Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The big one is Fortissima Socka (couldn't resist the name) - wool, bamboo, and nylon. It's self-patterning for a regular sock. Can't wait. Then, would you look at those 4 little skeins. They're so cute! How could I resist? Couldn't. The two in the front are mandarin petit in a periwinkle blue color - all cotton, I think. Can't understand the label, but I think the LYS owner said it was cotton. The two in the back are Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Wool in Ultramarine - bamboo, wool and nylon. I think I'm going to become a sock yarn junkie. I'm going to try to force myself to finish the Irish twin before I cast on for anything new, but I can't make any promises. I'll try.
In non-knitting news, look what UPS brought for me today:
They're Magic Drawers from QVC. The boxes stack on "rails" that allow one box to slide out without all the others falling over. They work really well and I was able to fit all of my shoes in them, with a few boxes still empty. Left me with a lot more room in my closet. Happy!
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I talked to my mother after the conversation with my father. She said that Meatloaf looked like he was "drunk or on something" (Disclaimer: Mr. Loaf, please understand that is simply her opinion based on her observation of you - and from a distance, I might add. Although there were close-ups of you on the two large screens that flanked the stage. And you looked pretty sloppy.) Meatloaf had a red bandana tied to his microphone on the mike stand and my mother asked my aunt why she thought he had it there. My aunt's reply was, "so he can find it."
This is my monkey. I'm trying to love the monkey. Trying. But I'm not loving the monkey. The monkey is wacky looking. The pattern is lovely. The yarn is beautiful. They just don't work together. I didn't realize that this yarn (TOFUtsies) was going to make such big, irregular stripes. It looked to me like it would be an overall variegated yarn. Not happy, but not giving up. I can't stand the thought of ripping it out. I'm just going to finish - I'll make a mini-monkey like Cara did at January One. I looked around last night and found some pattern modifications on various websites (like this) that I might try on my next socks. Just sad. No fun when something doesn't come out like the perfect work of art I envisioned in my optimistic head.
At least I didn't have to listen to a big, sweaty man scream his head off.
Friday, July 27, 2007
I've also cast on for my 2nd set of twins. I'm attempting the Monkey sock pattern from Knitty, using TOFUtsies #719. The yarn is much finer than the Magic Stripes. I started the sock yesterday on #2 dpns, but after knitting the cuff and half of the pattern repeat, I realized that it was too big. I must be a loose knitter (the only area of my life in which I'm loose, I'll have you know). I ripped it out (painful) and started over on #1s. Knitting the first several rows on dpns is something I find very awkward. I fumble and fight with the needles, grateful that I'm knitting in solitude in the privacy of my own home. If anyone ever observed me during this time, I'd bet they'd take the needles and yarn away from me and hand me a box of crayons and some newsprint, assuring me it's for my own good.
The Monkey pattern calls for an inch of K1P1 rib. I have a very strong dislike for knitting in twisted K1P1 rib. Can't stand it. It's so tedious and it takes me forever, especially when I'm at the awkward beginning rows on dpns. All that back and forth with the yarn. The thought of K1P1 all over again on tinier needles made me want to impale myself on the dpns. I decided to stick with the K2P2 rib I'd done on my first socks - although that's not a barrel of laughs for me either. In the picture shown above, I've just finished the ribbing (did you hear the WOOHOO?") and I'm ready to begin the pattern. A little nervous. The cuff seems so much smaller than the too big cuff from the #2 dpns. I'll keep my fingers crossed. If I have to start over, you'll have to put me in the cage with the monkeys at the zoo.
