Saturday, May 27, 2006

Draft or Final Product?

Here's the now V-neck tank, formerly the flutter sleeve tank. The straps have been shortened, but there aren't any flutter sleeves, yet. I might still add them if the outsides of the straps don't lie flat after blocking. The former V-neck was too low in front. So, I picked up stitches along the neck and inside straps and added some rows. First I did stockinette stitch then 2 rows of 1x1 ribbing before BO in pattern. Since it's a V-neck, I put a central chain decrease in the front.

OK, so here's the thing...

I "finished" the Kidlet Tank. But... I totally changed the top so that it's a flutter sleeve tank. It was a fun challenge to figure out how to do it! Today I tried it on Marie and the straps were too long/high. So, I'll need to detach the straps and frog back to the correct length. Also, I'll have to remove the flutter sleeves and re-do them starting and ending lower on the straps. Here's a photo of the tank as it is now, before revising it. Green Gable (and other projects) have taken a break while I sort this out. I'm trying to get the tank done this afternoon so that Marie can wear it. If that happens, I'll post pictures the next chance I get, but probably not until at least tomorrow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

GG progress after short rows

When I first tried on GG after dropping the sleeve sts, I realized that it was too small around my chest. So after 2.5" I did Japanese short rows. But then, I started to worry that I did too many short rows. I was also worried the front would be a lot longer than the back and that I'd have to do some frogging. But, that wasn't the case. After I finished the waist decreases I anxiously tried GG on again - and it fit. Yay! I'm really liking this pattern and the yarn I'm using :) Here are pictures. Can you see the short row stitches on the side view pic?

Why I should never let my hair get too long!

Here's a picture from Fall 2004 when my hair was long and I was pregnant. The next two pictures show my hair as it is today. Please Lord, someone remind how shaggy my hair is when it's long if I say that I want to grow it long again!

On the knitting front, I have nothing new to report. Gotta go, it's SnB night!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Japanese short rows ITR

I did it: I added Japanese short rows to Green Gable! How did they turn out? You'll get to see! I took pictures along the way.
The first shot is of all my pinned loops. I pinned 6 on each side, following Nona's directions. See the green stitch markers on the left and the peach ones on the right? The green ones represent the knitside turning points; the peach represent the purlside turning points.

This next picture shows a close-up view of the pinned loops on the backside of my work. They are green and therefore were done at the knitside turning points. The loops are actually between the stitches you see on the needles. At this point in my knitting I was preparing to "take care of" the stitch markers; or as Nona says, "close the gap." See the Nona link above for directions.

Here's where I had to figure out what to do about the purlside loops. If my work wasn't in the round, I could just turn it and purl up to these loops. But that's impossible now that I've already picked up the green knitside loops and am forced to continue ITR. So, I figured out a way to mimic Nona's directions. After taking care of the green knitside pinned loops, I knit around to the peach markers, stopping one short, as you can see in this picture.

I proceeded to pull the pinned loop past the 1st stitch and onto the needle, correctly mounting the stitch. This might be easier to do using your right needle tip: insert tip underneath pinned loop and place it on left needle. Whichever way you choose to do it, the pinned loop will cross behind the former 1st stitch. Now K2tog.

This last picture represent the result of the purlside Japanese short rows. I was quite pleased at the uniformity and tightness of the stitches. If I had to be knitpicky, I'd only say this: the purlside short row stitches don't lie as flat as the knitside ones. Maybe I could incorporate some twisting of stitches in the process of the K2tog? I'm definitely using Japanese short rows from now on - they look so much better!!!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Taylor won

Early in the competition, I liked Kat and thought she'd be a finalist along with Chris. I wasn't sure about Taylor, even though I enjoyed watching his performances. He made it to the finals and never failed to disappoint. After watching the performances tonight, I think Taylor deserves to win. He just seemed more sincere to me and more able to adapt to whatever song was thrown at him. Kat was not as pleasing to watch, which has been a building feeling with me as it got closer to the finals. She always smiles during serious lyrics and, in general, flashes her glossy smile too much. I don't "feel" the song when she sings. She appears to emote, but I just don't feel it. Don't get me wrong: she has an excellent singing voice and great control. Now, she needs to work on being less mechanical. Anyway, and maybe I'm mistaken, but it seemed Kat either lacked the confidence tonight or just wasn't into it. My vote went to Taylor. Go Taylor! Soul Patrol!

While watching TV, I got to the potential short row section of Green Gable. I definitely need to put them in unless I want people to see my bra outline! Also, the sleeves were too tight, unless it was just the scrap yarn that made it seem that way. I did like how the lace and neckline fit.

My latest WIPs

These are all WIPs (from left to right): Reid, Green Gable, Sunset Pullover, and Kidlet Tank. (Links are on a recent post...) I just need to do a single crochet edge on Reid. Green Gable's sleeves are finally off the needle! Sunset Pullover's sleeve's increases are done. Last but not least, Kidlet Tank is about halfway done.

