Sunday, January 31, 2010

Instead of Tackling an OTN Project...

(On The Needles, for those not up on their knit-speak), I cast on another pair of Brangelina Gloves last night after I finished my sock using smaller needles, and I intend to tweak the pattern a bit to make only the cuffs ribbed. The ribbing on the hand is hard to maintain because of the increasing at each side, and on the fingers it makes them too thick. So I'm starting over.

And I wanted to show you the book I bought with my gift card from Durwood and one of the flip pages. I want to have a month or maybe a year off to just play with yarn, not have to go to my pesky job or deal with housework or anything else. Don't mind me, it's probably just a case of the mid-winter crazies.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

To Quote Dusty...

Ta-da! I finished my Neon Sock this evening. I am so not casting on another sock right away. I get too caught up in it and I abandon everything else. Time for a little sock haitus.

Last night at FNKC there was a lot of talk about going to Stitches Midwest in August. We have rooms, now all we need is the $$ to pay for it with a little left to buy yarn. Plenty of time to save. Plenty.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Low Resistance

It's been a long week. Mom was in the hospital with pneumonia and came home yesterday with a diagnosis of COPD, 2 new pills, 2 inhalers, and oxygen tanks and an accumulator, so I spent a lot of the last 5 days running to see her and worrying. I had today off and Mom sounded a lot more like herself this morning, so I drove off into the sunshine and +2 temps on a little "yarn crawl." I needed more colors to make single worsted socks with. I did. Really. And Shana was just putting sale stickers on the Pastaza Paints, which was entirely too pretty to pass up. I also got more DPNs in 2 sizes I only had one set of, and they're not yarn and needles don't count as buying yarn. They don't. Really.

So my 2010 yarn starvation diet was compromised. I don't feel too bad about it though. I needed a little retail therapy, and I spent less than $60 and will get hours of pleasure--and toasty toes--from my purchases. And I plan to climb right back on the no-buying-yarn wagon.

Durwood gave me a Michaels gift card for Christmas that I hadn't spent so I cruised the aisles there and got this book. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again, sweetheart. You're the best!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

In A Moment of Insanity...

I walked out of the bank yesterday afternoon, the wind was blowing from the west, and it carried the sublime scent of grilled hamburgers from the Burger King on the corner. I had a sudden vision of the little chuck steaks that Durwood had gotten out of the freezer. We can grill out, I thought. And so we did. It was 17 degrees out there and really blowing, 1 degree with wind chill, and it had gotten dark.

But served with rice and steamed cauliflower, it was worth standing out there in the cold and wind. So delicious!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sock Mania

Hi, my name is Barbara, and I'm addicted to knitting single socks from worsted wool and acrylic yarn that I already own.

Sunday night after I finished the Sandbar Sock, I was determined to work on either the Ribwarmer or add rows to my Khaki Cardi, and I did, a little. See?

But I couldn't resist the siren call of the worsted. I went downstairs, dug out the left
over yarns from making a Nephew Hat, and cast on. I just meant to do a little, but I took it with me on Monday morning when I went to visit Mom and I worked on it again. At the hospital I changed to the variegated yarn, and I just kept going. I'm weak, I know it.

I knit a few rows on the Khaki Cardi this morning but after supper I had to knit on the sock more, had to knit enough to get to the end of the variegated yarn and add in the orange yarn. And now I'm at the heel flap. I have to go knit more neon orange yarn. It's calling my name, luring me into it's web. I can't help myself.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

One Good Thing

about sitting in the hospital with Mom for 2 days... I finished the Sandbar Sock. Isn't it pretty?

I am sort of addicted to making these single worsted socks. I went downstairs and dug out the remains of the neon variegated, lime, and orange yarns I used to make Nephew Hat #2 so I can cast on another sock immediately. I'm hooked! Save me.

Mom's doing well and is in little danger, she just needs to be watched so her pneumonia doesn't worsen and she gets nebulizer treatments and is on oxygen. I know she's having a lovely time calling down for periodic popsicles and hollering at the football on TV. And I don't have to worry that she's not eating or drinking anything. It's better this way.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted for a week again. I've been busy doing homework. I'm taking this online Revision class and had to read through my NaNoWriMo manuscript and pick out scenes. It was frustrating because I thought it was better. It's not bad, not horrible, but it needs work and I hate rewriting. I have hopes that it'll get better.

I cast on another Encore Colorspun sock in the festively named Color #7126. It's greens, blues and tans, I think it looks like the sand swirling off a sandbar in the ocean, so I called it Sandbar Sock.

