Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday v.34

I'm back!  And I've been both awake and upright all day -- for the first time since last week.  When last we met, I was getting ready for some dental surgery, complete with anesthesia, and I was -- let's face it -- a nervous wreck.

Friday morning rolled around and I went to the doctor's office, got hooked up to everything, chatted a bit about the latest round of March Madness, and then had someone tapping me on the shoulder saying I was done.  SO weird.  The recovery has been slightly less easy than the procedure.  I have 9 stitches in my mouth, had a bad reaction to the anesthesia (nausea, big time), a bad reaction to the painkillers (more nausea), and a bad reaction to the antibiotics (anyone wanna guess?  that's right -- more nausea).  I've been napping for days.  And I've been knitting a bunch, too.  That part has been fun, at least.

And so, I have a whole ton of progress to show you on my Super Secret Citron.  Ta da!
Does anyone else think it looks like some sort of fuzzy blue seashell at this point?  No?  Just me?  Must be the drugs...  Anywho, along those lines, I'm even smitten with the way the mostly-used yarn cake looks...

Isn't it pretty?
I'm about halfway through section 4 (out of 5 + ruffle) now, and still working through my first skein.  Here's what I've learned in this week's installment of My First Shawl:

  • Doubling laceweight yarn isn't terrible, but probably not a great idea for a first timer if it can be avoided
  • Pointy needles will make your life much, much, MUCH easier (this has one row that is Kfb every stitch, and purling back through those stitches takes f o r e v e r with blunt needle tips)
  • In a 5-section shawl (one that increases in size rather than decreases), you will use as much yarn for the last section and ruffle as you do for the first 4 sections.  Still trying to wrap my head around that one...
  • This pattern is totally, completely addictive.
In other news, I'm finishing up the last front of the vest this week. (Did you notice how I said "last front" as if there were 30 of them?  If sort of feels like there were...) This pattern was a bit much for my poor, drug-addled brain to handle while I was all doped up, but I've pulled it out again and am soldiering on.  Here's this week's very minor progress:

Almost there!  Kind of.  Just a few more rows, then we bind off and sew up the shoulders.  Yippee!  I'm cautiously optimistic about picking up stitches around both armholes and the whole front of the vest. Fingers crossed, as usual with this thing!

That's all for me at the moment, though I expect to be back later this week.  I've missed being here lately!  Until then, head over to Tami's for WIPW and see what everyone else is up to.  All the cool kids are doing it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.33

I have to admit, Friday's Mini Mochi Marathon of Sock sort of knocked me off my knitting mojo for a few days.  I think I only managed about 30 minutes of knitting this weekend, and I'm totally okay with that.  It's nice to have a break every so often, especially when Spring is finally starting to spring around here (Yay!).

I haven't entirely forsaken my favorite hobby, though.  There's been some progress on the cable lace vest (sometimes known as The Vest From Hell) this week.  I finished the back, and have picked up the stitches for the final front panel.

As soon as I can sit down and write out the directions for it so they make some kind of sense, I'll get it knocked out.  Then only the ribbing around the arm holes and the shawl collar to go (that's still kind of a lot isn't it? sigh.)...

I also got started this week on my Super Secret Citron.  Here are some things I've learned so far:

  • Lace weight yarns vary A WHOLE BUNCH in gauge.
  • The tension caused by using a size 6 circular needle to knit 3 stitches of eensy-skinny yarn will cause the stitches to go flying off the needle. Repeatedly.
  • It's okay to let the guru from your knitting group show you how to get started after you've cast on and flailed about 37 or 38 times.

Okay, really it's not as bad as I make it sound.  It is a learning curve though, using lace weight for the first time to knit one's first shawl.  It turns out that I needed to double the Filatura, and once I did, things looked much more promising.  I think I've got a good start going now, and am super excited to see it come together.  My guru also suggested a provisional cast on to make it easier to pick up the first stitches, and that was completely brilliant.  It made life SO much easier -- I highly recommend it.  Here's how my bit-o-shawl is looking so far...

And here's how it looks really close up (the first pic is better for color, though)...
I love how you can already see the pattern forming.  Yay!

I'm having oral surgery on Friday morning (Boo!), so I'll either have a metric ton of progress to share with you all next week or else none at all, depending on how much vicodin I'm forced to swallow.  Funny, but this reminds me of that viral video that went around a while ago with the spiders on drugs.  If you come back next week and my citron looks like the crack spider made it  -- be kind, okay?

And on that note, go check out all the other WIPW-ers and see what they've been up to lately.  It's some seriously good stuff!

