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Checking in

Hola! Long time, no blog, etc., etc.

Just a quick check-in to report some knitting progress. About a week (or two weeks?) ago, I finished knitting the parts of the sweater for La Petite Princesse. That is, the front, back and both sleeves. I will not have enough of the yarn to knit the hood, but no matter. I’ve adapted this pattern in the past to exclude the hood, and the result was just fine.

I say “adapted” as if it were something elaborate. In truth, I just picked up stitches as the pattern called for (in the round, if memory serves me right), then knit a few rounds in stockinette and bound off. The neckline had a nice little roll (as stockinette fabric does), and the sweater looked adorable on the then-BC6. (Yes, my youngest boy child was 6 at the time. Let’s not discuss that he’s about to turn 19… or that his older brother is 25… or that my granddaughter is 5, m’kay? M’kay.)

I still have to sew the pieces together (you know, do the finishing) and knit the neckline area. Of course, there’s no rush, as my family lives in Florida, where today it’s 93 degrees, so the sweater won’t get worn till fall/winter even if I finish it tonight… which I won’t, never fear.

If I get off my lazy keister and take and download some pictures the fates allow, I will post a photo of my progress so far within the next few days.

And you know I’ll share with you all when I finish it, because I need copious amounts of positive reinforcement from you (all 3 of you) when I do achieve FO status.

Hope your mother’s day weekend has been a good one. I’ve worked all weekend, so we’re doing the mom’s day thing tomorrow. It’s unconventional, but that’s my life… and me!

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Too soon?

With apologies for the punctuation errors and for any possible math errors...

With apologies for the punctuation errors and for any possible math errors…

I saw this earlier today on the book of faces and couldn’t resist stealing sharing it here, with you all.

Guess I’ll have to get knitting soon, huh?

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So, as promised, here is a pic of my socks-in-progress, taken this a.m. just before I put them away for the day:

Topside first

Topside action!

As you can probably see, the toes are in stockinette, then I did the 33 stitches on the top in k1p1 rib, ending with a k1. I want them to cling to my feet a bit, as the yarn has little elasticity. It’s mostly bamboo, which makes it soft and drapey, but not clingy.

Currently they are 6.25 inches long (yes, each). I am planning to knit until they’re about 7 inches long, then work a short-row heel.

And because you’ve been so patient with my overall slackenbloggen, here’s a photo of the other side:

Blurry bottoms, boo-hoo!

Blurry bottoms, boo-hoo!

In case it’s not obvious, I stuck to plain stockinette for the first 4.5 inches or so, to keep fabric smooth under the ball of the foot. I was worried that ribbing there could be annoying. Of course, I picked up with the k1p1 ribbing for the arch, to help the sock cling there, too. There are 33 stitches on this half, too, making a total stitch count ’round of 66 stitches.

The heels will be stockinette, for the same reason the balls of the foot are, then I’ll pick up the k1p1 ribbing for the leg.

So far, I think the fabric is really purplicious and I love it!

I don’t usually buy new purses until my old one (yes, I tend to have one purse at a time… don’t judge me!) is falling apart and/or stained beyond redemption. When I reached that point recently with my old purse, I found a new one at the Evil Empire. I also found a cute purple Tink mesh bag (probably meant for beachy things), that I needed for carrying my too-big-for-my-purse stuff, such as my Kindle and larger knitting projects and adapter cords and assorted thingamabobs. And I found this, which I had to have:

Cupcakes!

Cupcakes!

Aside from the functional aspects (i.e., it’s perfect for smaller knitting projects plus my wallet and keys and cell phone… for those times I don’t want to haul a bigger bag), I had to buy it because… well… Cupcakes!!!

My inner Cupcake (my singing tavern-wench persona) screeched a protest when I tried to be practical and put it back on its peg. She had to have it! And it was only $10, which made it a very reasonable indulgence.

And look at it… (go ahead, I’ll wait)… it’s totally adorable, is it not? (Yes. Yes, it is. I will hear no dissension on this point! You will gaze upon its cupcakey perfection, and you will like it… nay, love it! But not enough to try to steal it from me. That will not be tolerated! You must adore it from afar. So says Cupcake, who it turns out is pretty pushy sometimes. Ahem.)

Time for me to get my clean laundry out of the dryer and head to bed. Work tonight, you know. If it goes well, I’ll get to the heels before morning. Wish me luck with that? Thanks!

** So titled because that’s how these socks are being “designed” (to stretch the word almost to its breaking point): on the fly and as I go along.

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Dinna despair!

