Friday, November 30, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Ah, vacations. The point of a vacation is to relax, right? I think we are succeeding in this. The feast on Thursday was wonderful. We followed it up with one of our own on Friday (must have leftovers, you know). There was a small amount of shopping on Friday morning, but only a little. Saturday was spent with the parents relaxing, while the boys worked hard.
Yes, lacrosse season is back on. We had a tremendous turnout for what was only a 3rd-6th grade scrimmage. It was fun to reconnect with friends from previous seasons and make new friends with the new families. Young Man worked very hard. He enjoyed it and is ready for regular practices to begin next week.
Today, I am back with the pointy sticks to work on Young Man's Wallaby. This is going very well. I am making a size 10, but with greatly extended arms and body. Young Man is growing up, but not out.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
- Mr. Engineer who keeps me sane and keeps me honest. I am thankful for nearly 25 years of couplehood.
- Young Man who gives us more joy than we ever expected and who is happy and healthy and can shake off even an abrasion to the surface of the eye with only three days of patching (that would be last weekend's adventure). As Barbara Coloroso says, "Kids are Worth It!" and the payoff is immense!
- My family, far away though they are, their love reaches across the miles.
- The friends who have become my west coast family and with whom we will share way too much food and some excellent time this afternoon.
- My virtual friends who are every bit as much my friends as the ones I see in person. I wish for healing for those who are hurting and thank you all for being here when I need you.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I should be happy with that number. Really, I should. 43,470 stitches and a bazillion ends all finished in 13 days is quite impressive. It's just that it's not quite 50,000. I know, the knitting police are not allowed here and this is NOT a contest. Still, I wanted to make 50,000.
Project: 8101-3 Raglan Pullover from Dale of Norway in 12 month size Yarn: Baby Ull from Dale of Norway in Lilac (5226) and Cream (0020)
Needles: US 0 and US 1 dpns and 16" circulars
Notes: I knit this as written in the pattern with the exceptions that I hate stitching hems so I caught up the hem when I turned it. This is probably why I am having some problems with the bottom hem and neckband turning. It was worth it. This is my very first Dale of Norway pattern and it was wonderful. This sweater just flew off my needles even with the itty bitty stitches and the color change every five rows. Now I am itching to make another sweater from the booklet. There is an adorable garden cardigan that may have to be knit for next winter. Yes, my grandniece is going to be spoiled rotten.
As for the stitch "problem," I did the only rational thing. I cast on for a Wonderful Wallaby for Young Man. He outgrew the first sweater I ever knit and really wants another hooded sweater. Oh, and I cast on for a Palindrome scarf, but that is Susan's fault.
Monday, November 12, 2007
First, there is the old day. Yes, it's a Saturday Sky, but posted on Monday. Good thing the sky today looks pretty much like the sky on Saturday. Sunday, on the other hand, was dreary and grey. Today, the winds are coming back and it is warming up.
Finally, I took myself out Saturday afternoon for some power shopping. I hate shopping. Really, I do. So I went out and in 1 1/2 hours, I got my car washed (so that we could have rain spits on Sunday, of course), scoped out potential holiday wear for the company holiday party, bought new shoes, hit the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale to get tights to go with the new shoes (all DKNY hose 25% off) and Clinique moisterizer, scoped out the pickings at JJill, and picked up a present for the birthday party Young Man had up for Sunday. Whew!
For some reason, Bloglines keeps saying that I have a new post. I figured I should oblige.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
You betcha. I remember Mr. Peabody. That was my favorite part of the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. I even have Vicki beat. We only got two channels on our black & white TV. And one was a booster station for the other! If it wasn't on NBC, it wasn't part of my childhood. This is my entry for KitKatKnit's Wayback Machine contest. A year ago, I was knitting two scarves, Forbes Forest from Scarf Style and Arches & Columns from Crystal Palace.
I finished the Arches & Columns scarf in time for Christmas. The Forbes Forest scarf took a little longer, but the end result was worth it.
This year I am still (barely) maintaining monogamy on the endless baby sweater. I'm up to 32,384 stitches and getting really tired of weaving in ends. This would be why I usually stay so very far from any type of color work.
