Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm Buying Buttons

Guess why?

Thermal is seamed together! That's Why!!

I'll give the sweater a good soak and then block it tonight. Hopefully with pictures of a finished object later this weekend. Now, you know what that means right? I don't have a knitting project on the needles. Oh boy. So, this morning I grabbed my new handspun Kool-Aid yarn and slew of needles.

Swatching of a sweater for my little stinky. I started with size US 8s, no good. Moved to 7s...still to large. Okay, notice I didn't grab enough sizes and only had 3s with me. Okay, much better...but WTF!!! Another sweater on small needles? All I can say is I'm hoping that the size 4s or 5s work out because I really don't have a desire to knit a small sweater on small needles. Yes, I know it will go fast, but still...Size 3s!!!

Since I new that my commute time is longer then swatch time, I threw this lot into the bag and I've decided to put these suckers back on the needles. I think I'm going to experiment on the Judy's Magic Cast-On. So far so good.

Guess what else is going on in Chicago? Yep, if you've never been to the Taste of Chicago. Go.

There really isn't anything like it. Yes, it's crowded, but the food is worth it. Yes, it's expensive, but there are tips to experiencing the this yearly event. Since I work right across the street I usually go at least once a year. What you do is buy your tickets at your local Dominic's grocery store before you go (avoid the lines) and get your booklet of vendors. Plot your route, sit under the shaded trees and bring plenty of water. I don't bother with liquids and use my points toward my favorites. Connie's Pizza has a great mini-taste meatball sandwich and then you have to do the Eli's cheesecake. Hey you SnB gals...anyone wana do lunch next week on Monday or Tuesday?

Could I possibly talk about anything else? Of course I can. I need a new purse. I swear I go and buy these bags and a month later they're falling apart. So, I was thinking of upgrading and getting a satchel style to hold my wallet and knitting project. If you haven't seen these...Jordana Paige I leaning toward the red...or blue...heck green looks interesting too!!! For $89 it's really a good deal...I went to a bag store right down Michigan Avenue and most of the bags that fit this style where all $200 bucks, ouch! I don't know if I'll have the Patience to wait till Stitches in Aug to get a bag...humph.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Any Day Now

The Second Annual Tour de Fleece begins on Saturday, July 7th and I've totally signed up!

It seems pretty simple, here are the guidelines:

1. Spin every day the Tour de France rides, if possible. Saturday July 7th through Sunday July 29th. Days of rest: Monday, July 16th, Tuesday July 24th. (Just like the actual tour)

2. Spin something challenging Wednesday July 25th. (The last hard climbing mountain stage in the Pyrenees - Col d’Aubisque)

3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Take it from here or grab a clean one from the flickr pool.

4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 29th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all 'race leaders')

5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)

The only thing I'm concerned about is running out of roving. I've been pumping through my stash as it is. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make a fleece run;)

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I will soon have this Thermal added to my wardrobe. Not like I can wear it right now with Chicago hitting the 80's and the humidity bursting my hair into frizzes.

I bet this weekend I'll be seaming and blocking. Ahhhhh, the thoughts of finished objects leads me to the BIG Question that Knitterary pointed out last night at the SnB. What's next? Oh's really a toss up. I'm thinking Kool-Aid Sweater for Little Mac, but that silk is calling me for the Sahara. Or I could be crazy wild knitter and do both!! And lets not forget the many socks that I want. sigh. I can't decide.

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I have a question. Is is inappropriate to discuss lose of virginity with a client during a lunch meeting? Gosh, if any of my co-workers read this...they'll know who exactly did said deed. Yeah folks, that's what I have to deal with around here. Oh, lets not forget the body part sketches being passed around the office last Friday. It's a mad house, but I love it. I couldn't make this up if I tried. It's all in good-naughty humor and it never gets personal.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sleeves Are Done!

Gosh, phew...done sleeves. I busted through last night and off the needles..thank goodness. With the bind-off on sleeves, I only got to spin for 30 minutes last night. Couldn't go to sleep without feeling that yummy Merino slip through my fingers.

