knitting


I can’t think of a title right now. A . will have to do.

The weekend was very nice, but I’m not feeling very good right now and it’s casting a shadow of yuck all around me. I’m trying to figure out why my tummy hurts when I haven’t eaten anything yet! (And no, I’m not hungry!) Ugh.

Enough complaining though. Saturday was Paul’s birthday. It was a really laid back day; we didn’t do much of anything. I got up early and went to the store to get a few things to make him a nice breakfast. While I was cooking breakfast I made him his favorite cake:

pineapple upside down cake

He was never a big fan of pineapple upside down cake until I started making it for him. He’s the same way about gravy and mashed potatoes. It’s just a little ego boost! After we ate I gave him his gifts. He had a feeling about the ds, but he was really happy with it and surprised with the Transformer games and accessories I got for it. He spent a good chunk of the day playing around with it. I hadn’t gotten much sleep the night before, so he went to his parents house while I stayed home and napped. They gave him a gift card for Hastings, and while he was there he helped them completely rearrange their living room and move a new couch in. Not how I’d like to spend a birthday, but he didn’t mind it.

Sunday was just a boring, lazy day. Yesterday we had a barbeque and invited his parents over. It gave me the perfect excuse to get Paul to help me move our ugly old couch out of the living room, “To make more room!” It’s currently residing in the start of our hallway, but it’s covered with a blanket and looks much better there. I now have a huge amount of space in our living room, patiently awaiting a new couch. Hopefully one that will be coming within the month!

Paul went out to the garage yesterday to get the charcoal and noticed that one of the little birdies had died. He disposed of it’s body. It made me sad, but to counteract it, Paul told me that he saw one of the other little birdies flying precariously around the garage. I hope the others make it!

Over the weekend I had time to finish the left front of my Central Park Hoodie. I’m up past the ribbing on the right side now. I think it’s going to take me about a month to finish the entire sweater. It’s been about two weeks now, give or take. I’ll try to get some pictures tomorrow, I need to track my progress! I found a couple more sweater patterns that go up to my size yesterday, so I’m going to get around to queuing them sometime today. I’m wondering if I’d look good in a vest? The kind you wear a long sleeved button down under? Hmm…I just don’t know. I guess I’ll have to do a search for pictures of plus sized girls in vests. I’ve never worn one before!

Day before yesterday I put my hubby to work on fixing the window in the back door. It’s been broken out for awhile now, and the board we had over it was loose and letting hot air in. I had him screw a board over the top and the bottom window and now it’s not only nice and dark back there, but not a wisp of air is coming through. It’s not pretty, but it did the job.

He had to go into the garage to cut the board to fit and when he did, Moxie came bolting out of the garage carrying something. She dropped it and we noticed it was a baby bird! Paul and I both freaked out a bit, got it away from her, only to have Gutter try to take off with it! After wrestling it away from him, Paul picked it up and took it back into the garage to see if we could find it’s nest. We let the wrens nest in the garage because we don’t keep anything important in there and they help keep the bugs down. We looked around a bit before realizing that the poor thing didn’t have a nest, but the mommy wren had plopped them right down on the garage floor against the wall!

baby birds

Paul carefully put the little thing back with its siblings and we disposed of a fifth one that had moved away from the group and died. We finished up quickly in the garage and left them alone in hopes that mommy wren would come back and take care of them.

I decided to check on them this morning and get a picture of them and they’re doing great. They look pretty plump so mommy is obviously still taking care of them. We don’t go in the garage too often, so hopefully they’ll get big and strong and continue the fight against black widows and water bugs in our yard!

Anyways, here are the beads I talked about yesterday.

matte czech glass beads

I’ve really been enjoying incorporating beads into my knitting. Several years ago my Aunt Noreen taught me how to add beads to my crochet. She’s amazingly talented and has a good 75 years of crafting under her belt. For some reason though I loved the look of beaded crochet, I never enjoyed doing it. It was too bothersome to string the beads on first and then crochet because I would inevitably add too few beads or colors in the wrong order. I’m loving adding them to my knitting though because I can place them one at a time without pre-stringing them. These are on the large side, about the size of a pony bead.

