My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Making Beautiful seams- A tutorial

Ok, This is my first official tutorial. Someone asked on the Knitlist how to seam 2 pieces together that are going in opposite directions. I sent them a link to that I thought showed it. It did not. I can't for the life of me find the tutorial that I used to learn this technique, so I have decided to make my own tutorial so that this knowledge may be passed on. We should all be able to make beautiful seams. After all, if I can go from bulky ugly crochet seams to this, then anyone can.

Making beautiful seams takes time and patience. Please don't rush this. If you need to, chant to yourself "Proper finishing will make or break my project." I would really hate to see a garment that you have worked so hard on be messed up by sloppy finishing.

The Mattress Stitch
This stitch is used to connect the sides of 2 pieces, like this. It is most frequently used in sleeves and sides of sweaters. When done properly, it will create a beautiful almost invisible seam.

Begin by tacking the 2 pieces of fabric together. Insert the needle in between the first and second stitch lines in your fabric. Do the same on thee other side. Go back and forth in a figure 8 between sides once or twice and pull it snug. This will pull them together firmly without the need for a knot.

Next, Locate the Running threads between the stitch lines in your fabric. Simply stretch the fabric apart a bit and you will see them. They are the horizontal lines that connect one stitch line to the next. You will be sewing the running threads from one piece of fabric to the other in order to seam your pieces.

Insert your needle your needle under the running thread that goes between the first stitch line and the second on your right hand piece of fabric. Pull your yarn through. Now, do the same for the running thread on the left hand piece of fabric. Alternate between the 2 pieces of fabric, sewing through one running thread on each side. Pull the yarn snug between each set of stitches. Periodically check your work to make sure that you are not farther up one piece of fabric than the other. If you are, it's ok, simply pick up 2 running threads on the side that is behind to every 1 on the side that is ahead until it catches up.

When completed properly, the seam will magically disappear! On the left, I have included a black line to show you where the seam is. Please note that even though I am using a dark blue yarn to sew with for pictorial purposes, that it completely disappears.

Vertical to Horizontal Seams:
This is used to join 2 pieces of fabric that are going in opposite directions (such as the side of one piece with the top of another). This seam will never be invisible, as you can definitely see the change in direction. When done properly, however, it should look as if someone picked up stitches along one side and simply kept knitting rather than seaming 2 totally separate pieces of fabric together.

We will be using the same principles for this type of seam that we used for our side by side mattress stitch. You will notice, though, that while one piece of fabric has the running threads like we used before...

The other does not. It has a crisp bound off edge at the top. We will be using the V stitches in place of the running threads for this piece of fabric. Insert your needle through the running thread of the side that has them. Then insert your needle through the corresponding V stitch on the other piece of fabric as shown. Pull the yarn through and pull snug between each set of these 2 stitches. Continue to alternate 1 running thread for 1 V as you did for the mattress stitch above.

Knitted stitches are fatter than they are tall. This means that it takes more rows (running threads) to equal the same number of stitches (V stitches). Keep a very close eye that you are progressing along both pieces of fabric at the same rate. It WILL be necessary to sometimes pick up 2 running stitches for every V stitch, but not always. If you are mathematically oriented, you can count the number of stitches that you have, and the number of rows and figure out exactly how often you need to pick up 2 threads to each V, but I am not this much of a perfectionist. Eyeballing it is fine, just keep on top of it.

When completed your sewing yarn again disappears like magic. The seam should be straight and appear as if someone simply picked up stitches through those running threads and just kept on knitting. I'm sure you can see the seam, but again I have included the line to show you where it is on the left hand picture.

Shoulder Seam:
We'll call this "Shoulder Seam" since that is it's primary use. This is the grafting together of the tops of 2 pieces (or the bottoms, or 1 top and 1 bottom). Because of the bulky nature of a bound off edge, this seam will not be completely invisible, nor will it lie completely flat. If you wish it to be invisible, then I would suggest that instead of binding the edges off, you leave them live and graft the 2 pieces together using the Kirtchner stitch. For heavy sweaters, however, the bound off, then seamed shoulder provides added support for the weight of the sweater so that it doesn't sag.

