aswim in knits

Sunday, August 31, 2008

serious cleaning, and a new sweater

Happy Labor Day weekend! We've been laboring -- we spent 7 hours cleaning the house yesterday. For reference, see Thom's opinion of my housecleaning skills here, near the bottom.

We're still cleaning today ... serious cleaning. I just vacuumed the lint filter in the dryer, and Thom is scrubbing the sump pump as I type. He's afraid that the mold on it is toxic, and has asked me repeatedly if I think it will make him sick. He just came upstairs to ask if I'm blogging about his fear of the mold. (I wasn't, but of course now I am!)

Dude, I don't plan to clean like this again for at least another six months.

Labor Day always feels like the last day of summer to me, regardless of when the season really ends. And once fall rolls around ... it's sweater season!

So, last week, I cast on for a new cardigan. I'm really working to eliminate keep the stash from expanding, and hopefully get it to shrink a bit. You may have forgotten about this, since this was a resolution that I made way back in January 2007. Since then, I've only purchased a few skeins of sock yarn, and yarn to make gifts, which are both allowable exceptions. Somehow, the stash seems even bigger than when I started, though. I guess that's because I've also received yarn as gifts, and in swaps, and when other people have destashed. Oh, and that spinning habit that I picked up seems to add yarn to the stash, and take away from the time needed to knit and eliminate stash!

Anyways, there will be NO yarn purchases for myself (except sock yarn, and I don't need any more of that, since I have enough for 26 pairs in the stash!) until ... umm .... a long time from now! Needless to say, the new sweater comes from the stash.

This is the Apricot Jacket (Rav link), knit in Cotton Ease. $1.39/ball back in 2005. Or 2004? A $10 sweater, woo hoo!

Apricot Jacket ... in red (by aswim in knits)

Technically, it's not really the Apricot Jacket. I'm using a yarn at a smaller gauge, and wanted a larger sweater than the pattern was designed for. Basically, I took an Ann Budd cardigan pattern (all hail Ann Budd), tweaked it a bit for my preferences, and threw in the design features from the Apricot Jacket. We'll see how that all works out. So far, so good, though.

Last night, I finished the back, and cast on for the two fronts. We're taking a vacation next week -- spending a week in Maine -- and I hope I can finish this in time to have some FO shots on the beach. Let's see how that works out.

Whoops -- gotta run. Off to a cookout, and then picnic with Thom on the beach. Toxic mold not included :)

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Monday, August 25, 2008


There's been a bit of sock knitting around these parts.

First is the Traveler's Stocking from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush:
Traveler's Stocking and a half (by aswim in knits)
I started these back in May, according to Ravelry. The pattern is really pretty, and I love the yarn (Dream in Color Smooshy, In Vino Veritas). And the one I finished fits great. What's the problem? I HATE knitting the twisted stitch part at the top!! I knit tightly, so it's a real exercise in dexterity to try to work the stitches. But, I'm through the tough part now, so these should move pretty quickly now.

The sock below is Spunky Eclectic sock yarn (color, Pop) with a modified version of a stitch pattern that I found somewhere online.
Orange Julius socks (by aswim in knits)

These are pair #1 and #2 of my rainbow of socks. I started the yellow ones too, but I tried two different patterns and neither worked. But it's probably better that way. I should finish these ones first!

I have another pair of socks finished too, but I need to take some better pictures first. Oh, and I might have started a sweater too :)

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Monday, August 18, 2008

friends and family

I had a delightful weekend, full of friends and family. I spent Saturday at the Fiber Revival. I was having such a good time that I forgot to stop and take photos.

I saw many wonderful people, but this lady is one of my favorites. Oh yeah, and her mom Ruth is pretty nice too :)

wooly babe (by farwellclay)
(Photo lifted borrowed from Julia.)

On Sunday, Thom and I went to Wells Beach, Maine, with his brother's family.

Our niece Gracie:
Gracie (by aswim in knits)

Our other niece Jane:
supermodel! (by aswim in knits)

Sisterly fun:
Jane and Grace (by aswim in knits)

And the love of my life:
Thom smiling (by aswim in knits)

A very good weekend.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

all done!

Last Friday, August 8, I finished grad school!

An auspicious day -- 8-8-08.

I am thrilled to be done. I'm a wee bit of a perfectionist (stop laughing, all of you!) so it was tough for me to balance grad school with a full time job and a part time coaching job and do a good job in all of them. I'm still waiting for my final grade, and then I'll get a diploma in September.

Our synchro season is also done for the year. Well, the kids have most of July and August off, although I'm busy planning for next year.

Last year, because of my school schedule, I didn't coach every practice. I assisted with our oldest teams, mostly high school girls.

This year, because I'll be able to coach more, I'll take on full responsibility for our 11-12 and 13-15 year old teams. It's been a few years since I worked with this age group. These swimmers will need to build strong basic skills, which is why I'm taking them on. Plus, there are some real personalities in the group, from what I hear, and they need some strong guidance :)

Here are a few photos of our older swimmers from competitions this past year. Remember that they never touch the bottom of the pool -- they're treading water, or doing the equivalent with their hands/arms when they are upside down.

Our "B" team does a lift.

