Archive for May, 2005

Tuesday, May 31st, 2005

Mom? Are you there? Can you HEAR me?

Ok fine. I’m being mean. But I decided to both amuse myself and possibly increase my chances of getting a response from my DEAR mother, who refuses to TELL ME HER FREAKING SHOE MEASUREMENTS!!!! if I publicly harass her on my blog.

I know you read me, mom. Spill it. Actually, since Leigh is most likely reading too, I’ll direct this question to him. Leigh, will you PLEASE make my mom send me her shoe measurements so I can finish felting THESE???

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These are half felted clogs. Because my wait for information has been extreme, they have completely dried. We wait, and we wait, and we wait…

Anita is setting up a stitch marker swap! You can either make or buy them, and choose how many sets you want to send out, which will also be the number of sets you will receive. Sound fun? Go sign up!

Monday, May 30th, 2005

Incredulation, appreciation, nearing completion, and 24

Some title, eh? Well, let’s start at the beginning.

I finally picked up Cable-Eight again. I looked around for a pillow to slip it over, as suggested by Barbara Rita in the comments on the 13th. Since I didn’t see one I liked for the job, I decided to slip it over me instead. It fit! A little snug, sure, but it fit well enough for me to think that I can wear it at this weight as well as a thinner weight, so I’m going to leave it as is. I must be a completely incompetent measurer. Thank you all for making me take a second look. (That was “incredulation” and “appreciation”).

Now, for “nearing completion”…

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I did a whole mess of knitting on the second Flower Basket Shawl yesterday. I have one more chart repeat to do, then the edging. I tried to spice up the photo a little by showing you the pretty Lantern Moon bag I’m carrying the yarn around in, and my foot.

And finally, 24…

Ok, we don’t watch much television around here. Like, at all. In fact, it has only been in the last couple of months that my children learned what a commercial was, and they learned it at someone else’s house. We watch movies, old TV shows we buy on DVD, kid stuff on PBS, and… that’s it.

Well, Nate has recently discovered 24. When there’s down time at work, he and his resourceful co-worker, Dave, entertain themselves on the computer by finding movies, insane internet stuff, and now, the show 24. They watched the 4th season last week, and now Nate has brought home the 1st season on a hard drive that plugs quite conveniently into the television. We’ve been staying up late (contributing to my being sick I’m sure) watching 4 or so episodes a night. It’s intense. I can’t believe how long this stupid show is. I know it’s 24 episodes at over 40 minutes a piece, but it feels like a movie that doesn’t know how to end. It’s gripping, and enjoyable (except for the more violent parts, which I don’t handle very well), but it feels like it will never end.

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

Sick, again.

Yes I am. I feel like crap. I did manage, however to check for Cable-Eights, and here’s what I found…

Uta is working on hers, but I didn’t see any pictures.

Meg has decided to drop out of the race, but we’re keeping her as an honorary Knit-alonger so she can offer moral support.

Rox has finished hers! Yay! It’s so pretty.

Drew is making nice progress on his Cable-Eight.

That was all I could find. Let me know if I missed someone. I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently, and I’m always afraid I’ve let one slip through the cracks.

As for me, I haven’t been knitting much. I worked on the red Flower Basket on Friday night. I’ve been preoccupied and now sick. The non-knitting kind of sick, dangit. My eyeballs hurt. That doesn’t make for pleasant knitting.

Saturday, May 28th, 2005

Health Group- week 50

Good morning. This week wasn’t stellar, but I was working on some things that I’ll talk about later.

Monday & Tuesday, nothing.
Wednesday- treadmill and physical therapy
Thursday- physical therapy
Friday- nothing
Today- probably nothing as we did some yard work this morning, and now it’s hot outside and I’m tired. Plus, we want to take the kids out and do something.

So, not the best week, however it is a step up from how I finished off last week. I’m done with cupcakes! That’s a VERY good thing. I ate waaaaaay too many of those, and it continued into the first part of this week. The remainder of the week I spent my exercise time looking into something exciting.

As you know, my car was broke into a week ago. This cut significantly into the birthday money I was going to use for a particular spinning wheel. To make a long story short, because it isn’t that interesting, I’ve decided to put off the spinning wheel a little bit and buy a juicer.

I’ve wanted a juicer since last year sometime. I can’t remember when exactly it happened, but I woke up one morning with the thought that I needed to be drinking wheatgrass juice. It was the weirdest thing. I’ve only ever had the stuff once or twice in my life, and I don’t know much about it at all, but I think it is something I need to do. I looked into it last year, and the timing wasn’t right for a number of reasons. Now, I think it is time. So I went here and ordered my juicer. The Omega 8005. I am sooooo excited!

