Sunday, October 15, 2006

For everything there is a season

The trouble with time is that it escapes us. Before we now it days weeks and months have passed and we have done very few of the things we intended to do (like regularly and fastiduously updated our blogs). Therefore, you get the whirlwind pictoral tour of the last months of my life.

The Clampets go to the Fair

On August 18th Jamie and her spouse Chris and my clan set off on a stalwart adventure to the Iowa State Fair. This is a particularly noteworthy trip because during my 20 year tenure in Iowa, I have yet to go to this extravanganza. I wasn't sure what I expected, but the fair was much more than I thought it would be. There were food booths as far as the eye could see each boasting a different delicacy on a stick. Unable to resist, the four adults split a deep fat fried snickers bar. Here is a not so flattering picture of my reaction to the goey concoction

Needless to say..... the universal consensus was a thumbs down. I am not certain I understand it.....I like batter (generally) I like fried stuff (sometimes) and I (always) love snickers....... how could the combination be so wrong?

After my dissapointment with food on a stick (I love this invention I am a proponent of more things being on a stick.... say it with me "skein on a stick"), we perused the prize winning animals. The pigs, cows, bulls, horses, llamas, chickens, pigeons, and bunnys were cute and all but they did not compare to the SHEEP. Not only that but apparently everyday at the state fair is a sheering day. So there were just piles and piles of fleece lying about waiting to be spun..... my fiber senses were tingling around so much fiber waiting to be turned into wooly yarn....... We took a picture of some prize winning fleece.

The rest of the day was a blur after my fleece intoxication, but I seem to remember a cow made of butter and a butter Elvis. To say the least the day was over the top. To show you how much I close with a picture of a pumpkin (taken next to my 4 year old 42 inch tall son for gauge).

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A sort of 12 step program

Okay so I am a ball dropper. This applies to more than blogging, however, I am mainly talking about my lack of keeping up with my blog.

It occurred to me that I haven't published anything in a month. Where I have had an exceptionally busy summer complicated by autoimmune problem fun. That is no excuse. I will rededicate myself to publishing blogs and keeping up with my knitalongs.

So the last month update. I finished all 42 of hte blankets by donation day (pictures to come in a later post). However, I got sick and they didn't get delivered. I take comfort that the sewing day ladies probably made an adequate supply of blankets for this donation and that my blankets will be more appreciated in the next donation. However, I am still disappointed.

The lace has been suspended. Sometimes if you truly love something you must set it free. I will resume it when I have more time to concentrate (I am thinking this winter after internship applications go out).

I have also decided to make a handknit gift for my sister-in-laws 25th anniversary party which is in 6 weeks. So here is what I need. Suggestions.... it has to be

1. good for a couple not just her
2. able to be knit in 6 weeks
3. something that says "precious handcraft" not "oh you made me a homemade gift"

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sweet Success

Last week I completed Zach's Aran blankie. Why hasn't there been a picture you ask. Because my darling infant began teething shortly after the creation was completed and has been unwilling to pose for any picture in which he does not play the part of a lobster who is ready to be cooked pleading for his life. After no less than 50 attempts to get the picture while he was awake I had a stroke of brilliance.

I would get the picture after he went to bed. So, tonight I endured our nightly crying ritual as I waited for the beloved baby tylenol to work its magic (all hail baby tylenol savior of mothers around the globe). I snuck out of the baby's room and past the hubby, who was working on the couch, and grabbed the digital camera. As I walk past the hubby for the second time, holding said camera, his head darts up and with a look of shock and horror he asks what I am doing. I smile and reply "going to take a picture of the baby sleeping." Chad gives me a look that indicates he is sizing me up mentally for a straight jacket, sighs, and resumes work.

Meanwhile in the baby's room I am sneaking like a mouse to get a picture of my sleeping darling. After some light stirring, I have my picture and a sleeping baby.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Something beary cute

Just another manic Monday. I drove over two hours to meet my subject today and when I got there I realized my video camera was malfunctioning so I have to do it all again next week! After 5 hours of pointless driving I get back to find out that another subject wants to reschedule so my week of being "awesome grad student girl" is quickly (and I am talking warp speed here) going in the toilet. On top of which, I learned that my cousin's wedding (which I had firmly believed was one week from Saturday) is actually this Saturday so I have to scramble to get everyone ready to leave for Minnesota on Friday.

