Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Long Incoherent Rambling

I had a fun trip, but was extremely glad to be home. And then I woke up Monday morning with awful throat cooties and didn't feel like doing anything at all.

I would love to show you the beautiful photographic highlights of my trip, but... well... I forgot my camera. So we'll do like Amie did and just pretend, kay?

First we have a picture of a box truck that is spewing smoke out of its tailpipe. Lovely, black smoke. And then...as you can see on the back of the truck, it has a picture that says "You're car has never run better." and then.. the "Snap-On" logo. That's right folks, the Snap-On man can't fix his own truck.

And then we have a picture of of the green exit sign for "8 Mile Road" if only because I had no idea that Eminim was from Detroit. And while I don't like all of his music, and I think he has lots of issues that he needs help with, I sometimes find his point of view correct and think he is lyrically brilliant.

And now, you'll really have to picture this one.... because I really regret not being able to get a shot of it. Imagine a small seedy adult "toy" shop with a nice big parking lot all around it. And next to it.. there's a lovely woodworking shop with the title "Natural Wood". Talk about shop placement!! We rolled.

That's about it for missing pictures. Wasn't that a fun game? Sure it was. But moving on!

The driving itself was long and tedious. And it turns out, that if you make a wrong turn on the Penna Turnpike, you end up having to go about 30 miles out of your way and pay a freaking toll charge just to turn around. Ask me how I know.. ASK ME!!!! (ok don't, it'll just bring up all my frustration again) And their "Service Plaza" areas, well, they sucked. Dirty, crowded, shitty parking, just unpleasant.

But that did mean that when we got to the lovely, beautiful, wonderful, oh so flat state of Ohio, we rejoiced. Well thought out and planned Service Plazas, that were spacious, and clean. They had a nice food court seating area, and they were clean. Did I mention clean? Ohio charges less for you to go across their state than Pennsylvania charges to go across one freaking corner. And it's so much nicer. They really know their niche I think. They know that most people aren't stopping, but just passing through and they make you happy to spend your money with them. So kudos to you Ohio! ( Pennsylvania however, can die in a fire.)

That mostly sums up the trip. Other than the I got sick somewhere along the way part and feel so very rotten now that I am back. I can't sleep because I feel like I am suffocating when I lie down. I can't get my throat to stop hurting, and I am a miserable human being. *whine whine whine*

But I found my camera. So I can now supply some photos for you eye candy readers out there.

These are the bowls we got on our trip. They are perfect French Onion Soup bowls and I plan to make some as soon as I feel up to going to the store to replenish the onion supply.



I am thinking of making myself a new needle case now that I know more what I need in one, and was thinking of using these fabrics, but I am still undecided.



And then I was going to take the current cover flap of my old case (below) and make it into a dpn case. There should be just enough fabric there, and I love the print, which I got as scrap, so I don't think I could ever find more of it.



Now I just have to feel like bothering to sew them up.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cleaning up and heading out.

I am headed out of town this weekend so I have been spending my free time doing more cleaning than usual. I hate to come home from a trip all tired and have a dirty house. It's depressing. Home should be warm and inviting and comforting after you've been gone.

So tomorrow I do tons of last minute things. Work, gas up the car, try to get an oil change in, last minute laundry, packing, and dropping the kids off at a friend's. If said friend is reading this, THANK YOU SO MUCH. I hope they do anything to make you never want to baby sit them again.

Speaking of the kids, is this familial love or what? I came out of the bedroom to find them both sacked out on the couch.

I couldn't resist. They often lay around on each other but never when I have my camera handy.

Since all this doing has left me with nil for knitting time, I'll leave you with a picture of our new bedding set and new roman shade. (If you have problems with light still coming in even with blinds, go to Ikea and get a roman shade, it's cheap, easy to hang, and does a bang up job of filtering the light. We love it.) It's no home magazine display, but I like it. And I was happy to find a bedding set that had sheets to fit my super thick mattress. And it was $40.00. Total.


