Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'M HALFWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have finished the 13th pattern repeat and it's all downhill from here! Granted, it's a really long hill, but still...

Theo grudgingly agreed to hang out with me while I knit
but he sulked the whole time. He only agreed because he's really clingy since I was gone for a whole three days, and right now thisis as independent as he gets. If I get some time, we'll do a little sewing tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Questions I Have About My Knitting

* Do I knit for the finished items or so I can buy more yarn?

* How many shawls can one person truly wear?

* Why is buying yarn so much more fun than buying groceries?

* Why can't I get as excited about eyelash scarves as I do about lace shawls that will take a heart-wrenching amount of time?

* If people own cats and don't knit, what do their cats nap on?

* How many more times until I learn: scratchy yarn = scratchy sweater?

* If those darn story problems in high school math had been about knitting, would I have complained less?

* I've never been attracted to really big men. Was this out of the fear of having to knit them cabled sweaters?

* Is it just a coincidence that my closest friends appreciate hand-knit gifts?

* Would there be less road rage if everyone else knit at stoplights too?

* If knitting is so dang popular, why do strangers keep complimenting me on my lovely crocheting?

* How long can I keep a project in the Project Time-Out Bin before it's destined to never come back out again?

* When someone finally shows up on Oprah sobbing about her fiber addiction, will I get to start funding my yarn habit from our medical savings account?

* Is knitting without first checking gauge my version of "living on the edge?"

* Does calling something "art" really stop it from being a really hideous piece of knitting?

* Why is being around yarn so soothing? Are sheep that calm, or is lanolin an inhalant?

* Is it truly possible to cover up the fact that there has been no actual knitting progress today????????

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So If You've Been Wondering About the Lack of Blogging.....

In the last 2 weeks, I've hosted 3 parties, gone out 3 times, had two different rounds of house guests, gone on a long weekend to Oregon, baked THREE chocolate zucchini cakes, made two batches of pickles, and met some friends for lunch. What I have NOT done so much of:

* sleep
* knit
* sew

We returned from Oregon Sunday around 3:30, and Andy's parents arrived around 5 for a quick visit on their way to Seattle. My little sidekick was obviously thrilled to see them as well,

because he promptly brought my mother-in-law a dead mouse, which he hid inside her shoe. Luckily, she's a cat lover, so she could appreciate it as a "gift," though I was, of course, mortified. I guess I should be thankful he didn't recreate the live mouse floor show that he provided for one dinner guest.

I have finally reached repeat #12, so one more and I'll be halfway:
and it still continues to look exactly the same. I think I'm going to do a little minor blocking with the iron just to keep my spirits up.

And, in case you're wondering why I didn't knit more on our weekend trip....It really was that pretty.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

WE WERE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF VACATION YARN AND I RESISTED!!!

Okay, and the shop wasn't open yet, BUT I didn't camp out in front of the shop and wait for them, so that is something. (When you have 46,000 yards of lace yarn you grasp at what you can....and it's quite often yarn)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Held Firm!!!!!!

Okay, I really just ran out of time, but I DID NOT cast on a new project for the trip! Instead, I found a bag for the Kimono Shawl to travel inand it says it's having a lovely time and is enjoying the cat hair-free environment. It's gotten rather picky since it started going out and about with me lately.

AND I'M STILL ON THE WIP WRESTLE-MANIA TEAM!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Bit of a Dilemma

So, we're driving to Oregon tomorrow for a couple days (and since we have a house sitter, I can say this on the blog), and while I have 17 WIPS, none of them are good portable knitting. To be fair, I've been carrying around the Kimono Shawl, but I have just worked the third snagged thread back into it, and that's getting a bit tiresome. I want something that will fit in my purse and with a pattern that's easy to remember....but I'm trying to finish at least one more WIP by the end of the month....

Although, the only WIP I've been working on this week is the Kimono Shawl, which doesn't have the slightest chance of being finished in 9 days, so in 9 days I'll STILL have 17 WIPS.....

Maybe just one little lace scarf......?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

So Is The Last Repeat More Macho?

Today the Kimono Shawl and I got the car's oil changed and the tires rotated, and now that I've reached the 11th pattern repeat I'm feeling a bit more enthused. I'll be halfway after the 13th repeat, then it's all downhill from there.

Don't you think it's looking a bit more manly after all the grease and motors today?

