Friday, December 22, 2006

Crunch Time

Well, I am now at that time that in college was refered to as "crunch time". Last Christmas I experienced this to some degree but since it was my first holiday knitting season and no one really took my knitting seriously expectations were low to non-existant. Never-the-less, I managed to make 6 sweaters, a poncho, and at least a dozen scarves of various designs.

Wow, looking at that last paragraph I am wondering how I did that! Although I do have to say, the sweaters were all simple drop shoulder designs knit with 2 strands of Lion brand Wool-ease on size 13 needles (I think). They were simple stripe designs and I was so amazingly naive that I just flew through them.

This year I have finished:

Baby blanket for baby Bender (he was born 10/10 but they are now out of the country until after the new it sorta counts for Christmas but turns out didn't quite need to be so rushed...God knows I didn't have it done close to his birthday...oh, well.)

Baby bib (does a project count if it takes 2 hours or less to do start to finish?)

3 dish clothes (another one is about 1/2 done and probably will only take a couple of hours to finish)

3 hats (I already gave away 2 others I had done when my Mom and Niece showed interest...note to self, must remember to resist the urge to give finished objects away so close to Christmas!)

Sweater vest I designed and knit in a day for Carter (see note to self above and do NOT give anything else to Carter before Christmas!)

5 pairs of socks

I still have 2 1/2 socks to knit in 3 days.

Then, there is the hoodie for Carter that I know he wants to get for Christmas. I think if I finish it before he goes back to school after New Years he should be happy. I try to make whatever he asks since he is the only one to really request anything specific. I kind of like being able to accomodate a garment request with my own original designs.

I have given up all thoughts of even attempting to finish the Harlot Snow Drop Shawl since I am maybe half way done. I have likewise given up on the Buzzy scarf/shawl.

I did manage to make one of the hats I had designed in my head. I have also made one matching mitten. Now, I just need to make a mate for the mitten and finish the scarf that was the inspiration.

I will take pictures of everything before I gift them away.....

Happy Holidays to all. May your life be filled with soft yarn, quick needles, and error free knitting. Most importantly, may you and your find yourselves surrounded by loving family and friends and may you be healthy and safe.

If you don't normally read the Yarn Harlot, stop by and give it a look. Then, consider making a donation to Doctors Without Borders. You can use this link...


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fond Memories

Alex P. Kitten 3/17/1989--3/16/2006

Daisy & Henson 1/25/1995--12/11/2006

Too many wonderful memories to begin (at least not today).

We put Alex down a day before her 17th birthday this past March. I miss her everyday. And, call me crazy but I see her spirit (or ghost, or whatever you want to call it) regularly. I know she is still here with us.

Henson and Daisy were a pair. They came into this world together and left together. Had we not had Henson, we probably would have put Daisy out of her pain a while ago. Henson would have died shortly after of a broken heart. So, Daisy Mae held on for him and finally it was time to say, "Goodbye" to both of them.

I don't miss the hair, the poop, or the lingering stench when one of them would pass gas. I don't miss the barking or having to let Henson out and in and out and in and (well, you get the idea). I certainly don't miss having to pick Daisy's hind end up to help her in the house or helping her stand up.

But I miss the looks of complete love and trust that were always there for the last 11 years and 9 months. This is the first time in my life (besides the dorm rooms at college) when I have not had at least one pet in my life. There is a huge hole in my life right now...

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Wicked knitting

Today was quite a day.

Last night Addison (my DH...I have decided that names are just so much easier than nicknames and initials) came upstairs, looked at me with a strange expression, and asked, "What side is your appendix on again?".

At which moment the thoughts "Oh, shit!", "Now what?!" and "Boy, it must really be bad whatever it is if he is saying ANYTHING about it at all" were all competing for space in my frontal lobe. To which I replied, "Right, why?" and watched as his face sort of fell a little as he told me about the sometimes excruciating pain he was experiencing off and on on his LEFT side.

Hun. Hun? Hun!

So, long story short...Addison, Max (the teenager) and I spent 6 hours in the ER of our local hospital today to find out that he does not have kidney stones but does indeed have Diverticulitus. Carter (the middle Monkey) and Jake (the Midget) spent the day with my parents while they took my niece, Katie, shopping for a birthday present at some tack shop a half an hour away.

