Thursday, March 30, 2006

I know that you're all here for naked doll pictures so let's just get it out of the way:

Hairless and faceless but still oddly cute. Ian so wants to take this doll for his own. I really need to finish poor Bob the Builder. Sorry for the poor picture quality today but the digital camera is acting up so these are all phone shots.

Brenda Dane always talks about the "Moments of Ritual Humiliation" so I thought I should share mine with you. I had planned to do something that I now have to completely give up on. I wanted to make matching Anouks for the doll and the baby I am giving it to (who shall remain nameless;)). So I decided to be lazy and not do any math. I started to knit it from the Baby Ull. This way I could do the smallest size and the smaller gauge would make it fit the doll just fine. The problem is I realized that in order to get the size right I would have to use a size 1 needle. So I cast on and went to work. Know you know that I have a bit of an issue with any needle smaller than a 2. It took me nearly a half an hour to do one round of that damn dress. I also realized a dress with straps not sleeves is not ideal for a doll with no shoulders. So that idea is so over. I will be making the outfit in the pattern for the doll, but I will make it from the same yarn as the big Anouk. Which I started this morning.

I saw this on the train the other day:

See that thing right underneath the crutch, yup it's a ball of yarn. Is it wrong of me to want to go to the MTA's Lost and Found office just to shop for yarn? Could I call and say, "Hey, I uh lost a ball of cashmere on the train the other day. Which train? Um, yeah, I don't remember. What color? Well what colors have you got?".

It might work.

Since I have deemed Wednesdays for linkage, here are some funny or odd things I ran into this week:

Can't you just hear Shakespeare saying this?

Next time you're on the lam, think of Walmart (thanks to my co-worker and friend Gary for the link).

They really need to release a line of rejected greeting cards for the twisted (like me) among us.

Life is always a little better with a Sesame Street song.

Ann read this!!!
...oh and Ann when you call me please put on a robe.

By the way for all of you who want to implement the skimmer alert system. It is simply marquee tags. Here's a page with fairly clear instructions. I used the one that makes it bounce back and forth which is a bit lower down on the page.

Happy Wednesday...

Monday, March 27, 2006

She got legs, she knows how to use them...

Ok, Rinaldo made me do it. When I showed him that the legs were finished on the doll he said that should be the title of the blog post. So there it is and here are the legs:

Don't they remind you of the wicked witch's legs in the Wizard of Oz? The one the house fell on?

I was up until 2 in the morning finishing the knitting on the legs so I could be ready for the stuffing party with Maribel on Sunday. Her doll was all seamed and even had some clothes by the time she got to my house. Me? I was running behind all day. Around 3:00 this is where she was:

...and this is where I was:

You might ask what does one need to have a stuffing party? What supplies need to be on hand to be successful. You might think they would include this kind of thing:

But Bel and I need other types of supplies to do a job well. So our supplies ran more along these lines:

By the time she left I had nearly caught up:

Damn it is a Frankenstein moment!

Happy Monday all...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fridays are for...

...not a damn thing. I got nothing to show. I am working on the legs for the front of the doll. I better finish them, like tonight, because then there is the endless seaming. Maribel is coming over on Sunday so we can stuff the dolls. There sure as hell won't be much stuffing going on if I don't get the knitting portion done. I did run out of the cream yarn (oddly enough it was when I was at the Amityville station of the LIRR, coincidence, maybe, maybe not). I had warned Bel that the end was coming so she brought what she had left to work and I stopped there on the way home.

Why was on the LIRR you may ask? Well I was visiting my favorite Long Island chicks, Katy and Ann. Well, mostly I was visiting Katy but we lunched with the fabulous Ann herself. Much fun was had. I love hanging with Katy. I got to see her currently one story house (hopefully two story again as of today), waited with her for some permits and bonded over the contents of her linen closet. I had a blast.

After chatting with Ann about her horrible skimming habit I have decided to institute a new Skimmer Alert system. In the event of something interesting appearing in the blog I will use this alert, remember this is a test:
Ann read this!!!In the event of an actual skimmer emergency I will preface the important part with the above. Maybe then Ann won't miss things like stipper poles.

I just realized today, god I am so slow on the uptake sometimes, that all my webring codes are gone. Initially I thought I just hadn't moved them over from the old template but when I went to fix them they weren't there either. So I checked the webring lists and of course I appear to have been kicked off of most or all of them. Now I need to reapply, of course the big one, Knitting Bloggers, is closed until April 15th. Maybe it's not worth the trouble, I don't know.