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Knitting Bog

I actually was in bed--well, more "on" as it's freakishly hot here this week--most of the day with A COLD (which is an obviously stupid name as there isn't anything COLD about it), so I got the 10th repeat done on the Kimono Shawl, which leaves 16. And as it basically looks EXACTLY the same as it did yesterday & the day before & the day before...we're just going to say that this is what it's going to look like for the foreseeable future.

This is how WIPS are made. You start out--the pattern and the yarn are new! They're exciting! You want to see how the pattern will look! You've got an inch! Then two! Then somewhere along the way, the inches become less noticeable, the pattern becomes a bit less interesting--perhaps even monotonous. Maybe a troublesome sock yarn starts calling your name....Maybe you start to wonder what you ever saw in lace, and when was the last time you saw someone wearing a shawl in public? The merino laceweight that was so fine and delicate is now stringy & stupid and gets caught on everything. And then....

.....and then....

...you remember that the never-ending edging on the baby blanket is a MUCH worse project and you suck it up and keep knitting.

On to repeat number 11.....

Sunday, July 19, 2009

No! I Have Not Been Trapped Helplessly Under My Stash!

Though, to be fair, my stash could do a pretty fair job of pinning someone if it wanted to, and if the fabric stash got involved as well....let's just say that it wouldn't be pretty.

Nope, we're alive and well and have been enjoying an unexpected visit from my sister-in-law, who flew in from Colorado to surprise Andy for his birthday. We have had a great time, but next to no knitting--though I have finally finished the 9th pattern repeat, putting me roughly on track for a 2011 finish-- and absolutely no sewing, in spite of Theo's best lobbying efforts.There will have to be some major kitty cajoling this afternoon......

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

There Will Be No Theo Picture Today

My little sidekick is upset with me and is even refusing to sew. After all the drugs I've given this cat and all the trips to the vet, I have finally made his bad side.

I have put him on a diet.

We went for a check-up yesterday, and he's gained 3 pounds this year--about 20% of his normal body weight. Admittedly, Theo has had a tough year, and between recovering from his injury & then his determination to watch over me while I recovered from surgery, he hasn't gotten back to his normal active self just yet. The vet gave me some glucosamine to maybe help his leg feel better as he continues to regain strength, and I'm trying to find a new game to interest him as he seems to have lost interest in the tape measure finally, and we're doing a gradual diet, but he's still pretty sulky.

I guess we should have included the cats in the "no processed foods" plan.....

See, There Has Been Some Progress

I would really, really, REALLY have sworn I had knit more than that, but apparently it just feels like it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Progress!

I'm now on the 9th repeat for the Kimono Shawl and more than half-way along the first side of the baby blanket. I'm knitting the border on, which makes it a bit cumbersome, but I thought if I tried knitting it separately then trying to convince myself to sew it on, I'd be giving it to my nephew to use on his own children.

And being almost halfway through my WIP month, I spent an inordinate amount of time today looking at new project patterns on Ravelry. As I now know, being told I can't do it has even inspired me to want to vacuum, so a few more days of not being able to cast on a new project and I'll be dreaming of casting on a new scarf in Fun Fur........

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sometimes I Amaze Myself

So, it's July 13--more than a third of the way through July, I am on the 8th repeat of a 26-repeat lace stole pattern (having completed 6 repeats over the span of 2 YEARS), I'm knitting less than 30 minutes a day right now, and some small, totally delusional part of me actually believes I might finish the kimono shawl before the end of the month. You know, I love being an optimist--it makes life exciting and filled with endless possibilities--but I think being crazy would be a bit of a drawback. To be fair, if I could finish one repeat a day I would be finished with the shawl in 18 days--maybe giving myself a 19th day to finish the edging--which would schedule the completion date on July 31 if I finished 2 repeats today and August 1 if I get only one done today. No problem--except for the TWO parties we're hosting this week, 1 party we're attending on Saturday, the dinner we're going to on Friday, the visitors arriving two weeks from today, that whole garden thing, and my pesky need for sleep. Oh yes, and Andy's birthday gift, which needs to be done by Thursday.

Sounds totally doable to me!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I Fell Asleep!

The garter stitch border for the blanket is soooooooo boring that I fell asleep while working on it today!!!!

Is that a knitting first?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

There Has Been More Knitting.....

