Tuesday, February 28, 2006

WIP Contemplation

I have a toddler sized sweater in my WIP queue. It's no longer listed in my status/progress list. Because, frankly, I really don't want to work on it. I had this goal of knitting a sweater. I bought two books with super-cute kid sized sweaters. I found one and started it. And hated working on it. I was using straights. It was a whole bunch of boring stockinette (which is what the varigated yarn really does require) but it was in back and forth, in pieces. Knowing what I know now, if I were to start another sweater, I'd do it top-down, in the round, I think. I had intended the sweater for Dulaan, although it would have fit LaLa OK and been in her colors.

I don't think I want to work on the sweater. So, I'm going to rip the back and reknit it all into a hat, scarf and mittens and send it to Dulaan. OK - I have no timeframe on all of this, but at least I can reclaim my tote bag and refile the yarn.

The petwer Lorna's Laces socks I started? I don't think I like the ribbing pattern I picked for the calf. I think I want to do it in regular stockinette, with a rolled cuff. I think I'm going to rip that back too. Even more, I don't think I want to work on grey socks right now. I think I want to work on wacky-colored ones.

I'm mostly done working on a little blue baby hat for my sister, and I think it'll round out the pre-baby giftage nicely. I used some of the Elann's fake-Cascade Fixation. I kind of want to knit what I have left of it (about 1 1/2 balls) into theese footies (or similar) for myself.

Next up after the baby hat? I think my knitting priorities are (in no particular order) purple mittens for my aunt, the navy blue baby blanket, and a scarf for my mom (using Cascade 220 superwash, not sure of a pattern, but the yarn is turquoise). After that batch of goals, the baby blanket for my nephew, and other projects TBD.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Here is my real letter post.

E is for Ear Infection, Elephant Pajamas and Eggs for Lunch.
This is my recent "E" story. LaLa had just taken day #10's dose of antibiotics and settled in to sleep. Eight hours later (that would be approximately 3am, but who's counting?) she wakes up with a fever. We went to happy hour at the pediatrician's office on Friday. (They always seem surprised when I call the walk-in sick-kid hour happy hour.) Her left ear is still infected.

Her insurance info wasn't updated still (DH took her to the doc last time and didn't update it.) and I couldn't find my insurance card (You know you're a grownup when that's more important than your driver's license). That meant we (a) couldn't get the new antibiotic from the dispensary at the doctor's office and (b) we couldn't get it from Target and pay for it with a gift card because they don't have our insurance info on file, so we went to Kmart (this is a great story, right?) and got it there - and the princess ear warmer/glove set and elephant pajamas. We came home and had fried eggs for lunch. Over easy, served on top of the toast. This is my favorite comfort food of all time, and La doesn't seem to mind it at all. (After giving birth, I ordered scrambled eggs with fixin's. Only because I couldn't be sure that they'd get the yolks right and that the eggs would still be perfectly warm when they got to my room.)

The good news is that the ear infection seems to be receeding. La was in a much better mood by Sunday.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

F is for....

Ok, I'm jumping ahead of myself. I lost track of time doing my taxes, so now I only have time for super-quick.

But, F is for Fraternity and Finished.

Finished: the scarf for my dad. It turned out to be really long, but pretty cool (IMHO). I ran out of two of the colors of yarn, and it turned out to be much more than 6' long. Closer to twice my height. I was pretty sure my math was off, but I kept being afraid the scarf would be too short. Anyway, it's cool looking although it does remind me a little of when my sister and I were highschoolers and we would shop for dad, picking out for him some wild and crazy bathing suits. This was in South Florida in the late 80's, if that says anything for you.

Fraternity: As in Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality. Also as in Fraternal twins. I got a series of action shots of my cousin (who is studying abroad in Paris this year) with her mittens. I like this one because it shows her with her coordinating (by chance) scarf and the mittens in all of their not so identical glory.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Happy Blogiversary to Me!

