Friday, April 29, 2011

FO Friday -- Joe Cool Edition

Just flew back from KC, where I had a pretty decent day and a half.  I'd have called it good until I inadvertently poured my diet coke into my work bag (with my knitting) on the plane on the way home.  Sigh.  Some of my notes are looking a little less than pristine at the moment, but I was able to rescue both yarn and sock chunk without any damage.  Phew! 

And, as it happens, I've arrived just in time to participate in FO Friday (that's 3 in a row for me - a personal best!).  It turns out that there are lots of pluses to knitting dish cloths.  In no particular order...

They're super functional.
They're a quick and satisfying knit.
I get to play along with FO Friday more often when I knit small stuff.
Oh, and they're pretty stinkin' cute...

Pretty awesome.  In my fantasy world, I'll knit enough of these to keep in the kitchen so we'll cut our paper towel usage by something like 80 or 90%.  I'd say completely, but let's face it -- I'm not going to pick up dog barf with a hand-knit washcloth, nor am I going to use it to drain bacon.  I'm sure there are more things that are classified as paper-towel-only jobs in my brain, but those are the two that pop to mind right off.  We'll see how that goal plays out over the next few months.

I'm also a little bit in awe of the amazing designs that are out there.  My personal favorite dish cloth designer is Faerwear (who's also on Ravelry).  I could totally knit a blanket out of those squares.  But really, somewhere out there, there's a dish cloth design for just about anything.  Must explore more.

Thus ends the dish cloth treatise.  Are you a believer?

Happy Weekend, y'all!

ps. The Snoopy Dish cloth pattern is free here, and I knitted it up with Sugar and Cream cotton yarn, in case that's the sort of stuff that keeps you awake at night.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.38

By the time you read this, I'll be jetting off to Kansas City for a couple of days of fun-filled meetings.  Jealous?  Yeah, I thought so.  But while I'm in transit, I'll be knitting my fingers off on my shiny new project.  Yay!  Let me introduce you to the Super Secret Socks. 

Okay, so there's not much to look at yet.  But with two plane rides and a night alone in a hotel room, there should be lots more to see by this time next week.  Fingers crossed!  The pattern is the Yarn Harlot's Earl Grey, and the yarn is a skein of Pagewood Farm Chugiak that I had to put into time out after last year's Hedgerow Socks fiasco.  (Really, I blame me.  Both the pattern and the yarn are lovely.)  Anyway, I'm hoping for a much more successful union of yarn and pattern this time around.  And so far (that's 70 stitches cast on and one whole round of ribbing!), so good.

The Super Secret series of projects will continue for a while, I'm afraid.  But at some point in the next couple of months, I'll reveal their true purpose.  Promise!  In the mean time, feel free to enter your guesses in the comments.  That should make for some entertaining reading for all of us!

In other news, the Snoopy Dishcloth is finished and end-woven and really, super cute.  I'll be back on Friday for the final unveiling.  Until then, I'll be scouting my next washcloth pattern.  They're fun and strangely satisfying.  Go figure.

**Warning:  Boring Hockey Talk Below**

Finally, this week...  Yay, Sharks!  My boys (who generally play like champions all season and then spend the playoffs running around in circles clutching their pearls) managed to fight their way into round 2 last night.  Very exciting indeed.  Well, for everyone but Tami -- since the team they beat was her Kings.  Her guys put up a great fight, though.  It was an exciting series for sure. 

**End Boring Hockey Talk**

So, hope y'all have a great rest of the week.  I'll be stopping everyone's WIPW entries when I get home. I can't believe how much we're growing.  It's awesome!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

FO Friday - The Repeat Edition

As you may remember, llast Friday, I scurried around like a crazy person and managed to just barely pull the Super Secret Citron off the needles in time for FO Friday.  Phew!  It was a close one.  I managed just a couple of badly lit pictures from the brightest part of the house, since the sun had long since set. 

So I decided that this merited me a do-over with new pictures, taken during some sort of daylight, and after a light blocking.  Which pretty much brings us to the here and now.

I was afraid of losing the ruching in the Citron, so I wanted to be super careful about blocking it.  I thought through a couple of different options, but in the end, I wound up pinning it gently around the edges and spraying it (just the ruffle and the garter edge) with a little bit of soak diluted with water.  I sprayed it until it was pretty damp, then left it til the next day.  I have to say, it worked really well.  Ruching is  still intact, and there's nary a curled ruffle in sight.  Success!  See?

