Thursday, January 31, 2008

Another CSM pair

Well, since the other socks were too small for MA, I whipped out another pair last night.
Here's my second attempt at making size 7.5 socks.

Yarn: Comfort Sock
Color: 1812
Hem: 15 row Picot
Leg: 52 rows
Foot: 52 rows
Gage: 7.5 sts/9 rows per inch

Toe to Heel measurement: 9 inches

I washed the other pair and superimposed it onto the ones I just made:

Observations: The yarn color faded a bit, but there wasn't any shrinkage with this yarn. The 15 row picot edge doesn't flare out like the 10 row picot edge.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

BSJ - Corrections

Well, Mom found some errors in my row count stuff.

Here's the revised instruction for row 112 (or the button hole row)

Row 112: k4, (YO, K2tog, k7) x 4, YO, K2tog, k4, M1,sm, M1, k98, M1 sm, M1, k46

I updated the spreadsheet, so click here for the corrected one.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WIP - Bombshell #2 - Solved the bust dart mystery

I love Ravelry. I posted my problem with the bust short rows there and got my answer. I had to post it here.

You aren't making a diamond on your chest, you are knitting a short row bust heel - if you will.

So the shape you knit is more of two tetrahedron's on top of each other.

Scarlettb posted this:

So I’m gathering from your math that your bust dart length is 24 stitches total, 12 per side. Your total BDR is 12 rows, which means you have to do the decreasing part in 6 rows, and then the increasing again in 6 rows. That means that you have to decrease four stitches per row (your SRI), So here’s what you’re going to do:

R1: K92, W&T

R2: P88, W&T

R3: K84, W&T

R4: P80, W&T

R5: K76, W&T

R6: P72, W&T

R7: K76, knitting wrap together with stitch

R8: P80, purling wrap together with stitch

R9: K84, knitting wrap together with stitch

R10: P88, purling wrap together with stitch

R11: K92, knitting wrap together with stitch

R12: P96, purling wrap together with stitch
And then continue the pattern normally.
Thanks Scarlettb. I'm knitting the ribbed part of the sweater. My handknitting has been suffering a bit lately because I've been messing with my CSM.

2 Hour Socks

Yarn: Comfort Sock
Color: 1812
Hem: 10 row Picot
Leg: 45 rows
Foot: 45 rows
Gage: 7.5 sts/9 rows per inch

Toe to Heel measurement: 8 inches

Wow, I even have matching patterns on each sock! I DID not plan that out, but how cool! I'm hoping this will fit a size 7.5 foot, but feel that it may be too small. A 7.5 shoe is 9.5" from toe to heel (ladies shoe chart). According to a child's shoe chart I found on-line, the sock may be for a child size 2.
I'm gifting my socks tonight. Hopefully they fit. As soon as I understand the expected stretch required in socks, I'll post it here.
(Note: MA tried on her socks and the heel was an inch too short - darn!)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Second Sock

Well, I got the second sock done

First attempt at Kitchnering the toe: (Terrible!)Second attempt: (better)I also whipped up a pair for M, but the picot edging is just too wide for her, so I'll have to frog those and redo them once I have the ribber under control.

I played a bit with the ribber last night and actually got it working.

Now I'll have to get a pair going because the ribbing is just SO cool. I'll redo M's socks. The nice thing about her failed pair to know is that I made a size 3 sock and the heel/toe area fit her just fine. I did the toe/heels down to 8 needles instead of the 12 I have marked on my cylinder.

I also would like to start making some baby hats with this for some of my charity knitting for the knitting guild.

Grammar Test (corrected spelling)

You Scored an A

You got 10/10 questions correct.

It's pretty obvious that you don't make basic grammatical errors.

If anything, you're annoyed when people make simple mistakes on their blogs.

As far as people with bad grammar go, you know they're only human.

And it's humanity and its current condition that truly disturb you sometimes.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Surprise Jacket Revisited

I got an email asking for help on Row 59 (where you increase 10 stitches along the back area of jacket. This is what I came up with.

