Archive for March, 2008

My new favorite hat!

March 15, 2008

Pattern: Lace Hat #26 from Holiday 2007 Knit Simple (Ravelry link)

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease, Oxford Grey

Needles – Size 8 circs & dpns

(sorry about the not-so-good pictures – rain, bad lighting, operator error, etc)

I essentially finished this hat in ONE DAY, y’all. That never happens! I cast on for it last Friday night, and then sat on my couch, watched ten episodes of Sports Night, (which, by the way, is one of the best sitcoms ever and you should totally watch it) and knit and knit and knit and knit. Hubby was working, so I knit and watched tv to my hearts content – and it was wonderful! It was, as you may recall from my last post, the biggest snow we have had in forever, so it was a good day to do so. And we were going to a party that night (yes, we did make it) and I really wanted to have it finished by then. The pattern was totally easy, very intuitive, and super-pretty. The finished hat in the magazine did not have a ribbon, but did suggest threading one through the eyelets – I just happened to have some black velvet ribbon lying around, and tried it out, and really liked the results.

So I wore this hat to my party, and something unusual happened. All my friends, of course, know I knit. None of them do, but they’re all aware I do. One of them complimented my hat, and asked if I made it. I replied in the affirmative, and suddenly, I was getting showered in compliments! Even from the guys! And everyone was so impressed that I had made it with my own two hands! It was very gratifying to have something that I made complimented so nicely.

I also decided I should have matching fingerless mitts (or hobo gloves, as hubby calls them), so I cast on for one and finished it up last week:

I can’t post a pattern link, because I essentially made it up. I just knit some rows in the twisted rib, then several rounds in the double eyelet pattern, doing the EZ thumb trick after a while, then did a few more rounds of the twisted rib and cast off – totally easy. And, I’m a tiny bit impressed with myself for coming up with this without a pattern! Now I just need to not have SMS (Second Mitt Syndrome) and cast on for the second one!

Other projects are continuing as well – the Shetland Triangle lacks only the last repeat and the border before it is done (this picture is totally blurry and not very good, but I want to show progress!):

Each row seems like it’s taking forever now, of course, but I will finish up one day!

And, I broke my yarn fast again today – I went to Magpie Yarn to drop something off for the owner, and actually needed a second skein of Silky Wool (well, I only had one skein, and what good is that?), and of course got caught by the 40% off bin. I was almost seduced by some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, but I’ve heard that stuff pills like a mofo, so I went for three skeins of 1824 Cotton in a kind of slate blue. Have no idea what I’m going to make with it – I just couldn’t let it stay there! Any ideas?

I’m thinking about the Lace Ribbon Scarf in the new Knitty for the Silky Wool -it’s written for fingering weight, but I think it would be pretty in this yarn. There’s one on Ravelry already in Silky Wool, and it’s very pretty.  Mine is navy blue, which I think would look great in this pattern.  Hey – it’s not a hat!  I need more things that are not hats!

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Chinese Buffet of Doooooom…

March 10, 2008

I don’t know why, but I love the Chinese buffet. Give me rows of shiny, lukewarm, mediocre Chinese food and I’m as happy as a clam. Or a shrimp – which I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in tonight. Yes, tonight hubby and I went to the #1 China Buffet – the source of my current discomfort. I am soooooooo full – why do I do this to myself? Every time we go, I tell myself not to fill up so much – have one less crab rangoon, three or four fewer Chinese donuts (oh, man, I love those things – I dump a couple extra sugar packets on them) – but I cannot do it.

And I always eat the same things in the same order. First platefull is the appetizer-type food – and the stuff I eat the most of. Crab rangoon, fried shrimp, sweet and sour chicken (without that red sauce, though), something our buffet calls “Rainbow Cheese” but I always call “Rainbow Fish” because of the kids book by Marcus Pfister (seriously, how they came up with this name, I don’t know – it appears to be primarily made of imitation crab, butter, and cream cheese), home fries (no, I don’t know why the Chinese buffet has home fries, but they are mighty tasty) and frog legs, if they have them, which they don’t always. And I have to have my special dipping sauce -2 parts duck sauce, 1 part spicy mustard, dash of soy sauce.

Then, I hit the main foods table – a bit of veggie lo mein, some steamed rice with mushrooms and oyster sauce, a dumpling, and usually some random chicken thing. And one piece of sushi, so I can convince myself again that Chinese buffet sushi is not good.

