Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Double-Triple Day

I had a wonderful birthday today. Celebrations began early. First, my husband had me order some presents from Knit Picks. It shipped quickly, but when I clicked on the tracking number, I always received an error message. Imagine my surprise when the box arrived just a few days later. I planned to wait until my birthday to open the package, but the daughter was here when it arrived, and my husband wanted her to see what he had gotten for me.

The next day, my mom had a marshmallow fire shindig. We celebrated both my younger brother's and my birthdays. My brother liked his new emo kid. I received the third season of Futurama. It was a wonderful night. The excitement of the night was when a wandering, friendly, stinky pit bull puppy found his way to the party and curled up in a lawn chair by the fire.

On Monday, I kept jumping up at the sound of passing vehicles in anticipation of the mail. I had no reason to be on the lookout for anything, but this did not stop me. Also, the sound of our postal worker's vehicle is distinctive. When he finally pulled up, the truck stopped in front of our home, and I saw him digging about in the back of the truck. I wondered what he was bringing that would not fit in the mailbox. I thought about some Knit Picks. It shipped on Friday; yet, the tracking info shows that the order had activity four days before it was placed. Anyway, I met him halfway to the door, and spied an Amazon box. My mind raced. Was it a book I had pre-ordered? No, Amazon said they would let me know before shipping it to me. Then I remembered something that happened at the marshmallow fire. My younger brother had asked for my address. He bought me the A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker. I immediately flipped through while my mind raced with inspiration. I'm sure it is no surprise that I spent more than a few minutes looking at the lace. Idea after idea flitted along with mental flashes of stash yarns. The fantasy portion my brain kicked in, and I imagined taking a stab at designing.

Today, I made my way about town collecting on a couple of free birthday offers. I enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Lone Star, and later it was a tasty Like It portion of ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery. There was not much room left when my family took me out to Cracker Barrel for supper.

In between the adventures, I added a few more rows to my Lace Ribbons Scarf. It seems like I am finally developing a nice rhythm with the pattern, and it has become an enjoyable knit. I think it will be a wonderful companion for some upcoming extended knitting time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Because November is Nearly February

The other day, I was leisurely reading the blogs, and I did not think I needed to be on my guard. Then, someone mentioned NaKniSweMo, and in my vulnerable state, I began to think about it. I have never really considered the BloMo, because I think I would fall off that within the first ten days. Now a new sweater in a month, that is something I could see myself trying.

Sweater in a month, sweater in a month, sweater in a month. It kept
playing through my head, along with choruses of NaKniSweMo. Sweater month, month sweater, month February. Before I knew it, I was making my way to the yarn closet. I had been thinking of that yarn recently. I was considering using it for a Hemlock Ring Blanket. Anyway, I consulted Ravelry concerning this yarn and the pattern. I dragged out the yarn and counted skeins of various colors. It did not look like I would have enough in either of my two first choices (purples), but plenty for my third (red). Then I read the ball band for myself. It lists 130m, rather than the 103m Ravelry lists. That makes a bit of a difference. I did the math again, and maybe there is enough for one of my first color choices. If that is the case, there is enough for one in each of my first two color choices--one for me, and one for my sister. However, there is not enough for identical red February Lady Sweaters. Nah, I was not really considering that. I may be crazy, but not quite that crazy.

Monday, October 27, 2008

As the Weather Turns

My backlog of blog reading is finally out of the triple digits, so I am taking time to post. I was temporarily paralyzed by a need to comment on every post, became overwhelmed, and could not read. I can be so silly. So, I relaxed about not commenting, moved on, and will get back on the comment wagon soon.

If I seem a bit crazier than usual, I have something of an explanation. While I was out, I was not knitting. It was more than ten days of not knitting. I was too tired, too dirty, too sore, or unable to access my knitting. During one moment of desperation, I stuck my head in the piled up room to try to inhale some wool fumes. Also, there is some candy in there, but it was more of an ordeal to get to it than I could manage. Yep, that's my story on the chocolate. I did not really twist and squirm to score a hidden candy bar and eat it while I was taking a shower. That never happened.

So, what is happening? I am back to knitting. It feels good. I have been working on my sister's top. Yeah, that cotton tank will not be finished in time for the first frost, but I am making progress. The eyelet bits between the vine lace repeats have become ribbing, and four of those repeats are about to become stockinette. I need to place some stitches on an extra circ so that I can properly measure the piece. Now that I found the tape measure, I am well on my way.
Maybe it was the knitting hiatus, or maybe it is the change to fall weather, but I feel the need to start several new projects, and there are some UFO babies trying to wake up from a long hibernation and crying for attention.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Glad to Be Back

That was an unintended blog break. You might wonder what happened. The home repairs kept me away, but that was not all. We also had computer problems. That shook things up more than I would have guessed. Most things are back up and running, but now the lapdog (which was not the original problem) will not make friends with the innerwebs.

