Saturday, April 05, 2008


On Friday I got a gift from my mailman - 6 new skeins of the new KnitPicks Comfy yarn in the color Flamingo. The color is a beautiful blush color. Think of a light zinfandel wine and you'll have the color just right.

I couldn't just let it sit there without playing with it could I? Nope, especially not after messing with the masochist shawl. Away went the nasty shawl and out came the new Comfy.

First, let me say that the new Comfy line is fabulous. It is 75% Pima Cotton and 25% acrylic. It is so incredibly soft and very drape-y.
  • It handles the washing machine and dryer very well and, if possible, comes out even more soft and drape-y. I would like to be able to throw this in the washer/dryer, thus the test with the swatch. It shrank a tiny bit widthwise, but not lenthwise (see below).
  • I haven't noticed any splitting of the yarn as of yet and it doesn't "squeak" a bit.
  • It absolutely glides on my Options needles.
  • Love. It.

I'm making the Lillian Tank Top, so I made the swatch according to her instructions. It is supposed to be 4 inches square. It came out a bit bigger, but I think it'll be okay since I like my stuff a little bit roomy anyway, especially in the summer. I may switch to a smaller needle when I get to the top of the tank, we'll see.
I'm blushing

Pre-wash/Dry = The height/length of the swatch came out to 4.5 inches and the width was 4.25 inches.
After washer and dryer = height was 4.25 width was 4.25.

Stitch gauge = 5 sts/inch
row gauge = 7 rows/inch

Friday, April 04, 2008

My Re-Decorator

Proof that the Youngest is feeling in fine form now:

The little booger got a whole roll of paper towels out of the pantry when I wasn't looking and re-decorated the foyer for me. :)

He had an absolute blast. All we could do was laugh. At least it was harmless fun.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Masochist Shawl

So, how did I spend my morning?

A while ago I purchased a beautiful hank of Cherry Tree Hill yarn. This yarn is called Baby Loop. The band on the hank describes it as "A light sport mohair boucle with nylon binder." It has 970 yards per 8 oz. hank. The colorway? Sugar Maple. The colors are gorgeous, especially for someone who loves red, like me.

I knew this yarn would be difficult to work with, but I've been determined to do it. I looked far and wide for a light airy lacy pattern to use it with. Originally I wanted a sweater, but opted for a one panel shawl instead. There would be less complications that way, and I was right.

Step One of the morning - wind it into yarn cakes. It would be a nightmare otherwise, you'll see what I mean in a minute.

Now when you do this, I thoroughly recommend that you have a two year old who is feeling ever so much better and has a lot of pent up energy to assist you in this endeavor. Trust me, it's the way to go. You can see in the pic below how amazing the colors are in this yarn.

Remember when I said you'd see why in a minute? Here's why. Look at all those tiny loops on the pretty string. Can you imagine trying to work from the hank with all those loops trying to grab each other?

Finally, after much trials and tribulations with the two year old and mega-grabby yarn, you have yarn cakes. Notice the weight on the postal scale. Yeah, I got gypped .02 oz. Can you believe it?

Step Two - Begin knitting.

The shawl pattern that I picked is from Tangle. It's a free pattern called The Purl Shawl. Being a combo knitter, purling is often easier for me to do than knitting and I thought that this would be a fun one to try out. It's an incredibly easy pattern, but it calls for bulky ribbon yarn. The cast on for this is 53 sts. I doubled that, otherwise I would end up with a scarf instead of the shawl that I wanted.

The first couple of rows were tough, but that's true for me with any pattern and any yarn that I use. The third row was no problem at all and I am so far very pleased with the outcome. It's just as light and airy as I wanted. Here's a sample:

For now though, I am renaming this one. My version is no longer the Purl Shawl, it is now called The Masochist Shawl, for only a masochist would make anything out of this yarn.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Saturday Market Bag

I finished the Saturday Market Bag:


This would have been a pretty quick knit if the Youngest hadn't gotten sick. Very easy pattern.

