Monday, February 28, 2011

It's My Party!

So... Saturday was my birthday.  It was not the best timing, since Mr. Right had been away all week on a business trip, but was scheduled to come home on Saturday night.  He figured he'd take me out to a birthday dinner on the way home from the airport, and then we'd have a small party with some friends on Sunday.

Not quite.  He got the news on Thursday that he needed to extend his trip til Sunday.  No dinner.  No party (most of the invitees were traveling with him).  Bummer, man.  And so I spent Saturday alternately cleaning and sulking.  Not my best moment.  Mr. Right, bless his heart, got up at 3am to catch a 6am flight so he could be home as soon as humanly possible.  And we spent a really fun day together, just hanging out and catching up.

And then there were PRESENTS!  I'm not ashamed.  I like presents a lot.  And the guy totally outdid himself.  Look what I got:

It's a Knit Picks Swift!

And it opens (and the only counter it fits on is in my kitchen, lucky for you I just cleaned)!

AND a Knit Picks ball winder(!!)  Can I just pause here to say what a cool thing the KP wish list is?  Okay, moving on...  He also got me a set of locking stitch markers because I lost mine, how amazing is that?  You're right.  Pretty amazing.

So I pulled out my favorite skein of sock yarn...

And then I draped it around the swift, and hooked it up to the ball winder, and let the magic happen.  Look at the magic happening!

Ah, bliss.

At the moment, I'm fighting the urge to wind every skein of yarn I own.  It's big fun. 

No worries, though.  The cake and the friends and the party have been rescheduled for next Saturday.  Think everyone will be as excited as me about my neatly wound center pull skeins?  One way to find out...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.29

I feel like I say this a bunch, but wow -- it's Wednesday already?  That was fast.  Mr. Right is traveling all week on business and it's left me feeling all out of sorts.  If it messes me up this much now, I expect to be a full on wreck once we're actually sharing a house.

All that to say, my knitting has suffered.  As I mentioned, I decided to knit my socks with size 1 dpns instead of the pattern-prescribed size 2s and so cast on 4 extra stitches.  All that was fine and dandy until it came time to work the short rows for the heels.  I couldn't figure out how to work in the extra stitches and have everything some out right in the wash.  And so, once again, it was Ravelry to the rescue (!).  Some kind soul on the forums answered my question with a link to heels by the number, which is like some sort of magic math.  Also, awesome.  And so I went.  But adding stitches to my heel flap meant extra rows, and extra stitches to be picked up in the gussets.  Okay, deep breath.  Have I mentioned that this is only my 2nd pair of socks?  And that I'm genetically geared to follow directions?  Anywho, I now have 6 extra stitches, which I've distributed evenly among my needles, and which I'm hoping will return to 4 extra once I finish the gusset decreases.  That should work, right?  Here's how sock #1 is looking these days:

The mini mochi continues to be lovely.  It's as splitty as everyone complains about, but it's so pretty and soft and squishy that I don't care.  High praise, as splitty yarn usually makes me feel stabby.

Not much progress this week, and here's why:

I'm a big fan of The Pioneer Woman, and she was in town a couple of weeks ago, so I had to go and buy her new book and have it signed.  And now I'm totally engrossed in it.  It's not fine literature, for sure, but it's sweet and light and makes me sigh a lot.  Probably lucky for Mr. Right that he's away this week.

That's all I have to report, but there are loads of other folks working on cool stuff over at WIPW.  Go see.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday, v.28

Just a quickie today, since all I want in the whole world is to crawl into my bed.  If I had any sense at all, I'd have done it already - but dangit it's week 28 (!) and I've yet to miss one of these things.  So here we are....

The vest, she is still in time out.  I know I need to sit down and get going on the front with all the crazy decreases and whatnot, but I don't wanna.  And right now, my inner 3 year old is winning the battle.  Instead, I'm knee deep in that super yummy  mini mochi yarn that I bought to feed the stash a couple of weekends ago.  (Is it really feeding the stash if I cast on and use it up right away?  I think maybe not...)  Remember this?

Since the colors are the star of the show here, I'm just doing a super simple 3 x 1 rib pattern for these.  I'm a bit worried, as the pattern called for size 2 needles, and since I really, really wanted (there's that 3 year old again) to use my new Lantern Moon Sox Stix, I cast on 4 extra stitches and used the size 1s instead. Here's how things are looking part way through the heel flap on sock #1:

 I think hope it'll be alright, as I don't knit super tightly and the ribbing is really stretchy, but we'll see.  This yarn is not plied, is pretty fuzzy, and doesn't seem like it would take kindly to frogging so I'm going to continue on my merry way for the moment.  Fingers crossed.

That's all I've got going on at the moment, though I'm seriously contemplating a snoopy dishcloth (Ravelry link - it was the only one I could find) for the weekend.  You'll just have to come back next week to see if I decide to take the plunge.  Until then, go check out all the other pretty, pretty progress over at Tami's Blog!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mystery #1 Updated

Happy Valentine's Day, everybody!

