Finn-Tastic

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Remember the GIR I made? Well, he's settling in with little Finnian who was born at 1:13 AM on May 9th.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, babies make one's knitting look better. There's really no arguing that one.
And just in case you haven't gotten enough of handsome little Finn, here's another great shot.

I hope you'll all join me in wishing Finn and his parents (first timers in the baby making department) great health and happiness. He's already got the looks so no need to worry about that.

I love long weekends

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Given my druthers, I'd gladly work 3 - 13 hour days a week to have 4 day weekends. Alas, that probably isn't going to happen for me so I'll just have to enjoy the long weekends bestowed upon us by federal holidays.

Leo's sweater is nearing the finish line. All the big pieces are done and assembled. It's still damp here and in need of some final blocking. The wash was just to get all the commuter grime off of it, but I'll do a proper steam block when it's dry. It'd probably be better to wet block it, since it's already wet and all, but I'm a strange girl.

This is the back view. The front is largely the same but the neck is a little lower.

While I'm waiting for the sweater to dry so I can start the neck, I've been knitting some socks. I'm one of those people who is more than happy to knit on DPNs. I have absolutely no aversion to them and find that socks zip along just merrily on them. However, I have some concern that I may not be able to take metal DPNs on the plane with me to India (nationally, it's not a problem, but internationally, there may be some issues). So I'm attempting the socks on two circulars method.

I have to admit, I don't care for it. To me, this method is slow and clumsy. I've improved the process for myself by clipping the two socks together, which resolves some of the issues I had with the socks constantly migrating away from each other and increasing the time it takes to go from knitting one sock to the other.

Even though I really do not like this method, now, I feel obligated to try to knit a whole pair in this manner. It may simply be a matter of acclimating to the technique. Even so, I'm not sure why this method is so popular amongst the DPN averse. In truth, the circulars simply act as two very long DPNs, so I'd think anyone who could master this technique, could certainly master the use of DPNs.

Ok, I'm off my soapbox here. It's true that there are merits to being able to knit two socks at once, and the circulars fold up more compactly than DPNs, so I still feel this endeavor is worthwhile.

I'm not sure what the yarn is, I've long lost the label. It looks a lot like Opal but it's not, it's some other, less known, self striping sock yarn.

You may have noticed that the underside is slightly different than the top, at least down at the toes. This is because I worked a short row toe, so I started from the ball of the foot, working flat to the toe then back down to the top of the foot before joining in the round. Personally, I prefer the idea of a bright red toe, so that's going to be the top.

Breaking up and moving out

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I think it's been 5 years now, maybe 4, my memory is not so good, but it is time. We've had a good run, going many fun places together, but let's be honest, we're both more worn than when we met and my needs are simply greater than you can accommodate.

This is the conversation I had with my old Klimt purse.

You know, I still really love the design and its small size always kept me from carrying too much stuff, but it could never quite accommodate my cell phone, wallet AND the digital camera, along with things like keys and such that are purse mainstays. I think, if the image weren't fading, I'd carry this purse forever. It was a gift from my mom, several years ago, and it's gone with me just about everywhere. I am not a purse floozy. Occasionally I'll carry something different when I'm going out for an evening, but in general, I'm a one purse kind of girl.

But yesterday, a package arrived from my mom. She has graced me with a brand new Klimt purse, which is bigger and even more lovely than the last.

Gorgeous, no? It's a deep chocolate brown and nearly twice as big as my old purse. They are both Icon purses and I can say, with some authority, that they are very well made. Despite the fact that I have carried my old purse for years and stuffed it full on many occasions, it only showed wear at corners, the main image is still perfect, and the lining has never so much as considered ripping. The new purse has a lovely assortment of pockets and pouches and even came with this matching key chain.

It has taken me all of 5 minutes to move everything out of the old purse into the new one and it feels like moving from a studio apartment into a 3 bedroom house; there's just so much extra space. Yay!

In crafty news, the sleeves on Leo's sweater are nearly done with only about 30 more rows left, I hope to have pictures soon. For now, here's a peek at some of that pink roving that Lynn sent me, which I've been spinning on my Kundert spindle.

Because he's worth every stitch

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Since my post on Friday, I've done about 80 rows on Leo's sleeves. I am finally at the sleeve cap, which means no more increases. Not a moment too soon, I say. There were a few moments when I mentally psyched myself out and I wasn't sure I'd ever see the end of them.

There is actually a likely possibility that the sleeves are a little bit long. Personally, I'd rather have to shorten a ribbed sleeve than have to lengthen one. Ribbing is unidirectional. If you pickup and knit from the other direction, all stitches will be half a stitch offset from the point you picked them up. This means that lengthening a ribbed sleeve is best done by knitting a new cuff and grafting, in ribbing, to the base of the sleeve. I'm very comfortable with grafting in stockinette but ribbing is a whole other beast.

But you know, it's easy to find motivation when knitting for Leo. It's not all about eating dog cookies at our place. On Friday, Leo treated me to dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant.

He said he loved me so much, even the stains he leaves on his placemat are heart shaped.

After dinner, we made an attempt to go out and tear up the town, but having both gotten up around 6 am, we were pretty beat by 11pm and the bars still all seemed empty. Leo did take this cool picture of us reflected off the mirror behind the bar.

You can see his camera peaking through the bottles, if you look carefully.

It ended up being an early night, and a quiet weekend. On Saturday, I knit sleeves while I watched Memoirs of Geisha. It may not be as good as the book, but it's been quite a few years since I read the book and the cinematography alone was captivating enough to hold my interest. There were a few things I remembered well enough to feel like I could pick apart the movie a bit, but it never stopped me from enjoying it.

One lane my foot

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I grew up in NH and stayed in New England until Leo and I moved to California about 5.5 years ago. Some people are forever nostalgic for where they grew up, I am not. For all the natural and not so natural (smog, shootings and Anna Nicole) disasters we face in California, I wouldn't go back to the harsh winters and constant cloud of biting bugs in the summer, for all the tea in China.

I do, however, have some loved ones in the area, such as my parents, some aunts and cousins, and my dear friends Janet and Bill. Janet and Bill live in the boonies of a rather boonie-ful state. Their roads are paved with dirt and postal delivery to their area is only reliable in its unreliability.

They find humor in every nook and cranny of life and even the recent storms of the area have had no ill effect on their sense of irony. Case in point, a picture Bill took with the caption "Promises Promises"

You gotta love it.

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