Archive for July, 2008

I think I can, I think I can, etc.

So, I’m chugging away on the sleeves.  I’m pretty much done with one sleeve.  I did enough of the feather and fan pattern, and was trying to decide how to end it off.  My options were, ribbing so as to mimic the bottom part, seed stitch to mimic the beginning of the sleeves, or something else that would allow the wavy part to stay.  After much careful consideration, I went with the ribbing.  Mostly because I wanted to, and it’s my sweater.  Although there was some arguing between hubby and I about whether or not it was a sweater.

Me – It’s a sweater.  It’s made of yarn, and it’s worn on the upper part of the body.  It’s not a hat, or a scarf, or a vest.  It’s a sweater.

Hubby – Well, you aren’t gong to wear anything under it, are you?  Most sweaters are meant to be worn over things, like turtlenecks or t-shirts or something.  It’s really more of a top.

Me –  Sigh.

Whatever it is, I didn’t work on it at all last night.  I meant to, I wanted to, but I didn’t.  Wanna guess why?

I went out for my walk, now up to around 4 miles, I think, and got back around 8 pm.  Then had to get the boys in bed.  Then had some supper, and got my shower.  Around 10 or so, I finally sat down to relax and pick up the SWEATER.  Hubby announces that he’d going to be going to bed pretty soon, as soon as he finishes this game of solitaire he’s playing because he wants to get up early to go on a long run.

Ok, I can understand that.  He likes to do his runs in the morning, and he has to get up early, meaning that he also needs to go to sleep earlier.  As I wasn’t even beginning to get tired yet, I went into the computer room to tool around ravelry for a while, looking up things to do with that Noro Kurchan or whatever that angora/wool stuff is I got in Denver.  I found a lot of cool ideas, and queues them up.  I finally started to get to the point where I thought I might be able to sleep, and it was around 12:30.  I go in the bedroom, and he’s still up.  On the computer.  Playing solitaire.  STILL!

He’s all like, “Where’d you go?”

“I went into the other room because you said you needed to go to sleep.”

It just went downwards from there.  Suffice it to say, I’m going to be working on the other sleeve in a minute.  As soon as I get done banging my head against the wall.


My sister is so smart

She may quite possibly be the smartest person in the whole world.  Which is pretty good considering most people who know us believe we share a brain.  She must have been hogging it when she came up with this:  a petting blanket.

Never heard of it?  Neither had I.  But, after you read this, you’ll be starting to think of how you’re going to make yours.  I bet.

Without going into all the gory details, she was having a day.  She e-mailed me to complain, and jokingly, I wrote that I was holding some angora up to the computer screen for her to see so she’d feel better.  Note, I don’t have one of those computer camera things, this was all make-believe.

She wrote back, hey, and I quote here, Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little petting blanket-just comprised of little squares of different yarns to keep on my wall here instead of squeezing that silly stressman?

See, she’s so smart.  I’m off now to Ravelry to plan mine out.  As soon as I finish the sleeves on that Stargazer.  I’m frustrated too, but more on that later.  Oh heck, why not now?  I keep flucuating my weight, and I’m really trying to loose some.  Well, a lot.  Last night, I upped my walk, and added about 2 more blocks to my 3 1/2 mile circuit.  Then when I got home, I actually got out my ball and did 100 crunches.  I get on the scale this morning, and I’ve gained.  This, after I said last night, that I was going to reward myself when I got to x # of lbs with some cinnamon zircon.  They had them last night on JTV for $15 for a pair of 5 mm rounds.  I think I already have the castings for them.  And zircons are double refractive, meaning very sparkly.  And the sleeve is taking forever!  It’s almost to the point right now where I don’t even like angora.  I really want to work on some of that new sock yarn I got in Denver, or the Lorna’s Laces I got in Geneva at Wool and Company.  Or, well, anything other than that sweater!  And when I go on my walk, I keep trying to ramp it up a bit and walk faster, and I keep getting a stitch in my side that makes me then go slower the rest of the way.

