Friday, December 30, 2005

Warm fuzzies

Knitting for other people can be trying if you're not a deadline person. But I just got a nice dose of gratitude from a non-knitter and boy, did it feel good! My coworker Shawna is about 5 weeks away from her first daughter. I've always had a thing for this girl; she's a luminous beauty with a smile that lights up a room. So I decide to try my hand at something new, a simple hat and booties from an old Creative Knitting magazine. These projects work up really fast, and I'm delighted by that instant gratification feel that you just don't get from a poncho or a throw. I mean, a booty with concentration is a 2-evening job, and once you get decreasing on the hat, it's like, holy crap, it's a hat! I got her some onesies from her registry too, wrapped everything and gave it to her today. She was so delighted! Showed the hat and booties off to everyone around us. Makes me glad I have 2 more babies to knit for, because I can't wait to tackle some more booties. I want to find that Zoe Mellor book that has like, 50 variations on a bootie pattern...maybe I'll check ILL for it.

Finally got moving again on Mom's shawl, and just started (like 1 row in) on Cozy from Knitty. Also thinking of doing the shawl knit-a-long, now that I've seen a better's a beautiful nautilus pattern from the book, A Gathering of Lace.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I do love a good holiday as much as the next gal, but with Christmas, it's SUCH a relief when it's past. Even though I'm back at the snore that we call work and the house is an ever-loving mess, it's a relief to be back to normal.

Decided to do Mom's shawl in 2 or 3 panels because I just don't have it in me to rip out an entire skein's worth of work, which is what I'd have to do if I decided to fix it and follow the pattern. It'll probably come out a little wonky, but it'll work up rather fast. I also want to start Cozy by Knitty in that rose-colored Wool Ease, a baby blanket with the off-white Encore, and more baby booties for the potential critters in my life. Finished the hat and booties for Shawna's baby; I'll buy a little something from her Target registry to round out the gift, and then I can focus on Terra and Kara.

Alexa got the poncho and claims to like it :) Still deciding what to do with the White Buffalo I purchased...I have 4 pucks of turquoise (gorgeous!!) and one puck of slate that'll make a nice border on something. I'm thinking Cape May from Knitty, but I don't like or trust the ribbon closure at the neck; would want to create something sturdier.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Knitting? What knitting?

Well, that's not entirely accurate, I did finish that one bootie. Already talked about it though, didn't I?

Well, the silly holiday season has me hopping. Not sure I picked up needles all weekend, we were too busy figuring out holiday purchases and such. I'm looking forward to driving up there Thursday, may actually get some needle time in.

Haven't heard from Alexa, which means a) mr. poncho hasn't arrived yet thanks to the good ole holiday postal backups, b) it has arrived and she's as crazed as I am with the holiday and family excrement to email, I mean, heck, a toddler and a baby are hard enough to juggle without the biggest honkin' holiday of the year staring us in the face, or c) it's arrived, it's far uglier than she expected, and she needs to purchase a new thesaurus before writing to spare my feelings. Not too paranoid, am I?

I'm such a dolt sometimes. I increased the needle size on Mom's shawl, because I just couldn't deal with the concept of working on 10½s after months of working on 13s, but do I decrease the number of cast-on stitches to compensate? Of course not, which explains why the first skein's worth looks so honkin' big! I'm thinking of binding off and knitting it in panels instead. We'll see.....

Friday, December 16, 2005

Baby stuff's cool!

So I think I've mentioned this before, but anyone who whines about how long and drawn out knitting can be, hasn't tried baby stuff.

I've made a hat and one bootie from this fairly simple pattern from an old issue of Creative Knitting, and it's got me so jazzed, I may have to make the sweater in the pattern too. I can't make it to Shawna's baby shower, because I'll be at a follow-up dental appointment with Les, but my guilt doesn't stick around because this first batch of baby stuff is for her critter, Baylee.

I'm so tickled that I pulled off that bootie. It almost has the shape of a mini Ugg, except there's basketweave at the top of the little shaft. And they turn out so quickly! The bootie was only a little more than a 2-evening knit for me, and the same thing for the hat--once you start decreasing, it's a snap! I want to buy that 50 Booties to Knit book by Zoe Mellor... the delusions of aptitude again.

It's not cold enough down here yet. It'll go 60s/40s H/L for a week, and then it'll rain and the humidity will shoot up and make me grumpy. They got ice in Atlanta, but I'm not getting my hopes up that our area of SC will see anything substantial over Christmas. Wouldn't mind wearing my wool tho', haven't had to yet this season, which makes me quite glad I got that fleece coat from my cousin Niki. If you're into vintage and vintagesque clothing, check out her selection at

Friday, December 09, 2005 projects.....

The poncho is safely in the mail, well, hopefully, considering it's the holiday season, and thoughts can then turn to all the other crap I'd love to be knitting...

Anyone who thinks that crocheting is better because it's faster, needs to try their hand at knitting a baby hat. Those little suckers should be in the dictionary under "instant gratification." Granted I think the brim was tricky at first, because it was my first try at a basketweave not looking like crap, but once I hit the point of decrease and got my hands on some DPNs, it was finished in like, 1 hour tops!

And that's sweet, because now I have 3 babies to knit stuff coworker Shawna, my knitting pal Terra, and my sis-in-law Kara! That one took some time to wrap my head around...I was out of my head with jealousy, and it's hard to work through those emotions when the 1-more-year-moratorium-on-procreation is entirely your own doing. I want to be healthy, we're in lousy shape financially, so I figured signing up for the Avon walk was a good way to fundraise for an excellent cause and getting into baby shape at the same time. I ache to have a child, but I know we'll be better off and happier for the wait.

Soo...plunge into knitting projects! Try to knit Mom's shawl in the next 2 weeks. Start a baby blanket for Shawna (she's first in line) and maybe some booties, if I can figure out what I'm doing wrong on knitting in the front and back of a stitch. I want to teach myself some lacework too, maybe that diamond pattern shawl that Lion Brand has, but without the Homespun, just seems to me that knitting lace in Homespun would be an exercise in frustration. Knock off some of the Wool Ease Sportweight projects I've been wanting to do too.

And then next week.....::grin::

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


As in mailed! Sent it off yesterday via USPS parcel post with $100 worth of insurance just for grins, and some prayers that it arrives at Alexa's unscathed. The holiday season at the U.S. Postal Service tends to fetch up images like the commercial with the kid who bagging groceries by slam-dunking the watermelon on top of the eggs, and then bubblewrapping the coffee. While I sort of agree with that notion, it still makes me nervous, like not being able to personally deliver the stuff to A., while at the same time certainly not wanting to be there when she opens it...I mean, what if it's completely not what she had in mind? ACK! No thank you, I'll be over in this corner playing with the girls while simultaneously keeping my hands over my ears and singing LA-LA-LA-LA-LA!!!

