Saturday, November 29, 2008

Petulant Poncho

cable poncho 1 Forget everything I might have told you about the poncho on Thursday or Friday.
It was all lies, anyway.
I wasn't even here.
I wrote those posts Wednesday morning before we left for my in-laws' place in upstate New York.
Obviously I was being a bit optimistic about the whole thing.

On The Road, Again
Samson car 1126 It's a four hour drive. I packed my knitting in the back, which left me twiddling my thumbs for the trip. But I was home from work early Tuesday and spent many hours that night and Wednesday morning working on the evil poncho, so I figured my wrists could use a break.
baru car 1126 (Samson—above—likes being in the car. He much prefers to ride with his head out the window, but it was too cold and he isn't allowed to on the highway anyway. Baru—left—hates being in the car, as you might suspect. Stresses the poor thing out terribly. Thank goodness he out grew getting sick.)

Leave Well Enough Alone
Wednesday night I'm sitting there knitting with my mother-in-law, and I keep finding knit stitches that aren't paired with a YO. As I mentioned on Wednesday, when I encountered these I just worked them in pattern. Well, for some reason I take a closer look.
And I realize that stupid "edge stitch" has been going for a walk.
It's working its way around the poncho and leaving a groove behind it, which is screwing up the pattern.
Of course, things went wrong about 15 rows back (I was on row 38 or so when I noticed) because heaven forbid the mistake be reachable. After all Fisherman's Rib is wicked tricky to rip back because of all that yarn over nonsense.
So I spend an hour picking a few rows out stitch by stitch.
Then I realize that is taking too long. It crosses my mind to leave well enough alone and just keep going, but no. I have to keep trying to "fix" it.
My next attempt was to get a smaller needle tip and cord (I'm using my Denise set at this point) and thread it through the row where things went wrong, much like you would thread a lifeline.
Of course this doesn't work out very well at all, because of all that yarn over nonsense. When I removed the size 8 needles and unraveled the rows I had a mess on my hands composed of loose strands from missed yarn overs.
I spent some more time picking out a few rows stitch by stitch until I finally decided it was a lost cause and just pulled all the way back to the K1,P1 rib.

Maybe Cables are an Option
cable poncho 2 On Thursday I said "screw it."
This was supposed to be a simple pattern I could work on while we were visiting the family. I decided to just work the entire poncho in K1,P1 rib.
That lasted about 8 rows. It occurred to me K1,P1 rib might pull in too much. Who wants a form fitting poncho?
So I switched to reverse stockinette, threw in four six-stitch cables, and maintained the center rib.
Worked about 25 rows when I decided the rev st st didn't do the colors of the yarn justice.
Put the poncho away in disgust and worked on my stealth sock instead.

Back to Square One
We drove home today (Saturday).
My knitting ended up packed within reach in the car.
After sleeping on the situation, I decided to give the Fisherman's Rib one more chance. I'm not letting some stupid pattern get the best of me!
During the four hour trip home I pulled back to the 7 cm point of the K1,P1 rib, marked my center stitches for the increases, and locked down the stupid edge stitch with a marker on one side and my row counter on the other.
I think that has helped quite a bit for keeping track of what is going on.
poncho take 2I'm also remembering to reset the markers for the increases on the next row, so the increases are lining up more attractively.
Every so often I still seem to encounter a random knit stitch lacking a yarn over, but there doesn't seem to be a pattern to it, and I'm making an effort to create a YO, which should prevent any groove from forming. (Why these YOs are missing to begin with is beyond me.)
At press time, I'm on row 25 and things seem to be progressing nicely.
But mark my words, if anything else goes wrong, I'm totally switching to a shawl.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Being a fisherman

Or woman, as the case may be.
The poncho is continuing apace and the leftovers are being depleted.
But I wanted to take a chance to point out a recent change to the blog.
Blogger added a feature for instant feedback from readers.
If you look just at the end of this post, just under the blue links for leaving a comment and before the last entry, you'll see a little section titled "How'd I do?" followed by little buttons.
I chose "useful" for those rare occasions when I actually share information you might possibly apply to your own life, "entertaining" for those posts that made you laugh (and I totally expect you to be laughing at my expense, come on, my dog sits on my head!), and "yawn" for those posts where I just blather on and you don't see the point.
This enables readers to quickly click a button to leave their mark without going through all the effort and hoops of leaving a comment. Of course you can always do both.
I know I have more readers than indicated by my comments (I'm looking at you Oklahoma), so feel free to click me. :-)
Of course, maybe it is better to continue to pretend I'm just talking to myself (and Ms. Create).
Oh, I also added that "follower" widget Blogger created. I renamed it "Fan Club." I have a fan club of one. I think it has something to do with people subscribing to my RSS feed. I don't know if you have to have a Google/Blogger ID to use it. But it's there if you want.
Ok, the poncho calls.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

naptime Samson and I are enjoying a nice little nap. After all the holidays are all about family.
Baru wants you to know he will be happy to take any unwanted leftovers off your hands, but he's a little glutton, so he would be.
I hope you are having a happy Thanksgiving and didn't over indulge (on food or knitting/crocheting)!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Consistency Is All We Ask...

