Sunday, March 30, 2008

Stress Kills

Stress and fatigue can be very dangerous. They always say...stress kills. I have now experienced the power of stress and what a toll it has played on the body. This past week I developed mastitis. No, I don't breastfeed (to old for that) and contrary to what most people think about this illness, anyone can get it. So I am taking high powered antibiotics, resting a lot and I am plugging away on the knitting when I feel some energy.

I am half finished with the right front and then the last sleeve to do. I am getting anxious to finish this cardi so I can wear it. I am still enjoying the pattern but I have found myself drifting to other projects. I just can't sit still when there is so much to knit out there. I see something on Ravelry, or in a magazine and I get this incredible urge to start! If I could focus and just stay with it I think I would have finished this up by now...but that's the way it goes.

I still love this yarn and have gotten used to the striated effect which seems most noticeable on the stockinette part. There is a big pool on the back, which is unfortunate, but just a characteristic of the yarn.

Love these buttons. I picked them up at Stitches West for another project in mind at the time, but these work perfectly for this sweater. Just the right size...just the right color...just right!

I finally gave into temptation and ordered the KnitPicks Options needles. They sure are slow to send things, very annoying especially when you want it now! They give you the 5 to 14 day shipping window (waiting time) took all of those 14 days to get them and not including the 3 days before when I actually placed the order. Webs on the other hand is fast, fast, fast! I ordered some yarn and it arrived in 3 days, including the day I placed the order. Now that is customer satisfaction.

After I received the needles I had to take them for a test drive, and since I have developed a cable obsession lately I started this sweater. The needles are really nice to knit with. They have a nice taper and point to them. I really don't like blunt tips, makes too much work.

Posted by PicasaThis is the start of the sleeve. The pattern has tons of texture and richness. Now enough of this rambling and back to the knitting.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

First Day of Spring

Pretty day for the first day of Spring!

Blossoms from my garden.

Cherry Blossoms....

Pink Peach Blossoms...

More Pink Peach Blossoms,

and what's on my traveling needles, aka mindless knitting. I really like knitting with this yarn and I think any kind of stitch pattern would become lost in the texture so just plain stockinette works fine. Not exactly spring knitting, but socks of some sort are always on the needles at any time of the year.

I am making good progress on the Printed Silk Cardigan. The back is finished, one sleeve finished and half of the left front. I would like to have that sweater finished in a couple of weeks so I can move on to the next queued sweater. I ordered a bunch of cotton/tencel yarn yesterday from WEBS for the Yosemite top that I am making for my sister's birthday. I have one month to get that started and finished. I plan to modify the pattern slightly and not do the sleeves. I think this top will look great on Lisa. She is thin and has big boobs and with the negative ease (the pattern says 7 inches...that's a lot) it will be perfect for her.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Always Learning More

This past week has been very trying, but I have managed to keep up with my knitting, if anything for my sanity. Very old dog Theo (he's heading towards 16 years) had another stroke. Absolutely freaked me out as he was going through this episode. It was different from the one he had over a year ago. Needless to say, restless and sleepless nights the past few days.
I have immersed myself with work on The Printed Silk Cardigan. The pattern has a very addictive nature to it. First, written well and easy to follow without any sneaky upsets along the way. Second, new techniques that are going to stay in my knitting repertoire for future projects.
Take this sleeve for instance, the cast on edge is worked
in a tubular cast on. I have never, ever seen that before. Some of you may have, but not me. It makes a perfect edge for the ribbed sleeve.

Another new way to knit the shoulder edge, instead of the usual BO that creates that funny bumpy uneven edge (albeit hidden in the seam when you go to sew it up) this technique uses short rows to create a gradual and smooth edge. Love it!

Both these techniques are explained in the latest issue of Interweave Knits - Spring 2008.
I have finished the back section. When it was time to add a new ball of yarn - look what happened. It looks like I used different dye lots. It is only in this section at the center back a couple of inches from the BO...

The yarn has a subtle dye variegation to it and this is how the two of them lined up. I couldn't tell this was happening until I had about half an inch knit. I have decided to keep it because who knows what it would look like if I started farther into the ball of yarn! I usually won't settle for this kind of discrepancy, but I am this time.

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

Must Be The Yarn

Green Soleil Tank...
Finished March 7th, 2008
I am quite pleased with how this tank knitted up and finished up. I used Cascade Pima/Tencel Cotton. The feel of this yarn is super soft, so that makes it a pleasure to feel next to the skin. It washed up wonderfully too and I even put it in the dryer to speed up the drying process. Because it has cotton in it when it was wet it was heavy and hard to block without it becoming extremely distorted. I took a chance and put it in the dryer on low for about 15 minutes until it was damp dry. Since that was a success I will wear this top and know when it is time to wash it I have nothing to fear that it won't reshape well.

As with the orange tank, the one with the unfortunate yarn choice, I made the same modifications to the pattern, mainly with the arm hole size and strap width size. I also edged both armholes and neck with 2 rows of garter stitch instead of crochet. Since I am left handed that hook is so awkward for me to use. I don't like armholes that are so tight that my antiperspirant rubs off on the fabric and you get this unsightly white dust on it...

One other thing I would change with this pattern is the plunging neckline. It just barely conceals my bra. The orange top didn't seem so low so I didn't even consider modifying that part on the green top. My husband on the other hand thinks it it wonderful!

And on a sad note, I found Carlos dead yesterday. He is still out on the driveway. I am surprised that he has not been picked off by a bird or some other roaming critter in the garden.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008


This magical creature lives in my yard. This is Carlos. We have named him after Carlos Castaneda. He is a Western Bluetail Skink!

My husband first spotted Carlos months ago but only a brief sight of the blue tail. I thought he was on something and dismissed this sighting to pure hallucination or just exhaustion. I was working in the garden last fall and I too spotted the elusive blue tail. So that confirmed that...he was real.

The other morning, just a few days ago, my husband saw him out on the driveway...quickly he snapped this photo with his iPhone. A bit blurry, but you can clearly see that fluorescent blue tail. I think he was trying to look like a twig to hide...Carlos is only about 4" long from nose to tip of tail.

And, on a knitterly note, I do have some things to show next post later today. Just finishing up the Soleil Tank Redux and progress on the silk cardigan.................................................

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Wednesday, March 05, 2008

How Did The Bear Cross The Road?

So, how did the bear cross the road?
This is an incredible story. Read to the end to see the photos.
A bear was walking across the 'Rainbow Bridge' in Truckee California, on the I-80, California / Nevada State line, when two cars also crossed the bridge from both directions. The bear was so scared, with no place to run, made a leap over the side of the bridge.
The motorists stopped their cars in horror of what just happened and ran to the edge to see how badly the bear was injured. To their amazement, they saw that bear had somehow grasped the lower ledge of the bridge support as it fell and pulled itself back up.
The authorities were notified that night and after making an assessment, they decided there was nothing that could be done until the following morning.
Authorities returned at day break to find the bear sleeping on the ledge of the bridge support. A large, construction style, safety net was hung under the bridge and the bear was shot with a tranquilizer dart then safely lowered to the ground below.
The first line sounds like the opening of a bad joke but here are the pictures...


And that is how the bear crossed the road.Posted by Picasa
I received this email and had to share this amazing story....nothing to do with knitting but sometimes thats the way it goes.