Thursday, September 27, 2007

Eenie, Meenie, Miney Mo. Catch a Knitter by the toe!

So, driving through the parking lot last night after dropping the kids off for an activity I saw this Trekking covered TOE sticking out the window of a minivan. I thought, hmmmmmm. That's either a knitter or someone well loved by a knitter. After stifling the urge to go running up and actually grab the woman by her knitted toe, I approached calmly and saw a woman enjoying the beautiful weather and KNITTING God love her. I'm usually "the knitting mom." Everyone around here is used to it and not only are my kids always told "your mom's over there" before they even get near me but I think people are starting to use me as a reference point. I heard one kid talking on her cell phone to her mom, "Yeah mom, I'm on the side of the school next to the knitting mom. Ok, see you soon." Seriously. I'm like a fixture of the sidewalk or something. Most kids meet up with their parents by the tree, the playground swings, or the side gate. Nope, this girl meets up at the Knitting Mom.

ANYWAY, one would think that this would pull any closet knitters out of the woodwork, wouldn't it? I never, ever see knitters around town except at knitting shops. I was just thinking it was cool as hell to run into an actual knitting mom right there in my own neighborhood. After comparing notes on sock yarns I squooshed the offered poncho in progress, handed over my son's blue toed socks for her to pet and we went on our way. What could be a better evening? Beautiful weather, full moon rising up gloriously in the sky and KNITTERS. Love that shit.

I finished Jeff's boyfriend sweater last night around midnight and finished sewing in the 27 ends. TWENTY SEVEN ENDS. Damn. And they're cotton. (well Calmer cotton blend anyway) The man is an "I don't want a WOOL sweater" kind of a guy. I told him not to worry, his next sweater would be "a blend." Yes, it'll be a blend of THIS SHEEP and THAT SHEEP'S wool. Spit splicing? Oh yeah. Or at least sewing in a couple of ends of Cascade 220 versus all those damn cotton thick crappy 50 gram balls and some even had 3 or 4 knots in them too! rrrrrrrrr

OH, yeah. After the thrill of finishing the thing I of course tried it on myself. (Jeff was traveling and not home last night) Starting to admire it in the mirror I notice a glaring, eye-popping, freak show of an error. The damn raglan perfect pretty accented raglan seam on the left front has a serious WONK in it. funky, damn wrong diagonal wonk. Also the collar rolls a bit. Not panicking I calmly take it off and pull like hell to straighten out the wonk. It makes a tiny bit of difference, but then wonks back its own way. rrrrrrrrrrr I'm taking it in to the guru's that hang out at Knit Wits in Olathe for help. I'm sure I can fix it up with a darning needle and yarn, but I'm getting more irritated and don't trust myself to get it right yet. I'm going to present it to Jeff on Saturday if I get it all fixed up. damn boyfriend sweaters anyway. At least I broke the boy in well by making socks first. He loves them and wears them all the time and is very appreciative of how well they feel and look. Hopefully the big BRIGHT RED sweater will work out and he'll actually wear it. It's not like I was smart and made a neutral sweater for the boy first. Nope. Let's make it bright freaking red with black colorwork. Yeah. Let's do that and then any little mistake will SCREAM out for all to see. Nice. If I can fix the wonk, I'd even wear it myself. Pictures once the boy tries it on. I promise. (Oh and I ended up with almost an entire ball of Calmer left.)

Monday, September 24, 2007

It's my party and I'll frog if I want to, frog if I want to, froooooggggg if I waaaaant to....You would frog too if it happened to you....

Ah well, another one bites the dust. Try as I could, this sweater just didn't work for me. It looks fabulous as long as I stand in a strange leaning fashion. If I actually WEAR it and sit down or stand normally, the baggly lines at the back just drove me nuts. I either needed to knit a smaller size overall or make some more damn adjustments in the waistline. I have a teeny tiny waist. That's a nice thing, except it helps to accentute the NOT so teeny hips & thighs. Ah well. I just need to REMEMBER that fact and make adjustments on my patterns. Duh. Ah well.

