Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A secretarial question

For my dear, loyal readers:

Why are Areli and Elizabeth the only commenters (it's a close relative of slickeriness) whose comments, when automatically forwarded to my email Inbox, contain a reply-to address?

I want to be able to reply to each of you, and I know I rarely revisit comments I've left to see if the blogger has responded, so I guess others may be the same way. So then I would have to go to the commenter's profile, find their blog, and leave an unrelated comment on their blog. Seems awkward, no?

Is this problem solved by using HaloScan? Or another way to phrase it, is this why many folks use HaloScan? Or, why do some bloggers use HaloScan?

I want to be a good, responsive blogger, what to do, my readers, lurkers, fans?

Please leave a comment. I will respond.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Glittering Gold

My Olympic Project,
shining in the warm Colorado sun

Gently moving with the cool breeze

(notice the famous Clap curled edge, despite blocking)

Nestled in the birches

It was a close race, I saved much of it for Saturday and Sunday, but victory was mine.
Pattern: Clapotis by Kate Gilbert
Yarn: No No Kitty Yarns Monty Wool, colourway "Snow Day"
Needles: Size 7 US Addi turbos
Pattern modifications: I added two (2) extra repeats in the straight section, and it's just long enough.
Thoughts & Reflections on the pattern and the Olympic process: I prefer long wraps, so if I had it to do over, I'd make it longer and wider. I would also use a worsted weight, silk blend, as the designer suggests, for weight, drape and slickeriness (yes, that's a real word.).
The pattern was much easier than I thought it would be. A blessing. I don't like knitting to deadlines.
I'm pleased and proud to be a medalist.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I've hit the wall

Ok, I hit the wall on several days ago. No Olympic knitting so far this week. And it's Thursday night - blogging rather than knitting. Yes, you read it right. No Olympic knitting this week. Not that much knitting at all this week. And what knitting I did manage, I just ripped out. Or the sweet way of saying it: I frogged it.

What's it? It is this: (yes, I nicked the pic from zib's blog. Thank you, zib.)

Elizabeth's Hyde Park Pullover

It's the ultimate Stashalong project for me - a pattern that I can use the Donegal Tweed I have had for y e a r s. About six (6) months ago, it was a 75% completed to-be-felted bag from Knitter's Stash. I decided I would never use it and could someday use the yarn for something else. Elizabeth brought me that something. The to-be-comfy Hyde Park Pullover.

So I immediately abandoned my Olympic knitting to make a gauge - OK, I made several, that's another post - and cast on. Yeah, well, I botched the broken rib (not mistake rib, as previously posted, and very ironic. Is it ironic? Is that the word I want?) pattern by over-thinking it while increasing, just on one row, and further botched it by trying to drop stitches to the row that needed fixing. So rip.

And that's been my CRANKY knitting week. Oh, I was sick with a stomach bug on Monday, which was a work day for me. Instead, I languished uncomfortably near the bathroom. Perhaps that's what has set the delightful tone.

I'm feeling better, just cranky.

If you're in the final days of your Olympic quest, keep the faith. For those that have bowed out of the competition, you are a true hero for even trying.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Obligatory Olympic update

Clapotis in progress

There she is in all her glory...

According to Miss Tangerine on the right, it's 10F outside, hence the office window picture. Here in the Banana Belt, we're used to warmer weather and snow that lasts about 2 hours. We're well into the 36-hour time frame and its charm has worn off.

Looks like I'll be busy this weekend, only five (5) stitches dropped so far.

My color commentary for the event thus far: Last night, I was watching boardercross (please, just call it that, not snowboard cross, how cumbersome), turned to purl a row, purled three (3) stitches and I saw it. Crap! I dropped a stitch! So I tinked back to the knit side, started picking up the stitch, and then remembered what the *F* I was knitting - a drop stitch wrap. I laughed at myself, then grew concerned about early-onset Alzheimer's.

No, really. It's a true story.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This and that...

A few mid-week details to share:

As you may know, I have chosen to knit the ever-popular Clapotis by Kate Gilbert for the Olympics. My fiber choice is Monty Wool dyed by Danielle, the former No No Kitty Yarn guru, in the colourway "Snow Day." The colors actually make me think of spring, so I'm enjoying it in this dreary February.

I have not done any Olympic knitting in two days. Not sure what that's about, but I'll be knitting tonight. Yes. Tonight.

Thus far, however, I have learned a little more about swatching. I mentioned earlier that I swatched four (4) times. Torture? No. Learning? But, of course. Mostly, don't be a novice swatcher and watch a CSI episode while swatching. You may not read the yarn label, even though you know it's not worsted weight and that's what the pattern calls for; you may forget which way to go with the size of your needles; you may not write down your measurements, thereby forcing you to re-knit a swatch with size 7 US needles, your final choice for the project; and you may stay up way too late. But I swatched. :: pat, pat, pat on my back ::

I have dropped three (3) stitches so far, and barring the fighting I'm doing with the 100% wool - let go of one another! - it's going along well.

