Sunday, January 29, 2006
Yup, work is crazy, knitting is stalled, and well, home... home is just a little complicated.
So, I am halfway through my Bloomin' Feet socks; working out the maths for PC's sleeves and revving up for the Olympics.
More later this week PLUS pictures!
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Today I want to tie up some loose ends and let you all know where I am in which projects.
1. The blob.
It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits It fits
PC tried it on Sunday afternoon with all these weird stitch holders holding it together like giant diaper pins. He says it's a bit tight across the belly area (I was concerned while knitting this), but it'll be ok. Only the sleeves to go...I'll be visiting sleeve island this evening!
2. Baby sweaters.
Ok, so is anyone going to know I intended to knit 3 and only made 2? Nope, didn't think so. So, 2 sweaters, 1 quilt... ready to wrap and go!
3. Bloomin' Feet:
Sock yarn arrived. Cascade Fixation in two colors... am working out pattern and size. This yarn is hard to "pattern". :( I'll work something out!
4. Knitting Olympics:
have yarn, have pattern (in FRENCH) and a photo. I will be working out the math and charting the front tonight. :)
Side note: while I did Alison's Sockapaltwoza last time, I decided to sit this one out. I want more hand knit socks,but I am really into the Bloomin' Feet one. Also, I have a lot of sock yarn that is waiting for "me" socks. So, I will be knitting my Bloomin' Feet socks and then, as a project-on-the-run, I will knit socks for Moi. :)
Daddy update: working with a team at the hospital. They seem great! He has MORE tests to determine the treatment (although it feels slow, they are just being very comprehensive..and they should be! He's my Dad!). Looks like 5 1/2 weeks radiation and chemo (he is in good health and can tolerate both) then surgery! The latter is the worst...and most dangerous. I hope they can shrink and zap this out of his body before surgery! Keep us in your prayers and think good thoughts for my dad. Maybe I'll teach him to knit while he's at treatment! Ha ha ha.
(Imagine: 60 year old trucker, 6'3", 300+ lbs.... knitting. :)
photos tomorrow, I hope....damn blogger!
Saturday, January 21, 2006
(nothing like a meme for when you have no blog fodder!)
4 jobs you have had in your life
1. Biochemist (current job)
2. Special Education Camp Counselor for Autistic Boys
3. Floral designer
4. In-home tutor
4 movies you could watch over & over:
1. Wizard of Oz
2. And the Band Played On
3. Firefly (kevin costner...)
4. Roman Holiday
4 places you have lived
1. Melrose, MA
2. Goffstown, NH (college)
umm... that's it.
4 TV shows you love to watch
2. Law and Order (umm...all of them!)
3. Gilmore Girls
4 places you have been on vacation
1. Las Vegas (twice)
2. Florida (Disney World!)
3. North Monmouth, Maine
4. Cape Cod, MA
4 websites you visit daily
1. work intranet webpage
3. Now Norma KNits 2
4. My own! So I can read all my blogs!
4 of your favorite foods
1. macaroni and cheese
2. Banquet fried chicken
4 places you would rather be right now:
1. in my own apartment with PC
2. Italian Alps with PC....
3. in a more comfortable chair
4. my own kitchen....
4 bloggers you are tagging
Friday, January 20, 2006
YAY! Even though I have NEVER had any athletic ability (well, I was a cheerleader in high school and played intramural rugby, but I have ZERO agility)- I am an OLYMPIAN!!!!
I joined the Knitting Olympics and this weekend, I will give you a peek at the "event" I am entered in! :)
-Mini, proud US Sweater Team member
* cue national Anthem*
Thursday, January 19, 2006
So, why the baby talk? We have baby sweaters! Well, we have 2 of the 3... and a quilt that needs to be made. *sigh* going to be a crazy Saturday morning! (Saturday morning is when I do my best quilting...don't ask why)
This one is my favorite so far... knit with bulky yarn (Plymouth Encore, soft, warm, squishy and machine washable!)
This next sweater triggered the whole "green/yellow/blue" theme ( sex=unknown)... I love it! Plmouth Jelly Beans... very good kids yarn and very well priced! ( I did all the sweaters for under $25)
close up of SUPER CUTE duckie buttons from my LYS!
