Archive for June, 2004

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

Ahh HA! I have a disclaimer!

Remember my assumption and promise last Thursday that I had everything I would need to complete the backpacks? Well, I now invite you to read, (or re-read) my convenient loophole:

“…barring some unforseen circumstance, or necessary design element that would give me every legal, moral, and ethical right to change my mind.”

Yeah, um, I didn’t get very far on the backpack yesterday. I need to go to the craft store. The reason? It has to do with the long, drawn out and boring explanation of why the flap isn’t going to be as easy as I originally thought. Well, the flap will be fine, it’s the bag I’m going to need to alter. I get to research the many types, tools, and uses of grommets. I’ve never used grommets. I know NOTHING about them. I do have experience with felted yarn-overs, and officially declare them unpredictable and malicious. (While I’m at the craft store, I’m going to have a little looksy at some buckles.)

Before it all came crashing down yesterday, Olivia had some great fun knitting on her backpack.

image image

I’ve been working on the doll. I really like it. The body is completed, and I am now working on clothing. Since she is naked, and looks pretty funky that way, I’ve taken some head shots…

image

image

Yes, I went nuts with her hair. I think she looks pouty. It’s cute. I might change her eyes a bit, if her apparent perplexity begins to get on my nerves, but so far, I like her as she is. My girls can’t get enough of her, so I’m going to have to make three more right away. This one is mine.

Postscript- A couple years ago, my sweet sister-in-law gave me three skeins of Red Heart, in some very beautiful colors, for my birthday. I accepted them graciously, and decided that I needed to find a good, worsted weight doll pattern that would enable me to use acrylic gift yarn, and leftover project yarn to create cool dolls. I really like the idea of dolls that are crazy colors. There are some fabulous yarn colors out there, why limit myself? The doll I am working on now is knit with some of that birthday yarn. Her body is a nice, muted blue, and her hair is a stunning plum color. I started making a dress for her out of the accompanying gray, but I now think that the clothing should be made from something softer. Fortunately, I have a wealth of gorgeous, bright Lamb’s Pride at my feet right now, (for the backpacks), so I’m outfitting her with some of that. I have knit with the Lamb’s Pride many times this year, and I still LOVE it. It is gorgeous, and feels fabulous.

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

I am not a pattern writer,

And probably never will be. Sure, I’ve dreamed of one day seeing myself published, earning fame and praise from knitters everywhere, but I am coming to the realization that I’m too selfish. “Too selfish for fame and notoriety? Sounds silly!” Perhaps, but it is very true. Pattern writing takes a DANG LOT OF TIME! Holy cow! When I’m hashing something out, I start off paying meticulous attention to every stitch and row. After frogging and re-working said recorded rows a few times, I’m sick of writing, I’m sick of erasing, crossing out, scribbling over, I just want to FINISH THE DARN THING so I can move on to something else! In order to truly write a pattern, I have to not only accurately record everything, but I have to analyze it and make sure I’ve done it in the most efficient, logical, and visually appealing way. Then It needs to be written clear enough so that someone who is not me will know what in the world I am talking about.

I don’t want to.

It seemed a logical aspiration in days gone by, as I’m constantly creating, changing, and inventing wonderful things to knit. I now realize that while I am happy to share rough notes of my doings with anyone, I think I am ready to give up any notion of becoming a “name” in the knitting community. It simply isn’t meant to be.

What inspired this rant? What amazing, complex, and incredible feat of knitting has brought me to my knees and face to face with the above realization?

A dress. A silly little dress, for a silly little doll. I don’t even have the heart to show you a picture today because it isn’t even that cute.

So today, I’l be working on a backpack.

Monday, June 28th, 2004

No pictures today

My camera battery died. This would be the second lithium camera battery I’ve burned through since receiving the camera from generous cousin Elisa about a month ago. After the first one choked, I got all aggravated and was complaining about the expense of not having rechargables when I realized that I had taken and used many, MANY pictures on a camera I didn’t pay a cent for, and without having to buy a single roll of film or pay for any developing. That shut me up right quick. So I will go to the store (very sweet naturedly) and happily purchase another two pack of camera batteries, hopefully today.

Olivia’s backpack is coming along. It is truly humongous, and I have to keep telling myself that it will be 40% shorter after it’s felted. I’m still nervous. I have invested a lot of yarn in this backpack. More than I anticipated, so I’m going to have to run out and buy another skein each of purple and brown. Fortunately, I can continue knitting, because I don’t need those colors for awhile.

Now that I’m almost done with the bag portion, I’m starting to think about the flap, and how exactly I’m going to construct it. I’d explain in detail why it isn’t as simple as it seems it should be, but that would take a long time, and most likely be extremely boring. That being said, I may do it anyway once I get to that point.

