Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Perfect Knitting Day

Today is a perfect knitting day! I've put a paper log in the fireplace, and as the song says "The weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!"

And trust me, the weather outside IS frightful. This morning started with a rain/snow mix which is now switching over to snow. The temperatures are predicted to drop all day today, and by tomorrow afternoon we're expecting a total snowfall of 2" to 4". Makes you feel like Christmas is coming, alright!

I have some gift wrapping to do, then I intend to settle into the recliner with something Christmassy on DVD (I'm thinking "Christmas Vacation" maybe), a steaming mug of coffee, and some knitting. Maybe I'll finish up my Scrunchable Scarf then work some more on my Eggstra Special Socks.

Don't you just LOVE days when the biggest decision you have to make is which knitting project to pull out of the basket?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Confession Time

I have a confession to make....I've not been knitting much in the past week. I know, that's pretty unusual for me, beccause generally when I'm sittin', I'm knittin'.

But, a new toy has been getting in the way for the last few days. I bought myself an early Christmas present: a nifty little netbook! And, as you know, it takes awhile to get a new computer set up to suit yourself. It's been fun deciding what programs I wanted to download, which ones I probably wouldn't use, d
eleting the bloatware that came with it, upgrading the RAM. Fun!

So, by the time I had it pretty well set up the way I wanted, a terrible cold caught me unaware and I've been feeling just generally yucky. I've knit a bit on a pair of plain vanilla socks and a bit more on a scrunchable scarf I keep in the basket by my recliner.

But mostly I've sipped Alka Seltzer Cold tablets on the rocks and dozed in the recliner after work until time to go to bed. What an exciting life I lead! *L*

I did want to tell you, though, a little tale about one of the things I knitted recently.

Yesterday was our Christmas luncheon at the office. It's always a nice party, always held at one of the nice local establishments. One of the annual traditions is a "Mean Santa" exchange where we take something funny or hideous (preferably both!) and draw numbers to decide in what order the gifts are to be selected. It's always fun, and we have a good time.

I hadn't planned to attend the luncheon this year because we were waiting to get a surgical schedule for Mom's AAA repair at the time they were getting the guest list together. I'd had a little item tucked away in the closet to take to the Mean Santa exchange, but figured I'd just save it for next year.

As it turned out, Mom's surgery got scheduled for the 20th, and the event organizer had kept me on the list just in case it worked out that I could go. However, since I didn't know until yesterday morning that I was going, my hideous little Mean Santa gift was at home in the closet. So, I looked around the office for something to take for the exchange.

I looked up at my knitted Christmas lights hanging from my bulletin board and decided those would be great. (Gifts don't have to be hideous; cute is okay, too. *LOL*) My friend said that I shouldn't take them because they were too cute to give away.

I said, "You know it's funny about knitting things for myself. Sometimes by the time I've finished knitting them, I've looked at them enough!" So I asked if she happened to have a gift bag I could stick them in. She rummaged in a drawer and came up with a birthday bag in a spring-like theme that even had a piece of yellow tissue paper tucked into it. I said that the rustic wrapping would make it "mean" enough for the exchange.

Happily, the co-worker who got it was a crocheter/knitter who'd already admired the lights when they were hanging in my office and realized they were hand-knitted and was very appreciative of them. In fact, another co-worker who had a later number in the exchange "robbed" them from her! They were a HIT!

And even though I must now knit myself another set before next holiday season, I know that my hand-knit Christmas lights have a good home.

Of course, I remembered this evening that I'd never photographed them for my Ravelry page. Oh, well. They were cute. Trust me. :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Don't Call Me Shirley

I can't believe that Leslie Nielsen is gone. Sure, if I'd thought about it I'd have realized that the man had some age on him. I'd been a fan for at least 40 years, so that should have told me SOMETHING. But I just didn't expect to hear that he was gone. *sad*

So, what's been going on in my little corner of the world? Well, this evening I've been playing with my Christmas gift to myself, a netbook. In fact, I'm drafting up this blog entry on it, using WriteMonkey to keep myself from being distracted. And we all know how easily distracted I am. "YARN!" *LOL*

Last Saturday I attended a 100th birthday celebration for my great-aunt. She's a terrific lady, still sharp as a tack and living in her own home. She's a crocheter, has been for many years. She also knits, sews, and is otherwise crafty, but mainly crochets now. She looks at my sock knitting, shakes her head, and says, "Oh, those stitches are soooooooo little."

Her family gave her a wonderful reception, and everyone had a great time. There were 125 guests expected, and I believe most of them were there. She received lots of lovely presents, and really enjoyed herself.

I'd knitted her a Scrunchable Scarf (HOT PINK!) and she really seemed to like it.

100 years old....oh, the things she must have seen in that century. She's told me about having trouble finding fabric during the war to make clothes for her children. She found a used coat in a thrift shop , bought it, and cut it apart to use the fabric to make two coats for her youngsters. What a talented woman!

Well, I suppose I've played with my new baby computer long enough for tonight. I really must get to bed, since I have to work in the morning. Like Scarlett said, "Tomorrow is another day." :-) 'Night, Friends!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I-Cord and More I-Cord

It's been a very busy week, so I'm behind on my blogging again. (BAD blogger!) Last Friday night I did finish up my arm warmers, and I am very, VERY happy with them. I'll try to get some photos of them sometime this weekend.

Because the holiday season is upon us, I immediately started knitting the christmas lights I mentioned in my last post, and they're turning out really cute! I've finished knitting the bulbs and have started on the i-cord. Seven feet of i-cord. Sheesh, can anything be more mind-numbing that seven feet of I-CORD? *LOL*

Oh, well, it's good TV knitting at least.

Last Saturday I dropped off the Regular Guy Beanies I'd knitted for the homeless at a local charity that does good works. I hope they'll help someone who needs a big of warmth this winter. I'm going to continue knitting them, of course. I decided a long time ago to devote two hours each week to knitting for charity, and this seems a good productive way to spend my charity-knitting time.

Okay, lunch break's nearly over, so I'll hush for now. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ever Have One of Those Days?

Did you ever have one of those days where you're knitting before you leave home to go to work and are reaaaaaaaally close to finishing up a project, and you think (just for a moment, mind you) "Boy, I sure wish I could stay home this morning and finish this up"?

This morning was one of those mornings. Because of the switch from daylight savings time to standard time, I'm going to bed even earlier than usual and waking up really early. So, at 5:00 this morning I was in the recliner, watching a National Geographic documentary on Netflix, and knitting happily away on my arm warmers.

Much to my dismay, when the time came that I had to stop knitting and get in the shower, I had only FIVE ROWS left to finish up my arm warmers. FIVE ROWS. *beats head on monitor* I guess the good news is that it won't take me long to finish them up after work today, but I really hate to have to put my knitting down when I'm that close to the end!

So, now I'm thinking "what next?" I'll start another Regular Guy Beanie for charity, but for myself I want to knit a set of Christmas Lights I found on Ravelry. I have scads of brightly colored skeins of acrylic yarn I've accumulated over the years, and I think this will be a great way to use up bits of it. For the "plugs" and "wire", I'm going to use up some of the huge stash of sage green Red Heart I bought years ago to crochet the infamous "Boyfriend Afghan".

Wait, have I ever told you about the Boyfriend Afghan? Several years ago (before I learned to knit), I crocheted quite a bit, mostly afghans. I was dating (quite seriously) a guy who admired an afghan I was working on and said that he'd like to have an afghan for his living room. "No problem," I said, "What color?" He chose sage green, and I bought enough Red Heart acrylic to knit a large afghan to drape stylishly across his couch.

