April 28, 2005

Knitting Groove

I seem to have lost my groove.  I started the Kristina bag and was really loving the color work on it.  Then I noticed I'd made a huge error in the pattern, one and a half repeats back.  RIPPPPPPPPP!   Then I got the yarns untangled and behaving again, only to make another mistake, only one row back.  I finally seem to have gotten back on track - I hope so anyway!

I have concerns that the bottom of the bag may not be sturdy enough.  I am wishing I had used a double strand to knit it, but on the other hand, I didn't check yarn yardage to begin with (I bought Pastaza and not Cascade 220) and fear I already won't have enough.  Time will tell I suppose!  I guess I could always make the strap in a different dye lot if necessary.

I am still a week behind in my Knitlist digests, but I read there is a new yarn store in my NEIGHBORHOOD!  I must stop by on Saturday to check it out.  Yes, I'm on a yarn diet, but Sunday is my birthday.  If I splurge and buy something... well, everyone needs presents on their BIRTHDAY right???

-Signed, the Queen of Stash Justification........

April 26, 2005

New stash and now I must STOP!

I was lucky enough to find Noro Kochoron at 40% off in #10 denim/lime/grey to make this cardigan.  I received my yarn last night from Purl Soho (what excellent service!) and immediately knit a gauge swatch.  I'm loving the color and the feel of this yarn, there is a really beautiful halo from the angora.  I can hardly wait to get my pattern book and will be stalking the mailbox waiting for it.

I've started a yarn diet every month this year, and never made it past about day 10.  My stash is taking control and I have more projects than I could complete in a LIFETIME.  This stash sickness is genetic, my mom started it long before me and I follow in her footsteps (thanks Mom!).  May is a particularly bad month to try and "diet" seeing as how it's my birthday month, but I'm going to try.  I need to try, my bank statement says I must.

I finished the Oregon Tote and only need to knit a few miles of i-cord before I can head to the laundromat for felting.  I'd also like to sew the striped bag together and try felting it at the same time.

I cast on for the Kristina bag using black Cascade Pastaza and a pink and orange Noro Kuryeon.  I've only completed about 7 rows into the colorwork pattern, but I love how it looks so far.

April 19, 2005

Knitter's Block

I'm back from a really nice visit with my mom & grandparents.  We didn't get much done, but lots of chatting and catching up.  Mom is getting ready to retire and sell her house the end of May.  She will be moving closer (yay!!!!) but it's sad to think that may be our last visit to the house they've lived in since 1989.

I finished my DD's poncho in the car on the trip over.  It turned out super cute (pic soon, I promise!) and she swore she would never take it off.  I'm a little peeved to end up with 2-1/2 skeins of Rowan's All Seasons Cotton left.  I don't know why I would have so much left of the 7 skeins the pattern size called for.  Of course, if it was a sweater for myself, I'm SURE I'd run out of yarn!

I started knitting another bag to be felted on my trip, but I'm not sure it was a wise decision.  I'm making this Pick Up Sticks Vertical Stripe Bag, but thought it would be fun to knit each panel in a different color.  It looks garish right now, and the bag is HUGE!  I know it will shrink and I hope the colors will soften in the felting process.  Also, this thing seems to weigh 20 pounds!  I've finished the bag itself, now I need to seam the tube, knit the purse bottom and i-cord and I can throw it in the wash.  I am running out of yarn too and I really don't want to have to buy more.

I don't have anything knitting-wise that I want to work on right now.  I suppose I could cast on for a fresh project, but I feel great guilt about the ones languishing on my needles now.  Poor Clapotis is so boring, I can only stand to knit a few rows at a time.  The Oregon Tote needs its i-cord bindoff, and poor Elspeth needs major help.  I got an email newsletter from a LYS that offers personal help for $25 an hour, which is LOADS cheaper than the $40 an hour for private instruction that other shops locally offer.  I'm going to see if I can schedule an hour or two and get some help working the fronts of Elspeth.

Back to kickboxing tonight after another whole week away.  I hope I can get back into the swing of things.

My diet plan has certainly fallen by the wayside since the holidays.  I have worked really hard to lose 80 pounds on Weight Watchers.  I was within 2 pounds of my goal weight, then some personal turmoil has led to bad eating and I've gained back at least 10 if not more.  The pants are TIGHT.  I weigh in tomorrow after another week of bad eating.  I know I'll deserve that number on the scale, and now I just have to work even harder to get back to being THIS CLOSE to my goal! 

April 8, 2005


So bloody glad it's Friday!  I only have one day to work next week, then I'm off for spring break - taking the kids to see my mom in the eastern part of the state.  We're all looking forward to the break and getting in a good visit with my mom and other family over there.  Mom's a knitter too, so I'll be bringing my knitting and we can stitch and bitch together!

Not much knitting last night as it was bill paying day (ugh....) then I had kickboxing.

I did work a little on DD's poncho this morning (I have a recumbent exercise bicycle so I can knit and workout in the morning!).  I finished the back and started the front.  The back only took a few days, so I think this project should go really fast.  Rowan's directions are not very clear, are they?  Or maybe I've just been out of knitting for too long....  my daughter is very excited about her poncho.  Her cousin/best friend has one, she informed me this morning, only Bianca's is FROM A STORE!  Can you believe it?  lol

April 7, 2005

Where did you think you were?

