Sunday, May 31, 2009

Knitter's Block?

I'm in a slump. I can't go back to working on my laptop cover since I don't have my yarn yet from knit picks. I swatched for Sylvi, but can't make myself commit to beginning it. I made up a pattern for a water bottle holder (Ravelry link) and started a second one in nylon, but haven't managed to finish the strap. That's all that's between me and completion, a strap, and I can't bring myself to do it. I still haven't frogged the sock I was complaining about in my last post, but I started another pair in for Hubby and although I am nearly done with the first sock, for some reason it's not making me terribly happy and I'm thinking about frogging it, too. I look at my stash, and instead of seeing the beautiful possibility of it all, I merely see how much stuff I have to do. Usually, casting on a new project is a moment of joy and excitement for me, but right now, the thought of having something else on the needles just makes me feel even more scattered. Ergg! Somthing's up, I don't know what it is yet, but I hope I get past it soon...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mixed Emotions - Warning! RSC Spoiler!

Note: This post was begun on Monday, but it's now Thursday, so not sure what will happen as far as dates on this thing.

I had a great mail day on Saturday when I went to my mailbox and discovered not one, but two packages of yarn! (yes, I realize I said I was "grounded" for the next six months, post-Stitches, but what the hell!) One package did not break my grounding, as it was ordered prior to Stitches. My memberships in two different sock clubs do not count!
That first package had my third installment from the Rockin' Sock Club. I can't show you the pattern, but the yarn is lovely and reminds me of amethyst (my birthstone for any of you who may want to send gifts).

The second package definitely breaks the deal I made with myself, but I couldn't resist when the KnitWitch herself offered to custom dye me some Tulane sock yarn. I think it looks beautiful and she called the colorway "Green Wave". She also did some for moevan's over in Pensacola, but she added some white to hers. I hope Molly shares a picture of her version with me! The yarn itself is superwash merino and feels so soft and cushy!

And now for the mixed emotions part - after all this warm, fuzzy yarn-joy, I decided to get back to work on the Aguona laptop cover that I started a while back. I had gotten interrupted by a couple of socks that demanded to be made. So I picked it back up and made great progress until I realized that I was going to be 5 rows short on the lighter red color! Dammit! This was a kit, don't you think they'd provide you with enough yarn to finish the stupid thing? Okay, I know what you're thinking, it must be a guage issue, but as far as I can tell, I'm pretty darn close on guage. I would think that the makers of kits would maybe take into consideration minor variations and give you enough to have a little cushion. But, that's not the case here, so I need to order more of the poppy color. This leads me to wonder if, since it was that close on the lighter red, if perhaps I should order more of the darker red, just in case. I think I'm going to so when I get back to work on this bad boy I can just finish it once and for all. (note: since writing this I have in fact ordered both colors of the yarn, but resisted adding any others. I did buy some needles and a book though to qualify for free shipping)
As I said, I've gotten distracted by a couple of pairs of socks, so here they are:

They're just plain vanilla socks that I made for my nieces for Christmas. I know what you're thinking - "Christmas?! Sarah, you do realize it's May, right?" Yes, I know, but I want to do a little Christmas knitting each month and that way I'm not freaking out at the holidays. Plus, I needed some portable knitting and the laptop kit didn't qualify. It requires way too much concentration.
I tried to pick back up the socks that I started working on when Bean last went to the Emergency Room, but realized that I had kinda screwed up the pattern and had to rip them out. They are from my other sock club that I belong to and look really cool. I love the yarn. I decided that I wanted to work them from the toe-up, which shouldn't have been such a problem, but somehow I managed to screw that up too, so I ripped them out again. I cast them back on and worked most of the leg of the first one, but when I tried it on, realized that it was never going to go over my heel (the pattern has very little give). So, I need to rip them out again and make them bigger, but I'm getting pretty sick of the pattern for right now, so maybe I'll just use the yarn for something else. Mind you, this is not a condemnation of the pattern designer, I think they look great and since she has a picture of someone wearing the sock on her pattern, obviously she is capable of producing a sock that will go over a normal human foot. This leads me to believe that either I knit too tight (the pattern consists of a lot of floats) or that I do not have a "normal" foot. Or some combination of the two....
Other happy things:
On Wednesday, I got a surprise package from Red Envelope which turned out to be such a lovely gift from my dear friend, Lara. She remembered that I take my rings off when I knit and sent me an adorable little elephant ring holder to put them on! It's already next to my bed and looks quite smashing with my rings around his trunk. In honor of another one of my friends, he has been named Ernie. No, I don't have a friend named Ernie, I have a friend named Megan who calls all elephants Ernie.

Also, just kind of a stupid happy. I discovered that Whole Foods has their own version of Lunchables (they call them Snackables), which contain chicken salad (WF has one of the yummiest chicken salads ever), grapes, pepper jack cheese, and crackers. It tastes delicious and has enough food to last me for at least two snacks during the day. I'm trying to snack rather than chow down during the day and see if that helps kick my metabolism into high gear.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Thanks to poor planning and rotten traffic, there was no visit to Fairhope, Alabama for me tonight. Boo hoo, no Harlot for me!

Your conversion to the dark side is nearly complete...

Not so long ago, in a galaxy that isn't so far away at all, there was a young man who didn't know jack about knit and crochet or the difference between wool, merino, cashmere or anything else like that. He teased his then girlfriend about her hobby and rolled his eyes often as he didn't understand the value of or the love she had for her pastime.

