Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Eve, and it's trying to SNOW in HOUSTON. Go figure. Earlier in the week when it was warmer, we caught Mama Dillo out doing her nest. See the pile of leaves next to her? She gets them in a pile underneath herself then jumps and wiggles them into her hole under our bedroom. She's pretty big, so I'm guessing we will have baby dillos in a few months. It's been awfully cold, and we've not seen here since.

Well, look who has been lounging around the house:

He had a very exciting time getting finished. I knit my gauge a teeny bit looser than specified, so when that is expanded over a gazillion stiches, he ended up proportionate to the real Henry 8, who was quite a large guy. Now, my guy is large, but not that large. Let's get specific - we were trying for about 52" around, and ended up about 60". WOW. So Hank got washed, spun to damp, then took a brave trip in the dryer. On high. 10 minutes. He came out slightly fulled, and about 5" smaller all around. Nice. See?

Happy Holidays

Monday, December 20, 2004

Well, most of the Christmas prep that I was avoiding is done. Cards are out, Tree up, presents to west and east on their way, yarn room has been reconfigured into a guest room. Whew. Very little knitting accomplished over the past three days.

So, now is the time to look at the swatching that happened a few weeks ago.

This is a pattern that was adapted by Jean Frost into a cropped jacket in Knitters magazine several years ago. Notice that I didn't do the ssp correctly in the first pattern repeat. I had to go read the Knitters Lesson to get it right. I usually don't like lace patterns where the YO's are worked on every row, but this one is ok. Maybe it's the big yarn. The gauge is way off, and the pattern is written so that the sizes are changed by changing needle size. SO, this one will be passed for a while

Here is some color work done in some of the alpaca that my husband brougt back from Peru. Yummy. On gauge. You can see the pattern by clicking the link on the side bar. This one is a go, but I'm unsure of the color choice. Shown is tan/brown. I could also do black/tan, black/red, red/tan, purple/yellow-orange. Hmmmm.

I've been watching the Celtic Dreams, and read the article on top down aran. Here is a swatch that is not quite large enough, but will be the beginning basis of a self designed top down aran for husband. It's using a Jo Sharp Silkroad Ultra (wool/silk/cashmere) from Elann that is just yummy.

It's a big gauge - 4st/inch in the cables so it ought to just run through my fingers and knit up quickly.

Big news on big Hank later in the week.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I expected to be able to show off a finished Henry8, only to get to the cuff to find that I didn't catch a decrease change and ended with way too many stiches. Well, back it went, and I'm back at the cuff again.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Well, a new look for the Swatchyblog.

I've settled down on the next projects. More after the weekend.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Well, Family Tree is done, and almost dry enough to start his trip west. He came out a bit smaller than planned, but my sister assures me he will find a person who loves him.

I've got to find an hour or so to pick up all the stitches for the second Starz arm. Hank is about 15 rows away from the cuff. So close to both being done, and I'm beside myself.

I have no idea what to do next. I'm making myself crazy. This is stupid, because I have enough going on to cause myself to be crazy without making the selection of my next project into an "IMPORTANT ISSUE". Yeesh.

The last three projects, I sort of had lined up. Now – nothing is really begging to be done or used. The abundance of stash and patterns and lack of direction is causing more difficulty in deciding than usual. I think this is fun.

My process seems to be to riffle through my enormous collection of knitting magazines and books, open to some attractive project and spread them around the house. I have made this step much easier by placing sticky notes on the pictures I liked the last time I looked through. I notice my sense of what is nice or not changes from time to time. I make this harder by moving the magazines and books around a lot, so I’m never really able to put my hand on what I want. Then, I pull out all the nicely packed boxes of stash yarn and throw the yarn around the spare bedroom. This will cause me to have to re-organize it all in the future, but the throwing about and putting away all counts as "playing" with my stash. I find this activity as enjoyable as the actual knitting.

So, how to decide? I sometimes find a yarn I want to use, and choose a project to fit. Sometimes, I choose a project, and see if I have yarn that will work. Sometimes I choose a type of project, like modular.

Then I swatch and change my mind a few times before digging in. Sometimes the swatching process leads me to entirely change my direction. Then I start again. What I really need is a rainy day, and no family for a few hours.

How to others decide what to make?

And to end - an amazing good dog story. Husband brought home a few honk'in big T-bones the other night. Shiloh has apparently learned that polite dogs who don't want their bone taken away eat in their crate. (bad dogs eat on the livingr oom carpet, and lose thier bones) See how good he is?

Thursday, December 02, 2004

I seem to want to post on knitting milestones, so here we go.

The cotton/silk "Family Tree sweater has a front. You can't tell from the picture that there is no back, but that will be dealt with soon. I hope that woop-de-do on the bottom where the cable starts up will block out. Embarrassing if it doesn't. I still don't like the Debbie Bliss cotton aran, and am happy that it will be finished and off to it's owner in a week or so.

Musing - knit
I am pretty entranced with the background stitch for the Family Tree sweater. So simple, resulting in a complex texture. I decided that the knit/purl sections of my Barbara Walker books had been overlooked, so I sat down to review the first volume again. I found that the stitch I am using is called "sand stitch" in her Volume 1 book. Then I found an intriguing rib pattern called "Waving Rib" and it stuck in my head as a great pattern for some future design. Imagine my surprise to open the current Knitters, and find that same pattern in the "Wobbly Rib" pattern. Hmmm.

