Monday, October 30, 2006
I remember many years ago at another church, there was a very well respected lady who started doing needlework during the service each week. At first it was little projects but eventually she began bringing big framed pieces. Well, this was long before my knitting days began and I remember being so horrified by this behavior... I mean... how unholy could one woman be?! And what if all the women in the church were busy with yarn and needles during the service... wouldn't that be chaotic and, well, irreverent? So weekly I would sit there and stew at the audacity of this woman to bring such frivolity into church. (Yeah - I know... which one of us had the bigger problem?)
Which brings me to the present... Now I get it. But it's too late. I could never knit in church after the hateful thoughts I harbored so many years ago. I mean, talk about a hypocrite! And I certainly wouldn't want to distract some other poor soul with bitter thoughts during church. (And yeah... I also get it now that the problem was mine not hers.)
Oh well, I'm still not sure if it's appropriate or not... but I'm pretty sure that sitting there for an hour thinking, "I could be knitting," is not entirely righteous either. I'm so glad He accepts me as I am... and especially glad that He loves me too much to leave me this way!
BTW - No new pics... battery still dead. Apparently plugging a camera in for recharging is a much more demanding task than one would think.
I do have one here of DH in all his glory while caring for our plagued household last week. (This is a man who takes the stomach flu very seriously.) Unfortunately, Stepping Heavenward fell victim to my 4 year-old's, um, you know, so now I have to order another one to finish it. I guess I wasn't ready for the rest of it yet.
Friday, October 27, 2006
It started this morning when I was getting dressed. I put on one of my standard Old Navy t- shirts and in an "Aha!" moment ran to my sock yarn drawer, grabbed a hank of yarn and thought this yarn would be perfect with this shirt! It was DK weight so I (very) briefly considered if socks could be knit in the 2 hours before I had to leave the house (of course not), so then considered just bringing it with me since it matched so well. Red Flag #1.
We then spent a great afternoon with (almost) all of our best friends at a Harvest Party. The kids were all in their costumes roller skating, playing games and gluing feathers on pumpkins (at least mine did). The moms all got to visit and snack. It was fun for all, but of course... I probably don't even need to say this... I forgot my camera. I'm used to this and it probably wouldn't make me feel so bad (read "out-of-touch") if I had also forgotten to take a picture of my finished sock and Fetching glove. Of course I didn't... those fine moments are safely stored on my camera. Red Flag #2.
I would show you these photos and share the joy of my richly colored STR sock and ponder the concerns of the curling Fetching but the battery on my camera just died because I never (ever) remember to recharge it. BTW - This is not a red flag... for me this is the most normal thing I did all day.
I think the grand Red Flag #3 just came when my 9 yos W (who is waiting for the computer so he can waste his time doing silly things like poking around the National Geographic website reading about animals all over the world and watching their live Africa webcam) saw that I was blogging and very matter of factly said, "What? Are you going to tell them you just broke your needle?"
His comment made my knitting and blogging seem, well, so silly... so trivial... Or does he see through it all and understand it a bit too well? Humph. At any rate, I guess when my 9 yo thinks I'm a bit out there, I may need to work a bit harder to appear normal for a while. Okay, I won't carry matching yarn with me anymore.
Anyway, on another, more worthy note... I got info on this Red Scarf Project today from Interweave Knits. It's a program to provide orphans who are heading off to college with scarves. They also offer a pattern idea. You can find out more at the link on my side bar.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Seven... that would be the number of people in my family. So when I say that my WHOLE family has the flu... that would mean SEVEN people have the flu... at the same time... under the same roof... in the same small living room... fighting over the same (big screen- fwiw) TV. Actually, to be precise, middle child W who brought the heinous bug into our home is about 24 hours ahead of the rest of us in recovery so poor child is the official ginger ale pourer. To put all this in perspective... I don't even feel like knitting! This picture represents the extent of 24 hours of knitting. I'm trying out one of the popular Knitty Fetching gloves as possible gifts.
Oh well, as you can see, I have another illness as well. This arrived in the mail yesterday. I love the colors... and I got it on sale. What can I say... somehow Astrid of Astrid's Dutch Obsessions (Obsessions - heh, does she have it nailed) got my e-mail addy and has proceeded to tempt me with incredible sale yarns.
Well since it's clear that I do much more sock yarn buying than sock knitting, I've decided to make it official and declare myself a Sock Yarn Collector.
Hmmm... maybe some year we'll move to Alaska and then there'll be a worldwide sock shortage... but I will be prepared! Yes! Then I alone will be able to knit socks for my whole family to get us through the great worldwide wool sock shortage crisis!
