Tuesday, May 09, 2006

New Socks!

I received my Sockapaloooza socks yesterday... and then promptly left my pal's contact info on my kitchen table when I left this morning. I'm also waiting for the sun to re-visit central Virginia before I take a picture, but hopefully I'll have an update with photo by tomorrow.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Sockapaloooza Done!



I finished my Sockapaloooza socks on Saturday night. Woo hoo! :) I've decided to rename them my "Palindrome Rib" socks. I cast on 88 stitches on size 0 needles, and did a "K8, P2, K2, P2, K8" pattern around the leg and on the top of the foot. The ribbing pattern makes for some nice stretch, and adds a bit of texture to the socks. The yarn was fun to work with (for reasons I mentioned in my previous Socka post), so it didn't get too monotonous as I was finishing up sock #2. I'll be mailing these out to my pal tomorrow afternoon at lunch.

Sockapaloooza Done!



I finished my Sockapaloooza socks on Saturday night. Woo hoo! :) I've decided to rename them my "Palindrome Rib" socks. I cast on 88 stitches on size 0 needles, and did a "K8, P2, K2, P2, K8" pattern around the leg and on the top of the foot. The ribbing pattern makes for some nice stretch, and adds a bit of texture to the socks. The yarn was fun to work with (for reasons I mentioned in my previous Socka post), so it didn't get too monotonous as I was finishing up sock #2. I'll be mailing these out to my pal tomorrow afternoon at lunch.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

DONE!

I finally, finally, finally! finished my Olympic Knitting project, after exactly 2 months. Whew!

The front:


The back:


Another view of the back:


I haven't blocked it yet (which I know was part of the official Olympic Knitting rules), but I'm not sure if I'm going to. I'd be happy with added length (it comes to about mid-thigh now), but I don't want to risk widening the sleeves at all, as they're already pretty big.

So do I love it? No, not really. The knitting got pretty tedious at the end, and the 10+ hours of weaving in ends and seaming didn't really help. The sleeves are a bit too long, so I might mess around with the cuffs a bit to prevent bagging, and the jacket has a bit too much ease and not quite enough definition, so it doesn't look quite right if I try to wrap it around me. The whole thing just has a bit more bulk than I had anticipated.

Am I completely dissatisfied? No. I did enjoy participating in the Knitting Olympics, and having a fixed goal while I watched the Games. I'm also really happy that I finally did something with the kit I purchased so many years ago. I have quite a bit of yarn left over - probably enough for one of the vests in Vivian Hoxbro's "Shadow Knitting," which would be a smaller project and one where it would probably be easier to control the size.

Overall, I'm really glad to be done, and I'm proud of myself for sticking with this project and finishing it up, even if I was way outside my original timeframe. Even if rarely wear this jacket, or land up giving it away, I certainly won't regret knitting it.

SockapalOOOza

Finally, a long overdue Sockapaloooza update.

I've finished my pal's first sock:

This is the "old-school" Opal yarn, bought when the line first came to the US, and there weren't even set colorways yet. I bought it sight unseen, and it somehow managed to linger in my stash for several years. My sock pal was pretty vague with her preferences and foot measurements, so I decided to go with a variegated yarn and a simple ribbed pattern. Although I'm not completely in love with the yarn (which makes it easier to give away, I guess), I have had fun knitting these socks, since the old Opal yarns always have a few sections where the colors get a little funky, as you can see in the random green section just above the heel.

On to sock #2!

Monday, February 27, 2006

On to Beijing!

Well, I definitely didn't win a gold medal at these Knitting Olympics. As of the closing ceremonies yesterday, I had completed the left half of the jacket and the right sleeve. I plan to take my time finishing it off, and to intersperse it with some other projects over the next 2 weeks or so.

The Rainbow Jacket was definitely a fun project, and I'm glad I started it - I had had the kit for 4 years and never really got anywhere with it. However, it definitely wasn't the best choice for me. I'm not a terribly fast knitter, and this project had far too much volume for someone like me. It also gets terribly monotonous once you finish the first sleeve, so it was (and still is!) hard to stay interested and motivated.

Overall, though, this was definitely a positive experience. I had fun watching other knitters' progress, and watching some exciting sports on TV. When I finish, I'll have a neat looking jacket to brighten up my wardrobe, and enough yarn left over for another, smaller project. This experience also helped me learn that my eyes are definitely bigger than my fingers, and that I should try to get a better sense of the volume involved in a project before committing to a deadline (though I do love the sound deadlines make as they fly by!).

Pictures tomorrow, and updates as I continue along towards the belated end.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Today's Photo

Olympic Knitting progress as of this morning. Sorry for the dark photo, but there isn't much natural light in my living room at 7:00 am. :)



At this point, I'm 10 rows shy of completing this half of the jacket. I had hoped to power through and finish last night, but I was just too tired. So, today I will knit these last few rows, and then start on the second half of the jacket.

Obviously, I have no hope of completing this by Sunday afternoon. I've decided that I'll keep going until then, and then take a break from this project for a few days. I'm enjoying it, but the knitting is pretty monotonous and the yarn can be a bit frustrating at times. I calculated last night that there are about 60,000 stitches in each half of this jacket, and it'll take me about 50 hours to complete each half. This is definitely the biggest knitting projected I've ever taken on, and I'll be glad when it's finally complete. I think my overall goal is to be done by March 15th so it'll be available to wear as the weather gets warmer.

