Saturday, October 6, 2012

And yet, I remain

Still here. Knitting, once again, has taken a backseat. This summer was full of chaos for me, health wise. (This is going to be kind of a personal, rather than knitting story). I ended the month of May with three weeks of antibiotics following an epic bout of pneumonia, followed by bronchitis, followed by strep throat. The last dose of amoxicillin/whatever else were so gigantic it was nearly impossible to swallow. After I made it through that (lesson taken from that - I need to get pneumonia/flu vaccinations because my body is a total wuss), I began to have other problems. Let's just say it was 3 months of un fun visits to my obstetrician, many heavy doses of birth control pills that were estrogen based, a miracle drug called Lysteda, only to find out I had a large fibroid tumor in my uterine wall. This began a series of epic meltdowns for me, as nearly everyone around me had just found out they were pregnant/having babies. If you'll indulge the self pity for a bit, I had a hard time feeling happy (even though I was/am) when I was facing surgery which may or may not have resulted in me not being able to have more kids. In the midst of all of this, I could not have made it through without the support of my family. I withdrew a bit from all of them because really, who wants to talk about this? My doctor was amazing, my husband and son were amazing. We scheduled my surgery in August for the end of September, because we figured at that point the pain could be managed and whatever else. It was, for a time. The first week of August found myself, Chris, and Sawyer at the White Mountains. I have very little experience with hiking, while Chris is accomplished and has climbed a few mountains in the Presidential Range. The running joke is that when Chris and I met I said I loved hiking and then the one time we did I complained the entire way because, let's face it, I'm a fancypants. The woman we rented the cabin from said, "Oh, since you have a little one, just go up and down Tuckerman's Ravine trail to the Boott Spur link and back." For whatever reason, both Chris and I misunderstood this to mean "Take Tuckerman's Ravine to the Boott Spur and then take the link back to Tuckerman's Ravine." So armed with 3 sandwiches, a backpack, a map which we completely misjudged, and my sister and her boyfriend, we took off, confidently. The trail started off fine, but once we turned on to the Boott Spur, things got...interesting. My sister and her boyfriend had the good sense to turn back, but Chris and Scoop were ahead, and I was trying to keep up. When we reached this point:
I started to wonder what the hell we were doing. Maybe it doesn't look that bad, but there's nothing behind you and it just goes straight up. We kept climbing....and climbing...and climbing. Finally, we reached here:
From here on out, I learned from Chris about cairns, which is the only damn way to figure out if you're on the trail after crossing the tree line.
It was a pretty incredible view, and I'd post more pictures of it, but our phones died soon after. We did catch this one though:
I'd like to say that I was a champ and didn't whine at all, but that wouldn't be the truth. We made it down the Spur which was basically climbing down rock face and almost gave us both severe heart attacks due to the presence of our 5 year old, only to get to Tuckerman's Ravine, where I gave an Oscar worthy performance of sobbing/demanding "Just leave me here!" and insisting I broke my foot. This was at the point, mind you, that's literally a walk in the woods. And then it started raining. We made it back to the car a good 8 hours after the journey began, only to get back to the cabin and having my sister wonder what the heck happened to us. Of course, we were just about dead, but Scoop ran around the cabin for another 2 hours, much to our amazement. Climbing up to about 5000 ft for a 5 year old? No big deal. I ended up in emergency surgery two weeks later to remove the tumor, and am doing well now, except for getting food poisoning this past Thursday night. I have learned several lessons: 1. Don't order corn fritters from a "restaurant" that uses one of the tables as an office. 2. Even though you can be a big whiny complaining baby, you can climb Mount Washington. 3. "Boot bang" sucks after 8 hours. 4. If you have a Prius, don't stick your Garmin to the screen. 5. Surgery is scary as hell and makes you feel like you're in a sci-fi movie. Ativan is your friend. 6. Babies are adorable and lovely. 7. Baby blanket, which I am still working on, is almost complete. Here is is, folded in half, borders on each end. Need to do borders up the sides and block. Le voila!
P.S. I'm writing this while laying in bed still recovering from my "Corn Fritter Debacle" eavesdropping on my neighbors next door. They have the most New Englandy-New England accents EVAH. AND I MEAN EVAH.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Honeycomb Shenanigans

So, my great friend and cousin is expecting her first. She's already seen what I'm working on, so it's no big surprise.
I chose the Honeycomb Baby Blanket . It was kind of a confusing start for me, as the pictures I found of it I couldn't really tell what was the main color that travels through the blanket. I had to re-start a few times to get the right color scheme I planned. I'm using Knit Picks Comfy Sport, since it's a nice soft cotton blend.




