Monday, January 30, 2006

Office Politics

I really hate office politics. I mean, I REALLY HATE OFFICE POLITICS!!!!!!! Really, I just want to go to work, do my job, and be left the f**k alone. What is wrong with that? Why do people have to spin webs and tell lies and pull others into the whole mess?

So, what happened to start all of this? Well, someone left a message with another person that had something to do with me. When I asked the first someone about the message, I was told that a THIRD someone must have done it (or the secretary messed up the message). Then it was suggested that the message leaver and the third someone and I all get together to have a little chat to clear the air! BTW, there is nothing wrong between me and the third someone, the message leaver just likes to have *problems* to solve.

I can't believe that I got pulled into office politics this morning. I am lucky that I have the kind of job where I can say "Well, I am not coming back here tomorrow." So much for using me to create drama.

Tomorrow will be your regularly scheduled knitting blog.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Vintage Knitting Tote and more Sales

Just a few things to report today. I finally received my latest eBay purchase in the mail. I have been waiting for ages for it to get here. It is so pretty, I don't even want to use it yet. But, I will; I can't let something this great just sit around!

It is a vintage 60's knitting needle/yarn tote. There is a notch in the top so that yarn can be put inside, the lid closed, and I'll knit happily while my yarn is safe inside. I got this little gem for $15. It is in excellent shape, and I love the orange, brown, and yellow geometric design. Not a tear on it, and the inside looks like new. What do you think?

I had been trying to get another great set of vintage knitting totes, but the bidding got rather fierce. I just couldn't see paying $70 for the lot, no matter how cool they were.

I also did another sale at the Mishawaka Hobby Lobby. This time it was eight skiens of Red Heart Fiesta yarn (a little nicer than the super saver) for $1.66 each. I think this would be a cute wear with jeans while RVing sweater. Anyway, thought I would share.

Tomorrow, I think I'll come clean about all my WIPs. I haven't been in the mood to work on anything the past few weeks. Rather, I seem to start lots of new things, but finish nothing. Perhaps if I come clean, I'll get the urge to finish a few items.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Stealing more blog fodder from Jen

I lifted these instructions off of Jen's blog.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

Okay, I really did grab the nearest book, and it REALLY was a Harry Potter book. I didn't go looking for one, I swear.

Page 123, 5th sentence of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

"The hearing's on my floor, in Amelia Bone's office."

Boy, that is sorta lame. So, I thought I would try Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire right under the last book.

"Oh I can't believe this."

Sorry, just a lame blog today. But, I have had a lame kind of day.

I am not going to tag anyone, but feel free to use this idea.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Homespund Shawl Hell

My mother requested a triangle shawl for her birthday, to keep her shoulders warm. So, it was Homespun shawl hell time. Let me qualify that, Lion Brand's Homespun comes in some great colors. They are really lovely. Since it is easy to find, and goes on sale pretty cheap regularly, it is a nice thing to have on hand to make gifts with. Heck, the stuff even wears well. There is just one problem. Homespun SPLITS like mad! I mean this stuff can barely stay together as a kind of slubby yarn. What it wants to do, and will do often, is fray. There is almost no twist. This stuff is no fun to work with. But, it does make a nice shawl. If you can stand it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Kitty Beds

Here are two little kitties at the LaPorte Co. Small Animal Shelter sleeping on their cat beds! The green one is clearly visible, but you need to look in the back to see the pink one the kitty on the right is half sleeping on.

I have made 7 so far and plan on making many more this weekend. Jen and Ann have also promised to help. I encourage all of you to make beds for your local shelter. The pattern is quick and easy. After making a few, it takes me around an hour to make a bed, and it can be done while watching TV! It is a great use of left over bits of acrylic yarn as well. All living things should have some place warm and soft to sleep. Just ask this guy!

He has a prototype pattern that I decided not to go with, but I still gave the bed to the shelter. The bias pattern is much easier and I think more practical. I have to make one for Mitters and adapt the pattern for Buddy the dog. They are very jealous of the time I spend with other animals at the shelter.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Queen Bee Hat

Here is the Queen Bee Hat from the Stitch n Bitch Nation book. I meant to post this pic earlier, but I seem to have forgotten. Anyway, a very easy project, finding bee buttons that won't break the bank is the hard part. The wool is Jamieson's Soft Shetland in amethyst.

In other knitting news, I gave 7 cat beds to the LaPorte Co. Small Animal Shelter today. I plan on making more this weekend. I keep you posted.

