Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Am Defecting (Temporarily)

I am joining the Knitting Olympics. And Team Wales has accepted me as a member of their team. The qualifications are many, but you only have to have a least one. I qualify on a couple of them: me, I have always wanted to visit Wales, I have a fondness for sheep (at least their fur) and daffodils, and I know where Wales actually is.

And I think I have narrowed my project down to this poncho that I purchased last year at SMW.

The deal with the Knitting Olympics is to cast on during the Opening Ceremonies and have the project completely finished by the closing ceremonies. Since I watch the Olympics as much as I can when its on and it is such great knitting background, I thought what the heck. I'll push myself and maybe finish something out of the stash to boot. Just imagine, casting on at the same time the rest of the world is. Well, maybe not the world, but a few thousand out of the knitting world. What fun!

More info can be found at: www.cast-on.com/teamwales.htm

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Non-Yarn Enhancement

Several weeks ago, I felt the need to buy knitting related stuff. And because on a weekly basis I get the Threadbear Fiberarts weekly email from Rob, I felt the need to buy some stuff. Rob and Matt are so easy to work with. I tell them what I want, they ship it to me(they have my cc info on file), it comes within about a week. So here is some stuff I just had to have and NOTE, no yarn!

On the far left is the blocking board kit I ordered. I think it will drape over either my dining room table when I need it to, and I have this fold out huge cutting table from my sewing days, that it will be perfect on once I have a room just for knitting.

I finally broke down and bought myself some Denise Extenders. A year ago I bought some as holiday presents for some knit friends. I thought it was time I got some after recently having to piece about three shorter ones together.

Okay, some would say I just bought these for the cool colors of the containers, but check the little guy out.

And finally, in the bunch is Barry Klein's new book. Now, one would think after the Maggie book and the Cascade book, that I would learn my lesson and NOT buy sight unseen just because I happen to like the writer/yarn. But, at first look at my new book, I certainly had thumped myself a couple of times! But now after looking at a couple of the garments, it might just hold some promise, with Yarn Substitutions!

I'll show you more on that later in the week. I am hoping to just check out Hobby Lobby and Michael's in the next week to see what great substitutions they might have. Oh that might mean, yarn purchases, maybe I should just let my fingers do the searching from home and make a note for future shopping excursions.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I Am Officially Alive!

And how do I know that? Despite the head full and the cough that would say otherwise, I actually knitted last night from my chair. I probably stayed up too late (another sign) and this morning I feel good enough to sit at the computer and type a bit. I think if it wasn't raining I could even tolerate the sunshine.

I have lots I wanted to blog about last week, but I will just have to do it this week.

This stuff has been some real junk and maybe because I am getting alittle older (gasp) and maybe because I have not been 100% and not been out walking in months, perhaps it has hit a little harder. There was a time yesterday, when I was just plain pissed about all of it! I figure there are people who have to deal with alot more than I have lately and they do it with grace and I could learn a little something from them.

Anyway, I just have to tell you all abouthow great my sons Roger and Willie are.

Last week, Willie who also has not felt well and still doesn't today after a trip to the doctor, went out twice to the store for stuff for me and Roger. One night after working til 9 he went back out and picked up Vicks for Roger and I to use on our chests (my mother's remedy for everything). This after not feeling well, and just wanting to fall into bed and working, he trudged out to the store for us!

And about 2:30 this morning, when I had a coughing fit on the couch that just would not end, Roger came out and asked if his mom was okay. He proceeded to bring me a glass of water. He knew just what I wanted and then sat there talking to me for while the fit proceeded to go away and I felt better.

Through the rest of the early morning hours when the cough would come back, I would reach for the water and think how lucky I am to have such great kids! Which makes me think at this writing, that I should be a better daughter to my mother. I guess sometimes we can learn from our children.

Have a great day, I'm going to!

Friday, January 27, 2006

You Know It's Bad When You Aren't Knitting!

As I said to Norma, I feel so bad, that I have not even picked up a knitting needle since Tuesday morning. I did not even take knitting for sitting at the doctor's office late yesterday afternoon.

