Monday, December 19, 2005

Big beginning here at Swatchy. Mostly to get ready for a much anticipated Bahamas Christmas. We will have two days of travel out and back as we will be spending a night in Florida. I wanted some things that would fit in a zip lock, not take up too much space, but provide ample knitting activity while on vacation for ten days. The "Rose Trellis" will probably go on the plane with me outbound, and I hope to finish that project while gone.

I've joined some Knit Alongs. I'm not much of a joiner, but I was planning on a few smaller projects, and thought it would be fun to be part of a group. I felt kind of dorky when I thought about it; one post, then probably two weeks gone.

First up - Branching Out using "Barrington Mohair" purchased from WEBS ages ago. So, I joined the Branching Out KAL, and added the button to my side bar.

The color is really more purple. This represents two pattern repeats. I have been knitting while my daughter gets her hair cut. They stylist really admires the work, and has asked for something. She said purple was her favorite color, so this will be her "tip" next time we go.

Next, I'm making a hat to match the top down aran recently finished. ( check the archives if you are interested) My husband seems to be enjoying the sweater, and has worn it many times since the temperature dropped here. The hat will have a braid around the edge, which will get grafted together. Then I'll pick up all around and stockenette the rest of the hat. Like this one on Knitty This would be a "Fall Cables KAL" project

I got it started so it was on a needle, ready for his trip. I'll need to dig up some double points so I can do the brim. This will probably go quite quickly. Love love love the Jo Sharp Silk Road that this is made from. The alarming yellow is the provisional cast on. Crummy picture, but go look at the sweater instead.

Last, I had my daughter and her friend wind yarn for an Ingeborg hat. I made an Ingeborg last year, and have always wanted the hat to go with her.

The PIS sweater will NOT be going to the Bahamas. She has been moving right along. Here is an update. Shilo of course is inspecting the arm hole steek. Please, someone, tell me why knit bloggers like to show off their steeks? I figure about two more inches, or 20 rows before I cast of for the neck. I will work back and forth from there, and plan to try some short row shaping for the shoulder.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lace happens.
This shawl is effectively three sections. The beginning pointy part, then nine pattern repeats in the center, then an ending pointy part. Here we have about three center repeats complete.

I pinned it onto the wall for a photograph, and that's a bit of counter over on the side. The original image is nicer. When I smooshed it to fit into the blog it seems the center "rose" pattern was affected.

It took longer than I expected for my hands and brain to wrap around this pattern. However, I now "see" what is happeining, and while I still refer to the pattern, it's just to remind me of which manuvers are next, and how to treat the first and last pattern on the row. So, I can't put it down for fear I'll forget what's what, and go back to ripping three rows for every five knit.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Last week's post was the 200th post to the Swatchy Blog.

Gotta love a good value statement. Apologies for the tear. Does Sears even sell yarn under it's own brand anymore?

FWIW, this is the white in the PIS sweater.

Notes on yarn; all of the yarn used is vintage wool from E-bay. You know about the white now. The rest is Bear Brand, or Fleishers 95% virgin wool and 5% Shetland wool purchased in odd lots. I fusted before starting this piece because I had a total of four 2 ounce skeins of the darker blue. I didn't have a clue if it would be enough. The sleeves don't give a yardage. I have been very impressed with the yardage of the older wools. I really liked how the colors worked on, so I decided what the heck, I've made bigger messes before this. My plan was to evaluate my progress when the first skein of dark blue pooped out.

Well, I made it to the armhole steek on my first skein and I feel better now. Somewhere, I learned that 1/3 of the material went into the sleeves, and 1/3 each for the front and back was a reasonable estimate of usage. Understanding that the sleeves are the same amount of work as a front or back significantly reduced my "sleeve angst". Those things get big. But I digress. From my measurements, I should be able to finish the body with the second skein, or just a little from the third. That gives me just less than half of my available dark blue for the sleeves, which should be plenty. I wanted full length sleeves, and now I can have them. I may even have enough for dark blue I cord edging instead of the light blue. But I'll decide that later.

For what its worth, I love this stuff. It knits into a light fabric with a spongy springy feel. It makes great cables too. It feel more elastic than the "basic" yarns on the market today such as Lambs Pride or Cascade 220. I've not tried the Elann Highland Wool, so no comment there. I find that when knitting becomes "popular" a lot of effort goes into "novelty" type yarns, and it's actually harder to find the basic wool. This went on in the 80's when I first got "into" knitting and seems to be going on again now.

