Thursday, August 28, 2008

All the Trimming

The trim for Sundae is progressing at a good pace. The stitch count moves through 3-7-3 in the space of four rows, so I switched over to my US1 dpns. It was very unwieldy trying to work so few stitches on a 24 inch circular!
As you might remember, the pattern actually calls for the body to be worked on a US3 and the trim on a US2. As I had to got down to a US1, I'm sticking with it for the trim. I think I have plenty of yarn. And I just can't face a Us0.
Since the repeat is so small, I'm flying along. We stayed up late watching TV last night, at one point I laid out the body pieces then matched up the trim and it seemed like I had 20 repeats left until the back was covered. It was fairly close to bedtime by then so I did not get those 20 bumps done, which makes me think it isn't moving as quickly as I thought.
The strap, which you can sort of see in the picture on the right below, will be greatly improved by the addition of the trim, I think. I'm going to have to make an effort to sew this thing together this weekend. It will be much easier to judge the needed trim length if my target is accurate. I'll have 2 1/2 days to fit the sewing in, think I'll manage? It's only two little seams....
In addition to the trim down the straps and across the back, there is trim down the straps, down the front opening, across the bottom and up the other side. Which is a heck of a lot of trim. I am very studiously not thinking about having to sew it on/attach it when I'm done knitting it. Currently, I'm thinking whip stitch.

Size Matters

I couldn't get the entire top in one shot yesterday and still have it close enough to see detail, but at the same time all the pieces seem awfully small even though they are for me. Usually I can just blindly make the XS size on Rowan patterns and I'm fine.
I'm also fairly certain that I really shouldn't have lain the project down on the patio table for these pictures. It was looking kind of grungy and covered in oak tree seeds.
But I did it anyway, because I like to live life on the edge!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sock Statistics, or Practicing HTML

Ok, let's see if this will work. I checked my old posts and see that I already posted the weight of my leftover sock yarn, but not in such a (potentially) pretty format. Looking at my notebook, I also see that my stats are still a little incomplete, but oh well, it's the only thing I can think of to use for a list/table.

Yarn Name Amount Used Amount Remaining

  1. Blue Jitterbug 36g

  2. Purple Jitterbug 76g 34g

  3. Sol Joy 24g

  4. Sanctuary 5g

  5. Lanna Grossa 61g 39g

  6. Regia Cotton 57g 42g

  7. Celestial Merino 67g 47g

  8. Lorna Lace (bee) 63g 55g

  9. Opal 55g

Ok, so there is a little listy, charty thing I've built. Yes, I am aware Blogger has those nice little formatting buttons at the top I could have hit, but that wasn't the point.
I'm actually surprised by how much was used to make the Lanna Grossa. I could have sworn that I only dipped into the second ball for the toe of the second sock. On the other hand, those are the socks I have it in for because they seem too big now, so I might reclaim some of that yarn. (No, the yarn diet hasn't gotten to the point of cannibalizing projects. And it shouldn't for several months, if not a year.)
What have I learned from this HTML exercise?
  • No point peeking at it if you forget to put in your end tag.
  • Blogger will populate the end tag for you if you forget.
  • If you put each end tag on its own line Blogger will insert blank lines (which I didn't think was supposed to happen, and explains that big gap between the list and this text).

I haven't progressed in the book. After staring at the computer all day at work I don't feel like staring at it more at home. So the advanced tutorials will have to wait until this weekend (long weekend, yipee!). Apparently there is a tutorial for building better tables than the one to which I just subjected you.


Oh, yeah, knitting. I finished the straps for Sundae yesterday. Not sure if I'm so keen on the lace pattern over the five little stitches. I'm assuming it will look better with the edging sewn on. And I managed to start the edging before bedtime while I was knitting in bed (Hi Ms. Create!).
Actually, this is why tape measures should be used liberally, I had been tracking the strap length by folding down and comparing it to the body. Well, by the time I started the straps the body was longer than 27cm—Hello? Any part of my brain paying attention? Luckily as I settled down to start up again a little light went on. When I measured they were just at 27cm. I would have been really annoyed if I had made them too long!
I ended up driving in this morning, so future knitting progress will be confined to this evening after dinner.

Another Submission for The Onion

In an act of domestic terrorism that authorities are saying could have been inspired by the movie "Fight Club" someone has blown up the corporate headquarters for Sallie Mae, the largest student loan lender in the country. Sources investigating the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation, say it might have been an inside job because the companies data backup sites both domestically and abroad where hit as well. As the attacks happened overnight, no injuries were reported.
"This has basically wiped out all our records of any loan we have ever issued," a Sallie Mae spokesman says. He went on to say that any potential borrowers will have to resubmit their applications. The company also issued an appeal for any borrowers currently in repayment to contact them to reestablish their records, although the spokesman admitted it was highly unlikely they would hear from many people.
It is unclear how this development will affect the student lending market, which has been rocked by both the credit crunch this year and an investigation last year by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into improper relationships between lenders and financial aid officers. The company's stock did drop several percentage points when the news was announced.

N.B. The preceding is a work of fiction and satire. It is not meant to encourage any action. Any resemblance to real people or institutions is either coincidental or used in a fictional manner by the author.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Can You Say Yarn Diet?

