Friday, June 20, 2008

What does a 32 lb. backpack look like?

Well, kind of like this (cat included for scale):
Yeah, it's pretty beastly. Luckily I'll be leaving some of the bigger, heavier items in Moldova. You would not believe how much room a soccer ball takes up (and yes, I had to bring one).

Earlier today I was fretting about how I was going to transport my brand new bamboo knitting needles without breaking them. I had originally just thrown them in the front of my carry on backpack but I began thinking about how my dad handles luggage and I wanted something a little more sturdy. Then my good friend AG shows up with a "survival kit."

Perfect for the new needles (and look at all the goodies he included!).

I'm officially packed and ready to go (except for some toothpaste I have to throw in tomorrow morning). I've been getting a little more nervous as the day goes on though. Tonight I'm going to try and watch a little TV and relax. Oh, and vacuum. My mom would kill me if I didn't vacuum. This is my last post until I get back so everyone have an enjoyable 2 weeks and keep knitting!

If you are looking for the Warm Woolies Sweater in the Round pattern you can link to it in the side bar or just scroll down one post.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For My Ravelry Friends

Warm Woolies Sweater In the Round
(smallest size, suitable for an infant)

Size 10 ½ needles, bulky or double worsted yarn (about 2 skiens)

1. Cast on 63 stitches and join.

2. Work 1 ½ inches in edging of your choice (garter, ribbed, seed, etc.).

3. Increase 7 stitches in next row by knitting into front and back of each 9th stitch, ending with 70 stitches.

4. Work in stockinet stitch (knitting every round) until piece measures 7 inches from cast on edge.

5. Work underarm/armhole as follows:
a. Next round: knit 21, purl 14, knit 21, purl 14.
b. Next round: knit all stitches.
c. Next round: knit 21, purl 14, knit 21, purl 14.
d. Next round: knit 24 stitches, slip 8 stitches onto stitch holder, knit 27 stitches, slip 8 stitches onto slip holder, knit remaining 3 stitches.

6. Your two armholes separate the front and back. The front and back should each have 27 stitches (3 stitches in garter, followed by 21 in stockinet, followed by 3 in garter).

7. Work the back as follows:
a. Work for 3 inches keeping 3 stitches on each edge in garter stitch and middle 21 stitches in stockinet.
b. Continue for one inch working all stitches in edging of your choice (garter, seed, ribbing, etc.).
c. Next row: knit 7, bind off 13, knit 7 remaining stitches.
d. Place 14 remaining stitches onto a stitch holder.

8. Work the front as follows:
a. Work for 2 inches keeping 3 stitches on each edge in garter stitch and middle 21 stitches in stockinet.
b. Continue for one inch working all stitches in edging of your choice (garter, seed, ribbing, etc.).
c. Next row: knit 7, bind off 13, and knit 7 remaining stitches.
d. Work each group of 7 stitches in edging pattern until piece measures same as back.
9. Bind off shoulders using three-needle technique.

10.Work right sleeve as follows:
a.Slip 4 stitches from the stitch holder onto your right needle and 4 stitches onto your left needle (this is the armpit of your sleeve).
b.Knit the 4 stitches on the left needle.
c. Continuing around the armhole opening in a clockwise fashion, continue to pick up and knit stitches until you come back to the middle of the armpit where you started (you will have knit the other 4 original stitches that you slipped from the stitch holder at this point). You should have 30 stitches.
d.Continue knitting in stockinette until sleeve measures 6 inches.
e.Work one inch in edging of your choice (garter, seed, ribbing, etc.)
f. Bind off all stitches.

11.Work left sleeve the same as the right.

12.Weave in ends.

I'm going to work this out in larger sizes once I get back from my trip. Feel free to copy and use... just don't sell it :) Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What can I say?

This week has been madness. On top of teaching lessons and shipping for Tweet Tees I've been packing and getting ready to go to Moldova to do missions work for two weeks. I leave on Saturday so I've been rushing around doing all the last minute things that need doing for a trip of this size. The hardest part is that I'm going by myself so there's no one to call and ask, "Did you remember toothpaste?" "Have you got an extra set of batteries I can use?" "Would you like me to bring the laundry detergent?" I have to do it all. And for the first part of the week I kept thinking of things that I might need. But today I picked up (hopefully) the last few items. Everything seems to be in order. I'm even getting a cell phone that I can use for the 2 weeks that I'll be gone.

