The last laugh...

So I got together with some friends for dinner about a month ago... and of course I was knitting. One woman made it clear she was not impressed.... that knitting was for fuddy duddies and she pitied the fact that I had nothing better to do with myself than sit around and knit.

Well. TODAY I got an e-mail from this woman asking me to make her kitty some dim sum. I shall use my knitting powers for good, and not evil. Her kitty will have at least one piece of dim sum. But she will not mock me again!

The funny thing is, what the #$@* was she doing on Knitty, and how did she find it in the first place?!?!?!?

Alhambra Progress...

I've managed to get a full pattern repeat done on the Alhambra socks...

The colors in that photo are pretty true. I stuffed the sock with kleenex to show off the lace pattern, which didn't work very well...

Sadly, I have done all of that while at work.

Oh yeah- this is a knitblog!

Finally, some knitting pictures!

Here's my finished Charlotte's Web shawl:

I love the way this turned out. I've worn it a couple times and it always gets great comments.

And here's the back of the Pagan tank from Rowan 27:

I'm about 2" into the front- hopefully I'll make some good headway this weekend!

I've gotten some GREAT suggestions on how to fix the size and roll on the Onde tank. I love the web!

In other news, I taught a friend how to knit while "camping" one weekend in February. Little did I know, I have created a MONSTER! I'm so proud. She took to it like a duck to water and she's doing just an amazing job. Go Heather Go! She is getting sucked into the Web- Charlotte's Web, that is! Perhaps I can show her the basic lace stitches before I move.... Mwa ha ha ha......



I'm knitting at work. This feels infinitely decadent.

I have nothing else to do. I am finished with all my assignments. I have asked my boss for more work. Nada. I have asked my fellow tech writers for ways I can help them. Did a couple things, now nothing. I'm not supposed to be on the internet, so I'm knitting! (I'm SURE that's not what the boss had in mind when discouraging internet use... oh well!)

Anyway, I'm working on a sock. I ripped what I had (barely an inch) of Michelle's Basic Sock pattern so that I could restart and try the Alhambra sock. Everything I have on the needles right now is straight stockinette (more or less) so I wanted to spruce it up with a fancy sock.

This is my first ever sock, so I may have just bitten off more than I can chew.

I've been thinking recently about knitting goals. So here are some random thoughts.
I really want to learn how to do fair isle, and I want to do it two handed. I LOVE the Dale of Norway ski sweaters and always have. I think knitting one would be fabulous. In the mean time, I should start learning how to "pick" instead of "throw". There are some great free fair isle instructionals on the web: Fair Isle 101 and The Fearless Fair Isle Project in particular.
I also want to learn cables and get into some of the cool aran sweater things. I think that would be cool.

I have PLENTY of yarn with which I can learn these techniques. I should sit down and do a couple charity projects (like a square for the Mason-Dixon Afghan for Afghanalong or a blanket for the Crittern Knitathon.)
So, you heard it here! Now hold me accountable! :-)


Not a stitch.

Didn't knit a stitch last night! And I don't have any pictures. Bad knit blogger, bad.

I DID, however, go to the gym for the first time in a month. Man alive, do I feel it today! I was taken over by temporary insanity while doing squats and really loaded up. I can feel the burn moving slowly from muscle to muscle, taunting me. It feels kinda good, actually.

I'm having a bunch of girlfriends over for our monthly girls' night tomorrow. Our theme? Tacky food potluck. So far the nutritious and delicious offerings should include a red, white, and blue layered Jello dessert, Chicken and rice casserole, tuna casserole, shells and cheese, swanky frankies (broiled hot dogs stuffed with cheese), squeeze cheese on ritz crackers, frito pies, and "some kind of weiner". LOL. I love my friends. This should be great.


Onde est fini!

I finished the Onde tank over the weekend. Here she is!

I actually really like how it turned out, EXCEPT for the fact that it's too big from the waist down and it rolls like mad at the bottom 2 inches. I thought I was being really smart by doing the first 5 rows in garter. But the pattern instructions say to go back and crochet a border. Doh! To make matters worse, I have no pink yarn left to do the crochet border. I tried it with the white, and it just looks bad.

Anyone have any ideas on how to fix this?? The yarn content is something like 80/20 acrylic/cotton, so ironing/steaming is probably a bad idea. I may try to sew a ribbon along the bottom inside edge, or just tuck it in?? I dunno.

I also finished the back of my Pagan tank. No pictures, sorry. Will try to get one tonight!


