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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sleeve, The Sequel

yarma 
I finally started the second sleeve on my cardigan and it's moving along nicely.  I'm always happy when I finish the short rows at the sleeve cap and start going around and around.  Maybe I just like going in circles.  Once I finish the sleeve, then I do the neck ribbing with the single buttonhole, weave in approximately 25, 763 yarn ends (that's a conservative estimate), and sew on the button.  Then I just give the whole thing a good blocking and Bob's your uncle, or sweater, in this case.

Easy peasy, right?

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Pogona

yarma
I realize that Pogona pretty much looks like the last time I showed you (and the time before that), but I've gotten a lot done on it since you last saw it (no, really).  I'm almost finished with it, and I think once it comes off the needles, you'll be able to see it better.  I mean it's got to look better than a crumpled paper towel, which is what it reminds me of at the moment.

I've got two goals this week - finish Pogona and finish my berry colored cardigan.  I need the needles from one project and the cable from another for my Camp Loopy Project 3.  (I think, I haven't done a gauge swatch yet.)  I have other needles, but those are my old KnitPicks needles which have bad joins and a tendency to break/fall apart on me.  I don't trust them and I don't want to use them.  They also don't have cords that swivel and for someone like me who hates fighting cords on circulars, the swivel cord makes a HUGE difference.  I'm using my HiyaHiyas for as much as possible right now while I wait for my Dyakcraft Darn Pretties.  I hope to start getting those* in the next six months (give or take) and I can't wait to knit on them!

In the meantime, I've got some knitting to finish!

*I've ordered more than one set and the first order was at the first of this year.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

Yesterday

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Yesterday Max sat on the cable box in the cabinet.
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Yesterday I did some strip piecing on Ruby Mae.
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Yesterday Logan figured out how to sit right next to me and Ruby Mae without getting caught in the treadle.

I hope you all have a great weekend!  We're probably going to do more of the above!

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Sleeve!

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Can you believe it?  I've actually finished a sleeve on this thing!  The third try was the charm and it went off with no problems at all.  After the first two attempts, I was glad it worked this time.  I might actually get this cardi finished this year!  I'm going to start the other sleeve today and see if I can keep the momentum going.  After all, a sweater in motion stays in motion while a sweater at rest just collects cat hair- or something like that.

Onward!

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Camp Loopy Project 2

yarma 
All finished and blocked!  The pattern is Henslowe and the yarn is Madelinetosh Pashmina in Cousteau.  I used 668 yards of yarn and as you can see, it's a nice, big size.  I did a double yarn over to keep the edge from getting tight in the garter section (there are lots of projects that mention this).  I also changed to a larger needle for the Roman Stripe section (lace).  The only other change was working six repeats of the Roman Stripe instead of four since I was trying to use up as much of my yarn as possible.  All of these notes are on my project page in Ravelry also.
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I named the project A Red Cap and A Speedo because of the colorway - Cousteau.  Everytime I think of Cousteau (with apologies to Cousteau), I think of Steve Zissou and The Life Aquatic, which of course reminds me of a red cap and Speedo.  Just one of those crazy PinkLemon brain things I guess.  Probably shouldn't have shared that, but it's on the Rav project page too and I'm sure you guys have figured out that I'm crazy by now!
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Logan didn't get to model it this morning because today was a running day and wrapping a shawl around a dog who's trying to cool down after a run just doesn't seem right.  He followed me around and stayed right with me for the photo shoot, just in case I needed his assistance, but he didn't seem too broken up at not getting to wear it.

I loved knitting this.  It was a good combination of brainless knitting as well as knitting that you need to pay some attention to.  The pattern is written out - no charts, but the lace section is super easy and it's probably easier to knit it from the written out version than charts in this case anyway.  It made for a nice size shawl in the end!

Next week - on to Project 3!

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pogona

yarma 
I've been working on Pogona again.  It's a great pick-up-and-go type of project, but it's not really a great look-at-what-I've-done type of project.  It's too big to spread out on the needles and really show you what's going on and the rows are so long now that it's hard to see how much knitting I've gotten done since I showed it to you last time.  On the other hand, I can see that it's getting bigger (slowly) so I want to keep knitting on it and get it finished.  Once it's finished, then you'll be able to really see what it looks like!