Row 59: K28, M1,sm, (M1, k7) x 4, M1, k1, M1, k6, (M1, k7)x 3, M1, sm, M1, k28 (124 st)

(sm = slip marker)

I also went ahead and finished writing out all the stitch counts row by row.

Click here if you want access to the full spreadsheet to print out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

One sock!

I made a sock! I made a sock! With my machine!! It took 2 hours to make this sucker!

Hem: 10 row Picot edging.
Size: fits me, so I'm gonna say a 9 - 11 sized sock.
Yarn: Trekking
I don't remember how many cranks I made between the heel and the toe. I'm going to have to count them so I can make a match.
As Ronda says: Whoo to the Hoo! ;)

Big Fish

Well, J was contacted by Big Fish Games - they wanted to use his games as an on-line game of the day. I couldn't say anything because he signed a NDA.

Yesterday was the first day his games were up on their site. They chose to post Baffle Bees. I must admit, this isn't one of my favorites of his as I just don't grock how to play it.

Today they put up Brain Bones. Now this game is probably my all time favorite that he's made. It's a little intimidating at first, but the best advice I have is to watch his animation as it really does sort of explain how to play the game as you go. It's a dice game and I secretly like to think he made this game for me because he knows how much I love dice games.

I'm really proud that his games are starting to get some great buzz and hope that one of these buggers becomes the next Internet phenomenon! I know I'm biased, but I play his games everyday. They're quick and fun.

Oh, and the more you play them, the more we get paid. The games are sponsored by various companies with ads.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I made a heel!

Well, what a difference a day makes.

I was able to successfully get one heel and one toe done today - and they're good.
Here's the heel - there are no holes!
And the toe:
I've been putting off buying a ball winder mainly because a friend of mine has one and we occasionally have yarn winding sessions at our local Stitch n Bitch. But I really need one now because it makes ripping out practice socks quickly.
I'll have to wait till there's a 50% coupon from Joann's.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Well, I made it to Van Alstyne this weekend to meet up with 11 other CSM owners to learn how to use my machine.

And boy, did I ever learn!

I loaded up my machine, had some trouble with yarn not knitting and learned the importance of having weight on the bottom of my knitting and the importance of making sure the yarn is fed in without any interferance.

And thus, I knitted my very first tube.


So, next thing to learn: Picot edgings.

I mastered that one and made my own set up bonnet (yay!) It's the knitted item on the left.

Next the big daddy: learning how to turn a heel.

I sucessfully got one heel done. It wasn't pretty, but I now know the mechanics.

I tried getting another heel turned today, but I just couldn't get my machine to cooperate. Plus, I just didn't know how tough this was on your lower back and upper shoulders.

I got home late on Sunday and I whipped up another set up bonnet. I tried turning a heel, but every time I turn and start going back, my yarn breaks. It could be because I've been using the same yarn over and over again, so I'll try with some virgin yarn another day.

So basically I have enough skills to knit a simple sock. No ribbing yet. That will have to be mastered at the next crank in after I have my first couple of pairs of socks cranked out.


Oh, and if you are interested in seeing some photo's of the weekend at Apple Leef Farm, click here.

So I guess there was nothing wrong with my CSM (although I DID replace the yarn carrier - which has made a ton of difference). I'm just glad I didn't follow through with getting the cylinder's milled down. Now I just have to practice, practice, practice. My fingers are sore. I may have to invest in a leather thimble for my thumb.

Oh, and I met some of the greatest ladies this weekend. Their patience with me was great and we all got along just great.

Friday, January 18, 2008

WIP - Bombshell #2 - Short Rows

Okay. I admit that I really don't understand how to put in bust darts.

I love Big Girl Knits because they spell out in a very logical way how to figure out how many stitches to increase and the number of rows you knit.

So, in an effort to try to understand this, I've made some schematics to try to grapple with this topic. I'm using the data that's found in Chapter 4 of BGK. Please, if anyone is reading this, and I have this totally wrong, help a sista' out. I'm tired of ripping my short rows out on this thing!