And I cast on the second half of the Ribwarmer. Gotta love garter stitch.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We Have Sock

I finished knitting my Red Dots sock while listening to my online Revision class this afternoon, Kitchener-ing the toe once class was done.

I've got a lot of reading to do this week. We're supposed to read through our manuscript and make notes about scenes, anchor scenes, turning points, and other writer-y stuff like that. I'm looking forward to rereading what I wrote in November to see if I still like it as much as I did when I wrote it. (I suspect that I'll have more work than I think I do to accomplish a full rewrite over the next 6 weeks.)

Sorry It's Been a Week...

since I last posted. I've been adjusting to my new work schedule and focusing more on getting stories submitted than on my knitting. See, there was a reason I spent last weekend on the couch with sticks in my hands.

I'm zooming down the foot of the Red Dots sock. Only one more inch and then I start the toe.

I finished the first half of the Ribwarmer vest at Friday Night Knitting Circle...with a bit of a challenge. See that little square of stitches at one edge in the left hand picture? Well, when I bound off the stitches at the top of the other edge and held it up, I glanced at the drawing on the pattern and realized that I had turned the corner the wrong way and that little tab was on the wrong side. It was supposed to be on the outer edge. Gak! Luckily Zoe was there. She sat looking at it, then she got to work. She stuck a needle through the stitches of the first full-width row, tore out the 16 rows of 8 stitches, had me bind off those captured sts, pick up 8 on the correct side and knit them up. Whew. Once it's all finished and sewed together it won't be so obvious, and it'll be warm and cozy despite my near-catastrophic booboo. Thank you, Zoe, you're a lifesaver!

It's midwinter and I've fallen prey to the lure of comfort food. I have been wanting to bake bread for a couple weeks. I baked biscuits week before last but the baking powder was too old and while they were tasty, they were flat and not at all satisfying. I finally broke down and bought Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day with my B&N coupon yesterday, and I mixed up a batch. Naturally I didn't read all the instructions before plunging in and I used half rye flour, making my dough much drier and heavier than the "master" recipe. Last night I read their tips to overcome that and made my first loaf this morning. It's so cute! Look! And I have enough dough to make 3 more. Pretty cool, huh?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Flying. Fingers.

It pays to spend two days sitting on the couch, listening to a novel on your Walkman, and knitting. Look!

I turned the second corner of the first half of the Ribwarmer (and I'm in a snit about probably not having enough yarn after all, but I found a skein on Ravelry that I emailed about),

and I have th
e heel "flapped" and "turned" on the Red Dots sock.

I'm smokin'. (No, not really, cigarette-like smoking, zooming fast smokin'. Cigare
ttes taste nasty, did you know that? I only figured it out once I quit.)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Friends Are Really For...

I went to Friday Night Knitting Circle last night, even though I had been sick for 2 days. It's not like I was contagious or anything. Sheesh. I would not have gone if, say, I was bleeding copiously from a gaping wound, or projectile vomiting; that would have messed up the yarn. I probably wouldn't have gone if my heart rate was so low that I kept dropping my needles. But none of that was happening so I went. We all sat and knitted and chatted and listened to the musicians play and sing out in the cafe. It was a lovely time. Lyn mentioned that Home Depot has primroses on sale for $.88. That's eighty-eight cents, people! Eighty-eight cents for a little piece of spring! I had to go out for birdseed since the demon squirrels have figured out how to empty the "squirrel-proof" feeders, so I swung by HD and scooped up five bucks' worth. Hey, even if they don't survive until spring, it's worth $5 to see cheerful colors and green leaves between me and the snowdrifts. Thanks a heap, Lyn, you're a lifesaver.

Sick Day

Even though the worst of the active "food poisoning" part of my life had passed, I still felt pretty tired and lethargic yesterday so I spent most of it on the couch, plugged into my Walkman listening to a novel (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo--riveting), and knitting.

I dug out the Khaki Cardi, dormant since Stealth Knitting 2009 commenced, slipped the sleeve stitches on waste yarn (a first for me), and got busy on the body shaping. It's not nearly so many stitches per row now so I should be able to make some progress. It's looking very sweater-y, don't you think?

I stole an idea from the Yarn Harlot and weighed the skeins that I'm using to make EZ's Ribwarmer (click link and scroll down) so that I don't end up 2 inches from the end of the second piece and realize there's not enough. I wound off half of the 5th skein so that each segment gets about the same yardage. I feel better now. And I felt even better when I rounded the first corner with more than half of the allotted yarn remaining. Now if I only don't figure out a way to screw it up...

