Sunday, December 30, 2007

All I have for you is an almost FO....

I haven't been that productive, all I have for you is an almost FO and a few other in progress shots and some plans for the New Year. This could be a long post, so buckle down, get some hot cocoa and put up your feet. I've got a computer, pictures to post, a sleeping fiance, and a cat whacked out on catnip running around the apartment for entertainment so reader beware.

First off, Christmas, we do it at my Dad's because of my stepmother, and it's nice. This time the siblings came into town and therefore M and I spent the long weekend at the house so we didn't have to worry about the drinking and the driving and could spend more time with people. I got some spectacular gifts and we got a very nice gift certificate to a cooking class from that side of the parents. Awesome! Our Iron Chef (apple was the secret ingredient) themed dinner turned out very well, with all the teams covering their course of the meal exceptionally.

Now the knitting.

I worked on these that weekend and last night finished the second one to this point. They just need thumbs and the antique buttons I got in Concord center and the loop for the buttons. That's why they are an almost FO. They are for my stepmother, who is in Hawaii right now so she definitely does not need them except maybe to protect against air conditioning?

They do need thumbs, see? I made them using the standard mitten pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and modified them with a band of ribbing about an inch long where the fingers start and then picked up stitches along the top of the hand for the flap covering the fingers, casting on the necessary stitches for the bottom of the flap so that it could flip up and the bottom of the finger covering flap would not be attached to the rest of the bottom of the mitten. This is my first time working from a guide, not a patten per se and modifying it to my needs. I feel like I am growing as a knitter and getting to the point where I can knit what I want how I want it without being a slave to the pattern. It's a good feeling and so far did not bite me in the butt, I am sure it will at some point.

The underside, so you can see the ribbing and the gap between the bottom edge of the ribbing covering the palm and the flap for the fingers.Ahhhhh! Where is the thumb? I haven't gotten around to knitting those yet.
To see the flap better.

I also turned my first heel last night!!! It went from this:
To this!!! Ok, for those of you who are really observant, those are two different socks, and I have only turned the heel on one of them. This is one of those milestone steps for a knitter, the first heel and I did it. Yay! I still am not sure if sock knitting is for me though, it's been taking me forever to do these socks, mainly because of the restarting, reknitting, and so many other projects.
Here are the two socks side by side for comparison, the one on the left only has the heel flap and the one on the right has been turned.
My mom's Branching out Scarf is halfway done. Not far enough along for my taste.

The detail shot.
The next two projects will be hats. One for the fiance in black and one for the Dad in blue, red, and purple variegated Malabrigo just like my brothers. They have to wait for some other projects to be done however. My AFO's need to become FO's.

I also special ordered some Cascade Eco Wool in a cranberry color to make a Hemlock Ring Blanket. I am excited about that.

Here's the link to his post.

If you do not read his blog, go, its beautiful and inspires me to make prettier knits.

I have to work tomorrow but not Tuesday so tomorrow night (New Years Eve) will be low key for us. What are your New Years Eve plans? I like to stay in with friends, but this year the friends we spent New Years Eve with last year are scattered (we were invited to go skiing with a few of them) so it will be just us. I am not a fan of going out for New Years-it seems like a forced good time with too much drinking every time. I'd much rather be with people who really mean something to me in a relaxed environment. New Years Eve out always smacks of people desperate to make that one night extra special and it's sort of sad.

However, whatever your plans, I hope you have a Happy New Year and Happy Knitting.

I have a plan for my 2008 yarn use and purchase I will share with you soon. Publicly acknowledging it will hold me to it hopefully and it is something I want to do, so it shouldn't be too hard. It means swearing off a large portion of the yarn available out there but that's ok with me too.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Unbloggable is now Bloggable...

The hat is done and and has been gifted. I already posted it on ravelry because I know my little brother is not a member and probably never will be. It fits and he likes it and my Dad now wants one similar but in a blue/red/purple color scheme.

Details: Less than one skein of Malabrigo Malabrigo.
Frugal Knitting Haus: Classic Ribbed Hat
It now costs 99 cents but it was free when I downloaded it. Guess I better keep that copy.

I gave it to him already because he is going to Hawaii soon for a few months to be the legislative aid to our cousin, a state representative in Hawaii. He won't need any wool hats there.

Happy Knitting!

Oh, this is what the second heavy snowfall in New England in four days looks like:

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Things go on as they are...

The writers strike goes on....Silly execs, just give in already....

The world goes on as it is, overusing resources in the name of economic growth and wealth for the few.

This result was no real change, "no real breakthrough." It was an agreement for agreement's sake and the US did not give in on specific cuts, which was what was holding up the agreement.

I go on knitting the hat that cannot be seen and the scarf that has already been updated.

I am participating in a swap from the knittinghelp forums in the New Year and also probably a mini knit a long among my knitting group on the hemlock ring blanket. I will also be doing hte surprise stole knit a long, but slowly, as well as my chuppah. Fun times. Also, a sweater for my sister. I have a lot of projects lined up and am excited about them.

One past project that turned out really well and as we can see, is well utilized by its recipient, is this scarf I knit almost a year ago for my stepfather. It's a simple basketweave pattern, with repeats of 5 stitches over about 25 stitches and 8 rows, repeated until you are out of yarn. You can see it below. My nieces were in these pictures, but I edited them out for the fact that you don't put pictures of kids on the internet unless they are your own. The first thing my eye went to was not my scarf, but I did notice it! Yay! I love seeing handknits get worn. I would definitely knit for Rick again because I know it will get used.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

4 hours

It took me 4 hours to get home tonight. I left the office a little before 3 PM and got to the house a little after 7 PM. The vast majority was due to the snow and people's stupidity. How do people not realize that when you are at a light and people drive into the intersection and stop because of the cars in front of them and block your entire green light, you are allowed and obligated to do the same to them, not just sit there for 45 minutes and make everyone else in the world hate you and basically want to waterboard you.

