Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A-Tinking I Will Go, A-Tinking I Will Go....

I thought I was going to finish my Angel Pearls scarf tonight.

HA! Said the knitting goddesses. Behold...

See that little tiny blob of yarn on the chart? That's all that's left. About 20 inches. Not nearly enough to finish those last few rows.

My choices are to either rip it back one repeat of the second chart and start the last chart, making the scarf 9 repeats instead of the 11 originally called for, or to buy another ball of yarn (at $15 a ball) for about 10 yards of yarn.

I'm going with the first choice.

Tinking this mohair is going to be a bit of a challenge, but it's still going to be a beautiful scarf. Notice I didn't say "frog" the scarf, because I already know you don't rip back with mohair, you tink back stitch by stitch if you want to re-use your yarn. If you're lucky. My plan is to run the needle along the last row of the repeat, and pull out everything to that point. That's a good five inches or so.

I was sitting in Panera with our Tuesday-night stitch group, happy with myself for almost being to the end of this scarf--I want to wear it while it's still cold--but obviously it's not to be!

On other fronts, I can now post a picture of one of the other things I've been working on:

These booties are for Jen, one of the ladies in the Tulsa Crochet group. Well, they're really for her new baby girl. Hopefully they'll still fit! They're from the same yarn as the previous booties, and the same pattern, but I did a little something different on the cuffs. The color is definitely not right--they're a very, very soft lavender. The ribbon is white.

This row counter bracelet is for Rori, put together by Tracy! She did a great job, but we both forgot to put on the stopper ring, so it had to come home with me again. It's now on her wrist, hooray!

Here are some more bracelets I've put together. I've got the materials for more, and the pink one needs a clasp. When the ladies at the K.N.I.T. Guild party saw the bracelet I brought some of them requested a bracelet so I plan to bring a bunch for them to choose among. Hopefully they'll go over well.

I'm really bummed about this next item. It's a charm bracelet that I made, with some very meaningful charms. I've been wearing it, stupidly, without a safety chain.

Yesterday I lost it somewhere between DD's school, the post office, and the bead store (where I was buying some safety chain and realized it wasn't on my wrist!!!). I still have to go by the post office and I really really hope someone turned it in.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Spinning a yarn

I'm actually spinning yarn, although I'm not sure how usable it'll be. It's definitely on the "novelty" side, lots of thick and thin areas. I sure am making it fast, though! I've been playing with a drop spindle from time to time, and while I wasn't producing yarn quickly, it was quite even. Hopefully I'll get to that point with the spinning wheel fairly soon, but if not I'm still really enjoying myself.

Here's a picture of the repairs we (my husband and I) made to the wheel:

But as you can see from the next picture, it works just fine now!

It's definitely novelty-ish, but it's also my first bit of yarn on this wheel.

I really really like this wheel! It's not one that's been well-known from what research I've done. It's a circa 1995-ish Fricke (rhymes with Ricky) and I LOVE the solid plywood wheel. It's never going to warp since it's not solid wood, but the veneer makes it look good. It also doesn't have an orifice as such; instead it has a triangular-shaped piece of metal that you thread the wool through. No need for an orifice hook! Believe me, that's a very good thing right now as I keep breaking the yarn and having to re-thread often.

It took me a little while to figure out the bobbin brake but I did it! I even made a little spring since I wasn't paying attention and managed to break the brake cord almost immediately. It needs to be loosened before you take off the bobbin, but I kept forgetting it was there. The spring allows it just enough give so that when I pull on the bobbin I remember to undo the brake cord before it breaks. I made the spring from some 18-gauge base-metal wire I have for making jewelry, so I don't know how long it'll last. I can always make a new one though.

Knitting-wise, I'm still working on the Angel Pearls scarf. I started the 10th repeat last night, then I'll move on to the chart that makes the decreasing point. I haven't been working on Greg's sweater. I need to get back to it, but I just haven't worked up to ripping out most of the sleeves yet. As soon as I finish the scarf I'm going to do that.

I've been working on some row-counter bracelets since people have been requesting them. I need to pick up a few more beads, then I'll post some pictures.

The kids are needing some outside time, so we're going to go out and enjoy the cold, but beautifully sunny, weather.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Wheel has arrived!

It's here, and I'm very excited!!

Unfortunately it's a little damaged from shipping, but it's totally fixable.

I'm also planning to add some blocking underneath that cross piece so that it doesn't happen again.

My Mom sent me some fiber that also arrived today. I'm so excited!

That's one quarter of the box. I'm going to have so much fun!

One pound of yummy wool! Now to come up with something easy and fast for dinner so that I can SPIN....

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Knitting various things

I realized that I still need to catch up on blogging about a few items I've knitted.

This is the hat and scarf set that I made for my Mom for Christmas. Thanks, Dad, for the pictures! For some reason I took some of the hat but never took any of the scarf!

