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

Monday, June 26, 2006

Knitting jewelry!!

DH thinks I've finally fallen off the deep end. I think he might be right.

Me: "I need to go to the store and buy beads, do we need anything else from Michaels?"
DH: "Beads?"
Me: "Yes Beads"
DH: "Why do you need beads? First you did scrapbooking, and then quilting, now all that stuff is sitting in a box somewhere collecting dust. You can't switch to beading, you have too much knitting stuff!"
Me: "I'm not switching to beading.... My knitting needs jewelry"
DH: "Your knitting needs jewelry?!"
Me: "Yes. It wants some pretty stitch markers instead of the little pintail holders I've been using. So, do we need anything else at Michaels?"
DH: "?!"

So, I bought a plier set and enough beads for 4 sets of stitch markers. Here they are :DWe have itty bitty hook type stitch markers with real fresh water pearls
We have more itty bitty hook stitch markers, because I like small needles
We have some medium sized loop stitch markers shown here on a size 9 needle
And finally we have some "Big Girl" loop stitch markers. Shown here on a size 15 needle.
These are DH's favorite. Glad to know that even though I'm off my rocker, he at least approves fo my work.

I've thought about making a "Knitter's gift pack" of stitch markers. It would include a beaded row counter, a set of hook stitch markers and a set of loop markers. What do you think?

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Amazing Rolling Baby!

Click play to start the movie!

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3 1/2 Months old

Isn't he cute?! He is really frustrating too, though. He knows how to roll one way, but can't figure out how to go back. He doesn't like being on his tummy, but certainly likes the fact that he knows how to roll So, inevitably Mommy has to come over and rescue him every few minutes and roll him back over. Some times I barely get him rolled over when he's back on his tummy. Don't you all just wish your mom had a digital camera and a blog when you were kids?!

PS. The music in the background is Squirrel Nut Zippers They're kind of a big band swing group. Very upbeat and fun!

This should be in that "One Skein" book!

Pattern: Crisscross Cable Glass Cozy from Creative Knitting
Yarn: Recycled 100% cotton (Not sure how much. The pattern calls for 150 yrds)
Needles: Size 2 Audi Turbo 36" (Done in Magic Loop)

To tell you the truth, this isn't my favorite magazine. There's usually 1, maybe 2 projects in each issue that I MIGHT, Someday maybe knit. I've actually been pondering making these glass cozies for a while, though. I really like the criss cross cable pattern. The first time I saw it, though, I though "Psh! Cozies! Who the heck wants to make a cozy for their glass?!" Me! I do! Well... I do now.

My little condo has air conditioning, and it has a washer/dryer closet, but it DOES NOT have a way for said drier to vent to the outside. Usually when I do laundry the house gets all warm and humid for a while because of all the laundry air we are breathing. This makes even the most remotely cool drink sweat and leave puddles. Yes, I have coasters, but it's amazing once an idea gets into your head, I began to notice that my glass was always sweating! At home... On Grandma's back porch... At the park. I began to think "Hmm, maybe I should knit a glass cozy. It's kind of like a portable coaster, and keeps your hands dry and the glass from slipping"

This is really a very nice little cozy. It stretches to fit any of the glasses in my house. It slides a bit on the glass when it's dry (maybe I should take out a repeat in there) but sticks like glue when the glass begins to sweat a bit. DH thinks I'm crazy, but then again he thinks socks are crazy too. What does he know...

Picovoli FO!

Pattern: Picovoli by Grumperina
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport in Hydrangea
Needles: Size 3 Audi Turbo 36"

I love this top. I love how feminine the hourglass shaping is on the front, and how simple it is. I'm not sure if I love the yarn. Shine is very soft and just a little shiny, but it feels like a firm cord in your hands. It has absolutely no stretch and is thus very unforgiving on my hands. I could only knit for so long before my fingers got tired and I longed for the stretchyness of a good wool sock

I completed it using the picot edging because I knew I wouldn't be ironing it to prevent rolling, but the laziness that encouraged me to do this also encouraged me to figure out a way to knit down the edge instead of pulling out a needle. All in all, I don't know if it took me all that much less time to do it my way, though, because each bind off stitch involved a lot of parts.
  1. Reach down with right needle tip 3 rows and pull up the pearl bump.
  2. Place pearl bump on left needle
  3. Knit stitch and pearl bump together
  4. Repeat for next stitch
  5. Slip first stitch over second to bind off
The k2tog wasn't that bad, it was the counting to make sure you were 3 rows down and catching that little bump. Sometimes it didn't want to cooperate. This whole bind off process created a pretty crochet chain type thing on the back side of the work, which also made it 3 yarn widths thick and made it want to curl up. A little trip to the ironing board fixed that.... I hope permanently. It's very important that you go down at least 3 rows, however, because if you go down less it doesn't pull the back of the picot down enough and it will curl outward forever more, no matter how much ironing you do. I made the mistake of not knitting enough rows after the "yo, k2tog" row on my neckline before I knit it together with my provisional cast on. It will forever stand up, but I'm ok with that. The rest of the sweater looks fantastic.

