Hooray--I'm finished with my vesty-vest! Yup, even sewing in the ends, whip stitching the facings, sewing down the steeks, sewing the buttons in place, AND blocking. I'm D.O.N.E. done!

Want proof? Here it is:

Details of this project are slim--it was a kit from Yarns International. As far as I know, it's only available as a kit. The yarn is shetland, I think, but where it originates, I'm not sure. It's hairy and sticky (I didn't even reinforce the steeks before I cut them, and nothing unraveled).

I also finished my "stealth" project, but I haven't sent it to its recipient, so no photos of the completed item yet.

I spent hours and hours trying to find just the right project to do to follow this major accomplishment, and I have to say nothing feels quite right. I'm going to start a scarf from IK, or maybe a pair of socks. I'm in one of my creative funks where I need to be doing something artsy, and, while I love my knitting, it's not quite the same as drawing or painting or playing my flute, so I might just need to take a knitting break (gasp!) to do something else for a day or so. We'll see. Meanwhile, I'm going to celebrate the completion of my very first fair isle / steek project. As luck would have it, my workplace is uber-cold, so I might just get to wear it this week. Yahoo!


Drum roll, please...

More photos--this time more up to date:

This is the vest with the steeks cut, the armhole and button bands completed, and the button band facings pinned in place. I still have a lot of work left, but this will at least show the shape of the vest, which the pre-steek-cutting photo didn't show very well.

This is the current state of my MS3 project, which is the total of 4 clues:

This is a photo of the ingredients for my stealth project:

Any guesses? I'll never tell! Well, not "never," but at least until I get the project into its recipient's hands.

Last, but not least, is a snapshot of the stealth project in its current state:

I hope that doesn't give anything away--I doubt it does. I really like the way the seemingly non-matching yarns combine to create a nice, happy fabric. I'm almost done...soon...



This is what my vest looked like when I'd finished the knitting. (It's a lot like a pillow case, with a few extra holes in it.)

And this is the inside of the very same vest, complete with stray ends sticking out behind the steek.

Since taking those photos, yours truly has officially CUT the steeks, picked up the stitches, and done button holes. Now "all" I have left is to trim all of those ends from the steeks, tack down the steek flaps, sew the button band facing, overstitch the bottom of the button band, overstitch the button holes, and sew on the buttons. Gee, that's a piece of cake, no? I'll be done in the blink of an eye! NOT!!!

Meanwhile, because I'm really bad at doing the finishing parts of any project, I've done what any good Nerdy Knitter would do: I've started another project! But this one is a "stealth" project, so I can't tell you what it is yet. Soon...I have to finish it and send it to its recipient before I can discuss it.

I can say that the pattern is from Mason Dixon Knitting, and I love the way it looks so far. How's that for a tease?

I spent the entire weekend glued to one particular couch cushion, knitting and listening to a book on tape (not a particularly good one, but it kept my mind occupied). I finished two weeks' worth of my Mystery Stole3 clues, so now I won't have any more to do for another 2 weeks. Sigh. Sometimes it's good to stretch these things out...a lesson I learned too late to make it worth anything to me.
I haven't taken photos of the stole in its current state, but believe me when I say it's lovely. There's a very real mystery with this pattern--we were instructed to insert a lifeline (a piece of thread/dental floss run along a row of lace to use for emergencies, in case you have to undo multiple rows of knitting--it stops your runaway stitches) at a particular place. That's odd, yes, but we've all done it "because Melanie said so." THEN, there's a subtle change in the stitch pattern that makes me wonder about what's coming next. You see, ever since the very beginning of the stole, there has been a verticle column of yarnovers a few stitches in from the edge on both sides...the very last row of our most recent clue doesn't have any yarnovers! So what's going to happen next?! I want to know!

I hate being forced to wait for something that has me curious--there's no way for me to cheat to get the answer to this mystery--I just have to wait like the rest of the MS3 knitters. No fair, I say!

I'll try to take photos of the MS3 project, of my vest in its current nothing-sewn-in-place state, and of a tiny portion of the stealth project.

Meanwhile, it's back to work, people. Nothing more to see here.


Henry's new friends

I wish I'd had my camera with me when Henry first came upon these turtles--the reaction was priceless. But this is still pretty darned funny! What a cute pooch we have, huh?