Book Reviews are on hold for a bit too. I need to get better organized.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Knitting Olympics

I must be a total nut. I have signed on for the Knitting Olympics. The point is to challenge yourself knitting and enjoy watching the Olympics. I had a time thinking of a project to do. What would be a challenge that I would be able to get done in two weeks? I decided that a nice big cardi for me was just the thing. I know what you all are thinking, "See knits sweaters! How is that a challenge?" Well, I'll tell you: I tend to take a LOOOOOOONG time making a sweater. It is not that I am a slow knitter or anything, it is just that I work on so many things at once that it is easy for me to set aside the sweater for a week or two. Do that a couple of times and three months latter I'll have a sweater just in time for June! So my challenge is time.

I had actually already cast on a new sweater, but I made a mistake and frogged the whole thing in a fit of frustration. I have also decided that if I have to seem the damn thing, it will take me more than two weeks. I'll be modifying my pattern to be knit in one piece plus two sleeves.

Here is the yarn I'll be using. It is Lion Brand's Wool-ease chunky in HUCKLEBERRY! Why is that so special you ask, well, huckleberry is the greatest color Wool-ease ever came in. I bought the last seven skiens my Hobby Lobby had 3 years ago or so. I didn't have enough for a plus size sweater (which is important because I am a plus size). So, I had to wait to find more. I found more on eBay not to long ago. I paid too much for it, but now I can make my sweater.

The pattern I am using the pattern in the 2002 issue of Knit it! I'll only be doing small modifications to make the sweater in one piece. Worth it to not seem.

Well, I have had a cold for the past couple of days. I took some time off from work just to get more rest. I did make a few more cat beds. I post pics of the little dears sleeping on them soon.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

LaPorte Co. Small Animal Shelter Cat Beds

My local animal shelter requested cat beds as a charity knitting project I could do for them. Here is the pattern I created to make the beds.

Update: See the kitties sleeping on their new beds!

2 skeins Red Heart Super Saver yarn. I recommend Red Heart for its bulletproof quality. The beds will be washed in hot water and tumbled dry every day, not to mention what the cats will do to them.
size 13 needles
yarn needle for weaving in ends

Gauge is not real important here. Basically, these are 10 in x 18 in double thick blankets for the kitties.

NOTE: bed is made while holding 2 strands of yarn at the same time.
NOTE: this is bias knitting, which means that you are creating the fabric on a diagonal. There will be a long side and a short side. All decreases (k2tog) are worked on the SHORT side, and the increases (YO) are worked on the LONG side.

CO 3

Increase rows:
Row 1 k1, yo k to end
repeat row 1 until there are 40 stitches on needle. This will look like a half a square at this point.

Bias Rows:
Row 1 k1, k2tog, knit to end of row
Row 2, k1, YO, knit to end of row
Repeat these two rows until the long side is 18 inches.

Decrease Rows
Row 1 k1, k2tog, k to end of row.
repeat this row until there are 3 stitches left on needle, BO
Weave in the ends.

Slippers, sales, and beds oh my!

Well, Sly is doing the whole football thing, so I have endless hours to play on the computer and knit! Which would be great, but I feel a cold coming on. I am hoping that it just gets on with things and makes me good and sick. Right now I am not even sick enough to stay home from work, but I am sick enough to not want to go.

Anyway, here is a pic of the Sweet Mary Janes I made for Sharon. She seemed truly pleased with them, and I wish her all the best at her new job!

Erin is threatening me with a forced shopping trip. I am lucky that I can go to the Mishawaka Hobby Lobby once a week or so. While I live about a half hour from the Michigan City Hobby Lobby, I drive an hour and spend at least a quarter of an hour in grid lock to go to Mishawaka, and here is why:

The price tag is a bit fuzzy, but that is a bag of 12 (10 of the pink and 2 of the yellow) skiens of yarn at 65 cents each! The lady was marking them and just tossing them right into my buggy. I get the best deals there. I have gotten pattern leaflets for less than a buck, books for under $5 (like The Knitting Stitch Bible and Knitting Over the Edge), and needles and such for 75% off. It is great. Yesterday, they didn't have too much knitting, a couple of leaflets, which I didn't want, and a bushel basket of yarn, but I find it is worth it to go once and week and check it out. I'll admit it was easier when I was taking classes in South Bend and had a car, but I try.

The last bit to report on the LaPorte Co. Small Animal Shelter cat beds. I had asked about making dog beds, but was told that they had more than enough. They suggested beds for the cats, which is great because cats are a lot smaller than dogs! The pattern can be found here.

