Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What should I do?

Today, my self-imposed yarn diet is officially over. I have successfully made it six months without buying yarn! And for the last few months, I haven't even found it that challenging. I am discovering that I can exist without buying yarn. So here's my problem. Part of me feels like I should allow myself to splurge on some yarn, to celebrate my successful yarn diet. But part of me also feels like I should keep going to test my yarn diet endurance. Really, my reasons for instituting the yarn diet have not changed. Our finances are still tight, and I still do not have much time to knit, due to working full time, going to school part time, and building a house. So, should I try to make this an extended yarn diet, or should I allow myself to buy yarn for one project that I really want to make, and then see if I can go another six months? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So sorry!

I know it's been a really, really long time since I posted. Even by my normal standards, this is bad. But I promise, I do actually have an excuse. My husband and I have been insanely busy because we are building a house. And I mean actually building it ourselves, not paying someone to build it for us. (Well, except for the major things like the foundation, of course.)
In case you might think that I'm lying, I offer this photo album as proof that I actually have been doing something for the month and a half that I haven't been posting.
I suppose it goes without saying that I haven't been doing much knitting either, so therefore, I have no knitting pictures to show off. One of these days, my life will return to normal, I hope.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Blogging for Relief

Today has been designated as Blogging for Relief Day to raise money for charities that will help those affected by Hurricane Katrina. My chosen charity is Habitat for Humanity. I hope you will consider making a donation to them, or to the charity of your choice.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Happy birthday, blog!

Okay, so I've been a REALLY bad blogger lately, and I'm going to continue to be a bad blogger, but I just had to stop in and say happy birthday to my blog. Yes, my first post on my blog was a year ago today. In case you are interested in what I had to say, this is it. I have to say that I am pretty impressed that I actually kept my blog going for this long. My main doubt going in was that I wouldn't have the work ethic to post regularly. I guess the matter of whether or not I post "regularly" is still questionable, but I think I've done okay. I would like to improve my blogging, though, both in terms of number of posts and in terms of content. Somehow, my entries just never seem as interesting as those on some of the blogs I read. That's a goal for next year, I guess. Anyway, happy birthday to my blog!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I apologize...

Wow, it's been a really long time since I posted! While I have not been doing much blogging lately, I have been doing some knitting. In fact, I have a recently finished project that did not even make it onto my sidebar because I have been neglecting my blog so badly. Since I was having trouble finding the motivation to finish my Tartan Jacket, I decided to make something more summery: a Lelah top. Here she is:

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I used some Cotton-Ease from a half-completed sweater that I recently frogged and some red ribbon that I found laying around the apartment - I'm pretty sure it's left over from the programs from my wedding, almost three years ago. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to convince myself that I'm brave enough to wear a strapless top in public!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I have a new nephew!

It's been a long time since I posted, and I don't really have much to say, but I did want to pop in and announce the arrival of my nephew. His name is Gavin, and he was born on June 28. Here are a couple of pics:

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Friday, July 01, 2005

Apparently, I act my age!

I occasionally take those Blogthings quizzes, but never before have I posted the results on my blog. But when I got this result, I just had to say, holy cow, that's accurate!

You Are 26 Years Old


Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

I actually am 26 years old. I'm not sure how accurate the quiz was about how old I act, but it was kind of scary that the result ended up being my actual age. I guess acting my age is a good thing...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

A what? Oh, a Tartan Jacket!

You may recall that once upon a time, way back in January, I started my Tartan Jacket, and even set up a knitalong for it. As of late, this project has been severely neglected. I was starting to feel bad about all of the completed pieces and the remaining yarn for this project sitting in a cardboard box in my living room, so this past week, I made this project a priority. Here is what I completed this week:

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I finished the second sleeve and did both cuffs. Add these pieces to the other sleeve, the back and the two fronts that I had finished by oh, maybe March, and I now have all of the pieces complete. (Well, all of the pieces that can be made without blocking or seaming something first - there is still the small matter of the collar.) I seem to have lost steam on this project again for the time being, but it was nice to make some progress.
And just because it has been forever since I posted, as a treat, I will throw in some photos of Franklin trying to fit himself into the lid of a file folder box. Enjoy!