So I busy myself with new projects, like Mom's shawl, which I really don't know if I can get done by Christmas, and the 3 babies I get to knit for now. Shawna, a coworker, is such a luminous beauty, I have a crush on her. She's due to have a girl in February. Terra follows with her girl in March. And then there's Kara, my unmarried sister-in-law, who I'm insanely jealous of and have no right to be because I know by waiting, Les and I'll be better prepared and happier in the long run. She, on the other hand, will be lucky to still have her partner around by the time she gives birth. He has 2 of his own from Marriage #1 that he can't afford. Still, finding out she was pregnant has stirred such blackness inside me, that I just have to recognize it and move on, move closer to my goals of better financial stability and physical fitness.

Seriously though, DAMMIT!

Friday, December 02, 2005


It's a poncho! Well, honestly, it has the look of a serape, but it's all stitched together. The Vneck is still a little big, so I cinched it at the bottom just a bit, but just with a bit of White Buffalo, no knots, so it could be undone in a snap. She could always put a ribbon there to cinch it a bit, but since it's an honest Vneck, too much cinching would look funny. I'm still planning to make a triangle for her to block into the Vneck if desired.

The stitching together of it was interesting, and I remembered very quickly why I'd originally wanted to do it all in one piece. Was trying to sew it together with the White Buffalo, and the blasted stuff kept pulling apart! So I dug into my stash and stitched it together with a double strand of a really light beige (I think it was one Wool Ease and one Encore), and was very happy with the result, because it felt much more secure. Then naturally you could see the beige in spots, and while it probably blended fine, that wasn't good enough for me, so I went over it the next night with the White Buffalo. So it looks a bit hodge-podge to the critical eye, but you certainly can't notice the difference when looking at the wearer.

I'm going to try my darnedest to mail it Saturday, but I'm not sure I have a box big enough for everything...may have to scour the hallways here at work.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

One week to go!

Man, I'm a slow knitter! I can't believe it's taken me 2 months to create 1 poncho. In my defense, I am still the sole breadwinner in our happy home, with Samhain activities, the Autism walk, and lord knows what else competing for my attention in those 2 months. But still...

But it's truly hit the home stretch, no more stalling. Thanksgiving was one long, relaxing knit fest...well, most of Thursday was taken up with me cooking...side dishes turned out a little strange, but the apple pie kicked ass! Then Friday through Sunday were spent on my butt, watching flicks, doing laundry, tidying a tiny bit, and knitting, not in that order. Last night, I finished the back (ok, almost finished, need to measure and probably throw 2 or 3 more rows in); tonight I'll sew them together. That'll be a neat trick, I'm a little concerned with how to create an unnoticeable, but incredibly strong seam with 6-ply unspun. I guess I'll just lay them back to back, wrong sides out, and stitch 'em together, and if it'll take 2 layers of stitches, even better. Tomorrow, I'm going to handwash it in the tub and find SOMEPLACE to lay it flat that doesn't smell like smoke...I'm pretty confident that it hasn't retained much odor, but I don't want to take any chances, will probably Febreeze it before it goes in the box. Thursday, I'm bringing it to Knitting Bitches to show it off and take some piccies, and Friday I'll mail it out. And start Mom's Yule prayer shawl the minute I leave the post office :)

Mom's the ONLY one getting knitted stuff for Yule; I just can't fit anyone/anything else in realistically. Maybe I'll make a list of stuff I would've liked to make people for Yule, and consider those birthday projects; but we're just too close to the dreaded holiday to make myself nuts over it. Plenty of other stuff to do that recipes I'd like to try, budgeting for the next year so we can actually move out of Jax next November, getting Les back in school--I'd love to get him into classes next summer, get some of the remedial stuff out of the way, and our income certainly ought to be worthy of some financial aid, plus federal grants...what else? TRAINING!!! I haven't started eating smart or exercising yet; needed to get past this holiday, which is a crock, because now that we're past Thanksgiving, what'll my excuse be now, Christmas? No way! I just have to keep reminding myself of how out of shape I was in 2002, how lucky I was that the walk was cancelled after 1 day. Strained ankle notwithstanding, my body was one big throb that night. I don't have any trouble with determination at all, but my body needs to be in the necessary shape to make this walk a realistic venture. Waiting until my handbook and t-shirt come in, or until I can afford a cheap stopwatch and pedometer...well, those are just bullshit stalling tactics that won't help me at all come next October if I haven't dropped about 50 pounds. I'm not even looking to lose all the weight for this, but getting down to 2 bills would be a wise move.
Ok, less talk, more action. And since I'm at work, more editing!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I swear, I'm in the home stretch!

My anal retention set me back a day tops, but I'm still in the game. I discovered a goof Monday night about 3 inches too late. I was a goof that could've been passable probably, a single stripe in the border where I purled straight across that would've showed as a single groove amidst the garter stitching on the bottom right side of the poncho, facing out. Probably happened when I was at the park on Sunday with the gang; I spent the whole time there just relaxing, staring at Draken and Zoe to the point of stalkerism (Draken's 4, Zoe's 3--BEAUTIFUL kids), and knitting with about 2/3rds of my brain on the project.

So I hemmed and hawed, kicked myself, asked Les's opinion and received a fairly male response (what mistake?), thought about asking Alexa, and then determination kicked in and I frogged down to the goof. Reknit last night almost up to where I starting frogging, and it's all I plan to do tonight in between making about 4 loaves of bread (some white for us, wheat and french for the party). This week is busy and requires some careful planning--I have a half day Friday, then Mom's picking me up so we can go down to Orlando for the Autism walk. We hang with Meara that night, the walk is Saturday morning, and then I convinced Mom to drive back that day because Meara won't even be there (she's going to a wedding in Ocala) and I want to attend the dinner party that Lynn is throwing Saturday night. Knitting under the stars near her fire ring, good food and friends...I'm actually glad that Les's teeth surgery will keep us here at least through next year, because the crowd I've found is really special.

Some prayers for my sis-in-law's fortitude in the coming bro is finally home from the Army to help her, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. She had to restrain Hunter earlier this week before school because he wouldn't get dressed and was being incorrigible, an unfortunate fact with autism regardless of upbringing. So she thinks he's under control, takes him out of the restraints and he kicks out, hitting her hand. She figured it was just bruised, turned out she fractured her thumb.

I have trouble imagining what she goes through on a daily basis, because if one of my kids were challenged, at least I'd be going through it with Les. Doesn't excuse the fact that we don't see enough of Hunter, but he's been so out of control the past couple of months with med detox and transition, that it'd be hard to do anything outside of routine with him anyway. There, assuaged my guilt for one more day...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Nose to the woolen grindstone

When I get quiet, it usually means I'm slackin', and this blog was no exception. But in my defense, it was much needed. White Buffalo makes for cramped hands and sore fingers, and I really should've built this sucker with slightly larger needles, but live and learn. So between Girls Day to Play on Saturday with Mom and relaxing on Sunday, no wool entered my hands. Last night however, I tackled mr. poncho with renewed vigor and got the border done and the body color started. If I work my tail off, which is my intention, I could be sewing the 2 pieces together and blocking it by the weekend. It doesn't really need to be blocked, but I'm giving it a really good washing once it's done. I don't trust it to dry cleaners, and I don't really smell any smokiness—I'm keeping the finished piece in the closet until I need it. But still, I'm making sure it's acceptable before it gets shipped.

