Knit Lit

Friday Fill-in

1.   He was a ninja for Halloween for the past several years.

2.   Crisp fall breezes, changing leaves and pumpkins are what I look forward to most this time of year.

3.   My best friend is the one I married.

4.   I do not like BBQ to be honest with you.

5.   Appearances can be a hindrance no matter what you look like.

6.   The last person I gave a hug to was Hubby.

7.   And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to “Monk”, tomorrow my plans include finally trying out my new sewing machine and Sunday, I want to go to church!

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Friday Fill-in | Leave a comment

Conundrum

I’m not sure how much I will be posting in the next little bit.  My entire family reads this blog, and it is time to start my Christmas knitting.  So, you can see the conundrum.  I’ll be knitting on my gifts.  I can’t talk about them, or they won’t be a surprise.  So, please pardon any silence while I try to figure out some witty conversation to keep you entertained.  Until then, here is where I wish I was right now:

 

beach005

August 26, 2009 Posted by | Random | 2 Comments

Knit, knit, knit

I have finished my Trina Cardigan.

2009-08-18 Trina Cardigan 1

Yarn: Louet Riverstone Worsted

Color: Emerald

Started: August 2, 2009

Finished: August 17, 2009

2009-08-18 Trina Cardigan 2

I learned a few things about my knitting preferences while knitting Trina.  First, if I’m going to knit in the round, I much prefer the pattern to be knit from the top down.  This one is knit from the bottom up.

2009-08-18 Trina Cardigan 4

Second, I like the look of a turned hem; however, I find it more difficult to sew down live stitches.  If I were to knit this again, I would have bound off the neck before I stitched them down.

2009-08-18 Trina Cardigan 3

I got to use my great big button, which I love.  However, I’m not feeling the turtleneck.  When I put it on, the body fits like a dream, but the neck is really too big.  I planned on having a couple of snaps for security, but I think I will stick with the one right under the button.  On me, the front crossed in an a-line.  Not particularly flattering on me, but it is super warm.  I’m just about caught up with my sweater knitting.  Trina counts as July’s sweater.

I’ve already started August’s sweater.  I stopped in at one of my LYS on Saturday.  She had just gotten in some new yarn from Tahki Stacy Charles.  While I am not usually a big fan of bulky yarn (unless it is on a super sale), this one was so light! I picked up the swatch she had and it was lighter than a feather, not to mention SOFT!  Oh my!  I was impressed, but I didn’t I have to have it.  Well, at least until I saw the pattern book.  I spotted this pattern:

2009-08-18 Branching Cable Cardigan 1

I immediately snatched up both the book and the yarn.

2009-08-18 Granite Yarn

The yarn is called Granite.  It is 95% merino wool and 5% nylon.  The nylon content is the stripe you see in the yarn (bottom left).  It is a dream to work with.  It looks and feels like unspun wool that has been stitched down the middle.  I know it sounds strange, but it is uber soft (I can’t say that enough!)  I cast on last night and simply can not put it down!

2009-08-18 Granite Cardigan

I have another pattern repeat since I took that photo this morning.  Yum!  At this rate, I’ll have August’s sweater done before the end of the month.

So they don’t feel bad, I’ll give you a glimpse of the other projects I’ve thrown aside for my love of the new cardigan.

2009-08-18 Shawl 1

2009-08-18 Shawl 2

This yarn was gifted to me by the lovely Mrs. S.  It is a dream to knit, soft and drapey.  It came with a pattern, but after starting it 4-5 times, I still couldn’t get it right.  So, I decided to invent my own pattern.  It gives the same affect as the original pattern, but it is not reversible.  I don’t care, though.  I love it.

2009-08-18 Indian Summer Sock 1

2009-08-18 Indian Summer Sock 2

This is the first sock in what will be a pair of knee highs.  I did all kinds of back work, too.  I printed a graphic of a tall sock.  I took 9 different measurements.  I swatched, calculated my stitches and wrote a pattern.  I really, really hope it works out.  I really need a good  pair of socks to wear under my boots this winter.  I’m using Cascade Heritage yarn I got over at the Loopy Ewe.  Depending on how these wash and wear, I think this will be my new go-to sock yarn.  There is over 400 yards in one hank; and at $12 a hank, it is a terrific deal.

