Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FO - Little Treasures Baby Jacket

Pattern: Little Treasures Jacket from Simply Knitting Magazine
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Mandarin Petit
Needles: Size 3
Mods: I didn't knit a button band or add a picot edging to the bottom or to the sleeves.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Hemlock Ring Blanket

I had some yarn left over from my sweater, so I cast on for the Hemlock Blanket (as inspired by the Knitting Rose).

I put my keys in the photo because I wanted to show the scale of the flower. It's HUGE!

Thanksgiving crazies

I love my daughter. I really do.

But I'm SO glad school is back in session. M was sick for the most part of the Thanksgiving break, so she spent a lot of time indoors.

I finally had to come up with something to do, so we decorated T-shirts.

I have been wanting to try freezer paper t-shirts, so we did one. I also bought an iron-on crystal wand, so we did a couple of crystals. M has really great motor skills and was able to put some crystals on herself. I was truly impressed.

FO - Gator Mittens

I made these for a teacher at M's school. She noticed M's gloves and really loved them, so I made some in her size. We just gifted them and she LOVED them.

Pattern: Later Gator Mittens from Stitch N Bitch Nation (size: Women's S)
Yarn: Berocco Comfort
Needles: Size 5 & 7
Thoughts: Love the yarn for these - they're machine wash and dry. They also knit up nice and thick. Buttons are used for the eyes and I fastened them with upholstery thread.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"The Siren Queen" by Fiona Buckley

This was one of my favorite Ursula Blanchard stories. It was written in 2004, so I'm feeling that maybe Ms. Buckley has stopped writing the series - which is really too bad. The final sentence was fabulous as the north is now on the march to the south, Meg may have met her future husband, Matthew de la Roche isn't dead, Cecil is on the outs with Elizabeth, and Gladys may finally stop throwing curses on people.

I think I also liked this book in the series because Meg starts being a character - and she's a pretty astute young lady.

I hope the series continues. I just don't think we'll see it happen as it's been three years since the last book. :(

FO-Flannel nightgown

We went to Joann's yesterday because they were having a GREAT sale - especially on flannel. M fell in love with a mermaid print, so I bought a cheap pattern and knocked out a nightgown for her. She loved them so much, she wore them almost all day today. If they weren't dirty, she'd be wearing them tonight, too. :)

FO - Hedgehog #1 & #2

Patttern: Huggable Hedgehog by Fiber Trends
Yarn: Ella Rae 100% wool; Schachenmayr nomotta Salsa & Brazilia
Thoughts: Fast knit. Terribly cute.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Another Hedgehog!

Boy these things whip up so quickly and they're really cute, too!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Modifications to the Arwen

Initial cast on: I cast on the total amount of stitches listed for all three panels. I didn't take out any stitches for seam allowances. I feel that four extra stitches didn't really give me any grief - although my gage was 5 stitches per inch. The most helpful thing I did on this was to write out the cable patterns onto coil bound index cards.

I knitted each side for 17 inches. I used the measurements to one of my store bought cardigans to determine that the length was right. That, and taking it to SnB every two weeks to get constructive comments helped, too! :)

I then split the cardigan up according to the pattern stitch counts into three different panels.

I did not increase/decrease in the arm area, mainly because I've got broad shoulders. I knitted this area for 11 inches - which gave me 22 inches round for my arms.

Next comes the somewhat confusing part. I grafted together 32 stitches from the inside of each slit to form the shoulders. I then kept on knitting the hood area till it it covered my head. I did a three needle bind off to fasten the hood together.

Next, I picked up stitches along the arm holes and knitted the sleeves in the round (decreasing two stitches every four rows). Notice how I stopped short in the sleeve. That's so I could sew on cables for the sleeves.

I knitted both cables at the same time - 14-inches long - and sewed them to the cuffs.

Here's the finished sweater!

Hedgie #1

road kill
Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
I think I must have been going through toy knitting withdrawal because I sat down last night and knitting this in one sitting. Granted, I was up a little late, but I couldn't sleep, so it all worked out.

Just need to add eyes, nose and stuff him! Isn't he cute? I think the nephews are gonna like him!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Reviewed: "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyer

I do enjoy reading Young Adult literature. Some of the books are really well written.

Twilight is not one of them.

There's such hype surrounding these books. I've read where Stephenie Meyer is a SAHM who just sat down and wrote the book - who'd a thunk?

If I were younger, I probably would have loved this book. At forty - not so much.

It just never really went anywhere. After 100 pages, the protagonist was just getting settled in school. After 350 pages, there was a lot of "why does he hate me/does he like me?" angst. The only action happened towards the end of the book, and that wasn't really all that, well, exciting.

I have the second book pulled from my local library. I'm not even going to bother reading it - I'm that disappointed.

FO - Cardigan for Arwen

It's done and I'm thrilled!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Weird Jury Duty

I had jury duty last week at my local municipal courthouse. I've never been called for municipal jury duty and was intrigued - but irritated. Who wants to serve jury duty? Not me.

I did get picked - which surprises me. Usually I am stricken from the pool because of my profession.