Anyone else have days like this?

So on this day of chaos when I feel like tossing my head back and screaming "WHY ME GOD WHY ME?" (okay so really nothing that dramatic but a good run and a pint of Ben and Jerry's might substitute) I have decided it is finally time to post a picture of a FO. I need the thrill of accomplishment on a day when I have managed to accomplish nothing and actually put myself further behind. So here it is...........

One beary cute finished object

The pattern is from a box of pattern inserts called "knitting to go." This pattern comes with a companion duck which I have also made, however, I finished it mere hours before I gave it away and in my sleep deprived state failed to take a picture of it. The pattern recommends Rowan's cotton glace which is in short supply around here. Therefore, I substituted with Lily's Sugar and Cream using size six needles. This hat was made for a friend who recently had a baby, however I am considering making another bear and a duck for the upcoming preemie project donation date.

There, I feel better already.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Sewing with gas?

I hope that everyone had a marvelous Independence Day. Amongst the fireworks I managed to get a fair amount of sewing done.

I dislike sewing. Therefore, I wasn't sure what possessed me to buy an unnaturally large amount of flannel. I think that it was brought on by the limitations placed upon me by summer of stash, if I can't buy yarn flannel will do. It turns out that Acquiring 54+ yards of flannel was the easy part..... making them into blankets for the Preemie Project turned out to be a little more complicated. I couldn't get the blankets to feed through the sewing machine. However, I could get the machine to sew if I pulled the blankets through using quasi-Herculean strength. Therefore, I stopped quickly and put "fix sewing machine" on the to-do list.

My friends mother was in town this week and she is an experienced seamstress so I asked her to take a look at my machine. Within ten minutes she had the thing working again. It turns out that it wasn't broken as I had believed but rather I had thread the bobbin backwards and if you do that the machine won't feed.

Now that the machine has been fixed I have been sewing with a vengeance. I got all of the boys blankets done and two of the girls' large blankets. It looks like I won't have any problem making the August 1st donation date. The pile pictured below is the finished blankets. There are 10 large blankets (at least 30x30) and 11 small blankets (at least 20x20).

Friday, June 30, 2006

I knew it all along

Westley / The Dread Pirate Roberts

Which Princess Bride Character are You?
this quiz was made by mysti

I saw a link to this on Jen's site and had to try it. I always knew in my heart that I was Wesley.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Living la Vida Loca

Okay I am still alive. I have been running around like crazy doing stuff for the dissertation data which has left me little time to blog. However, I have still been knitting. So here is an update on my progress on the ongoing projects.

Zach's Blankie

Zach's blankie is an aran knit pattern found in Knit Baby Blankets! from the Knit! series of books. I am using cotton (cotton tots) rather than the prescribed wool. I was a little nervous at first, however, I have made a lot of progress on this and am pretty happy with it. I am a mere 12 repetitions left from finishing it and hope to have it done by this weekend! Zach seems to like it as he chews on it every time I pull it out. I will have him model it when it is done so stay tuned.

Amazing lace shawl:
Okay so I fired my pattern. This is not the moment in my life when I need a pattern with 162 non repeating rows (not counting fringe). After about a dozen attempts at six inches that were supposed to look like flowers but instead looked like a unrelated series of loops I caved and gently packed the pattern away to be taken up at a later date (and I think with a heavier yarn). After browsing the net I have chosen to use the pattern I found on Yarn Harlot's website. The pattern is called snowdrop shawl and can be found here . I will take up the lacey charge once again soon!

