October 27, 2010

Critter Knitting

When someone from my job placed a classified wanting to hire a knitter, several folks from work either called me or forwarded the ad to me.  The ad was placed in September and said the job needed to be done by December 1 - two whole months away.  That's plenty of time!

But as soon as I saw the ad I had two problems:
  • If I say 'no', then I'd be turning down a challenge and a paying gig and who would do that?! Everyone that knows me knows I can't say no to a challenge, and I've been knitting since forever and no job is too big or small, etc. and blah blah blah
(OK, like I said before, it's not that I'm competitive - it's just that the lady with the wheelchair competing in Ravelry's Tour de Fleece 2009 set a really high standard which I still feel compelled to live up to).  Besides, everyone believes me so capable, and
  • What if I say 'yes' and then can't finish, or screw it up, or the hirer (my new boss) hates it and the hiree (that would be me) gets fired without pay and he ends up with no garment and I end up with a bad reputation as a knitter?  Oy! 
The whole thing had me stressed out until I saw the pattern.

Morehouse Merino's Gecko Scarf.  made with Morehouse Merino in orange and taupe, and US #7 needles. Total time to make, 10 days out of five weeks.  All garter, all the time.  The only challenge, staying awake while I knit.

OK, you can stop laughing now.

October 26, 2010

Baby Surprise Jacket

It took me a couple of weeks, but I finally knit my first Elizabeth Zimmerman garment, the Baby Surprise Jacket.

Now I understand why it's knit in more than one color, so you can see the direction of the knitting change.   I used Rowan Felted Tweed, 2 balls in a blue/gray tweed and US#7 needles.  It's longer in the body than I thought it would be and it's going to look like the baby is wearing a dress, but I hope not.

There was no button drama this time, I already had 5 buttons.  Yay!  And the best part, the sleeves won't be too long (for a change).  EZ is a genius and now I understand why.

I got a request from Sojourn Knitter who wanted to see my new Golding Spindle, so here it is:

And so to full out my list of purchases, here are the spools I bought at Rhinebeck:

Just a few more days until Stitches East and I'm hoping to get there, too.

Now before I forget to mention this, the Soundview Stitchers are taking on a new challenge.  They will start in January and make 10 pairs of socks in 2011.  The sock patterns will be of my choosing and the goal is to make all 10 pairs before year end.  The socks will be lacy, toe up, cuff down, cabled, multi-colored and anything else I can find.

My readers are invited to join us for the challenge, if you'd like.  All you have to do is make the sock patterns as they come up and when you're done, send me a picture and I'll post them during the course of the year.  Imagine your socks [here].

OK, back to knitting or spinning or something.

So, Did You Go to Rhinebeck?

Right after I rented the bus for the 2010 trip to Rhinebeck, I downloaded the vendor list and the map so I could pick a few barns and tents I had to visit - just a few, mind you.

Then I rented the bus and gathered the Soundview Stitchers, my knitting group, and piled into the bus:

We set off and ended up at the New York Sheep and Wool Festival 2010! Yay!  The weather was perfect, in spite of the occasionally chill wind.  The scenery was beautiful, if you don't mind crowds.

And then I shopped until I dropped!

Polwarth from Into the Whirled

And two ounces of an angora blend fiber.

Say hello to Mom's new sweater! Two skeins of BFL, 660 yards each.  Yum!  From Maple Creek Farms.

Some lovely sock yarn from Creatively Dyed Yarns, lots of yardage and I see more than one pair of socks from this baby!

I also bought a Golding Spindle, and a Trindle which is this little sweetie:

Cute, right?

I also bought a DPN needle case from Crippenworks, some bobbins for both spinning wheels.  I made out like a fat rat!  Can't wait until next year!

October 11, 2010

Deceptively Easy

I'm working on the Baby Surprise Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmerman which I have been working on for a couple of weeks now.  It's all garter stitch which, for any experienced knitter is a dream pattern.  I mean, what's easier than garter stitch, right?

Well ... let me tell you.  Garter stitch is easy, so easy in fact that I just zipped past the instructions as if I'd designed the sweater myself.  Until I realized that there's a bunch of decreases and then a bunch of increases.  I blew right through those rows like they didn't exist and then tinked back about 5 rows.

I love how the sweater shapes itself (if you follow the directions):

I'm using the left over yarn from my Cabled Yoke Sweater, Rowan Felted Tweed in blue gray tweed and US #5 needles. The thing is that this sweater is 'baby' size but the pattern doesn't offer measurements, so it's a crap shoot as to how big or small the sweater will end up being.

Anyway, I'm going to trudge along and read the directions from now until row 97 when I'll be finished - presumably.  I only pray that the baby I'm making it for won't be surprised if the sweater is (God forbid!) too big or too small.

Meanwhile, I'd like to thank the commenter on yesterday's blog regarding the hole in my kitchen ceiling.  I'd like to think of it as a sun roof (Cozy Town you cracked me up!), but I'm looking up into the bathroom and the only sight I could possibly see is moon shine!  And thank goodness I don't see that!  LOL

October 10, 2010

Me, Upset?

I knew there was cause for concern when something from upstairs dripped downstairs into my kitchen.  Fearing beyond belief that it was the toilet and the contamination that could be happening over my stove, I called the plumber and he fixed my loose toilet which he said was loose but wasn't leaking and my tub looked fine.  OK.  The leak in the kitchen stopped and I assumed everything was fine.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and my son told me that after his shower, he noticed the kitchen floor wet.  So I turn on the shower and ask him to wait downstairs to see what happens.  In a few minutes he says, "It's raining in the kitchen!"  Sure enough the water is dripping from several places.  Yikes!

I call the plumbers again and in comes Ricky and Dwayne.  Nice enough guys.  They showed up at 4-ish and said they would be done promptly at about 10p.  Gulp!  Guess there won't be any dinner cooked on this night.  They went to work.

First they pulled the wood of the soffit to expose the pipe and made a little hole in the ceiling:

Not too bad.  How much trouble would it be to replace a couple of tiles?  So I went into the living room and tried to ignore the noise coming from the kitchen while I did a little spinning.  Until I heard a saw, and heard banging.  So I went to have a peek:

Bigger hole and crap all over the kitchen floor and I'm looking up at the bath tub and it's related pipes.  OMG!

So, I went back into the living room to spin and tried not to hear stuff hitting the floor and my stove, not to mention what germs were swirling around in the kitchen now.  Ugh!

When all was said and done, I ended up with this:

But I was out $1300 bucks, and some of it was my NY Sheep & Wool Festival budget!  Drats!

No more raining in the kitchen, but the hole has to stay open until the wood that was below the leak dries, six weeks he said.  Six weeks of staring up at my new pipes.

Moving along, I did finish the socks I made for Yvette.  They're called Embossed Leaves which can be found here, and made with Koigu KPPMG, 1 1/2 skeins worth because the knitting gods never let me run out of any yarn - ever.  I used US #2 for the cuff and US #1 for the socks because Yvette has tiny little size 6 feet.

Nifty little pair of socks and cuter than they look on the blockers.

And as for the spinning, well ... it's not a good idea to spin when the plumbers are whacking away bits of your house and you're concerned about what's falling out of the ceiling, but I managed.

This is merino/tussah from Cloverleaf farms, one of the millions of braids of merino I'm trying to pare down so I can have room in the fiber cabinet for my new stash that I was planning to buy this weekend. 

Now all I have to do is figure out how I'm going to function for weeks with the hole in my ceiling.  I just pray that there's no wildlife living in there!