My big quest to finish the first boyfriend sweater is a decision not to cast on for anything else until it gets done. Yeah. Some of you knitters are good with that, it just doesn't work for me. I do now have two sleeves, although one turned out about 2 inches longer than the other, so I need to frog back to the last decrease round and reknit the ends. I'll cast on for the neckline hopefully tonight while watching some tv.

So, of course I wouldn't have cast on for two more projects, no. That would be bad. Yeah, right. After realizing the sleeve error, I figured I'd done enough to earn a cast on for another project. Knitting Pure & Simple's Neckdown V Neck Shaped Cardigan #241 (scroll down to the green one with the tie on the lower left). I'm knitting it up in a purple Cascade 220 heather yarn for my daughter and want to make one for me in a blue also.

I also swatched, didn't get gauge and had to go smaller needles on an acrylic yarn I'd bought on sale for a Wonderful Wallaby hooded sweater for Joey. The gauge at the bigger size was feeling a titch tight, but on the smaller needles and sleeve I started to check gauge, it felt like iron. Plasticky iron. I think I could even hear it squeeench when I rubbed it. I think that may have been yarn snobbery guilt at clothing the rest of the family in natural fibers. I mean, what if he wandered too close to a campfire? He'd melt in a horrible puddle and the rest of the family would stop smouldering as soon as the flame was removed. Yeah. I'm gonna go look at some cascade 220 superwash and try again. I found a very cool Wonderful Wallaby FAQ site and am going to cast on for this probably tonight too if I find the yarn. The whole campfire thing? Over-imagination? Not really. Jeff is a LARGE bonfire making man. We don't do the little start with twigs and dry grasses, slowly adding bigger twigs until a nice, safe fire is going. Nope, there's usually a bit of gasoline and a large "WHOOOOOSHH", then flames to the sky and people for miles around come and gather together whenever we camp out. Yup, my boy's gonna get some good ol' flame resistant natural fiber wool. I'll use the acrylic for an afghan.

Also worked a little on Joey's blue-toed socks. I had one ball of Lorna's Laces in the same colorway I used to make his first pair of socks last year. Wow. Have I really only been making socks for a year? No, my first pair were for Jeff for Valentine's day in 2006, so I guess that's about a year and a half. HOW did I survive drive thru's, red lights, waiting at doctor's offices and the like without my car-sock projects? Anyway, these are turning out less fugly than I thought. He thinks they look good, so I guess that's all that matters. I'm not really sure if the one ball of yarn will last even with adding in blue toes and heels. Yes, I KNOW that dividing up the ball and knitting toe-up would allow me to then stripe blue at the top should I need it, but that would just be too damn easy and make too much sense. Yes, this is probably the same thinking that enables me to make entire sweaters and weave in ends and wear it for a while before deciding I need to frog it. Ah well. That's just one of my quirks. I've learned to live with it and even enjoy the suspense......will I have enough yarn......will I make it? Boy, I need to get more excitement in my life.

Don't you just dig the funky 70's bathroom counter we've got?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ta Da! Introducing my aunt's Shedir!

Damn I enjoyed knitting this. Ok, as long as "enjoyed" means cursing, grappling without a cable needle, cursing, grappling with a cable needle, cursing, then amazement as the patterns emerged, excitement and then HOLY CRAP I'M ACTUALLY KNITTING THIS THING sets in. Yes, I'd do it again. In a while. Someday. There's a few cables that disappear a stitch off from where they're supposed to, but the crazy anal knitter in me was silenced and I think it's lovely. I really think my aunt will like it. Thank you for all the good "healthy boob" thoughts!

Pattern: Shedir
Yarn: Rowan Calmer in pretty dark blue. I used just a bit more than one ball.
Needles: circ and dpns for sz 4 (pattern called for sz 3 and since I knit a bit tight, I just went up one size and *gasp* didn't swatch. It's a HAT and is stretchy. After I got going I measured and it was ok. If I would have had to frog it, I'd have considered it good practice on learning to cable.)