I just looked and today happens to be my first "blogiversary"! Cool beans! Blogs have been a neat thing to read and write this year. Not to be overly eloquent or anything.

Casting on....Casting About...

This is one of those in between posts.

I'm still considering my letter E options. Education. Elmo. Elephant.

I cast on for my dad's scarf and have about 5 or 7 rows done. The 210 stitch row is pretty long, but mindless. Here's an example of a finished one from Major Knitter. The good thing is it's not going to take too many rows. I think my project game plan is: finish the scarf for dad. Make mittens for my aunt. Finish two baby blankets. Then I don't know what. A wrap for me, I think will be a priority. Unless I start it sooner. Not sure why, but I'm procrastinating a bunch of the baby gifts I have planned or in the works - the sewing I need to do for Saturday's shower, the two blankets on the needles. They seem like a lot of work, although I know that once I get started/restarted it won't be too bad. I just don't want to get them out and work on them, even though I know I'll feel better once they're done.

I'm a little frustrated with my iPod. I thought I'd be able to borrow books on CD from the library and rip them into itunes for replayment in the car. Not so much. They won't play on the pod. Ugh. Darn that whole intellectual property thing that pays my salary! Going to look into project gutenberg and see if there are stories that the monkey, La, and I would all like to hear (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has potential). Also, I don't know how to skip ahead, either because I'm bored or because the podcast doesn't remember where I left it when I had to go take care of someone/something. And who wants to re-listen to 40 minutes of something just to get to the last 10? I don't have time for the pain.

Monday, February 20, 2006

More FO to report! Hooray!

Frankly, and I hate to admit this, but I don't know what the heck I did to my browser to make the text all big. All I know is I clicked my scroll wheel a little and it changed the text size when I was catching up on things in bloglines. Harumph.

I discovered a great podcast - ask a ninja. Now that there is comedy!

And now the FO: 1. A pod-sock. I'm thinking about running some 1/4 or 1/8" elastic through the opening so that it actually stays on the pod. It's what we would classify as a "loose fit" ipod sock. I used some of the Elann Esprit Sock-It-To-Me (I think that's what it's called. Knock-off Cascade Fixation). It was fun to knit with, but you sure can't do anything fancy with it. So it's regular stockinette with a roll-top. Stockinette ends up looking like 1x1 rib. But still, it's soft and stretchy and a pretty color. Not bad for an afternoon's work.

2. A hat for me! It's from the leftover wool/silk in lavender and dark purple. Fibonacci stripes (5A, 3B, 2A, 1B, 1A). Very snazzy. No cheezy photo yet.

Not to disturb the conservation of projects in my house, I emailed my aunt to see about the purple for her mittens - which she ended up giving her stamp of approval and asking that the wrists be a little longer so they tuck into her sleeve better. Good constructive comments from someone who lives in the snow-belt, to the mitten maker, living in the sun-belt. Also, she sent my cousin's address so I can get her package in the mail to her. :^) But I cast on for the scarf for my dad. The skein is dodgy - I'm not sure if there's enough to just use it, and it's heirloom yarn. I decided to cast on for vertical stripes and let La-La pick out the contrast colors. Two similar but different blues from Grandma's stash yarn. I think it'll end up looking nice. I'm feeling a little trepidation about 210 stitches in a row, however it's making me think about doing this for my wrap. Although, I've seen some colorful Lady Eleanors out there (like this, this, and there was one where it made the author/knitter feel like that eccentric art teacher, but I thought it was gorgeous. Can't find it for the life of me now) which is making me think about that some too. And Clapotis is still in the running.