I have plenty of hard red wheat, which is sprouting now, and I get to plant it later this afternoon. I have some soil, though I’ll need more. I have growing trays. I bought a book. With the expert help of my internet shy friend and neighbor who shall remain nameless, I’m getting a composting worm bin set up for my kitchen scraps and wheatgrass mats.

I’ve wanted to do this for SUCH a long time, and it’s finally happening!

I know that some of you are thinking that I’m going over the top, but this feels right to me. I don’t think this is the “missing link” that is going to kick start my weight loss or anything, but I think it will significantly improve my health and energy. I can’t wait for my juicer to arrive!

I was reminded this week about one of my favorite lunches, and so I’ve started eating it again. I don’t remember if I’ve told you all, so I thought I’d pass it along.

Vegetable burritos-

Flour tortillas, whole wheat are good but not necessary
chopped fresh broccoli
chopped fresh tomatoes
small amount of shredded cheddar cheese

Make burritos with the above ingredients, secure closed with a toothpick, leaving both ends open, and bake on a cookie sheet at 375 for 15 minutes. Mmmmm.

Now, admittedly, they sound gross. When my friend Lara told me about them, I had NO interest whatsoever. They sounded dry and yucky. Wrong, my friends. They are super amazingly delicious, easy, and healthy. A feel good lunch!

I’ve been drinking a lot of water, and I’m doing good. I forgot to weigh myself before eating this morning, so we’ll have to wait ’til next week to see where I am.

How are you doing?

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Just for you, baby

I finally wrote out my pattern for Lauralund (same old picture). Lauralund is a liberal takeoff of Klaralund, which has been extremely popular on the blogs. I have changed it significantly in that it’s now a cardigan, knit with bulky weight, there is no garter stitch anywhere, and the ONLY factors I used to determine size were a tape measure and my body. That being said, I would HIGHLY recommend doing the same before knitting your own. Even if you want a 42 inch bust sweater like mine, you should measure your shoulders. I have very tall shoulders (remember the bra fitting posts?), and the shoulder height will make a huge difference in how this sweater fits.

Yarn- Lopi wool purchased out of a forgotten warehouse. It’s old, hairy, and fabulous. But it’s still Lopi. And I “think” I used 8, 3.5 oz balls of it. Sorry about that.
Needles- size 10 1/2 for sweater, and double points for i-cord button loops. On the sweater use straits or circular, but it’s flat knitting. A 24 or 36 inch circ would be fine
Gauge- 12 stitches per 4 inches. This is the BLOCKED gauge. At this gauge, my fabric drapes beautifully. And it draped better after being blocked.
Other- groovy buttons. I used 2 toggle style bamboo buttons.

Finished measurements-

42 inch bust
16 1/2 inches from armpit to bottom
18 inches from armpit to sleeve cuff
Overall length is 26 inches when laid flat, and subjective on body. I was getting about 28 inches from shoulder to bottom of sweater.

Lauralund is comprised of 5 large rectangles with no shaping whatsoever. Two rectangles make up the front (because it’s a cardi, one on each side), one rectangle is the back, and the sleeves are freaky long to go up over the shoulders and make the neckline. You sew the top sides of the sleeves to the fronts and back to make the top part of the sweater. Make sense? If not, read the seaming instructions.

Because the construction is so simple, it will be very easy to customize her to your size. Just get a good, BLOCKED gauge swatch, measure yourself, and go from there. I would suggest reading all of my notes before beginning your sweater.

PATTERN FOR LAURALUND

Fronts- make 2

-cast on 33 stitches
-work 4 rows in 1×1 seed stitch
-switch to stockinette stitch, leaving 3 stitches on one side in seed stitch as a faux button band. Work until entire piece measures 15 inches.
-Resume seed stitch for 12-13 rows, bind off in seed stitch

Back- make 1

-Cast on 60 stitches
-work 4 rows in seed stitch
-switch to stockinette stitch and work until entire piece measures 15 inches
-resume seed stitch for 12-13 rows
-bind off in seed stitch

Sleeves- make 2

(starting at top of sleeve)
-cast on 52 stitches
-work 3 rows in seed stitch
-work in stockinette until entire piece measures 25 inches
-work 21 rows in seed stitch
-bind off in seed stitch

Block all pieces. Seam, seam, seam!

