Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Cat in the HatFirst, I want to apologize to everyone who left a comment that I didn't answer until last week... I had a mental glitch with the commenting system I'm using. When I first signed up, BackBlog demos the "pro" features for you - one of which is emailing copies of comments to the blog owner. I had become accustumed to that, yet let my BackBlog subscription revert to "simple". Then.... since I was getting no emails about comments, I thought I wasn't getting any. Silly me! I have now upgraded my account so I get the emails.

I think I got the questions in my comments answered last Friday. I should be more timely now....

Finished Object! Finished Object! I finished the Cat Hat for my older daughter. Here it is! And she loves it - she's barely taken it off since yesterday evening when I finished it. It got worn to soccer practice, and was on her head on the way to school this morning. What a compliment!

It was a rough road. I had started a green hat, but it turned out very small. In fact, it fits the baby instead. After that, the Big One and I had a chat about yarn which propelled us out to JoAnne Etc. to pick up more yarn. We had intended to have the hat made out of Lion Brand Thick and Quick Chenille in a forest green, then we came upon the yarn used above. It is Bernat Boa in the Parrot color. Bernat describes it as a "light tape with an eyelash fringe". It was interesting to knit with, and the hat knit up rather quick. I used the pattern on the ball band, but converted it to be in the round (I'm not sure of the advantages of kntting a hat flat. I see none, and I would have to seam it.

On the Panda sweater front, I've gotten about 5 inches knitted on the back. I forget how much I dislike stockinette stitch. I prefer garter for knitting. I don't hate purling, but I definately purl significanly slower than I knit. Only 9 more inches to go on the back...

I have done no more finishing on the fishie blanket. I'm going to buckle down and get more done on this tonight during the Twins game (go Twins!) Maybe I'll finish this blanket this week. I really want to, because my reward for finishing this blanket is going to be starting Sonnet! I'm going to dig through my stash tonight or tomorrow to find yarn that wants to be this sweater. I have some Berrocco Zen yarn in there... I wonder...

I think I'll host a Sonnet knit-along. Let me know if you want to join!

Friday, September 19, 2003

Ahoy There!Ahoy! It happens to be Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Because I am lazy (and tired) the rest of my post will be translated into pirate using this translator.

Workin' on t'Cat Hat for me eldest. Since I'm makin' it up as I go along, I'm also rippin' it out as I go because I don't like what I see... arrrgghh. I was k2g at an interval every other row, but it was startin't'spiral. Now, I'm (sl1 k2tog psso) every other row, hopin' thats a more central decrease. I s'pose I could dig up another hat pattern to loot from, but.. what would be t'fun in that? (Picturest'follow) "

I love Pioneer Melissa's posts from t'last couple days. Her post about Agreementst'Live By has had me thinkin' since I read it, and tryin't'live by those simple ideals. Its not easy... I get frustrated somewhat easily by stupidity and thoughtlessness. But, I'm tryin't'let it go more smartly, and not dump on others when I'm frustrated. Really.

Mateys, you be having a wonderful Talk Like a Pirate Day! I be casting off now...

(Ooohhh... that's a nasty pun. I'm leaving it)

Monday, September 15, 2003

New KnittyNew Knitty is out! Sonnet knit-along, anyone? I _love_ this sweater. I must make it. I must dig through my stash and find some yarn to make this.

In other knitting news - I'm still working through the Panda sweater. I needed to rip out the first inch or so... I of course didn't do a gauge swatch, and the sweater was turning out a bit large. Like, instead of approx 12" across for the back, it was looking more like 18" across the back. So, I went down 2 needle sizes, and things are looking much better. However, I probably won't post a picture of it for a while, as the black yarn will not photograph well.

I've picked up a new project. My older daughter is part of a "cat club" at school - one of those impromptu clubs that 9 year olds come up with. So, I'm making her a cat hat, just a stocking hat with ears. (So, I swear I saw a pattern for one of these at one point, a bunch of kid hats with ears in a magazine. Does it ring bells with anyone?). I'm just winging it, though. I'll make a hat in a normal fashion, and short row in some pointy black ears.

I taped the Conan O'Brien special yesterday, since it was on at the same time as the Vikings game (Go Vikes!). We're watching it now. It is absolutely hilarious. Conan is probably the funniest guy on TV today. The only show that can be as funny (that I can think of) is Whose Line is it Anyway? But, I'm practically falling out of my chair laughing at this special. And, I'm going to close the blog here to pay closer attention. Later!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Wonderful WeekendI can't post today without a brief mention of 2 years ago. My prayers are and have been with those who lost loved ones that day, and the rest of us who lost the carefree sense of being "safe".

Onto the knitting...
I'm almost finished with my Shapely Shawlette. It's very pretty, and great everyday knitting. Here's a picture. I've got about 10 rows left.

I'm still working on the Fish blanket... I messed up and needed to rip out finishing (I hate that). I assemble the fishies into strips, then crochet the strips together. Well.... I sewed one strip together backwards - the curve of the fish matched exactly the curves of the row I needed to crochet it to instead of matching the wave form. I'm up to 3 strips attached now... 2 left, then the outer crochet.

And, I've started another project. This is for one of those babies I know - not mine. It will be a Panda sweater. I'm knitting it out of Mustachio yarn that I picked up at the Great Yarns booth at Stitches Midwest. The body will be black, the sleeves and hood white, and there will be little black ears knitted into the hood. And, I'm sewing this great rhinestone zipper into it! It will be _so_ cute. But, the first 2 rows on the back is all I've got for now.

I had a wonderful weekend last week - even though I did very little knitting.

It was my husband's and my 10 year anniversary. So, he arranged with my folks to take the kids for the weekend, and arranged a great time for us.