Aah, and here's something else I'm considering: 40 Days For Others. That one I had a heck of a time finding again too. I have a cubby full of yarn for charity knitting and I haven't used any of it yet.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Well, it's been a productive week here at Frog Monkey

I have planned and unplanned FO to report: When last we spoke, I had finished the baby-fixie and did some good work on the scarf for my cousin. Well, that's done, I've added fringe and (surprise!) made a hat to go with it.
Stash-busting in advance, I like to think of it. The scarf and hat are in a pretty staid navy blue, but my cousin's favorite color is LIME GREEN. Which, I happen to have in my stash. I didn't earn the name Colorful Cathy from my mom's friend Dana for nothing. (Side note: That would have been a great blog name. When my husband sees La in a particularly out-there ensemble, I often hear from him, "Colorful Cathy strikes again!")

So, anyway...I added lime green stripes to the hat. It's a hat in the vein of the London Beanie, only the lime green stripes are only one row high, but there are three of them. The hat turned out great, even though there were some missteps. It's comfy and just the right size, I think. The scarf, I left unblocked. I liked how the parallelograms looked like waves or flames or something of that nature in it's scrunchy state. I added some lime green to the fringe, giving it just the right amount of funkiness. Sort of like a mullet-scarf: business around the neck, party at the ends. I drew in the lines of what the parallelograms do, since this color almost completely sucks in the light.

In the wave of productivity, all of the ends for both of these new FO are woven in, etc, all folded up, just waiting for this cousin's snail-mail address. Also the ends were woven in for my purple scarf and DH's red scarf.

For new business, I tried casting on mittens for my aunt. The do-over ones. Turns out 44 stitches would be enough for a sleeve cuff from this yarn on size 4 needles. I think that 36 is going to be the new target number. More successfully, I cast on for a hat for me from some of the same silk/wool that my scarf is made from. It's a coordinating color (lavendar vs. dark purple) but will have dark purple stripes (I'm really liking that LondonBeanie style).

I'm gradually figuring out this ipod and itunes business. I've subscribed to a couple knitting pod-casts - I've liked a few, and not liked a few (but I might have been in a foul humor, so maybe I'll try them again later).

The mittens I sent to my cousin in Paris arrived. (subject: ils sont arivees) She said she liked them and they go with a scarf she picked up there. Kismet perhaps, eh? You know what's funny? After this year - when the studying abroad ends, I'll have two cousins going to school in Tulsa - the Paris/mitten cousin (who is on my Dad's side of the family) goes to school at the University of Tulsa and the scarf/hat cousin (who is on my mom's side of the family) goes to Oral Roberts University.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

D is for Dad

OK, this series is starting to remind me of the Sue Grafton mysteries. Only, D is not for Deadbeat. And, sadly, D is my last eagerly anticipated letter - I hope I have some inspiration soon for E. Oh, and my other thought on the A is for... series is that this would be a good themed scrapbook. You could center it around your family or a big holiday or event (like a family reunion or vacation) or a particular person. Lots of applications.

But, anyway, onto my D is for Dad thoughts. I'm glad to have DH around as the Dad of the house. As challenging as those kids are, he really feels that it's his opportunity to make an impact on their lives.

How long does it take to fill up a 60GB ipod?

Well...so far we're at about 1gb. And..not that this is an issue now, but how do you delete stuff off of an ipod? My DH got me this ipod for Valentine's Day. Now, this is very unusual. I had mentioned longingly that I'd like a CD player for my car. Dh had been checking since before Christmas to see whether I'd like an ipod. I coveted them, but was hesitant to ask for one, because I just wasn't sure if I'd use it. I have an early-generation mp3 player and I really don't use it that much. OK, it only holds 60mb and it's a pain in the keister to update - so it's still holding the first mix that I put on there. Which is fine - cause it's favorite stuff. I have one of those arm-band radios (like this but yellow), and I actually use that more than the tiny MP3 player for if I'm out walking or something. The 60gb ipod is a little heavy to use exercising, IMHO, but it would hold quite a bit of music, etc. So, it might be a good tradeoff if you were running a marathon or something.

