Friday, September 28, 2007

I am the Math Queen.

Well, the math pretty much works, but I think I need more plain knit rows. It doesn't work as far as the length goes. There are too many increases in too small a space. The problem I find with knitting is that you can't see the results without knitting far from the increase or decrease. That means if it's not the way you want it, you have to rip back A LOT in order to fix it. I guess that's where the math comes in, and spreading it out over a decent amount of rows. I am sure someone had already figured it out, but there HAS to be a ratio for increases and decreases, depending on gauge. Duh!!!! I just had a revelation: same thing for a triange: slope = rise/run. That could solve a lot of my issues.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Math Conquered

I think I've conquered the math for the bird. I'll do a test run and see if what I came up with actually works. That's the next test, isn't it?! The math wasn't all that algebra student could do it. Well, maybe geometry student. That was 9th grade for me, so it's been a while. I'm just glad I remember some basics. I'm hoping this will all work, and I can either post the finished pattern (although there are still the eyes, feet, and beak to do) or submit it to some place, like MagKnits or Knitty. Maybe they'll take the pattern, and publish it for me. If not, I'll put it up here and let everyone fight over it. :) I doubt anyone reads this blog often enough, but at least I have documentation of stuff I've done. I'm hoping to get an invitation to Ravelry soon, and I can keep track of things there.

Tuck, edge and wash

As you can see, I finished the squares for the blanket last ngiht, and sewed them together. The ends still need to be tucked in, the edging needs to be done, and it needs to be washed.

The pattern calls for an edging of double crochet in white and a row of single crochet in black. I'm running low on white, so I'm thinking a row of blue and black. We'll see if I like it or not. I think it will be just fine, but it might look odd.

Today, it's all about the math. I have the swatch for the bird, and I'm going to do the calculations for it. If I can get through them today, I'll work on that this weekend. If not, then this weekend it'll be all about the math.

I still have cookies to bake, candy to make, and a party decoartions to fix. It's going to be a busy weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

One (and a half) left to go...

I have all but the last two squares complete. It's been a long week already but I should be able to finish both tonight. Once that's done, it's simply a matter of sewing them together, and doing the edging. The weekend should be good for that.

I've been contemplating making a sweater out of Cascade Eco+ wool. Has anyone else used this for a sweater? I'd hate to make one and have it be scratchy. That's my general concern. That, and that my wonderful hubby will mistakenly wash and dry it, causing it to felt, or my son spitting up on it and ruining it. The bonus of it is the yardage that you get. 478 yards can go a long way. I still have the other sweater and bird to work on. This is an idea for another sweater later. I've been thinking of using an Alice Starmore pattern for my purple sweater that has to be re-knit. I also have several repair projects, one of which is a wool sweater, to do. There is a lot to do in the world of home.

I've been working on children's choir stuff as well. We're getting ready for our Christmas party on Sunday. I have candy and cookies to make, and some decorations to dig out. If only there was more time in a day...I might just be pulling some late nights to get stuff done. Can someone pay me to sit at home and do housework?! That would be nice. I still think there should be a provision for women who WANT to stay at home with their children, and the government should pay. Our government wastes plenty of money; surely they could use it for something that would HELP the society, educational system, and moral fortitude of our country.

Monday, September 24, 2007


I need about 4 more days to each weekend. I have all but 3 squares done for the Baby I. Q. Afghan for my son. I have 2-3 squares done for my friend's baby. I thought I should get my baby's blanket done before hers. I also did finish the swatch for the bird; the math just now has to ensue.

I've been listening to CraftLit, and Pride and Prejudice. I went back and got the old episodes. I also listened to all the old Cast On episodes. I love podcasts. It makes life easier. They keep my mind occupied, even when my hands aren't. I have to say, not having my hands busy aggravates me to no end. I would rather be knitting or crocheting than just sitting at work during my down-time. I have a whole week of down-time. There are a few things for me to do, but not nearly as much as there has been. I finally got everything just about caught up after being gone for 2 months, and it will all be either filed or thrown out by the end of this week.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm amazed.

