Sunday, September 30, 2007
The sleeves to Green Tea Raglan are being blocked and I'm making good progress on the first sleeve of the Slanted Neck Pullover. The sleeve was annoying me a little bit yesterday, possibly because of my headache. Or maybe because knitting 2 sweaters in a row feels repetitive and tedious. But smaller projects tend to require more thinking and I wasn't quite up to that.
But the Green Tea will definitely be done by the wedding (even if I decide it's too long and I need to frog some rows at the bottom), and if I get the Slanted Neck Pullover right the first time, it might be done too.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
So I go to her site this morning to see what the commerical was.
We are spending almost a thousand dollars to learn how to dance to an Old Navy commerical.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
But the belt should come together quickly, so I'm still almost done! I've already done the math to start the Slant Neck Pullover (I'm using the same yarn as the green tea, and since the required gauge is different, I'm just making a smaller size) so I can cast that on soon too.
And as of this writing, after a couple of hours knitting in front of the telly, I'm just a few rows from being finished with the front. Then I'll start the belt and I'll be thisclose to finished again.
I am so only going to have to knit my next sweater once. I may be smited for saying that, but if it doesn't fit me after the first try, I'll just have to find someone who it does fit. Or cinch it with a kicky belt or something.
Yeah, I know. Another post without pictures. Well, here's a cell phone picture of the butterfly HA made for me in my old bathroom from Gel Gems.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
(I feel like I shouldn't be advertising the exact date of the wedding in case someone decides to break into the apartment because they think it will be empty while we're on the honeymoon. But it won't be. We've got houseguests and housesitters galore and among their number will be a born-again christian minister, so any burglars will get smited. Or shot. You can never tell with out-of-towners.)
Anyway, things are pretty under control at the moment, which is good because I hit the wall over the weekend and could barely get off the couch. Silver shoes have been ordered and will be stretched by my favorite shoe repair guy (who tells me that stretching is easier/more reliable than dyeing, so that's the way I'm going). The regrowing of the hair following this summer's bad haircut is proceeding nicely.
Even dance lessons are getting fun again. I was so stressed out last week, that every time I made a mistake, I got grumpy. Apparently, when I say that I think it's good for people to do things they're not good at, I don't actually mean me.
Last night, I childishly admitted that I like it when we make a mistake that's HA's fault and not mine. And I whined that I hate it when it's my fault. And we all laughed and quick-quick-slowed our way to a snazzy new move.
Plus, today is Jerry Juhl Day. He was a muppeteer who wanted to be honored on the day of his death by people doing silly things. When I got HA's e-mail about it (because he was in the next room), I shouted, "Time for Bunny Kisses!", bunny hopped over to him and made puckery bunny lips at him. Since I seem to have made up the entire routine on the spot, I must have been filled with the spirit of the day.
HA reports that he hasn't done anything silly today besides bunny kiss me, which doesn't count since that was me. The day ain't over yet and I exect to be pelted with silliness at any moment.
Just when things are at their darkest, we are saved by the Muppets.
In honor of the day, here's a picture of my first Valentine's gift from HA. He's only allowed to give me chocolate now.
Monday, September 24, 2007
And then I saw that someone had made one using the same colors (Scroll down to September 10) as my Dalek Dishcloths.
Then I saw someone had made many dishcloths using the same yarn (September 15 this time) I used for the Pinwheel Baby Blanket.
Clearly, the universe was telling me that it wanted me to knit some washcloths. So, since I was sick of the Green Tea Raglan (or was what the kids call "contemplating hurting someone if I had to do any more seed stitch"), I whipped up 3 washcloths. Working on and off, it took me about a week or so.
See how pretty?
And from up close, doesn't it look like a majestic stack o' washcloths?
Yes, that is a Yoda Furby on the shelf way back on the left. Thanks so much for asking. And the candle on the right is blocking your view of my Sigmund the Sea Monster.
