Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What I'm Working on Wednesday

I continued knitting the "Hell Sweater", started the last skein & realized that there's DEFINITELY not enough yarn to finish this project. How do I feel about it?

In honor of Socktoberfest, here's a glimpse of the 2nd pair of Soctoberfest socks:

On behalf of the Red Scarf Project, I've finished two scarves. Actually they are not finished since I still have to weave in the ends and block them, but here's a sneak preview:

The yarn for DH's Christmas present arrived yesterday, so I swatched it and FOR THE FIRST TIME I even washed the swatch. This project is just too important & is going to have too much time involved for me not to. Also, I'd read from Brooklyn Tweed's blog that this particular KnitPicks yarn, although it says "superwash", shrinks. My swatch DID indeed shrink so I'm very thankful I did a true test swatch. Since I can't knit this project while DH is home (which isn't often), I'll be making a hat out of the leftover scarf yarn. Since that will only take an evening to make, I'm going to have to come up with some other projects. I may just have to make a decision about those felted clogs or slippers today!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hell Sweater & Felted Foot

This sweater I'm making is going to be the death of me! Thus, I've named it "Hell Sweater". This is the very first sweater I've made for myself & it hasn't been very pleasant to say the least.

First of all.. the EVIL yarn. And really, I don't even want to call it yarn because it's really just 5 different colored threads that seem to have been chain stitched together. It splits, it pulls, it snags, it's evil!

Secondly, I'm afraid I don't have enough yarn left to finish. It called for 11 skeins, I purchased 11 skeins, but I'm 1/2 through the sleeves with only one ball left. I still have to seam & knit a collar.

Finally, last night at midnight I noticed this:

Obviously knitting at 1am is not the best of ideas. Of course, the purl bump ridges are supposed to go all the way across, so now I'm laddering down (is that the correct term?) 5 rows to switch my knit stitch to a purl bump & I'm doing this 87 times. Somebody shoot me!

I'm probably a little late in knitting the Fiber Trends felted clog pattern, but after seeing the 2nd pair completed by Jillian, I really would like to make some for myself (and maybe even for Christmas gifts).

Although, Wendy posted about the Knitted Slippers- Curiously Clever Clogs and they're so cute that I also want to make those. Did I hear you say that I should make both? Hmm... but I'm so "cheap" I don't want to buy a $5 pattern AND a $7 pattern. I can't decide. Who will decide for me?

The only thing I DO know, is I'm going to go with inexpensive yarn & buy the KnitPicks Wool of the Andes because they have some beautiful new heather colors available. Here's a few combos I'm thinking about:

By the way, DH & I went to dinner (sushi) and the movies Friday night (like a REAL date) and saw The Guardian. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Free, Felted & Finished Friday

FREE: I received my FREE yarn yesterday. Heather offered the "free yarn" from her stash as long as you paid the shipping costs. I received 9 yummy skeins of Classic Elite's Waterspun in the blue spruce colorway, as well as some stamps that will be perfect for card-making. Originally I was going to use my "free yarn" to knit a project for Christmas Knits but I doubt the homeless will be following the care label instructions to hand wash, so I think I may buy some really sturdy washable yarn instead.

FELTED: I know these photos are awful, but I'm giving you a sneak peek at the felted bag I'm working on for my neices birthday in December. The bag pattern is the Rick Rack Purse & the yarn is Cascade 220 Wool. The first photo is unfelted & the second photo is a small section of the felted bag.

This bag has been very tricky for me since the finished bag has to be exact measurements to fit a specific item. I'll elaborate more when I post completed photos.

FINISHED: I've jumped on the bandwagon & completed some Mason-Dixon ballband dishcloths. I love that these are a quick-knit and will be great for Christmas presents as well. That is, if I don't just use them in my own kitchen instead!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Vacation Indulgence

I knew there was a reason I usually don't drink much alcohol. It's not that I don't enjoy an occassional cocktail, but for some reason when I'm on vacation, I just think drinking is part of the whole vacation experience. I had TWO occassions on this last vacation though that SHOULD keep me away from all alcohol on future vacations. (Notice the emphasis on SHOULD)

Experience One - Art Auction
Not only did I indulge in a pre-dinner cocktail, several glasses of wine with dinner & an after dinner show drink, BUT there was free champagne being served at the art auction. Yes, on cruise ships they have art auctions.

5 years ago I was on a cruise with a friend, saw a piece of art, didn't bid on it & have regretted it ever since. I commented about this to DH and he said we could go "look" at the art on the cruise ship up for auction. I saw a painting I immediately liked & when I showed it to DH, he admitted he liked it as well. WHAT? We agree on a piece of art? We don't even agree on the art currently hanging in our home. I was so excited.. until the dealer told us the price.

