Monday, April 28, 2008

Admitting defeat

I'm admitting defeat for the moment about having the Clapotis done for this weekend. I'm almost done with the straight repeat section, but that's just a little past the half-way point for the whole scarf/shawl. It is an easy knit, and very relaxing. I'll probably knit it again, but first I'd like to finish this one, without the pressure. I really need the time to make sure the laundry is done and to clean up the house a bit before this weekend.

Life has gotten in the way of blogging and knitting lately. Oh, these are not bad distractions at all, I think it's probably a phase, as the weather was so cooperative last week for these things. Soccer, tee-ball, friends, church, and work....all competing for the same time. And then there's sleep too! Sadly, even though I usually knit a little each day, it seems as though I'm not accomplishing much. However, you must simply take a peak at this yarn.

It's the sport weight version of Yarntini! Colors (from left to right) Merlot, Pure Fall, and Ice. Aren't they lovely? I'm excited, as I've never knit with Yarntini before, and I didn't know that she had a sport weight version of her yarn - YEAH! It feels amazing too! Please forgive the overuse of the exclamation point, but if you had this yarn in your hands, there would be some shouting too.....

Which brings me to my last paragraphs. This weekend is the annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (SHOUTING heard in the background)!!!! Mom and I are heading to the festival early on Saturday morning. We have booked our hotel room and are staying until Sunday. I promise to take lots of pictures, and inhale plenty of fiber fumes for you. I'm sure I will be inhaling much more than that, as it's a very country-type fair/festival. But it is so much fun! We are planning on going to the Ravelry party Saturday night too - I think it will be a great time! I'm a little nervous about meeting new people, but I'm sure we will make fast friends! So, I have been spending a lot of time researching vendors, getting directions, looking at times for shows and competitions, and such.

Here's hoping the weather holds out for this weekend. It was am extremely rainy day here today. I came home from work and took a nap - YIKES! The nap might have been brought on by the extremely stressful moment when my boss called to ask if I could work this weekend, as the nurse who was working for me (planned since December of last year) broke her ankle last night. Oh my gosh! My heart started pounding. Was I going to be asked to miss the weekend with my mom and all that fiber? I was speechless (this is hard to imagine if you know me at all), and then I gathered my courage, and said, "I'm sorry I can't work. I have a hotel reservation in Maryland." Then I held my breath (weekend time is sacred in nursing), and the powers that be, said they would figure it out, and they understood that I had a life outside of the office! WOW! but that negative part of me (how I hate it) is still holding my breath for this weekend....wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


There have been a lot of knitting distractions lately, but all good ones!
Check out this picture. This lake is less than a mile away from my home. Who wouldn't want to take their canoe out of its storage place to spend a couple hours in peace? It was beautiful!

There are other distractions too, friend's birthdays at the local tavern with all you can eat wings in 30 different flavors, baseball games where the hot dogs are fresh and the whole town visits with their sweet babies, as proud grandparents watch on as their grandchild gets his first hit of the season, older movies like "Great Expectations" that you didn't catch the first time around, freshly steamed shrimp and clams as well as steak at a picnic with friends, other "regular" distractions like work, sleep, laundry, you know, the usual things. Notice that all distractions don't necessarily involve food, but somehow the best ones seem to!

Have a great week!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just Drop It!

The dreaded dropped stitch. In some patterns, dropping a stitch is enough to make any knitter cower in the corner in tears....OK, in any pattern that I'm knitting, I cry like a baby over those dropped stitches. I'll be honest, I'm not great at fixing my mistakes, like dropped stitches (I wonder if this has anything to do with being a perfectionist....maybe that's another post). I just can't quite seem to fix things very well. Sometimes I manage, but to be honest, if I end up fixing the mistake, it's usually by sheer dumb luck. No actual skill involved. Not on my part, no siree. I'm still an infant in this part of knitting.
So you can imagine my chagrin when I'm cruising along finishing the last of the increase rows on my clapotis (not many days left until Maryland Sheep and Wool, and I'm starting to feel the pressure), and realize that row 8 of the straight rows requires me, the scared, paranoid, perfectionist little knitter, to drop a stitch ON PURPOSE! Is Kate Gilbert crazy? Just an FYI, Kate Gilbert wrote the pattern for the clapotis. was so gut-wrenching for me, this thought of dropping stitches, that I saved this portion until tonight. Considering that I have the on-call beeper tonight, maybe not the smartest move. I'm a bit jumpy yet with the beeper. A lot of responsibility. So, I decided to head into the knitting when the house was empty, and I had already received one beep.

