Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Look what I got!

I love my mailman--or UPS man--or whoever left these 2 packages on my porch. Yesterday there was a box with the tan wool & linen yarn to make my first-ever sweater. The not-bulky nature of it has dictated a pattern change, so I won't be using a P hook, but I had debated about the pattern choice anyway and am happy with how it turned out. Of course, it will take a lot longer to make a me-sized sweater with an I hook, but it will be beautiful.

And today, oh today, came a package with 10, count 'em TEN, 100 g. skeins of gorgeous Himalayan silk yarn that I don't know what I'll do with except pet it and admire it. I promised my daughter I'd share so she can make a purse or something out of too. I'm over the moon, can you tell?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Two Dangerous Words--On SALE!

So there I was Friday, minding my own business in Michael's with a "40% off one regular priced item" coupon burning a hole in my purse (and a gorgeous crocheted purse it is too) meaning to buy 1, only one!, pair of knitting needles (size 10 1/2 which I don't have), when I spotted a book entitled Hip to Crochet. Knowing that I am not hip, I thought it was safe to flip through it. Nope. I ended up buying it because of one picture of a sweater that took me back to my hippie-wannabe days. I gave myself a stern talking to on the way home. No more yarn or books--at least this weekend.

Then I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday on the way home from Mom's--just to see my writing friend, Jenny, you understand. But B&N has a bargain section and there was this book, Blue Ribbon Crochet, that I casually flipped through. The first pattern that caught my eyes was this Underwater Adventures afghan. It's meant to be for kids, but I have lots of u/w adventures and I like bright colors and the book was only $5.98, so I bought it. Then I found the pattern for the Afghan stitch palm tree afghan. I have palm tree dishes and they sort of match, so I salved my conscience with that thought.

Besides, both of the books together didn't cost as much as a carton of cigarettes would.

I'm going to the grocery today. I hope there's no yarn craft stuff there. My resistance is low.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Up to 17 Fish

Well, I must confess I've been slacking off on my yarn craft these days and writing instead. I was thinking about crocheting a sweater and ordered some Aria yarn in amber, but when it came I didn't like the color. I shipped it right back. Now I'm waiting for some Wolina in tan to arrive next week. Then I'll start the sweater and have a WIP to show. For today all I have to show you is a pile of fish.

Today's feature fish is the one I made from that Hobby Lobby yarn called Special Effects, it's one with ladders and ribbon and eyelash and chenille all in one. I wondered how it would turn out and it's kind of cool looking. I'm still a sucker for variegated yarn, but getting better at balancing it with solid colors.

Not smoking is going okay these days, but we'll see once I start NaNoWriMo on August 1.

There are no rubber chickens on my coffee table.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New fishies!

I knitted nine fish this week, my most productive yet, so I'm up to eleven total. And I managed to knit a boucle one. Yay, me! It was a pain and you can barely see the fin, but I stuck to the pattern and knit to the end. I was also working to the end of the mid-month dishcloth KAL. The pattern is pretty but I found it difficult to get into a rhythm, so I had to constantly count stitches and refer to the printed instructions. I'm looking forward to the beginning of the month one which makes a picture as you knit. Much more my maturity level. I still love knitting fish most of all. One day in the future I might even have enough to make an afghan!

Not smoking was very hard yesterday. I got the new Harry Potter book and read it straight through. I never realized how much I smoked when I read. But I resisted and didn't smoke.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Uh-oh, Michael's had a Sale!

First, and most important, I managed to knit the first 10 rows of the mid-month KAL with no frogging and very little confusion. To knit the second 10 rows, I did have to have Patti show me how to YO, which seems self-evident now that I know how to do it. I caught up this morning--just in time to print off the next 10 rows, of course.

It would have been rude of me (and fiscally irresponsible) to waste the 40% off coupon that was in Michael's ad, so I stopped in on my way to the yarn shop. All I bought were 4 skeins of S&C--and a Crocheted Sweaters book. Really, I had to! The S&C was on sale so the coupon didn't work for that, which meant I had to find something else to use it on. Naturally the purchase of the pattern book meant I had to go on Herrschner's website when I got home and order the beautiful wool/acrylic yarn I saw there. It's totally on clearance--I swear! It was originally about $12/skein and it's on sale for $3/skein. Wouldn't you have bought some too? I've been itching to make a sweater, crochet of course, and now I have a pattern and the yarn's on the way. Watch this space for further developments!

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Fishies!

While lying on the couch waiting for the antibiotics to kick in, I spent the weekend napping and knitting fish. I'd have a red boucle one too but I frogged the beginning because the fin didn't show. When I tried it again because it would be sooooo soft in an afghan, my stitches were so tight I couldn't get the needle in. Argh. So I frogged that one too. Maybe I'll see if Patti can teach me how to knit a little looser and try one more time. My fantasy is to make fish out of every sort of yarn in my stash, and there's that boucle waiting for me, alongside the ribbon, the chenille, all the hairy stuff, and the yarn that looks like Muppet eyelashes. It's probably a good idea to get more knitting experience before I tackle those, right?

