Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ahh, the Siren Song Calls Again...

I confess; I went to my LYS today. I didn't actually buy anything (yet). The yarn I'm looking for for the wrap sweater is on order. I left them my number to call me when it comes in. So, I'm going to give in soon and start that sucker..... lack of willpower met my payday yesterday. The good news is I also found yarn to make a sweater for my mother for Christmas. So, once the wrap sweater yarn is in, I'm using my 20% off coupon and buying big. Yep, I've been saving that 20% off for a big sweater purchase. Why not do two at a time?
On that sweater note, I've been working on the Anything But Basic Black sweater. I have about half of the back done. I'm kind of liking the pink/purple camo look. My goal is to keep cracking on this little lovely.... although I'm not a huge fan of knitting with the yarn so it is a little more difficult to be motivated.

Off to eat my gorgeous little cherry tomatoes and leave to visit my friend.... so glad it is the weekend....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Avoidance can only last so long....

Right? I can't avoid spending money forever, can I? I've been doing a pretty decent job of avoiding a yarn purchase to make this. This sweater is as close to my wrap sweater that I posted about before. I want it. And, I want the black yarn to make it. This knitting from stash/not buying yarn thing is hard.... argggghhhh! Is there therapy for this?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back from retreating....

The retreat went pretty darn good. My colleagues and I accomplished what we were hoping to and the students were re-energizing and fun. We had sixty students there and the three of us from my office. This was such a great turn-out - normally we have closer to 50 students. I even got a fairly decent night sleep.... although that was due in large part to skipping the bonfire.

The retreat site was much better than I was led to believe. We stayed in a cute little stone house called, charmingly, Stone House. We had a break in the afternoon for swimming in the pool, hanging out or napping. I walked around, saw the (very green) pond and then knit for a bit. It was truly a cute little place, in large part because of how nice the weather was yesterday.... not too hot, not too cold. A bunch of the students hung out by the playground equipment, which also made for some great photo ops (for future use on our office website).

The part I definitely was most happy about were the adorable little creatures there to greet us. Not the staff, although they were nice, but the llama and donkey they had! Eleanor and Gracie were so nice and I actually knit while sitting on the ground by their enclosure, admiring them (whenever they decided to emerge from their little shed). Who wouldn't love these faces? Gracie is the donkey. Since the Democratic National Convention was going on while we were there, I had to take her picture. She was a little camera shy for a while but I finally got her to come over and pose for me. She also got a little petting because who can resist such a sweetie!















Eleanor was a little warmer from the get go... although I think she was really just hoping for snacks. Alas, I had none. I seriously could have spent more time with these two; they were so sweet.

I was glad to come home at the end of the day. It was nice to get back to my little Rosy love, my apartment and comfortable bed! And, hopefully a little less smelly knitting time....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Makin' Mitts!


I work at a university and today marked the return of some of my students. Tomorrow, we leave to go on retreat with the student leaders overnight (let me tell you how excited I am to go sleep in the woods with the mosquitoes and 50 of my students). By Thursday or Friday, pretty much everyone will be back. So, I think I'm fully gearing up for fall. So to fully celebrate the coming fall, I made these this weekend with some yarn from the stash. They are made with Rowan Plaid and it was super great to work with - these were a combination of patterns and were done in about 4 hours. I have enough of the yarn left to make a hat, which I will do eventually. I also worked on my Anything But Basic Black Sweater. I didn't get too far but at least made a little progress.

No sewing this weekend.... for some reason the sewing machine wasn't inspiring. I really need to get cracking on the red dress I'm making. I'm also planning on making some pretty big alterations to the Olive It Dress because well, I don't love it. Hopefully later this week I'll get motivated.

Now, it's time for a small dinner and a little nap on the couch..... then packing for retreat!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Carrie Scarf



The Carrie Scarf is done! And, before the Closing Ceremonies at that. I'm very happy with how it turned out. It will make a great addition to my winter wardrobe. This scarf was inspired by the one worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City movie. (I hope to look much happier wearing it than she did however!)

The pattern is pretty straight forward. I'm posting it below in case anyone is interested in making one for themselves.