We got a new roof.
When we finally pulled the trigger on it, the whole thing happened much faster than I expected. Hubby signed the contract Friday morning (I was home with a migraine so I got to help choose the color. Oh, honey, I know your head is about to explode and bright lights make you puke, but come out on the porch and help me decide. We selected hunter green to go with the green house.) and by Monday evening our house had a new hat.
Which makes these photos from Saturday evening
We knew it was coming and we were trying to plan for it, like good little homeowners, as opposed to say the recent repairs to the air conditioner. Still, I will have to curb my yarn purchases for a while.
This is not as much of a tragedy as it sounds. Right off the top of my head I can think of yarn I have squirreled away to make three, four six sweaters. At least one of which has half a sleeve. And there is yarn for a bag, some pillows, maybe enough for a pair of pajamas, a number of pairs of socks, and if I get desperate I can always go back to the queen size granny square afghan I started in 1996 and have moved through at least three states. (Although I don't think Hubby or the puppies would allow it on the bed as I choose really terrible 1970s colors for some reason. And the fact we have a king.)
So it's not like I'm going to be deprived.

Baru Says NO!
It will not surprise you to hear that Baru is terribly unhappy about the whole roof business. He was barking at the shingles that were in the backyard Friday night, but in his defense they were next to the hated condenser and for all he knew they were in cahoots.
The workers arrived at 8 a.m. Saturday and got right to work. At the risk of sounding silly because I know they were ripping off my roof, it totally sounded like they were ripping off my roof. The pups were going nuts at first, but then settled down to just growling when they saw someone go up a ladder. Made me glad I was at the store that day.
But when I got home Hubby announced the pups hadn't been out all day. So we put their leashed on them and took them into the front yard.
And they never wear leashes.
And they are never in the front yard except to get in the car.
And it was all very intense, especially considering the generator.
And let me pause here and say everyone is fine.
And Baru dodged the fence into the ravine, gave his leash a massive tug to yank it out of my hand—and disappeared.
We must have tromped around in the undergrowth, along the road, through the neighbors' yards, to the river and back calling him for a least half an hour if not longer. I was fixin' to become hysterical—he still had his leash on, what if he got caught on a branch or some rocks and couldn't get free?—because if anything happened to him it would be my fault.
Happily he did eventually show himself to Hubby (along our normal path to the river) and even then debated coming home. He was covered in mud up to his shoulders. If I wasn't so happy to see him I would have been really mad.
The interesting part was for the rest of the weekend he totally embraced the leash as a security blanket. It was the only way to get him out in the back yard and past the pile of debris.
He took off on Hubby again twice on Monday. At least that time he was in the back yard and just went down the steps. Although, after he did his business, Hubby had to pick him up and carry his 80-lbs butt back up the steps and across the yard to get him back in the house.
I'm not allowed to choose puppies any more.
His ordeal should be over soon. All levels of the roof were completed yesterday. Today they are just going to come back for some final clean up and to install our new gutters (because they had ripped off all the old ones. Can you say free?).
And then Baru's yard will be his again. Now I just have to devise a way to ensure all the nails are gone.

Things That Need Blocking

sundae fronts
Originally uploaded by TravelingAnn

Here are the Sundae fronts, as promised.
I might have to undo the last decrease row. I squinted at the bigger pictures in the book and the lace pattern is supposed to continue up the straps.
Since the pattern didn't specify, I was doing my decreases one stitch in from the edge and "full fashioned" so they follow the slope of the edge and make the nice line that develops in that situation.
But because of working the decreases that way I wasn't able to work the lace on my last decrease row. I think it would look goofy to switch back to the lace and leave that row eyeletless.
However, this is a concern for the morning, it's bed time and I still have to iron my clothes for tomorrow.

It's Over

The Ravelympics, that is. As well as the normal Olympics.
You will notice I did not say "It's Done" or "It's Finished" which might have implied that I had actually completed one of my projects. Which I have not.
I think this officially means I'm a looser I tried my best, gave it a valiant effort, etc.
The deadline was on Sunday at 8 a.m. or noon, I'm not really sure. I kind of lost interest when I realized I wasn't going to make it :-) and I had some other stuff going on (which I save for another post) that took precedence.
The Nell Sweater is in the same state you last heard—one and a half sides seamed, button hole band still only up to the first hole. sigh. It's a WIP (Work in Progress) for a reason.
I got a little further on Sundae. By, oh, Friday night I had the fronts at 27cm to match the back, which was the start of the armhole and neckline shaping.
All this time I've been working the fronts simultaneously, which I believe I mentioned in a previous post. But when I got to the shaping, I was totally flummoxed by the "reverse to match" directions for the right front. So I abandoned it and continued with the left, figuring it would be easy enough to catch it up and then work them together again for the "27cm on these 5 sts" bit for the straps.
I've "reversed shaping to match" on other patterns. I think I just hit this late at night, there was shaping on both ends, and the decreases weren't at the same rate. So trying to remember every row on one end and every other row on the other and doing it all on the wrong side for the one piece was just a bit too much. Really, you should have seen me trying to figure out why my yarn was in the wrong place when I cast off for the arm hole on the one piece. Oh, that's right, this one is done on the purl side.
The shaping on the left piece is just about finished after the train ride this morning. I've decided to stick with working on Sundae for now. I'm blowing off the end of Summer of Socks. I know, scandalous, but I already missed one deadline, I don't want to miss another!

