Archive for September, 2005

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Please don’t breathe on me.

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard myself say that last night. Olivia for some reason was standing immediately over my shoulder, and breathing right into my face. Her breath smelled funny, and it was making me queasy. (Because I’m pregnant and overly scent sensitive, not because my child is foul). I felt like a bickering sibling in the back of a car…

“Don’t touch me!”

“She’s sitting on my side!”

“Am not, she’s touching me!”

etc.

Right. At least I said please.

Well, I have a suggestion to make to the knitting pattern/magazine/model world. I appreciate the fact that it is frequently noted which of the sizes offered in the pattern is actually the one that was knit and pictured. What would be REALLY helpful is if they also included the chest circumference of the model wearing it. Don’t you think? I know I’m dreaming here, but it would be really helpful if I see a sweater and really like the way it fits on the model shown to know the ratios. I am never really comfortable deciding on how much ease to allow for in a pattern. I’d like to know how much ease I’m looking at in the photo.

On the one hand, being the big girl that I am, I need a sweater that isn’t going to cling to the undesirable bits. On the other hand, being the big girl that I am, if I make it TOO big, I’ll look like one of these. I do have attributes. I like to accentuate them. (And my internet shy neighbor can TOTALLY shut up right now).

I guess what I should do (duh), is measure a sweater I like the fit of. That just isn’t as real to me for some reason. Because with different stitch patterns, and different yarns that drape differently, or that are a different thickness, everything changes.

What is inspiring these reflections? Well, I’ve been flipping through magazines recently, as you know, looking for inspiration for another Lopi cardigan. As it happens, a sweater caught my eye. Repeatedly.

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and here’s the shot that will make my mom call and say she NEEDS one…

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It is Rhapsody in Tweed from the Fall 04 issue of Interweave Knits.

Positives-

The cables and the tweed are luscious.
The yarn used in the pattern is Donegal Tweed by Tahki, which I have already worked with, worn, and adore.

Negatives-

I remain convinced that I’d look like an elephant in a bulky, dropped shoulder sweater designed for a man.

So, I was thinking about knitting the Bed and Breakfast sweater (Winter 03 Interweave Knits) which I’ve always liked, in Donegal to get the same effect. Both sweaters were designed by Kathy Zimmerman, and the B&B has a modified dropped shoulder. But, I was still drawn to the first sweater. So then I thought about trying to morph it into the Big Sack sweater from S&B. I’ve always wanted to make that one, too. But the gauge is totally different. Then I turned to the grooviest book ever, The Knitter’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. They have a raglan pattern and schematic. So, I want to combine the cables/stitch pattern from Rhapsody, the neck style of Big Sack, and go by the pattern in the Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. The fact that I have to come up with about $100 for the yarn is irrelevant at this point. Plotting to take over the world (in knitter’s terms) is free.

Now back to the issue of deciding which size to knit…

I’m probably going to have to measure a sweater I already own and hope for the best. And this will only get easier with experience because we all know that no model is going to be forthcoming with their bust size. Plus, if we really knew how freak skinny they all were, we’d probably throw in the towel and find ourselves a nice, comfortable circus tent.

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

It was a dark and stormy morning…

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And yet, I still had a really hard time trying to catch it on film. So just imagine all of the flora in the picture moving around a lot, accompanied by the “rushing water” sound of wind.

I love this time of year. This morning, aside from being dark, wet, and windy, was also really warm. The air had a very pleasant smell, and I spent a lot of time outside, standing on my driveway, looking at the sky and acting like a dork.

Aside from being moody and ominous, this weather signals the beginning of sweater and hat season! I have conflicting feelings. On the one hand, I’m very excited to wear my hand knits again, on the other hand, my Vogue Cable Cardi is taunting me. How I wish it was done (and a little bit bigger) so I could wear it! I think the sleeves are fixed, but I need to frog the armholes on all three of the body pieces to add about 4 inches to the length. Curse my busty self! Those cute, little pockets need to fall lower on my torso, or they’ll look dumb. This is annoying because I liked the idea of a cropped cardigan, and if it weren’t for those pockets, it’d be fine! Dangit, dangit, dangit.