I'm not a bit scarf/blanket knitter, but I may do one up in the Elongated Diamond Pattern, which is advertised to be as interesting on the "back" side as the "front". Sam thoughts on "Imitation Lattice", the previous pattern. ( Hey you magazine designers - are you listening to my thoughts, or do I hear yours? )

Musing - non knit
I went to GirlScout "cookie rookie" training last night. I had no idea that Thin Mints are the largest selling cookie in the United States. They beat out Oreo and Chips Ahoy, and you can only buy them for about six weeks each year. How about that?

My peer in Texas resigned so I now have a double job. He was aggravated by the constant layoffs, and went for a more stable employer. He's not the only one that was not laid off, but is leaving anyway. Poor leadership is driving our good people off as fast as layoffs get rid of the weaker ones. What's left is smaller and shallower.

I was annoyed by some Jehovah's Witnesses last week. I am pretty tolerant of the witnessing activity that some faiths require of their people, and will let them go on for a few minutes. Well, this batty lady started off about some mother who had chopped off her baby's arms. She said it made her happy because of some prophesy. I told her that anyone who thought that harming infants was a good thing was deranged, and that she should leave. She kept going on about her prophesy, and I slammed the door.

Monday, November 22, 2004

What a week last week.
Return to the office to find all the execs in town visiting. Yecch. You would think someone would have told me. Doctor on Monday, Dentist on Tuesday, athletics recognition on Wednesday, Cook for office pot luck on Thursday, office pot luck on Friday.

Not much knitting, but made up for it during a rainy weekend.

Something snaps in my head when a person looks at my work and says "I could never do that". My mother taught me that I could do whatever I set my mind to, and I believe her. So the "I could never" sounds so lame to me. She also taught me that one could learn all sorts of things by reading directions and experimenting. So the "no one ever taught me", "I was never trained" statements don't do much for me.

But, I'm also getting a small bit wiser. When, at my daughter's volleyball practice, a woman ooooed over Starz. I smiled, and opened the whole sweater for her to admire and for me to show off. When she said the "I could never", I smiled and shrugged again, instead of saying what was going on in my head, which was not so very nice.

Now, most of the week is holiday for me, though I have made some goals of finishing some on line education classes. Obviously, the knitting goals were more important today, as I was so close to making a bench mark yesterday. That goal has been met. Mr. Starz has an arm.

I still get all shivery when I try to find that arm seam.

Hank's arm is about 1/2 done, but no pics until he's finished. Family Tree is the new car/TV/traveling project and he's progressing nicely as well.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Safely back from the business trip, and full of pictures. I think there are a few Swatchy fans out there, who have had no pictures for going on three weeks. Too bad. This post will make up for the drought and then some.

Yes, the goals set upon the beginning of the trip were unreasonable, and I knew it. Still much progress has been made, and I'm pleased.

Without further delay.....

From the eldest projects to the youngest projects:
Henry now has a stubby second sleeve. It only took five times to pick up the correct number of stitches and get him set up.

I have no idea why it was so hard, because picking up the stitches in pattern for Starz only took two tries. He's now on dpns, and has past the half way point to the cuff:

Now, is that sleeve pick up the coolest thing you've seen for a while? Well, we saw The Incredibles on Saturday and that was pretty cool too.

Now, the class project. I picked this because it looked pretty simple, and it was. It's Family Tree from Knitters Winter 1996, with a few modifications.

1st - change fiber to Debbie Bliss cotton/silk aran purchased at Hersingers for a good discount.
2nd - recalculate gauge, as even though the yarn label claims 17st/4inch in stockenette on #7 needles, the best I can do is 16st/4in on #4's. If I go down to #3's the fabric is like armor, and not nice.
3rd - modify the edge because the cotton/silk plays this nasty number on the cast on edge:

Yuck. I used the same edge as Tuja; a bit fussy to do, but produces a nice knitted roll.

This picture has a little cable cheesecake for you.
4th - Do it in the round. Two reasons. One, I'm lazy and if I can remove a step, like seams, I do. Second, with the weight of the fabric, I think removing seams is a good idea.

So far, sleeves, and about 10" of body.

Don't ask how I like the Bliss Cotton/Silk Aran. I don't. It's heavy and stringy.
I do, however, like the broken moss stitch used as the background pattern. It is another one of those lovely knitting tricks. So easy, yet it produces such a nice texture that appears complex. Broken moss, by the way is:
r1 and r3 right side: knit
r2 k,p
r4 p,k

attractive, easy, and no bias

Monday, November 08, 2004

About enough time to blog and run this morning.

I'm doing ok on my list. No exercise yet, but decent on the eating.
Knitting, well, the new sweater is doing better than the others. One and a half sleeves done, and I did the fiddly part of casting on for the body last night. I wanted to make sure I didn't run out during class.

Henry, oh Henry has a sleeve attached. It took me four tries to get it right. I'm about 1/8 down it now. Little chance to finish him this week, but at least he is on his way again.

Starz first sleeve is about half way from the airplane trip. He'll be close to having one sleeve finished by the time we land back in Houston on Friday.

I really wanted to have something finished for my husband when I returned. Well, body to cuff sleeves tend to go quickly past the half way point, so we shall see.

On the weekend, I went to NYC. Both days. The place was filled with men ( and women ) in tights for the Marathon. I went straight to Times Square. That place is like Disneyland now. Twenty years ago, it was full of trash, drunks, hookers, funny smells and a sense of danger. Now it's so clean. I'm not sure I like it this way. But I digress. I stood in line at TKTS, trying to re-live my poor college visits and got a seat for "Wonderful Town". The show was just OK, but Brooke Shields has "star" quality. She dominated the cast. I don't know exactly how that is done, but wow, it's amazing to watch.

