Thursday, February 28, 2008

A New Addition

Look what Mr. UPSman (Mr. Postman's cousin) brought me today? Isn't it lovely?

My mother turned me on to sewing when I was around 14 years old. I still remember the very first outfit her and I made together. It was a sleeveless pull-up pant jumpsuit with a matching shirt to wear underneath. The fabric was sky blue and had what looked like wide brush strokes of different colored paint on it. The shirt was pink. It was a perfect summer outfit. Oh that was so many years ago.

Anyway, one Christmas 22 years ago both Mary Beth and I received our very own sewing machines from mom and dad. I remember I was a little disappointed when I opened it because I had secretly thought it was a stereo system I had been wanting. Well I have treasured my very first White sewing machine for all these years. I have gotten all the use I could possibly get out of that machine.

Last fall my machine finally went caput! I was devastated because I never thought the day would come (btw it came at the worst time, because I had just sat down to hem my girlfriend's pants - which she ended up having to take them to the taylor). I think if I took it in to be serviced it probably could be revived.

I knew I wanted to upgrade my sewing machine over the past few months but was not in a big rush to purchase one. It wasn't a must-have-right-now item. Well, the other day Mary Beth emailed me a site that was carrying this machine and at a fantastic price. MB told me that the White 3100 Computer Style-Maker is actually a discontinued model and this site was one of the only places still selling them. I took one look at the information she sent me. Saw everything it came with in the box (and let me tell you - IT COMES WITH EVERYTHING). Took one look at the price. Immediately proceeded to checkout!!! Two days later I got my package.

I am very excited about my new machine! I can't wait to get sewing again. I have an unfinished Christmas Tree Skirt that I started for myself 13 years ago (something I have made many of as gifts and finally wanted to make one for myself. Uhhh mommy if you are reading this could I possible borrow the Christmas Tree pattern you bought? Mine has gone MIA). My divorce and move to NYC (12 years ago) put all sewing/crafts on the back burner for a very long time. Not anymore! I am back to adding sewing to my crafty repertoire!

Can't wait to start playing with my new toy. I've already leafed through the manual and it does so many things that I can't imagine learning to use it all!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A FO Wrap Committment

Look what I finished yesterday? After weeks of it lurking in my knitting bag I finally committed myself to finishing the Peapod Baby Set. During my quiet time yesterday morning at work, I got out all the necessary tools to sew in the sleeves. Amazingly it didn't take me long, especially with the excellent lighting here in the office. The sleeves probably took me no more than 30 minutes.

I didn't have much to finish on the hat. I had to work the Leaf Lace Finishing chart and decrease. All was going well until I finished the chart and had already worked a good deal of the decreases. This is when I noticed a mistake I had made with the decreases. I was too far along to rip out so I made it work for me. But in my mind this hat is a total Fudge Up. Ahhh well at least I can say it is finally done. The buttons need to be sewed on though. Last night I couldn't find my sewing kit so for the picture I just placed the buttons where they will be.

Sunday night I decided to pick Juno Regina Wrap up for a little bonding time. Majority of the charts for this knit consist of 10 rows each. I am currently up to chart 3 and as of last night (not reflected in this picture) I had worked the 3rd of 4 chart repeats. This knit is actually going really really well. The saving grace on this knit is the stitch markers. I move them as I need to as I knit and this is what is making it move faster for me now. I am loving how it is working up.

So as of Sunday night I told myself that I would commit myself to doing at least 10 rows of knitting on it every night. This is very doable for me.

There is only one thing that I really don't like. Look closely at the color of yarn. Now look even closer at the color of my interchangeable needles. What do you see? Yes folks. It just so happens that the color of my needles matches exactly to the dark green color in the yarn. It didn't really sink in until Sunday night when I was having a little trouble seeing the yarn on my needles. I can't wait to get myself the Knit Picks Options needles!

Stay tuned guys. I'm gonna have a little surprise for ya maybe tomorrow evening, but should definitely be by Friday!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Little Tilt

Here is my latest endeavour. The Interweave Knits "Tilted Duster" (Fall 07). I was surfing Ravelry last week and spotted this queued on a members list and immediately became intrigued. Usually when this happens I know I am going to be knitting it.

