Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Can't keep up

This is the time of year I love. It's warm enough for parks to start opening, and I'm starting to get out and end the hybernation. Granted, I usually still fit in one or two small trips in the winter to take the edge off, but from here on out the insanity is in full force and I hit the ground running with no plans to stop until about October.

So I do things like take crazy trips to Georgia like I did last weekend. It was so fun. I'm really looking forward to getting back to Six Flags over Georgia after the visit we had. There really wasn't a dud coaster in the park, and I'm thrilled with their new addition, Goliath. I also found my new favorite drop tower ride. I hung out with good friends, got to see my cousin again, and endured a 14-hour drive home. Plenty of knitting got done too, which is good since I've not picked up the needles since.

The tank added another whole skein of yarn and should be approaching the length where I split it to form the front and straps soon. I've started the heel flap on that sock. And the mohair fell off the needles when in the bag, so I need to pull the 4-rows I had started back out and start again.

My coaster craziness is documentable. Goliath was my 398th coaster and I have one month to ride a single new coaster before I get to Holiday World and make The Voyage my 400th. Lots of possibilities for that one filler credit though, so I shouldn't have a problem doing that.

This weekend is a trip to Chicago with the gang around there, next weekend is another shower for the brother's bride, and the weekend following that is Mother's Day. I have the following weekend free (I will be cleaning like a mad-woman, my place is a mess) in anticipation of my boyfriend's arrival Wednesday night for our big trip leaving that Friday for 11-days. I haven't yet made any arrangements beyond that, and I really should start booking hotels for that trip soon.

Oh, and the new job is going great but sucking up every bit of free time I thought I'd had. Welcome to a whole new level of crazy where I guess I'll eventually need to get organized or else I might do something crazy like show up for work in my pajamas.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Progress... boring progress

And I don't even have any photos today.

After those first four rows last week, I haven't knit a stitch on the pink lacy wrap, Over the weekend I added maybe an inch to the tank top, and last night, I made the couple rows of sock look a little more like a cuff. I can see why people consider socks to be good mindless travel knitting, once I got past the first couple rows and got the rhythm down, I've gotten the hang of knitting the sock and was able to make significant progress while sitting online and chatting last night. I haven't made loads of progress overall, but it's coming along slowly and I've gotten far enough to experience the facination of self-striping yarn and I only have slight apprehension that eventually I will encounter and have to turn the heel.

However, I'll have plenty to work on for the flight and drive this weekend and hopefully I'll have loads of progress to report next week.

Friday, April 14, 2006


I keep adding more to the mix.

After a couple weeks of searching, I finally found out where my Local Yarn Store (LYS) is here in Jackson and my coworker and I took a trip there at lunch time yesterday. The Dropped Stitch has short hours that coincide with my work day, but it's nice to know that if I need something, there's a local source that I can stop by in a pinch. Otherwise the only retailers in the area for yarn stuff and needles and notions are the big-box stores. It's not a huge store, but I found a book that helped me piece together a pattern for the mohair stole, and I picked up some yarn. 2 skeins of a peach and green self-striping wool that I'm thinking will be good for a purse or bag of some sort, possibly felted. It depends on how much it stripes, it may just end up as a scarf. I also got a skein of Regia wool/cotton blend sock yarn in self-striping blues, greens and yellows.

So, instead of getting some actual work done yesterday afternoon, I pieced together this:

and instead of working on the projects I've already got going, I cast on and did the first 4 rows of the chart with the mohair. I'm working it on size 10 1/2 needles, and the pattern will be worked over 83 stitches, so I've got a good stole width, I'm just hoping that the 6 skeins of the yarn that I have (I won the bid for 3 more yesterday) will be enough to give it some length. I'll figure that out once I've gotten through the first skein and can figure out what my approximate length will be. Plus, it's lace so it should stretch some once I block it. Gotta get to that point first though, so lots more knitting ahead.

So, now that I have at least 4 projects on the needles, I think I'm just going to be content knitting away for a while, and not focus so much on finding something new to do.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Third time's a charm

Blogger has been eating my posts today. Ugh.

I spent some money on ebay the last few weeks, and I've been playing with some new toys. First, I got a ball winder. Who knew it would be so addictive?

I've been winding yarn balls all week and slowly going through and analyzing my stash in the process. Not that that's stopped me from adding to it.

