Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thinking Only Good Thoughts

Don't have time for much blogging...but sending good stuff your way as these are my good thoughts that I've been seeing and playing with.

Tile is in... Grout this weekend. Good times.

The bridge to the modern section of the art museum is open.

Love the new view point of the city... it's a must see.

New yarn arrived and I get to swatch for the Faery Ring this weekend. Love the Ginger color in this Cascade 220. Little bit of brown and red...Love.It.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Update

My life has been such a whirl wind that I wanted to give a quick little update on both knitting and bathroom fronts:

What used to be here...

Is now here...

Yes... I have a toilet in my bedroom. Not exactly where I'd like it right now, especially when little 4 year olds don't know how to "hold it" for very long. sigh.

The last little bit of old wallpaper was captured once toilet was removed. How did these people function with black paisley wallpaper? That can't be a flattering color to put makeup on.

We've been dry-fitting the floor tile all week and we're planning on setting that this weekend. Hopefully along with the counter-top for the cabinet.

In the knitting department I've started two new projects.

The Absinthe socks from Knitty Spring 2009. The pattern just pulled at my cable heart strings and couldn't help but cast on.

Next is the Tapestry Cowl by Pepperknit.

I was just awestruck by the reversible cowl so much that I had to cast on immediately especially when I saw other examples made with the Malabrigo Sock yarn.

The other big news is the Nubby Cardigan has been seamed together and needs button bands and collar to be considered finished. I hope everyone enjoys the long weekend even while I slave away doing manual labor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

FO: St. Brigid

Pattern: St. Brigid by Alice Starmore (Ravelry link)

Yarn: 10 skeins Louet Riverstone

Needles: US 5

Started: February 1, 2009 (St. Brigid's Day - no joke!)

Finished: May 15, 2009

Comments: A fantastic knit. Kept me on my toes the entire time. I had finished the sweater perhaps a month ago, but was working on getting a zipper inserted. Before starting the project I had ordered a color card from ZipperStop and then purchased a custom double ended zipper once I was done seaming the project together. If you haven't see that post about how I put in the zipper, just click here.

Modifications: I eliminated one full repeat which removed 3 inches off the length. The sleeves are a little snug on the forearm, so I added more of the checked rib to allow some ease. The original pattern is a pullover, but I wanted more use out of this piece and decided to convert it to a cardigan. The pattern also has you add fringe along the bottom. That wasn't going to work for me, so I added the small braid cable along the bottom, collar and cuffs. With the adjustments I was making, the zipper edges would be rough and could possibly catch on the zipper, so added a icord edging to give it a more smooth transition. I followed the Keyboard Biologist tutorial on applying icord to edges. I can see using this in many other pieces because it gives it that finished look.

This was such a fun project and I'm hoping everyone doing the Knit-Along will be done with their projects just in time for February 1, 2010 for the next St. Brigid Day.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Adding A Zipper To Your Knits

I want to first give everyone fair warning that you can take your hand knits to most dry clean/laundry facilities and they will install the zipper for you in exchange for a crisp Jackson. I on the other hand, I'm stubborn and like to torture myself with perfectionism.

Seriously? a zipper is a little bit of a pain in the arse. Would I do it again? Hecks Yeah! Again with the torture stuff...I know, so if your curious to see how I went about sewing a zipper on my cardigan, here are my notes and pictures:

There are a few steps you'll have to do first, like buy the zipper and of course for me that involved picking a custom color and custom size. I purchased a color card from ZipperStop back at the beginning of the year so I would be set for when the cardigan was done. They have a wide range of selection and with the color card handy I was able to pick something suitable for my St. Brigid.

The customer service is helpful and they ship same day if they get your order in early. Before you order, have your details all ready handy like color, length and slider style. FYI: the color card lists every color they COULD get, but the website lists what is in stock. You will be limited in certain colors, but it was nice to have the card to determine the right choice.

Getting started you lay the garment down with zipper zipped. Take pins and secure loosely in place where you'd like the zipper to start. Making sure to double and triple check that it's the same place on both sides. It might look like it's buckling a bit, but it's really just the pins making it look out of sorts.

Once pinned in place then thread a needle with a highly contrasting thread and bast along the edge. Do this slowly, making sure not to stretch the fabric or zipper which will cause a ripple.

With both sides basted, you can try the sweater on. Do that. This is the time you want to make adjustments. It's easier to pull that thread out then ripping out the sewn thread.

If your happy with how you've secured the zipper, now is time to take out the sewing machine. Don't worry about that basting thread. Your main concern is keeping a consistent and straight line on your fabric/zipper.

You'll want to pick a thread as close to the color of your knitted fabric as possible and the one I found was practically invisible. Go slowly with the sewing machine, but before you know it your done. The results are just awesome and I'm so excited to have added another lesson learned under my belt!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Totally had to get out of the office this afternoon to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and blooming garden in the park.

I was trying to get some creative shots with blurred backgrounds, but it was a little hard to concentrate when tourists keep getting in the way and then the security was nagging me about how close I was getting to said flowers. OK DUDE, I get it. It wasn't like I was stepping in the flowerbed or anything, sheeesh.

The dark red/purple tulips are named Queen Of The Night and the lovely bright pink are named Don Quichotte. And how do I know this? Why I'm an expert in tulips...yeah right. The lovely garden lady at the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park told me all about them.

When I have some time to go back and talk tulips... I'm seriously going to hunt that lady down.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Random Wednesday

Just a couple of juicy bits to get you over this hump day.

