Sunday, January 21, 2007

You can only imagine my frustration.

Dh fixed the camera disk. I can take pictures again. So yesterday I took sixteen knitting-related photos. I decided to save them to the computer so I could work on an obscenely long and photo-loaded entry that would make those with dial-up weep into their cereal. . .or whatever. Imagine my frustration when I insert the disk into the computer, and the computer recognizes the disk, but insists there is nothing there. 0 items. 0 bytes. WTF?! I took a deep breath and removed the disk from the computer. Put it back in the camera. Viewed my photos on the camera. They are still there. The computer can insist the disk is empty all it wants but I know better. When dh awakes, I will assign him the task of figuring out how in the blazes I can get the photos on the blog when the computer doesn't think there are any. (He still hasn't taught me HTML.)

Friday, January 19, 2007

I just can't do it.

There has been no break in knitting. I may be doing a little less than usual overall, but I certainly haven't stopped. I wear my ugly wrist things pretty much all the time which I think helps. I finally broke out of ribbing and into the plain stockinette part of the extreme socks. I'm finding it much easier to just use both hands instead of one of those thimbles that separates the yarns. I'm still not adept at throwing and tend to just drop the right-hand yarn completely when I do the left-hand stitches and pick it back up when I need it again. I'm changing my left-hand technique a little too. After watching Cat Bordhi on the Knitty Gritty, I've picked up her little thing she does with her middle finger to help wrap the yarn rather than doing so much scooping/picking with the needle by the right hand. Maybe it's saving some strain on the right wrist; who knows since I have to throw with the right anyway every other stinking stitch. I like the concept of double-knitting the socks and being finished with them both at the same time, and there's the whole mystique of the Extreme Knitter, but honestly it's kind of a pain in the rear. Next time I'll just do two on two circulars if I want to do them at the same time. But hey, I can say I've done it.

The Lotus Blossom Tank is coming along nicely. I'm about halfway through the third lace repeat. If I make the medium size, I'd be able to move on to the stockinette after the fourth repeat. I'm leaning toward the medium, though it will give me NO ease in the bust, because I'm using cotton yarn which has NO memory, and the last tank I made with this yarn just didn't fit well even when made to specifications for my size. We'll see what happens.

I still haven't dug out the baby socks on two circulars. I don't know why I have such a mental block about those things. I think it's the guilt of knowing the babies for which they were intended are going on two years old and will never wear these socks. Some other babies will have to get these socks. Maybe I'll pull them out this afternoon just to finish them and be done with them. Or maybe I'll finish the dishcloth. It would give me more practice throwing. I'm feeling very "attention-span-of-a-gnat" with regards to my projects today. So far I've done one row on the dk socks, not even a full row on the LBT, and I'm dying to dig out something else to work on. Tsk. Maybe I'll just completely thumb my nose at the knitting altogether and do a froggie blanket granny square!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Now I've done it.

Maybe too much handwork yesterday. Personally, I think it was the crocheting that did me in. Anyway, when the boychild woke me up at 4-something a.m. coughing--at which point I felt compelled to leave my bed, get him a drink of water, a dose of cough syrup, and more water despite the fact that he was actually pretty much asleep and may not have been too bothered by the coughing--while trying to get back to sleep, my wrists started throbbing. Throbbing might be too gentle a word. They were actually sharp pains at the time. They took turns too. First it was the left, which didn't want to stop no matter what position I lay in. Then the right joined in and at some point took over completely for the left. The right was still throbbing when I woke up this morning. That's why I'm blaming it on the crocheting.

Yesterday, I made two froggie faces (well, actually heads...they're still faceless at this point) and two granny squares for the froggie take on the Sock Monkey Blanket. (Link to modifications posted on craftster in a post below) Since crocheting involves mainly the right hand, I'm blaming the froggies. Yes, I worked on a couple knitting projects yesterday (the Lotus Blossom Tank and the double-knit socks), but I don't think I completed even a row of the tank and only 2 or 3 rows of the socks. How could the knitting be to blame? No, it's gotta be the crochet's fault. All the years in which I did nothing but crochet set me up for this. Maybe I'll start referring to this wrist problem as "an old crocheting injury" in the way that a man might refer to his limp as an old football injury. I'm sure it would shut up all the inquisitive cashiers, librarians, anybody-I-run-into-on-a-daily-basis from continuing their inquiry into "what happened to your wrist" when they notice the really unattractive wrist support thingies that I use. (No, really. They're ugly. Except my right one is a darker tone, more of a tan color, and my left is black. They help some.)

