Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sweet Victory!!

First, I'd like to thank the family for their support while stitching this. Mister was great at reminding me that cussing about the pattern did not mean I was enjoying it. Peanut was gracious enough to not rip out my row counter or needles, even though she thought about it a few times. I'd like to thank Susan Pierce Lawrence for the beautiful design. My thanks to the ladies at Neighborhood Knits for talking me into the fabulous alpaca used. It was a great project! I'd definitely do it again. I'm hoping to have a photo of my gram with it on Sunday. Last but not least, thanks to the lady herself for thinking of it!

Project Details
Pattern: Branching Out from Knitty.com
Yarn: Baby Alpaca with a Twist color 0100
Needles: INOX US8 16" Circular
Total Knitting Time: 15 days 7 hrs exactly

Notes: I completed 34.9 repeats before starting the garter stitch border. If I'd used less yarn while joining the second skein, I could have done a full 35. I had about 4" left after weaving it in. It seemed short, but it grew after blocking it. Wet alpaca and wet dog have very similar smells. I think the wrong side is just as pretty as the right.

Skills learned (the most important part):

  • I can knit lace, but not well after 11 p.m.
  • I can remove the needles to rip back without destroying it
  • Alpaca can shed, especially on dark work clothing
  • I can follow a chart
  • I can finish an adult size item
  • I can finish a project on time
  • I can block something correctly

Erin correctly guessed Toy Story 2 for the blogiversary contest. Mister gave a thumbs up to a Saturday trip to LYS. Something fun for Erin will be procured there. Back to work on the Larry The Cable Guy scarf. Word of it has gotten back to him and he's quite excited about it. I'm hoping to ride the FO high as long as I can.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Just the word parfait makes me start slobberin'.

She's finished!! The last stitch was knit around 9:15. Ends were woven in and then a quick dunk in the bathroom sink. I washed it with a drop of Mister's blackberry shampoo (Herbal Essences, I think). It didn't help with the wet dog smell. She's now pinned to the back of the couch in our living room. We don't use that room other than as a catchall as we go in and out the front door. Probably because we don't have a TV in there and the lighting isn't good enough to knit by.

Peanut & I saw Sesame Street Live: Elmo's Coloring Book this morning. Oy. She's definitely not ready to go see a movie. She had a really bad case of the wiggles before the show even started. I had issues with the customer service and how rude people can be at the box office. I'm sorry, but if you get out of line while at the window to call someone on your cell you should have to go to the back of the line in my book. Especially if the people in line behind you have overly excited children for a show that beings in 20 minutes. Luckily, our neighbor had Peanut and her two boys in the theater waiting for me but I felt really bad for some of the parents in line.

Mister needs the computer, so I'm going to cut this short.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

The only cereal that's sugar frosted and dipped in chocolate.

We're at 28 repeats for Branching Out. That's not an official 28, though. We'll be taking a short trip to the frog pond this evening and then working back to 28. I'm definitely going to finish the skein. I'm a little worried about it being short, but I'll wait to reserve judgment until after it's blocked. My gram is only 5' 2", so she could use a shorter scarf. I think both skeins will probably get me 34 repeats, but we'll see.

We rented Must Love Dogs last night. The Mister and I were up kind of late watching it. I can say that we both liked the movie, but Mister's really into chick flicks. Despite having done the 10 row pattern repeat 36 times, I still mess it up. Especially if I'm working later at night. I can only imagine the damage done with a more complex pattern. This was a good first lace project, but I don't think I'll be doing a grand project anytime soon.

I got the teddy bear book from Alecia. (Thanks again!) What a cool book! Once I finish the Larry The Trapper Guy scarf, I'm going to venture onto a bear for Peanut. I'm hoping to have one in her Easter Basket rather than something store bought. The Easter Bunny has already scored Dora chocolate for it. I've got a good idea for Mister as well, but he sometimes peeks in on me so I'm not saying a word.

**Caution - Political Content Ahead**
Now, I'm not one to discuss politics. Not on this blog and not in my daily life. Mister is the one with the passion for politics in the family and I learned a log time ago, it's best to keep my comments to my self. BUT - I came across this yesterday and it still has me angry. Very angry. I'm all for exercising your constitutional rights and freedom of speech, but there has to be a line drawn. To think there are a group of people out there that feel it is their right to jeer nasty things at a fallen soldier's family while they are in mourning is atrocious. I'm not even going to get into their platform, I don't agree with that either...but their execution is disgusting. It makes me sad and sick to my stomach. That's all I'm saying about it.

If you've stuck with me this long, you deserve some photo yummies. So, here they are. The flowers Mister sent me for Valentine's Day. He's so proud of himself and the effort it took to get them. That's also part of my gift.

Mister didn't forget Peanut on VDay either. Here she is with her new Carebear. He's already been to Walmart and McDonald's.

