Thursday, June 28, 2007

Confession of Minor Idiocy

I almost hate to admit it, but I have to wallow in my shame for a few minutes.

I made a fundamental math error when calculating how many repeats I'd be doing on my Shetland Tea Shawl border. Instead of 36 repeats, since each TWO rows of edging bind off ONE shawl stitch, there are 72 repeats, not 36.

So instead of being almost finished (and please, don't ask my why I didn't notice that I wasn't even close to half-way finished...) I'm three repeats away from being only HALF finished.

Le Sigh.

It has become blindingly obvious (a little late, DOH!) that there is no possible way this shawl is going to get finished before the first clue of the Mystery Stole 3 comes out tomorrow.

Le Grande Sigh.

The good part is that I don't need the needles from the Shetland Tea Shawl for the Mystery Stole 3, so I don't have to but the STS on waste yarn or anything. I had just really hoped to have one fewer projects going when I started a new one. Oh, well.

It sure did feel like the edging was going unusually fast.

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I managed to dye a second batch of yarn for my MS3, since I wasn't in love with the greenish tint to the first batch but Lynn loved it. We went bead shopping (again, for me) and I found some pretty blue beads that should compliment my yarn quite nicely. Of course I'm not going to swatch again since I'm happy with my yarn/needle combination from the last swatch, and the yarn has only changed colors, not weight. Yeah, no comments about daring the knitting gods/goddesses/karma to knock me down again--at least I swatched the greenish yarn. :-)

Hopefully I'll have pics of the yarn tomorrow. I actually blew the yarn dry with a hair dryer, but it was too dark for pics by then. Maybe tomorrow. As Scarlett says, "tomorrow is another day." [I'm feeling a smidge dramatic at the moment. LOL!!]

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Totally unrelated to knitting, I had a 3 Musketeers Dark Chocolate Mint candy bar the other day and that is my new favorite candy bar! I didn't really have a favorite before, but oh man, that is just delicious. It came in two little bars so I was able to spread the goodness out over four days. :-) mmmmmmmmmmm yummy!

Frappr map of MS3

I've added myself to the Frappr map for Mystery Stole 3. I LOVE these maps--it's so fun to see where everyone is, and it really drives home that the internet is an amazing thing for bringing people together from all over the world.

Click here to see the map.

More later, after I've gotten my yarn dyed....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mystery Stole 3 Swatch

I did a little bit of swatching for the Mystery Stole 3 KAL, and this is what I came up with:


I'm very pleased with the open-ness of the lace; I know that many people would think it's too open, but I've gotten used to looking at the Shetland shawls/stoles and that look really appeals to me.

The beads are so hard to show properly, so here it is on black:

You can really see how open the stockinette sections are. I like them. :-)

Here you can see the sparkly-ness of the silver-lined crystal beads, but you don't really see the verdigris-ish matte beads at the bottom.

This is pretty true to how it really looks, with the greeny beads so much darker than the yarn. If the yarn was a little darker I'd love them, but I'm not real happy with them in this case.

Now, after all of that, Lynn (blogless, sadly) is going to use this yarn with the sparkly beads for her MS3. I'm going to dye some more yarn, and go for a little more grey yarn this time (I think!).

Relevant info about the swatch:

  • yarn: KnitPicks' Paint Your Own lace-weight merino, marinated in the stash for about nine months and hand-dyed by me last week.
  • needles: Crystal Palace size 5/3.75mm bamboo.
  • size: 8.5" wide. Quite a bit larger than Melanie's 6.5" but that's all right with me!
  • beads: top are silver-lined clear crystal, bottom are a greenish-slightly bluish matte bead. Both are 8/0s.

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Over at Caps for a Cure, there's a drawing every so often and I won one of the prizes for this round! I'm excited because I've never used this yarn before. It's hand wash so I won't use it for a chemo cap (since I think those really need to be machine wash yarns). Not sure what I am going to use it for, but I love it!

We're thinking about having a cast-on party for the MS3 on Friday, but of course nothing is worked out yet. I'm a little slow sometimes. :-)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Victorian Lace Socks KAL


Last month I decided to join the SixSox KAL group, but I lurked through the one they were knitting, the Horcrux socks. I hope to do them at some point but I knew I had to do the current one as soon as the pattern was posted. I debated about ordering some plain yarn but decided that I really should try to use up some of the yarn I have in my stash.

