Thursday, November 28, 2013

The End of This Blog

Not "The End" end, but it's moving.  Well, it's moved.  Just now.  I made an executive decision the other day when I started looking into how to merge my knitting blog with my writing blog.  For months now this knitting blog has gotten short shrift since I post daily over on Crazy Writing Person, plus I like to talk about knitting and somedays think that's the only interesting part of my life, and it's a lot of work to be brilliant and glib (har!) twice in one day and sometimes twice in the same week is a stretch.

I was afraid I'd lose the archives but they exported too and intermixed themselves.  I had to repost the "Links to More Stuff."  I don't think the "followers" or "members" links moved.  I'm sorry about that, but maybe you could rejoin over at Crazy Writing Person--Who Also Knits & Sews?  Please?  I fantasize that I have regular readers and don't want to lose any.

I'll be leaving this blog up for now.  I don't know why, guess I figure someone might want to read it or might find it or something, but it'll be here.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Waiting = Knitting

Durwood had a long test and then an appointment with a doctor (good news all around, whew) so I took my sock project along to keep my fingers and mind busy.   I got halfway through the heel flap.  Yay!  I can't say enough how much I'm loving knitting this Chimney sock using the Campfire Socks pattern.  It's easy to memorize and using self-striping yarn makes me keep knitting to see what color comes next.  I should probably go look at my sock yarn to see what else I want to see "what comes next" to line up the next sock project.  You do understand that I only knit one sock, right?  DIL1 got me started wearing mismatched socks 6 or 7 years ago and it's a habit I can't seem to break, in fact, the first pair of socks I knitted with this pattern was indeed a pair and a friend told me I'd made a mistake because the socks matched.  I assured her that I wouldn't be wearing them together so it was okay.

I just reread Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book Knitting Rules! and it meant a lot more to me this time.  She kind of gives a person permission to knit things the way that makes sense to you, not to stick to the letter of the pattern all the time but to make it work for you.   Somehow that made me feel like I was the boss of my knitting even more than I already did.  Whatever the reason I feel like my knitting attitude just took a leap forward.

The neck edge of the Khaki Cardi's a case in point.  First, I finished the second sleeve at knitting last night.  (Can I get a woohoo?)  I thought I'd slavishly follow the directions but then I thought since I've made a white and black stripe at the hem and cuffs I ought to carry that up to the neck.  So this morning I started picking up neck stitches with the white, not as many as the pattern said (I caught myself counting stitches even though what I was doing looked right) but enough, I knit back, now I'll follow the directions for the tie and neck edge using the black.  It's going to look awesome, I just know it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Progress On All Fronts

Taking this picture of the Khaki Cardi's sleeve #2 gave me renewed inspiration to keep plugging away at it.  The project's also the only one I have with me here at work.  Progress will commence as soon as I hit "Publish."

I took the Taos Cowl along to knit on in the doctor's office yesterday, got a few rows added.  Still like the colors, still not sure it'll be soft enough to wear comfortably.

While watching TV last night I added a bit onto the Chimney sock.  I really like it.  This may become my go-to sock recipe.

I've got next week off, which comes as a surprise, so I expect more progress in knitting and also a bunch of sewing to get a jump on stealth sewing for that upcoming holiday.  I feel like rubbing my hands while giving a delighted chuckle and mentally going over my fabric stash.  Could be a fun week.

P.S.  Here's the finished linen & flannel lap throw.  See the little red thread tacks?  I like the teeny tiny pops of colorl

Sunday, November 17, 2013

P.S. Oh Darn

I put on my house socks when I got out of bed this morning and thought one felt funny.  I looked at the bottom of my right foot and look at what I saw.  Oh darn.  Now, do I learn how to darn a sock (using the darning egg that Grandpa made and Aunt B gave me last month)?  Or do I knit another sock?  Thinking.

Evidently Project Monogamy's Not My Style

A couple weeks ago I resolved to knit no other project until I'd finished the Khaki Cardi and I managed for nearly 2 weeks, but I fell off the project monogamy wagon last night.  The first chink in my armor came last weekend when I decided that I needed to sew another linen and flannel lap blanket--with fabric I've had for a couple years so I wasn't running out to buy more.  Since it's raining today I plan to go back down into the sewing studio to finish it later.

