Thursday, September 28, 2006

10 Things Knitterly

I saw this meme over at Grumperina's and while I'm not a huge meme fan, I like this one. So, here goes.

10 knitterly things about me.
  1. I have never knit a sweater in pieces and seamed it together successfully. The tank took a dive and will live again as Sizzle, but, in my mind, this still doesn't count as it doesn't have set-in sleeves. I am totally a "in the round" kind of girl.
  2. I adore cables. They are the best knitting feat out there. They look wildly complicated, yet aren't that hard to produce well. Lots of bang for very little buck.
  3. I am totally a process knitter. See number one. The finished object must be perfect (or nearly so), but I tend to give away much more than I keep. The pieces hold very little sentimental attachment for me.
  4. A quick look in my knitting basket reveals that I have knitting ADD. I have waaaaay to many projects on the needles at any given time. I am trying to correct this, but my sucess rate is pretty low.
  5. I have recently developed a sizable fetish for sock yarn. I love the colors and the fact that you can throw them in the wash. Now, I just need more time to knit all those socks.
  6. As my blogroll demonstrates, I spend entirely too much time trolling the web for interesting blogs. I love the feeling of camaraderie that develops between people who in all likelihood will never meet. Some are a bit like watching a soap opera, others have the potential to inspire me to greatness. But, the best in my opinion are those that show me that even great knitters are humbled by the lowly act of wrapping string around a stick.
  7. Deep in my soul, there is a burning, red-hot need to become a spinner. The entire journey from fleece to garment enthralls me. The choice of breed, processing the fleece (okay, not so much this part), spinning (my hands just seem to know what to do when I am at a wheel), dyeing, knitting. All of it is so interesting and challenging. The control over what is produced is intriguing.
  8. Intellectually, I have no fear of steeking. But the thought of doing it makes me weep.
  9. Like all true addicts, I eschew sleeping for a few more rows.
    The other night was the perfect example. After getting home at 10:15 from my knitting group, I decided that I was in the right state of mind to figure out where the missing stitch wasn't, on the peacock shawl. I had spent over
    an hour looking for the damn thing the night before and was resigned to the fact that I was probably going to have to tink almost 400 stitches over 3 rows.

    Then, a light bulb moment. The error was in the second to last repeat on the row. I could count the stitches from the edge backwards. Lo and behold, there it wasn't, a missing yarn over. I felt so good about finishing that row that I decided to do the next row which was a purl row. That only took 15 minutes. Then, I HAD to knit the next row because it was the last row of chart 3 and the pattern was pretty easy. By then it was 11:30 and past my bedtime.

  10. Rarely do I knit a pattern exactly as written. I always make some sort of change. Like most knitters, I tend not to keep meticulous notes on what I did. This ups the difficulty on say a pair of highly patterned socks or sweaters.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Three in one night

This weekend has been busy. First, the purple tank became this.

Then, I cast on for Sizzle.

I strung beads for Odessa.

Another felted hat was started using the yarn from the WI Sheep and Wool Festival.

And I built this. As usual, I made a few changes. I used a lazy susan base that I got at Home Depot along with the other supplies. The most expensive part was the drill bit for the holes. It has taken a bit of tweaking because the notches have to be about perfect for the lazy susan to spin properly. (Ask me how I know this.) The original pattern calls for using 1 x 2's and in retrospect, I should not have changed that to 2x2's. It is too heavy and causes too much tension in the wound ball of yarn. When I have some more time, I will probably try making the arms again so it isn't so heavy.

During the week, this got finished as well.

All in all, quite busy.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Time flies

I can hardly believe how incredibly busy I am, both at work and at home. At work, I haven't complained to anyone, yet it seems that everyone but my boss is noticing, mostly because she is too busy to see beyond what she has to do. I found out today that yet another person in our department is leaving to take a different position in the company. This is a good move for him, however, it is the 3rd person to leave in 6 months and not one of the positions has been filled. They will have to fill his, but the rest of us are drowning trying to keep up.

(Joe, Randy is taking Dan's spot in service.)

At home, meh, things are just, meh. As in, I can't get up the energy to even do the most basic tidying so it looks like a bomb exploded. (Vaguely reminiscent of my desk actually) I hate it like this, but with Caleb still not sleeping through the night, I am exhausted.

In knitting news, last night I was able to go to a Brewer's game (we got clobbered) in the company suite with a variety of co-workers. The food was great and I got almost all of the body of the stork hat knit. Again, it is just a beanie, so no picture, but this is the yarn. Sorry for the crappy link, but it is the only one I could find with color 115. I am LOVING this colorway and wish that I had been able to pick up more than one. Once it is completed, I will post a picture.

I have ripped out the lace scarf yet again because I wasn't liking how it turned out. I'm really wishing that I had access to another stitch dictionary.

