Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I confess myself unashamed of my love of badges. When I read about these the other day, I just had to scoop up the ones that I had earned. I will also admit that I have never listened to a podcast. It is nothing against them, but I just never have, and may never do so. Still, you never know where life will take you. I hope to earn more badges, but for now, this is a good start.

First off, I have the "Proselytize Knitting" badge for spreading Knit. I am most likely to be heard lauding Knit in waiting situations of all sorts. I do enjoy when the opportunity presents itself for the Skanky Knitters to share Knit with someone who wanders too close to our sphere, and is sucked in for a short presentation. Each Skank pipes up with another positive quality of knitting, and the potential new knitter is completely caught off guard and bewildered.

This brings me to the "I Can Be an Asshole When it Comes to Knitting" badge. This may have happened when spreading Knit to someone who did not care, or someone who called my knitting crochet. There is also the infamous "Pomatomus Pronunciation Incident." I also suppose that I have knit at inappropriate times or places.

Qualifying for the "I Will Impress You With My Math Prowess" badge was easy. I often disagree with yarn choices, and even more often cannot afford the suggested yarn in patterns. I substitute the yarns all the time. I can handle the basics of knitty math. I have detected and compensated for errors in patterns and patterns that could use a bit of help.

Becoming a recipient of the "I Will Crush You With My Math Prowess" badge is not pretty. I can apply the more complicated maths to knitting. It is just a bit painful to watch for those more gifted at math. Still, I can do it, and I claim my badge.

I have earned my "MacGyver" badge (Level I) from activities such as changing bamboo skewers into knitting needles, transforming toothpicks into cable needles, and using coffee stirrer straws as stitch holders.

My "MacGyver" badge (Level II) was earned when we used yarn to tie the remote oil filter to the car when it had been knocked loose by a person and then a poorly designed speed bump. It was able to get us home.

The "Knitting Has Forced Me to Seek Medical Attention" (Level I) badge came about as a result of the Knitting Olympics. I developed a case of psychosomatic carpal tunnel syndrome. I cannot explain it much more plainly than this. If I think about knitting induced repetitive motion injuries, the pain comes on, and will not abate until I can distract myself with some other stupid obsession. The medical attention I sought was all courtesy of Google and knitting magazines.

Here we have the "I've Knit Items With No Practical Application" badge. Each time I knit something for certain people, I earn this badge. You know the type of people of which I speak.

I know that this badge could be revoked, because I am ashamed to admit that in my knitting past I earned the "Inordinately Fond of Novelty Yarn" badge. It was a phase. I put the yarn to good use. I do not know if I will experience a relapse.

Speaking of inordinate fondness and badges, I have joined a number of groups over on Ravelry (I am sarahkc) just to have the badges. I have not participated much in the groups, but I wanted the badges. Ravelry is nice. I think others get more use of it than I do, and perhaps I will get more use of it in the future. I will tell you that it gave me a nice feeling when I logged in the day after I accepted my invitation and saw that people had claimed me as a friend. It was the kind of encouragement that I needed that day, and I draw upon the memory when I feel like a loser. I suppose this makes me a bit of a dork and a loser, but I proclaim it a good thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Spinning the Hard Way

I am still getting to know fibers, my wheel, and spinning in general. I spun and plied and am now trying to convert the resultant yarn into knitted socks. We shall see what happens. The yarn still feels a bit harsh. To put a positive spin on the situation, all yarn used after knitting on these socks feels so soft. I am getting used to knitting with the yarn I have spun, and discovering how many stitches I need. It is fewer than I had predicted. I still have not chosen the pattern for the leg. I have been perusing my Charlene Schurch sock books. You can see a progress shot of the toe along with another experiment.

In furtherance of my fiber journey, I took my first adventure into dyeing spinning fiber. I dug out the Kool Aid and a pile of fluff and gave it a go. My husband got up from a nap and asked what I had been cooking. I asked if it smelled fruity, and smiled. He was not amused. I was glad to have a consolation dish of strawberries to make up for whatever it was he thought I had cooked. Anyway, I like the way it looks so far. The color in my photo is way off, but shooting outside is a no go for now. We shall see what happens. I used more Kool Aid than I guessed I would, but that is fine. I am anxious for it to dry so I can try it out on the wheel.