Just a little chuckle to share. Today, my parents, who are in their seventies, are going to the Mohegan Sun. Not to gamble. Not to enjoy fine dining. But to attend a concert. Josh Groban? No. The Spinners? Nope. Gerry & the Pacemakers? Nah. I know, I know . . . .Glen Campbell? Wrong again (he's not coming until August - and no making fun - I like Wichita Lineman). They're going to wear their concert tee-shirts and raise their Bic lighters for MEATLOAF! Actually, my mother will probably have her fingers in her ears, asking "Does it have to be that loud? It's kind of loud, isn't it?" My father will keep looking straight ahead, pretending he's not with her. To be honest, they didn't purchase the tickets. They didn't see Meatloaf on the list of upcoming performers and shout, "We've gotta score some seats!" They were invited by my father's brother and his wife to share in the complimentary tickets they'd received. Perhaps they initially misinterpreted the invitation as an opportunity to go out and eat meatloaf, and then didn't want to back out once they figured out what they'd gotten themselves into. But still . . . my parents are going to a Meatloaf concert. My mother's ears will probably be ringing for days. My father will probably be cranking up the volume on a newly acquired Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell CD. Ain't no doubt about it, we were doubly blessed . . .
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Decreases done. Ready for kitchener stitch/grafting. Consulted various resources including my Complete Idiot's Guide to Knitting and Crocheting (page 245). Great instructions.
It might not be the most perfect sock in the world, but it's my sock and I love it like it's my child. I learned a lot by following the Yarn Harlot's sock recipe. I think it was such a good way to start, rather than just following a pattern. I understand the construction of the sock. I get it. I can't wait to do the next one. I'm on the fence as to whether or not the next one will be the mate to this one, or if I'll try a Monkey . . .
. . . As I look at the sock on my foot right now, I'm feeling a little guilty. I think my sock might need a sister. It's probably not much fun to be an only sock. Sure, sure, you'd get a lot of attention and you'd be a little spoiled. My son can attest to that. But it would also be nice to have someone to hang out with and share secrets with when you're folded in the drawer or bunched up in the laundry basket. Better cast on.
Did I tell you I made a sock?
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Now I get it. I don't want to sleep. I don't want to eat. I don't want to take a shower, get dressed, or leave the house. I want to knit this sock. I'm in love with my sock. It's amazing to me to see it coming along. I can't resist trying it on. I love my sock.
I want to knit more socks. I don't really want to knit the mate to this first sock. I want to move right on to a fancy sock pattern, like the Monkey. I want to knit it out of really great yarn, like this. I want to ignore my miters, my cardigan, and even the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket pattern that arrived yesterday (soaking wet in my mailbox!). It's all about socks.
A note about the EZ BSJ . . . I skimmed over the pattern and it's wacky (for me). I'm sure that when I make myself sit and read it carefully and get started, it will come together. But at first glance . . . yikes. Thankfully, I have help from the WEBS podcasts and from notes I've found on a few websites. I'll do it. But first, socks.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Here's the sock. It's going pretty well. I was having some ladder issues, so I moved my stitches around, and then went to 4 needles. Looks okay - for a first sock. I'm ready to start the heel flap now. So exciting! Aren't you practically falling off the edge of your seat waiting to see it?
In other good news, the OneSkein KAL site has been wrestled back out of the hands of the pornographers and it appears to be in good shape. A little tired, a little shaky, and probably in desperate need of therapy. Poor thing.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I know I've shown a similar picture before, but my heart just wasn't in that one. I'm all excited about the idea of seeing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and I know she wants me to knit these socks. Better get back to it.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
I worked on the tie-front cardigan today and my brain is worn out. Maybe it's because I'm not an experienced sweater knitter, but I found the pattern to be very confusing. I had to read, read it again, and read it again. Finishing the top shaping for the neck and shoulders, to me, was done in an odd way. I knit 15 stitches (for the right shoulder if you're looking straight at the back) and then I had to join a new ball of yarn, binding off the middle 30 stitches. I then knit the last 15 stitches to start the left shoulder. That was a little strange to me. I expected to have to put my first set of 15 on a stitch holder, right? Then I had to continue to knit on the two shoulders, using two balls of yarn. The pattern said to bind off 5 stitches at the beginning of the next 4 rows, and duh, I thought there are only 15 stitches, so 5 stitches 4 times = 20 = more stitches than I have on one side. (See, I teach 3rd grade math. I can figure out this kind of stuff.) After reading, and then looking at the pictures for clues (a strategy that we teach to children learning to read - check the picture), I realized that I had to treat the 15 left and 15 right stitches as one row. Not that hard to figure out, now that I look back on it. I'm slow today. I just don't like it when I have to work too hard at figuring out a pattern. I want it to be easy for me. I'm a lazy knitter. But I did crack the code.