Before I finished the project, the relationship went up in smoke. I guess this was the crochet version of the "boyfriend sweater curse" in knitting. *LOL* So, the more-than-half-finished afghan went into a large blanket bag along with the remaining unused skeins of sage green yarn.

After I began knitting, I dug out all the yarn I'd purchased and stashed during my crocheting years. My first surprise was how much acrylic yarn has improved (thank goodness!) since I'd bought all these garishly hued skeins years before. The next surprise was finding the long-forgotten Boyfriend Afghan. What on earth will I do with all this sage green acrylic yarn???

I've been taking a little more pleasure than I should in gradually raveling out the unfinished afghan and using the yarn to knit Regular Guy Beanies for the homeless in my area. I've used some of it for other small projects as well, and it is a perfect shade to put knitted plugs and wire on my knitted Christmas Lights.

I think the lights will be perfect to string around the counter top in my office. After we close the office for the holidays, I'll take them home and add them to the decorations in my apartment.

Hmmmm. I just remembered that I tossed out my well-worn door wreath after my last holiday decorating session. Wonder if I can find a quick 'n easy door decoration to knit for myself? I think the holiday spirit has officially kicked in! *going to Ravelry now to search for door decorations*

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arm Warmers

My current "recliner" knitting project is a set of arm warmers for myself. Last Christmas I received a lovely cape from Mom and Dad as a gift. It's black with a bit of black and white houndstooth check trim. I really love it, but sometimes if I wear it to work I need something heavier on my forearms than whatever light sweater or blouse I'm wearing in the office that day.

The solution seems to be arm warmers to be worn with the cape and gloves/mittens. The pattern I've chosen will go from just above the elbow to the wrist, where it will bell out enough that it will be easy to put on gloves with it. I'm knitting them in white; I'd have preferred black, but actually had enough white yarn on hand to knit them up. If they turn out as neat as I think they will, I'll buy myself some black worsted and knit up a second set. :-)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

10,000 Hours of Knitting

On April 21, 2010 a post on Ravelry caught my attention. IdaW posted that she'd decided to participate in a project based on the idea that it takes 10k hours of practice to become an expert at anything. Her blog is 10k Hours of Socks. (To learn more about the 10k Hours theory, visit the website of Junebug on a String.)

Like IdaW, I decided to choose sock knitting as the activity in which I'd like to develop expertise. I thought it would be interesting to see how my skills develop in the next 10,000 hours.

In the past month or so I've been doing a LOT of charity knitting and getting most of my Christmas gift knitting finished up. Yesterday I posted my Time Tracker on my 10,000 Hours of Knitting Socks blog and found that even though I knit a bit every day, I had done only two-and-a-half hours of sock knitting in the previous four weeks.

I have to be honest, I found this a little disheartening! Since I enjoy knitting other things than socks (though sock-knitting is actually my favorite thing), I decided to track ALL of my knitting time. After all, any knitting is developing my skills, right? :-)

So today I'm moving the pertinent items from my "10k" blog to this blog. One less blog to answer, one less egg to fry. (Anyone else remember the Fifth Dimension? *LOL*)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Road Knittin'

I had to attend an out-of-town meeting yesterday. The location was a little over an hour away from my workplace, and luckily I was a passenger in a van full of other attendees. This meant about two-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted knitting time! *happy dance*

I knew right away that I'd need to take a project that met certain criteria:
  1. It must be small enough to fit into the purse I planned to carry. I didn't want to have to keep track of anything more than one purse and my portfolio. This narrowed it down to socks.
  2. It must be simple enough that I wouldn't have to reference a pattern. Too tough to balance everything on my knees in the van. Not to mention the fact that I didn't want anything that required a lot of my attention so that I could knit and carry on the conversations that were certain to ensue. *LOL*

I already had two pairs of socks that have been languishing on needles for awhile, waiting for me to finish up my Christmas knitting. So, Monday evening I rummaged in my UFO basket beside the recliner and fished them out. Unfortunately, both pairs were really close to the point that I'd need to start the heel. Not that heels are all that complicated, mind you, but I never quite trust myself to do them correctly without referencing my notes.

So, my solution was to cast on yet ANOTHER pair of socks. *LOL* Since I wanted to cast on some plain vanilla socks, I wanted to use lovely colorful stripey yarn. I chose the yummy yarn that I won in Pretty Knitty's contest back in August. I sat down to watch "Dancing With The Stars" (more about that later), cast on, and knit the toes (2-at-a-time, toe-up, Magic Loop) so that all I'd have to do during the ride Tuesday would be knit across the sole of the foot, and do my favorite K3P1 rib across the top of the foot. Wonderful mindless knitting. *happy sigh*

Tuesday morning I contentedly knit all the way to the meeting, the knit my way back home that afternoon. And now I have THREE pairs of socks waiting for completion. That's okay. Holiday knitting will soon be completed and I can get back to my true love: knitting socks.

Holiday knitting has been odd. I've thought I was finished several different times. I'd finish a project and say to myself, "There! All done now." A day or so later I'd see a neat pattern for a small project and think, "Say, that would make a nice little gift for So-and-So." I think I have only one more small gift to make. I think. Maybe the solution would be to finish up this small gift then not look at any more patterns until after the holidays.

Naaaaaaaaaah. *LOL*

Back to "Dancing With The Stars". I have to confess that there are only two reasons I watch this show. One reason is that I think Derek Hough is cute as a speckled pup under a red wagon, and I love to watch him dance. The second and biggest reason is that Mom is a fan and watches it devotedly every season. It's fun to spend a little telephone time with Mom discussing which dancers did well, and which of them sucked like a Hoover.

I will say, though, that I have a real issue with the title of the show. "Stars"??? Normally I've only heard of one or two of the contestants. Another problem I have with the show is that they allow the home audience to vote. This usually results in some of the better dancers getting booted too soon because a lesser dancer has a bigger fan base. It's not fair. It's supposed to be a DANCING competition. *climbs down from soapbox*

One of my favorite things about DWTS is that it provides lots of good knitting time. Monday nights are a two-hour show. The actual dance routines are really short, leaving lots of "don't-have-to-look-at-the-screen-just-listen" TV time, great for knitting!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Leisurely Week Off

Last week I took my last full week of annual leave for 2010. I'll have a good bit of time off during the holidays, but this was the last full week before Christmas.

It was a fairly uneventful week, to say the least! I was battling allergies (I love Fall, but boy does it give my allergies a fit!), so a lot of my time was spent in the recliner with a remote control and knitting in my lap. Not bad for a vacation!

I managed to finish up several small projects I had in my UFO basket and completed from start to finish one charity hat and four decorative facecloths. I also got another few feet knitting on the feather and fan scarf I've been noodling along with for a long time. I completed several small Christmas gifts and am generally well pleased with the knitterly progress made. :-)

Now I need to finish up one more Christmas gift hat, another few hats for charity, and the feather and fan scarf so that I can get back to knitting SOCKS! *missing sock knitting* I still haven't started my "Egg-stra Special" socks, and I really, REALLY want to get my hands on that yummy yarn!

Speaking of which....even though I promised myself I wasn't going to indulge in any more yarn until I got rid of some of my stash, I caved and bought a couple of skeins of some lovely yarn at my LYS that should work up into a nice Baby Surprise Jacket. (As if I need yet another project right now...*LOL*)

Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying the knitting guild meetings I've been attending? I love knitting at home in the recliner, but it's so great to talk to other knitters about what we're all doing and picking up tips from them. They're a great group, and I'm having a great time!