On the way out, I dropped into the box office of "Avenue Q", and was fortunate to get a great seat for the Sunday matinee. It was a great show; edgy, funny, and creative. The fun I enjoyed was the poking around topics that we often try to hide. The puppet intercourse was a bit hard to watch.

Anyway, in checking into blogland this morning, I was caught up in a feeling of Schadenfreude. Now, I don't much comment on what other blogs are doing - it's their stuff, and mine is personal and mostly for me. However, "W" vs "dish" got me thinking about that AveQ skit, and I was in the theater againn

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Progress on known projects were halted this last week. My manager told us he had been away taking care of his wife who had cancer surgery. I made her two soft chemo hats, and sent them off. I didn't photograph them, as they were sort of boring to look at. Very soft though. One is light brown chenille. The other is wool/silk, bright pink with some black tweedy bits.

Pack, Vote, Fly
Will be away on business for the next 10 days.

Of course, I have entirely unrealistic ideas of what I can accomplish.

FWIW, I plan to:
Stay on a reasonable eating plan.
Exercise most every day.
Finish Hank
Finish Starz
Make a lot of progress on a new project that is destined for my BiL for Xmas.

That means going thru about two skeins a day plus, oh yeah, work.

We will see.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Well, Tuja is now a finished object. Here she is, drying on her towel, waiting for a box and a birthday card. She's going to San Francisco.

We are quite dizzy here, as the Tuja arm as well as the Starz arms are done in the round. I often do arms first, but they are quite a change of pace from the body. I used to get discouraged as they seemed to take sooooo long to do. Then I read that 1/3 of the work in a long sleeved sweater was in the arms. Well, that explains it. I'm not "almost done" when the body is off the needles. Now, especially with these big repeats I like going from a half repeat in a week to a whole repeat in a weekend.

Will show Stars arms later, when it is more developed.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

He looks so much nicer with his collar on, don't you agree? I was so pleased with how it looked that I pulled out a needle and sewed it right down. And thank you for the lovely comments. I get all tingly when I rate an "OMG", or someone thinks that little 'ole me is awesome. Pat pat pat.

Inspired by Meg Swanson and BlogDogBlog Lisa, I picked up the arm in pattern, and plan to work the chart sideways for continuation of the pattern, but, of course, in the sideways direction. I think that makes sense. Anyway, for a coherent description, check Meg Swanson's "Knitting" book or the Giant Latvian Mitten Pullover over at BlogDogBlog's archive. Try July 2003. Yes, it was a fussy job, but I've done it once, and can do it again.

Hey Lisa, how does it feel to be mentioned in the same sentence as Meg? Yummy, I think.

In the mean time, I find my interest in blogging waxes and wanes. I'm waneing now, and I don't feel guilty about missing the advertised posting schedule. So there.

Maybe you all can cheer me up. I find that I will be spending the first weekend in November in lovely Central New Jersey. I normally would hide out, maybe try to get into New York for a show and some museums. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Neck opening picture a day early. Ooooooh oooooh, like it really matters. Well, here he is in his geometric splendor for any blog viewers to enjoy.

Volleyball game today, so the Tuja arm will progress some. I'm 4 inches into it and ready to ditch the double points for two circulars.

I've apparently internalized the ADD thing. I spoke with our pediatritian, and she was quite supportative. She mentioned that often the kids are so very releived to find that they aren't freaks, and there is something simple they can do to deal with their frustration at not being able to focus or not being able to control thier reactions the way their peers can.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Whew, what a weird week. Yes, I dodged the layoff again. The feeling moved from deer in the headlights to run around in circles. Lots of time discussing who's leaving, who's staying, and who's been asked to leave but is desperately trying to find a place.

I spent way too much time in a rental car, visiting people in San Antonio and Lafayette. I finished listening to "The Blind Assassin" by Margaret Atwood. I liked it, Atwoods characters drift about too passively for my usual taste. Then a tiny comment, or incident, and the whole world view changes for them instantly. Took eleven hours of audio book to get there.

We saw daughters head doctor last week who showed us that we have almost certainly a case of ADD on our hands. I've wondered in the past 12 years. Husband has been reading excerpts to me from the recommended book. I'm wondering if this "condition" exists simply because people who don't have it defined what normal is supposed to be. On the great side, we can now observe that she has been adapting like mad the past year or so, developing strategies to work around her impulsiveness. This will take some time to internalize.

One day last week when I had spent too much time driving and working I just sat down and put the arm onto Tuja. I started the second arm yesterday and worked a few inches during the Girl Scout meeting. Straight knitting is comforting. One of the girls in my troop is on medication for ADD and bi-polar disorder. She was very difficult to work with last night and I was wondering if my newer view on ADD affected the situation.

I'm about three rows away from the neck decreases on Starz. Picture then.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Anxiety has broken through.

A large lay off was announced for my business a few weeks ago. I was able to ignore this huge pending change and keep on going for about two weeks. The noise level now can not be overlooked, and the stay/go announcement is this Friday. This is a really "Dilbert-esque" scene. It is going to be bad for those who stay, as they will have to cope with the same work load, but fewer resources. It will be not so good from me to be told to leave. I'm just 1.5 years from lifetime health insurance, or so I believe. The way companies are leaving their employees high and dry, maybe this is also an illusion. Anyway, daily conversations are laced with the pending announcements, and I'm finding it all very hard to deal with.

