Sunday, December 28, 2008
I look back, and I am pleased with the reactions. But I can't help saying, THAT was all the presents I made?? Seriously?! Since July??? It seems like a lot of obsessive knitting for such a short list. Maybe that is the anti-climatic after-holiday blues talking.... All in all, that just reinforces my vow to knit only for myself this coming year!
Now, we all know that probably isn't true.... I still have to finish the bag that Brenda commissioned. And I still have to sew Meredith's sweater together, though the knitting is done and it steam blocked beautifully! And I have the 2/3 done Nantucket jacket for Mom to finish. So, see, there will be knitting for others thrown in there.... I started off the vow right, though, by immediately knitting four blocks for my afghan. That makes me so happy!!!!
AND, Christmas presents from Mom, Susan, and UJ have done nothing but encourage me to knit for Me, Me, Me!! I got the fair isle bag kit that I wanted, and the yarn is great!! I can't wait to start that. I got the yarn for the Minimalist Cardigan for our knit-along, which I am also very excited about.... Though, since Mommy is making one for Anna, it may be a while before she wants to make another one....
That's ok, I have other stuff to work on!! Because I also got two, count 'em, two gift certificates to Webs!! Now I can finish my afghan and more.... It will require some strategy. I got 100$ in certificates, and I need four more skeins of Kureyon for the Lizard Ridge. That leaves me with bunches of certificate money left!! AND, it only makes sense to get at least 125$ worth in a single order, because they offer 25% off after that amount. So not only will I get 100$ worth of yarn, but I will get an EXTRA 25%.
What do I want the yarn for? The Sylvi? I am in love with that project, but I got discouraged by working the swatch... Hmmm.... Like I said, this will require some strategy!!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Does it seem weird that the only socks I have made have all been gigantic? The very first one was Roberta's stocking, and now giant socks for felting.... I seem to have a thing for gigantic socks.
Stephen (from work) and I coined a new term today, finding "second sock syndrome" to be a bit cumbersome. We have decided to call it Sock-holm Syndrome. I like it. I think it could catch on. You know you are a knitter when you have coined a phrase.... even if no-one else uses it!
Monday, December 1, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
1. Brenda's grand-daughter's Color Block Cardigans- they have to come first because she has paid for the yarn and will pay for the knitting. They go pretty quickly, thank goodness!
2. Ian's B-for-Butthead sweater- I know, I know I am not allowed to actually put a B on it, but that is what I choose to call it.... I am going to get the supply list to Susan this week.
3. Lauren's Adventure Bag- in red as ordered... :-) That one should be a pretty quick knit, too, though lining it will be its own adventure!
4. Sean's Sock Monkey Hat- quick and fun, and involving very little yarn.
5. Susan's Clapotis- no that is not a social disease, it's a shawl. She has mentioned wanting one, and this one is pretty and basic. I am not up to massive lace knitting, especially with a queue like this!!
6. Vintage Bubble Bags for all! I still haven't decided who and how many people are getting these, but they are on the list.
And that is it. I am not knitting for a bunch of people who won't appreciate it.... I have done too much of that in the past! I have to decide what to do for a bunch of other people, but that is probably all the knitting I can handle.
I looked for a group on Ravelry where I could organize this mess and talk to people about it, but they all looked cutesy. Nothing against them, but it wasn't the kind of thing I am looking for. I will work it out here, talking to myself! That is what that is for, after all, right??
Monday, June 23, 2008
Friday, June 6, 2008
Which brings me to my recent foray into the world of the home improvement warehouse. I found a reference on Ravelry to a home-made blocking board, which interested me due to the 80-90$ prices I have seen on store bought ones. So, I found the instructions on Knitty.com and proceeded to gather the supplies. It called for 2-2' squares of homasote, one inch thick plus cover fabric and the stuff to stick it all together. (According to Wikipedia: Homasote is a type of wallboard made from recycled paper that is compressed under high temperature and pressure and held together with a glue. It is the stuff that ceiling tiles are made of, and they conveniently come in 2x2 squares, pre-cut.) I got the gingham fabric and staple gun at Hancock Fabrics and when that came to 30$ I began to wonder if I wouldn't be better off in the long run to buy a blocking board. But I persevered, and off to Lowe's I trotted.