I need a petting blanket too.  Pattern guidelines will be posted soon.  This is gonna be fun.  Maybe I can use this as a bribe to finish the sweater in time for the fair.

Mostly better, and a Stargazer update…

I think I’m gonna live, although I really want to know what on earth that was…at this point, I’m just thankful I’m no longer in pain.  Even though I woke up from a nap today with a throbbing headache.  It was even threatening to turn into a migraine.  I started with 2 tylenol, then started drinking lots of water, then later on felt nauseas…so took 2 more, and much more water and within an hour, I was feeling way better.

Hubby took the boys tonight to the Royals game, but left just before it started pouring.  He was hearing thunder, and looked at the clouds, and thought they’d better go ahead and head home.  They got to the car just before it started pouring.  They had fun though.  Steve told me, it was like $9 for parking, $17 for the tickets, and $35 for the food.  I think they must dip the hot dogs in gold.  Or gasoline.

The bottom part of the Stargazer is finished!  Except for weaving in a couple of ends.  Now, I have 2 balls left, one for each arm, and then it’ll be done.  I had to do some extensive research on stretchy bind offs, then decided to make up my own.  Here’s what I did:  I had K2P2 ribbing, and the round started with K1.  With a F crochet hook, I slipped the first K off as if to knit, and the first purl st as well, then YO and drew through 2 loops, then yo and through the last 2 loops, then ch 5, and did the next 2 st, which were the second purl and another knit, as a K2tog.  YO, draw through 2, Yo, through 2 again, and ch5.  Repeat all the way around.  So, in a nutshell, the ch loops were situated between the pairs of knits and purls, as opposed to purling the purls tog and knitting the knits tog.  I tried that way first, and it looked a little off.  This made a nice little loopy edge, and it looks really cute.  I need to remember to repeat the edging on the sleeves though, for continuity.

Now, on to the sleeves!

What was that?

I have no idea, but it knocked me down.  I started feeling just not quite myself a day or so ago.  Then I was having trouble sleeping; took forever to get to sleep, kept waking up in the night, etc.  Then yesterday, it all came to a head.  I was trying to lay down and just couldn’t quite nap.  Just sort of dozed for about an hour.  I felt better after.  Went out to get the clothes of the line, this was about 5, I guess, and my tummy started feeling really icky.  Went and got a tums.  Fixed dinner for the kids, tummy still feeling icky.  Had another tums.  I’m not sure why, it wasn’t an upset tummy feeling, it was all in the top part of my tummy, in the area between my belly button and my rib cage.  Hubby thought it was the same problem he had, so he suggested I have some bran cereal for supper.  By then, I was feeling rather like I might throw up, and know how when you know you should eat something, but you really don’t want to, so you start thinking of things you could eat that might help the situation?  Like I thought of chili, but then thought, if I do throw up, I don’t want to throw up chili.  Same thing with corn.  So, I had a little bowl of bran cereal for supper, and actually felt a little better after that.  Around 9 or so, it really hit hard.  Really really bad pain, lasted about 10 to 15 minutes, just long enough for me to hope for death, then it’d fade away.  Then it’d come back in an hour.  That happened twice, and I slept both times between.  In my more lucid moments, I tried to think of what it could be…what did I eat?  Is it a bowel obstruction?  Did my intestine fold over on itself somehow and stuff is all clogged up in there?  Then it went away for a few hours.  Came back super bad around 1:30 or so, and hubby kept asking me if I wanted him to take me to the ER.  I hate going to the ER, mostly because if it’s not a life-threatening emergency, I feel like I’m wasting their time.  I didn’t think this was life-threatening, but I thought, if I feel anywhere near this bad in the morning, I’m going to our dr.  Then I feel asleep again, and woke up feeling almost ok.  I’m still sort of weak-ish, and not really hungry, and frankly, sort of afraid to eat.  Hubby thinks it might be gallstones.  I’m torn.  Part of me is just so glad to not be in that much pain anymore.  The other part wants to know what the heck that was all about.

