Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hey look, I'm not dead or anything!

I have just been busy this past week. What have I been doing? Well, not knitting on the big fuzzy rectangle as much as I probably should have that's for sure. Sorry Julia, I swear it will be done eventually.
I finished up my first knitting bag yesterday by sewing on the handles without benifit of the sewing machine. It looks really super great, but I'm going to have to modify my pattern a bit to make it easier to attach them using the machine because it was a huge PITA and took 2 hours to get them on there securely with my limited hand sewing skills. I'm pretty darn proud of myself for not screwing up the machine sewn part of the bag actually. Sewing machines and I historicly don't get along too well.
Sunday night I started my first toe-up sock. The cuff down sock of doom isn't something I really want to repeat. It has fit issues. I think I've found my perfect sock here with the toe-up method described at Stasia's Sock Page. The cast on is genius,(it kicks the figure 8 method's ass) there is literally no math or swatching involved here, and the experimental slipper sock I'm doing out of Rowan Cork on #4 dpn's is looking pretty darn spiffy. So spiffy in fact, that it will for sure be getting a mate so I can wear them around the house. I'll get a picture for you to see it as soon as I finish the cuff. Lots of toe-up sock knitting will probably be going on over here all summer (in between the finishing of the current WIP's of course.)
I haven't made much progress on the gardening and yard things. Hopefully it won't rain on me this weekend like it has been. I'm off work early on Friday so I'll have almost three days to get some things started if I can motivate myself to work on it. Tonight we're weeding the old flower beds and putting in some new mulch and new flower box flowers if we can manage it before dark. Wish me luck.
Pictures of everything are forthcoming as soon as I get new batteries for the camera.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


My fabulous new sheepy mug. Want one?
They're made by Amy of Boogie Knits. (You know you want one.)

These are the awesome Secret Pal goodies that were waiting for me at the post office on Monday. That sock yarn is superwash and it's from Italy. (ohhhh!) In the back there is a lovely lavendar bath bomb from Lush, and of course a new sheepy tape measure too...Thanks Secret Pal!

I finished the Sick Shawl last night. I had a migraine yesterday so it was pretty fitting. There are three or four obvious mistakes in there, but I don't care.

You probably already noticed that I went ahead and put on the loopy trim. It was midnight and that loopy trim suddenly got really attractive when I realized how much easier it would be than binding off all those stitches while being careful not to get it too tight. I'm still debating on whether I want to stick some fringe on there too.
Now that the sick shawl is finished it's back to work on Julia's Poncho. I need to hurry up with that cause she's in need.

Friday, March 18, 2005

What Color Is Your CHIBI?

People are insane.
I don't know how many of you who read this are aware of the status that a Pink Clover CHIBI darning needle holder suddenly commands. They come in different colors each production run, and I guess the pink one has been out of production for a while. Green Eyed Girl started this craze. The topic came up on the knitlist, then someone from knitflame put one up for auction on ebay just to see how much it would go for. (These things retail for about $4.) When last I looked the auction was up to almost $30. I'm afraid to look now to get the url, so just trust me or go to ebay yourself and search for a pink CHIBI darning needle if you don't believe me. I never expected the thing to go for more than $10. WOW, was I wrong! If you've got one of these laying around somewhere you should dig it out and slap it up on ebay I guess.
My own CHIBI is green. I'm thinking of painting it with some of that special plastic polymer spraypaint & some model car detailing enamel. Maybe I can start a Custom CHIBI shop. haha

I've still been working on the sick shawl when I feel good enough to knit. There have been a couple of nights this week that I couldn't even do that. I just sat on the couch and watched tv till I fell over. It is crammed onto some 32in needles and just looks like a pile of gray nothing so no pictures till it is off the needles and blocking.

