seaming victory (!)

¬†Yesterday was a big day for me — I seamed the kimono baby sweater, and it looks respectable! Let me back up. My internet fiasco (not entirely solved, but I can access the internet from an old laptop here at my casita) led me to a nearby cafe. As I made my way to a table, cup of soup in hand, ready to catch up on the internet and download some work files, I noticed that many of the ladies at the next table were holding yarny things — and they looked friendly! I introduced myself and told them I would join next week, but after 10 minutes of work, I packed up the laptop and pulled the tiger sock out of my bag. I had such a lovely time with them, and I look forward to making this tiny knitting circle at my favorite coffee shop a regular part of my routine.

Anyway, one of the women mentioned that the kimono was her first sweater seaming project, and she encouraged me to go for it. Here are the results:

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Also, I began this sweater when the sex of the baby was unknown. Then I learned it would be a boy. This week, I heard that my friends got a second opinion, and it is a girl! That meant that I could use ribbons instead of a more manly button.

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Boh is sharing in my joy. With the kimono finished, I am feeling great about my ability to finish things! I completed the pair of Dashing for my brother, and somehow I cast on and bound off a luxe neckwarmer (from Knit 2 Together) today. It is made of Patagonia cotton in a blue semi-solid (first picture captures the color best) and it is for my mom — she can’t wear wool.

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This was quick and fun to make. I used a size 11 circular instead of the recommended 10s because I only have dpns in 10s. This made it a bit slouchier, which I think my mom will like.

I just realized that I haven’t yet shared my holiday list — it is ever evolving, but here is what I have in mind right now:

Brother — Dashing (done)

Best Friend — Purl Scarf (done)

Mom — Luxe Neckwarmer (done), something for kitchen?

I’m trying to keep some simple hats on the needles, as I’d like to bring a few extra home for cousins, etc. and I’ve thought about making one for my boss, but if that doesn’t happen, I won’t be heartbroken.

My list is surprisingly realistic — how did that happen?

Also, I started another “My so called scarf” in Malabrigo — on 10s because I have them in metal, and this pattern needs all the slipperyness and sharp points it can get. I can’t tell if the fabric is too tight yet — not enough to go on, but I hope swapping 10s for 11s doesn’t compromise the drape. Pictures of that soon.

I have a few more days off before I am back to work and work-related travel, and I’m planning even more knitting progress. What have you been working on this holiday weekend?

woodstoves and knitting

This is one of the best ways to describe my Thanksgiving.

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Though I wasn’t with my “real” family, I was most certainly among folks quite dear to me. It was a day of turkey, pie, scrabble, an impromptu piano/guitar/stand-up bass band, red wine, charades, wood stoves, mountain air, the first high desert snowfall of the season, and scrambled eggs with turkey and green chile for breakfast. Life is good. The place I traveled to is always hard to leave. Here are a few pictures from my drive home.

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Every time I make this drive, I daydream about owning my own little piece of this place. I play the “what if” game — “what if that was my driveway?” Sigh.

Keep your fingers crossed that my new modem arrives tomorrow — and that it works!

happy turkey day!

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday, and though I will not be heading East to spend it with my family, this year will be no exception. I am heading to a magical place (in fact, the place pictured in my blog header). There, we have ice cream in our coffee at breakfast, sit by the wood-burning stove and enjoy the company of folks willing to make the trek. Boh and I will hit the road tomorrow morning, windows down, enjoying mountain air and anticipating the smell (and for me, the taste) of the persimmon pie on the other end of the drive.

Still no modem — perhaps in Friday’s mail? Here’s what I’ve been doing…

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The color is, predictably, in between these two representations. Also, I finished Dashing!

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swap.

No, not the fun kind. I’m talking about a modem swap. More time on the phone with my ISP this weekend. The good news: swapping modems is free, whereas the initial solution would run me about 300 bucks. The bad news: the modem won’t arrive until the end of the week. You know the drill: all nonessential email will remain unanswered until I can surf the web in my PJs from the privacy of my home.

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More good news: an FO to share. I finished the blue purl scarf. I wrapped it around myself in celebration, and I must say, the idea of keeping it did scamper through my innermost thoughts. Luckily, it kept on scampering, as this scarf is intended for my very best friend. I’ll see her in a few weeks, and the weather on the East Coast should make this scarf wearable immediately. I’ll be bringing mine as well, just in case the temptation to wrap myself in one of these wonderfully long scarves becomes unshakable on my flights East.

Here are a few blurry shots of me modeling the scarf. (Dog is still working on “stay”. He can’t take pictures yet.)

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A few more, to tide you over during my internet blackout:

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Also…I found myself without a mindless knitting project today, so I cast on for another garter brim hat from LMKG. I wear the pom-pommed version I made for myself all the time. Not sure if this will be a gift or if it will jump into my knitted accessory rotation.

