Friday, February 29, 2008

Return of the Queen

I'm back from Savannah (again). I have some cool stuff to tell you about, pictures to post, and a big announcement to make. However, I'm EXHAUSTED. I mean, seriously tired. I drove 600 miles in the past 2 days. I think I should get an award for that. And tomorrow I'll be spending all day in Athens with various members of the fam. I probably won't get a chance to post again until Sunday afternoon so I will leave this one with a cliff hanging promise that Sunday's post should be enjoyable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Even When It's Bad, It's Still Pretty Good

All day today I have been pondering the problem with the baby booties that I started last week. As I posted yesterday, the one that I had started was destined for the frog pond. But something kept me from doing that last night. I don't know what it was. The more I thought about them though, the more I thought, "I can conquer these." I've frogged things before but for some reason I wanted these booties to work. Maybe because they are baby things and they're little and I should be able to handle little sock things, right? Or maybe because the instructions were vague (to me anyways) but everyone else seems to get nice results. What was I doing wrong? So, being the stubborn one that I am, I ripped back to the ribbing and tried again. And this was the result:
Notice anything weird? Like how the sole smooshes out sideways, like I seamed it in the wrong direction? Well, I was just following the instructions.
The foot from the top looks like it could almost work but the bottom turned out terrible. I thought I just Kitchener stitched it the wrong way but then I realized the decreases had to be in the wrong place. I have no idea how they got this way. I'm terribly frustrated with the instructions though. I'm a very literal thinker. If you say, "Turn left in front of the school," there had better be a road in front of the school, not off to one side or slightly ahead or behind. Maybe I'm just a moron and haven't figured out how to read a pattern yet. I can't bring myself to kill this masterpiece yet. When I do it will probably be ripped back to the ribbing and turned into a sock or something.

Thankfully the Presto Chango baby sweater is coming along well.

I didn't work on it tonight but I got a lot done yesterday after a minor setback involving a knot in the middle of the thread and an extra stitch. All fixed though and looking adorable.

I must say though that as much grief as knitting can give me, as bad as the baby bootie turned out, and peeved as I am at the instructions, I'm still really happy I tried. I didn't hate the process. In fact I loved it. I hated the result but not the actual knitting. I heard a saying once that sex was like pizza, even when it's bad it's still pretty good. I guess knitting is the same way.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hoopla and Knitting

What causes this much hoopla and presentation...

Fireworks and...
an elaborate lights show.

Why, University of Georgia gymnastics.

Mom, my aunt, and I went to Athens yesterday to watch the meet and have dinner with my bro and his girlfriend. This is a little of what we saw.
Are people's bodies supposed to bend like that?

I used to be able to do this actually. I was a gymnast for 6 years.
Look at how high she is!

There was also some knitting. These are some booties that I had started in hopes of having them finished for a baby shower on Saturday morning. As you can see, that didn't happen.
In fact, I don't really like these booties. I don't like the little ridges on the insole. And I'm still not 100% sure that all the instructions are correct. If they are, they are rather vague to me. When I divided up the stitches like it said to, half the stitches were purled and half were knitted which was not going to work out.
I'm going to frog them. The yarn was scratchy and sticky. Boo :( But from the looks of things at the shower little Elijah will be just fine without them. The Presto Chango baby sweater is coming along much better. And I really like this yarn. It's so soft to work with.
I need to update my Ravelry page and also figure out how to make my bloglines account work. Hopefully I can get everything running smoothly in the next couple of days.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Busy as a Bee

This week has been crazy. A week of highs and lows and running around and so much more. I'm a little sad I haven't been able to put in more knitting time though. I was so hopeful that I would have a pair of booties for my friend's baby shower this weekend. Wishful thinking...
Baby bootie number one...4 rows done...
On a normal week I think I could have done it. I'm not super woman or anything but I'm a pretty good knitter and 2 baby booties should not have given me such fits. As it was though, my co-teacher has been out since Wednesday so I've been more than a little busy teaching. When I get home the time I had planned to spend on baby booties was spent knitting one bootie, deciding I didn't like it, ripping it out, and going to bed. Then on Thursday I went to see some of my former students at the high school. I did manage to knit these before then.