This arrived yesterday. It's gorgeous. Another ebay purchace. 3-skeins, 320 yards of white mohair, a silver nylon cotton, and a pink/lilac thread wound together to make this beautiful shimmery soft yarn. Love it. Once I got a good look at it in person, I think it's going to match my bridesmaid dress for my brother's wedding in July. Since that is strapless and the person selling this yarn has another batch of the same yarn listed right now, I'm thinking I'll snatch that up and the 640 yards should be enough for a pretty lacy stole or wrap of some sort to be used when I'm freezing in the air conditioning at the reception. It's going to take a little planning on my part, as everything I've read says that mohair doesn't lend itself to frogging very well, but I hope to have something planned soon.

As far as the needles are concerned, I've got a good start on the ribbon tank, I slipped it off the needles last night and made sure it would fit around my body and it does, so I'll keep going. I'm definitely getting the hang of seed stitch now and can see the stitch definition better, my previous attempt ended up converting itself to a 1x1 ribbing after a few rows. I've also cast on that first sock, finally. It only took 4 tries in good lighting with a lot of concentration to get through the first row without dropping a stitch. I'm sure I'll get used to the tiny needles eventually though.

Those two projects plus starting the stole/wrap thing should be plenty to keep me busy for a while, and I'll definitely have stuff to knit in the car for the long drive back from Atlanta in a couple weeks.

Friday, April 07, 2006

So Tired...

If I kill my cat in my sleep, I can't be held responsible, right?

(no, I didn't kill my cat in my sleep or when I was awake, just tempted to a few times between 2 and 4 am)

So, when the utilities raised their rates this winter, I thought I'd be clever and attempt to save a few dollars. It actually worked really well. I cleaned up the room, shut the vents and closed off the master bedroom of my apartment and moved into my recently redecorated guest room with a space heater. I don't think my furnace kicked in all winter and my apartment never really dropped below 70 degrees. Saved what would have been a fortune in heating bills. It was great.

Well, Spring has finally started to show up around here, so I finally opened the other bedroom back up and moved back in for the night last night. I have two cats, Lily and Gromit, who were thrilled. They've been itching to get back in that room all winter and complaining about it as often as possible. I opened the door last night, cleared off the bed and I don't think either of them left the room unless it was necessary all evening. When I went to go to bed, Gromit curled right up in bed with me and settled in to sleep. Lily did not. I don't know if it was the excitement of having the room back or what, but she spent the better part of the hour between 1 and 2 am throwing herself at the walls, scratching at doorjams, and talking at me very loudly.

I can only take that for so long, so they both got kicked out and I put in some earplugs so I could sleep through complaining kitties throwing themselves at the bedroom door all night.

So between that and majorly sticking my foot in my mouth last night, I'm in a fabulous mood today.

The rest of the week actually has been quite good though. I found out Wednesday that I got a new job, and I start talking transition next week. I'm so ready for a change of pace there, so this is great timing.

In opening up the room last night, I got bit by a spring cleaning bug and started picking up the hibernation mess I created all winter.

And I cast on a Ribbon XBack earlier this week. It won't have the crossed back, but otherwise, it should go as designed. I went down a needle size so hopefully it won't come out too big. Once I get the first ball of ribbon knitted up, I'll slip the tube off the circulars and make sure it's not too snug or too loose.

Still haven't cast on those socks. Nor have I figured out how to type and knit at the same time. At least with row after row of seed stitch, I can set down the tank whenever and pick it right back up again.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Miscelaneous Madness

A little bit of everything today. I think I've got most of a quick end-of-April trip planned now. It all kind of fell into place yesterday.

I'd been looking for a cheap flight for the weekend after Easter with no luck. I was willing to go just about anywhere, but Spring Fling at Six Flags Over Georgia was at the top of my list. Round trip flights into Atlanta were pricing out really high though.

Yesterday, I learned that a friend who lives nearby is driving. I don't want to sacrifice the vacation day to ride down, but I found a one-way ticket for Friday night that was less than 1/4 the cost of the round trips I was pricing. So, in the matter of 24 hours, we have a plan.

I'm catching the flight down, spending Friday night with my cousin and most likely dragging him to the park with me on Saturday for the event. We'll bunk with everyone else Saturday night and I'll ride back to Detroit on Sunday, pick up my car and come home. Even if I cover my cousin's admission to the park, the whole trip will cost less than that round trip flight would have, and I'll have a long drive from Georgia with someone else driving, which means 10+ hours of uninterrupted knitting time!

