Knitting (and spinning! The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY)

Monday, March 31, 2003

One down, one to go.

The first Kilim sleeve is done. I've got about four inches on the second sleeve completed. When I had begun the sleeve, I copied the pattern and made sure I wrote down which colors I was using on each row. Now, it's only a matter of following the written color directions as I make the second sleeve. :)

I got the ball winder today, and not one thing more. Aren't you proud of me? I have two of the Cascade 220 colors wound into two balls each (notice I didn't say equal balls--'cause they ain't).

Tonight, we have a home soccer game at 7:30 pm, and I'm too pooped to go out there. Plus, the temp is a chilly 49 degrees. Just not gonna do it. I plan on going to bed around 9 pm tonight (if I make it that late).

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Tom is so cool!

My sister's fiancé, Tom, is a computer whiz. He walked me through getting my Knitting Bloggers button to work. Anytime I have a computer question, either he or my sister can answer it. He has worked on my dad's computer so much, he knows it inside and out. I don't even hold it against him anymore that he is a USC fan. :) He never seems to mind our computer/electronics questions. He's great!

Yarn is a beautiful thing.

I received my package from Matt and Rob at ThreadBear Fiber Arts. Miguel and I were going shopping early yesterday morning. We hopped in the car and he noticed a package hidden behind the bush next to our front door. Yippee! "I thought you weren't going to buy anymore yarn?" he asked. All I could do is grin and rip open the box. I love my color choices and think the day pack will turn out great.

This time next week, I'll be in sunny (hopefully) Florida. My folks are loving their new house outside of Bradenton. Miguel and I are visiting for a week for my spring break. Saturday to Saturday. Woohoo! They have a little pool (Mom's one request), and I plan to be out there quite a bit.

But, what knitting should I bring?

I am going to buy the ball winder I've been wanting for months (and months). I think I'm going to take my Kilim yarns, wind them into half-size balls, and take that project with me. I will probably also take my Ringel socks. I'm hoping to make it to the two yarn stores in Sarasota, both very impressive), and maybe treat myself to yarns I usually can't get up here from my LYS. (Hey, I'm getting a huge tax refund, so I'm going to splurge just a little. lol)

Now, I don't have a swift. However, I've been brainstorming how to wind the hanks of Cascade 220 I just bought (along with other hanks I have) without a swift. If I wind the yarn onto an empty paper towel or toilet paper roll, I can then wind them quickly on the ball winder. Think it will work?

Thursday, March 27, 2003

We have the Georgia High School Graduation Tests this week at school. Fifty percent of my students were out in second period (switched to first period for two days)--three students testing all period, one absent, and four present. Kinda pointless having only half of them doing stuff. So, I gave them a day off. We listened to music, watched war coverage, worked on assignments for other classes, and I knit my Kilim. I finished one cross repeat and have a third of another. Then, of course, I had to show off my creation to my faculty and staff friends. Everyone was properly impressed, and I got lots of requests for sweaters. I told them that I would teach them to knit, instead. No takers, though. A couple of my kids do want to learn (mostly boys, isn't that interesting?).

Today, I'll give my two affected classes books to color and make. Coloring is always fun for older students, I find. It's relaxing, creative, and takes them back to when they were younger kids. While they color, I'll knit. :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Rob wanted an updated picture of the Kilim sleeve I'm working on from Philosophers Wool. Check it out here. Whatchya think?

Knitting is so cool!!

Check out the beautiful felted day pack that Rob knitted. I have not yet knitted a bag, and this one looks too nice to pass up. I tagged Rob for some info about cost to make this bag. He sent me a great email, and I chose four colors to order in Cascade 220: 7814 light green, 7805 pink, 9457 blue. and 7826 light orange. So, instead of only emailing Threadbare Fiber Arts, I called up Rob and Matt. They are so friendly!! I loved chatting with Rob about Gainesville, grocery stores, and the weather. I got to talk to Matt (the color expert) about the colors I chose, and he gave me some great feedback. (Thanks, Matt!) I told them I wanted Easter Egg colors, and they both think that I've chosen well. :)
My yarn is going out tomorrow, and I can't wait to get it. I swear, Rob REALLY is a yarn/knitting enabler. He has found the perfect career, IMHO. lol I had so much fun talking with both of them. All thanks to knitting!

Sunday, March 23, 2003

The craft in yesterday was lovely. Thanks so much, Jean, for organizing it. There were six of us at The Purple Iris. We had a room to ourselves. One woman was working on a large applique quilt with beautiful fairies and flowers. It was truly magnificent! Two sisters were working on a rag quilt for one of the sisters to take bac with her to California. Their mother was working on a cute knit vest. Each front panel had a different knit cat. It was very cute. Jean and her sister were each working on cross stitch projects.

