Another catch up post

I'm way behind on FO pictures, as well as WIPs. Today will be for FO's. I just finished up with updating my gallery for 2005. I knit and crocheted 56 items last year. :) Very cool. Anyway, I owe you a picture from way back, January of 2005. I crocheted slippers for my sister for Christmas (hers was the first gift I completed), but couldn't post pictures because my sister absolutely can not be trusted to not click on a link that says "Michele, don't click here." Anyway, here they are: slippers You can read about them here. I also finished up the Faroese Shawlet on December 23, but completely neglected to either block it or post a picture. Here's an unblocked picture: faroese unblocked I am happy to report it is drying on my blocking board as I type this. I'm going to sneak in some non-knitting stuff here... on Friday, after we went to the cross-stitch store, we had a nice lunch at Karl Strauss, then shopping at the Carlsbad Outlet stores. Lots of fun, and I got Nine West boots that look a lot like these in chocolate brown (I couldn't find the actual pic online). They were only $20!!! Super deal. I also picked up these cute Sketchers: Sketchers Love them. Anyway, back to knitting. I finished Fitzgerald a really long time ago and never posted about it. Fitzgerald Pattern: Fitzgerald, Noro Knits and Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns (modified drop-shoulder) Yarn: Araucania Nature Wool in 16, six skeins Modifications: Added length - Brad is tall! Needles: US 8 Addi Turbos Date Started: July 29, 2005 Date Completed: November 25, 2005 Time: 10.25 hours for the back, 8.75 for the front, 6.25 for the first sleeve, 6 for the second sleeve, 2 for the collar, and 3.75 for the finishing, for a total of 37 hours. I also whipped out a Dulaan hat - I bought an extra skein of Rob's hat yarn so I could use it for a kid's hat. I literally cast on right before seeing Brokeback Mountain (an excellent movie, I highly recommend it - I cried a lot, so bring some tissues). I had to stop in the movie because I got to the decreases way too quickly, and I didn't want to do those by feel. I appear to be picking up knitting speed - this exact same hat, same yarn (in charcoal), also knit in a movie theater (watching Hitch) took 2.25 hours, and this one only 1.75 hours. This is my final FO of 2005. Dulaan hat I didn't realize that today was a holiday for most business except for mine, so I belatedly decided to take a floating holiday today. Since my vacation started a day late due to work I had to get done, this returns me back to the 10 days of no work (for the price of four vacation/floating holiday days). I'm totally not ready to go back to work tomorrow - it seems like I didn't get nearly enough done at home! It was really nice to be able to just hang out with Brad, no homework to do. :) I'm also going to miss this face: Lani

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a happy and safe holiday. :) We've had a leisurely morning so far. I made pumpkin chiffon pie last night, as I do every single year, as well as pumpkin bread. In a little while, we'll be headed over to Miyon's house to hang out and have dinner. :) I'm thankful for the fresh baked peanut butter scones with ooey gooey chocolate centers that I baked this morning in the kitchen of the home I'm lucky enough to share with my wonderful husband. ETA: The scone recipe is from here, Chocolate Peanut Butter. scones I'm thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and the fact that I'm lucky enough not to have to worry about where I'm going to sleep, how I'm going to eat, or who to count on when I need support. Leilani is thankful for soft places to lie down: couch And I think we can all be thankful that we don't have to hear me complain about these anymore: sleeves blocking