Well, lunch break's over now, so I'll get my nose back to the grindstone. Happy knitting, everyone!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cricket Returns!

Actually, I've not been away....just awfully busy! *LOL* That's no excuse for my lack of bloggage, though, and I apologize. September has just kind of slipped away from me somehow!

I've been knitting lots of goodies, though. Did I tell you that I joined a local knitting guild? We meet once a month, and I've now attended two meetings. I'm enjoying it a LOT! It's good to sit with like-minded knitters and learn things.

During our last meeting, one of the members asked if anyone would be interested in knitting a scarf for charity. Just a simple garter-stitch scarf, nothing fancy. She supplied the volunteers with the necessary yarn, and I knitted the scarf during my last camping trip of the season. It took no time at all, and I hope it will be useful to someone.

I'm also knitting up several Regular Guy Beanies to take to a local shelter so that they can distribute them to anyone in need of something to help keep warm this winter. If you have a Ravelry account, you can click here to see the pattern. It's simple, quick, and doesn't use much yarn. When I mentioned in my guild meeting that I was knitting these, the owner of my LYS gave me some yarn from her yarn amnesty stash to use for the beanies. Wasn't that sweet of her? (Shameless plug for my LYS: if you're ever in Abingdon, Virginia, be sure to stop by A Likely Yarn. You'll enjoy it, I promise!)

Let's see, what else have I been knitting? Spa mitts and soap sacks for Christmas gifts, started a pair of socks, started a TARDIS (you Doctor Who fans will know what I mean), and I started a Scrunchable Scarf as a gift for my great-aunt's 100th birthday in November. She's a gifted crafter, crochets and knits and sews and does just about anything you can imagine.

So, you can see that I've been a busy girl. Still, that's no excuse for not blogging, so I promise I'll try to do better. :-) Hope you're all having a great week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Egg-stra" Special Sock Kit

When I checked my mail yesterday afternoon, I found the that "Eggstra" Special Sock Kit I won in IdaW's contest on her blog, The Evolving Sock Knitter, had arrived. Such beautiful yarn! As I ran my fingers over it and squeezed it gently, I thought of the Yarn Harlot saying that when someone insensitively comments on your yarn stash you should say (while stroking the yarn), "Yarn? This isn't yarn. These are my kittens." *LOL*

The pattern is written top-down, and I've been knitting toe-up two-at-a-time for a good while now. When I checked my needle stash I found that the last time I'd knit top-down using DPNs, I was still using size 2 or 3 needles. With time I've drifted down to a size 1, so I'm going to treat myself to a set of size 1 DPNs before I start knitting the kit.

I don't mind using DPNs at all; in fact, it kind of gives me a feeling of reconnecting to my ancestors. I imagine them knitting away with a hand-wound ball of yarn and a porcupine of needles sticking out of a half-completed woolen sock. I don't even mind closing the toe with the much-maligned Kitchener stitch. I think it's magical to watch that opening close up without a trace!

The only reason I usually knit socks using Magic Loop, two-at-a-time, toe up is so that I can finish both socks at the same time. I also enjoy knitting on one long circular needle so that if I drop my work I don't have to worry about losing one of my double-point needles.

But because this pattern is written top-down, I'll knit them on DPNs and enjoy the experience. Of course, to prevent myself from going nuts at my local yarn shop, A Likely Yarn, or online at KnitPicks, I'll have to hope that WalMart has a set of size 1 DPNs hanging on the rack!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Knitting Therapy

Today is a bad day. We all have them, and some are definitely worse than others. I know it will get better, but trust me, this is just a bad, awful day.

Bad days make me appreciate the lovely soothing repetitive motion of knitting. There's something about the rhythm that you develop with sticks and string that settles the mind and centers your emotions.

Can knitting make bad situations better? least not usually. Can knitting make you calmer and more emotionally able to deal with bad situations? It works for me, thank goodness.

So off I go to knit through the rest of my lunch break and center myself. Tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Swiffer Cloth Success!

Swiffer Floor Cloth 5

I finally managed to knit a Swiffer floor cloth with the shape and size I wanted! Only took me five tries. *LOL* This final version is a slight variation on the "Purly Lace Swiffer Cover" available on Ravelry. I put the instructions for my variation over in my "Freebies" patterns (see link at the right of this page). I have a couple more of these to knit for little gifts, then I can get back to my other projects. In fact, I'm already halfway through the next Swiffer cloth. Once I figured out what to do, they go really quickly!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oho, the Wells Fargo Wagon is A-Comin' Down the Street

Oh please let it be for meeeeeeeeee! (If you don't understand that reference, you need to watch "The Music Man". *LOL*)

The FedEx tracking site says that my KnitPicks order is "out for delivery". So, this means I might or might not get it today. Here's why: the final leg of the FedEx delivery is passed off to the local post office. Depending on which mail carrier is delivering mail in my neck of the woods today, he or she will either 1) leave the package on my doorstep (which I requested in writing long ago) or 2) take it back to the post office and leave a little note in my mailbox telling me that I can pick up the package after 8:00 tomorrow morning.

The suspense would be maddening if I wasn't so terribly busy today. *L*

Oh, I must tell you about my latest knitting disaster. Well, not really a disaster, I guess since it's not of earth-shattering importance, but a GOOF all the same! Last night I finished my latest incarnation of the knitted Swiffer cloth. It was looking really, really great, and I was happier than I'd been with any of the previous versions I'd knitted (this was the fourth one in the series). I finished it up while watching TV, hid the ends, and happily slipped it on my Swiffer.

It was too long. *beating head on monitor* WHY didn't I check it before I sewed up the pocket seams and hid the ends? Dunce. Total dunce. I checked the width, but not the length.

Soooooooooo....last night I cast on the fifth one, making adjustments that I think will work. You can bet, though, that after a reasonable number of rows have been completed I'll be holding the next one against the Swiffer to see if I'm on the right track. Dunce.

I brought my little gray socks to work with me today so I can knit a bit on them while munching my lunch. So, I'll cut this entry short so I can hopefully finish reknitting the toes today!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Waiting for Yarn

How insane is it that I'm waiting for yarn to be delivered before starting my next sizable project? I have BASKETS full of yarn. There's a term for this that I read on the Yarn Harlot's blog called "SABLE": Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy.

And, even though my stash has come dangerously near SABLE status, I find myself checking online to see when my next KnitPicks order is due to arrive. Hopeless, I tell you, I'm just plain hopeless. Oh well. A yarn addiction is a relatively harmless one.

The yarn I'm waiting for is to knit a TARDIS. For those of you uninitiated into the world of Doctor Who, a TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space) is a time machine used by Doctor Who and his companion(s) to travel through time and space to provide assistance to others. The TARDIS looks like a 1950's London police box; if you've never seen a photo of one of those, it looks something like a large-ish blue old-style telephone booth. You know, the kind that Superman used to change into his tights and cape back in the day.

Back to the knitting issue: I HAD some worsted yarn on hand that I thought would work, but this proved to be problematic on a couple of counts. First of all, it really wasn't the right color. I needed some dark blue yarn and some darker blue yarn, along with a small bit of white. As it turns out, the yarn I thought would work was MUCH too light, and it just didn't look right at all. Additionally, the worsted weight yarn was going to make this a BIG ol' TARDIS, much larger than I'd intended. So, KnitPicks to the rescue. I went online and selected some fingering weight yarn that I thought would be a better color. As always, the price was very reasonable and I had enough stashed on my Wish List there to bring my order up to the minimum order for free shipping. (I ALWAYS have something on my Wish List there....*LOL*)

And now I'm waiting. I have plenty to keep me busy until the new yarn arrives, of course. Actually I guess I SHOULD be working on some decluttering I'd promised myself I'd get finished.

