Jul 28, 2007

Absence Makes the Needles Go Faster

My computer is still...problematic. It doesn't work right. So I keep using the old one, which is soooooo slow. I am impatient, so you can imagine that I just don't have the time to deal with it most days. This means, no I have not really been reading mail, blogs, or posting. Instead I fill my time with knitting. Except...I have nobody to share it with!! ACK! This will be a long post. Prepare yourselves.

I'll begin with the post I wanted to do immediately after my last one. That same day, in the mail I recieved this lovely stitch marker. Sunne sent it to me in angel wing 2rememberance of my FIL. Her family has a tradition to give a seemingly normal object that can (in some way) create new things, so that the love you have for the person who has passed, becomes a part of this new thing. In this case, a stich marker, used in creating garments. Right now it's being used on something for one of the children. We'll get to that. First, I want to tell you how incredible this simple gift is. Whether or not Sunne knew any of this, I can't be sure. My heritage is a mystery to me. My parents and grandparents don't really seem to know anything about it either, or can't tell me. Or maybe won't. Because of that, I've always been obsessed with traditions and cultures with a proud/strong heritage. Tradition is important to me, and it fascinates me. To become a part of someone else's family tradition is truly touching. It makes me feel special, especially since Sunne has never met me, and we live across the country from one another. Thank you so much! I really appreciate this! Not only that but, well, it's supposed to be an angel's wing, but I've decided gracefully gathered 3in this case it's an eagle's wing. My FIL was a Harley man, and every time I look at the stitch marker, that is what it makes me think of. It's just the most perfect thing ever. Okay, I'm actually tearing up (out of gratitude, mind you), so it's time to move on. lol

The best thing about summer knits? They require very little yarn and time. Especially since the ones I've chosen this summer are done on larger needles. Most of the patterns I see for summer are done on size 5 or 6 needles. But so far, since I've been back, the needle range for my projects has been between 8 and 10.5. First there was Coachella. Then the Gracefully Gathered Halter and Boy Shorts from Knitting Lingerie Style. Both were finished in a matter of five days, total. Sleeping would probably help. :D Still need to put the elastic in the shorts, totally procrastinating on that, it's not the highlight of my life. I might not take pictures of me actually wearing the shorts. Then again, I might. Who knows.

boy short 1

So, that was done. What next? I mean, I have no internet so I might as well start a new project. lol Actually, next I started the Ruched Camisole, also from KLS*. But well, Elizabeth, did you warn me about the Rowan Kidsilk Haze? It's SO freakin fiddly and difficult to work with. To get gauge I had to go from a size 9US to a blue sky cottonsize 10.5US!! And I just wanted to rip it out every three second. Maybe if I double it, it would be easier? What do you all think?

After my disaster with the Kidsilk, I ditched that idea for a time when I'm less stressed (which will be...when exactly?). At the LYS this past Tuesday, actually, it might have been Wednesday, I can't be sure. It's not important. Anyway, (it had to be Wednesday), I did some yarn substitution checking and pricing for several KLS projects. I badly wanted to buy some too, but resisted the urge. We don't have that much money right now. Instead I bought a baby sweater pattern ($4) and went home to my stash. Nolan's birthday is two weeks away, and there is some beautiful Blue Sky tunic 1Organic Cotton sitting in there. Actually, I'd been waiting for the LYS to get another shipment of patterns from Knitting Pure & Simple. The pattern had already been chosen for the yarn, she just ran out of them. lol When I found it there in the shop, I snatched it up.

Can I just tell you how in love I am? With both the yarn and the pattern. If it weren't so expensive (rightly so) I would make myself something with the Organic Cotton. It's sooo soft. The color is beautiful. In this pattern too, it just looks so natural and perfect. Just wow. Then I found, amongst my sewing stash, these baby tunicadorable buttons. When this is done I want to do some nice wool sweaters (using this pattern) for Kyran and Heather too. They can all have the same button. It'll be cute. For Heather I might have to line it though, she has really sensitive skin. Mr. Shad stole my camera (again) so you'll have to deal with crappy webcam pictures of my progress.

With all of that happy sounding stuff, I don't think I want to go into why I am mad today. But Mr. Shad owes me some yarn, some cute shoes, some lovin and maybe a pattern book. It depends on what bills we need to pay. lol

*Knitting Lingerie Style will be KLS from this point on. I'm sick of typing it out all of the time, and I plan on doing a LOT of knitting from this book.

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Jul 22, 2007

All Aboard the Crazy Train

coachella back 1Actually, I had no really good title. That's just completely random.

