Archive for January, 2005

Monday, January 31st, 2005

Since I’ve continued to be sick, I’ve continued to get a lot of knitting done

That being said, I woke up feeling tolerable this morning, although my back hurts more than it did last week. I’m hoping that my energy lasts, and doesn’t deflate like a balloon once I get moving today.

So, let’s see… I finished Lauralund yesterday. All except for a method of fastening. Olivia took some pictures of me this morning with a big, silver turtle pin on my chest to… wait a minute, I haven’t told you yet. Hehe. Lauralund’s a cardi! Yup, that’s right. I decided that since it was knitting up small, and I did want to wear it before the weather warms up, and since I wanted a cardi out of this yarn as well as Lauralund, and since I’m frequently a highly efficient and practical person (except for the times when I’m completely impractical, which also happens), I’d make them both. “Two birds with one stone” of sorts. I have a Lauralund cardi, and it’s darned cute. It is a little small, but I can still wear it. Like I was saying earlier, in the pictures (that didn’t turn out at all) Olivia took this morning, I have it fastened closed with a giant turtle pin. I think I’m going to head out to JoAnn’s later and find me some wooden toggle buttons. I’ll show you my first ever sweater for me, just not yet. However, I’ll give you a sneak peek as I introduce some swatches.

Right, so, as I was finishing almost all of my WIP’s this weekend, I started swatching for new ones.

image

This is the start of the flower basket shawl in koigu. The yarn is pretty. It isn’t going to be a flower basket shawl. The heavy twist in the yarn, and the flashy colors make the lace pattern indistinguishable, plus it was working up much heavier than I had hoped.

image

(Ooh, there it is! Can you see it in the background? Mmm, pretty Lopi.) This swatch, which I had actually done quite awhile ago, and can’t remember if you’ve seen, was worked in laceweight merino that I bought on super-mega clearance back in October. I knit it on smaller needles, and a single strand of yarn as opposed to doubled like the pattern recommends. I stopped because I wanted bigger baskets, so I’m thinking I’ll start with this yarn again, using the bigger needles and yarn doubled. I know it’s practically the same color as the one in the magazine, but I don’t really care. It’s pretty. I like it. I already have the yarn. I don’t have to mess with EVERY pattern I try.

And finally, the new project…

One of the first knit items I ever wanted to make for myself was a shrug. I haven’t yet. If you recall, I bought 6 balls of Kathmandu Aran in the most delightful mossy green color off of a sale shelf at Hilltop awhile ago. Well, I think I’ve found my project for it.

image

Now, although I just told you that I don’t have to mess with every pattern I knit, I am going to have to mess with this one. It’s too wide, and I think it’ll look really strange from the back, so I’m going to make it smaller. BUT, isn’t it lovely? It’s in the current Easy Knitting magazine. I think it’ll look smashing in my yummy green yarn. So I swatched.

image

Soooooo pretty! This is the first yarn I’ve ever used that contains Cashmere. Now granted, it’s only 5% cashmere, but hey, it’s in there. I’m going to try to whip this one out before Saturday, as Nate and I have a date, and I want to wear it.

Saturday, January 29th, 2005

Health Group- week 33

I’ve been taking it easy this week, not only because of my injection on Monday, but because I’ve been sick. Right now, I’m hoping that the pain in my right ear doesn’t become an ear infection. I don’t need one of those.

My back is feeling really good, for the most part. I don’t think it’s going to hinder my exercise like the last injection did. So now, I’m just waiting for this illness to pass, then I’m gonna hit the treadmill and the weights.

I feel optimistic. I’m ready to get going again. The end of last year was difficult, and I’ve been stagnant for awhile. Now, I’m chomping at the bit.

I made the yummiest chili on Wednesday, and I experimented. I used cracked wheat instead of the ground turkey I would normally have used. I cooked the wheat in chicken broth first, then fried it up with onions and garlic as I would have with meat. Then I added everything else… 1 chopped bell pepper, 2 c cooked black beans, 2 cups cooked great northern beans, 2 29 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, 2 T chili powder, 1/2 tsp cloves, 1 tsp cumin, some tabasco, and cooked it for 30 minutes on a low simmer. Yum, yum, yum. The wheat didn’t taste like wheat, but added a fabulous texture. And I was loving the cloves. We had it with cornbread, which I would have tried making with soft white whole wheat flour, but since I was sick at the time, I didn’t.

