Friday, June 30, 2006

change of plans, of course!

soooo ... last night I was all ready to work out with Tia, then go home and relax with some last minute finishing to Taylor's jumper. then around 3pm Tia called when she got off work and said that she has to go to her boyfriend's sisters daughter's 8th grade promotion party and can we work out tomorrow? I said of course since Wes works Friday night too and every night that Wes works is the same to me. So, with a whole Thursday night in front of me (the first one since Tia and I started running together three months ago) I chose to go to knitting group! And since I would be in the presence of Lois, my first garment class teacher, I thought I had better work on the garment she taught me to make that still isn't finished!
The group was a lot larger than I expected and I just sat quietly and knitted my little heart out on the collar of the pink sweater. It took a long time to pick up all 97 stitches from around the neckline, and the needles are so small I couldn't go too fast, but I got most of it done. I have one or two more rows to go before the bind off, then just have to crochet the arm holes. I think I will go in on Monday to learn that since I have the day off and Tuesday (the regular help day) is a holiday!!
so I guess TONIGHT is my night to finish Taylor's jumper as well as the collar on the pink sweater. Mom said she wants beads on it, so I'll be visiting the bead store around the corner from the yarn shop on Monday too, it looks like!!

Then it is on to my next project! I found one I wanted to make in another Classic Elite Yarns pattern book, but Lois doesnt' carry the yarn used in the book, so she didn't have the pattern either. I can either look for it at another store, or try and find a similar pattern, which I have been trying to do. I did look through lots of pattern books last night at AFY and found a few new ideas for projects. I won't be long without something on my needles!! and knowing me, I probably won't get as much done tonight as I hoped anyway!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

finally some progress

Last night I stayed up WAY too late (running keeps getting in the way of my knitting time!) but all I have left to do on the jumper is sew on the side tabs and these cute little pink butterfly buttons! I don't care that Tia and I have the hardest workout ever planned for this evening ... I am getting this done before I go to sleep tonight!!!! Tomorrow is Friday, maybe no one will notice if I take a nap under my desk at work :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

the end is near!

didn't knit at all last night ... Tom called as I was getting off work looking for dinner plans, so Wes and I met him in Camarillo. On the way to meet Tom, we did stop at the cute button store and I got little pink butterfly buttons! Exactly what I wanted ... After dinner ran some walking errands and when we got back we did our newlywed Bible study ... but, here is one of the pockets that goes on the front on Taylor's jumper ... soooo cute! tonight I am running with Tia, but then have some new Netflix arrivals waiting for me at home, so hoping to finish up that list of things I wrote out yesterday after the run.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

going backwards (and a recap of gauge class)

no more progress on either project this weekend ... if anything I went back a few steps because I had to rip out what I had started on the neck of the pink sweater (I picked up stitches backwards so the purls were on the wrong side, causing the neck to roll inward, instead of out). I also lost a step in the baby jumper ... I decided to stop by the yarn store on my way home from work on Friday, since I had everything with me, and had big plans of knitting that night. I had dropped a stitch on one shoulder and Lois pulled it all out and is having me do that whole shoulder over. She also showed me how to do the yarn-overs and they are way easier than I was making them out to be. I really do learn much better from watching and doing than from just looking at examples in a book. So, I did all that pulling out on Friday and then didn't knit much after that. Friday night I made cookies and drove them up to Wes at work. He had a call right as I pulled into the parking lot, so I had to wait for almost an hour. Good thing I brought my knitting! I finished the bodice up to the shoulder bind-offs while I was waiting for him. So everything I have left to do on the jumper is small and easy ... three shoulders, two button tabs and duplicate stitching a flower on to the second pocket ... then just three-needle bindoff for the left shoulder, and sewing on the buttons, tabs and pockets ... done! I want to get butterfly buttons ... how cute would that be on the blue sky? A woman at Anacapa on Friday while Lois was helping me told me of a place to go in Camarillo that sells cute buttons ... probably should have gone yesterday on the way back from getting my oil changed in Thousand Oaks.
Anyway, on Sunday I went to the gauge class and learned some new fun things about counting stitches in a ribbing and also that when I knit ribbing my stitches are WAY huger than when I knit stockinette so if I am making a sweater that has ribbing on the edges, I might want to use a smaller needle or something. Of course she suggested that I knit a gauge swatch of the ribbing and the body stitches. I hate doing the swatches (just like I hate doing test strips in the darkroom), but I was already a little bit of a convert after my first swatch for the pink sweater two months ago was way off from what the pattern suggested, and the class on Sunday just kept convincing me. Barbara also explained how to swap out yarns for patterns if you don't like the kind of yarn the pattern designer used. That was very helpful as well. It was kind of a funny class because I really had nothing to show from it at the end of the three hours except a growling stomach (who plans a class for noon to 3pm? that is prime lunch-eating time!) but I learned some things that will help me to have more success with my knitting projects in the future!! She also demonstrated Sweater Wizard, which is a computer program that builds a sweater pattern for you based on your gauge measurements from a particular yarn. It sounded interested, but for now I am going to stick to patterns that have already been tried and made, and not just computer generated. Barbara showed us some sweaters she had made from using Sweater Wizard and they looked good, but she is also a designer of knitted things herself and can probably wing it a little easier.
I am starting to think about my next project ... I have a couple ideas, but haven't bought yarn or anything yet. Hoping to get lots of knitting done Wednesday and Thursday while Wes is at work, then can go to Anacapa this weekend and get yarn for the next project.

