Friday, February 26, 2010

Yes, I do too know what the word tomorrow means...

And I know it has been since before yesterday that I have been promising Peasy pictures.... But there it is! I don't know how far I have gotten, but I am pretty sure it is not 22cm. CM. Not inches.... And that is still more purple than it really is. I don't know what I am doing wrong with the photos. I am motoring along as fast as I can, because I really want to get this off the needles!! I am DYING to start something else lacy.

Especially since I got this in the mail on Wednesday:

It is four skeins (despite the fact that there are only three visible, just take my word for it) of Alpaca Cloud from Knitpicks. The color, dill, is discontinued. I loved it, though, so I took advantage of the fact that I could get an entire large shawls worth of yarn for only 15$. And so far, it totally lives up to my expectations! It is soft as a, well, cloud. It is the perfect oliv-y color. It is dreamy. And I am going to need it.

Because I have joined 10 Shawls in 2010 on Ravelry! I had already done the Citron, sadly unphotographed, and the Swallowtail. Next, Haruni! I love that pattern and can't wait to wear it!! Wish me luck.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Centimeters, Jennifer, not inches.

So, I am working on the Peasy sweater. Over the weekend I got to the spot in the pattern where I was to divide the stitches for the sleeves and the body, which normally would not cause me a lot of stress.... But I stopped cold Saturday evening, frozen in fear and indecision. Mostly because I CANNOT keep in my head that this pattern is measured in centimeters. Not inches, centimeters. (Maybe if I say it a lot, I will remember...)

The schematic at the end has a chart to correspond to the measurements. It says plain as day what the unit of measure is, but did I comprehend? Nope. I saw the statistic that I should have a measurement of 22 from the neckline to the division for the sleeves and body, and reading "22 inches" because I am a ding dong, I freaked out. Nevermind the VAST difference between 22" and 22cm. I was convinced I had come up that short! I put it aside, because as everyone knows, if you completely ignore a knitting disaster, it is right three weeks later when you pick it up again. And that is kind of what happened. When I picked it up last night, suddenly the fact that inches and centimeters are different measurements made perfect sense to me. Its a miracle!! I have 21cm lightly stretched, which tells me if I block it right I will be ok. Pshew!

And then I made a radical decision. I have departed from the pattern. I am such a rebel. This one had you working the sleeves first and working them flat. I have decided to go with my instincts. It made so much more sense to me to put the sleeves on waste yarn and knit the body first.... That way there is no seaming for the sleeves and I can try it on before then, too. I am all for no seaming.... Wish me luck!

By the way, let me tell you: NOTHING that causes such horrible symptoms when you stop drinking it could POSSIBLY be good for you. I have stopped with the Pepsi, but I may be a rare case that actually dies from a caffeine withdrawal headache. Seriously.

Tomorrow, Peasy pictures!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My dog is camera shy.

You wouldn't think she was, considering what an attention hog she can be, but she cannot sit for a photo. This is the best I could do to show her feeling better. This is begging for a bacon treat after performing all the tricks she knows! I love that if you get the treats out, she just starts doing tricks. "What do you want me to do??? Just gimme!!!" She seems to be feeling much better, though she still has a little trouble jumping up on the couch. At least now she is willing to do it. The vet said that she shouldn't have any ongoing problems. I think she is still looking for that bone, though!

The Swallowtail is done but for the ends that need to be tied in. I know myself. That will happen with the gift box open in front of me on the day I give it to her.... It came out so pretty, though!!!
And here is a way-more-purple-than-reality shot of the Peasy in progress:No doubt this will be beautiful, and I love my sweater I made out of Silky Wool previously, but in my lust for lace, I am having a hard time enjoying this one! I am doggedly determined to get it finished, though, so stay tuned for updates!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New and creative ways to kill our dog.

Does that not look like the saddest, sickest doggie in the whole world? In our ignorance as dog owners, we are going to accidentally kill our poor, beloved little money pit! We didn't know that you shouldn't give dogs bones of any kind! We thought she was getting a treat!! Now she has a bone shard lodged in her stomach. The vet thinks that it will naturally break down, and we have been, um, bulking up her diet to help it along.... But in the meantime, she doesn't feel good. And can't figure out why we took away the yummy steak bone that got her in trouble in the first place!

Look what I did last night, as promised!It blocked out to 54" wide, which isn't as large as I had envisioned, but quite substantial nonetheless.... I have it unpinned now, and it drapes nicely around the shoulders, and all the way to the tailbone in back, but can't be wrapped back around. Next time, I will add ten repeats!

