Monday, May 30, 2005

Big Announcement!!

As of this weekend, I am an official knitter. Yes, I've had yarn and needles and completed projects...but I was never a "real" knitter, until Saturday. What happened Saturday? The Family acquired, Pepper. A feline. A beautiful, large cat. Seems that to be a real knitter, one needs a feline companion and now we have Pepper. The Mister has been asking we get a cat from the second we moved in together. I've always been against a kitten because it requires a lot of cash at the upstart to take care of them properly...and I've always been put off by the large security deposit and "pet rent" that you have to pay while living in an apartment. Well, Pepper's temporary owner made a plea that could not be ignored. Poor Miss Pepper hasn't had a proper home in a long time. Her original owner was talking of euthanasia, and we just couldn't have that. I'm sure she's part Maine Coon, she's just gorgeous. As soon as I can get a photo of her, she'll make her debut as my blog mascot. We're looking into getting her shaved for the summer and an update to her shots. She's been with us 2 1/2 days and I think the Mister and Peanut would kick me out before they allowed Pepper to go. It just kills the Mister that she tends to prefer me a bit over him. Cats are funny that way.

With Pepper by my side, and ignoring my yarn (I think I'm her first knitting owner) I worked hard on Baby Alison's pink & white sweater. I'm nearly down with the second sleeve and should be by the time I sleep tonight. It's a neckdown raglan (my specialty) so that'll just leave the body to finish. This is my first multicolor try at the pattern. The yoke is white and the rest baby pink. Definitely a baby girl's sweater. No getting around that. I'm trying to decide what kind of hat to do. The traditional bonnet or rolled brim stocking cap? I know they'd get more use out of the stocking cap but she's the first and only girl Julie will have, so she might like the fru fru factor of the bonnet. Decisions, decisions. I let the Mister choose the yarn and colors, I'll probably consult him on the hat pattern as well. He likes to feel involved even though he claims not to be "a cute kind of guy". He is and everyone knows it.

Some wonderful news for the Preemie Project: I was able to get a contact to St. Joe's in Ann Arbor (ok, it's actually Ypsilanti but old habits..). If enough volunteers join up, Laura will be able to add another hospital and we'll have a Michigan chapter. Take a look at the site if you're interested, there's a super cute button on here that'll take you to it.

I took photos of the total Baby Marina layette before wrapping it up. I've already posted photos of the sweater and hat, so I won't bore you with those. Here are the matching booties, though:

Friday, May 27, 2005

I hate holiday Fridays

Well, it's more of a love/hate relationship really. I love that there are less people in the office and lighter traffic but I hate the "will we be let go early?" agony. All signs so far are pointing towards no. Bummer. It's a beautiful day right now, but it's not supposed to last. No worries. I still need to run out for lunch and may need to include a trip to a store that sells yarn to lift my spirits.

Last night, I finished the CIC vest. I'm pretty happy with it overall. It's a beautiful garment. One concern is the neck opening. I need to try it out on Peanut to see if it's too small. Don't know what I'll do if it is. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. I have yet to photograph it, so no pictures. I do have photos of the Marina layette to post. I'll do that later today.

I cast on for the Baby Alison layette (finally!). She's due in less than a week. They live in Indianapolis, so her gift will be mailed anyway. After I finish that, then I can work on some quick stuff for the Preemie Project. Once I finished the stripey sock, I probably won't do anything else for CIC until the fall and the weather cools. The wool was pretty warm to work with.

The Mister was supposed to be out of town this weekend, but his plans were cancelled. Is it bad to say that I'm kind of bummed about that? I was looking forward to some quality Peanut time and quiet knitting time. The Mister is a former ADD kid and still requires a great deal of attention to keep him happy. I don't mind it, well unless I'm concentrating on a pattern while watching TV. Then I get a little annoyed. I chose him, I gotta love him.

Monday, May 23, 2005

CIC Vest

After four baby layettes in a row...I needed a break. Thursday night, I grabbed up the bargain bin Rowan plaid I'd bought and cast on for a Cozy In Cables vest. This is my first project with a yarn with such a high natural fiber content. It's pretty nice stuff. Of course, it was $8.50 a ball despite being in the bargain should be nice! As usual with clearance yarn, they only had a couple of odd colors left. I started the vest with a navy/fuscia twist and did the ribbing. Then I switched to a dk gray/lt gray twist for the body. Then switched back to the navy/fuscia for the garter stitch at the arm and rest of the vest. I wasn't sure how this would look, but I think it looks pretty good so far. The pattern is a real joy to knit. She did a wonderful job making things clear and easy to follow. I finished the front flap last night and am hoping to work through the back in the next couple days. I must admit this is my first cabling project. I've done cables before, but only on practice swatches and to say I've done them. I did do a C4B instead of C4F on one of the cables. It's ok, though. Just looks like an "s" floating at one point. All that matters is that it's made with love!

