Monday, July 30, 2007

As soon as one project is off the needles...

... another one begs to be cast on.

Unfortunately for me, right now my stash consists mostly of sock yarn, with the occasional bits reserved for crochet practice, and I don't feel like doing either.

So, of course, I searched and searched for what I thought was a good "next step up" project. I can do garter, I can do seams now, I can do socks. I also kept in mind that I'm visiting a lovely yarn store in a few weeks, and have set myself quite a healthy budget.

(Hubby and I are on a new savings plan - we live off of his salary, and bank mine. So far, we're two cheques in, and haven't had to go anywhere near my little nest egg.)

My healthy yarn budget for this trip was originally going to go toward some more sock stash, since normally I have to order sock yarn over the web. But, I said to myself, "Self, you know you need a challenge. You know with that overdone a/c at work that you need a sweater there, and you know that this one is on the way to retirement."

This is seriously dingier than it looks, it's store-bought, and it keeps shrinking lengthwise, even though it's 85% acrylic!

So, with that in mind, I looked for a sweater pattern. Something knit at a relatively coarse gauge (I don't have the patience right now to knit a sweater for my substantial frame in fingering weight), but with cables and fun bits.

Enter Josephine.

It may take some mucking with gauge, since it calls for non-US sized needles, and it's a hefty project in terms of the pattern, but I love the cables, and I love cabling without a cable needle. It's also a significant committment in terms of yarn alone, calling for somewhere between 1400 and 1600 yards, which is why I may forego the extra sock yarn stash enhancement. Hopefully the staff up at LK will be able to help me find a suitable yarn.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Photo Booth rocks!

I updated the stats on the BSJ down here, but still had no pictures. Then I realized that the lab computer has Photo Booth, which is tremendously fun.

So here you have it:

Eek! Institutional lighting!

I had to put a plastic pipette into the arms to hold it up ;-) further enhancing my dorkdom, but it worked. The color is a bit washed out, but you get the idea.

This little sweater rocks. I can't wait to see it with buttons.

(All images copyright E. Boudreau)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I succumbed to temptation...

I seamed up the BSJ. I was going to wait until my mother could see it in amoeboid form, but it was just sitting there, in a lowly little wrinkly pile, and I couldn't bear to not finish it.

This was my first experience with mattress stitch (or pseudo-mattress stitch, I suppose), and it is just so much fun. I put my stitches in very loosely, and then once they were all done, zzzzzzzzip! I pulled on both ends, and it tightened up like magic!

I haven't put on the crochet edge yet, because I don't have a large selection of hooks (that is to say, I have a tiny one: B1, and a huge one: H [I think]), and I need a mid-sized one. I may go to the local big-box store this weekend with my auntie-in-law, so I'll check there for a few.

And, no, no pictures yet. I'm an awful blogger. Work has been really busy, but in a good way, and there are lots of things to take care of before vacation. I keep meaning to bring my pieces in to photograph during the day, but never remember.

I've also ripped out the original trekking socks. It wasn't as traumatic as I thought it would be, so they were meant to be ripped. Once the yarn relaxes a bit, I think they will be some Pomatomi. I wasn't sure how they'd look in trekking, but a little searching revealed Aija's in colorway 100 (scroll down a bit for pics). The color I have is pastelly (I don't remember the colorway # offhand), and should show off the stitch pattern really well. Or at least, I hope it will. I don't think I could rip out again.

Monday, July 23, 2007

BSJ is finished, more or less

I haven't seamed the shoulders, because I want to take it home in August and see if Mom can fold it up properly ;-)

Until there's a pic, here are some details:

BSJ by Elizabeth Zimmerman
Started: July 1
Finished: July 21 (with about 5 days of non-knitting in there)
Yarn: STR in Sealrock medium weight
Yardage: After some calculations (and weighing the yarn at work on my analytical balance, because I'm a geek) I came up with the following:
the skein had 5.9oz/167g/[408yd estimated] (a bonus, as it's listed as 5.5oz/155g/380yd). I used 4.8oz/135g, which I'm estimating to be 328yd.
Needles: Boye 29" aluminum circulars, US7
Gauge: 6 st per inch
Modifications: None, as far as I can tell. I followed the pattern as well as I could, although there are points that were up for interpretation. It worked out really nicely, so I'm assuming I did it correctly. I haven't decided on the single crochet edging yet.

It's really small, probably qualifies as 0-2 months. Hubby doesn't believe me that babies come that small ;-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Patience is a virtue...

... and if you're still reading (and you like photos), you are very virtuous indeed.

I tried out my laptop again last night, since I wasn't sure quite how bad it had gotten. I figure, I can either not use it at all, or use it once in a while, between now and when it gets fixed/trashed. It behaved for about 3 hours, then when I installed a replacement program for the one I think is the problem, it crashed again. It doesn't like installing, it seems.

So, no pictures. I figure I'll take a whole whack at once, upload them temporarily to the work computer, burn 'em to disk, and use them that way.

I'm six ridges away from being done the BSJ, and it's amazing. I love it. I also might even have enough yarn from the skein (plus the leftovers from its mate) to make a little hat or mittens, but I'm not going to bet the farm just yet. There are only three decisions left: three vs five buttonholes; whether to do a crochet edging to finish the neck; and what kind of buttons.

