Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm Holding Strong!

Technically, I could cast on something new today, and I don't really have any good "stoplight" knitting.....but I'm trying to hold strong. I decided it wouldn't hurt to move one of my WIP Wrestling entries a little farther alongThe Luna Moth shawl has 4 1/2 pattern repeats, and I just finished repeat number 3, so it's getting close. And the most marvelous part--NO EDGING!!! Theo thinks I'm cheatingand doesn't condone such behavior. To make amends, I did some sewing while he guarded the material for the next project--some summer clothes for Andy. Around here, our clothes are furry even BEFORE they're made.

I also did a few rows on the Kimono Shawl, which has now become a Top Project because it's just about the only thing I can work on without having to consult the pattern for every row.
If I can just make it past today without going near the yarn closet.......

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Have 18 WIPS!!!!!

And only in my world could that be a GOOD thing.

The June Project of the Month socks are done, washed and blockingwith 2 days to spare. I'm feeling positively giddy...and had fleeting thoughts of casting on something new before the July WIP Wrestling begins, but I refrained. For now...

Theo refused to have anything to do with the socks. He presented me with a dead bird this morning, and seems a bit disgruntled with me after I threw it in the trash. I did praise him and let him play with it for a while, but I think he expected me to treasure it a bit longer. Maybe a little sewing in the morning will smooth things over....

Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Knitting Falls Victim to a Freak Lawn Mower Accident

The sock is fine,but I have lost my favorite cable needle--the one I bought 20+ years ago to make my very first sweater--has been lost while mowing the lawn.

When last seen, the needle was hooked on my shirt, where I had placed it while knitting and forgot about it as I went out to mow the stupid lawn, which will just need to be mowed again next week.

Sigh.......

Friday, June 26, 2009

I've Turned the Heel!

There are four days left in June and most of a foot still to knit, but I think I will still get the June Project of the Month finished in June--which is sort of the point of the whole thing. Granted, it hasn't gotten much attention this week, which you can blame on thiswhich represents four days of work, seven batches of jam, three burns, and an insane number of cherries.

Theo doesn't really enjoy canning much, and has started an outright lobbying effort for sewing:
The ham.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There Has Been Knitting!

Not that the cherry situation is completely under control, but after 3 batches yesterday--and helping a friend's granddaughter with a new sewing machine, it was time first time for a little quality quadruped time. A little sunbathing with Calisto:who never has to worry about skin cancer, and a little email with Theo,
who is quite enamored of the new laptop--maybe it's the color? Then on to the knitting!

The newest shawl--just a border & stitch pattern-is finally past the bottom border and into the stitch pattern.Since the yarn is dark green, I wanted a stitch pattern that was about the pattern of the holes, not the stitches. Then on to the socks,
which are ready for the heel. If they're giving me nightmares, it's time to finish the things. I think I only have two batches of jam to go (I already did one today, so two more ought to finish them up), so there could be some serious knitting tomorrow! Right after I clean the jam off the counters...and the stove....and the lights.....and my cell phone....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

There Has Been No Knitting

which I can blame on a number of things:

1. The cherries

2. Being so enthralled by the doctor's okay that I am lifting, gardening, vacuuming, weeding, mowing, and now canning like a woman possessed. Sitting still to knit hasn't made the list for a few days.

3. The childish impulse to not knit unless I can cast on something new.

4. The lack of sufficient hours in a day. Really, why do we only get 24? And if I have to sleep 8 of them, how am I supposed to get everything done?

Oddly, last night I dreamed about the purple sock. I seem to have been knitting along quite happily, until I discovered that I had knit a long cabled tube, without remembering to stop for a heel.

That would be funnier if I didn't double-check the sock in sheer panic this morning, knowing that was indeed a real possibility.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Signs You Might Be a Knit-a-holic

* Your only fantasies about a tall, dark, stranger involve the aran sweater he's wearing.

* Your spouse knows the term S.A.B.L.E. and knows whether or not you've reached it.

* When you pet your cat, you can't help thinking what a nice yarn his fur would make.

* When June is unseasonably cold and rainy, you're torn between worrying the tomatoes might die and being thrilled that you can still wear wool socks.

* You're genuinely surprised when spell check doesn't recognize "tink" as a word.

* You re-read all of the Harry Potter books because Hagrid, Hermione, and Mrs. Weasley all knit.

* If your cats can't find you, they wait for you by the yarn.

* It's easier to give up processed food than buying yarn.

* You can knit lace while still coming out from under anesthesia.

* Your spouse knows that a yarn catalog in the mail will be the highlight of your day.

* When you travel, you spend 4 weeks deciding what knitting to take and 30 minutes packing everything else.

* You worry that you won't be able to read the book for this month's book club because none of your knitting is simple enough to do while reading.

* You keep the thermostat at an invigorating 60 degrees because the more your spouse appreciates the sweaters you made for him, the less he'll complain the next time he sits on a knitting needle.

