Friday, April 29, 2005

Knitting Weather is BACK!!!!

It's cold. It's rainy. It's dreary. It's knitting weather. I'm not sure what happened to Spring. I have made some serious progress on my other Opal sock and I'm trying to talk myself into starting the cashmere socks next. I'm sort of "socked" out though. Why did I buy so much sock yarn knowing that I have the attention span of a person with serious ADD?

Work is crazy. It's that time of year. I love my job but 10% of the time, the stress could kill you and I'm livin that 10% right now. I'd love to know why Dentists have the highest suicide rate among the professions. What's so stressful about filling teeth? (It's stressful for the drillee but I can't imagine why it's so stressful for the drillor) Try dealing with people fighting and crying over the home of their dreams when you have multiple offers. THAT'S stress. I find it amazing that realtors aren't at the top of that list. I think we're all just too crazy to ever do anything that crazy! That must be it.

Next weekend is the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. I'm looking to do some serious spending there. The list of vendors is very impressive so I have to be organized and know exactly what projects I want to buy for. I definitely want to do another clapotis in fall colors and I'd like to do several of the scarves in "Scarf Style" for Christmas gifts. I also REALLY covet Lady Eleanor in that book for myself. I have a feeling when I come back from there, I truly will be HIDING yarn.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Interweave Knits - Summer edition

I stopped by the grocery store on my way to work this morning and I always glance at the magazine rack when I walk by to see if there are any new knitting publications. I saw the new Interweave Knits summer edition so, being the cheapster that I am, I picked it up and studied it before deciding whether to purchase it or not. I was less than impressed. First of all, maybe I'm just too old but I don't get the whole "shrug" thing. You talk about a fad that's going to disappear, that's it. I'm not sure why someone would spend time making those things when in a short amount of time you wouldn't be caught dead in one. (I've been known to be wrong before and I'll be the first to admit I could be wrong about this too but I still don't get it) I sort of liked the lacy leaf pullover although I don't understand why the sleeves were so long. That would drive me INSANE. I really liked the dylan goes electric pullover for men but my husband would never wear it and my son would never wear it so I guess I don't need that pattern. The baby stuff is cute, but not cute enough to warrant spending $7.00 on the magazine so I put it back on the shelf. I know....picky, picky, picky.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Look! A Finished Sock!

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Well I'm still boiling mad but I've decided to be an adult about this and move on. (@#*&%$#)
Regarding my last post.... I apologize for my bad behavior. I promise never to do that again. At least not until he p----- me off again.

I finished one Opal Sock. If there is a better superwash wool sock yarn out there I want to know what it is. I've used Regia, DGS, Lana Grossa and a few more but this stuff beats them all. It just looks and feels better.

I'm seriously having trouble finding time to knit. I obviously don't feel the need to hibernate when the time changes and it stays light longer. It makes such a difference in my state of mind and energy level. I am NOT a winter person.

I do have a baby gift to knit and, wouldn't you know it, this couple has to be one of the few these days that DO NOT want to know the sex of the child. So that means I have to wait until the little bugger is born to decide what to knit. I hate knitting greens and yellows and white for babies. If it's a boy I want it to be something cute (and maybe nautical) in blue. If it's a girl, I want it to be girlie. Darn these two! In all honesty though, I never wanted to know either. The surprise was always the best part.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Warning: No Knitting Content... Only ranting and raving.

Let's talk about men. I'm going to write a book entitled "The Top Of The Microwave Oven Is NOT a Cutting Board". And it's not a plate either. Food really shouldn't be consumed from the top of a microwave. And another thing about food is this: It doesn't put itself away. You actually have to pick it up, wrap it up, and place it back in the refrigerator.

And while we're on the topic of explaining basic life skills to the male gender, here's another clue for them. There is no drain in the middle of the bathroom floor. It is not the garage. The water, after you step out of the shower onto the floor dripping wet, isn't going to magicly disappear down some invisible hole in the floor. Nope, it's going to stay right there in the sopping wet bath mat until the mildew turns the rubber layer underneath a nice black color. Then, it's going to seep into the tile grout and before you know it, the whole floor will begin to crack and come up. I know this might come as a surprise, but it IS possible to dry yourselves off BEFORE you step out of the tub. Honest. It's been done.

Let's move onto the dirty clothes lesson. Men, women cannot wash your dirty clothes if they can't find them. Search and rescue missions apply only to people and pets, not clothes. We have better things to do with our time than spend it looking under beds and in the corners of the bathrooms for your smelly socks and dirty t-shirts.