We will not be using running threads for this seam. Instead we will be using what I call "A" and "V" stitches. If you take a good look at your knitting, you will notice that all stockingette fabric has both of these hidden in them depending on how you look at it.

To begin, Slide your needle under the "V" stitch just as you did for the horizontal to vertical seam. Then slide your needle through an "A" stitch on the opposite piece. Why not just to both "V" stitches? Well, you can, but for those of you perfectionist knitters, by using the V's on one side and the A's on the other it makes continuous lines of knitting. The V's go up one side and continue down the other in an unbroken line. If you use V's or A's on both sides, the direction of your lines will change from V's to A's once you pass the seam.

Continue alternating 1 stitch on each piece of fabric as you did for the previous seams. Pull the thread tight to hide your sewing thread as you go.


My friend and I were discussing politics yesterday, and I asked him where he stood on a few things. My grandpa is very active in the Republican party, and we were bouncing ideas and philosophies off of each other. I studied International Affairs in College, so Politics definitely interest me. If they do not interest you, please ignore this post.

For better or worse, here I am:

Social Conservative
(33% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(41% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Monday, February 27, 2006


Happy Monday Morning everyone!

I know, I can hear your grumbling out there. Why does it have to be Monday, why can't it still be the weekend, etc. The sad thing is that I LOVE Mondays. I feel like I've gotten a whole new chance to do all those things that somehow didn't get done last week, although, I kept meaning to do them. "I really should call and make that doctor's apointment for my Daughter. She turned 2 over a month ago..." etc. I keep meaning to do it every day, but somehow keep forgetting. Then it's the weekend and the office is closed, and I say "Well, I can't do it until Monday now". It's Monday! This is the day when I have great aspirations for getting all of those things done. This week may be just like last week, where I kept procrastinating until it was Friday and I couldn't do it again until Monday, but I can dream on Mondays.

There is no particular purpose to the daisy on today's post, other than I don't like to post without a picture, and daisies make me happy. Don't they make you happy? Yellow in general makes me happy. It makes me think of sunshine and warm breezes. I know that in art school (which I never attended) they discuss the emotions that colors can create. Yellow is simply a happy color..... Unless it is neon yellow, but we won't go there. Besides, this is an actual flower from one of the bouquets my husband brought home for me. That means it's all the more special :D

My sister in law called me last night to check on how I'm doing and find out when exactly the baby is due (March 9th 1 1/2 weeks and counting!). I was so surprised and thrilled to hear from her. My husband and I tend to be hermitish. We go out, do the things that need to be done, and come home again not to emerge until the next time we need to do something. I have tried to squash this tendency by joining lots of yahoo groups where I get to talk to real people, but it isn't quite the same as being there face to face with them. My two great efforts to join the real world are: Visiting my 70 year old grandparents every Monday morning (another reason to love Mondays) and to go to the newly established knitting night on Thursdays for my church. With all this talking in cyber space, I should really make more of an effort to write to my sister in law, whom I really do love, and to my sister. It would be nice connect with people that I really know. Not that I don't love all the women on my yahoo groups, but I only know you vicariously through what you write, not really in person. On that same tangent, I should really write a letter to my brother. I know, that sounds strange. Who writes to their brother? Aunt, Grandma, sister in law maybe, but not to your brother. The last letter that I actually physically wrote was to a dear friend while he was on his mission. I must say, I wasn't very good at writing to him either. This whole blogging/email/cyber space thing is so much easier. Aside from the fact that I type MUCH faster than I can write, sitting down to the computer and then just pushing "send" seems so much easier than a paper letter. Alas, though, my brother does not have access to email, and I can't visit him in person, so I must physically write him a letter so that he knows the world has not forgotten about him and he is still loved.

The sun is not shining here in Denver yet, but I have a pretty sunny yellow daisy to look at. My sink is shining, everyone in the house is dressed, my obligatory one load of laundry is in the dryer, and we still have an hour and a half before we need to leave the house to take DH to work. Life is good! Now I am going to knit on the socks I started last night while I wait for the laundry to finish drying. Aren't Mondays wonderful?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Olympic Gold

I finished Rogue last night before I went to bed. It turned out wonderful!

