June 30, 2006

Have a Great Weekend!!!

So I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Fourth of July and a great holiday weekend and share this fun link my mom sent me:

Stitch ‘n Pitch

Any Cleveland knitters out there want to go? Or any knitters not in Cleveland want to make the trip? Knitting at a baseball game in a big group sounds like fun to me!

There will be many, many pictures and fun things next week once the inevitable hangover from this weekend subsides…. ‘cause not only did I finally block Green Gable… but I got about 8 inches hacked off of my hair!

Oh yeah… and the tile from the last post was from ghostbusters… There is no Dana only Zeul. I was really tired when I wrote that post… but bonus points to Miss Tonia for getting it right!

June 28, 2006

there is no blog only crazy.

Life in Cleveland is crazy right now. CRAZY. First off. Fourth of July weekend is this weekend… which means we’re having our annual party. Which is AWESOME. I’m so excited about it. Like can’t sleep climbing the walls don’t know what to do with myself excited. We’re having like a billion (no, seriously, a billion) people in town for the weekend. People are flying in from both coasts, driving from as far as 6 hours away, and I’m even going to get to see someone who I haven’t seen since college graduation 2 years ago. I think there’s about 11-15 staying with us from Fri-Tues with as many as 20ish on Saturday night. Yup. 11 to 15 people sleeping in my small, one and a half bathroom house 3-4 nights in a row. Starting to understand the Crazy?

Then there’s work. Of course the week that we’re so busy preparing for the onslaught of friends we’re both completely swamped at work. Completely swamped. I haven’t had to work late hardly at all this year but this week? Yeah. Crazy. But good Crazy – I like being busy at work and I really like the projects I’m working on and the people I’m working with… but sheesh. The timing!

Then there’s the knitting. Knitting Nurse mentioned to me that River Yarns was going out of business (THANKS KNITTING NURSE!!!!)…. So my mom and I had to hit that up. There will be a nice, long, post detailing all of my yarn purchases. I went a little … Crazy… yarn shopping with my mom is never (and by never I mean always) a good idea.

Did I mention that things are Crazy around here? My dog just came running in all excited with 2 chew sticks in his mouth. I have no idea where he got them from since Matt’s in the shower. I should go investigate that.

So yeah.. I’m sorry for the neglecting of the comments and the failure to return emails - but until after the Fourth there is no blog only Crazy. Bonus points if you know what movie that’s from.

June 25, 2006


So check out what I got in the mail on Friday:

THANKS SP8!!! It’s a skein of what is the nicest yarn I’ve ever owned. Beautiful colors, beautiful variegation, and so indescribably soft. Apparently it’s the same base yarn as koigu? I’ve never knit with koigu but I can’t even tell you how amazing this yarn is….and my SP even wound it into a ball for me (very considerate!!!) here’s a closeup.

The package also contained the pattern for the Raindrop Lace Socks and a highlighter to help me follow the pattern The socks are so beautiful. I love, LOVE, the lace pattern. I’m still a little intimidated by the whole not just plain ‘n simple socks thing… I may actually use the yarn and lace pattern and make a Raindrop Lace Scarf out of it. Or I might be brave and just do the socks… we’ll see. I need to think about it because seriously, this is the nicest yarn that I’ve ever had.

And the postcard that came with it is from an exhibit on Egyptian art that she went to – how cool is that?

June 23, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge #1

So yeah… everyone else did this around Memorial Day… and here I am doing it right before the fourth of July… eh. Better Late than Never!

After much debate my Amazing Lace teammate has finally been chosen and assembled. See I’m knitting a shawl for my grandmother (shhh it’s going to be a surprise). She is my knitting guru so my teammate had to be good.

I thought briefly about doing the sheep shawl (she’s also a spinner, and a weaver and a lover of all things sheep related) but I couldn’t picture her in it. It had to be more… spectacular… and intricate… and well … amazing. Then I though of her other passion – her garden…. There are so many beautiful floral/botanical lace patterns out there! So then I focused on shape… I’ve wanted to try a circular shawl because I’ve never done that before and I’m all about the whole "challenge" part of this project. Plus I could see her using it as a lap blanket or as a regular blanket or folded over and used as a shawl. Options are good. So I started googling circular shawls and found this:

Isn’t it pretty! It’s the Cherry Blossom Shawl from the Spring 2002 Interweave Knits and my new teammate. It’s seriously going to be like knitting a giant flower.
I couldn’t wait to get started.