I havena abandoned ye! I’ve socks (aye, socks! toe-up, two-at-a-time socks! my own vanilla-pattern-in-the-makin’ socks!) on the (long circular) needle and will take and post a wee pic for ye soon(ish).

A fair and restful Thorsday to ye, kittens, as I go to tuck meself into me amazin’ waterbed o’ joy. Ta!

 

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Let there be hats!

First, the hat I designed (or “unvented,” as Elizabeth Zimmerman used to say) to go along with the Not-a-Peapod sweater:

Disregard the red peeking between stitches at the top of the hat. It’s a ball of red yarn I stuffed inside the thing to round it out for the photo.

The two pieces are definitely not matchy-matchy, but I think they go well together.

(The “pattern” is on the FO’s page. I’m calling it the Blue Cabled Baby Hat, for obvious reasons.)

I made the set for my friends Alexis and James (and I gave it to James at work last night) for their first baby, an adorable two-month-old boy named Jaxon. That’s the same Jaxon who received one of the unpierced boobie hats I made this summer. And Alexis (finally) got me a photo of him wearing it. Check it out:

A beautiful baby in beautiful lighting…

I’m hoping she’ll post or send me a photo of Jaxon in the new set in the next couple of days. After all, with nighttime temps dropping into the 30s and 40s this week, she won’t need to wait long for a chance to use it!

And the hat is bit and stretchy enough for use throughout the winter here. (In our part of Florida, winter ends in late February… sometimes earlier.)

Next up: a baby girl’s cardi for my friend Daysha’s littlest one.

On a non-knitting note: It’s the University of Florida’s homecoming this weekend, and I’ll be working all three nights. Wish me strength? Thanks. And Go, Gators!!

On a liberal note: Whew!

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I finished the back section of the mystery baby sweater and joined the shoulders.

Wanna see?

Oooh, it’s a pretty plaited cable indeed!

As I mentioned in the last post, the pattern calls for you to cast off all of the top edges, then sew them together, but I prefer to use a 3-needle bind off for shoulders, so that’s what I did. In practical terms, it means I put the right sides together and bound off the first 11 stitches (as that’s how many stitches are in each of the front sections at the shoulders) of the front and back together (yay, 3-needle bindoff!) to form the left shoulder. Then I cast off all but 11 stitches on the back section, which forms the neck edge on that part. Then I bound off the front right shoulder stitches with the back right shoulder stitches, again using the 3-needle bindoff.

Here’s a hint to make the 3-needle bindoff easier: Use a crochet hook to “knit” the live loops together, as the yarn is much less likely to slide off a crochet hook than a knitting needle when you’re drawing that yarn through the loops. And after you have both stitches “knit” onto the hook, you can just pull the one on the left through the first “knit” stitch on the right, effectively binding that stitch off. Continue for the entire bindoff section. (If that is poorly stated, I apologize. If you’re doing it, you’ll see that it makes total sense.)

Actually, I’ve been known to use a crochet hook for binding off in general. That way, when it’s time to “lift the stitch on the right over the loop you’ve just worked,” I just use the crochet hook to pull the loop on the left through the one on the right. So much easier and faster.

Since the photo above was taken, I have cast on the collar and worked the first 3 rows, with only 5 more to knit there. Once that’s done, I’ll knit the sleeves and do the finishing, including finding and attaching the perfect buttons! (I love that part!)

Here in north central Florida, which escaped Hurricane Sandy’s destruction, we’re dealing with unusually cool temps. Last night, it went down to 45 degrees F and is projected to top out at 65 today. That’s not ridiculously cold, I know, but it’s pretty early in the season for us to drop into this range.

The timing couldn’t be better for me to finish the mystery baby sweater, so Jaxon can wear it before it warms up again.

That said, I hope you all stay safe and sound while Mother Nature is playing the bitch.

[WARNING: liberal mini-rant ahead.]

Also I hope you have taken advantage of early- or absentee-voting opportunities, as power outages from Sandy could play havoc with the elections, and we can’t afford to let this chance to vote slip past us… especially those of us/you who live in blue states and plan to vote that way. We need you to keep this country moving forward, because I have zero interest in moving our society back into a mythical “better” past which was instead a time of repression and prejudice and institutionalized racism and sexism. Thanks, but no thanks.

I voted via paper ballot (an absentee ballot, no less) last week, thereby avoiding poll problems, challenges, etc. It was a satisfying feeling to drop it in the mailslot at my county’s Supervisor of Elections office and to hear it thunk into the box. (It’s a big ballot and it definitely thunked.) I wish you all that same feeling.

Stay warm and dry, kittens!