matte czech glass beads seed 2

These ones are 2/0 seed beads; small but not tiny. I love the colors so much! The beads are kind of frosty looking, the package of the smaller ones say they’re matte. I’m not super educated on beads or beading, so I don’t know the difference. I got the beads at the swap meet in Golden Valley. GV is about 10 or so miles out of Kingman and though it’s building up fast it’s still pretty small. The lady that owns the bead shop thingy is set up year round (It’s an actual building in the open air swap meet…there’s a few long term buildings) and she’s open four or five days out of the week. She’s got this little bitty shop, but it’s stuffed to the ceiling with beads and beading equipment of all sorts. I love it there! She’s got 6/0 seed beads by the hank and she’s very reasonable with her prices. She’ll even split the hanks in half or into single strands; it’s awesome! I’m not sure what I’m making with my beads yet, but they’ll be going in to some sort of knitting.

caron heathers deep plum

Here’s my yarn. Nothing special, but I took a picture for my ravelry stash and decided to share. I love the color so much! One thing I love about Caron Simply Soft is that it may be acrylic and it may be cheap, but it’s so soft and I love knitting with it. The only complaint I’ve really got is that it tends to pill. I think it may be because it’s pretty loosely plied, but it’s not a huge problem.

I’m off to knit now, and do more laundry. I’ve been going nuts washing up everything in the house and getting it organized. It’s amazing how I’m always complaining about not having any clothes, yet when I go nuts and do all the laundry and put it away instead of throwing it on the bathroom counter, I’ve got a decent amount of clothes! Funny how that works.

I realized this morning that I hadn’t posted anything in almost a week!

The craft room is still clean!  Success!  I’m really hoping that with all the junk I threw away and how I organized it, the room will stay cleaner than before.  I even threw away about 30% of my stash when I cleaned!  I’d decided to get rid of a lot of partial balls of yarn and a lot of the acrylic.  I’d originally planned on donating it somewhere, but truthfully I couldn’t allow myself to because there was Gutter, Moxie and Cordova hair strewn through it and I smoke.  Most knitters and crocheters I know don’t smoke or if they do, they keep it away from their stash.  I smoke in the house and I’d hate to foist stinky yarn off on some unsuspecting crafter.  Anyways, the room’s still clean, but the dust is already threatening to take over again.  One of the trials of living in the desert.

Paul took a couple of vacation days this week so he could recharge his batteries.  Today is his first day back to work for the week and I can finally get back on schedule!  I loved having him home, but things tend to get screwy when he’s here on vacation.  I don’t clean, I cook things that are bad for us…mayhem people!  Truth is, I already miss him a little because him being home was fun *wink wink*, but I’m kinda glad to be sitting here planning the rest of the day like normal.

I’ve been knitting away at the Central Park Hoodie.  I’m finished with the back and I’m currently working on the ribbing for the left front.  The back seemed to take a long time, but I think that’s (in part anyway) due to putting it down for almost a week to work on the craft room.  I checked and my gauge is pretty much on, just a tad larger than necessary.  I’m cool with that though…I personally like things to be a little larger than too snug!

So; nothing too interesting going on.  I’m mainly just happy to have some things done that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now.  Not much new on the crafting front.  Oh!  But I did pick up some new yarn on Friday and some beads on Saturday.  I’ll get pictures of the beads tomorrow.  The yarn is nothing special, just some Caron Simply Soft in Deep Plum.  It’s the same color I did Hammie’s Hedgerow coat out of.  I loved it when I first bought it and want a sweater out of it too.

I think I’m trying to put off getting off my butt and getting stuff done. I promised myself…just one more cigarette. Then it was, until I finish this cup of coffee. Now it’s; after I post because I PROMISED I’d post! I crack myself up sometimes 😀

cph back

I didn’t get the back finished like I’d hoped, but I’m closer. I took a break on throwing shit around cleaning to watch a couple of movies with Paul last night and managed to start the arm decreases. It’s been easy going so far, but sweater backs usually are. We watched One Missed Call and it was good (with a nice twist at the end) but it made me really want to see the original Japanese version. They’re so much scarier than the American versions. Then we watched In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and it was mediocre. Jason Statham was hot hot hot as usual, but I thought that with a cast of Ray Liotta, Matthew Lillard, Ron Perlman, John Rhys-Davies and Leelee Sobieski it would be really good….shoulda known that Burt Reynolds would ruin it. LOL, kidding, kidding. He wasn’t the only bad bean, but meh…if you’re watching strictly for entertainment and you’re not paying too close attention to the poor script it was okay.