Oh, and Green Tea Raglan? Well, after 3 washcloths and almost an entire Fetching, I can face seed stitch again and I have a good head of steam going. Here's a picture of the back:
The back is actually finished now, and the front is about to that point. I fully expect my project bag to be struck by lightening at this point. Then again, maybe I appeased the gods with the washcloths and they'll lift the curse they have lain upon this sweater.
Oh, and look? What is that?
Can it be?
Well, whaddya know? Another Finished Object!
This is a baby blanket for my friend's baby son. I started it in May and finished it in August.
Yarn: Lily Elite Cotton in Peach & Yellow
Needles: Size 8 Denises
Pattern: I just did the Open Chevron Stitch Pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume 1 with a garter stitch border. I put it aside for a awhile because it's so big that I began to fear that I'd be doing that stitch pattern for the rest of my natural existence. And then the baby was born and I had to get back to it. Fortunately, they live in Florida, so they still won't be needing it quite yet.
I was waiting until I sent it off to blog about it, and then I wanted to give it enough time to get there and then I got so overwhelmed with wedding stuff that I couldn't even deal with blogging without hyperventilating (I know!). So here ya go. One big post. Lots of pictures. Pictures of yarny stuff even.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Mind you, I have no kids at the moment. Once I've reproduced and have to take the kid to some Olsen Twins film, or whatever, I will be knitting. Preferably something complicated to save me from having to pay attention to the movie.
But for now, not so much. And it turns out that this is a good thing. Tonight, I went with a friend to see December Boys. I brought my knitting along, thinking I'd get some done during the pre-previews like usual. Because I've been such a nervous wreck over all the wedding stuff that has to get done and I thought my knitting would soothe me. Well, we only got there 5 minutes before the previews and we were talking, so I didn't bother. I sat through the entire movie not knitting. Unlike at home, where if the TV is on, and I'm sitting in front of it, there is knitting happening. Even though HA makes a move to hold my hand every time I put down the pointy sticks, I think he'd be surprised if I just sat there watching TV and doing nothing else.
I have to admit that spending 105 minutes focusing my full attention on yummy little Daniel Radcliffe and his fellow orphans was the most relaxing thing I've done in at least a week. I may need to try this while watching TV in this next couple of months while I'm losing my mind.
Seriously--I discovered last night at my first dress fitting that I'm going to need silver shoes to go with this thing. I looked on Zappos, searched online, and even considered buying a pair of leather shoes and then spray painting them silver. It took someone else to suggest that I look for actual ballroom dancing shoes, which are likely to come in silver. I've been going to the Fred Fucking Astaire Dance Studio* twice a week for several weeks. But it never occurred to me to try actual dancing shoes.
This is going to start being fun again. I know it. I've been tackling the wedding to do list (aka the Martha Stewart Project Plan, which comes free in all the bridal magazines) in bursts. I coast along for a couple of weeks having fun, and then I begin to fear the list and the number of unchecked-off items and I get all bad ass and do a bunch of stuff and get on HA to get on the stuff I asked him to take of 2 weeks earlier. And then when I feel I've tamed the list, I can relax again.
Maybe I'll start enjoying myself again next week. If I can squeeze it into my schedule.
*Not actual name of dance studio
Monday, September 17, 2007
I'm still picking it up and working on it, but I've also started some washcloths for charity (more on that later) and a pair of Fetching for myself because it's turned cold so quickly.
You know what also would be very useful now that it's turned cold? A Green Tea Raglan Sweater.
You're A Prayer for Owen Meany!
by John Irving
Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings, you inspire
faith in almost everyone you know. You are an agent of higher powers, and you manifest
this fact in mysterious and loud ways. A sense of destiny pervades your every waking
moment, and you prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled. When you speak, IT
SOUNDS LIKE THIS!
Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.
I even own this book. It's on the bookshelf right where I can see it when I'm ironing. I read it in college, possibly even while I was spending a semester in Paris. That means I read it, oh dear god, 17 years ago and I still remember quite a bit of it. Great book, though I've never gotten around to reading any other John Irving books.
So, I'm an agent of higher powers. When do I get to start doing some smiting?