I bought quite a lot of "vintage" wool when it was available on e-bay a few years ago. When my entire guest room closet was full, I recognized that I had a real problem, and put a stop to that activity. Since I'm making an effort to use it now, I'm interested again. I've notice that it's just not as available, and what does come up goes for more than I'm willing to pay. This could be a good thing, preventing me from filling up the attic as well.

Oh well, the current project is rocking, and I'm happy.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's been a while since I've done colorful. Feels good.

Do not concern yourself with the curly edge. Rather than do the picot hem as described in the book, I'm planning I Cord and buttons. So what you see is normal stockenette curl coupled with a crochet cast on, that will pull out when I make my final edging decision. It's alarming yellow wallmart acrylic yarn that I bought for Girl Scout crafty stuff. Can you say "buddy braid"?

This will be a regular cardigan, but not the asymmetrical kimono thing shown in the book. I like the neck treatment on the pullover with the green stripe, and the little diagonal motif repeated on the neck edge, and will probably use it. It probably will be shortish, but not cropped, and I'm looking to do full length sleeves rather than the "bracelet" length. While we are discussing pattern divergence, the gauge is 21 stitches per 4inchs rather than the 25 or 26 stitches per inch, and I'm working on 256 stitches and nine big flower repeats rather than 303 stitches and 10 repeats.

Phew. I think there was a notion that doing this indicated the notion that one was a "bad assed knitter". I simply consider myself a knitter. Why do it if you can't make it the way you want?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Shilo prentending to sleep, when I'm sure he was really knitting lace. Who knew? Maybe he hangs out with Grommit.

See that black yarn underneath his butt?


Another Finished Item.

So, in the category of "MY, I'm large" or "We live in Houston, what was I thinking", a lovely heavily cabled top down aran. I mostly finished this bad boy months ago, but husband was unhappy with the neck. At the time, I felt it would never be cool again in Houston. So I folded him gently, and set him in my yarn closet to be dealt with later. Well, when I was cleaning, he was still there. Since I was finishing stuff, out he came. I re-did the neck, and husband is very happy with it.

I really liked the technique for this, and will probably use it again for an aran. I also really liked the Jo Sharp Silk Road yarn. This was the Ultra, and Rogue was tweed. I liked the feel of the Ultra better than the tweed, but I prefer working in DK gauges.

In the mean time, I've continued some blog cleaning. I removed buttons on blogs that seem to be no longer active. I've tidied up my blog roll, and included the little blogroll script. Many of these blog people I never met, rarely interacted with but I still miss them. Who knew?

Two new projects are on the needles. More news next week.
Well, back from Thanksgiving.
Did a lot of cooking and eating. Some knitting.

Look who is ready to go to school.

Something else was finished, but he's resting on the drying rack. And yes, I've started some projects from the list. Guesses anyone?

Monday, November 21, 2005

What's next?
What are the goals?
Goal - Have fun using up stash yarn. I had a very bad eBay habit a while back, and now have a closet full of mostly light worsted/worsted wool. Just loved collecting that vintage shetland/virgin stuff made by Bernat and Bear.

SO, some choices:

A window pane slip stitch type sweater sort of like this...
I have some wool/silk dk from pre-2000 WEBs sale purchase that I think would do well. I can do grey's or browns with cream. Could also do greens or blues or rust/orange with creme or black. Perhaps for a BIL who has not received a sweater from me, or another one for my husband.

Rose Trellis Shawl in the merino/cashmere I like so well. I have a whole spool of black cashmere/merino. Same stuff that Starz and Ingeborg, and the Madli shawl were made of.
Look down the page - it's there

The knitty Wavy scarf
The knitty "branching out" scarf
I a have mohair stash that is also somewhat out of control. Think Wavy would work in mohair? may have to try that.

Poetry in stitches sweater cover sweater, already swatched

A design using this sort of miter/modular slip stitch approach:
look for the Marmalade/Blueberry jam kit. I think this jacket body was made in two pieces, and joined at the back. How about doing the same thing, using the Zimmerman "Surprise" Jacket method? Or something else self designed using those Hanne Falkenberg designs as inspiration. Those garter stitch jackets on the bias fascinate me.

Some felted bags? Feels like a cop out, but a fun one.

Not many people read this but, perhaps those of you who do visit can drop a comment or a vote. Expect that next Monday, Rogue will be finished, and one or two new projects will be revealed.

Next short term project - build shopping list for tomorrow's Thanksgiving dinner.
Well, I spent some time updating my Gallery, and generally cleaning up my template. Nice? Does anyone care? I suppose I do.

