Thursday, June 30, 2011

WIP Wedthursday

Well, WIP Wednesday went well.
I chose Will's wool socks to work on, and did a fair amount in the morning. (basically until my fingers started hurting.) Then put on Alice in Wonderland and did a bit more in the afternoon.
After (I did something clever for once and marked with a safety pin my starting point. It made me feel better and encouraged me to continue with the incredibly boring, plain colored sock.)
Will was at work during this time, so me and his sisters Heather and Tiffany were hanging out watching movies while Vyvyan pretended he was a dog some more and chased the cat while panting.
I had to take pictures to show off what Tiffany was doing during this time:
An old photo found at the goodwill of a girl in blue reading a book.

Her idea of what to turn the picture into.
Basically, her plan was to paint most of it black (except the girl who was now going to be Alice) and paint the hole Alice falls down around her. So clocks and keys and jam and cupboards and books and all the things Alice sees while she falls. On the border of the picture, she planned to paint several characters from the movie(s). So, the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, the March Hare, whoever suits her fancy. Well, I thought Good Luck with that, Tiff, and once Will got home we took the Chunky to Folsom.

We picked up Will's besty Duncan, and his girlfriend Jill, and went on a 2 mile hike with the Chunk, in search of the Dungeons and Dragons park (named myself). It goes without saying that Vyvyan got very very tired. Then we got to the park and he had so much fun!
Talking to the statues

Playing in the sand


He got pretty tired though.
 He was super cranky on the walk back to the car. Probably because it was a mile away. We picked blackberries and fed them to him though, which helped a bit.

Then we get home and find that Tiffany has worked on the picture quite a bit.
Closeups of Characters:

Cheshire cat from the Cartoon Alice

Unfinished Frumious Bandersnatch

March Hare from the Tim Burton movie

Rocking-Horse fly from the cartoon (I wanted her to do a bread-and-butter fly so bad)

The caterpillar with his infamous hookah

And after his marvelous transformation

Dormouse from Tim Burton film
And the White Rabbit
So that's coming out super awesome and I hope she finishes it before my vacation is over so I can post the final product! She's so creative; who thinks to paint over an photo keeping one element! She also made some necklaces and gave one to me and one to my mom:
The giant flower one went to my mom. The round one went to a friend, the one with the feather is mine, and the last few were made for her mom to go with a book she's writing, which I think is called "Dream Navigator" but isn't out yet.

So then we ate waffles for dinner and I had to put an incredibly cranky baby to bed. It took two bottles (one formula, one whole milk) and four readings of this book by Weird Al.

Then I passed out. In jeans. Still wearing a bra. Without brushing my teeth. With company still in the next room. So, no. I didn't post my WIP Wednesday post until today.

I leave you with this sign we saw on the trail in Folsom:
 wholesome folsom.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Super Stitches Knitting Video Review

Hi everyone! Today is Tuesday, and Tuesdays are for reviewing. (I'm still out in Rescue with the "in-laws" so my video is kind of on-the-spot and I haven't got a stitch of makeup on but no making fun!) Also, I was initially going to review my Boye set, but I forgot to bring it on vacation with me, so instead I'll be reviewing something I did bring: The Super Stitches Knitting book by Karen Hemingway.
Speaking of which, I have 1 swatch done already for next week! Go me!
And here's the video you've been DYING to see.

So thanks for watching and reading!
Tomorrow is WIP Wednesday.

Oh, uploading this video reminded me. My youtube account also has a bunch of songs I wrote, in case you wanted to watch a crazy with a guitar. ;)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Week THREE...of the Super Stitches Knitting Project

It's Sunday, and that means it's time for this week's update!

My challenge was...
1)Double Moss Stitch
2)Chevron Seed Stitch
3)Deep Chevron Pattern

Here are my lovely swatches, posing on the porch:

1) Double Moss Stitch was a stitch pattern I've often used before, which made this swatch a breeze.

Double Moss

2) Chevron Seed Stitch swatch came out rather nice. I've always avoided patterns like this because I'm always afraid I'll lose my place. It turns out this pattern was only a 4 row repeat and it would have been difficult to lose my place. Even if I did, I could easily get back on track again just by looking at the pattern. I will definitely be using this stitch pattern again.


