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I Want to Knit
Friday, April 29, 2005
Just stuff
I've almost finished the left front of the Enchanted Forest cardigan, just one little cloud to go (read: 30-ish rows) and it'll be time to cast on for the right front. Another whole chart to go. Yaaaaaaaay.

Big news for any Montreal bloggers or fans of us: a new one has joined our ranks. Please visit Lee Ann over at Fuzzy Logic and say hi! While you're at it, you can visit the Montreal Knits website and see pics from the meeting this past Sunday at the Second Cup at Gare Centrale, or join the Montreal Knits yahoo group that Veronik Avery has set up. Yes, that Veronik. :) From the Montreal Knits website you can also find links to other Montreal blogs, and other Montreal stuff to do. There will also slowly be pics of the different LYSs in town, I think she has one up so far.

Night.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:35 PM   0 comments
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Crawling out of bed to post some pics
First of all, to Ruby from the comments: thanks for the well wishes! I am feeling better, mainly 'cus the migraine is easing away. I will definitely be at the May MKG meeting, I really look forwards to them.

Secondly, I'm too tired to post much, but here are some pics of the stuff I've been working on lately:

This monstrosity is the felted knitting bag in Patons Classic Wool Merino. I can't give too much away about it 'cus I might end up submitting my pattern somewhere, but it's going to be very cool once it's done.

This is the first of the two front pieces of the Enchanted Forest cardigan. When I took it out to work on yesterday, I had completed 62 rows plus the ribbing. Then I noticed a cable twisted the wrong way. I started out by dropping down only the sts involved in the cable, but since the tree branches well, branch out, each stitch ended up being involved in other cables, and it finally got to the point that I had about 20 sts dropped 22 rows down...I wound up deciding to just frog the whole 22 rows and start over. When I went to bed last night, this had 58 rows completed. *sigh* At least I'll be happy no cables are twisted the wrong way anymore.

These are the stitch markers I made last night when I got bored of re-doing the rows I'd frogged. I used some plastic smileys and some (glass?) brightly-colored beads from Wal-Mart. The markers themselves are the multi-sized black rubber EZ ones from my LYS. I kept breaking the cheap plastic markers I was using to help grid the chart I'm working from, and realized that while I never recieved any stitch markers from anyone, I did have all the supplies to make them, so these were my present to myself for being sick.

This is a close-up of the same stitch markers.

This is the swatch-in-progress for the Shapely Tee from WhiteLiesDesigns. It's a great Tee pattern, 'cus it has short-row shaping in the bust to really help the fit. This yarn is Sirocco DK Cotton & Linen, so it will be nice and light for the summer. If I finish it in time.



Last but not least, this is the bag-in-progress, my Funky Fur Magic bag, and the clear plastic handles I'll be using. I had to make the pic black and white 'cus the original showed up as brown, which looked good, but my bag is actually black/charcoal/silver. I'm going to line it with the brightest pink satin I can find. :) Hey, I can pretend to be trendy, can't I?

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 4:43 PM   1 comments
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I'm sick.
I know the blog is rather boring lately...no pics and blah content. I'm so sorry.

I'll be back to normal soon, I promise. Just not today or tomorrow, since I found out yesterday I have strep throat. That, and severe migraines. This post is the extent of the energy I have.

Keep on knitting.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 1:44 PM   1 comments
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Happy Pesach!
I'm home from tonight's seder and am quite tired, so here's just a quick post to wish any Jewish blog-readers a very Happy Passover and enjoy the Matzoh!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 11:44 PM   1 comments
Happy Friday
Just saying goodnight to everyone. I didn't get any knitting done today, unless you count the 2 rounds on my Perfect Bag while waiting at the pharmacy.

Julie and Rich came over tonight, we went to Marathon Souvlaki for dinner then came back here to play poker for nickels and dimes. I started the night with $7.35. I finished with $9.75. Yay me!

To Mona from the comments: LOL I warned you in the title that it was a long post!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:26 AM   0 comments
Friday, April 22, 2005
Catching Up All of Last Week (LONG post)
Sunday, April 10: Julie and Rich showed up somewhere around 9am so Yannick and Rich could put on their summer tires. I didn’t care, I slept until 10:30. By the time I woke up, Debbie arrived and the three of us caught the tail-end of the extremely cheesy tween movie “Raise your Voice”. It’s kinda like Fame for the brain-dead.

Once the boys were done we went over to Jack Astor’s for lunch, and due to me finding bone fragments in my burger I got my meal comped. A few months ago Yannick and I both had burgers and we found over 11 pieces of bone altogether. It turned out that for the entire week preceding that night, customers had been finding bones in the hamburger. We both got our meals free that night, and I’d avoided the burger there since. I know it’s not the chef’s fault that occasionally some bones get into the grinder with the meat when it’s being processed. This time I figured enough time had gone by that they’d used up that shipment of meat, so I tried the burger again. One tiny piece of bone. About the size of a Tic-Tac. All I did was show it to the waitress so she could let the chef know that there were bones in the meat, but when she came back with the bills she told me they were very sorry, and that my meal was on the house. Cool! I left a very glowing message on the “Rate our Service” card they bring with the bill.

We came home after lunch, and after Debbie left we went downstairs and watched “I heart Huckabees” while I knit the ribbing of one sleeve of the Kosher sweater. Not the greatest of movies, but it’s been that kind of day it seems. We didn’t realize how long the movie would last, because by the time it was over we were late for dinner at Yannick’s sister’s house.

