Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm lost in Ravelry

If you are a knitter and have been following any knitting sites out there you have probably heard of (if you are a member check me out my user name is bananaknits)

I heard about it from my friend Ellene Warren user name on ravelry is yarnartist. I tried to check it out but it said that it was still in beta and you have to have an account to log in and when you try to register they tell you that you will be on a waiting list. A friend of mine signed up a few days ago and he is number 63,640 and there are 8,688 people ahead of him and 530 people behind him according to their very clever up to date "waiting list checker".

So that means that people are flocking to by the hundreds each day to sign up. This is growing by leaps and bounds. Knitting and Crocheting outnumbers the golfers in the U.S. so it is a huge hobby population. And knitters are usually gadget sort or people like to follow impossible sets of very detailed directions therefore knitters in my opinion have very early on started using computers and the internet. Myself included, blogging, chat rooms sharing pictures, yarn suggestions, events etc.

A few days ago, after putting my name on a waiting list almost 2 months ago, I finally received my coveted Ravelry invite. I have been spending every spare moment clicking here and clicking there, gathering friends, posting projects, answering messages comparing the same project made by others etc. It seems endless, I even made a connection with a young mother from Hungary. I have been spending hours and hours lost on ravelry, chatting posting meeting new friends hours and hours of entertainment.

For those of you out there who have no idea what this is...... It's a social network service for knitters and crocheters. The site is put together nicely, and who ever the web master and the genious that thought it up was very clever. You create an account with a user name mine is "bananaknits" and I was very happy that the name was still available. I have seen a couple of others using my favorite nick name but I have but I create a profile, list your projects, both current and past, whether they were completed, project details such as yarn type/amount used, any alterations, etc. While this is a cool way to easily keep all of your project info in one place (it also includes a queue section where you can list potential future projects available online or in print formats), the fun comes in when you see how this info is shared.

Fellow knitters, can search projects by name or location, and the site will list people who have completed the same projects as you. How cool is that? You can view any user's page and you thus have access to what groups they belong to, projects, yarns available for trade or sell, their queue, and their blog activity if they have linked their blog. And much more I'm still discovering neat features..... so if you're a knitter check it out and put your name on the waiting list.

Overall, I think the site is pretty awesome and the word is out, what better advertisement than word of mouth. Kudos to the inventors!

Helter Skelter Lace

I call it "Helter Skelter Lace" because it's my own lace design because I just don't have the patience to follow charts and keeping track etc. So I made up my own pattern top down raglan same old and added some "holes" or if you want to be technical yarn overs.

I'm knitting as fast as I can but I keep getting sidetracked by

Love this new (new to me) online knitting community hours and hours of knitting fun.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Yarn and another UFO

I got new yarn! Yippie!

My good friend Ellen and I met up at a yarn sale last Friday and wow, I got new yarn!

I heard about this "garage sale" over on Palms which is fairly close to my house but I was trying so hard not to buy more yarn because my stash runneth over. But Ellen "twisted" my arm, it wasn't that hard to convince me. I'm thrilled with my new purchase and it was wonderful to see Ellen ....... and she had a present for me ........ more yarn!

What could be better? I came home and immediately dropped my Ouchi project which is kind of looking like a sack and started a new sweater. Another UFO in the unfinished pile, I'll just let it rest and maybe it will get better with time.

100% Alpalca and it's light as a feather and feels like a cloud!

After the first wearing it started stretching which I totally planed so here it is on the dummy after the "strectch".

Thank you Ellen. I love the new yarn!

I know a "swatch" is supposed to have more rows knitted but for me this is enough. I can tell how many stitches to start with. I'm knitting the same exact sweater but I think this one will have longer sleeves. Top down on large needles ...... and increase with yarn overs to give it a lacey look at the raglan sleeve join.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mommie Dearest...

I'm so weak it is a major effort to type so if I make some mistakes please forgive me. She did it again and this time she almost succeeeded to kill me. I don't even know where to start, all I can tell you that it's been hell.

I am sick as a dog (excuse the pun) actually I am a dog and I am sick sick sick. It's my tummy I have the "runs" as humiliating as that is to write about but yes sir I have the shits to put it bluntly. She almost took me to the doctors to torture me further but decided that she would wait until I was almost dead. First my brother had the problem and yes he pooped all over and my human brother even stepped in it late at night. I laughed my head off but as you know payback's a bitch. The next thing I know I have it.

I pooped all over the house the runny kind that I managed to scatter all around. It was hell, I lost my appetite and was lethargic and just generally sick. SHe was all pissed at ME! If you can believe that. SHe was blaming me for pooping on the carpet. Well I am a dog and I can't reach the toilet! And besides the carpet is much nicer on my tender little paws. After all I am sick!

Then I find out what the problem was......SHebought CAT food instead of DOG food. Dry kibble type of CAT food that both my brother and I hated and refused to eat. Do you know what SHe did? SHe mixed it up with some delicious turkey breast meat so we were forced to eat it. I knew it SHe has been trying torture me from the very beginning and now I have proof!

SHe claims that SHe did not notice until now, what is she blind? The bag had a cat drawing and feline written all over it for goodness sake. The only consolation I have is that SHe had to clean up the mess. (payback's a bitch) First thing in the morning poop all over it was great! SHe was gagging! And as weak as I was I laughed and giggled as she scrubbed and sprayed and washed and cursed.

So that is how my thanksgiving holiday was, I am thankful to be alive! I do feel much better now I sent her to get new food my favorite kind this time and all is much better but it will take some time for me to forgive her for this one. I will figure out ways to get back at her I always do. I've got to go now I need my rest.