Koigu Kitty

As I was fringing Charlotte last night, I snapped this picture:

Yes, he is lounging atop a partial ball of KPPPM. At least he has good taste, right? I can't believe he just cuddled right up with it.

So yes, Charlotte now has fringe. I did 8 strands instead of the pattern's 6, and I regret it! I think I'm going to go back this weekend and take out 2 of the strands. 6 strands look really delicate and go nicely with the feel of the shawl, 8 looks and feels clunky. I didn't think it would make that big a difference, but I was WRONG!


Charlotte chart...

By the way, I completely recharted Charlotte in Microsoft Excel. The original pattern made my eyes cross and I would have given up in frustration without my chart.

Here's what I did:
I set it up so the row numbers correspond exactly to the pattern row numbers.
Column A indicates what color to use- A, B, etc.
Column B lists the number of lace pattern repeats in half of the row.
Column C is the center stitch, always knit.
The rest of the columns make up the pattern.
I charted it so that you start at the far right of the row, move your way to the left/center stitch, then knit back towards the right to complete the row.

I color coded each lace repeat so I could see at a glance what I was supposed to be doing- pink is the last row, yellow is the first, etc.
I left all non-lace repeat stitches with a white background so I could easily see what other stuff was happening in the row.

If you want a copy, I'll be happy to send it to you IF you have already purchased the pattern and promise not to send it off to other folks- don't want to break any copyright laws. Just e-mail me at jennysettle [at] yahoo [dot] com.



My time in Austin really is coming to an end, and that makes me sad.

My Mom needs to have an angeogram done, which involves an overnight stay in the hospital. I asked my boss today if I could take the week after Memorial Day off to go and be with her, and he suggested that I either give notice and have the last day of May be my last day so I don't need to come back, or take the time and give notice so that I'm done mid-June. It's all becoming so final!

My Mom can push the test out, and in fact would prefer to do so... So I think I'll give notice mid-June, with my last day at the end of the month, then leave town in early July- maybe 4th of July weekend? I don't want to leave before then. But I'll need to be in NM shortly after then for a prep class at the Law School (assuming I get a space in the class). If they really want me to leave work before then (sounded like boss was hinting I should get a move on) they can lay me off and give me a severance package.

I guess it is nice to see the possible window of move dates shrink from 3 months to 3 weeks. I've been saying I wanted exactly this for a looooong time. So it is a good thing.

In knitting news, I worked a few rows on Pagan last night and bought yarn for This free pattern from the summer Interweave Knits (it's the mitred square rug, in case you don't want to open the pdf.) I justified this purchase as supplies for a new technique- I've never done anything mitred/domino before and have wanted to learn. I have enough plain stockinette in my life right now- I want a challenge!



This coat is absolutely amazing. I am in love and must have one. I found the link on Erica's Smiling Tiger blog. I think Erica's idea of collecting Koigu with the goal of someday making a coat like this is great!

But you look so normal!

So... I went to the yarn store on Friday and the woman working asked how my Charlotte's Web Shawl was coming. When I told her I was at row 130, she said, "But you look so normal!" She would DIE if she knew I finished it on Saturday....

Here she is! I still need to weave in ends, add fringe, and block some more. I'll be sure to post a final picture and write up lessons learned...

In other knitting news, I do not like Phildar Onde. I do not like it all all. I don't like the way it feels, I don't like the way it looks... I just don't like it. I discovered this when I found myself avoiding the tank top like the plague this weekend. But I will finish it and I will have learned a lot. Here's progress:

And I started a new tank- Pagan from Rowan 27 in my Pistachio Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I do like this yarn. A lot. So sue me for liking cheap yarn!


Wisdom once removed...

WELL, I will be MIA from blogland until Monday. I'm having the last of my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow and they're totally knocking me out- none of this local anesthesia crap for me! :-)

Anyway, expect a report of LOTS of knitting progress on Monday. Hopefully I will crank on Charlotte and make some serious headway on the Onde Tank- it's DEFINITELY tank weather here in central Texas.

Have you seen THIS GORGEOUS THING? I'm thinking of making one for myself... Gauge and yarn content looks like it's really close to Lion Brande Cotton Ease, which I HAPPEN to have laying around. Will it become this tank, or Pagan tank? Stay tuned!

For those who read French knitting patterns (I would like to, but we'll see how it goes) the pattern is available for FREE from Phildar....

Fibery goodness

I am a very bad blogger and have not knit a stitch in two nights.

