Blaze is dead

I took it off the needles to rip back the cable mistake, and decided to try it on. Good thing - it's just huge on me. Huge. There's no way to save it, so I guess at some point I'll have to rip the whole thing. I'm just not ready yet, though. Edited to add: I'm totally waiting for Miyon to finish Ribby Cardi (any day now) so we can figure out this seaming thing together (me with York). I need the moral support if that's another dismal failure, and honestly, even if I seamed York today, I couldn't wear it (I'll be swimming laps outdoors once the sun drops a little more, that should give you an idea of what kind of weather we're having in San Diego).

Kung Hee Fat Choy!

I definitely miss Chinese New Year in Hawaii. I went to the celebration here last year, and not only does San Diego not really have a Chinatown, their celebration is, well, kind of small and depressing. I looked on my Christmas list and realized that I have yarn for all but two presents. Those two presents will take three skeins, I believe.... I'm a little relieved - it was a bit disheartening to put the 9 skeins of Lamb's Pride and 3 skeins of Araucanian Nature wool into my spreadsheet, because I basically replaced the 12 skeins I had knit up last week. (Neither of those is in my possession yet, so no pictures). Knowing that my Christmas yarn purchases will be limited makes me feel better. Plus, when everyone else is running around buying stuff (and frantically knitting stuff!) for Christmas in December, I can laugh. :) I've got a dollar that says at least one of you out there is laughing at me now, though. :P The only present that won't be made by me is for Zach (Brad's half-brother), who is on his way to college in 2006. For Christmas this year, he gets a coupon from us for some set amount of money to be used towards his first semester books. Given his current money management skills, he will need it. I didn't get home until midnight last night - by the time everyone got done with work, it was after 8. We had some pizza and beer, and I worked on Steve's scarf. steve scarf start The fabric is pretty dense - I debated ripping it out and starting over on US11s (this is only a little over an hour's work) but I think I'm just going to block out the ribbing a little bit. Anyway, here's the cabling problem with Blaze: blaze cable Basically I did two rows of cable in the process of joining sleeves, and then when I started the full rounds of yoke, reversed the cable direction. I can't believe it took me this long to notice it. I'll finish up sewing in a lifeline and rip it out tomorrow. Tonight, I have class, which means working on Steve's scarf.

February Knit-off

First off, Marisa has started blogging! Go say hi. :) Natalie and I have too much yarn. Well, I have WAY too much yarn, and Natalie has a little bit too much. I will not be publicly admitting my stash count anytime soon. Anyway, a couple months ago, after we did the counting of our respective stashes, we decided we should see who can stash bust the fastest. We waited until February to even the playing field a little bit - perhaps me being in school part time helps balance out the fact that I have a dog and not a child. The premise is pretty simple - we're just counting up skeins of yarn that we knit. Since we're not going by weight or yardage, there's definitely strategy coming in to play here. I'm pretty sure Natalie will be knitting Fletcher, which she's knitting with double stranded Noro Kureyon. My strategy will become apparent in the next couple of days (though I have dropped an extremely subtle hint in previous posts). Anyway, the rules of knit-off: 1) The contest goes from February 1, 2005, 12 am local time to February 28, 2005, 11:59 pm local time. 2) All yarn is to be knitted or crocheted by hand. (Natalie can't cheat by using her USM.) 3) No outside help is permitted. (Natalie can't co-op Madalyn & Julie, and I can't get Miyon & Marisa to help me.) 4) There is no penalty for yarn acquisitions in this time, nor is there a penalty for starting with more yarn - we will simply count the skeins that were knit during the time period. 5) At the end of the project, any yarn more than 10 yards counts as half of a skein. Likewise, if only 10 yards of the last skein is knit, the remainder counts as half a skein. Knitting a swatch and calling the skein half gone is not permissible. 6) All yarn used during the contest period must be photographed and posted on the blog for proof (what was started with and what was leftover). Also, all projects knit during the contest period must be photographed and posted during different stages. For example, continued work on a project already begun before February must have a photo posted of its status when the contest begins, then photos from time to time as it is knitted, and finally the "FO" photo. 7) A running tally of balls of yarn knitted during the contest must be displayed on the blogs. 8) The loser will have to purchase the winner's Cascade 220 color card (about a $20 value) Anyway, to fulfill rule number six, here are the pictures of my current projects. I will not be knitting on my socks at all - a 230 yard skein of yarn would be bad strategy. I will also not be working on the blue alpaca scarf at all (does anyone even remember that it existed? :P) That leaves York and Blaze. This is Blaze of February first. Blaze Feb 1 There is a half ball that I'm currently knitting with, and another half ball left over from the right sleeve. Everything else is full balls. York fronts as of Feb 1: York Feb 1 Back: York Back Feb 1 There are two half balls that I'm currently knitting with. There's also a half ball still attached to the back (I think I have to redo my bind off, so I never cut it off). The rest of the remaining yarn are full skeins.