Trekk with me socks:

The sad poor socks still sit in their cast on state waiting for attention....... I hope that they will get the attention they deserve soon :(

In other news:

Okay so I am bad. I said I would not start any more projects. MUST COMPLETE CURRENT PROJECTS. However, I was strolling through Wal-mart and found several things of abandoned $1.00 flannel. SOOOOO 42 yards of flannel later I have this

I will have this random pile of flannel (as well as 12 more yards not currently pictured) turned into

16 large blankets and 16 small blankets. Yep, yep I will

Dissertation (the final project). The good news of this month is that I have gotten my dissertation off the ground and I am 10% done with data collection! I think I am going to make myself a little progress bar for the side of my blog

Happy knitting and margaritas for all if you have read this far!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Cast on cast off..... the caster

That title works nicely if you add in the tune from the "The Clapper" commercial.

This post requires a bit of a back story. It all begins when Jamie and I snuck away from work to a local coffee house for some Bubble Tea (essentially a fruit smoothie with chewy tapioca balls.... don't judge it till you've tried it!) and some knitting. We were knitting (and purling) away discussing future projects we may do. Particularly, things in the Harry Potter realm. The conversation went a little something like this.....

Jamie: "I think I may try a Harry Potter sweater soon"

Me: "I cast one of those on"

Jamie: "and I still have that yarn for my Harry Potter scarf, I should make that"

Me: "I recently cast on a Harry Potter scarf"

Jamie: "Exactly how many things do you have cast on?"

Me: "ummmm..... a few"

(the above conversation was edited significantly in order to make it fit in this post. In truth our conversations are never this linear nor this boring). Suffice it to say that I admitted to having at least 7 things cast on. By the end of this conversation Jamie was chuckling anytime I said the words "cast on". She instructed me to go home and take a picture of all the things I had cast on currently. I told her I would do it after I got my shawl yarn so that I could cast on the one stitch it takes to start my shawl (which isn't exactly true now that I have switched patterns. However, I digress). So here it is, the obligatory post with picture of all the things I have currently cast on

In actuality I have 10 things cast on at the moment in this picture. They are (starting at the 12:00 position with the hot pink yarn and going clock wise)

1. Mittens for warm woolies (hot pink)
2. My second square for Papa's quilt (dark green wool in between hot pink and turquoise)
3. Fuzzy Feet (turquoise)
4. Felted bag (red next to turquoise)
5. Sweater for baby zach (Olive)
6. Baby blanket for baby Zach (beige and the only one that looks worked on)
7. Harry Potter sweater (dark brown)
8. Socks for Trek along with me (in between the dark brown and the yellow)
9. Harry Potter scarf in hufflepuff colors (yellow)
10. In the middle is the shawl with one cast on stitch (blue, and just for you Jamie!)

So there you have it. I am addicted to casting on it appears the only things I actually finish are things for the preemie project. Jamie asked me why I did this during our knitting adventure last week and I think that it is the promise of a new project. I love buying yarn and the optimism that comes with the cast on. It is the sweet moment before the crying, cursing, frogging, and frustration to come. Call me crazy. However, it is impossible to keep going on so many projects. Therefore I am currently limiting myself to 3 (Trek with me socks, amazing lace shawl, and blanket for baby Zach). I should probably also work on Papa's second square but I can't bring myself to do that right now.

I got 99 problems and my stash is one

I have bought a LOT of yarn in the last month....... below is a picture of part of what I have purchased.

My husband kindly informed me that marital distress would follow if I continued to keep my new yarn in the bags they came home in stashed precariously in the communal downstairs closet. Therefore in order to maintain some happiness in the home I took myself to the local discount store and purchased storage apparati (I think that should be the proper plural of apparatus). When all was said and done I think it turned out quite nicely.

The bag on the left is for my acrylic yarns that I use for the preemie project. It turns out that this was the bulk of my yarn. However, as it is also the bulk of my knitting it seemed appropriate. The shelves harness the stuff for my other projects and a few of my books (usually the ones that I have yarn at the ready to complete a project). Now I have a shiny happy hubby and a shiny happy knitting corner.

Confessions of an underage knitter

Okay no pictures today guys (although now that my scarf yarn is here I will get that post done for Jamie

I am not a child. In fact in a few short months I will be 28 and while I am not quite ready for the retirement home I am still NOT A CHILD. For the most part I tend to play well with others and am a polite person in public. So, how does this flagrant self-promotion fit into a post..... Let me tell you.

