Thursday, August 30, 2007

This is what I've been up to

Well, Sheldon finally made it out of his shell. Hooray. I sewed on his legs last night and gave him his finishing touches and I think he is presentable. He's not exactly like the pattern in Knitty, I did some minor changes when it came to the I-cord and the leg color, but all in all, he qualifies as "Sheldon", I think. I ran into the problem of not enough yarn in the main color, so I changed his legs over to the shell color and instead of the I-cord edging around the shell, which for some reason was way to scientific for me to understand that day, I just slapped it together with a round of single crochet. I'm sure he won't mind. I also don't think he can ever get rid of his shell, like it was intended, because I'd say it fits him rather snug.

The other thing I've been parading around with it this fuzzy scrunchy I made. It's almost like a fuzzy doughnut and my dog thought at first it's a new toy for her to play with. Eeeenk, wrong answer. I put my hair up, wrapped that thing around it and all of a sudden is looks like I got tons of hair and I can proudly support the Carmen-look. (Excuse the lousy pics, but I had no model or photographer at hand, so after much trial and error and some uncomfortable bending of the arm and angling of the camera, here is my somewhat presentable result).

Also, I have signed up for some new KAL's, most of them I don't have the buttons for yet. I am a member of the "Flechtmuster-Tuch KAL" for a triangular Shawl with braids, but unfortunately the instructions can only be found in German language in the current Anna knitting magazine. I also got an invitation from my good friend Keri to join her brand new "Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL". I think it's a great idea and that's the first time she is hosting her very own KAL, so lets go check it out and I'm sure we'll all find a good reason to knit another one of those fabulous gloves, except they have no fingers. Just imagine how much faster they will be finished!
I've also given up on the Swan Lake Stole and turned my attention to last years Mystery Stole "Scheherazade". I only have minimal progress so far, so there is no good picture yet that would actually be worth showing, but I'll keep on knitting. I'm also trying to make some more scrunchies for the neighbor's girls and I've also been doing some of these cute leftover mini socks. I've heard they also make great lip gloss carriers. Hmmm, I wonder what else they could be used for.

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A MUST READ!! Does the military get paid too much?

Ok, I know this is a knitting blog, but since I'm also a military wife I was somewhat upset (this is the mild, rated PG version of my response) about this. I got this email from a fellow military spouse and just wanted to bring this to everyones attention that thinks that the military "swims" in money.

Somebody has started to straighten some of these thoughtless and ungrateful people out. And I am even more grateful that it was someone serving in one of the branches of military.

Military paid too much ? You be the judge !

This is an Airman's response to Cindy Williams' editorial piece in the Washington Times about MILITARY PAY, it should be printed in all newspapers across America.

On Nov. 12, Ms Cindy Williams (from Laverne and Shirley TV show) wrote a piece for the Washington Times, denouncing the pay raise coming service members' way this year -- citing that the stated 13% wage was more than they deserve.

A young airman from Hill AFB responds to her article below. He ought to get a bonus for this.

"Ms Williams:

I just had the pleasure of reading your column, "Our GIs earn enough" and I am a bit confused. Frankly, I'm wondering where this vaunted overpayment is going, because as far as I can tell, it disappears every month between DFAS (The Defense Finance and Accounting Service) and my bank account.

Checking my latest earnings statement I see that I make $1,117.80 before taxes. After taxes, I take home $874.20. When I run that through the calculator, I come up with an annual salary of $13,413.60 before taxes, and $10,490.40, after.

I work in the Air Force Network Control Center where I am part of the team responsible for a 5,000 host computer network. I am involved with infrastructure segments, specifically with Cisco Systems equipment. A quick check under jobs for Network Technicians in the Washington, D.C. area reveals a position in my career field, requiring three years experience with my job. Amazingly, this job does NOT pay $13,413.60 a year. No, this job is being offered at $70,000 to $80,000 per annum... I'm sure you can draw the obvious conclusions.