But then I've been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Knitting Rules and I came to the chapter about knitting socks, but I didn't have a sock OTN.  I spent a few minutes surfing the patterns on Ravelry and my sock yarn stash last week at work (on one of those long days with no cusotmers) and came up with Campfire Socks and a skein of Knit Picks Felici Sport sock yarn in the Chimney colorway.  Last night I dug out the pattern, copied it so I can scribble on it and still have a clean copy for next time, and cast on.  I even made the mature decision to go down a needle size since the yarn's so soft and I'm a pretty loose knitter at times.  I highly recommend the pattern.  I knit it about 3 years ago for the first time and it's a great one, the socks stay up, and they make the most of a variegated yarn, helping the colors not pool.  The Felici's a self-striper and the pattern won't change that but I like the way it looks.
When I was downstairs digging out sock pattern, yarn, and needles I came upon a half-finished helix stripe hat and brought that up too.  Might as well pile on the projects, right?

I pulled out a couple dishcloth patterns too.  Next month's the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild's holiday celebration and we exchange dishcloths.  I always try to make an interesting one and I think I've got one picked out; it looks like a sand dollar, but I won't cast it on until the Khaki Cardi's sleeve is done.  Promise.  (And if any Ravellers are reading this, no idea stealing, not that you would but I feel better now.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

One Sleeve

With great joy (and a bit of giggling) I bound off sleeve #1 of the Khaki Cardi at work yesterday.  Once I took its picture and my picture with it on me, I took the stitches of the other sleeve off the holder, picked up the underarm stitches, placed markers and got to work on sleeve #2.  When that's done all I'll have to do is the neckline, ties, and blocking.  I could be wearing this as a completed garment by December 1.  I could.

I survived giving the program at knitting guild last night, and they seemed to like it and learn something.  I wasn't nervous about being up there speaking (those that know me know I'm pretty much of a microphone junkie) but I was nervous about either talking down to them or making it too complex and turning people off.  From preliminary reports, I did neither of those things. Plus I made them laugh.  Whew. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm Loving This Armpit

You wouldn't think that an armpit would be something to be happy about but I am happy about this one.  Remember that I frogged the almost finished first sleeve of my Khaki Cardi last week because it was about big enough for a hippo's thigh?  I focused all my knitting energy last week on keeping track, making notes, following the pattern this time and, look!,  
I've got an armpit going on.  Look at that row of pretty decreases.  I like it even though I think I might be knitting a bit tighter this time than last time.  I still may need to make the stripes an inch deeper than the ones on the bottom but I have yarn for that so I don't really care.  I'm just glad that now I'm making something that resembles clothing for a human.

I've been dithering around for a month about a presentation about using Ravelry that I said I'd make at the Bay Lakes Knitting Guild meeting on the 14th, which is in three more days.  Last week I jotted down a few ideas on a Word document and gathered up copies of articles I've written about it here and there, but I just couldn't see how I could tell all I thought people ought to know on a few pages.  DD to the rescue!  She told me plainly that while other members might be better knitters than me I might be the most Ravelry savvy in the room.  Well, that woke me up.  I got the laundry started, then fired up my laptop, gathered some needles, patterns in various forms, a few skeins of yarn, and a muslin-lined basket.  Having props helped crystalize my thoughts and I set up another Ravelry account so that I could back out of things and screw things up while writing out the steps without totally mashing up my real Ravelry account.  The talk worked.  By the time four loads of laundry were done and the sun had set I had a rough draft.  By the time DS's birthday cake was out of the oven I had a finished copy.  Thanks a heap, DD, you're the best.

In the process of working on my presentation I might have also cast on another one of the "onesies" that have been living in said muslin-lined basket under the coffee table for the last six months.  I didn't knit a lot, only a couple inches, but look at the colors.  Could you resist?  It might want to be a cowl at this point but it also might be really scratchy.  Time will tell.

In honor of the snow that gathered lightly on my car this morning and the ice on the windshield I'm wearing the "onesie" cowl that I knitted last spring.  It's lovely. It's warm.  I like it.