Then it’s time for dessert – and that’s all about Chinese donuts. Fried dough with sugar – how can you go wrong? Well, maybe by eating three of them…

Seriously, I feel like a beached whale…and soooooo thirsty. Perhaps from all that soy sauce, I don’t know.

We did make it to our party last night, despite the fact that hubby kept telling me we were taking our life into our own hands going out on the icy roads. Fortunately, the main roads were just fine, and nowhere was as bad as our own street. It just got plowed this morning. Of course, the temperature went up to over 40 degrees, so it’s practically all melted now.

And, I finished my lace hat – it is so cute, y’all. No pictures yet, but I’ll show and tell next time. I’m right now trying to make up some matching wrist warmers – wish me luck!

Snowed in!

March 8, 2008

Well, not really – but when I got up this morning, it looked like this:

Kind of ironic, since my last post was all about it maybe being spring! I knew, however, that it wouldn’t last – we ALWAYS get a few super-warm days then a real cold stretch in March. Last year, it actually came later – more like April, right after our dogwood (the tree in the foreground of the picture above) started to bloom. And of course, the freeze killed every single bud. I was so sad – I love that dogwood – it’s a pink one, and just gorgeous when it is in bloom:

So you can see why I missed it!

It’s not like the snow was a surprise this morning – the weather folks had been telling us for days that we might get dumped on. It was actually kind of funny, because they couldn’t say with any certainty whether we were going to get snow or just rain – and they were so frustrated! But by last night, we knew it was going to hit – they were predicting 6-10 inches of snow – which, let me tell you, is unheard of around these parts. We haven’t had that much snow in 10 years. I don’t think we have 6 inches yet, but it’s still snowing.

I spent the morning playing with the dogs in the snow – I don’t know if all dogs love snow, but mine sure do –

I took dozens of pictures, but most looked more like this:

…because they wouldn’t stay put! Apparently while chasing each other around the yard is always fun, chasing each other in the snow is waaaaaay fun. They are too much fun to watch – one of the true joys of snowfall!

The snow last night made me itchy to cast on a new project – not like I don’t have enough already. My first attempt were some Mitered Mittens (Ravelry link) – the may pattern from EZ’s Knitters Almanac. Not so good – I didn’t swatch – just cast on with some Wool-Ease I had laying around the house, then started the stripes with some random Wool of the Andes. Not only were they huuuuuge (they totally would have fit Sasquatch), the WotA is evidently a bit lighter than Wool-Ease. Who knew? So I frogged those, and started a lace hat (Ravelry link) from the Holiday 07 Knit Simple in the Wool-Ease.

Not much to look at so far, but I’ve actually worked a little beyond this now. I’m really enjoying this pattern – the lace pattern is totally simple – I had it memorized before I got to the end of the first round, and out of four rows, only one is patterned. Plus, the ribbing is twisted rib, which I’ve never used before, and I’m now totally in love with. My 1×1 ribbing always looks a little wonky and sloppy for some reason – but this twisted rib looks nice and crisp. I may sub it for 1×1 from here on out!

I guess I should have known I wasn’t done with hats – hopefully I can get this one finished while it’s still cold!

We are supposed to go to a birthday party tonight, but don’t know if we will make it out – depends on how the road conditions are. While I really want to go to the party, I have to say sitting home and knitting and maybe watching a movie doesn’t sound too awful, either!

Speaking of movies, I caught part of Grease 2 on Bravo today. I have no idea why, but I LOVED this movie when I was a kid. Way better than the first Grease. And I had a monstrous crush on Maxwell Caulfield. Anyway, I hadn’t seen it in years, so I decided to watch a bit. I checked in on it occasionally, between checking email, letting the dogs out, etc. And let me tell you, this movie is bad. I knew it wasn’t a good movie, but jeez. Memory is way kinder than reality! But, I have to say, it’s that good kind of bad – I totally enjoyed it and kind of revelled in its badness. The cheesy songs, the bad acting, the terrible dialogue – you just have to give over to it and enjoy the ride.

One more thing – I’m so glad daylight savings time ends this weekend! I hate it getting dark so early – I don’t usually get home before six, and in the winter, it’s already dark by then. I’d much rather walk the dogs in the light, thank you very much! But this weekend, with the time change, we’ll have til about 7:30 – yay! Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead!

