At least it will be funny someday…

It’s been a crazy weekend, you might say.  Friday night, Marc and I went to the opera (we love opera, and one of my best friends works for the opera company, so we’re supporting!)

I especially love dressing up.  It was la Traviata, not my favorite (a bit too much dying of consumption for my taste) but the cast was phenomenal!

Saturday we made a trek to Cincinnati, to see Marc’s parents and go to Ikea (I finally got a new dressing table, and I am super excited to get my stuff out of the bathroom where guests and students can’t see it!)

We got back pretty late, and went to bed.  We woke up at 4 am to the sound of someone opening our front door.  I woke up Marc, who armed himself with our only real weapon, a fire extinguisher, and called 911.  We stayed shut it our room, as we heard someone coming up the stairs.  I don’t mind saying that I was completely terrified!  The police arrived and, as it turned out, there was a drunk stranger passed out in the bed in our guest room.  One of the policemen attempted to calm me by saying “don’t worry, we get this sort of thing all the time!” which was somewhat less than comforting.  Of course, the guy had decided that it would be a good idea to lose his pants in our foyer, so our neighbors got to witness someone without pants being dragged out of our house at 4:30 am.

As it turns out, I had left the keys in the front door when we got back so late, and the drunk thought he had made it to his friends’ house near us (and they had thoughtfully left the keys!)  Don’t ask me how he failed to notice that he was not even faintly in the right house.  He called this morning to apologize profusely and with much embarrassment.

I love my neighborhood, and wouldn’t leave it for anything, but tomorrow we are so getting an alarm system, so as to avoid more confused drunks!

Ahem… I have also been crocheting, although not since Friday!  After crocheting the yoke of my sweater at least twice, I’m on the body, which is pretty smooth sailing.

If you make this pattern, be sure to count your stitches after each row of the yoke – I could have saved myself so much trouble that way.

Happy Monday everyone – here’s hoping for a great week!

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Crocheting again

I’m trying out a new crochet hook  – metal tips with square wooden handles by kollage.  I will say that I didn’t have any aching wrists after doing what you see above last night!  My pinky got a little stiff, probably from wrapping around the square, but not in a bad way – more in a “I don’t use this muscle” kind of way.

The pattern (found here) gave me some issues.  I had a really hard time getting gauge, and ended up dropping from and H to an E hook.  That’s a big drop, but I do find that this designer’s patterns tend to be like that for me.  I also had trouble reading the pattern, as I found I needed info found in both the written directions and the chart, and neither were as clear as I would have liked.  I’ve finally worked it out, and hopefully I’m on my way now!

I bought the Colourscape Folk collection for my next knit sweater, but first I have to finish a pair of socks for my MIL’s birthday.  Maybe.  I’m not sure – I’m so lousy at obligation knitting.  I always run out of motivation.  I try not to tell anyone I’m making them a gift, because then I feel pressure, but this time I forgot!

Hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Retro crochet, and new knitting

I finally got a copy of the new Interweave Crochet, which I have talked about here before.  It’s full of great projects with a sort of retro, dreamy air.  I love it when they go that direction, because that’s the side of crochet I fell in love with – the retro lacy side, not the cutesy side.  I was happy to realize that I already had the yarn called for in the “retro cardigan” by Simona Merchant-Dest (Classic Elite Sundance.)

I’m still waffling on what size to make, but I’m leaning towards the smallest – the model in the photo is wearing the 2nd smallest, and I am smaller than her I think – and I like the way it fits her, so I should go down a size.  My yarn is actually a sort of faded red, not bright the way it looks in the photo.  I hope it comes out – the instructions are a little frustrating so far, as crochet often is if not charted.

I’m also starting another sweater tonight after work – the smock top  that I showed you all the other day.  I got a lot of questions as to what book it is in – it’s from “Make it modern,” released spring 08 by Classic Elite (book #9086.)

I’m hoping to finally use up this shine sport in Aquamarine – I may have to make the smallest size at a larger gauge, as I find shine sport to be on the heavy side of sport weight.  I got this yarn in my very first purchase from Knitpicks, and have been trying to use it up ever since!  Shine sport isn’t my absolute favorite, but it’s a nice enough yarn.  I’m going to knit in the round at least until the cabled section, which should make the stockinette go fast.

Thanks for the camera suggestions – I’m looking at a Canon rebel (used or refurbished) but nothing is finalized yet.  My current camera has taken to make crazy lines across half my pictures, which is driving me crazy.  It hasn’t been the same since Leon knocked it off the mantel last year!

FO: Peaches

Pattern: Peaches by Kim Hargreaves, available in Breeze

Yarn: Rowan Handknit cotton, 1.5 balls

Hooks: 4 mm and 3.5 mm

Notes: As I said before, I’m not sure I’ll actually use it, but it was fun to make! The pattern was pretty clear, but I do have one beef… it didn’t include gauge information, or finished size information.  I’m pretty sure mine turned out a little big, but I can’t say for sure – perhaps I just have a small head?

I can’t quite figure out the name – I see no peaches, maybe grapes or very stylized pineapples.  The raised stitches were a bit of a pain, but nothing too bad.  I knit one fewer straight round, and several fewer rounds of single crochet at the end.  Be sure to do the crab stitch (the last round) because it really tightens up the opening.  Keep in mind that this pattern is written in British crochet terms, so DC is our single crochet, treble crochet is the same as our double.

I love to crochet hats – it’s the only way I end up with any, since i hate using DPNs or small circs for knitted hats.  I hope we get weather that works with this hat at some point in the fall – right now it’s rather humid, though it wasn’t bad when I took these photos.