Here's a figure from BGK showing where short rows help out us busty types:

Okay. That's clearly a triangle with the pointy side up. So, according to BGK, then will the short rows look like this:
Or like this (triangle down):
Since I'm visual, I drew out what I think the instructions are saying to do. Start at the bottom with the dimensions to follow what I think is going on.
So, it's making an inverted triangle. So I rewrote the above to show how to knit an inverted triangle top down (read from the top down):

I went to SnB last night and the ladies there said that the bust darts need to be in a diamond shape - like this:
RIPPPPPPPPPPP. I had other problems with the ribbing - like being 10 stitches too short - my waist is just not that small - so ripping back was already in my future.

Seriously, though. What is it? I'm tired of ripping back on this and I don't want it to become a WIP Closet Monster.

Baby Surprise Jacket Help - Decrease section

Well, I'm impressed. My mom, who is the queen of free form garter knitting, is following a pattern. She's decided to tackle EZ's Surprise Jacket.

Of course she's hitting problems. It's a simple pattern, but isn't written very clearly for the novice knitter.
So I made a chart for mom to help her keep track of stitch count.
This is only for the decrease part of the pattern. I'm sure as she progresses, I'll post other helpful hints.

Stitch count chart:
Click here for corrected chart (you can print it out easier from here, too).

Click here for a pdf of the same file. Some people have had difficulty with Google Docs.
Also, she was really confused about what to do on the increase row. Here are rows 9 through 13 written out.

Row 9: K30, sl1, k2tog, psso, k78, sl1, k2tog, psso, k30 (140 st)

Row 11: (K3, M1) x 9, K1, sl1, k2tog, psso, move marker, k76, move marker, sl1, k2tog, psso, K1, (M1, K3) x9 (154 st)

Row 13: K37, sl1, k2tog, psso, k74, sl1, k2tog, psso, k37 (150 st)
(Corrected: Thanks Karen!)

keep going till you have:

Row 43: K22, sl1, k2tog, psso, k44, sl1, k2tog, psso, k22 (90 st)

Then you knit the 90 sts plain (no decreases, etc)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Band Meme

The Band Meme

You are about to have your own band’s CD cover. Follow these directions to the letter. It’s fun and requires no thought at all. Go to…… first article title on the page is the name of your band. last four words of the very last quote is the title of your album. third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Use your graphics program of choice to throw them together, and post the result as a comment in this post. Also, pass it along on your own blog, because it’s more amusing that way.


Name of band: Kinross
Name of album: Spaces Surrounded By Teeth
Cover: This pretty flower photo!

Monday, January 14, 2008

WIP - Bombshell #2 - The back boobs saga

Well, I absolutely shot a whole day's worth of knitting yesterday.

I am knitting another Bombshell because I just loved the first one - before it was ruined . This one is being knitted in machine washable cotton.

I knitted short rows and some of the ribbing on the back side of my sweater.


I've really been struggling with the short rows in this thing because the BGK explains how to figure short rows for a bottom up sweater. The Bombshell is knit top down.

I initially knit it like the book said - and made my darts the wrong way - RIP

I then fixed that and moved onto the ribbing. It seemed like I was a little off with the instructions, but I knitted on.


But of course, intrepid knitter that I am, I pushed on and "corrected" the pattern on the fly.

For some reason, I finally looked at the sweater - because I wanted to see the pattern forming on the front.

But. . . it wasn't on the front. . .

I had knitted back boobs.

I put my knitting down and just couldn't even look at it. It was like it had betrayed me. I worked SO hard - even corrected my initial mistake. And this is what happened - back boobs.

My knitting is still sitting untouched in a corner.

Is this how some of our items become UFO's? I wonder.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Well, M's old enough to follow story lines with movies and I remembered that we had an old Shirley Temple movie - Heidi.

J put the movie on in her playroom and we watched TV in the living room. According to J, as soon as Shirley Temple showed up on screen playing with the goats and generally being a cute little girl, M was hooked.

After about a half hour, we hear this wailing and crying coming from M as she's running in to us.