Give us this day our daily task."—Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard.
poncho 15cm1I'm cruising along on the poncho. It's actually a little hypnotic and hard to put down.
It's about 15 cm long at this point and I've performed, uh, 3 increases.
There is the distinct possibility I'm doing my increases in the wrong place. It would appear they are supposed to be in line, in fact the pattern states to perform them in the same place.
I, however, did the second set on the outside edge of the first set—i.e., after completing the first set I didn't reset the stitch markers to the interior of the section, I left them were they ended up. Instead of my poncho growing on the outside of my stitch markers, it is growing on the inside.
In the pattern pictures there is a consistent rib down the center of the poncho and you can kind of see the increases take place on the outer edge.
Well, by the second set, by the time I realized what was happening, it was too late to turn back. So I'm just going with it. I often figure as long as you are consistent you are ok.
This might mean I don't get the nice little points on mine that I can see in the picture. But, oh well.
poncho 15cm2
The colors are pulling up nicely, in my opinion. Really the pattern has a bit of a slip stitch effect, so that might be influencing thing.
Another good thing is the colors seem to be blending in with the puppy fur rather well. Which will make it all the warmer.

Those Previous Errors
After I pulled back, I took another look at the edge stitch. I've decided it is the very first stitch of the round and I've just been knitting the sucker. Consistency is all we ask.
Previously I was trying to incorporate it in the pattern, and that is what was hosing me up.
Now my only problem is my dangling row counter keeps crawling to the right, so I have to remember to move it. I suspect if I put it on the other side of that solo knit stitch it will be more stable, but that would make my life easy.
It is possible I've missed a few yarn overs, again, but the increase are adding to the confusion because on the row after the increase there are stitches that don't have a yarn over. When I encounter one of these potentially yarn overless stitches, I look at the stitches around it and just work it in pattern.
Really, who is going to notice?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Teach a Knitter Fisherman's Rib...

poncho collar And she'll poke you with her needles.
You see before you the collar for my poncho out of Solo yarn.
It's fine, aside from the massive ladder at the needle change which I'm hoping will relax later.
I'm on DPNs rather than a circ because when I cast on using the shortest length in my Denise set the stitches wouldn't reach all the way around. pout. I figure after a few increases I should be able to switch over, which will eliminate the ladder issue. The softness of the yarn might be exaserbating the situation.
I did stop working the K1,P1 rib after 7 cm, instead of continuing for the prescribed 20 cm.
I think it is supposed to be a turtle neck, but the pictures don't show it folded over all the way. Maybe they were being artsy, but only the top edge is kind of drooping over, which doesn't impress me. I think it would have been too much material around my neck. In theory this length will give me a mock turtle neck, which will be fine. I tried it on last night, just yanked it on over my head (only dropped one stitch) and it felt like a good length. (I couldn't be bothered getting off the couch to check a mirror, besides we were watching 24: Redemption, and I probably had a puppy on me.)
However I'm having other issues with the pattern.

  1. Although the pattern calls for working in the round, it also refers to an "edge stitch." I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with this edge stitch. It is either the very first stitch or the very last stitch, either way I think it's fouling up my pattern.
  2. I know I didn't make at least one YO. At the time I pretended not to notice and just kept knitting. Watching 24 was probably a contributing factor to this lapse.
  3. I can't figure out which stitches to mark for my center front and back increases. The stitch markers don't seem to be lining up. I think I should have marked the spots when I was working normal ribbing.
Because of all that, and since I'm only four rows into the body/fisherman's rib section, I'm going to pull back to the bottom of the ribbing, mark my center stitches and see if I can figure out what to do with this dang "edge stitch."

Monday, November 24, 2008

I Learned a New Stitch

Originally uploaded by TravelingAnn

I didn't mean to learn anything new. It just kind of happened.
I blame Cynthia.

