January 29, 2007

Wintery Weekend

So this past weekend we finally made it out skiing! We went to Peek ‘n Peak NY – which is only about 2 hours away. Not the biggest/baddest hill in the world but still pretty nice for being close enough to ski and come home in one day.

Matt jumping:

Andy jumping:

Me jumping:
Yeah right. That was Matt again. I don’t do jumps.
Then Sunday I spent all day recovering from the skiing by figuring out the neckline for Matt’s sweater. Crazy-making I tell you. See the Durrow sweater as written apparently has a very wide neckline. Plus it’s sortof a raglan/saddle shoulder combo which I’m not such a fan of. So I used my handy dandy Book of Sweater Patterns, a calculator, some graph paper, and one of his favorite sweaters and I think I have it all worked out. I’m making it have a set in sleeve with a wider saddle and a crew neck. I may be headed for disaster with all of this math and modifications but whatever. I’m not in any hurry with this. Hopefully I’ll have the back done tonight!

I also watched an embarrassing amount of the Winter X games. I love the X games. Love them. And the coverage was just so positive. It seemed like during the Olympics all Bob Costas wanted to talk about was the people who "lost the gold". It was all about building up impossible expectations for a few US athletes and then focusing on their defeat. I mean seriously how much did we hear about Lindsey Jacobellis or Bodie Miller (who deserved no media attention)? And how much did we hear at all about less mainstream sports or about athletes who weren’t American? It was annoying. Well the X games are just the opposite. I mean sure they take it seriously but last night when Sean White – the superstar - didn’t win the SuperPipe there wasn’t some big montage of his failure… instead they focused on how amazing Steve Fisher (the winner)’s run was. It was very refreshing.

So… how much does it have to snow to have a snow day from work? We’re talking like national emergency snow, right? I think I’d be fine with that.

January 23, 2007

Sock Books

Thanks for all of your compliments on my socks! I thought you guys would enjoy that conversation… Matt’s pretty cool with the knitting as far as husbands go – he wants me to knit for him! He notices when I’m knitting different things! He wears his handknits (the few that he has)! He doesn’t mind it when yarn takes over half of the couch! Really, what more could a girl ask for? I’m pretty lucky.

Aaaanyways so I did some googling and I found the link for the sock book I'm using. Amazon didn’t have it so I kindof assumed that it wasn’t in print or easy to find. I have it because my grandma gave it to me randomly last spring about 5 minutes after I told her I was knitting socks. She’s seriously the ultimate enabler.

The book is Knit Socks:Whatever the Yarn (scroll down) by Edie Eckman, who also wrote Learn to Knit Socks which is the book I learned sock knitting from! Her patterns are very clear and easy to understand. The book (more of a pamphlet) is kindof geeky, though. Some of the yarn color choices and photography backgrounds… well… yeah. Check it out:

Like I said… but the patterns are clear, fun, and interesting. I’m knitting the top sock in this picture – the Mock Smock Sock: Out of Knitpicks Sock Memories in Pansy. I have to say that I like the pattern much more with the hand dyed, multi colored yarn. Slipped stitches seem kindof blah in plain yarn…. Oh well. The only other modifications I made are that I made the sock taller and I kept the slipped stitch pattern going down the top of the foot...

So yeah...Happy Tuesday! You survived the Most Depressing Day of the Year!

January 20, 2007

Distraction. In sock form.

So here’s an approximate conversation from my house:

Matt: Um… what’s that?
Me: a sock.
Matt: What happened to my sweater.
Me: This is bus knitting. Doesn’t count.
Matt (very confused): But…you’re not on the bus?
Me: Yeah well I needed to knit something colorful.
Matt: What about that fuzzy rainbow thing you kept asking me about?
Me: That’s lace. So not the same thing.
Matt: ooooo kaaay. Seriously, though…. Where’s my sweater?
Me: Dude, lay off. I have to get this second sock started or I’ll have nothing to knit on the bus tomorrow and that would be BAD.
Matt: It’s just that I have so many Britts to kill.
Me: Stephen Colbert rules.
Matt: Seriously.