Now, here is what has been keeping me from knitting so much.

I've had her for a few years, and haven't really played her much. She was a replacement for a Taylor that was stolen. She looks funny because she's carbon fiber instead of wood; the manufacturer is "Rainsong". It's really stable, and stays in tune forever, not that I mind tuning all that much. She also has a big sound, and is very resonant and alive. My husband buys me things, and asked me what I was looking for. I told him that I wanted to take it troop camping with the Girl Scouts, so we decided on this because getting wet won't damage it much.

So, why get back to her now? Well, daughter wanted to join her school guitar group, and that got me interested again, which has gotten my husband interested, and now we have three guitars in the living room keeping Ms Rainsong company.

I'm having fun with it; my hands are getting stronger, and my finger calluses are growing back. Right now, I'm trying to perfect a few songs, and finding that that is very very difficult for me. I've found a teacher, but don't plan to start lessons until January.

But knitting continues

Rogue's body and hood is done. She is lounging on Rainsong's case. I pulled the sleeve caps back because my row gauge was so short that the cap had not possibility of fitting into the armhole. Also, ahem, they were a little short, and different lengths. All that will be dealt with.

While I am dealing with that, I am distracting myself with next projects. I think I have narrowed it down to about seven or eight choices. More later.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The lack of blogging for three months seems to have put me in the dog house with both Yahoo Mail and the knit blog ring. I admire them for their effeciancy. FWIW, I'm back into Yahoo mail with my previous id. Apparently the knitblog managers won't be updateing until after the holidays. I respect that too.

In the mean time, I discover other slovenly habits. I havent' updated my gallery page for over a year. Shame on me.

And a sad note. My very good friend, the one I knit this sweater for, died in an automobile accident over the weekend. I was cleaning the guest room in anticipation of his arrival for Thanksgiving when we receive the phone call. He had been struggling with health issues; quite a long list of them for some time. We will miss him.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Alarming Knitting news
Giant Dead Pink Bunny.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Pardon me, it's been three months since my last blog.

Reflecting, I have been feeling less than normal; sort of depressed, not interested in much. Not only not blogging, but not reading blogs either.

However, when I think about August September and October, I recall I have re-certified for SCUBA, certified for Girl Scout Adult Backpacking, supported a major Girl Scout Service Unit event. I picked up my guitar again, and I'm almost finished with the Mel Bay Modern guitar Method Grade 1 book. I went to a Cisco class, and am studying for certification, and still trying to generate revenue for my employer. Oh yeah we had a few hurricanes.

And, I made this.

It's the Wool Peddlers shawl from Folk Shawls.

Rogue has been causing me problems. When I got to the arm hole, I had to admit there was something really funky with my row gauge. I don't normally check that, but this pattern is written almost row by row. Funking around with the body was not that hard, but I hesitated when trying to figure out how to make the lovely neck cables work out. Eventually, I decided to throw in a few extra repeats here and there, and it seems to be working out. The sleeve caps will have to be redone.

Besides the gauge issue, I'm really having trouble with the cable pattern. I do a few and take a look, and suddenly, there are overs where there should be unders. This is normally not a problem for me, but this silly one is taking more than her share of re-work.

Finally, Mr. Shiloh has sat on it a few times, and it gets covered with dog hair. I wipe it off with tape, but Yuck. I will have to be more careful.

So, maybe I'm dropping out, but maybe I'll start posting about once a week again. Don't know.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Rogue update; almost to the armpits.

Very sleepy tonight. We had a weekend of entertainment. The two Bourne movies for me and my husband. Daugher selected Hitch and Miss Congeniality. We also saw "As You Like It" at the Miller Outdoor free performance. We will try to catch Hamlet there next week.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Well, I've been trying to post at least once a week. Trying to avoid blog burn out. I miss some of the bloggers that have gone off the air. I'm finding that I'm spending less time browsing the knit blogs; not enjoying it quite a much. Is this a trend? I've notice my daily hits are down, but maybe because I'm boring. Every once in a while, I find I have been "discovered" and someone has gone and read all the archives. Not a lot of comments; not sure why. What a strange way of putting yourself out there.

Last week had so many distractions - Tour de Lance, New Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and of course Harry Potter and the HBP. Oh yeah, and me trying to meander through life. I'm still feeling detached, maybe depressed, and having a hard time finding focus. Going through motions seems to help a bit. With daughter out on her travels, I have not had her schedule to force me to move. She comes back Tuesday from her last trip of the summer, so I need to get my act together. I obviously can't use her presence as an excuse to not accomplish anything. I have discovered that I don't do much while she is gone either.