I showed off my Kilim sleeve and the photo in the book. I got lots of oohs and ahhs as appropriate (grin). Then I showed the ball of Phildar Preface yarn in tweedy brown for a pair of toe up socks I decided to start there. The Ringel socks, while I have one with the gusset stitches picked up, I need to take that one off the needles so I can work on the other. I figured that would require too much concentration for the event so I left them behind.

I didn't bring any cast on directions, but had earlier looked up Wendy's pattern and thought about other cast ons I had heard about for toe ups. I ended up with a long tail cast on, and then transfered each stitch onto the other needle. The first stitch went on the front needle, second on the back, third front, fourth back, etc. I cast on thirty and ended up with fifteen per needle. Then I increased on each end on each needle until I had 72 stitches total on my number 2s. Then I had to decide on the pattern for the sock. That is where I stopped working on the sock while at the tea room.

While all the crafting and talking was going on, we ate and drank teas. I probably had three cups of tea; each one different and delicious. The owner gave us her "left overs" from an earlier party: cucumber sandwiches, pineapple cream cheese sandwiches, two types of scones, and chocolate-covered cherries. Plus, she had wonderful lemon curd and cream for the scones. All of the teas and wonderful goodies was only $5. We were there from 2-4:45, and it was a treat. The table setting was beautiful, the classical music in the background was soothing, and the company was delightful. I'll have to remember to go again next month (fourth Saturday of the month).

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Played cards last night with teacher friends. Had a great time laughing (and partaking). Unfortunately I laughed so much that I began coughing again. Grr. Gracie had to give me some of her son's cough medicine. Talk about icky--but it did help. Thankfully!

It's been misty/rainy/icky all week up until yesterday. We finally saw the sun, and we've got partly cloudy skies today. With all the rain and the beginning of pollen season, my car was filthy. On my WalMart run this morning, I got my car washed by a group of college girls. Great timing!! They'll be busy today, I imagine. So now my 2000 "clover green" civic is shiny again.

I've got about an hour to kill until I need to leave to go to the Purple Iris tea room for the craft in. Looking forward to it since I missed the first one last month. :( I'll take my socks to work on (I got both heels turned this morning) and the Kilim sleeve and book to show off. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2003

When I win the lottery, I will order one of each of Lorna's Laces skeins! Absolutely beautiful!

Well, the Advocare supplements are working great. I don't own a scale, so I can't tell you if I've lost anything (grin). However, I definitely can tell a difference in my energy level. This afternoon, I walked for 35 minutes on my treadmill while watching tv coverage of the Iraq Attack. Burned 212 calories, and I've still got energy to spare. I like! Tonight, the coach (my supplier, lol) is having a get-together with his other clients/friends. Think tupperware party, but with coaches/teachers/who-knows-who. It's at 7:30 tonight, near school. It's quit raining (FINALLY), there isn't any fog, and I know where his house is. Should be interesting. (Should I bring y knitting? Hmmm...)

I'm helping Day tomorrow cast on her first socks. She's borrowing my Socks Soar book, and I'll walk her through the pattern. She's so nice, and it's fun being able to talk knitting at work. :) She would be interested in starting a knitting club after school. Maybe we will.

Tomorrow night, cards (+drinking+I have a ride.). Saturday, tea room knitting. It's going to be a great weekend!! SMILE

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

At school, I found out the one of the secretaries has been learning to knit. We talked about our LYS and current projects yesterday. Today, she brought her hat, in grey Bulky Lamb's Pride, done flat. She has nice, even stitches. I showed her my Ringel socks, and she fell in love with them. She couldn't believe there was self-striping yarn. So then I showed her my orange crazy froelich wolle socks in the car (in my gym bag filled with cold-weather clothes for soccer games), and she's ready to learn how to make socks. Woohoo! Another knitting buddy! :)

President Bush gave a great speech last night, IMHO. As an AF brat, I say, go get Saddam! It's about time!

I hope everyone takes the time to show me on the map on the left where everyone is located. I love this freebie! Again, as a brat, I love to be able to communicate with others around the world. ("It's a small world after all...") Thanks to JJ who was the first. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Anyone know anything about Advocare vitamins/supplements? If so, contact me. :) I've heard some good things about them at school from the coaches and teachers. I was given free samples to try this weekend, and so far, so good.

Saturday, March 15, 2003

I uploaded a few pictures to my photo album--the Kilim sleeve, my Shamrock Cardigan (so named because I'm wearing it to school on Monday for St. Patrick's Day), and a couple of pictures of Tiger. Hope you enjoy!!