Ok, ok. Lay out a front, vertically. Take one of the sleeves and lay it horizontally across the top, bound off edge of the front. Line up the top of the sleeve to the inside edge (the faux button band) of the front to make a straight line all the way down the front of the sweater. Seam the side of the sleeve to the top of the front. Do the same for the other side. Lay out the back and measure and mark the top center. Sew the other side of the sleeves to the back as you did for the front. Now seam up the sides, through the armpit, and down the sleeves to the cuff.

Then make two 3 stitch i-cords to loop around buttons. Sew the loops to one side and the buttons to the other.

Optional- sew up 5 or so inches of the sleeves at the back to close it. Read my notes for further discussion.

Notes- here’s where I ramble…

First of all, I will tell you again to measure your shoulders. Don’t worry about getting it exact. The sweater is knit in rectangles, so draw a line around your body at the armpits. Between your neck and your shoulder, measure (if you’re lucky, have someone else measure) from the armpit line in the front, to the armpit line in the back. That is how wide you want your sleeves to be. You don’t want them too wide, or the whole thing will look saggy. Saggy is NOT what we’re going for.

I know that bulky yarn sweaters aren’t supposed to be tight fitting, but I think this sweater needs to be snug to look right. It needs to be snug on the bust. The arms are very loose, and the front hangs open, so the bust needs to be the spot that fits. My bust with bra and t-shirt measures 48 inches. My Lauralund measures 21 inches wide when laid flat (or 42 inches around). It is admittedly a bit too small, but not by much. If it were 48 inches around, it wouldn’t fit as well. The first time I made her, she was WAY too big, and it looked awful.

As for the sleeves… I love loooooong sleeves. Lauralund has them. I cast on for the sleeves a the top (or neckline) because that way, I can continue knitting the sleeves until I think they’re long enough even after they’re seamed or pinned onto the sweater. It works out great.

Next, in the Klaralund pattern, you are supposed to sew up 5 or so inches of the sleeves to close up the back. This can be dangerous. I don’t remember where I read it, I think it was on Purlygirls, but someone was talking to the pattern writer and she said that the “chest drooping” problem that a lot of people were having with Klaralund was because of the sewing up of the back. The sweater in the picture of the pattern isn’t sewn that way, they added that instruction later. The first time I knit Lauralund, when she was much, much bigger and looked awful, I noticed a huge difference in how it fit before and after the back was sewn. Tight like mine is now, it isn’t as noticeable, but if it were looser, I think I’d rip out the seam up the back. FYI.

There she is. Thank you for waiting so patiently. I know some of you have been a bit anxious. And hopefully, I didn’t leave out anything vital.

I know today is knit-along day. I really wanted to do some blog reading this week to look for updates, but I’ve been very busy. This week was quite eventful. Not to mention the wrapping up of eventful things that happened LAST week. So I’d love to give our knit-along day the attention it deserves on Monday. Is that ok with everyone? Feel free to post anything you’d like to today’s post. That way, I can feature you on Monday. Sound good?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

Gayle is my hero!

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Inexperienced me didn’t even look at my insurance card, because I know we have a $1000 deductible. Gayle suggested looking to see what my Comprehensive deductible was, and what do you know? $100. I am a happy girl. So, I’m going to re-evaluate the financial situation before making any rash decisions about a spinning wheel. Thank you, Gayle! Hero of the Year!

Thank you all so much for your kind words and even a few suggestions for a PayPal button. You’re so nice. I think I’m going to be ok though. I’m still crunching numbers and deciding what to do.

In other good news, look what I found at my LYS.

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The magazines were mine, but I now have a MAGAZINE RACK! It’s big and cumbersome, but magazines are expensive, and mine were getting thrashed. Plus, they were stashed in so many different places, that I rarely even saw some of them. Now they are accessible and safe. Hooray!

I must admit to being somewhat shocked that I could fill it so well. I thought I’d have more room to grow than I do.

In actual knitting news… (I know it’s been awhile).

I’m still working on the red Flower Basket Shawl, slowly. I half-felted mom’s clogs while doing laundry yesterday. They take FOREVER to felt, so I’m doing it in stages. I hope to finish the job today. My sister-in-law wants a cardigan, so we spent Tuesday morning looking through my magazines and books. It’s obvious she’s not a knitter because her eyes started to gloss over after a couple hours, and I was disappointed we had to stop. Yes, we spent a couple hours looking at books and magazines. Add that to my telling you that we didn’t make it through them all and you have an idea of what a book/pattern junky I am. I have no desire to change that.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

A sad, sad tale

I have wanted a spinning wheel since Fall of last year. I’ve been looking, listening, and taking classes. I’ve borrowed, practiced, and looked some more. I asked family and friends to contribute to the cause with my birthday in mind, and happily, I received enough. I am touched and grateful to you all. Saturday night, while at the SPJ awards banquet for Nate, someone broke into my car by smashing the back window.

