Thursday, August 31, 2006

14 Stitches...

That's how many stitches I knit today because when I picked up Rusted Root and started to knit, I noticed that the new sock yarn that came in the mail today (awesome deal on e-bay) was a perfect match for the sweater. So of course I thought... "Gotta take a picture of this!" Which led to me logging on, then I went to my blog, and got totally sidetracked with the some minor design details in the blog template and I became totally lost in the world of HTML and CSS (or CCS, whatever it is). This brought out my hopelessly nerdy side which absolutely loves this sort of thing! I used to love working on computers back in the day... but I'm also a fan of instruction manuals with indexes which seem in desperately short supply these days and clicking all over the help buttons drives me batty so I usually steer clear of all computer creativity for fear of throwing it out the window. Anyway... now it's dark and pics will have to wait. I'm off to take some more cold medicine and go to bed. Actually, I would like to blame the whole insanity of the last ? hours of my life (and this post) on the cold medicine but... well... it's just me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Choose excuses carefully!

How far will a gal reach for an excuse to buy yarn? Was it the opportunity to knit with pink? The cute little Petal Bib pattern in my new One Skein book? I know it couldn't have been a legitimate need for a gift for a friend who's about to have her first baby... heck, there's Toys R Us for that. What was it that drove me to knit a burp rag? It could've been nothing short of the desperate need for an excuse to buy yarn.

I will say that I'm pleased with the results. The petal bibs and booties (Fiber Trends CH-36) were both fun, quick knits. But that burp rag... that burp rag... Oy vey! I think it took longer to knit than all the other items put together. But this may have been due to the fact that I never knit more than 2 rows without getting distracted by something else. It took sheer determination (and a good movie) to get through the 2nd half. I don't know why, I liked the pattern and the results... should've been a quick easy knit but... it's a burp rag... I was handknitting a burp rag (not that there's anything wrong with that). I just have other things I'd rather be knitting. Rusted Root, Gedifra sweater, Lorna's Seaside Socks, Allhemp Tee, Marilyn's Not-so-Shrunken Cardigan, the new Blue Sky Cropped Cardigan... I could go on but you get the idea. Anyway, the burp rag is from Mason Dixon Knitting , which I love... it was just me... really. The yarn is Rowan Handknit Cotton.

Moving on, Rusted Root progress...

And some new sock yarn (ya know... for my sock yarn drawer)...

Well, I had a busy day today featuring a couple hard-fought games of Memory with 3yo, a family game of Sponge Bob Life and I even learned to use e-bay to sell things. Did you know you can actually sell things there and not just buy? And it doesn't even take some sort of computer degree to figure out how to do it! So I spent the rest of my afternoon taking pics and posting stash on e-bay. Whew - what a day... guess it's time to hop over to pizza dot com and order some dinner. Hey - I have to make sure I leave some time for knitting today! :)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just Picture It...

Well, I just went through the ordeal of slipping my Rusted Root off the needles and onto some scrap yarn so I could try it on. I love it! I'm so excited with the way it's coming out and the fit. Of course I ran to get my handy camera to snap a photo but guess what? The battery was dead... of course it was... apparently the handy little camera needs to be recharged occasionally. But see I'm learning 'cause at least now I'm not trying to figure out where the battery is to replace it... I only need to find the plug to re-charge it! Woo-hoo. Optimism baby.

And Mom, I know you're wondering why I would be working on anything else besides your much belated Mother's Day/Birthday (maybe Christmas) gift now that I've finally found the matching ribbon... but with this horrible sinus thingy going on I could only sit and do mindless knitting. There was no way I could attempt to stand over a blocking board, then configure and seam a poorly diagrammed, but very lovely, Debbie Bliss top.

Oh and as for the Rusted Root... you'll just have to take my word for it. It looks fabulous, simply fabulous. And the new Socks that Rock yarn I got over the weekend, lovely browns & blues, really!

Got Stash?

I desperately need to do some de-stashing. If you're interested, you can see the yarn I'm trying to sell or swap here...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ahhh... to be 14 again.

I was gonna write some witty, sarcastic comment about the laid back life of a teenager, kicking back here in his flannels with his PSP. But after another look at this picture, I got the sinking realization that with some longer hair and knitting needles this could pretty much be me most evenings. Hmmmm. Oh well, time to resume my position (and try to bribe one of my sons for a neck rub with M&Ms!)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Back to school, back to home!

