Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I Really Do Have WIP's

Really, I do.

The other day Christine (avid knitter, non-blogger) asked about my Angelina and I realized I haven't posted update photos in a while. Here goes...

This is the back of a sweater for Piglet. I am doing it in Elann's Sonata. I'm not sure how much I like the Sonata. It is cotton and mercerized or not, it is still stiff and well, cotton.

The pattern is from Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I hope it fits because he is growing faster than I can work on it!

Here is Angelina. Sorry, the picture isn't that great. I am still on the endless ribbing. 2x2 ribbing over 200+ stitches for 11 inches is a total bore!

This is the yarn for Angelina. It is so soft and creamy (just like chocolate pudding!) that it makes the endless ribbing a little easier. I could never do this in pure cotton :-)Lady Eleanor has been cast on and 2 tiers worked. I laid it out and it measures 32 inches. The pattern calls for 23 inches. No, I'm not dyslexic. I swatched and measure and got out the calculator and it is still wider. The good news, I wanted it wider and I was afraid it wasn't going to be enough. This morning I considered frogging and casting on more stitches to get it more wrap like than scarf.
Today is waiting. Waiting. Waiting. My dishwasher was supposed to be delivered last Wednesday and due to some screw up somewhere it is now coming today. Our current dishwasher is a piece of shit. That is the nicest thing I can say about it. It retails for a whopping $200! So, we are getting a new, stainless steel tub, multi setting diswasher.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Pitching a Tent at the LYS

My town has two yarn stores – one, that is famous and one, that is infamous. I went to the infamous one today. They have moved. I wanted to give them a second chance. The old building smelled funny. The help looked like a serial killer. I had hoped things had changed with the new building. They have great yarns - a fantastic selection and great colors. Alas… As I am unloading the stroller I notice the serial killer husband at the front door watching me. Oh well, he has no personality so he won’t be bothering me. He holds the door for Piglet and me. I lean down to fix Piglet’s blanket and that’s when I see it – The Tent. IN HIS PANTS! It can’t be. Maybe his pants are just bulky. Maybe his wife is just one lucky gal (but only if she puts a bag over his head first! YUK). He asks if I need anything. Um, A CAN OF MACE no thanks, just looking around. I keep him in sight at all times. It can’t be. I pretend to be looking at some yarn but I really look through the rack to where he is standing. IT IS STILL THERE. I hear someone in the corner (actually, behind the curtain that is supposed to divide some sort of office right in the middle of the store). Ok, maybe I can look around a little more. I look over again, IT IS STILL THERE! I leave, nearly bouncing Piglet from his car seat as we bounced over the sidewalk not bothering to look for a ramp. So, I won’t be going back there. They can sell the Hope Diamond and I will not be going there.

Of course this led me to ask a few questions…

1. This store has never had more than one customer at one time. How do they make enough money that the Serial Killer can hang out there during the day?
2. Serial Killer and his wife are never talking (at least civilly) so what is going on in the yarn store to make you want to pitch your tent? Is there Yarn Porn?
3. Or, is the Serial Killer just desperate and a woman who has showered today and is pushing a stroller all it takes?

Somehow these things always happen to me. I don’t know why. If it is weird and insane, it will run right smack into me.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

She's a Winner Not a Wiener!

Here is Calvin selecting the winning name…
(Calvin got to choose as an alternative to stealing Piglet’s toys)

Drumroll please….

The winner is….

Amy of Knitty McPurlypants! A big congrats to Amy!

I was heading out to pick up your prize today but Piglet’s Dr. appointment took longer than planned and I didn’t have an extra bottle in the bag. We know exactly what we are buying so we will head out tomorrow. I will let Amy do the prize revealing on her blog – there, now ya’ll are forced to go check out Amy’s blog :-)

And now for our monthly Piglet fix…
He had his 2-month appointment today and he weighs a whopping 12 pounds. He is also up to 22 1/2 inches. In other words, he is short and fat with a huge head! Since he has been battling a cold for over a week we had to have a chest x-ray done. Not exactly easy with a baby who can’t sit up on his own. His shots went very smooth. They were done before he could get the first cry out and then he suddenly realized it no longer hurt. He actually liked the flavored syrup of the Rotavirus vaccination. He was hungry so he sucked it right down and then got mad that the nurse ran out!