By the time we all got home, I got something sorta resembling dinner in Carter and Jake (thankfully Mom and Dad took them out for luch before their excursion), took Jake with me to the pharmacy and grocery stores and got home with everything it was after 8:00! I really did nothing all day and am exhausted!

Although, I did graft the toe of a sock closed in the ER waiting room, start the second sock at 1:00 this afternoon in the hospital coffee shop while Max got lunch and I got a snack, and had the whole leg done and was just starting the heel flap when they gave us final instructions at 5:00 and set him free. So, all was not wasted. In fact, now that I think about it that may have been the longest uninterupted knitting I have done in a while...

But anyway, it looks like Ad is going to be OK. This is the first time he has had this. I know enough from my RN mom (who has suffered from and had surgery to fix this herself) that even if he makes a complete recovery this will probably come back to bite him in the ass (or belly) again at somepoint in the future. As for now, he was started on two antibiotics and is upstairs in bed dozing as a result of some codine. Now if I can just get some sleep (or at least get some more work done on this sock. Or that sock. Or the other sock over there that I got a little wierd on the pattern with. Then, there's that shawl. And the hoodie I was going to knit a sleeve of today.....

No rest for the wicked they say. No rest for a cumpulsive knitter either...expecially before the holidays. Wow, so I guess if you are a wicked knitter you can pretty much forget it. Boy, am I screwed.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Pictures, Pictures

Okay, Above are three of the 4 hats I made one weekend. This is the scarf I made going long-ways. I would rather do a few really long rows than knit short rows ad naseum.

Above is one of the three scarfs of the scarf/hat combos that are as yet only completely designed in my little mind. For this scarf the hat that is to go with it is one repeat of this lace-like pattern wrapped around the head and then I plan to pick up stitches going down in ribbing and goin up in this same lace until time for the decreases at the crown. (If you can understand that gibberish you are ahead of the game...).

Next is a dishcloth from Mason-Dixon Knitting. I highly recomend this book!

Above left here is the Midget seen wearing his favorite orange and yellow hat and the Target Wave Mittens from Knitting Nature (or something close to that). The mitten pattern was also in one of the major knitting mags (IK or Vogue or I don't know...I have absolutely no memory...anyway it is out there) Above is the Fibonacci sweater I designed but haven't yet finished the last sleave. Since taking this pic I put buttons on the top of the one shoulder and finished one sleave.

These are the socks I knit one-inside-the-other! They are a little too small for the Midget (I bypassed that whole measuring and swatching thing again...oops!) but they will fit baby Reagan just I hear unintended Christmas present anyone??

I made a sweater vest for the Monkey a couple of weeks ago. I designed it myself and made it in less than 24 hours and he wears it constantly. I am currently working on a hoodie for him that the middle of is knit sideways. I have finished that part and picked up and knit down for the ribbing. I now have to knit the sleaves and then I will pick up stitches going up and attach the sleaves and work my way up in a raglan fashion to finish the body. Then, add a hood and tada. Because of the size of this thing (knitting 2 strands together and making stripes so I have an XL Ziplock bag with 10 balls of yarn in it) I can only get to it at home on weekends. So, it will take a month or so to finish. Say it with me...Christmas. Present.

I am still enjoying spinning...I alternate between two different fibers. Although the spindle I bought seems a bit heavy for the sock yarn I would like to eventually make. I have dropped some hints about a lighter one for Christmas but I am not holding my breath. DH loves when I make something (socks especially) for him but then hates that I knit all the time. Oh, well.

In a couple of weeks I am going to teach another knitter how to make socks. We met at the Middle School soccer games that my teenager played in. I think she had a grandson a couple of years younger on the team. She has been knitting for years but never tried socks. Like so many people she thought they were hard. When I told her that this coming February will be my second anniversary of teaching myself to knit and that I have already made over a dozen pair she was flabbergasted. I was so flattered that someone wants to learn from me!

Hopefully this is the beginning of getting back to a regular blogging schedule. My work hours and responsibilities have recently changed and my internal clock is completely out of whack. Besides having to learn a whole new job I now work from 11:30 PM to 7:30 AM. I then have to catch a short nap in the late morning with the 2 year old and again in the's killing me! You gotta love corporate america.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I can spin!!

I will try to post this without a bad case of exclamation point usage. It will be hard.

