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Minnesota, United States

31.1.08

Need a break

It's been quite a week...swim team parent drama (Jim's diffusing that situation), Ben's been sick, a worker at assisted living lost Mom's hearing aids. (Which they are going to replace, by the way. I already have her appointment lined up.) Not much knitting. I had the increases almost finished on a sleeve, but sometime between 10 pm last night and 6:30 am this morning I have magically gained an extra stitch (grrrr!). The knitting elves must've paid me a visit last night and messed around. Gee, I wish they'd finish the Lopi and the Faye cardigans! Mmm, maybe not. That extra stitch thing--they might make things worse!
Good things ahead--Kathy's picking me up and we're going out! First stop is for coffee. I'd post a photo today, but it doesn't seem to be working. Greaaat...hey, it worked! That expression about sums things up for the week--baaah!

28.1.08

Feature UFO of the week


The most recent project is at the boring part, so I'll feature a project from Two Sticks and a String, by Kerry Ferguson that I dipped deeply into the frog pond to retrieve. The yarn is really quite lovely, Classic Elite's Skye Tweed (now discontinued) in tartan red. I'll eliminate the pockets--no sense adding any more bulk around the hip area. The cables are fun to knit, but I ran into problems with the center back cable--the designer was two stitches off, and without a chart it was a pain to work out. Charts for cables are so much easier than written instructions for me. Mmm...just thinking about the Lopi cardigan. That one may go relatively quickly, given that the bulk of the knitting to be done is the sleeves. The bands and collar are solid, so no problem there. Need buttons, though.
I let my students know that I took a stack of my knitting books to Half Price Books. It's time to weed out the things I don't use around here. Ben is headed off to college in the fall and it's just time to do that!
See? I told you it was at the boring part.

19.1.08

Time to split

Since my last post--I took a little dip into the frog pond and fixed the decrease row. It looks much better to decrease in the row before the garter ridge. Now I'm ready to bind off the stitches for the back and begin the front. (Yea!) I took the photo when I started the back--it's now 8.5" deep for the armhole.
Yesterday w
as the True Team Swim Meet. Our boys took third overall, which is great. Ben ended up with four medals. He was pleased, but would rather drop more time in the 100 breaststroke. When a swimmer is at a plateau it's frustrating for them. We had fun and all the boys did, too. The last home meet is on Thursday, which is parent/senior night. We're already preparing for the banquet!
Back to knitting...I really like the tweed yarn. I'm hoping this looks as good as I picture it! Now that it's split, I can wiggle into it. After the Penelope Blouse disaster I'm wary of pullovers. We'll see. As I'm nearing the halfway mark, I'm planning the neck color. I'll use the red for the garter ridge, and I'm debating the turtleneck color. That can be tricky. I love the color band at the bottom, which will draw the eye down (around my butt...mmmm), maybe it would be wise to pull the blue or green up to my face to take the eye AWAY from my butt. Yep, I think that's the plan.

15.1.08

Making progress

Well, this baby's moving along quickly. Now I'm to the point where I can take it along. I have to knit until it's 13.5", which means I'll probably go to 14. I have six skeins of the tweed. Black is not a favorite (non)color of mine, but this tweed (#619) is nice. It reminds me of licorice--a warm black. Anyway, so far, so good. The only issue I had with the color section was to decrease the 20 stitches right after working the circle chart. I did one green row, and then decreased. I wished I'd done that right before the garter ridge to "hide" the decreases, but I'm NOT frogging it back.
It's cold out today; -3 and it feels like -3. That's good. I want it to go lower because it's fun to zap a cup of
water in the microwave, go outside and toss it in the air, and watch it freeze in midair. (It's a Minnesota thing!)

14.1.08

Ch-ch-ch-ch-chaaanges!

Those of you that know me already know that I'm the goddess of frogging. The charcoal, blue, and red are the same, but the green and pink are new. The gold and green heather weren't cutting it for me. Now I have a jumble of blue and gold yarn in my knitting bag to rewind, but I like these colors better. When I chain stitch over the circles, I may inject another color...with the body and sleeves a solid color instead of stripes, I can get away with embellishing the color bands. Fair Isle over larger areas takes a little practice; the floats in back are longer--some are over 4-5 stitches. The first time it was too loose, so I went down a needle size. I just need to remember to go up one size when I get to the body. I love mindless, straight chart knitting over Fair Isle and cables.
MiniD and JoJo have decided to come out of hiding. When we first moved up here, I made a MiniD for Joanne and one for my sister, and sent them along with some cookies and tea. I used to ride along in the cup holder of the car with my sister and Mom when they'd gallivant in Ohio--she called it the Debbie-doll. A few months after I sent me to Joanne, I received a JoJo doll and a pet sheep. They've been to yarn shops and classes. I think they'll have to go on the retreat and maybe even to Germany this year. I'm not sure what's up with JoJo's hair today, though. Is it humid in Texas, Joanne? The pattern is from an old issue of Interweave Knits. They're smaller than the Knitted Babes. I'm thinking we need to add a new BFF for the girls named Kathy. What do you think?

