Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic gold is mine

I did it! I finished my mittens last night. It was dicey at times and I had a set back on the first Wed. when I ripped back 15 rows because I was not happy with the gauge I was getting with my left hand. I was sure that I would not finish, but I really wanted to. I was determined to give it my all and try my best.  I had envisioned lots of pictures and updates to document my progress along the way, but the big frog of the first Wednesday left me behind so I became a dedicated knitter for the remainder of the Olympics. It was going to be a stretch for me to finish in the first place, but having to rip back gave me serious doubts about finishing at all. I had not one, but two (TWO!!) tv sets go dead on me during the Olympics, so I was also dealing with watching a smaller (then even smaller) set than normal, and sitting in spaces where I was not used to sitting and knitting (and also moving tvs around so I could watch at least something). Some sort of knitting miracle occured this weekend. I persevered, I made it! (and I love my mittens.) These aren't the best pictures, but they were taken after sewing up the last hem during the closing ceremonies! I need to block them, but they are done!

Olympic Mittens Completed!
Olympic Mittens Completed!
See - the Olympics are on the TV! - well, my mom's tv. I didn't want to watch at home on a crappy small tv and there was no way I was giving up knitting time to go and research/buy a new one. We were trying to get a shot with the cauldron, but this works well too.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Knitting - Day 1 and Day 2

My mittens are progressing nicely! I'm right on schedule so far. Here's a brief recap of the knitting from day one and day 2. They look really the same - I just started one mitten on day one and the second one on day 2 and now I'm ready to start the chart on the mittens. I wanted to do the braids separately since that gets the yarn all twisty. I have snow laying around for pretty picture taking so I'm taking advantage of the scenery.

Progress at the end of day 1 - one mitten started (still need to do braid)
Deep in the Forest mittens, day 1

Progress at the end of day 2 - two mittens started, chart is next!
Deep in the Forest mittens, day 2

Close up of each mitten
I made the braids go different directions so they will be mirror images of each other. It's a little detail that I will appreciate later on. I love symmetry.
Deep in the Forest mittens, day 2

Deep in the Forest mittens, day 2

On to start the chart! (And watch last night's primetime Olympic brodcast - women's moguls, speed skating and the first medal ceremony.). I love having a DVR when it comes to watching sports. I get to skip all of the commercials!)


ravelympics logo teamname2 200x200 zzwhitejd

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Snow! and Dogs!

So the Olympics started on Feb. 12th and we also had snow! I got to leave work early - and that never happens! It took me forever to get home - 1 hr 45 min. Yikes! Normally it's just under 30 minutes. I was animal sitting for my mom, so I went straight to her house. Below are some pictures from the snow!

2/12/13 Snow in Atlanta

2/12/13 Snow in Atlanta

2/12/13 Snow in Atlanta

2/12/13 Snow in Atlanta

And a couple pictures of the cuties I was looking after...
Arlo and Bailey
Arlo is an Italian Spinone and Bailey is a Bearded Collie
Arlo and Bailey

Arlo in the snow

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bella's Mittens

Bella's mittens

Pattern: Bella's Mittens
By: Subliminal Rabbit
Needles: 9 Boyle 32 in. circular
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino color 00225 (dark gray mix)

Needed something to keep me occupied until the Olympics start, so I cast on for these. I bought two balls of yarn and am holding the yarn doubled. I'm using a size nine, which is larger than pattern recommendation because I read comments about the mittens being a bit small if you have larger hands. I have larger arms, so I decided to go up a size. I didn't swatch either. Living dangerously! The fit feels pretty good so far, so I'm happy. I like the idea of putting a pattern on the palm (like the ones from the movie). Some people are putting moss stitch on it, but I like the original pattern better. I think there's another pattern on Ravelry for free that has a different pattern, which is closer to the original. I'm going to have to check that out and see if it's compatible with what I've already cast on! Love them so far, it will be nice to have some mittens. By the end of February, I should have two pair!

I have four more Gnome beards to show too. All different colors and all darn cute! I just need to take pictures. (I'm never home during daylight so I have to remember to take them this weekend - if I'm not totally absorbed in my Olympic knitting and watching the Olympics.)

