Friday, December 29, 2006

Presenting...Devan et. al.

Yes, that is right. The unimaginable happened - I finished Devan! I think it is mostly due to the yarn-buying-freeze enacted by J until the sweater was completed. Now I am allowed to buy...get ready for this...AS MUCH YARN AS I WANT. Oh, J could not have possibly imagined how much yarn I want, but the deal was made and now I'm free to go on a yarn spree. There is sure to be later posts about these yarn purchases.

Here is Devan in pictures. First, blocking:

Then with shoulders seamed:

Add a neck/button band, seam sleeves to body, seam sides and sleeves:

Today I took Devan for a drive to buy buttons. Once I sew on the buttons, this one is good to go! Unfortunately, I've gotten really attached to this little sweater so it is going to be hard to let it go. However, we did get a Christmas card from our friends which confirmed that he is still the MOST adorable baby in the world so I believe he deserves it!
Devan isn't the only finished project around here, though. When I went home for Thanksgiving I picked up an unfinished project, a lace-y dishcloth, from about 2 years ago. This dishcloth is now finished, and happily in use for dish drying and other kitchen activities. There are a few things worth mentioning about this dishcloth:
I had a booklet of dishcloth patterns with the half-finished project, after using process of elimination I selected the only pattern it could have been. The fact that it has been 2 years since I touched this project means that:
(1) my knitting skills have improved and
(2) based on the pattern I could not have been following it correctly before so I
(3) tried to attempt what I may have thought the pattern was way-back-when only to discover an inch later that it was not the same pattern. This lead me to believe that
(4) maybe I did know what I was doing 2 years before and so I
(5) switched to doing the pattern as actually written. This led to yet another lace pattern which was not the same as the first or the second.
At this point I realized I had a few choices. I could either continue on and complete the dishcloth as a sampler of 3 lace patterns which I may never be able to replicate or I could rip it out and start over. This is when I remembered why I had knit a dishcloth in the first does not matter what it looks like. It is only a dishcloth. With this knitting revelation, I finished in years a project that should have taken a weekend.
In the interest of getting some old projects off the needles (notice these are all things I never claimed to have "on the needles" in the first place), I also finished a scarf that I had started in September 2004. It is perfectly lovely and I wear it all the time. However, finishing a 2+ year old scarf did teach me a valuable lesson that I want to share, and will be shown with pictures tomorrow. Knitting is fabric, and therefore it 'ages'. This means that if you knit a scarf over multiple years, one end of the scarf will look much older than the other end. This is incredibly convenient for all those times when you need something that can pass as either old or new. In fact, I recommend procrastinating on all knitting projects so that you too can achieve this unique effect.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The Stash

It is possibly due to the fact that I finally live in only one city for the entire year...but I have finally accumulated a yarn stash. I used to pride myself on buying yarn by the project. I'd buy yarn with a project in mind and be SO excited to start that I would actually start. This resulted in plenty of unfinished projects, but not much unclaimed yarn lying around.

Currently, however, I have bags of yarn in the office, living room, bedroom, and every storage basket in the apartment. Bags of yarn that I have absolutely no idea if or when I will ever use them. Bags of yarn that make me really, really happy to have around.

Some of this yarn was accumulated through yarn sales and local yarn stores. Most of it was accumulated through online yarn shopping sprees when work puts me in a bad mood. Uh oh...I may have become a yarn-shop-a-holic.

My sisters are definitely shop-a-holics. Nothing brightens their day faster than purchasing a new shirt or jewelry. I've never understood their desire or ability to spend hours in the mall. I've always dreaded shopping, it seemed much too girly--this explains why so much of my wardrobe is (1) from high school or (2) hand-me-downs from my younger, and much more fashion conscious, sisters. But give me the ability to buy yarn in pajamas and, apparently, I too have an inner shop-a-holic.

My mom has a veritable yarn store worth of yarn in our basement at home. My father loves to warn J about the dangers of yarn-buying addictions but meets with limited success. J apparently has too much faith in my ability to control my habit or does not yet comprehend how bad it may become...

And, no, I still have no progress on the baby sweater. Yes, baby keeps growing and my deadline gets closer and closer. While I do not have the attention span to knit adult-sized garmets, I also seem to lack the focus to complete child-sized projects on schedule. At least I know that I have plenty of yarn to keep my company while I procrastinate!!

Wedding Progress

Finally! While we were in Seattle for Thanksgiving we managed to make some serious progress on wedding planning. Most of it was achieved by breaking down J's resistance to my ideas by sheer hours of wedding planning activities. I don't think my fiance has ever appreciated the number of hours I spend on wedding research, and he got a small taste of it over Thanksgiving.

My mom and dad picked us up from the airport on Wednesday at 11:00am. From there we drove to Seattle for our first appointment with a reception location at noon. Following the Fairview Club, we proceeded to visit another FOUR reception locations. Thursday we took a short break to overeat and visit with extended family. Friday we were back on the reception location trail, visiting approximately 9 additonal locations from Woodinville to Snoqualmie to Seattle to Bothell. Fiance was definitely beat down by this. On Saturday I suggested that Dad and Fiance go to look at a few more sites on their own while the girls went dress shopping. This mere suggestion finally resolved the deadlock on a decision we had been arguing for what-feels-like-months.

Saturday resulted in 3 finalists for dresses that were, shockingly, all WAY under my budget. On Monday I grabbed a bridesmaid and my dad for the final decision. I bought a dress that I adore for 50% off (you'll have to wait for pictures until the wedding)! Because the dress is off-the-rack, the first set of alterations is in progress as we speak and I have a second fitting scheduled for January.

Following this rush of progress, we headed out to visit a florist recommended by an event planner friend of my parent's. I got along with her really well, and I think she'll help execute my floral vision perfectly. So we tentatively have a florist!

In other news, my mother made us my favorite cake of all time to decide if J and I want the recipe for our wedding cake. We all agree that it is a go, so now we just need to find a baker willing to work with my mom's recipe.

In a single week we went from behind schedule to ahead of schedule. What a good feeling!