Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I Got Nuthin

In terms of a title, anyway. I DO have pictures, however!

Behold, the Lace Leaf Pullover!

Forgive the fuzziness of the picture, and the sweater, too. I am in desperate need of a sweater stone.

Stats: Lace Leaf Pullover, from Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham
I used Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Grass, about 6 balls worth for the largest size and size 13 needles Changes to the pattern - I only did 4 pattern repeats on the sleeves, and as you can see they are just the right length. Your row gauge may vary. I also left live stitches on the upper half instead of binding off when I grafted the two parts together. I got a much more seamless result this way. Of course, my experience with kitchener stitch was limited, so you may have a different experience than I.

Here are a couple more pics of the sweater, when it was too long. Muy frumpy on me:

Note to self: chunky yarn makes me look, uh, boobilicious.

While I'm at it, here are a couple other works in progress. I am making some headway on Clappy:

I'm in the last repeat, and ready to move on to the decreases! I hope to finish this weekend, but you know how that goes. I am more and more in love with this colorway. If I ever break down and make Klaralund, I will probably use these colors. They are so gorgeous.

I've managed to add some length to my herringbone scarf as well:

And I am about 2/3 done with the Braided Neckpiece. This poor thing is in need of some serious blocking!

And now, for the end of this picture-heavy post.

These are my cats:

These are my cats high on catnip:

Any questions?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Will Jean actually have pictures this time???

The answer is no.

Time was NOT on my side this weekend, so I didn't have a chance to take pictures of the finished sweater. But it's done, and I'm finally happy with it!

I went through a Goldilocks process with this sweater. First it was too short, so I added several hundred rows. Then it was too long. So I undid the grafting on the bottom and took out almost a full ball worth of yarn. Now I am very happy with the fit! It was even better after I washed it - the stiff collar softened up considerably, so now I have a very comfy, soft sweater that I won't be able to wear for the next 6 months. Sigh...

I had a very busy weekend. Friday night, we went to Irish Mist up in Sunset Beach to watch Paddy Doyle's Boots. They do some great versions of Irish traditional songs. I love that stuff. Several of our friends decided to join us, and a fun time was had by all!

Saturday we went to our friends' new place in Fallbrook, and got to see all their new furniture. Their house is big and so incredibly beautiful. They need it, for 5 kids! They were doing the major portion of their move that afternoon. Everything was going great until the moving company decided to screw them over. The money wasn't the issue, but they were charged $200 more than the flat rate promised. And the owner was a dick, called M names over the phone, and made her cry. It was horrible. The moving guys had done a great job, and felt awful about what happened. It was a giant letdown for that day. So we went to Cask and Cleaver for a steak dinner and recovered over a bottle of wine :) So the day ended on a high note after all, and it was so nice to see them.

Sunday we went to visit our friend K up in Yorba Linda. She just had her mastectomy this past week, and I was shocked to see how active and well she was doing! Her coven did a ritual while she was in the hospital, and I can only say that it must have done something, because her rapid recovery is truly amazing. We intended to watch a movie, but ended up talking the afternoon away. It was an awesome visit.

Craft Night was also last night, and it was fun as always. I brought my swift and yarn winder so Terri could wind up all the new pretty yarn she bought recently from Knit Picks. It was nice to just sit at the end of the day and become one with the yarn.

Well, lunch time means knitting time, so off I go.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

FO'ed up

Damn, it's really effin cold in my office today!

I was so close to finishing the sweater last night! Alas, I screwed up when I grafted the two pieces together and pulled the stitches waaaay too tight. I ended up with this VERY attractive ridge around the bottom third of the sweater - not the look I was going for. So I took out the grafting, and tried about 10 stitches very loosely, and I was still getting the ridge. The problem is that the pattern instructs you to graft the live stitches from the bottom section to the bound off edge of the top section. I can't get this to work for me without getting the ridge. So, I unbound the upper edge and put the stitches on holders, so I can graft the two pieces together the way it should be done. I should have the whole shebang done tonight! I tried it on, and it looks great!

One thing I noticed - I increased the pattern by a few inches to make the sweater more of a tunic. Both pictures in the book are a little misleading in terms of how the sweater is supposed to look. The first model is a size 0000, so the size small sweater looks huge on her. And in the second picture, the model is sitting down, so you can't tell anything about the fit towards the bottom. Since I am a size 14-16ish curvy person, the sweater is looking a bit different on me :) But it still works, and I can proudly wear it out of the house!