I've created the button hole band and picked up the stitches for the neckband. How long can a one inch twisted rib take me anyway? Heck, probably another week.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Show and Tell

Last night I could have sat on the couch knitting the Thermal with little Mac watching Sesame Street, but I really wanted to spin. So why not? Pulled out Lenny and was soon spinning the Merino Cross Wool I bought from The Fold some time ago.

It has a different feel then the Shetland....bouncy, longer drafting motions, more of an oily feel and a lot more straw/hay matter. At least compared to the Shetland anyway. I'm trying for a sport or worsted weight... with the possibility of making nice warm socks. I love exploring the different fibers and getting a feel for each and how they react to the wheel. want pictures? No problem.

That's what's left of the roving left to spin and here is what I worked up last night.

I'm hoping to do spinning in the evening and knit during my commutes to work. That way I get to do a little of both during the day and neither project will feel ignored.

The hand spun Shetland was dry when I got home, so I wound it up. Here is my Kool-Aid Black Cherry yarn.

The colors came out pretty cool. There are light and dark spots which isn't so bad. Since the light spots are really pink, I'm leaning towards a sweater or cardigan for little Mac. She ooo's and aaaa's over this yarn every time she sees it. I just have to find a good pattern and hopefully get it on the needles before the chilly Fall air comes around.


We went from slimy-broken-needs-new-liner pool to slimy-fixed-needs-chemicals pool. Not all over should clear up within the next couple of days. Right on time for the weekend. Hurray!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Oh Ravelry, I'm Waiting...

Thanks to Amy for showing off the Ravelry site at the last SnB. sigh. I want it even more now that I've seen and played with it.

If you haven't signed up to become a beta tester, do so. Who knows when this site will go live. The word is that they are sending out invites in small batches and are currently up to May 10th. I'll most likely will have to wait anther 4 weeks before being invited seeing that I don't remember when I sign up.

Are you still lost in the What the Hell is Ravelry? They put together some screen shots for a quick tour of what you can do...kinda like a sneak peek. Check this out.

Now, since I've seen a peek into this wonderful world...I need to seriously organize my stash. That means I'll have to come to terms with how much I have and what I plan on doing with it all.


Also, if you haven't seen this yet. There is a new poll on about favorite pastimes. Believe it or not, they actually include knitting as one of the choices. Go there right now and vote. Would love to see the knitters represent.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Little Cake and Dye

So, technically my son doesn't turn 12 until Tuesday, but's upon us. That just means I'm getting older. ahhhhh. Over all it's not bad, older I get the wiser I feel. Yeah, if you believe that one, I've got plenty more where that came from.

Party went off with some minor hitches, but what's a party without late guests, melting ice cream and kids screaming for more tokens. Quick Question? When is it appropriate to cuss out a child guest? Ha...just kidding. I didn't cuss anyone out, but I sure wanted too. There was evidence of a good time.

Five hours of party fun and I was in the bed with my little Mac getting some much needed zzz's. Going to bed early is always good, but waking with a headache is horrible. I was not comfortable all day until late this evening. That's when I decided to do a little dye experiment. I had finished the spinning the Shetland wool and pulled out the Kool-Aid packets. I got my instructions from Knitty and did a basic bath with as many black cherry packets as I could find. It was really very easy to do. I think if I was to do the black cherry over again, I would double up on the recipe. Right now three skeins are drying in the bathroom. They look pretty cool.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Sleeve Caps

First off I want to say thank you to everyone for your comments and support. There are so many other things that could be happening that are far worse then having a baby. She's got a good heart and will be a great mom. There are just those moments where you wish she could have enjoyed the wonders of the world, let her self be selfish before being slammed with responsibility.

Well...lets move on to knitting.

Thermal sleeves have transformed into sleeves with armhole bind-offs.

Here is the full sleeve on my arm. The recommended length to armhole bind-off is 19.5 inches, but I pushed another .5 inch out. I like the sleeve to rest on the meaty part of my palm. I know, I'm odd that way.

This next part should knit fairly quick. Only working with 88 stitches for the sleeve caps...well, that is, it's done twice - then off the needles and on to the neck band, blocking and seaming. I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

On the spinning side, I soaked the last of the Shetland wool and I think I'll delve into dying this weekend.

We have a 12th BDay party this Saturday for my son. I'm so excited for him. I'll take plenty of pictures and post about the party once I recover from the sugar comma.

