Monday, December 12, 2011

Another Christmas Holiday

Good Day good reader,

An update to what has been occurring. We are still here in Never-neverland. Some days are good. Some days are great. We are all healthy and here together so I cannot complain too much. Another Christmas holiday is upon us. I did no gift knitting this year for giving. Not that I didn't do plenty of knitting for others during the year. Oh- quite contrair! But most of the time, I promptly gifted said item to its new owner. This next year, I say, I am taking to heart that I am only knitting for myself. I will have finished out the year gifting two pairs of socks. Knitted in secret so they can be gifted as a surprise. We shall see.

I do have photos of some more finished items. Here are the Handcharmers.
They are knit with Storm Moon Knits 30 days of Night sock yarn. Only half of the skein was used. So now I am thinking of something else to knit up with this.

I finally finished up Dude's sweater vest that was started back in January as a knit-a-long with the spinning group. He is quite pleased with it, but a bit afraid to wear it. He chose the yarn and it is super wash, but he is afraid of snagging it or spilling something on it. He was warned last week that if he doesn't start wearing it, he wasn't going to get any more hand knits.

I also finished a baby sweater for a new friend. She is having her first daughter (due any day now) and does not have any parents to help spoil the baby. I just had to knit this up. Plus, somebunnyslove had knit two, or maybe three, and said they were a really quick knit. She was right. The only mods that I did was knit it in the round instead of in pieces. I hate seaming if I don't have to.

And last but not least are the socks that are just finished. Well- they have been finished for awhile, but I am just now posting about it. Really, I have had the sock pattern in the que for four years. I have also had the yarn for that many of years. I don't know why it took so long to get it done. It was really quite an easy and fast knit as well. I should have knocked these out ages ago. Instead it was just a couple of weeks ago. Here you go:

And now just because I can, I leave you with a couple of pictures from our latest adventures. Since moving here to Europe, I have tried to do as much traveling as possible. So we have two long weeks of holidays already and took advantage of it. The first three are when we went to Southern Germany and Austria. The last is my favorite from the latest trip, Cooking lessons in Italy. Yep, you read that right. I had cooking lessons in Italy. Really Cool! (Even better was meeting a couple of Aussies on holiday. I miss Australia.) Enjoy!

Until we meet again, happy knitting!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another Season

I often come across this blog and wonder if I should give it up. Who am I kidding? Who really reads this? But dear reader, obviously, you. Probably have stumbled upon it and think what poor person writes to no one. Me. I write to no one. No one but myself. So, therefore, I shall keep it.

Yes, it has been a couple of months since last posting. If you will observe via the widget list of finished items for 2011, I have been busy.

The boxes are all gone. The pictures are hung. The yarn room organized and many skeins put away. Though within the next couple of months, I have decided to seriously contemplate what to do with much of my yarn. Since it is organized into specific bins, I will go through them and assign a project to it. Notate within Ravelry the project and date. If within 6 months of not beginning said project, then it needs to be de-stashed. Find the yarn a new home. Prioritize!

I have finished quite a bit since the last post. I will share photos here. No, maybe not. I really do like new technology. Except when it no longer works. Somehow with some update, flickr and iPhoto no longer want to cooperate. Instead, I will link the newest items so you can click and see. Winter's Caplet. Another Ruffles Done for Robin. Izzie's Sweater. Lily's Hemlock.

There are two more projects that are completed and gifted but are awaiting said technology to begin cooperating again. Hopefully, they will play nice soon.

Until then, keep knitting and may you finish all your UFO's before they are needed.

Hoi! Hoi!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

plugging along

Just a wee update on the 'life and times' of going crazy....

I miss my friends. I miss what is familiar. I miss having somewhat of structure in my life. And I really need school to start. Soon.