It's all kinds of windy here this evening (Hi.  Still Thursday here. Totally cheating.), so I had limited options for taking advantage of the light.  Though I did manage one fence shot that's pretty close to the actual color...
... even if it is a little wind-flappy.  I have to say, I would knit this again in a heartbeat, and I'm not a girl who ever knits something more than once.  It was fun, and easy, and fast, and just generally lovely.  I miss it already...

But Snoopy is helping ease the pain at the moment.  He's so stinking cute.  I only have 20 or so rows to go, so I'd best figure out what's next.  I have 3 whole days off stretched out ahead of me!  Must take advantage!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.37

And now for something completely different... (can anyone name the obscure tv show reference?)

It's Wednesday!  And I don't have much knitting *gasp* on the needles.  I know.  I'm as shocked as you are.  The vest needs to be seamed and have the trim added.  Not much going on there at the moment.  The Super Secret Citron blocked beautifully, and is patiently awaiting its moment in the sun on Friday.  I can't decide on yarn for the next project (which will be a KnitPicks order). 

And so where does that leave me?  It leaves me doing some serious stash diving, and coming up with part of a skein of Sugar and Cream cotton and a fistful of Snoopy Dishcloth Pattern (Ravelry link, but the pattern's free!).  And when they came together, it looked something like this:

It's just over half done, and Snoopy's all there, except for his noggin.  Turns out he's got a pretty big dome on him.  This is fun, fast, and really cute.  Who doesn't love Snoopy?  I will say that after knitting with that super fine (Filatura di Crosa Nirvana, in case you were wondering) laceweight, that this cotton feels a bit like I'm knitting with bailing wire.  My hands get pretty red after half an hour or so.  I know -- sissy.  What can I say?  I'm a delicate little flower.

Anyway, we have house guests this week -- safely stashed at Mr. Right's house, but still keeping the both of us extra busy.  So I'll make this quick.  I promise to choose some yarn in the next day or two so we can get on with Super Secret Project #2.  And when I have a few minutes, I'll head over to check out everyone else's progress over at Tami's.  See you there!

Oh.  And also?  GO SHARKS!!!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

FO Friday: Super Secret Edition

Yippee!  It's Friday.  And I'm done.  And so I get to play along with all the fun stuff happening at Tami's blog for FO Friday.  It's so exciting, mostly because it's so rare that I actually finish something. 

The good news is that I pulled the Super Secret Citron off the needles after dinner this evening, then did a bunch of chores, then turned on every light in the house and raced around trying to find decent picture lighting.  The verdict:  There was none.  Sorry.  But here it is, in all its dimly-lit-and-not-yet-blocked glory:

I'm in love with it.  And I really wish I could tell you what it was for, but I can't yet.  And what's worse is that there are other Super Secret projects coming up in the near future.  Hopefully, I'll be able to spill the beans in the next month or two.  You'll just have to stay tuned to find out.

Here's another, slightly better shot:

It's small, as shawls go.  I followed the instructions to a T, and I think it'll be perfect.  The recipient is pretty tiny, with narrow little shoulders.  I think this is exactly perfectly right.  I'm nervous to block it, as I don't want to lose the scrunched up bits (ruching?), but the ruffle is rolling pretty badly, as you can see, and the little garter stitch border could use some help, too.  My current plan is to lay it out, then gently pin and spray just the edges to neaten things up.  I'm open to suggestions, though -- anyone have any better ideas?

This is definitely one of my favorite projects so far.  The yarn is Filatura di Crosa Nirvana, held double (about 2.5 skeins).  It's fabulous to work with, and I think it plays really nicely with this pattern.  I highly recommend both. 

And here's the best news of all... I fully plan to block it this weekend, take some daylight photos, and then post it as an FO all over again next week.  I'm SUCH a cheater.  Forgive me?

And now, because I'm nosy... What's everyone up to this weekend?  Anything good?  (Just looking to live vicariously for a while!)

Happy Friday, y'all!  (and GO SHARKS!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.36

Man, I've been trying for daaaaaays to get over here and post.  And I've been thwarted.  Repeatedly.  So, hi! It's Wednesday again.  The one with all the work in progress.  Yep, that's the one.