Flash forward a couple of years, the girlfriend is now his wife and the obsession has not abated, if anything, it has gotten worse, now supplemented by his income and her stay-at-home status. He has begun to concede that a knitting addiction is certainly favorable to some other habits his dear one could have, such as crack or heroin, but still is not sold on why she loves it so much.

Enter two pairs of handknit socks, just for him. Oooh, cozy. Hmm, maybe her knitting isn't so bad as long as he gets socks every now and then that hug his feet just so....he's even been caught in a bar with one of his friends explaining to said friend why his lady loves her sticks and string so much. And modeling for her blog every now and then, well that's just kind of fun.

Oh, what is that? She wants to go to Atlanta with a girlfriend she hasn't seen in 16 years for a "knit convention" and spend lots of money. Okay, sounds alright. (This is when I knew I was starting to get to him) He wasn't entirely sold on the fact that she really was just going for the knitting until he talked to her each night and heard all about how they were knitting and drinking wine until all hours in the hotel room.

Wow, she's been making some cool stuff since she got back. Fair Isle, he's kind of impressed by that....

And this weekend, she knew his training was complete when she began hinting that she might like to go see the Yarn Harlot tonight and instead of pointing out that Fairhope, AL was two hours away, he looked at her and said, "Well, it's not so far and you do love the Yarn Harlot, right?"

Fairhope - here I come!

Friday, May 8, 2009

On the Ferry to Fair Isle

I've decided (finally) to start working on some of the recent stash purchased from Knit Picks! Specifically, the laptop bag kit. I'm on about row 28 of 91. Fair isle takes a lot longer than I had anticipated, but I'm enjoying the colorwork and think it's going to be a fun challenge. It's knit in the round and once I'm done with the body, I get to steek for the first time. In other words, I get to cut the fabric so it becomes a flat piece. Scary! Here's where I am so far:

Let's see, what else has been happening around my house? Well, Hubby's been out of town all week, so I've had plenty of uninterupted knitting time in the evening. While I would much rather have him around, I have been enjoying my special yarn time. I still haven't gotten the zipper put into Bean's sweater, but here's a picture of it anyway. Bean seems to like it, hopefully it still fits in the fall, I underestimated how big it needed to be.

I had a lot of the yarn left when I was finished, so I decided to make myself a matching hat. It only took about three hours to whip out, but I think it turned out really cute. I was planning on taking a self-portrait while wearing it, but as I am broken out like a teen just hitting puberty, that's not going to happen.

After the hat, I decided to return to the yarn I had left from the Moderne Baby blankets, kimonos and hats and whipped out these two little kimonos. I made some changes to the pattern as written in the Mason Dixon Knitting book. Specifically, when you're adding stitches to the rows for the sleeves, the instructions tell you to use a backward-loop cast on. I didn't like this from the first two that I made, it seems a little too loose and sloppy to me, so I used a cable cast on instead. I really liked the result since it's more solid feeling to me. Also, on the first two, I used a yarn-over, k2tog to create the buttonholes. I decided this time to use a buttonhole technique we learned at Stitches from Chris Bylsma for a more tailored look. It involves binding off a number of stitches, then casting them on again to create the hole. Again, really happy with the result!

So, that's pretty much it for now. Hubby's getting in soon, (YAY!) so I'd better get ready to go get him.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Scary Stuff

Okay, so I finished Bean's LSU sweater two days ago, but have failed to post pictures because I have yet to put in the zipper. Yeah, I guess that means I haven't actually finished, but the knitting is done, so that's something, right? Anyhow, I have to pull out the sewing machine to complete this project and I'm kinda scared. If I pull it out, that means I have to complete those other sewing UFO's, doesn't it? I don't want to be a seamstress, I'm a knitter!

So, now having said that, hopefully I will get motivated to do this. Usually putting things out there for you guys puts me under the gun to be less of a slacker. Photos to follow soon!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Things That Make Sarah Happy

1. The new playhouse that Hubby built while Bean and I were out of town. It's designed to just sit in the lawn, but he built a platform and porch for it as well as laying down pavers for a walkway. I love that he also picked out potted flowers for the porch. How cute is he?!

2. My little citrus trees. Yes, I know they look like twigs stuck in dirt, but look at my lemon tree:

If you look close, those are lemons already growing.

And my tangerine tree

Actually has tangerines!

3. While we were in Florida, I took Hubby and Bean to the restaurant that I worked at during the last bit of high school and the beginning of college. Tough place to work, huh? I mean, the view was terrible....

Don't they look great together on the beach?

4. New FO's to share with you guys!

The Moderne Log Cabin baby blanket revisited. Yes, I know it looks exactly the same, but I did reverse some of the colors.

Two little baby kimonos out of the same yarn.

And three little baby hats (actually more like toddler size) out of the same yarn again. I'm trying to use up the stuff so it doesn't re-enter the stash. I have two more skeins of it in white which will probably become a couple more kimonos, but I had to quit for a little while, I'm kinda sick of the stuff for right now.

I'm almost done with the LSU hooded sweater I'm working on for Bean. The sleeves are made, I just have to sew them on. I had intended this to be a bit big for her, but I think it's going to fit just about right. I'll make the next one (which will be U of F colors) a little bigger.