Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Non-Ugly Baby Sweater

You may recall the hideous sweater I knit for Tomato & Train Brain's baby. That went into the charity bag. I just finished up the replacement this is an acceptable baby sweater.

I really like this pattern. Lots of lovely cable details, varying textures, and a nice seed stitch shawl collar. I think this will work well for a boy or a girl. And I had enough yarn let to knock out a pair of booties as well.

The pattern is Trellis, from Knitty, my favorite knitting website, and the yarn is a nice cotton-acrylic blend from KnitPicks. It's machine washable/dryable - perfect for kids' stuff. Hope they like it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Best Show You're Not Watching

Season 3 of "Chuck" premieres Sunday on NBC.

You probably haven't been watching Chuck because, well, no one is really watching NBC at all these days. But trust me, it's a high quality show that deserves your attention. It's developed a small but very loyal following over its first two seasons, and I'm so excited it's returning.

Chuck Bartowski is a normal guy who has managed to fall ass-backwards into a double life as a spy when a bunch of government secrets wound up in his brain back in season one. (Just go with me on this.) He's a bit of a geek who's trying to do his duty to his government while attempting to maintain some semblance of a normal life. It's a quirky, offbeat blend of comedy, action and drama. Check it out, it's definitely worth an hour of your time.

Here's a preview of season 3:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Steelers Season Wrap Up

Well, there was no miraculous alignment of the planets on Sunday to allow the Steelers to make the postseason. And I guess that's ok - they really didn't deserve it after that ridiculous 5-game losing streak midseason. They've got no one to blame but themselves. There have already been some coaching changes - the offensive line and special teams coaches have been dismissed, and rightly so. There were a few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season - Ben Roethlisberger had a record-setting season in passing yards, and rookie Mike Wallace is a wide receiver you'll be seeing a lot of in the future.

I will hope for better things next year, when hopefully Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith will be completely healthy and ready to go. And I'll be hopping onto the Saints' bandwagon for the rest of the postseason. Gotta have someone to root for!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Knitting Update

I've completed several projects over the past couple of months. In descending order of awesomeness:

LaBorgia Gloves:
Love these. Love the color, love the intricate cable pattern, love how warm and comfy they are. Pattern from Allison Green Will Knits.

Urchin Beret:
This is made from a blend of some sparkly clearance yarn I bought over the summer, and a chunky varigated wool to provide needed warmth and thickness. I'm super pleased with how the two blended together. Looks great with my gloves, too. I also made a black sparkly version as a Christmas gift for a friend. Pattern from Knitty.

Pirate Dog Coat:
I made this awesome coat for my brother's dog Pete for Christmas, and I made my brother a hat to match. Sadly, I neglected to take any pictures of Pete wearing it on Christmas Day (this pic is from the pattern). You'll have to take my word for it that it was super, in spite of not quite fitting properly. I also made my brother a matching hat. Pattern from Bernat.

Felted Flowers:
Only two shown below, but I cranked out a bunch of these in various colors for Christmas gifts for several friends and co-workers. Nothing terribly exciting, but cute enough. Devised these on my own.

Calluna Sweater:
This one looks much nicer off me than on. It's knit according to specs, but it doesn't hang quite right, and the buttons wound up in a weird spot. I've decided it's not worth unraveling and re-knitting. It's good enough to wear around the house, run errands, etc. Still, I'd hoped for a better result. Bummer. Pattern from Knit Picks.

Ugly Baby Sweater:
Nice pattern, but I must have been drunk when I picked these colors. I was aiming for a gender-neutral sweater that wasn't pastel, and wound up with this hideous Mexican clown look. Totally unacceptable for Tomato and Train Brain's baby, due in May. This one's going in the Goodwill bag. Pattern from Crystal Palace Yarns.

Currently, I've got a pair of socks on my needles, and I've selected a different pattern and bought new yarn for a 2nd attempt at an acceptable baby sweater. I got a kit as a Christmas gift to make a pretty pair of Nordic mittens and a matching hat, and Santa also left some lovely sock yarn in my stocking. I'll get rolling on those soon.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Steelers Math

Due to the defending Super Bowl champs' mid-season slump, including shameful losses to Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland, the Steelers are a long shot to make the post-season.

They're traveling to Miami on Sunday for the final game of the regular season, which they must win if they are to have any chance to grab a wild card spot. However, just the win isn't enough. They still need help. Here's how it shakes out:

Pittsburgh will secure a playoff spot if:
1) Steelers win + Houston Texans loss or tie (vs. Patriots) + New York Jets loss or tie (vs. Bengals) OR
2) Steelers win + Texans loss or tie + Baltimore Ravens loss or tie (vs. Raiders) OR
3) Steelers win + Jets loss or tie + Ravens loss or tie + Denver Broncos loss or tie (vs. Kansas City Chiefs).

Got all that? I'll be in front of the tv on Sunday with my laptop and and a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. But trust me, those are pretty long odds - most of those games would need to be upsets in order for everything to fall into place. I haven't completely given up hope, but let's say I'm not exactly burdened with an overabundance of confidence.

Go Steelers! (sigh)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Catching Up

It's been a while since I've checked in - I've just been really busy with all the holiday shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, parties, addition to my ongoing piano lessons and volunteer commitments. Not to mention holding down a full-time job. No complaints, just not a lot of free time lately.

So what's been up? Several knitting projects completed, about 2 dozen cheesecakes baked, and the Steelers are circling the drain. I've also deployed my new snowblower with some success. Updates on everything that's been going on will be forthcoming now that I've got a bit of time to waste. Until then, Happy Holidays!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Steelers 24, Chiefs 27 (OT)

Another disappointing performance from the Steelers - a loss to Kansas City on the road. I thought there was a chance we'd see backup quarterback Charlie Batch in this game, but I thought it would be because Pittsburgh would completely blow out the Chiefs. Instead, Charlie got in the game when Ben took a knee to the head in overtime. No word yet on how serious it is. And Charlie also injured his wrist and will be out for the rest of the regular season, so things are looking awfully thin at QB right now. And shall we chat about the mind-boggling kickoff return coverage (or lack thereof)? That's 2 weeks in a row now that the Steelers have allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown. Been an awful lot of punts, interceptions and fumbles returned for TDs lately, too.

The team is really struggling right now, and there's going to be a LOT of desperation in the air Sunday against divisional rival Baltimore.

Going to get the Listerine now and try to wash the bitter taste of defeat from my mouth.