Friday, November 09, 2007
It has been a year of recalculation. At work, my program moved and I moved into a new department with a new manager doing a completely different job from where I was six months ago. In my current position, I feel like I am constantly juggling and recalculating. I put together teams to review other teams and there is always a new team forming just as one is finished and each has at least as many issues as it does members (sometimes several times as many). I also support other projects so my day is spent moving between disparate tasks. The training I have had on critical chain project management tells me that this makes me inefficient. I suppose that is true, but I find that I get extremely bored when I do the same thing all day. I like multi-tasking. I am also very good at context switching.
At home, the changing demands of a 10 year old (how did that happen?) call for frequent recalculations. The current challenge is having enough food on hand for Young Man (he admits that he is always hungry).
In my virtual world there have been many recalculations. I almost dread looking into my iPAQ to see anniversaries that aren't going to happen. Several friends are breaking up from long term relationships and their pain is palpable to me even though we have only met through my cable modem.
Knitting, well, that is just one big recalculation. Maybe that is why I like it so much. My NaKnitSweMo sweater won't be quite 50,000 stitches, but each recalculation brings me closer. My current estimate is for 44,270 stitches. I have 25,468 finished and all of their ends woven in! That makes me 57.5% complete and the month is only 30% complete. It is nice to feel ahead of schedule in some small area. Now if I could just figure out how to make real/virtual-life recalculations as easily as Excel ones.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
No, not in the sky. It is still pretty hazy/cloudy. Actually that is a good thing because it means that the Santa Ana winds did not return and the residents of Silverado Canyon were able to go home.
The sunshine to which I refer is a quilt. This is a Picture Play quilt from the book by Ami Simms. Well, it is a variation on that theme. I used more picture prints from the I Spy quilt I made for Young Man several years ago and Moda Marbles from the last quilt I finished. For the back, I used more Moda Marbles and a cut from a Noah's Submarine print I picked up a long time ago. It's about 40 x 40 inches. This is another step in my plot to spoil my new grand niece.
There are lots of significant pictures in the quilt. There is a cow because this baby is going to grow up as a farm girl. The Minnesota Twins patch is there because her Grandpa is a lifetime fan. The Angels of Anaheim patch is there because the quilter is out here. There are birdhouses for her Great-Gramma and a violin for her Great-Great-Grandpa. There are also girl basketball players because little one's mother played basketball all through high school. What is really fun is that many of those picks were not even deliberate. After I had the blocks sewn, I realized that there was more going on in the quilt than I had planned!
The next step in my plot is also my NoKniSweMo entry. I did the full math (thank you, Excel) and ended up with a stitch count of 42,082. It's a little light for the 50,000 goal, but it's close enough for me. The darker color is actually more lavender than this picture shows. It's knit with Dale Baby Ull on US 1 needles.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
It is sometimes hard to tell the changing seasons here. It is one of the things I miss. Still, it is quite nice to see temperatures of 75F in November. Today was a hazy sunshine day. There are concerns that the nasty Santa Ana winds will come back. Our friends who evacuated their house won't be allowed back until at least Tuesday. We are still fine. The persimmons are ripening slowly. We are facing the annual question, "Who will get more fruit, us or the crows?" We had to radically prune the poor tree on Wednesday so that the trick-or-treaters didn't get clobbered by fruit. The view out our front door is still impressive.
In other news, we have another hat, a quilt is nearly finished (the backing material is in the washer), and I seem to have stumbled upon a quest called NaKniSweMo. I really didn't intend this, but I did cast on for a sweater should be fairly close to 50,000 stitches. I don't really want to think about it. It is adorable baby sweater from Dale of Norway booklet 8101. I'm making the simple striped pullover (pictures in the booklet are pink/white and green/yellow) in lavender and white. Considering that Baby Ull is fingering weight and I'm knitting on US1 needles, there will probably be nearly 50,000 stitches before I finish. According to my calculations, I'm up to 34,000 stitches and I haven't fully accounted for the increases on the sleeves and I think I missed a bunch of rows on the yoke. It may not be exactly 50K, but it will still be a challenge to get this one done in November.
Project: Koolhaas Hat from Interweave Knits
Yarn: Cascade Quattro in buttery yellow
Needles: US6 and US8
Notes: I love this pattern even more the second time around! This time I made the larger size. It will definitely cover the intended recipient's ears, but may be too big. I'm sending her both sizes and she can pick how warm she wants her ears on any given day.