So I called out to my peeps, Shameka and Kim, to see if either one of them had the magazine because somehow, I missed this one in the store. They both came to the rescue, but it was Shamaka who I got the magazine from the fastest. Perks of working with her.

The yarn called for in this pattern is Berroco Peruvia. I was looking on one of my favorite online yarn stores ( to see the color choices and cost. I was going to wait to purchase the yarn but I had a free shipping coupon that was about to expire and I just couldn't let that happen. My colorway choice was Caliente. It is hot hot hot. I felt like I wanted a red to make me feel all alive! I think if you enlarge the picture you'll be able to see the pink heather of this yarn.

On Sunday I did my gauge swatch to make sure I had the proper needles for the project. It was perfecto!

I've been busy on other knitting fronts so I don't feel bad for starting the sweater back last night. This will be my portable knitting until I get to the skirt. Don't worry. There are some FOs that will be making an appearance soon and good progress on another project. Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sleeving Through The Snow

When I opened my front door on Friday morning this is what I saw. Those are the steps leading up from my apartment. I quickly captured a picture of the perfect snow on the top step before my landlord decided to get out the shovel. This would have been the perfect day to stay in bed with a good book and some knitting. Unfortunately I had errands to run in the city.

Oh I bundled myself up nice and toasty warm and braved the city for a couple of hours. It snowed/sleeted all day long and I believe we ended up with 6-9 inches total. One of my errands took me up to the Road Runners club to pick up race numbers for the Saturday morning "Al Gordon Snowflake 4 Mile Race". How perfect that it decided to snow for this race. However, when I got to the club they informed everyone that because of the weather the race was turned into a fun run. Meaning it wasn't going to be a timed run.

Therefore on Saturday morning we didn't head into the city (all the way up to 102nd Street) to particpate in the fun run. Instead we ran in Astoria Park in my neighborhood. I have to tell ya'll. This was the first time I have ever run in snow/ice covered surfaces. What a workout! The majority of my 4.5 mile run was done in the street around the park but some of it had to be done on the sidewalks. That is where the roughness came in. While I didn't have and slips or falls, my muscles definitely feel the workout today. It's amazing how a slight difference in terrain can work one's muscles differently.

I did manage to get some knitting in this weekend. Here is Knitty Thermal's Sleeve #1. In this picture the sleeve is not yet complete. However, as of an hour ago it is off the needles with the ends woven in. I managed to finish it off while watching one of my Netflix movies. I actually thought I would have finished it yesterday when I put in "Letters From Iwo Jima", however, that movie was subtitled. Duh! I had no idea. So of course no knitting was accomplished for those 2 hours and 20 minutes. I haven't quite mastered knitting, watching a movie and reading subtitles all at the same time.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hanging Around

Well I did say the other day that I would be getting some Knitty Thermal knitting action going. After reviewing my list of things to do with my sister on Sunday, I had mentioned working on Thermal. So I couldn't come through, right?

As you can see Thermal is now hanging around on a hanger. I only had three short-rows to work before the 3 needle bind-off. It didn't take me long. I just needed to do it while I was bright eyed and bushy tailed. What I love about it all being attached is that I could try it on. I was very happy with it. This sweater is actually going to fit me nicely. I'm so excited.

Another goal on my Sunday list of "To Do's" was to start the sleeves. Since I didn't have size 2 dpns I decided to use the 2 circ method of knitting them. I am only knitting one sleeve at a time so I am kinda dreading the extra time it will take to knit the second one, but I think it will go pretty fast. I know if I taught myself the Magic Loop method I probably could have done both at the same time. Maybe next time.

This picture is of my sleeve as it stood last night. I actually had about 20 more rows done than what you see here. One thing with the pattern is your kinda on your own in trying to figure out a few things. It doesn't tell you how they want you to continue in the waffle pattern after you increased by 2 stitches. So I did my own thing because the pattern needed to stay straight going up the sleeve. However, when I stopped on Sunday I didn't like how it was looking on the inside of the sleeve. I had 3 purl and 3 knit stitches together. Instead of in 2's. I know that means nothing to ya'll who haven't done this pattern. Anyhoo, I decided I really didn't like it yesterday and frogged those rows. I'm back to square one (almost) and now that I know in my mind how I want to handle the increases and keep the pattern going straight up the arm, I'm sure it will fly on my needles.

