Thursday, July 28, 2005

Has it really been over a week?

Wow. Time flies when you are Stressed/Having a fabulous mini-vacation/Then stressed again.

To recap in brief:
Last week, we had internal auditors at the office, going over all of my 404 documentation, looking for undotted i's and crossless t's. The verdict is not yet in, but I think I did ok.

Then, to blow off a bit of steam, this past weekend I went to visit the lovely Ann in Long Island. Ann is not only funny and sassy and cool, but she is also an amazing hostess with a beautiful house AND home. I also got some quality hang-by-the-pool time with two other NY bloggers. Good times! I will post a little travelogue soon. In the meantime, check out the great pictures on their sites.

And this week I have been in the last session of an intense test prep course. You techies out there are probably familiar with boot camps and whatnot... This is similar, but it takes seven days over three months. Now I have to apply for the exam and hope that sometime in September I will be able to add a couple of letters to my name. The application will take much of today to complete... They don't make it easy!

I have recently acquired some more freakin yarn, and am hoarding it at work in true junkie-style. ("If I don't take it home, it doesn't count.") But I am also rounding the horn on the third piece of Dolman.

I was a bit waylaid on my MIL2B socks over the weekend when I discovered that the size 2s that were perfect for the cuff lace were creating a humongous heel and foot. Ann and I stopped in at Granny's for some AddiT 1s, but horror of horrors: they were clean out. What would you have done?
  1. Bought the Susan Bates size 1s - I only need to worry about the joins twice each row, right?

  2. Bought a bag of the Noro that Granny just got in and start a multi directional scarf - Screw the socks 'til I get home.

  3. Leave the store empty handed - Didn't you bring a whole sweater? Hello, short-attention-span-theater, can't you work on that?

  4. Bought sock yarn that would work with the 2s and put the MIL2B sock on holders til I get home.

Answer tomorrow and hopefully some pictures.

EDITED: I just saw the comments on the last post. Y'all are crackin' me up. For the number two poll, where do you think I would rather be (than sitting back at my desk after almost a week off): Buried in Ann's backyard (it is quite lovely with the deck and the hammock and the pool); or still on the nude beach (assuming I had gotten there at all and had an unlimited supply of sunblock)?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Gettin' outta Dodge

Heatwave. Auditors. First session with a Personal Trainer who says things like "Now, this will hurt tomorrow, but I know you can do it." (BTW, he was totally right. I hurt. Allover.)

Is it any wonder the blog has suffered?

But, I am getting out of town! Friday morning I am traipsing off like I haven't a care in the world to visit Ann in NY! At Spa d'Swine we may indulge in super intense yoga classes, contact pedicures, and just maybe pop some wheelies.

I hope I remember to take pictures!

Tonight is best-ever Knitty-Meetup. My plan is to finish up the second side of my Dolman sweater and maybe start the heel on MIL2B's sock.

Monday, July 18, 2005

The weekend in pictures

Stash buster baby hat and booties: DONE!

Dolman side one, finished. Side two, on track.

I was hating the alpaca, so I finished up a wee skein. Life is too short, you know? I need prettier, less slippery fiber, I think.

Tee-tiniest skein ever (in Sweet Baboo's statuesque paw).

Friday, July 15, 2005

super hi-N-R-G!!!

Warning: Totally spastic post ahead, because first: It's Friday! Woo! And second: I had this sample all natural "energy" drink and now, I am completely WIRED!

[deep breaths]

OK. First, check this out! Cher is documenting her stash! She says she can give me a serious run for my money (yay, Cher!).

Also on the subject of work ('cause Cher works for the same company that I do), here is a lil moment from the SUPER FUN mid-mid knitty meetup on Wednesday:

Me: Today was great 'cause it was "Cookie Wednesday" and the Meat team was having a big ole' MEATing at the office and they were grilling. MMM! Cookies! BBQ!
Amy (who is new to our little meetup group): Um. Where do you work? Cause at my office? No "meat team."

NOTE: I work in one of several head offices of a "Natural Grocery" chain. (mmmm. Double chocolate chips! Grilled chicken sausage!)

And speaking of the super-fun-mid-mid-knitty-meetup, here's the breakdown:

  • Sarah - Safe and sound, back from the Panamanian jungles (not so you'd know it from her BLOG tho' - hint hint) was working on a LOVELY Suede-ish sweater from the Loop-D-Loop book. Looks like suede, but strong!
  • Paula - Totally kicking Lara's ass in the Rogue race. And she says that she and K8 are about to do more dying. More!? My poor willpower can't take it...
  • Lara - I dunno if what she is knitting is a surprise or not. But it is super cute! Have you heard about her new gig? Congrats on the dream job!
  • Amy - So glad I got to meet the funny and charming Amy! She is working on a gorgeous shell in Cotton Fleece. I hope she gets it done (and photographed) before her vacation, cause I know it will be super-fly on the beach. (Check out that great beach bag!)