Seems like it's been ages since I've written a family post, but I've still been digging away at all of it.  I've finally reached the end of sorting photographs - I think - after having plowed through the last box of photos belonging to my great grandmother.  And really, I could kiss that woman.  Because I finally made a bit of progress on Mystery #1 (aka My Mother Had How Many Husbands???). 

You see, my mother was a firm believer in fresh starts.  And every time she ended a relationship, she burned everything.  Pictures, letters, nearly all evidence of it.  But my Nana, on the other hand, saved ALL of it.  And so I have a picture of my mother with one of the Mystery Husbands.

 I don't know if he's Mr. L or Mr. Q, since the photo's not dated and the divorces were less than 2 years apart.  Google hasn't got much in the way of info for either of these guys, but I'm glad to at least have a pictue to go work with now.  Hopefully, I'll be able to ID him soon.  And so, only a little progress, but more to come.

Mom passed away 4 years ago today, and though I'd still kind of like to throttle her for lying to me forever, I'd really rather give her a big hug.  And I think that counts as more than a little progress.

And with that, I'm off to bake Mr. Right a Valentine pie.

Friday, February 11, 2011

FO Friday - Two in a Row Edition

Take notice folks, pigs are flying and hell very likely just froze over.  In other news, I've completed another knitting project this week, for a total of TWO in a row.  I know, right?  I can't believe it myself.

It turns out that the Burberry Inspired Cowl is a very quick knit, and I kitchenered (that's totally a verb, don't judge me) my fingers off at lunch today and wore my new cowl home.  Take a look...

Pretty cute, no?  And also very useful if I decide to turn to a life of crime...

Or if the temperature plummets below zero again any time soon.

Anyway, I'm super pleased with it.  My yarn was a bit thicker than the pattern called for, so 21" (the usual length for this) showed up at around 3.5 repeats of the pattern.  The loose cables look really cool, but the super-wide-8-stitch cables left holes that wouldn't go away no matter how tightly I pulled.  It was annoying, but they don't show up when I'm wearing it and there's really no danger of freezing to death.  That baby is WARM. 

I'm about to give it a good dunking, not because it's scratchy (the alpaca is really pretty soft), but because it makes me smell a little bit lot like a big, hairy (but also very soft and cuddly) alpaca.  Here's hoping a good dose of soak will cure that.

For now, I'm going to go cast on some mini mochi socks, because I can't stand not knitting with it any longer.  It's just too squishy and pretty.

For more yarny success stories, head over to FO Friday and see what everyone else is up to!

Happy Weekend, everybody!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

WIPW v.27 - and a Giveaway Winner!

First things first:  Thanks SO much to everyone who entered last Wednesday's pattern giveaway, and especially to everyone who wandered over to Eskimimi's blog to offer cheering thoughts and snag some amazing deals on patterns.  14 folks entered the giveaway for my extra Snowbaby Hat pattern, and here's what's number generator well... generated:

Lucky #7 is bbatting!  The Snowbaby Hat pattern has been zapped off to you this evening.  Enjoy!

And now for those pesky works in progress...  The Burbery Inspired Cowl is all done, save for grafting the ends together, so we'll save the pictures for Friday.  Suffice to say, this was a super quick knit, and I'm excited to wear it.

In other news, the cable lace vest situation isn't as dire as previously thought.  Phew!  Turns out I was supposed to measure from the side, not from the front (where there were loads of short rows put in), and the length isn't too far from where it should be.

I have to say, I'm not loving this pattern.  It has complicated instructions that look like this:

BO 5 sts at beg of nxt row, work 1 row even, then BO 5 at beg of next row. Then dec 1 st at armhole edge on every row 5 times, then every other row 3 times.  AT THE SAME TIME: dec 1 st at neck edge on nxt row, then every 6th row 3 times,then every 8th row once.

And that's just too much for my wee little head to track all at once.  So I've resorted to this:

High tech, no?  Writing it by hand helps me to process, but I can't quite see how I'm going to squeeze all of these 1 jillion rows into the next 4" of knitting.  There's also at least one  error in the pattern which left me confused for a while.  Bleh.  I'll pick it up again soon, as I'm determined to get it done.  I'm just worried it's not going to fit at all, but we'll see...

My other WIP this week is my stash.  I got all excited to post new pics to the 2011 Flash Your Stash thread on Ravelry, and so took a new stash picture:

I was dismayed to find that the current stash is actually smaller *gasp* than last year's...

How can that be?

But, if you look closely, you'll see that there's been quite a bit of turnover from one year to the next, which made me feel a little bit better.  This also made me feel a little bit better...

I had no choice, really.  The scrawny stash needed feeding!  And two skeins isn't all that much.  And I'm in LOVE with the colors.  And I'll be casting on new socks tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

And now, if you've made it through all of that babbling, go check out everyone else's WIPW entries for this week.  They're probably less wordy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

FO Friday - Thank Goodness Edition

I can't remember the last time I was so glad to see a Friday come along.  Yay for weekends!  I'm extra happy because I actually have something to share.  I put the finishing touches on the Chevalier Mittens last weekend, and not a moment too soon.  I sat on Mr. Right's porch on Saturday, working the decreases and soaking up the sun.  By Monday afternoon, it was snowing like crazy and the temperature had dropped below zero.

