Monday, October 25, 2010

On the way home

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Finishing up a fun weekend in Wisconsin - now I'm on the first train home. I'm working on a baby sweater for one of Amber's expected babies. We're fervently praying they can wait another 4 weeks at least to be born!

Got some tech advice this weekend so you may see short posting activity!

Here's a pic of the sleeve I'm working on.

Keep knitting!

Cynthia (aka Designated Knitter)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Trying new technology

Greetings and Dear Laura:

Hi! Just a quick little up-date here! I'm trying to find a way to write my posts that doesn't make me want to gnaw my arm off - I'm a finicky techno person. So, just for trying this out, I'm going to post a picture of my two nieces and the the ribbons that the animals I made for them won at the County Fair! More to follow!

Keep Knitting!

Cynthia (aka DesignatedKnitter!)

Kauni in "time out"

Greetings and Dear Cynthia,

My new sweater:
My 8-year old helped out with the photo, and my directions to him were to "capture the sweater and my face in the photo"; that appears to be exactly what he did :-) The sleeve tops are a little bit on the funky side, but kind friend Catherine told me that she wouldn't have noticed it unless I pointed it out to her, so I'll stop doing that. They are just a little bit "roomy," though I think it adds to the comfort of the sweater. I've never liked things that are very tight, and this sweater is just really comfortable with the extra space in the upper body/sleeves.

So, the Kauni Cardigan is in a *time out*. I started the neckline but now must rip it out again...and I've already ripped out larged chunks of the sweater about three times already, so I'm taking a break from all of the ripping and working on a more mindless sweater, the "Asymmetric Cardi" from Knit Simple Magazine:
This is perfect for 9:00pm when I am watching my show Castle, or on football Saturdays to keep me from falling asleep on the couch during the Badger games (who beat Ohio State last weekend, did you hear??). This is the progress after one week:
I was going to follow the pattern verbatim, but decided instead to knit it in once piece. The thought of knitting the fronts separate from the back and actually sewing raglan sleeves into a raglan sweater when it is so easy to knit it altogether at the same time didn't make sense to me. Watch -- I'm probably going to get messed up with that and have to rip, but right now the idea seems *sound* to me... The front bands are knit in as you go, too. Bonus! I'm using Cascade 220 yarn, "Red Wine" colorway... It's a very simple, basic design... I want to have it done in five weeks because DH has an adventure planned for our family and a nice, red sweater is going to be called for. More on that later...

Other than that, I have the small matter of sewing two Halloween costumes this week, basically without much of a pattern to go on.
I am making a dolphin costume starting out with a penguin pattern as a base design for it, and also a triceritops costume which is going to require some soft sculpture skills to make the head piece... My kids have more confidence in my abilities than I do. Thankfully the internet is loaded with photos for me to consult as I go. Hopefully I'll have photos of my own to post within the week, assuming I get these done...

Well, I just finished up my second week at my new clinical assignment, and I am wiped out. Due to issue with time not being blocked out on my schedule, I ended up with 13 initial evaluations this past week, most of them scheduled during times in which my clinical instructor (CI) had his own though he was able to pop in once in a while to make sure I was on the right track, I did most of the work on my own. I feel pretty good about that, because at the beginning of the week I didn't think I'd be capable of that. It was a real confidence boost to me, and also a lesson in not letting my fear of being uncomfortable paralyze me from trying to do things on my own....something I've always tried to stress with my kids, and which I've found a lot harder to do myself than I thought... Anyway, it's still a lot like "work," and I'll be glad after I graduate and will be able to do it on a part time basis... Right now I barely have time to put even the simplest of suppers on the meal quality has taken a nose dive...

Well, beautiful fall day here today. I went to the grocery store to shop for the week, went running, and have a pot of chili going for supper, so I'm going to just relax with my knitting in front of the Badger game right now. (Did I mention they beat Ohio State last week?)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Riddle: What has two sleeves and is blocking?

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

Not sure what struck me today, but I sewed the second sleeve into my Two Hearts sweater :-)
I also took out several rows of the rolled edging at the neckline, because I thought it looked too bulky. I still have to weave in the ends, but I had some concerns about how the sleeves were sewn in and wanted to see if blocking took care of that first. Actually, things now look okay to me, so all systems are *go* to finish all of the loose ends (heh heh) as soon as it is dry.
I really want to wear it tomorrow, so I might put it on mesh and let it hover over an air vent overnight...but for now, it is lying in the play room...right next to a parking lot...
I started the sweater last January. I changed the sleeves from "dropped" to "set in," and added some subtle waist shaping. Other than that, I think I followed the pattern... I'll take a photo of me wearing it and post that soon. I'm pretty happy with the way it fits! The cables really are more visible when I'm not using flash photography, too, so I'll try to get a decent picture that shows off the cables...