My Other Weekend Activity.
I spent most of Sunday curled up on the couch with Hubby's laptop, one or the other dog (both of whom were annoyed that I was sitting on their end of the love seat), and the Learn HTML in a Weekend book from the library.
Oh my gosh, HTML is soooo cool! It's like this secret language that is actually just out there for anybody to learn. I made it through the basic tutorial, so I haven't reached the really cool and complicated stuff yet, but so far I'm like, "They pay people thousands of dollars to do this? Sign me up!"
During the tutorial I typed what looked like gibberish into a TextEdit Document, then I opened it in Safari (default browser) and not only did it look like something—it looked like it was supposed to! And then I learned hypertext links! Wow!
The feeling was like when you first learn to read patterns or charts. You follow these codes or squiggly lines and manipulate your yarn and suddenly you have lace or Fair Isle or even just a sweater. And people think you are so cool.
Anyway since I only know the bare minimum so far, I haven't really unleashed my new HTML powers on the blog yet. But I did put in a link to jump to the top of the page. So if you find yourself at the very bottom of the blog for some reason, you don't have to mouse or scroll all the way up anymore. Which, I personally, found annoying.
Ok, I'll try to get pictures of Sundae tonight. In the mean time, I need to do something productive work-wise.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Note To Self

The next time I decide to do some challenge that has me finishing a project in 20 or less days (fewer days? Where's my AP Stylebook....great clear as mud now. "fewer" might actually be the correct choice because I'm referring to individual days. anyway.) make sure the project you select requires big needles. I'm talking no smaller than US8. This fingering weight yarn on US1 business is just nonsense. Unless the project is going to be a sock.
Wait, why wasn't I smart like some other Ravelympians who chose socks for their projects?
Oh, that's right, I already know I can knit a pair of socks in two weeks. It wouldn't have been a challenge. drat.
As you can probably guess, things are looking grim for actually meeting either of my Ravelympic goals—finishing Nell or making Sundae.
As such, the next question is whether I persevere with Sundae or put it aside and go back to socks.
Because, of course, missing the Ravelympic goals has the double whammy of all that lost Summer of Socks 2008 time. The amount of time the Peacock Socks were taking combined with the start of the Ravelympics meant I didn't finish a sock during the last two week time frame. And now we are in the last two weeks of the whole KAL. September 1 is the last day of Summer of Socks 2008!
Which all means I can't even say, "Oh well, I missed out on the end of Summer of Socks, but at least I finally made Sundae."
In any event, I'm considering getting out the last ball of Jitterbug and trying to get a pair of socks done before Sept. 1. But I have to see how the mood takes me.
At the moment, I have to finish eating my lunch.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Puppy Maintenance

Hubby took the boys for their annual check-up yesterday. They are both basically healthy, which is good, since we will now have to eat one because we can't afford to buy groceries for the rest of the month.
I'm thinking Baru, he's younger, so hopefully he will be more tender. The best course of action will probably be stewing one of his legs, that will stretch the meat to more meals while allowing us to keep him around.
You do realize, of course, that the preceding was both an appalling and tacky joke on my part. We would never eat our puppies, we love them too much. But, seriously, I don't remember vet bills being this high when I was younger—or when I had cats.
Samson has an ear infection, which I have to image is related to all the swimming (supervised and unsupervised) that he did at my in-laws. We couldn't always get to him to dry him off. He got his ears flushed and has drops now. And he got his shots.
He was very clingy last night. Kept complaining that his butt hurt (from the shots) and his ears felt yucky. He didn't appreciate it when I told him he smelled like a hospital. Basically he wanted his mommy, so he spent the night snuggled up to me on the couch.
Baru is now an 80 pound porker (up from 76 last year!), which the vet said was fine. He gets this rash in his groin, it looks like dirt or bruises, but it doesn't seem to bother him. Last year the vet said it was bacterial(!). A course of antibiotics cleared it up, and then it came right back. Now the vet says he doesn't know what it's from, but it's probably not his all natural diet, so we should examine his environment for irritants. And he provided a $40 bottle of Ultra EFA supplements, twice a day in his food, which should be good for his skin. It smells a little fishy, but Baru will eat anything.
We looked at the ingredients. It's all Omega-3 and -6 and GLA and zinc. All the stuff in our own vitamins and a little more. Shoot, we should take it to make our own fur soft and shiny. In fact every so often I would give them one of our Omega complex vitamins, or an E, but I guess I didn't do it frequently enough.
This has also prompted me to be more diligent about giving them their brewer's yeast. I should cook them some oatmeal to mix things up a bit too.
This morning Samson was much perkier, practically his regular self. I think he was just looking for sympathy last night.

sundae back fronts

This photo of Sundae is from over the weekend. I've progressed since then. The fronts now measure about 12cm each. Baru stopped by to check things out.sundae and baru
And do you see what I mean about the pictures? The one at the top was up loaded from my desktop. These other two were pulled over from Flickr. I want the text to wrap!
ok, calm down, maybe spend some time with the library book?
Instead of reading the library book last night I worked on Nell some more. I did the other side seam (hem to armpit) in like half an hour. Or at least it felt that fast. I was very surprised. Now I just have to do the final sleeve seam—then conquer the button band.
It sounds so simple.
Here's hoping my head holds up. phooie.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


nell seam
Originally uploaded by TravelingAnn

The ability of the human mind to block out unpleasant experiences is truly amazing. It is probably a factor in a knitter's ability to merrily knit one sweater after another all the while knowing said sweaters are eventually going to have to be sewn together.
Or at least I think it contributes to my ability to forget in between.