BTW, I know many who think the yarn I am using is pink, but it is actually burgundy. I know the flash can make it look pink. I think the picture of the sleeve portrays the real color. At least it does on my computer.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Instant Gratification

Several years ago I had come across 8 washcloth patterns written by (???), ummm, well I'll have to get back to you on who wrote them because I don't seem to have the patterns here with me. Anyway, they were knitted in Euroflax Linen. I was dying to make them. At the time I purchased all this yarn that you see below, it was hard to find it anywhere. So I bought several skeins in pretty pretty colors. You can get two washcloths from one skein. Please note that this pile of stash doesn't represent all the skeins. I have a total of 2 yellows and 2 whites. I didn't see the need to put them in the picture. Also, the lilac on is a second skein too. I didn't use this one up in making the washcloths in this post. So indeed, that's alot of linen. What was I thinking all those years ago?

Needless to say that in my inexperienced knitting days I only made one washcloth out of the dark blue yarn. I wasn't totally impressed with how it came out but had started another one in the lilac. That one never got finished and it and all the yarn was forever buried in my stash. That is until last week.

I didn't have any portable knitting projects on my needles (all current projects too big now to bring to work) so I wasn't getting as much knitting done as I usually do. After two weeks of reading books during my down time at work, I decided I needed to start something that wouldn't take forever and would give me some instant gratification.

So here we are....

The washcloth on the left is the Basket Weave Washcloth. I started that on 2/11/08 and completed it on 2/13/08. The one on the right is the Tile Washcloth. I started that on 2/13/08 and completed it on 2/15/08. What is nice about the linen is that it is machine washable and dryable.

Last but not least, I received my Hat of Death on Friday evening. Here it is:

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hat O' Death

My weapon was completed. It was loaded. It was mailed. All on Saturday.

The pattern was released to all of us "Hat Attackers" at 9am EST. I myself took my time in plunging into the creation of my weapon. I first went to the gym and returned at 9:30am. I then casually printed the pattern and gave it a quick perusal (as any other assassin professional would do). At that moment I realized I needed fuel before hunkering down to my task. With my hunger being satisfied, at 10:20am I focused all of my attention to the pattern, my needles and yarn.

I ended up documenting the completion of my task by photographing the weapon with a watch every so often. This being the scrapbooker coming out in me. I won't bore you with those photos and just get to the final product.

Completed Weapon Stats...

Pattern: Binary Cabled Hat (pattern will be available to the public after Hat Attack is over)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (1/2 skein)
Needles: Size 6 and 8
Time Started: 2/9/08 10:20am
Time Finished: 2/9/08 2:04pm (mailed shortly thereafter)

Now I am in the waiting game to see when my assassin will strike. I fear it will be soon. Very soon. On my assassin's Ravelry page, she don's a completed weapon. Hmmm. At least I know I struck my target before my demise. Muuuaaaahhhhh!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Hello! Hello??? Helllllllooooooo?!?!?!?

"I'm sorry I can't come to the phone, or blogland, right now. I am currently in the middle of a huge assignment that is labeled TOP PRIORITY. So please leave a message and I'll get back to you as soon as I possible!"

Yes that right folks. I am going to be busy busy busy knitting tomorrow! As you can see by the photo in this post, I am armed (and dangerous, watch out target).

A couple of weeks ago I let Kim and Shameka talk me into participating in Hat Attack with them. Of course, they didn't have to talk to much, or twist my arm. I knew I wanted to join in on the fun but just didn't sign up until they gave me the nudge.

All of the assassins received their target today! I was so excited when I opened up the list to see who had who. In this 9 page PDF list, all the assassins where listed in alpha order by our Ravelry ID's. The targets were listed in no particular order next to their assassins. Want to hear something funny? Kim came very close to being my assassin! Out of over 400 participants, my name on the target side was located 1 name away from hers. Too bad. She joked about being able to deliver her hat to either myself or Shameka at lunch one day. That would have been too funny!

The hat pattern is being realeased to all participants at 9am tomorrow morning!!! Hmmmm, gotta get to the gym early early early so I'll be pumped and ready to knit knit knit.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Go Ahead...