Aside from how I knit down the edging, I did make a slight adjustment to the pattern. Because I'm LDS (or Mormon) I can't wear tank tops. I need little capped sleeves to cover my shoulders. This is just essentially a reglan sweater, so I thought sleeves would be an easy thing to add now that I'm comfortable adjusting patterns a bit. At first I just picked up all the underarm stitches and started knitting them all around together. This made the capped sleeve a little too wide. It would have probably been fine if I had been making a long sleeve, but these are tiny little sleeves and I wanted them a little more close fitting. At this point I actually read the musings on sleeves that Grumperina provided. I then tried her first suggestion. I knit back and forth on the existing sleeve stitches, picking up 1 stitch from the underarm each row. After what I thought was a good length, I picked up the rest of the underarm and knit a few rows, then did the picot edging. Again, this seemed a bit wide for me. "Hmm" I said "If it's too wide, then I should be decreasing stitches!" For the third and final attempt, I knit back and forth on the existing sleeve stitches like before, but this time I would pick up a stitch from the underarm at the end of each row. I'd then knit it together with the stitch next to it after I had turned to go back the other way. I did this for 14 rows (7 decreases on each side) then picked up the rest of the underarm stitches and knit them all around for a few rows. Completed my picot edging and knit it down as before. The little picots want to flare out a bit, but I suppose that's ok. All in all I LOVE this top!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

FO report - Knitpicks knee socks

Pattern: Toe up magic loop with heel help from The Knitting Friend
Yarn: Knitpicks Simple Stripes in Vineyard
Needles: Size 1 Audi Turbo 36" circular

I started these socks while I was on vacation in Utah and probably could have finished them while I was there, except for one small mistake on my part. I decided that since knitpicks said I needed 2 balls for a pair of socks, I'd just knit them from the toe up and keep knitting until I ran out of yarn. I kept going and going and going... eventually I tried it on and realized I had knee socks! I REALLY love the colorway (which I noticed Knitpicks doesn't have up currently) and really like the knee socks. I didn't do any shaping, but started doing ribbing about 5 stripes from the top. This hits about mid calf on me and seems to keep them up very nicely. These will be perfect riding socks. I always have problems with my socks sliding down and then my boots rubbing my legs raw. I just hope they don't end up being too warm for summer wear.

Brendan has learned how to roll over. I've seen him do it twice this morning. He'll roll from his back to his stomach and then get stuck and cry. This doesn't stop him from trying to do it again, If you've got a new skill, use it!

Estes Park Wool Festival

A very good friend of mine had a baby shower on Sunday, which was Father's Day. I knew we'd be over there for most of the afternoon so I had planned to make Saturday an early Father's Day. I asked DH what he would like to do and he said that he'd like me to get a sitter and then we'd go to a movie for a date. Sounds great, but that means I would miss the sheep and wool festival in Estes Park. Oh well, the things we do for our dear husbands.

As it turns out, though, we dropped the 2 older kids off at my grandparents and kept the baby. Instead of going to a movie, however, DH turned the car towards Estes park. "I thought I might enjoy some nature" he said with a big grin. What a wonderful husband I have!

Of course, money is limited and I didn't actually get to buy any yarn. I was VERY tempted by a batch of roving with pretty sparklies in it, but DH insisted that I needed to learn how to spin what I had already before I got roving with sparklies in it. *sigh* I did get to pet lots of yarn, though, and talk to some nice people. We saw some sheep, sheep dogs, alpaca, and llama. It was a lot of fun. We were only there for about an hour and a half or so because DH didn't get home from work until 1pm with the car, but that was about the right amount of time.

