Sunday, August 31, 2008

Final post for August

This month has been very good for my WIP count. I have 15 right now, but at one point in August it was over 20!

Earlier in the week I finished the needle felted pot holder. Although I am pretty pleased with my first foray into needle felting, the obvious spiral look of the apple bothers me a bit. I tried asking in the KAL group if this was normal or if I was doing something wrong. LOL the answer to that question was more like an advertisement for the called for yarn in the pattern we will be doing than any actual help on the matter at hand. I guess I'm on my own! It doesn't look as fuzzy now since I got some batteries for the sweater shaver and defuzzed it.

Last night while rewatching Heroes season 1, I finished up the Tissue Tote I crocheted for my Great Knitted Purse Swap partner. Hey the purse needs to be knitted, but nobody said anything about crocheted goodies to go into it :o) Jen wants something like this now to keep her makeup in. Guess what got added to my Ravelry queue last night? Yep, a gazillion and one cosmetic pouch patterns.

Yesterday afternoon I finally finished the #$@%#$ picot bind off on the Flickering Flames Skirt. It was finished blocking early in the evening and I can't wait to wear it to work! This one just seemed to go on and on and on and on. No matter how much I knit on it, it never seemed to gain any length.

And guess what I spent today finishing? WOOHOO the Russian Coat is finally off the needles! If you recall many months ago, I threw this thing in the craft room when the second skirt I knit turned out not too wide for the bodice, but not wide enough and too short. Bound and determined not to let this thing get the best of me, I refused to knit yet another skirt. Instead, I knit a ribbed waistband to both lenthen the coat and connect the mismatched pieces. I started with a k2 p3 at the bodice, decreased to k2 p2 for most of the waistband, then finally decreased to k2 p1 for the last inch or so. I can't believe something finally worked!

Now I can't wait for it to get cool enough to wear it. I deserve it after all that work :o)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive

I asked for a productive Sunday, and I got it! Paul decided Saturday night to go on a little road trip, and I chose to stay home and relax with my many WIPs. When I'm alone I get into a "knitting zone" and it's amazing how much I accomplish.

I had put this little dishcloth away when UFOlympics started, so I pulled it out and finished it.

Then I cast on for the mid month dishcloth and finished it tonight.

I also crocheted this little bookmark in about an hour and a half. I'll be making more of these as gifts since they work up so quickly and look so nice. This one will go to my Great Knitted Purse Swap partner.

Not pictured is the felted potholder post felting since I want to wait until the needle felting is done. I started on that tonight. I decided not to draw the apple first and just try my hand at freehanding it. I'm pretty pleased with the result so far. The apple is outlined, the stem is done, and the leaf is done. Filling in the apple using just one needle is going to be a bit tedious, so I might go get one of those tools that holds several needles to do larger areas to speed up the process a bit. It should be complete tomorrow and if I have time I'll post a photo.

After working on all those little projects, I pulled out China Doll and finished her up! I wore her to work today and I can't say how pleased I am with this top. It is cool and comfy being cotton, and the stitch pattern is very form fitting. It stretches in all the right places and pulls in in all the right places.

Please ignore the sappy look in my eyes. I'd say it is due to a very busy and stressful day at work, but I just don't take "posed" photos very well. I think I'm always afraid the flash will make me blink at the wrong time so I try to force my eyes to stay open ..... and we get Franken Delana.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

She's got a Fat Bottom!

It's amazing what the weekend coming can do for your disposition. Three days ago I was ready to take a few people's (and I use that term lightly) heads off, but today I am in fine spirits.

I never did get a chance to take an in progress photo of this little project. I made the Fat Bottom Bag from "Stitch n Bitch: The Happy Hooker" for my daughter. In her favorite color scheme of lime green and hot pink no less.

Since she's such a girly girl, I had to add a bit of bling.

I just adore the lining fabric I found. It suits Jenn.

