Friday, October 27, 2006

A Long Overdue Introduction

to the first knit adult garment that I like. I present the Lotus Blossom Tank. I started this tank this summer using Debbie Bliss Cathay. It's from Interweave Knits mag, summer 2006 edition. I really enjoyed this knit, though I didn't particularly enjoy the finishing (does anyone?). I wouldn't use the yarn again - I don't think I'm a huge fan of cotton for wearing (it doesn't have any stretch except to stretch OUT), and the yarn is splitty! It was difficult to weave in the ends, and I had to split the yarn into three different strands, thread onto a sewing needle, and get that sucker bound in the middle of other strands of yarn to hold it all in place.

In any case, I'm happy with the results, and I hope my sister likes it. She has much more of a figure than I do, so I think it will look much better on her. I just hope it's not too short as a result of her larger bust. It hits me at about the belly button now, and I have the great plains of the midwest for boobs. Any boobage at all will make that sucker rise up, so I hope it's OK.

In any case, here it is. I'd love to learn how to incorporate the lace pattern into a flat piece - it's knit in the round and probably just takes a little studying to translate it. I like it overall. My first knit adult garment that I actually like!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

First Jaywalker Update

Work is screaming busy. I made some progress on my first pair of jaywalkers this weekend, but I've had to put them down for a few days.

I'm through the gussett, but I'm going to rip and reknit, as it took me awhile to figure out how to keep the pattern where the top and bottom meet (I can't remember the technical terms at the moment, and my boss is supposed to call me in about 30 seconds for a conference call).

Anyway, I just got the Lotus Blossom tank back from the cleaners, so pics of it to come before wrapping it for my sister.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

48 Useless Things

48 Things You Could Care Less About


2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Rae is my middle name, named for my beloved MawMaw (Marcella Rae), the very one who taught me to knit (backwards purling, I might add, which took me over 20 years to discover)

3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Hm, I can't remember. I cried last weekend while watching a movie. Horrible, gut-wrenching, awful ending. Not a "wow that's so dreamy" weepy but a "holy shit how can we live life when things like this happen" sobb.

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Used to. It's really horrible now. I type much cleaner and faster than a write. The doctor's signature that's a single line? Mine. No, I'm not a doctor, but that's my signature.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Bacon. Not a lunchmeat, you say? In my book it is.

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Maybe. I'm grouchy and generally surly. I don't know how my husband and child stand me.

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Used to have a wretched teenage journal in those days. Then I switched to a more fun daily log using a calendar book. Now it's the blog.



10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Barabara's ... um, what's the name? It's like UNfrosted mini shredded wheat but better.

11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Nope. And I rarely untie them to put them on.

12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not anymore. I used to be, but now I'm a mom and have no muscle mass. Just fat mass.

13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Ice cream is only a so-so dessert for me. Maybe butter pecan since it's usually not light or lite or diet and now I always go for the diet stuff. Usually. Sometimes. Well, OK, rarely.

14. SHOE SIZE? A friggin 7.5, which means unless I get there first, my size is almost always GONE and only the really ugly shoes go on sale because they're all that's left.

5. RED OR PINK? Neither. Neither rock my boat.


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Hm. My dear friend Tom who keeps disappearing. The last time he disappeared I tracked him down through the driver's license bureau. He was glad I found him (I'm not a stalker), but he was pissed they gave his info and has since had it blocked. Fucker. Now he's disappeared again so I have to call his ex wife to find him, and I'm pissed he disappeared and htinking of not trying to find him at all. But he's one of my dearest and oldest childhood friends, someone I trust implicitly.


19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I'm pantless. Brown skirt (we're having a bit of warm weather now), white T, sandals.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? A really yummy turkey sandwich on whole wheat with vegan mayonaise (it's really good on bread; can't tell it's different from the real stuff), lettuce, tomato, and avocado. Delicious.

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? "It's a Gas" by The Wedding Present from Watusi (it's old 80s/early 90s stuff)

22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? army green. I don't like fatigues per se, but I like army green

23. FAVORITE SMELL? bread dough



26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Yup. Even met her in person!

27. FAVORITE DRINK? That's a hard one. Water when I'm thirsty. Diet Coke when I'm craving sweets. Coffee first thing in the morning. Any myriad of alcoholic drinks at 5:30 PM.

28. FAVORITE SPORT? Hm, dunno. I like tennis. I like baseball. But I don't follow anything to speak of.

29. EYE COLOR? Hazel

30. HAT SIZE? Normal? Is there a normal? I make hats for myself and just guess at the size, and most of the time they come out. Smallish to normal, I guess.

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yup. For 13 years now.

32. FAVORITE FOOD? That's hard. I love food. Cheese, maybe. Can't live without yogurt everyday. Eggs. LUV eggs. Bacon. Sausage (the pattie kind).

