Knotty Purls

"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica"

Monday, March 26, 2007

Piglet's Stocking

Here is the latest update on the final WIP in the basket. This is Piglet's Christmas Stocking . The pattern is from Vogue Holiday 2006. Do you see the weird little spot in the cable on the left? Well, that is where the pattern says to move 2 knit stitches to the cable needle. So, I moved them knitwise. Turns out that wasn't right. Instead of making the nice cable twist it sort of stretched out the stitch and made a lump. I only did it on one side so this will be the side that faces the fireplace!

Last night at SnB the girls reminded me that I would need to walk 60 miles today to complete my goal of 100 miles by April 1. Since 3 miles a day is usually my max I don't think I am going to make it. I have extended my goal to June 1. Hopefully I will no longer be sidelined by illness, cold weather, pulled hamstrings or just plain laziness.

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Piglet and Lady Eleanor Update

Here is Lady Eleanor. She is coming along, just not quickly. My goal is to have it finished by June to take on my trip to New England. I recently moved this project into the bedroom and I try to work on at least two triangles a night before I fall asleep. Of course there is the risk of knitting while sleepy. Last night I messed up an end triangle and had to frog it. I also thought I had neglected to do an end triangle a repeat back but it turns out I was just hallucinating.

I like cerealSo does Annabelle!
For those of you who haven't seen the Piglet in a while, here are the latest pictures. He is growing so fast these days. He is nearly out of his 3-6 month clothes. As you can see, cereal is a big hit around here. His new nickname around here is Chatty Cathy :-)

BTW, Blogger is having photo issues again! I guess we get what we pay for huh?

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Project Spectrum Wednesday

Close up of the lace

This is Angelina. The top photo shows how she will look when she is seamed - kinda. The collar and sides will fold back. The arms will have about 9" of lace added on. I am just about done with the bottom lace. I worked the collar and bottom together for a while so that I could make sure the lace matched - one is worked on the right side of the lace, the other on the wrong. It is a little confusing! The photos do not really show how pretty the blue of the yarn is.

I finally broke down and ordered new needles. I love the Denise except when working with cotton or on the smaller sizes where the cable is the same diameter as the needle making it hard to move the stitches around. I have ordered some of the Knit Picks Options but I did not order the set. Instead, I picked the sizes I use the most and ordered those along with size 40 and 47 inch cables. Now that I have wandered into the world of Magic Loop I don't think I will use the smaller cables much. I also ordered sizes 1 and 2 of the permanent circulars. I am pretty excited about the new needles and hope I don't end up losing 400 stitches due to a bad join!

Joan asked if I was making Lady Eleanor starting on the long side. The answer is no. I had to turn the work so that the camera would not capture the giant pile of mail that Big Boy had been saving on the kitchen table. Plus, I haven't been able to work on it much and so right now it is more wide than long. In the end it will be 23" wide and 70" long. I have a way to go to get to the end!

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Don’t you just love it when you get that “AH HA” moment and it actually works? I had it yesterday with the Crumpet’s dress. However, there were many obstacles before I finally got there.
  1. Since I was using a lighter yarn than called for I had to do some math. Well, I have a tendency to not completely read something, screw it up and then blame the pattern. I didn’t read that the pattern was written in the round so when my math came up with a 24” finished chest instead of the 17” in the pattern I decided that the author must be on crack. Especially since you are then supposed to add elastic, Oh hello! 24/2 = 12” that then stretches to 17” with the help of elastic. AH HA!
  2. I could not find the Picot Cast On in any of my books so I opted for a Ruffled Cast On that meant I had to cast on 4x the number of needed stitches and decrease. That is over 500 stitches! So, I Google Picot Cast On and find that NonaKnits has the whole thing written out on her blog. AH HA!
  3. How do I add elastic? I don’t sew. How will I get the ends sewn together without looking like Piglet did it? Since the yarn is cotton it just isn’t going to stretch on its own. So, I check out the Crumpet’s KAL from a few years ago to see how others did it. I hit a post by Wendy Bernard of the Knit & Tonic fame and find that she used Cascade Fixation in the top for Girlfriend. AH HA! I happen to have Elann’s Esprit in my stash and it is just like Fixation and it is the same gauge as the Sonata I am using for the skirt. Holy Crap! This just might work.

I got so excited that I made Big Boy do the dishes and entertain Piglet so I could cast on and do a few rounds. I am so excited that I am trying to figure out if there is a little girl in my life who might need one with the beads just so I can use the beads! Anyway, I am keeping with the plan to do it in white. I don’t think I have the right ribbon in my stash of ribbon (yes, I have a ribbon fetish!) so I think I will take a trip to Michael’s this week. Maybe while I am there I will check out the bead aisle too. As I complete each round of smocking I kind of wish I were doing one with beads - it would be so darn cute!

