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Oct. 21st, 2008



I got a very high compliment

I sent off the sweater to my youngest grandson and it fit like a glove. Again. That's two for two.  His big brother even agreed it looked very cute on him.  (That's a high compliment from a 5 year old boy)
Well to top it off, they were out and about shopping with the baby in the sweater and mom got stopped by another lady and was asked, 'What store did you get the sweater at?"  My daughter proudly told her that his grandmother knitted it.
YAY!  Woohoo!
Now I have to start knitting a size bigger so by the time I finish it'll fit him.  This also means that I need to upsize the two other sweaters I've started already. 
I'm back to knitting baby socks again and have had to rip back the second of a pair because by the time I got to turning the heel, I realized it was about a half inch smaller than the first one.  Trying again, being more careful counting, due to the first try being knitted while watching Indy 4.  Not good for tension and attention to counting.
More later... feel like trying to finish that second sock and use the same yarn (TLC Baby in Naptime).

Sep. 23rd, 2008



Catching up

Was offline for a while...

I am at a stall point on the top down cabled sweater.  I think I'm to the point of separation for the sleeves and that's where I stopped.  I started another small sweater in a natural color from the EZ Knitting Almanac book. A coworker has revealed she's pregnant and is due in spring sometime. I made a fast little (tiny) hat and decided to do the sweater to match.  I started the same top down sweater in Red Heart 'Aspen' colorway, I love the combination of colors and that's the only yarn I can find with the blue, green and two tones of tan.  Colorways in other yarns don't have the blue and look kind of dull  (Sandcastle in Bernat...or was it Patons?)
So I have a lot of little projects going and still haven't finished a sweater for my daughter who is at about 4400 feet  north of Tahoe.  She needs that sweater soon and I am so uninspired to finish the two sleeves on two circulars.
Might get back into beading.  There was a lady doing some sort of beading at Starbucks on Monday but she sounded like she didn't know that much English when I commented on how pretty her work was (nothing incredible but any beads put together in one spot is *sparkly!*.)
Oh, and two co-workers at the nursery are going to come to my Friday night classes..yay!

Okay, need to get going here... more later I hope.

Aug. 28th, 2008



Ever have one of those knitting days?

I am in the beginnings of making a top down, cabled pullover sweater for my oldest grandson. Simple enough, only has a single panel of knotwork in the front and back (though I'm not putting it in the back because ..because) I've done cables before, this is no big deal.
I think the yarn I'm using is cursed. Every project I have started with it has never been finished. It's Wool Ease Camel color.  It's a nice enough color but I think it's one of those things that I am just going to have to get rid of. It isn't in my color palette, bad for my knitting karma or whatever.  I have attempted to start the marking round for this sweater three times and every time, there's a problem.  It's bad yarn karma.
I'm going to be offering it up for trade, because I just don't want to look at that color with that label anymore.
So, I found another unfinished cable project, a child's sweater vest in the Patons Merino Natural Mix (LOVE that color) and am unravelling the front that was only a third done. 
I'm almost designing my own sweater for him, since the only part of the original pattern I'm keeping is the center front cable pattern and the top down construction. I'm going to be adding a cable insert on the sleeves, not putting a cable on the back, but may do another decorative stitch just so I don't get bored. Heck, if this works, I might put it up on ravelry as a downloaded pattern.  Riiiight, and I'll win the lottery tomorrow. (I don't even have a ticket because.. I don't have any money!)

Going to have to let the frogged yarn relax a little before diving in. I don't have any money for yarn so having to dig into my limited stash. And when I say I don't have money for yarn, I also mean I don't have any money.  Really. Not 'oh, I can't spend anything because of bills' , not 'oh, there's no budget left for yarn this month',  I mean I have no money. (see my other journal for the details). Oh and we're out of toilet paper.  Food we can skate by with top ramen, macaroni and hamburger, but that beats not having anything at all.
My jewelry and stuff on etsy isn't selling, going to try and upload more photos to sell there, but even then, that generates more output than income. I haven't paid any of my utilities or credit cards in at least two months, I don't get paid until next Friday and we're broke. Flat out, nothing left, no reserves, nada.  I don't even have anything to sell on Craig's list!
So...I have to resort to knitting to keep my sanity intact and that's really pushing the limits right now.  Maybe I'll go edit some photos instead.