A few missing photos--found

First and foremost--Clue2 for Mystery Stole 3 is complete! Here it is. Any guesses as to the theme? I'm still not sure--it looks vaguely insect-like, but what do I know?

And this is totally off-topic--it's a painting we bought at a festival in Manteo, on Roanoke Island, NC, when we were there for our anniversary. I love it! There's a chance the palest blue in the fishy might just match my office--wouldn't that be perfect? So what if WE bought it to commemorate OUR anniversary...if it matches my office, it should live in my office, right? Luckily, Nerdy Hubby agrees. What a nice hubby!

Oh, and we're back to knitting content. This is Sock #1 of the pair I'm making for Nephew2. This sock has had some adventures in its young life: it was born in the bleachers at Kate Collins Field, where we watched a baseball game between the top two teams in the league ("our" home team won). Yeah, that's not so interesting--lots of people knit at baseball games. The conversation between a young girl & her nana was the funny part: "Nana, do you knit like other grannies?" Hmph! I'm not a granny! For those of you who haven't met me, I should tell you that I have yet to turn 37. That's nowhere near granny age. I guess it's all relative to a young girl. It made me giggle, that's for sure.

Meanwhile, I sat & knit, happy as a clam, until...the ball of yarn fell between the bleachers, all the way to the ground! In my panic I got right up & prepared to run down to rescue my poor little ball of Opal sock yarn when Nerdy Hubby pointed out that once I got the ball back in my hands, I wouldn't be able to get it back UP to our bleacher (it was attached to the sock-in-progress, you see). Eek--he was right! So, I had to take a deep breath, push all of the stitches to the middle of the needles, and take another breath before dropping my beloved newborn sock down between the bleacher seats. Double eek!

Luckily, no urchins grabbed it before I got my nerdy self down there to retrieve it, and--miracles of miracles--the ground beneath the bleachers was pretty clean. No gross ABC ("already been chewed") gum; no peanut shells; no puddles of sticky drink. All in all, it was a successful rescue with very little damage. Phew!

This photo shows (you might need to squint--I've already confessed I'm not a professional photographer, and I certainly don't play one on this blog) a deerio just off the side deck at our house. Luckily, the Beast didn't catch sight of the poor skiddish little deer. Sadly, my camera scared it off pretty quickly, but I did manage 2 snaps before it ran off. We love having critters in our yard--country living at its best! I can say that because our critters have a lot of grass and clover to eat, which keeps them from eating our flowering plants. I don't know how we'd feel if the deerios were gnawing on our store-bought plants.

There you have it, folks--all of the things I've been talking about, and more, now illustrated in full color. Enjoy!


What a day!

Well! First, it's H.O.T. But anyone living on the East Coast knows that.

You know it's hot when, at 10am, your pooch is pulling on the leash because he wants to go home, NOT because he's so excited to be outside, off his property. Poor Goober--he was soooo tuckered! But we are excited about his reaction to using the Gentle Leader this time around--he fought it for a bit, then just put up with it. That's what we want (well, not the fighting part)!

Then, to top it all off, I brought the Beast to my beautiful office space (anytime he's super tired, we try new things because he's starting in a calmer state of mind), and dusted off my flute.

I played my flute for the first time since we've had this dog (2 years?), and he was not even curious about where that funky sound was coming from. What a good boy he is!

It felt so weird to play my flute after such a long hiatus. I thought I'd be rustier than I was, although I'm still pretty rusty, let me tell you. My mouth muscles hurt after just a few minutes. Those of you who know me & the amount of time I devote to talking and using hot air will find that particularly amusing.

And we played a fun new problem-solving game with Henry to prepare for graduation day (our last day of obedience class is next weekend): 101 Things to do with A Box. Funny! Basically, you congratulate him for doing any old thing to a box on the floor, then when he does the same thing the next time, you ignore it and wait for him to give you a different behavior, then you congratulate him for that one. The point is to make him work out what you want him to do. It was really funny to watch his little face while he tried different behaviors.

One problem I didn't anticipate: if one of the new behaviors is biting the corner of the box, the dog will think that's the appropriate behavior and destroy the box before you get a chance to get another behavior. No need to ask how I know this--I'm sure you've got the picture.

