July 2008


Pretty much every one that reads this blog knows I’m “big”. Therefore, when I knit for myself it usually takes several weeks of seriously dedicated knitting or months of agonizingly short bursts of knitting to get a garment finished for myself.

That’s why I’m absolutely thrilled I decided to try Hey, Teach! from Knitty. It’s a cropped cardigan with a lace bodice. It’s beautiful! Now, I’m not really sure how this is going to look on me when it’s finished, but it’s going quickly enough that I’ll soon find out!

hey teach back

I started the back on Saturday morning and I just cast off on it about an hour ago. Unbelievable! I’ve NEVER knit a sweater back that quickly; not even for someone skinny! I’ll attribute that mainly to the fact that it’s cropped, but it’s a nice boost after it taking me so long to finish the Central Park Hoodie. I’m actually hoping to finish this sweater by next weekend!

I think that I’m going to be seriously busy knitting here soon. The Secret of the Stole III knit along starts on August 15th and I just signed up for the 2008 Ravelympics. It’s just like the Knitting Olympics, but within Ravelry. If you don’t know what the Knitting Olympics is, it’s basically a challenge to knitters (and crocheters!) to finish a challenging project between the time the Olympics begin until they end. It starts on August 8th (5 a.m. my time) and ends August 24th (at 5 a.m. my time). I’ve decided to knit the Curvy Knits Flare Top by Jillian Moreno. It’s a cute, simple top with seed stitch panels around the hem and sleeves. I’m pretty sure I can finish it in 17 days if I put my mind to it. Should be exciting to try, one way or another! This year marks the first time I’ve participated in a secret knit along OR any type of knitting Olympics.

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After sitting on that first swatch for a couple of days I decided I didn’t like it. I liked the color a lot, and I liked the beads a lot, but I didn’t like the way the yarn drew in on itself when I took the pins off it. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the four or so POUNDS of the stuff, but it won’t go towards something I’m going to hate because it won’t block properly. I also got a comment from DK, the one running the KAL and she mentioned the blocking issue as well and there was enough doubt in my mind about it that I completely scrapped it.

So; I dug to the very bottom of my stash and found a bag full of reclaimed yarn. The teal/green sweater that was in the stack from when I did the reclaiming yarn post was in neat little hanks in the bottom of the bag. I balled a hank up and set to work making another swatch.

swatch 2

I love this so much more.  The yarn is like buttah, if not a little delicate.  Knit up it’s strong, but I do have to take care when actually knitting it.  Luckily, spit splicing this yarn is the easiest thing ever.

I wasn’t sure about what color beads to use so I used five each of three different colors.  I started with some “oil slick” colored beads (I don’t really know what to call these things)  Then I did some pearly ones and then the ice blue again.  I think it’s obvious from the picture which I’ll be using.  The pearl ones pop out really well.  I wanted to go for something really sparkly, but I’m impatient and wanted to try stuff I already had.  I guess I could have waited and bought a bunch of tubes of various colors to “try”, but I’m feeling stingy with money right now.  I’ll buy a couple tubes of the pearl ones and call it good.

I’m happy with the color choice.  I wouldn’t mind if it were a little darker really.  I may wind up overdying it when the KAL is over.  It depends on what the finished stole looks like.  It’s a little brighter and teal-y in real life.

I finished my swatch for the Secret Of The Stole III knit a long. The KAL (knit a long) doesn’t start with the real knitting until August 15th, but the leader of this KAL put up the swatching chart and the yarn/bead requirements so we could all decide what we were going to use and get an idea of what size needles we wanted to use.

