Sunday, December 31, 2006

Anybody Out There?

Happy New Year!!

Okay, consider this a test. How many of you are knitting in the New Year tonight??

I am at home, sick, about to embark on a night of board games (and knitting) with my family... but I'll be back. So, if you stop by, please say "Hi!" I'd love to know that I'm not the only one with knitting needles near by on New Years Eve!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Now That's a Good Question

Tonight we were watching a couple of episodes from season 1 of the original Starsky & Hutch series that I got my hubby for Christmas. (He was a big fan... laughed louder than anyone else in the theater when we saw the movie re-make.) I don't remember watching it much myself... and I probably won't remember the ones we watched tonight because I was sitting next to my son of many questions and observations. While this does get a little tiring, he asks some pretty darn good questions... and believe me there are plenty to ask about in S&H starting with "What do they do?", "Where are their badges?", "Why are they running?" and "How can they be undercover when everyone knows what car they drive?" Good one, that last one. But my favorite question was the one he asked immediately prior to "How can their electronics (walkie-talkies) work in the rain?"

"Isn't that sweater (remember the sweater?) going to shrink in the rain? Won't it Mom? Doesn't water ruin yarn?" Ahhh, spoken like a true knitter's son. I was so proud! Especially proud since at that exact moment I myself was pondering not only the potential sweater damage but the discomfort of sitting in a torrential downpour in an ultra-thick wool sweater - that, incidentally, neither shrank nor stretched to behemoth proportions in the scenes that followed but instead actually dried in almost no time (another question).

As for knitting news, I finished Midwest Moonlight (can you hear my sigh of relief?) and have a new plan in the works for my Artyarns Handpainted Stripes. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, December 29, 2006

What I Didn't Do!

I know that most of you don't struggle with the impulsive yarn buying challenges that I deal with... and most likely you do not have enough yarn in your stash already to knit a cozy for your house. But I am feeling proud and wanted to share with you what I did not do today...

I did not buy the Mission Falls Wool that I was coveting for "Gathering Intentions" (I have stash for this), nor did I buy the Handmaiden Lady Godiva or Sea Silk I found on sale (I don't know what I'd do with it yet), I did not buy any Koigu that I found on sale, and, I did not take a nap (the killer winds are wiping me out). On top of all this, I did get a pattern from my LYS for the frogged Artyarns Supermerino Handpainted Stripes (ex-camo sweater) in my STASH! AND, I did not buy the oh-so-soft Sirdar Snuggly for a yet to be determined baby gift while I was there! I feel like I could take on the world!

Have any of you seen this yet?

I've linked this picture to the creator's original "guidelines". And although I like their thinking... I'm going to try to count sock yarn as well.

BTW - I want to emphasis the use of the word "guidelines" here as opposed to something more rigid like, say, "rules" or "requirements" as I am too prone to rebel against anything more oppressive than "suggested guidelines".

I'm putting this button on my sideline mainly to encourage (and shame) me from buying more yarn. If it helps you out too, all the better. (Now I just need to get over the fact that the pretty yarn colors in the button make me want to buy more yarn.)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Grit of It

What is it about knitting? I don't quite get it... it's almost like reading a really great book that you can't put down... but, then, it's not. What I mean is this... I was sitting there waiting for a prescription today working on a beanie for 4 yos. As I knit I was reminding myself to be sure to make it big enough because, in my impatience to finish, all of my beanies end up a bit short and need to be frogged and re-finished (5x to get this one right), or, more likely, worn just a bit too small. Why am I always in such a rush to finish something? Don't I enjoy knitting? Isn't that why I do it?

I know for a fact that I LOVE buying new yarn. I drool over patterns, get overjoyed when I cast on for a new project, and delight in the first few rows. But then, after about a day or so into the project, my focus turns to finishing. I begin knitting to finish. Now a good interesting cable or lace project does a much better job of keeping my attention... like a good book, I don't want to put it down. I'll stay up late to finish one more repeat - or chapter. Housework goes ignored (well, this pretty much happens anyway). However, as much as I want to finish a good book, I enjoy every last minute of it and am often somewhat sad when it's over. I missed Emma and her friends terribly when I finished Jane Austen's novel, and I cried over Frodo and the departure of the elves at the end of the LOTR trilogy. I wanted to keep reading, to know more. (Fortunately Frodo, Legolas, and the rest live on in my 7 yo who only recently stopped wearing his elven cape.)