And here’s the sock we were talking about:
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Isn’t it cute! Cant you see how it would tempt me with it’s slipped stitch ways? How it’s fun, easy, mindless yet amusing pattern would call out to me even when not on the bus?
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So much more fun than ribbing in gray wool…. However, he does have many Britts to kill so the second one of these socks will have to be banished to the bus.

Oh yeah - the yarn for this sock is knitpicks sock memories in pansy and the pattern is from a really geeky sock pamphlet that my grandma gave me.

Stay warm this weekend!

January 18, 2007

My cures for S.A.D.

Cure #1: Snow. Seriously. I’m so frickin’ happy it finally snowed!!! That rain/sleet/cold/wintery mix was awful. Depressing, gray, ugh. But snow? Snow is fun! You can play in snow! You can ski in the snow! Plus snow reflects light – which in this month’o gray is seriously needed. Not as bad as Moscow needs it, though – check it out. Freaky.

Dexter, however, is not so enamored with the snow:

Cure #2: Fuzzy, Rainbow, Lace
That would be the Falling Water Scarf that you guys have been helping me with. I love it. It’s the colorful thing I need right now to get through all the gray.

#3. Sun. I’m so very glad it was sunny yesterday… but then this morning we're back to the gray... that's ok though - it's supposed to snow more which is perfect since I think we're going to try to go skiing this weekend!

January 16, 2007

Thuja almost kneesocks – at last.

So while taking my little hiatus from the world I also finished my Thuja almost kneesocks. They made their debut at Christmas Eve dinner and kept my feet nice and toasty on Christmas Morning.

The specifics:
Pattern: Thuja from Knitty
Modifications: Um, yeah. I completely reworked the pattern to be toe up, then I knit it on size 1 needles – casing on 64 stitches. I knit it with a heel flap, and added shaping to the calf.

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock in the Desert Flower colorway – two skeins with almost nothing left over.
Needles: size 1 brittany, birch, and addi DPN’s
Timeline: Not really sure – these were not even close to a monogamous knit so they took a long time. They were very, very worth it though! I absolutely love them. I’m actually wearing them now….They are so comphy – and that they are tall helps keep my legs warm while waiting for the bus!

Actually now that winter has decided to happen I’m wearing my few pairs of hand knit socks as much as possible. It’s amazing the difference in overall comfort level that good socks can make. I work in a very, very drafty office and my feet always freeze. Not while wearing handknit socks! And without the cold feet the rest of me isn’t cold at all. Problem solved! I’m a complete sock convert now. I want to have enough pairs so that I never have to have cold feet again…Which means I have a lot of knitting to do!

Life in Cleveland

So I haven’t posted anything that’s been going on in my life other than knitting for awhile now… which is sad b/c it’s been a very fun past few weeks! I just had so much knitting to catch up with… anyways…

Christmas was good.

New years was good. We went down to the C-bus as has become our tradition for LB and Rgill’s rockin’ eve. We played a lot of Loaded Questions – best game ever – and one of the questions was "If you had to spend the rest of your life stuck in one time and place where would it be?" I think I’d pick here:

Don Pablos, 2 margharita’s happy, with my good friends. ‘Cause that’s a really, really good place to be.

Then last weekend we had our second annual Pasta Day. This year we branched out a bit… and made butternut squash tortollini, and spinach cheese ravioli in addition to the plain noodles. We also busted out some pesto that I had frozen from this summer (I grew the basil myself! So proud of that.), and rocked a butter/sage/walnut sauce. I also made meat sauce for the first time from scratch. Which was so much easier to do than I had anticipated! It turned out great – even though Matt got very very nervous when I started deviating from my mom’s recipe and adding in things…like wine.