Speaking of smiting, we have a leak in the kitchen that seems dishwasher-related. My parents also have a leak in the kitchen which may or may not be dishwasher-related. My brother and his fiance have a leaky water bed that is cat-related. Clearly, we have ticked off someone and water is being visited upon us. Unlike the others, though, HA and I rent, so tomorrow we will be visited upon by the building super, who will make it all go away.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Back in the halcyon days of a couple of days ago, I checked out some blogs that were new to me (linked to by my usual reads) and subbed to a bunch more. One of them is having a blog contest.
What three things would you take to a desert island with you, and why?
I'm usually not big on these desert island things, since I simply can't be expected to choose. But the contest with it's promise of a chance at yarny goodness got me thinking about it.
Item #1 Lip Balm
Back in the first or second season of Survivor, one of the contestants brought lip balm as her luxury item. I would have never auditioned for that show, let alone be cast, but I knew that I would need something lippy as my luxury item as well. I have 4 different lip balms and at least one lipstick in my purse right now (that inability to narrow it down I just mentioned).
I broke my Blistex addiction years ago. (Some lip moiturizers contain alcohol, which dries you out, so you put on more every, oh, I don't know, 5 minutes or so.) But even now that I've switched to the non-drying stuff, I'm afraid to be stuck on the freaking subway with dry lips. On a desert island? I'd be inventing a new kind of lip balm if I didn't already have some with me. I'd grind every plant on the island into a paste and dabbing it on my lips.
If I had to narrow it down to one kind, I'd have to go with Burt's Beeswax Lifeguard's Choice because it has sunscreen. I don't use it as often as Rosebud Salve or Vaseline, but if you put petroleum jelly on your lips and go to the beach, you get sunburned lips. I learned that the same day (and the same way) that I learned that spray-on suncreen also needs to be rubbed in, no matter what the package says.
And speaking of petroleum jelly, it's one of the reasons that people need to drive less. Do you people not realize that when we use up all the petroleum, it's not just gas we'll be out of? What the hell will I put on my lips then?! And there will be no plastic either! What kind of container will my lip balm come in then, huh? Bicycles, people! Use public transportation, or everyone's lips will be chapped! I don't want to live in a crazy dystopia like that, people!
OK, I'm OK now. Where was I? Oh yes.
#2 Swiss Army Knife
#3 Boy Scout Manual
Because #2 would allow you to make all the other tools you need and #3 would tell you how. Plus, my swiss army knife comes with a litle tweezer--not only good for removing island splinters, but also for that all-important grooming as the rescue ship approaches.
If #2 and #3 are cheating, then I'll have to go with my Riverside Shakespeare Collection from college because I'd love to read the whole thing over and over again, but it's huge and heavy and not subway reading and so I haven't even gotten through it once. On a desert island, I'd have the time to read through it and I could use it as a weapon if I could manage to lift it in time to hit something with it.
My other alternate item would be my glasses (in lieu of my contact lenses which I have been wearing all day every day since I was 13). Why would I trade the contacts for glasses? Maintenance. Once I ran out of lens solution, I'd either have to ruin my eyes by wearing my disposable lenses for months at a time, or take them out and be unable to see more than 2 inches past the tip of my nose. Glasses are clearly the way to go in a survival situation. I might even swap them for the boy scout manual.
I've actually thought a lot about the contacts vs. glasses in a survival situation because what if the aliens come to enslave the human race? (I'd worry about HA reading that I think about that sort of thing and calling off the wedding because I'm just too weird, but if he hasn't thought about the same exact thing, then he isn't the man I think he is.)
So the aliens are enslaving, and I need to toil away in the dilithium mine until I can lead the rebel uprising. You can't overthrow the alien oppressors if you can't see them.
You'd stab your second in command and be all, "Sorry, Bob, that green jacket you have on makes you look like one of the Visitors."