In Lowe's, I asked the first red-vested person I came across and she gestured vaguely towards the complete other end of the store and said that ceiling tiles were in Building Materials. Duh. So, there I stood all tiny and lost staring at a sea of section signs, none of which actually said Building Materials. Gamely, my mother and I marched in that direction and the length of a football field later, we asked another woman where to find ceiling tiles. She, more specifically, offered that they were on isle 17. We traversed the entire length of isle 17, and alas, no ceiling tiles. We wandered vaguely around in the wall board section for a time, and managed to flag down a passing employee. He said that isle 18 is what we were looking for... Notice that at this point, not a single CUSTOMER SERVICE person in this place has offered to take us to the product we were looking to purchase? So, isle 18 it was and we FINALLY found the ceiling tiles. The bad news was that none of them were 1 inch thick (1/2 or 5/8 only.) and all of them were labeled for sale as whole boxes even though each selection had an open box on top. And there we stood in isle 18, alone and unhelped.
My mom left me standing in front of the ceiling tiles in case anyone came close enough or cared enough to see why I was standing alone staring at the ceiling tiles for so long and went the length of a football field back to customer service to ask someone to come help us. She made it there and back without me seeing anyone who worked there, and someone finally sent a sweaty 13-year-old boy who supposedly worked there to ask what we needed. I explained that I needed the homasote for a blocking board, and it therefore needed to be moisture wicking and hold up to pinning, etc, and he told me that he doesn't know what homasote and could I use plastic coated insulation board? I told him that homasote is the stuff that ceiling tiles are made of, and that is the reason we were standing in front of the ceiling tiles asking about ceiling tiles, and that plastic coated insulation board would be waterproof, not moisture wicking. He said that ceiling tiles were only available by the box and he doesn't think they sell any of that homasote, because he has never heard of it. After more head scratching and sweating, he went to find someone else to ask.
He brought back three other guys (where were they when we were searching the warehouse for help???) and they all said that they don't know what homasote is to get some of it cut for me. No matter what I said about what homasote is, apparently. I got the insulation board suggestion again, was told I could buy a whole box of tiles, and even after I explained that I would be pinning wet wool to dry on it and it needed to be portable, one guy suggested sheet rock. Soggy, dissolving plaster... very portable! That is when I gave up on Lowe's.
At this point, I was wondering if fabric could be returned or someone would want 3 yards of lavender gingham, but we decided to give Home Depot the old college try. I went in alone, asked the first person that I found, and he (much to my surprise) walked me right to the ceiling tiles, helped me decide that since the thickest they had was 5/8" that I could duct tape two together for each board, called three different people to find out the sku for a single piece (since the box sku was the only thing on the shelf), wrote it down on a piece of paper so that I would have it when I checked out, walked me to the duct tape (will wonders never cease), and helped me decide which size I needed for my purpose! The whole thing didn't come to 11$, and now Home Depot is my favorite new store!!
And by the way, homasote is available in sheets at Lowe's stores. I just checked the website.
Now I am exhausted. It was such a trial to get the stupid stuff that I haven't wanted to come home in the evenings and mess with it to actually assemble my blocking boards. I am happy to report, though, that today is Friday and I will get this puppy all fixed up tonight! Then maybe this weekend, in between cleaning like a maniac, I will get some more squares blocked.... I love this project!
Friday, May 30, 2008
So, today due to lack of Lizard Ridge stimulation, I have focused on Ian's Weasley Sweater for Christmas... I searched for charted letters. We have finally laid to rest the idea of B for Butthead and I have resigned myself to a plain old I for Ian.... That one will be easy, since I can just use the H chart that comes in the book and whack off the parts that don't comprise an I. I also searched for yarn. I don't think anybody wants this sweater to cost 200$, and the Silkroad Aran that is called for would get close to that. Plus, Ian said that he doesn't like wool. I have convinced him that he should compromise and use a wool blend so that he still gets the same kind of rustic hand-spun look, or it won't really be a Weasley family heirloom! I am thinking either Lion Brand Woolease or Paton's Shetland Chunky Tweed. I lean toward the patons but I don't know if I could get gauge. We shall see... I have both at home and can swatch at will!
Isn't your birthday the perfect day to win the lottery? Like a birthday present from Karma... I will dutifully trip off to get the ticket. Keep your fingers crossed.... Dreaming of all the yarn I could buy! Sigh.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Learned to spit-splice, on a related note. Kind of gross, but very handy when the yarn has a knot... The texture of the afghan is going to be so smooth that I don't want to be seeing knots all over the place!