While some of you very lucky folks were at Rhinebeck (I did not know these fleece and fiber events even existed until very recently), I finally ordered my first drop spindle (a Louet) a small portable niddy-noddy (such cool names for things), and 2 ready-to-spin, already dyed, mixed with some other cool stuff (silk and what-not) fiber from Carolina Homespun.

And, while I have a very long way to go (gee, there's a silly undersatement) I can spin!!!!!

It is so cool. to make. your own. YARN.

I have made maybe 20 yards in 3 sessions. I plied it back to itself for a (obviously) 2 ply yarn. I want to try Navajo plying but want all of this wool to be the same (as best as possible) type of yarn so that I can use it on one project. How on God's earth do people knit with the turn-back-on-themselves-singles???

I will take (and post) pictures soon. I promise. If it kills me.

In other knitting news....

I made a pair of Nora Gaughn's "Target Wave Mittens". They were intended for the Midget. He did take them with him for Trick-or-treating but didn't really like them as they are a bit too big. The Monkey, however, swooped in on them and claimed them in a heartbeat. The DH says they remind him of something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

I finished a pair of socks for the Midget. The great thing about 2 year olds is you can try a garment on them for size and they still won't remember that you are making something for them. These are going in the finished-for Christmas-basket for Santa to wrap.

I attempted ANOTHER pair of mittens with the left-over sock yarn. The first one is complete but there is a strange web-thingy going on where the thumb meets the hand. As it is sock yarn on a size 2 (instead of my ususal 1) it is not going to be very effective at keeping hands warm so I am cutting my losses at 1 mitten instead of a pair. I will try again with a worsted weight. I even used a pattern this last time. It was written for porcupine needles though and I use a long circ. So, I had some issues. Since I have to date made 5 mittens and only have 1 matching pair to show for my efforts, I would say that I have issues with mittens in general. I wonder why that is? I'm thinking that maybe measuring AND swatching AND using an already established pattern may be the way to go from here. Nah, I'll just re-read what EZ has to say on the subject and knit on.

Still on the needles and not going anywhere:

Rug for bathroom
Large pillow
Small pillow (formerly large swatch of really cool pattern in Patton's SWS)
Buzzie Scarf/Wrap
3 Designed only in my head scarf/hat sets
Socks for Dad
Socks for the Monkey
Fibonacci Sweater for the Midget (only needs another small sleeve)
Neckline-done-4-times-sweater that the Monkey wants (has 2 million tails to tuck still)
Ponchos that might still fit Leslie's girls if I ever pick them up and finish them
Harlot Snowdrop Shawl
Baby Bender Blanket (3/4 finished and since baby was born 10/10 must be first priority this weekend)
Log cabin quilt inspired thingy
Ball band dish cloth
Fair isle socks for me (if they fit)
Pink and orange bag to felt eventually could I almost forget the outrageous Christmas stocking for the Midget (I'm on the foot and almost done!!)

And I will not even list the things that are only in my head/drawn in my notebook that will soon find their way to this in-progress list. To me they are already in-progress but thankfully they are not really.

And, now I can spin too! Wow!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Four Things

I drop in on Needle Tart from time-to-time (she is a neighbor..Altoona, PA and all) and today she lists four things and inspired me to do the same. Here goes...

Four jobs I've had:

1. Shipping clerk in a large warehouse
2. Teller and Customer Service Rep in a bank
3. Waitress
4. Freelance artist

Four movies I can watch over and over:

1. Dirty dancing
2. Top Gun (I hate Tom Cruise now for his idiotic comments about mental health, phsyciatry, and post-partum depression and won't watch anything he ever does again but I love this movie)
3. Born Free
4. My Fair Lady ( my husband's favorite movie)

Four places I have lived:

1. Harrisburg, PA
2. Shaker Heights, OH
3. Opelika, AL
4. Indianapolis, IN

Four TV shows I love to watch (only 4???):

1. Survivor
2. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
3. Any Law and Order but SVU is the best
4. Project Runway

Four places I have been on vacation:

1. Sanibel Island
2. Boston, MA
3. San Francisco, CA (our honeymoon)
4. San Diego, CA

Four of my favorite dishes:

1. Chocolate (this is a food category in and of itself and I could make a meal out of it--trust me).
2. Shrimp
3. Pasta with olive oil, garlic, and parmesean
4. Ice cream (same theory as the chocolate)

Four websites I visit daily:

1. Yarn Harlot (I don't even check my own blog or my e-mail daily. This is the only site I MUST check)

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. The PA National Horse Show (going on now about a mile from me)
2. Knitting anything anywhere
3. asleep (this is always a good place to visit and I so seldom get there)
4. Riding a horse (ok, so first I need lose 60 pounds to be thin enough to get on one and not break it's back)

Here's a new one...

