Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bad Blogger

That's what I am.  I guess it's because I don't think that I'm very interesting.  And lately I've been feeling very scattered. I have a bad case of startitis.  That's not my usual.  I usually finish what I start before going on to the next.  Or at least, I have only one type of project going at a time.  Like I have only one lace project, one mindless knitting, one heavily patterned, you get my drift.  Right now I have at least 5 lace projects, a pair of socks, the gift for my nephew and at least one charity knitting project.  And I got another charity project off the needles last night.  Then there are at least 5 other projects that need to be blocked and finished.  Only one of the lace projects has any business being on the needles, well maybe two.  I'm doing Bad Cat Designs' Summer Swatch Me Knit Along. It's still in progress since summer isn't over.  I'm up to date with the clues despite starting late.  We have 4 or 5 swatches left to finish the sampler shawl, just the edgings.  The second lace project that has some rights to be on my needles is the MMario design, Ylenore.  I would have finished this, but ran out of yarn.  I thought the 1000 m I had of a lace weight 70% silk/ 30% cashmere blend I had would be enough.  I need at least 500 m more. So I went back to the seller on eBay and got 1000 m more (2 balls).  Now I'm waiting for it to come from China.  They said it could be here in as little as 7 days or as many as 21.  I've been really surprised by this yarn.  I haven't had a knot in either ball, it feels wonderful in my hand, and it was really inexpensive.  I got it for $0.99 and $8.95 shipping for the 2 balls.  A silk/cashmere blend for less than $5 bucks a ball is pretty good.   I know telling you about this bargain might not be wise as I may not get this yarn for the minimum bid any longer, but they have quite a few listings, so I'm not  overly worried.  And I want to share with my friends.

So now onto the other UFOs that shouldn't be hanging around.  I have the Moonfleet shawl Knit Along still hanging around.  And two Goddess Knits Knit Along shawls languishing, one since the Fall of 2008 or 2009.  And MMario's Mystery Knit Along from earlier in the year is sitting waiting to be finished.  Then there are the socks for my friend Angela.  Part of it is the pattern, it's a bit fiddly. The ribbon and hearts pattern is different than any other I've done.  I have maybe 2 more repeats to finish the leg on the first sock.  I think it's just a tight knit for some of the stitch manipulations needed for the pattern.  But it's what I need to make sure the sock will fit.  My nephew's throw is big now and hot to have on my lap, so I'm not inclined to work on it. I should get it out and measure it.  I have 5 or 6 balls left so not too much left.  I guess I should do one big push and get it done.  The charity knitting deadline is in mid-October.  So I have some time for that.  But I would like to get a few more pieces done for the hospital.  We'll see, but at least I have 6 things to donate already done.  Maybe one more.  Then there are the 3 sweaters for me that need to be blocked and finished.  That's all they need, seaming and blocking.   Not a lot, but I'm not in the mood.  And I could use 2 of the sweaters now.  They are summer weights, one I designed for myself using a ramie/silk blend from ColourMart.  The other is a bamboo tape yarn made using a sideways pattern off Ravelry.  It really can go 3 seasons so it would be useful too.  I won't use the tape to seam it.  I think it might add bulk to the seam.  I'll use some embroidery floss that matches the main color of the yarn.  Not that it matters that much since I use mattress stitch for these seams and it's invisible.  The third sweater is a vest I made last Feb but haven't seamed up or blocked yet.  It's out of Debbie Bliss Chunky Donegal Luxury Tweed, a winter vest.  I'm in no hurry to do that.  But should get it done and out of the way.  Then I can take stock of what I have for me and plan my knitting accordingly.  I do have yarn to do another Vine Yolk Sweater from the Fall 09 Twist Collection.  I made it in Whisper, an alpaca blend (now discontinued) for winter use.  I want one in a cotton blend for the rest of the year.  I got some Rowan All Seasons Cotton in a dark olive green for it.  Then I have some hot pink Gedifra Top Soft for  Lorelei from that same issue of the Twist Collection.  There are about 3 or 4 sweaters I want to make in the current issue and have the yarn in my stash.  But I won't start anything else until I get this UFO list down.  I promise.  I have a big lace project planned.  I'm going to tackle the Queen Susan Shawl.  I have ordered some hand dyed yarn from Knitivity in Pearl for this.  This pattern is available on Ravelry.  It's an old Shetland shawl that a museum in the UK had published.  A group on Ravelry was interested and made some inquiries.  They wound up working out the pattern and published it with the museum's blessing.  Last time I checked, no one had completed knitting it but quite a few had started.  I haven't gotten the 10 skeins of Dura-Lace from Ray yet.  The shawl is quite big.  I figured out I would need 9 for the estimated amount given in the pattern, but chose to get 10 just in case and since it hasn't been completely knitted.  Queen Susan will be a massive knit on fairly small needles so I need to clear the decks.  So I'm off to knit.  Bye.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Baseball, Butt Cracks and Slow Progress

