Sunday, September 4, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
After all my knitting, however, I don't have one stitch to be able to show you. Aww, yes, the negative knitting curse struck again. Here is how it goes...
Pick out pattern, yarn and needles and pack it along with your other weekend treats.
Take new set of interchangeable needles...just because.
Find a comfy, quiet place to knit when away with friends where there is "no judgement."
Cast on specified number of stitches for the back, using the specified needle and knit away.
Reread pattern several times while doing this and answer, "What are you knitting?" many times as well.
After a dozen rows or so, decide that you should go down a needle size.
Rip out back of sweater.
Cast on using one of the interchangeable needles.
Knit a few rows and decide that the cable is too long and change cable mid-row.
Knit another dozen rows or so and determine yet, again that you should probably go down a size again.
Compare gauge called for in pattern to gauge listed on ball band.
Wonder if close is close enough?
Allow the fact that you are still choosing not to knit a gauge swatch enter your reality.
Note at this time, that the interchangeable have an alternate numbering system and the 4mm you think you need will actually be substituted with a 4.25mm.
Cast on for the sleeve.
Knit more than 30 rows of the sleeve to get a true 'swatch-like' measurement and determine that the previous needle size: ie. 4.5mm would likely give a more correct measurement after all.
Rip out sleeve.
Pack up knitting, pattern, interchangeable needles and will to live.
Pour your first (but not last) Margarita of the day.
Wonder if you'll really be able to rip the pattern up and discard the yarn if you don't get gauge using 4.5mm on the sleeve?
Sunday, June 12, 2011
Last Friday night, the family and I attended a little event called Relay For Life. My son's school hosted the event for the first time. The kids organized the whole thing. They set up tents so that those who weren't walking all night would have a place to sleep.
I got a yellow T-shirt. I gave a little speech. I did a lap around the track.
Cast On? Cast Off? Can you tell which is which? Pretty close match don't you think?
As some of us approached the end of the scarf, so began our discussion as to how to cast off this particular stitch. Some research had been done prior to even beginning the project for tips from others that had gone before us. Every time anybody started stressing about it, or any stitch that wasn't quite perfect, I was the first to lean in to the concerned knitter and clearly and firmly state, "It's a scarf." My intent was to remind them that it didn't have to be perfect; that a blind man would be glad to see it and that if it was something that couldn't be noticed as you wore it riding by on a horse, then it didn't matter.
Then it was my turn to cast off. First I decided I needed another row after the pattern said to stop to balance my colour progression from the cast on. The other's concurred. Then I tried casting off knitwise, purlwise, knit two together cast off, knit one - slip one - pass stitch over cast off and then repeated each of those a number of times. I dug out several of my knitting books. My friend sent me a link from Ravelry. Everything I tried did not give me the look that I wanted, because apparently, it did matter what the cast off looked like.
This really should not have come as any surprise since when doing this scarf the first time around, I chose to work two scarves for half the rows and do a three needle bind off to keep the edges identical. So finally, in complete desperation, I found a crochet hook to attempt a slip stitch cast off. As far as mirroring the long tail cast on edge it wasn't too bad, but something still wasn't right and so back to the beginning for one more try. I worked another linen stitch row using the same colour as previously used, went back to the beginning of that row, worked a slip stitch cast off and....TAA DAA!!! I DID IT!!! I am just tickled with the result and more tickled that my friend at one of my favourite LYS couldn't tell the difference either. HEEEE HEEEEE!!!
Speaking of LYS...
There are few things sadder than a knitter making a last minute decision to go to a yarn shop that is having an awesome sale (that her friends got to go to before she could!) only to find that it is closed for the day.It all worked out though. It was open the next day.
Friday, May 27, 2011
I haven't posted anything in well over a month and in reviewing my last post I mentioned that it was going to be a busy week. Well, I guess I meant month.
Yesterday and today I have been purging my basement. ie. Attempting to purge to the best of my Pisces ability, or perhaps to the best of my 'Sentimental/Relaxed Messy' ability. I apologize to my knitting friends who inherited some of my yarn. (They did seem pretty happy about it though.)
My purging however went beyond yarn, in fact yarn is playing a very small part in this round of 'tidy up the basement'. What has prompted me to post today is something that I wrote...just for the sake of writing (long hand) on August 24, 2001. After reading this and then this and then coming across my ramblings, I felt that, once again, I was being sent a message that was not to be ignored.
So here goes; I will copy it unedited as it was written that August afternoon so long ago...
I am a Mother.
Who should I submit article to?
Today I was really trying to be the mother that I thought I would be and the one that so infrequently is seen by my children.