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Also, Cosy over at Cosy Makes nominated me for a You Make Me Smile award here — yay! Thanks, Cosy! I cannot hide my blog-norance (blog+ignorance?) — I don’t know how to add a button to a blog entry. Help, please.

stupid. internet. arrgh.

I just spent an hour on the phone with a mostly useless tech support person from my internet company — No solution in sight. Somehow my modem stopped working between 6 and 7 pm MST this evening, and nobody can tell me why. Apparently, I need to arrange for a service visit ($95) and potentially, a new modem ($186) — it’s a satellite modem. Owch. Excuse me while I go pout — posting will be light to nonexistent while I solve this little (ahem) problem.

“I would like to reach out my hand…”

“Send Me On My Way” by Rusted Root is in my head this morning. Why, you ask? Well, serious progress has been made. To be honest, I worked on Rusted Root while traveling to and from the East Coast for a family wedding in September. The hours flew by, and when I returned, my Rusted Root looked like an actually sweater. Then, it languished. I got it out to take pictures for the blog, and looked at it a lot when contemplating what to work on, but ultimately, decided that I didn’t have the patience at the end of the day to keep track of the lace pattern.

Enter the first work-related trip of the year — to Indianapolis and back. Determined to force myself to work on Rusted Root, I packed it and the lone Tiger Sock I have been working on.

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I’ve finished the shaping, and now I just need to work the lace repeat until it is long enough, pick up stitches to finish the neckline and sleeves, and I will be done. This pattern is a lot of fun to knit — a great mixture of plain stockinette and a beautiful leaf pattern that appears as I work; great for airplanes and airports.

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I did have a MacGyver moment on the way there: I didn’t bring a yarn needle for weaving in ends, etc. because I didn’t think I would get far enough to need one. I forgot about¬† needing to put the sleeves on scrap yarn. I packed light — not even a crochet hook in my plastic bag. I had a too-small stitch holder and my sock project, and that was it. I got out a size 0 needle (from the sock) and decided that I could use it to simulate a crochet hook and loop the scrap yarn through the live stitches in the same way that I would use a needle to pick up and fix dropped stitches. I wish I had taken pictures, as I was seriously proud of myself at the end of the process, but I figured that would be too wierd to attempt on a crowded airplane…

Soon, I will put all the stitches on scrap yarn and try on my Rusted Root. I am already excited to wear this.

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By the way, Indianapolis was beautiful -rainy and full of brightly colored leaves, both on the trees and covering the narrow neighborhood roads I was driving. More soon — the Purl Scarf is coming along nicely.

new scarf in progress

I have been wearing my new legwarmers non-stop. They are so cozy and warm, and thin enough that they can either be concealed under jeans or used to display my love of the 80s. Now that they are finished, I am out of knitting sans counting — I need something for after a long day of work or for before my coffee has taken effect in the morning. Enter Purl Scarf #2, intended for a friend I will see later this month, stage right.

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I started this last night while watching an episode of Heroes (via Netflix), and I already have about a foot completed. The jury is still out on Heroes — I am a bit lost now that I’ve finished all twenty billion episodes of Twin Peaks Season 2 (and caught up on Stash and Burn).

Details: Manos del Uruguay in a dark blue (color A?), Madil Kid Seta in an electric blue (no tags) and Knit One Crochet Too Douceur et Soie in Color 8645. I think. I’m using size 13s instead of 15s and I cast on 20 st instead of 16, just like the one I made for myself.

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Also, in green Debbie Bliss Bolero Jacket news, I have finished the back and the right and left fronts. On to the sleeves. I like how quickly this is knitting up, but my progress also means that soon I will have to learn how to seam…

legwarmers and sugarplums

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When I was a little girl, I took ballet lessons. I dreamed of Balanchine, of Coppelia, of tulle and tutus. I practiced A LOT. I danced en pointe; my toes bled; my body ached. I pulled on these legwarmers last night around midnight, having just woven in the ends, and felt the urge to “gran ron-de-jaum”, to “jete”, “gran pas-de-sha”; to waltz through the kitchen the way I used to do just before dinner time, forks and knives in my hands. (It was far more fun to set the table while waltzing.)

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(Apologies for the dark, grainy picture. The urge to plie struck late last night. This was taken in the mirror.) These legwarmers are looooong. 26″ in length! I thought about binding off many times, but I am glad that I persevered: these are long enough to be scrunched and still reach up to my knees. They are incredibly soft, have a nice depth to the color, and are very warm. The nights are getting colder here, and I decided to wear them to bed last night. I woke up with the sun, about ten minutes before my alarm, with a cold nose and toasty calves.

