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Saturday, February 24, 2007

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Crappity, Crap, Crap, Crappers

So, I finally got around to blocking the spiral shawl that I started last summer. I finished it sometime in the fall, but I was too lazy busy to block it until now.

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All was fine and dandy, and I was feeling pretty proud of myself, until I stood back to admire it and whammo, I saw it. ARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! A big fat mistake!

stupid shawl
Can you see it?

stupid shawl
How about now?

stupid shawl
Can you see it now?

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Yep, there it is.

(rollover the image for a lovely highlighted effect)

I knit across one of the segments instead of doing the yarnovers!

At first I thought, "Well, maybe it's not that noticeable." I had Uncool Guy look at the shawl to see if he could find the mistake. He didn't see it. I directed his attention to the general area. He still didn't see it. I told him which segment it was in. Nope. (The man must be blind.) I had to point it out to him. That was encouraging.

However, I then located Daughter#1 and challenged her to find the mistake. (sigh) She found it within 10 seconds. (She's got a touch of the persnickety in her, that girl.)

Maybe you just have to be a knitter to see it. Anyhow, it bugs me and now it's all I can see when I look at the shawl. I'm hoping I can fix it by cutting the yarn, picking out the one offending row in that section, and kitchenering it back together with some added YO's and K2tog's. Sounds fun, huh? I'll have to test that very carefully on a swatch. (big sigh) But not anytime soon -- I'm just not up for it.

What a big fat bummer. Anyone have any other ideas?


Thursday, February 22, 2007

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Cowgirls and some FOs

Do you know what these pictures mean?

Why, it's a semi-surprise cowgirl birthday party for Melissa, of course.

click for bigger pictureHere's a picture of the birthday girl herself, contemplating the number of candles on her cake. Wait a minute -- aren't there a few missing?

It was a fun celebration of "all things Melissa", with great margaritas to boot. I discovered that I suck at Pictionary (or, at least, I suck at drawing chicken- and baseball-related clues).

me & Sister#1Daughter#1 managed to get a halfway decent picture of Sister#1 and me at the shindig. I'm the one without the cowgirl hat -- unlike Melissa and Sister#1, I'm not even a small part cowgirl.

For a laugh, go check out the funny picture of Daughter#1 caught eating wasabi peas at the bar.

In knitting news, I finished those Franklin socks for Melissa's book. I really like the yarn. It's not splitty at all, and it holds up great to lots of ripping (ask me how I know).

Here's a picture of the chutney color. It looks very different when knit at 72 sts (on the left) than it does at 60 sts (on the right). I really dig the diagonal flashing the yarn does when knit at 60 sts around. Too bad that size doesn't fit my foot. :(

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click for bigger pictureI have also finished a pair of Trekking socks for my dad's birthday. These are color 62, done on US1 needles. I'm getting a little tired of Trekking yarn -- these are my 7th pair, I think. Yet, for some reason I just started another pair of Trekking socks for Uncool Guy. He has recently put holes in two pairs of his handknit socks (these and these), so I need to whip out some more for him.

click for bigger pictureHere's another FO that I need to mail off to its recipient. It's a pair of handwarmers/fingerless mitts for Sister-in-Law#1. This pattern is from Interweave Knits Fall 2005, in the Yarn Spotlight section. The yarn is Peruvian Collection Sierra Aran, used with US8 needles.

This is the fourth pair of these I have knit (see the others here). It's about time I tried a different pattern, huh? Well, last year Sister-in-Law#1 saw the ones I made for Mother-in-Law#1 and decided to knit herself a pair. However, she did not finish them before she decided to give up knitting (SHOCKING -- yes, I know), so I told her I would finish them for her.

I have a lot of other finished objects to show, but right now I need to get away from this computer and ride my bike. I can feel my butt expanding as I sit here...


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

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Sugar Rush

Fruit Jellies from Harbor Candy ShopHappy Valentine's Day, everyone. I'm running on very little sleep today, since I spent a lot of last night trying to install my new blogger template (more on that later).

Uncool Guy has continued his customary Valentine's Day generosity and has showered me with flowers (tulips) and candy. These are the most wonderful fruit jellies from the Harbor Candy Shop in Ogunquit, Maine. Man, are they good. Plum is currently my favorite, but that could change because they are all just so lovely. If you are ever in Ogunquit, be sure to stop in at this store -- it is a chocolate/candy lover's haven.

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In knitting news, here is the completed bowl that I showed you the other day. It came out pretty well for my first felted item, I think. I had a little problem with the edge though. I kept stopping the washing machine every 5 minutes or so to check on the progress of the felting, and I didn't notice until it was too late that part of the edge had started to curl in. By the time I noticed it, the edge was already too firmly attached in some places to unfold it. So I tried to curl the rest of the edge all the way around and felted it some more. It sort of worked, but the edge came out lumpier than I would have liked.

I based this bowl on the mancala pattern at Knitty, but I doubled the yarn and used bigger needles. Here are the specs:

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I followed the instructions for the Large Bowl in the Mancala pattern at Knitty
Manos del Uruguay [100% wool],
color: 38 (dark purple), which I got from Windsor Button last year
US 15 (used with the yarn doubled)
who knows?
Finished Size:
3" high by 6" wide
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I felted the crap out of this bowl and it came out pretty thick and sturdy. Interestingly, the felted fabric seems to have a sort of "boucle" surface. I wonder if this has something to do with the fact that this is a thick & thin yarn. I'm guessing that the thicker yarn sections turned into the boucle "bumps" when felted. Anyway, it's a cool effect.

I shaped the bowl by stretching it tightly over a glass bowl. The bowl had slight vertical ridges on the outside and a sharply defined bottom ridge. It's funny that I can kind of see the ridges in the dried bowl and I can definitely see an indent from the bottom ridge in the bottom of the bowl. So next time, I'll have to find a different bowl for the shaping and drying.
[Updated to add: It has been brought to my attention that the bowl in the mancala pattern has an attached i-cord edge. I did not make an i-cord edge on my bowl, because I, apparently, cannot follow directions. Anyhow, I bet if I had made the i-cord edge, it wouldn't have partially curled in like it did. I'll try that next time.]

Oh, and Daughter#1 made this little shrinky dink tiger for me the other day. Isn't he cute?

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Back in Business

OK, I think the new template is completely installed now. I have a few more changes to make, but please let me know if anything looks funny. I'm going to bed.


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Warning: I am currently in the process of updating the template for this blog. Expect chaos, confusion, and general ugliness. You may want to just come back later...

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

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A Book List and a Felting First

Well, I finally upgraded to the new Blogger, and I can see that it has caused some problems with my template. I'll be trying to fix those soon, so don't be surprised if this blog is a little flaky for a while. Also, I think it might be time for a blog design overhaul; it's looking a little cluttered around here.

click for bigger pictureSo what have I been up to lately? Well, I finished these sample socks in Trekking XXL, color 69, for Melissa's upcoming book.

I'll be knitting another pair of socks for her, as soon as the yarn arrives on Monday. It's going to be Webs' new sock yarn, Franklin, which I am excited to try.

Here's something I just made today. It's my very first felted object -- a bowl made out of doubled Manos del Uruguay. It's really thick so it will probably take forever to dry, but I'll post another pic when it's done. I hope it comes out well because I've got a skein of almost-solid red Manos that I think would make a cute bowl, or maybe a little box.

Oh, and hey, check out what's in my personal knitting book library. I just created this list at Library Thing. If you have a list there, leave a link in the comments so I can check out what's in your library.

click for bigger pictureView my complete knitting book library here.