Friday, June 30, 2006

it is all in the details

and those details are keeping me from from completing my corset...perhaps y'all can help.
Here is my corset top as it is now... What's that bit of pink you ask? It is the crochet edge that runs around the entire piece. I ran out of blue-KnitPicks Shine Worsted bachelor button- I needed a much larger size than anticipated. All I have left in my stash is the pink-KnitPicks Shine Sport Orchid. I originally put buttonholes down each side so I could lace it up (or part way up if I were feeling extra saucy!) It looks a bit unfinished this way though, so I broke out the pink...
The top was also a bit floppy, and the extra stitches really help it keep in shape.

I have pretty much decided I will crochet along the front and top edges. Then sew all those buttons on... I am horrible at sewing on buttons...but I should be very good after all the practice I am gonna get sewing on these 23 pearly pretties. But I can not decide if I like the pink...on one hand I do have it....however I think I would prefer Cloud or Silver Sage.

If the needles were in your hands what would you do?

1.Spring for the extra skein (color suggestion anyone?)-even if it means waiting...

2.Use the pink-it pops! and you have it after all...

on an itchier note...thanks for the well bites are still insanely itchy. I have been taking benedryl for days and I tell ya it makes me woosey as a space cadet...but still I itch...y'all I knew I was really bad off when I would walk into a room with the kids and either of them would look at me and chirp "Momma, stop scratching, you are makin' it worse!" Next time I am breaking out the bug spray before heading out!

I did however suffer much less while trying to knit the lovely lace shawl. It seems obsessing over each stitch you make occupies enough brain cells to help you forget how horribly itchy you are. I also read that the pattern had errors, only after I got to row 20 and the lace was no longer lovely. I did a quick google search and had all the correction at hand (first mistake on row 19 arrrr)...there was even a picture of the finished shawl...very inspiring to say the least. So I am giving it another go. This yarn prefers to only be knit case of mistakes I bought a little, tiny size 4 crochet hook. I am sure it will be worth its weight in diamonds by the time I am finished.

If I like knitting lace as much as I think I will be asking for winder and swift for christmas. Now ladies, I hope you are sitting down, I have no LYS nor do I know of one within an hour of where I live. I cannot beg, plea, or pay them to wind my yarn for me...I am much worse off than those poor kids with no Xbox...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Corset top finished!

I finished knitting the corset top yesterday, although I half-assed the pattern a bit...details and pictures to come after the ends are all woven in, the buttons attached (or should I lace it up since I did put buttonholes up each side?), washing, blocking...I cannot wait! It's so pretty already!

I have had a deflowering of sorts yesterday on the fiber front. I ordered two skeins of this yarn from That is 850 yds of lace weight per skein. It arrived snuggled together dyed and wrapped just for me...The thing is, I have never ordered yarn that did not come in either a center pull skein or a ball. I got online to try to figure out what to do with this yarn so 1) it did not turn into a tangled mess and 2) I did not collapse in a tear-stained cursing mess. I finally came to the conclusion that I would have to wind it into a ball by hand. All 1700 yds of took almost 2 hours and I only got one of them wound.

Cinnabar lace yarn
lovingly twisted, loathsome
will the winding be.

But never fear, It was enough to get me started on this Lovely Lacy Shawl! I am loving lace these days. I guess I feel as if it is my next knitting hurdle. I love that there always seems to be something else I can learn or do with knitting. It really prevents me from getting bored! Trucker Papa even commented that he is really proud of me for sticking to knitting like I have since I have such a tendency to be so flighty. I am really great at starting thing and thinking up things I would like to do...I just seem to have problems with the execution...Just when I get one thing going I get an awesome (at least in my mind) idea for another thing-sometime I gotta tell y'all about my earthworm farm...oh well, it is part of my charm, as my Mamma says...

There is a fitness trail for the University track kids to practice on near our neighborhood. The family and I often go back there to take nature walks and such. On one of these walks we discovered there are wild blackberries growing along most of the trail. Yesterday the kiddos and I grabbed a few baskets and went blackberry picking. The Boy and Girl Wonder had a great time! The Girl Wonder picked about as many berries as I did, while the Boy Wonder was a bit less productive... We picked over three pounds of sweet, juicy (free) berries and headed home while thunder rumbled in the distance. We decided to cook blackberry cobbler before we even arrived home. The Girl Wonder suggested we make one for our neighbors as well. Since "They are such good neighbors to us!" She and the Boy Wonder split up the recipe, she cooking the berries, he preparing the crust (I supervised). Twenty minutes later two bubbly cobblers were put to cool on the counter. After they cooled a bit, the kids insisted on delivering the cobbler next door alone, remembering to mention that they made it themselves and thought they were lucky to have such good neighbors!