Aug. 14th, 2008



I committed a heinous crime

In the process of getting my needles organized, getting projects lined up and finished I .... committed a heinous crime. But it was justifiable and needful. There was no other way, I was trapped and they were in the way, it was for the good of the yarn and my sanity.

I.... cut.... a circular needle.

There. It's out.
Let me explain before the pitchforks and torches come out.
Everyone has, at one time or another (and don't deny it from way back in your neophyte knitting) used the Takumi bamboo needles. I don't know wny I have two sets of size 2 16" bamboo circulars but I do. I must have been desperate to start a sock or something....or a baby hat. Anyway, in the process of making (what I thought was going to be a baby sweater) what is now a tight blue teddy bear sweater out of Wool Ease, I used the bamboo needles as stitch holders. When the weather was cooler and the humidity lower, it made sense and they were the only thing handy. I don't like using yarn fo stitch holders as some of you do, and I didn't have any Options cables handy with a tip that was small enough.
So... now I am getting things a bit more orgainzed, the project has been sitting on top of a wire cage next to the door for at least a month or two, I decided (in a fit of ADD) to take the bamboos off and put the stitches on size 2 dpn's. Welcome to Short Attention Span Hobbies. So... I managed to take half the stitches off one end and slip the wonderfully smooth dpn in, but then came to the other side. The stitches just simply would not move on the bamboo. The yarn was beginning to get fuzzy from my increasingly clammy hands, it was still, what seemed like, miles to go before I got to the tip... my arthritis in my index finger twinged and that was it. I snapped. I was never going to use these for a project and didn't think anyone else should either. The red handled scissors were right where I had put them the night before...
I cut the cable.
Just behind where it thickened to the join.
The stitches came off the bamboo tip as if released from prison and I deftly slid them on to the dpn. They're much happier stitches now I tell you. They can slide freely along the smooth metal and be transferred to another, less restrictive circular to be finished at a future date.

I don't regret what I did...and I'd do it again if given the same situation.

Photos of the crime scene:

The rest of the photos can be viewed on my flickr account. They are too graphic to be displayed to the public knitting community.

There, my first crime. Throw the book at me if you want, but I'm glad I did it and do not regret my actions.
(Don't listen to her...it's the PMS talking!)

Jul. 24th, 2008



Knit stuff

I had to start something to take with me to ComiCon this year so... I started an adult sock for me.  So far it's not going as fast as I'd like, it doesn't look the way I think it should...but it keeps my hands busy and eyes from making contact with random other geeks and freaks on the trolley.
I made a total of two and a half pairs of baby socks and am trying to do a top down baby/toddler hoodie sweater. The top of the hood is started with the JMCO from the New Pathhways for Sock Knitters. It works better than a figure eight or the Eastern method for casting on.  I just have to get the cast on number right for the size I need.

I've got a personal issue that has come up and may cause an interruption of my life in another drastic way.
My son was receiving SS benefits due to his dad being disabled. That has been about two-thirds of our rent for several years.  I was under the impression that it would continue as long as he was a full time student.  I discovered that only applied to high school.
It is being cut off as of August 1.  I now have to either find a way to come up with an extra $900 per month or we have to move again, after only being in our new place since March.
I got a small boost from my ex to help pay for Devon's school as well as a reminder he's got other money available.  But that's for school and doesn't help our current financial issue. I have no idea where that money is going to come from. I bought a new camera and am toying with the idea of selling some photos on etsy or elsewhere.  I'm still behind on some bills and have no idea what is going to happen In August.
Rent is slightly more than my full time income.  According to the county numbers, I likely don't qualify for rent assistance because I make too much money.  We just got settled in here too! 
If anyone has any ideas on some extra income that would help, I'd appreciate it. I am currently working two jobs, and only have about a day and a half free as it is.  (I almost won $10,000 at a car dealer today. I was off on a scratcher thing by one digit.)
(It's 5flipping in the morning and someone of our neigbors is moving cars around....goodlord! I need to go back to bed.)