We went on a shopping excursion this evening in search of belly dance hip scarves. We'd been told about a shop in the Short North that carried them, so off we went. Jenn picked out a cute pink one naturally, and I got a bright yellow one. Maybe I can get Paul to take a photo of us before class on Monday. While we were wandering around looking for the Turkish shop, we ran across a great candle store. The owner was burning a few out front and they smelled divine. We had to go in of course. We wound up spending a pretty penny on candles, but the house smells great right now! Keep an eye on and once the online shopping is set up, get a candle or two. You won't be disappointed I promise.

Since I gave up on UFOlympics I figured it wouldn't hurt to pull out another project to work on. I was really close to finishing up China Doll when the Olympics started and was sad to put it away for two weeks. I'm pretty sure this can be finished up tomorrow or Monday at the latest.

I probably would have finished up China Doll today, but I joined yet another group on Ravelry. It's a KAL for the Ravenna Satchel, a fabulous felted bag knit in intarsia then needle felted. My pattern is ordered and I can't wait to receive it. I've never done needle felting before, so decided I should probably try my hand at it on a practice project before jumping into the bag.

This afternoon I bought needle felting supplies and picked up a few skeins of wool to make a felted potholder.

Here it is pre felting. Tomorrow it is into the machine with it, then once dry I plan to needle felt an apple on it. I'm not much of an artist when it comes to drawing, but I figured how hard could an apple be? I have a couple of disappearing ink pens for quilting that should come in handy to outline my apple before trying the needle felting.

I haven't completely neglected the UFOlympic WIPs. I did a few rounds on the Flickering Flames skirt, did one repeat of the cable pattern on a Lowry sleeve, and managed to do a few rows of the Tree Skirt today. All in all a very productive Saturday indeed. I'm hoping Sunday will be more of the same.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I flunked UFOlympics

When knitting becomes so stressful that you don't want to go out to dinner because you will lose some of the precious little time you have to complete an unreasonable goal you set for yourself, then it's time to back off.

I've officially called it quits with UFOlympics and plan to finish my declared projects whenever I finally get around to it.

And, can I just say (I apologize to those of you offended by strong language, but sometimes softening it just doesn't get the point across) ....

My job really sucks ass. Funny how I think of it as a job now when not so long ago I considered it a career. I've lost all respect for some of the weasly cocksuckers who are supposed to be senior management (and that's sad since I'm a member of that group). And, I hope the arrogant mofos find this surfing the net (although they're so damn arrogant that they wouldn't possibly consider this to be about them)!

Well crap! Venting usually helps, but I don't feel one lick better than I did when I finally got to leave the office tonight.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

UFOlympics day 12

I'm really not doing well posting progress during UFOlympics on a regular basis, but I get so little done on each project, you'd all get bored anyway!

The Aran Tree Skirt is over half done now and according to my handy dandy spreadsheet I only need to spend about 2 hours per day knitting on it to get it done in time :o)

You can't see a lick of difference between today's photo of the Flickering Flames Skirt and the last, but according to the aforementioned spreadsheet, I only need to knit on it 2 1/2 hours each day to get it done :oP

I didn't take a photo of the finished back of the Lowry Pullover, but it is done and awaiting the front to be done so I can add the collar. I've done quite a bit of work on the sleeves despite what the photo may show.

And I got past the tedious cabled ribbing section on the front.

According to that dang blasted spreadsheet that I keep torturing myself with, I only need to spend a measly 4 hours per night on this to get it done :0/

Yes, my friends, that's a whopping 8 1/2 hours per day to complete my declared projects! Since there is only so much time I can make up on the weekends, and I can't possibly knit until 3AM each night and still get to work by 8AM bright eyed and bushy tailed, I sincerely doubt I'll be getting a gold.

Oh well, at least I should finish all 3 projects before the end of the month and that will bring my WIP count down to 18.

I'd chat more, but I really need to get cracking on that 8 1/2 hours of knitting I have ahead of me tonight LOL.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

UFOlympics day 5

Well, there's good news and bad news.