I woke this morning thinking I was covered in mosquito bites...and when I mean covered, I mean it! I have 40 bites that I can see to count...however, after a strong cup of coffee and putting 2 and 2 together I think I have chiggers instead... I always heard my Grandma warn people of chiggers when berry picking, but I never thought it could happen to me! So now I feel itchy, yucky, repulsive, and generally grossed out by myself! Did I mention I am really itchy...I also have the phantom skin crawling itchiness that sometimes afflicts us that are grossed out at the thought of having parasites feasting on our least it is not contagious, and the kids do not seem to be afflicted or infected as the case may be...they stayed to the edges of the berries to avoid the thorns-and the chiggers apparently- lucky them... send hydrocortisone cause if it gets much worse I am going to have to tape oven mitts over my hands...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Crafty but stupid...

There is a post on Craftster titled crafty but stupid. There is also a post titled Persian Waxing. Based on my experience today, these are one in the same. For those of you that do not know Persian Waxing is actually a combination of sugar, lemon juice and water that you cook on the stove until it is basically caramel, let it cool a bit, apply to hairy areas and rip the hair right off. I have waxed before so when I saw the DIY on Craftster I was really excited to try it. I let the hair grow while patiently waiting for my period to end (waxing is less painful then). Well, my friends today was the day! I could not wait to be slippery smooth from the underarms down (in my opinion if a gal can get through childbirth with no drugs she can wax and I do mean all of it). I prepared the sugar solution and burned the shit out of my middle finger testing the consistency of the wax. Who knew sugar at the soft crack stage was hot enough to raise blisters. Stupid, stupid girl...I had only been cooking it for about 15 minutes, the spoon was hot to the touch, but I touched the little innocent looking blob of sugar anyway. It was too hard by the way. I have a lovely blister now, I am sure knitting will be lots of fun-typing sure is....NOT. I do not easily give up, especially when a month of not having to shave is at stake, so I tried again. The second attempt ended in a sticky mess. So I decided to break out the few remaining VEET wax strips I bought last summer to rid myself of the hairiness, after all I had a bottle of wax remover if things got too messy. After all, the whole point of making the sugar hair remover was the beauty of the easy cleanup. Have you ever had your freshly waxed sticky self stuck to your bathtub? I have. It is not fun and as funny as the mental picture of my sticky self stuck to my tub is, I am still not laughing. Little did I know the wax remover apparently has a shelf life, and was the consistency of pudding when I tried to use it to clean up the leftover waxiness. Let me tell ya, it did not work, and I do not even have enough strips to wax the other leg-or the other parts I intended to wax. So after an hour and a half, I am left looking like spider woman (not the one in the sleek sexy costume-I am the one that looks like a tarantula) except for one leg below the knee and it would be smooth if it were not for all the dark blue fuzz from my jeans stuck to the leftover wax...sigh...oh yeah and a huge blister on my finger.
In case you are wondering, yes, waxing hurts, but girls, let me tell ya, it is worth it! I will try the sugaring again tomorrow, cause I know it can be done, I just don't know if I can do it. If that fails me I guess I will be buying my hair removers like all the other uncrafty masses.
And all you hairy gals out there can spare me the feminist bs about why I am waxing in the first let your man or woman (no discrimination here) go down one time after a "stem to stern" waxing (as The Gaming One likes to put it) and you just might change your mind...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Silk Corset top

My silk corset top is coming along nicely...especially since I have decided no baby born in August needs a knit blanket and have devoted all my knitting time to appease my own selfish desires.

I am loving this. It actually fits around me, but I was afraid of pulling the stitches off the needles. I will get a good picture when it is all finished...hopefully by Sunday so I can wear it to my sisters baby shower!