But there comes a point in every knitted project that lilting joy turns to utter perseverance to finish. I may still be enjoying the knit but the end just can't come soon enough. I wish I could just knit and enjoy it beginning to end, one project at a time. That's how I read books (mostly). I never find myself persevering just to get through the rest of a good book. Well, except for Atlas Shrugged which I read about 20 years ago. I loved the book but some guy went into a 60 page philosophical speech and I never finished. I read 1160 out of 1200 pages and never finished! I tried several years later to finish but didn't remember what was going on. This still bugs me. But I digress.

Why am I always looking for my next pattern? Why is it always on my mind? If I enjoy it so much, why aren't my beanies way too big instead of too small?? And why am I writing about it instead of doing it??

Oh well, just thinking... now, with sheer grit and determination, back to Midwest Moonlight.

BTW - Isn't the Morehouse Rattlesnake Scarf cute on JoJo? Yep, I think it's on the floor of my car now. He refuses to wear it... what-ev-er!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Groovin' and Dreamin'

Well, I've finally got some groove goin' on my Midwest Moonlight so I'm starting to see some progress. But meanwhile, I'm dreaming about this...

It's Claudia's Handpainted Merino... and it's been sitting on my arm rest while I knit, for days. My first thought was socks, but this yarn is soooo gorgeous and sooooo soft that I want to wear it where I can just stare at it.

I'm considering a little pair of fingerless mittens (I could gaze at them while I drive or knit at baseball games) or what about the Element scarf from the Garter Belt? It might be a bit too bright for a scarf... but it could be worth a try. Hmmm... any ideas?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Elegant Isn't It?

After spending 2 weeks tenaciously committed to monogamous gift knitting, I returned today to something for me... Midwest Moonlight. I really want this scarf. The lightweight Cashsoft yarn is perfect for So Cal weather. I can picture it draped loosely around my neck... just enough to keep a chill off. Classy and luxurious, my friends will admire it and I will snuggle and soak up its softness. Ahhh... it will be good... yeah, someday... it will be good...

Problem is, I just can't get into the groove with this thing... I figured today that if I commit to it like I did the Christmas gifts (which are almost done) then I can do it. I did a few rows, then played Scrabble Jr. with 4 yos... I did about 8 more... then took a nap (as I am upholding one of my most consistent traditions of getting sick upon the arrival of Christmas). I picked it up to knit some more and, well, here I am.

Oh well, this "Giggle Mask" set still makes me laugh...

Did I mention it has a voice changer too? It's nice to be easily amused.

Monday, December 25, 2006

"Do My Eyes Betray Me?!?"

It's Darth Tater Head! (I just love this!)

And Alien Giggle mask boy! (Another great find.)

And a crew of very happy, overly tired boys who couldn't get to sleep and managed to convince us that since it was 12:30 AM it was technically Christmas morning and they should open their gifts.

It actually made for a very nice, peaceful morning.

And I have the reassurance of knowing that my husband doesn't want me hopelessly lost next time I try to go into L.A. (I think he's tired of dropping everything to get on his internet map and give me directions every time I travel further than 15 miles from home.)

My oldest son is a human compass and navigator who can get me anywhere by mere inner sense. (Me, I still turn the wrong way every time I leave the doctor's office.) But, he is not always with me so this little Tom Tom should be very helpful... if I can get past my general amusement at it's little virtual map and keep my eyes on the road.

BTW - The title quote was exclaimed by my 7 yo as we pulled up to a particularly spectacular light display last night. I don't know where he comes up with this stuff but he has the most interesting way of expressing himself and now after years of begging he has his own video camera so he can embark on his movie making career. Apparently he has his work cut out for him because so far he has mainly complained that we are much too boring for his movies... we need to be funnier. However he has offered to make a knitting video to air on my blog... this is a kid who knows how to get his foot in the door!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just in Time

Morehouse Merino Rattlesnake Scarf Kit
Knit in the round on size 6 dpns.
The mouth was a wee bit tricky - bordering on crafty so I got a little worried but it ended up being ingenious and I love the result.

A little more knitting and lots of wrapping.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Just Another Day...

Argh! Blogger just deleted my whole post... story, photos and all. I hit publish and it politely informed that it couldn't process my request. I'm not going to repeat it all. Let's just say that following my last couple days of various key troubles, today I awoke to this.

