Thursday, November 20, 2008

She's Come Undone!

Last night, I frogged the Caterpillar Scarf back to the first body segment's increases. I decided that four inches was just far too narrow for even a five year old's scarf. I got a text message from my sister today telling me that she thought four inches was too narrow as well. Of course, I had already re-knit the first body segment by that point. I suppose it would be even better if the scarf was six inches wide, but I'm not sure I want to re-knit it again. Maybe I should let it sit for a while and work on one of Nephew's Critters instead, like the Gator Mittens.

Shawl Cravings
The desire to knit shawls is growing in me again. This may well be growing out of the chilliness in my house in the evenings. Snuggling under a shawl while reading or writing or knitting would be just enough extra warmth to keep me from having to bump the thermostat up a few more degrees. I should really finish the Errold's Grove Wedding Shawl before I start a new shawl project. The shawl after that, however, will be a heavier weight one. I could use a bit more warmth than is afforded by a cobweb weight or lace weight creation. I have some cones of heavy fingering weight wool that should work nicely. I'll troll my queue on Ravelry and see what I've already had in mind as a future project or I could just dive right in to MMario's Spanish Armada. I'd jump into the Queen Anne's Lace Shawl, but that's going to be another cobweb weight yarn and I really do want a heavier pattern than that.

Oooooh! I know! I'll finish up my holiday knitting and then start on Spanish Armada as my reward, regardless of the status of Errold's Grove. I'll just have to make darned sure I don't start to collect shawl/stole works in progress that stall out.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Working Out vs. Knitting Time

I have recently started setting my alarm clock for 4:30am in hopes of getting out of bed shortly after 5am and leaving for the gym around 5:30. I've only been trying this for two days. So far I've gotten out of bed at 5:15am and left for the gym around 6am. The end result is that I am setting my alarm clock 45 minutes earlier and getting ot the gym only 15 minutes earlier.

What's this got to do with knitting? No, I do not knit while running on the treadmill or lifting weights. But I am now going to bed shortly after 9pm instead of 10pm, which is cutting out an hour of possible knitting time. Dang it!

Caterpillar Progress....
I have finished the 4 large body segments. I am about to start the first of three small body segments. Now I'm worried that the scarf is not wide enough. I am, of course, not quite achieving gauge so my scarf is only 4 1/4 inches wide instead of 5 inches wide. I am now seriously considering ripping the caterpillar back to its head and adding 2-4 stitches to the longest rows and a couple extra rows to allow for the extra increases. I keep trying to tell myself that a 5 year old's neck isn't as tall as a grown-up's neck but the voice in the back of my head says it's too narrow.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Caterpillar is Inching Along....

Well, it was. I started it with an orange head and a pink body. Now I think it needs a pink head and tail and an orange body. I had only knit one body section and the head, so I won't be ripping out very much. It will be good knitting while I watch Blade Runner and Paths of Glory tonight. I had a thought the other night that it would be really funny/cute to add legs to each body segment and turn this into a centipede or millipede.

I think I'll finish all of Niece's critters before I start on Nephew's critters. These are really fun to knit and very fast to knit as well. The patterns are clearly written and well photographed. I really like that the whole set was put in a binder too.

Missing Mitt
Some time ago, I knit a fingerless mitt for my right hand. When I'm on the computer for an extended period of time, my mousing hand gets cold. My hypothesis is that the position of my hand on the mouse compresses the blood vessels so my right hand doesn't get as much warm blood as my left hand. The result is icy, numb fingers. The mitt really helped keep my hand warmer longer, along with regular re-positioning and flexing my hand. I had intended to knit a second mitt for my left hand, but never quite got that done.

I came across the remaining yarn recently. I think it is Paton's Classic Wool, but I'm not positive about that. I did, however, have the sense to leave one DPN stuck in the yarn ball so I know what size needle I used. Perhaps I'll get the second mitt knit after the holiday knitting is completed.

Too Cute!
I may have to learn how to crochet SOON. I was sent a link to this Snowman Coffee Cozy earlier this week. Isn't it just adorable? I can think of a couple of coffee junkies that could use these.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Two Paws Down....

Now I just need to figure out which of the critters I'll go for next.  Part of me wants to do the Gator Mittens because they'll be fast too, but then part of me says I ought to get one of the bigger projects (like a scarf) done instead and save the quick mittens for last.  Maybe I'll cast on the Caterpillar Scarf while I watch the shuttle Endeavor launch tonight.

An Almost Oopsie
One of the first pair of socks I ever knit was a pair of Lealt Socks from the first Vogue Knitting Socks book.  I knit them in a yummy orange yarn made by Stahl called Sunshine.  I don't wear these socks very often because they are very warm and a bit too thick to wear with most of my shoes.  I did end up wearing them a week or two ago and washed them this past weekend.  For some reason I had it in my head that this yarn was superwash so I didn't pay any attention when I put them in the washer and dryer.  I am almost positive that I have washed these socks in the washer before.  Apparently I was mistaken.  

The foot portion of these socks is now awfully short looking though it does stretch out enough that I can wear them.  They fit more snugly than they used to, but that's ok.  They were a bit too loose.  When I knit these socks in the early 1990s, I didn't really understand the concept of gauge.

Needless to say, I will definitely remember that these socks are NOT to be washed in the machine or dried in the dryer.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Puppy Paw Down....Five and a Half Critters to Go!

I whipped through an entire puppy paw mitten last night in just a few hours. It was much faster than I expected. I should get the second one finished this afternoon or evening.