Another exciting day…

Not really.  Just more laundry, which is now hanging up outside.  Question, I know that if I ever run out of dryer sheets, I can spray some liquid fabric softener on a rag and toss that in the dryer, but can dryer sheets go in the wash in place of liquid softener?  Hmmm.

I’m loving the Jaywalkers.  After I completely changed the pattern.  I’ll have to get a picture up later on.  I may enter these in the fair.  I ended up frogging again for some reason, I can’t remember why, but now I’m at the point where I’m starting some gusset increases.

There’s a sock KAL on Ravelry right now who’s heel is kicking my butt.  It was supposed to be a June KAL, but the writer got displaced because of the CA fires, and she’s had some issues posting the next clue.  Understandably.  She finally got a chance to post the heel instructions, and they’re kicking my butt.  I’ve never done this kind of heel before, and I think I may have to wait until someone finishes theirs and posts a picture or something.

My stargazer is moving right along.  I just realized that there’s only a couple of weeks until my county fair, so if I want to enter that, I need to get moving on it.  I’m a couple of inches into the ribbing on the bottom.

I never mentioned all the awesomeness that is Wool and Company, in Geneva, IL.  My sister and I went there on Saturday when I was visiting, and that place is huge.  It’s in a very nice area, well, all of Geneva is nice, and had lots and lots of very great things.  There was an entire area devoted to sock yarn, and there was some silk lace stuff that had beads and other sparkly things right in the yarn.  It was beautiful, and I almost fell over into it.  What a way to go.  I did though, get some Jojoland Melody, 2 balls of this violet blue, which I was getting 10 stitches to the inch when I played around with it the other night.  And some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock.  I really wanted some more of that DK Twist or Swirl I think it’s called, but they didn’t have any.  Now, if I can just ignore it until I finish some of this other stuff before the fair!

New sock alert

So, while I try to decide exactly what to do with those monkeys, I started a new sock. I had to. I’ve had this yarn since Mother’s Day; it was a present from my sister, and I’ve held back as long as I could. It’s that new Felici from Knitpicks, and man is it ever soft. I worked with some before, the old colors, and I used a size 2, and looking back, it’s a teensy bit loose on the stitching. So, when we were at Hobby Lobby I had a coupon for 40% off one thing, and I picked up an extra set of size 1’s.

So, I decided on Jaywalkers, and it took a while to figure out which size to use, and I still wanted to do the toe up ones. I started right in, and did the pattern, and then figured out that I had forgotten to slip the stitches on the side like it tells you to. So, I frogged back a few rows and fixed it. Then knit back up and realized that I was doing the increase part on the sides, and there shouldn’t be any slipped stitches there, they were supposed to mimic the double decrease. So, I frogged back again, and removed the slipped stitches, and knit back up again. Then, I thought, maybe there’s supposed to be double decreases there, and since I’m not following the instructions exactly, by doing them toe up, maybe that’s what messed me up. According to the pattern, you’re supposed to be starting the row at the back of the foot. Which, by following the pattern, makes the decreases at the side of the foot. I thought for a while if I wanted to frog it back again, then decided to.

I figured out what to do, and did it, including the slipping of stitches on the sides, and still didn’t like the Kf&b twice. Then I remembered the increases for that corset top by Annie Modesitt, and wondered if that’d work. Sure it’d be lacy, a little, but maybe that’d be ok. Then I thought, no, I’ll keep it solid, and do the YO, K1, YO, then on the next row, knit into the back loop of the YO’s to close it up. I did that for a few rows and decided I didn’t like that either. So, frog again, I did, and now I’m doing my Lacy Jaywalkers. So there.

Remember that Stargazer? I finished the white-ish band part up in IL, finally, and got ready to start in on the bottom ribbing part. Get ready for this one. You’ll be amazed.