Temecula Wine Country

My mentor in Hawaii is here in San Diego for business, and we thought it was an excellent time to go to Temecula. Sam had first mentioned limo tours probably two years ago, but we never had any reason to just go ahead and do it. Cam being in town (and being interested) did it for us. Temecula is about an hour North of me, and the entire point of taking a limo tour is so that no one has to drive. We went with Top Cat Limousine. If you're in the area and are thinking about doing the same thing, I highly recommend this company, and our driver. If you want to know our driver's name, email me. I did already write to the company to tell them how awesome the driver was. :) We started off at Wilson Creek Winery. It was a good thing that we went first for tasting (at the recommendation of our driver). We went back later, as I was regretting not buying the Angelica Cream Sherry, and John wanted to pick up Almond Champagne for the ride home. The place was mobbed at that time, so we were relieved we had already done our tasting. Next, we went to Ponte Winery. Another excellent choice - we thoroughly enjoyed our tasting. My favorite was the Zinfandel (red, of course), but I was outvoted by Brad and we left with a bottle of the Beverino, which was also excellent. The true star of Ponte was the Zinfandel Port, but at $46 a bottle, we all left with just the memory. At this point, we realized that eating in a restaurant would take an hour away that we could be tasting (this entire tour is 5 hours including the drive up and back). Our driver suggested Maurice Car'rie for the fresh baked sourdough bread with brie in the center. The brie was amazing. This was the only winery with free wine tasting, and the only one we went to that offered a white zinfandel. Enough said. The tasting was worth every penny. But the brie... oh, the brie! The tasting did help us kill the 15 minutes the brie sourdough bread takes to cook. Anyway, next was Mount Palmomar Winery. Brad and I left with a bottle of Cortese, an excellent white wine. I'm normally drawn to reds, thanks to Sam, who converted me years ago from my chardonnay. Last on the list was Callaway Coastal, which was recommended by a friend. This wasn't bad, but I think that we might have been better off having our driver pick our last stop. At this point we were fairly intoxicated, though (at least I was) so it might not have mattered. We left with a bottle of Gewurztraminer (sorry, I don't know how to make the two dots over the u). Brad was the only one that tasted that wine, and it think it was purchased because nothing else was really exciting, and we wanted to pick up something to share over dinner. This is hilarious in retrospect, but I'll get to that. Here we are in the Callaway Coastal tasting room: Callaway Coastal On the way home, we enjoyed the rare opportunities that limousines provide - open containers in a moving vehicle. John had picked up two bottles of Wilson Creek Almond Champagne, and I do believe we finished them on the way home (he had bought them for exactly that purpose). Here we are back at my place, in front of the limo: limo Left to right that's Brad (note the Michigan shirt), me, John, Sam, and Cam. Our goodies: wine Back at our house, we watched the DVRed Michigan/Ohio State game (though I got tired of being stressed out and looked up the final score on ESPN). Brad was not enthused about the loss in the last minutes in the game. Anyway, at this point I'm a little fuzzy because I had not actually had this much alcohol at one time in about two years. We were going to play a board game but never did, and Sam and John went (walked) and got more wine, which I still don't understand (I didn't drink any of it). At some point, John wanted to see how my ball winder worked, so we went to my bookcase, selected the skein of Socks that Rock in the only variegated coloway I got, Meteorite, which I plan to use for Cara's knit along. I wound the whole thing, and I'm so relieved that when I cut off the piece of yarn that holds the hank together, I didn't cut the wrong thing. Friends don't let friends wind yarn drunk. Anyway, everyone left when they were ready to drive, and I slept, and then woke up at 9 pm with a horrific hangover. I guess it's important to note that limo tours start at 10 am, so we were back at 3 pm. I guess the advantage to being drunk that early in the day is that today, while we totally did not make it to spin class this morning (I can't believe I thought we were going to), I'm feeling okay. I seriously have not had that much to drink in at least two years, and I can't imagine why I would ever want to again. Five wine tastings in three hours is probably a bit much - but even feeling as bad as I did last night, I had the best time yesterday. Here's the sleeve I worked on the way up (at least I have the presence of mind to not try to knit while inebriated, just wind yarn). sleeve two That's the skein of Socks that Rock in Meteorite next to it. Here's the picture of it prior to being wound, second from the right (this is a Rhinebeck picture): sock yarn I immediately rewound it after I took the sleeve picture, as it was clear that it had wound it too tightly yesterday. I'm hoping the sock yarn is making that sleeve nervous - I really, really want to finish the sleeve before I start on the socks. I did finish April, the beaded scarf (pictures tomorrow) yesterday morning, so maybe I do deserve the socks sooner than later... Anyway, I'm a little concerned the coloway is a little too mellow for the Jaywalker pattern - all of Cara's so far (this is her third pair!) are in more exciting colorways, and the results are fabulous (the Garnet on the bottom of the Rhinebeck picture is Miyon's - my other two skeins of Socks that Rock are one color). Please reassure me and tell me that Meteorite will be great (and not better in something like the Dublin Bay sock) because I'm feeling tempted to order more yarn... and I've made it through 20 days of November without buying any!