Note to self, though, use blocking wires for the top edge of lace shawls. It held those points nicely.... which I didn't want it to. I am trying to decide now if I need to reblock the top with wires....

In the meantime, here is a dark, blurry lace detail:

MUST KNIT MORE LACE! The Peasy Sweater, which will no doubt be stunning, is boring the heck out of me!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten fasting.

Anyone who knows me at all will know how very ironic it is that I am giving up Pepsi for Lent. That I am giving up ANYTHING for Lent!! But, there you go. I have been trying to give it up gradually for a while now for the calories, but I am such a slave to caffeine that I have failed miserably. Now Sherrie at work said that this is what she is giving up, so I have decided to quit today. People who know me, you know that I will now act like a bear who is not ready to come out of hibernation, and you may want to give me a wide berth. Grr.

In knitting news, today I shall block the Swallowtail shawl. You can't rush these things. Yesterday, I undertook the monumental task of bringing the blocking mats in from the shed, after which I had to take a rest. :-) (Now that I have put it on the blog, I HAVE to finish it, right??)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Swallowtail the second. Stage, that is. Not the second shawl.

But first, above find my car on Friday night. This is after a harrowing trip north to Charlotte, NC. I thought I was going to be killed on I-77, going 25 MPH, trying to get to a friend of mine with fingers crossed for a chance at love. Let me say, in case you were wondering how THAT went, that Valentine's Day sucks big ones. Draw your own conclusions....

Other than a drama-filled conversation of catharsis that was probably long overdue (and a strangely fascinating trip to the NC Aviation Museum), I did manage to finish the Swallowtail Shawl. I love this thing! It looks really tiny to me right now, but I am a believer in the power of blocking. The Reese's Cup is for scale. Not that I won't eat it later.

Here is a detail shot. I have conquered the legendary nupp. They aren't so bad if you use a tiny little crochet hook to do the P5 maneuver.... I don't see how anyone could pull a loop of laceweight yarn through five entire stitches with a stick with no hook on the end. Apparently, they have superpowers that I do not possess.
Though, seriously, right now I wouldn't be surprised to hear someone has superpowers that I don't possess. I am feeling extremely deficient in the realm of personal superpowers right at this moment.

To console myself, I am now going to watch Amazing Race. And not have Valentine's Day sex.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm sorry, did you say something?

Say it again. Steve and I were reading and didn't hear you!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The only kind of Nook-e I have gotten recently!

The Nook E-reader, that is. (That name seems well-thought-out, don't you think?) My Nook came! I have decided to call him Steve. (Over the Hedge. Anyone? Anyone?) Anyway, I madly love him, and he has become my constant companion. I read the latest Sookie Stackhouse in less than 24 hours! You just can't stop turning the pages!! Gadget love.

Now I just need to figure out how to upload a PDF to the thing and I will be in gadget heaven!

Here is what knitting at my house looks like recently:This is Buttercup, perched in her very favorite spot in the entire world, my left boob. I love her. She is the sweetest cat you would ever want as a knitting companion, but I swear, that boob is sitting a little lower since she took up residence.... She is absolutely relentless when she wants to be someplace, too, and she can make biscuits (as I have heard the kneading called) for two straight hours without a break. There are times when I think she has fallen asleep and sheer momentum has kept her going! I just hope that Julie doesn't mind knitted-in Buttercup hair in her wedding shawl!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Take a moment to admire my restraint....

... and take a gander at what I am working on rather than a new sweater for me! (Jennifer thinks longingly of the Peasy sweater from a recent post....)
It is the Swallowtail Shawl in the previously blogged Butter Peeps. I LOVE IT! So far the pattern is very easy to understand and keep track of, thank you very much for a legible chart. The yarn is softer and less contrast-y than it looks in photos. The orange and other colors are definitely there, it is just an overall softer, yellow-er impression than I can capture. I am feeling good about my choice here!

Except, MAN is this a heavy laceweight.... Much more like fingering. That doesn't bother me, per se, I am just worried that it will affect the required yardage.... We shall see!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yarn Paralysis, a new epidemic.