Spring?

March 3, 2008

I have no new knitting to report on – no new projects, no new FOs – all is (unsurprisingly) the same as it was when I posted yesterday

Except…

It was 64 degrees and sunny today!!! I may have not communicated this thus far, but I HATE winter. A lot. Despite my love for wearing handknit items – which can primarily only be worn in the winter – I despise the cold weather. I think it’s because in the winter, I’m pretty much never warm. Until I get in bed at night and turn the electric blanket on high (seriously, every night) I am cold from the minute I wake up until I get back in bed.

There are multiple factors at work here – one, our house is not super warm – we keep the thermostat set fairly low to save energy and to help lower our gas bill (our budget payment is already almost $100 a month) and the room we spend most of our time in, the den, is in an unheated addition. We have an open floor plan and use space heaters, so it’s not too bad, but it never gets much above about 67 degrees in there. My work is kind of cold, too – I use a space heater there as well, but it’s still sweater-and-Fetching type environment.

Plus, here is my own, totally non-scientific, medically based theory about why I’m so damn cold all the time. I think my internal thermostat is off. Here’s the thing – normal body temperature is what, 98.6? Mine is more like 96.8. So I’m already at a two degree disadvantage in the whole thing. Plus, I always have to convince doctors that when the thermometer reads what they thing is “normal,” I actually have a fever. I don’t know if this really has anything to do with why I’m cold all the time or not – but it kind of makes sense to me!

Anyway, temperature related rant to the side, it was a GORGEOUS day here – I thought it was going to rain all day, but it cleared up in the afternoon, and Bobby and I took the doggies for a walk in the arboretum. Apparently everyone in town had that idea because it was PACKED – but still lots of fun. The dogs loved it – I have no pics from today, but here’s a completely gratuitous adorable dog shot:

That’s the only shot I have on my computer of Petey and Ruby together! It’s from when Ruby tore her toenail off and had to wear a bandage for a few days. It’s funny, in this picture they look about the same size, but Petey is over twice Ruby’s size.

Wow, this was an awfully rambling, random post!

Get Lost

March 1, 2008

I have a FO! Yep, another hat:

Pattern: Robin’s Egg Blue Hat by Rachel Iufer

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Mega

Mods: Cast on 10 fewer stitches to account for the bulkier yarn used, started decreases on flap immediately rather than working three rows first, and started decreasing at the crown at 5.5 inches doing k4, k2tog.

I’m pretty happy with this hat – it is way warm! My gauge is supertight – I used size 10 needles and the ball band calls for 15s.

I also got my Knitpicks order in for My First Sweater ™ and I’m swatching for that:

I’m having a hard time getting gauge with this yarn. The gauge listed on the ball band matches the pattern requirements, but I can’t seem to get there. Gauge for the pattern is 3.25 stitches per inch – using size 11 needles, I can get to 3.5 stitches per inch, but the resulting fabric just seems to loose to me. I’m a very tight knitter – I always have to go up at least one and usually two needle sizes to get gauge, so maybe what looks “loose” to me is actually normal. I was planning on making the 37 inch (medium) size, but if I do it on the 11s, it will be more like a 34.5 – which is closer to my actual measurements, but I’m not sure if I want it that close fitting. More swatching is probably in order, and I may just have to cast on, knit some, and try it on before I know.

Now for the non-knitting content…

OK, so I’m a Lost fan. I didn’t watch it quite from the beginning – we watch almost no tv, so committing to watching a show is kind of a big deal around our household. After the first season was over, I convinced hubby to watch the first couple of episodes in repeats, and we both got hooked. Bought the first season on DVD, and have watched all successive seasons. I’m still a fan, but hubby has been kind of losing the faith lately. I’ll agree – last season – not so great. This season has been good, but not great – hubby was convinced they had jumped the shark – I wasn’t yet, but I had been starting to wonder if the glory days were gone. I think he is just watching it to make me happy, really. After the killer season finale last year (me – watching the big reveal: jump off the couch and yell – “They’re in the future?????”), the show just didn’t seem to be living up to that promise.

Until last night – that was a KILLER episode. Totally intense, edge of your seat stuff – and totally romantic, too. If you didn’t get at least a tiny bit emotional when Desmond finally got ahold of Penny – well, then you have a heart of stone. Hubby said if all the episodes were that good, he would be totally into it again. Well, here’s hoping!