And I joined Socktoberfest, because I need an excuse to knit more socks!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Lots and Little

Lots seems to be happening around here.
  • The washer got fixed and it wasn't due to felting.
  • The hat got felted.
  • 2 skeins for Knitpicks Bare in worsted got dyed with Kool-Aid.
  • Caleb is feeling better and went to his best friend's birthday party today.
  • I think I found the stitch pattern for the laceweight I bought recently.

On the other hand I have a horrible feeling of ennui and can't seem to shake it. I am hating my job. In fact, I dusted off my resume tonight. I haven't posted it online because that would be temping the fates entirely too much, but I did send it out to a couple of places. I also saw that there is still an opening in another department in my company that I might be able to take. I am going to see HR about it on Monday. I am beyond pissed that it has taken 4 months to post the vacancy in our department and even though my boss has gotten several pre-qualified resumes she hasn't set up any interviews. I don't have it in me to take on the additional job responsibilities. I can't. I won't work that many additional hours to complete the tasks at hand.

I feel as if I am being set up to fail. I go to ask questions and she doesn't have the time to talk to me. Yet, I can tell she disapproves that things aren't happening as she would like. I am in over my head and want out. I truly feel like taking this position in the company was one of the worst moves I have ever made. While I have made some new friends, it has not been worth the stress. I can't continue to feel like this and make my family take the toll. While I realize that there are very few knitting jobs out there that can pay the bills, I desperately want to chuck it all in to do what makes me happy.

It doesn't help that I can't lean on Eric as he is completely wrapped up in what he needs to do. However, my best friend called and it was so nice to be able to unload all of it to her. I miss her desperately.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Where's the Maytag man when you need him?

I finished another hat this weekend and was going to felt it yesterday but the washer crapped out in the middle of a load of puky sheets. (I love having a kiddo who is under the weather, don't you?) It washes and agitates just fine, but it won't spin out at all. Thankfully we still rent while Eric is in school, so it isn't really my problem. I am a bit nervous that it could be from felting. I use a zippered pillowcase but it is possible that some of the fuzz escaped at some point. I am crossing my fingers that the repair man won't find a hunk of fibers in the pump, not so sure how to explain that one to the landlord and get out of paying for the repair.

I cast on again for the Pomatomus socks. I just love the design but an struggling with the gauge. Actually, that isn't true. I'm struggling with my cankles.

I decided to go up a needle size to see how it looks. This yarn and this pattern together really need to be knit on a US 1.5 (2.5mm) but it ends up a smidge too tight on me. The socks look fabulous until I put them on. I won't describe it, wouldn't want to sear any one's eyes. It probably won't look the best, but if they fit I will be happy, because no one, I mean no one will get my first pair of Koigu socks as a gift. I love this yarn in all of its purply goodness.

While in the hospital on Monday, I worked on this hat for the craft fair and I have decided that I MUST get my hands on some more of this yarn because it is the absolute best. I am endlessly fascinated with the color variation. Yes, I realize this is a commercial yarn, not hand crafted, but it rocks. I can so see a kid's sweater done in this. What a twee little sweater. Have a friend having a baby. must. get. more. yarn. Baby bolero from One Skein, or MDK...

The ball band on this says 3.5-4 and I knit the cap up on a US3. Dense as hell, but it should make it warmer. I never understand knitted caps that are knit loosely. The wind whips right through them and defeats the purpose of covering your head.
Is it a bad thing that I had to buy another contain for my yarn? I didn't think so either. I currently use these and love them because I can pull out just the one I need and I don't have to dig endlessly. My collection of sock yarn has expanded exploded recently and I needed to add another drawer for just that. It works well because I can endlessly sort and resort how the yarn is organized. (Mind you, it really needs to be reorganized, not just petted.)

How do you organize your yarn? As I said, most of mine is in the drawers, but then, there are all the WIP in the baskets next to the couch. This area is in a sad state, because I have a bit of a problem with startitis, but never really finish a lot of the projects.

Current WIPs
  • Purple Cotton Fleece tank - headed for the frog pond, destined to become Sizzle, I purchased the pattern already and just need to frog.

  • Lace scarf from recycled mohair - this is from the shawl I had given to my grandmother, one of my first knitting projects. I will most likely pull this off the needles and try another variation on the same lace. This has sat for nearly a year.

  • Pomatomus socks

  • Stork Cap - you haven't seen this yet. Nothing fancy, just a beanie for the craft fair

  • Felted Hat - just need felting, which requires a functioning washer

  • Chenille scarf in broken rib to match the cap. While I love the look of the pattern, it is killing me to knit it. Mind-numbingly boring. Oddly, I don't find plain stockinette in the round to be boring at all. The vagaries of a simple mind never fail to amaze me.

  • Peacock Feathers shawl in Merino Oro

My intention is to finish a few more items (I need to get to a multiple of ten to print off the labels) for the craft fair and then I will start working on cleaning up the WIP pile. A lot of these will be sold, but they don't take much concentration and so get left for riding in the car or watching TV.