Monday, September 10, 2007
Now, I was a girl scout for 2 years. One of those years, I forgot to even tell my mom about the dinner where we got our badges, let alone actually show up. I did earn a bunch of badges, if you can define earning as sitting with one of the grown-ups and trying to think of stuff that I'd done that would count towards a badge. Plus, I guess some of the activities we did at the meetings got us some badges. I recall the baking of pretzels. It's entirely possible that something was done involving glitter.
And I did go camping once and we earned some badges, but I have only the vaguest memory of how to make a little stove out of a coffee can. The first-aid stuff may have sunk in, but then again, both my parents were volunteer EMTs, and I became one myself in my 20s, so if I showed up for my first EMT class knowing anything, it was probably through osmosis as much as through girl scout camp.
Although, now that I think of it, we might not have done first aid at camp. But 4 of us were sent down the mountain to get something and one of use hurt her ankle. We fashioned a crutch from a fallen branch and I ran ahead for help. When I got back to camp, they chided me because they'd been worried because we were gone for so long. If I had been older, I'm sure I would've come up with a beautifully sarcastic comeback. Something like, "Well it's good that you're worried because there actually is something to worry about."
So anyway, I had badges. They never got sewn onto my sash. I still have some of them, but I have actually thrown some of them out, so much have they meant to me. Now, I wish I hadn't thrown them out, since it would be kinda cool to have them and maybe sew them onto a bag or something.
I do still have several medals from school. The kind in school colors that are given out at 8th grade graduation for being good at math or reading. I suppose I could pin them to a jacket for a military look, but it's not the 80s anymore and I'm not Michael Jackson, so I'm not sure I could pull of the look.
But now I have some knitting badges to proudly display.
The “Knitting Whilst Under the Influence” Badge
Well, who hasn't really?
The “MacGyver” Badge (Level One)
I have yarn bras made from old pantyhose and bobbins from those plastic bread tabs. Apparently, that's clever. Who knew?
The “I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess” Badge
Earned because I have been cheap, I mean frugal, and substituted yarns. Also earned because of my remedy to the lying swatch problem with the Green Tea Raglan. The less said about the little bastard the better.
The “Proselytize Knitting” Badge
My favorite bit of advice to give--"You should take up knitting." As in, "Your husband made you sit through 2 epsodes of Star Trek:The Next Generation in a row and you don't even like sci fi? You should take up knitting. You'd be less bored."
This advice was not taken, but I tried.
So those are my knitting badges. Now if I could only figure out a way to sew them onto a tote bag...
Sunday, September 9, 2007
I've always boggled when someone blogs that they haven't gotten much knitting done. Did they spend their TV watching time with their hands folded in their lap? They didn't pick up their knitting for even a few minutes? Was there nowhere they could bring their knitting along?
Well, Wednesday, I had to frog the back of the Green Tea Raglan, so I only got a few rows done that night. Thursday, I went to Macy's to shop for the shapewear I'll have on under my wedding dress.
(Digression--most traditional style wedding dresses have a corset built in. The dress I'm having made won't accommodate anything built-in. My initial trip to Boomie's got me some Spanx that go up to just under my bra. It does wonders for me, but upon consideration and consultation with friends and my dressmaker, I realized that it wasn't going to work with the dress. The waist of the dress won't be roomy enough for me to be able to get this thing down so I can drop trou and use the euphemism during the course of the day. So I went to Macy's, collected about a dozen candidates and went into the dressing room. I left a while later and got another dozen. The very last one in that batch is the one. It does everything I need it to and still no unsightly back fat spilling out over the top. And thanks to the miracle of Lycra and the lack of boning, it's comfortable. I almost wept with joy and relief.)
So I didn't get home until about 10:15 on Thursday. So just a few more rows.
Friday, we had our first dance lesson at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. We had a great time and after our first 30 minute introductory lesson, it was ridiculously clear that we needed to go for the 10-class package. Our song is "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson, which I first heard on Cast On. We're told that it's a rumba. So we were taught the fox trot and the box step, which are not old fogey dances, but just 6-step combinations so we can move aroun dteh dance floor insted of just hugging and swaying musically. There was a lot of bumping into each other and getting stepped on. I really need to learn to follow instead of just putting my foot where I think it's supposed to be and discovering that I've just put my foot directly under HA's foot.
