Friday, February 29, 2008
But, as with many things, there's always a drawback. I have a nasty fault. I will admit it here, but please, don't judge too harshly. When I'm reading a book, I will often start the story, and pick up the pace and chug away with it. Then (here's the nasty part), I ALWAYS go and read the ending! Can you believe it? I do go back and finish the story, but.....I have to read that ending! No, there has never been a time when I didn't read this way. I even did this with the last Harry Potter book. Hey, I had to know......
Now with my new job, and lots of time spent in my car, I took a trip to the library and checked out an audio book to try. I've had them before, but haven't really gotten caught up in using them. WOW - I didn't know what I was missing. These past two weeks, I've been listening to "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.
I know, I'm a little late to the party, but it was a spectacular read! I was actually worried that the author's accent might distract me, but I found it to be most helpful in setting the story for me, personally. And guess what? I did NOT put the last disc into my car after the first one (the equivalent of my nasty habit of reading the ending first), and WOW, did the book ever hold my attention (not that it wouldn't have anyway, because it's a fabulous novel). I found myself seated in my driveway at night listening to the end of a chapter or disc. Last night, I could take it no longer, and listened to the last 3 discs after the kids went to bed. Tears were running down my cheeks at times. Small smiles escaped my lips at other times. Fear gripped my heart at times. It's all one can hope for from a book. What a wonderful first novel for Hosseini. I hope the movie doesn't spoil it at all.
So, if you've never tried audio books - take a moment to consider them. They are perfect for knitting/crocheting/scrapbooking, or just anytime, really. It's lovely to just knit away, and take in stories of far-away places and people, as the snow just continues to fall, fall, fall.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Simple 2x2 Rib socks
US #1 needles (2.5 mm)
Shibui Knits (I forget the colorway #) - fingering weight.
I have dubbed them my Hockey Stick Socks (they look really skinny when off the foot).
Pathetic time frame for the knitting. I think it might have been the fingering weight yarn. I'm used to knitting most of my socks in sport weight yarn. We have cold winters here, and the added thickness of the yarn is great. I also think that I personally would have liked to knit a more complicated pattern with this semi-solid colorway. It might have kept things more interesting for me. These socks are actually "modeled" on my feet, but they are not for me. The recipient (who has more knitted socks now than I do), has larger feet, so they are a little big for me. Hence the pointy toes.
A little bit about the yarn. Initially I didn't like this yarn. I'm still a bit ambivalent about my relationship with it (a pity too, because it's a fabulous color, and I have two more skeins of it myself). It does have a pretty nice twist, but I had trouble with laddering at some points on the bottom of the sock (which was knit in stockinette). I fixed what I thought the problem might be on the second sock. But I was conscious of it all the way through. I've never had ladders on any socks before, so I'm not sure why with this yarn? I certainly didn't change the way I knit ML in general. ? any thoughts? My needles are kept in very good shape, and I don't think they are the problem. I am the problem, let's just face it.
Now of course, there are new socks on the needles - this is a nice 6 row pattern repeat, and I am loving the colorway - Hot Rod Red. It's so NOT my color, but it is bright and cheerful. A welcome distraction from the gray of winter that surrounds me.
It's fingering weight too, so I'll have to report on the laddering effect with these.
The new job....it's kicking my butt. I'm hoping for some relief soon. But it's six days of work in a row this week, and then four days next week, with a three day weekend. YIPEE! The work is a bit demanding, especially the charting. It's also stretching my nursing skills/comfort zone immensely. But the patients are so appreciative. Today I got a gift from one of the families. A lovely pearl and crystal necklace. It's beautiful, and so thoughtful!
And so I'm off, driving the countryside looking forward to the springtime when I can see the flowers in bloom and
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Another Saturday night, and we have 9 volleyball games scheduled. I need some money, but I don't get paid until next week. And the gas prices - BLOODY BOOGER! $3.19/gallon here in RURAL PA.