Pattern: Rogue by the Girl from Auntie
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted Weight, in heathered Deep blue and black, about 6 balls
Needles: Size 8 Boyle aluminum straight and circular
Date Started: 2-10-06
Date Finished: 2-24-06

I felt the need to make a photoshow telling the story of the Rogue sweater. Please check it out here:

Friday, February 24, 2006

What kind of Knitting Needle are you?

Quizzilla is fun!
I got this quiz from Fiddlesticknitting which belongs to a member of my Denver Knits group.

Note that whoever did the pictures on this quiz has photoshop and used the "plastic wrap" on the yarn. It makes it look a bit strange. I really do want a set of Denise interchangeable needles. Have I mentioned that before? Too bad my husband doesn't read my blog.

You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every

eventuality covered and every opportunity

just has to be taken. Every fiber is

wonderful, and every day is a new beginning.

You are good at so many things, it's amazing,

but you can easily lose your place and forget

to show up. They have row counters for

people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hovering along

Good morning everyone. This picture was taken a few days ago, but makes me smile, so I'm putting it here at the top.

I am tired this morning. I have done more than I usually do in a whole day and it's only 9am. Don't you all laugh at me here, I'm currently 2 weeks away from my due date with this baby and almost any exertion makes me very tired. What I have done this morning:
  1. Got dressed (no shower, but I did wash and moisturize my face, as well as put up my hair).
  2. Got 2 kids dressed and hair combed (I didn't lay out my own clothes last night, but I did lay out the kids clothes).
  3. Wiped down the sink in the bathroom (it was really very disgusting, but we won't talk about that)
  4. Put in a load of white laundry.
  5. Made breakfast for the 3 of us (chereos. Alex pored his own)
  6. Moved laundry to the dryer.
  7. Read email while I ate breakfast.
  8. Unloaded the dishwasher that I so wonderfully ran last night.
  9. Cleaned up a BIG milk spill on the dining room table.
  10. Rinsed out Cereal bowls and glasses and put them in the dishwasher.
  11. Finished reading email and rested.
  12. Knit 4 rows on the Rogue Sleeves.
  13. Took laundry out of the dryer while it was still warm, folded it, and put it away!
  14. Took the towels out of the bathroom and threw them in the washer (I walked into the bathroom and they smelled musty and yucky. They needed to be washed, and won't require folding when they are done :D )
While I was resting this morning, Alex played an hour of Game cube, and Shaya attended to her "baby's" Pushing them around in their stroller, feeding them, having me feed them, etc. I am at a bit of a loss for what to do now. I feel like I should be doing more since I have some momentum, but it's good that I have completed my morning routine and more, since I have zero energy to do any more. Now why should you all care about what I have accomplished this morning? I'm not trying to make you feel inferior because you haven't done these things, I am trying to pat myself on the back. I need lots of positive reinforcement. This is my online diary, and I'm going to use it to pat myself on the back :D Good job Dawn! You are on the ball! Your house looks wonderful! You can see the floor, you have clean underwear in your drawer, your sink is clean, and you still have no idea what you are going to make for dinner! *Sigh* it's 9am Dinner can wait.

I got up to the shoulder decreases in my Rogue sleeves last night like I had planned. It was almost 10:00 and I wanted to finish watching the women's figure skating, but 10:00 is my bed time. If I don't go to bed by then I'll be miserable in the morning when the kids wake me up between 6 and 6:30. My goal today is to finish the sleeves so that they can be seemed and sewn onto the sweater. This will mean that it is done!

Ok, 1 more picture to make me smile before I sign off!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Fly Lady

I sat down this morning in my robe while I ate breakfast to read my accumulated e-mail from my yahoo groups. I warmed up some chocolate chip pancakes from the other day for the kids and myself, still better than cold cereal I think.

Someone in the Townsend sock group posted a link to the flylady website.

Have any of you heard of the fly lady before? I love the concept! Love! Love! Love! I must admit that my house is a bit of a pit. There is mountains of laundry to be washed, and another mountain to be folded after it was washed. My sink ALWAYS has dirty dishes in it, many times with bowls and stuff left to "soak" for who knows how long. I haven't dusted probably since I put objects on shelves 2 years, or more ago. The list goes on and on. I find this disgusting, but most times, I lack the motivation, or energy to try to tackle it.