(If you've forgotten, the "onesies" are the single skeins of yarn that surfaced when I tossed the stash last winter, that I then found patterns for on Ravelry, and have been knitting away at a bit at a time.  You should try it; it's kind of a fun pursuit.)

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Shower Gifts

My friend Lala told me that I should put the baby sweaters on my knitting blog.  I thought I had but maybe not for a while and for sure not finished, and then I thought I should probably group all the knitted baby gifts I gave out on Saturday too, so here goes:

for W&AZ's little guy, I knitted a Puerperium cardigan out of sock yarn, sewing in snap tape for closures rather than a row of tiny buttons, and he has to have a pair of Widdle Sockies,

for my own personal grandbaby, the flavor of which no one knows (except for the doc and the sonogram tech) I knitted a 5 Hour Baby Sweater using the "boy" version (the original is just too girly for gender neutral knitting) and some yummy worsted I had in the stash, sewed on a snap near the neck and stitched a green "fish" button over it, and a pair of Widdle Sockies too.

But the knitting didn't start there.  Out of the softest wool/angora yarn I have ever laid hands on (and I bought it at Goodwill, thanks, Mitch) I knitted a Happy Baby Blankieholding the yarn double to blend the colors, and all of the Small and Clever pieces--hat, booties, and mittens with string--out of the same yarn.

Then last Friday night before I left for knitting night I dragged out some cotton scraps, some double points, and the pattern and whipped up a Tub Fishie.  It's knitted around a ping pong ball, and if you don't think that's a trick... it's one of those things that makes you twist up your mouth while you try to manipulate straight needles around a solid ball.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Yesterday was the baby shower so I got rid of all that baby stuff I've been knitting over the last few months.  The tiny sweaters, the Widdle Sockies, the cloud soft blankie, hat, booties, and mitts, even a bath fishie I knitted up Friday night, finishing it after Friday Knitting once I got a 6-pack of ping pong balls at CVS on my way home.  I stopped at Toys R Us on my way and they don't carry them.  Aren't they toys?  I'm confused.


I'm sorely tempted to go down into the stash and carry up every skein of Cascade Fixation I have and make a pair of those sockies out of each and every one, well, except for the pink ones because, while we know that W&AZ are having a boy, we don't know what flavor of baby DS & DIL1 are having.  I don't mind, that knowledge will come soon enough and Widdle Sockies are fast.

This weekend I also wanted to finish the first sleeve of that Khaki Cardi I dragged along on our vacation last month and have had OTN since June of 2009.  (Yikes!)  I got down to within 3 inches of the end of the sleeve last night and tried it on.  Holy acres of knitting, Batman!  I didn't hesitate; after I took its picture I frogged that enormous, thigh-sized sleeve and turned it back into yarn balls.  (the body of the sweater's pretty huge too but I can't face turning it all back into yarn balls.)  This time, now that I'm a much more experienced knitter, I'll be not only keeping track of rows and stitches, I'll follow the directions.  (radical, eh?)  What do you want to bet I won't be in any danger of running out of the khaki yarn so I won't be having to make the white and black stripes an inch wider to compensate.  (That's how enormous the sleeve was.)  I did some counting and calculating before I began again.  I have 110 stitches after picking up the underarm ones.  According to the pattern I'm supposed to knit two rounds even, then do paired decreases on the underside, every other round, until I reach 66 stitches.  I didn't do that before; I don't really know what I did but it wasn't that, I had WAY more than 66 stitches OTN when I frogged it.  I really hated to destroy all that work but it looked like arse, it deserved it.  I'm going to focus on finishing this sweater before I plunge into any more baby knitting.

Well, maybe I'll have to knit a Widdle Sockie or two just to take the edge off, but mostly I'll be knitting sleeves and COUNTING.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

There Was This Yarn, You See,

... and it was 40% off and there were 8 skeins of it (eight!) and I just happened to have enough cash in my pocket so it came away with me out into the fresh air and sunshine.

It's eight skeins of Classic Elite Lush which is wool and angora in a lovely green.  How could I pass it up?

