Friday, February 29, 2008

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

Lisa asked me to get on with it and just cast on these puppies, so I did. No fancy photo shoots today despite the fresh dusting of snow we got overnight. Nope, just a down and dirty few quick shots in the car. This was a super fast knit. It took me just over a day to knit the first mitten.

Yarn: Plymouth Boku and Colinettte mohair. I loved how these worked together. The mohair just clung to the sticky wool/silk Boku so there wasn't any problem working with the 2 strands at once.
Button: A fun pounded metal button found at my LYS. When I showed it to Adam, his response was, "why didn't you just ask me to drill a hole in a quarter, that would have been cheaper!" Yes, but then I'd be constantly ripping the quarter off my mittens to pay for parking. I'd be wearing my mittens in July just so I'd have change for the meters!

Pattern: It's a Jess-hybrid. I used the Fittin' Mittens pattern to figure out the math and the basic idea (as I remembered it) from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders for the flip top portion. I changed the decreases on the top and on the thumb because I prefer the pointy look. Over all, I'm thrilled with how this mitten turned out. I've actually been wearing the single mitten because it's better than nothing. I'd better crank out the second one fast!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring? Knitting

My spring knitting goals are twofold, the first is to finish up all my unfinished projects. At least the ones that are out in the open that I admit to! :) The second is to actually make something for myself. I bought this yarn - Colinette mohair and Plymouth Boku - for mittens for myself. I've decided that I need flip-top mittens. Something warm (wool, silk and mohair should do the trick) but something that I can have my fingers free to get the girls in and out of their carseats. I find it a little sad that it is almost March and I'm making mittens. I could possibly be wearing these until April. I don't dare type that M-- mornings can be cold here also.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Blankie Friday

Here's a blankie update for you. I've only done a few more pieces since the last time you've seen it, but it's slowly growing. I've been mostly working on the sock for my Sock It To Me Again pal. I did get a chance to finish a few squares this week on the car ride to Minneapolis. Unfortunately I was the driver on the way home and it's generally frowned upon to knit and drive at the same time. :) Adam isn't going with us on our 2 1/2 hour drive to my parents this weekend, so again no knitting in the car. Let me tell you, this driving stuff really cuts into my knitting time.

In other knitting news, I visited another LYS yesterday. The reason for going was to pick up some extras for my Scavenger Hunt pal and to get some yarn for a presentation I'm doing next week. I'm going to attempt to teach some of the members of my Optimist Club to knit using round looms. The thing I love about the Optimists is that they encourage you to do what you love doing to help kids. I love to knit, therefore I lead the Caps for Kids program at my local club. We knit hats to give to the area hospitals for newborn babies.

I got these 5 skeins of Dalegarn Hubro for teaching. I needed a bulky weight yarn and this came in the perfect colors. I think one skein will make a perfect newborn hat. Wish me luck in my presentation, I have no idea what I'm going to say yet!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My Friend D

My friend D is so cool. She read that I needed just a little bit of Cascade 220 in white and she's coming to the rescue. Go D, you're a rockstar! Go D! Woot. I'm doing my little happy dance while I type. Can you tell? Tums the Hippo will be so happy to get white teeth and paws.

On a totally different note, I ordered some sari silk yarn from The Breast Cancer Site. It was insanely cheap yarn. I got 3 skeins for less than I normally would pay for one. The only downside was that when I got it, it smelled like musty nasty old lady basement. Everything that it touched got that smell on it. It was bad. So... I did a little cleaning.

First I unraveled the skeins into long loops. I tied the loops at two points so I'd be able to (Hopefully!) wind them again one day. I filled my kitchen sink with warm water and Oxy Clean.
I soaked, rinsed and repeated about 30 times. I did all this when one of the girls was home sick. I would have taken pictures, but that would have meant cleaning off my kitchen counter and I just wasn't up to that. So, picture 3 skeins of stinky yarn in a kitchen sink.

Finally, when I thought they might be at least marginally less stinky (at this point I didn't have much hope for saving the yarn) I squeezed the skeins out and hung them in my basement to dry. I seriously thought about hanging them outside to air out, but I figured that if the squirrels didn't take them Yarn Harlot style, the freezing cold would just leave them frozen - not dry.

So... down in the basement they hung. And hung. And hung some more. Until I could get up the courage to go down and sniff them. Finally when I worked up the courage to sniff (holding a dryer sheet that I could sniff to counteract the stinkiness) I was shocked to find that they didn't stink. At. All. All I can say is that Oxy Clean works miracles!! Not only does it take blood and grime out of my kids clothes, it takes the stink out of yarn. Wow.
So now I've got 3 skeins of sari silk yarn to play with... pretty colors too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blanket Update

I've taken a bit of a break from the blanket craziness to work on my second sock for the Sock It To Me Again swap. However, I did pick up some Cascade 220 for a Tums the Hippo. I still need to get some white, but I'm hoping that I can convince a friend to loan me a scrap or two since I just need a little for his teeth and paws. It seems silly to buy a whole skein for just that.

