Home again

I guess I neglected to mention that I'd be gone, huh? Brad and I left on Monday to go to Michigan to see his family. Before we left, I finished up the tree skirt - not having more than one glue stick, and no fabric glue in the house, I did the stupid thing and stitched on all 9 yards of sequin string on by hand: FinishedTreeSkirt I also blocked a bunch of stuff: Apricot Jacket Pattern: Apricot Jacket from Rebecca 25 Modifications: None Needles: US 9 Addi Turbos (7s for tubular cast on) Yarn: 4.5 skeins of Cotton Ease in Strawberry Cream Date Started: September 1, 2008 Date Completed: November 30, 2008 Time: 3.75 hours for the first sleeve, 3.5 hours for the second sleeve, 5 hours for the back, 3.5 hours for the left front, 3 hours for the right front, 4.5 hours for finishing for a total of 23.25 hours. I also blocked the Boteh scarf: Boteh scarf Pattern: Boteh Scarf Modifications: None Crochet Hook: 4.25 mm Yarn: 1.5 skeins of Claudia Hand Painted Fingering in Blueberry Toast Date Started: December 1, 2008 Date Completed: December 12, 2008 Time: 10.75 hours Also blocked, the Noro striped scarf and a hat: Noro scarf Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood Modifications: Tubular cast on and cast off Needles: Addi Turbo US 7 Yarn: 1.5 skeins each of Noro Silk Garden in 224 and 272 Date Started: November 16, 2008 Date Completed: November 30, 2008 Time: 8.25 hours Noro Hat Pattern: Turn a Square Hat by Jared Flood Modifications: Kept the 2 row color switch-off to match the scarf. Also knit 1x1 rib for the edge instead of 2x2. Meant to knit the ribbing with the US 6 and the body of the hat with US 7, but accidentally got those switched. Needles: Addi Turbo US 7 and US 6 Yarn: .5 skeins each of Noro Silk Garden in 224 and 272 Date Started: November 29, 2008 Date Completed: November 30, 2008 Time: 4.25 hours I still have two more knits to block and post pictures of. Anyway, so I got all that done and then we left for Michigan. We had a lovely dinner with Brad's high school friend, Erin, then spent a day visiting with Grandpa M and Florence. Brad and I decided to pay for the "I can destroy the rental car and walk away" insurance, and I got in a lot of practice snow driving. Specifically, snow driving in the country in Michigan, where all streets are not plowed. And then there was an active snow storm, and I made it. :) I now feel Boston snow ready, though I'll still work from home when possible. :) Anyway, then it was Christmas Eve, and I woke up with stomach flu at around 5 am. After an extraordinarily rough and disgusting morning, Brad took me to the ER at 2 pm, where they gave me 3 liters of saline and some meds to stop the disgusting stuff. So I missed Christmas Eve dinner (which was the good one :( ). I was on clear fluids later on that night. Christmas day was pretty rough too, with only bland, soft, food. We were supposed to drive down to Indianapolis that night, but we decided to put it off until the morning. I did feel well enough to see a movie that night, and we took a family picture when we got back, with Brad's mom, sister, and brother: Family Next day, I remembered to get one with us: Brad and Kris Then we went off for the three hour drive to see Brad's cousin, which ended up being over 6 hours, with some time spent at a complete stop. We only got to see Amanda and Collin (and their two new baby girls, Ava and Zoe) for only a few hours as a result. :( Amanda Collin Ava Zoe Then we rushed off to the airport, which ended up being a total waste, as there was heavy fog, delaying our flight for hours. After the originating plane was diverted to Cincinnati, then finally arrived, they told us all to rush on the plane so we could beat the fog. We did, and the doors were closed, then they told us that all but one crew member had maxed out on hours, and weren't legal to fly. So, we all got off again. Thankfully, because the official reason for cancellation was crew, we got a free hotel and breakfast vouchers, which after comparing horror stories with people the next day, I am even more thankful for. Still, this is the third time I've been stranded overnight, the second time this year, and I'm sick of it. Better to be stranded with Brad, though. Anyway, so we finally got back yesterday. It was a great trip as far as the people went (we only saw people we really, really wanted to), but otherwise, worst vacation ever. Thankfully, we have another week off of work. We did Christmas last night, and shockingly enough, Brad's socks fit! :) Yay! modeled I had meant to go to Knitsmiths today, but I've been on the couch all day. Still recovering - I'm hoping to be back on the treadmill on Tuesday.