So did you notice that I played my flute today? Just checking. I'm very excited about this. I starting playing the flute in 4th grade, and never stopped until about graduate school. That's a lot of years of nonstop playing. Then I struggled to find a reason to practice--there are only so many times you can run through the same music just 'cuz. I played in a town band in NJ for a little bit, but was discouraged by the music the director chose (Band music often uses flutes for high, shrill notes, all played at crazy tempos). Then when I moved to VA, I played in the Municipal Band, but the rehearsal schedule finally took its toll. I was working a full-time day job, a part-time night job, and then rehearsing 1 night/week, in addition to the concerts. Too much! And I had the same complaints about the music (mental note: flute-playing Nerdy Knitters don't work well in bands).

So, short of finding some sort of chamber group or an orchestra that will take me, I don't really have a place/reason to play. But enough time has passed that most of my music is challenging again--I need some work on my technique, etc.

Let's see--I've had pooch news, flute news...AND I have knitting news: I finished sock #1 of the pair I need to finish by Saturday. Luckily, this pair of socks is for small feet (4-year-old feet, attached to a 4-year-old boy, as luck would have it), so I make pretty good progress.

I had a nice knitting afternoon with my friend, E, and was able to get close to finishing the 1st sock, then I came down to my cave (I mean office--it's in the basement, and is super-cold, which is heavenly right now) and finished it all up. Now I'm feeling the tug of wanting to work on something else since I was able to complete Sock #1 so quickly. No! I must finish these socks, darn it!

I have about 3" left to the armholes on the vest--that will be my reward when I finish Sock #2.

Speaking of rewards--I finally worked back to having my iPod Shuffle back. I have an arrangement with Nerdy Hubby that I get the use of my Shuffler when I walk/exercise 5 days/week. For each week I don't make 5 days, I lose the shuffler until I get another full week under my belt. Well, I wasn't very good with the exercise for 2 whole weeks, so I was separated from my Shuffler for 2 weeks. Today was my last day of separation--I get the Shuffler back. Yahoo!

So far I've only had one person take me up on my invitation to come & drive up/down my driveway...there's room for more than one (thanks, Carol--nowhere's too far if you're willing).


Here I sit...

I'm sitting here, in my office, with my computer connected to the phone line, "surfing" (more like crawling when you're on dial-up), and looking around my office at the stacks of books, and other things, that need organizing.

But my desk is functional, which is the best part. Still no photos as it's not presentable to the public yet.

Meanwhile, I'm working away at Clue #2 in Mystery Stole #3, and should have a photo of that by Monday.

If you haven't heard, the Yarn Harlot (I can't do hyperlinks on my mac, but here's her blog: http://yarnharlot.ca/blog) joined last week, which brought the knit along to a whole bunch of her readership. The total number of participants is way up in the 6000s! And I know 3 of those participants personally (not including Nerdy Knitter herself, but obviously, I know myself fairly well...hee hee). Very fun!

Meanwhile, knitting on the vest continues--I don't know how I did it, but I didn't do enough armhole decreases, even though I read, re-read, and re-re-read the instructions, and created a chart to track all of the different shaping directions (the directions are brief at best--the armhole shaping says "AT THE SAME TIME, start v-neck shaping," and then in the v-neck shaping paragraph, there's another direction to watch for time to do the back neck shaping...it's a lot for one nerdy brain). So now I'm hoping that doing 2 additional armhole decreases, 14-15 rows apart won't look too weird once it's all said and done. I don't think it will be that obvious, or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Only time will tell.

Speaking of time--i've got to go! It's time to take the Beast Child to Obedience Class #5 (out of a total of 6). Today's lesson? Door Behavior. Hmm...we don't really have that down yet, but it's difficult when you live in the country & don't have any visitors to use as guinea pigs. Anyone want to come to the Nerdy House and just drive in the driveway, then leave, then drive in the driveway, then leave? That's what we're supposed to be doing to teach Beasty Boy to go in his crate when visitors arrive. So come on down, everybody! I'll be in my office...


This is so funny--"stay away from the index finger!"

You Are a Ring Finger

You are romantic, expressive, and hopeful. You see the best in everything.
You are very artistic, and you see the world as your canvas. You are also drawn to the written word.
Inventive and unique, you are often away in your own inner world.

You get along well with: The Pinky

Stay away from: The Index Finger
What Finger Are You?

