Saturday, August 30, 2008

Today's Conundrum...

I'm trying to use up as many of my consumable items before going to Japan so that I'm not packing so much and I don't need to store as many items when I get there. I'm mostly trying to use up my lotions and body washes/soaps. It's a concentrated effort. I've been using soap as shaving cream, shaving my legs and subsequently lotioning them more often than I usually would, showering with Lee to lather him up in my girly sops (teehee) and giving Lee foot rubs, of course using the lotion. I was working through them from least to most liked, but only the ones where the body wash and lotion matched. Now, I'm down to non-matching, and I have less than a month left before leaving. My conundrum is this: Do I use the ones I like the least first, and hope I can use up a whole bottle, or do I go with the Victoria's Secret Strawberries and Champagne which is half gone (I really like it) and can probably use it up? I know, this shouldn't be as much of a problem. I have a Kiwi Lotus lotion that is 1/5 gone and a Grapefruit Ginger that is slightly less used that I keep in the car. I have a not opened Grapefruit Ginger that I was going to use next, since I don't really like that scent, but I don't know if I can use it up before I go and I'd rather use up more than have a bunch of half-used bottles. Though if I go with the Grapefruit Ginger, I can have matching lotions in both the car and at home...

Does anyone else find stupidly simple, irrelevant to everything else in the world, and really miniscule decisions like this so difficult?

Five hours of car time this weekend, I think I can safely promise an FO picture or two for my next post.

Friday, August 29, 2008

More News

Chugging away on my BYOB - nothing new to note yet, hopefully will have a finished product by the end of the weekend. And maybe some FO pictures for the growing list of finished but not photographed items in my sidebar.

McCain has finally chosen a VP, and it seems like a very smart move on his part. She seems competent, poised, pretty, and a very staunch republican in all the worst ways. Anti-gay, pro-life, pro-drilling in Alaska, and who knows what else. Good move, sir. We shall see how this one plays out - and this time I get an outsiders view on the whole shebang.

I was ever so pleased this morning. One of the Art of Disney retired cross stitches, The Happiest Celebration on Earth, was put on eBay. I do own all of the charts for all of the cross stitches, but I want to own all of the kits and this particular one requires beads. I put it on my watch list, as it was just listed today, and am prepared to wait until the final two hours to start my bidding, hoping that it remains down around $15 so not too many people actually notice it. I've found that if the bidding doesn't get too hot, the ones that start low tend to stay low. Of course, a couple hours later, I check back, and it's already over $60. I was planning to pay between $60 and $100 for this, and will have to watch it. It's worth a lot to me, but right now, I really shouldn't be spending so much on something so unnecessary. We did just take out a large loan from Lee's parents to consolidate some of our smaller and higher interest loans as well as set up our apartment in Japan, so we have the money for this, but I just don't know how high I can reasonably go. I really, really, really want this, and this one isn't listed very often. I'll be keeping my eye on it and crossing my fingers that the other bidders don't think it's quite worth it!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The News

The excellent news: My Certificate of Eligibility is officially in the mail from Japan, which means I am 100% going to Japan in just under a month. Awesome!

The good news: The yarn I mentioned for a test knit in the last post didn't get here until Monday. However, I was able to whip out a pair of 7.5" leg, 9" foot socks to get in the mail on Wednesday. Fastest socks ever. Though I do need to ice my wrists now! It's a pretty cool pattern coming out by Phoenix Bess, a biased lace sock that Lee found very entrancing, especially given the yarn that I was using. It pooled nicely with the pattern.

The "eh" news: No pictures for this post. I haven't really worked on anything but test knits recently and though I've taken pictures of them, y'all don't get to see those until the pattern is released. I will say that I am quite pleased with the Sea Silk Wrap and can't wait to show that one off! This one also had pretty amazing pooling, and I love the colors, though I think it's going to be a present for my aunt. I love it but don't think I'd use it, whereas she probably will use it.

The bad news: I haven't yet even started my SotS3 Hint #2, and Hint #3 comes out tomorrow! We will have a lot of car time this weekend with a visiting friend, but I've also got a couple other things that should be done first. We'll see how that goes...

