Monthly Archives: July 2009

Busy Weekend & the Status of the House

We had an extremely busy weekend here, running errands, assembling furniture, buying furniture & our first DIY project in the house!!

The garage was mess of yard tools and bikes. We hung these 2 handy dandy pegboards to organize all the rakes, shovels, gardening supplies on & ta da! No more mess! We even have room to store the grill in the garage over the winter!
The lawn furniture arrived this morning & hopefully I’ll have time to assemble that this afternoon.
The office is still a work in progress. We are now going to paint sooner than later, so we picked up lots of paint samples as Home Depot & now just need to decide which to use. The main problem is that the former owners painted the ENTIRE house (and I’m not exaggerating here) in one shade of tan. It’s a special shade too- almost like adobe, but darker- I swear there are hints of peaches & cinnamon in the color. We like the color, just not in every single room of the house. Now to find complementary shades….. makes my brain tired. Also, in assembling our desk, one of the pieces was damaged & it still hasn’t arrived from the great big Staples warehouse (note to future office furniture purchasers- look at Staples- free shipping & they are GREAT about replacing damaged parts!)
The quilting studio- coming along slowly. The Quilting Machine came! Now we just need to assemble it & set up the computerized software.
The garden- producing more cucumbers than we can possibly hope to eat. Luckily the neighbors don’t mind free cukes. The watermelon plant has 5 babies melons so far. I hope the neighbors like watermelon too.
The yard- We’re slowly coming up with the landscaping plan. Not going to happen anytime soon. We did however find this cool sprinkler that you can set to various distances to water your entire lawn at once. But of course, it’s supposed to rain all week. Ahh.
The kitchen- mostly all done, but J bought be a Kitchen Aid 12 cup food processor & I’m so excited about this! I’m thinking zucchini bread! Pesto! (oh yikes- I need to split the basil plant! It’s being strangled in the small pot.)
The bathroom- need to pick a color- the matte paint that is in the ENTIRE house doesn’t quite cut it for the humidity in a bathroom. Maybe a nice blue-green shade?
Living room- haven’t done a thing. It’s currently our drop space for all these boxes.
Lots & lots still to do!!!! Musn’t forget the business either!

Where I’ve Been

It’s been a whirlwind around here! Last Friday I headed down to Texas! I had a wonderful time hanging out with family & then meeting up with friends I haven’t seen in 4 months. The special occassion that prompted all of this- my good college friend is having a baby! I made up some knitted goodness for the little one (baby kimono & big suprise here- a quilt!)

On my way back to Nebraska, I stopped in Kansas & spent the afternoon with an aunt I haven’t seen in about 4 years.

Now I’m back home sifting through paperwork & working on so many projects my head is starting to spin.

Good news though- the garden is producing it’s first cukes!

How to Alter a Sweater Design

Disclaimer: Family & Non-Knitting friends, you will most likely find this post tedious & boring. I’m very sorry. I promise to have a ‘lighter’ post soon for you!

Sweater design amazes me. All the stitches & rows & increases & decreases & amazingly enough, you end up with a sweater. And truthfully, many times a BAD sweater. This causes great pain. Really, for all the time that is devoted to the sweater, you want it to come out perfect! The gap between knitting the pattern written & wearing something magnificant on me has always been a wide black hole. Until last fall that is.

Knit a Go Go sponsored a workshop given by Stefanie Japel. Stefanie taught us how to design a sweater for our bodies! It was great & I learned so much! (If you EVER have the opportunity to take a class from Stefanie- DO IT! You will NOT regret this! Your knitting career almost DEPENDS on this!)

Now fast forward almost 1 year & have I used any of the wonderful tips I learned in the workshop. Of course. I’ve spent the better part of the year only making 3 sweaters & a lotta socks & other non-gauge requiring items. So I decided to challenge myself & adapt a published pattern into something for me. I decided on Stefanie’s Cropped Cardigan with Leaf Ties. This however was only after seeing Percy’s adaptation. Here’s how I began the adaptation!

