Friday, January 30, 2009


Behold before you the lovely color swatch for my Ravenna Satchel. Which I have promised not to start until I have finished Nan and the bag for Brenda. But I wanna! It is going to be so beautiful!! I have chosen the first four colors based on a pair of pants that I just love. That is right, a pair of pants. Strange though it may be, I LOVE the colors in those pants, all beach-glassy and pretty, and I want to extend all that pulchritude into other areas of my life!

So, since I am going to the yarn store tomorrow to try to pick out the last flower color I worked up a swatch to take with me. Turtle, the color I ordered from Webs to go with these, did NOT look good. It was a very serious color clash. Truly hideous. I am looking for kind of a purply mauve with grey undertones for the large flower.... We shall see. To the right is the original color scheme. For the bright green, I am using the Pistachio, the navy blue in place of black, and the sky blue in place of the lavender. The only color I am using the same is the pink for the background. (No, that is not a bad color image on the screen, the background really is just barely pink. I didn't like it at first, but it has grown on me. Especially since they said in the pattern that white usually won't felt!) See, I need something intensely pink-purple for the big flower.... However will I resist starting this project as soon as all colors are procured???

After the trip to Columbia tomorrow, which will include a side trip to see my friend Moira, there is more furniture wrangling in my future. We have to decide what to do with my tv, since Matt's monster tv is now in the living room. I am very reluctant to put it out in the shed, for fear that extremes of temperature may kill it dead. But to put it in my room is probably going to entail completely re-arranging my furniture AND some pretty inventive coaxial cable machinations. Tonight at work after everyone else leaves, I will probably do some obsessive mental furniture arranging.... All I can say is that all of this is seriously cutting into my knitting time!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Can't knit and move furniture, either.

My brother moved in last night. This is a really bad picture of him, but all the other pictures of him that I have include really bad pictures of me, too, and since it is my blog, guess who wins? (He will be thrilled.)

I got no knitting done today at all for two wildly disparate reasons: moving Matt's enormous furniture around in our very small living room to see how we could shoe-horn it all in and the fact that I haven't been able to sleep for days! When I came home from work, my couch was nowhere to be found. Apparently it has been moved to storage.... He is right, though, his giant monster couch is quite comfortable. I reluctantly admit....
I have to say, I don't know WHAT is up with the insomnia. The first night I blame entirely on my new Facebook profile, but I have been way more moderate since the first euphoric rush of new friends has worn off! I guess that first night just screwed me up. With any luck at all, I will sleep blissfully tonight through winning the Powerball, which I have two tickets for.... then I can sleep like a very, very rich baby from then on! Surrounded by all the yarn that I will buy with my newly-won millions. Sigh.
Ok, exhaustion has made me ramble incoherently. I need to rest up for my trip to the yarn store on Saturday. There is a cute little place called the Needler in Lexington where they claim to carry every single color of Cascade 220 in existence! I have been there before, but I was awed by all the yarn that I had never seen before and failed to worship at the great wall of Cascade. I won't make that mistake Saturday. Now I am off to bed so that I am awake enough to appreciate the experience a couple of days from now!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ah, finishing... my favorite.

I have found that in the titles, I use entirely many exclamation points. It is true. I am overly fond of the exclamation point. I don't think I will be able to make it through an entire post without one. Like some kind of security blanket... and don't get me started on the ellipse!

Today, I have taken another step away from finishing anything, ever. Instead of working on my beautiful red Nan, which I am getting very close to finishing, instead of making a sleeve which I probably could have finished in one sitting, I picked up the Alpine. Alpine was a Christmas present, which I have my last chance to give it this weekend when I visit Meredith in Raleigh. This is Meredith. Isn't she beautiful??
On the other hand, isn't sewing the seams on Alpine a step toward finishing that, even while it is a step back away from finishing other things? I DID start it before Nan, after all.
The fun part of working on Meredith's lovely Alpine, while hopped up on migraine medicine no less, was that I promptly sewed two sides of the back together. Then, without noticing what I had done, I proceeded to sew the two sleeves together. I finished before I noticed that I had transformed a cute, trendy green sweater that is perfect for my beautiful friend into modern, free form sculpture. It has been that kind of a day.
I found out today that a friend of mine, whose friendship I had let dangle way too long, is in big trouble. I am very worried about him, and I feel awful that I haven't been in better touch. I didn't even know when he suffered a terrible tragedy two years ago, because I have neglected him too long. I have all the usual excuses... He had just had triplets and if I called, I would just be intruding when he was already too busy. I would be waking the babies, keeping him and his wife from sleeping when they could, etc. And before I knew it, two whole years had passed. How can every day take so long and two years be gone before I know? When did I become such a careless friend?
I don't want that to be true anymore. Isn't it way more important to keep up with friends than it is to keep up with works in progress? I called my friend today to tell him that I am thinking about him. Tomorrow, I am going to call another one.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Stupified by choices!