Now my children know that metal mugs don't belong in the microwave. 'Nuf said.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Two Days Left? Really?

Okay... time to stop the insanity! I need to finish the gifts in progress and not start anything else! Please remind me that I am down to like 2 days left and still need to bake cookies... hmmm... maybe we'll make after Christmas cookies this year.

I was staying focused... really I was! But then there was yesterday. It was a very bad day. Let's just say it involved lost car keys, no caffeine, and practically no knitting. Yeah, that bad. So today, feeling the need to get out of the chaos, er, I mean enthusiasm that exists among 5 boys at this time, I decided to take a little drive 25 miles up the coast to a not so local LYS to look for some Lorna's Laces Worsted for a beanie for my youngest. But mainly I just wanted to take a quiet, peaceful drive.

But then there was the incident. The unfortunate moment when I set my keys down to grab my wallet and cell phone... followed by the even more unfortunate moment of me hitting the lock button, slamming the door and thinking, shouldn't I be dropping 3 things in my purse and not just 2? Now if I could've reached DH or even found my AAA card, things might have been different... but I couldn't, so they weren't.

What does a slightly weary, fairly on edge, still surprised it's almost Christmas gal do when she's locked out of her car at an LYS? Yeah... I know you know. Fortunately, I was lucid enough to ask about their return policy before I checked out. So I know that the yarn I purchased for more knitted gifts can all go back (gift cards Tammy, think gift cards)... except for the LL Worsted in Camo (score). Oh and I imagine I'll be keeping the Claudia's Handpainted too. Just guessing.

On the bright side, Wendy showed up right after I got there so I got to visit with her and another local knitter. (And my son eventually found my AAA card, so I guess all's well that ends well.)

Speaking of peaceful drives - If you can take a picture of the sock you're knitting while you're driving... you might be on a So Cal freeway.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Treasures from the Past

I've read on many of your blogs that you learned to knit from your grandmothers. I didn't learn from mine (that I remember), but she was a knitter. I only learned about two years ago when a friend taught me the basics. From there on, I am self-taught. I do remember my grandma knitting though. I remember her aluminum knitting needles and the knitting basket sitting next to her recliner. I remember the red, white and blue scarf, hat, and mittens she knit for me when I lived in New York. I remember it as a part of her... of who she was.

I've seen some of the shawls, capes and blankets she made before. But today, my mom brought over some bags full of clothing that my grandma had knit for me as a child. Amazing stuff! And I thought it was super cool that the most of the garments (including the 3 sweaters pictured here) were all knit EZ style with no seams or even button bands. I wish the light was better for the pictures but the afternoon was graying and with my little patience issue, I just couldn't wait to snap a few photos.

These are just a few of the many items my mom brought over. I'm amazed by her talent and attention to detail, but unfortunately most of the items are knit in the ever-popular acrylic of the 60s & 70s. However, a couple of items do seem to be wool and that little cable number above is about a size 3 and soft as can be.

As you can imagine, even though I don't have daughters to wear these items, they are a tremendous treasure for a knitter to inherit!

And, of course, what knitting collection from the 60s/70s would be complete without a funky, bold crocheted vest...

She actually made matching ones of these for me and my mom. It must've been a big day for my mom!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift Cards are Nice Too...

Two more gifts finished, five to go (choke).

As I've mentioned, this Christmas thing always manages to sneak up on me. There are always so many thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head that it's hard to keep things straight... or to keep track of what may be realistic and what's not. I used to keep a lot of lists which ideally were very helpful, but were inevitably lost, which left me not only with the current circus going on in my head but struggling to remember what was on the list that I was forgetting. As a result, I'd stress and worry, waste time looking for the list, forget something, and get something else done late. In order to eliminate some of the stress and worry, I finally decided to cut out a step to simplify this disaster... no more lists. After all, the end result is the same.

For example - Last week, I decided to make 8 gifts (I know this because I posted it here... although I have to constantly stop to figure out what those 8 gifts are). Let's say I'd made a list:

3 gloves
2 scarves
1 hat
1 pair of socks
1 something else (shhh... it will come to me)

Then let's say I'd gone a step further and estimated the necessary time needed to complete the gifts (within a reasonable amount of knitting time/day). BTW, this step is a total waste of time since I am a horrible estimator of the time required to pack 5 kids in the car and drive across town let alone knit something.