All other projects on hold, of course. I am carrying the Should-Have-Been-a-Kimono sweater around with me for when I run out of Kureyon, but it is a last resort! (Though I am one and a half squares from being out of luck, I do believe.) I am also pretty excited about starting the sweaters for Brenda's grand-daughters.... I have plenty to keep me busy for a while, I will not be suffering for want of yarn, that is for sure!!!
Just decided yesterday to go to the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair in October. Roberta generously allowed me to change my vacation , and mom and Vicky are going to go with! I am very, very excited.... I will sign up for the workshops that I want to take after payday! I am seriously considering Basics of Feltmaking and Fair Isle Knitting 101. I can't wait to see the displays and the vendors, too. Maybe there will be sheep ice-cream!!!
Monday, May 19, 2008
Is that not the most beautiful thing that you have ever seen?? How can I resist starting that?? This picture is hijacked from someone else's blog, btw, since I have not yet embarked on the journey of knitting the Lizard Ridge afghan.... I have so much else to be working on, but I am strangely hypnotized by the beauty of all those Noro Kureyon colors. And BLIND to the price tag, since you can buy one skein at a time... One skein equals one block, and every block can happily be in another colorway! So, I believe I am going to give into my weakness for beautiful things and buy two skeins on my way to Raleigh on Wednesday to see Duran Duran. (See me pause to let the roar of the appreciative crowd subside....)
Real progress was made on the Vogue sweater over the weekend... Not like LAST weekend, but that may have set some kind of land speed for knitting record! I am three quarters done with the front now, and I may let the sleeves languish while I knit a child's sweater for Brenda. On the other hand, if I just bite the bullet, I would be done in no time.... I have no willpower! Then Roberta's sweater is waiting patiently to be made somewhere in the mix.... Who knows where these chips will fall??
Not an exciting turnout at the meeting this weekend, just me and my mom, but two new people have emailed me and I have a couple of new members of the group on yahoo! It was just too pretty for everyone to stay inside and knit, I guess.
I was going to cancel and go to the beach this weekend, but I just was reminded by the radio that it is bike weekend there this weekend, so I believe that is a nix. I will wait and go my birthday weekend, especially if I can get some Noro on Wednesday!!! Too much knitting, too little time! :-)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
So, what do I do about that? Plan Christmas around what I already own? Noooo, not me! I find that Webs has Cascade 220 on sale for 4$ a skein and buy enough of that to keep an army in felted bags!! At least I can say that I ordered every ounce and yard with a specific Christmas present in mind.
Then we come to the difference between writing a journal on paper and producing a blog that other people know about.... I can't organize my Christmas present thoughts here! Ian proved that by commenting on this Harry Potter sweater plans!! ;-) Same goes for Ravelry, two of my beloved Christmas present recipients can view my projects!!
Is worrying about Christmas presents at the beginning of May the final sign that indeed I have moved into middle age? Thirty-seven looms ahead of me, and I have become my grandmother!!
Since Brenda still hasn't pinned her granddaughters down and measured them for their sweaters, I swatched for Roberta's sweater last night. It is a pattern that you just cannot memorize, so I will have to watch the pattern closely, but it worked up well. I got gauge with the recommended size 7 needles, and it is an easy knit.... Once I can start it, it should work up quickly!! But I am being disciplined about this, and today I am going to cast on the front of my should-have-been-a-kimono sweater in progress.... It is going to be great, and apparently I can finish it pretty quickly!! Pictures coming soon....
Monday, May 12, 2008
Since I already had the vogue sweater on the needles, I HAD to wait, though... I love this yarn and didn't want to end up with a ridge through it from leaving it sitting on the needle while my attention wandered to something else. SO.... I knit the entire rest of the back of the sweater in a day and a half! I was a knittin' fool. It was a complete marathon session, slowed down only by the fact that the pattern called for decreases on EVERY row... Never ran across one that called for decreasing on the wrong side. And never did figure out how to get a decrease done on the purl side to lean to the left.... Oh, well, the little stitches are really hard to see, and I don't think it takes away from the over-all beauteousness. It came out beautifully, and now I am ready, nay ITCHING, to do a gauge swatch for the color block sweater in fluffy cupcake colors! Brenda hasn't brought me the measurements yet, but I can swatch!