Need to ask Alexa how she wants me to do the seam...I can do it with the body color yarn or with the contrasting yarn. Might look good in a criss-cross pattern with the contrasting yarn...might also look lame. Uncertain. Also need to ask my girls about what's a good, solid stitch to use for a seam that'll be holding the weight that this one will. I see the words "mattress stitch" on a lot of stuff, but not sure what it is.

The rest of the White Buffalo arrived! I now have 4 GORGEOUS pucks of turquoise to have my way with :) Also got one ball of a forest heather alpaca that is going to be a scarf for Les hopefully for Yule.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Home stretch!

Well, hopefully anyway...delusions of aptitude again :) Can probably finish the border and start the back body color tonight. Thinking ahead to whether I wash it before or after I stitch the 2 pieces together. Gotta ask her if she'd like the contrasting color on the shoulder seams. Thinking of knitting a triangular piece for covering the Vneck, but have no bloomin' idea how I'd attach big buttons to hold it...may do the triangle and leave the rest to her. Washing and blocking it all in one piece will be heavy as heck, but at least then it has the chance to form itself evenly, I think. That wooden coffee table would be perfect for laying it out when it's done.

KB tonight, yay! No ruthee, wah! Under the weather :( I'm feeling pretty good lately, but holding off the real training until I get my book and t-shirt in...did I mention that? I signed up for the Charlotte Avon Walk 2006!

Yarn Forward hasn't emailed me yet on the 2nd batch, may check their site and send them an inquiry. Damn thinking that those mohair/wool blend balls that Teresa gave me would look good on Meara. Now just gotta figure out what to make. That's on top of Mom's prayer shawl and Les's scarf if the alpaca ever comes in, and what was that I promised myself about not going nutty about knitting for the holidays?

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloweenie!

Happy New Year, Samhain, Halloween, Feast of the Dead, and any holiday I'm missing!

I finished the front! Took me friggin' long enough, huh? Discovered that I didn't have any bloomin' idea how to pick up stitches from the Vneck though, so it's going to be built in 2 pieces. Wasn't crazy about having to do it that way, but what the hey...I'll double stitch it or something when the time comes. And it better come soon! They're already getting snow up in Boston, lucky stiffs. After enjoying the snow/ice of Yule last year in Aiken, I'm softening to the white stuff. Still not crazy about driving in it though, at least until I'm legal, insured, all that responsible stuff...

So I start the back tonight, fueled with determination and more candy than I should reasonably imbibe. Can I help it if I've gotten 3 goody bags at work so far, and there's KitKats and Hershey's Caramel Kisses waiting for me at home? I entered the Charlotte '06 Avon Walk today with Mom's help, so this is a last ditch blowout before I start watching what goes in, and exercising my hiney off.

Some Halloween I'm going to create a really nice costume. This year it wasn't happening. Witches Ball was nice though, and I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving. That sucker's carved in stone for me; I'll never be able to switch it out with Lughnassadh like some Celtic pagans do. Lughnassadh doesn't have the Macy's parade, the dog show, or the cool weather. Tonight I'm going to carve that pumpkin, save the guts I think for pumpkin pie pudding ala crockpot, and make a broccoli souffle out of the broccoli I pilfered from the leftovers at Witches Ball. Let the domesticity begin!

Friday, October 28, 2005

The best laid plans...

Yeah, week and a half at Melanie's world...
In my head, the point after the Vneck makes sense, just continuing on a row instead of stopping at the neck, and then a natural add-on occurs when I get to the other side, so that I don't even need to pick up stitches or anything...wonder if that's actually true :)
I am quite nearly there. But I worked late and had a meeting on Wednesday night, and last night I got a couple rows done, but had to start a new ball on one side, which meant rolling about half of 1 puck at KB, and lemme tellya, there's no room for spreading out when we're inside Panera. I would've been happy sitting outside last night...temps down in the 60s or high 50s at night now, but the rest of the crowd were acting like Florida natives, wimps. Can I help it if I love, love, LOVE this weather and it gave me an excuse to wear about the only piece of clothing I've knitted for myself?! That shawl was so cozy, but between it and the poncho, I was cramped at that table for sure.
So...tonight I should get some good knitting time in, and most of the day tomorrow, because I don't have to be at the church til 5ish and the only thing I really have to do for the costume, is I'm going to take that lush green material I used last year on my half-assed cloak and cut it down to make a wrap instead. Oh, and trim the hair on that pink wig, it's a little long (I'm going as Tonks from Harry Potter).
So it may still take only a week and a half with some serious determination, because between the autism walk and Yule gifties, I need to get crackin'. Also need to make a decision on the Avon walk...those SOBs sweetened the deal by offering a $35 entry fee until Oct. 31. Pondering...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

ACK! How long has it been?

Shame on me! Now granted, we had a hurricane this week, the Southern Women's Show last weekend, OT at work, and a sick husband, but still...the Vneck is coming along so easily, I'm admonishing myself for ever worrying about it. SO glad I found that Vogue book at KB last was one of those teach-you-everything books and spelled out really easily that by using 2 balls and decreasing on either side every other row, BINGO! Vneck :)

So I haven't been bringing it to work though, because between the 2 balls and its increasing size, it ain't worth it just to squeeze a row and a half in my 15 minute break. Worked on it for most of TV time last night and am 2/3 done with the Vneck...should be able to finish it and start a new puck before KB tomorrow. Saturday's pretty packed with Witches Ball prep and then the ball itself, and Sunday I'm working :( But Tuesday I have off to accompany Les to 2 doctor's appointments so I can basically knit all day.

I'm motivated more lately, not just to finish it for Alexa, but so that I can start on Mom's prayer shawl right after, get it done with time to spare for Yule. I'm not crazy enough to knit something for all my key people at Yuletime, but would like at least that done.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Ding! Fries are done!

Why does my brain always make things harder than they have to be? All this time I've been envisioning Alexa's poncho with a diamond-shaped opening, so that it would be reversible, front or back...only yesterday does it dawn on me that that would make the opening too large. This wool is decently heavy and the finished product needs to actually, oh, i don't know, fit. So I email her and sure enough, it's fine to do the Vneck on just one side, or even just make an opening so that the ensuing flaps can be folded down or tucked in. Much easier and less scary. Once I'm past that, the rest is a breeze.

Gave up on my Chocolate Frog costume idea; I don't have the time. Thinking of buying a Quidditch Cup or Weird Sisters Tshirt, spiky pink wig, and go as Tonks. Much more comfy for someone who'll probably be in the kitchen helping half the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Still going.....

Slacking on this blog, but luckily not on the poncho, however Halloween deadline definitely looking like a stretch. Hopefully won't be too far past it though. I finished the 3rd ball last night...will roll the 4th and measure, but I probably don't have far to go before I can start the Vneck, since I want it probably to be between 8 and 10 inches from top shoulder mark to bottom of V, giving A enough room to access Maria. So I'm going to work my little hiney off to reach that point tonight, so that I can get advice/guidance from the ladies at KB tomorrow night.

