Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out With the Old...

The general concensus among my online buds (a.k.a. my invisible internet friends) is that 2009 simply must go and not soon enough. Here's hoping that 2010 is better for us all! To finish of the year I give you one more knitted item. I'll be spending New Years Eve working on sweater #9 and hanging out with the family. Mr. Engineer has a cold and I am fighting off one (probably the same virus) as best I can. Young Man seems fine, but has a bit of the tween cranky. We have the last of the dessert tamales from our wonderful neighbors so who needs a big party?

Project: Sweater Ornament from Patons
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool

Needles: US 5 (I think - whatever the pattern asked for)

Notes: The original pattern is a bit fiddly, so I think I will revise it to make it mostly seamless. It seemed appropriate to make a sweater ornament for the year of the sweater. This particular one went to my sister, but I am making another for our tree.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Knitting, Part 2

This one was one of those knits that went fairly quickly (if men's socks can ever be described as "quick"), but the timing was a bit off. On Christmas day, on sock was wrapped with an IOU for the second sock. The second sock was more than half finished, but it was not close enough to keep our neighbor's toes warm. I finished up the second sock on Saturday and delivered it that evening. In return I got more cookies! This is not a time for getting on the scale, but my taste buds are very happy.

Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca in Fine (just over one skein)
Needles: US 1 dpns

Notes: This is a very easy pattern with just enough variety to keep me going. It was a very relaxing pattern and every time I sat down to knit I ended up yawning! The main modification was to only decrease down to 68 stitches. With the chosen yarn and needles, anything less would have been too tight. I also made the cuffs a bit longer than Nancy described and I used a standard heel flap. This yarn seems like it will make very soft, comfy socks. It is a bit splitty so I had to pay attention. That is to say that it wasn't a good project for knitting during movie previews. The dim light wasn't conducive to catching split stitches and resulted in a fair amount of tinking and frogging.

Yes, I knit at the movie theater. I mostly do this when I am on a deadline, but it gives me something to do when we arrive early enough for the entertainment "news" pieces that come on before the previews. I go a lot of knitting finished before Avatar because we arrived very early and there were a LOT of previews.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Knitting, Part 1

Wow! When I drop off blogging, I do it right. December has been a whirl of activity. I won't say fun, but lots of activity. There was that design review at work and then I did a day of baking. Interspersed was a flurry of gift knitting. Mostly, I went with projects that were already knit. My sister got the Rivendell Socks that I loved enough to give them to her and my next-door neighbor got the Leyburn Socks with sparkles that made her smile. I decided to test out my Brother-In-Law with a knitted item. He almost always wears a hat, but he has a few particular styles that he favors. However, he lives in Minnesota, so I figure that occasionally, he could use a hat that covers his ears.

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease (shut up! sometimes it is just the right thing)
Needles: US 7

Notes: This was a very quick knit and I always love cables. I do worry about the fit. The pattern had me use the same size needles for the initial ribbing and the main hat. I sort of wish that I had started smaller for the first few rows (or went larger after the first few rows). I like my cables nice and crisp, so my tension for the main hat was probably a bit too tight. This left the hat seeming tight around the head and loose around the ears. I like the look, but I am concerned about the wearability.

Since my sister reads this, she can report from BIL whether this project was a success or not. If BIL likes the concept, but not the application, let me know and I'll knit from another pattern or fiddle with this one.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Uh, Oh!

What are three of the favorite words in our house?

Some Assembly Required.

This is the new folding lacrosse goal that is supposed to take whatever power throws Young Man can dish out. Hopefully the assembly will keep him busy when his scrimmage is rained out on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Can't Blog; Too Much To Do

Today's big news is that Mr. Engineer took possession of his very own 2010 Subaru Legacy today. This baby has more headroom than even my tall guy knows what to do with! We are having fun and enjoying our present to ourselves, but there are no pictures yet. Soon. I promise.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


October 8, 1940 – December 8, 1980.

Remembering what might have been. RIP, John Lennon.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Taking a Prompt from Marguerite

These writing prompts are available from Simple Woman's Daybook. I got the inspiration from Marguerite.

Outside my window ... it is raining (finally). It rained enough today to cause lacrosse practice to be canceled. All the moms rejoiced because it meant less mud being tracked home.

I am thinking ... of what creative challenge I want to undertake in 2010. The 12 sweater challenge has been fun. I won't finish 12 this year, but I have no regrets. I added to my wardrobe and improved my technique. I figure that the two months in which I did nearly no knitting because of a tendinitis flare-up mean that I have until the end of February to finish my dozen. Next year could be socks because I have been adding to my sock yarn stash while working down my sweater yarn stash. Alternatively, I could work on gift knitting because I have many ideas of things that would be perfect for the people I know.

I am thankful for ... how quickly Young Man recovered from his hit on the field.

From the Kitchen ... we had leftover chili and cornbread that seemed perfect for a cold, rainy night. I used a new chili powder blend and it had way too much cayenne pepper. It might have been fine if I hadn't added my usual dollop of straight cayenne on top of the blend. Mr. Engineer and I liked it, but it was almost too much for Young Man. He ate extra cornbread and was happy.

I am wearing ... jeans and a sweatshirt from the Booster Club for Young Man's lacrosse team and a pair of black socks that I swiped from Young Man. What Not To Wear can't touch this.

I am creating ... socks for my dear next door neighbor and sweater number nine for me.

I am going ... to get all of my annual examinations (doctor, dentist, optometrist) finished before the end of the year (I made appointments today).

