Sunday, February 26, 2006

Veste Everest Finished!

Well, this is where I was as of 11:30pm Saturday night... finished the main pieces only to find my front was about two rows longer than the back, so there was a little tinking going on Sunday morning...

and Veste Everest is finished!

Both my photographer and photographer's apprentice are napping right now, so Veste Everest's unveiling is a bit plain. And trust me, after a weekend's bout with fever and stomach distress, I'm really not photo-worthy right now.

The details? For the largest size this pattern comes in, I needed 5 skeins Wool-Ease. I opened 6 skeins, but only because you work from two balls for the top front... however, both those balls are still 70% full right now and will most likely become charity hats down the road. I used Addi Turbo 16" circs and I'm really not please with this pair - there is a rough patch on the tip and one of the joins is... I don't know - wonky somehow - the knitting would not move smoothly up it as I brought it closer to the end of the needle. I didn't make the body longer as originally intended because of lack of time - it's okay -I tried it on and it sits a little lower than my natural waist. I hated the *k1bl p1bl* ribbing, so I just switched to *k1 p1*. One really cool thing about the pattern is that it is designed as such that when you seam up the sides, you can't see the seam because the K row at the end of each side comes together and just looks like the K2 between the cables - nice touch, Veronik!

My lovely husband heard my cries of distress from being hunched over this knitting these last 16 days and came home today with a massage seat for my knitting area of the sofa and a percussion massager for my shoulder blades...

Okay, off to a nap of my own now -

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Progress Day # 15

It's within my grasp. See the division in the middle? I have actually begun the V for the neckline! How is this all possible? Well, as gross as this is going to sound, I came home sick from work yesterday with a stomach bug. I thought it was pretty innocous until I heard that some 1300 students from a high school not far from here all had stomach virus. So far no one else here has had any symptoms (knock on wood!) - but the result of being home was being able to work on this more.

I can't say I'm loving working with two balls at once - especially when they are big. As you can see, I filched two of Willow's hair scrunchies to harness the inactive ball while knitting.

To finish, I need to finish knitting the last 4-5 inches for the front, seam the two pieces, weave in the ends, and do the edging at the neck and arms. I think I can do this in a day and a half (it's Saturday morning as I write this)...

Friday, February 24, 2006

Progress Days 12, 13, and 14

Too tired for words... so just a photoblog today.

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Progress Day # 11

Ladies and gentlemen, I think I am going to be an 'also-ran.' Isn't that the right term? A horse that runs a race, finishes, but doesn't win anything in particular? I'm going to finish this vest - mostly because I am determined to wear it before it gets too warm to do so, but in my heart of hearts I don't feel that I am going to get it finished by this Sunday. It's too bad, because I was really hoping to be in the running for one of the fabulous prizes offered to the finishers (on time, that is) of Team Canada.

Here was my finishing point as of Monday night:

This is the longest part of it - the nearly 6 fourteen row cable repeats for the body before you get to the armholes. The normal purl or knit rows take me about 15-20 minutes - not bad at all considering there are a hundred and eighty some odd stitches in each row - but the cable row (two in each repeat) easily takes me 30 minutes. I'm only averaging 2 hours of knitting a night - and even on the weekend when I thought I would have some long stretches of uninterrupted knitting, it didn't quite happen as I had envisioned. However, as a mother of a toddler, I can't really expect my time to be my own.

Speaking of that toddler, here is a gratuitous shot of Willow - with tamed hair this time.

PS - No comments at all with the last one? Ouch...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Progress Days 9 and 10

I apologize for my lack up update on the weekend - there were many things going on here this weekend and what little free time I had was spent trying to finish more of Veste Everest. As you can see, by Saturday night I had finished the back, cast on for the front, and finished the 4 rows of ribbing. I made about 10 mistakes in that last line - kept on having to tink back a few stitches and fix it - so after I had finished that last row of ribbing, I knew I had to put it down and go to bed.

Progress as of Sunday night:

I was able to do two more cable repeats before I kicked my bum to bed. Andrew was threatening to roust me from bed at 5am so I was alsleep by 10pm. As it turns out, he let me sleep (thank you!) until 5:40am, so I had more sleep that I intended - always a nice thing.

Here is an example of how my daughter amuses herself while I am compteting in the Knitting Olympics:

See the Dora Princess doll? That's a giant that is laying waste to a poor innocent farm yard. Shades of Calvin and Hobbes, anyone? The little mousies are on top of the barn trying to reason with the giant. I'm still trying to figure out which one of her parents is responsible for this. Maybe it was her Uncle Doug... he did give her both Dora and the farm...

