Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Update

I just realized that it's been 10 days since my last post--shame on me! :-)

We went up to my sister's house in Illinois (hi Karen!) and that entailed a TON of preparation. It was our first major trip with two kids and they both handled it better than I thought they would. I've got such good kids! We started up on Tuesday evening and made it about 4½ hours up the road to a hotel. None of us slept well since we were all too tired and in a strange place, but we made it up to my sister's by about 3:00 on Wednesday. We made reeeaaaallly bad time due to a number of factors, but we did get there. And, we got a really good up-close look at the St. Louis Arch as we drove by on that frontage road. No, we didn't mean to be there. ;-)

Thursday we went to one of Karen's knitting friend's house and had a great Thanksgiving meal! Karen and I made two apple pies (delicious!!) and yam balls (which were good--but her layered yams are much better) that morning so we were tired by the time evening came around. After we ate the kids played and the rest of us sat around and gabbed and knitted. Well, the men sat around and the women knitted. ;-)

Friday Greg (my wonderful husband) replaced the door that goes from Karen's family room to the garage with a 2-hour door, which also involved widening the opening. It'll now be possible to get furniture through that door which should greatly simplify things when she moves. Then Karen and Greg put insulation on the hot water pipes in the crawl space which made a HUGE difference in the length of time it takes to get hot water to her half-bath. We got back on the road at about 2:15 on Saturday afternoon, after Ryan had his nap and Greg and Karen finished up a few things. We made excellent time home and got to our house just after midnight. That included a one-hour stop at Cracker Barrel for dinner, which was delicious.

One of the projects I took along was a Christmas present for someone (and I'm not saying who or posting a pic until after Christmas) and I managed to finish it today. More details later.

Now I just have to finish about five six more knitting projects before Christmas. HA!! We'll see....
I'm almost done with Greg's Christmas stocking, which I'm trying to copy from a stocking my mom made for me when I was very young. It's not too bad--I managed to match the cream and red she used, although the green is a little darker. I'm going to redo the top band with his name on it because I relaxed a bit too much on the colorwork. I was worried about being too tight on it, which I what I usually do, but went a bit overboard. I've tried pulling on various things but it's such a jumble back there that I think it'll be easier to just redo it. Then I need to do Gillian's stocking and Ryan's stocking. I figure that they do have back-up stockings from last year, which were just pre-printed things we stitched up, so we can use those if I don't manage to get them done.

And tonight I picked up my Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl again and did four more rows! That's about 45 minutes at this point, so I'm not doing too badly. It's the first project I've done where there's something to do on the purl rows, too, so it's not as easy to catch mistakes as I'm used to. So now I'm up to row 87, woo hoo!

I haven't been feeling well (headache, sinuses bothering me, nauseau, etc) so I had a little (two hours but with tons of interruptions) nap today. Poor Greg had this when we got home, and I remember he crawled into bed and stayed there for a while on Sunday, poor guy. On the upside, it doesn't seem to last very long. I missed knitting night tonight, and I didn't go to my Sew and Sews meeting last night (quilting group), but hopefully I'll kick this thing and start feeling like I want to leave the house again other than to take Gillian to school and pick her up. Whine whine whine. At least it's a minor thing that should pass quickly. I have too much knitting and cleaning to do to be ill for long! :-)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

First pair of socks done

I've been bitten by the sock bug. I had a great time making these for Gillian, DD!


The heels are too short so they pull down in the back just a bit on her, but she doesn't seem to care. I had a hard time getting the first one off her (before I even started the second one....)


I actually started a sock for myself before these, and finished it while the first of Gillian's socks was in progress. I'm not thrilled with it and probably won't make one to match. The texture of the purl stitches on the inside bothers the bottoms of my feet, so I'm planning to do the bottoms in reverse stockinette on the next pair. I also need to drop down a needle size since apparently I loosened up after the ribbing. I usually drop down two needle sizes from the suggested size, and socks seem to be no exception! :-)

I'm looking forward to Gillian asking me if she can wear her new socks with her sandals. :-)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fir Cone REVISIONS

I managed to leave out some rather important information, like yarn weight and how much!!
I'm working on a new introductory page for the pattern that will include that kind of information, so I hope to have that added late this evening.

For those of you who already have the pattern, here's the pertinent info:
The yarn is lace weight; I got mine from http://www.handpaintedyarn.com, and it started out in the "flirtation" colorway. I overdyed it because when I joined the second hank in the middle of the border the color was MUCH darker. Keep in mind that these balls were part of a set of three that were packaged together so I assumed (silly me, you know what they say about assuming) that they'd be close enough that you wouldn't notice. NOT!!!

I used approximately 4.25 ounces of yarn, which should be around 1,030 yards. Since this yarn is a bit on the thick-and-thin side, and due to variations among knitters, I'd recommend purchasing 1,200 yards. The yarn I used is supposed to be 850 yards per skein. Notice I said supposed to be. Mine was not. No big, at the price I paid I don't feel like I got cheated, but it does make it slightly more difficult to plan. My bag of three hanks was almost 1.5 ounces shy, but it wasn't a big deal for what I wanted it for.

So I'll add this info to the pattern and repost it late tonight. Thanks, everyone, for your help!!

Much later.....
I've posted the revisions!!
We're now at version 1-2, so if you have anything earlier you'll want to trash it and download the new one. It's grown to 9 pages, so it's a big file--be patient! I've included written instructions as well as the charts.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Fir Cone Shawl pattern is up!