Pictures! Oh look at this great book! I love it. I have to read through some of the patterns yet, but it just arrived today, along with some needles. I love this book! There are so many interesting patterns for bags of all shapes and sizes, by the best in knitting designers....Pam Allen, Ann Budd, Kristin Nicholas, just to name a few!
Let's talk about the needles that I purchased, shall we? I have to admit that I don't knit my socks with DPN's. I used to think this was a weakness. You know, never having 4 or 5 needles going all at once, making you look all smart. I have two needles, and the wires curl around looking like puppy dog ears. But, I have since developed the perspective that I don't care how you knit anything really, it's enjoying the process that makes it all worthwhile.
Since preferring magic-loop method for most things, I have become an Addi-Turbo Snob. Shocking, I know. But I have. The problem with Addi-Turbo Needles???? They don't make a 2.25mm needle? Huh....You read that right, they simply don't. So, I started browsing Knitpicks, and saw that they did, and after some research on Ravelry, I ordered some needles from them to try, including both their nickel-plated and one pair of the Harmony wood (they are so pretty). I'm anxious to see how they will work, but am determined not to cast on for anything until some other stuff is finished. I'm curious....what's your thoughts on Knitpick's needles? Do you love them? Can you tolerate them? I'm really fussy about the join......from cable to needle. They look smooth, but only knitting with them will confirm this. I "snug-up" on my second stitch when switching needles, and this has caused problems with other needles in the past (but never my dear, sweet Addi's).
Ok, enough rambling about needles......Here's the newly revised start of my fingerless mitts.....I am loving them.
And lastly, who doesn't like to look at some Wollmeise? On the left - Suzanne in 80/20 and on the right, please meet Pfefferminz Prinz in 80/20 also. 80/20 is 80% superwash merino wool, 20% nylon (for added strength for the socks). Both are in the medium dye. I just love them, and fondle them most days! And if you notice, the sun is actually shining through our blinds! :) A welcome surprise after the snow and sleet yesterday. Happy Weekend!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Does anyone have any suggestions?
BUT on a lighter note, I have to relate this funny story from the weekend. It may be detrimental to your thoughts of me, but I shall proceed, because, frankly it's too funny not to share. Hopefully it will brighten your day, as it did mine. The SUN was actually shining yesterday, despite cold and windy conditions. I did errands and some laundry in the morning. We ate lunch, and took our toboggan to a nearby field for some sledding. Now, it's been awhile since I've been on our toboggan. In fact, this may have been my inaugural trip on the thing (it's been used by DD#2 and DH quite a bit). I decided to go with them this time. It's a very slim toboggan, and I am an average female. Remember this fact - it's important for the rest of the story. DD #2 is sitting in the front, I have my legs wrapped around her and my feet are propped on the curve of the front of the sled. DH is behind me.........we push off. I suddenly realize that my thighs have extending beyond the outer limits of the toboggan, and the ice and snow (very hard and sharp) begin to cut into my outer thighs as we descend down the field, slowly at first, but then we head rapidly to the center of the field, where there is a slight ditch.....there is no avoiding it....we hit it and are airborne for a few seconds of glee (I'm laughing so hard, I cannot possibly steer at this point), and my thighs hurt so badly from hanging over the edge of this toboggan....but does the toboggan show any mercy? NO, it did not stop, ...we kept going....down, down, down the field, all the while, whooping with glee, and me of course, whooping with something akin to laughter and pain mixed together. My thighs, oh, my thighs. I'm totally certain that my jeans have ripped.....Did I dress for this inaugural event? Nope, I'm just in jeans, no winter outwear, because I figure we are NOT going to do this for very long, but 7 more trips later, we are still at it. Of course, after this magnificent ride, we look back to the top of the hill, and then we realize that we have to walk to the top to do it all again. Sadly, today yes, there are small bruises on my outer thighs from that darn ice and snow. Heaven help me, I didn't think I was that overweight.
Anyway, we finished off the day/night with a chili cookoff at church, and then home to watch some Lewis Black on Broadway (hilarious), and drink some great wine from a local winery with our friends.