I didn’t touch Abby’s Harry Potter sweater yesterday. It was a rough day, but I’ll spare you the details. Quite frankly, although some of you were entertained by yesterday’s post, I still think it hinges on “too much information”. So, there’ll be no bathroom talk from me today.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2005

I’ve got nothing to say

(In all fairness, I should warn you that the only knitting content contained in this post is pathetic, and at the very bottom of the entry. The rest of this post is about me being sick, and other gross things, so if you aren’t interested, just skip me today and spare yourself the imagery).

I’ve spent the last hour perusing some of my favorite blogs, looking for inspiration, or more accurately, trying to get my brain thinking “posting” thoughts. It didn’t work. And I need to take a shower. Unfortunately, showering is on the list of things that make me gag, so I don’t get to do it as often as I would like. Basically, I have to wait until the lack of showering makes me gag more than the actual shower would. Then I have no choice.

Abby went back to school today. So before afternoon hits, when any chance of accomplishing anything dies hard, I hope to take Veronica to the store and pick up some things I’m hoping will help. Like new toothpaste (can’t stand the stuff I’ve got. Makes me gag), new dishwasher soap (same reason), toilet paper….

Fortunately, TP does not make me gag. (Can you imagine? That’d really suck). Although Veronica is having to learn real quick to either poo when Nate is home, or wipe herself, because the last time I walked into the bathroom to “help” her, I threw up. Violently. Fortunately, it made such an impression on her, that she doesn’t even ask me anymore. This is remarkable, as she seems to think that it is injustice in the highest that she be expected to handle her own bathroom responsibilities.

Abby was like that too. What gives?

On a funny note, Veronica has taken it upon herself to “stamp” me whenever I throw up. Sometimes, before I’m even done. She runs, gets her little, self inking stamp of a dog or something, (I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s red), and gives me my “throw up stamp”. Or, as she would say, my “frow up stamp”. I guess she thinks it makes it all better.

Abby’s sweater blocked beautifully. It drapes like a dream. I would have to recommend Silky Tweed as a beautiful yarn that smells really freak weird when wet and blocking. (Hey, and come to think of it, it didn’t make me gag! So it must be a good yarn). So all that remains is sewing her up, which I will do soon. Don’t know when. I’ll try to work on it today, if the trip to the store doesn’t totally wipe me out. Blocking the sweater wore me out. It was so lame. I was out of breath and sprawled flat on my bed for about an hour afterwards. Yeah, pinning a sweater to the carpet is tough work. Whatever.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

It’s my turn!

Nate is working from home today, and I just kicked him off the computer so I could post. He needs a break anyway, right?

Well, there isn’t much to report. Other than I’m extremely excited that dinner is already assembled and cooking in the crock pot. That’s going to make EVERYBODY happy. Because I still feel horribly rotten.

Abby’s sweater is blocking, and although you can’t tell from the picture, I AM capable of blocking a sweater.

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Don’t ask me why it looks crooked. I know I measured it right, but that picture is so bad, I’m now paranoid and will re-measure as soon as I’m done here.

I picked up Flower Basket Shawl #3 again this morning and did 6 rows. Because I can count these knitting hours for school, I’m keeping a very meticulous time journal. It will be interesting to see just how long it takes me to knit it. I always add an extra chart repeat to this pattern to make it a little bigger, and that will add a couple hours to the project. I’m guessing at this point it’ll be about 16 hours total.

Monday, September 26th, 2005

There’s a fish in my belly!

It is so weird. I’ve been checking out this site regularly, which is a weekly pregnancy calendar with ultrasound pictures. It’s so much more interesting than the monthly updates in the famous pregnancy book that I referred to with my other three pregnancies. Every week, I get to see a picture, and read about the changes happening in the baby right now. Well, I missed last week, so yesterday I read about my week and couldn’t believe it. The baby has suddenly jumped to 3 1/2 inches long. What? It’s been a half inch, to an inch last I looked. The crazy thing is that Ilsa, my white lionhead goldfish is 3 1/2 inches long, so all I can picture is a fishbowl in my abdomen, and a wiggly little goldfish. It’s kind of weirding me out. Nate says not to worry, in a week or so, the baby will be the size of Veronica’s goldfish named “Goldfish”, and then some time after that, it’ll be the size of our big, 10 inchers, Alexander, Lucius, and Jane.