How are you doing?

Thursday, January 27th, 2005

Ooh, cool hat!

I’m loving it!

image

image

image

Ok, this hat is so neat, that I think I must make more. That means I’m going to officially hash out the pattern, although I can’t make promises as to when. It knits up quick on size 10 1/2 needles, casting on only 64 stitches. Even with all those holes, it’s still very warm. It matches my mitts. Nate loves it. Happy, happy day. Of course, you all should know by now that I love hats.

I’ve already named this one, but I’m holding out on you.

Pete’s bag turned out about as close to perfect as I could have hoped for. I can hardly believe it. I know that Jenny is going to mention something about a rainbow in the comments :-) , but seriously, I’m dumbfounded. Not that it shouldn’t be perfect, considering all the math and swatching I did, but I’ve been shown in the past that math and swatches aren’t always a sure bet to success. The strap is about an inch or two longer than he requested, but Nate said that it’s the perfect length for cross-chesting, and any shorter would be too short. In any case, I’m very pleased. I need to figure out how to secure the flap, I need to sew a couple of things, add a square of velcro to each of the “secret pockets”, and that about does it. Then it gets shipped off to Italy, to a very patient boy who’s been waiting for his bag for about 5 months.

So, it’s a Hayden-along day. I don’t think I have any updates. If anyone has anything, let us know!

In other news, I’m sick. Nate’s sick. Abby’s sick. O and V are hanging on, but barely. I’m re-knitting Lauralund already, and have finished the front! It’s currently blocking under my piano. It’ll probably be too small this time, but I don’t really mind that, as I have every intention of losing a bunch more weight this year. And if it’s small enough, perhaps I’ll let my sister break it in for me.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2005

They match! (mostly)

image

I love, love, love them. One looks longer than the other, even though it isn’t, because there’s more green on one side than the other. BUT, they’re close. They’re cute. They’re cozy. They’re done.

I’m whipping out a crazy hat with the leftover yarn. It’s a big, blocky, open lace, zigzag kind of hat, worked on big needles. It’s really cool so far. I’ve been trying to keep track of how I’m making it, but I keep having to make little unexplained adjustments at the start of many of the rounds, so I don’t know how accurately I can pattern it.

I’m felting Pete’s bag right now. It’s been in there for a very long time. The bag is shrinking, the strap isn’t, I’m going to keep washing the sucker ’til it behaves. If the strap insists on remaining humungous, I have a plan, so I’m not worried.

My back is feeling pretty good today, although I’m coming down with some kind of illness. Sore throat, stuffy head, no energy. Guess that means I get to spend more time justifying knitting too much, I mean resting.

Hey, I did laundry yesterday. That’s something.

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

Resting and swatching

While perusing one of my stitch pattern books, I stumbled upon a cable pattern that I fell instantly in love with. So I swatched it.

image

This is a very large swatch. I haven’t measured it yet, but It is knit on size 9 needles, using Peace Fleece, and it is about 30 stitches wide by about 55 rows. The pattern itself repeats after 24 rows, and I wanted to get a good look at it, so I did a couple sets. I’m thinking about using this cable when I knit the Big Sack sweater from the first S&B book, instead of the cable in the pattern, for a few reasons. First, I really like this cable, and this seems like a great place to use it. Second, this one’s bigger, which I think will look better than the original smaller cable, which would run right down the middle of my huge chest surrounded by masses of stockinette.

These cables look like they need to be green, so I’m planning on using this.

While I was photographing the swatch, Abner came and sat right by it, so I took his picture too.

image

We’ve made good progress with him recently. He’s behaving much better. My hopes of getting this hyper-spastic animal fully integrated into the house are (for now) restored. He’s always been an indoor dog, but he needs to be tied to something. We’re all tired of it. My constant effort is spent trying to get him to behave tolerably off leash. The air horn has really helped.

Monday, January 24th, 2005

I got to spend a really nice (on the whole) day in bed

Upon entering the room yesterday, the doctor said, “How is our incredibly needle-phobic patient doing this morning?” He remembers me. Isn’t that sweet? The nurse administering the IV called another nurse into the room to gently stroke my hand and speak in soothing tones. They also gave me oxygen when I asked. I felt so cared for.