The scarf is one of those diagonal ones that starts with a triangle, then builds with more triangles. It's a very neat yarn although the scarf gets very skinny as soon as you hold it up.

And here's an artistic shot:

These are some booties I made for DH's cousin, who had a baby back in June, I think! They might not fit, and I'm ashamed that it's taken me so long to get my act together.

The pattern is from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas. I love it! I think that baby booties with seams are ridiculous. Why make more work for yourself? I'm just a little opinionated about it. ;-) The yarn is King Cole's Baby Pure and it's great! I can see a lot of baby items made from this yarn. It's nylon and machine washable, which is definitely a good thing for baby stuff. Despite the color in the picture, they're actually a very very light violet.

Here's my Angel Pearls scarf, started at last! I'd been telling myself that I couldn't' start it until I finished Greg's sweater or one of my other lace projects OTNs, but I finally gave in.

Speaking of Greg's sweater, I've been working on the neck line. I did 4" of 2x2 rib, then did a rolled edge on top of that and didn't like it. Last night I ripped out the rolled edge and just bound off in pattern. I think it's going to be much nicer. Luckily I'm learning to NOT cut the yarn after the last bound-off stitch just in case.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

More beautiful ickyness

The weather is really really awful. Parts of the state have been decreed disaster areas. There's no school tomorrow, and there wasn't today. Many stores and restaurants are even closed!

It's really dangerous out there, but it's also stunningly beautiful. Be sure to click on the pictures to make them bigger.

This first picture amazes me because those lines on the chain-link fence are ribbons of ice. And just remember, there is not one bit of snow in these pictures--it's all ice.

I have a lot of pictures like this. These are the branches of our pecan trees, covered in about 1/2" to 3/4" of ice on the top edge of each branch. The way the sun shines through it is spectacular. Of course it's not warm enough to actually melt any of it, but it's beautiful.

This is one of the fences that just amazes me--be sure to click on the picture so that you can really see the almost 1" of ice on the top of each fence board. It's been two days, and it still pretty much looks the same.

I'm not ready for summer by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm also tired of being cooped up inside with two children. Snow I can handle, but this ice is just dangerous. The cul-de-sac is an ideal skating rink and is actually smoother than some outdoor rinks I remember skating on in Idaho as a child.

Oh, you want some knitting content? I'm almost done with the sweater for DH. I expect to block it tomorrow if all goes as planned, which of course it won't. I'm also going to cast on for my Angel Pearls scarf, which I'd hoped to have completed by now. Oh well.

The other news is that I'm getting a spinning wheel! I just couldn't pass it up. It's an older Fricke (rhymes with Ricky) and hopefully it'll be here early next week. I'm so excited! This picture is from the ad.

It's a single treadle, which I prefer, and I especially love how wide the treadle is. My legs are hyperextended (knock-kneed) and so double treadles make my knees hurt. Bad. I also LOVE that the wheel is MDF and faced with a hardwood veneer. My Mom says that you learn to spin with the wheel you have, so it's going to be wonderful.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Icky weather

The weather here is BAD.

Yes, I know I'm a little behind on my gardening. :-) I still have to prune all the dried and dead stuff, but it sure was fascinating to see how the ice formed on everything. Not pleasant to be out there with it, but interesting to see it.

It's raining ice, and everything has a thick coating of it. Sure, it may look like snow, but I was walking around outside earlier and it's all ice--about 1.5" from what I can tell. I didn't leave any footprints. The ice is that thick.

The other evening the kids played with a wooden puzzle that came from my Aunt Louise in Germany.

Here's what it looked like when they were finished. Luckily I'd taken a picture before they took it apart, too!

I've wanted one of these Christmas candle carousels for a very long time, and this also came from Aunt Louise. I took this picture last week, before the ice storm. Looks pretty warm out there, doesn't it? It was probably 60 or so. It's now 19 degrees and needless to say, it does NOT look nice out there at all.

Here's a pic of the sky earlier. This was at about 2:00 in the afternoon.

Monday, January 08, 2007

K.N.I.T. Guild holiday party

The K.N.I.T. Guild (Knitting Needles In Tulsa) holiday party was yesterday and I had a really good time! We had a really good turnout, in my opinion--18 people. The hostess' house was incredible, and it was fun to look around at all of her neat treasures. Her husband does stained glass and just about everywhere I looked there was something beautiful! They also had a great assortment of antique clocks, which I really enjoyed. None of them chimed while we were there, so my Dad would've been disappointed--his motto is "a happy house is one with a chiming clock on every wall!" LOL! They have "clockophany" a lot. ;-)

Back to the knitting party, here's the "Dirty Santa" gift I brought:

It's a row-counting bracelet. This went over really well, which I thought was great! I'm never sure exactly what to bring, but surprisingly (to me, anyway) most of the ladies there hadn't ever seen one. I think if it hadn't been one of the last gifts chosen it would've been stolen a few times.