He also got me the tape adapter for my car. La-la and I have been rockin' out to Sesame Street's Platinum hits on the way to school. Then, after dropping her off, getting a traffic report and news headlines, I switched to a podcast of NPR's most emailed stories. Makes leaving too late to listen to NPR not too bad. I have a 30 minute + daycare trip commute each way, everyday. And if I can't knit while I drive, this ipod business is not so shabby. I guess I like it.

I also borrowed a David Sedaris book (Barrel Fever) from the library and ripped the second 2 CD's of it onto my ipod. Frankly, his humor is a little more dark and stormy than mine, so I don't think I'm going to finish the third CD. But I'm not sure how to get it off of the ipod. Also, the listened-to podcasts, I'm not sure how to remove either. I guess I'll figure it out eventually.

In knitting news, the scarf for my cousin is coming along. I kind of like how the unblocked parallelograms make waves in the fabric. I had been thinking about blocking it, but I think I'll leave it scrunchy. I used up the first skein of yarn yesterday, and should have enough left of the second to make a nice hat for her. I really haven't been working on much else. I'm in a spring cleaning mode, wanting to finish what I've got on the needles while I consider what to make next.

Monday, February 13, 2006

faux-fixie finished!

Alright Aliterations! I made a square hat, ostensibly for the baby shower gift, inspired by the fixie, and with some guidance from The Joy of Knitting Companion, and, I have to confess a partial-fanny gauge swatch. It ended up with about a 17" head. God help the mother of a newborn with a 17" head. It fit La-la pretty well.

When I realized it was going to be huge (for the second time - first try was 44 stitches around, second try was 36), it was too late to frog. So, it's my first Dulaan hat of the year. I cast on with 28 stitches and it's almost done now. Here's the catch. Like a hat for a 17" head was bad enough, I'm knitting gifts for a newborn in a sick house. I have a sinus infection and La has a cold, but I think it turned into an ear infection today, so I'm going to get the just-in-case antibiotics filled tomorrow a.m., and it looks like another girls day home. I'll wash the hat before I give it to the mom. Promise.

On the plus side, this did turn out to be a stash-busting project. The last time I went to do anything in this yarn, I ended up having to buy a new skein of it because I ran out in the middle of my stash-busting project.

Faux Fixie Pattern:

I used some stash "Baby Clouds" yarn and 16" US 10 1/2 needles, which apparently gets 2.12 sts/in.

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches that works for your gauge and head size. Join in the round and work in k2p2 rib until hat measures 6" for an infant, 8" for a toddler/preschooler or 10" for a school age kid. Kitchener the top closed. Weave in the starting end. Make and attach two pom-pom's for the corners.

For all of you snow-bound and/or sky-watching types, here's a picture of the winter sky in Florida. I think this is from Friday morning and it's from my phone-camera. I do have some pics on my film-camera of everyone in their winter clothes to brave the 50 degree weather. I'm not sure what's in the foreground of the picture. It might be the roof of the mini-van.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fuzzy Feet Finished!

I need to remember to update the sidebar. The fuzzy feet are finished and felted. I adore alliteration. Fuzzy Purple Feeter Heaters. Song stuck in your head now? Anyway...the feet are way cool, and this may be gross, but, they're in the grocery bag with my granola bars to bring into work tomorrow. I finished the second one and felted the pair on Friday, and I've been trying them out this weekend. They're excellent. I'm going to be the envy of my office.

I'm sitting over at the computer and DH and the monkey are working on something. I must have some work-processes in the background because I swear I heard DH telling the boy, "Don't forget the path!" (A topic that comes surprisingly frequently at work. Paths are important in software.)

