Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm making a list, checking it 3,472 times....

Stitches East is less than 2 weeks away!!! And then Rhinebeck is right after that people!!!! Yay!!! Call me an overthinker, but I always make a list for fiber related events like these. The list makes up some things I need to get and then some general instructions. This way I don't end up buying too much or too yarn for certain projects, hopefully. An example of something I need-I have 2 men I have to knit socks for by Christmas and somehow the lavender Louet Gems in the stash is not going to cut it. So I need to get some more masculine sock yarn. A suggestion-I know I would like to buy some yarn for a shawl this year. I think something more fingering than lace weight. And I don't have a shawl pattern in mind, but I just need to make sure I buy a large enough amount to make a shawl out of. Another suggestion that I'd like to stick with- when I've gone to Stitches in the past I usually like to buy enough yarn for at least one sweater for myself. Well, since I still have a sweaters worth of yarn left from last year, I guess I'll only buy for one this year. I have 2 sweater ideas kind of kicking around, one is a bulky weight sweater where I could use any kind of bulky weight yarn probably. The other is a Berrocco pattern which I would want to use the Berrocco yarn for, I would not want to substitute yarns for this sweater. So tell me what you think-

One thing I've decided lately is I'd like to be knitting from my books more. I'm afraid I own more knitting books than I'd like to admit, and honestly I've knit from them a lot less than I'd like to admit. Enter my first consideration... Order and Chaos from Inspired Cable Knits.

Ok, I know it sucks the one in the book is knit in white, and the model's poses make it tough to make out how the sweater actually looks. Forget the fact that the guy she's forced to pose with is a complete tool (and why are they posing like it's for a prom photo???) forget all that. This really is a great sweater. I think. It is bulky weight yarn and yes I know bulky weight is not always that flattering on those of us who happen to be more curvy than the average bear-however- I think the cabling action will detract from that don't you? It's a comfy cozy type sweater, v-neck, not overly long and I like it alot. I've only found one other person who has made it - Melanie from Pink Lemon Twist (yes Mysterly Stole Melanie) has some great pictures of her finished Order and Chaos here and here. Bonus-if for some reason the yarn does not work for this sweater I could also easily use it to make Starsky or I also have a Ruana pattern I like that I could use it for. So purchase of yarn for this sweater would be a versatile purchase as well...

Unfortunately the amount of money I have to spend to buy the yarn for the other sweater I'm considering may well rival the budgets of some small, third world countries.

Jiada is a sweater that has haunted me ever since the Berrocco newsletter that featured it popped into my Inbox. I love the collar, and the colors, and the sheer stylishness of it. It is knit with Berrocco Peruvia and Jasper. Cha-ching! But that's ok, remember these fiber events are usually where I spend most of my yarn money for the year. It's one of the few times I don't look at the price tags of stuff. And I've only heard very drool worthy comments about Peruvia and Jasper, so I don't mind spending that kind of money since it's good yarn I'm getting in return. But, would this style of sweater even look good on me? Of course the model in the picture has no chesticles to speak of whatsoever. It's hard to picture how this would look with boobs. But I like how the collar 'frames the face' and that with the straightness of the diagonal front edge I consider this a bit of a 'jacket' type sweater and I think the color and the fabulousness of the yarns might hide some sins under there. Hmm... So any opinions? Order and Chaos or Jiada? I know, I like them both too...

In the meantime I'm knitting soakers. The soakers I knit before were a little too small for their recipients, so the bigger recipient donated hers to the smaller recipient and at least one of the girls has a soaker for now. But I'm knitting away at them, I finished one for my sister's friends baby, (pretend the ends are sewn in on the pic below) I'm on a second for her and once I finish it up I'll do another for my niece. And the small from before that didn't fit anybody is being donated to charity that accepts soakers. So you see, it's not that it didn't fit-it was really just meant to be for someone else!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Muchos Gracias!

First of all, thank you for all the nice comments you guys left on my last post. Thank you for wishing Allister well. And thank you so, so much for not thinking I'm crazy and being patient when I was just feeling so, so sad about our little guy. Maybe it is all the well wishes that are helping! Mid-week or so we started to notice a few changes here and there. He started eating a little more and hiding a little less. He started meowing again and as of this weekend we're certain he is definitely feeling somewhat better. While he does not seem to be 100% his normal self, we're so happy for just these little improvements. He goes back to the vet Monday night, so maybe after all these well wishes the results might actually come back better.

And I have another huge thank you to send to Sunne! I left a silly comment on this blog post and she liked it so much she decided to send me a treat!

What a cute little package & a sweet card. Such attention to detail! What's inside?

Stitchmarkers from Sunne's etsy store! Aren't they so pretty? Seriously, these are like prettier than a lot of the jewelry I own! And much better than the crappy ones I tried to make ages ago, no snaggly cut wires here! I love the colorful little hearts, and I love the little kitties and of course the sun will always remind me I got them from Sunne! They are the perfect size for socks which is good-I just got another request the other day, I now have 3 pairs of socks I have to finish by Christmas that I haven't even started. Eep!

But that's ok, the Waving Lace socks are done and that's a pretty good start.