The suggestion for yarn is something light colored, like white, pastel pink or blue. Not only do I not really care for light colors, but I don’t have any in my stash. I’m considering ordering a lighter color to do the stole in, but for now I used some rich coffee bean colored lace weight yarn with some ice blue beads.

sotsiii swatch

And a close up so you can see the beads better:

sotsiii swatch closeup

I’m not really sure how I feel about it. The yarn is okay, but being an acrylic/wool blend I’m really worried about the blocking qualities. Acrylic doesn’t really block and lace NEEDS to be blocked to really look fabulous. I love the color combo personally, but be honest…do the blue beads with the brown yarn look okay? I don’t want to knit something that people think looks like a hunk o’ poo covered in ice chips. I have some pink merino in my shopping cart over at Knitpicks but I was hoping to save a few bucks by using what I already had.  Luckily, if I decide to go that route, knitpicks has great prices and it’ll cost me less than $20 for the yarn and a new set of size 3 circulars.  Still pondering.

I finished my CPH yesterday afternoon!

cph finished

Because of the tweedy yarn it’s really hard to see the details so I tried to take a picture of it off of me to see if I could get it to show up more.

cph2

Overall I really like it, but there’s a few things I’m not really happy with (really, is there EVER not?!) Firstly, it’s huge. It’s way bigger than I actually need it to be. This is something that I seriously need to work on. I’m huge, but when I see a pattern I like, DESPITE IT BEING IN A SIZE THAT I KNOW WILL FIT because I’ve measured, I go up in pattern size because I’m convinced it’ll be too small. I have to stop doing this because it’s just as disappointing as it being too small. I also should have shortened the sleeves. A lot of pattern writers seem to think that fat = ape arms. The sleeves are about six inches too long. This isn’t as big of a deal to me as the overall size because I can give them a wide cuff by folding them up once and when it’s really cold out I can tuck my hands in to them. It’s just not something I’m completely thrilled with.

This was a bittersweet project. It was the first “real” sweater I’ve made for myself that I didn’t have to do the math to size up for myself. It’s the first time I haven’t completely rushed to finish so my seams are neat and the finishing isn’t sloppy. Bitter, because of the size. I’m really upset at myself for that and I’m especially pissed that I spent so much time on something that is probably going to wind up as an “around the house” sweater. It won’t do me any good to be upset about it though. It’s a good lesson for the next time I decide that I’m so fucking huge that I can’t possibly fit comfortably in anything but the largest pattern size of a design.

Moving on. Since I had my camera out I decided to get some pictures of some of the journal pages I’ve done lately.

me

Kind of a caricature of me right after I cut and dyed my hair.

carlin

An homage to the late, great George Carlin. His seven dirty works routine was my favorite.

water

An arty way of reminding myself to drink more water.

fish

A mixed media page. I knit a fishie out of embroidery floss and added bubbles and a water stream to a decorators chalk and colored pencil background.

dancing

Another mixed page. An old print, metal findings, scrapbooking stickers, stamps and chalk.

bananas

My opinion of the days around here lately. Funnily enough, 105 hasn’t been our hottest day (109 was) and today it’s under 80 and been sprinkling all day.

amanda

After painting my Amanda Palmer shirt I had the stencil left over and decided to put it in my journal. It’s the name of the new album coming out by the singer of the Dresden Dolls in September.

4th

Obviously, a fourth of July page.

samson

The lyrics to Samson by Regina Spektor.

pensa>

A test page for the new pens I got.

fuck

I was really pissed off when I did this page.

letter

An unsent letter page.

everything

A lovey dovey page about my husband.

daily

One of my daily blurb pages. There’s a weeks worth or so smaller pages on the one page so I’m not filling the entire journal with every day blather.

Now that I’m finished with my sweater I feel a little lost. I have a love/hate relationship with finishing large projects because I never know what to work on next. I don’t start the Secret Of The Stole knit along until the 15th of August so I’ve got a little downtime ’til then. I wanted to work on something kind of small and mindless until then, but I bet that by the time I figure out what I want to do it’ll be time to start the stole!

Despite the heat (and the added humidity) I’ve been working diligently on my sweater and hope to have it finished today! I worked on the button band for about two hours last night and decided that an inch and a half of button band was plenty and two and a half inches would be too much. This was in part due to there being a ridiculous amount of stitches and in part due to it really did NOT need to be wider. The hood is already a little big on my teeny little freak head so I didn’t need it completely covering my face. Today I hope to get the sleeves and the side seams sewn and I should be pretty much finished. I’m not going to be wearing it for a few more months so I’m going to forgo the buttons for now. There’s no actual button holes on the button band, you crochet the loops on to one side, so it’ll look fine if I decide not to buttonize it. I can’t wait to finish it!