Watch as I now skillfully "bury the lead"
My schedule at the store is such that I work either Saturday or Sunday of every weekend. Because of this, and the fact that I have a full-time job, if I swap with any one I end up working a full weekend—which can be tiring.
A few months ago Cynthia asked if I could swap Saturdays with her at the end of October. I believe her goal was to go to Rhinebeck. Shortly before the weekends in question, her husband surprised her with a trip out of town for her birthday. The easiest solution was to ask me to work my normal schedule and get a day in the future.
I agreed, throwing a pout out for good measure. but really it meant more money and I got to skip out on Nov 1, which was the weekend I got back from my trip to Fla.

A present? For me?
So to thank me for working both weekends, and because she is generous like that, she gave me this lovely skein of yarn that caused me to go questing for a new project. solo yarn open It is a skein of Solo from Brooks Farm Yarn in Lancaster, Texas.
She said they are one of her favorites, but she can't carry it at the store because they don't do wholesale. And she remembered that I like red.
I don't know if you can tell, but it has maroon, red, pink, and orange graduations.
It's 400 yards of "100% fine wool." To show you how bad I am at eyeballing yarn, I thought it looked sort of fingering weight, but when I tracked it down on Ravelry it was listed as DK. Sigh.

What to make, what to make
Of course I immediately had to abandon all other projects and figure out what to do with my spiffy new yarn. (I see my WIP list from Ravelry in my sidebar is getting intimidatingly long. I should really change some of them to hibernating status to get them out of there.)
First instinct was socks.
Then I thought fingerless gloves, but at 400 yards they didn't seem big enough.
A scarf would make sense, but scarves bore me and I have plenty already.
Then I thought a shawl. That would be useful and I could keep it at the office for variety.

The Skin Test
Hubby was laughing at me Sunday. It seemed every time he looked at me I was petting, smelling, or rubbing the yarn against my face. Really I was trying to determine whether it was going to make me itch, which would have dictated what I could make with it.
Happily it is very soft and so far itch and tingle free.
So I spent a while on Ravelry looking for one-skein projects and shawls. I understand there is wisdom out there that even if a shawl is written for lace weight you can use a thicker yarn with bigger needles. You just have to be aware the dimensions of your finished project will be different.
However, since I don't do lace or shawls on a regular basis, I'm not sure of this rule in action and didn't want to mess with it too much.

This Is Where I Learn Something
poncho for solo I also flipped through some of my books and magazines and seized on this Cropped Poncho from Rebecca magazine No 32.
The pattern calls for 427 yards. But what's 27 yards between friends? Since it is knit top down, and I'm petite, I figure I can just knit until I run out and I'll be fine.

(A public blog should not be as stream of consciousness as I can get sometimes. Are you surprised I'm a professional writer? Do I need to point out my blog is sans editor or copy editor?)
The pattern stitch is listed as Fisherman's Rib.
I've never worked Fisherman's Rib, but I had a vague understanding it involved a previous row and dropping stitches.
However, the directions were talking about working stitches with a YO and not telling me when to make the YO.
An internet search eventually led me to what appears to be a German Blog with pictures and English text directly addressing Fisherman's Rib in the Rebecca magazines.
Turns out the stitch is worked differently over there. So I sat with my knitting and worked a few rows.
I didn't like it at first, but it was growing on me.

Over Complicating Things
But I couldn't leave well enough alone.
The stitch is slow to work and I was after something simple for the holiday weekend.
What if I did it in stockinette stitch?
What if I did cables?
So I spent time flipping through stitch dictionaries and doing some preliminary mapping. Even swatched a cable to see how it would look.
Then I asked Hubby's opinion. He thought the rib looked fine.
So I thought, why mess with the poor poncho pattern? I've been wanting to just knit something without having to think too much.
I've decided to just follow the pattern as is.
Well, expect the collar is 20 cm tall, which seems like a lot for me, so I might cut it down to 10 or 15 cm, which should gain me length on the bottom.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

In Search of Tea

Ooooh, I'm sooo annoyed right now!
Actually, I've been annoyed since last night, so I really need to get this out of my system.
Ok, last week I ordered some tea from an online store where I have shopped before.
I don't drink coffee. I like tea. And not grocery store tea, I like loose leaf varieties. English Breakfast, Darjeeling, Ceylon.
My favorite brand was Jacksons of Piccadilly, but they were bought by Twining (which I was never fond of) and they discontinued all the Jacksons teas except some white and flavored teas. So I buy single estate blends online now.

