knitting has happened, in limited spurts.

My ribbed cardi is coming along. I finally cast off the collar last night (after the photo was taken). Now there's just the rest of the endless body to go. I get tired of sweaters before they're done. It's inevitable ... I can take a break or I can just push though... but I just get bored.

I'm going to like this one when it's done though so I'm knit, knit, knit, purl, purl, purling away. =]

In honor of our upcoming holidays I also managed to put up a few lights.

I believe strongly in celebrating the winter solstice and can't wait for the days to start getting longer again.

Hope everyone is doing well and having more free time for fun than me. I'll try to update you again soon.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lazy days... love em

Five days off of work ... this has been a great, lazy five days! I need to do this more often. And the best thing, big piles of work shouldn't be waiting for me since everyone else has been off too. Yeah!!

So what have I been doing for the past several days. Well amazingly little knitting it turns out. I've been on a Twilight binge. After I saw the movie, I reread all the books. I'm thinking about going back to see the movie again. Teen angst... love it!

But it hasn't been all teen romance around here, I did finish up one project and have been working dutifully away on my sweater. First up, a finished object.

A pair of garter stitch mitts for myself.

Last May I made pairs of these for my mom and sister and planned to make a pair for myself. Here were are 6 months later and I've finally gotten around to it.

My favorite part... the way the greenish gold colors contrast with the pinks of the Soy yarn on the palms.

Garter Stitch Mitts by Ysolda
1 ball Pattons SWS (70% wool, 30% soy), Natural Violet (color 70312)
US 9 circulars
Cast on about November 14, 2008
Finished November 28, 2008

Modifications: Cast on only 26 stitches given yarn with a different gauge.

Ravelry details here.

I've also been making progress on my ribbed cardi. Instead of knitting the body pieces in pieces, I put them all on the needles at once. This is making for slow going, but it is finally starting to look like a sweater. So far, I'm still pretty pleased with how this one is coming along.

And last, pictoral proof that I am able to cook and enjoy Thanksgiving solo. S... here's my yummy thanksgiving lunch. An overflowing plate of starchy calories.

Yum! Hope all of you counted your blessings and enjoyed your weekend too.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OK... admit it ...

you want to see it too.

I did ... I love teen angst movies... always have. Loved it. All the sappy, illogical, heartthrobby stuff. It was great! Want to have that giggly teenage girl feeling again... you should go too! You won't regret it.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sad news in the LYS department

Yes, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but my favorite LYS, Knitwitz in San Dimas, will be closing next month. I'm going to miss this place... locale for my regular Thursday night knit group. What will become of me? (OK... maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but it is quite a loss, a girl has to have a place to whine a bit). It's been great to have a store close by with friendly people, a place to hang out and knit on thursdays. Maybe this will be a good excuse to move to a venue with wine.

As part of the closing, the store of course is having a sale. While I hate to prosper at the cost of a closing, I did want to continue supporting the store, so I went out sweater-quantity shopping. Here is my ambivalent (yeah new yarn -- boo store closing) haul.

Pretty cascade pastaza ... great soft lavendar color.

Alpaca with a Twist, Baby Twist. There probably isn't quite enough here for the cabled short sleeve sweater in the new Debbie Bliss magazine, but maybe for something similar.

More ecological wool! I really liked this wool when I was making S's sweater so it seemed like a good choice for more knitting.

And last, but certainly not least, cascade 220 in a rich purple.

All lovingly selected, even with some remorse mixed in. I was laughing at myself a bit when I picked this pile out. Recently S made a comment about how all my sweaters are light green ... not the truth I claimed. Of course, in the store I kept being drawn to the green yarns. I purposefully didn't let myself overload with green and look what happened... purple everywhere. At least I can identify themes in my likes and dislikes!