The Fly lady tells me that I can do it in small 15 minute increments, with PLENTY of knitting breaks in between. I like this. This means that my knitting isn't taking away from what I SHOULD be doing. It is a reward for what I have done. She also takes you through baby steps of what you can accomplish 1 habit at a time, until it is all automatic and you are doing it all a little bit every day. Hopefully at that point things don't deteriorate to what my house currently looks like.

I am a newbie, a baby fly. I have a very short list of things that is expected of me from the fly lady on my very first day.
  1. Make my bed (done)
  2. Take a shower (done)
  3. Get dressed, including shoes, do hair/make up etc (done)
  4. Clean and polish my sink (in progress) This sounds really funny, but it is her way of making sure that there is something sparkling and spotless for you to wake up every morning to and smile about. Even if the whole rest of the house is a pit, the sink is clean and sparkling...LOL
  1. Brush my teeth
  2. Pick out, and set out, my clothes for tomorrow
  3. Make sure my sink is clean... Again

Already I feel a sense of accomplishment that I am dutifully dressed, instead of sitting in my robe all day, and that I have started to make my all important sink clean. I finished loading the dish washer from last night, and moved all remaining dishes to a large bowl on the side of the sink. The sink is currently soaking for an hour with bleach in it. Fly Lady's personal routine includes many more things than she expects of me on my first day, and I have decided to try to include a few of them in my routine already since I think I'm quite capable. These include:
  1. Put in 1 load of laundry (done)
  2. Move it over to the dryer (done)
  1. Pick up clutter in the living room (Kids will help with this tonight)
  2. Load the dishwasher with the dishes from the day (important for keeping that sink clean)
So, so far today, I have rewarded myself with 1 repeat of knitting on my Rogue sleeves, and once the sink is officially clean and the counter tops are clean, I will feel just fine sitting down and knitting all afternoon. Being that in addition to the above mentioned things, I have Fed myself and the kids 2 meals, picked up the dishes from said meals rather than leaving them on the table, and have swept the floor in the kitchen. I'm not entirely sure where in the schedule the fly lady folds her laundry. She doesn't mention this. Does she do this every morning once the one load of laundry is dry? Does she then immediately send it to the appropriate room to be put away? My current laundry system seems to leave clothes perpetually in baskets. I'm not even sure why I have dressers.

On the knitting side of things, after I ripped out the 1 sleeve of Rogue, I spent the day reknitting it. It now has the correct number of stitches, but the tension seems to be a tiny bit looser the second time around and it is slightly longer than the other. I'm hoping that by the time that they are both completed, and with some gentle blocking, that 1/4 inch will go away. Today, aside from my household goals, my goal is to get up to the shoulder shaping. That's another 50 rows.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

oh, the things I'll do....

Oh the things I'll do to avoid frogging my work.

I am working on the sleeves for Rogue and making them silmultaniously on a circular needle. I did this so that they would be exactly the same, and that if I end up with more strange striping, it would stripe the same on both sleeves. I'm using both ends of a single center pull ball. I worked about 10 rows of twisted hem facing stitch, did a turning round, then proceeded onward and upward. The cable patterns required quite a bit of concentration, and at different points I found myself dropping down a few stitches in order to fix a minor mistake. When I had about 10 rows of cable pattern done, I turned my hem to the inside and knit it together with my current stitches in pattern to affix the hem. I don't know if this is what I was supposed to do, but it keeps me from having to sew it up later. After working all day, I had both sleeves up to the end of the cable pattern. Yea! That's 54 rows since I did my turning row. At this point the pattern gives me a stitch count. 63 stitches. Ok, I as I am working the 54th row I count my stitches. First sleeve has 62 stitches. Not bad! The second sleeve has 55... 55?! Did I miscount? Did I mean 65?! I count again about 4 times. It still comes out at 55. This is a 7 stitch difference, and obviously means that I forgot to do some increases on this sleeve that I did on the other one. A few stitches I could fudge, but 7?! This is about an inch and a half of fabric.

