Friday, February 29, 2008

I See Stars Hat

I'm sorry the colors are so washed out
Stitch definition had to take priority this time =)

Makes about a size Medium

Size 10 dpns - I'm a very tight knitter, so if you are a loose knitter, size 9 or 8 may work better and of course, you could use circs and magic loop.

19 stitches per 4 inches / 12 rows per 2 inches

Between worsted and bulky - my book describes it is as fisherman or medium weight(UK Aran) This particular yarn is from a Navajo reservation, there is no ply, just twist. Sort of like what I imagine pencil roving would turn into if you just put a little stretch and twist on it. (as IF I know what I'm talking about there, haha) Of course taking into account how tightly I knit, you could probably go up in yarn to bulky and use the 10 needles and achieve the same gauge if you are not such a tight knitter.

Abbreviation MS = Make Star

Make Star:
K3tog without slipping stitches off, bring yarn to the front then K the same 3 stitches together again slipping them off this time.

Cast on 60 and join without twisting. (I prefer the long tail cast on because it's more stretchy, but that's just me)

Knit 5 rounds

Increase Round:
*K1, Inc 1 in next stitch* repeat for entire round (90 stitches)

Knit in stockinette stitch for 3 1/2 inches

Pattern stitch:
Round 1: *K3, MS* repeat for entire round
Round 2: Knit all stitches
Round 3: *MS, K3* repeat for entire round
Round 4: Knit all stitches

Rounds 5 - 8: Repeat rounds 1-4 one more time

Knit 4 more rounds or about half and inch

Decreases/Shaping Rounds:

Round 1: *K1, K2tog* repeat for entire round (60 stitches)
Round 2 and all even rounds: Knit all stitches
Round 3: *K8, K2tog* repeat for entire round (54 stitches)
Round 5: *K7, K2tog* repeat for entire round (48 stitches)
Round 7: *K6, K2tog* repeat for entire round (42 stitches)
Round 9: *K5, K2tog* repeat for entire round (36 stitches)
Round 11: *K4, K2tog* repeat for entire round (30 stitches)
Round 13: *K3, K2tog* repeat for entire round (24 stitches)

Here you can go two ways - a more pointed hat or a more rounded one. I didn't really mean to make mine so pointy, which is why I added the pom pom - for pointed pom pom version proceed as follows:
Round 15: *K2, K2 tog* repeat for entire round (20 stitches)
Round 17: K2tog all the way around (10 stitches)
Cut yarn, run end through the stitches left, pull tight as you can and anchor. Weave in.

If you want a more rounded hat (with or without pom pom) proceed as follows
Round 15: K2tog all the way around (12 stitches)
Cut yarn, run end through the stitches left, pull tight as you can and anchor. Weave in.

For those of you who want pom poms and don't know how to make them, I too am not so great at it. I used the instruction in the back of my Vogue Knitting Quick Reference. I'm hoping there's an easier way. There dozens of YouTube videos out there. You can start with this one and pick your favorite, they at least look easier than what I did. Even though it turned out decently thick enough, unlike my first one. (scary)

There's probably a typo or two in here, since I stink at proofing my own work, let me know if you catch any mistakes =)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another Contest!

There's another contest to enter over at McKnitter's blog. Check it out =)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Look Over There! It's a Contest!

Hey peeps! There's a super easy contest going on over at Knittingal's blog. Leave a comment and link to the contest.

I finally picked up the lace again and I'm on the 27th repeat. No need for a new picture, it's scarcely any longer than the last one. I did finish the hat, though! I forgot! =)

I've dubbed it my "I See Stars" hat - You know, like in the cartoons when the stars circle their heads because of an anvil or bat =)) wa ha

I think I'll make another, and write out the pattern. Yaay a pattern ala e'moi (is that right?)

and just for laughs:

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Who Lives in Chilliwack?

