Sunday, March 26, 2006

Abandoned UFOs

I consider myself a finisher. I don't start projects only to abandom them for something else. My mom hardly ever finishes the projects she starts, so maybe that's why I have a compulsion to finish things. But at what point do you abandon a project? Like, say, the picot dress for the baby that would fit my 3 year old? Or the blue and white quilt that no one seems to like (including myself)? Why should I spend hours and hours (maybe years and years) hand quilting something that no longer fits my taste and won't have a place in our house? What makes you decide to abandon a project? Should I finish the dress just because I started it and it will fit her someday? Do I finish the quilt that I'll never use? And to show you that I do still, indeed knit, here are my bunny pieces. My son knows I'm knitting something for him and keeps asking if it's a Hummer. No idea why he thinks that! He told me to knit faster!!! I'm almost finished the pieces so they just need to be put together, I'm not looking forward to that part! This is my first knitted stuffed animal so I'm excited to see how it will take shape. *-*-*-*-*-*-* End of Knitting Content *-*-*-*-*-*-* I've given up on machine quilting the lap quilt and decided to hand quilt it. With all the time I've put into figuring out this machine quilting thing, with or without invisibile thread, programming in new stitches, and ripping out all the failed attempts, I've decided it will be faster to hand quilt it! Plus, after buying Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Road (awesome book!) I noticed he often quilts a square inside the square, which I LOVE and am doing for this quilt. I just wasn't happy with the way it looked stitching in the ditch. And I like things symmetrical so I also didn't like quilting 1/4" on one side of the block. But the squares are perfect!!! Look how cute! And on the home renovation front, we finally tore up the last of the wall to wall carpet in the house. We wanted to finish painting the hall and steps first and once that was finished, out went the carpet. I had no idea how many staples there were, what I thought would take an hour took 6. My hands and back are so sore I can barely move today. But it looks great, I can't believe someone would cover up hardwood floors, even the steps are hardwood! They look good enough as is we probably won't refinish them. I just need to paint the baseboards. But this is really bothering me. Why are the boards going in different directions in the middle of the hallway? It's not even in the middle, it's like 1/4 one direction and 3/4 the other. Strange. We figured they probably had different guys working on each side of the house and when they met in the hallway they were like "oh, shit!" I'm thinking I might get a runner carpet for the hallway but I'm not sure how I'll get it to stay in place.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Something I've discovered recently is that there knitters, and there are quilters. I am a knitter that likes to quilt. I don't mean to offend any quilters out there, I came across some beautiful quilts like this one in my search for inspiration for a quilt for my daughter's room. But every time I found a blog with a quilt I liked, I realized they are knitters too! I've been working on a lap quilt I plan on giving as a gift for the past few weeks. In fact, I didn't knit at all this weekend! It's been a few months since I've gone even 1 single day without knitting. I have really been enjoying making it, I finished piecing the top last weekend and I was working on the quilting this weekend. I'm using some Tracy Porter fabrics I found at Joann's, I think they are really pretty together! My mom brought up her Pfaff sewing machine for me to use for machine quilting since it has a nice quilting stitch, but I've been having some problems with it. We're using nylon invisible thread for the top thread and 100% cotton thread for the bobbin. It is bunching up the quilt and the stitches are bumpy in spots. We're going to the sewing store tomorrow where they're going to give us another thread to try and program a slightly different stitch into the machine that will hopefully work better. I'm glad, because I was getting really frustrated! I just wanted to make something quick so there is no way I'm going to hand quilt this thing. And I took out the quilt I pieced in college (probably 1998) and haven't gotten around to quilting. I plan on hand quilting it and was so overwhelmed with the amount of work that needed to be put into it I've been hiding it in my closet for years. My aunt came to visit a few month ago and encouraged me to at least piece the quilt together and we put the binding on to make it more "finished" so I could use it while quilting it. I worked on it a lot this weekend and have been mostly quilting in the ditch of the main blocks and have almost finished that. It's going fairly quickly so I'm beginning to realize it is actually possible to finish and will be so beautiful when it's done. What is it with kids and tape measures? They seem to entertain them to no end! Knitting to resume shortly!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Finished Sockapaloooza socks!

Pattern: Embossed Leaves Socks from Interweave Knits Winter '05/'06 Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Cedar) Needles: 5 Crystal Palace Bamboo DPNs (size US2) Comments: As I've said before, I love this pattern. It was fun to knit and they went so quickly because I just couldn't wait to see every leaf form. This was my first time using Lorna's Laces sock yarn and it was great. The subtle color variations in the yarn were beautiful and the color was perfect for this project. I love them so much I think I'll make a pair for myself! I really hope my sock pal likes them :)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm sick!

I have been so sick for the past 24 hours. My son and I got the same stomach flu type thing at the exact same time yesterday and were throwing up literally every 15 minutes for 6 hours. Ugh, my brain is so fried but hopefully I'll be back with something interesting to say soon! If you take a peek at my progress bar you'll notice my Sockapaloooza socks are finished (99% because they still need to be washed and I have to blog about them).