So many frogs, so few lily pads!
I frogged the shrug on Friday. To show you just how long and bulky it was, this is a photo of the back and sleeves (it was all one piece), folded in half lengthwise and width wise. And here are the leftover frogs. I just wound it onto the ball winder as I went along and it took less than an hour to unravel the work of several months. I think I will use the yarn to make a wrap for the house since it is always cold in here.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Blogiversary

Happy Blogiversary to me! If you leave me a comment between today and Sunday you will go into the drawing for a prize. Remember, you have to tell me your favorite color in the comment. Oh, and you have to include your email address, otherwise I have no way of contacting you about the win and will have to go on to the runner up.

A little knitting phooey.

The other day I talked about patterns being to bulky and making me look like a snow bear. Well, this hot mess is what I was talking about. What is it? Well, it is the Noro shrug pattern done in Highland Wool. Seriously, when I was wearing this you could have hooked me to the back of a sled and cried “Mush”. I looked large and bulky in it. The first time I wore it I noticed that it didn’t fit right under the arms in the front but yet the underarms in the back were saggy. The collar also didn’t fit right over the chest and would fall back under the arms – likely because the collar is not done in short-rows. So, as I wore it I would pull it across the chest, trying to stay warm and trying to keep it from my pits. It stretched. And not in a good way. Washing only enhanced the stretching. And, the hem of the sleeve is wider than the rest of the sleeve. So, what’s left? FROG! I think for my frame I need to stick to DK weight or lighter. I also think I need to look harder at the pattern before diving in. In hindsight, I should have seen this coming. The back and sleeves are knit in one piece, like a scarf, without shaping. Then, when you have your scarf long enough you bind off. Then you pick up stitches in the middle, drawing together for the armpits and work the collar in a circle. The only seaming is the sleeves. Easy – yes. Attractive – NO! So, when will froggy come a courting? Not sure yet. First I have to figure out where I bound off. Fortunately I did the spit splice so I will have one giant skein and not a bunch of small, chopped ones. I wish I had a warm sunny day coming so I could sit outside and maybe the sounds of the urban jungle would cover the screams!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oooooo Swatchy Swatchy

Here is a swatch of my future Lady Eleanor. I managed to knit this up pretty quick last night. This yarn is so soft and not at all like cotton! The small amount of silk transforms this yarn. The big difference between Lily and other Noro yarns is the striping. Lily has small amounts of color instead of the long stripes normally found in Noro yarns. Because of this, Lady Eleanor is the perfect pattern! I wouldn't recommend it for something that requires striping. I have already figured out my cast on stitches and I think I will get started this afternoon.

Here is a question for you readers with ball winders. When you wind up a skein, do you leave the center cone in the ball of yarn so that it won't collapse on itself, or do you just pull the ball off and rewind later if needed?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Real Live Knitting Foo

Here she is... Miss Noro Lily No. 119! Isn't she lovely? Isn't she beautiful? She is going to be Lady Eleanor. Only bad thing... I don't think 10 skeins is going to be enough. The Ebay seller has more right now. Should I buy it? Should I wait? I am just not in a decision making state of mind! The marshmallow lollipop came with the package. It looks a little dried up.

Since my Texas friends have been whining (yes, you heard me, whining) about their ice storm last week I thought I would show you a photo of the sleet we had on Sunday. Annabelle ran out to inspect the white stuff and was perplexed when it all melted under her body heat. Anyway, I want to point out that you Texans will be in the high 50's and low 60's by the end of the week and I will not! The temp in the house is 70 and I am still wearing a sweater on top of a sweater. I have made it clear to Big Boy that any assignments that take us to the northern part of the world will have to be considered a remote, unaccompanied tour. When I climb into bed and stick my icy cold hands on him, he agrees :-)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

2007 National Delurking Week

I totally missed National Delurking Week. I guess I am just not "up" on the blogger happenings. So, I am declaring this 2007 National Delurking Week La Parte Dos. If you read my blog, leave me a comment to say hi! This is the perfect week since those who comment on January 26 (this coming Friday) will be in the drawing for a prize.