Have a great weekend, I am off to Michigan!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My SuperSuit.


My SuperSuit is done. Now I just need to put a sheep in it. I bound off at the collar and cuff of the outfit so that I could pick up stitches for the hands and feet. I want the demarkation to be definite and deliberate. I want it to appear that sheepy is actually wearing a suit and could fly away at any moment with a young Sheep Kent appearing is glasses shortly thereafter.

Now that I think about it, I should go ahead and add the cape before I pick up for the head. It'll make it a lot easier. Thanks y'all, I'm glad you suggested that before I forgot!

Monday, August 21, 2006

I am so stealing this idea!

Tonight at knitting group we had a new member join us. Her name is Lisa and her blog is over at I Tink, Therefore I Am. And besides having a clever and orignal blog name, (of which I am envious, because while soapturtle knits is cute, it's not clever) she also had a great idea and I am going to copy it.

When we asked her if she had a blog and what it was, so I could add her to my sidebar, she pulled out a business card!!!!!

It has her name, her blog link, her email, and her cell number on it, (which I have blurred out most of, since I figure if you want to start stalking her, you need to work for it a little more than just getting it from my blog) and all I could think, besides "oohhhhhhh purple!!! pretty flower!!!" was how freaking cool is this? And how freaking cool would it be to have these on hand at something like Maryland Sheep and Wool? And in your knitting bag, so if you pick up random knitters they can find you to come to your group, or if you get a new group member they can easily find you on the intarwebs and get it touch with you if they need to do so.

She ordered them online at VistaPrint, and I have to say I am inspired and will be doing the same!

Now go on over to her blog and say hi!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Absence



Please excuse Laura's absence... blah blah blah.

I'm not sick anymore, but I just haven't really been knitting. I don't have anything really exciting or cool to share, so I haven't posted.

The best I can offer is some pet pictures to distract you from my recent lack of content.

First up is the cat, who it seems likes printers. And if he isn't parked on my 3-in-1, he's got his ass parked on our HP. Go figure. It might be that the printers are above our desk and he likes to look down on us.

And finally a picture I took of my other babies, while they were sleep. Say it with me now.. "awwwwww!"

Have a great weekend!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Raise your hand, raise your hand if you're sure.

Not much to post about today. I haven't done much on the knitting front and today I am sick as all get out. Mostly I sleep and then drink fluids, or try to make myself have some soup. It's fun.

Supersheep is not much further along than he was last Monday.



And my handspun swap is already in.




And what I am sending her is done and packaged and going out tomorrow.




What's that you ask? Is there actually a bit of soap being posted here at soapturtle knits? Why yes, yes it is.

It's some I had made a while back and boxed up and I figured it would help the yarn smell until it arrives at its new home. I always like to include a little something extra in my swaps.

Have a good week people, I'm going back to bed.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Results.

The results are in for my Telemark swatch test!



The pattern calls for 22 stitches and 30 rows over 4 inches.
With Telemark using size 4 Brittany Birch needles I got 24 stitches and 30 rows over 4 inches.
(Please note that I did a full soak and then laid it out flat to dry, per instructions on this one because everyone was having so many problems getting gauge.)

I plan on using it and just bumping up a chest size (or 2) to make up the difference and just going with it over all because the row gauge matches. Now to choose colors. I can't decide if I want to keep the double green combo or do something else.

And here's one for you sickos who like to see the knitting innards.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Monday, August 07, 2006

Randomness and 2 Reviews

I haven't finished Supersheep yet. I'm still on his first arm. I did work on him a tiny bit this weekend, as well as the Lace Leaf shawl but mostly I played WoW with shmoo. ( For those of you who plau, my mage hit lvl 58, got attuned to the core and is ready for Jailbreak. This will be my second toon to hit 60. )

Review 1:
I worked on Lace Leaf while watching V for Vendetta. It was good. I enjoyed it, I felt I got something from it and I didn't hate any of the characters at the end (like I did with Capote). I'd recommend this movie. It was interesting, moved along nicely, and I got a whole repeat done while watching.