And here is a gratuitous picture of Andrew and Willow. Would you believe that out of the four pictures I tried to take, this was the best one? I love you guys to bits - but keep your eyes open when someone is trying to take a picture of you!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Progress Day # 8

The kangaroos jumped in (ha ha) to help me this time. I came so close to finishing the back last night - at midnight I only had 2" left to go... however, while spirit was willing, the body (well, more specifically, the eyes) was weak.

So, I will finish off the back slightly behind schedule this morning and cast on for the front. I don't have any big plans for this weekend, so I hope to catch up because I figure I will need at least one day for all the seaming, armholes, and neckline.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Progress Day # 7

My erstwhile model decided she was in the mood to have her picture taken, so get your Willow fix in! I didn't get as much knitting as I hoped to last night because somehow the hard drive on my MP3 player got corrupted... so it took me a while to figure out how to fix it. I ended up having to upgrade my software, download a Yahoo Music patch, reformat my player, and transfer all that music to my player again! I did knit while transferring the files, but I am sure it wasn't terribly fast knitting.

There is a lot to finish before I get to the end of the back piece and I am beginning to feel the time crunch now. I suppose it is a good thing that we are supposed to have sub-arctic temps this weekend - I won't even have to think about going outside...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Progress Day # 6

I've completed the main BOs for the armholes and am working in a straight section now where I decrease a stitch on each side every other row for 34 rows - pretty simple. I have two days to get this back finished if I want to stay on track... personally I think that Andrew may be on Willow duty for most of the weekend...

And to alleviate the confusion, I know today is the 7th day of the Olympics and I am giving you update #6 - it is because this is what I had finished as of last night. I can't knit until Willow goes to bed, so I only get maybe 2-3 hours each night and if I'm lucky, a few more than that on the weekends.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Progress Day # 5

Okay, I have completed all the straight knitting and will start the decreases for the armholes with the next round. For scale this time I give you a 14" needle - so the knitting is about 11.5" right now - exactly where it should be.

Last night was Valentine's Day and Andrew treated me like a queen. He woke me up (albeit at 5:20am) to give me some Godiva chocolates and read me a Shakespearean sonnet. I think Willow appreciated it more than me at that early hour: "That's pretty, Daddy. Read me another!" He gave her a Valentine's Day present as well - potted pink tulips that are currently in her bedroom.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Progress Day #4

Veste Everest's back is now long enough to use a small child for scale. I'm in the middle of the last cable cycle before I start binding off for the armholes, so I think I am still making good progress.

But let me tell you about my day yesterday...

  1. I get out of the shower and Andrew asks me to make his lunch. I say, "Sure - soon as I get dressed." He says, "Fine! Then I will be late for work!" WTF?!!!? He actually expected me to make his lunch while wearing a towel. I disabused him of the notion.
  2. I get Willow all decked out in her winter gear and carry all the daily paraphenalia (gym clothes, Willow's nap blanket, extra shoes for Willow, the stuffed animal she had to have, my lunch, my backpack...) outside. The apt complex has not laid down salt and the sidewalk is a 2" thick swath of ice. I tell Willow to walk on the snow so she won't slip. She runs into a snowbank and starts jumping up and down. I yell at her (mind you, it's 7am - I'm sure my neighbours love me now) and she comes back.
  3. Once again, I tell her to walk on the snow beside the sidewalk so she won't slip. She ignores me, strides up to the black ice and proceeds to swoosh onto her bottom. She starts to cry. Inside, my head explodes.
  4. We get to the car and the doors are frozen shut - so I have to put all of the above-mentioned paraphenalia on the grimy between-car snow so I can wrench the doors open.
  5. We get into the car, and I proceed to warm it up. Willow starts complaining that she is wet and cold. I'm feeling very bitchy. I say, "I didn't tell you to jump in the snow bank. You'll have to wait until we get to school so I can change you." So she continues to voice her displeasure.
  6. The car warms up, I shift gears into reverse... and... NOTHING!!!!! %^$*$%^&*)*$$#
  7. I get out of the car and find out that not only are my tires iced to the pavement, but the same helpful apartment company that had not put salt on the sidewalk had plowed 18" of snow behind my car sometime after Andrew had cleared it off yesterday.
  8. I call my in-laws and my mother-in-law says my father-in-law will come ferry us to school and work.
  9. Work is okay.
  10. Father-in-law comes to get me after work and we go to pick up Willow... and she has a cubby full of valentines and chocolates. This confuses me. I say to her teacher, "Isn't Valentine's Day and the Valentine's Day tomorrow? She says yes, but the children were supposed to bring their valentines last Friday. WHY?!?! My head officially explodes for a second time that day.
  11. We get home, and I have to spend the first hour putting everything back in the cupboards. Yes, everything. Again, the super-helpful apt company sent out a notice last week saying we had to empty all of the cupboards so they could apply some treatment to the wood.
  12. I decided I needed musical accompaniment, so went onto Yahoo music and found about 20 versions of the Boomtown Rats' "I Don't Like Mondays" and listened to them in a loop until I was finished.

