Zarzuela Knits and Crochets
My blog about my knitting, crocheting, and anything else I feel like ranting about!

One down, another on the needles...

Presenting a finished Clapotis #2!

Here's another look:

(Photos courtesy of HWJF. Can you believe he told me the other night that not only does he think my knitting is cool, but my blogging about it is too?! I think I'll keep him around for a while. ;-) )

I took Clapotis #2 out on the town Sunday night with HWJF and Sami. (Do go check out Sami's finished Blaze. It's absolutely beautiful!) Please remember that I am almost 6 feet tall and that will give you some idea why I was having such a hard time holding this thing up. It's huge! It blocked out to be way bigger than the finished measurements called for and I still had yarn to spare (unlike some other recent projects *ahem*). Turns out the yarn vendor is actually in NY (I got this at the CT Sheep and Wool festival. WTF?!) so it may be easier to acquire more of this yarn than I first thought.

My focus for now is on Sitcom Chic. I'm almost done with the first sleeve:

I think that I'm going to make the sleeves a little longer than called for in the pattern since I have plenty of yarn (stop laughing!) and 3/4 sleeves tend to bug me a bit. I'm doing that by just knitting a few more rounds after the increases are finished. I'm hoping that won't mess with the way the thing fits in any other way than sleeve length. If I'm wrong, please stop me now!

Samus I hear you calling!!

Fall is definitely in the air here at chez Zarzuela. Yesterday I was able to turn off the AC and leave the windows open while I was home and it actually got a bit chilly in my apartment. I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning which is definitely a cold weather ritual for me. As much as I don't like what follows fall, it's kind of nice to see the seasons changing again. However, that really means I need to finish up my cotton content projects!

Take Sitcom for instance:

Here she is with stitches cast off for the arm holes already. I got to this point around Tuesday last week and I cast on for the first sleeve:

I finished up the ribbing on my size 5s but then I'm supposed to go back to size 8s. Only one problem, pair number one is busy with the body and pair number two is busy with Clapotis No. 2. So after a couple of football games, watching "Monster in-law" (which was actually a bit of a laugh despite the fact that J-Lo was in it) with Robyn, Glen and Sami, and several more hours of knitting it finally looks like this:

Yep. She's all finished and blocking away. I still love the alpaca yarn. So soft! And having a full sized clapotis is definitely going to be a joy as the colder weather starts settling in more and more. She may even make her public debut tonight if I can get her dry in time. I'm seriously thinking about seeing if I can get some more of this yarn to make a real shawl. I guess all the lace work and shawl knitting going on in certain blogs has caught my eye.

So now that I have my needles back I can get going on Sitcom, finish her up and be on to Samus. Soon my lovely wool/mohair friend. Soon we will be together...

Oh yeah, remember the sock from the last post? It now looks like this:

Sometimes you just have to suck it up and go back to the drawing board.

Thursday already?!

I guess time flies when you're getting ready for and taking an interview.

But now that that's done I can sit back, relax, and knit! :)

Last weekend I made my way to the Fabric place to buy yarn. I got there about 30 min. before they closed so I wouldn't do my usual ridiculously long decision making ritual. I ended up with 7 skeins (because they had 7 skeins) of this:

It's Lamb's Pride worsted in sapphire and it's going to become Samus. Just as soon as I can get something off my size 8 needles!

More interview time means more train time so my fluted banisters are progressing nicely:

A couple of problems though. 1. I'm using a size 2 needle instead of a 1 and apparently it is making more of a difference than I had anticipated. The heel flap seemed huge after 34 of 40 rows so I stopped and continued on with turning the heel and making the foot. Now I've been reducing through the gusset like crazy and it's still too big for the foot (I started out with a total of 80 stitches for the cuff). 2. It looks like I'm going to run out of yarn again! I can't get any more of this yarn in this color (it's Silja I bought at the Fabric Place last year) but I could do the toes a different color.

