30 July 2008

New WiPs

I have a couple of new WiPs to show you.

The first is a cable and moss stitch sock.

cable sock 073008

The pattern is from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'm not super excited about knitting these. I started out making a different pattern, but it contained a bunch of p2 tbl, and Addis just aren't pointy enough for that sort of decrease with fingering weight yarn - especially since I am the uber-tight knitter. By the time I gave up, I already had the cuff done and didn't feel like ripping it out. That meant finding a 72 stitch pattern that would look okay with 2x2 ribbing on the cuff. The cables and moss stitch pattern seems to be working well. This is the first time I have made a sock with cables since my very first pair of socks, made 4 years ago.

Oh, and the yarn is Knit Picks Risata. The elastic content is interesting, but the yarn is very acrylic-feeling. Kinda squeeky.

The other new WiP is the Henry scarf from Knitty.

Henry 073008

Yes, I know this looks like a big blob of cat hair. It's handspun alpaca that I bought at an alpaca market in Estes Park about 3 years ago. The yarn is the perfect weight for the project. The extra fuzz may obscure the pattern now, but I'm hoping that it becomes a little more visible in the finished object. Either way, it's sooooo soft, so who cares?

The Peacock Shawl is plugging along, but doesn't look any different. And, I still haven't picked up the Five Alarm Bag. With all the small needle knitting I've been doing, that bag should be a nice break for my hands if I can figure out where I left off.


29 July 2008


Saw this Seven Deadly Sins meme on Pam's and Jo's blogs and thought it was interesting.

1. Who did you last get angry with?
a coworker – this is odd for me because I usually don’t get angry with coworkers, but this guy really deserved it (sexist, arrogant bastard that he is)

2. What is your weapon of choice?

3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex?
only if I had to defend myself. I’m not a violent person.

4. How about of the same sex?
see #3

5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you?
coworker referenced in #1

6. What is your pet peeve?
I have too many of these to list, but here's a few: people who answer their mobile phones during meetings, men wearing hats indoors (especially at the dinner table), and when a woman’s undergarments are not completely covered by her clothing (bra straps, slips showing at the bottom of a skirt, etc.)

7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily?
this really depends on the situation. I don’t necessarily hold grudges in most situations, but I do have a really long memory and am not likely to forget a wrongdoing, even if I don’t hold it against you.

1. What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you don’t?
cook dinner

2. What is the latest you’ve ever woken up?
it’s been a long time since I woke up really late, but it would probably be sometime in the afternoon the day after a night out.

4. What is the last lame excuse you made?
I make lame excuses regularly to avoid making dinner.

5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through?

6. When was the last time you got in a good workout?
probably when I scrubbed-down the kitchen a couple of weeks ago.

7. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today?
let’s see... my alarm goes off at 6:45. I don’t actually get out of bed until nearly 7:45. The alarm rings every 8 minutes. That would mean that I hit the snooze 7 or 8 times every morning.

1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice?
I’m not much for yuppie beverages (I’m a plain ol’ cup ‘o joe kinda gal), but I do like a nice iced coffee once in a while.

2. Meat eaters: white meat or dark meat??
if it’s chicken or turkey, white meat. But I really like duck too, when prepared properly, so I guess that counts as dark.

3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you’ve had in one sitting/outing/event?
I can’t remember. I did a lot of drinking in college.

4. Have you ever used a professional diet company?
Weight Watchers and ediets.com

5. Do you have an issue with your weight?

6. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods, or spicy?
I like a balance. If I have something salty, I must have something sweet, and vise versa. Same goes for spicy – if I have something spicy, I must have something sweet to balance it out.

7. Have you ever looked at a small house pet or child and thought “lunch”?
uh, no

1. How many people have you seen naked (not counting movies/family)?

2. How many people have seen YOU naked (not counting physicians/family)?
5 (same 5 as above)

3. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of the opposite gender during a normal conversation?
does my husband count?

4. Have you ever kissed two people in one night?

5. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender of choice?
I love a man’s forearms, especially when he is wearing a long sleeve shirt rolled up to mid-forearm.

6. Have you ever been propositioned by a prostitute?

1. How many credit cards do you own?
10 if you count the debit card

2. What’s your guilty pleasure store?
any yarn shop, brick-and-mortar or online

3. Would you rather be rich, or famous?
rich, then I could travel without worrying about money

4. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks?
no – I have had boring jobs before and I couldn’t stand it.