August 18, 2009 Posted by | Finished, Knitting, Yarn | 4 Comments

5 Minutes

I don’t really watch the news anymore.  I rarely read the paper.  I find what these “reporters” state opinions instead of fact.  I like to stay informed, however, and I occasionally break down and run through Google News or tune in to the local news.  It only took 5 minutes of watching our local news last for me to change the channel and ask my husband if we were the only intellegent people left on earth.  I could not take it one more second.  What is going on in our country drives me batty, but it is a cakewalk compared to what is going on in the state and county I live in.  So in response, I say that every politician in Jefferson County and in Birmingham should be thrown out.  We need to own up to the mistake in electing these people and start over.

 

And on the national front, for all of you who think the government should stick its nose into healthcare, read this:

The Health Care Bill: What HR 3200, ‘‘America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009,” Says

and this:

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCare

and listen to this:

 

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Election/Politics | 2 Comments

The Good, The Bad, and The Rest

The Good

I am kicking along on my Trina cardigan.  I’m using the yarn I used on my first Lady February sweater attempt.  It is such a lovely green.  I’m happy I found a pattern I will complete.  I have finished the body section.  I am almost finished with the first sleeve.  Once I finish the second, I will attach them all and finish up the yoke.  I am using the frogged yarn on the sleeves and am finding my stitches uneven.  I know this is due to the fact that I let the yarn sit in a half finished sweater for an entire year without rehanking.  I also know I should have washed and dried it first, but I’m way too impatient for that.  I’m hoping it will smooth out in the final block.  It’s 100% wool, so I’m not worried.

The Bad

I really dislike dealing with any corporate institution.  Whenever you call the 1-800 number, you are generally speaking with someone with no power who handles people’s complaints all day long.  Even when you are nice and polite, rarely do they seem to work up the energy to even pretend like they care about your problem.  I found a charge on my account that should not be there. I called customer service twice.  Neither person I talked with was very helpful with their suggestions.  They advised me they could not really do anything for me until tomorrow.  Now, I know I could have pushed and asked for a manager; but honestly, I really don’t feel like dealing with the hassle.  I think I’ll give them until tomorrow and call back.  I have followed their “suggestion,” and they will fix it by tomorrow.  End of story.

I will impart some free advice about your money.  I have experience researching stolen credit cards, check cards, debit cards and checks.  I have picked up some ways to keep your money safer.  Note, I did not say completely safe.  I believe these things will cut down your risk; however, there is always a chance something will happen.  Also, if for some reason someone does gets access to your cards/checks, it may cut down on the time it takes to straighten everything out.

1.     If you use checks, only put your first and last name on your check.  However, when you sign, sign with the initial.  For Example:

blank-check

The thief looks at the name on the check to determine how he/she should sign it.  If there is no indication of an initial, they leave it out.  Or, if you normally sign without an initial, place one on your check.  This allows you and your bank to distinguish quickly the difference in signatures.

2.     Do not make online purchases with your debit card.  This leaves you open for a thief to wipe out your account.  There is more protection with a credit card.  Most banks carry a credit card’s emblem on check cards and claim the same protection; but I would rather be safe than sorry.

Right now, I have an unauthorized charge on my account.  When the customer service rep suggested I may have made an online purchase, I was able to quickly tell him my check card is not used for online purchases.  Period.  I always use a credit card.

3.   Check your accounts frequently.  Keep up with what is going on with your money.

Even with any and all precautions, things happen.  People make mistakes.  It is understandable.  The frustration comes with having to deal with so much red tape to get it fixed.  Sigh.

The Belated

I totally admit that I have been a lame friend.  Mrs. S came into town last Saturday.  All of last week, I failed to blog about how wonderful our visit was.  We went to several yarn shops.  Mrs. S gifted me with a hank of Laural in color way Catherine the Great.   I think it is destined to become a beautiful summer shawl.  I have not found the perfect one yet, but I’m sure it is out there somewhere.  We went clothes shopping and had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.  Both are extra special to me because I LOVE both and rarely have anyone to share them.  It was a full exciting day and I can not adequately describe how exciting it is to find a friend you can have so much fun with.  Oh! And she gave me a hand knit sweater, too!  I couldn’t believe it.  She knit a lovely linen sweater for herself.  She brought it over to show it off.  When it ended up looking better on me, she said take it!  Yum!  I wore it the next day to church. Love! Unfortunately, temperatures have surpassed 90º F, so sweaters were put away for awhile. Thanks Mrs. S!