I'm trying VERY VERY hard to finish Jeff's boyfriend sweater. It turns out I wasn't actually running out of yarn. I was getting worried thinking that I'd bought an additional 2 balls and then still wasn't going to make it and a lovely knitter from ravelry saved my butt and sent me a ball she had in the same dye lot and everything. Well, um, I'm just disorganized. I will most likely need that last ball but, well, I found the other 2 balls buried under piles. I'm not what you would call an organized woman. Here's my knitter's version of a home makeover.....



Yup, I'm a piler. After the piles start growing too large, to do NOW do LATER pile.....Filing pile....etc. The piles get moved into a drawer or box and then once in a long while I pull it all out, organize EVERYTHING and PUT EVERYTHING AWAY and then enjoy my beautiful empty counters and drawers and do it all over again. I think it's easier with the yarn solution.

Monday, September 17, 2007

2 balls of fun fur away from being a total redneck

Seriously, it's getting creepy around here. You be the judge. I'm a common law wife of a squirrel grilling (and eating) man. All weekend I drove a truck with a trailer pulled behind full of a kid's race car and a buttload of tools and actually KNOW HOW TO USE MOST OF THEM, have short broken off nails, STILL have some grease and oily crap way under those broken nails, my cuticles are shot to hell and I got to where I didn't even MIND peeing in the porta-potties. At one point I even snorted under my breath when I had to lift another kid's car up onto the trailer since the mom was a pretty blond thing in cute heels and with big hair who couldn't dream of touching a car, let alone PICK IT UP. At one point in the weekend I found I'd even tucked a greasy rag into my back pocket and was walking around like that.

I used to be one of the pretty moms with big hair and short cute heels that matched my outfit and pedicured toes. Now I'm starting to resemble Goober from Mayberry. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? If anyone sees me with a can of chaw and two balls of fun fur slap the SHIT out of me and sit me down with some koigu, ok? Pretty please?

Anyway, the weekend was FABULOUS! The girl is really becoming quite a driver and it was so much fun. She's such a competitor now that it's much more fun to race. She's such a gentle soul that she has lots of parents and even kids rooting for her. Soap Box Derby racing is such a great family event and the kids really are cheering for each other and helping each other out and still fighting it out for every partial second. SHE ROCKS! 5th place Saturday and 4th place on Sunday.

It was also cold as hell, so the fact that I'm a knitter came in handy. At the last minute, I threw in some wool hats, gloves, scarves and winter coats. THANK GOD FOR WOOL! Even my mom of "oh, I'm not really a fan of wool" was loving the lorna's laces superwash worsted weight ribbed hat I'd thrown in. I was actually toasty in my alpaca hat, wool fingerless gloves (had to be working on the car all day, so no fuzzy fingers allowed), koigu socks and clapotis. My daughter raced in her new crafty-in-a-good-way socks and we were all bundled up and mostly cozy in the 40 degree cold wind blowing day.

We stayed in mom & dad's rv camper and OOOOOOOhhhhhh that's the way to camp. The KOA campground we stayed at had a nice playground, free mini golf and even these fun bikes the kids could run around on. Great weekend even though I only had about 4 hours TOTAL for knitting. It was too damn cold the first day and also Omaha runs a seriously efficient race. At our home track in KC there's a lot of down time, sitting around, KNITTING time. I didn't hardly turn around and Lizzie was racing again. So, only had time for a couple rows on Jeff's sleeves. I did spend in between times de-pilling and picking fuzz off my clapotis. I felt very Elizabeth Zimmermanly as I remembered her writing about spending a pleasant afternoon defuzzing a knitted jacket when she was camping in the cold with her hubby.

Though I missed the great Harlot weekend with my knitting friends, and am still just a teensy tiny bit unbelievably jealous, I was there in spirit as I took along her book KNITTING RULES and re-read it realizing that woman is not only funny but smart. I love her book. Can't wait to hear all about the fun I missed.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A knitting weekend of sorts

Not the FUN ultra knitting weekend the local knitting girls are going to, nope. They're heading off early Sat. to Wichita to see the Harlot, eat, knit, SHOP at the new shop there called Twist, knit, eat and have fun. OOOOOOhhhhh I'm jealous. Ah well.