Have a great weekend everyone...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Finished Object

Hey, I finished something this weekend, see:

It's a telegraph. What do mean it's not knitting? It's finished isn't it? Actually it's Avery's Science Fair project that he worked diligently on it all weekend. All I did was strip some wires and make sure his connections were tight. I honestly can't take much credit at all.

I did go spend some money on a new home for my yarn. Trusty IKEA, also fast becoming known as the knitter's best storage friend, has this lovely bureau for me:

Want to see the inside:
That is my favorite part it's a drawer for belts and things but sock yarn and knitting accoutremonts fit in it very nicely.

I love the way it's hidden inside the top drawer:

Finally the bottom drawer:

Kind of cute, no? It's packed very badly because I just threw all my yarn in at on Sunday night before bed. I have to get in and arrange it better.

As for knitting well there's been a bit. I finish an arm for the doll. I skipped the front of the legs because I am having concerns about having enough of the cream yarn. Maribel has more so it's not too much of a problem but I'd like to know now so I can get it from her. Otherwise that's it nothing more to talk about. I still have some hopes for getting it done shortly, the problem is I have to actually work on it and that doesn't seem to be working for me.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Alison posted last week about all the yarn in her stash that is for specific projects. I decided to take a look at mine and determine how much of it was for specific items as well.

Here's how it stacked up:

LB Chenille Thick and Quick to expand Ian's baby blanket.
Elann Sonata for the Shapely Tank (my perennial summer project).
Magic Stripes for socks for my friend Leslie in San Diego.
Magic Stripes for socks for my Mother in Law.
Morehouse Merino yarn for a small Clapotis.
Mary Maxim Kashmere for a sweater for Bel.
Koigu kit for Charlotte's Web.
Paton's for a Harry Potter scarf for my friend Dawn.
Cestaire cotton wool blend DK for Sally's Favorite Summer Sweater for me.
Socks that Rock for me.

So many of these projects have been waiting for a year or more. I've decided it's time to get cracking on them. Once I've finished the doll, Anouk, Odessa and poor abandoned Bob I am going to try to start working off this list. I'm putting it over in the sidebar to keep reminding me of them. I'm not saying I won't do anything else but I want at least one of these projects on the needles and being worked on at all times. Maybe I can have the list completed by the end of the year.

Speaking of Anouk, I am totally in love with Alison's dress version of it. I think I will make this one using her adjustments as well. It's absolutely adorable.

I'm on vacation next week, hopefully that will translate into some good productivity on the knitting front. I'm still working on the doll body but I think that should be done this weekend. Then I will do the arms. I'm hoping Bel and I can have a stuffing party, putting together the boy and girl at the same time. This way I can benefit from her experience at putting the doll together.

Have a great weekend everyone...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wednesdays are for Linkage

Not much to share on the knitting front. I did finish Ian's sock. It came out quite cute in the end but I'll spare you a picture until I have the pair. I went back to the doll yesterday but that looks pretty much the same as the front so I won't bore you with that either.

With so little going on I thought I'd share some cool links.

First up this comic is hysterical in a way that only bloggers can appreciate.

This is what I'm getting all my girlfriends for Christmas, yes Ann you too!

Good health is so important so make sure you are drinking your cocoa.

My favorite link this week has got to be, this, no more waiting for the Girl Scouts to come a knocking.

I promise to be more interesting on Friday.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I got a bit sidetracked this weekend. I never did cast on for the front of the doll. I was chugging along nicely on Ian's sock until I did the heel. I used a contrasting color for the heel as planned, but I really wasn't crazy about the look of it:

Now I admit I kept going for quite awhile, knowing I didn't like it. I figured Ian would love it no matter what but then it occurred to me that I didn't have to. It's a small sock which makes it prefect for trying something new. I decided to try a short row heel to see if I liked the look better. First I went to the Cool Socks Warm Feet book. The sock I want to make myself from my STR (it's the Mermaid sock) is in there and it has a short row heel. I could have been reading Ancient Greek for all the good that did me. It's not like I haven't done short rows before, hell I've done the beginning of the Shapely Tank numerous times (don't ask) and we went over short rows in my finishing class but these instructions seem monumentally complex. So I went here next. Better but still not quite as black and white as I wanted it. Finally I went here and it was dumbed down enough for even me.

All wasn't smooth though. I had to explore this new way of doing the heel. At first I left no stitch unwrapped but that made the heel far too pointy. Then I decided to leave four in the middle to round it a bit but as I was finishing I realized I had dropped a stitch at the beginning. So there was much ripping going on. In fact I was so damn frustrated I didn't knit anything on Saturday at all. On Sunday I went back to the sock started fresh and it went like a breeze:

Now honestly I'd leave a few more unwrapped if I were to do it again. The heel is still a bit too pointy for me but far, far better than it was. I also have some holes along the middle but as I get better at picking up the wraps that will improve. Overall it is an amazingly fast and simple heel. I won't use it for all socks but I will use is again. By the way the sock is being modeled by the cat statue I have on my desk. Here she is sans sock:

So all in all I'm glad I tried it. Never hurts to try something new.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Five days, five entries. I can't remember the last time I managed that!