Now knitblog worthy material. Last spring I finished this vest that I donated as a recognition gift for our Girl Scout service unit. I didn't hook up with the winner before school let out, but she recently called, as she has some stuff for me. She works at a school nearby, and dropped by yesterday so we could trade. I may have commented on how huge this vest seemed, but that she was a large woman, and maybe it would be right. Well, it fit beautifully, and she was quite happy. Big smiles all around.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Tuja fussed at me on Tuesday. I figured that I needed to get the sleeve started before Wednesday's volleyball game, as the edges have a little hem that is fussy and visually intensive. The point of the easy project is to be able to knit and watch the game at the same time. While I was getting the sleeve set up, the body suggested that I ought to finished her up. So, I stayed up late, and did just that. I tried it on, and it's not a bad looking tank. A single crochet around the arms, and put it on.

Both 7th and 8th grade teams won, and won very fast. I think the girls have learned the game protocol so there is less time between serves. We're about 40 rows into sleeve #1 now.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Goodness, so many knitting rings, knit a longs and swaps, it makes my head spin. Want to do it all, must be choosy. I recently added Southern Knitters, and found one just for us big 'ol Texans, so applied for that.

Managed to do some knitting on Starz on the way up to camp. I was way too tired on the way back.

Camp was mostly great - the girls did all the meal planning, and I enabled the shopping. We talked about budgets and money in detail for the first time. They are now aware of how much money their troop has, and how much a camping trip costs. I'm thinking that will make them all the more excited about any freebies they may be offered. We did most of our cooking with charcoal and my buddy burners. We even broke out the hobo stove for sausage Sunday Morning. We got to go swimming and use the camp paddle boats. We even got up for a dawn hike. They did all their capers with only a little prodding, and most of their clean ups. They will be great campers in another year.

Now, the not so great part - for some reason, a car racing venue was opened right next door to the Girl Scout camp. Can you believe it? That's Texas for you - as little oversight over land use as possible. So now, this loveley and historic site is subject to very loud automobile noise on Saturday nights. The noise also scared all the deer away.

I'm going back to this site for a service unit event in about a month. I'm wondering if we should set up next to the track, and try to kum-by-yah them to death, or see if I can get discount tickets to the races. Would that be embracing change, and controlling that which is out of control, or subsidizing the evil noise makers? What do you think?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

I had no idea I had really made a cat blanket. Thanks GingGong for setting me straight. For some reason I feel no urge to send this to the critter knitter collection.

One of the wonderful people who left a comment asked what's next? Well..... I've still got a Henry8 on the needles, a Tuja, and a two color sweater on the needles. I'll work on those for a while.

This weekend is dedicated to scouts. Don't anticipate a lot of knitting.

What a hurricane season we've had! Lets send a wish to those folks in the path of Ivan. One of my work friends has a mother in Mobile, too stubborn to leave. The whole team is worried. My daughter asked why the mom didn't go even though her daughter and son asked her to come to their homes. Mom's just don't think they need to do what thier kids tell them to do. I hope I'm not that way when I get there.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Turn up the air conditioning - Ingeborg has arrived.

I'm too old for Astroworld. Roller coasters always made me feel funky, but they were fun. This time, not even fun. Maybe it was because my honey was not here; just me and the daughter.

Ingeborg is still almost finished. I managed to get the second arm sewn on, but I didn't like the way I placed the lace on the bottom and neck edge. So I pulled it off and it's pinned back in, waiting to be sewn again. After that, button loops and buttons. I did manage to find buttons locally. I have not found a great button shop here. I looked into a store this time called "butotns and bows". You would think they had buttons, no? Well, it's a smocking shop of all things. Two racks of standard brand buttons, but I managed to find one that would do. Next time I'm in San Francisco, I'll spend a wad at Britex.

Starz is almost to the armholes. The back of Tuja is almost done.

No pictures until some milestone has been met. Almost there.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Back from Kerrville Folk Festival on Monday. Nice event, and a big Kum-by-yah for all.

Did I mention that Ingeborg is taking forever to finish? Yikes, I worked on the second button band all the way to San Antonio. I thought about why this was taking so very long. I realized that I usually throw some ribbing around the edges and call it done. Ingeborg not only has the lace bits, but every edge has a facing, including the armholes. Not that I'm complaining; it's beautiful on the inside. I do think the armhole is a bit bulky, but not too bad. This is the first Dale I've done, and I just didn't anticipate the amount of finishing.

Worked on Starz at the concert while waiting for the sun to set, and on the ride home. Took forever to get home with a combination of rain storms and traffic. I wanted to finish sewing Ingeborg arms, but the light was so poor sewing arms wasn't working for me. Over the weekend I was able to complete about a pattern repeat on Starz, so it's almost to the armhole.

Second middle school Volleyball game tonight. Apparently there will be some real competition tonight. I've got Tuja loaded, and ought to get the body pretty close to finished.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Happpy September.
Still wondering how the year goes by so fast these days.

1st volleyball game today. Daughter got her uniform yesterday, with a very peppy hair ribbon in school colors with her name printed on it. Tuja is ready.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Back from my trip. I wasn't impressed with the class content, but a lot of knitting was done. On the travel leg from Houston to Atlanta, I finished the lace bits for Ingeborg:

I knew that the Starz project would be too hard for the class, but I worked some on it in the evenings and on the way back:

And on the leg from Atlanta to Newark, I cast on, and did the fiddly hem bit for Tuja from Dale 116 in Classic Elite Believe, color "mystic moss". They have you knit six rows, then purl the first row the the current row to make a little roll; nice but tedious. I used a temporary cast on with the ugly purple acryllic yarn to make the cast on stitches easier to find and pick up.