5. Have you ever stolen anything?
lipstick and matching nail polish when I was a teenager.

6. How many MP3s are on your hard drive?
I’m not sure exactly but it must be in the 3800 range

1. What’s one thing you have done that you’re most proud of?
figure out career I want and actually do it

2. What one thing have you done that your parents are most proud of?
I think my parents are most proud of the fact that after years of ups and downs, I am finally happy in my life.

3. What things would you like to accomplish in your life?
raise children

4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place?

5. Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors?

6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score?
no, but I have had others cheat off me so that they could get a higher score.

7. What did you do today that you’re proud of?
didn’t send a nasty email to coworker referenced in #1. I instead opted to be the better person and ignored him.

1. What item (or person) of your friends would you most want to have for your own?
I love L’s house. It’s not too big, not too small, and is impeccably decorated.

2. Who would you want to go on “Trading Spaces” with?
Christy – she and I have similar taste, so I know we would both be happy with the outcome.

3. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be?
no one in particular – I just want to be independently wealthy so that I can do what I want every day.

4. Have you ever been cheated on?
not that I’m aware of, though it wouldn’t surprise me if the X had cheated on me.

5. Have you ever wished you had a physical feature different from your own?
I long for thicker hair.

6. What inborn trait do you see in others that you wish you had for yourself?
selflessness – I tend to be really selfish at times.

And just 'cuz this made me laugh...

kitty sleeping

The Evil One fell asleep on the arm of the couch, as she often does, and her head dropped down so that her face was mashed into the pillow. I have no idea how she was breathing.


27 July 2008

Eleanor Socks FO

Waaaaayyy back in May, I made a pair of Eleanor socks. They counted as my May socks for the Sock a Month Knitalong. I finally managed to take some pictures of them last week before burying them in my sock drawer until fall.

Eleanor socks3 072108

The pattern is from Monkey Toes. It was really easy to memorize.

Eleanor closeup 072108

It's lacy, but not too much so. I had to alter the pattern a little to get the right number of foot and leg stitches. It's been a while, but I think I added 2 purl stitches each on the left and right sides of the sock to bring the stitch count up to 60. My slightly wide ankles usually require a 72 stitch leg when I get a gauge of 8-9 stitches per inch. But this pattern is pretty stretchy, so I was able to go down to 60 stitches.

Eleanor socks side 072108

I worked an eye of partridge heel flap. It looks pretty nice with this yarn.

Eleanor heel 072108

Oh yeah, the yarn. I used Tofutsies. This is the first time I've used it. I know a lot of people aren't that thrilled with it, but I really enjoyed working with it. The cotton content meant that it wasn't as stretchy as I would prefer, but it's really soft stuff. The colors in this skein are light pink, dark pink, yellow, and a bit of grey. They reminded me of pink lemonade.

Because of the lack of stretch, I had to increase the cuff to 72 stitches on the last row before the bind off. Otherwise, I couldn't get the sock over my heel.

Pattern: Eleanor, from Monkey Toes
Yarn: SWTC Tofutsies, I can't remember the color number
Needles: size 1 32" Addi
Started: 5/3/08
Finished: 5/30/08
Mods: As mentioned above, toe-up; 4 additional purl stitches; increased cuff by 8 stitches before binding off.

Eleanor2 072108

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15 July 2008

Flower Petal Shawl FO

Last fall, I ordered 6 balls of black Andean Silk from Knit Picks with the purpose of making the Woven Trellis Scarf (Ravelry link) for a friend for Christmas. I'm not sure why, but the project just didn't grab me. The construction is intriguing, but after getting into it, I realized I wasn't enjoying the knitting at all. I ripped and made the friend something else for a gift.

So, what to do with this yarn that was now part of my stash? I did a little pattern searching through Ravelry and came up with a project that I have seen many times on the Elann website, but never thought much of - the Flower Petal Shawl.

flower petal2 071408

I would have to order a few more balls of yarn, but the Andean Silk seemed like a perfect pairing with the pattern. I wanted to make a shawl, but because the yarn is black, I knew a lacy pattern was out of the question; any patterning would be lost in the black. The Flower Petal shawl is perfect: mostly stockinette with enough yarn overs to create the shape of the shawl, but not so many that they became obscured by the yarn.

flower petal3 071408
once i had it pinned out, i had shane come into the living room to see my "bat wings".