Colors decided!

Possible color combo #1I've decided to go with the white + blue/gray combination. It was my original choice, but I was briefly swayed when I got my yarn (well, to be honest, not so briefly swayed). I think I will make a coordinating Daybreak with the gray/blue + black combination though. And possibly a hat that matches the gloves. I'll have to see how much yarn is left over after knitting the mittens and decide if there is enough to make a hat. It would be nice to have a whole set. Somewhere I once read a statement that went kind of like: you can always tell a knitter, because they have great knitted items but nothing matches.
I'm not sure exactly why, but that statement bothers me on several levels.
(1) If they're wearing great stuff, why care? It probably all goes together somehow. I don't think people would purposefully wear clashing items. (Right?)
(2) Before I became a knitter (and since, to tell the truth) I didn't/don't own a complete matching set of winter wear either. Who buys sets anyways? I know some people do, because they're out there, but not me and not anyone else I know. I do own a matching hat/scarf, but I rarely wear them together. And I bought them since I started knitting.
(3) Two of the first things I knitted were a green scarf and matching fingerless mitts. So there. We do knit things that match.

So, just to say "who cares?" and "so there!", I'm planning on knitting a coordinating! complete! set! of winter wear. 


This post brought to you in honor of the 2010 Knitting Olympics (button by the Yarn Harlot) and the 2010 Ravelympics (button by 22whitejd)


Friday, January 29, 2010

Ravelympics - Deep in the Forest Mittens

Possible color combo #1The Yarn Harlot (google her, if you haven't been enlightened) had a fantastic idea of having an Olympic Knitting event during the last winter olympics in which knitters chose a project to knit that would be a personal challenge.  The project would be completed during the days the olympics were held. I was just new to knitting back then and had no idea of the large online presence knitters have and didn't hear of this idea until recently.  So for this year's olympics, I was all set to participate. I'm ready for a challenge! Ravelry (the best knitting resource online ever) has a similar idea called the Ravelympics. A project, to be knitted during the olympics, which is a challenge for the knitter. Fun!

Possble color combo #2
I'm participating and I've chosen my project - Deep in the Forest Mittens by truulia. (Click the link and check them out. They're pretty.) My yarn arrived last night (along with my first tiny Addi Turbo needles - size 0 and size 1). This will be my first time knitting mittens, my first stranded/colorwork project and my first time knitting with fingering wool. I've made a sort of schedule to stick to if I want to be finished in time. This will definately be a challenge for me. But - I really want these mittens and I'm motivated.  Even more so since I can't start now, and there's a deadline involved.  I'm getting excited!  I get to wind yarn and swatch this weekend so I know what needles to use, but I have to wait to cast on until Friday, Feb. 12th. The anticipation is building.

I'm trying to decide what yarn combination to choose. I think I'm also going to knit a daybreak and a hat that will go with the mittens.  They don't all have to match, but I want them to be a set that goes together (so they can match, or they can complement each other...I haven't decided yet.) What do you think? The gray/blue yarn will be the trees (I think), and I have to decide whether to use the white or the black as the background. Decisions! Luckily, I have some time (and some swatching) to help me decide.

Possible color combo #1Possible color combo #2

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Crusty French Bread

French Bread loaf baked 1/17

I'm a baker!  I baked the French Bread recipe a few nights ago and forgot to take pictures when it came out of the oven.  (I was hungry.) But I did remember to take a few of the half that was left.  The loaves so far have been the perfect size for two people to have about three-four slices of bread.  Good crunchy crust! You can bake a loaf that's thinner or thicker depending on your preference of crust to crumb (the inside of the loaf). The french bread rests for a shorter amount of time and bakes for slightly less time than the artisan freeform loaf.  It takes a bit less than an hour from fridge to belly. Yum.

French Bread loaf baked 1/17

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Artisan Bread

Artisan Freeform Loaf

I cooked bread last night!  It was tasty and delicious.  Nice crunchy crust, good creamy, dense interior.  It reminded me a lot of the bread I get at the Italian market. (and a little of the artisan bread from Kroger - the one with the whole garlic cloves -but better than that one.)