Monday, September 11, 2006

We're home

We made it home today after surgery. I feel so badly for the little guy. He did great and I am thanking my lucky stars for narcotics. For him, not me. Although my nerves could have used some today.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

WI Sheep and Wool

After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to head over to the show. I wasn't sure because they have the same vendors year after year. However some of those vendors include Blackberry Ridge and Susan's Fibers. I love Susan's Fibers. She comes with about a dozen wheels and takes up at least 4 booths.

I managed to stay away except for a the Fiber Trends pattern for Felted Clogs which will be a Christmas gift for some family.

I did manage to score some great hand paints. Not too much to break the budget. I got 2 huge hanks of worsted weight. Estimated yardage is approximately 450 yards each. Get this. They were only $10 each. (That would be the great big honking hanks in front and underneath.)
The other is a lace-weight. Unknown yardage, weighs in at 87 grams. This was a whopping 5 bucks. I am thinking that these will become toe-up ankle socks for me, but we'll see. This was a one of a kind. Apparently, the artist was teaching a dyeing class and if there was unexhausted dye left, then she used it to hand paint some skeins. There were some that were all one color and they were lovely, but not my colors.

On second thought, anyone have a suggestion for a lace scarf done in lace-weight?


On a wildly different note, Caleb will be having his tonsils out on Monday. I am nervous beyond words. Freaking out would be an understatement. I do realize that this is a minor procedure and all, but still...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Yet another hat

I finished another hat for the craft fair. It came out much smaller than I would have hoped, but I will sell it as a baby hat. No one but me knows that it should have been larger. Well, and now you. You can keep a secret right?
I also got into trouble on again. It is causing my wallet some serious problems. There are four skeins here. The 2 larger ones will each make a pair of socks. I just had to have the orange and can hardly wait to cast on. I have a feeling these will be plain ol' stockinette, round and round until you want to poke your eyes out with a dpn. The light blue with white and light brown has 2 50 gm skeins and is not quite a sportweight. These might become a pair for sale as I am jonesing to cast on for something more complicated than a hat or garter stitch scarf.

Not to beg, but I am curious to see if I can email people back on the new blogger comments...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yoohoo, over here

Glad to see you made the great migration. Hopefully this will work and be worth the effort.

Monday, September 04, 2006

I have been trying to post most of the day today. I get so frustrated when things that you expect to work don't. I finished another felted hat today. It came out pretty well. If I were to do it again, I would add the contrasting color to the outermost rim of the hat and make the stripe a bit wider. The crown of the hat is 40 rows before the decreases. I made the stripe 7 rows tall. I think I might make it 8 or 9 rows next time. The colors on the darker picture are more accurate. Naturally, the red doesn't photograph worth crap.

Eric has started a new rotation and while overall the hours sound like they will be better (pre-rounding at 7 versus 5:30 am), the call days are definitely worse. Today he is in the pediatric ER until 10 p.m. Blech.

I have not worked much on the shawl in a futile, desperate, pathetic attempt to get a few more pieces done for the craft show. I am realizing that it is much closer than it should be. Mostly I will be doing hats. I love the felted ones and they are great stashbusters for me. This one was done from the same wool as Eric's hat and the red left over from a Christmas stocking.

Hopefully this will off set the guilt of several recent online purchases. Destash is quickly becoming my worst nightmare, or at least my bank account's.

On Saturday, I made my first purchase from Knitpicks. Yes, I realize that I am the last knitter alive to do so. I decided to try my hand at kool-aide dyeing again. The last one was so successful and I always need inexpensive wool for the felted hats. I also needed a needle and even with several balls of wool, the cost of the entire order with shipping was under 20 bucks. A decent needle would have cost at least $15 at my lys. Here's hoping it is a decent buy. Have a happy and safe Labor Day to all of those here in the U.S. We are really going all out by having Caleb's best friend over for the afternoon. (Yes, this is a bald faced attempt to keep him occupied while Eric is gone all day, thank you very much.)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

All shawl, all the time

I have been working on the shawl nearly every day. It is progressing. I just finished row 100 which puts me about halfway through the fourth chart. I am ignoring how many more rows I have to go. Along with how many more stitches that is if I increase by 2 every row. (Really, it is 4 st on every odd row, but hey, who's counting.)

I've noticed a few small errors, but nothing that I am willing to rip back for. Time to let my inner zen shine through. I am using lifelines because I am freaking paranoid about having to start over because I drop a stitch. For some reason, I did not wig out about doing my first true lace project with cobweb weight black yarn.

Speaking of yarn, I am completely amazed that I have knit this much and only used 12 grams of yarn. I have another whole hank of this stuff. We'll have to see what becomes of it. I can't imagine wearing many shawls, but they are so lovely and really test my mind (not to mention my ability to refrain from profanities).

I knit up the first hat from the clearance yarn. It is cute and simple. I plan to make a matching scarf for it using a broken rib pattern. It should be cute. I do love the sherbet-y color of this one.

On a completely different topic, I found the following blog entry on the top 10 ways to create angry employees. Tell me you haven't experienced at least a couple of them!