I was reading through this book last night:

And oh my goodness! There is more information in there than I could EVER imagine was possible. I usually crochet toys and afghans, but her designs in the book make me want to whip something wearable out in crochet, and have it FIT WELL. I know that her principles can also apply to sewing and knitting. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth of knowledge and careful planning in a garment. This one is definitely on my Christmas list.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Coveting the stash

I am in stash covet mode. As much as I want to clear out my stash, I want to accumulate more. I have a deadline of November first for Christmas lists...guess what's going to make up a bunch of it? I'll give you 3 guesses, and the first two don't count. :)

New direction

I have decided to try a new approach to the design of the bird...what I probably should have done in the first place. I'm doing the math. That's right; I didn't swatch. I didn't calculate. I am backing up, mainly because although it's turning out ok, it's not exactly how I hoped. When I make something in crochet, I know how to manipulate the stitches enough to not swatch and not do the math. I can make it up as I go along, and all is well. However, I think because the stitches in knitting are smaller, and progress is a little slower, going back and doing the math will be a good thing. I should (in theory) be able to do all the math, and then knit the bird with no problem. If I do that, hopefully within a week the bird will be done. If that's the case, and it goes faster, then more designing will be easier. I make a swatch, do the math, and the knit. I hope to have the swatch completed this weekend. The math should be easy to complete in a Sunday afternoon. Monday will hopefully see a new bird and pattern.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Seeing Red

Well, the good news is, I worked on the bird. The bad news is I didn't work enough on it to have it done. I did however, decide to color my hair this weekend. I'll post pictures tomorrow. Can you guess what color I chose?

Birmingham was fun. I tried to hit a yarn shop, but by the time we got there, they were closed. I was surprised they closed so early on Saturdays. They were only open from 10-2. I'll admit, it was a gorgeous day, but closing at 2 is a bit, well, early. The weather is BEAUTIFUL, and hopefully I'll get in some knitting time tonight. I'm done with the tail part of the bird, and am working on the body (that's progress, right?!). Hoepfully I'll have pictures of a finished bird by the weekend.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Starting over

I am pretty sure that I'm going to rip out the Hoover blanket. It's just not a happy knit for me. I think I want something different, something like...a cable. I haven't done a cable yet, and a baby blanket might just be the thing. The progress is slower than Christmas on that blanket anyway, and I find that if progress is slow, it's best to move on. I'd rather have something that knits a little faster because it's not a pain than try to tackle something that I can't bear to look at anymore. This weekend is all about the traveling, and hopefully some good knitting time while I ride. I did find a couple of LYS around the area, and we'll see if I have time to make it there.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I was definitely overzealous in my goal for the Baby I.Q. Afghan. I hoped to complete it by this weekend, and be able to soley focus my attention on the bluebird, but that's just not going to happen. I have a couple of choices. I can either take it and the bluebird with me, I can take just the bluebird, or I can take just the afghan and get something new for the bluebird. I think I want to play with scrap yarn for it though, so buying something too expensive wouldn't be a good idea (I'd hate to buy a really nice yarn for it and wind up shredding half of it to pieces). Maybe this weekend I'll take a look around and see what I can find (I did some research and there are a few yarn shops around B'ham) and work with what I've got. I've completed 7 of the 16 squares, and my hands are showing it.

I've found that a glass of tea after 7 just isn't a good idea. The caffeine keeps me up and I don't sleep well, making the next day very difficult to function and knit or crochet. Here's the latest news...once I get the bird going in knit, I'll convert the pattern to crochet as well. I have a better working knowledge of crochet, so I know that will go MUCH faster.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I think I found the PERFECT pattern for the Debbie Bliss yarn I have!!! How exciting! You can see it here. The yarn I'm speaking of is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in color #601. It's a lovely shade of periwinkle, and I have 10 skeins of it. That would be PERFECT in yardage, and I don't think I'll have to up-size the pattern either. I love it. I just have to really evaluate if I'll wear it. I think I will...I can wear it over several tops: short-sleeved, long-sleeved, or sleeveless. Woot!

New developments

Well, I have decided to put the bird on hold, until the weekend. Instead of that, I want to get all the squares for Sebastian's afghan done by Friday. I've completed 4 out of 16 squares. This challenge means I'll have to do about 6 squares today and tomorrow to finish the last 12. That equates to about 6 hours each day. Can we say "over-zealous"? I did find the cable for the camera, and now have a picture of the bird and his companion.

