Tuesday, August 26, 2008

trying to find everyone else

As some of you may recall, I lost my phone a few weeks ago. I left it in the bathroom stall and when I went back, it was gone :( It wasn't returned despite me turning it off, reporting it as lost/stolen and texting myself to that effect. So I got a friend's old phone and now have a 'new' one to use.

Luckily, so I thought, I had my twice-removed phone, and pulled my much used numbers off of it and went on my merry way. Many of you may not have heard from me and it is because, as I am slowing finding out - most of my old numbers are WRONG!!! I keep calling and hearing that dismal tone followed by a 'this number is no longer in working order'. Or worse yet "Kathy? there's no Kathy here" - what do you mean no Kathy!?! she's had that number for years!! - I guess it was time to change eh?

So I'm sending out a small phone # roll call - I don't even know who really reads my blog - but if you do, and you think this is you (you should know because you haven't heard from me lately - I have been trying to call really!) send me an email with your # - or better yet - CALL ME!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

finishing the ravelympics!

I did it - just by a hair, and it's not blocked yet, but here's a quick shot of the Anouk for Gabriella:

I won't say I 'won a medal' but at least I competed and finished!!

I had a bit of trouble with the shoulders, and had just enough brown yarn for the side tabs, but it all worked out well. I was going to do the pockets, but decided the 'G' would be cuter. I'm thinking a small flower in the green on the upper left side might also be really cute. (If I want to add things afterwards, does that disqualify me in finishing?)
I'm just glad I got it done.

I had done the 'G' in lower case at first:

but decided a capital letter would look better and ripped it out. This one also had the tabs on the wrong side, but we won't dwell on that little detail.

Something I've definitely learned from this ravelympics is I'm not afraid to rip out my knitting. Might as well do it right - which if you know me, I don't think fits with my normal attitude - not that I don't like to do things right, but I'm usually pretty accepting of whatever and go with the flow. I'm not super particular about most things - my philosophy usually is, it'll be o.k., it'll work out - whatever, so it's funny to me that I am so fussy about my knitting.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

starting again

I've decided to rip out the Anouk and start again - it's the only thing for an Olympian to do right? It goes pretty quickly and the recipient's birthday is in a couple of days, so it's not like I'll make that deadline. I just want to get it done and send it out by the Olympics end.

I've also been distracted and playing with my new iTouch, and am addicted to FireDrop - I just want to get to level 15! Of course this does distract me a bit from my knitting, but I can't be knitting all the time. I've also added StitchMinder to my applications, and love it. It's a counter for your stitches, pattern rows and whatnot right on your iTouch - very handy. I haven't played with it enough to see if it will keep track of multiple projects but if so that would make it even better!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

with her goggles full of water

There's been a ... how do you say it - development in my ravelympics knitting and it's not a good one. I seem to have had some vision impairment while knitting, and I'm not doing as well as Michael Phelps did with the issue.

By Thursday night I had gotten this far with my Anouk:

and felt I was doing quite well. This is the front half, up to about the armpits, to be mirrored on the other side. Concerned that I would run out of the brown, I cast on for the back piece, to ensure I had enough to do the same amount on both sides. I did, just enough in fact, and last night I added the pink to the back and knit the night away while watching the men's volleyball, MP win his 7th medal by 1/100th and all was good.
Here's what I had accomplished by the end of the night:

This morning I went to show my Mike my progress. It was then that I saw I had been knitting without a clear picture of what I was doing. See anything wrong with these two lying side by side?

The one I worked on all night last night has at least 4 extra rows in the brown! ARRRGGG! I know I counted last night and compared the two but I obviously didn't look close enough. There are matching decreases on each side at the 7th, 13th, 19th, 25th, 33rd rows and so on. On the first piece I changed color one row before the 25th decrease row. So last night I counted to see what row/decrease I was on, and came up with the 25th - or so I thought. I think what I did was started with the 13th and counted up to the 25th row as if the 13th was the 7th, so my '25th' decrease was actually the 30something-eth row. *shakes head in personal disgust*.

I guess my options are thus:
1. Leave the second as is, rip back part of the pink on the first to match the length of the second and continue from there, hoping that, since they're not attached - maybe no one will notice.

2. Rip out what I did last night to the appropriate brown stripe and start again.

I would have ripped the first/shorter one back and added to the brown, but I don't have any of it left so that's not really an option.

I guess it could be worse, but my challenge for this piece will be actually finishing it - a seeming simple thing that only I can mess up royally!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

knitting away

for the 2008 Summer Ravelympics!

So Friday night I cast on and started knitting Anouk, my knitting Olympics pattern - I'm hoping to get it done in time for the Olympics and for my niece's 1st birthday - go Gabriella (I really can't believe it's been a year!!).

I'm using a chocolaty brown and a deep pink instead of the orange and green. Get through most of the brown on Friday, start on the pink on Saturday - everything is going swimmingly!

Watched some fencing (go USA!), swimming and some of the opening ceremonies. Then I glance down at my ball of yarn and realize that I only have a few yards left, but quite a bit for the rest of the front side - how can this be!?

