Friday, May 25, 2007

Eeeek! Steeks!

Actually, WOOHOO!

I finished knitting the Crayons & Chalkboards vest Wednesday night during the very long American Idol finale.

After much reading and internet research yesterday, I finally got brave enough to crochet the edging on the steeks. I know how to crochet so this part was actually pretty easy. The hardest part was deciding where to crochet the steek because everything I read said that crochet steeks should be over an odd number of stitches and, of course, I had an even number. Eunny Jang makes reference to crocheting over an even number but I just couldn't get my mind around what she was saying until all of a sudden it just hit me.

Then, I sat and stared at it for a long time. I made the excuse that my scissors weren't sharp enough. Finally, I just grabbed the scissors and starting cutting and...


The purple edging is where I cut. See how clean it is, with no unraveling?!

I've only cut one steek. I did the right armhole first. I'm picking up stitches around it now, then have to knit 6 rows of ribbing.

Last night, Hayden decided he was going to help build the sunroom for Grandmama and Granddaddy.
This was after he and Granddaddy turned the scrap lumber into some great building blocks!
And before he learned to climb the fence!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


This is how my day went yesterday with the Crayons and Chalkboards:

Realize that I forgot to do the decreases for the armhole shaping on 1 row.


Realize that the steek area for the left armhole isn't tight enough


Realize that I continued the orange green stripe as 1x1 outside the steek area instead of 2x2.


Realize that again I forgot the armhole decrease.


Realize that again I forgot the armhole decrease.


Finally get through the armhole decreases and actually correctly establish the v-neck steek stitches. Finish the red crayons. Knit a row of black. Realize that it's supposed to be red and purple border.


Get two rows into the next chalkboard section, try to keep the pattern in place taking into account all the decrease. Realize that I have 2 "P"s next to each other.

Throw it down in disgust and go to bed.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Our Weekend

Hayden had an exciting weekend. His Grandpa, Patrick's dad Len, flew down to visit on Friday and Saturday. Hayden wasn't as nearly as shy with him as he tends to be with other people.
On Saturday, we went to Dauset Trails Nature Center. Hayden had a blast. We had never been there before and didn't realize how close it is to home. I foresee many more trips in the future. They have feed, either dog food or corn, at many of the exhibits. It's in gumball machines and you pay a quarter to get a handful of feed. Hayden loved feeding the animals, especially the ducks, geese and turtles.
We did have one small tragedy though. Hayden was trying to squeeze through the railing on the bridge and I grabbed his arm to pull him back. When I did this, it caused his beloved pap (pacifier) and keeper to fall into the pond. Of course, we have plenty of back-up paps but no back-up keepers. The only ones that we can keep attached are the ones from Babys-r-us so it's not simple to run out and get one. I came home and made a length of I-cord to attach it to. I don't have any diaper pins though and he pulls hard enough on the safety pin that it pops open, so this has not been a great solution.

Instead of knitting the instant gratification dish cloth on Thursday, I spend most the day plotting out dyeing some sock yarn. I ordered some Knitpicks Bare some time ago with the intention of dyeing it match my teal green scrubs. Shortly after that, I found Regia Crazy in the colors that I wanted so I ordered that instead. Then I decided that I would dye it match my orange scrubs. Of couse, after that I found some Opal Neon that's the perfect colors to match that so I ordered it instead. Now I have no idea what colors I want to dye which is why I abandoned the idea of dyeing for now.

Thursday afternoon I started on Hayden's Crayons and Chalkboard sweater vest. I had been putting it off because, honestly. the thought of Fair Isle terrified me. However, I have found it to be incredibly simple so far. Of course the thought of steeking is still terrifying but I'm not to that point yet so all is well. I am almost to the armholes.

It almost looks like a hat in the photo but it's to gauge. It's just 192 stitches packed onto a 16" circ! I'm using a KP US#3 which is sooooo sharp. I had to borrow a thimble from my mom because I tend to push on the tip of the left needle and it was wearing my finger tip out.