We finished the living room floor. It was a lot of work, but it is wonderful. I believe it will take some time to finish cleaning up from the job. There is dust everywhere, despite my best efforts to cover things with drop cloths. Anyway, we now have a bit of furniture in the living room. I must figure out where everything else should go now. Repairing the living room floor inspired us to think about other home repairs, but they will have to wait. We will take things a bit at a time. I know that clearing out excess stuff will help make everything else go more smoothly. The decluttering process is a personal challenge, but I am confident I can do this. I just need to do most of it on my own.

I am still wading my way through emails, laundry, and blogs. Of course, life insists on carrying on while I struggle to catch up, but that is probably just as well. I feel the temptation to mark all as read and start with a clean slate, but I am not making any decisions just yet. Stay tuned next week for such exciting events as knitting, my birthday, and maybe even the story of Baby Mustache.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Story of Baby Mustache

No, my niece is not dressed in her Halloween costume. This is what she was wearing when my brother woke her from her nap. She had already ripped out her superstar piggy tails. You see that she is holding her pumpkin. It had a boo-boo from when she dropped it. She named it. It is called Baby Mustache. Of course, I had to ask.

Me: Why did you name your pumpkin Baby Mustache?
KOH: Because you have to name it someone, and I wanted it to be a girl.


She is ready for the big day. She will be a Go Packers Girl. She tells me that Brother will be a Witch, Sister will be a Go Cheerleader Girl, Daddy will be a Baseball Boy, and Mommy will be Nothing. Someone has already coached her on her lines. She says,
"Trick or Treat
Smell My Feet
Give Me Something Good to Eat
If You Don't
I Don't Care
I'll Pull Down Your Underwear!"

Be forewarned, she means that last line. She ran up behind my husband the other day and yanked at his waistband, and nearly exposed his everything to everyone.

Happy Halloweenie, Everyone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Music Memories

Ten Bands/Artists That Remind You of High School

1. Nirvana
2. Nine Inch Nails
3. The Essence
4. Pearl Jam
5. Alice in Chains
6. R.E.M.
7. Toad the Wet Sprocket
8. P.J. Harvey
9. Queensr├┐che
10. Blind Melon

I almost skipped Ten on Tuesday this week. I do not want to remind myself of high school. Also, there is some music I still enjoy from those days but do not really care to associate with that time in my life. Still, I guess this list still works for the topic, and this is a busy week and the knitting progress is likely to be slim to share.

Monday, October 13, 2008

October Overhaul

Excitement and adventure abound here in the form of home repairs. We are blessed to benefit from someone else's home remodeling projects. They pulled up hardwood, and it will become our new floors. Since our home is smaller than theirs is, we will probably have enough to do both the kitchen and living room floors. The living room needs the fix more, so we are starting there.

The fun has already begun. Bruce has been removing nails and sanding wood. I have begun the process of clearing the living room of everything. I have taken this as an opportunity to do a bit of de-cluttering. There is so much to do. I have been more than a little overwhelmed at times, but then I remind myself to take it one bit at a time. We need to enlist a bit of help to move the heavy stuff that will stay in my mom's garage while we work.

We have made steady progress on this project, and I am taking advantage of a break in the work. I have temporarily claimed the living room floor while it is still available. I will give you a hint: all of my rustproof pins are in use.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ending, Beginning, Ending.

Today was the final stop of the 1000 Knitters project, the first book-signing event for "It Itches.", and I was fortunate enough to participate. Speaking of fortunate, nestled around my copy of the book are two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Franklin's Panopticon colorway that my friend won.

It was such a fun day. I knit away and visited with friends. I saw old friends I have not seen in ages, and got to meet many new people, too. People were exchanging Ravelry IDs and realizing that some of the people they were meeting today were ones they had already "met" online.

Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself. I was so nervous. I wore my Festive for the event. I jabbered like an idiot while Franklin took my picture as I knit on the massive scarf. Then I made my way back to knit with everyone else. It was a wonderful event. I wish I would have taken more pictures, and that I would have gotten over my nerves long enough to get someone to take my picture with Franklin. This is not to say that my camera stayed in its bag all day. There were the campaign signs. My friend, Helen, knit a fun hat for Franklin, and he was kind enough to model it for all of our cameras and us. Then there is my free bag from Interweave along with the yarn left after casting off something you will have to wait to see. Seriously, I had finished it about two minutes before the yarn shop owner announced that it was time to clear out of the store.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finding Emo

Last Friday was my younger brother's birthday. As is our family's habit, we have not decided on a time to get together for the event. It will probably be rolled together with my birthday later this month. There is more to celebrate. He recently graduated from UCLA (local funny). In honor of his accomplishment, I made this little owl for him. I love the little amigurumi critters, but crocheting is a bit hard on my hands.

