my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Monday, April 30, 2007

Sunny Day

What can go wrong on a day when you come out of the shower and hear your pre-schooler loudly singing the Sesame Street Theme Song to the world (at our house we refer to it as "Sunny Day"? Granted, I'd rather he wasn't up at quarter of six, but we were out the door relatively easily this morning. Especially since his orange pants were clean.
I've started the border on the spring thing shawl. I've completed a repeat and am concerned that it's going to be too small and I'm going to have lots of leftover yarn. I think I may have to rip back and add more repeats to the upper eyelet pattern. Good thing I'm not on deadline.

I've completed two full repeats of the dragon socks. I'm liking it a lot and have gotten to where I don't need to look at the chart.

I haven't touched Serrano in a couple of days. Mostly because I've got too many wips (shawl, socks, serrano, B's sweater, dishclothes, a hat) and I need another US3 to work the body.

I'm sorely tempted to open up one of my five bags of Polar and whip up a quick cardi for the office. It is a meatlocker in here with the air on.

I did some sewing this weekend, after I rearranged the mini-yarn stash and maxi fabric stash and books that were blockading the sewing machine. I started a "Piderman Packback!" for Billy. A while ago, I bought a yard of Spiderman quilt fabric and decided this weekend to make B one of those drawstring backpacks. It's all sewn up. I just need some cording and grommets to finish it. I think he very much wants to use it. I've also cut out a simple skirt for me. I might work on that tonight.

Saturday, April 28, 2007


This yarn has begun the journey to becoming a sweater. I cast on for Serrano last week when I needed straight stockinette. Six hanks were wound into balls and 261 stitches to a row and I'm not quite to the turn for the hem. The yarn seems much more yellow when I'm knitting it up, but it's definitely orange. What looks red is really more of a burnt orange so deep it's nearly brown. I've been trying to post this picture for days. Finally, I'm online at home and here you go. Now I wish I had more pictures to post.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

my one photo per week per blogger

This is what I was doing Saturday and Sunday. I've been wishing I could go back all week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

why bother

I have two great pictures to share with you, but I can't upload them.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Let's Freak the Muggles Again

Go here, put knitting as #1.

Is it just me...

Or does the Beatles' Penny Lane play in your head when you see Amy Lane's name? Must just be me.

I made some progress on the shawl last night. 11 sets of eyelets done. I re-did my math and I'm going to aim for 20-22 sets, depending on yardage, size, etc. No ripping and minimal dropping back to fix last night, even with a Desmond-centric episode of LOST (I just knew he wouldn't let Charlie die). Posing up there is my Koigu sock swatch. I washed it last night and have a gauge of 7 st/inch. That means that the 64 stitches in the pattern might fit around my big fat ankles. I really want to cast on, but besides having a job to do, I need to look up the cast on Teresa recommends.

Hubby had a work thing last night so we haven't really talked about this weekend. Although, after this morning's performance, I'm thinking leaving him with the grands won't be bad. He was so good last night. He ate well, came in from shooting baskets without fussing, took his bath, went to bed, minimal amount of frustration for mommy. This morning, he wanted his frog shirt, orange shirt with a bright green tree frog on it. I couldn't find it. I think it's at school in his emergency clothes bin (I'm going to check tonight and bring it home if it is, he's asked for it a couple of times). So, then he decides he's not going to cooperate at all. He wanted to wear PJs to school. He wanted a Bob the Builder pull-up while we used the last one yesterday and only have spiderman pull-ups and elmo diapers. After 15 minutes of no and wriggling and crying (all on his part, I behaved very well), we finally got dressed and out the door with no more fuss.

Although, I do still think I might want him with me. I wonder if I'm trying to avoid being alone with Hubby or if I'm feeling guilty about taking time off from Mommying.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Back to the fiber

I avoided posting my feminist ravings about the whole Don Imus thing, but I couldn't keep quiet. It's one thing when a group of women are insulted, it's another when 33 people have died.