Four women I have "met" through their blogs that I admire:

1. The Yarn Harlot (ok, we're talking more of a worship kind of thing here and I have actually met her in person in addition to her blog but hey...)

2. Eunny This girl is the best at tight, crisp, wow! designs. I am afraid to knit what is a simple design for her...they are so intricate and exacting. She is also a wonderful teacher (see her lace tutorial!)

3. Ann and Kay (Mason-Dixon Knitting). (yea, I know they are 2 women but they can count as one if I want) What a funny pair with cool designs and great stories.

4. Needle Tart Not only is she a neighbor but a Jewish one (I was raised Jewish but have considered myself to be a Christian for the last 9 years or so but can't tollerate ANY organized religion. But there are still times I miss some of the things I experienced as a small child). She also gets the not enough time for all the things I love to do aspect of life (as I'm sure most people do).

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Awesome Fair Isle Technique

Ok, ok...I know I have a bazillion and one things already on the needles that needs to get finished. I know I have no business even looking at new knitting books that have cool new techniques that I have been dying to try. And, yes, I know that the last thing I need is another pair of socks on the needles.

However, it just so happens that I just got Knit Picks Essential yarn in the purple, turqoise, pink, and black along with a new 32" 2.5mm circ (the perfect sock needle!)

Now, I have had these new materials in the house since Thursday evening (2 and a half days for those of you who pay attention to this sort of detail). Had it not been for an emergency trip to the library so that the eldest won't fail his science fair project, I would have been fine.

So, there I was in the library in the science section of the Dewey Decimal System arguing with a testerone-ridden 13 year old about the merits of simply TAKING a book home with you to peruse for possibly usefull information versus dismissing it out of hand; when the knitting book section called to me....

I spent last evening reading the wonderful history of Philosopher's Wool and marveling at Ann Bourgeois's fair isle technique. I have been designing some things to do in fair isle but had read that my floats shouldn't be longer than 5 stitches. That really put a damper on my creativity! Then, I went on-line to the Philosopher's Wool web site and watched a short demo video of the technique. I couldn't wait to try it!!

After I awoke with a wicked back cramp at 4:00 am and put the Midget (cause of said back cramps) back in HIS bed, I couldn't go back to sleep. So, I picked up the book again and marvelled at the colorways and patterns and how simple it all looked (all but that steeking thing). Their pattern called "Trilliums" inspired me to design a heart motif. I never did go back to sleep.

When the little one and I got up for breakfast and morning cartoons, I rolled the purple, turquoise, pink, and black into balls and cast on for my first fair isle project....heart socks! I didn't swatch and have no experience with this technique so I have no idea if they will fit me when I am done. That's ok, I have 4 nieces and there's always baby Regan. They will fit SOMEONE!

For anyone who's counting (or trying to) I think this is knitting obsession #5....

Friday, October 13, 2006

Crazy knitting...

Today is a quick and dirty no pics post. I have been knitting like a crazy person. I will find a new design, or style, or "trick" and knit it like there is no tomorrow and/or until I meet the next obsession and away we go again.

I have to say, "Thanks" to Ann and Kay of Mason-Dixon Knitting for their wonderful book as well as the mitered squares, ball band dishcloth and the log cabin knitting ( three of the recent obsessions).

I also have to give a HUGE thanks to Kory Stamper and Knitty Magazine for the awesome article on knitting two socks at one time (one INSIDE the other). Too freakin' cool!! Even non-knitters who roll their eyes anytime I talk about knitting were impressed!

I am currently just over half way done with the baby blanket....
Am designing and knitting 3 different sets of scarves and coordinated hats (one lace, one ruffley, one modified garter stitch)...

I have at last count 6 socks on needles (yup, two of them are on the SAME needle...I only use the magic loop method)...

I have designed a hoodie for the Monkey but have not so much as even swatched for it yet.

I still have to finish the sleeves of the EZ sweater I have almost finished for the Midget.

