Archive for July, 2008

Ravelympics ’08: Warming Up

Against my better judgment, I'm signing up for Ravelympics 2008. Why against my better judgment? Because the first Knitting Olympics, way back in 2006, kicked my ass! My chosen project was the Samus cardigan from Knitty. Right now, that cardigan is buried in my closet under some Christmas decorations and an old DVD player. I'm not sure what I was thinking, trying to knit a very large adult sized sweater in sixteen days, but I had a good time participating even though I didn't even come close to finishing. Actually, I'm not sure what I'm thinking now! I guess I just can't resist a good knitalong.

I'm planning on doing the "WIP Wrestling" event and tackling some of my languishing UFO's. If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you probably know that finishing things tends to be a challenge for me. Today, I counted up all my frogged, hibernating, and in progress projects in Ravelry and came up with 33. And that's not even taking into account things that never made it long enough to get put on my projects page! I'm hoping this will be the kick in the pants I need to get my knitting back under control. (I've considered the possibility that it might not be healthy to be this worried about how not in control my knitting is, but decided I don't much care.)

I'm not sure if this counts as cheating, but while I'm feeling motivated I decided it would be a good time to go through my projects and make decisions about what needs to be frogged and what I still want to do. I think I've struck a pretty decent balance. And it feels good to make decisions and frog things. Very empowering!

A few projects that went to the frog pond:

Minimalist Cardigan– I decided it wouldn't be a flattering sweater for me. And besides that, I am not really a "minimalist" kind of gal.
Ultimate Crocheted Socks– I consider these to be the product of weird pregnancy hormone related crochet issues.
Tasha– Because I want the yarn for other stuff and don't mind cannibalizing my own projects for it.
Swallowtail Shawl– This one pains me, but this project has some issues and I think it's time to say goodbye, just for now. I'll come back to you someday, beautiful pink Malabrigo laceweight!!

Just a couple old projects that I'm keeping:

Sheldon– Mostly because I think it would be less trouble to finish it than to frog it at this juncture.
Samus– Yes, my nemesis from the first Knitting Olympics is sticking around for another go. If I don't finish it this time around, there's always 2010!

 

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Peach Pickin’

Last Saturday, we took Iris to Huber’s for the first time. Bob and I are what you might call indoor people, so going to a farm is probably something we wouldn’t have done on our own. But I don’t want Iris to grow up stuck inside all the time just because I prefer air conditioning to bugs and dirt, so to the farm we went.

We rode on a tractor.

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Tractor1

Iris picked out a baby sized peach of her very own, and studied it intently.

Peach


She spent some time playing in the grass and refusing to look at the camera. 

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She had her very first taste of ice cream, and approved wholeheartedly. (It was Blueberry, so I’m sure it was chock full of antioxidants or something).

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Peaches2

We had such a good time, I know we’ll be back again.

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A Baby (Lock) Story

Designpro

I went to Baer on their last day of business this Saturday and walked out the proud owner of this lovely, gently used floor model Baby Lock Design Pro 23. It has many excellent features, like a one step buttonhole, built in needle threader, and sewing in a direction other than reverse! I’m still really sad and upset that out community has lost such a great resource, but I’m happy that I got to take home a little piece of Louisville’s history. And it doesn’t hurt that this particular piece of history for less than half price. SCORE!!


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Friday Night Ravelry Surf #3

I hate to bring down the fun surfing mood, but I just found out Louisville’s biggest and oldest fabric store, Baer Fabrics, is closing forever tomorrow, and I am sad and stunned! According to their website, they’ve been open for over a century. It’s a Louisville landmark! So sad. I hope that the owners and employees are all going to be okay. I hope I will find a reputable place to shop for a new sewing machine!

Bib-itty Bobitty Boo

Because necessity is the mother of invention, I’ve found myself thinking about knitting up some baby bibs. I figure it would be a good way to knit down my massive dishcloth cotton stash, and probably prettier and more durable than commercial bibs. Ravelry gave me tons of ideas for cool bib embellishments. Here are a few standouts:

Sporty Bibs

Fancy Cables

Barnyard Buttons

Kristin Nicholas Inspired Embroidery

Cute Felted Appliques

Burn Baby Burns

Since I am still on the prowl for things to do with rather a lot of Silky Wool, I happened across this updated version of the ChicKnit’s Eyelet Cardi. (While we’re on the subject of Bonne Marie Burns, check out her Designs page. Quite prolific, and so many very popular patterns. I do not hold my failed Ribby Cardi against her.)