By now we all know that I'm a little obsessed with Canada, right? I'm not exactly alone, two of my sisters also have the Canada/Canadian bug. Get this! For the last two days, my youngest child, the one who is four, has brought me encyclopedias that have maps in them that include Canada. Then he points to Canada on the map and says, "Momma? Can we go here, please?" Today it was a little MORE weird, he finds a map of the state of Washington, points right to the North in Canada on highway 1 (or whatever you call them up there) to the specific town of Chilliwack and says, "Momma, can we please go here? PLEASE!? Do we HAVE to wait 'till later?" Thinking it was a fluke, I made him show me again, both times he pointed straight at Chilliwack.

I just stare at him and feel confused and a little freaked out. He can't read, so why is he trying to get me to go to Vancouver area? I think I'd better start the process of getting a passport, and I'd better get one for him as well, because apparently he's already thinking about Canada, too. Weird, eh? This is how I felt about it.

I had to put down the lace again, it's been a little to heady for me while I was almost but not really sick just tired and a big ol miss cranky pants. So last night I was badly wanting some mindless knitting and cast on the hat you see on the head of the four year old. It was going to be just stockinette stitch until I stumbled upon something cool and decided to see if I could do it in the round. So I did and it looks like this.

and this

For some reason my camera has serious issues getting the colors right when it comes to blues and purples. The purples wash out to blues and it's annoying. I think it's going to be much better when I finally get my manual focus slr, because it's when this thing focuses that it decides to change all the colors. It even did it outside when I was trying to catch the awesome colors in a sunrise the other day. I think it may be slowly dying, because I've never had any trouble with catching sky colors before.

this is nowhere NEAR what was there =(

And it happened again when I was trying to take this picture of a VERY bright rainbow
You can barely see it - FRUSTRATION
This was actually a double rainbow, and I was so sad
when I couldn't get the second one to show up.

I wish that the photography biz I was trying to do was actually doing something, then I could go get my camera without guilt. Maybe maybe maybe soonish.

Do YOU know anyone who lives in Chilliwack?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another Meme

Because I haven't been knitting much =)

The 6th - 9th sentences on page 123 of the book I'm reading, "Persuasion"

" '.... It was curious, that having just left you behind me in Bath, my first and principal acquaintance on marrying should be your cousin; and that, through him, I should be continually hearing of your father and sister. He described one Miss Elliot, and I though very affectionately of the other.'

"Perhaps," cried Anne, struck by a sudden idea, "you sometimes spoke of me to Mr Elliot?"

'To be sure I did; very often. I used to boast of my own Anne Elliot, and vouch for your being a very different creature from -' "

OKAY! so I got carried away and did the 6th - 11th sentences, I was fixated on the number 5 instead of the number 3. It's more interesting to break the rules sometimes, yes? (I don't do it very often, but in this case... no harm)

Since I very recently did a similar meme, I not going to tag anyone specifically, anyone who wants to play can. Funny, I don't mind BEING tagged, but I feel weird tagging others. What's THAT about?

In other news... I've been a bit under the weather, just a very little bit. I never actually got all the way sick, but just ended up with a really stiff neck, one side, then both, now the other. One of the kids has been sick since Thursday, sent home from school that morning, then slept all day long, then during the night periodically came into my room waking me out of a deep sleep to ask me if it was morning yet. (NO! go to bed! grrr) I was VERY cranky on Friday. (and a little pmsey, I think) By Friday night I had a migraine, and couldn't sleep, so I tried the excedrine in the middle of the night, finally got to sleep for a few hours. Half asleep all day Saturday, still a bit with the headache.... today I feel better, but the stiff neck is irritating. Probably due to the fact that the sick kiddo got sicker and was up and down all night with a bad earache. I was gonna take him to the Doctor today, but he's back to sleeping all day again. Sleep is always what I need most when I'm sick, so I'm going to let him rest today, and take him to the Doctor tomorrow.

So between tiredness that feels like a cross between intoxication and crying =) the knitting thing doesn't work so well. I think I got through 2 rows on Friday, during which I made a mistake that took me SO long to figure out, that by the time I had it fixed, I was too exhausted to continue. More harm than good knitting in that state, so I just sat there and stared, mostly.