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Monday, May 30, 2005

Another finished object!

I'm done with my Turtleneck Shrug! Check it out:

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I really liked this pattern. It was a fairly quick project, and it's just what I need at work on those days where the air conditioning is a little too chilly. I posted another picture of it over at the Shrug Knitalong.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


Well, I knew that the posting-every-day thing was too good to last. Since it's now been almost two weeks since I posted, I figured I'd show off my most recent finished project, Winecozy. I made it for my former boss's wedding, which was this past Saturday. Inside was a bottle of wine from a local winery, with a label personalized with the couple's names and wedding date.

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This was a very economical project, since I used Red Heart Super Saver from my stash (in keeping with my yarn diet). I'm very pleased with the results. I will definitely keep this in mind for future presents.

Thursday, May 12, 2005


Can it be? I've actually posted three days in a row? How unlike me! I thought that maybe I should finally get around to posting some pictures of Candy, which I completed in mid-March, but haven't shown off yet (aside from the one picture in the post about my sister's shower, and that didn't really do it justice). My husband wasn't home to take pictures, so I had to go with the headless self-portrait in the mirror.

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And the timer picture of me sitting on the kitchen floor (the kitchen table is the only good surface to set the camera on).

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I'm trying to get better about reporting all the details of my completed projects, so here goes. I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, and I had no problem getting the correct gauge with the suggested size 7 needles. I used just under 4 skeins of Onyx and less than 1 skein of Victorian Pink. I really enjoyed making this sweater. It went by fairly quickly, and I liked the unique construction of the waist area.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Random acts of kindness

It occurred to me that my posts have been somewhat lacking in photos lately, so I thought I'd take a moment and show off some of the Random Acts of Kindness that I was lucky enough to receive from some folks over at the Knittyboard this past week. First off, from saxgirl I received...

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...three issues of Runner's World magazine. As I recently revealed, in addition to being a knitter, I am also a runner (albeit a very sporadic runner as of late). I haven't read Runner's World regularly since I was in high school (my dad had a subscription), so it's nice to have a few recent issues.

Later in the same week, I received a package from urbanpagan. Inside was this extremely adorable handknit pouch.

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And inside the pouch were 10 absolutely beautiful handmade stitch markers!

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I also have recently received via email another RAK from soapfibergal. She sent me a gift certificate to Adagio Teas. It has been a couple weeks now, and I still haven't decided what to buy - so many choices!
So I have been feeling extremely spoiled by all the Knitty-folk. I think it's time to get some more RAKs of my own out there.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Yarn diet and other news

Well, I'm a little belated in posting this, but I decided that effective May 1, I'm officially on a yarn diet. A combination of factors led to this decision, among them the fact that finances are tight, and the realization (as I organized my stash in order to flash it in April) that I have a lot of yarn intended for specific projects that I haven't gotten around to making yet, as well as some yarn that I have new ideas about what to do with. I've decided to go six months without buying yarn. The length of time may seem a little extreme, but I'm actually looking forward to this as a challenge. I've decided that my one exception will be if I happen to run out of yarn for any of the baby gifts I'm making now and have to buy more in order to finish a project. So, until November 1, no yarn purchases!
There also is another reason why I don't think I will have too much trouble sticking to my yarn diet. My husband and I recently signed a contract to purchase our very own land, and we are going to be building a house. I'm not talking picking a design and having a house built, I'm talking actually building it ourselves (with the exception of major things, like the foundation). So, my knitting time will be greatly reduced over the summer, as we will be spending most of our free time on the house. We probably won't actually start construction until mid-June, but I'm excited already.