3 gloves - 2 days/pair
1 bulky cabled scarf - 3 days
1 DB Pure Silk scarf - 4-7 days
1 hat - 1-2 days
1 pair of socks - 3-4 days
1 something else - ?

So while in my mind, this all seems realistic since they're all short projects, once it is down on paper, I quickly (okay eventually) realize that there is no conceivable way that I'm going to finish them all before Christmas. So... I start to panic, worry, and prioritize. Should I do the small ones first so I can check them off or get the bigger ones out of the way... hmmm... Wait! I know! I'll start them all at once! At first I am likely to commit all day every day to knitting which only works for about a day because of the whole, you know, 5 kids thing. So I will eventually settle for the fact that some or most people on the list are getting late gifts. Then I get to work on the gifts for people that I will actually see on Christmas... but since I've now lost the list, I am busy looking for it instead... it's at this point I begin to get, well, not so pleasant. I get one or two things done... most gifts are late... and I'm cranky.

But nowadays, I save myself from all that stress and peacefully live in the delusion that whatever needs to get done will get done. I know I have 8 gifts (at least) to make... even though I'm not entirely sure what they are. I only suffer from brief moments of clarity in which I realize that just because they are all fairly quick knits, they can't all necessarily be knit within the same few days. I am able to quickly push this thought aside and work on the gifts for people I know I need to have soon. I also realize that if it doesn't look like I'll be able to finish my sister's silk scarf in time (which is my biggest project), I can give it to her for her birthday in January and run to the mall this weekend. End result... some gifts are done, some aren't, some people may get gift cards. Same result, less stress... see?

BTW - I really like this Fetching pattern, but, as I suspected, I had to get a second ball for the lavender ones so I did a little contrast trim with stash yarn for the second pair. Both were knit with Rowan Cashsoft Aran on size 6 dpns. And Julie, see the little row counter I got that you can slip on a circular? Big time saver, especially between those cable rows.

And... the "pink" (really deep red) scarf above is Natty being knit in Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. Gorgeous!

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Now!!

Well, there's no more denying it, Christmas is most definitely upon us!

A gingerbread (okay, graham cracker) house party with friends.

And finally... ta da... we have a tree! And I didn't freak out while five children climbed over each other to decorate it! (Not that I'm prone to such behavior or anything.)

J loves Christmas! I've got to check the resolution (or whatever) on my camera because me pics are not turning out very good. But if it were clearer you could see that he had grabbed baby Jesus to hold for this picture (aaaaah).

And the knitting... oh the knitting. Clickety, click, click. But I'm trying to prioritize... otherwise I would easily spend my whole week knitting and forget to enjoy my boys. So, there will be a few late presents going out... I can catch up on some unfinished stitches later but I can never catch up on time missed with my family. I must remember this!!!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

When Later becomes Now

I've learned to be pretty forthcoming with my shortcomings (as I find this much less stressful than trying to hide them) and, well, let's face it, nobody's perfect. I'm impulsive, impatient, and easily overwhelmed (although the 5 boys underfoot might contribute to this last one). Big projects, how do I put this... freak me out... that would be why my kitchen is still yellow after 14 years in this house because the thought of the additional chaos that would be created by cleaning out every cabinet (since they are painted inside and out) and the prep work involved simply paralyzes me. So, since we plan to "re-do" the kitchen anyway, I figure it can wait. Actually the re-do part partially hinges on me selecting cabinets, counters, colors, we are really at a standstill since decision making is another area I struggle in. We completely gutted and remodeled two bathrooms a couple of years ago and the experience nearly did me in. Heck, I'd have ceiling fans in all of our rooms by now if I'd been able to make a decision when my hubby sent me to Home Depot to select them last summer. Home Depot = Panic!

And lastly (well at least for now) I'm a procrastinator. And at this time of year, this becomes an especially challenging obstacle. It's not so much that I put things off, it's more that most things in my life are either happening "now" or "later", and if something is happening "later", I won't worry about it until it becomes "now". Well just this week, Christmas became "now" in a big way.

First hurdle, as of last Tuesday I had yet to buy a single Christmas gift. Solution, a whirlwind of shopping with my oldest and a couple of hours on the internet. Check.