Photo Update II

More Olympic Knitting photos:

Day 6 progress, cruising toward the collar.


Day 7, with another full color section done.


Day 9 (no day 8 photo, sorry). In this picture you can see the effects of the shadow technique quite nicely.


Day 10 - I've divided to knit the collar, and am now working on the front half.


Day 11 - just a few rows shy of casting off the front half.


Day 12 - I've finished the front half, and have moved on to completing the back.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Photo Update

Finally, some photos of my Olympic Knitting progress.

End of Day One:

Cuff, and one color band done.

End of Day Two:

First set of sleeve increases done.

End of Day Three:

Second set of sleeve increases done, and body increases done.

End of Day Five (yup, no Day Four photo, sorry):

Continuing with the body; first color band done, second color band in progress.

The Day Five photo is where I was before I started knitting last night; I'll post a pic of last night's progress tomorrow or over the weekend.

At this point it seems pretty clear to me that I have no hope of finishing on time; I estimate that it'll take me between 5 and 7 days to finish the left half of the jacket (it takes about an hour to knit each 4-row repeat, there are 5 repeats per color band, and I have 5 1/2 bands to go), and then there's still the right half. I am not a fast knitter.

Oh, and sorry for the crappy photos. This thing is almost impossible to photograph well.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Olympic Update

Well, I'm chugging along on my Rainbow Jacket. I plan to post pictures of my progress when I get home this evening. So far, I've completed the left sleeve and body increases, and I'm a few rows into the body of the jacket. This is where the long haul starts, with over 150 320-stitch rows to complete the half.

As much as I'm enjoying this project (and I'll be glad to finally complete the kit I bought 4 years ago), I'm wishing a little that I had picked a more technically challenging project, not one that was simple but with a large volume. More Process than Product, I guess. However, I'm absolutely going to keep going, and will just try to get as far as I can before the closing ceremonies.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My First Button

I made my very first button today - for any Virginians participating in the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. It's over on my sidebar if anyone's interested. :)



(I know it's a little cruddy, but it's my first button. Be nice.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Olympic Knitting

Well, it's taking nothing short of the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics to get me to blog again. :)



I'll be knitting Vivian Hoxbro's Rainbow Jacket. I bought the kit about 4 years ago, and have started it twice only to have to frog everything. I'm hoping the Olympic spirit and the Knitting Goddess will smile favorably upon me. I also think that I'm nuts to try and knit this whole jacket in 16 days.

Hmm... this may call for a trip to the LYS for more needles....

Monday, October 31, 2005

45% Yankee



Your Linguistic Profile:



45% Yankee

35% General American English

10% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern


Friday, October 28, 2005

The Joys of New England

Although I now live in Virginia, I grew up just north of Boston. Most of these things bring back fond memories... :)

(Copied from here)

Forget Rednecks...here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about New
Englanders:

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 36
inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping it will swim by, you
might live in New England.

If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each
year because Mt. Washington is the coldest spot in the nation, and
Boston gets more snow than any other majority in the US, you live in New
England.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you
live in New England.

If you instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the
year, you live in New England.

If someone in a Home Depot store offers you assistance, and they don't
work there, you live in New England.

If you've worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you live in New
England.

If you've had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed
a wrong number, you live in New England.

YOU KNOW YOU ARE A NEW ENGLANDER WHEN:

"Vacation" means going anywhere south of New York City for the weekend.

You measure distance in hours.

You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

You have switched from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day, and back again.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard
without flinching.

You install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both
unlocked.

You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend/wife knows how
to use them.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with
snow.

You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road
construction.

Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your
blue spruce.

"Down South" to you means Philadelphia.

Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new shed.

Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

You find 10 degrees "a little chilly."

You actually understand these jokes, and forward them to all your New
England friends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

My Heater is Psychic

I was lying in bed the other night, reading a book, when I suddenly thought to myself “it’s getting a bit chilly in here; it’d be nice if the heat kicked on soon.” No sooner does the thought leave my brain than WOOSH! the heat kicks on. Warm(er) air begins blowing throughout the house.

Not that that made a difference, since I have only a piddly little vent in the floor of the opposite corner of my bedroom, but I took the fact that it even turned on at all as progress. Progress toward what, I’m not sure, but progress just the same.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Socks!

I received my Sockapal2za socks over the weekend (so apologies for the delayed posting).



My pal, Kristel, is in Finland, and she sent me a lovely postcard, and some yummy Finnish chocolate (yes, the wrapper was empty even as I took this picture). The socks themselves are wonderful - they fit perfectly, and are a lovely lace pattern (from Socks, Socks, Socks). I don't have any other socks this color in my wardrobe, so they're a perfect addition. Thanks, Kristel!

Thank you to everyone for the kind comments on the Sockapal2za socks I knitted. I didn't realize my dyeing venture was so brave - I'm even more relieved that it turned out well. My pal, Silke, also left a comment to let me know that she's received the socks. I'm glad to know that they made the long trek safely.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, September 30, 2005

Knitting tomorrow...

... but today, something I found something else to post:

Another type of MEME
1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans...
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Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage