Friday, May 26, 2006

Yesterday I had an epiphany!

No. Really. I was at an all day meeting in Edmonton yesterday and on my way home realized that I had a gift card for Chapters from the organization that I work for that I got as a thank you for special project work I did in January and February. So, thinking that I would buy a few knitting books with my free cash (something I would never do with my own money -- books are way too expensive, magazines cost so much less), I went in and spent an hour perusing the books that they had there. Mmmm... green tea frappaccino and knitting books; could there be any better way to spend an hour? Guess what I came out with?? Stitch and Bitch Nation and Special Knits: 22 Gorgeous Handknits For Babies and Toddlers.

So, why you ask, did I have an epiphany? Let me tell you, I didn't realize what a treasure I had until I got to Red Deer and stopped to have dinner. I sat down, ordered a salad and flipped open the SNB Nation and about fell out of my chair!! The first chapter describes in detail how to dissect, examine, and re-work almost every pattern out there. Booyah!! Why did no one tell me about this before?? Or, if they did, why didn't I listen?? So, now, I have had exciting visions of sitting down and creating the perfect fitted garment to flatter my figure and make me look exactly like a super model (well maybe that's a bit far fetched, but you get the idea). I even have a design idea in mind, and will be spending the day searching for the perfect yarn to make my dreams a reality. I am thinking something totally yum in a dk or lighter weight. And, it must be pink. Dark pink in fact. Oh, totally yum.

Oh, and I know that there has been a serious lack of knitting progression pictures posted lately. To explain; I have been uber busy with work and super tired when I get home at night. I also have started working out at lunch and have been unable to knit then too. And, I had to frog Calla (yet a-freakin-gain) and so, I am back on square one with her. And I promised myself that I would try not to do anything else until she was off my needles and on my body. Bah. I *hate* this tank now and if I hadn't (in my infinite wisdom) suggested that I do a KAL with the project, I would have thrown her on the floor, stomped on her and used the beautiful yarn to make something far less evil. So, no pictures of FO's, WIP's or anything else for the time being. Bah. And, given the way that this tank is going so far, me thinks that there will not be any progress pics for a good long while. Although, I can offer one small thing in the meantime, I have been spinning away and have a few skeins which I will take pics of and post once they have been wound and blocked. I may even knit a gauge swatch of each hank this weekend and post those too if I get some extra energy.

Monday, May 22, 2006

If at first you don't succeed...

Frog and Frog again! I am still working on the Calla tank. So far, I have frogged it twice already. I truly hope that the third time really is a charm. I am knitting it in the round right now. I figured if I have to do it all over again, I might as well do it as one piece and hopefully shave off some time. I have also not been able to get to it this weekend as I was outside doing yard work all weekend. I am happy to say that all my hard work has paid off. The flower beds and vegetable boxes have all been weeded and are chock full of seeds just waiting to sprout. As I always do this time of year, I will now walk by them daily on the way to my car and wait for little green shoots. I will water diligently and weed daily. And, in a few short months, I will hate the garden and I will water less and less and I will only harvest half of what I plant. I don't know why, but for some reason, I hate picking the dang veggies. And I especially dislike washing them once they come out of the garden. I really don't mind that my husband has never done any of the gardening every year either, but it sure would be nice if he did the work at the end when it came time to pick and wash. I would even mow the lawn all the time without complaining. (I do it now, I just complain a lot).

I am also at a cross roads with my knitting. I finished my one skein wonder a week or so ago and while I love it, I still want to make one out of a cotton or maybe a more defined yarn. I love my OSK, but would like a summer-y version as well. Pure alpaca (I used Misti Alpaca) isn't really so summer-y. Once I finish Calla (and I will dang it!), I don't know what to make. I would like to make something for the Bean, but what? She will be turning 4, so maybe a little jumper dress or a cute sweater for once it turns colder. I just don't know. See, cross roads. maybe it will come to me soon.

Monday, May 15, 2006

So much for De-stashing...

Last week I had 2 days off work... so, I hopped into my car, drove to my LYS and bought myself some Misti Alpaca... so soft and squishy. Total yum. Then, I sat for 2 days and knit myself a beeeautiful One skein wonder. I would have taken a picture, but I didn't have time this weekend. And, my great hu-band got me a gift certificate to perhaps the nicest spa in town here... ah, absolute bliss! He is truly a great guy!

I am still working on Calla and have had to frog twice so far. I guess that's what I get for trying to work on it while I am watching tv. I hope to be finished by the end of next week and think that I may just be since I am getting the hang of it and the pattern is going so much faster now. I am almost back to where I was before I frogged the first time. The real trick is remembering to make sure the yo's are done before any P2's. Otherwise, its a cinch.

I can't wait to be finished. I also need to get to my LYS and pick up the yarn for my yarn swap friend. Hmmm... so much to do, so little time!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Destashing? De-Lovely!

Well, I went on a major se-stashing expedition and re-sorted through the numerous (and overflowing) yarn purchases that I have made in order to find yarn for 3 items. It was time to re-sort, re-think, and ultimately it seems, re-stash... dang.

1. Clapotis - I have 2 possibilities for this. I originally thought of using that lovely handspun from Peru that I got last week for this, but I don't think that it will be a) the right gauge and b) shiny enough. Sooo... I think that I am going to track down 2 more skeins of black pearl (Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb) to go with the one that I got off of eBay and use that. I really like the gauge/shine/color of the LL's for that and so Lorna's Laces, it will be.

2. This shrug from the soon to be defunct FCEK magazine (which I couldn't find a net picture of to save my life):

Is one that I have been wanting to make for about a month now, but since I only have enough mercerized cotton for about half. The yardage on it calls for 13 balls of "Shimmer" by Coats & Clark, which at 127 yards a ball works out to um... 1651 yards altogether. Even with the most mercerized cotton in the right gauge, I only have um... just under 1000 yards. So much for that idea. And, I know df is going to kill me if I buy some more mercerized cotton since I have 2 different colors just sitting in my stash with pretty decent yardage and no projects for them yet. What's a girl to do. Incidentally, I really like the apple green color of the one on the model in the magazine. Normally I wouldn't contemplate apple green, but I really think that it is a nice color for this type of thing. Thinking on it, I think that when I finally finish Calla, I will be looking for some dk weight mercerized cotton/cotton blend for this.

3. One skein Wonder - Now, this is a tricky one. I have absolutely no bulky weight yarn in my stash. Its not a gauge that I normally knit with. So, what to do? I really want to make this in a dark color like a really really dark blood color/wine color. I originally thought that the one skein of Lorna's Laces Black Pearl would be perfect, but now I don't think it will work, even doubled up. So, once again, I am off to the store to get some bulky yarn in this colorway.

Ok, now that I have the three projects that I am looking to complete, I am determined not to add any more to the cue. These are my summer projects and that is it (ya right... until the next magazine comes out).

Oh, one other very neat thing -- I joined a yarn swap and got paired up with someone from the US. I suppose I will just have to hit a yarn store sometime today and find her something very very neat while I maybe buy the yarn for one of these projects. I just made reservations at Japanese Village for lunch with Ter so I will probably go to my favorite knitting store after on the way home. Or maybe I will get my knitting buddy's yarn at the store and then order some for myself off of so many expensive choices... so little de-stashing. What is a girl to do??

Friday, May 05, 2006

Calla and other things new...

So, here is the progress I have made so far on Calla. I have to say that I am strongly thinking of frogging Calla and re-starting since I made some errors (which are very noticable to me) when I first started. I think that I have the rhythm down now, so frogging and re-starting wont be a huge deal and I think that I will be happier with the results. The more I look at it, the more I see the mistakes. I know, the picture is a little dark...

Even in these dark pictures though, I can see the dang mistakes. See if you can... sort of a "Where's Waldo?" sort of thing... LOL.

I also got some new yarn in the mail yesterday. All the way from Uruguay and still way faster than the (stupid expensive) yarn that I got from the US. MMMMM... so soft and so snuggly. I will use it to make Clapoits and I will love it and it will be mine. Oh selfish me. So many projects and all of them for me. I finished my mom's scarf and am still procrastinating on the blocking and weaving in of ends. I can so see myself doing that the night before her b-day.
I am also waiting on the super slow yarn from the US as I want to make a "one skein wonder" with it. I know, shamelessly jumping on the bandwagons here, but they are such cute, versatile patterns that I can't not make them. And the best part? The yarn for Clapotis was only about 25.00 from eBay. Love eBay.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Terry got a new job!! And, as a result, I have been away for a while because the guy and I have been shopping. Big shopping. Big big shopping. The kind of shopping that makes your financial advisor call you to ask what's going on...

We bought a big screen tv. A BIG SCREEN tv. 45 inches of pure evil. All I can think about is going home to watch it. Actually, it is really nice, I have to admit, but now it makes me want to finish our basement that much faster so that I am able to move the dang thing out of our living room.

I also bought something for me. (drum roll please). I got an Ashford Traditional spinning wheel. I wanted to document its arrival the moment I brought it home with pictures galore, but I got so busy spinning on it and totally neglected to take pictures. So, here is post, sans pictures. I love it, I really do. Its soooo beautiful and runs like an absolute dream. I am still working away trying to perfect my spinning, but I do have one full bobbin of very wonky yarn and am working away at making another so I can practice plying. I don't know if I am weird or what, but I am finding it easier to spin very fine yarn, while making it thicker seems very tough to me. I also spent a few hours dying (and then subsequently cleaning up all the dye that ran across the counter) some white roving that I bought off of eBay last year. Some turned out very nice in variegated orange/ yellow and pink shades, some turned out ok in a nice vibrant green, and some looks like cat hairballs in an odd shade of black with pink and blue pieces. I will use those first to practice if they aren't felted too much as I forgot about them and they boiled. Blech.

I am also having mondo problems with Calla. Somehow, I dropped a stitch or did one too many p2tog and am now short a stitch. The biggest problem is that I don't have a clue where and I can't keep going because all the yo's are off. I am determined to fix it at lunch today so that I can move on.

Otherwise, all is well here. The bean is starting to feel better and I am happy. Life is good.