Now that's bad. Now, I am going back to my couch. I'll blog later when I feel better.

Until then, knit for me.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Saga of A Sock

An upclose of the sock leg. When all done, it appears a little wide through the leg and I am still not sure I am 100% in love with it. I liked the stitch really well and it would make a nice scarf texture or texture around a band on a sleeve or bottom of sweater.

The finished sock - from Betsy McCarthy's Sock Book

The first snafu. After picking up the heel stitches and knitting I bit, I discovered these holes I didn't like. Why didn't I see them earlier?

Merrily I was knitting along, when I discovered something not quite right. You can see it in the 2nd and 3rd row down from the needle. I thought about ignoring it, but....I ripped the booger back.

Ahhh, that's better.

And finally a sock complete before Christmas and Hanukkah. Only 1 more to go right? Right. It appears a little short, but after blocking it seemed a little better. This may be just a great sock just to wear around the house, Norma, you might not want to wear it out in public.

So I knit another pair for Norma cause I just wasn't in love with this pair. Those were on Thursday's post. And now that those are done, I find myself wanting a new pair, so I am casting on one for me....I just can't decide on what pattern it will be or how big of needle I want to use, but I do like the yarn I pulled out of my stash.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Remember When I Asked What This Was?

It Became These! This pic is from the rib looking down into the first finished sock.

Which makes me ask myself. Why, when you start at the same spot (almost) in the self striping yarn, and you measure all along, can you not get a toe and a heel that comes out the same? Hmmm. Course, I hid the toe so you can see it in the pic, but the recepient will.

These are from Kroy's Sock Yarn for my friend Norma for Hanukkah. She supplied the yarn, I knit the socks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Back right after Christmas, I showed you a pic of the MP3 Player I got for Christmas. I figured at the time, I would put lots of songs on it and use it to walk with when I have to walk alone. Who would of thunk? So far, I have songs on it but have yet to take it out for a walk. Rather, I have hit on something called Podcasts! And keeping with the knit theme, they are about knitting!

You see, I like to knit with background noise. Usually it is the t.v. Prior to my MP3 player, it would be QVC (thats where I learned all about jewelry), HGTV (thats where I was envious of everybody else's house) SOAP tv at night (getting caught up on AMC and GH) and finally I hit upon the crime dramas! They could be great knit background noise.

I tried knitting to my EZ/Meg tapes but they always put me to sleep. NOT that they or the content put me to sleep, but rather, their soothing voices about something I just love would put me out in my chair in about 1/2 of an hour.

So since happening onto Podcasts, I have been downloading them and using them as an alternative to background knitting noise when a rerun is on of something I have already watched several times. Knit Podcasts are recordings that knitters are making to talk about knitting. There aren't a whole lot of them, and some are better than others, but sometimes it is just listening to a fellow knitter that makes it interesting. Below is the list of what I am listening to:

Marie Irshad - out of the UK
Marie has some great guests that are fun to listen to. Debbie Bliss, Pam Allen from Interweave Knits, Amy Singer from knitty.com

Rhonda Bell - out of Texas with knittingnewscast.com
Rhonda's getting better, despite her love Lion Brand Homespun.

Caroline Morse - Fibercast
I didn't care to much for hers as it has other content, but I will check back, because after all, those who can do, those who can't bitch about others.

And finally, my favorite, Brenda Dayne out of Wales
An American who moved to Wales several years ago. I happened upon an article that Brenda wrote sometime ago for Interweave Knits. Brenda is witty and just fun to listen to. She has some great music from varying artists that she puts into the podcast. This has turned me onto some artists I never would have found otherwise. The latest being Bettye LaVette.

The great thing about Podcasts is you don't have to have an MP3 player to listen to them. Download them to your computer (as long as you have speakers) and you can listen to them right there. The whole Podcast reminds me of when I was a child and there was this really cool made for t.v. movie. I taped just the sound (there were no VCRs then) to my new cassette recorder I had gotten from Santa. I listened and listened to that tape. Sometimes while I was nodding off to sleep (I didn't knit then, just dreamed alot).