B and Matts had left for Cuba on Tues, but Yannick’s mom was spending the week to babysit and invited us for dinner. The food was yummy as always and then Yannick and I pitched in by getting the boys bathed and changed for bed, and tucking them all in. We sat around with his parents talking for a while, then came home. I was tired enough to sleep, but needed to first finish knitting and then felt two swatches before tomorrow’s class. I needed to know the pre and post felting gauge so I could get Nicole to help me calculate how many rows/sts to make my bag, based on how big I wanted the finished, felted bag to be.

So even though I was home early enough to get a good rest, felting came first. Yannick was a good help though, giving me 4 tennis balls and 2 squash balls to throw in the washing machine. It was my first time felting Patons’ Classic Elite wool, but it felted great! Much better than the Noro Kureyon and the Alafoss Lopi I’d felted before. Quick and smooth, and I swear not a single pill or fuzz to be found. I’m in love.

Monday, April 11: I had my knitting class in the morning. I had originally rushed to finish the Kosher sweater so I could wear it to class (God I’m such a show-off!) but then when I realized that Mia would have her felted bag ready, I decided not to bring it in. I don’t like upstaging the other women in the class and I knew she’d be really proud of her bag, so I didn’t want to horn in on her moment by then pulling out an entire sweater I’d done in one week. It turned out her bag was still drying, so I needn’t have worried.

I don’t remember if I’d mentioned it before, but Mia’s my enabler. If I see yarn I like or a project I want to try, I know that all I need to do is mention it to her and I’ll get enough encouragement that I’ll wind up leaving with that yarn or project in hand. Sure enough when I saw a funky bag done in Funky Fur Magic (yes, I’m completely immature enough to carry around a fun fur-type bag) it wasn’t long before she was in the aisles with me choosing a color. Of course I was so excited to have yet another project to work on that when I came home I started it right away.

First I had a doctor’s appointment. I’m not sure if it was the knitting or napping I’d done during my 1.5 hour wait to see the doc, but whatever it was lowered my blood pressure enough that not only do I not need to go on meds, but he doesn’t want to see me again until July! Woo hoo. Then I came home to start my bag.

Unfortunately, instead of buying the Funky Fur Magic which self-stripes, I’d bought the plain old Funky Fur, which didn’t. So what I thought would be cool stripes of bright, navy and dark blues, turned out to be a mottled mix that really seemed appropriate for someone half my age. (Hey, at least I didn’t pick the pinks or opals that I was originally attracted to!) I undid the 2 rows I’d done and put it aside to exchange and spent the rest of the afternoon working on the base of my felted bag.

I’ve come to realize that although I bought a Fiber Trends pattern for the bag (the Sheep Tote pattern), there are so many changes I’d wanted to make that it really was becoming my own bag. I think I’m going to type up the pattern once I’m done and see about submitting it somewhere. Really, I’m changing the yarn, the size of the bag, the pockets, the closure, the finishing, the edges, and adding a few things. I think I’m justified in saying that it’s truly MY pattern. Nicole had helped me this morning to calculate my gauges and now I had the beginnings of a pattern.

Tuesday, April 12: On my way to work in the morning I stopped at my LYS to exchange the Funky Fur for the Funky Fur Magic. It was a dollar more per skein, but I only needed 3 plus I found a much better colorway. It stripes gorgeously from black through charcoal and steel gray, down to a silvery white and back to black. I think it will almost look like an animal fur once it’s done. The handles will be plastic (acetate?) circles that are completely transparent. I’m going to line it once it’s done with the wildest hot pink satin I can find. It’s definitely the kind of purse that someone much younger and trendier than I would normally use, but I’ve decided that this summer I’m going to let my funk out and not care what people think. Plus I have 2 weddings this summer so it will get some use.

From the LYS I went to work, then rushed home to have a bite to eat and go down to Beaconsfield for the Montreal Knitting Guild meeting. It was a really informative week! One of the members spoke about pricing your knitting, and gave out a really useful sheet that tells you how to calculate the pricing with sections on difficulty, special finishing, etc. I’m going to use it from now on for any KFH I take on (KFH: knit for hire).

Wednesday, April 13: I’m having a hard time remembering what I did last Wednesday. I probably came home from work and knit on the Funky Fur Magic bag (FFM bag from now on) while watching House and CSI:NY (I taped The Amazing Race and Law & Order).

Thursday, April 14: Again, I’m only guessing, but I believe I came home from work and knit on the FFM bag while watching CSI and Without a Trace. Yannick still wasn’t home by the time the shows were over, so I switched rooms and curled up on the sofa in the living room, watching my tapes from the previous week, and still knitting on the FFM bag.

Friday, April 15: Yannick decided to surprise me with sushi for supper. He’d wanted to have it at the house by the time I got home from work, but our windshields were delivered and were taking up our living room (our fave spot to relax and eat, especially for a lingering meal like sushi) so he waited for me to get home and we went out to the restaurant. I had the bright idea to walk since it was only 5 or so blocks away. Well, we each decided to try something new and instead of getting tons of maki rolls we ordered off the table d’hote. First was soup (he had the miso soup, I had onion broth), then salads, then I had an appetizer of 6 little maki rolls (3 cucumber, 3 avocado) and he had 3 pieces of sushi (shrimp, tuna & salmon), then as if we didn’t have enough food already, we got a huge plate each with a chicken breast, 2 scallops, 2 jumbo shrimp and a bunch of veggies, all fried in tempura batter. Plus rice. And it even came with ice cream and tea included!

