Friday, January 27, 2006

I read a previous version of this study that Seattle is the most overpriced city in the US a few years ago, but everytime I tell anyone they say "no, LA/San Francisco/Boston/Manhattan is so much worse." Now I am vindicated. I would feel so much better if it weren't such a bad thing to be right about... (or if I could smirk about it while living somewhere else).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I'm too tired to take and post photos, but I finished the first sleeve of Mark's sweater tonight. Due to the top-down technique, I have already knit the first 40% of the length of the second sleeve. And don't forget that every 4th row decreases, so I've barely got anything left! I also have a baby sweater I started (for the third time) yesterday that I knit in the round, split for the sleeves, knit the front, and made both sleeves. All I need is the last half of the back and I'm ready for February. (I'm kidding about that. February can wait. I have a lot more to accomplish.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well, I've been tagged:

Four movies you would watch over and over:
When Harry Met Sally
Sliding Doors
The Princess Bride

Four places you have lived:
Minneapolis, MN
Denver, CO
Seattle, WA
Hell Columbus, MS

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Arrested Development
The Red Green Show

Four places you have been on vacation:
The American Southwest
Western Europe
The Czech Republic

Four websites you visit daily: (this one feels like cheating)

Four of your favorite foods:
Cheese (the smellier, the better, but I love it all)
Dark chocolate (if I won't drink milk, I certainly don't want it in my chocolate)
Avacados (oh crap... I remember buying one of those not so recently)
Fruit (any kind but bananas, the devil's fingers)

Four places you would rather be right now:
Mississippi (isn't life odd?)
Minnesota/Alaska (anywhere with a real winter)
Maui (if you're not going to have winter, do it right)
New Zealand (there must be someplace there that starts with an M)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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Pattern: Fiber Trends Leaf Lace Shawl
Yarn: 2 skeins Honey Lane Farms Alpaca DK
Needles: US10.5
Changes: One fewer pattern repeats
Comments: I actually finished this yesterday but had to wait for it to dry. This knit up incredibly quickly. If you just count the first time I knit it, it took a week. I had some minor (by which I mean major) problems with the quantity of yarn. I knit all the pattern repeats, and got three quarters of the way through the edging. Oh well, I'm flexible. I ripped back, started the edging again, and only did half and bound off. 5/8 of the way off, to be exact. I went to find more yarn in the right color and failed. I hemmed and hawed about spending the $28 to buy a whole new skein that I would need two yards of and wouldn't really want the extras. I put it away for a few days. I picked it back up and ripped back one pattern repeat. I knit the edging, and bound off. 5/8 of the way. Damn. I hadn't so much ripped back a pattern repeat as ripped out the edging and tried again exactly the same way. I threw it aside in disgust. I decided the damn thing was going to be finished, and it was going to be finished NOW (I would finish, block, and then decide if I really needed more yarn). I actually ripped back a pattern repeat, and voila! I can't wait to wear it tomorrow. I really need it in my office. I may try to get a more artistic picture. The bed is the only thing with decent contrast, but then since I'm so short I really need something even higher than that to stand on.

Oh, by the way, I finished the baby hat and the socks as well.

I just signed up for Sockapalooza; you should too. Hurry, you only have until midnight, EST Tuesday night.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Given that the cheering, chanting, and screaming from downstairs have not stopped since I walked in the door, I'm guessing the Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. Rah.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Last night was the monthly spin-in at Weaving Works. I unfortunately didn't have it together enough to get over to WW when they were still open to pick up some new fiber, so I spun very slowly and still ran out well before the end. I used my drop spindle a bit to, but also ran into supply issues. I now have two bobbins of single ply worsted-ish weight yarn in shades of blue, gray, and purple. It's definitely large enough to use as singles, but I was really looking forward to what would happen with the randomly combined colors when I plied it, so I may still do so and just end up with some really chunky yarn.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

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Alpaca Ski Cap of my own design (pattern available at the Fiber Gallery), knit out of Frog Tree Worsted (yumm) on size 5 needles. If anyone signs up, I'll be using this to teach a class on two-color knitting.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I'm getting organized, and therefore finding a ton of unfinished projects. Shall we take an inventory? (Note: Some of these photos are a bit out of wack due to odd angles. I swear all of the items are nicely proportioned.)

Project: Hugs and Kisses Socks from IK '05
Due Date: Unsure, maybe for some unknown baby of a friend, otherwise 1 July for Dulaan
Status: Needs... ahem... toes kitchnered

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Project: Basic Baby Hat
Due Date: ASAP (long-forgotten shop sample)
Status: Must knit another inch or so and decrease

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Project: Felted Sheep Tote
Due Date: None
Status: Needs another 1.5", pockets, and straps

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Project: Mittens
Due Date: 25 Dec 06
Status: Needs thumb and partner

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Project: Clapotis
Due Date: None
Status: I'm on the decreases, but I need to buy another (!) skein of Manos and work through 9 more ladders

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Project: Manos Purse
Due Date: None, but this is getting embarrassing as it is several years old
Status: Needs flap and strap

