Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Artist's Palette

So, you know how, when you start to plan a project, it's fun to go through the catalogs and dream about the perfect supplies for the job or craft? And you find things that you love, and you find things that will work, and you find things that you can afford. . .and then. . .and then. . .and then you find the thing that you love, that will work, and that you can afford. . .and then you do the HAPPY DANCE!!!

Well, I decided to enter the Ravelympics 2010 on Ravelry. I have a spindle and some roving, so my first event will be the Flying Camel Spin, wherein I will attempt to teach myself to spin fleece into yarn. I have from the lighting of the torch (2/12) until midnight on Feb. 28th. Contemplating that 16 days, I thought that I should enter a second event as well. I decided on the Sweaterboard Cross (all sweater knitting in adult sizes fits into this event), and I started to dream of the project and drool over patterns.

Now, I know what I want the sweater to look like, and feel like, so how hard can picking a pattern be? Well, harder than you might think (that explanation provided especially for my. . .ahem. . .non-knitting friends!) So, I never did find the perfect pattern. Still, I am entering the event. I figure that I know enough about general sweater construction that I can work with a simple sweater generator from Knitting Fool that I love, and come up with something I like. . .I did it with the Mockery, after all!
So, I am sure I can do it again. So, I went on Knit Picks website to see what yarn I wanted to use. . .the Mockery was done in a light, fingering-weight wool, with a strand of lace-weight carried along every 10 rows, and it turned out fabulous. But, I don't want this sweater to be that fussy in the yarn. How about this:
Same stuff I used for the Mockery, but this time in Salsa Heather color! I feel spicy and warm just thinking about it! And, even though I will need 10-12 balls, it's only $2.19/ball, so it's totally affordable! I am like Yay! and double Yay!! and triple Yay over here!!! The only dilemma that I have now is keeping myself from starting before the lighting of that silly torch! Can I do it? Eh. . .we'll see. . . ;-)

In the meantime, I have one sock of my tail-chasing pair finished, and the other is half-way to the heel on the leg portion. Doesn't that sock look cool?!?
Yeah! I took a picture in the snow. . .how much cooler can you get?! haha!

And I started College Girls second pair of legwarmers, so there is no shortage of knitting at Pretty Knitty's house. Situation normal. Now I am off to work on some counters for the shop, then off to stitch in bliss. . .!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chasing My Tail. . .

Soooo, remember this sock?
Yes, I started it, blogged it on Wednesday, and was just LOVING THE KNITTING! Then, when I got to just past the heel, I decided to try it on so I could fully appreciate my knitting prowess and mastery of the sock-knitting, in general. squee! But (dissonant chords, by threes, here), the linen stitch (k1, sl1) on 6 of the panels was so inelastic that the sock would barely go on, and there was NO WAY it was going past my heel. . .(tears of a knitting clown here)

I stopped, and frogged. I did not know what the solution would be. I figured that I could either add a repeat of both panels OR I could add a stitch on either side of each linen stitch panel. . .but neither sounded foolproof (with me, really, is anything foolproof?) and I was still a bit heartsick at having to rip out a pattern that was so perfectly matched to the variegated yarn I was using. I took a moment to grieve.

And. . .then. . .it came to me!

SEED STITCH! Yes, k1, p1 in the 6-stitch panels where the linen stitch had been, then k the ps and p the ks every time I came to those panels. . .and viola!
So, I have stopped chasing this tail, at least, and the Edwardian Boating Socks are well on their way, and I think the seed stitch maintains the integrity of the colorwork this yarn provides, while being very stretchy! Yay! Actually, this picture is a little old. . .I have turned the heel, knit the foot and started the toe decreases on this sock. . .aaaand it fits!!! But, the picture of where I actually am is not as good as this one, so this is what you get for now!

As far as life, in general. . .I also feel a little like I am chasing my tail there. I have been at the same job (which I love!!!) for 10 years, part time. This year, for the first time. . .ever. . .it became an actual, full-time, 9-5 job for me! While I am soooo pleased at this new turn of events, it is an adjustment. And this week, for the first time, I am really feeling it. Sooo, back to the basics, and perhaps there will be some weeding in the garden of Pretty Knitty's life. . . Until then, I find myself treading water, chasing my tail, and feeling a little lost from time to time.

Oh, and I am going to do the Ravelympics 2010. So, I must not be that stressed! My events will be the Flying Camel Spin (I am going to attempt to teach myself to spin), and the Sweaterboard Cross (I think I am gonna knit a sweater)! Are you joining the games? Maybe I will see you there.

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cat's Out of the Bag!

I am a morning person, and knowing that, I scheduled a vet appointment for the cats this morning at 8am. Now, the way we transport cats to the vet is in these nifty shoulder bags, designed for holding your smallish pet in a softer carrier than those sturdy-plastic-and-metal boxes, and they have worked well with most of our cats.