For now though - LOOK AT THE BLOB!

In other news, Max has fallen in love with the cable box.  It is warm.

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Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Back!

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I pulled my Bluebelle cardigan out of it's time out and re-re-started the sleeves.  First I read up on short rows since it's been a while for those and I clearly forgot how to do the silly things.  The third time seems to be the charm and I'm actually getting a sleeve!  Hopefully the second sleeve will go off without a hitch.  I'd love to have this finished before Camp Loopy Project 3 starts!

I've picked my project and gotten my yarn for Project 3.  I'm sure if you're doing Camp Loopy you're up to date already, but for those of you that aren't, Project 3 is the big yardage one - 800+ yards, knit from August 1-31!  I'm going to go over that a little but I'll share the project with you next week.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

A Tale of Two Bracelets

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Today I'm going to show you two very different bracelets.  The only thing they have in common is that they are both bracelets.  One of them, you can knit.  One of them could save your life.
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The first bracelet is Bestie, from Romi's third e-book Home is Where the Heart Is.  I loved the look of a lace bracelet and wanted to try it out.  I didn't have any of the Allhemp 3 yarn around, but years ago I used to dye cotton fabric and had done a little bit of Perle Cotton.  This is Perle Cotton 5, which I knit on US 1's (2.25 mm).  I used my Heavy Metals and loved the pointy, pointy tips for this.  I used a shell button and a clear, silver lined bead for the closure (they fit through the button hole at the other end of the bracelet).  The whole project was super quick and when it was finished I just got the whole thing soaking wet, wrung it out and patted it gently onto a paper towel to block - no pins, no wires - easy, peasy.  It's a super lightweight bracelet and I love the lace for summer.  I could see it in darker colors for other times of year and maybe in a metallic color for Christmas.  It's a grown up version of the friendship bracelets we all made and traded with our friends when we were younger.
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The other bracelet is from Road ID.  It's a Wrist ID Slim Interactive bracelet.  I have a paracord bracelet with a dog tag on it with my name and emergency contact information that I wear when I run, but it's not very comfortable (so I ONLY wear it when I run) and I would have to replace the whole thing if I need to update phone numbers.  Last week Caleb and Logan started running with me (Running Buddies!) and I knew I needed ID for them so I decided to get us all Road ID's.  Now I know that not all of you run or bicycle (which is the primary reason Road ID was created), but bear with me here - there's a reason I'm sharing this.

If something were to happen when we were out on a run, say a car hits me - Caleb and Logan are fine in this scenario - yes, Caleb is there, yes he knows our phone number and address, but is he going to be thinking clearly enough in this situation to tell the EMT's?  Probably not, and even if he is thinking clearly, he doesn't know my health history and won't be able to answer a lot of the questions they'll have.

Different scenario:  Caleb is on a school field trip.  Something happens.  The school has some of his health information and they have emergency contact numbers, but that takes time and if there's a bus accident and something happens to the teachers, how long will it be before I'm contacted?

What about a car accident?  What if I trip and bump my head when I'm out getting groceries?  (Yes, I am that graceful.)  What if we're traveling and something happens?  There are a million things that could happen on any given day whether you run or you sit indoors.  If it happens to me or my family, I want to know that contact information and health information is available to the first responders.  That's what this bracelet does.

Road ID has three different bracelets as well as some other ID products (ankle, shoe, dog tags), but for us, I felt that bracelets would be the best choice.  The Wrist ID Sport was the original and it's a velcro band - it's sporty and reflective, but I decided that knitting and velcro weren't a great mix (also, it won't clean up from the sweat quite as easily as the other two designs).  The Wrist ID Elite is a silicone band with a deployment (watch type) buckle, so it's easy to clean and easy to take off and on and it's the dressiest of the three.  I went with the Wrist ID Slim for myself and Caleb.  It's the size of those silicone "cause" bracelets (like LIVEstrong) that you've all seen, but it comes in four different wrist sizes so it doesn't fall off of those of us with small wrists or cut off the circulation on those with larger wrists.  There's even a size to fit toddlers and small children (which is what this style was originally designed for).  Logan is sporting the Scout ID Original, which was designed for dogs.

