Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Monday, September 29, 2008

More History Lessons and my Shawl Collar Sweater.

I think I've been in a knitting rut. Maybe I started this sweater a little too early in the year. When I was a kid, you'd wear your school clothes to school the first week and sweat. After that, it would cool down and you'd be comfortably dressed. Nowadays, summer lasts until Thanksgiving. It's 6:30 in the morning here on Long Island (we live "ON" the island, not "IN" and we only say that about ourselves. People live IN Staten Island, ON Long Island. Peculiar) and it's 65 degrees. It's damn near OCTOBER and I'm in a tank top and shorts wondering why I'm dripping sweat. I'm getting ready to start roasting meats, baking and the like and it's warm to turn on the oven. So, it must be warm to start knitting a sweater. I should've made one last pair of socks.

Anyway, I haven't really showed you this sweater that I've been working on for over a month. The sleeves are completed and I am now knitting the back and front, two pieces on one circular needle. In the process of knitting with the baseball bat size 11's on the Knitpicks cable, one of the connectors came right off. I had another cable and I will e-mail them to replace it soon. I also have a metal DPN from them that needs to be replaced, the tip came off. So, that caused a delay of game. I like knitting with the bigger needles because I have no problems seeing them; however, my hands hurt if I do too much. The 9's don't bother me but the 11's are really, really fat!

Here's the sweater taking a rest on my table, a WIP that I'm trying to finish in time for Rhinebeck but it's not looking all that good. No worries, he can wear his Wallaby, DD can wear her poncho and DS can wear his Weasley. That's if it's cold enough!

I really truly love that k2,p2 cast on. It takes longer but it's worth it. I will definitely do it on my next pair of socks.

On Saturday, we got a visit from Elizzabetty. DD, who has a very long attention span for a five year old, has decided that its time for her to knit. Quick story, she had bugged me for piano lessons since she turned three. I did one summer of Suzuki school, stopped for a little bit and she asked at least once a week to do it again. In February of last year, I started her privately in our house and she loves it. She's sailing through her piano book. It has given her an edge with reading (words, not only music, she has that left right thing going on) and also has helped her with math. So, if she can do that, she can certainly learn to at least do the knit stitch. She got a little private lesson.

and, in no time, was happily on her own, showing alot of glee here!

At 15 or so, when she's yelling at me for ruining her life because I won't let her go on car dates or to the mall alone or stay out late, she now has something else to add to the list. "And, you didn't even teach me to knit continental".

To tell you the truth, I don't know how I learned to knit but I believe it was continental. I remember learning to crochet, vividly. My grandmother took out some red yarn and taught me the chain stitch. I got that in one week and made a chain that could go around the block. Then, the next week, she got out another ball of red yarn and taught me the single crochet stitch. Oddly, she did it in a circle. She made a small disc, apparently increasing as she went. Say, the size of a mini DVD, then she went home and left me to play with it. I didn't know how to increase so when she came back the week after that, we had a tube. She then showed me double crochet which flared out the edges and we had a little upside down vase. Then, she gave me the "Learn to Crochet" book which has been reprinted years later but there are so many other books out now. It had tons and tons of different stitches in it, sc, dc, hdc, waffle stitch, shells, v-stitch. I spent hours with that book and became an expert before fifth grade. I made an afghan in elementary school. In sixth grade, I learned how to make granny squares and I was on my way to Olympic Crocheting. My grandmother and my left-handed-do-it-backwards mother both knitted. My grandmother taught me on DPNs, she must've been working on a sock or a mitten when she showed me, and it blew my mind. My mother taught me on enamel coated skinny long needles and I was getting the hang of it. I knitted continental and my mother threw. I don't know how that happened. I guess because I learned to crochet first and it just seemed natural. Throwing is too slow, takes way too long to knit. Nothing against you throwers, some of you can knit very, very fast; however, it is clearly not as fast as continental knitting. It wastes motion. The purl stitch continental is a little weird and even people who knit continental sometimes wrap that. I sort of half wrap it. I'll have to make a video one day for our viewing pleasure.

Well, its time for a little stroll on the treadmill, shower, get the kids up and off to school and then off to work....

