Happy Anniversary to US!

Today Mike and I celebrate our 7th wedding anniversary! Oh how I love you, Mike (not that you normally read my blog).

For dinner tonight we will be having Filet Mignon with Merlot Sauce, Gratin Dauphinois, and Garlic Brocolli. YUMMY! These are some of our favorite recipes!!! I highly recommend them.

* Exported from MasterCook *
Filet Mignon With Merlot Sauce
Serving Size : 6
1 bottle Merlot - (750 ml)
2 cans low-salt chicken broth - (14 1/2 oz ea)
1 can beef broth - (14 1/2 oz)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter - (1/4 stick) -- room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 filet mignon steaks, 1" thick - (6 oz ea)
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-cracked black pepper -- to taste
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1. Boil wine, chicken broth and beef broth in heavy large saucepan over high heat until mixture is reduced to 2 cups, about 1 hour. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

2. Mix butter and flour in small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steaks with salt and cracked pepper. Sauté steaks until medium-rare, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

3. Add shallots, garlic and thyme to skillet; stir 30 seconds. Add 1 1/2 cups reduced wine mixture to skillet (reserve remainder for another use). Bring mixture to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Boil sauce until thick enough to coat spoon, about 2 minutes. Serve steaks with sauce.

Source: "Bon Appétit, August 1998"; Recipe from the R.S.V.P. column - Henrietta's Table, Cambridge, MA

* Exported from MasterCook *
Gratin Dauphinois
Recipe By :Jill Melton
Serving Size : 7

1 garlic clove -- halved
cooking spray
6 red potatoes -- peeled, cut into 1/8-inch slices (about 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons butter -- melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup Gruyere cheese -- shredded (2 ounces)
1 cup skim milk

1. Preheat oven to 425º.

2. Rub an 11 x 7-inch baking dish with cut sides of garlic halves; discard garlic. Coat dish with cooking spray.

3. Arrange half of potatoes in dish, and drizzle with half of the butter. Sprinkle with half of salt and half of pepper, and top with half of cheese. Repeat the layers.

4. Bring milk to a boil over low heat in a small saucepan; pour over potato mixture. Bake for 40 minutes or until tender.

Description: "Scalloped Potatoes with Cheese"
Source: "Cooking Light Magazine, January/February 2002, page 164

A wedding photo for your pleasure.

The apron is finished. Ta-da...

Here's the back to the Lacy Sweater. I've cast on for the front but haven't gotten very far because I'm avoiding the math I'll need to do to match the shortened back and I can't figure out where to eliminate the rows since I don't want the cute flower design in the wrong place.


The apron pockets are pinned. Love the purple! If I can't paint my room a shade of purple (due to husband dissent), I will use it as much as I can.

Here's a pocket being sewn on the apron.


Ripping the Klaralund sleeve

Today at the start of nap time I ripped out the 4 inches of sleeve that I had cast on yesterday and started again using the smallest size. Why I am making a large to begin with (38" chest) I have no idea.

I will probably need to rip out the front and back and start over in a medium. I will wait and see. I haven't had much success in trying to rip out seams (Classic Cardigan) so I will try to pin things together to see how they might fit when all of the pieces are done (post-baby).

I started a pair of socks for Jessica with the leftover Regia Crazy Stripes (color: Las Vegas) yarn that I had from my pair. I'm thinking that an anklet sock would be good for her. The pattern I'm using is the smallest size (kids 2-4) from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. I'd like to try to knit some gloves from this book too. Just not sure what yarn to use; I'd love to use some from my stash but I'm not sure it's big enough yet (with leftovers).


So I'm going to sew myself an apron. I'm always getting splatter of tomato sauce on my shirts and it occured to me, "Why don't I wear an apron?" Instead of going to the store and picking one out in say, 5 minutes, I decided to spend a week finding a pattern, picking out fabric, and sewing the thing myself. So here's the fabric I've chosen. The patterned fabric is aptly named Farmers Market. I love going to farmer's markets so I couldn't resist. I miss having my own fruit and veggie bounty like last summer (due to the move right after the prime planting time) so I this is this year's harvest bounty!! The solid purple is the accent fabric chosen for the 2 pockets.