Can I just say that the yarn I'm using in the Kidlet Tank is like my childhood blankie?! It's Bernat Cottontots, Sunshine color. Love it! Zen knitting...ohmmm.

I'm contemplating doing short rows on Green Gable - I'm waiting to try it on before making a decision though. If I do use short rows, they'll be the Japanese version.

Please check out my 2006 Gallery if you have time. I've added my Streakers Shrug and a new pic of Short Snort Tank (without daughter).

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Marie and Jared at Artsplosure! Doesn't she look cute in her glamorous little tank?!
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Here's another shot of Marie in her new sparkly tank.
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Today I finished Marie's Short Snort Tank - yay!! If you're interested, the knitting specs are at the end of the post. I used a ladder yarn that my husband thinks looks like Fruity Pebbles. Knitting with it was tricky for the first few rounds, but after that it was a piece of cake. You have to accept the weird texture of this yarn and just go with the flow. The bottom rounds are in 2x2 rib, then the rest is in stockinette stitch. It took going to Michael's, AC Moore, JoAnn Fabrics, and finally WalMart before I finally found a metal O ring to use for the tank front. At least I was rewarded for my long search: I paid only 26 cents for the ring! I have 2 more skeins of this yarn, but in a different color: lagoon. I'll probably make another short snort tank or a variation of it.

Since I had all but the straps secured last night, I began the Kidlet Tank pattern. It's another tank that has 2x2 ribbing at the bottom and the rest in stockinette stitch, but the top is different: the straps are made using I-cord and are straight over the shoulder. I chose to use Bernat cottontots in sunshine, a soft light yellow. This yarn reminds me of my favorite blankie when I was a child!

Here are the details for the Short Snort Tank
Pattern: Short Snort Tank by Wendy at Knit and Tonic
Yarn: KnitPicks Sparkles in Sunset (substitute yarn)
Needles: US 7 16" circular (different from pattern)
Gauge: 5 sts=1 in

I adjusted the pattern by casting on only 100 sts, since it needed to fit my daughter and be a mutiple of 4. All other directions were followed for the smallest size, with the exception of the number of sts in the front/back when BO at the underarms. I BO 6 sts at each underarm (same as pattern) and knit 44 sts each in the front/back. I followed the pattern shaping and number of BO sts at the front/back. I used a 2" diameter O ring. Since they only cost 26 cents, I bought more than one for future tanks!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Never Since High School

Have you seen this: It's called the Healthy Body Calculator. After entering information about height, weight, frame, daily activity, dietary intake, etc., this calculator shows your target weight range along with your frame size, BMI, suggested daily caloric intake, and a breakdown into grams of fat, protein, carbs, etc. My weight falls into the overweight/overfat range with a BMI of 26. Never since high school have I been in the healthy range, which for me is 110-120 lb. Then again, I've always been slightly overweight since I hit my teens. It's a little aggravating when people say, "Oh, you look fine. You don't need to lose any weight. You're so petite." Well yes, I'm petite, but only in height, not in size. I'm 5' 2." I'm just very good at hiding the weight with clothing that accentuates the positive. But, when you fall off the healthy living bandwagon by failing to watch what goes into your mouth and failing to exercise, you put on weight and wear Size L in women's clothing, despite the fact that you're only 5' 2."

My pre-pregnancy weight was 139. Thankfully, I had a healthy pregnancy, which included running up until 6 months, and I ended up losing all the baby weight. It's been over a year since my daughter was born, and I haven't succeeded in getting into a consistent running program. I've dabbled into running a few weeks at a time, but am not currently running. I don't have any really good excuses. The solid gold one I've been using since becoming a temporary SAHM is the one about my "narrow window of opportunity." I can't run until my husband gets home from work (I'm not into jogging strollers! Running is ME time.). Pre-child, I ran as soon as I got home from work. Now that I have to wait until hubby gets home, my running pushes dinner time to near 8:00 pm, sometimes later. As I'm typing this, I'm realizing, though, that hubby could snack on something until dinner...

Now, I need to finally focus on getting where I should be with my weight and diet. Ever since I've been overweight, I've always wanted to be at a healthy weight and feel AND look good. With all the running in the world, I don't think 110 is even possible. So, I'm thinking 115-120 would be a good target. So, that means I should lose about 20-25 lb. Wow, OK.

