Thursday, February 28, 2008

Post 136-Handy Ma'm

So last week I picked my car up from the shop, she was overheating and it turned out the wires to the engine fan had to be replaced. Fine, great, it took over a week for the mechanic to figure that out, but in the end the cost for this trip to Mr. Mechanic was not too bad and still beats the cost of a new car. My baby is old, she turns 14 this summer and later on that day after going to Loopy for the Chevron scarf Koigu and will visiting a cute bakery someone hit my driver's side rear light when I was parked. I'm too bummed, shit happens, could have been worse, could have happened to a new car, but I don't have a new car, I have a city car now.

Broken light held together with packing tape.

Stranger who hit me left no note but I was lucky that my car had a smallish dent by the light but it broke the light itself. I can fix this, yea, really. I went online, looked around for a new light (don't want to be overcharged by a mechanic), new NEW lights are 50-70 bucks, but a gently used light was on e-bay for 15!!

New Light, I love you eBay!

Today I got the light in the mail, unscrewed the bulbs, popped out the unit and popped in the new, almost.


Little dent by the light is making it slightly difficult but I'm taking my car to another repair person that will change the oil, check the transmission fluid and secure the light better, face it I'm handy as a man just not as strong!

I've got Cotton Fleece on the brain. I really really like the yarn, always had, knitted a great baby Surplice for neighbor baby with it last year. Lately as I've been looking around on Ravelry I've come across several cute short sleeve sweaters that use the yarn, especially Rusted Root, and I want to make one but with longer sleeves.

I'm obsessed with finding the yarn for it now, it's all about the hunt and it's not like I don't have enough yarn and projects in my queue. The thing is, the yarn is 80% cotton and only 20% wool which means it would be perfect for say, a cruise? I have lots of things knitter, but no sweaters really, other than the alpaca one made with one faded ball that I'm still very pissed about. I should just face the fact that I'm a chunky monkey and make a sweater dammit! Best part about the pattern, you can try it on as you knit it, so clever me can add extra stitches if I need to hide my girth and longer to hide my hips. I'm thinking pale green, reminds me of spring and life and there is a lot on ebay that are mill ends with uneven dying which might be very pretty if the unevenness is, well, even.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Post 135-I'm Not a Complainer

Everyone is doing it, but not me, I love winter and am NOT complaining! It snowed again yesterday and was so lovely. I remember the winters of only a couple of years ago where it barely snowed and everything was barren and brown, ugh, instead I have nice white brightness.
Work on the Chevron scarf is coming along, I think it's time to put the pattern up in my projects area in Ravelry. One more class and after next week I can go back to my posse, I miss my girls so much! A couple of days ago I was looking at my stash online and decided to put some of it up in trade/sell. Why not I say, I have yarns that I'm not happy with and some that I probably won't use and if that one ball is all that another knitter needs to finish a project then that would be fantastic. One of the things I put up were the two balls of Socks That Rock Pebble Beach, yea the stuff I was playing with when swatching the Chevron Scarf. Well, someone contacted me and asked for a trade, yea I say, for the low cost of priority shipping I will get rid of stuff I don't like and get some new yarn for my stash, it's like free shopping! When I get the yarn I will post, one of the skeins is STR's Lenore, every since I saw it online I've wanted it and I heard that The Fold doesn't have it in stock right now.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Post 134-Knitting Goodness

The chevron scarf's a go! It's going fast, I think I have 16 inches done and I'm not even knitting on it constantly. I decided to use the two skeins of Koigu I got at Loopy in the end, I did try it with one of the other balls from NYC but it didn't make much of a change in the overall look so I decided to save it for later in case I want to make another with the two NYC koigu balls and the STR Pebblebeach like I sampled.

A couple of shots to show how the colors on the two balls look knitted up. One is brighter and more colorful with an occasional mute pale streak and the other is richer in reds with muted yellow, green and dark charcoal tones. I am very satisfied in the way the colors are knitting up, it's very bright, colorful and just perfect for the gray rainy days of Spring looming ahead. I can't wait to steam it flat and start wearing it, I keep looking at it and think it reminds me of my childhood in Germany.

