Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweater quest update and agenda

Figured I should post an update on the sweater quest, because there are only a few days left. I have high hopes that I can finish at least two, possibly five sweaters this week, perhaps even more if I stop sleeping. Although knitting while sleep-deprived does not necessarily equal good results.

Anyway, here's the list, color-coded and everything:
  1. Scoop Pullover: Completed, and in Tulsa, where it will get worn.
  2. Sonnet: To be blocked, seamed, and have buttons added today. I hope.
  3. Max: Completely done, and making people smile.
  4. Einstein: Completely done, and getting compliments, especially on the buttons.
  5. Vine Yoke: Still needs a sleeve and a front. On the agenda for Thursday.
  6. Shalom: Worn yesterday to knitting. I must have monkey arms or a very short row gauge, as the designer mentioned that the sleeves would be very long, and they are 3/4 length on me.
  7. Wrenna: Wore to the office holiday party. Definitely a gorgeous pattern and a quick knit, and I would consider making another.
  8. Issara: Needs closures; hope to add those today.
  9. Spoke: Finally finished the second front, and started the sleeves. Modified the sleeves because I was sick of 1x1 and to remove the giant bells. Giant, I say! Just need to finish the second sleeve, sew the shoulders, and do the edging. On the agenda for today between #2 and #8, and tomorrow.
  10. Lia: Needs sleeves and yoke. Hopefully tomorrow, assuming Zuzu will allow it, as she doesn't seem to appreciate this sweater except as a blanket.
  11. Gathered Pullover: Just needs sleeve caps knitted and sleeves sewn in. Went a bit overboard on the sleeve tubes (unless I really do have monkey arms), but it's time to start the increases.
  12. Owls: Needs sleeves and yoke. Planning on spending Friday on that.
So. We'll see how far I get. Which means I should really stop typing and pick up the needles. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Smart Little Chickadee

Short post here, because I don't have too much to say. Still plugging away on my sweaters, which are still mostly as described although I have been working on Spoke again, and my Owls is about ready for the sleeves.

Anyway, I know I've shared stories from the birdfeeder before, and this is another. When we got dumped on with snow (so much that they sent a backhoe to do the plowing - see below), we did not shovel the deck, so instead of refilling the feeder that hangs at the edge, I just stuck a feeder on the ground, right outside of the door.

Our snowplow for Dec 13-14

Well, it took a bit of time for the birds to find it, but they did, and were thrilled to have more sunflower seeds to eat. (And suet, as I hung the suet cage from the handle of the sliding glass door.) Obviously, the feeder gets emptied every few days.

This morning I noticed that the feeder was empty, so I opened the door to refill it. There was a chickadee watching from the beam of the deck roof. I refilled the feeder, stepped back inside, and that little chickadee was at the feeder before I had closed the door.

But not for long! Here comes Zuzu, curious as to why the door had been open without her knowledge. Off flies little chickadee! Apparently little chickadee knows that humans aren't generally dangerous, but cats frequently are. Hence the title of this post.

What else? I am very entertained with this. Potty humor for paleontologists! Or just silly stuff for kids and kids-at-heart.

In other slightly science-y news, I stayed up to watch the start of the lunar eclipse. In part because I was playing with chocolate, so I could share candies with my coworkers. I still have several things to make, but thankfully there are a few days until Christmas so I can delay just a bit. Haven't started with the dark chocolate yet, and I don't think my family will mind that I won't share many dark chocolate treats with my coworkers, as there will be more for them.

Crappy cell phone picture of the start of the lunar eclipse because I need to find my camera cable to download the better pics

Well, I should probably stop typing and start being productive. I have a lot to do before Christmas, and lots of knitting to be done before the end of the month!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

GAH! How did it get to be December?!?!?!?!

Yes, I procrastinate. Not one of my better qualities, but hey, I usually work well under a deadline (as long as no one is staring over my shoulder), so whatever. But EEK! Really? I am not ready for December! Would much prefer it to be oh, maybe September? Anyway, the sweater quest continues, with a few interruptions here and there.