Anyway, the dear, dear husband is begging me to take a week off again. (I only made it 4 days last time I vowed to take off a week.) Perhaps I can use the time to spiff up this blog and add lots of fancy links and buttons. We've decided to tape American Idol tonight (dh can't STAND to watch the early rounds) and spend the now free time to teach me HTML which he says he knows like the back of his hands. I will take copious notes in the hope that I won't have to IM dh at work or dear friend Laura to help me when I get stuck and strange things happen to my blog. Or things disappear from it. Really, they need a detailed "blogger for dummies" help site. The blogger help section just isn't that helpful to me.

DH will also work on the camera tonight if I have to fashion a cattle prod from knitting needles and extension cords. With luck we'll have some pictures and REAL knitting content tomorrow.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I played with upgrading my template last night, and I lost some of my buttons and links and things. :( I haven't figured out how to fix it yet. Hopefully soon. As far as I know, the camera is still not working so still no pictures. I am eight and a half rows into the lotus blossom tank. I really like it so far. Granted, eight and a half rows aren't all that far, but I'm enjoying the lace. I still haven't washed my swatch for the other sweater, but as soon as I throw in another load of laundry, it's going in! That's all for now. Maybe this afternoon while DD is napping and DS is at school I will work on the blog template again and see if I can figure out how to put my buttons and links back in. *sigh*

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not much to post.

In the interest of posting every day (which hasn't happened thus far), I will babble on about not a whole lot.

I washed and blocked the armwarmers and they are MUCH softer. I don't think they will itch at all. Since last night, I finished a gauge swatch for the Evening Star Top from the Summer 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. I'm using Artyarns Supermerino color 208. I picked up seven hanks at the Mass Ave Knits after-Christmas clearance sale. So far the gauge looks like it will work out, but I'm actually going to bind this off and wash and block it to make sure. I've never actually done that with a swatch! I also cast on for the Lotus Blossom Tank from the same issue. I'm making it in Knitpicks Shine Sport in Cream. I recycled the Shine from the Honeymoon Camisole (knitty) that I made last spring/summer. I just didn't care for the fit or how bare it made me feel. I will probably also work on getting gauge for the Frou frou Cardigan from The Happy Hooker out of Lion Brand Wool-ease. Yes, I already made one of those, but it was a gift. This one's for ME!

I met with my local SnB/FiberArts club at Beanzie's today. We had a good time hanging out and working on stuff. One of my friends from the group is moving to Ohio next week so this was her last meeting. I cast on and completed a couple of rows of the Lotus Blossom Tank. Leslie worked on a hotpad. Mary, who knits for charity during the month of January, finished up a couple hats that she started on her knitting machine at home. She will donate them to the Wheeler Mission. We are working on finding local charities for which to make things. We have donated 25 dishcloths to a local group that works with low-income families, teaching them how to stretch their dollars more nutritionally. They will use the dishcloths as some kind of reward or incentive for the families with whom they work. I can't fully express how much I enjoy this group AND the coffee shop. It's such a nice little haven and relaxing time.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Armwarmers finished.

But no pics. We got trouble in River City. . . with regards to the camera disk anyhow. The camera keeps beeping at me, so I put the disk in the computer to clear off some pics. The computer tells me the disk is not formatted; do I want to format it? Oops. Troubles like I said. I will have to sic dh on the problem.

Anyway, the armwarmers are ok. They are pretty and all, but I'm not sure I like them. They are snug around the base of my thumbs and the tops come up just far enough to be annoying when knitting or typing. Also, the yarn is a bit scratchy on the insides of my wrists. I'm going to wash and block them and hope that alleviates some of the troubles, but if it doesn't, I may just have finished a pair of armwarmers (really, they're wristwarmers, they don't go very far up my forearms at all) that I may not wear. Ah well. Time to swatch my Artyarns Supermerino I got at the Mass Ave after Christmas sale and see if it will work for what I want to do with it.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Those armwarmers...