Needless to say, these mittens were pressed into service without even the thought of a blocking (which is why they're already a little fuzzy looking around the edges).  I haven't taken them off in days.  And they're super warm.  And soft.  And I love them.  Even though I noticed a boo boo on mitten #2 just as I was finishing the thumb.  I (very) briefly entertained the idea of frogging and fixing, decided my hands were cold and carried on.  I'm mostly okay with it, and super thankful to have had them.  Here's a better look at the details:

... on the non-wonky mitten, of course.  Just because I'm okay with it doesn't mean I want to show it off!  I'm really happy with them overall, and fully expect to knit another pair at some point.

Also, in case you missed it on Wednesday, I'm holding a Wee Giveaway between now and next Tuesday night.  Details are on the post, but the nitty gritty is this:  I have an extra copy of Eskimimi's Snowbaby Hat pattern that I'm giving away for the low price of leaving a comment on the appropriate entry, and then visiting Eskimimi's blog to check out her awesome pattern sale or offer some cheering thoughts.  Enter!  Win!

And then go check out all of the beautiful stuff folks are churning out over at FO Friday.  And then have a super happy weekend (phew! that's quite a to do list for you)!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

WIPW v.26 - and a Wee Giveaway!

Brrrrrr.  It's cold.  Like really. really cold.  As in, the last time the thermometer crawled past 0 (that's "zero", folks) was some time on Monday afternoon.  This California girl is not accustomed to sub-zero temps, and not intending to become accustomed, thankyouverymuch.

All that to say I finished the Chevalier mittens last weekend!  So you don't get to see them until Friday.  And then we can all play "Spot The Boo Boo" because I didn't see it until I was binding off and my hands were too cold to frog back and fix it.  It's making me twitch a little bit, but I'm trying to live with it.  They are keeping my hands pretty warm in the midst of all this weather, so I guess I can't complain too much.

I made some good progress on the Cable Lace Vest this week, but Houston... We have a problem.

I reached the end of the bust increases and am ready to divide for the armholes now.  So I took a good hard look at the pattern.  I'm supposed to continue on until the length is 20".  Umm.  Right.  I'd say it's right around 24" right now.  Le sigh. 

What I really need to do is sit down and go over the numbers, check the gauge, make sure I'm measuring from the right place, and make a concrete plan for next steps.  What I did instead was cast on for the Burberry Inspired Cowl that's been sitting on my Ravelry favorites list for ages.  Did I mention it's cold here?

I have 2 skeins of grey alpaca yarn that I bought at the National Western Stock Show a couple of weekends ago that are SO soft.  And I had the right size needles (even if they are my mom's 20 year old plastic needles that have no point whatsoever at the tips).  And as I think I might've mentioned, it's COLD.  I think that totally justifies it.

So last night, I learned how to do a provisional cast on using this video.  Apparently, there are eleventy billion ways to do a provisional cast on, but this one seemed straightforward and worked even though I had to switch it around and do it left-handed.  Bonus.  So at lunch today, I cast on and worked the first handful of rows.  It seems like it'll take about as long to knit the cowl as it will to graft the stitches together when I'm finished.  And the fact that it's an incredibly simple pattern that I can knit while multi-tasking is attractive, too.  In short, I'm loving it.

And I must say, the color of the leftover mitten yarn that I used for the cast-on looks lovely with the grey cowl yarn.  Hmm....  Maybe a pair of striped fingerless mitts with leftovers?  I'll have to give that some thought.

Oh! And I almost forgot:  Yesterday, I stumbled across a giveaway sponsored by the lovely and talented Eskimimi from Eskimimi knits, the Blog Hub group on Ravelry.  She's giving away some gorgeous handspun yarn.  She's also having a bit of a rough go at the moment and is having a huge sale on all of her patterns.  I bought the whole lot for $10, which is a screaming deal.  And,

*****THIS IS THE FREE GIVEAWAY PART (in case you want to skip to the chase)*****

...Since I already purchased the Snowbaby Hat Pattern to knit for Mr. Right's mom for Christmas, I now have two of them.  So I'm giving one away.  Leave a comment on this post, and go visit Eskimimi's blog to see if there's anything that suits your fancy (no purchase required) between now and midnight Colorado time next Tuesday.  I'll randomly draw a winner who'll receive my extra Snowbaby Hat Pattern.  Easy peasy.  I'm happy to send the PDF anywhere, and if you'd rather have a hard copy, I'll even print it out and mail it off - also anywhere.

Once you've left your comment, head over and check out all of the other WIPW folks this week. There are a ton of cool projects to see!

Disclaimer:  This giveaway is sponsored by no one but me.  I didn't even ask Eskimimi's permission, though I might should've.  Hope she doesn't mind...