Klaralund Progress

Klaralund is such easy knitting. I'm mainly watching TV or reading while doing this. I don't particularly like the dark blue stripe in the middle that abruptly ends due to a knot in the yarn that was tied to a completely new color but I'm not likely to rip it out and start over. I also have decided to make this as is for the most part - no shaping adjustments because I need to read some sweater design books before I can do this correctly.


My pajama pant sewing project is coming along nicely. I've finished everything except the leg hem and lace trim. I'm waiting until I can get an accurate fitting (post-pregnancy)... I tried these on and I'm not sure if they are too big or if the elastic is very stretchy but I am able to get it over the widest part of my 36 1/2 week pregnant belly. Hmmm... these might be very loose and comfy pants. The measurement issues I'm having is that I'm basing the sizes I choose on what I think my measurements are... or rather were. But here's the waistband (wrong side showing - on my funky ironing board). I need to find a good pajama set (top and bottom). Last Saturday I had my "Get-to-know-the-sewing-machine-you-just-bought" class and we learned how to make a button hole so I can do a button-up pajama top and there are some many gorgeous fabrics to choose from... I think there are many pajama sets in my future!!

Grace - Left Front Finished

A finished left front to Grace. She feels so soft! It's a nice change to knit with Cotton Angora after knitting with Noro Kochoran and Silk Garden (and their sometimes foreign matter).

As promised, I cast on for a sleeve rather than go for the right front due to the tedious needles changing on each row. And even though I have Denise Interchangables this just isn't what I want to be doing while I'm worrying when I'll be going into labor and how I will handle being outmanned 2 to 1 during the days. And I have I mentioned the awful lower back pain I'm feeling? Not back labor, just on the left side when I walk and sit and stand... the baby's making his way down and wreaking some havoc while waiting for the descent. It's in the sacroilliac area which has been mildly affected since the second trimester but just got alot worse yesterday. Okay, I'll quit complaining now.


Shades of Blue

Klaralund is in progress. I love the colors so far.

Another FO! This is the cardigan for baby #2 that I messed up while seaming the sleeve together. When I tried to rip out the sleeve I ripped out stitches rather than the seaming yarn in the front right part of the cardigan and had live stitches that I had no idea what to do with. I brought it in to Woolwinders to see if they could help me fix that part. Jacqui sent it to their finisher and when it came back, to my surprise, it was completely finished, buttons and all! I think this is so cute! I'm sort of glad that it got all finished because I was able to see what reall finishing is supposed to look like. The seams on the inside are so small and perfect. Mine are a bit bigger than this so maybe I need to change the way I'm doing things! I loved knitting with DB Baby Cahmerino and am eager to knit something for myself with this yarn even though I will need to use US 2s and 3s (think: Ruffle Edge Cardigan). There's a new orange color in this yarn that I'm thinking about, even though my first instinct is to go with the lilac since it's more "me". Anyway, here are the specs on the cardigan and hat shown here. The Classic Cardigan is from the Baby Cashmerino book in the smallest size. Navy as the main color and light blue as the accent. The roll brim knotted hat is from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, also the in smallest size in navy Baby Cashmerino.

Here's a sock in progress. The pattern I'm using is from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns; size: Men's Small. Mike picked out this yarn while we were visiting Woolwinders a few weeks back. I bought 3 balls at the advice of one of the saleswomen. I'm using 2x2 ribbing on the same size needles the whole way (US 5). These are 6" dpns and I really prefer 7" but the store was out of stock.