So I have to first thank my big sister, Mary Beth, and Misa for tagging me with "You Make My Day" award. I know I am a few days late for acknowledging this from my sister, but it seems like everything is running late or slower for me these days. But alas, I am now thanking you both for making my day with this. You both certainly have put a smile on my face and I do so thoroughly enjoy reading ya'lls blogs on a daily basis! So thank you both!!!

Now I have to tag a few others with this award.

1. Mary Beth and 2. Misa - I know I'm not suppose to tag you back but like I said, you both make my day when I read the latest on your blogs. Mary Beth, you are the best sister I could ever have. I love that we keep each other motivated in our love of the crafts we do. I am going to catch up to you on the Scrapbook pages by the way.

3. Shameka - Thank you for introducing me to the blogging world. After months of reading yours, I was excited to finally launch mine. You're a great friend that I know I can always count on in life.

4. Lisa - You are the best friend I could have. I was thrilled when you joined the blogging world with us. Hooray for you for picking the task of learning to knit back up this past fall. You've come a long way in these few months and I am very proud of you and what you have accomplished.

5. Kim - If you hadn't spoken to me that day at lunch I never would have had the opportunity to get to know you the way I have. I absolutely love reading your blog because I know I will generally read something to make me laugh my butt off or just simply put a smile on my face. I am glad I can consider you one of my friends. I know you've been tagged but I had to do it again.

6. Paula - You were my SP11 Spoilee and I am thrilled to have been able to experience the Secret Pal adventure with you. I never know what I will find on your blog and I always look forward to the surprise. You are very talented in your craftiness and inspire me to want to working on the sewing machine more. I also love the pictures you post of your doggies and horses.

7. Marsha - You spoiled me rotten in SP11 and I thank you so much. I couldn't believe the amount of things we had in common and am thrilled to consider you a blogging friend. I am proud of you for picking up some of those long ago unfinished knitting objects in your quest to move them to the FO list.

8. Becky (aka Sophanne) - You crack me up all the time. I enjoy going to your blog because I can practically be guaranteed a laugh and get a smile on my face. I love reading about your students with the things that come out of the precious mouths. Your Knit Knight is always an adventure and of course reading about your knitting endeavour's is always interesting. Thanks for putting a smile on my face.

9. Deb (aka Chappysmom) - You are someone that faithfully posts practically every day. I know I can always count on you to provide a wide variety of reading material on your blog and I love it. I enjoy reading about your spinning because I think that one day if I took up spinning maybe I could be half as good at it as you are. I also love all of Chappy's involvement in your blog too!

10. Risa (aka One Crazy Fiber Lady) - As with some of the other blogs I read, you are one that I never really know what I may read on your blog and it's always a nice little surprise when I arrive at your blogs door. I have enjoyed watching all your lovely projects progress, and have even been inspired to knit something for myself after seeing it on your blog. I also have to say that I absolutely love your cats! The pics you post of them always makes me laugh, smile and wish I could have one myself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Slow Going

Well I still haven't been really doing any knitting, but I have been reading about knitting! That counts for something right? When I put in my book requests at my local library the other week I decided to check this one out, The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. I have to say that I am truly loving it. I am loving it so much that I am almost done with it. It is a good read and it is more than about knitting. I saw Julia Roberts on Oprah Winfrey a few months back and she is suppose to be starring in the movie. I know the movies aren't usually as good as the book, but I would definitely go see this one with my girlfriends.

Sunday I competed in my first road race of the year. It was only a four miler, but it definitely felt good to get back into the competitive racing with all the other runner fanatics in New York. I am proud of myself for completing the four miles in a little over 42 minutes. I have been trying to get myself back into the running form I use to be in and racing again will definitely assist in my efforts.

I'm also doing really well with the Weight Watchers online. I have been following the points system for 3 weeks now and have lost a total of 8 pounds. Woo Hoo! I would highly recommend Weight Watchers to anyone who struggles with trying to eat healthy. I always knew what I needed to do for exercising but the eating right was always my issue. Now with the help of the points plan, I am eating so much better and feel so much better.

I did mention earlier that I haven't been really knitting. Well last night I made it a point to sit down with my Juno Regina Wrap. Considering this is a lace project, it is slow going. I can only work on it when I am totally alone and can concentrate. I did manage to complete 8 rows of it before I got too tired. When it progresses a little more I'll post an updated picture.