Finally, it is time again for Chappysmom's calendar contest. She is convinced that the November pictures in calendars are blah. I don't think my entry will change anyone's mind. In my California National Parks calendar, November is a picture from Death Valley!
Saturday, October 27, 2007
In case anyone out there was wondering or even worrying, Chez Engineer and its occupants were not really affected by the wildfires in Southern California. The house is well away from the fires and neither Mr. Engineer's nor my offices were in any danger. Mr. Engineer's office did have a voluntary evacuation one day so he came home early and worked from home. Given that there were two tollways on his normal route that were closed, he didn't mind beating some traffic. Young Man has had it the worst because he has been cooped up inside all day everyday for the entire week. Check that, Young Man's teachers have had it the worst. We do have friends who are still anxiously awaiting news of their home in Silverado Canyon. Still, today was a very good day. See those nice, fluffy clouds? Even better, do you see what is peeking through them? Yes, it is blue sky! We were starting to wonder when we would ever see blue again after all the haze. There were even a few (very few) raindrops that fell today. This was very good news indeed for the firefighters.
Meanwhile, I've been busy finishing things. Finished. I do love that word! It hasn't all been knitting, but then who ever said that this was going to be a knitting blog? Like Cara, I'm looking to redefine myself. Will the blog follow? Probably. Or maybe not.
First up is quilting. This is a project that a local quilt shop had hanging up for ages and I admired it every time I came in. Finally I took advantage of their birthday discount to buy the fabric. The fabric aged nicely until I finally cut out the squares. Then I agonized over layout. With some encouragement and ideas from friends, I finally put together the top and layered the sandwich. Um, then that aged for a long while. Last weekend I said that enough was enough and I quilted the entire thing. All that for a simple Around the World! It goes with nothing at all in the house, but I like it and I made it for me.
A funny thing happened on the way to the yarn shop the Friday before Rhinebeck. We have a lovely little shop that carries yarn and fabric! What a clever idea. I do wish that they carried a bit more yarn, but their choices are very nice. Still, nothing grabbed me that Friday. Instead, I found some funky fall fabrics and a pattern for a nifty tote bag. Before I knew it, I had all the makings for another project. Even better, I had the project finished by Sunday night!
Project: Bow Tucks Bag, from Quilts Illustrated
Fabric: Fall Back in Time by Moda
Notes: Easy and fun. Now I have another project bag!
Still more finished items came along that weekend. I know, I could save them up for several posts, but then you know that's not going to happen.
Project: Tidal Wave Socks from Tofutsies
Yarn: Tofutsies II 794
Needles: US1 dpns
Notes: Love the yarn, love the pattern, not so sure about the colorway. I had the first sock finished ages ago and then set it aside. I couldn't think of anything else to do with the yarn so I knit up the second sock. The socks are very comfortable so I see why people rave over this yarn. The colors just don't quite work off the skein for me.
Project: Everlasting Bagstopper from Knitty
Yarn: Allhemp 6
Needles: Whatever the pattern recommended
Notes: Great fun and easy to do. This is a gift for a friend and I do hope she enjoys it. The hemp was a little rough to work with, but it got softer as I worked with the yarn. I think it will work out well.
Project: February Sweater from EZ's Knitters' Almanac
Yarn: Fiesta Sweetie Pie DK (a very un-EZ yarn)
Needles: US5, I think
Notes: Great pattern!!!!! The yarn was a purchase early in my knitting career after seeing a really cute sweater made from it in a yarn shop. The problem is that it is 100% acrylic and it feels weird to knit! I have enough of it for another baby sweater, but will I be able to stand it? The final result is darling and the recipient's parents would probably not want to deal with wool. Still, it felt just wrong to knit an EZ pattern from acrylic yarn.
This was the project for this week (plus another that I can't post because someone reads this blog and would know what she is getting...):
Project: Koolhaas Hat from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts issue
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Needles: US6 and US8
Notes: Jared has outdone himself! I really like this hat. This is the smaller size and I have already cast on a second version to be made into the larger size. Both are for a friend and she can pick the one that fits her. Easy, but elegant.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Everyone seems to be heading to Rhinebeck. Everyone but me, that is. While I fully realize that trekking all the way across the country to pet sheep and fondle yarn is not reasonable, I still feel left out. So, I will do the only reasonable thing - I'm going yarn shopping!