I did manage to finish The Loopy Ewe Camp Loopy Project 2. I knit the Bavarian Tulip Mittens out of Three Irish Girls Glenhaven CashMerino Worsted in the newest Rona color way. Twice since moving here our heat has kicked on. Yes, both times have been in July. Quite the stark contrast from what we left in the states with soaring temps well over the norms. Yet, I have yet to be warm. Not a good sign with it being the middle of August and still no real warm days. So, I knit myself some mittens. I am sure they are just what I needed for riding my bike around here.

The next challenge is to knit a project with more than 800 yards in it. My choice is to make a matching caplet that doesn't restrict my arm movement to holding on while riding but isn't all the bulky. The Loopy Ewe suggested the Winter's Rhythm caplet. I know the designer. Not know know, but I attended Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Sock Camp in 2009 with her. She had just opened her own yarn store. It is really great to see her patterns develop into actual well known objects. Kelly is a lovely person and I wish her the best in her continued success. But back to the pattern, I am going to continue to use 3IG GCM Worsted for the caplet in the matching red and picked up a dark blue to go along. I think when I am finished I will make a matching hat or ear band to complete the ensemble.

Other than that, I continue to wade through a sea of boxes. I have reached the point that they no longer bother me and I just swim through. I have lost all interest in trying to organize the stuff. It is just easier to go buy new than to try and dig through it all. I swear, the next time, I am leaving it all save for a few paintings and my yarn. Even then, maybe only two boxes of yarn and that's it. I have forgotten what I purchased most of the yarn for or just don't have time to get to it. Short of sitting and knitting all day, I have come to admit I have S.A.B.L.E. (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) UGH!

Off to fight the boxes....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Settling in with a few photos

Welkom from The Netherlands!

As I have promised photos of finished objects for quite some time, I will finally deliver. I have photos for four projects that are done and hopefully I am not repeating myself. Here is the first:

Darling Daughter was happy to pose for me. She is modeling the Whippoorwill Shawl knit out of String Theory Caper in Cobalt and Fusion Lake. Great pattern to knit as a traveling project. Lots of stockinette when you are in a long stretch of pretty looking with a couple of pattern rows thrown in when you get bored or waiting. Got the yarn from The Loopy Ewe for their summer challenge called Camp Loopy. Go here to check it out for their is still time to play.

The second:
This is the Honeycomb Scarf. I spoke of winning this kit when I attended Maryland Sheep and Wool this past May. Bijou Basin Yak Farm had a contest via tweeting 'Yak Facts' and the first to their booth with the correct yak fact said received the surprise kit. It was INCREDIBLE! The kit was valued at $54.00. It came with the Honeycomb Scarf pattern, two skeins in your choice of color-ways of Bijou Spun Fingering, and a lovely gift box. (The gift box would be perfect if I would give it away, but since that ain't happening it was just a nice box.) The knit itself was really easy. It turned out to be a great mindless knit. It blocked beautifully. The only issue I had with it was the yarn dye was not set. So it bled. Like a stuffed pig. Finally after the umpteenth rinse, I gave up. Just need to be careful not to wear it when it is raining with a white shirt. Otherwise, GO BUY SOME OF THIS!! Great company. Great product.

The third:
This was originally started for a cousin's newest arrival. The problem ended up being they never sent a baby announcement. The only 'announcement' made was on Facebook. Now I have nothing against the big, black, worm hole that Facebook is. (I mean, really, who cares if you are in the bathroom? Or, seriously, I didn't like you in high school, what makes you think 20 years later I will like you any better?) Since he couldn't take the time out of his 'busy' schedule (this was their first, HELLO- I've three!) to pick up the phone and leave a message then I guess he didn't want a hand knit sweater. (Before you lecture, yes- I know the phone works two ways. But when you are having a baby the worst thing you want to get is the constant "is she here yet? Is she here yet? What do you mean she hasn't arrived yet? phone calls. ETIQUETTE, baby! It's a dying art.)