Kind of a sad turnout on Saturday, just my mom, me and Brenda. We had fun, though, and knitted the afternoon away. I don't know what will happen next week, since we have made movie plans with good friends, but I will squeeze knitting in there somewhere. And try to attract the crocheters who emailed me last week, too! I am just really enjoying having some time dedicated to being social AND to knitting. It is great!
Mom made a sweater that turned out SO great. It is lipstick red, which is definitely her color, and has a yoke knitted in the round. Now I want to make the exact same sweater.... I envision cream or olive.... I will never have the time in my entire life to knit all that I want to!! (Or the money... ) I guess I just have to keep adding to the queue and dream of retirement when I can knit all day.... :-)
Friday, May 9, 2008
On a slightly less "mad love" kind of note, I had to frog the kimono. I am very disappointed, but I refuse to let it dampen my enthusiasm. The yarn, the aforementioned beech tree fiber, was absolutely gorgeous and silky, so silky in fact that it wouldn't hold the stitch pattern when I used big enough needles for gauge. It was a loopy, floppy mess. I am not giving up on my desire to make the lovely fan kimono, I just need a yarn with a better texture for the project.... And maybe a color that would harmonize beautifully with black.... Back into the queue it goes!
Because I love the fabulous, satiny Shine Worsted- the wonderful beech fiber- so much, I have already started an alternative project with the kimono yarn. It is cotton and beech, so I wanted something summery. Plus, I want to wear it! Who wants to wait until Fall?? So, I cast on an elbow-length-sleeve, square-neck tee from the most recent Vogue Knitting. The pattern calls for a slightly lighter soy bamboo and stripes, but I am using worsted and no stripes. The gauge works up almost exactly right, only about an eighth of an inch off, so I am making a 40 instead of a 44. I fall between those measurements, anyway. It makes up into a great fabric... I am excited, and the melancholy brought on by frogging begins to fade!
Knitting group meeting tomorrow! I am very happy that everyone is so eager to meet. I set the yahoo group to do an automatic reminder, which is ultra cool... The best-hoped-for thing finally happened! I got an email from a stranger who found the group on yahoo!! She said she and her friend crochet, and asked if we would include them! I emailed back that she is certainly welcome and I really hope they come.... Plus, my mom has invited another teacher, so our ranks are growing. I am so pleased!
I am trying to organize our first field trip as a knitting group.... June 14th is World Wide Knit in Public Day, can you believe it?? I found a group on Ravelry who are celebrating with a meeting in a park in Charleston, and I am trying to convince at least one other person to go with me. I am too shy to go alone, but maybe I will have the guts to go with someone else. Besides, Charleston is great and I hear good things about their LYS, Knit.
Who would have thought that I had so much to say, so often about knitting?? :-)
Monday, May 5, 2008
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
On Sunday, I got my invitation to join Ravelry. I am so excited I can't stand it!! It is AWESOME, may never get any more knitting done because I will be networking about knitting!! It is great to be able to view projects that other people have done from the same patterns as me, to see the wonderful variety that people can bring to the same set of instructions.... And if I have problems, I know there are people who have done the same things I have.
Finished my mom's vintage bubble bag yesterday, too. It's true. She thought it would never happen... And after two years in the knitting bag awaiting the sewing on of handles, who can blame her?? It looks really good, and she has decided I should make one for everyone for Christmas... I want to do other color combinations and leather handles. I may even try my hand at lining this one. I can't help it, I just love knitting bags. Heck, apparently I love knitting red bags!
Found out that the yarn for the kimono should be here today or tomorrow, the website said that it was shipped on the 22nd. I am very, very excited about this one, too. People did BEAUTIFUL versions of this pattern and posted them on Ravely, which makes me eager to start.
Ravelry is just going to feed my knitting obsession, I can tell!
Friday, April 25, 2008
Didn't knit a stitch last night, got sucked into the land of computer mah jong and became zombified. I seriously think that psychologists should do studies on the hypnotic effect of that game!! I will literally match tiles until my hand aches from clicking or I realize that the same show has come on again in the middle of the night as I saw earlier! I just had to have a break from the same stitch for a day.... I have the bag here at work with me today, so I can show off and knit at lunch. It keeps me motivated! Plus, if people see me knitting, maybe they will want to join the group!! Always thinkin'....