In the mean time, we picked daughter up from a Sailing camp a week ago Friday and were happy to find that we have a budding sailor now. Since my husband and I met around boats, and stopped a lot of sailing to look after her, we are happy about getting back to this sport.

So, Daughter had enough time to wash before we went to B&N for our Harry Potter books. She and her friend then decided that they would rather watch Napoleon Dynamite than dive into the new book. I dove into bed. By the way, in our family the first one through warns the others about the "chapter of no return". That would the where the action gets so thrilling that one can not put the book down. It helps reduce those all night reads that wipe you out for the next day or so. For HBP, that would be chapter 26. Good read; tighter than the previous few, but I was disappointed that we didn't get more back story on Lily Evans.

We went to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the next Saturday night. Visually it was lovely, and I appreciate that Tim Burton lifted the OompaLoompa lyrics straight from the Roald Dahl book. However, I didn't connect with the interpretation of Willy Wonka as a reticent troubled somewhat immature nutcase. I much preferred the Gene Wilder interpretation of an exuberant nutcase. I felt it was closer to the character in the book.

Speaking of books, I get the heebie jeebies when people tell me they won't read the book, but prefer to wait for the movie. Yikes. I don't know why folks prefer to see someone else's commercially motivated interpretation of a book. I really started to dislike Disney at quite a young age, because his Mary Poppins movie horrified me.

Now, the knitting content of the week happened during the "Tour de Lance". We were horrified by the poor luck Rasmussen had on Saturday. We were thrilled by the fabulous finish of Vinokourov on Sunday. I worked on Rogue, while the boys peddled, and got past the cute kangaroo pocket, see?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Pretty Madli being modeled by my dining room chair. She will go into the Christmas stash drawer.

Christmas is on my mind. I haven't really liked Christmas for a while now; such high expectations; so much work. My husband and I were discussion it; he still can't belief I've become so hostile to that holiday. I told him I wanted to drop out; like to go Mexico or charter a sailboat. We discussed some more, and decided to float the idea by BIL and SIL. BIL passed to SIL, whose first response was....

"I'll have to get passports for the boys"

I'm proud to have such a trooper in my extended family. No hesitation, just straight to the problem solving. So between us, we e-mailed sites, suggestions, ideas, and last weekend made our choice and booked. Husband even bought tickets.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Wow, It's July all ready. Coming back to work hazy from a nice long weekend to find requests to turn in mid year reports, and checking numbers from last month. Yeesh.

We did a lot of driving to and from camp. Daughter loved her Austin theater camp, and we were very impressed with the show at the end. Rather than aimless kid written skits, this was a tight semi-professional musical review. The kids rehearsed something like five or six hours every day of camp, plus attended classes in dance, acting and voice. Next year she will be old enough to go to the three week session for older kids, and she can't wait.

We drove the next day to Girl Scout sailing camp. Daughter was feeling a little clingy, but she is not too far away.

With all that driving, some knittting happened. Madli is done except for grafting the edge lace to the shawl body. Oh, and cleaning up ends.

And a Rogue hoodie arm is done. I made it in the round instead of flat, because I'm just that way.

Detail of the cosmic cuff cable. I used a different method on the edge because I don't like the way the hem works. This is the same edge used on Dale of Norway Tuja.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Back from a conference in Las Vegas. Most of the knitting had to be torn out due to edge stitch problems. I had a nice time at the craps tables. I remembered that craps is as much about playing with the other people at the table as about the dice So, it was fun, and yeah, I won some too!

We drove to Austin Sunday to drop off daughter at a camp. Rocked through about five repeats during the drive. So, here we are at twenty six of thirty one repeats.

Hope daughter likes the camp. We'll find out on Saturday when we pick her up, and watch the show.

Monday, June 20, 2005

No update on the shawl, as I seem to be ripping out almost as much as I knit. Something is not right with my edge stiches , and I'm ending up with one extra, or one short. Not sure how that happens. Good news is that the hands seem to have nupp problem resolved. Even with the ripping, the shawl is moving along, and I'm thinking about another project.

I did learn that I have become a very loose woman. I did some swatching for a Rogue hoodie for my daughter. The yarn label said 18st/4in on #8 needles. In my past, I knit exactly per most yarn labels. I know I've been loose, so I started with #6's. Then #4's. Then check the label to make sure I'm reading it correctly. Then #2's. Finally. I brought it on my business trip with me, and may cast on later today.

Yesterday, after getting packed for the week, I played with my yarn. I've been thinking that I had stash yarn for this sweater from "Poetry in Stitches" and decided to try it out.