Moving on to reading material. If the last 20 years worth of Golf Digest (240 issues?) haven't improved your game by now, they probably never will and it's more than likely ok to get rid of them at this point. If that article in the May 1984 issue is so important, rip it out and put it in your wallet but the piles have to go. This also applies to The Sporting News, Sports Illustrated (ESPECIALLY THE SWIMSUIT ISSUES), Golf, Streets and Smith, etc. Trust me, your kids ARE NOT going to want these when you die.

Just a few more helpful hints:

Ovens are self-cleaning. Basements and garages are not.

Weddings were not invented to torture you although it may seem that way to you.

The fact that a light was left burning in an unoccupied room probably won't cost you as much as the Big Bertha Titanium Super Duper Driver with the Nasa approved sweet spot quaranteed to cut your score, straighten your trajectory and have you on the tour by next year golf club that you bought at the pro-shop last week.

Just because YOU only need 3 pairs of shoes does not mean that women only need 3 pairs of shoes. The fact that every purse and every pair of shoes does not go with every outfit is a fact of life. Accept it and move on.

Peanut butter is not healthy when consumed in jar size portions and pretzels are not to be considered a good diet snack when eaten by the bag full.

Ballgame scores are published and announced in the news. The world won't end if you're not home in time to see the game on TV. So relax. It's OK. There's no need to pop a vein over this. You WILL be able to find out who won.

And speaking of ballgames, excuse us if we don't get too excited when we get invited to go along, like it's some dream come true thrill of a lifetime date. (Gee, can I really go along? Really?) Did you ever notice that ballgames are the only thing that HE suggests for a night out? Sure, you may go out to dinner or to a movie occasionally but pay attention to whose idea it was. Probably not his.

Lastly, whatever you do, never, EVER, tell a menopausal woman that you have to cancel a trip that she has looked forward to since September because you forgot about a charity golf tournment that you have to play in that particular weekend. God only knows what she might do.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Look closely.....

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If you examine this photo (poor quality that it is) closely, you will see that I managed to put about an inch on this baby in the last 4 days. I REALLY miss knitting. It's safe to say that the spring real estate madness has finally hit. I've been working my butt off.... got home last night at 9:30pm after starting my work day at a 7:00am breakfast meeting. I'm not complaining, believe me, but, I REALLY miss knitting. I'm sure I won't be doing any knitting until possibly Sunday at an Open House that I don't expect to be well attended. I've got my brother coming in from Florida tonight and daughter and son-in-law coming from Delaware tomorrow. So it's family and work and no knitting. Did I mention that I REALLY miss knitting?

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Socks and more socks...

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These are the Opals I started again in the basic regia pattern. This yarn is great. It feels good. It looks good. I think it has more spring and memory than other sock yarns I've worked with so I'm optimistic about the K1P1 ribbing not stretching out with this. Who knows? It probably won't be any different than anything else.

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These are the DGS Confetti superwash socks I finished in the basic regia pattern on size 2 dp's. They turned out well. One of my daughter's will end up with them for Christmas I'm sure.

I still have lots of bigger projects rolling around in my head but I'm going to try to stay on the sock bandwagon until I use up some of this yarn... and there is LOTS of it. I feel like I'm in sock prison and there's a sweater out there somewhere trying to break me out.

Monday, April 18, 2005

How Long Will This Last??

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Nice tidy yarn basket. Like my kid's rooms, it will probably only look like this for a day. Before I re-organized, this basket was piled so high with junk that I couldn't have fit another needle in it!

I frogged the Opal sock. The K2P2 ribbing just wasn't cutting it. It did not do the yarn justice just as I knew it wouldn't. I wish I would learn to trust my own judgement sometimes. So I guess it's back to the Regia Basic Sock Pattern. The photo of my confetti socks turned out all blurry (gosh, I hate that camera) so I'll have to try it again tonight.

I fear I'm going to have to cut back on my knitting now. My garden is begging for attention and I have so much Spring cleaning to do. I might have to do weekly updates for a while at Finnegan Purl Knits. Plus I need to WALK some of these winter pounds off in the evening now that it's nice. No excuses anymore.

Oh... some promising news! Some lady on the west coast left a message for my LYS proprietor that she thinks she has my Cascade 220 # 8811. Gosh I hope so. I have that sweater layed out on the dining room table and I just want to get it finished.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Weekend Stashbusting

I spent Saturday night going through boxes, bags, name the container, it had yarn in it. (yes, Saturday night, I have no life) I reorganized the whole huge mess and I now have a tidy "to do" basket and two "leftovers" bags, one with only sock yarn. I threw out a bunch of acrylic leftovers that have been senselessly hogging up space in my stash and I feel great about finally ridding myself of them. After the whole de-stashing experience, I have reaffirmed my commitment to do socks and nothing but socks until some of this sock yarn gets used up. I will have to buy some solid color fingering yarn to use up the leftover patterned yarn and make some "remnant socks". Those are actually the most fun to make if you haven't tried it before.