Snuck in a little crochet

With the Vogue Eyelet Blouse so close to completion, I had no sweater pieces to knit in class this weekend. Also, I recently discovered that a handful of knitting books went missing in the move (annoyingly enough, they were the books I had pulled because I had projects I wanted to knit in them sooner rather than later). One of those was Hip to Crochet, a book which has the Retro Bed Slippers that I made for my sister in 2005. I had wanted to make a pair for myself, but didn't care if I owned the book or not. My local library came to the rescue, and here we are: snow modeled I think they're delightfully kitchy, and reminiscent of the pairs that my sister and I had from my grandmother. Pattern: Retro Bed Slippers from Hip to Crochet Yarn: 1.5 skeins of Koigu KPPPM in P305 Hook: 2.75 mm Modifications: none Date Started: February 15, 2007 Date Finished: February 17, 2007 Time: 10 hours

Wrist pincushion

I've been DVR-ing Knitty Gritty and Uncommon Threads now that they're on HGTV. I saw a cute wrist pincushion made from Noro Kureyon on Uncommon Threads, and I decided to try it with the leftovers from Butterfly. The directions are on the bottom of this page from DIY network. An hour and a half later, with a 5.0 mm crochet hook, I had this: top button I stuffed it with wool roving, since it's what I had on hand. :) If I made another one, I'd probably use a smaller hook (I only had a 4.25mm and a 5.0mm on hand, so I rounded up instead of down). Also, I'd put a thin layer of cardboard in the bottom of the pincushion portion so you can't stab your wrist. It has been really handy, though!

Finally, Short ‘n Sweet FO pics

It's only taken me a month since completion, but here is Short 'n Sweet. front back Pattern: Short 'n Sweet, Happy Hooker Yarn: 5.5 skeins of Cascade Pima Tencel in Black Hook: US H (5.0 mm) Modifications: I had to do more pattern repeats to get the right length to the armholes and then again to finish, and I did the large sleeve for the medium size to give me more room in the shoulders. My stitch gauge was right (is that even what you call it in crochet?) but I have a bigger gap in the front then I should (it should be less than two inches) Started: May 12, 2006 Completed: June 11, 2006 Time: 16.75 hours of crochet So, I'll try to remember everything about this project. First, I will never, ever use Cascade Pima Tencel again. It shed everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. I had hoped that once I wasn't manipulating it, it would be fine. However, I only threw the top on for photos after work for ten minutes, tops, and there were little bits of black on the blue top when I took it off. The pattern was a little vague in areas, but with the help of this forum, I figured it out. The errata is here. Complaints about the yarn and the pattern aside, it was a really quick project, and I think the end result made the amount of effort worth it. If it had taken twice as long, I don't think I'd be as happy.

Short ‘n Sweet Blocking

I felt so guilty about my lack of exciting crafting content of any kind that I actually blocked Short 'n Sweet this morning. I finished it at least a month ago, but just couldn't block it with all of the moving stuff going on. Well, I probably could have, but was too busy saying good-bye to everyone. short 'n sweet You'll notice the fronts don't meet - that's the way the pattern is written for some sizes. Not my favorite feature, but we'll see how it hangs on me after it dries. It's still raining here, which I'm enjoying immensely. This Southern California dog is a little confused as to why her bathroom is so wet, though. I walked her after I worked out, and held the umbrella over her, not me, but since she's so short, I couldn't keep her from getting really wet: wet dog I know she'd rather have a wet walk than none at all, though. :)

I only meant to swatch…

I have the self-control of a gnat. After working so hard on everything but knitting for so long, I dropped the ball at the two yard line. I have a final exam on Tuesday. I took a break from studying (okay, I took a break after finishing up my contribution to our group project for the systems design class, before I cracked an Econ book). This is my swatch: swatch Yeah, I know. Sorry, Marisa, I am clearly the worst a-longer, as I started while still in possession of her yarn. But, there's good news - the pattern, Short 'n Sweet from Happy Hooker, is riddled with errors. So, not good news for me, but good for Marisa, as I've already figured out a bunch of the confusing stuff, and hunted down all of the web info. The row by row errors are pretty obvious (ch2s between motifs missing), but I didn't really understand the construction, and how long to make the first piece, until I found info on the internet. Granted, the construction confusion could be because I'm not really a crocheter, but there are definitely a few ambiguous lines. For anyone else interested in the pattern, here's the errata. This was also really helpful. I also, quite legitimately, swatched for Krista. An actual, little swatch. I want to cast on for that one on Wednesday at knit night. :)