Disaster Strikes
Somewhere between me entering my address on the order form—correctly, I might add, I know my own address—and my address being given to a well known delivery service with a five letter name, the last two digits were transposed.
On Friday I received a tracking e-mail stating the package couldn't be delivered because the address is incorrect.
So I called and gave them the correct house number. Dude said it would be delivered Saturday. yipee.
Hubby was home all day Saturday and reports that no one came to the door.
So I check my e-mail to see a note that the package was "left at the front door."
I call the delivery service. I ask the Dude where they left it and he tells me the incorrect address. excuse me? Dude says something like the shipper is the one who has to correct the address. Dude says the local branch doesn't reopen until Tuesday.
I give him slight attitude and manage not to say "thanks for nothing" at the end of the call.

It Gets Better
I go downstairs and throw a hissy fit. Hubby says we'll look after dinner (which was very tasty, sauted pork chops, brussel sprouts, polenta, and mixed veggies).
We drive up the street.
The house number my tea was supposedly delivered to doesn't exist.
Let me repeat that. The house numbers skip that number entirely.
Hubby says he suspected as much because how else did the driver on Friday know it was the wrong address? I say I assumed someone answered the door and was turned away.

It Still Doesn't Exist
Just now I walked up the street and confirmed the house number doesn't exist. I asked at one of the houses with a number in the general vicinity. The nice man said they didn't get my package.
So I came home and gave the delivery company major attitude. Chick reopened the ticket and put a trace on it. She pointed out the local branch is closed until Tuesday.
Then I e-mailed a very controlled message to the online store about what was going on.

Other Reasons This Sucks
Aside from the fact that I don't have my tea, this is $40 worth of product we're talking about. (Seriously, I don't mess around when it comes to tea. But it is also about a pound of tea over three types and this will last me quite a while.)
Now, think about it. I'm on a yarn diet. So if I can't spend $40 on yarn, I shouldn't be spending it on other stuff. However, tea counts as food and food is a necessity (and we spend at least that much every 6 weeks on his coffee. Yeah, maybe our priorities are strange).
Also, as far as I know, the package is uninsured.
To top it all off, since I've ordered from this place before without a problem, I just used my bank debit card to pay. So I don't know if I can dispute it if the tea is never found. I knew I should have used the PayPal option, or some other payment method. I think they would have given me dispute rights.
Which all means I'm top to bottom furious at a number of different people, including myself.
However, there is nothing else to be done until Tuesday. When, hopefully, the tea will turn up safe and sound in the local office of the delivery company. Hopefully the driver just hit the wrong button on Saturday.
Ok, I'm going to go use a mop to take my aggression out on the kitchen floor. Then I'll go grocery shopping.
It's all very exciting.

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Reason Not to Put Knitting Needles/Crochet Hooks in Your Mouth

You don't know where they've been!
Oh, you think you know where they've been: in your yarn, in your project bag, on the coffee table.
But do you remember where else they've been?

In your hands!

Now think about where your hands have been.


I started thinking about this a lot after I started riding the train. On my very first day on the train I dropped one of my needles while waiting for my transfer. Ick. And since then I've dropped needles and stitch markers on the seats and floors on the train. Ick. But, yes, I do rescue them, even the stitch markers.
So I had to be extra vigilant not to put needles and such in my mouth.
With cold and flu season arriving, it seemed like a good idea to point this all out. I believe studies have shown that proper hand washing is a good way to cut down on the number of colds one contracts.
Actually, since I haven't managed to ride the train at all this week, my hands have been feeling much cleaner. But that's probably just in my head.

Ok, now that my hands are dirty again from touching my keyboard, time to finish lunch.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From One Stealth Project to the Next

Yeah, I haven't been around much.
I have two excuses prepared. Well, three actually.
We just finished wrapping up the January issue, which takes precedence over all other office activities.
My mornings keep falling apart so I haven't been riding the train, which reduces my knitting time.
But the major reason is I'm working on projects I can't blog about.
After the little hat fever ran its course I got my sock for the club back out and continued work on the prototype. It's supposed to be a surprise, so I can't discuss it.
Then yesterday I received a pattern I'm test knitting for someone. It's also a surprise, so I can discuss it.
So, basically, I don't have anything I can talk about. And, aside from their assault on a pile of junk mail on Tuesday, the puppies haven't been up to any reportable mischief.
Ok, I'm going to focus on my lunch now.

Monday, November 17, 2008


wee hats 6 Apparently, Hubby is not as enamored of the wee hats as I am.
On Sunday morning I laid them all out on the kitchen island and requested his admiration.
He questioned the need for their existence.
I explained that half were for the store and half were for our tree.
He pointed out they aren't all Christmas colors.
I acknowledged one was purple and protested the rest were Christmas colors (but I kept to myself the opinion that the light green one might be pushing).
I threatened to give them all to his mother because at least she would appreciate them.
He asked how I intended to put them on the tree, asking whether I was just going to stick them on the end of the branches.
Nnnooo, we have extra wire hangers I intend to use.
He yielded to the reality that these adorable little hats were going to end up on his Christmas tree. (Hubby is a bit traditional about Christmas decorations.)