Today was an incredibly boring day spent in the public records office copying birth records. After completing my task I promised myself a side trip to my LYS. I pull up and bound in the door. First I stop to pet the Addi's (Addi's are a high maintenance needle they need lots of love) before moving on the the wool/alpacas for the petting and sniffing. While staring at the needles the proprietor comes up and asks me if I need help. I smile and say nope as a grab a cable needle from the wall (I am always loosing my cable needle). Another lady approaches the wall I move over and look for a size 10.5 circular, she looks at the Brittany straight cable holders and comments that her mother loves these. I laugh and say that I am far to clumsy to use them.... that I need a good hook or else my stitches are lost forever (slight dramatization done for comedic effect). The lady sitting at the table behind me knitting laughs and says "well maybe when you are a more experienced knitter like me you will be able to use them."

At this point I am intrigued. I have a friend who remarks that she hates it when people ask her what project she is working on and I think the feeling is very much the same visceral reaction I have to someone assuming that I am a novice because my hair is in a ponytail. I sit down and ask her how long she has been knitting. The answer: over ten years. So now I am angry. Yep, been there done that....... preffered crocheting when younger however as it was easier to manage in a car.
I didn't argue or fuss, rather I complimented her on her sweater and got up from the table. She then proceeded to tell me it was Alpaca and that some day when I was older I would be able to afford to work with luxury yarns and natural fibers. I excused myself and quickly left to pay. However, while in line I heard her raz the proprietor (who quietly confessed that she also needs a good hook) about her yarn selection.

There is no moral to this story. However, this happens to me relatively frequently. It is as if upon meeting me knitters must "put me through the paces" like a horse.

For those who know me you know that there must be an upside to this story and here it is. I met a person who knits for the preemie project. Her name was Catherine and she was nice and lovely! We talked hawkeye hats!!!!!!! Say it with me now people GO HAWKS!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

And She is Off

In the nick of time my team arrived for The Amazing Lace KAL !
It also appears that Frankly Knit has gone to the frills. Ignore the sounds of shrieking and the man who is crying "Oh the humanity!" in the background. Yes, you have heard it here first. The woman who prides herself on serviceable knit wear that never resembles the tea cozy you see at your crazy Aunt Edna's is making......... none other than a lacy shawl.

First a brief introduction to the team members. They posed for their photo by the keyboard where it all began. Together they will travel to the ends of the state of Iowa and beyond collecting dissertation data!

The knitter (aka mastermind): Ms Frankly Knit, known to people outside computer land as Christina has a slight arrogant propensity to making functional knitwear. She has been seen outside many a local coffee house talking about how form follows function. For those not interested in design this sounds like rabble and an excessive number of F words which may illicit the F bomb. Suffice it to say that art (and design) must have first, a purpose, and that it's design must fit that purpose. So what led to a shawl (possibly the least functional item of clothing) you may ask? It could be stress, it could be temporary insanity, it could be an extreme form of bereavement. Who knows? Will her current commitment to this project hold once it starts yielding it's flowery pattern? Will she make it through the somewhat complicated and as yet completely baffling chart while driving all over the state (and perhaps a few others) to collect dissertation data?

The yarn (aka the travel journal): The yarn is knitpicks Shimmer in the color Morning Mist. 70% Baby Alpaca 30% silk and lace weight. Four skeins arrived at the last minute and are currently getting wound and ready to go!

The Pattern (aka the map): The pattern is Field of flowers designed by Evelyn Clark for Fiber Trends. Theoretically it will yield a shawl that is a 57" square (if one knits to gauge!)

The needles (aka the vehicle): Trusty addi turbos size 6 40 cms long. Let's hope these babies have enough torque for the uphill driving!

Tune in next week for pictures of team shawl at my prospectus defense (aka the starting line!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Adios May Hola June

Well goodbye to the month of May. Sadly, this May brought more showers than April and very little in the way of flowers here. However, I did get several things finished to donate to the preemie project.

The two hats on the left went to the Iowa chapter and the two on the right went to the Michigan chapter. All in all a semi-productive month despite all that has been going on. I kept it simple most of the things were knitted using the pattern for Michelle's Hat and booties . I did however use a variety of yarns. The green solid (from an earlier post is made with Carron Simply soft (which I like a lot). The light yellow is made with red heart baby soft (which I am not at all fond of it seems really scratching). The yellow and white stripes are made with Bernat's self-striping yarn which I am very excited about.