Stockinette overload

The empire waist cardigan is finished – my poor wrists!

I can’t tell yet whether I like it, as this is a sweater that really needs a good blocking.  I’m hoping that it stretches out a bit, as before blocking I thought the shoulders could be wider (which is funny, since that’s why I ripped back the first time!)  Usually things that are knit sideways stretch quite a bit that direction, so hopefully it will work out!  It’s gloomy and rainy today, but once things get more sunny I will get an FO shoot on this one!

To combat all that stockinette, I cast on for Peaches, my crocheted hat.

I do wonder about the idea of cotton hats for summer.  Perhaps in England, where I imagine they don’t have the awful summers we do here, this is a practical item.  Personally, I plan to wear it in the fall, before it gets too cold, but that works for me!  The pattern is fun, and it shouldn’t take too long to finish.

I caught Sarah Jane relaxing in her favorite chair this morning… I love how she is camouflaged here!

Don’t you dare try to steal my chair.”

“Ok fine, but I get to work the mouse!”

FO: Emerald & Storm update

Pattern: Gem, from Heartfelt by Kim Hargreaves

Yarn: Manos wool

Hook: Size H

Notes: I tried to use this yarn for a lacy scarf (Haven, from the same book) but the severely thick and thin quality of the yarn kept the pattern from standing out.  So I decided that I would make another Gem, a hat I made last year from Noro Kochoran.  I really love this pattern – it’ my favorite hat, flattering on most people, takes about an hour to crochet.  I left out one increase and one decrease round to make up for my thicker yarn.  It’s slightly slouchy, but not overly so.  By the way, I’m reading my copy of “Toilet Roll Covers,” that my friend Althea gave me.  I love this book (it’s the one with the pig on the cover.)  I’m definitely going to be making some of these for christmas gifts this year, silly though they are!

As you may (or may not) have heard, we in Louisville were among the victims of the wind storm on Sunday (or “Windstorm 08” as the local news has not so cleverly dubbed it.)  I live in a part of town that contains lots of old houses, and a corresponding amount of old growth trees ready to fall.  75% of the city was without power – I think we were the only street in our area not to lose power, so we do feel very lucky.  We lost a bunch of shingles off our roof, which will be replaced tomorrow.  I took some pictures of the damage (these are from a single block surrounding our house… I did not go looking for the most damage.)

The city is pretty shut down – I am off work for the week, and have been walking the places I need to go to avoid the many streets that are still blocked.  I have also finally gotten to the wallpaper in our bedroom.

Unfortunately, as you know, in an old house every room has a surprise.  The surprise in this room?

Why yes, that is mold underneath the wallpaper.  Apparently at some point in the past 25 years the roof leaked underneath the wallpaper by the window, although it would appear not recently.  Forunately it’s only that one small spot over the window, but still… icky.  I am very glad that we took the paper down – I would hate to keep sleeping in a room with that going on underneath!

I also have a cold this week, so I’m eating lots of soup, knitting on my tweedy cardigan (60% done!) and wearing a mask if I have to go into “the mold room” as I am now calling it.

Sorry if I haven’t responded to anyone’s emails this week – we haven’t had reliable internet service until today!

And the winners are…

Yes, I couldn’t decide on just one, so I cast on for two sweaters!

Old Penny

and Bianca’s jacket.

Old Penny will be a quick knit – it has no cables on the back.  Unfortunately, I think it’s coming out rather small, so I’m going to restart using a size larger needle, and without using such small needles for the ribbing (the pattern calls for using 3 sizes down for the ribbing, but I don’t like how much that pulls in.  One or two smaller would be plenty.)  I’m also probably going to add an inch or so in length – as written it’s only 13.5″ to the armholes, and I like mine closer to 15″.  I love the yarn, way more than I thought I would – it’s a very smooth knitting experience, but it still has some visual texture.

Bianca’s jacket is looking to work out, sizing wise.  It’s 2″ smaller than the pattern size small, which is what I want, but who can tell when I’ve just started?  I’m also planning on adding length to this sweater.  It’s written as a short jacket, but I think it would be more flattering a bit longer (although not too much – I like the swinginess.)

Other knitting news today: the Fall Knitty is live (but I bet you knew that already!)  I am not generally a huge fan of knitty – I often don’t “get” their sweater patterns, and there are a lot of socks.  I think this is a really solid issue though.  I like Hermia and Anne Shirley, although I don’t know if I will actually make either.

If I were to make Hermia I would have to do some modifications, but I think that it could be cute with some mods for my short waist and skinny arms.  I love the yarn the sample is knit in, which is probably a lot of my attraction, since I usually don’t like things that require lots of mods. I really have to get over my scarf problem  – I love to wear them, but I get so incredibly bored making them that I can only seem to get through easy stitch patterns with big yarns.  It’s the same sort of issue I have with socks – I love wearing them, but I feel like I’m stealing time away from my sweaters when I make them, so it takes me ages to make a pair anymore.  Maybe I could make this scarf from a bigger yarn?  It would have a different look, but I bet it would still be nice!

And finally, we have the preview for the Fall Interweave Crochet.  I have not been a fan of the last few issues, but this one is fab (surprising since I think of crochet as a summer sort of craft!)  I’m a big fan of the stitch pattern on this jacket.

I am trying to think of a yarn sub from my stash.  I also love this pullover.

The only reason I didn’t immediately hoard the yarn for this one is that I can’t think of a great sub for the alpaca offhand (boo for being allergic to alpaca!)

Also cute:

But I’m not doing short sleeves anymore (I don’t wear them) and I look like a little girl wearing big sweatercoats, as much as I love them!