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Monday, February 13, 2006

I have been swatching for the last 13 days.  I have swatched so much that I could have had a whole baby blanket done by now.  I'm sick of doing it.  I have been through the four BW treasuries several times, Barbara Abbey's knitting book, some 250 stitch treasury book, 365 Stitches a Year calendar, the internet, and magazines trying to find that just right pattern.  I've used Jaggerspun Zephyr, Cotton Ease, GGH Bali, Butterfly Super 10, Louet Sales Tristan Merlin, and the rest of the yarns I can't remember.  I went from wanting something unique to just wanting ANYTHING OH GOD ANYTHING WILL DO!  I've got something I'm willing to do and the kicker?  It's not yarn that I have enough of in my stash.  I'll have to order more if I keep with this one.  I should put an end to this nonsense and just buy a gift.

I've also been working on the baby hoodie to take breaks from the swatching madness.  I've got the back, fronts, and sleeves done.  While the hood part was on the needles, I went searching for a needle for one of the swatches.  It was the one the hood was on.  And it was the wrong one.  In all the madness, I'd picked up the wrong size needle for the hood.  Then I checked the sleeves and sure enough, I'd used the wrong needle for those too.  I wasn't too far into the hoodie so it wasn't too painful to rip it out and start over, but for some reason I dread redoing the sleeves.  They're not hard.  It's just that... they were finished and now I have to do them over again.  I think it's mostly because they remind me of swatches!

My 18 year old daughter called me this weekend.  She and her bf went to Chicago to see The Incredibles on Ice.  They went for a carriage ride, and the bf proposed.  My daughter.  Going to get married next year.  Wow.  Time flies.  Then I got to thinking about her having babies and me being a grandma.  Hell no, I'm too young!  I can wait another 20 years thankyouverymuch.  As I told someone else, maybe I'll have that perfect baby blanket figured out by the time she has a baby.

It is colder than a witches tit in a brass bra.  In Restless Knitter terms, that normally means it's below 40 degrees, but it was below freezing last night.  Factor in the wind chill and it was in the teens.  It snowed pretty much all day yesterday (didn't stick to the ground) and it's snowing again this morning.  It's not the big flakes like last week, but itty bitty flakes that are just teasing us.  Thankfully, I can stay inside where it's warm and cozy.  While typing this, the husband called.  All I can say at this point is that I may have big news in the future. If I were positive that no one I knew was reading this, I would share what he told me but at this point I just can't.  I hate it that I can't spill the details yet, but I'm excited so I have to at least say something. 

I'm thinking about switching blog providers.  I'd like to be able to assign categories to posts like I see others doing.  I'd like to get email notifications that I can respond to when people leave a comment.  I'm going to do some searching after work and see what else is out there.  I may be moving soon, we'll see.

Posted at 08:10 am by Restless Knitter
Stitches knit (1)  

Monday, February 06, 2006

I've been a swatching fool.  Two couples I know are going to have a baby.  One couple I don't know if they'd appreciate a handknit item, but the other I know would.  Why do knitters feel compelled to knit something for a new baby?  I know it's because we love what we do and we would appreciate items that were handknit for us, but how often do we stop and think about what the recipient would like?  I hear so many saying that the receiver never uses what was made for them and see this can lead to hurt feelings on the knitter's part.  This is why I'm only going to knit for the couple I know would love a handknit item.  Anyway!  The one I'm going to knit for recently found out it's a girl.  I've been swatching cables, aran, and lacy type patterns and none of them have been just right.  I'm running out of steam and need to find something I'm happy with soon.


The Garnstudio cardi is all knit up, and partially seamed.  I've been practicing the crochet part on various swatches I had laying around.  After I ended up with something that looks like I think it should, I did the crochet on the sleeves.  Now if I'd just get off my arse and finish seaming that last side, I could work on the bottom and fronts.


When we bought this house a couple of years ago, one of the things that really appealed to me was the wood trim.  Guess I'm not the only one it appeals to:



It snowed this morning!  Ginormous flakes!  And this is when it was only snowing a little.