I have a funny mitten story. Do you remember those blue mittens I made for my aunt? (Here and here for backstory.) Well, my mom made it up to the metropolitan Whitesboro area this week. Her mother has dementia and has had to move into assisted living, so my mom was in town to bring her mom to a doctor's appointment - the aunt lives in the same neck of the woods as my grandma. She had the mittens in the front seat of the car. Grandma got into the car and put the mittens right on and really liked them. I guess she had been secretly wanting some new mittens. They fit her perfectly, and she really liked them (I must have Campbell hands, because the fit me really well too.) She took the news that they were for my aunt pretty well, and gave them back to mom. I think mom also told her that I would make her a pair too. So, my aunt finally gets her mittens. But it turned out they're about an inch too long for her. And maybe she doesn't really want blue mittens. Now she's thinking more like purple. So, Grandma ended up with the mittens.

She wanted them for playing outside - sounds like they should be able to go in the dryer. Or I was thinking felted mittens, except that I'm still not sure exactly what size her hands are - except that her fingers might end at my top knuckle. I looked through my stash and found some heathered purple yarn, I'm pretty sure will do the trick.

My SIL called today to see if I could go to a baby shower for her SIL. (DH is one of six kids and my SIL's DH is one of 4 kids) She's having a little girl, and they're thinking about having the shower next weekend. We got a bunch of odds and ends (a sleeper, a pack of newborn diapers, a couple toys, a pack of onesies, a sunsuit, irresistable sunglasses, a super-soft pink blanket, and a blankie with a little stuffed bear head - OK seeing it all typed out, I went a little non-linear, but none of the things looked very big at all in the wagon.) As La-la and I were watching the Wiggles tonight, I got to thinking about how there was nothing handmade in all of that loot......couldn't I make her a little hat??? La helped me pick out some yarn - The choices were lavender cotton-ease or super-pink Baby Clouds (some kind of discount-store yarn, boucle/homespun type thing, pink lemonade, I think, is the name of the color, and she picked the pink lemonade, bless her heart - very out of character for her) So, I cast on. I'm going to do a K2P2 rib, on 10 1/2 needles, a 6" long tube, kitchener across the top and little pom-poms on the corners. Inspired by the fixie hat(this is the one I couldn't find a link to a couple posts ago.) We'll see how it turns out. Only 36 stitches in the round so it should be quick.

So, for progress (who knew I had this much "post" stored up???) I've done a lot of knitting this weekend. I finished up the fuzzy feet, and made some good progress on both the parallelogram scarf and the navy blue baby blanket. Oh, and I cast on the pewter socks. I'm not sure about them, though. I think they're going to be too small and I will need to cast on more stitches. I'm using a size 1 needle, which is darn small. A lot like knitting with toothpicks. After a 2x2 rib cuff (which probably could be longer), I went with a 4x4 rib pattern for the main body of the sock. I need to get the little pink hat and some sewing done this week - flannel recieving blankets and hooded towels for another baby shower.

Crap. Gray's Anatomy is coming on. I caught the episode after the super bowl and it was really good. Dang it all. I gotta wrap up - my show's on.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fuzzy Feet are Marching On

The First Foot was Finished on Monday. Cast on the second on Tuesday - got about halfway through the heel flap. Turned the heel and got through the gusset Wednesday. 3" of foot plus toe decreases left to go. Can I finish it by Friday night so I can felt them with our laundry this weekend? Also, how far will my skein of Lamb's Pride last? What will I do when I run out? Will I (a)start the other purple skein that I have in my stash or (b)use some leftover orange Lamb's Pride, asymetrical though it may be? We shall see.

I'm really jonesin to get the f. foot done also in order to start on my next ME project - a pair of socks in Lorna's Laces Pewter. They'll probably be fairly plain socks - I really like Thuja from Knitty and Tech Guy Socks, but I think I'll end up with the Ann Budd pattern book formula for my guage and a regular old flap-heel and use a 3x2 rib on the calf for these. My package from Little Knits arrived with a variety of sock needles (and some very pretty yarn), and we have a road trip on Saturday, so I've been really anticipating the car-knitting. I think I'm going to bring two projects. A baby blanket and the socks. The Araucania Nature Wool Chunky for the shoulder-warmer was in the box - I can't wait to start it, but with two baby-blankets currently on the needles (read BIG PROJECTS), I'm having trouble justifying casting on for it.) Oh, and the color was a little different than I expected. Now I want to go home and check the shade card vs. the label. Still pretty, mind you, but more green.