Second, lack of any brilliant gift ideas for a few friends and family has brought me to "now" - knitting for Christmas. (I swore I wouldn't do this) Eight small gifts to be exact. Eight, wow, I hadn't actually counted until now... hmmm, I'm thinking I may not get this all done.

At any rate, most of the gifts will be fingerless gloves which are a quick, fun knit and the yarn is from my stash! The colorful ones were made from one ball of SWTC Karaoke made up from a free pattern that came with the yarn. Then you can see I'm working on finishing a pair of Fetching in Rowan Cashsoft Aran. The rest of the yarn pictured all needs to be knit before Christmas (yes, please, start laughing). Plus there will be one special gift that will be knit up in a cashmere I have yet to select... but, heck, you tell me, would you rather shop at the mall or pick out cashmere at the LYS? See... I'm not totally crazy. Not sure that I'm succeeding in making that point.

The next hurdle is a big one... decorating... for a number of reasons. First of all, we have very little room since our small living room is taken up by enough furniture to seat a family of 7 so furniture, books, and toy baskets all need to be relocated to make room for a tree. In addition, to access our Christmas boxes in the attic you need to open a 3 foot tall cabinet, remove all of it's contents and the shelf, then open a crawl space door through which you climb into our dark attic across rafters to collect all of the boxes and lug them out the hole into the hall. In my book this qualifies as a major BOPper (Big Overwhelming Project) so is delayed as long as possible.

However, what happens when you take all of the same struggles I have (ie. impatience, impulsivity...), multiply them to the max, add 100x the energy I have, and transfer them to a 14 yo boy? (Let's just call it ADHD... me, no H, just the ADD part.) What happens when you tell the anxious lad that you do not want to deal with the attic today and you can't have any more mess until you get things ready downstairs? Besides, you tell him, Grandma has just brought us a handful of cute decorations and you really don't want to pull out too much more this year due to space issues (and getting easily overwhelmed). But, what if after hearing this, your son with the "H", who is much more of a "doer" than you are and earnestly,eagerly, impatiently wants to help is left at home alone for a half hour?


All of it... every last, stinkin' box (stacked about 3 deep from what you can see)! Plus any boxes he happened to come across labeled clothes that he thought might fit somebody in this house. But notice they are all still upstairs as opposed to downstairs where, to his understanding, I did not want them. Apparently the fact that we can barely access our bedrooms at this point was not considered relevant to him.

So, my work today is cut out for me. But first I need to run a few errands to pick up a couple of things I need for a party we're going to tonight (see the party is today, which officially makes "now" the time to deal with this).
I'd better get knitting!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Is That All You Do?

So my son had a friend sleep over last night... a very nice, polite, quiet (the truly rare part) boy. While we've known his family for years and our boys are all friends, this boy has hardly spent any time at our house... practically none. So I was a little surprised when at 8:30 last night, after he'd been here for all of about 2 hours, he came out a sat down next to me and said, "Is this all you do all the time? Sit here and do... that?" while pointing at my knitting.

I'm thinking, Oh Honey, if you only knew! But after an awkward deer-stuck-in-the-headlights pause, I said with a little laugh, "Oh yes, all the time, this is all I do!" (You know like I was making a silly little joke or something.)
He says, quite seriously, "Don't you need to teach and umm...", as he glances around the room.

I laugh again and reply good naturedly that I'm teasing and of course I do those other things (well at least the teaching I think to myself)... but it's evening and I like to knit.

Two more hours pass and I'm sending the big boys all to bed when he comes out and sits down again. He looks at me (I'm watching Seinfeld and looking at my laptop - blogs, e-mails, you know) and says, "Are you going to sleep there too?" I look at him... No, but I am going to watch some more Seinfeld, probably the news and quite possibly some Leno as well while I do a bit more of "this" and "that". I didn't say that of course... instead I got up and obediently went to bed.

Geesh! I wonder what his mom does all day??

Anyway, as you can see I finished Drive-Thru. I love this sweater... and so does he! My mom came over with some sweaters for the boys to wear to my younger brothers wedding next month but she immediately decided she liked this better than the one she had purchased, so it's a hit all around.