Posted at 01:19 pm by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Monday, January 30, 2006
Ghosts of a knitter's past

Being as there really isn't much to show you on the cardigan or the sock, I thought I'd share some pictures of some past projects.  (I've been working on the cardi and sock, but the pictures would be kind of boring at this point.) 

The Ghosts of knitter's past
Let's start with this

This is a Knitting Pure and Simple pattern.  The only thing it needs is a zipper.  Why yes, it is the same one that I talked about last year before I quit blogging.  It STILL does not have a zipper.  I HAVE the zipper, but I have NOT sewn it in. 

Next up we have this

This is from a Drops magazine, and yes I blogged about this one too.  The pattern calls for cap sleeves but I don't really care for cap sleeves so I was just going to leave them out and make it a tank.  The problem is that it's almost too short.  I know everyone else likes running around showing skin but I'm not fond of it.  This hits my jeans right at the waistband so unless I want to go around never raising my arms from my side, you're gonna see skin.  I think.  Haven't tried it on with different jeans.  Regardless, I'm still not sure how I would finish the armholes and neckline.  Ribbing?  Crochet?  To the unfinished pile it goes.

Here's one I don't think I blogged about

This is a Baby Surprise.  It's not seamed.  Buttons are not sewn on, but there are safety pins where the buttonholes are.  I'm going to rip this out someday.  Either that or do something to lengthen the arms.  They are too short in my opinion.  To the rip-it pile it goes.

This one takes us WAY back

What you see here is the beginning of a sleeve.  It is the last sleeve of a jacket I started ummm... two years ago?  The back, 2 fronts, and the other sleeve are done but this lonely piece languishes in the dark, waiting to be united with the rest of the family.  I don't know if it will ever happen but I don't have the heart to tear this one out just yet so back to the unfinished pile it goes.

I just realized that I didn't take a pic of another unfinished object so no picture but I'll tell you about it.  It's another KPS pattern, this one done in LB Imagine.  Please stop throwing tomatoes, you'll stain my other yarns.  This one is a hooded pullover.  The body is done and part of one sleeve.  I haven't decided if I'm going to rip this one or finish it.

I have a couple of other small things too, but have to save something for another day y'know.  What it boils down to is that I'm a great starter, but a terrible finisher.  I tell you this because Thursday I started another Panta and today I started a baby hoodie.  I've made 2 of those panta things for my daughters but they go so fast I didn't get a chance to get bored with them.  This new one I've started has a twist and I may show you a picture once it gets big enough to actually see. 

Lastly, Bella says

"How many times have I told you that my toys do not belong in the toy basket!"  (And folks, sadly this ain't all of 'em.  I just don't have a lens big enough to capture the true extent of the mess.  No, my dog is not spoiled.  Why do you ask?)

Posted at 01:58 pm by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Saturday, January 28, 2006
Still alive

I didn't chicken out, I went.  Everyone was very nice.  The bad part is that it takes me an hour to get there.  We won't talk about the hour and a half it took me to get home because I went the wrong way on one road.  Oh, why not.  I finally stopped at Wendy's to get a bite and ask for directions.  I was afraid the kid behind the counter wouldn't know so I asked the people in line ahead of me.  Turns out I kept turning around one exit before I would've gotten to where I needed to go.  They asked me if I lived on that road (no) and then why I was over in that area (to knit).  Turns out the guy's grandmother was a knitter and he still had some of the beautiful things that she had made.

I've got the two front pieces for the cardigan done.  I did a temporary seam up one side and tried it on.  Though I know that's not a real reliable way to tell, it looks like it's going to fit.  I started the sleeves last night (doing both at the same time like I did with the fronts) and am about 2 inches into them.  I'm excited about getting everything knit and seamed up so I can tackle the crochet.   That's where the real challenge will be.  If it turns out really bad, I can always search for a knit edging.