First off, something about the pattern for the Lowry sweater just wasn't sitting right with me. Ummmmm if I knit the sleeves to the length it says, they will be too short by about 3"!! Yowza, that's another 6" of knitting. At least at the beginning of the sleeves I get more bang for the buck since there aren't so many stitches.

Below is the effort of my "free" night of knitting, since I didn't count Mondays in my daily count.

I'm pretty sure I can get another 6" on them before turning in for the night. That should catch me up as I'm knitting them at the same time (obviously) so I get to subtract a whopping 12" off my total left to be knit.

After trying to convince myself that finishing all 3 of my projects was still doable, I noticed something else odd on my spreadsheet. (Yes, I'm so anal I'm actually using a spreadsheet to calculate what I need to knit each day in order to finish.)

WooHoo!!!!! When I calculated the stitch count in the Aran Tree Skirt, I used all 11 panels in the equation and neglected to subtract the 4 repeats I already had done! Now, instead of having to knit 1700 stitches per day, I only need to knit 900! Relief! I once again have myself believing that I actually might make it to the finish line :o)

As for the belly dancing ...... it was so much fun!!! Of course, this morning I could tell that I am not in shape at all. I could feel every single muscle in my body! I can already tell, after just one class, that I'll be signing up for the intermediate class.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled knitting.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

UFOlympics day 3

I had planned to post my progress every day for UFOlympics, but obviously I missed the first 2 days. I really have my work cut out for me. What the blooming blazes was going through my mind when I declared not just 1, but 2, less than 1/2 done big projects, along with the almost done one, is currently escaping me.

Friday night when I got home from work I pulled out the 3 projects to take stock of just what I had to do each day in order to finish all of them by the time the Olympics were over.

Ummmmm remember the Lowry pullover?

This was the state of it when I picked it up during the opening ceremonies. In order to finish it, I must knit approximately 5 inches each day.

Here is the state of it this evening. Not too shabby. This might actually be doable. Of course, this is the result of knitting many many hours yesterday and today. Unless I call in sick for the next two weeks I won't get this kind of progress again until next weekend.

A closeup of all that cabling going on. I was using those little blue/green/red plastic stitch markers for this, but they were digging into my hands and I thought a knitting injury would bench me for the remainder of the games. My wonderful hubby to the rescue. He actually went out in search of the soft purple and green stitch markers for me yesterday so I didn't have to give up knitting time to go shopping.

Remember the Aran Tree Skirt? This was the state it was in when I hid it in the craft room around March.

I actually had to figure out how many stitches were left in this one since it is knit in short row panels. Verdict? 21788!!! That's 1282 stitches per day in order to complete it by the end of the Olympics.

This is the state it is in this evening. Not much difference is there? As of this evening I need to knit about 1700 stitches on this per day to complete it. Not only did I not work on it Friday night, or much Saturday, but I realized that I was counting Monday evenings as "knit time" and shouldn't have been, so the count has gone up dramatically.

Remember the Flickering Flames Skirt? This is the state it was in back in July when I quit working on it so close to having it done.

Although it doesn't seem like much of a difference, this is the state it is in this evening. I've knit 8 rounds so far, and need to knit about 2 per day to get it done by the end of the Olympics.

Why can't I count Mondays as "knit time"? Well, I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but my daughter wanted me to take belly dancing classes with her as her birthday gift. The class starts this Monday, so I figure any knitting I get done on Mondays will be catch up on what I haven't gotten done yet.

I do believe I will only be able to finish up the skirt and have to be happy with a silver LOL.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Comment Catch Up

The one thing I don't like about Blogger is that I don't get email addresses to respond to comments. I usually forget to respond in my posts too. Oops, sorry about that! I'm really not ignoring you. I just hit "publish" then grab my needles and go back to work.

Let's see if I can remedy that tonight.