So, here's a swatch in vintage Bear and Fleishers "wool and shetland wool" won off Ebay during my Ebay yarn binge. I'm not sure about the green stripe. It was a more muted shade in the book, but this is ok too. I remembered I have some more avocado yarn about the same weight, and my duplicate stitch over to see if I like that better.

Not bad, but not quite to gauge. 25 1/4 stitches to 4" instead of 26. I did some calculating, and should be able to re-write the pattern. I also noticed that this pattern comes in one size in the book. Cheesy. But then, who am I to whine. I want a cardigan, but not cropped, and not asymmetrical, so I'd be messing with the pattern anyway.

So, I'm channeling Meg Swanson, or Deborah Newton. To get the bust dimension I want, I can reduce the repeats of the large flower pattern to nine instead of ten. But then I have to mess with how the patterns line up around the body. Now, I could reduce it to eight repeats, and "leak" the leaf pattern down the sides. Make sense? From the front you would see two flowers on either side of the buttons, the back would have four flowers, the leaf pattern would start on the sides, and then blend in on the body. I'd have a vertical line for the flower pattern so no stitch jumps. Hmmmm.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The results of a long weekend car trip to New Orleans.

Well, I'm not counting the extra pounds on my butt. This is about ten repeats of Madli's Shawl from last summer's Interweave Knits. Part of my scarf/shawl stash for Christmas gift project. It took me way longer than normal to figure out this not so complicated 12 stitch/12 row repeat. Here is why:

First, there are these little nupp knots; sort of little wads of yarn, but not like a bobble. Basically, knit/yo three times and finish with a knit so there are seven stiches in one. Then purl them all together on the way back. I found that I either left out a loop, leaving an extra stitch, or knit the next stitch into the nupp, thus losing a stitch. Even after so many repeats, I still am messing this one up.

Second, because the way the edges work, there was not an obvious way to place markers so that the repeats would line up. There is an extra k2tog at the start, then an extra yo at the end for three pattern rows, then it evens out for the next three pattern rows. The effect is the piece does not seem to slant, but yeesh, it was hard to keep track of my whereabouts until I had the pattern feel under control.

So, New Orleans - fun for a weekend. We walked all around French Quarter, the river, the garden district, the gallery district, uptown, downtown. Snaps for the Ogden museum. Shame on what's happened on bourbon street. We walked all over the Chalmette battle ground, where the United States whoooped the Brits to end the war of 1812, but couldn't tour the plantation on the site due to the park service closing down an account of the silly storm. For the record, Saturday was a beautiful day in New Orleans. It didn't even rain, and the cloud cover and breeze off of Arlene kept us cool. We also took an air boat tour around the swamp, and I held the alligator. Yes, it is alive. Am I a "coon ass" now?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Lookee what I finished this week. What fun!

And the TDA is off the needles for now, and fits my husband nicely. I may need to re-think the collar. He likes them tight around his neck. I think it looks nice the way it is. He thinks it is too open. When the sweater is just lying there, it looks as if I picked up too many stiches, and the collar is floppy. However, it lies flat when he puts it on. It looks very square, even though I put some shaping on the front. I'm thinking that I could pull it out, pick up fewer stitches, and make it a bit deeper.

I need to work in a lot of ends still, and will probably not mess with the collar until I'm done with that. When I was knitting, I tried splicing and weaving the new skeins but I didn't like the way it was working. So, I just left then ends, and am working them in with a needle now.

My daughter is off to GirlScout camp, and will be backpacking most of the session. Shout out to girls in middle school ( or their parents ) - GirlScouts gets really cool once you are in the 7th grade. Check it out. and

Husband and I are going on a little adult vacation the end of the week. Sweet.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Well, I've been enjoying the wild thunderstorms this last weekend. The power went out on Saturday and we were left enjoying the light show, with no idea that a tornado set down about 10 miles away. I checked the back yard, and we have a small tree down, but it looks more like beaver damage rather than from the storm. What do you think?
I'm not sure what to do about a backyard beaver. Any ideas?

Been working along on the TDA over the weekend as well. Not too long to go before I start the ribbing for the bottom. Just great, a nice heavy aran in time for the lovely Houston summer. This time last year, my husband was complaining because he was in Peru all the time and it was cold, and he wanted a sweater. Now, he's no longer traveling, and the sweater is done. Talk about lame timing. Maybe we should plan a July ski trip to the Andes.

And more knitting notes, vaguely connected with the curly scarf.

