Monday, August 31, 2009

The Whisper Cardigan

It's done! Thank God Almighty, the cursed thing is done!

I'm wearing it today. It's got me so excited I've been showing it to all the people at work who could really care less. They're like: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a sweater. Big whoop"

At least there are a couple of knitters here who appreciate the insanity of what I have finally accomplished. They totally commiserated with me on the tiny yarn, small needles, the multiple rippings out and re-knitting, the 1x1 ribbing... thank you for that.

Pictures are forthcoming...

The Mystery Christmas Projects

I'm chugging right along on the projects that I can't talk about. I'm tackling the biggest first, so that I don't get totally stressed out about it when Christmas approaches. But I'm probably 80% of the way through the first biggie, and I've only been knitting on it for a couple of days. Awesome.


I've picked up Veronique again, now that I'm done with the purple beastie. It will likely become my bĂȘte noire as it is yet another sweatery thing made out of the Morehouse lace. Why? Why do I do this to myself? Why do I decide that yes, Virginia, it is a great idea to make a large garment out of tiny tiny lace yarn? What crack am I smoking? The Yarn Harlot claims that it is because people like herself (and me, apparently) are exceedingly susceptible to wool fumes. They overtake our brains and cause us to do totally crazy things. Like make sweaters out of lace yarns. Oy.

The good thing about Veronique is that I can work on it while hanging out with Georgia. It won't take all of my concentration and I'll be able to keep an eye out for her attempting any number of the dangerous things three-going-on-four-year-olds try because they're now "big."

Rhapsody in Cables

Hopefully this weekend I'll have some time to sit down and figure out how to fix whatever went wrong on my last cabling attempt. On the second picture I posted, the cable gets all wonky on the lower edges of all my left-leaning cables. So I'll sit down and attempt to correct that particular issue. If that doesn't work, I'll have to go hit up some other knitters and see what I can do. We can't have sloppy left-leaning cables, now can we?

Gardening in the Ghetto

So far there has been no squirrel activity in my mums, which is nice. However I went out there to water the plants yesterday morning as it didn't actually rain as promised in the night, and discovered that the mum on the right was full of ham that some jackass had thrown out their kitchen window.

That's hot...

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Husband is Awesome

And, I quote: "I'll wear anything you make, sweetie."

Ah. True love.

(Note: Georgia is a lot bigger than this now.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More posting! More! More! More!

So I'm trying to post more now, as I get immensely frustrated when the people whose blogs I really enjoy only post once in a while. Not that I'm fooling myself into thinking that my adoring public (consisting of approximately three people. Big ups to my peoples, Bruce, Janey and Rabia!) would have a kitty if I weren't posting regularly.

I also have some bitching to do about stupid blogger and its stupid photo placement. I'm spoiled. I usually work in InDesign and it takes no time or energy to put photos into a document. Blogger, if I may say so, is worse that MS Word.

Four People, One Bathroom

One of the drawbacks of apartment living, even when you have a nice, relatively spacious (by New York standards) three-bedroom, is that there is only one bathroom. This creates problems, especially when one of us is recovering from a major surgery and one of us is three years old.

And given that one of us is recovering from major surgery and has a tendency to sleep from 3a.m. to 2p.m., you might think that getting up at 6a.m. I would be safe from the "I REALLY have to go..." the second my butt hits the toilet seat.

But no, inevitably I get approximately four seconds to myself in the bathroom before someone or another starts pounding on the door.

And, another thing...

So back in July, on Bruce's and my anniversary (July 17th, for those of you who desperately want to know), I smashed my left big toe by dropping some stainless steel mixing bowls and a colander on it. It was quite painful. I'm sure Georgia learned some interesting new words that day. She also learned that Mommy turns into something closely approximating the Incredible Hulk when in pain.

Thank you Bruce for not letting me completely destroy the kitchen. That could have been bad.

Anyway, so yesterday I managed to destroy my right "ring" toe while attempting to not crush my child. I also took out the undersides of three other toes during this operation, something that I didn't discover until last night after the pain from the obviously smashed toe subsided a little.


So yeah, I'm thinking about wearing steel-toed boots full-time now. Maybe I can get them with little air conditioning units in. I work for an engineering firm. Somebody here should be able to design that.