So on other fronts, life around here has been crazy, accounting for my recent blog absence. I spent several days in Florida on a business trip and then came back and had to immediately report for jury duty. I spent two days on a panel seating a jury for a gang-related double homocide (with a juvenile defendant). It was a long process to seat the 12 jurors and 4 alternates. Out of the panel of 60-80 people, there were only 12 of us left (including me) who hadn't been questioned when they finally settled on a jury. It was a frightening insight into the judicial system, I have to say, although in the end I felt the process was OK. Now I am back to work, trying to dig out from the pile of work that accumulated during my absence. Studying to make up a spanish exam I missed during my excursions. Why is it that you have to work twice as hard before you leave and twice as hard when you come back from an absence? Somehow that means you've done twice as much work as you would have if you never left. Makes me want to stick around more.

Hope everyone else is having a good pre-Thanksgiving week!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Look what the postal carrier brought

A gift, and what a gift! Barbara Bretton just published another book and did a celebratory drawing on the blog she contributes to, Romancing the Yarn. Lucky me... I won some Debbie Bliss cashmere. Great hmmm? And to make the gift even more super she threw in a copy of the new book! I can't wait to read it. I think it will be perfect plane reading when I go on a business trip soon.

And all that cashmere... well I'm going to have to think about what kind of sumptuous items I'll make with that. Thanks Barbara!

And those of you who haven't visited the blog, you should. Barbara's very generous and has been having a number of give aways of late. It's fun to see what she, and her other author contributors, are up to.

Knitting on the ribbed cardigan continues slowly ... because of work I'm once again finding less time to knit. Yep another Sunday spent in the office... = [

On Monday for my spanish class we had a bit of fun though. We're learning various types of past tense now and for practice found recipes (in spanish) for a popular spanish food. We were to make the recipe, bring the food to class to share, and then share with the class how the item was made (yep in spanish).

My contribution... arroz con leche. S wanted to see a pic...

It's not a runny soupy pudding like you get an most indian restraurants, but more of a sticky rice dish ... full of cinnamon, raisins, and condensed sweetened milk. Can you say sugar? Comfort food, Spain and Latin American style. Wish you were here to share the left overs!

Friday, November 07, 2008


Who me?

Well yes. Spending hours in front of a television watching election results allows one the opportunity to cast on new projects and make good progress!

These (terrible) photos are of my newest work in progress, the
Eco Wool Ribbed Jacket with Collar (ravelry link) by Sirdar.

After my last post about the bulky cabled cartigan, I saw two separate discussions about the pain that knitters get in their hands (which I also experience). I decided to take my own advice and take a break from knitting with big needles (which seems worse for my hand). That means I needed to cast on for a new project. The ribbed jacket is something I bought a few months back ... I ordered both the pattern book and yarn online from Rams and I've been looking forward to having the sweater.

It's a very interesting construction. You start at the end of one sleeve and knit up to the shoulder. The work then gets wider and half becomes the yoke for the back and the other becomes the front yoke. The front yoke includes lots of decreases so you end up with a v-neck jacket. Construction like this isn't my favorite because you can't try on as you go... you have to have faith.

I hate that since more often than not, faith in patterns seems to result in bad fitting garments.

Nevertheless, off I went. I had to recalculate the whole pattern since, even though I'm using the recommended yarn, there was no way I was going to get gauge. (The pattern recommended 6s... my swatch on 6s and 4s suggested I might have to go down to 1s or 2s to get gauge... no thank you!). You might guess this has even further heightened by lack of faith issue.

I ripped back once part way through the sleeve due to a misread on my part and then after the photos above were taken ripped back the very end of the "point" on the front of the jacket. I decided that the point needed to end sooner so the sweater would fit. The fronts do overlaps some, but would have completely doubled over each other if I hadn't tried, tried, tried again.

After I do the right side, I'll pick up stitches along the bottom (or what looks like the bottom in the picture above.. bottom is relative given how this is knitted) and knit the ribbing down. This should provide a nice finished project with ribs going multiple directions (down the sleeve and body; across the chest).

Wish me luck (and better picture taking for the next set of photos)!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

You spin me right round baby ...

We're having a dance party around here today!

