Monday, October 29, 2007

Chrysopolis -- 3. Teil

I've finally finished Week 3 for Chrysopolis and have decided that trying to work on 2 shawls at a time is not going to work. I've decided to concentrate on the more traditional one -- Chrysopolis. What really cemented my decision was my suddenly realization that one of the designs on the Secret of the Stole looks like a dung beetle (aka scarab). It's appropriate for New Year's because it represents rebirth. But, I'd rather have hearts and stylized flowers. (The white crochet thread in the middle is to mark the middle of the pattern.)

I've finished the fingerless gloves for my DD. They're Wool-Ease and size 8 needles. I used a pattern from Bits and Bobs except I made a gusset instead of just a thumb opening. I also misread the ruffle directions. For the ruffle, I did *k1, kfb* across, followed by k across, followed by a bind off.

I also finished a summer top that Chrissy Gardiner is designing. (It's not for sale yet and so no pictures.) I made it in CotLin -- which was nice to work with. It does bleed a bit in the wash (It's red.) and also shed in the dryer, though.

I'm knitting a baby blanket for a charity project (via a lady in the Wednesday night knitting group). They provided the yarn. I could choose a pattern. Having not looked closely at a baby blanket for quite a few years, I decided to look online to see first of all what size baby blankets come in. I found this one, a Tetris blanket, which looked fun. Entrelac is on my mental list of things to try out. I had only 2 different colors (a solid color and a variegated one) and so used different stitch patterns to differentiate between the shapes.

Finally, I'm not sure why I didn't do this before. Our Roomba hadn't been working for a few months. So, I finally emailed customer support. They replied quickly and sent out OSMO to reprogram the Roomba so that it works properly now. OSMO is the tiny blue object connected to the Roomba.

When the kids were young, I would wash the curtains and wash all the walls in the house twice a year (every spring and autumn). Now I have a robot vacuuming for me. -- Well, ... I do have a regular vacuum cleaner also. But, this is more fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Chrysopolis -- 2. Teil

I'm going to have to work faster (and more often on Chrysopolis). Here is the stole through Clue 2. However, Clue 4 just came out. So, half the clues are out now, and I'm only 1/4th of the way through.

It's turning out to be a lovely shawl -- if I do say so myself. It would look even better if it were blocked correctly. Moni has created quite a design. (The red crochet thread was to help me keep track of where I was in the pattern.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Secret Stole - Week 2

The Week 2 clue for the Secret of the Stole Yahoo! group is now done. I'm beginning to see how this would be a nice shawl for New Year's Eve. It reminds me of fireworks -- at least so far. We're getting clues to the theme each week also. I'm debating whether the answer to the first clue is nobility, royalty, peers, or peerage. There could be a lot of answers to the second clue: lady, duchess, countess, queen, princess, etc., but I'm leaning toward lady. (One takes the first letters of the answers to the clues and then rearranges them.)

The questions are: What is a class of people holding hereditary titles called? What is a title bestowed upon a female who belongs to the class of people in last week’s hint? Where, on earth, would you find the class of people in hint #1 residing?

As an aside -- It's nice to have someone who understands computers around. I asked DS2 to change my start menu so I could play Spider Solitaire while every thing was loading. He did that easily. Then I asked him to remove RealPlayer from the start menu. (I have no idea why it was there. But, it was annoying. It gave me a chance to play a short video of whatever I'd played last -- usually something from the digital camera when I had taken a movie instead of a still picture, by accident.) He went to the menu and removed not only RealPlayer (from the start menu) but also quite a few other programs that didn't need to start up right away. Now, I don't even need to play Solitaire while waiting for everything to finish loading.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Chrysopolis -- 1. Teil

After the first several pattern rows, Chrysopolis is now moving along nicely. Here is it being blocked with help from one of our kitties. (I don't know why the cats like wet yarn, but they do. -- But, maybe they like it just because it's there.)

