Saturday, July 29, 2006
Thanks for everyone's comments on knitting socks. Maybe I'll try at some point. I've seen the little ankle socks made out of Cascade Fixation and I think I would actually wear those. Never say never.
The winner of my copy of "Knitting Vintage Socks" is Renee. Renee, e-mail me your address and I'll send it to you. I used Chris' suggestion for a random number generator, thanks Chris.
I'm working on a Booga Bag for MFF's daughter's birthday in the Noro I bought Friday. It's going quickly and I should be finished tomorrow. Pictures then. I really promise.
Friday, July 28, 2006
I wanted to find some special yarn to make my one skein secret pal a gift and Yarnzilla has the most beautiful, amazing hand dyed cashmere. I was fondling it in the basket and told the wonderful, Linda what I was thinking. This is one of the many things I love about shopping at Yarnzilla. Linda told me no.
Me: I'm thinking about knitting fingerless mitts for my One Skein SP out of this beautiful cashmere.
Linda: I don't care if your secret pal is Catherine Zeta Jones, she is a stranger and not worthy of this yarn. Buy it for yourself, but don't buy this for a stranger.
She directed me to the Koigu and I found a really beautiful colorway of Koigu to make mitts out of. They will be cheating because I bought two skeins, but oh well.
When I first started knitting I took a class at a yarn shop near where I worked at the time. Let me tell you the ladies there were mean. Yes, mean. Mean to their customers, mean to students, mean. They liked yarn much more than people. (For those of you who live here you probably know which one I'm talking about. It's by Lunds. On Hwy 7. But I'm not namin' names or anything) Back then, I didn't know there were such things as yarn shops. I thought yarn came from Michaels. As this was my first LYS experience, I thought that yarn shop owners were categorically mean yarn snobs who were out to shame you into buying super expensive yarn even if you were a beginner who had no clue what she was doing. Then I stumbled upon Yarnzilla.
Linda greeted me happily the first time I crept hesitantly through her door. Her mom was there knitting at the table and she was nice too. Linda helped me pick out yarn and introduced me to my beloved Denise interchangeable needles. She was sweet and helpful and didn't treat me like an idiot. I fell in love with Yarnzilla immediately. In the years since, I've found other LYSs that are great and staffed by wonderful people. I don't know if I would have chanced all my yarn shop exploring though if it hadn't been for how sweet Linda was that day.
There were about 8 women there today knitting and chatting. Linda was on the phone with someone from Alabama. While I paid for my purchases we chatted about our blogs. She gets NO COMMENTS. It's a shame. I know that feeling. You are writing and throwing words out into the void. Is anyone reading? Does anyone care? We talked about our favorite blogs and we both love Laurie and her Crazy Aunt Purl blog.
Linda: How many comments do you get on average?
Me: 5 on an average day, 20 on a great day.
Linda: I'd be thrilled with 5.
Me: I'm no CAP or anything with 200 comments a day. Sometimes I don't even bother to comment on hers anymore because it's too much.
Linda: I love Laurie. She is a sweetheart, advertises the shop on her site, sends me wonderful notes but her cat vomits and she gets 175 comments, I've got pictures of Annie Modesitt in my shop and I get zero.
What's with that? Let's all comment on Linda's blog because knit shop owners as cool as Linda deserve all the support they can get.
P.S. I also bought the coolest Noro to felt a purse.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
So some of you nearly have me thinking I should knit a pair of socks. I am truly moved by the emotional testimonies to the joys of the simple, often overlooked, sock. But alas, not moved enough to go buy itsy bitsy teeny weeny dpns.
Are you all still watching "Project Runway"? I've wanted to mention it all week, but I'm really depressed about Malan getting booted last week. I thought he was kind of a pretensious (I have no clue whether this is spelled right, go with me on this one okay?) snot at first, but when he told about his mother throwing the sketchbook on the floor when he was 13 and telling him he'd never amount to anything, I almost cried. (Yeah, I cry at little league games too, I'm a big ol' weepy pushover) So I'm hoping whoever they ask to leave for rule-breaking next week means they can bring back Malan cos I'm worried about him.