I was going to try to feed you some line about how seaming two horizontal pieces together (e.g., the front and back of a sweater) isn't so bad. But I quickly realized it would be a load of nonsense.

Not to say I hate seaming sweaters in the same way I understand other knitters do. I just don't like it as much as I like the knitting. I think I even do a fairly good job of it, not to say I would feel comfortable having someone pay me to do it, but no one has ever commented on it. Actually, to the contrary, I once had a non-knitter comment on how well done/interesting a shoulder seam was. Now sewing in sleeves, that I hate.

But I've been sucking it up and working on seaming Nell. No, I haven't finished the button band. That has one again been abandoned. My wrist got a little tweaky over the weekend again, so I resorted to the seaming to give myself a break. I've finished one side now, from hem to cuff. One more side and the button band to go! I don't think I'm going to finish by the 24th.

Sundae is coming along. I was able to get through most of the lace a bead section on the front over the weekend, leaving me with just two rows of straight lace to do on the train. Of course I lost a row an a half yesterday because I was supposed to YO, SKP, K1, K2Tog, YO, and instead I YO, SKP, K2Tog, leaving out the center K1 and last YO entirely. I did not realize this until a row later because the intermediate row was straight purl and the pattern on the rest of the row was somehow correct. That lapse had to have changed my stitch count, but I must have been looking at the pattern rather than counting so the rest of the row fell into line. Oh well, it's fixed now.
But, again, I don't think I'm going to finish by the 24th.

My Fight With Flickr
Which isn't even a real fight considering I just upgraded to a Pro account (it was only $25 for the year, which is still about half a tank of gas, but will hopefully last longer than the gas). My issue is that, apparently, if you have a photo on Flickr you are supposed to link any other appearances of it back to Flickr. (I have not been yelled at about this, I see the notation on the web site.) I think it has something to do with stealing bandwidth.
Now, you can click that nice little "blog this" button, but it makes the formatting all freaky—as you can see in this post. I don't mind the blue border or the little notation of the picture name.
Also, if you go to the other sizes page and use that HTML, that shows up freaky in the blog as well.
What I usually do is upload pictures to Flickr for Ravelry purposes, and then upload the image to Blogger straight from my desktop. Which gets around the whole Flickr's bandwidth issue. I have to image that it's my picture and if I want to post it in multiple places I can.
But I thought I'd be good and pull the pictures out of Flickr, which wasn't working so well over the weekend and I ended up ditching the post.

In an attempt to beat the blog into submission, I trotted off to the library and picked up "Lean HTML in a Weekend." Much to my disappointment it is written for Windows, and I use the superior Mac. But I have to imagine the actual coding is the same (I checked around and it looks like there is a Mac version of the book, but I'm not going to buy it. That money can be spent on yarn!).
So if freaky things start happening/appearing (well, freakier than normal), it's just me messing with things I probably shouldn't be messing with.

Wish me luck.

Monday, August 18, 2008

An Effort at Distraction

Top 5 songs by play count on my iPod:
Paralyzer by Finger 11—23
Jump Around by House of Pain—16
Ladies and Gentlemen by Saliva—16
Who Can It Be Now? by Men At Work—13
Moondance by Van Morrison—12

What this says to me: I have to get more Bowie and some Tesla on this thing already.
What it says to you: I have strange taste in music and must not have done much knitting over the weekend.

Actually, you are half right. I do have strange taste in music. But I did get knitting—and seaming!—done. However, I'm fighting with Flickr and Blogger about how pictures show up, got annoyed and abandoned the post I started yesterday.
We'll see what happens tonight.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Two More Centemeters to Go

By diligently ignoring all chores or other activities last night I managed to make up for lost knitting time.
Well, I still helped Hubby make dinner and packed my lunch for today, but the rest of the time I was on the couch watching TV and knitting.
As a result, between last night and this morning on the train, the back is 25cm long. Ha! I should be able to finish it on the ride home tonight and then this evening will be dedicated to casting on for the fronts.
And let me tell you, it has been hard to ignore it and not work on it sitting at my desk, knowing it is so close to being done.
What I am itching to do is push the last 14 beads that didn't get used down to the end of the ball. Actually, this morning I had to roll the end of the yarn into a little ball because it was too floppy and just making a mess. I've been working from the inside of the ball, so it just fell apart here at the end.
And the end is so close, it shouldn't take long at all to push the beads off.
How long is my lunch break again?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Traveling Ann, Destroyer of Knitwear

This is a pair of socks I made in class when Nancy Bush came to Knitting Central, oh, sometime last year.
I used Zara yarn because we were supposed to have a DK weight so we'd see progress during the day. They were a little thick for shoe socks, so I wore them as slippers and bed socks.
They came to a bad end last weekend. sigh.
This is the second pair of bed socks I've killed—the first pair being the ruffled ones you never saw that I made out of Taj Mahala and then turned into my first pair of Top Down Fingerless mitts.
I do have some of this yarn leftover. In theory I could reknit the heel.
You won't find this pattern in a book. During the class she explained that she doesn't have the rights to most of her books and individual patterns, so she can't use them to teach a class. We all agreed that sucked. I think that policy is changing in many places.
I believe it falls under property rights (intellectual maybe, I just got home from work, my brain isn't functioning) and it is something designers and writers have to keep an eye on to see who "owns" the work in the end.
For my Top Down Fingerless Mitt pattern being published in the One Skein book I retain all the rights, so I can still do other things with it. yipee.


