Monday, September 25, 2006

A Truly Finished Object!

Last night, I bit the bullet, sat down and finished weaving in all of the ends on my blue pocket sweater. Then I asked Chris to test-drive the brand new camera (more on that later) and take a pic for the blog version of posterity. Ta-Dah!

Once again, my crafts have been a true balm in my life. Nothing makes me feel better faster than fiber on my fingers, whether it's yarn or quilters cottons. Couldn't sleep last night, so I knitted another dozen rows on my Touche. I need help on figuring out where on the cable of my alpaca to start the armpit decreases, so that is set aside for the time being ... unless I decide I want to start on the sleeves!

Here are some progress shots:

My first-ever sock turned its heel over the weekend. Yay!

My Alpaca cable sweater is cabled through three repeats. Need to figure out where the inches and pattern mesh for appropriate cable termination at the neck. Maybe later this week. Math. Ugh.

My friend Beth wore this fantastic V-neck sweater two Fridays ago and I had to make it. Irma gave me some great purple/lavendar vareigated yarn and I bought this purple wool for the bands. I'm going to have to steam the crap out of it, but it looks good so far.

I tried to get some fiber shots with the new Canon that we bought yesterday, but we didn't get home until most of the daylight was gone, so I didn't get anything good. My goal is to stash a bunch of photos that might possibly be worth of "Yarn Pr0n Fridays" (Check any Friday post on Turtlegirl's blog) but I gotta find some time to shoot in daylight before that will happen.

It's been one freakin' long day, so I'm gonna pack up and head homeward. Have a great evening! :)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Sad Day

Well, my digital camera seems to have crapped out on me. It has been my faithful companion for about three years now and I have been completely happy with it, but now it isn't processing anything.

While at the BNL show last week, and at a few other times before then, the display would show a "strip-ey" photo particularly when using a flash. I had a few of these photos on Tuesday at BNL, but not consistently enough to really worry about.

On Friday night at Sandy's house, everyone was finishing awesome projects. Anne finished the top for a black background pineapple quilt. Lisa first finished her snowman row robin, then her Paula Nadlestern top. I finished the first of my two M&Ms mini group blocks. Do I have pictures? NO! When I turn it on, it shows the Coolpix logo. If I review photos I have taken, there are the Barenaked Ladies staring back at me. But if I try to take a picture, I get a flickering black screen. Not good.

After the NFL games this morning, we're going to meet up with some friends who are about to move to Tennessee. Either before or after the anticipated meal, we're going back to the store where we bought the camera and will either repair or replace my good 'ol Coolpix 3100.

The good news? If we replace, I'll probably be getting a 5 or 6 megapixel camera to replace my 3 mexapixel. Not the worst thing ever!

Hope you had a great weekend and I'll be able to take knitting update photos soon. :)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


How did I spend my evening? About 20 feet from the Barenaked Ladies at the brand new Borders at the Century City mall. AWESOME! I was less than a first down away from the band. HOLY CRAP!

BNL came out with their latest album, Barenaked Ladies Are Me last Tuesday. This was an hour-long set and a signing, and it was FANTASTIC.

This is how close I was to the band. Hi, Ed! Got at least one great shot of 4 of the 5 band members. Jim came up front to sing "Spider in my Room" and Tyler came up front to read from a Jackie Collins book. Kev never came out from behind his keyboard and there was a huge speaker set in the way. I got one decent pic, but it's a little far away.

Besides, I can't photo edit for crap on my home computer. Too used to using Photoshop, so I'll bring everything to the office and post more stuff tomorrow :)

I know this is supposed to primarily be a knitting quilting blog, but I figure those are both things I'm passionate about. I love music, but my list of artists that I get passionate about is pretty short. BNL, The Clarks and Bruce Springsteen, preferably with the E Street Band, but I liked the Seeger Sessions too. Anyhow, BNL's music is something that I really love and enjoy, so they get blog space.

I'm about 4" into the cuff of my first sock. Need to keep cranking so I'm ready for Saturday's class. Am also knitting away on my Touche (it's farther along by an inch or two from where it was when I ripped it out, and I've started the cable on the front of my alpaca. More knitting photos soon! Thanks for indluging my BNL obsession, and I hope you give BLAM (Barenaked Ladies are Me) a chance. It's really good! ;-)

Friday, September 15, 2006


I've been doing a fair amount of knitting, although I got a bunch of cutting and pinning done last night so I can accomplish a lot at Bearly tonight for Friday Night. Here are some knitting update photos!

First, the Berocco Touche. Love this yarn, but when I got to the end of the first skein, it was looking awfully narrow. Stopped by Beach Knitting this morning and Irma confirmed it. Yep. WAY too small! So, this yarn will eventually look like this again, but only after I cast on again and get it knitted to the end of the first skein!