I sent both of my pals packages today. I had all my stuff, tissue paper, boxes, presents, cards, all spread out on the table in the post office lobby and I'm sure people thought I was nuts. They are both sock knitters so I sent them sock yarn. Mountain Colors Bearfoot and Trekking. The Trekking seems to be one of the hot sock yarns right now and the Mt. Colors was just so beautiful and soft that I couldn't resist. I also sent them books and journals and stuff from Bath and Bodyworks. I hope that they like them. One is a blogger and posts everything on her blog so I know if she likes it or not, the other only blogs every couple of months so I never know for sure.
My One Skein Secret Pal totally rocks. She has sent me the coolest stuff, it's really fun to get her packages. My SP8 pal I haven't heard from since May, so I have no clue there, but stuff happens and people get busy. It's all good. I'm having so much fun shopping for my pals that I don't really much care about the receiving.
I've got to go knit. Pictures as soon as I find some batteries for my camera.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I hate dpns, I'm too clumsy for them. If I am not poking myself with them, the stitches are dropping off. But I like magic looping stuff and I could certainly loop socks. So why am I the only one not knitting socks?
I could be that I am just too conservative to wear bright colored socks. They don't really fit my personal style. I could certainly knit socks for others though.
I feel left out of the knitting loop not knitting socks. You are all knitting them, exchanging them, wearing them for pictures. All the above being said, I really have zero desire to knit socks. So I'm resisting running with the pack. You can't make me. I'm on the island of misfit knitters. Am I alone? Leave me a comment about why you knit socks or why you don't. I'll send someone my barely opened "Knitting Vintage Socks" book. I'll get Chris to point me to some random number generator techie thing and use that to pick the winner. And while you are at it, can you identify the sources of the two 60's/70's pop culture references in today's post? Post your comment by Friday.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
As I've mentioned, our Little League has been hosting a giant tourney over the last two weeks. This has involved me getting to the park by 3:30 every afternoon (across town from my office) and not getting home until after 9:00 each night. This has been difficult and has prevented me from getting everyday life stuff done. Like laundry and grocery shopping (thank God for internet grocery service!) and pedicures.
I love wearing sandals in the summer but I have to have a pedicure to do so. I can't stand seeing yucky feet stuffed into sandals at the office. So my wardrobe choices have been dictated by shoes lately because I haven't had time to get a pedicure and I only have so many closed toe shoes that look good with summer clothes. So the other night I get the brilliant idea to give myself a pedi. My mom gave me a little kit so I figured, why not? (trust me this eventually leads to a computer problem that only I could create) I filled a tub with water and scrubby stuff and soaked. I gave myself a pretty decent pedicure considering my poor Graves eyesight and the lack of light in my workroom at night. By the time I finished I was feeling pretty pleased. Think of the money I've saved by doing it myself! How many skeins of yarn does this represent? I'm a frugal-boots! I was also lazy boots by that time and left the tub of water on the floor. The next morning, klutzing around before my coffee, I knocked my mouse into the tub of water. I think I just ate up my savings in optical mouse replacement costs.
The other problem seems to be with Blogger and pictures. I can't see them on anyone's blog. If you use typepad or some other software, I'm good. But I can't see anyone's pictures on blogger sites. Final problem is that my computer seems to be loading content really slowly. I've rebooted the computer, rebooted the cable modem, rebooted the wireless router. We'll see if this works.
Consequently, with all these tech issues, I've been a bad blogger. My apologies.
I have been knitting another Picovoli in TLC Cotton Plus. I'm doing it with the picot edge this time. I have 15 skeins of this yarn. I'm not sure why or what possessed me to buy so many a couple years ago when the purchase was made. I know it's inexpensive. It seems to be knitting up pretty well. This top will take about 3 skeins. I'm gonna have a lotta yarn left. Ideas welcome. It says it's worsted but I can't seem to get a decent gauge on anything but size 3-5 needles so either I'm off or the yarn is thinner than worsted. Any suggestions for what to do with 2000 yards or so of leftover cotton?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
So I have to just comment here.
Tygher: I didn't even know we had Hobby Lobby in Minnesota! The two locations are in small towns about 80 miles away, but I visit both on business so I'll stop on in. Rashes in the summer suck. If you make a scarf for one niece, you'll have to make one for the other. Cast on now while you are still enthusiastic about it.