Well, this seems to be the thing to do. :-)
If you're local and you haven't heard yet—Knitting Central in Westport is having its Annual Sale from Friday, August 15, through Monday, August 18. During regular store hours.
Lots of stuff ranging from yarn to books will be marked down. Even some coveted store samples will be on sale!
Check the store website ( for more information.
See you this weekend!

Calculating Time

Ok, so Tuesday when I went to bed Sundae was 15cm long.
When I got to work Wednesday morning it was 17cm long.
When I got home Wednesday evening it was 19cm long.
No, it's not growing mysteriously on its own. sheesh.
Meaning it takes me about 1 hour to knit 2cm. The goal is 27cm, so I can expect this piece to be done sometime Friday, although I'm loosing time today since I drove to work.
And the front pieces are also at least 27cm...meaning I really shouldn't have engaged in this exercise because I'm just stressing myself out.
Ahh, deep breath, I knit and crochet for my own enjoyment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


This morning I put hot water in my cup, but no tea leaves.
Then I got to the train station and realized my shirt was inside out. (One of the other women at the office says that is supposed to be good luck for the day.)
Both situations were easily remedied, but it was a rough start to the morning. I mean, really, the puppies couldn't have said something about my shirt while we were playing fetch?

Is coming along nicely. As of this morning the back measures 17cm. The goal is 27cm. Which is shorter than I was expecting, but then there aren't pictures of the back in the book. Oh well, as long as everything is covered, right?
There has been no progress on Nell.
There has also been no progress on the camera battery situation. Unlike my tea and top, it is not as easily remedied because it requires me to both think and leave the house, neither of which activity interests me very much at the moment.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Stop Purling

Not that I have anything against purling, in general, but it really is a bad idea when you are supposed to be working a garter stitch band. (Because garter stitch, as we all know, is knit every stitch every row.)
Yes, I spent some quality time with my Nell sweater last night. I wanted to give my hands a rest from the little bitty needles and yarn I'm using for Sundae. Wouldn't be good to get sidelined from the Ravelympics with an injury!
To sew the buttons on I found a long strand hanging off the inside that was not in a place conducive to seaming. Wool Cotton is 4-ply, so I unraveled it and used the individual strands to sew the buttons on. Hello, perfect match.
Then I returned to fighting with the button hole band. During this time, Samson decided to sit with my—and flopped down on my sweater. I really don't know what he has against this poor sweater, this is at least the second time he's lain on it while I'm trying to work on it. Luckily this time he only got the sleeve, so I was able to rescue it and keep going.
Well, I made it through one button hole and the spent quite a while concerned that it was too small for my buttons. The pattern does not give a button diameter, it just says "buttons-5". Fat lot of help that is. And the button holes are made by k2tog, yo, so they are little. I've looked at the picture and those buttons look similar to mine, so in theory I'm ok. I just don't want the yarn around the button holes breaking down the line because I don't want to have to go through this again. (At this time I have a whole ball of yarn left over, so matching yarn for repairs shouldn't be an issue.)
However, my big Vogue Knitting book reminds me that knit button holes stretch so it's better to start out a little small. I decided to soldier forth, and realized I'd purled at least one row. I was able to pull back (it was, like one row, but I've had this random purling issue on these button bands before) and knit a few rows before bedtime.

The lace and bead section was indeed finished on Sunday. So today on the train I was able to head into the body, which is just calm knits, purls and yarn overs. And it's a nice regular pattern so I shouldn't need to have the printed pattern out.

Peacock Socks
Are getting a lot more attention than I was expecting. Before we went grocery shopping Sunday afternoon I put my two big projects in the dining room to keep them safe from the pups. After we got back, after lunch, I wanted to knit and the only thing in easy reach was my sock—because it was in my purse.
Now, I'm not saying it was bad to be working on my sock, but it's not part of the Ravelympics schedule.
Oh, and we have watched some of the athletic Olympics. We were watching soccer, and I must say that the bright, neon yellow shoes the one guy from Nigeria was wearing had me absolutely riveted. And we felt sorry for Japan for losing the match.

The rechargeable batteries are definitely shot. Now I have to decided if we should just use regular batteries or get another set of rechargeables (and figure out where to get rechargeables).
Regardless, looks like we're in for a thunderstorm, which isn't conducive to picture taking. And is even worse since I didn't listen to a weather report before leaving the house and don't have a raincoat or umbrella with me. sigh.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

HaHa, Fooled You

I'm so wicked.
If the posts on Thursday and Friday seemed a little odd syntax wise, it's because I figured out the scheduled post feature in Blogger and actually wrote those on like Monday or Tuesday.
See, on Wednesday night we left for the in-laws' in Up-State New York and didn't come home until Saturday afternoon. They only have dial-up so no computer time occurs while we're there. But since the point is to be visiting, it makes sense.
Anyway, we had a nice visit