Pattern: Waving Lace from the Interweave Favorite Socks Book

Yarn: Socks that Rock lightweight in Gunmetal Gray

Needles: KnitPicks 6 inch DPN's

These are an allover success in my book. This was the first chance I got to work with the Socks that Rock in my stash and now I see what all the fuss is about. It is beautiful, doesn't split, it's warm and woolly and so saturated with color. And just as I got to start to try out these needles of course KnitPicks comes out with an even newer type of needle! But this was my first time working with shorter dpns and metal dpns and I love both features. The length makes turning the sock so much easier, and the metal feels so solid, I know these are never going to crack or split! And the pattern was easy to follow and memorize. One more pair down, three to go!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Little guy, big love

Sorry for the pause between posting but we've had some pet drama going on here lately. Two posts back I mentioned our cat wasn't feeling so great. Unfortunately, after several prescriptions and many vet visits since then things have not improved. The vets aren't so sure what's going on. It could be the parasite they originally figured, but they think there is probably also something in addition to that, maybe a feline immune deficiency virus. All of his blood counts have been way down and while they seem to have levelled off a little, they still haven't improved the way they should from the medicine he's being given. And from his behavior we can tell he's feeling pretty crappy too. Allister is 11 years old and the vets have said this is a situation he will have to deal with until the end of his life. Whether that end is days, months or weeks away no one will tell us. He still has his good moments, he still wants petting sometimes, this morning he managed after 3 tries to jump up on the couch to sit next to me. I took the picture above when he felt like sitting by the door and watching leaves blow around for a few minutes this afternoon. But most of the time he secludes himself off in a dark corner exhausted. He barely, barely eats and he never comes upstairs anymore. Call me a crazy cat lady but seeing our friend like this has us just at our ends. Allister has been with us for 11 years. And in a house of 2 people a little pet starts to play a very big role. He has a big personality and he is loved very much. When he is down, 1/3 of our household is suffering and he carries our hearts on his shoulders. Maybe I'm a big sap but it just has not had me in the blogging frame of mind lately. There have been pity parties. A lot of crying and a lot of chocolate eating... It just sucks.

Crying, eating, knitting I suppose. Tracy reminded me knitting helps so it's worth a shot. If it doesn't work maybe I'll try gin. Or gin and knitting together. I don't see how it could make things worse. So far though it's just been knitting.

Those are the Waving Lace socks growing. And this is the Here and There Cables Scarf growing.

Eventually I'll be back into it. Concerned about the stash, excited about the new Knitty. Later though. For now it's just one stitch after the other. Counting each day as a blessing...

Monday, September 03, 2007

All it takes to make me happy

Yep the second soaker is finished. I mailed the soaker and pants off to the recipients Saturday. I have requested a picture of the girls in their soakers, if I get it I promise I will post it here first! I'm really glad about meeting this goal, I wanted to have soakers done by September and I did. I wanted to finish my cotton yarn by September and I did. I think this goal-oriented stuff might be a good way to knit for me. Next up-I said I wanted to knit all my yarn from the last Stitches East before going to Baltimore in October for Stitches East 2007. This goal I'm pretty sure, is one I'm not going to make. The problem is the majority of what I have left from Stitches is sock yarn. While I will really attempt to ramp up my sock knitting in the next 6 weeks (good god....) there's no way I can knit all of this without needing wrist or shoulder surgery. I really feel it when I only knit on small needles for 3 or 4 days in a row. For this reason I have to break it up with a worsted weight project. I started a scarf I will probably end up donating to charity for this purpose. But I need to remember it's just to break up the sock knitting, for the next 6 weeks (is it really only 6 weeks away?? that's so good yet so bad...) I really need to think socks!

And to those who think romance is dead lemme tell ya, despite the glamour of the cast and crutch situation in this house the romance lives on! The other night my husband was out of the house at some silly Fantasy Football thing when he sent me a text message on my phone:

Him: Did Amazon come today?

Me: Yes, what is it? (Thinking what is so important that it merits an interruption to the much anticipated kick off of the Fantasy Football season? Must be good!)

Him: Open it.

Inside was this

I have not gotten a gift or bought something for myself this cool in a long, long time. Yes those are already my greasy fingerprints on it, I covet this so much I don't know how I've kept myself from sleeping with this darn thing. I cannot tell you people how much I love this freaking show. The characters, the storylines, how it's science-fiction-y without being too 'out there.' And all of the actors are just so talented, their characters all manage to be flawed and realistic and charming and strong and it all just pulls you in! I'm constantly changing my mind as to who is my favorite. (Peter? Claire? Hiro? Parkman???) Of course I've already started watching it. I keep bubbling and gabbing to my husband about how you know, few things make me quite as happy as watching Heroes and knitting. And to do both at the same time? Really, that's like all I need. Both things make me just so happy. He doesn't get it, but that's ok, it was sweet of him just to get me the dvd.

In rocking out news, thanks to Jodi for naming me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger!

Thank you!! I try, even though I admit I just downloaded a bunch of Paul Simon songs to the ipod the other day, Paul rocks out in some ways too right? Anyway, I'm more than happy to tag some other rocksters out there. How about-

The Fabulous Traqua: Tracy went to a hardcore show with us in Toms River a few months ago. She can tell you I'm rocking when not listening to Paul Simon. And she just knit a Condom Critter. She rocks!

Sunne: I can't believe she hasn't been tagged for this before. She's so rockin! She runs the Punk Rock Gift Exchange. One must be rockin' to be allowed to fill such a post.

Knitxcore: I know, you're a dude. I'm sorry for the rockin' "girl" misnomer. You are a rockin' dude. He knit a sweater from the yarn colors 'lettuce' and 'carrot.' Go look, we will all want to knit sweaters too.