Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pretty Is As Pretty Does

Let us start with the pretties....

I've had a couple of good mail days this week. First, I give you the most awesome interchangeable needle case in the world! This was designed and made by Zonda. Isn't the fabric happy?? Inside are little slots for all my needle tips and for the cables. There's a pocket to store notions like the end caps and tightening screws for the needles. This fits into my knitting bag wonderfully when folded.

Second, I swapped away my Denise needle kit and got this wonderful yarn instead. The one on the left we have a ball of Handmaiden Sea Silk in Lily Pond, and on the right is some lace weight wool (not sure of the brand) in the color Velvet Grapes. I think I'm in love.

My Tomato sweater is coming along nicely. I am so in love with the pattern and with the Blue Sky cotton yarn. I've never really done any color work before, and it was easier than I anticipated. The top photo shows progress to date. The colors are rather true on that photo but not on the detail photos. I'm planning to make the sleeves a bit longer than the pattern calls for--just above the elbow length.

Oh, other great news this week is that I got my Ravelry invite!! I'd been sort of hanging out and ignoring the whole thing after signing up, but it's exciting to be in. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. Now, I need to get to work and get a photo for my profile, post pictures of FOs and stash, etc. etc. If you are still waiting, it took me about a month to get my invitation, and YES, it is worth the wait.

Now for the not so pretty...

Daughter and I started aerobics classes this week, and my body is screaming! I hurt in places I'd forgotten I had. That's not pretty. Hopefully the effort will pay off in prettier, healthier bodies for both of us!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Mostly Good Stuff

I read something upsetting on line last night, and I want to tell you about it. Annie Modesitt's husband Gerry has multiple myeloma. I can only imagine for Annie and Gerry how frightening of a time this is. The good part of this is that we out here in blogland can do a little something to help them out through this. Annie is offering up a gorgeous pattern called Red Carpet Convertible for a small donation. I think that's pretty cool. Donations received will go to help out with expenses associated with Gerry's medical care--getting back and forth to the doctors, that kind of thing. You can find out more on Annie's blog. I don't know Annie and Gerry personally, but as a wife and mom and a fellow knitter, I feel a sort of kinship with her. I know that if I were in her shoes, it would be nice to know that people out there care. If you're not into the pattern and donation bit, I imagine that some good thoughts and prayers would be most appreciated, too. Annie didn't ask me to post this. I just felt that I had to get the word out.

Yes, I did tempt the knitting gods by failing to swatch, and boy were they pissed! I re-started Tomato yesterday with a size smaller needle, and it looks like the gauge is going to be just fine now. This whole starting over wasn't a bad thing, as it has given me the opportunity to slip the edge stitches on the upper body section. I like the cleaner looking edge and think it will be easier to pick up the neck ribbing stitches now. So, all was not lost!

In good family news, daughter has been offered a job. She's been working as a CIT (that's counselor in training) at her school's summer camp for the past two years. Next year, she's old enough (age 15) to be hired as a counselor. The camp director told daughter yesterday that she wants to hire her next year. It's amazing to think of my child as gainfully employed. She's great with kids, and the younger ones especially seem to love her.

I haven't mentioned it yet, but daughter is going to be a cheerleader next year for her high school soccer and basketball teams. She's excited. This is her first attempt at cheerleading, and so far so good. The girls are practicing this summer, and daughter is learning a lot. I've met a lot of the girls on the squad, and they seem really nice. Daughter has tried sports in middle school (volleyball and soccer) but those just are not her things. We want her to be active in extracurriculars, but they have to be things she enjoys doing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Swatches

Huh. The no swatching thing has bitten me in the butt. My 'mater has become two balls of hot pink yarn once again, because I was too cocky to a. swatch or b. at least check the gauge of the knitting in progress until late in the game. The gauge is supposed to be 18 stitches to 4 inches on a US 7, and I consistently achieved 16 stitches to 4 inches. At least I was consistent, and I managed not to cry while I ripped out two days of knitting. Oh well. The yarn was expensive, and I want this thing to be gorgeous and fit well, ya know?? I'll spare you a "progress" photo of my two balls of yarn.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Finally--Knitting Content with Photos

I've been knitting! Whoo!! Several months ago, I bought one skein of hot pink Blue Sky Alpaca cotton. It has been sitting in the stash gathering dust with no hope of a project on the horizon. I decided to buy the remaining skeins of this color from my LYS (same dye lot) so that I'd have enough for a project. The gals at Knitty came through in helping me find the perfect pattern--Tomato from No Sheep for You. I started the pattern on Friday, and as of last night, here I am:

I don't care for progress photos. They usually look rather messy. At least you can get an idea of the color from this shot. It's pretty true to life. I'm going to use white for the herringbone band on my Tomato. Turtlegirl has a photo of her gorgeous Tomato here.