Thank god we walked home after, ‘cus I don’t think the seat belts would have closed around our huge bellies if we’d taken the car. Of course, by the time we’d walked home we’d decided to go see a movie and what movie is complete without popcorn? Definitely not a fun, fluffy movie like Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous! So not much knitting done, but lotsa eating. :]

Saturday, April 16: After work I did a quick workout tape (after all that food yesterday) and got ready to go out. We were meeting Julie, Rich, Debbie, Jackie & Kevin for dinner. It was great to be out with everyone, it had been a few weeks since we’d all gotten together. Also, it has been a while since Jackie felt well enough to go out, so it was perfect timing that she was feeling good that day.

We went to Montana’s and while the food was delicious, it arrived over an hour late to the table and then some of the meals were off, like my plate had the wrong veggies and was missing the sauce I’d paid extra for, and when they brought it back with the sauce they’d taken away the fried onions…long story short the restaurant comped everyone’s meals! Can you believe it? All 7 of us got our meals for free! We were so appreciative we made sure to order coffees and dessert each so we’d be paying something, and tipped the waitress as if we’d had the full bill. (Ok, I’d been planning on getting dessert anyways, but shh!)

After dinner Jackie was still feeling up to being out, so instead of the rest of us taking off to a smoky comedy club, we (the girls) went to midnight Bingo and the guys bowled at the lanes next door. No one won, but I think we all did ‘cus it had been almost a year since we’d gone out just the 4 girls, and I think we all had a great time. Still no knitting though.

Sunday, April 17: Yannick and I had our windshields changed in the early afternoon. It was so much fun! First I was able to gloat because Yannick’s 2000-something 300M took longer to change the windshield and wound up having rust spots that needed to be fixed, and my 1987 Celebrity sh*tbox took about 30 minutes and had almost nothing to be cleaned off. Then I got to relieve some tension by smashing a hammer at the old windshields. It takes a lot more impact then I thought! It took me 7 swings to even make a dent, although one really nice swipe left a huge spiderweb of cracks. Of course Yannick had to show off by cracking it in one swing. Men.

After that we stopped at Harvey’s for lunch then went up to Wal-Mart where Yannick convinced me to buy 5 pairs of jeans to replace my tattered, ripped and torn pairs. Ok, so the 5 pairs only cost $123, but still. That’s $123 I didn’t plan on spending…or at least could have spent on wool tomorrow. Men. At least $14 of that bill was 2 huge skeins of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton so I could finally attempt a few dish cloths/face cloths. I bought 1 sk of white to make face cloths and a face towel for the upstairs bathroom, and 1 sk of a blue/white variegated to make dish cloths for the kitchen.

I had a bad migraine by the time we got home (probably triggered by the stress of trying on about 30 pairs of jeans to find 5 that fit somewhat decently) so I took some pills and vegged on the couch for a bit, doing a kitchener bind-off on the second sleeve of the Kosher sweater. Ok, for some kitchener probably doesn’t seem restful, but I do the bind-off the way my finishing book (by Nancie M. Wiseman) shows, on 1x1 rib with the purls on the back needle and the knits on the front. Then it’s just weaving the loose end of the yarn through on a sewing needle. It’s almost rhythmic- into first stitch knitways, slip stitch off needle and go into second stitch purlways, then in the back go into the first stitch purlways, slip stitch off needle and go into second stitch knitways. Repeat. “…as if to knit, slip off, as if to purl…as if to purl, slip off, as if to knit…” It really does become kind of soothing.

Once I was feeling better we went to my parents’ house for dinner, then went bowling with my brother Mike, my cousin Jon and his new girlfriend. Ok, I’ll admit it. I KIP’d again. The guys bowled, the girlfriend watched, I knit. Yannick introduced me as his 80-year old girlfriend the knitter. I slugged him. It was still fun for us though. Well, it was fun for me ‘cus I had my knitting, but we both got to participate by watching their cards. They play a version of poker where they all ante in at the beginning of each game, and you get to take a card from the deck each time you get a strike. By the end of the game the one with the best poker hand wins the ante. After bowling we came home and I plopped right into bed. All the eating this weekend just wore me out!

Monday, April 18: I had my knitting class in the morning. I brought along the FFM bag to show Mia the colorway since she’d helped me pick the original blue one. She brought her felted bag, and although it was huge it was gorgeous! She used colors I never would have thought to use together, and the finished, felted bag looks designer. It's really stunning. I brought the Kosher sweater to get Nicole’s advice on finishing the neckline, and I brought the Perfect Felted Knitting Bag to work on in class. I know I keep changing it’s name. I think it will vary until I have to commit when I try to submit it somewhere.

After the class I came home and woke up Yannick (ahh the joys of sleeping in!) and settled in for my day of knitting on the Kosher sweater. I whipstitched the excess length of the neckline down and managed to shape it into a nice semi-arc of a doubled thickness, almost like the deliberate thicker lining you find on commercial machine-knit sweaters. I won’t know until the neckline’s done if it will be too thick or not. I’m hoping not. I then committed the cardinal sin of knitting- I started weaving in my ends before the knitting was all done. I left the ends of the bottom and ribbing loose ‘cus I don’t like how it flares and might undo it and rib with a smaller needle.

Unfortunately, the more I try it on, the more I find things I don’t like, like excess fabric in the arms and uneven seams. About 85% of my mind is made up on frogging the whole thing. By dinner time I decided to leave it until next Monday. I’ll go in to the class and try it on, and get everyone’s honest opinion on do I make do and know better for next time, or not waste the $50 on the yarn, make my pattern notes, frog it and start over? The only things keeping me from frogging right now are the fact that I a) want to wear it already, and b) don’t want to take out the knitting machine again, and I don’t think these are valid reasons to make a half-assed sweater.