If only I had marketed that idea as a child!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What Am I Going To Do With These Leftover Sock Yarns?

They are mounting by bits and pieces. And I don't want to just throw them away. Because just as you do that is when you are going to need them.

Some ideas that are noodling:
Sock Earrings
Baby Sox
Sweater/Hat Ornaments for next year's tree
Vest/Sweaters/Cardigans done in a patchwork or stripe

What Else?

Monday, January 16, 2006

HB and Thank You!

Cause it means I get one more day off. And then it is a long haul until Memorial Day. The sun is shining and it is going to be almost 50 degrees. In a little while, I am going to get dressed with running shoes on and take a little jaunt. It's time to start the training again so that by the time Spring Building Steam gets here, I'll be ready.

The nice thing about having a Monday off with nothing I absolutely have to do is that I get to stay up late on the Sunday before and sleep in. Which I did.

I am working on the second sleeve of the Pyth Jacket. I knitted on the first sleeve on Saturday night to see how the length was going to be before I ventured on to the 2nd sleeve. After one false start (I got 1/2 way with it before I discovered that it was at the wrong section of the back. I had to take it out, put some stitches back on the yarn holders and progressed on.

Then around midnight, trying to see where it hung on my back and sleeve turned me into a contortionist (something I can now add to my resume). You see everyone was either in bed or working, so I finally measured the sleeve against the first (just about 1/4 inch longer), okay I can live with that. And then I just said what the hell (it's my blog, I can say that), I am going with it on faith. It will fit! Or I'll have a really expensive new sweater to keep me warm when I sit knitting at night in my t-shirt and jammies.

Now, that I've posted for today, I am off to sit in my chair, drink some coffee, and knit! I feel like a kid today, all giddy and everything. The sun is shining and I'm out of school doin what I love!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The New Scarf Count Begins for 2006

#1 - Crystal Palace Raggedy Ribbon - 2 Balls (57 yds each)

Sz13 Needles
3 1/2 wide x 51 long
Done completely in Garter Stitch

Cast on 2 sts.
Knit 1 Row.

*Increase 1st at both ends
Knit 1 row*

Continue between * until you have 12 stitches or desired width.

Garter Stitch until you have your desired length.

*Decrease 1 st at both ends
Knit 1 row*

Continuing between * until 2 sts with last row being a knit row.

Bind Off, Weave in ends.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Have you ever spent a night and most of the day trying to figure out just what you are going to do with some yarn that you bought, only to go back to the thought you had the night before?

Sometimes, for me, it takes a picture to drive it home. I bought some Koigu last summer at Stitches Midwest. The intent all along was it was going to be Candace Eisner Strick's Look At Me Poncho. Candace had worn it two years ago when I took a class from her and I have wanted to make it since then. But didn't. And lately as I look at it, I just don't see the yarn that I have becoming it. So, I went on the quest sometime ago for a different pattern. Earlier this Fall, I had decided to use it for a shrug, but have not because of other knitting committments and not being sure myself that a Shrug really would look good on me. I have a pattern I acquired and have been giving serious thought to. Margaret Radcliffe's Falling Water Shrug.

Last night I started this swatch. I am not finished with the swatch yet. Today, I went looking through some back Vogue Knitting Magazines and a few issues of Knitters just knowing I would fine something that called for the amount of Koigu I have. No such luck. So, tonight, I popped the picture up on the computer. I'm sold! I like the way it looks. Sometimes, it just takes a picture!

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm Still Here!

I am still alive and knitting. I just can't show you anything yet. But next week I will have a couple of things finally to show. Once those are done, I am not sure what is jumping up to the top of the list of knitting.

Have To/Want To? I need to get back to Twisted Sisters Pyth Jacket. It is at the point that I am going to join one of the sleeves to the back and see how the increasing I have done looks. That will be the do or die point. Looks good? I will continue. Doesn't look good? It will be ripped out just part way on both the back and front and I will do what I did before, add bands on sleeves and body.