I picked up a cro-hook set on clearance at Walmart on Friday. I gave that a try Sunday night. It's interesting. Like crochet on speed. You use two balls of yarn at a time with it. I picked up two skeins of caron's simply soft in purple and varigated purple. After some more practice swatches, I may try a premie blanket using it. I'll keep ya posted!

Friday, May 20, 2005

'Cause baby, I'm a star!! Whoah oh oh!!

NOTE: Title is best interpreted if sung to the Prince song "Baby I'm a star"

Why am I feeling star-like today?? I have a new faith in the blogging world. Today! I! Received! Comments!! And not just any comments...but comments from people who have no prior knowledge of me or Mister or Peanut. Not pitty comments from non-knitting friends trying to be supportive of my weird infatuation with knitting...noooo...comments from total, complete STRANGERS!! (If you are sitting in a chair, feel free to do a chair dance along with me) Thank you dear imrtistik and kit!

Ok, so I've been slacking on the here goes:

I spent the B&N gift card on this:
Knitting for the Pampered Baby AND bookbookbook and
Interweave Knits Summer 05. The Godiva bar was gone before the car was taken out of park, so it doesn't count. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

I spent the Joann's gift card on fancy buttons and this: The Portable Crafter: Knitting

The boss and his wife welcomed a new baby girl into the world sometime in the last 24 hrs. The new little Italian lady does not have a name just yet. After some washing and blocking this weekend, she'll have a sporty red sweater with matching hat and booties. She's 4 weeks early and the ensemble is a size 6 mos. I've got plenty of time. She's a lucky girl to be born to such wonderful people.

Ok, when I realized the family could never benefit or appreciate the larger number of small items I could knit, I branched out to charities. I looked for something local, but can't seem to find a local hospital willing to return calls or emails about what they need or what organizations they work with. I've decided to commit to two charities - CIC and The Premie Project. Before you start with the warm fuzzies, let it be known I have selfish reasons for both. Making things for CIC requires yarn that is at least 50% wool. Excellent excuse to go to LYS and buy crazy wool yarn on clearance. Make it into fun vests/socks and send it off to brighten the day of a kid who won't be bummed because it's the not the same shade as Barney or Dora's shirt. The Preemie Project Preemie Project is a smaller group looking to donate things to the NICU in Iowa City, IA. I like them because a) Peanut was a premie and I appreciate the pumpkin hat one of the nurses made for her, b) they're small enough where you won't get lost in a sea of volunteers and c) baby things are just way too fun to make.

To address a (the) question in my comments (yes, plural!!): Yes, I did make the bunny. She's made out of 100% mohair. My first time working with it. It was fun, but I don't want to make a garment with that fiber anytime soon. You can find her pattern here. She's basically a knit square and the bunny magically appears after you sew her up according to the chart. The next time I knit it, I think I'd go with a 9" square. It's a bit on the small size. Word of caution - don't overstuff. That's all I got to say about that.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Another must have pattern!

And I thought the Martha poncho was bag. Guess it was just a matter of time before someone came up with this one:

Things are progressing well on the Boss's baby sweater. I'm done with the yoke and one of the sleeves. The mister said I woke him up the other night mumbing about islands and knitting. Guess I've taken being on "sleeve island" to heart. I guess I kept asking if he'd paid for the island and eventually got frustrated and said "Forget about it!" when he didn't provide my sleeping self with a sufficient answer.

I did make him decide on what yarn/color scheme would go into the Baby Alison sweater. She's his newest cousin, so it seemed only fitting. After taking an extreme amount of time to consider all of his options he went with a standar pink & white combination. Should be very similar to the one on the home page of the yahoo babysweaters group.

For those of you keeping track, the birthday was on Tuesday. I was presented with a Barnes & Noble gift card from the Peanut and a Joann's gift card from the mister. I couldn't be more pleased!! He doesn't quite get as to why I enjoy the gift cards so much, but it's hard to explain the feeling of freedom when I walk into a store knowing the money's been spent it's just up to me to redeem the merchandise for MYSELF! I have a hard time spending cash on myself since the marriage and birth of the dependant. There's a lot of guilt involved...but not when using a gift card!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Incredible Weekend...

Fabulous things happened over the weekend....

1) I cut off 9" of hair. Yes, 9" and I feel like a new person!! You need 10" to donate, but I just couldn't deal with it any longer. Peanut was puzzled this morning when she couldn't reach up and easily grab a handful while getting ready.

2) I hit Knit A Round on my way home from the haircut. I picked up two more balls of the Rowan Plaid at 50% off. Combined with the one I already had at home and I should be able to get two CIC vests out of them. I also picked up another skein of Cascade 220. After I've finished the Baby Alison sweater, I'm commiting to one of the vests just for a change of pace.

4) I sold my first sweater set. Well, it's been "sold" for a while but there was an actual exchange of merchandise and cash!!

4) We participated in Walk America. Our team, Team Lainey, raised over $2600 for the March of Dimes. We had such a good time despite the chilly wind. What a great day!! I'm so proud to say that I finished the 3 mile walk. Such an accomplishment for me. Just proves that I seriously need to get back to Curves.