Friday, September 26, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Waterfall at the Congo Gorilla Forest, Bronx Zoo, NY

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

K2, P2 Cast On

Even though I haven't been actively knitting as much the past few days, I did finish up the sleeves on the shawl collar sweater. I used normal long tail cast on on them. It's always bothered me how ugly the edge of that is when you use ribbing so I started thinking about a way to cast on 'in pattern' the way that you can cast off in pattern.
Lo and behold, there I was one morning, reading one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books and she talked about the k2, p2 cast on. So, I figured I'd try it. It's ingenious! It worked great and it'll work even better when I try it on socks.
That's the bottom edge of the sweater. Pretty, isn't it? No bumps on the knit stitches that don't belong there.

I googled it and found this link on Purlwise's Blog.

Try it out on some scrap yarn and knit a few rows. It's fun and I'm so happy that I learned another cast on.

Here's another shot of how the front and back look from further away. This is a light gray and charcoal combo sweater. Check out that lovely ribbing again! Wrong side on top, right side on bottom.

In other news, DD turned 5. :(

I can't believe it's been five whole years with my little bundle of love. I remember when I brought her home from the hospital and my neighbor said, "You don't know what love is until you have a child". And I completely understand that now.

My friends at work told me:

"A daughter is a daughter for the rest of your life, a son is a son until he takes a wife. "

I say, "I am raising my daughter to be a responsible member of society. I am raising my son to be...well, MY son."
So, shoot me. He'll be a mama's boy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saturday Sky

Posted on Sunday. Sky from the Skyfari ride at the Bronx Zoo.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Eye Candy Friday


Only a few short weeks and we'll be photographing foliage!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Shawl Collar Sweater

It has been awhile since my last post. I haven't really been knitting all that much. I have started the shawl collar sweater from Knitting for Him and I like it very much. I am using Cascade 128 and these GIANT size 11 needles. After knitting a quadrillion pairs of socks on little sticks, these feel like baseball bats. Here's an older picture of the sleeves so you can see the colors. I started with the sleeves in case the gauge was way off, which it wasn't.

I knitted up past the armpit, did the decreases and did part of the sleeve cap when I realized that I lost two sts each needle. I couldn't find out where I missed a decrease and then I discovered that I missed an INCREASE so I frogged back a few inches. Not a big deal when the stitches are like 1/4 of an inch each row and there's only 54 sts each sleeve. These two sleeves are less work than a sock, believe you me. This is an older picture and the sleeves are nearly done. They should've been done awhile ago but I've been slacking. I have been busy with a few things. and they've been taking away from my knitting time.

1. Kids are back to school and I have trouble with First Grade math homework. It took ME about 10 minutes to get FIVE problems last night. ME, who got a 790 (back when an 800 was a perfect score) on the math SAT. Me, who can really do this stuff. This is FIRST GRADE work. We had to work on shapes, squares, triangles, circles, rectangles. We had to draw them, big and small in various colors. That was fine although he didn't differentiate in his drawing what was big and what was small but understood the concept. The second part was hard. It had a picture of one shape, say, a large circle. Then, three other shapes. "Circle the figure that is different in two ways". And the choices would be circle, triangle, square. The circle and the triangle would be large and the square small. The answer is the square because its small and it's not a triangle. This was originally blowing my mind. I am not so sure I will do well in math this year. This is only the beginning of this book. Not only do I have to get it but I have to work with him to get it. Tonight, I will cut various shapes out of colored index cards and make my own problems to try to drill this in his head. Once you're lost in math, you can stay lost, sometimes for years.

2. Little girl has Kindergarten homework. Nothing hard yet. We have to make her face out of macaroni, glue, yarn, crayon etc. That's a weekend project. I can do that, it's a crafty thing.

3. Last week, in order to avoid the Christmas rush, I bought a Wii. We don't have a Wii. In fact, we don't have an LCD monitor for our PC. We don't have an HD TV. I still use my wonderful Sony Trinitron from 1983. It works great! It's 27" so I need a bigger one now that we have a Wii. DH and I go bowling at night instead of knitting. I want to buy more games but I'm poor. Why you ask? I filled the oil tank (yeah $3.39 a gallon, on sale or something!) and both gas tanks so I could still pay $3.65 a gallon just before Ike came. So, I spent alot of money last week.