I missed out on an opportunity to see Lynn Vogel on Sunday. I had really wanted to attend, but it was not to be. I have received report that the afternoon was wonderful, and that fiber-y goodness did abound. I am trying to not mope too much about it, but move on and look forward to future happy happenings.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Finishing Friday

No, I have not finished any knitting projects, but the week is over. I hope that tonight is the beginning of a wonderful weekend. While I missed knitting with the Skanks on Monday, it looks like I will be able to knit with the NAKG tonight. Tomorrow is Freda's bridal tea. I have reports that she has been knitting with her gift yarn, and that the stole is progressing nicely. I am doing a nice job with not freaking out over the tea party, but rather focusing on the prospect of having fun. If I mess up horribly, it should at least be nice blog fodder.

Our week has not been as fun as we would like. Bruce is suffering with terrible dental troubles. He has other health issues that cause dentists to fear him. We spent Wednesday at the Birmingham VA, and it looks like we are on our way to getting things fixed. There is still more waiting ahead, but we have hope. I am sure to keep plenty of on the go knitting packed and ready.

I am still plugging away on Mom's stole, but progress feels slow. I keep doing the math to figure what percentage of the edging I have completed. While this number is in the double digits, it is still terribly low. Perhaps I should work a bit of baby knitting to get that nice FO feeling.

Speaking of babies, I have learned that one more of the many babies in process will be a girl. So much baby knitting to get going. I had an inquiry yesterday on that other blanket. Please, Geri, I do not need the pressure. Ugh! I may stuff the yarn for a Vine Lace Hat in my bag and bring it along tonight.

I have knit this hat twice already, but I used larger needles and worsted weight yarn. I used Cotton Fleece. They turned out well. I donated them to Caps for a Cure. Speaking of, I think I am hostess for the next round. I am ready!

As for some more on-the-go, easy knitting, I think I am going to try to knit from my handspun. I had a plying adventure earlier in the week. This yarn represents the most I have spun on my wheel. It also reveals that I am not yet an expert. Still, I took my experience further and abused the yarn. The treatment improved the yarn, and I thank other, more practiced spinners for sharing their journeys with the method. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and give it a go, feeling the spirit of adventurous spinners by my side. I definitely need to pick up the specialized equipment, and perhaps that issue of Spin Off. At any rate, here is the yarn, Handspun3MusketeersMintand I am going to try to make it into socks. I also share with you my current, favorite, treat. Fear not, my friends, I emptied the wrapper before taking it outside with the yarn for pictures. It was 102 degrees, and one cannot be too careful.

Monday, August 20, 2007

How Hot Is It?

It's so hot that they had to shut down a reactor at the nuclear power plant because the temperature of the water in the Tennessee River is over 90 degrees. Perhaps it is just the heat, but I have grown tired of following the Brady/Dimera Rivalry on Days, I look forward to my upcoming invite to Ravelry. I gave it a quick check, and I am #9374 on the list. A scant 26 people are ahead of me in line. I am a bit curious to explore it, but do not think it will consume my life. Who knows? I could be wrong. It happens all the time.

Speaking of being wrong, I was surprised that the errata remains in the Print o' the Wave Stole pattern. Eunny gave the corrections back in May of last year, but the pattern itself has never been corrected. It was not difficult to find this information, but it is just surprising that it was never fixed. I suppose this is part of the price one pays for a free pattern. I corrected my copy. I have finished the border. Next up is the edging. Then it is the magic of blocking, followed by the joy of gifting. We must think of a nice, enjoyable accompaniment for the knitting that comes after. I have some ideas.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Skanky Shower