Once it is done, there will be pictures. I know how boring a knitting blog can be without pictures!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Me Me Me

1. I grew up very close to Disneyland. The fireworks would rattle our windows each night at 9:30.
2. Consequently, I would go at least 2-3 times a year, so it wasn't as "special" to me.
3. I was "raised" as a Methodist.
4. My sister and I would be dropped off at church each week. My parents only went on holidays, or during choir performances.
5. I was in the handbell choir, and the church choir.
6. I sang alto.
7. At one point, I was set to be a Methodist minister.
8. I was a religion major in college.
9. For many reasons, one of which being that I suck as a public speaker, I decided not to pursue the ministry.
10. I eventually left the Methodist church in particular, and Christianity in general.
11. Being a religion major opened my eyes to many different belief systems.
12. And I got sick of being told I was going to hell for being pro-choice, and supporting the right for gays to be in the ministry.
13. I had been heavily involved in the youth and camping programs all my life.
14. I eventually left it all behind, because I felt like a hypocrite.
15. I still miss the fellowship aspects of it terribly.
16. I would now consider myself a pagan.
17. My husband and I met at church camp in the 4th grade.
18. We didn't start dating until his senior year in high school. I had already graduated.
19. Many people would think that we married young (21). But by that time we had already been dating for about 5 years.
20. We have no children, by choice. We are much too selfish to procreate.
21. When I first registered to vote, I didn't know what I believed, so I registered Republican.
22. I'm now registered as Independent.
23. I hate driving. Driver's Ed was particularly traumatic for me.
24. I would have panic attacks behind the wheel, it scared me so much.
25. For that reason, I didn't get my license until I was 18.
26. My boyfriend (now husband) lived about 30 miles away, so this is what inspired me to drive.
27. I scored a 72 on the DMV written test.
28. I was very unpopular in junior high/high school.
29. I would often hang out by myself.
30. I was very good at any kind of arts and crafts.
31. I probably would have majored in art in college, but my parents discouraged it.
32. I did take a couple of art classes in college, but didn't really apply myself.
33. In fact, I did so poorly in college in general that I couldn't qualify for the Master's program.
34. I did meet Gwen Stefani in my painting class.
35. Since we both lived in Anaheim, we would carpool to class to work on our projects on the weekends.
36. This was during the recording of "Tragic Kingdom", so we got to listen to the demos in class.
37. She was a seriously cool and nice chick.
38. Not surprisingly, we lost touch after the band blew up.
39. College was a very positive experience for me.
40. I was still lazy as all hell about my school work.
41. I didn't really fit into any one category in high school. I was a little mod, a little goth, with a pinch of ska.
42. My mom bought my clothes, so let's just say my wardrobe didn't reflect what was in my little black heart.
43. In college, I was able to express myself. That's when I bought my first pair of Docs.
44. I still have my Docs, and couldn't imagine parting with them.
45. I should really wear them more.
46. I passed out when I got my bellybutton pierced.
47. It didn't take, so I tried a second time.
48. It didn't take the second time either, so I gave up.
49. I used to work for Piercing Pagoda in a booth in the middle of the mall.
50. I hated piercing babies' ears, because it always made the moms cry.
51. While I worked there, I acquired eight piercings in my ears (6 on one side, 2 on the other).
52. I now only have 2 on each side.
53. I have never broken any bones.
54. I bruised my arm bone once, playing handball with a flat ball. I never said I was bright.
55. However, my teachers seemed to think I was, and put me in the advanced classes.
56. Alas, they didn't know how little I cared for school work and how lazy I was (am).
57. In fact, if I could just work part time and knit the rest of the time, I would be much happier.
58. My favorite holiday is Halloween.
59. I love scary movies. The gorier, the better.
60. Psychological horror does it for me, too.
61. I love reading Stephen King, Clive Barker, and Poppy Brite.
62. Now that I have some disposable income, I am heartbroken that I'm simply too old/fat to wear the really neat looking goth stuff.
63. I still love going through Ipso Facto in Fullerton and drooling over all the gowns.
64. I used to go clubbing at a fetish club up in L.A.
65. This was only about a year ago.
66. It got too expensive, so we stopped going.
67. No, I'm not a part of the S&M scene.
68. But it's fun to watch.
69. I have 3 cats.
70. I didn't have any feelings towards cats growing up. I never had any pets.
71. I was scared of dogs.
72. Ok, I'm still a little scared of dogs.
73. Just the big ones, not the little ones.
74. After I got married, one of the first pets I had was a rat.
75. We named him Lazarus.
76. He turned out to be a she.
77. I cried when that damned rat died. (S)he was so sweet and cute.
78. We got two rats next. Two boys.
79. One turned out to be a girl, and they had 12 babies.
80. We gave two away, and the rest all decided to eat each other. So, no more rats.
81. All of our cats came from the animal shelter. I couldn't imagine buying from a pet store.
82. They are my babies. Babies that can feed themselves, poop in a box, and are very independent.
83. They are indoor cats, because of the coyotes in the area.
84. They are also all declawed.
85. We've had two named for goddesses of death and destruction: Kali and Morrigan.
86. I like sweet stuff, but I'm not really fond of chocolate.
87. Peeps are awesome. I buy tons of them during the holidays.
88. I love giving gifts and receiving them.
89. I used to love getting mail, until I started getting bills.
90. I had 8 credit cards in college, and no self control.
91. This resulted in me going into credit counseling.
92. I finally paid everything off about 6 years ago.
93. We only have one actual credit card now, and pay for everything else with our debit card.
94. We bought our first condo in 1998, and rode the SoCal market.
95. We now own a pretty decent sized house in Orange County.
96. There are times when I wish we were renting again, so we wouldn't have to worry about mortgage, property taxes, paying for repairs, etc.
97. Don't get me wrong, I love our house. Especially the kitchen and the open space.
98. My yarn loves the extra bedroom that is quickly turning into my project room.
99. I used to "play" in the SCA. We haven't gone to events in about 6 months.
100. I have lived all my life in CA, and only been to a few states to visit: Kentucky, Georgia, Maryland, Illinois and Ohio.