Wanna join us? You've got to check out this web page for folding candidates president elect, first lady elect, and vice president elect. The music at this page (really play the video on the page... you'll feel good) is exactly how I feel today about the presidential election... deliriously happy, spinning .... Some things are good in the world.

Unfortunately, not all is well. In California, 5, 359, 110 people voted to legalize discrimination towards others. Really? Over 5 million people want to discriminate against other Americans? America is not yet a country of equality. I'm still hoping beyond hope with others though:

Statement by "No on Prop 8" Campaign on Election Status

Roughly 400,000 votes separate yes from no on Prop 8 – out of 10 million votes tallied.

Based on turnout estimates reported yesterday, we expect that there are more than 3 million and possibly as many as 4 million absentee and provisional ballots yet to be counted.

Given that fundamental rights are at stake, we must wait to hear from the Secretary of State tomorrow how many votes are yet to be counted as well as where they are from.

It is clearly a very close election and we monitored the results all evening and this morning.

As of this point, the election is too close to call.

Because Prop 8 involves the sensitive matter of individual rights, we believe it is important to wait until we receive further information about the outcome.

Geoff Kors
Executive Committee NO on Prop 8

Kate KendellExecutive Committee
NO on Prop 8

Keep your fingers crossed that those who voted early by mail weren't bigots.
After all, two other states made the wrong choice yesterday. I'm going to keep hoping bad things don't come in threes.

link to puppets courtesy of monster yarn's post today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

I voted ...

have you?

No?! ... well get off the computer and go! Voting this morning was so energizing! I got up early, well in fact I woke up early several times and had to keep going back to sleep until it made sense to get up. After a brisk walk with the pup and a quick shower, off to the polls I went.

I love my neighborhood ... so many different kinds of people. The polling place was a great slice of America ... it made me feel proud to be able to vote with people of different ages, races, sexual orientations.

My wait wasn't too bad... only about 25 minutes. I figured that early (I went around 7:20am) was the best bet for beating the crowds. I suspect it will be even busier later. Even more reason for you to go vote now!

Be part of the process. Read up on the issues and go vote! Me, I'm going to be waiting anxiously for the returns. We Californians voted on some important issues (beyond the obvious presidential choice) including whether or not to legalize discrimination in the state constitution... I'll be glued to the returns to see whether my fellow residents are truely humane and don't make the aggregious error of passing Prop 8.

I haven't been so excited to vote since 1988 ... that seemed like a chance to turn the country around but we didn't do it then. I think this time we might make a better choice. =]

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crazy times

Hey everyone! So another week has passed by and let me tell you it has been a crazy week around here.

Most exciting, S came home from Indiana for a visit. We had 11 days to just hang out and do alot of nothing together. . . or so we planned. Life of course always has a way of intervening doesn't it?

Friday I came home from work a bit early, around 3:45pm. Now the day before on my drive home I noticed smoke and the whole drive home wondered where the fire was. I got increasingly anxious as I got closer to home and realized that the fire was somewhere close by. No worries though, it was somewhere past our neighborhood (and I never actually did determine exactly where).

So Friday when I drove home and saw another fire, I just thought to myself, well this one probably isn't in the neighborhood either. I started to realize I was really wrong when I turned into the neighborhood and 1/2 a mile away people were out in their yards looking down the street. Yep, the fire was clearly on my block. As I got closer I could see all the fire engines and that the police had our block blocked off. I went to the next street over to park and could see over the houses that the fire was right where our house should be.

You know, adrenaline coursing through your body is not such a nice feeling. I kicked off my sandals and ran barefoot around the corner to our street. Big black billows of smoke everywhere. When I got around the corner I could see the smoke was right over our roof but our house was not on fire (of course the words in my head were "yet").

Apparently, a fire started near the alley of one of my neighbor's house. It burned their garage to the ground and then came into my next door neighbor's yard. The people next door lost two garages and everything in the back yarn (trees now black crispy sticks). Luckily for us, the fire fighters stopped the fire there. One of the garages that burned is within 8 foot of our house.

