Friday, June 27, 2003

I'm expecting company

Heaven smells like lemon-scented Pledge. Pardon my mess. I'm just tidying up a bit. You probably don't believe me anymore, but I am still working on getting this site moved over to its permanent location. Whew! It's tough work. Good thing women don't sweat.

I'm also expecting a few visitors from over Chicago way. The lovely Bonne Marie is sending her friends over to MonkeyKnits for a visit. She's finished her BNS -- in all its sassy, fish-netty goodness -- and now she's sent her fans westward to explore new territory. If you're visiting MK for the first time, welcome! If you're a return visitor, welcome back! Please look around, make your self at home, bookmark me and come back again. We're glad to see you!

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Chocolate Pocky and other happy treats

Dunno what it says, but it's cute!Mushrooms and monkeys -- what could be better?This is candy, not Prozac.

I went to Japan several years ago, and besides the great people I met, one of the things I liked the best was the Pocky. These chocolate-dipped sticks of heaven got me through some tough times. I went there when I was a not-so-worldly teenager and I wasn't, perhaps, as adventuresome in the food department as I could've been. Instead of trying new and exciting native cuisine, I sampled new and exciting Japanese candy. Imagine my delight when I stumbled across this website. They have tons of great asian candy. I'm going to have to get some of this and this, among other things. Mmmmm...

In knitting news, I cast on last night for Sitcom Chic v2.0. I'm making the medium (CO 165 st). I had a little brain fart when I was doing some mental math last night. I was thinking about the BNS I just made and how I only cast on 125 for that and the gauge was much smaller (more st/inch). But then I realized that the BNS was knit in two pieces -- front and back -- while SCC is a cardi knit across the whole shebang. I are smart. In any event, 165 st in Cotton Ease seems like a million to me. I've never used it before and I think I'll just have to get used to it. It feels, umm, dry or something. Squinchy? I don't know how to describe it, but I like the way it's looking.

I have so many things I want to do in the knitting arena and just not enough hours in the day. I have the Summer Tweed waiting in the wings. I think it will be two tanks. And I have John's socks, which can't be finished soon enough for his impatient excited self. And I want to make hat/mitten/scarf sets for gifts. If you are on my Christmas list, don't read that part! And I have a ton of great wool for felted goodness. And I want to make myself a poncho. And now I have SCC on the needles, too. When will I find time for all this? I guess Christmas is six months away. I have some time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Tornadic Activity

Yes, that is a word. I know it is because the meteorologists used it in every other sentence last night. We had crazy storms in our area, including several tornadoes. It was a bit tornadic last night.

I ripped out the 3 inches of ribbing I had done on John's sock because I dropped a stitch. I tried to recover it, but alas! It was not meant to be. So I frogged the whole thing and started over on smaller needles. I think it will be better in the long run. I'm trying to teach myself how to knit a little looser. I am such a tight knitter. Sometimes my arms just ache because I don't realize how tightly I'm knitting. Who said knitting is relaxing?

Here's my new goal. I'd like to make one of these, someday. Maybe one for me, one for the boy.

How impossible is it? Can I do it? I think I can, I think I can...

Monday, June 23, 2003

Swatch and socks

Here's the swatch that will be in the mail to Becky tomorrow. Hope you like it! I had fun knitting it. It's from Vogue Knitting, my favorite knitting reference.

And, here's the finished sock. I haven't started its matcher, yet. Why, you ask? Well, I'm working on a pair for John now. I had to "hurry up" and finish that sock so I could cast on (immediately) for his sock. He's very impatient excited. He asks me about every other row whether he can try it on yet. Umm, honey? I only have about 2 inches of ribbing done so far! Go ahead... Try it on! Ooops, gotta go. He's calling me from the living room. Guess it's time to get back to work!

Friday, June 20, 2003

Good news/Bad news

The good news is that I have finally finished the BNS. It is seamed, it is blocked, it is ironed. Last night I crocheted around the armholes. I didn’t crochet around the neck because I like the roll-neck look. The bad news is that I don’t really like the way the BNS looks on. It’s probably due to my lack of crochet-ability. The armholes are a bit wonky. I’ll probably just wear it under my jean jacket. Or maybe it will look better after a few washes. I love the way the fabric looks. It just fits funny. It was a wonderful learning experience, though. I learned the three-needle bind off, how to make my decreases/increases look nice, how to seam (thank you Teresa!); how to follow a sweater pattern… I’m glad I did it.

I’m very excited to start on SCC. I just saw the photo on Bonne Marie’s blog of the woman she saw on her tour of Lorna’s Laces. The woman was wearing SCC! That makes me wonder how many people have made that cardie. The KnitAlong group on Yahoo has around 100 members already (!) and a lot of us are working on SCC. Some of us have already made one, too. Mine is going to be just like the one in Knitty – bubblegum pink Cotton Ease.