So here's what I'm thinking of doing: Frog back to the end of the cuff and instead of continuing the pattern down the foot, I'd do a row of plain knit stitches and reduce down to about 60 stitches, then proceed as the pattern calls for with the heel flap etc. The foot would just be plain stockinette all the way around. Does that make sense or will it totally throw the entire thing off?

And just because I can:

Simba must have been having one of "those" days. ;)

Next time: What's on the needles that's keeping me and Samus apart...

Finishing and starting...

She's blocked:

She's done!

(Yes I'm using a cat toy as a place to hang a finished object. Sue me.)

Branching Out is all finished and ready for cold weather. The blocking really helped this pattern show up a lot. I'm really starting to believe in this whole blocking thing...

New project

And of course I've already started something else even though it required me buying another size 8 Addi since my other two were already busy:

A big red blob (does anyone else remember that awful movie?!)!! Well, no, not really. But that is certainly how it photographs at this point. It's actually going to be Sitcom Chic in cherry red cotton ease. I figured that considering I had 6 balls of this color and this pattern actually specifies this yarn it would be a good match. So far so good. I'm almost done with the increase rows. It's a good project to working on while watching football this afternoon.

Speaking of sports... I was so excited I almost embarrassed myself this morning. Hockey showed up on my scoreboard page!! You know where I'll be on October 5th...

Almost equally exciting was the $5 off coupon from the Fabric Place that arrived in my e-mail yesterday. Just so happens I have to go past there on the way to meet HWJF for dinner tonight. Now the real question is do I get yarn for this or these??

The purple binge continues

Happy Thursday all! Thanks so much for all the nice comments on Cable 8! I was really worried that it was too tight on me or too bulky but you all seem to think otherwise and that certainly makes me happy. She had her public debut last night at SnB#1 and the opinions were much the same. HWJF even said she was cute. :) Just for the record, she took all of four skeins of cotton ease and a bit of two more. I'm really starting to wonder what I'm going to do with all these partial skeins of cotton ease!

On to the next

As Chrissie so cleverly pointed out in her comment on my last post, purple seems to be cropping up around here a lot. While wearing cable 8 yesterday look what else I had with me:

Do we see a theme here or what? I guess purple is my substitute when I can't have blue or want to branch out in my color scheme a bit.

Speaking of Branching Out...

(Simba insisted on being the scarf model today. Don't ask me why. She's a cat. That's reason enough.)

Meet my new project. Branching Out from Susan published on Knitty. I've been wanting to do this for a while and finally got the opportunity. When looking through the stash the other night I was hoping to (finally) start crocheting the felted bag from the last Interweave Crochet issue but I didn't feel like I had enough colors of Lamb's pride worsted to make it worth while (anyone want to trade for some cotton ease?!) and then I remembered this pattern. I originally had bought some Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint from Knit Picks (see, it really wasn't supposed to be purple!) but when I tried to work with it I just couldn't seem to get the needles working with it. Then I saw this lone skein of Paton's Classic leftover from last year and thought this might make a nice scarf to go with this hat (well, you can kind of see it in that pic) that I made then. I really love this yarn. It's so springy and nice to work with.

I'm doing a couple of things I don't usually do with this. First, I'm using straight needles! I almost never use straights anymore (being a confirmed Addi Addict!) but I found these in my needle roll and they are short enough not to bother my hands when I use them. They seem just right for this scarf.

Second, I wound the ball on the ball winder but instead of pulling from the center, I'm using it from the outside like Wendy mentioned in this post. I've gotta say I kind of like the fact that the ball isn't collapsing and making a big mess, but it does tend to roll around a bit more.

This is definitely a great pattern. I just love watching the little leaves emerge as I go. Lace knitting can be so interesting. The only problem is it is definitely not social knitting. I tried to do a few rows last night at SnB and got it all screwed up so I went back to working on my socks. Hopefully I'll finish this up in the next couple of days and have a post blocking pic soon.

Pittsburgh pic

And just because I finally got some of the pictures and I can. Here's a shot of me and the happy bride during my recent trip to Pittsburgh.

(Pssst...note the color of my dress!)

Now if we had only brought cameras to the salon in the morning...