I had to buy more beads for my MS3 project, and the bead store just happens to be next door to where the old LYS in town moved a couple of years ago. I must admit that I've avoided going to the old LYS since their relocation because they weren't fabulous in their former location. Wow. What a difference a move and a couple of years makes. I was very impressed with the new space and the much improved stock. I snagged a ball of Tofutsies sock yarn. They had a bunch of other neat looking cotton yarn, my favorite Crystal Palace circulars, and other things I'll need to go back and check out.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Now Where Did I Put My Knitting Motivation?

I cannot seem to find my knitting motivation. I really want to make this and something out of this (Tomato). I've got this and this in progress. Yesterday, I signed up for the Mystery Stole 3 KAL. I'd better find that motivation quickly!

I have a case of summer doldrums combined with a trip to the library! I'm feeling lazy, and I have gotten a number of great books to read. I'm currently half way through The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. This one was recommended to me by a 14 year old, and it's great! Maybe once I get done with it, I'll move on to some knitting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Interchangeable Needle Kits for Sale

I am trying to thin the stash a bit, starting with two interchangeable needle kits. First up is a nearly new set of Denise Interchangeable Needles plus an additional 40 inch cord. After buying these, I realized that I don't like plastic needles, so they've not been used much at all. The case and instruction leaflet are also included. I'm asking $40 plus shipping for the needles. Paypal payment is prefered.

I also have a set of Boye Interchangeable Needles. They are great needles, but I just have not used them as often as I thought I would. They are in brand new condition and include the case and the cardboard cutout instructions from the packaging. I'm asking $40 plus shipping for this set as well. Paypal payment is prefered.

If you are interested in either set of needles, please e-mail me at donna.knits at gmail dot com.

If you happen to have a set of Knitpicks needles with the case that you would consider swapping for either set of needles, lets talk! I would swap either set plus some additional yarn or spinning fiber for your Knitpicks Options set.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thinking About Knitting

I've been thinking about knitting more than I've actually been knitting recently. I'm plodding along on rounds and rounds of boring stockinette for the Green Gable. The progress photo was rather horrible, so I'm not going to post it. I also cannot find daughter's footies to photograph. If you saw her room, you'd understand why I can't find them!

Our LYS had patterns and magazines on sale 25% off this weekend. I picked up a few good patterns--Ginny's Cardigan, Oat Couture's Curlicue Coverlet, and Penny Straker's Owl Cable Cardigan for kids. There is another owl pattern for babies, and it includes a hat. I'm going back to look for that one today!

I also picked up 4 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca cotton in hot pink to go with one I bought a few months ago. I was going to make something for daughter out of it, but now I'm tempted to buy the last three remaining skeins at our LYS and make myself something! That would give me a total of 8 skeins and 1200 yards.

The new Knitty is up. Again, as with previous months, I'm kind of "meh" about this issue. There's just not a lot of variety as far as I'm concerned. It's rather sock heavy! I do really like Tangering Twist and am going to give it a try in some red SWTC bamboo that I have in my stash. Sohpie would be a cute yet simplistic top if it weren't for that split neck thing going on. That's just a little too over the top for me. It's probably best if I leave Unmentionables, well, unmentioned. Just go look for yourself.

I didn't tell you that we've had a visitor show up at the door recently. was at the front door last Sunday evening and around at the sun room entrance last night. I am almost positive it's the same visitor. I'm really not too keen on here. Don't click if you are afraid of snakes. Our visitor is the gray rat snake, and it looks to be about 5 feet long.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Pomp and Circumstance(s)

As of June 1, I am officially the mother of a high schooler. Daughter has graduated from 8th grade. They had a nice ceremony at school, and the children....umm...young adults....looked wonderful. I've known a lot of these kids since they were 5 years old. My, how time flies. Daughter received recognition for having been at the school since Kindergarten, but more importantly, she received a certificate for making honor roll again this year. Here's a photo of her receiving an award from one of her teachers.

I'm relieved that daughter will not be going to a big public high school. She's been in the same private school for the past 9 years, and she will finish out her high school years at the same place. That was a big part in our decision to send her to this school--it covers all grade levels.

To celebrate daughter's graduation and the official start of summer break, we headed out to the beach for a long weekend. Well, you can't always predict the weather, so this is what we saw on the beach.

Yes, people are wearing jackets and long pants. There were some brave souls in the water, but I am convinced they were either Eskimos or Canadian. It was raining, too. Did I mention that? And it was horribly blustery. I am talking sand blast yourself when you walk down the beach blustery. Look at the poor life guard!

So how do you salvage a weekend like this? You can bring yourself a smile by making new friends.

You can watch movies like Footloose and Rent. You can also knit. We did all of the above!

I knit a pair of footies for daughter using Cascade Fixation. She loves them, and that is why there is not a picture of them here. I think they are hidden away somewhere in her room. I also continued to knit along on my Green Gable. I'll try to get photos up over the weekend.

We had to leave the beach and return home on Sunday afternoon, and of course, the sun came out as we pulled out of the parking lot. Fortunately, there are still several weeks of summer left ahead of us and ample opportunity to get back to the coast.