Knitting Navy Wife

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Knitting Olympics... Done!!

Have you ever finished a project and think to yourself.... 'that was much easier and took less time than I ever imagined'? I did. My Knitting Olympics project took me 4 days. That's right, I said 4 days. I figured since it has taken me an average of 3 months to do a shawl twice this size I'd be pushing it to get it done in the 16 days. The darn thing moved along so fast I was feeling like Chad Hedrik or Apolo Ohno speeding right along, minus the skates of course. Here it is in all it's blocking glory:

and another showing (well sort of) the lace detail:

It took me two days to finally get around to blocking it. I think I was too stunned that it took such a short time and I was still trying to figure out what happened! Did I mention that it only took me 4 days? And that was with two munchkins wanting my attention. This is knit out of a Schaefer yarn called Anne in a beautiful handpainted green. The pictures simply don't do the colors justice. It's a 60% superwash merino, 25% mohair and 15% nylon that feels so soft. I had originally bought this yarn (ok, so it reached out and grabbed me at Marylands Sheep and Wool Festival) to make a pair of socks out of but couldn't find the perfect pattern. Tell me you've never done that before. This particular shawl called for 548 yds of a fingering weight yarn and I had one 560 yd hank of Anne. How much more perfect can you get? Amazingly enough I ended up with enough yarn for 3 extra repeats of the main pattern and still probably could have done one more when all was done. Still, I'm very pleased with the end result.

My FLAK is caught up through part 5 so that has been set aside for now. I finished that after the shawl was done, but haven't managed to get pictures yet.

The first clue for the Mystery Shawl along was released yesterday so that's what's being worked on right now. I'm enjoying blindly following a pattern without seeing a picture of it first and watching the patterns take shape in the yarn. I'm not sure how much more lace I'll knit once this shawl is done. I've noticed my fingers get cramped working with the thinner yarns but I do so love the end results.

By the way... I'm freezing my tootsies off right now! The temp is down into the teens. Luckily the kids and I all have warm pajamas and blankets to sleep in.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

And more snow!

When I went to bed last night we had about 3 inches of snow on the ground after about 6-7 hours of the white stuff falling. No big deal. When I saw Jeff off to the airport at 5am we had about a foot of snow. What happened?!! Where did that come from? It must have really dumped while I was asleep. When I got up later this is what I saw out our window (ok so I took these about and hour after I got up):

We got caught in the 'blizzard of 2006'! It's already about a third melted and I got to shovel all the snow out of the driveway but it's been pretty. The down side? Logan doesn't have school tomorrow so he's with me all day. He loves school and even though I know he really won't know that school was cancelled the more often he can go to school to help his developement the better.

I finally managed to get a current FLAK picture. This is much closer to the true color of the yarn:

I have put this aside though until the Olympics are over.

My Olympics project is moving right along. I discovered I have enough yarn to do more lace repeats than the pattern calls for so it will take me longer than I thought. I'm still pretty sure I'll finish it long before the Olympics are over though. As soon as I get it finished and off the needles I'll post a picture. Right now all you would see of the shawl is a mass of yarn. I have too many stitches on the needles to be able to stretch it enough to photograph.

Jeff is gone for the next two weeks. Busy working. Although his first stop is in Disney World so I'm not sure how much 'work' will really get done. :-) I get to play single mom for a while. I guess it's practice for the year he'll be deployed in Bahrain.

Must get back to the needles and the Olympics.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Knitting Olympics and Snow

I cast on my knitting Olympics project yesterday during the opening ceremonies. It's going along rather quickly too. I'm beginning to wonder if I either over estimated the project or under estimated myself. I'm thinking that I may be done with this about halfway through the Olympics. That's while I'm taking care of two kids under the age of four with my DH gone for the next two weeks. I know I will be happy with the finished product and will have a sense of accomplishment, I just wonder if I should have challenged myself more. Famous last words. Now that I've said that I'll run into all sorts of problems that will require many trips to the frog pond! lol!

I've picked up the FLAK today and worked more on the front. I really like the way it's coming out and am excited to see the finished product. With all the swatching, measuring and math I've done I may even get a sweater that fits me this time. I always seem to make them too big or too small so I've got my fingers crossed for this one.

It's about 11:30 here right now and I'm looking out my window watching the snow come down. There is nothing I find more soothing and beautiful to watch as snow falling. Doesn't matter the time of day either. During the day I watch out any window I can, during the night I watch the street lights. As far as I'm concerned it just isn't winter without at least one significant snowstorm and supposedly we should get at least 6 inches with this one. As I watch the snow I can't help but think how appropriate it is to have the white stuff on the ground during the Olympics so I can feel a bit like I'm there while I knit along. Now the snow, of course, means I won't go anywhere and I missed the 'slumber party' at my friend Amy's house, but I can survive being cooped up with the kids for a day or two. It's a small price to pay for a bit of natures beauty.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pop-up Paws

Is it ok to be impressed with yourself? I hope so because I am soooo impressed with of all people, me! In two evenings worth of knitting (one of them during the super bowl) I finished these:

The "mitten" on the right has the flap over the fingers while the one on the left has it open so you all can see what they look like as fingerless gloves. I finally figured out the pinky problem (I did have to add stitches). And since my fingers look short and stubby when I wear the glove part I took the picture without the hands. I'm usually not that vain.

