Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.56

This, my friends, is a VERY exciting Wednesday.  Okay, it's not *that* exciting, but given how things have been going lately, I think it counts...

You see, it's WIPW, and you don't get to see a picture of the Vest From Hell today.  That's because it'll make its debut (and final bow), on FO Friday instead!  Whee!  I have only one armhole left to complete.  That's picking up 101 stitches, knitting 5 rows of sloppy 1x1 rib on clunky size 10 dpns, doing a serious happy dance, then blocking.  I can totally have that done by tomorrow night. 

And then it's back to my lonely little Hedgerow Sock, who's been sorely neglected this week while I concentrated on making the Vest a thing of the past.  No pictures of it either, since it looks much like it did when we last visited it.  However, I'm excited to get it growing again.

But really, I can't throw up a post with no pictures.  So, because I love you guys, I went out and bought an AMAZING book and took its picture:
That is Ysolda Teague's new book, Little Red in the City ($32 on Amazon, $25 at my LYS.  Score!).  I plan on writing a proper review of it once I'm finished reading, but just to give you a sneak preview:  Go buy this book.  It is all kinds of awesome, and has chapters about choosing yarn for a project, making swatches that are *gasp* useful, and making a pattern fit your actual body (see Vest From Hell, above).  And it's all written so clearly.  I may swoon.

The other thing it contains is 7 fabulous sweater patterns, 5 of which I'm dying to knit.  First up for me is Angostura (Ravelry has better pics on the pattern page).  How cool is that?  I know, right?  Seriously cool.

You know what else is cool?  4 skeins of Cascade 220 Superwash in the colorway "Ruby" to make it with.  This color is definitely swoon-worthy.
Come back next week to see an epic swatch, and hopefully the beginnings of a fabulous red vest to go with my new red socks.  Hmmm...  I'll have to cast on a third project just to break up the color monotony a bit.  Sexy Vesty, anyone?  I think I might have a go at that one, too...

Finally, for those of you following along, Mr. Right and I are still hanging in there, still working on stuff.  But, I'm sure you're getting tired of the same update every week (I know I am!), so I promise to tell you the instant anything exciting happens or gets resolved, but until then just assume that we're still plugging along.  I'm still basking in all the support and kind words y'all have left for us!

Now that the mushy stuff is out of the way, go check out everyone else's WIPW entries for actual projects on needles.  I'm sure there must be one or two...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.55

I have this fantasy life wherein I update this blog more than once a week, but somehow am unable to make it a reality at this point.  Sigh.  At least Wednesdays are still happening pretty regularly.

I think I must've fallen into some sort of hamster-wheel-style time warp this week, since I've been working and knitting and knitting and knitting and I'm in pretty much exactly the same spot as this time last week.  How does that happen?

Mr. Right and I are still working on stuff.  Not much progress on that front this week, unless you count swinging from happiness to despair and back again as progress.  I do suppose that we'll get it worked out one way or another eventually, but just between you and me... limbo kind of stinks.

On other non-progress fronts, Hedgerow Sock #1 continues, and is getting cuter by the inch.  (This is the part where I apologize about the crappy photos.  A big cloud came just as I was setting up in my driveway outdoor photo studio.  Sorry!)
It really is bigger than last week, I promise.  One more round to go, then it's heel flap city, baby.  It'll look different next week. I'm almost sure of it.

And then there's the Vest (And no, it's not really purple this week.  See photo disclaimer above...) I spent about 4 days (I guess that's why I don't have more to show for myself) picking up stitches for the shawl collar.
 Have I mentioned that this pattern is not my friend?  Grrrr.  Anyway, eleventy billion attempts later, I actually have the correct number of stitches on the needle and am ready to actually *gasp* knit.  It still doesn't fit AT ALL, but I'm happy to report that it does fit one of the ladies in my lunchtime knitting group, and looks pretty great on her.  Providing I ever get the dumb thing finished, she's promised to give it a good home, and has offered to buy the yarn for my next sweater in return.  I'm pretty excited about this arrangement, I gotta say.

Speaking of being pretty excited... I just booked a plane ticket to head out to the east coast next month.  I have friends from Colorado who will be staying in Pennsylvania for a couple of months, and invited me to come visit.  Who am I to turn down an offer like that?  And, I have other friends in New Hampshire who I'll drive up to see while I'm there.  Very cool, especially since I have a burning desire to visit all 50 states, and haven't hit New England at all yet.  You can knock out something like 5 states in a day over there-- utterly mindboggling to this California girl.  Here's where I've been:
That makes 19 so far.  31 to go!  How 'bout you guys?  How many states have you visited?  Inquiring minds and all that...  And after you've told me about your travels, make your way over to WIPW and check out everyone else's progress this week.  There's some seriously crafty crafting going on over there!   

