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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thoughts for 04/29/07

I've joined the Elann Shawl KAL, and have picked the Sun Ray Shawl, since it looks to be the easiest to do which will give me a better chance at finishing it. This would be my very first shawl and I am very excited about it. Gosh, I hope I can make it to the end. I'm off to a slow start though. I still have to wait for DH to print out the pattern for me, and I still haven't decided on the yarn. Lisa got me thinking about what yarns I had in my stash which could be used for the shawl, and this is what I came up with:

I have 4 balls each of Highland Wool in indigo heather, red maple, and ruby. I only got 4 balls because I was thinking of scarves when I ordered them.

I have 5 balls each of Highland Silk in 4 different colors, again thinking of scarves when I ordered them. Since the pattern calls for 6 balls of worsted, that would probably translate to more balls in a thinner weight?

Would superwash wool work? I have 10 balls of Cleckheaton DK superwash wool in brown which was earmarked for something else, but I can use that instead.

I have 8 balls each of Austermann Peru sport weight in 5 colors, not sure if that will be enough yardage? Never used it so don't know. I think it's thinner than DK, maybe thinner than fingerling? Forget where sport weight falls.

I have 5 balls of Super Tweed, forget what that was, worsted?

Oh, just realized that I have tons of Marly superwash wool. 10 balls each of estate wine, wild berry, newport blue, amethyst shadow, and raphael purple.

Tons of Baby Cashmere (26 peacock, 12 cashmere blue, 12 dusky lavender, 12 prism pink, 12 rose heather, 12 morning mist) ... and tons of Baby Silk (12 pink seashell, 12 raspberry, 12 lotus blossom, 12 aubergine, 12 oxblood, 10? sapphire, 12 deepest black)

10 balls each of that Debbie Bliss Merino DK that came out a little while back (fresh olive, pine green, cyclamen, lavender, tomato)
Which yarn do you think I should choose for my very first shawl?

I posed this same question on the KAL. Lisa thought I should use Debbie Bliss, Joan thought Austermann Peru, Cate thought something bright because of the name of the shawl. As much as I like the BC & BS, I'm thinking that would not be a good choice because I would like to stay motivated and finish the shawl before the next Ice Age. :-) Of course I suppose I could double it (would that make it worsted weight?) although that would also mean juggling two balls who would be itching to get tangled up.

BTW Joan, I need to check which Peru colors I have and will get back to you about whether I have the color you're looking for. And if I remember later, I want to ask you how many balls of Peru you are using for your Luna Moth Shawl. I still don't have enough experience to figure out how much yarn I need for projects.


I've been thinking about knitting skill levels and where I fall in. I still consider myself a newbie knitter since there is still sooooooo much that I don't know and would like to learn. I still haven't tackled a "real" garment, which I consider to be a lace shawl or sweater/cardigan/top. I still haven't worked up to socks, although I did start reading a few pages of Sensational Knitted Socks. I didn't get very far, didn't even reach the Class Sock. I think socks will have to wait. I do wish this book had a different binding which would lay flat (think O'Reilly books).

I recently received my flyer for Knitting Universe's Camp Stitches at Asilomar (Monterey, CA) June 14-18, 2007, and was looking over the classes offered. Japanese Knitting Techniques looks interesting, I don't know much about that and how different they do things. I don't qualify for any of the courses though, since their "easy" skill level says, "you should know the basics and have made at least one garment." Ok, I do know the basics, I think, but I haven't made a garment yet.

I do have to start thinking about knitting a vest for my Mom. The thought stresses me out since she's really picky and is the ultimate critic. She says she wants a vest with a V-neck, and it has to have a flat horizontal hem at the bottom. Oh, and when she says "vest", she really means a button-down type, not a pullover type. So I'll need to look for a vest pattern that fits her criteria.

