March 29, 2009

As A Knitter

You know yourself when a project is leading you to crazyville. It's that one project that you thought you could do 'in a snap' because while it might not be intricate or difficult, it's boring enough to make you wish you could hire someone else to do it for you.

That's where I am with a project that I'm working on. I can feel my face scrunch up every time I pick it up. I'll love it when it's done, I just can't get there. I broke up the monotony once by knitting a baby sweater, but I didn't have the heart to go back to it again.

So, to break up the monotony again, I decided to go back to my first and true love - socks. Small, quick, portable and they provide instant gratification. So, three days ago I broke out the Cherry Tree Hill supersock in blues and purples (that's the color on the label):

With my trusty size US #2 needles I went to work on a pair of socks for my son. His size 9 1/2 feet required most of the ball of yarn (almost all 420 yards), and the socks are a plain pattern which I found in Knitting Circles Around Socks. Of course, all of the socks in this book are knit two at a time, but I did the socks one at a time. Two at a time for me takes too much brain and I enjoy doing my socks one at a time.

So, with earth hour behind me and an hour spent dining by candlelight with my son, who is as charming by candlelight as he is in the usual fluorescent glow of the regular lights, we had a peaceful evening.

Now with the socks done I guess I can get back to that other thing. So, if you don't hear from me for a couple of days, it's because I went back to 'that' project AND I'm in a coma.

March 23, 2009

Progress At Last

The gift I'm making but can't show is coming along nicely. Yes, it's a little boring, but I went from 6 inches to 17 inches in 2 days. Ahh ... there is an end in sight.

In between, I made a sweater for another baby gift:

The pattern is free at the Bernat website and can be seen here. It was just interesting enough to keep me interested, and a wonderful break from the big project I'm working on. I used a little more than one skein of Bernat Baby in soft lilac and size 3 needles. The booties are on the needles.

This sweater comes in one size only, 0-3 months. Normally when I make baby things, I go for the six month size because too big is better than too small. But Jenny is so small, less than 5' tall. I've got another six month size in mind, but I have a month or so before her baby is due. I'm sure she won't mind having 2 hand knit sweaters.

Now, it's back to my other regularly scheduled project.

March 20, 2009

Go Ahead ... Knit

It seems like I've been knitting forever but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. For instance, I've been knitting this little gem for three days, and this is as far as I've gotten:

It's lovely, but it's taking F O R E V E R! I'm sure that it's going to be lovely when it's done, if I live that long. Entrelac on a big project is boring. The whole time I was knitting I was chanting, "I should be making socks."

It didn't help much when I turned on the TV this morning and saw Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka The Yarn Harlot) showing how easy it is to make socks. Can you see my tears?

I have this perfectly lovely purple-ish yarn that my son swears he wants as socks and I'm totally into making them for him, but I spend entirely too much time trying to meet gift-giving deadlines. Do you feel my pain?

And there's this gem I've been knitting on and off for three YEARS and I'm still considering it a UFO instead of a project that should be frogged:

There's no point in frogging it because the 50 balls of yarn that was gifted to me has nowhere else to go. Can you see my hair falling out?

I did manage to spin some yarn:

It's some merino yarn I bought from etsy about a year ago, but it's a single that's been on the spool for like 100 years. I should have plied it, but I didn't - dumb.

So I made a skinny scarf in 2x2 rib for the charity box:

It's cute, but it didn't give me satisfaction. It did give me a feeling of accomplishment, though.

Now, I'm going back to the entrelac. Knit one, rip a hair out, knit one, rip more hair out. Maybe I should drink wine instead - even though I don't drink.

Who was it that said staying faithful to one project will drive you crazy? I think they're right.

March 09, 2009

Feeling Hot

I'm sure that the person that thought up this daylight saving business lived in a cave and probably didn't have a job or a clock!

Today I dragged tail at work and every white sheet of paper looked like a pillow. Every time I blinked, I napped. It was disgraceful.

All during my nap home on the train, I had visions about what I'd knit first. Well, the worst possible thing happened, but I'll get to that in a minute.

First I finished Aylin's soon-come baby bib:

I had some right sized buttons in my stash, and thought after I sewed it on that it looks kind of girly, but I still think it's cute. What do you think:

I used Rowan All Seasons Cotton, size US #7 needles and it took about an 90 minutes to make. Or rather it would have if I hadn't set my hand on fire. The pattern is a free download on Ravelry and can be found here.

OK, now about setting my hand on fire:

I came home from work and for some reason the heat was up kind of high. From downstairs I yell upstairs to my son who I thought was in his room. I thought I heard him whistling, which would mean he had his headphones on and couldn't hear me. Turns out, he's not home.

So, I go up to his room and his radiator is whistling and steam is coming out in a pretty steady stream. Well, I thought to myself, what the heck is going on in here? So, knowing that 'right is tight' and 'left is loose' (I learned that after I flooded the basement by overwatering the boiler), I turned the knob on the radiator - to turn the valve off.

