Friday, March 31, 2006

Anniversary Post

As March comes to a close, my last post for this month reflects on the past year.

I started this blog on March 2nd, 2005 with a bit of trepidation. What in the world would someone like me write about? My life is ordinary. My knitting is average. My writing is rusty. But oh, what a difference a year makes. You, dear blog readers, have witnessed an incredible time of learning and change for me.

On the knitting front - in no particular order of importance, I've learned how to knit lace and socks, conquered my fear of DPNs and taught myself new techniques like felting, Kitchener and the Figure 8 cast-on. Many projects were finished: a baby afghan, a lace capelet, 2 pairs of socks, the Diane tank, the Booga bag, a bunch o' scarves, a shrug, baby hat, baby jacket, the Shapely Tee and the One Skein Wonder. This is a list that's longer than I expected!

About blogging, writing and photography - blogging has generated renewed interest and confidence in my writing as well as in photography. How has it affected me? I started looking for opportunities to apply these skills in my every day. Some of you have been particularly supportive of this effort and sent me very encouraging email. You would be interested to know that I have managed to incorporate writing in my latest position at work. I have been designated as the "Communications Czar" for my overall group! Although not officially part of the job description, I'm hoping it will turn out to be something formal and permanent by the end of 2006. As for photography, it was extremely gratifying that 2 of my photos were accepted in my company's photography contest last fall. These photos are still touring the different company sites all over the world.

Speaking of travelling - you all have been subjected to posts about my trips here and abroad. I usually go on one big trip per year and since last March that adventure was Germany. However, you know by now I'm just as happy hiking in Mendocino, Yosemite, the Sierras and the urban jungle that is San Francisco. My new job (same company) also provides time to hop on a plane to Arizona and Oregon. No matter where I go, I somehow manage to find yarn shops and hope that some of my store reviews have been helpful to you.

Now new friends - blogging about knitting led me to meet several local knitters, wonderful people I never would've had a chance to know otherwise. And those who I haven't met in person yet, we still have time! And when we do finally see each other it will be as if we'd known one another for ages. I'm flabbergasted at this concept...blogging has truly brought a community of us knitters together! I so enjoy reading about your knitting and your lives. Everyone is fascinatingly different.

Personal notes - and of course through blogging you've come to know me not just as a knitter. You know...I have silly cats; that I adore my (sort of) new husband; about my futile efforts to be more patient; I own snowshoes; orchids are one of my weaknesses; I am a freak about cameras; that I will soon be a mother. Getting married and becoming pregnant (not in that order *grin*) are the most significant developments of all since last March, and captured here in the blog.

Who knew this would all happen? I think the blog has brought me good luck. The past 12 months have been some of the most fateful, momentous and memorable times of my life.

Thanks for sharing them with me.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Why You Should Swatch

shrug1I think this photo says it all. I didn't swatch, but I knew it would be oversized because of the yarn. Oy, it looks likes it was made for someone with a wingspan 6 feet long! The sleeves definitely turned out funky. While I was seaming them up, I noticed how puckered they looked because of the thick and thin yarn texture. There's nothing I could do about that but it was a little distressing all the same. It looks like a bad scar.

Ah well, there's something charming in a homely knit kind of way about this shrug so don't get me wrong - I love it! I am wearing it at work and it's very comfy, warm. People looked at it wonderingly and said, "It's a shawl...with...sleeves?" Why yes it is. I'm glad I didn't rely on this for Vegas because it wouldn't have matched my dress but it's perfect as the office sweater or weekend cuddler.

jjill_shrugBesides, big shrugs are trendy. Heck, take a look at this shrug from J.Jill. This is a $100 sweater. Of course, I think I spent that much on yarn anyway but at least it's yarn I selected and like very much. Although I didn't swatch per se, I measured my gauge after 6 rows and used it to calculate the height from top to bottom. The problem was that I didn't take into account the sleeve length. Duh. Details:

Pattern: Streakers Shrug from Interweave Knits
Designer: Pam Allen
Yarn: Crystal Palace Musique in Stormy Weather
Needles: Size 10.5 and 11 US Addi Turbo
Gauge: 3 sts/in, 3 rows/in
Modifications: I didn't knit the lace cuffs for obvious reasons

OK, so now what's next? I am progressing on Wiggles and Waves but I am slow with lacy patterns. My friend's baby blanket is sitting sullenly in my knitting bag. I pulled it out the other day and saw daylight coming through the loops. Holes! I can't handle the yarn - it's hard to differentiate the stitches. Novelties - phooey, spit! I might just make booties and a hat instead out of something comforting and friendly like merino.

Ya'll were awfully nice about the wedding picture and video. Thanks for the congratulatory wishes. It's not every day a girl gets married although I've had one more day than I'd like, hehehe.

Until the next time.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

We Do


Lynette & Karl
March 18, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada

Can you say cheesy? Karl and I are camera-shy but at least he is photogenic in this picture.

In my last post, I had said how I wanted the week to fly. It just zoomed away and suddenly on St. Patty's day evening we found ourselves in Fabulous Las Vegas just before midnight. Setting the pattern for the rest of the weekend, we met up with a friend and promptly stayed out until 2am eating and catching up on each other's news.