I realized a few days ago that I neglected to take pictures of the back of my Coachella. Which is kind of important considering that it's the only part that is different. From the front it looks exactly the same. Mr. Shad says that he likes the opening in the back...because it shows of my tattoo. lol I'll let you know when I believe that. Anyways, a few things I would change if I did it again: either not knit the beginning and end on smaller needles, or at least not Ktbl. It made the edges so firm that they don't really roll. :( Since I didn't knit the back piece, I just CO the extra stitches. I should have done that on smaller needles. Maybe not 7s. Maybe just 8s? I don't know. But it has a tendency to slip sometimes. Which wouldn't be a problem if that didn't mean bra exposure.

Also, finished the huge sweater Friday night. sweater comparisonTook it into the shop on Saturday. So my pictures were taken at night. Sorry about that. Linda (LYS owner) loved it. Which is great since it was for her. I still stand by my conviction that it is the ugliest sweater I have made. It pretty much reinforces the "old lady sweater" knitting cliche! How am I supposed to convince my friends that knitting is not only cool but hot too?! (wow...did anyone else feel that was contradictory? No? Just me.) To show you exactly how big it is, I put my Wicked sweater on the floor with it. It seriously made me laugh. I still don't know why she had me knit that size, Linda is not that big. Eh, maybe she wants it to be oversized? Either way it's done. Which means...I get to CO for a new project!! Woohoo.

So, in my excitement to be done I swatched and started the Gracefully Gathered Halter top from Knitting Lingerie Style. This is pretty much the best book ever. Maybe other people gracefully gathered 1don't think so. But I am not other people. It's a lovely book, with amazing patterns, beautiful photographs, good instruction, and fun informative writing. Totally worth the $30. Okay, back to the newest WIP. When I swatched I got 15sts over 4" on size 10.5 needles, instead of the 14sts over 4" on size 10 needles. Of course, that could be because I was using a worsted weight yarn instead of a bulky weight. *duh* Oh well, I am convinced that this will work. So far it is. Just to make sure I tried what I have done on. It fits. So all is well. Knitting this made me realize that I am way more attracted to dark color combinations than bright ones. Anyways, this is going SO fast. The piece measures 9" already, and I start the shaping for the back and bust at 11! Thanks again Sunne for the yarn! My LYS owner was impressed that you bought me anything with cashmere in it. lol When I told her you bought me four whole balls she said you must really like me. :D I'm totally rambling. I had to buy some yarn to compensate, apparently I need like...400yds to make the halter and the boy shorts. All four balls of yarn only add up to 350yds. So I bought some Cascade Cotton Rich. Five dollars for 80yds. Not too bad. The white was the only color that I could buy that wasn't like...horribly mismatched. There was a blue and a purplish color, but they were both too light.

cotton rich 1

P.S. You should all favorite Yarn Bouquets, and email the link to your loved ones. It's awesomeness!

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Jul 18, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

coachella fin 3Jiggety-jig.

I finished Coachella!! It's so exciting to finally be able to post a FO. Everything is so hectic right now. And I cannot wait to get a chance to wear it out. :) Now that I've finished it completely I'm totally in love with it. Which is perfect. If you want the specs you can check it out on Ravelry, or you can just click the picture. lol Again, I am totally loving Ravelry. After I finish this post I will use it to hunt down some yarns so that I can find substitutes. Can you believe that summer knitting time is half over already? Soon we'll have to pull the wool back out and start up on those sweaters. Of course, I have several sweaters on my list.

Tonight will be my first night back at the LYS, and I am ecstatic! huge sweater 1In light of that, I actually did some knitting on the giant sweater. The body and collar are completeted. Only the sleeves are left! Suddenly I am thinking that another FO is right around the corner. It will be so great to check that off my list too. Since it's been kind of hovering. Not to mention I felt bad that I had used up all of the store credit that I was given in payment.

Oh, and I pulled Mom's top back out of the bucket again today. *sigh* I had almost forgotten how much I loathed that Berroco Gem. It's agony. So slippery and fiddly. >.< The front (which I am knitting now) is about 10". Only 5 to go before I start shaping the armholes. Which are like...7" or something. So the whole thing totals about 22". Which means, basically, I'm almost halfway through. Then comes the seaming and weaving in ends. All that finishing stuff. No pictures of that, but here is the super cute dress my MIL bought for me.

new dress 2

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Jul 15, 2007

It's Big

This will be a long post, with lots (hopefully) of pictures. Some of them haven't the fallbeen uploaded yet, but I will get around to that. Right now I just want to start the process of blogging. I have a new camera! So...that means much better quality for my photos. Whew. Also, I wanted to thank everyone for being here for me and all of the touching comments you have left, it all means a lot to me. I can't believe I forgot to say that before.