Not much time for knitting the last few days... When I'm not busy sleeping (my allergies, current heat spike and PMS are joining forces to wipe me out!), I'm busy with my second favorite hobby... sorting through curriculum and lesson planning! I'll have 4 students home this year including 2 in Jr. High! This should terrify me but it doesn't. They're great boys (albeit very active, competitive and noisy) and as usual I'm going to approach this coming school year with an unrealistic, and quite possibly quickly deflated, sense of optimism.

One of my first goals is to work through the Young Peacemakers program you can see on the right along with our morning Bible study, which is going to help them to shed their selfish, temperamental ways and learn to peacefully and successfully resolve all their disputes with out fists or threats. (What?! A gal can dream can't she?) Seriously though, as my oldest grows up, I'm understanding more and more the importance of character development and the necessity of constantly plugging along with my efforts in spite of what often seems an impossible goal... Godly, well-mannered, compassionate young-men. In Christ all things are possible right?! I know it's not going to be done through my efforts alone!

Then there's the basics... They each have a great DVD teacher for math. My older 2 are both entering Algebra which thrills me to no end! Seriously, what could possibly be more fun than solving for x? I love math. Plus lots of reading, writing and thinking skills work. Most of our history and science is learned through literature. It's amazing how much a child can learn about a subject when let loose at the library to find books on a subject of interest! My sons put me to shame with their knowledge of wildlife!

So I enthusiastically sit down in the midst of this pile and begin to plan out the details cheerfully imagining peaceful days with children who love their workbooks, joyfully absorb the knowledge I impart, are thrilled to solve for X, and work diligently and seriously to complete their work in a timely and accurate manner. Of course this requires complete denial on my part of the threats and bribes it will take to get through each day... not to mention the amount of time I will need to invest resolving grave disputes over such issues as pencil ownership and who sat where first. Ahh, but I just know this year is going to be great... our best year yet! (optimism overfloweths)

As for knitting, Rusted Root is moving along. I picked up and ribbed the neck because I was concerned about how the lace was going to affect the ribbing and it looks fine. I think after a good blocking it will be great. I've also separated the arms and am moving down the body. I was able to try it on at this point and it's looking good (but I forgot to take a picture).

Anyway, I just got another one of these
Rollie StitchKeepers in the mail today. They are also for holding Sock WIPs but I got these for holding my shorter 5" Brittany Birch needles (which I love). They are only $6 and come in a variety of sizes. The gal is great to work with too. The Lorna's Laces Daffodil in the pic is next in line... maybe.

Then there's my current obsessions... these three patterns from
kpixie (I mean, not that I need or am even ready for a new pattern but for me the whole obsessing/longing thing is part of knitting)

I actually have the yarn for the shrug on the right (actually I probably have enough burnt orange tweed for a friend to knit along on this one. Anyone interested?) But the purse... oh, the purse! I love this purse but really don't need another... does that technically matter?? The cardigan is Blue Sky Alpaca Sportweight... I wonder if I could make it more affordable by subbing Knit Picks Alpaca yarn? Oh well, just dreaming about knitting for now.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Boy, His Mom, and Her Camera

What do you do with a 7 yo who can't sleep and is still awake at midnight? Give him a camera!

Check out that Lexie Barnes bag... Love it!

(Tiny stitch glasses in place.)

Be sure to give instructions while he's taking the picture...
"You have to hold the button for ..." FLASH

And now for the masterpiece...

We call this "Legolas in Action"

He insisted on downloading and posting these tonight... er... this morning I guess... but the poor lad has since fallen asleep on the couch. Good night D.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Green Gable
Pattern from Zephyr Style
Knit with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece
I wore my finished (Blue) Green Gable for the first time today. I loved wearing it as well as knitting it. Of course DH got quite a kick out of my modeling (or lack thereof) for the camera since I usually refuse to have my picture taken.
Diagonal Front Jacket
Pattern from Debbie Bliss Home
Knit with Debbie Bliss Cotton DK
This was an interesting knit. It is knit all in one piece except for the arms. It was fine at first as the body was taking shape with increases and short rows but after a while... whew... it took real determination to keep going with the repetitive pattern and the 100% cotton yarn. Turns out that the rumors are true and cotton is not the most pleasurable substance to knit with.
But I love the finished sweater! Perfect for a cool summer/fall evening... now we just need to have one!

And here is D, my dear 7yos, thrilled beyond belief to be making his internet debut. He's wearing the first sweater I ever knit. It was knit out of some cheap acrylic yarn but from a great Knitting Pure & Simple Pattern. He begged for this sweater, a sweater with a hood knit in colors he picked!

