Thursday, March 27, 2008

Introducing the Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy Sweater!

OH how this sweater amazes me. I amaze me. It amazes me that a couple of pointy sticks and a bunch of string, anyone can make something as happy as this. Knitting is freaking miraculous. TWO STITCHES. A simple knit stitch. A simple purl stitch. Sometimes I forget just how magical the whole thing is. Then a moment comes along and I just sigh. And then dance around the house with a sweater or a sock or just a little square of something. And totally freak out my children. God, being a knitting mom is awesome. A normal mom can just embarrass them the normal ways. We have SO MUCH MORE AMMUNITION. bwaa haa ha haaaa. But I digress, did I say how amazing this sweater is to me?

You know what? The whole seaming thing wasn't that bad. SSSShhhhhhh. I actually enjoyed that part. The whole set-in sleeve thing? not so much. But, I totally flashed back to my sewing days in jr. high home-ec where apparently my dislike for sleeves began. Flashed back to a VIBRANTLY colored cotton fitted dress with a full circle skirt, fitted bodice and SLEEVES FROM HELL that somehow became a SLEEVELESS dress. Imagine that. I'd totally forgotten until I was easing in the stupid sleeves into their stupid holes on this sweater. The sleeve hatred must have started when I was 13 years old.

SO, what did your children do on spring break? A cruise? Skiing? Rock Climbing? Mine were lucky enough to get a shovel and a hose. This is the three day "pond" experiment. A mom that dances around the house with her knitting, singing at the top of her lungs AND a hole in the ground? MAN don't you wish you could be my kids too? I'd better record these moments so when their therapists blame me for their issues in their mid-forties I can remind them of just how great it really was.

Sweater Details:
Pattern: Laced-Front Sweater in Lingerie Knits book by Joan McGowan Michael
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers (OH how I love Cascade 220, yeah, I sing about that, too)
Needles: sz 6 circs
Icord: sz 6 Three Stitch i-cord 60 inches
Worked exactly to pattern specs, only complaint was that the ribbing pattern didn't match up just right at the side seams.

Friday, March 21, 2008

mattress stitch, here I come...

I apologize for the lame picture of the sweater parts below, dark blue doesn't take well with my cruddy old digital camera. This will probably be the last sweater I ever make in pieces. I really like the whole cast off, sew in a few ends, and be DONE with it joy of finishing an in-the-round sweater. Do you know how many seams I've got to sew? A buttload. Wish me luck.

Oh, I also got about 5-6 inches chopped off my hair. So far I'm loving it. I feel like I look more like a normal woman instead of the biker-chic frizzed out nappy looking thing I usually resemble at the end of each day. This flippy, shorter version holds up to my life much better.

Hope the easter bunny brings yarn for you all! I know he will for me as I helped him shop. I'm guessing Jeff will get beef jerky, but am not quite sure yet. We'd better get our baskets out and ready. Cadbury eggs make me as happy as wollmeise yarn. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I don't honestly know which I'd rather have.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

One week to knit, five months to sew on some damn hooks & eyes.

Finished! Boy, I can knit fast, I just can't finish to save my butt. I did a little photographing in the company bathroom ala Crazy Aunt Purl. Ok, I just noticed you can actually see part of a toilet in the background. Sorry, everybody, that's just the kind of high-class blogging entertainment we provide here at the Knitting Virgin. Wore this today with a black skirt, black tank underneath and I think it's a keeper. I was so inspired by our big Sunflower Knitters' Guild turnout last night I went home and pulled out all my needing-a-little-something-projects and got to work. My accidentally felted picovoli has been hacked up and sewn up and generally tortured and will soon be felted a bit more into a unique felted bag. Pictures soon. I also unpicked and reknit the edging on my red sizzle sweater's armholes that were strangling my armpits. Yes, I have worn it anyway many, many times because I'm JUST that lazy.

I also was going through my new work clothes finds at the consignment shop nearby. I went stash-diving, damn I love stash-diving. Pulled out some green that just might work. I think I've made enough picovoli's for now, so I may just Zimmerman myself up a cap-sleeved summery top to wear underneath this one out of the *gasp* acrylic yarn there. It's not an exact match, but I think it'll work out. The design on the needles now is a start of a sweater that's not meant to be. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying acrylic is the devil or anything, in fact this stuff is pretty sweet for non-wool fiber. It just seems so wrong to me not to be using wool as the last, um, four or five summery patterns I've done have been out of pretty darn warm merinos and alpacas. I LOVE them as I can wear them all fall with no sleeves and be just warm enough but not to be so hot that I burst into flames as I often do in full wool sweaters. BUT I live in Kansas City, where it's at least 4000 degrees and often humid as hell so these won't make it for my summer under-jacket work attire. Yes, my office is cold as heck but I have to make it from the house into the truck and across the parking lot without melting entirely. So, cotton mixes and acrylics are on my to-do list.