Dateline: Lake Placid
Thursday we tried to hang out by the pool. I always think it's too cold to go swimming, but Hubby and Samson always jump in. Baru can't figure out the steps and that he is supposed to just start swimming, so he just wades. Hubby did carry Baru in at one point, but it didn't make him any braver.
Then the thunder started, which made us all flee inside.
Friday the weather wasn't looking any better. Hubby and I ditched the kids and went up to Lake Placid. We usually go over when we are up for Christmas, but extra visits are nice.
The town was very busy and I wondered if the start of the Summer Olympics was a factor, seeing as Lake Placid was the site of the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. Of course, there is Mirror Lake right there, with swimming and paddle boats, so the town is a summer resort as well.
I made Hubby do the tourist thing, because of the Ravelympics I wanted Olympic themed pictures for the blog. He was like "what?" I was like for my blog! He humored me.
We had lunch in the Brown Dog cafe, taste sandwiches and Hubby got a nice glass of wine, but I don't remember which now. The bead place moved to the over end of town; we took a turn through, but I didn't make anything this time (I've done two sessions of making stitch markers in the past, but I know it is just torture for Hubby).
And we wandered through the Alpine Mall and got coffee and tea at the place at the very back. While Hubby was ordering/paying I made friends with the shop dog. When we left the dog got up and followed Hubby out in a rather single minded manner. She only made it as far as the door jamb before she was whistled back. Hubby was embarrassed, but it's not like it was our fault.
And, of course, we swept through the Olympic Center. We saw the ice were the "Miracle On Ice" hockey game took place in 1980 with the US beating Russia. (We still haven't seen that movie). There was a camp going on.
And we looked out the window at the speed skating rink, which obviously doesn't have ice at the moment. The temperature was around 65 degrees (F) and it did rain on us, but that is still too warm for ice. It was strange being inside where it was so cold, it might as well have been February outside for all you could tell.
On the way home we stopped and frolicked on the shores of Chapel Pond a bit. There was some interesting mushrooms, the water was very still and clear, and it was surprisingly quiet, considering there is a big road right next to it.
Then we went "home" and were reunited with our puppies.

I worked on the Peacock socks a little bit, waiting for the kick-off of the Olympics. As soon as I woke up Friday, I got out my Sundae stuff and started knitting. I'm getting the hang of the lace and beads. The pattern is really simple, but I'm glued to the chart and keep loosing my place (although I haven't messed up). I have to let go and trust the pattern that I see developing. I'm hoping I can finish this section today (Sunday) and then I'll be on more straight forward knitting for the train tomorrow.
I'm really glad I moved the beads around the other day. They are heavy and it's a pain to keep stopping to push them down out of the way.
The heel was turned on the Peacock Sock last night. We were watching Paranormal State, which is a show you have to keep an eye on, and it wasn't conducive to lace and beads.
No progress on Nell, which is why it is a WIP!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Let the Games Begin

The Olympics, and therefore the Ravelympics have begun!
7 sts per inch was indeed obtained on a US1 double point. Turns out the skinny, straight needle I was thinking of was a US 3. Why I have a 9 inch long US3 straight is beyond me. I can tell from the price tag that I bought it back in 2004 when I was at PatternWorks. That was when I was still building my needle collection and hadn't developed a preference for straights or circulars. I also bought my Denise set at PatternWorks, figuring it was a good investment as it eliminated the need to buy all those needles in various sizes.
Thus I quickly developed a preference for circulars. And the only needles I've had to buy are the smaller circs that are not in the Denise set and double points.
I suspect I bought this US3 in order to make the Stella Blouse. For which I still have not cast on. At the time I didn't buy the yarn, I think I figured the pattern was beyond me, or the store didn't have it.
I toyed with the idea of making Stella my Ravelympic project, but I didn't think I could finish an entire sweater in 17 days and didn't want too much pressure. (Although I'm aware some people have accomplished that feat, and I admire them.)
Sundae doesn't have sleeves. Although I'm not sure what I was thinking committing to work on lace and beading on the train. This project is on behalf of Team Yankees.

Back to the US1
When I found those straight were US3, I sat there a moment wondering what to do. I have two sets of US1 dpns, my 5" Brittany currently in my Peacock Socks, and some 6 or 7 inch Crystal Palace.
"It's just a swatch," I thought and got the Crystal Palace out. When I achieved gauge, I debated trying to convince Hubby to stop at Knitting Central for me Wednesday, since he would practically be driving by because he had to go into school anyway, and get the Addi Turbos for me. Then I realized that the Crystal Palace double points were long enough to fit all 61 sts I have to cast on for the individual fronts. Good thing I wear and extra small!
This meant I could get through the weekend, or at least the next 48 hours, until I was at the store myself.
The back calls for 124 sts, which wouldn't fit on the double point and I don't want to suspend them over 2 double points, as that would be silly, uncomfortable, and probably make a nasty ladder.

New Circ
As it turns out, my anxiety was unwarranted. The train was late Tuesday morning, there were rumors "they" were going to stick us on buses, and people were bailing for other stations. I decided to just drive in. Which worked out really well because I had some errands to run anyway and was then able to stop at Knitting Central on my way home and pick up the US1 circulars I needed.
Of course when I waltzed in to get them I was forced to admit that I had swatched on bamboo and was intending to knit on metal.
Actually, to my surprise Cynthia remembered the yarn and the gauge and that the suggested needle was US3. I think we carried it like 2 years ago. This should not surprise me—the woman knows her stuff. So I said I had swatched on regular US2 Addis and got 6 sts so I had to go down to US1.
The concern, of course, is that many people find their gauge changes when they change needle materials. However D said regular Addis often make gauge loose, but the Lace Addis should give the same gauge as bamboo. I hadn't worked with the Lace Addis yet, so I didn't know my own mileage. Usually I'm able to swatch and knit with the same needles.
Swatching commenced after dinner and I, thankfully, got 7 still. Phew. Then I transfered beads to two other balls for the two fronts. When I strung them originally I strung all 500 or so onto one ball of yarn. sheesh.