So here's the back:
If it looks short and wide, it's because it's short and wide. It's not a full-length sweater - it's a more of a cropped length. You can look at the picture from the book here. I'm also proud to say that I measured to check that my gauge was still on the mark - and it is. I think it is, at least. I'm doing my best. Some days I think, just stick to scarves, shawls, and bags - things that don't have to fit, but I know I'm capable of doing more. Just have to be patient (hurry!) and take the time (rush!) to do it right. Lovely. I'm of the just-wanna-be-done-and-move-on-to-the-next-project school of knitting. I have to force myself to slow down and stay calm.
But that cupcake hat pattern is calling my name . . .
Friday, July 20, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I had started to knit a pretty tie-front cardigan from the book Knitting Beyond Scarves. It's an ambitious project for me, because it forced me to knit a swatch to check my gauge (which is torture to someone like me who just wants to dig in to knitting the real thing). I got started, but then got sidetracked by baby kimonos and miters. I picked it up yesterday, after leaving it on the needles for, um, weeks, and started knitting. I watched the first few rows and thought it might be okay. After knitting about an inch, I realized that it wasn't okay. The row that had been sitting on the needles was stretched and very obviously different from the rest of the piece. Crap. Crap. Crap.
I didn't take a picture of it then, but I should have. It looked pretty bad. I decided to steam it with my iron, because in the reading I've done about blocking, I learned that blocking can help to make stitches look more even. Exactly what I needed. I filled my new $9.49 KMart special iron with water (ironing is against my religion, so there's no way I'm spending money on an iron) and got to steaming. I think it helped. It's not perfect, but it's better. Here it is:
I can still easily pick out the offending row, but I'm hoping that IF I finish this sweater, and IF it fits me, and IF I wear it, people won't point at my back and laugh. IF.
Listen to your mama. Mama knows stuff.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Knitting with metal wire
Socks: top-down (slipper socks on dpns - think that counts)
Knitting with camel yarn
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Sweater -have done for babies - just started one for me
Drop stitch patterns - sounds a little scary
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting) - started a log cabin blanket
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Knitting with circular needles
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street) - find this idea hysterical!
Continental knitting - tried, tried, and tried again. Can't do it.
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Publishing a knitting book
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money - knit a bajillion pink scarves & sold to donate the $ to Susan G. Komen Foundation - could never knit to make $ for myself - then it would be work!
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Dyeing with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars
Olympic knitting - too much pressure!
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit - tried to teach my son - didn't go so well
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Steeks - WILL NEVER HAPPEN!
Knitting with wool
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Knitting with cashmere - not unless I find a sugar daddy.
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair - YUCK.
Knitting in public
And now I'll address the ideas Anne added herself:
Knitting on the beach
Thinking about your knitting while you're supposed to be focused on something else
Knitting during a meeting (I don't think I could get away with it)
Knitting a boyfriend/husband sweater - Puh-lease! That's the relationship-kiss-of-death!
Attending a Stitch & Bitch group
Asking for/receiving knitting-related gifts for bdays, holidays, etc.
Knitting on an airplane
Learning knitting vocabulary in a foreign language - not that ambitious
Having a Wall of Yarn - I have a FLOOR of yarn.
Taking a knitting-related trip (including out-of-state yarn-buying junkets)
I tag Sheila !