I took daughter to the doctor last week for some post-op care for her sinus. I was working on the ruffle scarf, when the doctor and nurse came into the examining room. Turns out, they BOTH knit, and they have recently BOTH knit scarves for family memembers. The doctor was annoyed because she made a scarf for her mother in law. MIL later complained to her son about "only getting a scarf" for mothers day. That MIL will be getting gift cards in the future, I think. The nurse said that her sister was regularly offered money for her scarf when she wore it to church and always refused because it was hand made by her special sister.

Some people get it, and others don't.
May all your gift recipient's "get it".

Thursday, May 19, 2005

My husband and I chose to miss the Houston Art Car parade, and missed the knitted car cozy. Sometimes I wonder if I just don't get out enough. Most of the time I don't care. Houston however, is less boring that many believe. I guess that is true with most places. The gentleman who created this lovely automobile accessory has a blog, with more pictures.

I'm feeling lazy, and slow and less than satisfied with my own knitting progress. School is winding down, and so the regular schedule is changing to that week to week what are we doing schedule. However, since Girl Scouts are also slow this time of year, I can re-connect with local knitting guild meetings. I'd say whoopee, but I'm still feeling lazy and slow.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Well Happy Friday, and happy return of the hot summer to Houston. There has been knitting again. Maybe this will bring me back for the rest of my slumpy feelings.

I sat in a training class this week with a new project. Nice and easy so I can pay attention. Silly, no?

And a reason why the Top Down Aran is not really getting worked on too hard. Well, the real reason is that it's big, and can't travel, but if I have to wake a sleeping puppy too, it's so much harder.

No, really, it has made progress....

And what's this? An airplane project. More complex than a class project, but something that can travel the way the Aran cannot.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Well, I intended to do a update yesterday, but didn't get around to it. Anyway, happy blog birthday! Thank you for letting me show off my work, and for all the kind comments people have left behind.

And a finished item to show off. The feather and fan shawl ended up a lovely 60" long and 24" wide, and is drying nicely on my dining room table.

Daughter is resting upstairs from her surgery on Monday. It seemed to go well, and we are just monitoring for nosebleeds and fever for the next few days. She is uncomfortable as expected, and requires many snuggles.

We had fun in Austin on the weekend. Daughter volunteered at the AVP Beach Volleyball event, and my husband and I walked around downtown. Nice, I like Austin. Sunday, daughter got to shag balls for the women's semi-finals and was quite impressed with her good luck. Misty May and Kelli Walsh vs Elaine Youngs and Rachel Wacholder. Good game, but May/Walsh dominated. The mens final was dynamite, going into extra points before the underdog team of Lucena/Dalhausser took the third game. We left before the ladies finals, as we had enough v-ball and daugher knew who was going to win. You can read all about it at

Now, I have a business trip to Florida next week. Should I start a new shawl, or a sweater? Hmmmm. Playtime in the stash room.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Wonder where Swatchy is? I have as well.

I've either been a tad depressed, or busy on the weekends and tired during the week. I must say, I enjoy the different activities I've participated in, but I'm not always energized by them. Not a lot of knitting, but that feather and fan piece is almost done.

April has been dominated by Scouts.
Backpacking event - very nice, but I forgot my Alieve and back pain coupled with lying on the ground kept me from sleeping even though I was very tired. I stayed tired for most of the week.

Council Meeting - Interesting discussion on how the Girl Scouts vision is changing. I have been very pleased with the changes since I was in High School. I guess I was energized, in that I want to work more to get older girls, especially my girls into leadership roles in this organization.

Camping trip - Planning meeting attended poorly, but every registered girl came on the trip. Normal amounts of stupid stuff; some lack of team work, one blister. Great Dutch Oven cornbread. Success because co-leader and I didn't have to do very much for them at all.

Also in April, Civic Dury
Taxes - yeesh.
Jury Duty - always interesting theater. I was in selected for a panel, and in the high risk front row for a capital case. High tension, as I had a very important business presentation the next day. I had told my manager that attorneys don't like engineers on the jury, and I guess that is still the case, because I was excused. I did learn a lot about conspiracy law.

This weekend we drive to Austin. My daughter volunteered to work at the Pro Beach Volleyball event this weekend. We've been meaning to spend some family weekends out and about, and this seemed to be a daughter friendly venue, and Shiloh can stay at our hotel, so he's coming too.
Next week, daughter has surgery for polyps in her sinus. I plan to spend the week trying to make her as comfortable as possible, whiled getting the knitting and career training on track.

