Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finished! I Finished! I FINISHED!

Well, as you know I've been participating in both the Ravelympics and the Knitting Olympics. The goal was to cast on and complete an entire challenging project during the seventeen days of the Olympics. Well, last night, with one day to spare, I finished my sweater!

I actually finished the knitting back on Thursday, but it took several nights of work to do all the seaming/sewing together. It's not perfect, by far, but I think my sweater turned out pretty well. I'm SO excited that I actually finished it in time. I really didn't think I had a chance at first.

I love how the sweater turned out. I love how light and drapey the fabric is. I'm so glad I changed the sleeves to a more bell-shaped 3/4 sleeve. I think they are more fun and flirty and more fitting to the fun feel of the sweater. I love the shape and weight and the fun little twist of fabric at the back of the neck. Very fun sweater!

I didn't really enjoy working with this yarn. It is very thin, but also fuzzy enough to be grabby, so it was very easy to drop stitches. I spent a LOT of time counting stitches and going back and finding dropped (or sometimes picked up stitches). This is probably the most UNEVEN my stitches have ever looked. Despite all of this, I love the finished project and would use this yarn again because of the way it looks.

Pattern: Ripple Cardigan by Coralie Meslin
Yarn: 4 skeins of Schulana Kid Seta (70% Kid Mohair/30% Silk/ 25g/ 210m) in Color #7 Tangerine
Needles: Size 3 circulars (Cast on with Size 5--because I always cast on really tightly)
Modifications: Changed shape and length of sleeves to 3/4 bell. Cast on 90 st. Knit even for 8 rounds. On RS, decrease 2: K2, SSK, K to last 4 st, K2tog, K2. Repeat decrease row every 8th row 6 more times until there are 76 st. Knit 15 rows even ending with a WS row. Follow pattern directions for sleeve cap.

I Finished!
And I got my awards :).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Olympic Update

I just finished knitting the second sleeve. All pieces of my sweater are now knitted. Next, I need to block the sleeves and then SEAM, SEAM, SEAM. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 12

Finished the first sleeve. Started the second sleeve. 75% of a sleeve and LOTS of seaming to go!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Well, I had my first major Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics setback tonight. I did NOT finish my first sleeve or start my second. Instead, I knit two extra repeats of an eight row decrease and then knit sixteen rows even before realizing my mistake. After ripping back and getting my stitches back on the needles properly, I am heading to bed. I am tempted to stay up and finish the sleeve, but I am tired and afraid I will do something stupid again. Darn you distracting ice dancing! Darn you busy life that kept me from knitting much the last two days and made me too much in a hurry to stop and bother looking at my notes on the pattern. Oh well! Could be worse. Happy Monday, everyone!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympics Update

Today is Day 11 (out of 17) of the Olympics. I am happy to report that I am still on target. I have finished the back and both fronts of my cardigan. I've started the first sleeve which I am modifying. So far so good. I even ordered blocking mats and blocking wires and used them to block the back and fronts. Wow. What a difference that made. I hope to finish the first sleeve and start the second tonight. After sleeves, my favorite part--seaming! (Please read that sentence with LOTS of sarcasm).

J's New Love

J has rediscovered the computer and has found a new love--this Go, Diego, Go website. The games are really cool and B and I have both played some with J (and I considered playing a little when he was napping). Seriously, it's fun site.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, What a Day!

Well, my day started early this morning with a little voice saying some of the words a mother fears most: "Mommy, I throwed up in my bed." Poor J was actually pretty unfazed by the whole thing, but we were up for almost 2 hours getting him and his room clean and then trying to get him to go back to sleep. Luckily, that seems to be the beginning and the end of it and he was fine all day. I made him stay home from school and fed him stomach-friendly foods, but he never threw up again. So hopefully he will continue feeling well tomorrow.

In other news, we had lovely weather again today and the boys and Pepper and I got to spend lots of time outside in the backyard. It was sunny and slightly breezy and it just felt so nice to enjoy some fresh air. Both boys had fun "fixing mommy's house" by moving sand around the patio and fixing my house with "concrete" (all J's idea.) N spent forever scooping up sand into a little plastic train car, dumping it back out, and refilling it again--over and over and over. Then J and I spent a good amount of time kicking a ball around and pitching and batting. J had me pitch to him and he hit a lot more than I expected (especially with my great athletic abilities). I was pretty proud of both of us. Pepper was so excited to have us outside with her that she ran about a hundred figure eights.

Then tonight--Day 7 of 17--I finished the right front of my sweater and got a few rows done on the left front. Still on target! Wish me luck.

And, in even better news, B returns home tomorrow. Last weekend we got to see him all of 20 hours because he got stuck up in the Northeast for work and his flights kept getting canceled. This week he's been gone since Sunday afternoon so we are all excited to have him home so we can spend some quality family time together.