Lisa: Thank you, thank you. I will take your recommendations to heart. I'm so glad that I'm not the only one scratching her head over this pattern. It seems lots of people have wondered about the color changes.
Chris: I haven't ever heard of this town, let alone know it was the "gateway" to anything in particular!!
Two games left of the LL tourney and we are done! If I ever eat another hot dog, it will be too soon.
Back to actual knitting tomorrow!
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I made it to Walmart yesterday. There weren't many colors to choose from but I did manage to come away with these:
I think this winter I need to take a photography class.
I already tore off one of the ball bands to look at the directions for the famous "ball band dishcloth" reprinted in Mason Dixon knits. 'Cos so far I don't get it. In the book and in everyone's pictures it looks like the slipped stitches are in one color and the body of the dishcloth the other. But the directions don't read as such. I guess I'll just have to knit one to see how it works.
I started knitting another bib out of the Peaches & Cream during my son's final baseball game of the season. Had they won, it would not have been the last game but they lost so they are done for the season. The winning team from last night's game had to travel to Wisconsin to play tonight so we are all pretty okay with the loss. My 9 year old knitting pal Corey really loved the colors of the Peaches & Cream and wants to start a dishcloth of his own for his mom. So tonight I'm bringing one of the balls and some spare needles up to the park for him.
The Walmart near my work was not quite as scary (although the check out kid was pretty heavily tatooed) as the one up on this side of town. I did have to search to find the yarn but I got in and out in less time than expected. Yesterday's scary part was playing ball in the 'hood. The game was at 8:15 in a neighborhood that is pretty notorious here in Minneapolis. Luckily we only saw a couple of very scary characters and all went well. People traveling from the southern suburbs to our tourney probably think the same thing, I live in the unfashionable area. Dangerous is 25 blocks south of me, old town BC is just unfashionable, not scary.
That's all I have. I'm drinking leftover coffee as I woke up and remembered I was out of coffee. So, I haven't had enough coffee to be clever or funny. Maybe tomorrow after a trip to the Caribou. I need caffeine to be clever or funny. I'm going to go find me some right now!
Monday, July 17, 2006
So this weekend while roasting in the nearly 100 degree weather at the ballpark, I knit this: I took the picture on top of my son's drum set because that is where the light was this morning. And I'm too lazy to run downstairs unless I need to fill my coffee cup. Plus, you have to be tired of pictures on my kitchen table. I know I am. I need to get a button, but otherwise I'm good to go. I knit this with Plymouth's Fantasy Naturale because I seem to have a bunch of it around. I knit it as written except that I slipped the first stitch on each row purlwise w/yf because I like the smoother side it produces. I have two other colors of Fantasy Naturale that I can use for this, but since the pattern is so basic I feel as though I should churn out five or six of these puppies for the shower. That means I'll have to make a trip to (insert hillbilly banjo music here) Walmart.
Now I know that for some Walmart is the discount store. You buy your diapers and produce and firearms there and you love it. You love the 122 year old man who greets you at the door. You love the disinterested 15 year old girl with chipped sparkly nail polish who checks you out when you are done shopping. Approximately 4 1/2 hours after entering. 'Cos you can't find anything there because of their super-special highly researched Walmart plan of putting cans of aspargus next to furnace filters. I can't find a damn thing in a Walmart.
Maybe it's being raised in Minnesota, but I'm a Target girl. I can find anything in Target. Any Target, anywhere. Back when I was on the road all the time for work, alone in a different city, I would visit Target when I got homesick. The friendly sight of red shirts bustling, clean white floors and Spot the dog made me feel at home again. Unfortunately, after a couple of really unsuccessful attempts, Target doesn't sell craft supplies or yarn. It takes too much floor space and they don't make any money on it.