So, when I came downstairs this morning, I brought both cat carrier-bags down with me, and the "O-Es" spent some time investigating. Then at 7:30, I bagged them up for the trip. Chloe (the older cat) mewed and moaned and just complained loudly from the moment the zipper was zipped and the velcro was velcroed, but Zoe continued to quietly contemplate.

Safely stowed earlier than expected, I hopped in the car for the 15-minute ride, placing both carriers on the floor by the passenger seat. Chloe's mewing and moaning became louder and more desperate, which may be why I did not hear the velcro when it started to give way. About 10 minutes into the drive, I heard the distinctive "rrrrip" of released velcro which led to the "Great Escape!"
I was dumbfounded as Zoe freed herself from the bag, jumped up and plopped down next to my purse on the passenger seat. There was nothing really that I could do. . .no place that was good for a pull-over-and-re-package, so I just kept an eye on her. She looked out the passenger window, and then she perched (back feet on the seat) with her front feet on the dash to watch the rest of the journey. It's like she is part Houdini, part doggie! (I would have taken a photo, but I was driving and the car was moving, and I am only one woman! I caught the photo above with my cell phone while at a stop light on the way home. . .yeah, she let herself out of the bag on the way home, too.) What a silly girl!

OK, this is a knitty blog, so enough about the cats already!

In Knitting Knews, I love my Christmas Mittens so much that I made another pair for College Girl, out of yarn left from the legwarmers and hat! For this pair, I typed up my revisions to the pattern I started with, and I am considering publishing it. . .hmmm, maybe. Right now, there are some major errors, but I am working on it. But here's a picture anyway:
And on the Sock Front, I finished the January installment of my own personal Sock-a-Month Club! The November Socks (from A Year in Socks) are finished. . .tadaaaaaaa!:
And, because I really like to knit socks, I started the February installment a little early! These are Edwardian Boating Socks, and the yarn is 5th Avenue Funky Sock Yarn! I am really enjoying this knit so far! And I love the color play of the slipped stitches! What do you think?
So, that's it for now. I guess I could write more, but then I'd have to knit less today! And it's gonna be a busy day, so I am outta here! See you around blog-land!

Oh!, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

¿Wordless? Wednesday

Yeah. . .not so much wordless as less words. . .I have soooo many words! Good grief, Pretty Knitty!

Here's my newest item in the shop - Hearts 'n Flowers 100-row Counter:
This is a fun, kinda-custom item, buyers can choose from a red, white or pink heart to adorn the end of this knit-lovin' row counter! Cute, huh? I'm just sayin'. . .

And here's the progress on the November Socks. . .
Sooo, that's far less words than usual, but not nearly wordless, really. Wordless just is NOT one of my gifts, I guess. . .

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Is it? No, it couldn't IS! DIAMONDS!!!

So, here is a picture of the completed afghan! It is the Diamond Trellis pattern, crocheted in Caron One-Pound yarn in creme. The base afghan was crocheted far shorter than the pattern called for, allowing for a wide, matching border. . .I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

In Knitting Knews. . .

I got my Cozy Spirit Yarn in the mail yesterday! This skein of worsted yarn is 100g of "Nearly Dusk" colors, and it's just so, well, COZY! Can't wait to hear it whisper to me of what it dreams to be. . .shhhhh, listen!

On the Mitten Front. . .

Another pair of the Flap-top Mittens, this time for College Girl! Now that we have her shins and head all warm, I just could not let those fingers freeze, could I? So here are some photos of the finished mitts (pattern improvised as in this post):
And here is the Mitten Back:
And, for those who asked on Thursday, here are a couple shots of me picking up the purl bumps that I knit into the mitt, just before the finger ribbing. . .
They are much easier to see and photograph on solid-color yarn! (Still, these are phone photos, so pardon the grainy-ness, if you please. . .
I was just telling the Hubster that I am currently knitting on socks for College Girl (pictures next time, I promise!) and mittens for College Girl. AND my very next planned knitting is another pair of legwarmers for College Girl. . .I hope she knows just what a lucky College Girl she is! (hee hee! I know that she does!)

Still praying for those in Haiti, and those with friends/family in Haiti. Anything else would be such an understatement, that I will just leave it at that for now. . .

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

So far, and yet so close (to my heart)

You have probably heard about the earthquake. The one in Haiti.

I will not use my blog to share my religious views, or to try to convert anyone to my way of thinking, but I will use it to make the following request:

If you are the praying kind, please pray for the people of Haiti in the wake of this disaster. My church supports a mission and school that is located about 2 miles from the epicenter of the quake, and I cannot even begin to imagine the losses they have suffered. I know that many buildings have been destroyed, and like the rest of the world, I am waiting to see the stats on the injured and the loss of life. I am praying, not just for Christianville, but for all those affected by this tragedy in Haiti, and I ask you to please join me.

That's it for today. Knitting Knews and updates next time.

I hope that you are knitting in good health, and counting your blessings while you do.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Christmas Mittens!