We went out to dinner afterwards and didn't get home until after 10. A few more rows.
So now I get it.
The bad air quality in NYC on Saturday had me in the bedroom with the AC on for most of the afternoon, nursing a sinus headache. I've made it to the waist and I'm heading into the increases. Illness = knitting progress. Truth be told, when I knitted the back the first time, I had a cold and logged a lot of couch/knitting time. So that's why it flew together.
While I was basking in the AC, I caught up on my DVR's backlog of Knitty Gritty. There was an episode in March or April about knitting math and getting the right fit. If I had stayed on top of watching new episodes, I would've seen this already and my second attempt at the Somewhat Cowl would've fit much better. The guest suggests that when you're knitting a top-down raglan, you should try to wrap the sleeve stitches around your arm to see if they go all the way around. If yes, then it's time to separate the sleeves and start the body. I had just been paying attention to the raglan seam measurement and ending up with something too big. Every time. I'm really looking forward to trying this technique with another top-down raglan.
The yarn from the frogged back of Green Tea is drying now. I wasn't going to wet it to get out the kinks, since my virtuous swatching behavior was not rewarded. But then I saw how kinky it was, so I went for it.
I fully expect to be bitten in the ass for that somehow. I'm almost looking forward to the surprise.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
I know, I know, swatches lie. But I made it so big. I washed it. Not actually according to the manfacturer's instructions, but I washed it.
It told me that a size 7 needle would get me 9 stitches for every 2 inches in seed stitch. Exactly the gauge I needed. So I used size 7 needles and did the whole back and made a good start on the front.
It occurred to me today to check the gauge right after it occurred to me that I should've considered making this sweater with negative ease.
So I measured the back of the sweater, off the needles and washed. 8 stitches to 2 inches. 8 motherfrakking stitches, not 9.
The front, still on the needles and unwashed is getting 8ish stitches to 2 inches. Maybe 8.5.
The freaking non-machine washable yarn didn't shrink in the washine machine and dryer. It bloomed.
I was about to take a picture of the swatch with the ruler so you could see, but I had some trouble getting the shot and quite frankly, the little bugger doesn't deserve another fifteen minutes of fame.
My extra swatch (made with 2 even smaller needle sizes just in case) seems to say that I should go with the size 5. Since I haven't washed that one, I'll have to wait to wash it and see how that goes.
Or, more likely, I'll refuse to trust that swatch and go with my original plan--make a different size body than the sleeves. Because, oh yeah, the sleeves (in stockinette stitch) are getting the right gauge.
My initial suspicions are confirmed--I have the loosest seed stitch in the history of ever. Something tells me that I could knit a swatch with the same yarn on size 0s and still get 8 stitches to the inch.
Monday, September 3, 2007
It helps if you just wander though the exhibits, not trying to take in too much, and pointing out things that Teddy Roosevelt shot.
Teddy Roosevelt shot that big aqua-saur.
Teedy Roosevelt shot that giant dino-turtle.
Teddy Roosevelt shot that big tree.
We actually skipped the dioramas with the animals that somebody (probably Teddy Roosevelt) shot. We saw those last time and there was a lot of ground to cover.
Here's HA with his friend, the Easter Island exchange student.
You see, you go there enough times and you stop caring about what these things actually are and you're just looking for the cool stuff you saw there on school trips as a kid. I was at least as excited to see the sign for the School Lunchroom as I was to see the big tree slice.
There's also a certain amount of wading the stream of consciousness.
Like, don't these mastadons look like Snow Miser?
And this fish totally made me think of doing fish prints.
At a fundraiser years ago, my mom set up the craft table and had the great idea to have the kids do fish prints. And then she decided that she needed it to be my job. If you've never done fish prints, what it is, is you brush paint onto a dead fish, put a piece of paper over it, and run a roller over the whole thing so you get a painted inpression of the fish. And then some kid presses too hard and guts squish out.
