Friday, March 26, 2010

An Excellent Night's Entertainment

Just saw this movie in 3D at the IMAX tonight and absolutely loved it.  It has dragons, vikings, a killer soundtrack and it's in 3D.... where exactly could it go wrong?  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jo - 1, Hat - 0

Take that!!!!! Ridiculously difficult hat pattern!

Hat Fail!

Ladies and gentleman this is what happens when you don't read your pattern thoroughly before starting a project.  For the past two nights, I have spent my time fretting over if I had the correct needles to finish up my Tempo's Headcoat (which is basically the coolest newsboy cap ever).  You can get the headcoat pattern for free on Ravelry here.

I had started on Tuesday, happy to begin a new and fun project.  Instead of starting with the brim, like the pattern calls for (why would I ever follow the pattern?), I decided to start the tam section and work the brim later.  I knitted merrily along on my size 6 needles.  Now, I have a lovely interchangeable circular needle set from WEBS so I can basically make any length circular needle I want out of the tips included in the set.  This worked out very well as I had to increase from 3 stitches all the way up to over 250.

After all those increases was when I ran into my needle issue.  I hadn't noticed that once finishing all the increases I had to decrease quite dramatically with a #2 needle.  This doesn't sound like it's such a big deal, does it.  I have that handy interchangeable needle set; I just have to switch out the tips and I'll be golden!  Not so much....  You see the interchangeable set I have is great.  I am very happy with it, but the smallest needle tips are a size #4 :(

So I ran to my LYS (local yarn store) on the way home from work yesterday to get a #2 16" circular (plus another skein of yarn because I didn't pay attention to how much I needed).  I arrived home, finished knitting the tam, went to start the brim and realized that it called for a really long #2 circular.

Insert Trumpet Noise of Failure here.

Oh, I failed to mention that it was now 8:50pm and no craft stores stay open after 9pm and all of them are more than 10 minutes away.  Double failure!  I actually ended up making it work.  I used bigger needles than the pattern called for (yeay for #4 needles) and I think that worked out well.  But the evening was full of stress over my awesome project when it was so very close to being done.  That's why my project picture looks so funny.  I scavenged everywhere for any needles I could find that would work; Circulars, DPN's, I used anything I could lay my hands on. 

Oh well, it could be worse...  If I had run into these problems a year ago, I would have dissolved into tears and been inconsolable for hours.  It's amazing what a year and some challenges can do.  Anyway, I am cautiously optimistic that I can finish the headcoat this evening.  If so, pictures on the morrow!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Ten on Tuesday: 10 Signs of Spring

1) Shoots poking up between all the old leaves
2) That cool sweet breeze you get when you open your windows for the first time after months
3) Daylight after 5pm
4) The threat of flooding instead of skidding
5) The smell of people grilling their dinner
6) The distinct urge to clean out all the extra crap you have accumulated over the past year
7) Deciding that it's a perfectly good day for a nice long walk
8) Sudden cravings for ice cream for no apparent reason
9) Buds appear on trees and bushes almost overnight
10) The birds become really vocal at 5am :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

I am one (1) cardigan richer!

Yeay!  She's all done and I finally got some good pics of her with all the sunlight we had this weekend.  I have to say that I really enjoyed making my first ever sweater.  It was challenging, but I had a lot of support from family and fellow knitsibs and there is no way I could have finished it without them.  Hopefully after I have recovered some by doing smaller projects for a bit, I will pick another more summery pattern to try out.  Until then, here are some more close ups of the precious:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm either really brave or really stupid...

These are pictures taken last Sunday when I decided (at midnight) that I wanted to try to cut this baby up the middle before I went to bed.  As my post title suggests, I was either really brave or stupid because I know that if my crocheted steek failed, there was absolutely no way I was EVER going to get to sleep that night.  Did I happen to mention, that I have NEVER crocheted a steek before and that I learned it watching demos on YouTube?  I'm leaning more towards stupid right now....  And here's a link to the demo video I used, in case you ever wanted to know how to crochet a steek.


So, this is a shot of the completed steek.  I was able to follow the demo pretty well and thought it looked pretty good.  It took we a good couple hours to finish it and I started at 10:00pm after finishing knitting the final portion of the collar on the neck.  So, anyway, here's a action shot of me cutting my cardigan. 

While I wasn't feeling too nervous at the time, I did ask Brian to come in and offer bother moral and photographic support.  It was so strange cutting between the stitches and watching them almost pop apart.  I'm telling you, this techniques is not for the faint of heart!

So, here she is!  All cut down the middle and no, my cardigan didn't unravel slowly before my eyes.  My goal was to get her done so I could wear her to work on Tuesday and knitting that night, but that goal was a complete failure.  I still had to close up the arm holes and pick up and knit stitches on both side of the steek for the button bands and those proved way too much to do in one evening.  I did manage to graft the arm holes together using the kitchener stitch, a great technique for knitting two pieces together virtually without a seam.  A good video for how to do the kitchener stitch is here.  And I also knit one button band and got a few rows into the other one before calling it quits are a ridiculous hour (probably 1am).

 However, at this point, she's been done for four days.  I just haven't been able to get any good pictures to share yet.  But, with this lovely change in the weather and me having a couple days off to enjoy the daylight hours, I should have some final product pics in the next few days.  More importantly, on Wednesday of this week, I was finally able to wear my beloved cardigan :D

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Sweater Knitter Lives!

Wow, that was a long time without a post.  In addition to not having a lot of time to blog lately, I haven't had a whole lot of time to knit either and thus no update on my beloved Bountiful Bohus Cardigan.  Now, however, I feel I have made enough progress that I can share.  I have just finished the last colorwork chart of the yoke of the cardigan and I am sooooo close to being done!  I just have the 18 short rows to shape the neck area, a couple sets of decreases, graft the underarms together, do the crochet steek up the middle, cut the steek up the middle, and knit the button band and attach the buttons. 

Wait..... CUT MY KNITTING?!?!  

Just kidding, I knew I would have to do that : )  Since I made this cardigan in the round, to actually make it a cardigan I have to cut it up the middle.  You do that by steeking or reinforcing the knitting by sewing (or in my case crocheting since I don't have a sewing machine) up and down the area, so when you cut, the knitted piece doesn't fall apart.  Just the concept is frightening to a knitter.  But heck, I know it will work.  Tons of people have done it, I'm not too worried. 

So, that's my update for now.  I'm hoping to finish up all the knitting of the cardigan this weekend and graft the underarms and steek it on Tuesday night at knitting group.  I love my group, they are so good to me and are amazing enablers.  More on my enablement later :D