So, I found this sleeve finished in the bottom of a yarn basket and my friend threatened to unravel it. I paniked and said I already had one sleeve done I should go ahead a finish the whole thing. Right? (How seriously warped is that thinking? That's like saying, oh well, I have already run 1 mile, what's another 25?) So I finished the sweater and remembered that the dentist just had a baby. Perfect! A new baby to give it to. Needless to say, it was the BEST received gift I have ever given. I will DEFINITELY knit for them anytime. I received back the most beautiful hand written thank you card EVER!! The stationary was TOP-NOTCH! Classy, elegant, and just gorgeous. WOW! is really all I can say. It truly restored my faith in giving hand knit gifts to people. Now if I could just learn a bit of discernment on who to actually grace them with....

The fourth:
This lovely little shawlette is called Storm Clouds. Not sure why, but the name was very appropriate. It was for a fellow member of my ABF class. We called ourselves 'Suzi's Storm Surviving Sisters.' The color is just right for her blue eyes. I had this yarn in stash and wasn't quite sure what to do with it. When I went looking for projects via Ravelry that utilized this yarn, I came across the pattern. Perfect! The only problem was I thought I had more time to knit it up. I thought her birthday was in June. Actually, it was in May. Yikes! So I had to gift it while it was still on the needles. Oh well- she was a good sport and recognized that it really was the thought. (I think it helped that she knew the full story of all the junk that was occurring in my daily life with trying to relocate 5 people half way across the world.) Patience really is one of her virtues. Another person who truly was thrilled with a hand knit gift. I like those people best!

Well dear reader, if you are still with me, THANK YOU! I will go back and review past posts to see which projects have not been updated with photos to show you. We will be moving into our new home on Friday the 15th. It is a beautiful house and very large for Dutch standards. I have gone running three times since being here. And for it to be so flat, HA! I've done nothing but hills. That is alright, I think. What doesn't kill me will only make me faster....

Happy Knitting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A New Time & A New Place

Everything is new again. Not only is it a new season for those in the US, it is also a new season for us as a family. You probably have wondered where I have been- literally and figuratively, it's because we moved again. Yes again. Only this time, we literally got out of dodge. I would like to joke to say that we were so frustrated with the state of affairs and the politics that we up and left, but in reality, we are still in the military and Dude took an assignment with NATO. So, we left the country. We have re-located to The Netherlands. Though my friends in my Sunday School class have said we moved to Neverland. I kinda like that much better. I really enjoy the movie Peter Pan and often think how nice it would be to never grow up. (Really meaning I am sick to death of always being the one in charge and carrying most of the responsibilities in running this household. This move showed the worst in me.) So, here I am in 'Neverland' and going to take full advantage of it.

I am already planning a trip back stateside to meet up with a friend to go to Hawaii in August and Australia in October and Florida in January. Silly, huh? But Dude will be at a job that allows for me to do more traveling and the kids will be in the same school on the same time so I don't have to worry about leaving them alone for extended periods.

I have gotten some knitting done. I did promise more photos but in the craziness have lost the camera. Not just the cord, but the whole device. I will just have to tell you about them.

The first is a gauntlet called "Handcharmers". I only have one done as I am trying to finish a KAL with The Loopy Ewe. For that, I am working on Whippoorwill. It is a shawl using two colors. I am done with the first section and hope to have the second section done this week. I am still working on Dude's sweater. I am immensely bored with it. Though it is at the point that I can divide for armholes, I am bored. (Really- I am quite frustrated with the intended owner and don't want to make him anything that I don't think he will appreciate. He already takes me for granted too much, why should I go out of my way to make him something? But, I am not ready to admit that to him yet. So I tell him I am bored with it.)

I also have some toys next up in the que to start and two more birthday presents. The birthdays are both in August so I am procrastinating on starting them. I should probably at least cast them on sooner than later so I am not putting myself under pressure. Yeah, I should. But I won't.

Back to the shawl that is for me. We are currently homeless. (I love saying that and watching people's expressions when they realize what I just said.) I have looked at 2.5 houses yesterday. Yes, we did arrive yesterday. We kept moving and slept wonderfully last night thank you very much! I say .5 because one person didn't show up to show us the inside so we looked through windows and around the outside. It only wetted my curiosity to see the inside only more. Two more tomorrow. Average person takes about 10 days to find a house. But we already knew I wasn't average.

