Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Knit fixes!

had a miserable day at work yesterday and was so thankful that I signed up to take Lois' "knit fixes" class ... otherwise I would have gone home and drank a whole bottle of two buck chuck.
but the class was great and I learned some really really helpful tips on how to fix problems in my knitting without ripping out whole rows. I even used the crochet hook a few times! Grandma would be so proud :)
Had I taken this class a week ago, I wouldn't have had to rip out six rows on the right front of my brown hoodie on Sunday night once I realized I forgot to make a cable twist. Anyway, I just ripped it out and re-knit those rows. Last night after the class I finished up the right front and started on the first sleeve. I'll have to m1 a whole bunch of times on the sleeves and I've never done that before, but I'm sure I can figure it out!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Seriously? Seriously. and Shalom.

sooo ... finished Piggle last night in a flurry of wine, white chocolate cranberry oatmeal cookies and McDreamy over at Marge and Nicole's. As the the emotional music swelled and characters pensively reflected on the events of the past hour, I tossed the hat across the room to Marge for her to try on. Apparently, I knit some magic into it because when she placed piggle on her head, she transformed into a little Jewish boy wearing a yarmulke. Soo ... anyone have a good hat pattern for a grown-up??

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Piggle Progress

worked some more on Piggle last night and watched A Prairie Home Companion. I didn't really follow the story line, but I enjoyed all the singing. Anyway, I am into the decreasing rows, so it shouldn't be long now. I may even have some time to finish this up on my lunch break today. The pink spots are where the pig-tail holes will be. I knit those ten stitches per hole with waste yarn, and will pull it out and pick up those stitches again to bind off the holes. In the original pattern the pig-tail holes were on either side of the head above the ears, which is okay for a pre-schooler, but not a 20-something tearing down the slopes :)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

in the zone

had another busy weekend without too much knitting time ... Shannon and Robert got married on Sunday and on Saturday I had lunch and shopping dates :) but when I got home Wes wasn't feeling good so we kind of vegged out in front of NFL playoffs and I cast on the right front of the brown hoodie. I am through the ribbing and have completed a couple of cable repeats.
Last night Wes was at work and I was beat ... it felt like the end of a long week, but it was only Monday! so I was more than happy to catch up with some TiVo and knit my butt off on the piggle hat. I've finished up to where I need to place the holes for the pig-tails to stick through. After that it's four more rounds in pattern, then each row following is a decrease row, so I should be able to finish this tonight. I am making it for Margaret who is headed back to the mountains this weekend and hope to gift it when I see her on Thursday. Probably wont' have much knitting time tomorrow ... we'll be watching the NHL All-Star game over TV dinner, then meeting with our Realtor to make an offer on a house!! eek!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

learning lace and how to crochet

this weekend, in addition to running in the freezing cold, I learned a new skill and started a new project. On Thursday evening I stayed with Grandma and I had asked if she would teach me how to crochet. I am not sure I am really ready to take on a new skill set, but I have seen some really cute crochet patterns lately and some knitting patterns also require crochet for finishing and edging so I figured it wouldn't hurt to know a little about it. It was much harder than I expected and after an hour I had little to show for my efforts. I did learn the chain stitch and single crochet (as evidenced in this picture to the left), but I am far from starting any big projects. I will keep practicing and ask Grandma for more tutorials when I am down south, but this is not an immediate skill that I want to be proficient in right away. It is fun to learn something new though!
I was very happy to start a new knitting project on Friday morning sitting at the airport. I cast on 120 stitches on to size 4 dpns (the pattern called for size 2! but I am knitting this for a grown-up, not a child, and I know my stitches are a little tight anyway so figured 4 would be okay. Plus I could not bring myself to purchase size 2 needles. way too tedious!) and got most of the ribbing done before I got on the plane. I didn't have too much time to knit while I was in Arizona, but got a couple of the lace pattern repeats finished by the time I got off the plane again in California on Sunday. I am enjoying this lace pattern though and I think it is of similar difficulty to the stitch pattern on the lacy wrap I bought yarn for a year ago and haven't been brave enough to cast on for yet. Once this hat is successfully finished, I think I will have the confidence to cast on for that wrap.