After looking at the 5 or so inches I had knit it becomes clear - this is too big. Yes, I did my "training" and swatched - a rather large swatch for me too . (Hmm - maybe that was part of it) Further contemplation reveals to me that the yardage for my wool yarn is about 10 yards less than the yardage for the cotton yarn called for in the pattern. What was I thinking when I picked up this yarn!? I know I had this pattern specifically in mind, but obviously did not pay attention to the details. *sigh* ah well. so it goes.

I do think it will still work - I just need to rip it completely out and begin again with the smaller size, and I may add some color-design elements to assist the yardage along. And so I begin - again. Team keep cheering me on - I will make it to the finish line... I hope...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

playing with her iStuff

Last weekend being tax-free + Mike being a student + a Mac enthusiast = new toys! This weekend a Mac store opened up here in Charleston, and we splurged a bit and ended up with a new iPhone, (for Mike) iTouch (for me) which actually came with the MacBook to replace my iBook G4 - which I guess in the world of Mac's and computers is a bit of a dinosaur.

Although I love my new computer (although my katerina email will be down for a bit) and think the iTouch is really cool - I don't know if it will be replacing my ipod shuffle. I love that little thing. It's really just perfect for me for how I use it.

I'm a big pod-cast listener - that's what took up most of the space on my old computer - I probably listen to about 5-10 hours, easily, of podcasts each week. I listen on my way to work, on my way home, while grocery shopping, while at the gym - wherever. And when I do want to listen to music, it fits on there as well. I am really never in a place long enough to need more music or podcasts than will fit on the shuffle. Plus you just can't beat the size. It clips on my shirt or pocket, or collar - it fits in my purse, no matter how small. I never worry about putting it in with my knitting, that it'll scratch or break the screen. It's just durable in my mind.

The iTouch will need more TLC and attention I know - so I'm playing with it a little at home, but until I get a chance to get all the protective accessories for it, I don't think I'm taking it anywhere. It will be nice to use as a PDA for all my info - there have been quite a few times when I wish I had information from my computer with me, and my cell phone just doesn't cut it. I can also keep my knitting patterns and information on it! I'm getting more excited about it as I think of all the things it can do.

speaking of knitting, I finished the Baby Tart hat, although I'm hoping it will look much cuter on the baby than it does on my water bottle:

Keisha helped me model it too, and although it doesn't look as "berry-ish" it still looks pretty adorable!

I hope my other baby knitting will be as cute!

Monday, August 4, 2008

waxing nostaligic

Is that the right phrase? you know what I mean.

Recently I heard that Baer's Fabric Store in Louisville closed and it made me really sad. For those of you not from the area, this was a huge fabric store like no other. It was a 3 story warehouse of a store that had anything you needed, was family-owned and had been around for over 100 years.

The first floor had an entire wall of buttons, an island in the middle with patterns and pattern books, a sewing machine section and another section of fine fabrics for weddings and the like. I remember it fondly from both my childhood and recently.

Baer's was where my MIL bought the fabric for my wedding dress. It was only 5 years ago that I was sorting through the various lace and trimmings and comparing the colors of white and ivory for my dress. It was only last year I was pouring through those pattern books trying to find just the right bunny patter for Gabriella's quilted bunny.

The second floor was wall-to-wall quilting and other fabrics, appliques, trims, sequins -just stacks of whatever you needed. In the back was a bargain area with bins of leftover bolts of fabric to rummage through and a small hallway that lead to the back classrooms. I took 2 or 3 weeks of sewing camp there as a teen. I made Jams and a couple of canvas totes, a skirt, shirt and dress - two small quilts and a handful of hair accessories - remember the big lace 80's bows?

In high school, my friend JulieAnn and I had been taking belly-dancing lessons, and decided to perform at camp and make our costumes from scratch. To do this we had to cut-up and recovered store bought bras. We chose gold and black as our color scheme and hand sewed black interfacing and gold appliques over our white bras, adding elastic straps covered with sequins and I think what was meant to be curtain trim. We made shawls out of interfacing, fabric glue and glitter, and pants and skirt out of gold lame. Working with the lame was tricky, but it taught me a trick to use ribbon to keep things from fraying.

The third floor was upholstery fabrics, thick and rich, on bolts that reminded me of wrapping paper in the big department stores. It is one of the few places that had fabric for upholstering boats. I like to just walk through them looking at the different patterns and ideas. Last time I was in Louisville, a friend and I browsed the isles looking for fabric to make bags out of. I use 3 of her small bags for my knitting projects, and the large ones for my groceries and love them.

I made at least one more belly-dancing outfit from Baer's, and I'm sure JA has been back even more often - she kept up with it and now teaches belly dancing herself. My MIL has made 3 wedding gowns, and I know at least one Mother-of-the-groom outfit from there, and has one more daughter to go. And my friend bought a beautiful origami-bag pattern when we were there last. Now I wonder where we will all go the next time we need fabric or inspiration.