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Wool, approximately 3 skeins

Abbreviations:
CO – cast on
SS – seed stitch
BO – bind off
P – purl
K - knit

Cast on 62 stitches and work in seed stitch for 1 inch. Finish on wrong side.

Cable row: Work first 9 stitches in SS. Put 4 stitches on cable needle and knit four stitches. Knit the four stitches on cable needle. Work 10 stitches in SS. Cable the next 8 stitches. Work 10 stitches in SS. Cable the next 8 stitches. Work 9 remaining stitches in SS.

Regular rows: For next row, work 9 stitches in SS, P 8, SS 10, P 8, SS 10, P 8 and SS 9. For the following row, do same except knit the purls. Continue this pattern for 9 additional rows (11 rows total).

Follow the directions for cable row.

Follow the directions for regular rows.

Continue with pattern until scarf is close to desired length.

Work in seed stitch for 1 inch. BO and enjoy your new cabled scarf!

Remembering Bangor Lodge

I've been reading a lot of blog posts lately about vacations.... relaxing by the water, enjoying good food and spending quality time with family. It's all made me rather nostalgic for my own family vacations of the past. Each year, my step family would go to a place called Bangor Lodge on Lake Muskoka. It was a beautiful little place with friendly staff, kid friendly evening activities, a nine hole golf course and nice boat docks for my BILs boats. I best liken the experience to the resort in Dirty Dancing.

Quite honestly, Bangor was a place out of the past. Everyone ate dinner together in the dining room, entire families around tables. My step family would always be between 13 and 17 people. Bangor is a large part of the reason I took up golf (mind you, I'm still not very good). Bangor was one of the first places I spent a lot of time with my step family. Bangor is synonymous with shuffleboard in my mind. Just the name 'Ol Mort makes me smile, thinking of the kids horse race, wooden horses and all.

I had to save up my calories for the chocolate chip muffins served every other day. I made fun of the large groups of line dancers that would sometimes be there during the same week as my family. They line danced in the pool, on the golf course and in the dance hall. I once saw people practicing steps in the buffet line at dinner.

Bangor was a unique experience, a true family vacation. About two years ago the family that owned and operated it sold the place. Family members were getting old and it was what was best for them. The new owners, from what I heard, planned to tear down the buildings and put up cottages or townhomes for new vacationers. My BIL, who was in the area for a boat show, drove through shortly after the sale. The golf course was no longer nicely manicured. The clubhouse was closed up. It was the end of an era. Bangor Lodge only exists in my memories now. I miss that place now....



* photos from Adam Birrell's flickr page (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30483468@N00/sets/72157605030844413/ retrieved on 8/22/08)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Definitely a Knitter

I'm definitely a Knitter. Not a knitter but a Knitter. This morning, I decided not to wash my hair in order to be able to knit an additional 5 to 10 rows of the Ravelympics scarf. It didn't even look that good.... washing would have been an improvement. But it was passable. And that is what counts when thinking about the extra knitting time, no?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dentist Visit = Tasty Treats (in my book)


After going to the dentist, I believe your numb face deserves some sweet treats. I had a cavity filled at lunch time and stopped by the farmers market on campus afterwards and picked up this lovely (although blurry) tasty little morsels. I can't wait to eat them for dessert tonight! I had to pull myself away from purchasing a lot of other gorgeous produce, as I have stuff at home that needs to be eaten first....

Blathering on About Non-Craft Stuff

I have a confession to make. I'm looking forward to the premiere of this new 90210. (Hangs head in shame) Now, I'm fully expecting to be disappointed. I mean, how can it stand up to the original? Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, Steve, Donna and friends...something I watched for pretty much the duration of the show. The show started when I started HS, they graduated with me, Brandon and I served as student body presidents together.... ahh, the various hills and valleys of our lives. (Yes, perhaps I'm being a little too nostalgic about a TV show...) So although Kelly will be at West Beverly, it's not the same. The cast of character is different as am I. That said, it's 90210 - such a hallmark show of my youth. And, I'm looking forward to the premiere if only to look back at my past. (And who am I kidding, I'm really looking forward to Gossip Girl because their drama is so darn different from my life! That Blair and Chuck storyline keeps me intrigued....)

