Monday, April 30, 2007

Email to DH


Including: book signing, Q and A, shopping until the last knitter leaves, hors d'oeuvres AND cash bar. Be advised - I will be rolling out of town early in the day with a bag full of credit cards and pointy sticks and not coming back until very, very late.

Webs gift certificate ( requested as Mother's Day gift please.

Love you :)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Wandering Aran Fields

I LOVE this pattern!

It is designed by Norah Gaughan and featured in the book Wrap Style. I'm knitting it in the larger size and the only modification I've made so far is to knit the button bands along with the body as I go rather than knitting them separately and sewing them on. (Here's hoping there wasn't some "special reason" Ms. Gaughan spec'd it out that way...but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? And oh, how I hate to sew.)

Here's a long shot of my progress:

The process was so much easier once I transferred the 300+ stitches from my 24" addi circs to a set of 40"s. (Geez, you think???) Close-up:

Really, it's not quite as wonky as it looks in the photo.

Also greatly assisting me in my efforts is this baby:

Yes, you there in the middle. I have been searching for just such a stubby little cable needle but wasn't sure one existed until I combed my LYS the other day. It is making swift work of those cable crosses, fer sure. The birch feels so much nicer than the metal one I was using.

That's about all that's happening on the knitting front. Kids are *still* whooping it up on school vacation, but at Nana's for today. I am *supposed* to be using this time to work, so of course here I sit, chronicling my knitting foibles and follies...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hope! And Lots of Droning about Other Stuff...

There might still be hope for Webs! Stay tuned! I will say this - the owners are really trying to accomodate. Regardless of the outcome I am really happy with their response to the groupie dilemma.

Now I'll have to buy even MORE yarn when I get out there! You know, just to show appreciation and all ;)

I am loving Aran Fields. It's going faster than I expected and I love working with alpaca, it's sooo soft. I'll try to post a picture later this weekend.

Not only is it officially spring (according to the calendar and the weather) but my house is now sparkling from a thorough spring cleaning! It smells so good in here. I even did those cleaning things I never do, like polish the marble on the fireplace surround and dust the chair rail in the dining room. It's nice to have some time to feel like a person again! And a husband who is fresh from a weeklong conference/golf-fest at Disney and ready to "help out" with the cleaning (grr). And ALL the windows open, hooray!

No one was safe from the cleaning frenzy today, even Boy #2 who would prefer almost anything to cleaning. Now all we have to do is the basement, which we'll probably accomplish while watching a movie to distract us from the tedium of sorting a bazillion legos back into their bins and putting cds back into their cases. (Lest you think I am a maniacal neat freak, it is not I who insist on keeping the legos sorted. The boys took a robotics class last year and were so impressed with the way the place had all the legos sorted into drawers by color and function that they asked for drawers and spent a whole day sorting. So now they are the maniacal neat freaks. The apples don't fall far from the tree though, lol.)

God, this is a boring post. Hopefully, though, my feelings of euphoria at the glorious spring weather, clean house, alpaca + fun pattern, and hopes of seeing the Harlot will spread a little joy into the blogosphere! (Or maybe it's just the fumes from all those cleaning supplies...?)

Hope you're having a great day too!

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Little Dark Cloud...

I just found out the Webs venue is already filled :( Apparently in my old age I have lost some of my groupie mojo as it never even occurred to me that there would be preregistration...

This takes me back to 1977, when my mom finally gave in to my whining and interrupted our trek to Cape Cod to stop at a music store (Strawberries? In Dedham, I think) so I could see my heartthrob, Leif Garrett. I made it into the roped line of lucky, lucky pre-teens well before they closed it off. But then, hours later when my Tiger Beat hero finally arrived, all of the teenie boppers broke and made a run for it. Besides nearly getting trampled I lost my place in line. So then, in addition to postponing the start of my family's vacation I tortured them by crying all the way there. (I was SUCH a dork.)

Oh well. I'm still kind of a dork, but I'll survive. Only if I can still go to Webs and load up though :)

Happy Days are Here Again!