I stopped by the Dollar Tree again yesterday and picked up a bunch more journaling stuff. School stuff is now filling aisles so there’s all sorts of cute little things. I love going in there and spending a quarter of what I’d spend if I went to a scrapbook store and got the same exact things. If you’re at all familiar with that kind of stuff you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say 3-d dots. If not; they’re sticky little circles or squares that you put underneath your picture to raise it up and give it a 3-d effect on your page. Last time I bought some they were almost $4 and I found a package that was bigger at the Dollar Tree for a buck! LOVE that store like mad.

My camera has been really fickle as to what type of batteries it’s willing to let me use in it. I’m going to try and get a bunch of pictures tomorrow and post them, so be warned that I’m going to be dial-up unfriendly soon!

Yesterday. Sucked. Hard.

Well…most of the day was pretty nice actually. I had some time to catch up on my journaling, I watched a couple of movies and got the pool cleaned out. It was the last half of the day that was awful.

When Paul got home he helped me scrub the pool (eew, slimy!) and afterwards we both got in while it filled up. We spent a glorious hour just floating and leaning on each other and laughing and spraying Moxie. When we were both as pruny as we could stand, we got out and decided we’d order some cheese sticks from Pizza Hut.

After I placed the order Paul got dressed in some dry clothes and headed out. Not three minutes after he’d left he was back in the driveway and I noticed the hood of the car was up. I freaked out and went outside and he told me that he’d gotten a couple houses down and all the dummy lights had come on and the power steering went out. OMG. We only have one car so that’s bad bad news. A couple of years ago we bought a huge manual for our car on ebay and after a super frantic hunt for it and a very apologetic call to Pizza Hut to cancel our order, we found out that our problem was as simple as a nut needing tightening. I guess that when Paul put oil in the car a few days ago that he spilled a bit near the alternator and the vibrations of the engine had loosened the nut that keeps the alternator steady.

Luckily, we have two Pizza Huts in town 😉 I didn’t feel right calling the first one and asking for the same order after canceling, so Paul called the other one and left to pick it up. After what seemed like ages, he finally got home and decided that since it was trash night that he’d get everything together early so he wouldn’t have to do it after he ate. He gathered all the little trash cans we have through out the house and started taking them out. When he was done, he stepped off the porch steps to flip the lid down and take the dumpster out and when he did he came straight down (with all this weight) onto a broken glass base.

****WARNING***** Graphic description of blood and gross stuff. You’ve been warned.

Next thing I know he’s pulling his shoe off and there’s literally a river of blood pouring out of his foot. It was coming so fast that he couldn’t stop it with just his hand. I swear, I’ve never moved so fast in my life. I grabbed a dishtowel and mashed it against his heel and the entire time he’s trying to get me to let go so he could do it himself. If it wasn’t so scary it would have been funny.

When we’d gotten the bleeding stopped long enough for him to hobble inside without dripping a bucket of blood behind him I had him sit down and I surveyed the damage. The cut was about half an inch long and about a third of an inch deep. Not a mortal stab wound, but very very ugly. The worst part was that the glass had apparently been sitting out there for some time and it was filthy. You could see dirt in the wound and that is the only thing that really turned my stomach. I knew I was going to hurt him getting that crap out of there.

He’s as bad about doctor visits as I am so I knew I wouldn’t be able to get him to go. He DID let me clean it though and that took some balls. Because it was such a clean cut (thank deity for small favors huh?) I literally had to pry it open to clean the inside out. After I washed his foot with antibacterial soap and flushed it with peroxide I still had to take him in to the bathroom and use the high pressure setting on the shower head to get the dirt out of the wound. I was just going to use a q-tip, but I worried about pushing any gunk deeper and figured that it was going to hurt either way so I might as well use the quickest method. Poor guy took it like a champ, despite looking like he was about to pass out from the pain.