1. Swatch: And not the measly, tiny, I’m-tired-of-swatching-already-i-just-want-to-knit-the-sweater swatch either. This was a nice size, over 5″x5″. After washing & blocking, I measured my gauge to be: 5.75 stitches per inch! Now I look at the pattern & check to see what Stefanie says the gauge should be. Oh. 4.5 sts per inch. I check the needles- yup, size 7 needles like she recommended. I weighed my options. I could reswatch in size 8 needles. Don’t know about that as I do like the fabric that is created with the 7’s. I could change the yarn, but I don’t think the stash had anything appropriate & I didn’t want to buy more (only to still not make gauge.) But it’s all good. I’m going to use these create math skills I have & create a pattern for me! That’s what Stefanie taught after all!

2. Read the pattern & check for errata: Looked everywhere & saw no signs of errata. Read the pattern all the way through- fairly simple raglan design- set up row, increase for sleeves, separate for sleeves, shape the neckline, knit to length desired, do sleeves, then some icord. Oh, icord. Tried that once. Wasn’t good. Oh well, this is all a learning experience. I know there are videos of it online. I’ll just get help.

3. Find my size: This is always the fun part! Put on a cami & measured (since that’s what I will be wearing under the cardigan). Tape measure says my bust is 33″ around. Hmmm, now everything I’ve read in ravelry says people wished they’d made it smaller. I can see that. It’s a form fitting cardigan so too much ease makes you look dumpy. I decide on 2″ of negative ease. Pull back that gauge from step 1, multiply 31″ x 5.75= 178.25. This means that after all my increases, I’ll need 178 sts after all the increases.

4. Start Knitting- Oops, no- Analyze schematic: The knitty version of the pattern doesn’t include a schematic, but there’s one in Stefanie’s book: Fitted Knits. She starts with 7.5″ across the neck, but wait, I got extremely different gauge that her. I’d better figure how many stitches MY gauge needs to get 7.5″. Doing some cross multiplication (yes I know there’s an easier way, but my brain can’t wrap around that. I get cross multiplication) I see that I need about 43 sts for 7.5″.

5. Write down set-up row: With so much going through my head, I write down the set-up row. 1 (for the left front side), 14 (this is for the top of the arm. I figure out how many inches Stefanie means by this- 3″, ok, do the math to figure 3″ in my gauge & I get 17! whew!)

6. Rewrite set-up row: 1 (left front), 17 (arm), 43 (back), 17 (the other arm), 1 (right front)

Whew! Look’s like I’m going to start the actually knitting portion in the next entry! Hope you enjoyed the tutorial so far!

Fourth of July in Nebraska

We were told by friends far before we moved here that fourth of July gets a little crazy due to the fact that everyone shoots of fireworks. Now J & I didn’t fully realize the magnitude of that statement. We thought sure, a few people shoot them off, no big deal- the same you see in every town, I mean for goodness sakes, we live smack dab in the middle of suburbia, our house are about 10 ft apart at MOST.

It all started around last week- the fireworks started going off in the evenings & we thought it was just some over excited people. Then as the days got closer & closer to the 4th, it slowly increased. At first it was the little stuff, then the big fireworks, then they started shooting them off in the evening, early evening, afternoon, lunch time. And the finally the 4th came. 10:30 am all excitement began & it went continuously into the 5th. Around 9pm we walked outside the house & were blown away by the cloud of smoke that engulfed our house. Everywhere we looked, smoke. Kids running around, parents sitting back handing out lighters, truly pure chaos. You could see the fireworks from the developments across the streets & the displays from the city sponsored festivals. Truly every house but ours was shooting off fireworks of all sizes. We walked over to the neighbors (who by the way is a cop & oh yes, fireworks ARE illegal. I may have incorrectly told some of you that fireworks are legal, I stand corrected they are not.) & hung out with his wife & kids. He of course, was working. We had a great time seeing the wide variety he purchased earlier that day & seeing how all the kids around, having grown up with this regular event, have no fear of fire at all. It was quite a site to behold.

So, sometime far after I went to bed, the noise stopped. Today we arose to the normally quite neighborhood & we thought we were in the clear. We thought that maybe all the noise was over & we would only hear lawnmovers for the next year. Not so, apparantly there are still more to be shot off & I’m looking at them now from the office window.

Welcome to Nebraska.

On a knitting note though (oh come on! How could I write a post without referencing some sort of hobby!)- here are 2 finished objects from the weekend:

A beret/slouch/hat that actually looks fairly decent on me:

The Frickin’ Fiesta Feets socks. These deserve their own post. Maybe tomorrow.