Check out this adorable little sweater! The sizing goes up to 2/3 years, so I think I'm going to put this in the queue - Lily would look so sweet in that sweater. Maybe it's the fact that it's been the longest winter on record, but I have a ton of things piling up that I want to knit. Maybe if I bury myself in enough knitting projects I'll actually stay warm. Blech! I'm tired of winter. I want warmth, sunshine and sand. Anyone up for a trip to Vegas or someplace else warm and cheap?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Yarn P0rn

Laceweight Malabrigio in Grape with burgundy beads. This is destined to become Branching Out
for my little sis. Part of our bag/scarf exchange. She makes me a bag, I make her a scarf. How's that bag coming along anyway?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Contest 1: All About Love

Contest 1: All About Love

Simple enough post - You will post, on your blog, about a memorable Valentine's day you've had. Could be from when you were a child or now. (5 points) Extra points if you post pictures of anything in red, pink and white, for Valentine's Day. (an extra 5 points) Posts must be made by February 14th.

We don't normally do a lot for Valentine's Day around our house. I think it's kind of a Hallmark Holiday - seems to be done in order to make people feel bad and the card companies make money. That being said, we generally do something for each other. One year when hubby and I were dating, I was working in a hotel as a hostess in the restaurant. I was able to get hotel rooms with that chain anywhere in the country for $15. So my cute boyfriend and I got a hotel room (If you're reading this and you're my Mom, we got 2 hotel rooms) just outside the city he was living in. We dressed up, went to dinner at a very yummy Italian restaurant (not nearly as yummy as the Serbian restaurant we went to at another time, but still good) and felt like grown ups. To be fair, he had a real job but I was a college student. I don't remember what all he got me, but I think there was a chocolate rose and I know that was the year he bought me the pine needle basket kit. I haven't actually made the pine needle basket yet. I tend to be a hoarder and don't want to make it because then it will be over. 10 years is probably too long to hoard that sort of thing....

This year I believe we will be celebrating with these two cuties. It looks a little morbid, but they're actually "painting" with red jello. I think we'll just be having a quiet night at home tomorrow.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Slowly But Surely

While the weather outside is to freaking cold to believe... (this is Lily playing outside on a warmer day at daycare). I had 2 bottles of wine in our mudroom last night and when the temperature dropped somewhere into the -20's the pressure of the frozen wine actually pushed the cork right out of one of the bottles.

I'm slowly making these skeins of yarn...

Into this blanket. It's the Rambling Rows Afghan I've told you about. Sorry, but you have to sign into Ravelry for that link. I can't find another picture of it that's not in black and white. It's a super easy pattern, just pick up stitches and then start decreasing at either one (for the squares) or two points (for the rectangles). I love that I can do a square or two and then set it down and work on something else for awhile. It fits my personality right now. Plus, the bigger the blanket grows, the more it keeps me warm while I'm working on it.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

NoKnitting Content

No knitting content today. Just thought I'd share this sketch of Addie. It's from a site that changes photos into line drawings... I think. *edited to fix the link*
I'm working hard on baby blankets. I should have pictures to show soon. The cotton Rambling Rows blankie just isn't in a good spot to photograph right now. I need to wait until I finish another block or two.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The View from the Frog Pond

The view from the frog pond is lovely this time of year. It is cold, icy and yes, I'm bitter. I finished the first 56 rows of the baby blanket quite nicely and moved on to the 2nd half of the blanket. For some reason, it seemed to be going rather fast. Odd since this was the true lace portion of the blanket. Finally, on row 87 it hit me. I. Didn't. Read. The. Pattern. Right. I was supposed to knit every other row plain. I knew this. I read it at the very beginning. I simply forgot. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Yes, have I mentioned I'm bitter? So, I brought the blanket down to my parents house this weekend. I felt I needed moral support to rip this baby back, and who gives moral support like a mom? It didn't hurt that my little sister said it looked painful to rip that much back. It was. I took out the needle, spread it out on the floor, marked the row that I would need to rip back to, and proceeded to rip.

Funny, now that I'm knitting it correctly I am much less frustrated with the lace portion. I really have no idea what I was thinking. I know how to knit lace. I know that most lace patterns are written this way. Sheesh, the blonde really shows doesn't it? It doesn't help that I had to rip out almost an entire rectangle of the other blanket I am making. It hasn't been a good few days for knitting. Buying yarn, good. Knitting, bad.