Happy Friday and Knit-On!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What do you say?

When your 19 yr old step-daughter comes to you and says she's going to become a mommy?

My step-daughter has been nothing but respectful and sweet for the short time I've know her. My husband and I have been with each other for close to 10 years. His active involvement with her has only really been for the past 7 of those 10 years. He has always been a good father, providing child support without visitation was really difficult and stressful. When she turned 12 she requested that her father come around and gradually her mother allowed such visits to happen.

When she was sixteen, she stayed the summer and I got my chance to play a role in her life. It was very nice to have the extra set of helping hands while in my third trimester. She was a great kid and still is, but very naive in certain life lessons. I almost feel like I've got the short end of the stick. We've tried counseling, therapy, long drives in the car with deep discussions of where her future lies. She's past the point of teaching her any life lessons....she will have to learn from experience. What a hard life she's set her self up for. I would say I have sympathy for her, but I don't. She new what she was doing and she'll have to live with the repercussions of her actions.

Having been there and done it...It just pains me to see the road she has chosen when she had the world at her fingertips. I keep telling my self, it's only a baby. Babies are the beginnings of new life and new hope. Sigh. What now? Do I fall in the category of a knitting grandma at the ripe old age of 32?

On the knitting front...I have no photos. My charger for my batteries is missing and the batteries I do have don't have the juice to even take one'll just have to wait till tomorrow. I went out and bought another charger and I'm patiently waiting for my AA's to get their butt in gear.

The Thermal is right on track, although I've been knitting and measuring 19 inches for the past 24 hours. What's up with that?

On the spinning front, I've spun up all the Shetland wool. One skein is drying in the bathroom and another needs to get off the bobbin. I plied the last of my bobbins last night and now I get to decided on color dyes. Any suggestions? I'm thinking blue or Purple...I'm really into those colors right now...oh, wait. How about a black cherry Kool-Aid dye?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Knitting with 2 Circular Needles

With some interest in knitting with two circular needles. I wanted to give some tips and tricks on how I handle it. These are my Thermal sleeves knitting on 2 circ's and I'm already finished the increase rows and just moments away from the armhole bind-offs.

Cast on your desired amount of stitches. For this example we’ll use 20. Divide said number of stitches in half by slipping 10 stitches on to the second circular needle.

Knitting two pieces at the same time? Slid the the first cast-on to the end of the needles, so the cast-on tail and active yarn are facing to your left. Grab the circular needle that also has the previous cast-on tail. Using this will ensure that the pieces are both mirroring each other. With second ball of yarn cast-on 20 stitches for second piece.

With second needle slip 10 stitches dividing the cast-on in half.

Turn work and making sure not to twist stitches. The Cast-on bumps should all be facing downward. Start knitting your pieces as instructed by your pattern. For example: Knit2, Purl2 rib.

Taking careful actions to knit with one needle for one side only. If you happen to knit with both needles, the project will become tangled. Also, be careful to switch balls of yarn between different pieces.

Once one side row is complete, turn work and using second needle work second side row. Below are some graphics used to explain the needle path with for two pieces.

Weekend Events

Where do I begin? So much going on this weekend that I’m listing events at random.

1. Finished painting the living/dining/entrance way...or should I say... I’m done. Was officially done as of 2 am Saturday morning. I still see some spots that are I should go over with a second hit...I just don’t want to. The weeks of madness and disarray has gotten to me and I don’t feel like holding another paint brush in my hands at least till the July holiday vacation...humph.

2. Bought curtains and sconces for the dinning room. Here is a before and after photo:

It’s hard to really get the true colors with the camera, but I’m happy with it. The colors are gray with cranberry accent wall. It's dramatic, bold and every time I look over I feel like I’m looking at someone else’s room. Ahhhhh. Perfect.

3. The Fold is a truly awesome place to be and having finished the painting project, I felt I needed some fiber in my life. Can you believe they are completely sold out of STR medium & light weight sock yarn. Oh well, I guess it’s a good thing for me, because this was my purchase:

Yep Knitterary, I got some Silver Creek Yarn in the Cobalt colorway for the Fulmar project. We’re still on for starting this coming September, right? I sooooo want to cast-on with this heart skips a beat every time I look at it. I’m not sure how the colors are showing up on your computer, but it’s a cross between violet and blue...just lovely.