But then again, there's a pair of socks I want to start.....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Won Again!

I can't believe it, but I've won another contest! *happy dance* IdaW of The Evolving Sock Knitter ran a contest on her wonderful blog to give away two Trekking "Egg-stra" Special Sock Kits. This sock was designed by Rosemary “Chappy” Chapman in honor of Susanne Skacel, a three-year survivor of ovarian cancer. The yarn in the kit is a glorious shade of teal that was dyed to match the color of the ribbons used to represent support for the fight against ovarian cancer.

WEBS and Skacel Collection, Inc. are both donating the entire proceeds of the sale of these kits ($25 per kit) to the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research. I know that lately it seems like everyone's been asking for donations, but if you have any funds left in your yarn stash, maybe you'd like to have a look at this beautiful sock kit by clicking HERE and considering placing an order.

Thanks so much, IdaW, for giving me the opportunity to put my name "in the hat" for this terrific giveaway!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

BSJ 3 All Finished

As I'd hoped, last night I was able to finish my third Baby Surprise Jacket last night. I'm very happy with the results. The first one I did was a solid color and the second and third were made with variegated yarns. I think I'll do the next one with stripes. *happily planning* I must take some time and get photos made of the jackets. Not tonight, but hopefully within the next few days.

However, before I knit another baby jacket I simply MUST get some work done on my Christmas knitting. It's August already, and Christmas will be here before we know it! *yipes* The stealth knitting will now begin!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

BSJ 3 Nearly Complete!

Last Thursday I headed to the wood for another camping weekend and got in some very good knitting time. I had a few rows completed on my third Baby Surprise Jacket, so I took it along so that I could get some work done on it.

As it turned out, I didn't work on much of anything except the BSJ; it was going so well that I didn't want to stop to work on anything else. The only exception was that I attended a birthday party for Smokey the Bear (HONEST!), and I took along my plain vanilla socks to work on there so I wouldn't have to carry a pattern with me.

All I need to do tonight is sew up the shoulder seams, crochet around the neck, weave in the ends, and sew on the buttons. If all goes well, I should finish it up before bedtime tonight.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Christmas in July, and another BSJ

Saturday I received my "Christmas in July" present I won on Pretty Knitty's blog....such fun! She sent me two skeins of lovely sock yarn (that'll be my next pair cast on!), some Cascade 220 with Kool-Aid to use to dye it (more about that later), some little butterfly note cards, a sample of skin cream, a keychain calculator, and a beautiful row counter set with stitch markers. So much great stuff!!

Yesterday I decided to dye the Cascade 220; this was my first attempt to dye yarn, and it was sooooooooo much fun! I used the microwave method to dye it with the Kool-Aid, and it's turned out to be a beautiful variegated blue. Now I just have to decide what I'm going to knit with it! Maybe a skinny scarf for myself. I've given away all but one of my scarves that I've knit; the only one I've kept is the very first one I knit, so maybe it's time to knit another one to keep. :-)

I've finished my second Baby Surprise Jacket, and am very pleased with the results. In fact, I've already cast on a third one, using Pretty Knitty's row counter and stitch markers on it. The next BSJ is white with wee splashes of pale blue and green. I think it will work up very nicely. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. :-)

I have to admit that I was completely befuddled by the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern (no offense to the genius of Elizabeth Zimmerman, who would have been 100 years old today), and am just amazed and delighted that I've now (with the help of the Ravelry group) completed two of them. It's been so much fun to learn!

I managed to knit on my plain vanilla socks during my lunch break today. I've decided that the only way I'm going to get in any sock knitting time is to carry my socks to work instead of the Baby Surprise Jacket. On the current week, I have a grand total of 30 minutes sock knitting time. Pitiful, just pitiful. I'm KNITTING, mind you, just not knitting much on socks. This will change, of course. But for now my sock knitting time is looking really sad.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I Won!

I actually won a contest! And I never win ANYTHING! *LOL* A very nice lady known as Pretty Knitty makes beautiful knitting and crochet row counters that she sells on her site on Etsy. She also write a very entertaining blog, which I read regularly.

On July 24, she announced a Christmas in July contest, which I entered with no thoughts of actually winning, because I honestly just don't have much luck when it comes to winning things. (This is the reason I still work for a living in spite of years of buying an occasional lottery ticket.)

Yesterday I was super-busy and didn't have time to do my usual daily blog and e-mail reading, so I didn't learn until this morning that I'd WON! *happy dance*

Pretty, you've put a shine on a drab Monday morning. Many thanks!

Friday, July 30, 2010

BSJ 1 Complete....BSJ 2 Already on the Needles!

I almost hate to say the first Baby Surprise Jacket is finished. It IS finished, you see, but it's so dreadfully ugly I wouldn't give it to anyone as a gift! As the Yarn Harlot said on her daily calendar day before yesterday "crap in, crap out". I used crappy yarn, and I got a crappy jacket. It's cheap acrylic, and it shows. Splitty, weird, YUCK. Never again. And I rarely say "never".

Oh well. It was a good learning experience, and I actually think I learned enough from knitting it to justify the time I spent on it, even if it's too small and looks like it's been attacked by a roving band of murderous wolverines. I've got the second BSJ (still not high-dollar yarn, but much better than I used on the first one) on the needles and just completed Row 6. Only 109 rows to go. :-) I just stopped working on it to take a quick meaurement, and it looks like I'm on track.

Just 6 rows in, and I'm already happier. I'm so easily pleased. *LOL*

Thursday, July 29, 2010


A couple of evenings ago I was working on my Baby Surprise Jacket, using a spreadsheet I'd found linked on Ravelry. I'm an Excel kinda gal, so using a spreadsheet just fits in to my basic nature.

The spreadsheet I was using was based on using a different marking system for the decreases and increases in the pattern. My personal preference is to use a total of four markers, one on each side of the center stitch of a mitred decrease so that at each decrease it would work as follows: SSK, slip marker, K1, slip marker, K2T. Because the spreadsheet I was using marked their decreases and increases differently, I was constantly having to rethink the stitch counts and what to do when.

Suddenly it hit me. Why not make up my OWN spreadsheet showing my stitches the way I wanted them? Duh. So I laid my knitting aside, went to the computer and very soon was admiring my very own spreadsheet. For some reason, that was all it took to make me realize that the Baby Surprise Jacket isn't nearly as difficult as I was making it. Last night I zipped right along and stopped after completing line 104. If the buttonholes and the binding off go as well as the parts I knit last night, I should finish up either tonight or tomorrow. *happy dance*

I've not been happy with the yarn I'm using. It's some inexpensive acrylic stuff I picked up at Wal-Mart way back when I was first learning to knit socks and hadn't yet found a place I could locally buy real sock yarn. (Which is, of course, my one true addiction in life. *LOL*) This acrylic is deceptively soft to the touch, but is a little splitty to work with. On top of that, it's pulling ALL the moisture out of my poor little fingertips! YUCK!

