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.

Finished York

I am so thrilled that this is done! I went over to Miyon's apartment last night. After a really yummy salad for dinner, we settled down to knit/sew, and I pestered her with annoying questions about her own zipper experience the night before. My zipper installation was uneventful, just tedious. I know people in cold places will hate me for saying this, but I'm really, really bummed about the weather. The high today will be 70 degrees F, and there's no way I can wear a wool sweater in this weather. York will probably be in the closet until Rhinebeck. York Pattern: York from Noro Knits Yarn: Noro Shinano in color 14, almost 10 skeins to knit the extra small (three more than the pattern called for, I lengthened all pieces, and my row gauge was 28 rows per 4" instead of 24). Modifications: Lengthened the body and the sleeves, shortened the collar by an inch and a half. Needles: US 6 Addi Turbos Time: 51.25 hours knitting, 7.75 hours finishing

I had to walk uphill both ways….

I gave up precious knitting time yesterday to go hang out with Brad and his co-workers. His co-workers are all really nice, but they're also all about 5 years younger than us (Brad is an intern part-time while he's in school full-time). I never thought it was that big of a difference, but they were talking about their bandwidth limitations with their on-campus internet, and I had to laugh, because when I went to college, we had dial-up. Everyone used the computer labs because not everyone had their own computer, much less their shinynewlaptops. I'm not that far out of college - how am I already sounding like my father? Anyway, I wasn't comfortable bringing out my knitting (I was already feeling old), so the washcloth petal I got done at lunch was all I got done yesterday. Today is my off-Friday, but I'll be spending the morning getting new tires on my car. I hope to get a couple of knitting hours in after that is done on Butterfly (I'll be knitting the washcloth as I wait for my tires), but then I'm meeting Sam at 3:30 to lift weights, then spin at 4:30. Then I'll rush home, shower, then head off to Marisa's house for our knitting night while Brad supervises the carpet cleaners (and we can hope that my allergy problems will diminish). I guess Mary Ella would be good for tonight - Butterfly is too big to take with me. I got the zipper for York and Miyon's Ribby Cardi in the mail yesterday. Here is mine: York pre-zipper I'm really pleased with the color, and the great service from Zipper Stop. We ordered the zippers on Saturday, and they arrived yesterday - that's quick for custom made zippers! Now we just need to figure out how to install the zippers. :)

This looks suspiciously like a sweater

A sweater with no zipper, but look! York no zipper I had woven in some ends before I went to Miyon's yesterday, and then finished weaving in ends and knitting the collar while I was there. It was a huge help having two opinions on when I should bind off the collar - no offense to Brad, but I trust Marisa and Miyon more in this area, so I was relieved to have it done before I went home. Miyon and I ordered zippers - now I just have to wait for them to arrive! That wasn't the reason I went to Miyon's, though - yesterday was our day to start knitting Mary Ella. Or, in Marisa's case, let us benefit from her being the pioneer. :) This is what I have so far: mary ella start I did a couple more repeats after I got home - while at Miyon's, I noticed that I had put an extra bead in an area, and I wanted to see if I could break it off rather than tink back. That's when I switched to York. I did in fact get the bead off (with a pair of cuticle nippers) so I continued with the knitting for a little while longer once I was home. Then, just for good measure, I finished up the 7th Christmas gift. York no zipper This is another washcloth made with Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille - I got really upset with this one, as I had not one but two stitches break. I'm going to knit two more washcloths, one in my last remaining skein (this one NuMei, not Crystal Palace) and one with the remnants of all three. I might keep this washcloth and give away the next solid colored one, as there were some problems with this one that resulted in a less than perfect finished product.

Seaming Party

Marisa couldn't make it last night, so rather than start the Mary Ella bracelets, Miyon and I had a seaming party for Ribby Cardi and York. What do two first time sweater seamers need for a good evening? seaming party 1. A friend 2. Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook 3. Nancie Wiseman's Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques 4. Vogue Knitting (You'll notice I paid attention to Becky's "learn" page - I own four out of her five recommended books. She has one of the most technically helpful blogs out there, so I trust her book judgment.) 5. Sweater pieces and yarn to seam 6. Yarn needle and pins 7. A glass of Orfila Vineyard's Gold Rush Zinfandel, 2002 8. The Italian Job on HBO on Demand You'll notice Leilani didn't make the list - she had to watch from the kitchen after she couldn't be convinced that the best seat in the house was not in fact on top of sweater pieces. Here's my progress with one sleeve sewn in, one pinned and ready to go: set in sleeves The sleeves were making me the most nervous, so I was relieved when they were finished. I tried it on at that point, and freaked out when the sweater didn't sit right on my broad shoulders - imagine my relief at realizing that the stitch holder that was holding 30 stitches for the collar was the problem. So, I continued, and got one side seam done as well. I have both sleeve seams and one side seam left to do. I've already spent 2.25 hours seaming. :P Miyon hadn't realized that she had to knit the front bands first, so she picked up stitches and got that done. Consequently, she didn't get as much seaming done, but she did complete both side seams. By the way, if anyone has any Elann Peruvian Highland Wool in Oxblood lying around, she could really use some. She has just enough to do one row, maybe two on her collar (she'll have to use Redwood to seam her sleeves). If you've got a partial ball you don't need, she'd be grateful. Anyway, one or two more evenings should see York seamed and the collar knitted (probably not this evening or the next, I have a stats exam tomorrow night). Then Miyon and I have to order zippers! I don't want to know how long those will take us to install...