However, something about the way it hangs bugs him (yeah - he said that) so he's worn it a total of ZERO times. Yet, when he saw the pictures on my blog last night, he was quick to grab it for a modeling session. His day has been made.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Too Excited!! Pictures!!

How about a little less talk and a little more action?

A couple of current WIPs...

Gedifra Top Soft Sweater (front & sleeve) & close up of lace pattern

Rusted Root progress
(love those stitch markers)

How about some socks?

One on the way... and more to come...

Love this DPN WIP holder! It's a replica of ones used in the Victorian Era and recently made famous by a photo op by the Yarn Harlot.

I'll try to do some modeling tomorrow, or at least get a few finished objects up.

Gotta stop all this fun now and feed the young'ens (boy, they seem to want that every night!)

Check it out!

Meet my 14 yos who is quickly turning my hair gray.

This is an actual photo from my itty-bitty camera that's actually been transferred from my camera to my computer to here! And I did it all by myself! Turns out my camera didn't need new batteries... I just needed to recharge the battery in place (duh - technology). Now off to take some pictures of knitting!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Momentarily Rooted

I'm totally hooked on Rusted Root ! I love the pattern, the yarn, the color... it's actually managing to reign in most of my attention. The Lorna's Laces Seaside is still hanging on my DPNs and I dutifully work a few rows of the lacy Gedifra sweater sleeve most days but Rusted Root has the rest of my knitting time. Told ya I was a fickle knitter.

And, yes, I know... actual photos would make this more interesting. My son found my new itty-bitty camera but it needs batteries... another hurdle! I'm not only fickle but a bit of a procrastinator too.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sock Rave... and dismay

Well, the beautiful Lorna's Laces Seaside made it on to my new size 0 (I knit a bit loose) Knit Picks DPNs. I wanted to try something a little different (but not too difficult) so I picked out a lovely Openwork Rib from my always handy, entirely essential Sensational Knitted Socks book. I contentedly knit round and round and round stopping occasionally to admire the texture of the pattern and colors. I knit in the waiting room and right through my son's doctors appt... I don't think I ever even looked up at the doc as he explained to me that my 14 yos foot was most likely not broken but the swelling and pain indicated a sprain or similar injury and he should stay off of it for at least a week. Did I mention that it first started hurting when he jumped off the roof of the local high school about a month ago? Or that he's been playing football since 3 days after the injury? Or, most noticeably, that the pain seems to only really interfere with those major activities like doing the dinner dishes and taking out the trash? However, the swelling was real and I thought if it was fractured and we ignored it, I'd get another black mark against any hopes I have of that allusive Mother-of-the-Year award. Additionally I figured that a cast would keep my 95 pound quarterback off the field of 150 lb linemen, and, I'll admit, I thought that maybe strong words of warning from a professional would convince my son and overly enthusiastic husband that he needs to take a break. Yeah - right. I guess we'll just have to count that hour that he sat still in the docs office today as his time off.

Oh, the sock, yeah, back to the sock... after delivering the boys to football, I returned home and immediately whipped out the sock and continued in rounds. For some reason I suddenly became concerned with the pattern and the size so I slipped all 2.5 inches of it on my leg for a look. Yikes! Stretched out on my leg, the beautiful sock became a mockery of stitches. Tiny stitches of vibrant colors blasting at me in all directions... it was... it was... awful. How could this be? Sadly I began the frogging... back to the beginning. I'm going to do this one plain and simple, straight stockinette. It was looking much better but boy those colors were vibrant... in a good way, just much more so than I originally thought. At some point in the midst of my knitting and cooking I realized that everything was different. And then it hit me, actually they hit me, my glasses slipped. I never wear my glasses (although apparently I should). And then I remembered that when I got home and sat down to knit, the light had seemed dim and the stitches quite tiny so I had pulled out my glasses that had been neglected for months and set them in place. Then I froze, had I frogged a perfectly good sock? (Doubtful) Or should I avoid looking at all of my previously knit finished items with my glasses? Most likely.

New rule... keep glasses in knitting bag at all times... and most importantly, USE them!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sweater Neglect

Boy, I'm not finishing anything these days but socks. I just finished the pair of All Things Heather in sportweight Golden Plum that I started last week (a new record for me) and I can't wait to cast on the newly rolled ball of Lorna's Laces Seaside that is waiting in my basket... or should I start with the bright summery Daffodil LL that's next to it. Hmmm... then there's the other LLs upstairs, along with some beautiful Cherry Tree Hill and stunning new Socks that Rock ... all on top of a few balls of Regia, Trekking in turquoise, and the great Opal patterned yarns I picked up on e-bay last winter (when I so cleverly bid on several balls, hoping that I'd get at least one. Cleverly... and costly... I won 5 of the 6). I'm pretty sure I don't want to wait for the new STR yarn that's coming in the mail in a few days (new color - Lucy - beautiful browns and blues). Yep, pretty sure it will be Seaside (earthy browns, khaki, navy, turquoise and white) ... a little above the ankles, maybe with a lacy or cabled pattern. I'm totally hooked!

