Friday, August 31, 2007

Debbie Bliss Hooded Striped Top


Pattern: Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino
Yarn: Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino, 3 skeins each color 340600 dusty pink & 100 white
Buttons: ? my receipt just says "buttons" purchased here on the way home from PA a few weeks back, they're pewter looking plastic turtles
Size: 12-18 months
Begun: 2/5/06
Finished: 8/31/07

Notes
Because of my own impatience, I started this adorable sweater immediately after buying the yarn at the fabulous Superbowl Sunday sale at my LYS (read: no gauge swatch) only to discover that my gauge was 1/2" wide, thus resulting in a back that was roughly 3 1/2" too wide. The sweater returned to ball form and stayed that way until I picked it back up this summer determined to put a sizeable dent in my WIP's list. (Score so far: Megan 3, WIP 4) Since I'm still impatient I didn't go down a needle size for the ribbing (yarn shops are never open when you really need them, like 3am). The pattern size is labeled 12-18 months, but the finished measurements are actually slightly larger than Bear's sweatshirt (size 2T) that I just compared the FO to since Bear is sleeping. Action shots to follow once it cools down a little.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Charity Knitting

This post is copied, word for word, from Joan's blog

Calling all A4A charity knitters!
Can you squeeze in a child's wool sweater before your Christmas knitting frenzy begins? If not a sweater, how about a vest? Here's the latest email from A4A about the current campaign, deadline October 12. The focus this time is for youth sizes, older kids than usual. There is also a separate baby campaign for a hospital in Kabul. Links below.

"Dear Knitters and Crocheters for Afghanistan,
** Youth Campaign Priority & Revised Due Dates **
We've been concerned that we don't have enough time to meet our commitment for the youth campaign, and so we've been able to push the due dates to October 12 in the US and October 1 for Canadians (via elann.com). This gets us as much time as possible for knitting and crocheting and still gets our cartons to Afghanistan before the cold. Church World Service has asked us to fill 80 cartons that will be air-shipped to Kabul at their expense. 80 cartons could be more than 5,000 blankets and garments -- depending on the particular mix of items. This is a large order in a short period. Church World Service needs the volume to make the transit and distribution more efficient and to clothe enough of the girls and boys under their care. These children are going to be cold this winter, and we're stepping up to do what can to make some of the youngsters more comfortable in difficult circumstances. We must seize the opportunity while presented to us.Church World Service has requested blankets, hats, mittens, socks, sweaters,and vests for youth, ages 7-14 years. Our gifts are going to be distributed at children's rehabilitation and health centers in Kabul and Bamiyan (where the giant Buddhas were destroyed by the Taliban in Summer 2001). These programs treat children who have been traumatized psychologically and physically by the years of war and poverty. Many have lost loved ones in front of their eyes. The girls and boys benefit from physical recreation, lessons in health and hygiene, nutrition, and social skills such as cooperation and peace-building. Church World Service has supported the region since 1954 and works in partnership with Afghan organizations. (Church World Service does not proselytize.) We have worked with Church World Service previously.Some of you may remember that we supplied one of these rehabilitation centers in 2002, when Airline Ambassadors hand-carried our hand-knit and crocheted garments. And, in 2003, we clothed 500 families in Balkh Province through a Church World Service supported agency. Church World Service is a well-established, respected relief and development organization. We are privileged to be asked to supply them and to have our gifts air-shipped right before winter hits hardest. They know that the quality and beauty and uniqueness of our handmade wool blankets and garments are not available in any store! They know that each item is lovingly made by an American or Canadian as a special gift for a child in Afghanistan. Church World Service values what all our volunteers do with needles and hooks. And, we value their indispensable work for the people of Afghanistan.

Important details to review:
* Use wool (or other animal fiber) to provide maximum utility in harsh weather. Read FIBER DETAILS here: http://www.afghansforafghans.org/aboutfibers.html
*Please avoid white and very light colors that soil more easily. Afghans like all colors. Mix up a bright and cheery palette. Use up those wool oddballs.
* Knit or crochet your favorite pattern or try something new.
* Please assume standard garment sizes. Afghan children may be thinner than North American children, but they are not shorter.
* Please add buttons if not sending a pullover garment. Garments need to close up against cold.
* Please be sure garments have adequate coverage: hats need to cover ears;sleeves need to go to the wrist (no 3/4 sleeves); torsos need to be long (bare midriffs are not the rage in Afghanistan!)
* Basic socks with heels and good cover for the lower leg; no booties or slippers, please.
* Consider trying your garment on your own children or a neighbor's child ...to double-check proper fit.
* Avoid lacy or airy patterns.
* We do not accept used items, acrylics, scarves, slippers, ponchos, earwarmers, felted items, quilts, fleece anything, store-bought merchandise, loomed items, unassembled squares, or toys."