Here's what the self-patterning Big Mexiko yarn knits up to look like:


Knitty Gritty on DIY

I've been Tivo-ing Knitty Gritty on DIY and I really enjoy this show. The other day the show's subject was intarsia http://www.diynet.com/diy/shows_dkng/episode/0,2046,DIY_18180_32901,00.html and I finally learned how to pronounce it and think I learned how to do it too - I want to practice on a test swatch just to make sure. It was hard for me to imagine how to do it from seeing illustrations in the book but on TV I saw it in action. What a difference. I've also Tivo-ed Knit One, Purl Two but I like Knitty Gritty's guest better and the "knitty cam" too. Some of the projects are not suited for me (guitar strap) but I like the topics: kids knitting, knitting on the edge, felting, etc.

I found an error in the DB Cotton Angora Grace pattern for the sleeve (although there is no record of this or any other error in this pattern on the Debbie Bliss erratum site). There is no place where they start the cabling on the area of the sleeve that has 8 knit stitches. On the back and fronts this is where you'd do a staghorn-type cable (I think that's what it's called) but in the 4-row repeat of the sleeve it only says to knit 8. And you know and I know that this will not have a cable at all if you knit 8 on both of the right side rows and purl on both of the wrong side rows in the pattern. So I've inserted a C4B and C4F in place of where the k8 is on the 3rd row of the pattern. It looks good so far and I've done about 7 total inches of sleeve (4 inches of ribbing and 3 inches of cable pattern repeats).

Let's turn now to food cravings. With my first pregnancy I craved Pho. Lots of Pho. So much Pho that my co-workers would ask me where we were going for lunch and preface it with, "We are not doing Pho more than once this week so don't even think about it." Normally I'm not a big meat eater so this was surprising to me. During this pregnancy I have been craving Shrimp Tempura Sushi Rolls (cooked) with avocado (although this isn't abnormal as I usually love this but now I feel I *must* have it as opposed to, "Oh I think I'd *like* to have that"!). Palak Paneer is also on my list. I have never made this at home but I was watching an old episode of Food 911 and his recipe for Saag Paneer (which seems about the same) looked delicious. I added a new food to my diet this time around which I had never had before: edamame. I love this stuff!! I am now craving this too - and it's not cheap for the amount you get at restaurants or even at Wegman's. Another reason it's expensive for the amount I get to consume, is that I have to compete with Jessica for this. She eats as much as I do and she does it quickly. And if she sees me eating alot she starts telling me not to eat it all up and to save some for her (as she is dutifully stuffing her cheeks full of the little legumes). She is hysterical.

A finished object that I don't think I blogged about at all. I present to you the fettucini scarf. I thought this yarn was so cool and I loved the colors. I bought one ball and knit away, garter stitch on size 15s until the ball was done. Fun, mindless knitting.


36 weeks!!

Today I'm 36 weeks pregnant and it has been so great to still *be* pregnant and also to not be on bedrest this time around. I went to the doctor on Friday and the baby has already shifted to the head down position. Now I start visiting the doctor every week.

I started seaming up Sundby and have the shoulders and one sleeve attached so far. I'm hoping to finish that this week and find the buttons for the lime-green Sirdar sweater to finish up for Jessi.

I purchased some Kool-Aid (Blue Moon Berry and Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade) with the intent on dyeing some yarn. Of course I have yet to buy yarn for this endeavor - I've been outbid twice on eBay for some sport/DK weight yarn.

I finally finished the left front of Grace (Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora). I am NOT starting the right side now, instead I cast on for the sleeve. I am not in any mood to change needles every row. This will have to wait. I love knitting with this yarn. It's so soft and feels wonderful passing through my fingers.

I've started Klaralund early (because who knows how much time I have left) and am into the second skein but I want to rip out the garter stitch edging and do something more creative with the edging. Not sure if it will show up with the colors in the yarn. I also want to do some shaping but I don't know if I'm that ambitious right now to figure out where to start doing it or how to do it the right way.