Next, my peacock-colored misti alpaca. LOVE this yarn, and there's just enough difference between the blue and green to make it look fabulous. This is the perfect size, so I'll just keep cranking on the back. I had to laugh ... I'm using a Nashua pattern and when I put the cable pattern on index cards, I was very confused by the following line: "Put 1 stitch on cable needle, hold in back. Knit 2, Purl 1 french"

French? What the hell is that? I call knitting buddy Beth. No clue. Ask Irma at BK today. No clue. Fortunately, Desley took the bull by the horns and called Nashua to ask what on earth it means to "P1 french" The answer? It was a typo -- was supposed to say "P1 from cable needle" which makes MUCH more sense!

Here's a finished object photo of my Sirdair Denim Ultra. It's the same yarn as the lavendar/purple sweater I featured in one of my first postings, but remember I said that the Sweater Wizard pattern got it a little screwed up? AND it was measured for a me that's rapidly approaching 90 lbs heaver than I am now? I think that four of me could fit in this sweater. I cropped my head out b/c I had this goofy thing going on with my face. Sorry!

And now, onto bigger and scarier trouble. Beads. I decided that I wanted to be able to make stitch markers for knitting and I'm also quite intrigued by this cool row counter bracelet I saw here. So last night, I trotted down the street to The Bead Studio on Artesia and took a beginning wire wrapping class.

It's a good thing I'm not a big-time jewelry person (although with the "new me" I can see I'm goign to have to start wearing what I have more often!). I can see the potential for getting deep into this beading thing in a hurry. It's fun!

So what did I make? First, we used a head pin to make this pendant. I didn't have any change handy, so this is my '03 championship ring (size 9) included for scale. Then we used "practice wire" (24 gage non-tarnish) to make this bracelet. Same ring included in the middle. It was fun!

Okey dokey. Off to get into the quilting groove! Pictures of tonight's escapades soon. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I'm planning to do a "real" post later today. Really. Just need to take a pair of knitting update photos when I get home, then I'll post away.

Meanwhile, I found a quilting blog today and they had this fun map of States You Have Visited, so I surfed on over and started clicking away. I skipped states like Utah and Wyoming where I have quite literally driven through the length (or width) of the state but never stopped to do any sight-seeing. Airport stays also don't count. Otherwise, I've actually spent time in each of these states, even if all I saw was the inside of a gym.

I think that's a much better standard than what my wrestling coaches were doing at Minnesota many years ago: Joe's goal in life was to purchase (and consume) a Mountain Dew in every state. :)

Here ya go!

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I get SUNDAY off, right?

Hi! I ran out of time to blog yesterday. Sorry about that! I slept in a tiny bit, stopped at Beach Knitting so Irma could measure a few swatches for me (and I'd have projects ready to start knitting at the Rose Bowl tonight), then went to school and started editing photos.

Gotta do a work-related side note. I used to have a Mac G4 on my desk in my office. I do a lot of design work, desktop publishing, etc. I loved my G4. Unfortunately, I need to travel with a PC laptop (have DOS-based software I must be able to run on the road) and my old one was 6 years old, on its third screen and rapidly approaching death. Our tech people informed me that the only way I was going to get a new laptop was to agree to transition off of my G4 and strictly onto the shiny new PC laptop.

I'm a pretty computer-savvy chick. The problem is that I now feel like I spend half my life waiting for my PC laptop to process information. Days like yesterday take twice as long as they should, because things are not as intuitive on the PC and the damn laptop processes so much slower than my wonderful old Mac did.

Oh, and remember I said I need to be part Penguin to sit at my desk all day? Here's my solution: Fleece socks and lined slippers that look like loafers. Hey, it works!

But I digress.

So we all know I'm a bit of a nut. I work in sports but can't cheer for teams. Except for one. When the player who wears my previous home Steelers jersey signed a free agent contract elsewhere last spring (Antwaan Randle El), I knew I needed a new jersey. I finally decided on Heath Miller (who caught a TD pass on Thursday night!). I also decided that my faithful sidekick needed a jersey. Most knitting bloggers seem to have cats. Eventually, I want a dog, but for now, I just have bears. The stuffed kind. Ain't he cute?

Also want to mention that I'm a little disappointed that the NBC and NFL Network coverage of the Steelers game on Thursday night didn't even mention that Bob O'Conner's funeral (Mayor of Pittsburgh) had been earlier in the day. I didn't know until I was watching the post-game interviews and Charlie Batch mentioned it. I love it when there are nighttime nationally televised games from Pittsburgh. I love my hometown and I love seeing the city show off like that on national television. :)

Here's a pic of the finished neck on my blue pocket sweater. Now I just need to sew the sleeves on, etc. I hate finishing.

Friday is quilting day. During the Steelers game on Thursday night, I pressed all 80 pieces for my Halloweeen Row Robin so I'd be ready to hit the ground sewing when I got to Bearly Stitchin on Friday night. Good thing I did. Last week, I was shoving through my machine so quickly in an effort to get packed up by midnight that I had almost 1/3 of the pieces that needed to be frogged (rip-it, rip-it!) and re-sewn. Pic of the individual pieces and of what the Duck Tracks block off of Quilters Cache would look like when it's finished. I finished sewing all of the blocks last night (sorry, Carol!) then moved on to my black-and-white blocks.