11.1.08

And now for something completely different...

The bonus UFO for the day is--(drum roll please...)--Circles, Bobbles, and Stripes from Kristin Knits. I needed instant knitting gratification (well, maybe not instant). Mine's just going to be circles and bobbles with a few stripes. I need take-along projects for the pool, and don't want to take socks. So far, so good...it's a matter of reading a chart over 210 stitches right now (lots of repetition so I can watch Ben swim. The markers indicate where I increased 20 stitches because I have to decrease 20 when the chart is finished. Normally, I'd use bright colors, but I thought I'd try something different. If I haven't already said so--I LOVE this book. The projects are easy and playing with color is always fun. Those familiar with my sweater wardrobe know I'm a fan of Kristin Nicholas. The body of my sweater (sans stripes) will be out of the charcoal tweed. (It's all Cascade 220.) I did go down one needle size for the beginning and down another for the Fair Isle section to make the gauge. Kris from my Sunday class says I always say, "gauge and block, gauge and block." True, I do.
Kathy, the olives are soooo good!

8.1.08

Done and More Undone

My first feature for the day is the (FO) Wooly Nest Ornament, a kit by Marie Mayhew. I met her last month at the shop during a trunk show of her projects. I fell in love with this one. It comes as a kit. I'd never heard of this tradition in Germany (maybe it's from a particular region), but it's very sweet and I'll keep mine out all year! I needle-felted the eggs while watching The Bourne Supremacy--bad idea--I caught my thumb and index finger too many times! The yarn is alpaca and very soft. Marie also designed the snowmen that I have yet to finish. They are the ghostly figures in yesterday's post.
My second feature is the (UFO) pair of Kaffee Fasset socks I began whilst visiting colleges with Ben over the summer. The other sock is an undone bonus--bamboo socks. Only one of these so far. I love socks only when they're done quickly. I dislike knitting th
em on toothpicks, but I was attractedmesmerizedandbewitched by the colors (as usual) and succumbed to them. (Sigh...)

7.1.08

The UNDONE



Rather than post photos of my simply mah-velous FOs, I decided to show the other side of my knitting--some of the dreaded UFOs!! Yes folks, here are a few of the many undone projects that abound in our home. I felt guilty and wondered why--when I looked up those eyes were staring at me from the basket atop the tubs of yarn and fiber. Those poor snowmen look like ghosts! Maybe I could just save them for Halloween. Jack-O might like to have them around in October.
Believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg! Maybe I'll feature a UFO of the Day this week!

Today's featured project--Pansy Sweater
Originally knit in 1990 from Susan Duckworth's Knitting, this fine-gauge, 23-color intarsia beauty is in the process of re-seaming. Love this project, but didn't like the seams--I use it as an example of bad seaming technique when I teach. What I really wish I had is a photo of the back when the bobbins were hanging!

2.1.08

2008 Good news, bad news

Good news--the Lopi sweater isn't as bad as I thought, Ben kicked butt in his races last night, I have the stump ready to send to the woodcarver in Texas, the Christmas stuff is put away, the house is relatively clean, there's still snow on the ground, this is the last weekend of Christmas break.
Bad news--the Lopi sweater is not in the take-along stage, despite amazing races the team lost by only TWO points, we've got a thaw coming, I have to ready the house for the first
swim party tomorrow night after the invitational meet in the afternoon, this is the last weekend of Christmas break.
What the heck, swim season is progressing well. The sleeves
to the sweater shouldn't be a big deal. I'm thinking this would have been a great opportunity to use steeks, but I'm NOT going to re-knit the body of this sweater--I'll wait for the winter landscape cardigan (it's in the planning stage--colors and pattern chosen, but no yarn, yet), this is a great opportunity to some winter household cleaning, we made it through the holidays, and it's a new year!





Snowshoeing on New Year's Eve.