The good news here is that no one was hurt. Also good, it was only garages and yards that were lost. Scary stuff though to think about my four boys trapped in my house with a fire so close by! They were definitely a bit on the frantic side when we got into the house, but settled down after a few hours. Nothing like smoke, siriens, and lots of people to reassure animals hmm?

Needless to say, the rest of our Friday (and Saturday for that matter) ended up being fire-related. Neither neighbor had electricity so we pitched in to drag some extension cords down so they could at least have a light on at each house. We also helped our next door neighbors (who are in their 80s and were already talking about assisted living even before the fire) with contacting insurance and talking to all the people who show up.

Let me tell you, we have some great fire fighters here. They did a great job and were so very helpful even after the fire. At one point we had 6 trucks here. Which I guess makes sense since in my mind at least three houses were threatened (and damage happened on two properties). Did I mention that there was a large propane tank in one of the garages that exploded before I got home? Apparently that caused quite a noise and threw shrapnel quite some distance.

Nothing like a little excitement hmm?

This photo may give you some sense of what's left of the neighbors' yards (usually there would be a fence along the back there that would block the view of the alley and the yard and white wall of the neighbor across the way.

So after all that craziness, S and I decided we did want to relax a bit on Sunday and what would a trip to California be without a visit to the beach? So early Sunday off we went to our favorite beach destination, Crystal Cove State Park (no roller bladers and starlet-wanna-be-s here!).

This was the view when we first arrived.

Nope, don't adjust your screen ... you're seeing it correctly, overcast, foggy, cold. It was absolutely beautiful! The marine layer was dense and it was quiet and great for sitting in a chair with a sweatshirt on.

A few hours later, in typical southern California fashion, the clouds burnt off and we had beautiful blue skies and sun.

Can't ask for much more that an 80 degree day at the beach in October. =]

So S and I left the beach Sunday and he flew back to South Bend on Monday ... right into SNOW! Laugh ... yep quite the contrast. Sounds like the northeast has a bit of an early winter. I'll try not to rub it in, but I love being here where it will get into the 80s again today.

So has there been any knitting between visits and fires... a little. I started the bulky cabled cardigan by Stephanie Japel (see picture at top). I think I really don't like it. Why do I knit clothing with bulky yarn? It probably will be terrible. Somehow I still haven't decided to frog it yet though. I'm almost finished with the body now (only the body trim to do). I think I'll do one sleeve to see how that looks and then decide. Don't let me do bulky again, OK?

Friends don't let friends knit bulky.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cable Luxe Tunic done!

Call the press... throw a party ... the cable luxe tunic is done AND it fits!

This was a project that I was really skeptical about when I first started reading about it. Everyone (and I'm not exaggerating, every post I read about it) talked about the problems with the pattern. Nevertheless, I was literally compelled to cast on. It was the yoke and the cables -- I'm a sucker for texture and cables just do it for me.

So I started with the cabled yoke -- which is what initially drew me to this sweater. Love the garter stitch top and the cabled section. Once that was done it was down to the body. I loved the top but will admit I wasn't in love with the body as it finished up.

After a bit of a break, I picked the sweater back up and started on the sleeves. After at least one false start (maybe two, I've repressed the memories), off I went to sleeve island. The first sleeve was slow. You know the feeling (I know you do), you knit and knit and knit and you feel like you're no closer to the end. Then at knit-night, suddenly I was at least half way through the first sleeve and I felt the end was possible.

A dedicated weekend of knitting and one sleeve done! Now I love the sweater. Having that long sleeve just pulled it all together. The second sleeve came together in no time and Saturday I cast off and wove in the ends!

I had fun with this sweater and am pleased with the finished project. I made mistakes along the way (the slipped "stripes" between the cables -- see my last post), but also learned how to fix my mistakes. I made a few modifications to the pattern, based on the helpful hints I picked up online and am just tickled pink with the outcome.

Final verdict... a winner!