I am thinking of starting a book club/review day. Basically, I would pick a knitting related book, tell you what I think, and then discuss other points of view in the coments. I would not only review how to and pattern books, but also some of the new fiction for knitters. I am thinking Tuesday would be a good day for that. Well, that is all for now.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I haven't died or anything

I know I haven't been the best poster in the world this week. I have just been busy with work and stuff around the house. I promise tomorrow there will be pics.

I have finished the queen bee hat, and finally found cheap bee buttons to put on it. I gave a pair of Sweet Mary Janes to a sweet lady I used to work with at the LPHS who found a better job.

I also will have a new free pattern for you all, cat beds that I am making for the LaPorte Co. Small Animal shelter. Those poor little cats will sleep in their litter boxes because the metal cages are so cold. :(

Today Sly worked a bit of overtime, and we did some shopping out on the Grape Jam (Grape Rd. in Mishawaka ALWAYS has a traffic jam). I found some yarn for 65 cents a skein. The best deal, however, was 37 Prismacolor markers for Sly at $26.

After our little shopping trip, we had dinner with Pedro (who offers his protection) and his wife. Sly and I brought a selections of chocolate cheesecake to share. Yum oh!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Things I am wondering about now

1. What is the point of a "low flow" toilet?
2. Some one asked me today what I did with all the stuff I knitted. What does she think I do with it? Eat it?
3. Why don't men understand romance? What is so difficult?
4. How come my kids never want to talk to me, unless I am on the phone?

Not much of a post, I was just wondering.

Progress Reports:

I have two pairs of Sweet Mary Janes that need the trim and strap, two thirds of one sock, half a lace scarf I don't know when I will pick up again, and two thirds of the triangle shawl for my mom. I'll try and get something done during American Idol and post pics tomorrow.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Another Knitting Quiz used as blog fodder

handspun merino
You are 100% wool hand-dyed MERINO.
You like all things natural and would prefer to do
it yourself. You are socially conscious and
aware of your surroundings. You are kind to all
living things.

What kind of yarn are you really??
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, January 14, 2006

If I Were a Rich Man yada da da dum

If I had money to waste, I would so go out of my way to buy this cute little clockwork kitty. It is on eBay right now. It is also 19 pounds and $15 shipping! So, it is about 50 bucks! Far too rich for my blood, but awful damn cute!

I would love to see this thing in aciton. I'll just have to settle for a cute picture on my blog and my dreams.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Toasty Fingerless Mitts

So, I searched though my rather large library of knitting books for a fingerless glove knit on DPNs. To my horror, there were mitts with thumb gussets that were knit flat, and mitts with *holes* in the side for the thumb knit in the round. Since I knew I wanted to use DPNs (I don't like seeming), and I knew I wanted a thumb guesst, I figured I better make my own pattern. This is what I came up with for a toasty warm mitten that allows the wearer to use her fingers!

Toasty Fingerless Mitts

1 skein Lamb's Pride Worsted (Should make 2 pairs)
1 set of 5 size 6 DPNs (or size needed for gauge)
2 stitch markers
Yarn Needle

Gauge: 5 stitches = 1 inch

Make 2

Cast on 40 stitches and dived evenly over four needles (10 on each needle). Join. (note, you can mark N1 if you need to, but the mitts are not that big. I just looked for the tail from my cast on edge).

Work k2 p2 rib for 2 inches

Work St st for 6 inches.

On n1: k1, pm, m1, k1, m1, k1 pm
Note: While the pattern states the thumb gusset is made on needle 1, it really won't matter too much where which needle is used to make the guest.
Note: I make one (m1) by knitting into the back loop of the stitch BELOW the next stitch.

*work 1 rd even
Rd 2: k1 sl marker m1 k to 1 st before marker, m1, k1, sl marker, k rnd*
Repeat between (*) until there are 24 stitches on n1 (54 total).

Next rnd, k1, remove marker, k1 BO 14 stitches, k1, remove marker, k rnd.

Next rnd, push sts close together and pop the thumb out, k2, k next st very tightly making sure that it is joined closely to the k2. K rnd.

Work 3 more rnds (until mitt measures 8 inches).

Work k2 p2 rib for 1 inch, BO.

Weave in ends, weave thumb gusset if necessary.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Finally Finished Fair Isle

Well, I finally found buttons for my Fairly Easy Fair Isle. The sweater pattern is in the Stitch n Bitch Nation book, and it is made from Lamb's Pride Bulky. It is a pretty easy to do up sweater. If you have never done fair isle, take your time on the yoke! I had to unknit several times. This was a learning item for me because I have never done fair isle. So, I am totally pleased with my results.