I have completely forgotton something else I was going to mention. Completely and utterly. Except, man! I could go for some pancakes...

Anyway. Currently there are two items on the needles at Chez small hands. One is my bus-subway-plane-train knitting:

This is sock cuff #1 from the Cascading Leaves pattern (Jeannie Townsend).

Side 1 (right, back) of the Dolman, Updated.

The sweater made too much progress last night at Panera, where Linda and I both reached Escape Velocity from our endless fields of stockinette. She finished the back of a fantastic tank, and I had to rip back four rows because I overshot the beginning of the sleeve. I did end up getting the whole sleeve cast on - 77 stitches, incrementally.

Linda has really taken to spinning and recently had a great spinnning adventure. It got me all inspired to get back to working my Rhinebeck stash from last year. Maybe I will have some new fiber to post next week!

Until then, have a funFunFUN weekend, and just say no to N-R-G drinks.

[Edited to add: Of course, now I remember what else I wanted to say! Thank you to everyone who left comments on the Candle Wrap! I seem to have hit a very productive knitting groove lately, and all of your encouragement is helping me stay there.]

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Lights, Camera, ACTION!

Sorry, I was having a bad head day. (Also, that faint little blur on the left of the pic? Totally a lightening bug! How cool is that? - Said the girl who grew up completely sans lightening bugs.)

We may have small hands around here, but we have honkin' huge tattoos! Click for big.

Here's the "half-Claudia."

Pattern: "Featherweight Fantasy" from Shawls and Scarves: Best of Knitter's Magazine
Yarn: "Shiny" from Woolarina. Two skeins (at ~220yds each) almost completely used up.
Needles: US 10.5 (Susan Bates, aluminum straights)
Mods: The only thing I changed was the knotting on the fringe. I liked it better as a single knot.
Notes: This baby knit up quickly. But not altogether easily. I thought big needles and big yarn (well, lt. worsted/dk) would make for a great beginner project. However there are a couple of factors that contributed, not to frustration, but to unnecessary rework on my part.

First, there is no horizontal repeat in the pattern, so stitch markers (my very best knitting buddies) are not useful.

Second, the pattern doesn't include stitch counts per row, so it isn't easy to find mistakes unless you are able to "read" your knitting (I guess I am now spoiled after the Fiddlesticks pattern to expect such things). The chart helps the conscientious knitter avoid errors, in that you can see how the lace is supposed to look, but really there oughta be a law that all patterns should include a close up photo of one full repeat.

I started this wrap before I finished the Lotus shawl, but I had a terrible time with the first few rows. I would knit one, rip one. After Lotus, I felt a bit more competent about reading the knitting, and when I picked this back up I did much better. I did have to rip back a very large chunk, but that was due to negligence and not trusting my spidey senses (I knew that k2tog seemed wrong when I knit it, but I barreled ahead anyway).

All in all, I am very pleased with the result, but I would cautiously recommend it as a first project for the lace newbie. If you want to practice reading charts and your knitting, it would be fantastic.

As an aside, I would highly recommend the Woolarina for small projects! The yarn bled not a bit, and there is no line that I can see where one skein ends and the other starts. I find that very admirable for such small scale production!


A bit of housekeeping

I was totally remiss, when I posted my little baby hat, and failed to credit the designer. (Thank you for the reminder, Kathy!)

I used Kerrie's pattern here. (I have some orange and black Debbie Bliss Cotton DK that just might become a little tiger hat, too. Rowr!)

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Almost FO (part two)

I swear, I am not intentionally drawing this out, but there are only so many hours in the day.

Here is the Candle Wrap blocking:

Click for view 2.

And a full-frontal of the lace pattern:

I was very impressed with the lack of bleeding that the Woolarina exhibited in the wash (with Euclan, even). Now, if only I could justify those three blue skeins of the Super Soft... [edited: never mind, someone already has a skein of it on hold.]

Tonight I will be adding the fringe and hopefully getting an action shot.

In the meantime, I have cast on for the Dolman Updated (IK Winter 03 Cover) in Patons Classic Wool. I am hoping to take this with me to Alaska!

Monday, July 11, 2005

[...cue suspense theme...]

The pictures are terrible, because they were taken late last night and I was tired.

Tonight - blocking!

Friday, July 08, 2005

FO alert...

The Bijoux Sweater is finished! And, it fits!

The triumphant "Rachael"

Pattern - Oat Couture's Bijoux Blouse
Pattern Source - Herrschner's (but you can find it allll over)
Yarn - Lion Brand Jiffy in Black
Mods - Intentionally, none. However, the yarn is fuzzy and hard to swatch and I suspect my row gauge was off a bit, because my neckline isn't so much "scooped" as "swooped." The yarn was an unfortunate choice. It has all the trouble of mohair (read: crap gets stuck in/to it really easily) with none of the benefit. But, I can throw it in the wash, so maybe it will work out.