I got a better shot of his friend, the owl with the book, rather than him in this one. The owl is in fabric, and that might be a hand-sewn design later.

Here's the little one I noticed. Granted, the yarn I'm using is a heavier gauge than this one, but I like the embroidery (I have TONS of floss that can be used). The eyes, glasses, feet, and beak are felt, and I think I'm going to knit them as well, using i-cord for the feet and glasses. Isn't it adorable?!

I'm hoping that my fingers will fly as fast as my brain in designing it. I frogged what I had started in the round, and started again. I might need to take it out in order to finish the afghan, since I'm using the same color for both (a lovely blue).

We're off to Birmingham this weekend, and I hope I can find a JoAnn's there. I think I might pick up a few things that are on sale. I'm also hoping to hit Wal-Mart and getting some fabric on the cheap. I'm looking for cotton or cotton/poly blends for some play fabric. I'm hoping to get out super-cheap.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Starting Over

I decided to cut my losses with the bird, and start again in the round. I got a little overzealous with increases, so even that has to be started again. I'm going to hopefully get more done on it tonight, after starting it AGAIN (third time's the charm, right?).

I've been listening to Cast On, and I have to say I'm hooked. I can't say I agree with some things on a personal level, but it's a good eye-opener to the knitting world. I know, I'm a little behind on the whole podcast thing, but hey, better late than never, right? At least I've joined the land of the listening. When I went to the LYS this past weekend, I felt like they were slightly behind the times and weren't up to speed with some of this stuff. I admit I'm not on the cutting edge, but I figure that if I know about it, surely everyone else has already plugged in. I know they have a website, and it's not too bad. I think there could be a little more as far as a website goes, but eh, it's not my project, and I didn't do it. Oh well...I guess I also don't have room to criticize; however, I'm not running a business either. A well-designed webpage in this day and age can go a long way in promoting your business. I'm just saying.

I also keep hearing about Ravelry, and I am thoroughly intrigued. I hope either I get an invite soon or it goes public. I'm dying to check it out!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yarn Snobs

I know that there are many types of yarns available. I know that they can fit into most budgets. However, I personally think it is just WRONG to judge people by the materials they knit with. Isn't the most important thing to carry on the craft, and not let it fall by the wayside? I am guilty of using acrylic yarn - for lots of things. I make no apologies for it. I make afghans and toys, and know that they are easy to care for and won't lose their shape after being washed 30 times because your child spilled juice on it. Again. I'm not worried about it tearing to shreds when it gets tossed into the dryer, and I'm not afraid that they will felt, shrink, or become suddenly unrecognizable. Does this mean I will always use acrylic? I hope not. Does it mean I use it because 1) it's durable, and 2) it's affordable and 3) it's readily available? Of course it does. If you can spend $100 or more on yarn to make an afghan, more power to you. But just because I can't, don't look down on me. It's not about the fiber you use; it's about the use of fiber.

That being said, I did go back to Starbucks and get a picture of the bird I saw on Friday. However, in all my cleverness, I forgot the cord for my digital camera. I started on it this weekend (yes, in acrylic-get over it) and am considering a whole flock, once I get the main body down. So far, it's not too bad. I'm thinking it might be better to start it like a sock, from the toe up, but once I get done with this one, I'll think about how to reconstruct it in the round. I think it's easier that way for me...I'm still figuring out how knitting really works. It's fun though.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Too much coffee

I stopped by Starbucks this morning, and had them brew me a French pot of Verona, my favorite coffee. I don't usually have caffeine in that large of an amount, so I've been kind of bouncing off the walls this morning. Before I knew it, it was noon. I had to re-do an entry THREE TIMES this morning because my fingers and brain weren't in sync. That's just ridiculous. Lesson learned - no Starbucks during close for me.