This might be a little long…

First off, I'd like to say that Natalie is wonderful. I got a great surprise, a set of "from the knitting needles of Kristin" labels for all of my hand-knit gifts! She noticed that I initial all of my cross-stitch projects and thought I'd enjoy these, and boy was she right! I love surprises, thanks Natalie! In Christmas gift news, I have a new FO! After a total of 14.5 hours, I finished off the Lion Brand Microspun crochet scarf. That was done by modifying this pattern by starting off with only 36 chain stitches instead of 91. The resulting scarf is 7 1/2" wide and 60" long. I was really surprised at how fast it went near the end; I was averaging about 3 minutes per row. If I ever decide to make an afghan, I'm definitely going to crochet it. Microspun Scarf Detail I also swatched for Zack's Michigan colored hat. I got 5 1/2 stitches per inch. Now I need to figure out how to make it the appropriate size - Brad thinks that Zack wears a 7 1/4, which translates to 22 3/4" head measurement. I think that means I cast on 120 stitches (22 3/4 - 1 inch, multiplied by 5.5)... am I close? The first two inches of the hat are 2x2 ribbing, and then I'm supposed to increase two stitches for the first row of stockinette. I'm also not sure how to do that - what increase method is best for the stockinette? Also, I'm guessing that I put the two increased stitches opposite of each other (increase the first stitch, and stitch 61), is that right? Here's the pattern that I'm using. I went to a new LYS yesterday. Wendy had swatched for the DNA scarf and needed smaller needles and some co-workers and I ended up by a yarn store for lunch. That might have been a coincidence. ;) Anyway, I went in, found needles for Wendy, and was about to buy circs for the poncho I don't have time to make, and the owner of the shop said she wouldn't take my credit card for a purchase under $20. I was close, so I was just going to throw in a stitch gauge that I knew Wendy needed, the same Susan Bates one you get for $1.25 at Michael's or JoAnns. It was $4. Despite the fact that I did have some cash on me, I left empty handed, purely on principle. Good thing, since not only was I going to buy myself the wrong size of circs, turns out that she was charging $2 more than they were worth as well. I won't go back, though, I think it's silly to have to spend $20 to offset the service charge she gets for the credit card when she's already marking up the products significantly above normal retail. No thanks. Instead, I got a set of Denise Interchangeables from Ebay. :) In non-craft related news, I saw Garden State on Wednesday night. It was amazing. I hardly ever watch a movie in a theater (I prefer to watch them at home, while cross-stitching or knitting). I didn't wish I had something in my hands once in the entire movie, which is really abnormal. Truly incredible movie. Go see it.

Some crochet progress!

I went to Wendy's house last night after my final exam to watch the Olympics, drink some wine, and crochet. Here's the result: Michele Scarf This took me two and a half hours to do. I think the rest will go faster now since I have more fabric done. The first row is definitely the hardest.

I did study, I swear

I studied for at least a couple of hours. I'm just up way later than I should be because of the Olympics. After I studied for my Thursday exam and finished the homework due tomorrow, I finished the RR block. Here it is at a total of 5.25 hours (it would have been five, but watching gymnastics slowed me down): RR You can't really tell in the picture, but there's a white lighthouse and some seagulls in there. The recommended fabric was darker. I have a break from RR blocks until after the September 1st mailing. Then I had the fabulous idea that I would do a little of the microspun scarf in crochet, and then in knit, and decide which I liked better. I started off the crochet version with 47 chains, or so I thought. I was wrong. Frogged it. I started again, and got this: Michele Scarf I like the stitching; I've given up on the thought of trying this in knit. The yarn looks beautiful, but splits like crazy. Kind of aggrivating. Anyway, I'm wondering if this is just a little too wide - it's about 10" across now. If I start over with one less repeat, it should be 8" across. This is what I get for not swatching at all - I practiced my crocheting technique on a different yarn, and for some reason thought that was good enough of an example to choose how many repeats I wanted. I don't want to lose the hour I already put in to it, but not doing that repeat for the next 60" will save me time in the long run. Any thoughts? 8" or 10"? I got some yarn in the mail - pictures coming tomorrow!