And I cast on another sock. Notice I said "sock" not "pair of socks." I've decided
to derail the possibility of second sock syndrome and intend to knit only one sock at a time. I already wear commercial mismatched socks in the warmer months, so why worry about matching socks in the colder ones? I'm already hiding my socks in shoes or heavy boots, and I like the hidden wackiness of it. I'm calling this one Red Dots. Original, no?

It's lovely getting to an age where you just don't give a carp what the great majority of people think.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Look! Socks!

Tonight I finished the Reef Socks. I think they're gorgeous. My daughter borrowed a knitting machine to make the blank from undyed yarn. Then she dyed it, drawing a reef scene. She gave it to me for Christmas 2008, telling me I had to unravel it and knit the yarn into something. That was very hard to do, but I finally managed it. I used this pattern and US 3 DPNs. I think they're the coolest things I've made so far and I love that they're a collaboration between my daughter and myself. Thanks one more time, sweetheart.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Post #400

Today I'm recording the first "Harebrained Scheme of 2010." I noticed yesterday that the people across the street had thrown out their real Christmas tree. I remarked to Durwood that it might be fun to drag it into the back yard and hang pine cones spread with peanut butter and rolled in birdseed so that the birds would have a treat and a place to hide when the Sharpshinned Hawk flies by. But then I realized that it'd be a real pain to fix it to stand upright in the snow, and gave up the idea. When we got home from Walmart this morning he said, "are you going to get that tree?" I could hear a note of excitement and glee in his voice so I pulled on my boots and clomped across the street and nabbed the tree, dragged it to the garage, and started putting it into the tree stand. Realizing that was putting the cart before the horse, I dragged it into the backyard and went back to trying to put it in the stand so it would withstand winter winds and the depredation of squirrels. The tree trunk was too frozen and the little blades at the bottom of the stand were bent so Durwood made a wooden stand. While he played with wood and made sawdust downstairs I tied strings on the eleven pine cones, then spread them with cheap peanut butter and rolled them in a bucket of birdseed. Once I got it standing up to my satisfaction, I hung 2 mesh bags of suet and the seeded cones on the branches, and came in to wait for birds to arrive. It was a lot of work for a "what if..." idea that flitted through my mind, but that's really the kind of thing that gets me off my duff and makes me grin.

I finished weaving in the tails on the second Brangelina glove, finishing the set. I do intend to make a third glove one day soon using the changes I made on that second one, but it's cold and I need thick warm gloves in the car now.

Seldom able to resist casting on new projects, I wound 5 skeins of
bulky wool I got in Lexington last Spring (using my ball winder and the swift Durwood made me {click "the swift" and scroll down}) and got my friend Zoe's help to figure out Elizabeth Zimmerman's Ribwarmer pattern for thicker wool and needles.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Now that 2009 is a mere memory, I'm ready to charge into 2010.

I want to go back to assigning a project to a place, i.e. Sudoku Throw blocks knit
at work, Reef Socks at FNKC, the Khaki Cardi at home, so that I make progress on them all. (We'll see how long this lasts.)

I did add more fringe and another hexagon to the first scarf and used the rest of them
to make another scarf that I crocheted together with black yarn and put a big tassel on each end.

When we were in Lexington in October I found something that was perfect for Christmas gifts for my knitting pals. I forgot it when we got home, thought about it a few weeks ago, and then promptly forgot to search. But last week when I was stashing the turkey carcass in the back seat of Durwood's van because the fridge was full, I shoved a plastic bag and it clanked. I looked inside and there were my little gifts. I put the bag on a shelf in the garage right then... and forgot them again. Last night I remembered them once again and went out to rummage through the van for them. Frustrated at not finding them, I turned to come back inside (to warm up and rant about the fact that my brain has turned from Velcro to Teflon) and there they were. Now I can finally give them out tonight. It's kind of still Christmas, right? Baanks. Too cute.

Oh. And I finished Brangelina Glove #1 last night. I'll be casting on Glove #2 this afternoon once I get my novel sent out to a few more agents.

That's another 2010 resolution: I intend to be much better at submitting both my novel manuscript and my short stories, even if I end up rewriting the stories first. Rather than set myself up for failure I'm thinking I should have 3-5 stories out at all times. Good thing I bought a 2009 Novel & Short Story Writer's Market last fall, huh?