Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recent Acquisition

In preparation for our trip to London next month my husband decided to get me my Christmas present early. I had asked for a small, slim camera for my personal use, somewhere under $250 and he could research it and pick out the best one for the money. He decided that this is technically a present for both of us since I'll be using it to take lots of pictures of our son. Granted, we already have a really nice camera. It's a Konica Minolta DiMage Z2 but it has always been too big to easily take with us on trips. It travels like a second purse and I've always been afraid that I'd break it. Here's my old camera:

It's not gigantic and it's worked very well for my knitting pictures but carrying it around the playground while I chase after my son is out of the question. So here's what my husband choose to replace it:

Oh yeah. It's a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-T200 and it's super small. It would fit in the pocket of my jeans or in my cargo shorts very easily. Let's say I'm holding my son with one arm and just have one hand available:

BAM! I just use my thumb to slide the cover over. I think it might be smaller than my husbands Blackberry. Here's a back shot of the display (finger prints on it already):

No clue what the display looks like yet because the batteries are still charging. Here's a top view to see how slim it is:

So cool. I think we might buy an extra rechargeable battery for it just in case. This is going to be perfect for traveling and getting pictures while we're out and about. I'm so excited to start using it.

We haven't decided what to do with the old camera yet. I'm thinking that once we get used to the new one that we should sell it but no decisions yet. Now I really need to build that light box so I can take professional pictures of my amateur knitting!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's Crazy Busy Time

"Work is busy for me right now" - understatement of the year

This is just ridiculous. I'm barely able to think straight. Just a few more days and this quarter will be over.

I am knitting madly every night to help relax. I got the Oddball Lapghan yesterday afternoon and my husband helped me pick out a pattern to use for my 3 inch section. It's called "Large Basket stitch" in the Vogue Knitting book. After figuring out the math in the pattern to match the 200 stitches I found that actually there were 199 stitches on the needles. I increased close to the middle and I don't think you can even tell.

Here's a before picture:

The green that the last person used was very close to the green yarn that I had left over from the Pea Pod Baby set so I couldn't use that. I decided to use a skein of white that I had purchased for the White Christmas squares. There's no way I would have used all of it by October 15th. The white looks very nice next to the green. I'll try to post a picture of my section later this week when it actually looks like the pattern.

This project is on circular needles and I'm normally not that fond of using circulars but I'm getting into a nice groove with them. I might have to break mine out in the future and work with them more. (Maybe I'll treat myself to a set of Options)

I did finish the White Christmas square #2 but I'm too lazy to post an updated picture. I'm thinking I should be able to knit up one more.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Triathalon Weekend

I've been knitting on the Palindrome scarf all week and loving every minute of it. I was feeling a little overwhelmed with projects coming up until I made a list. Lists always help me feel better.

Main Projects:
Jerry's sweater (from Men in Knits)
Bonnie's scarf (My So Called Scarf pattern)
Glorianna lace scarf

Mindless Knitting:
White Christmas squares

Ahhh . . . . that felt better. That's not too long of a list. I'm such a process knitter that I just don't want to feel pressured to rush and complete projects. Just not my style . . .

Then I realized that I'm next in line for the Charity Oddball Lapghan project on Knitting Help! This helps me tremendously because I can make this a priority project as soon as I get it and put off deciding on my next one to cast on! I may have to purchase yarn for this one because I think the yarn I selected with clash with the previous knitted section. Both are greens and close but not exact in shade. I have the feeling that this will be my last yarn purchase for awhile. Last time I went over 300 days without purchasing yarn. I wonder how long I can go this time . . .

This weekend we're heading down to Canandaigua, NY for a triathlon. My husband will be competing with the goal of completing the race and not walking during the run. This will be his 2nd triathlon and he's such an inspiration to me. Let's just say he's not your typical triathlete. My husband is a big man and would never be described as a runner (I think he's in the Clydesdale division). He may struggle with swim and just get through the run but he kicks a$$ in the bike! He cruises by guys half his size on the bike without blinking. I'm very proud of him and can't wait to see him cross that finish line. I tear up every time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

White Christmas square #2

On the weekends I've replaced my dishcloth knitting with the White Christmas squares project. This is square #2 and I'm using a simple basketweave pattern from my Vogue Knitting book. I love this pattern and I was thinking about working it up into a scarf some day but with this square I get to scratch my basketweave itch and get some good work done for charity!

Originally uploaded by MotherHenKnits

I'm still working on the Palindrome scarf and I'm in no hurry to finish. It's a joy to work on and honestly, I just don't know which project to pick next for my main knitting. Do I start on the sweater for my father-in-law and try to get it done before Christmas? Do I be responsible and work up another Great American Aran Afghan square like my original goal was intended for every other project? Do I dive into that luscious purple yarn and knit up the scarf for my mom?

Decisions are just too hard!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Festival Booty!

As in yarn treasure!

I purchased 2 hanks of Fingerlakes Yarns this weekend in beautiful purple tones. It's called Soft Wool and it's 4 ounces of 100% wool. My mom helped me choose the color and I plan to make My So Called Scarf with it and give it to her for Christmas.

PICT1414, originally uploaded by MotherHenKnits.