So, back to the fiber, I'm about 4 sets of eyelets further along on the Spring Things shawl. I'd be even further, but I had to stop and rip, drop back, and tink a number of times last night. I have to remember that just because a pattern is easily remembered, doesn't mean that I can knit like it's stockinette in the round! I think the color is more accurate today. I'm planning on about 25 sets of eyelets before I start the upper border. We'll see what kind of yardage that takes and what size it gets me.

The green thing on top is a swatch for my Here There Be Dragons socks in the leftover Koigu from the lace leaf shawl. I just had to print out the pattern and try it. My previous attempt was on a much thinner yarn and it lead to a smaller sock. I'm hoping koigu on 3s will get me less than 8 stitches to an inch so that the socks will fit my wide-ish feet.

I'm enamoured of that greenish koigu and I have more than four skeins left. Two plus a partial ball should be enough for the socks. I'm thinking of using the other two to trim a future project. Maybe a lacy ruffle on a 3/4 sleeve of a plain beige sweater? With a little trim on the front bands? Just a thought. I'll try to remember to put the koigu with yarn I was thinking of matching it with.

In other news, Hubby's got his parents shore place for the weekend. (Definition of shore place: a converted motel suite one block from the beach in North Wildwood, NJ. M-i-L hates to call it a condo because it's an itty bitty, one bedroom converted suite.) Since the weather's going to be nicer this weekend (read: sunny in the 60s), I'm thrilled. However, we have a minor debate on bringing the B. This morning Hubby suggested leaving the B with his parents, they're already taking the dog, and it nearly brought me to tears. Usually, I'm all for getting the mommy and daddy alone time, but for some reason, as of this morning, I want B with me. Maybe that's just because he's been really easy the last couple of days. I'm sure if we get a "no pants" episode as I'm trying to get out the door Friday morning, I won't regret leaving him with his grandparents.

Cute thing B's been doing lately: over dinner, we get a run down of who pooped at school that day. Not sure how accurate it is as it always starts with "Nessa got poop." The other kids who "got poop" that day will vary and he invariably says no if we ask about kids by name, including him. Mostly we think it's entertaining, but Hubby was a bit uncomforatable discussing Nessa's bowel functions at the diner last night. Like the old people behind us don't regularly discuss BMs!

I don't want to write about it, but I have to

I don't want to say anything about the shootings at VA Tech. It's just too horrible to think about and my heart aches for those involved. But, the sexism inherent in the mishandling of the situation by the campus police means I have to say something. said something that got me thinking (I'm quoting here because I'm not sure how to link to the direct graph):

But there's another security story that's not mentioned in this article. The part of the story that unfolded before Cho bought the guns and ammunition. He exhibited antisocial, threatening behavior for quite some time before he packed up weapons and killed 32 people. Much of that threatening behavior was directed at women. One female teacher reports being afraid for her safety when tutoring him alone. Cho is reported to have obsessively, persistently stalked a number of female students who lived on campus. By accounts now surfacing in the news, police came to speak with victims in one case (maybe more? maybe not), but no charges were ever filed, no further action taken, and the behavior continued to escalate. If even a misdemeanor charge had been on record, would he have been able to obtain those weapons so easily? Did nothing happen because the law enforcement system involved -- really, all of us -- don't take violent crime and threatening behavior against women as seriously as we should?

The assumption by the security on campus that the first shooting was a "domestic" situation and didn't require a campus lockdown was ludicrous. A number of spree killers murdered "domestically" before exanding their spree. The largest on campus spree killer prior to this, Charles Whitman killed his wife and mother before climbing into the tower at University of Texas. "Domestic" doesn't mean that there is no threat to others. Especially if you don't find a gun in the room of the "murder-suicide." I really do think that VA Tech bungled this. There were 2 hours between shootings. If they'd locked down the campus, by doing more than sending out an e-mail, they could have saved some lives. I know the ultimate responsibility for this act lies with Cho, but when will domestic violence, which is usually against women and children, be taken seriously as a real crime. It's just as real a crime as stranger on stranger.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

all lace all the time

Here's the progress on the Spring Things shawl. Not bad considering I didn't knit at home last night. I hemmed some pants instead. How is it, that at 5'4" plus-size petite pants are at least 3" too long? Being fat doesn't make my legs longer; I'm still short! I'm totally grooving on the colors. I think they're a little more saturated in this picture than in real-life. I've got the pattern memorized for the upper chart. I've got many, many 6-row repeats to go. Since I've got 870 yards, I'm thinking I'll make it a little bit bigger.