I started a pair of Opal socks today and the quality of the yarn is impressive compared to the DGS Confetti yarn I used for the last pair. Of course, to be fair to DGS, Opal is a lot more expensive so it should be better. They are both superwash wools but the Opal has such a better feel to it in the finished piece. I'm doing a 7 inch K2P2 ribbing for the Opals and I probably shouldn't be. That is certainly not the best way to view the pattern in the yarn but I'm so tired of the Regia Basic Sock Pattern that has the 2 inch K1P1 ribbing. That pattern displays the yarn extremely well but I have found that the 2 inch K1P1 ribbing really stretches out which is another reason I didn't want to use it.

I've decided that once I get the socks finished, I'm going to do Tempting. ( in the archives) In a dark green with a red ribbon. I'm finally losing weight and I'd like to do that for the holiday season. I usually don't like short sleeves in the winter but to wear that, I'd suck it up. Photos to come... stay tuned.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Happy Birthday Catie!!

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So my little Cate is 21 today! Hard to believe. Seems like it was just yesterday that she was begging to go back to see the penquins on the counter at Sea World. (Penquin Encounter) Sorry Cate, I had to throw that in there. Here she is with Brandon, the man who puts up with her on a daily basis at Slippery Rock U. They did a little celebrating last night at midnight so I'm sure that morning classes are going to be painful this morning.

Lonely Little Yarn Ball

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Here's what's left of my Cascade 220 hanging out on the plant in my office. It's just hanging out waiting to meet up with some long lost friends from the dye pot.

I knitted on my socks a little last night but not much. I actually went and tried spray tanning... a unique experience to say the least. I am a reformed (at least I hope) tanning bed addict. Lately I have noticed my skin begging for mercy so I have decided to go a different route this year. All in all, the air brush spray thing wasn't too bad. The girl had a hand held air brush and she just sprayed me all over with it.. twice. The worst part was just standing there to dry for 20 minutes. The results? Well, it's a light, but noticable tan. With the tanning bed, I would continue to keep going back until I got a nice dark tan. I don't think I can do that with this spray on tan because the spotted fading you get with fake tanning products is very ugly and noticable when the tan is very dark and begins to fade. I'm just going to have to be satisfied with a light tan and go again when it fades to almost nothing.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The Hunt is Officially On...

....for Cascade 220 dye lot # 8811. Neither of the two skeins of blue yarn at my LYS matched the yarn. While they nearly matched each other, they didn't come close to matching my yarn when I got them home. So my LYS lady will put the word out with other vendors but if anyone is making a trip to their LYS soon, and they carry Cascade 220, please check it out for me. I never did find any of my yarn bands but I found the receipt and fortunately, my LYS proprietor always puts the dye lots on the receipts.

If we don't come up with the yarn, I've decided that I'm not going to get all whacked out about it.
It's only a sweater. It can be frogged and made into something else.

My son's friend's little 13 year old brother dropped dead in gym class yesterday from a heart attack. So I won't be worrying too much about yarn. If you know what I mean. Things have a way of being put into prospective.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Continuing Saga of the Sweater Yarn

Well of course the first thing I did when I ran out of yarn was to send the LYS an email and tell them to pull a skein of my blue yarn off the shelf and save it for me. So I stop there at lunch time to find two skeins of it sitting on the counter. And I said, "Oh thank goodness you still have some of this. I only need one skein." And the girl proceeds to tell me that they are TWO DIFFERENT DYE LOTS and which one did I have? I'm telling you if there was any difference in the colors of those two skeins of yarn I'll eat my hat. And of course I didn't keep the bands off of any of the original skeins that I bought. (Big lesson learned here, BIG) This leads to a very interesting question. If there were two different dye lots on that shelf, and I pulled six skeins off the shelf originally and took them to the counter and paid for them, did I even GET six skeins of the same dye lot to begin with? Maybe not. I've decided that after all this I need to come up with a good name for this sweater. The pattern doesn't have a name... unless you like "easy bulky sweater" which doesn't really appeal to me. I'm thinking of something like "blue madness". Whatever. Life goes on.

