Friday, November 30, 2012

Snobbery


Today I am committed to spending most of the day at my LYS.  The reasons for this?  First, I need to get some serious knitting done.  With the week of the traumatic job followed by the week of the pseudo vacation, plus the fact that Christmas is less than a month away, I can feel the vicious waters of panic swirling, ready to pull me under.  Second, I miss Lady L. and the folks there since I’ve been an absentee for the last few gatherings.  Third, I’m completely avoiding some other stuff that I need to get done around the house.  Works for me.

I haven’t made much progress since my last update.  I have one project at about 75% complete, one that’s around 50%, another that is at 25% and three still to cast on.  Yeah, sure…no problem.  The good news is that two of the sweaters yet to be started will be made with a bulky yarn and will hopefully be quick knits.  One of them has to be shipped up north, so I guess I can always blame the tardiness of the gift on shipping, right?  Okay, that’s not very nice, but I’m desperate here.

The project that is about 25% completed has had me dragging my feet, which is really silly because it’s by far the easiest project I’m doing – just a simple Christmas throw.  In fact, I should have been done with it by now.  Problem is, because of the household it is going to (they have little kids), I have chosen an acrylic easy-care yarn.  Why is that a problem?  Because…

I have become a complete yarn snob. 

I never thought it would happen to me, but it has.  I am addicted to natural fiber yarn.  It has ruined me for anything else.  Even on my best needles, the acrylic yarn is just sad.  Or rather it makes me sad.  Keep in mind, I bought one of those soft acrylics – not the bottom-of-the-barrel, plastic-feeling, “so scratchy you could use it as a loofah” yarn.  I’ve used this brand before and thought it was great, which is why when it went on sale, I picked up a bunch more.  But my previous project with this yarn was prior to any natural fiber experience.  I didn’t know any better then, so I could knit in blissful ignorance of the complete inferiority of acrylic yarn. 

Yes, I know that acrylic is much less expensive than natural fiber, and I also know there are things (like my throw) where acrylic just makes good sense.  Unfortunately, that knowledge doesn’t help me get motivated to spend a good four hours blazing through this throw.  I want Merino wool!  I want cotton!  I want silk!  (Insert Rolling Stones song “You can’t always get what you want...” here)

Okay, I’m done whining.  Besides, the yarn shop opens in an hour and I’m still in my jammies.  Time to roll.  I’m off to knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit…

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Any other yarn snobs out there, or is it just me?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Poisoned Rats


It is good to be back at my laptop this morning!  I’m back from a trip to Ohio over Thanksgiving.  I enjoyed seeing family, but this really should be forever remembered as “the vacation that was not a vacation.”  It is always impossible to see everyone you want to see and there is absolutely NO chance of actually getting anything remotely resembling rest on these types of trips.  It did serve to remind me of the two biggest reasons we left:  depressed economic conditions and the weather.  I felt kind of sad driving through my little hometown and the towns around it and seeing just how bad things are in comparison to where we’re living now.  And as for the weather, it really wasn’t half bad for the first part of the week – sunshine and fair temps.  If you’ve ever lived in Central and/or Northern Ohio, you know how unlikely it is to experience either of these things in November.  The cold returned with a vengeance on our last day there.  The morning we left it was 29 degrees (F) and snowing.  No thanks…

One thing I did determine on my vacation was that I was going to quit my new job.  Yes, I know it sounds awful to work a week someplace and then quit, but you already know how appallingly bored I was, and at this point in my life (ahem…let’s just say I’m over 40, shall we?), I know what I’m good at and what I’m not so good at.  Why waste time?  My decision was confirmed when I went in Monday morning after our return to find a slew of notes detailing a bunch of stuff that needed to be done that didn’t really have anything to do with office work, which is what was advertised and what I applied for.  The most disturbing note was the one that said, “There is a dead rat in unit #74.”  It proceeded to state that the person who cleaned it up (read: me) absolutely MUST wear a face mask and rubber gloves because there was a previous customer who nearly died from inhaling the fur of a poisoned rat. O_o  Yeah…I don’t do non-poisoned rats, let alone poisoned ones.

Again I say, NO THANKS.

So, I worked out the rest of the day and the people I worked for were very gracious and Tuesday morning I breathed a huge sigh of relief that I didn’t have to go back.  I guess I’ll figure out another way to pay for my yarn.  I have heard you can sell blood sometimes…

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Next post:  “Christmas Knitting Progress” OR “I Am NEVER Going To Get It All  Done”

How goes your Christmas knitting?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Generations


I have been out of communication the last few days because I am visiting with family for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Don't tell The Husband that I told you - I've given him the business before for letting the online community know when we're not at home, but you're all yarn people and therefore completely trustworthy, I'm sure.  It is a cold morning here in Ohio.  I now remember why we left.  It's actually been fairly mild for late November.  I was half expecting it to snow while we were here.  It was snowing on an early November day three years ago when we pulled out of this state to move south.  Hard to believe it's been that long.  

Grandma Eva at 17 or 18
This trip has given me the opportunity to spend some time with my husband's maternal grandmother, Eva.  I have mentioned her before because she has knit for years and years and years.  She is 94 years old and still knitting.  This is the first time we've been able to have a conversation as fellow knitters and it has been fabulous.  Yesterday, she showed me several things she's knitted over the years - beautiful afghans and sweaters.  She knits mostly for charity now, making little hats for newborns and lap robes for folks in nursing homes or the hospital.  Her color work is amazing.  I can only hope to be half as good.