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Work in Progress Wednesday v.54

Greetings from RollerCoasterLand, where Mr. Right and I will forever be apart.  Together.  Apart.  Rinse, repeat.  It's been a tough week, as Mr. Right is preparing to head to Hawaii (!) for work.  For a month.  Really?  We're inseperable for 5+ years and he goes nowhere exciting for work, and then we're apart for 2 months and he scores a trip to Hawaii?  Life is *very* unfair (Yes, I'm completely aware that life gets WAY more unfair than this in all kinds of ways. But at the moment,  I'm not coping all that well.)

In other news, I cooked for the first time in 2.5 months -- dinner for 6 -- on Sunday night.  It was kind of weird being back in the kitchen, but but also fun.  And sad.  Dinner turned out pretty well though.  We had lasagna, artichoke garlic bread, caesar salad and dump cake for dessert.  All in all, a pretty good evening.

I also managed to get back to knit night on Monday, and worked a bit more on the Vest From Hell, which is behaving itself at the moment, but is definitely going to be too big when it's finished.  Hmmph.  Perhaps it would make a good blog giveaway prize?  I guess we'll see once I get it all wrapped up.
I got home early enough to take a picture in my driveway (lovely concrete, no?), to give y'all a better idea of the actual color of this thing. That part I like. A lot.

No more progress on the Hedgerow Socks as I seem to have mislaid the pattern and haven't bothered to print another copy.  But I have decided to keep on knitting them, thanks to all your helpful comments last week.  I think they'll be pretty cute -- and loud! -- once they're finished.   But here's a slightly better shot of the color.  Yay for sunlight!  It's RED, for sure...
But the more I look at it, the more I like it. I should probably look for the pattern or something, assuming the knit fairies aren't going to show up and work on them while I'm sleeping...

That's about all the excitement I have to offer this week.  Fortunately for you, there's lots more interesting stuff going on over at WIPW.  You should go check it out.  Seriously.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday v.53

Hi again!

Sorry I've been MIA for so long, this year is just stupid crazy and I can't seem to get out from under the wheels of the bus.  So...

When last we spoke, Mr. Right and I were starting 2 weeks of No Contact in our counseling quest to decide if we'll get married or call it quits.  I was doing pretty okay with that,  well... better than expected, anyway.  On Sunday, I went over to our friend A.'s house so he could do some maintenance work on my yard.  I was feeling awfully proud of myself for getting it done, too.  I hate spending free time doing stuff to the car.  Anyway, he fiddled with it for a while and then I drove home, all excited about how happy my car sounded.  I was about 2 miles from home when the car died while I was going 70 mph.  Dang.

I called A. and asked him to call Mr. Right to see if this counted as one of our "emergency contact" situations.  (Mr. Right knows my car inside out, having put a new engine into it last year).  Our friend is *dying* for us to end up together, so he called Mr. Right and told him I was stuck and he needed to come get me.  No explanations or anything.  He's sneaky, that one.

Anyway, long story not-so-short, Mr. Right came to rescue me, and we spent the next 5 days seeing each other every day to "work on the car".  I'm hopeless.  Then he drove me to the airport so I could go visit some old friends in Tahoe for the weekend (super fun!), and picked me up last night.  It was lovely, but all of it earned us another week of not talking to each other, since we thoroughly cheated our way through the last one.  Sigh.  I guess it's a good sign that we hate being apart, right? 

But I did more than just cheat on my counseling assignment over the last two weeks.  I also knitted the Vest From Hell some more.  It's all together now, just adding the trim around the front, then the shawl collar and the armbands.  It's getting close.  (Sorry about the sideways pics -- for some reason I'm not allowed to rotate them today.  Hmmph.)  See?IMG_2359
Hopefully, it doesn't look dreadful on me when it's all finished.  When I started working on it, I was afraid it would be too small.  Now it sort of swallows me up, but it's still hard to tell how it will look once all the trim is in place.  I'm trying to keep an open mind.

And, since I was traveling, I needed a smaller project to tote along on the plane.  I *finally* pulled the Hedgerow Socks out of hibernation, with different yarn, and started on them again. 
They're cool, but they're awfully loud in this red, and though it looked like a pretty solid color in the skein, it's doing a crazy stripedy thing in the sock.  Don't get me wrong, I'm generally a HUGE supporter of anything striped, but it's not really working for me in this pattern.  I'm on the fence.  What say ye, WIPW'ers?  Keep on trucking or head for the frog pond?  Share your thoughts, please.  I'm a huge disaster at making decisions these days.

Vacation was nice.  If I'd remembered to actually take any pictures, I'd share them with you right about here.  Suffice to say I spent 4 days at a house near Donner Lake, hanging out with good friends, playing Bananagrams, canoeing, knitting and reading.  Ooh!  And we went to a fabulous dinner at the Cottonwood.  If you're ever in the vicinity of Truckee, CA... I can't recommend it enough.  Yum. 

I also (with loads of help from the World's Greatest Neighbor) stained my back fence last weekend.  It turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. 
Good thing I like the color, as it ended up on my shirt, and in my hair... and on my legs...
For those of you keeping track, that's two WIPs and one vacation in the last two weeks.  Not bad considering I spent the previous few weeks curled up in the fetal position. 

Now go check out the other WIPW entries (all one zillion of them) and see what everyone else is up to!