Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloweenie!

Happy New Year, Samhain, Halloween, Feast of the Dead, and any holiday I'm missing!

I finished the front! Took me friggin' long enough, huh? Discovered that I didn't have any bloomin' idea how to pick up stitches from the Vneck though, so it's going to be built in 2 pieces. Wasn't crazy about having to do it that way, but what the hey...I'll double stitch it or something when the time comes. And it better come soon! They're already getting snow up in Boston, lucky stiffs. After enjoying the snow/ice of Yule last year in Aiken, I'm softening to the white stuff. Still not crazy about driving in it though, at least until I'm legal, insured, all that responsible stuff...

So I start the back tonight, fueled with determination and more candy than I should reasonably imbibe. Can I help it if I've gotten 3 goody bags at work so far, and there's KitKats and Hershey's Caramel Kisses waiting for me at home? I entered the Charlotte '06 Avon Walk today with Mom's help, so this is a last ditch blowout before I start watching what goes in, and exercising my hiney off.

Some Halloween I'm going to create a really nice costume. This year it wasn't happening. Witches Ball was nice though, and I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. That sucker's carved in stone for me; I'll never be able to switch it out with Lughnassadh like some Celtic pagans do. Lughnassadh doesn't have the Macy's parade, the dog show, or the cool weather. Tonight I'm going to carve that pumpkin, save the guts I think for pumpkin pie pudding ala crockpot, and make a broccoli souffle out of the broccoli I pilfered from the leftovers at Witches Ball. Let the domesticity begin!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The best laid plans...

Yeah, week and a half at Melanie's world...
In my head, the point after the Vneck makes sense, just continuing on a row instead of stopping at the neck, and then a natural add-on occurs when I get to the other side, so that I don't even need to pick up stitches or anything...wonder if that's actually true :)
I am quite nearly there. But I worked late and had a meeting on Wednesday night, and last night I got a couple rows done, but had to start a new ball on one side, which meant rolling about half of 1 puck at KB, and lemme tellya, there's no room for spreading out when we're inside Panera. I would've been happy sitting outside last night...temps down in the 60s or high 50s at night now, but the rest of the crowd were acting like Florida natives, wimps. Can I help it if I love, love, LOVE this weather and it gave me an excuse to wear about the only piece of clothing I've knitted for myself?! That shawl was so cozy, but between it and the poncho, I was cramped at that table for sure.
So...tonight I should get some good knitting time in, and most of the day tomorrow, because I don't have to be at the church til 5ish and the only thing I really have to do for the costume, is I'm going to take that lush green material I used last year on my half-assed cloak and cut it down to make a wrap instead. Oh, and trim the hair on that pink wig, it's a little long (I'm going as Tonks from Harry Potter).
So it may still take only a week and a half with some serious determination, because between the autism walk and Yule gifties, I need to get crackin'. Also need to make a decision on the Avon walk...those SOBs sweetened the deal by offering a $35 entry fee until Oct. 31. Pondering...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ACK! How long has it been?

Shame on me! Now granted, we had a hurricane this week, the Southern Women's Show last weekend, OT at work, and a sick husband, but still...the Vneck is coming along so easily, I'm admonishing myself for ever worrying about it. SO glad I found that Vogue book at KB last was one of those teach-you-everything books and spelled out really easily that by using 2 balls and decreasing on either side every other row, BINGO! Vneck :)

So I haven't been bringing it to work though, because between the 2 balls and its increasing size, it ain't worth it just to squeeze a row and a half in my 15 minute break. Worked on it for most of TV time last night and am 2/3 done with the Vneck...should be able to finish it and start a new puck before KB tomorrow. Saturday's pretty packed with Witches Ball prep and then the ball itself, and Sunday I'm working :( But Tuesday I have off to accompany Les to 2 doctor's appointments so I can basically knit all day.

I'm motivated more lately, not just to finish it for Alexa, but so that I can start on Mom's prayer shawl right after, get it done with time to spare for Yule. I'm not crazy enough to knit something for all my key people at Yuletime, but would like at least that done.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ding! Fries are done!

Why does my brain always make things harder than they have to be? All this time I've been envisioning Alexa's poncho with a diamond-shaped opening, so that it would be reversible, front or back...only yesterday does it dawn on me that that would make the opening too large. This wool is decently heavy and the finished product needs to actually, oh, i don't know, fit. So I email her and sure enough, it's fine to do the Vneck on just one side, or even just make an opening so that the ensuing flaps can be folded down or tucked in. Much easier and less scary. Once I'm past that, the rest is a breeze.