Given the tenor of your column, I would assume that you NEVER had the pleasure of serving your country in our armed forces. Before you take it upon yourself to once more castigate congressional and DOD leadership for attempting to get the families in the military's lowest pay brackets off of WIC and food stamps, I suggest that you join a group of deploying soldiers headed for AFGHANISTAN; I leave the choice of service branch up to you.

Whatever choice you make, though, opt for the SIX month rotation: it will guarantee you the longest possible time away from your family and friends, thus giving you full "deployment experience." As your group prepares to board the plane, make sure to note the spouses and children who are saying good-bye to their loved ones. Also take care to note that several families are still unsure of how they'll be able to make ends meet while the primary breadwinner is gone -- obviously they've been squandering the "vast" piles of cash the government has been giving them.

Try to deploy over a major holiday; Christmas and Thanksgiving are perennial favorites. And when you're actually over there, sitting in a foxhole, shivering against the cold desert night; and the flight sergeant tells you that there aren't enough people on shift to relieve you for chow, remember this: trade whatever MRE (meal-ready-to-eat) you manage to get for the tuna noodle casserole or cheese tortellini, and add Tabasco to everything. This gives some flavor. Talk to your loved ones as often as you are permitted; it won't nearly be long enough or often enough, but take what you can get and be thankful for it.

You may have picked up on the fact that I disagree with most of the points you present in your opined piece.

But, tomorrow from KABUL, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

You see, I am an American fighting man, a guarantor of your First Amendment rights and every other right you cherish. On a daily basis, my brother and sister soldiers worldwide ensure that you and people like you can thumb your collective nose at us, all on a salary that is nothing short of pitiful and under conditions that would make most people cringe. We hemorrhage our best and brightest into the private sector because we can't offer the stability and pay of civilian companies.

And you, Ms. Williams, have the gall to say that we make more than we deserve? Rubbish!

A1C Michael Bragg Hill AFB AFNCC

Think about it.


Saturday, August 25, 2007

My new friends

To make up for the mutilated picture of the headless Piglet in my last post I'm trying to sooth those little hearts that felt so badly about this image with a finished, smiling Piglet. There he is, all happy to be stitched up and finished.

Then I wanted to show you his new friend, or what is going to be his new friend. Shield those eyes again, if you are the faint type, because my new buddy Sheldon is still missing some of his pieces.

He's trying his best to cover up, but his shell is just not big enough yet, but I'm doing my best to change that. Sheldon's family can be found on the Knitty website, where I ran across his instructions. He is a fairly fast and easy knit, only the stuffing part might be a little tricky, if you don't keep up with it and wait until you only have 20 stitches left on the needles.

Here is also what I started reading, finally. I know this is a couple years old and I've seen the movie plenty of times, but most the time the book is so much better and more detailed. Now I just need to find the time to sit and read instead of knit. That's going to be the challenge.

And on another note I want to thank an eabler for the box of notelty yarn I received yesterday. It was quite a surprise. I expected a couple of skeins, but not a whole box full. I guess that means a whole bunch more scarves in my future? Did I forget to mention that there is another layer under all of this?

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Promised Pics

Here are the promised pictures of the red socks. I had my older son model them for me, since they are a tad small for my feet and he didn't want to take them off anymore. He is claiming them. Imagine that. Makes me feel good that he likes them so much, even though I didn't think he would go for the color. Unfortunately if I use the flash, the pattern won't show and if I don't use it, the pattern does show, but it doesn't seem to want to focus as good. So that's the best I can give you right now.

Piglet is still headless. Looks kinda creapy. I was up to his snout yesterday and figured out is wasn't quite where it usually goes, so I ripped his head out, literally, and started redoing it. It's turning out the same way again and I can't find out where I might have goofed up the pattern. I've done this pig so many times and now I'm running into this? Don't ask, I don't know. I'll deal with it somehow. Either he will forever look to the right, or I'll fudge the pattern to make it fit. :)


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Did you see it??????