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary. I hate happy ending movies. hate hate hate them and only withstand them during the holidays when I'm stuck with the 'rents and have to find something to entertain and please the crowd. But overall, happy ending movies just don't do it for me.

35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. I grew up in central Florida without airconditioning for awhile. Love summer. Love it love it love it.

36. HUGS OR KISSES? Love hugs. Kisses, yes, for certain folks. But hugs definitely.

37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Dark chocolate, usually.

38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Probably very few, if any.


40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? How to knit a sock on two circular needles. Seriously.

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Don't use a mouse pad.

42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Didn't watch TV last night. I'm way out of it right now. Can't seem to find anything I like, and the HGTV, Food Network, and TLC shows mostly seem like National Enquirer quality TV and I'm over it.

43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Silence. I absolutely love pure silence.

44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Oh my god, fucking neither.


46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Being a grumpus. Just ask DH. I'm really really good at that.

47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Isn't that a security question now a-days? Florida

48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Ripped from Cara

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Official First Sock FO

It's official. Here they are.

FO Date: October 2006
Pattern: Simple Socks from Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi
Modifications: None
Yarn: (I think it's in German) Fortissima in Disco, 71% superwash, 26% polyamide, 3% polyester (My friend picked the yarn for color. I'm not a super fan of its feel - I can't wait to try a softer yarn. Maybe after washing this yarn will soften.)
Comments: For a first sock, this was a great pattern. I'm not a fan of ribbing, and there's obviously a lot of it (and I recognize its importance in socks). The pattern was easy to follow, except I'm a little unhappy that I had to consult other books in order to learn how to finish the toe. It was simple enough to do once I found it, I don't know why the author couldn't include it in the book.
Modifications I'd make if I knit it again: None really. I don't think I'll make this sock again. I'm interested in trying more challenging patterns.


I'm making slow progress on my mom's jacket. You know, the one Kate Gilbert designed in Interweave Knits mag. I had to use a substitute yarn because my LYS didn't carry the designated yarn and - at the time - I hadn't ordered from the web and was leary (leery?) of it.

Well, I've knit maybe 5" of the back and I'm just not liking the yarn. It's Ritratto S. Charles: 28% Mohair, 53% Viscose (Rayon?), 10% Polyamid, and 9% Polyester (in fact the picture is the exact color I'm using). I really dislike it. I really dislike Mohair, but this is for my mom, right, not me. So I thought this yarn would work. It's generally the color mom wants, and it's the weight the pattern calls for.

But I'm not liking the stitches, fabric, and general shape and feel of the knitted yarn. It's fuzzy, uneven, and doesn't hold shape well. When I look at the picture of the jacket, it looks like a very nice fabric - not stiff but certainly holding its shape and laying nicely.

So last night I looked up the yarn on the web to see if I could order it. Come to find out, it's 100% silk - Fiesta La Luz. I couldn't find the exact color i wanted, but I started to get close. Until I looked at the price.

$28.00/skein. 5-6 skeins needed. That's roughly $150-$180 for the jacket.

I love my mom. The cost has nothing to do with her. But, I'm not that good of a knitter.

Repeat: I'm just not that good of a knitter to shell out that kind of money for yarn that *I* will turn into a mediocre garment.

So, I think I'll make mom some nice socks using STR! I've been on a big sock kick. Mom wears a lot of socks during the winter. I can buy a nice jacket for her and still have money for the socks.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

No groove, but making progress

With working at home, the new job, etc, I'm still working to find a groove. I'm not there yet, but I'm getting closer.

Workouts are spotty, but I'm getting them in slowly. Yesterday was a 30' jog. Today was 75' step. Nice.

Knitting is going well, too. I completely finished my sister's Christmas present (finished the second armhole of the Lotus Blossom tank) and it's off to the cleaners for a good wash and press. Finished the front and back of DD's baby sweater, and now I have the arms. I'm worried I won't have enough yarn, but it's a sweater for a 2 YO, so hopefully I will have enough (esp if I mix in some other colors, which I'm thinking about doing).

I finished my first pair of socks, too! Pics to come (I say that every time - I'm a liar). Actually, I will take pics since these are my first socks. I CO for *my* socks (jaywalkers), but I'm thinking of CO for my grandfather's Christmas pair.

OH! And I finally started my mom's sweater. It's the bolero-type jacket designed by Kate Gilbert in one of my fall knitting mags (Interweave Knits). My mom picked it out, and I like Kate's designs and blog, so I was happy with it. I'm not super happy with the yarn, but I think my mom will like it, so that's what matters.

OK, onward. Gotta get pics someday, but now to return to work.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Well whadd'ya know

I finally worked out.

Holy moly, it's a miracle.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Am I really **cking up?

