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Tomorrow my friend Sarah (the one who just got engaged woo) is stopping by for the night on her way back to Mass. I’m super excited to see her since it’s been forever. But the apartment is a mess. We’re both ready for a move and frankly we really don’t like our apartment anymore BUT we’re stuck here till the fall. This lack of appreciation for our home translates into a very messy place. To be fair, most of this is my fault sicne I’m not the tidiest of people. But we’re not pointing fingers. Instead we’ve decided to make tonight a cocktails and cleaning night. Cocktails because it’s Friday and cleaning because god knows we need to. (I thought it best to write this post before we begin the evening’s festivities otherwise you might not understand what I write!).

On the knitting front I’ve made significant progress on the Bog Jacket. I’d take a picture but the thing makes little sense when you look at it at the moment. But I can tell you that 1/3 of the top/sleeves are done. I’ve worked out the arm shaping (which I will need to do in reverse on the last 1/3), I’ve started my first color change and I’ve worked out where my shoulder shaping will be. If I work really hard this weekend I might be able to finish the main part of the knitting. Once that’s done I have to graft all the grafting bits so it turns into an actual jacket. After that I can trim it in i-cord, sew-in a zip and call this one done. I’m sure this makes no sense to anyone who hasn’t knit this pattern but I promise it’s really simple and hopefully it will be a success.

Now what about this Hussey? Well a co-worker sent me the following picture today and it made me laugh so I thought I’d share it with you. Unfortunately, I don’t know who took this photo so I can’t give anyone credit so I apologize now for being a bad person but hopefully the copyright gods will forgive me.

If you ever need to have a shotgun wedding you know where to go. It’s one stop shop!

Letting the cleaning commence.

I had two epiphanies today.

Epiphany 1: I will not cast-on a new project until I finish 3 WIPS

  • First – I will finish my knee socks since I just have the cuff.
  • Second – I will finish the Bog Jacket. This means I have to sit my butt down and work out all the shaping and color changes once and for all. I’m really close to finishing but I’m being lazy
  • Third – I will finish something from the WIP bag. I’m thinking of finishing the Cabled Riding Jacket I start last summer. I gave it up because the pattern is overly complicated and vague in it’s directions PLUS it gave me cubital tunnel syndrome and I couldn’t knit for months. I have 3/4 of a sleeve and collar left. I think I can safely work on those without hurting myself.

Epiphany 2: Sweater design.

At some point today I had a flash of design inspiration. I bought some lovely pink and grey yarn in Argentina with the plan to combine in some sort of sweater. At the time I was thinking a stripey sweater T but today I thought about something a little more interesting. My plan is to knit a little sweater T with a circular yoke and a henley-style collar in a really simple f-argyle (fake argyle) pattern. I think it will be really sweet when it’s done (if I knit it right) and I can probably wear it alone or over a white button down.

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I got home and started my swatch. I’m using EPS to figure out how to knit this thing and yes I will use steeks to do the henley-style collar. I LOVE STEEKS! (when do you see that said in a knitting blog?) Of course, I can’t start this until the other WIPs are done but I can work out the details of the pattern so I’m ready to cast this sucker on as soon as those other three things are done! Plus this gives me EXTRA motivation to finish. With that being said, I’m going to sign off and get back to my sock.

I don’t have much to say today. Still working on my knee socks and my Bog Jacket. I’m at the point where I have to figure out where to start my shoulder and arm shaping on the jacket plus I have to figure out the color pattern for the arms. I don’t really have the focus at the moment to work it all out so I’m working my way through the knee sock while I think about it. I hope to map it all out this weekend. Once that’s done I can breeze through the jacket and maybe finish the knittng next week. Then I have to trim it in icord and find a zipper. I’m hoping for another FO soon (she says crossing her fingers).

We have an outing at work tomorrow so I don’t have to go to the office which is nice. I do have to spend a few hours at a country club doing nothing. I wish I could golf or take a lesson but I can’t. I’m trying to figure out a project to bring with me while I sit around. It’s between the knee socks and Carl’s sweater. They’re both pretty portable but it’s supposed to hot tomorrow and the thought of knitting an alpaca sweater outside in the heat just makes me cringe but it’s a few hours that I can work on it without him seeing. What to do? I guess I just have to make a decision before I leave tomorrow.