Cable Luxe Tunic (a Lion Brand pattern)
size Small
Cascade 220 (7? skeins)
Color 8407 (a greenish grey) Lot 0999
US 8 circular needles
Cast on May 14, 2008
Finished October 18, 2008

Quite a few.

I started with the cabled yoke which is knit flat from side to side and then seamed together. I next picked up stitches and knit the garter stitch top of the yoke. With these two parts I could try the sweater on as I went to make sure the fit was working. From this point forward, I knit the rest of the body of the sweater in the round. I picked up stitches from the bottom of the cabled yoke and knit the whole body of the sweater in the round. By knitting in the round I was able to fit another cable repeat under each sleeve (there isn't a stretch of filler as would be the case if knit flat and seamed). I also knit the sleeves in the round. With a little trial and error I simply started with the right number of stitches rather than doing the strange increase the pattern recommended. I also calculate the number to cast on so I could do an even set of cable repeats around the whole sleeve (again no filler stretches where the seam would be).

1st an errata from the pattern -- row 11 of yoke: p7, 3/3LC, 3/3RC, p7

Other changes... all found by checking out bulletin boards and suggestions given by others.

For the 3/3 LC Cable: Row 3 knit as a 3/3 LC after the center cable, Row knit as a 3/3 RC before the center cable

For the 4/4 Center Cable: Row 3 knit as 4/4 LC, K4; Row 9 knit as K4, 4/4 RC

For all sizes, the pattern indicates that you are to continue in pattern as established increasing 1 stitch in each of the center 14 purl sections every row 3 *2 more times*. I only increased once more so that I wouldn't end up with too much of a bell bottom to the sweater. It probably would have been ok in hindsight to have done both increases recommended, but I was cautious.

Last, the pattern did not specify how to do the slip stitches between the cable columns. After some trial and error I decided to slip knitwise with the yarn held in back.

Ravelry details here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I love free time!

Really! Not working on Saturday or Sunday is fabulous! And you know what happens when I don't have to work? I get to knit... yeah!!

So instead of short choppy sleeves on my cable luxe tunic, as previously promised, I get to show you a whole sleeve!

Don't you love how when I stand sideways like that you almost can't tell I still have one more sleeve to go?

Oops.. yep, not quite done [hehehe].

It's taken me awhile to get back to the sleeves on this little one (ok... not so little, actually a pretty big project). I took it to knitty group two weeks ago and again last week and that seems to have been the motivator I needed to keep going (well that and that amazing thing of unscheduled hours in the day). Thursday night at group, I pulled the one sleeve I was working on onto my arm and, wow, I realized I was almost half way done! OK... maybe this won't be a never ending sleeve after all, I though. Several dedicated hours later... yeah ... one sleeve done!

Here's an up close shot of the body. Now if you compare the body to the sleeve (or that picture to the one above or below) you might notice something unusual. The "stripe" between the cables looks different.

When I started this pattern, I was never able to see an up-close photo of the sweater. Compelled to knit it, I nevertheless plunged on. The stripe is made by slipping a stitch every other row and knitting it on the remaining rows. Of course the instructions never said whether you slip as if to knit, as if to purl, with yarn in front, or in back. These little things bother me. I picked a way and off I went with the pattern resulting in the stripe you see in the body above.

When I started the sleeve, I thought I did the slipping the same way, but apparently not. What I did was slip as if to knit with the yarn in back. I realized that this was the way that was probably intended. I struggled with whether I should continue in this "right" prettier way, or continue the sleeves in the old way (to match the body). After trial and error, I could not figure out how to replicate the old look (ok.. I didn't try that hard...but I did try a few times). I decided, who cares, and knit on with the prettier look.

After finishing the first sleeve this weekend and realizing that I really DO like this sweater, I decided maybe I needed to do something with the body to be a bit matchy.

Laddering up the sweater though? Was I ready for this frightening endeavor. Seems almost worse than steeking... no sewing there to hold the sweater together. I DO like this sweater though. I plunged ahead, starting on the back, figuring I only had to do a couple stripes on front and back to be good enough.

And you know what ... it was easy!