Monday, June 28th, 2004

My eyes are bigger than my hands

On Friday, I got the measurements from my mom for her sweater, I received a back issue I had ordered containing a pattern I’m really excited about for another project, and I started Olivia’s backpack. Abigail’s backpack is also waiting patiently for its turn. When it rains…….

This weekend, I’ve been splitting my time between Olivia’s backpack,

image

and my own version of this (scroll down to June 16th). I am so excited to have found a small, worsted weight doll pattern! I’ve been looking for one for a couple of years now. A BIG thank you goes out to Alison’s blog for linking it, and Kerstin for knitting it! Mine is pretty crazy. I’ve mostly finished the doll, and I’m working on a cabled A-line dress for her right now. I’m going to be making a lot of these little cuties, I think.

One more thing….. Since the weekend my mom visited, and picked up her car, (a 1953 Bentley), I’ve been missing the old car I used to drive to high school, like really missing it. I guess love for classic cars runs in my blood. Yesterday I found my car on eBay. I haven’t wanted something this bad for a long, long time! It’s exactly like the one I used to drive when I was 16, but in a different color. I loved that car! This one is GORGEOUS!

Saturday, June 26th, 2004

Health Group

Good morning fellow health conscious knitters! I feel silly going first every week, but that’s kind of necessary, considering this is a virtual group and all.

I did pretty good this week. Not great, but I’m still happy with what I was able to do.

Monday, I went swimming with the girls, and made sure I took some time to get my heart rate up. I only gave myself half of a sticker, because I don’t know exactly how long I was in the aerobic zone, but I can say that I was totally worn out for much of the day afterwards. I also did my weights on Monday.
Tuesday, I hauled my bike to the Burke Gilman Trail and got a good 45 minutes in, plus did my weights.
Wednesday I skated around my neighborhood for 45 minutes. No weights.
Thursday was a bummer day, and I did nothin’, PLUS I went to IKEA that evening with a friend and ate lots of swedish meatballs and chocolate cake. Man, was that good! Not so good for the scale, though.
Yesterday I did the hula video and weights. Woo hoo!

It feels good. I barely see my muscles, because they are buried in “padding”, but I can feel them.

SO, food-wise…..

I’m going to kick start some weight loss. I’m annoyed that I’m working so hard and not dropping pounds (or inches). As it is, (with the exception of the swedish meatballs and another incident involving Phad Thai) I’m eating really well. Lots of vegetables, sprouts, whole grains, non processed food, tons of water…… I want to see results. So today I’m going to the grocery store and buying a mountain of vegetables that are good for steaming, such as zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli, maybe some baby red potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc, etc. I love steamed vegetables with lemon pepper, and that’s what I’m going to do this next week. I’m also going to try to find some big, yummy watermelon and do a lot of that. I have memories of my mom doing watermelon diets for days, maybe even a week at a time. I’ve heard it’s a good body cleanser. I’m not going to do only watermelon, but if I combine it with steamed vegetables and sprouted almonds and such, it can’t hurt.

Finally, the scale….. I was 231 this morning, so I’m just hanging around the same few pounds. My clothes fit the same.

That’s it for me, now it’s YOUR turn…… Have fun!

Postscript- We’ve had one submission for a cool group name, which was Knit and Be Fit, by Jenny. Keep ‘em comin’.

Friday, June 25th, 2004

Stalling for time

Ok, ok….. I’ve got nothin’. The last two days have almost completely sucked. The next few aren’t shaping up to be much better. I would love nothing more than to have a cook, a housekeeper, a nanny, and doctors that make house calls so that I can sit for a couple hours and have some nice, calm me time. Heck, I’d be thrilled with two out of the four. Whew, I’m exhausted, and I haven’t even begun the day yet.

SO, like I said, I’ve got nothin’.

When Nate came home a couple nights ago and saw the backpack yarn, colored pencils, and scratch paper with color combinations of stripes doodled on it, the artist in him simply could not resist. He quietly, (almost sneakily) picked up the colored pencils and the doodle sheet, and slipped into his back office and closed the door. Anyone with children will understand that evenings are the madhouse time of day, so his activities went almost unnoticed. Awhile later, he proudly emerged, having created these

image

image

Cool, huh? So a lot of the work is done for me. I’m ready to start knitting, when the planets align and I have time to spend doing something enjoyable.

Friendly reminder: Tomorrow is Health Group.

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004

Still more yarn

I sat down yesterday afternoon, new #3 bamboo circular in hand, to cast on for my mom’s sweater when I realized we hadn’t determined the appropriate size yet! So I left her a message and played around with the new yarn I bought for the girls’ school backpacks.