And now, I want to say thank you to all of you who have left such wonderful comments in regards to my dad. We both appreciate them, alot. He is staying strong... it's hard to imagine that the man that I took to preschool for Show-N-Tell because he could lift a car, could be weakened by a mindless senseless mass of cells. (side story: I thought my dad could lift cars b/c he would work on cars in the driveway and they would be up in the air while he was under them. Dude, I was FOUR.. I knew nothing about hydraulic jacks for cars) So, even at 28, my dad is my superman, and I am his princess. PC will tell you that I am "daddy's girl" but he's also "mini's Daddy". He aggravates me, frustrates me and sometimes infuriates me. But, he always loves me, and he worked very hard to make sure that I had everything I wanted and needed. I had a LARGE (the ummm, whole wall on one side of my room) mural of a rainbow when I was growing up, with a pink canopy bed and over 2500 stuffed animals. He is off to Mass General tomorrow to see a specialist and get more tests done. Right now, he's not a great candidate for surgery, but hopefully chemo and radiation will be sufficient. I am trying to be a good little soldier, but on the ride home tonight, I lost. I pulled the car over, and started sobbing. The song I have always wanted to dance with my Dad at my wedding was on and well, it was a mess. But, this is the first time I have lost it... I tend to go through "stages" when upset or greiving. My emotions come at private moments, when I can't seem to push them away.
Ok, now gratutious photo of the "superdog" that my parents are spoiling beyond belief! Do you believe that dogs (or cats ) can sense illness? Rascal lies on the couch with my dad every night and sobs when he leaves in the morning. Also, the dog appears to have begun a hunger strike in sympathy for my Dad. Overall, he's been overly attentive to my dad.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
I found a wonderful kimono (or Jedi style) baby sweater pattern last night. I am still working on Baby Sweater #3. I found it here. I should have it done this weekend. :) Along with PC's sweater parts. I am going to need major assistance with the assembly. I am thinking of hiring the girl at W&W to help me out with this. I want the seams to look nice and not "homemade", but "handmade."
In other news, we had some bad news in my house this weekend. It appears that my dad has esophogeal cancer. Today we find out the stage of the cancer and therefore, the treatments available. My dad wants to be very proactive on this and treat it as agressively as his body will let him. He's scared. Mom's scared. I'm scared. I'm sure my brothers are scared. Last winter we went through hospital hell for 5 weeks with my mom. She was diagnosed with emphysema and had to go through all these awful phlebotomy treatments to lower her blood crit and more physical therapy. It was a strain. I live with my parents, but as the only girl, a lot of responsibility falls on my shoulders. My dad saw this last year and the toll it took on my sanity. So, he elected to tell the boys (my brothers) early enough, but we'll see if they step up to the plate for this one. I have my doubts,but they have surprised me before. So, there may be a posting lag as I will be trying to help out my folks as much as they need and tend to other things (like my-soon-to-be-official- promotion at work).
More photos and updates as I get them.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
1. HUB MILLS
what i bought: 20 skeins of a 55%alpaca/23%silk.22%wool blend in a coral/orange color.
20 balls of an unknown wool, a tweed-y tan for an aran
1 skein of CHerry Tree Hill Supersock
Pricing: very good! each skein was $2.5o and produced about 109yds each; the unknown wool is about 100 yds, also at $2.00 each. CTH was 20% off.
knowledge: only one person working, but she was knitting at the checkout and very helpful.
Organization: overall,ok. You have to be very careful when shopping here, it's easy to find the wrong yarn in the wrongly marked box- ask lots of questions!
Range of products: pretty good, it was fairly picked-over when I was there, but they had recently had a sale... a LOT of patterns were available as well as pattern books, but they were poorly organized and I didn't have the patience that particular day. My mom, a new knitter, was a little overwhelmed, but she picked up some interesting scarf kits. They were $4 each, she bought 4 thinking Christmas gifts next year.
Wild and Woolly (Lexington, MA)
the semi-annual sale.... time of arrival: 7:05 a.m.
overall thoughts: I love the sales at W&W, but I was a little disappointed with the prices this year, although I got some great discounts on Debbie Bliss, I saw some yarns that were a better bargain on eBay. I was very tempted by some Rowan Handspun in a warm chocolate brown, but even at $81 for 8 skeins (~1600yds), Iknew I would be able to find REAL handspun for a comparable price at one of the festivals this year. What did I buy? Oh, it's listed a little bit further down. :)
Knowledge: W&W ladies are great! When I was looking at the DB Cashmerino, I must have looked obviously disappointed. I had been drooling over a particular color, but it wasn't in the sale bags. "oh well, i thought... I have the DB in this wine-berry color for my mom". Then, one of the women who works there yelled for me from the door of the back room. I walked over and saw her holding up a bag of the color I loved! It was 11 balls of it, for $60. :)
Not only do they know their yarn, they know their customers!