While Logan's ID is the original type (all the info is on the id itself), Caleb and I have the interactive.  This means that on the inside of the ID are two codes that the first responders use when they call or log on to the Road ID system to get our information.  I can put as much information or as little as I like - from age, weight, height, emergency contact numbers, medical insurance information, medical histories, medication, all kinds of things.  I can also change it as often as I like.  If Mickael is traveling overseas for work, I can temporarily move him down the contact list while he's out of town and then put him back into the primary contact position when he gets home.  At certain times of the year, Caleb and I both take allergy medicine.  I can add this info during allergy season and take it off when we're not using the meds anymore.  There is a video on the website with a better explanation of the differences between Original Road ID and Interactive Road ID.

When first responders arrive at a scene, their primary objective is to stabilize the accident victims.  As they're doing this, they'll see a Road ID (and they know what it is).  If you have ICE info on your phone (and you should) or tucked into your wallet or purse, they might not find it for a while.  Having the information on your person means you'll get the right treatments faster.  The thing that really sold me on getting it and wearing it (I've worn it nonstop since I got it and it's not distracting or noticeable at this point) was the testimonials on the site.  Mickael will be getting one and I'm going to be talking to the rest of my family about it as well.  I'm not paranoid (not really), but things happen and if they do, this will make it easier for everyone involved.  I hope you go check it out for you and your family.

Have a great weekend!

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pogona

yarma 
I've gotten a little more work done on Pogona.  The rows are getting long, so progress isn't fast, but it's not difficult.  When I chose the yarn for Pogona (from my stash), I picked it because I need more neutral color shawls.  I love all the colors, and I do wear them because I have a lot of black, gray and whites in my closet, but I also have colors, and my colored shawls and scarves don't always work with my colored clothes.  I need to knit more black, gray, and white/cream shawls and scarves so I've always got something to grab.  Hopefully I can remember this when it's time to start a new project!

No blog tomorrow, I've got a physical tomorrow morning.  Blah!

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Monday, July 15, 2013

All Finished but the Blocking

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I finished knitting my Henslowe for Camp Loopy Project 2 this weekend!  I've got to weave in the ends and block it later today, but the knitting is finished.  I added a sixth repeat of the Roman Stripe lace before the edging and I don't have much yarn left now.  I know I'm over the 500 yard minimum requirement - I did some math earlier and working five repeats of the Roman Stripe, I would have used about 600 yards.  I'll weigh the leftovers later too, so I have a better idea of my total yardage.
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These pictures are obviously unblocked and way too dark, but I was excited about finishing and it's raining (yeah, rain!).  Blocked pictures coming later this week.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

A Little More Camp

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I've been working on my Camp Loopy Project 2 again, and I plan on trying to get it finished over the weekend (so you'll only be seeing it a little bit more).  I've worked five repeats of the Roman Stripe and then I weighed my remaining yarn.  Since I know how much yarn each repeat takes, I can tell that according to weight, I can work one more repeat of the Roman Stripe and then move on to the edging.  I'm past the yardage minimum now, but I'm going to go ahead and try to use up as much yarn as I can.  This is what I'll be working on over the weekend.

I do have a bit of a non knitting related issue and I'm hoping that the hive mind of the blog will be able to help.  One of my neighbors has some outside cats that showed up a while back, hungry and cold, so she helped them out.  I've been helping her try to catch them, to get them fixed (she doesn't have a problem with them living there, but doesn't want to be overrun with cats).  We tried humane traps and while the female went in it once, she wasn't heavy enough to trip it.  They did have a batch of kittens, but the kittens are old enough now to separate from their parents (dad has stuck around and been a good kitty daddy), so we're trying to catch them again.  The male will let us pick him up, but he doesn't want to go into a crate to go to the vet (big surprise there).  The female is much more shy and I don't have a clue how we'll catch the kittens.  Have any of you done this?  We don't want to turn them over to animal control because she doesn't mind them staying in her yard, she'll feed them and water them and the yard is safe for them, but for their health, they need to be fixed.  Any ideas?

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Pogona

yarma
I got some more work done on Pogona over the weekend (in addition to what I got done on my Camp Loopy Project 2).  This is an interesting pattern, not difficult once you get a feel for it, but different.  I don't think it was an easy pattern to write, but you don't have to refer to the pattern on every row once you understand what's happening.  Unfortunately, everyone understands things differently, so the way I figure out what the pattern is doing is going to be different from the way you understand it.  I guess what I'm trying to say here, is if you knit this (and it is a fun project), as you're following the directions in the pattern, pay attention to what they are actually telling you to do, figure out the differences between the right and wrong sides and you'll find the pattern works up pretty quickly.