I started the thing months ago. I didn't have a deadline on it, so I could take my time. I was reminded halfway through it what I don't like about triangular shawls - they just get bigger and bigger and bigger. I didn't count how many stitches were in the last row, but I'm sure it was in the 300s.

Once the main part of the shawl is finished, 15 points are worked as the edging. I wasn't sure I'd have enough yarn, but I made it with about one foot of yarn left. Oy.

flower petal texture 071408

The thing that's really cool about this design is the way that the stitches flow diagonally from one panel to the next.

flower petal texture2 071408

It gives a depth to the finished piece that it wouldn't have if the stockinette was set in horizontal rows. The above picture is of the shawl pinned out on the floor - it's flat but it doesn't look flat. It looks folded like a fan.

flower petal modeled3 071408
i know i'm pale, but i swear i don't normally glow like that. damn sunshine.

The final blocked size ended up being a bit smaller than in the pattern because I used a size 8 needle, and I'm a tight knitter. I didn't measure it, but I would guess it is between 65" and 70".

flower petal modeled2 071408

Let me tell ya how much I was sweating modeling these pictures. It was about 90 degrees outside and 150% humidity. The wool in the yarn was actually starting to make my arms itch because it was so hot outside. Thanks to Shane for taking the pictures.

Here are the details:
Pattern: Flower Petal Shawl from Elann.com
Yarn: Knit Picks Andean Silk, 9 balls, in Pitch
Needles: 36" size 8 Inox silver
Started: 2/15/08
Finished: 7/11/08
Mods: None. I worked the pattern as written. It's very easy to memorize, so I didn't have to refer to the pattern at all until I started the edging.
Notes: I really liked this pattern. It seemed to take forever because of the endless stockinette, but I really like the way it turned out. Especially after blocking. Blocking is amazing.

flower petal modeled1 071408

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14 July 2008

Today I'm reminded

Ever hear a song and you’re instantly transported to the time and place when you first knew the song so well? In addition to smell being a powerful memory trigger for me, music can dredge up images and feelings that I haven’t thought about in years. Being the 70s, 80s and 90s retro music whore that I am, you would think that I never get anything done for all the trips down memory lane that I must be subjecting myself to every time I turn on my iPod. Such is not the case, as I have discovered that the memories usually come across with great force only once in a while.

Today is one of those days. As I processed a bunch of manuscripts at work, I plugged into the iPod to help the time pass a little quicker. I listened to one album, then another. As I flipped through the menu to find a third one to listen to, I landed on Sting’s Sacred Love, one of my stand-bys. The first song started, and suddenly it’s a dark evening in early December 2003 and I’m driving on I-435, heading towards Gladstone, Missouri. I am on my way to a boy’s apartment for our second date. I met him through an online dating website. Our first date had gone really well, and for our second date, he was cooking me dinner at his place. Unfortunately, his place was about an hour drive from where I live. No problem – have iPod, will travel. I had just downloaded Sting’s new album and was actually kind of glad for the uninterrupted time to listen to it.

The weather was horrible that night. An ice storm had passed through 24 hours before, and the roads had just been cleared. Against my better judgement (and my sister's worried pleading not to go), but in favor of my lonliness and desperation for some male attention, I ventured out onto the slick highway. The roads were wet and quickly freezing. I remember so well the glint of the lights of Kansas City off the shiny black asphalt as I drove way too fast in an attempt to get to my destination before the roads completely froze over (or before the boy changed his mind – I can fool myself into thinking that’s not exactly what I was afraid of, even though the notion is absurd to me now. Low self-esteem, anyone?).

I made it back home that night at 4:30am and was greeted by a pile of snow at the end of my driveway, left by the snow plows that had traveled down my street while I was away. Instead of getting out of the car and shoveling a path for my car, I decided to gun it and try to make it over the pile. My poor little Jetta got stuck. So there I was, 4:30 in the morning, giddy from another great date and exhausted past any rational thought, digging out my car.

Good times. That was the last date I had with that boy. I can barely remember his name now, even though it wasn't all that long ago. But hearing those songs occasionally brings me right back.