It's a damn good thing I had knitting to fall back on yesterday.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Progress Day #3

By 10:20pm Sunday night, I had finished this far - by my estimation it is about 9 inches long. As you can see, I have placed my ever-present bottle of Tums in front of for scale. I think I am going to have to lay off the spicy foods for a while... I didn't use the flash for this photo, and I think it gives you a better sense of the colour (a royal blue heather) and cable definition.

Yesterday Andrew is looking at the piece and he says, "So, uh - when are you going to add some extra, uh, girth to the sweater?" I had to explain the nature of cables - that they pull the piece in like ribbing and will have lots of give when finished. All of his cable sweaters are made of cotton and are stretched out already so I suppose he wouldn't know. I'm using Wool-Ease so I can't really block the piece - but the cables will show off once I am wearing the vest. I'm already planning the clothes I will wear with it - I need to get a 3/4 sleeve white t-shirt...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Progress Day #2

I'm up to about 6" now and am almost finished with my first skein of Wool-Ease. I don't think I am in danger of running out - I believe I had originally bought 10 skeins of it to make a sweater for Andrew. When I have added a few more inches to this I think I will be able to stetch the knitting out a bit to better demonstrate the cables.

And now for the weather report... the nor'easter has passed through and according to Channel 6 news, has left us with 9" of snow. I haven't gone out to measure it, but just eyeballing it tells me there is more than nine inches out there. The wind chills are pretty wicked right now - 10'F right now, so we are waiting a bit to take Willow out on her sled.

Here is one view from our window:

And down the parking lot:

Hopefully I will have some clearer pictures this afternoon. This is our first significant snowfall of the winter - there was a little bit in December, but it was nothing like this. In fact, this winter has been unseasonably warm - the news channel said that this had been the warmest January on record... and I am sure that doesn't bode well.

Okay, has anyone else broken out the Tiger Balm, Bengay, or similar muscle creams to help with their knitting or am I the only wimp?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Progress Day #1

This picture was taken at 10:30pm last night, just as my eyes were giving out on me. I managed to finish about 3.5 inches on the back of the vest - one entire cable repeat and the start of another. On the advice of a few blogs I had read where people had already finished Veste Everest, I am doing knitting one extra cable set to make the vest a few inches longer. The colour is darker than in the picture - I'm not sure what is up with that. I started on time, but it took me nearly 40 minutes to cast on 182 stitches and then count then a bazillion times to make sure I had the right number. Four rows into it I had a minor dropped stitch problem, but seeing as it was only in the ribbing.

It's a little hard to make out the cables in this light, but they are turning out really well. Willow doesn't like the fact that I hold the cable needle in my mouth (like a thermometer) when I'm not using it on the cable row. I'm afraid that it will go missing if I put it down, though!

And this may not be an earth shattering thing, but I figured out how to convert a stitch I had purled by mistake a few rows down into a knit stitch - yay me!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Wacky Translation

My friend Asami has tagged me for a meme... in Japanese! I used Google's language tools ( ) to translate it (rather haphazardly) into English. Now, I will attempt to answer!

Q1. Using what kind of, it increases the wallet?
Jo's Interpretation: What kind of wallet do you have?

A: I have a red zip-up wallet. It is long so I don't have to fold my money in half - for some reason that really bothers me. And the reason it is read is so I can easily find it when I take it out of my bag.

Q2. Using what kind of, it increases carrying?
Jo's Interpretation: What kind of cell phone do you have?

A. It's a silver flip up phone from Cingular - nothing terribly fancy - but it is almost time to upgrade my phone, so I have been looking at other ones. I would like to have a camera phone, but we are not allowed to have them at work.

Q3. Using, as for the る portable strap?
Jo's Interpretation: What keychain (キティ ち ゃ) do you have on the cell phone?

A. I don't have one. I think this is a strictly Japanese fashion - because I haven't seen many people here with decorations on their cell phones.

Q4. Does the log increase having?
Jo's Interpretation: Okay... you've got me on this one...

Q5. Using what kind of, it increases the bag?
Jo's Interpretation: What kind of bag do you have?

A. I've never been the kind of girl to carry a purse - so I carry around mini-backpacks. I have a nice brown leather one for work and a nylon black Adidas one (that I, uh, 'borrowed' from my sister Jaime) that I use on the weekend.

Q6. As for main content of bag?
Jo's Interpretation: (This is easy!) What's in your bag?

A. My wallet, tinted lipgloss, hand cream, chewing gum, keys, MP3 player, pen, cell phone, craft store coupons, and normally a paperback novel for when I have to wait.

Q7. Unless it has carried about, useless!
Jo's Interpretation: What makes you useless if you don't have it?

