Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dead Blog

I apologize to any who were following my knitting mishaps for the deadly silence of late. Soon after my last post I did something to injure my left arm (knitting obsessively for hours on end, perhaps?) and it's been ridiculously sore ever since. I have still been knitting but have had to limit myself to 45 mins. a day which sometimes still makes my arm ache. I finished up Wicked and will get around to posting a picture soon. It came out fairly well for a first sweater but if I had it to do over again I'd opt for the long sleeved version and I'd make it longer because it just skims my waist and tends to ride up. I've also completed a felted penguin my daughter named Bob (pics to follow), an elephant I passed on to my sister (sorry forgot to take pics), various socks and a hat intended for myself that my daughter has stolen.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A wicked fitting

Wicked is temporarily off the needles and on waste yarn because I didn't want to chance knocking half the stitches off the circulars and knowing me that's exactly what would've happened. This was so nerve-wrecking for me but so far it seems to fit! It's a little snug over a thin tee but that's what I was hoping for because I really dislike baggy, bulky sweaters.

My 1st Sweater

Something tells me grilling season is officially over!

I've cast on for Wicked which is my first attempt at knitting a sweater. After the legwarmer disaster, I decided to selfishly knit something that would be all mine. I'm doing this in the small size.

Yarn:Paton's Merino Wool in "New Denim" (3 skeins bought for $3.99 ea @ JoAnn's. Deal or what?)
Needles:#8, 29" Circular, the pattern called for #7, 32" but my gauge was incorrect & I couldn't find 32"'s in 8's
My gauge(for future reference because making this swatch on circulars was a real pain in the behind): Paton's Merino, #8 circs 4.5 sts to the inch(18sts 4"), #7 circs 5 to the inch(20 sts 4")

Wicked woes: I finished up what I thought was a near perfect neckline only to drop a stitch and then drop 5 more in a failed attempt to fix my error. Eh, stubbornly continuing to knit in the dark after losing power probably wasn't one of my better ideas. To make things worse I then noticed I'd been knitting the cable twists on the wrong side. Unknitting wouldn't help this mess. So, I hid myself in my room when I discovered what I'd done to avoid teaching the kids some colorful new words and began to rip. I'm about reading to try it on. More later . . .

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Kitty Comforter or Dishcloth?

I've finished up the dishcloth for the January KAL and attempted to set up a clear shot so I could forever document my screwup (not that the cloth itself won't be a good reminder). Ms. Mia, though, she had other plans for the soft little square.

Is this for me?

Thanks mom, these purly nubs provide most excellent traction for my paws.

What's that you say, you want me to move?

Needless to say she didn't budge without much prodding. What do you think, is it a winter flower, a snowflake or a bobble-less poinsettia? It was done up on #7's, per usual, with a straightforward seed stitch edging that I managed to maul during an episode of the Dog Whisperer. It's not my fault. It featured the author of one my favorite reads of 2006, Marley & Me and I couldn't tear my eyes away. I was so engrossed by the family's newest dog woes (the new dog gleefully slaughters pet chickens) that I didn't notice my error until I had bound off and well, by then I was too lazy to bother unraveling the thing. I'm the main dish scrubber anyway and it'll be a good weekly reminder for me to always read the pattern instead of mindlessly knitting along thinking I know it all.

Hey look, it's almost a very imperfect sock!

One of the myriad reasons why sock one still isn't complete. These are more basic vanilla vegan cupcakes that I won't get to eat because I wasn't bright enough to triple the batch. The dogs have been drooling over me all evening holding out hope I'll throw them a treat but, alas, they're for a dance competition kickoff celebration and not meant for me or the canines.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Legwarmer FO & socks!

I've discovered I'm a loose knitter. Either that or my daughter and I are punier than most average folks. Despite obtaining gauge for the Ruffled Wristlets they're still flopping around on my upper arms and the legwarmer project had to be frogged after I completed the first one, showed it to my daughter who looked at me with a horrified stare and said "those are for my legs?" I think she feared I'd force her to wear them to school where everyone would point and say very mean things. It's so hard being a third grader these days . . .

So, after going down several needle sizes and chopping off a good 4 inches of length I figured they'd be perfect. Nope, still too baggy according to the kid who doesn't like them. Sigh, I forget she wasn't raised in the 80's and really hadn't a clue what a "legwarmer" was all about. Sorry for the crappy picture but she wouldn't leave them on long enough to get a snapshot. Guess I'll be frogging these and making myself a hat. They were knit up on Lion Brand Wool Ease with size 6, 7 & 8 needles and seamed up the sides with a somewhat neat mattress stitch on one and a sad, confused attempt at mattress stitch on the other (I was too lazy to redo it after the daughter decided legwarmers weren't her thing) . If I ever desire to knit up another pair I'll use circulars because the seaming thing is just not for me. Which brings me to my next WIP:

Yep, that's a sock, alright. After all of my bitching a month or two ago, I decided to give circular knitting another try. Only this time I ditched the slippery metal needles and am using bamboo instead which makes a world of difference. I've been following Silver's Sock Class tutorial and so far I've managed to knit up the ribbing and am ready to start dividing stitches for the heel. Wish me luck because I'm betting I'll need it. I'm using size 4 dpns and some cheap acrylic yarn because I didn't want to mess with the good stuff until I have my technique down.