Posted at 08:58 am by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
A 3fer

Awhile back, I went through every one of my knitting magazines.  In one of them, I found an article about glass needles.  It said something to the effect of them being magical.  You knit with a certain color wool to achieve a specific effect, then you throw the wool in the fire and burn it.  Let's say you need some cash, then you knit with green and toss it in the fire.  I can't remember what colors go with what but the story was enticing and from then on, I wanted a pair of glass needles.  Had. To. Have. Them.  Even though I know I'd probably never use them.  And, must get some for Donna for Christmas. I finally found some at a decent price, but the size 8's (that's the smallest size) were always marked out of stock.  I sent an email to them, asking if they'd be getting more in before Christmas.  They didn't know but they said they'd let me know.  Later they told me it'd probably be after the first of the year.  When they finally got some in stock, they only got one pink topped pair.  I asked them to send those and I'd wait for the next pair.  When I got them, you don't know how tempted I was to keep them for me. ME me me!  I sent them, knowing mine would be here soon.  Mine weren't far behind.  And now that Donna has gotten hers, I can show mine.  I can also show you that the back of the sweater is done, and the beginning of the pink sock.

Three things in one pic.  A 3fer.  The needles came from A Good Yarn and they don't cost as much as you'd think, or as much as some other places charge.  Linda was a dear to work with too.  The yarn I'm using for the sweater is Classic Elite Attitude, a pima cotton/mulberry silk blend that has been discontinued.

Janice has assured me in the comments that they don't bite over there, so I'm going to go tomorrow night.  Yes, I will.  I will not chicken out.  *Deep breath*

Posted at 01:23 pm by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Monday, January 23, 2006
New toys

Sometimes I get The Itch to buy new knitting toys.  I go from one site to another, adding things to shopping carts to satisfy The Itch without actually doing any damage.  Sometimes, I'll even go so far as to hit the checkout button so I can see just how much shipping would be.  Once The Itch feels like it has been scratched, I close the website windows.  No money spent, no additional clutter to the stash, life goes on.  However, Friday I got a package in the mail.  Did I continue with an order by accident?  Did I order something and forget about it?  Nope.  Donna sent sock yarn and needles.  She also sent the sock yarn and needles that the other pair came from.  And it's pink!  Opal Flamingo.  Love it!  I've already started on the first one using Priscilla's Dream Socks pattern from the Fall 2000 issue of IK.  Not only will I get a pair of socks, but I'm going to be learning some new things.  The first thing is the Old Norwegian Cast-On, which was a little weird at first but I have the hang of it.  The other thing will be the short row toe. 

Now really, what is more fun than getting unexpected mail?  It makes you feel all giddy and excited.  Well, that's the way it affects me anyway.  I'm all happy and in a good mood because I have new pink yarn!  And, I get an email from the company I sometimes do work for asking if I can help out again.  Remember, I'm still in this fun mood because I got new pink yarn, so I said yes.  They owe Donna a thank you because if they'd caught me in a bad mood, I might have said no.  This works out for the better anyway.  I'm tired of trying to match stash and patterns.  I'm going to buy yarn for the patterns I really want to make, and resist the urge to buy yarn just because it's pretty or such a great price and it may be gone tomorrow omg!  There will always be more pretty yarn and there will always be more sales. 

In some email list, someone mentioned that Garden Ridge was now carrying yarn so I went to check it out.  They are, but it's mostly the same stuff you find in Michael's and Walmart.  Knit One Purl Too eyelash, Cats Meow Yarns or something like that, and something that started with a D, I hadn't seen before.  I didn't buy any yarn, but I did come out of there with other crap.  A new bag to put knitting stuff in just in case I ever get the balls to go to a stitch 'n' bitch, a few picture frames that were cheap and pretty, and a zebra print seatbelt cover for the daughter.  I stopped at another store on the way home and got a Rachel Ray cookbook.  I made a meal from it and botched it up by not reading the directions very well.  It always looks so easy and tasty when she does it on tv.  Ours was still edible and looked pretty, though it did take more than 30 minutes for me to fix it.

I ripped back down to the first decrease row on the sweater, and I'm back on track with the correct increases.  I have about another 4 inches to go on the back so it's coming along pretty quickly.  The new sock may slow it down some though, along with this work thing.

Posted at 08:38 am by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Friday, January 20, 2006
Can't decide on a title and I hate them anyway

So many titles came to mind.  Screw it!  Dammit!  WTF!  Only me!  So simple and yet so hard. 