I'm anxious to finish the jacket so I can start the second one in some more appropriate (I hope) yarn. I'm calling this one my "trial run". I hope to start the "real" one sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Good Weekend to Be Indoors

It's awfully hot in my corner of the world, so I've elected to stay indoors and enjoy the air conditioning today! A little while ago I finished another pair of baby socks made with the leftovers from my latest pair of Dragonfly Socks. Aren't they cute?
This afternoon I'm going to work some more on the Baby Surprise Jacket. Since this is my first BSJ, I like to be near my computer while working on it in case I need to check out something on the Ravelry group.
I'm hoping the next one will be easier. *LOL*

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Camping and Knitting

Last weekend I had another great camping adventure with lots of relaxing and knitting time. I finished my second pair of Dragonfly Socks (see my sock-knitting blog for photo), and knitted a bit on a Purly Lace Swiffer Cover.

Not only is the Swiffer cover a pretty simple project to work on, but I think it will make good small Christmas gifts, too. I'll let you know later how the pattern works up. I'm doing this first one in Peaches 'n Creme dishcloth cotton in the Juanita Rose colorway. It's looking pretty good so far.

I've also started a Baby Surprise Jacket. It's my first Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern, and all I can say is "Thank goodness for Ravelry!" If not for their BSJ group, I'd be completely lost! Zimmerman is a knitting icon and no doubt was a genius, but her pattern writing style assumes that I know a lot more than I know. *LOL*

I didn't work much on the baby jacket while I camped; I knew that I'd probably need to consult with Ravelry and had plenty to work on with my socks and Swiffer cover anyway. I just took it along in case I got bored with my other projects. Much like my habit of carrying more than one book on a trip.

Now I've started another pair of baby socks with my leftover yarn from my Dragonfly socks. I think everyone who's learning to knit socks should start with baby socks. You can learn the basics of sock construction without getting into mind-numbing stretches of knitting the same pattern for rows and rows and rows while working your way up the leg.

Speaking of which, I'll close for now (on my lunch break) so I can knit a bit before having to get back to work. *LOL*

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dischcloths Finally Finished!

I've knitted all 12 and just need to block them a bit to even them up, then tie them into little packages of 2 each and tie a little gift tag on them. I'm trying to settle down a headache this morning, but hope to get that finished up this afternoon.

Finally, back to my Dragonfly socks!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

STILL Knitting Dishcloths

Okay, how bored am I with knitting dishcloths? VERY. I am kicking myself for promising a dozen and then waiting so long to get started. Even knitting them two at a time in varied hues isn't helping.

I got so bored with them over the weekend that I laid them aside and knitting a bit on baby socks (see my sock-knitting blog, link at right). But even while enjoying that little respite, the dishcloths were looming over my head like a cloud of doom.

Okay, maybe it wasn't quite THAT bad, but let's just say I'll be really glad to finish them up. I have cloths 9 and 10 nearly finished, so that'll leave just one more pair. I'm going to try to finish them up this week in the evenings after work so I can work on something FUN over the weekend.

I don't even want to think about the fact that it's nearly time to start Christmas knitting. I still haven't finished my last pair of summer socks!! And it's JULY for cryin' out loud!

It's time like these that I have to sit back, take a deep breath and remind myself that I knit for fun and relaxation. After all, I'll have another camping trip coming up soon, and that should provide enough knitting time to finish up that last pair of summer socks. I might even have time to knit up some more baby socks while I'm in the tent. on the agenda is to decide what I'm knitting for Christmas, make sure the yarn is either in the stash basket or ordered in a timely fashion, and give myself plenty of time to work on the projects without putting myself in a bind.

Yeah. Right. ;-)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Campin' and Knittin'

I went camping Thursday and came home yesterday....what a great way to spend a weekend! It's been so steamy and hot at home that it was wonderful to get out in the woods for a few days. The weather was stormy on Thursday, but after that it was just cool mornings, warm (not hot) afternoons, and cool evenings.

We had a really torrential thunderstorm Thursday evening, but my tent doesn't leak so I didn't mind at all. I just sat inside, watching the storm through the tent window, and knitted away happily.

I took my Dragonfly socks with me, but spent most of my knitting time working on some dishcloths. I'd promised to knit a dozen for bingo prizes for our family reunion in August. I've now finished 7 of them...only 5 to go! Actually, I'm knitting them 2 at a time so I have 6 completed and am halfway through the next pair. I like knitting them 2 at a time so I don't get too terribly bored. They're good mindless knitting to do while visiting.

I hope to work a little more on my socks tonight while watching a Netflix movie. It's been a busy morning at work (I'm on my lunch break now), so I hope I'm not too tired to knit a bit when I get home!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Haley's Doggie Sweater

I finished Haley's doggie sweater this morning and sewed the buttons on it. I hope it fits! I'd forgotten how quickly this little sweater knits up. I was down at Mom & Dad's last night visiting relatives who were in for a visit, and didn't work on the sweater at all. So really I only had a little time for each of three evenings on it and finished it up this morning. Pretty quick!

I'm back on the second pair of Dragonfly socks now; in fact I had them with me at Mom & Dad's last night and worked on them a little while during my visit. Everyone's grown used to seeing me with knitting in my hands, so no one was offended. *LOL* The "Snow Queen" Sockotta is working up into interesting designs. Mom said they look like tapestry. I hope to get some more sock-knitting time in tomorrow between household chores. And I really MUST do a few household chores tomorrow.

Which reminds me....where did I see that pattern online for knitted dust bunnies? :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dragonfly Again

When I cast on my next pair of summer socks, I decided to do another pair of Dragonfly socks. Why? Several reasons, really. The first reason is that I really enjoyed knitting the last pair. Secondly, they knit up more quickly than the other summer socks I've knit. Reason three is that I've memorized the pattern and won't have to look at it while knitting them up.

On top of all those practical reasons, I wanted a pair of predominantly blue socks and had a skein of Sockotta's "Snow Queen" in the stash. I think the Dragonfly will look lovely in that blue, white, and purply yarn.

I worked on them while in the waiting room at the dermatologist yesterday (yet another addition to my "medical team"...*rolling eyes*). When I got back home from the doctor I cast on a doggie sweater for Haley, one of four Yorkies that belong to some friends of mine. In April 2009 I knit a sweater for each of the Yorkies, but Haley outgrew hers! I couldn't allow her to be the only one of the four without her very own hand-knit sweater, so I cast on another for her. It'll be just like the first one, but a bit bigger around.

Don't worry, Haley. I completely understand how needing a sweater to be a little bigger around can happen. :-)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dragonfly Completed!

I just finished and photographed my Dragonfly socks. See my sock knitting blog for details. :-) It's been a restful weekend with lots of knitting done. Just the kind of weekend I needed!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dragonfly Continues

I lost most of my three-day weekend to a vile sinus headache (yuck!) so I've not made much progress on my Dragonfly socks since my last post. I've turned the heels and am currently decreasing the gusset, so they're coming along at least. It's funny, while I was in the recliner Saturday listening to the pounding inside my own head I kept thinking, "Oh, man, I could be halfway up the leg of my socks by now." *LOL* I guess that's when you know you're knitting too much!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weekend Outlook

I work a flex schedule in the summer, so today is my last day in the office this week. I just checked to see what the forecast is for the next three days. Is it weird that I'm glad there's a chance of showers and thundershowers each day?

Here's why I'm glad:
  1. I don't need to do any shopping this week, so I can devote Friday to cleaning, laundry, and cooking next week's meals for freezing. (I just love to come home in the evening on a work day, pull a home-cooked meal out of the freezer and pop in in the microwave.)
  2. That will leave most of the next two days open for....KNITTING! *happy dance*

I just love to get in the recliner on a gray, rainy day with a big 'ol glass of iced tea (I need to make a fresh batch tonight), a good audiobook on my Zune (which is ready and waiting), and my knitting (which is ALWAYS ready and waiting).

