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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dallas Cowboys

My son is a Dallas Cowboys football fan.  He is about to have a new grandson (due Christmas Eve) and I have completed a newborn sized sweater and cap that will honor my son's favorite team.  These were knitted with Berroco Comfort DK in white (color 2700) and navy (color 2763); and Mirasol's Lachiwa in silver (color 1403).  I used US sizes 3 and 5 needles.  The set is sized to go over the average newborn's head of 13-14".  As soon as I can get it written up, I will post a free copy of the pattern for both sweater and cap.  However, you are on your own for the logo.  If I gave that out, Jerry Jones' lawyers would probably call me! 

The neck, hem, cuffs and first navy band on the cap are all in 2x2 ribbing.  The cuffs are double width so that they can be folded over.  The cap has a roll edge.

I do not recommend working in the round when putting a design on a garment such as this logo.  Back-and-forth knitting would have made the star much easier to execute.  However, I am a beginner in knitting -- so I have learned something new.

This is my second sweater using Wendy Bernard's techniques.  Check out her book, Custom Knits, or read the teaching series on Spud and Chloe.   The teaching series is over several parts, but curator Susan B. Anderson, has put these together for you to easily copy and print for your own learning experience.

Upcoming next, a newborn girl's ruffled cap and sweater.  Similar to the boy's Dallas Cowboys sweater set, but with a ruffled edge here and there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bone Density

My mother spent her last 4 years bedridden due to severe osteoporosis.  She never exercised, lifted weights, or did anything that could be called preventive for her bones.  She walked some in her 70s, but that was all.  As a result, I was a runner for 24-25 years, switched then to walking, yoga, and swimming.  Scratch the swimming for bones, but I like doing it.  I have nordic walked for 5 years in our hilly neighborhood about 7-12 miles a week, went to Iyengar yoga classes twice a week for about 5 years, and swam laps 2-4 times a week for 5 years.  You would think someone who can walk that much, do handstands and headstands, etc., would be well prepared. 

Not so.  I received a call from my doctor yesterday with the results of my bone density test that was a part of my well woman exam.   The spine was okay, but the hips were getting into the not-so-optimal range.   He is prescribing Fosamax, and we will do the bone density test in another year.  He knows that I exercise a lot, but said it must be the genes.  What else can I do?  I am adding weight training.  Yesterday and today, and will also do this again 2 more days this week.  Now it is wait and see ....

KAL with Wendy and Susan, Part II

My finished product for the KAL is blocked and I am exceptionally happy with the results.  I chose the boat-neck because this is a Christmas present, and I do not know the neck size for the recipient, but do know other measurements.  The closest place to get the Spud and Chloe yarn is an hour drive away, and I did not know about the place until after I was nearly finished with this knit-along project, so I made this pullover with Cascade 220.  Now I am anxious to start another project using the Spud and Chloe sweater yarn.  The recipient is 6', slender, and the pullover was created to have a 6" peplum starting at the waist and the sleeves will end at the elbow.  As a result, it appears here that the peplum begins below the waist and the sleeves are 3/4 in length.  I am only 5'5"!  Thank you for the boat-neck, Wendy.  It worked out very nicely.  I used the 1" ribbing on the boat-neck, and made the torso semi-fitted. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

KAL with Wendy Bernard and Susan B. Anderson, Part I

I have been diligently following the KAL on Spud and Chloe during August and September 2010.  Inspired by Wendy Bernard's comments to Spud and Chloe as well as the instructions in her book, Custom Knits, I have finally gotten into the spirit and started my own design. 
The sweater is actually a Christmas gift for one of my granddaughters who is very tall (6'), but very slender -- in fact, not much bigger around than I am at 5'5".  I had her measurements, but alas, did not have the width of the back of her neck.  So I designed the sweater with a wide neckline (a la Wendy's boat-neck instructions on Spud and Chloe).  My granddaughter is slightly bigger than I am around, but mostly is just longer.  I made the sweater with 1" negative ease (based on her measurements) and used the measurement from the nape of her neck to the waist for the beginning of a ribbed peplum.  As a result, the sweater is 2 1/2 inches longer waisted than I am -- which means that the peplum should start right at the waist for my 6' sweetheart.   I will make the sleeves down to the beginning of the peplum, then put on a 1" ribbing.  That should make the sleeves reach the bend of her elbow, whereas the sleeves will cover my elbows.  I will post finished results later.   

I used Cascade 220 yarn and size 7 circular needles all the way, 16" and 24" lengths, and double points. 

I am absolutely thrilled with the outcome so far.  See for yourself ...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

State Fair of Texas and the Eli Young Band

Husker and I go to the State Fair of Texas almost every year, but this year was special.  The Eli Young Band was headlining on the main stage.  Last night, we picked up our backstage passes at the Will Call window, and walked to the stage area.  We flashed our passes at security and they let us into the backstage area of the open-air performance venue.  The Band's bus was parked parallel to the stage, and chairs and refreshments were setup for visitors.  This is always the time to enjoy the boys offstage, and especially our Jon.  Jon's fiancĂ©, Sarah, was likewise in attendance as well as assorted friends and family of all the band members.  It becomes almost like a reunion.

At the appointed time, they were given the heads up to get ready to go on, and they swung into action with last minutes details, and took their positions in the wings.  The whole crowd moved from the bus to the stage, and we likewise found ourselves in the wings.   And on with the show!

The audience was enthusiastic and filled the venue to capacity.  Peeking out from the side stage, I could see that the onlookers stretched to the limits of the outdoor viewing area.  It was definitely packed!

It occurred to me that I should have brought the camera so I could show you what the interior of a tour bus is like.  Not glamorous.  Very tight.  It is a cross between a Pullman sleeping car with an RV type of layout at the front end (2 sofas, kitchen, dining, toilet), and a dressing room with shower at the rear.  There are enough sleeping berths for 10 people.  Although the boys fly to many of their venues, they also have times when the bus is their home-away-from-home.

For you ladies -- I will add an important note:  The boys (4 of them), driver, equipment manager, road manager, sound guy -- no women -- equals a messy bus.  In addition, the venue provides dinner for the boys, but it is usually fast food.  Nothing to get excited about.  Occasionally, they work a place that has a nice Green Room (thank you, WinStar Casino) with a dining area and a balanced meal.  Those places are not quite so common.  If you check the band's show schedule, you will see that they are all over the place.  A lot of travel, poor food -- they began to fatten up.  Fortunately, they realized what was happening and immediately took action.  They are running, watching their intake, and doing sensible things to stay in shape.  They look really good, and we are very proud of their common sense.  They agreed at the onset of their careers that there would be no drugs, no foolishness, and they have lived up to that pledge.  Another reason to be proud of their common sense.