I'm leaning on two of the choices - I like the idea of five buttonholes, since I can always leave the bottom two open, and I like the finished edge. These choices are somewhat reversible - I can always just close over the bottom two buttonholes, and I can always pull off the edging if I don't like it.

The third decision - the buttons - is tougher. I don't have easy access to a shop where I can find buttons, and I don't travel until August (more on that later). I'm debating sending a full color repeat of the yarn to my mom, and see what she can find, but she has no idea I'm even working on this particular project. It might be fun to see what she comes up with. I also don't have an intended recipient for this, and therefore the buttons need to be unisex.

So, very roughly switching gears, I'll explain my upcoming travels. You may want to draw a diagram - it's pretty confusing ;-)

My family is now pretty much spread out in three locations. If you can imagine an equilateral triangle, Hubby and I are in the bottom left corner (we'll call that "Point A", Little Bro is at the tippy-top ("Point B"), and Mom, Dad, Grammie, Big Bro, and future Sister-In-Law are all in the bottom right corner (more or less - "Point C").

The really frustrating part is that there are no direct flights from Point A (here) to Point C (home). AND, it costs the same for me to take a return flight from A to B (non-stop) as it does for me to take a return flight from A to C (one stop); that usually runs at least $500 a person, so it will cost $1000 for Hubby and I to get home for Big Bro's wedding at the end of the summer.

But, there's a tiny spot of light. There's one particular Canadian airline that has really good fares, and is quite established, and flies from Point B to Point C for <$200. Little Bro uses them all the time to fly home. So, since I was going to end up spending $1000 anyway, I decided to book me a little side trip to see Little Bro, and it's only adding on $194 to our total trip costs.

I fly to see Little Bro for a week and check out how the other half lives, then we fly to our parent's place together, and meet Hubby there. After the wedding, Hubby and I will fly back down here together, and all is well.

I'm actually very excited to go and see Little Bro in action. He truly seems to have found his calling, and is showing his dedication in his work placement terms. People just love him. We also love going to movies together, and I've missed that part of our sibling-friendship since we've moved, so that's part of my vacation plan.

(And, I'll be visiting a little yarn store that some of you may know about. Little Bro knows this, and has accepted the fact that I'll be ditching him for at least one day.)

OK. Time to check on my experiment; it's a day-long one, but I'm somewhere in the middle of a three-hour incubation and I don't want to miss my timepoint.


Monday, July 16, 2007

I promise, there's been progress.

The BSJ is coming along swimmingly; I'm nearly at the last set of increases, so probably only about 11 ridges left. I love it.

But now that it's nearly done, I'm having an existential crisis. Remember the trekking socks? I'm done the gusset on the first one, and the gusset is waaaay too loose. And I'm not so much in love with the leg, either. It's not sagging-loose, but it's not comfortable.

I think I need to rip.

I love that yarn so much that I don't want mediocre socks from it. I want something I'll love. So I think they need to be re-thought, and re-started in some other pattern.

I don't want to rip, but I know I have to.

Go and visit Shelly...

... enter her lace contest by leaving a comment on her blog in that entry, and tell her I sent you :-)

Friday, July 13, 2007

This is killing me.

The IT guy came, and I love the IT guy. He doesn't assume I know everything about computers, nor does he assume I know nothing. He has this talent for explaining things at exactly my level of understanding, which is comforting.

Long story short - we had a brief period of remission, after a very tumultuous set of treatments, when the disk was repaired. Originally he thought it was a hardware failure, but this Disk Warrior thing seemed to eventually do the trick, fixing illegally named things and stuff like that. We tried to put it through its paces, and it didn't crash. I brought it home, did the same thing - no crashes.

I woke up this morning, did my usual thing... crash. Re-started.... crash.

I'm going to leave it rest for a while, because IT Guy is coming back to help the boss again in a few weeks. It means using Hubby's computer at home, which is also not overly healthy, but at least (knock on wood) it doesn't crash. I don't know what this means for posting pics, because I keep most of my stuff on iPhoto, but we'll see.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I counted the chickens, and none hatched.

My computer is fried, again (to continue with the chicken analogy).

Our work IT guy is coming over this afternoon, and says he has two different "first aid treatments" to try, so hopefully I'll be up and running soon.

Think good thoughts!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Computer woes

Figured it would happen sooner or later. I'd hoped to be posting more, but my little laptop finally said "Enough!", and wouldn't do anything until I'd overhauled the harddisk. She went from crashing twice a day to crashing immediately upon any startup.

She seems to be OK now, but I'm not going to celebrate until I have a week free of crashes.

Sigh. At least our air conditioner should be arriving today.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

It worked!! It worked!!

It worked! It worked! It worked! Happy Dance!!!

(I'm not talking about the BSJ; at least, not yet)

My first set of experiments worked! Yay! I've created strains!

Now I can go home tonight and knit to my heart's content, guilt-free, because my experiments are working :-)

Monday, July 2, 2007


I've cast on the BSJ, and finished maybe 14 rows or so. I'm pretty good with 3d visualizations, and I'm pretty straight on how the thing is constructed, and how it gets assembled. I'm really quite relieved, because if I wasn't clear on it, I might not push forward. I'm really excited about it; it's such an easy knit for TV time, or when I'm on the phone. I can already see how neat it'll be to add in stripes, but I'm still going to try to stay on pattern, with one yarn, for my first one (unless I run out, but we won't talk about that right now).

Pictures to come...