Details at the A4A site here.Photos of donated items being received by families in Afghanistan here.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Favorite Yarn

There once was a girl from Nantucket... wait not that kind of yarn.

The SITM sock swap wants to know what my favorite yarn is. In case you haven't guessed yet, it's Rowan Linen Drape. I LOVE the way it knits up, I love the texture of the knitted fabric, I love the drape, I love it all. Unfortunately it is discontinued and now only available via ebay and the occasional destash sale.

In other contest news, Jacques is having a contest to celebrate her first blogiversary. Stop by and say hi (and make sure to tell her I sent you!)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More SP questions!!

My SP11 pal emailed me a list of even more questions to answer. :-) So of course, I thought I'd post them here instead of just emailing her back.

1. Where have you lived?
I have lived in Rhode Island most of my life, except for my freshman year of college when I lived on this campus.
2. What are your "other" hobbies?
Walking, photography (very, very basic), occasional sewing, and playing with my two year old.
3. What do you do for work? If you went to college, what is your degree in?
I am a clinical dietitian at a teaching hospital. I have an associates degree in general studies, a bachelor's degree in dietetics, and part of a masters degree in nutrition.
4. Do you like to cook? Bake? Eat? :)
Obviously I love to eat. Cook & bake - not so much, I tend to ruin anything I touch. I choose the meals, my husband cooks them.
5. What are your favorite foods/food ethnicities (like Mexican, Italian, etc.)?
My all-time favorite food is Kraft Macarroni & Cheese, sometimes with tunafish mixed in and American cheese melted on top. If I'm eating out - Chinese, egg rolls and beef terryaki to be exact.
6. Is the glass half empty or half full?
Usually half full - ask me on a rainy PMS day and I might say half empty.
7. What kind of clothes do you wear? Suits? T-shirts and Jeans? Capris and hoodies?
Definately not suits. If I'm at work during the week it's professional (enough), on the weekends - scrubs, when I'm not at work you can generally find me in something comfortable, usually a fitted, stretchy t-shirt and capris or yoga pants.
8. What "category" did you fit into in High School? Cheerleader? Jock? Nerd? Artsy Girl?
Oh goodness - I was probably a geeky nerd. But I had a great group of friends and loved high school.
9. What are your favorite TV shows? Movies?
TV - Forensic Files, Cold Case, The First 48 (you get the idea), Beauty & the Geek, Project Runway, and I LOVED Outback Jack. Movies - Troop Beverly Hills, social documentaries
10. Do you drink coffee? Tea? Sodapop? Kool-Aid? Water? etc.
Sodapop? My SP is SOOOOOOOOOO from the mid-west. I LIVE on diet Pepsi. I have milk (skim) with breakfast and lunch & water only when I work out (people look at you funny if you bring Pepsi to the gym).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

While knitting at 75mph

1. My Ravelry invite arrived

2. And so did this awesome KVVS package from Jennifer

Pictures taken by her talented photographer husband, delish tar heel cookies, Lingdonberry soap from a local farmers market, Cascade 220 to make this, from Charmed Knits (off my wish list no less) and some strawberry candies. Thanks so much Jennifer!! This made the 12-hour ride home totally worth it!

3. I found Mom's camera!!!!!!!!!!!

4. I accomplished this...

The humble beginnings of my first ever sock for my SITM pal.

A good chunk of the Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug. I'm going to have to rethink the ribbing color - it just seems too bright.

Just about finished the Debbie Bliss Hooded pullover (Bear might even get to wear it once before she outgrows it!) Notice the uneven sleeve on the right and the uneven body on the left. Yeah, reasons not to seam when you're tired, just to finish the damn thing.

4. Oh, and we managed some vacation fun while we were at it too

Bear, transfixed by Elmo! In the car!

Bear, in love with the sink.

2nd Fredrickson family reunion

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Happy Trails

My KVVS package is on it's way. Anyone see a big ocean wave approaching their front door?

Andrew and I are leaving for PA in roughly 6 or 7 hours. Still on the to-do list...
1. Fold about a weeks worth of laundry
2. Make the bed (we did manage to wash the sheets for the pet sitter)
3. Remove the large pile of paper, CD's, pens, and snack wrappers that keeps the keyboard from scratching the desk
4. Pack. Everything.
5. Give Bear a bath - she still smells like puke (I don't think turpentine and an SOS pad would effectively remove the stink of baby vomit)
6. Find the kitchen table.
And one of us has to get a few hours sleep - which will probably be him because I need to round up my travel knitting.