A Skank is getting married, and we are into the preparatory celebration rituals. There was a bridal shower tonight, and there will be a tea at the end of the month. There has also been sneakiness amongst the other Skanky Knitters. Elisabeth organized the group gift, and it was something of an adventure. First, there were the dye lot troubles. This quantity of this yarn in this colorway in the same dye lot did not exist. There had to be a special order with this yarn at the head of the dyeing schedule. Then there was FedEx trouble, followed by the bride-to-be's perpetual absence from Monday Night Knitting. The package was passed around to make sure it would be there each Monday. There were talks that we would split it up amongst ourselves. Finally, we were able to present the gift to Freda at the shower. We think she likes it.FredaSurprise
This is what we got for her.Freda'sBridalYarn Can you really blame us for thinking of keeping it? Freda recruited me for lace help. I am honored. I just cannot believe I was so nervous about the shower. I am more nervous about the tea.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I suppose that confession is a much stronger word than I need to use. Perhaps it would be better to call these admissions, instead. In all truth, there really is not much of a need for me to come clean with all of you over these matters, but here I am blathering on about it anyway. Lately my Fit Knitter button has been mocking me. I have not been exercising with any regularity. I could spend more time examining the reasons for this, but I suspect it might lead to paralysis through analysis, and it would just be further procrastination. The biggest reason is that I do not like to exercise. Still, this is no excuse. Therefore, I am getting back on the exercise wagon. Wait, that is sedentary. I am hitching myself to that wagon and pulling it around. I hope that bringing exercise back to its rightful place in the schedule will drive away some of the pain that has been plaguing me. I also would not mind shedding a bit of fat and gaining some muscle. Whatever the outcome, it is good for me and the way my life needs to be. I am also employing a nifty tool to assist me. It is FitDay. I have used this in the past, and was reminded of it the other day on the radio. A particular dj, whom I consider something of a jackass, was talking about a similar program and running it down. He failed to see the usefulness of it. He was really getting on my nerves, and I wished he would get back to the music, but the experience was helpful. It reminded me of something I had in my arsenal but had not been using. Keeping a food log can be quite useful. I do not see myself using it everyday of my life forever, but it can be a revealing experience.

I also publicly proclaim that I am guilty of sending out my Caps for a Cure knitting a bit late. All I can say is that it has been hot and I did not want to go to the post office. I am making personal progress in that I did not beat myself up for having knit three caps instead of more.

I finished spinning up a second bobbin of singles. I will let them sit a day or so and then begin my plying adventure. This is my first big bunch of spinning on the wheel. I am not a huge fan of the fiber I am using. I have about four more ounces of it to play with, so we will see what happens.

I have cast on again for Sandia. I tried starting it last week, but it only served as a distraction, and I twisted my cast on. The knitting I did was helpful to pass the time, but it had to be ripped. Besides, one of the balls of green had a tangly mess and it needed fixing. I hope to have this hat gracing the head of a busy toddler soon.

I think I will have the time tomorrow to begin the border on Mom's stole. It will take some quiet and concentration to pick up and knit the many stitches along the long edges. By the way, my modification working the center panel worked out wonderfully. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Life Keeps Moving

Last night was a fabulous night with the Skanky Knitters. We labored on under the difficulties of a broken espresso machine. The upside was a nearly empty Barnes & Noble Cafe for us to be ourselves. Attendance was slow to begin the evening, but by the end of the night, we had pushed together more tables and had a wonderful time. We were pleased to have Christina and Bill amongst us once more. We were beginning to grow more concerned. Bill was still not feeling as fabulous as he would like, but we were so glad to have him with us. Christina is having a baby boy in November. We all knew about that. She had more happy news to share--it's a Majacraft! Now we have another Skanky Spinner. Laura had an exciting announcement she had to deliver about three times as more people arrived. She is going to have a baby! We knew it was something they had been hoping for and the number of baby knitting books she has purchased had clued us in that we would receive this news soon. Now, the question remains, will I hide the knitting for her baby from the blog or mix it in with all of the other baby knitting I have planned? It seems like there is a lot of baby going around. Speaking of, for another of the Skanks, Margaret, it is not going to be a human baby, but rather a rally car for her and her beloved. That was another bit of good news we heard of last night. There is an excellent chance that there are more good things happening soon for these two. It fills my heart with joy when good things happen for wonderful people, and the Skanky Knitters are some of the best!

Sockapalooza4 has been wonderful. I enjoyed the experience greatly, though I was filled with a bit of anxiety towards the end. I wanted to check the progress of my pal's socks as they made their way to her, but denied the existence of the delivery confirmation number I had. Argh! I was freaking when the projected delivery date passed and there was no news of the socks. So, I checked one last time today, and reported that the package had been delivered on August 10th. I was perplexed. I wondered what had happened. I was concerned about my pal. Still, I was relieved that the package had been delivered. I was pleased when I returned home this evening to see that my pal has updated the database to reflect that she has received her socks. Whew!