Well, I told you all about Heather and her busted nugget. So here are the pictures. The staples have been removed and she is totally okay now. But here is an idea of how far she fell.

You will probably have to click on this and see the larger size to make out the staples in all of that hair.


Here are a few random shots. Some from the burial and some just of the kids. Then I will tell you all about the aquarium and going to PA to visit Elizabeth from Gee, You Knit!. Most of the pics from that trip will be posted over on the Truly International Sock KAL blog as well.

MD trip

tiskal 1We took the kids to the Baltimore Aquarium, they had never been to one before. I was so amazed by the way the kids reacted. Kyran was just fascinated by all of the fish. He would stand by one tank after another, content to sit and watch them all day. My MIL would have to drag him away, and he would be upset until he saw there were more fish. Heather liked the dolphin show, but Kyran wasn't really impressed.

It was really awesome to see how they reacted to everything though. The whole experience was so new to them. I've been to that aquarium many times, somehow going with the kids made it a much more exciting adventure. Fish are not as interesting to me as children are. :)

bmore aquarium 4 bmore aquarium 3

One of the best things about knitting, is knitters. me elizabethWe are everywhere, and we are always happy to see another one of our kind. So when I found out that we were making a trip to Maryland again, I emailed Elizabeth and started arranging a meetup. Finally we settled on a date (teehee! a date!) and I steeled myself for the 2 and a half hour drive up there. Actually, I did pretty well, and only got lost for a little bit and wound up in VA. Let's not talk about that. lol When I got there we each had a glass of water (soooo hot) and discussed our plan for the day. See the sights, go shopping, hang out and knit. Good times. I was thinking...man that's not a whole lot, we're going to have SO much extra time, since I also planned on sleeping over that night. The idea of driving home in the dark didn't really excite me.

Boy was I wrong! We make a perfect touring team. tiskal 3Elizabeth is a self-proclaimed terrible tour guide. Which is fine, because apparently I am the worst tourist ever. The Liberty Bell has a whole building full of displays and things that you can read...we breezed past all of this, going straight for the bell itself. Snapped a few photos, and were gone. On to Independence Hall, where we encounter difficulties finding an entrance. Too hot to be bothered with asking, we just snap pictures from outside the gates. Hey, it's the thought that counts, right? We decided to end the tour there, since neither of us were really too hyped to see any of the other touristy stuff. lol

tiskal 4

So we hiked to groping yarn. For a brief (and obviously deluded) moment, I actually thought I might *GASP!* never knit again! Good thing Loop, where I spent hours loop buy 2I collected my senses! All of that yarn definitely reminded me of why I knit. What is it about yarn that we all love so much? Who cares, it's gorgeous! I fell in love with two skeins of yarn, one came home with me, sadly the other had to stay behind. Love does have a price, at least my husband thinks so. I ended up spending a (not so) grand total of $43.50. A dollar and fifty cents more than the cost of the Claudia Handpaints Silk Lace (in Turquoise Jeans) I was drooling over. After visiting it several times, I realized the price tag would not magically change, and resigned myself to the idea that it was not meant to be. This time. Instead I picked up a single skein of Koigu KPPPM (shush! I know I hate it, but it was all sad and lonely...so prettttyyyyy), and three of Allhemp6 in aubergine.

koigu p828

happy butterfly 2The Koigu turned out to be problematic. It was unsure of what it wanted to be. Since it was a single skein and I couldn't find any that I wanted to pair it with...well, there wasn't much it could be. So, I tried out several things. A panta, a Dreamswatch Head Wrap...and so on. Finally, after returning home the next day and searching Ravelry. I discovered a pattern for a head wrap that I liked. The Happy Butterfly Head Wrap, I think. Wow...I just went to hunt down a link to the pattern and got totally side-tracked. Gotta love Ravelry. Right? As if there wasn't enough for a knit-blogger to do online? Now that I am home I think I will block coachella 1>this on the needles and see how I'm liking it. It will probably end up more as a thin scarf than a head wrap. Not to mention I'll probably gift it. But to who?