The Best

I ordered myself a brand new sewing machine this weekend.  I decided on the Brother CS-6000i. Thanks to credit card rewards points and Amazon’s free shipping, I was able to get it for $19.95!  I could not believe it!  I am so excited I can’t stand it.  It has the ability for free hand quilting.  This is something I have wanted to try it for weeks, but my current machine can’t handle it.  I want to sew something in the worst way!  My plan was to hank quilt my first quilt for the decorative stitching on the back.  I think I may try to use the free hand leg to outline the patterns.  I hope it will work because knitting has taken over my time.

The Relief

I ran into my LYS this Saturday.  We were nearby having lunch, so I decided to pop in.  I picked up a pair of needles I needed for the sleeves of my Trina cardigan.  I also picked up a pattern that will allow me to reclaim my yarn from the tragic London Calling jacket.  If you remember, I was getting 11.5 sts per 4”.  Well, it has been difficult to find an attractive pattern that fits that gauge.  While the one I found is not perfect, it is close enough that I snatched it up right quick.

sidecar_jacket_detail

Ta dah!  The Sidecar Jacket from Spud and Chloe!  This will be cast on soon.  Since Trina is knitting up so quickly, I think I can squeeze Sidecar out by the end of August.  I will finish up my lingering Sweet Pea jacket, and I will be ahead of the game.  I may attempt the Uptown/Downtown jacket before Rhinebeck; but now that school is starting, I hear the call of Christmas knits.

The Tiring

Our state has a tax free weekend right before school starts every year.  This allows parents to purchase clothing, books and school supplies without paying sales tax.  Let me tell you!  It is tiring to be out in the Alabama summer heat with thousands of other people buying stuff.  Boy Child was a trouper, though.  He tried on endless pants, jeans, shirts and shoes without complaint.  He even let me peruse stuff for myself.   We had lunch together.  Over all it was a great time.  I can’t get over how much I enjoy his company.  He really is growing up and can hold interesting, funny and intelligent conversations.  I had the best time!  Though I will admit he faired better than his mom.  I was pooped after day one, not to mention day two!  Luckily, Hubby did not get called away for day two, so we had some company.

The Internets

These are things I have seen/read/found in the past couple of days that I think are cool/neat/amazing.

1.     From Glenna How awesome is it to meet someone who invented something so prevalent in your life?!?  No words!

2.     Congratulations Stefanie!

3.    I’ve been wearing Alima Pure mineral make-up for about 6 months now.  I can’t tell you how much I love it. You should try it.  They let you order small samples, so there is no big investment if it doesn’t work out.  As much as I wanted to love BareMinerals, they irritated my skin.  This foundation does not.  I also believe it is a factor in the clearing of my skin.

4.     I really want to see this movie.

5.    I found a GREAT quilt binding tutorial.   I seriously can not wait to try this one with my new machine.

6.    Brooklyn Tweed has a new book.  While I normally love everything he does, I wasn’t feeling anything in this one.  Except for the lace. I really like the lace.

The End

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Bloggers, Boy Child, Friends, Knitters, Knitting, Sewing, Yarn | 3 Comments

Friday Fill-in

1.   Watermelon is my favorite summertime food.

2.   My favorite John Hughes movies is The Breakfast Club.

3.   Cashmere is something I love to touch.

4.   The full moon at night is big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.

5.   I am watching Whale Wars right now.

6.    When daylight fades I get happy, because it is time to go home.

7.   And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to relaxing from school shopping, tomorrow my plans include school shopping again and Sunday, I want to relax!

