25 February 2006

D is for . . .

. . . Done!!! I finished my River stole with suprisingly few difficulties! I finished the knitting on Thursday and I blocked it last night.Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze, color is called jelly.
Pattern: Rowan mag #38
Changes to pattern: I knit it with #9 needles, not the specified 10.5's. I also purled all wrong side rows, making a stockinette lace pattern because I thought the garter stitch looked sloppy.
Finished size: 16 x 66"Look at the miles (okay, feet) of lace I knit! I pinned the edges out to form little points and it turned out really well. The picture in the Rowan mag is so bad that I can't really tell if the edges are straight or not but I like my pointy border.

It's so light and airy and I love it! I really like the Kidsilk haze and I didn't find it difficult to knit but I don't think I love it the way many of you out there do. I would use it again, though.

This olympics thing has been fun and I really like the challenge to finish something in a timely manner but I am more than ready to get back to my usual multiple project self.

Speaking of multiple projects, I have branched out beyond knitting! Kirsten and I took a drop spindle class today! It was so fun and the teacher was great and we made yarn!!Check out my first yarn! It's so pretty and even and not lumpy like most people's first yarn. It's not spun perfectly, though, because it doesn't hang straight. It twist on itself a little. I feel like I should knit something with it but it's such a small amount that I don't know what to do with it. Any ideas? Lest you think I'm over here gloating over my pretty first-yarn-ever-made, let me show you what I did next. The whole reason I want to learn to spin is because I want to spin the fur from my angora bunny, Phoebe, that is starting to pile up in my basement. So, when I came home from the class I decided to spin her fur. It's is a lumpy mess!I must point out, though, that's it's the softest lumpy mess that I have ever touched! Angora is slippery and has short fibers but I am determined to spin it well. I owe it to Phoebe to make something pretty out of her lovely fur. I am encouraged that although much of my mini-skein looks like this or worse:there are some short sections that look like this:Do you see the perfect twist and the smooth edges? It can be done and I can do it!

20 February 2006

Goodbye sweater

My most loved sweater has died. It's a heather grey v-neck sweater that I bought from J Crew almost 10 years ago! It has long been relegated to the wear-only-around-the-house-or-to-work category (I have one of those strange jobs where I wear my nice clothes on weekends and my grubby clothes to work) but I'm still sad to see it go. It spent a month backpacking through Europe with me, studied abroad with me in Spain and has been a really good sweater so I'm pretty attached to it. It has stretched a lot and is now pretty baggy and shapeless. For the last several years, I've had to fold the cuffs back so they don't cover my hands and they've worn thin at the fold. Here's what happened on Friday.
That's the right hand. Here's the left:That's Ramona, my cat who only likes me if I'm knitting. I didn't mean to get my pets in the picture but they were all enjoying the litle bit of sun that was coming in the window. About the sweater- I was htinking of cutting off the ripped part and hemming the sleeves since they're too long anyway, but then I noticed that the elbows were about to wear through as well. So I had to say goodbye to the sweater. It is going to be reincarnated, though, so stay on the lookout for it's reappearance.

On the knitting front, I have my handy olympics countdown timer from Anny on my sidebar. It's even adjusted to my time zone so I know just how much time I have left to knit River. I'm onto my second (and last) ball of yarn, so I'm right on track! Here's a picture of the halfway mark. A Team Portland blog has been created for the knitting olympics. If you're curious what some other Portlanders are knitting, here's your chance to find out!

Last but not least, here's a token food picture. I love food pictures, a trait I must have gotten from my dad. To use up some random leftovers. Mike made the best egg dish for dinner. It's basically scrambled eggs with leeks, asparagus, wild rice and swiss cheese. I thought it might be a little weird, but it was an excellent dinner.

15 February 2006

Olympics are 30% over!

The olympic knitting continues. We're over 30% through the olympics and amazingly, I'm over 30% done with River! I had a minor setback when I had to tink back 3 rows but that little problem of an extra yarn over has been fixed. I knit a ton on Monday because I had the day off and Mike worked so I had nothing to take my attention away from knitting. Even the dog left me alone because he was tired from our hike the day before. This week has is pretty busy, though, so I don't know if I can keep up this quick knitting pace. Here is River so far:The weather is again conducive to knitting. It actually snowed at work yesterday! Last weekend I had a hard time knitting because it was sunny and beautiful. How quickly the weather turned! Here are some pictures from my hike on Sunday. I hiked with Mike and some friends in Forest Park, the largest wilderness park within city limits in the U. S. (Conversely, Mill Ends Park is probably the country's smallest park-a mere 24 inches! I encourage you to look at the link, it's quite entertaining!) We hiked up to the Pittock Mansion which none of us had ever been to before. I was excited to see my first flower of the spring. It's not spring yet but don't tell these flowers.It was so beautiful and clear that we could see Mts. Rainier, St. Helens, Adams and Hood as well as the whole city of Portland. It was amazing! In this picture you can see Mt. Hood.On our way up to the mansion, We hiked through Balch's Canyon, named after the guy who used to own the land and who, interestingly, was the 1st person to be hanged in Portland. Apparently he shot his son-in-law. L-R: me, Bradley wearing his doggie backpack, Amber, Noel, Laura and Andrew.(You would never know it, but River is actually neatly stowed in Mike's backpack, just in case there were a few moments to knit. There were not.)