"I don't like it," she wailed with huge crocodile tears streaming down her face.

"Sweetie, what's wrong? Did you hurt yourself?" I asked while wiping the tears from her face and giving her a big hug.

"I don't like the movie."

"What don't you like about the movie?" I ask.

"I don't want to talk about it. It makes me sad!" she cries with tears still streaming down her face.

I mean, this kid was inconsolable. Really.

So, I went back to her playroom to see what had made her so upset. As soon as I saw what was on the screen, I understood.

Heidi was taken away from her Grandpa by her Aunt.

Then the memories resurfaced. I was a very sensitive child and hope that M is not as susceptible to being as sensitive as I was growing up. Mom called it "wearing my heart on my sleeve". I remember crying when Heidi was taken away, too. Sometimes its hard to see your kid go through the throws of something that's devastating to them, but you know it's not all that bad.

To get M's mind off the movie, we had her take a bath. When it looked like she was calmed down, I tried to get her to talk about why she was so sad. Then the tears started up again.


I know from experience with M that if she doesn't conquer her fears early on, then they just get bigger and bigger. So, I told her that I would sit and watch Heidi with her because it has a happy ending - really.

We watched more of the movie and she was really doing well - until the Christmas scene. Dad had given Clara a beautiful china doll for Christmas. Clara's gift to her Dad was to show him that she could walk. While trying to walk, Fraulein, the lady who watches over Clara when Dad is away on business, drops the doll and it breaks into tiny pieces.

Waaaaaaah. "That hurts my feelings!"

She then said that she was tired and had to go to bed. While tucking her in, she asked what present Clara was going to get now that her doll is broken. I told her that her daddy is very rich and would buy her a brand new one to replace the doll that was broken.


I never knew that Heidi is a harsh mistress for a five year old. . .

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Best Cereal EVER

Did I ever confess that I have a true weakness for all those kids cereals that most adults snicker at? I especially like chocolate ones - it makes the BEST cereal milk. I also confess that I pick my bowl up and drink the milk. Yes I know this isn't good etiquette, but it's cereal milk, ya' know! :)

So the week we were in Cozumel, M found what is to be described as THE BEST CEREAL EVER!!

Chocolate Frosted Flakes with mini marshmallows.
(cue the Ariel song - aw aw ahhhh, ah, ah, ahhhhhhhhh):

Yes. You read right.

Hey, I would have been over the moon with just Chocolate Frosted Flakes, but the marshmallows - man - that just blew my mind.

And yes, it's every bit as sugary sweet as you can imagine.

Knitta' Please Strikes Southlake

Well, the local Darth Vader cow was hit by knitting graffitti.

Aren't his leg warmers cute?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Reviewed:"Wildseed" by Octavia Butler

I read this on the recommendation of my husband. I read entertaining books far more than he does, so when he reads a book that he likes, I tend to listen to him.

This book is the first in a trilogy. I have to admit that I must be going through a bit of Octavia Butler burn out after reading her previous trilogy, so I didn't receive this book as well as I probably would have if I had more time between these trilogies.

There are many similarities that it was difficult to keep the two different "universes" separate.

The most frustrating part of the book is the main character, Doro. He is thousands of years old and survives by hopping into someone else's body until that body is used up. He kills indiscriminately and you get the idea that he really has no use for the human race. His whole focus is on breeding people together to make a race of people like him.

Thing is, when he comes across a woman who does live long, he both loves her and hates her. He loves that she's great "seed" for the future race he's trying to breed, and yet, she's so independant minded and is one of the few people who aren't afraid of him, that he hates that she doesn't fear him - which is the way he's been breeding people for years.

I started reading Mind of My Mind, but my heart is just not into it.

Mom & Dad's really great porch

I love sitting out on covered porches to eat, talk, or watch the world go by.

My folks have done a wonderful job making what's essentially an outdoor living room. Recently they took up the outdoor carpeting they had and had the concrete acid washed.

I just love how it looks. According to mom, close up the floor looks like an old leather floor with all the cracks in it.