But first I needed yarn.
Again with the challenge part of the project… Since this is going to be given to a fiber enthusiast no ordinary yarn would do. I wanted something unique… something one of a kind…and since she’s the one who taught me how to dye fiber in the first place… well… Sunday night I did this:

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It’s 2 hanks of knitpicks dye your own… I used kool-aid in pink lemonade, pink lemonade mixed with regular lemonade, and pink lemonade mixed with strawberry to dye it. I wanted subtle pinky/peachy colors…. It’s a little brighter than I wanted but I still like it:
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Now I just need to wind it (I have no swift or ball winder so that is not a small task) and my summer of lace can finally begin!

June 20, 2006

First Socks!

My first pair of socks ever is done!!!!
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Notice the doggie legs in the background? for some reason Dexter was real interested in what I was doing

And for whatever reason the toe on the second one doesn't look nearly as wonky as the first one did.
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The number 1 thing I learned while knitting socks is that socks only look like a small project. I always thought they would be such a quick knit - but they are very deceiving.... there are ALOT of stitches in socks. No seriously - ALOT. Like 3150 just to get to the heel on ONE of the socks. Socks only look small. Because of this I'm going to try to never knit socks on a deadline. I could see that ending badly.

As far as if I'm now turned into a sock knitter.... well...

I love that they are so portable. I knit the second sock everywhere – on the bus, waiting for the bus (now that’s a bonus!), in the car (I even turned the heel on the way down to cincy!), while cooking, waiting in line at the post office, on the phone, at my race on Sat, etc. etc. I knit that baby EVERYWHERE. Which was fun to have a project that was completely mindless – that I could pick up for a row or two (or even just a needle or two) and then put down and forget about. I think that aspect of sock knitting is what will keep me knitting socks… I don’t see any really complex socks in my near future, though.

Here’s the stumpy legs perspective shot:
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Oops sorry, dog got in the way (seriously he wouldn’t leave me alone!) There you go:
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So I do have a few more sock projects in mind… I know I saw a pair of socks with a split toe so you can wear them with sandals somewhere in the blogosphere… does anyone know where I can find that pattern? And I want to knit my husband a pair… know of any good guy-sock patterns? Or yarn? Something durable and manly…

And one last shot:
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June 19, 2006

Boat So Fast!

Well Saturday was great. We got to spend all day outside by the water… and as a bonus we kicked some serious butt. We won both of our races (the last one was a photo finish!) and posted times of 2:48 and 2:55… the 2:48 was the fastest time by a novice team. How fun!

Here’s the team photo:
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And some shots my mom took of our first race – I don’t have any pics of the second race as of yet but some of my teammates had cameras there so I just need to get copies.
You can see us start to pull away:
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Our boat going so fast!
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At the finish line:
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More pics on the photoblog – and I’ll keep adding to those as I get more from my teammates.
Yeah rowing!

June 16, 2006

Finished, kinda!

So last night I "finished" my green gable. Score! I still have to block it… it really, really needs it… and tuck in the ends… but the knitting part is done… and the best thing ever? It fits really well. But I’ll wait to post a pic of that until after it is actually finished. Until then here’s a closeup of the lace pattern at the top:

Oh and you know you knit too much when you stake your tomatoes with 100% wool because when you asked your mud-free husband if he would go into the house and bring you some yarn you weren’t specific enough…


Tomorrow we have our first race and I can’t wait… OUR BOAT IS GONNA GO SO FAST!!! If you’re in Cleveland and are interested in seeing a regatta we’ll be down in the flats at the boathouse which is right below Tower City….

June 15, 2006

Not much to report.

I’ve been knitting but my camera is on the fritz (it needs a new battery) so I have no pictures… I have nothing finished but I turned the heel on my second sock ever and the green gable fits really, really well so far. I also have my amazing lace project picked out (better late than never!) so there will be a big post coming about that later.

We had a ball in cincy… even though we actually went to 2 graduation ceremonies…I’m still kindof recovering….and it's Wed. ugh.