The loaf I baked was the rustic artisan freeform loaf. (The first recipe in the book.) It truly only took about 5 minutes of my time so far, including all of the clean up. You need to prepare time for the bread to rise and bake, naturally, but that is time where you can be doing something else. Plus, once the dough is mixed, it sits in the fridge and you just cut off a hunk for the night.  I made a half recipe the first time as I didn't have a container big enough for the whole one.  I wanted to test out the recipe and technique before I put any money into buying a big container for all of that dough.  Tonight, I'm trying the french bread.  I'm using the same batch of dough that I used last night, but a different baking technique.  Will report back with remarks!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello gnome!

My first beard and it's really cute. Totally worth every bit.  If I went with this beard, I would have been finished yesterday (Monday) for a total of 19 days start to finish.  (That includes about a week of not working on it at all!)

Now, onto the cuteness. This is the beard knitted with Foxy Sable. I thought it would be too dark from looking at it in the skein, but when it's knitted it seems lighter.  The light strands show up more. I like this beard, but am open to others. (So of course, I'm knitting some more to test!)
Yuletide gnome, testing beard made out of Foxy sable

Yuletide gnome, testing beard made out of Foxy sable

Yuletide gnome, testing beard made out of Foxy sable

Typical. Always involved in the photo shoot.
Yuletide gnome, testing beard made out of Foxy sable

More pictures on my flickr page in my gnome set..

Friday, January 15, 2010

Nearing the finish line...

We have a body!
Yuletide gnome, waiting for beard
You can see my center of the body stitch markers. These helped me center the legs and arms and I'm leaving them in so I know where to place the nose.
Next: the beard.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

More layout...

I think I have my layout set up as what I envisioned. Something fresh, clean and white/light.  I think white dishes are really the best type of dishes to own as food looks better on white.  I guess I wanted the same for my blog.  I thought I wanted something darker and with some color but I got it all set up (which took a while) and it didn't feel quite right.  The more I look at this setup, I like it more and more.  It still needs some tweaking (a header and some sidebar customization and who knows what other little things) but I like it.


Got that fixed.  I knew there had to be a reset button somewhere....just wish I had found it before deleting my posts. Now to import my old posts from my old (shortly lived) blog  from a few years ago and the posts I deleted - just to make sure the info all stays in one place.
ETA: and to fix all of the picture sizes so they aren't cropped off on one side.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Seaming away

One arm down, one to go. Cute. Thumb was fiddly, but I redid it once and it looks much better. - Also, why did I decide to do the most fiddly one first? It's super cute, but I was not in the mood to seam more after this.  All I wanted to do was sit and look at the cuteness!
Yuletide gnome, seamed mitten/arm

Yuletide gnome, seamed mitten/arm

Yuletide gnome, seamed mitten/arm vs. unseamed

Yeah, the color is all off on these.  It was late and I was in my office with flourescent lighting.  Didn't realize how the combo of no sunlight/only flourescent light makes all of the photos so blue.  *Note to self in the future, it is worth it to wait a day to take pictures in the sunlight.  But, I was really excited about the first part all seamed and stuffed!

Hi! Testing....

Testing, 1, 2, 3.
My old settings were doing something strange with the post options (from an old theme) so I've deleted them and am testing to see if problem still exists.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gnome ho!

Check out my gnome pieces!
Yuletide gnome, pieces unseamed

Friday, January 8, 2010


Last day of my staycation for Christmas/New Year is almost over.  I'm getting ready to head to bed now. I've finished all of the knitting for my first yuletide gnome! Now on to the seaming and stuffing.  I need to take some pictures.  It's cute so far. I also still need to knit the beard. I have a lot of different colors of Foxy and I haven't decided on a color yet.  I'm planning on sewing him up and then seeing what color I think looks best.  I might knit up several and then decide.  Then I'll have a beard or two ready to go for the future. Pics coming soon!  (and I need to figure out a layout, and a header picture!)