Archive for May, 2004

Monday, May 31st, 2004

Blue Tote: getting closer

Large family gatherings are an excellent opportunity to get some knitting done, provided I’m not hosting. Yesterday, we spent many hours at my inlaws’ home. It was very enjoyable, and I made much progress on the Blue Tote. Unfortunately, upon reflection, I should have spent some of that glorious knitting time helping my husband with damage control. Veroncia and one of her young cousins were on one yesterday. They started off in dresses. I think that Veronica ended up going home in the second T-shirt provided by grandpa. Cousin Avery went through many more than that. We actually made efforts to watch them, but they were fast, and determined to get into trouble. After the first incident, (involving a bird bath), Nate washed her up and changed her clothes. After the second incident, (involving a sandbox full of rain water), she got a full on bath, with shampoo and everything, new diaper, and another change of clothes. The third incident left me happily knitting and Nate running around trying to find the little trouble makers. Fourth involved a hose, but fortunately, I caught that one early. Only Avery needed a change of clothes. The fifth incident, (involving the sand box again), necessitated another partial bath but kept the clothes, and was the last straw. We subsequently left. I had contributed to the watching and corralling of the children throughout the afternoon, but had not helped with any of the clean up. My very sweet husband had done it all. I’m sorry honey.

But I DID have a wonderful time knitting. The main bag is finished.

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Here are a couple shots to give you an idea of size.

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I realize you can’t read the ruler, that is a scale shot. I think it is about 20 inches tall.

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That is my shoe, it is a size 9-10. (Also, for the purpose of scale.)

Cool huh? So now I have to knit the marsupial pouch with icord, connect them, and felt felt felt.

Saturday, May 29th, 2004

By request

Here is a picture of my dog. Thanks for asking! I tried to take a nice one, and it didn’t work out. What I got, cracked me up, and when I sent it to my good friend, neighbor, (a different neighbor than yesterday’s post), and dog trainer Gayle, she laughed really loud.

SO, I thought I’d share.

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It’s DEMON DOG! At some point, those of you who aren’t dog people will agree with my assesment when I post pictures of him tearing around the house with my WIP in his mouth.

As for knitting content, I’m about to start the brown yarn on the top of Blue Tote. Hooray! I haven’t started Bottoms Up yet.

Friday, May 28th, 2004

Thanks are in order

I would like to take a moment and tell you about a couple of wonderful people, without whom this site would not be nearly as cool as it has been. The daily pictures you see have been made possible by my neighbors, Dennis and Julie, in lending me their digital camera. I’m going to give it back soon, but I wanted to publicly thank them for handing it over, along with the battery charger and cable thing (technically savvy, that’s what I am), for several days. I SO appreciate it. Thanks!

We have truly enjoyed living two doors down from them for the last four years. So much so that when they move at some point to be closer to work, we will seriously consider following. Life is enriched by great relationships, and such is the case here. We will always be friends, but I hope to be neighbors for many years to come. We love you guys!

That being said, I am hoping to acquire a camera of my own soon. We’ll do what we can.

Thursday, May 27th, 2004

Rainy day

Yesterday was Abigail’s kindergarten field trip. It was cold. It was raining. And I’m going to stop there. (long pause) OK, I’m not. We were at a farm. Outside, in the very cold wind and rain, at a farm. I actually really enjoy farms, in decent weather. The problem with farms in the rain, and lots of it, is that there is mud. In the city, and even suburbs, mud is comprised of water and dirt. Yeah, you can make the next conclusion all by yourselves. And there were no sheep. BUT, since Hedi was kind enough to drive, I got some work done on the blue tote! Enough to get me on a roll, in fact, and I continued working on it much of the day.

Seeeeeeeeeee?

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I included, for your viewing pleasure and interest, the felted swatch to the right. Isn’t it amazing how much it changes in the wash?

Also, I stayed up late doing some swatching for the Bottom’s Up. The first swatch didn’t survive the night, but the second is actually quite nice, if you overlook the mistakes. It was pushing midnight, and I wasn’t going for perfection.

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What do you think?

A question for those of you who have completed this pattern: I’ve been looking at some of the finished hats on Becky’s Bucket Hat Knitalong, and I’ve seen some that look like they fit and flair great, some that look a bit like beanies, and some where I can’t tell where the brim ends and the hat begins. Can anyone shed some light, or give me some tips before I begin mine?

My thought was to do what the pattern suggested and pick a size smaller than my head, which measured at 22 inches. I was also contemplating making the brim and hat a little taller, to avoid that beanie thing I saw going on, but I’d love to hear some experienced opinions.