WIPs Wrestling
My other Ravelympics project, on behalf of Team TARDIS, is to finish my Nell sweater. All I have left is knitting the right button band with the button holes, sewing on the buttons, and seaming the sides and under the arms.
I don't think this will take 17 days, but it has already taken several months, so you never know. This will be a home project, it is too big to drag around on the train. Which is basically why I ended up deciding to join two teams with two different projects.
I'm fairly certain that all sock knitting will stop during this time frame. Which is sort of a shame since Summer of Socks 08 ends on September 1.
Oh, well. You can't knit 'em all.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

That Took How Long?

While digging through my stash over the weekend, I came across this adorable mini Christmas Stocking I was making.
There was a series of Christmas miniature classes at Knitting Central last year. In, oh, October or November. I don't remember rightly and I don't seem to have blogged about it. But that was, I think, pre-Ravelry when I was neglecting the blog.
Anyway. We were supposed to make the stocking, a sweater, and, uh, two other things. I missed the last two classes.
Although they are little bitty projects and they did knit up quickly, they take a little longer than one might expect.
I whipped through the stocking, but never sewed it. So when I came across it in the dining room credenza, and since I wasn't knitting still but was feeling better. I got it out and finished the seeming.
Which took like 10 seconds. Why on Earth was I stalling?
The sweater, on the other hand, is still sleeveless. I really should look into finishing it as well.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Two Timing

This no crochet thing is really cramping my style.
Because of it I have kicked the first Peacock Sock to the curb and cast on for the second sock.
I was able to knit on the first sock during the ride home yesterday and it now has a 3 inch leg.
The problem is I did not measure or otherwise mark the amount of yarn used in the cuff attempt, which was half the point of that exercise (the other half being to see how it looked), and now I'm not sure how tall of a leg I can make.
So I've moved on until my hand is good and rested and then I'll just have to be patient and only do one round at a time or something.
I'm planning a knit lace cuff for the second sock so people could have a choice, so there shouldn't be a problem with finishing at least one of them.
(I've been using "so" entirely too much lately.)
Of course this is all out the door Friday when the Ravelympics start.
Not much progress was actually made on the second sock last night. The second ball of yarn had been used for swatching purposes originally. When I pulled the swatch out the yarn was all crinkly. I can't be bothered with wetting it and all, instead I just reballed it to get to the other tail.
I'm so wicked.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Rip, Yank, Tug

While I was messing with projects over the weekend, I dug out this aborted pair of socks I was making in Cashcotton DK.
The yarn was originally purchased for a Tam class I took with Beth Brown-Riensel at Knitting Central many moons ago. I think it was her, it was a Tam class. I wasn't really interested in knowing how to knit Tams, I was after the two color knitting instruction. Most of which I've forgotten because I didn't use it enough. (I've heard a rumor she'll be at the store again next year, so I'll have to keep my eyes open for that.)
The Tam, which is teddy bear sized, didn't use all the yarn, so I thought I'd make a pair of striped toe up socks.
I worked on those stupid socks for a year. They weren't working out and they were really holding back my other knitting until I finally gave myself permission to abandon them. They were fitting fine, but I didn't like the way they looked on. The stitches spread out too much.
Some time after that I made the BonBon top out of Rowan Classic Holiday (I really like that book). It's a great top, although I with the straps did swoop in so much at the top, and I thought another would be good to have.
The pattern actually calls for Cashcotton DK, but I had used Cashsoft DK. I figured I was all set, I would just have to do stripes. But I also had to reclaim the yarn, which wasn't happening.
Until over the weekend. I yanked out the abandoned socks and balled up all the little bits. That is one problem, since I was doing stripes the yarn has been cut up a bit. But I'm going to roll with it. I know how to weave in ends.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


True knitting activity is still at a minimum in order to give my wrist as much rest as possible.
Friday night was easy because we were watching the season finale of Dr. Who and I probably wouldn't have been knitting anyway, it was that exciting.
Saturday was a little harder. During the day was fine because I was at the store. In the evening, Hubby and I floated the idea of going to the movies, but we hadn't cooked dinner and the times weren't good, so we opted to stay in.
Since I couldn't knit, I found it necessary to play with my stash. I pulled stuff out of the dining room credenza (yes, it's stuffed again) and went through it all. This is a good activity to pursue anyway, it reminds me what I have, what I want to make, and helps remind me that I don't need to buy more yarn. (It was a close thing yesterday, we got the new Rowan Magazine in, and new Rowan yarn that won't be on the floor until September probably, and I have an idea for a pair of socks based on the family (i.e., Hubby's) tartan, but don't have the correct colors on hand. For those socks I should really swatch with other yarn before investing in new yarn.)
While fussing I pulled out some old projects and corralled the stuff I'll need for the Ravelympics, which start Friday.