Too short

The sweater is too short. The sleeves are longer than the body, and I was really looking for a tunic type fit, so I will extend the length. And my experiment in reversing the pattern failed. The lace leaves at the bottom of the sweater looked "implied", and almost like a mistake. I must have ripped everything out and redone it about 5 times, and still couldn't get it to look right. So, I'll do one of two things - go by the example of the pattern and knit that portion from the bottom up and graft the two sections together, or just forgo the lace pattern altogether and knit plain the rest of the way down. Decisions, decisions...

The good news is that the sweater looks great otherwise, and the sleeves turned out just right! And J approves. He'd be the first to tell me if something looked half-assed. So, a couple more days, and it should finally be done :)

Not much other news. The party on Friday was a blast, and we saw lots of people that we hadn't talked to in a long time. On Saturday, we hung out with our friends Tom and Terri, and watched Revenge of the Sith. J ended up liking it, but I don't think he was totally blown away. Now we'll see if we can get him to go see Batman Begins...

And Sunday we took J's dad out to brunch, and had a really excellent time. We will have to hit that restaurant again - their brunch was fantastic! My dad went to Hollywood Park with my mom and sister to watch the horsies. I'm sure they had a great time - yesterday was such a beautiful day.

Ok, back to work. Hopefully we will have an FO by the end of the week!

Friday, June 17, 2005

Lace Leaf progress

I am about 2/3 of the way through the body of the sweater. Two more rounds, then I start on the lace patterns at the bottom and the ribbing. This sweater has come together so fast! All that will be left is to attach the sleeves and weave in the ends, and it will be finished. I will post some more pics of the sweater this weekend, possibly as an FO. This is my very first sweater, so I am excited!

On my lunch breaks, I 've been working on my Kiri shawl (pics also forthcoming for this one). This has given me good experience working from a chart. Being a very visual person, I love charts. I did have to refer to the written instructions, to suss out the pattern repeats for the second chart. Now that I have it figured out, I'm sailing along. I'm finding that I really have to pay attention when I knit lace. It's not like most patterns, where I can space out and watch TV.

I also had a very good idea yesterday. I've been thinking on my plans to make a poncho, and I determined that I would probably never wear it. So, I've been wracking my brain for ideas of what to use my Inca Alpaca for. Then, a burst of inspiration - I will make the Braided Neckpiece from Loop-D-Loop. I need to check my book at home, to see what the yardage is for the pattern. I think I have enough, but I may need a couple more skeins. And I think it calls for bulky yarn, so I figured that I would just hold two yarns together.

I was just looking at that poor model in the picture I linked to - she looks like she needs a nap!

As usual, I'm getting ahead of myself. There are so many projects I want to knit! Knit Picks will probably get some business from me in the not too distant future - Mariah and Rogue are both screaming my name.