Happy knitting.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Am I missing something?

So here it is the first week of May and I never posted in April even though I am still trying to blog more often. (Yes, I hear the roars of laughter. I did say I was trying.) Even so, I am finally taking a break. I have run off and left the family with loads to do and yes, even over the holiday for Maryland Sheep & Wool. What is that you might ask? I will tell you.

It is an event held every year on the first full weekend of May in Friendship Heights, Maryland hosted by the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association. They have dog herding trials, fleeces from the supporting breeders for sale and (most importantly in my opinion) vendors of the fiber arts. That means yarn, yarn, and more yarn. They do have roving and equipment sales as well as cutesy items just because. On a side note, this is where I has my first encounter with Sheep Incognito. 7 originals later and I am still eyeing her newest one, Dude would NOT be very happy with me if I came home with another. That is why I say I am still 'eyeing' it.

It was also the first time I met a fellow Raveler. I had never set out to meet someone that I had only communicated online with. But we had just moved to Virginia and she is from Maryland and suggested we meet there. A HUGE public place and we have grown to be better friends since. So it is only fitting that my last fiber festival here in the States should be spent with her. I left my family and took the train to Baltimore. Train rides are perfect for knitters and crocheters (not that I am a crochter. I am quite happy not knowing it.) Totally undisturbed knitting time. I finished the baby sweater that has been haunting me for the last 6 months. I started the Baby Mine Sweater by the YarnHarlot awhile ago and put it down only to have found it again three weeks ago. Add in the trip to Europe, four more comission projects and two birthday presents, the sweater took a back seat. But all that time without whiny, complaining, bickering kids, I knocked it out. I will have blocked photos once I return and locate the camera. (Not sure where it has ended up since our return.)

There was to be a whole long saga post in April of a very bad flying experience that 4 weeks later still has me very angry about but I haven't published it yet. It is what it is. But I did finish the other objects as well so I do believe, gentle readers, that I owe you a post of just photos. On that note, I bid you happy knitting until next time. I'm off to MDS&W.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A list of (Good) Excuses

So here I am slacking yet again on posting. I really don't mean to let so much time get by, but I have been busy. As we all have. I know there is no excuse, but humor me while I list mine so you can really see that I am doing stuff.

First- I am working like a mad dog in trying to get the second of the commissioned shawls done. I was in a bit of a panic mode as I scoured Ravelry in trying to locate an additional skein to complete the pattern per written. But no such luck. (A bit of a side note- WHY do they put 'dye lot' numbers on skeins of yarn that are suppose to be 'ALL NATURAL'? Something ain't right!) But, we did find the number to the store where the original skeins were purchased and one has been secured. I would feel MUCH better if said store would PLEASE call me back to take my money so I can get the yarn! Otherwise, I am officially half way done with said second shawl and the first is completely completed. Even blocked.

Second- when I am not working on said second shawl, I am working on Dude a vest. It is the never ending vest. He @*^#-well better wear it or you will find me on the 6 o'clock news for hanging him from it. (Which seems a bit difficult with him being already 6 inches taller than myself, but by GOD he will hang.)

Third- the pressure is on! To finish a floor. To RE-glaze a, no TWO, bathtubs. Paint the ceiling. Re-hinge the kitchen cupboards. To relocate an entire mole/vole population. Grow grass. Remove the dead tree right in the middle of the front lawn. (Great curb appel, don't cha think?) And repaint younger Dude's room. DECLUTTER the craft room. (It really does look like Martha Stewart's craft closet threw up in here.) And last but not least, knock a pair size 11 wide socks out before a March 29th birthday. All the while, still being everything to everybody and substitute to all the others. Just re-reading this is making me tired.