I currently have a big stack of UFOs because I'm trying to finish up my summer sock knitting. I've finished three pairs (see my sock knitting blog for details) so far and have nearly reached the heel on a fourth pair. After I finish the current pair, I want to knit at least one more pair of summer socks before I get back to my other projects.

I've been tracking my sock knitting time for the 10kH project and am now beginning to wonder if I should change it to 10,000 hours of just KNITTING instead of 10,000 hours of sock knitting. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. Even though getting back to my other projects will cut into my sock knitting time (and my 10,000 hour goal), it's a long-term goal anyway, so it won't really matter. Okay, decision made: leave it as 10,000 hours of knitting socks. Moving on.

I bought Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Workshop for myself and have cast on the famed Baby Surprise Jacket as my first Zimmerman project. My first reaction on reading that pattern was "Okay. Now where can I find help with this?" *LOL* Luckily, my beloved Ravelry has an excellent BSJ Group, complete with its own Wiki. I've already joined the group and anticipate using it a LOT while knitting my first jacket.

I hope to spend some time this weekend just reading through the Knitting Workshop and absorbing the differences between EZ's style and other knitting books I've read. She's a legend, and I'm looking forward to learning more about her and her techniques.

All in all, it's shaping up to be a good weekend. Hope yours is great, too!

Monday, May 31, 2010

On to Dragonfly

I finished up my Swan Song socks and have moved on to Dragonfly....details on my sock knitting blog. Before long I'll need to take a sock-knitting break and finish up some dishcloths I promised to knit for a family reunion. But I really NEED to finish up my summer socks first, right? RIGHT?
Okay, I confess. Socks are more fun than dishcloths. I even do the dishcloths two-at-a-time now so I can stay awake knitting them, but socks are still more fun. Sometimes I think of all the UFO's (UnFinished Objects) in my knitting basket, waiting patiently for me to pull them back out of the pile as I happily ignore them, knitting away on brightly colored, summery, lacy socks.

But most times, I just don't think of them. :-)
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Camping and Knitting

I spent last weekend tent camping in my favorite campground. It was soooooooo relaxing to sit by a campfire and watch chipmunks play while knitting socks. Boy, if someone would only PAY me to do that full-time. But then it would be a job and not nearly as much fun. *LOL*

I'm up past the heel on my Swan Song socks now and actually knit the toe on my Dragonfly socks which are next on my agenda. I started the Dragonfly socks because I could knit the toe while visiting with other campers without losing my place in a lace pattern. I love the way the Swan Song socks are working up, but I'm too single-minded to work the lacy pattern and carry on a conversation at the same time. They're going to be worth it, though.

I hope to get in some serious knitting time this weekend. I'll be off four days, so I'd really love to finish up the Swan Song. We'll see how it goes.

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Knitting Injury

I guess I'm now officially a knitter....I've suffered my first knitting injury. Last night I was watching Arrested Development on Netflix and knitting happily along on my Swan Song socks when I poked the tip of my right size 1 needle into the tip of my left index finger. Not deeply enough to bleed, but enough to hurt. Dang it.

I'm the first to admit that I put a lot of undue stress on the tip of my left index finger because of the way I hold my needles. I can remember when my Granny (Daddy's mother) once tried to teach me to knit that she kept telling me "You're holding it wrong." I finally said, "I don't have enough hands to learn to knit" and she switched to trying to teach me to crochet. I guess she figured I would be less dangerous with one pointy metal object than with two.

When I was recently knitting in the presence of my 99-year-old great-aunt, she too told me, "You're holding it wrong." I just smiled and said, "I know, but it works for me." And it does. But it does involve my brushing the tip of my right needle over the tip of my left index finger repeatedly.

I think a solution to this would be to simply wear a band-aid on the tip of my left finger while knitting. I'll try that when I settle down with sticks and string tonight. Any suggestions about a better solution would be greatly appreciated. :-)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Michigan Lake Shore Socks Complete!

See my 10,000 Hours of Knitting Socks blog (see link on the right) for a photo! I've enjoyed knitting this pattern and will probably use it again soon.

I have yet another doctor's appointment in the morning (I'm calling May "Patch and Repair Month"....*LOL*) so I'll take my Swan Song socks with me to work on while waiting.

But for now....early bedtime. :-)

You Know You Knit Too Much When....

YKYKTM when you're disappointed when the nurse calls you out of the waiting room to see the doctor ON TIME and you were hoping for some extra sock knitting time!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

World Wide Knit in Public Day

On my lunch break I was just doing some reading about "World Wide Knit in Public Day", which this year has been expanded to over a week! This year it will be observed June 12 - 20.

I've not yet participated officially, even though I knit in public a lot. I try to never be in a waiting room without my knitting. In fact, I was recently knitting in the pre-op area while waiting for a minor procedure. *LOL*

I think (weather permitting) that this would be a great reason to go to a lovely little park near my home, sit in the sun, and knit awhile. How about you, my knitterly friends? Do you participate in WWKIPD?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Finally Friday!

It's been a crazy busy week; I love having time off from work, but always have to pay for it when I go back to the office!

But, because I had three different medical appointments this week (all follow-up things, thank goodness), I had some productive knitting time in waiting rooms. Sometimes you really have to dig for that silver lining, y'know? *LOL*

All my knitting time was on socks, so I'll post a bit about that on my 10,000 Hours of Knitting Socks blog (see link at the right).

Happy Friday, everyone!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Family Heirloom

During a visit with Mom and Dad yesterday, Mom said, "Oh, I ran across something the other day I thought you might like to have." Then she gave me this beautiful darning egg! Mom never used it much ("It just got in my way."), but it was given to her by my grandmother.
This means it must be AT LEAST 50 years old. I was just tickled pink to have it. Another link with my past, y'know?
You can tell that it was much used in its day; the varnish on the end has nearly been scratched away by many, many needles long ago.
I just love family heirlooms, don't you?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Vacation Knitting

I'm on vacation this week, which you would think would mean TONS of knitting time. But I've been so busy with other things, I've not knitted nearly as much as I'd like!

I did get some extra time in on Wednesday, though, while visiting with my 99-year-old great aunt....who STILL crochets and knits, by the way! She's so much fun....she showed me the knitting needles she's accumulated over the years and lots of really old crochet patterns that she has.

Yesterday my parents and I went to Pigeon Forge to visit the Titanic museum and do a little shopping. Since Daddy drove, I was able to get in a couple of hours knitting in the car. I still don't understand how I can do that, because I'm notorious for my extreme motion sickness. I can't read in the car at all, but as long as we're on interstate highways I can knit away happily with no ill effect. Thank goodness. *LOL*

So today is "catch up the housework" day, but I'm hoping for some time this afternoon on the balcony in the sunshine with my knitting. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Summer Lovin' Socks

I finished my Summer Lovin' socks this evening! Take a peek at them on my "10,000 Hours of Knitting Socks" blog. :-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happiness is New Yarn

The latest addition to my yarn stash arrived yesterday. As you can see, I now have enough sock knitting ammunition to keep me out of mischief for awhile!
I must get cracking, because I bought all of those skeins of yarn to knit socks for the summer, and summer's nearly here! "Socks for SUMMER?" you may ask, and I will reply, "Yes. The air conditioning in my office gets COLD."
So with pretty lacy summery socks I can wear my Berkies without fear of frostbite. :-)
Without further ado, off to the knitting I go!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

....what a shame I don't HAVE any patience! *LOL*

When I got home yesterday, eagerly anticipating opening a package of sock yarn, I found a sticker on my front door telling me that UPS requires a signature in order to leave my package. *sniffle, sob*

Dang it. Oh, well. At least I know it'll be there when I get home today. The good news is that it's going to be a rainy, stormy Saturday, and I'll have a good excuse to stay in and play with my new stash additions.