Here's my progress up to yesterday afternoon:


And here's my latest on my Shetland Tea Shawl:

And here's a pic of my chart and scribbling, just for the heck of it:


I've got 12 of 36 repeats finished.
I also managed to dye some yarn that my friend Rori is going to use for the Mystery Stole 3:

I used KnitPick's Paint-Your-Own yarn (the precursor to Bare) and Pro-Chem dyes. Here's a shot of how my yarn is usually drying:

Not sure what the neighbors think, but it doesn't happen all that often and I don't know that they really care. They already know I'm a little weird.

My contest for what's different about my Swallowtail shawl is still going! I'll draw from all of the correct guesses on Friday, June 29th so leave me a comment with what you think is different about my shawl. Just in case you need a refresher about what it looks like:

And here it is pre-dying, modeled by Judie Overbeek:


The other project (well, one of many, truthfully!) has been tearing down the old front porch railing, ripping it apart, and rebuilding it about 12" lower (and building it better, of course!). Here's a before pic:


And here's how it looks now:


We need to prime and paint, preferably without "help" from little hands (which is why it isn't already done). It may not be all that different in the picture, but what a massive improvement! We can now sit there and not have the top rail going right in front of our eyes. We always felt like we were hiding.

And just for the heck of it, here's a beautiful lily in our mailbox flower bed:


Tomorrow night is KnitWit Night, which I always enjoy. Eight hours of eating, knitting, and chatting! You just about can't beat that. :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mystery Stole 3

After lurking (and not knitting along) during the first Mystery Stole, and not joining the second one at all, I decided to bite the bullet and join this one, Mystery Stole 3.


I'm going to use some wool that's been marinating in my stash, KnitPicks' lace-weight dye-your-own yarn. It's been in my stash long enough that it's not the Bare yarn, although I'm sure it's technically the same, just a different name. "Bare" is a lot easier to type than "Dye-Your-Own."

I'm going to dye dye the yarn a soft color, not sure what yet, and then do a little bead shopping.

My goal is to have my Shetland Tea Shawl finished by the 29th of June, the start date of the Mystery Shawl 3. I'm on repeat #10 of the edging (of 36) so it might just get done, but we'll see. Pictures later this evening, I hope....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

11th Wedding Anniversary

Friday was our eleventh wedding anniversary, and my wonderful husband brought me a dozen stunning roses:





They're even more beautiful now, as they're starting to open up more.

We went out to dinner without the children (we took them to an hourly daycare place that they love and never want to leave) and then went to Barnes & Noble, browsed through some books and had a cup of coffee. We watched the unveiling of the Buried Car on TV from the restaurant, and it was sad to see it in such poor condition.

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In Shetland Tea Shawl news, I'm on repeat number nine of 36 of the border. I'm quite pleased with it, but it isn't very photogenic at this point. I'm trying to get the border done and the shawl off the needles so that I can use them for the Mystery Stole 3. I haven't settled on a yarn color yet, although I'm leaning toward a very pale grey. I've got plenty of KnitPicks' Bare lace-weight yarn, so I'll use that. Once the yarn is dyed I'll pick up some beads. This will be the first time I'll actually knit along with a mystery project so it should be fun.

I started a Baby Surprise Jacket (by Elizabeth Zimmermann) a month or so ago, and with the short spurts of working on it, it's getting close to being finished. I'm just using Red Heart acrylic yarn since I have it in my stash. Hopefully I'll take a picture and post it soon.

That's all the news for now, although I have some catch-up things I need to post soon.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Shetland Tea Shawl border--finally!

I think I've finally found the border for my Shetland Tea Shawl:


It's not really what I thought I was looking for originally, but it feels right to me. It's Leslie's Double Rose Leaf Lace Edging from knitting-and.com.

I'm thinking about trying to make it so that the leaves go the other way; most of the edgings seem to have their joins on the right-hand side of the work, but I prefer to have mine on the left-hand side. That way I can join the border to the shawl at the end of the right-side rows. [Yes, I know I'm odd, but hadn't you already realized that?] Then again, I might just leave it.

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The other night at our Panera knitting group, a reporter from the community section of the TulsaWorld approached us and asked if she could interview us. There were only three of us at the time, and of course we gabbed at her for a while. She took some pictures (which I kinda fear to see--not sure I want to be in the newspaper) and said the article will run in this Wednesday's local section. Could be interesting! :-)

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I didn't get a chance to knit in public today, the official International Knit In Public Day. That's not to say I didn't knit, just that I didn't do it in public. The only time we went out in public was to go swimming at a neighborhood pool, and I didn't bring my knitting since I didn't anticipate there being an opportunity to knit.