Somewhere in all those meetings and all that camping, the top down aran body got onto some needles. It's big and heavy and sort of a fight to work on with those arms flopping about. The yarn is delicious, and bulky enough to work up quickly. It will probably be ready for a photo shoot some time next week.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Whew; too busy to blog, but also too busy to knit. This picture was mentioned and taken last week. He's been reclining on my desk since then. Business trips last week followed by an exhausting but fabulous backpacking event with G-scouts. Just starting to recover when, whoops time to turn in my computer for an upgrade. Now, I'm trying to figure out the new beautiful interfaces. This whole time was complicated by Shiloh getting a really bad case of doggy diarrhea, so we had to deal with the mess and smell of that several times a day. Ick. He has since firmed up, and all that remains is his cute face and an occasional fart.

I'm in the car today to Austin for a meeting. Then Dallas again next week. Yikes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Blogging in a blizzard.
On vacation, and the skiing yesterday was yummy.

The entire family was face down by 8:00. Today we were saved by bad weather. I knit and played computer games and listened to audio books. yummmm. The feather and fan shawl is now 14 inches wide.

Husband battled with his computer that the lame wireless network at this resort. Later in the day I helped him out. To reward me he is off hunting down rum. I married well.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Mathematicians apparently crochet.

Check this out:
Mathematician Daina Taimina can crochet hyperbolic shapes.

More information here -

and the Lorenz manifold can be crochet as well.
Page 16 is what you want to see firs.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Almost two weeks since the last entry. Is it because I'm losing interest in blogging, or is it because I've been busy and this is a lower priority? Not really sure. Could be both. In the mean time I'm in therapy with myself about the feather and fan wrap that I began. I wanted a large and boring project to get me through some long and tedious technical meetings. Now, I'm tired of her because she is large and boring. Poor thing, a victim of her perfection. I'm not so thrilled with the wool, It is an e-bay purchase that says it's Harrisville wool, and is sport weight. It's just not that soft, although it softens up some in the wash. Maybe some fabric softener will help her out. That bath, though is about a month away.

I'm also having this inane conversation in my brain. One side says "Yeesh, this is dull, how long will this thing take to finish?" Another part says "Honey, at the rate you are going another three to four weeks. That's not bad, and isn't she shaping up nicely?" Repeat.

Here she is at about 10 inches.

On the top down Aran progress, I've been unwilling to work in it for the past few weeks. I did a quick calculation and realized that I had enough yarn for the nicest cropped aran ever. Don't think my poor husband would appreciate that style. Oh, yeah, he's one of those guys with a long body and short legs, so I like to put in a few inches on his sweaters. And very discouraging, since I've got this Goldielocks thing going on sweaters for him. "H8 was too big, Starz was too small". I can fit anyone else just right, but not him for the past four years.

So I ordered some more yarn, hoping for a dye lot that looked the same as the one I had from a Texas store with an Internet presence. A week later, no shipment, no response to email, called and was told that they would get back to me two days later when the shipment came in. Called again four days later and was told that I would hear back later that day. Still haven't' heard.

So, since this stuff is discontinued yarn, I ordered from Woodland Woolworks. Yesterday, Hurrah, it was here. I started up the collar with the new yarn, and double hurrah, it looks to be close enough that there won't be a line on the sweater when I change dye lots. Pictures later, when he's not so wadded up.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Still so busy that I'm feeling always overwhelmed. Knitting is a background activity now, not daily. I have vacation in two and 1/2 weeks so maybe I can get a grip then.

Still, since I carry knitting everywhere, and have had time in airports, and lobbies progress is made. The little mohair scarf is done. I liked the "mistake rib" results as it is much more dimensional than straight ribbing, and reversible as well.

I started a feather and fan shawl. I think it's about 70" long, and I'm planning it to be about 20" wide before blocking. I've not been much of a scarf/shawl knitter before, but I have this nutty idea. I think that I can make five or six large shawls or wraps before Christmas and surprise my female relatives with a box of lovelies to choose from.

I fantasize about the oooohs and ahhhs when the look through the choices. You see, in the end, it's all about me.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Last week was so busy, I hardly had time to sit still. My brain was buzzing so much, that the Aran sat lonely until Friday night. Then, I forced my laptop into the off position, poured a glass of wine and fixed his sleeve. I have cast on for the second sleeve, but no pictures today.

I did get into that mistake stitch scarf. So easy to carry; so little to think about; so many admiring comments due to the unusual and beautiful yarn. She is on her second hank and will probably be my traveling project until the yarn is gone.

