Monday, November 26, 2007

Juliets Finished!

Let me not beat around the bush and state that I think the Juliet would have looked better on a thinner person. Another remedy may have been to go down a couple sizes when working the lace repeats. I made the size medium and no matter how many times I snapped the picture, I didn't look any thinner. You might say, "awww, she's having a low self esteem day." That could be it, but no matter what my size, I like to wear flattering clothing, and not just trendy clothing. Maybe I need a new bra. For mine I should have sewn on ribbon for the button loops, there's a lot to hold in! This is still a cute top.

Purely coincidence, I made the size medium for my daughter's with one strand on size 3 needles. Uber cute. I don't know if I've captured it well here, but when she walked around the back of it kept poofing up. So toddler. I started her lace repeats at the breast and I worked a longer garter stitch body for mine. I kept wanting to pick her up and kiss her. The butterflies are trying to get away but they just keep going in circles.

When joining the sleeves, an unsightly gap formed at the arm pit. I couldn't figure out how to remedy it and didn't spend much time since it was after all under the arm. I don't think the designers spent much time on it either since the same thing happed for the adult one.

I used Cascade 220. This yarn is great for the toddler size, but I think a more drapey cotton for the adult version would have solved my issues. For mine I used size 10.5 needles and got a perfect gauge. So, I wonder why I ran out of yarn when the pattern only called for 500 yards. I used what equated to about 660 yards.

For some reason I didn't feel like posting, so I'm going to talk about these other projects so whomever cares will know what I'm up to for the next couple of weeks.

I think I can get addicted to this unraveling. I know this looks like what was a perfectly good sweater. It was a great sweater, but after 10 years, it became boring and unflattering. After looking at this picture, I promised myself that I would never wear it again. Now if only I could make something new out of those darn too comfy drawstring pants. After 10 years of course I've lost count of how many times I've washed it. All I know is that as a general rule of thumb I use cold water to wash non-whites. This sweater is still color rich and the yarn shows NO signs of weakness. On top of that, each side of the sweater (the inside and out) was worked with two different strands of yarn. I got three good sized balls (if you blend the two little ones together) from just one sleeve!
After my gathered pullover I think I'm going to have some left over. The yarn is not as soft as if you were purchasing cotton yarn, but it has some characteristic I can't quite explain that yields its own desirable qualities. Once again, this is a Banana Republic sweater.

I didn't finish the baby sweaters. But, only because my piece of junk Plymouth needles broke. Ugh! Since working my second project on these needles I've had problems. At times they've made me so angry that I've fantasized about taking each point and stabbing the person who made them in the eyeballs. Unfortunately what I've done of the baby cardigan so far shows signs of the snagging caused by these defective needles. Maybe they'll disappear with blocking. Without thinking, I started the gathered pullover with my good pair of size 4's. Ahhhh, Addi Turbos.
I'm also having problems with these Clessidra knee hi socks. I've messed up on the cable chart and broken another needle. I still haven't gotten a replacement yet (maybe because this is my second request). Hopefully I'll get these done before the winter's over.
Following are cute pictures of my kids decorating the Christmas tree while I was cooking second Thanksgiving. The little one is on the big one's shoulders trying to put the star on. The finished product looks funny but I'm leaving it that way.Chiao!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I wanted to give you all an update before taking off for Thanksgiving. The Juliets are done and we will be wearing them tomorrow. Mine is blocking and I still have to sew on the buttons. I must say that had I not done the tiny one first, this project would have ended prematurely. I don't like knitting on fat needles. My hands got tired so quickly and holding the yarn double was sometimes kind of awkward, sometimes. This technique of course called for twice as much yardage and therefore the garment is quite heavy for a little cap sleeved thing.

Now, the Cascade 220 skein has about 220 yards to it (hence the name). My gauge was right on and I knit the size Medium which called for about 600 yards. I don't know where my extra 60 yards went, but when it was all said and done, all I had left was a little hand full of scrap pieces. I had to piece a couple of those together to form the last button loop. Whew, cutting it real close! I mean, I heard the tires streaking and smelled burning rubber on this one.

All I have to do now is sew on the buttons. I couldn't find 3 "large, pretty buttons." And can I say, this is one of my most difficult challenges with all my knit wear crafting, finding buttons. What a pain! For tiny Juliet I found these butterfly tortoise shell ones. They have this weird butterfly detail on the other side. How delighted I was to discover that the back side was blank. These kind of bland opally, pearlesque like buttons were the only ones I could settle on. If I like wearing the garment, I'll shop for something different. I would have preferred tortoise shell, but I couldn't find any bigger ones. These white ones are only 1 3/8".