Tuesday, April 19: After work I came home and did nothing but eat and knit. It was fun! I had a snack. I knit. I ate dinner. I knit. I had a treat for dessert. I knit. I love how productive the knitting became, but wish the eating wasn’t quite as productive with my stomach. Oh well- at least I finished the first Funky Fur Magic skein. My FFM bag is officially 1/3 done.

Wednesday, April 20: This was not my day. First I discover that my white cable-knit sweater that’s so old it’s almost falling apart is actually almost see-through in the gaps between the sts in places where the sweater gets pulled a bit. Like the boobs. And of course today I chose to wear a baby blue bra. And of course I only discover this fact once I get to work, which is a 30min drive from where I live. Oh, and on top of this I’m not even going home after work today, it’s the Montreal Knitting Meetup at Second Cup on Monkland, and I’ll be going straight there after work. So now I get to spend the entire day and night with my bra playing peek-a-boo through my shirt.

Then I carry a box to the back of the store, misjudge the width of the doorway to the back and hit the doorframe with the box. Which rebounds back into my lip. Which mashes in against my tooth. Which refuses to give, thus forcing my lip (the more flexible of the two opponents) to give, and split, and bleed. Anyone remember I’m wearing a white sweater? Luckily it was barely bleeding, more like a scratch, really. So in all honestly no big deal, but still something else to chalk up to “not my day”.

Luckily the end of the night went better than the beginning. I went to the meetup and had a great time! Cady, Mary and Jennifer were there from the last meetup, and Michelle too (who was the one whose name I'd forgotten). Nadine was able to stay this time, and I met Zaina (sp?) who's in town for an indefinate period of time and was also at the MKG meeting last Tues, and someone new named Jo-something. Joceyln? Joelle? Joanne? I gotta start writting the names down! The last 2 to arrive were very cool women to meet. Mona has a blog that I've followed from time to time and it's just so cool to meet another Montreal knitting blogger, and Veronik is the Montreal designer Veronik Avery, whose knitware designs you might have seen in a little magazine called Interweave Knits. Tres cool to meet them both. Even cooler when Veronik told me she reads my blog! (Hey Veronik- my offer still stands...I'll pick you up and bring you to The Wool Shop in exchange for help with my stupid machine knit disaster sweater.)

For anyone interested, there is now a website devoted to Montreal knitting, and a yahoo group for the same. This will come in handy, not only to have a central locale for all things Montreal knitting related (like blogs, stores, etc...) but also to arrange meetups as meetup.com has decided to start charging, and we as a group have decided not to start paying.

Lastly, there's today. After a long day at work I dashed home to change, throw on some nicer (read: sexier) clothes, a little makeup (read: smoky eyeshadow and red vamp lipstick) and was off to meet Debbie for drinks at Babaloo's. I'd already had supper but wanted a nibble, so I decided to try what they called a Shrimp and Avocado Martini. Oohhh so good! It's a martini glass with avocado slices, some lemon juice, and shrimps that were marinated in vodka, dill and lemon juice. It was only 6 bucks and there were 8 shrimp! Yummy!

From there we decided to swing by Cheers! to see if any of the old crowd were still there. Back in the day (am I old enough to say "back in the day"?) our group of friends hung out there every night of the week. We had our own corner, got a lot of our drinks for free, and were considered enough of "regulars" that even if there was a line and a cover charge, all we had to do was walk up to the bouncer, kiss him on the cheek and stroll on in.

Ugh. Is it just me or are bars these days populated by babies?!? Except for those clearly over the legal drinking age, everyone else just looked young. Makes me feel old, and I'm not even that old! We did run in to Yannick's best friend and some of his friends, so we spent a few minutes with them, but left as soon as we could after that. That place makes me feel dirty.

Not much knitting to report, although I did do about 30 minutes on my Pefect Bag at lunch time. I decided that my corners weren't enough of right angles for my liking, so I dropped the corner sts down right to where I'd picked them up from the base and reworked them back up. I'm pretty much rewriting my own pattern as I go.

Well, this is about as much as I can honestly expect anyone to want to read in one sitting, so I'll sign off for tonight. Hoepfully there will be no more hiccups with my server and I won't have to go another week without posting. Good night! :)
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 12:08 AM   2 comments
Monday, April 18, 2005
We interrupt this catch-up session for a brief announcement...
First of all, I know the images still aren't working. I'm trying to work it out with tech support, only for the moment they don't know why the images don't work either. Hopefully that will be sorted out soon.

Secondly, I know my posts are about a week behind. Since I didn't have the time today to sit at the computer and catch up, I will type everything up at work tomorrow and then it will be ready to upload once I get home.

Thirdly, most importantly (and the reason for this impromptu post), I HAVE THE BEST BOYFRIEND IN THE WORLD.

Wow that collective gasp just shook my house! I know, I know. I complain about Yannick a lot, and we probably do spend more time fighting than non. But today he did something absolutely wonderful, and completely out of the blue. He'd gone to Chapters to look for a calendar since we forgot to get one so far this year, and came home with a surprise for me.

He sat down and told me that he was looking in the knitting section (I know, I'm in love already) and saw a title that intruiged him, so he took the book down. On the back were some cute questions about how to know if you're an obsessive knitter, like "Do you sneak yarn into the house" or "Do you plan vacations around yarn hot-spots". (For those wondering, the answer is yes to both of those, as well as all of the other questions on the book.)

Guess what he bought me?



