Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Old pictures, new pictures

The webring assignment this week is to dig out the oldest picture of yourself. I really don't have any old pictures of myself. The problem is two-fold - first, most of the pictures of me in my younger years are still at my mom's house, hundreds of miles away. Second, I don't have a scanner, so I couldn't get them online, anyway. But, perhaps I can get creative and come up with a solution to this problem... I'll think on it a bit. I've missed two blogstalking assignments already, so I need to figure something out!

Out with the old, and in with the new... a new picture of ZEN. Hot off the presses, just hours old...

Quite timely, since today is Halloween and all. It's her first Halloween, and she's had a good day so far. She got to trick or treat at my office, her dad's office, her godmother's office, and the LYS. She was such a good baby, not at all fussy about being stuffed into a puffy duckling outfit. That's my girl! It's pretty mild here today, so I'm going to have her sit on the porch with me, all dressed up in her duckling outfit, and pass out candy.
Trick or Treat goes from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., though, so she probably won't make it past the first hour or so.

As promised, here's a picture of her modeling her pumpkin hat, which turned out a bit small, because her mother CANNOT COUNT OR MEASURE.

And finally, a heartfelt thanks to Lauren, who spoiled me this Halloween with a package filled with great treats! ZEN carried the felt pumpkin around for her trick or treat (despite the fact that she's too little for candy, chocolate found its way inside). And I'm so excited to try my hand at dyeing with the KnitPicks Bare laceweight. I'm going to be a wuss and start with just a basic black, but after the yarn soup debacle of earlier this year, I think it's best to start basic.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Where does the time go?

It has been two weeks since my last blog entry. Bad blogger! Things have been crazy at work and home. I think everything should quiet down this week, though.

I finished the back of my mom's Christmas sweater. Sunny was apparently excited about this, and the rest of my knitting. She insisted on being in most of my pictures. There are a couple of mistakes in the cabling. Can you see them? I'm not ripping back on it, though. I'm using Classic Elite Skye Tweed, and I'm not that impressed with the yarn. I really hope it softens up when I block the sweater.

I made some progress on Nat's sweater, too, but nothing worth showing. Mostly, I got distracted by the weekly pattern in the Stitch'N'Bitch desk calendar. It seemed extremely important that I make this for ZEN! It was great to use up some stash yarn, and she'll need it this week. I am thinking of adding an i-cord so that I can tie it around her chin - she likes to pull hats off. Sorry there are no pictures of ZEN modeling it. She's a little cranky just now, and not up for a photo shoot.

In the world of lace knitting, I cast on for the Mystic Waters mystery shawl. The first clue posted on Wednesday, and I'm not even one-fourth of the way through it. I am already in love with this design, though. I'm adding some beads, but you can't see them that well here. I decided to put down Secret of the Stole. It really just isn't speaking to me. I will watch everyone else's progress, though, before I go so far as to rip it out. I think there's just too much stockinette in it for my tastes. I'm still curious to know about the theme, though!

I think Sunny approves!

And finally, I have a picture of the small bit of progress I've made on My So Called Scarf.

I'm sorry the picture isn't great. Maybe I needed Sunny's help on this one, too? Anyway, I'm loving the pattern, and I love the yarn (Patons SWS). I hope that my swap partner loves it as much as I do! I should be able to work on it a good bit this week, and hopefully finish it by mid-November. I think I might have some yarn left over. If it were you, would you want me to send the extra back to you, or if there's enough, make a second scarf (different pattern)?

I'm also aware that I am a very bad blogstalker. Two weeks missed! I will try to get caught up and back in the swing soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Much better now...thanks

I realize now that blogging while under the weather is not a terribly inspired idea. Sorry for that last depressing outing. I am doing much better (flu has passed, ear infection is dissipating; and Zen and her dad are fine, too). Thank you so much for the kind comments, despite my negative post. Have you ever noticed that few men handle being ill very well? All three of us were sick, but my lovely husband was convinced that he was worse off than me, and I can't quite wrap my mind around this - I had the flu and an ear infection and he had just the flu. I won't go into details, but suffice it to say that our flu symptoms were identical, yet somehow he was in worse shape than me (I know this because he told me). Nat's a terrific guy; I adore him and think he is a wonderful, perfect dad to ZEN, and a terrific husband to me. But the guy does not handle illness well. This must be the reason that only women can be pregnant.

Really, enough of the sickness now! Onto more exciting things, like milestones and yarn fun.

Our little girl is teaching herself to stand up! I am a typical, cliche mom who would prefer that she not stand, because that means she'll be walking, and there are so many troubles she'll find at that point! I know that's ridiculous, though, so I'm just trying to be excited about her milestone. And besides, when she can walk, I won't have to hold her in the yarn store - more hands available for yarn fondling fun!

In knitting news, I was on target to start Clue 2 of Secret of the Stole when I got sick, but this is Clue 1 done. I didn't block it at all, obviously. I am still a little unsure about the pattern. Clue 2 looked promising though. The double points don't bother me, but it seemed like a lot of stockinette stitch for a lace project. It appears to be opening up with Clue 2, so it will be worth moving forward with for now, at least.