I have major ambitions this weekend. I have cookies to bake, diapers to wash, and knitting to finish. I hope to finish the body of Sheldon #2 and the cable swatch for the sweater soon-to-be-started for myself. I also saw something this morning at Starbucks that made me want to copy it, and see if I could re-create it, instead of spending $5 for it (I's only $5, but hey, $5 is $5). I saw this cute folk-art type bird knitted (and there was one that was sewn as well) with glasses and it was utterly cute. I hate that I didn't have a camera with me; otherwise I'd have taken a picture and post it for you. It was blue, and the glasses were brown, with eyes in it (in true Muppet style), and I think the legs were brown as well. We'll see if I can re-create it.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Suddenly remembered...

I have a TON of clothes that I just don't wear. Some of them I think are just going to be donated to somewhere. Some of the others will either be reincarnated or scavenged for items. There's one jacket in particular I think I'm stealing the buttons from for a sweater. The buttons are really nice, heavy, silver leaves. I'm thinking a lovely cardi needs them. I may post a pic if I get around to taking pics tonight. I'm not sure if I'll get to it tonight or not; there's a bunch of work to be done this weekend.

Little by little

Well, the craft room didn't get done this weekend. I'm doing good to get laundry done again this week, but if I can get on top of a few items this week, we'll be better. I finished one square for my baby's Baby I.Q. Afghan, and then ran into problems with the black for my friend's. Go figure. I decided to cut the yarn and start with a new end. Fortunately, we're only talking acrylic here folks. I know...shoot me now. Acrylic is horrible, it's evil, but it's also cheap and easy to care for when you have several munchkins roaming the house. If juice gets spilled on it, or someone spits up (or throws up) it's a quick toss in the washer and dryer and it's all good. I created a clever plan for using it up though. I'm making our baby an afghan, and I think I'm going to do the Baby I. Q. Afghan in multiple colors. That's right, it won't be just red, black, and white. I'm going to do a few squares in red, a few in green, a few in blue...well, you get the idea. I haven't decided how many colors to do yet. There are 16 squares, so I could do 4 squares in 4 colors, or 8 squares in 2 colors, or 2 squares in 8 colors. Or, I could enlarge the afghan and do more squares in more colors.

Pictures also didn't get taken. I did virtually nothing like I thought I would last night. I spent quite a bit of time at work, and didn't get home until late, and then I sat and watched tennis while I wrestled with the big black yarn knot from Hades.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Remember when I said I wanted to knit something, but didn't know what? That nothing looked right? Yeah, well, that time has passed. I now have so many projects going, I don't know what to work on next. Here's what I'm working on:
  • Sheldon for a friend (for baby #1)
  • Baby I.Q. Afghan for a friend (for baby #3-crochet)
  • Hoover blanket (yes, this thing is still around...for my baby)
  • Baby sweater (but I don't know that I'm happy with it, so it might get frogged but it's for my baby as well)
  • Baby I.Q. Afghan (for my baby-crochet)
  • Frog for a friend (to go with the first Baby I.Q. Afghan)
  • Sweater for me

Think that's enough projects? I'm trying to use up yarn. Can you tell? I just hope I don't burn out on knitting. But then, if I get tired of it, there's always cross-stitch stuff waiting in the wings. I have so many projects to finish; at the rate I'm going, I'll never die. :) Oh well, at least I keep occupied and I'm not bored. I'm hoping to finish several projects before year end, and then finish more projects next year. I'm trying to decide if I should add in some socks for Christmas. If I do, that would be 4-6 more projects. We'll see what time allows.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Busy, busy.

I am working on the Sheldon, and it's coming along nicely. I keep thinking about making a sweater for my son, and I might crochet one, since I did find a nice pattern in a book I checked out from the library. There weren't many selections for knitting books there, but then it was a small branch, but the closest one to home. Hopefully tomorrow I'll post some pictures of what I've worked on this weekend. It's been a nice relaxing one and I'm thrilled that we got to see Diana Gabaldon. Live. In person. No, really. We did. I should have pictures of that soon as well. She signed our hardbacks, and we're looking forward to her seventh and eighth (yes, there is to be an eighth in the series) books. Not to mention the graphic novel, Master Raymond, and Lord John stories that will hopefully flow from her brain onto paper. I don't know that she could turn them out fast enough. If she had one book published each year, I don't think it would be enough. However, half the fun is anticipation. :)