A moment of silence…

My DVR died yesterday. In the middle of watching something (and recording the basketball game, sorry Miyon) the screen blanked out, and rebooting the device and calling customer service did me no good - the hard drive is gone. It took with it a weeks worth of my shows. It still works as a digital cable box, but I either have to find a VHS tape and remember how to program my VCR or convince Miyon that she wants to watch the Bachelorette tonight. The cable guy comes to swap out our box tomorrow (between the convenient hours of 11-3). Despite the fact that I had to watch Desperate Housewives last night with commercials, I got good progress done on York. In fact, the fronts are finished. York fronts So, I'll give it all a Euclan bath tonight and hope that two days is enough time to dry (my sister and her husband will be in my guest room Wednesday night). I'm not going to pin them out at all - I remember reading on the Audrey along site that it's best to leave the ribbing alone. Someone pinned them out to the final measurements and ended up with an Audrey that was too big. Then I have to seam it up and knit the collar, and then order a zipper for it. I'm a little nervous, having never finished a sweater before, but I flipped through my knitting books last night, and I'm sure I'll be fine. :) I forgot to mention my first failed FO yesterday. Prior to leaving for Stitches West, I saw this blog and thought - hey, I have that yarn! I had previously planned to use it for the Hurry Up Spring wrist warmers from Stitch 'n Bitch nation, but my sister warned me that the wrist warmers that she made from the same yarn for her husband stretched out. I guess this Malabrigo/handpaintedyarn.com/I forget their ebay name (it's all the exact same stuff) really wants to be something like a scarf. Anyway, I did attempt this scarf, and then figured out after I had manhandled 720 stitches on a 40" long needle (bad call, I know), that the blogger must have gone up quite a few needle sizes and knit it at a loose gauge. How do I know that? Because I ended up with this: ruffled scarf It's very cute, but unfortunately, 33" long. It would be a baby length scarf, but, well, I don't think a baby should have something made from this yarn - it definitely isn't resilient. One spit up and it would be over. Anyway, never fear - the scarf will make cute handles for a little purse. Eventually. This isn't high priority on my knitting list (it was only a priority because I wanted to wear it to Stitches West).

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.

Even with no elves, four gifts are done

I finished up the back of York without even realizing I was that close. It took a lot less time to do the back than the sleeves. I think my bind off for the shoulders was too tight, though, so I'll probably have to redo that. It looks so long and skinny! York Back With a few minutes of hot glue time, the tree ornament was finished. Tree Ornament Back Brad was busier than I was (I spent the majority of my day studying for tonight's exam). He clipped all three quilts and washed and dried them. They're covered in lint now that just can't be taken care of with a lint brush, so he's picking up a lint shaver after work today. Rag Quilts Last but not least, the finished cards. The letter is still incomplete, as are all of the addresses, so we'll see if he makes the Wednesday deadline. Cards Finished Now I just need to get through my final and my presentation, and then I can work on getting that dog ornament completed. I got December's round robin in the mail, but that's really low priority right now.

More pictures

Here's the November Flip-It (click for more project details). November Flip-It The final post-blocking picture of the coasters: Coasters and Coozies Here's the start of a scarf for my sister, made with Peruvian Alpaca in Indigo and Cornflower. I'm using a ribbed pattern, but with a twisted mini-cable for the K2s. I'm switching colors every 28 rows (about 4"). Blue Alpaca Scarf This is the back of York - I'm about ready to start on the shoulder shaping. It looks super skinny because of the ribbing. York Back Progress I thought I would post more today, but I spent a while updating the gallery. I re-organized my stash yesterday, and I have some pictures of new stuff. I have to get off the computer soon to do some homework, and then head off to the gym and a party.

Greetings from Boston

Well, we're here. Our trip was fairly uneventful, despite me losing my airplane friendly nail clippers in the Baltimore airport, making cross-stitching on the second flight impossible. I've been reunited with my lovely Gingher scissors now, and I'll replace the clippers before we fly back home. Before we left, I finished up this month's round robin (I'll post pictures when I get home) and cast on for the back of York. On the flight, I watched Sex and the City Season 5 on DVD and cross-stitched the Lizzie*Kate November Flip-It. I'm a little over halfway done with it now. Today, we got up bright and early to go to my sister's cyclo-cross race in Palmer. I brought the back of York with me, and got about 6" done during the car rides and the down time at the race. Here is my sister racing by: Michele Racing In honor of the Yarn Harlot, here's York at the race: York Race Tonight, we had Christmas. Ed loved his DNA scarf as his co-workers will be quite envious. Michele loved her scarf (though she got it last night because she cheated and looked at the blog entry that it was in). Dad is quite happy with his pajamas. :) I got some great gifts from them, such as a cup to brew loose tea in, the Knitters Companion, a subscription to Interweave Knits, and a red Swingline stapler (Office Space, anyone?). I'm super excited about a gift certificate that my sister got me for a local yarn shop, the Woolpack. We'll be visiting on Friday. Best of all? They carry Fleece Artist! There are other yarn stores in the plan, one in Montreal (Mouline Yarns), and another in Boston (Woolcott). Lovely. :) My father helped me with the annual Christmas ornament design. The first annual ornament, I made an "our first Christmas" ornament. Last year, I stitched a dog in front of a fireplace, which symbolized purchasing the condo with the fireplace and adopting Leilani. This year, we're not that interesting, but we've both started school at the two main universities in San Diego. So here's the design that my father and I came up with this evening: Ornament design It is sized to conveniently fit into a small wooden hoop, a very handy ornament finishing technique. It should also be reasonably quick to stitch up. Tomorrow morning we leave for Montreal! We'll be there until Wednesday, when we head back to Boston to start on Thanksgiving pies. Oh, has anyone heard of Chris Craft Boats? I had never heard of them, but when my dad finally found out my blog address (which he couldn't know due to Christmas information) he thought I had named my site because of them. I've never heard of them, but then again, Natalie named my site. Natalie, is that how you came up with it?