Tuesday, February 28, 2006

OOO! Shiny!

Pretty, isn't it? I'm so pleased with myself I almost can't even stand it.

And I've decided - this whole being afraid of certain techniques is for the birds. First, I was afraid of dpns - then circular needles, which are now my favorite things. Then, I was mortally afraid of seaming, finishing, and blocking, because - what if I did it wrong? I learned duplicate stitches so I wouldn't have to learn intarsia. And I studiously avoided any mention of aran knitting in any patterns I came across.

What a wuss. What a total wimp.

Since when have I been afraid to learn something new? To totally immerse myself in something? I'm not sure where this half-assed attitude came from, but from now on, if I like a pattern, and budget allows, and I'm going to try it. The worst that can happen is that it takes me a long time to figure it out, or that I end up with an ugly sweater. Who cares? The one I make after that will only be the better for it.

So, for my next project - a cabled sweater for my dad, probably with a big saxon braid down the middle.

Like that.

That is, of course, after I finish Sharon's scarf, and Allen's scarf and slippers - and some other things I have forgotten about I am sure! But then! On to Aran greatness!

Woo and also, Hoo.

The Medal Round


So, crabby post of a couple of days ago notwithstanding, I DID manage to finish my project for the Knitting Olympics, and I delivered it to the new owner's mom yesterday.


I hope to never see another pinafore as long as I live!

Here's a pic of the finished product, seconds after completion:

And here is a picture of Anouk next to a clock to illustrate how late it was when I was done - though this makes no sense because you can't tell if it's a.m. or p.m. - but trust me, it's a.m.!

You can tell it's a.m. because I'm not usually drunk (with drink and tiredness) enough by 3:04 pm to take such a picture, or the one that immediately followed -

It's hard to take a picture of yourself and other folks at the same time.

Another blurry photo - I think Matt wants a Matt-sized pinafore.

After throwing this thing together in two weeks, I kind of feel like I can knit anything. I think I finally am beginning to understand intarsia - that is, I am finally understanding what I did and didn't do right. And I picked up stitches and made a lovely neckline, even if I do say so myself. And I even BLOCKED the damn thing, something I usually never do, but can just begin to see the point of now.

Also, the baby blanket was a big hit!

Here's the back, after I weaved in all those nasty little ends -

And here it is chilling out on Anne's lap.

And also, laying on the table.

I know, a ton of pictures, but I'm very proud of how both projects came out.

I think for my next knitting project.....well, first I have a bunch of u.f.o.s (unfinished objects) to take care of, but then I want to try a cable-knit sweater for my dad.

That is, after I give my arms a rest. I think I have tennis elbow!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Knitting Olympics Update: Day ??? it's OVER

Who cares what day it is, I am DONE!!!!!!!!!!!! Not only did I finish the "Oh my god, HOW many ends are there to weave in??" baby blanket, I completely BLOCKED and finished detailing Anouk. At 3:04 am - I even took a picture to prove it, which I will post later tonight after I take a nap. I am too tired to make the pictures not look like I took them while I was drunk.

Note to self - do NOT drink 2 rum and rootbeers (try it) while trying to sew on buttons and pockets. Also, do not decide to stay up until 3:45 in the morning when you have to be at a baby shower at noon the next day and you have yet to buy wrapping paper. And don't show up in jeans to a shower where everyone else is apparently aware that there is a posted DRESS CODE at the venue for said baby shower.

At least mom to be liked the blanket - A picture of that later on, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Knitting Olympics Update: Day Eleven

Actually, this is sort of an update on lack of progress, as I spent all day Saturday attempting to make wedding plans (more about that later) and Sunday I was working on another project.

This one, in fact, shown here in preproduction:

It certainly looked daunting, all laid out on the table like that.

Not that the cats were fazed much.

Here's Loki tentatively perching on the blanket bits...

...and here he is completely ignoring me.

Let's not forget the others - Nin was very curious, but wishing to not be banished to the porch with the rest of her brothers and sister, she decided to behave.

Though it was clearly very, very hard.

I plugged and chugged at the blanket all day, and by evening I had a nice item that will require WAY too much weaving for comfort.

I'm not entirely happy with the edges, in that they don't line up the way I would like. See?

I took the project to Yarns At Lace Wings last night, and spoke to the "experts". They were all very sweet and complimentary, and suggested I simply pin the blanket out and spray it, rather than give it a full on soaking, which I think is a good idea. Other options would be to put on a border, but I don't think I have the time to fix it if it came out crappy, plus, I kind of like the quilted look it has now.

I will have to post an actual Olympic Update later from home, I am past the bodice decreases on the second side, and I should be able to finish it tonight - then it's JUST the neckline, pockets, and blocking remaining!

Thank goodness I have help!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day Seven Update

While I ran around this morning, desperately trying (but failing) to get ready before our ride to work arrived this morning, Allen took this picture of my Olympic progress for me:

It's not that impressive, but I think being a little more than half-way done, with a little more than half the time left, is not too terribly bad.

I didn't actually do much knitting last night, as I was very distracted. When I got home, I found a box on the table from Amazon.com!!! My first reaction was "Oh, crap! What did I buy? I don't even remember buying anything!" But then I opened the box discovered that my friend Tammy had bought me some knitting books! Huzzah! I was so excited, I called her right away to alternately yell at her for spending money on me, and to thank her profusely.