I only have to tuck tails on a pullover for the Monkey but at this rate it will end up going to the Midget (it is short sleeves)

I still have to finish a pink and orange bag that is to be felted, the rug for the downstairs bath, the huge pillow cover in outrageously huge Lion brand stuff, the Harlot's snowdrop shawl in worsted weight cashmere blend, the Buzzy scarf/wrap, the poncho's I didn't finish for last Christmas for Leslie's girls, and about a bazillion more pairs of socks for Christmas presents.

Not to mention the fact that I have made two (yes, count em...two) attempts at making mittens for the Midget and both were hideous failures. I guess there may be something to that whole measuring thing...who'da thunk it?

Sleep? who needs sleep? I just need to learn to knit things one-handed so I can work on twice as many things at there's a trick!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saying Goodbye

Last Saturday my father-in-law died. I suppose I could say he "passed away" or some such other phrase but I hate that. It's no wonder I get in trouble for being too blunt (rude as some like to call it).

The funeral was beautiful. The hardest part of the three days was explaining to the two-year-old what was happening. I didn't want him to get the wrong idea like Grandpop is 'sleeping' so I tried to be as honest as I could in the simplest (and kindest) words possible. Trying to explain that we would never see him again but that he would be in our hearts and memories forever is what brought me to tears (and still does).

The midget has the longest toes I have ever seen...until I saw Buzzy's feet. He has a deep love for the color orange...just like Buzzy (who's other favorite color is purple!).

I don't know what to say...I have so many thoughts and emotions and can't seem to get them to congeal in any way that makes sense written down.

Sufice it to say, "Buzzy you done good and we will miss you forever."

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hats, hats and more hats (and the occassional scarf)

I finished my first pair of Christmas socks (for Mom) and decided to move on to some hats and scarves. Moda Dea came out with some really nice new yarns this fall. I forget all of their names but the marble-looking one has knit up beautifully (and fast!). Here is the first scarf (cast on and worked long-wise because I would rather do some really long rows than work a million short ones) and the first three hats.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Aug 6th--Happy Birthday to ME!

Happy birthday to Me,
Happy birthday to Me,
Happy Birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to Me!!

3 new knitting mags came out (I bought them--of course) and a box of Godiva (also from me to me). Mom gave me a book of knitting stitch patterns (way cool!). DH and the boys gave me a Chef's knife (way, way, way cool!!!), a large serrated bread knife, some wooden spoons/utensils, and some Very funny cards. My mom and dad and my MIL came over for dinner. DH and the Midget made my cake (yummy). And, for once the DH didn't get moody and nasty on my special day and actually let me enjoy it. (what is with that??? Childhood trauma?)

Monday, August 07, 2006

August 5th--A trip to the Philly Zoo

The Philly Zoo (the oldest zoo in America) was open on August 5th, 2006 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. We were there the ENTIRE time!! And amazingly enough we only missed the Small Mammal House, the Aviary, the Petting Zoo, the Swan boat rides, The Treehouse, and the Zoo Train.

I worked on two socks in the car and got the heels turned on both of them but alas, no pictures of knitting today...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Handpaint in WOW colors!

Two of the items on my projects to do are christmas stockings for me and the Midget. I really love felting so I figured this would be the way to go. I began stalking the aisles at A.C. Moore for the "right" red and green wool. My favorite wool for felting is Pattons. They are readily available, not too expensive, and I like their colors. Except the greens at my local store. And, they were out of red. Then I got to thinking...yeah, yeah, I know. Anyway, who says my christmas stocking or the Midget's HAS to be freakin' red and/or green??? I plan to have and use mine from here on out so I might as well love the colors.

So, I asked the Midget what colors he wanted his to be. Of course at 2 he doesn't even know what I am making. But he is all about color! His favorite color is yellow. That I know and that color is a given. I was asking about other colors. He understood immediately and said, "Pink and orange". "Oh, and blue". There you have it.

I have only dyed two different brands of wool. Patton and Lion Brand. Patton wins hands down. I have used just Kool-Aid in the past. This time I added some of the pasty, goey icing coloring and plain-old liquid food coloring. WOW!

I am adding some novelty yarns to the cuff and then will be doing large bands in each color. Maybe with the occassional stripe thrown in. I have thought about adding some beads or other decoration. For his I think I will broach that subject after the main sock is knit and if anything is added it can be after the fulling.