Knitting news - did everyone receive their copy of the latest Knit Picks catalog? There are some cool new books and gadgets that I think I just have to have. Ok, maybe they are not new but since I am, apparently, a day late and a dollar short, they are new to me :-) So, here are the items I probably can absolutely can't live without:

I have to say (and please people, don't write me nasty comments about this) that a lot of the patterns I am seeing lately are just plain ugly. They look, um, handmade. They resemble things my grandmother bought for me at K-Mart in the 70's. I know where I shop and what I like to wear and the knitting patterns right now are just not comparing. I have bought several patterns where the finished item is sooooo bulky. I swear, the model must have been a size -2 (which is strange for an industry that complains about that very thing) because the FO makes me look like a 400-pound snow bear (and I'm NOT that large...yet). I may have to stick with making scarves and leave the sweaters to Ann Taylor and Banana Republic.

Friday, January 19, 2007

How I get by...

Thank you all for the wonderful comments about Piglet. He is definitely a keeper. The grandparent invasion has ended and we are all still alive and relatively sane. Now I have to work on retraining the child from the habits the loving grandparents formed. We are working on sleeping from 11:00 p.m. until, well, anything past 3:00 a.m. My parents babysat 2x – Big Boy and I were able to get in a dinner at a nice restaurant that didn’t have high chairs. Bonefish Grill is definitely a new favorite. I had Filet Mignon with garlic Gorgonzola butter sauce. Then there was the Rita Tini – mmmmmmmmmm! My parents encouraged us to go to a movie too but honestly we were just too tired and cold to go anywhere else. Besides, we had this waiting for us at home. It is Seriously Chocolately Cheesecake!

As you can see, we all but licked the plate.

Big Boy’s parents were a whole ‘nother story. Can I just share my frustrations with you? Several years ago I came to the conclusion that it is possible to be over educated. MIL proves my case. She doesn’t know everything yet but is determined to by the time she dies so she interrogates people. I often know the answer to her questions but I say I don’t just so I don’t have to endure the Lightning Round that would ensue. She is also very condescending and while she claims to be a good liberal and wants us all to accept the poor, tired, huddled masses, she really prefers them to live in someone else’s neighborhood. She has never actually met a poor person! Anyway, here is what really pissed me off… I expected they would offer to baby sit on Sunday so that we could go out. Well, apparently the Patriots were in the playoffs and the game didn’t start until 4:30. There is no way they were giving up the football game for watching their only grandson. They also expected that Big Boy would rather watch the game than have time alone with his wife. Since they were not leaving until Tuesday (they extended a day!) I assumed they would offer for Monday night. Well, y’all know the meaning of ASS-U-ME. On Sunday night we had the following conversation:

MIL: You know, if you have something you want to do tomorrow we would watch Piglet. (Big Boy is in the background making cheering hand motions)
Me: Ok, let me think about it.
MIL: I mean, I’m not offering to watch him half the day or anything but just an hour. We could watch him for an hour.
Me: Oh. Um. Maybe I don’t have anything to do after all.

Kids, I can’t even go to Target in an hour or less. My final straw came when she called my Annabelle a dum-dum. Yep, you read that correctly. Piglet was starting to doze when Annabelle barked and his eyes popped open. Now, he is used to the barking and his eyes immediately closed. She saw this and told Annabelle she was a dum-dum for waking the baby. She said it twice so I know she wasn’t kidding. NO ONE PICKS ON MY ANIMALS! Needless to say, Piglet did not receive the love and snuggles from them that he received from my parents (FIL only held him once and then it was sort of like he was holding a porcupine). Anyway, it is over for a few months and confirmed our decision to take a family vacation away from the family. We are searching for a family friendly place to fiesta and siesta. Any recommendations?

On a knitting note - (after all this is a knitting blog right?) Has anyone out there made any of the Knit and Tonic patterns? I am thinking of buying the Essential Stripe and Something Red.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

An inspection

AHHHHH! It moves!!!!!

You asked for a new photo so here it is! Calvin likes to take part in Tummy Time and recently discovered that the baby will be mobile! He's not sure what to think or what he should do about it all.