Friday, March 14, 2003


Started coming down with a cold today. While reading to my students today, I could feel the scratchiness begin in my throat. Ick. Thank goodness for cough drops and Advil. The soccer team has a game tonight, but I chose to come home and relax and not push things. It's a good thing, too; it was supposed to rain off and on, and my night-raining driving isn't all that. (I even limit my night driving, period.) It's 7:30 pm, and I'm bushed!! (The game probably just began. Sigh. Go Falcons!)

So, I came home, got into my jammies (sp?), took some cold meds, and curled up on the couch with my knitting. I've got 9 inches done on the Kilim sleeve (not including the cuff I need to take off. Grrr.) It really is beautiful! Just had some dinner (Aunt Jemima's French toast and Tension Tamer tea). Maybe I'll make it to 8 pm before crashing in bed. Maybe. Sniffle.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

That darn cat!

I got a couple more rows done on the Kilim sleeve. I love working on it while watching General Hospital on SoapNet. Then, took a nice, hot bath. Picked up my newest copy of Real Simple. It's got a cute model wearing an equally cute headband. And I thought, "Hey! I could make that! Some really small needles, fingering yarn, and it would be really cute." Check out the magazine if you've never seen it. It's the only mag I currently subscribe to.

There is an article in the mag about stretches. After my nice bath (and thinking again about how much weight I've gained), I thought a few yoga stretches would be nice, and I was inspired. I have a TV upstairs and one downstairs. My VCR is upstairs, but there really isn't room to do my evening yoga tape in there (bad feng shui, anyway). So, I thought I'd google for a site with online yoga routines (particularly evening stretches). I came across yogaclass where you can select the routines you want played, and it will stream. Pretty cool, except the computer-generated voice saying "awesome" is a little strange.

As I was laying on the floor, doing the relaxation section ("Now breathe. Feel the air move through your lungs. Out again. Feel the air go through your feet and feel them tingle."), my cat, Tiger, decides he's seen enough. He proceeds to headbutt me--repeatedly--and rub my hand to be petted. It's very hard to relaxand meditate when a persistent, 16 3/4 lbs. cat demands attention. I really have to put him upstairs next time.

That darn cat!

I checked out the digital camara from school, seeing as Miguel's brother STILL has not returned ours. So, check back Saturday for pics of my latest WIPs and FOs.


Monday, March 10, 2003

Today the weather was almost as nice as yesterday. We hit a high of 75 degrees; today it was 65 and gorgeous! I did get to leave school early, but I spent that time at our International Center picking up materials for the next two weeks. I did enjoy driving with the windows down.

I'm taking a break from the Kilim. I looked back at the picture of it, and saw that there is no k2p2 cuff on this particular sweater. No, I did not rip it and start over (again x 3). I might take it out when I finish the sleeve. We'll see...

I am finished with the first row of crosses and a third of the way done with the second row. It is turning out beautifully! My knitting has certainly sped up! I can get up a good little rhythm going.

Earlier today I submitted my limerick to Wendy's contest. After the winners are announced (I'm sure I won't be one of them), I'll post my entry. It was a lot of fun to come up with, and I appreciate her challenge!

Sunday, March 09, 2003

What a beautiful morning! It's 8:15 am and the temp is 55 degrees already. The sun is shining, the sky is Carolina Blue, and the birds are singing. Later, you can bet, the windows will be open. :)

Went to the LYS yesterday to pick up another circ for the Kilim sweater. (Came home to find I had bought the needles to do 2 circ method when I had bought the yarn. DOH!) I also traded my stamped card for my free ball of yarn (up to a $10 value). I chose a purple skein of Noro Cash. Now I have a purple and a raspberry. I need a dark blue for contrast. Then, I can knit something up.

Talked to Mom yesterday morning. She called before I had a chance! She said she loves the birthday socks. They fit perfectly, and she loves the colors. Oh, I must remember to have Dad take a pic of them for me. His computer is well again, and he's now able to transfer his digital pictures to his computer. (Windows ME is really crappy, and it totoally screwed up his computer!)

WIP--Kilim sweater. I knit the cuff using my size 5 dpns. I transfered it to a single size 9 circ and figured out the "magic loop" method. (Again, I had two circs in the bag-o-yarn. sigh) Did six rows of pattern and noticed my colors were "off". I was off one stitch because of the increase at the beginning of the fifth row. Then, I noticed the cuff was too large. RIPPIT!

Redid the cuff in stockingette with fewer stitches. The directions are not written on a beginner-level. Looked again at the pictures and saw that all cuffs had k2p2 ribbing. RIPPIT! Now, I have the cuff again, 48 stitiches the cuff calls for but in k2p2 ribbing. Better. I'm about to start the border chart. I didn't quite get the color channging right the first time. I'm going to recopy the pattern, make it larger, and then I'll be able to see the red line which designates color changes. The way it works is 1 row of color A., 1 row of A and color 2, then B and 2, then B and 3, etc. Gotta pay attention!