*SIGH* I put the darn thing down in disgust last night and went to bed. I'm so emotional at this point in my pregnancy that 7 stitches almost makes me cry. I write a quick whiney note to my knittingparent's group in the hopes of some good advice, and go to bed. This morning, someone suggested that I have my husband try them on and see if there is that much of a noticeable difference. So, rather than just rip it all out, I put both sleeves on waste yarn, lightly seemed them up and had DH try them on. He noticed...

He knows that I don't want to rip it out, but he very hesitantly said that he would really like them to be the same. *Sigh* I guess I'm ripping it out. At least it's only 1 sleeve. The problem is now, how far do I rip it back? I looked back through my work and can't really find any one place where I made a mistake. "hmm, I might have missed an increase here.. 6 more to find" Do I rip it back to where I joined the hem? That puts me in the middle of a cable row, and as I rip apart cables they have a tendancy to untwist and it's a major headache to put them back where they should be. Do I rip back to where I did my turning round? That would work, except now I have all those loops from where I removed my provisional cast on. Well, that's only 10 more rows. All the way back to the beginning I go. At least I know it will be correct from the beginning. So, I went from 2 matching sleeves, to this:

Monday, February 20, 2006

Time to Catch up

Ok, it's time to catch up. I haven't written all weekend, and have a lot of pictures to share. I hate to post without pictures, and I've realized that my posts seem to be very picture driven. This is ok with me, because even if you can't stand my writing, there's always something to look at. I think I need to spend a bit more time taking quality pictures, though. I seem to end up with a lot of misc. crap in my house in the picture that I would really prefer the world not see.

Let's see, I suppose I'll start with Rogue:
As planned I finished the hood on Saturday evening. I made sure that I found the one and only darker ball left in my bag and used that for the hood. I didn't want any striping going on up there. I had no problems with the graft on the cable, but when I sewed the back of the head to the cable band it kept turning out bunchy. I tried 3 or 4 different methods, but they all looked like crap to me. Eventually I resorted to making darts to get it to lay flat. I think that I may have not decreased enough stitches on the sides of the hood or something. Now there are little bumps on the inside of the hood where I made the tucks, but no one will ever see it, so "THEY'RE NOT THERE! YOU JUST IMAGINED ME SAYING THEY WERE THERE!"

Yes, you can see the graft faintly in the picture, but I don't care. I am VERY proud of the cable work and the kirtchner graft on this project. I'm actually more proud of this than any other project that I've ever made, including the half finished crochet lace table cloth sitting in the corner. I started out using a cookie cutter walk through of the graft on the hood, but soon lost my place. I didn't really need it after the first little bit anyway. I understand the concept now. It's actually very simple. Let's see if I can explain.

You will pass the needle and yarn through each loop twice. The first time it will be the opposite of what the stitch is, the second time, it will be the same. For example, the first time you pass your needle through a knit stitch, it will be as if to pearl (from right to left). The second time it will be as if to knit (from left to right), and then drop it off the needle. For a pearl stitch you would pass it through the first time as if to knit, the second time as if to pearl and then off the needle. REMEMBER: When looking at the stitches on the BACK needle you need to look at what the stitch looks like on the inside of the work (in regular stockingette this is the pearl side) and work your stitches accordingly. Yes, I know that that stitch really is a knit, not a pearl, but for the kirtchner purposes, we are working with what the stitch looks like on the side facing us (inside). I hope that by the time you are attempting a kirtchner graft you are able to "read" your knitting, or that you can tell by looking at a stitch whether it is a pearl stitch or a knit stitch.
  1. To begin, look at your work. What type of stitch is the first loop on your needle: knit or pearl? On the Rogue it is a knit stitch on the front needle and a pearl stitch on the back needle. The principle is to work the first pass through the loop THE OPPOSITE direction as the type of stitch, and then the second pass the same as the type of stitch and then off the needle. IE: for a knit stitch the opposite would be right to left (as if to pearl) and the same would be left to right (as if to knit). Think the mantra "opposite on, same off". The opposite pass through stays on the needle, the same pass through comes off. Difficult to explain, simple to do.
  2. On your Rogue work your needle through the first stitch on the front needle as if to pearl (right to left) then work the first stitch on the back needle as if to knit (left to right). This is the first pass through each of these stitches. Remember that you will do 2 passes through each loop.
  3. Next, work through the first loop on the front needle as if to knit and drop it off the needle. Now look at your next stitch on the front loop. What kind of stitch is it? You want to work your needle through it in the opposite of that stitch (pearl on a knit, knit on a pearl). On the Rogue it is a knit stitch, so we will pass the needle through right to left as if to pearl. Now go to the back needle and pass the needle through that loop as if to pearl as well and let it drop off the needle.
  4. Examine the second (now first) loop on the back needle. Is it a pearl stitch or a knit stitch? On the Rogue it is still a pearl stitch, so we will pass the needle through it as if to knit (left to right).
  5. Continue in this manner working one pass through of the first stitch on the needle, dropping it off, and then through the second loop on the needle. Move to the opposite needle and do the same. Remember that the first pass through each loop should always be the opposite of the that stitch, and that the second should be the same and let it drop off the needle.
  6. Check back at how your work is looking frequently. It is much easier to pick up a few stitches and unweave your thread than to redo the whole thing. Keep practicing and once the pattern clicks in your brain it will become second nature
Note, however, that I can not talk to anyone, or pay attention to ANYTHING else while I am grafting. It requires a lot of focus, so plan ahead.