And this is what I got:

Those are five scrumptious mother-of-pearl buttons that came in a cute stocking ornament! The buttons are a hair over 3/4" square, and I can't wait to design a cardigan around them. Thanks, Melissa H-N! She said they came from Naturally Needlepoint, so I might have to get a few more--they're just too neat!

The food was also excellent. I've asked for the recipes for everything people brought (anything that was home-made, anyway--I didn't plan well enough ran out of time and had to buy something to bring). I'll put them into the guild's February newsletter, and I'm looking forward to making some of them for my family.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Presents from Germany

I got a surprise in the mail from my Aunt Louise in Germany:

Three awesome balls of sock yarn that I've never played with before, and a tote bag! The only sock yarns I've played with have been Lion Brand Magic Stripes, and I've heard people rave about the ones Louise sent so I'm excited about trying them! I don't have any socks OTN at the moment, and I've been thinking about how I need to change my basic sock template to fit my foot better. I learn something new with each pair of socks! This next time around I'm going to try two socks at once on one circ (instead of two circs) so that I don't lose my place so easily. I need all the help I can get. ;-) I really love the reddish ball, so I'll probably start with that one. They're all so neat, it'll be a tough choice when it comes time to start! Of course, I need to finish Greg's sweater first....

Speaking of Greg's sweater, here it is in-progress, also known as "super secret project #1" in my sidebar. Now that he's seen it I can show pictures. I'm about 2/3 of the way done with the sleeves, then I only have the neckline and collar to finish. Woo hoo!!! I'm really tired of plain stockinette, but I think it's going to be a nice pullover. It's been a lot easier to work on now that I don't have to be so paranoid about him seeing it.

These wristlets and scarves are for Greg's boss' daughters. The pink/purple/blue yarn is a closeout ribbon yarn from Hancock fabrics and the black is Wool Ease. They were pretty quick to make--I did all of them in a week.

Hopefully the weather is going to cooperate this weekend so that we can take the kids, the bikes, and a lunch and go on a family bike ride. It's really dreary outside now, but it's not supposed to rain. We'll see....

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bike stuff

I've decided to name this year "the year of the bike" for our family. Yes, I realize we're only four days into it so far, but I'm going to be optimistic. :-)

DH used to ride a lot before we met. He gets this nostalgic look whenever he talks about it, and the kids are approaching the ages where we can go out as a family and have a good time. So I got a new bike for Christmas, and we also got a bike trailer and tow hitch to get us all to the bike trails. Riding bikes on roads here in Tulsa is insane, so people drive to the bike paths where they can ride in peace.

Here's my new bike:

And here's the boy in the new trailer:

And a little bit different view, with no children.

So far I set it up (including the handle and front wheel for the stroller set-up) and we walked to pick up Gillian from school. It does fit both children, but it gets heavy when Gillian gets in. She's 46+ pounds so that makes sense. Of course it could also have felt heavy because I hadn't noticed that the tires weren't inflated properly. LOL! They're big tires--20"--and go over bumps with no problem.

Hopefully this weekend we'll be able to go out as a family and ride around. I think Gillian really wants to ride her new scooter, which will make it easier on DH to pull just Ryan in the trailer. :-)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More Christmas stuff

I'm still trying to get photos of Christmas stuff, so I'll probably have another post or two before I get everything.

Here's a beautiful pair of earrings from my MIL:

There's a matching pendant as well. It's a beautiful set!! These are the things I drool over in catalogs but never end up buying for myself, so I'm thrilled. They're green amber, which is really neat IMHO.

This is a metal leaf from my parents. Again, this is what I drool over but never buy for myself. My sister and mom got gold ones, but I think this red/gold one suits me perfectly.

This wonderful tool is from my DH, who is the best husband ever!! He also bought me an outdoor sun shade to put in front of the garden window. Last year the neighbor took out a tree that had been shading that part of the house, and all my plants got cooked. Quite literally. I had to toss out the African Violet that had been, before the tree got cut down, quite happy and vibrant.

Oh, you're probably wondering what exactly that is, in the picture. It's a Wacom tablet, also known as a graphics tablet. It's fabulous!! It has the option of either using the mouse or pen, and I find myself using both. I love it!!

Here is a present from my sister, hand-spun from her very own hands!

It's merino and silk, and she gave me three hanks with an estimated total of 379 yards. I can't wait to figure out how to use it!

These are pictures of my re-organization in progress. My dad bought some new shelves, and my mom and I found some bins during a shopping expedition. The reason for all of this was that I'd piled the previous set of shelves WAY too full, and while my Mom and Dad were talking at about 9:30 the first night they were here, one of the set of shelves fell over onto my mom. This was not a good thing!! Luckily she wasn't hurt, and we managed to get everything back together so that they could go to bed. We went and bought new shelves the next day, although we didn't get everything shuffled until the day they were leaving. There's still barely enough room for the air mattress when we have guests, which is good.

More later....