Oh yeah, and...

I knitted.

Almost done with the whisper cardigan. It's a wee bit small, but I think that'll probably solve itself with the blocking, since this yarn is notorious for "blooming." If it doesn't bloom, well then I'm just going to be wearing a slightly small sweater, damnit.

No new pix today. It's hard to tell that I've done anything on the Whisper, because it's just adding inches to the skirt part.

Lest I Forget

So far no squirrel activity in the mums. Little bastards are just biding their time.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Whisper Cardigan

The great purple beastie is almost done! I'm so excited. I can't wait to wear it. And I might even be able to wear it for a month or two before I have to put it aside for heavier sweaters!

Here's the latest pic:

Only a couple more inches to go before this biznatch is DONE, baby!


Next up to bat is Ella's shrug, which I promise I will eventually finish. Although it's looking like miles and miles of more stockinette stitch for me. I am a total stockinette whiz now. Boo yah!

Make-up Pictures

And here are all the pix from the last post that I didn't have time to post:

My first and second successful cable test swatches:

The yarn I bought for Bruce's sweater.

The Sari Silk disaster.

The banana silk yarn.

The sun shining through Veronique.

And an artsy fartsy shot of the Whisper.

And finally, my fuck you to the squirrels (I bought some more flowers - the mums on the right side of the photo - at the farmers market today).

I'm really enjoying my fire escape gardening.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Time Drain

It takes a long time to put together a blog post. I never really realized this before. But it's about an hour to write the text, and probably another hour to take the photos.

Then it takes about 45 minutes to upload the photos and stick them in the right place in the blog. I think that's part of the reason why its taking me so goddamn long to put up new posts.

My husband says its because I'm writing a novel every time I post... I guess the last one was a little long. It was kind of a catch up.

The Sari Silk Yarn

The winding of this yarn into a usable ball has been epic. From my last post, you can see the relatively normal looking hank the yarn came in. The first thing that happened is that trying to untwist the hank was damn near impossible. Somebody had inadvertently knotted the yarn together, so that it took a fair bit of doing to get the hank untwisted.

After that I thought I was in the clear, but when I put the yarn onto my ball winder, I got approximately a yard into the winding process and realized that it was not going to happen in a nice orderly fashion. Damnit.

Bruce says its like looking at a disemboweled muppet. Thanks hon.

This is going to take a while.

Whisper Cardigan

And the winner in the time drain contest goes to the ribbing on my whisper cardigan. I think I've been working on this ribbing now for two weeks. I still have half an inch to go. ARGH. The holes that I was worried about in my last post seem to have worked themselves out during the knitting process, so that makes me happy. We'll see what the finished product looks like.

Rhapsody in Cables

As douchy as the name is, I still get a little giggle every time I write that one. I've done two more test cable swatches after going to the store and picking up some cheap wool. The materials really do make a huge difference in ability to cable. I don't even know why I keep that crappy acrylic on hand.

Anyway, one of my test swatches came out perfectly. The second one is having some issues. The lower edge of all my left-leaning cables is sloppy, and I can't figure out why. I'm pulling my yarn as tight as anything, and it still didn't help. I stopped by Seaport Yarns yesterday, but Andrea couldn't figure it out. She said to try again on Wednesday when Lauren is in, so that's what I shall do.

Other Stuff

I am definitely getting bored with the whisper cardigan, which means that I really shouldn't start anything else, as that will mean the kiss of death for my pretty purple sweater.

However, I am thinking about socks, hats, scarves, mittens, opera length gloves... I've gotta stop. My Ravelry queue is already REALLY long, and unless I quit my job and devote myself to knitting 8 hours a day, every single day, there will be no way in hell that I'll get it all done. Oy.

No pix for this post, but definitely on the next one...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back to Work...

I'm back at work (have been for two weeks), which has two consequences:

1. I'm getting a LOT more knitting done. (Thank you subway commute)

2. I have a lot less time for writing.

The Morning Pages

I am dragging my ass out of bed every morning at 6 to get some other (non-blog) writing done, morning pages for those of you familiar with The Artist's Way. Aside from the usual bitching about it being so goddamn early in the morning, being groggy, the daily ghetto and weather report, a new book is starting to take shape.