The sun is shining, the semester is almost over, and I've just sent off a ginormous paper to my committee. Whee! I feel giddy, especially about the sun.

Also, for all my fellow New Englanders, the Yarn Harlot tour is coming to (near?) Webs in Northampton, MA on May 30. Webs is a giant yarn warehouse-type store that I've been dying to get to. What a perfect excuse. I am so there, along with a few knitting buds, and ready to break the bank on impulse purchases (and some pre-meditated ones) ;)

About the only knitting this week has been a teensy bit of progress on the ribbing for Aran Fields, and a teensy sample of cable knitting for Boy #1's genealogy project at school. (Sure 'n the DH has a bit o' the Irish in him. I just do the knitting.) But with the semester nearly over I can forsee a lot more knitting in the very near future. Yay, knitting! Go, me!

Today's gratuitous chihuahua shot features my nephew's Flat Stanley,who recently mailed himself here for a visit. (Mailing ones' self around is apparently one of the advantages of being flat.) Those of you who've recently had or known a 2nd grader will probably recognize him. Hoo-boy is he having some wild times here. There will be a lot to write in his journal, let me tell you:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sunday is for F-U-N

First of all, a shot of my backyard, April 15, 2007. No explanation necessary:

Too much of this being cooped up indoors makes the boys a little crazy. Lots of potentially disastrous light saber action,

and laughing, seemingly at nothing, for long stretches of time. (Often until someone begins choking on something.) Or singing the same song over and over until someone (me) gets annoyed. Today it's been the White Stripes' "We're Going to Be Friends."

Boys. I just don't get 'em.

And now for some hard-core knitting. I made it through the miserable weather and luckily for me two other hardy and fun-lovin' knitting buds showed up at SnB. Aye mateys, we are made from good tough knittin' stock we are. My output, all 344 stitches (wide) of it:

Yes, that's the same poor alpaca that was frogged, then reknit, as the VK wrap. I frogged it again. Gorgeous, gorgeous wrap, but I finally had to admit that the pattern was boring me to tears. Goodbye VK, hello Aran Fields. We'll see how this one goes.

Here's the beginning of a swatch for the crocheted T in Cotton Fleece. It has to be in this yarn, I've decided. Love. It.

So, I've started a few new projects and put Prudence on the back burner. I'm too burned out on the V-neck issue to make a good choice right now, so into the closet it goes.

Me: It's not you, Prudence, it's me. I can't handle our problems right now. I just need a little space.
Me: Stop looking at me like that!

It feels good to be knitting again. Crochet is a fun side trip every once in a while but there's nothing quite like the rhythm of knitting. Or the rhythm of the music my kids' endless singing has left in my head:

"And when I wake tomorrow I'll bet
that you and I will walk together again.
Cause I can tell that we're going to be friends."

Thursday, April 12, 2007


As the end of the semester approaches I am busy wrapping up the courses I teach. I am also trying to give birth (metaphorically speaking of course) to a particularly stubborn and unwieldy paper that is resisting all of my efforts to complete it and send it out into the world. Ever have a project like that? Just when you think you are done, something jumps out needing to be resolved. It is like intellectual Whack-a-Mole. Or something. The Paper That Would Not Be Done.

Prudence is turning out to be a lot like that. The picking up of stitches around the deep V neckline has turned out to be nearly impossible - it looks like I've stapled the damn ribbing on! After ripping out and consulting EZ (Knitting Without Tears) I've concluded that I messed up by including the end stitches in the decreases instead of leaving a regular stitch at each end of the decrease rows. Sigh. Looks like I'll be doing some more R-I-Ppin' unless anyone has a clever fix for this problem.

And look Ms/Mr/Dr Berrocco, would it have been so difficult to just include that little gem of wisdom in your pattern? I know the pattern was free and all. And technically I didn't actually use your yarn to make it. And clearly you assume I have a basic knowledge of knitting and stuff. But Still...