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Friday Fill-in | Leave a comment

My eyes are bigger than my knitting time

I was looking at the new patterns on Ravelry a few days ago and noticed that Classic Elite had new pattern booklets up.  Let me tell you, I was worried about my fall knitting after seeing the new Vogue and IK.  Not any more.  I LOVE these books!  I could not wait for them to arrive in my LYS, so I ordered directly from the CE site.  Today, I would have kissed the mail man had I not been at lunch when he dropped them off! Yea!  I immediately made a list of what I wanted to knit.  See my list (click on book name for link to CE site):

Snow Day

  1. Pom Pom Hat
  2. Embroidered Cardigan
  3. Fair Isle Yoke Pullover     (Mom, I think I’m going to use the Guanaco yarn we picked up in Gatlinburg back in March)
  4. Button Little Cardigan
  5. Long –Neck Vest

 

Winter Whimsy

  1. Drop Stitch Dress
  2. Embroidered Button Jacket
  3. Flower Border Cardigan

 

Saturday Afternoon

  1. Lily of the Valley Cardigan
  2. Little Ties Jacket
  3. Back Lace Panel Cardigan *
  4. Tuck Bodice Cardigan

 

Sunday Brunch

  1. Lace Bodice Cardigan
  2. Curved Front Cardigan
  3. Easy Dress
  4. Lace Pullover
  5. Long Socks

 

Make it Modern

  1. Girl-Tank
  2. Smock Top
  3. Button-up Shrug
  4. Feather & Fan Cardigan

 

Geez!  I know I am delusional, but I can’t help it!  I want to knit every one of them.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I did narrow this list down to what I really thought I would knit.  The list was much longer before, though I’m not exactly sure how.  The designs are so great!  How could anyone not want to knit everything?

I will say That I was surprised at how many of these were designed by Pam Allen.  I’ve bolded her designs on my list.

 

*  This will be started as soon as I’ve finished up my current cardigan.  I plan to use Berocco’s new vintage wool.  It has a great heathered look to it that will contast nicely with the lace panel.  I really hope I like this yarn.  I did not know until I was checking out that it had acrylic content.  It feels like 100% wool, not that I will mind being able to toss it into the washing machine.

August 6, 2009 Posted by | Books, Knitting, Magazines, Yarn | 1 Comment

No longer passively knitting

Gauge and I have always had a passive relationship.  I ignored it and it usually ignored me.   Well, like a two year old with nothing to do, gauge decided to get my attention in a very big way.  I’ve mentioned that my July sweater project wasn’t working out for me, so out came the ball winder.  Woosh! No more Ursa sweater and only a handful of days in July remaining.   I thought I would compensate the lack of July days by whipping up a good chunky knit.  Now, being a not-thin-girl, I chose a project that would work as a jacket.  Having no fear of gauge, I cast on and knit away for days.  Days I tell you!

I will admit I have been flying in the face of gauge for years.  I do have my reasons however.  One, I have no qualmsabout frogging my projects.  If it doesn’t work out, so be it.  Second, I tend to have a loose gauge and a warped sense that my body is smaller than it really is.  Combined, this usually gives me a wearable knit.  Last night, though, last night gauge wanted a little time with me.  I was whipping along with London Calling.  Everything was going smoothly.  I finished up the yoke increases and had joined the body and was speeding down.  As I neared what I thought would be a good point to measure length, I putt my stitches on waste yarn and tried my new coat on.  OMG!  This thing was HUGE!  I’m not talking it-will-fit-nicely-over-clothes big.  I’m talking I can wrap the fronts completely across and still have huge amounts of fabric bunching in the back. 

I do admit that I was knitting up one size; however, it was only 4″ above my true measurements.   I pulled it off and decided to check my gauge.  Sigh.  I was knitting 11.5 sts per 4″.  The pattern called for 15 sts per 4″. Sigh x 2.  This coat was like 17″ bigger than my actual body measurements.  Needless to say, it is in the pile to be frogged right quick.  I think I may have to save London Calling for another yarn.  I liked how my yarn was knitting up on my needles.  Now, I just have to spend some time on Ravelry to find a project that will knit up in my gauge.  I really feel like tauting gauge now for the “punishment” of having to spend time looking at knitting, but I’m secretly afraid what would happen.

August 4, 2009 Posted by | Knitting, Yarn | 1 Comment