The awful news: Everything we own (practically) is still stuck in Japanese customs. At this point I just want to tell them to hold onto the boxes until we arrive, then we'll go there and make the extensive lists of everything AGAIN so that we can have a household in Japan.

Thank you and good night.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Shipping Woes

Got back from a couple of days at the lake this morning. There's a voicemail on Lee's phone saying that our boxes (most everything we own) in Japan are being held in Customs due to the fact that only one of the customs sheets got there with the boxes. Now, we had to unpack the boxes to fill out these sheets since the forms require you to be very explicit with what is in each box. We would have done this in the first place, but the idiot FedEx employee who helped us when we said "We're shipping things to Japan" didn't actually help us but gave us the wrong number of boxes and charged us for the other two anyway while not listening to what we said, so didn't give us the forms in the first place. This same guy was very helpful during the shipping of the boxes, so we figured that he was just having a bad day the first time or something. We're using the Great Rates line through FedEx so we get 74% off of the normal shipping costs by shipping it on a certain day of the week when everything else is slow. It's new, so we were having problems shipping it out and it took over 2 hours at the store to get it done. We also haven't actually gotten charged for the shipping yet, but at least the boxes got to Japan.

We called FedEx and they gave us the number of the local shipping center to call. No one has our paperwork. Well, one form made it through. Their advice is to forge the other 14, even though the form is legally binding and all and we could technically go to jail if we lie on it. I guess we were supposed to get a copy of all of these, but the employee didn't give us any. We filled out completely 15 of these sheets, which took many, many hours, and apparently, only the one got shipped. They faxed us a copy of the one that got shipped so we can better forge the rest, and we've found that some information on it was changed after we turned it in, and we're thinking the employee changed the numbers and threw the rest away. Lee's trying to call Japan to let them know what the problem is so that instead of forging these rather important pages, they know that FedEx screwed us over and forged some information after we signed the declaration. We're hoping they don't send us back all the packages, because that would be very painful.

Also I was supposed to get yarn for a test knit today and it didn't come in. Right about now, I hate all forms of shipping. I did finish Peasantry and am close to finishing a couple other things, so that I can start others, but did not take photographs on the lake of both Peasantry and the Lace Rib Raglan like I planned. Maybe I'll take them up to Maine tomorrow and take pictures then. Hopefully we get this shipping stuff sorted out before we go and also I hope that my yarn comes in and the mail gets here before we leave. Six hours of car ride would at least get the first sock mostly done, and I'd hate to lose that especially since this particular knit is on a rather tight deadline.

Also also, I have been so very upset that I totally forgot that today's Friday and the next Secret of the Stole hint is out. At least I'll have that to keep me busy if I don't get the sock yarn. Like I actually need something else to keep me busy - my list of WIPs isn't enough?

Monday, August 18, 2008


I had a lovely day last Friday with the cat, sitting by the stove, knitting away, burning old financial records. All I needed was a mug of hot cocoa and a change of season to say, January instead of August. Oh well. Got a bunch of knitting done!

Last night we went to a Buddy Guy/George Thorogood and the Destroyers concert in Boston. We live a bit over an hour away, so of course, I brought some knitting. I brought my BYOB for a change of pace from the laceweight, and got to the end of the lace panel. Came time to do the top of the bag in seed stitch, and I realized that I didn't pack the smaller needle tips needed for that portion of the bag. Luckily, I never pack light knitting-wise and had my Sea Silk Wrap in my purse, which I happily knit on during the first two bands (Peter Gammons' band and Buddy Guy) and during the intermission-y time before George Thorogood came on. I was dancing and there was not enough light to continue the wrap during his set. I got another couple of inches done on it, so that's going well. I also had a small cross stitch ornament in my purse too, the $1.99 kind that's sold in big box craft stores. I love those little suckers! The lace part of the BYOB seemed to go quickly, and I'm hoping my renewed interest in it carries me through long enough to finish it up soon. I'm in a finishing stuff mood, but I do not have enough time to really sit down and power through anything. Though we are going to the drive-ins tonight...Maybe I'll bring my Peasantry and not any other warm clothing so I have to finish it when it gets chilly out. That may motivate me enough!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Secret of the Stole III, Hint #1

Yay, I'm done with Hint #1!!! That means I'm actually keeping up with one of these things for once! Yes, I know it's only the first of nine, and if I actually keep up with this it means I will run out of yarn 3/4 of the way through the last clue, but still, I'm done and can't work on this one until Friday. Yay! I also found my blocking pins, which I thought I, in a boneheaded move, sent to Japan. Apparently I did not, which is good, since I'll have one or two things to (hopefully) block before I go. I'll probably re-block my SotS3 swatch since I just kind of laid it out the first time.