Friday, March 18, 2011

FO Friday - Mini Version

The Mochi is Mini and FINI!  Yay for new socks!!  So on Wednesday, I mentioned that I had just a wee bit more to go to finish up sock #2.  It turns out that I was lying my face off.  Oops.  I actually had about half the foot to go.  But because I am insane, and didn't want to let anyone down... I finished it anyway.  Phew! That was a long haul -- and totally worth it.  Here they are, in all their it's-10:30-and-I-want-to-go-to-bed-style poorly photographed glory!
Seriously.  I promise to post better pictures this weekend.  Sheesh.  But at least you get one more badly lit and slightly blurry modeled shot:
I have to admit, I'm seriously in love with these.  They're super warm, and soft and cozy.  I'm curious to see how they wear, and promise to report back.  The yarn is great.  It splits like everyone says, and it has lots of thick and thins spots (also as everyone says), but for me, the amazing colors and the softness more than make up for the inconvenience.  Here's hoping they hold up.  Fingers crossed!

That's it for me this week.  I'm so impressed by all of you who whip out 2 or 3 projects a week.  I'm good for 1 or 2 a month, and that's if I go on laundry strike.  Y'all are some seriously talented knitters!  Now, head over to Tami's blog and check out everyone else's FO Friday goodies.  Then go have yourselves a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.32

Another Wednesday, and I finally feel like I'm getting somewhere.  Yay!  In fact, I've made so much progress on the Yummy Mochi socks (Ravelry link) that I'm saving the pictures for FO Friday.  Just an inch or two of foot left, and then the toe.  I'll be really glad to see these finished for lots of reasons.  Obviously, I'm super excited to wear them.  But I'll also be glad to be done with this pattern.  It's getting to be a bit dull.  I chose it for its simplicity, to best show off the scrummy yarn so it's my own fault.  But I'll be glad to do something other than K3 P1.  The pattern is well written, and the socks fit great, so I'm not knocking it at all - promise!  It's just time for something new.

Speaking of yummy yarn, I'll have a fair bit left after my socks are done, and have been contemplating starting a sock yarn blanket.  Have you guys seen these?  The projects on Ravelry are kind of mind- blowingly great.  But they also look like a mountain of work.  So what do you think?  Should I give it a go? Or am I crazy for even thinking about it?  Help me decide?

 The Vest From Hell has also come along a bit this week.  The right front is finished(!), and I've picked up stitches and started knitting up the back now.  Hopefully, no more problems and the rest will go quickly.  Here's this week's oddly-colored shot (sorry - I'm tired of looking at it, too!)...

Finally, with finish line in sight for my socks, I've got a new project percolating and can't wait to dive in!  I'm knitting a Super Secret Citron.  This'll be my first time knitting with lace weight, and my first shawl, so I'm a little nervous, but I'm super excited to get started.  I can't tell you what it's for yet, but it's a gift.  And hopefully, I'll be able to spill the beans soon because I'm pretty excited about it.  Speaking of excited, check out this gorgeous yarn...

It's Filatura di Crosa Nirvana, and it's so, so, so soft.  And light.  And the color is gorgeous.  I hope I can do it justice.  If all goes well, I'll get to cast on this weekend, so you'll get a peek at the shawl-to-be next week.  New projects are so fun!

Speaking of fun, head over to Tami's Blog and check out everyone else's new projects this week -- there are bound to be some amazing things happening over there!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The World's Best Birthday Card

On Saturday, we finally got around to having my much-postponed birthday party.  It was loads of fun, with good friends, great food and 3(!) birthday cakes.  Honestly, the 3-cake thing was a total fluke.  The bakery made a booboo which resulted in us getting an extra cake at no charge, and the folks who had said they'd bring a salad showed up with a strawberry cream cake instead.  No complaints here.  I think 3 cakes should be the new birthday standard -- apart from the tummy ache that came from sampling all of them.  Oof.  I'd show you pictures of the cakes, but I left the camera at Mr. Right's house.  So, you'll have to take my word for it at the moment, they were AWESOME.

(pretend there are pretty cake pictures here)

And, despite my protests and Mr. Right's explicit instructions, everyone showed up with gifts.  I really hate opening presents in front of people, but just between you and me, it was kind of fun.  Our friend, A -- engineer and car-nut extraordinaire actually toted himself over to our LYS in his racing truck, marched inside and asked a room full of ladies, most of whom were openly staring at him, if they sold gift certificates.  They did, and he bought me one!  How cool is that?  I really need to find that guy a worthy girlfriend.  He's a keeper, for sure.