Kellistarr left a comment just gushing praise on me. I literally blushed reading it. She called me amazing and a dynamo. And, she said she noticed in the background of some of my photos that my house was clean LOL. Little does she know that I frantically pick up just before the photos are taken. I have 3 grown (20-24) kids living in my house who act like they're 4 years old and can't pick up behind themselves. I'd get no knitting done at all if I actually tried to keep the house as clean as I'd like it to be. That would be why all my knitting is in my bedroom. The one room in the house I don't have to worry about kids trashing. I practically live in that room. As a matter of fact, the biggest television in our house lives in our bedroom. How nuts are we to have a 42" flat panel tv on the wall of the bedroom??

She also asked what yarn I was using to knit the Roped Shell tank in. I am using GGH Silk. It's a bit splitty to work with, but so soft and luscious it's worth the trouble.

Stefaneener told me to quit worrying about how many projects I start. Her advice? Figure out a way that all the WIPs don't drive me crazy and just enjoy the experience. She's right. I'm going to quit stressing and just enjoy. That comment is the reason I didn't feel guilty one lick starting the new crochet tunic. Or, starting the crochet handbag the other night LOL. Photos of that in a future post. It will probably be done before I take one since it's such a quick to finish project. She also mentioned that she is envious of my crochet skills and says that hers are very much rudimentary. So were mine at one time. A word of advice for you Stefani, just pick out a small project and crochet away. You'll be doing tunics in no time. A nice thing about crocheting - a lot of people I know who can both crochet and knit say they crochet much faster than they knit. I know I do!

Susan liked the dress I sewed up last week. I tried emailing you Susan, but I'm not sure if it will get to you, since I couldn't find an email address, and made a guess at one LOL. The pattern is Butterick 4789. It would be a great project for you to get into the apparel sewing with. No zippers, no buttonholes, no collar or cuffs. Just 4 pieces, 6 seams, and a few narrow hems. Instant gratification.

Not so much for instant gratification are the Moorish Stripe Socks. I usually knit fairisle socks lickety split, but for some reason (the siren's call of the new crochet tunic perhaps?) I am just slogging away on this pair. Maybe the 2 week break from them while I work on my UFOlympics projects will get me back in the mood to knit them.

This weekend I pulled out the Feather and Fan Throw again. Sometimes you just need a quick knit on big needles. I'm hoping to be at the halfway point by this Friday when the Olympics start.

I tried to post these photos last night, but Blogger wasn't cooperating with me. After I did some work on it last night, this was the state of the China Doll crochet tunic. This is working up so quick I might have it done in the next couple of nights. After last night's work, it is now done to just below the bustline and I am starting on the waistline decreases tonight.

I'm thinking I might have to find some nice silky oriental print fabric to make a sheath dress to wear under it.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's been a productive week

The WIP count is now down to 17! And, that includes a new project that I started today to reward myself for finishing 3 that were in the pile.

This afternoon after I met a friend for some knitting I put the finishing touches on Granite. It's a bit on the cool side in my office, so I might try wearing this to work on Monday. I really liked knitting with the Bamboo Tape and will probably get some more one of these days for another project.

As soon as Granite was finished, I pulled out Eerie and did the seaming and weaving in of ends. This one will definitely be worn to work sometime this week. Turns out the fabric I bought to make a skirt is a bit too much on the pink side to go well with this, but it may work with Granite instead. I might try sewing it up tomorrow and trying it.

There's another finished project on the sewing side too. This dress was done in just a little over an hour.

It was so quick and easy to make that I plan to make at least one more. The pattern includes a top also, so I'll make a couple of those too. I had to do some altering of the pieces on this one. I don't usually cross sizes on patterns but on this one I was a size 10 for the bust, size 12 for the waist, and size 14 for the hips. Yep, just as I thought, all ass and no boobs LOL.

I was flipping through one of my Interweave Crochet magazines and came across a great tunic I had been planning to make. I'm trying to be good and not buy more yarn (gotta save for that new serger ya know), so checked out Ravelry to see what others had used. Score! Someone was making the top using Saucy Sport and I had enough of that in my stash to start the project as a reward to myself for knocking 3 off the WIP list.

Doesn't look like much now, but I am completely enchanted with it so there will be lots of progress before UFOlympics has me working frantically to finish up 2 more WIPs.