Just wanted to let you know that I got the new Knit Picks Fall Catalog in the mail yesterday and there, on page 44, is the Diagonals in Flight Cardigan. In print. Too bad my name isn't on there, but that's the one I did. It's so exciting. It just always looks so much better on the model than pinned out on my carpet. I don't know if I would have chosen that yarn, or better yet that color. I might have went with something more one colored, but that was their choice. Anyway, I made it and I'm proud that everyone can see it now. Should I sign that page now and put it in a frame? Don't tempt me. I'm sure I'm not the only test knitter out there, but it's new and it's exciting (I think I mentioned that before). I better stop now. Ommhhhh. Gotta relax.

I'll talk to you later.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Sock FO, IK FAll 2007

I'm happy to announce that after a long time I finally finished a pair of socks again (pics will follow). Well, the last ones were the monkeys, so it wasn't really that long ago, but it sure felt like it. So now I'm off to crochet Piglet. Stay tuned for that one.

So I walked into Walmart the other day and picked up the issue of IK Fall 2007. Wow, I've seen the previews for it, but there are really a lot of things in there I like this time again. Some of them are rather simple in pattern and I'd really would have to try to stay focused, but sometimes you just need a plain stockinette project to unwind. So here are my choices, not necessarily in that order.

Tangled Yoke Cardigan. I've seen pics of the patten in the planing stages on Eunny's blog way back when and it looks absolutely doable. So there is one of the things on my list. They even made their own KAL for that one, but let's not neglect Tammy's IK KAL for that one now.

Miminalist Cardigan. That's another simple knit, but I might want to make that one a tad longer for myself. I do like the fact that the band is worked different and it sounds pretty easy to do. There is also a KAL for that one, in case you haven't found it yet.

Cinnabar Pullover. Another simple pattern knit that promisses to be a classic. It definately deserves another look.

The Snowflake Socks are a must, but I'm still digging for the right kind of yarn in my stash for those. Any idea if it's too hard to use regular sockyarn and just adding some stitches to make it 60 or 64 CO?

The Sweetheart Vest and the Mirepoix Bodice are really nice too, for then the Fair Isle bug creaps up again and bites.

I'm not so much into the dresses and the chunky knits, but the hats and scarfs are quick knit fixed for inbetween, when the big stuff gets too boring.

All in all I think it was worth it getting this issue. I skipped the last one for summer and one day I will probably regret not buying it, but at the time it came out I just couldn't find anything that made me jump. So, what do you think? Which one are we going to start with first? I'm open for suggestions.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

One down, one to go

Here it the first almost finished red sock for my niece. It only needs to be kitchened together and it's ready. Now I have to do the second one with the spiral going the other way. Which foot it goes on is totally up to her.

Then I have another FO for Knit Picks to report, but it has to be somewhat secrety. I'm sure you can guess, but I can't show you a good picture where you could get the pattern off of and I'm sure by the time it gets release their photographer gets a way better shot than me.

That is pretty much it for todays post. Let me run and see if I can get that first sock still sewn up and the second one cast on.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Knit Picks # 3

Here is my latest Knit Picks project. I know, it's not telling you anything, but that's the point of it. Just to keep you guessing and looking for it in the catalog. Hi, hi, I can be so cruel sometimes. I apologize, but it's fun. Anyway, I got the yarn two days ago and I'm already half way done with it. It's a small knit this time, but it also literally flies off the needles. At this rate I hope they'll offer me a second project for this month, or I'll be "knitless" (is that even a real word?) again soon. I do have to finish the socks for my niece and crochet Piglet, but that is the only thing right now.

I was asked by Keri to knit the Ene Shawl with her. I really like the pattern and I have 76 grams of Shimmer in my stash. Now I ask you: Is it enough? Do I really need two full skeins? Has anybody here knitted it before and can tell me how much it weighs (in that yarn anyway)? I just don't want to start it and then have a little left to finish it just to find out I'm running out of yarn.

Also I have the "Charmed Knits" book at home right now. Guess what my oldest asked me to knit him? Yup, the robe! Is he crazy? I don't think so. How many times is he actually going to be wearing it and how much time and money would I have to invest in it? No way. So he is settling for some House socks. Which house, I don't know yet. I personally like the simple design of the grey House sweater and might just make one like it for me? I'm definitely on a sweater trip, so until I get it out of my system, I'll be hunting for the perfect match of stash and pattern (again).