So anyways instead of real content I’ll just pass on another fun internet find:


Miss Tonia is organizing it and it looks to be a blast. I, unfortunately cannot participate as I’m limiting myself to only participating in one swap/exchange at a time and I’m already in SP8… but if I wasn’t in that I’d so be doing this!

Off to rowing...and it's perfect outside. nice.

June 9, 2006

Some coolness…

Ok no knitting content since I had rowing Wed. (Our boat went so fast!) and was working on something for my SP8 last night (can't post about that here yet)… Rowing is a ball but then we go out afterwards… I gotta stop doing that. Thursdays are not fun with a hangover every frickin’ week! Anyways the rose next to my patio bloomed yesterday:

It’s hot pink! How fun! And the climbing rose out front is starting to really kick some butt… do I need to "deadhead" it once the blooms are spent?

In other fun news the Sexy Knitters Club has decided on Tempting II as their next knit along. Remember my Tempting II experience? Yeah I tried to knit it for the Olympics… and it ended badly… here’s the post about it…. and since then I have denied all knowledge of it's existance. Perhaps this knit along will be the motivation I need. Perhaps.

And finally in random… here’s some fun links my mom (she was off yesterday and therefore surfing the internet with abandon) found:

Crafting for critters – they take donations of handmade stuff, sell it, and then the proceeds go to help out animals. Very cool. They prefer vegan stuff though… I’m guessing that anything wool isn’t vegan? Although it’s not like shearing a sheep hurts it… but it is an animal product… hmmmmm…

Jewelry for your Knitting – the yarn charms are such a fun idea! I’m so going to need to make some of those… I’m picturing them as elaborate trim on a skinny scarf…

I'm off to the 'nati for the "kids" graduation this weekend. They grow up so fast! Seems like only yesterday I was teaching Alison how to use the stove....

Happy Friday!

June 7, 2006

The Curse of the Blue-ish Gable

So last night we crashed. Big time. Instead of being productive we did laundry and watched Wallace and Grommit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Which meant I had LOTS of time to knit:
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That’s my bluish/tealish (it so counts for project spectrum June since this is about as blue as I get!) Green Gable. I’m starting to think it’s cursed. So far on this project I have broken one of my Denise needles and run into three (WTF?!) knots in the yarn. So I refuse to get emotionally involved in this project because I have a strong suspicion that disaster is looming. This is strictly a top-down raglan learning experience:
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See the thing with raglans is that your arm hole location is proportional to your chest measurement…which for a busty petite girl doesn’t really work so well. So I am making the 36" size so that the arms are in the right place and then I added short row shaping. Everything I read about short row bust shaping said to start the shaping about 2-3 inches below the armpit… well… I had this brilliant plan that since I’m short-waisted it would be better to start higher up… but I didn’t really understand short rows or how to measure for them when starting… so I just fudged it. I started them 1" below the armpit and did 24 short rows (12 wrapped stitches on each side). And well… the shaping seems really high…or the armpits are very low. Not sure which it is but the sweater is looking a little… odd.. I’m going to knit a few more rows down to the waist decreases and then try it on again and see where I’m at. If I have to rip it all out I’m not going to get upset because this is a learning experience and I’m not NOT emotionally involved. Really, I’m not.

I’m pretty happy with the way the short row dart looks though – the stitches seem to be falling pretty flat and even:
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I just hope it fits ok!

June 6, 2006

Carmen Electra? Anyone?

Riiiight so since it’s been nice out nothing, not even a wasted gym membership fee, will motivate me to go spin in a dark room. So last night Jill (not going to link to her until she updates!) and I started with the newest fitworks class… do any of you remember Camern Electra’s strip aerobics? Anyone? (It just occurred to me that noone knows about strip aerobics and that the only reason I know about it is that I lived with Alison for 3 years.) Yeah. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Every Monday night for the next 7 weeks I get to "Sculpt and strip." And at the end of the 7 weeks I will be so hott that Prince will want to be my creepy sponsor…

and then we’ll party like it’s 1999.

Seriously, though I have made no time lately to knit… which is so sad. My second sock is limping along and the green gable is not even up to the arm separation. But my yard looks awesome…. so in lieu of knitting content here’s some pics of what’s blooming:

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And last night we ate dinner made with fresh herbs from the garden outside on our patio.

It's going to be a good summer.