In spite of how dreary this all sounds, I have to say, that emotionally I've been doing SO much better. I've been feeling much more like someone I'm familiar with. It scares me a little to feel good, but I can get used to it. =) I should probably explain why it scares me? I was feeling pretty good the last time I went off, too, so some little voice in the back of my mind says, "are you going back to that place?" Going through something like that really shakes you to your core and makes you doubt everything you thought you knew about yourself and those around you. Second guessing can become something like poison in your brain and can really take over.

I'm pretty sure I'm okay. LOL I feel good, I'm laughing a lot more, I'm interested in things I had lost interest in... that sort of thing. I still have some things to sort out and other things that I have completely stopped that I need to restart, but I'm getting there. I think I just really needed to hit the 'reset' button on my life, taking that month off back in October (and half of November) helped. Then, getting things cleaned up and sorted through - breaking the old printers - was REALLY good. I think that of all the things I've done in the last year, that was most helpful to my feeling of well being. I still have to tackle my bed room, but that door has a lock on it, so I can do when I WANT to =)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?

About halfway through repeat number 23 on the Fern Lace Stole, I ran into a problem. I was on the row where I'm supposed to K3tog, k3, yo, k1, yo k9, - but when it came time to k9 there were only 6 stitches left to K! I counted and counted, and this is how it looked.

I couldn't find any dropped stitches so I did the only thing I could think of, I plopped those rubber stopper things on the ends of the needles and dropped what should have been 16 stitches back to the life line in the middle of the stole. What had I done? Well, it turns out that on row 5 where I was supposed to K3tog, k4, yo, k1, yo, k3.... etc I instead did K3tog, k3tog to begin the row and some other concoction of the stitches I was supposed to do that still gave me no clue I'd messed up.

So once I got the right stitches in the right order and stopped dropping more, I finally had something that looked like this:

It still has tension issues, and no matter where I tug, it stays pretty much the same. That's okay, the whole thing is going to be eventually stretched out beyond recognition anyway, right? Please say yes - aaaauuuggghhh!

To distract myself from the tension my tension is causing, check this out all you dream analysts out there. So I dreamt last night that I needed to catch a train to Vancouver. I'm not sure where I was going to Vancouver FROM, but it was definitely very important for me to get there. The train was leaving at 5:52pm and I didn't have to money to buy the ticket. I was traveling with my best friend, but I didn't ask her for the money, but asked another friend of mine who was there. He gave me the $50 or so for the ticket, but at the ticket booth they said I needed nine more dollars for some other fee related to the train ride. I went to the ATM to find I only had five dollars in my account. So I left my card in the ATM machine and called my mother (?) to see if they could transfer some cash to my account. She couldn't. Then I noticed it was already 6 o'clock! So I ran to the train, where the line was queuing up to get on the train. My best friend was just getting in line and she says, "I've got the nine dollars, don't worry." Except now I remember I left my card in the ATM machine, and the line is moving REAL fast. So I'm just about to dart back to get it when I wake up.

I woke up more tired than when I fell asleep! =( Needless to say, I definitely skipped the green tea this morning and went straight for the coffee!

I still haven't finished repeat 23, but maybe I can do that before kids start coming home to join the three that are already here. Ya think?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Darn it..

...and I'm not talking about socks. It started last night. I'm kicked back in my recliner, knitting and minding my own business, when all of the sudden there's a fierce horrible pain in the spot where my toes join my foot. It was like... do you know the movie "Contact" with Jodi Foster, well that sound from the radio signal they received from the array... that shrieking noise is how the pain in my foot felt. STAB STAB STAB STAB It didn't do it for long, but it kept coming back every few minutes. I'm used to phantom pains here and there, been living with it all my life, really, but this was sharp and mean. I was puzzled as to what was going on. The second symptom, I recognized. Anytime one of the kids gets hurt and shows me their wounds, I get a more than usually intense sympathy pain. stab stab -- UH OH, I'm coming down with something -- Then the achiness, then the shrieking pain from the night before is in my knee.... I hope it doesn't keep traveling upwards =( Anyway, these are the symptoms, (for me, anyway) of a low grade fever. RATS!!

