Monday, January 27, 2003

Time to come out of the closet! My new site is slowly taking shape at I found it to be a bit tedious to keep two blogs at once so I will be making further blogging entries at my new blog called Simplicitly Stitched. Please bear with me as I learn more about html and css so I can make a decent looking website. If things look funny or you can't see them with your settings please feel free to contact me so I can know what things look like from the other end.

See ya there! Oh yeah -- I will be re-entering the knitblog ring if Ivete lets me, and you will need to update links! I will be working on lots of things coming up including a photos page, a links page, and some graphics, including a button for the blog. Photoshop here I come!

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Woohoo! Squares came in the mail today! Wait, today is Sunday. Yes, today is Sunday and I have no idea what is going on with our mail. We didn't receive any mail on Friday or Saturday and then Sunday things show up (important things nonetheless like quilt squares and hospital bills... and oh yeah, W2s).

I've not been knitting much sadly. I tried some sewing yesterday but my machine is 100% kaput for now. Well, not 100% but it's bad enough I won't use it til it's fixed (finally). Made some good chili from scratch last night though. It's in some cooking light magazine I have sitting around and it's called "all american chili." DH said it was quite possibly the best chili he'd ever eaten... which made me feel good because I fudged a lot of the way through the very long ingredients list.

I still haven't picked up the Mt Rose yet. I'm thinking I may need a quick trip to the yarn store to fulfill this strange obsession I have in my head about some socks my roomie has been wearing around the house. Should be fairly easy to figure out... I hope!

Anyhow, I'm chewing on some Cadbury's dairy milk chocolate as I wait for DH to take a walk with me to the coffee shop. Life is good -- the sun us shining, and I'm hoping it will be a good Sunday! Perhaps I will work some more on my up and coming site... we'll see! (Oh yeah -- movable type is kinda cool! Very confusing at first though...)

Friday, January 24, 2003

Well, I have to admit... I didn't avoid knitting altogether last night. I thought maybe I should take a small break in order to grow some "fresh eyes". Instead I picked up some thrift store yarn (for plastic canvas, not for knitting) and started making something that I designed in my head nearly a year ago.

I also made up another batch of lotion last night. It was a completely different experience than last time. When I blended the oily mixture into the water/aloe mixture... it got REALLY thick... like a rich pudding. And it kept separating as it was cooling... I was getting so worried. I had said before that I wouldn't add the second helping of water because I was afraid it would be watery like the last batch. Instead... it was much thicker and acting very weird. I was also mixing up dinner on the stove, and at one point I turned around (for 5 seconds) to stir my soup. When I turned BACK to the lotion... it was completely liquid! I was freaking out then. I was SURE I screwed up the batch somehow. I kept letting it cool til it was "warm" like the recipe said... and decided that even though it was already the consistency of water, I was going to add the second helping of water anyway. I had added a touch of borax and glycerin to the water to help it emulsify better, and warmed it up to be sure that they dissolved. When I added the water, while mixing... it magically turned into a white, creamy mixture that looked like the perfect lotion! In fact, I think it came out better than the last batch. I'm not sure things happened the way they did but I'm VERY happy with the results. I already have each bottle spoken for though. The next batch will be unscented.

Last but not least, I may be reinventing my online self. My hubby has been rebuilding our webserver using Linux and I think it may be able to support movable type, something I've always wanted to try. He has sort of set up my spot here and here but it may work for some and may not work for others, due to it needing to propogate the recent change. I have several ideas and I think after a year of blogging, I may not be a craft-aholic anymore... I may become something totally different ;-)

Thursday, January 23, 2003

Minor disaster. I had just gotten past binding off the neckline and almost completed a full round after that... when I realized that I had totally screwed up the pattern starting 3 rows prior. Since I had no desire to tink 882 stitches (in 2 colors no less) I decided I would have to rip out stopping 4 rows below... the 3 color row (I'm not ripping that one out!). The bad news was I had already cut some threads (just prior to the bindoff) and since I was at a stopping point... I had already woven those ends in. Ugh... now my yarn is too short to even complete what I did last time and this time I will have 4 more fun ends to weave in. Luckily... I found the 3 color row pretty easy to thread through with my size 2 needles and it's all ready to go. Hopefully this time I won't get off-pattern.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Totally random link for the day:
Q&A by Hook & Needle. This enlightens me a little... I am just going to have to be bold and go for it I think... just take it stitch at a time.

I'll start with this: I did not knit a stitch on the Mt Rose.

Now... I feel better to have gotten that out. Instead I made Pork Chops, Mashed potatoes and Spinach salad for dinner while I worked up a felt test swatch with all of my potentially feltable yarns I could find in the house.

