Sunday, January 31, 2010

Crazy Crazy

See Malcolm.


See Malcolm climb window.

"Wheeeeeeeeheeheeheehee! Lookatme!!!!"


See Malcolm realize he's busted.

"Uh oh."

"Sorry Mom."

"Wow, even I didn't pull that, and I was THE puller of all things pulled in my time. Good one kiddo!"

"Gandalf! Don't encourage him!"

"So you see Mae, all you need is a really good head start, a big jump, watch that you don't smack your head on the blinds, and BING! You're up there! Easy peasy lemon squeezy."

It's been such a crazy week, filled with bouncing kittens (yes, I've removed the screen from the window...), and crazy work deadlines. I have to say - that's what has kept me busy most of the week. There was knitting. Oh yes. But most of it was of the "...not again...!" variety. Where you end up re-doing the same row/round/cable twist over and over and over again. So, I decided to keep it simple. I pulled out Sapporo, my long suffering (I seem to have a lot of those) Dale from eons ago, and just work on plain ol' stocking stitch. Lots of it. Not enough to start the patterning, but enough to keep me out of trouble. It's about all my frazzled brain could manage.

By next week...well, we'll see. I think I may have something of interest to show you. I just hope I can manage more than just plain stocking stitch this next week. :D

"Those people Mom works with are just not cool at all. Not cool. I oughta go straight over there and really give them a piece of my mind. Or not. I'm good here."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Princess Line

It's starting to look more Princessy.

It's not a particularly difficult pattern. Although ask me when I'm duplicate stitching whether I still think so...

(Question: Do I do the duplicate stitching before or after blocking?)

I like that you can look up from your knitting and realize - hey! I've completed over 40 rows! That's one quarter of the chart! It's actually starting to look like something now. And it's much more interesting. I'm starting to feel more comfortable with the charts. The secret really is making sure you're lining up your current row with the previous one. Also, there are areas that duplicate the same stitch pattern as the row below. So, it's not been too bad. The jury is still out on the yarn though. I certainly has a lot of pop, but it's pretty springy. I'm used to good 2-ply Shetland wool. This seems a bit more "processed", and has more bounce back than I'd like. Anyway, I guess what matters is the final product, and I'm very intrigued at how it's turning out.

I'm only getting a couple of days or so a week in though, and that's usually on the weekends. At the end of the work day (at least these past couple of weeks), I've been too tired to concentrate on the chart. And of course, if Malcolm is extending the Kitty Post-Dinner Witching Hour, I tend to not be able to get much in.

"Uh huh. So what else did the vet say?"

"Um, something about how I have to drop these baby teeth first, then she told Mom I'd be good to go. But I don't know where. And that they're definitely there. Whatever they are."

"Oh. Well. Looks like you'll being singing soprano soon."

"Really?!! Is that fun? Will I like singing soprano, Gandalf?!!"

"It's a gas, kid."

The boy had his last booster shot on Friday. He wasn't able to get them all at once - when they gave him his first round in November, he was so tired afterwards for 24 hours that he barely ate. So, we decided that for his boosters, he'd get them one at a time. Much like Gandalf, he's not phased by the vet's office. He doesn't much like getting poked at, but he doesn't mind being in the carrier, or in the office. He'll be going in for his neutering in February, but first, his baby teeth need to fall out. His adult teeth are already in, and the baby ones are about to fall out. Once they do, he's good to go.

"Guess it's about time I have the Talk with the boy."

"What we gonna talk about, Big Daddy?!!"

"Girls and stuff."

"Oooo, girls are groooooooss!! Except Mae! They have cooties and Gandalf says they can be really moody and stuff."

When Chris was visiting last September, she commented that Malcolm is a bit of a drama queen. That he is. He will whine and whine until one of the other guys gives in to him - usually it's to take over a sleeping spot. Mae is the only one who rarely gives in. He doesn't seem to mind. She can be so crabby with him, it amazes me when I turn around and see scenes like this.

"Well. I suppose it could be worse. Don't know how, but it could."


Deep down, WAY deep down, Mae knows he's a sweet boy.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Well Hello There!

What do we have here??!