However, my poor little apartment is seriously suffering from this craziness. Right now on one side of my room I have all the boxes full of tee shirts for Tweet Tees.

And on the other side I have all the stuff that I have to take with me to Moldova.
All those things laying about in bags have to be packed into my little black backpack (barely visible in the bottom left corner) or in the big blue hiking backpack. There is also stuff on the dresser that you can't see that has to be packed as well. And the giant yellow and white box in the top right corner is going as well. That's an infant car seat that I'm taking to a friend who lives over there. He and his wife are expecting a baby in about a month. It's also stuffed with various goodies so it's quite large and bulky.

I also picked up one of the most important items for the trip today.
Yeah, you better believe I was taking some yarn with me! Granted, I'm not taking it all. My original plan for travel knitting was to take some Artyarns sock yarn that I bought back in January and knit some Jaywalkers. However, to find a pair of knitting needles in the size I wanted I was going to have to drive all the way across town. I have done so much driving in the past 3 days that I don't want to see the inside of a car for a long while. So, I decided to go down the street to the local Joanne's and pick up some bamboo needles and yarn for Warm Woolies sock knitting. I thought I might only find bamboo circs but I found some bamboo DPNs in size 10 1/2 which is exactly what I needed. Of course I really like Paton's Classic Wool so I picked up some. The multicolored skeins will go for the socks and the orange skeins will be used for when I get back to make a sweater. Which reminds me, some of the ladies on Ravelry asked me to write up my pattern for the last sweater I knit for Warm Woolies because I had made it in the round. I want to get on that before I leave or else they may have to wait awhile.

Also on the Warm Woolies note... My serial knitting habits have paid off big time with the Arctic blanket.
I'm using leftover scraps of Bernat Softee Chunky yarn for a baby blanket for Warm Woolies (sensing a charity knitting trend here?). I only cast on 69 stitches so there are 8 repeats of the pattern as opposed to the 17 in the original. I really like this project. Since it uses large needles (size 13) it goes really quickly and the lace pattern in easy to memorize. I could see myself doing a full size version of this as an heirloom piece one day. I just randomly interspersed the changes in yarn and I love how it is turning out. I've just got a very little bit of each of the yarns left so I'm hoping to wrap this up before I leave on Saturday.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Going Green...Gradually

My brother and my aunt are rather eco-conscience. I think that we should work to take steps to become more earth friendly. I already drive one of the most fuel efficient SUVs on the market (go CR-Vs!) and I replaced 85% of the lights in my house with compact fluorescent light bulbs (the other ones I didn't replace are those effect type lights that are in bathrooms and overhead lights). For my birthday I got a bike. I would love to think that this will help me spread my environmental love but I live on a very busy highway. I'm hoping that I can at least use it to pick up groceries from the store right behind my complex (which isn't on the busy highway, no worries Dad).
And today at the supermarket I picked up a reusable grocery bag. Every time I go to the store I'll pick up another just like it until I don't use plastic bags any more.
As part of loving my earth I decided to stash dive and see what I could make of my scraps. The whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing. I was almost knocked over when I opened my yarn box. I put in a lavender scented moth bar a few weeks ago since I hear moth season is upon us. It should be noted I put in one little bar (about the size of your palm) and I only half opened the container before I stuck it in with the yarn.
I'm really glad that's all I did. It was quite potent. And my yarn smelled a little wonky because some of it is 100% wool and smells like clean sheep (Patons merino). But it's better than having my projects and yarn eaten by little flying devils.

Once I had sneezed a few times I was able to gain composure enough to find this:
Some Bernat Softee Chunky. I really like the feel of this yarn. I have 3 colors of varying amounts but I think I'm going to try and make a baby blanket out of this. A mod on this pattern probably. I know that I already have another baby blanket underway but I just want something that doesn't involve seaming or coming up with a hundred variations on a single block pattern. Hopefully it will go quickly while I watch The Fifth Element on TV.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm Back!