Now, as for this picture... I definitely need to get a better one (after a bood blocking for the sweater and a haircut for the boy) but this one is all about the style. Check out that pose! He was hopping around all excited to be photographed in his new sweater and I said, "Okay, smile!" And this... this is what I got. I think he's ready for the big time!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Days Long Gone By

There was a time when I was really on top of things... a time when I was highly efficient, organized (in a rather chaotic sort of way), took pride in my work and was quickly working my way up the corporate (well, small business) ladder. As I transitioned from work to stay-at-home mom, I maintained a majority of my on-top-of-it skills, and while I've never been organized in the traditional sense, there was a sense of order and management at home... I knew what was when and who needed to be where, I knew what day of the week it was and usually the actual date.

But at some point, life (read 5 kids) took over and the pretense of order and focus was abandoned for the pursuit of sanity. I let go of my often unreasonably high expectations, stopped beating myself up over the seemingly simple things I could no longer maintain control over and gave up... er, I mean relaxed. This has been good... sure sometimes it would be nice to know exactly what day it is, where my car keys are, what time basketball practice is and which day I drive the carpool (I'm sure the team mom would appreciate this as well so I didn't need to call her each week), or where I placed that important piece of mail. But for the most part I'm finding ignorant bliss a nice place to be.

However, sometimes, just sometimes, I would hope a bit of common sense or neuron zaps would take place that would alert me to certain things of consequence. I mean, I can deal with the fact that I forget to make dinner and run out of toilet paper and milk way too frequently, but when it comes to things of real importance couldn't I be more alert? For example, the assumption that the jumbo ball of cheap wool/acrylic something yarn in my stash would be an easy substitute for a few rows of white in place of the Knit Picks Swish Superwash (which does not come in white) that I'm using for Drive-Thru may have been a hasty, not carefully considered assumption. But I'm a quick one, it only took me 2 stitches with the mega yarn to figure this out...

But what to do? It was late, no yarn stores were open, I had no other white yarn (except for my Midwest Moonlight Rowan Cashsoft - like that was gonna happen), and all I could think was "Drive-Thru" it... just keep going. Maybe it would turn out okay. Maybe I would do just one row of white instead of the thicker section I had planned. Maybe nobody will notice.

The good news is that the pattern is very straight forward and easy to follow with lots of tips to get you through. It's a fun, easy knit and I like my colors (very OSU) but I am wishing I had followed Wendy's advice to consider cotton if you live in a warmer climate because I think he'd wear this a lot more if it was knit in cotton and not wool. But I should have it done for him to wear when he sings with the little kid's choir in church on Sunday so that will be special (for me at least). Cotton... cotton... So Cal (just a little note to self).

So what do you think? Should I frog back and get ride of the huge white stitches or continue on? Does it look really bad... I mean aside from the unfinished flashdance look?

I truly do have bigger worries. What do you do when you get an important piece of mail containing specific return instructions with a deadline? And what if you temporarily lose that piece of mail for several weeks? And what if when you find it, you still fail to put your response in the mail each day because, well, because you're a total flake? What if it's too late to mail now? And, what if you don't want to lie, but your only other option is to call these highly-unlikely-to-show-compassion people and explain that you are just a blissfully ignorant mother of 5 who chose not to make their needs a priority? I'm thinking that conversation might not go well... I'm thinking I'd rather not have it... I'm thinking I may need to work on the focus thing just a bit more. In the meanwhile, our mail often does get lost. Maybe I never even got it... does lying to yourself actually count as lying? Or just a lapse in sanity? Cause that second one I can deal with. Hmmm...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stuck on Stockinette

Well, it's not like I haven't been busy knitting, I have... really busy even... but I keep jumping from project to project so I don't have a ton of progress to show on any one project. (Deep breath... this is okay I tell myself.) Truth is, I like variety, I love a good challenge, and I like to have simple things on hand for movies, reading and such. Ideally, I like to have one "thinking" pattern going on (I'm finding I really like cables and lace), one in-the-round project for ease and a couple of small, carry anywhere type of projects like a scarf and socks to, well, carry around. However, my current knitting basket overflows with stockinette type of stuff.

While my feelings for too much stockinette will keep me away from many a simple sweater, the one's I choose, I choose carefully and I never choose anything I'm not excited about. So I can't say I'm bored or restless right now (actually I'm really enjoying my current knits)... just feeling a bit plain. I feel like I'm even writing in a rote, passionless tone, much like a stockinette stitch... Hmmm, I guess that all stockinette and no fun cabling or charts makes for a very dull blogger as well.