Monday, May 02, 2005


My body is very sore right now. I ran the Lincoln Half Marathon yesterday morning. You may wonder why I have not mentioned that I was going to do this. Basically, I did not train for it nearly as well as I should have (I started training about 4 weeks ago, which is about 8 weeks later than I probably should have started), and even up to the night before, I was not sure that I was going to actually run the race, and I didn't want to look like a fool if I ended up not doing it or starting and not finishing. But not only did I run it and finish it, but I ran it 8 minutes faster than my one previous half marathon. I finished in 1 hour and 44 minutes, and I finished 30th out of the 230 women in my age group. So I am pretty proud of myself. My husband also ran (it was his first half marathon) and he finished in 1 hour and 39 minutes, so I am proud of him, too!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Progress report

I just thought I'd take a moment and address all of the Works in Progress that are listed in the sidebar. I especially feel like I need to explain the ones that have been there a very long time with very little change in progress. So here goes:

Tartan Jacket: I would like to be farther on this than I am, but I haven't worked on it in over a month. This is because most of my knitting time has been taken up by the secret project I am working on for my sister's baby, due in June. I have now come to terms with the fact that I will finish the jacket eventually, but I will probably have to wait until next fall to wear it, as I am sure it will be unbearably hot by the time it is done.

Very Tall Socks: I have also abandoned these because of the aforementioned secret project. However, unlike the Tartan Jacket, I am not feeling a strong desire to ever finish this project. I think these seemed like a really cool, unique project when I started them, but I am now realizing that it is unlikely that I would ever actually wear them. I am seriously considering dropping out of the knitalong, ripping out the two inches that I have completed, and using the yarn for something else.

Winecozy: I just recently cast on for this one. My former boss is getting married at the end of May and I will be giving this as a wedding present along with a bottle of wine from our local winery (with a label personalized with the couple's names and wedding date). I am very pleased with how quickly this project is progressing, and I can see myself making more of them for gifts in the future.

Corral Belt: This is my current Not Yarn Along project, although I think I will be making other projects for this knitalong as well. It is progressing fairly quickly, since I'm using size 13 needles, but the leather cord is kind of hard to work with, so I'm not overly motivated to work on it.

Turtleneck Shrug: I started this project recently because I have been wanting to make it for a while, and because it allows me to participate in both the Scarf Style Knitalong and the Shrug Knitalong. Out of all my projects, this is the one that I am most motivated to work on, but I keep trying to make myself work on my gift projects first.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Elephant Show

Well, everything covered in this post is kind of old news, but I thought I'd post about it anyway. In case you are wondering, the title of the post is a reference to a TV show of the same name that I used to watch on Nickelodeon when I was a kid (we're talking mid-1980s). It's one of those shows that I'm never sure that anyone remembers besides my sister and me (another one of those obscure shows is The Get Along Gang). But anyway, rambling aside, the title is relevant to one of my somewhat-recently finished projects, the Garter Stitch Elephant. He can be seen here, getting the inspection that Franklin deems necessary for all handknit items:

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And here is an unobstructed view:

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He was a present for my nephew-to-be, and here he is being received by my sister and brother-in-law at the baby shower, which took place over Easter weekend.

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Since I'm on the topic of the shower, I also feel compelled to show off the gorgeous quilt that my mom made for the baby.

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And just for good measure, here is a picture of my two sisters and me at the shower.

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Just to bring the subject back to knitting, I'll point out that the shower was the public debut of one of my recently finished projects, Candy.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Oh, yeah, there were quilts, too!

I thought I'd take a minute and show off some of the great quilts I saw at the exhibits at the International Quilt Festival this past weekend. I took a bunch of photos, but I'll just start with a few for now. This is a quilt called "Mother Nature's Son" by Amy Winsor.

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Yes, that is a zipper pocket in the center. I absolutely loved this next quilt, called "Mind Glass," by Keiko Takahashi.

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I also took a photo of the fashion display put on by Bernina, the sewing machine company. I'm not sure what I think of the whole wearable art phenomenon, but there were definitely some distinctive outfits.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I didn't know there would be yarn there!

