Monday, March 31, 2008

That Gauge Thing

Those who know me well, know I am fanatical about getting gauge. For alot of years, I ignored it, and always thought that I was a bad knitter, when my sweaters didn't fit right. Until, I discovered through the help of Judy Chan that if you do a gauge swatch and measure your body and then knit the sweater to fit these measurements, you are almost sure to get a sweater that fit.

So, it should be no surprise that, I spent several hours Saturday night and a couple on Sunday, working gauge swatches for the Cinnamon Bark sweater. Problem is when I finally got gauge (al the way down to a size 1), I did not like the hand of the knit that I was getting.

Back to the hand I liked and a larger needle. Now, with the help of what I learned from Judy many years ago, I will rework the pattern to fit my gauge.

I have been wanting to do this sweater for a few months but could never really find the yarn I wanted to use. Then, a wild thought came to me. I remembered seeing this Baby Twist from Alpaca With A Twist over at Morton a few weeks ago.

Normally, I am not a cinnamon kind of girl, but the color in Knitter's has been haunting me. What was even better, it was on sale!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Why Do I Keep Them?

There are times when I am looking at my magazine collection and I wonder if it is time to get rid of some of them. But then what would I get rid of? I could go through them all and just keep those that I might want to knit in the future. Or I could scan them, but wouldn't that take some time and effort?

At first glance, this issue might we one that I would toss. Would I ever even think about knitting any of these in the future? Probably not.
What is this? I wouldn't knit it today, but what if my tastes change or better yet my body style? Would I want to knit it then? Would a future daughter-in-law like it?

Then, out of the blue someone out there in blog land (like the Rainey Sisters) will show a picture of a sweater that I just have to make! Then, where would I be if I had tossed the magazine.
Who knows what hidden article might be lurking out there that back in 2003, I wouldn't have given a second look at, but now five years later am dying to know all I can about the designer.

I'm glad I saved this one.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yarn Thinking - It Can Hurt Sometimes

Have you ever thought so hard about something and in the end was right back where you started? Every time I finish a knitting project, I go through the same thing. What to do next? It's maddening! So, I sat down today, and went through a several magazines that I had kept near by and had a look at a couple of sweaters that I have been wanting to do. Not happy with the yarn selections, I had sitting around the house, I went yarn shopping.

Hit Ewe-nique Yarns in Morton first. They were having a great sale so I picked up yarn for one of the sweaters that I have been wanting to do. They had just the color I have been wanting to do it out of. While there, I picked up a couple of skeins of other yarn that I want to test knit a couple of projects out of before I sink the dollars into the whole sweater. My friend Julie taught me that one.

Then, while I was out, I went over to Dunlap. While in route, I had a therapy session via the cell phone with fellow Radical Knitter, Linda. She is the voice of reason. Knit what looks good on you. Knit something that will last. Get another's brutal opinion!

So, now I am armed with more yarn and a clear thought as to what will be the next knitting project. Just teasing you today, pics later. I'm going to plant my butt in the chair with my next project and The Cutting Edge Marathon on Family.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


If it was alive, this poor thing would have yelled at me to make up my mind! Through the entire knitting of the Brooks Sweater, it never was really sure if it was going to be the cardigan or the pullover. At times, I thought about using the yarn for a bolero jacket. In some respects that is what I wish I would have done.

Not that I don't like the sweater, but I love the yarn (as in color) that I wanted it in several different sweaters. Even contemplated the Butterfly Jacket from Meg.

When last we saw the sweater I was putting a hem into it. When I went to sew the hem down, I just did not care for it. So, last night I picked up the stitches around the bottom and did a tunic hem out of garter. It appears that it needs some heavy blocking to keep it down. I don't think I have had that happen before.

Any thoughts out there?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Something New

At least for me. I am doing my first hem ever on my Brooks Pullover from The Opinionated Knitter. I have one little blip that I am going to try and repair without taking the stitches all of the way out from the beginning.

With this being my first ever hem like this, I wasn't exactly sure what look it was going for at the base. It became apparent, after consulting Meg's book.

I'm using a finer yarn and a smaller needle. So far I am liking this. We will see when I stitch the hem down!

Monday, March 24, 2008

What Was That Yesterday?

Don't cha just hate it when it snows on Easter! Although we only got flurries and not what Wisconsin and Minnesota got, it was a just a little funny hiding Easter Eggs out with the snow coming down. But, it did give me a chance to wear my ribwarmer again. My niece and mother-in-law both remarked on how much they liked it. My mother-in-law also went as far as to ask for one for her birthday in September. Hmmm, what color shall it be?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Had A Good Day!