So, I FINALLY own Loop-d-Loop, and I want to make EVERYTHING in it. And I also got the extremely excellent Ann Budd book, The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, which is GREAT because it eliminates the need for the dreaded PATTERN MATH.


So, you can see why I didn't get very far, Olympically speaking. But at least Aku looks like he likes it - he seems to be licking his lips and staring at the yarn, anyway.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Knitting Olympics: Day Five Update

Oh boy. You knew it had to happen. Hell, I knew it was going to happen, I just didn't think it was going to happen this quickly.

This picture I posted two days ago? You remember? It looks so nice?

Yeah, well, it actually sucks. I did the decreases all wrong, choosing to interpret the pattern in my own personal way, as opposed to the way it was actually designed. Thankfully, Liz walked me through the changes I would need to make, and I was able to rip out about 25 rows. So I went from this (close up of BAD decreases)

To this instead:

Which actually, I think, looks pretty nice.

This is as far as I got by the end of the night, in between watching Curling and making Allen chocolate chip cookies for Valentine's Day:

Not too bad, considering when I was finished frogging, it looked like this:

All this, of course, and I never bother to mention that the first time I cast this project on, I cast on with the blue and knit four rows before I realized it. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Allen apparently has some elaborate plan for Valentine's Day, but he needs rubber cement???? I don't know. Anyway. I will update you all later.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Knitting Olympics, Day 3 Update


This is how much I have gotten done so far. I was not able to pick up my needles at all on Friday, and Saturday there was still decent amount of running to meet people at the airport and talking on the phone with various parents. Also, it was a slow start because I HATE seed stitch. I have to admit, it does look lovely though. And I can see the shaping already, and I'm happy with how it is coming along. Only another 9 1/2 inches and I can do the straps! Wheee!

Thankfully, Beth is feeling better, though the doctors still don't know what is wrong. We're on our way to Allen's mum's (in a blizzard!!!!) but I just wanted to through a picture up, so I would feel a little better about my progress.

Ta! Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 10, 2006

And We're Off!

I finally made it onto the list of Olympic Knitters! Huzzah! There are over 3900, which means that there are more Knitters than actual Olypic Athletes.

Unfortunately, I can't start knitting yet, as I am at work. And it looks like I won't be able to start at all tonight - at least not until very, very late! It's like everything that can possibly go wrong has, and then some things I hadn't even thought of, too!

Allen's sister Beth is very sick, and no one (including big, important scary doctors) seem to know what's going on. She's being admitted to the hospital today INDEFINITELY, which is very freaky.

Allen's OTHER sister, Alison, her hubby, and baby are coming to see Beth. They just lost their dog, Chobe, a Rhodesian Ridgeback. He went into kidney failure and died very suddenly.

Allen's Dad, Dr. Cowett, is on a plane right now, also to come see Beth. Dr. Cowett will be staying with Allen and I, and supposedly flying out tomorrow night, which is of course going to prove to be impossible because there is a HUGE ASS winter storm on the way. So now we have to rush home, clean the house in five nanoseconds, run to the grocery store, drive to Boston, visit with Beth, and then come home and hang out with Dr. Cowett. (!!!!!) Usually, my Friday night consists of taking a 2-3 hour nap and then watching trashy television. But not this week!


Wow, I guess I had no idea how much was going on. Allen just heard that his old roommate from after college was killed in a bicycling accident in September.

Which makes the fact that I just found out I've been walking around with a hole in the ass of my jeans a lot less of a big deal.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Only 2 Days Left!

Two days until the official start of the Knitting Olympics! I am not as excited as I would like, however, because I STILL haven't pieced that baby blanket (all 56 squares of it) NOR have I finished my coworker's scarf. It looks beautiful so far, but I've been trying to give my left hand a little break.

In a truly inspired bout of self-destruction, I ended up pouring a large quantity of BOILING WATER over my hand. Needless to say, knitting was out for the next couple of days, as my hand was too sore. Now the burn has reached that lovely cracked, peeling, itchy stage, which is SO attractive and I can't stop wishing I could PICK at it all day. I have so far resisted (mostly) because I don't want a great big scar. I don't think there's much getting around it, though.

I never used to mind scars, but ever since my emergency appendix operation, which left me with a GREAT BIG abdominal scar, I have been pretty anti-scaring. Scar tissue is creepy. It's a part of you, but it doesn't FEEL like it.

Anyway......sorry about the gross-out factor. Just wanted to let you all know that I am feeling terribly unprepared (SHOCK to you all, I am sure) because now I am not only committed to finishing Anouk in 16 days (which isn't too bad) I will also have to finish the baby blanket, which is a gift for a baby shower on the 26th, the last day of the Olympics!

I will need everyone's support. And cookies. I will need all of your cookies.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

One Trick Pony

That would be me. Because all I have to share right now is another knitting update!

I finished the pink hat for my co-worker's daughter this weekend. I actually started knitting it in the car right after purchasing it. Allen says at one point I was alternately knitting and dozing, and that I was definitely knitting with my eyes closed at one point.

This is actually the second hat, as the first, modified for a child's head, was too small.

I am almost done with the tiny squares that are to be made into a baby blanket. I only have one ball left to knit up!

I'm trying to keep the cat hair to a minimum in this project, so it's been stuffed into a paper bag which follows me around.

Allen says that this is actually a more accurate picture of the blanket in progress -

but that's kind of psycho so don't look at it.

That is the update for now - I really should get some work done this morning. And I should try not to play Kingdom of Loathing all day.

But I really, really wanna.