But it doesn't stop there!
He disparaged the Arrgyle Socks the last time I was working on them. The comment was something like they are such nice socks in such lovely colors—and then there is a skull and crossbones on them.
I dismissed his regret with, "But it's funny!" Besides they aren't for him.
See if I make him pirate socks any time soon (although I'll probably end up making him run of the mill argyles.)

Well, that makes up for it.
So I was standing there Sunday morning considering whether this behavior warranted rethinking our relationship, when he handed me a fancy omelet for breakfast and I realized he was wearing a pair of socks I had made him.
And I realized he's kind of handy to have around.
Even if he doesn't like my little hats as much as I do.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rainbow Swirl Socks Go Global!

swirl socks
Originally uploaded by TravelingAnn

(That is a size large on the left and a size small on the right, if you are wondering why they don't match.)

Well, I guess they were already global since I have them for sale on Ravelry. But now they are going to get noticed!
Remember how I was knitting that solo one, but I wouldn't say why?
Well my pattern was just accepted for a new book called The Sock Club being edited by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott!!
How awesome is that?!
I'm at work and I'm dancing around the office telling anyone who will listen.
So now I have to sign and return the little agreement form. I already e-mailed Beth a copy of the pattern since I have it here on my computer. Just a little out of order.
And then it will be a matter of waiting. I'm actually going to have to review the proof pages for this one, which should be interesting. Ha, one good thing, they want multiple sizes, but I already wrote the pattern that way, so I don't have to worry about it.
I believe the publication date is set for sometime next year, the paperwork I have doesn't say.
Ok, I have to try to call Hubby now and tell him the exciting news.

Bad Puppies

From The Adventures of Traveling Ann

As I am still knitting little ornament hats (I've made plain ones in purple, red, and green and am now working on an all-over cable cream one), I thought I'd do a round up of the puppies' recent transgressions.

Slow learners
Sunday before last Hubby and I had challah bread French toast for breakfast. (You already know how this is going to end.) He cooked up the last piece before we left to go grocery shopping, placing it in the middle of the island on a cellophane covered plate.
When we got home the cellophane was ripped open and the French toast was gone.
We doubt Samson shared it with Baru.

Carrot Thief
Usually when I'm feeding the pups they wait patiently in the green room.
From The Adventures of Traveling Ann

They are accustomed to having breakfast around 6 am. Last Saturday we slept until 8 am. I got their bowls and food, then stopped to do something for the humans' breakfast. I swear to you, Baru took a few steps into the kitchen and growled at me!
I was like, "Don't you talk to me that way!" and ordered him out of the room.
Then I was too lazy to make their puppy mash, so I gave them each a whole carrot. Well, I heard a scuffle in the green room and Baru had stolen Samson's carrot!
So I called him a "bad boy" and ordered him to drop it. He considered trying to bolt it down, but realized it wasn't going to work. Instead he dropped it and slunk out of the room. Hubby heard the commotion and came to check it out, then sent Baru upstairs for a time out.
Samson finished his carrot, then came and leaned against me and told me how distressing the entire incident was.
Baru stayed upstairs for a while. Even after we called him back down he stayed upstairs. Hubby said he was sulking and we should let him. When Baru finally rejoined the family he went straight to the Alpha to get cuddles.

Hey, that's my head!
The other night Samson was all wired up at bedtime. He kept jumping into our bed with a ball expecting us to play.
At one point I was laying their minding my own business, trying to fall asleep, and he sat on my head. Fortunately I was laying on my side or it would have been much worse.
My protests didn't move him. When I finally pulled free, he had the gall to look back at me as though I had bothered him!
Sassy puppy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wee Hats, Round 2

wee hats 2
Close up on Ravelry or my photostream.
So for myself I think I'll do a plain hat in the purple. The all-over cable I'll do in cream and light green. I might do another striped one, but I'll make the stripes wider.
I have options.

Still Making Hats

And I don't have pictures.
Driving to work yesterday really cut into my knitting time. Going to bed at 9:30 probably didn't help either.
All I manged yesterday was finishing one hat and starting another.
I finished the light green one (I think the color is actually lime, it's the yarn I used for my bag). I did another cable. It's cute enough, but not what I had envisioned so I probably won't repeat it.
Then I started a plain one in the forest green color.
I finished that one on the train this morning. I think I even managed to make the I-Cord long enough to knot this time.
Then I cast on for a repeat of the white cabled on using the leftover yarn from Coronet.
Once I finish this lavender one I'll have my half dozen.
Then I can start knitting them for me!

