Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mario brothers go to the vet

Mario and Luigi went on a trip to the vet today for their yearly check up.

Mario is a little over 11 pounds
Luigi is a little over 10 pounds

Both have been declared perfectly healthy and in great physical shape.

The vet did much cooing over how handsome and sweet they are. She said she HAD to get pictures of them and put quite a bit of work into trying to capture a picture of Mario who wasn't cooperating. He just isn't a ham like Luigi, who promptly posed for her.

I haven't done much knitting lately. I've barely worked on my Dad's IHS at all. I really need to get back on it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

pr0n day at last!

The sun has been hiding behind clouds and rain drops this week. I was worried it would be difficult to get a good yarn pr0n picture, but it worked out just fine.

This is wool of the andes in hollyberry.
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Yesterday the boyfriend had to get his wisdom teeth removed and he needed someone to take him because he wasn't allowed to drive afterwards. I took him to the appointment and sat in the waiting room knitting. Suddenly the lady working the front desk asked about my knitting. I came over and showed it to her, and she was very impressed. She couldn't believe I taught myself. I told her knitting really wasn't that difficult and that I learned from free online videos. She was absolutely fascinated so I gave her the web address for Knitting Help. She decided to go ahead and check the site out right away instead of waiting until she got home. I warned her that knitting was addicting but I think my warning came too late. hehe

The IHS has reached the original suggested pattern length of 55 inches, and it definitely needs to be longer. I was hoping that once I actually reached that length it would magically be “long enough”, but that wasn’t the case. I'll just keep working on it until it looks done.

ETA: I'm sorry about this being posted so late today. Blogger has been being a brat and wouldn't publish my post. Gah

Monday, October 16, 2006

Trial by fire

As a new knitter I have found the most scary thing is to make a mistake that you don't know how to fix yet. In the past week I've run into several problems that I've had to fix. The first two really stressed me out, but over all I guess it was good for my growth as a knitter.

Problem number one:
I got the bright idea to put my knitting down in the middle of a row and ignore it for over 15 minutes. In the past I have always finished a row before setting down whatever I was working on. Later I picked it up and started knitting again only to realize my stitches looked horribly wrong. Oh no!

Did stitches jump off my needle while I was gone?
Are these those twisted stitches I've heard about?

I fiddled with it for about ten minutes tinking back and re knitting only to reproduce the same problem every time. In my panic I just wasn't thinking straight so I took over cooking dinner so that I'd have to think about something else for awhile. In the middle of cooking I realized what I had done.

I had forgotten if I was on a right or wrong side and had turned my work in the middle of a row.

Lesson learned: Whatever needle has the yarn tail hanging off of it is the one that goes in your right hand.

Problem number two:
While talking with friends and knitting I got distracted and threw in a random cable twist much too early. I tried to tink back but dropped stitches right at the twist, and they slipped away before I could catch them. I know there are directions for picking up dropped stitches, but I didn’t have a crochet hook.

I rashly yanked my needle out before I remembered my fear of frogging and needle reinsertion. This resulted in panic. I had visions of the whole scarf unraveling before my eyes. I rushed to a computer so I could watch a video on needle reinsertion that can be found at Knitting Help. It took me several tries but I finally got my needle reinserted.

Then I had to watch the video on twisted stitches, so I could tell if mine were twisted or not. Every single knit stitch was twisted, so as I knit I had to un twist them.

Lesson learned: How to reinsert and recognize twisted stitches.

Problem three:
There was a messed up bit of yarn in one of my skeins, it was less than a centimeter long. I just kept on knitting and it ended up at the back of the work, so I decided not to mess with it. Later it worked its self to the front of the work and it was a very obvious eye sore. I had to rip out several rows to get to it.

Now what to do about this bit of yarn? I was close to the end of my skein, but there were still a few rows left after the messed up bit. With only that small amount left it seemed silly to use the knit in join I have been using, but I didn't want to waste the yarn.

I tried felted join the first time I was going to have to add new skein to my IHS and it failed miserably. It looked nice but when I tugged on the yarn it snapped. I tried it again this time fraying the ends at least an inch and I rubbed it between my palms for longer. I noticed the yarn looked a bit more thin in the join area than else where so I was a bit worried, but I tugged really hard on it a few times and there was no snapping. Now I just need to decide if I want to trust it or not. It feels a bit risky to me because of that first felted join experience.

Lesson learned: Don't trust the messed up bit of yarn to stay at the back of your work. Save yourself some time and cut it out now.

HIS Progress: Today is my projected finishing day. I don’t think it is quite long enough yet. I’m a little bit behind schedule, but even if I wasn’t I still think it would be too short. We’ll see when I get there I guess.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Yarn pr0n and kitten cuteness

Nature Spun worsted weight wool in the color Nordic Blue
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Napping kittens
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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

It has grown

The irish hiking scarf is progressing nicely. I love how it looks with the leaves. It is such a wonderful match with all the fall foliage that is beginning to show up here in Kentucky.

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I'm on my third skein of yarn, and am only one twist behind! I hope to fix that today. ;)

I've also been working on adding the beads and fringe to my niece’s scarf, and I'll get pictures of that when its done. I think the beads look really cute.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pr0n - Does Size Really Matter?

Well it matters to this big cone of Mystery Yarn!
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I inherited this big cone of yarn from my mom, who for some unknown reason bought it at goodwill several years ago. I have no clue what type of yarn it is or where it originally came from, even google has failed me. The inside sticker reads:

Trio Manufacturing Inc

And now its time for his close up!
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Monday, October 02, 2006

A blue work weekend

I hope every ones weekend went well! I had an enjoyable one that consisted of visiting a winery for a wine tasting and lunch, cute socks, and much crafting.

I collect socks and haven't owned a plain white pair for about six years now. I will soon own a pair of plain white knee highs, but I have decided they won't count. Knee highs aren't exactly plain, right? Anyway when I got home to Louisville I discovered my mom got me these cool socks:
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Much of my crafting didn't involve knitting, but instead a rag or fringe quilt that I'm making for my boyfriend D. Its a nice little activity I can do with my mom who is a long time sewer. Later this year she wants to try knitting again, and we are both going to make a scarf for the Red Scarf Project. This weekend I got all the pieces for the quilt sandwiched together with their X's sewn onto them. I can start piecing them together next time I work on it.
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The redish fabric at the top has clusters of little drawn stars, like kids would draw them. It is a very fun fabric and makes me happy every time I see it. He is going to be an elementary school teacher so I think it fits in well. ;)

I worked a little on my basket weave scarf and did some thinking about it. I'm not happy with it as it is. It has a lot of air space between the stitches, and its just not a nicely knit as the things I'm doing now. I also think it might be a bit too wide. Here is what it looked like:
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I ripped it all out this weekend and I'm going to restart it and use size 7 needles rather than the size 8.

My Dad's IHS is moving along nicely. I am on schedule so far! I had to start a new skein this weekend - my first time ever having to do this. The idea of having to was a bit intimidating but it went well. My Sister in law saw it and loved it, and wants one too. She said she'd like hers to be in grey or black, to match her new winter coat.