Here's the last stripe right before it was fixed. You can see that the laddered stripes to the left and right of the old version aren't quite as tight as they would have been if done correctly from the start, but I figure I can fix that with a good bath.

Joy... nice stripes all around the body and one sleeve done. Now I just need a few more dedicated hours for that other sleeve! Cold weather's coming and I want to wear this sweater!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's easy being green!

Now isn't that a face to love? I found this guy in a thrift store a few weekends ago and just couldn't leave without him. Somebody put some love into creating this guy!

It's nice to have another smiling face around here (since I'm still all grumpy about the amount of work I have to do!). Want to see another one?

Foster kitty, Zinn ... well he's made himself right at home (and plumped up quite a bit from when we first took him in). This is what my weekend mornings often look like... me trying to read the paper and Zinn making himself comfortable in the center of things. It's so good to be the center of attention!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Time meltdown ... and cowls

Don't let that calm face above fool ya ... things have been crazy around here.

Yesterday I saw a great photo on a blog of a clock spinning out of control. That's how my life has felt for the past two weeks. Time must be running faster than normal because I just can't keep up!

Work, the major culprit in my time management problems, has been insane. This weekend I spend all day Saturday and Sunday in the office trying to catch up (literally ... 9 hours saturday, 8 hours sunday). I'm pleased to report that some of the largest projects were completed. Oh yeah... did I mention that I worked until midnight last night as well? [sigh]

Nevertheless, all this productivity makes me believe that I've earned the right to take a short work break now to blog. After all ... it has been weeks!

So what knitting have I been doing since last we spoke? Well amazingly enough, despite all that work, I did finish two cowls.

Now I must confess that when cowl-wildfire was spreading throughout the blogosphere, I just didn't get it. They didn't look very warm -- not big enough to really cover up enough skin to be very helpful I thought.

Then I stumbled across this free pattern. Humm... a giant, squishy, warm looking cowl. Now that got me excited. Even more exciting... I had left over yarn from Fantine that I could use. Bonus! So I sat down one evening and ... unbelievably... a few hours later I had a cowl!

Well now that was easy wasn't it. Maybe I should try it again?

Version number 2 was finished later that weekend.

I cast on slightly fewer stitches for the second cowl so it wouldn't be quite as large and think it's a nice alternative to the really big and squishy cowl.

Both have kept me company this past weekend when I was trapped in the cold office, by myself, typing at the keyboard to earn a few cents [cackle ... cackle.. cackle .... do I seem insane yet?]

So looking for a quick project... want a big, squishy cowl ... this might be the project for you too!

I have been slowly making progress on the cabled luxe tunic ... maybe I'll show you my short stubby sleeves next time!

Hope time's treating all of you well.

Chunky Knit Cowl by Erica-Knits
2 skeins Lion Brand Jiffy Solid for each cowl
Heather (for the first cowl) & Black (for the second cowl)
US 17 circulars
Grey cowl Cast on September 24, 2008
Grey cowl Finished September 24, 2008
Black cowl Cast on September 25, 2008
Black cowl Finished September 26, 2008


For the grey, slighly larger cowl, I knitted 31 rows for my cowl resulting in a FO that’s 16” long (11” wide at top and 16” wide at bottom). It’s not long enough to be used as a hood, as the pattern calls for, but makes for a very warm, snuggly cowl.

I knit with the Jiffy held double to be comprable to the called for yarn (thick n quick).

For the black cowl, I cast on 10 fewer stitches than recommended by the pattern so it would be a bit smaller. I still knit 30 rows and the final cowl ended up 12” long, 10” wide at the top, and 12” wide at the bottom. Maybe I knit at a somewhat tighter gauge this time? It still a good size, just not quite as voluminous. The black cowl is also Jiffy, held double.

Ravelry details here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ah cables

Many, many (no really, I do mean many) months ago I started a cabled aran afghan. Inspired by a Knitty Gritty episode, I wanted to learn to do cables. Why not just jump into a hugh project to do so [snort]?! I never was very practical with such things.

