Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mi Escuelita FO Pics: Part 1

I haven't sewn the buttons on yet, but here's a sneak peek of Marie's pink Mi Escuelita cardigan. Near the end of knitting this, I was sweating it because I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn. It turns out I did with just a little to spare. Thank goodness because JoAnns no longer sells that particular line of yarn any more.

In other news... I've been running (again) for a week. Well, make that jogging/walking! It's always tough getting back into it. Today I mapped my run in advance on and went 3.4 miles. I'll admit it was grueling. In fact, I'm still feeling like I got the wind kicked out of me. Can't wait to be in shape again!

We ate the homemade chicken noodle soup I made yesterday. Using split chicken breasts, I first made broth in my crockpot keeping the carrots, onions, and celery and skinning and chunking the chicken. I saved that in the fridge and finished the soup today by adding cooked kluski noodles and storebought chicken broth (since there's not enough homemade broth to compensate for the chicken and noodles). Yum, yum!

If you've never seen the movie Stand and Deliver, I highly recommend it. This is on the heels of hearing today that Jaime Escalante, the movie's inspiration, just died of cancer. It's such a cool true story. I used to show that movie to my high school math students, college-prep or not. You know it's a good movie when kids who hate math love it! Edward James Olmos does a great job portraying the main character.

In case you haven't seen my video postings on Facebook and Ravelry, CBS did a story on Sunday morning related to knitting and Ravelry. Last year sometime, Mo Rocca made several knitters angry by saying that homemade sweaters "itch" on the NPR show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! A group on Ravelry was formed in response, and Norah Gaughan (a famous knitting designer) took it upon herself to choose a pattern and yarn for multiple knitters to make Mo a sweater to prove him wrong. Franklin Habit, a knitting designer and comic, along with some other Chicago-area knitters presented Mo the sweater on the very NPR show where Mo made the infamous comment. I really enjoyed reading about and watching this story, especially since Mo took it upon himself to learn how to knit. Btw, there are some nice, close-up pictures of Mo's sweater on Ravelry. Another btw: Thanks to CBS plugging Ravelry as the "Mecca for Knitters" and showing the cute new login page, Ravelry experienced a swell in membership on Sunday. :-D
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Cherry Edwardians

Here are my Edwardian Boating Socks IP with the new Knit Picks Stroll Tonal (Queen Anne colorway). The cell phone photo shown here doesn't quite do it justice. It's an awesome range of peachy pink dipping into a slight touch of yellow, just like the cherries for which it's named. The pattern I chose is supposed to look like the oars of a boat flanked by linen stitch. I thought the linen stitch might be too tight or too stiff, but that hasn't been the case since I've been conscious of my tension while doing it. I CO double the amount of stitches and decreased in 2x2 rib on the first round using k2togtbl and p2tog. Aren't they pretty? I love the new tonals! My next Stroll Tonal purchase will be Blue Yonder where I'll revisit Cookie A's Pomatomus sock pattern.

Late last night I finished Marie's new pink cardigan, Mi Escuelita (from Knitty). Once I get the buttons sewn on and take some pics, I'll do another post. That won't be till Friday at earliest. Luckily, it fits her just right and will make a nice spring sweater to wear over short sleeve shirts on the preschool playground or at the zoo. The shawl collar turned out really nice and cozy, and I think Marie is digging the slant afterthought pockets I added to the pattern.

Now that I'm done with Marie's cardigan, I'm going to focus more attention on my Cherry Edwardians. Of course, I have to have a sweater on the needles to balance out the sock knitting, right?! So... My choices are: 1) start Ian's brown cardigan, 2) start Marie's mosaic tunic, 3) finish Wright (my purple drapeneck top), or 4) start Ian's pajama pants. With the exception of Wright, I want to finish these projects before I begin my long-awaited short sleeve Annie Modesitt cardigan. Oh (sigh), so many projects and not enough hours in the day to knit everything I want to! Such is the pleasantry of being a knitter :-)
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Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Want a Sock Bag...

...and here's a picture of what I want inside.

See the two snap yarn guides? Required! My bag also needs a snap-on, preferably padded carrying strap (as this one does, though you can't see it) for my wrist, purse, or beltloop. I want to be able to carry 2aat magic loop socks in my sock bag. If I could make this myself, I would! Too bad I don't know how to sew. Shoot, I would've cranked this out this weekend. Maybe someday, eventually... I guess the GoKnit pouch at Knit Picks would suffice for now, although I'm not sure if it's big enough for 2aat magic loop, and it doesn't have the 2 snap-on yarn guides inside. There's also the possibility of knitting and lining a sock project bag. I've perused several small bag patterns on Ravelry, including a cute beaded one that could be lined and made larger to accommodate 2aat sock knitting. I've never lined anything before, but I bet one of my knitting buddies who also sews could guide me. Hmm...