Here you see the clapotis, all pretty and such (if I do say so myself), and it's just waiting for the dropped stitch row. I visit Ravelry, the life vest that has saved my sanity many times. There is a Clapotis group there, and there is a discussion thread about dropping stitches, and there are step-by-step instructions for those like me. Amazing! Yeah Ravelry!
So, I gather as much courage as I can.....look, even the beeper is gathering courage and resting on the beautiful Wollmeise!

And I sucked it up, and did what the pattern said. I dropped the stitch, on purpose. And let me tell you, it was enlightening. Then, the dropped stitch has to drop to the bottom of that particular row.....I used my DPN to unravel those pesky little stitches that wouldn't unravel right away. Why, when I drop stitches by accident, do they seem to drop down rows much quicker? I don't know if there's an answer to this question that could satisfy even my infantile knitting mind. But anyway, I feel loads lighter....having dropped the stitch, and I'm off to knit some more. Hopefully this weekend, I can put a major dent in this project. But the weather, oh, it's been so beautiful. It's hard not to be outside! Maybe some porch knitting? Where's your favorite place to knit while enjoying the great outdoors?

Monday, April 14, 2008

All the Hype

Okay. I have finally figured out what all the hype is about when knitting with Wollmeise yarn. It's almost as if one is knitting with a yarn that is partial silk, when in reality, it's a 100% superwash wool base. I'm not sure where Claudia gets her yarn base, but it is fabulous! I did enjoy knitting with the 80/20 Twin yarn (the one that has some nylon content in it), but it wasn't quite as soft and silky as this yarn base. Knitting with this is pure heaven. Which begs the question...why on earth don't I have more knitting done on this project? Will this clapotis be finished in time for Maryland Sheep and Wool festival on the first weekend in May?
Well, the answers are not always as simple as they seem. Throw in a little nice weather, a vertigo spell on Saturday morning, and volleyball games on Saturday night, and tee ball and soccer practice for the DD's. Not a lot of time for knitting. And then throw in the new librarian, who actually has taste in books, and orders things from the BIG library (BIG is very relative where I live) for me on a regular basis. does not leave much time for knitting.

Did I mention a couple of new movies too? I finally got to see "Freedom Writers" which was fabulous, but has totally ruined my infatuation with Patrick Dempsey. His character didn't have any character or back bone. When it came down to it, he was simply a cad. And that, my friends, is SAD indeed. It's a sad day when a husband cannot support his wife's dream.

And the other movie - "The Holiday" - a total chick flick, but I liked it anyway. I happen to think Jack Black is very comical in this silly, predictable film about love gone wrong, and then made right again. The best part for me was the small English house that's called Rose Cottage. Beautiful. Wish I could live there for awhile! Short ceilings and all!

Happy Monday! What's taking you away from knitting these days? Or are you hard at work, finishing the last of those worsted weight sweaters before the lazy days of summer?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Fickle Me Too!

Shell Silverstein is probably rolling over in his grave at the pun on those words.
I'm referring to this. You know the clap that HAD the tiny mistake in it. Notice the past tense in that sentence. It has been frogged and is no more. I just love the yarn too much to have it not be pretty much perfect. And here's another catch, in case you were wanting to knit your own clapotis from Wollmeise sock yarn. It does appear that it's best done with the 100% superwash yarn, as it has more yardage. The initial color of my first clap, pictured here, was the 80/20 twin (20% nylon), which has about 60 yds less than the average skein of superwash, and I would have had to modify the pattern. Me being new to a pattern and then trying modifications doesn't usually work too well....just saying. I think this yarn will most definitely become a Clapotis, albeit a smaller one. But for my sanity, I think I'll just stick to the pattern as written, ahem....this time.

