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Posts from November 2008

Happy Birthday Baby

Yesterday, my little guy turned 8.  I can hardly believe how fast the time goes.

We did the family stuff yesterday; a grown up dinner at Il Fornello and then played a bit of Wii Monopoly before bed (it's tough when it's a school night). 

Loves the wii


We decided to save the assembly of the Lego for the weekend--783 pieces is going to take some time--but we're all anxious to push some aliens through pneumatic toys (I *love* Lego).

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Sunday is the Birthday Party day, where 15 kids will run amok at Playground Paradise, eat pizza and cupcakes and celebrate Xander's big day.  We've done a party for Emma there before and it's great fun and I only need 1 beer when it's all over.

Happy Birthday Xander-baby.  You're still as sweet as the day you were born.


In the knitting basket

I told myself that after I finished Baby Cables and Vinterblomster that it was time to get back to my Grey Mist Bohus. I really want this sweater for the winter sweater season, but it's always the last thing I pick up when it's knitting time. 

It doesn't make a lot of sense because the yarn is delicious, I'm about 10 rounds away from splitting off the arms so I have a) less stitches and b) a lot of mindless knitting (which is my preferred kind of knitting for the most part) and yet, it is still crammed in a project bag in my second string knitting bag.

Hopefully I'll pull it out soon.  Maybe even tonight, though that means I'll also need to figure out where I left off which is how I probably get into this situation in the first place.

So what's distracting me?  Right now, two things.  First is a baby present I need to get cracking on because the baby is coming and maybe sooner than I thought due to some unexpected but completely manageable things. 

Rocket Dress in progress


It's the Little Sister's Dress pattern in Lettuce Knit Socks that Rock Lightweight wool.  I love the dress and love the yarn and I'm calling it the Rocket Dress because it reminds me of Rockets; Craig's favourite Halloween candy (which I believe are called Smarties in the US; smarties are something different, it's all explained here).  I am particularly enamoured of this ensemble and purchased some dark purple malabrigo sock yarn to accent the dress and if there's time I plan to make the coordinating baby surprise jacket; mostly because I've never made one before.

The other thing is another pair of mittens.

 Hansel mitten in progress

I'm still rather taken with my Gretel hat and have another ball of the yummy Foxhill Farms Cormo cross and decided to invent some Hansel mittens. 
 


I'm only showing off the palm until I get the pattern right; I want it to be a surprise.  They're knitting up quite fast and the cable pattern is working so far.  It's been a while since I've done up a pattern and it's working my brain nicely.  Though work is still kicking my ass, so tonight it's some rockets, tea and the rocket dress.


Peek-a-boo!

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I haven't really be hiding, but it feels that way.  I caught some sort of bad cold/possibly flu virus that knocked me on my ass for a few days, including Tuesday when I was too sick to pick up the needles and knit anything.  Wednesday I was wearing a nice groove into the couch, watching daytime tv (Law & Order re-runs) and got to work on my Vinterblomster mittens.

I went back to work Thursday which proceeded to kick my ass in a whole different way which is why I'm not blogging about my snazzy new mittens until now. 

Oh, except for another reason.  These are the mittens fresh off the needles.  Notice anything?

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It might be because I knit the first one six months ago during a very stressful time and the second one in bits and bobs, ending hopped up on cold medicine, but whatever the cause, the result is the second mitten is bigger than the first, which was already a bit bigger than I wanted.

I figured I would try some interventions instead of trying to reknit them.  First, I wet the big mitten and dried it slowly and carefully in the dryer.  It worked well and it shrunk to the same size as the first mitten.  For a day.  When I wore it, it grew back to its original side.

So I went for drastic measures.

Since both mittens were a bit big, I threw them in the wash and felted them.  Not a total, no stitch definition felting, but a light fulling. 


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The mittens shrank nicely, are about the same size (the big one is still a bit longer) and I got me some warm, pretty mittens.

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39 days

That's what it said on the float of Santa's workshop.  Only 39 days until Christmas.  Today we were at the annual Santa Claus parade.  Elizabeth the wonder-organizer got down to Front street early to get us a perfect spot to watch the parade.  It was cold (and a bit freezing-rainy) but we had a great time.

Santa Claus Parade
 


39 days;  that means 5 weeks until my Christmas break!


Beautiful Baby Cables and Big Ones Too

I confess I don't love the name of this sweater, but that doesn't matter because I love wearing it.

Baby Cables Finished

The sleeve drama was short lived and after a soak in some Soak and a few tense moments when it appeared that I had made a queen-sized blanket instead of a pullover, I had myself a new sweater.  Just so you know, Zara is superwash, and while the label says not to machine dry it, you gotta or else the thing stretches to magnificent proportions (just be sure to dry on low and watch it to sure you get the size right.

Baby Cables Back


I know a lot of you love this sweater, but are a bit leery about the neckline.  It's a toughie.  I have the same ambivalence about it.  I prefer to wear something underneath my sweaters (even one as soft as this) because I'm a sweaty kind of girl and I don't want to have to wash a sweater every time I wear it.  A regular crew neck tee looks like ass underneath this sweater, so the hunt is on for a very wide scoop neck, or I will just cut the neck out of an old one I have around here.

Baby Cables Front

Undergarment issues aside, I did find that the neckline did stretch as the day went on.  I can see two solutions. 