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newsflash: yarn pile is becoming a mountain.

I promised that I would show you my recent yarn purchases, so here it goes. This makes me feel like a “real” knitter, as this is the first time I’ve ordered bags of yarn. (Danger! Photos and super pretty yarn ahead.)

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First up, a spontaneous yarn purchase. I have yet to make my first Clapotis, and I decided not to buy the Lion and Lamb because I could not rationalize the cost. And then…an angel posted this yarn on Destash. I got a very nice deal on it, and this colorway, Black Purl, is exactly what I would have purchased for myself. I am excited about this, but I think it will have to wait until after all of my holiday knitting.

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Malabrigo.

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And more Malabrigo. I think both sets of skeins are destined to become My So Called Scarf — one for me, one for a dear dear friend.

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Berocco Peruvia. What could this be for? Is it tilted? I think so.

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A massive skein of Eco-wool, intended to be the main color of multiple mittens.

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This purchase is Ravelry’s fault. I have 3 skeins of a turquoisey shade of Nature Wool, and was looking to find uses for it. I found too many, and decided that since I’d like to make multiple gifts a la Calorimetry with it, I would need more in order to make Fad-Classic.

And then… (Seriously, I didn’t intend to do this all at once, but the WEBS sale is truly excellent.)

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Cashmere. This was not on my list, but at the sale price, it seemed silly not to get some. I’ve never knit with cashmere, and I’m hoping that 2 hanks of this will be enough for the feather and fan neckwarmer in Knit2Together. (Also holiday gifts.)

Last, but not least:

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A whole bag of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, which I am using for the Debbie Bliss Bolero Jacket, for those of you joining me for the first time. My current winding method involves two chairs, back to back, one with my big down jacket on the back of it. I was too lazy to move it at first, and now I realize that it actually stops the skein from sliding down the chair back. (Many of these yarns were photographed on my chairs: part of a 1960s yellow and chrome kitchen table set that I scored on craigslist when I moved to my current location. It makes me happy.)

Notes on my holiday knitting to come. Also, I am participating in my first ever swap, over at the Fall Fingerless Mitts KAL. I am very excited — but right now, I am also very sleepy. The whole “falling back” part of daylight savings has me exhausted.

weekend update

On Friday, my box of yarn from WEBS arrived. Full disclosure will come, all in good time. I am sleepy, even though my clock says it is not yet 10 PM, this rooster’s body says it is 11. A few pictures of the weekend, then.

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Yesterday, I was here. The leaves have fallen from the cottonwoods, but the air was crisp, and, though I love the place when it is bustling with activity, I value the chances I have to see it when it is still.

When I returned, I decided to honor the swatch gods, and comply.

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Notice that I did not one, but two swatches: one on size 10.5s and one on 11s. The yarn is Araucania Nature Wool Chunky, in color olive — it is a bit brighter than I was expecting, but I’ve decided that it is perfect for me because I tend to wear muted solids, and this will brighten up my jeans and a button down or a long sleeve tee considerably. The gauge for the pattern (which, of course, calls for Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky) is 14 st/20 rows over 4 inches. My first swatch, with the recommended needles, was 8 st/10 rows over 2 inches. I decided to see what would happen if I went up a needle size, to 11s: 7 st/9 rows over 2 inches. Both close, neither perfect. I decided to wash the swatches and leave them overnight: after a dunk in the sink, the swatch knit on smaller needles was 7.5 st/10 rows, whereas the larger needle swatch was in between 6 and 6.5 st. The yarn became considerably softer after washing, and I liked the drape of the smaller needle swatch better. Also, the sizing is S, M, L, with the M being 36-38. I am a 38, and debated making the next size up, so that 1 st over 4 inches may give me an extra inch of ease in the sweater, which should end up to be ideal.

Anyway, today, instead of doing the things on my list, I made a large recipe of pie crust, and baked a kitchen sink kind of pie, with all the fruit leftover from my CSA box: 2 big green pears, a pluot and a bright, shiny apple. The pie is delicious (eating while I type), and is a wonderful dessert to the roasted beets I ate for dinner. The 4 remaining pie crusts are in the freezer for next time.

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I also managed to turn those swatches into this:

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I can’t believe how quickly this is coming along. I am very excited about this sweater, and I am working up the courage to seam that baby kimono I’ve been working on forever. I promise. I’ve told myself I need to seam that, as practice for finishing this one. Also, remind me: I need some longer circulars for picking up the ribbing on this sweater, when I get there.

Yawn! Time for bed. It was wonderful to wake to the sunrise at 6:10 this morning: a welcome change from waking to the alarm in the dark. The only bad part about “falling back” is that the sun will soon be setting before I even leave the office. I do love the cold; I just wish we could keep the sunshine.