My mods - I basically followed the modifications found on the Distressed blog. However, here is what I changed.
I used size 11 needles since I don't have 15s in my needle set. I cast on 45 sts and did 22 repeats of the lace pattern to compensate for the smaller needles. I did not change to a smaller size needle for the handles, just kept on going with the 11s. I picked up 3o sts. for the handle section. I did a regular cast off instead of my new preferred stretchy cast off that you can find on Grumperina's blog in order to add more support for the handles. I also did approx. 24 rows of garter for the handles in order to make them a bit shorter.
That's it. Now, what the heck to I do with the bag? I began this project with no destination for the bag at the end. Oh well, I'll think of something.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

sickness and april fool's

Just a quick update for ya: The Youngest has been really sick. He's been running 103 degree fevers every night and is averaging around 100 during the day. He's drinking liquids, eating no food and has been attached to my lap and arms 24/7.

So guess what? little to no knitting has been accomplished.

I did get the Eldest tonight in a little April Fool's fun. For Christmas he got a cool Lego Star Wars space shuttle. It's quite big. Well, right before he left to go to scouts tonight I told him that "Oh yeah, forgot to tell you earlier, but he (the Youngest) kinda messed up your space shuttle."

He said, "Which one?"

I said, "the Lego one."

He didn't waste another breath, just raced for the stairs. I blew it though. I should have kept a straight face, cause he just happened to look back at me as he jumped onto the first stair. It took him a second to figure it out, then I said, "gotcha. April Fool's."

You should have seen his face. It was a hoot! He's always so worried about the Eldest destroying his toys. It was the funniest thing I've seen all day! :)

Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh Yes I Did!

I did get to meet the man, Alton Brown, himself. Wow!

My Mom & I arrived at the lecture at around 12:15 on Saturday. At first, there was a boring 10 minutes where the Library employees patted themselves on the back for having this shindig. During that time, I spied the main attraction standing about 15 feet away from where I was sitting. He blended in perfectly with the crowd. I don't think anyone but me saw him standing over there very quietly. When not in his usual goofy "get-up" for his show, he's the most normal looking guy, and not bad looking at that. Better in person than in the pics I'm about to show you though.

The set was pretty cool. Very mad scientist-y:

I was struck by how strong of a Christian Alton is. Of course, that's not really surprising since he was raised in the Bible Belt.

He does live in Marietta, by the way, I just don't know where. His wife and daughter were there. His daughter is such a cute little girl.

Alton is not easy to photograph. He moves around way too much when he's giving a lecture. Not one to sit still. He was extremely funny. He got on his soapbox about several things: Chili from China, Chicken's not really having fingers, How stupid we are for buying bottled water and both paying too much for it and ruining the environment, how lawyers are food, etc. It was more of a standup comedy routine for the first half. The second half was all Q & A. He accepted questions from the audience.

The lecture ended at 2:00pm and we got in line to get a cookbook signed. At about 3:30, we finally got up to him. Yes, an hour and a half. Can you believe it? But! In his defense, he took the time out to shake every single person's hand. He asked our names and then made sure to use them the entire time we were speaking with him. He was especially great with the children that went up to meet him. He dropped everything to speak with them. I heard people grumbling about that, but anyone who will spend that much time to talk to a child is my hero.See that little girl? She made the picture on the table as a gift for him. He made a big to-do over it. The kids and their Mom also happen to be related to me by marriage - cousins. I didn't even know they were going, just happened to bump into them.

Here I am smiling and looking like a total dork. Notice his "wish this was over" facial expression:
Me & my new buddy Alton

Of course my Mom always looks fantastic, but Alton forgot to smile. Hey, at least he was looking at the camera. They asked that nobody do any posed photos. Do you think anyone paid attention to that? Umm, no.

And this pic? This is the Youngest being very sick and passed out on the Living room chair. He's on antibiotics now. Very pitiful, but oh so cute.