Saturday, February 27, 2010

Getting Close....

My cat likes to keep track of my knitting and ensuring that it doesn't go anywhere....I had to wrestle the sleeves from her to throw them in the sink:

Witness, the Olympic Sweater in the sink with a splash of Soak Aquae. Apparently I need a larger sink because I couldn't get the whole sweater submerged...but I was too lazy to give the kitchen sink a good scrubbing....and the bathtub seemed like overkill.

With notes and measuring tape in hand, I blocked the body out to size...

And then I tackled the sleeves. And if you're thinking "boy, those sleeves sure look long"! you know why I don't knit too many sweaters for my husband ;)

Seaming is reserved for Sunday, as all the pieces need to be properly dry before hand...we'll see how long I wait before starting as finishing has never been my favorite part of sweater knitting...which would be why I opt for seamless as much as possible ;)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fronts Moving Through!

When last we checked in, I had a back finished...I am still a bit further along than what I'm showing....but I'm thinking this might wind up being a close finish anyway due to some more false starts and some seriously lost knitting time due to a run in with a bunch of roller coasters followed by a drug induced stupor (hello dramamine)

Knit in about a day, I finished off the right front...

A day later, I had the left front done....and after several different trials, I had the shoulders seamed...and sure enough, if this doesn't bloom and stretch as I expect it to, it will make a great cardigan for me ;)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Progress Check

Cast on during opening ceremony on Friday, February 12.

I'm sad to report there were several false starts - the first of which was casting on and completing the ribbing on the Wrong Sized Needles. *sigh*. So back it went, ripped right back out and started over with correct needles...even remembered to switch to appropriate needle size once ribbing was complete - the saving grace? Big yarn and a minimal amount of knitting at hem.

Next false start: Pattern error in row 1! That's right folks, pattern error and no published errata. I thought for sure I was going bonkers, but I counted the number of stitches accounted for in the pattern, and sure enough, not all stitches cast on were accounted for - was able to figure it all out based on subsequent rows....

3 days later and here we are:

The back is finished :) I sure hope the gauge swatch does not lie, because I need this to stretch and widen before I do all the assembly.

The Right Front has now been cast on...with a repeat of the comedy of errors that started the back *sigh*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

17 days.

In case you weren't paying attention, the 2010 Olympics started last did the Knitting Olympics :) Last winter olympics, I finished off a sweater, then tore it back and finished it again... I'm hoping for somewhat less drama this time around :) (if you're curious about the whole thing, check out February 2006 in the archives)

The plan of attack for this Olympics? A cabled cardigan for my husband from this book:

Men's Knits: 20 New Classics. Unfortunately, I haven't a photo of the sweater in question -but if all goes well, you'll see it soon enough as it comes off the needles :) I did some preparation for the event by winding the yarn and swatching. Including washing and drying the swatch in question - I've been surprised with several sweaters where they grew incredibly during the washing that I really should know better by now...

All the yarn was wound onto the same ball.....I sure hope it's enough! Stay tuned for updates :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Plagued by Frogs

Lucky for me, this is not my olympic knitting project...though maybe they ought to be seeing as they've been stranded on the needles for so long. I've been working on these since March 2008 according to Ravelry. I recently picked them back up and was knitting along making fantastic progress...or so I thought. I was looking at them more closely, and had been wondering why the gusset was taking so long...and to my horror, I realized I picked up 2x the number of stitches I should have on the heel flap. No wonder the gusset took so long! Of course, I didn't realize my mistake until just after the gusset was completed and I was onto the arch shaping (wondering why it didn't correspond at all to my I know!) - so they've been frogged clear back to the heel flap - I've managed to finish the gusset again, though these are now going to sit on the end of the couch awaiting the completion of this year's Olympic Knitting project...stay tuned :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

And happy Sweetie Day too ;)
We're celebrating with DimSum and dumplings - what about you?

Friday, February 12, 2010


...most things in the desert *do* have spines. But they still make for some pretty fascinating subject matter. I adore the colors of this agave - frosty green with the pinky purple spines. Maybe I should get out the dyepots again....because there is something simply soothing about that color pairing.

Also: A sonoran desert favorite - the accordion pleats of a saguaro cactus. I'm guessing with the recent rains the pleats aren't quite so deep anymore :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not Everything... the desert has spines.

Before spotting this lichen, I had no idea it could appear in blue. Most lichens I have ever spotted have been green, or yellow, or brown...but never before have I seen blue. Of course we had to snap a photo :)

Surprisingly, to me anyhow (when I first arrived out here), there are a number of grasses in the desert as well. They tend to sprout up quickly, covering the landscape in green, but then quickly mature and dry - unfortunately providing lots of fuel for wildfire season. I still find them pretty though, even in their dried/dormant state.

In case you're wondering whats up with the macro photos, we got a new lens over the holidays and are busy trying it out :D There are only so many photos of the cats I can post (or that they will tolerate me taking), and I thought you might find these a nice change of pace.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Fuzzy and Prickly?

Well, maybe not. Behold, the Teddy Bear Cholla - so named because from afar, it looks fuzzy...but in reality, it's densly packed with long sharp spines! Should you have the misfortune to ever get a segment stuck on you, take care in removal, so-as to not further get yourself stuck! I normally wear trail runners while hiking, though if I know I'll be a cholla-dense region, I'll usually opt for more rugged footwear, just in case I am not paying attention and wind up stepping on or kicking one of the fallen segments.

This healthy specimen was found in the Superstition Wilderness, on one of the First Water loops. I'm looking forward to further hiking before the weather seriously warms up - due to the rain, I'm guessing we'll be having one heck of a wildflower season!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Happy House Elves :)

I finally finished a pair of slippers for the Mister - the delay was only due to my getting terribly distracted. Once I buckled down (thanks to an afternoon of football at a friend's place) I finished off the toes and cuffs, and fed them to their feltastic washing machine. 15 minutes later, I was wringing them out and blocking them to shape over my shoes :D Due to the cool weather here, they stayed damp for a bit, so we were able to perfect the fit before they fully dried.

Unfortunately, they haven't seen much wear, I suspect I may have missed the coolest part of our winter...ah well, they're ready and waiting for the next cold snap!