Gave up on my Chocolate Frog costume idea; I don't have the time. Thinking of buying a Quidditch Cup or Weird Sisters Tshirt, spiky pink wig, and go as Tonks. Much more comfy for someone who'll probably be in the kitchen helping half the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Still going.....

Slacking on this blog, but luckily not on the poncho, however Halloween deadline definitely looking like a stretch. Hopefully won't be too far past it though. I finished the 3rd ball last night...will roll the 4th and measure, but I probably don't have far to go before I can start the Vneck, since I want it probably to be between 8 and 10 inches from top shoulder mark to bottom of V, giving A enough room to access Maria. So I'm going to work my little hiney off to reach that point tonight, so that I can get advice/guidance from the ladies at KB tomorrow night.

I think I can envision what ruthee had in mind with placing one half on a holder/spare needle and working up to the shoulder one side at a time. Just need something in front of me while I'm working that part...I'll ask her to bring those poncho pattern books tomorrow, that she had 2 weeks ago. Once I can get past this third, the rest is a breeze.

My White Buffalo came in!!! It's so gorgeous, already thinking of hoarding a couple more pucks of the turquoise, which they should really call teal, 'cause it's so beautiful, such a rich color!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Poncho Thursday

I've been super achy all week for some reason. I've narrowed it down to still having staph, the barometric pressure from the overcast weather we've been having, or the fact that I'm decreasing my Wellbutrin. Could just be my big fat ass too, but I'm trying to stay open-minded. I think my sleep patterns were better last night though, because I didn't wake up so exhausted; and I took an Aleve with some of those Glucosamine-Chondroitin supplements that Mom gave me, so I'm feeling a little better today.
Whatever it is, it left me wiped out last night, so I only pulled off 1 row before having laundry take up all my attention. Tonight's KB tho' with a Circle meeting beforehand, so I should get some good knitting time in :) Did start 2nd ball of body color...I need to draw out exactly when I want to start Vneck, so I can make sure to make it large enough.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Poncho Tuesday

I didn't bring it to work because I was up til 1 a.m. working it last night, and I don't want to get burned out. It's still fun, and I don't want it to feel like work. I'm close to the end of the first ball of body color, but the darn stuff was uncooperative all last night, with 2 strands running larger than the rest. I tried for the longest time to fix it, but finally gave up and broke those 2 strands and spliced them back together so that I could re-roll the stuff and it'll cooperate. Still, the pattern's easy enough to keep me interested and it doesn't feel like drudgery at all. Plus, Alexa sent me another gift card (did I mention that already?), this one to B & N; so I just get a major warm and fuzzy when I'm working the poncho.

Been taking the leftover penicillin we have to try and knock out the staph infection I'm pretty sure I gave myself last week, but the ole immune system must be having trouble staying at full power, because I feel just the slightest hint of an ear-involved sore throat starting. Will nip that bitch in the bud by Thursday if it sticks around, because I plain don't have the time for it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Happy medium, or lack thereof...

So I'll admit this new pride in knitting thing is making the whole process much more satisfying, but it's also making me run behind! Not that I have a laid-out timetable for the poncho, just the idea that I'd love to get it done on or around Halloween. Not the most doable goal at this point (3 weeks to go), but not exactly a pipe dream either. Just gotta stop making mistakes.

I worked on the poncho Friday night, and realized while fading to sleep that what I'd done was crap. My original idea was to try a moss/seed stitch border with stockinette on the body; what I'd ended up with was a border that looked like garbage and stockinette that was facing the wrong way. So yesterday (Sunday) I ripped out at least 2 inches, right back to the first row after the bottom border, and started garter stitch for the border and stockinette facing front like I wanted it to. Took me a row or two to figure out what I was doing, but now I'm on a roll and should be able to stay that way for at least 15 inches. I'm taking it to work now and will knit on my breaks, and then in the evenings whenever possible. The only other thing demanding my attention is my costume for the Witches Ball, and in spite of what I'm planning, it should be a fairly simplistic outfit; the props will take more time than the dress.

Correcting my mistakes brings out the Virgo in me, and I'm getting such pleasure from the knowledge that I'm doing something right.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I've discovered pride!!!

The most wonderful thing happened last night...I discovered pride in my knitting. Must be because I'm knitting for someone else, but I just have this feeling that the desire to knit properly won't go away once I'm back on my own projects.

So I started the main color on Alexa's poncho last night at KB. Took me the better part of KB to roll the new puck into a ball, but given that my experience with this unspun yarn is a whole week old, I'm going with what's comfortable for me. So I start knitting...switching to stockinette for the body of the poncho. I'm sort of following the Lion Brand Color Waves poncho pattern in my head, but of course the problem with that is the stuff that gets easily missed. Since I left my pattern notebook in the car when we went to B & N, I forgot the concept of a border. It dawns on me when I'm most of the way through my purl row, that stockinette left to its own devices curls like a bitch. Oh well, I think, I'll start the border right now, it won't look wonky if I've only missed 2 rows. Thing is, I started the border at the end of a row, so now that row technically has a lopsided look.