I was stoked because I got to the first cross over just as the class was ending. Cables are too complicated for class, so I was delighted to have just enough work for the time. I worked up the criss cross section on the way home according to the pattern, and hated how it looked. So, I tore it all back, and did it properly with a cable needle. The pattern uses cleverly paired increases and decreases to move the ribs to the center, but once it goes into cables, it was a mess.

I like it better now. So, now I'm up to the neck separation on the front; the back is separated and on a holder waiting for the front to be done. Since the first volleyball contest is Thursday, I think this will be a decent spectator project.

Oh - a close up of the highlight of Tuja - the criss cross part:

I'm messing with finishing the button bands on Ingeborg for the rest of the weekend. I did some shopping for buttons as well. Maybe we'll have a picture of her finished soon.

Monday, August 23, 2004

I'm leaving in a half hour for a business trip. Back on Thursday. Why do I think that I can catch up on everything while away? I've packed half a suitcase of knitting, and thought I could download some self paced classes and do those too. For some reason, those classes have to be taken on line, so I have this goal of doing at least one while I'm away. Yeah, right..... after a day in school and picking up the e-mails that came in during the day. Hmmmm.

Well, I'm feeling fragmented, and like I'm not accomplishing anything. However, if one strolls through my house one will see all sorts of progress bits.

A sleeve with some lace peeking out

Some more lace - almost 42" slightly stretched

A button band has been picked up. That Ingeborg sure has a lot of fiddly bits to do before she is finished.

And some starz are born

Friday, August 20, 2004

Wow! Daughter in distress made the "A" team for school volleyball. 60ish girls tried out, and nine made the "A" team, with three more spot to be designated later. What a self esteem bump, or so it seems. On the way home, she said many girls didn't know why she made it and they didn't, then said they all hated her and she would probably not be able to keep her spot. Then we discussed how those girls may be jealous, and how if she kept working hard she should have no trouble staying the team. The coach told us that she wanted to see concentration and improvement in try outs, and obviously, daughter showed what coach was looking for. Her perception that the girls all hate her is probably not true, but even so, it makes no difference - a team is a team. As a mother I'm sure that once they get to know each other the opinions will change; dad says their opinions are irrelevant. Adolescence - yeesh At least we're all in therapy now.

I'm thinking of going with family to Kerrville for the Labor Day music festival. Any other Texan knit bloggers thinking the same? I hear it's a big Kum-by-ya weekend, and I be we can knit too!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

My husband is home for a while, and I think he is trying to cheer me up by sending me e-mail jokes. He sent this picture today, and I looked it up on urban myths, and yes, it is real. Check out this cool place to sit and do your "business":

On the knitting front, I'm creeping towards finishing Ingeborg. It's been hard with all the home front disruptions that take a much higher priority than knitting or blogging. Dorothy asked about the three needle bind off, and armholes. I don't know that I can answer her. I decided to add steek stitches, as my sewing machine is not to be trusted. So, I've done the crochet and cut as well as the three needle bind off. I suppose you could put the stitches on a holder, do the sewing, cut, then bind the shoulders off together. Back to me, the collar is sewn, armhole steeks crocheted. I plan to sew up the bottom and sleeve hems next, then knit button bands, sew the sleeves on after that. I've decided to say yes to lace.

The new Starz pullover is jerking along as well. Ten minutes in the parking lot waiting for volleyball practice to finish, here, a doctor waiting room for twenty minutes there, some passenger seat time. That's about it.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Why am I on a rollercoaster, and I'm NOT at AstroWorld?

Yeesh. Last week and a half have been a wreck.

Monday, Back from vacation, really late, no luggage. Ingeborg body was in a bag, husband's keys in the other.

Tuesday, Took husband to airport for his next four week away from home trip, and went back to my own job. Found out that three of my larger projects I was working on closed with no sale. Crud.

Wednesday, Left for my own business trip. Received a call late night from daughter's camp - minor injury that required a trip to the e-room. Didn't sleep much

Thursday, Ran into some extreme issues on a nice project. Probably can't win the deal because a competitor has a much nicer solution for the size. Another camp call - daughter fainted, and was taken back to the e-room. It was my birthday. I cried.

Friday, Got home, did house work and accounting all weekend. Boring is good.

Monday - Picked up bags, finally. The Ingeborg body was in there, and thankfully had not started to grow mold. Late night, more calls from camp. Daughter is apparently hurting herself, and needs to come home. Made air arrangements, spoke to husband, didn't sleep much.

Tuesday - spent the day making appointments, turning over work (again), trying not to cry. Picked up daughter.

Wednesday - husband returns - we fight, mostly because we are so stressed out and tired. Take daughter to medical doc and find a sinus infection. Take nap. Take daughter to get prescriptions filled, and we get our nails done. She's mostly ok - husband and I agree that she does is experimenting with behaviors, does not appear to be in immediate danger, but does need help dealing with her feelings. We all see a psychologist this afternoon, so we will have a professional opinion of what's up.

Knitting helps - especially during sleepless nights and on airplanes. So, here's the positive progress..... A novelty yarn scarf in garter stitch for daughter. She choose the yarn earlier in the summer. It's a little over 60" long.

Closeup of the yarn - black core with red fur. My screen is shoing some magenta. Don't believe it, it's just red. She likes it a lot.