Double knit Hot Pad:
Pattern: Double knit based on free internet cross stitch maple leaf chart
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver in variegated purple and green, and Carron Perfect Match in off white
Needles: Size 8 needles. Half done with aluminum Boyle needles, finished with brand new bamboo needles. (I know! Bad me! You shouldn't switch needle brands mid project, but it's a pot holder for heaven's sake!)
I had company over all day on Sunday, and didn't want to be rude and knit on my Rogue. I needed a break from it, but knew that it would be complicated enough with the cable patterns at the cuffs that I would either royally screw it up, or would be so focused on it that I wouldn't pay attention to my friends. Instead, I decided to finish the double knit hot pad that I had started a week or so ago when I thought I had to wait until late at night to start my Rogue. As an added bonus, I got to use my brand new single point bamboo needles that I got in the mail from eBay last Thursday. $20 for a full set of 15 needles. Go me! The hot pad used the same cross stitch maple leaf pattern that I used as the base for my shadow knit wash cloth. When I completed it, I was at a loss for what to do, so I grabbed a pair of my sexy new bamboo needles in a 4.0mm size and made a small diagonal garter stitch dish scrubby. I like them small.

Family News:
My husband came home from work Saturday with groceries that he had picked up at our local Albertsons, as well as a large box containing 2 nylon tents and a tunnel. Apparently, he had also bought this at Albertsons. Albertsons is a typical grocery store, that has a small section devoted to seasonal items. This is usually where you find the Halloween candy, a small selection of gardening and entertaining stuff in the summer, etc. The 2 tents and the tunnel all together cost $20. I was very excited (as was Alex) when I saw this. I have wanted to get our kids some play tents like this for quite a while, but they are always so expensive. I immediately started to set them up, with Alex hovering almost in my lap waiting for them to be done. The wonderful thing I love about them is they fold up just like tents and came with their own little storage bags, so when having a tepee, a tent, and a tunnel get to be too much in my living room, I can just fold them up and store them under the couch or something. They didn't take that long to set up either.

I now realize that this post has gone on WAY too long, and really should have been several posts, but I'll leave you for the morning and go back to knitting the sleeves for Rogue. I have no goal, other than to finish them both by Saturday. I don't anticipate there being any problem with that.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Mommy Take my picture!

We're feeling a little silly in our house this morning, but at least we're all dressed! I feel like a good mom this morning because of just pouring a bowl of cereal like normal, I pulled out the box of bisquick and made chocolate chip pancakes. This is actually Alex's favorite food in the world. More than hot dogs, more than Chicken nuggets, even more than PB&J.... well, probably not more than cookies or candy. After all, what other food, that's not a desert, involves chocolate?! I suppose in true Mexican cooking there are some dishes that have a Mole (chocolate sauce) but we won't count those.

I think I finally got a decent picture of my cable work. The color of the blue is off, but I think you all know what color it is by now. Trying to get my camera to show that kind of detail in a dark color is a pain in the butt. I think I'll set my goal to finish the hood by the end of tomorrow, but will probably finish before then. Well, that depends on how much I play video games with my wonderful husband instead of

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Body is finished!!