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Project: Koigu Socks
Due Date: None
Status: Ready for gusset decreases

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Project: Blossom Sweater
Due Date: Marchish
Status: Need to rip back a few inches and split for the sleeves

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Project: Fixation Tank-Turned-Sweatshirt
Due Date: None
Status: Needs sleeves

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Project: EZ Fair Isle Cardigan
Due Date: None
Status: Ready for yolk, and all the yarn is now in the same state

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Project: Mark's Christmas Pilot Training Phase I Graduation sweater
Due Date: 8 Feb
Status: Needs sleeves and collar

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Project: Country Socks
Due Date: None
Status: Done with one cuff

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Project: Tricot
Due Date: 1 Jan 07 (This was a New Year's Resolution)
Status: Needs sleeves (are we seeing a trend?). This will require some math, as the raglans are not deep enough so I will need to extend them.

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Want to see how old this is?

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Those are straight needles, people! I seem to remember that I didn't actually want to use straights for this, they were just what was free. But the fact that I even knew I owned some at the time speaks to its age.

Want to know why I have abandoned it? Well, this for one:

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And this is just what I have in WA! I know I've got at least the Cherry Blossom Shawl and Retroprep on needles in MS. Oh, and here I also have the Leaf Lace Shawl (needs another skein for edging), a baby sweater for Feb (barely begun) and Jaywalker (ready to knit heel flap on first sock) somewhere around here...

So here's the plan: tonight I kitchner those baby socks and do all the math required to finish these things. Mostly, this means figuring out the increases and decreases for sleeves, and figure out how many inches to do on the baby hat before decreasing. Then I will start working on finishing this stuff in the following order: baby hat, Manos purse, baby sweater, Blossom sweater, Mark's sweater. These should all be finished before the lighting of the Olympic torch, at which time I will participate in Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. Consider this training.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Mother nature is spiteful. We had 27 consecutive days of rain. Then it didn't rain yesterday. Now it is raining again. I swear the nice day was in there just to keep us from breaking the record (33 days) so that now this winter just sucks, rather than being history making. I'll blame the weather for my Leaf Lace Shawl issues while I'm at it. The depression is making me knit looser so no matter how much I rip back I am unable to have enough yarn to make it through the bind off. Yeah... the weather... that's it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Look who I made!

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Spherey from Fun and Unusual Toys to Knit out of Cashsoft. This was very quick and not nearly as irritating to knit as many toys. I did a few more increases since I used a smaller yarn to make the toy a bit bigger. While doing his face I learned that all needle crafts are not created equal. Embroidery is stupid and I hate it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Uhhhhhh-ffffffffffffff...... *ah-choo!* Pardon me, just dusting off the old blog. I've said it before and I'll probably say it again; I do not blog well when in MS. This time was even worse as for most of the past month I was on the road driving to and from various family. I did take some pictures, though.

I finished a few presents:

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Napkin rings from Simple Knits with a Twist: these weren't nearly as bad as everyone says. They were slow, but not that bad.

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Stitch markers for my close knitting friends.

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Scarf for my long-time friend Aaron using the chart from the AntiCraft.

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Okay, I already showed these off, but I'm just so happy with them.

We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner:

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The stockings were... draped by the chimney with care:

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My great-grandmother made the felt stockings for me and my brothers and coincidentally my grandmother made a very similar one for my dad when he was growing up. In high school I made one for my mom so that she wouldn't be left out. The giganto-stocking you may remember from when I knit it last year for Mark. I've been meaning to re-knit it in a more reasonable size, but it is the only one anything fit in...

Mark and I got each other the same gift for the third year in a row (Shrek, a dart-board, and now alarm clocks). At least since we now live in different places it sort of makes sense to have duplicate items.

New ways to be entertained by a ball of yarn were developed:

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Mark spent his usual few hours throwing my cousins around and chasing them for copious tickling. He's been so busy with pilot training this year he's not had much time to work out, though, and was a bit unprepared:

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And I proved that I am very, very old by using my ability to chose anything at all to do on my birthday to drag a husband who couldn't complain around furniture shopping. (I also had a dream in which my apartment was broken into and the majority of my horror was from never having clarified whether my computer is covered under my renter's insurance or I need a separate personal article floater. 24 seems to be a pivotal age in adultness.)

We also saw the neice who was born in June and of whom we haven't seen even a photo since, but sadly I also forgot to take one. Speaking of adorable babies, one of Mark's classmates conveniently welcomed one on the very day I finished this gift:

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Isn't it just so cute? This is an Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Surprise Jacket knit out of the leftover Debbie Bliss Wool Cotton from the Sheep Dress. It's a tad hard to see since they are of different reflectivity, but I used the layered button technique I saw on our trip to churchmouse. One tiny, detailed flower on a bigger, plainer one. I made Mark look at it and make appreciative noises about eight times the evening I sewed them on.

The drop spindles are two of seven I made in about a minute and a half from a dowel, a wooden car wheel, and a mug hook (all from Michael's). I made them for the two little blondes above. They've been knitting for a few years now, so it seemed a good time for the next fiber addiction. I also gave one to my mom. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the other four.