1. There is no reason why one cannot start with less stitches the neckline and essentially add a few rows to make the neckline narrower.  I had to add some rows before dividing for the armholes, so there's some play in there and it won't spoil the overall look of the design.  The thing with this option is that you have to decide to do this before you start.

2. My solution is an after-the-fact one.  At Lorelei's suggestion,  I crocheted a chain stitch with a 3.5mm hook around the neckline, making my stitches a smidge tighter.  It didn't change the look and now I have a nice, solid feeling neckline that shouldn't move too much.  If I find it's not quite right, it's less than 10 minutes  work to zip it off and do it again.  And as you can see, it looks pretty much like the cast-on edge.

Close up of new neckline


My modelled photos were taken before the crocheting, and the difference isn't all that much to the overall look, but it feels more secure on my shoulders.


All in all this was a well written pattern for a very nice sweater.


Rippin' Stupid

I've been tearing along on Baby Cables this last week and by Saturday night I was in the home stretch.  We were watching a pretty-good movie (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) and I left the last few rows for the next morning so I could cast it off with all my wits about me.

Sunday, I start casting off and something is not right.  The right sleeve (the first one I knit) had 15 garter ridge; the left sleeve has 16.

Shit.

I figure I must have messed up the last left cable by putting in a couple of extra rows in the middle part.  So I need to rip back about 15 rows.  Frogging ensues.

Then I consult my chart and check it out.  I count some rows, stitches and garter ridges and get a sinking feeling.  The left sleeve is the correct one.  The right one is wrong.  So now i need to reknit the one I just frogged and rip out the other sleeve.

How stupid am I?  Don't answer that.

I'm not sure if you can see the difference, but this is after I re-knit the already-correct-sleeve-I-frogged.  The ripped sleeve is the one I should have ripped out in the first place. 


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I didn't have the same amount of knitting time on Sunday (went to see Madagascar 2, which was good fun, then felt like crap due to bad food I ate) so I'm having a do-over tonight.

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It's looking good and I hope it'll be dry for knit-night at Lettuce Knit on Wednesday.  If I don't do anything else stupid to it.

Rhinebeck Stash Enhancement

You already saw the lovely Foxhill Farms Cormo I couldn't resist long enough to even do a proper stash photo of, here's the rest of the goodies I picked up last month.


Rhinebeck Haul

From the top left:

  • Briar Rose Dk Blue-faced leicester 1000yds
  • Oak Grove Sock yarn (one of my favourites) in Stone
  • Briar Rose Grandma's Blessing (sport weight) 1400yds
  • The aforementioned Cormo (I have another skein for matching mittens
  • The trunk (just because I like that photo)
  • Huge button from Briar Rose--would look good on the single button cardi I have in mind for the BFL. Pretty roving to spin (yep, I finally caved and bought something to spin. I now need to borrow Keri's wheel--in exchange for my loom--and take lessons)
  • Beautiful, yet difficult to photograph button from Sheila Ernst (They make amazingly gorgeous glass needles, go look)
  • A Golding Spindle--it's actually Kim's but I needed one more photo and it's purty.

By no means a total disaster for my finances, but instead a lovely haul of pretty things that make me happy.  Of course, I want to use it all right now, but I only have two hands.


I have a new hat

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It's warm and squooshy.

The colours are beautiful.

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The pattern was fun to knit. Gretel by Ysolda.  Get it here on Ravelry.

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The yarn is beautiful, cormo from Foxhill Farm (purchased at Rhinebeck).
It knit up fast.

I plan to use the cable pattern and make some Hansel mittens with the other ball of yarn (Get it?  Hansel).

If not, one of my favouritist Bugs Bunny episodes will explain:


And yes my hair is red.  Home job, due to single parenting status.  Not great (didn't cover all the grey), but will have pro red dye job soon because I like the general look.


Not surprised

I don't really look like those geeky nerdy dudes below though, do I?

Kids are doing better. They will be back at school tomorrow. Bubbles in my tummy subsided. But I am really tired. Want Craig back home now. No more Mexico work trips.


Your result for The Best Thing About You Test...

Intelligence

Intelligence is your strongest virtue

Intelligence (also called intellect) is an umbrella term used to describe a property of the mind that encompasses many related abilities, such as the capacities to reason, plan, and solve problems. And you? Your brain shines. All 7 virtues are a part of you, but your intelligence runs deepest.

It is likely you're a smarty-pants. And it's likely (but not necessary) that your discipline score is high also. It takes a certain resolve to maintain all those neural thingies.

Intelligent famous people: Einstein, Shakespeare, Da Vinci.

Your raw relative scores follow. 0% is low, and 100% is perfect, nearly impossible. Note that I pitted the virtues against each other, so in some way these are relative scores. It's impossible to score high on all of them, and a low score on one is just relatively low compared to the other virtues.

YOUR VIRTUES

40% Compassion

67% Intelligence

38% Humility

56% Honesty

38% Discipline

0% Courage

42% Passion

Take The Best Thing About You Test at HelloQuizzy

I like this result less. But mostly because it's true. I just didn't think I was this nerdy. Though I suppose doing these tests, says it all.

Your result for The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test...

Pure Nerd

87 % Nerd, 43% Geek, 0% Dork

For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.
A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.
A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.
You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Congratulations!


Also, you might want to check out some of my other tests if you're interested in any of the following:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professional Wrestling

Love & Sexuality

America/Politics

Thanks Again! -- THE NERD? GEEK? OR DORK? TEST

Take The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test at HelloQuizzy