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Don't ya hate it when your brain turns on in the middle of the night. For me, it's when I go to the bathroom at 3 am. Talk about annoying! I love sleeping and getting plenty of rest. Lately, I've been getting up and being awake for at least an hour. Because it's Saturday, I've been up since 3:00 am and not been too worried about going back to sleep right away. (I love Saturdays!)

So, what have I been doing? Making my "100 List". Check it out. Yes, it's still a work in progress. :)

Friday, March 07, 2003

I found this entry on one of my favorite blogs, When Knitting Was a Manly Art, and was intrigued. Here is Jerry's description.

"I've noticed that a number of Knitting Blogs have started to register with Blizg over the past few days. It's an interesting concept. You add a bit of information (metadata) to the top of your main page (View Source on my blog page to see what I've added), let Blizg ping your blog and you are now part of the Blizg blog index. Depending on what metadata you add, you can find related blogs, blogs close to your location, blogs linking in, blog linking out and vote for your favorites."

Pretty cool, huh? So, I've joined, and I've noticed in the one day I've been on it, my traffic has really increased. I hope everyone who has checked me out will come back and visit. :)

What did I discover when I pulled my Ringel socks out this morning while on cafeteria duty? One of the socks had come off the circ. Grrr. Trying to get heel stitches back on the needle is not fun. At all. I picked up what I could, and finished fixing it after school while waiting for the soccer game to begin. So, no new knitting on the socks, and I'm too tired to pick anything up tonight. I've learned not to knit late (yes, it's only 9:30 pm, but that's late to a teacher) or I will be ripping sooner or later. Tomorrow!

Thursday, March 06, 2003

I've begun my Kilim PW sweater! I'll try to get a camera from school and post a picture. I've got the cuff finished and am working on the border pattern. It's fun because it's different. The cuff is a little big, but I think that when it blocks, it will turn out just right. :)

I mailed Mom's socks yesterday. I'll have to get Dad to take a photo of them (I forgot!). I really hope Mom likes them. (fingers crossed.)

I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and not had a lot to post this week. :)

Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, March 02, 2003

The cardigan--finished! The sleeves were too long (about five inches--grin) so I threaded my size 5 dpns, prayed, cut the extra length, unralvelled, and restitched a k2p2 cuff on each. Much better! Tonight I'm going out to see a play, and I'll wear it out. Yippee!

Mom's socks are also finished. Woohoo! All they need is to be washed, and I can ship them off. :)

Fair Isle--Tough, slow-going, but I think I'm getting the hang of the two-handed method described in Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified (see below for link). My stitches are very tight but I'm not having a problem getting the needles through. I knit continentally (is that grammatically correct?) so the hard part for me is knitting woth the color in my right hand. Today was a good quiet day to try this out.

Tonight, I'll take my Regia Ringel socks with me while we wait for the play to begin. Looking forward to it. I hope Miguel comes back with my car in time. (He's let me down before, but I'm trying to think positively.) I'm sure he'll be here with plenty of time to spare. :)

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Just before stopping at the LYS earlier today, I stopped at the liquor store. It's right across the street from the LYS. I stopped in to get some beer and see if anything else caught my fancy. I bought some amaretto, sweet and sour mix, and some tom collins mix. Yum, this amaretto sour is great with these bagel bites! Mmm... To find your drink/poison of choice, click here.

I won! I won!

I won a free book, up to $25, from my LYS. I walked in, said hello to the owners, and was about to head to the knitting section. The owner stopped me and asked if I was Nicole. I said yes, and she informed me I had won the free book of the month contest. Woohoo! So many choices... I was torn between The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques and The Knit Stitch (The Knitting Experience, Book 1). I chose the latter. I have a few books already with finishing techniques, and The Knit Stitch has some techniques included. Plus some great patterns. Very cool!

Did I come out with only the book and the skein of yarn I exchanged to finish my "Peaks and Valleys" scarf. Yeah, right. I have zero willpower. I bought Lamb's Pride Worsted to start a Philosopher's Wool cardigan from "Fair Isle Sweaters Simplified". I think I want to do the Kilim pattern. If I had my digital camera, I would post a pic of the colors I bought. Maybe I'll get it back this weekend. ?? Sorry, Rob, I just couldn't wait. (grin)

As of this morning, the green cardigan is finished. I have to sew up the sleeves, block it, and add the buttons I bought this afternoon from Hancock Fabrics. Pictures, hopefully, forthcoming.