All fitting, but yet none just right.   See, I set out to find a pattern to match yarn that I have.  Shop from the stash and all that.  Something simple would be good but a challenge would be okay as long as I have the appropriate yarn.  Something unique would be nice.  Something I can see myself wearing.  I found this. Simple but still a little bit of a challenge because I don't crochet past the simple chain.  The only thing is, I have to translate it into a language I can actually read.  I pasted it into Word and replaced the text as I translated.  It took awhile, but I finally got it done. Pattern, yarn, needles, I'm good to go.  Stitch gauge is right on.  All was well until I checked my stitch count after doing the initial decreases.  Why did I only have 80 when I should have had 96?  I know I started with the right number of 88.  What in the hell!  It seems I was a little over zealous in my placing of the word Decrease.  I should have been increasing.  Dammit!  I can either increase from here to get back up to stitch count or I can rip out and do the increases.  Until I decide, I think I'll swatch for the other pattern  that I liked.  Bonus points because I don't have to translate! 

Here ya go, advice from knitters.  No, I was not surfing for this.  I stole the link from an email.

Oh, and Buddy & Ella, shame on you!  Thankfully for the household, Bella won't get very much bigger than the 33 pounds she's at now.  Unfortunately, it means we still have to fix the gap under the fence.

Posted at 12:05 am by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Wednesday, January 18, 2006
By Bella

Mom says to thank everyone for their comments, so thank you everyone. 

Yesterday I had a big day.  Mom had some errands to run so I tagged along.  As soon as I get in the car, I go to the backseat.  I don't mind riding in the car.  We were sitting at a stoplight and there was a car beside us.  Someone was in it, so I growled then barked at them.  I don't think they heard me because they never looked at me once.  How rude!  Then we stopped at this little building.  Mom took the stuff inside while I watched her.  Then she stepped behind the sign in the window and I couldn't see her so I got in the front seat to see if I could get a better view, which was silly because the building was behind the car.  As soon as mom got back to the car, I went to the backseat.  I didn't even try to get her french fries out of that bag.  Our next stop was the pet store and I got to go in.  Mom put these round things in a machine, pushed on the tv screen, and it started to make noise.  She was excited to get that pink heart-shaped metal thing that has my name and phone number on it.  I think she called it a name tag when she put it on me later.  It was raining a little bit so we ran back to the car.  We stopped at the grocery store and I didn't get to go in, so I just layed down in the backseat again.  Mom says that we can't do this in the summer because it will be too hot to leave me in the car for 10 minutes.  When mom came out, it was pouring very hard and she didn't take her umbrella.  She had water dripping off her hair and she said her jeans were soaked, not to mention the water in her shoes.  She looked so funny.  By the time we got home, I had to go.  While mom was changing into dry clothes, I stood at the door.  She let me out and watched me from inside.  I went to the back of the yard to do my business.  In the middle of doing my business, I spy something near the house.  It's under the deck.  It's moving.  OMG it's a squirrel and I must have it.  Who cares if I'm not done doing my business!  Off I go, splashing through these huge puddles of water!  Those squirrels can run, I tell ya.  This one showed me the one and only (that I've found so far) hole under the fence that I can get through.  The squirrel led me through the neighbors yard, out their gate and into another yard before it finally went up a tree.  That was fun though!  Then I notice mom in our backyard.  Uh oh, now she is in the neighbors yard.  I think she wants me to come home.  And look, she's wet again.  I tried to show her that I could get back there on my own through the hole, but she puts that leash thing on me and walks me to our yard.  Then she proceeds to lecture me and talk about making that hole go away.  Dad came home later and I showed him my new pink heart tag thingy.  I love dad and was so excited he was home.  I layed on the couch with him and bit his chin.  He took the scruff of my neck and shook it a little like mommy dogs do and told me not to do that.  I'm just playing and I happen to use my mouth to do it sometimes.  They say I have to stop that.  Old habits die hard but I'll get the hang of it eventually.

Mom finished her sock yesterday.  She said she'd show you a picture but it looks just like the first one.  Mom says she's found a Garnstudio pattern that she thinks will work with some of her yarn.  The only problem is that it's in another language and she's had to spend some time trying to translate it.  She thinks she has it all figured out except for the crochet edging.  She was going to ask for help with it but I told her this morning that she should go to the site and look up their translation table for crochet.  Duh. 