I gave up on the vintage buttons and bought some at JoAnn's. I figure I can always replace them letter. This sweater needs wearin'!

I wore the sweater to work sans the buttons the other day. I got lots of positive feedback, even from people who don't know me, or that I knit. The best compliment was from the clothing teacher. Did I mention I work in a high school?

Any way, hope you all like the results.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New Year, New Projects

Since I got so many WIPs done over the winter vacation, I started several new projects for the new year.

These are some new Sweet Mary Janes made from Noro Kureyon. I am doing these for my MILs birthday. Hope she likes them. It is hard to think of stuff to knit for people who live in Florida. They just don't need knit stuff.

Here is yet another Homespun shawl. It is for my mom's birthday, by request. I really like how this one is turning out. I like the colors.

Bit of shopping news, I was in Hobby Lobby today, and I got size 6 and 8 DPNs (the Lion Brand kind) for $4 total. I thought that was pretty cool. I am going to cast on some fingerless mitts with them tomorrow, so look for that.

I have been looking all over for buttons. I need some bee shaped buttons for my Queen Bee hat, and I would like something funky and retro for the fair isle sweater. I would love to find some Bakelite. I looked and looked on eBay. So, if any of you know where I can find cool buttons, let me know.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Random Knitting Quiz

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Random meme that I rip off from Jen

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30 because my mom messed up the phone message about brunch.

2. Diamonds or pearls? both

3. What was the last film you saw at the movies? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4. What is your favorite TV show? Mythbusters!

5. What did you have for breakfast? French toast, eggs overeasy, bacon, I went out!

6. What is your middle name? Marie

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Homecooking, I would give ANYTHING to eat my grandmother's fried chicken again.

8. What foods do you dislike? There isn't much I won't eat, but I don't like raspberries.

9. What is your favorite chip flavor? Plain old Jay's chips with Dean's french onion dip, yum oh!

10. What type of car do you drive? I don't have a car right now. I drive Sly's truck, a Chevy.

11. Favorite item of clothing? PJs

12. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? London

13. What color is your bathroom? pale green

14. Favorite brand of clothing? whatever is cheap

15. Where would you like to retire to? travel in my RV

16. Favorite time of the day? late night

17. What was your most memorable birthday? Hmmmm, I can tell you about one that is memorable, but I forgot it. 30. My best friend talked me into drinking a shot for each year, plus one to grow on. I don't know if I ACTUALLY drank 31 shots; honestly, I don't remember leaving Gratty's either.

18. Where were you born? LaPorte IN

19. Favorite sport to watch? baseball

20. What fabric detergent do you use? purex, it is cheap

21. Coke or Pepsi? Pepsi, Coke with rum, mmmmmm, rum!

22. Are you a morning person or a night owl? owl

23. What is your shoe size? 8.5 sometimes wide

24. Do you have any pets? Buddy the wonder mutt (don't ask me what kind of dog he is, he is yellow), Mittens (who I call mitters) the worlds most psychotic cat, and Scout, the demon possessed cat.

25. What did you want to be when you were little? a boy

26. When is your birthday? June 16, 1968

Friday, January 06, 2006

Yarn Ho Tee

So, Sly always wanted to learn to do airbrush (ya know, like on shirts and cars and stuff). For Christmas I got him an air compressor, and he used his Christmas money to buy paints. He has made a couple of shirts. Today he made one for me:

I think it pretty much sums up my yarn sluttiness. ;)

More FOs this weekend. I am off to knit.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Knitting to Mythbusters and 007

Well, the Fairly Easy Fair Isle is done except for the button band and the blocking. I am totally thrilled with how the sweater turned out. I had a lot of help from James Bond. During the holiday break, Spike TV was running the *008 days of 007*, so I got to watch a lot of James Bond movies. I have always like the Bond flicks (and Sean Conery looks WONDERFUL in a bathing suit), but that funky music is great for knitting to. Don't know what it is, but I got lots of knitting done to that "dum da dum dum dum" music last week.

Since I was totally nerding out on the James Bond last week, I thought I would indulge in a whole different kind of nerd fest on New Year's Day. I am totally into the Discovery channel show Mythbusters. I love a show with the premise "If science doesn't work, blow it up!" Anyway, I worked on the felted bag from Stitch n Bitch (in Lamb's Pride worsted) while watching Jaime and Adam blow things up. I think it turned out pretty cool.

From this:

To this:
The last little bit to report is a new pair of Sweet Mary Janes. I only have the first one done at this point. This is also done in Noro wool.

Happy knitting and Happy new year!