Peacock Socks
You might see these make a come back soon. I was raiding the dining room credenza to get my US1 dpns and I had to pull them out of the Peacock Socks.
These socks stalled because I wasn't happy with the knit cuff, actually the crochet cuff can probably be tweaked as well.
But I was looking at it, and the pattern is fine, and similar to the crochet one, it was just too dense. And I thought, well what if I work the cuff on a larger needle? That will open it up and might achieve the look I want.
So I'll have to do that. But I have other stuff taking precedence first.
Like wee hats.
And my Cat's Pajama's Socks, which is why I needed the US1. P at the store is trying to test knit the pattern for me, but the heel flap isn't working out. We have studied hers and my pattern. I remember what I was trying to accomplish, but don't understand why it isn't working. So I'm going to knit it myself to see if I can simplify it at all.
As soon as I finish knitting wee hats.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More Cute Small Stuff

wee hats trio Aren't they just too cute for words?
And so quick to make! I churned these out yesterday. Ok, I was working on the white one until around 10 pm, which was pushing bedtime, but that was still pretty fast.
There are closer individual pictures of each in my Flickr photostream, which you should be able to reach by clicking the picture.
The pattern is from the Holiday 08 issue of Knit Simple Magazine.
The pattern calls for Cascade 220 yarn, of which I have plenty laying around from the felted flowers I made my mom, the felted wine cozies the gift shop never responded to, and my Felted Ravelry ID Bag. I'm also thinking about using the leftover Lamb's Pride from Coronet.
The pattern calls for US8 dpns, but I used US7 dpns as I didn't like the fabric on the 8s. The hats are about 4" tall when done.

Walk Me Through Them
The red one is the basic pattern in the magazine. I ended it with an I-Cord, but didn't make it long enough to knot. sigh.
Then I did the striped one. That was a bit of a disaster at the color changes when I was working it, huge holes, but I was able to pull the strands tight inside and make it nice. Since no one will be wearing it, I think I'll be safe. I'm considering making a pompom for it.
I'm particularly pleased with the white one. I ditched the ribbed brim, jumping straight into a 2x2 rib and executing a front twist every 3rd row.
I was going to take a break from the little hats today and weave ends instead, but I ended up driving today, so I brought the hat yarn with me.
Now I'm making one in the green yarn leftover from my bag and attempting to do a different cable. But I'm winging the cable pattern, so I don't know how good it will look.

And I'm Making Them Because?
Everyone on the Knitting Central staff is making a few hats which will be attached to a garland and presented to Cynthia as a birthday present. (She already knows, they told her while I was in Florida).
I think I'll stop after six.
Well, actually, I'll stop knitting them for the store after six and start knitting them for me. These would be absolutely adorable as ornaments on our tree. I might even have to make a couple for my mother-in-law and the sister-in-law I'll see at Christmas. I'll consider making one for my mom, I haven't decided. Wow, I've just over committed myself on little hats.
Or I can return to my original plan of keeping these for myself and "liberating" the ones the other staff members make. (insert sinister laugh here.)

Pretty Mini Obsessed
Between teddy's sweater and these little hats, I'm getting inspired to finish the mini sweater ornament I started last year. It goes along with the mini Christmas stocking ornament I took about six months to finish (and which doesn't seem to be in my Flickr set.)
From The Adventures of Traveling Ann
Ahha! It's in the Picasa Album Blogger built for me.
Anyway, the little Christmas sweater is cute, just needs sleeves, and was as big as teddy so I couldn't use it as an easy out.
So you could see this mini business continue for a while.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Arrgyle Progress

arrgyle done1All this time I've been quietly working on my Arrgyle Socks.
I believe I mentioned last week that I had finished the first one? Here it is in all its glory.
The fit is quite nice.
I have some issues with the way the stitches spread out/open up on the leg. I'm not sure if it is a gauge thing, a pattern thing, or a yarn thing. Probably a combination of all three. I suspect that if it wasn't for the pattern, with all the color changes, the spreading wouldn't be as obvious.leg sts close

At the same time, I really suspect the skulls have a lot to do with it because the spreading on the foot isn't half as bad. I wonder if it will relax a bit after I start washing it? I hope it doesn't relax to the point of unraveling; some of my tails were on the short side.

