Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Surprise FO

The past week didn't give me much time to finish up the Baby Albert jacket but I managed to squeeze in some quality knitting time anyway.

I swore to myself I wouldn't cast on for another project but I broke that promise in the latest visit to Babetta's Yarn and Gifts. A cutie ski hat for the baby! Oh yeah, we have grand plans for this kiddo to be some kind of snow bunny. Last Wednesday I was flying between San Jose, CA and Hillsboro, OR for the day. Something like 6 hours of total travel time for just 2 hours worth of face-to-face meetings. Ugh. In any case, I cast on and finished this little gem going to and fro. The details:

Yarn: Filati Biberon 100% Superfine Merino, Superwash
Needles: Size 3 US Addis
Gauge: 6 sts/inch
Pattern: Ribbed Baby Hat by Bev of Bev's Country Cottage
Modifications: I don't know if it's a mod but I couldn't tell if the pattern wanted me to purl the wrong side rows or not after the decreases on the right side. I did anyway. This is only my second knit hat.

The other quality knitting was getting in a few more inches completed on Kristy's baby blanket. I discovered something - I really need to knit the blanket in bright light. Bright light makes a difference. Duh. I found this out during our snow hike.

In my daypack is the blanket and a new ball of yarn. We hiked for only 2 or 3 miles and the guys let me sit around and knit while they tramped around the man made lake. Isn't this dog just gorgeous? His name is Doug and he's a Great Pyrenees.

As I sit and write this, the smell of roasted tri-tip and roasted potatoes is wafting through the air. I'm trying out Potatoes LaMarr, a recipe from Lori. I've been cooking on a regular basis; I find that it grounds me, a routine that is comforting to for me and Karl. Lately I've made a few items from Every Day with Rachael Ray, a new cooking mag. Our favorites so far have been the braised pork which reminds me of carnitas, and a raspberry-lemon shortbread tort that I made for Karl for Valentine's Day. Yum-O!

The last thing in this rag-tag post I want to say is just a small prayer for my dog, Tasha. She had just turned 18 years old but I clearly remember the day my brother and I brought her home. Tasha had been valiantly holding on for the past couple of years but she was really suffering. My brother had to have her put to sleep this past week. For Tasha and for my brother, I wish I could've been there with you both to give Tasha one last scratch behind the ears and kiss on the nose, and provide support to my brother. I love you both.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

To Keep or Not To Keep

That is the question.

I've got yarn stashed all over the house. The biggest stash is in the unfinished guest bedroom because we're still in the process of redecorating. Karl says he's going to build some cubbies for me but even so, I have too much.

So what to keep? How do I decide? I've got a few starter ideas...

Climate. Where I live, it's hot most of the time so I plan to keep the cottons and linens.

Color. I have a penchant for pink, lavender and neutrals. I'm not so keen on blues and greens.

Itch factor. Has to go.

OK, it's not much which is why I still have such a huge stash! I've tried selling via Knitters Review but not on eBay yet. Anyone have experience with this? Rebekah, I think you just put some stuff out there right?

I'd be willing to swap. This wouldn't necessarily reduce my stash right away but if it's yarn I'm more likely to use then at least I wouldn't be buying more :-)

Having mentioned the swap thing, let me know if any of you are interested in the Rowan Chunky Cotton Chenille. I have a ton of it and it looks pretty but it's hard on my little hands.

Any ideas on how to decide what stays and what goes?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

To Do

Sign wedding contract for MGM Hotel. CHECK

Book hotel and plane reservations to Las Vegas. CHECK

Buy dress for wedding. CHECK sort of

Schedule 4th ultrasound. CHECK

Schedule next blood test. CHECK

Select wedding bands. HUH?

Clean out stash from guest room. UMMMM...

Reorganize files in study. UH-OH

Finish the baby's room. NOT YET

Do taxes. EEEEEK

Seam the Baby Albert Jacket. MAYBE

Swatch crochet baby blanket. CHECK

Swatch crochet scarf. DYING TO DO THIS

Knit 2 more inches on baby blanket. BORING

Plan tonight's dinner. CHECK

Pack for business trip. BLECH

I am a list person. Lists are addictive. The only problem is, the list never gets any shorter.