On Saturday morning we taxied to the courthouse to pick up a marriage license in downtown Las Vegas. This was probably the sleaziest part of the whole deal...there was a special office just for licenses and it looked exactly like a bank: a long marble table in the middle with forms and pens, a cordoned line of people nervously waiting their turn, five teller windows to process your request. $59 dollars poorer, we walked out with a license.

The wedding was held much later that day at the MGM Grand's wedding chapel, Forever Grand. I had a hair up-do appointment at their swanky Cristoph Salon and Spa where the stylist spent an hour shaping my hair into a mod Asian bun. Then I walked over to the chapel, got dressed with Karl and, well, got married. Warning: Everyone who has watched this said it made them tear up and cry.

After the wedding we whooped it up with a super dinner at the Craftsteak (it was also Karl's birthday so we had a birthday cake) and then saw a Cirque du Soleil show, Ka. No one went to bed early that evening. The rest of the weekend was spent sightseeing, more eating, more staying out late. We hardly did any gambling at all. That's for another trip ;-)

We've been married for a week. Is it any different? Not at all! Except we have rings we keep forgetting where we put down last. The focus is now on a healthy baby and getting ready for her arrival.

As far as knitting goes, I slaved away each night last week trying to finish the Streakers Shrug but it overwhelmed me in the end. I was still knitting it on the plane on the way home from Las Vegas. In fact, our flight from Las Vegas was delayed so we rushed from one terminal to another to catch our connecting flight in Los Angeles. We were a sight to behold - Karl dragging a pregnant woman who was huffing and puffing with a large wad of knitting in her arms and a 12-ft train of yarn trailing behind her. No wonder everyone was staring at us.

I finished knitting the shrug this week but have to seam up the sleeves. Maybe pictures of that tomorrow.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Week in Review

Taking one day at a time has its pros and cons. On the pro side, you're able to focus on the tasks at hand for the day. There's potential to accomplish a lot this way. On the con side, you don't always see the flow of things from one day to the next. This means your days can be herky-jerky.

Take this week.

First, a disclaimer - I've been sick.

I started the week with ambition, but then encountered this:


Untangling this skein took me the better part of one evening and one morning. Even Karl got into the act and he became just as frustrated as me. But I was rewarded with:


Which later in the week turned into this swatch for a baby cardigan pattern called "Wiggles and Waves".


Some wiggle, some wave and the colorway:


The week also saw another Finished Object. The second crochet scarf which is a gift for, um, someone who might be reading this and therefore will know what their present is but oh well.


Yarn: Plymouth Encore Bulky in Chocolate and Burgundy
Gauge: something like 2 stitches per inch, I don't really know
Pattern: Cozy Crochet Reversible Scarf by Melissa Leapman
Stitch: *skip 3 sts, (sc, hdc and dc) in next stitch*
Hook: US size K


Another project that showed up on the needles is the beginning of the Streakers Shrug, a pattern from the latest Interweave Knits. It's on the needles because I want to complete it by the upcoming weekend. The yarn is Musique by Crystal Palace. The colors that really pop out are the aubergine and copper but it's hard to tell in this photo.


In non-knitting news, I picked up my dress for this weekend. I don't like what happened with the's a bit tight and shortened up noticeably (it was supposed to be below the knee calf length). I may go with the second dress I bought as a backup. We'll see. I don't look very pregnant in this dress which is why I chose it.


The week ended with someone backing into Karl's new truck and me finally doing my taxes. Karl was very upset with the ding. It doesn't look too bad but you never know what damage has been done underneath. He's already going through the insurance motions.

As far as taxes are concerned, every time I do them I always feel blah, even when the final outcome is in my favor. Doing the taxes inevitably makes me want to attempt some drastic financial spring cleaning. This is when I feel the least mature. Dealing with financial matters reminds me of when I was 10 and opened my first checking account - it was so intimidating.

That was my herky-jerky, topsy-turvy week. I'm hoping the next 5 days will fly by so I can just get to the weekend. It'll be hectic which should make for some very interesting news and photos for an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Off the Needles

I'm happy to finally report a finished project that isn't a scarf or a hat. This is the baby's first knitted jacket, hopefully the first of many handknits my child will wear. The details:

Pattern: Baby Albert
Designer: Sally Melville
Yarn: Phoenix by Southwest Trading Company, 100% soy silk, color Candy
Needles: Bamboo circulars, size US 7
Modifications: The yarn overs were supposed to be knit through the back loop to tighten them up but if I had done that, I never would've found the button holes again. I also added the collar (20 additional rows).

The sweater hasn't been blocked yet; I'll do that this weekend. The difference between the frogged yarn and the new yarn was noticeable enough although you can't tell in this photo.

I was surprised to see that I hadn't posted anything in 2 weeks. I've been productive, I swear. But I can't show you the latest knitted gift project because the recipient lurks this site.

So. One project down, one almost finished, one still on the needles. Must be time to start another one, or even two! Will have photos of at least the swatches the next time.

Other rings are in. Dinner reservations for after the ceremony are made. Dress is being altered. This is too easy. Surely I'm forgetting something? But I wanted simple and so far so good.

Ya'll have a good week. Stay dry and warm.