I have more computer woes. My laptop AC adapter is wonky. It randomly drops to battery power for no apparent reason. I can tell when this happens because my laptop has a very loud fan and it turns off when it drops to battery power. I have already tried switching the AC adapter cord and still experience the problem. For both cords, I would have to wiggle the end of the cord that plugs into the back of the laptop to get it to go back to AC. I think maybe these tow cords don't like being bent/curved. I tried putting something around it to help straighten it, but that isn't a big improvement. The vicissitudinous power situation is driving me nuts, and I'm starting to worry about both AC adapters dying on me and then having no way to power the laptop.

DH keeps telling me, "there's a fix for that." What he means is upgrading to a MacBook Pro. He's been saying this for quite a while, I just haven't accepted the offer yet. Oh, the thought of having to transfer files over to another laptop, buy a whole new set of software, customize how everything looks/works, and then learn how to use a Mac is just too overwhelming for me. What if there's something I used to do on the PC that I can no longer do on the Mac?

As for transferring files... I wonder if I can put my PC laptop hard drive into one of those external HD enclosures, and plug it into the Mac's USB port to transfer files over?


Oh, I just discovered that G Girl has finished knitting my Persephone Scarf. You can see her scarf here, and a different photo of it here.

And here are some photos of the sweater & poncho that M's grandma picked up while she was in South America. This is the front of the sweater. I don't know what size it is. It's quite large and I don't think M will be able to wear it until she's 8 yrs old or so. I had a hard time taking the photos. M was trying to pull the sweater & poncho off the table. She was playing with some Pampers disposable bib sample package at the time and shoved it near the sweater just as I snapped this photo:

Here's a close up of the front and back of the sweater.

And here's a photo of the poncho, also a large size M won't be able to wear until she's much older.

Forgot to mention teatime ... I decided to make a pot of tea today. I'm having Lupicia Lichee Oolong tea. They have 80+ shops in Japan, 2 in Australia, 4 in Taiwan, and only 3 in the United States. One shop is in Hawaii, and 2 are in San Francisco. How convenient for me! But that will change once we find a new house about an hours drive away from SF.

Yes, we're still house hunting. It's getting tedious. It looks like we just need to come to terms with how much we'll actually fork out for a house. We're feeling like we're in the same boat as a few years back when we were actively looking for houses in cities A, B, & C. We had our price range, saw a house we liked for X and thought we could get it by making an offer for X. We didn't want to see how the game was played, that you would need to make an offer for X plus $100,000.

Fast forward to 2007 where we are looking for houses in cities D, E, F, & G. Houses are now M (about $200,000 to 300,000 more than X). So we found a house we liked, made an offer for M plus $45,000 -- "as is" with no contingencies, fast escrow close, and allowing the sellers to remain in the house for 2 1/2 months longer for free (viz. no rent back charge; to allow the sellers to move out after their two kids' school season ends) -- and we still did not get the house! Then we ran into the Selling Agent from hell, which makes us feel even more discouraged about the housing market. We've been trying to see how much houses we were interested in actually sold for, the general trend is more than $100,000 over asking price. It looks like we need to accept that we'll need to make an offer for M plus $100,000+ to even get a chance of having our offer being accepted. Sigh... I feel so poor...

As for the down payment and loan thing.... we have a modest down payment with a loan from my Mom, so we'd still need to get a loan from a financing company for the remainder of the house amount ...but at least the amount of the latter loan would be less than what we would have needed to borrow had we not gotten a mini-loan from Mom). Even with this "smaller" loan from the financing company, we have determined that with our "mandatory" household expenses (food, utilities, etc) and the estimated monthly mortgage payment (mortgage, tax, insurance, etc), we will have absolutely no savings from our income. Now that depresses me!!!

Ok, now I really need to curl up with my cup of Lichee Oolong tea...


1 stitch(es):

Karin said...

That is the most adorable sweater ever! I wish DD was still small :). I may try to shawl along with the elannites too. I had printed out Sunray a while ago and I think I'll just buy some HW to make it up. I would vote for something heavier (like the Bliss), I think it would make it a much quicker knit, and if this is your first, I bet it would give you confidence for a Baby Silk or similar, for the next one!