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Speaking of crossing, thank you for crossing something along with me - fingers, toes, needles. You may now officially uncross. Haven't known you long, but love you already. I knew that knitters were good people. Now I just have more proof. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Here are all six big squares. I won't sew them together until I knit all my miters and decide on the color layout. I'm worried, though. I had two - not one, but two - migraine headaches this weekend. Complete with the funky vision and flashing zigzag lights. Bad ones with the helmet headache that just won't quit, even though I took the prescription stuff. And when I look at this picture, it bothers me. The jags of color are bothering me. Should I have made the colored stripes in my miters line up? Were my migraines triggered by the colors? The patterns remind me of some of those optical illusion pictures that are usually in black and white. Will this blanket give me headaches? I'm worried!And oh . . . look at the backs. They're bad. Tons of ends to weave. Maybe the thought of that is what triggered the migraines.
I'm hope hope hoping that my Baby Surprise Jacket pattern will be in my mailbox tomorrow. I keep looking at pictures of the finished jacket and I can't wait to start it. As soon as the pattern is in my hands, I'm running to the yarn shop to pick out some fun yarn. I love having good things to look forward to. (That sentence bothers me. Not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition. Ooh - reminds me of a funny I found. A quote from Sir Winston Churchill: "From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.")
Anyway, something good to which I will look forward: I'm keeping fingers crossed for good news. Cross them with me, will you? I went for a bone scan today. I've had a dull ache in my left shoulder - clavicle - for a few weeks. As a person who's been treated for breast cancer, I'm advised to report any symptoms that last for more than a week to my doctor. I reported. She sent me for this test. Probably nothing - probably muscular. Just being safe. Breast cancer, when it recurs, can often show up in the bones. Scary for me - but absolutely crazy when I think about the fact that I had chemo, radiation, and Herceptin - 18 months of treatment. How could any little cancer cell still have been lurking? Not possible. To be safe, I had the scan. After the scan, the tech came in and said the radiologist wanted two additional films. Deep breath. Okay. Two more scans. The tech came back. The radiologist wanted x-rays of my clavicle and my ribs. I was scared. Shaking hands and wobbly legs. I asked the tech if the dr. wanted the x-rays because of something seen on the scans. "Just being thorough," she said in a sing-songy voice that she hadn't used before. Crap. I went for the x-rays. "Take a deep breath and hold it. Hold still." Impossible when my teeth were chattering and legs were shaking. One x-ray of the clavicle. One x-ray of the ribs. Wait. X-ray tech came back. The radiologist wanted another film of the ribs. At that point I was ready to throw up on the tech's shoes. I made it through the last breath-holding request, got dressed and was sent on my way with the promise that my dr. would have results in 24-48 hours.
I sat in my car in the parking lot, called my mother, and cried. I'm sure that it's just the medical professionals being thorough, but they have no idea what goes through the patient's mind. They don't realize how much they scare the crap out of a person who has already been given bad news once, and is terrified of getting bad news again.
I called my doctor's office and begged them to try to get results today. They tried, but were unable to. (There's another preposition at the end of a sentence.) The nurse told me that since I'd had a bone scan before radiation, my first scan's results will look very different from this one. She said that radiation does something that makes areas look cloudy on a scan, and they're probably being very careful when comparing this scan to the first one to be sure they don't miss anything. I felt a little better, but I'll feel much better when I hear the doctor say, "It's all good. You're fine. No worries."
Not looking for anyone to feel bad for me. I know I'll be okay. Just keep some fingers crossed - or toes. Don't cross your eyes, though. They'll get stuck that way.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Did this one, too!
So you know what happened next. Right? I had to go look. I couldn't just listen to what the moderator told me. I had to look. Geez. It was bad. Really bad. It got worse. When I tried to get out of the site, I had some trouble. It seemed like every time I clicked, the opposite of what I hoped would happen happened. I couldn't get out. When it seemed like I was finally close to getting out, a box popped up warning me of spyware and other scary things that attack a computer when you go places you should never go. I quickly ran my spyware killer program and it found tons of things that were getting me. And then everything stopped. The computer screen just sat there looking at me and stayed that way for a long time. Frozen. Nothing worked. Not even control-alt-delete. Panic.
