Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Pair of FOs

FetchingThis is Fetching. A pair of Fetchings? I don't know. (It's one of those collective nouns like "staff." "Staff are...." is correct but sounds dumb.) So let's just say it's a pair of writwarmers/fingerless gloves in the "Fetching" pattern. I'm very happy with them, and in a month or so I'll be wearing them in my office on a daily basis. Before that, though, they really neeed to be blocked. The picot bind-off, while cute, curls a lot.

Pattern: Fetching from the Summer Knitty
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Lotus Pink (from my stash!)
Needles: US6 Brittany DPNs

I knit the left one (I know it was the left one, because the cables are reversed on the right one) a couple weeks ago. The, on Tuesday night after I got back from Tuesday night knitting, I cast on for the right one. I finished it about 8:00 tonight. This really is a quick knit because I knit slowly and I haven't had much knitting time in the last two days.

About 80% of the first glove was knit Continental-style, and 100% of the second one was, unless you want to count the bind-off. For some reason, binding off really confused me with the yarn in my left hand, so I switched back to English style at that point.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Where I Knit

Have you seen Laurie's (a.k.a Crazy Aunt Purl) request for pictures of our 'knitting spots'? I liked the idea, and this picture, so much that I decided to post the picture of my favorite knitting spot here.

Where I knit

This is my big red chair in my living room. Off to the left, you can see Simon, plotting to escape through the sliding door, if it weren't for that annoying screen in the way. If the iBook's not on my lap, it's might be on the wicker-chest/table next to the chair. Hiding behind the footstool is a whole lot of UFO's and knitting books. When I sit and knit in my big red chair, Simon is frequently on my lap and Harley sits behind me on the back of the chair, chewing on my hair. Oh, and it's right in front of the TV! ;-)

I love my big red chair. It started life 20 years or so ago, as a blue floral velvet chair with lots of wood trim. It had a matching couch and they lived in my mother's living room. When Mom got new furniture, it went to live with my sister, and eventually ended up in my living room. It was the most comfortable chair ever, but I hated the upholstery (sorry, Mom!) and draped various things over it to try to disguise the blue floralness of it. A few years ago, I had it (and the footstool, which was blue 'leatherette') recovered. The upholsterer was a true artist. He totally reshaped the chair. Can you even tell that there used to be wood trim on the arms and back? I could have bought a new chair for what I paid, but I couldn't have gotten anything as comfortable or with such perfect red-on-red stripes.

Harley says, "No, I won't show your scary knitting friends how I sit on the back of the big red chair."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I know y'all get tired of hearing about Seraphim, but I am so happy with it. I don't think I've wonked it up too badly. AND I have begun the last chart -- I've finished Row 1 -- just nine more rows to go! If my calculations are correct, I've got exactly 400 stitches on the needles.


And can you see what's in this blurry picture? It's my glass-topped coffee table (magazines both on and below!). What's that purpley thing?

mousey on the coffee table

It's the cable catnip mousey! The first time I found it on the coffee table, I figured I had tossed it up there while vacuuming or something. But then I found it there again! I've never seen Harley on the coffee table, but someone put it up there, and it wasn't me and I doubt that it was Simon (he's shown no interest in the mousey since the first day). Maybe I should dust for pawprints....

OH.... and am I the only one absolutely craving a spinach salad, now that spinach is unavailable?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Saturday Sky (not)

Okay, no picture of Saturday Sky this week. You can imagine it though, bcause it's more of the same -- blue with a few fluffy white clouds. And it's still hot, but at least the highs are in the 90s, not the 100s.

I finished up the left Fetching Thursday night, and I discovered that it's really hard to take a picture of your own hand. (I really do have a pinkie on my left hand -- it's just hiding in this picture.)


I'm very proud of this, because the entire hand (from the wrist to the fingers) was knit continental. I'll admit that I returned to english/throwing for the bind off, but continental is starting to feel more natural.

I've also completed a couple more rows of Seraphim, and am at row 16 (out of 20) in chart 3. I've done the purl rows continental, but the knit (pattern) rows are mostly english. I've tried doing them continental, but the decreases are frustrating and seem to fly off the needles, although not in a good way! I'll keep at it, though.

A couple of you asked if I had found a Zoom Groom for Harley. I ended up ordering it from Amazon and paying as much for shipping as for the Zoom Groom itself. However, Harley loves it, and it really works (and it was still about $10, including shipping, which isn't all that bad).

The annoying thing is that I ordered an external hard drive (this one) from Amazon and within minutes of placing that order, I decided I might as well order the Zoom Groom from them, too, but when I tried to combine the two orders, they wouldn't allow it. I would have saved a couple dollars in shipping if I had just remembered to order them at the same time!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Continental

Remember that Saturday Night Live skit The Continental, starring Christopher Walken as a really creepy "ladies' man"? That's not the kind of Continental I'm talking about.