Last night I was catching up on things I'd TiVo'd earlier in the week and knitted happily on my Summer Lovin' socks. I'm working my way up the leg now and hope to have enough knitting time this weekend to finish them up. Assuming, of course, that I can resist the temptation to cast on another pair out of my new yarn. *not making any promises on that item*

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Simple Pleasures

I admit it.....I am easily amused. Simple things make me very happy. Warm sunshine on my face, a bird singing in the tree outside my window, a steaming mug of tea on a chilly morning. Those are all good things.

Almost as good as receiving word from UPS that SOCK YARN will be delivered to my home today. *LOL*

I'm knitting summery socks to wear to work (with its chilly air conditioning), and found a deal on Sockotta at DBNY. So when it arrives today, I should have enough sock yarn to keep me out of mischief for a good long while.

.....or at least until I run up on another good deal, right? :-)

The Summer Lovin' socks are progressing nicely. I'm past the heel now and have started working my way up the leg. I tried them on again after I'd finished the heel, and the fit is great. *YAY*

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10k Hours of Knitting Socks

I'm starting a new project today....10,000 hours of knitting socks! To document this project, I've added a new section to my blog that you can reach here. I've also put a link over in the navigation on the right under "My Other Knitting Blogs".

This will, of course, be a very long-term project, but I think it'll be fun to see how my skills progress over 10,000 hours of practice!

I'm still working on my "Summer Lovin'" socks, and still enjoying them. I'm nearly finished decreasing the gusset, so progress is being made. :-)

KnitPicks RULES!

Have I told you lately how much I adore KnitPicks? I order from them on a fairly regular basis and freely admit that I'm hooked on their nickel-plated knitting needles. I own several sets, and if anyone burgles my apartment, they can have my outdated stereo system and can take their pick of my decrepit television sets and VCR/DVD combo units.....but DON'T TOUCH MY KP KNITTING NEEDLES, BURGLAR. GOT IT????

Anyway, about a month ago I decided to buy a set of their Harmony wood fixed circulars to use for socks. Just as a change, y'know? Size 1, 40" long (for Magic Loop). When they arrived, I was struck by how beautiful they are. If you've never seen them, go take a look by clicking here.

So, the next time I started a new pair of socks (April 8 - Summer Lovin'), I used my new Harmony needles. Though I've always loved working with my nickel-plated needles, I was impressed by the way that the wood warmed up in my hands. The sharp points made working with the fingering weight yarn as easy as working with my nickel-plated needles. All was well.

Then, Monday evening as I was watching television (House), the needle in my right hand snapped in two! I was just sick. I LOVED those needles. Phooey. Luckily, I had a set of size 1 nickel-plates empty and was able to transfer the socks to those without losing any stitches.

Later that evening before bed I e-mailed Customer Service at KnitPicks and explained what had happened. I asked if I needed a return number so that I could mail the broken needles back and if I could replace them with nickel-plated to prevent another mishap.

Keep in mind here that I really didn't expect anything but a return number. The next day I received a response from Customer Service apologizing for the defective needle and telling me that a replacement (in nickel-plated) would be going out in the mail to me and that there was no need to send them the broken needle.

How totally cool is THAT?? My only wish is that KnitPicks could teach the art of customer service to a lot of OTHER companies!

KnitPicks RULE!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

You Gotta Love Spring

Yes, I suffer from seasonal fact, worse this year than I can remember in previous years. But, oh boy was it ever great to be able to sit out on my balcony last night in the warm evening air and knit until it was too dark to read the pattern! Today my eyes are itchy and red from the extra exposure to the ridiculous amount of pollen in the air, but it was definitely worth it!

I was working on my Summer Lovin' Socks, and am just an inch or so from starting the heel. It's going well, and I've learned that running a lifeline at the beginning of each pattern repeat is a great comfort. Why the heck haven't I been doing that all along? I remember reading about lifelines when I started knitting socks, but thought it seemed like unnecessary trouble to me. Dumb. Just plain dumb. If I'd had lifelines in my diagonal lace socks, I'd be wearing them now instead of having two lovely little cakes of gray yarn waiting for me to cast them back on.

I use dental floss for my lifelines. It's easy to thread through the stitches and has the unexpected bonus of making my socks smell minty fresh as I work on them. *LOL*

And so, here I am on my lunch break at the office, wishing I was at home on the balcony with my knitting. Ah, well....4:30 will be here before too long. :-)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Good Couple of Days

I had to have a little medical procedure done today which involved some time off from work for prep yesterday and for the procedure today. So during my time away from the office, I managed to get a little knitting done. Of course. :-)

Yesterday at home I worked on my Summer Lovin' Socks. I'm really loving this pattern, and I've tried the socks on a couple of times already. I think they're going to be great!

Today in the waiting room and pre-op I worked on my Feather and Fan Scarf. It's a great "waiting room" project because the pattern is so easy to memorize and you can stop in the middle of a row without causing a total disaster. It's looking good too, I think.

If knitting never does another thing for me, it's made me a much more patient person in a waiting room! *LOL* Well, back to the couch with my socks. Life is good.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Not-Very-Productive Weekend

I lost most of my weekend to a migraine (yuck!), but did manage to knit a couple of inches on a pair of "Summer Lovin' Socks" by Knitting Nonstop. Thanks, Pretty Knitty for bringing that pattern to my attention! If you're on, this pattern can be found there free. (I just love freebies, don't you?)

I'd started them last Thursday, but wasn't happy with the way the colorway striped on one toe and not on the other. So, I started over Saturday morning and am now happier with the way they look. I'm knitting them with a skein of Sockotta I'd had in my stash basket for awhile. They look pink and orange and spring-ish and I think I'm really going to like them.

The pattern is written to be knitted top-down, and I like knitting 2-at-a-time toe-up. So, I used a toe I like and started working the patterny part from Knitting Nonstop's chart. Then I'll use a toe-up heel that I like and carry on until I run out of yarn or patience, whichever comes first!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mom's Market Bag

I just finished the "Grrlfriend Market Bag" for Mom. It's actually a lot cuter than it photographs. *LOL*

I'd knitted one of these for a friend for her birthday. Mom saw me working on it and just loved it, so I told her I'd make one for her as well.

Now that I've finished this bag, I want to cast on some summer-weight socks. I have a skein of Sockotta in my stash basket that's been singing to me lately, so I think the time has come to wind it into a neat little yarn cake and begin working it up. Now.....what pattern to try this time?

Decisions, decisions........

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I hope Easter morning is as beautiful in your neighborhood as it is in mine! Bright sunshine and moderate temperatures are predicted, and I'm sure lots of little Easter egg hunters are glad for that.

I've been invited to a family gathering this afternoon at a cousin's home and knitted a couple of Basic Dishcloths for her for Peaches & Creme's "Juanita Rose" colorway. Pretty, pretty colors....I hope she likes them!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Feather and Fan Scarf

Day before yesterday I visited a local yarn shop, A Likely Yarn. I received warm greetings from everyone there, including a group of knitters assembled in one of the rooms knitting away happily. I asked if it was okay to browse, and was assured that browsing was fine and to ask if I needed any help at all.

