Sunday, December 31, 2006

Buh-bye 2006

It’s been quite a year. There’s been plenty of the good and there has also been the not so good. I look forward to the new year, but I won’t even begin to guess what my adventures might be. You never know where life is going to take you, or what it will bring. This is one of the things I’ve learned in life, and I sometimes receive reminders of this fact. They can be pleasant surprises or dreadful shocks, but both leave me thinking, “I never would have guessed.” You might guess what variety the most recent of these reminders has been, but we’re moving on from that. I’m choosing to laugh and shake my head.

I am still working on my mom’s Snowmen & Skates vest. It would be reasonable for me to be finished by the end of January. I have set it aside temporarily because I have been getting frustrated with it. I think I’m going to need to order another ball of Knit Picks Palette in Cream. I don’t think the rest of this ball is going to get me through. I must say that I feel a bit frustrated that I bought what the pattern calls for and might not have enough. I’m concerned that there could be a problem with the pattern. My sense that it could be something on Knit Picks' end was magnified when my first attempt to try out my new Options set (Christmas present) resulted in the discovery of a defective cord as I attempted to cast on my first stitch. I’ve already contacted them and they are sending me a replacement. My bigger worry is that I have made some error and this vest is going to be all wrong. It looks alright, but I wondered if my vision is clouded by all the things that keep a knitter from seeing that she has made a terrible mistake and continuing on to end up with a horrific mass of wool and sorrow.

While I’m taking my break from the vest, I’m swatching for Arwen, and have begun a couple other projects. I need some socks on the needles, and I decided that Traveler’s Stockings from Nancy Bush’s Knitting on the Road would be a good choice. I’m past the lacy cuff portion and onto the first chart. Flipping through my current IK, my daughter (who had the audacity to turn 18 on Christmas Eve) saw a picture of a purse she wants. This made me happy, so I have picked up the yarn and cast-on for this project, too.

I am again signed up for Discovery Health’s National Body Challenge. It changes up a bit each year. I liked the program best that they had when I enrolled for the first time three years ago. I wonder what it will be like this time around. You might want to check it out for yourselves. There is good information, and it usually helps to inspire me to change up my exercise routine. The fact that I have given exercise a permanent part in my life is another one of those things I never would have guessed. It still isn’t my favorite thing, but I’ve stopped treating it as an option and accepted that this is what I do. I have yet to take a picture of my exercise space and stuff, but I’ll get on that soon.

I’m so glad I gave spinning the time it needs this year. I’m still spindling along on the same spinning project that I’ve been engaged in for several months now. I’m okay with the fact that I’m slow at spinning, and that is another big step for me. I enjoy it, and have many new fibers to explore. Just think, soon I will be knitting with my own handspun.

Thank you for being part of my life in 2006. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What's in a Name?

What did we really expect to happen when we began calling ourselves The Skanky Knitters? Did we believe there would be no consequences? It was A Very Skanky Christmas this past Thursday at Margaret’s house. Laughter, knitting, food, and fun filled the festive occasion. The Skanky Santa (think White Elephant or Dirty Santa) exchange was entertaining. We laughed, ate, knit, and there was even a Wii. I arrived home late and obsessed about weight gain from all of the wonderful food. I vowed to return to sensible eating and continue to exercise. As it turns out, my worrying was all for naught. Yes, The Skanky Knitters all came down with The Plague. I told my husband I had a slight case of death. Not everyone had recovered for Monday Night Knitting, but most of us were able to laugh about it. The experience left me weak, tired, and fearful of all foods. Even after the big symptoms had died down, I could only sit next to my knitting and try to imagine that I would one day be able to pick up the needles again. It is unknown whether the illness was foodborne, or just that nasty bug going around. Because I was out of commission, the Christmas celebration at my mom’s, which had been planned for the 17th, has been rescheduled for the 26th. The upside of this is an extended deadline for Mom’s vest. Could I actually finish it in time? The rounds are now getting smaller, I’ve added in my armhole steeks, and have begun the decreases for the v-neck. The snowmen have returned. It seemed like they would never end the first time I knit them. Even after the body of the vest is done, I have to work the crochet reinforcements and steeks, the edgings, buttons (which I have yet to purchase), and embroidery. Oh yeah, I also need to block the thing. So, probably not going to be finished by the 26th. I did manage to finish a mini sock for JJ to clothe a stuffed sheep he wants to give to a co-worker, and I knit a decorative stocking pin for Brittany as part of the Skanky Twist to Skanky Santa. Those were both completed on Monday. So, I’m trying to keep a balanced look at what is getting done rather than looking at the things I still need to do.

Speaking of balanced, I’ve still been spinning. My friend, Annette, a local knitting buddy and fellow Twisted Knitter gave me some lovely gifts last Tuesday. Amongst the many timely gifts that promote relaxation and refreshment were several lovely fibers to spin. I’ve not yet tried Angora rabbit, Shetland wool, yak/merino blend, or alpaca/vicuña blend. This very generous lady gave all these to me. She is a wealth of fiber and spinning knowledge. She’s also facing challenging days, so please pray for her. I am hunting down a special prize to give her the next time I see her. I hope it will be Friday night. We take things one day at a time, so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, that vest isn’t getting done while I sit here and type, and my body still insists I sleep. After the recent battle, I’m not brave enough to argue when it says it needs something.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I enjoyed the Norwegian Knits-Along so well last year that I decided to join in on this year’s Stranded: The Colorwork Challenge. So, without further ado, here are my answers to the opening questions:
What are your projects for this knitalong?
I’m currently Stranded in the Fair Isles as I work on my Mom’s Snowmen and Skates Vest from Knit Picks. I’d love to complete it in time to give it to her as a Christmas present, but that remains to be seen. I’m doubtful about making that deadline, but stranger things have happened. Please pardon me as I mention once again, that this project involves steeking. I don’t have a planned colorwork project after this, but I am thinking of hats or mittens as a possibility. Those Star Wars charts have me inspired. I have long admired many of the colorwork patterns in Folk Socks and might try my hand at a pair of them.
Is this your first colorwork project? If it isn't, what was your first, and has it survived the test of time?
Nope, I’ve done colorwork before. My first was a lone mitten from Folk Mittens. I’ve never finished that pair, and I don’t know if I ever will. I’ve since read that the pattern had errors. I love the mitten, but it has been years since I knit it, and I doubt that it will gain a mate. Two hats knit last year went to Alaska. I had knit a hat for my husband a year before using that same pattern from Hats On! It is still going strong and we've even gotten enough cold weather for him to wear it a couple of times this year. I’m trying to regain custody of one I knit last year that no longer fits a nephew to pass on to a niece for whom I think it will work, but that may be a lost cause on many levels. Such is life. It's time to get back to Mom's vest. I had begun to believe that I was closing in on reaching the armhole steeks, but each time I measure, well, I'm sure you can all relate.