I'm talking about knitting continental style, which I'm trying to learn. It's actually going pretty well, although I'm sure I'll have to finish my Seraphim in my English throwing style. I've knit about 15 rows of the 4x1 rib in Fetching continental-style, and it's starting to come pretty naturally. I've also watch some of the videos over at Knittinghelp, which are reassuring. See the link on the purl page to the Finnish purling video? That's pretty much what I've been doing - it looks like I'm wrapping the yarn twice around the needle, but really only the first wrap is pulled through. (I don't push the finish stitch off the needle with my finger. I'm wondering if she's only doing it because she's knitting so slowly.)

I will say, though, that this makes my left hand hurt. I'm assuming I'll get over that.....

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New Skillz (sort of!)

This afternoon at knitting at the Candlelight, I mentioned that I would really like to learn to knit continental style, but since I'm already the world's slowest knitter, the idea of changing styles and at least temporarily becoming even slower was keeping me from trying it. Kim, who is familiar with my grasp-the-yarn-in-my-right-hand-and-fling-it-around style, looked at me and said, "I really don't think it would be any slower!"

So, for the next hour, Kim very patiently coached me through learning how to knit and purl continental-style (well, except for the time she spent untangling a big hunk of yarn vomit I pulled out of the center of my skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted). She was right -- within a few minutes, I was knitting just as fast as I do in my regular style (or lack thereof). I do have issues with wrapping the knit stitches in the right direction, but I get it right about 3/4 of the time. Thanks, Kim!

Although the nice 4x1 ribbing of Fetching is good practice for my continental skills, I've gone back to my old style this evening while I work on Seraphim -- I don't think I'm quite ready yarn-overs and decreases!

And on a completely unrelated topic:

Black Kitty

This is Black Kitty. He roams the neighborhood, although it's obvious he's well fed. Simon and Harley are always quite excited when he jumps the fence into my backyard, and occasionally he comes up to look through the sliding glass door. I've never tried to pet him - as I said, he's well fed, and I don't think he's a stray, but I don't want to risk getting attached! (Oh - and speaking of black kitties, have you heard about Chaos's new little sister?)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What's this?


Why, it's Fetching! You're probably thinking, "doesn't she have shawls to finish?" Well, yes, I do, but this morning, feeling yucky (neverending South Texas allergies) and with nothing on my calendar until afternoon, I stayed home. I wanted to knit, but didn't feel like concentrating on lace, so I pulled some Lamb's Pride Worsted (Ignore those negative reviews on Yarndex -- I love this yarn! Yes, it sheds -- it has mohair in it. Yes, it would probably be scratchy for sensitive types to wear next to the skin -- it has wool AND mohair in it. Doesn't make it a bad yarn -- it just makes it a yarn not for everyone!) in Lotus Pink out of the stash (leftover from my laptop sleeve) and started these cabled wrist-warmers. I've been talking about knitting a pair of wrist-warmers for a year -- I tend to be cold and my office is really cold -- and I find cables sort of soothing to knit, so it was a nice, and even productive, way to spend the morning.

In case you were wondering, there is progress on Seraphim:
Seraphim progress

It may not look much different to you but I'm on row 8 (of 20) of Chart 3. Chart 4 is only 10 rows, so I do feel the end in sight. However, last night I realized that my lifeline is at least 15 rows back. That's too bad, because I'm afraid I wonked up at least one pattern repeat, but wasn't about to frog all the way back to the lifeline. The repeats in question look okay now, but I'm afraid that after blocking they won't!

Monday, September 04, 2006

In my next life, I want to be a house cat

Simon, 3:32 p.m.
Simon 3:32 p.m

Simon, 4:42 p.m.
Simon 4:22 p.m.

Note that he had interrupted his afternoon nap briefly, in order to change positions.

Shawl Progress

No photos, since they're still not much to look at, but both my Seraphim and the black whacky-yarn-in-all-garter-stitch-on-size-17-needles fringed triangle shawl may both get done! I started Chart 3 for Seraphim, and it's definitely all downhill (except, of course, for the fact that I have 300+ stitches on the needles, and am still increasing!). I'm still really really happy with it.

The black shawl is a gift for a friend, who saw it in a yarn shop I dragged her to. I'll see her in October at a conference, so it will be done by then. It started with 3 stitches, and you increase front-and-back in the first and last stitches of each row. I'm up to 99 stitches, and just need to get to 115. And then there's the fringe..... but still, I hadn't counted stitches (or even worked on the thing) in ages, so I had no idea I was so relatively near the end. I hate giant needles!

Maybe I'll take pictures later today, but right now I need to go to PetSmart/PetCo (I can never remember which is which) to find one of these, which comes recommended by Lucy.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hot Saturday Sky

I didn't bother posting a Saturday Sky last week, because it was just more of the same -- blue sky, a few fluffy white clouds. Very pretty, but all it means is 100 degrees and no rain. Earlier this week, they were predicting lower temperatures, maybe the high 80s, over the weekend, but now, once again, it's supposed to be 100.

Anyway -- here's the hot South Texas sky, taken from my car's sunroof around 10:00 this morning.

Saturday Sky 9/2/06