What's on your list?


Some of you have asked interesting questions in your comments of late, and I haven't been able to respond personally so here are my replies for the entertainment of all:

Which dress did I pick out for my wedding? On Babe in the Wool, I reported a couple of dress picks in one of my posts. I went to David's Bridal and tried the cranberry "special occasion" gown. Beautiful color, 9 1/2 feet of fabric. I looked like an oversized vegetable. Plus I didn't want to spend that much on a dress that I would then pay another $50 to cut in half. I went to Nordstrom Rack and bought a couple of interesting dresses in aubergine. The plan is to wait until 2 weeks before the wedding, go to a seamstress and see if either one could be altered to fit my shape at that point. I also bought a dress on eBay which may or may not arrive in time to be altered. I'll try to take some pictures.

Oh. If it seems that I'm pretty nonchalant about the wedding, it's because I am.

Does Big Kitty really have her own prescription at a regular pharmacy? Yes, she most certainly does. Though I suppose once the wedding is over she will also have to change her last name as well. But not her initials: BKM.

How do you grow your orchids? Lots of light (put them on a south-facing window sill) and let them soak in the sink in tepid water once a week.

Agnes, your comment about my calmness since I found out I am pregnant is a sharp observation. I hadn't thought about it before but yes, I think you're right. Having a healthy baby is the highest priority and knowing this puts everything else in the proper perspective, including knitting and other hobbies. That is, I was taking knitting too seriously and the fun had gone out of it. I am beginning to appreciate it again as a relaxing and useful hobby. Especially since I am constantly reminded that I won't have much time for it later.

Did you all have relaxing weekends? Well, some of you did because I read about them in your blog already. I spent all of Sunday knitting on the Baby Albert. Now it just needs to be seamed, blocked and have the buttons sewn on. I really needed to just spend a day knitting and catching up on people's blogs. It was a treat.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Squares and Rectangles

Blogging 3 days in a row. This must be a record for me. OK, warning. This is picture-heavy.

The simplicity of Sally Melville's Baby Albert Jacket is that it's just a bunch of squares and rectangles. This isn't an inspired photo but it shows you what I mean. The jacket is about 70% done, the left front and both sleeves are what's left. The clever thing about the pattern is that there are only 2 seams to sew - the sleeves. I will pick up stitches along the sides of the back piece and then down the sides of the front pieces.

Maybe this closeup will show it better.

The other baby item is a blanket I'm making for my friend Kristy. She is about 4 weeks behind me and is also having a girl! Kristy is a huge Green Bay Packers fan and I hunted high and low for this yarn in Packer colors but with no luck. The blanket is in ho-hum stockinette but I like the coordinating Cotton Twist colors for the crochet edging. You probably won't see this again until it's finished 'cause there won't be anything exciting to show until then.

Orchids are blooming around the house. Little Vanda White is the early one. She didn't bloom for 3 years until we moved into this house. Now she flowers at least once a year. *happy dance* She reminds me that I haven't totally lost my green thumb.

I leave you with a pensive photo of shy Miss Big Kitty. This lady has had her share of vet visits. Last year she was diagnosed with a hyperthyroid and weighed only a few pounds. She's back up to her fighting weight thanks to daily doses of meds. She has her own prescription at the pharmacy and I get a kick out of telling the pharmacist that I need to get a refill for "Big Kitty".

Friday, February 17, 2006

New Knitting Store in the Sierra Foothills

For those of you who live in and around the Sierra foothills region, I found a new yarn store!

The store is tiny but they have plans for expansion. It's so cute painted off-white with antique-style decor, colorful bags and scarves hanging from the ceiling. Their selection is small right now but they are ordering lots as we speak. I noticed they carry more Karabella and Classic Elite yarns than I've seen at the other LYS plus a decent collection of Cascade. In fact, it's the first place I've seen that carries Madil (Italian-made) which I quite like but have only been able to find online.

I also appreciated the fact that they have crochet samples as well as knitted sweaters and scarves.

And the knitting bags! So many! They have a line from a local seamstress too which was nice. Quilted bags, funky fabrics, Lantern Moon.