Hope y'all had a better Father's Day than I did. My Stepdad's older brother died over the weekend, and although it was expected, it is never easy to deal with. The wake was Sunday and the funeral was yesterday. It was all so sad. The man had 7 grown children, only one shed a tear during the two days. His widow didn't even cry. I know all people show emotion differently, but his kids acted as if it was a burden to have to take time out of their day for him. I cried for him, for the joyless life he led, for the pain and suffering he endured during his last months, but most of all I cried for him because it seemed as if no one cared and no one would miss him, except one of his daughters-my heart aches for her, I cannot even begin to imagine what she is was, as my mom put it "the saddest funeral I have ever been to." It really put a damper on Father's Day, as I felt to celebrate was out of place and inappropriate during a time which we should be mourning the loss of a dear uncle. He was only 62. May he finally rest in peace.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Manly Knitting! and some rambling...

No it's not The Gaming One...He has decided he "probably does not have the patience to knit" although he does have the patience to play Call of Duty for hours on end...go figure.
Anyway, manly knitting My son saw it and said "Can they actually do that!? That must take a really big ball of yarn!"

I am also glad to report I found my knitting mojo! It returned after the first night of uninterrupted sleep I have had in months. The (almost 5yo) Boy Wonder actually slept through the night instead of waking during the wee hours to climb into my bed. Sometimes he sneaks in quietly-but only if I am snuggled up with The Gaming One and there is room, usually he crawls in and drapes his legs over mine. I tell ya there is nothing like trying to sleep while being the personal body pillow to a wiggling four year old. My kids have never been good sleepers. Both quit taking naps way too soon for this little mama (The Girl Wonder's gave up napping around her first birthday, and The Boy Wonder gave them up around 18 months). Ironically, they didn't sleep through the night when the napping ended. The Girl Wonder is a bit of an insomniac and it is not uncommon for her to be awake and reading in her room at 1 am (although her bedtime is 10:30) and she only started sleeping through the night when she was around 8-she is now 10. I hope The Boy Wonder reaches this milestone sooner, as 13 years of kids waking me up in the middle of the night is almost too much to handle...Before the children, I could sleep 12-15 hours without batting an eye, now I am lucky to to sleep three hours without interruption. At least I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mama and the kids are lucky enough to be homeschooled so the sleepless nights do not interfere with school. I know one day I will roll over in the morning and for just a second will yearn to have those sweet little warm bodies contently snoozing beside me. However, these days I am happy to roll over and realize they are still in their own beds!

On another note, I am so excited about the Secret Sistah Friend Exchange (link on sidebar)! I have been scouring the web for gift ideas for my secret sistah and while I have a few ideas, my pal seems to be one of those gals that have everything! I am not usually one of those people that "want" anything. It drives my family crazy. Last Christmas my Mom asked what I wanted and I told her I had all I needed that she should donate to a local charity instead of buying me something. This mentality sometimes makes it very difficult to choose presents for others, but I am working on it. So ladies, if you happened to be my Secret Sistah what might you like to get in the mail?

Monday, June 12, 2006

LOST:My knitting Mojo Reward offered!

Sometime between yesterday and today I lost my knitting mojo.
Exhibit A: I have forgotten how to count to six, and placed a buttonhole on the wrong row of the Silk corset top. This is usually not a problem, as I would just ladder down the stitches and pick them up with a crochet hook. However, today I had to unravel the edge and reknit the button band. It was a messy affair, and I had a bit of an out of body experience as I looked on with horror at the tangle of yarn realizing that I may very well have to not only frog eight entire rows, but then pick-up the 160some stitches and reknit all my progress. It looks ok now, but only ok. And I almost cried after I was finished.
Exhibit B: I posted earlier today about a cute little alpaca baby sock I knit for my preg sis. I was unhappy with the super-pointy toe so I thought I would frog just the toe and try another. Apparently my brain and my knitting mojo are buddies and decided to take a vacation together, because 1-the yarn is fuzzzzy alpaca 2-the needles are sz 1. My dear friends this 1+2=ERROR!ERROR!ERROR! um yeah...that baby sock was sailing across the living room faster than I could say "another vodka tonic, STAT!" I actually went to my room a shed a few frustrated tears about this one. Knitting for relaxation, my ass!
Exhibit C: The yankees baby blanket is a tangled mess. I have mentioned this blanket on more than one occasion to the expecting parents and they are both so excited to see the finished result. BIL even went to the trouble to find me a great NY logo to use for the charting. I think all my bragging is coming to bite me in the ass. What is up? I can knit a fucking sweater but cannot manage a square stockinette stitch baby blanket? My first attempt at intarsia over a year ago went off without a hitch, now it is killing me.
Do y'all realize that is every project that I have on my needles? They are all fucked and the cocktails are not helping.