Seriously, all you Rhinebeck-bound friends, travel safely and have fun!
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Only the one these pairs was finished in October, but they are all being shown off for the first time in the merry month of Socks.
Pattern: Shamelessly stolen from Marguerite's blog, but if her friend ever publishes her pattern, I will buy it.
Yarn: Regia Nation Crazy Color (I like Marguerite's version in Opal better)
Needles: US1 dpns
Notes: Fun, easy, very bright. These were a great summer knit that used up some long time stash and made me smile every time I picked them up. I still haven't decided if they are for me or for a gift.
Pattern: Victorian Lace Socks by Lorri Ann Romesberg from Six Socks Knitalong
Yarn: Regia 4 fadig with speckles
Needles: US1 dpns
Notes: A very fun knit and a great pattern.
Pattern: Simple 6x2 rib with basic sock recipe
Yarn: Opal Lollipop
Needles: US 1 dpns
Notes: Just your basic socks. I was having gauge issues so I went back to basics when I tired of frogging. These were just the ticket. These will probably be a gift. It's fun to add to the stash well before the holidays. This was also out of my stash from when I first started knitting socks.
Pattern: Uptown Boot Socks from Interweave Favorite Socks
Yarn: Trekking XXL 206
Needles: US 1 dpns for the cuffs, US2 dpns for the rest
Notes: Love these socks! I made the leg a little longer than the pattern suggested, but otherwise I stuck to the directions. The dark navy tweed goes perfectly with jeans and are fabulous fall socks just for me!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
I present the Fred Textured sweater from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. This was a really quick knit. I used the new Bernat Organic Cotton in Cactus and some US 5 and US 6 circular needles The buttons are cute little silvertone stars. After I was nearly finished I realized that the pattern called for DK weight and the Bernat is really more of a worsted. Did I mention that I've been having a bit of trouble with gauge lately? Um, yes, well, some of that might be my own doing. In any case, the sweater appears to be in the correct proportions so it will still fit a baby, just maybe a slightly larger baby than that for which I planned. I also whipped up a quick beanie hat from the same book to make a set. And because I've definitely gone over the edge, I made two House Hats out of Woolease (yay for stash) for the brothers of the new wee one for whom I made the sweater. We wouldn't want anyone to feel left out, now would we?
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Two months AWOL! Oh, dear. It all started simply enough. After the fuzzy hats, I knit a green hat from the Charmed Knits house hat pattern for Young Man. There was enough yarn from that to make a second hat for Young Man's cousin. Of course, I had to make a pink beret for his sister. Next, there were baby hats. One of my nieces is expecting her first baby and the crafty folks at work are doing hats for a local hospital. Then there was need for another Shedir.
Pattern: House Hat from Charmed Knits
Yarn: Lion Brand Woolease Worsted
Needles: The ones called for in the pattern
Pattern: House Hat Beret from Charmed Knits
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted
Needles: Per the pattern
Pattern: Made-up roll brim hat
Needles: US 3, I think
Pattern: Shedir from Knitty
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in purple
Needles: US 3
I'll save the next phase for another post. Today, it's a cloudy day.
And we have the first zucchini of the year!
Saturday, March 31, 2007
It's blue with baby persimmon leaves.
The forest? Well that is wrapped around the bunny and has an added bonus hat.
Project: Forbes Forest from Scarf Style
Yarn: RY Cashsoft DK
Needles: Addi Turbos in US6
Notes: Fun knit! I adore this yarn and had a great time learning to make bobbles and popcorns without turning my work. Since every project ends up with at least one oddity, this one had a doozie. They yarn came from three different sources and was in three different dyelots. I used the trick of switching balls of yarn for ever pair of rows. There is a noticable striping, but it almost looks planned.
Project: Odessa from Grumperina
Yarn: RY Cashsoft DK
Beads: Clear size 6 seed beads
Needles: Inox circular and Susan Bates dpns in US6 and Britney dpns in US4
Notes: This is my first knit beading project! It was super easy and looks great!