Stock: oh, it's two floors of everything from DB and Rowana nd Malabrigio to Encore and Dale for babies. They have scarf yarn and felting kits. They host trunk shows and will wade through piles of patterns with you for hours.
Pricing: normally, average retail, sometimes higher. They do have a "high rent" area that they live in.
Rating: one of my favorite LYS, but sale was slightly disappointing.
Here's the goods:
Dale Falk, 4 balls of pink, 4 balls of orange... these are for hats and mittens for little ones in the family (the girls, of course) for next winter.
Topacio cotton/acrylic blend (60-40) for tanks this summer: 10 balls of pink, 10 balls of blue
DB Cashmerino Aran: 10 the wine and 11 of the gold tone
I might be able to knit from all my stash this year!
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Umm...a little bit, I like WoolEase and Cotton Ease-- oh and Plymouth yarn for baby knits, but other than that, I am more of a "natural gal"-- I really like alpaca/wool/silk/cashmere/cotton--- especially blends!
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I crochet, but refuse to spin... although I love handspun yarn
3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
Umm...everything! I am currently trying to make some sort of needlecase for my needles.
4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting a LONG time... really improved over the past 2 years.--- prob'ly a intermediate leaning toward advanced. I would say I have known how to knit since i was 6 ( I am 28 now)
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Nope, but anything from Knitpicks is good! :)
6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
I like all things pumpkin, vanilla, and "clean laundry"
7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
YES! But, WW is anti-candy. :( I do like nice dark chocolate..... yummy!
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I like to sew, quilt, make wreaths, flower arranging, you name it- i've tried it. I don't like scrapbooking though, at all.
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I LOVE country music!
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love all colors, but yellow washes me out. I like fall and "natural" colors. And I am told I look great in red!
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Live with my folks now, moving in with PC very soon... my parents have a dog, but it's not my dog--- his name is Rascal and he's 5 months old.
12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I wear all but the poncho. I don't think they look so great on me
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
Oh wow... um, Cascade 220. Feels good, great stitch definition and so many colors. But, against the skin, I like cotton (Flash, Provence) and Rowan Cork
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Mohair... itchy fussy and itchy. Did I mention itchy?
15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
mittens and sweaters (designing my own)
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
mittens and scarves.... there are so many great varigated scarf yarns out now (Schaefer collection comes to mind!)
17. What are you knitting right now?
sweater for PC, some stuff for baby gifts, and a sweater for me. Oh and 2 pair of socks. :)
18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
YES! I have NO CRAFTY friends, so I rarely get handmade gifts... it would be a nice change!
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I am currently obsessed with Bryspun circular needles... I want to get to a "full set"-- I only have US8 and US 5 now.
21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
22. How did you learn to knit?
godmother taught me... I knit to remember her.
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
6 months.... it's in the finishing pile now.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
25. What is your favorite holiday?
26. Is there anything that you collect?
Bryspun needles....coffee mugs from different places
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
NONE... I pick them up when I get a chance. I am hoping to get an IK when we move.
28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Sirdar Cheeky Chinos, Real Knits for Real Women, The Knitter's Book of Handy Patterns ( I have the sweater one) Vogue Knitting ( the big copy)
29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
Intarsia, and continental knitting-- would really love to learn finishing techniques.
30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I knit socks! my foot is 9 inches heel to toe, 10 inch instep and ankles, about 9 1/2 inches. I like socks to be snug and machine washable
31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
And I have a new intern in the lab. An intern poses a whole slew of new challenges, managing a person in a v. small group and training them in the 8 hours that you are supposed to be doing YOUR work are just two of the new challenges. But, once trained up, she will be useful.