Unfortunately, we also didn't anticipate the *&%@#@* GMC Yukon not starting when we tried to go home. Long story short, Greg went home and got the van while I waited for a tow truck, and we made it home. The Yukon is currently in the parking lot of the repair place. We're 99.99% sure it's the "fuel sending unit" A.K.A. the fuel pump.

There goes the yarn/hobby budget.

Poor Ryan; the kids and I were standing in the parking lot (with the car seats next to us) watching the Yukon ride on the back of the tow truck and I said "wave goodbye to the truck, kids!" and Ryan started bawling. "No! I want our truck! I don't want my truck to leave!" Poor kid. It's not like he hasn't seen the truck being towed on at least four other occasions.

I'm so glad we have AAA.

Have I mentioned lately that I never want to own another American car?

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This evening I finished up the last of the six plain rounds before the edging on my Shetland Tea Shawl, so I should be starting on the edging tomorrow. Woo hoo!!! I'm excited about being so close to finishing this project. It's been a fun one, although I really should have finished the other two lace shawls I've got on the needles before I started this one. They've barely been touched since January, but I'll get to them soon.

Speaking of more lace projects, I signed up for the Mystery Stole 3. Yes, I really don't need another lace project, but what the heck. Chances of me having my Shetland Tea Shawl finished by the start date are pretty slim, but hopefully I'll be close. Our quarterly Knit Wit Night (we start at 4:00 and go to midnight) is coming up so hopefully I'll be able to get a bunch done on the edging then.

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I'm going to start on my Knitting Journal at long last. I bought a post-bound album (and a pack of refill pages--am I optimistic or what?) and I have a general idea of a layout, so we'll see how it goes. I really want to document my projects and they're all starting to run together in my head. Who am I kidding? I can barely remember the projects I did last month much less two years ago. Hopefully my notes on the computer and here on my blog will be enough to jog my memory. I'm looking forward to it! I might even take it to our monthly guild meeting (although not this month's--I doubt I can get it put together that quickly).

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Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a pic of a repeat or two actually on my shawl....

Friday, June 08, 2007

Spinning and Lace Knitting

I've been neglecting my blog for a few days, and I don't have a good reason other than the weather is pretty good and school is out (so I've got both kids home with me).

I've gotten some things finished up and photographed, which took me a few days.

Here's my Augsburg Doily, from a German Lea magazine:

It's much bigger than in the magazine. I'm not totally sure what weight/size crochet cotton it called for, but I used size 10 and mine came out to 34.5" instead of the 18.5" the magazine had. I'm quite happy with it! (The darker outline on the sheet is from the spray starch.)

Here is one of the pair of socks I just finished. The other was in the bottom of my bag, and I missed picking it up when I grabbed stuff to photograph.

This yarn is so hard to photograph and get the color right. It's close in this picture but still not quite right. It's much more vibrant in real life. The yarn is Wildfoote Handpaints in the Ragtime colorway.

While I was outside with the kids and my camera, I decided to take a picture of my Shetland Tea Shawl. I'm at the final six rounds before the edging so I'm getting close! This is another yarn that's hard to photograph. It has purple and yellow in with the red, and you can't really see the beads on this.

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I've been doing a tiny bit of spinning, and I just had to show off this little bit I did last night:

I wish I could remember what type of wool this is! Hopefully I'll be able to find my receipt at some point. This is some I picked up at the Snake River Fiber Fair.

Here's the other stuff I've been working on spinning:

It's wool, angora, and angelina, and I'm trying to spin it very fine. (Click on the picture to make it bigger.)

Here's the finished yarn from the King's Ransom roving my sister sent. It's wool with silk (that's the yellow) and it was fun to spin!

It's a great mix of purple, blue, and reds along with that yellow. I'm thinking about using it for felting but I'm just not sure yet. Perhaps it'll become a larger version of the bag in my previous post.

Speaking of the Bucket Bag in my last post, after consulting with my sister I've come to the conclusion that yes, I will use black Manos to finish the bag. Another trip to the yarn store....

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Tomorrow is Knit In Public Day, and I don't know if I'll actually be out in public, but if I am I'll bring my knitting (as usual). On one of the email lists I belong to, there is a group of knitters who are planning a flashmob in a department store: they'll gather at an appointed time in the gentleman's section of a department store, knit one round/row on a small project, and disperse. I think it's absolutely hysterical.