*SUPER BIG GRIN*

I love reading Stephanie's blog, and have been dying to read her book but didn't see it in my LYS. I am so completely thrilled he bought it for me! He said he must have done something right 'cus apparently of all the gifts he's given me in the last year or so, this is the only one that got a squeal, a giggle, and me jumping out of my seat to give him a kiss. :]

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 8:42 PM   0 comments
Quick Catch Up (part 1)
Friday April 8th: Julie & Rich came over after work. We ordered New Kam Shing for dinner then played poker for a while. By bedtime I'd made back my original $7.00 plus an extra $0.35. (We play with nickels and dimes). My "big win" put me in a good mood, which lasted until I came upstairs to the computer. Not only did I keep losing my Blogger entries, but eventually I couldn't log in at all. I also was getting corrupt errors from both my firewall and my antivirus programs, and my firewall kept asking me to allow or block programs that were trying to access my computer from another computer. Uh-NO. When reading up on the error codes from the antivirus the instructions were to do blah blah, then uninstall and reinstall. So I did the blah blah stuff, uninstalled...and sat there for an hour while the installer did a cursory virus scan before installation. Only once the installation began did I go to bed. At 2:30am. And I work Saturdays. Not happy.

Saturday April 9th: Wake up to an error message that the installation won't work for various reasons. I can't go online to see why 'cus I've got no antivirus and in light of the remote access attempts from yesterday, won't risk it even for a few minutes. Eventually give in and call my tech guy. We manage to get it installed (on the 3rd try) and I go online. Hmm. My Sympatico emails are coming in, but none of my Jeloca ones, like all the knitting groups and Blogger comments and such. I fight with it for a while, then call my 2nd service provider. Turns out they're having trouble with the server, but promise it will be up and running by later on that day, or the next day. I put it behind me and go to work. After work I knit on my Kosher sweater sleeve ribbings for a bit until Laura (a friend, wife of Yannick's friend Mike) comes to pick me up for dinner at her house in Chateauguay. Yannick was already at their place 'cus he'd spent the day with Mike. We had a really great night, dinner was delicious: filet mignons, brochettes, cheese, potatos, portobello mushrooms...did I mention they'd bought 4 pies? Once their daughters and Laura's mom went to bed we were 4 people! 4 pies! Have mercy. We took a nice relaxing soak in the spa outside before coming in to devour pie. Because of Friday night's late night computer dealings, by 1:30am I was zoning out. We were lying on couches all steamy from the spa (us, not the couches) and while my eyes probably didn't close, there were at least a few moments where I wasn't all there. So we headed home. A quick check of my email reveals that my Jeloca provider still wasn't up, but it was after 2:00am and I wasn't in the mood to get annoyed. Too sleepy.

more recaps to come later today
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 8:27 AM   0 comments
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
I'm back!
Don't worry, I'm still here. My domain host got attacked last week and lost everything, including backups. This means I'm slowly getting things up and running again. If you sent me an email to me at jennifer_at_jeloca_dot_com rest assured I didn't ignore you, I just haven't received the email yet. This also explains why the images on the site are either screwy or missing. I have a lot of work ahead of me to try and replace the last 8 months of images, so be patient. In any case, I'm back, still knitting, and will hopefully get this site up and running properly within a week or so.

:]
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:52 PM   0 comments
Friday, April 08, 2005
Let's try this again.
Last night I sat here and spent almost an hour typing a very long, detailed post. Then my computer threw up and I lost the entire thing.

So I'll try again.

First of all I thanked Jody from the FiberRAOK list for sending me 2 books. She'd posted some to give away, and I got 2 by Mary Higgins Clark. I was so excited to receive the package yesterday! These books and the rock crystal I received are the only RAOKs I've gotten, not counting well wishes and stuff. I know it's mostly my own fault, other than 2 magazines I sent out and 2 elann.com gift certificates, I haven't sent anything else out in the 4 months or so I've been a member. I guess I was kinda holding back to see if anyone would send me anything. Maybe it's 'cus I don't leave comments on other people's blogs, so they don't get to know me unless they come here to my blog. I keep wondering if I should leave the RAOK group to make room for another blogger. This is not a plea for people to send me stuff. I just can't help but wonder sometimes, am I only going to receive something after people see other people thanking me for sending them stuff a bunch of times? Is there some kind of protocol no one says publicly, that you have to gift, I dunno, 5 times before you're gifted yourself? I'm just kidding here, I know it doesn't work that way. I guess the people who are more vocal in the group emails are the ones who get noticed more, and then people start following their blogs and they all end up exchanging RAOKs. But with 300+ members, it's hard to follow everyone. That's why I'm looking forwards to the Secret Pal 5 to start. I'll only have to worry about 1 person, lol. Anyways, I debated posting these thoughts 'cus I know RAOKers read my blog, and I'm really not trying to solicit people to send me stuff. I'm just wondering...how many other members of the list feel the same way?

Ok, now that I've probably pissed off a bunch of people, back to knitting! I did a lot on the tester sweater I'm making to explore machine knitting. I'm calling it my Kosher sweater 'cus it's MK (machine knit). :) (MK is also one of the symbols they put on food products to mark it as kosher.)

I won't finish the "diary of a sweater" analogy 'cus I'm too annoyed at having to retype, but (yay!) the knitting is all done! I won't say that I enjoyed the process of knitting the thing, but I do like the results. Check this out:
Monday: finished the front (except 1/2 the v-neck)
Tuesday: finished the front and back
Wednesday: finished the sleeves
Thursday: blocked the sucker

I was so proud to have it blocking before work yesterday. I know I've knit sweaters before, both dog and human, but this was the first one for me. And it's bigger than the others. Over 700 rows of knitting done in 4 nights. It's amazing to me, but I still don't enjoy the process. It's not so bad when I push the carriage to the right, but when I need to go left it fights me and the knitting actually becomes a workout. Plus, it's stressful. I've dropped a few stitches without realizing it. Luckily I know how to fix it, and did so, but still, it's not "fun" yet. I did figure out increases and decreases like a pro though. :]

Last night I seamed the shoulders and inserted the set-in sleeves. Today I hope to finish the side and underarm seams so I can spend Sunday doing some kind of border treatment, and wear it to my class on Monday.
"What did you do this week Jennifer?"
"Well, see this shirt I'm wearing..."