June 2, 2006

A sock!

I finished my first sock!

It’s been a crazy, crazy week but luckily socks can be knit on the bus… and photographed on the shoreway while Matt drives us to work:
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So I have a few questions for all you sock knitters out there….

Do handknit socks always make legs look this… stumpy?
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‘cause I swear my calves aren’t that freakishly large!

How do you know how much yarn you’re going to have? Because I wanted to make these as tall as possible so I kindof just guessed at when to start the heel… but I ended up with quite a bit of yarn leftover. So is there a foolproof way to figure that out? And what do you do with all of the bits of leftover sock yarn?
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And does this toe look extra-wonky or do they always look kindof like that?
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Oh and I already cast on for the second sock so as to ward off second sock syndrome....we’ll see how that goes…

Happy Friday!

June 1, 2006

How we built the Patio

Ok… so the patio… don’t even know where to begin so I’ll just go through it step by step. Even more photos on the photoblog.... oh and to warn you - this is the LONGEST POST EVER.

Remember last weekend the guys dug the hole for the foundation…Then on Friday afternoon we had most of the materials delivered:

So then came Saturday....

How we built the patio (in 31-ish steps):
Step 1: Wake up at 5:30 am to get to home depot at 6:00 am so that we can rent the tamper.
Step 2: Wait for the brick delivery (and go back to sleep for an hour or two)
Step 3: Dig patio hole 4" bigger around in order to make room for the plastic edging piece… fold over sod to be reused later….listen to Jill’s stories about stray cats.
Step 4: Tamp and level ground.
Step 5: Layout landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing into the patio

Step 6: Cover landscape fabric with a layer of gravel… rake level.
Step 7: Tamp layer of gravel
building the patio

Step 8: Eat sloppy joes and other fantastic things that my mom brought for lunch (thanks mom!)
Step 9: Repeat steps 6 & 7 (only this time Osam got to play with the tamper)

Step 10: Realize we are short about 30 bags of gravel because the grass is not level… girls go to home depot for more… (Thank god my dad insisted that we borrow his truck even though we claimed we wouldn’t need it. silly us!) guys stay home and sneak in a game of Madden
Step 11: Repeat steps 6 & 7
Step 12: Rake gravel level and retamp
Step 13: Repeat step 12

Step 14: Obsess about gravel being level… 4 architects should never do any home improvement together unsupervised. Repeat step 12.

Step 15: Lay out brick pattern to make sure everything will fit ok… use Acad drawing for reference (no, seriously) even in the mockup.

Step 16: Stake in the plastic edging
Step 17: Remove brick
Step 18: Dump enough sand to create a 1" layer over entire area inside plastic edging

Step 19: Rake sand level

Step 20: Screed sand using 2x4 cut to length of patio

Step 21: Obsess over level, re-screed
Step 22: Repeat step 21
Step 23: Repeat step 21
Step 24: Repeat step 21 (we’re architects. Unsupervised. It had to be perfect.)

Step 25: Finally it’s level!

Step 26: Lay the brick! This part was super-fun.

Step 27: Take ceremonial pictures of the placing of the final brick:

Step 28: Dump sand all over patio and sweep sand into all of the cracks
Step 29: Tamp (do you see how dark it’s getting in this photo? Yeah...)

Step 30: repeat steps 28 and 29
Step 31: stare at the patio in tired awe…

Then the next day we finished the patio... Basically we swept and washed the patio a few times to work the sand into all of the cracks… then we backfilled the 4" around the patio on top of the plastic edging, and replaced the sod… and we also dug out and set up this:

Since the driveway curved at a weird angle this was our solution so that we wouldn’t have to cut any pavers.... The big rocks came out of the pile of crap that used to be along our fence!

I also planted the new back beds…this involved filling them with manure… which meant I hauled like 40ish bags of dirt around….here’s some pics:

The salsa garden is also planted:

I’ll post a more detailed description of all of that later.

Then on Monday we finished cleaning up the back yard… there was lots and lots of debris floating around from the project. We also had to return 389 bricks – a slight math error had us order twice as many as we needed. Again, luckily we had the truck!

I still need to plant that bed next to the house…and spread some mulch around… and plant some planters for on the patio…but other than that I’d say we had a very productive weekend!

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