So, since I finally finished last night, I decided to cast on a baby sweater. I need to make two of these by tomorrow for the new little mens in our lives. The last baby batch was a bunch of girls (which included Teddy Bear). So, having two new boys is kinda cool. You know, I think I can do it. This is my second try and I'm working on the body now. I'll be hitting the road at about 7 am tomorrow. I don't think these will need blocking, so I can hand them right over as soon as I'm done. I can probably bind off the second one by noon tomorrow. Unfortunately I don't have any tiny masculine buttons (just hearts). I considered tearing some off of old uniform shirts, but they all say Gap on them. We wouldn't want the recipients to get the wrong idea now would we?

And oh, a little treat I've been working on for myself. I do keep making mistakes with the spiderweb lace pattern, but I'm good enough now so that I can make a dam good fix that doesn't involve ripping back all the time. Isn't the color just splendid? I'm thinking about getting me one of those little swing coats to go with it. This project has no deadline and keeps getting set aside for other things. Hey, it's not even technically Winter yet anyway.
Well, this year I didn't get away with just bringing brown and serve rolls. The roast I'm responsible for will be done in about 30 minutes. I hate cooking this far ahead of time, but I won't be allowed to take up oven space at the host house. We've been instructed to bring everything sliced and ready to be served. This is not going to be possible, my drive is 1.5 hours and I'm leaving tomorrow at 7:00 am. I started cooking it partially frozen so that it will still be pink in the middle. My hopes are that by the time I reheat it tomorrow, for about 30-45 minutes that the meat will still be tender. Darn, I like pink beef. I also have to get busy with a banana pudding. Things that need to stay on ice are no problem. We'll be modeling the Juliets and the food for you tomorrow. I hope to post by Sunday.

Oh yes, I'm very thankful for all of you. I don't have any friends or relatives who crochet or knit as much as I, so I'm kind of the weird one in this area. You all keep me pumping. In my early 20s I used to hide my craft, but because of you I don't feel nerdy, or old, or whatever other mean name comes with my love for this thing. Thank you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I Had to Change Colors, and Yarn :(

Well, I finally made it to my new favorite yarn store, Knitique. It's good to know I have folks out there in my world who understood my despair (I'm talking about you). Cher, you were totally right about the staff there. Me and an associate tried to find something similar to the Victorian Pink that I've grown so fond of. No luck unfortunately, and the cotton/wool blend they had in the exact same texture, they still had in lots of bright summery colors. I finally settled on this Antique Lavender colored Peruvian Highland Wool. I named the color since Cascade only gave it the number 4148C. I tried to avoid choosing the same color as our last Mommy and Me project, but it drew me in for some reason. That, along with the price of $6.85 for 100g, and the fact that they had enough for hers and mine. I so wish that they had the cotton/wool in an acceptable color and quantity. The squishyness of it in garter stitch is sooooo soothing. The drape perfection. I hope that blocking loosens this Peruvian wool up significantly. And this has now been classified as a chilly day only garment since you can't really wear it directly against your skin without some discomfort and it being wool and all. Well, at least she'll be able to wear the cropped version next year and maybe the year after.

I know that I'm really excited about this set, but this is still genuinely a quick knit. This long weekend didn't hurt either. I don't like how the sleeves meet under the arm. I'll show you what it looks like later. We're blocking now. And oh, Teddy Bear really likes this one. "I liiike this." is what she kept saying when we tried on. I would have made it a little longer, in order to capture that fantasy or Julietisque look, but I think this length will do. This tiny version captured a whopping twelve lace repeats. I think mine is only going to need eight.

Hopefully I can succeed in making mine look age appropriate. The fact that I thought this top looked kind of juvenille is what inspired me to make two.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Oh, Saturday, You Torment Me

This was the plan...

Wake up before the kids and knit in peace. This never works. Even though they act like they can't get enough sleep on the weekdays, the little one can still wake before the sun on Saturday. I snuck into the living room and before I could finish one row I had a company. It seems the cat couldn't understand why I was the only one awake and proceeded to meow continuously up and down the hall until her favorite kid emerged. Ugggghhhh. At least she was quiet for about an hour because she really was still sleepy.

Then we would go to the farmer's market. That went well...