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I’ve been busy, unlike the rest of you, who no doubt have been lazing about and eating bonbons while planning a year-long cruise on a private yacht with a half-dozen of your closest friends. (Ahem.)

So I’ve been working… a lot… and had a music rehearsal or two… and caught up on some of my TV shows.. and, of course, laughed as often as possible. I’ve also been in a lot of pain for the last few days. Muscle spasms in my neck/shoulder led to a hellacious headache, one that is finally diminishing to a level at which I can ignore it.

In keeping with the theme of this this blog, I’ve written, knit, read a book or four(?), and petted some kitties.

As for the knitting, I finished one more of the “paler” boobie hats, pierced, which had the added benefit of finishing off a big (well, biggish) skein of yarn. I’d show you a picture of it, but that would mean I’d have to pull out my camera, take a photo, etc., etc. If you’re wondering what it looks like, you need only look at this year’s FO # 41, as this newest one is a clone.

As for the aforementioned purring, our family has been adopted by a neighborhood kitty. She looks almost exactly like Ninja Kitty did when we adopted her, except neighborhood kitty has yellow-green eyes and NK has green-green ones. Neighborhood kitty (whom we refuse to name, ’cause that would mean we’d have to keep her) has taken to sleeping on the former dining-room table that’s on our front landing. More precisely, she’s been climbing up inside the makeshift “flowerpots” that have been sitting there since the sun and weird bugs killed the tomato plants the Hubs attempted to grow this spring/summer.

I snapped a photo of her when I was out for a rare morning walk last week.
See?

As Crissy said, “You grew a kitty!”

We’ve been feeding her, along with a teeny-tiny teenaged kitty-girl who occasionally visits, for a couple of weeks, and she is one loving cat! Definitely not feral, she loves being held and petted and, of course, fed. I don’t know how long she’ll be “not ours,” but we’re enjoying her company when we get it.

I’ve also been sewing, making a second pleated skirt for the my friend Crissy. She wanted a brown one to complete her Velma costume, by jinkies! To that end, she came over Monday night after our madrigal/Christmas singing rehearsal and we cut out the fabric and marked the circles, etc. As we had already worked out the peculiarities of fit (as you do) with the grey skirt, this one went much more smoothly.

Then last night I sewed it, starting at about 3 a.m. and finishing the handstitching-down of the waistband around 7 a.m.

All that remains is to put it on Crissy, mark the hem and then sew that final bit. Oh, and to take an official picture for posting. I’ll do that on Thursday night, after three of our wench troupe performs at a local club.

That’s right, Just Desserts will have a bedfull (our term for a quorum) to represent at the last-ever Nerd Nite at the Laboratory. (Last-ever because it’s closing at the end of the month… oh, no!) If any of you are here in Gainesville, Florida, around 9 p.m. Thursday, come on down!

Oh, and I wrote (see, there’s the “write” portion of the blog’s title) a song for the troupe to perform for birthday boys (well, men… ’cause it would be completely inappropriate for minors, trust me). I’d never written a song before, but we’ll need our own songs if the troupe is gonna have some original music to perform and perhaps record and sell, right? Right! At least that’s what I told the troupe at our last rehearsal.

You should have seen the deer-in-the-headlights looks they gave me! I think they were afraid I was gonna assign each of them a topic and set a deadline. No. In fact, to alleviate their fear and to get the ball rolling, I volunteered to write the first one. We haven’t recorded it yet and I have no idea how to post an mp3 here anyway, so I can’t post the actual song. I can, however, post the lyrics, which are subject to modification and ad-libbing ad nauseum… ’cause that’s how we roll!

Here are the lyrics:

Men’s Birthday Ditty

(wench 1)        Today is your day.
(wench 2)        You’re the man of the hour.
(wench 3)        Your swagger is strong.
(wench 4)        You exude manly power.
(wench 5)        Oh, what’s a wench to do…
(all)                   But to wish these things for you?
(wench 1)        May your cock only crow (cockadoodle-doo!)
                          When the timing is right.
(wench 2)        May your ass not get tired (hee-haw!)
                          From morning to night.
(wench 3)        May your ale at the pub
                         Come with plenty of head.
(wench 4)        And the pusses you pet (meow!)
                          Leave no fleas in your bed.
(wench 5)        In short, may your year
                         Bring you naught but good luck
(all)                  With a wench in your bed
                        When it’s time to get…
(all, slowly)     …. tucked… in!
(all, ad-libbed loudly) Happy birthday, love!
OK, that concludes the wrap-up. I apologize for the lack of amazing blogitude lately and thank you for your patience. Happy hump day and, always, happy knittin’, kittens!

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