3) Deep Chevron Pattern is reversible, and I've always looked at the picture and thought "Scarf" But when I actually worked this one up, I didn't like the result. The swatch ended up rather bunched and unseemly. Kind of like weird ribbing happened. Not worth the effort, to me. Especially since so many of the rows are nearly identical with just one or two differences that I don't realize until I have to tink half the row. Maybe I just need to utilize post-its when working from 12 and up repeats?

Deep Chevron

Next Week's Swatches are:
1) Diagonal Seed Stitch
2) Rib Checkerboard
3) Moss Stitch

In completely unrelated news, my son believes he is a dog.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

On Vacation!!

I'm living the good life for a week or two, up in Rescue with Will's family.
My boyfriend is awesome and we stopped at a yarn shop on the way.
In Elk Grove
I stopped to take a picture of their adorable sheep out front, who I believe is made out of house insulation.
And of course I couldn't resist buying something to support my LYS. I picked out some Mini Mochi and a pattern for some belted fingerless gloves, which I'm sure I'll cast on before I finish any of my UFOs. I'm going to attempt Magic Loop for the first time when I do them, though, so that's my justification.

Soon to be an xmas present for someone special.
Then today we woke up at early-oh-clock and headed out to the local farmer's market in Placerville. We were hoping to meet up with an ex-roommate who now farms for a living. We saw his dad, though, but were too chicken to say hi.
Here's Will asking if Vyvyan would like a weird squash thing. I said yes, and he bought it but we haven't fed it to Vyvyan yet so who knows.
After the Farmer's Market we went to yet another yarn shop (Gawd I love my boyfriend, he's such an enabler. He told me to buy some pink sock yarn that was $26.)
A little expensive, but super packed with luscious goods. And the people are always great.
Again, in order to support my knitterly sisters I had to buy something. This time just one skein:
Berroco Ultra Alpaca.
It's a beautiful color, fading from black to dark grey, to light grey. I'm hoping I can find a nice hat pattern so I can work it into a christmas present for one of the men in my family.

Lofty Lou's had their own sheep as well:
Isn't it so fluffy?? It's also a chair. I want one. Baa ram ewe!!
After Lofty Lou's we headed to the bead shop, where I didn't buy anything because it was closed and I don't bead. Then we went to "The Bookery" which is a shop so crowded with books that we had to leave the stroller at the door. I did find a small knitting section and was interested to note that every knitting book they had there was $9. No matter what book it was. I did pick out a book, though I have no idea how useful it will be. Probably eventually will be. I love books, anyway.

The Sweater Workshop, by Jacqueline Fee

We also stopped by a cute herb and magick shop. Will bought me a few ceder balls to stick in my stash as moth deterrants. Did I mention I love him?

Then we had a delicious lunch at the Heyday Cafe, and went home pooped. I totally played tourist in a town I used to live in! It was awesome.
Froot Loop Socks in Knit One Crochet Too's Crock-o-Dye
Oh, also? I finished a WIP!
I also have a tale of horror, but at the moment it is too unmentionable. I'll show you a single picture and then I'll go fondle my alpaca on the couch and pretend the whole incident never happened. Tomorrow, the full story and maybe -just maybe- a happy ending.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Brutally Honest UFO Post

I think this is all of them....I hope this is all of them...
 So today I went closet rummaging, bookshelf scouring, and under-bed searching. I found what I believe to be all of my unfinished objects, hibernating or not. Then I went outside. Well, actually first I waited impatiently for this to happen:

So once the little one was passed out on the floor, I took all my WIPs outside for a photo session.
I admit that I swept the porch first, not out of respect for my handknits but so people wouldn't see how dirty my porch is. I realize now that it's kind of useless since you can see my ghetto grouping of broke-down bikes right behind my WIPs, but I chose the picture where its least obvious. I try.

So lets start opening these buggers up!

Mmmmmm fingering weight! 100% wool. Very pretty. What is this and why did I abandon it?

