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.