Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Road to Success

"The road to success is always under construction." - Lily Tomlin

There are usually a couple of potholes too, just to keep you awake as you drive along. If you've ever been in Rhode Island you know what I mean. Here you have my latest FO. Both the vest I finished earlier this year and this tank top were very close to completion for far too long. Just imagine how long it would have taken if they'd had sleeves? Anyway, here it is, even finished in the appropriate season:

Yarn: all worsted weight mercerized cotton, King Tut in mauve, Linie 12 in white, and Klaus Koch Kollection Clip in light pink

Pattern: ribbed tank from Knit.1 summer 2005

Changes: I made it longer and striped instead of solid. Also I used single crochet up the sides to give it piping look on the side seems (my regular seaming looked sloppy).

Yardage: about 300 yards of the mauve (less than 2 hanks) and about 150 yards of each of the white and light pink

Needles: US size 9

Start/End Date: Started on June 1, 2006 (one of my Amazing Lace projects) and finished seaming on April 22, 2007. It then took me another two months get around to crocheting the edging and weaving in the ends, and another month to have my hubby take some photos.

Notes: This pattern included some bust shaping which I found not only unnecessary, but I also thought it looked bad, breaking up the rib pattern in an odd way. Also, according to more experienced knitters, it was a peculiar way to do bust shaping (not short rows, like you might have expected). I also added about 3 inches to the length (I wanted to make sure it wasn't cropped).

Overall, I am happy with it, although weaving in all the ends in cotton has made me want to avoid doing stripes for a good long time. Also, next time I will wear it with a tank that sits lower in back to show off the keyhole better and put on a belt to cinch in the waist. That will hopefully give it a slimmer line. I think it looks more flattering in real life than the photos would have you believe (the camera adds 10 pounds, right?), even with the horizontal stripes. ;)

Next, I hope to tackle some more, ahem, long-standing UFOs. My poor Schachenmayr sweater consists of one lonely sleeve that is just a tiny bit too big (by a "tiny bit" I mean an inch all around; just like the Yarn Harlot says, gauge swatches lie). In the mean time, I've been working on lots of small baby items for gifts. Small items are so much fun, especially in summer!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Cool Things To Do In LA

For many years the hubby and I lived in the midwest (mostly before we met) and then spent a few more living in Rhode Island. We always extending an open invitation to our friends and family to visit, wherever we lived. However, we had only a handful of takers. It seems that southern California is a much bigger draw than our previous residences, because we now have people visiting in larger numbers just this summer and fall than we had in our entire time in the midwest (what, no one liked the smell the pigs?).

On Sunday, we ventured into LA to meet up with a good friend we met while living in Rhode Island. He is currently living in Indiana, but had visited LA before and seen the touristy sites. We wanted to make sure we took him somewhere unique on this visit, so we went here:

For those of you not well-versed in Simpsons trivia, the Kwik-E-Mart is where the beloved character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon works (voice by Hank Azaria). For the past 20 years he has been selling Homer Squishees and pink donuts, always sure to say "Thank you, come again!" regardless of Homer's antics. With the imminent release of "The Simpsons Movie" a small number of 7-Elevens have been turned into Kwik-E-Marts. How excited are people? Well, just look at the line:
Thankfully, the line moved rather quickly and we were able to shop for our own Squishees, KrustyO's, Buzz Cola, and donuts. Well, to be honest the Squishee machine was making a new batch and the KrustyO's were all gone (doh!), but we did snag some pink donuts and Buzz Cola! (mmmmm, donuts)

The best part is, we saw a guy who looked just like Comic Book Guy standing in line! I would have taken his picture, but we were afraid he would get upset and start hurling sarcastic insults referring to klingons. So just for fair warning, if you come to visit us there's no telling where we may take you! (We will return to regular knitting content once I finish my donuts and get all this pink frosting off my fingers)


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Cow Tipping Debunked!

As someone who grew up on a dairy farm, I am often asked about the supposedly common rural practice of "cow tipping." For those of you who are unfamiliar, the idea is that because cows sleep standing up, if you sneak up on them at night a couple people can tip them over before they wake up. My friends, I am here to tell you that this is a complete lie! I lived in rural farm areas until my late 20's and never once have I tipped a cow nor I have ever known anyone who has tipped a cow. This is primarily because cows actually sleep lying down, not standing up. Also, according to what appear to be scientific calculations, it would take about 5 people to actually tip a cow over, if somehow you were able to sneak up on one and try.