I also picked out some 100% alpaca too but my father snatched it up first to save for a Christmas present for me. I'm very excited to get those 2 hanks but I can definitely wait. I'm having issues with wanting to start so many projects that I'm resorting to a schedule so that I don't end up rushing. I'm normally fine with just knowing the next project I would like to start but now I've got 4-5 on my list and it's weighing on me!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Finished Object - White Christmas Square #1

This was just fun to knit. It's for a great charity here and I'm going to knit up as many squares as possible between now and October 15th. Then they're off in the mail to sandy to get seamed up into beautiful afghans. Here's my final product:

Pattern: Moss stitch with 3 rows/3 knit stitches as the border
Yarn: Caron's Simply Soft in white
Needles: US 8
Finished size: 12 inch square
Destination: White Christmas Afghan charity project

I'm already scouring my stitch dictionaries for the next pattern to use!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Update: Podcasts & Festivals

I have to say that using my love of knitting and spinning to get me on that treadmill really worked. My 30 mins just flew by and I'm actually excited to work out again today just so I can listen to the next podcast. This is crazy! By Christmas I should be ready to run a 5K race - ok maybe not but I should be walking that much each day by then. This might actually work for me!

I am so excited to go to the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival in Hemlock, NY this weekend! I have no idea what to expect. I'm not a good impulse buyer when it comes to yarn because I like to have a pattern in mind first. I'm thinking about getting a list of some of the patterns I would like to try over the next year and then jot down the yarn requirements. Is that too anal? I've heard that you can get great kits at these festivals so maybe I'll just go that route.

Now the bad news: I can't go to Rhinebeck this year. This is the second year since I've been living in NYS that I can't go. BUT the good news is that I can't go because my husband has a work trip to London that same time so he's going to extend it a few days and have me fly over using his frequent flyer miles. My first trip to London! YAY! I'm already researching all of the things to do and places to go so I can make the most of my weekend there.

For knitting I'd take another picture of the Palindrome scarf that I'm knitting but it's just the same thing only longer. I'll save you the boredom and just leave you with a picture of my son all dressed up for school (daycare) yesterday. He is so cute in overalls!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Knitting Podcasts

For my husbands birthday I bought him a bigger iPod because he was running out of room on his old one. So now I have his old one that's 30G and he has the ginormous 80G. I decided to start taking advantage of all of the knitting podcasts that are out there but I wasn't sure when I would have a chance to listen to them. Can't at work because it would be distracting and can't at night because it just wouldn't be social.

Solution? Well, I need to start working out again. My migraines have subsided for the time being so that means I need to get my butt back on the treadmill and lose some more baby weight. It's still coming off a little bit each month just by watching my portions but I'd like to fit into a size 10 or 12 again someday and at the rate I'm going that will be when I'm 50.

I found that the Knit Picks podcasts are all around 30 minutes which is exactly my workout time. I'm going to start today at the very beginning of their series and try it out. My hopes are that my interest in knitting will get me on the treadmill. After that I've got the full series of Cast On to try and they're about an hour each. I figure I should be able to drop a few pounds just by getting through these two.

There are so many out there that I bookmarked the Knitting Help thread that has everyone's suggestions and I can't wait to try them as well. I'm optimistic that my love of knitting will help me get back into shape so I can keep up with my son on the playground!

If you have a favorite definitely let me know in the comments! I'm still very new to the whole iPod thing but I'm a quick learner!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Catching Up

Well, I wish I could say that I'm returning to regular blogging but that would be a lie. This is the busiest month of the year for me at work and it's been impossible to get anything personal done during work time. This is ok though since hopefully it means I'll be making money!

I gave up on the lace scarf for now. I just wasn't feeling it. I don't have the concentration that I should for this project so I'm shelving it for the time being. It will get finished someday, that's a definite.

I started up a new charity knitting project courtesy of Shandeh on Knitting Help. It's the White Christmas project and I just love it. Feel free to join up! Here's my first square in progress:

Close-up of the moss stitch I'm using:

The yarn I'm using is Caron's Simply Soft worsted weight in white. I used this brand for my son's afghan and loved it. It's 100% acrylic but it's very nice to work with. PLUS it's washable AND dryable. You really can't beat that for a charity project. Anything that must be hand washed just isn't reasonable in my opinion.

I'm still working on the Palindrome scarf and I plan to knit up the hat as well when I'm finished with the scarf. Modifying the pattern to fit sport weight will be a bit of a challenge but I'm up for it!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Reversible Cables Are Just Cool

Labor Day weekend is our anniversary so we always take off and go somewhere fun. I like to take a mindless knitting project with me so this time I chose Silver's free Palindrome scarf. It's a reversible cable scarf that was modified from the Irish Hiking scarf that everyone loves. I love it!

I'm using Wool-Ease sport weight yarn that's discontinued so I had to add an extra cable to make it wide enough. I do like how it's turning out and I think this will have to become my absolute favorite scarf pattern. After knitting this I think all scarves should be reversible, it just makes sense. Here's my progress:

Not bad for just a long weekend of knitting, huh? Well, my husband and I laughed over how the color wasn't exactly something that we would pick out for ourselves. It's call mushroom and looks ok on the skein and it looks ok knitted up but when I'm trying to untangle the yarn vomit from the center pull it looks like cat puke. I should have enough yarn left over to work up the matching hat. It will be great as a charity project to drop off this winter.

Since I've been home I did pick up the lace scarf again and no more big mistakes. I just needed a break from the frustration and now I'm cruising along at about 20 rows a night. Yeah, just lightning fast. I decided to slow down in the hopes that I will avoid frogging again and again.