This will definitely be a one-of-a kind Christmas stocking!! I just hope he loves it and uses it for a long time...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Lee Ann I got your back!

Stephanie posted about us all taking any and all bad luck for Lee Ann so that she might have only good luck and speedy healing following her brain surgery. Well Lee Ann, let me tell you...aparently my two year old reads the Harlot too!!

I decided to take a slightly longer than normal shower the other day (silly me, what was I thinking???) so that I could take care of those chores that are neccessary in the warmer weather (shaving my legs...yuck!) so as to avoid having small children point and shreek. Not that I grow very much hair but it is noticible poolside.

Anyway, as I was saying, I was indisposed for maybe 15 minutes (I know, a lifetime for a rambunctious todler). I had asked the 9 year old to keep an eye on the Midget but had also told him he didn't have to stay in with him if he were getting beaten to a pulp. Now, we have a series of hook and eye closures installed on the upstairs doors and a gate across part of the hallway in such a way as to be able to pen the little tyrant in his room and part of the upstairs hall. The bathroom, our bedroom, and our other boys' room are off limits. The only non-child thing in this space is a large bookshelf at the end of the hall that we use as a sort of linen closet (since this house has none!?).

When I stepped out of the shower my first thought was, "Wow, it is so nice and quiet". My second thought was, "Oh shit! It's too quiet! M*I*D*G*E*T!!!!!". I stepped out of the bathroom and pivoted to look into his room...

He was standing in the doorway with his shoes, his toy firetruck, his legs, his clothes, and EVERY possible mm of his arms SLATHERED in what I originally thought was lotion! I was so shocked I couldn't even speak. The 9 year old came running when I started ranting in tongues. As I tried to figure out what exactly he had all over himself I noticed a 22 oz. bottle of shampoo on the shelf at the end of the hall that had the mysterious substance smeared on its side. Ah Ha! I picked up the "brand new, never used 22 oz bottle" only to discover that it weighed NOTHING!! Then I made the mistake of looking in his guessed it. PUDDLES on the carpet, on the heater, on the blankets...EVERYWHERE!

Thankfully, he didn't get any in his eyes, nose, or mouth. They were the only places he didn't think would be improved with a layer of shampoo.

So, Lee Ann you hurry up and get better fast. We're all praying for you and keeping you in our thoughts. We will gladly take the bad luck if it helps. But my God Woman! Hurry up already! I've got a two year old trying to do his part and he's killing me!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pictures! 2 FO's in one week!!

These are pictures of the sundress I made for Reagan's first birthday (no pattern...I hope it fits). I had the Midget try it on a few times in the beginning until it was too tight across his middle (he is 2 years and 3 months) and until he was becoming attached to it. I am a very liberal person when it comes to gender issues but I draw the line at pink and purple dresses on boys (call me crazy). The sundress replaced this:
(which was frogged into a bad memory)

which was going to be a cardigan where the cables became flower stems. I was making it up as I went along and realize now that more planning beyond just a sketch is probably in order...

This hasn't been frogged yet but don't worry, it will be. I didn't realize when I started this lace pattern that the "funny" shapes at the bottom corners actually become the top of the heart. I was trying for a checkerboard effect and missed. Besides, I have found that "cheap" cotton (or kitchen cotton) and I do NOT get along (unless I am making a dish cloth). That said, I will have to make a lot of dishcloths and/or kitchen towels to get rid of this monster skein. This was my second attempt at a baby blanket for Mary's little boy to be. I have until October (if all goes well). I should manage to get it right by then.

THIS, is what I made my DH for our anniversary. I have been extremely short on funds lately (stash diving required). So, had I spent more than the few dollars that the elastic, buttons, ribbon, and fun fur cost we would have had a terrible fight. And who wants to spend their anniversary like that. As it was I had to work... But at least for a couple of days my knitting was directed toward something for him for a change.

I am still working on 3 pairs of socks. All for me for a change. I have been wearing the two pair I currently have to death. I don't want to wear them out for a while. So, more yarn for me!!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

So many UFO's

It has been too long since my last post. As usual, I was running late on Father's Day and raced out the door to gift and run and forgot to take a picture of my Dad's socks. Suffice it to say that they are a no frills pair of self-striping Regia in a can't miss colorway for men's with navy, blue, brown, tan, olive, and light blue....they go with everything.