I have another big week. Too much to do on Monday and Tuesday, the fly to Florida for a three day sit on my butt meeting. I have to do two presentations, but I think I successfully outsourced one. Isn't it great to get credit for getting someone else to do your work? That's management!

So send some virtual love to Shiloh. Last time I went out of town, he retreated to his crate for two days, and actually growled at the family. My husband was calling me asking what to do.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

A general feeling of February blahs have descended. How do I know? I went on a three day trip to Dallas, and only brought a single skein of yarn with me. My normal travel mode is to pack a small yarn shop just in case. I was sort of wondering why my suitcase had so much space.

Finished the skein on my Top Down Aran during the trip. When I got home I really worked on that sleeve to make up for not having brought yarn with me. I read about people not enjoying sleeves. I love them, especially from the body out. It starts almost as large as half the body; so substantial. Then, somewhere around the elbow, the decreases tip the scale, and suddenly I'm going around and around, I feel dizzy. Sunday, I just had to finish.

Now, here's a Top Down Aran secret. I tried it on my husband. The sleeve is an inch too short. NO MATTER! I just pull out the ribbing, knit my extra inch, re-rib, perfection.

However, because of the previously mentioned blahs, I might not get right to it.

In the meantime, back in Dallas, I had time to visit a local yarn store, and $40.00 later ended up with two skeins of some multicolor floaty mohair and a new #4 needle. I started a mistake rib scarf for a gift for some future unknown gift giving situation.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Been bz

Front and back.

Now, I digress from the instructions. In the Brown-Reinsel article, she directs the knitter to cast on for the body underarm once the sleeves are deep enough. I've put the body pieces on hold, and plan to knit the sleeves next. Firs, two 1/2 inches back and forth to provide an extra 5 inches on each side for the underarm area. Then join the sleeve and continue in the round. Then, I can PICK UP those stiches off of the sleeve edge, and continue down the body. Look ma - no seam.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Well, I'm a cursed knitter for my husband. I've finished two elaborate sweaters, and Henry8 is too large and Starz is too small for my him. I have not made a well fitting sweater for him for thirteen years.

The largeness of Hank does not seem to be too much of a hardship. Hank and husband have been going to work together about once a week. Hank has also been to the theater, and went out to dinner with Ingeborg. They may take a bath together in a few weeks.

Now, I'm trying to fix the husband sweater situation with a top down aran. I'm using Jo Sharp Silk Road Ultra, which is delicious. I'm liking the method, because I can hold it up to him, and check to make sure it's fitting. Here we are so far - two saddles, the back to the bottom of the arm, and the beginning of the front.

The method is described in the same Interweave Knits as the oh so popular "Celtic Dreams". (Fall 97) I'm doing the same thing, but using my own cable choices. The center cable pattern from braid to braid, looks a lot like a sequence seen in a previous Knitters Magazine. Just to let you know that I'm not all that original.

The goal is to finish before spring break. We're going skiing.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Here is a second hat for my friend. I think she starts chemo round 2 this week. It's nice soft superwash merino, and I used the "Chameleon" pattern from Knitters Winter 1997. The pattern is written to be knit flat and seamed, but I made it round. No good reason not to, especially as the knit/purl patten flows nicely from row to row with no visible "jump".
I was reflecting on how I would prefer to make baby sweater gifts than chemo hat gifts. Maybe I'm at an age where birth and illness tip for the people that I know. My husband was sort of sad when I finished this too. His mother passed with cancer, as did my father. He doesn't want to see another loved one to have to go through that.

Monday, January 17, 2005

This guy is blocking on one of my cooking pots:

I used the " Cranberry Squares" pattern from Knitters Winter 2004, but, of course changed the yarn, the edges, and the triangles. Nice approach, but if I do it again, I think I'll start with the triangles and build up. Talk about short attention span knitting. Lots of starts, stops and turn arounds. At least I was able to knit in all the strings along the way.

I have some washable merino upstairs and I think I'll see if it swatches up for the "Twining Lace" hat in Knitters Fall 1995.

They will both go to my friend who started Chemotherapy this month.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Well, look who's waiting for a bath and buttons?
She's a Zimmerman. "Perfect Baby Sweater". Since I made her, maybe not quite perfect, but a nice pattern.

Now, I'm working on a hat. A sailing friend is going thru chemo, and since I can't wave my hand and make it go away, I guess I'll make a hat.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

All done, and in the bath. It fits all right on my hunky man; when he loses some weight he will have proper ease, but he certainly can wear it now. I fiddled with the pattern a bit, and should have fiddled more but live and learn.