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Not much to report...

Here's a cute kid picture since I don't have any knitting pictures to show you! She is growing so fast, she still doesn't crawl, she just rolls everwhere she needs to go. She's starting to stand up holding on to something and is just so proud of herself! Today was an awesome day, it was warm enough to play outside and the kids were on their best behavior. Daddy took our son to karate so I got to stay home and knit, knit, knit! My hands and back are killing me so I'm taking a break but I really want to finish the socks, it's hard to put them down! I'm on my last repeat of the socks and have cast on and finished 1 repeat of the Jacket. Hurry up Spring, I'm ready for some warm's supposed to reach 68 degrees tomorrow!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I've been very stressed about my knitting lately which is totally stupid. I really don't have any particular reason to be stressed other than starting too many projects at once. So I've been concentrating on the Embossed Leaves socks. I'm just past the heel on the 2nd sock, so I figure I have 2 nights of work left and they'll be done!!! And after a few days off from the Belted Wrap Jacket, I've finally swatched with size 5s and it's currently on the kitchen counter drying. So far it seems like it's right on gauge so I'll probably cast on again tomorrow. I'm actually looking forward to casting on again so I'm feeling much better about the whole thing. I'm so glad I realized now rather than later that my gauge was off so I can make a sweater that fits!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Legos and more....

I don't know if any of you have seen this, but my hubby, who is a huge Lego enthusiast, found this fully functional Lego Knitting Machine. How cool is that??? And I'm also very proud to announce that I build this lovely Lego truck for my son this morning. It was fun! When I was a kid, I just had a few legos, no directions, and I would try to build a house over and over. It was boring and I never got into it. But with hubby's obsession, I've had no choice but to embrace Legos into my life. They can be fun but it's not easy to put a set together after it's been taken apart all over the house. I was missing a few pieces but we managed to find all of them. Also, KnitPicks has new yarn and new colors of shine! I'm so excited I don't know what to do with myself!!! On my budget, I end up buying Knit Picks yarns for just about everything. They are really great for the price but my only complaint has been the colors! Thank you Knit Picks!!! ETA: I didn't notice Knit Picks added Shine Worsted also! Another great yarn and more pretty colors!!!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The power of gauge...

I've been making tons of progress on the Belted Wrap Jacket in the past few days, it's all I've been working on. Then I got an e-mail from Lesley who is also making the same sweater. I had asked her what size needles she was using and she told me she's using 5s. Hmmm, I'm using 7s. Maybe I should check my gauge. I had actually made a swatch for this! I'm supposed to get 26 stitches/4" in the pattern. It looks like I'm getting 3.25" for a pattern repeat which is 19 stitches, so about 23.4 stitches/4". That's quite a bit off! So why didn't I realize this when I knit the swatch? So now 6 repeats and 8160 stitches later I don't know what to do. When I lay it flat on the table it actually measures the correct width, but when I block it I suppose it will stretch a bit? It doesn't actually look overly huge. I'm not sure if I should cast on again on 5s or if it will be ok as is. I guess I could wash the swatch and see what happens. I need a blocking board (hint, hint for my birthday in May). Usually a swatch is just stockinette stitch which is pretty straightforward, but I'm not sure how to figure out my gauge on a pattern. Do I need to stretch it out when measuring? I guess measuring and saying "oh, it looks like it's about 3" a pattern repeat, looks close enough to me" is not the best way to check your gauge. And we got to babysit Jordan last night, she made herself at home on the couch!

Friday, March 03, 2006

I am officially a perfectionist!

I know I am a perfectionist when I ripped all of my progress (2 repeats) of the Belted Wrap Jacket after I noticed 2 tiny mistakes. Mistakes that no one besides myself would ever notice. I just couldn't do it. I knew they were there and it would bother me forever. I'm not proficient enough at yarn overs yet to drop a the stitches down and fix it, so I decided to frog it. I managed to get it back on the needles a few rows into the pattern so I didn't have to cast on again which definitely saved some time and made the decision worthwhile. I promised myself to pay more attention so as not to make more mistakes and so far so good. I've completed 4 repeats and I love it! I've memorized the pattern so it's going more quickly now. The color is very pretty but looks so different in the daylight. But it's green, my very favorite color, so how could I go wrong? And I'm using KnitPicks Merino Style which works perfectly using a felted join, so no ends to weave in! Hopefully the sweater will turn out nice enough for me to actually wear. My head still feels like it's going to explode, kinda like being on an airplane. It's no fun being sick! Especially since I've been feeling dizzy which is getting in the way of my knitting!!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

One sock down, one to go....

Here is the first sock, finished! I love the pattern so much, I think I might make a pair for myself. They are the Embossed Leaves Socks from Interweave Knits Winter 05/06. I've already cast on for the 2nd sock. I love the subtle color variations in the yarn, the color is Cedar in Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock. We're all sick here with runny noses, sore throats and fevers. The kids had it first and seem to be almost over it, but today has been the worst for hubby and I. It's hard to be sick when you have to take care of the kiddos, but I'm managing well for now.