So for a day that started off pretty awful, it's ending up quite nicely. Life is good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day Six

I'm still plugging along on the right front. About 3 1/4 more inches to go. Should be able to do that tomorrow and even possibly start on the left front. The endless stockinette is getting a little old, but I'm not allowing myself to think too much about that. The Knitting Olympics/Ravelympics are definitely helping motivate me to plug away on this sweater. Off to bed. I'm still staying up way too late to knit. I know, I know, I'm crazy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Knock Knock Jokes

J has discovered the joy of knock knock jokes. These are the ones he told me at dinner:

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Chicken Who?
Chicken J eating chicken in my tummy.

Knock Knock.
Who's there?
Drinking milk.
Drinking milk N with a french fry in his eye and in his ear.

Hmm... The humor of an almost four year-old. Think we need to work on his joke telling. I'll give him points for creativity.

Anyone know any good knock knock jokes I can tell him back?

Day Five

This is the right front (or what I've knit of the right front). I've given myself two more days to finish it. It's worked side to side so it seems to take longer as there are more stitches per row, but hopefully the fact that it is worked for a little over half as many inches as the back will make up for that. Still some issues with dropped stitches, but I seem to be doing a little better. I only watched a little of the Olympics last night as I find the ice skating way too distracting when I'm trying to knit this sweater. I hate watching people fall and have their dreams shattered. I know that it is an amazing feat to even make it to the Olympics, but I still feel SO sad for them when they fall.

Happy Hump-day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yeah, He Did

Yeah, I made a movie of it. Nice, huh?

Day Four

Even with the distraction of Pair Figure Skating--Free Style, Men's Snowboard Cross and Men's Downhill, I'm still on track. The Olympics are making me feel very patriotic. Go, USA! And two lovely knitters are making me happy for the Canadian successes as well. So many good moments tonight!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day Three

This is actually about an inch longer than it appears, but I couldn't get it to stay flat for the photo. Anyway, I have about 5 1/2" to go and I will be done with the back. I am giving myself four days for the back and three days each for the left front, right front, left sleeve and right sleeve. That will get me up to 16 of the 17 days. Wish me luck! Maybe, just maybe, I'll actually be able to do this!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day!

Found a fun kit at the grocery store where you color cookies with food coloring markers. We had fun creating and eating our masterpieces!

And a bonus silly shot:
Happy Valentines Day! Hope yours is filled with love and laughter!

Day Two

Making progress. If I can finish this back by Tuesday than I might MIGHT be able to finish this sweater in 17 days. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Update: Day One

Don't think I'm going to be winning any gold medals. I got a late start on my cast-on and knitting as I was out ice-skating when the opening ceremony began. I got home around 9:30 and stayed up late knitting (but didn't watch a second of the Olympics--it's too interesting to be good knitting TV). I only got about 2 inches of the back done.

This yarn is so tiny, but also kind of grabby (frogging it would be a nightmare) that I keep getting dropped stitches. I've started counting every row. Not the fastest way to do it, but better than going back searching for the dropped stitches. Oh well. I don't think there is anyway I can get this sweater knit in the next 16 days, but I'm going to try anyway. Happy knitting, everyone!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow!

I know most of the world is tired of snow right now, but it finally made its way to Texas and I'm excited! It's our best snow since I've lived here. It was already snowing this morning when I got up at 6--huge quarter size snowflakes--and it's been snowing ever since. It's a heavy dense snow so it's only about 3 inches tall even though it's been snowing for over 12 hours. It's the beautiful kind that sticks to every branch in the trees and it's great for snowballs--although they're a little dense and deadly. The boys, Pepper and I went and played in the snow after nap time this afternoon and had a blast. J also got to go play in the snow at school this morning and had fun throwing snowballs at the preschool director who was out playing with them. Here are tons of snow pictures.

Cows huddled together during the snowstorm.

Pepper enjoying the dry spot provided by the roof overhang in the backyard.

J with a chunk of snow for his "iceberg."

Pepper during one of her rounds of figure-8s. Yes, that little thing in the foreground is our attempt at a snowman.

J building his "iceberg" next to our sad little attempt at a snowman. His carrot nose and celery arms worked out okay, but the cherry tomato eyes refused to stay put.

N laughing hysterically as J destroyed our snowman by kicking it (with permission).

Pepper decided she needed to get in on the action and proceeded to dig at any snow piles.

The boys laughing at Pepper as she tore around the yard like a crazy lady.

Being chased by J and his snowball.

Happy winter, everyone! Hope you're having some fun with what Mother Nature is dishing out!

Because I am Crazy...

Last night I did this:I was prepping for the Ravelympics and the Knitting Olympics. The Knitting Olympics are the brain child of the wonderful Stephanie Pearl-McPhee and are designed to inspire knitters to challenge themselves and create a finished item during the Olympics. The Ravelympics were created by the people at Ravelry and were inspired by the Knitting Olympics, but have been expanded to included crocheters as well. I have never participated in either, but have been intrigued by the concept and the thrill of the challenge.