And this is the Squid and the Whale mentioned in the movie, The Squid and the Whale.
I had never noticed them before I saw the movie. Noah Baumbach's dad was one of my professors in grad school, so it was kinda weird to see a movie about something that in real life, is really none of my damn business. Great movie, totally recommend it. There's a scene where the parents are talking to the prinicpal of their kid's school and there's a man sitting in the background for no good reason. That's Noah Baumbach's dad. Everone else in the theater was silent and I was jabbing HA in the ribs whispering, "That's him!"
Things I learned today:
1. It only took a month for the moon to form.
2. When our galaxy collides with the Andromeda galaxy billyuns and billyuns of years from now, the planets and suns won't collide, but the dust and gases will, forming one new big galaxy.
3. Going through the special Frogs exhibit will make you hate:
a. Other People's Kids, for shoving in front of anyone between them and what they want to see, including Other People's Well Behaved Kids.
b. Other People, for allowing such behavior
c. Frogs, just for being there
d. the museum, for saying that there are over 200 frogs in the exhibit when we only counted less than 100.
Now, for every kid who needed to learn to wait their turn, there were 10 others who ranged from non-annoying to downright adorable. But seriously, people. It's a crowded city--teach your kids how to get along with the other 19 million of us.
But here, look at the frogs.
Frogs are cute.
If you're in the area, I'd recommend going before the Mythical Creatures Exhibit closes. Give yourself more than an hour for that one, and try to go earlier in the day when it's less crowded.
And if you do see the frogs, don't miss the frog cam. There are 3 little podium-type things set up around one of the big tanks and you can control a camera to look at the frogs up close.
Here's a pciture HA took of the screen:
Since this has knit up so quickly, I've decided that I'm going to finish the front and then baste the whole thing together to see how it looks. Then I will:
1. decide that nature doesn't intend for me to wear raglan sleeves, and begin a quest to find someone the sweater would look good on.
2. figure out what needs to change, unravel it and start over.
2a. consider accepting that I'm just going to have to knit every sweater I make twice, and then rejoicing in how economical it is to pay for one sweater's-worth of yarn and get 2 sweaters'-worth of knitting out of it.
3. figure out what needs to change, take notes and leave the sweater to sit in a bag and think about what it's done.
4. go back to trying to learn to crochet. Those little amigurami toys look cute no matter what size they end up being.
| My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is: |
Very Lady Jen the Surprised of Melbury Bubblewick
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
How'd they know how much I liked bubbles? I'm quite surprised about that.
Found through Knelley, aka Venerable Lady Knelley the Wholesome of Witchampton Under Buzzard.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Holy cow, it's finished!
Just look at that thing. It's bigger than my head, see?
Ignore the messy apartment. Who has time to clean when you're making a giant ball of calamari yarn?
Over a year ago, when I was purging my wardrobe of things that were way too big for me anymore, I kept all the old t-shirts instead of taking them to the Salvation Army like the rest of the stuff. I wasn't really sure how much use anyone would get out of old, solid color, long-sleeve t-shirts. I wore them to the office and I suppose someone else could've, but once cotton jersey gets old, it don't look pretty.
I don't remember if I had gotten Mason-Dixon Knitting yet, or if I'd just had a vague idea that I could do something with the old shirts. But after taking them with me when I moved, and after months of telling His Awesomeness that I was going to do it, I realized that I was actually going to have to do it, or end up living with someone who always kinda suspected that I wasn't going to do it.
So in fits and starts, I've cut some of the shirts into loops, tied them all together and turned them into a big ball o' yarn. There are more shirts untouched, but I decided just to use the blues and purples, plus the grays and whites for now.
As soon as I can bear the thought of the ball no longer being bigger than my head, I'll start turning it into a rug. I'm thinking of a little rug to put my the kitchen sink so I'll have something cushy to stand on.
That's really the part that HA suspects that I'm never going to finish. So I so totally am gonna.
That'll show him.