Today I experienced the phenomenon that is Red Sox vs Yankee baseball.  If you've been reading this blog, you know I am a Yankee fan.  However, I do not hate the Red Sox.  I actually feel bad for them this year.  Given all the injuries they've had this year, it's pretty remarkable that they're in third place.  But there are some fans, both Yankee and Red Sox, that become really obnoxious at the game.  I'm not sure if it's just their personality or the amount of alcohol they've imbibed.  The obnoxious Red Sox fans quieted down when the Yankees tied the game in the bottom half of the inning where the Red Sox went out to a 2-0 lead.  And then some obnoxious Yankee fans gave it to the Red Sox fans when the Yankees took the lead and held it to the end of the game.  Some people do need to learn how to be gracious winners.    Oh, Mr. Buttcrack was back again.  Luckily, this time he had a shirt on that was untucked.  I did catch a glimpse of his red briefs when he reached up, pulling the shirt up a bit.  Unfortunately, he wasn't the only one with low riding pants.  It really isn't a pretty fashion statement and it really looks funny when the pants' crotch is halfway to the knees.  I guess this too shall pass, but not fast enough for my tastes.

I'm making slow progress on the Teal (Pink) Ribbon socks I'm making for Angela.  The pattern is a little tricky especially making the ribbon part.  It is also slow going because I started the sock on size 0 needles.  That was the size I needed to make the gauge that was given in stockinette stitch.  I got about 4 inches up from the toe and thought the sock looked too narrow.  I checked my gauge on the bottom of the foot and found that my gauge was off.  So I went up to a size 1 needle and it is at gauge and the circumference of the foot is correct.  I don't know why my first gauge swatch was off.  I did it in the round and stockinette, so it should have been okay.  The only thing I can think that made the gauge off was that I tightened up while doing all the cableling and pattern stitchwork on the top of the foot.  But it should go a bit better now that I'm off the 0's.  At least there will be a few less rows to the inch now.  I have another pair of socks from the Knitters Brewing Co for me waiting.  They are fishnet socks with a flower applique.  I'm not sure I'll put the applique on the socks or use them as a pin or hair clip.  I should get back to working on the shawls for the store I want to start.   I will be selling on Etsy and a stand alone website.  Right now I have only 3 shawls completed and think that I need more inventory than that.  Then I have a bunch of things I want to make for myself.  The latest Twist Collection has come out and there are at least three sweaters I want to make there.  Then there's the 40+ things in my Ravelry queue and the charity knitting I want to do and, well you get the picture.  There are just not enough hours in the day to get all that I want to do done.  I guess I'll either have to grow two more hands, clone myself or prioritize things.  I guess since the first two alternatives aren't going to happen, it will have to be the third.  So I'm off to do just that.  Bye.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Spectator to History

Today I was a spectator to baseball history along with 47,500+ people.  I was at the game where Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run.  He became the youngest of the six other players who have achieved that mark.  It was very unexpected, happened in an instant and was the only hit he got during the game.  It was wondrous to watch the ball fly and hope that it would go over the wall.  And when it did, it landed in the net over Monument Park.  There was no fighting over the ball, no negotiations for it with a fan.  Just a pure and simple flight into history.  It seemed quite fitting.  The roar of the crowd was deafening.  The ovation lasted the whole trip around the bases and then some.  It started up again when Alex came out to play defense.  He tipped his cap to the crowd several times.  It was something to see.  The couple next to me had their 10 month old son with them.  I am sure they will be telling him about this and showing him all the pictures they took for a long time. 

I have now taken my knitting to the stadium twice with no problems.  Of course, it is mindless knitting so I can watch the game.  This time I took a snuggle sack to donate to Cooper University Hospital.  It was at a point when all I was doing was going round and round.  I did start decreasing for the bottom.  The sack is made like a big ski hat, a long tube that tapers at the bottom.  I'm doing a little variation by having the first 8 to 10 inches open.  It can be closed with a button, or left open.  There's a pattern for this on Ravelry.   Here's the link: .  I had made some plain sacks for them earlier and thought this variation would be good.  There will be some knit  fabric behind the baby's head and  may  keep the baby warmer.  I'm using an acrylic worsted weight held double.  If you have a chunky weight yarn, you won't need to double it.  They are cute and would make good baby gifts.  Many babies sleep better if they are swaddled.  It also adds a extra cover that is safe for the child.  So if you're caught in a rash of babies and need some quick gifts, give this one a look.  Bye.