The best thing about this Fair Isle is that it has forced me to knit Continental, which I knew how to do but I throw so fast I felt like Continental was slowing me down. Now that I've had to do it, I've gotten much faster with it and I think I will likely switch to it permanently.
Friday, my Opal Neon arrived from The Loopy Ewe . This is the first time I've ordered from Sheri and her service is great! I ordered late Wednesday afternoon and my yarn arrived on Friday. You just can't beat that. Plus, she includes all these great gifts and samples. She sent a sample of Regia Bamboo and I think that will probably be my next purchase!

I immediately cast on Cookie A.'s Pomatomus Socks from Knitty, which is a great pattern for variegated yarn.

After taking these photos, I declared that I must have a new camera. I have two digital cameras. One usually takes good pics but the flash doesn't always work so photos come out dark and underexposed. Plus, Hayden dropped it and now you have to hold the battery compartment closed while you use it. The other camera doesn't have zoom and the flash overexposes everything. So I'm off to buy a new one today. Look for better pics coming soon!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ruffled Surplice

Pattern: Ruffled Surplice
Source: Interweave Knits Spring 2007
Designer: Mari Lynn Patrick
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted in Batchelor Button Colorway
Needles: Addi Turbo US#10.5
Cast on: 5/1/07
Completed: 5/16/07

I found this pattern a really easy, quick knit. Most everything I've been knitting lately has been on small needles so the bigger ones were a welcome break. The pattern was simple to follow except for the shaping on the back. I much prefer patterns that tell you which increase/decrease to use. It took some playing around with to find the most invisible ones to use. On the front panels, the specific shaping is specified. I wish I would have done the fronts first. It would have made the back easier.

These really aren't the best photos but we were trying to take them before American Idol came on. We got the photos made but I couldn't get them posted because Hayden decided to help me type. Trust me, you wouldn't have been able to read this. It looked like some unknown language!

Speaking of American Idol, Travis and I were both in a state of shock when Melinda got voted off. I guess everybody got complacent, figured she was shoo in and didn't bother to vote for her. I have to admit I was one of those people. I fact, the whole season, I've assumed that Melinda was safe and, while I thought she the best, I never voted for her.

I haven't decided what I'm going to cast on today. I have several projects lined up. I'm still dealing with the huge wad of yarn vomit, though it is getting cleaned up a little bit. I think I'm going to have to give up and break out the scissors though. The Regia Crazy is still making me crazy and I haven't decided what to do with it. I placed a large order on Monday for the supplies I need to start my Christmas projects but it's not here yet. Me, being my dyslexic self, transposed the credit card numbers when I ordered it so that caused a delay in shipping.

I have a whole skein of Shine Worsted left so I might just make a wash cloth from it today. It will be some real instant gratification and knock an item off the Christmas list. Wash clothes wrapped around handmade soaps are on my list of Christmas gifts to make. Does anybody know where I can get some great handmade soaps?

Hayden decided that he was going to visit Granddaddy up on the roof at Mama and Daddy's house yesterday. Thank goddness that Patrick was there to go up the ladder with him. And, no, he didn't actually get on the roof. And, yes, I was glad I was at work and I didn't see him climbing that ladder!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Three years ago today

Three years ago today... I did the smartest thing I've ever done.

Three years ago today... today I made the best decision I've ever made.

Three years ago today... my life changed forever.

Three years ago today... seems like a lifetime ago, and I mean that in the best way.

Three years ago today... I married my best friend!

Monday, May 14, 2007

A pound of string

I hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day. I was surprised to come home from work and find Kyle and Chelsea waiting to have dinner with us. Kyle was most pleased with himself for buying me "a whole pound of string". It's a 1 pound cone of Peaches & Cream in the Spring Garden colorway. Kyle had the idea of it and Chelsea picked out the color. It's really pretty. I told Kyle that I would make him some dust clothes to clean with. He didn't like that idea much.

Travis gave me a new desk chair. It's really nice and the old one was definitely on it's last leg. Here's a shot of the chair posing with the pound of string.