That isn’t very comforting.

I’ve been pretty sick, so I’ve been in bed since about Wednesday, and knitting quite a bit. I have most of a Flower Basket Shawl done,

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and I’ve sewn the shoulders together on Abby’s Harry Potter Sweater.

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I followed Jessica’s brilliant suggestion and did the neck before blocking, but I still have a flat piece of sweater to block. Of course, I have about a zillion ends to weave in before I can block it, but we’ll get to those.

Saturday, September 24th, 2005

Health Group- Year 2, week 16

Abigail and I are sick. She’s had a fever and sore throat for three days, we’ll haul her off to the doctor on Monday if she isn’t better. My throat is scratchy. Dangit.

I’ve been in bed most of the week, although I had a good physical therapy session on Tuesday. It was my last scheduled visit, so any other strengthening I do is going to be on my own.

The nausea is getting better, although I still have a sour stomach most of the time, and the heartburn is kicking in. And then there’s this illness crap I’m fighting. So once again, I don’t know when things will pick up.

But here I am, checking in, keeping it going… I WILL work on my body again, as soon as I can.

I made the most yummy pizza yesterday. First, I thawed a homemade pizza crust from the freezer and laid it on a pizza stone dusted with cornmeal. Because I can’t handle tomato sauce right now, I spread some olive oil and fresh, chopped garlic on the dough. Next, I liberally dusted it with parmesan cheese out of a green can. I harvested a bunch of fresh basil from the deck and snipped it into little pieces all over the parmesan. Finally, I covered it with mozzarella and baked it at 500 degrees for 10 minutes. It was divine. I topped it with a few fresh cherry tomatoes cut into little tiny pieces, just to get that tomato and basil flavor, without the sour stomach.

What do you have for me? Some of you have been kicking my Health Group butt! Good for you! What’ve you got?

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Really?

When I logged in today to post, I noticed that I now have exactly 3,000 comments! Holy cow! Thank you all so much for reading and commenting. It’s been a lot of fun, as well as extremely useful. You all are very resourceful you know, and have helped me on many occasions. Thanks!

Getting down to business, the front of Abby’s sweater is done!

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It looks quite good! Here’s another question for you. Do I have to block it before I seam? I don’t want to. Blocking things that still have stitch holders in them bugs me, although I’ve done it before, and I’m anxious to sew her up! When I do block it, I think I’ll take the opportunity to also block the sleeves to the VCC, at which time I’ll be able to sew that up as well, unless I decide to frog the armholes and add a couple of inches to the body. Which is highly likely, sorry to say.

In other news, I might be making another Flower Basket Shawl for a dinner auction at the girls’ school. I’ve been asked to head up the contribution from Olivia’s class, and that would be easy for me, plus a great way to rack up some of the “mandatory parent contribution hours” that the program Olivia is in requires. Another option, since they suggest having the children participate in whatever goes to auction, would be a lot more work, but could also be a lot of fun. I was thinking about bringing in my yarn, and the Best Friend Dolls I’ve made that are still in my possession, and set up “design groups” where the kids would divide up into small groups with one supervising adult, and design a doll. They would pick the colors, hairstyle, and outfits, and I’d knit them up. (I’d probably seek out some other knitters from school to help with that one). That way, at the dinner, we could showcase the dolls and put beside them a card listing the children who designed it. Thus appealing to the children’s parents, as the recommendation from the school implied. While I’m aware a boy wouldn’t want the doll, I’d imagine a 6 year old boy wouldn’t mind designing one.

Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? And yes, I’m insane.

Finally, here’s a picture of our lovely fall sky here in Seattle, especially for Sandy!

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Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Do you want to laugh at me?

I’m not laughing, I’m feeling stupid. Nate threw his head back in laughter though, so you might get some amusement out of the situation.

I’m cruising along on the front of Abby’s Harry Potter sweater.

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This is my view, from in bed, where I’ve been for most of the past two days. The sweater looks good, no? This is my first attempt at intarsia, and I have to say, intarsia’s a kick! I love it! Unfortunately, per the pattern, I’m not doing strictly intarsia, it’s more of a blend of intarsia and fair isle. See?

