Monday, September 25, 2006

Another bag of bricks

I spent a real chill afternoon with Jody yesterday and just as she served up soup, I finished one shoulder seam on the sweater vest. Not long after soup was off (and, yum, in our bellies), and I had a 99% finished object!

I rushed home to soak and block the vest, then I trained our trusty Vornado on the garment and let it dry. This morning, I paired it two shirts to see how each looked with the vest. Here it is with a white Oxford shirt:



And here it is with a Wedgewood blue shirt:


The fit is good and blocking it found the vest growing longer by about 2 inches. All I have to do tonight (or Thursday night) is some single crochet around the neckline and the armholes.

I do believe I'm ready for Rhinebeck and with time to spare!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Thank you, everyone!

Thank you to each and every one of you that donated to my MS 150 City to Shore Ride. I am happy (and sore) to report that my team (Team Catfish and Waffles!) made it from our airy perch in East Falls, Philadelphia, all the way down to Ocean City, NJ, and then back. We rode a total of 172.25 miles in about 12 hours.

It was really an interesting experience, and knowing that I can do it is very empowering. Having friends and family supporting me kept me going those last few miles!

In knitting news, I've reach the armholes on the sweater vest. And, I've reached the split for the v-neck, as well. So far, it looks great. I hope to spend a few hours on it tonight--that should be enough to get the one side of the split done and the other side at least started. I've also cast on for the other Red Hat sock, though so far I'm only about 1 pattern repeat in. I just can't not have a sock in the works, I guess!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

No sleep

First of all, a little shout out to Mr. JT; "nonne" us too!!!

First of all, part A and B, we here in the land of Sparksalots also miss Mmmmissy and MCJerryB. And Monty! Oh, hell, let's just tack on the whole B-E clan...

Second, I don't like the way the world looks at 4am, especially when the night before I found myself struggling to fall asleep.

Third, the wisdom of my husband prevailed last night, and not too soon. I'd just started to bind off for the armholes on the sweater vest I'm creating, and for shits and giggles, I put on this armhole-less, shoulder-less garment. The body fits very nice, so far. The armholes that I was so ready to commit to? Not exactly ready! This... premature armhole shaping is my knitting affliction. Every sweater I've knit has the same issue. Thank goodness I trudged upstairs, trailing the two skeins of yarn behind me, for that male opinion. So, a good 4-6 more rows on the body tonight. I have to remember to do a few increases for the bust, or do a few short rows...

The big ride is this weekend. I am ready to be halfway done with it. I'm mostly concerned with the ride back--we're being hardcore and biking from our 'hood (East Falls, Philadelphia) to the start (Woodcrest Patco Station in NJ), which tacks on an extra 8-10 miles on both ends. Coming home I doubt I'll truly want those extra miles. I may just have to pull a mule at the bottom of the dreaded hill and insist that someone carry me the rest of the way. Thank goodness for having Monday off.

Pictures, soon-ish. I let the battery die on my super-swank camera and I just need to charge it already...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New tricks, no pics

I'm just a few inches from the armholes on my self-designed sweater vest--4 inches! I could stretch it and make it less than 3.25 inches, but I smack my hands whenever I think that sort of thing. It's just that sort of thinking that gets me sweaters that are too short in the body! I've used up one and a half skeins of the Cascade Pastaza, and I must say that yarn is nearly perfect. The only complaint I have is it's, well, too fuzzy. But, not in a bad way, especially not knit up. The Pastaza calls for US 9s on its own. I'm knitting it with the Brooks Farm on 9s and the resulting fabric is sturdy, yet pliant. I think that helps control some of the fuzz, for sure. So, the fuzz that remains lends a halo effect to the garment. Just looking at the progress in my lap makes me warm and fuzzy and ready for warm cider.

The new trick is I think I'm scooping instead of wrapping. Since learning to knit, I've always been afraid of and fascinated with Continental knitting. I learned to knit with the English method and I took comfort in the ease of using one hand to wrap while two hands held the needles in place. But, I'm always up for a knitting challenge (heck, I might even try Fair Isle and intarsia one day. MAYBE.) and as I sat in my chair (Mike studying hard upstairs), I put the yarn in my left hand and awkwardly tried a couple of stitches Continentally. When the world didn't reverse on its axis, AND I didn't drop all my stitches, I tried a round. Then, I tried another round. And now, some dozen or more rounds later, I'm kinda liking the scoop. I am knitting faster--until I come to the purls... Then it's like my hands have somehow forgotten all that they've ever learned about knitting. I lose half of the time I've gained when it comes to the purls, but I'm still a little faster overall, right? I also find that the scooping is less taxing on my hands and, if I wanted, I could probably switch the two techniques back and forth when knitting for extended periods of time.

Sigh... I knew you'd all understand!!!