July 29, 2005

Marinating

I confess it's been kind of a fussy week. I'm finding it hard to feel productive at work and at home -- I don't know if it's the heat, or just the convergence of lots of things at once that irritate me. I'm trying not to let it beat me, and I'm hoping that the weekend will be rejuvenating.

I hit the wall with the Pinwheelio on the Denise needles. It Just. Wasn't. Working. I took it to the happy place on Wednesday, but found myself procrastinating actually working on it. It's just no fun to have to pause every half-round to tug the stitches across the joins. I decided to bite the bullet and a 60" Addi Turbo is winging its way to me now from JKL Needles, recommended by some fellow Irregulars. Pinwheelio is on hold until it arrives.

Then I had planned to work some more on my second Retro Rib sock, but somewhere on the Metro on Monday, I lost the fifth double-pointed needle. I was knitting along happily on my trip downtown, but the return trip found me short one. [I wonder if someone found it and was confused.] Anyway, Knit Happens was short on US1 needles (plenty of US 1.5s, though!) so that also went on hold Wednesday, though Holly did show me how to do it on two circs. [Still haven't gotten up the courage to try it, though.]

So why go to late night if not to knit? Well to see the Rosetta Blankie, for one. It's so freakin' cool, even if it does make my stomach lurch just a little to see all the ends. And also to take some time to just chill out and flip through pattern books, looking for inspiration and creative solutions.

Oh, and maybe to purchase some books where such inspiration is found:

Rowan Vintage Style Knitting on the Edge Barbara Walker's A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

I've been eyeing Rowan Vintage Style for many moons now, and I decided to finally suck it up and buy it. [I absolutely love this pattern, but can't decide if it's right for my body.] Knitting on the edge has given me a couple of ideas for Pinwheelio edging, as has the Barbara Walker stitch treasury #2. [Thanks Jon for that recommendation! I wouldn't have picked it up otherwise.]

I'm searching for inspiration because I'm making the garter for a dear friend who's getting married this fall. I have a little bit of time -- her shower isn't until late August. And that stitch treasury had a couple of patterns that leapt out at me straightaway. But it's gonna require a little bit of practice, I suspect.

I also pulled some long-marinating yarns out of stash and actually swatched! I just let myself enjoy the simple stockinette repetition. Short, concise rows, with no pattern to follow, no counting ... just feeling the yarn in my hands. It was very centering. And just brimming with possibilities!

*****

And I'm just not thinking about how Comcast showed up yesterday, on time even, with the WRONG piece of equipment. Nope, not even gonna mention how they're clearly trying to send me to an early grave.

Posted by Ann at 07:17 AM | Comments (4)

July 26, 2005

The Good

pinwheelio!

I am trying very, very, VERY hard to focus on the good that came out of yesterday: lots of progress on the Pinwheel Blanket. I'm up to about 350 stitches on the needle, and I'm not tired of it yet. [I'm at about step 5 of Heidi's Common Thoughts While Pinwheeling.]

I am loving this yarn. It's cotton from Mystical Creation Yarns, in colorway "Cranberries10." [They have multiple Cranberries colorways. Overall, MCY some fantastic colorways, all of them available for every yarn -- it's worth the time to dig through their site since they're not listed in one place anywhere, except on this index page without images.] It's mostly sherbet colors -- a butter yellow base with rose, peach, lime, lavender, sage and the occasional taupe thrown in. The colors appear in short bursts, so there's nothing even close to striping. [They're closer to real life in the photo above.] I think it feels like Blue Sky Cotton -- it's that soft. I took it off the 24" Addi Turbo last night; the blanket graduated to a strung-together Denise that it's about to outgrow. What are all you other Pinwheelers using, needle-wise? The Denise is not such a great option--the cotton and the plastic aren't getting along too well. I'd love like a 60" addi, but would I ever use it again?

pretty pinwheeling

I hadn't planned on getting this far so soon -- that's the good.

The Bad: All this was accomplished yesterday while waiting for ^@%$(!@ Comcast to show up and bring me a DVR. Hello, Comcast? If you set a service window from 1-5, and call me at 3:30 to tell me a technician is on his way and will be here soon, it is NOT OKAY for you to then go radio silent for many hours, only mollifying me when I call every hour to say that I'm still scheduled for service, and it is UNACCEPTABLE for the technician to call me at 9:30 p.m. and tell me he just installed his last DVR on his previous job. GAH.

*****

You may have seen some pics from this weekend's affair on Erin's blog; our camera was acting up so I didn't get too many pics at all, and only a handful of usable ones. Here's a cute one of me and the boyfriend, all spiffed up:

awwww

You can hardly see them in the picture, but my favorite part of my outfit was my shoes, which had big sparkly bits on them. Totally worth the hobbling the next day.

*****

It's come to my attention that like most of the rest of blogland, Bloglines is having a hard time recognizing my updates. I did a bit of poking around and found that there's one feed that seems to consistently update quickly:

http://www.fidget.prettyposies.com/index.xml

So if you'd like to be among the first to know when I update, you might want to change your feed to that one. Or, you know, wait a day. Whatever works.

*****

Finally, go wish Holly a happy birthday today! Happy birthday, darlin'!


Posted by Ann at 08:04 AM | Comments (6)

July 20, 2005

Beginnings...

round and round

It's the start of something good.