I think I can envision what ruthee had in mind with placing one half on a holder/spare needle and working up to the shoulder one side at a time. Just need something in front of me while I'm working that part...I'll ask her to bring those poncho pattern books tomorrow, that she had 2 weeks ago. Once I can get past this third, the rest is a breeze.

My White Buffalo came in!!! It's so gorgeous, already thinking of hoarding a couple more pucks of the turquoise, which they should really call teal, 'cause it's so beautiful, such a rich color!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Poncho Thursday

I've been super achy all week for some reason. I've narrowed it down to still having staph, the barometric pressure from the overcast weather we've been having, or the fact that I'm decreasing my Wellbutrin. Could just be my big fat ass too, but I'm trying to stay open-minded. I think my sleep patterns were better last night though, because I didn't wake up so exhausted; and I took an Aleve with some of those Glucosamine-Chondroitin supplements that Mom gave me, so I'm feeling a little better today.
Whatever it is, it left me wiped out last night, so I only pulled off 1 row before having laundry take up all my attention. Tonight's KB tho' with a Circle meeting beforehand, so I should get some good knitting time in :) Did start 2nd ball of body color...I need to draw out exactly when I want to start Vneck, so I can make sure to make it large enough.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Poncho Tuesday

I didn't bring it to work because I was up til 1 a.m. working it last night, and I don't want to get burned out. It's still fun, and I don't want it to feel like work. I'm close to the end of the first ball of body color, but the darn stuff was uncooperative all last night, with 2 strands running larger than the rest. I tried for the longest time to fix it, but finally gave up and broke those 2 strands and spliced them back together so that I could re-roll the stuff and it'll cooperate. Still, the pattern's easy enough to keep me interested and it doesn't feel like drudgery at all. Plus, Alexa sent me another gift card (did I mention that already?), this one to B & N; so I just get a major warm and fuzzy when I'm working the poncho.

Been taking the leftover penicillin we have to try and knock out the staph infection I'm pretty sure I gave myself last week, but the ole immune system must be having trouble staying at full power, because I feel just the slightest hint of an ear-involved sore throat starting. Will nip that bitch in the bud by Thursday if it sticks around, because I plain don't have the time for it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Happy medium, or lack thereof...

So I'll admit this new pride in knitting thing is making the whole process much more satisfying, but it's also making me run behind! Not that I have a laid-out timetable for the poncho, just the idea that I'd love to get it done on or around Halloween. Not the most doable goal at this point (3 weeks to go), but not exactly a pipe dream either. Just gotta stop making mistakes.

I worked on the poncho Friday night, and realized while fading to sleep that what I'd done was crap. My original idea was to try a moss/seed stitch border with stockinette on the body; what I'd ended up with was a border that looked like garbage and stockinette that was facing the wrong way. So yesterday (Sunday) I ripped out at least 2 inches, right back to the first row after the bottom border, and started garter stitch for the border and stockinette facing front like I wanted it to. Took me a row or two to figure out what I was doing, but now I'm on a roll and should be able to stay that way for at least 15 inches. I'm taking it to work now and will knit on my breaks, and then in the evenings whenever possible. The only other thing demanding my attention is my costume for the Witches Ball, and in spite of what I'm planning, it should be a fairly simplistic outfit; the props will take more time than the dress.

Correcting my mistakes brings out the Virgo in me, and I'm getting such pleasure from the knowledge that I'm doing something right.

Friday, October 07, 2005

I've discovered pride!!!

The most wonderful thing happened last night...I discovered pride in my knitting. Must be because I'm knitting for someone else, but I just have this feeling that the desire to knit properly won't go away once I'm back on my own projects.

So I started the main color on Alexa's poncho last night at KB. Took me the better part of KB to roll the new puck into a ball, but given that my experience with this unspun yarn is a whole week old, I'm going with what's comfortable for me. So I start knitting...switching to stockinette for the body of the poncho. I'm sort of following the Lion Brand Color Waves poncho pattern in my head, but of course the problem with that is the stuff that gets easily missed. Since I left my pattern notebook in the car when we went to B & N, I forgot the concept of a border. It dawns on me when I'm most of the way through my purl row, that stockinette left to its own devices curls like a bitch. Oh well, I think, I'll start the border right now, it won't look wonky if I've only missed 2 rows. Thing is, I started the border at the end of a row, so now that row technically has a lopsided look.

I'm driving home and I realize that that just won't do. Alexa has asked me to knit this for her, for her and Maria, bought all the yarn, let me keep the needles that were too small, and added a $20 Panera card to the mix when I said I didn't want a commission. As thick as this yarn is, she'll get some real wear out of it up there if I do it right. There will be no shortcuts. In spite of my fierce desire to wind down with meditation when I get home, because I cut my Wellbutrin in half this week and have been feeling REALLY bitchy, instead I pull out the poncho and carefully unknit the entire purl row. I'll leave the knit row in; I like starting a new color with at least one row of garter stitch. But from here, it deserves a proper border. And surprising me yet again, the unknitting unwinds me as well or better than meditation could have. The house is quiet, except for my TV on low, husby's already snoring, and the meticulousness of this task settles and centers me.

Already thinking about Yule gifts, because I'll have to get started on them the minute this poncho is done. Michael's had Homespun on sale for $3.77 a skein, so I grabbed 3 for a prayer shawl for Mom. I'd like to make a simple watchcap for Dad too, but I need to search more carefully for his yarn; no wool, maybe a cotton/acrylic blend. I'm not going to make myself crazy with the concept of pulling off a whole sweater for Les by Yule, but I would love to knit him SOMETHING. Problem is, we live in Florida, he probably wouldn't wear a scarf, he has a hat and gloves...he's pretty much a polo shirt and khakis guy, doubt I could get him into a sweater vest. Then again, he'd probably find a way to wear anything I made for him, whether it fit or not :)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


When I get done with this poncho, I'm going to have forearms like Popeye and hands that'll crush rock!

It's not heavy yet, but it'll get that way fast, I figure. I brought it to work to knit during my breaks and only managed 2 rows, because of stops to shake out my left hand or reposition my right. Left hand cramps below the thumb, right index takes the brunt of the needle point at the end of a stitch. Thank goodness I got plastic circulars. I'm only knitting a row in 10 minutes, but I'd rather do that than be repairing lots of pulls.

Mind you, I'm not actually complaining. I'm finding working with this new type of yarn fun, and working on a deadline exhilarating. I'm sure it'll feel less like that 2 weeks from now. I'd love to get this to her by Halloween, that's when she was hoping for it--plus, I need to start a couple of Yule gifts right after I'm done with this, probably won't knit again for myself til after the new year :( the least, I'm thinking of making a prayer shawl for Mom. Not sure about Dad or Meara. Maybe a watchcap for Cyril, can't imagine figuring out how to make a helmetliner right now.