In other news around here, I've got running buddies!  I decided last week to start Logan running with me (now that he's three, he's definitely full grown), and starting this week, Caleb joined us!  I've started both of them on the Couch (or in Logan's case Dog Bed) to 5K program because it's what I used when I started running three years ago.  Both of them are doing great but it's very different for me running with other people.  Caleb is easy, he just follows me, let's me set the pace, runs when I run and walks when I walk (I use the Get Running app on my iPhone - it's a very low key British female voice doing the coaching).  Logan is getting the hang of it, but he doesn't always run in a straight line and sometimes cuts right in front of me.  I'm pretty sure that at some point he'll knock me over, but we're working on it.  Also, Logan is funny about people he doesn't know (long story involving an early morning walk and a very weird guy who freaked me out) and while he's learning to keep moving and ignore them, he's still a little jumpy.  There is always a lot of foot traffic on our running route - other runners, walkers, dog walkers, baby walkers - so he's getting plenty of practice.

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Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Now We Are Two

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Happy Birthday Maximus!  Two years ago today our little kitty was born.  After lots of craziness, many attacks to both human and puppy, several attempts to dominate my knitting, and one really poorly thought out leap from the second story to the downstairs (with no attempt on his part whatsoever at aiming for the sofa), Max is two.  He is still sleeping through the night, under the covers, using me as his pillow.  He is still quite sure that he's starving to death moments before we rescue him with a plate of Fancy Feast - every single night - never mind the kibble that he has 24/7.  He still likes to walk on the kitchen table and kitchen counters (this stuff is my friend), usually right in front of us (I guess because he's sleeping at night, which is when all the other kitties of the world do this - yes, even your's). He still randomly swats at Logan when he walks by, even when he has no intent to follow through with a proper attack.  He still watches Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides (it's a mermaid thing).

He's learned a few things in the last two years too though.  He's learned to spend more time in my lap instead of just sitting next to me.  He's learned that iPad's are fun (he loves ICanHasCheezeburger) and if he sits on me just right, we can watch the iPad together.  He's learned to walk across the iPad when I'm knitting from it (on knitCompanion) and he can make the chart resize and go all wonky.  He's learned how to pick out his toy from the drawer every morning.  The biggest thing he's learned however, is how to be the sweetest, most adorable, charming kitty to us - usually right after he's done something bad.  He's a tiny, gray con man, and he's not even a bit ashamed of it.

We love you little Max!  You may be the smallest kitty I've ever had, but your personality is huge.

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Monday, July 08, 2013

Camp Loopy!

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I've gotten a lot more work done on my Camp Loopy Project 2!  I've finished the top, garter stitch section, started the lace stripes, and I'm into the second skein.  After I work another repeat of the lace, I'll weigh my skein again and see how many more repeats I'll use.  I weigh my skeins after I wind them and then I weighed the second skein after working a single repeat, so now I know how much yarn is used in each repeat.  I've (hopefully) overestimated the amount needed for the final edging, so anything more than that can go for lace repeats.  I'm not the most mathematically inclined person in the world, but I've worked all this out, fully caffeinated and on paper, with a calculator, so I feel pretty confident that I did it right.

We'll find out soon!

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Camp Loopy Project 2

yarma 
I'm off and running on my second Camp Loopy project - Henslowe!  I'm almost finished with the top portion of the shawl which as you can see, is garter stitch.  Then I'll begin the wide lace edging.  I'm enlarging the shawl a bit from the way the pattern is written (other Raveler's project notes again), because this project has a yardage minimum of at least 500 yards.  I'm actually going to go past the minimum and try to use most if not all of my yarn.  I have two skeins of Pashmina: 720 yards.

I tried to get a better picture of the color this time, but it's still showing more blue than the yarn really is. I might have to play around with it later today in different light to see if I can get a better photo.  I love the convenience of my iPhone, but I think I need a color corrector app (or maybe the phone has one, I just don't know where it is).  Of course, I could always get out my real digital camera...