Thank goodness exasperating things happen from time to time or I'd have no reason to blog! Because there surely is not much knitting going on around here.

On a brighter note, I've been having so much fun with the ripple afghan that I'm contemplating upping the crochet vibe a little. I love the green T-shirt on the cover of this book:

I would totally wear this. Unfortunately, I'm having a little trouble getting gauge with the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece the pattern calls for. I am also swatching with Cotton-Ease, but after working with Cotton Fleece...seriously fabulous, soft and nicely drape-y (yes, even in crochet) with a hit of a sheen...the Cotton-Ease leaves a bit to be desired. Cotton-Ease does create a nice rope-y matte texture though, I think it'd be a great look for summerwear.

We'll see who wins the swatch-out, I guess :) BTW The book also has cute patterns for a little beaded shell top and a wrap to go with...

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Few Words about Gauge

When I was a brand-new knitter I was bold and adventuresome. My first project? Why a sweater, of course. I bought the pattern, the size 3 and size 5 needles, and a whole mess o' yarn. Acrylic, heavy worsted yarn from the 5 and 10. On size 3s and size 5s.

"To save time, check gauge."

Gauge? What's that? Did I care? Ha! I cared not. For that would mean Not Beginning Immediately, and damnit, I had a sweater to make.

20 years later, that sweater looks just as bad, and weighs just as much, as it did the day it was finished. I keep it as a testament to the importance of Gauge. (Not to mention common sense, but that's a whole other issue.) Behold and fear ye the awesome power of GAUGE!!

Can you say, "1985?"

In other news, yesterday's snow day was followed by today's "staffing issue" day, which means an unexpected 4-day weekend for my kids. Yikes! I love having them home, but they are so not conducive to me getting work done. However, knitting is something that can happen, and so it has:

Front of Prudence blocking comfortably in the living room. (Measured, patted into place, remeasured, and pinned.) I patted as best I could but it's still about 1/2" too long in the body and 1/4" too long in the armhole. I can live with a wee bit too long, though.

Back of Prudence is back OTN, an inch longer, and ready for the shoulder shaping. (Will you look at those Addis sparkle!)

Now for some bread machine pizza and several thousand hands of rummy, with perhaps a game of Sorry thrown in. Is it Monday yet??

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Crazytown, USA

Okay, people, it's April 4th already:

Enough with the snow.

No knitting. Tiny amounts of ripple crochet. Much stressing and working. Thank God for chocolate. And for this:

Chihuahua salt and pepper shakers with magnets in their noses that make them kiss. Hehe. Only my mother knows where to find such things.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I'm Back...

It's been a while...hate it when life gets in the way of my knitting.

I have been up to my ears in school stuff - teaching and my own work - as well as being *very* sick for a few days. I know I'm *very* sick when it's so bad that I can't knit. Because I can knit through a lot of things.

Anyway, I'm finally feeling better and am taking a little break from work. So here's some stuff that I found on my camera.

Beautiful sky picture taken by Boy #1:

Front and back of the Prudence vest:

You can't see it here, of course, but the back turned out a full 1" shorter than the front. So, R-I-P will be happening sometime soon. Fortunately, it should only involve a few rows. Other than that I think it will be a perfect fit! I'm excited about getting this project wrapped up, though by the time it's done it'll probably be too warm to wear it.

Did a bit on my parents' ripple last night. It's a great mindless thing to work on. I hate working with the Dale though. It's very splitty. My hook goes right through it. My best guess is that this is adding a good 20% onto my crochet time. Oh well, it really is a beautiful yarn, and it is SUPERWASH. Gotta love that in an afghan.

Below is a gratuitous chihuahua shot. The sweatshirt actually has a little pocket underneath, just like a people one.

Frisky actually has an online chihuahua love, and she's just as cute as a button. You know who you are, SofeeSu! Tee hee. So cute.

So, not sure what's next in knitting. I obviously have a few things to finish, but I am in need of a quick fix kind of project - small, colorful, spring-ish, (but not socks as I have too many in the queue already.) Any ideas?