Friday, February 29, 2008

3 Strikes

After a long day of changing poopy diapers, cleaning up food that has been flung and stepping on toys and books, I look forward to an hour or so of evening knitting time in front of the tv. After kissing Cashew goodnight, I quickly put away her toys, turn on the tv and grab my knitting. Ahhhh.

A perfect tv project is Cashew's sweater. It's based on the February Sweater and the EZ "taming with percentages". Round and round I go with stockinette, stopping every few rows to take measurements. Wait, did she just say "stopping every few rows"? Surely something is up if she has to keep taking measurements every few rows. Could she have a case of Knitterly Denial?

Yes. The sleeves are HUGE. My calculations for increases under the sleeve opening were correct. Just not for a sweater for a soon-to-be one-year-old! So I hooked up that sucker to the ball winder and ripped as fast and painlessly as I could. But now there are stitches to be picked up and provisional cast-ons to be fiddled with....gah. I'll work on my socks.

Ok, fresh off of Knitterly Denial, I am catching this one early. The yarn? Lovely. The pattern? Lovely. The yarn and the pattern together? Not so much. Plucky Knitter yarn knits up beautifully, but perhaps not so good for stranded work like Minty's Leyburn Socks. The yarn is fluffing up where left unknit. I have barely begun the sock and the strands are quite fluffy which means the yarn will be destroyed by the time they make it to full sockdom, much less worn. Back to the Ravelry queue I go.... maybe Nutkin... but it's tv time! Surely there is something I can knit right now!

Dude. Lace and the weigh-in on the The Biggest Loser do not go together. Did I insert a life line first? No! I was desperate to knit! This project is meant to be worked during day light hours with a fresh brain after a meal and a reasonable amount of coffee. Somewhere before the adorable stitch marker by Harlem Purls there is yarnover mayhem. It's fixable, but after 3 strikes I think the best thing to do is just take a time out.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Sensing a Trend

I understand that we all have favorites in terms of color. These favorites help stylize our knitting and I think that's really cool. Lately, I have loved dusty blue-ish green-ish teal-ish. It's so Annie. I can't seem to get enough of it, to the point that I almost can't help it. Honestly, I'm getting a little bored with this color family. My knitting seems a little "one note" these days. I usually see color style as a family of colors, not just one color. So I have decided to move on and knit with a larger variety of colors.

Now everything is pinks and plums!

Baby steps. *sigh*

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Spring is in the Air

A friend of mine had a baby girl February 1st. I thought it was very fitting to make her little bundle of joy the February Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann. The sweater sized out to be about 6 months which will be perfect for walks in the park in the spring.

The pattern was pretty easy to follow once you get the hang of the EZ way to do things. My only modifications were to put three buttons on the yoke and to knit the arms in the round. Otherwise I followed the pattern. Well, as much as the pattern was written! The yarn is Rowan Wool Cotton and the buttons are from Tender Buttons.

My friend is a wedding dress stylist. Fabrics and textures and all the details that go with them are her thing, so it was much fun for me to work on something so detail oriented. It was beyond the knitting for this one. The dress, the shoes...

Nothing is ever too pink when it comes to baby girls, me thinks! This is probably one of my favorite baby gifts yet. I just may have to make a February Sweater for Cashew. She's grown out of all her sweaters. What's a knitter to do?!?

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Dish of Towels

I knew I couldn't go to dinner empty handed. So I packed a dish with towels cuz honey, I don't cook. Ha! I finally gave my friends their wedding present. They opened the box and saw the towels and said "Oh great, we need these!" and then I got to say those words that are always such fun for us DIY crafty types..."I made them." The look of surprise and delight was worth all the drama. They promised that they would use them until they were ratty and worn. Considering how huge they are (33" x 22"! They didn't quite shrink as much as the pattern said they would.) I think they will be good for throwing on the floor to mop up spills and splashes. Hooray!

Ultimately I am very pleased with how they came out. I really thought that my warping issues made this a doomed project. In the end I was able to make 3 lovely towels with only a dash of wabi-sabi. There were supposed to be 4 towels but the rewinding of the warp ate up some length.

One of my New Year's Resolution's is to never let my loom be empty for more than a week. It looks like we are finally moving and I have restarted the process of organizing our things. Time is tight but my goal is to crank out at least one small project before the loom has to be packed up. Perhaps a scarf for me...


Saturday, February 09, 2008

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it...

After having a baby, I find myself constantly juggling. My goal is always to make the most efficient use of my time while enjoying my new role as a mamma and still holding on to the part of myself that is familiar. I love to work out and have always been active. Having not slept well in over a year (I know, I know, it doesn't really get better) it is with great desperation discipline that twice a week I go to the gym in the early morning.