The Bitch.

ps. The Boy is still sleeping so he is not able to write anything but I'm sure I have him convinced that "Mommie" is really "Mommie Dearest".

Massaging the Turkey!

It's time to fry the turkey! Last year it was a great success and so now it's a tradition. At least we have all the necessary tools and gadgets, yes including the "mechanics" wire and wire cutters, the peanut oil the outdoor professional gas burner and the bird and various other necessary tools.

Here is detailed instructions if you care to do this crazy thing.

The reason I love this so much besides the taste is that I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to put the turkey in the oven. Frying turkeys takes about an hour give or take depending on the size of the bird. Approx 5-6 minutes per pound, we like it well done so we do 6-7 minutes. It's hard to maintain the frying temperature even. But all this effort is well worth it. It is starting to smell so good that I'm almost tempted to fry my turkey tonight!

Why you ask am I doing this on Wednesday when Thanksgiving is not until Thursday? We are feeding our Police officers at our Pacific Division Police Station. The Citizen Advisory Board members organize each year and it's a great hit with the officers and the participants. Just a small thank you to our officers who protect us from the bad guys.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I got new yarn, and I don't know about you but when I get new yarn I can hardly wait to get going and try and make something. I suppose I'm doing this all backwards, I should have a project in mind then go out and find suitable yarn. I got this on sale and maybe it was on sale for good reason..... it is not as wonderful as it seemed to be...... but I bought it because the colors were fun and Brandi at Stitches from the Heart gave me a good deal on the bag of yarn.

Just like my mother used to buy the buttons first and then design to suit them. Her theory was that it was so difficult to find good buttons and much easier to find material to suit the buttons. When I was growing up all of my clothing was custom made, tailored. Simply because ready made clothing was just not available.

The yarn is Noro, "Knitting Fever"

Description Ouchou 70% silk 15% wool and 15% nylon....

I loved the last "top down" sweater and the "Queen Ann's Lace" edging I decided to do it again.
Cast on 60 sts. place my markers and the new project is launched.

This yarn is not smooth there are a lot of twigs reminiscent to the recycled yarn from Nepal. Lots of little knots tied together which I hate I usually want the knots placed in a not so visible spot. The more I look at this yarn the more I think that this is the same recycled silk and not new silk. The last project I made out of the Sari recycled silk stuff did not hold up well. I'm hoping this does not happen to this sweater.

Ouch my fingers hurt, this is not a comfortable knit, it hurts my fingers no wonder they named it ouchou.

I had such a good time listening to "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon while finishing the last project I decided to continue the saga. I downloaded "Dragonfly in Amber" which is the next book in the series, from Audible and started out with lots of energy and I was a happy camper/knitter.

Outlander was 32 hours of listening and the narrator is a great reader with a pleasant voice and great acting and the story was interesting enough. After a while it got a bit tedious in my opinion a bit of editing could have been helpful but it was interesting enough that I gave it 3 stars in my rating system 5 stars being up there with the I loved it category.

So I figured ok the same story continued would be ok. Dragonfly in Amber is 38 hours of listening...... same reader, nice voice but....... this one too gets a bit tedious. I especially enjoyed the beginning the first 10 hours or so but now it's starting to repeat and I'm starting to visualize the hero as a Fabio romance novel gone Scottish red hair big muscle hunk. But the Fabio part that is starting to get on my nerves......

The sweater too is starting to get tedious the book is the same over and over again and the knit is round and round hurts my fingers never ends......... my goodness this Diana Gabaldon is really obsessed with this subject, I can't imagine how she could write this stuff. The more I listen the more I think it's one of those books referred to as a "romance" with Fabio on the cover with flowing long hair in period costume holding a voluptuous woman with lots of sex and sword fighting.

Maybe I need to give both the project and the book a rest. I do have more yarn and other projects to finish and yes lots of preparation and cooking for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Finished at last!

Now that I'm looking at this picture it really does not do justice to how nice this project turned out. It fits very nicely and feels wonderful. Mercerized cotton has that sheen and the lace weight yarn gave it a wonderful drape.

This Blue Heron cotton yarn was a really smooth knit and a comfortable knit and the size 4 needle fit my hands well. Not all yarn knits comfortably I find and I can not tell until I'm actually knitting with it and spending some time not just a swatch or two. I prefer a smaller needle and lighter weight yarn, it seems to suit my hands best. Larger needles and thicker yarn does not fit my hands as well and I find it tires my hands even though the project finishes much faster. Often other knitters say the exact opposite that small needles hurt their hands.

I added a crochet edge, I just feel like the edge of certain knitted garments do not look finished unless I do a crochet edge. So crochet I did all the way around the bottom the sleeves and this lacy edge in the front.

Overall I am very pleased with this "top down" knit cardigan and I just hope it will hold up after laundering. I've worn it two days in a row and have had lots of compliments at my LYS. Some of my knitting friends have been watching me work on this for the last two months or so, lots of little stitches and not to talk about the frogging it took me a bit longer than I like. Although this was not the only project I've been working on.

My friend Kathy Silverton happened to see me both the days and the second day she remarked that I'm wearing the same sweater to which I answered "I love it so much I'm never wearing anything else." There were several ladies sitting around the big "knitting" table who have heard me say this about almost every garment I've worn that I made. They just smiled and chuckled. There was however a lady I did not know and she looked at me in amazement and that nobody batted and eyelash at this bold statement. I quickly explained to her that I say this about every project. She too gave me a little giggle.