Here is what I blame it on, the fact that I haven't gotten anything whatsoever done in the last few days.... I have so many great choices right now that I can't seem to make any decisions that will result in forward progress!
Apparently the right choice would be to sleep on the couch in front of the fire with the knitting project! But, seriously, I have yarn waiting, projects old and new beckoning, blogs waiting to be discovered and then read.... I have become paralyzed into inaction.
SO, I right now dedicate myself to finishing two of my Works in Progress this week before I move on.... Nan took a little trip to the office with me yesterday, saw the scenery only from the plastic bag, 'cause I didn't knit a stitch!! I am to the neck and arm-hole shaping on the second front panel, and I won't make any more excuses. I am going to finish this bugger before I work on anything else!!
AND, I am going to finish Brenda's Brea Bag for her by next week. It has been languishing on the back burner, and I must stop that. The sewing won't be as hard the second time around, right?
Now I have to go decide what to wear to work... More CHOICES!! :-)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WOW, knitters love to blog!

I spent some time yesterday broadening my blog horizons, expanding my look into the knitblog universe beyond my beloved Yarn Harlot. HOLY COW, knitters have a lot to say!! And people are actually READING theirs! And some of them are very strict about only talking about knitting.... I have always considered this a spot to ramble to myself about knitting, but if something else is going on, I will talk about that, too! Sadly, not much else happens..... I guess basically, I don't have any rules for my knitblog, and I am not going to worry that some won't believe that it is a knitblog after all! After all, nobody is reading it, anyway!!

I did find a couple of really cute spots to get a knitting chuckle daily. I have heard a couple of people mention blog reading applications so they can be notified when there are new posts from the ones that they like to follow.... Hmmm, very interesting!

With all this surfing and blogging, I haven't knit anything since Saturday. The Nantucket Jacket, henceforth to be known as Nan, is staring at me accusingly from its plastic bag in front of the couch. I feel so OBLIGATED to finish it that I don't want to work on it.... I am so perverse. Maybe today I will just get over it and get something done. I should take it to work with me so that I can do a couple of rows at lunch.... Sigh.

And NO, they didn't send us home early yesterday. I can't even be too self-righteous about it, since the roads were dry when I finally got off! What good is snow??

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow calls for snow days!

I have to admit that I didn't take this picture. I got it off the website of a local new station, just to illustrate that indeed it does snow in Florence, SC! No fair, though, cause I didn't get a snow day! Here I am at work, while Mom and Vickie are at home knitting!! So many of our customers are local that we aren't even getting any phone calls.... That may have something to do with the fact that the inauguration is taking place as I type, too....

Nevertheless, I would rather be knitting.... Wouldn't I always?

I think I have decided to use the green Silky Wool from the broken kimono for the Kingscot cardigan by Norah Gaughan. Honestly, though, I have so many knitting options right now that I hardly know what to do with myself! What an awesome dilemma!!! I am working away on the Nantucket Jacket, which is coming along nicely. I have finished the back panel and one of the fronts. I am just about ready to shape the neck on the other front panel. It should be done in a couple of weeks.... If I don't get distracted by another option!

Vickie has started a sweater for our knit-along, which makes me want to start my sweater, too! She is doing something other than what we are doing, though, because she didn't like the sleeves on the one we chose. I think I am still going to do the Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave, in my beautiful teal yarn.... I may be the only one!! Mom is terribly tired of moss stitch, says that she will have to be retrained to do stockinette!

I may have found a terrible new hobby. Thanks to a terrible crafting enabler on Ravelry (I say with tongue in cheek), I have become aware of this bag:

It is a knitting bag by Amy Butler from the Sweet Life line, called the Nolita. This one is for sale, if you can find it, for a mere 75$. I say that with tongue in cheek, too. I love it dearly, of course, despite that I can't afford it and need another knitting bag like I need a hole in the head. However, pointed out by a helpful Raveler, Amy Butler sells sewing patterns for her bags! Sewing patterns!! I immediately spent 38$ buying patterns for three different bags.... And that was after I took one out of my cart. One, called Kimberly, is very similar to this one in construction. They all say advanced or difficult as the skill level. When have I ever let something like that stop me?? It looks like I am going to be sewing some bags! I am actually very excited. Last night, I spent two hours looking at fabrics online. However, it may prove to be more wise to start out with some inexpensive polished cotton from the good old Hancock Fabrics! We shall see. I usually jump in with both feet, anyway!

Now I shall go and watch the Weather Channel online for any sign that the roads are freezing, so that I can realize my dream of a snow day in South Carolina!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I have never had this happen! I simply can't believe it!!! I was tugging on my cast on edge of my kimono and THE FREAKING CAST-ON BROKE!! I had almost seven inches done, and it is ravelling from the bottom! I don't think there is any recovery from this! Jeez oh MAN! I am so frustrated with this I could scream.

