Sunday, July 30, 2006

To Live in a Dream

Do you ever wish your dreams would come true? That you could have something in real life that you've dreamed of? Retorical questions really. But let me ask you this... have you seen something that you got really excited about... say some super expensive silky alpaca or the worlds softest merino... and thought, "Oh, I wish I'd had that in my dream!" Well, my dear 7 yos (whose boundary between reality and fantasy is clearly a very fine line) recently exclaimed just that at the sight of an exceptionally long Hummer Limo. Apparently he has had a couple of dreams that involve hanging on to the top of speeding cars while they race around and he thought that the Hummer would have been a perfect addition to said dream. Hmmmm. I would truly love to spend just a couple of hours in his mind... it would be quite an escape from reality I'm sure.

Lest you think I showing any favoritism towards my curious 7 yo Daniel, I must add that my 4 other boys are each unique, bright, fun-loving blessings of joy in my life... and all seem to have a pretty good grip on reality. Daniel just seems to bring a little twist to our family that keeps us all on our toes. No favoritism... just amusement.

BTW - after the week of gauge disasters, I decided to cast on a sock with some beautfiul Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn. Not taking into consideration the prior events of the week, I actually tried a couple of different patterns to make a lacy anklet... would you believe I had gauge problems?!? Well, I came to my senses and proceeded with a simple ribbed cuff and moved on. Ahhh... a wip that is not defeating me.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Got Gauge?

You know, there are a lot of things I never had and couldn't get... such as style, grace, confidence, compassion, social skills, Spanish, musical ability (in any form), great hair, multi-tasking, an A in P.E.... I could go painfully on but I won't. You see, knitting has helped me forget all that. I finally found a skill, a talent that I could succeed with and even have confidence in. Now I'm not suggesting by any stretch that I'm a great knitter, just that I feel good about it... it doesn't intimidate me... and with yarn and needles I can even create some style and grace. And as for social skills, well, no big improvement I suppose, but at least with yarn in hand I don't sit there mortally paralized in social situations anymore.

Yet here I find myself, losing hope in my one area of confidence, completely and totally unable to get gauge. Not just on the one project which I actually cast aside (and have since become totally convinced that the pattern gauge is absolutely, positively impossible to achieve without going up about 4 needles sizes and leaving gaping holes... of course I could knit up a larger size with a different gauge but then I might need more yarn thereby incurring more expense with no assurances of a decent outcome) but also on the new Allhemp6 top I tried to start to help me forget the Oasis tank. How can I unwind and stay sane when the yarn, my main source of sanity, is betraying me? See, it's happening already, a sane person would surely just put both lothesome projects out of sight and contentedly return to one of her existing WIPs or cast on a new sock (or finish a current one) but no... that would be a sane person (which, as you know, I only border on the edge of anyway).

So, that's it... I'm defeated and deflated. I think I need to read one of
Julie's good books. Or maybe I'll settle in with the sequel to my most recent literary accomplishment Knit One, Kill Two entitled Needled to Death. Ha... I guess that would be appropriate.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Winter in July?

I was surprised (and thrilled) to receive my fall Interweave in the mail today (although I will admit that wool & mohair are a bit hard to look at in 90 degree heat). Anyway, I LOVE this Wanderlust Hoodie. It's knit in the Karabella Aurora Bulky (love it) and may cost a fortune but I have to make it... even though I may only get to wear it once a year here in So Cal. I love cables and this sweater is too perfect. I wonder if I can find a lighter yarn substitute. There are actually several great sweaters in this issue that I'll have to review when the weather cools off. Meanwhile, I'll be keeping an eye out for Aurora Bulky on sale.

And for fun... my DH just ordered an awesome Lexie Barnes knitting bag for me for my birthday (okay, well I picked it out and ordered it but he encouraged me and ok'd it). "Features include durable zipper closure, side wings to prevent snags, protective padding, 2 reinforced needle pockets, 14 reinforced tool pockets, slim exterior pocket for patterns or magazine, scuff-resistant ballistic bottom and our signature non-slip shoulder straps with a 9" drop." Can't wait!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rattlesnakes, Bee Stings & Heatwaves

What do these things have to do with knitting? Nothing, but that's what's on my mind. First of all, I am practically phobic about heat so 100 degree weather is enough to throw me into a barely functioning, mental/physical mess. We don't have general A/C (despite my years of begging) just one small window unit in the kitchen (like I'm even considering cooking in this heat!) But over the last week, my DH has generously added an upstairs unit and, today, a living room unit. (I think he's hoping for me to progress to coherent conversation (beyond the much overstated "It's too hot!") and maybe even a meal. Anyway, I'm finally reasonably comfortable enough to consider functioning... if only I could get my 3 yos to understand that I do love him even though I'd prefer he not touch me right now.