Another FO!

After a nice weekend of various distractions (not the least of which was a morning and part of an afternoon of knitting and crocheting time) I'm feeling a lot better than I was when I wrote my last post. Thank you all for your comments and words of comfort. They certainly helped!

Another thing that always helps my mood is another Finished Object to add to my list. Here it is:

Not the greatest pic but it works. Cable 8 is done and it was quite an enjoyable knit. I didn't even realize when I started it that the directions call for it to be crocheted together. I always say I knit and crochet because I hate sewing, so this was a welcome surprise. If I was going to change one thing about this, I might crochet it together and do the sleeves with one strand of yarn instead of two. The seams and the sleeves seem a little too stiff compared to the rest of the garment right now. I'm thinking a wash might relax it a little though.

Considering the temperatures around here are expected to be in the high 80s for the next couple of days, I'd say I finished this just in time.

And I started a new project for my interviewing train travels:

This is the Fluted Banister pattern from the 6 socks knitalong. This was one of the first patterns they came out with, long before I actually joined. I've been wanting to try it for a while and I finally worked it into my project list. I'm making these to go with this sweater that I made last year. They are about the same color, but my feet are so far from my top I figure it won't make much difference! ;) I decided to try doing these one at a time because I wasn't sure I'd be able to figure them out two at once. So far it's a really simple pattern that gives the sock a great "squishy" feeling that I'm really looking forward to wearing.

By the way, I'm still part of the knitalong, but I haven't been keeping up with it lately. I just can't seem to knit socks as fast as some other people out there.

Next time, another new project!


It's been a wild couple of days in my world. And while I don't want to bring anyone else down, I just feel like I need to get it out of my head and on electrons for some reason.

Thursday morning on my way to work I witnessed a shooting. I didn't actually see anyone pulling the trigger, but as I was driving down the road I heard shots, saw people hit the dirt, and watched the shooter jump in an SUV and drive off. It took a while to process what had happened, but when I did, I called 911 and reported what I saw to the police. They didn't take my name or number and just sent me on my way. Very shaken, I called everyone I could think to call but the only person that picked up was HWJF. I bawled my eyes out to him while I sat in my car on the top of my parking garage. When I finally got myself together, I went to work 30 min. late. I really wanted to go home, but I can't afford to loose the cash right now.

I spent most of the rest of the day in a complete fog just trying to get my head around what had happened. I have no idea if anyone was hurt or what actually happened and I doubt I ever will. I don't think the story even made the local news. The neighborhood that it happened in was a bad one, and I could see something like that happening... but at 11:45am?! In broad daylight?? And the cops didn't even seem interested? WTF?? I felt like I was in a war zone. All I could think of afterward was the fact that my father spent a good part of his life as a NY State trooper dealing with situations like that, and he LOVED his job. What the hell is wrong with him?! I obviously didn't get the gene for that kind of excitement.

I also had to think about this in the context of everything else that's going on with the world. Look what happened in the gulf. And supposedly there were reports of snipers in the first days after the storm. What the hell is wrong with these people? Everyone is in a bad place and you're going to shoot at some of them?? The freeking government knew the storm was coming and did absolutely nothing to prepare? People showed up to help and were turned away at first? Are you kidding me?

Also weighing heavily on my mind is the anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow. 3000 people died because another group of people doesn't like the way we live our lives. "If you don't think the same as me I'm going to kill you." Where the hell did that kind of logic come from? I feel like the country I know and love is under attack from every direction whether it be mother nature or other human beings that can't seem to understand that everyone should be entitled to live their lives the way they see fit. And the government that is supposed to be protecting those who can't protect themselves doesn't know which was is up or it's ass from a hole in the ground. I wonder if our parents felt this way during Vietnam. Surely this isn't the world that they wanted for us. People killing and dying for no good reason. We're even in the middle of a war where the government has decided that decimating my generation just because they feel like it is a good idea. What the hell is going on here? How did things get to be so terribly wrong? I don't know that I really expect an answer. I'm just so confused by the fact that when I was growing up, my generation was supposed to never see a war, and not only have we seen at least two, we've also been attacked on our own soil and are killing each other in the streets on a daily basis. What the hell happened?

