Sunday, October 29, 2006

For the love of babies

Before anyone assumes anything, I'm not pregnant.

However, one of the nicest women I know is. S and her husband are expecting their first and I am ENthralled with the baby kimono from MDK. What a fun and easy knit. That is until I try it.

As always, I am not capable of knitting anything as written. ANYTHING. Hello, compulsive need to "improve" any given pattern, NOT a good tendency.

It says to knit in either garter or st stitch. Um, won't it roll without some sort of boarder if it is in st stitch? In a stroke of genius, I decided to add a garter stitch boarder to the bottom hems. Easy enough to do. I did a few rows less on the sleeves so I can pick up and knit an equal number of rows of garter at the cuffs, because planning ahead is a good thing. I knit across the row and took into account the change in the sleeve length and managed to center the 20 stitches to be bound off for the back of the neck.

Then it hit me. I hadn't added a garter stitch boarder. This too would roll like crazy and drive me nuts. I tinked back the bound off stitches plus 3 more on each side. I then dropped those 26 stitches for four rows and knit it back up in garter stitch.

I am knitting this in KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Snapdragon, a truly bubblegum pink. I love how soft the yarn is, but it has gotten a bit of a fuzzy halo just from handling. This might just pill like crazy. On the other hand, it is for a newborn and they generally only wear something a couple of times before they outgrow it!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Long time no see

You would think that eventually I would learn that life just isn't going to settle down. Work has been beyond crazy, so much that I wake up nauseous from the stress. But on the up side is that my boss told me on Friday that they made an offer to someone. I used my contacts in HR to see if she had accepted yet, but she hadn't yet. God I love working around the system sometimes!

In knitting news, I am still blowing through the stash. I finished 5 items in the last couple of weeks. All of them for the craft fair. There are 2 garter stitch scarves, one reminds me of indian corn, the other is variegated reds. Both were knit lengthwise because the thought of doing 754 short garter rows made me want to drink. However, 15 long rows wasn't so bad. The striped hat is from Regia sock yarn, just over 1 skein. The blue marled is from the yarn I bought from the neighbor's estate and the blue beaded hat is another Odessa.

I am thinking that I need to do up a couple of lacy type scarves from some more of the blue alpaca. It is a light sportweight so, a lace pattern will knit up fairly quickly (I hope). I might just have to make a set for myself.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Busy, busy, busy

Ugh, the broken record thing again.

Anyway, this is what I did this weekend. I am pretty happy with the results even if it took 2 trips through the dyepot. This yarn sucks up dye like crazy. The first trip through ended up looking like the very first batch I did even though I added significantly more dye to the pot. Instead of just using Kool-aide, I also picked up some Wiltons, burgandy, but needed to add more Kool-aide because it wasn't dark enough.

This will be for the soles of the felted clogs.

I have started yet another hat for the stinkin' fair as well as another garter stitch scarf. This time I decided that I would knit the length of the scarf so it is only about 10-15 rows instead of 753 soul-sucking rows. Hopefully the pooling won't look stupid. No pic of this yet as it is all scrunched up on the needle and doesn't look like much yet.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Socktoberfest Questionnaire

I signed up for Socktoberfest but haven't answered the questionnaire yet. So here goes.

When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class? I guess I taught myself. I bought some cheap acrylic and knit a generic pair of socks from "Handspun Homeknit". Mostly, the first socks I knit were oversized Christmas stocking for my nieces, nephews and Caleb.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time? They were ripped out immediately because who in their right mind would want acrylic socks.

What would you have done differently? I wouldn't have done anything differently because it taught me all of the different techniques without ruining expensive sock yarn.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed? I don't know that I have a strong preference. It depends on the recipient of the socks. Koigu is fun to knit as it is so sproingy. I also like Schaffer's Lola but it seems to pill a bit more than I would like. The commercial production yarns also have their place. They aren't quite as soft, but they wear well and some of the patterning on them makes for nice generic socks.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method? I always do my socks on DPNs, but am waiting for some longer circs from Knitpicks to try Magic Loop. I don't crochet unless forced and can't imagine that walking on the little lumps that crochet creates would be comfortable.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?) I like the magic of making a heel flap, particularly the ability to try out different stitches like eye of partridge. But there is magic in short rows as well. I need to improve my technique on picking up stitches before I will be happy with them I've done both and like the look better of short rows but find that the flap is easier for me to knit.