DH prefers llama he says. He likes their banana shaped ears (he says they look like demon ears) and their more defined faces. I think alpaca are sooo cute and SOOO soft, but he thinks they just have a neck with a nose stuck on the end. "Where's their face?" he asked. I once had dreams of buying a couple of aplaca to spin my own yarn, but I caught a glimpse of a price list for some full grown alpaca and that dashed my dreams. $10,000 is a little out of the budget... maybe we'll get some goats, or angora bunnies

So, after all that walking around and fiber petting, this is all I walked away with:

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I pulled out the sewing machine

I pulled out the sewing machine a few days ago. How ironic that it was to make something to hold all those crochet hooks. After all, I knit and crochet so that I don't have to pull out the sewing machine!

I have a dozen or so pretty green cloth napkins lying around the house collecting dust. They were part of the center pieces at my wedding and I haven't really done anything with them. It already has a prefinished edge which means less sewing for me.

I folded it in half, then folded the bottom half over again. This forms the bottom pocket and makes it double thick. I then sewed 20 3/4 inch wide pockets.

To close it, you fold the top flap down over the hooks (this keeps them from sliding out). Fold each side in towards the middle and then fold in half. I hand sewed a ribbon on the spine of the "book" and then you close it by wrapping it around and tying. Very slick

Now all I need is to find a prefinished square like this so I can make a case big enough for my knitting needles!

Summer has begun

Wow, has it really been a week since I posted last? I'm sorry. I've actually been venturing out of our little dark cave into the bright sunshine. Well, that and I've been busily recycling some fantastic yarn for Ebay. Check it out. I'm putting up some absolutely scrumptious 50/50 cashmere/silk today!

Summer has officially begun! We broke out the wading pool and the swiming suits to battle the 90 degree weather here in Denver.

The kids played in the sprinklers for the first time ever, well, actually they ran AROUND the sprinklers. Apparently they can handle showers, but the soft sprinklers getting their faces wet was too much for them. This is the first year that we haven't had watering restrictions here and I was excited to let my kids play in the back yard the same way I did as a kid. In fact it was in this same back yard, probably with this same sprinkler. Ahh nestalgia.

Brendan is a little small for wading pools and sprinklers, but he had a great time playing in the play pen set up in the wonderful shade provided by the GIGANTIC maple tree in my grandparent's back yard. He's just now able to control his arms and hands enough to make them go where he wants to grab a toy. You can see the absolute concentration on his face as he grabs for them. I sat happily on the swing, under the same wonderful tree watching the kids and knitting. What a wonderful life!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Oh, ya! I'm a cowboy now!

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You remember that I lost my video of Alex riding last week? Well we went up again yesterday and I took another one. Here's my big 4 yr old boy riding his very own horse Scooter. I'm so proud!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Need Yarn?

Well, I've done it. I've officially listed yarn on Ebay. After staring at yarn for months now, and watching my stash grow, I've decided to list some of it for sale. If my first few lots do well, I will continue to offer more recycled yarn for sale on Ebay. You can check on the link on the side to see what's up for sale currently. Hopefully There will always be something. Here's hoping!

My first listing!

100% Shetland wool
2ply Single strand
16 Wraps per inch (Fingering Weight)
10 skeins of about 200yrds each for a total of 1980yrds!! (measured on a niddy noddy NOT BY WEIGHT!)
The color is Burgundy tweed. It is difficult to describe, so I have included a photo of the original knit sweater to show it off

Thursday, June 01, 2006

There's nothing like the lack of anticipation

Well, I know you all haven't been impatiently anticipating this FO, because you didn't know about it! This was a spur of the moment decision to make, and I haven't felt the need to blog about a GIANT dish cloth. I didn't really think that it was all that interesting, but I must say that I LOVE IT!

Pattern: Basic diagonal dish cloth baby blanket
Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun in Colonial
Birthday yarn from DH :D
Needles: Size 10 Straight Bamboo Needles
Date Started: 5-27-06
Date Completed: 6-1-06

I didn't own any size 10 circular needles, so I made it on straight needles, but that led to hand cramps. I could only knit for so long on this bulky yarn in big needles before my hands got tired. I think that it was because I somehow managed to cram 100 stitches on them. The pattern called for 120 something, but there was no way I was going to get any more on there. I love, love, LOVE the color of this yarn and the finished baby blanket. It is so nubbly and wonderful with the natural nubbyness of the yarn combined with the garter stitch, it's just divine. Did you see the 4 different blues in there, and the little gold flecks?! Isn't it beautiful?! Homespun is very soft and makes a beautiful baby blanket, but I must say it is much more annoying to knit with than to crochet with. Needles split it while crochet hooks do not. Oh well. Beautiful baby blanket complete! Now onto another UFO project... maybe...