In self defense, I picked up the Nantucket Jacket that I have been making for Mom. It is more complicated that I wanted to work on, but nothing on it has broken, which is more soothing than plain stockinette RUNNING FROM THE BOTTOM.

This is all giving me a headache. I think I need to lie down. Or search google for a stretchy cast-on. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can't knit and eat, can't knit and eat....

Today is the first day that I have been white-knuckling the diet.... I am relying heavily on knitting for its soothing, blood-pressure lowering qualities.... Especially for the magical property of not having any free hands!

Ok, I solved the delima (a word which I apparently can't spell for the life of me....) of what to do next by choosing.... drum roll please.... NONE of the aforementioned projects! I have chosen instead to work on a lovely project from the book Knit Kimono in lovely, lovely yarn that I bought on an impulsive trip to Columbia Saturday. I have been dying to knit a kimono, and I got ten hanks of Silky Wool in olive green (quell surprise) that was just begging to be knitted! The guage is significantly too small, so I am modifying the pattern (yeah me) for the very first time to hopefully make it work! I did the math for the stitch guage that I am actually getting, hoping that by increasing from 98 stitches cast on to 128 cast on that I will still get the correct width. Of course, length is easier! This first piece, however, may be deceptively easy, since it is a plain old rectangle. There are many more origami-like pieces forthcoming.... Who cares? I love this yarn, and I think it will make an awesome short kimono.... I would love to post a picture, but the energy it would take to scan the pic from the book is sadly being taken up trying not to eat any of the cats in my terrible diet starvation!

My Sipalu bag is half done. I needed something a little less intense to work on, so I will start the other side of the bag soon. This is it here at the right, in all its not-half-way-done glory.... I am very, very pleased with the way it is turning out, no major errors having cropped up yet. I have still to unravel the provisional cast on.... Which should prove quite difficult, since I failed to follow the astute advice to mark which end of the chain will actually unravel and which end won't. I guess there is some experimentation in my future! Anyway, eventually, when I tire of vast olive green expanses of kimono, I shall take up the challenge! It has been an exciting project so far, really, with all kinds of new skills learned! My mom is letting me be the scout working ahead of her so I can figure out the hard stuff.... That is ok, it ends up like a really beautiful test swatch for all kinds of things I didn't know before!
Have I mentioned all the wonderful yarn that has come into my life recently? It is yarn Nirvana. Truly. Not only did I get the Sipalu sampler kit and pretty teal alpaca yarn (hello, minimalist cardigan) for Christmas AND the previously exclaimed Silky Wool, I cashed in my generous Webs gift certificates! Yesterday when I got back from the doctor's dire warnings of blood pressure induced strokes (picture thermometers with their red mercury lines blasting through the glass dome tops), my box of awesomeness was waiting! I got the olive green (sense a pattern here) Cuzco to make Cosima, my concession to the modern shaped cardis. I got the last four skeins (with any luck at all) of Kureyon required to finish the Lizard Ridge.
And, thrown in to get the bigger Webs discount, the Cascade 220 to make the Ravenna Satchel. Instead of the colors called for, black, oranges and greens, I got the colors from a favorite pair of summertime linen pants. They are a wonderful melange of greyed down sea glass colors.... I got navy blue, kind of heathery, for the top and bottom trim. Soft pink, a seriously baby's butt color, will be the background (the only color that matches), and the flower colors are pistachio green and summer sky. The only off note is the olive green that I chose off the computer screen. It is called Turtle, and don't get me wrong, I like the color. I love all shades of olive green.... But it is truly hideous with these other colors. A major flat note, horrifyingly too much yellow to work in this pallette. I cannot emphasise the wrong-ness of this inharmonious pairing enough..... Whatever shall I do? I guess find something else waiting to be made out of Turtle colored yarn and check the stash for a back-up! Isn't that why I have a stash??
Sesame Street is brought to you today by the color olive green....

Friday, January 9, 2009

You cannot eat and knit at the same time.

Weight Watchers day five, and knitting may be my salvation! That is probably true on so many more levels than just eating! I believe I have lost three pounds in the first week, though, which is very good progress. I have accomplished that by knitting instead of eating after work and drinking two entire BUCKETS of water every day!! Strangely, I seem to have lost the urge to drink Pepsi all together. I don't know what to make of that....
I plan to FINISH something this weekend. I have too many balls of yarn in the air, and it is driving me crazy!! On the needles, at the very least, I have the Nantucket Jacket, Brenda's Brea Bag, my Lizard Ridge (almost done!!), and the Sipalu Bag. I have to pause on the latter to wait for needles with a shorter cable, which will probably drive me nutty, but it is not like I don't have plenty to work on! I need to finish Brenda's bag this weekend, really. She is asking about it. Makes me not want to work on it..... Sad but true about me!
Ok, itchy dog and I are off to the vet.... Fun, fun, fun!