I heard through the blogging grapevine that Walmart is your source for Peaches & Cream if you are a nice Midwestern girl like me. I want the bright, fun Peaches & Cream colors versus the pastel Lily Sugar & Cream. I know I can get the Lily for cheap, cheap, cheap at Michael's, but I want the real stuff. So I have to go to Walmart. I've been thinking about doing so all weekend, but by the time I get home from the park I'm hot, I smell, and I'm exhausted. I just want to take a shower and collapse. So today is the day. No games at our park tonight and my son doesn't play until 8. I can do it. I can visit Walmart. I can come out of the store quickly and with my Peaches & Cream. Then I read Sheepish Annie's blog this morning and I'm afraid all over again.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Here is my non-knitting moral dilemma. One of my best friends is a guy. I'm currently knitting (okay I cast on this morning in an attempt to beat the damn deadline) a sweater for his soon to be born first child. My friend is a big hockey guy. BIG hockey guy. He thinks baseball (my sports love) is slow and boring. For those of you non-Minnesotan, non-Canadian readers, hockey is like a religion here. It is right up there with fishing and hunting and somewhere above a smelt fry. It's right up there with everyone owns a boat and knows how to do something in the snow even if it's just make angels.
Kids start playing hockey here before they start school. The MN Gopher hockey team is feared by others. Ya know how artsy types go to the NY School of Performing Arts? Yeah, weird as it is, we have hockey high schools here. The hockey Hall of Fame is here. You cannot imagine how hockey mad people here are without living in MN or Canada.
I hate hockey. I don't get it. I'm not interested. My kid asked to play when he was 9. We explained that if we lived someplace else he could start at 9, but here in Minnesota 9 is too late. The other kids are too far ahead. You'll never catch up, you won't have fun. Okay some of this had to do with 5 am ice times and such, but whatever.
So we are hosting this baseball tourney and one of the team's manager's is a hockey player. A 1980, "Miracle On Ice" Olympic hockey player. A NHL hall of famer. A professional hockey coach now. I am dying to ask him to sign an autograph for my friend that says, "Baseball is so cool. XXXX". Would that be too tacky for words or will I kick myself later if I don't ask him to do this? Comments needed.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Next project would be Samantha for my friend's first baby due in September. As my friend is the most private person in the universe, (refused a 40th birthday party, didn't tell us that his girlfriend has moved in with him for months, etc) I didn't imagine that there would be any event that would move up the deadline on this project. I didn't account for the wildcard in this scenario, his mother, Babes. I received an invitation to a baby shower from said Babes in the mail yesterday. JULY 22ND!!!! I have less than two weeks to complete the sweater. I have to host a baseball tourney. I have to work to earn enough to feed my terrible yarn addiction. Who am I kidding, there is no job out there that pays enough to feed my yarn addiction.
So I suddenly feel the tremendous weight of deadline knitting pressing me down. Panic is sure to follow. I have the yarn. I have the pattern. I can do this, right? I just won't have time for any mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes, Knittymama has a contest going. Tell her about your silliest knitting mistake. Yarn is involved for the winner.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
If another child asks me to make her a poncho I have to convince them that they want something else. This will be the fourth poncho of the year and I'm over it. It's an easy pattern and I've now memorized the child size 2-4. I've omitted the hood after the first one. I found out after giving out the first one that children won't actually wear hoods so what's the point? I'm knitting this one in Katia Mexico in a colorway called Tutti Frutti. I can't find a picture of it online, but trust me it's cute. The yarn is heavy worsted and self stripes. It's 50/50 wool/acrylic and can be washed.
Just as an aside, I think pattern designers who want us to make things for kids out of 100% wool that cannot be washed in a machine have never actually had (or even known) children. I don't know a mom with small children that has time to hand wash and block a wool sweater. Also, mom's with small children often have husbands who do the laundry. I know maybe two guys who would think to check first before whipping a wool sweater into the washer and dryer.
Anyway. I'm able to get this started because I finished this:
Yeah, I know this is the worst picture ever and you shouldn't ever hang a sweater on a hanger. But in the interest of time. . . Okay, my door isn't really putting out death rays and the yarn is all one color. Imagine it if you can. At least I don't think the door is radiating death rays. Let me double check.
Yep, we are clear, no death rays just a really bad photographer.
I will probably make this one again with a couple of modifications. I would skip the decreases on the sides as the fit is just right in the shoulders but is a little more fitted than I would like when it comes to the body of the sweater. Since I made it with the Paton's Katrina from my roadtrip to New Ulm, the yarn has enough stretch that it works, but in the cotton yarn the pattern calls for I'm afraid that it would show every lump and bump. And have I mentioned how sick to death I am of seeing people's chubby abs wrapped tight in fabric? Form fitting is only stylish depending on the form, ya know?