Oh yeah, knitting... I'm near finishing Short Snort Tank. Reid has been sitting gathering dust this week since getting seamed. I just need to crochet the edge... which is why it sits gathering dust! Green Gable is nearing the part where the sleeve stitches get dropped. Sunset Pullover? Well, I'm still working on that first sleeve.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Take on American Idol Performances

Fantasia Summertime

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Click on play (it might take a couple times) to hear Fantasia Barrino sing Summertime. It's one of my favorite American Idol performances. Read on to see what made me put this video in my post.OK. Here's my score for each contestant out of 3 points (since they sang 3 songs each): Taylor 3, Kat and Elliot 1 each. Though Kat and Elliot have better singing chops, Taylor was consistently good on all three performances. Kat did the best on Over the Rainbow, while Elliot did the best on... oh, crap. I forget which song I liked the best of his - love 'em to pieces and think he's got talent, but would never listen to his style of music. Maybe that's why I forget. Kat oversang the first and last of her songs, but finally pulled off a pleasantly restrained performance on the second song. She didn't quite give me chills like Fantasia did with Summertime, though. In the spirit of American Idol coming down to the final two contestants and just to reminisce, I added the video of Fantasia singing it... Man, I wish Chris were still in it! He was on my list as being in the final two. Although, not winning is probably better for his immediate career if he wants to continue the rock or alternative route. Anyway, I unfortunately think that Elliot, bless his heart, will go home tomorrow night. Or Kat? Who knows...

No knitting progress today: getting over a bad headache. There MUST be a low pressure system moving this way since I feel like a human barometer. I took some Excedrin, which is beginning to work. So, maybe I'll squeeze in a little bit 'o knit tonight. I need to go out and buy the new Interweave Knits magazine. There are so many pretty patterns in it!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Reid almost done!

Lately, I've been focusing my attention on Reid. Tonight I finished seaming it and now have to do the crochet edging. Not. Looking. Forward. To. This. This might take some serious focus and patience, especially since I'm using Lily Sugar'n'Cream. (Yes, for a cardigan. Perhaps a beach coverup?) So, I put it aside and plan to work on Green Gable right after this post. Gotta have SOME fun with the knitting thang today, I mean, seriously!

On the Short Snort Tank, I've knit about 4-5 inches. Since I'm using a ladder yarn, the progress is slower than normal. But, at least I was able to knit mindlessly while watching Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets last night. It'll be interesting to see how the top part of the tank works with this yarn!

Do you remember what it was like to see yourself for the first time on video? Or, should I say, are you a woman and remember...? Arghhhh. We took our daughter to the beach on Saturday. It was so much fun to watch her since it was her first time at the beach and the ocean. She had a blast sitting in the sand and watching the pelicans. My husband videotaped my daughter and I walking at the water's edge. Well... after getting home later that day, we watched the video. Yikes! When they say the camera adds 10 pounds, they really mean 20! Wow, what a revelation. I didn't realize that I look like that! This might just be the motivation to get running again.

Green Gable, here I come!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Finally, after all these years...

... a swimsuit that fits and looks good! When I was least expecting it, I found probably the best swimsuit ever. Yesterday, I was shopping at Target and was ready to go through the checkout. But, I saw the swimsuits nearby and remembered that I'm going to the beach this weekend. Ahem. This is the first time at the beach since having my daughter, so I didn't really want to wear a bikini -- HELL-o, deflated everything. Lo and behold, I found a clearance rack tankini two-piece at under $5 each! Normally, I wouldn't be excited at this point, but the colors (wee!) and the style (wahoo!)... The top is a V-neck halter (to hold the deflated balloons up) and the color is a chocolate brown with a thin coral stripe woven horizontally just below the bust. I love chocolate brown and look good in coral. Yay!

OK, now on to knitting stuff... I currently have four projects going. My primary focus is on a Knitty pattern called Reid. It's a toddler lace cardigan I'm making for my daughter. I'm trying to get it done before we go to the beach this weekend so that she can wear it as a coverup. The yarn I'm using is Lily Sugar'nCream Rosewood. I'm also working on the following projects:

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hello! Welcome to my knitting blog! This is my first time doing this, so I hope I get better as time goes on. Anyway, I thought I should get the formal introductions out of the way...

My name is Jackie. I'm a thirtysomething SAHM who loves knitting. 'Got into it again after a couple of decades off, thanks to and becoming a mom. I'm self-taught from books and the internet and have been knitting since Fall 2004. I'd describe my skill level as intermediate. 'Know all the basic stuff and how to read pretty much any pattern. I can tweak patterns as necessary and have dabbled in design (a toddler shrug pattern). But, I still have much to learn and many ideas and questions. I hope that you enjoy sharing in my knitting journey!

Outside of knitting, I am a musician, mathematician, off/on runner, and book lover. I've played the piano since I was five or six. I played the flute from 5th - 12th grade and the alto horn in my college marching band. I have a BS in Mathematics, and I also have my teaching license via a lateral entry education program. I taught high school math for four years, but am currently staying at home with my daughter until??? I run off and on. Since becoming a mom, there's only a narrow window of time in which I can run: before dinner but after my hubby gets home from work. I'll have to talk more about that and other running topics later... I love to read - always have. Currently, I'm re-reading the LOTR The Fellowship of the Ring. I go through phases where I feel that I HAVE to re-read the LOTR and the Harry Potter series.

There are many other things about myself that I could divulge, but I'll restrain myself! After all, this is just an introduction. 'Don't want to get ahead of myself!