I had ever so many problems with this hint. Only 64 lines, and I had to completely rip back (from row 3, but still...) once, and I had a huge tangle of ickyness that I had to drop down ten stitches for and work them back up the six rows that were erroneous. I also had a bunch of tinking, generally just a few stitches, but tinking nonetheless over various portions. I am quite pleased with my choice of beads and yarn though, and can't wait to see what the next hint is! I'm hoping to clear off something else from the needles, or at least get the @#%Q$%$# Snowflake Sock to the point where I can carry it around. I'm also waiting on a package for a test knit, a pair of socks.

Now on to BYOB...or my Sea Silk Wrap...or my mom's sleeve...none of which have really moved since the last pictures. Except of course the Sea Silk Wrap, since there are no pictures of that! 11 of the 16 projects in my sidebar are in the country. I'm not working on either of the cross stitches since they don't need to be done and take up minimal space. I'm not working on Blaze since I still need another skein. I can't work on the Secret of the Stole III anymore since I've finished everything I have. I can't work on Rogue until I free up a cord for the sleeves. That takes it down to six possible projects to work on. I think I shall work on BYOB for a change of pace, worsted weight yarn instead of the sport/fingering/lace I've been working with for the past couple of weeks. I also need to find the Snowflake Socks chart. Apparently I didn't transfer all the files from my laptop correctly. Good thing I didn't wipe it yet!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Random Post

Apparently I go from one obsession in my knitting to another. Remember the post about not quite understanding the concept of having multiple projects on the needles? Yeah, I now have five projects that require my size 4s. Five. My mom's sweater, both the knit alongs I've just joined, a test knit, and the thank-you scarf that I've sketched out but still need to fully chart out and swatch. Yes, I'm actually going to swatch this one to make sure it's what I want. The test knit is the first one on the needles, and it's nearly halfway done. I have two skeins of yarn, so that's how long the wrap will be. I think it might look better with a third, but I have two, so it's getting two.

The ski sweater is still on that first sleeve. So much for making it before she arrives...last Sunday...But she likes the sleeve a lot so far. I just got annoyed with the pattern directions and gauge and trying to decide if I should knit another inch or just let it go and see what happens, so put it down and picked up a book. All this knitting's not going to get done before I leave the States if I keep on reading huge books that won't stay open while I knit. I've switched to cartoon books - they're all paperback and short and they stay open for me. Since I'm still using DPNs for the sleeve, I don't need my Boye set yet, and this project is not yet vying for cables and tips.

Tomorrow, however, SotS4 starts, and I want to keep up with it this time. I have the swatch, so I know what I'm using and I'm all ready to go, I just need the first clue. I also, since I probably won't quite finish the test knit before tomorrow, have stolen one of the cables out of Blaze, and made it fit just barely onto the largest cable I have. It's very tight, but it fits. I figure, I'll finish the test knit, blaze through the thank-you scarf since I'm really into the project, and then return that cable to Blaze just in time (I hope) to recieve the last skein of yarn I need to finish that and then finish Blaze, opening up two cables for the ski sweater. If I finish my BYOB, that gives me a cable for the MS3, which starts September 5th. (Who else is skeptical? Memememe! I almost bought more cables, but can't spend money on something I really shouldn't get right now) Which leaves Rogue's sleeves still wanting for cables...but hey, I need some airplane kniting, right? With over 16 hours of airline knitting, plus waiting to transfer flights, go through customs, etc. there will be a bunch of knitting, reading, sudoku-ing and cross stitching going on, especially because I probably won't be able to sleep.