Sunday, July 09, 2006
I have to get back to the park, but the first day of the tournament our Little League is hosting was Saturday. After all the logistics and painting and clean up we were ready. The first day was a big, hot, sticky success. The temp was over 90 degrees and humid. We sold a ton of slushies and water at the concession stand. We knew that we'd go through tons of food at concession, but we had no idea. We ran out of bottled water during the last two games.
The commemorative t-shirts were a hit too. Here is our crack sales team:
Mine is the one with his eyes closed on the right. His best friend Zach in the middle and our best volunteer, Kalli who spent her entire 11th birthday selling t-shirts. They actually had the best seat in the house as our park is sadly lacking shade. So sitting under the canopy was prime real estate yesterday.
My husband was stuffed in a small cinder block booth for 11 hours yesterday, keeping score. I caught him coming out of his cell after the last game. Doesn't he look happy? His first words, "don't put me in that box all day tomorrow".
Hey, I put food and drink in there once in a while. He should have come to more board meetings and signed up for the good jobs.
I don't know that I had any good jobs. I checked in teams, set up tents, swept, emptied garbage, hauled water, sold t-shirts. Whatever needed doing. We had so many great volunteers that worked so hard in the heat. Here is hoping we earn enough for batting cages.
The teams playing were all 9 and 10 year olds and they were just as cute as can be. They think they are big tough ballplayers, but they were darn cute.
I have to get back to the park. We've got to re-stock concessions before the hungry hordes show up at the park this morning! Back to knitting by Monday, I promise!
Friday, July 07, 2006
We are oddly similar in many ways. We both have husbands who are quiet and sensible. We both have sons. A few years ago, unbeknownst to the other, we both went out and bought the same fabric to make drapes for our homes. Two, three years ago, independent of each other, we both took up knitting. We discovered home improvement shows together years ago on a Saturday night when I was just too tired to go out. We stayed in at my house and discovered HGTV. Yes, she is tiny and gorgeous. Yes, everything she does she does perfectly. Yes, I've been her crazy, disorganized, train wreck friend in the past. If she wasn't sarcastic and too funny for words, she would just be too perfect to actually be friends with.
Now I want to find her again and can't. Please web-heads don't send me weird links to find lost pals. Tried that. I did find this by googling her:
Christina my long lost pal is on the left. I sent an e-mail to Afghans for Afghans and I'm hoping that she is a volunteer there.
I had all her old info on my computer before she moved, but it was lost in the "computer blows up" episode last winter.
I have searched the Bay Area Knitters blog rolls. I have Googled and Asked. No phone number listed in qwestdex. Can't find her. Just this picture. Sniff.
As far as I can tell, I have very few if any readers on the left coast. It could be they are offended by my referring to L.A. as Crazyville and stating that California gives me the heebie jeebies. Ya think? But if there are any bloggers out there who have spotted Christina in the blogosphere, comment. I would be shocked if she doesn't have a blog. I'm sure she started before me. I'm sure it is a work of art and reads like poetry. I'm sure I miss her terribly.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
And it features the BHFH. I think we all know this is above and beyond my skills. I ordered it from Moon Arts. I told them I wanted Maxine Louise on the button, and voila! I have a button. I feel so techie.
This is just a picture of the button. The real deal is in the sidebar!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
We cleaned, we swept, we painted the dugouts and the fieldhouse, we installed fence cap. It looks terrific! At about 8:30 last night we all sat in the grass and admired our work and asked ourselves, "why the hell haven't we done this before?". I've been doing major online shopping not of the yarn variety in anticipation of this event. I bought 500 feet of fence cap, a lightning detector and a bunch of commemorative t-shirts for the tourney. We are hoping that the proceeds from concessions and t-shirt sales will net the league enough to build batting cages.