I've gone ahead and signed up for the Cabin Cove knitalong. Got to remember to add the button to the sidebar.

I hope to have modeled shots of Lace Leaf later this week. I'm hoping the weather will improve so we can have some daylight modeling, either by me if I can find a photographer, or by my forsythia bushes if I can't.

Go find a Ben & Jerry's scoop shop. It's free cone day! My first experience with Ben & Jerry's was in grade school. In 1983, the town next to mine made the Guiness Book of World Records for the world's largest sundae. B&J donated the ice cream and they bussed kids in from all over to eat it. Being from VT, B&J was always the ice cream of choice. I remember seconds sales (esp. the seconds that were seconds because there were TOO MANY chunks), getting Peace Pops at the drive-in, visiting the original scoop shop in Burlington, coming to NYC in high school and seeing the famous Woody Jackson holsteins and realizing there was a bit of home in Times Square. When my cousin worked at their factory in St. A, she'd get sleeves of ice cream each week and would pass along the extras. Free cone, I think I need a pint!

Monday, April 16, 2007

that whole Koigu sweater thing?

I found the pattern. Serrano over at One problem, 4 skeins of the recommended yarn at 560 yards = 2240, 12 skeins of koigu at 175 yards = 2100.

No grasshoppers today

Here is the lace leaf shawl all blocked out. It's a little wonky, first time I've blocked a triangle. I finished the cast off on the way to and from church yesterday. I washed (hit the dirty train floor) and blocked during Billy's nap yesterday afternoon. She was dry when I left this morning, but I didn't have time to unpin it. This was a very satisfying knit. Two weeks from cast on to blocking. I'll need to trim ends but she's ready to wear now. The pattern is Lace Leaf Shawl from Fiber Trends, knit in Koigu (I can look up the color if anyone wants to know it) on US 7s. I used by KnitPicks Options in the 32" length. I had to rip once, I think. There are a couple of minor errors (a k3tog in one row where the k2tog was missed the previous right-side row), but nothing I can't live with. I'll try her on and see what I think.

Meanwhile, I cast on for the Spring Things shawl on Saturday. I was waiting for B to finish the french toast Hubby made for lunch. Since the yarn, pattern and needles were sitting right there, I started. But US3s seemed too small. I started again on Sunday (during nap after I blocked lace leaf) with US5s. I liked the fabric better and cruised through nearly 40 rows when I realized I'd messed up but good back on row 6 or so. RIiiiip it went. I started in again this morning. I just love this thing and can't wait. Hubby's not convinced that I need to knit multiple shawls, but when has knitting ever been about need? (Okay, I know 100 years ago I would have been knitting out of need.)

In other news, parts of my town have become new duck ponds. Seriously, I watched from train station as a pair of Mallards landed on the water on High Street and just toodled around. Most roads were passable and the bus ride into the city was only 5-10 minutes longer than normal. The river hadn't wiped out much, but, the blocks near the river were not draining. The public schools are closed (some are being used for shelters for people who live near the river) and I'm probably going to need an alternate route to daycare if this hasn't subsided by evening.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Netter can't count

You know how I mentioned on Wednesday that I was just about done? I was wrong. I thought I was close to 290 stitches needing only to finish out that repeat, but when I recounted that night, I was at 260 something. I needed about 3 more repeats to finish. I'll have 307 stitches when I finish the next two rows. I'm starting the edging after that. The shawl measures 18" deep right now, and I think it will block out fine.

I could always knit another, bigger one from the leftover koigu if this one isn't deep enough (I'm currently on ball 3 of 8 that I have in this colorway and dye lot).

Speaking of Koigu, I won 12 skeins of p338 on eBay the other day. Can I tell you how excited I am? I'm going to figure out a lacy cardigan if it kills me.