Is it wrong to ask your DH for hand-painted sock yarn for Valentine's day? He just sort of looked at me askance. Stunned that I just asked him for sock yarn for Valentine's day. That'll teach him to ask what I want. :^) Now I need to go send him some links. :^P

Monday, February 06, 2006


In knitting news, I'm almost done with one fuzzy foot. Just need to kitchner it tonight, then I'll have my DPN freed up for casting on again. Love the Boy Scout knitting.

I also managed to finish my Sara Paretsky book this weekend. I checked my holds at the library, and both books must be popular, cause on one I'm like number 42/45 on the list, the other was no better. Sucky. I might need to go to the library on my lunch hour, so there are no toddlers either haranging me to stay at the coloring table or to let them use the water fountain or to deliver their imaginary babies in the Young Adult section while my 12 year old complains that he can't find a darned thing to read in there.

But back to knitting. I also finished a cutie-patootie little hat for a baby shower on the 25th. I winged it - I couldn't find a pattern that did what I wanted it to do. It's in LionBrand Cotton-Ease, probably #7 US needles. As seen on Baby Sister Daniel. Sorry for the nudity - that's how the babies roll around here. I also managed to finish a dishcloth recently. I used the parallelogram II pattern, found on knitting.about.com, in her stitch library (sorry, I don't feel like opening another browser window to get you an actual link.) The yarn, Sugar N Cream Kitchen Cotton in Lemon-Lime. [I can't find it on their website. I never would have thought to look there for dishcloth patterns, but they seem to have it a link to some. Must remember to check it out.] OK. I wouldn't open another browser for the paralellogram pattern, but I did for the cotton. I'm inconsistent. That's how I roll. (Actually, I have a whole theory on how people are, by their very nature, incosistent, but it's all based on software interfaces and programming design.) So, without further delay, Parallelogram.
So then, my last FO photo I have is the scarf I made for DH. It is darn snazzy, if I do say so myself, and I do. Then I must go kitchner my little heart out and fall asleep happy.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

C is for Camping

I swore off camping when I was 16. I had several recent camping experiences where my tent was flooded at Girl Scout camp. But the nail in the coffin was when we and another family went camping for Thanksgiving at Sebastian Inlet. And it was cold and miserable. And it rained. In the tent. While I was taking a nap. And my feet and my sleeping bag and a bunch of my stuff got all wet. Luckily they had a dryer, but I swore off camping after that. Until....I was faced with the choice of camping with a toddler or staying home with the toddler and my mother in law who has Alzheimer's Disease. I have to say that camping as a grownup is not as bad as I remember it being as a teenager.

Casting on...and frogging

Well, the scarf for my dad is officially frogged - it was only at 3 rows, and I needed to rip it out anyway, and I needed the baggie. I'm at the first heel of the fuzzy feet. The directions for turning the heel don't make much sense - I need to take a look around and see if the numbers are right.

So I gave up on that and cast on for a baby hat for the shower. It's LionBrand Cotton Ease, I think in Candy Blue, from the stash. This is why I needed the baggie. I had trouble settling on a pattern - first I was going to do a square hat, with the pointy corners (I saw it on a blog somewhere, and emailed a link to myself, but I need to go home and look for it - I couldn't find it again with a regular search recently). Then a rolled edge hat with an umbilical thingy. Now, it's based on how I remembered Odessa looking, but my memory is not that accurate. So, so far it's 3x3 rib for about an inch, then I was going to do a traveling rib, hoping to give it a pinwheel top. Who the heck knows if it'll work, but it's worth a shot. Hopefully I'll be able to make some little socks too, but I'm not holding my feet to the fire about it.