Friday, October 31, 2008

Woo-Hoo!

Ooh! A snake!

Wednesday, D and I headed to the Timberwolves season opener. The Wolves won, which made us both very happy.

On the way, we stopped at the plaza outside the Federal Courthouse in Minneapolis. They have a very unique courthouse plaza, with some very fun art. I couldn't' find anything online about the artist. I just think they are too, too cute!
I've seen these little guys in passing while on the bus, but this was the first time I was able to see them up close and join them.

A few of them are mowing the mounds of grass.
Taking pictures....

Helping out a friend....

Or just lazing around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Dream in Knitting

Last night, I dreamt I was knitting some wonderful socks. They were very brightly colored, a variegated yarn, soft and smooshy. The pattern appeared to be either Jaywalker or Monkey. I think the yarn was one of these. I was knitting on bamboo DPNs.

In the dream, I was actually knitting about five or six pairs of socks, but I didn't want to work on any of them. I was digging in my closet and kept finding more and more socks, until I found the ones described above and thought, "Ah...here is what I want to work on".

I think this is a sign.

The dream seems to have been inspired by two things: one would be this post from the ADD Knitter. See the Monkey Socks in the upper left corner? Very similar to my dream socks. The other would be the time I spent yesterday perusing the fibery goodness at Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I took a class on sleep and dreaming in college and I firmly believe that every dream can be traced to something that happened to you that day.

Tonight I'll probably dream about this blog post.

Despite my dreams, I'm not going to run out and buy some Socks that Rock yarn because I am on a yarn buying moratorium. If someone else wants to buy me yarn, go right ahead!

I am working on two pairs of socks right now. The "Socks for Kathy", and the Socktoberfest Mystery Sock. I am done with Clue #1. I am using some KnitPicks Sock Memories in Cape Cod.

In other news:

Lunds and Byerlys have the BEST caramel apples ever.


Timberwolves season opener is tonight!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Today, D and I headed to the "real America"...my hometown of Anoka, MN. At least I think it was the "real America"...I sure saw a lot of Michelle Bachmann stickers, and I heard someone say an Obama presidency would lead to Communism. I felt almost as uncomfortable as I did when we hung around the RNC.

We were there for the Anoka Halloween Parade. Yup! My hometown is the Halloween Capital of the World. Gigi and the Little Guy were there as well. We also ran in to some old friends from high school. We had plenty of time to chat because the parade is about 3 1/2 hours long. That is a lot of Halloween.

It was the perfect day to wear my Gloria cowl and Fetching mitts.

I bought the Little Guy this Halloween Balloon. Look how proud he is of it...well, I guess you can't really see him.

After the parade, we did a little geo-caching. I found this teeny-tiny cache.

We admired the confluence of the Mississippi and Rum Rivers.

Then we hightailed it back to the big city, the "un-real" America, where I can safely shout "OBAMA! OBAMA!"

Yay Me!

I have returned from the UMACRAO conference where I was the recipient of a lovely shiny plaque.
It's the Exemplary New Member Award. I was very, very excited to receive this, and although I do not like to toot my own horn, I wanted to share.

Now, this is a knitting blog, so if anyone could help me come up with a knitting related way to say, "toot your own horn", I'd be much obliged.

I celebrated with the martini pictured. I then ordered a second martini which took up residence my lap. Eergh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quiet Time

Things will be a little quiet here over the next few days. I'm off to the Upper Midwest Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers Annual Meeting. Try saying THAT five times fast!

I cast on last night for a cowl to go with my Fetching mitts. I have plenty of the Manos left. So far, I am experimenting. I cast on 100 stitches and have started doing the same cable pattern as Fetching. Knit 4, Purl 1 ribbing for 4 rows, then a cable row. I figured I'd do that twice and then knit straight for a while, and then finish with the cable pattern.

I pulled it off the needles after I had done one cable round plus a few rows, and it seems to be going okay so far. The cables really shrink the circumference, but it still fit easily over my head and seems to be a good witdth around the neck. WE'LL SEE. I've never made something up as I go along before, so....could be disastrous.

Oh, who am I kidding? It's a cowl.

I also purchased this pattern yesterday: Matilda and Tillie. The pattern calls for Peace Fleece, which I happen to have in my stash. I think this hat will look great in the bright red I have.

I am thinking of buying this pattern as well: Pleated Ballet Flats. They are just so cute! I don't think I have anything in my stash for this though.