Friday, August 10, 2007

I almost forgot

It's my blogiversary today. I almost forgot. I actually totally forgot. I'm glad nobody is there waiting for me at home, mad, if I don't come home with flowers or something like that. I have nothing planned and to be honest, not much to say at the moment. Just didn't want this day to go by without mentioning it. Let's see if I can think of something by tomorrow.

Socks, take two

I got a call from my sister yesterday, which got me motivated again. She ordered a Piglet from me. Well, that gives me a reason to knit, or better yet in this case crochet again. So off we go, but before I make this little piggy I also talked to my niece, which would be really happy to have some new hand knitted socks. Can you believe I have someone other than me that will actually wear them? So I went and dove into my sock stash again. I didn't want to use the same yarn that was linked to my last failure, so I got a different one. One of those sale yarns, 99 cents a pack yarns, but still with the right contents and gauge.

I saw this simple, but fun pattern on Monika's blog and jumped to it and here we are, more than half a sock is already done. See, I can knit them fast, if I have the motivation for it. I had to turn the flash off for the pattern to show better, but I'm knitting again. Socks with my trusty short row heel and no problems. Great.


Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Mystery Stole KAL

Like I didn't join enough already, I found another Mystery Stole KAL, this time a german one, that will cast off at the end of September. It's called the Secret of Chrysopolis and is a german yahoo group. I guess they like to copy the idea of the mystery stole concept, so they are coming up with their own version, except this one already gives you a theme. At least you know what to expect. The have the english version of it too or are at least working on it. So if you feel adventurous and want to check it out, just follow the link.

Also, I have the girly baby blanket all finished and wrapped up for the post office. Now the only thing I have on the needles is the mystery stole. Hmmm, guess that means I should work on it for a while?

Another thing is that my desktop computer, which I fired up a couple of days ago and was working so great, won't power up this morning. And it's not even monday!! So I'm on my little laptop, which I handed over to my boys, but now I have to occupy it for a while again. Any suggestions on what might be wrong with the big boy (computer that is)? Now I don't have a printer hooked up to the laptop again and can't even transfer the files to print them on the big one. Darn technology.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

And frogging we will go...

Yup, I did it again. I frogged those poor socks. Why? I didn't like the way the gusset was coming along. I had 72 stitches instead of the usual 60 or 64 stitches on my needles. That was the first thing that was bothering me. Then I decided to step away from the usual short row heel that I like and go with the pattern. Fine, I did that and then decided to decrease all the way down do 64 anyway. Well, my feet are neither fat nor flat, just long and the way the sock was coming along, I don't think I would have had fun wearing it, if it was too loose around the ankle. I absolutely hate it when the socks don't fit and I get blisters from wrinkled up socks inside my shoes. So, to make this story short, I pulled the thread.

I'm very fast with that lately, I've noticed. Does that mean I'm not happy with what I'm doing? I just can't make up my mind on what I want to do next and I thought a quick project would help, but it didn't. Of course cleaning up my two boys' rooms for the last two days didn't help much either. Maybe that was the reason for the quick rip. I sure made more than a few trips to the trash can with full bags. I am actually getting ready for a yard sale at the end of the month so that was my reason for weeding out clothes that were too small, moving the ones from the older boy into the "holding area" until the little one would fit into them. Then I was going through toy! What was I thinking? Did you ever sit down and sort Legos from Duplos, Matchbox cars from Happy Meal Toys, Playmobil from anything else and so on? You won't believe how many zip lock bags I used to sort all this stuff.

Have you ever seen that many legos in a box? You know you are getting good when you pick up a tiny piece and you know what "family of toys" it belongs to. And half of them I found in the room of the kid that always complains about not having any. Hmmm, where were they all hiding then?

Tomorrow I have the last of it with the books and that should be the end of that.