Now, get yourselves ready for a contest. January 26 is my blogiversary. Those who log on and leave me a comment on that day will be in the drawing for a prize. Here is the catch - you have to tell me your favorite color. I am going to gear the prize toward the commenter. This way the gift is less likely to end up at the bottom of a stash or at the thrift shop!

So, see you on the 26th!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What Kind of Yarn Are You?

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Cashmere.You are sophisticated and luxe. You can often be found in high-end boutiques and hobnobbing with the upper crust. You are one of the beautiful people and you don't let anyone forget it!
Take this quiz!

I am so psyched to be Cashmere - I had a fear of being Red Heart!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

An Elph and a Fo...

is better, I guess, than an Elf and a Ho.

First, the FO – it is the pair of socks I started during our trip to Nebraska. They are a gift for my SIL. Details:

Yarn: Baby Silk from Elann – Baby Alpaca and Silk blend – YUMMY! The color is Sapphire.
Pattern: Ribbed Lace from Sensational Knitted Socks. The heel is the Eye of Partridge pattern.
Needles: Size 1 – the needles nearly killed me. I’ve never worked on anything that small before. Because they were so tiny, they seemed even longer than normal. And, somehow I managed to put a curve in each needle – including the one I lost at Starbucks.

Yes, the foot looks longer than the leg. It is. I made them for a size 8 foot figuring it was better to make SIL socks that were too big than too small. I put the leg to my mid-calf because SIL has shorter legs than I do. I know I do not like my socks to come all the way to my knee so I made the leg a little shorter, keeping that in mind.

Second, our new camera. Big Boy finally broke down and bought a new one. Our digital camera is one of the originals designed for a Mac. It still takes a good picture but the quality doesn’t match the new technology. Plus, it works like a regular camera in that you have to look through the lens to take your picture. I don’t think I will know how to take a picture without squinting that one eye! You know, it is amazing how quickly we can buy something when HE wants it! I've begged for a new vacuum for two years and even though ours no longer had wheels, he still wouldn't budge until last week.

I probably won’t be posting much over the next week. We have the in-laws and the out-laws showing up all in a row. My in-laws have had their trip planned for weeks and then on Monday my parents called to say they wanted to come visit the day my in-laws leave. HEEEELLLLLLOOOOOO! I convinced them to give us a few days break to clean up and buy more food. My stepmother offered to postpone the trip but my dad was pretty matter of fact about coming next week. He called back last night offering to postpone but I know which list I would be on if took him up on it. I need to keep Piglet in the will. Much wine will be consumed.

Anyhoooo, keep your eye out for a contest coming up on my blog.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

How Sexy Is This?

This is Big Boy using our new vacuum. You have to love a man willing to do domestic chores! Not sure why he put on his sunglasses though...

A few have asked what my plans are for the Lady Eleanor. Well, I have hashed this out for nearly a year. I think I have finally settled on Baby Silk from Elann, and then just make the adjustments to get the Lady big enough. Now I am going around on colors. I have 10 skeins of the Parchment and initially thought I would use Black. Now, I think I might use Sapphire instead. I also have some Purple on hand and may try a swatch to see how it looks. I tried a swatch of the Oxblood and Parchment but didn’t like it; I much prefer the Sapphire and Parchment instead. However, I’m not sure I am crazy about alternating the rows of color – for one, it is hard to carry the yarn with this pattern. So, I think I may do the shawl in Sapphire or Black and then do a line of Parchment up the middle. Here is the other thing – working on the size 3 Bamboo needles was really hard. My hands cramped a bunch. I have ordered a pair of size 3 needles from Knit Picks (but their shipping is so slow I could have the shawl done by then!) to use or I may try doubling it and using a larger needle. I’ve considered other yarns but this stuff is so soft and at $2.50 a skein, I can’t find anything else I love for the price. Initially I wanted to use a variegated yarn but I either could not find a color I liked or the price was too high or the yarn too itchy (a lo t of people use Silk Garden but it is still too itchy for me and it would still be a $90 shawl!). The stocking for Piglet was going to be done in Baby Silk but I have since ordered this yarn from Knit Picks that I think will hold up better when stuffed to the gills.