I do love the result so far. Looks a lot more complicated than it actually is, but I do not particularly like how the pattern is written...Anyway, that's what I've been working on.

Oh, this too. It's mid row, so it looks kind of like a mess, but it's another Springtime Bandit.


So perhaps I'll finish this one after the blanket. I have to figure out what border I'm going to do for the blanket. I'm going to have to *gulp* sew fabric onto the back. I haven't sewn since...uh....since....well...I made a pillow in 6th grade. It was kind of ... well. Interesting. Interesting meaning slightly crooked and basically busted. And totally 90's. (If that's possible?)

Anyway, that's all for now. Home sick, going back to work on the blanket and watching some Melrose Place. Amanda and Dr. Peter Burns are having a very romantic dinner. I'm pretty sure someone's going to end up dead by the end of the episode. Oh, and Alison's 7000 year old secretive husband just woke her up in the middle of the night to go on a second honeymoon on their yacht. This show is great. Hey! I was right! Jake's girlfriend is about to kill him!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I still Exist...

Sometimes I wish I could move to St Croix and open a knitting store. Because I know there aren't any. And that tropical land sure could use...pure wool? A fisherman's sweater? Legwarmers?

Anyhoozit. I have been focusing on school, putting on too much weight (I blame a diet of wine and cheerios), and being generally cranky. I'm pissed off because my intermediate algebra class, unless I perform some amazing feat and ace my next three exams, I'm destined for a C+. My business law class is going much better, and I'm pleased with that. But I've been so tired lately I haven't knitted at all, really.

I had a slight meltdown/inspiration this past week and ordered some yarn - for two separate projects.

Project One: Honeycomb Stroller Blanket. I've got some lovely KnitPicks Comfy Sport to use, but the writing of this pattern is infuriating. They list three colors: main color, color a, and color b. One would assume the main color that outlines the honeycomb shape would be the MAIN COLOR. But no! It actually seems to be color B is the main color. If anyone has knitted this pattern and thinks I'm wrong about this, let me know. (As if anyone reads this anyway).
The yarn is nice, though:

Next up, of course, is another Springtime Bandit. I'm using half cotton, half bamboo in a coral-y color, which I thought was more pinky. This pattern is fun, as always. Yarn is a little bit splitty, along the lines of Debbie Bliss ...uh...whatever that Debbie Bliss yarn I had that was splitty.


So, lovely. Great. Grand.

More importantly. I've read the 50 Shades trilogy. My younger sister recommended it, and after I got over the initial shock of her recommending it to me, I was fully immersed. Now, when it started, I completely believed that it fit into the 'so bad it's good' column...but it doesn't. It's good. I mean, in a bad way that is good. Also, I still don't understand how those two had so much nonstop crazy bondage sex and were able to be alive, eat meals, use the restroom, brush their teeth, go to work, read a book..etc. I was going to add bathing to that but I think over the course of the three books they took like 800 baths together and 7000 showers. In the midst of all of the sex, there was attempted murder, kidnapping, helicopter crashes, a month on a yacht in the south of France, lots of pink champagne, so much crying, car crashes, comas, pregnancy, and ...some other stuff. NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, PEOPLE. Read it.

P.S. Speaking of St Croix...I've been there. And the end of Shawshank Redemption? I was at that beach. It ain't in Mexico.

P.P.S. I obviously want to go back to there.

P.P.P.S. Maybe when I win at Keno.