Probably my MIL. She is outstanding. she bought me this incredible dress. Seriously, I have to get some good pictures for you guys. It's just...so me. Oh yeah. I almost forgot, Coachella. It's nearly finished now. Only about...two or three inches left. Not quite sure how I feel about it. Maybe you guys can tell me what you think?? At first, I totally hated the color. But once I started knitting it, I loved it. Then...I wasn't so sure about the idea to make it a halter. Now...I'm not sure about the fit/drape in the chest. *sigh* I complicate everything.

coachella 3

Whew, and to wrap it all up, here is a picture of my friends and family outside of one of my stand-bys, Three Brothers in Bowie. It's a great pizza place. Try it if you are ever in Maryland!

old crew 1

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Jul 5, 2007

Freaking Out

*deep breath*

A lot has happened since my last post. Mr. Shad rushed home to take us to Maryland. He was still too late, at around 8PM on Tuesday, FIL passed. My husband was still in the air. How are you supposed to tell someone you love that someone they love has died? That everyone else got to say goodbye, but he didn't, because he was doing his job? We left Thursday in the early morning, and arrived Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Shad gets his stone cold exterior from his mother. She is a wonderful woman, but keeps her emotions to herself. Which is difficult for me (an overly emotional train wreck) to understand. Friday we had the viewings, my parents and a few of our friends came to provide support. The hardest thing for me was trying to explain the situation to Heather. She knew something was wrong, she did give us the lightest moment of the day though. Finally, it came to me, how to explain things to her. (Keep in mind I am talking to a four year old, not misspelling words)

She asks, "Are we in the hostipal?"
"No, we are in a funeral home. This is where people go after they die so that everyone can remember them, say goodbye, and love them. Then they can go to heaven, after the people that loved them say goodbye. Would you like to say goodbye?" I feel a bit of triumph in my explanation. It is delicate and true at the same time. She nods and walks somberly to the edge of the casket. Then brushes her hand across the air in a short wave, runs to MIL and says, "Let's go get some food!"


Saturday was the funeral service and burial. The minister did a great job, considering. Tom "Alky" (FIL) was by no means a religious man, but that didn't make him a bad man. Nobody tried to make him into something he wasn't. Instead the minister played on his strengths as a father and loving human being. When Mr. Shad spoke, I cried. He was not emotional, but has a wonderful speaking voice. Even in a sad situation he can sound strong and proud. It was a long speech, and probably one of the best. After the burial, we were all so tired. Our friends came to the house and we all lazed about for a bit. Then we decided we just needed to get out, go do something. So, I got all dressed up to go out (the night before, Mr. Shad got a little drunk, I did not). As we sat around talking and joking, waiting for our husbands to finish helping my father load his motorcycle...I hear my mom begin to reprimand Heather. When I look over she isn't there. I can't actually remember seeing her fall, but I heard the sound her head made when it met the pavement.

I screamed Heather's name and everything moved so fast. No strange slow-motion fog that you might expect from a panicky situation. My mind worked the fastest though. The mother's among you understand. So, when I reached the bottom of the stairs and didn't see her lying on the ground...it took a moment for my imagination to give way to reality. She was up and running, looking for me. I caught her not more than four feet from where she must have fallen. When I lifted her up, my skirt came too. Instead I just dropped to the ground with her in my arms. Looking her over, trying to find the source of the blood on my hands. Good thing Mr. Shad was there, I think I was scaring poor Heather. We are complete opposites in the emotional department. My heart broke a little bit when I heard that sickening crack though. Everyone sort of...politely pushed me away from my daughter. Not that I didn't understand, I did. It still felt bad to be incapable of caring for my baby.

Anyways, sorry, I like to write remember? All of that drama. My mother and husband took Heather to the hospital, they can both control their emotions. After several tests, and CAT scans, and six staples, they returned home. It was 2am, my dress abandoned for pajama pants and t-shirt. She was a trooper, and is healing just fine. Okay, to all of the moms amongst you, I apologize for just scaring the crap out of you.

I started a Coachella mod, (props to Sylvia for giving me the idea) that is actually pretty simple. It's just a halter top instead of a racerback. she came up with that as a yarn saving gimmick since I only had three balls of yarn instead of four. ASAP I will update this with pictures. Right now I am going to get back to knitting. Coachella makes for a great stress knit, nothing really complicated. Even the flat knitting for the top half went quickly.

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Kitty's Story

Vintage 008

First, I must confess my name isn't Kitty, or anything even close. It just comes from an affinity for cats. Second, I love to craft, create, and imagine. I can draw a bit, knit a lot, and sew just enough to get by. My world revolves around the loves of my life; my three children. Anything more you want to know about me is on Ravelry or check me out on FB!

Crystal Shadrick

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*Disclaimer!* I'm totally crazy. The patterns I offer are often variations of other patterns, things I have reverse engineered. I don't claim to be wonderful and smart and an all-knowing designer. So enjoy them!.

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All free patterns have been moved here. Hopefully this will help you find them more easily! All of the pattern posts (except the ones that contain other info) will be deleted in a week or two.




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