I've made a metric ton of progress on the Super Secret Citron in the last week.  So much, in fact, that I have only 4 more rows to go on the ruffle (!).  SO much that you get no picture this week, so that you can see it in its full (okay, it won't be blocked by then so probably mostly-full) glory on Friday.  This has been SUCH a fun knit.  Admittedly, the rows in section 5 and the ruffle are L  O  N  G, but they still don't feel tedious.  The yarn has been lovely, and it's so soft and pretty that I get a little happy *squee* feeling every time I pick it up, even if it's only for half a row or so.  Lots of folks have mentioned that they're contemplating knitting it.  Here's my advice:  Go do it.  Right now.  It's bound to make you happy.

Posts with no pictures are so boring, though.  What to do...  Ooh!  I know.  Here's a picture of the greatest dog who ever lived...
Seriously.  Best. Dog. Ever.  I miss her today.

There's been more work on the vest this week, too.  But, it still looks a whole lot like it did last week, so no pictures of that, either.  Instead, here's a rather frightening picture of me, feeding a big, hairy giraffe (!). 

What can I say, it tickled...  The back story:  I'm sort of obsessed with giraffes.  They're so... improbable looking.  And, one day we heard that there's a zoo in Colorado Springs where you can hang out and feed crackers to giraffes as much as you want (weather permitting).  We went pretty much immediately, and it was all kinds of awesome.

Now, aren't you glad you stopped by this week to catch up on all the knitting progress?  Yeah, I thought so.  Seriously, as soon as I can figure out how to get out from under the wheels of this bus, I'll be back more regularly.  Life has to chill out soon, right?  Here's hoping.

Anyway, I promise something new and exciting next week.  And it probably won't involve giraffes.  No guarantees, though...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.35

You know how people always say that God made babies and small children super cute so that you're less like to try and kill them when they misbehave?  I'd like to propose a corollary to that theory.  It's a shawl-related addendum.  Here goes:

Shawls start small and get bigger with each section so that you don't light them on fire and go knit something far more reasonable.

You see, the first 3 or so sections of the Super Secret Citron flew by so quickly that I felt like a super star.  And yet, the last one is kind of killing me.  Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun knit, and I'm still having a blast knitting it.  Mr. Right's even a fan since I can knit it while I watch a movie with him and actually pay attention to both.  It's generally a win-win.  All I'm saying is... If I'd started this thing with a 444 stitch row#1, row #2 would've been pretty unlikely.  As it is, I'm SO close to the finish I can almost taste it.  See...
Someone from my knitting group (Hi, Kris!) was kind enough to loan me a 32" circular to finish up with.  The pattern calls for a 24", but once I got north of 300 stitches, things were a bit cramped.  This makes it easier to maneuver, and reduces the likelihood that all of my stitches will slip off and unravel. And I recommend it if you're contemplating knitting one of these.

I had a pretty great weekend, so that's all the knitting I have to report this week.  We went to the Denver Auto Show on Saturday, which was way more fun than it sounds.  They had lots of pretty cars...
Turns out that I actually really need one of these.  Who knew?  I sure didn't.  It's a Mercedes SLS AMG. 

Isn't it pretty?  Sort of like having your own personal batmobile.  One of my girlfriends from California was in town this weekend, too.  So she came over for dinner on Sunday night and we got to hang out and do some serious catching up.  We had a blast.  I don't have any close girlfriends in Colorado, so whenever someone visits, I'm always shocked to remember that I have a whole pile of really good friends.  Friends are good.  It totally made my week.

That's all for me.  Go check out everyone else's weekly project over at WIPW.  I'm sure there are tons of other car picturs up this week. :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Buy Me Some Peanuts...

I LOVE Saturday mornings.  I get to sleep in as late as I want, or at least until Mr. Right shows up at my house and pounces on me.  (I made it all the way to 7:30 this morning, which is pretty good!)  And I usually have time to knit a bit and scan some of the Picture Pile of Doom.  What's not to love?

This week in  honor of opening weekend (that's the start of baseball season for those of you who aren't in the states, or just don't care about such trivial stuff), I decided to share some photos of my uncle Donald.  Donald was my grandmother's baby brother, and the Unknown Soldier of my picture pile.  Apparently, he was also an avid baseball player...

I'm guessing this was taken around 1940, when Donald would've been 15.  It's a pretty cool shot, but not nearly as fun as this one...

He's totally safe, by the way.  Pretty close call, though.  These were a fun find, especially since by the time I met him, Donald was an old guy with two grown kids and a huge, slobbery St. Bernard named Rosie.  It's nice to know he took some time to go play outside.  Which, coincidentally, is exactly what I'm about to do.  But when I get back, I'm going to go check out lots of other fun vintage photos over at Sepia Saturday.  Go visit if you get the chance!