I'm driving home and I realize that that just won't do. Alexa has asked me to knit this for her, for her and Maria, bought all the yarn, let me keep the needles that were too small, and added a $20 Panera card to the mix when I said I didn't want a commission. As thick as this yarn is, she'll get some real wear out of it up there if I do it right. There will be no shortcuts. In spite of my fierce desire to wind down with meditation when I get home, because I cut my Wellbutrin in half this week and have been feeling REALLY bitchy, instead I pull out the poncho and carefully unknit the entire purl row. I'll leave the knit row in; I like starting a new color with at least one row of garter stitch. But from here, it deserves a proper border. And surprising me yet again, the unknitting unwinds me as well or better than meditation could have. The house is quiet, except for my TV on low, husby's already snoring, and the meticulousness of this task settles and centers me.

Already thinking about Yule gifts, because I'll have to get started on them the minute this poncho is done. Michael's had Homespun on sale for $3.77 a skein, so I grabbed 3 for a prayer shawl for Mom. I'd like to make a simple watchcap for Dad too, but I need to search more carefully for his yarn; no wool, maybe a cotton/acrylic blend. I'm not going to make myself crazy with the concept of pulling off a whole sweater for Les by Yule, but I would love to knit him SOMETHING. Problem is, we live in Florida, he probably wouldn't wear a scarf, he has a hat and gloves...he's pretty much a polo shirt and khakis guy, doubt I could get him into a sweater vest. Then again, he'd probably find a way to wear anything I made for him, whether it fit or not :)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


When I get done with this poncho, I'm going to have forearms like Popeye and hands that'll crush rock!

It's not heavy yet, but it'll get that way fast, I figure. I brought it to work to knit during my breaks and only managed 2 rows, because of stops to shake out my left hand or reposition my right. Left hand cramps below the thumb, right index takes the brunt of the needle point at the end of a stitch. Thank goodness I got plastic circulars. I'm only knitting a row in 10 minutes, but I'd rather do that than be repairing lots of pulls.

Mind you, I'm not actually complaining. I'm finding working with this new type of yarn fun, and working on a deadline exhilarating. I'm sure it'll feel less like that 2 weeks from now. I'd love to get this to her by Halloween, that's when she was hoping for it--plus, I need to start a couple of Yule gifts right after I'm done with this, probably won't knit again for myself til after the new year :( the least, I'm thinking of making a prayer shawl for Mom. Not sure about Dad or Meara. Maybe a watchcap for Cyril, can't imagine figuring out how to make a helmetliner right now.

But I was a bad girl today...I went and ordered 3 pucks of the White Buffalo for myself >:)

I've started! White Buffalo Poncho

My first commissioned project! If you can call it that because I refused payment after she spent like, $70 on yarn, but she did send me a $20 Panera card :) VERY nice surprise!

The cast-on was a royal pain and it's increasing the incentive to do this sucker all in one piece. I didn't feel comfortable doing the long tail cast-on because when I tried it the other day, I just wasn't getting the twist to the yarn that they'd described and it pulled apart in at least three places. I couldn't buy the new needles til yesterday though, so the night before, I took one of the border color pucks and rewound it into a ball. Didn't think it would do the trick, but I think it helped because when I finally set out to cast on yesterday, doing a simple slip knot approach, the yarn held up much better. What sucks is when I do it that way, the yarn seems to increase exponentially in space between the needles when I transfer, which means adding stitches like every couple. I started out with 128 and probably had at least 150 by the end. So I'm about 7/8 of the way to transferring onto the circulars and it pulls apart. Now, I'm getting used to the concept of unspun so there wasn't much cursing involved; it's easy to remedy but could result in a weak spot. But then I took a good look at what was there so far and decided to count my stitches. 127. I'll take that! Started really knitting after that and got the first 2 inches or so started. Looks like I'll use 1 ball per border, can't tell yet how much the body will take. Still pretty nervous about the Vneck, but that's because this yarn is so thick compared to what I'm used to, that I'm uncertain how to move forward once I get there, and scared of it pulling apart near a bind-off. But that's a good 20 inches from now, so I've got time to study it.

LOVE this yarn! This poncho's gonna be so warm! How could they discontinue this line? I'm getting positively spoiled working with it; and I'll bet it makes it a little harder to go back to my wool/acrylic blends when I'm done with it. I'll still like to buy some for myself; I'll have to jump into Yarn Forward and do some calculations.