12 July 2008

Moss Grid Hand Towels FO

With a month's notice, I was invited to a wedding for a woman whom I have worked with for many years. I knew she was getting married, but I didn't know when too far in advance. So, while I would have loved to have made her an afghan, I only had time to make three hand towels. (aside: If I had known it would take me so long to finish the hand towels, I would have made an afghan instead. The wedding was 2 months ago. Oh well, at least I made it within the 1 year window.)

Here we are, the Moss Grid Hand Towels from Mason Dixon Knitting.

moss grid hand towel1 071208

I knew M's kitchen was decorated with these colors, so I hope she likes them. She is currently trying to sell her townhouse in town because she and her new husband are trying to buy a house in Lincoln. I hope she decorates her new kitchen the same as the townhouse.

moss grid hand towel4 071208

They turned out pretty big, maybe 18" long each. I used CotLin from Knit Picks, 2 whole skeins and a little of a third skein of each color. The yarn is a DK weight. I used size 7 needles, which gave me a nice drapey fabric, but should give room for shrinkage without making the towels too much smaller.

moss grid hand towel2 071208

I really love this yarn. It's the first time I have worked with a cotton/linen blend. It's very soft. An added bonus is that working with it didn't hurt my hands at all. I will definitely be using this yarn again. I'm really glad that I have almost a complete skein left of each color so that I can use it for a little something for myself. I'm thinking of some wash cloths for the bathroom.

moss grid red 071208
moss grid yellow 071208
moss grid white 071208

The pattern is really easy. I would definitely use it again.

Here are the details:
Pattern: Moss Grid Hand Towels from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Knit Picks CotLin, 3 skeins each of Moroccan Red, Creme Brulee, and Swan
Needles: 24" size 7 Clover bamboo
Started: 4/1/08
Finished: 6/26/08
Mods: I changed the moss stitch border to make it a little wider since I was using DK weight yarn. I can't remember how many stitches I added, but I think it was between 2 and 4. Otherwise, I followed the pattern exactly.

moss grid hand towel3 071208

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09 July 2008

WiP Wednesday!

I haven't made a WiP Wednesday post in ages. I guess having my camera back has me more photo happy than usual.

I have 4 projects on the needles right now.

The first is a baby sweater for one of the zillion pregnant women at work.

red baby sweater 070908

It shouldn't take too long to finish it. I'm just not that thrilled about knitting the sleeves. This is the second one of these I have made in the last month (pics of the other one to come later), and while it's pretty cute, I'm a bit bored with it. I really like the yarn, though. It's Knit Picks Swish Superwash Worsted. Me likes red.

Project number 2 is the Flower Petal Shawl.

flower petal2 070908

I am soooooo close to having this finished. I have 7 points left to knit.

flower petal1 070908
Check out the purple toes!

I'm really hoping to have it finished by the end of this weekend.

Project number 3 is the Peacock Feathers Shawl.

peacock 070908

I just started chart 3. The pattern is not too complicated, but it has this mirror image thing going on that is a big brain burner.

And, finally, there is the Five Alarm Bag.

five alarm 070908

I haven't worked on this in probably close to 2 months. As soon as the Flower Petal Shawl is finished, I'll pick it up again.

So, that's it. It's killing me that I don't have a pair of socks on the needles, but I must finish something before I can indulge my inner sock demon.

08 July 2008

Simple Shawl FO

Last September I bought a skein of Tahki Cotton Classic at The Stitchin' Den in Estes Park. There was a sample of a simple shawl hanging from one of the racks in the shop and I really liked it. The pattern for the shawl came free with purchase of a skein of Cotton Classic, which is all the yarn you need for the shawl. One skein for a really cool shawl? Perfect!

Cut to May this year. My friend L's birthday was coming up, and I really wanted to make her something simple. After considering a few shawl patterns, I decided that I'd make her the Cotton Classic shawl. Only, I couldn't find the pattern. Anywhere. I had just seen it the previous week, but could not for the life of me find the damn thing.

Realizing that time was a-wastin', and I didn't have the patience to tear apart my house looking for the pattern, I thought I'd just make up my own pattern. I grabbed a size 15 circular needle, wound the yarn into a ball, and went to town.

For a whole 14 stitches.