Oh, there was a request for a link to my Pogona project page the other day.  I'll also link to my Henslowe project page.  If you're not a Ravelry member (and signed in), these pages won't be visible, just so you know.

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, July 03, 2013

One More New Thing!

yarma 
After I finished my Rondelay last week, I cast on for a Pogona.  (See? Casting on what ever I want, picking projects willy nilly, no rhyme or reason or rules!)  I started it as the pattern is written, but I wasn't liking a few things so I checked Ravelry.  I pulled up all the Pogona projects that had been marked as helpful and started reading notes.  I figured out what would fix things to my liking, frogged my first start and restarted.  Now all is right with the world, or at least Pogona - I'm not fixing the world today.

The edging as written just wasn't looking nice for me, so I'm doing a K2, Kfb...(work the middle part)...Kfb, K2.  I'm also working the single stitch between increases as a Ktbl.  If you have the pattern, this will all make sense.  If you don't have the pattern, don't worry about it until/if you're ready to knit it.  I'm going to add these notes to my project page on Ravelry when I set it up in a few minutes, so they'll be easy to find.

Can I just take a minute to express how wonderful Ravelry is and how much time it has saved (and wasted) for me as a knitter?  I love you Ravelry!

Oh, and just in case you were wondering, I'm knitting this in Tempted Prissy Grrl Sock in Echo.  This is my first time to use this yarn and it's super yummy!  It's 70% Baby Alpaca, 20% Silk and 10% Cashmere, so I really don't see this as a great sock yarn* but for shawls and scarves it's great!

*When you knit socks, you need a fiber that stretches and has memory - alpaca, silk and cashmere don't really do that.  You could use them for socks, but you'd need a stitch pattern that provides the stretch, and you'd still have problems with the socks stretching out.  These three fibers are soft and drapey so they're really happier in garments that are soft and drapey - not fitted as socks need to be.  If there were wool in the blend, that would provide elasticity and memory.

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Something New and Something Old

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Over my little blog-cation last week, I did knit, and I actually started and finished a Rondelay.  (I still haven't gotten the ends woven in, but it's blocked.)  It's knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Geranium, which is the perfect shade of coral pink - so summery!  Also, it has superhero qualities:  as soon as I put it on Logan, he immediately began fighting crime cat.  I don't know if Rondelay made him brave or he's tired of Max photo bombing his knitwear modeling sessions, but once I wrapped it around his neck, he was off, chasing Max.
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I decided to let Fifi show it off after that.  Here it is with both tails down.
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One tail down.
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Both tails tucked up.  It's an easy design, and looks best in a yarn with something going on it.  This one was all one color, but the darks and lights show off the shaping better than a true solid would.  It was fun and different and a quick little project.

In big news around Chez Pink Lemon, today Mickael and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary!  It's been fun and wonderful and crazy and weird and sometimes difficult, but it's always been interesting and I can't imagine the last 20 years without my best friend, the love of my life, and partner in crime.  He's an amazing, kind, patient, smart, and loving man with a great sense of humor.  Every day I get to spend with him is a blessing.  Happy Anniversary babe!

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Monday, July 01, 2013

I'm Back!

The little blog-cation was just the thing I needed.  I think I've been so concerned lately with feeding the blog that I haven't been enjoying knitting.  Taking a break helped me put things in perspective.  I'm going to work on what I want, when I want and if I feel like casting on a new thing every day, I will.  If I feel like reading a book and have nothing to blog, that's fine too.  I'll show you some of what I've been working on tomorrow, but today is Day 1 of Camp Loopy Project 2!
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The challenge for Project 2 is to knit a popular project that you've never knit before.  The pattern you choose has to have over 1000 "projects" or over 1000 "queues" in Ravelry.  You also have to use at least 500 yards and it has to be knit and finished by July 31.  I'll be using two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in Cousteau (there's more green in the yarn than is photographing, but it's just like it sounds - a deep, blue green) to make Henslowe.  I'll be making it a little bigger to make the yardage requirement.  They've re-divided us among treehouses for Project 2 (we were divided among mountains for Project 1 - I hiked Mt. Fiberopolis), and this time around I'm in Treehouse 1.  Once I get back home with groceries later this morning, I hope to cast on!

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