My injection went well. I think it has a chance at helping, as the first couple of hours afterwards, before the local wore off, I felt pretty good. Then the pain came, and grew in intensity throughout the afternoon ’til I was squirming and writhing to try to get away from it. Then it stopped. Well, mostly stopped. By late last night, I was feeling decent. We’ll see how today goes. Thank you all for your well wishes and concern. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by people that care.

My sister-in-law woke up hours before she would normally, to come and stay with my still sleeping children so we wouldn’t have to wake and transport them to the hospital at 5 am. Nate had to go to work after bringing me home, but he came home early and brought me a wonderful lunch. My friends Michelle and Karen brought us a fabulous dinner. My mother-in-law and my very busy mom called to check on me. As did my good friend Celeste. My happy little fish stayed on the side of her tank closest to my bed to keep me company during the period of time I spent there in too much pain to knit. (Holy cow, she’s grown since that picture. For the fish obsessed, I can’t think of anything more happily indulgent than being able to watch them while laying in bed). A big, heart-felt thank you to everyone. I feel loved.

And now, get ready for it… Pete’s bag is done.

image

At least, all of the pre-felting work is done. And to celebrate, I worked on something fun, which now is also done.

image

image

I really, really, really, really, really like it. We’re not talking about the fact that there is VERY little chance of the other one matching. Right now, we’re happy with the one we have. I think I’m going to have enough yarn left from the two balls to make a hat. Maybe. Each fingerless mitt takes a hair over half the skein. So I’ll have practically a full ball’s worth of yarn left when I’m done. (Since they’re not going to match anyway, I probably could have got by with only ONE skein, but whatever. A hat will be nice). And before I forget, for those of you who are interested, there’s an errata for the pattern posted here. You’ll need to scroll down towards the bottom to see it.

I’ve also finished Olivia’s SECOND Fun Fur scarf, this one in hot pink, since Abigail immediately appropriated the first one for herself. Olivia has ALWAYS been the selfless, sharing sister of the pair, so she let her have it. This surprised even me, because Olivia was SO excited to get the scarf. Way to be, girl.

Now I’m off to knit the other Noro mitt/armwarmer/glove, work on Lauralund, and perhaps start assembling colors for Hayden’s doll. Oh yeah, and felt Pete’s bag, at which point I will begin considering pockets.

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

I’m of two minds on the subject

I know that Noro is all the rage on the blogs. I hadn’t been impressed with Noro in the stores because it always felt so scratchy and rough on the shelf, so I couldn’t understand the enthusiasm.
One of the patterns I’ve been wanting to knit uses Noro Kureyon. My LYS happened to have some of it in a color that I liked,

image

so I bought two balls.

I started the pattern. (The armwarmers from S&B Nation). I was impressed.

image

It is beautiful yarn that isn’t as scratchy as I had expected it to be when knit up. I was having fun. I was thinking that this Noro thing might be worth something. Then it happened. The same thing that happens to me frequently when I’m knitting. I encountered a knot. Now, the problem with encountering a knot in Noro, is that when you are striving to knit two matching gloves, it TOTALLY SCREWS WITH THE COLOR PATTERN! I probably got the only skein in the lot with a knot in it. I think I choose yarn like I choose dogs. If there’s a lemon, I’m bound to be the sucker that picks it. I would have been hopping mad yesterday when the knot was discovered, but since I’d already spent the entire day in bed with a headache, I was just resigned. And I continue to be so. Stupid yarn.

Thanks to a very kind, personal invitation to join, I’m now a part of Alison’s Fix-a-Thon. I am fixing my Lauralund. I’ve already started.

image

I was debating whether to redo it, or to just frog the whole thing and knit a cardigan. So I tried it on again to have another look. The thing is so stinking cute, I’m going to try again. I hope it works this time, because this Lopi isn’t going to take very kindly to being frogged again.

And yes, I’m off to my injection. Again. Sigh. Wish me luck as Nate isn’t able to stay home with me afterwards, so I’m on my own with the kids, the school bus schedule, and the dog, whilst being medicated. I’m not sure if you should pity me, or those left to my care.