Tonight should be fun. My husband and his friends are holding a single malt scotch tasting at a friend's house. Although I am not much of a scotch drinker (owing to a night of puking after a past tasting), this should still be a fun party. I'm bringing some knitting with me, and my friend Colleen is as well. Knowing our group, we probably won't get too many strange looks - these are SCA people, after all :)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Lace Leaf Do-Over

Yep, I did it. I went and bought myself some Wool Ease Thick and Quick in Grass, and started over. This time I was SMART, and did a gauge swatch. Lo and behold, I got gauge on size 13 needles, and went to work. Here is the first sleeve:

Aah, much better. One thing I noticed with the pattern is that the sleeves end up waaaaay too long if I do as many pattern repeats as what is called for in the largest size. The main body of the sleeve should only be 19" before the shoulder shaping, and mine was going towards 25". So, I ripped back to 19", which comes out to 4 pattern repeats instead of 7. So I should be in good shape if I just do the 4 repeats on the other sleeve. I may have this done by next weekend - we'll see how things go. I will post more pics as I make progress!

And I do realize that I could have gotten the yarn online for cheaper. I had a bad day on Friday, dammit, and purchasing that yarn totally made my day. Not that I'm defensive or anything.

Oh, and I've made some more progress on Clappy:

I got a postcard from my secret pal yesterday - thank you! My husband picked up the mail and said, "Uh, you got an interesting postcard here..." Once I explained the secret pal thing, he was okay with it :)

J got his bike back. They spent 2 hours looking for a problem, and couldn't find one, so I am hoping that J was just being paranoid. We'll keep an eye on it and see what it does next.

And I got a surprise in the mail yesterday! I used to work for a clothing store as a manager many years ago, and had gotten notice of a class action lawsuit that was being settled. Apparently, I was part of the "class". So, I sent my info in, not really expecting anything. Yesterday, I get a check for $230! A small portion were the actual wages that were due back to me for lost overtime, and the rest were penalties. This will help out a lot with our latest financial stuff. This makes me VERY happy!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


I'm going to frog the Lace Leaf Pullover. I know, all that work for nothing. But I feel remarkably light and free after making that decision. I was knitting on it last night, and realized that the yarn for the body was, in all likelihood, really worsted weight and not bulky weight like what I need for the pattern. Ugh! I could see right through the damned thing, and it felt half-assed to just ignore it and continue. What I will do is make a trip to Joann's, get some skeins of the G-D Wool Ease Bulky, and start over. I will need to determine yardage, etc. But at least I will have a kickass sweater in the same gauge all over. And it won't be too warm, since I don't exactly live in the tundra.

So, no pics of what I have. Believe me, I am saving you from all sorts of cheesiness.

And who else feels inspired to buy a black leather funky skirt to go with that sweater, like the chick in the photo?

The Clap is still rockin right along. I'm really pleased with how it is turning out. I'm not sure if I will end up wearing it, though. Maybe I'll be more inspired when it is done.

Life on the home front is pretty quiet. J's bike is acting up, so he has to take it in (AGAIN). He has had no end of grief from the electrical system of his bike, so the battery won't hold a charge. Luckily, he got the extended warranty, so no money out of our pocket. But this, on top of Molly's health issues and J's root canal and new crown this past month, it's all too much. Enough with the drama, already! Drama can be very expensive!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Plugging away

I'm still going to town on the Clapotis. It's turning out pretty nice! I've done about 5 repeats on the center section, so I have about 8 to go before I get to the decreases. I am not exactly the fastest knitter in the world, so who knows when I will actually finish it. But it's turning out awfully pretty.

Yes, Secret Pal, I will post pictures this weekend of my progress on the Lace Leaf Pullover thus far. I put it away to work on the Clap, but I may pick it up again this weekend to see if I can get close to finishing it. Just need to do the lower half of the body, then test drive with the one sleeve I have completed. I'm hoping the sleeve will be fine, so I can finish the other one and attach them. Not that I could wear the sweater right now anyway! I am noticing that I may need to wear a tank top underneath - I question the salesperson who told me the yarn was Lamb's Pride BULKY. I don't quite believe her. Maybe it will full a little after I wash it.

And now, a detour.