So, to make up for it, I thought I'd share my two non-knitted treasures:

Both are handwoven pieces from one of my mother's dear friends, Louise Lechner. She owns Handwoven Originals in Santa Fe, which produces absolutely amazing pieces.

The first is a scarf that was a gift for my college graduation. As you can see, the colors move from kelly green at one end to firey red at the other. There are irridescent red threads running throughout the whole piece.

The second is a ruana that was a gift for my 12th birthday. It is folded in half lengthwise in the photo. It's almost entirely off-white with varything textures- silky, mohair, etc. There are pastel colored slubbed yarns running throughout, along with pearly irridescent threads. I tried to capture this in close up shot- don't know how well I did, though.

Anyway, if you are ever in Santa Fe, NM, you MUST go to Handwoven Originals!!!


OOOH! A makeover!

Gave things a little facelift courtesy of some new blogger templates.... I hope you like it as much as I do!!!!!

More thoughts on Charlotte.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what it is that is so addictive about this shawl. Here are some random thoughts...
1. The lace pattern is relatively straight forward. There are 4 rows that repeat. This makes it really easy to get into the zone and just crank on whatever row I'm on. My personal favorite is row 2- knit, slip knit PSSO, slip knit 2 psso, k2tog with yarnovers sprinkled in. It just progresses so NICELY.

2. Each lace row has 8 stitches per repeat. You always have those 8 stitches on the needles, which makes it relatively easy to identify when and where you made a mistake.

3. I LOVE that every wrong side row is straight purl- makes it really easy to count stitches and ID problems that may have happened on the right side. Also gives me a chance to rest a little between lace rows. I don't count all the way across the row- my poor little brain starts getting confused above 20. But by putting stitch markers between each lace repeat, I can identify exactly where I made a mistake if one section has more or less than 8 stitches. Way easier to pin point a problem this way than saying, "OK, I have 127 stitches in this row and SOMEWHERE there is a mistake...."

4. The lace pattern is so symmetrical between sides. I love that you simply reverse the order of the stitches once you pass the center- I'm a dork and I really like symmetry.

5. The colors. Oh, how I could raphsodize about the colors in Koigu! I picked out my skeins thinking I had a pretty good idea of what each would look like as I knit, and each new ball is such a suprise. A ball I thought was predominantly green with rainbow colors is actually vibrant turquoise, pink, and sagey green. Amazing. I could knit with this stuff forever.

So. Those are my thoughts on Charlotte for now.

I knit a lot Saturday night at a soccer game. I didn't think I'd be able to focus enough, but I did, and I enjoyed it. I also knit a ton yesterday- an hour and a half in the car each way to spend Mother's Day with BF's family.

My Mom called and loved the flower washcloth, by the way. But she thought it was a pot holder at first! LOL.

Lots of knitting time this weekend.

I am so obsessed with this #$*&@$*%&^ shawl. I'm now at row 115ish. I think I may actually finish this in the next week or two...
Here's pictures:

The colors are pretty true in the first photo. Scooter absolutely could not stay away once I pulled out the camera, so I've included his mug shot for your viewing pleasure.

This shawl really is a blast to knit. I am really glad I took the time to re-chart the pattern in Excel- I learned a lot about the way the lace pattern progresses, and I'm not pulling my hair out, which I know I would be if I was working from the original pattern.

AND, I felted the Alien:

This is a good sized tote. Can probably fit a regular sized notbeook and lots of other pursey stuff. I bought some fabric to line the bag, but am not sure I'm going to do that. This is a gift, so now I get to call the recipient and tell her it's ready! YAY!


Yippeeeee! It's FRIDAY!

I am so. glad. it's friday.

In knitting news, I missed out SNB last night to watch Friends with the BF and his sister. I swatched for Pagan from Rowan 27 in Lion Brand Cotton Ease color Pistachio (allegedly a dead ringer for Rowan All Seasons Cotton.) Alas, I used the wrong size needles- don't know what I was thinking when I grabbed them as I headed out the door. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to make the cap sleeve version or the v-neck tank version.

Also cast on and got a few rows done on the front of the Onde tank.

AND once I got home, worked on Charlotte some more. I am at row 80, about 4 rows in to the third solid color. I'm starting to get worried about blocking this baby. I've never blocked a lace project before (or much of anything else for that matter) and would love some advice. E-mail addy is in the sidebar on the right....


Knitting Companion...

This is Scooter sleeping while I was knitting last night:

Two half FOs!

I finished the Alien!

I hope to felt it this weekend.

I also finished the back of the Onde tank last night!