Let There Be Socks

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Since I never stopped to pick up the additional sweater yarn that I need (maybe I'm afraid to) I decided to finish the socks that are on the needles. I'll do what I did last year and just knit up a whole bunch of socks, give some as Christmas gifts, and keep the rest. I obviously was not on my "A" game this morning when I took this photo. It's a mile away, off center, stuff in the background, etc. Probably too much caffeine. But you get the picture (ha).

I love sock knitting. It just seems to go so fast. I need that instant gratification I guess. I have some great Opal sock yarn that I bought on New Years Day just begging to be used. And I completely forgot about the cashmere I bought for my husband's socks until I saw it in the bag last night. There's a good chance that I'll stick to socks for a little while now just as a diversion and to do a little de-stashing. I have a good bit of traveling to do in the next month or so and socks are an easy "take along" project. So I am officially declaring Spring 2005 the season of socks. Ain't life exciting??

Monday, April 11, 2005

Now What?

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Did you ever have one of those weekends where you're just coasting along smoothly into Sunday and then all hell breaks loose? I'll spare you the personal details but as for the knitting content, I actually ran out of Cascade 220 for my sweater with 4 inches of the second sleeve to go and a few rows on the neck. I'd be totally freaking out right now but I think (THINK being the operative word) that there is more of it at the LYS. I saw it not long ago when I was looking in that direction contemplating making a few more Sophie bags. I didn't even know I was running short. I thought I had another skein of it in a box in my spare room. Imagine my terror when I realized I didn't! To make matters worse, when I realized I was finished for the day with my sweater, I started a scarf, worked on it for about two hours and ended up frogging the whole thing. Instead of writing the rows down, I thought I could remember them in my head, and I did about 5 rows out of sequence and didn't realize it until I had about 5 inches of scarf finished.
All this while I was watching a movie that didn't end until Midnight which is WAY past my bedtime. I am currently in a state of sleep deprivation which is not a good thing for me. If people know what's good for them they'll steer clear of me today!
On a more positive note, we went to see FEVER PITCH on Friday night and really enjoyed it.
A very cute movie for the baseball fanatic or anyone else for that matter.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The New Knitty

new knitty

CLEAVES - I don't get it. I don't get who would get it. I don't get why the person who does get it gets it.

W - Love it, love it, love it - want to make it.

MARIPOSA - Nope, not in this lifetime.

CAMBIO - Cute, but not for me.

ASANA - Very cute. But I'd be afraid I'd have to exercise if I made it, and, sorry, we can't have that.

XBACK - Adorable, just adorable. I could see Cate in that.

SOLEIL - I'd make this. In fact, I'd make several of these.

I DO - Well, I don't. (but I could see where a bride might)

SPRING FLING - Once again, cute, but not for me.

TIE ONE ON - That's cute, but I'd never wear it.

BRANCHING OUT - Lovely.... could be my first lace project.

HOT TAMALE - I was born WAY too soon for this little number.

CECILIA - every little girl should have one.

VIA DIAGNONALE - Like it, would carry it, probably wouldn't take the time to make it.

COCKTAIL MONKEY - Hey, how cute is that? Really?


WHEELIE - um, just, no.

PETALS - Cute and fun.... what more can you say?

Congratulations to all the designers. Not everything is for everyone. Different strokes for different folks and all that. They are all creative and unique designs.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Current Sweater Knitting = BORING

I'll never do another easy sweater again. Yes, it's easy. But it's killing me. Another thing that's bothering me is that it's all sewn together at this point and I hate having to turn the whole big bulky sweater around with every row of the sleeve. Is that laziness? Probably. One thing is for sure, I better get it finished before hot weather because having that monstrosity on my lap in 80 degree weather isn't going to happen. That thing is HEAVY.

I was thinking I could make some major progress on it this weekend until I realized it's Penn State Orientation for my son which will consume a day and I will most likely work on Sunday since the weather is supposed to be nice. My garden will soon need attention too and my daughter has requested my presence in Delaware to help her with her's. I think my only option to find time to knit is to quit work. I wonder if anyone ever quit work to knit. Of course if I did that, I'd have to figure out a way to pay for the divorce. :-)

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Elle est finie!!

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This is my last clapotis post...I promise! She's done and I love her. After much deliberation and searching other knitting blogs I have decided not to block her. I found more regrets about it than satisfaction. The beauty of this thing is that it's "springy". It collapses into a scarf-like appearance but easily opens into a wrap. I don't want to lose that bounce that makes it what it is. I do have a slight problem with the fact that the edges and the corners turn up a little but I guess I'll have to live with that. Because I loved making it, and because I know other people will love it, I plan on making more of these. The next time I will use wooden needles and stitch markers that don't separate. The yarn kept getting caught in those markers and the metal needles were way too slippery for the rayon yarn. If by chance you are contemplating making one of these, don't let the directions scare you. It looks very daunting but the only changes in the pattern are at the beginning and end of each row. The pattern is repetitive and easy to remember... you don't have to think and you can definitely watch televison while knitting. The length of the pattern is just a testament to how well it is written and easy to follow. You'll see.