I went out with a couple of friends on Saturday for a girl's night out, we had LOTS of fun, we were sooo naughty. Just imagine what kind of place we went. I of course had my knitting with me, I did NOT knit during the show but did ask our waiter to model with it, I was to shy to ask one of the other performers. Isn't our waiter jsut the cutest gay boy, what eyes! Unfortunately he dropped one of the balls (insert giggle here!)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Post 134-Variations on a Theme

I knit socks when I need a quick knit fix in the middle of a boring sweater. Apparently I knit scarves when I need a quick knit fix in the middle of a boring sock.

The pattern swatching with the boucle cashmere has come to an end. After about 5 did pattern samples I gave up, nothing was working and I don't want to force the knitting, this yarn just doesn't want to be knitted right now.

In this last sample I tried a feather and fan pattern. Like my friend Valerie said, feather and fan is to knitting what the pineapple is to crochet, a good ole standby. Some day the perfect pattern will come along.

Last year I pick up two skeins of Koigu at Purl Soho after Linda told me about the Chevron pattern in the Last Minute Knitted Gifts book. The idea is to pick two opposite colorways and they will somehow blend and make a great scarf.

It's funny that I bought the yarn at the store of the person who wrote the book, I thought it was cool. Later after I bought the book and read the pattern I realized I needed two skeins of two colors! Rachael and I went to Loopy just after Thanksgiving last year when I heard they had finally gotten in Koigu. I think they are the only store in the Chicagoland area that carries it.

I knew it would be impossible to match the colors so I thought I would get something that would sorta match and sorta contrast and just use all four!

I think the colors look great together. But, thanks to the wonderfulness that is Ravelry, I looked at all the other versions of the Chevron scarf that other people have done. For the most part, I think a lot of people did not use four skeins, it makes a really long scarf, and I just don't want that. So I started to play around with which two of the four skeins would make it into the scarf.

Nope, I didn't like any of the combos above and decided to try the original two skeins I bought. So I started to knit the pattern.

I like it, but I'm not loving it. It's not what I envision and sometimes you don't know how the yarn will knit up until you knit it. If I were in a psychedelic/gypsy phase it would be great. I was thinking the funky yellowy green color that looks like the liquid you find in the little vial in a level has to go. Trying to follow the spirit of the pattern and only use contrasting colors, I pulled out from my stash a skein of Socks That Rock colorway called Pebble Beach.

I bought this yarn several years at Stitches, it looks lovely in the skein but when knitted into a sock, ick, I hated it.

This is better, sorta. The colors definately pop better and aren't so stripy as the original sampler, but I'm not in a blue mood right now. I do know I'm on the right road.

So what better than to add another yarn! So back in goes the funky yellow/green Koigu again. The way the pattern is knitted it was easily adaptable for three yarns. This would work if it was all the yarn I had to choose from, but I haven't balled up or even touched the skeins I bought last year at Loopy. Thanks to Ravelry and a quick post to the Loopy group I found out I was able to exchange the yarn. Today after picking up my car from the mechanic (long story but not as expensive as I thought it might be) I drove over to exchange the yarn.

Now this is loveliness! I knew right away that the multicolored skein was destined to be in this scarf, but it took awhile to and a lot of playing around to settle on the red colorway. I really would have liked a predominantly green yarn but there wasn't a lot to choose from that fit that bill. I'm much happier with these colors and will frog the sampler.
Come to think of, I wonder how the multicolored skein I bought in NYC would look with the multicolored yarn I bought today....

Last night we had a total lunar eclipse and I remembered to photography it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Post 133-Itchy Fingers

My fingers are itching to knit, just not on the two sweaters and second sock I have on the needles. I am avoiding my current projects and just want to play with yarn. I bit the bullet and balled up the Cashmere Boucle I bought last year at School Products when Chicken Linda and I went to represent in NYC.