But I was a bad girl today...I went and ordered 3 pucks of the White Buffalo for myself >:)

I've started! White Buffalo Poncho

My first commissioned project! If you can call it that because I refused payment after she spent like, $70 on yarn, but she did send me a $20 Panera card :) VERY nice surprise!

The cast-on was a royal pain and it's increasing the incentive to do this sucker all in one piece. I didn't feel comfortable doing the long tail cast-on because when I tried it the other day, I just wasn't getting the twist to the yarn that they'd described and it pulled apart in at least three places. I couldn't buy the new needles til yesterday though, so the night before, I took one of the border color pucks and rewound it into a ball. Didn't think it would do the trick, but I think it helped because when I finally set out to cast on yesterday, doing a simple slip knot approach, the yarn held up much better. What sucks is when I do it that way, the yarn seems to increase exponentially in space between the needles when I transfer, which means adding stitches like every couple. I started out with 128 and probably had at least 150 by the end. So I'm about 7/8 of the way to transferring onto the circulars and it pulls apart. Now, I'm getting used to the concept of unspun so there wasn't much cursing involved; it's easy to remedy but could result in a weak spot. But then I took a good look at what was there so far and decided to count my stitches. 127. I'll take that! Started really knitting after that and got the first 2 inches or so started. Looks like I'll use 1 ball per border, can't tell yet how much the body will take. Still pretty nervous about the Vneck, but that's because this yarn is so thick compared to what I'm used to, that I'm uncertain how to move forward once I get there, and scared of it pulling apart near a bind-off. But that's a good 20 inches from now, so I've got time to study it.

LOVE this yarn! This poncho's gonna be so warm! How could they discontinue this line? I'm getting positively spoiled working with it; and I'll bet it makes it a little harder to go back to my wool/acrylic blends when I'm done with it. I'll still like to buy some for myself; I'll have to jump into Yarn Forward and do some calculations.

Friday, September 30, 2005


Well. mr. sock has suffered a setback. I have no idea how I picked up enough stitches to give him severe elephant ankle, but that's what happened...madam ruthee took one look at it and said, give it here...and proceeded to frog 2 inches. After the smelling salts took effect, I thanked her and proceeded to start turning the heel all over again...but my brain wasn't in it or something, because I goofed up again and spent the evening unknitting...and I think there's still some unknitting to do, which I'll probably try to do tonight after the inlaws leave, because ALEXA'S YARN HAS ARRIVED!!!

10 balls of White Buffalo (Straw) that we found for a steal online, and the Elann shipment of White Buffalo trim (Persimmon) and Clover circulars is in the package mailbox in my section, I'm 90% sure. The dingbat mail carrier left a note in my box to return the key and that my package was still in the lower box...problem is, she never gave me the key in the first place! So I'm hoping against hope she delivers it to my door today; otherwise I'm gonna have to catch her tomorrow after the Autism walk and straighten it all out. I feel like it's being held hostage!

I think I'm going to try the Color Waves pattern for the first 20 inches or so, then work the V-neck according to the ruthee book I was perusing last night. I should look at that Poncho and Wrap book she had too, make sure I understand what I'm doing. I'd love to do it all in one piece, but realistically that's in the we'll see column.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

IIIIIIII'm so sad and lonely......

That's mr. sock singing...after all the attention I gave him this weekend, he gets neglected on UFO day. I went to the library after work and found some books on Africa that caught my interest, plus making time to workout definitely changes my evening routine. It's SO worth it though. Just a 1/2 hour on the treadmill is doing wonders for my spirits. I'm already making plans to decrease the extra antidepressant med I'm on, because I've noticed since working out, these little orgasmic rushes that come at me for no reason, and while they're fun, it's a little embarassing to be walking around with THAT kind of smile on your face.

Hoping to see yarn around Thursday via UPS...gotta look for my spindle tonight, I think it's in the plastic cauldron. Don't know how I'm going to keep the smoke smell off of this project...if I close the bedroom vents, open the window, and towel the space under the door, it should help. Luckily it's cooling off just enough where knitting on the porch in the evenings isn't a completely insane proposition. And of course, we'll dry clean it before we mail it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'm a tease

Well, I was gonna work on mr. sock again last night, but first I had to cook dinner (tried a new recipe, which turned out to be tasty and scary at the same time), and by the time I was done doing that, Alexa called and we spent an hour on the phone figuring out the particulars for the yarn for her poncho. She ordered the stuff and I should see it in a week or so; she'd love to have it by Halloween, which is doable, but will require due diligence on my part. I'm looking for more pattern ideas, because it'd be easier to knit it front to back but that makes the neck not so easy...I don't think it'd make the neck all that hard, really just a matter of decreasing on one side, picking up on the other. I'm going to print out the patterns, look for others, and get input from the bitches tonight.

I love Alexa, she's a really neat person. She's my oldest friend; we were in 4th grade together with Mr. Pratt. Very intelligent, spent a year in Egypt in high school, got her degree from MIT. Married her college sweetheart and they have 2 girls. I ache to visit them; they live in Salem, Mass. Soon.....

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

mr. sock's not lonely anymore!

I think I'm going to devote my time to him solely, until I get the yarn for Alexa's poncho. I worked him last night and he was quite happy, though I think I'm going to have to ignore the directions a bit. I made the heel flap the full 2¾ inches because I'm hoping to wear these myself someday, so the number of stitches I'm working now on the gusset decrease is significantly larger than what the pattern thinks I should have. The pattern wants decreases on every other row, but I think I'm going to have to do at least every row or else the foot part of this sock's going to be HUGE!

At least I have a decent stash now, for when I do get the time to create the projects I have in mind...I've become the queen of Wool Ease, and while I'm not always crazy about how stretchy it is (finding it difficult to control on metal needles), I now have 3, 3-packs at the ready, all earmarked for future projects.

Alexa and I are hashing out her desires on the poncho; then she'll order the yarn for me. I hope to be working with a pretty basic pattern from, with a big keyhole neck so she can wear it over her sling and still have access/breathe room for Maria. She found White Buffalo unspun online, which I'm a little skittish about, but I have that hand spindle if it gets out of control, and plenty of helpers in my bitches when I get freaked.

On that other topic, I worked out last night. Ow. Recognizing the long road ahead, I told Kellye I'd be there for the Autism walk to support her, but that walking was probably out. I feel OK about doing the 3 miles this Saturday for Making Strides because it's on road, but beach is quite another story. I'll clap and cheer and knit while they're walking. It's going to take more than a year easily, probably, to lose this weight, but at least I'm starting in a realistic mindset. Funny thing is, even my realistic mindset needs tweaking--I did an old Kathy Smith tape yesterday that I've always considered her easiest, because I have a great tendency to do too much right out of the gate and set myself up for failure. Imagine my surprise when the easiest tape turns out to make me as sore as Making Strides did 2 years ago! That's ok though; a little modifying of the ole expectations and we're still on track. I feel very strong :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Poor mr. sock, neglected again!