John has to work all weekend, so I hope to get a lot of knitting done. Becky’s swatch should be done tonight. I need to finish the Regia sock; cast-on for SCC; and start a pair of socks for John. I also have a couple of felted totes in the works, and I’m going to start figuring out Christmas gifts. I think I’m going to attempt mittens again. I tried them right after I learned how to knit and I got so frustrated that I literally threw the whole thing halfway across the room! I think I can control myself now.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

"What's New Pussycat?"

Some guy on Jeopardy answered “Tom Jones” to the Final Jeopardy question yesterday, and I’ve had this song in my head every since. Make it stop!

I started my cotton square for Becky last night. Not to toot my own horn, but my swatch is cool! I’m not saying anything else until it’s done. Then I’ll post a pic of it. I would love to make a whole bunch out of this stitch pattern for myself and make my own blanket. But, I have a million other things to do first. I want to get started on Christmas presents. And John really wants me to knit him a pair of socks. Last night he saw me working on the swatch and he said, “What’s this? That doesn’t look like my socks!?!” Apparently, I can only work on his socks now. I told him that I wanted to finish the pair I have on the needles right now so that I can perfect my sock-making technique. And that I had to make this swatch for a little change of pace so I don’t get too bored to make his pair. He seemed okay by that.

I haven’t cast on for SCC yet, but I did start to swatch. I thought I had the right size Addis, but I don’t. That means SCC will be knit on Denise. I can’t wait until I’m not so broke, or until a gift-giving holiday comes around, so that I can add to my needle collection. Must… Have… Addis…

Monday, June 16, 2003


I'm working on the new site, again. Man, that learning curve is steep! Somebody out there has got to know something about Greymatter... Please contact me and help me out. I'm begging you! Here's a little hint of what's to come:
What do you think? New colors, new look. I hope I can figure it out. It would help if I wasn't such a prefectionist at this kind of thing.

In knitting news, I've turned my first heel. I was a little nervous because I've heard some terrible things about how awful and difficult it is. I thought it was kind of fun. Is that strange? I didn't have any troubles, either. I think the instructions I'm using are very clearly written and easy to follow. I really dislike the yarn I'm using so it may be a struggle to get excited about making its matcher. I would *loOoOove* some koigu, but I have to wait a few months. No moola en mi casa ahora. I have some Sockotta that looks fun, but only one skein. I guess I'll have to make a kid's pair of socks. I hope to finish the sock tonight or tomorrow and have pictures soon.

The Sitcom Chic v2.0 is underway. Several people cast on yesterday. I, the "List Mom," was naughty and did not cast on yesterday. Instead, I worked on my sock and my web page revisions. I hope to cast on tomorrow or Wednesday. I have to decide which size to make. Medium would probably be okay, but I will probably make the large. I would rather have it be too big than too tight. Anyone have advice on that one?

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Good Mail day

Look what I got. I bought this from Jenn at KR. I got 10 skeins of yarn, the pattern booklet and a homemade soap! What a great package. I should be able to get two shells out of this. There are about 4 or 5 patterns out of this book that I *love*. In case you don't recognize it, it's Rowan Summer Tweed. It's 70% silk/30% cotton. I hope I like it. I've read mixed reviews about it. It feels a bit strange -- really dry or something, but I think that's the silk. The colors are truly gorgeous. One is a bright muted lilac (yes, I can describe it that way!) and the other is a muted light gray. They both have nubbies of other colors -- that's what makes it a tweed. If you've used it and have an opinion, let me know.

The mitered tote bottom turned out extremely kitty-whompus. It turns out I don't really know how to do mitered corners! At least not in the correct way to make a rectangle. And I'm not sure how to turn this into the bottom of a tote. Any bright ideas? On the "glass is half-full" side of the coin (uhh, mixed metaphors much?) it's really fun to knit with Kureyon because you never really know what's coming up next. I just want to knit and knit and knit to see what it's going to look like. I never get bored! I really like some of this fall's colors like #126. When I go off my yarn diet, that's right up there on the list of things to pig out on! I'd love to make a cardie out of Kureyon a la Glampyre Knits. Isn't it lovely? Me likey, likey!

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Mitered Mania!

I made the leap from paper to needles. I am almost finished with the bottom of the felted purse I'm designing. Keep your needles crossed that everything works out. Maybe someday I'll have my very own pattern published in!

Ooops, we're leaving for lunch now. More when I get home from work!

Sunday, June 08, 2003

I'm an emotional wreck!

Remind me not to watch Oprah the week before my period. This guy absolutely tears my heart out. What a sweetie. My parents bought me his book set last Christmas. He is such an amazing kid. Excuse me, I have to go get a tissue now...

Updated photos!

Seeing this everytime I go in or out the back door just puts a smile on my face. Arent' they be-yoo-tiful?