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Thank you all for your wonderful comments! There have been a few guesses about what's different on my Swallowtail, and I'll post a pic of the prize and actually draw from the correct answers this weekend.

Happy Knit In Public Day (tomorrow)!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New "Toy"

Well, it's not really a new toy--my Mom bought it for me for my birthday about five years ago, but I just now re-found it and put it together. I'd been thinking about it for a few days, then decided to look in a box under some things I hadn't pulled out yet, and there it was!

What is it, you ask? It's a Colorcube, and it shows the "fundamentals of color" (but don't let that scare you) and I fell in love with it when I saw it. [No, Greg, not fall-in-love-get-married, but fall-in-love-oh-my-I-must-buy-that-and-put-it-together-and hang-it-from-the-ceiling.] There's something about color theory that I just love. It's so simple yet so complex.

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When we were at the Snake River Fiber Fair, I must confess that I stalked some knitting. Not too much since I had to go to my classes, but I did study a lady's bag quite intently. I wish I'd asked her about it, but I missed my opportunity. I was THRILLED when I looked through the most recent issue of Knitter's Magazine, because there it was!! Her bag was quite a bit larger, I suspect, but I'll follow the directions for the first one. After that all bets are off.

Anyway, here's my third pentagon, with some stitches picked up around the edges and a purl round partially completed. I think I'm going to rip the black yarn out, though, and get something a bit heavier. I don't think I have enough to double strand the yarn, but I really should stop being lazy and measure. Then I'd know for sure! [Added later: Nope, not enough black yarn to double it--barely enough to do it single-stranded! It's been ripped and will have to wait until I can purchase more yarn. Ouch ouch, quit twisting my arm! LOL!]

The yarn is Manos, and I have to admit that I just don't get the obsession with it. Yeah, the colors are vibrant and beautiful, but the thick-and-thinness of the yarn is bugging me. Especially not at $15 a hank. We'll see if my opinion changes after felting.

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My DS loves the vacuum. I'm not sure if it's because it's got wheels, a headlight, and makes a lot of noise, but he really wants to help me vacuum. Of course I'm not supposed to be vacuuming at all (I've got two herniated discs in my back), so I let him do a little bit this time around.

He was very intent and did a good job! Of course the fun wore off after about eight minutes, but he did help. He also ran around and picked up all his cars and toys that had been scattered around the living room which was a tremendous help (you can see some of them on the ledge in the background--he's got close to 100 Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars).

He's such a good helper when he wants to be.

Speaking of his obsession with all things with wheels, here he's taken parts from his Mega Fort and made a "car" that he "drives."

I helped him with the handle part, but he put the base thing on the bottom, made the bottom part, and drove it around all by himself. The way he holds it and pushes it, the base part turns around just like a wheel. Of course he ends up going around in circles with it, making vrooom noises. I love the way my kids find alternative ways to play with things!

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I've got about 1/2" left on my socks. They're just plain top-down socks with an eye-of-partridge heel flap. They've taken me longer than I'd like them to, especially since the new Six Socks pattern is up, but I'm almost done. Of course they'd have been done long ago if I'd actually worked on them instead of working a few rounds, then picking up other projects. ;-) Hopefully I'll have pictures of them on my feet in my next post.

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I've gotten a few guesses about what's different on my Swallowtail shawl, and I'll post pics of the prizes in the next post, so keep the guesses coming! If I get more than one correct answer I'll put all of the correct ones in a hat and pick one or two.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Return to Cross Stitching

I haven't done cross stitch for many years. Then, this book caught my attention and I had to get it. And make something.

The author of the book has a customer gallery and she put one of my stitcheries in there. [Warning, the "f word" is used quite a lot at this site, which I find absolutely hysterical--there's something crass and ironic about cross-stitching curse words. Not that I have. Yet.]

Anyway, here's a link to mine, which is the second one down.

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Oh yeah, anybody notice anything different about my Swallowtail Shawl? I tweaked the pattern just a bit. There might be a prize if you leave me a comment....

Thanks for all the lovely comments on my Swallowtail! I'll try to get a pic of me in the shawl at some point, as requested by the "other Kat," Kathy L. Yes, there are at least three of us with the same name, but I haven't "met" the one that wrote the hiking books. Wow, that was quite a tangent. Time for me to go to bed, methinks.