Also, I just realized that the word "tink", meaning to un-knit a few stitches, is actually the word "knit" backwards and it makes a lot of sense but I feel like an idiot for not realizing it in the oh, three plus years I've been using it.

Also also, that sunburn I posted about before is peeling. Ew.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I swatched for both MS4 and SotS3, and made a decision on the MS4 beads. First off, SotS3 swatch:

SotS3 Swatch

I love this swatch. It's lovely. The yarn is a bit lighter than in this picture. It's still wet here and in poor lighting. The beads are definitely visible, but a pink that's pretty much exactly one of the shades within the yarn. I love it, love it, love it! Now I just have to wait for the first clue on Friday - and then hope to have one of my four cords open to knit it on. I have one cord in a test knit, one in a BYOB, and the other two in my Blaze, which is still in need of another skein to really be finished. I'm thinking I may just buy another set of cords soon, though I know I shouldn't since it forces me to finish things instead of continuously cast on. Maybe I can squeeze Blaze onto the largest one and reclaim a fourth that way...though I will be vacationing up at a family lakehouse for the next two days. Between the car ride and lazing about on the water, I should have a decent amount of knitting time.

Next up, swatch for MS4:

MS4 Take 1

Eeew. I don't like the beads. I think I may go back for the shiny black ones I vetoed, or at least no clear ones this time. It's really not bad, but since this design really should be visible, I should get better beads. Some of the stitches fell off the needle in transport from chair to desk (still not sure how that one happened...) so I'm going to go back for new beads. I couldn't get a good picture of it, but trust me, it's not much better than it seems in this one. The teal gets mostly lost and just doesn't quite mesh with the yarn. This one doesn't start until mid-September though, so I've got time to find the right beads.

My last interesting item is a test knit that I have to show a close-up of because the only nice stitch markers that I have happen to match the yarn exactly:

Blue Marker Purple Marker

See? Isn't it just awesome? This is a wrap made from fingering weight yarn, and the best fingering weight yarn I have still with me is Knit Picks Essential Multi in Peacock Multi. I LOVE this yarn and will be buying more for socks and things. I think it's just awesome. The reddish parts are actually a very nice purple, though the blue is fairly true. The purple pretty much matches the stitch marker, even though it doesn't look it in these pictures.

I think I'll be bringing this one on my mini-vacation to try to clear it off the needles - it's a test knit and needs to be done by the 31st, and is done using the same needles I will be using for Friday's clue, so I may as well clear off both a cord and the required needles.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beaded Lace

I love lace, and I love beads. I spent SOOOO much time trying to get beads to match three skeins of yarn I'm going to be using for MS4, SotS3, and a thank-you scarf, and I finally have them. No big box craft store around here sells a large enough selection of size 8 seed beads to match two of the yarns. The third yarn needs a size six, but I wasn't in love with any of the colors, so hadn't purchased any. Then I tried to find a local bead store. That didn't work so well. My first attempt had me searching on the wrong side of the road - it's one of those that cuts across another road, but at a very skewed diagonal and not just a single intersection, so you have to go down that other road a bit to find the next part. Also, and I was not aware of this, but the part across the road and between me and the bead shop was named South Mammoth Road. I needed Mammoth Road. I therefore didn't find it. This took me to five hours of bead shopping. Five hours of searching in two different AC Moores and a Michael's, couldn't find a Jo-Ann's, and then driving around forever to find The Bead Patch.

I re-Google-mapped it, and lo and behold, I found it. The Bead Patch. Small, cute, but exactly what I was looking for. Beads all around, hanging on the walls in sections labeled by size in nice little containers. Lovely. A HUGE section of size 8s, which made me very happy indeed. Instead of trying to decide what could possibly look good with the chosen yarn, I found myself trying to decide between many amazing colors. The pink size 6 seed beads I found straightaway; there were no other options once I saw it:

SotS3 Supplies SotS3 Supplies Close Up

The pink matches the yarn perfectly, and the irridescense of the beads will be just enough to make them noticeable. I loves it to death, and I usually don't like such pastel pinks!