4. I couldn’t resist getting some more fiber as well. Picked up about 8 oz of a Merino blend. She had a sample spun up and it was looking so gorgeous.

5. I love the Webs. If you haven’t been over there, go there now. They have super deals and I can’t wait to touch everything come August at Stitches Midwest. When I got home on Saturday from having a great time out at The Fold. I found silk in my mailbox. Look at this peeps:

That is Berger du Nord - Belle & Belle and it is normally 10 bucks a ball and I got it for 5...and guess what I’m going to make? Oh, yeah...I couldn’t resist. Sahara. I know, I’m a copy cat. MB did hers a while back and it turned out fabulous. The color is perfect shade of dusty blue. I bet I’ll be able to dress it up or go casual with jeans. Gosh, don’t you love those surprises in the mail?

6. Knitted some more on the Thermal...still more waffle stitch. It’s not worth a photo at this point.

7. Spun up some more of the Shetland wool, but didn’t get a chance to take pic’s. I was happy to get some great advice from Toni on my visit. I was hoping she would have spinning classes this summer, but it seems she doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands. Oh, well...I will pass on that she’s having a Summer Solstice sale starting June 21 - June 24 with increasing sale percents off each day. Sunday is the huge day with 40 - 50 percent off.

8. I do have news about my family and how it’s changing. I don’t feel up to discussing it on my blog at this point. I don’t know how I even really feel about it and I’m trying to work through my feelings. Plus, there may be some family who could read this and perhaps don’t want it discussed. I’ll just say, give it time and all will be revealed.

Friday, June 15, 2007

And the Sleeve Go On...

The length is just above the elbow and have 3 more repeats on the increase rows before binding off for the armpit.

I can't seem to put this project down. I think about all the lovely sock yarn in my stash and yearn to cast-on but I just can't. The little sheep on my shoulder whispers into my ear... the sooner you get done with this, the sooner you can wear it...socks, shmocks...keep knitting on thermal.

I'm kinda relieved that I'm not under pressure to preform in the Summer of Socks 2007 like some other bloggers I know... Knitterary, Thanks! I click the picture of your sock stash and it blows up to practically life size. Nice Friday Yarn P0rn. Since you showed my yours, I'll show you mine. My stash isn't as large as yours...but 17 pairs is a nice start.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pool Update!!!!

I just have to ask, Who called the Pool Guys?

Pulling up to the house after work, there is a Ford pickup truck in front of us pulling into our driveway. Who? What? Oh Yeah Baby!!! Pool Guys:

I'm in love. I will be hitting the pool very soon. Thank you, who every you are for kicking these guys into action.

Its Never Comes Easy

Isn't there a saying...Anything done right is worth waiting for?

Well, Tuesday was a day...not like any other day, but a day that was suppose to end in me swimming or at least wading in my newly lined pool. Not so much. Do you remember the slim?

Liner was purchased, contractor was scheduled, and by the time I got home on should have been perfect. never comes easy for me. I always seem to have to go the next level ...but I'm looking at the bright side. I WILL have a pool to swim in this summer. I WILL definitely have to throw a pool party/bbq when I finally get around to scheduling that event...oh, the joys of summer.

As to last night, this is what we have. The guys should be back on Friday and I'm crossing my fingers that we have no rain till the weekend.

What you see is not just my shadow waving at you but dirt...what happens when water mixes with dirt? Yeah...cross your fingers people.

Do you want some knitting content with this blog...okay, don't twist my arm or anything. Here is the sleeves at yet another several rows closer to finished. I knit and knit yet I don't seem to go any where. I do like that the color is very slimming...hehe. that a muscle? I didn't know I had one;)

I do have to mention that I have been seriously blessed this week and it's all Grandma's doing...she has taken both Stinky and Legs off my hands for an entire 6 days. Can you hear me scream FREEDOM!! Guess what I did? knitting, guess again. spinning.

I did contemplate pulling out Lenny (my Lendrum wheel) to get a little further along on my Shetland roving, but the house was in dire need of paint. It's not easy to paint while an almost 3 year old wants to join in.

