Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I Failed Miserably

Oh, the shame...I failed to finish all the #$% samurai hats by the deadline. I had until 5pm on Sunday. I was this close to being hysterical when I realized at 3pm that there was no way on God's green earth I was going to have them done.

So I did what any self respecting knitter would do. Rather than save my honor and finish them(better late than never), I cast on for the next project. I'm now working on the Husband's aran.

There has been considerable work on the aran so far. Not knitting work, mind you, but planning and much math.

I can't use published patterns for the Husband's sweaters. I've yet to find a designer that has designed a decent looking sweater for a man that is larger than an XL. The Husband has a 55" chest. The largest published pattern that I have come across is for a finished chest of 54". As unselfconscious as the Husband is about his body, I don't think he wants to look like a 'sweater girl' of the 40's.

I wanted to make sure that the Husband was going to wear this sweater, so he was very involved in the planning stages, whether he wanted to be or not. First I picked his brain on what type of sweater he wanted. Which meant that I had to drag out many books and magazines. We consulted Tara Manning's "Men in Knits" and Debra Mountford's book. We even consulted a handknit aran sweater that I've had for close to 15 years that I purchased(yes, purchased) on a trip to Bath, England.

The Husband decided that he liked a twisty Celtic knot looking pattern for the center panel and a diamond shaped cable with seed stitch centers for the side panels. I decided to add a simple 6 stitch cable to separate the different patterns.

The next step was to chart each individual panel, because the only patterns I could find for them were written out. I've never worked from a chart before, but I figured that this would be the best way to go. I knew that I would be consulting my notes a lot, and it would be easier to keep track of where I was.

After charting the Celtic knot and diamond pattern, it was time to swatch.

Will our heroine faithfully swatch? Will she get the Husband to Lambikins to pick out the yarn? Will she be able to figure out how many stitches to cast on?

Stay tuned.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The List

The following post has nothing what so ever to do with knitting. You've been warned.

Last evening the Husband and I had an unexpected treat. We went to his parent's house for Easter dinner and the Ga-Ga(this is what the oldest grandchild started calling Grandma and it stuck- or sometimes she is known as the Gaggs - the Husband's family is big on nicknames) offered to let the Kidlets spend the night(I use nicknames in order to protect one's privacy). (I promise from here on out to limit the use of paranthesis.)

The Husband needed to go into the police academy to finish up some copying that had to be done by this morning so I went along to help. While on the drive there we started discussing "The List".

The list is a list(obviously)(Damn!-there they are again) of people, that given the opportunity, we would allow our spouse to have a fling with. It is also an unwritten rule that the names on this list must be someone with who(or is it whom? - Dadgummit!)that we have no chance in Hell of ever having a chance meeting.

We are each allowed five names. My List(in no particular order-AARRGGGH!):

1. Colin Farrell
2. Sam Elliott
3. Kiefer Sutherland
4. Jackie Chan
5. still working on this one - maybe Brendan Fraiser, or LL Cool J, George Clooney, or Johnny Depp

Now, I named my list off rather quickly, and not because I have put a lot of thought into it. I have always liked Sam Elliott. There's just something about the rugged good looks combined with that voice. The same goes for the rest of my list, I've just always liked them.

So, we began to work on the Husband's list. The first name was very easy - Salma Hayak. The husband likes them curvy with a bit of intelligence, which rules out Pam Anderson(The Husband greatly admires Condeleeza Rice because of her intelligence and piano playing ability, but he'd rather just sit and discuss politics and world events with her - I've given in to the power of this form of punctuation). But we were having a hard time coming up with others. It took close to two hours to come up with the next two, Viveca A. Fox and Tia Carrere.

The Husband then pointed out that I had a rather well rounded list of ages and nationalities. Whereas his had so far a good mix, he needed a woman of Anglo-Saxon descent to round it out. We had a very hard time coming up with this name. We finally decided it was because women of Anglo-Saxon, blonde persuasion value skinniness to the point of looking boyish of frame, i.e. Nicole Kidman, Rene Zellweger, Kiera Knightly(not blonde, but very skinny).

Remember when "Bridget Jones' Diary" came out and everyone was making a big deal about Rene Zellweger gaining - gasp!- 20 pounds? The Husband and I thought she looked fantastic with the 'extra' pounds, especially the Vicars and Tarts party scene when she shows up in the bunny costume.

I know that none of these skinny young starlets read this blog, but I have a favor to ask of all of you. If in your travels you come across any of them, please hold them down and force feed them a sandwich. You'll be doing all of us a favor. Those of us that look like Renaissance women will be in vogue, and the Husband will be able to finish his list.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

This is Spring?

I spoke too soon in the last post. Today the kidlets are supposed to go to an Easter egg hunt, and there is snow on the ground. Now if we lived in Canada or Maine this wouldn't be a big deal, but this is southern Ohio, for the love of Pete(Rose). This past Monday was the Cincinnati Red's Opening Day which is a rite of spring in these parts and the day was beautiful and warm. Today, not so much.

The brace is off the thumb, it still feels a little stiff but thank goodness it wasn't as bad as Kate's. I've got one week to finish the #$%^ samurai hats and they will be out of my life forever! I can't wait to cast on the Husband's aran. Since even the XL size in most patterns don't accomodate the Husband's chest, I had to come up with a pattern on my own. The Husband was very much involved in the designing of this sweater. I don't want to be 3/4 done with this sweater and have to rip it like I did the Malabrigo that was supposed to be for him.

I checked out all kinds of books from the library, pulled all of the patterns for aran sweaters that I had in my personal library and had him look at all of them to tell me elements that he liked. Then I combined the cable patterns and went from there.

Once I cast on I'll post on the details. I really have to steel my resolve and finish the #$%^ samurai hats.