Made Eugenia's mitts for the lovely AutumnBreeze as part of a swap. I hope she likes them! I'm not sure if she's unwrapped that far yet. (Pattern is Rav link.)

Swapner's mitts

A friend's daughter is going through a bit of a rough time as a new big sister, so I made some fingerless mitts for her.

Andrea's mitts

Which then sat in my house forever and ever before I finally got to the PO to ship them. Hopefully they'll still fit!

*Finally* finished seaming Mom's sweater, and she likes it. Yay! One completely-finished sweater!

Mom's sweater

Tangent: we went to the Rally to Restore Sanity at the end of October, and had a lovely time. Wish we had more time to spend wandering various Smithsonian buildings, but we saw the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, which is what I wanted to see, so I was content. Will have to go back another time.

Coral reef

Back to the sweater quest... Sweater #2 is still waiting to be blocked, seamed, and buttoned. Sweater #3 and #4 are completely done. Yay!! Sweater #5 has had some progress made, and just needs the second sleeve and front. Sweaters #6-8 were mentioned previously, and about in the same shape. Issara needs closures, and then she's done.

Sweater #3

Sweater #4

Vine yoke
Sweater #5

Sweater #9 is still trudging along. I would not have started if I had read the pattern the whole way through before starting. LOTS of 1x1 ribbing, which does not work well with the yarn I am using, as I like to do my ribbing using the Portuguese technique, and Freedom Spirit is too delicate for all that tension. Currently the sweater is in my car (well, the piece-in-progress), where it gets dragged out occasionally.

Spoke "assembled"

Sweater #10 is still waiting to be fixed, but I just need to figure out the start of round stitch and it will be good to go. May try to do the sleeves this weekend and then finish the top.


Sweater #11 turns out not to be a test knit, as I could not get gauge for the design. Turned to an older pattern that I've wanted to do for years, since I first saw it showing up on "real people" on Ravelry. Not that it's an ugly design on its own, but it really shines when worn by people with curves rather than stick-thin models. Anyway, it is still breaking my habit of green sweaters. Which isn't actually *too* bad, as I will end the year with at most six green sweaters to wear. Green sweater #1 ended up in Oklahoma with 'lista, and even though Sweater #5 is notoriously short so I added a few stitches to compensate, I wonder if it will be a belly sweater. Which means that it may need to find a new home, too.

Gathered yoke

Sweater #12 is another older design that I've wanted to do for a while. In fact, I started the project in 2008, but it got sent to time out when I realized that my gauge was much too small and I didn't care for how the yarn was pooling. Anyway, I am modifying the design significantly, to match my gauge and size, and skipping the waist shaping as my waist has disappeared lately. The yarn is still pooling, but rather than having large blotches of the yellow-green it is spiraling around the sweater. Which I can deal with. Should probably be alternating rows with another skein, since it's hand-dyed stuff (I love Briar Rose!) but am not. We'll see how it turns out.


I need to come up with a good strategy to get things finished on time. And here I am typing rather than knitting... Am currently considering adding a week to my schedule for every pair of things I made in 2010, since I am intending on devoting 2011 to pairs. Socks, gloves, slippers, mitts: pairs. That would give me an extra month, just about, because I made two pairs of fingerless mitts, one pair of mittens, and a pair of baby bibs. Longer if I count the pairs of squares I knit... But I am going to try to get things done this month. It is theoretically possible, at least as of the 4th. We shall see what happens. I don't know when I will fit in the Christmas candy/cookie-making, but perhaps I will go a few days without sleep. Or take a few extra vacation days. If all goes well, I won't go to work between Christmas and New Year's, but I am not counting on that.

Well. What else? As it's not a post without a Zuzu picture, here is my longcat:

Long cat

Her front paws were near my ankles, and her back paws were by my hip. For a small cat she is definitely stretchy!

Back to knitting I go! Cross your fingers that I can finish something this weekend!