Since my last post I have started (and completely frogged into oblivion) a cardigan. That idea is tabled until I find a more suitable yarn to work with. It was to be for a 1st birthday coming up in July. Instead, I am about a third of the way through a tiny little dress.

I need to make a list of things I am making or want to make and the associated deadlines so that I do them in the right order. I also need to think about what I want to make (and for whom) for Christmas presents so that I don't find myself behind in November and December.

A partial list is:

Item / Due Date
Reagan dress / July 22
Baby Bender blanket / October (started but I hate the yarn and goofed the pattern...TBF'd)
Snowdrop Shawl / Christmas
Grey Scarf / Christmas (not started)
Bear hat / Christmas (not started)
Green Poncho / Christmas
Purple Poncho / Christmas
Jaywalker socks / none
Surf cable socks / none
Fuzzy marble socks / none
felted pink and orange bag / none
Rug / ASAP
Christmas stocking for me / Christmas (not started)
Christmas stocking for Jake / Christmas ( not started)
Large Woobie for Steph / ?? her birthday? Christmas? (not started)
Willie warmer / January or February (not started)
Horse lace ???????????? (not started...not really)
Skirt / none (not started)
Pink sweater / none
felted cat bed / none

Wow! and I haven't included any socks not already on the needles...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

So many socks!

I just finished a pair of socks for my dad. The teenager is going to give the socks I made for him to his dad later today (he refuses to wear them...teenagers!) for Father's Day. I have two other pairs of socks on the needles already (first socks each). And, a long list of socks I want to make...I guess I am always going to have at least two socks on my Turbo size 1's at all times...

I will take pictures of the Dad's socks later today...not to mention the Harlot's shawl that I am working on...

I have designed a sweater for Reagan (Angie's little girl) who will be 1 in July. I am swatching the colorwork now and then will swatch the cable...I just hope I can pull this off..... I have never made a cardigan, never done any intarsia, never done any cables on anything other than a dishcloth. That's a lot of firsts for one garment to live up to. Oh, well, it's not rocket science. I still need to do a lot of math (once I finish these swatches) and am especially worried about drafting the sleeve caps. One step at a time...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sleep deprivation or appathy??

Last night, today, tonight, and tomorrow is recovery time from the outrageous sleep deprivation I suffer each week. I work nights and only get sleep when the midget is sleeping. So, as soon as I get home from work (anywhere from 3:45 am to 5:30 am) I try to get right to sleep. I usually have to be up by 7:30 so that the DH can get the teenager and monkey to school. Then I get a nap (anywhere from 1-4 hours) as soon as the midget goes to sleep for nap around 9:00am. Now that the older two are out of school for the summer hopefully I'll be able to get a little more sleep. The teenager is not happy that he will have to be the one to get up from 7:30--9:00 but he will have to deal with it.

Of course, I also wonder...would I still feel so appathetic about things if I were getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep a day???? I would say that we'll never know but that's not true...we just won't know for another 3 years and 3 months....when the midget goes to kindergarten.

On the knitting front...the Harlot's Snowdrop Shawl in a cashmere blend with a sparkly accent is coming along very nicely. I am still only on the first foot of the Father's Day Socks for Dad. I need to put the shawl down and get my butt in gear on those. I have 8 days to finish this one, make the 2nd one, wash and dry them both and wrap them! No problem.

I need to get a more suitable needle for my other lace (the as yet only in my head horse shawl). I am thinking a US4 circular should do the trick. I am swatching with a 6 now and it is too loose. I need a much longer 6 for the Snowdrop so, I am going to order some new Turbos.

Other unfinished projects that are being neglected include:

Ponchos for Leslie's girls
Pink and orange bag to felt
Pillow cover
Pink sweater
Black jaywalker socks for me
Fuzzy burgandy socks for me

Planned projects not even started:

Baby blanket for Mary
Fuzzy bear hat for midget
Woobie for Steph
Skirt for me
Tank top for me
More socks for everyone

So much knitting so little, who needs sleep anyway?

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Amazing Lace Challenge #1 or "WHAT WAS I THINKING???"