Fourth- I will lay this out here for all of you to now hold me accountable. I no longer want to be a couch potato. As much fun as it was, I REALLY like the happy hormones much better. And so I have taken up the NASTY habit of running. I actually have a purpose for this. No, I am not being chased. No, the LYS does not have cashmere on clearance. No, no one is threatening the kids. I like chocolate milk. When I run, I get to have it. Not before. Only after. And only 1. (8 oz. bottle that is.) No guilt. Plus, I get to eat most of the chips I want. Now I can eat ALOT of chips, which is why I said 'most' instead of all. But chips and guacamole. YUM!!! And I can now eat the whole bowl and not feel guilty. I want to be one of the small percentage of people who have actually ran a Marathon. To do that, I have to run. So on Tuesday the 29, I will run a 5K in preparation of doing this impossible feat. (For me, it really is impossible. But you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time. So, this 5K is the first bite to the elephant.)

Fifth- Younger Dude just brought home the information on ordering class rings. WHAT?? Why is he ordering a class ring? I thought he just finished kindergarten. But as he reminded me just as quickly, that was 11 years ago. It is un-officially official. We are moving. He will order the ring and we will get the orders to say we are moving and he will have to have it changed. I wonder if International schools have class rings?

Photos to come. Really. When I feel like trying to look for the camera, I will take pictures of something. But for the time being, please enjoy the complementary beverages, sit back and enjoy the show.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another month bites the dust

So here it is the last day of the month and I have yet to make a pair of socks or spin or dye or finish a floor. I have finished one commission piece but have not started the other. Well, that's not entirely true. I have wound the yarn and cast-on, but not much else. 

I have started running. I was challenged to take up the sport with the idea that I would fit in better. You may be asking yourself, "fit in better where?" or you might even been asking, "why would you care about fitting in?" 

Well, I had hoped to never have to utter these words again, but alas it seems to be so. What words would cause me to put down my needles and stop the lovely creation of whirling wheels? How does the three words make such an orderly woman go bazerko? Try uttering "we are moving" and watch the chaos spin out of control. 

Yes, dear friends, we are moving yet again. I've really mixed emotions about the whole ordeal but will manage as I have in the past when presented with yet another change in my plans. I make do and enjoy the ride. As I have recently read, "Military life is tough, but misery is optional." I don't like misery nor any of it's company. So if you would like to see someplace new, come visit me. I will love to have visitors. Just remember to pack your passport, because you won't be getting off the plane in the Netherlands without it. 

Pictures will be soon with more finished items. The dust literally needs to settle before I block the shawls. The floor is almost done but I still need to sand the baseboards. I'm thinking I've had enough & am ready to call someone to finish it. Too much other junk to get done to continue dorking with something I won't get to enjoy.

Here's to another month gone and a new one to mess up.

Monday, February 14, 2011

So back to the actual knitting aspect of things, I finished a baby blanket for my brother in law and his wife. They are trying to adopt a child and didn't feel they were ready without having 'stuff' for the baby. What a great excuse to break out the really cute things to knit up for them! Now just to be patient to see what gender I can knit for.... Though I guess I could just knit up both and be prepared either way.

Here is a picture of the finished product. It is Jared Flood's Wool Leaves. I really love working his patterns. They are very thought out. Easy to read. Charted BEE-U-TEH-FULLY! And most the time, easily memorized so you aren't having to sit with it attached to your lap. I also really enjoy the fibers that he knits with. I would LOVE to get ahold of some of his newest yarns that he personally worked on developing. Maybe someday. But for now he chooses to use natural products and reaches for Cascade Eco Wool frequently. Great yardage for a great price. It is the 'never-ending' skein. 470 ish yards for around $15.oo. I am seriously thinking of stocking up a supply of this yarn in all the natural colorways. But it might just be defeating last weeks post. I am still wavering. But a good thing is a good thing.

Without further adieu, I give you Wool Leaves.

I currently have on the needles a commissioned piece. I am not sure if I have the permission to post pictures of it but I will ask. I really enjoy working with the yarn and the pattern is very mindless. If I could just remember to count correctly. Otherwise, I am very pleased to be asked to assist in this manner. Hopefully, photos can come soon.

Happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Being Weird

I have a problem. A serious problem. I have too much yarn. Seriously.

"WHAT?" you say. "That is impossible! There is never 'enough' yarn. Sock yarn doesn't count as stash."

You are right. Sock yarn shouldn't count as stash as it is really just socks waiting to be able to be worn. But in all reality, I have too much. This is how I know that I have too much.

My wonderful and eternally patient husband, Dude, was asked to retrieve a pair of socks for me to wear as we were headed out the door. When he grabbed a pair, I replied that those were not the ones as they would look horrible with the trousers I was wearing. So instead of getting another pair, he goes into the 'craft' room (which is probably why I got the response I did) and pulls out a skein of yarn and brings it to me asking "Well, I am sure this will go with it," while wearing the snarkiest smirk you have ever seen. He was implying that if it doesn't count as stash, than it should already be wearable. This motivated me to actually sort and re-shift some yarns around to better store them. (Yes, you are free to really read that as better hide them in their baskets so he cannot really know how much is in there.)(It really is my fault for not cleaning up after myself and putting away what I got out so he didn't see it.)

Which is what led me to take an inventory of what I really do have. And it is quite shameful. I am a yarn snob. I am not afraid to admit it. I despise acrylics and refuse to knit with them. Don't start lecturing me. This is my blog. My opinion. My time. My craft. My enjoyment. I, me, no one, gets to tell me what I knit with. I like to put in my hands something that will last a lifetime, not eternity in a landfill.

I calculated that I had (in just sock yarn alone) over 300 pairs waiting to be knit up. That is not including the yarn already on needles (I confess that is 3), the yarn waiting to be made into a pair (as one was already finished but the second sock hadn't even been cast on) (I will be happy to admit that the number is limited to counting on just my hands), or the yarn that has been placed in the self-imposed sock club packaging waiting to be started (I refuse to comment on that number at the current time). NO, this is sock yarn just marinating in the stash waiting to be fondled, loved, and ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over. NOT even CLOSE to being considered into socks at any time within the present.

And this isn't even going into the other weights of yarn that can be found within my collection. I.E.: lace, sport, worsted, bulky, or fiber to spin. No this was just dealing with the sock yarn fingering collection. Truly.

When I talked to the girls about it, they just said, "Yeah, we see it and we just think your weird." Huh?

"Well, you will spend hours in here looking, petting, feeling it, but you never actually do anything with it." Oh- I see. (Not really but trying to draw out logic in an 8 year old is a bit difficult even when operating under full protein/full caffeine.)

So, I guess it is just more obvious to others than it is to me.

Hello- My name is Jennifer. I am weird.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chi Alpha during Christmas at Liberty

Here is what Younger Dude has been up to. If you look for the only kid with his sleeves pulled up, that is him. Long story. (Aren't they all?) But you can see him best at 4:05ish playing 'his drum'.

Bicycle Muffs and other assorted ideas

I promised I was going to post pictures of socks, dresses, and helmet muffs in this post so here they are.

The socks were knit with Knitterly Things Vesper Falling Water yarn. This was a unique yarn as I learned of it when I attended Spring Fling in 2010. It is held in St. Louis by a fantastic yarn shop, The Loopy Ewe. (Yes, that is their link to the right of this. I have it as I found out that if you, dear reader, click on it and make a purchase, than I receive a 'referral credit'. And who doesn't want free credit to buy more yarn?) Well, back to the story. My folks moved back to Missouri (pronounced Miz-zerr-ree) when we moved here. But back in August of 2009, my mother called the day Dude had 'boots on ground' in Iraq to inform me they discovered an aggressive form of breast cancer. There was to be NO WAY that she would be able to come and visit or assist in any manner while he was gone. So when the opportunity presented itself for me to go and visit her and 'double dip' the trip with a vacation (A YARN vacation) I was all for it. Not too mention, it got me out of having to go back to there (see earlier pronunciation to understand) any time else. I went to check on her, but then got to have a FANTASTIC time as well. But onto the whole reason for the yarn...

