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Archive for October, 2007

8 things

I was tagged by Another Shopgirl! The Rules: once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

And since I don’t have much in the way of knitting to blog about anyway, here are 8 random things about me:

1. I am the oldest of three. And if you look up the personality traits of a first-born, that’s me all over. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

2. I don’t do scary. I don’t do scary movies, haunted houses, masks, even upside-down roller coasters. Scary is not for me.

3. I forget birthdays. If you didn’t reserve your spot in the remembering-birthdays-portion of my brain before 1996, don’t look for your card in the mail because I guarantee I didn’t send one. I will probably call you a couple days later.

4. I’ve always been artistic, and almost became an illustrator/graphic designer. I considered changing my major in college and actually did an internship in graphic design, but in the end, I went a slightly different route.

5. I’ve never had glasses, braces, or broken bones…but I desperately wanted all three when I was little.

6. I hate those individually wrapped moist towelettes. I hate everything about them. I suppose there are certain times (in the wilderness) when they might be of use, but in regular civilization, I would rather walk to the restroom surgeon-style with my chicken wing covered hands in the air to use actual soap and water then use a Wet-Nap. I just hate them. They are so gross to me.

7. I always sneeze three times. Two little and one big.

8. I can’t read the words “infrared,” “segue,” or “flatiron.” I’m a pretty smart cookie, and I do know what these words are, but they always take an extra second to register. Let’s just say that if I came across these words while reading aloud, my audience would be in for a treat.

I’m tagging Olga, Tracy, Stacey, Melissa, Erin, Elinor, Schrodinger, and Amanda.

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utopia hat

I caught up on some tv this weekend and finished up the Utopia Hat for my brother-in-law. The two skeins of Elann Peruvian Sierra Aran I had were more than enough for this pattern, using size 8 needles. I didn’t swatch, since I figured the rib and cable pattern would be pretty forgiving, and the size is just right. I would knit this hat again in a heartbeat. The pattern is easy enough to knit while watching tv, but interesting enough that it didn’t bore me, but not SO “interesting” that my mild-mannered brother-in-law wouldn’t wear it. 🙂 One Christmas gift down…on to the next!

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ready, set, go!

This year I am beginning my holiday knitting cheerfully and willingly! (Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing so much knitting for myself lately…heh heh.) Oh yes, I said holiday knitting. I know I’m not the first to start, but I’m starting earlier than I did last year. And I have a plan. And I made my sister swear that the family doesn’t hate getting handknit gifts from me every year.

The first thing I’ve done is resurrect a project I started about a year ago: the Lucy in the Sky cardigan. I’m using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in a really pretty dark, muted purple. I’m also working on the Cabled Gloves from Vogue Knitting Fall 2007. I’ve already run into problems with the cable chart. Actually, I pulled one of my signature Panic First, Think Later moves. I could NOT figure out the instructions for the “right twist” and sent a frantic message to a fellow Raveler (knitsynthesis) who replied promptly and explained the “right twist” in perfectly plain English, leaving me wondering why the heck Vogue couldn’t do the same thing?! Well. Turns out I was reading the directions for the Cabled Coat, instead. Boy that would have been a surprise—to think you’re knitting a glove and wind up with a cabled coat! The chart is still a little whack, but I’ve got it under control now. Sometimes I wonder how I get anything knit at all.

I also started a hat for my brother-in-law. Originally, I wanted to knit the We Call Them Pirates Mittens for him, but I showed the pattern to my sister, who felt that he was not the “plundering type.” Boo. She said he would DEFINITELY wear a hat if I knit one. I sent her about six different patterns and she picked the most boring ones for him. I didn’t want to knit him something he could just get anywhere, so I took matters into my own hands and decided to knit the Utopia Hat by smariek. I’m using Elann Peruvian Sierra Aran, since I had 2 full skeins left over from my Dad’s sweater last year, and the color was just right for my brother-in-law. Now I’m hoping I have enough yarn.

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drops asymmetrical jacket

Finally finished! The knitting went VERY quickly, but this jacket took forever to dry, and then I had to sew on the buttons, which proved to be an exercise in creative problem solving since I knit the thing WITHOUT BUTTONHOLES. I don’t actually read through patterns before I start to knit. I should, but I don’t. (This bad habit comes from the days when I was just learning to read knitting patterns and all those abbreviations were so intimidating that I decided I would just start knitting anyway and when I got to something I didn’t know, then I would look it up. I never kicked the habit.) Now, the whole time I was knitting, I was thinking about how I had a patterned shirt that would match perfectly with the plum yarn and what shoes might look good with that and hey, what if I got some big leather buttons to match my leather shoes that match the shade of tan in the patterned shirt, yeah that’s the ticket…so even without reading ahead in the pattern, I knew this jacket was supposed to have buttonholes. For the buttons I was dreaming up the whole time. Yet, in my fervor I completely forgot to pay attention to these things known as “details” and I knit the whole thing right up without buttonholes. Giant DUH. I sewed in three crocheted loops instead. I also hid some small buttons on the inside to keep the collar from shifting.

I knit the bulkier version of the pattern. About that reading ahead…right…I didn’t even notice it was written in two gauges until I had already cast on for the bulky version. I liked how quickly it knit up, that’s for sure, but I’m tempted to knit this pattern again in the smaller gauge and in a more subtle color, since I bet I would go from liking it to REALLY liking it. But I’m not really one to knit the same thing more than once. For this jacket, I used 7 skeins of Berkshire Bulky in “plum” on size 10.75 needles. I almost got away with 6 skeins for the medium size, but needed a little extra to seam the thing up. I really like the Berkshire Bulky. It’s soft, affordable, and comes in some really beautiful colors. The sheep smell was atrocious when I blocked it, and I’ll have to see how it wears, but I think I’d use this yarn again. And I blocked the garment after I seamed it. I usually block the pieces first, then seam, but I have to re-block so often that I thought I’d wing it this time and just seam it up, then block it once. It seemed to work out just fine. Ok, I have to go take this sweater off, pronto. It’s still summer weather here in the Northeast and one other thing about Berkshire Bulky–the wool/angora blend is warm!! But if fall ever shows up, I’ll be wearing this jacket a lot!

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jacket blocks while cat supervises

Actually, my cat is probably giving serious consideration to plopping his furry white belly right down in the middle of my Drops Asymmetrical Jacket the second I’m not looking. Or perhaps sinking one–maybe two–claws into that Berkshire Bulky…just to see what it feels like.

But the cat is most likely enamored of the Drops Jacket because it SMELLS LIKE WET SHEEP. This is not new. A lot of my handknits smell like wet sheep when they’re blocking–I’m sure most knitters have this problem. But I always forget that my handknits are going to smell like wet sheep until after my whole place smells like wet sheep! I never think to pick up any woolwash-type stuff until after the blocking and the stinking have begun. Notice the Febreze in the background? All it’s doing is helping my cat watch the jacket dry. Can someone tell me what WILL work to eradicate the wet sheep smell? Before I block anything else around here??

(Gotta love that beach towel blocking board, eh?)

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