I Can Learn and Adapt
This is all useful information that I will apply to the Tartan Socks when I finally get around to making them as they will foot sts closebe out of the same yarn. They won't have the skull to contend with. I also intend to address the fact that my argyle pattern is a bit wonky, the accent lines don't always cross on the same row as the diamonds intersect. By the time I realized that I was on my third chart and more interested in knitting than redoing it.
There is the possibility that to fix the chart I might have to increase the stitch count, which would address the gauge issue. However, I don't intend to start in on the Tartan Socks until I've had a chance to wear these a few times and see if they fall and how quickly that happens.
Although my intention was to work on these socks just last weekend and then return to the stealth sock, I continued to ignore the stealth sock in favor of these.
arrgyle joining
But Weaving in Ends Sucks
On Saturday I reached the point where I could join the halves of the second sock and work the heel flap. But I quickly realized it would be wiser to weave in all those pesky little ends while the thing was still flat. It will be rather awkward to reach some parts once it is joined.
Of course that was the equivalent of hitting a brick wall.
Is it any wonder I decided to make my little teddy a sweater instead?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

So Cute I Could Just Sigh

teddy sweater You remember the adorable little teddy bear I picked up on my trip to Florida, right?
Well, that t-shirt he came with was just too boring and over sized for me to stand, so yesterday I made him an adorable little sweater out of some leftover Regia sock yarn I had in my stash.
Which means his sweater matches two pairs of socks and my Hooray For Me Gloves. snicker.
The sweater used about 4 grams of yarn. I don't know the yardage because I don't really want to rip it out to measure, but it took about one complete repeat of the color pattern. Oh, hey, I have yarn left, I could measure that. Considering the small amount of yarn required, this would be a good project to use up little bits of sock yarn you have laying around. If you also had a little teddy bear of this size laying around.
So here is the pattern, but I've also entered it into Ravelry. There is a link to the PDF on Ravelry over in the sidebar, that should work even if you aren't on Ravelry.
In the pictures further down Teddy is posing with a CD and my iPod Nano so you can get an idea of his size. I thought what can I put him next to that will be fairly universal size-wise and those were the best things I could think of.

Mini Teddy Bear Raglan Sweater
By Traveling Ann Designs
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License

Size: X-Small. Finished chest 5 1/2 inches to fit a 4 1/2 inch belly.
teddy ipod
Yarn: Fingering Weight: 4 grams (approximately)
Model shown in Regia Jacquard Color
Needle: 2.5 mm dpn (or size needed to obtain gauge)

Gauge: 7 sts and 10 rows = 1 inch

Body is worked in the round to the armholes.
Sleeves are worked flat.

BO—Bind off
CO—Cast on
K2tog—Knit next 2 sts together
RS—Right Side
SSK—Slip, Slip, Knit
St st—Stockinette stitch
WS—Wrong Side

CO 38 sts
Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist sts.
Work 2 rounds K1, P1 rib
teddy cd
Change to St st (knit every stitch) and work until piece measures 1 inch from cast on edge.

Create armholes:
BO next 5 sts for armhole, K13, BO next 5 sts, K13 (28 sts)

Divide for front and back:
Slip 14 sts for front onto one needle so they are easier to work.
Slip 14 sts for back onto one needle and ignore for now.

Working on 14 sts for the front only, P across row.
Next row: K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 (12 sts)
Next row: Purl
Next row: K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1 (10 sts)

Reattach yarn and work as for front.

Sleeves (make 2):
CO 16 sts
Work 2 rows in K1, P1 rib.
Work 4 rows in St st (K on RS, P on WS)
Next row: Next row: K1, SSK, K to last 3 sts, K2tog, K1
Next row: Purl
Repeat last two rows 4 more times, ending after decrease row. (6 sts)

Sew itty-bitty sleeve seam.
Attach sleeves to body.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Last Thursday in Fla

monster So before too much more time passes, I thought I should fill you in on my last day in Florida last week. The day I actually got to do something fun.
Thursday was the last day of the conference, so the organizers rented out part of Universal Studios City Walk for a party. The promenade level with the Bob Marley restaurant and the karaoke bar. Halloween was the theme, so there were people in costume and they handed out masks. Each restaurant had a buffet set up with food with icky names like "Severed Limb Reggae Chicken Drumsticks," which were really just jerk chicken. We saw an Elvis impersonator (that picture is darker Elivsthan I realized), a Reggae band, a Sinatra impersonator, and a Ray Charles impersonator. There was supposed to be a Janice Joplin impersonator too, but she was on break by the time we reached her club.
We crammed a bunch of stuff into a short time. Turns out Boss Man and I are old and lame since we were back at the hotel by 8 sinatrapm. Of course, as much as my feet hurt, maybe I actually was lame by then. My trusty pedometer said I walked over three miles on Thursday!
Back in my room I watched the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" on TV and worked on Coronet.
You already know the trip home Friday went fine.
And that wraps up my trip.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Voice Over Talent For Hire

Have I mentioned Hubby does voice over work?
He's done some things for his school, so you wouldn't have heard it unless you were really local to us (actually to the area where his school is. They have a radio station, he's done the weather report and some other announcements.).
Anyway, we've decided to make some more noise about it. He has a new demo clip:

I'll put that in a widget in the sidebar too so it is easily accessible.