I did try the pattern created by Wool Windings . It is pictured below

I really liked this pattern. However, I think the self-striping yarn obscures the pattern. I also tried to modify the pattern so that the twisting continued all the way to the top. Needless to say it didn't go well. I think I am close and will try again with some solid colored yarn soon!

Monday, May 29, 2006

A yarning we will go.....

Wishing everyone a pleasant Memorial Day. I haven't posted in a while. Let's just say that as the funeral wrapped up and I returned home I was overwhelmed with a case of the mean reds. I have still been knitting but it has been kind of slow lately.

My husband, in an attempt to snap me out of the mean reds, has been taking an active interest in the knitting. On Friday we were talking about Wool Windings' blog. In particular, I was explaining the concept of "yarning" to him. He apparently was inspired as this weekend he took me to beutiful historic Galena where we went yarning at a store called Fiber Wild.

The store was beautiful! Walls and walls of bins filled with every type of natural fiber I could think of. I NEED some bamboo yarn! To date I had logged many hours in the local Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's Fabrics, Ben Franklin, and yes the local Wal-Mart. In addition, I have spent countless hours staring at online fabrics. However, this was the first time I was turned loose to "pet" the yarns. It was blissful. I spent several hours walking around and touching things. The picture below is the bounty I brought home with me!

The proprieter was also really nice. She helped me work on my lace pattern for the Amazing Lace KAL. In addition, she encouraged me to try a sweater. So I bought a book which features sweater patterns for little ones and some yarn (the olive colored yarn in the picture) and am going to make a sweater for baby Zach. I also got some Trekking XXL for Trek Along with Me . The thing that I am most excited about however, is my very first set of Addi Turbo needles! They are a size 6 and 40 inches long. They are meant to host the triangle shawl that I am making for the amazing lace KAL! All in all I feel loved.

Friday, May 19, 2006

I'm shameless

Okay so the hubby got a new camera for father's day (a bit early). He has been taking pictures (mostly of our little ones). However, he is sad that noone has looked at his pictures on flikr. Therefore, this is a shameless plug to look at his pictures. It will make him very very happy!

His flikr name is mrwhit_52245.

or you can just follow this link

There done with my shameless plug!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Behold the power of caffiene

Okay, so sleep isn't forthcoming. However, this has allowed me to get a donation set for the preemie project done!I am excited about this project for many reasons. First, I learned how to pick up dropped stitches (properly) while knitting this set. Second, the booties are project spectrum compliant because they are GREEN. Third, I have discovered that I love Carron Simply Soft yarn. It is incredibly easy to work with and very soft. I took a picture of the booties and hat on the diet coke I drank last night to finish them.

Project: Michelle's hat and booties

Needle Size: 5 (double pointed)

Yarn: Carron Simply Soft in Sage

Made For: Preemie Project

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

When the going gets tough.....

The tough (or at least I) get knitting. For me this means that I finished a project I started a while ago. By a while I mean that I managed to have a child in the space of time that it took me to finish this project.

Project: Harry Potter Scarf (Gryffindor)

Yarn: Red Heart acrylic

Made for: Tracy

Missioned Accomplished

I have done it! I have taught myself to knit properly. Granted, it is as slow as molases and as frustrating as looking for your keys when you are late for work. But, I have finished an object, check it out!

Project: Three Cross Cloth

Yarn: Sugar n'Cream

Made for: Papa's Quilt

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

On proper knitting

I am a self taught knitter. Although (and perhaps because) I have been knitting a long time, I have never done so properly. Things have always been a little crooked, but I have alway shrugged and said good 'nuff and moved on.

However, I am currently in the midst of knitting something very important to me. Therefore, I am trying to teach myself the proper way to knit.

Let's just say that this endeavor has me about ready to rip out every strand of hair in my head!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I have a home!

Finally the muses have sung and I have been inspired enough to create a blog address that is more public! Welcome to my new home :)