My weekend will be spent driving the blazer, hauling a big ass trailer with my daughter's soap box derby car in it. We're hitting the road! Omaha, NE here we come! Mom & Dad are taking their rv camper, so we get to camp out in style. MY kind of camping. We've got a 2 day race ahead, with pleasant evenings and afternoons with almost nothing to do but KNIT!

Here's a quick update as I've not finished packing and have a ton of work to do before I leave.

I'm a cabling queen now! I'm just to the part of the shedir where I start decreasing. I've now learned both to cable, and to UNCABLE. Good to know.

I'm done with one sleeve on Jeff's boyfriend sweater, taking it along to hopefully finish up the other one and the neckline so he can wear it in the chilly weather that's setting in around KC.

Finished Jeff's mountain colors barefoot socks and like a doll, he grabbed them up and wore them immediately. It wasn't really cold enough to wear them so he suffered for it, but claimed he loved them and they're the most comfortable socks he's ever had. I'll knit that man socks forever for wearing the bits out of my socks.

I've got to do some fixing up of things around here before winter sets in. The sleeves that were a touch long on my simple knitted bodice have now stretched out to absurd. I'll shorten them.

I also accidentally felted the crap out of my world's coolest tank top made from twisted sisters merino. damn. Now it's going to get cut and made into a vest somehow.

Knitting packing, does anyone else go a titch overboard? I'll have 2 evenings of knitting time plus some during the day on Sat. and Sunday. I've got along Jeff's sweater that needs another sleeve and neckline and tons of ends woven in. I've got 2 balls of sockyarn with a sock in progress on each of them (first sock on both). I've got my aunt's shedir hat in progress along with an extra ball of rowan calmer as it looks like I may need to break into the 2nd ball. I've also stuck in an extra ball of sock yarn JUST IN CASE. Yeah, because any sane knitter would figure of COURSE I'll finish the sweater, the hat, the two socks in progress and their two mates not even cast on and then be sitting around going crazy because I don't have any extra yarn packed. I've also got to entertain two children for that knitting time, so I'm guessing maybe the hat will get done and part of one sock. We'll see. Happy weekend!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Those magical three little words...

No, not "I love you." No, not even "oh well FUXX!" No, that's what I exclaimed after I realized I'd totally missed the three magical little words of WITH SMALLER NEEDLES. As in, "with smaller needles, cast on XXX stitches," then follow lace chart and knit your butt off for half the back of the sweater. damn damn damn. Yes, I have been known to not see those little words until about 3 or 4 inches of the start of a sweater before. Yes, I should probably have LEARNED my damn lesson, but didn't. I didn't realize until after 8 full lace repeats and 12 inches of the back of my silky wool sweater was complete and the pattern said "switch to larger needles." damn damn damn.

Am I the only one that needs all knitting designers and publishers to print those words in really BIG BOLD type and underline it and surround it with asterisks? Even in one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books, I think it was her Knitting Workshop, she even said NOW PAY ATTENTION and told whatever it was that she wanted to stress. damn. Ah well, I am not a knitter afraid to frog, I've frogged many, many sweaters that weren't working out, or were entirely knitted and finished and didn't work out. But this time I just couldn't do it. I think my standards of anal-knitterly-ness have just gotten a bit less psycho level. I convinced myself that rather than an attractive, slimming waistline that would have been provided had I paid attention to the damn directions isn't really what I wanted. No, I wanted a loose, baggy waistline. Really. I do. I really REALLY do.

damn damn damn

Friday, September 07, 2007

The voices in my head

OK, it's more of ONE voice but she's quite vocal. I'm not Sybil, my voice is mostly harmless. Don't worry. I think it's because for most of my almost 39 years on this earth I've had the unfortunate habit of saying EXACTLY whatever pops into my head whether it's appropriate or not. This has provided more than a couple of interesting situations. I think my voice came about as a result of trying really hard to keep my mouth shut until after I think about what it is I'm about to spout out. I still go around inserting hand-knitted-sock-covered foot in mouth, but ONCE in a while the system works.