I remembered, not counted, but remembered that I had 101 stitches around on that waistband. I remembered that I needed an odd # because I was doing seed stitch, and I didn’t want to have to think about changing at the end of every round. I took that part of the ribbing that I had started on before that was too big (!!!!), and went and tried it on with some safety pins. I put in 2 pins at the places where I folded it in to fit correctly. Then I counted the stitches between to see how many I needed to have to start with at the bottom of the waistband. I counted 198, and since I needed a multiple of 4, I rounded up to 200. I knew I’d be increasing somewhere along the line, to make it more of an A-line thing. So, again, remembering that I was starting with 101, and I needed to get up to 200, I quickly figured out that I needed to do a Kf&b all the way around. Easy, right?

Then, I remembered that I wanted to mark the side parts, so when I did the increases, they would be along what would be the side seam, if there was one. So, 200 stitches, starting from the back center, would give me 50 stitches until the side, right? I just started right in, and when I reached what I thought was about the side part, I started counting. I got to 50 way too soon. Like just a few inches in from the center. What the heck did I do?

I frogged back very carefully, and thought.

Perhaps, I thought, I wasn’t starting with 101 stitches as I remembered. I counted. There were 201.


Now I was facing an even bigger dilemma. Now how do I plan my increases to get up to where I needed? I was done for the day. But, I continued to mull it over. Would I have to do sort of a Kf&b, K1, Kf&b, K2 and alternate that around? Or space them out even more? I just didn’t know. I’d have to sit down with a pencil and paper and figure out a nice even way to do the increases.

Yes, some of you have figured this out, haven’t you? How the heck do I plan the increases evenly spaced around the waistband, starting with 201 and making sure I end up with 200?


When it finally hit me, I laughed until there were tears coming out.

K2tog. That’s the answer. There, all done. Even my sister’s hubby thought that was pretty sad/funny, and he doesn’t knit.

I still ended up frogging it one more time, because after all that snafoo, I thought I’d start right in with the ribbing, forgetting about how the purls leave that little line when you change colors. After about 6 rounds or so, I knew I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Frogged it one more time, did one knit row, did the decrease, then started in on the ribbing. I even remembered to mark the side seam area for the increases.

Again, can’t make this stuff up.

I don’t like my Monkeys

Ok, let me explain.  I love love love the pattern.  I love even more the yarn.  What I don’t like is how short my socks turned out.  I had one skein of that Sock Garden left, and part of another skein.  Being the cheap-a** that I am, I am using the part for something else, that I think also isn’t working out, and divided the whole skein in half for my normal toe-up socks.  I think what I’m going to do is to frog the part skein thing, and add onto the monkey’s.  Know what?  This is cool.  I was trying to figure out, when I got near the end of the ball, if I had enough for one more pattern repeat and still have enough to do at least 8 rows of ribbing.  I really like 12 or 16 rows, but I was willing to go down as far as 8 if I had to.  I hate stopping in the middle of a pattern.  So, I had already done about 2 or 3 rows into the pattern before I stopped myself.  Know that feeling?  Where you say, I know if I just keep going, the knitting gods are going to bite me in the you know what, and I’ll run out of yarn into row 5 of the ribbing or something.  Or, if I just frog the pattern so far, and go ahead and start on the ribbing, then I’ll have about 35 rows of ribbing.

So, without locating my measuring tape, here’s where my intelligence and ingenuity will amaze you.  You may want to sit down for this.

I measured, using my normal finger-tip to opposite shoulder as a basic.  I got 10 whole ones, and one where it only went from the fingers to just past my elbow.  Then I knit one entire row.  Then I re-measured.  This time I got 9 whole ones, and from the fingers to the middle of my neck.  Then I went to get the measuring tape.  I know, because I’m cool, that from my fingertips to that opposite shoulder, it’s 36 inches.  So, I measured to the elbow and to the neck, and multiplied and added to get both the total before the row and after.  Turns out it took like 25 inches to do the row.  Then I took what I had left, the 9 whole plus the neck part (I forgot the #, just go with me here), and divided that by 25 to see how many rows I’d have room for.  It was like 14!  Minus my 8 ribbing, that left more than enough to finish off the pattern!

I know, I know.  Can’t make this stuff up.  Wait until you hear what I did with the Stargazer.  Again, you’ll have to sit down for that one.


July 2008
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