Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Easter Egg dying in November, and an old dog

Miss K and I decided to dye some yarn today. We used Easter egg colors (I probably have a few more boxes squirreled away, and now that I know how easy it is to dye yarn with them I'll probably go wild at Easter time!). We stuck the yarn in the crock pot and left it for a good portion of the day while we ran errands (dropped half a dozen hats off to the nursery at the hospital, and gave blood for the first time, me not K) When we came home we were met by the smell of cooking yarn, well the crock pot was on low so the yarn was just hot. And here is our yarn, and Miss Stella modeling for us (she's not a good model, she won't hold still and can't hear instructions, and she doesn't see so well anymore either, but I think the yarn necklace suits her). This yarn will be knitted up into a hat for Miss K and felted.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A semi-successful day at the LYS

Most of the yarn shops around here are closed on Sundays and Mondays. There's one that's open on Sundays, but that's because it's in a very "touristy" spot. And there's one that's closed on Sundays and Tuesdays (go figure, the yarn shop got a new name and a new owner a little over a year ago and she's kept the old hours) maybe she figures that if someone needs a yarn fix on Monday they won't resort to Wal Mart, Joann's, Michael's or any other discount store with a limited selection. So the girl child and I went to buy a tree permit (family tradition we go to the mountains and cut down a tree), and it's in the same part of town as the LYS that is open on Mondays. There's a couple of patterns I want and I know that she carries a good selection from the company's so in we go. One of them she doesn't stock (to be fair it's fairly new), one of them she's out of and is reordering. Drat!! But I did find a nice book on crocheting with wire that I think I'll give my mother for Christmas, so it wasn't a wasted trip.

Not much going on in my knitting life. Just finished middle boy's fingerless gloves and am still knitting away at girl child's dress. I should call it a tunic because I don't think it's going to be long enough for a dress, unless you're my mother who used to dress me when I was little in dresses so short I couldn't move for fear of my panties showing.

Maybe next week I'll have something exciting on the old needles. With Christmas staring me in the face (no, I'm not knitting any gifts, the ones I did for this Christmas are done and ready to be wrapped), I'm not sure how much time I'll have for knitting (tho, I could call it my therapy and become really really crabby and maybe no one would lift an eyebrow when I sat down with needles in hand....)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Giving thanks and surviving the holiday (barely)

Wednesday night after karate class and swimming at the Y the husband and I decided to do something different. Normally on Wednesdays the husband does not meet us at the Y and we go straight home, but this being a holiday weekend, we shook up our routine and treated it like Friday when we go to the Y for the boys karate class, and play racketball and then head on over to Whole Foods to grocery shop and eat pizza. Wednesday night we decided to swim, then head over to Macaroni Grill and cash out a couple of gift cards. Robert wanted fried calamari for an appetizer. Robert and I shared the calamari (mistake #1 for me). For dinner I had "make your own pasta" (whole wheat penne, artichoke hearts, roasted bell pepper, pignoli and shrimp), no dessert, but I did have an Italian margarita. Thursday I am fixing thanksgiving dinner, but Wednesday night I'm not thinking about fixing dinner, I've done it enough times to know the routine (good thing as it turns out). Late in the evening I'm still feeling full, as a matter of fact I'm feeling overly full even tho I didn't eat to that over stuffed feeling. Thursday morning I'm feeling....well....pretty crappy. I get the bird stuffed and in the oven. My brother and his family come over. We eat, we visit, but I still feel like nothing is digesting. I am miserable (miserable enough that the husband asks if I need to see the doctor, when I'm too sick to even knit he starts to worry). Yesterday afternoon I started to feel a little better. In the evening we went to some friends house for dinner (I'm still really not eating), and I thought that I was over the worst of this (I was). This morning I took the husband to the airport as he is to be gone for the next 4 days, so I simply can not afford to be ill. I spent a portion of my day shopping about the outskirts of Denver simply because I was there and it was convenient and I didn't feel like I was going to die. This afternoon I've eaten a little and my stomach isn't very happy with me, but nothing like Thanksgiving night or yesterday morning. I blame the calamari, I blame the fact that it was fried and fried food and I don't mix well.

But thank goodness I feel alive enough to knit, because a lovely box of yarn arrived from Knit Picks and it's miserable when you're too ill to be excited about yarn (wish the family understood that!)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The holidays, knitting frenzies and time