So, fickle me has started another clap in Dornroschen. Still Wollmeise, but in the 100% superwash version. Here's the skein before I wound it into a yarn cake. Now, I'm happily knitting away, up to the 2nd increase row last night (not very far, really, but almost as far as the first one). Here's hoping that I can get it done for Maryland Sheep and Wool!

Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Perfectionist In Me

I am a perfectionist about most things. Most obviously my work. There's no room for mistakes in the medical field. There's double, triple, sometimes quadruple checking going on all the time. Is it the right medicine? Is it the right dose? Etc. My charting - is everything complete? I don't lock my computer charting until the day after....just in case I think of something I forgot to add at say, midnight. I have woken up from a dead sleep thinking, "I forgot to chart that he's not having pain today." Or something like that.....Did I push 5mg or 25mg of that cardiac med....I know I pushed 5mg, but it makes me wake up out of a dead sleep with worry/fear. I'm hard on myself that way.
I am a perfectionist with my music. I hate playing for anything other than my own enjoyment anymore. I get too nervous. I fear the mistakes that will come with my nervous tendencies. Somehow, my nervous tendencies used to work in my favor when I was younger.....they would float away as I began the piano concerto. Now, my fingers don't move as fluidly as they should when I play in public. My fear locks them in place. It's sad that I can't share it more with others. I truly love to play the piano, and not a day goes by that I don't play for my own enjoyment.
So you're probably wondering how this perfectionism is leading up to anything involving fiber or knitting. I would be too. Thanks for hanging in there. I made a little boo-boo on the Clapotis last night, on the end of the 4th increase rows. I tried to fix it on the next row, but it appears to have left a small hole (smaller than a yarn-over whole) at the edge. The perfectionist in me (who is mad because she cannot fix this mistake) wants to rip the whole thing out and start again. The realist in me is like - keep moving, nobody will even notice. BUT I WILL KNOW IT'S THERE! What to do, what to do???? Can I live with a mistake in this knitting - it's made with Wollmeise FPS! I love the Wollmeise. It's so beautiful. Somebody weigh in on this matter please! What do you do if you can't fix the mistake, or don't want to bother? Are you a perfectionist? How do you handle that? Sometimes I can't stand the perfectionist in me....

And the "on-call" status - here's a picture of the beeper and me. I'm trying to establish a relationship with it. So far, we have not made it past the love-hate stages. It rode my hip all night long, because, heaven forbid, I would put it down, and then panic. "Where's the beeper? I know I just had it in my hands." So, I'm being a good know, wearing it everywhere (DH was in State College taking in Breaking Benjamin and Seether), and the girls were at Mom's house for an overnight stay, in case I got called to a patient's home. I stared at it all night long. The wind howled outside my windows, shaking the depression glass on my quilt shelf, making the first "on-call" night even more terrifying. I looked at the beeper. I stared it down, it stared back at me. I dared it to beep, to just get it over with. Go ahead beeper, ring your little tones. Make me drive somewhere, just to get the whole "first time out at night thing" DONE. 9:20pm, the phone rings, it's the hospital operator. My heart rate accelerates. She's been trying to beep me, but I'm not responding. Hmmm.....she has the wrong beeper number, so I made her try out the the beeper who has become this growth on my hip. It works. She has the right number now. And BTW, here's a lab result. No problem. I can handle that. And then, the beeper looked at me. I looked at it. I put it on top of my alarm clock, and somewhere after midnight (and DH is home now from the concert), I fall into a fitful sleep. 5:00am - the alarm goes off, and I jump, alas, it's only the alarm. The first night is done. No more beeps. But, I'm sure, the next night, I will not fair so well. At least it's over for this week. I can conquer this, this beeper fear, even with my perfectionist tendencies!

PS - my stomach is not as large as it appears in the picture. The one thing I don't have is a stomach. Now, hips, I am extremely blessed. Just wanted to clarify.....for the record, you know. :) Also, for the record, it's extremely hard to take a picture of your own body or body part. Any of them. I know, I've tried it several times!