A lovely place, isn't it? I called myself one Saturday messing with the kids by waking them at the crack of dawn talking about "Put on your clothes and lets go!" That was our first time to this farmer's market. They liked it then and they like it now. Yesterday they begged me to take them. They love the kettle corn and just looking at all the stuff. The fiber content is a little treat for me this time since those two spinners weren't there on previous visits. I should have taken a shot of the decadent desserts several bakers presented to us. It's even a date spot. Several times I've seen new couples (you know the lovey dovey ones who neck and hold hands) just strolling through and not buying anything. This irritates me because it's already so crowded it doesn't need lookey loos (and oh yeah, I'm jealous). But this is just how nice the place is. Some weekends it's complete with horse carriage rides.

Then, we'd come back home to do the front yard. No problem there. I think this is the fastest we've gotten it done in months. I later learned this was because the boy wanted something, but that's another story. And on a side note about home maintenance. Didn't nobody (ok one person in the WHOLE subdivision) think about painting their front door. It took me years to repair a botched job just cause I was always broke. And NOW that I finally have, everyone wants to paint their door the SAME color. Last season two close (in distance) neighbors have copied me. How tacky! I can't say the words that I've been yelling as I pass their houses here. Kick plates and everything.

But here's the sad part. My favorite LYS has closed. I was informed by the lady spinning. damn, Damn, DAMN! She explained that the owner was keeping a part time job just to hold the store up, has recently discovered that she's pregnant with her third child (her other two are still babies), and she just couldn't recover from a store down the street from her closing its doors and giving all it's contents close-out prices(I never liked that other store). Oh I wish I'd had more money to give her. I loved it and my kids loved it. I'd take them there to shop and knit and they never bothered me or her yarn. She just carved out a corner of the store and threw some toys back there.

So, while trying to cop me an extra skein of Cotton Fleece in Victorian Pink, I went to this store in Midtown that's been hanging tough since I've been in Sacto (6.5 yrs). I don't know how long they've been in business. So now, that's the LYS down the street from me that failed, and now this one in Davis (15 min away) that failed. The Midtown store, Rumplestilskin, shows no signs of closing shop but I hate them.

Now, I know my little girl can get bad as hell sometimes, but that old bitty of an associate must have said, "beeeee careful with that" about seven times. I didn't know who's ass to beat, hers or the toddlers. Shouldn't she know that my offspring may have the same affection for fiber as I do? After a while it started to become an entertaining game for Teddy Bear. "Hmmm, let's see if she'll say something if I touch this." I couldn't wait to get out of there, but I did get some yarn for these knee-highs I want to try out and some lace yarn. I'm never going back there. There's a store about 30 min to the south that I haven't tried yet. If they don't work out I'll just be bound to the Internet until I can coordinate family visits to Oakland with positive cash flow. Then I'll hit Artical Pract.

I've cast on for my next Mommy and Me set. It's going to be Juliet and Tiny Juliet. I started on the tiny one first. Here's what I have so far...

I'll have to rip back because around here I can't count up to 60 without some kind of interruption, and so therefore when binding off stitches for the sleeves my numbers were off and therefore so was everything else. But I'm in love with the vision. We're going to be sooooo cute. I think this color, Victorian Pink, says fall all over. I'm working single strand for the tiny one with size 3 needles. Of course at first I was dead set against splurging in order to work double for the big one, but I'm so in love with it that now, I'm going for it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hot Messes!

I wanted to knit these pair of cute Mary Jane slippers. Gelsticker from Ralvery had some in her projects list. "Alright, heyyyyy!" I said, "I'm making me some of these. And they only take 20 minutes?!" After the success of my stash basket(thanks for the complements), I decided that I was going to make it a point to gather myself a collection of quickies just so that I could impress myself and a few other folks . Wrong!!!!

These slippers aren't cute at all. :(

I tried to photograph them at the same angel as Gelsticker's to capture their cuteness, but it didn't work. When looking straight down, just imagine the feeling one would get when receiving some quickly thrown together homemade slippers from your Great Aunt Cootie with the harry mole, when what you really wanted were those squishy bunny slippers you saw in the Tiffany's window. Astronomical disappointment. And what's up with my ankles?

So, that got me to thinking. How many people never post about their own "hot messes?" I think that after we all post about a few of our hot messes it will make us feel better because we get to talk about what we did wrong so that the same mistakes won't be made in our next projects. Well, the truth is I'm just nosy. I know I ain't the only one jackin' stuff up from time to time.

Also, let me take the opportunity to let you know that if you think my stuff looks crazy, feel free to tell me. Just know that I already know that I have some sort of strange affection toward brightly colored variegated yarns. I love them so. He he he. :D