The thank you scarf that will henceforth not be shown for awhile will also be beaded. I'll be using the lovely KnitPicks Shimmer in Galaxy that is a bitch to photograph. I was really hesitant to order it since I couldn't tell if it was going to be reds or blues or purples or blacks, but I am so glad that Lee talked me into it. It is a perfect lovely skein of dusky purples, even better than I thought it was going to be, but ever so hard to get a good shot of. With flash, the silk picks it up and is ever so bright and shiny and blue. Today without the flash in overcast non-direct lighting, the reds were coming out to play. For more accurate pictures color-wise, look here. I think I may need a lighter background, since it looks closest to reality when it's next to the Bare. However, I also found beads that go wonderfully:

Betty's Scarf Supplies Betty's Scarf Supplies Close-Up

The lovely coppery beads are nice and dark and perfect against the dusky purple. They blend nicely, but do not get lost at all and will be a very nice accent piece for this yarn. I am hoping fervently that this scarf takes only one skein, so that I am able to utilize the other for myself! Though I can always get more...who wants to be my Knit Picks source while I'm in Japan? They don't ship there, so I'm gonna need a supplier! Teehee, I just noticed that I put the beads price-tag side up in the close-up. Oh well! For perfect beads, I certainly don't mind paying more, though I was really hoping to get away with the $.99 ones from AC Moore. Especially because I'd only need one, whereas I'm going to need three of the $2 ones from here!

Third item: MS4. I thoroughly enjoyed the Mystery Stole 3 that I participated in last fall. I wish there was a bit more instruction as to gauge, instead of just "make it look good to you". In the end, yes, it is your call, but you really, really, really cannot say that your finished dimensions will be approximately 35"x70" if you do not also give a gauge for your swatch. I hate that. With a passion. Either give me all the information or none, not just bits and pieces. Boy was I surprised when I used needles that gave me something that looked good and I got something that barely comes around my shoulders, a mere 20"x40". I love it the way it is, as a little shawlette, and it was an amazing learning experience, but it also taught me to absolutely hate lace patterns that give approximate finished dimensions but no gauge. You can't shoot for the same finished dimensions without having the same gauge, no matter what! Yes, it is much more important to get something that you like, but for the love of Mike please don't tell me to bake for about 20 minutes if you don't let me know what temperature the oven should be at!

Okay, . I'm an engineer, I am used to specifics, I like specifics. A lot. Back to the beads. I wanted beads with a bit of contrast. The yarn I'm using is very river-like, and so I was thinking something that looks like river rocks, like the randomly shiny black ones that shine in tones of blues and reds and greens. But then I realized that the beads in this one will be an integral part of the pattern, and therefore will make a coherent design, and so I didn't want beads to be that random. There really weren't any that were just one color of shiny, and I didn't want straight black, so I veered away from those. Blues. I could go with blues or purples or greens, since my blue is a kind of a heathery blue and has all of those tones in it. They would not only match the subtle tones, but they would also be a contrast from the main blue and therefore would be nice. Then I couldn't decide on purples or greens or blues. I'd find one that was awesome, but then decide that it blended in too much, not enough, or just not look quite right. Finally, I went with a teal. I'm still not 100% on that one, and I know I'll have to go back to the bead store for another tube of them anyway, so I think I'll look at them some more, do some swatching, and then make a final ruling. What do you think

MS4 Supplies Flash MS4 Supplies No Flash MS4 Supplies Close Up

The first picture is with the flash and shows off the beads well, the second picture is no flash and shows off the yarn well (though is fuzzy) and the third is the close-up. Also, my picture taking skills are improving greatly, helped by realizing that Lee's office chair makes a pretty good black backdrop. Especially when the flash is used. Any comments on the teal beads on the blue yarn? I'll swatch, and then show again, and then I'll decide.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I spent the day weeding a couple of days ago. Well, five hours of the day. Bending down, squatting, kneeling, five hours of positions I'm not usually in. My hamstrings are killing me! You know how sometimes when you bend down, your shirt and pants no longer completely cover your lower back? If you are in such positions which allow this to happen for extended periods of time in the sun, your skin tends to react to the sun exposure that it hasn't gotten in, well, probably almost years for that particular portion of my anatomy. Heck, even my bikini covers that exact stripe of skin! I know this because that stripe of skin is now a painful, puffy, purpley-red, and it is covered by most undergarments and bathing suit bottoms. Lee finds it hilarious. I wanted to post a picture, but realized that as the stripe is covered by my bathing suit, it is probably also not the most appropriate area to be flashing the world. Also it extends down into butt cleavage, and since that is not something we enjoy here in the States (though some European jeans have cutouts specifically for that...) I shall not be displaying my burned butt cleavage.