WIP-Back of Oregon Vest Done

back of Oregon Vest done
Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
The back is done, but I found out that the Lion Brand Suede has nap. The first ball I pulled from the center. The next two I pulled from outside.

I tried casting on and knitting on both the left and right fronts, but it got to be too difficult to follow the pattern, so I frogged.

CO - Bombshell #2

Bombshell #2
Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
Pattern: Bombshell from Big Girl Knits
Yarn: Online-Garne - 100% cotton (color 57) lot 032
Needles: US 8

FO-Jaywalkers ankle socks

Originally uploaded by civilgrrl
Pattern: Jaywalkers by Grumperina
Yarn: Spinning Straw into Gold Superwash wool with Tencel
Needles: Magic loop with 3 mm.

Thoughts: This went pretty fast. I think I figured out how to get rid of the whole between the gussett and the heel flap. I still have some, but it's only on one side. I forgot to p2tog with one of the second loops.

Mel Update

Well, my little dog has been through the wringer - and so I have I.

Last time I posted about this, we had just had him stitched up. Well, he popped his stitches a week later and I had to take him in again to get new stitches put in.

Three days later, THOSE stitches pulled apart - so in we go again. It looked like a portion of his skin had adhered to his skin (which was good), so the doctor went ahead and took out all the stitches, allowed us to keep off the Elizabethan collar, and let Mel lick his wound.

That evening, I went to check on him, and the bugger had pulled the flap away from his leg - thus - uggh - it's really too gross to describe.

So, in we go again. This time the vet said that his wound is not life threatening and we had three options:

  1. Go see a board certified vet surgeon and get an opinion.
  2. Put him under general anaesthesia to take the flap off.
  3. Let the flap go necrotic and he could then just cut the flap away without any anesthesia.

Well, Option One would cost more money. We've already spent over $1,000 on this little guy. I love him, but if we can stop the hemorrhaging (so to speak) and he's not in pain, then Option One is out.

Option Two will cost money, too. But it also puts him under again for a third time. I just didn't feel comfortable doing that. We were given a couple of days to think about this option, and while we were thinking, we've found that he's actually doing just fine with Option Three.

I have to wash his wound twice a day and he's still taking antibiotics and some type of pain pill to keep him lethargic. Mel is a high energy dog and we need him to keep still so his wound will heal.

Good news is that his appetite is finally coming back.

Friday, January 04, 2008

2008 Knitting Resolutions

I have only a few:

  • Restart my Hex Coat. I'll knit it like I did the Arwen - all three pieces together. I'm finding that when I knit each piece separate, I don't do such a good job matching the sides and have difficulty sewing them together.
  • Finish my Oregon Vest.
  • Knit another Bombshell with a machine washable yarn
  • Do more charity knitting.
  • Knit something for my daughter that she can use for a while.
  • Learn how to knit socks with my CSM.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Yesterday I gave D her jammies. While her mom held them up, she ooo'd and ahhh'd the pink jammies.

She gave the Batman jammies a great big hug.

Ya' know, that has to be one of the best gift endorsements I've ever seen.

D's superpower is absolutely the "power of cute". Her folks are so doomed. Fortunately, GOAM is nigh-impervious to her wily ways. :)

GOAM says she has photo's of her in them. I'll see if I can post them when I get them.


Project: Two-at-a-time, toe up socks (for ME!!).

Needles: 3 mm needles (47" long).

Yarn: I'm knitting these with Christine's yarn that she spun up (I love the colors). If you want some yarn like this, head on over to her site: Spinning Straw Into Gold. She raises her own Satin Angora rabbits, and currently has the cutest batch around - all are white, except one light brown one.

Notes: Cast on 10 stitches using Tunisian Cast On (basically I just wrap the yarn around both needles and knit from them - it works great - thanks Carissa!). Increased each row for three rows (16 sts on each side) Switched to inc every other row and increased to 30 stitches on either side. Top of socks are knit with Jaywalker pattern, but I k5 instead of k7. Works just fine.