And once again, life goes on no matter what has happened. I had a good interview yesterday. My experience on Thursday really put things into perspective for me (i.e. a job isn't everything) (not that I didn't know that before) but it's nice to have some promising job prospects. While I was in NYC I decided to do a crazy thing. I lived in NY for 22 and I don't think I'd ever been up to the top of the Empire State Building. So $14 later I went. I was a beautiful clear day and you could see for miles (of course I didn't have a camera with me to show you that my latest sock went with me 'cause who takes a camera to a job interview?!). The most disturbing thing? They've altered the little plaques that tell you which buildings are which in the skyline to show the World Trade Center as a dotted line (i.e. Well, this is where is WOULD have been if two planes hadn't taken it down). It also dawned on me that I probably shouldn't have been on the top of the tallest building in NYC this close to the anniversary of 9/11, but I did it anyway.

There is knitting. I finished the front of cable 8:

Since I've decided I deserve to sit on my ass and relax for most of the day today I may try to finish this off today. Hopefully there will be a modeled shot soon.

Don't expect knitting content tomorrow, but there will be some after that. Promise.

Let's talk knitting, shall we?

It seems so trivial considering what else is going on in the world right now, but I'm blogging in a public place and don't feel like crying about Katrina in front of the locals, so how about some knitting content?

After seeing this post from Lisa, and making a little trade with Eklectika (who just finished an awesome Soliel, go check it out!), I decided to embark on Cable 8. Had I only known that two strands of Cotton Ease would get the same results as called for in the pattern sooner, I would have had this top done a long time ago. Alas, I am sometimes not so bright (yeah. Who am I kidding. Sometimes?!?). So with inspiration I got started last week and finished the back in the car between CT and Pittsburgh. Here it is so far:

You can see the cables a little better without the flash:

The pattern sizes don't quite work for me. The 2nd size is too small and the 3rd is too big so I'm going with the smaller one and hoping it will stretch enough that I won't look like a stuffed sausage. I know it's probably hard to judge from these pics, but, should I be worried?!? Any of you who have already made this find that it "contracts" a bit without a body in it? It is cotton ease so I'm thinking that it might not be too bad. The other garments I've made with this yarn seem to have grown a little with wear. I'm planning on casting on for the front tonight at SnB. Here's hoping it isn't for nothing.

And just cause I found this on the memory stick, how about a gratuitous kitty pic?

Can't you just see her thinking, "Yes. I am the Queen. You may take my picture now."

What to say...

Time seems to get away from me more and more often these days. Once again it's been a week since I've posted. How did that happen? So what have I been up to?

1. Going to a wedding in Pittsburgh this weekend. Pictures will be forthcoming (HWJF has them on his camera and considering he had to work yesterday (yes, on LABOR day!) I wasn't going to bug him for them too fast). I was the maid of honor. I was the only member of the bridal party besides the best man. I organized a bachlorette party involving people who mostly don't speak English (and I don't speak Polish. See why this is so interesting?). All went well, but I'm still tired. And the many hours in the car and many shots of vodka probably didn't help that so much.

2. As I'm sure all of you have been doing, I've been reading and watching the news and trying to figure out what to do to help the hurricane survivors. There are links all over blogs at this point, but if you still need somewhere to start looking, check out the new link in my sidebar under Charities. I can't begin to say anything meaningful or anything that hasn't already been said so let me just add my sympathies to all involved.

3. Strangely, life continues. I have a job interview on Friday and another to schedule for the end of this month or the beginning of next.

4. There is still happiness in the world. One of my college roommates called this weekend to let me know that she's pregnant! Suggestions for baby blanket patterns would be much appreciated. At least I have some time. She isn't due until April or May.

So that's the wrap up. Now that all major trips are done for the foreseeable future it's time to get back to the usual. All while remembering how lucky I am to be able to think about usual things.