Ah yes, Nancy and Judy
Project: Nancy and Judy Shawl on size 6's with Pinguin Laine
Progress: Maybe 15%
Status: WIP, since I'm not avoiding it.
Why abandoned: The pattern is a little bit too complicated for watching-the-monster-in-the-living-room knitting. I don't have enough brain juice to spare right now. I adore the pattern, love the project (although I did have to change the way I did the left twist) but I need a quiet place where I can focus in order to work on this.
Solution: My solution for this one is WIP wednesday! I can arrange to make 1 hour to focus, especially if it's baby crash time.

What? Another Shawl?
Project: Mara Shawl on size 7's with Bryspun kid n ewe.
Progress: Maybe 10% because my mom wants a big shawl
Status: WIP
Why abandoned: Because I had to take out the needles to do that video review and I'm to lazy to put them back on.
Solution: Stop being a lazy dumbass! This one is SUPER easy knitting and it's beautiful when completed so I say it's perfect take with you on vacation to Will's house knitting :)

I forgot this one so I had to take an indoor picture
Project: The Dumb Baby Sweater with some really ancient squeaky red heart baby
Progress: 85%
Status: UFO.
Why abandoned: I removed the needles in order to do the review thing, but didn't check what size they were beforehand. I believe they were fives, but I'm not entirely sure. Also, it's gotten to a part of the pattern where I kind of have to pay attention. Also, my neice is having a baby and I don't want to give her something made of acrylic, so why am I kniting something made of acrylic?
Solution: I think I'm going to have to tough this one out, and finish the damn thing. Maybe I used 6's. Maybe I should use 6's anyways because nobody will know but me and technically that will make it go faster. WIP wednesday solution, again. After all, this one might only need an hour to complete. Then i get a baby-sweater-finishing high.

100% Wool Socks
Project: Socks for Will, using size 0 needles and Cestari 2 ply sock yarn
Progress: 70%
Status: Hibernating (These were supposed to be my May socks)
Why abandoned: Size 0 needles! They poke me and ow, it hurts. Also, very slow progress.
Solution: Only work for a small amount of time at a time. Will has tried on the complete one and he loves them and they fit great! Except that I CO 72 at the top and 64 would have been better. (I didn't know my boyfriend had girly ankles!) The solution is NOT to cast on more socks.

Froot Loops
 Project: Froot Loops in Knit one Crochet two's crock o dye, using size 2's
Progress: 75%
Status: WIP
Why abandoned: Because I have startitis and I forgot how lovely this yarn is. I forgot how beautiful the pattern is. I forgot how much I like finishing pairs of socks. I forgot that these are socks that are actually for ME!!
Solution: Finish these babies in the car ride to Will's today!! Super easy AND super rewarding. mmmmmmm socks!

Project: "New Sweater" (self 'designed') using random cascade 220 and various wools and size 8 circs
Progress: About that much.
Status: Hibernating.
Why abandoned: Because I suck at self-designing colorwork, obviously. Also, i think it may be coming out slightly too small. And I love my mommy a lot, but I want this sweater for myself dammit! Also, I'm afraid because the plan is to work a yoke and I've never done that before. But on the other hand, I need those size 8 circulars so that I can knit my Slytherin sweater!!
Solution: Knit the slytherin sweater using the new takumi set. Continue to ignore this sweater.

That's really all there is.

Project: Dr. Watson Sweater on size 3's with crappy polyester yarn from walmart/
Status: Complete hibernation, as in I have convinced myself there IS no Dr. Watson sweater.
Why abandoned: Mainly the small needle size mixed with the unnatural material. It hurts when I knit on it, and it feels kind of stiff because I had to go down so many sizes to get gauge.
Solution: This one is headed for the frog pond. I'll try again with Fisherman's or some other wool.

There are supposed to be 24 of these
Project: Smitten Garland (using size 3's with wool-ease worsed)
Progress: 5/24
Status: Hibernating
Why abandoned: Because Christmas is so far away. (Note that this fact does not prevent me from finishing a horde of christmas presents early.) Also, it's 24 of the same damn thing. Also, they're tiny and so you crank em out in like 30 minutes. Which you would think is exciting, but really? It means you have to do all the finishing and stuff so often you want to kill yourself. Also, I made the first two really cute and small and then the last three came out in an entirely different gauge. And that bothers me.
Solution: Continue to ignore. Maybe leave the ravelry smitten-a-long so nobody asks me about them.