Monday, August 18, 2008

And, I'm Calling it the Olive It Dress



The dress is making it's way into the world today. I decided to call it the Olive It Dress, since the fabric is supposed to be a series of olives. I am thinking for the next version, I might not make poofy sleeves, as I don't think they are really a good look for me. But, I love the pink with it and am overall pretty happy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Carpel tunnel can't keep me down!


Between yesterday and today, I feel quite successful. I didn't do much outside the house. I think that all weekend I only spent $20, and that was on groceries. But, staying in has just so many rewards. This morning was all about that cantaloupe and some chocolate chips muffins. Way too many muffins! I've already packaged a half dozen to take to work tomorrow.

I finished the green dress and I'm pretty darn pleased. I had to take in about an inch in the top of the back because it was too loose. Now it is a much better fit. The pink sash matches my raspberry shoes perfectly! (Photo of it on me to come tomorrow...) I'm looking forward to rocking the dress, shoes and my straw purse tomorrow.

I also cut out half of the red fabric to start the Little Orphan Annie dress. Since I now have a better idea of the fit for this dress, I'm making some adjustments in cutting. I'm hoping to finish cutting and start sewing this week. I'm pretty excited about this dress. I don't normally wear red so this is a departure for me and will hopefully something that sparks even greater confidence.... hmm, might be a good date dress....

I've also been plowing away on The Carrie Scarf. I am about half done, as are the Olympics so I should end right on time (minus blocking). I love the variegated color! I'm pretty excited about the final product, as allegedly long, chunky scarves are in this year.

Carpel tunnel has slowed me down today. I had to take a break this afternoon to put on a hand brace (and took a nap on the couch). I have had carpel tunnel issues for the last couple of years. Lately, it has been a little worse.... so I'm trying to self-treat. I do need to go to the doctors soon so I plan to bring this up and see what advice she might have. I'm also trying to do yoga more regularly again, thinking that might help.

Off to partake of the Olympics.... even though Michael Phelps is done, so much track and field is still to come (and more women's gymnastics!).

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I Love My Neighborhood....

I went on a longer walk in the neighborhood with little dog this afternoon. We are so lucky, as everything is blooming around us and we live just two blocks from a nice wooded area. We meandered around and just enjoyed the cooler weather and the beauty that is this area of Philadelphia. We took some pictures as we walked (actually I did as Rosy still hasn't managed to figure out the digital camera...she's like one of those older people who couldn't figure out VCRs.)

We also did a bunch of sewing and knitting today. It is such a luxury to have a day where there are no commitments, nothing calling for my attention. I am on the second skein of my Ravelympics project. The Carrie Scarf is coming along nicely, even if I am getting a little tired of seed stitch. I realized today, after having re-done the sleeve for the Minimalist Cardigan recently, that perhaps I've over-indulged in seed/moss stitch. The next knitting project must involve a different stitch!

My v-neck dress is almost done. I started sewing all of the pieces together this morning, building a number of breaks into the process. I find, if I don't have long pauses I get close to the end and get more careless as I'm almost done. I'm adjusting my strategy to ensure success. I now have all but the bottom hem and the sash done. I am pretty pleased with the gathering on the arms, as I did a good job of having them come out even. I think I might make another version of this same pattern in the red fabric I got (the Little Orphan Annie dress).

I also got a bunch of produce at the store today. I am in love with all of the tastes of summer. You know how sometimes you want to eat something even when you know it will be better if you wait just a.little.bit? My cantaloupe, which is really calling my name, is not completely ripe yet. Hopefully tomorrow....

Friday, August 15, 2008

How tall am I today?

Remember when you were little and your mom had you stand against the wall, drew a mark and then measured how tall you were? If you had siblings, their marks might be a different color and you'd stare at the marks and think about when you'd be that tall. You'd marvel at your own height and be proud of your mark on the wall.