One week, one sweater. Amazing.

To Jewel from the comments: Other than the Wool Shop out here, these are the other LYSs I've heard about. I've never been to any, but would like to visit them sometime. Have you been to any of these? Know of any others?
Boutique Jenni-Mar 142 Saint-Charles Avenue, Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC J7V2K8 (450) 424-4110
Brick Point Needlework Shop 318 Victoria Avenue, Westmount, QC H3Z2M8 (514) 489-0993
Knitwits 6900 Décarie Boulevard, Côte-Saint-Luc, QC H3X2T8 (514) 342-9332
Lainerie Lépine (A la) 3884 Jean-Talon Rue East, Montréal, QC H2A1Y7 (514) 721-2440
Magasin Fibres LB 2270 Du Mont-Royal Avenue East, Montréal, QC H2H1K6 (514) 521-9000
Tricoteuse (A La) 779 Rachel Rue East, Montréal, QC H2J2H4 (514) 527-2451

I've also heard there's a place where the guy spins your yarn for you, even custom colors and blends, and it's sold by the pound so for sweaters it's super cheap. I forget which store he is though. I need to do a road trip. I don't work Mondays, I should really plan to leave the West Island one of these weeks.

To Carrie from Southern-Fried Knitting from the comments: Thanks for coming by! I really hope you enjoy the FiberRAOK ring. I know I grumbled up there, but it's morning, I'm cranky, and my auto-censors haven't kicked in yet. The people are super friendly, and always there to lend a hand if you need it. P.S. Fiona and Bubbles are adorable!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:10 AM   4 comments
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
Comments on the Comments
To Jenanne from the comments: Taking a class sounds like such a great idea. I think I've managed to convince my knitting teacher (who lent me the machine) to come over one night and give me a crash course. True, I'll already have made something before then, but it won't hurt to learn the proper basics first.

To Jewel from the comments: Do you live in Montreal? I do my class in the West Island at The Wool Shop (Les Lainages du Petit Mouton) in the Pointe Claire Shopping Center. I know there are other LYSs in Montreal, but I don't usually drive downtown or really out of the West Island, so haven't braved out there yet. Supposedly some good stuff though, but I'm waiting to convince someone (anyone?) to come with me first. I'm also a member of the Montreal Knitting Guild that meets the second Tuesday of each month in Beaconsfield http://www.montrealknittinguild.com
and I also attend the Montreal Knitting Meetup (the one on Monkland, not the one in Pointe Claire) because it's right near my work. The only yarn I've bought online was from RedBirdKnits, so far. I hear great things about elann and smily's though, and plan to shop once I've got some spare cash :)
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:34 PM   2 comments
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
More Sweater - from concept to completion
Monday night:
12:30am: Finally stop working on the machine. I'm hot, sweaty, and just a skoch cranky, but have most of a sweater front to show for it. I had intended on doing the back first, but realized 97 rows in that I had 4 sts too many, and decided that due to my boobs I'd rather have the extra width in the front, rather than the back. I say "most" of a sweater front 'cus I made a v-neck, and had to put 37 sts on a holder while I worked on one side of the neck. I was too tried to finish both sides. At least I know that I accomplished something! No way could I have knit 171 rows by hand in one night!

Tuesday (today):

12:30pm - 6:00pm: Spend time at work contemplating sweater while working. Figuring out how best to tame the beast. Laugh at the weakness I showed yesterday and know that I have now conquored the knitting machine. Ignore forboding music playing softly in my mind.

6:48pm: Get home from work and make supper, trying hard to ignore the knitting machine still set up on the kitchen table. Eat standing up at the island, eyeing the km from time to time. Smile and think how easy it all is, once you know how to do it.

8:00pm: Place leftover sts from yesterday's front on machine. Take a few moments to decide how best to do this, as the sts are so tiny. Finally decide to use the transfer tools.

8:45pm: Front is finished! I still couldn't figure out how to bind off, if it is the same thing as when I bind off a bunch of sts for the armpit, or if there is another trick when you're binding off the last sts, 'cus you'd still end up with one st at the end. I resorted to the same thing as for the other side of the front: drop the rem 6 sts and BO with needles. (I did this for the front 'cus I accidentally passed the carriage without any yarn in it, and it dropped everything off the needles.)

9:15pm: After some guacamole and low-carb tortilla chips, I sit down at the machine. I confidently cast on with waste yarn, do a few rows, then switch to my main yarn. I get 17 rows in when the carriage jams. I take it off but can't figure out how to start knitting again in the middle of a row. I decide that I'm so few rows in, it would be better to start over. I drop everything and frog. I start again. After 23 rows I glance at the knitting I've created and see that I've somehow managed to knit in a knot in the yarn. It's on the wrong side, but it's still a clump of yarn the size of a nickel that will either pop out on the right side, or hit my back really uncomfortably. I decide again to start over.

10:07pm: I come upstairs to get a screwdriver to pop the lock on the downstairs bathroom 'cus I must have accidentally locked it and shut the door. I decide to update my blog while here. Downstairs I have 45 rows OTN. I've decided not to be cocky with this machine. After all, I still have the sleeves too.

To "B" from bknits from the comments: I figured out the whole money thing. Turns out that yes, I bought 11 sk at 6.99 ea, yes I returned 11 sk, but of the 11, 8 were 7.49 and then a 20% disco 'cus they were on sale (that I forgot about) and 3 were 7.49 with a 10% disco (that I get on all purchases). So they were right after all.