I've been extremely productive today (compared to the last few days, anyway!)--I'm finally starting to beat this head cold (I hope!!).

It's still a little rough, and NO ONE HAS TESTED IT YET, but I've posted the pattern for my Fir Cone shawl here and I've added it to the sidebar.

If you make it, please let me know--I'd love to see it!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Anemone pictures

It occurred to me that it might be nice to acutally POST more pictures of the Anemone for those who are interested, so here goes.


Now it's probably just the fact that I don't have my contacts in yet and I have a head cold, but the rest of the pictures are pretty bad. LOL!

Dyed Fir Cone

I dyed my Fir Cone shawl last night (in between rounds of trying to get my almost-2-year-old to sleep) and it's blocking now.


The carpet sucks obscures the pattern a little bit but you can get the general idea. I'll take some better ones tomorrow or Sunday. This took me about two hours to get right--I knew it looked off but until I got down with a tape measure, picked a center point, and measured about 20 different directions, I figured out where things needed to move. It's still not perfect but it's close enough for me until its next blocking (shudder!!).



I'd thought that it would block out into 3/4 of a square but it REALLY didn't want to--it wanted to be in a more winged shape.

Overall, I think I'd give this finished item a 6 out of 10 on an expectation rating; I thought I'd like the non-pointy end over my butt, but I think it's reeeaaaaly bad--I don't need another horizontal line there to emphasize my width. I'm also disappointed with the wool, especially after the gloriousness of the Alpaca Cloud I used for the Kiri. I'm pretty happy with the color though, which is why this project is scoring as high as it is. Before dying it was hovering in the 4 out of 10 range, so things are looking up. I added a little too much red to the bath (one of these days I'll remember to wait until ALL the dye has been absorbed before I start "correcting") but I think it's fine. Not as blue as I wanted, but totally livable and a big improvement over the differences between the skeins.

Sorry for being pissy and negative--head cold that the rest of the family has is finally hitting me, and I hate having a sore throat. Whine! Hopefully things will look up after more sleep (4 hours last night and about 4½ the night before do NOT make for a happy camper).

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Anemone Pattern is up up up!!

After multiple tries all day, for some reason the computer gods smiled and the same thing I've been doing finally worked!

The Anemone PDF is up on my site!!!
Here it is and I'll also put it on the sidebar on the right.

Woo hoo!!

I'd love feedback on it, so feel free to share!

If anybody has any ideas about how to fix the sidebar graphic header being off (which didn't bother me a first, but now it's driving me nuts), I'd love to have some help fixing it. Don't ask how I screwed it up. LOL!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Fir Cone knitting finished!

At long last (it's been one day less than a month!) the Fir Cone shawl is done as far as the knitting goes. It hasn't really been long at all, and I'm pretty proud of myself for getting it done relatively quickly. This is far from the best picture, but I'm going to dye it so I didn't bother pinning out the whole shawl.

I'm really not happy with how much darker the second ball of yarn is. It's totally obvious on the border.


You can really see it in the first picture. So, I'm going to over dye the whole shawl! I think I'm actually going to paint it rather than do a dye bath, so that I can control the dye a little bit more and not get the already-too-dark border any darker. We'll see how it goes. The whole shawl may end up a really dark blue.

So except for the color differences between the two balls of yarn, I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. I have to have decent pictures of it by Monday the 14th in order to enter the Shetland Lace Workshop contest on EZasPi, and I also want to take it to knitting guild and show it off (also the 14th). It's a good thing I have deadlines!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

REJECTED!!

I got a very nice email from Amy at Knitty.com that they aren't going to take my Anemone design for the Winter issue. Dang! Dang for me, that is--good for you, since I'm going to post it on my website instead.

So, now I can post a picture of it:

It's a neck gaiter with a flirty ruffle--lots of fun! Best of all, it's fairly quick to make, and very portable for while-in-transit projects. So why is it a neck gaiter and not a cowl, you ask? Well, that would be because it's tighter than a cowl--it very lightly hugs the neck, while a cowl drapes more around the neck. Now what's a wimple, you're wondering? Well, that's a larger cowl that can be pulled over the head like a hood, kind of. Yeah, that was probably more info than you wanted, but there it is anyway.

So now I just need a rejection from KnitPicks and my pathetic knitting life will be complete. Oh wait, no, I'll need to not win anything in the EZasPi Shetland Lace contest, too. Ha!! One good thing about being an established quilt pattern designer is that I'm used to rejection from publishers. I'll just have to keep designing. Gee, how awful. ;-) Throw me into that briar patch!

So, give me a day or so and I'll put up a link to the pattern, downloadable in PDF format. It'll take me a little while to remember how to do that, since it's been a while. :-)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Triangular Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl

I'm doing a happy dance--or at least I would be if I weren't so tired. I got the first chart redone (and tested!!) for the Frost Flowers and Leaves KAL from A Gathering of Lace (see button at right). I decided that I really didn't want a square shawl so I decided to make it triangular. I posted my thoughts to the list and other people are interested in doing that also, so I had to clean things up enough that others could follow my instructions.

So here's my test knitting, which is chart 1:

It's not blocked, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to end up overdying it. I think the variegation of the yarn obscures the stitch patterns, although it worked fine for the Fir Cone shawl (which isn't done quite yet--had a deadline on this one to do first!).

So now I have to get a bamboo size 4 circular needle since my size US4 9" straights aren't big enough to continue without packing the stitches onto the needle really tightly. Woo hoo, yarn shop here I come! ;-)