1. The Nubby Cardigan is coming along great. I've made it to the sleeves:

Black is so hard to photograph, so I apologies for the ugly picture. Another thing that I've learned about knitting with black, besides the need for bright light is that it's kinda boring to look at. The pattern is not difficult, so it makes good TV knitting, but seriously...YAWN!

2. Celtic Icon has been my obsession lately. The back/top hood part is done and now I'm on to the fronts:

I'm ALMOST to the point where I've memorized the cable, which is kinda cool. I'm hoping to have this ready to wear for when Stitches Midwest comes into town in September.

3. Speaking of Stitches, I've signed up for two classes. Dotty Knits, which is a mosaic knitting class and Where Do They Get Those Numbers for altering your patterns.

4. My commute from work has me taking a train, then a commuter bus that travels through the neighborhood and this is a little video of my walk home from the bus stop.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Weekend Overload

I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day, I know I did and I didn't want it to end. There is nothing like not cooking one single meal, having beautiful roses to gaze upon and reading long sappy cards to tug at your heart strings.

But my overload of a weekend didn't start on Sunday, but truly on Saturday where I drove two teenage boys up to the Stevenson Convention Center to enjoy an afternoon of fantasy at Anime Central. For those of you not in the know, it's a convention for lovers of cartoons/comics/video games... and if your not in costume, then your the odd ball.

If your curious to see what kind of outfits... go here, here or here to see some interesting photos.

So while the kids are hanging out, I headed to the Mosaic Yarn Studio located in downtown Des Plaines. It looks small from the outside, but don't let that fool you. They are packed with all kinds of goodies. I asked if I could sit a spell as I had some time to kill and they were very gracious to allow me to sit and knit.

I then noticed they had the new Cookie A. sock book Sock Innovation. I was blown away every time I turned the page. Then of course I couldn't help but not grab some sock yarn.

By now I'm starving and need some lunch, so I go driving around downtown Des Plaines when I get a phone call. My son tells me he's with Security. Holy Mary Mother! What the hell!!! It seems that him and his buddy never made it through registration and just walked onto the show floor. I now have to make my way back to the convention center, park and locate them to make sure they've registered. To say I was a little mad is an understatement. On my way back I contemplated whether it would be wise to just snatch him by his ear, dragging him back to the car. Or should I let him finish out his day. I chose to let it go. We're just now starting to let him venture out on his own and if he doesn't go through the motions then he'll never learn from it.

After getting them set up I headed to the Muvico Rosemont 18, where I watched Wolverine with my feet propped up. They have love seats up in the balcony for the "premier experience", so I sat and enjoyed my $5 pop and $10 nachos. I have never been so comfortable in a movie theater in my life;) and by the way, LOVED Huge Jackman: hubba, hubba!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Hey Tooth Fairy!

So my husband asks little Miss Mac, how much do you think the Tooth Fairy will give you for the tooth?

Without blinking an eye: 6 dollars.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Go Figure...

I have been struggling with my inner persona that is constantly judging my performance. I was trying to fight it off saying things to myself like "know one will notice" and "don't make such a big deal about it" ...yet it would raise it's evil eye at me and say, but you can fix it.

When I would then come back with "I don't wanna!" and do you want to know why? Because the only way to fix a cable this twisted is to rip it all out. Not 6, 9 or even 12 stitches. We're talking the full cable. It's highly woven features make it nearly impossible to ladder down that far.

How far you say? Ten inches far, that's how. Yeah, it wasn't going to happen. It was a rip or for-get-about-it! So, I kept knitting and that perfectionist side was getting louder. Something had to be done, so Google here I come.

Here is the mess:

The bottom set is done right, where as the top are not. I think the Yarn Harlot had the best example from her 2006 post: All is not lost. I ended up doing a fake cable with embroidery.

Here is a look at how it was going when I was half way done.

In the end, I'm happy and that evil perfectionist is silent. I can certainly live with this fake fix.

If you were in this situation would you have gone through the trouble of fixing the calbes?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Celtic Love

Please meet my new found love. Celtic Icon by Fiona Ellis and published in Inspired Cable Knits. The yarn (Shelridge Farm) was purchased at Stitches Midwest last year and I was inspired to cast on since the class schedule is now up.

I'm surprised at how quickly this is coming together and even more pleased with the yarn. It's definitely one of my favorites.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Bath: Day 2

Words can not explain how I feel right now. My fingers ache along with every inch of my body, but my spirit is soaring!

Just so proud of what we both can do when we put our minds to it.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Bath: Day 1

I'm so proud of our wall. We didn't get really started and fully going until late in the afternoon, but it looks AWESOME!

Tomorrow we're hoping to finish the remaining sides. sigh. I can't explain how thrilled I am right now and as of right now I would do it again. Can't say I'll feel that way towards the end, but man I'm pumped!

Also in the knitting department, I've cast-on for a new project. I'll post more about that later, but so far I'm loving that too!

Friday, May 01, 2009


The zipper arrived while I was on vacation...

A little yellow. Well Hell, A Lot Yellow!

Back to the drawing board. At least this gives me a chance to remeasure for proper length. With the length that I bought the handle of the zipper was going to be peaking out from the bottom. I'm not liking that idea.

What am I getting my self into this weekend? A little bit of trouble:

The sad part, is that this is 100 percent better then what it looked like at the beginning of April. I'm hoping I will get some good "after" pictures, but can't bet on how much will actually get done.