Wow. It's hard to believe I'm actually sitting at my house, on a computer (that I own), on the internet again (finally). Yes, I took the plunge and purged my savings account. The result of this unholy union is this beautiful baby:
I give you Mac-y. His name is a shout out to any Homestar Runner fans out there (remember Strong Bad's Lappy and Compy?). If you aren't familiar with Homestar, check it out. It will consume your life for about 3 weeks but then you will rejoin society and finally understand all those, "Seriously" and "Checka, checka, checka, checka, checkin' my eeeee-mail" quotes your friends have been making for years (or maybe that's only my friends).

Ok, enough about that. I must rave that my experience with the Apple folks was quite nice. They gave me honest, helpful answers and didn't try and sell me any unnecessary crap. And they didn't push me when I turned down stuff they threw out that I "might want." I did score a nice free printer.
It replaced the behemoth I used to have.
And they even helped me fill out the rebate before I left the store so I wouldn't forget to do it. How nice.

I picked up Mac-y on Tuesday but haven't gotten around to blogging yet. Wednesday through today I spent 9 hours in teacher training for my job. It was pretty interesting because we got to play around with a lot of the new materials we would have next year. Unfortunately, it lasted all day. And yesterday and today I had to teach a lesson when I got home. I was going to go out to see a friend of mine who was playing an at a local pub tonight but I'm just so tired that I couldn't get up the energy to go out. Plus, I'm a total homebody and since I have been lacking on that this week I just want to be here in my house with my high maintenance cat (who "helped" wake me up this morning by standing on my chest).

Sadly, the knitting hasn't been very productive or exciting. I finished the wee little baby sweater on vacation (all it needed was sleeves).
Pitiful for a whole week but I think it's very cute. I can't decide to do with the left over half skeins that I have though (this was made with 2 strands held together so that is why half skeins is plural). It's for Warm Woolies so I was thinking of making some socks as well. But then I wasn't sure there was enough and I don't have the right DPNS and I could use the circulars but the last socks I made that way came out 2 different sizes and... So, needless to say, nothing else has been cast on.

I've also been knitting on this though.
Look familiar? It should. This is the back to the Big Pink Sweater Thing. Or maybe it's the front. I can't remember. It makes for good mindless knitting though so I have just been picking it up every now and then to knit a couple of rows while I watch TV.

I live next Saturday for Moldova for 2 weeks. I have promised myself that I will take my sock yarn and knit some Jaywalkers (Ravelry link). I have to go my Knitch next week to pick up some DPNs in the right size. Maybe I will pick up some yarn to and get re-energized about knitting (Not that I'm not excited about knitting. I just don't have anything exciting I want to work on right now).

Ok, so I just spent like 10 minutes trying to upload a picture of my Not a Honeymoon Cami because I did finish that and I wanted to show you how it turned out. However, if you upload a pic after you have typed in stuff and put in other pictures Blogger does not like it. It is hard to move the picture. So, I went through all that trouble. Then I went to delete a sentence and accidentally deleted the picture it had taken me 10 minutes to insert and position correctly. Instead of losing my mind and trying to do that all again I am instead providing a link to my Ravelry projects and you can see it there. Sorry but I like my sanity.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Big Thank You

I just want to say thanks to all who have endured my crappy posting for the last few weeks. I cannot promise that it will get better but we can all hope :)

Even though last week I had ample internet time I didn't post like I wanted to. I was thoroughly relaxing at the beach with my family. It was a much needed break. I didn't really knit much, especially as much as I thought I would. I did get the Warm Woolies sweater finished. I added sleeves to it and figured out why I was getting the stockinette knitting up on the wrong side. I'll explain when I can actually post pictures and (sort of) illustrate what happened.

Today has been a chaotic rush of trying to get chores taken care of and supplies purchased for my trip in 2 weeks. Unfortunately, I woke with a strange dizzy/nauseous feeling in my stomach which has had me moving through a hazy for the majority of the day. I'm at the library checking some email and doing a little research (for myself) but I have about 10 minutes before my time runs out so I'm going to jet.

Keep hanging in there!