Sunday, February 26, 2006

Come On, Drink the Kool Aid

I've got two friends who are, separately, getting excited about knitting.

One is the mommy of the twins I made the raglan baby sweaters for recently. She started knitting while on bedrest and wanted to learn more. I went over this weekend and showed her a few things, namely Addi Turbos and knitting socks on two circs. She's hooked! Yay! She called tonight to let me know that she's in love with the Turbos and can't wait to get more pairs/sizes.

The other is a friend who has never knit before. The pal who taught me how to knit a couple of years ago taught her just this week. She called me last night, saying, "Help! I have a knitting question!!" Yay! She's learning the basics and sounds really interested.

I say to them, "Welcome to my obsession. Let me know how I can help you feed the monster." heh.

As for me....

1. Shawl Collar Pullover pieces are finally dry. We'll see how soon I can get 'er seamed up.

2. Jemima is knitting up rather quickly thanks to the LOVELY Cashsoft and the way that it literally flies on Addi Turbos. I think I have a crush on this combination. I'm almost to the raglan shaping of sleeve #1.

3. Excellent yarn arrived today. Love living so close to Elann. Must remember to exercise restraint, though, else I order something new every stinking week. Must order an Addi Turbo US15/10mm. Holy cow. Haven't used such big needles since I was a beginner who knit too tightly and needed fat needles so my first scarf wouldn't be stiff as a board.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Knitting Ups and Downs

Image hosting by PhotobucketShawl Collared Pullover is happily blocking away with its own little ray of sunshine (they're hard to come by over here) and yes, it's true that wet alpaca really does smell like wet dog. Mmmm. Yummy. I hope it dries soon; I keep laughing when I think of what this sweater's going to look like on my daily-increasing belly. Fortunately, people have good imaginations and will probably be able to imagine what it will look like on me next fall, right? :)

Our trip to Vancouver was lovely and quite uneventful. Perfect. We stayed right downtown and walked all over the place. Ate good food. Saw two good movies (Firewall was intensely suspenseful; Syriana was complex, political, and kept us talking and thinking well after we left the theater). Touched no yarn. I didn't even knit in the car on the way up or down. It seemed important to be more present, enjoying the scenery and conversation with Mr. Goodkarma. It was a good time!

But you know how I am; as soon as Shawl Collar was off the needles and in the bath I was itching to cast on something new. For a minute I considered going to one of my stalled projects but no, I had to start something new. That's a lesson for me; do NOT leave a project unfinished or it may never ever ever see the light of day again.

Image hosting by PhotobucketImage hosting by PhotobucketElann had this Schoeller Stahl Excellent yarn for a few days. I kept looking at the sample pattern and thinking about how cute it would have looked on me about 5 months ago when I still had a waist. The available colors were selling out quickly; the one I was eyeballing was a darker combination of blues, but I was only able to pick up this lighter combination instead.

While I wait for my Excellent yarn (can't say it without thinking of Bill and Ted), I dove into my Rowan Cashsoft DK for Jemima. This pattern utilizes a tubular cast-on, and this is the first Image hosting by Photobuckettime I've ever used one. I wish I had tried it before! So clever and neat. Totally tubular. (Valley Girl.) I knit the cuff and an inch or two of sleeve before bedtime and then was suddenly struck with a wave of incompetence. Would it look ridiculous on me? Would the color combo look homemade? Wouldn't this absolutely luscious yarn look better in something more pretty and less everyday? Naturally I stayed up way too late searching for ideas for what other knitbloggers had done with Cashsoft. I don't have a lot of it (7 balls of Ballad Blue, 1 ball of Lime). Of course I saw many, many posts about Grumperina's Odessa, but I really want to wear this yarn on my body, not my head! I hit the pillow feeling defeated. Why do I always have to find a solution immediately anyway? Grrr.

I woke up this morning with an image of a sweet, finished Jemima. My imaginary version is a little more fitted than the original oversized one. Mari made a super cute one herself. I think I'll stick with the plan. If you haven't worked with Cashsoft yet, you're in for a treat!