Ian and I went to the local fabric shop to look for remnants for a sewing project and noticed they'd started carrying yarn. Upon further investigation it was just Lion Brand yarns and some notions. While looking at the different colors of Homespun, Ian suddenly turned to me and said "They've got a lot of nerve calling this crap "Homespun"! That yarn you make is way better than this."
Awwwww..that's my boy. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It's A Sickness

I know I said that I wasn't going to start anything new until I finished all the things on the WIP list, but I have been sick for a week, and I was tired of knitting the boring rectangles. I had that Lion Brand Homespun crap laying around from the martha poncho swatching so I started the Gray Triangle Shawl as a sick girl project. The yarn has been surprisingly not a pain in the butt to work with as long as I don't care about splitting it much, and it looks fairly nice. I'm not going to put that dorky loop to loop trim on mine though. That sucks. This thing will be my official "sick shawl" so I can wrap myself up in it and drink tea and blow my nose from now until the end of time (since it's acrylic and will probably outlast me). I have three or four pattern repeats to go. Not much else is going on besides the sick. I haven't been doing any spinning this week. I haven't worked on any other projects but the sick shawl.
Next week should be busy though. I have Ian's extended family swooping in here on Saturday. His Dad is picking him up for Spring Break, and since they are in the middle of moving to San Antonio, TX Ian gets to go with them to watch his little sister while things are unloaded/put away. Ian is very excited about his Dad moving to SA. They previously lived in St. Louis, which he found boring and lame. haha I need to start researching yarn stores down there. I wonder if there are any.
Sunday they all leave out for Texas, so if it isn't raining I might get some yard work done. This past weekend would have been perfect for that if I hadn't been stuck in the house coughing up a lung the whole time.
I had to put off starting the exercise. I got one workout in before the sick hit me. I'm thinking I can start that back up again on Monday. I've gained three more pounds since I've been sick. What's up with that? Aren't I supposed to be wasting away with the illness? I guess my butt didn't get that memo.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Someone Else's FO

Since I haven't had a Finished Object of my own in a while, I thought I'd show you this sweater I bought at a local thrift store a couple of years ago.

This picture does it no justice. Its a little brighter, almost a weird mustard color. It is knit in some sort of horrible acrylic stuff that pills like mad every time it gets washed. I love it for it's magnificent tackiness. The stripes are universally unflattering on every person who has ever tried it on. I wear it in the fall sometimes anyway.
It has a tag that reads "Hand Made By Margaret Chapman".

I wish I knew where she was. For what she had to work with she did a really good job, and I love the shape. Some day I'm going to make one just like it in a solid color.
This is a closeup of the trim.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

New Comments Feature

I got new comment script for the blog just now. Blogger's comment feature stinks. This will be way better and doesn't require you to log in to anything just to leave a comment. Unfortunately, all my old blogger comments have been lost. No big deal I guess. I don't get all that many anyway.
If you hate the blogger comment feature as much as I did and don't mind losing all your old comments, check out Haloscan.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On Second Thought...

Perhaps The Manolo, he is right.

Who else is going to be watching Craft Corner Deathmatch tonight on the Style Network? Check out the judges.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

In Other News...

I got a new roving in the mail. It has some grass and junk in it, but it was from zoo sheep in New York so I guess they weren't wearing little jackets or anything. haha. It isn't so much that I would mind picking it out as I spin, and it was DIRT CHEAP from a lady on spin-sales so I can't complain.
Here it is spread out on my kitchen counter. It's a little over a pound of black Shetland:

I'm thinking this would look better plied with the kool-aid dyed roving than the brown Jacob wool would. I've only got about an ounce of the Jacob spun so far. I guess I'll keep going on that and ply it to itself THEN start on this and the kool-aid dyed stuff. I'm gonna be busy with the spinning.

Just Curious

So are any of you people who have stumbled in here looking for the Martha-Inspired Poncho going to make one with my instructions as a jumping-off point? If you are, let me know. I'm going to swatch it up tonight. I'll post a pic of that.
For those of you who would rather have something more "official", word is that Martha is going to get the pattern from her friend. (who made it sans-pattern and who is still in jail) They will work out a deal so that it will soon be available through some official Martha outlet. So you can keep waiting around for that.
EDIT: Lionbrand, has announced that they will have a pattern for the poncho on their site sometime next week.
Meanwhile...I have a swatch. My scallops aren't as huge as the ones on the "real" poncho, but I only did two rows of the scallop stitches on top of eachother. Maybe if you did three rows it would be bigger.

