Monday, March 31, 2008

Sweater progress

As predicted not a lot of knitting got done this weekend! The conference was super! So many great talks and getting to be around people who love what I do too! The hard part is that there were 5 special sessions in Topology at the same time! Not very often that you have to choose between so many great talks! (and I'm a little behind on my sleep)
During the conference I saw an albino squirrel! I'm sorry I didn't have my camera to share it with you, maybe I'll see him (or her) again--not quite what you expect to see every day!

So how about the sweater! So it's coming along nicely. I've done all the decreases for the armholes (see how nice they look--I'm rather proud!)

Now about 8 inches and I can do the neck shaping! (the pattern doesn't make sense to me for the neck shaping, so I am going to look for an errata page before that--could just be me, but....I'd rather not have to redo it) Here's another pic with a 12 inched ruler to help give you a better idea of the size:

I'm enjoying the yarn it's very soft! Knox thinks so too, she keeps wanting to be on my lap and "kneed" my sweater (YIKES!) She will start off in a very safe place on my lap and then try to sneak a paw onto my sweater, so I've been watching her like a hawk :) Socks don't have the same appeal to her I guess. On other cat news---we found out Knox likes to "straighten" pictures! We have a picture above our couch and it kept getting crocked! Saturday night DH found her perched on top of the couch "straightening" the picture!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Flashback Friday!

Thanks everyone for your input about which baby blanket to make! If you haven't voted see at the top right there is a poll so your opinion can count! I'm looking forward to starting it!
My sweater has been coming along well, but not much to show. I'm getting close to shaping the armholes! I'll post a pic on Monday. I don't have any grand hope to make much progress this weekend. We have a AMS region math conference here at LSU this weekend! There should be lots of super talks and I'm really looking forward to it, but....little else will get done. Somehow how I just don't feel right knitting during those talks, it seems rude and I should pay attention!
So some older knitting projects: (kindly submitted by my sister-in-law):

They were a birthday gift (although I had to take them back and lengthen them because they were too short---I'm getting better at making socks long enough). It seems I always have to make them longer than the pattern says! They are Embossed Leaves from Favorite Socks. I used US 2 dpn and yarn my sister-in-law gifted to me!!! She is so good to me! She went to New Zealand last summer and brought me back yarn to make 2 pairs of socks :) (I forgot to look up the ball band before I came to work today--if you're interested let me know and I will try to find it) The pattern was super and so quick to knit!
Enjoy your weekend! I'll be listening to math talks :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My DH said....

....make a poll! My DH is so supportive of my crafting habits. He rarely complains about the mess or expense or the vast amount of time I devote to my "projects." He also patiently listens to me debate what to make, you know questions like...which socks do you think they would like more? Should I used this yarn or this one? which color? So this weekend when I asked:

Do I make this afghan?:

Option 1

or this one?:

Option 2

His response was make a poll and let you all decide! He went on to say that he thought option 2 might be more practical. (of course I was leaning towards option 1) This is for our pastor's baby. They aren't going to find out if it is a boy or girl, so either one would be white. I scored some yarn at Michael's on Saturday (I used that 30% off coupon I told you about) It is Bernat Softee in white. I've never used it before, but it looks soft and it's washable, so we should be in good shape for baby items.

I know this is the first crochet project I've mentioned (both proposed projects are crochet) and maybe you all thought I was just a knitter. Although I learned to knit when I was little (from Grandma) I also learned to crochet (from Grandma too!) For whatever reason, crochet seemed to stick with me better. It wasn't until 2 years ago that I really started knitting. I think in general I prefer knitting, but some projects are more suited to crochetting and I don't mind that at all--crochet doilies are fun, especially when it's hot here and crochet doesn't roll on you like knitting can. Also, if my hands get tired of knitting, switching to a crochet project can be good because it uses different repetitive actions. Anyway, I'm going to crochet this baby blanket and would appreciate you voting in my poll to help my decide. So please go to the side there and vote, help me!

Sweater news: 12 inches and growing :)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Promised Sweater Pics

Do you check your gauge? I must admit I hate checking gauge. It feels like such wasted time and feels like going to the dentist. So as a general rule I just wing it, but.....we've talked about this sweater, so....I checked my gauge.