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(Ah, the joys of color work). The stranded bits of yellow in the middle of the “H” are where I’m supposed to be doing fair isle, which means carrying the yarn not in use behind the color being knit. I was skeptical before starting it, and wanted to do the whole thing in intarsia because I always feel like a clumsy oaf when doing fair isle. Do you want to know why I didn’t? I’ll quote the pattern…

Please take the contrast wool right across the initial rather than using separate balls….

Now, I have no problem saying, “Pft!” to a pattern and doing whatever the heck I want anyway. None whatsoever. But the stupid pattern said PLEASE. PLEASE?!!! I tell you, I couldn’t do it! I couldn’t not follow the instructions, simply because they asked nice. And I’m not making this up. I literally can’t not do it. I feel dumb and am annoyed with myself. Nate thinks it’s hysterical.

On the plus side, it looks totally fabulous. Hayden can be jealous now. And I’m enjoying it so much, I’m actually contemplating starting Olivia’s Ron sweater as soon as I’m done! And since I don’t have a pattern for a Ron sweater to guilt me into submission, I’M DOING THE WHOLE STINKING THING INTARSIA!!!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

Yes, Hayden

Hope has forsaken these lands :-) . And I SO want to watch that again, but finding TV time without little eyes about is very difficult.

As I thought, yesterday afternoon was bad, and got worse throughout the evening. Taking that into consideration, I only have a couple more hours of any productive time whatsoever. Now I need to decide what to do with it.

A friend of Nate’s (and mine) emailed me yesterday asking if I’d make him a Harry Potter sweater. He is a tall, broad man that is larger than my husband, and I can’t imagine doing that much stockinette! We are in negotiations right now, and he’s thinking about knitting one for himself with my help. My question is this… I am not very familiar with all the yarns that are out there, Google didn’t avail much information yesterday, so I’m putting it to you. Is there a good, tweedy yarn out there that is a solid worsted, possibly even Aran weight, mixed blend yarn that would make a good Harry sweater? Do tell!

Also, I’ve been meaning to link Alison’s new Weasley Sweater Pattern, for those of you who have asked and possibly more of you who would be interested.

Well, I’d better get to it. Maybe I’ll do something with the crockpot for dinner again, and now that I’m accommodating my own meltdown, perhaps I’ll just resign myself to bed once lunch is over and get some knitting done!

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Hey, hey, hey!

Look who’s up! And for the moment, I feel fine! This is so weird. Yesterday was one of my worst days, and here I am, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6 o’clock in the morning!

Like I said, yesterday was one of my worst days. The first half was normal, even good, but once the afternoon hit, it was a rapid downhill slide until I finally passed out in bed. My sweet mother-in-law came by to pick up the wardrobe that is FINALLY out of my living room!!! She came early (before the men/muscle arrived) and brought dinner and dessert, cleaned my kitchen and one of the bathrooms, helped Abby with her homework, and then cleaned up everything after dinner as well. That was nice! And I needed it more that I would have guessed, considering how rotten I felt.

So I didn’t even THINK about knitting yesterday. But I have something fun to show you, if you’re interested. There’s a new goldfish auction on my favorite goldfish website. They haven’t had an auction for a long time, so I was very excited, and as usual, they’re going fast. Of course, I can’t afford them, but I never tire of looking.

The funny thing about fancy goldfish is that many of them are really grotesque. There’s only a few that catch my fancy, and some of the fish in this auction have caught it.

Lot 4 is cute, despite being incredibly expensive, and I have no doubt that Nate would hate it. (He thinks that most of the fancies are ridiculous looking, and every time I show him one of the calicos like this one, he is incredulous and amused.

Lot 14 is stunning, and would match Bridget (my little pearlscale) very nicely. I’ve always liked the chocolate color of goldfish, even though it really is the same color as the brown algae that grows in my tank, which isn’t pretty.

Finally, Lot 19. He’s goofy looking, and he looks a bit “rough”, but I think he’s cute in a weird way. The sort of “pinch-your-cheeks” kind of cute, you know?

Well, here’s hoping my health will last today. Unfortunately, I don’t have much hope, but at least I’m having a good morning, so far.