Starting bid ... $986.50 -- A LITTLE out of our budget.

However, because they were drawing numbers for art they were giving away, we registered & got a number. BAD IDEA. Halfway into the auction, the painting I liked appeared & next thing I know DH is raising our number & then "once, twice, sold" was shouted out by the auctioneer. WHAT? Did we just buy art? Yes. It will be arriving in 8 weeks.

Experience Two - Water Park
While visiting DisneyWorld, we decided to re-visit a favorite park of ours called Blizzard Beach. This park is a water park for the young & young at heart. I've never seen anything like it before & I only wish Disney would put in something similar here in California. Upon arriving to Blizzard Beach & renting our towels for the day (which we never used), we made our first stop at ....... the bar for a delicious breakfast of bloody mary's. We chatted up the bartender, started a tab, finished our drinks & went off to "ride" the water rides. After a few rides, I started feeling thirsty so back to the bar we went, but for my all time favorite MARGARITAS (on the rocks only, none of that frozen crap for me). After finishing that delicious drink, we went back to the water rides, then back the bar, back to the rides... you see where I'm going with this. Although I do remember that the bar tab wasn't nearly as high as I thought it was going to be, I don't remember the ride home.

What I DO remember is:
  • lying on the bathroom floor,
  • worshipping the porcelain god,
  • DH wiping you-know-what from my mouth with a cold washcloth

OH BOY I WAS SICK! The entire night was miserable & the next day we were at Magic Kingdom in Disneyworld, but only very mild rides for me. Poor DH. He was fine, but I was hungover as hell & I don't want to see a margarita ever again. (Or at least until I can't remember this experience).

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My socks are tangled up!

In honor of Socktoberfest, here's my first pair of socks completed!!

Pattern: Tangled Up in Blue by JudyBecker

Yarn: KnitPicks Essential Tweed in Flint

Needles: (2) US size 1 circular needles: KnitPicks Classic Circular

Notes: I am more convinced than ever that toe-up is the best way to knit socks. I love that I never have to worry about running out of yarn! The pattern was written clearly, easy to follow & produced a beautiful sock. The yarn wasn't STR, but for the price ($2.99/ball) I'm not complaining. The needles were a dream to knit with and the sharp points really help when making socks. When I put these socks on for the "photo shoot", they were so comfy I didn't want to take them off (so I didn't). Would I knit these again? Absolutely~

Monday, October 16, 2006

Anyone up for some charity knitting?

Is anyone joining me in charity knitting this holiday season?

The Red Scarf Project from Norma's blog, and Christmas Knits for One At A Time Ministries from Lynda's blog, are the two charities that I'm donating handmade knit items to. I've never sent any hand knit items to a charity before so I'm finding all of it very exciting.

I also thought scarves would be a great charity project for me right now. It's an easy item to add to my current list of projects (see my sidebar on the right) and since I chose a pattern for my first scarf that was easy for me to memorize, I can take it along with me and knit it anywhere. My current scarf is being knitted with Patons Shetland Chunky Tweed in the Deep Red colorway. It is very nice to work with & even though I consider myself sometimes a fiber-snob, I actually would like to receive a scarf knitted with this yarn.

I tried more times than I can count to upload the progress photos of this scarf, but blogger is being a P-I-T-A, so forget it. Hopefully the solution is fixed soon because my next post should be of completed socks!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Christmas project for DH

There are only two decent photos of us from our vacation & here's one of us at St. Maarten with our cruise ship in the background (duh). I sure wish I would've asked people to take our photo more often, but I guess I just didn't think about that enough then. I'll know better for our spring vacation in Hawaii.

So I've since realized that it's NOT a good thing when DH reads your blog. I've chosen to knit him something for Christmas & the downside is I can't blog about it. I can't give post update photos, progress bars, ask for help, or anything! That's a real downer. I was going to ask DH to stop reading my blog until after Christmas, but it wouldn't work. It's like telling a child they can't do something -- it then becomes the ONLY thing they want to do.

Here's the sneak peak on the yarn colors for the project. Not only is blue DH's favorite color, but he looks dreamy in it. The grey is just an accent color section (small), but I did have a difficult time deciding on the accent color. Since I couldn't ask you all for your input, I just hope I chose correctly.

By the way, DH reads the comment sections here, so if you want to know or guess what I'm making, please email me instead of commenting.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Friday Finished Fetching

I'm STILL reading 2 weeks worth of posts from all of your blogs. Thank goodness for Bloglines for keeping track of it all for me.