I'm feeling a bit better but my head still feels like it's in a different county than the rest of me. But I don't feel like I've got a red-hot poker in my ear anymore, so that's progress.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Finished HP's Golden Snitch Washcloth

I finished my first washcloth with a knitted-in design this morning. I'm not sure I did it right--the initials are depressed rather than sticking up--but I like the way it looks anyway. And I'm proud because I only had to frog a few stitches on two rows.

Went to the instant clinic in Walmart this morning to learn I have either a
sinus infection or bronchitis. Whichever one I have, she gave me antibiotics that should take care of either or both. I only hope they hurry and make me feel better, because I feel like...well, you can fill in the blank, I'm sure.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Snitch & Fish!

I have turned into a knitting fool. In the last week, I finished a washcloth (see below), knit 3 fishies, and am in the middle of my first patterned cloth. Looking through my stash to find fish yarn, I realized how much I love variegated yarn--I'm going to have to scramble to find solid to make some of the fish so the finished afghan doesn't give people a headache. (Maybe someone will have worsted on sale this weekend.) And I had to buy a skein of yellow for the Snitch. If I didn't have such a rotten cold (thanks, Dear) I'd be jumping around with glee, but I sound like a Muppet and look like the dog's dinner. I need a nap.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fish #1!

I got some help today with the stitches I wasn't sure of and look--a fish! I thought it would be longer (it's about 6 inches), but my stitches were pretty tight with the way I was strangling the needles trying to make it right. I think I'll try again on bigger needles. It'd take me forever to make an afghan with minnows like this! But isn't it the cutest?

I finished my first knitted washcloth this afternoon too. I'm so proud of me! It's kind of cockeyed but I'm sure it'll straighten out in the shower. Besides, it's just a washcloth. If I ever get brave enough to knit a sweater, I promise I'll block it.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The Coolest Afghan!

I signed up for the Dishcloth KAL and was emailed every post to the site until I figured out how to select the one that will only email me when the rows are sent. Anyway, I opened the post emails just to see what people are talking about. One woman, Cathy B, had her blog address after her name. I clicked on it and look what I found--the coolest fish-shaped block afghan! They call it a Fish-Along! You have to join Bitsandbobs, another Yahoo group, to get the pattern but that's not a big deal. I am in love with this afghan. I have a vision of making it in all sorts of yarn scraps, like a coral reef crazy quilt. I swore it would be a long time before I tackled a block-style afghan again, but I think I'll make an exception in this case. I'm in love!

Yarn-y Updates

It's so hot! I've been reluctant to work on anything big that would cover my lap, but I have been knitting away on my very first knitting project--a ribbon scarf. I'm exactly halfway done with it. Yay, me!

I get tired of the slow pace of knitting so I started another washcloth. This one's using Walmart's Peaches n' Cream in Fiesta Ombre with a Sedge Stitch pattern. Now, I hoped that the 2 oz. skein I bought nearly a month ago would be enough but it wasn't. You see that it's not a square. So I went back to Walmart never believing I'd find another skein with the same dye lot--but I did! Amazing!

Then I was so happy with myself and the variegated yarn (I love watching the colors blend) I decided to find the super-easiest knitted washcloth pattern I could and give it a try. Up to now the only thing I've done is knit, not purl, nothing but the knit stitch. This one calls for increasing and decreasing. *gasp* Fancy knitting stuff! But with the help of the Cool Girls Guide and some long-distance advice from my wonderful daughter I am nearly halfway to having my first knitted washcloth to shower with.

I've noticed the last few days, 3 months into my quitting smoking odyssey, that it's getting a little easier to ignore the urge. A little.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

We Un-made the Fountain

After nearly a week of no birds and not even any squirrels bathing or drinking in the fountain, Don decided that the water was moving too fast and scaring them away. So I unplugged the pump, removed the saucers, dumped out the water and the rocks, and took it down. I put the old still-water birdbath back and the birdies are gradually coming back. I want to find another place to put the fountain, though. It's just too cool to put in the shed. Besides, there's a colony of earwigs that live under the birdbath saucer and they need a home. (I don't have an earwig picture so I'm substituting one of Bonairean ants hauling home a dead bug.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

We made a Fountain!

Don is crazy about hummingbirds and read an article about them being attracted to moving water. So he decided he/we'd build our own fountain. We found the pot and saucers at a garden center and a welder friend made the rack. I had a pump. Last Sunday we put it all together and it looks great. Haven't had any birdies bathing yet, but I think it's only a matter of time. Who wouldn't want to splash around in such a nice refreshing thing? We still have to work out a copper pipe parts crook for the plastic tube so it hooks over the top instead of swirling around the top saucer. It makes a great soothing sound too.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Big Progress!

On the knitting front at least. I managed to hold off until 4 PM Saturday before I went to Michael's, got 2 skeins of yarn and pulled out the size 50 needles to try knitting with them. It took a few rows to realized that it was too hard to knit continental, so I switched to moving the yarn with my right hand, whatever that's called, I can't remember right now. Once I did that, the scarf grew quickly. I worked on it from 4-6, then 7-10 and it's as tall as me! Now, I'm not very tall but I think that's a huge accomplishment. A few more rows and I'll bind it off. The pattern doesn't call for fringe, but I like fringe so I'll probably put some on there.

Yesterday was a bad day for smoking. Turns out I'm an emotional smoker or something, but I'm back to being resolved today and hope for better things.