Well, I turned the valve ... and the whole assembly fell off! The steam (and water) shot up to the ceiling, and my hand was in the line of fire. Ouch! ouch! ouch! ouch! ouch! Burn #1.

The knob went flying, I couldn't see where it went because steam filled the room and it got really, really hot. Being a person of average intelligence (usually), I grabbed a towel, threw it over the open valve, ran downstairs, shut the heat off, ran back upstairs to look for the valve. Found it, picked it up and - y oh y did I do that?! Hot! hot! hot! Burn #2.

Mercifully, the numbness wore off and I regained feeling in my fingers after a couple of hours. It appears that my wrist took most of the heat and I can live with that. It just looks and feels like sunburn. I'll live.

I blame the entire accident on the time change. If I wasn't so tired, etc.

My next house is going to have baseboard heating and it's going to be somewhere where the folks don't Spring ahead!

March 06, 2009

Spring Ahead

If you live on the Eastern seaboard then you know that this weekend we're observing Daylight Saving Time (also known as Eastern Daylight Time or EDT). This is the weekend you're supposed to roll your clocks forward. Forward - as in 'lose' and hour.

Now, it won't be noon when I roll out of bed it'll be 1:00p. Let me explain the unfairness of it all:

It's my day to sleep late, wake up, and still be able take a nap. It's my day to tie up all the loose ends of the work week while knitting. Moving the clocks forward is robbing me of an hour of power. It's just not right!

Sunday is my day and the only day of the week when I get to make sure my queendom (house) is running like a well oiled machine. On any given Sunday, you can usually find me in the command center (my bedroom), in full war regalia (pajamas) with all of my commandos around me (Entemanns, iced tea or hot coffee, and the TV Guide).

I try to keep my army (son) on his toes by making sure to issue innocuous orders, and ask pertinent (crazy, he says) questions, like: "Jay - the garbage goes out to the curb tonight! Did you do your laundry/feed the cat/clean your room/finish your homework?". He says 'yes' to all my questions because he KNOWS that any other answer will cause all-out warfare and our war doesn't officially start until 8:00p.

(That's when he tells me that he needs special materials for a project due the next day, thereby making it MY fault that he doesn't have the materials he needs. This is an old tired tactic that hasn't worked since he was in 4th grade, besides, I have extra oak tag, poster board, stencils and construction paper in bulk under my bed, I mean, command center.)

I don't mean to complain, because having sunshine is better than not having it and warm is better than cold weather. I love the Spring flowers that bloom in my yard, pretty little day lilies. Not to mention having natural sunlight for my blog pictures is a huge plus.

Still, I'm not sure sure I'm on board with the whole time change thing. I'll let you know how I feel after I get my first natural sunlight picture on the blog.

Happy Spring!

March 03, 2009


The green cupcake hat went to charity. Pretty's head is NOT overly large and I was right that my sense of proportion is 'off' because of the preemie project.

Also, I need to thank Cathy Bautista and her fellow knitters: Mary Tokas, Lynn Bonivita and Bea Carlino for their generous donation of handknit goodies for the preemies (pictures soon). You ladies donated more than I would dare to ask for and your efforts are greatly appreciated. I have no words but thank you.

Cathy mentioned that her group was working on hats and scarves, so I decided to 'quick' work on this one to donate. The entrelac pattern can be found here, the yarn is Kauni (EJ) from Little Knits which was left over after making my Nana's shawl, and the needles are size US size 3. The amount of yarn will determine the length of the scarf.

I'm not the only one on board with making scarves and hats. My circle hopes to have some for your circle very soon.

To those of you who asked: no, I did not sew the buttons on my Tangled Yoke sweater - yet. But I'm going to. I mean it. And to Nancy R. who was willing to accept the sweater as a gift without buttons - thanks, but I'm keeping it for myself.

To Aylin O. - that fair aisle sweater will get done one day. Yeah, I know I HAD TO HAVE the pattern and yarn. Now that the newness has worn off - I have to pace myself with all those colors and my fear of steeking. Besides, if I keep my good karma UP, then I won't have to talk about my sweater 'rage and frustration' ... and other words, like ... fire ... car tires ... and the 'g' word ...

To those who asked, yes, I am working on my holiday gifts, so far I'm mostly done with one lace scarf. I don't know what's going to happen with the green one since the nupps don't show up as well. I'm in thinking mode on that one.

Lastly, no my cat (Miss Kitty) does not hate me. She just resents the time I spend with yarn. One of these days I'll be quick enough to catch a picture of her in 'high karate' mode, you know, when she's on her hind legs with her front paws up in the air with claws bared. She's just playing! The fact that I haven't needed stitches is a sure sign she's scratching me with care.