Besides the bag shown above (see this etsy link for more pics and details), I've seen some other desirable features to consider for a sock project bag. I've seen a few bags that have separate drawstrings and carrying strap(s), and I've seen some that have a single drawstring that is worn on the wrist (although you can't attach it to a bag or beltloop). I've also seen where the base of the bag has an insert that makes the bag stand upright if sitting on a counter. My head spins with ideas when it comes to sock knitting project bags!

There aren't many sock bags out there for 2aat sock knitting, and I'd love to see more, or at least larger ones that could comfortably hold 2 50-gram skeins. See, now that I've finally been on the sock knitting bandwagon for some time, I'm getting weary of using plastic Ziploc bags. I want a real sock knitting project bag!

In other news... I started a cardigan, Mi Escuelita, for Marie. Surprisingly, I like the acrylic yarn I'm using for it. It's by premier yarns, the Deborah Norville Collection: Serenity Sport Weight, in pink. So far, I'm loving this cardigan. I've omitted the cables on the cardigan back, and I'll be adding slant pockets. This should be a cute playground sweater for her!

Ian's longsleeve Vestee is done -- and is too big for him to wear just yet. I set out to make him an over-sized pullover since he grows out of clothing fast, so I got what I wanted. Ha! Ah well, he'll eventually be able to wear it, right?! The pattern was easy. The only thing I really changed was the collar; instead of making it separate and sewing it on, I picked up stitches around the neckline and did short rows. I also upsized it to a 3T with lots of ease and changed the raglan decrease pattern, too: instead of having 2 stitches between decreases, I made it just 1 stitch. No pics yet, but when I do take them, I think I'll have Marie model it since it fits her better.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Ravelympics: My Final FO

Pattern: My So Called Scarf
Yarn: Classic Elite Miracle
Needles: US 8 bamboo straights
Notes: I used 40 sts for mine and did single purl ridges at each end.

Ah, the comraderie --cyber and IRL-- of one great big KAL! This has been a lot of fun partaking in my first Ravelympics. What I thought was a conservative estimate of what I could get done turned out to indeed be a challenge. In fact, I was still working on my second and final project past midnight! It's satisfying to know that the "scarf that never ends" is FINALLY DONE -- it only took 4 years! I'm not sure that it would've gotten finished if it hadn't been for Ravelympics. Ravelympics provided a helpful platform for finishing a super-annoying UFO. Long, thin scarves are NOT my cup of tea! Many other Ravelers were doing the very same thing with me in WIPS Dancing, so I felt the cyber support. Many times I clicked the "love" button on people's projects on the Finish Line threads (I regularly followed 3 threads total) who hadn't yet received any love/recognition, especially if the projects were nice or took considerable effort. For Team GK2, I made sure to comment on and/or favorite each member's finished Ravelympics projects (and some WIPs) on their project pages. Hopefully, I recognized all of Team GK2's finishers on their respective project pages. If not, I apologize! I tried my very best to be a conscientious teammate :-)

Ravelympics also brought colorwork back into my knitting, and what better way to do it than a KAL on a small project? Kim reminded us of the possibility of weaving in the strands to avoid snags from rings and such since we were working on fingerless mitts. I ended up using the weaving method, although only to secure strands longer than 5 stitches. It worked out great because my two strands never once got twisted.

Non-Knitting News
It's kindergarten registration in Upper Arlington. I can hardly believe my oldest will be starting school next fall! She's more than ready to go, and I can't wait to see how she does. We're enrolling her in the alternative elementary which is a school that takes an informal approach to learning. They don't teach strictly to a test, and they deem the arts as important. The assessments are very different, and they focus on thematic units of study that integrate multiple disciplines. The idea is not rote memorization, but teaching students how to think and how to work responsibly with others. It will be interesting to see teaching/learning methods that I learned through UNC-Chapel Hill come to life. Since it's a school of excellence with distinction and in a good school district, I'm not too worried... just very curious to see it in action. The kindergarteners who spoke on information night were very impressive -- their vocabulary and reading skills were well above what I expected for the average kindergartener. Creativity and critical thinking were on display. Marie, being the social and creative little bug that she is, will thrive in such an active-learning environment. I'm excited for her. If, for whatever reason, it shouldn't work out, it's only kindergarten!