Finally, some pictures around here!

I didn't have tons of time last night, I fixed the blog and ate dinner first, but then I settled down for some work with Blaze. I finished up the second sleeve and attached it, then I realized I had to bite the bullet and do the kitchener right then, as all of those stitch markers poking me would drive me nuts as I was knitting. I can't say its the most beautiful job of kitchener ever, but its not bad, and heck, it's an underarm. I used Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook. Blaze With Sleeves It's been a while since Leilani has graced the page. Here she is on Sunday. She got a haircut from me and a bath and a blow dry from Brad on Saturday. Boy was she mad during all of it, but she gets over it once she's dry again. Leilani These days I'm feeling overwhelmed with projects. It might have something to do with the disgusting amounts of yarn that I have. You might have noticed in the picture of Blaze that I'm now using Manos del Uruguay as home decor - I figure if I can't knit it up right this second, I might as well enjoy it, right? There are so many projects that I want to start right now, but I know if I have too many WIPs, I get even more stressed out. If only there were more hours in the day. *sigh* On that note, I'm very torn on starting the new Lizzie*Kate Flip-Its. They're cute, but I still haven't sewn up the last ones into the wall quilt I have planned - and I'm not sure if I want to make the monthly commitment. Then again, I don't have to stitch one a month, but then they'll never get done.

Well, Blaze has one sleeve now

I managed to get one attached yesterday. Originally, the sleeve was longer, but my body would have either been too short or too long to have matched that sleeve length. It's an inch longer than recommended, 14.5" long, and that should hit me just a bit above my hip bone. I want to make sure this sweater is work appropriate. :) The sleeve is closer to standard short sleeve size, rather than elbow length. Blaze One Sleeve It's all ready for the right sleeve to be attached - I just need to knit the right sleeve. That should take me about four hours - I'll try to start it this week in my evenings. I think after this, I'll try to stick to one sweater at a time. Since my Christmas knitting will be continuous throughout the year, I'll never be able to pay lots of attention all the time to big projects. I'm a little sad that York and Blaze have been languishing all of this time - I think I could make much better progress if I focused on only one large project. Butterfly is up next once Blaze and York are both completed.

Blaze progress

I went to a Stitch 'n Bitch last night, which was lots of fun just like last time. I got more work done on Blaze, despite at one point forgetting what row I was on and neglecting to cable. At this point I'm cabling without a cable needle. I don't think the actual mechanics of it are faster, but when you factor in the time I was spending trying to figure out what the heck to do with the needle (I'd put it in my mouth, try to talk, and then have to grope around looking for it), it's faster. Anyway, here is Blaze at 16 hours, with about 11.5" of body completed. Blaze 16 Hours The blog contest ends today! Four more hours! :) It was brought to my attention that my page was hard to read (the "c" and "l" ran together in the old font, which was unfortunate in words like "clicking"). The font in general was just kind of squishy and the background too white. So, I put in a pale blue for the background, and fixed the font - hit refresh if you can't see the changes. :) I've decided to take York with me to Boston. I'm really stressing my yarn supply, and I figure if I get some progress done on either the fronts or the back, I'll have a better idea if I have to order more yarn. I'm kind of worried - the yarn in general is discontinued, so at this point I'm not even that worried about dye lots, I'm just worried about finishing the sweater at all. I can still get it, but I'm wondering how much longer that will be true. Anyway, the cast on is a little complicated for me (tubular) so I didn't take it with me last night - it's just not the kind of cast on for a group setting. I'll do that tonight or tomorrow.

Back from LA!