In blogucation I am starting on reading the blue blog archives. This is one of my absolute favorite blogs out there. Alison's been on quite a roll this summer with finished objects.

Last week we replaced the kitchen table that we had in our previous eat-in kitchen (that we lived in for 7 years). It seats 2 but we've been sitting 3 to the table since Jessi was born. A little squishy, yes.

Here's the new kitchen table. It seats 4 without the leaf and seats 6 with the leaf in. Squishy no more!!


Here's a close-up of the lace heart detail from the Sweetheart Cardigan I posted about finishing yesterday. The design is on both the right and left fronts. It was my first foray into any kind of yarnovers. The pattern is from Cherry Tree Hill, as is the yarn.

Here are some more pictures from my jewelry making days. This is the Seed Bead Loop Necklace that sits high up on the neck a little lower than where a choker would fall.

Blue Ice Earrings with Bead Caps. I just love adding bead caps and spacers to jewelry.

Venetian Spiral Earrings. These beads were from our trip from Venice 3 years ago (actually we bought them on the island of Murano).


Finished Sweetheart Cardigan!

A finished object!! I finally sewed buttons on this cardigan that has been sitting unfinished for months. Now I can move it over from my "On Hold" list. You can't really see the lace hearts on each side but they're there! So cute. I love the ruffles on this.

Here's the recipient modeling her new cardigan.

In sewing news, here's a pillowcase I made for Jessica - she picked out the fleece Dora fabric. This toddler pillow used to be mine when I was a kid (thank you, Mom, for saving everything). I'm a beginner and this took me all of 10 minutes with no pattern (and a few interruptions like, "Mom, is it ready yet?"). So believe me when I say it was EASY!

Here's the sort-of-stalled Charlotte. I can't decide whether I should rip it out and start over from the beginning. I'm at the point where I'm in the middle of alternating color B and C. I haven't been keeping track but I think I have made at least one mistake in almost every lace pattern row. Not encouraging. Sometimes the yarn over jumps to the next row of stitches and I notice too late sometime I guess I miss a yarn over which isn't like me but I guess I'm not used to total lacework only some lace used as an accent.


Care to dry your face on my Reverse Bloom Washcloth in Mission Falls cotton (pattern from Weekend Knitting or Interweave Knits Winter 2003)? It's very cute and was a fun and fast knit.

The floating pearl necklace.

Shades of green earrings.

Another pair of earrings that would work well as stitch markers.


Got gauge for Klaralund!

I went to my LYS yesterday, Uniquities, and was able to get gauge using... get this... Addi US 7s!! Huh? This makes no sense to me at all since I couldn't get gauge using 8s or 9s in bamboo and it looked like I was going to need to go up to 10s (see yesterday's post). The row gauge is completely off but I can adjust for that since the Klaralund pattern doesn't have specific row counts for most of the sweater, only 'work until piece measures x inches/cm'. I will adjust the edging that it calls for and since it's not fitted there aren't any decreases to adjust. I was able to pick up the 2 extra skeins of Silk Garden #8, Lot P2 that I needed and I'm all set to start Klaralund early because who knows how much time I have left before I will want snuggle the new baby and sniff in that new baby smell. My due date is not until September 20 (I'm 35 1/2 weeks) but we're surprised he's stayed in this long; every day we think this could be the day. And it's so great to be walking around and not on bedrest!!

While at Uniquities I had to pick up 5 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted in Lilac for a sweater or cardigan for myself (maybe Sitcom Chic) because the color was calling to me. Any suggestions for other patterns are welcome! And I picked up 2 hanks of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a beautiful purple color with which I will use the FiberTrends Railroad pattern (that I already have), although I really love the Raindrop Lace Sock pattern (which I do not own - and won't for some time since I'm forbidding myself to go into a yarn store unless I absolutely need something - like needles or stitch markers for a project for at least a month or two).