The Ravelympics

Are based on the idea of the Knitting Olympics the Yarn Harlot ran during the last Winter Olympics.
The idea is to cast on during the Opening Ceremonies and be finished by the Closing Ceremonies 17 day later. But you are supposed to select a project that will be a challenge to complete in that amount of time, since the Olympics are suppose to challenge the athletes.
I didn't do the Knitting Olympics. I thought about it, but chickened out. And I don't think I had the blog at that point.
I wasn't going to do the Ravelympics, but I got sucked in. To two teams no less.
So I'm doing the Vest Vault for Team Yankees with my Sundae camisole by Martin Storey from Rowan Classic Holiday, book 3. I'm using Cashcotton 4 ply in a nice, pale, lemon yellow with yellow beads. The pattern calls for Cashsoft 4 ply, but we didn't carry that yarn. Besides, the gauge and yardage are supposed to be the same.

Last night I dug that yarn out so it would be easily accessible when the time comes. You can swatch and plan before hand—it's considered training—but you aren't supposed to cast on until 8 pm Beijing time when the Opening Ceremonies start. That's 8 am East Coast Time, so I'm not sure how convenient that will be.
I was freaking out getting the project together because I couldn't find the book. I thought it was in the credenza, but it was buried in one of the bins in the attic, where the yarn was. Then I couldn't find my US 2 Addi Turbo, but it was in with my poor neglected Nell sweater, which I'm actually entering in WIPs Wrestling for Team TARDIS.
Then today, since my wrist was feeling better, I thought what the heck and swatched.
I bought this yarn ages ago, strung all the beads, and even swatched, but then it fell out of favor for some reason. The existing swatch was 6 sts/inch when I needed 7. I assumed I had done it on the US3 the pattern calls for, although I know I usually have to go down one needle for Rowan projects.
So the pups and I went out on the back porch to get some fresh air and sunshine, and I swatched with my US2.
6 stitches per inch.
I counted several times, in a few spots and kept getting 6.
I'm really annoyed now.
I don't want to knit it on US1. I don't even own circular Us1. What if I don't even get gauge with US1? What if I have to go down to US0? That will be so wrong. And I can't even get my hands on a US1 for a while, what with taking the train and all.
The current plan is to swatch on my bamboo straight US1 and see what happens. I won't be able to use them to knit the entire thing because the back is 124 sts or some such nonsense and my needles are only 9 inches long.
I think I'm realizing why this project fell out of favor!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bored and Pathetic

Warning, major whining ahead.
I should have known better. In fact, I do know better. But I couldn't resist the siren song of my yarn.
And now my wrist really hurts. And I have only myself to blame.
I resisted on the train ride home, but knitting/crocheting is how I relax after dinner. I was trying to be good. Instead of actually working on the sock I started transcribing the doily pattern to suit my needs, writing down stitch and space count for each round, etc.
Then Samson decided to snuggle. And we've already established I can't resist my puppies.
Now Baru sits with me on the couch. He curls up on my feet and puts his head on the arm rest. Some times he stretches out, but he basically doesn't interfere with my activities.
Samson sits on me. He puts his butt down by my feet and his head in my lap and gets attitude if my yarn or project tickles his ears. After all he was there second.
So writing was not possible.
First I knit a few rows. Things were fine. Then I couldn't resist any longer.

Doily Goes Down
I had to figure out how to make the cuff smaller. First I yanked out the last 3 rows.
Between the pineapples are columns of 2 treble, ch 2, 2 treble sets. On row 5 an additional ch 2, 2 treble pair is added (putting 6 trebles and 2 ch-2 spaces in one space). This is where the pattern really flared out and started getting taller than the pineapples. cuff1 close
So I reworked one row without the extras. It helped, but the columns were still taller.
I've decided to drop the columns down to double crochets instead. (and remember, these are all American terms.) It will make them shorter, but shouldn't affect the pineapples, which are all single crochets and chains.
Last night and went ahead and yanked back to the first round. I'm going to leave the first round made up of treble crochets, I don't think it will harm anything.

But, oh, that train ride is long
And now my left wrist is seriously sore and I had to get out the wrist support thing and everything is asking me what's wrong. sigh.
Which all means the only thing I could do on the train this morning was sit and be pissy. Well, I was listening to music, looking out the window, and being pissy. But still. Really makes me appreciate how knitting and crocheting helps pass the time.
Oh, and I thought I would be slick and dug out my poor neglected TipToe Socks so I could weave in the ends on the train. No dice. The pinching/holding position to stabilize the sock is too similar to the position my hand is in when I crochet.
To add insult to injury, I'm listening to a book on my iPod. I transferred the CDs to my desktop and then into iTunes. This is allowed, the company's website even had tips. Anyway, the discs didn't transfer over quite right. So all the tracks on all the discs are just labeled in order from 1 to 99. To avoid confusion I'm only synchronizing one disc at a time. And disc two ran out on the ride home yesterday. grrr. But I'm all loaded with disc 3, so the ride home tonight shouldn't be as bad.

Eavesdropping is Wrong
The guy sitting across from me on the shuttle bus yesterday was on his cellphone talking about baseball trades that I knew Hubby would be interested in. But Hubby hadn't called me, so I called him. Then I had to tell him that I was calling because I overheard that guy's conversation, which I'm sure the guy heard. Hubby said he watched ESPN until the 4 o'clock trade deadline, didn't see anything and switched to Voyager. Then he switched back and saw what the guy had been talking about. Hubby said it was only announced like 5 minutes ago, so he was surprised the guy on the bus knew. Anyway, the news made Hubby happy, so it was worth it.
But I have to be more subtle in the future.