And so, I leave you with this picture, taken by my DH....it gives me hope that soon, oh very soon, we may have some nice weather and sunsets that are beautiful. Knitting help or suggestions are greatly welcomed. I hate funks - how about you?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
So, look at the pretty pictures, and I'll work on an FO for the next post (finished object for you, muggles). Muggles = non-knitting folks. I love you still, even though you are a bunch of funny muggles. Funny in a good way!
First up - Kay brought this beautiful Valentine's cookie package to book club the other night for all of us! Isn't it beautiful? I haven't eaten the cookies yet because they are so pretty! Thanks again Kay! You're so thoughtful (and obviously very talented and creative)! Don't worry, I'm sharing the cookies with the girls tomorrow on the 14th! The book we reviewed...."The Other Boleyn Girl" by Phillipa Gregory. A historical fiction book. It did bring to life the story of Anne Boleyn from her sister's perspective. I find myself forgetting the history behind all of this, and now want to dig a bit deeper into the actual facts, although the book is somewhat factual. It was an easy read. I've also renewed my dislike for King Henry VIII, who was an absolute male PIG! Unbelievable!
Next up - this gorgeous skein of worsted weight yarn from my LYS. The colorway is called, "River Runs To It." It's my usual favorite jewel-toned colors. I'm thinking fingerless mitts, and maybe a scarf? I wanted a hat, but when I called for the last skein, someone had already bought it! YIKES! I'll see what I can do....maybe a skinny scarf? Wait a minute. I don't want to knit scarves, or do I? This scarf phobia has now left me a complete bumbling idiot. Wait, maybe a Montego Bay scarf with my Yarn Pirate Booty Club Icicle yarn...............oh the possibilities.
Lastly, I also purchased this book at my LYS. I'm going to try a pattern from the book first, and then I'm going to head into trying to do the two socks at a time thing....they are knit from the top down, which is interesting. Although my LYS owner found a mistake in the book. I'm thinking I'll knit a pair of child's socks first to make sure I know what I'm doing when I do them two-at-a-time.
Has anyone else tried knitting two socks at one time?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
FO alert! I FINISHED the Scarf of Constant Sorrow, and if you can believe it, there are no finished photos. I think I just wanted to get it to its recipient as quickly as I could (which I did). He absolutely loved it, and I wanted him to have it for Valentine's Day (the perfect color). I also gave my nephews their Boy Beanie Hats, and I made this one for my daughter in a more "girly" camo color. It's taking a walk on the wild side with crochet, I know. But I like the variety.
I'm slogging away on the Hockey Stick socks, and as Chicken Knits so aptly puts it, I've turned the heel and am headed for home......It's a long and winding road though, to be sure!
PS...I'd rather be traveling in my parents' suitcase today. They are headed to Hawaii! But first they must leave that dreaded Chicago airport! UGH!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Here's a picture of the completed 5- hour baby sweater. If you look really close, I didn't seam it yet, or weave in any ends. Yeah, I'm lazy like that. But I did like how it turned out, and it was knitted in less than a week. I knit with Nearly Nazareth, by Kreamer Yarns. I forget the colorway, silly me. It's my favorite - light teal, purple, and pink. Uh-huh. I think it's quite pretty, although it is NOT superwash. Silly me. Next one will be. What new mom wants to soak their newborn's sweater in wool wash on a regular basis (ok, stop raising your hands, I know you "get" nice wool yarn, hand-knitted sweater, etc. Muggles DO NOT)? It is, as I mentioned before, not a 5-hour Baby sweater. I am a slow knitter. Always have been, probably always will be, unless I learn continental sometime soon. It doesn't look like that task is on my horizon, although some very beginning colorwork may be sometime this year.....look for it around December!
Also, I caved and bought some back issues of Interweave Knits.....I've been perusing them in between folding socks and stuff like that.