I do have to start planning another baby item. Good friends of ours are expecting their first in September. Hubby suggested a blanke. I'm thinking a log cabin moderne or the courtyard steps from Mason Dixon Knitting. I'm thinking of getting a bunch of Elann sonata in neutral colors. We have another friend that is expecting his second in August. I decided this morning to do a baby surprise or tomten in Mets colors (I've got ASC in orange and blue melange). I could also do bibs and stuff.

Next, up, though will be my Spring Thing shawl in my Cabin Cove laceweight. Once I find the yarn.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ladybug Presents

I've got no idea what the blog title means. Billy's been pretending to see ladybugs or grasshoppers out his window (second floor to the ground, kid's got good eyesight). And he's been obsessing about presents. Not just that he wants to get new stuff or even open presents himself. He was perfectly happy when Molly opened her present a week ago. So this morning, after telling me about the ladybug he saw, he started asking for ladybug presents. I really don't know if he thinks there should be a ladybug holiday for which we exchange gifts or if he wants to wrap up some aphids to leave for his invisible friends. I'm confused, but he's cute!

I've decided I'm going to make a bigger Lace Leaf shawl. I'm nearly to the end of what would be the last repeat of the smaller size, but it's only about 15 inches deep. I don't think it's going to grow by more than half with blocking. I don't know if I'm going to add seven more repeats to make the full large size, but I definitely want it to be at least 33" deep after blocking. Which is fine. I was kind of bummed to think that I'd be starting the 15 row border tonight on the way home. I'm not quite ready to be done knitting on this. Although, I was very excited to think that I might be blocking it this weekend. Oh well. If I'm not ready to block by Saturday, that means I don't have to clean off the guest room bed!

I did order the Spring Things shawl yesterday. I'm going to knit that up with my Cabin Cove yarn. (I'm going to have to join that knitalong when I cast on. Which is good. I like the buttons.) I just ordered a niddy noddy on eBay which will make the Icarus Magnum Dye much easier.

Rae, browse through here for some rectangular shawl ideas. I imagine some aren't too holey. Hey, there's always Clapotis from Knitty.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Big girls do knit, and they read sometimes

Amy, I'm a big girl, too. (Getting bigger by the day it seems.) The vest is knit on US13s or 15s but is going to be ripped as too big. I hope to re-start it for next Fall. I read somewhere, can't remember where, that bigger girls not where anything larger than dk or worsted weight. That could take forever if your bust is 48" or more (and that's 48" with no ease). I'm hoping a chunky knit that's got about zero ease won't look too bad. I'll definitely post pictures if I ever finish!

Both Amy and Rae asked about Wicked. It is indeed the book upon which the play was based and I put it down for a good long while about 1/3 through because I wasn't so into it. I got Son of a Witch recently and figured I should finish Wicked. I couldn't put it down. I'm about half-way through Son and do want to pick up Maguire's other books.

I love the re-tell from a different character's perspective. I think the best, and my favorite, is Grendel. I do want to pick up Finn which is the story of Huck Finn's father. It's gotten good reviews.
Rae, you can use Easter Egg dye, or any other food coloring, to dye protein fibers. And they're nontoxic, so when I dye, that's what I use.
I worked diligently on the shawl last night and am a repeat past where I had to rip last week. I'm torn about the size. The small size is supposed to be 68" x 33", which I think is a good size for 5'4", but I'm only halfway through the second ball with 2 repeats of 10 rows to go so I sincerely doubt I'm going to use all 600 yds called for. Does that mean my shawl will be smaller? The large will be way too big (90" x 45"). I guess we'll just see how it blocks out. It's looking like I'm going to have at least 4 skeins of koigu left. Methinks I have green socks in my future!
I inspired another knitter to start knitting on the train. She wants to make a blanket for her son, but doesn't have time. Maybe today, she'll be knitting instead of doing Sudoku.

Monday, April 09, 2007

little bit of this, little bit of that

I did dye as planned on Friday afternoon. Two skeins of chunky going from golden yellow to orange. Gave me some things to think about the magnum dye I'm going to do for Icarus.

I also dyed another skein of Iris in the superwash sock yarn (purple, turquoise and apple green). Looks pretty good.