One sleeve down, one to go

I finished up the sleeve on Fitzgerald on Monday night. Just in the nick of time to meet all of my October goals. Here it is, in its curling stockinette glory: sleeve one It does appear to be the right size to fit into the armhole, for which I am grateful. This is a modified drop shoulder, which means there is a notch in the body where the sleeves fit in, as opposed to regular old drop shoulder, in which you just kind of tack the sleeves on to a completely straight body edge. There's just one sleeve to go and then seaming, and then my biggest Christmas present is done. :)

Okay, I’m done with the FO storm

Not that they're a bad thing, but I'm fresh out. :) Thanks so much for all of your kind comments on all of them! I have four things crossed of the 10 WIP list, and have made good progress on October goals, so far. I ripped out York's collar. While it's cute standing up on the model, wearing it like that for one day (back in April) made me wish it were a little longer so I could get it out of my hair. I had originally shortened it to make it a better length for standing up. I lengthened it this weekend, and did a tubular bind-off instead of the basic chain bind-off I had done before. It's not perfect, but looks better. new collar macro I decided to go ahead and do Fitzgerald's collar, while I was in that collar mood (at least I can do the actual knitting of ribbing while reading, if not the picking up of stitches and binding off). Brad liked it an inch shorter than the pattern indicates. The tubular cast off looked better with the smoother Araucania Nature Wool (instead of Noro Silk Garden), but I had to kind of stretch it out so it would lie flat, making it look a little messier. collar macro I also blocked Butterfly's collar again, this time aiming for an arc shape. It still doesn't lie flat on its own, so I'm going to cheat and tack down a couple of the points in the back. Of course, unless it gets cooler fast in Rhinebeck (link is for the weather) I won't be wearing either Butterfly or York. To keep with the WIP management plan, I've decided not to cast on for the next multi-directional scarf until Branching Out is finished. They use the same needles, and while I could use my Denise needles for the MD scarf, or even 40" long Addi Turbos that I have, it makes more sense to just finish BO first. I thought I was going to be making a color choice, but after pulling out both the Noro Silk Garden in 201 and Noro Kureyon in 51, I realized that the Kureyon is much more guy friendly. In a convenient bit of luck, this year in the M family gift exchange, we drew the very same married couple that I was making things for anyway, one of them being this scarf. I'm also going to hold off on starting on River until the back of Grace is completed. By holding off on starting on two deadline pieces until non-deadline pieces are completed, I'm either motivating myself well, or shooting myself in the foot. Time will tell. Especially since the MD scarf is now due on Thanksgiving instead of Christmas (they do the M family gift exchange early.) Exactly seven days until I leave on vacation.

Blocking party, part 2

Marisa came over last night (Miyon had a last minute conflict). After dinner, I did some more blocking. It's amazing how much fun blocking is when you don't want to be knitting the thrummed slippers. Anyway, I soaked the front and back of Fitzgerald with Here and There Cables in Eucalan, and then laid them out. Fitzgerald wanted to grow, badly. My swatch (yes, I swatched) did not grow at all, so I was surprised. I pinned Fitzgerald out to the right measurements, though I'll definitely be seaming the shoulders and basting the sides so Brad can try it on before I start the sleeves. Fitzgerald Blocking Here and There Cables is just too long to get in the shot, but here's a partial: Here And There Cables The cables look really pretty spread out a little, which is really hard to see in this photo. I did in fact work on the thrummed slippers, when all of the blocking was done. I'm really bummed about having to knit a second one after the first one is finished.