We’re currently watching the Mayor Bloomberg channel (i.e. nyc.gov tv) and the commercials are insane! Everything from help MS to global warming killing children with on train tracks to video pirating. I’m very confused. I don’t know how I feel about all these ads…

Anyway  I want to CONGRATULATIONS to my good friend Sarah who just got engaged!!! I’m so happy for her. She says she can’t stop looking at the ring. I remember those days, it’s so nice!! I still look at mine and smile. Finding yourself in this life is wonderful but finding someone you can be yourself with is simply amazing . I wish them both all the happiness in the world. YAY Sarah!!

My yarn arrived for the Bog Jacket today and now I have to choose n accect color. So the jacket is a moss green and a smoke grey stripe down the arms. I want to offset this stripe with some accent color. Just a ridge or two of garter stitch. So which combo would you choose?

Bold:

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Predictable:

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Natural:

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Out-There:

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The funny thing is these four colors go great together. I should have knit a jacket out of them…

Thanks for the help!!! As soon as choose a color I’ll be able to finish this sucker.

I spent Sunday working on Carl’s wedding sweater and I’m proud to report that the body is nearly done. Of course I still have to knit 2 sleeves but I have a little over 3 months to do it. I think I’ll make it. If it gets close someone will just have to take Carl for a week or more so I have to finish.

I’m about half way up the leg of the second knee sock so the end is nearly in sight. Also I’ve been working on my Thick and Thin Cardigan that I started when I got back from Argentina back in JANUARY! It’s worked from the top down and I’m done with thick part of the body and I’m about 3 inches in on the bottom ribbing. The ribbing is just awful. The sweater is really heavy and unweildy which makes knitting back and forth a pain in the ass. Flopping it around actually hurts me if I’m not careful. I think I know why I stopped knitting this. I figure that if Iwork on it a little bit everyday I might finish it sometime this decade.

Today’s (very late) stash flash is the sumptuous mohair yarn I bought in BA.

I don’t know which store it came from since I spent the day walking up and down the yarn district going into any store that was open. Some shops were like the shops you see here in the States and others were more like a bargin bin store. Just a store filled with bins of yarn. Most of the yarn was acrylic but behind one of the counters at one of the stores was this BEAUTIFUL orange mohair and I just had to have it. I bought three balls of yarn for 30 pesos which is about $8 dollars (completely insane). I didn’t have a project in mind, I just loved it. The other day I showed you the sketch of want I’d like to make with this. I think it will make a great vest. A whole sweater of this stuff would be way too hot but a vest will be perfect. I’d like to swatch it this weekend so I can work out some of the kinks and maybe cast-on.  Eventually I’d like to post the pattern here on the blog. As long as it’s not awful.

On a different note, Carl apparently likes to watch me write these posts which I find a little creepy. I don’t mind him reading them when they’re done but to watch me type them is just weird. I feel like I’m Doogie Howser or something…it’s just wrong.

Anyway, We labeled and stamped our save the dates this evening so they can go out tomorrow. Every time we check something off our list I get really happy and then I see all the things we still have to do before the wedding and I panic a little. One thing that isn’t stressing me out is the dress. My mom is making my dress and she’s also taking a class in May with a couture sewing lady in Boston. Before class she has to have a completed muslin done so she can spend the week working on the dress with this lady. The lady has offered to fit me to the muslin before the class starts so we’re going down to her house in Maryland on May 1st. Guess what weekend that is? Maryland Sheep and Wool!!! I’ve been trying to go for years and I’ve never made it. Now I have no excuse! I’m super psyched but I don’t like the idea of going to a fiber festival while on a yarn diet. It will be hard but I can do it!

Now I have to get out my work clothes and find some din dins. Once that’s sorted I can bind off the shrug and start working on my next WIP. I hope the shrug works this time. Happy Friday!

I went to M&J yesterday and found some wonderful things to finish off the negligee. My mom is coming over tonight to have her haircut (it’s actually cheaper to have my guy come here…whoda thunk it?) and I’m going to rope her into helping me determine the right length for the shoulder straps. Anyway, this is what I got.

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Beautiful silky ribbon for the waist.

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Some beaded trim for the shoulder straps.

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And one sparkly pearl bottom for the back.

I spent way too much money (of course) but I had a great time. I bought a bunch of paillettes to make this skirt from Knit.1 (but I’d make it longer to preserve my modesty).

I know it's flashy and short but I love it!

I even walked down to Lion Brand Yarn Studio (it’s about 20 blocks south of M&J) to get extra yarn to combine with what was already in my stash so I could make the skirt. I was so excited that I rushed home to swatch it however when I got there I realized that the holes on the paillettes were way too small. I threaded them onto some black thread and tried to carry them with the yarn and that was a mess. So now I have more yarn than I need and thousands of useless paillettes. So I can either return the yarn and the unopened paillettes OR I can find a small hole punch and make the holes bigger. What do you think? Return or make do?