I worked on it for a few minutes this morning. But, then midmorning I went outside to work in the garden a little and got stung by a wasp. It stung me first next to the bridge of my nose less than an inch below my tear duct. I brushed it off, and then it stung me on my left little finger. Despite putting analgesic cream and antihistamine cream on (and also taking some aspirin and an antihistamine and putting ice on the spots), both still hurt. And my finger is swollen. My finger hurts so much and is so stiff from the swelling that I can't knit. Hopefully, it will be better tomorrow. I'd never known a wasp to be so aggressive. But, at least, it was only one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Secret Stole - Week 1

Week 1 for the Yahoo! Secret of the Stole is finished and blocked. I'm making it in KP Shadow Vineyard Heather and size 4 needles. This one is completely different from the first one I made (MS3). It has many more plain stockinette areas. However, I'm also doing the Yahoo! Secret of Chrysopolis Stole -- which is lacier than MS3. So, it evens out.... I'm hoping to have Week 1 of the Chrysopolis stole finished before Week 3 comes out on Friday. The first few pattern rows for Chrysopolis were difficult in that it was hard for me to keep track of where I was in the row. I'm glad I kept at it, though. It's turning out lovely.

I've also finished the Comfort Shawl in Wool-Ease Rose Heather (with size 10 needles). It didn't block too well. But, that's more an effect of where I chose to block it than the yarn. It started out looking really good (as you can see from the picture -- if Blogger ever allows me to add pics today -- I was able to add them the next day.). However, when I got up the next morning, it was pretty crumpled up. That may have something to do with our 2 cats and the fact that I was blocking it on the floor -- and also that our cats love to lie on top of damp yarn.

This past Sunday, we went out to Sandy Hook. It was a beautiful day, and there were quite a few people on the beach. It turned colder, more fall-like today.

I've put my second Festive on hold. I still can't figure out what to do with the sleeves. My best plan is to frog to under the armholes to make the armhole opening bigger. (One needs a deeper armhole opening with sleeves than without.) Then I'll probably make long-ish sleeves.

However, I just started knitting a sweater that Chrissy plans to add to her line. I'm knitting it just for the fun of it and since I really like the looks of it and since I have some yarn that I think will be perfect for it.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Picking apples, etc

Yesterday afternoon, we went to a local farm near the Great Swamp to pick apples. My DHs family had a few apple trees in the yard (and so had picked apples before). When I was much, much younger, my family and I made an annual trip to the Western Slope to pick apples, peaches, etc. But, this was the first time our DS2 had ever picked apples from a tree.
-- When we lived in Lidingö, we had several apple trees in the front yard. The trees were large, and so we generally picked apples off the ground daily. Those were good apples!

It was fun. We rode out on a wagon pulled by a tractor to where the apples were. However, when we were finished, we went to the drop-off spot to get picked up and waited and waited. We finally walked back.
They had forgotten about us!!!
We got about 30 pounds of apples. So, I'll have to get busy getting them ready to freeze. Fresh apples are so much better than the ones in the store.

The day before was also fun. DS2 went to a Magic the Gathering tournament at Rutgers. I went on a yarn shop "drive" with some members of the local knitting guild. I hadn't realized that there were so many nice yarn shops in the area. Then that evening, my family and I went to probably the only Damon's in NJ. It was well worth the drive.

I've started on my Chrysopolis stole. I had to restart it. Even though size 5 needles worked well with KP bare laceweight yarn, they were too big for KP Shadow. I switched to size 4. I also used a new cast on (for me), the lace cast on from Eunny's blog (about halfway down the page). It's a really nice cast on for lace.

Finally, I tried my hand at designing a dishcloth. It ended up the right size, but .... Here is a picture. Can anyone guess what it's supposed to be? Hint: Whenever I mentioned within ear-shot of the cats what I was trying to knit, they walked away.

My DS2 helped in the design process. He helped me get a chart started with the right dimensions (a spreadsheet with a cell width of .21" and a row height of .14" -- so that the chart size was approximately the size of my finished project) He also helped with the look, the placement of purl sts on the chart. If it hadn't been for him, the design wouldn't look as good as it does.

One more thing: Is Sugar 'n Cream changing its yarn size? I use size 7 needles on my older Sugar 'n Cream yarn (except for the illusion dishcloth, which needed to be knitted on smaller needles in order for the pattern to show up). However, I've needed to switch to size 6 needles for the last couple of projects I've made -- including this one.