Note to self:

If a party invitation comes your way that has the words "logistical nightmare" in the title, don't go. John's lucky I like him most of the time. Any party that requires the identification of poison oak, sliding around in rocks, and napkin hoarding among the women can't be a good thing. Edited to add: Miyon wrote up the "party" much better than I could have - check it out here. Keep in mind that I'm still the same old Kris and stayed the heck away from everything to do with feet. After the logistical nightmare, I had to work. Fun for me. I do have a picture, however - the front of Fitzgerald is finished. I finished it Saturday evening while reading a chapter for my grad class. The neck is curling badly in the picture, but you get the general idea: Fitzgerald front Half of a skein of the Araucania Nature wool (there was a knot about halfway through) was just horrible. Every two rows or so, I'd come upon a section that had a ply or two broken. ANW doesn't split splice well, at least not for me. So after having to tink back to the beginning of the row to cut out the bad part and rejoin a couple of times, I finally ripped back to where the problems first began and started over with a fresh skein. If I end up with extra yarn, which I'm pretty sure I will, I'll just toss it. This problem robbed me of movie theater knitting on Friday, though. :(

Sunday afternoon

Fitzgerald front

Completed Back

I skipped working out yesterday. I was feeling kind of guilty, and then realized that going to three spin classes a week kind of makes me exempt from true laziness. My Saturday was a bit stressful, so I worked on some "me time" yesterday. That included finally opening up the box that Harry Potter was shipped in and starting on it. I'm about half-way through. The cool thing, though, is that I was knitting while reading (well, and while watching the West Wing, when Brad was around). I have completed Fitzgerald's back piece. Fitzgerald Back You can see where I changed skeins. It's more obvious in the photo than in real life, and Brad doesn't care, so that's good. I knew I should have alternated skeins, though. :( I have no idea why I didn't. Anyway, my goal list specified that I should finish the back piece on this sweater, so I won't start the front until next month. I have plenty of other things to work on. I thought about casting on for Birch last night, but I was definitely not in the right frame of mind to face those 299 stitches. Soon.

Big day today!

Today is the Yarn Harlot's book signing! I'm more than a little excited. :) Thanks for all of the wonderful comments on Rosita. :) Lori asked "what's next?" Well, the answer is "simpler things." I spent Friday swatching for Birch, Soleil, and Grace. Madeleine is still in the works, though I put it aside to cast on for Fitzgerald, and then in a moment of weakness, Soleil as well. Yesterday, I had a work function at Del Mar Fairgrounds. I have to admit that I have some moral opposition to horse races (though I'm much more passionate about irresponsible dog breeders and pet stores). It was still fun, though, and the horses are just beautiful. Pure, solid muscle. Brad was taking his last final while I was at the picnic, so Sam went with me instead. He did place some bets, and was actually pretty successful, especially for a guy that picks horses based on their names. Brad and I got home about the same time and decided to use the movie tickets that my sister thoughtfully sent us and went to see Wedding Crashers. Hilarious movie. Anyway, stupid me thought that the air conditioning in the theater would be a welcome change from the heat, but they had seriously under conditioned for the almost full theater. I was knitting Fitzgerald (by feel) and had to eventually put it away because I got too warm. Oh well. Here's my progress on Soleil: Soleil start I'm knitting this in lime green Adrienne Vittadini Marissa, a pima cotton/silk blend. Here's Fitzgerald: back start This sweater isn't actually so much Fitzgerald as it is a modified drop shoulder sweater from Ann Budd's sweater book, since my 5 spi gauge with Araucania Nature Wool doesn't match the 4.5 spi that Fitzgerald calls for. Also, I'm going with 5" of ease instead of 10", thanks to some help from Jessica and Andrew. (I was thinking 7", she said 6" looked just a little big on Andrew, so I'm going with 5".) I'll follow the instructions for the Fitzgerald collar, otherwise I'll be following Ann Budd's book. I'll credit them both when I do my final project run down (months from now). I used the tubular cast on for this (the same one I tried and scrapped for Madeleine, but had successfully used for York). With worsted weight wool, this cast on is fabulous, DK weight wool cotton, not so much. Birch is going on the needles as soon as I buy Addi Naturas in a US 6 (I wanted to yesterday, but didn't leave Del Mar early enough to run up to Encinitas). Or, until I decide to knit it on the 14" Brittany straights that I have. I guess we'll see which comes first. I've got a little post-monogamy project explosion going on over here.