Yesterday we went to the Melting Pot for our early anniversary dinner. We decided to move it up a few weeks since we really do feel we are on borrowed time (meaning the baby would make an early appearance and then we'd be too tired to eat!). It was delicious as always... and this time I was able to eat all that I wanted since my appetite seems to have increased in the last week. Normally I am too full by the time the chocolate comes to eat more than a few bites but this time I was able to give Mike a good challenge in the dark chocolate eating contest. After dinner I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up a few books for Jessi (Froggy Plays in the Band, The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog, and Froggy Goes to School) and was able to browse the knitting section and I read through every page of Knitting on the Edge and I love it!


I'm a Phildar wannabe.

Check out the awesome giraffe Phildar hoodie jacket that Alison just finished! I love these Phildar coats that she has knitted and must get the pattern!! And of course seeing this finished purse made me want to sign up for a crochet lesson. I was eyeing some Noro Daria at the LYS and this would be perfect. I love the colors and the interesting feel of this yarn.

Check out the finished Onde Tank over at And She Knits Too! I love the way Onde knits up - the gradual fade - fantastic!

Gotta get the little one up. Let the day begin.

I tried to get gauge on Klaralund using bamboo circular US 8s (in the bottom part of the picture) and bamboo straight US 9s (the top part of the picture. The recommended gauge is 16 st/22 rows = 4"/10cm using 8s. When I used 8s I got 18 sts/26 rows; using 9s I got 16 1/2 sts/22 rows. Pretty close, but not quite. I will try using some Addi 9s if I can get to a yarn store in the next week and borrow theirs to see if will work before purchasing since I don't already have this as part of my knitting tool stash. Trying to get gauge using Addis (or other kind of needle was Froggy's idea - Thank you Froggy!!) I do have some aluminum straights that my mom sent up to me in a package from when she went yard sale-ing and picked up a bunch of knitting needles (mostly aluminum) from someone getting rid of them. I will try US 9s before going to the store since I don't think I will be able to get there today. I need to drop Mike off at the car dealership to get his car looked and it's the opposite way from the LYS.


Finished the sleeve!

This weekend I went and picked up the extra hank of Kochoran for the last inch of my sleeve and Monday I finished the sleeve. Now on to uncharted territory for me: blocking. I've never done it and don't really know how. I'm going to pick up my Stitch 'N Bitch book and see what it says to do. Needless to say, I don't own a Spaceboard or other blocking board (although the Spaceboard is on my wish list for the holidays). As I was winding the Kochoran I realized that there has to be an easier way. One look through my Patternworks catalog shows that, yes, there is: a ball winder and wooden swift! Not sure if the ball winders come in an electric version but I would imagine that if there's a manual one there has to be electric. I will need to do some further investigation. Feel free to leave comments if you have a preference one way or the other, can recommend places to get them, etc. Thank you in advance.

While at Woolwinders they also had recently received a shipment of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in the light blue color I've been looking for so I bought enough to make the Shawl Collared Cardigan from The Cashmere Collection pattern book. I also had Knitting on the Edge in my basket and am kicking myself for putting it back on the shelf.

In the finishing department I had honest intentions to finish the first sweater I made (see On Hold items on the side - Sirdar Kool Kidz Sweater) that is only waiting for buttons but I couldn't find a needle thin enough to go through a button. I'll have to search around the house to see if we have one of those travel sewing kits that always has a needle and thread in it.

For those Klaralund-alongers I went to the CTH Noro Book Two errata page (it's a .pdf) and found an error for the pattern's finished measurements which will affect how many skeins you need to purchase so go check it out to make sure you will have enough.

Here are my newly pedicured toes... Interesting how they match the Lacy Sweater I'm working on. I'm in a magenta frame of mind.

All Sundby pieces await blocking and attachment! The Stitch 'N Bitch book says that you can sew the pieces together and then block the whole sweater. Has anyone done this? Or do I need to block each piece individually?

The newest stash enhancement of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.