So yeah, it works. I used Lionbrand Homespun and a big hook.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Martha Stewart Crochet Poncho Pattern

I've noticed that a lot of people are finding this blog the last few days by searching for the words "Martha Stewart Crochet Poncho". Personally, I didn't think it was anything special, but for what it's worth here is what I could figure out from the pictures I saw:
Pick some yarn. Pick a hook to fit that yarn. (I think Martha's poncho is either some kind of varigated chenile or maybe Lion Brand Homespun or something of that weight.) Do your favorite open pattern to make a rectangle about 15 or 20x50 or 60 inches. (I like chain 15 inches (I'm short) then two double crochet, chain two or three, and starting with the third or fourth loop out, do two or three more double crochet..continue like that to the end, then turn and repeat so that the double crochets end up on top of the gaps from the previous row. Keep going till it's 50 or 60 inches long.) Fold it in half and seam up the side leaving a hole for your head.
Add your favorite scallop type edging.
Easy Scallop Edging
1 single crochet, 1 double, 2 triple, 1 double, 1 single all the way around the bottom edge of the poncho. If you like you can then chain stitch around again to give it a nice finish or maybe put some little loops on the edge by chaining three then skip two loops and single crochet into the third loop all the way around again. Of course whether this works out or not depends on how many stitches you have and you'll need to do some math there or get a little creative on your own, but I'm sure you can handle it.
EDIT: Here is another approach suggested in the comments. If you want to make the poncho from the neck down you can chain and join to make a ring for your head then just use the same granny square type technique out from there and add scalloped edging at the bottom. I think this would turn out too rounded and the neck would be too flat. In some of the pics the poncho bunched up at the neck and it looked almost like Martha's poncho was turtle-necked, which is why I felt that the giant rectangle folded over would be the way to go. The giant rectangle folded often will bunch and drape at the neck like that. It's YOUR poncho so make it how you want it. You don't need no stinkin' pattern. Really. :)
Click here to see a swatch. This swatch is all you're getting out of me. I don't want a poncho so I'm not making one for myself. Have fun!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Oh Noes! I Got Tagged!

I got tagged for this meme by Nasheikah.
I suppose this means I'm now "it".
Do you knit continental or English? Neither one! I'm a Combination Knitter.
How long ago did you learn to knit? April of 2004, so almost a year ago.
First FO? A pink hat knit with circular addi turbos and dpns for my niece Cassy. It wasn't the first thing I started, but it was the first thing to get finished.
Favorite yarn? I don't know if I have one. I like everything not scratchy and horrible.
Favorite pattern? Well, the one I've made the most is the simple rolled brim winter hat pattern I pretty much make up as I go along each time.
Favorite pattern source? The internet (both free and bought patterns) & books
Favorite needles? Addi turbos and Bryspun dpn's
Nicest thing you’ve ever knit? Klaralund and the Cheap-Fab throw are both pretty darn nice.
Most hated project? The camo hat I made for my nephew out of Red Heart camo yarn. (his request) That thing alomst killed my fingers.
Who are you going to pass this on to? Nobody. It dies here with me. haha

Friday, March 04, 2005

I got a haircut yesterday. I couldn't stand it any longer. The ponytail was giving me a headache. I didn't even bother with an appointment at a good place or anything. I just went into Cost Cutters and had a big woman named Wanda with bleach on her head (first sure sign of professionalism there..bleaching your own roots while you're on the clock) give me a "layered bob". Well, bob it is but layered would be a descriptive stretch. Its not quite blunt cut, but whatever layers there are hide themselves well. (Pictures to come once I've dyed it.)
Wanda is one of those stylists who reallly hates it when the customer wants a short haircut. I tried to give clues that I really don't care if it comes out a bit too short by saying things like "My hair grows really fast." and "It'll grow back" when she said things like, "Are you sure? That's like 8 inches!" and "This is going to be a lot shorter than you had." If I wasn't afraid her scalp would burn from the bleach, I would have made her keep cutting. I will probably go to someone else to have more layers cut into the back, but at least I don't have a headache from the weight of the stupid ponytail anymore. Next time I'll have that bald girl at JC Penny cut my hair. She isn't afraid of anything.