A. Wallet, keys, and cellphone... all of which I have forgotten at work at various times and have had to go back and pick it up...

Q8. 5 people who turn the baton
Jo's Interpretation: 5 people you are tagging for this meme:

A. I'll answer this question when Asami lets me know how close my interpretations are to the real questions!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Denim and Seascapes

Woo-hoo! I received my first Knitty SP6 package today... and my SP6 is from England. She sent me these lovely skeins - the two small ones are a denim blue alpaca, which I think will be destined to become mittens for me (so soft - I won't be able to stop touching my face!). The larger skein is by a company called Silkwood - which must be British because I have never seen it before here. The colourway is called 'seascapes' and it is many shades of blue with a little lavender tossed in. I'm a little stumped for a project for this - it's 100m of bulky weight wool. I bet it I made a felted bag of it the colourway would be shown off well. Thank you SP6! The background is the gorgeous pashmina shawl my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas - I thought it would be a nice change from my blah-beige chesterfield.

I tried posting this picture on the weekend, but I wasn't able to. This is from the previous week. If you look at the picture carefully, you will notice that Willow and I are wearing the same clothes... she had decided she wanted to be my twin. I don't know when this 'just like Mommy' phase is going to end, so I'm sucking it up for all it is worth. She was wearing her Nippertail hat - but was most upset that her pigtails weren't coming out the holes (I didn't have any elastics with me).


The last bit of hardware I needed to start my Knitting Olympics project - 16 inch Addi Turbos in size 6. Yeah right, like I needed a reason to spend money on these lovelies! Willow wanted to be in the picture - but apparently on her own terms.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

My First Tag - woo-hoo!

My SP6 tagged me with this meme because I sounded so pitiful ;)

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Berry picker as a teen.
2. Cafeteria worker in university (hey - it was a union job and paid well!)
3. ESL Teacher
4. Analyst at pharmaceutical company.

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Empire Records
2. Labyrinth
3. The Truth About Cats and Dogs
4. Any of the Harry Potter movies

Four places you have lived:
1. West coast of Canada
2. East coast of Japan
3. Near the Continental Divide
4. East coast of USA

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Good Eats
2. Real Time with Bill Maher
3. The Office
4. CSI (the original only)

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Vancouver Island, British Columbia
2. Bali, Indonesia
3. London, England
4. Boise, Idaho

Four websites I visit daily:
1. (The Yarn Harlot)
2. (Pink is the New Blog)
3. (CBC news)
4. (Asami's blog that I have to translate at Google Language tools)

Four of my favourite foods:
1. Does coffee count as food?
2. Trader Joe's Soy Flaxseed tortilla chips
3. Sesame Chicken from China Inn
4. Pudahha

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. In bed. I stayed up late last night finishing Memory in Death.
2. Somewhere 70'F and sunny. I'm not picky.
3. In our new house.
4. In my LYS with a fat gift card in my hand :)

Four bloggers I am tagging:
I'm going to start out with two - I have seen this one on most people's blogs already - so... Tara and Asami, you are it :)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me... think I'll go eat worms

No one has ever tagged me for a meme. I know I am not the most widely-read knitting blog around, but somehow I thought it would have happened by now. I lifted them from other people's blogs when the mood has struck me. I don't know - maybe I do need to have my email address on the blog - I had been resisting it thus far.

In any case, I decided to create a meme of my own - feel free to purloin it if you like it.

Deep Thoughts Meme

List 5 Scars You Have:
1. A cross-shaped scar under my right nostril from when I fell down the stairs as a toddler and had a nail go through my face (yikes!)
2. A small scar on my left thumb from over-zealously opening a shampoo bottle with a straight razor...
3. A small scar (and bald spot!) from getting clocked in the head with a rock when I was 12.
4. An episiotomy gone bad. 'Nuff said?
5. Four scars from perfectly placed fingernail cuts on my right forearm (Teri!!!!!)

List 4 Things Within Arm's Reach
1. Nearly finished glass of milk
2. My 40% off Michaels coupon
3. A Halloween-candy-sized box of Nestlé Smarties.
4. The jade bracelet my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas

List The Initials of Three People You Wish You Still Had Contact With
1. S.A.H.
2. D.M.H.
3. G.?.S.

List 2 Songs That Have Made You Cry
1. "If You Leave" by OMD. I had found out my grandfather had died earlier that day and it didn't really hit me until I heard that song.
2. "In My Life" by the Beatles. I used to sing this to Willow as I rocked her to sleep as a baby and it would sometimes make me cry.

List 1 fashion fad you were guilty of (and it makes you cringe now!)
1. Big bangs... I had seriously big bangs in high school.

Okay little meme... you have your wings - fly! If you do pick up the meme, please let me know so I can check out your answers.