With the weather getting cooler, all I can think about is knitting!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Perils of Not Checking Guage

The Josephine hat is complete and isn't she cute?

Pattern: Josephine by Julia Riede available on Popknits.
Yarn: Rowan Calmer
Started: October 14, 2008
Finished: October 18, 2008
Size: I used the pattern for the infant side, but this is definitely a toddler sized hat.

Too bad she is way to large for anyone under the age of 2. That is what happens when you don't knit a gauge swatch. Usually with baby hats, I don't much care. It will fit at some point. Problem is, I don't really want to give a hat to someone who hasn't even had the baby yet and say, "Here! Here is a hat your child can wear when she is 3". I'll have to knit something else.

That's not the only problem Josephine and I had. We had quite the disagreement while I was doing the shaping on the brim. The hat insisted that I had knit where I should have purled, and even though I didn't remember this, I had to admit defeat and pull my short rows out and start over. My level of frustration at this turn of events surprised even me.
Regardless, it is a lovely hat. I had some really cute pictures of my nephew, the Almond, running around at my dad's house yesterday wearing it. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted almost ALL of my pictures from my memory card. I'm just so sad about this, because there were cute pics of the Almond and the Walnut and the Little Guy. Now they are all gone.
I've also started again on Kathy's socks and got a few rows done on that this morning while riding in my limo...err, the back of the bus.
We had a lovely weekend here in the Twin Cities. My weekend was packed with activities: geocaching, Arabic dance class, visiting with my grandpa, beer with friends, and a meeting of Team On Tap to discuss our trip to Ireland, March 12 - 23.
The highlight, however, was when a random sheep wandered past my dad's backyard. Sure, at one time...maybe 100 years ago...my dad's house was in the country, surrounded by farms. That hasn't been the case for quite some time. We aren't sure where the sheep came from, but he disappeared between two homes and down a hill. Hopefully Little Bo Peep finds him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Knitting Ambitions

The last time I verbalized my knitting plans, they all went horrible awry. Okay. I'm totally exaggerating there. I just wanted to use the phrase "horribly awry".

You may remember my summer knitting queue (or not...I barely remember it myself). How did I do on these projects? Review time...quiz to follow.

One Skein Wonder: Done! In fact, I did two!
Gloria Cowl: Done!
Nothing But A T-Shirt: Done...in October...significantly after summer. In all fairness, I did call it my "Summer and BEYOND Knitting Queue"
Synesthesia Socks: Done! Finished in the summer!
Kathy's Socks: Have been started. I've set them aside until I see her again and can have her try them on to see how sizing is going.
Josephine Top: Abandoned.
Sockapalooza: Well...it hasn't happened yet!

Looking this over, I realize I did very well, actually. I am still terribly disappointed in the Josephine top though. I really want to knit that. I made a bad yarn choice and so now will have to wait until I can buy some yarn I like better. Considering that I am saving every spare penny for my trip to Ireland in March, I don't anticipate casting on anytime soon.

That also means that my Fall/Winter knitting must be done from my existing stash which in turn means I will be working on small projects.

Right now, I am making an octopus using the pattern in Kath Dalmeny's World of Knitted Toys. I'm planning to gift this to the Pecan, who joined all of us on Monday. The Pecan also surprised us all by being...a boy! I'm using some of the yarn I bought to make the Josephine top, so it will be a kohlrabi colored octopus.

I am also working on this hat for a co-worker having a baby. I'm using leftover Rowan Calmer from the Nothing But A T-Shirt.

I'll be making another Gloria Cowl using my leftover Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend from the Fetching mittens.

I'm still working on Kathy's socks and will see her this weekend, FINALLY!

And, I've decided to do the Socktoberfest Mystery Socks. I'm a little behind, but so far I've only printed clue 1 and intend to do this in bits and pieces and not peek ahead. I know I've got some sock yarn in my stash! Or I could raid my mom's stash.

For now, that is all I have planned. I'd really like to do something bigger, but I don't think I have the yarn for it. Sigh. So hard to save money.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Well, That's Fetching!

I'm sitting at my desk and I can hear the TV out in the lobby. Talking heads are discussing the presidential debate last night. I wonder how many times they will mention Joe the Plumber.

Wow! Look at this! You can already order Joe the Plumber t-shirts.