...just are not going to match. Here they are after one day.
At this point I had considered pulling more yarn out of the second skein to see if I could find a color point wherefrom I could continue and the stripes would match. I pulled out quite a lot and it didn't seem to be matching up at all, and I didn't want to completely unwind the skein so I decided to just continue. Maybe they wouldn't be too far off. I'm sure they'll be pretty anyway. After knitting a bit yesterday morning and during the Colts game last night (for some reason I feel my knitting is tied to how well they play. For several games I didn't knit because it seemed whenever I would pick up my knitting, they would start playing badly. After the late season losses, I started knitting during the game again and they're playing better. Go figure. Yeah, I know, I'm a crazy fan, but I digress.), we have these totally not matching armwarmers:

Nowhere near matching:

Still haven't reached a point where the two skeins overlap in color changes. These are the same dyelot, but I've learned a valuable lesson about SWS: if the two skeins, even of the same dyelot, look very different, matching stripes will prove nearly impossible. I didn't have this problem with the other SWS projects (admittedly all felted Sophie bags so, well, with felting not much matters anyway) so I didn't anticipate the problem with this one. If you look at the two skeins though, they look quite different, and I probably should have thought ahead. Anyway lesson learned. While the flash highlights the sheen of the yarn, it is washing out the pattern, so here's a picture in natural light:
My mother-in-law watched the game with us last night and asked what I was making. I explained they were armwarmers. Neither she nor dh appreciated the charm and benefits of armwarmers. They just don't get it. *sigh*

Friday, January 05, 2007

What a blecky day.

Ok, maybe I'll just try for every other day with this. The every day thing just isn't working out. I would have pictures of knitting stuff to post, but on top of the rest of the yucky day, the camera batteries died. I've been working on the Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers from SnB Nation. I spent way too much time redrawing the chart so I wouldn't have to try to figure out how to reverse the pattern for the second one on the fly. I'm working on them both at the same time on two circulars. I'm using Patons SWS in the natural blue colourway. The stripes are not matching up at all so far. I'm hoping I'll like them anyway. I don't relish the idea of ripping one out to redo it for matching stripes.

Ds is getting over being sick with just an occasional cough. DD is in full on coughing mode. Dh has spent most of the last 48 hours in bed. Why am I the only one in this house who is ever well??? It's not fair.

I went to yoga this morning. That kicked my butt. I'll be lucky to be able to move tomorrow to head to yoga again. :( Actually, I really enjoy yoga. I attended the Saturday class last week and it was fairly low key and not real hard. Today was a different teacher and this was TOUGH yoga. Once I get into better shape I think I'll really enjoy the class. Today was just very challenging and I probably worked a little too hard.

Today has to be one of the yuckiest days weather-wise too. It wasn't terribly cold, but it rained, rained, rained all day long. Dh has gone back to bed so I'm entertaining the little darlings till bedtime. One hour, 20 minutes to go.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


I can do the English knitting. I still don't like it, but I can do it. I'm about halfway through the dishcloth.

I remembered one of the other things I wanted to blog about. We are on day 2 of "no kids tv during the day." WOO HOO! They haven't even asked for Blue's Clues, Dora, or Diego or any of their other annoying friends. (DD did get a mini-fix when we stopped by Nanny's house. She watched a show and a half on Noggin.) I am letting them watch videos, either movies that we own or videos from the library, but even then they haven't watched many. They didn't even ask for any today until after 5 pm! This isn't really a New Year's resolution or anything like that. I just didn't turn on the tv yesterday morning, and they never asked for me to turn it on. It went so well yesterday--they played fairly nicely, they cooperated, they were sweet!--that I decided to go for two days. DS turned on the tv and cable box this morning, but the "home" channel is one of the music stations so I just left it on all morning. They continued to play nicely! DS was feeling better so he went to school today, and DD and I ran errands this afternoon. It is so nice not to have those babbling animated characters carrying on in the background of my day all. day. long. *sigh*

Oops. Already missed a day.

I have a good excuse. My kids were both sick yesterday. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

The scale has already gone down a couple pounds so I'm feeling a little better on the weight front. My short-term weight loss goal will be 140 by June 1st.

Knitting-wise, I spent yesterday finishing up the second of these darling wee socks for a friend's new baby.
They are the cable rib "better-than-booties" baby socks from Interweave knits I think summer 2005. They can be found here. I made these on size 1s (I don't have anything smaller.) with Katia Mississippi 3, a cotton/acrylic blend. I don't know why I insist on knitting with cotton; it always hurts my wrists. Oh well. I may be making another pair from this pattern for another pregnant friend, but she's not due for a while so they can wait. I also need to get her opinion on frogs cuz this (scroll down) is just too darn cute!