In Stashalong news, yesterday was a free day. I took advantage of it to prepare for my March knitalong. Please notice the new button to the right - the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket Knitalong. It's another Kate Gilbert pattern from Interweave Knits Winter 2005, and will by my first sweater that I will finish, meaning sew together myself. Whoa. I chose to purchase 12 skeins of Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK. It is cheaper than the Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK the pattern calls for, and machine washable, a fine quality for someone like me and my hairy, dirty family. Since ordering yarn online without sample cards has always proven an adventure for me, I'm looking forward to its arrival. I chose the colourway buddleia, and, yes, I purchased an extra skein or two, just in case.

In sockapalOOOza news, yup, a sock exchange, I have purchased and received the yarn for my sock pal. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. It is SOOOOOOoooooooo soft. I'm excited to knit with it. Nervous to make socks since I haven't made any in years, and back then it was only one (1) pair, I believe. A nice pair for Dad, but it was so long ago, it's like I never made them. I was smart enough to put myself in the beginner group, so I have that going for me - lower expectations. I hope.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Elizabeth for her fair isle color choice guidance as I dream about a future project (see fuzzy-picture-I-could-not-defuzz below). I love the shape and design of this sweater, particularly the neck shaping. LOVE IT. But I look almost-dead/viciously hungover in gray, so I put the query out to the Knittyheads about changing colors. Miss Elizabeth responded promptly and brilliantly...and most importantly, she said, don't make a sweater in a color that "doesn't suit" me. I won't.

That's what's knews around here. Keep on keepin' on, Olympians!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

My sweet Angel Valentine

Charles Marshall, swaddled in handknit auntie lovin'
Sweetness and light he is.
My love.
My angel-nephew.
My Charlie.
He'll always be my true Valentine.
I miss him.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Yes, there are horses in Ireland

Pattern: Irish Hiking Scarf designed by Adrian of Hello Yarn
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Indigo; 98 yds per skein, 2.75 skeins used
Needles: Size 8 US Lantern Moon in Ebony
Finished measurements: 48" long by 5" wide

This one's for the Big D. He does not wrap scarves around his neck, so I did not need to make it very long. Dad chose the color over the phone - a man after my own heart with his love for dark blues.

Due to scheduling conflicts with my model, and my promise of back to back posts, I apologize for the absence of action shots.

Perhaps you can notice in the close-up photograph some light colored fiber that contributes to a subtle halo. Can you see it? They are very fine. They are delicate fibers from the stunning and rare Cassidy-beast, as well as Maxalicious, Abbini, and the precious tail fiber of Jerry.

What a truly special treat for my dear, pet-loving Dad.

Olympic update: No knitting last night. I'm tapering before tomorrow's big opener. I will be going to bed early and carbo-loading tomorrow morning.

Best of luck to all the athletes!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Notice those satellite dishes

My little mink has parked those ears of hers on my mother's Bobblicious every night for at least four weeks now.

"Who, me?" She says.

You'll notice Miss Abby is also sleeping in traffic: knitting traffic. The orange binder contains printed copies of assorted Knitty patterns I'm working on, or hope to be working on some time soon (soon = before 2008).

Laptop to cruise Knitty and my favorite blogs and job search sites. (Dear Cassidy & Laptop Fairy, please stop taking the keys away - I don't have the keyboard memorized, so missing letters makes cruising, commenting, and posting hard. Thank you.)

Red plaid pouch is an attempt to corral knitting tools, but the scissors, stitch markers, ruler, and pencil are all under my precious petite feline.

Plastic bag filled with yarn purchased by Ms. D from Sakonnet Purls for a scarf she's commissioned me to do. They will match her green snake-skin cowboy boots.

And the light blue, peach, and brown lump is my Manos afghan that I completed for my Master Work in 2002. Yup, a knitted afghan for my Masters degree. Great program. Great afghan. Manos not so great for extended blankie use. But that doesn't bother Abby.


Stay tuned. I will seam Abby's Wool-Ease Thick and Quick dream. And tomorrow I'll unveil Dad's Irish Hiking Scarf. That's back to back posts, folks. Hang on to your hats.

In Olympic training news...I knit FOUR different gauges last night. That should say it all. I didn't get gauge, but I'm persevering. That's what Olympic athletes do. And I'm going to do it performance enhancers-free. Wish me luck with my Clapotis.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Because I'm so cutting edge...

...and have been far too busy this week to form fresh sentences or find a few moments to knit.

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