So it looks like my writing brain has at least gotten over some of the heartache of the Nora Roberts debacle. (Details can be found in her book Vision in White) Maybe I can actually write this one in MY voice, once I get past the outline that I'm doing at the moment.

The really good news is that the story is existing in my head during other parts of the day, so I'm kinda writing it while I knit or otherwise get a moment to myself (usually in the bathroom. Ah the life of the working mother, right?), or for that matter when I'm lying in bed at night. So this one shows some promise.

Whisper Cardigan

I've made lots of progress on the whisper cardigan, which rocks. I've done the entire shrug section, and am now working on the collar/waistband. It is taking forever. I've been working on the 1x1 rib for the collar for almost a week now, and I've only gotten through one inch of the three I'm supposed to do. OY.

On the positive side with this cardigan, after finishing the sleeves and back, the instructions said to pick up and knit somewheres around 256 stitches, which is just freakin INSANE on lace weight yarn. I got my friend Auffermann to help out with the math for this, and then completely ignored all his help and advice and just dove in. Somehow I managed to pick up exactly the number of stitches across the entire thing without even counting. How the hell did THAT happen? Some sort of good luck.

I'm not exactly pleased with the way I picked up all the stitches. There are a couple of places where there is a large gap between stitches around the base, but I think that will solvable by a couple of well placed stitches over the top, or just weaving that particular section together.

Also, there are a few places where the seam gets a little bulky, but that will be on the inside of the garment, and unnoticeable (I hope) to the casual viewer.


Absolutely no progress on this particular sweater. I still haven't measured what I've done against Ella's body, and I still haven't looked at the next set of instructions in the book.

Eh, she's not dying any more... what's the hurry?


Bruce's Cabled Sweater

I've made a couple more swatches on crappy acrylic yarn, and hated them. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to cables, and the yarn I was using was completely unsuitable to my needs. I think I might pick up some Brown Sheep for practice cables so that I can see what they're actually supposed to look like. And I need a LOT more practice.

Also, the computer that I bought the pattern on died, so I've been through a ton of related drama. The upshot of it is that I have bought a new computer (goddamnit) and a hard drive enclosure for the old computer. I popped the old hard drive out, put it into the nifty enclosure and voila, I have a new external hard drive, with all my old data on it. Including the pattern for this sweater, which I stupidly have not moved over to the new machine yet.

I will have to do that soon.

Christmas is Coming...

I also started my Christmas list, and have started planning (and making small purchases of materials for) various projects that will be happening soon. Fortunately my Christmas list is rather small, although, CRAP, I just completely forgot about somebody who I should have added to it, so I just ran off and added her name. OY.

Couldn't resist a sneak peek of things to come:

Anyway, my Christmas list is rather small, and if I start this month I should be able to complete projects for everybody in time. I have the materials for four small (and now secret) projects, and will need to purchase materials for two or three more.

My Birthday Gift

My mother, per my request, went to her local yarn store, the T-Spot and bought me some really beautiful sari silk yarn, as well as a skein of gorgeous banana yarn. Don't ask what the banana yarn is, I really have no clue.

(sorry about the craptacular picture. The light went before I could finish doing the photography for this post. Stupid work getting in the way of good photography for the blog. The photo doesn't do the color justice AT ALL.)

Anyway, I've made plans for them, and unfortunately will also be part of some people's Christmas gifts, so I will not be able to post pictures of those WIPs until I actually give them. Which will be in December. (Just in case you didn't realize when Christmas is) Rest be assured of two things:

1. They will be AWESOME.
2. I have great taste. So they will be AWESOME.


As if I don't already have enough things going on, I decided recently to make my first pair of socks. Yeah. I'm insane, I know. Somebody suggested that I start with Monkey, so that is what I have decided to do. I got some gorgeous Aussi sock yarn in colorway Fall Melody. I'm excited. I will likely cast on sometime this week.

My New Obsession

I'm totally obsessed with Three Irish Girls yarns. They're so gorgeous. And they recently won a bunch of awards at the Dye For Glory contest for the upcoming Sock Summit. My current favorite is Georgia Peach, but so many of their other yarns are gorgeous.