I finished MawMaw's scarf tonight, and it looks lovely! It's a little short for a scarf, but she doesn't want to wrap it around her neck but rather drape it over her shoulders, so I wanted to make it a little shorter.

As a reward, I am knitting my swatch for MY jaywalkers. I'll get done the other gifts (sure, I'm sure, I promise). BUT, am I totally messing up -

The ONLY way I've chosen yarn is by the color. I ask for "sock yarn" and then make a pick.

Is this bad? Will I get totally horrible socks? Here's my current pick, which I really like:

Schaefer Yarn Anne
(shamelessly ripped from - check it out)
60% Merino Wool superwash, 25% mohair, 15% nylon
4oz/560 yds
Gauge: 7-8 St/In (on what size needles????????)

Anyone know??

Somehow I think that I'm not totally messing up, but I clearly know jack about anything. I just pick and go - pattern, yarn. No matching.

Samurai Knitter asked if a group wanted to do a KAL from start to finish. I should join because I need to learn this stuff, but I really don't wanna. She did convince me in her recent Knitty article to swatch, so that's an accomplishment for her. But I'm not sure how much I really want to labor over a pattern. I may just enjoy knitting scarves if other garments require a lot of calculations (I'm good at math, I'm just impatient).

I suspect I'm in the same boat as about 80% of the other knitters out there.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

... and

I need to start friggin exercising.


Need Advice

I'm sure to be overwhelmed by the response to this post (I've not seen anyone beat the number of comments YH gets), but I have to ask -

To knit for the family, or to knit for myself?

Somehow I suspect a lot of folks will say to knit for myself. With the holidays coming, though, I have a long list of in-queue items to knit up for people. Then again, I always have a longer list of in-queue items than in-progress or FOs. Lately I've knit a whole bunch of stuff for others (non-relatives included), and I'm itching to knit myself some jaywalkers with some drop-dead gorgeous hand-dyed yarn that I picked up on sale.

Here's my Christmas list, just so you can see, in relative priority order -

finish Mawmaw's scarf (another week or so)
finish my dear friend's sock (the companion to the first one I knit)
finish my sister's Lotus Blossom Tank (one sleeve edge to go)
finish DD's pinafore (sew the buttons on, knit the tabs and sew on)
finish DD's intarsia sweater (finish front, knit both sleeves, piece together)

socks for Granddad
socks for mom's husband (who I love dearly)
socks for DH (??)
socks for FIL (??)
socks for MYSELF????

Even though it's October 3, I don't think I can get all of that done before Christmas.

On top of that, I'm starting to covet my grandmother's scarf that I'm knitting for her. The Debbie Bliss Cashmerino is so soft, so lovely, so plush and squisy compared with last year's mohair scarf (I think I really hate mohair) that I want it for myself. But she requested this scarf, and DD picked out the color yarn, and it's for her after all, so I'll have to knit myself one.

And DH would love another winter hat.
And I'd love to knit ...


Mom asked for a jacket in one of the knitting mags I have.
Double friggin cripes.
If I worked on that alone it'd take me to Christmas.
And I really do want to knit it for her - I'd love to give it to her!!

Why do I have to love folks so much???

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Sock Down, Nine More To Go

I'm such a slacker picture poster. I did avow myself of feeling guilty for non-picture posts in the desire to simply post more regularly, to not allow a pic-less post stop me from posting about progress. It's P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S after all, something I'm regularly short of.

ONE SOCK DOWN! I figured out how to graft the toe, and I HATE it. I hate how it looks. I even did the switch-the-end-stitches-to-avoid-donkey-ears move, and I still hate how square (triangular) the toe line looks. DH noticed it.

On my foot, though, it looks fine. I think.

I also don't quite know how to weave in the ends. On other knitting I have no problem, but for some reason I wasn't sure how to do it along the top of the sock. It's wool yarn, so hopefully the end will snuggle its way into the other stitches. I did the best I could and that's that.

So in the meantime of finishing this sock, I invested in 4 more pairs of addi turbo circs (two each of size 1 and size 0 in varying lengths). I also splurged on FOUR more skeins of yarn. I swatched some beautiful hand-dyed yarn tonight for the jaywalkers, and I'll have to wait for my 1 or 0 size needles to be delivered before CO.

As for the trip, I made it through security with no problem. They were more interested in my chapstick than my knitting. I finished the sock on the drive to the airport, so I didn't have to worry about taking multiple projects through security (or metal needles). I carried my MawMaw's scarf with me and packed DD's intarsia sweater in the checked luggage.

The trip was great, but I was BEAT afterwards. I knit about 3 rows before falling asleep on the trip back. So, no progress on DD's sweater, and minimal progress on MawMaw's scarf. But the sock is done.

Yay me.