I have been knitting. I need to take pictures of knitting, I know. I have one baby sweater DONE. In my insanity to push hand knit items upon people, like unsuspecting pregnant moms, I have decided that this sex-to-be-determined baby will need three sweaters. I have one done. A second one needs arms and buttons (click that off my list tonight!). The third will be done this weekend. Maybe. Did I mention the baby shower is SOON? Well, overall... knitting will suffer this weekend b/c of Cleaning. Cleaning with a CAPITAL C. I am purging, moving, packing, trashing, stashing all kinds of things this weekend come hell or high water.
As much as I would love to show you exactly HOW much I need to clean, I cannot. The mom who raised me would freak out and then committ suicide, like if I wore not clean-panties and got into an accident. BTW- when was the last time you wore dirty underthings? Me: NEVER.
So, jackets/coats/etc will be donated. Bridesmaid/Prom dress/etc will be reorganized for long term storage. Clothes will be inventoried and accordingly tossed/kept/donated. (I make enough money right now, that if need be, I can buy new clothes). Excess fabric will be inventoried for usefulness and prettiness. Ugly useless stuff will be chucked. Shoes will be assessed on how often and comfort of use. Purses, well...the bags stay. :)
Yarn....oh, the yarn. Yarn will be put into Ziplock bags, marked and air removed in order to facilitate the moving of said yarn in a few weeks. Apartment-y items that were purchased/gifted for the apartment of the useless lease will be placed in storage facility with other stuff. Sleeping bags will move to storage facility also, but only once washed and dried at the laundromat... will allow for knitting time!
and this is the big one: BOOKS will be purged. Donation to a local library or trade with PC's mom and other like minded people may be in order.
So, I will grab some photos of the baby sweaters....then I will clean. Anyone wanna come over and help? Nope, didn't think so!
Friday, January 06, 2006
I still have to mail out the other winner, Jan, her present (sorry, Jan... it's not laziness, it's work... someone quit this week and well, in a team of 10, one person is a lot of work!). It'll pop into the mail sometime next week. :)
So much football this weekend, plenty of knitting time! Bucs at 4:30 and the Pats at 8:00, I am all set.
My college roomie (and all around great person) is going to be a MOMMIE! But, this kid is going to need sweaters, it will live in NH. SO, the shower is umm, in 3 weeks. I want to make something adorable,but don't know what! Any suggestions? No idea what sex the baby is... so it's a gender neutral requirement. *sigh* I might need an LYS trip... anyone want to go?
PS- Karen asked me to post what PC REALLY means... um, can't. We'll stick with "perfect catch"... Actually "PC" and "Mini" are names that we came up with just messin' around one day. And, well...it's one of those things! Sorry... maybe someday I'll be like Carly Simon and auction off the answer (some guy in CT knows who the song "you're so vain" is about!)....
Thursday, January 05, 2006
I work for a French company. We have offices in France (near Avignon) and an office here (Bedford, MA). We train in France, have meetings in France, have corporate outings and adventures in France, and we even come in extra early so that we can have telephone conversations with France. My supervisor (kinda) is a French woman, my age (we share a birthday!) who is a "knitting enabler". She was in Paris visiting family over the holidays and went to a yarn shop. Did you hear that? She does not knit. She doesn't sew. She went to a yarn shop that came highly recommended from family that knits (I think an aunt),and was there to buy me a present! She already bought me the Pattern-a-day calender for my desk. So, this morning, over coffee (yes, it's a French thing... coffee here at work can take 1-2 hours, but we use it to discuss work...sometimes), she says "oh, I have something for you!". She wanted to buy me yarn. But, she said, the woman was asking her "how much yarn?" She didnt' know. Hmm...so, she said "are there 'french' knitting needles?" Nope. The woman said " we get some American tourists who buy the French knitting magazines" Voila!
So, 2 French knitting magazines (especially chosen for me, b/c she said she thought all the sweaters in one were "my style" and they TOTALLY are, and the 2nd is toddler and children's patterns... too adorable.I love knitting for little ones!) came over the Atlantic to me. :)
I'll have pictures of them tomorrow. Y'know that Rowan Cork I have floating around? You know... the one I can't decide if I like the ribbing? Well, I found the PERFECT pattern for it in the French magazine. Now,tonight with my French-English dictionary, my magazine and a notebook..I am good to go!