Image hosting by PhotobucketAnd in the Husbands Are Funny Department: I got a great deal on last year's model of an expensive stroller. When it arrived the other day, I started taking it out of the box. Now, my husband is great, but he hasn't been super excited about anything baby related yet. As soon as parts started coming out of the box, though, he jumped up off the couch and started assembling the thing before I even had a chance to open the directions. I started reading instructions aloud but I might as well have been on another planet; he was so involved in snapping pieces together that he didn't even hear me. "Oooh, it even has shocks." "Nice wheels!" I'll be checking it out soon to make sure all the pieces were used, etc...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I heart DVR + Knitting

Last night: I'm reknitting the sleeve caps for the shawl collar pullover (adding 2" of length to the sleeves; who was I kidding?)while catching up on a bunch of shows on DVR (best invention EVER). On the edge of my seat with Grey's Anatomy (I thought they were home free with the bomb! Wasn't it sweet when George climbed up and helped Bailey through the delivery of her baby?), laughing hysterically at SNL (was that the funniest opening monologue in a while? The cashew trick? Ew. Holiday candles at Target...)

While knitting, I started thinking more about what project to bring on my little upcoming roadtrip with the hubby. We're going up to Vancouver, BC for a few days. I decided I'll bring Jemima. I bought 7 balls of Rowan (RY) Cashsoft DK in Ballad Blue several months ago with Hopeful in mind, but these days I think Jemima is a bit more for me. So I need one more ball of Cashsoft in a contrasting color. Tonight after work I dropped by Hilltop with no idea which color I would want and Lime popped right out at me. I think we have a winner!

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Guess what else I spied with my little eye at Hilltop? The new Debbie Stoller book was delivered today! I'm not a crocheter, or I would have bought it on the spot. But I think I'll end up buying it anyway to have a good crochet reference book around. I flipped through it very very quickly and saw a couple of cute cardis and jackets (a la White Lies); I might be inspired to try crochet after all. We'll see. It's not like I don't have 6 billion unfinished projects and another 6 billion projects awaiting.

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So anyway, speaking of Vancouver, does anyone have any recommendations, yarny or otherwise? I should be asking Felicia* this question and I don't know if she has ever read my blog. It's been a few years since my mister and I went up to Vancouver and I'm open to any food/shopping/walking/YARN suggestions any of you might have.

*In Felicia's 2/16 post, she wrote about a yarn crawl to Seattle. One of the restaurants she visited, Nana's Noodle Shop, was the place where Mr. Goodkarma proposed to me in 1999. Poor guy, he had a big plan for us to have a romantic dinner at the fancy Italian place down the block, and when we arrived we found out that it was closed for renovations. I didn't understand why he was so put out by that and I suggested we walk a few doors down to Nana's for dinner. Little did I know that there was an engagement ring in his pocket. He even got down on his knee when he proposed... it was very sweet and wonderful. It was the first proposal ever at Nana's. :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

C is For Conundrum

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The Adrienne Vittadini shawl collar pullover (AVSCP) is coming along very well. I'm about halfway done with the back, too, and all the while I'm wondering if I'm going to be running out of (the original bag of) yarn. I bought two extra skeins a while back, just in case I would need them, but they're from a different dye lot and I was hoping to not use them at all, except maybe for seaming. So I knit the sleeves to spec, but I'm skeptical that their 17.5" length will be long enough. I think I'll unknit the sleeve caps, knit the sleeve a little longer, and probably dip into skein #11 as I finish the back shoulder shaping. Hooray for longish hair, right?

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe conundrum continues. A couple of days ago I decided to cast on for another, smallish project while I considered what would be best for AVSCP. I pulled out my new skein of Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Wildflowers and got started on Nancy Bush's Rib and Cable Socks from Interweave Knits Fall 2005. Not far into knitting the cuff and I noticed that Julian, my sweet angelbaby cat who rarely does anything naughty, was chewing on something. He had a mouthful of my yarn and was chowing down! Ack! That turkey. I don't know what possessed him; he never ever eats yarn normally. Does Mountain Colors use seafood flavored dye? Weird. Of course, I had to cut out the soggy bit that he chewed and splice the ends together, no biggie (and not much yarn was lost) but kind of irritating! And ew, cat spit!

Image hosting by Photobucket (Isn't the Mountain Colors pretty? The violets and reds and fushias blend together more subtly in real life, kind of like in this picture where you can see the beginning of the cables. I'm in love with this yarn!)

Otherwise, all is well in the good karma house. I've been working far too many hours (extra parent conferences here, evening meetings there, special events in the evening, etc.) doing the fringe stuff and just barely having enough energy to do what I'm really there for, which is TEACH! Ah, well.

I've been doing tons of research and window shopping for stuff for the baby, too. Mom, grandma and I went looking at cribs and gear yesterday. It was good to make some sound decisions and feel like I've actually done a few things to get my nest ready. Now if only my husband would stop ringing the doorbell or calling to me every 30-60 minutes, I might actually get something done around the house! Good grief. I feel like running away! :)