I had the whole house to myself yesterday. I had beer and pizza for lunch. The phone only rang twice. In plain English, even my mom did not know I was home! The plan was that if it rained it would be good, because I would stay home. If the sun shined, I would just have to drive over to the yarn shop in Morton. Result, it looked like it was going to rain and the sun tried to shine a little. Sooooo, I stayed home. Well, that and the beer.

I started out by trying to decide where I really want to go with my knitting next. So, I popped in the Knitting Around DVD for background noise and started getting my books/magazines out. I did not get very far with that ( I think the yarn shop was calling me), but am going to pick it back up this morning. In the meantime, I got an email that the shop over in Morton is having 20% off next week, so the urgency to really decide left me. That and a nice warm soak in the tub.

I accomplished quite a lot. I went through some yarn. I have three bags of leftover yarn/yarn that I am not going to be using for anything. Next, is to find a nursing home or see if the prison here will take them.

I got my tax stuff all ready to go. Just have to find one more piece and I can drop them off next week.

I got ahead start on my laundry. Finished the day with getting the groceries and a glass of wine (I got this great new gadget that opens the bottle with a button)

Now, thats a nice day off!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Baby Boy A's fiancee matched today to Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis. So after the two are married at the end of May they will be moving South.

Congratulations Dr. Soon to Be!

PS...they have three yarn shops in Memphis that I can tell of.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's A Go

I am off for two whole days. Today will be spent getting the oil changed and then I am doing some shopping. I have two places possibly three that I am going to look for a dress. If there are nothing there to be found, I am ordering three dresses that I found online and we will see.

The Brooks Sweater from the Opinionated Knitter is all but finished except for the hem. I decided to leave it as a pullover, because it looked good on. The first round on the neck had garter stitch but it was way too loose. So, I followed Brooklyn Tweed's lead and did a K1P1rib which fits just right.

The second of my expeditions today will be looking for a slightly lighter weight yarn for the hem. I found this heavier sock weight yarn a few weeks ago that I could use, but it is just way too cool to put in the hem. So, I am going to look for something else today for it. It will be the first time that I have done a hem - that should be interesting.

Now, I have to pull something else out to work on at knitting later tonight. I feel good that this is finally close to being done. One more off of the list.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I am planning to take tomorrow and Friday off. The original plan was to go to Match Day, but that has changed. I have a list of stuff to do/go tomorrow with Friday as the day to stay home and get the tax stuff ready to go along with tidying up some leftover yarn that has been sitting around.

Other plans may interfere with tomorrow's plan....I'll email the Radicals separately and let them know what is going on.

But either way the sun is suppose to shine at least tomorrow...I'm looking forward to that. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It Hit Me

While trying to decide what to do with a recent yarn purchase it hit me. Finish something you are working on already. God knows I have plenty on the needles and several of them are things I wouldn't mind taking to camp.

For Example:
My Gansey
My Brooks Sweater
The Pi Shawl
The Pi Are Square Shawl
The Fair Isle Yoke

The list goes the two blue balls of Rowan DK will sit out until I am ready and know exactly what I want to make with them. Mittens would be nice since I lost my gloves somewhere between the car and the house a couple of weeks ago!

For now, it is back to Focusing on the Five.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St Patricks Day

I won't be eating corn beef and cabbage (I only like mine on a reuben and that's saurkraut isn't it?)

I won't be drinking green beer (thats not on the diet for today)

I will be wearing my green socks.

Funny, I don't have a green sweater or anything green. I don't even think I have any green yarn. Now, thats odd isn't it? Hmmm, as the tall guy pointed out, I'm not Irish either.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It Won't Last

and it is a touch cool out this morning. But, it is so good to see the sun shining. Yesterday, was a bit crappy out, damp and cool.(and last night I hauled out a sweater to wear) cause I always seem to catch the only draft in the arena. The next couple days are going to be a sort of repeat of yesterday's weather, but we can only hope that by next weekend (how did it get to be Easter so quick?) that the sun will start shining all the time.

While the two weekends of high school basketball were alot of fun, I'm glad it's over. Things get left undone. Papers are only read for their sports content, mail sits from Friday and a trip to the grocery store for other my list of stuff has to happen at some point and I won't even tell you how far the laundry gets backed up.