Review 2:
My Knitpicks order came in as well. It was 3 lace patterns and 2 balls of their new Telemark.
You can see it here amongst the frantic chaos of knitting piled on the coffee table.


I ordered this to swatch for Eunny's Deep V Argyle Vest. I joined the knitalong for it ages ago, but haven't found the right yarn and everyone was having such a problem getting gauge with Merino Style that I knew I didn't want to use it. So I ordered Telemark as soon as someone mentioned it.


I really like this yarn. It's soft. It feels sturdy but very touchable. Don't get me wrong, it's no Baby Ull, but it is very nice. So nice that I keep petting it as I swatch. So nice that shmoo thought it was soft and would be willing to wear it. So nice that he recommended I send a swatch to my mother to try out. I loved the way it felt in the ball. I love the way it feels as I knit it up, and I like the way it looks so far. I am very happy with the little test and will certainly order this again. The colors are most accurate in the swatch picture below.

Now on to the random babble. You may want to stop here.

I have been lusting after Rowan 37's Butterfly for a while now. I have read the huge thread on Craftster. I have drooled over different lace weights looking for the perfect one but still haven't found it. I know I don't want to use Kidsilk, at least not for the first one. The test run if you will.

Then I figured I could just use the lace weight from my stash to test it out. And what's better to test out a lace pattern than a swatch.. and why not make the swatch into a shawl, Evelyn Clark style? Why not? Because the stitch pattern really doesn't fit nicely into the schematic. That's why. The repeats for growing the sides are screwy so this has now been abandoned. But during the charting of said stitch pattern on graph paper to find the growth repeat, I realized it's really very easy. I mean.. EASY. So then I re-read the pattern last night and see no reason I shouldn't just go ahead and make it. So I'll be sticking that back on my todo list. I think I'll start with the vest and then if I like it, I'll make the dress for a special event/night out.

And how cool would an argyle hat be from those shades of green? Yeah... that cool.

I ripped the back of the Drop Stitch Hoodie, so it is no more. I'll probably go with the newer card from the Fall IK and made the previously mentioned adjustments.

I think I need to knit more from my stash. It's getting bigger than I would like. It's nice to have stuff on hand to tinker and experiment with, but I want it to be more under control.

I think doing the Altered Halter Bag will help with using stash. Especially if I make two of them. Everyone needs a prototype, right?

Here in the near I need to finish 1. Supersheep, 2. The baby blanket, 3. The lace leaf shawl, 4. Edgar, 5. Clapotis 2, 6. shmoo sock(s)

I have decided I need to finish at least 3 of the 6 above before I am allowed to actually start anything else. Swatching and planning other projects doesn't count.

I am ripping the hat and the scarf listed in the sidebar and removing them. I don't remember what I was doing with the hat, if I ever actually knew, and I don't like the way the scarf is looking.

I also need to finish up the last of my yarn for the Handspun swap I am in on Craftster so I can get it mailed out early/on time.

Tonight is Columbia Knitting Group. If you are in the Lower Baltimore/Columbia/PG County area, come to the Borders off of 175 and Dobbins. We'll be there at 7. Come and have fun if you can!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Idea Overload

As with every new knitting magazine I get, I am overwhelmed with ideas that I now know will never come to fruition.

For instance, (get your IK out and be prepared to flip around) remember that Drop Stitch Hoodie I did the back on and then proceeded to let sit in my work basket? Yeah, I do too. And it occurred to me looking at the new Fall 06 IK that it wasn't the dropped stitch I liked about the hoodie it was the zipper details. I liked the zippers at the wrists, and the middle, and the hood, so that the hood actually laid flat against the back. Loved that last detail actually. LOVED.