Ya never know... it could happen.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Simple Knitted Bodice
by Stephanie Japel
Cascade Pima Silk
(Just over 8 skeins)
Knit Pics Options - Size 7 & 4
I am so excited to finish this because I LOVE it!! I love the fit, the feel, the design... and it was fun to knit. Great pattern! While cotton is not my favorite to knit with, I do love the feel of the finished sweater. It's soft and a perfect weight for here. It was also a pretty quick knit. The body took me about a week and the sleeves and neck took about another 5 days.
And, one at a time... here's one for the Christmas ministry on the sidebar. I'm hoping to get a few more made over the next few weeks. This was a pretty quick knit... would've been even quicker if I'd had a few hours to sit down and knit it straight through (if I'm even capable of such attention). As it was, I had to grab a few rows here and there throughout the day while I cared for one child down with the flu and helped the others through their school work. But I still got most of it done in a day.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
My hands are used to lots of knitting, but those sleeves... knit in the round with a cotton yarn on size 7 bamboo dpns - plus purl ridges - have just about done me in. (I have a thing about purling... ribbing and purling backwards are fine, but actual purling... yuck!) But I didn't dare put it aside again! No with determined perseverance I pressed on.
Anyway, I just pulled out the Midnight Moonlight scarf I started the other day (I needed a small project to take along on a field trip. Shhh - yes I know I could've taken socks) in order to treat my hands to some soothing Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK but my hands hurt! Too. Much. To. Knit.
I guess I'll go to bed.
Friday, October 20, 2006
This is me at Geography Class sitting next to my friend. We are doing African stamp art.
This is me a few minutes ago. I am making a puzzle with a whole bunch of Nickelodeon shows. My mom got it for me today when I was at my friends house.
This is the puzzle that I was doing a few minutes ago finished. It has Sponge Bob, Danny Phantom, Fairly Odd Parents, and more.
This is my mom knitting.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
Anyway, in answer to the most FAQ, "How do you hold the book?", here's a picture. (Wow, this is actually a picture of me taking a picture of me knitting while reading aloud to my kids!) Knitting in hand, book propped off to the side and weighted down (with my Knit Picks Options set). See... piece of cake.
BTW - check out the beautiful colors of this new Harlotty Socks that Rock yarn. Person who just received this wouldn't let me get a full face shot. She claims to be too shy but I think she's just embarrassed to be caught with more sock yarn.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
So it was finally time to go and I was whisking through the house running just on time ("early" is not in my vocabulary) handing out the clean, unwrinkled shirts they would wear when I came upon my little guy, who had briefly been left to the care of his oldest brother, "coloring" quite enthusiastically with a blue marker. While I did notice a piece of paper with some blue lines, what really caught my eye was the blue knees, blue hands and blue face (mostly the blue face). I took a moment to gain control before I gently rebuked his big brother (okay, you can insert kinda yelled here) and began the cleaning process. Fortunately his face had suffered the least of it and after a few moments of intense scrubbing (now he was yelling) he had a clean, "rosy" glowing face. (I hope his hands aren't in the picture.)
On the knitting side, after some careful (sleepless) consideration, I am thinking that Viveka is not going to work for me. I'm not the most knowledgeable on a lot of the aspects of yarn substitutions such as drape, memory and blocking (still learning)... but I do know this... this pictured sleeve and back are going to in no way "drape" without some severe repeated blocking. I'm imagining some pretty awful pictures of the finished sweater at this point and am thinking that I'd best save my luscious DB Cashmerino for something else. BTW - If I am wrong and anyone more knowledgeable can give some insight here, whether it be blocking, yarn subs or ditching completely, I would greatly accept your recommendations.
Oh well... it's not like I'm left empty handed.
On a side note, I just noticed this picture in the "My Pictures" file on my computer. Wonder what it's doing there. Hmmm... now I do feel empty handed.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I love the light blue hoodie and will probably add it to my never-ending mostly-imaginary list of things I will someday knit. (And meanwhile I'll watch for more DB Cashmerino Aran sales... I just ignored 2 of them... bummer.)
As for the red sweater... need I even say more?
Maybe I should set my mind on the vest... it would be a shorter, interesting knit and more practical here in So Cal. Unfortunately, I think it falls in the category of things I want to knit but would probably not actually wear... unless I can wear it over an Old Navy t-shirt... and lost about 3 inches around my waist. (See... this is way it's called daydreaming.)
And then there's this book I came across... and I am just sooooo a denim person.