For the last week or so, I’ve been doing a lot of swatching for three different projects. I freely admit this. I will have it known, however, that I have not begun any of these projects, I have merely swatched for them. (And yes, I’m about to start a fourth). This bouncing around is very out of character for me. Usually, when I begin a new project, I faithfully stay with that project until it is completed, without venturing off to different things. I enjoy the sense of completion, the feeling of productivity. If I did not complete my projects, I would have much more difficulty justifying the expense of my knitting habit. In the case of the lily shawl, I simply can’t afford the yarn right now PLUS, I have more pressing, practical projects to work on. The Gayle socks are giving me a run for my money, trying to find a stupid pattern that I like in that colorway. (But four swatches later, you can’t say I didn’t try. Neither have I give up, for the record.) Mom’s sweater, also known as Cotton Cable, is waiting for sizing instructions. All of this is out of my hands, you see. It’s not my fault. There’s nothing I can do. We’re at a standoff of sorts. SO, what do I do?

This….

image image

Ahem. These are beautiful, brightly colored skeins of yarn for the Back To School Backpacks! (Purchased at Columbine Yarns.) The first one is Abigail’s, Olivia’s is second. If the colors look a bit wacky on your screen, just trust me. They work very well together. (And I have an artist husband that can back me up.) I think there are going to be a few crossover colors, so this is just the beginning of the grouping. I am creating this pattern as I go, and I’ll make sure to keep very good notes. I’ll even make a stripe pattern so that hopefully, if any of you feel so inclined, you might have time to make one before school starts, too.

The good news? I have, in my possesion at this exact moment, everything I need to complete both of these backpacks! (Small print- barring some unforseen circumstance, or necessary design element that would give me every legal, moral, and ethical right to change my mind.)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

The picture that doesn’t say 1000 words

Welllll, I did the Cotton Cable Sweater Swatch. It is very pretty and elegant looking. I must have taken 100 pictures of the dumb thing, and this

image

was the best I could come up with. I don’t know what the problem was, but that is a pathetic picture of a nice swatch.

In some ways, it isn’t as difficult to knit as I expected. The cotton has been knitting up nicely and it isn’t difficult to handle. On the other hand, for a ribbed sweater, there seems to be a lot of stuff to pay attention to. The ribbing is inconsistent, so I have to watch it to keep in pattern. Additionally, on the right side, I have to twist the knit stitches, but only in the cable portion and knit them straight everywhere else. On the wrong side, I have to twist the purl stitches in the cable section, and purl them straight everywhere else. A lot to remember for something that didn’t look particularly difficult in the photo. It isn’t hard, just fiddle-some.

I have a question about cotton: My gauge is right on, (right on!), but the swatch seems a bit see-through. It isn’t knit loose, but I can see through all the little holes, easier than I would like. Is that characteristic of mercerized cotton? Considering the remarkable stitch definintion, it seems to make sense, and I’m hoping that when it is on my mom’s body, it will look more solid. Does anyone have any experience with this?

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

Lily of the Valley again

I finished the body swatch for the Lily shawl.

image image

I’m glad the magazine posts a picture of what the swatch is supposed to look like, because it looks a lot different than the shawl itself, as does mine. I’m guessing that the way they block the shawl adds some curve to the straight lines of the pattern.

It’s been really hot here. I left early this morning and got a great bike ride in on the Burke Gilman Trail. (Wow, what a beautiful area this is!) So now, I don’t have to exercise in the heat later. That means, maybe I can start on mom’s cable cotton sweater!

Sunday, June 20th, 2004

And what a nice visit it was

My mom came into town, semi unexpectedly on Thurday evening. She bought a 1953 Bentley from Whidbey Island, and came to pick it up.

image

We had a fabulous time on the ferry,

image

it has been gorgeous weather here, and she left Sunday morning.

On Saturday, Veronica, mom and I went to Skeins! where mom bought 8 of these….

image

(It’s King Tut 100% mercerized cotton, in a stunning steel grey blue)

So that I can make her this…..

image image

I am both completely excited and completely terrified. Sweaters are expensive, and if I mess up a pattern with yarn that I purchase, it’s highly annoying. If I mess up with yarn that someone else purchases, it is totally uncool. I’m not worried about my ability to complete a nice sweater, I’m worried about fit. My mom lives in Central Oregon, so I can’t try it on her frequently. However, now that I’m thinking in type, (as opposed to out loud, you see), most of my relatives in the area (all are on my husband’s side) are a size 6, like she is. I’m the only mammoth in the family. I wonder if I could use one of them as my mannequin? Hmmmm. Optimism is returning…..

So, isn’t it pretty? It is in a british magazine, which means I get to knit in centimeters and use meters of yarn, instead of using inches and yards. It’ll be a first for me. I couldn’t find a functioning website for the magazine, so I scanned in the cover, in case anyone is interested. (UPDATE!- their website is up, here’s the magazine link. I don’t know about back issues).

image

I am really excited about starting this sweater. Maybe I’ll be posting another swatch tomorrow?!