What Voice Over Is
When people think of voiceover work, the first thing that comes to mind are the announcers on radio and TV commercials. However, any time you hear a voice and don't see a person, it is considered voice over. Narration on documentaries and training videos count, as do audio books.

Brian's Voice over Talent, Abilities, and Interests
He has a pleasing speaking voice and would be good for "average man" situations. At the same time, as a high school teacher, he is accustomed to presenting lectures and other pedantic material in an engaging manner so the listener does not become bored.
He can accurately mimic several regional accents, do celebrity impersonations, as well as character voices.
Of course everyone wants to be the announcer for a TV or radio commercial, but he is also interested in narration for documentaries, training videos, and websites.
He is also interested in reading for audio book, books on tape, and other long term projects.

Contact Us
We have a quality microphone at home if you are interested in an audition clip in a particular genre. Brian has access to a studio at school and is willing to travel to your studio in the greater New York Metro area.
We are in the process of setting up a website to highlight his voice talent. In the meantime, for more information, e-mail us at travelinganngm (at) gmail (dot) com.
We look forward to speaking with you.

So Say We All

crazy puppies no red eye That is a reference to new version of Battle Star Galactica, in case you don't recognize it.
I would suggest that President-Elect Obama get the new First Daughters a nice golden retriever puppy (actually, I have two slightly used ones he can borrow), but I'd be afraid of the puppy mills kicking into overdrive as copycats snap up (and abandon) the breed.
Considering the way every little move is scrutinized by the news media these days, I wonder if he will be under pressure to get a puppy from a shelter to set an example?
Of course, he's got bigger things to worry about at the moment.

I'm Sleepy
After waking up at like 4 am yesterday morning, we stayed up until, what, 1 am watching the speeches and such. I'm ready to fall asleep at my desk.
There came a point last night where it was like watching a Yankees or Giants game. Hubby was pacing around and cheering when states fell the way we wanted. The only thing missing was the constant calls to his brothers and dad.
I actually fell asleep sometime around 10 pm, but Hubby woke me up when the West Coast polls closed.
I'm glad it's done. I'm glad the political ads will stop and the news will be about something else. And I'm glad it was wrapped up last night, as opposed to the last two which dragged on with all the recounts.
Now we can all get back to business.

Some Knitting. No Trains.
Between coming back from the trip, the time change, and the election I haven't made the train once this week. Actually on Monday I pulled into the parking lot as it was pulling away from the station. Talk about annoying.
This has cut into my knitting time.
I didn't end up getting any knitting done last night either.
I've been working on my Arrgyle Socks since the weekend. I finished the one that was in progress. I opted for a green toe in an effort to conserve purple yarn. And it amuses me. Pink heel, green toe. I keep meaning to take a picture, but haven't gotten around to it.
I'm working the second sock now. I'm just down to the eyes, which is the 17 strand point you might remember from when I was working on the first one in Philadelphia.
I considered knitting this one straight and putting the skulls on using duplicate stitch, but decided against it in order to conserve purple yarn and to be consistent.
I have discovered that working on an argyle sock with an extra pattern is not conducive to reading—they both require too much concentration.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Not Telling You Who To Vote For

I'm just telling you to vote!
It's your civic duty and an important right to exercise.
I'd like to also remind you that if you are a woman or a minority a lot of people fought long and hard to get you this right and it's sort of insulting for you not to take advantage of it.
I'm in the camp that believes "If you don't vote you can't complain." I mean, really, it's like saying you don't care what's for dinner and then complaining when you are served something you hate. Even if your guy doesn't win, at least you can be like "Well I didn't vote for this joker."
Also, think about all the people in foreign countries who don't have the right to vote. Some of them are fighting and dying for something many Americans ignore or take for granted. How are we supposed to be a leader in the world if we don't set a good example?
Those people in foreign countries also sometimes travel for a day or more and then wait in long lines to vote. So don't be put off. Take your knitting or crochet, go get in line, and cast your ballot!