But before I do all that, my SP11 hostess, Shelby, is having a contest. Must enter.
1. What is the one knitting accessory you could not live without? Besides needles?
2. If you're heading on vacation, do you take knitting with you? If so, how much and what type of project? Funny you should ask... I plan on bringing the Debbie Bliss hooded striped pullover since I only have about 6" of hood left to knit, socks for the SITM sock swap, and the Ribbed Shrug & Back to School U-Neck vest from Fitted Knits. There should be enough room left for me in the passengers seat I think
3. Where have you travelled to that you'd consider your favorite spot? Bermuda and the mountains of New Hampshire - my husband and I got married atop Cathedral Ledge
4. What is your favorite knitting book at the moment? Do you own it? Fitted Knits (yes)
5. Do you listen to podcasts? Which is your favorite(s)? I keep trying to download podcasts onto my ipod but seriously, I'm turning into every teacher I ever had - you know, the ones who couldn't work the VCR, I can't seem to make it work

Now, onto the throwing everything into a bag and hoping I packed underwear packing.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Baring my soul

It is almost midnight and I have just finished dusting every visible (and not-so-visible) surface in my living room. Bear's toys are neatly lined up on their appropriate shelves, her crayons are actually in the crayon bucket, and all of her Disney DVD's are in alphabetical order. Why? Because we are leaving for No-Man's-Land, PA in a few days and the dog sitter will be staying at our house while we are gone. Last time, she brought her own vacuum.

I am also awake and overwhelmed and while cleaning is usually as comforting as a root canal to me, tonight it is the one thing I have a modicum of control over.

First, Bear is sick. She has been plagued by ear infections practically since birth and she's been gulping amoxacillin for dessert again for about a week now. Last night she woke up at 2am screaming and when I touched her she felt as though she were on fire. Her temperature was 101 (Fahrenheit for all of you who now think that my child suddenly imploded) and rose to 103 by this afternoon despite Tylenol and a cool shower. The pediatrician isn't too concerned - he seems to think it's this enterovirus that is going around, causing high fevers and lethargy for up to a week in some kids - but Bear is just not herself. I'm trying not to sound like a hysterical new mom but I'm a hysterical new mom.

Secondly, we lost my mother-in-laws digital camera. I feel like crap, even though I have every intention of purchasing a replacement. Our digital camera is about 3 years old (ancient, I know) and is in desperate need of an upgrade. We borrowed hers when we went to meet our new nephew for the first time on Wednesday and by all conclusions, left the camera in the park. I'm going to hang lost signs in the park tomorrow, but really, what are the chances? It wouldn't be such a big deal if the family reunion were not this upcoming weekend. Her particular camera is discontinued, so we're bidding on ebay for the replacement, no chance of having it in time for the weekend. I'd just go to Target and pick out something else, except her sister bought the camera for her for Christmas... We haven't told her yet either, which makes me feel even more like dirt.

And last, and perhaps most difficult of all, things have been rocky between Andrew and I for the past few weeks. I'm pretty sure we're going to make it through this, but it's a sad, lonely feeling when you are constantly at odds with your best friend. It makes everything else less. Like wearing a pair of sunglasses that make even the sunniest day seem overcast and cloudy. I'm hoping this weekend away is good for us, 12 hours in a car together can really only go one of two ways.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pay It Forward

Remember that movie with Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey? This is from If Pony's could knit... (who got it from Alaina, who got it from Jodie, etc. etc. etc.)

Here is how it works! I'll send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange! I don't know what that gift will be yet, and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week...LOL... but you will receive it within 365 days, that's a promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog...

So for those of you who want to join this good yarn karma exchange, leave me a comment.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Congratulations Cass!

Cass is having a contest to celebrate her 222nd post.

I tell you about this on one condition, you choose prize #2 when we both win. Because I want the Sea Silk!! It's gorgeous!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

SP11

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
This week? I like Cascade 220, Classic Elite Wool Bamboo, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE Rowan Linen drape. I'm not especially fond of novelty yarns or cheap varigated yarn.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
These...


3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting since I was 7 or 8 when I pestered my mom into teaching me. There was a big hiatus during the high school years. I would consider myself an advanced intermediate.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
yes

5. What's your favorite scent?
rain, freshly mowed grass, ocean

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
YES!! I love tootsie rolls & sour patch kids

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I've recently started making necklaces with beads and wire, I occasionally sew. I have never tried spinning (the knitting or the aerobic kind).