I first tried the Open Star Stitch pattern I found in my Treasury of Knitting Patterns book. It's a very nice pattern but a waste of a design with boucle yarn, it doesn't pop.

I next tried the Turkish Faggoting Stitch, much better, it made the type of fabric I was looking for, very airy and I think would make a nice size scarf with only 200 yards. Unfortunately the color striping is not the best, I would normally like it but in the middle it gets all muddy, so overall it looks wonky.

So this one gets frogged too, I'm glad it's such a nice open stitch, I don't think it will tangle as much. I really liked doing a Faggoting stitch, they're usually a one row pattern that you repeat over and over, very easy to do and mesmerize. This yarn won't take a complex pattern, boucle yarn hides designs. Maybe cast-on the side and not the bottom, say 4 to 5 feet?

There's something wrong in this picture.....
Piewacket is a fast cat and very curious, she got up there the minute I turned my back after I removed two magazine organizers I wanted to check for a pattern to use with my Debbie Bliss Silk.

Yea, it's cold here in Chicago, when I woke up it was 3 degrees, now it's a wopping 13, such a heat wave, hehe. You would think this cold weather would make me knitted faster, it's the weather I've been praying for, lot's of cold and snow. EH, I was wanting a nice german snow, not an arctic tundra.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

132-Endless Pursuit

You know what it's like when you are just sick of what your knitting and just want to do something else? I just want to knit with something soft and pretty, I want to swatch my Debbie Bliss Silk. But, I've been good, I've not balled it up and all 8 skeins still sit in their cube marinating. I look all over Ravelry for the perfect pattern, perhaps a camisole? No, nothing. I spent over an hour going through back issues of Interweave, yup my library goes back to 2001, nothing. I saw several pretty camisoles but everything was so lacy you would see my not so slim profile through it. Ugh! This is when I realize I should just stop, don't force it, otherwise I will pick a pattern that is not right for this yarn and just fuck it up. I guess I should work on my sock now.

On a side note, and don't laugh, but I finally took down the Christmas tree. In my defense, it was a small fake tree and was oh so cute this year. I really hate Christmas, there's all this build up to a day of commercialism and then on the 26th, nothing, just another day, it's like the day after the last day of vacation when you realize you have nothing to look forward to. I decided to keep the tree up until I was ready to take it down and the sudden change wouldn't make me so depressed. I passed on Valentines day and look forward to St. Patty's Day, this year I want to have fun and drink!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Post 131-Wow

After much patience and a personal visit, the post office finally coughed up the box my World Yarn Swap partner sent me.

Yea, I know what you're thinking, there is no way she stayed within the $30 budget. If by a slim chance she did, I am so going to Turkey for all my yarn buying needs.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Post 130-TCOB

Today is officially "Taking Care of Business" day. It's amazing how much work you can get done while still wearing your red plaid granny pajamas, unshowered, sitting in a comfortable chair and possessing a laptop and cell phone. As of now I know 4 things, 1. My car in the shop is currently being checked out and I will get a call about it's status latter today, 2. The post office is looking for the package sent to me by my World Yarn Swap partner and for which I never received the "PICK ME UP" card from the PO (thank goodness I have the tracking number) and they too will call me latter today, 3. Chicago does have the worst postal system in the US and now I'm thinking the world because my swap partner is in Turkey and I am here, and yes it's an APO address but still she got her box before me :(, and 4. The new Interweave is out and on the magazine stands so now I have a reason to leave the house.

Just a picture from my holiday vacation, I thought I could use a simple photo right here, should would look nice with a little yarn in it.

I am very saddened by the newest school shooting, this one was a little close to home. My best bud and her sister both went to NIU and while it's been several years since they graduated I was still anxious to call them.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Post 129-V-Day

pic from:

Well, last year at this time I was on a blind date. The guy was nice but no sparks, it did however spark my dating life and the last year was my busiest. I'm not bummed that I don't have a Valentine this year, it is what it is and I do my best.