Yep, hand knit rings. For a student. Who wasn't there! That was 30 minutes I could have been working on the baby booties. Oh well.

Today, Penelope was trying to ruin any picture taking moments by demanding my attention. Example 1:

Trying to eat a bag in which knitting is normally contained. Example 2:
Practically standing on knitting while picture is being taken with big fluffy butt in the way. Such a diva.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Look At What I Got!

This is the cache that has been coming my way for the past 2 days:
I got the Romanian book and the Yarn Harlot's book yesterday. The Kid's Knits one came today (no thanks to my mailman who jammed it into my tiny mailbox sideways! Hello! What were you thinking?!?!). I'm very excited about all of these. I've already started looking at the learning Romanian book. I can already say a few things. Also, I can't wait to read the Yarn Harlot's latest. The last one I read (Knitting Rules) was awesome. The last one I am especially excited about though. I'm very much about versatility and this book is perfect for it. It includes all these generic patterns and embellishments that can be combined to make a million different knitted objects. I can't wait to try some but tonight is for knitting baby booties. A family friend is having a baby shower on Saturday and I think I can crank some out before then. But first, as promised, these are the pictures that wouldn't post from last night...

The beautiful orange rose:
Penelope taking up the whole couch.
Wait, here's a better view.
The Presto Chango baby sweater.
Close up.
Even closer. Cute pattern and beautiful yarn.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Please Don't Be Upset

I've been trying for about 20 minutes to post some pictures for this blog. However, my broadband connection is not happy about having to anything tonight. I had a picture of my cat taking up the whole sofa so that I have to sit on the edge. I had a picture of a beautiful orange rose that decided to bloom at the very last minute before I had to trash the rest (from Valentine's Day, and they were dying, I wasn't being mean and just chunking them). And I had a picture of the Presto Chango baby sweater that I started working on last night. I'm using my Jaeger Roma yarn in Leaf from Webs. I love working with this yarn. It feels so good as I knit. And the pattern for Presto Chango is cute. I've had some trouble getting it started right. I don't think I was firing on all cylinders last night so I had to frog the thing 3 times because I couldn't correctly execute seed stitch. Then I picked up some stitches in the wrong way. Then I left some huge holes from where I picked up stitches. But it looks good now. Too bad you'll have to wait until tomorrow when my internets want to work again :(

Sunday, February 17, 2008

FO's Abound!

I finished up on a lot of stuff between last night and tonight. First off, the 4th baby hat. I tried to get Penelope to model the hat...
But she didn't want to wear it on her head. How about here?
And....ta da! Yellow socks!
So cool...oh wait...what's that?
Oops, different decreases on both socks. On the left sock I did the gusset decreases on ever row and on the right I did them every other row (as suggested in the Yarn Harlot's recipe). I like the decreases on the left sock and in the future if/when I make these socks again I would probably do the decreases that way.
I still love these socks. I kept them on until my feet started to sweat because it was 80 degrees in my apartment.
So, there was celebrating...
Once I finished those I immediately cast on for an ear flap hat from the book Knitting in No Time. I finished it tonight.

Side view:
Side view 2:
I like this hat very much. I was afraid that I would run out of yarn so I did a crochet bind off (a la the Yarn Harlot) instead of a regular bind off. In the future I would do a regular knit bind off. There was plenty of yarn left over. Also, the ear flaps come down past my ears. But it looks pretty cool none the less. I really like the colors and the hat is really warm. Penelope came to check out the action. However, she didn't really seem to care too much. Maybe I should have let her try and wear it...

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Valentine's Day came and went. In typical Melissa fashion I realized, as I was walking into work on Thursday, that this was what I was wearing:
All black. On the perkiest, lovingest day of the year. Is there some subliminal message included there? Penelope didn't care either way. She didn't get chocolates or flowers. Sorry kitty.
I have been able to get a few things to the almost finished point. But that's the good and bad part. 3 projects are almost finished but still need to be seamed or embellished.