Random Sock Plug

Now that I’m officially knitting socks for the fun of knitting socks, I’ve found out that Ravelry has a lot to offer in the way of beautiful sock patterns, many for free. Take for instance Knitzi’s sock patterns. (I think Nutkin in particular is poised to be the next Big Thing in handknitted socks. Think Jaywalker or Monkey.)

Happy surfing y’all!

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Changing My Mind

I must be in a fickle mood lately.

First, the February Baby Sweater.

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We have a love/hate relationship. Love: Malabrigo, garter stitch, and the fact that it’s coming out to be the size I envisioned. Hate: The sleeves, which I chose to do in the round. I keep losing DPNs, dropping stitches, losing my place in the lace pattern, and having to rip back and start the cycle anew.

Half the point of doing the Baby Sweater was so I could decide about making myself a February Lady Sweater. At the start of this project, I was excited about the matchy matchy possibilities, but if I’m having this much trouble with the baby one, do I really want to subject myself to adult sized torture? Right now, I’m thinking not, but maybe once the sweater is finished it’ll be so cute that I won’t be able to contain myself.

Then, there’s socks. I had just about given up on the whole sock thing. I like the idea of socks, but with my big calves and long narrow feet, standard sock patterns just don’t work and I’ve never stayed motivated long enough to sit down and work out the formula for a more customized fit. But I think I’ve finally worked out a solution:

Artyarns1 

Knit the socks and then find someone to fit them. These socks, at 8 stitches to the inch and 64 stitches around, fit around my foot okay but would never fit my leg. But I don’t care! They’re going fast, the perfect size to keep in my purse, and I’m sure somebody will enjoy them!

Lastly, in non-knitting related fickleness, I’ve changed my mind about makeup.

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I think it’s funny that I haven’t worn makeup pretty much since high school, but mere days after I confessed on my 100 Things list, I ended up in Sephora trying to take a baby step back into putting something besides moisturizer on my face. The saleperson told me that mascara and eyeshadow were the most basic things, and I bought a lipstick too, just for fun. I think the fun factor is what I’ve been missing all this time. I’ve always viewed putting on makeup as a time consuming chore that women participate in because they feel like they have to. Now I’m realizing that it can be a tool for self-expression. Who knew?

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(Slightly Belated) Friday Night Ravelry Surf #2

Maybe calling this the “Friday Night” Ravelry Surf is just asking for trouble. I’m going to try to stick to a regular Friday night schedule, but I hope you’ll forgive me for running late!

Some Crocheted Lovelies That Made Me Wish I Sucked Less at Crocheting:

Cyanne- Oh, I want one so much! I keep thinking about how this is like a bed sized version of the cool Floral Motif  I’ve seen Ishi make. I’m imagining the color possibilities and hoping that lots of Ravellers will, uh, hook me up.
Chrysanthenum Tea Shawl
Carnival

How to Make Best Friends with an 8 Year Old:

Knit one of these! As a matter of fact, forget the kids! I would wear either sweater with pride.

Free Lace:

I’ve been on the lookout for projects to do a large windfall of Silky Wool that I recently acquired at the recent Knit Nook sale. One intriguing possibility is a shawl. Lace, as it turns out, isn’t just for lace weight! Knit these up in whatever weight yarn strikes your fancy.

Luna Moth Shawl
Voyager Lace Stole
Dragon Scales Shawl
Zetor Scarf

Sweaters with Awesome Yokes (or, I Guess the Yoke’s On Them!):

Phyllo Yoked Pullover– This one I’m considering for my Silky Wool.
Tangled Yoke Cardigan– Another intriguing, but unlikely, possibility.
Hello Yarn’s Wave Sweater
Yoke Pullover #13
Neiman

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Ironic… or Tragic?

Good News:
Yesterday,
I got this cool book called Warm Fuzzies. I have a pile of thrifted sweaters in my closet, just waiting to be recycled. I’ve been excited about all the things I might be able to do with them, but also intimidated at the prospect of taking them apart. I think this book will be a good starting off

Bad News:
My sewing machine seems to be out of commission for the time being. Since Saturday night, it’s only sewing in reverse. In fact, it’s not even sewing well in reverse. The needle keeps jamming and there seems to be a tension issue going on too. I’d like to have it fixed, but it may be a while before I can make it to a repair shop.

Needless to say, I’m feeling a little bummed. Fortunately, I have lots of yarn to console me. Just two more reasons why knitting is awesome- it doesn’t require electricity and if it breaks, you don’t need a mechanic to fix it!

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