Sorry it isn't a better picture, but it has been raining and it is summer and this sweater is black. All factors have conspired to prevent a good pic.

I am crossing my fingers that this lovely FO signifies the end of my own personal sweater curse.

The next step? I think it is a cautious Dolman Updated. In gray Pattons Classic Wool. Please, cross your fingers and send good sweater karma my way.

In other news, there isn't much.

Last night I had a fun gab and knit night with the spinnin' superstar, Linda. (I believe there is some phrase about ducks and water? That is totally Linda and spinning!) I spent the evening working on a project that still, sadly, must remain secretsecretsecret.

I haven't started the baby booties yet, and the Sunshine Wrap is still stalled at 3 of 4 repeats.

This weekend I am hoping to do a little bit of drawing (gotta sharpen that saw) and some yarn shop-hanging with Lara. If I can get a good hike in, all the better.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

No _ Title

I would like to interrupt this knit blog while I express my sorrow at the recent supposed terrorist attacks in London. I can only imagine the horror of being in a subway station—on the way to work, thinking about one's breakfast or weekend plans— only to be literally rocked from that by the sudden rush and confusion of fire, shrapnel and glass. Today, the DC subways are being guarded by machine gun-toting police and bomb-sniffing dogs, so even if I wanted to be unaffected, oblivious, and apathetic about what has happened across the globe, I cannot.

I certainly hope that Bush does the right thing and supports Blair in his time of need the way he did us. He really "hung them out" for us, and I would like to think our President has at least compassion and sense enough of the world community to do the same.

I hope I don't just hear a bunch of "I told you so"s about how right it is to stay in Iraq, and instead hear a bunch of pledges to support and aid Londoners in any way possible. But until he makes such a pronouncement, I would like to express my deepest condolences and pledge my support (such that it is) and I invite anyone else who can, does the same.


Thank you for letting me take this moment. Tomorrow, I will be back to finished sweaters, wrap progress, and possibly some booties. (Thank you Wendy for the great link. It should work very well.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Hooray for short weeks!

Isn't it great to come back to work and it's already Tuesday? (I was at the office yesterday, but only for a half day.)

This weekend was full of fun stuff! And yet, was empty enough to afford much relaxation.

Things I did NOT do this Fourth:

  • Fight the crowds to see fireworks at the Capitol. I might have liked this, but the crowds would have been too much.
  • Invite friends and family over for a traditional 4th of July B-B-Q. This one hurt. I love hanging out with my nearest and dearest. The catch is that they are all not so much near as thousands of miles away.
  • Screw tradition and go to the beach. Now I am just getting bummed out.

But! I did have fun. Here's what I did:

  • Sunday: Sitting and Knitting at my favorite LYS. I nearly finished one more repeat on the sunshine wrap.
  • Monday: Knit! I finished the Oat Couture sweater and almost all of the seaming, and this sassy little baby hat out of some STASH! I have just about an ounce left of the two colors together. Does anyone know of a good sock or bootie pattern for a DK/sport weight yarn?

Also, as promised here is a shot of the gloves. (Though it is still crummy... Black, she does not photo so well.)

I am hoping to have a modeling shot of the Bijoux later this week. And I will be posting more stash pics...

Last but not least, let's all hear it for Cher! She has made my day with her six little words (see comments from last post). I can hardly wait!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Don't dream it, be-e-e-e it....

Anyone out there know that line?

So, first and foremost, I need to come clean. Apparently my last post gave some folks the idea that I consider an 18 mile hike "wee-tee-tiny." Um. No. I didn't realize that I had left out the crucial detail: we only hiked a small portion of the trail (≈ 2 miles). I wish I could just toss out 18 miles!

Next, I finished the black gloves! But they photograph poorly. No pics until I can get a good one.... We had a small but enchanting crowd at Mid-Knitty-Meetup last night, with Laura, Sarah, Linda (go check out Linda's snazzy new digs!) and myself. We hope to see all the other regulars at the Regular-Knitty-Meetup in two weeks!

While chatting it up and somehow getting a coffee buzz on decaf (maybe I didn't give the barrista a big enough tip and he spiked my latte?) I finished sleeve one of the Black Bat! WOO HOO! Only one sleeve, a neckline and two pesky seams away from the end...

Also in fun fun news, I have heard the call and will be visiting my favorite LohnGUYland quittin' knitter later this month.

So you know what that means?

Attention NYC Knitters! Anyone up for a day in the city walkin and knittin and gabbin... On Saturday the 23rd or Sunday the 24th? Let me know.

I will be posting more stash pics next week. Still waiting to hear those two sweet little words from someone: "That's nothing!" (And you know that someone is out there! My stash is NOT the biggest in the world. I mean. I hope not. 'Cause Harris Tweed is half off in two weeks, that's all I'm saying.)

Have a great long weekend, all of you who have one!