On the first try I was close. 23 stitches by 32 rows instead of 22 by 30. My initial response was close enough. Then I did the math (haha) and realized that being one stitch off would amount to 2 inches in the final product YIKES! (I wasn't worried at all by the 32 rows) Now if I were good and did things just the way I should, I would knit another gauge swatch using the next size up, but come on, I did it I just went up one size and started. (this may prove to be a crucial mistake, but I hope not)

I did notice that the yarn shows my stitch imperfections big time--who knew I had imperfections in my stitches? alpaca does, that's who! So I blocked the swatch (I did this before I measured it too) and blocking isn't my favorite, but it was so worth it! All the stitches lined up and the fabric felt so light, I can't wait to wear it! (see all those stitches looking so happy--the color is more acurate in the first pic without the flash)

So I've started the back...I think I've done about 9 inches. The yarn is really soft, but I have found where one ply is broken occasionally in the yarn and a knot or two in the skein, but I'm not complaining. I just make sure to check the yarn for a row before I start the row (did that make sense) so I'll keep you posted on the sweater, but fair warning it could take a while.

On another note, my dear mom found this awesome new tea! Blueberry Green Tea by Republic of Tea. It is good for you and tastes wonderful. The blueberry adds a nice sweetness without being overpowering! Enjoy your day while I enjoy my tea!

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm back!

Sorry for the long absence. I had planned on posting over spring break more, but instead I just enjoyed my break! It was super! I got to sleep in, knit, relax, and hang out with DH. Now I'm excited to go back to math world and work hard on my research! So what have I been knitting? Well I finished my Monkey socks by Cookie A! I'm super pleased with them! They are using Knitpicks Essential yarn in Lily Pad with US 1 dpn. (for an undisclosed recipient)

In other news, I hope you all had a fantastic Easter and enjoyed celebrating the resurrection of our Lord! It was a great time to remember the sacrifice Jesus made for anyone willing to take it. (I did miss my dad's Easter Egg hunt---he always hid eggs so well and my brothers and I took our Easter egg hunt very seriously not to mention the Easter baskets mom always had at our door when we would wake up)

Tomorrow look for pics on the sweater!

Monday, March 17, 2008

No Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) here!

Yesterday I finished the first Monkey sock :) Yeah! and immediately cast on for the second! My DH is very understanding even supporting of my knitting/crocheting habit, but I don't think he would react favorably to a great number of WIPs let alone single socks! So I try to stay focused as best I can.

We're on Spring Break! Yeah! But it's Monday and I'm at school *sigh* Hopefully I can get my work done and enjoy some knitting days this week! I can't wait to start my sweater! Plus Michael's has a 30% of coupon for your entire purchase this Saturday, so I may go buy the yarn for pastor's baby blanket!

Saturday we went to the St. Patrick's Day Parade with my advisor, her husband, and baby! What fun! It was baby's first parade and she enjoyed herself, plus I got some baby time! Not having yet started my family (school seems to be preventing this) I don't pass up the opportunity to have baby time! Now I'm off to do my work and get a passport :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy Pi Day!

Warning****small math digression**** Being March 14th, I can't in good conscience forget to say happy Pi day!!! A day we celebrate the number pi! (not pie) So what is pi? pi=(circumference of circle)/(diameter of circle) . Where circumference is the distance around the outside of a circle and the diameter is the distance across the widest part of the circle. Turns out it is approximately 3.14..... (haha March 14th) It is an irrational number (it can't be written as a nice fraction) and a transcendental number (not the root of a polynomial in rational coefficients---okay if you aren't a math person I realize this one doesn't make sense) So make sure to at least appreciate math today! ****end digression****

So I've been making good progress on my sock! I've turned the heel and finished the gussett! So in no time it will be done. I'm liking the yarn and enjoying this knit! Of course Knox wanted in on the picture! (Right after this she tried to chew my needles---sometimes she starts thinking she rules the house)

Have a super weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Oh the possibilities!