 Project: Reversible Irish Hiking Scarf in "vanna's choice" and size 9s
Progress: 20% MAYBE 25%
Status: Ice cold hibernation
Why abandoned: I can't keep up with the pattern. The only way I can do it is if I literally write down each row as I finish it. I tried just memorizing it and had to tink back several horrible rows until I got to a cable cross I understood. Also, this yarn produces little tweedy flyaways that get in my nose and make me super itchy. Which I hope doesn't happen to the recipient.
Solution: Man up cecilia!!! WIP Wednesday this baby! It's a beautiful scarf, and you have unti Christmas to knit on it. Don't work on it so much you feel sad, just prolong the horror. Worst case scenario? Gift some chocolates.

This is actually a sweater, but this is a nice closeup

As you can see, my photography skills are lacking. Also my camera may be cheap.

Project: Hardcore Sweater with Size 11's and Bernat Roving
Progress: 60%
Status: UFO
Why abandoned: There are actually a quite few reasons for abandoning this project, but almost all of them are a variant of "I'm a Pansy."
1) I'm too pansy to learn how to do intarsia on the front and back. (there's a skull on the front)
2) I'm too pansy to learn to embroider the back. Especially because it's words! (it says knit or die)
3) I'm afraid that if I try to sew it up with the roving, it will be too weak and all my seams will come apart in a public place when I'm wearing something underneath that is more embarrassing than a hand knit sweater with a skull on front that says "knit or die" on it.
4) Size 11 needles are really unwieldy.
5) Almost all the fun fair isle bits are done and it's about to get really boring.
6) Does anyone look good in a bulky sweater? Really?
7) It's summer. It's way too hot to be knitting a gigantic sweater back!
Solution: My "due date" for this one was supposed to be the end of july if I want to knit 3 sweaters this year. I think, since it is bulky yarn, I should continue with this one because it only needs most of the front and the back done and then finishing. Hopefully the knitting goes quickly and that I can work on it during times of A/C.

Oh Look. More socks.
Project: Socks made with size 2 needles and patons kroy rag something or other. very cute yarn.
Progress: 10%
Status: WIP
Why abandoned: HAHAHAHA this one I haven't abandoned yet. In fact, I just cast on for it this morning. BTW, they're for Will. Because I was tired of working on the wool socks above. *sigh*
Solution: Don't cast on any more projects at random!! Unless you find really cute yarn like this. And you happen to have a spare set of needles of the perfect size so that there's no finger-pokey going on and so that the knitting goes by lickitty split.

Oh boy.
I think that's it. I think.

Oh Shit.
It's not.
Guilty Confession #35:

These are my February socks.
Project: Guitar Man socks on size 1's with...some yarn. some joanns brand yarn. sensations?
Progress: 60 % ish?
Status: Nonexistent
Why abandoned:
1) I hate the pattern
2) I made the sock a size 8 1/2 and I don't know anyone that size.
3) I made the toe stupid
4) I finally unpansied myself from second sock syndrome and worked on the second cuff, as you can see. Then realized I knitted the twisted rib cuff about an inch too long.
5) I hate twisted ribbing
6) Weird and ugly pooling.
Solution: I don't even know. I don't want to keep working on them. The last time I stuffed them in their little WIP bag, I noticed about 8 stitches were dropped who knows how long ago. I picked them back up uncarefully and tossed the whole thing unceremoniously in the closet. I don't want to frog them. Especially since I would have to undo an ENTIRE freaking sock and practically half of the other one. But I have no reason to knit them since they're in a stupid size and I don't have enough friends, apparently.
I ask you all for help.
What would you do?

Oh, and now for some clarification:
What is the difference between a UFO and a WIP?
I made a differentiation there, didn't I? I'm not honestly sure, but the way I'm classifying it is this: Project is a UFO if it has not seen the light of day in more than a month. Project is a WIP if I am working on it- even intermittantly.
What is all this hibernating nonsense?
Project is hibernating if it is hiding in my closet and I have no intention of ever looking at it again, though I might pretend I do. Deep freeze means I admit I'm probably never knitting another stitch on it. In the case of my february socks, I have left the status as "nonexistent" because my own brain has eradicated them from my memory. Except when I dig around and I'm forced to acknowledge their existence. But hey, that's what this post was all about, right?

Happy knitting!