I am reading ... Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This is one in my latest series of books that take conventional wisdom and turn it upside-down for an examination from a different point of view.

I am hoping ... that our resolve to have a simpler holiday this year still results in enough fun for everyone.

I am hearing ... Young Man talk to himself while he procrastinates his way through his homework.

Around the house ... Young Man and I put up the tree yesterday and decorated. Not all of the decorations are up, but the house seems much more festive with a lit tree and hanging the ornaments was a wonderful trip through the years.

One of my favorite things ... Most days I would say yarn, but today it is the beautiful ornaments that my wonderful sister has made for us over the years. It is getting harder and harder to choose which one to feature each year. Our tree must be a decorator's nightmare, but we love it!

Here is picture thought I am sharing ...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Look, Up In the Air!

Yeah, I got nothing, so I'll share a shot of the Blue Angels from this year's Miramar Air Show.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

It's Lacrosse Season Again!

It's funny how ready I was for a break from lacrosse in June, but how excited I was to drag the gear to the first scrimmage of the season in December. It was a lovely day for lacrosse. The high temp was in the low 60s (F) and the sun kept hiding behind the clouds. That made things a little chilly for the parents, but it was great for the boys. Young Man Add Imagewas back in fine form. His team has enough boys to field two teams and he made the top team and he was a starter. Not only that, but he had a new position - middle defender. This made him the one to go out to challenge oncoming players in fast breaks. This was an unexpected treat for the parents! It was very fun to watch Young Man showing his stuff again.

He blocked, he poked, he dodged. It was beautiful. We had one scary moment where he became the filling in a sandwich and went down to the ground. He was quickly up and walking, but the coach did take him out for the rest of the half to recover. He is fine now and very happy about the entire day. Since it was a scrimmage, the score doesn't count, but, well, Young Man's team won 12-2. Yes, it was a good day!

Friday, December 04, 2009

It's A Good Thing ...

... that lacrosse scrimmages start tomorrow because I was really running low on material.

... that I am not too hard on myself when I do stupid stuff. Today's example is Vogue Knitting. I don't think I have ever actually knit anything from the magazine, but I still like reading it and getting inspiration from the crazy stuff. Still, I think I need to get a subscription. I picked up a copy of the Holiday 2009 issue today and was nearly finished reading it when it dawned on me that some of the pictures looked familiar. I quick trip into the stack of magazines waiting to be dealt with let me know that I managed to buy this issue twice. A mind is a terrible thing to lose.

... that it is time for Samuel Adams Winter Lager. Mmmmmm. Some beer purists don't like winter mixes that include a hint of pumpkin or spice, but I really enjoy this beer. It goes quite nicely with chili and that is what I made for dinner tonight (chili and cornbread, no less).

... that it is Friday because this week seemed to drag on forever! We accomplished a lot at work (we are getting ready for a big design review and we had several other big pre-review meetings), but I'm beat.

... that I don't have any deadlines on my other new web endeavor. I took over web page updates for the Booster Club for Young Man's lacrosse team. It hadn't been touched in several years, so there were a lot of broken links to mend and really, really old data to purge. I need to grab the coaches this weekend and get some new pictures to post.

... that there are really talented designers out there so that I can just make things without worrying about the design part. Yes, that was the segue for a little knitting content.

Yarn: Trekking

Notes: This is a test knit that I worked on during my summer vacation. Sitting on a wooden swing knitting was the perfect way to keep an eye on the boys swimming while staying fairly warm. Sadly, this sock has since been frogged (or ripped, since the pattern was Ripple). I like the pattern and I like the yarn, but the two together wasn't working for me. The other problem was that shortly before I got to this point on the sock I decided that I had found an error in the pattern. I had finally figured out that the error was quite a bit earlier and just as I was going to email the suggestion, Turtlegirl came up with an update. Once I had ripped back to where I could fix it, I decided to keep ripping. I will knit up the yarn and I will knit the pattern, but I won't put the two together again.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

Project: Wavy Feathers Wimple by Caryll McConnell
Yarn: Louet Mooi Laceweight
Needles: US 4
Notes: Okay, maybe not completely different. It is knitting and it is lace. Neither of those is new to me. However, this is a wimple. What is that? It is also know as a cowl. This nifty piece of knitting slips over the head and does double duty as either a scarf or hood. I know, it would look better on, but it is soo difficult to take pictures of oneself and it gets dark so terribly early that I have to remember to do the photo shoot on the weekend. The other new to me item is the yarn. This is a fabulous blend of bison and cashmere. Yes, bison! It was too good to pass up so I had to get a couple of skeins as a birthday splurge.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sweater No. 8

Project: Spray, by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Rowan Plaid
Needles: US 10 1/2 and US 11

Notes: All these DK yarns made me forget how quickly a bulky yarn can knit up into a sweater! This sweater went together very fast and it is warm and comfy. Okay, it is too warm right now, but I am looking forward to wearing it soon. I bought the yarn at a bag sale and then stashed it until this fall. Now I have lots of leftover yarn (but not enough for another full sweater). I may try to modify the men's vest pattern from the Rowan Plaid book to finsh off the yarn and make another sweater this year!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Project: Pagan by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Cotton Stria
Needles: US 6 and US 7

Notes: Look quickly because I think this one is about to be frogged. It's not because I don't like the top (because I do) or the yarn (it's really soft) or the design (the shape is quite flattering). No, the problem is that I knit the wrong size. This is both too small and too short. If I were out of yarn, I would probably just live with it, but I have an entire extra skein and I would like a less tight top. So, this is Number 7 for the year, but it may also be Number 10.