.....but it's the garter-stitch border on the blanket. It's boring enough to knit--it would be a permanent cure for insomnia to blog about. However, it has just occurred to me that I have now survived the 18th month in a row of Cold Sheeping (also known as "not buying new yarn"). So, I thought it would be appropriate for a few sober moments of reflection:

* I really, really, REALLY want to have a box of yarn arrive at my door. I might mail myself some; then I wouldn't be breaking the rules.

* I thought briefly about taking "before" and "after" pictures, but I just couldn't face the scope of the "before" picture. Besides, I don't think my camera has a wide enough lens.

* Lots of people won't understand why you would stop doing something you enjoy so much. They aren't the ones who have to keep coming up with new places to store yarn.

* Even if I just allowed myself one yarn order a year, I could STILL buy yarn faster than I can knit.

* Sometimes small achievements are under-rated. No one else might understand the significance of finally having less than 20 pairs' worth of sock yarn in the stash, but I do.

* I've been with some of this yarn longer than I've been with my husband.

* It helps to remind myself that removing only one bin a year is still progress. Even if the extra room was immediately swallowed up by the fabric stash....

* There is such a thing as "surrogate stashing." Last year my knitting library grew to an embarrassing degree.

* The "surrogate stashing" problem can be easily cured by the process known as "earning no money." Works like a charm.

* Some of my friends & family truly prefer hand-made gifts. Those that don't are getting them anyway because I have a really large stash to use up.

* No matter how much I try to pretend, rosewood needles really don't make me knit any faster.

* I had more knitting time when we could eat processed foods. I think I can attribute at least an entire sweater to Digiorno's Pizza.

* I always have a lot of WIPs because I knit by moods. I have not yet, however, found an appropriate knitting project for "cranky."

* No matter what project I promise myself I'm going to work on, there's always one I want to work on more.

* It's really embarrassing to have to admit that I don't want to share my yarn--even with someone I'm teaching to knit and who has seen the size of my stash.

* Having a knitting project that needs to be done by October won't really be inspiring until September 15.

* I was a much more dedicated knitter when I set a goal of finishing so many projects a year. That will be on the to-do list for 2010

* It's good to have knitting friends. My non-knitting friends will generally listen to me talk about knitting, but I have to bribe them with knitted items to do so.

* I am no longer completely overwhelmed by the size of my stash. Does this mean I'm just "whelmed?"

* Just because my yarn stash is decreasing doesn't mean my stock of bad jokes is.........

:)

Friday, July 10, 2009

SHE DOES KNIT!!!

While I've been staying busy mostly with the gardening and working on Andy's birthday gift--with the obligatory help from Theo--I have actually made some progress on the blanket's edging--also with Theo's help:It's just a simple garter stitch, which admittedly is getting really boring. So, I have been bribing myself with another WIP, the Kimono Shawl--again with a little help from Theo.
There are 26 pattern repeats and I'm only on number 8, so I'm not sure what the odds are of finishing it this month, but if I DID get it done before casting on something new, I'd be extremely pleased. And with something as boring as the baby blanket to work on, it just might happen........

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Er...um.....Yeah...About The Knitting.....

* the cat ate it
* non-fiber-addicted aliens abducted me
* it turns out that there really are yarn fumes and they can cause black outs
* Michelle Obama called with some gardening questions and you know, I just had to drop everything
* I was just riveted to the TV watching whatever was going on regarding Michael Jackson today
* I thought I should slow the knitting down a bit just in case I ran out of yarn before the end of the year
* the stash finally tipped over on me and I was pinned for hours until Theo relented and went for help
* I was knitting too fast with my metal needles and the resulting heat flash caused temporary blindness
* it was rumored that there was an Idaho politician that didn't belong to the NRA and I had to go see for myself
* I was attacked by acrylic-only activists and held at needlepoint until I relented and said there was a place in the knitting world for Red Heart

----OR----

* making pineapple jelly, cleaning up the resulting mess in the kitchen, working on Andy's birthday gift, and meeting friends this evening ate up pretty much the entire day

The truth is so much less fun

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday

Today we interrupt our regularly scheduled knitting to play outside in the lovely 75-degree weather. The garden is looking great--the knitting, not so much...

Monday, July 6, 2009

IT STILL WORKS!!!!!!!