So I'm sorting laundry last night, always a joy, and I happen across an old pair of jeans that are worn through the seat; must've been tossed there haphazardly when the room was smithereened last week from the contractors. So I turn them into cutoffs and I'm all set to toss the legs in the trash, when it dawns on me—yoga mat bag! I had just come from Target where I'd bought a yoga strap and new exercise mat for situps and such (shorter and more cushiony than a yoga mat, already have one of those), and found myself gazing wistfully at the yoga mat bags they have, rather fashionable looking things starting at $19.99. Well, I'm lucky I can afford the yoga strap right now, so I didn't give 'em much more than a second glance, but it was still on my mind. Even though my yoga is done out of the public eye, I'd still like something other than the box it came in for storage purposes. So when I found myself in possession of denim material almost the perfect length for a yoga mat bag, well, my new project light went on in my head, and my knitting went to the side. By end of night, the laundry was done and I'd hand-sewn one leg shut. I still need to add some material from the other leg and figure out how to fashion a flap for opening and closing, and a strap, which'll also probably need to be hand-sewn because I'm an amateur who's not to be trusted with sewing in the round on a machine with tension issues—would definitely cause tension issues with the sewer as well. Still, felt quite useful while doing this. Most of my knitting's going to the side soon anyway, in favor of Alexa's poncho. We're hashing out possible yarns right now. I'm going to see if I can do a poncho for Lena (her 3 year old) at the same time; I think it'd be neat if they matched. Love these delusions of aptitude!

Off topic, but important to me...the workout stuff was purchased because of a weird dream I had. My biological clock is so out of control, I dreamed I was pregnant. I must've been feeling my belly while I slept, because in my dream I was 7 months along, but it sure didn't feel like it. I just got why I was 7 months along...I'd watched parts of Red Carpet Emmys and Jen Garner's in her 7th month...anyway, the feelings this dream evoked, about something growing inside of me, can't even be called was primal and natural, as in linked somehow with nature at its deepest source. I spent yesterday analyzing it with one half of my head (the other half had to edit a website or two), and realized I'd reached a turning point. I'd say "again" because I've certainly had these little epiphanies before, but something's different. It wasn't just that I don't want to be pregnant in this body (which is 85 pounds more than I'd like to be); it's that life is harder to live in this body, period. Simple things like going up and down stairs, carrying boxes and bags, standing up from a damn sitting position in the bathtub are a chore that's become embarassing. I spent the day 2 Sundays ago cleaning the dining room. It meant moving a wealth of shit around, packing a box or two, placing them in different spots, reorganizing the bookcases—the room was a disaster area from noon to 9 that day. Got a lot accomplished, but it's all indoor stuff, simple tasks, so you don't think about what muscles you're using. I was so freakin' sore the next day, you'd think I'd walked 10 miles! I probably won't be that sore doing the 3 mile this weekend. It's sobering when you're otherwise healthy, in your mid-30s, with no history of respiratory issues, and you're getting winded climbing the stairs to your apartment with stuff in your hands. So maybe it's finally time to take care of me.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Delusions of aptitude

ACK! The most unlikely thing has occurred! My delusions of aptitude have rubbed off on a friend!

Alexa sent me an email asking if I'd think about knitting her a poncho. She's looking for something to wear this winter over Maria and her sling (4-month old), with a keyhole neck for easy access to the little moose (the kid has godfather-esque cheeks :)

I think I need to send her a picture of the hunchback poncho I did for Meara, give her a chance to reconsider...

Actually the dealbreaker may be the fact that I live in a smoker's house; she's allergic and asthmatic and can't have any of that, but I promised to keep the project out of the house somehow and to dry clean it before I send it to her, if it gets that far...she wants to pay me a commission for it, but I'd do it for an early birthday present (she's December 16). She's my oldest friend and someone I really admire.

So I sent her some links to Lion Brand illustrating what I think she's looking for, and we'll see. Might be a good thing if I had like, just one project to focus on, because I have so many things I'm trying to get on the needles right now, it's a wonder anything's getting done.
  • Burgundy shawl being blatantly ignored
  • Purple poncho getting about 2 rows worked a week
  • Pink baby hat for absolutely no reason other than I just got a pair of #5 circulars from a friend
  • mr. sock, poor neglected soul that he is
  • Mixed brown rice knit shawl
  • Wanting to start:
    —Cozy shawl from Knitty in Dark Rose
    —Aibhleen cowl from Knitty in Blue Mist

I think I'm missing something there...And still haven't found a pattern I'm happy with to knit something for the adorable hubby...

I don't consider myself that ADD, when the meds are cooperating, but boy, my projects sure illustrate something different! At least I keep the number I bring to KB at about 3.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I picked up the cowl this morning, thinking of bringing it with because I've got blasted Circle tonight, and there are dropped stitches ::jumps up and down, throwing tantrum:: I remember last time I stopped I was in the process of unknitting a small screwup, but now ACK! I'm bringing it tomorrow night and praying Teresa shows because I'm really happy with what I've got so far and I don't wanna start over :(

I'm ready for Yarn Harlot's 2nd book to come out NOW...Man, I like her writing! Would also love to start another lace-type shawl/throw pattern but haven't found anything yet that doesn't intimidate or terrify me. I've got 3 double skeins of a really nice mixed brown Wool Ease sitting in a corner pleading "knit me!"

Monday, September 12, 2005

Old age and knitting

I'm wracking my brain to think of knitting I did this past weekend and coming up dry. Nada. Damn. After reading my fave blog, the Yarn Harlot, this ticks me off...not in the way you'd think tho'...I have a pal who agrees with me that when we read Starhawk's blog, we end up feeling more inadequate than inspired; but since knitting has become an actual enjoyable hobby, I can read the Yarn Harlot and have my delusions of aptitude without the immediate feeling of failure. I can go to afterward, look at a piquant pattern and think, yeah, ok, it's doable; sure I'm still scared of cables and am practically the queen of stockinette, but yeah, maybe...

But I turned 36 on Friday. Wasn't exactly happy about it. I don't have kids yet. I'm not happy in my job. My husband's been out of work like, forever. We live in a holding pattern. And my husby, whom I can't say enough good things about, does have reality issues relating to we were talking halfhandedly the other day about how far apart we want the kids, and he says, well, sure we'll wait like, a year...and I enlightened him to the fact that I'd rather have the 1st one out of diapers before the 2nd makes an appearance (if we can have 2, goddess willing). So I got a little toasty on Friday night (Dave & Buster's—screw the games in my book, their food is AWESOME!!!), and spent Saturday wondering why I needed 3 naps. I wasn't headachy, because unfortunately I have a great constitution for the stuff, but my body felt shredded. Which really pissed me off because I had things I wanted to accomplish this weekend. Luckily I woke up Sunday energized, and just TORE into our dining area, aka catchall of the house, and while it's by no means finished, I'm quite happy with the initial results. And completely sore from the work. Also made it out to the porch to give the plants some TLC and assess the rust on our bikes, because the Yarn Harlot's inspiring me in that regard too.