With all of this excitement, you might wonder if any knitting is happening around here. See for yourselves. CenterPanelYep, that is the center panel of Print o' the Wave. I finished that this afternoon. I made it to a NAKG meeting at Books-A-Million and had a great time. I met a new knitter. It is too bad that she had not brought her knitting with her. I hope I was still able to be of some help. I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Annette. I hope my words were able to offer some small comfort and encouragement in her difficult circumstances. I rounded out the afternoon by calling on the assistance of a bookstore employee. I have been waiting for the new IK, and they had not yet placed it out on the shelves. That is no longer the case, and I have a new magazine.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Fabulous Friday

I was at the computer and my husband was in the living room watching television. We were getting ready to meet the children out for a birthday lunch (yes, our son dared to turn 25 on Wednesday) when there was a knock at the door. I was already dressed and set to go, but my husband was still in mid-preparation. He dashed out of the way and I answered the door. I knew it would be the mailman, and I knew that this would be my Sockapalooza4 package. I was right. Robin knit me the most awesome River Rapids socks in the world. They fit me wonderfully. Robin is a new schoolteacher and a spinner. She made that cute felted bag, and gave me wonderful Trekking and Opal sock yarns. I adore the colors and have already begun plans for the yarn. Robin is a wonderful Sockapalooza4 Pal, and I thank her for knitting for me and for her very generous gifts. She has made Sockapalooza4 a wonderful experience. I hope my pal enjoys the socks I knit for her and her prizes as much as I enjoy mine.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Socks, Stoles, and Spinning

The Sockapalooza4 socks are off to my pal. I hope she likes them. My 5-year-old nephew examined them and was a bit critical of the Golden Snitches. He told me that when he is older and knits these, (my heart did a leap) the Golden Snitches will look more like Golden Snitches. Apparently, a big problem is that the gold is not gold enough. He is so funny. I can hardly believe that today is his first day of kindergarten. They grow up so fast.

I only have eight more repeats (a mere 96 rows, or 7680 stitches) to go on the center panel of Mom’s stole. It looks like my modification will work out marvelously. I will be knitting the border soon.

I have been spinning a bunch lately. I have improved at not holding onto my fiber so tightly. Moving away from this stage of learning is a relief. My fingers used to really hurt from pinching the wool. I tried out Navajo-plying. I need more practice on this technique. I might benefit from watching another spinner demonstrate. There is still so much to learn and explore. I enjoy spreading this joy to others, so I am going to send my grandma a box of different fibers to try. She bought a drop spindle back in June at Estes. I think she will have a fun time experimenting with everything.

In the meantime, I was able to receive my yarn from a group Knit Picks order last month, and plan to knit a hat as soon as I can.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

I've Got Rhythm

I enjoy knitting lace. I was not getting much enjoyment from knitting MS3. It is nothing against the pattern, or the beads or the yarn; it just was not happening. Sometimes that is the way it is. I can set aside the piece and see if I can work on it at another time. We just did not click, I tried to fight it, but I am glad I finally decided to give it a break. Now I have lace flowing from the needles. Print o’ the Wave and I have a nice rhythm. This is the way lace knitting should be. I find myself trying to make my best time on a repeat. Sometimes I am really flying, but then have to take a break. I was even able to work on it at Barnes & Noble. This was the first time in a while that I have made it on time and stayed the whole time for a Monday night with the Skanky Knitters. I know that trouble getting out is often associated with the dark, winter months, but it seems like July is also a difficult month for many. Anyway, I love knitting this stole. Zephyr is perhaps the perfect lace yarn.

I am over 75% done with one half of the center panel. I am considering making a wee change to this pattern. You see, the pattern states (basically) that I should *provisionally cast on, work seventeen repeats, set aside, repeat from *. Then I am to graft the two halves, not the provisional cast ons, as I had first thought, but rather, the live stitches still waiting patiently on the needles. Now grafting does not really bother me, and I do it well enough on socks. I am not wild about grafting all that lace. I do believe it will show, and it is even more crucial to match tension, what with the blocking of lace and all. My thought is to provisionally cast on, work seventeen repeats, then work seventeen more repeats from the cast on end. This would still have the lace flowing from the center, but it would still change the look of the shawl. Of course, I will put in a lifeline before attempting such a modification, but otherwise, do you have any thoughts? Last night I asked a couple of my trusted Skanks, and they think it will work.

Speaking of Eunny, I am more entranced by the Tangled Yoke Cardigan than I ought to be. I wish they included a bit more information in the preview. I would like to know the gauge and the sizes. I need to know how much yarn I should buy for this sweater. Rowan Tweed is a bit out of my price range. I am considering Knit Picks Merino Style in Hollyberry. Whaddya think—acceptable substitute? In addition, I am considering buying Knitting Workshop or Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Thoughts, anyone?