As for Rattlesnakes? They're dangerous... even deadly! I know this is common knowledge, especially to my husband who is deeply commited to and fascinated by snakes of all types, but sometimes overconfidence overcomes common knowledge and you learn a little more than you bargained for. This man who has spent most of his life chasing and capturing snakes (he actually chased a Copperhead through poison ivy once to make the catch ) finally met his match in the form of a foot long baby Southern Pacific. So... Thursday night was spent in the hospital (where I did get to do some knitting) receiving 10 vials of anti-venom. Special thanks to my mom who retrieved all my kiddos for a sleepover and to my dear friend Julie who kept me comforted and amused (we knit of course). Praise God, he is healing quickly and the prognosis is good... we're just supposed to watch for any signs of tissue damage to the finger and the inevitable serum sickness which will follow. Oh joy.

While I can't ignore the obvious that bee stings are significantly less alarming than rattlesnake bites, I do have to note my amazement that my 7 yo son (our source for endless confusion and amusement) received one heck of a sting at the pool yesterday without making a whimper. He merely removed the stinger then asked me if part of the bee had been torn off with the sting since he noticed a clump of bee flesh on the stinger he carefully removed. This is a child that dreams of aliens but is deathly afraid of spiders. Go figure.

Anyway, this is supposed to be about knitting right? Well, still no camera, but I did manage to finish my blue Green Gable (I really liked knitting with the Cotton Fleece), and have cast on for a great SWTC Oasis tank from kpixie. I also finished a really quick sock in Fancy Image DK hand-dyed sock yarn (soft & squishy). I got to visit Fancy Image Yarns when I was in Washington a couple of weeks ago... it was a great little store and the owner was very sweet. Next, I want to knit the new pattern, Rusted Root, from zephyr style. I think I'm going to use the yummy Rowan Calmer I have in my stash for this (imagine that... using yarn from your stash!) This by no means represents the full extent of my WIPs but it's a start.

Meanwhile, I'm praying for a week of cooler weather and less excitment... and hopefully a trip to Wildfiber in Santa Monicawith my knitting pals... I understand they have Socks that Rock and Koigu. Oooooooh! I so want to touch!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Do Aliens Exist?

While spending some quality time with my 7 year old last night doing random internet searches on things of interest like shark attacks, snakes, and alien abductions (you know, your basic 7 year old interests), we came across this ... Yep, they are dog tags that identify your location in the universe so any aliens that might abduct you will be able to return you safely home without getting lost (I guess in case they forgot where they abducted you from, you know). Well, my 7 year old is still begging for one of these... not out of fear... but out of hope. Hope that maybe, just maybe, there really are aliens that might visit him and take him on a tour of the universe. (It's kinda like the kids that know Santa isn't real but still kinda wish, hope, pretend that he's real anyway... just creepier.) I actually think it's funny and would totally get him one (heck, it's easier to carry around than a sword or a lightsaber) but oddly enough most of his 7 year old peers find the whole alien abduction thing pretty freaky (hmmm... imagine that) and even "annoying" as he discovered after a couple of hours at the park this morning. I guess I'd better try to keep him content on this planet.

BTW - still looking for snazzy mini camera. Where would you look?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Getting Started

Well, here it is... I'm jumping into the 21st century with my own blog! Maybe soon I'll even figure out how to load photos so I can post pics. I mean, after all, what's a knitting blog without pictures? I know that's why I surf the knitting net. So I can see photos of what everyone else is making and get inspired... to shop and buy more yarn! Which on some days I do more of than actual knitting.

Well off to find my snazzy little digital camera that my husband just reminded me he bought last winter before he realizes that I don't know where it is. (I knew it was too small... I'm not even sure where the big digital camera is or how to even use our digital camcorder.) Hmmm. I know exactly where my Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Blue Sky cotton are though... even where that single hank of Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn is... actually I think there're 3 hanks in there now. Yep... pretty sure it's up to 3.

Once I find said camera, I can bug my husband to teach me to upload photos. Then I can post pics of all my WIPs. That should be one long post!

For now, here's a test pic of a trip to the aquarium with the boys. (I know... nothing to do with knitting. But cool fish - and adorable dudes.)