It's funny. When you finish a project that needs to be done, it's difficult sometimes to decide whats next. I don't dare start a brand new project do I? Not with all that is sitting there waiting to be finished. I am proud of myself. I did turn down a trip to a yarn shop tomorrow. So I must be showing some restraint. One can only show so much though!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Remember this?

This is in it's blocking stage. Well, upon trying to successfully block it, I discovered two things. I did indeed bind off too tight. And somewhere in the very last couple of rows, I seemed to have dropped a stitch. So, at some point I am going to rip back this bindoff and do EXACTLY what the pattern says. Bind Off, Loosely! This is critical!

I like the Shapely Shawlette and will like wearing it as soon as it is properly bound off and blocked.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Back From lia sophia Success Camp

I went on a quick trip to Chicago on Friday and back last night from lia sophia Success Camp. This is a mini training camp. I had other committments this weekend, the tall guy's birthday, and I just have a ton of stuff to do. So I didn't stay for the entire camp. Deb and Kathy indulged me and came back too so we could all ride together. Bless them both, cause they put up with my stupid ongoing problem and listened to me bitch about it almost the whole time! It kicked in full force on Friday morning and just did not want to settle down totally the whole time. I hate it when I just can't eat and drink whatever I want!

Anyway, away from that. The nice thing is Deb drove up and so I could knit all the way up and back. I finally decided on some scarves that are easy to work on without much thought. So over the course of the day I finished both of these.
A strand of Poof and a strand of Encore Bulky. The really neat part- Deb has started knitting and brought her Eyelash yarn and needles. We sat and knit not only Friday night in our room but during the boring awards stuff yesterday morning. You would not believe how quickly the time past and how many noticed us knitting! I usually always take a sock along to knit on, but end up not taking it out cause I didn't feel comfortable doing it. I guess it helped having somebody else also sitting there knitting. But in the future, that is not going to stop me!

I got to see the new jewelry on Friday night! It is so much better to see it in person then just in the catalog. Can't wait to get it and start selling it! I' m ready!

I took tomorrow off to do a ton of running: Post Office, Walmart, Staples, Bergners and I need to drop a customer's special order off! I got $ for Christmas and I have decided to shop for a small piece of luggage on wheels for these overnight or weekend trips. I think a nice Caribe blue is in order! So, I'll shop for that too. Such a full day, but sometimes it is just necessary to take care of those piddly things.

Cool thing for tonight! Our regular scheduled Sunday night t.v. programming is back with new episodes of The West Wing, Desparate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy is BACK! Great knitting time! Plus I don't have to work tomorrow! I love Sundays when Monday is not a REAL workday!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Tomorrow afternoon I am going to Chicago for a lia sophia camp. On the way up and on the way back on Saturday, I should have 3 hoursish each way of knitting time in the daylight, as I am not driving.

So, as I get my stuff all laid out on the table what do you think is upper most in my mind? What to jewelry to wear? Yes. Have I got warm enough stuff to wear? Yes, I think so but I will add my sittin around sox in the morning. Will my stomach behave? It better or I'll slap it with some Imodium!

But the most important thing on my mind like all good knitters is what am I going to knit on? I should knit on a pair of sox. They are nice and portable, but is the car the best place to be knitting on them? I can take the shawl I am working on because it could keep me warm and I'll maybe get it close to done. I could also knit on the scarf that I am knitting on. Should I take all three? Isn't that a little overkill? There is no way I am going to get the sox all the way done! Doesn't that look like I am going for a week instead of overnight?

I think I'll hide them in my suitcase then no one will know and just haul the shawl with me! Yes, I am taking a suitcase. I know it's just overnight, but it will look much better just wheeling one small suitcase in to the Hyatt rather than 3 bags and small cooler. Just kidding about the cooler!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Oh, My God It's Over!

I have to go back to work! After 11 days off, I woke up this morning and thought "oh, to have just one more day". Sorry, you can't. You gotta go back. Ugh! Why couldn't I be wealthy?!

I am pleased with what I accomplished on my time off. I wish I could be 100% sure that the stomach will behave today, but I'll just have to deal with it. I got most of the things done on my 11 days of Christmas List. There are a couple that are not fully complete, but still I pleased with what I accomplished.