My knitting plans for today are mainly to work on my English knitting since it may be less strain on my wrists. I figure if I could actually DO it, then when my wrists are sore, I could continue knitting without causing more strain. Maybe. We'll see how my theory pans out. I'm just working on a grandmother's favorite dishcloth to practice. I started it continental a few weeks ago, so it should clearly demonstrate how much my tension will differ between methods. I've been stubbornly resisting the English knitting because it seems so much more awkward and "busy" for lack of a better term. Continental is so compact with smaller movements, but I'm afraid the smaller movements are what's causing the wrist trouble in my right hand. :(

It seems like I had more stuff floating around in my brain about which to blog, but I can't think of it right now. I'll come back later. Maybe two entries today will make up for missing yesterday. *wink*

Monday, January 01, 2007

A New Year

2006 was a good year. My ds really blossomed at his developmental preschool and you can almost carry on conversations with him now. He still uses a lot of stock phrases, but he really makes an effort to express himself and tell us what he's thinking, seeing, experiencing. He is surprisingly empathetic. He cried while watching Lady and the Tramp because he was so sad for the "poor doggies" in the dog pound. He recognizes when others are angry, happy, sad, frightened also. I'm hoping his expressive communication will continue to catch up to his peers.

His sister is continuing in her "very three" phase. She vacillates between extreme sweetness, obedience, and kindness and extreme stubbornness, defiance, and imperiousness. We're hoping that she will mature this year and become less egocentric; her sheer adorableness saves her some days because she is a darn cute little booger!

Dh and I are planning to lose weight and get healthy in 2007. We've joined a local recreation center where he can play basketball and work out and I can take yoga and aerobics classes. The holidays really did a number on me. In posting goals for my Flylady group I originally planned to lose 10 lbs. by summer, but I think I'll have to up that to 20 considering my holiday weight gain. We'll see what the scale says on Wednesday. Today's scale reading was NOT GOOD. I won't count it as official though because I've always done my weigh-ins on Wednesdays. There could be a huge difference between now and Wednesday. (That's me being highly optimistic . . . or just in denial!)

My local Flylady group challenged us to post our goals for 2007 so I will post those here also:
Career--continue as self-taught knitting student extraordinaire and branch into my own designs; continue as Home Executive for my family
Financial--continue to handle paying bills for the family; sock away some of my "yarn and coffee" transcription money rather than spending it almost immediately on yarn and/or coffee
Spiritual--prayerfully consider transferring membership to Kingsway, join Psalm 100 choir, spend daily time in scripture reading/prayer
Physical--lose 10 lbs. by summer, 15 lbs. by next year at this time; continue yoga at Bburg rec. center; try aerobics classes at BRC
Intellectual--continue to read a lot; pay attention to news
Family--spend more time reading to the kids and playing with the kids; spend more time talking with Scott
Social--continue as President of the home extension FiberArts Club; continue as codirector of home extension chorus, possibly taking on more directing responsibilities; meet with Flysisters at least once a month; go to more playdates with the kids

I'll have to check back in periodically on those.

Now for some crafty content. Here are some pictures of finished objects:
First up, a Sophie bag in its pre-felted state. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of it post-felting so you'll have to use your imagination. This is the Natural Plum colourway of the SWS. The colors are SO bright; the picture doesn't do them justice. It turned out just gorgeous! This was a gift for my mom who swears she'll use it, but I highly doubt it. She's one of those people who carry everything but the kitchen sink in their handbags, and the Sophie just is nowhere near big enough for that after felting.

Next up a Branching Out scarf made from King Cole Luxury Mohair. I'm not sure if I took this picture before blocking or after. This was a gift for my dh's stepmom. She seemed to really like it. I was pleased with it, though the variegated yarn gets in the way of the lace pattern a bit.

Frou frou cardigan from Stitch n Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker in Plymouth Encore worsted. I'm not quite happy about the collar. I couldn't get it too lay right even after blocking, and I didn't find out about the errata for the book till I was over halfway done so I had to work out the decreases in the fronts to match the length of the back. The recipient was thrilled with it anyway.

Ds in his Sherwood sweater from Knitty. He just looks so darn handsome in this sweater! It was worth all the headaches and wrist aches.

This is not the best picture for showing off her sweater, but here's a good picture of dd with her grandfather.

One other resolution/goal: to post a blog entry every day. I very well may fall short of that, but I'll be happy if I can post at least three a week. Happy New Year!