They look something like this when they set up underwater, although our "flyer" starts with her head near the surface, not her feet. (This photo is of Team USA.)

Same team, heads up. They are swimming to music from the movie "Prince of Egypt."One of our duets ... remember, this is without touching the bottom!
Same girls, end of the routine.
One of our soloists:
And another younger one ... nice flexibility :)
We train for flexibility ... and I do some of the exercises with the girls. Some of you know that I can still do a flat split. And have been known to demonstrate at fiber festivals, but only when plied with adult beverages...

I wish I could show you some photos of their beautiful custom-made swimsuits, but I try not to post closeups where you can see their faces ...

If anyone wants to watch the synchro competition in the Olympics, team finals will be televised on Saturday, August 23. Duet competition and team prelims are shown Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday on a minor network -- Oxygen, I think, how appropriate for swimmers who hold their breath! :)

I have a few more things "all done" to show you, but I think this post is long enough. Maybe this weekend :)

Speaking of which, I hope to see my local peeps at tomorrow's Fiber Revival!

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Thursday, August 07, 2008

if everyone else's husband jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you push yours too?

Pete did it. So did Dale. And Scott.

Obviously, it was Thom's turn.

Me: What is your favorite thing about my knitting?
Him: It’s made with love.

Me: What is your least favorite thing about my knitting?
Him: The clutter and the crap.

Me: That's two things. Anyway, what is something I have knitted that you recall as being good?
Him: My hat.

Me: Do you think knitters have an expensive hobby?
Him: I don’t know. I don’t think so. Although the trip to get your wheel in NY was expensive. And long.
(Last year we drove from his parents’ house in Western MA to Syracuse in order for me to buy a wheel. In my defense, it was a damn good price, and a lovely scenic drive.)

Me: Do you have any hobbies?
Him: No not really. (Pause.) Picking up after your clutter?

Me: Wait a second, you have a collection of expensive German toys in the other room.

Him: That’s true. I do have a good collection of them. But I don’t know how to make a comparison. What’s the fair market value of your wool?

Me: Moving right along … Has my knitting in public ever embarrassed you?
Him: (Long pause). No, I don’t think so.

Me: You can't remember any times in particular?

Him: No, honestly I don’t. It’s never really bothered me. It’s annoyed me but it hasn’t embarrassed me.

Me: Do you know my favorite kind of yarn?
Him: (Longer pause). Merino?

Me: Good answer!

(Ah, but he wasn’t done answering yet!)

Him: Two-ply … Umm, you really like those sheep from Iceland but I have no idea what they’re fucking called.

Me: So, can you name another blog?

Him: The Femme Nazi?

Me: (Hysterical laugher)

Him: Oh, Knit Mafia ... or something like that. Hey! Are you typing that? Don’t write that -- she’ll be insulted!


Wait, Ravelry! I know Ravelry!!

Me: So, do you mind that I want to check out yarn stores everywhere we go?

Him: No, not really.

Me: Do you understand the importance of a swatch?
Him: Yes. You test to make sure that your rows and crap are all lined up and you’re using the right stitch and counts. And then you wrap it around my head to make sure that the texture is correct.
(I believe he is referring to the time when I couldn’t believe that when given an entire yarn store to select from, he asked me to knit a hat made out of Lopi. So I rubbed the swatch on his forehead to make sure it wasn't too itchy. Apparently, this was a traumatic experience.)

Me: Do you read Aswim in Knits?
Him: No. Not in a long time.

Me: Have you ever left a comment?
Him: Yes, when you put that photo up of me burning my pants. Which you’ll probably hyperlink to this fucking thing, right?
(Note: comments lost in an upgrade, but I think he did leave one!)

Me: Damn straight I will! Umm, maybe…

Me: Do you think the house would be cleaner if I didn't knit?
Him: No, I think the house would be cleaner if you cleaned.

Me: It’s not so much about the knitting, huh?

Him: No.

Me: Thanks so much for playing along, is there anything you would like to add in closing?
Him: My wife is a wonderful knitter. She gives me street cred when I hang out with my friends in the department of agriculture*. And, let your friends know that I was raised right. I know how to cart wool. Damn, I mean card. Whatever, I did it once at summer camp. Yeah, that’s about it.

* I think he’s referring to the spinning here, and maybe the sheep and wool festivals.

I think I'll keep him.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

oh look, more yarn

I just realized that I never blogged about this yarn.

Phoe's yarn (by aswim in knits)

The fiber is some targhee top from Susan's Spinning Bunny. I'm not sure of the colorway, but I call it "Lilly Pulitzer." I got the fiber in a destash from Kari/Up The Mud Creek.

Phoe's yarn (by aswim in knits)

I spun it for Phoe in exchange for a beautiful chevron scarf. I haven't measured WPI yet, but it's the same fiber spun to the same specs as this yarn, and feels pretty similar.

Phoe's yarn (by aswim in knits)

I still need to mail this to Phoe, but my office moved and I no longer have a post office conveniently located near my office. And I've been spending most of my weekends doing homework, not errands. As soon as I'm done with school (three more days, not that I'm counting!), then I'll package this up and pop it into the mail for Phoe!

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