Almost broke my venting rule on this blog, but I figure since I mentioned the Yarn Harlot quite a few times, it slips in under the wire. Today's UFO Monday...will probably work on the purple poncho or the heinous burgundy wrap. Don't think that one'll go to Nanie after all; the yarn's an embarassment!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I'm up to my stash in Wool Ease!

Spent Labor Day weekend in Aiken, SC, visiting the in-laws...feels weird calling them that, they're nicer than my folks...nice little town, real small-town feel to the shops and streets, plus it's the South, the true South, so the people are friendlier, say hello to you on the street when you're a total stranger, hold the door open for you, that sort of thing.

I discovered the local yarn shop, because I went up there wanting to buy a pair of circulars to make the Aveleen (sp) cowl from Knitty. Lots of cross-stitch and needlepoint in front, decent yarn and needle section in back with good names like Rowan and Lorna's Laces. Found my needles there, but the prize was afterward; the mom-in-law and I went to a store called Tuesday Morning. It's mainly filled with crap--knickknacks, knockoffs, everything from pots and pans to linens to baby clothes to garden wrought iron garbage. But there in the back on an endcap next to a truly pitiful display of plastic needles and sewing notions, was the gold mine--Lion Brand Wool Ease in non-hideous colors, 3 to a bag for $7.99. I snatched up a bag of Dark Rose Heather for the cowl, and a bag of this 3-tone brown for another wrap I've been wanting to make.

Finally my stash is starting to look like...a stash! Add to that the Encore I'm trying/hoping to acquire from Terra/Teresa/Zee, whomever the heck has it from PPD, and I'm getting positively spoiled! I'm afraid I don't count what Steph and Ginny gave me, because most of that is too old or too ugly to use, so I'll probably try to donate it somewhere. Wonder if Katrina's survivors could use some yarn?

Monday, August 29, 2005

Too much cool shit to knit!

There's the burgundy shawl in the crappy Red Heart; can't stand the yarn, but like the pattern--it's just interesting enough to keep me from boredom and just easy enough to keep me from frustration. There's mr. sock, who's easy and challenging at the same time. There's the purple poncho, which gets boring fast (all garter stitch) were it not for the wonderful soft-softness of the Homespun it's being created with. There's the chenille-and-ribbon scarf, which, like the Red Heart, is a project I'm doing to use up yarn; found out after purchase that I wasn't a big fan of chenille. And I started a basketweave on the new pink Encore I procured at Pagan Pride Day this past weekend, but I think I'm going to rip it out in favor of starting a baby layette set, just for kicks. Not for anyone in have one friend who's preggers, but if/when I make anything for her, it'll be with 100% wool or organic something, 'cause she's quite the granola.

I neglect mr. sock out of fear. I'm almost to the point of starting the heel, which will require reading and paying attention and having patience and I don't have much of those things right now. Life's been a little roller-coastery, but it's like being a hamster in one of those balls, where they can roll around outside of their move, but you don't actually get anywhere because you're still stuck in the ball when you get where you're going. That's what life's been feeling like lately. I think going to SC for Labor Day weekend will definitely help, that and giving mr. sock the attention he deserves.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Too many projects!

Reached that stage again, where I've got so many irons in the fire that it feels like I never make headway on anything...

Well, except one thing...

The hat is done! The hat is done! Happy dance, happy dance, the hat is done!

Fits great, and was so easy, it's sickening. Seriously, considering it was my first time knitting in the round and only the second time trying the dreaded dpns, I thought it would be harder, but once you switch to dpns, it works up real quick. Only gaff was the nipple top I almost put on it, resulting in some extra sew work after the bind off...definitely looking forward to getting my own larger dpns and trying my hand at that again with a more exciting yarn. The grey is nice though, very nondescript, and the design "features" I put on the brim look like they belong there :)

Bought a fresh skein for the purple poncho, as well as some ribbon yarn to work up that other chenille scarf, so I've got scarf, sock, poncho, and shawl on the needles right now. Is that it? I think so, so needless to say poor mr. sock keeps getting neglected. Maybe I'll bring him to Pagan Pride Day this Saturday and work up that last inch before starting the heel. Also would love to try my hand at baby booties--found a skein of sherbet green Jiffy at Michael's for $1.75 on clearance that would be perfect to practice on.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Will wonders never cease?

Turns out knitting centers me during PMS. Weird.

Came home from work yesterday a raging hormone hostage. People could've used my skin to sharpen blunt objects. I grab a nap, rustle up some dinner, and settle in to read some Harry (just started Order of the Phoenix), but instead pick up mr. sock. Wasn't gonna work on him. Didn't think I had the patience for those tiny-assed needles; those things make me feel like I've got about 3 extra thumbs. And while I'm not inclined to throw knitting across the room when frustrated, my state of mind didn't seem conducive to creativity. However I surprised myself and worked another ½ inch probably. Not much in the grand scheme a'course, but enough to chill me out just a tad.

Man, I love this hobby!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Finally back in the saddle...

I'm in the home stretch on the Galway hat :) Funny thing though, dpns are an acquired taste. I don't mind them now at all, but if I work on the hat, then I have like, no desire to work on mr. sock afterward. So he got neglected once again. Threw another 4 rows on the burgundy shawl though too, and it's finally starting to look like something. Also hoping to be able to purchase that skein of Homespun so I can get moving again on the purple poncho. Can't begin to imagine how much yarn I'd have in my stash if I was better equipped financially. We'll now pause for a moment of dreaming about having enough dough to buy all the yarn needed for the Folly sweater in one fell swoop, and some Kid Haze for the other shawl I want to try, and some Lorna's Laces just to have, and some nice wool and silk mix to make ponchos for Alexa's girls.....

Monday, August 15, 2005

Knitter's pride

Ok, so, is it weird that at the family get-together yesterday, I showed off mr. sock to EVERYONE who hadn't seen it?

We're talking about maybe 4 inches of ribbing! But it was a family get-together, so there's bound to be competition, even if we don't overtly notice it. My sis starts grad school in a week, and my bro's home on leave before deploying to Iraq, and Mel the computer drone sock!

Ignore me. Life's in a holding pattern, and I'm sick of it.

But it's UFO Mondays, so mr. sock will get some attention tonight, in between cleaning the kitchen and tearing into the closet, because the apartment complex I live in has decided to give the large 1-bedroom apartments W/D connections and place them guessed it, our walk-in closet. Never mind that we've lived here for 7 years and can barely consider it a walk-in anymore, it's so damn full. The ONLY reason I'm happy about the prospect of a stackable W/D purchase is because I'm entering week 2 of schlepping laundry to the coin-o-mat, because my complex's laundry facilities are STILL out of order!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Evil patterns and amateur knitters

So I'm knitting away on my grey hat at Bitches last night, listening to the convo and feeling better than I have all week, when I decide to count my stitches and see how the decreasing is coming along. I've been following the pattern pretty carefully--k13, k2tog, * for a round, then knit for a round, then k12, k2tog, *, etc...yeah, well, I must not be the best counter or that quarter that I knit when I should have decreased is really haunting me, because I check my stitches and it's like, 17, 18, 19, and 26. Sigh. So it's time to ignore the pattern a little and get some k2togs going on the 26 side to even things out a bit. But I've already been at this for a while and it's starting to frustrate me, so after 1 more round, the hat goes into my bag for a rest.