Ingeborg now has a collar and her front steek is opened up. I'll sew down the collar and the bottom hem before progressing onto the button bands and sewing in the arms. Must find buttons.

On the business trip I started a new project for my husband. Remember, poor Ingeborg was still in a lost suitcase.

Friday the 13th is tomorrow. Can we please settle down?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Well, we're back, just in time to leave again. (business travel for us both) Vacation was beautiful, right up until the American Airlines computer disaster on Sunday. We were four hours delayed, got home at 3:00 a.m. and our luggage went on it's own vacation. Here it is, Wednesday, and it's still not here. The agent typed our delivery address incorrectly, and my husband was so tired he just grabbed the receipt and did not do his usual annoying inspection of paperwork. So, now I have the number of the delivery service, and I'm hoping they call me back. He's anxious because he has his house and car keys in there. I'm anxious because the completed body of Ingeborg is in mine.

Cross your fingers for me - I don't know if I can start that body from scratch.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Big stressful day today - airport with daughter going one way, and us going a different direction a few hours later.   Everyone is excited, and we tend to get snappy. We will be better when we get there.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Progress on Ingeborg - up to three pattern repeats now.
No proress on Hank8.
I'm getting set up on the Southern Region knitblog ring. Heee Haw.

Two birthday parties. One for a friend, one for daughter. We did a "teenage mystery" party,Barbeque with a Vampire, and it was pretty good. I would suggest it for 13year olds or older - there are some racy elements. The kids rated it an 8 or better out of 10. They said that they had fun, but there was too much talking; not enough action. One of the boys was a little distubured at one of the story elements, but it turned out that we could skip that entire part with no impact on the story. I forget that we are in Texas. The punch with floating eyeballs was poular. The Brain Jello got a great reaction, but no one ate it. We had Baskin Robbins do a cake with a gravestone, and they wrote "Who is the Vampire?" on the cake. I love getting people to make things custom just for me.

I had a call from a local dance studio offering a free lesson - ballroom. My husband and I went last night and it was pretty fun. He was stiff at first but got into it after a while. The teacher was great, and when it came time for the sale part, husband just whipped out his card and paid for three more sessions. We won't do it until September as he will be away on business, but it is something special to look forward to.

I'm going to focus on going on vacation next week.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Look ma, one arm:

I've cut the other arm opening, but was distracted by other projects before casting on for the last arm. I don't think this will be ready for husband's return to Peru, so I'll shoot for his birthday.

And Ingeborg, the main distratction has gotten to armhole openinings, and is just past 1/2 way up the body.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Having a nice day off after fireworks last night. Daughter wants to go to the malls to pick up what she needs to go away to camp for two weeks. Good timing with the sales and all.

Almost done w/Henry8 sleeve #1, and developing a plan to finish him off in the next week or so. Also almost done w/pattern repeat #2 of Ingeborg. Pictures pending.

But in the mean time, check out this Doonesbury page. There is a new character, helping B.D. recover from his injury, and the information on his profession includes knitters. Wishing B.D. a successful recovery, by the way.

Friday, July 02, 2004

So, over on the Ingeborg board, I offered to show a picture of my sleeves, since I added a sleeve line. Of course, the answer was yes. What am I, stupid? So, here they are.... Notice I didn't really try to get the lines really straight.

Managed another 1/2 pattern repeat. Beg me to show it to you.

Monday, June 28, 2004

I became obsessed with Ingeborg this week.

I also cleaned my living room, and it is again lovely to sit in. Part of the tidying work included picking up the odd needles, balls of yarn and magazines that were sitting in my knitting basket. I also checked up on Henry8, and he's made no progress on his sleeve. Funny, to think that he may be able to knit himself underneath a pile of magazines.

By the way - to those weather goddesses out there - I'm really tired of daily torrential rain and thunder storms.

Monday, June 21, 2004

I was supposed to go to Louisiana today, but I missed my flight. I'm glad too, because I think I picked up Fifth disease from the nephews last week. This is a mild childhood illness that I apparently managed to miss until now. It's also called "slap face" because of the rash. Last night I was really itchy, and needed to go out for some Bennydryl. I still feel off, and I think I'll be itching again this afternoon. Lovely.

I've almost finished sleeve #2 for Ingeborg. No picture, because it looks just like the first one.

Speaking of itching, last week I was itching for a new project. So, Swatchy has been swatching. The alpaca my husband brought me from Peru is just perfect for another pattern in the Dale 126 book that Ingeborg is in. Here are some colorways for #2 Hardangervidda. ( #3 needle for future reference) We all like the middle one the best.

And I got busy with the Brilla paint that I ripped out last week. All with a #5 needle

#1 is a slip stitch pattern with some navy mohair from an VogueKnitting;Spr/Summer 1985
#2 same pattern w/light blue shetland wool
#3 linen stitch w/light blue shetland
#4 linen stitch w/navy mohair
#5 linen stitch 3/brilla solid - kiwi
#6 from Jean Frost Jackets - sanquar slip stitch in very light green wool
#7 linen stitch w/light green wool
#8 slip stitch #1 with the light green

I still don't know what I'm going to do with this stuff. Husband admired #5. I'm thinking of doing the Jean Frost Jacket with #6 or doing my own design with #6 and #7. I'll have to check if I have enough of the light green. I'm also thinking of some other patterns to swatch. Maybe I'll use all 16 balls on test swatches. Serve me right.