For those who don't know, I have a difficult time finishing anything. My UFO pile puts my stash to shame. Ok, it's not quite that bad but close. I don't know what happens really, I get bored, take a detour, start something else, whatever and just don't finish things. I think it's mostly to do with using that thing called a tapestry needle. I hate hand sewing. That could be why I've joined so many KAL's, something driving me to finish. So to finish something at all let alone in two evenings amazes even me. This includes weaving in all the ends too. These babies are ready to wear and even more amazing to me..... they fit!!

The FLAK is progressing right along. I've started the front and have it far enough along that I can set it aside for the Knitting Olympics and still know where I am when I pick it back up again. I'll post a picture as soon as I get a chance (and it's not 1am) Wait, back that up a bit. Did I read that right? The Olympics are here already?! It seems like Christmas was just yesterday and you're telling me its February already?! Aaarrggh!

There really isn't much more updating to do, knitting wise. We've all been down with colds. I worried the most about Sidney. It's her first cold and she's beem a little unhappy about it. Everyone seems to be finally getting rid of it now so I'll have a bit more time where I feel like actually doing something instead of wanting to live on the couch with my blanket and cup of hot tea. :-)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl Sunday

I am a football fan. More importantly I am a Seahawks fan (I am originally from Seattle after all). I MUST watch the Super Bowl and cheer on my team. Logan is even getting into the act. He stole my Seahawk cap and has been wearing it. He wouldn't hold still for a picture though. Now I can't just watch it without any knitting going on. That would be such a waste of time! What to do. I can't work any farther on the FLAK. Janet isn't posting the next installment until Monday at the earliest. No problem, I'm loving the process and anticipation. The Aran Weight Victorian Shawl I'm not loving so I need to set it aside to season a bit until I decide what I really want to do with it. It could still end up in the frog pond. The other two projects I have in mind can't be started yet so what's a girl to do? Wait! I know! I'll start something else! Never mind that there are multiple other UFO's calling to me to finish. I'm just not going to listen to them.

I bought a kit for a pair of "pop-up paws" at the last Sheep and Wool festival here in Maryland. Fingerless gloves that have a flap that goes over the fingers to make them into mittens. I've been wanting to try something like gloves and these were perfect. So as I watch my beloved Seahawks lose the Super Bowl, I managed to get this far on the gloves/mittens:

The lovely blue piece of yarn is holding the pinky stitches. I've ripped them out 3 times now because I can't seem to get it to fit right on that finger. The directions say not to increase but I think I'll have to. It appears I have a fat pinky. Actually looking at the picture it looks like all my fingers are fat. do they have diets for just fingers? I still have to knit the flap that goes over the top but that should go quickly (that's what that little ridge on the back of the hand is for). I am really quite impressed with myself. I thought gloves would be, if nothing else a pain with all the fiddly little finger knitting, but I was plesantly surprised.

By the way, do you know how difficult it is for a right handed woman to take a picture of a glove on her right hand? It took me 5 tries to do that.

Friday, February 03, 2006

FLAK back progress

I finished my FLAK to the armholes:

It really isn't that red, I'm not sure what my camera and monitor are thinking but this was the best I could do. It's more burgandy than that. I'm really in love with the color and the Wool of the Andes yarn. The back at the moment is a bit too small for me but I'm trusting my swatch measurements and know (cross fingers) it will relax to the correct measurements.

As far as other knitting projects well.... I'm working on my Victorian Aran weight shawl and am about 2/3 of the way done. I'm not sure I'm loving it but it will be cozy in the colder weather. Someone made the point on the list that it appeared the three lace patterns were stuck together without much thought to how they flow into each other or even look together. I agree. The yarn is nice though and as soon as it's off the needles and to a point where I can get a picture I'll post one. I'm also gearing up for the Knitting Olympics . I have my yarn and pattern and am just waiting for the flame to be lit. I'm gonna be driving Jeff nuts with this one I can tell. I can't wait! I've just swatched for the Mystery Shawl Along 3 and am ready to start. This one may have to be temporarily put to the side to start until the Olympics are over but it won't be too long.

I had a knock on the door yesterday and the UPS man left me a little present, this:

100% natural llama wool. And before you ask, no I have no clue what I want to do with it. It's almost 1000 yards and I'm open to suggestions. I can get more of it if I have to. :-) I fell in love with the colors and the yarn is yummy so in the meantime I'll put it in my stash and let it age and season a little while.

My floors as you can see from the picture above are in and I like the way they look. There is some problems with them not being level which we specifically requested be done and I'm fighting with Empire right now. It's a long story but the short version.... The installers who came back out to fix some other problems once the flooring was in told us the salesman should never have sold us the laminate but carpet instead. The floor we have doesn't work with the laminate. After fighting all week with them I've decided the salesman was a slimeball who wanted the sale. He never even mentioned carpet instead of laminate. Of course as he gets a bigger commission with laminate than carpet since it's more expensive, why should he sells us carpet. So now the best Empire will do is take up the floor and put down carpet for us and let us have the cost difference (never mind that the worst unevenness is in the kitchen where carpet can't be put!) or give us $1000 as a courtesy and we keep the flooring. Since I don't want Empire back in my house we'll probably take the $1000, learn to live with the uneven laminate and NEVER work with Empire again. Live and learn I guess.