I got a lot of work done on the big black rectangle last night. I might even take a picture of it for you even though it will most likely bore you to tears. I'm liking how the yarn looks knitted. It's sort of like a fuzzy bathmat or a messed up flokati rug.
This morning we saw Martha Stewart on tv leaving prison. She was wearing a lovely crochet poncho that Ian informed me she did not make herself, though she did learn to crochet while in prison and has been making clothes for her dolls. Ian says someone else gave her the poncho as a getting out of jail gift. I can't verify since I was in the kitchen packing lunches while he watched the interview or whatever it was which dished this info. Yarniverse in Memphis sent out a flyer saying they are going to send her a free Wooly Bully "Free Martha" bag if nobody else bought it by the time she got out. I find that endlessly funny for some reason.

I got my order from Knitpicks yesterday. It only took about a week. I got a pile of sock landscapes in "New England Foliage" and Sock Garden in "Star Gazer Lilly". I'll snap a pic of that later. The landscapes will end up being some sort of shawl, and possibly some socks if there is anything left over. The sock garden will for sure be socks as soon as I dig up the size 3 dpns. I haven't knit with either yarn yet, but they look and feel awesomely soft. Both compare to Wildfoote sock yarn only softer and the colors pop more.

Mountaineering Fitness Crap
Some of you may have the impression that when I say I'm going to climb a mountain it means ropes and harnesses and words like "belay" & "carabiner" will be involved. You'd be mistaken. No way. This is easy peasy stuff I'm doing to a "real" mountain climbing person. No ropes involved. No rock climbing involved. (I have fingernails and I like it that way thanks.) I'll just be walking up a well-maintained trail, but you see here is the deal: I live at 420 ft above sea level. I start the mountain at 11,000 feet and go up to a little over 14,000 feet then come back. That is a huge altitude gain. If I'm not prepared for this crap I could get REALLY sick and not be able to do anything. I'm pretty sure that right now my lung capacity isn't all it could be. I'm no model of cardiovascular fitness to begin with, and I have never been higher than about 6,000 feet without being in an airplane. I'm askeered I'm going to end up puking my guts out and Steve will get to say "I told you so". That would suck.
I haven't had a real coke since Tuesday. I've upped the water intake to 60oz a day, and I'm trying to eat less junk food. Once all the doritos are out of the house this will be easier. haha. The exercise junk starts on Monday.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My Name Is Liz, & I Knit Boring Rectangles

I have been knitting a giant fuzzy black garter stitch rectangle. Thrilling, no? It's Julia's poncho. I'm sure it'll look super cute on her when it is done, and I can already tell it is going to be crazy way warm just by how it makes me sweat with it sitting on my lap. haha I'm using Red Heart Light & Lofty. I just finished the first skein, and it looks like I'm going to need at least two or three more. It might be done next week.
Working on the giant needles with the plastic yarn makes my hands hurt so I've been stopping once in a while and switching to one of the scarves. The Irish Hiking Scarf has been getting the most attention so it might be done ahead of schedule. Next up on the list will be my sister's Cheap-Fab throw, which is also on big needles so the seed stitch Noro scarf will probably be it's small needle alternate project. I just found out that the person I've been making it for is probably moving to San Antonio, TX so I don't know if he'll ever have a use for it. I think I'll just keep it for myself.
Nothing exciting is going on spinning-wise either. I've been spinning the natural color Jacob roving to ply with the stuff I dyed with the kool-aid. I have about half a bobbin so far. I don't get to spin as often as I'd like. I just try to do it at least 15 minutes or so a day. That way I won't get out of practice and I'll make at least a little progress.

Another Fine Mess I've Gotten Myself Into
I need to start training for the mountain climbing this summer. For those of you who don't know, Husband Boy said he wanted to go to Colorado the first week of August to climb 14,000 ft. mountains. He said I could stay at the hotel or go shopping or something while he did this. I got all "What? You don't think I could do that?", and before I know it We have decided I could probably do Greys and Torreys Peaks. This guy makes it seem pretty easy, but he does that crap all the time. I have about 20 weeks to build up enough endurance to walk almost 10 miles total uphill and back down at 11-14,000 feet altitude. I guess I'll be surrounded on the easy parts by annoying people talking on cell phones. (I'm gonna die, aren't I?) I keep telling myself that if Rachael can go from couch potato to marathon running babe in 5 months then I can totally do this mountain climbing thing. I just don't know where to start. I've been sort of procrastinating for the last month. Actually getting some kind of exercise every day and not drinking any more sodas would probably be as good a place as any I suppose. Ok, I'll do that.