I decided not to litter my blog with more thumbnails so I will just provide links.

Before pictures:
Whole swatch

Detail of blends

So here's the rundown from top to bottom:
1) Black Cascade 220, 2) Black Cascade 220+artful yarns portrait, 3) Black Cascade 220, 4) Black Cascade 220+thrift store yellow mohair 5) Black Cascade 220, 6) Black Cascade 220+ estate sale orange boucle wool, 7) Black Cascade 220, 8) Black Cascade 220 + thrift store tan loopy mohair, 9) Black Cascade 220, 10) Pink Lamb's Pride (with dale heilo X stitches), 11) Black Cascade 220, 12) Creme Lamb's Pride, 13) Black Cascade 220, 14) Estate sale Irish wool, Natural, 15) Brown Heather Lamb's Pride, 16) Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool, 17) Brown Sheep Naturespun, Black, 18) Checkerboard black/green Naturespun, 19) Green Naturespun.

I will confess that I have a front loading washer and I don't think the water was as "hot" as it claimed to the results were actually quite interesting.
After Felting

Detail of blends after felting

Detail of other yarns after felting

As you can see in that last image... the Brown Sheep Naturespun REALLY felted! The white wools didn't do so well except for the Lion Brand Fisherman's wool which is really cool... cuz I have TONS of that.

Anyhow, here is the summary... Before. After.

And just to preview a few of the things I will be felting... Fuzzy Feet and some Handpaint Originals (w/ flash) (w/o flash).

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

OK so if I could, I would kick myself right now. I found out that brown sheep Naturespun felts (this is why everyone should read knitty, and closely!), and I have a couple of balls sitting around. AND I have some leftover pink Lamb's Pride (and offwhite and brown), and I have some black cascade 220 (Which I've used for a felted project before). Now I know that making the fuzzy feet should have quenched my felting urges... but I haven't quite made it to the felting step yet and I am really feeling the urge to make a felted bag... a little cute one. BUT -- when I go to find that cute pattern that I purchased months ago for cute felted bags (Fiber trends I think)... I can't find it ANYWHERE!!!! I have no idea where it has gotten to and it's really frustrating! I do have the yarn ready to go, though...

I decided I shouldn't start anything new until I finish the body of the Mt Rose anyway. I'm on the row where the neckline is to be bound off. I wonder if there are any online resources that have info on binding off in 2 color knitting. I can't imagine it would be MUCH different than regular binding off... but then does that mean I have to start working the pattern back and forth instead of in the round??? I mean I can only assume that is true... but I've never worked the WS of a 2-color pattern. Maybe I even forgot how to purl... this is going to be interesting.

Oh well -- I'm sure you'll hear of the adventures as they occur...

Monday, January 20, 2003

Well it's Monday again and another weekend has slipped away. It was a bit of a stressful one but not TOO bad... I got a lot of knitting in. Finished a pair of fuzzy feet for me but they still need fulling. I call them "bald eagle" because they're brown with offwhite heels and toes. I will have pics soon... probably after they're fulled.

I have gotten a lot of work done on the Mt Rose too. I have only 7 rows till I start binding off for the neckline (I think). I'm a little lost on when to bind off but I think if I sit and think about it for a while I may figure it out. The sleeves are going to be interesting too. Not the making... but the steeking to get them set in. It's a very brief description so maybe I'm making it more complicated than it really needs to be. I'll deal with it when I get there I guess...

Then there's the really fun stuff I did this weekend. Lotion! I found a great recipe that I had almost all the stuff for. Now, I've tried lotion before but hated the way it came out. The consistency was not quite right and it separated a lot and it was SO oily. This new recipe I got is just perfect. It's light (not oily at all), a little runny for lotion, but it smells so clean (when unscented) and it's all made of vegetable derived products... so no petroleum stuffs. I split my batch in half and scented half Ginger Clove for my roomie/sis-in-law and scented the other half Yling Ylang Musk for me. I *love* it so much. Now I think I've found the right container provider (if they sell to normal ppl like me). I could see making an 8 bottle (8 oz ea) batch of this once a week no problem. My glassware comes in really handy too...

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

OK I promised... so here you go. Again, I'd like to comment how freaky it is to be working this gorgeous pattern one row at a time and then seeing it emerge as one big picture. I still hate three color rows. Next time I'm going to do a fair isle... the colors are much more fun then anyway. AND I'm getting practice weaving in ends as I go. What's the largest # of rows any of you have carried a yarn up? I don't know if there's a rule about this but if there is I'm probably breaking it.

mountains & snowflakesbigger mountains & snowflakes

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

I gave in and bought an addi turbo needle that is 40" in diameter and size 4 for the Mt Rose. I am making some progress on it. I am about 5 rows from halfway through the snowflake part. I will take a pic tonight after I progress as much as I will.