Anyway! Paul and I played with the idea of making something Yoshi related for his Mom for Mother’s day. She loves Yoshi (from Mario fame if you don’t know who he is) and she loved the star mobile that Paul made me for Christmas a few years back. I took his idea of Yoshi cut-outs and morphed it into the mobile idea. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the money to get the supplies soon enough and when we did get them, we didn’t have enough time to finish before Sunday. So, it’ll be a just because gift or a birthday gift. This is what we’ve got so far:

yoshi mobile start

The stars will be the base of the mobile and there will be 12 Yoshis total, with a baby Mario in the center. As you can see, I’ve got two done so it’ll be awhile before it’s finished.

As for what else I’ve been doing? When we moved the living room and bedroom around night before last, we threw things all over the place. My craft room was a disaster area before, but now? It looks like something Squalor Survivors would post on their site.

craft room junk

It’s even falling out in to the hallway. I’m working overtime trying to get it at least somewhat presentable and it’s not going to be easy. I’m moving my sewing stuff, painting stuff and probably my paper craft stuff in to the old bedroom. I’ve already started:

old computer

I’ve put my ancient computer in there and I’m in the process of cleaning it up so I can play Sims and Sims 2 on it. There seems to be a problem with the cd drive though, so I don’t know if that’ll be possible. If not, I’ll start using it to categorize my craft stuff. The computer took up the tops of two of my file cabinets in my craft room.

sewing table

I set up my sewing table in there and I’m going to use the space under the table to store totes of fabric and other sewing related stuff.

paint shelf

I made little shelves to store my paint bottles out of the old dowels from the closet. When I pulled the closet out last year I kept the dowels…good thing…they’re perfect size for my paint and now I can see what I’ve got without rifling through a box!

makeshift bookcase

I made a makeshift bookcase out of milk crates to store some of our books. We don’t have nearly enough book shelves to house all of our books and this works as well. I just put some small dowels through the sides of the milk crates after I stacked them and voila!

shelf

I took the shelf from the living room that was housing all of our music collectibles and other junk and put it above the tv in the new catch all room. Now when I’m in there sewing or what have you I can watch tv or a movie. I’ve already got a disc of Keeping Up Appearances in the dvd player.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Busy work. I’m hoping to get some semblance of order back to my craft room soon because I hate seeing it look like that. If I can just keep making a dent in it every day maybe it won’t take too long to finish.

Most of the time I tend not to knit the super popular sweater patterns that make their way in to the online knitting communities.  They either don’t go high enough in size to fit my more than ample body or I don’t find them attractive.  Shawls, hats and whatnot are usually fair game, but even with those I don’t always follow the crowd.  Clapotis?  Started several, never finished a single one.  Monkey?  Love socks and Cookie’s patterns, but I suffer from second sock syndrome (not finishing the pair for the uninitiated).  I’ve made a couple pairs of Fetching and an over large Calorimetry.

But sweaters for myself are usually not on my plate.  I’m an odd knitter.  If I leave a project sitting too long I will never pick it up and finish it.  Too long could be a week, or several years.  Some of you might remember when I was making Mr. Greenjeans.  I made it to just under the arms and then it sat.  For weeks.  I kept thinking I would go ahead and just finish it, but I kept thinking “Should I put the cables in or not?” and “Will I really ever wear this as I’ve knit it?”  I was in love with the pattern but not with the modifications I’d made.

I’d heard a lot about the Central Park Hoodie.  I think pretty much anyone who is involved with online knitting communities has heard about it at some point, at least in passing.  I’d not given it much thought because the pattern didn’t go up to my size, and my math skills are lacking when it comes to re-sizing garments.  But when I heard that they’d republished the pattern to include sizes up to a 60 inch bust I decided to take a better look at it.  I love this hoodie.  As I’ve already mentioned a million times, I love cables, and to me, this sweater screams “Hey!  Wear me on the weekends while you bum around town and get coffee and shop!”

And so, my frugal (some say cheap) self bought my very first singular pattern last week.  Most of the time I knit from free patterns online or from patterns in books or magazines I’ve bought.  I’m wondering if I’ll be more compelled to finish this pattern since I paid for it?  I’m hoping so because I really love this sweater and even though I won’t be able to wear it with the weather heating up, I’d love to finish one and love it so much that I make another before it’s cool enough to wear them.  The even cooler thing is that there are so many varying sizes that I could make one for practically every woman (and a couple of men) that I know.

Right now I’m just passing the time until all the utility companies open so I can pay bills. I’d much rather stay home and work on this than spend money on “trivial” things like electric and water 😛

knit bead shawl

I’m basing the shawl off the Sunday Market Shawl by Vanessa Carter, but I’ve changed it a bit.  Instead of casting on 30 stitches, I did 60 because I like wider stoles that cover more of my back.  I’m also adding beads randomly through it.  I hope it turns out well…I’ve used beads in knit projects before, but not of varying sizes and since you drop every third stitch to create a decorative ladder I hope that the beads don’t cause issues with dropping them when it comes time.  I think it’ll be fine though!