Help. Please.

Jul. 12th, 2008



I finished a sock!

Well, I've done it before...but I completed a good looking SHORT ROW HEEL!! 
Some of you may remember me struggling with doing a short row heel a while back. It just didn't make sense..couldn't get it to come out even.  Well I bought Cat Bordhi (how do you pronounce her last name?) book, New Pathways For Sock Knitters.  I just worked the beginner sock with the Sky Arch expansion.  Didn't help that I was trying to figure it out around midnight last night... put it away and got about five hours of sleep and then picked it up first thing this morning and finished it!  Okay, now for the second one, and then I have to teach one of my knitting students how to do it.  She just became a grandmother for a second time to a baby girl.  I told her that she needed to learn how to knit socks and little baby sweaters now and move away from doing shawls and hats.
So now that I have this method accomplished, I can show her how to do it and work it into the next three weeks of classes.
Okay, off to Ravelry real quick and post my book but no photo of the sock... looks like the other booties I've done only in worsted weight.
Oh, had to buy another needle gauge/ruler because mine has disappeared, almost had to buy needles but waited until I got home and found my size 7 silverados..which is way too long to do a two circ sock (not to mention being too curly).  So.. found my options 7 and have to hunt down my other one as well.

Did I mention previously that I wasn't going to do baby stuff anymore?
Yeah, I thought so.  ::sigh::

Jun. 28th, 2008



Well so much for that 'diet'

But I needed some supplies badly! 
I needed earwires and headpins to make more markers and found a strand of snowflake obsidian the same as I had used before and it was only 4.50!
(I am ashamed) Spent $26 at GBM.  But got $20 from a fellow beading cohort so that was lunch.
Bad news on the knitting front:
I am on the second round of rows on the Luna shawl, on row 29 and it's the third time I've done it and there's an extra stitch somewhere. I am being meticulous in paying attention to the pattern realizing that it's simpler than I thought and it's still coming out with one stitch extra!  Grrrrr..
Welll... looking carefully at the previous work...there is a GIGANTIC  HOLE where a simple yarn over should be...about a half inch back.
(cue psycho music).
I am so glad this isn't mohair!
I am in the process of frogging it back to that point and realizing that even on my small needles, trying to get the needle back into those already stretched needles is going to be difficult.  Time to do a life line for the first time in my small experience in lace shawls.
Need to find needle and thinner yarn than I have to thread through the row.  I love circular needles in this situation..doesn't matter which direction you thread it on, you'll have an end to start with the row!
Now..to try and figure out which row I screwed up on! 
Oh, and the markers are working great...ten is a good number because as you're doing the next pattern row, you place the marker at whatever count it is (with me it's every 25 stitches) and then when you get to the next marker take it off and place it in the next spot.
Now I just have to remember to pick up the marker as I'm stitching!
The latest set of photos I did are on a disk and sitting on my desk. Unreadable by my computer because my friend Pete (who's camera I borrowed) used a different method to transfer them and it didn't work. dammit, and he's on a camping trip up in Julian until late sunday.  No updates this weekend!

Okay, back to the frogging. rippit @%^&, rippit @%^&

Jun. 26th, 2008



Bead and yarn diet continues...