But then I saw the Wanderlust Hoodie (page 58 for those of you following along at home) and thought, "Huh. I really like the way this looks. I'd like it better as a cardigan. Structured more like the Dropped Stitch Hoodie really, and it would be bang up." And then I saw that it was with bulky yarn. And bulky yarn and bulky girls (which I am) don't go that well together.

So I flipped some more. And I found the Sienna Cardigan (page 122). And I could make the 52 inch chest size and have several inches of ease there. Which is good for a sweater you wear over everything. You want room to breathe. At least I do. Tighter is for the T-shirt I have under the Cardigan. And this one looks like it would be fairly easy to change to a zipper. And add zippers in at the wrists. And make the neckband an actual hood and add a zipper to it as well.
And then, there would be a hood, and it would lie flat. Yum.

I still don't know that I will just abandon the Dropped Stitch Hoodie. I mean, the back IS complete. And it was fairly easy to do. I am just worried it will look awful on me. In fact, as cool as the stitch pattern is, I am almost positive it will not look great on me. And for all that work, it should look great dammit!

And then I have been thinking about felted bags again. And after the last disaster with one, I have been a bit hesitant to do another one. But then I saw the staff projects for this issue, (page 98) and before you hurl, what about this....? Bag two. The pattern at the bottom with the stranded knitting flowers, done in the manner of the top of the bag, with the flowers in the center of each panel and then the columns (that look like steeks to me) between each motif. And that's all there is to the bag. Except the straps of course. I don't exactly like the straps there, but I am not sure a different strap would look better and if so, which one would be best?

Here's my rough (very rough) sketch of what I have in mind, but you get the idea.


So taking all this into account. And having all of these ideas roaming around my head (note: this is not counting the ones I immediately dismissed) and thinking I needed to finished up some of the WIPs I have going on first......

I went and cast on for the Lace Leaf Shawl.


bonus progress shot of supersheep/sheeperman:

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

lessons in the round.

Yuck.

Yuck at a side angle.


Yeah. I ripped. Again. Wouldn't you?

I have decided I will do the emblem the same way I did the belt. With a crochet hook, and patience.

When I started this, I KNEW you weren't supposed to do intarsia in the round. I knew. But I figured it would be ok. I just couldn't get the tension right. Too tight, too loose, both, hell, I don't know. But I tried it several different ways/times and it just isn't working out and looking like I want it to. Perhaps this is because it's on size 0 needles and it's just too damn small to get intarsia in the round to be just right. Whatever the case may be, that's fine. I'm going to do it this other way and see how that looks, and go from there.

In other news, my IK Fall 06 came in the mail. It was a good issue for the Columbia knitting group. Eunny has two articles and Lolly has a whole paragraph of Amy Singer's column that talks about Project Spectrum. It's nice to see people you like get their 15 minutes.

As for the rest of it, I am a little meh. I have a problem with one of the designer's attitude regarding her pattern in this issue. I don't want to trash her, since this is how she makes her living, but I was totally pisssed off at her view of cost and what she considers worthwhile. I'm sorry but I will not pay roughly $500.00 for yarn to make a knit item that makes the skinny model in the picture look like a fat cow. And this is beside the fact that I think it's hideous. It could be the most beautiful knit on the face of the earth and I would think $500.00 is too much. And when one of the readers on her blog questioned her about the use of this expensive yarn, her response was roughly that worthwhile things take sacrifice. That may be so, but to assume that the world will consider a $500 yarn knit item worth it, it had best look a damn sight better than what it does. Hell, I can buying a spinning wheel for $500. An! Effing! Spinning! Wheel! That's my car insurance bill for A YEAR! Think of all the things you could spend 500 bucks on in your life. Yeah. That's exactly what I mean. It's just too much. The only exception to this being too much would be if the knit item in question did all my laundry and cleaned my kitchen every day for at least 2 years. Hell, it should cook dinner too.

I quit reading this designer's blog that day. I just couldn't take it. I hope her career continues to do well, but I am no longer a fan. My cheap little soul refuses.

On a more positive note, I have a question..... Supersheep or Sheeperman?