To Lucia from the comments: You have a fantastic site! I'd actually looked at the pattern when googling "machine knit raglan sweater generator" but I really wanted something knit in pieces and your other ones are knit in the round, plus I wanted something knit bottom up. I'm using an old bulky HK 100, Singer I think, and I can't do in the round on it. I'm not really a machine knitter yet lol, just practicing to see if I like it before I buy one. My bf was ready to drop big money on ebay to buy me a machine, but I felt so afraid it would just sit there if I didn't enjoy it! Luckily my knitting teacher lent me one of hers to try out. It's....well, I don't know how to describe it yet. I wouldn't call it fun. It's not peaceful or exhilirating or destressing like hand knitting. So far it's stress-inducing. :)

To Jenanne from the comments: Oh my God is there so much prep work! Geez with my hand needles you just sit down and go. With this OY VEY! Not to mention the space it takes up and the time commitment. I can't sit down and do a few rows while waiting to leave, I need to plan, prepare. Hopefully it will be worth it. I had to lose the ruffle though, dropped the sts yesterday and wasn't about to reknit it for another hour before getting on to the machine. Plus I HATED transfering the sts to the machine. I don't know what the proper way is to do it, but it was obnoxious and took forever. Since I CO with waste yarn, I'll have live sts so I can do a border on the needles at the end. I'm not sure if I'll keep the ruffle. I think a nice cable that winds around might look better. I'll see once everything is blocked and I can try it on.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:07 PM   2 comments
Monday, April 04, 2005
As I was saying...
...so to finish Sunday, Yannick took me to his friend Mike's mom's store in Chateauguay that sells the Charmilia beads so that I could spend my gift certificate. I was having a really hard time picking something out! There were a lot of cute things, but they can get expensive so I don't want to get something just 'cus it's cute. I want it to have meaning. And I found the perfect beads!

But you'll have to wait until I pick up the bracelet (they ordered in my size) to see a pic...

I'm such a tease.

After the store we stopped by Mike and Laura's, then headed back home for our reservation at a really fantastic Italian place. Frank, my computer guy, recommended it so we tried it out, and it was delicious! If anyone is ever in the West Island, it's called Mundo and is off of Saint-Charles blvd. After dinner we went to Laurentian Lanes so Yannick could bowl with my cousin while I knitted.

After my little tire rendez-vous this morning I went to my knitting class. So easily enabled, I bought yarn for 2!!! more projects.

1) 3 skeins of Watercolors mohair in black to make a shrug- really practical for both home and out. Uh huh.

2) 10! skeins of Decor to attempt a machine-knit sweater. Which leads to....

A Sweater: From Concept to Completion

12:30 pm: I arrive home with my 10 spanking-new skeins and place them lovingly on the kitchen table.

12:45pm: I go up to my office and fetch 2 knitting books: Ann Budd's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, and Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge. My theory is that since I already have a machine knit swatch, I can choose the gauge I like and make up a sweater following Ann Budd's patterns, and use Nicky Epstein's for the finishing touches.

1:00pm: I realize that my gauge doesn't work out evenly to "4" or 5" sts/inch like the book uses, but rather 4.25 sts/inch. This is a foreboding sign of things to come.

1:15pm: After searching I discover the book has a section on how to use alternate gauges, and I make notes accordingly and proceed with optimism to write out a pattern. I decide I will be smart and write everything out so if it says to knit 11 inches, I'll already have calculated how many rows that translates to based on the gauge (since machine knitting must be done by rows, I have discovered.)

1:22pm: I discover that Mrs. Budd has decided to write the raglan pattern for knitting in the round, which is impossible for me to do on the bulky machine. I proceed nonetheless, fearlessly converting the "body" directions to "front" and "back" directions.

3:31pm: I finish writing out the front, back and sleeve directions so far and discover that Ann has chosen to join the body and sleeves into a seamless yoke for her raglan pattern. Much swearing ensues as I try to figure out how to fiddle/subtract/analyze the breakdown of this.

4:04pm: I head upstairs to try on shirts I already own to see if I really *need* raglan sleeves, even though I'd wanted them. Luckily I find a shirt that fits great with semi-dropped sleeves, a pattern for which dear Ann Budd has conveniently written in pieces, not in the round. Much rejoicing takes place.

6:18pm: I finish hand writting the entire front and back directions including an adaptation for a v-neck. I then decide to go through the borders book to see what I'll do. I choose a basic ruffle, which requires casting on double the sts I need for the front/back pieces, working in st st then decreasing to create the ruffle, then I can put that on the machine and continue.

7:46pm: I take a break after row 10 of the 18 planned rows of 208 stupid stitches for the silly ruffle. I'm sure I'll love this later. Right now all I'm thinking is that this is my only day off alone and I haven't even touched the machine yet, and I only started knitting an hour ago!

At least there is nothing on tonight so I can hopefully do something on the machine, although my thoughts of having a sweater blocking by sundown are completely dashed.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:46 PM   2 comments
I'm so not happy I'm up right now.
Saturday night was kinda a bust. After work Yannick made me watch Saw with him while we had supper. I agreed only 'cus we were supposed to go out to Bingo after, so I figured watching a creepy thriller during daylight hours while eating with the lights on wouldn't be so bad. It wasn't, and talking about stupid plot tricks that make no sense helped too. But then we had one of our usual fights about how things aren't always perfect, and instead of trying to make them so we both get pretty stubborn, so instead of going to Bingo I read knitting books while he did laundry and then went to bed. Ok the night didn't complelely suck- I did get inspired to do some knitware designs from Nicky Epstein's Knitting on the Edge. I made some sketches...we'll see what happens.