P.P.P.P.S. Does anyone win at Keno?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I must be crazy

To want to make this.
Must...resist...cables...

Oh, did I mention I took Friday off? Maybe I should take a small road trip...here... You know, just to see if there are any deals on worsted weight yarn.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Oh, y'know

School has started yet again. Knitting takes a backseat. Sigh. I have been working on two projects, the Delphine Lacy Cap sleeve top and the Winter Wonder Mittens. Delpine is using my Knit Picks Palette in Silver, which I don't even remember why I bought. Mittens using Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. Palette is a bit itchy for me, but I think when (if) I ever finish this, I'm going to be wearing like a tank top or something like that underneath so itchiness doesn't really matter...(also because if I didn't wear a tank top it would be a full French hooker top. A classy French hooker, but hooker all the same.) This pattern is so easy to memorize, even though there's about 200 stitches. And it's in the round. Totally mindless project. I'm not too far in, but still. I think maybe I'll have this done by the spring if I keep picking it up as I have been. I love this lace pattern.
Now, the Silky Wool is another story. It is lovely to work with. It's deceiving holding the skein, feels like it would be rough, almost harder like linen, and scratchy. When I was standing in the yarn store I was wondering why so many people on Ravelry use something that feels like that. Once you start knitting with it, it feels delicious. I love this pattern, and the needles aren't so tiny (well, they are size 2. At least it's not 0) that I feel like there isn't any progress. I think it's because the yarn is actually supposed to be knit on bigger needles anyway. So, I did screw up the colorwork. It's such a minor screwup that I'm contemplating finishing the mitten and letting it slide, but each time I pick these up to work I see those 3 stitches that are SUPPOSED to be white glaring at me. I think I'll let it go, though. I don't have the energy to start over. Just want to be finished with these. They will have a lovely picot hem that I do like a lot, as well. But I don't feel like doing that hem all over again. Besides, there's nothing more irritating than frogging colorwork (See: Venezia)
I have more frogging to do, anyway. There was a big dumb hat I made for myself, which I can't find a picture of currently, and apparently I never blogged about it, which is odd because I remember making it exactly. I was watching Random Hearts, which totally blows, and knit that hat in like 2 hours. Maybe less. Anyway, Random Hearts sucks, and so did that hat. I'm reclaiming that yarn, because it's this ridiculously deep blue violet, a chunky Farmhouse Yarn, and the other skein I have I made into a big sock that is...somewhere in the yarn room. I have no idea where. So I'm going to make a sweet purple headband with it. Because that's a great idea? OK, that's enough. I have to go write a paper for my law class on business ethics, but that topic is just making me think of the end of Billy Madison when they're playing Jeopardy and Billy yells that category in Eric's face. I guess my paper could be about that. If I wanted to get an F in that class, that is. Happy Super American Sportsball Day?

Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 - What did I actually finish?

Here we go.

OP Top (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK)
Love the yarn. I'll forgive the ridiculous lack of yardage just because it feels amazing. (That's what she said?) Hat too small, probably should have gone up a size so it'd be flopsy-er. As it is, it's currently sitting in my closet.

Owl Sweater (WoolPack 10 Ply)
I should do a gauge swatch sometime. This one was too small as well. The yarn was OK, not one of my favorites. I think I knit tight enough, so if I switched from knitting English to knitting Continental I'd be in even more gauge trouble. I love knitting in the round. And I love to knit something (cables, colorwork, lace) on the yoke of a sweater. I think it's purty.

French Press Slippers (Rio de la Plata Wool)
I don't know why I don't have pictures of this...maybe because I didn't entirely finish them. Felting project, so it was made on giant needles. This wool felts really nicely, and one slipper turned out perfect. The other one, however, looks like a mess. Like a mangled smurf foot. The seaming was awful which can usually be hidden when felting, but this just did not work out. I'm going to make these again. I have a ton of (purple) pure wool I can use. Everyone gets purple French Press Slippers!