I found the Montego Bay Scarf - I think my "Icicle" from the Yarn Pirate Booty Club is destined to be this scarf. But then again, I've vowed not to knit another scarf for awhile....or did I? Clearly, my brain has gone fuzzy with the whole monogamy concept!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
I must confess that I stayed in my pj's until after 1:00pm today (that never happens unless I am sick). It was a nice feeling. I took a shower and we went on a nice walk in the fields with the dog, my DH, and my youngest DD. It was a glorious winter day today in PA. As I quietly walked through the fields, I believe I had my own church service. I think the quiet time walking through the fields was what I craved and needed most. Sometimes I lose site of perspective. Oddly enough, the fields that we walked on today are right across my friend's house, the one who just recently passed away. I was reflecting on the fact that our lives are so short, and can be changed in the blink of an eye. But mostly, I just took in the beautiful sunshine of the wintery day, conversed quietly with God, and enjoyed the crunch of my boots as I walked along the ice and snow. My family, with the exception of my oldest DD, loves to be outside. Luckily, my DH is not one who is tied to sports all day on Sundays (as evidenced by the fact that our house is now quiet, and the SUPERBOWL is on the tele), although he watches every now and then. YEAH for me! He does play sports though, and he starts in a competitive men's volleyball league this week. We play in a co-ed league on Saturday nights until March. It's a lot of fun! I'm much too competitive though. I don't like losing. :(
Moving on to my favorite blogs. These are the ones that I enjoy, and read fairly often, if not every day. They are listed as bookmarks on my computer, and I check them often. I really should sign up for bloglines, but I just haven't yet. These are in no particular order.
Sheri at The Loopy Ewe - she's just a lovely person. So sweet and kind. Her sweetness comes through even in her writing. If she'd have her way, I'm sure she'd wing a skein of Wollmeise to all her customers.
A Caffeinated Yarn - now here's a woman who is wildly intelligent, and knits a lot of sweet baby things. And her recipes are so interesting!
The Yo Yo Knits - Alyson is so funny! I think she says exactly what she thinks, without any reservations whatsoever, and yet she does it in a way that makes me laugh and earns my respect at the same time.
The Yarn Pirate - Georgia is so environmentally conscious, and I respect that. She's using a diapering service, and is having an at home birth! Yeah for her! I love her yarns, and her colorways are just gorgeous. She's a wicked knitter too!
Jen at Woolgirl is another sweet personality. I love her quirky and fun contests, and she is the BEST at putting together your shopping purchases. She always includes nice little extras, and I'm always impressed that the tissue paper matches the yarn that you purchase!
Wendy intrigues me with the sheer number of FO's she completes. She describes herself as a process knitter, and that intrigues me as well. I'm much too slow to be a process knitter. She's never much distracted from her projects, and seems to start one, and finish it before casting on another. Amazing!
The Yarn Harlot - how to describe Stephanie? She's probably one of the smartest knitters around, but yet, she speaks to the masses. Although I am nowhere near her knitting level, she writes such witty blog entries that I find myself in tears laughing with her. I also have her books, and she is just the same in them. A very down-to-earth person, whose everyday occurences become blog entries that you can relate to.
Minerva Turkey - I can't say as I frequent her blog every day, but I do visit a lot. She does some very cool projects, and again, doesn't seem distracted by the burning desire to cast-on a new one before the old is finished.
Peaknit - This is one of my very favorite blogs. Stacey has time for everybody. She answers many questions, is always supportive and honest. I'm sure if we lived closer, I would love to make her aquaintence in person, and feel we would be friends. She also has excellent taste in yarns and projects. Check out her recent Clapotis - it's amazing, and her Cherry Cordial socks are beautiful!
Chicken Knits - To start, the title of her blog just cracks me up! :) Nell is a great knitter who accomplishes a lot while going to nursing school. I know how precious any free time is during nursing school, and yet she manages to knit beautiful objects in between the studying! She has great taste in yarn (very similar to my own). I often find if I'm not loving a sock club yarn, she has posted a similar comment on her blog about it. Again, this is one of my faves!