The plan was to cast on 7 sts at the center top of the shawl and work my way down into a triangle. Problem was that worsted weight yarn on size 15s was awful to work. My hands aren't normally on speaking terms with large needles in the first place, but add yarn that is too thin for the needles and it's just too messy for my patience.

Start over, this time with size 10.5s. Ahhhh... Just right.

simple shawl1 062108

Of course, the smaller needles meant that my brilliant one-skein shawl was now going to require more than one skein. Since I wanted to make a small shawl, I calculated that I would need about 3 skeins total.

Off to Yarn Barn I went. I searched and searched and came up with nothing. I even asked the very helpful employees if they had that color in their stockroom. No luck. Not only did they not have the color in the stockroom, they don't even carry that color. Ugh. After much searching on the web, I ordered the 2 extra skeins from Yarn Market. I had only 2 weeks to finish the shawl, so I had to pay for 2-day shipping - more than I paid for the yarn itself.

But, I did it. I finished it in enough time to block it so that it was dry the day before L's birthday.

So, here's the basic pattern: cast on 7 sts; knit the first row. On every right side row, k2, yo, knit to center st; yo, k1, yo, knit to last 3 sts; yo, k2. On every wrong side row, p all the way across. See? Simple.

simple shawl3 062108

The cast off was more complicated. I did a crochet chain cast off. It seemed to compliment the yarn overs well.

simple shawl2 062108

Here are the details:
Pattern: my own
Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, color number 1724
Needles: 24" size 10.5 Addis
Started: last week of May 2008
Finished: 6/19/08

I wish I had some modeled shots of this thing. I completely forgot to take some before wrapping it up.

L loved it. I gave it to her at lunch on the 24th and she wore it the rest of the day. Even took it to Shane's desk to show him (she works at the same company that Shane and I work for, and she and her boyfriend are just about the only couple friends that we have besides Wendy and Pete). That made me smile.

06 July 2008

Sunday meme

Now that my camera has been fixed and returned to me, I have some photos of FOs to take. It's been a busy weekend full of new TVs, cable problems, shopping in bulk at Costco and new freezers. I didn't get around to taking any photos.

Instead, I give you a meme. I saw this for the first time on Jo's blog.


a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Beverly
2. What is your favorite food? Indian food
3. What high school did you go to? Lawrence High School
4. What is your favorite color? all colors
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Ewan MacGregor
6. Favorite drink? Beer
7. Dream vacation? Italy
8. Favorite dessert? cupcakes
9. What you want to be when you grow up? editor
10. What do you love most in life? husband
11. One word to describe you. procrastinator
12. Your flickr name. beverly photos


03 July 2008


There are about 30 women at work who are pregnant. Ok, not really, but there are quite a few (something I'm painfully aware of since Shane and I have been as yet unsuccessful in conceiving). Of the multitudes, there are several who are friends, sort of, so I am knitting them little gifts for their babies.

The first gift I finished was a set of three bibs for the coworker who is due in mid-July.

bibs2 062608

These are the bibs from the Mason Dixon Knitting book. I didn't have a lot of time to make something, so these seemed like a good quick gift. But, since I used cotton, which my hands really hate, they ended up taking way longer than I expected. I finished them in time for the shower that we gave the mommy at work, but not until the night before.

As with many Mason Dixon projects, the pattern was written with a crap-ton of garter stitch. I hate garter stitch. Don't like working it and don't like the way it looks. So, I altered the pattern to have a stockinette center with a garter border.

bibs1 062608

This picture is with the flash. Overexposed, but the colors are more accurate. Who knew Sugar N Cream came in such bright colors?

bibs3 062608

I steam blocked these instead of doing my usual dunking and laying flat to dry. This was the first time I've steam blocked anything. WAY easier. I just wet a hand towel, placed it on top of the bib, and ironed.

Everyone at the shower was amazed, and the mommy loved them. It's nice to have our craft admired, even on the simplest of projects.

Here's the details:
Pattern: Baby Bib O' Love from Mason Dixon Knitting
Yarn: 3 skeins of Lily Sugar N Cream, one each of Hot Pink, Hot Purple, and Hot Blue
Needles: 24" size 8 Susan Bates circular
Started: beginning of June
Finished: 6/26/08
Mods: As mentioned above, I knitted in stockinette with a garter border instead of the whole thing in garter.

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