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Lu Top Fever!

July 7, 2008

EXCUSES AND MORE EXCUSES FOR NOT POSTING IN A WHILE

Among lots of other things I have been doing,  I have been  helping friends out with their projects as well as trying to organize myself and my knitting, including dealing with the huge amount of “papeleo,” as Spanish speakers would say, that I have had in piles all over, waiting for me to go into filing mode.  

I have not made that much progress on organizing the yarn, even with one of the rooms in the house being designated “The Yarn Room.”  Well, that will come later.

Things got wilder than usual in the living room (o.k., and maybe beyond the living room) last weekend. 

This is what has kept me from doing other projects…trying to get all of these knitting patterns into binders. 

I am now officially owning my propensity for procrastination and documenting it here.  The first pic below shows part of the sorting pile, on its way to being filed into binders.   I have had all of these in boxes, unsorted and essentially unuseable, at least if I wanted to find anything specific. 

I am naming the evidence pics Out of the Chaos I or  how the entire l.r. floor looked as I was sorting everything…

                                                                  Out of the Chaos !

                                                                               and

                               Out of the Chaos II or Ready, Set, File!

                                                                  Out of the Chaos II

I finally wound up with this:                                                                          Out of the Chaos III

Part of my packrat cybertherapy…1st,  own the madness chaos, then do something about it, and then document the progress…small steps, but progressive steps nonetheless.

As librarians say, “the only information you can use is the information you can find“…so true.  So there it is, still untidy looking, but at least accessible.  As it turns out, I am a librarian.  Eek!

The small notebooks in the foreground are “idea” or “creativity” notebooks of the 30 or so that I have kept for years, the concept being that ideas are ephemeral and like a wisp, will evaporate unless one gets them recorded somehow. 

If I imagine something, or see something that inspires me, or come across anything at all that interests me, I try to get it into the current notebook no matter what.  About this I am very disciplined.  I love going through the notebooks later.   My dilemma is finding time to implement more of what springs forth from my ever-fertile imagination.

For the last couple of months, in addition to trying to find time for my knitting,  I have been helping friends and family to do all manner of projects: 

  • tutoring a friends’ son in reading
  • setting up another friend’s home wireless network
  • helping my aunt by proofreading her online Ph.D. program papers…atta girl, Aunt Ruthie!
  • teaching one friend to knit (she’s doing great after only 4 or 5 days)…atta girl, Gabby!
  • participating in several “meet and greets” at work as we look for a new University Librarian 

That last activity resulted in the eating, o.k., my eating of who-knows-how-many awesome chocolate chip cookies made by our university cafeteria.  Well, I have been pretty good about what I’ve been eating for the last few months or so, and life is not really worth living if you’re just going to obey the self-inflicted , uh, self-imposed rules all of the time.  

I’ll wait until later to tell you about my friend whose family owns the cheesecake factory………

KNITTING, KNITTING, KNITTING

Today, exactly one month after my last post, I am determined to get my latest projects posted. 

Blogging or keeping up with blogging is certainly a lot more, uh, relentless than I had ever imagined prior to starting to do this myself….but it is certainly a lot of fun.  My style of blogging is to post less often, but to post more (and hopefully still interesting) content.  

Blogging is especially good for someone like me, a World Class Procrastinator, at least a lot of the time.  It forces me to focus. What a concept! Funny that I have no problems getting knitting projects finished, but posting about them here, or in Ravelry, is a whole other thing.

I have completed a total of three Lu tops. The original, designed by Adrienne Thomas,  I bought as a kit and knitted up and love.  I posted about it in my last post on June 6. 

Intrigued by the Turkish stitch pattern used by the original designer, I decided to try this with some different yarns.  The first is an inexpensive yarn from Moda Dea called “Tweedle Dum” (or maybe it is “Tweedle Dee”).  It has some interesting subtle color changes and I wanted to see what would happen with this knitted-in-one-piece design.  Tweedle Dee (yeah, that’s it!)  is technically a bulky wt. yarn so it knitted up to a larger garment, but I had also added 6 stitches at the cast on to make it longer.  I like the brevity of the original design, but I think a longer length is more practical (unless you are the size of the Perl Grey model, who seems to be a size 2!).  The original gauge or tension was 3 sts. and 5.75 rows per inch, unstretched. 

Note:  the Turkish stitch makes a very stretchy fabric.  Also, there are many different Turkish stitches available via Google.  This one is a one row repeat employing slip stitches, PSSOs (pass slipped stitch over) and yarn overs.

Here are my pics of those two new Lu tops:                                             Lu top of Tweedle Dee yarn  

                                     Lu Top III, original design by Adrienne Thomas

It looks as if I need to block the corners a little bit so that they won’t curl so!).  Other than that, these are great for putting on and taking off as I try to adjust to my own temperature fluctuations from hot flashes air conditioning at work and blazing heat outside.  For the second one, I used Queensland Collection “Kathmandu Ultra,” which is a merino, silk, cashmere blend that I picked up at Tuesday Morning (the overstock chain found in some parts of the U.S.).  More images here at the High Tide Purlers Knitting Guild website. See the June 19th posting there.

The blue top took about 2 (or perhaps slightly more than 2) balls of the Moda Dea yarn, and the other took 6 balls with a little left over of the Kathmandu.

I increased some stitches to make these longer than the original, although I like the short length of the original.  I increased the cast on from 36 sts. to 42 sts. 

You can go to the  Perl Grey page for the Lu Top kit and click where it says “worn in many ways,” or here: “worn in many ways” and you’ll see that this top can be worn as a cozy scarf, and also right side up,  upside down, and even backwards, all achieving a very stylish look.  You can even wear it without a pin for a shawl that won’t fall off of your shoulders!  

NEWS FLASH!  GOGO WILL SOON BE SEEING THE GRANDBABIES!

I just found out that soon I’ll be visiting my daughter and her family, including my two beautiful grandchildren.  There is a pic of my grandaughter, known here as Queen Isabella, here

“The Queen” is thrilled to be a “Big Stister” to her baby brother, he is thrilled to be her main groupie (he laughs at everything she says or does) and I am thrilled to be their Gogo!  Here is the baby.  We’ll call him “T.J.” here in Blogland.

                                                          Angel Boy

This weekend I made him the adorable little Sachiko kimono sweater below from the free pattern you’ll find hereSachiko Baby Kimono for Baby T.J.

I modified it ever-so-slightly giving it side seams and a tie on one side only.  It was so fast and easy that I think I’ll be making more….

As usual, I still can’t quite get the colors right with my limited skills and even more limited software.  Well, sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t.  The true color of this little cutie is a deep teal. 

Finally, I went to see the current Indiana Jones movie and managed to knit the back of another cute sweater.  Got to get lots of stuff together for my trip.  Gogos just don’t show up empty-handed!

OTHER STUFF….

This has nothing to do with knitting, but rather FOOD…always an interesting topic if you like to eat, as do I.  I have discovered the joys of eating quinoa, a grain eaten by the indigenous people of Central and South America for millenia.  I cooked some up with some mung beans, partly because of the latter being mentioned so much on that great show (we get it on BBC America here in San Diego):  “You Are What You Eat,”  Gillian McKeith often mentions mung beans so I decided to give them a try.  She’s right!  They are delicious. 

I am still mulling over what I want to do with that recycled green yarn…which I still love….and skirts and shawls are calling to me.  I want a luxurious soft black shawl….. I have been thinking that this yarn might be perfect for

That’s all for now folks!  I should know better than to promise anything in writing(!), but I’ll try to post again before another month has passed.