Monday, September 25, 2006

Productivity. A Clean Garage

Sunday I:

*cleaned out the garage
*had Mr. Knitty install new shelves for me
*put everything back, clearly labeled
*swept it all out
*tossed stuff we didn't need, and relocated some other stuff
*roasted 2 chickens (this is not related to the garage)
*baked 2 apple pies
*knit 2 inches on a sock

This morning as I carried my "work fish" Juanita through the garage to put her in the car, I showed her how nice the garage looked, and how nice it was that I could open the passenger side door to put her bowl in the car rather than having to reach across. I'm sure she said "It looks lovely, Mom!" but it just sounded kinda like "blublblubbby". Such as it is with fish.

In lieu of a photograph, I give you instead the recipe for:

Knittykat's Busy Day Apple Pie
1 prepared deep dish pie shell
3-5 apples, chopped in small pieces
3/4 stick of butter
1 cup Bisquick
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. cinnamon

Place chopped apples in pie shell. Leaving the skins on is faster and gives the pie filling a pretty red blush. Cut butter, Bisquick, sugar, and cinnamon together until crumbly and well combined. Put mixture on top of apples in pie shell, covering as much of the apples as possible. Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees or until the top is nice and golden. The temperature allows you to bake the pies while other things are baking to save time. This recipe is easily doubled to make two pies; since pie shells usually come two to a package.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sweetest Anniversary Gift

In my family, we celebrate anniversaries like birthdays :-) So this didn't come from Mr. Knitty, but rather was given to both of us. My sweet cousin knit us these washcloths all by herself :-) We recevied many wonderful and generous gifts but I think these are my favorites. These are practically the first things she's ever knit!

From Mr. Knittykat I received the Beavis & Butthead movie, a box of Godiva truffles, and an enormous bath bomb from the famed Lush store. I will be saving said bath bomb for use in my new bathtub once my bathroom is all done and finished.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Meet my new office buddy!

This is Juanita, my new office pet. I never saw a pink Betta before so I just had to have her.

And yes, I know that 'she' is a male fish, but they're so swishy and dramatic I always give them female names. At home I have Freida and my previous fish was Isabella.

It's nice to have some company :-)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Almost Done!

Here it is! You can see my bottom edge that does not roll up, and my applied i-cord sleeves, and the cables in the front. You can also see I'm about halfway done with the hood and hoping to finish soon!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

My husband, the genius

So, the Jesus Sweater. It has been making me crazy. I love the pattern, the cables, the shaping. But I just could NOT bind off that darn edge so that it didn't roll like crazy.

The original pattern said to do an applied I-cord. I spent three hours on this endeavor and found that it rolled anyway, so I spent another hour picking it out.

I talked to all of my best knitting problem solvers; the ladies at my group, friends online, and no one had any suggestions that really worked the way I wanted them to.

A wider I-cord didn't work, it still rolled. A hem flipped. I didn't want a garter stitch bottom or ribbing. I wouldn't have minded a plain rolled edge but it rolled way too much.

Someone suggested a wide cable going the 'wrong' way, but I couldn't figure out a way to attach it appropriately. A three needle bind off made it flip, and grafting that many stitches is just too hard to make look right.

I was near tears as I related my tale of woe to Mr. Knittykat. I listed off all the things that didn't work and why they didn't work, and told him I was at the end of my rope. I wanted to wear the stupid sweater but I didn't know if I'd ever figure out a way to make the bottom look right. I joked I would wear it with the needle in it and call it a forward fashion statment.

He thought for a moment and said "Well, why is it rolling?" I said that, of course, stockinette rolls towards the knit side because the purl side is slightly larger.

He thought again and said "Isn't there some way you could do a *reverse* stockinette, that would make the bottom roll the OTHER way?"

Holy heavens he was right. I did 5 rows of reverse stockinette and bound off. The bottom edge made a perfect little reverse-stockinette roll that looks almost corded and rolls just the right amount. It weights down the regular stockinette enough to stop that from rolling. In a word, he had the perfect solution. And he doesn't even knit!

So I am happy, I can cruise on to the hood and finish this sweater already! I can't wait to wear it, this has been one HELL of a pattern fraught with challenges, but I figure life is like that sometimes too. Sometimes you have to try all the things that DON'T work before you find something that does.

And for other happy news, all you other bloggers out there will get the significance of this, sent to me by a very sweet friend all the way from Japan :-)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I solved a very old problem this weekend

Several years ago, I made my first pair of real sock-yarn socks out of Opal yarn in turquoise and black. They turned out really cute, and I couldn't wait to wear them.

Problem was, I had messed up the ribbing on one of them, and so I had carefully removed it and knit a new ribbing. Then I had a new problem, and that was that my cast off was too tight, and cut into my leg. At the time, I didn't know how to fix it, so I wore them once (pushed way down!) and then tucked them into a box of "things to do later".

Yesterday I finally decided later had come at last, and I was going to fix those darn socks! Because now, of course, I have the skills to actually repair the problem. And so I carefully removed both edgings (one a cast on, one a bind off), unravelled a couple of rows, and bound off in a stretchy bind off.

And so, this weekend, I happily wore my first pair of socks around the house! Took me long enough, eh?

Also this weekend I repaired a quilting problem that had been haunting me. I started a paper-pieced crazy quilt from a tutorial I got from a friend on a bulletin board long ago. I decided that I wanted to make it for the bed, and of course I ran out of patience when I had only about 30 squares. Which wasn't enough. So I had the idea to piece them alternately with plain black squares.

After piecing one strip with the black, I decided I didn't like how it was turning out, so of course I ripped out what I had done while it was only one strip, right? No. I actually stubbornly pressed forward and sewed them ALL together before I finally wadded up all the squares and stuffed them in a box, frustrated.

So again, in problem solving mode, I dug them out and ripped all of those black squares out, seam by seam, and decided I am happy with a small, wall hanging or lap size quilt that is brightly colored and very energetic, and I'm going to piece the top together soon.

It feels good to uproot all the old demons and start making decisions; do I fix it, do I live with it, do I throw it away and give up? Those troublesome unfinished projects never go away; they still haunt you even from the bottom of a drawer or a box in the crawlspace. The only thing to do is dig them out and deal with them one at a time!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Finally, a Finished Object!

I finished these last night! It feels great to have a finished project, I feel like I have been in Knitting Funk Limbo for weeks now.

I'm kind of glad they turned out to be armwarmers, because they are sure as heck cute!

If you want to try a sock pattern out and you are concerned about turning the heel (or that your yarn is too fragile for hard-wearing socks, or that you don't have the patience to knit a whole pair, or that you just don't like knitted socks) I highly recommend making yourself a pair of armwarmers!

Excuse the silly drinking-tea pic, I'm just pretending to be a model in one of those glossy knitting books like Weekend Knitting.