I had thought I'd be able to write a blog entry after I got home last night and still make my "one per day" ideal, but John and I ended up missing our train (LA traffic). So instead of getting home at around 11 pm, I got home at 1 am. As a result, I've missed my first day of blogging in two and a half months. I'm trying to be okay with that. I'm growing as a person, I swear. Big thanks to my sister Michele - she figured out how to move my right menu bar down while I was off having fun with my friends. I was keeping the location of the blog a secret prior to this, because her Christmas present is in it back in August. She's lousy at waiting for surprises though, and honestly, I'm really glad we've decided to just forget the surprise gift and have her read this. She'll probably read the blog almost every day, not because she really honestly cares about knitting and cross-stitch, but because I care about it. She "stalks" my ebay id just to see what I'm buying, and what I'm up to. :) Of course, I'll also probably occasionally get emails correcting my grammar (she used to be a web content editor.) :) Michele will probably also read the Yarn Harlot just because Stephanie is amazing. LA was tons of fun. It was Patty's housewarming party, and we had a fabulous time hanging out, playing Donkey Konga (Nintendo game that's the bongo version of Dance Revolution), Taboo, and Sequence. Donkey Konga is John's game, and despite his three weeks of practice, pretty much every single one of us was better than him. Alex played an entire song perfectly on his third try and I finally (after a bit of practice) got gold on the intermediate level of Sing, Sing, Sing. John's losing streak continued as the guys got demolished in Taboo, and then again as Patty and I beat Alex and John in Sequence, 5 games to 4. It was tons of fun. :) On Saturday, we had lunch and then went shopping at the Promenade. I'm excited that I managed to go into both Nine West and Gap leave empty handed. Then John and I went to dinner with my friend Rob who lives in LA (he was my maid of honor). We all binged on sushi. Yummy! After that, it was LA traffic to the train, and then home. Despite all of the games we played and friend time we had, I still had time to do some crafts (of course). I cross-stitched on the way up in Miyon's car, cross-stitched through a movie, knitted through another movie, and cross-stitched on the train home. So, for its grand unveiling: Allis Chalmers Finished That's a finished Allis Chalmers that I completed yesterday. It took a total of 21.75 hours. It's stitched exactly as the pattern was written. Miyon and I agreed that it could probably use more backstitching, but I've made the executive decision that since I've never hated a cross-stitch piece more than this one, further improvements on the pattern would not be good for my sanity. I'm going to buy a frame this week and frame it, and then I can add it to my "finished gifts" count. I did more on Blaze, bringing me up to about 7" of body area. This is moving along nicely, but due to my scary gift count, it will be getting limited action in the next month or so, probably no more than an hour at a time after I've worked hard on a Christmas item. Blaze 7 inches I'm a couple of hours away from finishing the Lizzie*Kate October Flip-It. If my homework goes well today, I might finish it tonight, if not, I'll get that done on Wednesday. One of the highlights of the weekend was when I found out Miyon eats her M&Ms the way I do. I dump them all out of the bag, and then arrange them in color order. I eat the excess M&Ms until each color has the same amount, and then I eat one of each in rainbow order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown) until they're gone. I thought I was alone in this somewhat neurotic food trait - how do you eat your M&Ms?

I finished the round robin

This round robin was a quilt theme. I went for a simpler design to get it done with quickly. I used the DMC variegated flosses for this, 5 hours of stitching. (I didn't stitch the border - that was done by the owner of the piece). Round Robin I also knitted four coasters yesterday and I gave Leilani a haircut and a bath (no easy with a mostly Pomeranian dog). Then after some quick cleaning for my father, I couldn't stand it any more and started Blaze. Let me just say now that I love the Addi Naturas, the join is wonderful. The yarn doesn't snag at all, and the bamboo gives me the perfect grip on the yarn. With these needles in combination with alpaca, I have reached knitting nirvana. Have I mentioned yet how much I love alpaca? I was really disappointed that I had to put it down to go pick up my dad. Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see my dad, but sorry that my time with Blaze was so short. :P Here's the first 10 rows (8 rows of ribbing and 2 of cable pattern). Blaze Start There won't be much crafting today - I'm skipping a fiber festival to go with my dad and my husband to the Miramar Air Show. My dad is a pilot (flight instructor right now) and absolutely loves the show. It's really kind of cool to watch him in his element. It's actually worth it to skip the fiber festival. :)