And here's my sweet old Sam who may end up wearing the legwarmers:

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Where To Start?!

I scored some fabulous books and magazines but don't know where to start. Such problems, eh? I am so thrilled to own these to peruse at my leisure. No more rushing to the library to bring 'em back on time.

I decided to frog the dreaded, never ending boucle blanket but did it only after my little one was fast asleep. I know, I know, I'm a horrible mom but I'm only willing to suffer so much for love and, hey, she did steal my Ruffled Wristlets that took me half a lifetime to knit. I detested working with that splitty boucle stuff and decided to pair it with some cheapie Pound Of Love to make a snuggle for the local Humane Society. The pattern, from Knitting for Peace, is a simple 44 CO, garter stitch done on #8 needles and it's turning into a nice cushy mat that should keep a kitty good and warm. I was hoping to do several of these but it's so very heavy on the needles that it makes my hands ache.

And my little Mia who promptly sat on the snuggle as soon I set it down.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

More Vegan Cupcakes

Instead of knitting, this is what I've been up to today. These are more cupcakes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World" which I highly recommend. These are the basic chocolate, basic vanilla slathered in vegan buttercream frostings and I made a dozen Jimmy Carter peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate ganache.

My cupcakes caved in due to my tossing the shortning & margarine in a mixer and waltzing away. Fortunately, frosting covers a multitude of sins.

My slaves hard at work frosting these babies for me.
Knitting content next time, really.
And this is what Buds did today. He's the smart one, if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ruffled Wristlets From Hell Are Done

And just in time for Halloween . . . Ah, better make that Christmas. This was a project which was initially meant to be part of a Halloween costume but after finishing up the first wristlet and fighting with the damn ruffles for hours, I found myself doing everything I could to avoid knitting up the other one.

The pattern can be found over at Lion Brand but you have to register for free patterns first and then backup (a pain, I know). I used 2 skein's of Lion Brand's Black Wool-Ease in worsted weight & 2 skeins of the black "Ruffles" yarn. To get gauge I had to resort to a size 6 needle and they still turned out too big. If I ever get the urge to knit these up again I would not continue to do the increases after the first 9 inches or so because the ruffles tend to flop over. It's an easy rib knit pattern but the ruffles are a real bitch to bind off. I grudgingly admit that the second wristlet was easier and fits better but there's no way I'm knitting up another pair in the near future!

My poinsetta cloth is also done. The pattern can be found at the Monthly Dishcloth KAL blog. I used red 100% cotton yarn purchased at JoAnn Fabrics and #7 needles. The bobbles were a fun new thing to learn and I like the look of this cloth so much I might knit up a few more for myself.

My current WIP are legwarmers which I promised my daughter I'd make about four months back. I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease Worsted Weight in white pearl and a pattern that a nice lady on the Monthly Dishcloth KAL shared with the group. It has a knit, purl ribbing and the body is worked up in stockinette by switching up a needle size every 3". So far I haven't managed to screw it up too badly (but I'm not finished yet!)


Healthier cooking is something I've been working on for a few years. But I love sweets and really why eat dinner when you can have guilt-free Vegan Cupcakes ? Cupcakes that are almost good for you and good for the animals, can it be true? I didn't think so either until I tried these. Made with whole wheat pastry flour, soy milk, canola oil and the best transfat free veggie shortening "buttercream" frosting ever, these are the best tasting cholesterol-free cupcakes I've ever tried. This is one impulse cookbook that I don't regret purchasing. You'll have to buy your own copy HERE because I'm not sharing mine.

This is what happens when you leave an 8 and 10 year old with a big bowl of frosting and two dozen cupcakes ;) This here is a basic chocolate cupcake (page 37) slathered and drowned in chocolate buttercream frosting (pg 144).

Knitting Notes:
I've got a few things going which I'll post when I find a little time and Ive decided that the ex-large Heart Cloth would make a perfect burb rag for baby. The cotton yarn absorbs wet "stuff" very nicely and, big bonus, it's also washer/dryer friendly. Fortunately, I have no need for such things anymore (and am I ever thankful for that!) but my sister is expecting in March so she'll be getting this in her new baby package. Mistakes sometimes turn out to have the most surprising of outcomes, eh?