So I made my 4 year old the "Triple -Decker-Super-Duper-Peanut-Butter-and-Jam-Sandwich" that he requested. I said, "Yes, you can finish your sister's Kraft Dinner."
And then I said, "Here's the bag of candy from the Birthday Party---have the piece of gum last."
I had smiled and thought, 'he must be growing a couple of inches today' as he ate the sandwich.
I let go of the "Enforcer" part of me and let him have the candy at will, because, 'surely, nobody else is this regimented'...I still have Halloween, Christmas and Easter leftovers, because there's so much and it seems I allow so little...and I got a Tootsie-pop out of the deal---he shares well.
I am a Knitter.
I have been knitting for 18 years. (like I said, unedited)
My grandmother tried teaching me a couple of times when she came to visit, but I didn't keep it up after she left.
One of my life disappointments is that she didn't live long enough to see me and my knitting---although I do believe she does see.
My mother sat down and showed me again how to knit...but I say to anyone contemplating teaching...yes, everyone who's going to learn must start with knitting, but don't let them go away without PURLING!
Nothing can turn off a potential knitter more than working at GARTER STITCH...it has it's place, but showing someone the beauty of stocking stitch sets a whole world of colour and warmth before them!
My inspiration to take up the craft came from a high school friend's mother...is is now MY dear friend. She was constantly knitting, I mean it...always sitting in the same chair with a HUGE wicker basket...the kind a snake would be charmed from...full of sweaters and/or yarn at some stage of production
She had sweater sales and I modeled some of her creations for the 'sweater shoots'. She has moved from that house where I was inspired and lost virtually all her material possessions...including and amazing "STASH" of yarn (it smoldered for 2 days after the fire) and a beloved family cat.
She still continues to have sweater sales, at 70 years young and continues to enter sweaters in fall fairs. She has been 'suggesting' that I enter some of my creations, for years and finally in 2001, I agree. [Why would I pick now?! I have 2 children, aged 2 and 4, my husband has his own business that we run out of our home.]
I am a Nurse.
Then he comes to me chewing his precious Trident Bubblegum and says, "I want to play outside now", turns and chokes on his own spit. We've all done it. It goes down the wrong way and we cough. I asked him if he was O.K? He turned to me shaking his head no. He was coughing and breathing, so I really wasn't too worried.
So there I sat, while my 2 year old napped, doing some finishing work on a sweater for my brother that I planned to enter in the fair.
Now, this is where my priorities get a little fuzzy I think.
Sean came up to me coughing and gagging. (He was born with a gag reflex about 2" away from his lips! Only those who actually saw this child gag and vomit can fully appreciate the minimal amount of warning before Mt. Vesuvius erupted!) And as the first wave overcame him my hand went up to catch the gum and whatever else came with it, and the words out of my mouth were...
"Not on the sweater!"
O.K., so who should I submit this article to? Mother of the year or Knitters Anonymous?
But wait...There's more!
He's fine. He apologizes for throwing up..."and it's a good thing I didn't throw up on the sweater!"
So, I had to put down the sweater during this precious nap time, to clean up puke! And as I get to return to my knitting the phone rings because somebody can't find a quote that we 'think' my husband left there, but I can't check with him because he's out of town for the night working on a cottage and his phone doesn't work up there! (This is where my sentence structure falls apart, but let's face it...Life IS a run-on sentence!) And with that phone call---my daughter wakes up---early. But you know, advice to young mothers: She was fine in her crib; so I finished the darn Duplicate Stitch! But, didn't get to block.
But you know, that was only lunch and the next 2 hours. There was the morning too; which looking back wasn't that bad...
My daughter who is days away from turning 2 decided to remove her dirty diaper, carry it upstairs to the bathroom to throw the poop in the toilet (her baby sitter does this) and flush, 'Bye-Bye poop!' Cute, nice, no major disaster there...I was in the shower. Sean came running up a few minutes later to tell me the whole story; I told him it was fine..."But, mom there's one poop still there!" He went to his room and wouldn't come out till I cleaned up the poop and then it was safe!
I am a mother=I clean poop and puke.
And I got 90's in math.
I am a wife.
I am very lucky. I married a loving, good, hardworking man. With a good sense of humour. Here's more advice for anyone who might actually read this: Choose a partner with a sense of humour. Life is full of too many disappointments and too much hard work not to be able to find the humour in it. I think that if you have a sense of humour you can see the lighter side of the "Life that happens when you're busy making plans."