Here is the beginning of the dress. It is done top down and so far I have the three inches of bodice done.
So, in addition to my AH HA moments on this pattern I also had one with the gauge swatch I did. I didn’t know if I would like it on size 4 or 5 needles so I swatched in both and they turned out to have just about the same gauge. Actually, the size 4 gave me a quarter stitch less than the size 5. After I did that count several times to make sure I had it right I realized the difference. The size 5 needles were Denise's that had less slide action going on. The size 4 was a metal Inox and the stitches were moving all over the place. They were moving down the cord as I was knitting therefore, stretching out. I opted to go with the size 5 Denise because even though I have to work a little harder to move the stitches around, I don’t have to work as hard to keep them from falling off the needle and stretching out as I go.

We are heading to the DC area this weekend and I am looking forward to three hours of knitting in each direction. I doubt I will get in much knitting time while we are there because I have shopping and eating to do. LOL! We have plans to hit Pei Wei, Bertucci’s and Chipotle all in the same day during our few days there. We also have to see friends and show off Piglet. We are going to a promotion ceremony for an old friend of Big Boy so of course Piglet had to have a new outfit. I will try to get pictures of him in his argyle vest.

I have done a little instant gratification knitting over the past few weeks. Here are two hats and a pair of socks for the Afghan For Afghans program. The hats are done in Highland Wool that I dyed myself. The socks are done in Wildfoote doubled and done with my new talent - magic loop and toe up!
To prove to ya'll that I have indeed been knitting I am going to post WIP's all week long. It just seems that I have projects that are never ending. Lots of lace, ribbing and cables coming your way!


Thursday, March 22, 2007


Since I'm not all that swift I had to buy this little gem. I picked it up from Joann's and with the 50% off coupon I was able to get the large for less than the price of the medium. I am very excited to use it. Frankly, skeining yarn between my hand and elbow was getting annoying! I just have one question 'cause I'm not too bright and the darn thing didn't come with instructions. There are all these little holes in the center of the arms. I can only assume they are to thread the end of the yarn through when starting but I could be wrong. Am I? I am going to use it this morning on the Sonata I frogged from Piglet's sweater. I balled it but it is still all crinkly. I have to work quickly because it has a new purpose. Last night I cast on for the Crumpet's dress from Chiagu. My stitches were a little loose for what I like so I need to frog and do a gauge swatch with different needles. I am doing the dress in white in the 3-6 month size and will use a vibrant ribbon. I am leaving off the beads because it takes too much time and I have to work fast. Of course this means that everything else has been put on hold. Oh well, it will be worth it! Besides, it is now too warm for my Angelina or Lady Eleanor!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Post About Nothing

This will be a photoless post because I just haven’t managed to take photos of anything this week. Big Boy has been traveling since Sunday leaving me to care for the four children. Seriously, the dogs are as much work as the human kid! And it seems that lately whenever he travels someone in this house gets sick. Ok, it’s me. I spent most of today sitting in the Urgent Care waiting for another antibiotic. Thankfully Piglet was very well behaved and spent most of his time there trying to find someone who would pay attention to him. Big Boy returns home late tonight and we are all very glad. Actually, as I explained to him this morning, no one but me notices that he is gone. Everyone still gets their needs met whether by one person or two. It is me who ends up needing the spa day!

I got in a little knitting this week. Piglet and I trekked to SnB on Monday night and Piglet let me do a little knitting before he needed to eat and then spit up on anyone within reach. The girls have aptly named him “Little Buddha”. What would normally be my knitting time has been sucked up – Piglet seems to think I am his sole form of entertainment and requires that I make faces for him at least 8 out of 10 hours a day. One only has so many faces in their repertoire! And tonight he will only settle down if we listen to his kid’s music on Itunes – ACK! This is a habit Big Boy started and it will be up to him to finish it! Someone tell me I will become immune to it and won’t want to strangle Bingo Was His Name-O!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Project Spectrum Wednesday

This is how I start my day… surrounded in a sea of white fluff. Annabelle sleeps in our room every night but doesn’t usually get on the bed until Charley gets up in the morning (that's her at the top of the bed). I think she knows her job is done for the night. Baxter and Calvin alternate sleeping in our room but every morning Baxter comes in and snuggles with mom. Don’t worry, Calvin gets to sleep up there on his nights. He also gets to go outside alone in the mornings and spend time with Big Boy – ALONE. This morning I woke up as the filling in a Pyr sandwich. Many mornings I have a tail in my face, paws in my back or no feeling in my legs from the giant head. But, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

