Tuesday, May 30, 2006

TurtleGirl RULES!

Thanks to TurtleGirl going over my template code about a billion times, the bugs have finally been mostly worked out. She is awesome. I hereby declare May 30th TurtleGirl Appreciation Day! In her honor you must go to your template, copy the entire thing into a text document and update it whenever you change your template so that she never has to go through the aggravation I just put her through again.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

I fucked up.

I was talking on the phone, updating flickr, trying to IM while dealing with my four year old, and messing with my template. I didn't have a back up, at least I can't find it. So here we are in the black. I fucked up all my customization and had to start over. PLEASE back up your blogs! Learn from my mistake.

I'm going to go cry now.

Calling Cthulhu fans

I was goofing around with charts for a fair isle yoked sweater I intend to create and ended up wasting a BUNCH of time on the fair isle chart you see in this post. Yep, it's Cthulhu. Believe it or not this rudimentary chart took some doing. Following the standard rule of not floating a carry for more than five stitches made this endevour very nearly impossible. Finally I got the idea to add some symbol or other from the Lovecraftian universe and came across this one which lent itself well to the chart. The (I think it's the swastika type symbol used to keep the Old Ones away) dot in the center can be done with a bead or french knot. I like it with the lighter colored stripe so that it looks like a more traditional fair isle design but do with it as you wish. Happy minioning! @E

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Monday, May 22, 2006

I'm no Wendy

I rarely post pictures of myself because I rarely look as good as I do even in the picture you see right there. As I flit around looking at the blogs of others I often see pictures of people posing in their brand new FOs or participating in Self Portrait Tuesday and I'm always stoked to see that the people I feel like I know. So I'm going to make more of an effort to post pictures of myself even though I hate how I look in pictures and I don't have HWWV* (see Knit and Tonic) to snap elegant photos of me.

I'm no Wendy but I'm not Phyllis Diller either and she let people take pictures of her.

I have a date tonight, hence the Rosie the Riveter meets Aunt Jemima look I've got going on, got to keep the pin curls tidy while they dry. Actually, the photo is from last week but I look the same today so there was no need to snap another, let's not go crazy here. Red Todd Kidd and I are going out on the town. "On a Monday?" you ask. Why yes, on a Monday. You see I've got something special planned and it's a one night only event so we're going out on a Monday even though it's Lola Bean's birthday today. I figure, she's two, she doesn't know. Plus we're giving her a party on Saturday. Not to mention I'm the one who actually did all the work when she was born anyway.

I wonder how the whole birthday thing got started anyway. If you think about it it should really be kids doing something nice for their mothers on the anniversary of their birth not the other way around. I guess that's the nature of motherhood though, just keep on giving, right?

So here I sit, listening to the kids play while watching Dora the Epileptic Fit Causer, thinking about the knitting and laundry I have to do while I wait for my pin curls to dry. Is it 1943 in here or is it just me?

*This is no way a Wendy slam, I love Wendy and read her blog every chance I get. While I may be jealous of her thin, blonde, fabulousness I still think she's the greatest thing since knitblogging.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Too many appendages!

(As always, you can click on the pictures for larger views. This is especially helpful for the close up of the wings and stinger.)
The ever versatile Kate pattern has yeilded yet another interesting toy at my house: a bumble bee. The main thing I learned from this experience is that insects have too many appendages and I won't be doing that again. I mean, finishing sucks why would I want to add MORE things to sew on? I suppose we all know the answer to that: the extreme cuteness!

I intended to give this to Miss Beans for her birthday but when I finished it I set it down and Darth gave it to her. He was trying to be nice which was especially sweet since he's got the chicken pox right now(yes he had the vaccine and I'm gld because his case is WAY mild because of it), so I didn't have a fit about it. In any case she seems to like it so who cares if she got it a week early, right?

Okay by now you're wondering what yarn I used and what changes I made right? Here's the scoop:

-Caron Simply Soft in Black and Caron Simply Soft Brites in Lemonade (I made a Tychus with the same two skeins of yarn and there's STILL leftovers enough for at least one more Kate).
-Clover bamboo DPNs in size 7US, if I did another I'd even go down one more size to make the fabric that much tighter.
-For the stinger and antennae you'll also need some size 3US needles.
-No changes to the basic body of the pattern other than not doing as many colors in the stripes.
-The legs and arms are also done as the pattern calls for with the exception of the stripes on the arms and the fact that there's two extra arms to make.
-The antennae are done by doing a simple I-cord. With size 3 needles cast on 3 sts, knit across. *Slide sts to other end of needle, pull yarn tightly across the back and knit across. Repeat from *8 more times. On next row set up as before but k into fron and back of each st. Break yarn and using a large needle thread end through the sts and pull tightly. Secure as you se fit. I threaded the yarn down through the antenna and used it plus the cast on strand to secure it to the head of the toy.
-For the stinger cast on 8 sts over 3 needles (use your size 3s again!), join to knit in the round and k 2 rnds. (On the next rnd dec 1 st at beg of 1st needle, knit to end of rnd. K 1 rnd plain. Next rnd K to second needle, dec 1 st at beg of second needle K to end of rnd.) K one rnd plain. Next rnd K to third needle dec 1 st at beg of third needle. K one round plain. Repeat section in ( ). When you have 5sts you can put them on 1 needle like I-cord if you like. When you get to the last 3 sts slip 1, K2tog, psso. Break yarn and slip end though loop and pull tight to finish it should create a nice point. You can weave the end through the stinger as for the antennae. Stuff the stuinger with a bit of stuffing to help keep its shape. I used my size 7 needle to get the stuffing down into the point.
-For the wings cast on 14sts and join to knit in the round. K 2 rnds plain. On the next rnd *inc 1 sts, k7 repeat from *. Knit one rnd plain. Next rnd *inc 1 sts, k8 repeat from *. K 4 rnds plain. On next rnd K2tog around. Break yarn and thread through sts, pull tight and secure. Flatten out wings with the incs on edges. Using your contrasting yarn sew the wings flat. I also secured the wings to each other before sewing them onto the body but that's up to you.