I guess this altered state has got me pensive. I think too much for the most part, but do you ever have this experience? Like you find a blog that you really really like, and you faithfully comment for ages (and by ages, I mean a couple of years) but they totally ignore you. Like they seem to respond to everyone BUT you? I don't know, I'm sure I'm paranoid, but sometimes I really get the feeling that I'm annoying them by commenting. So, is there actually anyone out there that doesn't want comments from as many people as possible?

For me, I really miss all the comments I used to get before I fell off my gourd and the blog got deleted, and blah blah blah. For the record, those of you that have stuck with me through thick and thin, sane and not, are all the more dear to me for it. It's just, I really miss, don't slap me, being popular. =( I know this is SO Junior High/High School, but it's true, I can admit it, I'm human and I know my faults (all eleventy million of them) indulge me one shallow weakness of vanity. (one that YOU know about anyway, there are a few more, but my shallow vanity prevents me from exposing it you) Is that irony or satire? (or neither)

Anyway, I've been knitting a bit today, but mostly surfing the four sites I surf looking for new activity, new blogs to read - all this in between taking care of my three and then by 1pm, my sister's three. I should have just kept knitting. Oh well, when I stood up and held it out in front of me, my youngest started jumping up and down and saying, "I LIKE it, I LIKE it, it's so LONG!" I had to just smile and give him a hug thinking, "How many four years olds would make a big deal over lace?" Clearly, only those belonging to us yarny crafter types =) **BEAMING PRIDE**

Now I'm off to knit a bit more and watch Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory =)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fun and Lace

Check out this awesome nickname generator I saw on Jac's World's blog. Sawyer from Lost gives it to you, it's cool. Especially if you have a hard time resisting the 'bad boy' type. lol So my new handle is Sugarpop! Too funny. Most everyone else just calls me Sweetie, but I guess it's the same. I always just thought my husband called me that just hoping eventually it would be true. hehehe Then when strangers started calling me it, I figured I must look the part or something. =)

I finally picked up the lace again yesterday, after having enough rest that knitting no longer felt like something I was doing with 10 thumbs. I am now halfway through repeat number 21. It's getting quite long! I'm starting to think I may have yarn left once it's long enough to be a stole. Either that, or I'm going to make an obscenely long stole and wrap it around and around like a sari. =)) Haven't decided yet.

As usual, the sunset fireworks are still going on. Here's the latest show.

Whatever I don't like about this area, I do love the sky.

Monday, February 4, 2008

You Make My Day

Thanks for nominating me Chris! It's nice to know I was able to brighten your day a few times, you've done the same for me on many occasions as well.

Now for the list of the blogs that make my day, in no particular order.

Isa at Tricotine is always inspiring and takes wonderful pictures.
Everyone loves Stitchy McYarn Pants, of course, and so do I.
Gary over at Free Your Voice always makes me think, and/or laugh out loud and always has the coolest pictures.
Amy at Dyed in the Wool is a kindred spirit with an eye for design and a keen wit.
Renee from Froggie Meanie always has the cutest pictures and designed the prettiest little sweater I've ever seen.
There are always those certain bloggers with whom you end up being friends for life, especially when you find you have cool stuff in common. Rebekah at Knick Knack falls in this category.
I think Shannon has already been nominated in this category, but it's true for me, too, Dreams of Yarn frequently makes my day.
I've only been reading Micah's ReaALitY Tour for a few weeks, but the high energy, hilarity and varied content always leaves me in a good mood.
Susan at Hyperactive Hands is a great talent and a new mom with adorable baby pictures to share, how can it NOT make my day over there?
Over at My Life as I See it, Catrin always has something interesting going on whether it be awesome knits or pictures of her latest holiday.
Then there's Kaity, an up and coming designer, sock knitter extraordinaire. You have to check out the awesome socks over at Kaity Knits....A Lot.