And after along weekend of basketball, you would think one would go home, go to bed and sleep, right? Wrong, after not knitting for most of the weeekend (the games are just too exciting to knit through, at least for me), I plop myself in the chair and thinking about the Rowan yarn and what I could do with it, where I watched a couple of late night movies and fall asleep in the chair (fully clothed) only to wake up the next morning, still sleeping there.

Hey, I get some of my best sleep there and no my back doesn't hurt. But, sometimes I do get a crick in my neck. Can't imagine why.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Off To The Games

Another weekend of basketball. Washington is the only local team that is playing so of course we are rooting for them. Or Champaign whomever makes it the furthest. Illini won yesterday too, so we'll be keeping track of them.

The weather may be crappy later today and tomorrow....but I'll be warm and dry for a bit. See you on Sunday!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Look What I Got In The Mail

I have never been to Ikea, but have heard great things about it. So, I requested their catalog. I can't wait to sit down and look through it and start planning for the Knitting Room.

For those who don't know, one of the Twins is getting married at the end of May. And when he goes, his room is going to become the long awaited Knitting Room. All(hopefully) of the yarn and books and projects will be stored in there with a nice comfy chair and good lighting.

I think I might need a bigger room!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Lunch Time Knitting

This project will probably go on for ever. It is my lunch time knitting project and it consists of ribbing for the entire sweater. It is an adaptation from a vest pattern that I knit earlier this year from Knit 4 Together in Dunlap. The first bit was 246 stitches of K2P2 rib for 4 1/2 inches. It seemed like it went on forever. Now, I am down to half the stitches for a while.

One thing is for sure, by the time I get done, I should be really good at rib! It may take me all Summer though.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One Off The List

I worked a sleeve swatch yesterday with this yarn and pattern. On a size 3 needle I wasn't getting gauge. And at this moment in my knitting life and the stitch pattern, I am not taking it down to a 2 or 1. Frankly, I want a little quicker gratification that I think this will give me for now.

I could adjust the pattern measurements at knit it at the gauge I was getting but I guess I am really not into doing this one right now. Maybe later. Too many other really important sweaters are calling me.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I See A Trend Developing

Do You?

While thumbing through an old IK for something totally unrelated, I happened upon this man's sweater pattern. I like the stitches, but would not make it for any of the men around here (remember, it is all about me at the moment), and I would not put the zip at the neck, but I think it has possibilities in a nice pullover for me for next year out of my heather green Encore that needs to desparately be knitted up.

It has been the test knit yarn for a couple of sweaters that just did not work for me. Or maybe because I had thought so long and hard about them for so long that it seemed like I had knit them. Have you ever had that happen?

I'm afraid that is where I am at with the Mananita. Char brought me a skein of her Icelandic weight so I could start one for me. Now, that I have it in hand, I just can't make myself cast on for it. I think I have lost interest in it.

And when you lose interest in something, it is best not to force it

But, true to form several other projects are formulating in my head today and have slid into the Mananita's place. Unfortunately some of those will require buying some yarn maybe?! That's too bad, now isn't it.

Friday, March 07, 2008

March Madness

No knitting for a couple of days....I'm in Peoria most of the days and nights watching the 1A and 2A Boys Basketball games. I'll see you on Sunday!

And may I it was cold out tonight.

Don't forget to set your clocks forward on Saturday night.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Late Night Decisions

One should not, I suppose make late night knitting decisions, but then I am like my father so my mother says.

The Tilted Duster is out. I saw it on several recent blog entries on bodies, and have decided it is just not for me.

There is an old IK pattern that I have been looking at lately. It is a man's sweater and I think it may be a great pattern for my heather green encore. I would just size it down and instead of the little zip that it has at the neck, I would make it into a pullover for me. I think it would be such a nice cozy sweater for next winter! Pics in the next couple of days.

The Manaita is out. After several nights of knitting on it, I am just not feeling the love for it. I think the yarn is just too limp for it. I would prefer just a little more life to it, so I think the unspun icelandic laceweight is a better match. And the largest of the needle with the limp yarn just wasn't making it for me. So, off the mananita came off the needles.

The Caribe Blue Shawl is back on, maybe not for the wedding, but as a possibility. If I can find the original shawl pattern that I bought the Caribe Blue for it may also get pulled out and restarted for it, for another life.

That Caribe Blue yarn sure has been used alot lately.