The trial was for a speeding ticket. Ironically, I am currently on probation for THE SAME EXACT TRANSGRESSION!! I was sitting on the jury and dutifully listening to the defendant questioning the police officer. As I was listening, I realized - slowly - that the location of the policeman was the same place I got my ticket.

I panicked and felt awful. I didn't want to effect the other jurors who had been selected along with me. I asked the judge if I could tell her something. She told me that I had to talk to the bailiff. The bailiff told me to write down what I had to say. He gave it to the judge and she said that it wasn't a problem.

We listened to the case, deliberated, and found him guilty.

The thing is, I remember being very upset at getting a ticket at that location. I felt like the policeman was waiting at the end of the off ramp to nail me with a ticket. After looking at the location later, I realized that the ramp ended much sooner than I had thought and I really did need to be slowing down by the time I got near to where the cop was waiting.

So I hired a lawyer and paid the ticket.

But this guy didn't and I was a little upset at him for wasting my time, the courts time, the policeman's time, and all the other jurors time with a jury trial.

I'm just glad that I didn't fight my ticket.

After we found the guy guilty and the foreman signed the declaration, I then shared with the rest of the jurors what had happened - 'cause I couldn't share with them before. The one question I got was, "so you paid the ticket?" I told him yes. He was visibly ticked off towards the defendant.

New Blog

Well, I couldn't help it. I started a new blog.

The idea behind it started from when I made my Captain Underpants. Lots of teachers and librarians loved it - and so does my nephew. He still sleeps with him a year later.

Then I mentioned to my sister-in-law that I was knitting hedgehogs for the boys for Christmas (which I have to start!). Her eyes brightened and asked if I could make an over sized white mitten to store them in as it would be a perfect companion to a book they own called The Mitten by Jan Brett.

I also had been thinking of a good school auction knitting activity. Last year my Yuletide Gnomes fetched over $200 for the school while a custom baby item went for $30 and a custom felted purse went for $50. The knitted toys are definitely something bidders responded to.

So I started thinking about what toys I could make that I can pair with a children's book.

Thus the idea behind Children's Lit n Knit was born. I'm getting some good feedback from knitters and the ideas are starting to trickle in.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Reviewed: "Dexter in the Dark" by Jeff Lindsay

I have really enjoyed the Dexter book series, as well as the Showtime show. The Showtime show heavily borrowed it's first season from two books - but they're different enough to be worth reading the books.

But this third book was a terrible disappointment. It introduced a supernatural element that really didn't need to be there. It let's Dexter off from being a monster - I mean come on, he does the things he does because of a demon possession? Dexter is likable already - even though he does some really terrible things. Lindsay didn't have to try to let him off the hook.

I like how Dexter has taken Astor and Cody under his wing. It's a good story line and I'm looking forward to reading more about this.

I liked how Dexter was essentially turned into the prey - but Lindsay just muddled it with the supernatural crap.

It is rare when I like the television version of a series, but I have to admit that in this case, I do.

Reviewed: "Belladonna" by Anne Bishop

This was a sequel to the Sebastian book about Ephemera.

I liked how Ms. Bishop introduced more Landscapers who are like her. Like the first book, I just skimmed over the "Eater of the Light" chapters. They all read the same.

I didn't like how directionless this book seemed. The characters just kept wandering around and the Eater was just as directionless.

The book also seems to have wrapped up the Ephemera series. I can anticipate a Caitlynn book or a Michael book, but really don't know where the series could go other than have conflict with the existing Dark wizards.

Entertaining, but I give Belladonna an "meh".

Thursday, November 08, 2007

WIP: Arwen-hood!

I did the three needle bind off for the hood last night!

I picked up stitches along one of the arms and am knitting the sleeve in the round.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

FO - Calorimetry

Pattern: Calorimetry from Knitty.com
Yarn: Debbie Mumm, Pine Needle Green
Needles: US 8
Thoughts: Finished this over the weekend. Quick knit. I CO only 96 stitches and it worked out great. Love the yarn the way it striped.

Reviewed: "Life As We Knew It" by Susan Beth Pfeffer

This is an apocalyptic young adult book. I love reading apocalyptic books and have enjoyed a number of young adult books. This is the first one I've read where the two genres were put together.

And it wasn't that bad!

Miranda is a 16 year old girl with two brothers - a younger one and an older one. Her Dad left the family and started another one with his new wife.

An asteroid hit the moon and moved it's orbit closer to the earth. It wreaks havoc with the local economy - the skies darken because of increased volcanic activity, coastal cities flood and millions of people die. Winter comes earlier than usual and the area is hit with a super flu ala the 1918 pandemic.

Miranda is likable and believable as a 16 year old girl. I like how the book shows the gradual changes in their world, but the changes are so dramatic that it really makes you think about how you would be able to survive similar circumstances.

Fun, quick read.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

WIP: Arwen - try on

I've tried on the Arwen and I'm very happy.

WIP: Arwen

I have to admit that I'm getting tired of knitting on this, but with the cooler weather, I feel the need to finish it up.

Last night I was able to do a three needle bind off on the shoulders and am continuing knitting up to finish up the hood. I'm very pleased with how it looks and the length in the arm area works well.

Happy, happy