As for blogging... check out my cool little percentage bars. Very fun but make me feel woefully unproductive. Should really finish SKB while I wait for the 16" circulars I ordered for the hats. It's like paying off your debt by starting with the smallest bills first... hmmm, socks would technically be the smallest. Maybe I should nix the bars and go on living in ignorant fiber bliss.
Is knitting supposed to be like this?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Anyway today I have actually been reading which I do far to seldom anymore. I am quite caught up in this book, Stepping Heavenward... subtitled "One Woman's Journey to Godliness". Do you ever read something and just sit there amazed that somebody else could so intimately understand you and your struggles? Like you're reading something that was perfectly intended for you at this point in your life and it is no accident that you have picked it up just when you have? It doesn't happen very often but this is most definitely one of those books. Written in journal form, it tells the story of a young woman's growth into womanhood and maturity from her own intimate, painfully honest perspective. Fun-loving, impetuous and more than a bit selfish she struggles as she becomes aware of her often ill or willful behavior and strives to move forward. It is her story of growth and setbacks... her painful awareness of her own shortcomings and her growing awareness of the woman God is calling her to be.
I love her bitterness over the fact that she could really be the wife and mother God was calling her to be if He would just remove all the difficult people and obstacles in her way of doing so... wouldn't it be though! But truly, what would be left? I often feel that my own attitudes - including selfishness, laziness, and impatience - are my own worst obstacles to overcome. I had the distinct embarrassment of watching my 4 yos throw a good ole fashioned fit, kicking and screaming on the floor of Borders yesterday because I wouldn't get him the way too expensive book with the cheap plastic wrench that he wanted. As any experienced/tired mother of 5, (at least as any selfish, impatient & lazy mother of 5) I left him laying there in the aisle and walked away (it's not like you couldn't hear him from any corner of the store). He, of course, followed me slightly whimpering until I stopped at another rack (yes, it was the knitting magazine section... I had left him at the knitting book section) at which point he resumed his position on the floor kicking and screaming. Well, I dealt with his behavior when we got home. Obviously it was entirely inappropriate... it was selfish, greedy, impatient, and stubborn... and... it represents all the feelings I too often have inside when I can't have something I want. Is the extent of my growth the fact that I have learned to recognize and suppress these feelings instead of throwing myself on the floor of the LYS because I can't get the new merino on display? Yikes. Anyway, as I read Stepping Heavenward, I clearly see her growth even though she can't always see it herself... I take great comfort and peace in knowing that He's still at work in me and His patience far exceeds mine.
So... what does any of this have to do with knitting? For me, a lot. I, like many others (I know, I've read your blogs), struggle with the balance of this whole knitting thing. It captivates me, absorbs my thoughts and I'm pretty sure I could knit 24 hours a day (with enough caffeine) and never get bored (ya know - especially if I kept casting on or buying new yarn occasionally). I want knitting to be a joy, a pleasurable escape, a hobby to occupy my waiting hands... but I want my passion to be for God and my family. For me, this book is helping me find that perspective.
Notes: Forgive the poor photo quality, I often need to enlist very young photographers to do my photo shoots. That's Ella on top, Viveka in the middle and the beginning of a hat for the Christmas ministry on the sidebar at the bottom. (See - the book must be working... unselfish knitting - big step. :)
Friday, October 13, 2006
Now don't get me wrong, I am deeply in love with Ella and am greatly enjoying knitting this shawl. And yes, I can not wait to finish Viveka and wear this gorgeous sweater in the luscious cashmerino. The SKB you ask? I have not forgotten it... oh no... my mind keeps wandering to how quick and simple it would be to finish up those sleeves... yet it waits. And let me just give a big "Go Buckeyes" shout in salute to the 1/2 finished scarlet & grey sock on the needles. But alas, I am a weak woman...
I finally broke... I couldn't hold out any longer against the incredible Socks that Rock yarn in my sock yarn drawer. It had been rolled and waiting for so long... and the other day as I walked by I heard it! It said... "Please, I want to be RPM socks. My colors are glorious and rich. I promise not to disappoint and guarantee that I will look stunning on your feet. You need me." Really, it did!
So, for the 3rd (4th?) time in the last couple of weeks, I did it... I. Cast. On. The RPM Pattern is a blast and this picture does not begin to do the Dutch Canyon colorway justice. The variation of cool and warm colors is so unusual and stunning.
So now I just sit here and wonder... will I ever finish anything again? So I must stay strong... no more casting on! At least for a while. :)
Fun Stuff: This here is my fearless pal Andee who was brave enough to visit us one night for some knitting help. She was immediately accosted by boys with their new snakes and we were all shocked to see her actually hold one! What a trooper... no wonder my kids love her!