Monica Knits - this is one talented designer! I love to look at her FO's!
A Little Bit of Pink - this is a friend of mine who comes to our craft and book club (and she goes to my church). She is SO talented! She just started an Etsy store, so please go check it out! You won't be disappointed!
Calling Dr. Bombay - Jen is an old friend from high school. She's actually a year younger than me (in my DH's class). She is by and far a witty, wickedly intelligent female, whose writing abilities amaze me. Her sister is a sheep-to-shawler in the New England area. Jen's gone dark on her blog right now, and I miss her entries. She's had it rough since November, with a broken leg. I hope she's back soon!
Grumperina - talented knitting designer. Loved by many. Witty and smart. I think her wedding photos were fabulous! I've yet to knit her Jaywalkers....hmmmmmm...
Two Knits of Ivory - I've just begun reading this blog, but I'm enjoying it so far. I love her photography skills, as well as her commentary. I look forward to more entries.
Marisol has a lovely blog! Very sweet and kind. She has won me with her gorgeous Amethyst shawl, and lots of pictures in her posts! And Lil' Cowboy is the sweetest little boy! Marisol does a lot of contests, so go check her out!
Lastly, to my dear family friend Reenie - she's just begun the blogging journey! I wish you well. I hope that you find blogging to be a great way to organize your thoughts and crafts! :) Love ya!
I'm signing off - this time without a picture. I'm hoping you'll live without a picture until the next post. I am working on the Scarf of Constant Sorrow, and I've cast on the second Sunfish sock. I've crocheted some samples for my LYS owner. And I stand victorious at the top of Mt. Laundrymore! :)
Friday, February 1, 2008
The scarf details,
The Yarn - It's a really pretty yarn, It's Lobster Pot Yarn Whale of a Skein in Lobster Red(mix of wool, dehaired angora, and cashmere - 10%). It almost feels a little like cotton, but better. It's a heavy sport-weight yarn knit on US # 6 needles.
The Yarn Problem - It bleeds. My fingers are pink when I put it down, and two weeks ago, it turned one of my Columbia shirt sleeves a nice pink too. The dyer has mentioned that it will need a soak in white vinegar to solve this bleeding problem, and that will happen after it's knit.
An aside - Imagine my horror when I received my first STR sock club shipment and saw the varied shades of RED as the first color. I almost cried, and unless they redeem themselves with other shipments, this will be a one year subscription. I'm probably gonna get lots of negative feedback for that remark, but I'm being honest, and this is MY blog. I digress.
The Scarf Pattern - A very simple rotating purl stitch on the right side between knit stitches, purl stitch all the way baby, on the wrong side. Hundreds and hundreds of rows of it. UGH! It's taking forever. But I am really, frankly, not motivated to knit it. I'm just not. Gosh, I feel better. Now let's discuss scarves in general.
Sometimes scarves get on my nerves, and one never really thinks about it when they begin knitting them. You know, new project syndrome, otherwise known as startitis. Scarves require
I do love the appearance of the chevron scarf, and want to finish knitting one....someday.
The blog awards - I tried downloading the button, it's not working. I loathe dial-up access. We don't have any other choice where we live. We don't have access to DSL, and we only get five TV channels via an outside antennae. I know that some of you are gasping for air at this point. We don't find this a problem. We actually like it. Less choices make for more options of other activities when nothing worthwhile is on the Tele. It also helps to limit the kids with their viewing too. Blog awards...I may just feature a post where I actually list the blogs I enjoy, and acknowledge the talented people, and just do it that way. So, no pretty button on my post. Sorry! Stay tuned though - you're still appreciated! :)
Back to the Scarf of Constant Sorrow - Here it is in all its
Happy, Happy Weekend!
PS - the scarf is all one length and width, it is done in an pattern that encourages rolling at the edges, sorta like stockinette does. There is not a mistake in the middle of it on the last picture, I just can't get it to stay flat! But that was the recipient's choice of pattern.