I have been knitting and watching the olympics. In my last post I talked about Kirsten and Lisa's party and their lovely country flags. She posted a great picture of us and our flags. You may remember that I chose Japan and lastnight I had my 1st opportunity to see a Japanese athlete compete. It was a speed skater and he won his race but I don't know if he got a medal because I didn't stay up to see the whole event. I was very ecxited to see his race but Mike is still waiting for his 1 Venezuelan dude to show up on NBC. I have a feeling he may have to wait forever.

11 February 2006

The olympics have started!

Oh, the fun has begun! Mike and I went to an opening ceremonies party last night hosted by the lovely Lisa and Kirsten and I made a great start on River. You can't tell in this picture (Mike, the photographer, stood in the wrong spot but that's okay) but there were two other knitters and a crocheter present as well as Kirsten who didn't actually knit anything but tormented us fiber lovers by sharing the new and fabulous yarn she has gotten recently. Mike even played the part of a good knitter's husband and tried to steal Kirsten's beautiful Vesper sock yarn for me. Unfortunately he was unsuccessful. I may have to buy my own. It was a fun night and Kirsten and Lisa painted flags and we all got to pick one to cheer for. I picked Japan and am pleased that they have a fair number of athletes so I will probably get to see some of them compete. That's probably not the case for Amber who is rooting for Kenya- they only have 1 guy but I do hope he wins something (although winning isn't everything). Julie was disappointed in Germany-her chosen country-because their opening ceremony outfits were so ugly. Hopefully their athletic skills will make up for their outfits. I was hoping that Japan, with all their uber-trendy fashion would be wearing something interesting but they went with boring white with a splash of white. (Speaking of outfits-did anyone else notice Belarus' scarves? They were so pretty! I want to knit one.) It was really fun and I loved having the flags. It really made us all pay attention to more than just the US. There are those commercials that say that during the olympics we are all rooting for the same team-the US- but we are a country that has people of all races. As Kirsten put it- Go team world!

Back to the knitting- check out my River! It's looking good and even though I had two drinks lastnight, I found no mistakes this morning. It was kind of daring of me to try to watch the opening ceremonies, knit lace and drink at the same time but I'm here to tell you that it can be done.

Lat night we all thought the opening ceremonies were too long and we were almost asleep by the time they ended but I must say that the lighting of the torch was really worth staying up. It was really cool looking and there's something so great about the tradition.

Is anyone even reading this or are you all too busy knitting?

09 February 2006

Catching Up

B is for . . . Bradley and his Blue Bone. The blue bone is his favorite toy. He got it a year ago for Christmas and it is still remarkably in pretty good shape. A goofy dog with a blue bone hanging stupidly out of his mouth is a common sight at my house.

B could also stand for broken computer. My laptop is broken so my posts have been a little sporadic lately. I've wanted to post more often but I just can't.

C is for . . . Cables!! I have postponed my second red sock in order to knit Mike a scarf. I know I said I was done with gift knitting but he's been wanting a scarf forever and after the fun I had knitting my backyard leaves scarf, I decided to do it for him. He picked out the yarn- Rowan felted tweed- because he had to have tweed even though it's not the softest yarn ever. He also picked out the cable pattern. Sorry about the slightly blurry picture. I had a hard time getting the cables to show up with the lack of natural light to help the camera out. This is the best one I got. The color is a pretty chocolate brown with little flecks of white and light blue. So far he really likes it but I'm not going to finish it for a while because the olympics start tomorrow! Good luck everyone!

04 February 2006

I broke down and did it

First things first. I have been totally slacking as far as the ABC-along goes. I have not posted a single photo and we are quickly approaching the letter D. (Imagine Big Bird doing a little dance here.) So, in an effort to catch up, I present my letter A:

A is for . . . Apple green yarn. Kidsilk Haze to be exact and the color is really called "jelly" but who has jelly this color? It looks like a granny smith to me. This leads to my title. "Did what?" you may be asking. I broke down and joined the knitting olympics and this apple green yarn will be my main (only) event. I have swatched and frogged anout 5 times and cast on for real and frogged 3 times so I'm hoping that if I put it down and knit it during the olympics, the moral support will help me actually knit it. What is it, you're asking? I have decided on the River stole from Rowan # something-or-other.
Since you can't really see the pattern in Rowan's picture ( I hate it when they do that!), here's a link to Diana's very pretty finished River.

I was going to knit a different pattern(s) but I didn't like it and then I was going to knit the main River pattern but add my own border but I think now I'm just going to knit it like Rowan designed it. Except with smaller needles and in stockinette and not garter stitch. Oh, and a different color.

It was nice of Lolly to delay the beginning of Project Spectrum until March, well after the Knitting Olympics craziness. I am really excited about the project. I so often focus on patterns and ideas and not so much on colors. It will be fun to see what examples of the chosen colors people come up with. Since March is red/pink month, I was thinking that would be a good time to finish my second red sock since the 1st sock is getting really lonely. Now that I can't (re)start the river stole until next week, I need something to knit until then and the red sock is it. It won't be hard, though, to find something else red or pink to make in March!