In other fun news, I received yarn from my swap partner - I'm going to knit her a scarf out of yarn she sent. It's Paton's SWS (soy wool stripes). It's a single ply, and I think it will self stripe. It's really soft, so I'm excited to work with it. She very kindly offered some suggestions of scarf patterns she likes. I had planned to play with it this weekend, but the illness derailed that, so I hope to get to it this week. I sent some yarn to my swap partner to knit me a scarf, too. She's received it and said she's already started to lovingly pet it! I sent two colors, just in case she wanted options, and she said she's thinking either cables or fair isle! Holy cow - I got lucky with her, don't you think?

Finally, to get everyone in the Halloween spirit, here's ZEN, all oranged up and no place to go!

Friday, October 12, 2007

A quick list...

Three things I hate...
1. Having a sick kid.
2. Being sick myself.
3. People who are mean to animals

Three things I love...
1. My family
2. My yarn
3. Trashy TV a la the CW (America's Next Top Model, Gossip Girl... good stuff!)

I am sick, with a sick kid and sick husband today, so that's all I've got.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Breaking promises, and finishing stuff...

I am really struggling with the promise to myself that I would focus on the following until Christmas (or until all are done in time for Christmas):

1. Mom's sweater (I'm about 1/3 done with the back, which leaves the front and both sleeves, and the turtleneck);
2. Husband sweater (I'm about 1/2 done with the back, which leaves the front and both sleeves);
3. Secret of the Stole (just kicked off on Friday - progress pix below - but I'm through row 53);
4. Husband Socks (one done; one about 3 inches until I reach toe shaping, but I'm seriously stalled out on it);
5. Hats for Alex (done and sent off last week - yeah!). I forgot to take a picture, but it was a little yellow hat, that I hope will warm a needy baby well.

So, in the spirit of breaking promises to myself, I decided to contribute to Sockin' It To Maggie. Now, I don't think it should count against me, since it's for a good cause. And the mission resulted in my casting on the Coriolis sock from Cat Bordhi's new book. I don't have the book, yet, so I used the pattern from her Knitty Gritty appearance. I have to have this book now! I loved making this sock, despite making many mistakes. I think they were mostly well-hidden, though, so I feel comfortable giving the sock to Maggie. This was a two-day sock, something of a feat for my slow hands! The yarn is held doubled (ahhh...cozy socks - hope Maggie likes them toasty!), and they were knit on U.S. 6 needles!

Secret of the Stole kicked off last week. It's an interesting design so far, with two points at the beginning of the stole. I am through row 53. I think there are 83 rows in the first clue. I am pleased with my pace; I should finish Clue 1 by the time Clue 2 publishes on Friday. At that point, I will probably fall behind, as I did with Mystery Stole 3!

Speaking of secret stoles, I saw some progress pictures from Secret of Chrysopolis. I signed up for this one, but had shied away from it because it's authored in German. However, because it is so freakin' gorgeous, and because it is charted (yeah, universal language of knitters), and because there seem to be plenty of English speakers working on it, I am going to cast on... eventually. It will be a wonderful use of my ebony Sea Silk. Before I cast on for that, though, I think I might cast on for the Mystic Waters stole. I haven't decided on a yarn, yet. First clue posts October 24, so I have time.

Lace knitting is really addictive. The lace yarn is so gorgeous, and the patterns are stunning! I love the secret KAL's because it's so nice to get the pattern piecemeal - I feel like I can keep up. My friend Laura mentioned this the other night when we got together to knit, and I realized that she had summed it up perfectly. Hopefully this new addiction won't keep me from knitting from Victorian Lace Today, though!

I have pictures of the oh-so-cute finished Tulip sweater, finally! As tempting as it was, this ridiculous 90-degree-weather-in-October prevented me from stuffing ZEN in it for a photo shoot.

I made the matching hat from a design I found on Mistress Stash Enhancer's blog. I love that name, and the pattern was great, too, so she definitely has the Zen...Cats...Yarn approval.

And as this blog post comes to an end, we should all note that I blogged without a single ZEN picture! Perhaps I'm becoming a slightly less obnoxious mom? Or maybe I just don't have any good pictures because she's under the weather? I suspect that mentioning her at all means that I'm still an all-out obnoxious mom. I'll work on that, I swear. I would be remiss to end this without some gratuitous cute picture, so we'll leave it up to Sunny, who tonight rediscovered her cat bed (sadly, she also discovered the Tulips sweater, and decided it was a perfect cat bed, too - no pix of that, though).

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yarn love and getting from here to there...

ZEN is learning, at a young age, to embrace and love yarn. Perhaps this is her way of asking me to knit her a pair of socks?

In other knitting news... I cast on the cover sweater from Lace Style. I am using T3 Weavers Alpaca, and I am enjoying the pattern (simple feather and fan) so far. I think it will knit up quick, but I have to shift focus to my Christmas knitting, so it won't be done as quickly as I might like. Here's my swatch and progress.

This week's blog stalking assignment was to show how we get from here to there. I don't have any pictures of my cars, but I drive either a Blue Honda Accord or a Black VW Passat Wagon. If I'm lucky, I get to drive the Passat, which means there's a good chance I have company. That always makes for a better ride!

On a final note, Nat read my last blog entry. He has zero faith that I will finish his sweater. Such doubt, and it's only October!