Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm on Ravelry!

Now I know what I've been missing! I didn't sign up until a couple of weeks ago because when Ravelry first launched (and word spread like wildfire!) it took people quite a while to be invited. Combined with's forum, my knitting community is now complete. If you haven't checked out Ravelry yet, DO IT people! I've been spending a lot of time there lately, on updating this blog, and on organizing my Flickr photos.

Henley Perfected is coming along nicely. I've only had to frog the back once on the lace section: above the armholes where you have to pay attention to stitch counts while doing single and double decreases with yarnovers. Luckily, I caught my mistake after finishing the armhole decreases. Whew! Oh, BTW, I love the division pattern between the stockinette and lace sections -- it is like nothing I've seen before. Very pretty result!

Note: Fifi is temporarily on holiday while I get my fix knitting Henley Perfected.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Roll Baby Roll!

To keep you up to speed, Ian rolled from tummy to back on Valentine's Day last Thursday. Tonight while on the floor, he rolled from back to tummy to grab a toy when I wasn't looking. One moment he's on his back, and the next he's not only on his tummy, but he's turned almost 180! I guess I'll have to put more blankets on the floor so he doesn't hit his head. He also appears to (maybe) be getting his bottom two front teeth. His drooling, hand biting, and his gumline make me think so. He sleeps so well at night, though, so it might not be that soon for all I know... He just keeps getting bigger and bigger! He'll be 5 months on Sunday.

Marie and I are going to see Disney Princesses on Ice tomorrow. I can't wait to see what she thinks since there will be real people, not animated characters... I hope she has fun!

I went to my first knitting meetup last weekend since having a baby. It felt so nice to just sit and knit with other knitters! I need to get out more often. I cast on for the back of Henley Perfected and have just finished half of the waist shaping. I'm liking the CotLin yarn (Knit Picks). It's soft yet strong and has a nice drape to it. I like how it feels while I'm knitting. A definite keeper for future knits.

Recently, I bought a new sudoku book: Mensa Absolutely Nasty Sudoku Level 2 by Frank Longo. I'd give it 4 stars out of 5. I like that the 4-part series this book belongs to will lead to truly difficult puzzles that require the use of advanced techniques. However, the level 2 book is more for people who are just learning their first advanced techniques. I've been able to solve a majority of the puzzles using pairs, triples, and reductions. For only a few have I used X-wing, Y-wing, or higher-level techniques. I'm looking forward to books 3 and 4 because the reviews claim that I will get the chance to try many advanced techniques above and beyond X-wing. Cool : )

Thursday, February 14, 2008

More Juliet Pics and I Got My Yarn Already

These Juliet cardigan pics of Marie were taken in November 2007. The carousel pic is from December at Christmas.

I got my Knit Picks yarn order today - wow! That took only three days since ordering to receive my yarn! I ordered it in the wee hours on 2/11 and it got shipped on 2/12. The CotLin is a slightly different shade of red than I expected, but I think it'll still work for Henley Perfected. I can tell that CotLin will be really nice for summer knits. The Swish Worsted is super soft and will be fun to knit with -- can't wait.

Some Knitting Pics

Woohoo! Here are some knitting pics of FOs from the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. Also included are some 2006 alpaca mittens I made to go with my Alison's Scarf and some photos of Ian in his Mamma's Milk sling.
The jade baby sweater is Trellis from knit in Svale (cotton/viscose blend) from Dale of Norway. The buttons are a little big! So much so that I could only use buttonholes 1, 3, and 5. I might eventually switch to smaller buttons... The little baby blankie seen in the pics with Ian in the swing was made from stash acrylic yarn and no pattern - very easy, very mindless. Hello, all stockinette stitch with a seed stitch border! I was just trying to get rid of yarn and make something useful. The cream alpaca mittens were made back in 2006 (I forgot to post pics) with Peru Luxury Chunky alpaca yarn. I think the pattern was from Lionbrand. Juliet is based on the pattern from the Zephyr girls. I don't actually have the pattern, but you can see how closely the sweater resembles Juliet. Now, the only knitting pics left to post are some more baby items I made for Ian. Yeah, I feel a lot more organized!
As for my WIPs, I'm STILL knitting Fifi by French Girl Knits. Seriously, this is the fourth time I've knit the sweater from the beginning since June 2007. Until the fourth CO, I just wasn't satisfied with how the neckline fit so high and how it rolled. So, I finally did two things when casting on the fourth time: 1) I CO 35 sts for each section with a cable CO and then one row of purl sts before joining in the round (similar to Green Gable's CO); and 2) I did a few rows of 1x1 rib before beginning the cable pattern. The number of CO sts was 140, but I redistributed 10 sts apiece from the front/back to the shoulders. This was to drop the high neckline. Doing so messed up the cable pattern as written. But, I had so much knowledge of the pattern with all my re-dos that it wasn't difficult at all to adjust where necessary. I'm making my sleeves long on Fifi so that I can wear it right away.
Future projects include Interweave Knits' Henley Perfected and some new sweaters for Marie and Ian. Knit Picks is having a fall clearance on many colors that will soon be discontinued. So, I almost went bonkers and bought a lot. In the end, I ordered some CotLin (not on clearance, but still a low price) in Moroccan Red for Henley Perfected and some Swish Worsted in Baby Blue and Ballerina for the kid's sweaters. I've never tried the CotLin or the Swish, so I'm really excited about getting this new yarn in the mail! Another future project is the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits. There are so many different-sized people who all look great in this sweater, and I love the tweed. I might try to use Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Tweed, Silky Wool, or Hempathy.
In non-knitting news, I've been working out to the two new Biggest Loser DVDs since the end of December and doing a lot of sudoku. The Biggest Loser DVDs are very challenging, but I'm getting better at the moves and my overall strength. I've built more muscle than I've lost weight, but my jeans fit a little better. Lately, I've been looking for challenging sudoku books that use advanced strategies. There aren't that many out there which are truly challenging, but I found a few books by Frank Longo. He wrote the Ninja books and the Mensa books. For online help, I've used this site: You can enter puzzles and solve step by step while viewing the reasoning and strategies used. Sometimes I just like to view the strategies since I don't have them completely memorized.
I'm loving the Jane Austen movies on Masterpiece Theater. If you haven't been lucky enough to see any, I think Pride and Prejudice will be shown the next two Sundays, followed by Emma and Sense and Sensibility. I received the Keira Knightley version of Pride and Prejudice for Christmas (the giftbox set that contains the soundtrack and production photo book with the movie), which I just love for many reasons, but mostly for the music and cinematography. It's much shorter than the Colin Firth BBC version seen on Masterpiece Theater, yet remains true to the story's essence. If I've already mentioned this, please forgive : )
Note: Apologies if the paragraphs aren't separated - it's Blogger, not me.