I've also frogged the start to my wedding present socks for the hubby to be. They were working up too damn small. I did only have a few inches in before I decided it just wouldnt' work. I really knew it at about 2 inches, but kept going with the whole "this MAY just work....." crap. Back to the needles for those. If I could have found a thicker yarn than the trekking handpaints I bought that even looked remotely like deep sea waters I'd have bought it up.

Coming soon....the story of how nature boy was working on cleaning up the camper, damaged the boyfriend sweater, and fixed it himself. Oh lordy. It involves bleach and a sharpie marker. One that's supposed to be red, but looks much more lot hot pink. He was so proud, "look baby, you can't even tell!" yeah. I'd need about 6 more mike's hard limeades to not be able to tell. Just wear it backwards, ok?

Oh how I'm loving this camper. I know it won't entirely keep me away from the great outdoors, but it should sure make the great outdoors much more attractive as it's viewed through a layer of screen! PLUS it has airconditioning! Yeah, I'm so not going to get to use that, but it's there. Anything that puts another layer between the bugs and the dirt and me, I'm a big fan. This camper is so much bigger and cooler than the one my family had as kids. The side that has all the kitchen stuff and table even pushes out sideways with the two ends with the beds on each side. I'm thinking our outdoor adventures will be MUCH easier to take. Damn, I know I just totally jinxed myself.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Local woman injured in freak knit blogging walks away rolling eyes and showing no sympathy whatsoever...

OK, so I'm back to the matchy-matchy. (The shirt is actually more teal than the shot, it got bleached out by the flash.) Hey, there's not many perks to the whole losing all my knitting time going back to work in the corporate world, but getting to match my knitted socks to my shirts is one of the favorite parts of my days. Yes, I know I need to get out more. Back to the story... I am coordinated enough to take my own picture. And coordinated enough to hold my foot in front of my body. Apparently I'm not coordinated enough to do both of these actions at the same time. Notice that the picture above is taken with me sitting on the ground. WHY didn't I think of that first? I think the orange action photo the other day was a freak occurance, as when I tried this yesterday I fell over. ALL the way over. To the ground. Loudly.

Heard at my house yesterday afternoon...
"ooof, grunt, oops, AAAAAAAAUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH, BOOM, grooooooaaaannnn"

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?" stomp, stomp, stomp, (continue for a bunch of running up stairs, we live in the Weasley many-leveled split-level house, remember) stomp, stomp, stomp.... *Children and hubby-to-be arrive in a big crowd*

"Are you OK? What the heck happened? Why are you on the floor twisted up like that?"

"What? Oh, I just fell over." (hiding camera behind self)

"O....K...." *wanders off with the kids, everyone shanking their heads*

The scary thing? No one questions the fact that a grown woman just falls over in a big noisy explosion. I'm apparently so graceful that this seems like just another normal day around the Weasley house.

ANYWAY, I know I'm not the only one who does this kind of stuff (Matching my socks, not falling over in the attempt). I saw Grumperina showing photos not too long ago and there's enough of us 80's children that still have some glow-in-the-dark fingernail polish wearing, Modonna-look-alike or preppy collars and matching socks in our pasts, so fess up. Take a picture (much, much safer while sitting on the ground) or have a loved one take a picture and share.

And the shoes? Target for $29.99. Comfy and shows just a hint of crazy knitterly matching goodness at the end of long, boring black pants. They make me happy.

Cranked out some wrist warmers for my too-cool-to-wear-gloves preteen diva. She now wears the el capitan hat I made, her scarf of malabrigo she made on that crank-handled plastic knitting machine and these wristers. They qualified as "cool". Notice the sleeves are PUSHED up to the elbows? The sacrifices we make to be cool. Yarn: malabrigo, Needles: sz 6's, Pattern: wrist warmers in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, the man's pattern less 4 stitches. They worked up in just a couple of hours.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Introducing Picovoli the Third

OK, so let's hope that third time really IS the charm here. I truly LOVE the first picovoli I made which met with an unfortunate felting/shrinking episode that I've still not had the heart to chop and turn into something else. The second one? Well, that was the leaky boob sweater, shown on the sidebar as the cover pic for the fuglies. MAN, that is one funky looking sweater. ANYWAY, introducing the new and improved NOT GOING TO FELT THIS FUXXER Picovoli.....