Of course, no one is required to participate just because I nominated them and I never read the rules, but anyone who wants to spread the love - go forth and prosper =)

Thanks to those of you who offered your opinions about which photo I'm going to use for my new Ravitar =) There was one the stood out as a favorite to most everyone, and it wasn't the one I expected or favored from the start, but it grew on me, too. So that's the one I chose.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

AND....... rest

WHEW! What a great Saturday that was! I got all the essential cleaning done spit-spot, tip-top and had a wonderful time with my out of state cousin and his wife. It was just about as perfect as it comes. I didn't have to cook anything, since I provided the place, and the back yard and the grill. My brother made me a killer margarita. I think I should have only drank half of it though. I should know by now to stop when I can't feel my lips. No side affects today though, thanks to loads of water 4 advil and 2 exced. migraine - not all at once, of course! I think it was the customary 4 hour intervals. Anyway, he made sure I was sufficiently chill, that's for sure. About half-way thru it, I said to my brother, "Um... is this thing unUSually strong, or do I just need protein." He said, "It's unusually strong and rather large." "Ah, ok" giggle - Yeah, I totally shoulda put it down then.

In view of the days of major activity, today, I rest, and play and knit a little. (one row, so far, but planning to finish at least one repeat, which should put me around 20 or so total)

There's something that I told y'all I was gonna do WAY last Spring. I finally did it. A photo shoot of my new guitar. Here she is in all her glory.

Isn't she faboo?

While I had her out, I decided to try to take a profile pic of myself. Well, we all know how that goes, right? I am not one of these internet chics that can put the camera at arm's length and turn out something that won't burn your retinas. It's sad.

I've never really been very photogenic, since I think it has something to do with being relaxed. lol It takes load of pictures to get a few decent ones. The last time I did this, if you recall, I was working on my portfolio. It took HOURS to get just 3 decent shots, and I wasn't much happy with any of them.

This time I was a bit more relaxed, since there was no portfolio pressure. There also may be some residual tequila in the works, not sure.

I'm going to post the ones I like on Flickr. AND, if you care to participate in an experiment, I'm interested in your opinions to help me decide which one to use for my new Ravelry profile pic.

This one isn't in the running =) I just think it's silly.

Hopefully I'll get some knittin' done today and have something to show for it soon. I'm actually getting better at this lace thing, I can actually read the chart! It's a super easy chart, true, but it's good practice for my secret project to come which is mostly ALL chart stuff. eeek! I was looking at my current project a few days ago and discovered a mistake on about the 3rd or 4th repeat! LOL oh well, it's just a few misshapen leaves, NO WAY I'll start over for that. So weird how you can't always see that stuff in the beginning of a project.

Well, I think I hear the Super Bowl in the background, so I think I'll go check it out, out of morbid curiosity =)*)

I'm wearing my Cowboys T-shirt just to be spiteful.

***EDIT*** Check out this contest over at Ridiculous Obsession and tell her I sent ya =)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Nada Nada Pescada

Spanish for "Nothing, nothing, fish" - It just rhymes so people say it when someone says, "Hey Baby, que paso?" I have been cleaning, in a paced and very methodical way, which is very different from the cleaning of past April. Cleaning Frenzy is what I usually do, and then everyone scampers for cover and can never find anything ever again. I don't know which method is really better. I've been cleaning for days, like three days. This place is... well it's, I don't want to admit what it is, a heaping pile of rotting something. Not quite that bad, but that's how I feel about it. We all know I haven't been on my game for, oh how long now?, for freaking ever? Too long. Nothing like out of towners coming in to motivate a person, though, so I'm doing my 1st Annual Spring Cleaning in Dang January. It's 1AM now, and I'm wound up from the Cleaning Marathon. (Hey, new term!)