And finally, the highlight of my week... I ran into fellow blogger, Wendy of Knit & Tonic, at a yarn store! What fun to meet an internet pal in person! (I tried to act very cool and not gush.) And I have to tell you... she is just as beautiful in person! Don't let her fool you with the whole camera angle thing.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Spent today at the L.A. Zoo with the boys. The boys had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed their delight. You'd think I would've taken tons of pictures (I mean... any good mom would, right) but, lo & behold, I forgot. Duh!
I did snap this a couple of shots of my teen with the little guy... mainly because I was so touched by the way big brother took care of him during the day. (They really were happier than they look in this picture... really.)
Finally, after at least a half-hour in the gift shop picking out the perfect souvenirs (4 of them just got gummy bears or worms so I got out cheap), we packed up and headed home... but not without a little field trip stop for the driver.
A quick detour off the freeway took me to Unwind in Burbank for a quick look around. (You can imagine my boys' delight.) Needing a souvenir as well, and not having the luxury of time that my boys enjoyed in the gift shops, I quickly settled for a super soft ball of Lana Grossa Cotton Fun sock yarn in beiges. Ahh, sock yarn, the perfect yarn shop souvenir!
And yes, I do feel a bit guilty that I didn't forget to take a picture of the yarn shop I visited for 10 minutes, while the 5 excited boys exploring the zoo for 4 hours escaped my camera almost completely.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
"Nice? Do you have any idea how difficult this was to make? How long it took? How many hours of my life are invested in this? Or how about the mere fact that it's not a t-shirt?" Husband looks up with strange glare, "What? It's very nice."
I know you are all out there sighing along with me... and rest assured that as soon as I arrived at church I received the stunned admiration that the sweater deserved.
Now this sock here definitely appears to qualify for a simple, "That's nice." But, how about if you spent hours tracking down some sock yarn in university colors for the Ohio State Buckeye fan in your family... the one who raised you in scarlet and grey sweatshirts and always made sure you had a buckeye to carry for good luck... the one who flies back to Columbus once a year for a game and returns with all things scarlet and grey for you & your kin? And how about if after hours of research, you are able to find not just any yarn, but Lorna's Laces Superwash Sport Merino especially hand-dyed for some little shop in Ohio in the perfect Buckeye colors? And what if the shop doesn't have a website so you wait all weekend to make that long distance call on Monday morning (a way stretch beyond on-line ordering) and spend a ridiculous amount of money on the yarn and shipping so you can thrill the Buckeye fan in your life beyond her wildest dreams? Okay, now let me ask... when said beloved fan sees the sock-in-progress, is "That's nice" still an adequate description? Then imagine they follow it up with, "As long as it's not wool." Humph... guess it's time to give Jaywalkers or RPM a shot with the Socks that Rock yarn I have upstairs.
Oh well, I finally have found my groove with Ella. It took a while but I did figure out how to do the purl rows backwards (my usual way to purl) so things are going much faster. I am so glad I had seen pics on the internet of the shawl in progress before I got to this point or I would think that I was doing something seriously wrong! This is definitely an item that will need major blocking. I must admit that I relished the look on DH's face last night when I showed it to him... he acknowledges very little about my knitting (obviously) but this one actually made him look concerned... I could see him thinking, "What is it? Is she really going to wear that?" I think that just for the fun of it I'll wear it out one night before it's been blocked... $20 says I look "nice".
Sunday, October 08, 2006
I know, it doesn't seem like much but with 3 football games and a visit from my brother, knitting time was a bit limited this weekend. Anyway, I am enjoying this pattern. It has just the right amount of variety and challenge to keep me engaged, but it is definitely an attention demander. It's also challenging me to improve my purling since I generally "cheat" and purl backwards from right needle to left through the back (a trick that I acquired as a left hander). The complexity of the pattern requires me to actually purl so the purl rows are taking me about 5x as long as the knit rows... but it will be worth it, I can only get better right?
BTW, Here's a shot of DH in his element... on the field with the boys. And a victory to boot! Woo-hoo!
Saturday, October 07, 2006
If you are awakened from your Saturday afternoon nap by your 9 yo son's 18" Kingsnake slithering up your body... you might get neurotic.*
*True story... and the said 9 yo only gets to live to be 10 if he never, ever, ever, ever, ever even considers such a stunt again.