Friday, June 23, 2006

bumps in the road

I was hoping to be finished with Taylor's jumper by this point! I had big plans of knitting last night ... but the workout Tia and I did left me just exhausted (and starving!) so after dinner I turned on the Dodgers game and started knitting, but as soon as it was over (4-2 win over Seattle! yesss) I went to bed. I wanted to stay up later (it was only 10pm) and keep going ... but I can't really knit with my eyes closed, especially with the last bodice decreases I have left. So I figured I could make up the time on my lunch break, but I ran into this nice knot of yarn after only two rows!!I finally gave up after almost 20 minutes of trying to get loose of that knot. I left my scissors at home or else I would have just cut the yarn and started the next row like I would to add a new color. I'll have to do that at home tonight. Knitting was not on the agenda, but maybe I can fit it in between my cookie baking in my campaign to be the best wifey on Deputy Johnson's squad :) or maybe Marge won't mind if I knit in the car on our way to Bako tomorrow. I know once we get there it will be hard to knit after a margarita or two ... and I really need to finish this before my gauge class on Sunday afternoon if I want to get some help with the last step.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Lunch Break

just another beautiful day in Ventura ... I spent my lunch break outside on the upstairs patio knitting my little heart out. I finished the decreases for shaping on the front half of Taylor's skirt before my hour was up. All I have left is 14 rows (seven knit and seven purl) before I do the huge decreases to shape the bodice and then it shouldn't take long at all. After work Tia and I have our tough interval and strength workout planned, so I will be real happy to sit and relax with some knitting and a movie when I get home tonight. My goal is to finish this by Sunday when I go in for the gauge class to get help on the YO and then be done!!!

Attention: Mom!

beads, or no beads???

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

knitting to the dodgers

Wes, me, Margaret and Kyle at the Dodgers game last night

It takes just about 90 minutes to get from Ventura to Dodger Stadium (and we only hit a little bit of traffic!) so I got some good knitting in yesterday with Jimmy Eat World providing the soundtrack for Wes' driving and my needles. I doubled the length of the skirt from what I had before yesterday. I am more than halfway done with the skirt, and that is what takes the longest because it is the largest piece of knitting. Once I get to the top half of the jumper, it goes really quickly because the rows are so short ... the rest of this week is pretty busy, but I should be able to get it done if I use my free moments to keep plugging away! I would have made great progress if I would have knit on the way home from the game as well, but it was pretty dark and I was pretty sleepy!!
The Mariners smoked the Dodgers 9-4, but we were sitting way up top and had Dodger Dogs and beers and ice cream malts to distract us. Plus Marge and I spent more time talking about her new job and new house (in Camarillo! yay!) than watching the game anyway ... typical girls!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

first sweater (kindof)

This sweater is the first thing I ever made other than a scarf!! It isn't as hard as a real sweater because there aren't any arms to attach, but it was a great lesson in shaping and patience too ... since I have been working on this since mid-March and haven't 100 percent finished it yet. All I have left is the neck and armhole finishing, but I don't know how to crochet (for the arms) and when I picked up stitches for the neck roll, the purls came out on the wrong side! So I have to rip out the neck and start over, but I hate doing that. Since I started in on the cutest baby jumper ever I haven't paid much attention to this pretty pink thing. Much to Wes' dismay, it has been sitting in a heap on one end of the couch for two weeks! I am planning to double up when I stop in to Anacapa Fine Yarns for help with the yarn-over button holes and learn how to single crochet at the same time, so I can finish up both of these in the next week or so.
I made this sweater for a "first garment" class at AFY taught by Lois. I loved the class and I learned so much about all the little processes of knitting that I had never paid attention to before. I learned a little about gauge, but still don't' get it (I think my gauge is messed up on the baby jumper, but luckily she is growing and it will fit her at some point in her life!). I am taking a workshop exclusively on gauge next weekend with instructor Barbara at AFY.
This sweater fits me great (thanks to Lois helping me with gauge!) - however, I think since I was anxious to finish it, I made it a little too short. Good thing my mom loved what she saw of this sweater before she and Dad left on their journey across America and good thing she is seven inches shorter than me! This sweater should be the perfect length for her ... if I ever finish it!
The pattern is from Classic Elite Yarns, in their Spring 2005 FARM Pattern book. I found it very easy to put together ... the hardest thing I had done before this was a couple of scarves with stripes!!
Photo courtesy of Classic Elite Yarns

Knitting for: baby Taylor Raye

My dear friend Kristina and her husband Andy recently adopted a beautiful baby girl named Taylor Raye!!! Since I am the type of knitter who enjoys the finished product and getting to that finished product quickly, knitting for babies appeals to me. I am about a week into knitting my own version of this adorable baby jumper and am more than halfway done, despite the thin yarn and size six needles. Taylor was born on May 12 and I am trying to have this ready to arrive by her two-month birthday. Tonight we are driving down to LA for the Dodgers game, so I will have lots of time to knit while we are sitting in traffic! I have been able to knit a lot lately because Wes has parked his butt in front of the big screen watching World Cup ... I like sitting with him, so I use the time to knit or else I would go crazy with six hours of soccer in a row!!
Even though I am making good progress, Taylor won't be able to wear it for a while (I am making the six-month-old size), which is fine because they live in Arizona and no one needs to wear a knitted pinafore in Arizona in the middle of July. No matter how cute it is! I chose to make the colors a little less loud than in the sample. I kept the bottom green, but the main body of the jumper is robin's egg blue. The pockets are of the same blue with green stems and bright pink petals on the flowers. I can't wait to see it finished.
I am not having any trouble with the decreases for shaping, but I don't really get how to do the yarn-overs for button holes. I will need to stop by my LYS and get a little help before I can officially finish this project on my own. However, since this is only my second time knitting something other than a rectangle, I am pretty pleased with how it is turning out so far!