Generally, I'm fairly even, not too easily shaken, etc, but there is something about cleaning that just winds me up. I think it has something to do with the fact cleaning was used as punishment when I was a kid, so it's like memory association, fuming/cleaning, something. I've probably mentioned that before. This time though, I think it has been really less about the past and more about the present and how every single person here leaves mess in their wake and they are not much for helping with the disaster that ensues. I understand it from children, and I can get them to do their part when the time comes. One way or a chocolate bar, I can get them to cooperate. But when grown people wander around and mess up things left and right and then just leave it, I start to get pissy. Not after the first day, or even the second day, my patience runeth over and now it's going to be acid on someones head grrrrrr. Toss things here, toss things there leave them there for 3 years and then expect me to know where they are. How does that work? I love that commercial where the engaged couple are talking about what to do with the guy's stuff, and the girl has a vision of a flame thrower and the choir music is playing. I've had that vision a few times, but it would have to be Metallica, instead. There's more rant in here, but I'll spare you. This is sufficiently horrifying for now.

Any, so I've been cleaning all day for 3 days, and I still have a good 3 days worth left. Most of that is sorting through the mountains of paper and clutter that one accumulates when people go around throwing stuff all over the place. I only have half of ONE day left, so I'm really having to get creative in this process. I have to mention that I am SO blessed to have an 8yr old boy who dearly LOVES to vacuum the stairs, (where did HE come from?) because I seriously HAYTE it! I don't love dusting either, mainly because I'm SO allergic to it, but I discovered today that I can do most of that with my vacuum, too. (slow learner, I know, give me a break) (I think I must be talking to the voices of my parents that rattle around in my head, I really wish they would shut up sometimes) what was I talking about? Oh yeah, dust, sucked up into the vacuum and not into my sneeze machine. wooo hoooo! Score one for ME!

So here I am blogging in the wee small hours trying to wind down, so that when I get back in bed and the snoring starts somewhere too close to my ear, the urge to kick is sufficiently gone. I really need the basketball, MAN, or something. This the feeling, that feeling I get, it's pent up stuff. I've been advised to find some sort of activity where I can just smash the heck out of something, like the racquetball, or whatever. I need it NOW, but I can't just run out and do that in the mid of the night =( A punching bag, the big kind would do, but where would I put that thing? My house is so weak it'd probably fall down if I hung one of those somewhere in it.

It's not all, bad, of course, I'm reclaiming my house, that's a good thing. Even with lots left to do, SO much has already been done, I feel lots better already. I did get to break some old printers, that made me feel good, too. OK, can you stand more ranting? It's okay if you can't, just run away now. Here's a stupid story:

For some very odd reason, people give stuff to my husband. I don't know if he just looks needy (not likely) or if he's just that rude that he asks them for stuff? No clue, but, he comes home with printers, like STONE AGE printers, old crap computers, big giant cd changers from like the first year they made them, and the biggest TV I've ever seen, and SO DANG OLD, it's BUGLY. WHA? and WHY GOD WHY? Plus, he buys printers, and computers and .... gosh you get it by now, right? So we have 4 lame broken printers from who know where, 2 on the shelf that we bought, that have been out of ink SO long they can't seem to ever print again. (I didn't know they did that, but WHATEVER) So he's shopping for a printer again, (very quietly, b/c I had no idea) and says his normal, "What do think about the deal on this printer with these features.... blah blah blah." I'm like, "Dude, I SO don't care, don't talk to me about printers unless you get rid of all these stupid other printers before I throw them in the street." He laughs, cuz he's stupid that way, "Yeah, those things are worthless, anyway, I'll get rid of them." Did he? NOPE, so I did, yesterday?, no it was the day before, so that's... Wednesday. There is NOTHING so freeing as carrying some heavy plastic and metal piece of JUNK and I mean crap, and throwing as hard as you can into a trash can sitting on concrete. It was GLORIOUS. It gets better... heheheheheeeee So all these printers are in the trash can, the rolling plastic kind you take to the street. Anyway, since our garage is also a dumping ground of all manner of monstrous boxes of random junk from the back of his truck, we can no longer fit the trash and recycle carts in it. They live at the top of a VERY steep drive way on just the other side of the garage door. So, when he came home that night and shut the garage door, it slammed on the top of the bin and the thing vomited printers all down our driveway in the COLD COLD wind and dark. He was SO irritated. Too bad he didn't throw them away RIGHT when he had the chance. When he angrily told me the story, I laughed. Yeah, I laughed, because I'm stupid that way. GLORIOUS