Oh, yeah, a skein of "After the Easter Eggs" as well. It needs to be washed. Whew! does that smell of vinegar!

For knitting, I ripped out 12+ rows on the shawl Saturday. I'd messed up the last repeat something fierce. I haven't really touched it since. I've been too busy reading Wicked and it's sequel, Son of a Witch.

Friday, I did knit some on the pink, pink, and more pink vest I'd been working on. I'm going to rip it out. Hubby gave the colors a no vote, but the deciding factor was that it's a bit bigger than I wanted it. I wanted a slimmer fit. I don't agree that big girls can't wear chunky yarns, but I think they shouldn't be boxy or oversized in the least.

Friday, April 06, 2007


I did a google search of images of Icarus this morning, to try to justify my thoughts on my dye magnum opus. I know in the myth, the wax holding Icarus's feathers melted from the frame, there was no fire. But, I always think of fire when I think of Icarus. This piece by David Bovey is what I think of, color-wise.
I have a piece I wrote years ago that references Icarus. I wonder if I could dig it up. I'm obsessed about this lace piece and am chomping at the bit to dye the yarn and start knitting. Soon, soon.

Not gonna rant

I was going to rant about how I shouldn't be here today, but since I got a total of eight e-mails over night (I usually get at least 30) and two in the hour since I've been here, I'm going to just buckle down and get somethings done. All of our European colleagues have today and Monday off, plus lots of people took today off (including my boss). The disruptions should be minimal, especially since it's probably going to be quiet out in the blogosphere today.

Our office is closing at 3, so I'll be home by 4:30, which is an hour and a half earlier than normal. I'm hoping I can get some dyeing done. Not the super extensive, so crazy you're supposed to be talking me out if it lace dye, but maybe a couple of skeins of sock yarn, but not all the sock yarn.

Since daycare is closed, B is with M-i-L for the day. I left the house at 6:45 when Hubby got out of the shower and B was still sleeping. M-i-L was going to get to the house at 7:15 so she can get B up and all that and Hubby can get to work on time. She'll take him to her place after lunch and is making dinner for us at their place tonight. (M-i-L is going to NC to visit her parents this weekend so we won't all be having Easter dinner on Sunday.)

Tomorrow Hubby and F-i-L are going to the Yankee game (belated F-i-L birthday gift) and B and I are going to an Easter egg hunt at church. (How many orange ones do you think he'll bring home?) Then while B is napping, I'll boil our eggs and we'll dye them when Hubby gets home. Gee, I think I'll have some skeins waiting for the leftovers.

Church on Sunday and F-i-L's coming to our place for Easter dinner (he has fewer vaca days than M-i-L so he's not going with her).

I hope to get more knitting done on the shawl. I barely finished one repeat yesterday. I was moving slowly.

Didja notice my little sister (the recipient of the handknit stockings) stopped by the other day and said she liked the shawl?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

lots to say

Hubby and I took the day off yesterday. For the last X years he and I have gone to every Yankee home opener. Unfortunately, we couldn't get tickets for this year's opener so he got them for the second game. Which got rained out. But, before we knew we wouldn't be watching any cold, wet baseball, I was at home working on the Lace Leaf Shawl while he was on a job interview. (Um, yes, I did say that and that is where he was even with having 3 different jobs last year, let's just say the third time wasn't the charm.) I finished two repeats by the time he got home, then we had a nice lunch together and did some Easter shopping and then I took a nap. There's something wrong about taking a vacation day and still being in the shower by 6 am (had to get B to school at a normal-ish time or he'd freak out). I had thought if the game was rained out I'd do some housework or dye some yarn (my knitpicks order came in on Tuesday). Didn't happen.

Here's the progress on the shawl. Thanks for all the positive feedback. I can't wait to finish it and block it. I'm just under 200 stitches and aiming for 307. Am I half finished yet? Ironically, I didn't work on the shawl at all during tv time last night. Instead I picked up a plain stockinette vest I've been working on. Wine with dinner, I guess.
Why yes, the shawl is posing with 30 balls of newly stashed yarn. Thanks for noticing. (10 balls Rowanspun Aran in Gable, 10 balls Polar in Combat or gray, 10 balls Polar in Truffle or yummy yummy chocolate)

I do think I should stop stashing until I find the burgundy Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool I want to use in a design idea.
In other exciting mail, I received this from Adrienne. She had offered a hand knit hat to the winner of Thordora's PPD crazy race in February. I won the race (and a copy of Adrienne's book). Go to Adrienne's blog to see a picture of me in it. (I wonder what the neighbors thought while I was snapping away at my own head.)