Friday, October 06, 2006
Openness To Experience
Find your soulmate / pysch twin
MySpace Layouts, credit card consolidation and Uggs by Pulseware Survey Software
**Please don't feel it necessary to try to find your psychic twin or soulmate. I just didn't know how to delete that part.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Back in March, I started, and finished, my first hand-knit sock. After waiting for my foot to grow a couple more inches, I finally decided it would be quicker to frog back and re-knit the toe. I gave great consideration to hiding it away and never knitting another sock again but I'm glad I took the time to make it right. For some reason (huh, wonder what), I moved on and knit 6 other pairs of socks before finally returning to knit the mate for this first lonely sock.
But finally, after sitting alone in a drawer for over 6 months, sock #1 has a mate! And guess what! They don't match! They are both knit from the same color of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport but one is clearly darker. And you know what? I. don't. care. Nope not one bit! I now have 7 pairs of hand-knit socks! Yay!
In addition, I am generally a selfish knitter... I knit mainly for myself and my pleasure. I don't have tremendous guilt over this aspect since so much of my life is consumed with the whole homeschooling, housekeeping, sports mom thing that it's nice to have something that's mine. That and the fact that I have yet to see any of my family members wear any of the gifts that I've knitted for them over the last 2 years... heck, even my DH lost the beanie I lovingly knit for him last winter. We're talking about a man who still has every baseball cap and beanie he ever owned yet "lost" the one I made for him... but I digress.
I am very thankful for a hobby that I can enjoy and relax with but I do believe in using any talents I might have to help when I can. So I was thrilled to read Lynda's post this morning about an opportunity to knit for some folks who are less fortunate... who really need some mittens, scarves, socks, or a warm hat. If you would like to help out, you can click on the link on my sidebar for more info.
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Just yesterday, I had to return a single ball of leftover yarn to my LYS... well I couldn't exchange it for just a single ball of something else... that would be silly. So, even though I have dozens of projects I could cast on immediately, and even though I have just acquired yarn for both Knitty's Ella and Scarf Style's Lady Eleanor (both of which I plan to start yesterday), I exchanged my single ball for 4 balls of oh-so-soft Rowan Cashsoft DK for Midwest Moonlight... which of course I'm going to start right away. Hmmm.
Well apparently, in His infinite wisdom, God saw it fit to bless me with one very mature son to put me in my place when necessary. As we were driving home yesterday, my dear 12 yos - who has always been wise beyond his years - said, "You're never going to knit that... it's just going to go in your bins. You never knit anything you have." (Which is not entirely true.) I replied, "Of course I do, I just usually knit with the new yarn instead of the older stuff." (I know... no logic but I'm talking to a kid... didn't think I needed it.) He looks at me and says, "Yeah... but tomorrow this will be old." I changed the subject.
Anyway, my blogger friend, Lynda, has just officially joined the fellowship of stashers and to ease some of her newly developed "Stasher's Stress", I am going to share just a glimpse into my collection of yarn and intentions. First notice that my stash does not fit on a shelf but in a stack of bins that reaches the ceiling. I have enough sock yarn to warm my feet through the next ice age (and it's increasing at a rate disproportionate to it's rate of use)... plus enough sweater yarn to knit up a wardrobe fit for a New York winter. But, today let's just talk about scarves because it seems that lately this has become a renewed interest for me. Starting with Scarf Style alone, today's pictures feature yarn for Ene (Morehouse Merino 2 strand which was originally, and may still be, for Interweave's Viennese Shrug), Lady Eleanor (Noro Silk Garden), Backyard Leaves (Karabella Aurora), Vintage Velvet (Touch Me obtained in a swap), and Midwest Moonlight (Rowan Cashsoft DK). And along the same theme, we have the Lorna's Laces for Knitty's Ella. ALL collected w/in the last couple of months and all to be knit by yesterday!
BTW - on the needles I have a sleeve for Viveka (it's okay - the rest of the sweater can wait), a sock (which I gotta finish so I can knit the Lorna's Laces OSU Buckeye socks before football season is over. Stop that... I hear you laughing), and, of course, my SKB which is resting quietly and contentedly at the moment.
Feel better yet Lynda? Oh yeah... here's my beltless Starsky with the unwoven ends as promised. (Looks like it could use another blocking though.) I love this sweater!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Anyway, I finally got my books off my nightstand (actually, I sent son to get books and yes there are 2 because I don't know what I feel like reading yet) so I can buckle down and finish this sucker up. Reading while I knit seems to do the trick... it's just holding the book that's the problem.
Oops - well now little one wants to read his chameleon book... again... so stockinette will have to wait. Unless... unless I can knit while I read to him. Hmmm... I'll let you know how it goes.