I thought I'd share one of my favorite photos from vacation. It doesn't have anyone in it, but I thought it was a decent photo (since I suck at photography) of our visit to St. Maarten. I think next time we visit this island though, we'll go check out the French side (St. Maartin) since the Dutch side (St. Maarten) isn't worth a second visit in my opinion.

Okay, now for some knitting

Pattern: Fetching from Summer 2006 issues
Yarn: Berroco Pure Merino in the Cabernet colorway
Needles: KnitPicks Options size 5 US circular needles (2)
Notes: I didn't like the picot edge in the pattern (looked weird to me, although now I'm thinking I just may have done it incorrectly) so I did a standard bind off. I've said it before & I'll say it again - this yarn is delicious! I wish I would've used the size 6 needles, but I didn't have two sets so I used the size 5 instead.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I gave, but received!

My sister hates me!
I just got off the phone with her to let her know that I just received another contest winning gift in the mail. That makes 3 in a 30-day time frame.

I made a small donation to Julie's Light The Night Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society & anyone who made a donation was entered in a drawing for prizes & look what I won!
Isn't it the cutest felted bag? The photo doesn't do it justice though. It's much better in person! Also, this is my very first hand-knitted item I've ever received from anyone. All I did was donate money for a VERY worthy cause & I ended up being the winner by receiving a very nice hand knitted bag. I'm the lucky one! Thank you Julie!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hey, Sick Girl (a.k.a. Motion Sick)

So many interesting things happened on vacation, that there's no way that I can capture it all in one post, so I'll share bits & pieces of it as time goes by as well as a photo or two.

As a small child, my parents loved to take long road trips (16 hours) at least once a year to visit relations. Of course I used to get so motion sick in the car, that I got to sit in the backseat of our brown station wagon (the one with the wood paneling accent on the sides) and stare at the road or sleep. It was so frustrating to sit & watch my sisters either coloring or reading a book & such that I wondered why I had been cursed with not only this motion sickness disease, but also with parents who loved to drive for hours on end in spite of my "illness".

I thought I'd outgrown motion sickness. I've even been known to knit in the car now (but only if I'm in the front seat). I thought I'd outgrown it until I visited St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We boarded a large sailing ship (45'?) called Bones and headed off for Buck Island to snorkel with the sea turtles. Unfortunately, by the time we arrived at our destination, all I wanted to do was throw up!! No snorkeling for me (although my DH went out & took some underwater photos of the turtles for me). When everyone finished snorkeling & the vessel was turned around to head back, I heard the Captain say "Hey, Sick Girl" & motioned me towards his captain chair. He told me it was the best seat in the house & that I was going to drive the boat back home .. and I did. He was right, it was the most stable seat on the vessel & by the time we got back to shore (with the help of a drink called the "painkiller") I felt almost as good as new!
On the knitting front, I've finished (Tangled Up In Blue) & started a pair of socks (Karen's Sugar-Free Diabetes Walk Socks) for Socktoberfest. Stay tuned for that info later this week (maybe tomorrow).

Also, as promised, here's a photo of the stitch markers I received from Good To Be Girl. She also enclosed some candy.. including one of my favorites -- SWEDISH FISH! Yummy! I feel so spoiled!! She's on vacation right now for 2 weeks to Europe, but I can't wait to see what stitch marker designs she'll be releasing in November!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Back from the dead

Actually, I'm not back from the dead, but back from vacation. I thought I'd posted a note telling you all that I was leaving for 2 weeks, but today when I looked at my blog, I saw it never posted. SORRY! You probably all thought I fell off the face of the earth... or did you notice?

DH & I went on a cruise in the southern caribbean for a week & then spent a week in Orlando at Walt Disney World. Although it was a wonderful vacation & great spending quality one on one time with DH, I was homesick on day 10 & wanted to come home!

I have finished knitting projects & got a wonderful stitch marker surprise in the mail from good to be girl. I received EIGHT of the most adorable stitch markers: pea pods, coffee bean, pumpkin, penguin, snowman, ice cream cone & a pop tart. I LOVE THEM!! I can't wait to start a new knitting project so I can use them since just looking at them makes me smile! I'll post photos of the stitch markers & some finished knitting projects hopefully Tuesday or Wednesday.

When you were a kid & you went on vacation with your family, did your mom make sure the house was spotlessly clean before you left? Mine sure did & now I know why! After being gone for 2 weeks, I sure wish I would have followed my mothers example & spotlessly cleaned my house, because now instead of blogging or reading blogs, I have to go clean ... YUCK!