Posted by Ann at 07:41 AM | Comments (4)

July 19, 2005

From Fits to Finished

Boy oh boy did the Tess tanky give me all sorts of fits. I have to say, this has been my most challenging project yet, believe it or not:
* The ribbon yarn was a challenge. [remember the tangle that ate my brain?]
* The lace pattern at the neck was a challenge. [Esp. considering the whack Phildar make-one method given for this pattern, which was ignored after 3 tries.]
* The ripping out... well, ripping wasn't a challenge, but threading multiple lifelines so that the slippery stitches wouldn't fall all the way to the bottom? That got a little tiresome.
* Oh yeah -- and let's not forget how, on the final leg of finishing, I attached the straps to the back in a way that was decidedly off-center, completely ignoring the stitch markers I'd placed to remind me where they went.

But, without further ado, I present the finished Tanky:

tankalicious!

Pattern: Phildar Tendances 402, size 36
Yarn: Tess Microfiber Ribbon, 2 hanks [300 yards/hank]; purchased at MDSW. I had maybe 1/8 of a hank left over after seaming.
Gauge: 24st x 32 rows over 10 cm on US7s
Modifications: The pattern called for k3p2 ribbing all over the back. I didn't want a clingy back [it's 90+ degrees out!] so I did ribbing at the bottom and then stockinette stitch. After I finished, I realized that without an edging at the top, the st st curled something fierce. I ripped back 8 rows and added ribbing to match the bottom.

all ribbed up

For all the headaches, I really am happy with how this turned out. It fits really well. [Pardon the bad self-mirror shot; my photographer is on vacation.]

and pardon the crazy hair

This is the second Phildar pattern I've made [remember Frimas?], and I've discovered that their shaping closely mirrors that on my body... I'll definitely be making more from Phildar. I'll also mention that the weight of ribbon yarn went a long way toward helping me achieve even tension.

And the lacy neckline is flattering without being revealing. [I'm even starting to forget I had to frog one panel 3x to get that sequence of M1,yo,skp to not look all wonky.]

lace-a-licious!

So, happy finished tank! Now I get to figure out what goes on the needles next....

Posted by Ann at 07:21 AM | Comments (10)

July 12, 2005

Into Shape

It's been busy times around here, but with good reason.

My kid sister was in town for the weekend. [She's not so much a kid anymore... she's 25 and married!] She hadn't been to Washington since 2002, and that was in the middle of a snowstorm. So we had a lot of ground to cover, particularly the ground at Arlington National Cemetery. She's wanted to go to Arlington since I moved here 7 years ago, and freak events [hurricanes, snowstorms, terrorist attacks] have conspired against her. This time, we braved the 90+ degree weather and spent a morning there. We even hiked to the high point, the Custis-Lee House.

this taken from the Kennedy gravesite


[The flag is at half-staff out of respect for the London victims.]

And we were rewarded with a great view of Washington. I love the way Washington has such a flat anti-skyline, dominated by the Monument:

flat, wide, inspiring


And we did lots of other things too, like shopping in Georgetown, and scampering along the Billy Goat Trail, and eating lots of good food, and seeing the penguins.... It was a great visit. I was sad to see her go.

So, not too much knitting to report, since I was a gal about town. So over the past couple of days I've taken it easy and knitted on the front of the tank. Look, shaping!

shape-a-licious!


I'm about 10 rows shy of the armholes and the v-neck shaping, so I hope that I will be able to finish this soon. The microfiber ribbon is really a dream to knit with - it's very silky and glides over my fingers. And it has excellent stitch definition:

fantastic shimmery sheen

I think there's a trip to a craft store in my future, to get some fabric glue to hide the ends. Soon, I think, a finished tank!

Posted by Ann at 06:31 AM | Comments (7)

July 05, 2005

Happy Fourth

To all my American friends - Happy Independence Day! I spent the Fourth on the National Mall, where I have for the past seven years, with friends from high school (and longer!), sweltering under a big tent.

Big Tent VII

To think, in 1998 we just had one flag. This year, it was the biggest yet, with flags up top representing the states of its core constituents:

Kansas Represent!

Also adding to the delight this year was that we were next to a tent of guys handing out these stickers:

I Heart Pants

I can't explain why, though -- and neither could they.

It was a great time, though, and as day turned to dusk, the Washington Monument loomed lovely just behind us.

Good Lighting

And then the fireworks came! And I have to say, I'm not really one to get all choked up about fireworks, but this year's were truly stunning, with the accompaniment of the U.S. Navy Band.

Bang!

Boom!

More Fourth of July photos here.

****

I didn't get a ton of knitting done this weekend, despite my best intentions. I did make it to knit 'n' nosh on Friday for a few hours -- just the zen I needed after a hectic week. And I was able to enlist the help of Maeve The Human Swift to wind the second hank of Tess Microfiber Ribbon. Holly captured it on film (or compactflash, whatever) so maybe she'll post pictures at some point. All I know is that in only about 20 minutes, I had all the ribbon wound up! Thanks Maeve!

Apparently knowing that I would be able to cast on for the front was all I needed to finish the back. Yay! Half done!

Tankalicious!

I've cast on for the front but only knit a few rows, so, you know, not so exciting yet.

****

And, I received a parcel from my Secret Pal! I was superexcited to get this.

pressies!

She (I'm assuming it's a she?) sent to me a nice card, some cute sheepy socks, Care Bear stickers, chocolate and vanilla tea from Adagio [I've never tried those flavors! Can't wait!] and some absolutely gorgeous Mountain Colors Mountain Goat, in luscious dark shades of indigo, blackberry and plum.

luscious!

I've never seen Mountain Goat before -- only read about it. You already have me wondering how to use it, and how soon I can cast on! THANKS!

****

Parting note: The new Knitty is up! It's nice to see designers focusing on the men. I have to say, I think Saranac might be good for the man in my life... if only I can finish my own wish list first! Hee!

Posted by Ann at 06:25 AM | Comments (6)

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