Leave it to me to go to a quilt show and come home with yarn. During one of my breaks, I actually got to do a little shopping. I came across a booth where a woman named Diane Bartels was selling handpainted fabric and handpainted yarn. I couldn't resist. Here are a couple of pictures of my purchases (being properly inspected by Franklin).

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The two hanks on the top are alpaca, and the two bottom hanks are handpainted mohair. They came with a pattern for a shawl, but I'm not really a shawl person, so I will probably end up making something else. I'm open to suggestions, so if you have any ideas about what to do with 400 yards of alpaca and/or 400 yards of mohair, please let me know.
By the way, I did take some photos of quilts, and I will post those soon.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

A new knitalong

For anyone who is interested, I am hosting another knitalong (actually, I am co-hosting it with Sarah). It is the Not Yarn Along, and it is exactly what it sounds like - the only requirement is that you must be knitting with something that is not yarn. The official start date is April 15. I have two projects in mind - the belt knit out of leather cord from Knit Wit, and placemats made out of strips of cloth.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

A quick note

I realize that I don't post often enough for people to miss me when I'm gone, but I just thought I'd quickly explain that I'm going to be in Chicago for work until next Monday. I also realize that I don't talk much about what I do for a living, so I thought I'd get people up to speed about that. I'm the member services coordinator at the American Quilt Study Group. We're a non-profit organization that promotes quilt history research. Since there are only two of us that work there, my job description is basically a little bit of everything. This week, I'm going to Chicago to attend the International Quilt Festival. I will be working a booth at the quilt expo, selling memberships and volumes of our research journal. I am especially excited about the trip because I get to see my family members who live in Chicago. I also have a feeling that I will come back from the trip even more inspired than I already am to fit quilting into my life, along with knitting.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Flashing my stash...

Well, it's not quite April 1st yet, but I figured I'd go ahead and post the pictures of my stash so that they will all be ready to view at the stroke of midnight. So without further ado, I proudly present my stash!
The vast majority of my stash resides in this Rubbermaid container, which fits neatly under the bed. I have been trying very hard to restrain my stash to this container as long as we still live in an apartment. When we get a house, I will allow my stash to expand a bit. Anyway, here is the container:

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As you can tell by the fact that the lid does not really close completely, my stash is already trying to expand. Here are some shots of the yarn on both sides of the container:

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After taking these photos, I had to search the apartment to find my yarn that is attached to various works-in-progress. Here is a box of yarn for my Tartan Jacket:

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And here is the yarn for my Very Tall Socks:

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I'm also working on a cat blanket to donate to the humane society.

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And here is the yarn for a secret project for my sister's baby:

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My search also turned up a cone of white cotton yarn inexplicably sitting on the top of my microwave.

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I know there was a good reason why I brought it into the kitchen, but I can't remember what it was (or why it's been there for months now, or why I left it there after I took its photograph, instead of putting it away).

I think I'll go check out some other stash-flashers!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Fairway Fair Isles, finally finished!

Sorry, I couldn't resist the alliterative title. The fact that it is actually getting warm enough to consider playing golf made me realize that I probably should finish up my husband's golf club covers. That, along with increasing guilt over not having finished his Christmas present by March. (Umm...happy Easter, honey?) So I sucked it up and finished the third one. It really only took me a couple of evenings to do it; now I'm not sure why I put it off so long. Anyway, here is the completed set:

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In other news, as you may be able to tell by the new button on the sidebar, I have joined the Flash Your Stash knitalong started by the folks over at the Knittyboard. It's not really a knitalong in the usual sense; it's really more of a collective blog posting. On April 1st, everyone is going to post pictures of their stash in its entirety. I have a sneaking suspicion that my stash is smaller than those of a lot of knitters', so this will either confirm or contradict my belief. My stash is pretty small because it is mostly leftovers. I think I can count on one hand the times that I have bought yarn without a specific project in mind. Does that make me an abnormal knitter?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Two hats in as many days plus one

The title of this post is a reference to my younger sister, who will try to use the phrase "in as many days" as often as she can, even if she has to resort to addition or subtraction to make it work. I dug out some Wool-Ease Chunky from my stash, and it was just enough to make up two hats in three evenings' worth of knitting. They are both patterns from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits, and they worked up very quickly.