In the meanwhile, I'm trying not to neglect my other patient WIPs... I work at least a few rounds or cables on one of the 3 tops that are sharing my couch-side basket each day (I'm loving Rusted Root by the way). But I'm really content with my socks at the moment. Don't worry beautiful sweaters... I'm easily bored and led astray... I'll be back.

BTW - I actually started a Mason-Dixon dishcloth last week. While I love both the MD book and blog, I was convinced that dishclothes would never be on my knitting agenda. (Remember how I felt about socks.) But then I noticed some much used, much loved ones at a friend's home. She loved them and said how special they were to her. Sounded like a good enough reason for a trip to Michael's $1 sale and a quick knit to me. However, there's only time in my life right now for socks and the much desired, too-expensive-to-be-neglected-forever sweaters. I wish I would have found dishclothes earlier in my knitting days before I knit about 5 dozen scarves. I would've really enjoyed them then... and then my friends would have a stash of something way more useful than a closet full of fun fur scarves. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the dishcloth pattern I started. I did... and they are definitely now on my knitting agenda... for sometime... later...

So, glad I'm tired and kept this short tonight. Oy, to be able to keep something short.

Julie... are you ready to take the plunge... dpns and socks???? Ya don't know what you're missing!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Stich, Pitch, and Rusted Root

Thursday night, we attended the 1st Annual Stitch and Pitch night at Dodger Stadium. How cool... hundreds of knitters all gathered together knitting under the stars (okay, more like bright stadium lights). It was like walking into a party where I immediately felt like I fit in (and believe me... this never happens)! Women in beautiful handknit sweaters and socks clicking away at colorful yarns draped on their needles. It was a sea of color and fiber... a wonderful sight to be sure. But alas, our seats were elsewhere... on the second level behind home plate, which pleased our husbands and sons immensely. But us girls... we were a tad disappointed... but still had a great time. We did make a hike up to the Stitch n Pitch section to visit and even managed to scavenge one of the leftover Dodger Knitting Totes full of goodies which we immediately descended upon like birds of prey to divvy up the goods. (Those knitters are good folk I tell you.)

Since I had whipped out a sportweight sock in a mere 2 days last week, my goal was to see how much of the 2nd I could finish at the game but between children, gabbing, hiking and, well, the nearby, ahem, beverage stand... I only got a few rows completed. Then there was my overly enthusiastic, foam finger waving, very hungry son sitting in front of me who jumped up and down with great energy throughout the game only to run up to me at the end and exclaim with a big grin, "Who won Mom, who won?!?" For some, it's all just about the experience. (Can you guess who?)

But socks have been cast aside since my yarn arrived for the new Rusted Root pattern from Zephyr Style which I'm even doing in the suggested yarn and color... Cotton Fleece in Sedona Red. I even splurged and ordered their super cute Bossy Markers which are not only fun, but actually a great help. The only change I plan on making is to the sleeves. The puffy sleeves are a nice touch but I'm more of a plain sleeves person. (Every time I say "puffy", I think of Jerry Seinfeld's puffy shirt he had to wear. Hee hee hee.)

Well, I better get some housework done so I can do some guilt-free knitting later. Oh and as for books... almost through E.E.'s Discipline and have started Mission of Motherhood. Good motivational reading.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

It's all about socks!

As head over heels as I fell for knitting, I have to admit that when I first heard/saw that there were people out there who knit socks I couldn't believe it. I mean, I can get at least 1/2 dozen pairs of socks at Target for the cost of some nice sock yarn. Then, when I considered the insane amount of time and tiny stitches that go into a simple item that's going to go on your eventually sweaty foot I became convinced that the whole idea was NUTS! Sure the socks were cute, knit up with fun patterned yarns and lovely handpainted merinos but still... Target has cute socks... so why the madness? Why?????

Personally, I was committed to garments. Beautiful, soft sweaters and tops that would soon fill my wardrobe. Lovely, expensive, time-consuming garments that would sit in neat waiting-to-be-seamed, waiting-to-be-blocked piles. Sweaters that caused me to grit my teeth as I knit through the last repetitive rows. Unseamed garments that glared at me, daring me to thread my needle. (Thank you
Wendy for introducing me to top-down knits!)