I have been thinking a lot about how much money unique, handmade gifts can be sold for (or will be bought for) and this weekend at the markets in Ballard and Fremont districts of Seattle, I had a lot of inspiration. One of the coolest things I got was a scratch book/journal from a store called "ReSoul." The designer of these books is a crafty person just like me who had a dream and went for it. You can find the site here: Ex Libris Anonymous. My book is an old textbook entitled "Experimental Physical Chemistry". It's very geeky just like me. And I have dreams too.... now I have a book to record them in. I hope that some day I will be able to realize my dreams like these folks have.

Saturday, January 11, 2003

Today is a gray day indeed... and not just here in the Pacific Northwest...
North Korea called for a "holy war against the United States" Saturday and declared it was ready to resume missile tests and may start reprocessing spent fuel rods from its nuclear reactor to make atomic bombs.
I'm a little at a loss for which holiness this war is in the name of...

Anyhow, I find myself blogging from Redmond, WA. I know where the nearest yarn store is and I may peek in but I doubt I will get anything. I may venture to the pike place markets and my favorite little antique place too. We'll see... I may not have much of a choice of what I will be doing. My brother gave me my Christmas present and I gave him his last night. We got him a toaster oven and I gave him the "beanie" I made to match the scarf that he adopted. He seems thrilled about both :-)

I'm putting some time in on the Mt Rose and making good progress. It sometimes seems weird to make this beautiful big picture just a single row at a time... Maybe if I'm looking around and I see 41" (or whatever 40+ inch size) circs I will get some. Making a 48" round garment on 29" needles is a little tiring at times.

That's all the news I have for now. I hope everyone is enjoying a relaxing weekend.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Morning! I'm still in one piece... thanks for all the kind comments (and thanks for the good info Emma... I don't think the docs in the US know about this yet heh). I haven't been good and done my yoga since Mon but not for lack of want... only because I haven't been done with my day until 10 or 11 PM... which is much too late for yoga. At least I'm progressing fairly well with the Mt Rose. I trudged through the three consecutive 3-color rows and I've come through on the otherside triumphant. I'm still paranoid of getting to the end of the row and discovering I'm off by one stitch though... Tinking is so painful on 3-color rows. I am learning patience.

I have a couple of pics to share and I guess it could be said "better late than never." This is my ribbon yarn scarf I made like Theresa's and I get so many compliments on it. I'm going to send it to a friend in TX because her birthday was yesterday and I think this scarf would look fantastic on her. You can see how the Hashigo colors worked in detail in the second picture.
nice n easy... just my stylecolor detail

I'm being good and not starting anything new right now. Tonight is a guild meeting that I will try to go to but I also want to make it to a prenatal fitness class. The fitness class is 5:30-6:30 and the guild meeting is at 6:30 but I think they'll understand if I'm a tiny bit late. We are going to be knitting hats for the homeless as I understand. I probably have quite a few that I can just pull out of the "I made this but don't know why" stack, but it wouldn't hurt to knit another one I guess. I have been following quite the intriguing discussion of knitting for charity and its merits on Marilyn's page. The comments are a must read in my opinion.

I guess tomorrow is friday... I think Friday Five is back so I'll have to remember that...

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Good day gone bad...

Yesterday was great... I got what I needed done at work, I left early to see the physical therapist, learned some new exercises, got home early and received both of my new yoga tapes and my new three maternity tops from Old Navy. Then I sat down and relaxed a bit before starting dinner. At this time, I worked on the Mt Rose. After a few rows, I realized that my next 3 consecutive rows are 3-color rows. I don't have the energy for this so I put it away...

Worked on dinner, made Shepherd's pie and it was actually pretty good. Relaxed some more while vegetating to TV and then retired to the bedroom to do the 1 hr of yoga on the first of the two tapes, Prenatal Yoga. The yoga was relaxing and I had all the things I needed to do it properly, including my hubby who told me when I was doing stuff wrong. Then came the relaxation session, which I loved. But after it was done, I had to get up, rewind the tape, wash my face (should have done this when I was brushing my teeth BEFORE yoga), and then wait for the hubby to reappear from downstairs. Then I just decided to turn in. I was pretty relaxed so I fell off to sleep quickly but around 2 AM the water I had after yoga was ready to go... so I had to get up. As soon as I stood up I felt the shooting pain. My sciatica has flared up again... and it wasn't even bothering me before I went to the physical therapist. I was so irritated that all of these things I have done to alleviate and avoid the pain have caused me more intense pain. I must be doing something wrong. I will surely try to make another appt with the PT person, and sign up for those pregnancy fitness classes soon, because she's the instructor. Then I can harass her endlessly. Oh but one good thing came out of it... and I'm wearing it today. My new favorite sweater. I obviously didn't knit this one, but the price you see is not what I paid. Instead, I got it for a mere $9.99 (+ shipping). Not bad for 100% wool! It's soft too, not itchy at all.