I’m using a super super soft merino from one of the recycled sweaters.  I’m holding it double since it’s kind of between a fingering and sport weight.  This is such a nice, mindless knit after the Hemlock Ring.  There wasn’t a whole lot of thought involved with that after the center, but it felt like the feather and fan went on forever.  This is just plain old stockinette until right before binding off.  I can read or watch tv while working on it without worrying if I’m screwing up a pattern.  Every couple rows I’ll spread the shawl out and decide where to add a bead by marking it with a safety pin.  Simple!

I didn’t sleep much last night so I’m sure by the time I get finished with my running around today I’ll be exhausted.  Gutter woke me up at 4:00 this morning to let me know that I’m a bad Mommy for not getting up and giving him food.  Then Moxie decided she needed cuddles and threw herself over my hips, pushing Cordova even farther under my ribcage and making Paul wake up with a start saying “HUH?!” LOL, crazy.  So, because my husband and fur children are snots, I’m treating myself to a hazelnut caramel iced latte at Sonic.  So there! 😉

Hope the weekend will be good for everyone…do something fun!

My update was thwarted yesterday by a visit from an old friend. I hadn’t seen her for several months so by the time she left it was almost time for Paul to get home and I didn’t have the chance to finish what I’d started. Unfortunately, I woke up feeling all sorts of off kilter and paired with my laziness my pictures suck.

But, I managed to get all my gifts (or at least the ones I can remember off the top of my head!) into a picture. I wasn’t sure about posting 50 pictures so I crammed everything in to one shot.

birthday gifts

I’ll start with one of my favorites. In the front, on the left is the bento that Hammie got for me. It’s really roomy and so I could use it to hold a few lunches or one big picnic lunch for a couple/few people. The penguin and Spiderman dog are mp3 player toys. I’ve wanted one for awhile because they’re so cute and Paul got me the Spi-dog. He liked it so much that we went and got the penguin to match so we both have one. (I took the penguin!) Let’s see….the purse is from my in-laws, the Nightmare on Elm Street figures are from Paul (One of my favorite horror movie series!) Behind the figures is a new food processor from my mom, Paul got me the pink tool kit (Cute, huh?!) The electric pot is from my mom, and the ds games and movies are from Paul. That’s a lot of stuff…jeez! The movie is Juno, with an cd of extra songs that didn’t make it on the soundtrack and Paul also got me season 4 of Nip/Tuck and the first season of Hell’s Kitchen.

Paul had to work for a while on Saturday morning. He had to be at work at 5 am, but he was home by 7:30. We got dressed and went to the swap meet and walked the entire thing. It’s bigger since I was there last. That’s where we found the ds games…for a steal! We got all four of the games for $15. Afterwards we went to my parents house and after visiting for awhile we went out to lunch. We’d originally planned to just go over for cake and coffee, but my mom was super butt-hurt over not getting to spend time with me on “her” day, so we went to lunch with them. After lunch we went to my In-laws house and opened gifts there. My mother in law wasn’t feeling well so I feel kind of bad that we stayed so long she had to go back to bed, but I got a nice surprise while I was there. Hammie, in her stealth mode, called my mother in law and asked for her address so she could hunt me down. The funny thing is that as soon as my mother in law got on the phone with her I knew it was her! But, Carmen was cute about it and said that she had a friend she wanted me to meet lol. When we finally left Carmen’s house, Paul, Hammie and I went back to our place and played Guitar Hero 3 for awhile. After Hammie left, Paul and I just kinda hung around and then later in the evening we did some shopping and came home to fall in to bed exhausted.

It was a really nice birthday overall and the best part is that I got to spend most of it with people I love.

Last night, after Paul went to bed and all was quiet, I was able to finish binding off on the Hemlock Ring. It took me about four hours or so to bind this sucker off. Look at what a nice little mess it is right now:

before block

Looks great, doesn’t it? lol!  It looks so shriveled up and kinda jellyfish like, but it’ll look much better once I block it.  I need to clear off my table in order to block it, or I may wind up doing it on my bed since it’s going to be fairly large.  I also need to go on the hunt for lots and lots of pins because this sucker’s going to need them!  I can’t wait to see what it looks like all sorted out though, it should be nice.

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