Why, it's a COMPLETED St. Aula! Finished yesterday, and blocking in the photo above. I will take a nicer picture once it's dry, but I really wanted to show her off. I couldn't be happier!

Those familiar with the design will probably wonder about a missing piece - the hood. I was never 100% sure I would add the hood. Luckily, it's the last piece to be worked, and I had already completed the neckline when I decided to give it a go. I worked a few inches of it, and then pinned it to the neckline. It fit fine, however I found it to be a bit bulky around the neck. As I was not blessed with a long, graceful neck, I decided that having the bulk of the hood under my chin would not look particularly flattering. Not to mention how hot it would end up being. So, hoodless it is.

So, here are some of the details - St. Aula from Virtual Yarns, size Small, knit on 4mm needles. I used Mara as my primary colour, and Machair as the pattern colour. This was not a difficult project at all. Only 2 colours were used throughout, and the chart was only 12 stitches. The one thing I did not like, and really, it's my own issue, was knitting the sleeves on DPNs. It made for a cumbersome knit, and made the whole sweater far too attractive to the Little Dudes. They just loved all these flying parts and needles... Anyway, as I said, that was just my own pet peeve. But, if you do your colourwork sleeves on DPNs, and plan on knitting St. Aula, you may want to learn the 2 circular or magic loop method for them. Just sayin'.

And! That's not all I've been working on.

Doesn't look like much now... It's my selection for the "Knit a Norwegian" KAL that Lorraine and Jewel are hosting in Ravelry. The guidelines are - knit a Norwegian-designed sweater, with traditional Norwegian methods (so, knitting without add-in steeks, for example). I've chosen to knit the "Princess Line" sweater from the book Norsstrikkedesign, mainly because this KAL was not limited to just Dale of Norway designs, and I had the yarn in my stash. This Norwegian (because I just can't give myself a break), is a doosy, and I don't anticipate a quick finish on this one. A thing I like about working from this book? They don't sugar-coat the instructions. It's simply "cast on X, work this sequence, decrease Y on your last round, and then work the chart for your size. Oh, and don't forget to decrease and increase as indicated on the chart." Which is the way I like my patterns to be. A thing I don't like about this book? The charts are TORTURE. This particular design features all-over patterning, and unlike Fair Isle, it does not repeat every X stitches. So, the entire chart for the entire sweater (back and front are alike) fits on less than one page. Enlarge it you say? I've tried, and it's not really working out. Not to mention that the charts are in colour. So. Whatever. I'll figure something out as I go along.

"Hey Mae? You awake?"

"*sigh* I am. I wasn't, but I am now."

"Mom sure gets chatty when it comes to knitting! Do you think she'll teach me to knit?!"

"I thought you wanted to do taekwondo?"

"Yeah. That too, but knitting looks cool! It's all pointy sticks and swearing!!!"

There was a brief incident when I turned my back for 15 seconds, and came back to Malcolm going to town on poor Princess Line. Fortunately, it was early on, but I still had to rip back around 5 rounds of ribbing (or 1500 stitches, as Carrie pointed out...) in order to get all the pulled stitches back in line.

One thing I can absolutely guarantee you though. Atticus will not be using Princess Line as a blanket should it happen to fall to the floor.

"I hear a buzzing. Or is that a voice? You want me to what? Move? I don't think so."

My poor Central Park Hoodie fell off it's hook. If a sweater falls in the hall - Atticus will definitely hear it.

If it weren't for the ear sticking out at the bottom of the picture, you'd probably have no clue what the picture is of.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year!

Here's to happy, healthy and successful 2010!

The Little Dudes want you to be as relaxed and happy as they are, and as content in your home as they are in theirs.

I'm looking forward to a year full of new knitting experiences, and plenty of finished pieces... More on that next week.

In the meantime - we here wish all our friends everywhere the best year ever in 2010!

"Happy New Year everybody! Thanks for making me feel so welcome!"

"What's your resolution, kiddo?"

"Atticus, I'm gonna do my best to try and not play with poop. I don't think Mom likes it very much."

"I don't think anyone does. Dude, that's just gross."

"Well, what's your resolution then, Big Daddy?"

"I have none. You know, at 11, I'm pretty happy with my life, so it's all good. I thought about maybe exercising more, but nah. I'm good."