Saturday, November 7, 2009


Wow, where to begin.

We found out a little over a month ago that my mom needed surgery. What we thought were gall bladder problems turned out to be a tumor. Of course, I've spent a lot of time worrying. Her surgery was last week, and she did terrific. I'm exhausted, but happy that it's over for her.

I'm also up against a December deadline to (finally!!) finish my grad degree in computer science. Yep, it's been a while, I've change instructors, changed plans, etc., but it looks like it's going to happen. I have a lot of work to do in the next six weeks though.

Now, to add to my list of things to handle, I think I'm getting sick. My fever is 99.3 tonight, my throat is sore and I have a headache. Wonderful!

I'm trying to get caught up on twitter, stumbleupon, facebook, etc. tonight. I may not be as active onlne for the next month or so, but I won't be totally off either. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Frogged again

happy frog
Originally uploaded by avmaier

That hoodie, sweater, pullover, WHATEVER that I'm working on has been frogged, yet again. Hence, the photo of the frog where the sweater ought to be.


I got through my first entire skein, realized I had made a dumb mistake, and I had to frog the whole thing. What was the beginning of a sweater is now a yarn cake again.

We're going out of town soon, so my goal is to get the sweater started, for real, before that. it's gong to make some great mindless knitting. I've been thinking of caling it the mindless sweater.

Pics will be forthcoming, as soon as there's something to take a photo of.


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Catching up

It's been a lot longer than I'd realized.

First off, the hoodie. Frogged. I just didn't like the way the yarn was working up. I think it's the cotton/linen combination that's bothering me. It just doesn't hold its shape and drape as well as animal fibers do. I did several inches and decided that it simply wasn't getting any better.

Good news, I have some nice yellow wool I picked up from Knitpicks. I'm fiddling around with a pattern now. As soon as I get a few inches in, I'll post my formulas and pictures. It should be a template that just about anyone can follow.

Now, on to some personal stuff. I've got a lot going on right now that I'm not sure I want to write about. For one thing, it involves more than me, and I don't want to invade anyone's privacy by posting it here. Maybe that'll change, but for now I can't say much. Your patience and positive thoughts are appreciated though!

Work has been crazy and frustrating as well. Today was the first day in over two weeks that I've left at even close to my normal quitting time. Hopefully, things are going to get back to normal soon, whatever normal is.

You'll notice the lack of pictures? I have my camera right beside me, but no charging cable. Sigh. We'll find it eventually, but I'm down to just my blackberry camera, which isn't that great, in comparison. Don't get me wrong though, I'm a complete blackberry addict, and I love mine!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hoodie Pattern, doing it as I go

I'm got a new sweater on the needles, and this is one that I'm making up as I go along. Yeah, I know, daring!

I'm going to keep track of it here, along with pics, and if all goes well I'll use that to make a template that others can follow as well.

Yarn: KnitPicks CotLin in Island Coral (DK weight)
Needles: 2 mm circulars
Gauge: 5.5 stitches/inch
Size: 3X -- I'll post alterations for other sizes once I have the pattern figured out.

Basic Design

The sweater will be a pullover. I started knitting at the back neck, doing raglan increases. In this case, the initial neck opening is about 11 inches.

1. I cast on 60 stitches with a long-tail cast on. You'll want the back of the neck to stretch across the back of your neck where you want the sweater to fall, PLUS about an inch on either side. (RS)

2. Purl next row (WS)

3. K3, pm, k1, pm, k3, pm, k1, pm, knit until 8 stitches remain, pm, k1, pm, k3, pm, k1, pm, k3
purl row

4. K1, m1, knit to one stitch before marker. Increase by knitting into the front and back of the stitch. Slide stitch marker to right needle. Knit the single stitch bordered by your stitch markers. Slide the second marker over. Increase (again, by knitting into the front and back of the stitch). Continue in this manner, working the increases as described, until you're 1 stitch remains. Make 1, knit 1.

5. purl WS rows

6. Work all RS rows like #5

Note that this is pretty much a standard raglan shaping. See top down raglan cardi and February lady sweater.

The m1 stitches at the edges will form the "V" of the sweater neck. When the number of stitches across the back equals the number of stitches across both fronts, you're ready to stop working the "V" and join the sweater to work in the round.

When you've joined in the round, continue working row #5 every other row (with the exception of the m1 stitches of course). Alternate with plain knit rows.

I plan on knitting in stockinette until I get to the underarms and pull the sleeve stitches off. Continue until the stitch markers on either side will meet under your arms.

At that point I'll evaluate how much yarn I have. If I have enough, I plan on doing the sleeves in solid stockinette. The body from the bust down will be some sort of lace pattern (haven't picked one yet).

Then I want to grab those stitches at the back of the neck and knit a hood for the sweater. We're planning a trip to the beach this fall, so a nice lightweight hoodie will come in handy.

I'll continue to post updates on how it goes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Yay, finished knitting!

Yes, I know I've been quiet, but I have been knitting. I have two, count'em two, finished items to show off. I have a shawl on the needles (link forthcoming) and a new pair of my vanilla socks like those above.

The ones above are my plain-jane sock pattern, toe up, gusset heel. Ribbing is 3x2. Yarn is Farmhouse Yarns Fannie's Fingering Weight in Indian Corn.