While there, I was admiring a lovely pair of socks another knitter was working on. I asked if I could fondle the yarn, she agreed and handed it to me with the needles still in the project. As I was handing it back it began to fall so I grabbed for it. When I did, two of the needles went through my hand. Yes, you heard me correctly. Through my hand. In through the palm, out through the back. And no it wasn't just a good poke, it was the full tip (which is a different color than the shaft) was clearly visible on the back side of my hand. Yes, they were Signature Needles. (Now you know why I will NEVER own a pair.) Yes, they were the stiletto points. Size 2 I believe as they were green. Takes the phrase "Sharing Needles" to a whole new level.

I was appalled that I might have gotten blood on her sock yarn. She was so apologetic to have had it happen with her needles. But, alas, we have become good acquaintances in spite of it. After the Fling was over, a couple of weeks later, I received in the mail a skein of my own of that very color way from her. I have treasured it all the more. So it seemed only fitting to knit a pair of socks up for a friend who I have not yet gifted a hand knit project to. She asked for stripes so stripes is what she got. She does enjoy fondling them. Only I made sure there were no needles in them when I sent them to her to have a repeat occurrence.

The dress was knit for the Littlest Miss. She chose the pattern. She choose the yarn. And she promptly out grew the finished item four months after I finished it. ARGH!! I thought I had left lots of growth room, but obviously not. It is now being happily worn by a younger cousin's daughter who is just as girly as my Littlest Miss.

On to the Bicycle Muffs.
Since I tend to be a bit long winded, I will refrain from mentioning how happy I am to be completely done with this particular pattern. Knitting 4 of them in four days is a bit monotonous!! But I finished what was suppose to be mine, only to be confiscated by Dude because it felt so soft and looked "much better with my helmet than yours" comment. Then digging for yarn to begin mine. Again. Little Miss sees her father dorking with his bike helmet and ask, "Ooo- are you going for a bike ride? I want to come. I want to ride my bicycle."

There begins the singing. The song that never quite leaves your head when someone starts it. And the nagging that goes with it. 'Why can't I
ride my bike? When will you take me on a bike ride? How come I don't get a bike helmet liner? You never make me anything..." And on and on and on and on....
So, where does that leave me? Telling her to choose her color. Then asking the Littlest Miss what color she wants. It was probably best to do theirs before doing mine as I worked out silly little kinks that make mine all the better.

And THANKFULLY, Younger Dude doesn't want one.

Next post will have some updates on the spinning wheel and spinning class that I participated in with owner of Scarlett Fleece. I should also have some photos to share of handspun yarn and a shawl I am working on for a friend.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Keeping up...

From now on you will always see less of me. For it has been one full week since my gallbladder was completely removed. The surgery went well and I have been an ideal patient. I have yet to drive. I have rested up. I have not had fatty foods. Okay- now kick me, because I am going stinkin' stir crazy!!

In honesty, though, it really has been quite nice and I don't recommend scheduling to have your gallbladder removed just to get a vacation. A vacation I have NOT had since being home bound. But I have been very busy with my knitting, card writing, reading, and television watching. (I forgot how much I do so enjoy Jane Austen. Since I have been incapacitated I have re-read three of her novels: Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, and currently in Emma.)

My knitting is coming along very nicely as I have completed already one pair of socks, a block on a friendship scarf that was given to me back in June (Yikes, I am starting to question my ability to fulfill friendship obligations! It was Littlest Miss who found it still in my stash and reminded me with quite the scold, "Weren't you given this back in June?" as she was with me the day it was handed over), a bicycle helmet ear muff, and two miniature socks to dress the peacock.