I've updated some of the photos on the sidebar. Exciting, no? And here's one just for fun. These guys live in our friend's yard. They let the farmer use their land. And John said he knows someone else who raises these guys so I just might have to learn how to spin...

In other news, I've swatched for the felted tote I'm designing. I sketched it out last night. I'm a little nervous that I'll invest serious time and materials into it and it won't work out, so think good thoughts for me, please. And I'm well underway on my first sock. That's a picture of the ribbing. I've just started the stockinette part. I don't really like these colors -- they're a little garrish -- but I'll keep working on them. It's pretty relaxing, which surprises me bc I don't really like to do ribbing. I think it's just so fun to watch the pattern emerge. I can't wait until I'm able to get some koigu... Mmmmm.

And, finally... The news you've all been waiting for... Ta-dah! Not the best pic, and I'm not showing you my face (bad hair day!). I just wanted you to see "the project that wouldn't end." I still have to weave the ends and crochet along the armpit holes. But for now, it's done. Whew!

Some of you have heard about the group that started out as the BNS Knit Along. We've become a group of about 20 knitters who worked together on Bonne Marie's BNS and in the process we've grown to be pretty good pals. Well, word got out and in order to spread the love, we've decided to create another group. This one is called, simply, KnitAlong. It's on Yahoo! groups. The theory is that each month we'll decide on a new project to "knit along" with each other. Anyone can join and I think it's going to be lots of fun. The main purpose of these groups, in my opinion, is to bring people together to encourage, advise, and appreciate their peers. If you're interested in joining, click on the link below. Hope to see you there. Happy Knitting!

Click to subscribe to KnitAlong

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Fried Pickle Spears

Each week at my new job we are dining at a different establishment in the Vermillion metro area. This is funny because Vermillion has a population of about 3,500 people. There are about 6 places to eat in this town, and none of them are good. Today we ate at a bar with a cartoon leprechaun on the faded sign outside. I had a very greasy, very tasty cheesburger with a side order of fried pickle spears. Mmmm... haute cuisine.

Well, I seamed up the ole BNS the other night. And tonight, I ripped it out. Not the whole thing, just the shoulders. It will now be a square-necked shell (SNS?). I should be finished weaving in ends sometime mid-September (don't ask). And I will take photos of me wearing it this weekend! Yippee!

My goal for tomorrow is to update the sidebar to include new photos. Aren't you excited? I am... Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Please, hold your applause…

I am so happy! The BNS (Boatneck Shell) is off the needles and blocking. It will be seamed tonight after work. I didn’t follow the pattern exactly. It’s not as fitted as the original, but I think it will be just lovely. I pinned it together and tried it on last night. It actually fits! I am going to have to break out the Vogue Knitting book and study the hows and whys of seaming. I’ve never done that (correctly) before. Should be interesting. If all goes well, I should have pics by tomorrow or Friday.

Now, I don’t want to start a Knit Blog controversy, but I imagine that not everyone out there would be as thrilled as I am to have finished a simple shell (after a month and a half). Those of you who have been knitting for a while would probably whip out a BNS in a few days. But I am not the speediest of knitters (even on a good day) and so I am proud of clearing my little hurdles. We were all there at one time, right?

And I was thinking about something else: I probably wouldn’t have finished it had it not been for my beloved Knit Along group. It’s just like trying to lose weight; it’s easier if you are being held accountable by others. My group is the best. They’re supportive, kind, funny, crazy, caring… I really wish I had more “real-life” friends like them living nearby! Any of you guys want to move to southeastern SD? I’ll take you to see the crabby lady at the yarn store in Omaha!

Next up: Felted Tote Mania! I’m swatching some Kureyon with the idea that I’m going to design my own bag. I’ve never used Kureyon before, and let me tell you… I am loving it. I love the way it feels. I love the way it knits up. I love, love, love the colors. This particular colorway has bright orange, pinks, yellows, purples and blues. I got a pretty good deal on eBay, and I plan to get more. Anyone want to go halfsies on a 10-pk? I think I paid about $55 for the yarn and S/H. Just let me know and we can work something out.

The other thing that I’m going to concentrate on is the sock making experience. I have the two-circs technique down. I’m in the middle of knitting the cuff on my very first sock. Haven’t reached the heel yet. I’m hoping that it’s not as tough as everyone says it is. I guess I’ll find out when I get there!

Sunday, June 01, 2003

Mmmm... Cough Syrup

"I think I have the black lung, Pop." Started feeling miserable yesterday. Still feel like poo today. I don't recommend trying to knit while hopped up on Robitussin. It ain't pretty. Ripped out the same row three times before finally giving up. Very sad. And why does cough syrup have to taste so terrible? I mean, c'mon... they can put a man on the moon, but they can't make chocolate amaretto cheesecake-flavored NyQuil?