Even with all of this going on, I have found some time to knit. "Apple" Green Gable
I started this on Sunday and knit yesterday morning on it as well. I'm using the Patons Katrina that is stretchy rayon blend. I like the subtle texture the yarn has and a tiny bit of shimmer. Not too sparkly for the sparkle-phobic me, but a bit of shine. I'm thinking about finishing the bottom and sleeves with a repeat of the lace panel rather than the ribbing that the pattern calls for. Let me know what you guys think. I'm torn because I don't want it to look matronly, but I really do like the lace. Other than that I haven't changed a thing.
I'm now officially addicted to knitting from the top down. I love trying it on as I go. I love not seaming. Somehow top down just makes more sense to me. When I buy new clothes in the store, I tend to wear them right away. The top down knitting satisfies that same need. When you are done with the knitting, you can wear it immediately! This one does have small sleeve seams but no big deal.
Here is another thing that makes me happy about this pattern. I bought it online and was able to download the PDF. Instant shopping gratification! It seems like a no brainer in our electronic age. Of course, most of the pattern companies haven't gotten this yet. Most of the patterns that are available this way are by independents like the Garter Belt, Zephyr, etc. My LYS can't possibly stock all the patterns that are out there. Plus, what they do stock requires me to sit at the shop and leaf through giant binders of patterns. Thankfully my LYS has very comfortable seating and sells wine by the glass, but it is still kind of a chore. Not to mention if I've been at it long enough and had enough wine, I start getting beer goggles about the patterns. Things that I would never wear or use start to look appealing. The main stream pattern companies need to get a clue about this and stop wasting time and postage with paper patterns.
Happy 4th of July. Hope you all have time to knit today!
Saturday, July 01, 2006
One completed Poncho modeled by the recipient, my beautiful niece Cassidy. Please ignore the detris of slip 'n sliding and focus on the fact that she is happy with her handknit poncho. She asked for blue back in April, so I did this in Plymouth Encore worsted colorspun. It self stripes and can be washed in the machine. I know her mother, she would hate anything that couldn't be washed.
I wouldn't want anything for an eight year old that couldn't be washed either.
So the big family birthday party and barbeque was a success. Much meat was consumed. Many MFAJs consumed by non-driving guests.
My son, too tired to argue, took this. Yes, I know my "Irish Tan"
(or as you probably think of it, sunburn) is the same color as my Picovoli, but it is the finished Picovoli!
As you have probably noticed, I don't generally post pictures that I am in, but I'm really pleased with the sweater. I made it a little longer than the pattern called for because, trust me, no one needs to see my tummy. Other than that and a couple extra cast on stitches under the arm, the pattern was knit as written.
I really love the pattern and the finished sweater. The yarn is Rowan Cashcotton DK. I just couldn't face any more cotton. I figure I will be able to wear it year round except on the hottest days. It will look cute under a suit.
I love the shaping, I loved knitting it. I will definitely knit another.
I'm going to bed now to contemplate all the projects I can choose from now that I have completed another deadline poncho.
I knit last night in the movie theater. During the previews my mother turned to me and said, "Are you really that good at knitting that you can knit in the dark?". My reply, "No. This pattern is just that boring." If I could train myself to knit in my sleep, this would be the pattern. Easy yes. Boring? Without a doubt. But the subversive little thing sneaks up on you. You fly at the beginning of the pattern. But as you increase two stitches front and back every other row, it suddenly hits you. Progress is slowing way, way, down.
Even MFF, a complete non-knitter, commented last week. Remember that it takes longer and longer to add inches when you keep increasing. I laughed. LAUGHED! What is wrong with me? Is this pattern so mind-numbing that I have blocked out (not unlike childbirth) the frustrating lack of progress just as you are in the home stretch?
Why do I persist in the knitting gifts on a deadline thing? Two years ago I was actually knitting a thumb on a mitten as my husband and son waited to leave the house for Christmas Eve dinner. I wish I could tell you that I knitted the thumb in record time with no glitches, but you know me better than that. Yeah, I knitted it inside out had to rip the whole thing. I knit it in the car on the way to Christmas Eve family time. Swearing like a sailor. Nothing says Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men like crazy mom in the front seat fighting double pointed needles on a mitten thumb, screaming like a shrew at dad, "Goddamit slow down, what are we in the Indy 500?!" Yeah, he was probably going all of 40 mph.
Its 8:00 a.m. I have 2.5 inches left. I can do this. I can do this. I gotta stop blogging and keep knitting.