Anyway, my little voices have been quite active the last few days. Riding along in a carpool to the zoo with some other moms on our way to a field trip the woman driving asked if I knew how to get there. I said, "well, I always take I-435" and she said, "Oh, I don't believe in highways." I said, "Oh, I understand not wanting to drive on highways." She said, "no, I don't BELIEVE in highways." I couldn't even knit. I sat there with frozen hands and my mouth shut tight. Inside my head was a screaming, "but it's RIGHT OVER THERE! Can't you see it? The thing with all those cars and trucks driving on it? It's not the tooth fairy, IT'S A REAL ROAD MADE OF TAR AND EVERYTHING!" I just smiled, said "huh, you don't say" and picked up the sock needles.

Today I was in a mood that I just couldn't sit still and work any longer. I had to get out and knit somewhere. I took myself to a pizza shop in downtown OP. After eating a piece of pizza as advertised "as big as your face" I sat and lounged and read another chapter of EZ's Knitting Workshop, just enjoying the heck out of myself. As I walked out on the sidewalk towards my truck and saw an OP police car with lights a-flashing. I noticed the side of the car had "PARKING ENFORCEMENT" printed on its side. The siren started to sound. The voice in my head said "well Lawd-a-Mighty, it must be a parking enforcement emergency." (Apparently the voice in my head speaks like a southern belle when my belly's stuffed to bursting). Chuckling to myself, I begin to walk towards Yarn Shop & More to see if I can get another couple of skeins of a cascade 220 yarn I'd bought a while back. Then I realize the damn siren is for MY TRUCK! Apparently the sign that said 15 MINUTE PARKING and was directly in front of my windshield somehow didn't get noticed. The police-looking man (are Parking Enforcement Officers even cops?) came up and explained I'd been in a 15 minute zone for over 45 minutes. I said "WHAT? I didn't see anything about a 15 minute zone!" but it didn't matter. I passed the time waiting for him to complete his damn paperwork by working most of a slip stitch heel flap. The officer walked up and whistled, remarking on what good eyes I must have to work with such little thin dark yarn. I smiled politely. Then he said, "yeah, you'd have thought that would've helped you see that big parking sign, huh?" and handed me the $40 ticket. The voice suddenly turned from southern belle to white trash momma on the tv show cops. I think my brain even invented some new curse words today. I sat there for a while calming down and finishing up my heel flap. The officer finally came back and knocked on my window, asking when I was planning on vacating the 15 minute spot. I explained sweetly that I needed to finish "just one more row" and I'd be right on my way. Voice? She was saying "BITE ME Smartass, I'll leave when I damn well feel like I've knitted up $40 worth of heel flap." I like my voice.

Shedir update...Now I'm thinking maybe it would have been smarter to start my first cabling project with a project with maybe ONE cable that went straight up and down. Ah well. Why make life easier? I'd rather do something with 42 cables. Ok, so it's not quite that many but it damn well seems like it. I've given up (for now) on the whole cabling without a needle thing. Maybe someday in the future. I'm working with a little cable needle and can now see actual cabling action happening. Though the rate of knitting may mean that my aunt's hair all falls out and grows back in again before it's done, it'll get done somehow.

In another fit of startitis, I cast on for Tilia, the cover sweater in Elsebeth Lavold's Designer's Choice Book Eight in some golden silky wool from the stash. I'm about 7 repeats of the front done and am really liking the look of it.

And those voices in my head? Well, after my trying time with the parking enforcement officer and not finding any of the dye lot of cascade 220 at the yarn shop, I listened to the voice and drove myself out to Knit Wit's in Olathe. HOLY CRAPAMIGHTY it's like the sock yarn center of the universe now. Seriously. Claudia Handpaint, Crafty in a Good Way, Lucy Neatby semi-solids and her cool hand-painted colorways, Shi Bui, Schaefer Anne, Regia, Lorna's Laces, Mountain Colors, four other kinds I'm totally mind-blanking here but they were COOL. Holy crap. It's not my fault if the voices said BUY SOCK YARN!! YOU NEED MORE SOCK YARN!!! right? And I'm not totally single-white-female-ing Jo if I happen to buy the exact yarn she got for her birthday if I'm using a different pattern and I use it for a gift, right? It's the voice's fault, not mine! Now aren't we all glad my voices just say "buy sock yarn" and not "kill kill kill" like other voices?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Now, honey, you know momma doesn't approve of cursing, right? Well, go ahead and KICK HIS ASS!!!