Store owners are Donna and Debbie who were both there along with Debbie's daughter Casey to welcome me. I stayed for a while and chatted. They even asked *me* to teach a beginner's knitting class (I was wearing one of my knitted cardigans). I chuckled at the thought but was flattered.

Sierra Knitting Company is located in Shingle Springs off Highway 50 East towards South Lake Tahoe. When you drive along this strip of Hwy 50, you'll see what looks to be old western style storefronts (right next to a Starbucks and Food-for-Less, the irony). The store is next to the Mission Rogelio Mexican Restaurant. The address is 3300 Coach Lane Ste A3, Shingle Springs, CA 95682.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

An Unusual Meme

Birdsong tagged me with a most unusual and creative meme last week - a description of myself in poetry form using the letters of my name. In case you were wondering what the heck I've been up to the past few days, let me tell ya...I've been trying to figure out what starts with a "Y" that would describe me. I finally broke down and used Websters. Did you know that there are only a few pages devoted to the letter "Y" in the dictionary?

L oquacious with the written word but shy to speak up
Y outhful in mind, body and spirit
N ever regretting or second guessing any decisions of my past
E nthusiastic about impending motherhood
T empted at all times to grow my collection of yarn, knitting needles, crochet hooks and fiber books
T rained as a bookworm and homebody, morphed into a recreational athlete and traveller
E njoying life as it unfolds each day

Thanks, Birdsong, for issuing this challenge. I had fun thinking about this. Now for you folks who like words this meme is for you: Agnes and Kelly. Anyone else who would like to try it, I encourage you. Let me know if you do it because I'd love to read your poem.

Other things I've been up to...I finished the red alpaca scarf which I will now refer to as "Tosh" in honor of the recipient. However, I wrapped it up before I remembered about taking a picture. You'll just have to take my word for it that Tosh is done. Now I'm currently working on the Baby Albert jacket as well as a baby blanket. The jacket is coming along nicely; I so love working with the Phoenix yarn. The yarn I'm using for the blanket is very similar to Berroco Plush, extremely soft and springy. It's in plain stockinette because there's no point in doing any fancy stitchery EXCEPT that I'm going to crochet a pretty edging with Berroco Cotton Twist Colors.

Non-knitting activities include trying on special occasion dresses for Las Vegas next month. I suppose I should be more excited about my wedding but at the moment it's sort of low on my priority list. We are getting married at the MGM Grand Hotel with just a few friends to witness the historic moment. And a moment it will be, I don't think the ceremony will last more than 20 minutes if that! But that's OK. The less time in high heels the better.

I want to thank all of you who responded with your Typical Knitter's Day. I'm amazed at how different some of your schedules are. At the same time, there is a common thread of knitting at night. This makes sense for the working folks but even for those of you lucky enough not to work this seems to be the case too.

No pictures today because I am lazy. But I've got some so stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Typical Knitter's Day

When I read everyone's blogs I am always impressed by the sheer number of projects that you are working on and have finished. How do you find the time? I started thinking about what my typical day is like and where I fit the knitting in. Here's what a Lynette day looks like:

5:30am, wake
6-6:30am, go for a walk or run
6:30-7:45am, get ready for work
7:45 - 11:30am, work
11:30am - 12:45pm, lunch at home and if I'm lucky I can fit in a little knitting
12:45 - 5:30pm, work
5:30 - 6pm, decompress
6 - 6:45pm, make dinner
6:45 - 7:15pm, eat dinner
7:15 - 7:30pm, clean up
7:30 - 9pm, free time (errands, knitting, blogging, photo stuff, TV or some combination of these)
9 - 10pm, get ready for bed, read
10pm, sleep

I can't knit past 9pm without suffering some consequences (dropped stitches, etc). And the 10pm lights out is pretty firm because I can't stay awake.

What does your typical day look like? Where do you fit the knitting time in?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Scarf, and a Bit of Chaos

I promised some evidence of knitting so here it is. This is the Misti Alpaca scarf that I'm making for a friend's birthday. Not very complicated since I'm on the mindless knitting kick.