Anyway, as promised, here's my progress on Sahara just joined in the round...

Sahara would be an exception to boring stockinette because of the interesting way it comes together, the promise of the beautiful hems and neckline, and the RYC Wool Silk I'm using! However, I will confess to recurring worries about the color. I like it, love it even, but I can't help feel nervous about the hazardous objects it might come in contact with... such as red wine. If I wear it I will spill it... no doubt! White wine only with this sweater.

Meanwhile, stockinette continues with Drive-Thru...

This has been an awesome movie companion. I love the little sleeves and can't wait to get some color going! The Knit Picks Swish Superwash has been a perfect substitute. I really like knitting with it.

So, while I absolutely love these two projects, I started hankering for some charts so I pulled out some yarn to work on a lovely cable knit scarf... Ha! That's what a sensible person would've done! But me, I started a sleeve for yet another sweater. Hmph. So here is the beginning of a Wanderlust sleeve...

I'm using a beautiful brown Debbie Bliss Chunky Merino and while I'm crazy about the pattern it is immediately clear that only if it snows here in So Cal will it ever get worn. So... if anyone is interested in a lot of DB Chunky Merino for real cheap (or for swap) let me know!

Besides, what came in the mail today is sure to satisfy my cabling urge...

I have wanted this book for so long and finally bought a used copy online. I can't believe what I've been missing!! I want to make everything!

Especially this...

And this...

Ah... a gal can dream can't she?

BTW - If you're a sock knitter, or want to be, checkout the Socktopia KAL on my sidebar started up by one of the gals at the Knitty Coffeeshop.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Just for Fun

It's raining and Sahara has been joined (pictures soon I promise)!

Both of these are big news for our household (well, maybe not the Sahara so much for everyone... I mean, the kids aren't begging to run around with it like they're begging to run around in the rain... but for me it is!)

Now, the just for fun...

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The West
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

I got a kick out of this because I am from Ohio (plus small stints in a few other states such as Florida, New York, Virginia, Missouri and Connecticut) but have spent most of my life here in So. California.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Typical Day

Another movie, a little more "Driving". BTW, this is an incredible documentary on the lives of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint and the other missionaries who died in the jungles of South America. The story is absolutely amazing and the people, both the indians and missionary families, are fascinating. I highly recommend it.

Sahara is almost ready to join in the round! Pictures soon.

And, a glimpse of my morning...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Driving-Thru Pirates

We had a mid-week family movie night the other night for the big DVD premiere of Pirates of the Carribean 2. It's definitely darker than the first and I personally thought it was a little gross at times, but the boys love it and I can't help but enjoy watching Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. The action scenes are clever and funny and I must admit that I enjoyed it much more the second time than the first. (I worked on Green Gable when we saw it in the theater.)

Anyway, the boys insisted on lights out during the movie so obviously I needed a project that would allow me to watch the movie and knit in the dark. So I cast on for Drive Thru .

I'm not a super speedy knitter but not too bad for a couple of hours of in the dark knitting... the ribbing slowed me down the most as I kept forgetting if I was knitting or purling and trying to figure this out in the dark was a bit tricky. I'm liking the Knit Pick's Swish. It reminds me of Cascade but I think it's a bit softer and squishier. And I'll tell you Drive-Thru restaurants may be quick but I'm making this sweater for less than it costs for our family of 7 to drive-thru a fast food restaurant!

Monday, December 04, 2006

This and That

So, I got in the mood to finish up a pair of socks (or at least one sock). But look...

Where do I put a big huge honkin' knot in a sock knit on itty bitty size 0 needles? I've never seen a knot a sock yarn before. Hmmm... Speaking of the size 0's, I plan to avoid this size in the future. The gratification is way too delayed for me.

Midwest Moonlight is coming along... but rather slowly. I love this scarf but I'm not crazy about the actual knitting of it. I made one for my mom last and, even though I never knit two of anything (except socks - cause you gotta), I really wanted one for myself. I'm using Rowan Cashsoft DK and it's going to be absolutely luxurious... someday.

And last, but not least, what a cutie....

??? What's that he's holding??? Why, it looks like new Opal sock yarn. How did that get in the picture? Hmmm... I wonder where he found that? He must not have been able to resist those amazing colors. Just guessing.