While I listened to the debate (I simply cannot stand to watch the debate...the glaring, snide smiles, and head shaking irk me), I finished up this:
Pattern: Fetching by by Cheryl Niamath from Knitty Summer '06.
Yarn: Manos del Uruguay Manos Silk Blend, less than one skein!
Started: October 10th
Finished: October 15th

Sorry I don't have a picture of both. It's really hard to take pictures of your own hands.
I loved this pattern. Easy, quick, and I've still got an entire skein and then some of this yarn left, so I plan to make a cowl to go along with the fingerless mitts! I'll try to work on that over the weekend.
After work yesterday, D and I headed over to Brasa, a little rotisserie in Northeast Minneapolis I have been wanting to try. If you eat meat and live in the Twin Cities, get yourself over there. It's way better than those chickens you pick up at the supermarket.
I had the roasted pork plate. I got a mound of pulled pork that was juicy and flavorful. For my two sides I had the creamed spinach with jalapenos and the "special side" which was black eyed peas with bacon and cornbread. The black-eyed peas were creamy and had just enough small chunks of thick cut bacon mixed in. Nestled in the middle was a slice of corn bread. And the spinach...best I've ever had. The jalapenos gave it just a little kick.
D had the combination plate (chicken and pork) with a side of cornbread and honey butter, the spinach, and cheese grits. The corn bread was moist and sweet and the cheese grits were comfort in a bowl. Are you hungry yet?
We washed it all down with some Mexican Coke. If you've never picked up one of the big bottles of Coke from the Mexican aisle at the grocery store, do so. There is just something different about it.
After that, all I could really do was sit on the couch and knit, watch the end of Knight Rider, and listen to the debate. A successful Wednesday night.
EDIT: So, you see how after the picture my blog post is all one big paragraph? This is NOT how I formatted this. There were spaces between my paragraphs, and when I publish the post, the spaces disappear. I've edited about 5 times, putting the spaces back in, only to publish and have them disappear. Anyone know why this happens? How I can prevent it? It is the number 1 reason I am thinking of switching to WordPress or some other blog service. I find this so irritating.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Done!

I finished up the "Nothing But A T-Shirt" over the weekend! It fits my sister perfectly. Doesn't she look cute?

If I were to do it over, I would do the collar again (for a third time). I'm not 100% happy with the way the collar looks. I did a couple little things differently on the collar (I got the ideas from someone else's blog, but now you need a password to access that blog, so....). I picked up the stitches in the main color and then switched to the contrasting color. This helped with the "fang" problem I had before, but I had one less row of contrasting color, so the color seemed "short". Next time, I'll knit an extra row.

I also decreased 4 stitches evenly around the collar on the front and then increased again on the back. This was a suggestion from the other blog to make the collar lay flatter. This seemed to work pretty well.

I need to work on my seaming skills. Where the collar comes together seems a little wonky to me.

Other than that, the sweater turned out lovely and she seems to like it!

I liked working with the Rowan Calmer. It's incredibly soft. I would love to wear a sweater made of this! I was a little alarmed at how much the the color seeped out when I blocked it, but fortunately it didn't bleed on to the contrasting color. It also might be a little too stretchy for me.

I'm feeling pretty good about a finished object!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nothin But Some Side Seams

Squeee! It is almost done! I just have to sew up the side seams tonight, perhaps do a little blocking, and I will have an FO. So exciting.


I worked on this last night while I listened to the scintillating MN senatorial candidate debate amongst Al Franken, Norm Coleman, and Dean Barkley. I thought it was pretty interesting. I have to say, it was nice to just listen and not have to watch their facial expressions during the debate. Made the whole thing a lot more tolerable.


I got to see the Little Guy over the weekend and he gave me a very nice birthday card, with a sticker inside. He loves stickers. I told him I wanted to wear it and I handed it to him to stick on my shirt somewhere. He promptly lifted my shirt and stuck it square on my stomach.


Because tummies are the place for stickers. Everyone knows that.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Almost Back Where I Started

While I was away, I was able to get the Nothing But A T-Shirt almost back to where I was before I ripped the front and back all the way back to the beginning of the armhole shaping.

I need to attach the collar and then sew it up and it will be DONE!

In sad news, the Twins season is over. I'm so sad.

In better news, I listened to my first Cast On podcast yesterday! It was so cool. I also no longer need to listen to the crazy people on the bus anymore. My iPod is slowly being filled and so far contains (in addition to one episode of Cast On) lots of Wilco, Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo, the Jayhawks, Andrew Bird, Sarah Harmer, Weezer, REM, and a little Jane's Addiction. Good times.