How many pairs have you made? Not all that many. I have 2 pairs, 2 pairs for my mom, a pair for my sister, a pair for my dad and a total of 6 Christmas stockings. So, 6 pairs (plus one on the needles now) and 6 stockings, the equivalent of 9 pairs total

Finally knitting content

Life has been crazy of late. (I feel like a broken record - someone please tell me that eventually life will settle down.) Thankfully it looks like there might be improvement on the horizon on the job front. My manager finally got around to interviewing candidates for the open position in our department. I believe she has narrowed it down to 2 people to have the VP interview. Hopefully before too long we will have a new hire. I cannot wait to pass off some of the piddly stuff I am doing. Nothing is hard, but there is just an overwhelming amount of work to be done. Yesterday, Eric was able to take Caleb to daycare, so I went into work at 6 am and I didn't leave until after 6 pm. It was a horribly long day, but I felt like I made some progress on the things I HAVE to get done in the short term.

For work, we have a huge trade show in Orlando in November and I am planning it. We are taking key customers to a fancy schmancy dinner at Wolfgang Puck's and yesterday, I was invited. I don't really want to go, I just want a piece of the dessert. One of my favorite colleagues from work is also going and I would really rather hang out with her.

On to knitting news. I started a pair of the Fibertrends Felted Clogs. These are made from Fleisher's Big Spice. This is a yarn that I acquired from the my neighbor Marie's daughters recently. Actually, I got a bunch of yarn from the estate, but some of it was rotten (the fibers are dried and break very easily) so they got tossed. The pattern calls for 2 strands of worsted held together, and the Fleisher's is a bulky yarn so I am using just one strand. I overdyed the yarn with kool-aide for the body of it, but I don't really like the look of the slippers in just one color, so I am thinking of trying to find some Wilton's so I can experiment with a darker color for the outer sole.

This is such a clever pattern. As I was knitting the inner sole, I had no idea of how the shaping would look, but it is great use of short-rows. And it is super fast. I got about half of one done in just one evening.

I also have another hat going for the craft fair. This is from some Regia Crazy Stripe 6 fatig. I got it ages ago because it was on clearance. But, I could never bring myself to make socks from it. It was just too wild for me. I got a bit inspired and decided that it would make a decent hat to sell. I am not using a pattern. I cast on 140 stitches and did a K3P1 rib. Nothing fancy. The down side to a hat in sock yarn is that it takes forever to make any vertical progress. But I love these stripes in a hat.

Hopefully, today the needles I ordered from Knitpicks will arrive. The gremlins in my house have taken all of my US 3 needles. The only one I can find is a 29" Susan Bates which just won't work for a hat. Honestly, how does that happen. I don't have them in any WIP and am pretty anal about putting the needles away when I am done with them because I don't want Caleb to break them accidentally or get hurt by them.

Like everyone else out in blogland, I LURVE them, the super pointy tips, the smooth joins, the flexible cables. I bought a couple of longer lengths to try magic loop for socks. I have never tried socks that way before. I am not a huge fan of 2 circs for socks because I invariably end up knitting onto the wrong needle. I have a feeling that eventually I may just end up purchasing the knitpicks set because some of the larger needles I have are old Susan Bates that I got before I learned much about needle construction. They just don't feel comfortable in my hands any longer. This definitely goes on my wish list.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I am outraged

If you are looking for knitting content (and why wouldn't you be, after all it is a knitting blog) you will need to look elsewhere. Today all you get is indignation and outrage.

Last night was knit night at Starbucks and Eric is finally on a rotation that allows me to go again, YEA! So, I was enjoying a raucous evening with my friends and catching up on all of the local news. BTW, I found out that the 80-something year old owner of my LYS has a boy-toy. Go Shirley.

At around 8 pm, a gentleman (this term is used extremely loosely) carrying a large stack of file folders came in and sat down near our area. Normally, this wouldn't be an issue at all. It is a public space after all. He then started making phone calls. Again, not what I would do, but not a huge issue.

Then we heard what he was saying. "Arthur, this is Dr. X calling with your test results. It is what I thought, the x-ray shows that you have arthritis in your back." I was horrified. He proceeded to call several patients with lab results and then did dictation. I could not believe what I was hearing.

More than one time, he got up, presumably to use the restroom or refill his drink, and left the charts unattended.

The worst part is this is not the first time it has happened, it is just the first time I witnessed it first-hand. While I did not catch his name clearly and was not ballsy enough to ask him outright, I did get the plate number off the vehicle he was driving.

Today I called the state to see how I should proceed with filing a complaint of some kind as this is a clear violation of HIPAA.

I cannot imagine what would allow this man to think that his behavior was acceptable.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Weekend of discovery

This weekend I discovered a few things the hard way.

First, while I can hold my liquor, I get a raging hangover from even just half a bottle of the new tropical drink inspired coolers. Not very pretty.

Second, I should not knit on the shawl when I am overtired. Again, not very pretty.

Third, it is important to look at one's work from all angles when using a hand paint to ensure you don't get funky pooling. This might not be the best choice of yarns when overtired.

The side in the top picture is actually greener than that.

Forth, a new winter coat for a soon-to-be-four year old that is substantial enough to withstand a Wisconsin winter costs an arm and a leg.