My gift from Patrick (and Hayden of course) was some yum yum as Hayden calls it. It wont be around long but I will surely enjoy it while it last. It's a Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory and it's to die for! Supposedly it's a limited edition item but this the third one I've had in the past 4 years so I guess it's not very limited. That's fine with me though, I hope they never stop making it!

One more photo of the pound of string. Of course, I included this one just so I could show off my little cutie. He's also sitting in the new chair but you can't tell because it's black. Ignore the orange jello on his shirt collar. He's not usually so dirty!

For a brief knitting update, I finished seaming the Ruffled Surplice yesterday and started on the belt. I don't know why I find knitting repetitive little rows of something so monotonous and boring. For example, I hate to make I-cord. This belt is a lot like I-cord and it's probably going to take me as long to knit it as it did the whole back of the sweater. I just have to make myself do it.

I still haven't cleaned up all my yarn vomit from the ball winding incident on Friday. I'd like to have it done tonight so I can cast on the socks to take to the dentist office tomorrow. Why is yarn vomit so hard to clean up? I'd much prefer to clean up human vomit. You just have to throw a towel over it, zap the patient with some Phenergan or Zofran or Reglan or Compazine and you're done. But yarn vomit has to torture you and takes hours to pick out and rewind. Why can't someone make an anti-emetic for yarn?!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A post (finally)

It seems like forever since I posted. I've been too busy knitting to post or take any pics. I always feel like I need photos to go with my post so that keeps me from posting more regularly. However, I decided to post today, even without any photos.

On Monday, the last of the pregnant nannie goats delivered her twins. There are photos on my Flickr page, just click on my Flickr badge to see them. She had two little billies, which we named Shy and Spry. They are very cute and cuddly. These are the first babies that will actually let you pick them up and hold them. Fannie, their mom, is a Nubian, which is a milk a goat. She has way too much milk for them so Daddy and Patrick have both been milking her. The milk goes to Cookie (the dog) if Hayden doesn't manage to spill it first! Last night, he stepped right into the bucket, actually a margarine tub, and spilled it everywhere.

Travis was inducted into the National Beta Club on Tuesday. They had a very nice candle light induction ceremony, Unfortunately, it was held at the end of Awards Night, so Hayden was rather restless after sitting through 2 hours of awards presentations. He cried when his brother stood to receive his induction and certificate. Chelsea received the American History Award from The Woodsmen of the World. Ms. Aiken presented the award and she said some very nice things about her.

I have almost finished my Ruffled Surplice from IK Sping 2007. It has been a really quick knit. All I have to do is to seem up one side, make the belt and put the ruffle around the bottom. Hopefully I will get it finished today.

I wanted to start on some more socks today but I have yarn issues. My first issue is that the Regia Crazy I got is driving me crazy! It is certainly aptly named. I bought it because it stripes so well. Well the two skeins I got were wound opposite directions so, therefore, I only have about 50 yards that match. I really wanted to make a pair of identical twins but I guess I won't. I still haven't quite resolved myself to the fact that they won't match so I can't bring myself to start on them.

My other sock yarn issue is that I thought I could quickly wind up 2 hanks of Knitpicks Gloss for a pair of lace socks while Hayden was in the tub last night. NOT. MY ball winder was mounted on the computer desk, where I had been sitting trying to match up the Crazy. The computer desk is not big enough to hold the swift and I was too lazy to move the ball winder. I thought that I could just the swift on the floor and wind from there. NOT. As the swift turned the hank of yarn kept coming off the top of it because it was being pulled up by the ball winder. I kept grabbing it, stretching it and putting it back on the swift. In the end, I ended up half a ball of yarn and a huge wad of yarn vomit. I worked on it for a while but finally put it away. It was way past bedtime and I had to come to work today. It will probably take me longer to straighten it out than it will to knit the I don't want to cut it though so I'll keep working on it a little at a time. I wanted to make these socks 2 at a time and after that disaster I definitely didn't want to attempt winding the other hank!