Monday, July 25, 2005

Fish Blanket Finished!

Isn't it beautiful? I think it turned out wonderfully.

I'm glad I got a second skein of yarn for the edging - I definitely needed it. I did one round of single crochet, then a second round of double crochet. On the double crochet round, I added stitches going around the curves - which really helps the blanket lie flat. This is the biggest annoyance (for me) with my daughter's fish blanket - the edging keeps going behind the outside curve of the fish...sigh.

This was gifted on Sunday by my wonderful husband - he's in CA right now, and got to see the parents and baby this is for. I hear they liked it quite a bit.... I hope they do, cause I'm especially proud of this one.

Pattern Specs:

Fish Blanket from Knitter's Magazine issue 51 (Summer 1998)
(modified to 24 fish)
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine
Size 4mm needle
Project started : approx. 5/20/05 Project Finished: 7/23/05 (knitting finished 6/24.... )

Friday, July 22, 2005

Public Service Annoucement:

Annie is organizing the knitting of a blanket in memory of Kerstin's late brother. Please help.


knitting is happening... but I'm not blogging it. It must be summer.

Quick updates:

Birch: lovely. Entering black hole phase

Fish : yes, more fish....

Baby knitting. 3 more. Knitting booties. At least one pair of duck feet.

Flower Basket shawl... slipping this one in there. I've got yarn. I've got swatch. Will be an Autumn Leaves Basket shawl.


Sabrina is at Language camp for 2 weeks, learning Norwegian. I'm going to French Language Camp at at the end of Sept.

The little one is at Grandmas - so tonight is DH and Me night - then he leaves on a Jet Plane for CA, and Sunday....

Yes, Sunday is all-to-myself day.


Oh... and my spindle wandered out, and yarn was spun. Not much. But at an amazingly constant width (for me)

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I had some good knitting time tonight.... outdoor orchestra concert, in the shade, next to a lake. Listening to ~150 (incoming) 4th, 5th, and 6th graders play their stringed instruments (mostly violins and cellos). I love our orchestra program.

I still don't believe there are 400 kids in the program in Middle School and High School - this is a huge, vibrant program. And its a public school... how'd we get so lucky!

3 more rows on Birch. half-through the 7th repeat... I may not run out of yarn. But I'm still picking up a 4th skein just in case!

And - the Red Sweater project has caught my eye. One red sweater for each soldier who died in Iraq. Last count she needed 1000 more mini sweaters. Patterns and guidelines are on the site.

completed the 7th repeat +1 row with the first ball of yarn. My math says its highly unlikely that I will run out of yarn... but I'm still going to pick up the extra ball.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I'm loving knitting Birch...but I got sorta geeky with it yesterday.

But, first, distraction!

Pretty Picture!

And a Close-Up!

That color... just doesn't scream "drab" to me... (OK. So its olive drab. Still)

However... I'm nervous. I've been a bit nervous since I had to rip out my first start (gauge too large. Very sloppy looking), and lost a few yards of yarn. I had read of people running out, or using all three balls. I had balanced that with people using only 2.5 balls. However, my gauge still may be a bit loose, which adds back into my anxiety.

I have 3 balls of KidSilk Haze.

Then, I read Annie's post about her (lovely) finished Birch. When she revealed that she had used every scrap of her 3 balls, that brought my anxiety to high boil. I went on the attack - spreadsheet time! Math. Reasoning. Fun!

First, I calculated how many of the Birch motifs the completed shawl is. (485). (30+29+28...+2+1)

Then, I figured out how many motifs I have left after each pattern repeat is done. That wasn't quite what I was looking for, so I figured out for each completed pattern repeat how many motifs I have knit. (1st - 30. 2nd - 59, etc). Then I divided 485 by 3 (155) to find out where I need to get with each ball to not run out. Seems like I need to get half-way through the 7th repeat (between 145 and 165). I'm halfway through the sixth, and getting very nervous about the amount of yarn left...

Fortunately, my LYS is holding a 4th ball of yarn for me :) In the right dyelot - which is part of the reason I wanted to know now. Since I bought the yarn a couple weeks back, there was a strong possibility for another ball if I called soon, but I don't want to buy a lone skein of KidSilk Haze for no reason. (yes, they'd take it back. But I've never returned a ball of yarn in my life.)

So, that's how I got geeky with Birch. (no black hole yet)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wait... its Wednesday already? Where is the week going?


I had a very nice 4th of July weekend. We went to the zoo, to visit friends, and had probably the perfect Fireworks experience.

Said perfect experience: one of my very good friend's husband plays with the Bloomington Medalist Concert Band. The same very good friend has a daughter slightly younger than out younger daughter... and they two girls are also very good friends. We arranged to watch the band together, then watch fireworks. It sounded like a plan.

The band played in the last slot before the fireworks for Bloomington's 4th of July celebration (which happened to be on the 3rd, but who's counting?). We got there just before the band started, and hunted for a place to sit... finally finding one on the crest of a hill (steep slope behind us). We had a good view of the band, and a good view of the lake where we thought the fireworks would be shot off.

So. The band is very good. The company is also very good - the 2 hours passed like no time. (first part of a perfect fireworks experience - the late evening must be entertaining.) The girls sat side by side in their strollers and giggled like mad. After the band finished, the fireworks started - not in front of us like we thought, but to our rights. And over our heads. It was SO cool. We were so close a piece of firework casing practically dropped in my husbands lap!

Not only was it an overwhelming show from the nearness standpoint - but it was a very well-done fireworks show as well. They played music - and coordinated the show to the music. Most of the time the fireworks were mood-punctuators (mostly in time with the music, and a little bit of ornamentation to the music), except during one song. They played "Its a Wonderful World"... you know the lyrics. Every time they mentioned a color (trees of green, red roses too, etc) they shot of a firework in that color. Every time the phrase "Its a Wonderful World" came up, they shot off a blue-green orb firework with a golden equator. But, the best part was the section that goes:

The colors of the rainbow (1), so pretty in the sky
Reflected in the faces (2), of people passing by
I see friends meeting friends, saying how do you do
They're really saying: I love you. (3)

So. At Rainbows (1) , multicolor fireworks exploded.
At faces (2), smiley face fireworks
and at I Love You (3), heart shaped fireworks.

Someone had just TOO much fun. I loved it.

(That was indication 2 of a perfect fireworks experience - a great fireworks show)

Then, indication 3 - due to our unfamiliarity with the park, we picked a parking spot about 2/3 of a mile from the bandshell. But, by the time we returned to our car - the lot and the road were clear, so there was no waiting in traffic to get home.

Big drawback - Bloomington is a half-hour away from our house :-)


Birch is coming along. I love it. No pictures.... but to distract from that:


One of the best parts about my job is its one of my written goals to become a better photographer. So, here are some of the pictures I took on my last photo trip that I really like.

Much like Cara, I tend to underexpose. However, I also tend to do much more color editing in Photoshop. (Cara is an awesome photographer... I want to be like her someday :-) ). I also am stuck in a flower mode...

So. My 3 current favorite flower pictures. All three of these were taken at the Como Park Conservatory in St. Paul. I use a Canon 20D camera.

I loved the shape of this flower, as well as the way it sticks up above everything. I also am in a desaturation kick...

I, again, love the shape here. And ditto on the desaturation thing. I have a mirror image version of this image, where the main flower is in focus, and the ruffle blurry... its so much a worse shot - though framed identically.

This is my favorite. (the previous is a close second). This shot is where I can tell I'm making good progress on the framing front.

I'm having a lot of fun with the whole photography thing... as you can tell!