I think life is kind of still like that. Granted, the mark is figurative now rather than literal. But, we still use that old (mental) yard stick to evaluate how much progress we have made. We think about where other people's marks are and when we might get there. Twice today I've had conversations about life's marks and comparing our progress to others. Yes, I think we can all agree that isn't right or necessarily healthy. But, a lot of us do it... especially women. Because if you aren't married or popping out babies, some people judge.

Overall, I'm pretty darn happy with my life. I'm single. I'm not particularly looking to end that singleness. I am happy with my dog and my crafts and my cute little apartment. Yet, sometimes when I get an email about another wedding or another baby I think "what about me?" Mind you, I am pretty happy with my own little path. Life is good for me and to me. My little growth marks on the wall might even be higher than those of some of my friends with the marriage or kiddies. And I remind myself there are multiple walls for each of us; on some we are taller than others. Life is about appreciating the height and working your way through the petiteness.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Baaaa....

I forgot to mention I brought this guy back from Buffalo. He is from my high school years when I inherited him from a good friend. When you squeeze him, he baaahhhhs. Right now, he is sitting with my stash. Yep, a sheep guardian for my wool (and other yarn).

Note to Self: Knit the Stash

Okay, I only started knitting about a year ago. It hasn't been that long and already I have a stash that has expanded beyond the small containers I have for it. And yet, today I find myself perusing WEBS, thinking about yarn for that sweater I want to make. Admiring the lovely, soft looking DK weights. I blame my friend. She had me look at yarn for her project on the website. Friends who feed your yarn habit are evil and goodness all in one. And so I repeat the mantra "knit from stash Stacy, knit from stash." I need to focus on the project currently cast on before embracing (and spending money) on something else. Off to quietly mediate on that mantra.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rooting for the Home Team!

So that sweater from the last post... I think I wanna make this sucker. I'm just not totally sold. I have a couple of book I want to look through before I go out of my way to purchase a new book for that pattern. Ahhh decisions, decisions... to think that when I finally make a decision on the pattern, I'll have to pick out yarn.....

The Carrie Scarf is coming along. I worked on it a bunch last night while watching Michael Phelps re-write history and the American women do their silver thing in gymnastics. I'm totally loving the cables. When I first started knitting about a year ago, I did not believe cables could be as easy as they are. Yes, the cable needle can occasionally be a pain, like when it falls out of the stitches on yarn that doesn't "stick." But, overall they are just so much fun and worth the small amount of extra effort required to have such lovely stitches. I've also been working on the Anything But Basic Black Cardigan, although not as much as I'd ideally like to (darn job, gets in the way of everything crafty!).

That said, I did get home early today after Rosy's vet appointment. I cut out the fabric for my dress. It's such green yumminess that I can't wait for it to be done. I'm seriously trying to do this one reaaaaaallllllly slow so that I can ensure it comes out as fabulous as possible. I am trying not to focus on the FO as much as I normally do. I so totally love the fabric.....oy, I'm itching for it to be done so I can take it's loveliness out for a twirl.

The Olympics had me awake until 12:30 AM last night. Biting my nails while watching nonetheless. I love love love gymnastics. I was really hoping the American women (girls?) would pull it out in the end. I even found myself, much to my dismay, hoping one of the Chinese women would fall down during the floor routine. Silver is a great color (quite honestly more MY speed than gold). And any Olympic medal is a great accomplishment. And I do believe that my country doesn't need to and shouldn't win everything. But I also believe the Chinese cheated (cheater cheater pumpkin eater!) by putting girls under 16 on the team. I'm pretty certain that it doesn't really matter.... it's pretty clear that the IOC is willing to trust China. Anywho, I'm hoping I don't end up sucked into the Olympic coverage tonight.... sleep is a a good thing.

Sorry for my post of tangents.... my brain has been all over the place today. I have so many balls in the air at work and really don't feel like juggling any of them. As I say to Rosy, "focus." It's good advice I should take.... (BTW, I should probably add I tell her that when we go outside for her to do her business. I won't do "my business" when telling myself to focus - promise!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

And They Called it Sweater Love.....