Friday, January 21st, 2005

Health Group- week 32

Hmmm. It hasn’t been a great week for me. Like, at all. I think the stress of the appointment on Wednesday wiped me out, and I spent Thursday recovering, and since the week was already toast, I didn’t bother with Friday. I ate rotten. I didn’t exercise outside of letting loose at the disco Thursday night. I am drinking lots of water, so there’s something. I’ve been eating more salads, and on Thursday I took my vitamins. Does that count? Sheesh. Boom. Blah. (OK, that was kind of funny).

Monday is my second injection, and for those of you who remember, it took me about a month to recover from the last one. I’m hoping that this time I’ll at least do some light treadmill right away. I want to start seriously progressing again.

If I recall correctly, some of you have asked about recipes. I’m sorry to have dropped the ball. I’ve typed out some of my staples. Click the link at the bottom of this post to see them.

For more fabulous recipes, I highly, HIGHLY recommend this cookbook. We bought it at Barnes and Noble. Amazon also carries it here. This cookbook taught me how to cook. It has a full meal, including side dishes, for every day of the year. It is divided into days, (for example FRIDAY, July, week three), and it has weekly shopping lists that you can tear out of the back of the book. These are healthy meals. When I first started using the cookbook, I followed it day by day, but I’ve cooked so much of it now, I just go back to my favorites. They are easy to follow. They are healthy. He uses whole grains, lots of vegetables, and lean meats sparingly. Seriously, this book is amazing, and extremely practical.

Anyway, click the link for the recipes. Like I said, I did lame this week. I hope some of you did better.

Friday, January 21st, 2005

Shake those honeyBUNS!!!

I got to shake my cosmic thing last night at my friend Michal’s birthday party disco dance.

image

I haven’t had that much fun in a LONG time. Nate got into it, too. I always love watching him dance because it reminds me of the first time I ever saw him. It was 15 or so years ago, at a dance, and he was surrounded by girls. I came to learn that was quite common. Shy little me stood against a wall and admired from afar. He’s so sex-xy when he dances, I love it.

I worked quite a bit on the strap for Pete’s bag yesterday. It doesn’t make for too exciting a picture, so there isn’t one. I’m maybe a third of the way done. When I said a couple hundred rows yesterday, I wasn’t kidding.

And, today is Hayden along day. Let’s see…

Dani has finished hers in some very pretty pinks, and Darra’s is done in grays. Nate really liked the grays, and almost sounded like he’d like one in those colors, but he looks better in browns. Great job, ladies! As always, if I’ve missed anyone, let me know.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2005

Ooh, something fun!

Thank you everyone for the sweet thoughts and comments yesterday. I really wasn’t expecting much of a response to that post, and it was touching.

My appointment went very well. Wanna see something crazy?

image

There was a basket of full of these for the taking. Can you stand it? They’re hilarious.

Now, back to knitting content. I’m still plugging along on Pete’s bag. I’m working on the strap. I can tell it’s going to take a long time, primarily because it is going to be a couple hundred rows of 19 stitch stockinette, and there’s just nothing interesting about that. BUT, I’ve been thinking, hehe. Thinking about how delicious this Donegal is when felted. Thinking about cool things I might be able to make with it. For me.

These, from S&B Nation spring to mind…

image

I picked up some of that pink Donegal yesterday that I was thinking about knitting Olivia’s coat with. I’m thinking a charcoal bag, with pink trim and letter. The fun part is going to be the letter, because instead of this boring old thing…

image

(Yawnaronious). I’m going do do this

image

Ahhh, jeah! Do you love it? I’ve been using my excellent bag from the last S&B for almost a year. It still looks fab. I continue to admire the many fine qualities of Lamb’s Pride. But my POINT is that I think I’m ready for a new purse. By Gayle’s standard, I’m grossly overdue, since the woman has a different purse in tow every time I see her. Literally. I have yet to see the same one twice.

So that’s what I’m thinking about today. If nothing else, it’ll motivate me to get Pete’s bag done faster, because I can’t in good conscience start my felted Donegal Tweed bag before finishing his. (Although it appears I can spend an afternoon graphing out a letter for it).