Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cardcarrying Jetsetter

I'm off to Chicago for my cousin's bridal shower. I'll leave you with a picture of the socks I started during my travels last weekend. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Spinning Jenny goes to Gotham

I’m back from an impromptu long weekend in New York City! To make a long story short, I needed a break and the opportunity presented itself. I really do love the city.

First off, let me clear something up. My travel companions are non-knitters so I did not make it to any yarn shops. This is sort of a good thing because I am trying to work from the stash at the moment. I’m not disappointed because I’ve been before and I’ll be back. These women were there to shop, and not for fiber.

Highlights include…

1. A Magnolia Bakery cupcake. I know you must be thinking, it is only a cupcake but I swear to you they are so good it’s like they put crack cocaine in the icing.

2. Vynl. An extremely fun and kitschy restaurant. Each table is a different mosaic and there were four themed bathrooms: Cher, Dolly, Nelly and Elvis. Each complete with a mosaic, Barbie diorama and music. The food was crowd pleasing, there were sandwiches and comfort food for the less adventurous and crispy asian tofu and butternut squash chowder for me. The food was well prepared and reasonably priced. (My Pearis Hilton martinis were a mere $8. Not bad for the big apple.)

3. Dirt cheap designer goods. Like I care it’s last season?

4. Dean and Deluca. Be still my heart.

5. A new purse. Handbags are my weakness.

6. Zara. I had never heard of this store before. The cloths were stylish, well made and not outrageously priced. They did not have very many of any one item though so it was a bit of a crapshoot as to whether or not they would have your size in the desired item.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Details of Life

I am in a very creative period right now. I have so many ideas and I'm feeling very inspired. I am very thankful for that. But I also feel frustrated that there simply aren't enough hours in the day. I'm excited by all of my projects right now and I have ideas for so many more. I just want to settle in and craft non-stop. But then there are these pesky details of life. Namely gainful employment. Weekends and evenings have been busy lately so that isn't helping matters.

Enough whining. I don't know what it is but I know it's super soft and very subtle shades of green.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Random Monday

1. I am starting the baby surprise jacket for Sarah.
2. I love halloween.

3. The weekend in Chicago was nice but I'm ready for some quiet time at home. I met my dear friend Sam for brunch and shopping on Saturday. I had an extremely tasty ricotta and roasted tomato sandwich and a very delicious dark hot chocolate. Saturday night Bill and I ate Gino's and Sunday my mom and I wandered the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

4. After the hot chocolate at brunch and a stop at the Chocolate Garden, I am very spoiled and the hot chocolate out of the cabinet is not cutting it.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Fourth Sock? Ouch.

Bill and I just got back from Chicago. Apparently this is how much I can knit in a weekend. Cast on in the car on Friday, stopped in the car on the way home today. (There was a lot of downtime/public transportation in between.) But Jenn, didn’t you already have two socks started? Yes dear reader, I did. Even though I bought the two skeins at the same time, they really don’t match. I didn’t realize this until I had them in the sunlight. One sock is finished, this is the mate and the third sock from the other skein is about as far along. I don’t really suffer from second sock syndrome but fourth sock syndrome? This is going to be a problem.

I'm not bothered by the fact that the skeins don’t match because I’d already decided I wasn't knitting them for myself after all. It’s not that I don’t love them, I do. I just realized that they are a perfect gift for a very dear person surviving breast cancer. Pink. (Almost) October. It was fated. So the not matching thing was just further proof that one pair was to be for me and the other for my friend.

That said, I am Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on October 13th and accepting pledges.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I am a geek.

I am on the market for a balance to weigh yarn, fiber and dye. Since I work in a lab, I have been turning my nose up at the kitchen scales I've seen. Couldn't I buy an entry level, bottom of the line lab balance? Then I started thinking about all the potential fiber uses for lab supplies and compiled a lengthy list of items I need. I went to VWR but I was getting confused by pricing and couldn't easily compare similar items. Wouldn't it be nice if I just had a catalog?

They sent little old me a catalog! A huge hardcovered catalog of my very own! This excites me more than is reasonable. I can't afford much of anything but it's still fun to look through. Bill thinks I'm probably on a federal watchlist now. (For the record, the lab balance is utterly out of the question. I'll have to settle for the kitchen scale variety. Sigh.)

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sundays are for Sewing?

I woke up this morning inspired to sew. I started this quilt a very long time ago. Before my love affair with knitting long ago. The reproduction prints are so fun and girly, I will finish.

There's something else I've been putting off for nearly as long. I finally ordered a whole whack of dyes. Exciting!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Project Roundup

I’m bachin’ it again. We’re getting ready for this school weekend and I think, “Piece of cake! I can totally amuse myself for a couple days.” And I can. But every time I’m surprised by how much I miss him too. I’m happy and fully functional while he’s gone but it makes me very aware of the fact that it really is better when he’s around.

No need to worry. I don’t feel too bad because I’m so pleased with my stellar performance at soccer tonight! I had a great time and I’m getting so much better.

I almost forgot Project Roundup. Here we are a week into September already.


Dolly Bag – Finished! Love it! I do need to go back and reinforce the handle attachments because she saw a lot of use this labor day weekend.


Charade Socks – This iteration of the charade socks is moving right along. I really love the STR. The colors are so subtle and beautiful. I’m a breath away from turning the heels.

Wispy Jacket – Both sleeves are essentially done. I’m planning to rip out the offending portions of the raglan shaping but that should be a quick fix.

Dead to Me…

Monkey Socks – Perhaps we’ll give those another try sometime in the future.

Waiting in the Wings…

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket – Some test knitting for Sarah. I can’t wait! I get to work with some of her lovely yarn and I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a while.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Proceed with Caution

I finished working the raglan decreases for the wispy jacket sleeves. The pattern doesn't indicate how to work the decreases but this did not concern me. I'm a smart girl. I can decrease one stitch at each end of a row and keep double moss stitch correct, right?

Well, sort of. I had a plan. All the decreases are on the right side of the work. I would simply move the decrease in or out one stitch as necessary so that I always worked paired k2tog/ssk decreases and I always worked K1P1 across a row. This meant that the pattern in the 2 or 3 stitch outer border was off for a couple rows before it corrected itself but it was hardly noticeable.

Hardly noticeable, that is, until the rate of decreases changes to every other row. The outer border stops correcting itself on the no-decrease-right-side rows and instead of a little hiccup in the pattern, I have a K1P1 rib running alongside the upper half of my raglan decreases. It might be fine, but I have a growing concern that the little valley is going to look really crummy once the pieces are seamed together. Of course there is no way I will know for sure until I finish at least one front or the back and can see an actual finished seam. (We will not speak at this time about the forethought required to ensure the shaping on fronts and back exactly matches the sleeves.) Grrrr.

(I was really irritated that the pattern does not provide any guidance on the subject. Then I authored this post and realized how impossible it is to explain what is going coherently and concisely. It would have been a confusing mess. I'm still not sure any of this will make sense to anyone besides me. I will figure this out without hand holding and be a better knitter for it in the end. In all fairness, if I'd given the matter a little more thought before plowing ahead, I would have seen this coming.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007