Glory be and hallelujah!!! The camera survived the swim! There's a little smudge now on the screen I look through, but it doesn't show up on pictures, so that is perfectly acceptable. So, with no further ado, the FINISHED Luna Moth:It's a small shawl--I was 2 rows short of using just one ball of Elann's Super Kydd, but I was knitting pretty loosely. Looks like most people made it with just one. A close-up of the pattern
which makes sense now, but I just couldn't picture how this was working while knitting.

I'm cutting out Andy's birthday clothes tonight, but Theo resented my remarks about him yesterday, so he has not been lured by the promise of sewing, so tonight's cute kitty picture has been provided by Callistowho never ever used to show anyone her tummy until she saw how much attention it got Theo. If they acted any more like children we'd have to put them through college.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Good News and the Bad News

The good news is, the Luna Moth shawl is finished and blocking...

The bad news is, my camera had a little incident with the kitty water bowl this morning, so there are no pictures.

The good news is, Andy thinks that the camera will recover--I removed the battery & memory card immediately and the whole thing is drying on my desk.

The bad news is, I will fret & stew about my camera the rest of the day.

The good news is, the yarn diet has saved me so much money that I can easily afford a new camera if it doesn't recover.

The bad news is, just because I'm not currently spending my money on yarn doesn't mean I don't wat to EVENTUALLY spend my money on yarn, and I'm saving up for some really terrific stuff--like cashmere, which is way more fun than a camera any old day.

The good news is, it's the first of the week, our food "cheats" have been reset, and I can have a white chocolate martini tonight to calm myself down and stop worrying about the camera.

The bad news is, I can't have the martini until I'm through knitting for the day as they are really strong and I'd hate to start out with a sweater and end up with a tea cozy.

The good news is, it's the 5th if July and I've finished one WIP

The bad news is, that still leaves 17.

The good news is, I'm not counting sewing projects in the WIP marathon, so I can start Andy's birthday gift

The bad news is, his birthday is only 11 days away.

The good news is, with only 11 days to go, it is seriously unlikely that even I could lose part of his gift.

The bad news is, a year and a half later, I still can't find that damned pajama top.

The good news is, Theo will be thrilled to be sewing today.

The bad news is, Theo woke me up at 5:00 because he just doesn't understand weekends, so I don't care quite so much if Theo is happy or not.

The good news is, I have now officially reduced the lace yarn stash by 1 skein.

The bad news is, the lace yarn bin still doesn't close without a bit of "encouragement," like a heavy weight set on top of it.

The good news is, the fingering-weight bin is heavy enough to get it to close.

The bad news is, the fingering-weight bin is still heavy enough to get it to close.

The good news is, I've used up over 8700 yards of yarn for the year.

The bad news is, I was hoping to have used over 12,500 yards by now.

The good news is, I'm over half-way through the second year of "Cold Sheeping," and can buy yarn in less than six months!

The bad news is, I can buy yarn in less than six months and I might be tempted by even MORE lace yarn, which would lead to a third year of Cold Sheeping.

The good news is, with all that Cold Sheeping, I could REALLY afford to replace the camera if I really did fry it in the water dish this morning.

The bad news is, that still doesn't helps at all with the pictures of the finished Luna Moth shawl, which is where this all started in the first place.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hold On To Your Hats, Folks

The July Project of the Month is FINISHED.I know--quite a record for myself and probably never one to be repeated.

I ended up not doing half with navy thread, because for some inexplicable reason, there are seven napkins--not eight. Having bought these quite some time ago, it's impossible to know what happened--were there eight and one got lost in the laundering process (which would have been more than a year ago anyway)? Were they on clearance and I could only find seven? Did the eighth one get sucked into the sewing room black hole that now contains--among other things--2 pattern instruction sheets and a half-finished pajama top? Did I only buy seven because there are only six placemats and I was just looking to have a spare? This is a great mystery, but I embroidered the seven I had, wrote down the thread color I used in the off-chance I find the eighth napkin (I know--planning ahead! So unlike me!), and called it good. Another project down!!!! (And yes, groping around until I found a sewing project bag is totally & completely cheating....)