Anyhow, I will spend much of today walking around every 30 mins to avoid the pain intensifying. Of course perhaps I should just keep my butt plopped down for hours at a time... any avoidance I try isn't much help it seems...

Saturday, January 04, 2003

A-ha -- I think I'm finally done with the boring part of the Mt Rose. In approx 3.5 rounds I will be ready to begin on the fancy schmancy pattern at the yoke/chest/whatever part of the sweater. I'm kind of impressed at how much progress I've made in just a couple of weeks actually. Anyway, without further ado...

finished with the tedious bits...

I'm thinking this is going to fit the sweet hubby perfectly! In addition I finished a scarf like the one Theresa designed. It's pretty short but who really needs a long scarf in spring, eh? I still have a felted hat to think about... and I really want to make some socks outta that lorna's laces sock yarn I bought forever in the color shadow. I also have the cute baby romper to make... I better just finish this Mt Rose first.

Friday, January 03, 2003

If you're ever at a loss for a knitting image you can find several by doing a search at for Knitting... or knitter, or knit or whatever it is you think might work the best. My favorite link that I found was this one. I will warn you, though... google doesn't know whether the images are copyrighted or not... it's your job to double check before using them. Happy image hunting!

Friday! What a nice short and sweet week this has become :-).

I'm feeling well rested for once... I think I know what did the trick but I'm not telling ;-). It could have been that I bought 6 skeins of yarn at the local yarn shop (more details to come...). Or, it could be that the 100% wool fair isle sweater I had been lusting over at Old Navy went on sale for $9.99 (bought it!). It could just be that dh and I had a lovely relaxing evening together watching Scooby Doo (The movie) and something about a Monkey in the Subway (Tom Green had to get a job when his wife left I guess...)

Anyway, about the 6 balls of yarn. I got two balls of Lambs Pride Worsted, 1 to complete the pair of fuzzy feet I was working on - they're now finished. The other to make a pair of fuzzy feet for me! I am going to make them a brownish color with contrasting cream colored toes and heels. Then, I decided I needed a new felted hat to match a lot of the cool red clothes I got (maternity stuff). So I picked up a couple of skeins of Brown Sheep's Handpaint Originals in HP40 - strawberry patch. Then I was enamored by the scarf that Theresa of Keyboard Biologist made/designed that I had to get a couple of skeins of (what looks to be discontinued) Noro Hashigo Multi #1. Of course all of this is because I have itchy fingers since I'm in the middle of the boring part of the Mt Rose Nordic sweater. I'm sure if I just give it due attn I'll get to the fun part very soon!

Happy weekend and I hope it brings lots of quiet knitting time :-)

Thursday, January 02, 2003

Happy New Year and good morning! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and a happy New Year celebration, and I wish everyone the best for the New Year. It's been quite a while since my last post and there is a moderately good reason for that. I was spending time with the husband's parents and then we got surprise visitors when my brother in law and his wife came home early from their honeymoon. With a full house and the holiday season it was pretty busy, as you can imagine. During my forced down time I was able not only to cast on, but to get at least halfway up the body of the Mt Rose sweater for my hubby. It's kind of in a boring phase right now but it's coming along nicely just the same. I am working on my final pair of fuzzy feet but I am running out of wool and there isn't any readily available at the LYS to finish them up so they're on hold. I guess if this person didn't have such big feet it wouldn't be such an issue hehe.

After the holidays I am well fed, well-stocked with maternity clothes, well organized (cept for the basement), well-stressed and VERY well ready to be back at work. We had the ultrasound on the 27th of December and you can see pictures of a cute tiny hand, foot, and a profile. Sorry the pics aren't very clear but we don't actually have a scanner. In addition, I'm actually starting to show a bit. I'm feeling great except for my back during the night. I have tried all sorts of pillow configurations and my in-laws bequeathed to me their body pillow they bought here. It was just too big... and I think my back is "loosening up" so my muscles are just dying. Sleepless nights are probably just something I should get used to eh?

Well until I get a pic of the Mt Rose... I will just keep working on it. Hope everyone is having a good time with their knitting, too!