There is something about yarn....sitting there full of can be anything....looking at it, touching it I dream of what it could be. In that state it is perfect, there are no imperfections just possibilities. But I know, it is there to be used. Using some yarn seems calls to is low risk. But some yarn is so precious the miror thought of it not being it's perfect totally scary. Sock yarn isn't too bad, after all it isn't that much yarn (most of which is easily accesible) Now granted I know that you can always frog a project, but somehow the yarn is now tarnished...maybe a better way to think of it is that now it has look at it and it screams failure. This gorgeous yarn I got from my grandma when I was home for Christmas. Grandma who patiently taught me to knit and crochet. As a little girl I would watch her fascinated and I asked if she could teach me to do that. She of course, put down her project to help me.

This yarn is special because it's from grandma, but there is more. It isn't just random yarn my grandma had it's from Mrs. Campbell! Now Grandma encouraged my craftiness a great deal. When I was in 5th ??? grade she bought me a knitting machine from Mrs. Campbell. It came with lessons. Many a weekend I would go with Grandma to see Mrs. Campbell for my lesson. She was a sweet lady! But most of all I remember lots of time with my Grandma and Grandpa! after all, lessons mean spending night, going out to dinner, watching TV (Grandpa would let me pick) Fun times! (Probably baking cookies with Grandma too) So this yarn, all 11 balls of 100% alpaca from Grandma who bought it from Mrs. Campbell is full of possiblities.

Since getting the yarn, I've been dreaming what should it be, what would be fitting for this yarn. I want it to be something I would wear and like. I've read about alpaca. It doesn't have the same memory as wool and can stretch more than other yarn (seams seem to be a good thing when working with alpaca, helps the garment keep its shape) So I think I found it! (from Amazon, Classic Knits)

The sweater on the front. A classic V-neck sweater. Ribbing on the cuffs and hem. The measurements of the finished garment match those of one of my favorite maybe just maybe it will work. Although I'm one to risk gauge, not when it comes to this. So in the days to come.....if I'm brave...I'll risk the yarn ..... in all its perfection.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Time for some socks!

So Sunday night I cast on for some socks! These are Monkey by Cookie A. I'm using Knitpick Essential in Lilypad that I got from my mom for Christmas :) They are going so fast!

After making my LSU socks I've decided knitting a pattern is much better. I've done 3 repeats on the leg only 3 more to go. See in the morning I can sit down and knit a repeat and feel like I've really accomplished something. Or it'll be just one more row and I've finished the repeat. Anyway they just go faster and seem more fun! Have a super day!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby Set 2

Here is Baby Set 2 (aka-the girl set) minus 2 buttons. See last post about my inability to count. The color is off in these pictures. There wasn't a lot of natural light this morning and the flash made it orange. This pic which was taken before buttons is closer to the real color, but still not quite right, but you get the idea!

The color is coral, knitpicks shine sport. So cute! Next person having a baby girl will probably get it, otherwise it is going into my hope chest :) Not a lot of knitting got done this weekend. I had the math contest (fun) and then good friends for dinner on Saturday (lots of fun) and the Sunday didn't feel good (so lots and lots of sleep) I did start a new sock so I will tell you all about it tomorrow (hopefully I'll get a little further on it tonight).

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ramblings of a math nerd who can't count!

Thanks for all your thoughts about the green sweater set.  I still haven't completely made up my mind, so if you haven't weighed in please do so.  I'm hoping to show you the girl sweater set in coral soon (maybe later today).  All I have left is to sew on the buttons.  Okay, so we all know I'm getting a math phd, but I can't count.  Seriously!  I know the sweater needs 6 buttons and 2 buttons for EACH bootee, so I bought 8 buttons. Wrong I need 10.  Why it took me 2 weeks to figure out that I didn't get enough buttons (Oh if only I could count!)  Sad thing is that I've had this problem before with these bootees thinking they only need 2 buttons.  Okay enough said, now your all laughing at (with) me.

So this morning I'm of to help with a high school math contest (definitely cuts into the knitting time)  It brings back such fond memories.  Yes even though I can't count, we've already established that, I competed in tons of math contests in HS (and did okay I might add)  Our group didn't take ourselves too seriously (I guess there was that year we studied once a week at 7am, but there were donuts)  I know I'm a nerd, always have been, always will be and I'm okay with that!  Really I am!  So today as I proctor all these budding mathematicians I remember my math team, all boys including my twin brother.  I guess there was that day they threw my books down the hall. *sigh*  I always reassured my self that if they didn't pick on me, or tease me then they didn't like me, maybe I was kidding myself, but....oh and there was also my first competition.  Our teacher didn't know my name, so my name tag said "?????????"  Seriously it did, I think I still have it.  Okay enough embarrassing myself about old times with nerdy math club stories.  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Baby Set Done!