Today some good friends are taking us out for lunch, and they have a little dog with a broken leg--with which we can seriously sympathize. They are the sort of loving people who give our cats Christmas gifts & bring toys for them, so I thought it only fitting to have a get-well gift for their little dog. So yesterday afternoon I made a little flannel quilt for Zoe:

It was a relatively fast project, and since I sewed the batting, top and bottom together then turned them inside out like a pillow, I did not actually quilt the blanket. I have tried that in the past, and there's just no way to not end up with puckers and unintentional darts. I did tack it here & there, so the batting will stay in place. I'm rather pleased with it, though I had to sleep on it last night before I could publicly admit that I made a get-well gift for a dog.....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things I've Learned From Knitting

* When one starts getting a bit too confident about one's knitting, one's probably about to get one's arse kicked by mohair.

* Even when one hasn't liked any of the patterns in the last year and a half, it's still really hard to cancel a subscription to a knitting magazine.

* The difference between "collecting" yarn and "hoarding" yarn is about 3 skeins.

* Attention Deficit Disorder is in the eye of the beholder. I like the term "diversified knitter with options" better.

* Checking gauge is a lot like flossing one's teeth. Even though I know it's a really, really, REALLY good idea, I don't always do it.

* No matter what your hobby is, at some point during your lifetime it will probably be considered "cool."

* Even if one hardly ever wears them, one can't have too many lace shawls.

* The fastest way to end up with a sweater one doesn't really like is to get caught up in the pattern buzz on Ravelry.

* My closest friends all appreciate hand-knit items, but I'm not sure which part came first.

* Knitting lace is one of the purest forms of optimism.

* No matter how unimportant I think something is, it's someone's pet issue. There has been bloodshed over the natural vs. acrylic fiber debate.

* If you carry knitting with you at all times, even traffic jams aren't a bad thing. Unless you finish the whole darn sweater before it clears up. Then it's time to relocate.

* There's nothing that makes one lust after a new knitting project like a WIP marathon.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's July 1!

I HELD STRONG!!!

I did not break down at 11:59 last night and fling myself into the laceweight, but it was a close thing. The yearning for a lace scarf was very tough to resist, but already having 4 lace projects on the needles made it a bit easier.

This morning bright & early I closed my eyes and reached into the Project of the Month bin and groped around until I had a bag that didn't contain yarn--no sense blowing my WIP marathon on the first day--and I pulled out this:
Eight white napkins that I bought quite some time ago, intending to embroider roses on them to match our dishes--which of course hadn't happened. Since I have to change the sewing machine to embroidery, and I was pathetically close to finishing my last sewing project, I buckled down and finished a cotton pique jumpsuit for wearing around the yard. The pique is a bit heavier than I would have hoped, but it is nice & loose for hot summer days and.....IT HAS POCKETS!!! I love pockets--probably because women's clothes so rarely have them. I suppose the women's clothing industry must keep pace with the women's boot industry, which produces boots that can actually get wet with the frequency of Willy Wonka's Golden Tickets. But I digress...

Once that was done, I could set up the machine for embroidery and I just finished the first napkinI'm going to do 4 in this slate blue--which matches the dishes nicely & accents the placemats--then 4 in navy blue to match the placemats. As soon as I go get some navy blue thread. Honestly, it looks like I own all the thread it is possible to own, and I would have sworn up and down there wouldn't be a color of machine embroidery thread that I didn't have, but I seem to not have anything remotely close to navy. I do, inexplicably, have 37 shades of "gold." which is not even slightly helpful at this point. Blast.

The July "Soup Night" is coming up in a couple weeks, and instead of serving soup I decided we'd hose a zucchini cookoff--which might mean that we are spending the evening alone--and I wanted to have prizes to hand out for the best dishes, so...
I was thinking of "Zucchini....the fruitcake of summer," but I'm not sure everyone would get that. I have 3 towels & thought I'd have prizes for the top 3, so technically I could put the same thing on all 3. Not too creative, but easy. Another thought was, "I don't have too much zucchini, I have too few neighbors." Thoughts?

Theo was thrilled and spent most of the day snoozing in the sewing room, and I even did a little knitting, starting the edging for the blue & white blanket--which I was saving up as an "almost done" project to give me a firm boost into the WIP marathon--and ripped it out. I started to crochet a border, ripped it back, started 3 different widths of garter stitch edging, ripped them back, and have now decided that maybe I should start with a different project
and frankly at this rate, Luna Moth is a whole lot closer to being finished than that [bleep] blanket...