Things were fine at Grandpa's funeral yesterday. He is buried with a pack of M&M's in his coat pocket.

I hit it hard with my exercise this week. I'm running a 5 mile race on Saturday, so wanted to get some good training in this week. Nothing like signing up for a race to give a person some motivation!

I hope this finds you all well!
Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The end of an era...

Greetings, and Dear Cynthia,

I'd like to introduce you to my "Handsome Grandpa Booth."
He was born in 1918, and was just shy of 92 years old when he passed away last weekend. The funeral is tomorrow...

He was one of the most childlike goofy people I know (in a *good* way), and appreciated the great things in life, such as Schlitz Beer (he worked at the brewery for many years) and frozen M&M's (which I've been enjoying myself the past few days, as a rare treat in celebration of his life):
He was a pilot and a flying instructor / examiner. When he was young, one of his teachers asked him what he wanted to be, and when he told her he wanted to be a pilot, she told him that he would never make it. I guess he showed her!! :-)

When DH and I got married, the gift my Grandpa Booth gave to us was a rather large *case* of toilet paper. It's probably the only gift we used every single day right after our wedding...

His jokes were *bad* jokes, lots of groaners, so we always laughed a lot when he was around. Most of all, his faith in God was strong, and he was ready to depart from this earth and move on to better things.

Godspeed, Grandpa! I love you!

There has been some knitting, though I continue to take out sections which aren't contrasty enough (and have done that three times I think?). I was affirmed by everybody's comments on my last post that it is acceptable to be fussy about how the colors of the Kauni are combining and I *can* force them to be more to my thank you all for your thoughts on it! This has meant that I end up knitting three inches, then taking out one inch, repeat...
The latest reason to take out a chunk of knitting, however, is that I've gone past the part where I had to start decreasing for the will be ripping back an inch and then working the neckline. AAUGH!
I decided I will be using "modified drop" sleeves. The directions specify that you leave 12 underarm stitches on stitch holders as you work up the rest of the front, then put the reserved stitches on a needle and pick up around the arm hole and immediately begin to work in the round. That didn't seem right to me, and is probably the reason that lots of people who have made this sweater (ref Ravelry) are complaining about all of the excess fabric in the underarms... Instead, I bound off 24 stitches on the body of the sweater where each armhole is going to be, and I am going to pick up stitches for the sleeves along the front and back parts of the armhole and work each sleeve back and forth for two inches, then join to knit the rest of the sleeve in the round. I'll then go back and sew the top two inches of the sleeves to the bound off edges of the body. Not sure I'm explaining this well, but I'll show you as I go...

So, my 8-year old really wants to be an engineer, and found directions to make this little car in a library book:
DH helped him with the project, and it's really kind of fun! The little motor drives the soda can via a "belt" (rubber band). Now, if only I could give the little guy a better sense of timing... He missed the bus today because he wasn't getting ready on time, in spite of my *incessant* I told him I wasn't going to nag him any more and it was up to *him* to get finished, that he's old enough to understand that I want him ready in time for the bus... So, anyway, after the bus came and went, I went back inside the house and found him still in his pajamas. He asked me what time it was, I told him he missed the bus. He got ready for school at a speed I've never seen before, and then wanted me to *drive* him to school. I told him that he had a ride, but he missed it, so I made him walk to school with me, and when we arrived late, he had to tell the lady in the office and his teachers why he was late ("because I wasn't getting ready on time"). Will be interesting to see if this affects his behavior tomorrow morning when he is getting dressed... Fortunately, it happened on a day in which I actually have a little bit of time to follow through on the natural consequences...

I'm on a one week break from my clinicals, and am *enjoying* getting caught up a little bit around the house. I cleaned the refrigerator and freezer yesterday! I might not have to go grocery shopping at all next week, given the treasures we already have stowed in there...which I didn't even know we had... Sweet!
Okay, so I'm off to get more stuff done today... For one thing, I have to finish "back to school" shopping for my 8-year old, whose pant legs end somewhere between his ankles and his knees. He doesn't care, really, but now that it's getting colder and pants are appropriate, I really need to get him into some clothes that actually fit.

More soon! I'll be *cutting* my steeks soon on my Kauni Cardigan... What would you do next after that? Sleeves, or button/neck bands?

I hope the weather where you are is as glorious as it is here today! Perfect day to exercise outside, just sayin' :-)

Warm regards,
Laura (YarnThrower)