Monday, October 31, 2005

Finished the ribbon yarn project!

I finished my ribbon yarn Moebius thing! You can see an in-progress shot on my October 18th entry.

This was a quick knit, although it would've been a lot quicker if I'd been more disciplined about it. Two weeks from start to finish, although it's really about 10 hours of knitting. Probably less. Maybe like 6. Who knows--I wasn't keeping track!

Anyway, here are some pictures, and I don't want any snide comments about them. Yes, I'm talking to you. It's extremely difficult to take a decent picture of youself. Don't worry, everything's covered, they just look crappy. ;-)

Worn around the shoulders with the twist in the center front. For as open and lacy as this is, it got really warm!

And here it is twisted around the neck twice. Really really warm.

I repeat, I don't want any snide comments about the pictures. Yes, I know they're bad.

Here's the "hood" arrangement. Again, surprisingly warm.

I'm going to try to work on the pattern in a few days, so I'll post it on my website.

I used US 15 needles (BIG needles!) and the yarn was Sari from Kertzer. I think I used 3 balls, but I'll have all the details in the pattern once I transcribe my notes. ;-)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fir Cone Edging (again!)

I got two repeats into the edging last night, and here's how it looks:

I'm quite pleased with it so far. I keep reminding myself that while it SEEMS like it's going slowly, I'm doing the equivalent of 20 rows at a time—so it should take the same amount of time as if I had continued on for 20 more rows. Whew! No wonder it seems to take forever! :-)

Now I just need to hustle and get this done so I can start on the triangular version of Frost Flowers and Leaves for the KAL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday, and it's been a great day!

My wonderful husband made biscuits for breakfast (they were yummy!), and we went out to dinner as a family. Incredibly fabulous DH got me a monitor and put it up on Friday night, so I've been really enjoying that. My parents sent a fun card and some money that I'll probably use for yarn, my in-laws sent a fantabulous feather duster, and one of my best girlfriends sent a garlic roaster. Hmm, much of my life seems to revolve around my husband/kids, knitting/quilting (and crafting of all kinds), eating, and my house. Quite a variety of presents, but I love all of them! :-) My mom says there's a package that should arrive any day now, and I haunted the porch this afternoon waiting for the UPS guy in vain... Oh well, as my wonderful DH says, it's my birthday week and we can spread it out.

I was ruminating in the shower this morning about how being a mom really changes your perspective on things. My birthday has taken on a whole different dimension for me as I think about what my mom experiences on my birthday. What a life-changing events the births of my children have been, and it's incredible to be able to feel what my parents felt as I grew up (although some would debate that I have grown up).

Isn't life wonderful?

Edging for Fir Cone shawl

I'm working on picking an edging for my Fir Cone shawl, and it's a tough choice!!!
I made a swatch of a variation of a Normandy Lace edging, and I don't think I like it for this shawl. I'll definitely use it on something else, but I think it would detract from the neat pattern of the fir cone stitch.

What does a Normandy edging look like, you ask? Well here you go:

I changed it a little bit; I made it into a 10-stitch repeat instead of 12, and I eliminated the yo in the center of the open parts (it liked kind of like a weird eye to me).

Here's a truly bastardized version of how it might look (through the wonders of Photoshop, although it's EXTREMELY quick and dirty):

The proportions are a little off, but you can get the general idea.

Here's my second edging attempt, again a frankenstein-ish conglomeration:

I'm also worried that the Normandy lace is a bit too time-consuming, since I'm supposed to be starting the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl on Nov 1 for the KAL. That's next week....

I'm definitely liking the second edging better. Now I just have to figure out how to miter the corners so it doesn't look weird on the shawl.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Life and times

Ryan is back to normal as far as his hives go. I had him back to the doctor this afternoon because he had so much mucus that Gillian asked "Mom, why does Ryan have those green things coming out of his nose?" I'll spare you the details, but it was gross. Since his cough was getting worse and he seemed miserable, back to the doctor we went. We're going to start some Zythromax and try to get the recurring ear infections cleared up, since the original antibiotic prescription got cut short. I'm not one of those people who beg the doctor for antibiotics all the time, since I understand the dangers of breeding "super bugs," but he's just not kicking this illness on his own. That's enough baby boy/health stuff!

I'm about 2/3 of the way done with my Fir Cone 3/4 shawl, amazingly! I've got the pattern memorized so it's going pretty quickly. I tend to fall asleep on the plain purl rows so I'm practicing "knitting back backwards" and I'm getting faster at it. I'm faster at purling back, but it's just so boring! I know it's an opportunity to count and make sure you're not off, but that just wasn't working for me on this pattern. It's just as easy to make adjustments on the knit side and I've only messed up once which was due to confusing myself about which row I was on.

Last weekend I went up to a friend's place by Grand Lake with some quilting friends and we had a GREAT time!! It was my first night away from Ryan and neither kid handled it particularly well, according to Greg (who is the most wonderful husband EVER). I got a fair bit of knitting done, and I'll post pictures when the project I started--and almost finished--is done. Woo hoo! It's something I've had in my head for a while, and it's nice to get it onto needles. I'm using a ribbon yarn that I got on a killer sale at Robert's Crafts in Idaho Falls, and I'm using US15 needles. After the 5s I usually use for lace, those are BIG honking needles!! I'm not really enjoying using needles that big, but it's giving me the look I'm going for. Here's a teaser:

The yarn isn't quite that shiny in real life, but I had to use a flash since it's dark outside. The color isn't quite right, as there's a touch more orange in the yarn, but you can get the idea. If it looks good I'll be posting the pattern here on my blog. We'll see.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Kiri photo session

My Kiri and I had a mini photo session earlier, and here are the results!