PS- The Farm really wasn’t that bad. It was freezing and wet to the point that I spent much of the last hour zipping each of my three, shivering little children in my coat with me, in turn, to warm them up. But the people that run The Farm (which is capitalized) are extremely friendly, and keep it remarkably clean. I’m sure the girls enjoyed it to some extent. Seeing little Veronica holding a baby chicken in her tiny little hands, all by herself, with that look of wonder and awe in her eyes was fantastic.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

Blue Cable Tote progress

I had decided to make my tote square, (all sides 24 stitches, bearing the staghorn cable). I began the cable pattern. I got tired of second guessing myself, and I frogged. I’ve now decided to make the front and back of the tote wider than the sides. My sides are 24 stitches wide, and my front/back is going to be 28. Not a huge difference, but I think it needs it. I might frog and bump it up to 30. I don’t know yet. The cable pulls the stitches in a bit, and I think that the front and back will need the extra width.

As for what I’m doing next…….

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I received two skeins of this yarn for Mother’s Day. The girls chose the color. I personally would not have. It is a really bizzarre reddish, pinkish, brownish sort of thing, that I don’t think matches anything in my closet. BUT, they picked it out, and I think that if I use it right, it can become more versatile. I know there are a lot of Bottoms Up Bucket hats on the blogs right now, and I want to make one too. I know that I should follow the pattern exactly the first time, and mess with it from there, but I’m not going to. I think that a straight shot with this yarn would be pretty dull, and virtually unwearable by me. SO, I’m going to tinker.

My bright idea is to do it in a nice stitch pattern. I have the daily stitch calendar on my bedside table. In it, I’ve noticed quite a few diagonal stitch patterns. I’ve had difficulty thinking of ways to incorporate diagonals into my knitting. Perhaps they would make a very nice skirt, if the skirt were covering a very nice, little bottom, (which I don’t have). And then I thought, “Oooo, wouldn’t the Bottoms Up look cool in a diagonal?”

Now, if I were smart, I’d try it out before throwing it all out there for the more experienced of you to possibly scoff and say, “Heh heh, silly girl. This will be amusing!” But I’m not. I’m kind of proud of my brilliant idea, and if I can pull it off, I will be glad I didn’t start it off like a coward. Plus, I really have no problem admitting that at times, I am insane.

This is Veronica, helping me on my way to uncharted territory.

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The kids really love winding hanks. The husband does too. It’s fun!

That’s that. I’ll work on the tote ’til the Diagonal anticipation gets the better of me. Then I’ll begin the occasionally thrilling, more often frustrating journey of trying something that never should have been attempted in the first place. But really, that’s the whole fun of it.

Wednesday, May 26th, 2004

The good news…

is that I found the little felty fuzzy I need to sew on my Marsupial Tote pouch. (I really wasn’t expecting to.) The bad news is that it was in a bag of almonds that my children don’t have access to. This brings up two questions. How do I feel about publicly accusing my innocent little ones of loosing it? And, HOW IN THE WORLD DID IT GET INTO A BAG OF ALMONDS!? Well the answer to the first question is easy. They have obviously given me reason to suspect them, so they deserved it. The second question still plagues. Almonds???

Moving on. I haven’t decided what to do about the blue tote yet, so I don’t have any progress to show you. I am toying with ideas for a new project, but I’m not ready to post about that one yet. So here’s one of my very favorite hats on Abigail.

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It is a little fuzzy from being worn, and worn , and worn, and worn, and worn. I don’t mind that kind of fuzzy. It’d have to be made from teflon to not be fuzzy after all the love it’s had. I’m very pleased.

Here’s another one I’m pretty happy with. This hat is being modeled by Olivia, but it is mine, so it is pretty big on her.

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I have a confession to make. I cannot make decent pom poms. They shed. I tie the string around as tight as I can, fearing the yarn will snap, and still, they shed. Don’t come to me for pom pom advice, that’s all I can say. Nate can make a pom pom. We were making black pom poms together for the kids one night so they could have their own “soot sprites” (from the movie My Neighbor Totoro). He kicked my pom pom making butt. Who knew?

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

Comments trouble?

Since a couple of people have said they are having comments trouble, and I can’t see a problem, here is my email address so you can let me know what’s happening. LauraATpoormissfinchDOTcom. Just change the AT to @ and the DOT to . and it’ll work just fine. Took me awhile to figure that one out, the first time I saw it.

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

Marsupial tote

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. (which is really kind of funny, considering I have no idea how many people are actually reading my site.)

the WIP.

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I would like to take a moment now and explain that WIP stands for Work in Progress. My grandma reads my site. I find it very cool that I have an up to date grandmother who surfs the internet. She lives halfway across the country, and I’m excited to now have the opportunity to share more of my life with her. Welcome Grandma June!

The above is what I have on the needles right now. The brown is leftover Lamb’s Pride (mohair/wool blend) from Nate’s Manly sweater, and the blue is Cascade 220. Before I get any further on it, I need to make some decisions on size.