I also went stash diving for the lace yarns for MS4 and SotS3, and have lovely yarns for those. MS4 will get a lovely denim Alpaca Cloud, and SotS3 will get the same pink that my Path of Flowers stole used. I should have enough of the pink for the SotS3, but that may be iffy. I definitely have enough denim for the MS4, so that's all good. Now all I want to do is swatch for that, though what I should be doing is working on my mom's sweater.

Instead I'm reading The Mammoth Hunters, the third in a not-so-good series of books, Earth's Children by Jean M. Auel. It has some great potential, but a couple of things that I just can't stand, like the entire conflict of the 723 page book is a simple lover's spat that has escalated stupidly because niether of the two will just talk to each other. The book is set in early man's history, when there were still Cro-Magnon man and modern day humans, and the descriptions of the local flora, fauna, geography, tools, and general living conditions are great. The problem is that there's like a paragraph listing all of this stuff and then it's not mentioned at in the normal narrative flow. Kind of like a soap opera set in early human times and written for the screen, so the background and scenery are kind of asides to the action instead of integrated. Two more books to go of this size before the series is done...and while I'd rather be reading something else from the MASSIVE collection Lee and I are leaving behind, I shall finish these first because, well, I already started, so I have to finish.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stupid !#$%@$#% Pattern

I really hate the Telemark Ski Sweater pattern from Knit Picks. It's an awesome design, both myself and my mother love it which is why I'm knitting it for her, but I really can't stand the pattern itself. First off, it's mostly done using the Elizabeth Zimmerman Percentage method of figuring out the sweater dimensions, which isn't a bad thing, but wasn't what I was looking for. I wanted a "Cast on X number of stitches for a size medium" instead of "Make a gauge swatch and measure it and cast on X% of the number of stitches you would need to go around the chest". It's a great way of getting a great fitting sweater, but not what I was looking for at the time. So after getting over that aspect of it, I decide to do a sleeve swatch.

I hate swatching, I hate wasting yarn on a swatch (though it isn't really wasting) and I don't like taking the time to do it (though it's really good practice especially for something like a stranded sweater). Instead, I cast on for a sleeve in the recommended needles. I knit the cuff, then two inches of pattern, and realized I was way off. It was huge. The recommended gauge is 7 sts/in, and the pattern writer got it using size 5s. Now, the ball band says 6 sts = 1" on size 3/4 needles. How in the heck did the designer get more stitches on such larger needles? Must have been pulling those floats rather tightly. I got 5 1/2 sts/in with the 5s, though as I got into the knitting, getting used to stranded knitting again, it was creeping over 6 sts/in. So I ripped back to the cuff and tried again, still getting just about 6 sts/in. I switched to 4s, and that gave me the desired 7 sts/in, and a really nice thick, dense fabric too. I ripped it all out, and started over again with the 4s.

Using the 4s, I've been plugging along wonderfully. I've just finished with the increases, and need to knit until 8" from the end. 8". Something about that just seems kind of funny to me. Now, if everything else about the pattern would be percentages and based on gauge, why is this number not? I counted the rows left on the sleeve. 48. So if you gauge was 6 rows/in, you get 8" left. But what if it's not? What is the row gauge supposed to be? The pattern doesn't say. What do you mean the pattern doesn't say? It only gives a stitch gauge, not a row gauge. What the heck kind of pattern is this? It gives you a recommended stitch gauge, then tells you how to figure out the necessary stitches using your own gauge, which could be different from theirs, but gives you no information on the row gauge and then assumes what yours is. I would have less problems with this pattern if they picked a style of directions and stayed with it, instead of jumping back and forth. I like how it is explained, very well I might add, how to use the charts and your gauge and measurements to knit the garment, but the fact that this is not done for height, only width, bothers me. By the way, my row gauge is 8 rows/in. If I were to leave off at 8" from the cuff to underarm length, then knit the 48 rows, I'd knit only 6" more and therefore be two, count 'em, TWO inches short of the desired length. NOT fudge-able. It is a good thing I stopped to check this one out before proceeding. Could have ended badly, for my mom. I probably would have realized it before finishing the sweater and all, but still, it would have angered me greatly to have to rip back the last four charts' worth of work to go back to the lice pattern where I can lengthen the sleeve.