I have to confess I didn't go back to the doll yesterday. I am having a little too much fun with Ian's sock, here's where it stood this morning:

It actually has a heel now, thanks to my train ride in this morning. I decided to go with a contrasting color to make the yarn go further. Just to be safe. I only have the one skein of the red. I know that you need two for an adult sock. I suspect one is more than enough for a pre-schooler sized pair but being cautious can't hurt.

It actually should be finished by now but I haven't been working on it as much as I could have. On the train rides going to and from work I've been catching up on some reading and I haven't been doing much knitting in the evening. I'll finish it tonight though so I can get back to the doll for the weekend.

The weekend weather is predicted to be beautiful (it's absolutely gorgeous, temperature wise, today as well) so I think I'll take the kids to the zoo. Ian's been asking for the "zoom" for a few weeks now but the weather has sucked. Rinaldo works tomorrow so it will be a great day for it. No Rinaldo, no car and the zoo is nice and close by bus.

As an addendum to yesterday's post I'd like to give some artisans their due. The lovely objects in the earthenware photo were all gifts. The cup was made by my co-worker and friend Gary's very talented wife Virginia (she's a knitter too so I'm biased of course). It is absolutely my favorite milk cup and if you spend any amount of time with me you will know how much I love milk so it holds a very important place in my cupboard. The house was made by my other co-worker and friend Richard's wife Liz. They gave that adorable little house to Rinaldo and I for a wedding present. The bowl was made by my very dear friend Leslie, who left me a few years ago to go home to San Diego. We recently met up at a conference and she gifted me with the lovely bowl. I'm also not sure any of those items are in fact "earthenware" as I gather that is a very specific material. In fact the cup is actually "stoneware", Gary informed me, but I needed an "E" so I took some artistic license.

That's it for me, have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

E is for...

I had a big problem with this one. What the hell do I show for E?

My love of things Egyptian:

The lovely Earthenware items made for me by dear friends:

In the end I realized I had the perfect E -


Maribel and me on the Knitty Cruise last September.

Please go wish Maribel a happy birthday. She's a whole 3 months and 17 days older than me...the crone...

Love ya Bel!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

It's a pictureless day today. I was running around too much this morning to take any and last night I was working on the blog. You like? I wanted to re-do the look for Spring anyway. That's the only reason I had a back up of the template. It's not like I always back it up (although I may start now). Since everything was lost yesterday I figured that was a sign to get it done. It's not quite done. Some things are still missing from the sidebar and there is still some color tweaking that I want to do but overall I think it's a nice change.

As far as knitting goes. I did, amazingly enough, find my old copy of the Anouk pattern with all my annotations. Sadly it doesn't tell me what needle size I used. I found a few swatches I had made for it as well (sounds like I'm really organized right? Not quite, just lucky). The swatch is way looser than the one I made so I'm sticking with an 8 and just re-working the numbers. I started the pocket so I can get a really good sense of my gauge.

I got a bit sidetracked by another project yesterday though. It seems there is a great inequity in my home. Avery has a pair of socks made by me, I have a pair of handknit socks I got in the first Sockapalooza and Rinaldo of course has his Socks that Rock. Poor Ian has none. That can't continue. I cast on yesterday for a pair of red socks (Ian's choice) using some Opal yarn I had in stash. This also means that I have begun socks for the Red Hot Socks knitalong. I still plan on making my Ruby Slippers Socks that Rock for me but now they can wait patiently. The joy of these socks is my son's teeny tiny 4 year old feet. Ok they're a bit big for a 4 year old but their small for sock making! I'm already halfway through one and I started on the train going home and did no knitting last night. Love that!

It's back to the doll for me tomorrow. Have to stay on track with that.

Back to the grind here at work.

Happy Wednesday everyone...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

ABC Along

I seem to have fallen dreadfully behind in the ABC Along so I hope to make up for it this week.

First up is D:

D is for Daddy

An obvious choice it’s true but my Dad had so much to do with the person that I am it’s the only one to make. While my relationship with my mother could be quite contentious. My relationship with my Dad was the brightest thing in my life. I don’t know how well I would have met life’s challenges without the tools he gave me. He taught me most of all to think for myself. Even if that meant I disagreed with him. I just had to be able to argue my point well.