It was such a fun day – actually it was a fun weekend. Some of my friends that I didn’t get to see over New Years came into town which is always good. Although Lori Beth and I had dueling family pasta recipes... Her family puts milk in their pasta dough… My family decidedly does not. So there was a little wine-fueled trash talking going on. Honestly, though, they were both pretty damn good.

January 12, 2007

Following your advice – part 2

So, Thanks so much for all of your opinions!!! I’m pretty much just going to follow everything you guys said – check it out:

That would be the start of it knit on size 7’s (not 8’s) and it is working out great. 8’s would definitely have been too big. You can also see that I’m starting with the color changes – using option A from below. I agree – more stripes = more visual interest. I think if it was just color blocks, and not the gradient, I would have used B but because I’m doing the whole 2 strands held together thing I’m going with A. Ok I’m totally not explaining that well…. Here’s what I’m doing:

Knit one pattern repeat with color A held double stranded
Knit one pattern repeat with one strand color A and one strand color B
Knit one pattern repeat with color B held double stranded
Knit one pattern repeat with one strand color B and one strand color C
And so on….

I think it’s going to be very pretty… Thanks again and have a great weekend!

Christmas Knitting – She Loved It!

Just to update everyone – yes – she loved it! Here’s the pics that I have:
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She told me that she "had grandpa" spread it out on a tablecloth and take lots of pictures to send to her friends. Apparantly in the crowd she runs with you get mad street cred if your granddaughter is a knitter too. Especially a lace knitter.

She’s in Florida now with my grandpa for the winter. Luckily, just like last year, I get to visit them! I'm not going for very long b/c Matt and I are planning a giant, huge, trip (lots more on that when it’s a little more concrete) and I won’t have any vacation time left over. But I'm at least going to go from Fri. night through Sun. one weekend in March. I'm really going to miss them for the next few months!

January 9, 2007

Following your advice

Dude, what was up with the blogger outage at lunch? Boo to not being able to catch up with my blog reading/blogging! Especially after I spent time making pretty diagrams...

Anyways last night I started this:
That would be the Falling Water Lace Scarf out of the Crystal Palace Kid Merino… I’m going to make it rainbowed but I think I want to start over and go up a needle size or two. That is knit on 6’s – which is what the pattern calls for – in fingering weight – and I’m using lace weight doubled. I’m thinking perhaps 8’s would make the lace pattern show a little better? Or is that too much…

Also… do you guys think that I should knit every pattern repeat in a different color so the rainbow happens pretty quickly like in the socks, or should I knit 3 repeats with each color so it’s more of big color blocks….Hmmm…. Ok here’s my 5 min Acad sketch (I’m a geek but I’m fine with it. Acad rocks.):

Option A – one pattern repeat color changes:

Option B – 3 pattern repeat color changes:

So… what do you think?

By the way I found the scarf pattern because I heard there was a hilarious pic of Brad Pitt – who for some reason thinks he’s an architect (which as an architect-in-training pisses me off… sorry, buddy, but you need to go through about 6 years of school, the hell that is thesis, and the long and arduous accreditation process before you can call yourself that – I don’t care how much money you have or how many babies you adopt) – standing in front of Falling Water the building looking all smug. Shudder. So anyways I googled for that picture and found the scarf….

January 8, 2007

Christmas Knitting – Stuff I got.

So check it out:
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I did pretty good this year as far as the knitting gifts goes! I got the knitpicks options needles set (SCORE!), beautiful handmade wooden needles, a year subscription to Interweave Knits, and a knitting in public sock bag from my mom. And my grandma (the one I knit the shawl for) gave me a box of yarn, a pattern for socks, a scarf that she knit herself, and a set of the light-up needles which I can’t wait to try. I also got a gift certificate to soft ‘n sassy from Grandma Bobbie that I can’t wait to spend on something soft… and perhaps sassy.