* Ravelry is your homepage.

* You have used up your last bottle of water somewhere on a Mexican freeway because you just dumped a skein of cream colored alpaca into a cup of coffee and you want to rinse the yarn before the stain has a chance to set.

* You are momentarily taken aback when one of your friends thinks "frogging" involves amphibians.

* Someone compliments you on your lovely crocheting and you write them off as a possible friend.

* Your immediate response to your friends' problems is to send them yarn.

* You own more than 10 shawls.

* When your screensaver slide show goes through all your digital pictures, more than half of them are of knitting projects or yarn.

* You have saved enough money by not buying yarn that you can buy a new laptop & update your blog on the back patio on a rainless summer night.....

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Second Sock!!!!

Yesterday being the first really nice day in quite a while, the sock, Theo, and I decided to spend a little time outside:Theo is actually the lump under the blanket, but he finally decided that was a bit too warm.The second sock is progressing nicely:and is speeding along now that I have figured out that if I finish it in June, I could technically cast on something new, which really defeats the whole idea of WIP Wrestlemania, but it is getting the sock knit, so it works. I generally don't have second-sock-syndrome, but I generally don't graft toes either. I see a distinct connection.

So I'm holding in at 19 WIPS, and as Daniele mentioned, it hadn't seemed like I cast on that many projects this year. As it turns out, 10 of the current WIPS are leftover from my previous WIP pile--the 10 left after I finished the 14 in a row last year. I don't know if that makes me feel better or worse, but it does explain where all my size 4 needles went....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Have Finished A Sock!!!!!

Ta da!!!And you know why this is especially impressive? Because I kitchenered the toe together! (Which, incidentally wasn't named for the room with all the dirty dishes but for someone presumably named "Kitchener," which doesn't make it one iota more fun) In general, I despise grafting in any knitting, and in specific, I REALLY hate grafting toes together. Oh sure, it looks nice, but so does a bikini wax and I'm not ABOUT to do that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Time For A Little Intervention.....

I have 19 WIPs.

Granted, that's slightly less than the 24 I had at this time last year, but not by much. I think it's time for an intervention.

I am joining Ravelry's WIP Wrestlemania, set to kick off on July 1. Basically each team tries to finish as many existing projects as they can during the month of July. No prizes, really, except that my knitting might once again fit into my knitting bag--always a good sign. My first entry:the blanket for my youngest nephew, which will just need a few rows & I think I'll crochet a blue edging around it. It could really be done this month, but my Project of the Month is perhaps going to need a bit more attention to actually be finished this month, which is really the whole idea of a "project of the month." The first sock is now at the foot, and this picture shows the stitch pattern:

but this one shows the actual color:
I'll honestly be quite glad when they're done--not just because I'm not impressed with the design in the slightest, but purple socks always remind me of Donny Osmond on that show in the 1970s, so everytime I work on these socks I have that song of theirs running through my head..."I'm a little bit country....I'm a little bit rock & roll...."

Knitting should not have theme songs.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So.....

Yes, there is a new project on the needles, and No, I haven't finished any of the WIPs yet....I can't even come up with a good excuse for this, except that it's a one-skein lace shawl that will use up 250 yards and it's going pretty fast....and I have the willpower of a child.....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Sock From An Actual Pattern

So the sock "Project of the Month" is progressing,and some might be wondering why I put a sock in a "Project of the Month" bag, as I have generally made the projects things I might not get around to doing otherwise and I am almost always up for knitting socks. These socks I decided I wanted to use and actual sock pattern--something I haven't done in years.

When I make socks, I generally use a basic toe-up pattern and make a plain foot, a short-row heel, them pick a pattern for the leg. Works brilliantly, but there is a lot to be said for branching out, so I am using a pattern from this book
which I've had for a while but never used. I have to say, I'm rather disappointed in the book. I think it's confusing, and would confuse a novice sock knitter--possibly to the point of driving them to crochet. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) The author asserts that you can't have an odd number of repeats in a pattern for a sock, asserts that if your gauge/foot measurements don't tally with one of her charts that the knitter needs to choose a different pattern, and even states how many stitches should be on each needle. I think I understand why I was able to get the book used.

And my sidekick was thrilled that we did a little sewing last night
I can't decide if he thinks he's helping, or if he enjoys making it really difficult to cut out patterns. Of course, with a cat, it can always be both.....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's Not As Bad As It Looks....

OK, yes, there are several projects still on the needles, and it might look bad to be starting two NEW projects, and this is indeed a new lace stole, but since I did finish the retirement shawl, this isn't so much a NEW project as a REPLACEMENT project.
And thisis the June Project of the Month, which I really needed to cast on, so that's fair.

So really, I haven't dived off the cliff into the great WIP abyss again, but it might not be too distant from the great state of Denial.....

Monday, June 8, 2009

Amost At 35!