Going to the gym in the early morning is not my favorite thing to do. It's too early, I'm too tired, too cranky but by golly, I want my flat, post partum ass to be a muscular, flat, post partum ass so off I go. I have always enjoyed people watching and the gym is usually a great place to do such an activity. But at the early hours of my gym, there is a specific crowd. They are all over 50, they come to the gym everyday and they LOVE to talk. There's The Cougar who must talk to everyone. About herself. She will get you to talk about her, to her. She enjoys staring at herself and even says so. ("Well you know, I'm a mirror whore.") Her early morning workout is her social hour. It's so annoying, it hurts. There's The Complainer. It doesn't matter what the temperature is, it's part of her routine to complain about it to management. The Enabler of The Cougar. The Male Ex-Dancer Who Does a Ballet Bar in the Middle of the Gym Wearing Only a Singlet. One bright, painful, morning the whole gang was there. As I worked through my series of exercises their conversation started like a round of Row, Row, Row Your Boat with a new voice coming in with each repeat.

"How can you do that? You're amazing!"

"Oh it's nothing, you're amazing!"

"But you look wonderful!"

"No, YOU look wonderful!"

And suddenly the whole gang was going round and round telling each other how wonderful they were and they went on and on and on. Even the guy in the singlet. They were so happy. And I got it. It's part of their early morning gym routine and it's brilliant. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a bit of Stuart Smalley to go along with your morning cup of coffee? Wouldn't that make each day a little better?

"Goodmorning Annie! You're wonderful!"

"Aw, you're wonderful!"

"But YOU are AMAZING!"


So that's not exactly realistic (and we'll say no more about that) but I was quite tickled to blog surf recently and find my ego boost in the form of a little award that several bloggers passed on to me. (Aw shucks, YOU make MY day!) And now it is with much delight that I pass on this gift.

Chemgrrl right back atcha, especially for this post.
Plucky Knitter I want all that yarn.
Ewephoric for making me laugh online and in person.
The Other Side of the Pom you are not a crazy cat lady...yet.
Yarn Bee happy colors always!
MLE so many sweaters, so little time.

To my entire blog roll, make my day.

*bell hop*

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

"Rear Naked Choke" Makes Me Giggle Like A School Girl

At last, my GSP socks are done. Yes GSP. Georges St. Pierre. These socks are named after Georges St. Pierre. Even Yarn Harlot commented on that photo! And yes, I am clutching my hands to keep from "accidental groping". Hotty Hubby was right there. I had to behave. It was very difficult when Hotty Hubby and his coworker kept saying "How about another picture? Let's take another one! Just Annie and GSP! Stand closer! Ok, another one!" Yep, that IS a shit eating grin on my face.

Oh the socks, right right right. Widdershins with these modifications. Austermann Step yarn. Too big, a bit bulky at the heel corners, nice clean gusset. Can we go back to GSP now?

click to enlarge

Hee hee hee hee hee. Hee hee hee hee hee hee. Hee hee hee hee hee. Hee hee hee hee hee hee. Hee hee hee hee. Hee hee hee hee hee. Hee hee hee hee. Hee hee.

Sometimes it's really fun to be a fan.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

I Shouldn't Be Surprised

With all my UFO's of '07, I find it hilarious that my first FO of '08 was started in '08. I present to you the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Yarn is Brooks Farm Acero which I purchased at NYS Sheep & Wool Festival, aka RHINEBECK.

I admit, the first time I saw a BSJ, I though "eh." The second time I saw one I thought "hmmmm." And then the third time..."I wanna! I wanna!" To be honest, there are a lot of, shall I say, interesting yarn choices used for the BSJ. Since it is a very popular pattern, there's a whole lot of ugly out there. Thanks to Ravelry, I found myself coming around to this little sweater. It's all about the yarn! And the sweater looks adorable on. And now my friends, there is no turning back. I want to make more!!! Next on my list, a BSJ that will fit a baby.

It all started with my brother announcing that he and his wife were expecting. This little surprise came not so surprisingly early. Woulda, coulda, shoulda made this sweater in December as we all figured this baby would come early since their other two did. My niece arrived a few short days before Christmas, 2 weeks before her due date. But who am I kidding, the holidays were crazy and although this sweater took roughly a week to make, I could barely finish (and still haven't finished) Cashew's Christmas stocking in time for Christmas. Since my niece was born at a healthy 5lbs, I figured that whipping out a little sweater after she was born would be no problem. I had never made a BSJ before and as many of you know, there's no real sizing with this thing. I was slightly under gauge (first clue, duh) but I really thought it would be ok. (Denial.) Cashew stayed at a NB size for the first 2 months and she was 7 1/2 lbs at birth. Surely a 5lb baby would fit in this sweater even if my gauge was off a smidge. So I knit a little this way...knit a little that way, bada bing, badda boom I had a surprise jacket for a surprise baby.

Except one thing. My niece gained 3 pounds in a month. Woulda, coulda, shoulda remembered that all my sis-in-laws babies have gained weight right quick. This sweater fit like, last week. So. The Annie Knits BSJ remains a display piece for now and will perhaps someday be worn by another brand spankin' new baby. Or Cashew's doll. Whichever comes first.

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