And here's a close-up of the stitch pattern and dye job:

I'm VERY pleased with it and I've been enjoying wearing it even though it's hasn't been too cold yet. Except in some over-air-conditioned buildings, that is, and usually only when I didn't have it with me.

What else has been going on in my life, you ask? Well, how 'bout this:

That's my boy, with a NASTY case of hives. He was on Amoxocylin (spelling??) for croup (which he picked up at the hourly day care place to which I RARELY take him) and an ear infection, and apparently he's allergic to the medicine. We were almost done with the bottle, and Tuesday morning when I got him up to take big sis to school, I had a nasty surprise when I took off his diaper--big, nasty, red rash areas around his waist and upper thighs. Talk about freaking out! An hour later, after rushing to the doctor, we started him on Benadryl to keep down the swelling and he's been recovering ever since. Man, was it nasty though! I have a picture of him in the tub which I'll edit and post. It's better now, thank goodness, and he's been back to his happy, very busy self since the same day the hives showed up, actually. Oh yeah, that orange on his forehead? Spaghetti sauce. That boy enjoys his food. :-)

While he doesn't look happy, he really has been his normal busy, happy self, with no itching. Amazing! But I'm still not eager to take him out in public unless I have to. He's so funny--he waves to everyone with what we call his "beauty queen wave." And believe me, people are starting when we walk his sister to her classroom at school. I keep wanting to yell "It's an allergic reaction! He's NOT contagious!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fir Cone 3/4 shawl

Well, I've decided to design a fir cone shawl, and I've managed to get it figured out after multiple starts (and frogging). By 3/4 shawl, it's 3/4 of a square instead of the regular triangular shawl, and I've started it lower to accommodate the neck.

Here's a photo of some of my progress:

I blocked the center portion because I just HAD to see how it looked, and I'm very pleased with it. I'm using a yarn from 100% wool lace-weight, color "flirtation." I got three skeins of it from eBay.

After this one I'm going to convert the Frost Flowers and Leaves Shawl from A Gathering Of Lace to a triangular shawl, then I'm going to work out a Faroese shawl, possibly with Fir Cone again. I'll be posting the pattern changes to the FF&L KAL (see button on right).

Friday, October 07, 2005

Don't laugh too hard...

Let me just preface this by saying that I have a head cold (for which I took a night-time cold pill which is making me feel drunk--but NOT in a good way-- as I type this) and I'm not normally this dumb. Really.

I'm working on a shawl design for the Shetland Lace Workshop over at the EZasPi list, which 'm designing as a circular (same start as the Frost Flowers and Leaves, some in the First Book of Modern Lace by Kinzel and others, I assume).

So I'm working on my cast-on, then my two plain rows of knitting, then I start into my chart (which I worked on for TWO DAYS). O.K., ktbl, yo, k, yo. Good, got that. Now here's the DOH! part: I forgot to do the next row as a plain round.

So, I try to start in immediately on round 5, only it was round 4—I didn't have that pesky plain row in there. "Huh," I'm thinking to myself, "how the hell do you put two yos together and have something workable in this pattern?!?"

Now mind you, I didn't have this thought just once; I've been stumbling over that ALL DAY. So I get through with round 3. For the third time. And I'm sitting there starting at it thinking WTH?? This is about the time I'm sure others have been tempted to throw things across the room. So I'm [still] staring at it thinking: "I know that others have done this. What in the world am I missing?"

Then, DING! The light goes on! (So light going on doesn't make a sound, but work with me here!) THERE'S A PLAIN ROW BETWEEN EACH CHARTED ROW. Once again, "doh!" I think it's time for bed. Hopefully to sleep tonight for the first time in about a week. Why yes, I would like some Brie with my whine.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Kiri dyed and blocking

Here are some pictures of the dying process:

That's my Kiri soaking in water and a little bit of Synthropol.

Here's the dyed Kiri:

And here's the shawl blocking, with my 4-year-old daughter next to it. You can kind of see the color change in the lower left wing of the shawl--those aren't shadows. I was going for a more varied effect, but then I messed with it in the dye bath too much. I may re-dye it down the road.

And here's a close-up:

The yellow band is part of the dye effect I was going for, although since I poked at it too much in the dye pot it's not as pronounced as I was going for. I'm very happy with it, though!

Kiri off the needles!

Wow, does that feel good!! Kiri is off the needles and ready to be dyed!

I ended up with six yards left over. That's right, SIX YARDS. Talk about cutting it close! I thought I'd end up having to rip out my swatches for the yarn. Here's what six yards of leftover Alpaca Cloud looks like:

I stewed about running out of yarn all day, so I decided to stay up and finish the dang thing so that I wouldn't lose any more sleep over it. The kids are both sick, and now Greg's sick too, and between my head cold and Ryan not sleeping at night, I'm a little on the tired side. Can't afford to lose much more sleep. But hey, knitting is keeping me sane at the moment!

And here's the unblocked shawl:

I ended up with 16 repeats (that's the first chart once, the second chart 16 times, then the last chart once). Not sure what I'll block it out to--we'll see after I get it dyed. I think I got the bind-off loose enough, since it's already going into the scallops and I haven't done any blocking yet.

I'm pretty happy with myself! Now the weather just needs to cool down so I can wear it. Oh yeah, and I need to dye it and block it.