Earlier this year, I made this

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I love this purse. I use it everyday. It is the marsupial tote from SnB, made from Lamb’s Pride. One of my favorite things about it is how it bounces a little when I walk. In the picure you can see the attached pouch which holds a compact mirror, cuticle conditioner, folded nail file, and about 5 lipsticks. I really need to get a snap on it, because the contents keep dumping out. On the pouch you can see that I experimented with felting a lace pattern. It’s actually not too bad. I saved a little red/orange fuzzy from the washer after felting, that is just the right size to sew in the middle of the flower. It will be very cute, when I find it. It is missing, and any two of the six little legs running around my house could be responsible.

I want to make the next one a little bigger, without turning it into a beach bag. My husband suggested the new color scheme, and I decided to try felting a cable pattern.

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My first swatch didn’t end up so hot. Initially I wanted a large, thick cable for the two side panels, but the cable I chose didn’t felt well. My second attempt is lovely. It is a 16 stitch staghorn that I think would look good on all four sides.

This is my size problem. In the pattern, (if I’m remembering correctly) the side panels are 16 stitches wide, and the front and back are 20 stitches wide. Something like that. I need to add four stitches on each side of the cable, two to give the cable room to breathe, and two for the twisted border thing. This will bring the side panel to 24 stitches wide, which is wider than the front on my original. Do I add some extra stitches to the front and back to maintain the basic shape, and risk making it too big? or do I make all four panels the same size, and have a square bag?

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Poncho day

Today, I think I will show some ponchos. Last September, when my mother-in-law took Abigail shopping for kindergarten, I knew I was going to have to do something special for Olivia, who is only a year behind, and therefore keenly aware of the injustice. Olivia does not think of herself as being younger than Abby, and she hardly seems it. SO, the night before their big day out , I dove head first into piles of knitting books and magazines to find a pattern that Olivia and I could work on together to ease her suffering. I was thinking about a stole type thing that could button around her shoulders, with perhaps a simple lace pattern in it, so I was looking through stitch pattern books. My husband, who is (on the rare occasion) more practical than I am, found a great poncho in the Summer 2003 Knitter’s magazine. It was simple, which is a good thing. It would be a quick return for her.

The next morning, once I broke the news to the girls that Abby would be going to lunch and shopping with grandma, (smart mommy, spring it on them last second to minimize the whining and drama from one child, and the “is it time yet? How many days?” from the other. As well as any taunting that might ensue.) I showed Olivia the pattern and had her accompany me to the stash to pick out colors. Abby left, and we headed to the yarn store to purchase more of the body color, and this…..

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was the result.

It actually took a week to complete, because I kept having distractions, like meal preparation, laundry, sleep, etc. No, actually I got really busy with I don’t remember what, but Liv didn’t care. She was ecstatic! I did (of course) mess with the pattern a bit. I don’t think that fringe looks good coming out of an ornate border like that. At least not in this case, so I axed it. Another reason for skipping the fringe is that I didn’t think gauge was particularly important on something like a poncho, so I threw caution to the wind, and the poncho ended up HUGE. She would have tripped over any length of fringe. More on poncho gauge later….

Her poncho ended up being really cool. The red is not as pink as it appears in the photo, it is more true, and a bit darker.

I decided that I needed one. The pattern is obviously for kids, so I began the hunt, and found a great one in this book, which was a gift from my thoughtful sister-in-law a couple birthdays ago. It took me a week to complete this one as well. I started it New Year’s Eve, and ended up with this……

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and a side view

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I wish you could see how gorgeous this yarn is. It is Donegal Tweed, and it is a deep turquoise with large flecks of red, purple and green. I love this poncho. It’s like wearing a blanket. Doesn’t everybody have days where all they want to do is stay wrapped up in a blanket? Not for everyday, I admit, but it’s just perfect on blanket days. It gets compliments.

And finally, for Abigail’s birthday close to two months ago, I decided that she needed one too. Olivia was in on the secret (I can’t believe what a good secret keeper she turned out to be. I’m not sure this is a good thing.) and this…

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is what she received.

Grand finale

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I knit this pattern way too big the first time, and although I liked the end result, I decided to knit to gauge for Abby’s. I will never do that again. The fabric doesn’t drape nicely, and I kept adding to the length to make it more like Olivia’s. It just looks better that way. To be fair, I didn’t use the yarn called for, so I would imagine someone could get better results than I did. I like the poncho much longer, and without fringe, and with a chain stitch crocheted drawstring around the neck. That is my own personal touch, added out of neccesity to the first one whose neck opening fell around her shoulders, and for cosmetic reasons to the second.

Monday, May 24th, 2004

Welcome to the web

Our hosting service is having technical difficulty right now, so if my site doesn’t always come up, that is why, and they are working on it. Keep trying. I’m getting Abby off to school, and I’ll post again after that, provided I can even access my page. What would my birthday website experience be without technical difficulty? Maybe now I’m initiated or something. Yeah, whatever.