Friday, May 30, 2008

Bad Nauheim finished

Bad Nauheim is finally finished -- with a few changes from the original. (I feel uncomfortable when making something for myself or a family member if I don't make some changes.) For the border, I scooted the design over about 15 sts and changed the motifs to be over an even rather than an odd number of sts (in order to line up with the pattern on the rest of the shawl). For the center of the crystals (in the rnds with yo's), I did k2tog, yo, ssk in one row. In the next rnd, I kfb'ed into the yo in order to keep the same stitch count. The other major change was to reflect more of the motifs into the corners. It's made with size 6 needles and KP Shadow Campfire.

I've also essentially finished the sock I'd been working on. Here are the details from a previous post. I added a stitch on either side of the pattern at the back basically when the mood struck -- well, every 9th round to start out with, then every 3rd round, and then finally with no increases. The last 2 rounds are k around, followed by (p8, p2tog) around, followed by a yo bind off. This will probably change after I finish the second sock and figure out how much yarn I have to work with -- and also think about it some more. Even with the p2tog's, the sock seems to flare out. But, I don't want to change the bind off since I like its springiness.

By the way, I'm finally registered to vote in this state. I don't know what went wrong when I tried to register via the DMV (even though I had my passport and Social Security card with me there). But, the application that I later submitted at the library went through.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

a visit from Ohio

May has been a busy month. This past weekend we got a visit from some friends of ours from Ohio. It was really nice seeing them again. Their visit also gave us the impetus to get the house straightened out -- at least, for the ground floor.

The visit also worked out much, much better than I feared animal-wise. We have 2 cats who are fairly territorial. They have an English bulldog. We put a child-guard on the steps so that the cats would have a safe place. But, the dog basically ignored them, and they occasionally got brave enough to sit on the back of the sofa and try to figure out the stranger to their house.

I've gotten some work done on my shawls. I decided to wait until finding my last skein of yarn for the Fishermen's Wife -- instead of trying to figure out a way to finish it off with 1 fewer skein than the directions call for. I'm also progressing on Bad Nauheim. I got a 60" cord from KnitPicks and am now knitting the border. This is a picture through the end of Clue 5. (I scooted the border design over a bit.)

I frogged the sock I was knitting back one pattern repeat in order to fit it over my calf a bit better. I should have a finished pic for my next post. And, I'm keeping up on the Monthly Dishcloth KAL.

This past month, I did quite a bit of crocheting for some people in the Crochet Liberation Front (a Ravelry group) -- and while checking for an external link, volunteered to do some more test crocheting. Here is a pic of a sock I test crocheted. It's amazing to me how different crocheted items can look from each other. I test crocheted for 3 people and ended up with 3 completely different looking items.

And, I got a special treat Tuesday evening. A friend was traveling cross country on Amtrak. She had a layover in Chicago, and so we got together. It was the first time I'd taken the Metra into Chicago. (The trains I took were basically on time.) We ate at a Greek restaurant (Athena) in the Greek restaurant area near the train station and generally had a great time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day

I had a fine Mother's Day. I got to talk with both my DS1 and DD who live in different time zones from us and from each other. They sent me the flowers at the right. Unfortunately, the balloon that my DS1 sent isn't visible in the pic. DS2 went out with me and my DH to get a few flowers for the garden the day before. He also gave me a ceramic snail for the garden plus candy and tea and a Star Wars book by our favorite Star Wars author, Zahn.

There are a few plants that I always want to have in the garden no matter where we are: butterfly weed (attracts Monarchs), parsley (attracts Swallowtails and is good to eat -- at least, I like to eat it fresh), columbine (the state flower of Colorado), and bleeding heart (my DD likes it and so do I). I also like black-eyed Susans. I had a collection of different varieties growing near the back fence of the first house we owned -- back in NC. If we don't already have some growing here, I'd like to get some irises. My mom used to grow the nicest ones. And, if they would grow here, I'd like to get a bay tree and English lavender. We had them in Kent. The place we moved into is already landscaped. So, I don't know what kind of plants I'll be able to add to the mix. -- I almost forgot. I'd like to have some kind of fruit tree. I brought a blueberry bush from NJ (which has made the transition -- even though or maybe because I dug it up and replanted it in the dead of winter). But, I'd also like an apple tree. We're probably going to be staying here long enough for it to bear.

The end of the week, we had a short visit from my nephew, pictured at the right. He was interviewing at a local university. It was good to see and visit with him. He's also tall. I'd forgotten just how tall he is.

Friday, May 02, 2008

almost finished

I'm finally in the home stretch as regards to the shawls I'm making. I've finally finished Clue 6 of the Fisherman's Wife and am now about to start the border. It's a beautiful design. I can't wait to see what it will look like off the needles and blocked.

I'm not posting a picture of Bad Nauheim because it looks weird with only part of it blocked.

The number of WIPs I have is starting to bother me. So, I'm making a concerted effort to finish up the small projects. I started the May dishcloth KAL on May 1st and plan to keep up with the daily additions. (I know that that isn't a WIP, but in my mind it would be.) And I'm working seriously on finishing socks.

This is how far I've gotten on a mystery pattern from the Sockamaniac Sockalong. The front of the sock is the March/April 2008 mystery sock challenge. The back of the sock leg includes the pattern from the February 2007 mystery sock challenge. The sock is KP Essential Riverbed Multi in size 1 needles. The heel is from Fleegle's No Flap No Hassle sock pattern. The only other design element is k1p1 ribbing -- to provide enough width for the sock -- and for the center back of the leg -- so the back isn't just the 2007 pattern.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Illinois doesn't like me

Illinois must not like me. When my DH and I went in to the DMV to get our driver's licenses, the clerk asked if we'd like to register to vote as well. We said "yes" as that would save us from searching for a voter's registration office. Well, my DH got a voter registration confirmation. I got a rejection notice.

At the right is a picture of the latest dishcloth from the Monthly Dishcloth KAL. This was really fun to make. It's called "Dots within Stripes", but I call it "Asterisks" because the dots look like asterisks to me. I was going to put off making it, but my cat (the short hair one in the next picture) sat on top of the shawl I wanted to work on and essentially forced me to work on this -- if I were to work on anything.

In other knitting news, I'm almost done with Clue 6 for the Fisherman's Wife. It's now 807 sts across. I've finished the second time through for Clue 3 for Bad Nauheim. I've gotten to the leg of the knit sock I'm working on. And, I've finished the sweater I was test knitting except for weaving in loose ends. I've also finished my first crocheted sock but may make it longer.

This is really the year of lace. There is another lace shawl group starting at Yahoo, the goddess knits mystery shawl. This is going to be a round shawl. Whenever I get around to starting it (There are a few other shawls in the queue ahead of it.), I'm going to use Fleegle's way to cast on for a circular shawl.

My DD came for a visit this past month. It was great seeing her again. She chided me that she had been in the house for a total of less than 2 weeks and had her room completely unpacked while I still had boxes waiting to be unpacked for almost every other room of the house. (We moved in in mid January.) The pic is of my DD and DS2 and our two cats.

The long haired one made a remarkable improvement while my DD was visiting. She had a nosebleed that lasted almost an entire evening. But, now her breathing is much better, and she's even started to eat moist food again. I've also seen her play fight with the other kitty -- which she hadn't done since before we moved. Both cats (littermates) will turn 17 this weekend.