I want this sweater (pictured in this month's Lucky magazine). I've wanted a sweater like this for about two years. I've looked at a number of versions but they have never been quite right. Either the yarn was off or it was made out of a knit fabric. Or perhaps the cost was prohibitive or the color was not right. I looked at the other versions they have on their site and still nothing seems quite right. So, now I'm thinking of just making one. Anyone know a good pattern? (I'm also kind of in love with the bag!) Off to search in Ravelry!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Back From Buffalo - what a great trip!

The trip to Buffalo was wonderful! Good food, good friends, good times with mom, all around goodness.... I was able to eat at some of my favorite places. They are all essentially fast food places - Ted's has the best hot dogs in WNY, Anderson's has amazing roast beef (and chocolate milkshakes) and Tim Horton's has great Tim Bits and bagels. I also got down to Mississippi Mudd's for the sweet potato fries with honey and butter. Delish times!

So, the Olympics officially started when I was in Buffalo. I cast on my Ravelympics project at 8:15 AM on Friday, after dropping my car off for some work. I have a little less than 10 inches of the project done thus far and I'm totally loving this SATC inspired scarf. The colors are so fantastic and I'm totally going to love this with my swingy tweed coat this fall. And, it is Malabrigo yarn - who doesn't love working with such merino goodness! I plan to write up the pattern afterwards since I'm kind of freestyling it here... I got to watch some of the Olympics on Canadian TV. I love that about being in Buffalo. The Canadians are not as obsessed with the Americans performance (duh!) as NBC and give a fuller glimpse at the event. (And, you always get a little Newfie joke thrown in for good measure....) I am a gymnastics fan and have been enjoying both the men and women's events thus far. Swimming has been mindblowing - new world records! And, I'm looking forward to track and field. One of the competitors is from the town where my college is located so I'm hoping she has some screen time so I can root for her.

I also made a side trip to JoAnn's to buy the red fabric for the dress I'm planning to make for an event on September 13th. I'm attending a sorority's 90th anniversary celebration and their colors are red and white. I can't wear another group's colors so thus a red dress. I'm calling it my Little Orphan Annie dress since it will also have cream fabric. I'm using the same pattern again... making the blue style that is on the front.

Buffalo was cold! And rainy! I did not pack for the cold weather there and ended up at the Bon Ton department store to buy a sweater. Luckily, I had a coupon for about 30% off so I only spent $25. I wore this little deal for the past three days! We didn't get to golf because of the prediction of rain on Friday (which didn't happen). Luckily, we managed to fill our day with a number of other side trips.... jewelers for my birthday watch, chocolate shop for sponge candy, the bookstore, Dollar General to pick up some stuff for a charity project of my mom's and Target.

Speaking of rain, the flea market ended up being a bust on Sunday. Very few vendors were out because the weather was so dismal. I was hoping to find a bookcase but only found one option, which was overpriced for the quality. I did end up getting this sign for my kitchen, which I hung up promptly upon returning and really am loving! I have a Keuka Lake grapes label from a Georgetown flea market that I need to get framed to hang above this. The two will look great together. But for now, this is making me smile each time I walk to the fridge.

I came home to my photo scrapbook from Snapfish in the mail. I put together a book with a bunch of my Italy photos. The book is beautiful and I'm hoping to bribe people at work to look at it tomorrow. I also got the new catalog for the learning tree (continuing education center) by me. I'm contemplating taking the woodworking class this fall (and make my bookcase perhaps?). I have to check my calendar and my checkbook to see if it is feasible. I definitely will be taking a class this fall - I love to continually learn new things.

So, I guess I should go hunt up some dinner. I'll leave you all with this picture, taken from my mom's car, on the way to the flea market. I love the way the sky looks with the sun shining through. And, the road so easily signifies my long drive today....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Shuffling off to Buffalo

Rosy and I headed out on Thursday morning for a long weekend in Buffalo. The drive was non-eventful - about 7 hours through the rolling mountains of PA and the flatlands of the New York State Thruway. We stopped twice and lucky little dog was able to greet some other traveling pups. We got in about 4 pm and had the rest of the night to just hang out.