Here's what I had so far for the Lacy Sweater from Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots. It's a mostly reverse stockinette sweater and I didn't like the way it was puckering right above the eyelet row so....

I ripped it out and started over. I added an extra scallop to the already modified scallop border (for a total of ten scallops instead of eight) because my row guage was off. I bought some bamboos for this because the 6s are being used for the much neglected, Charlotte (I had used aluminum needles and after using these I am reminded of how much I love bamboo!). I have a few inches on the needles again and I'm much happier with it now and it doesn't pucker.


As promised, here are some completed jewelry projects that I made some years back that I'm going to add to left sidebar. Love this charm bracelet.

These earrings were made while I was on bedrest with my first pregnancy. I used a WigJig to help with the wire twisting. And I love the turquoise colored beads.

These are some simple earrings in two shades of blue. Come to think of it, these would make great stitch markers.

I've started gauging for Klaralund (using Silk Garden Color #8)and so far haven't been able to get guage with the recommended 8's or 9's. I am going to check my swatch again in better lighting to make sure I was counting correctly. Also instead of measuring over 2 inches (in the little gauge checker window) I will try to measure over 4 inches.


The front and back of Sundby are complete.

The first sleeve is also complete.


Found a hank of Kochoran

My former LYS had a hank of Noro Kochoran in Color 31, Lot C for me to finish my second sleeve of Sundby (I have to buy a whole hank, and it ain't cheap, just to finish the last inch of the sleeve - UGGGHH!). Now it's just a matter of finding the time to go and pick it up since it's not right around the corner anymore.

I finished reading The Shop on Blossom Street - what a quick read. Scattered among the book were quotes about knitting from prominent figures in the knitting world (Nancie M. Wiseman - author of The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, Bev Galeskas, Sally Melville, Meg Swansen) and that was enjoyable to see. There is also a baby blanket pattern that was designed by Ann Norling especially for the book called Baby Blocks that is pictured here. This is the pattern that the fictional characters knit in the beginner's knitting class that they sign up for at A Good Yarn.

I received The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns yesterday and learned so much about basic sweater classification. I never knew the different types (set-in sleeve, raglan, etc.) of sweaters and now feel much more knowledgable (although there's still alot to learn); there was even a section about altering a pattern to add some waist shaping to a a basic boxy to make it more fitted which is just what I was looking for. I especially like the detailed schematics included. I think between this book and 1000 Sweaters (which doesn't have schematics), I will have more than my share of sweaters that I want to knit. I feel like I should carry these 2 books with me whenever I go to the yarn store (or online) to buy some yarn. I think the book that would complete this must-have sweater design set is Knitting on the Edge so that you could spice up the sleeves or body edge with a design of your choosing. I don't have it yet and Amazon has it at full price so there's no use in ordering it online at this point.

I knit up a swatch to check gauge on the Lacy Sweater and I was able to get the stiches per inch required but not the rows on the suggested US 6, so do I knit on and adjust as necessary? I guess so.

I went through my drawers and found some jewelry that I made from 2001. So stay tuned for pictures in the coming week.

Here's the back of my Noro Sundby. I'm thinking that I might make this the front when I sew it up because I like the 2 stripes of the brownish color (that comes right after the beige) and they are both knit the same.

I love the diagonal lace and scalloped edge for the Lacy Sweater. It's so cute. It's pulling in a little as you can see in the picture but I think that has to do with the fact that I might have needed to adjust my gauge a little on the rows... and this was knit as a long thin band (o row gauge would have been pretty important), bound off, and then the right edge of the band became the top that I needed to pick up stitches (becoming the bottom of the back).