Baby Hat #3.
Pattern: My standard baby hat pattern
Needles: US size 10
Yarn: Bernat Krysta in an off white-ish color (don't bother looking for this yarn, I'm not sure it exists any more)
All this bad boy is missing is some seaming.

Second yellow sock
Pattern: Yarn Harlot's simple sock recipe
Needles: US size 6 DPNs
Yarn: Caron One Pound in Sunflower
Still need to make it to the toe. Almost there so long as the needles didn't fall out as I was putting this back in the knitting bag of doom. And that is a big if.
T-Strap Baby Booties
Pattern: T-Strap Baby Booties
Needles: US size 9
Yarn: Bernat Chunky in Nature's Way
Needs seaming and some buttons. I was thinking maybe some antique looking silver ones would be cool.
My hopes for tonight are first and foremost to get a gift for a one-year old's birthday I'll be attending a party for tomorrow (I know, if I was a real knitter I would have made him some sleep pants or something. So sue me). Then I plan on getting some dinner, coming home, watching American Beauty, and finishing at least 2 of these WIPs.

P.S. You can follow me and my other great knitterly plans on Ravelry. Check me out!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Procrastinators of the World Unite...Tomorrow

Today was early release at school (where I work). To meant to take my huge knitting bag with me so I could knit for 2 hours without worrying that the President might call and declare my apartment a disaster zone (it might need a little cleaning). However, I was rushing out the door because I was late (go figure) and I left the bag sitting neatly next to the door. Always prepared though, I picked up some yarn from my knitting class stash and worked on a 4th baby hat that I had cast on earlier this week.
Plain stockinette stitch baby hat with a 1" K2P2 ribbing at the bottom. US size 10 needles and some old skool yarn, I mean, seriously old. So old that I can't even tell you what it's called because the ball band is at work and I can't even find something remotely close on the internets (I think it was Krystal by Bernat or something along those lines). And dudes, this yarn is funky.
It's all fuzzy and I don't even think it's plied. It's just like someone pulled long lengths of fleece and then kind of bunched it into a skein. Weird.
And it is sooooooo split-y. Every time I go to pick up a stitch I have to be careful or I'll take half a loop with me and then make it look all wonky. It's turning out to be an ok hat. I ripped back to the ribbing twice because I was trying to use some cute stitches but they just weren't working for me (I think it was knitter error). I finally gave in and began some mindless stockinette. I wish I could do some cool snowflake pattern because that's what this yarn reminds me of. But I'm not that motivated to figure it out nor to write a pattern for it.

Tonight I braved the 30 degree (Fahrenheit) temps to do my Valentine's shopping (do not even lecture me on waiting until the last minute, that's just how I roll). After coming home I decided that tonight was for sock knitting.
I'm wearing one sock to motivate myself to finish the other one so I can have 2 warm feet tonight instead of just one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I Think in Blog

Today hasn't been too eventful. After work (and a little nap), I went to dinner with my parents and got an early Valentine's Day present.
I came home and dug around in my knitting bag to find something to work on that wasn't too challenging. Behold the Knitting Bag of Doom. Enter if you dare!
I found the second yellow sock and have been working on it for a little while. I'll be happy if I can make it to the heel tonight.Then I remembered I hadn't shown off this hat that I finished over the weekend.
It's just a simple baby hat. I used a new stitch though. It's called the trinity stitch and it makes these cool little bobbles all over the hat. I used some Rainbow Classic yarn in the purple colorway (berry) and some US size 10 needles. I cast on 44 stitches and did 2 inches of K2P2 ribbing and then did the trinity stitch until the whole thing measured 7 inches from the cast on edge. Then I threaded some yarn through the top, pulled tight, and topped it off with a pom pom.
This is a (poor) close up of the stitch. Take my word for it. It looks cool.
I must say I'm exercising restraint by not casting on for this hat.

I have the yarn suggested in the book and the needles and I really think the pattern is cute. But, alas, I've told myself that I will wait until I have finished one of my other projects first:
1. Second yellow sock
2. Second T-Strap Baby Bootie
3. Back of pink sweater
4. 4th baby hat
5. Ripple scarf