It's time for my nap goodbye

Posted at 09:36 am by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Sunday, January 15, 2006
New member of the family

Meet Bella.  Look at those ears!

Last fall, Brandi (our English Springer) became ill.  In October, we had to make the decision to end her suffering.  There's been a hole in our hearts ever since.  We'd been talking here and there about getting another dog but the time didn't seem right.  On Friday, we decided that it was time.  The choice was to either get another Springer, or save a pet at the local humane society.  We chose to *save a pet.  She's an 8 month old German Shepherd mix.  She looks exactly like you'd expect one to look but she's about fifty percent the size, if not smaller.  We had no idea if she was housebroken but she's let us know when she needs to go out so there have been no accidents, yay!  She's somewhat on the timid side.  When we first brought her home, as soon as we'd get near her she'd tuck her tail and lay down.  We expected things like that because it's scary being taken somewhere new. Now she keeps her ears up and wags her tail, though she'll still roll over if she thinks she'll get a belly rub.  I'm a little concerned about her weight.  She seems pretty thin to me.  Maybe because Brandi was so, ahem, solid.  (I had a full blooded GS years ago and I don't remember her being on the thin side either, though she wasn't fat.)  And this one drools when she sleeps.  Alot!  We're talking a puddle.  She's going to the vet this afternoon to get checked out so we'll address the weight and drool issues.  All in all, we think we've picked the right pet for us and are glad we found her.  The cats are quite pissed off about it though :)

Knitting?  I did get another baby hat made.  I made this one a little bigger.  The first one just seems so tiny, though I guess a preemie's head isn't exactly big.  I'm at the toe area of the sock so it's not going to be done as soon as I thought, but that's okay.  I've been trying to decide what to start on next but it's that same old issue.  The yarns I have don't go with the patterns I want to make.  There has to be a match somewhere, so I'll keep looking until I find it.

*The Atlanta Humane Society is a no kill shelter.  The animals live there until they are adopted so technically we didn't save her.  I'm sure she's much happier in a home than a cage though :)

Posted at 10:30 am by Restless Knitter
Knit a stitch  

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
A new beginning?

We'll see.  I've been thinking for quite some time about blogging again.  There's almost a pressure that comes with blogging.  It's this weird feeling that if I'm not posting on a regular basis, then I'm letting the blog itself down.  So Blog, here's your warning.  I don't promise to post on a regular basis.  We may only see each other once in awhile and in spurts.  So now that that's said...

I already have an FO in 2006.  Normally, I refrain from making those New Year's Resolutions but there are some things that I'd like to do this year.  One of them is to knit for charity.  Hence, the FO

A preemie hat!  Many thanks to the orange that modeled the hat, your demise has been postponed for a little while longer.  Yes, it's small and didn't take long to knit, but it is finished and it is working on one of my goals.

A long time ago, in a land far away, there lived a.. wrong story.  A long time ago, I said I would never knit a pair of socks.  They didn't interest me.  Why would I want to put expensive yarn on feet when I can get socks so much cheaper at a store?  I don't remember exactly what turned that tide.  I mentioned to a friend that I was thinking about giving socks a try and the next thing I knew, I was gifted with sock yarn.  I started one from the toe up and must've gotten bored with it because I set it aside for months.  In November, I ripped out what I'd done and started anew.  Something clicked this time and I found myself with a finished sock.

Obviously I need to learn how to take better pictures of my foot.  The pattern is the Waving Lace socks from the Spring 2004 issue of IK.  I had to work on a few other things before I could get to sock number 2, but those things are done now and I'm on my way.  I'm past the heel and have maybe half of the foot to go.

I have other goals for this year:
Attempt to be more sociable
Knit something I can/will actually wear
Keep the house looking a little nicer/be more organized (HA!)
Learn to weave
Frog anything I don't like instead of storing it somewhere

Notice that these aren't resolutions, they are goals.  Goals are more flexible, they can change (at least mine can).  Resolutions are things you beat yourself up over if you don't do one.  Screw that.

Posted at 12:36 pm by Restless Knitter
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