Also, I never told you, but I am a member of an Elite Group... yup, Bloomin' Feet. It's a small sock swap (less than 10 people, I think) and it goes to March. My secret pal has very loose instructions on what she wants, but I think I have a good idea and I will include you in the process as I move along. I need to buy sock yarn. I am going above and beyond on this one! (my secret pals know, I usually do... what budget? ha ha ha It's only b/c of my frugality that I can get away with it).
Also, made a trade with Katy over at Katyknits (check her out.. she's a great knitter and a really great Mom!) and I will be receiving a Debbie Bliss pattern book from her and she will be getting a needle case made by me in return!
Not much more to update with today.
The blob marches on...I'm up to the armholes. But, tonight might be me, my hat that needs to be done, and teh French knitting mag. I need some "me knitting" time, y'know?
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
How on earth did I knit PC something that is 8 inches too big around the belly????
Now, my PC is a "normal" size guy, I think. A little Buddha belly, but hey, don't we all? And he's not FAT, and he's not weirdly shaped... but my knitting needles proclaimed him to be 8 inches larger around the belly. Hmm.
Back to the drawing board. Say it with me people....
So, now I have 9 inches of a back and I am going to make the back and the front, baste it together and voila... try it on him again. The 1st sweater (actually the 3rd,but we'll stick with 1st) was knit completely in the round. It would have raglan sleeves and a crew neck. Now, I am doing a modified drop sleeve with a crew neck. I am hoping this will be a more "forgiving" pattern for my *obviously* loose gauge. Right now, I am still dead on with my gauge: 4 spi. It's perfect. I am using Plymouth Encore (don't ask... it's soft, machine washable and reasonably priced) and Addi US 8 needles (circulars)... and I am knitting FLAT. The only change i have made is the Circular vs. Flat knitting, but sometimes that is all it takes.
So, knitting. I am making PC's "blob" sweater, a new hat for moi (yummy), and I have cast on for 2 sweaters for me. :)
Sweater for Mini #1: In Rowan Cork, color: BUG, I am making a modified drop sleeve with a v-neck. I think it'll be cute. I am going between the following stitches:
Sweater for Mini#2:
I am making the Aran from Interweave Knits (the latest issue)... I really like it.
Now, this yarn, I have NO IDEA what it is. It passed the burn test, it's wool. I bought it at Hub Mills in Lowell and it was a "test yarn". Not very soft, but the swatch softened up alot. This will be my NEXT fall sweater. The one I take camping to toss on at night. Warm but not an "against skin" warm. The color is this fantastic beige... very hard to describe. Oh,and $2 a ball? Can't go wrong!!!1
What else did I buy? Oh... this yummy orange-y coral-y 55%alpaca/23%silk/22%wool blend (109yds per hank) that is to die for. $2.50 a hank... i want to go back and get the other color, the purple for my SIL next year.
And now, because I have no more knitting to talk about... I leave you with "brat pictures" of Rascal, the wonder dog.
Rascal in repose...ha ha ha. No, this is how he spends most of his day, sleeping with his toys by the back door...he plays in the kitchen most everyday and he LOVES the sunlight in the back door.
"why are you taking pictures? I wanna PLAY!!"
"is that a cookie??? well, do you have a cookie?"
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
Yep, congratulations to:
Karen for the suggestion of "Perfect Catch"
Jan for the suggestion of "Professor Chickensnake"
PC loved them both, for very different reasons.
So, Karen's suggestion was PC's first choice, so she'll get the hank of Cherry Tree Hill. And Jan will receive another hank of sock yarn, to be determined (I'm stash diving for this one...I have so much sock yarn!)...
Jan, I already have your address (I was her secret pal), but Karen...email me yours!
No updates today, I made mittens last night (yes,honey they have thumbs now) and am working on a hat for me. The yarn is a Schaefer yarn that is called "Tink" and oh, how tinky-pink it is. Pictures when I get a chance... oh, and tomorrow, I will tell you all about my journey to Hub Mills Yarn Outlet (yes, Virginia there is a Santa)...and the goodies I bought.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
The yarn you are going to get is Cherry Tree Hill, PC picked the color and it is: Tropical Storm. A gorgeous blend of blues and greens... reminds me of the ocean right after a good spring Nor'Easter....
I'll be back in the office on Tuesday, but we'll announce the winner tomorrow.... check back here and if you win...you need to EMAIL me your physical address. :)
Happy New Year!
-Mini and PC