Since getting here I have been busy with going to the movies, meeting old friends for meals, some scheduled car repairs (cheaper in Buffalo than Philly), working on my Ravelympics project (pictures to come when I get back home!) and general shopping around town. Today I got a pedicure so I have lovely purple toenails. Tomorrow promises a trip to the flea market and hopefully some delightful little finds with which to add to my home.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stitch and Pitch Funness

Last night was the Stitch and Pitch. It was truly loads of fun, even if the Phillies played like crap. I went with my friend Katie. (See, aren't we cute?) Of course, we planned on doing the All American thing of playing way too much for a shriveled hot dog and a Coke with too much ice. Even though dinner was not delicious, it was. Because those very things are the true essence of baseball in the US.

There were about 4 sections of knitters and families. They also had a boatload of door prizes. I went away with a Namaste knitting tube as well as the free tote bag they were giving out to all Stitch and Pitch folks.

I cast on a new cardigan sweater while there. I got this great (and splity) raspberry yarn at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year. I've been saving it for a fall sweater and decided why not throw another project into my queue! So, I'm looking forward to continuing with this project. (I even got some quality knitting in while spending 45 minutes with the IT guy on the phone today trying to fix my office computer.)

I have to say one of my big highlights of the game was the woman with the mullet sitting four rows in front of me. I'm really quite a simple girl and nothing makes me smile quite like a lovely mullet. Seriously. Who knew people in Philly were still sporting the mullet?

Between the people watching and the knitting, I don't think I watched a stitch (pun intended) of the game. There was just so much else to do - talk to others about their projects, knit a row in the service project or eat some water ice.

For my first major league game, it was a great experience! And, although I wouldn't seek out the opportunity to attend more baseball games, I'd definitely do another Stitch and Pitch. And, perhaps the Phillies will play better against the Marlins today than what they were showing the fans last night!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tah Dah!


So, because things were slow, I was able to leave work early today. I came home and did laundry so I'm one step closer to being ready to leave for Buffalo. Anywho, while my clothes were tumbling away I worked on the Duro.... three seams later, I have this! The neckband is still a little wonky and the loose strings need to be cut. But, it is mostly done. I'm not totally sold on the fit but will probably try it with all of the accessories and see.

Sometimes You Gotta Have a One Craft Night...

Not a stitch of knitting yesterday but productive nonetheless. When I got home last night, I worked on the Duro. I finally managed to figure things out. My mental block came from the fact that something told me to cut out 4 pieces of one pattern piece. (The writing on the pattern perhaps?) Well, I only needed two. So, once I figured that out, I was good to go. This is what I ended with at about 10 PM last night. I tried it on and hated it. But, then I used the sash (went with the linen one in the same brown), tucked up the hem about 4 inches, put on my raspberry wedges and determined it has great promise. I need to cut about two inches off the bottom and then hem the sleeves and the bottom. I also need to fiddle with the collar a little bit because it was lying kind of wonky (nothing bothers me more than those wonky collars!). But, I'm feeling like it will be a great new addition to the dress section of my closet.... ahh, something to look forward to.

Speaking of new additions, I got these lovely fabrics in the mail yesterday! Woohoo!! (Gosh, I love packages!) I'm planning on making another dress out of the same pattern, although a different style. I absolutely adore pink and green together so I'm excited to get started. The fabric will be making the trip to Buffalo with Rosy and me so it can be washed and thus utilized as soon as I get back.

Speaking of Buffalo, I think my mom and I are going to get pedicures while I'm there. Sadly, this is my first pedicure of the season - and it's August! I'm looking forward to that massaging chair (get your minds out of the gutter people!) and some bright pink polish. Of course, I'm also planning on seeking out yarn stores in the area. The Raverly Buffalo forum has given me a lot of great locations - now I have to pick just one to save my budget. Oh, and perhaps the purchase of some red fabric is on my agenda.... My ADD side might throw in a bead store just to break the bank and complete the trifecta.

Tonight, the Stitch and Pitch (and thus knitting!). And, only three more days until the Ravelympics begin!

Monday, August 4, 2008

My friend Laziness....