The main body of Rogue is now finished! The shoulders have been seamed, and all the loose ends have been woven in. Since I used the Russian join most of the time, there aren't that many. Very nice for me :D There's something wrong though. Let's play a little game. It's called "Do you see what I see"No, the problem is not that the cables don't show up in dark blue on the internet... Nope it's not the little strings not woven in yet in the picture. I'll give you a hint. Look at the nice little arrows I added. Yep, you see it too? There are stripes! You can DEFINITELY tell where I changed balls of yarn. I bought 10 skeins of yarn all the same dye lot, and apparently there is a noticeable difference in the amount of black from ball to ball. I REALLY don't want to frog it, and my husband says he kind of likes it, so the pretty blue Rogue now has stripes. How could this happen if they are all the same dye lot?! *sigh* Well, at least the fit seems to be pretty good. It's a tad longer than I had anticipated, but seems to have a nice fit on my husband. Next up the hood! Here's my wonderful hubby trying on his sweater:

Things I have learned

I have decided to forgo another picture of my sweater until tomorrow. It doesn't really look a whole lot different from yesterday, other than the fact that the back is completed. Instead I was checking my email from the different yahoo groups that I belong to, and pondering the amazing knitting journey I have been on in the last several months.

For the previous 2 years, my husband and I played an online role playing game called Final Fantasy IX (aka FFXI). I spent WAY too much time on this game, and probably neglected my real life too much. If you can answer that you have ever turned down real life get togethers, etc in order to make a meeting you had scheduled with virtual friends online, then you have a problem. Believe me I know. Well, then I got pregnant again.

My desire to spend more time with my family grew very intense, and then the nesting kicked in. I NEEDED to make things. It helped that it was also approaching Christmas, and I have a large family. I have 4 siblings, several sets of grandparents, etc, and we have never taken up the tradition of drawing names, so every year about October I go fishing through my craft corner and try to figure out nice, inexpensive gifts to give to my relatives. This year I decided that I had plenty of yarn. I should knit something. I found a pattern for some gloves in one of my House of White Birches books "Knitting in the Round". I really like the books they send me, and always buy them. That's probably why they keep sending them to me...LOL, but I get annoyed that they send them without asking first. Anyway, I decided that I could make gloves for my sister, mom, and maybe my 2 grandmas. This was the very first time I ever used double pointed needles (dpn). It was absolutely thrilling. After I finished 2 pairs of gloves, my kids kept asking if they were for them, and I realized that they both needed new mittens, so I made 2 pairs of child's mittens. I then noticed I had some soft pink fuzzy yarn left over from the 2 pairs of gloves and made my 1 yr old niece a pair of mittens too. On and on it went. By the time it was all said and done, I had made the following for Christmas (or birthdays close to Christmas) as gifts:
  1. 2 pairs of adult gloves
  2. 3 pairs of child sized mittens
  3. 3 pairs of "pocketbook" slippers
  4. 3 pairs of baby socks (1 lace, 1 fair isle)
  5. 1 cabled hat
  6. Boa yarn Teddy Bear
They were all small projects, and I think that is what propelled me forward. They were quickly completed, and most of them were new projects for me. I felt accomplished and very proud.

It was the beginning of December that I officially quit FFXI and also officially lost all of daily conversations that were not with my husband or my children. Part of the reason that I got sucked into FFXI was that I craved interaction with other people throughout the day. I figured that since my new obsession was knitting, I'm sure I could find some knitting groups online that I could chat with. I am astounded at what I have found! I now belong to 5 different yahoo knitting groups, although I only converse regularly with 3 of them. I have also learned more about my new craft than I knew about crochet and knitting COMBINED in my entire life before joining these groups. I used to have strong prejudices that there were simply some things that were better knit than crocheted, and vise versa. I always thought that lace was a crochet thing. I've learned that it absolutely is not. I still think that sweaters look better knitted than crocheted, though. Unless it's my beautiful shell crochet sweater that is designed to be worn over a tank top or something (Garage sale find as a teenager, how cool is that?!)