When I think about it, it in fact may have been the first project I started that wasn't a scarf. A walk down memory lane suggests that I started the first square in September, 2006. Two years ago!

The great thing about a big project is that you know it will take a long time. For me that's definitely been these case. Now I just describe this as one of those projects that is leisurely ... non time demanding ... used as a filler.

Don't believe me?! [laugh]

Truely, this is one of the few projects I've worked on that doesn't feel pressured to me. I don't feel like I "have to finish." With sweaters and socks I just want "to be done." With this, it's a multiple year project ... and that's OK.

It's funny, when I first started this project I was definitely a newbie. In fact it was only after I finished either 2 or 3 squares that I realized that, without meaning to, I was knitting through the back loop every time. Yep, having re-taught myself from books, I didn't realize that there was a difference between knitting into the front or the back of the loop. The back of the loop just seemed like the right way. Somewhere along the knitting trip, I had this realization.

The afghan is 16 squares all 12" by 12". It may be interesting when I'm done. Knitting through the back loop everytime pulled my work in a bit. I'll have to see if I can block those early puppies out a bit. Otherwise, I may have to work another panel wrong so I can at least have one row all the same size [grin]!

Five squares done ... 11 to go. Maybe I'll be done by the end of the decade.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scott's Sweater

Yeah... my first sweater for S is not only finished, but it fits! When we were in South Bend we did the fitting, discovered my strategy for sleeve length worked (yeah!), and all I had to do was weave in sleeve ends!

A few days later in Columbus, time to model the new sweater.

S wanted a basic, plain jane sweater and this one fit the bill quite nicely. I really like the ecological wool I used to knit this sweater. The color is a nice balance of greys (with bits of white). It was soft to knit with and I think will wash up even softer.

And you know what.... I'm so proud of S, he washed and blocked his sweater himself! I was going to do this for him before I left but we just didn't have time. So he sent me these pictures today.

The sweater got a good soak.

The burrito method of drying the sweater was followed (I'm sure including stepping on the burrito but I didn't confirm this... grin).

And then the sweater was laid out to dry. We're hoping he'll get another inch or two in the overall length of the sweater from the process. All things considered.... we have a winner!

Easy Bulky Sweater for the family #30 (ravelry link) by Melinda Goodfellow
(roll neck and sleeve, ribbed bottom; plain -- no cable)
3 skeins Cascade Ecological Wool
US 8 & US 10 circulars and dpns
Cast on April 1, 2008
Finished August 31, 2008

Modifications: none.

Details on Ravelry here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This past week I flew up to Indiana to visit S at his new diggs in South Bend. We did the tour of Notre Dame (that's the Basillica above) and even carved out some time to relax and take it slow ...

OK... we weren't the ones taking it that slow, but we did spend a time out in Amish country and got to see lots of folks travelling the old fashioned way, by horse and buggy. Beautiful countryside out there in Indiana. Great old barns and houses.

After a few days in South Bend we got in our little Prius and drove to Columbus, Ohio to visit S's mother. Our trip was quite nice, but ended with a bit of a bang.

My parents live in Beaumont, Texas -- that's where Ike just came ashore. They evaculated to avoid the storm and from what the neighbors say, the house didn't sustain any serious damage this time (unlike Rita when it took 6 months to repair tree damage). S and I were watching the storm news there in Columbus to keep an eye on things. Little did we know we were in for our own hurricane-like weater.

Yep, half way across the country in Columbus we experienced hurricane strength winds in a bit of a freak wind storm. Partly related to Ike and partly related to a cold front that was blowing in, the winds were crazy. Trees came down all over town and I saw three trees pulled out of the ground with exposed roots. Nothing like a bit of excitement. Needless to say my flight was cancelled (the whole airport was grounded for hours), so I had an extra day of trip.

That last day of trip was spent doing what else but cutting up trees. Nothing like a little he-man business for the boys hmm?

A great trip, despite the excitement!

Next time, finish photos of S's sweater which, I'm pleased to report, fits!