So the green baby set is done, well at least I think. I really wanted to squeeze a hat out of the green I have, but I don't think it is possible. I'm really happy with how the bootees came out. They are Saartje's bootees (small version) using KnitPicks Shine Sport in grass using size 4 needles. As you all know I had great difficulty with the size, but I consulted "someone" who said her baby (now 7 months old) has 5 inch long feet as best she could measure with squirming baby. So these are a full 4 inches with plenty of give. I think that will work!

Now here is the problem....this is for my pastors upcoming child. I thought we were going to find out if the baby was a boy or girl, but at the last minute they've decided to wait. I have made another baby set (bootees in progress) in coral with a little lace, but same basic shape/size/yarn. Now I have to decide what to do. Would the green work for a girl? (the coral won't work for a boy) So here are my options:
1) wait and give them the set after baby is born. Then they get the proper color no problem, but it is so fun to give these cute things at a shower. (I'm planning on making a blanket in white too, so I know that will be a shower gift too, but...)
2) Give the green regardless....that is if you think green is ok for a girl
3) Some better option you all come up with (HELP!!!)

Here's Knox showing off her tummy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hot of the needles and warming my feet

So my LSU socks are done and keeping my toes toasty. I had to add a little length to the first one (me and my size 11 feet). I also had a little gauge issue. Same yarn, same needles, same me....but one sock was tighter than the other. After wearing them for a little while it doesn't seem to be an issue.

Yarn: Essential Tweed from Knitpicks
Color: Plum and Inca Gold
(I was hoping to use up all the yarn with these, but I think I have enough to make footies with this same yarn)
Pattern: Basic sock pattern with contrasting ribbing, heels and toes. I cast on 64 stitches using size 1 knitpicks wooden dpn (maybe if I had used the next size up or casted on 66 stitches I wouldn't have had the tightness issue--I've worn them all day today though and they feel great!) Oh and I did a star toe (grafting isn't something I really enjoy)

Here is Knox in her new favorite spot!

Thanks you are for your concern about my is doing much better. No more pain, but it will be a while before my nail looks normal :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Favorite things!

Try as I might, I couldn't get the LSU socks finished last night, so today is get to know me day!
Here are some of my favorite things!

1. A good cup of coffee
2. Grey's Anatomy (sad that there are no new episodes until April)
3. Days with low humidity :)
4. Psalm 91
5. Kansas sunsets
6. Bread pudding
7. Sleeping in

What are some of your favorite things?

Monday, March 3, 2008

From the knitting archives....

Gunner recieved this "catwarming" set when he was welcomed into my brother and sister-in-law's family. His response (in his own words):

Hi Aunt Leah!

Boy, do I love the toys you made me! My Mom couldn't get over how cute they were! I like to carry those mice around in my mouth by their tails. And, last night I got myself really tied up in the ball and string toy. I slept practially the whole night -- I was so exhausted trying to bite them off of me. Please tell Knox thanks for sharing her treats! I'd never had a "treat" before. I'm going to have to convince Mom and Dad to get me some of those. I look forward to meeting you guys at Christmas. Be ready to play!

Best kisses, Gunner

Unfortunately Christmas didn't go well for them this year...Gunner isn't as shy as Knox and Knox just hissed! You can read more about Gunner at his mom's blog. The mice are from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation, Catwarming set, using Red Heart sport. Quick, cute, and filled with catnip are hours of fun for the kitties in your life :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Mom's Handiwork

I'm feeling better and knitting again, slowly but surely (kinda the way my finger is heeling). Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers!  Today is the baby shower for my cousin L. Unfortunately it is in KS and I'm not.  L is the first cousin to have a baby so the family is very excited.  My mom requested that I make some bootees for a coursage she wanted to make to honor the mother-to-be.  I didn't really know what she had in mind, but look what she made!

She is so crafty at these types of things!  She did all the flowers for my wedding--they looked so professional!  I'm sure it will be a super shower too!