I started a new shawl, the Luna Moth shawl from elann.com in the blue/green/purple Italian sock yarn that Brandi gave me. So far so good, but knowing what a Luna Moth looks like, I am now on a hunt for some lace yarn in that color of soft green.  I have been making earrings like crazy and now have 20 items for sale on Etsy. Going to take some down to Needlecraft cottage and see if anyone there is interested. One of the ladies asked about them when I was there two weeks ago so I'm making a special trip down to show her some of my better ones.
Thanks to Nancy and her ball winder and swift I have nine of my lace yarns balled now, just have two more skeins to go in a chestnut heather color. Not crucial, I was itching to get the variegated ones wound first and was going to do the Luna in the spring green combo but couldn't find the right size needles.  I don't know where all my knit picks options have one to. Obviously I have a LOT of UFO's stashed somewhere on the smaller size needles.
I was also going to start a pair of socks in the Tazzeteria yarn but got it cast on, realized that the sock pattern I picked with cables was for a size 9 foot (I'm lucky if I'm a women's size 11 these days) and bandoned it after two rows. That's two size 4 options right there, on 29" cables. 
I have the pattern for the Swallowtail Shawl but again, true to it's colors of black and rainbow I want to do it in the right yarn without it looking like a bat wing shawl.
Okay, have some errands to run and then will see I can sell some of my things.


Jun. 3rd, 2008



Please buy my pretties!

Yes, this is shameless begging. I know there are people out there on Ravelry that read my blog (other than Brandi who has done her share). I have some new stuff at my etsy store and will be putting more items up just for kntting.  I have sets of stitch markers as well as a few row counters, but the earrings and bracelet sets are pretty too!
I've spent over $50 on jewelry supplies and have only sold three sets of markers before that. (Thanks Infinite Knitters!)  I have bills to pay and am on a bead an yarn diet now due to my excessive purchasing.
But I needed it!
I'm fooling my camera into taking half decent pictures of my things so I can at least get them up there.  So please excuse the low quality of the pictures, 'I'm a knitter, not a photographer!'
As for knitting...
I had to restart the front of the baby sweater three times because of two mistakes:
1. Forgot to change needle size to 6 from the 8's.
2. Cast on too many stitches because I remembered the wrong number.
And related but not for the front:
Forgot to add the button band on the shoulder, and how have to pull that out and cast off one row back so it's on the wrong side and the edge lays on the wrong side.  Right now the button band wants to flop forward in the seam which makes it look and feel awkward. Nice neat edge too. One of my best bind offs too.  Dangit.

So it's rolling along smoothly now so far. The cables are slowly forming and I'm hoping I can keep up with the pace and not get screwed up on the row count. 'Why not use a row counter?' you say.  Because the pattern uses a 4,8, and 16 row repeat.  How Fibinaccian!
Well I have a new idea for a pair of earrings, hoping to get the design kinks worked out so I can take a picture of the completed pair tomorrow.


May. 30th, 2008



Bonus! A free book!

At work last night (Beverly's) our tole painting teacher walked past the counter as she was leaving and got my attention. Turning around I noticed she had an oddly shaped book in her hands. She explained that a friend of hers, who does all kinds of crafts, was moving and she thought I might like this book.  It's a 1984 edition of the Vogue Dictionary of Knitting Stitches by Ann Matthews. 
Now, I already have two or three compendiums of stitches, including the Barbara Walker first book. Who could want another one?  Well as a knitter you know that one book can't possibly hold all the variations of stitches that are out there, and even if it's the same stitch, there's different ways of doing them and their names are different.  It's in color and has a few lace stitches that they worked in gold and silver yarn. Score one for my library!  I thanked her enthusiastically and then showed it to the other knitting/crochet lady and we looked through it together.
Other than that, I also showed her my baby sweater and told her I wanted to upsize it to fit a six year old, but the Ann Budd sweater book gave the same number of cast on stitches as this 6 mo. baby sweater.  huh?  It's apparent that I need to do some figuring out here, as soon as I'm on the sleeves for this one.
Right now, I'm hungry and need to eat and fix some veggies for lunch today. 

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