I don't knit gifts for the holidays. Really. Okay, that's not entirely true I did knit a lap afghan for my sister in law and her husband. But in my defense (even tho I don't knit afghans) was that my mother said "It's really easy and quick with this yarn and these really big needles", and I'm such a putz I believed her. I started that damn afghan in February, and finished it a couple of weeks ago, and it's not even very big! And I did knit my sister a pair of socks (sorry if you read my knit blog Crissy), but they didn't start out as a gift for her, they were going to be mine. But other than my true lapse of judgement (the afghan) I don't knit gifts for the holidays, and I often don't knit them for birthdays (tho, I did knit my sister in law a pair of socks when she turned 40 and a lace scarf for Chris's oldest sister when she turned 50). People often ask "do you sell your stuff?" (uh, no, but I'll happily teach you how to knit), or think that because I knit (and sew) I must give home made gifts. I did knit my dad a sweater for Christmas many many years ago, the neck ribbing was so tight he could barely pull it over his head. I do knit gifts. I've given socks and scarves to friends and family. I've knitted lacy baby dresses for new babies, baby hats, baby booties. I knit a baby afghan for a pen pal's first baby. I knit if I know that the person will like and use the gift, I try to match the gift to the person no point in making something that the recipient will accidently felt or ruin (gotta match the yarn and care of the item to the person).

Which brings me to these holidays, the ones staring us straight in the eyes and taunting us with the speed with which they will come. Had I considered knitting more gifts? Not really. (oh, I forgot to add the fingerless gloves I knit for the husband). I had thought about knitting some fingerless gloves for Robert, my middle son. He loved the pair I'm giving my husband. He requested some, but only out of the same yarn that his dad's are knitted from (alpaca). I thought that he was going to start stalking the post man as he waited for my yarn order to come. It's funny to see a 15 year old boy asking if your yarn has arrived, and then daily ask you how his project is coming along. No, the holidays are coming and I am refreshingly free of the stresses of trying to finish up that last sock/glove/sleeve/whatever before Christmas morning. I'd love to say that my holidays will be free of stress and tantrums, but ask me about them in mid January.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The finished project

Snow days were made for knitting. Unless, like me, you have kids then snow days are made for drying the snow off the floor and feeding the masses (or at least what feels like the masses when your teenager has a couple of friends over, the little kids didn't eat all that much). I spent a small part of my morning finishing up my leaf lace and blocking her. (yesterday you got to see her pinned down-side up on my living room carpet, today you get to see her over my gym clothes). I was amazed at 1. how simple this pattern really is especially if you knit with a fingering weight yarn so you can rip back if needed and 2. how quickly it knit up (okay, I may have been obsessed with getting it finished and therefore invested more time knitting on it than I should have in the last few days, the dishes in the sink seem to think that). But now she's done and I will go back to Miss K's dress, Robert's fingerless gloves and this weeks hospital hat.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Flower basket lace

I love this pattern. I can't find any lys that stocks this pattern on a regular basis, so I knit it from the spring, or fall 2004 Interweave knits and just adjusted the number of repeats. It is knit from a little over 4 hanks of Rowan Donegal Lambswool on size 6 needles. Here it is down-side up, blocking on my living room rug. I promise to take a photo of it right side up when it's dry. I love the pattern and may make a full blown shawl using the pattern eventually! But for every pattern that I wish to knit, I have kids who seem to find a pattern that they would like, and while, yes, I could teach them to knit, I really really like that no one really has an interest in stealing my knitting needles. And yarn. But really in the big picture, I do a fair amount of knitting for everyone. At the moment, even with this scarf/shawl blocking, on needles I have a hat for the hospital, a dress for the daughter and a fingerless glove for the middle son. Not an inordinate number of projects, but enough to keep me busy! Snow day today, so I have kids wandering around the house which really makes it hard (well, harder than usual) to keep one train of thought going.....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Spin spin spin

Night before last my knit meetup group had a sleepover. Not much of a turnout, but that's okay the few of us that were there had fun. We visited, we knit, I learned how to spin.....on a wheel! Now I want one, even tho my yarn looked like...well (crap comes to mind) let's just say my yarn looked bulky. But I am oh so proud of my first spinning attempt and so I shall inflict a picture of it on you.... (well, it's above my words because I can't seem to control where the pictures end up here). I may dye it (we learned that too) or I may leave it in its natural color and just pet it since I doubt I'm ever brave enough to try to cast it on and make anything (pot holder) out of it. Yep, spinning.....just what I need, another hobby!! (what I'd really like is to be able to spin beautiful yarn like my friend Heather does!)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Knitting enemy # 1

I know a lot of people would say that moths, or the washing machine or the cats are the # 1 enemy of yarn and knitting, but I know better. A basset hound is the #1 enemy. Oh I know that she looks all innocent with those sad droopy eyes, those oversized ears and the feet the size of Thanksgiving platters. Yup, innocent-look is her middle name (her first name being Jenny). She very calmly walks past you, brushes up against you so you'll pat her back, you don't notice that as she passes you she very gently grabs a skein of yarn and not the cheap stuff, she has good taste doncha know. Shortly after she passes quietly by you, you hear her playing and wonder what it is that she could be having so much fun with. You look. What is that, that she is throwing up in the air, and chasing? It looks like.....it looks just like....Good Lord it's your good yarn!!! You wind it back into a ball and while you're doing that, she's scoping out her next opportunity for her fiber fix.......