Here’s a closeup of the box-o-yarn –
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It’s enough of the Crystal Palace Kid Merino to make these socks... But I’m not sure I want to make socks out of it… I like the rainbow idea a lot but I’m thinking perhaps a rainbow lace scarf would be a better use of the yarn…perhaps a rainbow branching out? Or a rainbow falling water? what do you think?

Anyways my favorite knitting related gift is very clearly these:
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That would be two (!) pairs of socks that my mom knit for me! One pair is her typical sock pattern – the pattern that I have been mocking her for knitting over and over and over and over again. I kept telling her she should at least try a little bit of some kind of pattern… perhaps even venture out into the land of toe ups. Well… it turns out she was being adventurous but couldn’t tell me:
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She knit me LACE socks!!!

I mean lace! With a chart and everything! Just for me! And the plain socks she knit me are actually her traveling socks – she knit them while in Italy. I’m so lucky….

January 5, 2007

Durrow is actually happening

So I did do quite a bit of knitting while on my hiatus – and I only knit on one project. I think that’s some sort of record for me. Check it out:
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The back is almost to the point where I need to make a decision as to what to do with the neckline, the front is started, and I’m through the first chart and one whole repeat of the second chart on one of the arms. The cables are kicking my ass – they require A LOT of concentration, a magnetic chart holder thingy, and nearly complete silence or a glass of wine – one of the two. But I totally think they are worth it:

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As a side note Matt has renamed this his “Brit killing sweater” thanks to watching Braveheart while I was working on it. Offensive, yes, but amusing. I don’t quite have the heart to tell him that the cable pattern is based on an Irish manuscript and isn’t really Scottish at all… although the centered double increase technique is Celtic…. Whatever – I’m just glad he likes it so much!

January 4, 2007

Christmas Knitting – what I gave.

So check out all of the handmade gifts I gave this year:
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Yup. Here’s a closeup:
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That would be a pair of socks for my brother, a cozy for Alison, a knit bag for a friend, a hat for Matt’s aunt, armwarmers for Rebecca, a knit Danish Flag for Jason, an Ipod cozy for Matt, a necklace for my sister in law, and a necklace/earring set for my grandma.

And on the other side…

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A pile of yarn that I dyed myself sitting on a branching out for LB, the cherry blossom shawl for my grandma, and a pile of stitch markers. Yeah… dying yarn? So very fun.

I gave this set to my mother in law (she’s a crocheter) – which also includes a stitch marker made by me:
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And this set to my mom (an avid sock knitter) – which includes these tiny sock stitch markers and a row counter.
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Two of those skeins in my mom’s pile were my "test skeins" and were cheaper wool (not the superwash) – but even they turned out well enough to be gifted! I so need to do more dying– and actually keep some of the yarn for myself next time! I used the acid dye and Knitpicks dye your own yarn…and 3 of those skeins are self-striping... but I’ll have a post all about it later on.

I think my fav. handknit (other than the cherry blossom shawl, of course) gift this year was the little Ipod cozy I knit for Matt. I pretty much just made it up as I went along but it turned out really nice. The best part was that he opened it before he opened the ipod… which confused him but definitely amused me.

I think everyone really liked and appreciated their handmade things – oh and don’t worry – I have some pictures of my grandma and her shawl to share – I just have to get them from my mom’s camera. Here’s some gratuitous close-ups of some of the other gifts:

Sister in law’s necklace:
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Aunt Cathy’s Hat:
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Rebecca’s Armwarmers:
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Andy’s Socks:
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Yeah for handmade gifts!

January 2, 2007

Back to reality.

So today I’m making my return to reality after spending the better part of 10 days in a Christmas Cookie sugar haze. I spent most of my time either going out or sleeping. It. Was. Wonderful.

I have lots of knitting stuff to share but sadly have not downloaded any pictures as of yet…. Soon, though. For now I’m going to go scroll through the 344 new posts I have in my Bloglines!

Hope you had a fantabulous holiday season and a wonderful new years!
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