Saturday we drove and met my parents half-way between our place and their place to do the kid hand-off (after the Big One's soccer game). On the way back to the Cities we stopped and looked at a gallery installation of a co-worker of mine, and did some shopping at the mall. We then dropped in on a housewarming party for another co-worker. Then, my lovely husband got tickets to The Sound of Music at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatre. When we got there, and were seated at our table there was this lovely floral arrangement that he had arranged to be delivered there for me. (I cried...). The show was wonderful (but I've never seen a bad show there).

On Sunday, after singing with my choir in 2 services, we went to brunch at Keys Cafe. Then we watched the first part of the Vikings game (Go Vikes!). After watching them dominate the first half of the game, we headed down south to the Concert in the Park (held by a local radio station) to see Soul Asylum, The BoDeans, and the Barenaked Ladies. Its an outdoor concert held at Canterbury Park (the local horse racing track). People come in, sit on lawn chairs or blankets and listen to an afternoon of music. We went for the last few acts, which was about as much time as I was willing to sit outdoors with large groups of people in 90+ degree F. heat. We brought some reading material, and I brought my knitting, and that's how we spent time between acts. My parents brought the kids back up Sunday night and put them to bed, and we rolled in around midnight. It was a wonderful weekend....

Thursday, September 04, 2003

So long, no postWell... here we are back again. In the intervening time since my last post, much has happened. I have gone, and come back from Stitches Midwest. I have finished 2 catnip mice - however, none for Wendy yet. One for me, and one for a very good friend who does animal rescue, and currently has 12 cats in the house. And, I've started another pair on request from my dad for his cats. Then I can finish up the 6 I have in progress for Wendy.... all of which need sewing and stuffing.

Of course, I'm also light on pictures today. No pics of the mouse that got away... however I have this pic of my cat playing with her mouse. Sorry for the blurry action shot!

I am doing fall cleanup around here... I'm picking an older projectt and getting it finished up. I started this blanket when pregnant with my now 18 month old baby. I'm getting very close to done - I've got the strips of 4 fish stitched together, and I'm halfway through crocheting the first 2 strips together.

When its done, I'm laying it out like this.

These colors are the colors in the baby's crib stuff. I'm crocheting it together with a kelly green. Pictures to come later.


I had a good time at Stitches. The opening session was somewhat interesting - giving 4 designers a bag of stuff and see what they do with it. I'm usually not overwhelmed with the opening day session, and this joined the crowd of not being utterly fascinating. Thursday afternoon I took a session with Judy Pascale on the Shapely Shawlette. Very fun! The shawl is just the right size. I bought some pretty purple shaded Koigu yarn and started the shawl on Friday. I'm over half done - I have about 20 rows left (but, since one increases from the center neck out, the last rows are rather long). Its a rather simple pattern to knit, making it great to work on during classes.

Friday was my knitting technique day. I took Double Knitting (with David Xenakis) and Tips and Tricks (with Lily Chin). Good classes, learned stuff, had a good time. The style show Friday night was a great amount of fun - lots of ideas on what I may pick up next. I was very impressed with the models of the patterns in the Fall Knitters. A much better issue than the last few.

Saturday was great - my picture day. I took a class on Photographing your Knitting from Alexis Xenakis. He takes some rather nice pictures, and I learned a lot just watching him set up his shots. Not to mention the crash course in Photographic theory. I could have taken that class all day... We set up a bunch of shots, and Alexis let us look through his (impressive) camera to see what he was seeing. For one set of pictures, I modeled another students sweater. Here is me, with the scrim being held by Shawn and David, modeling the sweater. (Alexis took the picture)

Sat. afternoon I took Photoshopping your knitting. I learned some, but mostly in the last half of class - I know Photoshop basics already, which is what David taught for the first part.

Saturday night was the student fashion show. Very cool - especially the woman who had knitted 3 huge shawls out of lace-weight yarn. I think each shawl had a 5 foot wingspan, and would have fit through a wedding ring. Absolutely stunning. Even better - I won something! (OK, everyone won something) But... the door prize for the tables went to the person with dot on their char (me!). The prize was a bag of 8 things - balls of yarn, kits, books, etc. Then, the bag and a sock kit from on the table were thrown in. Then, each table of 10 divded these things up between them. The person with the dot on their chair got to pick first. My table lucked out - there were only 6 of us. So, I got a purse kit and a needle felting kit. I'm going to gasp crochet the purse. I think it looks better.

Sunday was my design theory day. In the morning I took East meets West from Susan Lazear. Interesting ideas looking at Japanese clothing designers. Then, we got to play with our own paper or fabric designs on quarter-scale size 10 dolls. That was fun.

Then, I went to Sally Melville's talk on Creativity. I highly recommend taking this class if you ever get an opportunity. The class is about strategies for nurturing and fostering creativity. If for nothing else, thinking about what each side of your brain controls gives you many ideas of ways to think and deal with life more efficiently. I just wished this class wasn't Sunday afternoon when I was a bit tired.

Now I have ideas of many things to make - and a bunch more yarn to make it with! And, some beautiful glass buttons. And furry yarn to make the baby girl of a friend of mine a panda sweater. And a new drop spindle - I love drop spindles. I don't use them well, but I love them. I went climbing in the Yarn Lady's bin. I think its great fun sitting in the middle of large bags of yarn. I got 4 bags of yarn there. Elsewhere I bought a set of translucent plastic crochet hooks - because they looked neat. And, the Purl Stitch by Sally Melville. (Which added a bunch more projects to my to-do list). Great book...

Well, that's what I have to say today. Later this week, I'll go into the whole first-day of school stuff around here... This entry is getting long enough. Later!