I had started a long winded post about the book but I've lost it. I devoured the book shortly after receiving it and it deserves it's own post.
I think I'll wear the hat to the Easter Egg hunt at church on Saturday, since it's going to be knit hat weather. Nice springer we're having. It was snowing out my window earlier this morning. I would have taken a picture but I was interviewing someone.
Speaking of dyeing, I've got an insane idea to dye my own yarn for my icarus. I did buy a skein of bare laceweight from KnitPicks... It's a truly crazy idea that will take me hours to accomplish. Hours of wrapping and hours of dyeing. Really, someone stop me. (I'm thinking my pink and yellow from Cabin cove would be better as this.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

delayed gratification

Most days, I wait and wait until I can pick up my knitting. Sometimes, I'll knit on the bus into the city in the morning, but lately I've been sleeping. If I get a seat on the subway downtown to my office, I'll do a few rows. Usually, I don't get my knit on until I'm on my way home. Again, I'll pick it up on the subway uptown if I get a seat. But, generally the serious knitting starts when I'm ensconced on the train or bus. All day when I can't knit, I think about my current project, or the next one, or I shop around and buy yarn. I continually check my bloglines feed to see if anyone's updated so I can be virtually surrounded by my obsesion. It's only an appetizer, though until I am commuting and then, I relax into the bliss that it is the stitching. I hate to be interrupted. Woe to the person who asks me to get up so they can have that empty seat; I shoot them looks of death.

Unfortunately, with the shawl, I can't pick it up for just a minute here or there. I don't even bother taking it out on the subway. I look at it longingly in my bag, but I know that I just don't have time (the ride's 8-12 minutes). So, I can't feed the lace jones until I'm on my way home. It makes the desire that much stronger, delaying it until I'm on the train and I can get the pattern out and fire up the yarn overs.

I'm trying to be good at home. Not working on the shawl as soon as Billy's in bed. Last night, I did the recycling and worked some of the duplicate stitching on bounce before I dove into the lace. Tonight, I'll do the dishes and a few more baseball seams before I allow myself the release of the ssks and skps.

Still, I've made some progress. I put a life line in after the first repeat of the main chart (or row 31-40 if you're like me and you work from the line by line instructions). I'll move it after the next full repeat or so. I'm still loving the knitting and loving the koigu.

Hubby asked last night who the shawl was for. I told him "Me!" I did mention that if someone sees it and really wants it I might give it up. I'm not sure if I'm a shawl wearer, but I'm sure I'm a shawl knitter!

I think I'll go finish my lunch and work a couple of rows, if nothing urgent pops up, which would be a nice change.

Monday, April 02, 2007

addicted to lace

I'm wishing you a happy April, now that my mood's improved this morning. I was not a happy camper this morning. Billy's caught the cold Hubby and I were sharing and he has the gross propensity of mucus oozing from his eyes. No color to his eyes, mind you, but it was a bit touch and go to determine if they were still white, meaning mommy could come in to work.

This is the first of my planned April/May Project Spectrum projects. A Lace Leaf Shawl in Koigu. Late last year, I bid on and won 8 skeins of KPPPM in this lovely green (with blues and purples). I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, or even if I'd like the colors (the photos on the auction weren't very true), but I couldn't resist the volume at the price. Now, I'm addicted to lace. I wasn't sure about the start, but I'm through the first 40 rows and can't wait to pick it up again. I've been thinking about this and my Icarus for months. I wound the yarn yesterday morning (B was watching All-Star Alphabet for the 8 millionth time). I had to go up to US 7s to get gauge, so it doesn't seem to challenging, yet. I can't wait to start Icarus in laceweight yarn on 3s!