I pressed the power button and held it down until the computer finally shut off. Made me feel like I was smothering it with a pillow. I waited, breathing deeply, for several minutes and then turned it back on. It made some normal noises, and then stayed on a white screen. Not normal. The spyware killer box came up. Good sign? I ran the scan again. All of the same bad things were found and the scan was finally over. I clicked to quarantine them. Another message. To complete this stuff you need to restart your computer (that's in my own words). I did that. Good.
Bad. My computer started into a cycle of "Windows did not start properly" - "Windows is restarting" - "Windows did not start properly" - "Windows is restarting". A cycle. Many times. After more deep breathing exercises, pressing and holding of power buttons, waiting, and pressing buttons again, I knew the computer wasn't going to pull out of the cycle. Crap.
I sat. I thought. I restored.
I was able to start the computer in safe mode, and then, while battling the ever-popping error messages, I got into the Restore place and restored my computer back to the previous day. BP. Before porn. Happy to report that my computer (which might need therapy after what it has seen) is now functioning properly. Big sigh.
What a world we live in where a porn site would take over the site of an innocent group of knitters who were minding their own business and quietly knitting along. Did they think that some of the knitters would become their newest customers? Hmm. Let's see. I'll order that movie and that one. Ooh. What about that one? Maybe I'll ask for it for my birthday. That and the Addi Turbos.
I thought it was bad when my cat wiped her butt on my knitting. This, however, was a much bigger YUCK.
It's after 1:00 AM, so I know it's time to quit. I'm too tired to make this look nice. I did it earlier on my pink square, so I know I can do it. It's just going to have to wait until tomorrow.
It's pretty neat, though, huh? Seeing the picture makes me want to keep going.
Nope. Going to bed.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 13, 2007
Finished the miters for the purple and cream square. Here's the progress so far:
I really need to start sewing the miters together. The only one I've sewn so far is the green and cornflower blue square at the bottom left. I hated, hated, hated sewing it up. It was tricky to line up the stripes perfectly and the centers were hard to bring together neatly. But . . . I did it. It's just that it took me FOREVER to do it and I was really stressed out throughout the process. Knitting is relaxing - it's just the finishing that no one warns you about.
Here's the big square of turquoise and green. I completed 2 miters again today - one at home and one at Stitch 'n Bitch. As of this moment, I have 5 big squares (although only one is sewn together) and 2 additional miters done. That's 22 out of 80 (?!) miters done . . . 58 (?!) to go. I'd need 80 miters for a twin size blanket, so I'd probably need about 120 for my queen size bed. Who knows . . . this might end up as a baby blanket. I'm loving this project, but there are another bajillion projects I want to knit. Today I ordered the pattern for Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket that I saw on the Yarn Harlot's blog yesterday. I have to knit this. I've knit so many baby things lately, and I'm surrounded by babies, so I have to knit this. Can't wait to get the pattern. I also ordered the adult version. It looks easier - big and boxy - so I can probably get it to fit me. I so stink at gauge and making things fit. Maybe I can get this one right. I'll start with the baby jacket first - and then I'll find the appropriate baby to fit it. I think that's my best approach. Cheater.
Have to force myself to got to bed now. I'm getting myself in to my summer sleep cycle where I'm staying up later and later every night, and sleeping later and later every day. Hate this. Hate sleeping the day away. M. is worse, though. He slept until 4:30 PM yesterday. I woke him up before I left for an appt. with one of my doctors (my port comes out next Friday! Woohoo!) and just rolled over. Emmie was curled up in his room, too. When I came home hours later, they were both still in the same spots. The cat is just as much as slug as the teenager. I'm afraid I'll become just like them. To bed for me.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Monday, July 9, 2007
Here are the cornflower blue and yellow squares . . .
. . . and the turquoise and cream.
Progress. Can't wait to pick the next two colors.