This thing is super curly. And it's not as deformed as it looks in the picture- I didn't feel like pinning it down, so you'll have to live with the curly misbehaving photo.

And here's Charlotte's progress- I'm half way through the transition to the third color....

Sigh. I luuuuuuuuuuuve this shawl.

In other news, BF and I went to El Arroyo for a Cinco de Mayo celebration. MMMMM. Margaritas. Then he went to the record store, and I went to the book store. I sat down with the 1000 Sweaters book. You know, the idea is really good, but the reality is not quite what I was hoping for. I'm sure you've read others' comments about this book. I have to echo them. Small gauge, small sizes. I think it might be a good book for inspiration, but for now, I don't really need it.


Things I want to do in Austin before I leave:

*This list is subject to change at any time with or without reason. :-)

  • Go dancing at the Broken Spoke
  • Go swimming in Barton Springs
  • Eat Salt Lick BBQ- Planned for 6/27
  • Eat at Jeffrey's again
  • See the bats
  • Visit the Stevie Ray Vaughan statue
  • Soak up all the live music I can
  • Taco X-Press
  • A day on the lake. Must talk to boat-owning friends about this one.
  • See Toni Price's Hippie Hour at least one more time
  • Sambet's Cajun for Shrimp PoBoy

More to come, I'm sure.


Didn't get much knitting time in last night. My sewing machine's bobbin winder is broken and I'm in the middle of hacking together a very poor rendition of a slipcover for my couch. I bought the couch for $5 at a garage sale, and got a bunch of really gorgeous velvet for the slipcover for $6 a yard at a fabric store closing sale. I am no seamstress. Anwyay, I went to a friend's house on the other side of town to wind some bobbins so I can finish the darn thing.

Then BF and I had a very romantic dinner of half price cheeseburgers at Sonic. That was pretty much my night.

I plan to park myself on the couch after my workout tonight and finish the back of the Onde tank.



HOW many days till I get laid off? Anyway we can bump that up?

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate my job?


I did get some knitting in last night, but no particularly photo worthy progress. (Didn't I post recently ranting against this very thing in other blogs?? Sigh.)

I completed the stripes and started the handles on the felted tote, henceforth known as "The Alien". This bag reminds me of the alien scarf in Debbie Stoller's"Stitch N Bitch". hence the name.

I'm about halfway through the transition to color 3 on Charlotte, approx 64 rows in. Gawd, I love this yarn. I'm already fantasizing about colors for my next Charlotte... or just rolling around in Koigu like Wendy and her friend did in their Colinette stash.... :-)

I also worked on the Onde Tank, but only did about 6 rows when I realized I couldn't sleep.

The Koigu really is amazing. The colors are just unbelievable! Such great depth and character! And I do love the way the colors play against each other in this shawl. One thing I did notice is that the darkest color (at the outside edge of the Charlotte pic from yesterday) is thicker and fuzzier than the first and third colors I'm using... Not sure if that's because of the dyes used or what, but I'm glad to be heading back into the land of more delicate yarn....


A very knitty weekend...

I got a good bit of knititng done this weekend.

First off, the Muppet was a hit. I'm really glad it turned out well!

I also made some smoking progress on the felted tote for my friend....

I need to finish this one up soon, but it goes really fast. I did all the green last night while at a dinner party chatting with friends.

I also finished all the pink on my first ball of Phildar Onde:

AND, here's Charlotte!

I finished the first color and the color transition and am now at about row 50. I am so enamored by these colors! Simply amazing.

Anyway, that's it for knitting news.


Impulse Stash Enhancement Announcement!

Oh la la. Don't ever let me go to the yarn store after a hard week at work again. Look what jumped into my car:

Yes, that's all the fixins for a Charlotte's Web shawl. I even did my own colors.
The colors are: P621, P623, P111, P118A, P109. I have no idea which is which because a very helpful woman hanging out at the LYS took the labels off before I could write down which was which. Ah well.

Needless to say, I've started it already and I am in luuuuuuuuuuuuurv with Koigu. The colors are aboslutely insane! I don't have a good progress shot, thought. I'm only about 20 rows in, but I promise pictures on Monday.

In other news, I have a FO!!!! WOOHOO!!!! Here's the Muppet:

and folded up:

She's getting washed and dried as we speak. I'm pretty pleased. She's about 31 inches square. I would use smaller needles next time (I used 10.5s? this time?) to make a firmer fabric. But all in all, I think the mother will love it. And the shower is tomorrow, so I'm sooooo over it!