Yes, you argue, but my friend Chris swears that he and some friends got really drunk one night while in college and actually went out cow tipping. Let me ask you, who ya gonna believe, an alcoholic frat boy or the girl that grew up around cows? Most likely, they went out to a field and harassed some cows, but none were actually tipped over. Since that would make for a lousy story, they "embellished" a little and thus the myth of cow tipping continues. Maybe they were so drunk that when Bubba tripped in the field they got confused and thought that he was actually a cow. Besides, don't you think someone would have posted video of real cow tipping on YouTube by now if this were actually possible?

Farm myths aside, here is an update on some knitting and crocheting. To build up my stash of baby gifts and use up bits and pieces of yarn, I've been working away on a couple of small projects. First yet another Seija blanket (blue item in the photo), but this one in a combination of Red Heart and Lion Brand Color Waves. Honestly, the Color Waves is pure evil, as I can barely make out my stitches in all its fuzziness. The color combo looks so pretty, however, that I'm going to force myself to finish it. I will post better photos once it's a little farther along. I am also working on a bib out of black and white scraps of sugar 'n cream. The pattern is from from Mason Dixon Knitting and it is quite fun to knit. I will likely add some black rick rack to the white part to make it more fun and hide the white from the inevitable food stains.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Wordy enough for you?

Despite a rather poor performance on the verbal portion of the GRE some 10+ years ago, I feel that my vocabulary is fairly descent. However, it's always nice to have a random internet test confirm that.

Your Vocabulary Score: A

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

But what of my knitting vocabulary? I just recently sat down and figured out the difference between M1 and kfb. It seems sort of obvious now, but in the projects I've done so far it honestly didn't matter how I managed to increase, so I never gave it too much thought. Also, this morning I figured out how to do icord, so I could finish the umbilical cord hat form Stitch 'N Bitch properly. I used Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino. It may be an expensive yarn, but it is extremely soft and has beautiful stitch definition. The icord was so easy that I feel rather foolish for not learning sooner. I think I may need to try some cables soon!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Selfish Knitter

First, I apologize for the long absence from the blog. I'm pretty sure this is a fluke and that I will be able to keep up with it better from now on. Several events conspired to keep me away from blogging and knitting this past couple weeks, including a conference presentation submission that was due and a husband with a bad back. On to actual blog and knitting content.

I admit it, I'm a selfish knitter. Even though I've made some gifts lately, when going through my stash (to add to Ravelry) I realized that nearly all my large yarn purchases are earmarked for knitting things for myself. Part of it is that I don't want to give away items that aren't wearable. So as a new knitter, I use myself as the guinea pig for practicing my craft. Also, I like the challenge of knitting sweaters, and let's face, fitting someone other than yourself is pretty difficult. Honestly, fitting oneself isn't all that easy, but at least I always have myself handy for a try-on session. Even though I am a selfish knitter, I figure that it's my hobby so I can knit for whomever I like. Other people's hobbies rarely result in benefits for anyone other than the individual, and that's OK. I don't expect my hubby's weekly tennis game to benefit me in any direct way (although I do use the time alone to craft. ;)

In order to buy more yarn for me, I recently went to a wonderful store in the area, Wildfiber and bought a couple skeins Cascade 220. The new owner, Natasha, was friendly helpful and even made us tea! I wish Santa Monica were a little closer so I could go more often. Below you can see my two new skeins of Cascade along with some pink TLC Cara Mia. I plan to use both to make the two-tone shrug from Fitted Knits (you can check out some examples here.

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

My Congested Hat

I have a severe dust allergy. Oh sure, you say, we all sneeze when we encounter a little dust. This allergy goes way beyond that. An allergist once told me that on a scale of one to four, four being the worst, I was a five-plus (this is after he put the offending allergen under my skin, resulting in a rash which nearly sent me to the emergency room). At the time I decided that I really needed to take care of myself and acknowledge my limitations and give up any hobbies that were bad for my allergies. I decided that quilting would be my main hobby and I would give up everything else in the interest of good health. However, I discovered that taking a quilt in your purse to work on while you wait at the dentist is a little impractical. I've now decided to compromise and be careful about storing yarn in sealed bags inside plastic containers. Unfortunately, I am still trying to use up some fairly old yarn and it causing me to get congested every time I knit with it. I present to you my congestion-causing version of the beret, Le Slouch:Barring any significant allergic reactions, I hope to finish it quickly and move on to more healthy yarns. This week I also finished the knitting on the spiderweb capelet. I need to block it, crochet the ties, and make pom-poms for the ends of the ties. For my first real lace project, I think it turned out pretty well. I would also like to thank Theresa for the lovely yarn she gifted me. She sent some beautiful lace weight that I plan to use to for Mystery Stole 3, and as "padding" she included some Bernat cotton in a sunny yellow. How sweet is that?

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