Not much knitting to report, though I have reached the neck shaping on my daughter's "ponjo" - no picture to share yet.

I do have a funny story to share about my daughter.  Last Wednesday night, I head upstairs and I'm in the main upstairs bathroom, getting ready for bed.  My DD Lily is already upstairs, asleep on the floor in the master bedroom.  DH is downstairs, but starts to head upstairs too.  Lily comes down and passes DH, seems to be in a daze.  Then she goes back upstairs.  He hears someone in the kitchen and he thinks it's me.  He comes upstairs just in time to see that Lily has pulled the kitchen trash container out from under the sink and peed into it like it's a toilet!  OMG!  I came out of the bathroom when I heard him saying "Where did you think you were?" And she is in tears because she is confused and embarassed.

It was SO funny though!  We can't stop laughing about it!  And she didn't even remember it the next morning.  I'm sure her daddy will embarass her with this story many times over for the rest of her life!

April 5, 2005

Quilt Photos and More

Zany1Here are some photos of the projects I worked on at my quilt retreat  this weekend.  First quilt is using a line of fabrics called Zany for Zinnias - this is my second quilt with these fabrics.  The other one I finished at the last retreat.  I seem to usually have enough fabric to make blocks for 2 or 3 quilts, but I've got to stop doing that!  It really takes a long time to finish a project that way.

Zany2 And here's a close-up of the fabrics.

Monkey1This is the "monkey quilt" made using Moda's Funky Monkey line of fabric and a pattern called "Five and Dime" designed to use fat quarters.  It's supposed to take 5 minutes to shop and 10 minutes to cut, and it really was that easy.  I made a mistake in cutting, so my columns are a bit narrower than the pattern calls for.  Not one of my best efforts, but it's a fun and very fast quilt to make.

Monkey2Funky Monkey fabric close-up

Gbliss1 These quilt blocks got a lot of attention from other quilters at the retreat.  I'm using a line of fabrics from Amy Butler called Ginger Bliss, sewing half square triangles that are 5" finished.  The squares are all finished, but I need to arrange them all and then sew the rows together.  I think I would like to hang this in my entry, it would make a really striking piece for the wall there.

Gbliss2 I LOVE these fabrics!

Stash And in knitting news.  I finally got my order from this ebay seller for the Malabrigo yarn.  The yarn came from Uruguay and took much longer than I'm used to waiting, but it was certainly well worth the wait!  I added 10 skeins to my stash of this beautiful, beautiful yarn.  I originally planned to make another Four Seasons Throw (I made one using Manos wool, it's beautiful, but scratchy!).  But after seeing how well this yarn felts, I may use a lot of it to make purses.  I just don't know.  I will definitely fondle it many more times before I decide.

I spoke too soon about Rowan's Elspeth.  I am stumped at the neck shaping and there is no way I can figure out the left and right front shapings.  I think I will need to make an appointment for a private knitting lesson to see if I can get some help with it.

And so, since I needed an easy knit, I started the poncho for my daughter.  I'm using this pattern and the Rowan All Seasons Cotton in Heart, for my pink-loving kiddo.  It is really nice yarn to work with and the pattern is knitting up quickly.  She can't wait for me to finish her "pogo."

My baby boys turn 8 today.  I can't even believe that on this day in 1997, I was waiting to deliver them, pleading with my doctors not to make me wait another week on bedrest in the hospital.  Eric and Owen, happy birthday my sons...  I love you both so much!

April 4, 2005

Back from Nirvana

My quilting retreat weekend was fabulous!  I came home so inspired and feeling like I got a lot accomplished.  I did not even stay up burning the midnight oil, so I feel very rested too!

I got 2 quilt tops completely put together, the blocks all made for a third quilt (need to lay it all out on my design wall at home and then sew the blocks together), and got the blocks started on a fourth project!  I've never gotten so much done at one retreat - it felt awesome!  I've really gone back to making simple blocks with beautiful fabrics and letting the fabrics stand out, and I think that is the key to making a quilt quickly.

Anyway, it was a weekend of good conversations, lots of laughs, way too much good food, way too much fabric shopping, and lots of creativity.  It'll be a long 7 months until the next retreat!

I did really miss the kids, so it was nice to get home to see them.  I also arrived home to a pile of packages on my sewing table (eek!).  I got some Cascade 220 for more felted bags, 2 cones of Lamb's Pride yarn from an ebay seller (excellent deals!), some Rowan All Seasons Cotton to make a poncho for my daughter, Nicky Epstein's book Knitted Embelllishments, and a pair of shoes from Penneys.  I also have a package to pick up at the post office - a stash bonanza to be sure!

In other knitting news, I finally got back to my languishing Elspeth.  It is a very simple lace pattern, but Rowan only provides a chart for one repeat, and I could not keep straight how to continue the lace pattern while decreasing for the armholes.  After charting out the entire pattern in Excel, I'm finally at the point of beginning to start the neck decreases on the back piece!  I am just shaking my head wondering why I didn't think of charting sooner.  I was struggling so much with this, I was really ready to give up.  A little bit of time at the computer and I've saved myself many more grey hairs.  I love this project now and can't wait to finish it... oh, but first to make some new charts for the sleeves and the fronts.