If you have any trouble with my directions feel free to contact me or make up your own!

(This post brought to you by the : )

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Monday, May 15, 2006

I did it!

I got those Jaywalkers finished, washed, blocked, and wrapped on time! Ah sweet victory, how I love you.

Red Todd Kidd snapped a few pics of them for me before I wrapped them up and sent them on their way so I'm sharing those with you. No, I didn't cut my hair, it's just pulled back.

We had a very nice day yesterday. Carne Asada, Pacifico, homemade rice, and refried beans. It was also RTK's sister's birthday (it was actually on the third but we celebrated it yesterday) so my MIL made cupcakes. It's funny because I'm doing cupcakes for Lola Beans' birthday party in two weeks. Are they the new black or something? I haven't decided on what flavors yet so if anyone has a recipie to suggest I'd be happy to hear it. Oops, got off the subject.

Anyway, we had a nice day. Red Todd Kidd got me way too many presents but I'm not complaining! My favorite of the gifts was my very own copy of the book The Princess Bride. I'm so excited! I can't wait to read it with the kids. If you've never read it I suggest you go out and get a copy. There's more background to the characters than the movie provides and it will make you love the movie even more.

Man, now I wan to knit Andre! Well, that's going into the queue (Has a UK knitty infected my brain? That just came right out...) for a bit since I should be getting the pattern for my sweater today!

I placed a Knit Picks order last week and should be here today. I ordered two books, a pattern, and a sweater stone. That's right, no yarn. I knew if I ordered yarn I'd HAVE to cast on with it. I was being good... I was being stupid wasn't I? Oh well, it's done now!

Just Crumbs and the sarf for Uncle Elvis to finish and then I can do what I want. Namely, my sweater. I can't wait.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You know what I need? A project.

Yeah, you're going to want to click on that to make it bigger. Please. You see, I've worked so long and hard on that sock and now I'm worried that it won't fit. It may be too long. It could be too tight. It's (and it's soon to be buddy) for my MIL and it really has to be right. Not because she's an exacting tyrant (you're thinking of your MIL) but because for her birthday last year I gave her a vest that was too small but that she really liked. The yarn was discontinued and I've never gotten gauge with anything I've tried. I know I should just alter the pattern but since it was such a boring knit I'd really rather find something else . I've just felt terrible that I haven't made it up to her and it's been over a year. Let's not even get started on the cableknit sweater my mom requested. Anyone else feel like a walking apology?

Then of course there's my favorite pattern ever: Crumbs. It's coming along but every time I pick it up I just want to rip the whole damn thing out and start fresh with my very own pattern. I'm very seriously considering writing a pattern (or rather a formula that can be easily adjusted for any size) for a top/dress that is strikingly similar but different enough that I wouldn't infringe on the copyright. If I do that, it will be a free pattern that I'll post here on the blog. Any volunteer test knitters (for child and adult sizes)? If I have test knitters willing to allow me to use pics of their projects once finished, I'd be able to offer the pattern much sooner. Like, in time for summer soon.

My newest project that's due at the end of the month is this. I know it looks like a swatch but it's bulky yarn and it'll be a scarf before you know it. It's for my uncle, Elvis*, who has a bad bout of bronchitis. He lives up in the Bay area (San Francisco, Oakland) and works a job where he has to be out of doors a great deal. As Mark Twain said, "There's no colder winter than summer in San Francisco." Hopefully this scarf will help him get well and stay that way. It is alpaca after all. Anyway, Uncle Elvis and Aunt Ivanna are going to be coming down for Lola Beans' birthday party so I want to have it ready then.

On top of these projects I also have my super secret Kate modification that's not quite done yet. It needs appendages and it has more than your standard mammal. Will I finish in time? I sure hope so! I've got a Knit Picks order coming with a pattern I adore and a book by EZ that has a sweater I want to modify. I've gone project MAD!

*As always the names of subjects are changed to reflect their true character, or because I felt like it.

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Monday, May 08, 2006

One sock down, bi-atch!

One Jaywalker is done and the second is on the needles. I should be working on it now but I haven't posted in over a week!

In my absence I've made progress on Crumbs as well, I'm in the skirt now and though it's slow going, it is going. Small favors, blah blah.

Okay I have to get a move on but Ill post something witty and worthwile tomorrow. Okay I can't make those promises but something will get posted tomorrow.

And coming soon: The Fourteen Feet of Fug takes a trip...

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