Now don't get me wrong. I still love to knit beautiful garments (although I do avoid seams unless the garment is unavoidably tempting - and I momentarily forget my limitations). As a matter of fact, I am currently thoroughly enjoying the Gedifra sweater in the photo as well as a couple of other WIPs... including an
Allhemp6 top from (interesting, knitting with hemp is)...

However, I have finally discovered the secret of the knitted sock... and with it, the enthusiasm of the much misunderstood sock knitter. For starters what else can you make and wear in less than a week (if committed) for a mere $10-$20? And what better way to squash that gotta-buy-some-new-yarn urge than to pick up a new skein of sock yarn? Heck, you can hardly even feel guilty about that. (Although, it is possible for a whole draw full of enough sock yarn for the next 2 years to nudge ya with a bit of guilt... but it's still my favorite drawer to gaze at and run my fingers through.) Then there's the portability factor, the colors, the texture (oooh... the merino), the variety available, and the opportunity to make it as simple or ornate as you feel. Yep, sock are the knitter's Hershey's Kiss... the perfect sweet bite for that added pleasure... a no-guilt snack!

On another note, a trip down memory lane led to my discovery of recently released "Johnny Socko and his Flying Robot" DVDs. Anyone remember that series... it was an English dubbed Japanese monster/robot adventure show in the late 60s/early 70s? I had to order the first DVD set. D, my 7 yos, is sure to love it!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Home sick with books and yarn

Sorry friends... I know I promised some pics soon but one of my little germ carriers infected me with his latest affliction and I have spent the last few days with some sort of flu that totally kicked my butt. Let's just put it this way, on Saturday, I was too sick and tired to knit! Yes... I felt that bad. Sunday was a bit better and I actually was sick enough to get away with doing nothing all day but well enough to knit... and knit I did! I finished the top half of a lacy, cable knit sweater made of Gedifra Top Soft and over 1/2 a sock! The Top Soft is a wonderful silky viscose and the pattern is fun but boy does Gedifra keep instructions to a minimum! I've seen longer instructions for plain sleeves on a simple knit-in-the-round top than they have for this whole sweater! Apparently those Italians are skillful knitters... or... maybe they think we Americans are... hmmm.

Today brought some cheer with deliveries from both Amazon and JoAnns! The Amazon treats included
Knitting on the Edge, which is just fun to look at and totally inspires me to get creative and move beyond basic ribbing for borders, and One Skein. I love this book! It has some very adorable and practice patterns, inlcuding scarves, baby items, hats, purses and more all made from ONE skein! Seriously - 1 skein Blue Sky Cotton scarves and baby jackets! It also has some great patterns for using up scrap yarn. JoAnn's brought some TLC Cotton Plus - which I love, especially for kids - but the colors didn't match quite like I'd hoped and I'm losing interest in the original pattern I'd intended it for so it got put away in frustration until I can come up with something else (some day friend).

I also received Stepping Heavenward from Amazon to add to my stack of more spiritually inspirational books. I've currently been reading through Elizabeth's Elliot's Discipline - a very intelligent, straight-forward presentation of a biblical view of self-discipline. This is one I'll need to re-read again and again... some hard lessons to learn. (It's even inspiring me to contentedly avoid (excessive) yarn aquisition until I've knit through some of what I have - wow, what a powerful book!) I've also just started Sally Clarkson's Mission of Motherhood which I'm expecting to be full of encouragement and wisdom as her work usually is. I'm desperately trying here to keep focus and expand my current yarn-obsessed mind. (Of course Needled to Death is on my nightstand as well... gotta keep in touch with my lighter side.)

On a motherhood note, today when 12 yos asked 3 yos what he was going to do when he grows up, he quickly replied, "Marry KayKay". (KayKay is his absolutely adorable friend since birth.) Further research revealed that I am his intended source of income and he plans to live with his in-laws... there ya go Andee. Of course I'm sure you're not going to be one of those overly attentive and involved MILs... right? Nah... not you.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Where's the yarn?

So I guess my new blog here has so far been more about motherhood than knitting... which is funny because this summer I certainly feel like I'm doing more knitting than mothering. So why am I not finishing anything lately?? Surely, it's not because I have about 5 projects going and I keep jumping between them! And I'm so disappointed not to have pictures up yet. Tomorrow I'm just going to have to suck it up and ask my DH to grab his camera from work so I can get some pictures up. Pictures coming soon!