As per my normal operating procedure, photos of the newest finished items are yet to be uploaded, but I do have some of the previous year's finished items that I have not posted before. And one item, that has now become very clear, is safe to post as it was not chosen for the layout. Without further adieu, I give you:

Grinchy Grinch Socks:
These were a *^%$# to knit. The 'Whisper' yarn used kept getting snagged. The pattern wasn't the clearest (Very Likely User Error- I am admit that upfront) but it should have made a note that if they want you to change needle sizes for one thing, make a note to change back the needle size for further knitting. (Which can you tell they didn't and so the first sock is a BUGGER to get on and off. No you can't just cut it and make it wider. No you can't just add more yarn. No I don't want to rip it back for the upteenth time, as I have already done because the silly toe wouldn't turn out as nice as the picture in the pattern. I'm done. The socks are done. I look like I have temporally obtained the Grinch's legs and feet. How obscenely cute! Really. Done. Now.

The Saroyan Scarf:
I first came across this from a Ravelry friend who is a newer knitter. She fell in love with the pattern because it was her first time knitting a scarf/shawl that wasn't all garter. She had no mistakes and could easily understand it. And I loved her end product.

The problem with any pattern is utilizing the right yarn to show off your workmanship. The yarn I used for this is what most knitters would call 'souvenir stash'. It was a souvenir of when Dude was deploying. He received a three day pass that in reality was too short to come home but too long just to sit around dwelling on what might occur. So, I drove from Southern VA to Fort Dix in New Jersey (a 10 hour drive) to pick him up, bring him back, spend 36 hours with him at home, to turn around and drive him back up there to deploy to Iraq. Since he wasn't allowed to leave till high noon, I had a couple of hours to kill in the morning. What does any good knitter do? Find the Local Yarn Stores. And I did. Woolbearer's was a fantastic little shop. Lots to offer. Highly recommend it.
But of all things to see in there, was a line of exclusive hand-dyed offerings, the shop do it themselves. The one colorway that I could not walk out of there without? 'Don't Leave'.

'Don't Leave' as a colorway has so much depth to it, it is hard to explain. It was dark. It was moody. But looking closely, you could see bright spots. Glimmers of hope. It was perfect for how I was completely feeling. Just looking at the colorway now brings back every single emotion. How can a skein of yarn move a person like that? I think it no longer becomes yarn, but art. When one thing can extract so much from a person, it is not just string, but an extension of who you are.

My dream is one day when once the kids have gone their own directions to be able to really put forth most of my energies into becoming a known designer/dyer. My goal would be for people to see my creations not just as yarn, but as individual pieces of art. Be moved in ways that the fore-mentioned yarn moved me.

To start off this new year, I made a couple of goals for each month. The first was to spin an hour (at minimum) each week. Back in June when Dude went on a 5 week TDY to Dayton, the last week he was there the kids and I joined him. While there, I was tempted, offered, and given a lesson on a beautiful spinning wheel. I thought I would just think on it, but my appetite was so tempted that I purchased it outright. So the Ashford Joy came home with us and has been whirling up a good time since. Though she hasn't been plying that nicely lately. (hee hee hee- I love it when I can have puns without trying...)

The second goal was to knock a pair of socks out each month and not just my usual straight stitch leg for myself. (Yes, I have had this goal before). (Yes, stop buying more sock yarn.) And (Yes, I can hear you say it already, I have created my own 'sock club' and put yarn with pattern in their own ziplocks ready to go. The problem is I have four years worth of sock club participations and still have more sock yarn than I know what to do with.) Do I even mention the dreaded word? The word that starts with a "REE" and ends with a "DOOSE"? I guess I could. Or I could not sign up for any sock clubs this year. That is where I am thinking of going. The 'isolation island' as I am calling it. No joining any more sock clubs till I have knit up a years worth. (Immediately defining a year's worth as = one pair a month for myself.) If I give a pair away, which might be a good thing, I need to do another within that month.

So with those lofty of ideas and the need for reducing not just me but my S.A.B.L.E., I ask you, gentle reader, what were some of your crafting goals for the year? Let me know and I might send you a pressie in the mail....

p.s. next post will have photos of socks, dresses, and helmet muffs.