DISCLAIMER: Names and locations have been changed to protect my life.
This is the part where I will probably piss off a few people but, well, don’t really care. As a kid I was like every other girl and wanted to be friends with the popular people. As an adult I find that the last person I want to hang with is the popular one. Here’s the thing, if your group or friends are often called a “clique”, you probably are. Those who seem to deny it the most are those in the thick of it! This post has been a long time in the making as my irritation would ebb and tide. Several things have happened over the past week to make me put it all out there. The other night I was at a gathering and a woman I was talking to told me she was moving to the other side of the room because she wanted to be near her friend. After I finished vomiting I realized this was my opportunity to find someone less childish to talk to. I am on several lists and one in particular has a small group who alienate others. I don’t care if ya’ll are friends off list and email each other or get pedicures together or wax each other’s ass. The problem comes in when you have individual contact with each other but on a public list will post “Tammy, Donna and Harriet – look in your mailbox because I have sent you a present”. The other 300 readers do not need to know that you are sending presents to just your three friends. The only reason I can see for this is your insecurity and need for everyone to think you are so great. We don’t! At that moment, you tell the others that you only care about those few people. I would never walk into a department store, grab their intercom and announce that I am buying gifts for Tammy, Donna, and Harriet. That is essentially what happens here. But then again, I do things for my friends because I love them and not because I am trying to buy their love. At the same time, if you tell people you welcome their opinion and are open to discussing the situation, do not berate them when they give you their opinion. It is childish. If you don’t want opinions, then put up a disclaimer at the top of your site/list that says NO OPINIONS ALLOWED. Or better yet, just keep the conversation to the reason for the list, whether it is knitting, fire swallowing or the beheading of small mice (sorry, been singing a lot of Little Bunny Foo Foo).

So, on to good things…. Congratulations to Eunny Jang for her new position with Interweave Knits. I am so excited that someone young, talented and classy will be taking over. Now if Vogue would just get Wendy Bernard we would be all set in the knitting world.

Jayne has opened a new little store of hand dyed yarns. They are so pretty and cheerful. If you like something, buy it because it will be gone in a minute.

I did a little dyingdyeing last week but my colors were not as wonderful as Jayne’s. Of course, I only have four little pots and that Christmas Red is definitely Christmas Red. No matter how many times I rinsed the yarn, the red still comes off on my hands when I touch it. I think it makes me festive

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Hoodie Hell

So I’m doing it. I’m frogging this sweater. After much contemplation and a few odd looks and “umm’s” from the SnB girls last night, the decision was made. This sweater is just wrong on many levels. It fits Piglet like one of those Mexican poncho/sweaters we all wore in the 80’s/90’s. The hood is just ugly. No matter how you look at it. Now, here is where I had that “AHA” moment and felt totally stupid when it occurred (see Christine – we all have them). I looked at the pattern again… I remember the days I was finishing this sweater. It was as Piglet was getting sick and I was taking him to the doctor five days in a row and I had gone three nights without sleep. Yep, that totally explains why I missed the part that says “join top hood seam”. Somehow I translated that part to mean attaching the hood to the back. Even if I were to correct the hood, the sweater just has issues.

Then I had another AHA moment. I have perused the net for hours looking for a sweater or vest pattern for Piglet. HELLO! I have a book of baby and kid patterns that give you instructions for any type of sweater you want and it is written for cotton. It is the Style Your Own Kid's Knits. Kim and Susan, it is the one with the boxing kangaroo and deranged clown. I won’t be adding a motif! I have made several sweaters from this book so now I am banging my head on a wall wondering why I didn’t use it in the first place! I think this time I will either make it a hoodie cardigan (‘cause Piglet’s head is enormous) or just a v-neck sweater.

I have to admit; I don’t mind frogging the hours of work if it will net me a better product in the end. It is the hours of reknitting with cotton. Maybe I will make a bigger size in case it goes into time out for a while!

Now I have to figure out the best way to seam sleeves on the Angelina shrug. The garment is knit all in one piece with the sleeves cast on every few rows. Any tips on how to seam sleeves that are stair stepped?

On the agenda for today – dyeing yarn. I had done some Kool Aid dyeing a while back and the colors were terrible. This time I sprung for the fancy Wilton colors. I’ll post pictures if it turns out better than the hoodie!

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Project Spectrum Wednesday

I’m a winner!

I won this beautiful yarn over at Loves to Bike and Knit. It is the Alpaca Cloud in Stream - the perfect name for the color BTW. It is the perfect color for Project Spectrum. It is so soft and pretty! It has asked to be several things, now I just have to pick one. Yesterday while Piglet was playing on his mat and talking to his toys I cruised through a few of my patterns. I am thinking about the Lilly of the Valley Shawl from the new Lace Style. But then again there is the Trellis Lace Scarf (by Margaret Stove in the Vogue Knitting Accessorize book), Icarus, Leaf and Acorn Scarf, and Trellis Scarf. So many choices!