The gang makes fun of me for switching projects so often; I say I just thrive on variety. I don't consider myself to be ADD, but this hobby is a learning effort in progress, and if I get frustrated or bored with something, I like to have something else at the ready to chill me out and give me a different perspective. I'm currently working a garter stitch poncho on 10½s, a garter stitch hat on 7 dpns, a k1p1 rib sock on 2.75 dpns, and a 4-row lace pattern shawl on circulars. Harder to get bored when everything's just a little bit different.

So I did like, a row and a half of sock, realized I'd had enough of dpns for the night, and switched to the shawl. It's a fun pattern, makes up for the fact that I can't stand the yarn I'm building it with.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


So a day or two after my KUI, I take out mr. sock for a look, and sure enough, he's longer and doesn't look half bad. I mean, considering I've had it a month, I should have more than 4 freakin' inches on him, but I'm a sporadic knitter, and like I said, I've been wild about Harry for a coupla weeks now.

So I have that purple poncho on the needles, which I'm hoping to add to with this next payday. It's Lion Brand Homespun in Gothic, this really excellent purple, and even though I've discovered the horrific shedding that is Homespun, it's worth it for how soft and fun the yarn is. How they can make baby blanket patterns for Homespun is beyond me; I'd think the danger of choking would be significant. Anyway, then there's the Galway hat; our resident yarn knotzi, Teresa, had 1 skein of this lovely heather grey from the discount bin at the LYS where she works. I didn't want to do another scarf right then, so I found this cute hat pattern, which I've made even cuter through design flaws, err.. features. And getting used to DPNs with mr. sock made it SO much easier to transfer the hat from circular to DPNs to start the decreasing.

See, now I'm in the mood to knit and I didn't bring anything, but that's wise because tonight's Knitting Bitches, and my attention span's hard enough to keep without burning out early by knitting during the day. Been having what I call "delusions of aptitude" again; it's where you're a person who thinks stockinette is challenging, but you look at a lace shawl and say, oh yeah, I could make that. There's a cardigan on Knitty that I'd love to try for my first sweater attempt, but that whole yarn-costs-money thing keeps getting in the way.

The other thing on the needles right now is a shawl from the Lion Brand site. It's an easy 4-row pattern that I'm having fun with; I'm just not crazy about the yarn I'm using--it's Red Heart 110% acrylic crap. It's not soft, it's quite rough, in fact, and it's got that irritating squeak that a pal mentioned is common with the cheap-ass acrylics. But it's burgundy, which is a color that works for me. I tried to start the ChooChoo pattern 2 or 3 times on that yarn before giving up, because for that pattern, I'd rather have a yarn I actually like. Ooo, maybe Rowan; discovered that just yesterday. Fairly expensive, but Judge K's shop has it in stock. Hmmmm......

::sigh:: to be independently wealthy ... hell, I'd settle for covering the bills every month.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I've barely picked up the needles for almost 2 weeks now, because I read the latest Harry Potter and that motivated me, once I'd wiped away the tears, to start over from the beginning of the series. I've only been knitting for.....about 9 months, I think, so I don't consider myself coordinated enough to pull off knitting and reading at the same time, so something had to suffer. This was fine for 1 project, a purple Homespun poncho, because money has been desperately tight of late and I finished the first skein on that one. The rest of my UFOs though, were withering from neglect.

This past weekend wasn't even a weekend; it was a test of patience. Between having the phone turned off, schlepping our clothes to the local coin laundry because our apartment complex was having equipment issues, and discovering that the car needed a new alternator, it wasn't a recipe for relaxation. So I get home from work Monday after a truly boring day in front of the computer and bypass the tea and Coke in favor of beer to wind down. I pick up mr. sock, who's my first attempt at this article of clothing and has been giving me micro-guilt trips from inside Alexa's bag for the last 2 weeks, and get to work. Two hours later, I'm feeling no pain, and I have at least another 2 inches done! I was in the zone, because I'd had to pull out a wad of yarn from the sock's butt to keep it from getting tangled, and when that happens, I'd rather knit my way through it than have to wind it around the skein when I take a break. I only added a stitch like, twice; otherwise, it's coming along really nice. So while I wouldn't necessarily advocate or recommend KUI, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the outcome wasn't a disaster.

Another sheep to the fold...

Well, truth be told, I've been a blogger for a while

It's a great way to vent without giving yourself writer's cramp. I whine about life there, rail against injustices, and release stuff that would be way too easy to take out on the husband. My Lil Sis, Meara, has an LJ account too, so it's a good way to keep in touch with her, hear about her life (she's a grad student in Orlando; I live in Jacksonville). It's also helping me purge my fears about my Lil Bro, Cyril, being deployed to Iraq in October.

But I've been thinking hard core lately about how I see my life shaping up in the next 15 or so years, and it means setting some things in motion. I want to move to South Carolina. I want to have kids. I want a new career. I want to homeschool said kids through junior high, possibly in a Waldorf curriculum. These things are going to take a lot of work, especially in the face of getting my husband back into school to get at least his AA, and the possibility of me going back to school eventually to get a 2nd BA and a Masters (I also think about being an Anthropology professor in the future). We've been living in a limbo of sorts for several years now, and it's finally gotten old.

So this blog will be to talk about my studies, my knitting projects, and how my life changes to accommodate the dreams listed above. We have just over 8 months to tear apart our home, toss or donate the excess, box it up, and haul it out. Luckily my husband Les's folks live within an hour of where we want to live, so it'll be easier to establish ourselves there. I hope to send Les up there by February to look for work. I can keep my job with my current employer, but it'll mean losing all the benefits, because I'll be working from a contract basis from home; so Les HAS to have a job before we move. In the meantime, I'm searching for housing and getting to know the area, while also maintaining about 5 projects on the needles, reading up on world religions and anthropology, and plowing through the Harry Potter series for fun. My brain's never sat still for long. Oh, and I've started exercising again, because I'm participating in 2 fund-raising walks this fall for breast cancer and autism. Tack a lithium deficiency onto that, and you have one fairly scatty broad :)

I'm going to attempt to keep the venting and whining on the LJ blog; I'd like this one to be more productive. I don't have a digital camera, but I know folks who do, so eventually I will post pics of my knitting projects and the escapades of my friends, the Knitting Bitches. We're a Stitch and Witch club (no, that's not a misspell) that meets weekly to knit and enjoy caffeine and each other. Still trying to figure a way to transport their asses to Columbia with me when I move; they've been a wonderful liferaft this past year. Les and I joke about how it figures that now that we've finally put down some roots in this damn city, we decide to move. But we'd much rather raise our kids near his folks than my own, so moving now would be smart.