Sunday was somewhat more fun. We went over to my LYS and I changed my 11 skeins of Alafoss Lopi for 11 of Patons' Classic Merino so I could start my felted bag. I have to figure out something though, 'cus I returned 11 sk at 7.49$/ea minus my disco, and bought 11 sk at 6.99$/ea minus my disco, but still somehow owed $1.22 at the end. It wasn't much so I'm not complaining....but the math doesn't work in my head.

I have a lot more to write but have to leave 'cus I need to get a flat tire patched before my 9am class *groan* so I'm off!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:31 AM   1 comments
Saturday, April 02, 2005
My tummy hurts :(
I think I'm going through a bout of food poisoning. Either that, or I ate waaaaay too many foods with oil in them yesterday, 'cus I've been sick since the minute I got home. Or it was the leftover Greek salad I ate a day late. Or the stale cheese croissant. Or the movie-theater popcorn. Or- ok, I see it could be many things that I did to myself. Why does everything I like have to be fried or oily or greasy? If only I liked chocolate...... lol

Wednesday night Yannick came home to have supper with me, so while there were nice steaks in my evening, there was no knitting. I made up for it Thursday night for an hour or so, and yesterday morning too.

Last night we went to Montana's for dinner then to see Be Cool. I don't know why it didn't get great reviews, 'cus it was a lot of fun. Well, except for the 5 obnoxious teens who wouldn't shut up one row over. I don't know what it is with the Collisee, but every time we go there people won't stop talking. And I try to be nice, I really do. I'm 27, not sitting there talking about "young whippersnappers". But please. I won't shush you if you talk during the previews even though they're my favorite part. And I'll even ask you nicely the first 4 times or so, to "please stop talking" or "do you mind not talking, I can't hear the movie". My previous worst time was when X-Men had just come out. The man behind me was explaining every scene to his 3 year old. "Now Wolverine just burst through the door. Ooh look, he's got his claws out! Isn't this scary......etc..." But last night...whew. I asked nicely. I was polite. About 14 times. Then I started shushing them. Then I had to resort to saying out loud "Please stop talking!" After the 30th or so request I finally looked over and said that if they wouldn't stop talking I would get the manager. They didn't. So I got up and walked out. You know the part in the commercial when John Travolta and Uma Thurman are dancing to the Black Eyed Peas? That's the scene I missed. I figured I was safe, I've seen them dance already in Pulp Fiction. :) I didn't find the manager, but I did find 2 "customer service" teens. Very scary. *snort* They followed me in and spoke to the kids. I felt like a narc, but seriously, it was now over an hour into the movie and I'd asked them to be quiet many, many times. Of course, they didn't. By the time I actually disturbed other movie goers by almost yelling "shut up!" they were turning on their cell phones for light and giggling. Thankfully, about a half hour before the end of the movie, they got up and left, one by one. I don't know why, for all I know the "customer service" guys told them that if they were good and left they'd get movie passes. I was just really thankful for the silence! I was a little nervous though when we left the movie and they were all outside. After the mob-type movie I'd just seen you know that I was certain they were all packing weapons and would follow us to the car...and I won't fill in the details my morbid brain created next. When one young guy started walking towards us from the far end of the parking lot, one hand reaching into his waistband under his coat for like 3 minutes, I was positive he was reaching for a gun. I know. Like we'd get blown away over a movie ruckus. I know. *sheepish grin* What can I say? I'm creative...my brain is always working up these stories.

On a more positive note about last night Yannick surprised me with a very generous present! When we'd gone to Fourquette Fourchette a few weeks ago Laura, the birthday boy's wife, was wearing a very interesting bracelet, and her mom had a similar necklace. It was kinda like the Zoppini charm bracelets, but instead of interlocking squares, these were 3D beads that went on a rope-like chain. There were "locking" beads that meant the beads between them could move freely, but not past the locks, so even if the clasp undid you wouldn't lose anything. Plus the beads were gorgeous. And adorable. A cat, for example, wasn't just a picture of a cat, it was an actual 3D cat sculpture with a hole through the side to pass the chain. But, due to the quantity of the beads available, it could be like the Zoppini charms in that you choose beads with special meanings, or for special occassions. I fell in love with it right away. It's more "grown up" than the Zoppini ones that are now available even at dollar stores. Plus most are real gold and/or silver, and are more expensive, which is the only downside. They're called Chamilia, and have a website: http://www.chamilia.com How do I know what they're called? :] Because my lovely boyfriend surprised me with a gift certificate to Laura's mom's store where she sells them! Yesterday was "kinda" an anniversary (Dec 1 was 6 years, so April 1 was six years, 4 months), plus he'd never gotten me a Valentine's Day gift. He wanted to pick out actual beads for me, but wasn't sure which chain I'd prefer, gold, silver or stainless steel, so we're going to go back together. I can't wait!

Now back to the knitting!

I have to say that I'm SO GLAD I started working on this cardi! It is such a pleasure to knit, and I love watching each row bring the picture out more. And it's pretty fast too, since I only started it this week and I think by Monday night I'll have at least finished the left front piece...which doesn't sound like much until you remember that I have to follow a pattern with no repeats at all for every single row.

Here's LC now:




And, since I wasn't planning on making such a long post, I also took a pic of the chart I'm using for this piece, to show how I color-coded each chart symbol. I laughed at myself for doing this in a previous post, but omigod does it make it go so fast! I don't even have to count, nothing! Just looking at the chart shows me instantly where I am and what to do next. I love it!

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:26 AM   0 comments
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