February 8th marked the 1 year anniversary of this blog being created and my test message. March 20th marks the 1st anniversary of my first official post. Since a contest seems to be the way to go when you hit a blog anniversary, who am I to break from the trend? Peanut has been sucked into the Disney machine. Her very favorite movie is Monster's Inc. She's seen it so many times, she can recite lines from it.

To make the contest interesting, I'm going to use obscure lines from the kid's movie of the moment as a title. The first person to guess the movie one of them is from will win and get some sort of prize. Just leave me a comment with your guess. I'd limit it to a single movie, but she's kind of fickle. They'll get easier as the 20th approaches. I need to have some sort of incentive to watch Toy Story for the 75th time. Of course, this assumes people are actually out there reading this thing. So...we'll see.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

19 Repeats and Counting...

We're up to 19 repeats. Now, I'm not sure if I should knit to a set number of repeats or finish out the skein. I guess I'll just see how it goes. I'd have a hard time using the left over yarn for something else and it'd be impossible to get the same lot again. I think I'm leaning towards just finishing the skein.

My gram turns 78 at the end of April. 8 days before I turn 30. I adore my gram. She and my grandpa raised me from 14 on. They'd already had me most of my earlier years, so it wasn't a big adjustment. I credit them for much of my success in life. I think my gram would love to have this scarf. She has an insane jacket collection and the neutral color would go with all of them. I think she'll get it earlier than her birthday so she can get some wear out of it before it gets too warm.

That's Pepper there...she looks innocent. She was previously attacking my row counter. Something Peanut also likes to do. Not only do I have to race the clock on this one, but also those who think my accessories are their personal toys!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Breaking the 10 Repeat Barrier

I finally made it past 10 repeats! What a great feeling. I'm now 2 repeats further along than I was when I frogged the whole thing on Sunday. I still love it and think it looks fabulous. No new photos as of yet. My only complaint is that the alpaca yarn sheds. Not so great when you wear dark work clothes and try to conquer a few repeats on lunch. I was buying lunch last week and saw a woman pull out a white cloth and drape it over her lap before eating lunch in her car. Today, I am prepared with an old cloth diaper of Peanuts (that was never actually used as a diaper) to drape over my lap and shirt to see if that helps the issue. Of course, I'd look less silly if I'd just buy a lint roller for the giant purse.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Delayed Olympic Coverage

I took a late lunch on Friday and cast on for Branching Out at 2:15 p.m. It's my first lace project, so I struggled a bit with keeping my place in the pattern and the triple (or are they double?) decreases. I quickly worked through 8 repeats from Friday to Sunday morning. Sunday, I took a good look at the scarf. It just wasn't Olympic quality. I tried frogging (another first, I'm a notorious tinker) and that went well but it wasn't enough. I bit the bullet and frogged the whole thing. It was definitely the right decision. It's like night and day. The stitches are much more even and the decreases don't stand out as much. Another new skill that's come out of this is working from a chart. I've always found them so intimidating just looking at them. My short term memory is horrible and I've always thought it'd be too hard to remember all of the symbols. Well, after the frogging and restart I decided to give the chart a try. I love it! What a tremendous difference!! Of course, this is just a baby chart over 21 stitches and 5 rows but I might ready for something bigger when I'm done.

Mister and I swapped Valentine's presents last night. He gifted me a box of chocolates (Hershey's Pot of Gold - our tradition) and a gift certificate to The Knitting Den. The certificate came with the promise of a Saturday away. That's the priceless part of the gift! About 30 mins ago, a dozen long stem roses were delivered to my office. It's the first time in our 4.5 years together he's sent me flowers! All on his own.

Alecia from DetroitAreaKnitters Yahoo group is cleaning out her book stash. I'll be getting a copy of The Knitted Teddy Bear from her. I can't wait. I'm hoping to make something special for Peanut for Easter. Our LYS carries the Baby Alpaca Twist I'm using for Branching Out. I'd love to get that in a soft purple to make her a lovey.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

He's here!!

Little Man made his world debut yesterday! My last nephew was born around 10 am and weighed in a bit lighter than his big brother. He's 8lbs 10ozs, but did have to spend some time in NICU for breathing trouble. Not all babies there are teeny tiny. Good news is that they released him to his mom & dad late last night. His big brother will be coming to spend the night with Peanut tonight and go home tomorrow when his mom & Little Man are released from the hospital. It's Peanut's first sleepover.

The phone call I've been dreading since September came on Monday. Mister has been layed off from his job. He's now running daddy day care and is doing a good job so far. We're hoping it won't be too long before he's hired by a new company. We're keeping upbeat about it. I think with unemployment and sub pay from union, we'll be okay until he goes back.

I've been working on the Larry scarf. It won't be finished before the Olympics start. I'm a little over halfway finished. It looks great. I'm pretty proud of myself.

I finished the hats to match the baby blankets I gifted last month. They have yet to be photographed.

I'm home with Mister and Peanut today. Girl problems suck. I think this will prompt another trip to the doc. Something has to give here, people. Well, I guess it buys me a day of knitting. Positive side to everything.