This has been an “I don’t wanna week”. Laundry hasn’t been completed, groceries haven’t been purchased and the bed hasn’t been made because – I DON’T WANNA! Monday was a rough day but thankfully a little knitting at Stitch & Bitch made me feel better. I think it is, in part, due to the weather. Last week was sunny and nearly 60 all week. This week is back down to the 40’s (if we are lucky) and today holds the possibility of snow and rain. The changes are wreaking havoc with my body. Something has crawled into my throat and it sort of feels like swallowing glass shards. I don’t feel sick; I just don’t feel like being a housewife this week!

We started the Piglet on cereal this week. He is only three months but frankly, he never feels full. Since then he has been much more agreeable. He naps better than he has in weeks. Here’s the thing – the boy would eat eight ounces of formula if I gave it to him but then he would spit it all up. His eyes are bigger than his belly. I finally figured out that he needed something bulky to feel full. I equate it to eating an orange or a slice of bread – which one will make you feel full.

A little knitting has happened.
  • I was able to rip out the picked up stitches on Angelina and started the lace collar. I put in a lifeline in case I started the lace on the wrong side due to the jacked up instructions. Yes, I said jacked up!
  • Piglet’s sweater is completed but I haven’t clipped the ends yet. I will post an FO picture one of these days.
  • Lady Eleanor is chugging along. I work on it when I have just a few minutes and can’t get into something that needs brain power. I absolutely love the Noro Lilly and will happily buy more if I can find it at the bargain price of $4 a skein!
  • I was able to work on the stocking yesterday. It is coming along and I can finally see the cable patterns; they make sense now. I’m not crazy about the yarn though. It is Telemark from Knit Picks and it is kind of rough. However, it is for a Christmas Stocking so it doesn’t have to be soft – just durable, stretchy and cheap!

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Monday, March 05, 2007


I think I mentioned a few posts back that I found an error in the Angelina pattern. Well, I have since found two more. One, found after I picked up stitches. I had 187 and was supposed to have 193. I added, added, subtracted, multiplied, divided and bayed at the moon and the numbers still came out to 187. 42+36+30+37+42 = 187 no matter if you use new math, old math or an abbacus. I finally checked the White Lies Designs Yahoo Group and discovered that this error was brought to the designer's attention in 2005. Yes, 2005! That is nearly two years ago. She is still printing this pattern with the incorrect numbers. Her correction for this is to pick up an extra 3 stitches on each side of the neck. What does that mean? I have to rip out 145 stitches. As I was running the numbers for the 10th time and preparing to bang my head against the wall, Piglet started to cry. How long before he figures ou not to interrupt mommy when she is counting, foaming at the mouth or flinging yarn, needles, pattern and WIP across the room? Endless searches of the internet have brought a lot of people who made the jacket but none that posted about the errors. To add insult to injury - every search resulted in thousands of hits about Angelina Jolie and the number of people who think she is a homewrecker who illegally adopted her children. Do you think it is too early in the day for tequilla?

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Friday, March 02, 2007

I've Got A Burn And It Feels Good

Yesterday I realized that I am very behind in my goal of 100 miles to April 1(Run A Go Go). I have to get in 2 1/2 miles a day between now and then. Since our weather was warm the Piglet and I headed to the park for a 3 mile walk. I was only going to put in 2 miles but I noticed the extremely obese woman working her way to the second mile and I felt guilty. If the 400 pound woman can do 2 miles there is no reason why I can't do 3! Late last night my arm and shoulders started to hurt and I couldn't figure out why. This morning it dawned on me - I am pushing around an extra 39 pounds:

Stroller = 17 pounds
Car Seat = 8 pounds
Piglet = 14 pounds

The cost of outrunning the freaks at the park - Priceless.

Actually, our park is nice. It has 2 - 1 mile tracks that connect. The second mile is a little more isolated so I only use it if it is a very busy day. The park also has a state of the art playground and soccer fields where the local high school practices. However, it is directly across from the high school meaning that during lunch and after school it is a hang out. I'm sure the little hellions are up to no good just discussing their dreams, weekend plans and hot girls but I still don't trust them. More like I don't trust anyone wearing a heavy winter coat and a hood in 60 degree weather. It is also their smoking area - NICE! Oh wait, ours was at the grocery store next to the school so I guess I can't pick too much.

Piglet sleeps nicely as long as I keep moving. I guess when he is older and won't sleep anymore I will have to take up running to keep him going! Great tunes always help me move a little faster.

10 Songs on the Playlist:
  1. You're So Vain - Carly Simon
  2. Feels Like Home - Chantal Kreviazuk
  3. Weight of the World - Chantal Kreviazuk
  4. Made To Worship - Chris Tomlin
  5. How To Save A Life - The Fray
  6. Holding Out For A Hero - Frou Frou
  7. Upside Down - Jack Johnson
  8. Waiting On The World To Change - John Mayer
  9. Your Body Is A Wonderland - John Mayer
  10. Making Memories Of Us - Keith Urban