Quote for the day. My daughter Elizabeth raced her soap box derby car (the kind you build and ride down the hill inside, not the little wooden toy ones) on both Saturday and Sunday. This is the best sport EVER and builds family unity, friendship, self-confidence and is the best example of good sportsmanship I've ever been a part of. These kids look out for each other, shake each other's hands (without anyone telling them to) and really root for each other. Except for one obnoxious boy from out of town. The boy made one of Beth's friends cry on Sat's race and after racing MY little girl, messed with her too. Uh huh. He was mouthy, obnoxious and rude the whole way from climbing up out of their cars to the ride up the hill. You race each opponent two times to determine a heat win. Each child runs down each lane with 2 of their wheels and 2 of their opponant's wheels. Then they switch wheels and switch lanes and do it again. The one with the best overall differential (which is timed down to a .000 level of a second) wins and they go on into the bracket. My girl got out of the back of the van that transports the racers back to the top of the hill in tears. I really REALLY wanted to get in the face of this obnoxious boy, but refrained. The other 2 racers riding back to the top of the hill were older kids from the higher division. One of them was a sweet high school girl who said she told Beth not to worry about anything that boy said, but that he brags and is mouthy to everyone. There's not a lot of girls that race. I took Beth aside, we talked just a little bit and I explained that he probably wins a lot on the 2nd time down because he upsets the other drivers and the best way to get back at him? KICK HIS ASS! She giggled, then did kick his butt enough to win the overall time and went on to race great that day and finished up 4th place! She had a blast.

Thank you all for your good thoughts this last week. It's been a doozy. I sure went through the stages of grieving. I'm not good at that. We're all mostly healthy and mostly unbroken now. Jeff's back to work and though he's moving slowly, we somehow got all the kids moved around in our Weasley house (many split levels and rooms everywhere). Jeff finished the remodel of the half-attic room, his oldest boy is moved in there. Elizabeth now has her own room and it rocks. The two younger boys are sharing a room, but with how me moved the furniture it seems bigger than before. I had no idea we have so much freaking furniture!

I've also been doing a LOT of knitting to help my sanity. I've had lots of worries and we had some additional crap hanging over our heads with this accident that was adding stress to everything. All of that seems to have worked itself out to the best. I knit one and a half socks in Mountain Colors Barefoot and this time used sz 2 dpns, which seems to fit so they will actually get to be Jeff's. I also got cracking on the boyfriend sweater, have almost one sleeve and am waiting on a knitter from ravelry (I LOVE KNITTERS AND OH HOW I LOVE RAVELRY!!!) who is sending me a ball of the yarn in the exact dye lot I need since I'm again running short on yarn. Damn cotton yarn. He's getting his next sweater in wool as God intended. And I was in a state of general anxiousness that only was made better by casting on with more sock yarn. I cast on some Crafty in a Good Way sock yarn in the Evening colorway that will end up either for me or my daughter. I have to make Joey some more socks before I give another pair to Elizabeth, so I may be casting on more soon. These are being knit up with my new Hiya-Hiya sz 1.5's that I'm LOVING!!! We ordered them from Twist the new shop in Wichita, KS. These needles ROCK! They're aluminum but HOLLOW and light as heck and they rock. MisKnits here in KC now has them also, go check them out!

I also picked up 2 balls of Rowan Calmer yarn for my aunt, the Knitress. My aunt, the one in California who KNITS has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Damn. She had a biopsy, a lumpectomy and then they had to go back for more and a 2nd lumpectomy. She's now walking around with a hole in her boob that they're purposely keeping open and then letting heal? I don't get the whole explanation just know that she's seeing a team of doctors and has great spirits. I asked what I can do for her and she said to ask my knitting friends to all think "heal, hole, HEAL!" thoughts for her. So let's all send the Knitress happy healing boob thoughts, ok? I figured a pretty blue shedir hat would be a nice gift. The fact that it's full of freaking cables and I've never actually MADE a cable before doesn't scare me in the least. Ok, at least not very much. How hard could it be?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...