I did this because I was suddenly uninterested in all of my current projects, and because I wanted to make something to donate to one of the charities for the Peace is Patriotic knitalong. I am thinking I will either donate them to Afghans for Afghans (now that I know that they take other items besides afghans) or to an organization that will distribute them to homeless veterans.

Monday, February 28, 2005

The first Tartan Jacket!

Just a quick post to celebrate the fact that the first Tartan Jacket of the knitalong is completed. Marika is done with hers, and in my opinion, it looks great! I have now been inspired to start working on mine again, forgetting that I said that I was going to finish Candy before getting back to the jacket.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sweater neglect

I suddenly realized that I am, in fact, guilty of sweater neglect. I have been working on Candy for a while now, and I have not given the project its fair share of blog-time. This could not entirely be avoided, as for a while the sweater was not very photographable (is that a word?), since both sleeves and the front and back were all scrunched together on a circular needle while I was working on the yoke in the round. But I have reached a point where the sweater is temporarily off the needles before I pick up stitches to start the bottom ribbing. So here is Candy, in all her bottom-portion-unfinished, sleeve-seams-unsewn, loose-ends-hanging-out glory:

I had to go with the self-portrait in the mirror, since my husband/ photographer was not home. Now that I have actually tried it on, I am really excited about finishing this project. It fits me really well, and I like the colors even better on me than I did while working on it. I think this project is going to take precedence over the Tartan Jacket for a while, so hopefully there will be pictures of the finished product soon.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Oh baby!

Apparently, I have officially moved on to the next phase of my life as a knitter - knitting for babies. It seems like everyone I know is having a baby. Well, not everyone, but my cousin and his wife should be having theirs any day now, my older sister is due in June, and I just recently found out that two of my close friends (one from high school and one from college) are both going to have babies in August! I am actually pretty excited about the opportunity to knit for little ones. Baby items are so cute, and the projects go by so quickly. I have started working on the first of many baby projects, a pair of socks for my cousin's baby. (I figured I'd start with something quick, since the baby is due this month). Here is my progress so far:

This is also my first ever attempt at knitting two socks at the same time on two circular needles. Since I am pretty comfortable with double pointed needles, it never really seemed necessary to try this before, but the thought of working both socks at once really appealed to me. It took me a little bit to get the hang of it, but I have to say that overall, I am pleased with the technique. Up to this point, I have been very stuck in my ways when it comes to knitting socks (top-down, with dpns), but I will definitely try this again. One of these days, I will be adventurous enough to try toe-up socks, too.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Since it was 10 degrees outside this morning, before heading to work, I put on my usual bundling-up apparel, including the Broad Street Mittens that I made last winter. When I got outside, I noticed that my right thumb felt a little chilly. When I investigated the situation, I discovered this:

Yes, horrendous photo quality aside, it is a HOLE in my mitten! I am still trying to figure out if it is due to gradual wear and tear, or if I unknowingly snagged it on something. As far as I know, the mitten was intact when I wore it when I went to the gym at 9:00 last night. Hmmm... Well, I suppose the important thing is not how it happened, but the fact that now I have to fix it. Those mittens are just about my favorite things I ever knit, too. Sigh...

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Birthday books

My birthday presents from my parents arrived this week. It was a nice surprise since they were on backorder from Amazon and were not supposed to arrive until February. Here they are:

In case you can't tell, they are Scarf Style by Pam Allen and The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns by Ann Budd, two books that were very high on my wish list. I am trying really hard to stop myself from casting on for a scarf project, since I should probably wait until my list of works in progress is down to a more manageable size.
In Tartan Jacket news, I have finished both of the fronts.