I also kept all the jeans. Why? I'm planning, some day, but don't ask me when, to make a scrap throw out of them. Just cut up the jeans in different size squares and different shades and sew them into a unquilted rag throw. Sounds good? Well, don't hold your breath that it's going to happen sometime soon, but that's at least my excuse for holding on to those jeans.

Now, what to do next. Of course there is still that baby blanket that seems to be growing into almost a bed spread. Don't know what I was thinking when I was casting on, but I'm at the end of the second pastel ball of yarn and it's still not even square, but it's growing at least. Underneath you can (barely) see a regular size baby blanket, you know the kind that comes with a sheet and bumper set.
My mystery stole is in a time out until I see the next clue knitted up on someone's blog and I decide what to do with it. Besides that I'm waiting on Knit Picks yarn (again) and that is it. Nothing else. Oh, I'm so sad, now it's my turn to look for my mojo. It's like an epidemic that hits everybody sooner or later and now it's my turn. I better find something, fast!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

I need new socks

In needed a new project on the needles and I needed it now. I was getting a little burned out on the baby blanket and it's slow crochet progress and I wanted to wait and see how the outcome of the mystery stole would be. Usually I wouldn't mind the adventure and just go with it, but since there is a lot of time and work going into this stole that I could be using otherwise, I desided to sit tight and wait.

Now I found this pattern for socks on the Crystal Palace website and had to give these cute ruffled socks a try. Perfect in fall colors with a twisted cotton yarn I brought from Germany and bought off of ebay I grabbed my needles and casted on 216 stitches (!). Don't worry, they simmered down to only 72. Right now you only see one row of ruffles. The sencond one will be added at the end of the sock.
I also ordered two book from my library and I'm waiting for them to be ready to be picked up. One is the Charmed Knits (I'm sure every Harry Potter fan knows this book) and the other one is Family Knits from Debbie Bliss. I found a nice sweater pattern in it while I was digging in the book sale from Knit Picks. Guess what else I found at Knit Picks, while I was digging for the link for the sweater? I'm so excited!!!!! MY CARDIGAN!!! My first test knit for them.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Chevron Scarf is done

Wow, that was one long scarf. I'm done, with this one that is. I finished the scarf actually two nights ago, but had to wait for the batteries for my camera to recharge. Now that that is done it's pouring out of buckets here and there is no better picture possible. Anyway, here it is, my fuzzy chevron scarf in all it's 85 inch glory.

I just kept on knitting this scarf until I had no more yarn. The funny thing about it is, that I used two yarns that, except for the fuzzyness, had nothing in common what so ever. At least not that I knew off, and they both ran out at about the same time.

What a coincidence. So I guess that means they were made for each other. Now, what to do with the other lonely ball of blue yarn?
For all of you that are knitting the Mystery Stole 3. Did you get today's clue? What do you think about THAT? Are you going with the pattern? I don't think so. Swan Lake as a theme is OK to me, I would have never guessed that, but then I was never into the theme guessing thingy anyway, but knitting wings into a shawl? I'm glad I'm slow on this one and didn't get to the lifeline yet. I think I'll go with the option of knitting the whole darn other half again and then grafting it together. I hate grafting. I was wondering if anybody comes up with the idea of just knitting it down to the other end. I know who to knit lace and to follow the pattern, but I don't know how much it would effect the pattern if I would just keep on going. I think the decreases and stuff would look different, coming from the other direction. So I guess grafting it is. I can't wait to see some of those "wings" posted. I'd also like to see a picture of the finished, blocked shawl. Not that I'm going to change my mind, but I'd sure like to see it. Well, Pat, what do you think? Wings or no wings? (That sounds kinda like an always commercial :)
My baby blanket is coming along too. I had to run and get a second ball of the baby colored yarn just to find out that naturally after a year of laying around in my knitting room, now they had a totally different dye lot. The colors are a little different, I think. The lavender is a little more blue, the peach is a little lighter, but it's a baby blanket and the colors are separated by the white. I just hope that the overall patterning won't turn into vertical stripes. I had that happen before with a second pack of yarn too. What a bummer.

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