Also, my mom is visiting us up here in New Hampshire this Sunday/Monday. I have exactly what you see up in the prior paragraph done on her cardigan (aren't the floats lovely?). I'm kind of hoping to have it done for her then. It's one of those things I want to finish while I'm still in the States, one of the larger ones, and if I can get it done by then it makes everything else look a lot more sensible. I'm also changing it from a pullover to a cardigan, and have never steeked or knit a button band before. This is looking rather not do-able. Wish me luck anyway!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Post #100, YAY!

This is post #100! No party or anything, I just noticed it and figured I'd say something. I'm going to have a cookie to celebrate.

I got my latest Knit Picks order in, finally got around to using a $50 gift certificate I've had since Christmas. The need for thank-you scarves is what finally did it. Lee and I liked Shimmer in Galaxy, but weren't sure what it would really look like in real life. We were going for purples, and that's exactly what it is. Perfect. Just in case, however, I grabbed a skein of Bare for Kool-Aid dyeing if necessary, and threw in some sock yarn for work to get it up to the $50. I'm designing the thank-you scarf, something lacy with beads and cables, but I probably won't show it about for awhile. I'm really liking it so far so I think I may try to sell it. The woman I'm giving it to is the wife of a professional weaver, so they know all about quality craftsmanship and good materials, so I'm feeling some pressure to perform. I know I don't have to make an amazing scarf, but I want to make a really good one! She likes purples, and if I can get some lovely beads to go with this, I'll be all set. I'm thinking the scarf will take less than one skein, though I got two to be safe. I'm hoping to make one for me out of the other one if it turns out well!

I've also signed up for both Mystery Stole 4 and Secret of the Stole 3. Now, I no longer need the purple laceweight I kept out of the Japan stash. I have all this new Knit Picks yarn that should be shipped instead of carried over. I want to get two colors of laceweight I already have out of the Japan stash to maybe use for both of those, since I have some good colors that fall into the recommended colors category for both. The boxes that will be shipped to Japan are still sitting in the hallway. I also have to go bead shopping for the Galaxy scarf, and both stoles require beads....And our diplomas came in and should be shipped ahead, so if I open a box I can pack those, so I really should unpack and repack that box, right? Right.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Unclear On The Concept...

The point of having multiple projects on the needles is so that you can switch from one size to another, one technique to another, and give yourself a break every so often. So like a lace shawl, a worsted weight cable or stockinette sweater, and a sport or fingering weight stranded sweater is a good mix of projects. My current projects do not have that nice mix. I was looking at them trying to decide what to knit on, since all of my cords from my Boye kit are being used. Two in Blaze, one in BYOB, one in Manitou. I have a test knit shawl that I just got, and a sweater for my mom I'd love to finish before I go to Japan that I have yet to start. Therefore, I want to clean the needles and free up some cords for other uses. So I laid out my projects:

Blaze, 1.5 Skeins Left BYOB, almost to the lace Manitou, almost done

We have: A cabled sweater, DK weight yarn. A seed stitch bag, worsted weight yarn. So far so good, multiple styles of project, but still a bit too knit/purl, I'd like something that's more knit a row/purl a row or just plain knit. A reversible cabled scarf. All K1/P1, just like the seed stitch bag. Worsted weight, just like the seed stitch bag. Cables, just like Blaze. D'oh!

I am not exactly able to take a break from one thing to another. Oh well. I have to clean the needles anyway, and since Blaze isn't going to be done until I order another skein, I've gotta go with the other two. But since I really, really, really want to start either the lace or the sport weight colorwork, I'm sure I'll be finishing something very shortly!