I have been very uplifted by reading several of my friends blogs and have a few things to say. I do not celebrate Lent, but I think it is as good of a time as any to do some soul searching and listening to my heart. My heart said to quit my new job, so I will tomorrow (actually it said that the first day but I wanted to give it a try). I tried to wing it looking for new employment and after much persistent got a job that I thought I would like, and I do, but it's just not for me. I am not young anymore, I'm not old either, but I am at that point in your life when you just want to live a happy harmonious life and spend it with your friends and family. I do not have family that lives close, so my friends are the substitutes and the idea of working 10-7 every Saturday and Sunday and not be able to be with my new family or be by myself was to much to deal with. I tried it for two weeks and I think it is far better to be honest and say no thank-you then to drag something along and chance that it turns bitter. Did I mention that standing for 8-10 hours straight in heels is really bad for you and that I have blisters the size of quarters on the side of each heel?

Since I started the new job the only knitting I've done was in class. And speaking of class, either the students are picking it up faster or Anne and I are getting really good at teaching 15 students to knit, at the same time. Half way done and only 3 more weeks before I can rejoin the flock. We made it well known to the University that we are more than happy to teach the class but it must remain on Monday nights.

I do not have to work tomorrow so other than calling my recruiter/temp agency I will consider tomorrow the beginning of a three day weekend and recharge myself, restore my faith, find my balance, whatever it is, embrace my fiberhood, knit, take down the tree finally, reinstall the wheel in its place and take it for a spin.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Post 128-Did You?

I voted yesterday, did you? Mine was a very simple process, I walked to the Field House in the park right by my house and once again I cast my vote in the men's shower stall, I'm getting sick of that. I don't think my voted counted too much, my parties' candidates are still neck and neck, but I'm lucky and proud to be able to just walk to my local polling place and do my part. I think when you vote you should get a sticker to wear to state that, not just some little piece of paper. Some of the bars in my neighborhood give you a free beer for voting, cool.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Post 127-Beginning of the End?

Today is super Tuesday, finally! I'm hoping this will end of the rival bashing on TV and generous donations of political junkmail to my recycling bag. In a few minutes I'm off to the park by my house to cast my vote, I feel that during this whole election season I was held captive and that voting is the only way to secure my release. Years ago when I got my cell phone I had them use my old land-line, I had waited until that was possible. Well, I was smart to get on the do not call list but unfortunately it does not bar political phone calls. Basically for the last 2 months if I did not recognize the phone number I did not answer it, and yep, they were all political phone calls, if I had answered them all I wouldn't have had any minutes left to talk to the people in my life that really matter. Please let this be over soon!!! I know who I'm voting for for the big election but in the end it doesn't really matter to me who gets the nomination, I like them both.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Post 126-Linda's Curse

Linda you cursed me! I'll admit, I was weak and bought the sock yarn when I promised myself I wouldn't until I finished two projects, and Linda made fun of me. Well, she cursed me and damaged my Cat Bordhi sock book, come to think of it, she should buy me a new one since it's all her fault, or it could have been snow that got into my bag, dunno, I'll go with Linda just in case. When I was at Mosaic with Racheal on Saturday I pulled my sock knitting book out of my bag only to discover that the top edge was soaking wet with water.

Racheal said I should freeze it and then brush the water crystals off and that's what they do in academia, well, it didn't work, the cheap water soaked pages started sticking together like glue and ripping when touched. My only solutions was to gently separate the pages and iron them flat and dry.

Overall it work, I still lost some directions and the pages are all rippled, but it's still a usable book. I think this book was cursed from the beginning. I had the hardest time finding a copy, I think the author designed the needle placement diagrams backward, OfficeMax ruined the original cover when I brought it in for binding, and now this, damn! This book will look so out of place on my bookshelf next the perfectly organized ones, I am very upset by this. :(

AH, a picture of the Hazel Knits yarn in Chocolatier I got.