Pattern: Picovoli by Grumperina
Yarn: 3 balls charcoal Lavish 100% superfine alpaca in light worsted, 1 ball indigo Lavish light worsted
This yarn? A divine, luscious, soft, loverly thing to work with. If the grey wasn't just a little bit hairy I'd have licked it. So, ok, I did actually lick it when I was doing the spit splicing, so there you go. Bought at MisKnits. LOVE this stuff. Once I find the two lost balls, I may need to get some more and figure out a striped hat or something.
Needles: size 6 I think, I've already lost my memory. Yes, I just took it off the needles a couple of days ago, but *poof* it's gone.

Can you see the itty bitty purple stripe at the bottom just above the garter bottom edge? I actually had 4 skeins of the charcoal in my stash. I know this because I'd originally entered it into ravelry like a good little organized knitter. Then I proceeded to take out one ball of charcoal and one of the purple to swatch for something and *poof* who the heck knows where they are now. The stashmonster has outgrown his pretty cedar chest. And the four drawers of my dresser. And the plastic tubs under the bed. I do know they're somewhere in the house. I'd normally never have put these two colors together, but it's growing on me. There's not enough of a contrast and I was really wanting something warm but soft and knitterly to wear under my boring black jacket at work. This pattern is my all-time favorite thing to knit. Entirely knit in the round with NOT ONE BIT of finishing other than weaving in ends. How much does that rock? I'll probably add a little crocheted slipstitch or single crocheted edge in purple along the top edge and armholes if I ever find that other ball of purple. If not, I think it's entirely wearable and lovable as is.

OK, so that "quiet little simple ceremony" I was thinking of for April 19th? Well, it's quickly morphed into a big-arse blowout party. We're in need of some ideas of how to keep approximately 25-30 kids entertained. I'm thinking one of those rented blow up jumping things you see at school carnivals. Jeff thought a clown. Nope. Not after poltergeist. Not gonna happen. They freak me out. Do any kids actually LIKE clowns? Kids that don't grow up to be serial killers, that is? ANYWAY, if you've got any ideas for mid-April in Kansas, which means there could be snow, there could be rain, or there could be beautiful sunshine and happiness. We're going to rent a tent, for cripes sake. It's gone HUGE. Ah well. I'm not walking down any damn aisles and I'm not being escorted. Not. Gonna. Happen. I've been there, done that and so has Jeff.

Ah well. I'm sure it will get thrown together in time. The current plan is for my two brothers and Jeff's brother-in-law to bring over their grills and to be in charge of hotdogs and hamburgers. Yes, HOTDOGS and HAMBURGERS. We're going high class here. No dressing up, people will be in casual party mode. Jeff will wear a hawaiian shirt and his wedding socks (as long as those get done in time) and I will wear a fabulous sundress (thank you Teri for helping me find a damn pattern!) with an absolutely stunning knitted shawl (thank you Chery!) that will make me look like a million bucks but will not make it SEEM like I'm trying to look like a million bucks. I will be that magical 15 lbs lighter. What dream world? It could all happen. In less than six weeks. While I'm learning a new job. And doing the supermom run-around crap that we all have to do. sure. It could happen.

Did I mention this sweater was made with luscious yarn for under $20? $4.80/skein and I used almost all of 4 skeins for the size S but added about 3 inches in length. Seriously, how much does that rock? Go on and make you one.

At least I have a rockin' new sweater, huh? OH, and the whole promising no more pitt shots while I learn to use the timer function on my camera? Did anyone actually think that would happen? Yeah. That's the risk you take reading this blog. There. May. Be. Pitts. But there'll be lots of yummy yarn to equalize the whole ick factor.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mini post....I have news!

Ok, so started and finished another picovoli sweater out of luscious alpaca that I got at MisKnits. Pictures soon.....

But I HAVE AN ACTUAL WEDDING DATE NOW!!! AND honeymoon dates. AND the plane tickets are purchased. The marriage license is applied for. All systems are GO, people! This damn wedding and trip has been set up and cancelled for one reason or another at least four freaking times. Now, it's legit. ....too legit...too legit to quit....too legit....too legit to quit...heeeeeyyyyyyy How sad is it that I'm still stuck in 80's music mode for every major life decision? It's like my life has a little sound track. Remember Ally McBeal? or whatever that show was? She had little dancing babies and Al Green's voiceovers in her head. I'm not quite to that point yet. not quite.

More details later, I promise. We're getting married in a little bitty ceremony here in KC and the week later heading for the Bahamas! Wedding date is April 19th. Guess I'd better get my butt moving on knitting up those wedding socks for the groom, huh?

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