I decided my nephew's blanket is large enough, so I've started the decreases, and I'm about 4 rows away from using up my 35th skein of yarn for the year, which is the most excitement garter stitch projects can offer.

Even though he prefers sewing, Theo did consent to being my knitting sidekick for a couple hours yesterday:
He's such a gracious little animal.....

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Not the American Way

Formerly on this blog, I have accepted personal responsibility for the outrageous size of my stash, and it has occurred to me that this is really not the American way. Here, we blame McDonalds for being fat, banks for the mortgages we can't afford, and the government or our parents for just about everything else. What a fool I have been! So, to clear things up once and for all, here are my NEW reasons for my overly-large stash:


1. Red Heart, for their horrible scratchy acrylic yarn that was all I could find during my formative knitting years. I was permanently scarred and hoard natural fibers out of the fear of returning to those Red Heart days.

2. My parents for not planning our family vacations around a 500-mile trek to find natural yarns in the acrylic-dominated 70's and early 80's

3. Sunspots

4. Visa - if they hadn't given me a large credit line, I wouldn't have felt required to use it.

5. Juan Valdez. Coffee should come with a label warning the drinkers that they might grossly overestimate the speed at which they can knit after one or two cups and should be forcibly restrained after 5.

6. Former President George W. Bush, who is really to blame for pretty much everything

7. NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement). All those orders to the Canadian-based Elann Yarn Company were just a patriotic attempt on my part to support our trade agreement and quite honestly I think the government should thank me for my efforts and that I should be able to deduct them on my taxes

8. The state of Idaho, for selling liquor to its citizens. I know at least one large box of yarn that can be traced directly to an episode with a white chocolate martini

9. Aliens - which can be the only reasonable explanation for the Fun Fur lurking at the back of the closet

10. Knitter's Magazine. How irresponsible is it to send someone with fiber issues 20 new patterns every other month? Sure, the patterns have grown less attractive over the last few years, but that doesn't make up for the creativity & stunning variety of the late 90s & early 2000s.


Wow, I feel so much better!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

And Back To Our Regularly-Scheduled Knitting...

While he refused to help me with the washing & blocking process, Theo did decide that the new shawl needed the all-important "furring" step:which coincided almost exactly with the moment I decided the shawl was ready to be picked up & folded away. That did cause a bit of a rift with Theo, but a little catnip goes a long way....Not even chocolate makes me look that...contented. Why isn't there people nip?

The shawl is "Faroese-Style Lace" by Myrna Stahlman, which can be found in this book:
which is one of my FAVORITE knitting books. I've made at least four of the shawls in this book, and have plans for at least three more. LOVE this book!

Today's knitting project has been the simple & mindless blanket for my nephew:who is not simple & mindless, thankfully. I haven't decided exactly how big the blanket will be, and I'm now thinking maybe more rectangular than square. It' just garter stitch with two rows in each color, and an increase at each end of every-other row. For those who might be new to knitting, if I decide to make it into a rectangle I'll keep increasing on every-other row on one side and I'll start DECREASING on the other side on every-other row. Nothing brilliant--just a fun project. And....I'm about to finish off another 182 yards of yarn. Yippee!!!!!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thank You Priscilla!

Priscilla gave me theThat was a nice surprise to find this morning. The rules are:

1. List 7 things you love
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award
3. Pass it along to 7 other bloggers.

So.....

I love:

1. My husband
2. My friends
3. My cats (obviously)
4. Hosting unique parties--murder mysteries, Academy Award parties, pajama parties
5. Jane Austen books, though not most of the new "adapted" movies
6. The Harry Potter audio books
7. Agatha Christie novels

And I will pass the award on to:

Jess
Daniele
Robin
Suna
new knitter, Jen
Jill
and Dana

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Done! It's Done!!!!

The shawl for my mother's retirement is done!And the fact that it's an entire year since she retired is really just being nit-picky (or should that be knit-picky?)

Theo is, of course, thrilled....I guess sometimes just having finished something is reward enough...

Monday, June 1, 2009

YIPPEE!!!! It's Socks!!!!!

I pulled out June's Project of the Month bag, and it's a pair of socks!!!Obviously, I'm highly excited--but then again, I'm excited about ANYTHING new lately. Still, I haven't made socks in a while, so this is exciting.

May's Project of the Month, cotton washcloths, could be considered quite a success. This is dishcloth number 13 I believe. Sometimes I'm very, very thorough.

And.....The edging isn't quite done, and this needs to be washed & blocked and I know white on white makes a lousy picture, but I've had some problems getting a photoand Theo did find me out as soon as I got the pictures snapped. Changing sheets is one of his favorite games:Which means house guests have probably wondered about the enormous amounts of hair in the bed, but they're always polite & don't mention it.

The kitty wake up calls, however, have been discussed a few times. Good thing we don't tell them about the mouse that was turned loose in the guest room!