I am well on my way to 100 miles! We have walked every day since Wednesday. Piglet and I headed to the trails since the weather was so great. You might be asking how I got in 2/10 of a mile. Well, we started out using the Snuggli but after 1/10 I realized this was a horrible idea. First, getting him into while alone was, um, quite difficult. Then, I couldn’t get it adjusted well and found myself walking sort of hunched over. He couldn’t get his face in the right position so his nose was pressed against me making him breathe like a 400-pound man. Since I have an issue with muscle spasms in my back I decided we would all be more comfortable in the stroller. Our stroller wasn’t quite built for this use – I have long legs and found myself tripping on the wheels. I tried to run but the stroller weaved a bunch. A passerby probably thought I was drunk. But, nonetheless we trekked on. Big Boy has agreed to look at jog strollers and I think we may hit up the in-laws when they visit next week. It was great to be outside!

Friday was spent waiting in line at Social Security so that we could get Piglet a number and finally make him start earning his keep. Social Security is a scary place. I went back and forth between wondering if I would have to give CPR to someone and worrying I would get jacked in the parking lot. An hour and a half later they nearly sent me away for more documents because the girl at the window didn’t bother to read the whole adoption decree. Stupid me forgot to take something to read. To top it off, I had to pee the whole time and refused to go because A) I was afraid they would call my number and B) I saw who else went into the bathroom. The woman next to me informed her daughter that the reason Piglet was snoring was because he was wearing too many clothes what with his short-sleeved t-shirt and jeans. Um, she might want to do some reading on that subject! Then there were the lazy assed young men who refused to give up their seat for an elderly person or a woman with a small child. I am all for Women’s Liberation but I think someone should revive chivalry. I would have suggested it to the young men but I was afraid of getting shot in the parking lot, especially when the young man next to me started telling his mother that he could tell the guard’s gun was unloaded. I was very glad I left the jewelry at home!

Friday, January 05, 2007

What kind of Easter candy are you?

As I sit here eating an apple and cottage cheese, I am thrilled to find that I am a Cadbury Egg. Actually, I love Cadbury Eggs! I buy them by the case at Easter. Big Boy loves them too and I often have to hide mine so that he doesn't steal them! I love Easter candy more than Halloween and Christmas candy combined!

So, what kind of Easter candy are you?

You Are a Cadbury Creme Egg

You're the type that stole little brother's easter basket so that you could have MORE CANDY!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Welcome to 2007!

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Whenever I try, I just end up breaking them. Instead I try to find new habits that are fun and good for me. It should be fun. I saw “100 Miles by April 1” at Knitiot Savant and decided that since I exercise anyway, I should at least have a goal (other than lacing my shoes and getting to the bottom of the driveway!). We have a walking trail near the house and eventually I will get comfortable enough with Piglet that I can add Baxter too. What’s more, Big Boy supports this habit. Of course he also supports my ice cream habit too. I’m not doing this to lose weight – although that would be a nice side effect – or to live longer or even achieve a goal. I am doing this because it is something for me and about me. It is very easy to become so wrapped up in your kids that you forget you were a wife, sister, daughter, friend and most importantly, an adult woman before.

This brings me to my second new habit – every day between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. is ME time. This means laundry will not be done, groceries will not be purchased or cooked, dogs will not be let out and the phone will not be answered unless the call is from a friend. Big Boy has been told not to call and ask me stupid questions unless it is life or death. Any shopping done during this time is all for me! I found that I was spending all day long doing house stuff and by the time Big Boy got home I was tired, frustrated and well, tired. I think it is important for Piglet to learn that mommy and daddy have their own time, separate and together, in which he is not the center of the universe. The other 22 hours in the day revolve around him so two hours will not kill him. Yesterday I watched a movie and worked on SIL’s sock. I am now ready to start the toe and then they will be done! Now I will order my yarn for my Lady Eleanor and actually have time to work on it!

So, how did ya’ll start off your new year? We went in spending money. We purchased a new vacuum cleaner and digital camera. We also took Piglet for his first pictures – he looks like a linebacker. Then, Big Boy finished up the curtains and pictures. A good way to start 2007!