I'd decided that I wanted to try a lightweight scarf and had been toying with the idea of a Feather and Fan pattern I'd seen online. I didn't want to get TOO lacy, since this is my first venture into a lighter weight item. I found some perfectly scrumptious superwash wool in a couple of lovely colorways. I'll post pictures of them in my "stash" photos later so you can see what I mean. I also found a great skein of sock yarn. Like I needed more sock yarn, right? But let's face it, among the addictions possible in this ol' world, sock yarn isn't too bad, don't you think? Agree with me, please.

So, I began toying with the Feather and Fan patterns I found online and decided I liked Wendy Johnson's version best. They're all very similar, but Wendy's involves absolutely no purling (always a plus in my opinion). Feather and Fan is the most memorizable pattern I've seen since the Mistake Rib Scarf. You've gotta love that! I've posted it in "Cricket's Favorite Freebies" for your convenience if you'd like to give it a try, too. Last night I started it several different times, trying various sizes of needles until I found one that I thought would work best with my yummy yarn.

I'll keep you posted. :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

"Catch-Up" Weekend

I'd fallen behind on some birthday knitting so this was "catch-up" weekend. I completed two dishcloths (one "Idiot" dishcloth, and one with a kitty silhouette on it) for one friend and got a LOT done on a market bag for another friend. In fact, I hope to be able to finish it up after work this evening.

I like the market bag so much that I just might have to make one for myself.....after I clear out some UFOs, that is. *LOL* I'm using the "Grrlfriend Market Bag" pattern on Ravelry and working it up in KnitPicks' yummy CotLin. I'll try to remember to photograph it before I give it away.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I May Have Lost My Mind

Ages ago I made a mistake on the heel of the Diagonal Lace Socks I was knitting. It was just a dumb mistake made by not reading the CLEARLY PRINTED instructions (*kicking self*), but a mistake all the same. Irritated with myself, I decided that it was a mistake I could live with and just continued knitting along.

Everytime I picked up that pair of socks to work on them, that mistake glared at me. Finally, last night I decided, "Oh, forget it" and ripped them out and started over. Well....STARTED starting over. *LOL* While watching "Pulp Fiction" on TV and rewinding the yarn I got myself in a tangle, worked on the tangle until the movie ended, gave up and went to bed.

Ah my hero Yarn Harlot taught me, there are no Knitting Police. Thank goodness.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Some Lovely Mindless Knitting

Tuesday I received some yarn I'd ordered from WEBS to knit myself a simple shawl. I'd actually started knitting one with worsted weight yarn, but decided that for the simple "dishcloth" shawl I wanted to make that heavier yarn was needed.

I just love getting yarn in the mail....that big ol' squishy shipping envelope just fills my head with project possibilities. Of course, what I REALLY need to do is finish up some of my UFOs, but oh well.....

I'd also decided that for this shawl I needed some size 13 nickel-plated circular tips and had ordered those (along with some other lovely goodies) from my favorite online source, KnitPicks. They arrived yesterday, and I spent the evening watching a Netflix DVD and knitting mindlessly along. Soooooooo relaxing!

But now I have a quandry....I've also received (from KnitPicks) some beautiful ON SALE sock yarn and a brand new set of size 1 Harmony wood circular needles. And I've promised myself that I absolutely will NOT start another set of socks until I complete the two pairs I already have on needles. *deep mournful sigh*

Gonna have to crack the whip on myself and get my other socks done so I can start MORE. After all, you can never have too many socks, right? RIGHT?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hot Water Bottle Cozy

I finished knitting my hot water bottle cozy this afternoon. It looks like a little turtleneck sweater! I look forward to filling it with hot water when I get ready for bed tonight and tucking it under the covers next to my chilly toes.
I've been fighting off a cold the past few days, and it finally caught up with me this morning. Just a cold. But we all know what a cold can do for you. Chills, slight fever, mild headache, sniffly, snuffly.....BLEAH. I was happy to have my bottle cozy to work on, since it's an easy pattern that doesn't require a lot of headwork.
Even with the crummy cold, it's been a pretty good Saturday. :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm Back

So sorry I've been away so beloved little MeggieDog was very sick and passed away on February 24. She was nearly 16 years old, and I brought her home when she was 5 weeks old. So, you can imagine how lost I've been feeling.

I still miss her terribly, but am improving a bit at a time. In the past few days I've started a couple of very simple knitting projects that don't require a lot of attention just to get my hands (and hopefully my mind) active again.

I'd finished my first "Regular Guy Beanie", so now I've put another one on needles. I'm going to do this one in stripes. I'll try to get some photos up in the next few days. I've also started a simple cabled hot water bottle cover. I've just discovered the joys of sleeping with a hot water bottle at my feet on frosty nights. How the heck does that thing stay warm all night??

More later....have a great weekend, all!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Back In The Groove

As I was saying in my last post, I've been dragging a bit lately, not being very productive at anything, not even my knitting. I began to wonder if I'd started associating knitting with pain, since I'd used knitting to preserve my sanity last year while waiting for back surgery.

Thankfully, my productivity is a bit better now. The weather is still icky (flurrying right now, in fact....big fluffy lazy flakes), but I'm able to pick up my Diagonal Lace socks and knit contentedly on them while listening to an audiobook or a KnitPicks podcast.

Had I told you I can listen to KnitPicks podcasts through my TiVo? That's a pretty neat TiVo feature. I'm not sure how I ever managed to keep up with any television series before TiVo. I never seem to be able to watch broadcast television when it's actually broadcast anymore.

Back to my it occurred to me that it might help to toss in a charity item, so today I'm casting on a knit hat to be donated to a local charity that provides blankets and warm clothing to homeless individuals in our community.

I'm going to use the "Regular Guy Beanie" pattern on Ravelry. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Still Here

I've been terrible about blogging lately, I know, and I apologize. After I finished my Christmas "stealth" knitting, I can't seem to finish ANYTHING. I still have the same two pairs of socks on needles that I had started before I had surgery in November. I don't know what's wrong with me. Here it is, snowy ugly weather that should be absolutely perfect for knitting cozily in the recliner and I can't seem to get anything accomplished.

Not just my knitting, either. I promised myself that after I recovered from my surgery I'd start cleaning my closet and my "spare room" 15 minutes at a time (FlyLady you know about FlyLady?). That hasn't happened either. I do manage to keep the daily household work done, but that's been about it.

I'm behind in my e-mail and blogging and I have no idea why, because I enjoy both.

So what's the problem? I blame it on this gray, ugly winter. Our local meteorologist reported last night that we've had 19.1 inches of snow this season, and the season average is 15 inches. And there's at least two more months of "snow season" left. (I've actually seen it snow here in April.)

By the time I get home from work and get unbundled, all I want to do is eat and go to bed.

So what's the solution to my winter doldrums? Action has always worked for me in the past, so I'm going to give that a try.

When I get home tonight, I'm going to set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes and do housework. Anything. Dusting is needed, so that's probably what I'll do. Then I'll fix myself some dinner and clean up my kitchen. Then I'm going to set my timer for 30 minutes, get in the recliner, and knit until the timer goes off.

For months, every time I got into the recliner I picked up my knitting. For some reason I got out of the habit. Lately I've found myself just vegged out in the recliner watching television. That brings up another thing I'm behind on....audiobooks!

So tonight I'll let TiVo save all the things I would've watched this evening. I'll put an audiobook into the Zune and pick up my sadly-neglected knitting. And GET BACK IN THE GROOVE.

I hope this post doesn't give you the impression that knitting is a chore. It's not. I love taking sticks and string and turning them into lovely, soft fabric. I just seem to be on the verge of becoming a recliner potato (a far worse vegetable than a couch potato) and feel the need to break this habit before it gets too deeply ingrained.

Get ready, socks, here I come!!