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Bye bye spinning wheel. Sigh. (To clarify, no wheel was stolen from my car. But repairing my car is going to take most of my funds). I even had a wheel picked out. It’s actually a used wheel that belonged to a woman who died from cancer last year. Her sweet husband has been saving it for me since February so I could save up. It’s a walnut lendrum with an obscene amount of accessories, Wooly Winders, many, many bobbins, etc. I was excited. I’m thinking now that I should probably let this one go and practice patience. Amazingly, I’m not devastated. Highly annoyed, sure. But not devastated.

Out of curiosity, does anyone have a spinning wheel they’re looking to sell? A lendrum would be great. I’ve quite fallen in love with them, truth be told, despite their rather plain appearance. A maple, single treadle would make me happy, and would be much cheaper than the walnut wheel I was hoping for. There will probably be some money left after my car is fixed. (This is the second fix my car will require with my birthday money, but the first one by itself wasn’t enough to take it all away).

I mentioned the awards banquet. My fabulous Nate has been winning SPJ awards for the last four years. He wins for his writing, magazine layout, and illustrations. I’m so proud of him. This year he won 1st place for Cover/Page layout, and 2nd for illustration.

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See the award on the table? He would be looking happier, if we hadn’t just come back in from seeing our car smashed. I’m glad we made it back in time to hear his name called. That would have REALLY sucked.

Congratulations, Nate! I’m very, very proud of you.

A few of you have expressed interest in the recipe for the black bottom cupcakes so wantonly displayed on Friday’s post. Well, here you go….

Monday, May 23rd, 2005

But, what about the birthday pary?

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This is about half of us, and I’m the one in the front on the right. It was a lot of fun. Thanks to all who came, and to the many, many well wishes from blogland.

Nate made another of his famous Miss Finch posters, this one was for everyone to sign.

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Cool, no? You know what else? Cher, the store owner gave me 10 skeins of Misty Blue “Angora” by Elsebeth Lavold. What a gift! I was a bit struck by it. Thanks, Cher! And then there were many contributions to my “Laura Wants A Spinning Wheel” fund. More on that tomorrow.

Great party. Great food. Great friends. Thanks, everyone!

Sunday, May 22nd, 2005

And the winner is….

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Steff, Betsy, Ann from Vancouver, Kathy, Nancy, Kristel, Joan, Emy, Chelsea, Sara-Jane, Barbara Long, Megan, & Ana C. A baker’s dozen. Congratulations!

“Tell me what you want, what you really really want!” Let me know what tickles your fancy, and email me with your addresses.

I want you all to know that it seriously bugs me I can’t send markers to everyone. If you didn’t win and are disheartened, email me and we’ll work something out. Perhaps some give and take? I gift you, you gift me… I like surprises, and I’ve already told you I respond well to sweet-talking!

Finally, if I know you personally and you live local, OF COURSE you can have a set! Don’t be silly. Remind me when I see you next.

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

Health Group- week 49

Well, well. Here we are. I am now 30 and still obese. I was going to be grumpy about it, but for some reason, I’m feeling quite temperate this morning. So, onward and upward.

Monday, I did treadmill, weights, and physical therapy.
Tuesday, I did treadmill only.
Wednesday didn’t see any exercise. I can’t remember why just now, but there was nothing.
Thursday was physical therapy only, and cupcake baking and eating. Seriously, lots and lots of black bottom cupcakes were consumed. The shame.
Friday, I went clothes shopping with Olivia and Veronica. I planted V in the dressing room with a Gameboy and O and I scoured the racks. It was a really good time. I baked and ate some more cupcakes, and got ready for the party (which was fabulous, thank you).

Today I have a mild headache, and leftover Doritos and cupcakes, among other things. I’m not feeling too motivated today. Kind of tired from sugar overload and lack of the usual good food that gives me energy. I’m going to go out and play with my family today.

So, not the most productive week, but not a total loss in the exercise category. I always wanted to be thin by the time I was 30. It didn’t happen. I’m a little bugged about it, but not overly so. I’m still trekking along, making progress. I guess I feel grateful for the progress I’ve made, and I’m feeling grateful for the good things in my life right now. I’m happy. I love my family, my dog, and my cute little house. I have excellent friends. My health is improving, and through this trial I am able to help people.

Life’s a journey after all. What would be left to do if I’d reached all of my goals by age 30? I guess it’d be downhill after that, and 30 is much too young to peak. Know what I mean?

How was your week? How did you do? I’m going to go drink some water.