For many reasons, I am ready for this week to be over! The most exciting of which is that the yarn we ordered should be here today or tomorrow! My mom ordered yarn to make a shell to take to Italy (lucky dog!) and I ordered a beautiful cotton blend to make a kimono! I am SO excited about making the kimono, I can't wait. I must finish the bag first, but yippee!! I can't wait to see the yarn. It should be interesting to make too, being a lace pattern and will be the first one that I absolutely cannot avoid blocking. Ah, a challenge!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I am excited and nervous about the group meeting for the first time Saturday.... What will my duties as host/organizer be? Hopefully, it will be like a great, laid-back coffee party where even new people chat and relax. I am going to be teaching some people to knit gradually in these meetings, so even if I get really nervous I will be occupied, I guess! Good practice for the upcoming class!
Unfortunately, we did not win the lottery last night, so I cannot devote myself full time to spreading knitting joy around the area like Johnny Appleseed! I have my fingers crossed for Saturday night!!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Plus, I have created this blog, which I am enjoying very, very much. It has been a long time since I have focused so clearly on the things that make me happy and excited or really clearly laid out what I was thinking about. That can only be good. :-)
Another great consequence of my push to excite the natives about knitting is that I finally got brave enough to make the effort for a teaching gig at the adult education center. I had given it some thought in the past, but chickened out every time it came time to do something about it.... Now, I figure that the best way to grow a group of knitters is to get newbies knitting! I am very intimidated by the idea of standing in front of students with needles clutched eagerly in their sweaty hands, but I am going to soldier through and do it! It can serve as practice for becoming the art history professor of my dreams.... I have a syllabus and everything! It doesn't start until August and I can hardly wait!! Maybe they will even pay me....
As for my knitting last night, I have only one thing to say: knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, slip marker, knit, knit, knit.....
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Next, I have added the link for the knitting group, whose meeting is this coming Saturday, so, if you are reading this, join the group!! Look left, intrepid reader! The group is how I will send out announcements about when and where we are meeting. I am hoping to snare some newbies to the group and meet all kinds of new friends. I want to keep adding to the circle until there is a great stitching community in Florence and the surrounding area.... I have a dream.... :-)
On to knitting news, the part you have all been waiting for... I did remember to take my knitting home last night, always a step in the right direction! I worked on the red market bag, however. I am a little concerned that it is not going to felt well because the guage is so tight and small. I think I read somewhere that the guage should be loose to let it move enough in the felting process. Oh, well. Even if it doesn't felt, I have a feeling that it will be sturdy enough to stand on its own as knitted. I am using two worsted strands of Wool of the Andes on size 7 metal needles. It is nice and snug. I have moved on to the part of the bag where I just knit straight up the sides for eight inches. While certainly easy and ultimately rewarding, it is boring the snot out of me. Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, slip marker, knit, knit, knit, knit.... You get the idea. I am plowing onward, though, in hopes of a truly adorable basket-like bag. I guess if it gets too monotonous I can always work on the lovely olive bag. Or the lovers knot afghan. Or finish the two sweaters I have almost done..... Anyway, I am close to two inches down, six to go, then handles.
I had the alarming idea this morning that I have turned into a Victorian spinster, knitting at home with my mother and my cats... I guess I don't have anything else to say about that, just a moment of horrified silence for the idea.... Shoot me in the head the next time I suggest a doily!
Monday, April 21, 2008
My primary reason for creating this blog is for my own amusement and to publicize the knitting group I am trying to get organized in Florence, SC. Surely I am not all alone here in the wilds of South Carolina!! My Yahoo Group is snbFlorenceSC where you can find the calendar of events. Right now, it is just the first meeting on 4-26-2008 at the Barnes & Noble Cafe on the list, but I have high hopes. SO, if you aren't a member already, join the Yahoo group and join us for coffee and stitching! Everyone is welcome.
I left my knitting at work over the weekend... A recipe for madness! Since Vickie was here and she and my mom were knitting away all weekend, I had to start something new. I just could not resist.... So, my beautiful olive cabled purse is just destined to take the rest of my life to knit! I have already ripped out 66 rows and started over, due to the famous handle-hole incident, and now I have fallen in love with a new bag. Ah, the fickle allure of the new project. (The new one is going to be fabulous, though!)