Today I am featuring a guest post of a sort from one of my favorite people on the planet. Her name is Courtney and she is a new knitter and a new mom. Words can't convey just how awesome she is, but HER words might just convince you. Visit her blog when you get the chance at Simple in'Stead. The following is an email I got from her, reproduced with her kind permission:

heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelp meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee... i have yarn paralysis!
(i'm also not going to capitalize anything in this email, since it's
easier to skip it when you're typing one-handed while nursing...)
what, you might ask, is yarn paralysis?

yarn pa⋅ral⋅y⋅sis  /j'ɑːʳn pər'æləsɪs/: (n) the state that results
when one who is accustomed to being poor suddenly has money to spend
on yarn, but not enough money to shop indiscriminately, which, coupled
with the rarity of this occurence, leads to the inability to make any
decision whatsoever concerning yarn purchases; often accompanied by
sweating, palpitations, insomnia and excessive consumption of gin and

i have some money i got for xmas and a gift certificate from a local
yarn shop, and there is so much that i want that i can't decide what
to buy - at all. i'm so obsessed with spending it wisely that i'm
having trouble spending it at all. ack. i already spent part of my
gift certificate last weekend on some malabrigo, and i braved slick
roads and shin-deep snow today to go back and spend the rest of it. i
had an hour, while robert and harper were running other errands, and i
about had a nervous breakdown. the easy part was grabbing a set of
dpns to finish the hat i've got going on a set of circs... but then,
the yarn. oh, the yarn. they had some cascade pastaza in teal that
was swoon-worthy, but i didn't want to buy it because i'm thinking of
ordering some berroco ultra alpaca light in essentially the same color
that i found a good price on. i want to make a lacy scarf with it,
and the cascade is too thick, and do i really need two teal yarns
right now? i could get a lot of bang for my buck with cascade 220 or
lamb's pride, but i keep gravitating towards the sexier stuff. like
noro silk garden sock weight. i l-o-v-e noro - that stuff is so
gorgeous, but one skein would pretty much gobble up my remaining gift
cert value, and what in heck would i do with one stinkin' skein
(besides pet it)? i could, of course, get more and pay the difference
with cash, but $20 a pop seems too outrageous to spend "real" money
on... they had a baby surprise jacket knitted up in the silk garden
sock and it was too beautiful... i've been wanting to make a bsj for
harper, but... *sigh* so then i get sucked into the zitron sock
yarns... trekking xxl? zomg... gorgeous. and also $20/skein. (i
have developed a fixation with sock yarn lately, but oddly i want to
make things other than socks with it. hmmmmmm.) lorna's laces
shepherd sock? zauberball? does any of this stuff NOT cost a small
fortune? i think it was about this point that i started
hyperventilating - only 15 minutes left until robert was set to pick
me up... i tried 5 minutes in the book section with my head between
my knees to recover since books always calm me down, but one step back
into the yarn and the twitching returned. then, robert called to say
he was waiting in the parking lot... so i grabbed 3 skeins of noro
kureyon and bolted. i'm sitting here now staring at it and thinking
that while it is undoubtedly breathtaking, it a) is pretty (too?)
similar to the malabrigo in color and texture and b) it isn't sock
yarn. i can exchange it, so it's not a done deal, but geez. i feel
like such a putz to be agonizing so much over... yarn? hello? one
word - haiti. this is yarn. yarn. *sigh.* thank goodness they
don't carry koigu - that might have pushed me over the edge.

Isn't that funny? I love it, and I know I have felt it before!! I have only one bit of advice for my friend: Yarn shopping list. Project shopping only!!

Love you, Courtney! Thanks for letting me share your way with words with my tens of readers!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oh, and by the way...

When I told my mom this morning that I had decided to grow soybeans this summer, she snorted milk out of her nose. I take that kind of personally.

Brought to you today by the color green.

So, I bought a new pattern last night. I am apparently giddy with my new computing power! I just fell madly in love with the below sweater, which is Peasy by Heidi Kirrmaier. When I read it was worked all in one piece, I was in love.Then I read the magic words "DK weight," and I knew I had to have it!! I have a bag of Elsbeth Lavold Silky Wool just waiting to be this sweater.... It is navy blue, which does not break my heart! I can barely wait to get started.

Let's see, tonight I will finish Citron (two rows to go!).... I am still waiting on needles from Webs to work on the wedding present shawl (backorder).... I can finish the front of Cosima in like a day (as you can see from the progress made so far, right?).... I should be able to get started this weekend! Whoopie!!!!

And now, to further green up your day, I have decided to grow soybeans this summer in the back yard.I was completely sold on the idea, which I thought was a good one to begin with, when I heard that they only have to be watered once a week. Sounds like an ideal plant. Tomatoes have to be watered every stinking day! Now I just have to find someplace that will sell me less than one whole pound of seeds... That is around 1700 of the little buggers! I have a YARD, not a FIELD!!