Not that I advocate waterboarding in any shape or form. I think it is torture and unjustified.

Then I finally pulled into the driveway for my apartment complex, and drove all the way up, right to where the roundabout is and where I have to turn to get into the parking garage. I was already at my breaking point after 4 hours of sitting in the car for a trip that normally takes me 45 minutes. There is only so many times I can listed to the same guy on NPR talk about the baseball steroids report and give the exact same quote (I mean, they are playing the same segment every hour-the exact same segment) before I lose it. This GUY was blocking the roundabout-THE ONLY WAY TO GET TO THE GARAGE. I do what a normal, polite person would do, and roll down my window, and ask him and the plow to politely move. He ignores me. That is a poor way to treat anyone, and a really good way to piss me off, especially if you are a 50-ish something old man. I ask again, a little louder, "can you please move your car?" He ignores me mostly, but comes back halfway as if to say something, and goes back to talking to the guy. I ask again, nicely, using please. This was his last chance. He comes back, tells me there has been an accident, and goes back to talking to the guy. I ask him if his car is ok, and if it can move. His answer "Yes" and goes BACK TO THE TALK TO THE GUY. I ask him to move his car then please, and he IGNORES ME. By this time, there is a line of at least 3 other cars behind me. I get out of my car, and go and yell at him to move his car and he tells me to WAIT AND BE PATIENT AND POLITE.

EXCUSE ME?? Your car is fine, it can move, you are blocking the only way to the garage, which I told him, and therefore I told him to move his car before I called the police and reported him for blocking the only entry to the garage. He moved pretty quickly after that, but not after trying to tell me to be polite. I told him I was polite, I asked nicely three times, and he ignored me.

I really hate old men who think they can do whatever they want, and boss around young women. This guy was clearly one of them. I don't take that and no other young women should either. It's such an obnoxious and chauvinistic attitude. I understand you were in an accident, just move off to the side so you don't block everyone and do it when asked nicely. Then I won't be forced to put the smack down on you and your delusions of self importance.

On the plus side, I did spend some of the time with my car parked (literally in park) on the road knitting on my project. It can't be posted here but is a hat for my little brother.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Portland Visit

If you go to Portland, OR go to KnitPurl-a yarn store there. It's beautiful, and they are very helpful. It's centrally located downtown, is a beautiful space with big windows and hardwood floors and has a great selection of quality mass produced yarns, their own yarns, and hard to find yarns such as ShibuiKnits and Habu Yarns.

Also, go to Powell's, a great independent bookstore the entire size of a city block. You can spend hours there.

Also, go to the Original House of Pancakes and order a Dutch Baby. They are delicious and won't cry at all, unlike the rest of the babies I saw last weekend.

We got into Portland and dropped the boys off at my brother's house and went wedding dress shopping. I learned a lot, such as that I can wear a strapless wedding dress and that I look best in A-line dresses that emphasize my waist. There were about 10 women there, and it was very helpful.

Then we went back to my brothers for wine and cheese and hanging out and there were so many babies, since all of his friends have had kids. Every single one of them had a kid in tow, except him, and my sister and her husband. Both our step sibs have kids now.

Saturday, M and I went to go meet with the rabbi who is doing our wedding, a very old friend of the family. Then we went to watch the Oregon-Oregon State game at the step-brother's and there was much taunting, where the step-sis (Beaver) and step-bro (Duck) taunted each other.

Then we went back to the Moms house and had our Thanksgiving dinner.

Sunday we went to the Original House and then yarn shopping when my Mom got me all the yarn I previously posted. Then I got M and we went to Powell's and then home for dinner, packing, and hanging out and we left the next day.

It was a fun weekend!

This weekend we went to West Hartford for a Hannukah party and then to the Patriots game today, it was so cold!

It's so nice to be home.

I might have a trial tomorrow!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Vacation/Travel Yarn!

My Mom got me some delicious yarn from KnitPurl in Portland, OR for my birthday (a pretty late present). Here it all is!

Here is my Branching Out Scarf for my mom. I think it is so pretty, I will probably make one for me with the Tapestry in the Blue colorway but maybe with a different lace stitch.

Happy Hannukah and Happy Knitting!
Tales of Portland will come this weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Baby Blanket Madness!

I finished it!!!!!

It took me some breakneck couple of knitting weeks only on this, but I did it! I finished this baby blanket at breakneck speed and everyone liked it. You can't really see the eyelet rows in this picture but they are there. Maybe in this bigger picture you might be able to see them.

I don't love the yarn, but it was washable and relatively inexpensive, both pluses for this project.

I really like this pattern for baby blankets. It went quickly and was easy and the row of eyelets (K1, (yo-K2tog)repeat until end of row, K1) really made the blanket. Next time I would add a border in the middle stripe color, but I didn't have time for that.

It's really wide. I cast on 180 stitches and would only do 120 or 150 next time and make it longer. I used worsted weight yarn and size 8 KnitPicks Options needles.

I'll tell all of you about the fabulous yarn store I went into Portland, OR tomorrow and also about the rest of the trip. It was so fabulous and my wonderful mother bought me some fabulous yarn there as a late birthday present! yay! The yarn is just delicious.

I am now getting to knit on some more fun projects. I'm still working on the Jaywalkers and am working on the Branching Out Scarf still in Rowan Tapestry. I've got about 40 more rows (4 pattern repeats ) than this picture shows. It's definitely not knitting group knitting, too complicated. It's for my Mom and I think she likes it.

Happy Knitting and more news tomorrow or Friday!