I also got out some Classic Elite "Believe" that I ordered from Elann during a yarn binge. It's supposed to knit to 21st/10cm on #7 needles. I got 19 stitches on #5's, proving once again that swatching is good. I'm either knitting a lot looser than I used to, or the yarn industry has gotten uptight. I seem to need to go down several needle sizes from the recommended one these days. Well, it's just perfect for Tuja from Dale #116. The pattern calls for their wool, but I don't see a good reason why the Believe should not be appropriate. No picture - looks just like stockenette stitch.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Crystal Cove using Brilla print-

The pattern is clever; the shape is fine, the yarn is lovely to work with.
The multicolor yarn detracts from the pattern, and the pattern detracts from the yarn. I should have figured this out about the time I finished the front. Off the the frog pond we go.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Had to add a note about Miss GingGong. She is veeerrrry happy to see us. First she did the kitty punishment - *let me out/let me in* repeat between *'s. Now she is sitting on my knitting and helping me type. She has also swatted at both of us. I think she is scared and angry when we leave. Then relieved and angry when we return. Makes sense. She was a stray, and had been shuttled to many homes before we took her in.
Back from our trip, and it was nice.
Good Weather.
No wedding.

FIL did roast a pig for us, and a good portion of the clan came down. Curiously, the bride2be did not show at the party at all, although us kids saw her before and after. Lots of odd interpersonal currents moving, but I was able to work on to the Ingeborg sleeve and listen. Keeps me from being a snippy, arrogant Yankee. The bonus is that I'm about six inches into the second sleeve now.

Oh, and she seems to be keeping the shawl. Fine with me.

Crystal Cove awaits side seams. I'm hoping it looks as good on as it does hanging in the picture. I'll write some pattern notes if anyone is interested. The pattern has a few very clever elements.

I'm itching for a new project. I just started two - what's up with that? So, I'm looking at really old Vogue knitting magazines. Yummy.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Off to North Carolina...
to see what happens.

There will be a plane flight and then a three hour drive to the coast. Have Crystal Cove, extra yarn, a started Ingeborg sleeve #2 (to set the pattern) Have #2 dps, 12" and 16" circulars. Have needle, tape measure, and sizzors in bag to check. Book and backuup book. There will be a beach, and a deliciously evil Sister in Law, as well as assorted family.

How can I not have fun?

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Another week

Too much stress.

Personal stress - will the court give an extension on the speeding ticket because I'm waiting for my drivers record? I requested the silly thing too late. arrrgh!

Family/Personal stress - daughter went to a slumber party and had to be picked up at 2:30 a.m because they said she was sick. She had really had a very disturbing nightmare, so disturbing that it left her dizzy and in tears. Just the condition for a member of a pre-teen slumber party crowd. I fed her some pancakes, and we settled down again about 3:30a.m. I'm up for work, and I'm tired.

More family stress - FIL's lady friend who was kicked out last week is back in. What will happen?

Work stress - just too much, and not enough results. Will have to travel more in the later part of June. Yuck. Just had a good project killed because of a variety of conflict but the end is that the work done is flushed.

More work/family stress - I need to spend time during the day to deal with a car tire replacement and some registration. How do I balance it all?

Knitting? Well, another monument to the simple notion that if one works on a project, there will be results. (unlike my work) Henry8 who has been languishing under my main knitting chair is now on deck, and being worked. I was surprised how little I had done on the sleeve. A mere 28 rows. But I got some time on Sunday to settle down for a few hours, and knocked out amost an entire 64row repeat. Here he is, with about half a sleeve done:

Thursday, June 03, 2004

So, I'm making myself crazy with procrastination and too much to do. So what should I do? How about a blog entry? Well, I have just the right amount of time, and other activities will take more or less.

Promised pictures - the finished Crystal Cove front/back. I'm not impressed yet. It is sort of a misshapen rectangle. I'm hoping that when the other side is attached at the shoulders, the graceful swoops of the stitch/short row pattern will be revealed. In the mean time, I still think the colors are great, and the yarn is making a great fabric.

And - ta daa! An Ingeborg sleeve.

Ingeborg is going to go to sleep for a bit. I will be working on Hank8.

I tried last night to work on Hank8, while taking a safe driving course on the Internet. One of my procrastinated tasks. Well, it's a great course, and requires attention, so I could not manage my complicated and long neglected project friend. Maybe I'll finish tonight, and get him started up. What will I do if I ever finish, and he is no longer keeping me company underneath my chair? Oh, yeah - I could start another project. Silly me.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Back from the water park, and recovered from a day of prune skin. The rest of the long weekend was finishing parts. No pictures. Ingeborg sleeve, and a front/back unit for Crystal Cove. For a short moment I had nothing on my needles but Henry8. Dodn't get to him, as my daughter abandonded her sewing project, and I finished that as well. Good thing we didn't have part of a half gallon of ice cream and an apple pie, because since I was finsining everything else....

But I digress. I did get distracted with the sewing, and cut out a dress for myself.

And the big news - FIL's wedding is off, but we are all still going to see him in N. Carolina. I sent that grey mohair shawl off to the financee. Wonder if it is going to come back.

Thursday, May 27, 2004


At 12:30 today. The girl and I are taking a road trip and spending Friday at an awesome water park. The second half of our weekend will be spent with me helping her finish a sewing project, and my commitment to get Henry8 out from under the chair. Little hope of finishing him before my husband returns to Peru. He does not get to stay home very long, and I'm not very fast. My poor man gave me the best "why haven't you finished that yet?" I've heard. He told me he had to buy a cheap sweater in Lima, because he was getting cold. When he got it home he found it was poorly made, and he had to repair some holes. Booo Hooo. Come home to Texas, honey. It's 90 degress in the afternoon.