Today, I'm errand-running in Pasadena then hanging out at the Rose Bowl for the rest of my natural life. San Gabriel Bead Company with Lisa and Carol, then picking up alterations in Old Town Pasadena, then Patchwork Penguin for a fun field trip, then Rose Bowl for Bruins and Rice. 7 pm kickoff. Aren't you jealous?

I'll try to take pics of our field trip and blog again tomorrow. I've come to the conclusion that my very favorite blogs are the ones that post regularly and frequently. It's just fun to see what everyone is up to, isn't it? Go Bruins!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What time is the game?

Well, at least I know what time the game starts. ESPNEWS has had a "Countdown to Kickoff" clock on their scroll most of the day, and it was off by an hour (set for a 9:30 pm ET kickoff) until about 4 pm eastern time. Way to go, guys!

I had another picture I took on Tuesday night to share. I'm finished with my Stripe cardigan. Well, I still need to attach the buttons and weave in the ends, but other than that, done! It's made with Trendsetter Stripe yarn in the "Lavendar Haze" colorway. Yes, it is all one yarn! Self-striping and the slip stitch pattern is fun and enjoyable. Goes quickly too, since I think this was done on a US 10 needle if I remember right. My only complaint was a quality control issue. This yarn had LOTS of knots in the balls. At least I had a colorway that had very rare patches of "raw" undyed yarn. Some of the other colors had big hunks of no dye. My situation was annoying, but not fatal.

Of course, this sweater was sized for the larger me, so I'll be swimming in it. That's OK. My office is so damn cold that although it's about 85 degrees outside, I'm wearing fleece socks, lined slippers and a great new LL Bean sweater that I got on sale. (navy blue). I love LL Bean. This sweater has been calling my name for over a year. Problem is that I can't decide between mock turtle and cardigan, or between the mallard teal and cream.

I've started the decreases on Sleeve #1 for my Cherry Tree Hill shell so I should be able to finish that sleeve tonight. I am also itching to sew (still) so I'll finish digging out my sewing cabinet and bust out my halloween blocks for football sewing. Only problem with that plan is that I'll have to schlepp everything upstairs to sew during the game, then right back downstairs to go to Bearly for Friday Night tomorrow. Oh, the price we pay ...

I'll shoot more photos tonight so I can blog again tomorrow. That's the plan, anyway! In addition to the game, Chris (the Hubster) tells me that I got a care package from my mom today. I have the bestest parents EVER!!!!! GO STEELERS! :)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Yes, I still exist!

Sorry. I took the holiday weekend off. So shoot me!

Well, not really. I went quilting on Friday night, tried my best to not melt into a puddle of goo at the Rose Bowl on Saturday afternoon/evening, went outlet mall shopping on Sunday and took a nap on Monday. That sounds like a full weekend to me!

There isn't anything quilty that's new. I almost have my Halloween Row Robin blocks done (so BETH can CHILL! ... sorry, Carol! :) ) then will get cranking on my paper pieced blocks for the M&Ms mini-group. Wanna know why I haven't been sewing at home? Here's the "before" picture of my sewing cabinet before I started tackling the mess last night. Unfortunately, general cleaning had to take precedent since the cleaning folks showed up today. Progress has certainly been made, though, so that's good.

Wanna see the Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn I'm taking to class on Saturday? YUMMY! Love the colors and I think they turned out pretty well in this photo. I forgot to take a pic before I wound the skein into a ball, but I still think it looks good. Beach Knitting, here I come!

Speaking of Beach Knitting, here are two of my sweaters that have been hangin' out there for the summer as store samples. The green one is made out of Thaki New Tweed and Classic Elite premier cotton. AWESOME to knit with, to the point where I ordered the yarn to do it again in brown. I loved knitting this sweater and I can't wait for it to get cool enough so I can enjoy wearing it.

Next up is my "Phony Missoni" sweater. V-neck cardigan made with Cascade 220 tweeds. I made a fantastic deal with the store -- I let them display my sweater until it's cool enough to wear it and they had their finisher put the buttons on and weave in all of the ends. With all of those color changes, I think I made out like a bandit!

So since those have been store samples since June, what have I been up to? Well, I have the front and back of my Cherry Tree Hill silk merino sweater finished and joined with the fabulous three-needle bind-off. Sleeve #1 is cast on and is currently my traveling project. I also have been knitting away at the rib on my blue pocket sweater. Almost done with the 1" of rib, then will do 1" of garter. That will leave me with just the sewing to finish that sweater. Sleeves to body, armpit seams, weave in ends. Presto! Unfortunately, I have an obscene number of projects in that state of completion, so the swatches for my chunky alpaca and berocco touche (not to mention my merino cotton and the brown version of the green sweater) are just going to have to wait before they can grow up into actual sweaters. Too many projects, not enough time!

And finally, before I sign off, I need to cover my bases in case I don't find time to blog again tomorrow: GO STEELERS! (currently just over 26 hours to kickoff. I can't wait!!!)