While I was sitting in the Lodge at The Clearing yesterday afternoon soaking up the peace of the place I finished the second Cloud 9 bootie.  Now all I need to do is weave in ends and sew them together, probably later today.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Widdle Sockies #2

I bought that ball of Cascade Fixation in South Carolina and immediately cast on a second pair of sockies.  I freaking love the colors, they're so bright and cheerful.  I'll be knitting my very own anklet out of the remains of the ball.

The other night I cast on a pair of garter stitch booties out of the Cloud 9 left from the blanket, got one done and the second one cast on pretty quickly.  I'll finish the next bootie today and then sew them up this weekend.  Then I have to finish a few other baby things because the shower's a week from Saturday and I refuse to be scrambling at the eleventh hour, as has been my habit.  I need to remember to go buy some wrapping paper before then too.

Next I'll be finishing the Khaki Cardi.  Yes, I will.  *nods firmly*  It's getting chilly out there. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How Much Did I Knit On Vacation?

Not as much as I thought I'd do, it's true, but I did some and it counts.  I even un-knit some, I frogged that white baby sweater I started before we left.  The white yarn I was using is called Soft Yarn but it wasn't particularly soft, not once I got it knitted, so out came the needles and I made the knitting turn back into a ball of yarn.  I'm thinking of starting over with a part wool/part acrylic yarn in a creamy white color, that little bit of wool makes it feel so much nicer than all acrylic.  

Not that I need to knit another sweater, I finished the green 5-Hour Cardi on the trip.  All I have to do is weave in the tails, then wash and block it, and put on a pretty button and it'll be ready to keep any random grandbaby that comes around warm.

I bought another ball of Cascade Fixation, that cotton/elastic yarn that I made the first pair of Widdle Sockies out of and cast on a second pair right away.  I finished sockie #1 in North Carolina and completed the leg of sockie #2 in the car yesterday.  Intelligently I declined to embark on knitting the heel flap, etc. while on the highway.

I also worked on the first sleeve of the Khaki Cardi that I've had on the needles (OTN) since June 2009 (holy moly! that long?), adding about 6" over the 2 weeks we were away.  At Friday Night Knitting last night I decided to cut the khaki 2" sooner than originally planned and make the white and black stripes wider because I'm afraid I'll run out of the khaki yarn before I get to 9" like sleeve #1.  The whole thing looks short and very wide to me but when I put it on it sorta fits.  Guess that means I too am short and wide.  *sigh*

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

Vacation money's not like "real" money, at least in my wallet/mind, so there has been yarn and fabric shopping, mostly yarn.

In Lexington, KY on Saturday DD took me to "her" fabric store (well, she works there anyway) where they had a couple bolts of linen poly blend so I made off with some of that for... I don't know what for but who doesn't need more linen?

On Sunday we went to Rebelle yarn shop for stitch 'n bitch for the afternoon.  She and I were the only ones there besides the owner but we had a lovely time chatting and knitting.  I bought a skein of pale gray Cascade Eco because I have 2 darker grays and dark red that I hope to make into a cardi for me one of these days... after the intensive baby knitting slacks off... when I get my two OTN sweaters done.

In Knoxville, TN we went to Loopville where I found the superwash in ivory that I wanted and then they were having a "bag sale" which meant the more skeins (all the same) in the bag, the bigger the discount.  Sooo I dug around and found a bag of 10 skeins of SWTC Therapi in an odd charcoal, brown, purple color which was 75% off.  I had to take it.  HAD.  TO.  You would've too.  You know you would have.

Yesterday we went to an alpaca farm and yarn shop outside Greenville, SC where a knitting group was meeting and they were friendly and fun.  The friendliest and funniest was named Barbara too, we got on like a house a-fire.  She was hilarious.  I found 3 skeins of homegrown alpaca in a gorgeous brown and Guyton, the producer, was in the pen next to the shop so I went out and got my picture taken with him.  I picked out a skein of Fixation to start another pair of widdle sockies (which I did last night), and a pattern for a cute cardi which I think I'll make using all the onesie skeins of souvenir yarn I have on hand.  


And there were babies in the next pen, not close to the road, true, but they were visible.  Ooh, too cute.