I have become convinced that I don't belong in the corporate world. I'm just not that competitive, or a go-getter type of person. Which is interesting, because most of my friends and my husband need to feel productive at all times. I don't feel any such need. I am perfectly content to hang around all day and do nothing, with no guilt associated with my lack of action. I don't feel that I have to live in the lap of luxury. I just want enough so I don't have to worry about bills, and I can supplement my hobby comfortably. If there were a yarn shop that would hire me full time at $25 per hour, that would be a dream come true. But alas, I remember working retail, and as MANAGEMENT was only making $7 an hour, so I totally recognize that this is all a pipe dream. Therefore I will keep plugging away at my job, despite the moody coworkers and the knowledge that I am not agressive, and nothing is going to change that.

Enough wallowing in self-pity. Back to the grind...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Maybe I was on crack that day...

One of my earlier posts contained a rant about a yarn shop and the knitting group residing within. I reread the post, and decided maybe I was being overly sensitive. I did cruise by the shop yesterday, mainly to get a couple of pattern books and an Addi Turbo in size 2 to try my hand at the Magic Loop thingie for socks. There was nobody there, except for the person running the register. If I had my knitting with me and time to kill, I would have taken a seat right there with her - she was really nice and seemed kinda lonely. Truth be told, I was a little afraid to go back to that shop at first. I was so intimidated the last time I went. But that may just be my natural shyness and defensiveness at work. I think I will go back on Sundays and knit, because it is a really nice store, and so quiet. And I think I should give those other people another chance.

As for patterns, I picked up Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton Book One (they ran out of book two :( ), the Bobbi Bear pattern (which I will make for my sister - she collects teddy bears), my Addi Turbo, and a large half circle toggle-ish button for my Lace Leaf Pullover (whenever I finally get around to finishing it).

(sheesh, what is the deal with the parentheses today?)

I am also being lured by the siren song of Kiri, and the LYS happens to be fully stocked with many colors in the Kid Silk Haze. You'd think I didn't have all these other projects waiting for me to finish! I will try to exercise restraint for the time being, and finish some of the other projects I have started.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Baby Blanket

At last, she is fini:

The pattern is from Stitch N Bitch, using the Koigu PPPM in a colorway number I don't remember - lots of pastel blues and sea greens. As it turns out, the nursery will have an undersea theme, so this will fit in just fine. Oh, but I was bored to tears knitting this thing. Probably had something to do with the fact that I changed my mind on the color, the yarn, and the twisted stockinette. Otherwise, this would have been a pretty quick and easy knit. So I am glad to have the damned thing off my needles!

And do you notice the odd shape? This is where a swatch would have come in handy. At about the halfway point, I think I accidentally switched my Denise's from size 9 to size 8, and the stitches look tighter and better. Not being a perfectionist, I am not going to worry about it - the baby is not going to notice :)

Not much more to report. I'm concentrating on Clapotis now, because the pattern is interesting and I need that!

Thursday, June 02, 2005

FO's on the horizon?

Don't hold your breath. I have about 40 rows left on the baby blanket - I'm so close I can taste it. The problem is that I get bored after doing 4 rows of the thing. Maybe once I get to the seed stitch portion I'll begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I've also been getting some work in on the Clapotis. What is the correct pronunciation of that word, anyway? I read somewhere it was supposed to be "clap-oh-TEE", which would make it sound prettier and less like VD. I'm finally to the drop stitch section, so this should start to get fun. Whee!

I LOVE that tomorrow is Friday already! We'll be visiting a couple of friends who are in the process of moving down to Fallbrook. It will be interesting to see what a 3,000 square foot house looks like in real life. They need it, with 5 kids and all. 1,500 square feet just wasn't gonna cut it.

I've noticed in my posts the decided lack of profanity. If you knew me in real life, you would think this was very odd, indeed. Maybe it's because I write most of my posts at work, where I have to censor myself. Having an HR rep that could make a sailor blush would not go over well at my company.

I also have an LJ, but I am finding that I am updating here more. I may just start putting my personal stuff over here, along with the knitting.

Oh, and I am wrestling with myself over going to Yarn Lady on Saturday morning. It is their semi-annual Bag Sale, where the discontinued yarns are 50% off. I don't think I can keep myself away. Who needs things like soap, or cat food?

Response to La - yep, that landslide stuff is freaky weird. I wonder why it took so long since the last big rains?? That's the cool thing about living in RSM - we have no yards or hills, so there is nothing to slide off of! One thing I did learn from the whole rain experience was that I like it (without the mudslides). While all my friends were cutting themselves and writing bad poetry, I was enjoying my knitting, my cup of tea, and cuddling with the hubby and kitties. Yes, I am 32 going on 80, what of it?