So last night was LYS knitting night. We have decided to go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival on May 7th. 2005 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival - Home I am so excited about it.
The women in the group are wonderful but I really don't know any of them very well. I wish Cate would be home from school by then to go along but it's one week too soon. When I told my DH about going to a sheep and wool festival it was all he could do to hide his amusement. They just don't get it, do they?

I put a few inches on the sweater sleeve after finishing clapotis. That made me feel good. But the whole time I was working on it my mind was racing about which project to start next. I keep trying to remember that my goal this year is to learn new things so maybe a lace scarf might be in order. I could use that as a Christmas gift for someone. I've never knit lace before. Oh well, whatever I decide, you'll be the first to know.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Phew! That was a close one!

Well it would appear that Clapotis is ok. I dropped stitches through the disaster zone and they don't look any different than anywhere else. Which makes me wonder about the whole "knit through the back" thing. I know when I picked all those stitches up and carried them up through the piece that they did not end up as they should have. I would have thought that would mess it up...I mean why do it that way if it isn't going to make a difference one way or another? I don't know. My mind doesn't work in a manner that enables me to figure it out. I'm just HAPPY that all's well that ends well. I should have some photos of the finished product tomorrow. I have a few more rows to do tonight and it will be finished.

Tonight is knitting night at the LYS. I have almost an entire skein of clapotis yarn left and I was thinking if I buy one more I could do the honeymoon cami out of that. I'm in the mood for a summer knit. However, just so you know, I WILL finish the sweater before casting on for the cami. Yeah, right..... if you believe that I have some land in Florida.....

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tonight will tell the tale

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The orange marker is where I picked up the multitude of accidently dropped stitches. As you can see, I will begin to drop stitches through that area when I knit tonight. I have no idea what is going to happen since I retrieved the stitches and put them back on the needles without a clue of how to twist them as I went up the rows with the crochet hook. I don't know if they will drop or not....or more accurately, drop correctly. If this thing is buggered up I'm going to stick with socks for the rest of my life. I have yet to mess up a pair of socks.

I worked on this all weekend. I didn't think it would need to be blocked but if I ever do finish it, it will definitely need blocked.

I'm anxious to pick the sweater back up and get it finished as well. After that I think I'll work on reducing some of my sock yarn stash. Speaking of stash, apparently April 1st was "show your stash day". Somehow I missed that. Mine isn't that impressive but I saw photos of one girl's stash in a blog that just BLOWS MY MIND. And she said she has only been knitting for a year.
She had to take 3 photos to fit it all in and she said her HUSBAND helped her lay it all out to photograph it. He must be from Mars. My husband would have laid ME out if I had that much yarn. And, it was GOOD yarn too. God bless her. She obviously knows some kind of trick or secret that I don't.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Houston.....we have a problem

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There I was, quietly knitting along watching Law and Order, when the phone rang and I had to take a call in the middle of a row. (the nerve of someone wanting to have a conversation with me about perhaps the largest financial decision of his life while I'm KNITTING) Anyhoo, I put the needles down with half the stitches on one needle and half of them on the other needle. I'm still not clear about what happened when I picked them back up. All I know is that about 25 stitches or more came off the needles and those slippery little devils ran like the wind down that piece of work. It took me 2 HOURS to pick them up and get them back on the needles. Now my dilemma is that I know they are not on the needles correctly and I don't know how to fix it. It looks fine. But when I get to those rows and have to drop stitches, are they going to be ok? I doubt it. Because half of the stitches are supposed to be "knit through the back" and when I put the stitches back on the needles, all I know is that they have the knit side on the knit side and the purl side on the purl side. I'm sure they are not twisted correctly and I do not know how to fix that. Even if I frog the whole thing down past the disaster zone, I still won't know if I'm putting ALL the stitches back on the needles correctly....that could make it even worse.

This is a lesson learned. I was using cheap metal needles left over from my childhood. This slippery rayon yarn did not want to stay on those needles from the beginning. I knew all along that I should spring for wooden needles for this project but did I do it??? Nooooooo. I was too cheap! If I end up having to frog this whole thing you'll hear me screaming from wherever you live. Believe me.