Helena Baby Sweater (Ultra Alpaca Light)
Ultra Alpaca anything, I'm on board. I adore Berroco yarns. This sweater I made in a week, for my cousin's firstborn daughter that came a bit early. This pattern was fun, and I do love an openwork lace pattern. It also had an i-cord, which I learned this year was short for idiot cord. Nice, Elizabeth Zimmerman, real nice. Oh, fine. You're forgiven. You are the mother of modern knitting, after all.

Gnomes (Bunch o'stuff, random Farmhouse Yarns, Noro something or other)
Obviously this is ridiculous. I had this grand scheme in my head of a bunch of wine cork gnomes hidden in various scenes on Yarn Bombing day, but failed to realize that when people yarn bomb it's more often than not scarves on statues or trees, not whimsical scenarios. My idea was better.

Summer Flies Shawl (Malabrigo Lace)
Oh dear me, this yarn. I adored the color, the feel, the fabric, it is just amazing. The end of this pattern is a full nightmare, it has an increase that is incredibly discouraging - going up to 300 something stitches right before binding off. And I've already said the end result looks like a crazy dilophosaurus.

Aidez (#1) (Knit Picks Wool of the Andez Bulky)
This is gratifying, bulky yarn on 10.5 needles. I am still conflicted about this yarn. The yarn shows off the cables really well, but I thought the color would be different. Also, the feel of the yarn is kind of odd when I was working with it. I would make this pattern again (I did a few months later) but I'm taking a cable pattern hiatus. Knitting goes quicker without cabling.

Boundless (Ultra Alpaca)
Wait. Why don't I have any pictures of this one? I love this pattern. I love this yarn. Whatever. Over it. (Also sitting in my closet)

Aidez (Part Deux) (Sirdar Tweedie Chunky)
OK, so I just finished it. 2 days ago. My most proud completion stemming from an initially ridiculous deadline. I originally started this in September, as when I was in Maine this July, my sister in law talked about how much she liked the pattern. I wanted to knit the body in one piece so I wrote out the pattern in my yarn gurnal. Now, the pattern is easy to memorize the way it's written, but because I hate seaming so much I wanted to do at once. I put this down this fall to do some other projects, but as Christmas drew near I coincidentally drew that sister in law in Secret Santa, so I knew that I had to finish it. But instead of continuing where I left off, I decide to start over a week before Christmas. It worked! This yarn doesn't have the memory the Knit Picks yarn had, so the cables aren't as neat. Whatever. I love it.

So, that was 2011. I started other projects, but these are the projects I finished, so...that is that. Starting some lace now. In January. Yeah, that makes sense.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Success?

Finished Aidez #2 in 8 days. There was a slight seaming issue last night when I was sewing in the sleeves - the holes for the sleeves in the body seemed larger than the sleeve itself. I do not like seaming at all. I'm getting better at it, but there's something I do wrong where I keep seeing puckering in the fabric on the right side. Maybe it's because it's self-taught?
I don't know. Anyway, I think I did this exact same pose with the first Aidez. What is that all about?
Ugh, I totally did. What a goober.
Should probably think of a new pose before I make another sweater.

I do love the pattern of the Aidez, but right now...I'll be damned if I pick up a cable needle for a long time. Maybe make something with a nice, lovely lace-y pattern? I did get this for Christmas...
The cables did come out looking pretty darn good, and it really does surprise me that I'm able to memorize the cable patterns even though the back is a 24 row pattern. Once you get going though, it's all by the feeling of the stitch.

I made this one with Sirdar Tweedie Chunky, and the first one with Wool of the Andes Chunky by KnitPicks - I do like the finished fabric of the KnitPicks yarn better, but I like the feeling and color of the Tweedie more. The KnitPicks yarn shows off the cables a little bit better, and I don't know exactly why that is.
Well, off to go peruse the giant contractor bag full of yarn I just inherited...Anyone need any? Two bags in the contractor bag are called "Heavy Rug Yarn". It feels awful and I'm really confused by it. Why would anyone knit with this yarn? One skein is this awful bright purple and it's kind of hypnotizing me...Maybe I'll just make myself a giant purple rug dress. I can only imagine how terrible it would feel (not to mention how it would look)....