So, here is a small list of things that I have learned in the last few months since joining these wonderful Yahoo lists, as well as new things that I have tried:
  1. There are at least 3 different methods of making knit and pearl stitches. Maybe more. None of them are "wrong", but each has it's place. (I am a "combined knitter")
  2. How to use and love dpn
  3. Twist yarns every couple of stitches in Fair Isle to minimize floats, and work LOOSE or it will be too small for the body part meant to fit in there (head, foot, etc).
  4. How to make socks
  5. Heal flaps AND short row heals
  6. Kirtchner stitch (aka grafting)
  7. Perfect invisible "mattress" seams
  8. Shadow knitting
  9. Double knitting
  10. The Russian Join! (gotta love that)
  11. Different textures of needles feel and work differently with different types of yarn.
  12. How to make a center pull ball using a marker, large knitting needle, whatever.
  13. LACE!
  14. Making Gloves and mittens
  15. Picking up stitches
  16. 3 needle bind off
  17. Loop stitch
  18. Knitting backwards (although I haven't gotten my tension to be the same forwards and backwards yet)
Things I still want to try:
  1. Dying yarn
  2. spinning yarn
  3. What is "intarsic" or whatever... not insartia
  4. Felting
  5. Modular knitting (gotta find that book at the library)
I know that there is more than this, but my mind has run blank. I am amazed at the wealth of information that there is on the internet, and love that we can all be a community when we're all so spread across the world. After all, how cool is it that there are now twice as many knitters in the knitting Olympics as there are actual athletes in the real Olympics?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wednesday Morning

Good morning out there!

Amazingly I got more accomplished in the last 2 days than I had thought I would, which is always good! I completed circular section of the sweater yesterday, and then continued on to do 18 more rows on the back of the sweater after dividing it. At this rate, I'm thinking that I'll definitely have the main body of the sweater done by tomorrow night. This means I will only have the hood (with lots of cable work) and the sleeves to do! I'm rocking and rolling here!

Ahhh Valentine's day. My wonderful husband doesn't like that he has to buy a gift just because it is a holiday, so I got my flowers and a silver locket on Friday. The flowers are still beautiful today! I love Costco flowers. I am always at a loss for what men, or more importantly my husband wants for Valentines. So, we had a little talk one day, where it came out that really men don't want anything. They want sex. All the money in the relationship goes into a good gift for the woman in the hopes that he will get sex. Lol, that's a little cynical for me, but hey, if he says that he doesn't want a present, that works for me. Candles, lingerie, and a little adult time it is!

My husband worked late last night. Tuesdays are his late shift, so he didn't get home until about 9pm. In a lot of ways this was very good. It meant that I could spend most of the afternoon knitting and that the kids were in bed for the afore mentioned adult time. I did the dishes while dinner cooked; corndogs and tater tots. I suppose you could call that a mommy love Then we played "clean up the living room" I'm so pregnant at this point now (the doctor told me no baby this weekend, but it could be any time now that I'm 37 weeks) that bending over and picking up toys makes me very tired. I pretty much have to sit in one spot and scoot around on the floor. So, we play "clean up the living room" instead. I sit in my chair and we play "I spy" looking for things that need to be put away. Doing this, my 4 and 2 yr olds cleaned up all the toys and misc clothes that accumulate in the living room through out the day. We then had to clean up their room, because as they take things from the living room, they just dump it in the doorway of their room. This process took about a half an hour. Not bad! Kids then got a bath while I sat and read a book, only occasionally reminding them to not scream. By this point it was about 7:45 and bed time is 8pm. Eh, close enough. I took some special time putting each child to bed, then proceeded to clean up my room a bit. This means I actually made the bed, cleared off the floor, I found every candle in the place and lit them, put on something sexy. I find it amazing that I have lingerie that fits perfectly when I'm not pregnant, but still fits decently well when I only have 3 weeks left! I suppose it's the giant slit up the side and the low back. I hope DH appreciated the special evening. I haven't felt particularly amorous lately, what with being tired, and giant like a whale, but I felt very close to him last night and very much in love. It's nice to know it's all still there 2 1/2 kids and 6 yrs later. After all, we're doing much better than almost any Hollywood couple you choose too Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's day yesterday too, whether you have a special someone at the moment or not.