I have no pictures...I know bad blogger, but I will say it looks tons better then it did and will post before and after shots when I get further along in putting everything back into it's place. I have so many ideas about finishing up the house that they are clouding my mind today. I figure if I get all my To Do's done, I will be able to enjoy The Fold this weekend.

Monday, June 11, 2007

My HTML Upgrade: WIP Progress Bars

I also forgot to mention my skills on html have gained me some Work-In-Progress bars on my sidebar.

I do have to say surfing through blogosphere, I came across this Very Cool Code website... thank you Riggwelter for posting the link on your blog.

Once I figured out that the code had to be in two different sections (talk about light bulb moment) it all came together very smoothly.

And since we are mentioning cool html codes ... check out this. This was what I did to get a great banner on my blog. FYI: my banner header is sized at 740 pixels wide, which works out great. If anyone has any questions, please leave a comment and I'll do my best to help;)

Body Malfunction

After taking part in the World Wide Knit In Public Day...I came home to continue knitting on my sleeves. Knit and knit some more. Rented moves and knitted some more. I remember one was Messengers...and the second must not have been good enough for me to remember. Don't recommend the movie, it was very predictable. Well, I ended up knitting till 2 am. Over the course of the evening, I also did a second coat of edging on the walls, a load of laundry and cooked dinner...just so we understand, I wasn't completely stuck to the couch with the Drink Hat on. Although I have thought about it;)

I'm sure it wouldn't shock you to know that I woke up at 6 am in complete agony. My left forearm was throbbing. What The Hell! Took an illegal amount of Advil and back to bed. People...I think I've gotten carpal tunnel because of my knitting. The horror of it all. Did you think that stopped me from continue to knit? Hell-No!

Here is my sleeves so far:

You'd think with the idea of someone stricken with carpal tunnel, I would have more to show. Hahahahaha! Just think, it's two sleeves people. If it was just one, I'd be near the armhole by now.

It also looks like this weekend (June 16th) will be another trip to The Fold. I emailed Toni and I'm hoping she'll be there this Saturday. I wanted to show off my first skein I produced with her Shetland yarn and off my Lenny Lendrum. I was hoping she would have her workshop schedule up by now, but I can only cross my fingers and wait patiently.

Does anyone want to tag along?

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Feel the Burn

I truly lived up to my name today while knitting in public.

Yep, that's my arm...burned. The one thing I forgot to do. sunscreen. Even with Miss Mac in tow, I came out to represent the knitters!!

Chicago was not short on knitters.

Guess who I bumped into? Yep, some SnB gals...

Good times...and got some progress done on the sleeves too. Lets not forget the great pin that were given away.

Even thought I was only there for an hour, I'm glad I went. Look forward to doing it again next year. We freaked out some muggles..and hopefully we can double our numbers next time. Cheers and Knit-On!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Evidence of a Knitalohlic

I need to seriously get some things under control. First off, I've found evidence of my knitty ways taking over.

First off.

Oh, aren't they lovely. My lilies are in full bloom. Where is the neglect you say? Well, I didn't say I couldn't grow anything...I just seem to be able to grow everything.

See here:

Weeds. Ladies and Gents.

I have to decide on several things. out for the real plants, I use weed killer with other plants among them? Three...plant more plants...oh, boy...I'm not good at this stuff. I can definitely kill things and grow things, but doing both at the same time baffles me.

Next line of evidence is the pool.

Our family loves it. My boy E can't stay out of it. I wont even go into the fact that there are tons of weeds growing around it. What is wrong you say?'s June. Come on ...officially pool openings are on Memorial Weekend...people? that was back in May. Okay..okay it was only two weekends ago, but still. Now, my problem is not the weeds...hey, I think we've already established that I can kill those. My problem is with this:

Ewwwwwwwwww, gross. Slimy green goo. Thanks Knitterary...the force is strong in you. The good news is that a pool liner has been purchased and a installer will be out next week. Hurray!! just in time, phew.

Now to leave you with some knitting news. Miss Mac was up late. How late. I hate to even put this number down...1:30 am. Yep, she was up and that meant I was up too. So, when in doubt, teach her to knit.