My Dad was born blind. His Mom had German Measles when she was pregnant. He did regain some sight around the age of three. He was quite mischevious from what I’ve heard. He and his brother would play rescue mission and tie their poor cat in a basket and pull it up through the window to the second floor of their house. Cat crying all the way.

He made it to college but when he lost his sight for good in his third year he had to quit because his grades dropped and he lost his scholarship. He wanted to be teacher and it was a great loss that he wasn’t. I and many of my friends benefited a great deal from his patience when he helped with our school work. He had a gift for making things clearer.

He became an audio engineer later in life (he ran a newsstand when I was born and worked in photo processing after that). It was something he truly loved. He and my mother were married for 15 years. After their divorce he married a woman named Diane, who was also an audio engineer. She is very warm and kind and I love her very much. My Dad had 15 years with Diane before his death from lung cancer at age 63, six years ago. My mother thought that very fair.

I miss him every day…

Edited later- I accidently deleted my template this morning. I have a backup of it but it's at home on the laptop. Consider the site to be under construction for today.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I dont know if I did

...sorry about the weird title, blogger was down all morning so I did this in Word, when you upload it through Blogger for word it automatically creates a title from the first few words...

I don’t know if I did a lot this weekend or very little. If I don’t leave the house at all during the weekend I somehow feel as if I was just lazing around, no matter what I did at home. On Saturday I didn’t do much other than knitting, but on Sunday there was cleaning and furniture putting together to be done.

We finally got a new dining room set (gotta love JC Penney 50% off sales). Our dining room is huge and it simply dwarfed our poor little table. So we got a much bigger one, that seats 6 instead of 4 and has a leaf in the center to expand even more. Of course that means lots of pieces of table and chair strewn all over the place for most of the day. It didn’t occur to me to take a picture but I will later since I’m talking about it!

I did get a great deal done on the doll. The back piece is complete. I started it on Thursday morning. The doll is done in four pieces, a back, a front and two arms. The head continues into the body and the body continues to legs. See:

It’s a little odd but having seen the finished project (scroll down to the 9th, sorry I can't seem to find the link to the actual post) I have complete faith in the process.

As a reward for finishing a quarter of the doll I decided to give myself a break and move on to Anouk for a few days. I was working my gauge this morning and I seem to be off badly. I am using LB’s Microspun which I used on my first Anouk (damn I just looked back at an old post and realized I did the pocket as the swatch, that was smart why didn't I do that this time!). The problem is I can’t find the copy of the pattern I worked from so I have no notes around on what needle I used. I do have a knitting journal but I typically just write stuff like that on the pattern directly, if at all. I’m probably sticking to a 7 or 8 and doing a size smaller than I planned. It should meet somewhere in the middle. According to the blog the other one came out a bit big so that should work just fine. That’s the great thing about baby clothes, just make ‘em big they’ll always grow into them.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Ok, now this is fun:

Booking Through Thursday

Today's questions are from Marie. Thank you!

  1. Do you finish every book you start, no matter how bad it gets? Why?

  2. No, if it doesn't hold my attention then it's not worth the time. It doesn't have to be a page turner but I have to at least be interested in what happens next.

  3. Do you ever sneak-read the ending before you finish the book? If so, what about the book tends to cause you to do so?

  4. No way, no how! My husband does however and irritates the hell out of me, especially since he likes to do it with books I am currently reading. So without ever reading the book he knows how it turns out before I do. Drives me nuts!!!

Thanks to Julie for the link.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

You may recall this post from a few weeks back. I thought we should see where we stand:

February 14 - Jaywalkers finished on time
February 16 - Chunky Cable bag finished on time
February 10 - Branching Out finished on time .
Soon - fingerless gloves 2 sets finished one set, mostly done with the second.

Honestly I'd be done with the second set if I had managed to stay awake past 8 last night but my body worked against me. I fell asleep putting Ian to bed.

Not too bad an output if I do say so myself. Let's see what's up for March:

Rag Doll

On the face of it not much but that doll is on 2s or 3s (I haven't done my gauge swatch yet) so she takes awhile. Let's not forget that poor Bob isn't even done yet and he's just about the same size. Anouk took me a couple weeks last time so I figure it won't take too long. I'll be working on that and the doll at the same time to give myself some relief from the tiny gauge. Odessa can even wait until the beginning of April since I know it's a fast knit. Although I may swatch for it now to make sure I can use the alpaca for it.

Of course I'm already behind schedule since I haven't finished the damn gloves. Hopefully I can finish them tonight and cast on for the doll. Wish me luck!

Happy Wednesday...