Monday, January 15, 2007

running in Antarctica Arizona

a few months ago I told Wes that someday I wanted to run in Antarctica after reading an article about the races offered there in a recent issue of Runner's World. He laughed at my ambition and I got pissed because I feel that a husband should be supportive of his wife in all her goals, no matter how crazy (usually he is very good at this. he has repeatedly let me buy a new houseplant after I kill the previous one in less than a month). but for the past week, the entire southwest has been in a cold snap and after standing on the start line at the Rock 'N Roll Arizona half-marathon yesterday in 29-degree weather (first grade science class reminder: water freezes at 32 degrees), I decided that maybe I don't need to run in a place where the average temperature is 34 (even though yesterday's low was only 35! six whole degrees warmer than it was in Phoenix). Especially with no fringe benefits. Anyway, despite the cold yesterday I was able to run a good race and beat my goal time of two hours and set a new PR for that distance (previous best 2:15). It was great to cross that finish line knowing I had achieved a goal and that I worked so hard to get it. I felt good for the first ten miles and then started hurting (my knees still ache today, but muscles aren't too sore) but kept an eye on the clocks at each mile marker to keep pace and finish in 1:52:41.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

left front: finished!

last night, despite every intension to put away all the Christmas decorations, pack for Arizona and do the dishes that have been piling up since Sunday night before picking up my knitting ... I started in on it right after a quick run and dinner and didn't look up until I had finished the left front. I told Wes on Sunday that I wanted to have both fronts done by last night, but once I had to pay attention to all the shaping it took a lot longer than expected. Partly because I kept comparing to the finished front piece to make sure everything is going to fit together correctly, and also because I kept getting up to search for stitch holders (couldn't find them, used a 16-inch circular to hold the live stitches) and switch CDs that I was uploading to iTunes (looove my new iPod with capacity for more music!). I did do the dishes before I went to bed, but will need to pack before date night tonight and Christmas will have to stay up until I return from Arizona. I could bring yarn and supplies to begin the right front with me, but I did find an airplane project and have asked Grandma to teach me how to crochet after dinner tomorrow, so I might have enough to keep me busy. It's only an hour flight and between visiting and running I won't have much down time while I'm there.

Monday, January 08, 2007

a weekend of excess and recovery

have you ever had one of those weekends that on Sunday night you wish you had another weekend right away to recover from the one that just ended? This is how I felt last night!
Friday I left work at noon and met up with all the girls to drive south for Shannon's bachelorette party!! It was fairly tame by bachelorette standards (champagne and presents, dinner and margaritas, comedy club with two drink minimum and bar with a mechanical bull!) but I was so happy when I got home on Saturday afternoon and Wes was watching football playoffs and in a let's-make-boboli-and-rent-a-movie-tonight mood. Once I poured myself a giant glass of water I sat down and cast on the left front of my cabled hoodie! I was soo excited to be working on this project again - I can not wait until it is finished!! I made decent progress on the bottom ribbing before it was time for dinner and a trip to Blockbuster and put the knitting away for the rest of the night.
Sunday morning I woke up to complete my last long run before the half-marathon next weekend. Tia and I certainly weren't prepared to run 11 miles on Saturday! It always takes me a few hours to feel like myself again after a run of that distance. I am a little nauseous, but know I need to eat to replenish my energy; I am exhausted, but don't want to sit for too long and cramp up. Also, Wes had a soccer game at two and then would be leaving for work so I wanted to spend time with him too! So we hung out got some lunch before his game, then I did some housework and made Wes dinner to take with him to work. By the time I finished being responsible Wes was back from his game and leaving for work. Once he left I made myself some dinner and sat down to knit knit knit! I got three of the seven pattern repeats before the arm shaping finished in between more cooking and cleaning. This pattern goes quickly, especially on the front portions because all the cables go the same direction on each side. I dont' have to check the chart to remember to hold in front or back every time. I would love to have both fronts finished by the time I go to bed Tuesday night (Wes works tonight and Tuesday and running is light this week to rest up for the big race!) but I don't know if I want my first attempt at sleeves to happen on the airplane and in Phoenix far away from Anacapa Fine Yarns and the infinite wisdom I can get there. I might need to scrape up a little airplane-appropriate project while at AFY tonight.