A lot can happen in 2 weeks

Okay, so i don't really have any excuses for my lack of posts, except that life has taken over my life, so to speak.

We had weekend house guests, which was tons of fun, but took some time away from blogging. My brother-in-law and his wife (my former roommate) were at the Nerdy House for 3 1/2 days. We had tons of fun, including, but not limited to: making homemade pasta, sauce, and "meat boulders" (the name from the cookbook); attending a local minor-minor league baseball game; golfing (for the Nerdy Boys); lunching with girlfriends (for the Nerdy Girls, naturally); eating icecream cake--it's Nerdy Brother-in-Law's AND Nerdy Sister-in-Law-in-Law's birthdays in June; and playing a really fun

Sadly, our planned domino game came to a screeching halt when we discovered we no longer have a full set...a small child visited Nerdy House once, and decided the dominoes were really cool. We have no idea where the missing few tiles might have gone. Nerdy House isn't a big house, so possible hiding spaces are few. No matter--we've moved on and found a new fun game, so that's fine.

In true Nerdy Knitter fashion, I brought my current WIP to the baseball game (I'm not much of a sports fan...sorry). I knit away, making nice progress, then didn't touch the knitting again until Monday, at work, when I discovered an error FOUR ROWS below my current row. Yup, that error occured sometime during the baseball game. Grr! I wonder if it was when a boy brought "his" fire extinguisher to show his grandfather. (His reasoning was, and I quote, "I found it. It's mine!")

But I've been making progress ever since. Here's where I am at this moment:

The colors don't look so hot, but it's really gorgeous, honest. My friend,
J, who was at my house yesterday for a mini-knitalong, said, "It looks so much better than the photo!" So now you know--I'm not a professional photographer, and I don't play one on this blog.

Speaking of J...she came over to knit with me while we both worked our Mystery Stoles. Yup, we're both signed up for
Mystery Stole #3, the brainchild of Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist. The mystery behind the project is that no one (except Melanie, of course) knows what the finished design will be. We receive a clue (in chart format) every Friday, and knit that up without knowing what comes next. This past Friday was the first clue, and here's my version of the finished product:

I'm using KnitPicks Shadow yarn (Sunset color) on US4 needles.

J, on the other hand, is using a different yarn (Zephyr wool silk, I think), but also on US4s. Here's her project so far (she hadn't finished the chart yet in this photo):

The design incorporates beads, which is a new technique for me. My beads are teeny-tiny, so you can't quite see them in the photo, but trust me when I say they're sparkly and pretty.

I obsessed (surprise!) over the "clue," and finished early Sunday morning. That left me most of Sunday to get back to the vest, which is what I did. I've started the armhole shaping/steeks, and the v-neck shaping/steeks. So exciting!

In addition to all of the fun knitting work I did this weekend, I also worked with Nerdy Hubby on getting all of my office furniture back into my office. That was difficult, partially because I have so much crap/stuff, and it's a small office, which looks even smaller when you cram it full of crap/stuff. Plus, going through the piles of stuff that had been irreperably damaged in the flood was really depressing. Sigh.

The fun part is that I chose a different placement for my desk and my bookshelves, and I'm very pleased with it. No photo yet because I haven't unpacked all of the stuff. Once it's in a more organized state, I'll post a photo.

And more happy news: my friend, N, had her baby last weekend! You may have read about N in my blog before--she lives in New Zealand, and we've never met for real. We were matched up for a secret pal program, and have been fast friends ever since. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy on June 23. His name is Flynn. Neat, huh? I'm so excited for her & her family!

We had a very eventful pooch weekend, what with bunny chasing and "swimming" (he ran away, while chasing a bunny, got in the woods, then into the stream, then came back, muddy & stinky, just in time to get in the car), and obedience class, and all. Beasty Boy is doing well in class, which is really good to see. He even came when I called him through what the teacher called the "tunnel of love" (it's a gauntlet of dogs lying on the floor), which was major.

So I think that's the whole update. Fun stuff! Now I just have to find time to fit in a pair of tube socks for Nephew2 whose birthday was last month!

If anyone's interested in signing up for the Mystery Stole #3 knitalong, the final sign-up date isn't until later this week...c'mon, everyone's doing it! Honest: Nerdy Mommy AND my friend, the
Librarian Knitter, not to mention my friend, J, are all doing it. Now's your chance...sign up!