Anyway, this year I decided to try it. I signed up for both. My local knit shop inspired me by sponsoring a team for Ravelympics. The rules for our team is that you have to either use yarn or pattern purchased at the shop. As I'm someone who doesn't stash a lot of yarn (especially more expensive knit shop yarn), I only had three choices of projects using yarn from my knit shop: J's school bus sweater, the Slanting Gretel Tee for my sister and the Ripple Cardigan for me. I had already cast on for J's sweater and the rules state that you can't cast on until the opening ceremonies (8PM CST on Friday, February 12, 2010) so that was out. I considered doing my sister's tee because I need to have it done by her birthday in March, but didn't want to rush through it and make mistakes. It's not a difficult pattern, but with the multiple cables and triangle pattern there are lots of opportunities to make a silly mistake. So I ended up deciding to do the Ripple Cardigan. Yes, I've decided to knit myself a whole cardigan with laceweight yarn done on size 3 needles in 17 days. As you know, I have two children under four who have to be fed, entertained and generally taken care of. I also should clean and cook occasionally. Oh yeah, and B is REALLY busy at work right now and will be pretty sparse for the next month or so. Yeah, I am definitely crazy.

Want to be crazy too? Go here to sign up for Knitting Olympics or here to sign up for Ravelympics. See you there, fellow crazies!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finished: J's School Bus Sweater

A while ago, J asked me to knit him a yellow sweater. I was so excited that he wanted me to knit for him that I, of course, said yes. I then went about searching Ravelry for the perfect sweater. I just couldn't decide. Then I realized that I already owned the perfect pattern--one I had bought on my very first trip to my local yarn shop, The Woolie Ewe, when I moved to Texas.

Pattern: Sirdar Snuggly DK #1784 (Cabled V Neck Polo Sweater)
Size: 4-5 years
Yarn: 4 skeins of Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby DK in Color #110 (50% Acrylic Microfiber/50% Nylon/ 50g/ 183 yds)
Needles: Size 3 for ribbing and collar, Size 6 for body of sweater
Modifications: I knit the sweater in the round until the armpits, then followed the pattern as written. Because of my change, I removed one stitch from each edge of the front and back. I also knit the sleeves in the round with the same stitch adjustment. Once I hit the cap shaping, I knit them flat.
Thoughts: I loved working with this yarn because it is so soft, not splitty, and machine washable. The pattern was fun, but pretty easy. I quickly memorized the cable/twisted stitch pattern. The DK weight on size 6 needles makes a nice lightweight sweater with good feel and drape. I was anxious about doing set-in sleeves, but I think they turned out fine. I still enjoy raglan more. I hope J loves this sweater as it looks SO adorable on him. I might just have to make one for N (in a different color, of course. One school bus yellow sweater is enough for any family.)

Anyway, here is J in his new sweater. I think it looks wonderful and seems to fit well too. He thought it was really funny to run around while I tried to take his picture. Oh well. Luckily, my camera has a good flash. :)
And, of course, N decided he wanted to be part of the photo shoot too.

Doesn't J's sweater look great with N's footie pajamas?

It's Done! Sneak Peek at J's School Bus Sweater

Here's a sneak peek at J's School Bus Sweater.

I finished knitting it last night and sewed on the sleeves tonight. My first time doing set-in sleeves went pretty smoothly and I only ripped out and redid one part. I still need to block it and J may convince me to add some lovely dolphin buttons he picked out a few weeks ago, but this is mostly finished. More details to come.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My boys

I realized it's been a bit since I updated on the goings-ons of my boys. They are both growing up so quickly these days.

The biggest change for J is we decided to get his speech assessed because we were concerned about his articulation. At almost 4, the poor little guy was still having to act out words for us sometimes because we just couldn't figure out what he was saying. Anyway, he scored in the 6th percentile for articulation and qualified for a preschool speech language class and started attending that last week (two days a week for 1 hour and 45 minutes each day). I was really anxious about his first day of speech school since we had never met his teacher, the assistant or any of the other students, but everything went well and J LOVES it. That was such a relief for both of us. So now he has his regular preschool on T and Th and his speech preschool on M and W. It's a bit overwhelming for me at the moment, but J seems to be handling it okay.

N is also doing okay with the change although I think he misses having his brother here to play with. I've been trying to get him together with a friend at least one of the four days J is gone. N is continuing to learn more and more words and is starting to learn his colors. His favorite right now is blue--I think because that's the one he can say the most clearly. He also does green and yellow sometimes. Perhaps, N's favorite word right now is "Please." When I tell him "no" about something, he then tries, "Please, please, please, please, please." It's adorable, but I have to force myself to not give in. Sometimes I think N might be a little too cute for his own good.

So that's all our news for now. Hope life is treating you well on this very dreary, rainy Monday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

School Bus Progress

Still knitting like mad on J's School Bus Yellow Sweater.

All I have left to do is to finish the collar and attach the sleeves. This is my first attempt at set-in sleeves (yes, all the sweaters I've knit up to this point have been either raglan or yoke) and I'm a little nervous. I tried lining the sleeves up with the front and back and it LOOKS like they will fit. Will keep you posted. I hope to finish this totally (with all ends woven in) by Tuesday. Can't wait to see it on J. Hope he loves it!

Random Thought

Every time I eat an Oreo without dipping it in milk, I feel guilty for the missed opportunity, like I've wasted something precious.