Wow. I had forgotten a lot of that story and I'm struck with how much has stayed the same and how much has changed. I've spent the past 2 days down here trying to gain some sense of control over my life because with parenting right now, I'm not feelin' it. But any frustration I'm feeling right now doesn't hardly compete with poop and puke...although now I'm dealing with Boxers and Bras!
Little people; little problems. Big people; big problems.
Really though, the problems aren't big at all; it's more about how I'm handling the 'discussions'. My avoidance method of choice? You guessed it...KNITTING!!!
There's my post. A blast from the past. Maybe next time there'll be pictures.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Sunday, April 3, 2011
I also told you about 'just one' visit to 'just one' yarn shop...
As I said to Connie, "It was over as soon as I pulled in the driveway."
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
Monday, February 7, 2011
Today? Today as I fondly scrolled down the page to enjoy some time with one of our favourite knitters, I muttered something resembling the phrase that any upstanding muggle would utter.
Oh My God!
And once again, I was given an excellent blog entry opportunity.
Here are my needles. I combine my straights and DPN's so that all the needles that are the same size are in the same slot/divider. It looked and worked better when I first set it up before the cardboard had time to slouch. I've thought about reinforcing the dividers...maybe I will someday.
Anyway, back to me having straights that I barely use; this is because I usually knit on circulars. Most of my circulars are stored in their original cases.
Speaking of Signatures needing a special place of their own...
This is where I keep the Signature DPN's in their tubes. (Some were otherwise engaged and therefore unavailable for the photo-op). Behind my Signatures is my pail of crochet hooks. It's a token ode to crochet; I'm not a fan, but the needle roll/hook roll is neat!
Therein lies the story of my needle inventory. I looked around, quite pleased with myself, that save, for all the needles that have projects on them...
WHOLE OTHER BLOG ENTRY PEOPLE!!!
...I was able to quickly locate all my needles. And I still had room for one more photo on my post. Should I maybe post a picture of my buttons that I hadn't shared, but meant to? How about an update on the knitting I've been doing this past week? Maybe show you just what my basement looks like right now and explain how the nice electrician that's coming tomorrow gave me enough notice to move everything away from all the outlets, so that he can make sure that our house won't burn down after all the other people told us they knew what they were doing when they did our renovations...and I did it! Made the outlets accessible, that is.
Maybe I could show you the scarf that I started because one of my knitters asked me why I wasn't wearing one of my many scarves that I have. I started it and I'm using a straight needle. I'm using one of my fancy needles.
That's one more photo op.
This is knitting art. It's nice to know I'm not alone. It's nice to know I'm among friends.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
LET THEM PASS ALL THEIR DIRTY REMARKS - ONE SOCK
ONE QUILT - WHAT ABOUT ONE DREAM?
ONE DREAM - WHAT ABOUT?
LET'S GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALRIGHT
AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING - ONE QUILT
SO SHALL IT BE IN THE END - ONE DREAM
GIVE THANKS AND PRAISE TO THE LORD AND I WILL FEEL ALL RIGHT
LET'S GET TOGETHER AND FEEL ALL RIGHT
Friday, January 28, 2011
Does that sound wrong?
I have tried several times to get this post up. The. Pictures. Would. Not. Load.
Yesterday, I just shut down the computer, put it in a time out and walked away. Today, while my will was tested once more, we are up and ready to go. So here's my story.
My life is full of Contradictions; so full in fact, that I was struck, all week, by how constant they truly are.
I have many knitting magazines. Too many knitting magazines.
Those are only the ones that made it to the bookshelf.
And so on these cold and dreary January days I find myself going to the mailbox hoping against hope that there will be a knitting magazine waiting to brighten my day.There have been no knitting magazines; so then I found myself in Chapters...
I thought I only bought three; turns out I bought four. You'll see more of one of these soon...
I have too much fabric. I need to sew from my stash. My stash is too big. I need to pare down.
So I start a quilt for my nieces birthday. I manage to simplify my design idea to something that doesn't make my head hurt. After completing the top I thought, "Great. Now I just need to buy backing, batting and binding," which doesn't really help with the whole "using up stash" concept.
(Guess what my niece's name is? And the first two don't count!) Wait a minute though...I had found some accent border fabric in one part of the stash; maybe if I searched another part I would be able to find some backing. There must be something somewhere...
AND THEN SHE DELETED THE PHOTO!!! GEEZ!!!!
O.K. Back again...sigh....
Here is some fabric that I had bought for the same niece another time; found in another area of the stash.
Why Not? While I'm not sure how keen she really is on The White Pig in the Red Dress, I know she still like Princesses. I even found some fabric for the binding.