4. Work is busy. I don't know why, it always gets like this after the summer is over. I had a brief lull there for awhile and now we're all back in full swing.

5. Dieting. Dieting is a full time job. You can't slack or else it shows. The other day, what did I do? I slacked I went to the sushi buffet. The sushi is ok, not all that great, but I ate too much. I was thrilled that I could eat the seaweed salad now that I got my braces off and don't have to worry about it being stuck there. I always think of Rosanne Rosannadanna, "And there she was, with a little piece of spinach, stuck to her tooth, and a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of her shoe". Watch a tribute to her on youtube...classic pictures, awful song, might make you cry. So anyway, more time on the treadmill or more time playing Wii. Maybe I'll get Wii Fit next time I have some cash. Then again, it's STILL exercise and not necessarily as fun as playing Pac-Man or something like that.

6. I DID clean my house! I have two rooms to go but the upstairs, the basement and the Living Room are clean. Even the kitchen counter is starting to show.

7. My back hurts for 10 months now. It goes away (well, turns from EXCRUCIATING I CAN'T WALK PAIN) to tolerable during the day, comes back at night and weekends. I am beginning to think that the hard tile floor in my kitchen and sunroom are killing it. I bought an area rug and a thick pad to put in there so I can have some relief. I have been seeing a chiropractor and spending even more money. I go back to the regular doctor in November. I guess we'll do an MRI next to see things that only MRIs see. Something HAS to be there, right? Must be a squished disc.

8. I have started Christmas shopping. No time like the present! (Pun intended)

9. I am enjoying DH not teaching this year. Instead, he is self employed and can make his own hours. I have less of a daycare expense (more money for other things) and he actually helps with dropping kids off, picking them up, doing the wash (sorta), feeding the kids, bathing the kids, food shopping and vacuuming. Furthermore, we have more family time and can analyze First Grade Math together. It's like, well, it's like I have a wife. Everyone should have a wife! You don't know what you're missing until you have a wife.

10. I am still learning to sew and actually take out the machine from time to time. Imagine that.

I hear the pitter patter of little feet and have to do some treadmill walking now so that's it for a long winded post about nothing. Didn't Jerry Seinfeld make alot of money doing that on a show? Well, I feel that I'm doing the same thing, except I don't make any money at it. I just, blog about ... nothing!

More photography and more knitting soon. I promise!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

A picture of Mirror Lake, Lake Placid, New York, taken 8/9/2008.

I wanted to look at a nice sky today. It's pouring in NY as we worry about the south with ike approaching....
Knitting update over the weekend!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Heeeeeeeeeere's Hanna!

What a difference a day makes! I couldn't resist hitting the beach today. I like being there all by myself and I can't resist weather and storms and giant waves.

My little family, having the entire beach to ourselves today. The seagull had to take the picture. We asked the little girl to take the picture but she's still learning how to use the camera.

See what I mean?
Knitting stuff tomorrow.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Eye Candy Friday

Jones Beach, New York

One more beach shot, we won't have too many of these in the coming months.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Goodbye, Summer 2008

I woke up this morning and it was only 69 degrees. In only two more days, school begins here in New York. The skies are lovely and absolutely clear but there is that feeling of fall in the air. In no time at all, we'll be picking pumpkins somewhere. Fleeces and long sleeves will make their appearance, chilly chilly mornings, very cool and very crisp. Gone is corn and tomato picking as we soon welcome the harvest time.
I thought I would post a few nice summer pictures today, just so we can remember what it was this year. Summer eye candy seems a nice way to say goodbye to the season. FO at the bottom of these for those of you keeping track of knitting things. First up, photography.

Jones Beach tower and Seagull.

Goodbye Summer......sun set at Jones beach, ugly light post in the way....

Not to spoil the mood, but I did finish one last pair of socks for the season...the seeded ribbing. If you want more pictures, Ravel them here.

Pattern: Seeded Ribbing, More Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch Start Date: 8/24/08
End Date: 8/30/08
Yarn: Brown Sheep Wildfoote, Blue Flannel
Needle: Knitpicks Options, Magic Loop Method, two at once, size 1, 2.25, 48 sts casted on.

I used about 1 skein of yarn for these little boy sized socks. He loves them so much, he wore them all day yesterday, even to the beach!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!