After I got it cleaned up I dried and bandaged it. He had to go to work today so I wanted him to have a little extra cushion. When he gets home I’ll take it off, clean it again and let it air out.

And the third. The little a/c in the back room finally crapped out. It won’t blow air at all anymore, yet if you turn it on it’ll ice up from the coolant. Awesome. If there was any way to morph the two crap a/c’s we have I’d have a pretty decent one !

I think we’ve had enough stupid shit happen to last us for awhile. Just the other day the bottom hinge on the back room door broke so now it’s sitting crooked until I can get replacement hinges. All this little stuff is adding up and not only freaking me out, but pissing me off. To top it off, my memory is shit lately and I didn’t realize until this morning that it’s my sisters birthday! I’m a terrible sister 😦 I need to give her a call this afternoon and wish her well.

This now ends our sporadically scheduled bitch session. Today’s bitch session is brought to you by the letters S, H, I and T. Thanks for tuning in!

I’m still around…somewhere!  I’ve had absolutely no motivation to do any serious crafting or blogging for that matter.

I’ve been very slowly plugging away at the second sleeve of my Central Park Hoodie.  It’s almost up to the sleeve cap now, but I’ve only been doing a few rows whenever the mood strikes.  This is probably been my least productive summer ever.  I can normally pick up a cotton dishcloth to work on or a sock, but not this year.  Oh well.  I’m just happy that my CPH hasn’t hit the frog pile yet.

I’ve been journaling a lot, just not the past few days.  I was doing really well with getting up early every morning and sitting down to journal immediately.  It seriously does help clear my head for the rest of the day.  The past three days I’ve just ignored it though and I can’t even describe how annoyed I was with the idea of having three days that were just NOT THERE.  So I’m back logging stuff.  Not too much, just weather stuff, word of the day, media/happenstance.  Shouldn’t take too long to catch up, but it’s not something I want to make a habit out of.

We went to my parents house for a 4th of July dinner.  It was too hot to sit out in their gorgeous pavilion so we ate inside.  After a way too large meal of steak, baked potatoes, fresh corn on the cob and grilled squash from my Mom’s garden we braved the heat and sat outside to watch the fireworks.  There’s a perfect little niche between houses where we could see all but the lowest of the fireworks.  They were beautiful.  I’d almost forgotten how much I enjoyed watching them since we very rarely bother.  It was a good memory to stow away.

Monsoon season is slowly creeping up on us.  The humidity the past few days has been absolutely disgusting and the worst part is that it’s nothing compared to what it’ll be in a few weeks.  When we were watching the fireworks I kept having to peel my blouse away from myself.  Ick.  We got about 15 raindrops yesterday morning, but as much as I begged for more, the sky cleared up and it stayed dry.

Oh, I almost forgot!  On Thursday we bought a pool!  Far from glamorous lol, it’s just a little inflatable pool, but it’s good sized for the two of us.  It’s about 10’x6′ and fits just perfectly on our back porch, under the awning (so we don’t get too much sun if we’re in it!)  Our back yard is like a cemetery for all the crap the previous owners left so Paul had to move a ridiculously huge freezer off the porch to fit the pool.  We bought a tarp to cover it with to keep most of the debris out but I’m still going to have to get out there with a net today and do a cleaning already since dear Moxie decided to pull the tarp off.  We’ve got water roaches (outside only…they’re sooo nasty!) and spiders and crickets that love to hang out in the dark creases by the trailer skirting so a few have made their way in to the water.  Ugh…I don’t even like thinking about it :/  All that aside though; it is SO nice to sit in our little pool, even during the day!  If there’s even a bit of a breeze, being in the water feels 30 degrees cooler than it really is outside.  Now if I could only get Paul to come out there more with me!

I haven’t been a very good blog buddy lately, and for that I apologize.  I promise that as soon as the weather gets a little more tolerable and I’m online more I’ll visit regularly again.  Til then, it’s sporadic but I haven’t forgotten anyone!