And this one is the Simple Yet Effective Shawl. The yarn is Noro Iro in color #70. I used about 3 and a half skeins. I did the pattern as called for, but the shawl wasn't quite big enough, so I just started the garter/stockinette repeats again and kept going until I hit the right size. This is definitely a winter shawl, and it's beautiful. I can't wait to use it.

I've also started the Nefertiti wrap. I was a bit intimidated, but so far the pattern isn't tough to follow.

I'm off to update my Ravelry projects page. I'm awful about keeping it updated!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We have Lilacs!

I always look forward to the lilacs blooming in spring. I have three lilac bushes, but the other two are up in the back yard and a bit tougher to get to. I got these pictures this morning on the way out to work.

The bush sits right outside the living room window, which means the living room smells like lilacs!

As you can see, the bush is almost in full bloom now.

A (somewhat blurry) closeup. Pretty, yes?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Two Beautiful Things

This is the Simple Yet Effective Shawl. I'm doing it in Noro Iro, color #70. I can't even express how much I really love this! The shawl is a simple triangle shawl that alternates garter and stockinette. It really shows off the Noro yarn wonderfully.

Here's another picture, but the shawl is a good bit larger now. That is a cat in the corner of the picture. I laid it out on the bed just before bed. The afghan underneath is the giant granny square I crocheted for my husband a couple years ago. That's one project that has gotten tons of use!

That is my African Violet which just started blooming. I noticed it the other day when I was watering it. Isn't that pretty?

And of course, the obligatory flower close-ups!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is how zombie plagues get started


We saw this the other evening after work. We actually turned around and came back to snap a photo of it. Is anyone else thinking about rabid Taco Bell patrons right now?
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Be glad there are no pictures

First off, I have to share something a little gross (okay, a lot gross). We have some outside cats. They're strays, and we put out food for a few of them every day.

So, I go out yesterday evening on the porch and see cat poo on the porch, or at least that's what I think it is. I grab the broom to sweep it off, and yuck! It's a mouse, but not just any mouse.... It's a headless mouse! I've heard that cats will bring "gifts" to you like that. Wow, thanks.

One of them appears to be in the family way.... One had kittens last year and only one of the four survived. If this one is pregnant this year, I hope they do better.

This week is really busy. We're scheduled for a conference/training next week, so I have a LOT of work to make sure I've finished before I'm off work for those days. Of course, I'm not OFF work, I'm just doing OTHER work instead.

We finally upgraded phones, and I got the Blackberry 8330. I'm super happy with it, even if it means I'll be checking my work email all day next week even in training! If you're in the market for a pda/phone combo that's not too expensive, this is definitely one to check out.

On a very happy note, my lilac bushes are starting to bud! I love the smell of lilacs, and we're lucky to have a bush right by the front windows. There's nothing like raising the window and having the house smell like lilacs. I promise pictures when it blooms.

Sorry for the rambling, hodge-podge post, but it's my bedtime.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Deer Butts

I don't know what happened to me, but all I got in these pictures were deer butts.

This was taken from our back porch. Deer come in the yard all the time, and they're used to people enough that a goofy woman with a camera isn't enough to frighten them away. There were four in the yard this time, but we've seen as many as six or seven at once.

In addition to them and the o'possum, we have stray cats (lots!), squirrels (which is surprising given the number of cats) and raccoons. Those little buggers have a tendency to get in the trash every now and then, and yes, they can get the lids off just fine.

Although we see the deer all the time, the raccoons and possums only make an occasional appearance. We haven't seen Petey (possum) since around Christmas, and it's been even longer since we saw the raccoons. I think they show up for the cat food whenever times get especially hard. You should see how weirded out the cats are by a possum on the porch.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

We call her Petey


Check out our visitor.

We think this is a girl possum because we've seen her with a much smaller possum on the patio. She's been coming up on the porch and helping herself to the cat food.

I surprised her one night, and she panicked and got herself stuck on the porch. We took the chance to take a few pictures before we turned out the light and let her get away.

She's about a foot and a half long, not counting the tail, so she's a pretty big girl!

Help me break 100!

I currently have 85 twitter followers, and I'm trying to break 100. Will you help?

All you have to do is subscribe to my twitter feed.

If you haven't tried twitter, it's a fun, but somewhat different, social networking site. You choose who you want to follow, and others follow you, without all the annoying "friending" that goes on elsewhere. You can follow twitterers simply because you think they're funny, interesting or whatever. In other words, you're not encouraged to limit your network to people you already know.

Posts are limited to 140 characters each, which is a fun challenge in itself.

If you follow me on twitter and would like me to reciprocate, post your twitter page in the comments. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not caught up yet

It's been a busy holiday, and I took a little break from blogging as well. I didn't take a break from knitting, so I have plenty of things to show off.

We got a new camera for Christmas, so I'll be trying it out on knitting pics soon for the blog.

I also got a spinning wheel! It's from Heavenly Handspinning, and so far I'm having a blast. I don't have a lot of time to practice, but I managed to make singles this weekend that varied between sock and worsted weight. Not good, I know, but a vast improvement over what I'd been doing.

I've got lots of projects on the needles now, so I'll do the next few posts to catch up on those. I need to do a better job with posting these as ravelry projects too.... :-)