Yay!! I just need to get batting and that seemed pretty reasonable.
So, for not needing so much stash, it actually came in handy.
Another contradiction associated with this one and I'm sure I'm not alone, is that I don't have a lot of time to complete this. Today is her birthday and Sunday is the party.
So, I'll quickly baste = not enough basting and I'll machine quilt = not faster even if it sounds faster. For one thing, I've had to rip out and try to re-quilt some areas because I wasn't happy with how the backing looked. You know, same old, same old, "More Hurry, Less Speed". I used to visit a patient that would say that to me, and that was back before I had a family to look after!
I don't have enough time to do things I want to do. I won't live long enough to knit all the yarn and sew all the fabric and bead all the beads and design all the designs that I have in my room and in my head.
So why does the universe keep putting things like this in front of me? Doesn't that doll look like she'd be fun to make? (You should see her friends!) And look! When I went to get the batting some stash replacement; not enhancement, came home with me too.
I think I'll just try to accept the contradictions, take each wave as it comes and enjoy the journey. It seems that the only constants are the contradictions, but the journey, that's where the excitement is...if you let it.
YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE IS A CONTRADICTION?
COMPUTERS AND THE INTERNET MAKING LIFE EASIER AND GETTING THINGS DONE FASTER!! THIS POST USED UP ABOUT 4 (MAYBE MORE) HOURS OF MY LIFE!!!
Thanks for dropping by.
Friday, January 21, 2011
The PINE TREE BOOKMARK (ravelry link). Get it? Pine Tree? Blue Christmas?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Hey! Connie, Laurie, and Wannietta!
In knitting news...
Speaking of Happy Decisions...
I had a "High Five Mother Moment" yesterday and since I have on occasion vented/whined/complained about the 'joys' of motherhood, I thought I'd let you know that sometimes I think that I don't suck at it too.
Let me set this up for you.
My son is in Grade 9. He is ending his first semester and preparing for his first set of exams.
He came down with a cold on Monday.
He is his mother's son, ie. the procrastination apple does not fall far from the tree.
So he stayed after school to try to complete a project that can only be worked on at school and I picked him up after dropping my daughter off at dance.
Shortly after entering the van...the teenage angst, drama, hyperventilating, over exageration, self defeating dialogue...begins.
I try to be optimistic, encouraging, etc., but what do I know?
I did point out that maybe after 40 something years and having gone through high school, that I may know a thing or two. He was at least polite about that one, but I don't think that it really made a difference.
The 'freak out' grows in intensity until well after we are home; it has already been decided that he won't be going to his drum lesson and he was o.k. with that. Right there. That tells you what kind of state he had managed to get himself into.
" I CAN'T RELAX!!!", he exclaims!
Well, I don't buy that for a minute!
I get him to sit down facing me on our kitchen chairs.
I tell him to sit up straight.
I show him how to put his hands on his legs palms facing up and ask him to close his eyes.
I say, "Now, breath in through your nose."
"I can't; it'll sound disgusting." And then he starts laughing. Then the dog comes over to see what's going on and because she hasn't seen him all day and his hands are just sitting there she starts licking them. And he laughs some more.
Now, I was going for calm, relaxed and focused so that he could then, without the aforementioned anxiety, write a list of what he needs to do and to prioritize them so that he is only faced with one task before he moves onto the next.
He's still laughing; so I grab a pen and paper and say, "Quick, just shout out, what do you need to get done. Go!"
"Geography. Wait, do you mean in order? Hahaha"
"No. Just say it, don't think; just tell me what you have to get done. Go!"
And so came the list. He's laughing, which I know releases endorphins and we're getting the information that we needed to get started. By the time he settled down we had a list, a plan and what looks like a reasonable chance that it will get done in time.
I don't know if I ever got him to take that deep breath, but you know what a did get?
"Thanks, mom." And a hug.
It was a good day.
TODAY, (being Thursday and all) has also been good. My son went to school without the weight of the world on his shoulders.
My husband went skiing with my daughter for electives.
IT WAS SUNNY!!
I feel I put a reasonable amount of domesticity (aka cleaning and laundry) into my day; so I went upstairs to do a little spinning.
And because I couldn't decide which picture I liked better...
I posted both.
Monday, January 17, 2011
This time it was a weekend and we LOVE them!
There is always a lot of good food, good wine and good fun. We've all had our trials and tribulations over the years, but these friends are special. We all know all there is to know...And we love each other all the more for it.
Here are some of the spoils of the weekend.
We were all lucky enough to get some gifts (we never get to see each other before Christmas) and we also managed to get some shopping in.