It's really nice and looks like I bought it in a store. I figure this yarn and the Noro yarn will balance each other, one is crazy and colorful and the other subdued and sturdy.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Post 125-For Now

Busy Bee was me this week. What it comes to is that I sorta fell into a part-time job. While it is a job I was pursuing, it's not the hours I wanted, but for right now it's something and it helps that I really admire the company. So my game plan is to continue to educate myself on all office software and continue to pursue a job with my dream company....if only my friends would assist know who you are out there!

So this week started out with Bella's meet-up group, it's always fun to see 20 IG's play and sniff butt.

Afterwards I had a coffee date with this guy I had met online last year and we just couldn't find the chance to meet, eh, it was OK. I came away with two thoughts, 1. It's nice when guys pay for your coffee and biscotti, and 2. I'm getting better at this sorta blind date thing, and while I may tell the truth in my profile, not all guys do. So, I trudge on looking for Mr. Right (now?), Stud Muffin, Sweet Checks if you know any single slightly nerdy guys let me know.

Tuesday was a good day, I got that sorta job and also recieved my Hazel Knits yarn, ummmm Chocolatier, makes me hungry. The colorway is soooo pretty, I would catagorize it as a semi-solid. On thursday I officially signed up for the Sea Socks 08 cruise, yea! I had been toying with the idea of this trip for months and had been trying to get one of my friends to go, but no, the losers just couldn't get their act together. I've always wanted to see Alaska, and while I never cared to take a cruise I always said if I had to take one it would be to Alaska. This cruise will be even better because it's going to have over 150 knitters, holy lace socks Batman! This all really happened because I saw a post on the Seasocks Ravelry group and it was a group of three gals who needed a fourth for their cabin, this brought the price down a good 500 dollars if I had a 2 person cabin. I looked around at flight costs and I think the trip will cost just under $1200, that's the cruise, flight, steward tips, High Tea excursion in Victoria, and soda drink card. Good Deal I think. I am very excited.

Today Racheal needed a little retail therapy, um, yarn therapy really and as a good knitting buddy I went with her to Mosaic in Des Plaines. Right off I'm going to admit, I'm weak, very very weak. I bought the Chocolatier sock yarn before I finished my own current sock project and today I bought some of the Noro sock yarn I was lusting after before I finish g-ma's bag, also like I promised.

I'm only human! At first when I was looking at the Noro sock yarn on-line I really wanted a colorway that had bright geen, light green and fuschia tones, very springy, instead I opted for a colorway that had olive, orange, lavendar and grape, very fallish. On the upside, it's not like I'm knitting with those yarns, I just had to have them, at least it's not Crack right? On a side note, I didn't just buy the sock yarn, I also bought 8 skeins of Debbie Bliss silk yarn. In the silk yarn I got lucky.

Rachael first spotted it in the sale rack, I fished out all the skeins and she would have bought them but what it came down to is that the peachy color looked so much better on me. A true knitting friend will recognize the fact that the color they love doesn't agree with you and would look better on another person. The best of it all is the price, 8 skeins at $14.75=$118.00, did I pay that NO, I got 8 skeins for, $8! Yea, I scored big, I had heard about these mythical deals at Mosaic, Linda told me her luck there, but now I've experienced it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Post-124, Avoidance

I really need to blog a real blog, I have lots to say and pictures of lots of snow to take, but I'm tired. So, this is all you get tonight and this weekend I promise to post more interesting things, like snow up to the dog's back, new yarn, old projects and whatever else comes along.

$4875.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth.

I'm not a morbid person but I thought this was interesting. It reminded me of when my grandfather died, he was in such pain and his body a mess that they gave him all the morphine he wanted, but because of that my grandmother was not able to donate his body to science. FYI-Grandma's not religious if you couldn't tell, I always tease her that when she dies and if she leaves me the money I will turn her ashes into a red diamond. Yup, there's a company that will turn your ashes into a diamond, how cool.