I also found these lovely sketch books for fashion flats. After failing at the sequined skirt I pulled out my stitch books  and my pencils and designed a nice little vest for some orange mohair yarn I bought in Argentina.

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The new Shirely Paden design book is great by the way.

Maybe I’ll even knit this one! I will certainly be warm.

I’m feeling a little under the weather again but I don’t think I’m actually sick. I’m wondering if it’s just from the change in weather or the dryness of the air but I just feel yuck. My throat hurts a bit and my heads a little congested. It didn’t help that I was so hot in the office today that I was actually getting dizzy. In fact I’m still a little foggy. I’m going to stop here before I start to ramble and make no sense. Maybe I just need some really bad food. Hmm…off to hunt for grease and fat.

Not buying knitting books and magazines is probably the hardest part of this little experiment. I received this morning’s knitting daily email about the new Spring issue of Interweave Knits and I managed to look at all the previews without breaking out in a sweat from pattern buying withdrawal. I was proud of myself. There was little skip in my step this morning as I walked to work. I had tackle the monster and WON! This afternoon however, I received an email from Amazon about a book I pre-ordered on July 13, 2009.  Apparently the book will be released on February 24, 2010 instead of March 3, 2010 and I completely forgot that I ordered it. Sadly, since then I have probably bought 6 more books, countless magazines and god only knows how much yarn. Because of all this consuming I started this little experiment and now I’m conflicted. The book is Knitwear Design Workshop: The Comprehensive Guide to Handknits by Shirely Paden and I’m sort of excited about it. Do I cancel an order placed before this all began or do I let it slip because it was ordered before making this pact with myself? Needless to say that little skip in my step is gone. The book would be helpful when I start to design things with my stash but it’s also adding to the book stash. What to do!?

And I was worried about what I was going to write about today…thank you Amazon for providing content.

  

Turning A Corner

I have finally moved on the to applied I-cord for Grandpa’s vest. I’ve turned my first corner and I’m really enjoying the color combination. I’m hoping my staunch, ultra-conservative Grandpa won’t thinking it’s too flashy. But he’ll just have to love it since I made it for him, right? 

This is the first EZ pattern I’ve knit where I didn’t need a video or a cheat sheet to understand her. I love her patterns and I simply love watching and reading her but sometimes I have no idea what she’s telling me to do. You really need to read every word in her story or else you end up with a mess. Her patterns and books truly are stories. There seems to be a memory associated with each and every pattern. Some ski trip with her hubby or some bright idea Meg had or a memory of her mother. There’s something about her humor and determination that reminds me of my late Grandma. Maybe that’s why I chose an EZ pattern for Gramps. Gram always knit things for him. He told me a story once about a pair of argyle socks she made him and how wonderful they were. The whole time he was talking he looked like he had escaped into the memory of her and those socks. You could see the love in his eye and just how much he misses her. When I read EZ I think of my Gram knitting me sweater that I just hated when I was little because they were itchy but now I covet because my Gram knit love into each and every one of those stitches. Now that she’s gone it’s my turn to knit a little love for Gramps. She always managed to soften the old grump, maybe I can do the same. 

On a less nostalgic note, I started looking into design software to help me when I’m ready to start writing up patterns for all this yarn I have lying around. I tried the Wild Stitches Knitting Software and it was nice but I think it was too much. They only did flat knitting and I like to work in the round and the home edition ($90) was missing some of the features I loved when I used they’re demo, like the stitch motif and the sizing functions. These features are included in the designer version which is $390 but I’m just not prepared to spend that much at the moment. So after playing with it for a while I returned the home edition and ordered Sweater Wizard and Mitten Wizard both are simple to use and will generate schematics and generic instructions which I can then tailor to fit my needs. I really really really want the stitch motif software but it’s not in the budget this month but I will order it next month so I can start charting out some fab patterns. 

I have to say I’m really excited about the next 361 days and I hope I can keep up the momentum.

Let Me Count The Days

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I will update this link whenever I finish reading whatever it is I'm currently reading. Sometimes the book will be mentioned in the blog, sometimes I won't but you can always check out when I'm reading here and maybe you'll want to read it too!

The Far Pavilions

THE FATHER BROWN OMNIBUS

Dragonfly in Amber

What Angels Fear: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery, Book 1

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