That big 'ol stealer of time, Laziness overtook my Saturday, not allowing me to accomplish quite as much as I had hoped. Laziness is a frequent visitor in my home sometimes. He likes to watch TV and eat junk food. He's bad news. He thinks you are rude when you use the sewing machine. He mocks knitting. (Yep, I tried poking him with the needle... didn't make a difference.) However, Laziness did allow me to do some cleaning and laundry on Saturday so I guess all was not lost.

I guess it was only a day visit by my friend Laziness, as my Sunday was more productive. I tried to make up for Laziness's visit a little. I made this cute little birdie for my mom from this pattern. I used a pretty simple fabric on the top of the bird because that is more my mom's style. There are also a couple of things I'd tweak the next time so the beak comes out better. I am planning to make a bunch more of these, with catnip, for my friends cats.

I also worked briefly on the Duro dress. The back and shoulders are together. Then, I got to a place in the pattern where my brain wasn't computing the directions and I thought it was probably a sign to stop before I did something that required quality time with the seam ripper. I'm hoping to work on it a little bit more tonight. (Internal voice talking: I will figure this out.... I will figure this out...)

I did finish the 2nd 2nd sleeve (Hallelujah!) on the Minimalist Cardigan. I was beginning to think this might be the sweater that will not die. I did short sleeves before, seamed everything and then decided that the poofiness dictated long sleeves. So then I worked on those, finishing the second one yesterday. Then, seaming. I double checked everything to make sure I had it right before seaming the sleeve on. I finished the seam, weaved in the ends and discovered I'm an idiot. Yep, you guessed it. I put the sleeve on inside out even though I freaking checked. So, I ripped out the seam and decided an ice cream break was in order. After that commenced, I finished the 2nd sleeve installation (correctly this time) and had my finished object. As much as I love that yarn, I'm so glad to have that sweater done. It really was threatening to last forever.

As for the scarf out of that cashmere yarn, I think I've made a decision. And, surprisingly (or not if you know me), it isn't either of those two patterns. I think I'm going to make this. A huge thanks to Leah for suggesting it! I cast on last night and got through the first six rows. It looks lovely and should be work well with the yarn on my size 10 1/2 needles. Of course, I made a mistake in the first six rows so I frogged the whole thing and hope to cast on again today. But, I'm pretty excited about this pattern and think it might be just the perfect thing for my Italian cashmere.

As exciting as all of this was, probably the highlight of my Sunday was spending about an hour and a half in the park in my old neighborhood. Rosy's groomer is over there so while she was getting her pedicure and haircut, I sat on a bench and read. Sunday was a cool day with a wonderful breeze. There was a drum band practicing in one corner and four men playing chess in the center. A family picnicked behind me. A young woman, new to town, called old friends to check in. A couple of small dogs ran around, greeting people and sniffing every square inch of the park. It was truly a beautiful way to spend my afternoon.

I'm gearing up for an exciting week but probably one of little crafts. Tomorrow I go to the Phillies Stitch and Pitch baseball game. This is actually the first major league game of my life. (People seemed shocked by this. I don't really like baseball people. And, I haven't lived in a town with a major league team before.) Wednesday night I need to pack up everything that is traveling to Buffalo with Rosy and me. And, Thursday we are off for a short visit with my mom! We're driving up so I've taken out a loan for gasoline and got the requisite oil change. I've packing the knitting projects (too many for the short time I'm there.) All should be in order minus packing my clothes. I can't wait for the cooler weather and great food!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Decisions, Decisions...

Remember this luscious yarn I bought in Venice? The ultra soft cashmere?

I have spent I don't know how much time looking at patterns on Ravelry today - definitely more than an hour. I'm thinking of making a scarf with it. (Yes, I might cast on two scarves during the hottest month of the year!) I'm thinking about this one or this one. (The first one is a Ravelry link so if you aren't registered, you won't be able to see it.) I only have 220 yards so a scarf seems the most do-able. The problem is no pattern seems quite good enough for this lovely, soft and beautiful yarn. After all, it is from Italy. And like everything else in Venice, it cost me an arm and a leg. (Yay for the weak American dollar!) I just keep debating in my head what I should cast on....(perhaps my problems with commitment boiling to the surface?) I know I could always frog it if I decided the scarf wasn't working for me. But I just haven't been able to make myself decide yet!