Since I didn't have time to blog my goings-on earlier today but wanted to assure everyone that all is well, I figured I'd post some pictures of the part of the house I can call my own. It's a little alcove that will eventually hold a respectable table so that I have enough room for me to groove. But right now it has a 25+ year old desk and hutch that was my husband's furniture growing up. Works like a charm, though. To the left of the alcove, not pictured, is the closet that's ALL MINE. In it? Yarn, beads, polymer clay, scrapbooking supplies, paints, and all of my other crafty things. Delightful. :-)

Here is the Bernina sewing machine that I bought. What should it's name be? Tina work as a suitable name but so far I like Sheena. I used her yesterday to start on my lounge pants .

This is the funky ironing board that I picked up at Target. We used to have one pre-move, but when I asked Mike where it was he said that he left it in the move. I can't blame him since we never used it in the seven years we lived it. And this is the same man that used to iron his jeans in college. Yes, I broke him of that habit. Hello, they're jeans, isn't that the point of jeans? Easy care, easy wear? No ironing necessary. In my sewing class I learned that if you want to sew you are going to need to have an iron.


The next sweater I knit for Jessica will be this Lacy Sweater from Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots in Classic Elite Provence. I think this sweater is so sweet and it looks like it will be fun as well.


Sundby Front and First Sleeve Finished

I finished the front and the first sleeve of my Noro Sundby. So now I have the front, back, and first sleeve done and cast on for the second sleeve last night (but didn't do much else on it - just the cast on). I just noticed that there are no blocking instructions... and since I've never blocked before I'm not sure what I am supposed to do. Am I supposed to not block? I was looking forward to my first blocking experience. Pretty lame, I know but I consider this as entering a new stage as a knitter... one who blocks. I can figure out the dimensions of the front and the back and the length of the sleeve... is there usually another dimension of the sleeve like the width at the top and the bottom?

I do now test my gauge and haven't had to change needles yet (although I never keep the swatch or wash it to see how it behaves - which I probably should; I just rip it out and start the project). Was curious to see what others knitters do... so if you have any swatching practices please leave some comments (and your email if you want me to be able to respond).

I also realized that I will not have enough yarn to finish the second sleeve. I used the "weigh method". I got out my kitchen scale and a bowl, zeroed it out (to eliminate the bowl weight), and put the finished sleeve in: 2.9 oz. Then I put the yarn I have left: 2.1 oz. Nope. Not going to be enough. So I need to call the yarn store to see if they have the same lot and fork over $20 just to finish the sleeve. I don't know what I was thinking since the pattern clearly calls for 500g for a medium which is 5 hanks and I purchased 4 (the amount needed for a small). So it's all my fault.

Since I didn't want to knit this second sleeve I started on a Reverse Bloom Flower Washcloth in Mission Falls 1824 Cotton in a muted lime green color. I have 3 petals so far.

I went to the library on Sunday to pick up a hold that I had waiting for me: The Shop on Blossom Street. I'm more than halfway into it now which proves to me that I can still find time for reading and that Anna Karenina wasn't doing it for me. Perhaps it's the length. But I will continue on even if I am sidetracked by some fun, easy chick lit along the way.

Today we have Jessica's 3 year check-up and then it's off to a new friend's house in the neighborhood for a playdate. Yesterday was filled with tantrums (one in the middle of the grocery store) so I'm just hoping that today is easier. It's never good to go to a new friend's house and have your child act like the exorcist. The only good thing is that the first time and only time we've gotten together with them her child was the one performing the theatrics.

Potty training is going well. Jessi was very successful in making it to the potty many times yesterday but she also had 3 accidents - all at home even though I had just suggested using the potty minutes before on each occasion - she is just so stubborn. I have no idea where she gets this from. Couldn't be me (Mom, stop laughing the "I'm-getting-even-with-you" laugh for talking back to me during the tween and teenage years). Or my husband. Nooooo. But we happily use the potty when nature calls. We save our stubbornness for other situations.

Reverse Bloom Flower Washcloth yarn. I love purple and green together!


Here is the colorway I'm using for Noro Sundby. Since I don't have pictures of the completed front and back I'm posting these pictures that I meant to post a while back.