Friday, January 05, 2007

last giftie!!

This week has been a little bit of a frenzy to get this Cleo Clutch finished by today (Friday) since it's Shannon's bachelorette party tonight. I wanted to make her this because at my wedding I didn't have a little bag to carry my camera or lipgloss and gum or even the money from the money dance (yehaw!). Also, I know their wedding bands are going to have the Celtic braids on them and this bag has a similar cable pattern. I embroidered the inside lining with the R&S monogram that is on their invitation stationary. The colors are bright and NOT bridal white because Shannon is not a plain white kind of girl. Her wedding colors are red, purple, green and yellow! Tia suggested the purple for the bag and I think it turned out really nice. I felted this one a little less time than the blue Cleo so the bag is a little larger, but also the cabling stands out more.
This was my last gift-item of the Christmas season and now I can finally get back to my brown hoodie! Saturday night I will need to recover from the bachelorette party to complete my last 11-miler before the half next weekend, so probably will cast on the front then. Hopefully I will finish the hoodie in time to wear it before it gets too warm again.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

week-late Christmas: Sushi

This was a last-minute gift after another idea I had for Tia fell through. I had an extra ball of Noro Kureyon after scrapping the Hurry-Up Spring Wristwarmers from Stitch 'N Bitch Nation in favor of the Wonder Woman wristwarmers for Kristen. I used one of the Noro balls for my Calorimetry and decided to knit the other into a bag. The back side of the bag has all shades of pink and red, but I didn't take a picture of that. The button is abalone shell ... same as on Calorimetry. I didn't have a pattern for this bag, I just cast on 45 sitches and started knitting. I made a YO button hole and a couple K rows towards the end of my yarn, then folded it over and stitched up the sides.

As soon as I saw these sushi patterns at Sublime Stitching, I immediately thought of Tia because she love sushi. I used a bright blue to match the blue on the bag for the cat's collar and the chopsticks.

Also, I tried to make the sushi pieces look realistic, but since Tia is the only one I see on a regular basis who enjoys sushi and would know how to make it look authentic, I certainly couldn't ask her and had to figure it out myself. Hopefully it is accurate! Even though the white embroidery floss I picked out was a pain in the butt to work with (very slippery!) it stands out nice on the off-white fabric, so I'm glad I picked it for the rice.

week-late Christmas: Cleo

had a good night for finishing up projects yesterday while Wes was at work and I needed to just chill after a crazy New Year's Eve. I had hoped to finish this before Saturday afternoon when Amanda (recipient of this gift!) arrived at my apartment, but ran out of time between work and lots of running last week. I had the bag knitted and felted way back in September, but just bought snaps for closure and the fabric for lining last week. Had I forgotten about the lining I could have given this to Amanda on Saturday, but I bought the fabric for the lining specifically for her, so wanted to be sure and include it. I had wanted to embroider the lining for this bag as I did for Sushi, but couldn't find anything at Sublime Stitching that screamed "AMANDA" ... but when I found this chili pepper fabric I thought of her immediately. I think it turned out really cute and I love all the bright colors. This is going in the mail today - hopefully to arrive before Shannon's bachelorette on Friday! I have another skein of Cascade 220 in this same great color so might make myself one too (get in line!).