Okay, so I saw this pattern for a hobbyhorse toward the very end of Barbara Walker's third book and thought, "Wow, with a few changes that could look like a real horse instead of a child's toy. I should do that and make a horse-themed shawl for my mom for Christmas." Then just a few days later I ran across the Amazing Lace blog and thinking that there are no such things as conincidences decided to join. Of course, I would step up and say that I will design and make the aformentioned horse-themed shawl.

What I need to add here as a sort of back-story about the team you will be introduced to shortly is the following:

I had never TOUCHED lace-weight yarn let alone work with it before this!
I have never WORKED from a chart much less designed one!
The only lace knitting I have ever done is YO, K2tog, repeat ad nauseum and knit the WS rows. This garment was just finished a couple of weeks ago...
Finally, while I am an extremely adventerous knitter and have produced an amazing number of FO's in a relatively short time, I have only been knitting for 16MONTHS!!!

So, now I ask, "WHAT WAS I THINKING???"

That said, let me introduce you to the rest of my team. Not knowing what yarn I might like (get along with well enough to make a go of this) I purchased both Shimmer (in Maple Leaf) and Gossamer (in Trail) from Knit Picks. A MILE of each (4 skeins) because I was not sure how much this was going to take. I am currently swatching each yarn. The difference in their personalities is amazing! The first time I tried the Shimmer we had a terrible disagreement and parted company on very bad terms. The Gossamer was much kinder to me although we both know it is still in a class (or three) above my abilities.

My fall back (ringer) project and team member is a cashmere blend and novelty yarn (ball tags long ago lost) from my stash that are first cousins to the black shawl I recently finished. With them I will be knitting Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's (the Yarn Harlot's) Snowdrop Shawl. I find that I think in terms of patterns the same way she does. The vagueness of this pattern is in fact comforting.

As far as designing my own shawl goes, I have been studying other shawls and their construction, looking at about a bazillion lace patterns, and have charted one design based on a cross-pole jump. (I am swatching this now but am not entirely happy with it). Here is the graph as it is now. (The diagonal lines from lower left to upper right are not as strong as I would like them to be)

Aside from this motif, the soon to be modified hobby horse, and 2 versions of a "horseshoe" lace (shown above on the Gossamer), I am still relatively clueless (okay, completely clueless). I have thought about putting a whole horse or a horse head in the center of a square shawl and then using some of these other horse related lace motifs around the center.....

Or, I could do panels...

Or maybe a triangular shawl but that seems like the least likely to work...

Let the games begin...we (the lace yarns and I) will be busy training away. For now, The Harlot's Snow Drop will prevail and be our official entrant.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mom's Felted Bowl

Oh, and lest I forget...I finally got a pic of the bowl I gave Mom. The socks were in the dirty clothes and we weren't going there!

Riding Lessons

Yesterday the Midget had his first pony ride (on Harley) at Mom and Dad's farm. I'm hoping that he will grow to love riding and that by the time this happens I will have lost enough weight to ride with him. As it is I would need a strong and sturdy draft horse to carry me and that ain't happening!

He was all crocodile tears during the main event but afterwards at the fence told his Nana (Mom) that Harley is "my pony"! We all had a good laugh at that one!

Here's a picture of my old friend, Dan. He is now 22 and as full of himself as ever. Last year he became gravely ill but managed to pull through with the amazing veterinary help of the staff at the New Bolton Equine Center...the same place where Derby winner Barbaro was taken. Hopefully they can save his life as well.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Photos of WIP

Well I still haven't managed to get pics of Mom's shows take up most of their weekends. Am supposed to go up tomorrow afternoon. Of course by the time I come home it will be time to go to work (night shift from 7:30 pm to 3:30 or later am).

I did, however, manage to take pics of the shawl/cape thing I just finished, a felted bag I made, and a number of works in progress.

First, the shawl. There is too much glare to tell that the center of the top button is yellow, pink, purple, orange, and aqua. trust me.

Here is a shirt I am making for one of my nieces and the felted bag:

And the rug for the downstairs bath:

And, finally, the socks that are currently on the needles:

Now, to just juggle these and get some things done (and on time...). JUST. Sigh.

Oh, and I ordered my lace yarn for the Horse Shawl I am to design. I selected two different yarns from Knit Picks. The colorways are similar. I will have to see them to choose. And, no luck on finding "horse" related patterns except for a couple variations on "horseshoe print". Oh well, I guess I will just have to start drawing and trying....