Thanks to the magic of Ravelry and watching friends' queues, I found my next amigurumi project, but it would be one I needed to make right away, too. I told my hands to suck it up and bought this pattern. I knew that I needed to make it for my younger brother as soon as I saw it. My brothers latch on to a word or phrase and then beat the living daylights out of it as they use it at every turn. My younger brother is most decidedly enamored with the word emo.

I hope that he finds this gift to be funny. If he fails to see the humor, at least he will have an emo kid to keep him company.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Because I Am a Crazy Knitter

The Jeopardy response would be, "Why are you knitting those?" They captivated me when I saw them in the Jan/Feb Piecework. The promise of a new-to-me technique drew me in further. However, it was not the right time for me to make them. I skimmed the prep work, and wondered if I would ever even try. I added them to my Ravelry queue, and there the Rovaniemi mitts sat.

RovaniemiPrepIn the midst of another sleepless night, and staring down two projects I wanted to have finished and given to their rightful owners a week ago, my mind took a flying leap. A few minutes later, I had the magazine with the pattern, and the tub of fingering weight yarn. I took a needlessly complicated path to wind twenty-two, four-yard butterflies of yarn. I cast on and ripped. I will try again with fewer stitches.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Spinning and Weaving Week

Spinning and Weaving week began with a bang this year. I made my way out to Little Barn to celebrate it, along with their anniversary. The weather was wonderful, the food was great, and there were prizes, too. There was a great group of people pursuing the various fiber arts. I was thrilled to sit next to a lady I have not seen in ages. Evelyn has always been encouraging in the pursuit of all things fiber-y, and doing it all on whatever your budget might be.

A few people came by just to shop. It is a fabulous shop. Maybe a little fiber followed me home, and maybe some of it is meant to make its way to someone else's home. Time and the fiber will tell, and those bundles of fluff are chattering away. It was interesting to watch a lady warp her triangle loom. I had never seen that in person before. There was plenty of knitting, weaving, spindling, and spinning all around. I even spied another blogger, but I was too shy to say anything.

I spun along on my fabulous Kiwi, and it enjoyed the attention of other curious spinners. This was Kiwi's public debut. I finally made my way past my spinning-in-public nerves, and treadled away. I had brought along my bag of Indian Summer wool to spin, and it seemed to be the perfect choice. I loved watching the colors in the sunlight. When I bought it, I wondered how it would spin up. I am delighted. I think it will be perfect for those mittens on the cover of the Fall 2008 Vogue Knitting by Jared Flood.

Anyway, there were prizes for everyone. Each bag had a sticker, and it was a clue to the contents. There was
lotion, heirloom seeds, soap, fiber, yarn, or some other little gift. I chose the bag with a sheep sticker. Inside was the most wonderful Shepherdess lavender wool wash. I hope to finish something and try it out soon.

Friday, October 03, 2008


This scarf caught my eye when I first saw it over at Knitty, but I was not quite sure of when I would knit it. Then the idea of using my hand spun yarn for it flitted through my feeble mind. It danced about from time to time while I treadled, but none seemed right. It turns out, I had possibly already spun the yarn for this scarf. I wound the hank of Warm Wine Corriedale and cast on those fifty-three stitches. I knit twoLaceRibbonProgressBlocked repeats of the chart. This is a bit wider than the pattern stated it would be. No, I did not check gauge, but I did go down in needle size. I was not sure. To be quite honest, I was having a bit where I was unsure of all of my knitting. Then the cowl blocked nicely. (Side note: I had my mom try it on, it looks even better on her, and she agrees that this will be great for her sister.) Anyway, I decided to let the in-progress scarf take a dip in the sink and then pinned it. Yeah, it is definitely wider, but maybe not too wide. What do you think? I think it might be a good knit to carry along and work on when I have time, but not quite have front-burner status.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Lucky Seven

LuckyLeftoversThis was all the yarn I had left when I finished. It was yarn I had spun, and I did not have any more of the fiber. I could not look at the dwindling pool of yarn while binding off the project.

So, what had I chosen to create with this precious yarn? I knit the Good Luck Cowl. I still think cowls are funny, but I also think my aunt will enjoy this. It was a quick, easy knit, and I have another gift crossed off the list.
I show you the blocking cowl so that you can see the pattern better. Also, I have been immensely unsuccessful at getting a nice modeled shot. This also helps explain why I think these are so funny, and why I am unlikely to make one for me.

Pattern: Good Luck Cowl
Needles: Susan Bates Silvalume US 6 (4.0mm)
Yarn: Handspun, Navajo-Plied, Alpaca (I think it was from an alpaca named Charlemagne)
Mods: Only worked 7 pattern repeats