Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's a boy!

The recipient of Grover made his entrance into the world yesterday afternoon- I guess blue was a lucky choice! Mad props to the proud new parents of Ross Michael. Now I just hope the sweater fits, because Ross weighed in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, which is unbelievable to me, because his mom is a wee tiny thing.

Here's what I've been up to:
beginnings of bijou

This is the Bijou scarf from Morehouse Farms that Jill sent. The pattern is so simple that it's genius- just an increase at the beginning and a decrease at the end of every other row, which forms a nifty parallelogram. So easy, yet I'd have never thought of it, because I'm no genius. I did start this a few times with the recommended size 11 needle, and I thought it looked a little sloppy, so I dropped down to a size 10 and increased the cast-on by four stitches, and am very pleased with the way it is turning out. I'm also knitting a bit here and there on fiance's socks, and I'm fairly close to the heel turn, so that's exciting. We'll be having houseguests this weekend for the holiday, so I probably won't have a lot of time to knit, unfortunately. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Me + pattern re-working = no good

I sat down on Tuesday for one frustrating hour, trying to re-write the pattern for the Fiery Bolero to use the Cotton Fleece yarn and realized that I am no good at revising patterns. So I did it. I ordered the Cathay. I thought the red looked a little too fiery, so I was about to order the black when I thought, "What the hell. If I'm splurging on yarn, I might as well order a real color, right?" So I ordered the very pretty teal blue. I am anxious to see/try this yarn. I'm normally a cheap yarn ho, and the last time that I splurged on some cotton and silk blend yarn (Rowan Summer Tweed), I absolutely loathed the yarn by the time I was done knitting with it and I never wear the tank I knitted it into. I really love this sweater, so I am hoping that doesn't happen this time.

Last night was Knitting Meetup- here's a shot of the crew:

talkin' and knittin'
from l-r: Jane, Mary Ann, Nicole, Lori, Michelle, Connie, Linda

Knitting was done, conversations were had- it was a great time, as always. I worked on the Morehouse scarf kit (thanks again Jill!) but was running my mouth way too much and ended up with some very sloppy knitting, so I think I will re-start that today.

I'll leave you with a link to the Retail Alphabet Game, which really was harder than I thought it would be. I scored as follows: v.1: 10; v.2: 15; v.3: 13; v.4: 10.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Grover, c'est fini!

I present, the Grover:

very blue, very grover

That's a baby sweater and (too cute!) socks knit in Shepherd Colour 4 Me, color 1879 (which appears to be discontinued), using a fabulous pattern designed by Carole Barenys and an equally fabulous pattern by Dilys Sutherland. This is the second time that I have used the sweater pattern, and I just love it. It's written very clearly and has minimal finishing, which is the best part about it!

For my next trick, I will be attempting Debbie Bliss's Fiery Bolero pattern from Interweave Knits Summer 2005 in Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece:

doesn't the model look like she's having fun?

I say attempting, because the pattern will need a little re-writing to use with the Cotton Fleece (which has been languishing in my stash) instead of the recommended Debbie Bliss Cathay. I've never tried to re-write a pattern before, so it should be interesting! I'm also still working away on the socks for fiance. I was going to swatch the Koigu for some socks for myself also, but I'm putting that on hold to start this:

wouldn't you be happy if you found this in your mailbox?

That's a Bijou scarf kit in Morehouse Merino, sent to me by the lovely Jill at Purl Up With a Good Yarn for being the 500th comment on her site. Thanks Jill- I absolutely love the color (very similar to the Cotton Fleece) and can't wait to start on this! I'm constantly wearing a scarf at work because it is always so cold in our office, and this will make a nice light summer scarf for the office. You're the best! I'd love to get together sometime to knit and talk to you about London and what to do there (fiance and I are going to England for our honeymoon in October).

Monday, May 09, 2005

Oooooo, jealousy..

To borrow from a Natalie Merchant song, I am waiting here, green with envy, to read everyone's posts on Maryland Sheep and Wool. I consoled (ha!) myself by doing yardwork this weekend and hanging our new porch swing, which I am in love with. By the time I got to sit down and enjoy said porch swing and get some knitting time in for the weekend, I was so exhausted that the gentle swaying-clicking was putting me right to sleep. Needless to say, there wasn't much knitting done this weekend. I am working on an accompaniment to Grover, which should be ready to block in a day or so.

Waiting for good sheep and yarn stories...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Hello, Koigu!

What to do on a dreary Saturday in Pittsburgh? Why, take a tiny road-trip to a yarn store you've never been to before, that's what. I know it's sad and pathetic, but, being an East Hills girl, I confess that I'm scared to drive in the North Hills. Just thinking of McKnight Road gives me the chills. So, I talked fiance into driving me to Dyed in the Wool to check it out for the first time. To my delight, I found this:
just lovely

Koigu!! They also carry Lorna's Laces yarn, and I had a very difficult time deciding between the two. I decided that it would be good motivation to finish a pair of Koigu socks if I knew that my reward could be to go back to get some Shepherd Sock when I was done. I loved this shop, and I enjoyed chatting with the very friendly owner, Carol, for a bit. She carries a lot of yarns that the other LYSs that I frequent do not and she happily winds yarn into balls for you! The best part is that fiance (who grew up in the N. Hills vicinity) showed me a way to get there that entirely avoids McKnight road. Woo!

With Lori's assistance, I started on the lace scarf last week. I don't know about this yarn with this pattern (Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud). Lori's is beautiful:
see, I told you she was good

And mine just looks like a big mess:

Maybe if I switched to a smaller needle it would look better- I don't know. I am going to finish at least two repeats and then decide whether or not to rip it out and try a different yarn, or try this yarn with a different needle size and/or pattern. The good thing is that the pattern is relatively simple, as Lori assured me, even though I was way intimidated by it at first.

Yesterday, I decided that I must finish Grover once and for all, so I spent my lunch hour finishing the second sleeve, only to realize that I started the decreases and garter stitch at the end of the sleeves on the top of the sleeve, instead of on the underside, as I did with sleeve #1. I spent my bus ride home ripping that and a little time last night re-knitting, so I am so, so close to finishing. I plan on finishing the last rows and binding off today, then I thought I would weave in the ends and sew on the buttons, but lo, the buttons that I purchased a few weeks back have magically disappeared. Sigh.