However, I'm easily distracted. As will be revealed.

This is my new "traveling" project, "Cove Creek" by "Just One More Row" from Brilla cotton/rayon purchased from I was hoping that the multi-color sections would be longer so that the colors striped instead of puddled. Even so, there is a lot of movement and it's shiny and drapey and fun.

But wait! There's more. I couldn't stop from starting this:

I joined the knit along hosted by the Wendy. This is cashmere/merino purchased from WEBs. The person who writes the description must have been up too late, as the yarn is described as sport weight. No way - this is about the same weight as shetland/lace wool. It's two tight strands, so one can split it easily, but the strands are so tight, it is a simple matter to set the yarn right again. It needs to be washed and will fluff into a light but crisp fabric. Just right for the mild winters here.

I bought way too much, and there is a pattern in a really old Knitters that I will do next for my poor cold husband. But that is after waterparks and after Henry.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Well, I think I would lose my head if it were not attached. I cleaned yesterday, and did not find two of the items I was expecting to find in the mess. One was the pattern pamphlet for a new project. The other was my camera. Well, I had dug out my desk, but didn't dig out the car. In the car, I did find the camera, which I knew was probably there, as I used it for the Girl Scout bridging on Saturday. <> I also found a copy of my pattern swimming around the passenger side. I know that pamphlet is around; I know I didn't take it out of the house. That it too high risk. I make copies to go into my traveling bag.

Is it a copyright violation to make several copies for personal use, because one is scatterbrained, then lose them in random places such as pizza parlors or school auditoriums?

Anyway, I now have a few more copies now to hide away in places where I won't find them in the future.

In the mean time, with all the confusion, I was holding out on the blog readers. (All four of you.) This will continue, as I have a busy week. Well, some will be revealed:

The finished lace shawl, and the background is my backyard, where the armidillos play by the way.

and some detail.

Two new projects making nice progress, but I've not photographed yet, so it will have to wait.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Oooooh, Gene, I feel so complemented!! Me confused with a Rowan designer? Heee heee heee.

Here's the scoop on the on the finished sweater. I saw Sara Peasleys work on her Hanne Falkenberg Tokyo. I thought, wow, that would make a fine manly sweater. It's a slip stitch pattern that can be found in Barbara Walkers third book, called "Ceasars Check". I had a very dear friend who has asked for a sweater, and worked the pattern as one of a group of swatches. He said he wanted "British racing green and tan". Well, I had what I thought was the correct green, and some nice tape from a Webs bag sale about thirteen years ago. Lana Borgesia Castle 30% mohair, 30%wool, 40% acrylic. That company must have been on a King Arthur kick, as the label has a sword in a stone graphic. The fuzzy mohair I'm using for the "dice blue" shawl is from the same stash, and it's called "Morgana", and has the same graphic. My friend liked the slip stitch swatch; the yarn makes a nice soft fabric and the mohair is not brushed and fuzzy. Then it was a matter of figuring gauge, and applying that "Grand Plan" sweater chart. Viola!

By the way, I previously used the same tape on my last personal design. I used a cable and lace design, and it looks amazingly like the one on the splash page, but that one is done in a cotton.

I love those BW books. This is only the second sweater I've done this way. Well, if you count all the baby sweaters, maybe that's not really true. I can't really "see" what those little photos would look like on a finished sweater. I had passed over this little pattern many times, as it appeared awfully boring. Only a few of them speak to me. Now, I'll look at the magazines, and think, hey - that's just a BW stitch design on a plain shape. Or, I'll see it on one of the blogs out there. I think I've read this thought before, and the writer may have been slamming the magazine. I appreciate seeing the application of the stitch pattern on a garment. It helps me put a design together more confidently. For example, was sort of excited by all the sanquar check gloves this winter. Not that I'm much of a glove knitter, my brain sez: great pattern to apply to a sweater, or mens wear vest.

Now, in the mean time, I've finished the lace, but my little camera is waiting for the battery to charge. I've started two new projects. Only right, as I've finished three, don't you think? I still have a commitment to get Henry out and working this weekend. Want to guess what I've begun? There is a hint on the page for one, and I've mentioned a recent pattern purchase as well.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Happy Monday, again.

Look who's lounging on my sofa, waiting to be dry:

This little guy, or his friend has been hiding in the sweater during lapses in finishing progress.

Living in an urban rain forest, it's awfully hard to keep the critters out. We were disturbed when we first moved in by odd noises out the bedroom window at night. Turned out to be a good sized armadillo. I did some research, and found that the common approach is to leave them alone. The thought is that if you remove one, another just move in after it. I hear our neighbor a few doors down traps and destroys the ones that wander into her yard. I hope she enjoys the activity as there seems to be an endless supply of these guys. The other approach is to get a terrier, as they are bred to be rodent hunters, and will often aggressively go after them. Our bedroom 'dillo usually produces a brood of babies this time of year. I've not seem them yet, but I hear they've been about. One may have already met it's end by meeting the neighbor dogs.

I also found a yucky baby bunny with parts eating out of it on my back porch. Has Miss GingGong not been enjoying her meals?

Enough of the critters. Back to knitting. I was pulled over by the knitting police for knitting lace without a pattern. The sentence? About twenty rows. I'm just glad that I wasn't convicted for knitting under the influence.

In the mean time, here she is, waiting for a conference call.