One reason I've been busy is that we've been doing a massive remodeling of 3
bedrooms. I say we, but I really mean Karl. Anyway. We have switched the study and guest rooms and painted them. Nothing like impending parenthood to jump start room remodeling.

I'm not sure this photo is the most accurate representation of the green that we used for the study. This room gets a lot of light in the middle of the day but I took the picture in the late afternoon. It is a saturated shade of "Luscious Moss". We also added some chair rail trim to break up the huge expanse of mossiness and just picked out a colorful sconce for the corner. This room will be a combo study and craft room. We'll see how that works out, but we don't have much choice as you'll see in a minute.

We switched out the guest room because this one is just a tad bigger. We'll be able to add a small table for a TV and a dresser. My parents are staying with us for a whole month in June after I have the baby. I felt like they deserved some extra space during that time. The color here is "Earthy Cane". We aren't going to do a chair rail but are planning to do window and closet door casing. Karl wants every room to be a little different. Who would've thought he would have such
designing thoughts. I'm happy to have him do all this work so I'm not complaining. I threw down the pregnancy trump card so I wouldn't have to paint but I pushed around the furniture.

Now here's why we're having to combine the study with crafty stuff - the yarn room is going to be the baby room. Nothing has happened in there yet but this will be painted a sunny, cheery yellow to match the painted furniture. I think I want to do a border stencil too. The yarnmoire and most of the stash is in here, take a look. This used to be an old dresser that I've had since I was a toddler. I asked Karl to remove the 3 top drawers, create a shelf and attach some cabinet doors that we had lying around. Then we tried our hand at crackling. Turned out OK. We are going to use it for baby's clothes though. The matching sewing table is going to be a changing table.

And there you have part of my topsy turvy house! I should probably get used to the chaos because it won't be much better in a few months. That will be an adjustment. Now if I can just figure out other hiding places for my yarn...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Good Things Happen those who spend the extra 20 minutes driving around looking for a yarn store. My yarn store radar was in good working order tonight. While I did not find an LYS per se, I managed to sneak in a trip to Craftmart in Chandler. This store is kind of like a Beverly's with a selection of yarn that's noticeably nicer than Wal-Mart or Michael's. I was pleasantly surprised by the other craft items too, rather decent stuff.

My reward for my diligent efforts in looking for yarn was 40% off of Southwest Trading Company goods!! Woohoo! So I bought. A lot. 10 skeins total of Bamboo, Oasis and Melody. Now the problem is how I'm going to get it home without Karl finding out. Thank goodness he doesn't read this blog.

On Mindless Knitting

A while ago, Caitlyn recently celebrated her 1 year blog anniversary and mentioned that she has "no shame" in admitting she enjoys/needs mindless knitting.

I have to agree but I was too chicken to admit it online. Bravo to Caitlyn! Of late, mindless knitting has been all I can handle but I was a bit ashamed to say so. I have been working on a lace scarf for a friend's birthday in a couple of weeks. She loves burgundy so I picked out a great alpaca merino sport weight from Misti Alpaca. It's been a pleasure to work with, very soft. The stitch pattern is my standby, what I used for the Not Knit Round Scarf from The Purl Stitch. Also new to the needles is the beginning of the Baby Albert Einstein coat from The Knit Stitch. The yarn is coming from a tank top that I knit over the summer but wasn't happy with, so I frogged it. I'm recyling the Southwest Trading Company Phoenix yarn for the baby coat and it's looking good in garter stitch. The first part of the coat is the most tedious (107 garter stitch ridges) but the mindless knitting is comforting. I can take it with me anywhere.

No pictures this go round, but perhaps you'll see the red scarf in finished form in a few days. I've been feeling a little blah on the photography front - the weather has made taking landscape shots a challenge lately.

I'm in Arizona for most of this week and haven't been able to visit any yarn stores in the area - they close before I can make it there from work. At the end of the month I'm running up to Oregon...ick. I won't have time to visit any yarn stores there either since that one is a day trip. Funny - I can be tentative driving around a new city unless my goal is to find a yarn store! Then I have everything mapped out.

Hope ya'll are having a good week!

Until the next day in the life....