Nope! I am not already knitting for next Christmas. Although, I am finding my new mittens (made with yarn I received for Christmas) so quick and fun, that I am considering starting a BUNCH of mittens for next Christmas in my near future! Especially since I live here:
This is my next-door neighbor's porch. . . When it is warm, I wish I had a porch. But we just have a stoop. The Hubster and I are "front porch people," and we like to sit outside together and watch the afternoon go by in the nice weather. Neighbor kids come by to play frisbee in the front yard, just like we played with our own kids there when they were small. Neighbors sometimes stop over to chat. After walks around the neighborhood, there's just nothing better than taking off our shoes and sitting out front in the evening with a tall glass of something cool to drink. . . In the winter, there isn't much front-porch sittin', but we are porch people, nonetheless.

Today, we are also empty-nesters again. College Girl was home, and so were Army Boy, Wifey Poo and Puggle Face. AB, WP and PF left last weekend, and CG packed away her things and left this afternoon.
It's so nice to get to know this young woman who used to be my little girl, but I get a little sad each time she goes. Maybe it's because she is the baby, maybe it's because she was home for an extra week after her brother left, maybe it's because she is becoming more and more like a new friend as she grows up, and I miss my friend. Or maybe I get sad because every time she comes home, I come a little closer to the fact that one day (maybe soon) she will have her own home, and she won't need me as much. But that is exactly as it should be, so the sad does not usually last very long.

Part of my get-happy plan for today was Christmas Mittens in bright red (with dark blue and purple) yarn! The pattern is Warmest Mittens, but I have made some changes. . .
Like making these into split-top mittens, so I can pull my fingers out to grab a credit card at the gas station or pay for a frozen coke at the drive thru. . .how crazy is that? I need mittens because it is too cold for fingerless gloves, and I am stopping for a frozen coke. . .perhaps I will rethink that, but probably not. I like frozen coke!
Another change is the addition of 4 extra stitches when I got to the stockinette portion of the hand, so I would not have to go home to get a larger needle for that portion. And I made a change in the thumb gusset as well. And I added additional rows for more length. The yarn is Cascade 220 Paints, and the needle is a size 4, so these are dense and very warm. Other than that, though, these are pretty much a re-design, based on the pattern mentioned above. Haha - I am a Fearless Knittah!!!

In other knitting (umm, I mean crocheting) knews, I am about halfway through my Diamond Trellis afghan, and I realy like it. It will be much smaller than the original pattern specifies, but I really like how it's turning out. I have fearless plans for a border treatment, too! Squee! And I am still working on my January sock-a-month kit! So, no after-holiday low, and no boredom in Pretty Knitty's world for now.

Hey! I think I'm happy!

I hope that you are happy, or getting there, too.

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

FOs, UFOs and a Sock-a-Month Kit!

So, I got a lot done and started since last I blogged! Here are College Girl's legwarmers:
So, now she can mosey through College Town without freezing her shins off!

AAAND...I finished the Hubster's gloves, which you can see
here. Improvised on size 1 needless with worsted yarn...they hurt my hands, but I have to make another pair, because they look funny-ish to me... But, they are finished, and he can wear them, and they are warm!

And this:
is all my sock yarn (minus one ball of Christmas stuff I forgot to throw in there...), enough for a total of 19 pairs of socks!
And this:
is the advice of the Yarn Harlot herself in yesterday's page-a-day entry. Make my own sock kits? That sounds like a good idea, so I did! I printed 12 patterns, and paired them with 12 yarns, and these:
are my 12 "Sock-a-Month" kits! I am so proud of myself, and I have started my January November Socks!
I also started an afghan. Pictures will follow in coming blogs, I am sure. Or, check my Ravelry project page!

So, what have you been working on in 2010? For me, it seems to be all about the knitting!

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010...a pretty good year so far...

I have the pictures to prove it!

First, my mom turned 70 on her last birthday (a few days ago), and today there was a small gathering at my cousin's house to get some family together and celebrate! There was cake, and there were candles (but not 70 candles, whew!). I asked mom if she glued her teeth in before the big "blow," and that must have made her nervous, because she missed one:

But, aside from the one missed candle, it was a pretty good day! Nut-butter balls and Grandpa Joe's cookies, birthday cake and meatballs, relish trays and cheese dip, and family I have not seen in quite some time. And my kids, my mom's favorite grandchildren, were both able to attend as well...I really couldn't ask for more!

In New Year Knitting Knews, I am almost done with the Hubster's finger and a thumb to go, and I should be able to finish those tonight in front of the tube! I don't know exactly why, but getting past the "bad word finger" always feels like a major milestone when I knit gloves. lol
Other than that, I will move back onto the legwarmers for College Girl when the gloves are done, then an afghan for a wedding on Jan 23, and I know of a couple January birthdays...not sure if I will be able to crank stuff out for those...but I may still try...and I may not. Oh, and I want to do a pair of mittens for match my scarf with my one skein of Christmas yarn! So, maybe it's just unfortunate for those with January birthdays, perhaps there will be another occasion for which I can knit for them...sigh!

So, Happy New Year! Knit in good health!