My dear mostly non-knitting, non-sewing friends made sure I got to visit the new little shop in town. bee modern fabrics & yarns is a very cute and friendly store and I look forward to visiting again...when it's warmer!
Here's a little something I picked up near the cash register before heading to the store next door where my "Bee" necklace was waiting for me to rescue it and bring it home.
You may have noticed my blog's "new" look. Early Sunday afternoon when we were trying to delay our departure, our hostess commented on how nice my knitting looked with the sun and cushions and everything. I gave her my camera and put her to work with the request that she give me something "Artsy-Fartsy".
I like it.
So that's my short and sweet entry. I had planned to do this all day. I had planned to write more and to write with more whit. That didn't happen; what did happen is I got my oil changed, my emissions test done, dinner made and four loads of laundry done...well almost, I'm going to go throw the last load in the dryer now.
A weekend away just isn't enough and when I get home it was too long to be gone. It's good to know that all three of my friends feel the same way.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Did you know that due to too much television exposure you can wind up with some really messed up dreams?
I was enjoying a deep REM sleep this morning and upon being wakened by the dog wanting her breakfast, realized that my dream included a variation of Myth Busters and Dinner Party Wars.
That can't be good; it's just weird.
I am not a fan of housework. I would rather knit. SURPRISE!!! To that end, I own a multitude of appliances to make the necessary evil, that is housework, more manageable. It is also important to note here that I own 2 cats and a dog.
This is my vacuum cleaner.
A very fine machine, indeed, that copes well with the hurdles before it on a biweekly basis.
Until last Tuesday. Last Tuesday it said, "No. I don't think so. I will turn on. I will begin to make the correct sound, but then I will make a slightly different sound that will cause you to wonder just what is going on with me? Then, while still having a significant amount of power running through my veins I will stop sucking. That's right, I will suck no more and you will be left to your own devices to ascertain just why I am making this unusual sound; why I am refusing to suck and revenge will be mine...mine, I say. All mine!" mmmmHHHHAAAA!!!
So I looked on line. I sent an email. I waited on hold...and left a message. I waited on hold another day...and left another message. I eventually called the store where I bought it to see what they could offer. My best bet? Bring it back to the store and they'll send it out. For me to seek out an authorized repair store had me going to a different town in a different county. SEVERAL days later I hear back from the phone message; too bad I wasn't home when they called. Today I heard back from the email and just because I was feeling optimistic, I guess, I gave them another call. THEY ANSWERED!! WOOHOO!!
Yes, yes, very busy after the holiday...
So they nice young man was very reassuring that I would have my machine up and running in no tim! He talked me through what we (me) were going to do.
Step 1-remove the canister. Check.
Step 2- locate the intake hole. Check
Step 3- We're going to put the hose over the intake hole to clear the blockage (he was confident there was a blockage).
"O.k. let me take the attachment off. Oh! there seems to be a collection of 'stuff' right here.
I'll just put the phone down and dig this stuff (dog hair mostly) out," and then we can go ahead with this whole turning the vacuum on itself thing.
So I dig and I pull dog hair, some small sticks, but there was something definitely caught up there; so I kept at it.
"Oh Wow. This is embarrassing," I said.
When I explained to the nice young man what had been blocking my vacuum cleaner, he said, "Well, that's a first; I haven't heard that one before."
See?! There should totally be a warning on our wine bottles!
"Discard Seals Responsibly! Your Vacuum Cleaner May Depend On It!"
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Yup, a hat, a pair of socks and it's 2 or 3 sweaters that I rarely, if ever see worn.
Good thing I enjoy knitting! Good thing I have stash! So I will try again....someday.
But NOT today!This is a pair of socks that I started for my Mother-In-Law who will be visiting next month. Apparently there's something in the air that made this yarn jump out of my stash and onto my needles. Mmmm.
So while my time on the computer hasn't been spent updating this blog, I do check my blogging friends daily---actually, several times a day. There's been some interesting topics over the past few days. Glenna, over at Knitting to Stay Sane spoke of Do Overs and was my inspiration to revisit a summer cardigan that I started 3-4 years ago.
A cardigan using Blue Sky Aplaca's Cotton. I completed the back in no time; managed to get the right front done (as you can see from my cute tags), but ended up ripping it out because the pattern didn't match at the shoulders. This was a "Thank Goodness for Ravelry" moment, as I found out that there was an error in the pattern for the right front and not the entire back. See? Good thing. I only had to rip out half a front and not a whole back. It's also a good thing because there's a big chunk of this sweater already done. It will knit up quickly and will do just nicely for my next trip...in March...
Wait and see...