So, since the Sophie bag is done and I couldn't quite handle casting on a sock and chatting online at the same time last night, I've only got one project on the needles right now and it's a scarf. A warm, navy blue cabled scarf. I just can't bring myself to work on it when it's getting sunny and springy outside.

Which brings me to new projects. I've been bringing in a lot of new yarn lately, picking up some deals on eBay, and one of the things I've aquired was a slew of pink ModaDea Ticker Tape nylon ribbon yarn. I've been digging around for something to make with it that isn't a scarf or a poncho, and I found a blog where someone is doing the Ribbon XBack out of it with a few modifications to account for the stretchyness of the nylon. I'm thinking this may be a good thing to try, so I've printed off that pattern to play with tonight. I don't think I'll make it an X-back, and I may make the straps a little wider, but otherwise, I think it will work well without any other major modifications.

I'm also going to stay offline long enough tonight to get my first sock cast on so I have something small to work on as well. I think those two projects should keep me occupied and springy for a while. If I get them done though, I'll still need a couple portables for that car ride.

Monday, April 03, 2006

And this...

Is what the sophie bag looked like drying over the bathtub after it's adventures in the washing machine last night.

Looks like a Finished object to me.

Pattern: Sophie Bag by MagKnits
Yarn: 1 ball of Pattons Classic Wool in Leaf Green
Needles: Size 10 1/2 DPNs

Love it love it love it. I'll admit that I was really worried when I put a week's worth of work into the washing machine to deliberately shrink it. I contemplated finding ways to make the non-felted version of the bag work before rationalizing that this has worked for a zillion knitters before me, it's a cool magic trick and the bag will come out the other side of the process better than ever.

The washing machine didn't disappoint, and I went from being exhausted when I got home last night, to giddy that it had worked and I had something great to show for my efforts. So much so, that I really wanted to cast on another one with the other ball of yarn I have in the same color.

Maybe I am cut out for this sock thing after all.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Finished Objects: My first scarves

These have been done for a few weeks, I'm just now getting around to posting them. My first "finished object" was a stockinette stitch scarf that has since been ripped out and I'll reuse the yarn for something else, so technically, these are the firsts.

Finished Object #1:

Pattern: It's a garter stitch scarf (obviously nearly everyones first finished object)
Yarn: JoAnn Sensations Thick n' Thin in purple
Needles: Monsters... Boye size 35

Obviously, this went quick. It was a good use of this strange yarn that I already had that I didn't know what else to do with.

I had attempted crocheting with it a few times and couldn't find my stitches. I also attempted with still big but smaller needles and couldn't really get it to do much then either. Then I remembered that I had these monster needles that my grandmother had sent and I decided to try it. Two skeins of yarn and about two hours later, I had a finished scarf. It's warm, soft, and stretchy and I've had several compliments on it when I've worn it.

Finished Object #2:

Pattern: Long skinny ribbed scarf (2x2 ribbing over 20 stitches)
Yarn: JoAnn Sensations Angel Hair in Berry
Needles: US 8

This took a bit longer, but the results are what I wanted in a scarf when I started it. I wanted something long and skinny yet warm and a little chunky too. This yarn is soft and has a little fuzz to it but it was still easy to see my stitches. It was a good piece to really learn and hone in on, and by the time I finished it, I felt like a knitter and was ready to move on to other endeavors and a slew of new knitting skills. It was after I finished this scarf that I started the two hats I made for my mom and after those the Sophie bag. (all to be featured in their own way soon).


This is what the bag looked like a little while ago before I grafted the handle and wove in my ends.

I finished up the Sophie Bag today, got it home, and it is currently taking a trip through the washing machine in hopes of it coming out shrunken and felted, and not a big ball of mush. So, to ease my nerves while I wait, I'm going to blog instead of hover over the machine.

I had an otherwise fabulous day. I found a local source for hand-dyed yarns! They're gorgeous. And the person who does them not only lives 2-doors down from where my dad works, but she also sells at the farmer's market in the summer. I can see her getting even more of my money later this year. I payed for and picked up the yarn I'd bought on ebay.

I also bought two gorgeous skeins of her sock-weight merino, enough for two pair of socks. I think the knitpicks I bought last week will be my test socks to learn on and then I'll dive into this stuff.

Ok, time for me to check the wash... I'll hopefully have a finished bag to show off tomorrow.