I have not left the house so I have a strong suspicion my mojo and brain are vacationing beneath the sofa cushions. Maybe those rugrats of mine have taken off with it, however, kind souls, if you come across it please return it, as I really need it back. My sanity relies upon it. Reward: half a bottle of Stoli Vodka...(the other half is helping me cope with my loss)

Knitting in public & new love

So Saturday was Knitting in Public day, but apparently no one in the greater Charlotte area was aware of this as I saw ZERO other knitters all day...alas, none at the farmers market, either of the restaurants we went to, not even the ice cream shop...WTF is wrong with people in NC? Ah well...I have always liked to be unique! I vowed I would only work on the Yankees blanket for my sis and BIL, however it looks like this... You see all the balls of yarn down there? they are going to be the death of me I am sure...I need advice ladies. How in hell do I keep them from tangling and making me curse in front of the elderly and small children? That clip is my feable attempt and I tell ya, it ain't working... Anyway, I took my Silk Corset Top to knit in public, but when I got home and was coming in the house I had my arms full of purse, knitting, coffee cup tucked in crook of elbow...I bent down to pick something up and poured half of my coffee into my knitting bag! AHHHHH! yes I was pissed. At least I spilled the coffee when I was at home so I could wash it out quickly. Thankfully there is no coffee stain on my half finished favorite garment ever. I guess that was my sign to get back to the baby blanket... but I am really not enjoying knitting it...I don't know what it is about it, could it be all the tangled yarn, the worry that the NY in the center will end up puckered and gappy, all the stockinette stitch, the realization that it will never be finished by the baby shower or simply the fact that I am kinda selfish and just want to make something for myself? You choose.
Since I know I cannot finish it in time I decided to go another route...a cutsy pair of baby socks with an IOU a baby blanket note. The socks are slightly selfish, I must admit. I have a pair of sz. 1 dpn's that I have been really wanted to try out. I also have seven skeins of laceweight alpaca leftover from MIL's Clapotis that I thought just might make the most comfy (or most itchy) socks ever. So what better way to try out both than baby socks! (Sorry about the photo- I had just enough batteries left in my camera to take the two pics for today's post.)
say it with me: AWWWWWW! ain't they cute! I accidently unraveled a few rows of the toe transporting little sock to its photo op, which is ok cause the toes were pointier than any baby toes I have ever seen. I am going to try a few different options to see if I can round them off a bit more. Also, after the practice baby sock, I see a pair of alpaca socks in my future! MMMMM fuzzy alpaca. These tiny needles are my new love, I really thought I would be in ladder-between-the-dpn's-hell, but I have not had any problems. Gotta go fix that toe then on to the second sock.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Selfish Knitting

Two weeks after frogging my Silk Corset Top, here is my second attempt. I wanted to make one size larger than before, but somehow when I was casting on I casted on enough extra stitches to make it two sizes bigger... I did not notice this until I finished the top diamond section... To make up for this (since there was no way in hell I wanted to cast on all those stitches again) I decided to knit the ribbed portion on size 5 needles instead of size 6...So far, so good!I love this pattern, the yarn (Knit Picks Shine Worsted) everything about it! I cannot wait to have it finished. I am down to the mini cable portion (chart D). I must admit the twists gave me a bit of difficulty at first, but after printing a closeup of the twists to use as a reference it was smooth sailing! I tried it on after completing the bust decreases and asked The Gaming One what he thought....His response "I think you should stop knitting now! You look hot, baby!" Gotta love a man that appreciates knitting!
I cannot put this down, although I should be working on this...It is the Yankees baby blanket for my pregnant sister. Her baby shower is in two weeks, you would think I would be knitting this and only this, but I have not even charted the NY yet...I guess I will be wrapping this one still on the needles! Hey, the baby is not due until August, so I really do have a bit of time. Although I would like to have a bit more of it finished before her shower so I do not look like such a slack ass...after all, she has been pregnant for seven months now...sheesh

Friday, June 02, 2006

Prime knitting time...wasted

The Girl Wonder's Dad owns a cafe'. Today I worked for him and took my knitting along to work on in the car, however, in the rush to leave this afternoon I left the clipboard where I keep all the patterns I am currently working on. So tonight I am home. The house is clean. The children are with relatives. The Gaming One will not be home until 11. And all my knitting patterns are locked in a closed store.