I started a swatch last night for the Jo Sharp sweater. I just did a couple of rows since it was nearing 12:30 and am not sure that I am up for a entire of knitting that stitch. It's mostly purl stitch combinations and done in pieces. As I went to bed last night, instead of counting sheep (Karen), I was planning how I could convert it to in the round and switch at least one of the rows to knitting instead of purling. I think it can be done.

The baby sweater for the girl at work is on hold. There is just too many things that I want to do for me. We had a shower for her last week and we all went together and bought a car seat and I got the cutest pink outfit and a sweater. I think that and hosting the shower is enough.

I knit a couple of rows also on the Kiri shawl. I think maybe that is the only way that is going to get done. Just a couple of rows every so often.

Now, can't you see why it was 12:30ish when I finally made it to bed! Not to sleep mind you. Oh, and I am ordering the long sleeve dress from Chadwicks today. That was the final decision before I drifted off last night, I think.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Quest

Like the quest for the perfect dress, the perfect purse and other perfects, I have been wanting to find the perfect yarn for this Jo Sharp sweater. It has been on my list for sometime.

I have several times thought about breaking down and ordering the actual yarn and then I put it on the back burner. I happened across a yarn over at Morton a couple of weeks ago and just bought two skeins of it. I figured I'd test it out and see what I thought. They have plenty of the color/dye lot for now so I figure I have plenty of time.

That was two weeks ago. I'd better sit down and make a gauge swatch and see how I like it, before the two skeins become a scarf!

Question for readers: do any of you subscribe to the Rowan magazine? What do you think of it? Now, that there is a local source for the yarn, I have been giving it some thought.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Despite the fact that it was in the mid 60s yesterday, it is not even close to being Spring. The snow is supposed to be coming back and cooler temperatures with it. Hopefully, neither will stay around long. I must admit yesterday I was a little melancholic thinking that the sweater weather is probably past. But, it looks like I'll be able to wear a couple this week!

Aren't these cute? I had to add them to the flip flop collection. I bought a set for me and a set for a friend's birthday later this month. I think she'll get a hoot out them too.

The Mananita is slowly coming to life. I am making myself turn the t.v. off one hour every night and working on it for that hour. Taking a very stress free attitude with it and following the instructions that Ronna over at Ravelry sent me.

I'm chillin Ronna!

Sunday, March 02, 2008


That is what yesterday's shopping trip could have a title of. Von Maur is my new best shopping place, but I still don't have a dress. They do, however, continually get dresses in and the sales person told me they had not gotten their March dresses in yet. Which leads me to believe that with three months til the wedding I still could find something there. I did buy a birthday present and something for myself (I'll show tomorrow).

I did also hit Coldwater Creek and a bridal shop on my way home. If I order from the bridal shop, to get a rush on it to get by May could cost around $450 -$500 with alterations. Not happening.

So, to soothe my attitude, I stopped at one of the yarn shops I could find. Didn't buy any yarn, but the owner heard my story of woes on the dress shopping and suggested I look on line at Chadwicks. So, here are two possible options I am leaning toward, the second not so much, but an option.

I am leaning towards ordering this one and seeing how it looks. It has some slight glitz on the top which means that the Mananita would not be needed. The color is okay and I would also rethink the jewelry. I can do that.

This one is only an option, because, I might be able to do the mananita for it, but it is a mint color, which means I might have to go with a cream color for it instead of the caribe blue. The length on this picture is deceiving, it is 20" from the waist, which almost hits me where a tea length would. The sash would go.

If I choose either of these dresses, the caribe blue yarn then could go back to being the shawl I bought it for. What a process this is. For today, I am going back to regular scheduling knitting...I have had enough of worrying about the dress and even the mananita. I feel like I have knitted it several times over. I have Knit Camp knitting to think about!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

It's Do Or Die

Tomorrow, I am going dress shopping. I know what I am looking for is going to be over in Bloomington and then I am going to be ready to seriously be done talking about it.

With the help of fellow Radical Knitter, Linda and Ronna over at Ravelry, I have decided to tackle the Mananita IF tomorrow's dress does not have a jacket possibility.

I am going armed with my bag of goodies - purse from Norma, shoe from Margie (not pictured), swatch of yarn from possible Mananita and jewelry from lia sophia. These are what I have in my mind as to the colors I want.

Stay tuned, I hope to have this one settled tomorrow! Wish me luck.

And if it does not work out, there are a couple of yarn shops that I'll just have to stop at to drown my sorrows!

Hey, I can rationalize anything.