Yesterday, I watched another EZ tape and started my Norwegian Cardigan. It's a process. I did a gauge swatch in the round, struggling around for several inches. Popped off the needles and discovered that the needle I had grabbed was in the wrong spot and was one size larger than I wanted. So, I brought out the correct size, popped it back on and knit a few more inches. Sure enough, it gave me the gauge I wanted.

Did the EPS calculations adding more stitches for my steek and the mirror imagae stitches that Meg discusses on the Cardi tape and in the Woolgathering. For some reason, I could not wrap my brain around that yesterday, finally succombing to stoppin the tape exactly where the steek was and counting her stitches AND then drawing myself a picture.

I am using the Charcoal Rangely Wool from Schoolhouse Press that I bought at my very first Knit Camp! Probably 1992 or 1994. It's a tough knit as it doesn't glide as nicely as some, but it is going to be oh so warm! This is going to be a fun project and I can't wait to see it progress.

Well, I have postponed it as long as I can, I must get my stuff ready for that four letter word! Feel for me all you people who get to stay home today!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Do You See A Trend Here?

Last night when I was spreading my shawl out on the floor for blocking, I realized that three of the projects I am working on involve Garter Stitch. No wonder, I was thinking I need a change in projects! I think I got the garter stitch thing. I need a little change. Going back to work tomorrow will be a start. I actually will be dressed by this time tomorrow. UGH!

Last night when I was reading a couple of blogs and checking out their Knit Resolutions, I discovered that alot of knitters have the same ones as I do. One had in particular the word FOCUS that stuck in my mind. I need to focus on my knitting. I usually knit on one thing at work, another on knit night and maybe yet another at home. I think maybe I'll try focusing on one project in all places and see how much quicker it is completed.

Yesterday, Val asked me how many sweaters I knit in a year. You know I honestly don't know. I keep track of what I finish, but I couldn't say how many I actually knit last year. I have so many WIPS that some of them are completed. At the end of this year, I want to say I finished __ sweaters/socks etc. I want to have new stuff to wear and I want to wear them more. And I don't want to be weighed down by what I have but what I want.

FOCUS! My Knit Word for 2006

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

It is said that what you do on New Year's Day, you will do all year! Last New Years Day, we spent it at the hospital and I spent part of the day with my friends Knitting. That is just about how our year went too!

Today, I spent the time with friends again knitting. It was such a nice afternoon. I have great friends! And tonight, I will spend it with family. That is how I want to spend 2006 too!

As you know, I am a List Maker! So, you would not be surprised to know that I have New Year's Resolutions. My New Year's resolutions always contain the same thing, eat right, lose a little weight and this year really progress the walk to running! But, I also do Knit New Year Resolutions and it seems they too stay the same but vary in content on occasion. January 1st always for me signals that I should be working on my Spring/Summer so I can actually wear it when the warm weather finally appears. But, this year I think I am going to stray from this thought. And NOT knit on any Spring/Summer. How about I just knit on winter stuff so I have it done come next Fall/Winter! After all, I have a lot more $$ tied up in warm yarns than I do in Summer. The warm yarns take up a whole lot more room than my Spring ones. They maybe take up a couple of drawers as opposed to the wools that would probably take a room and a garage!

So, here is my 2006 Knit New Years Resolutions:
1. Work on Fall/Winter 2006
2. Pre-Knit Camp Project - Meg's Cardigan from Cardigan Details
3. Philosopher's Wool Sweater! Completed! I mean it!
4. WIPS that are sitting in this basket I bought at the Civic Center in the Summer of 2004. That basket would look really cool with Yarn in it!
5. Socks (done before the holiday that they are being given for) Maybe a pair a month, so I can actually have more than two pair to wear myself
6. Destash, thereby saving some $, gaining some room for the completed sweaters
7. Buy a lotto ticket at least once a month, so I can have someplace to store all my yarn or a place to put new yarn and have Knit Nights.

That's it, just a short list...Funny, in 2004 I blogged that I wanted to knit more socks and finish some WIPS.

Knit On!