In the interest of time, I elected to go with acrylic yarn. The Niece had requested orange and fuschia for her Critters (Pony Tail Hat, Puppy Paws and Caterpillar Scarf). The Nephew will get a dark green Dinosaur Scarf, Gator Mittens and Dinosaur Hat. I still need to get felt or fleece for the pads on the puppy paws, the eyes on the scarves and the spines on the Dino hat. I think I have some black polarfleece somewhere in my fabric stash.

Surprisingly, I wasn't able to find a nice bright pink yarn locally. I found a light pink and a rose color, but nothing that approaches Barbie Pink. I settled for the light pink and then found two skeins of a bright pink at home that I had purchased for Niece when I intended to knit sweaters for Christmas. Fortunately it's a "no dyelot" yarn so I can get another skein of the hot pink when I do get to the sweaters and not have to worry about the new skein not matching the old one.

While out yarn shopping, I debated purchasing two skeins of the new (to me) Patons Stretch yarn. It's a cotton blend and I found two skeins in a nice green/khaki color. I picked a skein up twice to fondle it, but ended up deciding against purchasing it. Now, of course, I'm having some non-buyer's remorse. I may go back and buy it today. I wanted to double check to make sure I hadn't overlooked the bright pink yarn at this big box store anyway. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Update: Yep, I overlooked the pink yarn. I found it when I went back today. It was hiding behind a stack of hanging freebie patterns. I now have an additional skein of the pink yarn, just for the Critters. And I succumbed to the Patons Stretch yarn. It was a treat for me just because.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Fuschia Socks!

I have finally finished the Fuschia Socks. I cannot remember what yarn this is. I'm nearly positive it is not Mountain Colors. I'm pretty sure it's also not Lorna's Laces, but beyond that I don't know. It is wool and a light worsted weight. Anyway, my feet are quite toasty at the moment, which is quite nice.

I wove in the ends on the Fawkes Socks while I was at it and I might just weave in the ends on the one Slippin' Stripin' Sock I finished from Sock Madness 2. I've got a pair of socks I need to mend as well. I managed to rip a hole in the bottom of one foot. Part of me says to just let it go since the socks are at least 5 years old, but the other part of me says the tops have plenty of wear left in them and it's just a little hole right now. No doubt the mending part of me will win.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Voting Knitting

Well, I actually took knitting to my local polling place, but the wait to get my name checked was just a few minutes and the wait for a voting booth was about the same. The whole experience from parking the car to unparking the car was about ten minutes. I suppose that if I had not been prepared with knitting that I would have stood in line for ages.

Now I'm spending the evening watching Waterloo Bridge, starring Vivien Leigh, on Turner Classic Movies and knitting my fuschia sock. I can't think of a much nicer end to a day than that. Ok, a winning lottery ticket, perhaps, but a nice cup of tea is nearly as good.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The November Calendar

So, in mid-September, I figured out that I might put my projects on my handy dandy wall calendar to keep myself focused and set some tentative goals. How did I do? I did finish the Candy Corn bags on time. I also finished the first Queen of Cups sock, which didn't actually appear on the October calendar. I did not, however, finish the Errold's Grove shawl. Heck, I'm not sure I've even worked on it in October. I haven't worked on it since the unfortunate vacuum incident.

As of yesterday, the only thing on the calendar for November was to finish spinning up my sock yarn. That is now going to change. I'm going to finish the fuschia sock (2nd of the pair in a plain 2x2 rib) that I picked up after finishing the first Queen of Cups. After that, I'll haul out the Boy Socks and get them finished. I still haven't re-worked the toe area of sock #1. It would be good if I got these done before Christmas. So, my only completion goals for November are to finish the fushia and Boy socks.

Now, when I'm supposed to start and finish the critters for the Niece and Nephew, I have no idea. I don't even have the yarn picked out yet. *sigh*

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Name Change

Some of you know that Morenna is the name of my primary online gaming character. Much as I would like to claim it as my own invention, I cannot. I actually saw it at a fiber festival many years ago and borrowed it to name my game char. It has since become something of an online alter-ego for me. Over time, I came to the conclusion that it's a bit unfair to Robin Edmundson for me to continue to use the name she came up with for her company, regardless of how beautiful that name is. (By the way, Robin dyes gorgeous rovings and yarns. You really should go check it out. I'm particularly fond of the Hummingbird colorway.) So, you'll notice in the next few days that the name on my blogs will be changing. Yes, it's confusing and I'm sure it'll aggravate some of you, but it's the right thing to do, so I'm doing it. My apologies to Robin.

So, the new name will be Ruby Louise. In real life, I am named after my grandmothers--the first name of one and the middle name of the other. Ruby Louise is the reverse combination. Ruby Louise will also be the name by which I will sell the knitting patterns I'm developing. I find this particularly appropriate since both of my grandmothers knit, crocheted, and/or quilted. I actually have my paternal grandmother's knitting and crochet tools, including one sweater in progress.

Anyway, I wanted to let you know in case you were confused by seeing Ruby Louise instead of Morenna.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Infamous Bag Hat Photo

Here's a photo of my niece wearing her bag/hat. (My apologies for the poor quality--it's a camera phone pic.)
It seems the confusion as to whether it was a bag or a hat was started by her dad who thought the bags were hats. My sister, of course, knew they were bags but wasn't home when the box was opened.

Last night, my nephew used BOTH bags to Trick or Treat and managed to fill them both. My niece decided to use a punkin treat bag instead, which is fine. Whatever carries the most candy and works best for you.

Still no photo of my sister wearing a bag hat, though she did tell me it was really really warm when she wore it.