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
In the car I only listen to NPR or Kid's Stuff on Sirius. On my ipod, I listen to country, classic rock, classical - pretty much anything except techno & rap. And not gospel, I think that covers it.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I like blues and greens, but any sun-kissed earth tones work for me. I don't generally wear pastels myself and I hate neon colors.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
One 21-month old, one husband, one part-time 11 year old, and two very furry, loud dogs

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
scarves, hats, mittens - I've only worn a poncho when my daughter was wee little and needed to nurse in public

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
clothing for my daughter, sweaters and tops for myself, and more recently doll blankets and my first ever pair of socks for the sock swap (which, partner, if you're reading this, I hope you're either a) planning an amputation soon or b) not expecting those socks on time)

13. What are you knitting right now?
hooded sweater for Bear, three sleeveless tops for myself, a tank for a friend's birthday three years ago, socks for the swap

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
yes

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
depends on what I'm making - I like bamboo needles and Addi Turbo's best

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
sadly, no

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
do I have to admit to this? It must be the Honeymoon Cami that I've owed Jen for more than three years

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas and the 4th of July, Halloween now since Bear's birthday is the day before

19. Is there anything that you collect?
besides yarn and from the looks of my house dust bunnies? No, not really

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I stalk Linen Drape on ebay and of course, I would love the Rowan Magazine with the original Weasly sweater pattern in it. I really want to try those light-tipped needles - I wonder if they really are bright enough to knit in a dark car (or movie theater!!) I don't have any current knitting magazine subscriptions but I would like to get one to Interweave Knits.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I tend to learn new techniques as needed to make the things I think are pretty. I want to try a few patterns from Knitting Nature (I met Norah and have a signed copy of the book!!) so I'm sure I'll have a lot of learning to do with those.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
I'm becoming a sock knitter, I think. Size 8 (women's/USA), 9 1/2 inches long, 8 1/2 inches around

23. When is your birthday?
March 16, 1978

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
You signed up on June 14, 2007
You are #9176 on the list.
1012 people are ahead of you in line.
14428 people are behind you in line.
34% of the list has been invited so far


Since I have spent the better part of two days hunting the blogosphere for virtual vacation swap scavenger clues, let me make it easy on the rest of you. I knit socks and I have two dogs. That's all you can use me for. Very sorry that my blog is not named Tangled Up in Monkeys and I don't live in the UK. Good luck to you all!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Harlet Woes

I am a dietitian. In the grand scheme of things, I am rarely one of the key players in a patients overall care. So was the case Thursday afternoon, when for over an hour I listened as a family and the more case-pertinent medical professionals had this conversation.

Doctor: Well, we can do A or B for your dad.

Family: A's not working.

Doctor: Agreed, so we should proceed with B.

Family: We don't like B, what are our other options.

Repeat.

This, in addition to the prepping for the meeting & discussing the outcome with my boss, made it impossible to leave early and in fact, necessitated me going in on my day off to catch up. Thus, I would have gotten to Borders just in time to see the Harlet wave goodbye on her way out of the parking lot.

Halifax, Nova Scotia is only 12 hours away...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Why I am a Stashalong dropout...

Here is the fine, fine collection I amassed at the LYS's closing shop sale:

Cascade 220
Color: 9458 Vachon Island Heather
Lot: 0176






Plymouth Yarn Sausalito
Color: 77 Red
Lot: 27837
Destiny: Pants for Bear






Fiore
Color: 004 Coral
Lot: 1500
Destiny: Cuff trim on above pants for Bear






Berroco Cotton Twist
Color: 8348 Orange Zinnia
Lot: 157622
Destiny: unknown






Trendsetter Joy
Color: F1194 Spring
Lot: 67599
Destiny: unknown






Classic Elite Beatrice
Color: 3285 Autumn Highlands
Lot: 883 03
Destiny: Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug (body)






Cascade 220
Color: 2414 Ginger
Lot: 8212
Destiny: Two-Toned Ribbed Shrug (ribbing)






Jaeger Celeste
Color: 183 Harbor
Lot: 2372
Destiny: unknown






Plymouth Yarn Alpaca Boucle
Color: 1629 Slate
Lot: 68216
Destiny: unknown






Berroco Chinchilla
Color: 5577 Violet
Lot: 18
Destiny: unknown - possibly a hooded vest for Bear






Berroco Chinchilla
Color: 5571 Sprout
Lot: 67
Destiny: unknown - possible intarsia design on above vest






Berroco Chinchilla
Color: ?5347 Aquarelle
Lot: unknown
Destiny: unknown - possible intarsia design on above vest






Berroco Chinchilla
Color: ?5344 Pink Champagne
Lot: unknown
Destiny: unknown - possible intarsia design on above vest






Crystal Palace Yarns Trio
Color: 2856 Circus-Celery
Lot: 930730101
Destiny: unknown - need more

Mystery Yarn
Color: unknown
Lot: unknown
Destiny: unknown
Any one know what this is?


Cascade Fixation
Color: 2625 Blueberry
Lot: 200287
Destiny: Ankle Socks