I am about 65 rows into the first sleeve. I am really enjoying these smaller pieces compared to the back. Working with fewer balls of yarn is nice!

Friday, January 21, 2005

Happy (belated) birthday to me!

Apparently, I can't even be on time about wishing myself a happy birthday. But it was Monday, and it was fun. I had the day off of work for Martin Luther King Day, so my husband got me a gift certificate to spend the afternoon at the spa (massage, manicure, pedicure, and haircut). And of course, there was cake in the evening. Here is an oh-so-attractive photo of me blowing out the candles - I got all 26 out in one breath!

I also have Tartan Jacket progress to report. I finished the right front yesterday.

I am now about 40 rows into the left front. Despite being a challenging pattern, it's actually going by fairly quickly, thanks to the large needles. Of course, it would be going by even more quickly if it was the only project I was working on. However, that is not the case. I haven't taken any pictures of Candy yet, but if you want to see what I've done on my Very Tall Socks, you can check out my latest post at the knitalong.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Tartan Jacket progress (and other miscellanea)

I'm so proud of myself. I actually finished my dad's hat in time for him to get it for his birthday. At least, I'm assuming he'll get it on time. I mailed it on Friday, and his birthday is not until this Wednesday. I'm extra proud of myself for not taking the easy way out and using bulky yarn (which I considered). I stuck with the sport-weight yarn because I knew Dad would probably prefer a lighter-weight cap. It actually only took me just about a week to do it. I guess I'm a faster knitter than I think I am. I did take a picture of it before I mailed it, but I won't post it yet on the off-chance that my parents might read my blog before Wednesday. He knows he's getting the hat, but I don't have to completely ruin the surprise.
Now that the hat is done, I got back to working on the Tartan Jacket, and I finished the back.

I also started working on the right front, and I have made some progress on it. However, I think that I have reached an all-time personal high for most projects going at once. Aside from the jacket, I still have to finish the last golf club cover for my husband (I am rationalizing putting this off by saying that he won't be playing golf until spring anyway), I am still working on Candy (I'm rationalizing that one by saying that I need something relatively mindless and portable to bring with me to work and to Knitting Meetup - I can't really take over the coffeeshop with the million balls of yarn required for the jacket), and I just signed up for the Knit-a-long-sock, for which the starting date was yesterday, so I think I am going to go cast on for a pair of Very Tall Socks. This may not seem like a lot to some of you, but up until about last year, I was very much a one-project-at-a-time type of woman.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Don't worry, I'm here!

No, I didn't fall off the face of the earth. I just somehow never got around to posting while I was in Chicago for the holidays. This couldn't be helped while we were at my inlaws' house, as they don't have a computer, and I guess I was just being lazy when I was at my parents house. Anyway, the holidays were good, and I have another knitting-related present to show off:

Tada! It's my very own Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set. My parents gave it to me on December 23, and I am already using the needles for three separate projects. I also gave myself a belated Christmas present:

It's Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, to use for Candy. This purchase was the result of a completely unexpected trip to a yarn shop with my mom (long story). I was planning to make Candy somewhere down the road, but I couldn't resist buying the yarn. And it turned out to be a good thing, because I ran out of yarn for the hat I had brought along for my vacation project, so thanks to this yarn and my new Denise needles, I was able to cast on for Candy. I actually am almost done with the waist band already, but I didn't take any pictures of it yet.
What I do have a picture of is my Tartan Jacket. Since my yarn was here in Nebraska, and I did not get back until the 2nd, I missed the official start date, but I cast on Monday afternoon, and I am almost up to the armhole shaping on the back. I had to rip out a few times due to my own incompetence in understanding the intarsia directions, but my sanity was saved by how quickly the knitting goes by on size 13 needles. Anyway, here is the picture:

I'm going to take a break from it tonight and work on the watch cap I am making for my dad for his birthday. His birthday is on the 19th, and somehow on New Year's Day, I found myself telling him that I could make a cap in Chicago Cubs colors for him by then. Nothing like knitting with a deadline!