By far, the coolest gift of the evening was a card from Mr. Right's friend, J and his girls.  J is a widower with twin 19-year-old daughters.  He's definitely got his hands full, but he's a fantastic dad, and I love his girls to death.  Here's the card they gave me:

Cute, right?  Maybe a bit odd with all the hearts and whatnot, but totally serviceable as a birthday card.  And when I opened it, I burst out laughing so hard, I was crying.  Here's what it said:
How awesome is that?  Leigha is one of the twins, and coincidentally the twin who went out of town this weekend, leaving her Valentine's Day card from her aunt and uncle unattended.  I think the pink pen is an extra nice touch.  Don't you?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.31

Not so much knitting this week, I'm afraid.  I was sitting here, staring at a pile of unknitted sock, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out why I hadn't gotten more done, but then I remembered...

  •  My bathroom sink is fixed, and water actually runs *through* it now.  Epic.
  • Mr. Right's garage stairs are once again whole and functional, until the next time he bashes into them with the truck...
  •  The fridge is full of food, and we'll both have home cooked meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week.  Yum.
  • And, oh yeah... I've spent the last 2 days in meetings all through my lunch hour.  No knitting lunches for me.  Far less satisfying than the rest of the distractions on the list, but part of the price of being gainfully employed, I guess.
 Anyway, that's not to say there's been NO progress, just precious little.  Sock #2 is bigger...

I thought about trying to get the stripes to match on these, but it seemed like so much hassle, and it's not like they won't still go together.  Right?  Hope so, because this is one pair of socks that's definitely more fraternal than identical.  I still love them a whole lot, though.

Oh yeah, the vest.  Sheepishly guilty admission time:  I ran home and cranked through a few measly rows so I'd have some progress to report, but that's about it.  The right front is all done with decreases, has the right number of stitches, and just a couple inches to go before I bind off and start working up the back.

 I gotta say, you guys definitely keep me honest!  If not for WIPW, I'd have stuffed this thing under the bed a while ago.  Thanks for the motivation!  And if you need more of that, go check out all the other Works In Progress this Wednesday.  There's some cool stuff going on out there!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Home on the Range?

A few weeks ago, I learned that I can scan more than one picture at a time on my fancy dancy scanner.  Yep, that's right folks.  I's a smart one.  Anyway, as someone who's faced with eleventy billion family photos, this little factoid has pretty much changed my life.

So today, I've been scanning.  And sifting through the mystery pile.  I try and do it every month or so, and can usually find a home for at least one or two more pictures each time.  There are some mystery pics though, that I don't think I'll ever have an answer for.  They seem to be of friends rather than family, and have no markings at all.  But some of them are really cool.

Last week, I found 3 pictures from a set of these two ladies...
I've no idea who they are, or more importantly, *where* they are, but I absolutely love these photos...
They seem so out of sync with what you'd expect for the time (I'm thinking 20s - 30s, but feel free to correct me!). 
These shots came out of my great grandmother's box, so they must've been friends or distant relatives of hers, but that's about all I can come up with.  Neither of them seem to appear in any other photos, and my family wasn't exactly "outdoorsy".  So I'll just chalk these up to a cool mystery, and dive back into the scanning pile, right after I check out all of the other Sepia Saturday posts...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.30

Yay, week 30!  I am proud to say that I have yet to miss one of these little outings, even if I have little (or nothing at all) to contribute.  What does that say about me?  That I need to get a life, is what it says.  Ah well, I'm sure I will some day, right after I finish knitting (Ha!)

So here's what's up around here this week:  Yummy Mochi socks continue to progress.  And since some folks have asked - the colorway is called "Spice Market".  Anyway, I'm happy to announce that they are now "socks" instead of "sock" by virtue of this:

That, my friends is 2.5 rounds of 1x1 ribbing on size 1 needles.  It is all that exists of sock #2, but I'm still pretty happy about it, given that it means sock #1 is done done DONE.  Whee!  And sock #1 is so soft, and so squishy and so warm that I'm dying to give it a companion.  Mini Mochi as the cure for Second Sock Syndrome?  Entirely possible.

And, because I am a masochist, I went and picked up the cable lace vest (which henceforth will be known as The Vest From Hell) again and started working on it.  I've managed to start working up one of the fronts now, and it's possible this might find its way to the finish line some day.  Maybe.  I so wish I didn't hate this pattern, but my gosh.  I really do.  I hate that it requires so much thinking, and 2nd guessing, and fixing of errors (the pattern's not mine), and the writing out of lines so I can keep it all straight. Blerg.  It's character building, right?  Well, I've built about 8 rows of character in the last day or so.  Here it is, in all its poorly-lit (sorry!) glory:

The FOs that come out of this pattern are really, really pretty.  So I'll finish.  And then I'll reward myself with some squishy yarn... because it's better for me than chocolate.

And now I'm off to check out everyone else's Wednesday Progress -- there's so much lately!  It's kind of awesome.