She gave me a decidedly vintage pattern for Christmas stockings.  Apparently she's made them all through the years and it felt really good for her to pass the pattern along to me.  There's something wonderful about sharing something like that from generation to generation.  I told her all about my LYS and how much fun we have there and the good friends I've made.  She has never experienced it for herself because there is nothing like it anywhere close to the little town I grew up in and where she has resided for decades.  Grandma visited us in the south once a couple of years ago. It has become harder for her to travel so I doubt she'll make the trip again which is a shame because the first thing I'd do is take her to see Lady L. and all of the women who speak our common language.  Grandma would have a great time and the ladies would love her.

I am so thankful this year for Grandma Eva and her beautiful life and her beautiful craft.  

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2012

On The Job - Day 5


I was going to begin this paragraph with, "Well," but then it occurred to me that I start sentences with ,"Well," far too often.  Well, I'm going to try and break that habit.  Or not.

It's Friday of the first week that I've been on this job and I must say, things have not picked up any.  I've done everything that I could think of to do and now I get to languish these last three hours until quitting time.  Actually, I spent a couple of hours this morning languishing as well.  The good news is, I have found the perfect use of my spare time here at the office that makes it seem as if I am busily at work to the casual observer.  I've been reading the Yarn Harlot archives.  I look busy, yet I am really killing time in a remarkably enjoyable fashion.  The picture to the right (or above, depending on your browser) is of one of her books, Yarn Harlot: the secret life of a knitter (available at Amazon - what isn't?). I only learned of the Yarn Harlot a few months ago, since I'm relatively new to this knitting stuff, and I must say, she has a GREAT blog, which is evidenced by the fact that I am actually reading all of the archives (she's been blogging since 2004). She's that good.  I have LOL'd a lot today.  Good thing I'm in the office by myself.  

In the meantime, I continue to plug away at my Christmas list.  I hit a snag (dirty word in knitting) with my beautiful Malabrigo sweater.  Well, not a snag, really, but I have to start something a little tricky and figured I'd best put it on hold until I can get back over to my LYS to see Lady L. and make sure I'm not going to screw the thing up.  This job has put a serious cramp in my LYS time.  Yet I needed the job to support my yarn habit.  Sad, isn't it?  Kind of like my own personal Gift of the Magi.  *sniff*


Since I put the Malabrigo project on hold, I have been stealthily working on the gift for my daughter, which I can't describe in the least at this point.  Not that she reads this blog, but as soon as I post details about her gift, she'd start (it's just how my life works).  I can't work on it in the evenings when she's home. I used to be able to work on it during the day before I got this fascinating job and since I still haven't made peace with pulling my knitting out while on the job, that leaves very little time.  To top it off, I decided to modify the pattern a little to make it more interesting but that means a bit more time on it and time is, as you know, at a premium.

Continental Style Knitting
I have two other sweaters to cast on yet but since this next week is Thanksgiving week, I decided instead to cast on an easy Christmas blanket - the only item on my Christmas knitting list that isn't a sweater.  It had better be done by Black Friday or else (I often threaten myself with unknown consequences).  It is mostly knit stitch with some colorwork mixed in, so I've decided it was a good project to practice my Continental style knitting.  I've wanted to try it for a while, even though I really don't see the point of it much if you have to do anything other than the knit stitch.  The experts might make purling in this style look easy but I'm here to testify that my fingers just aren't having it.  Why do we need two styles anyway?  Can't we all just knit along?

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Questions of the day:  Do you knit Continental style?  Pros?  Cons?  How is your Christmas knitting coming along?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Workplace Knitting


As you know, I started a new job this past Monday.  Things are going quite well.  Maybe a little too well, as it is now Thursday and I have run out of things to do.  I have always been a bit of an “overachiever” (I am SO type A) and I tend to get things done relatively quickly, especially when doing office work.  As it stands, I have not only mastered the daily bookkeeping duties I need to do, but I have also completely cleaned out the storage room and reorganized the various filing cabinets.  Did I mention it is only day 4??  I could sweep the floor but if I do that today, what will I do tomorrow?

Bottom line is I absolutely hate being bored.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy days spent at home with nothing to do as much or more as the next gal.  But if I’m working a job, boredom is my worst enemy.  When I run out of valid things to accomplish, I get very discontented because I spend all my time thinking about what I could be doing if I weren’t stuck at the office.  Things like, oh I don’t know...knitting.  That brings me to my next question...

How terrible is it to knit at work if you have nothing else to do?

Of course I have my knitting with me.  Of course I have knitty things I need to get done (remember the ever-looming Christmas deadline?).  But how bad a person must I be to sit here and get paid for knitting when that is not what I was hired for?  Oh how I wish that was what I was hired for.  I feel guilty – not surprising since I have a very active guilt gene.  What a quandary I’m in.

Even if I did pull out my knitting, it would still feel weird.  There’s no radio to listen to.  There’s no Netflix.  The only thing I can watch is the CCTV that monitors the place where I work and believe you me, there is nothing going on worth watching there. 

So I sit here and argue with myself over whether or not I’m a decent sort or whether I am an evil, knit-obsessed monster.  But can anyone who is knit-obsessed actually be deemed any kind of monster?  I think not...

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What do you think?  Have you ever knit at work?  If so, do you still have a job?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I Got, Got, Got, Got No Time




For those who have been around as long as I have, the title of this post should have stirred some memories of The Guess Who's song, No Time, from 1969.  I will state for the record (record...ha ha..get it?) that I was a wee one when this song came out but having brothers who were significantly older, I am familiar with many songs that should have been "before my time."  If you don't know what a record is, then you defnitely won't remember this song.  Google it - I'm too tired to 'splain it Lucy.  Anyhoo...

The title pretty much describes my life these last two days.  I mentioned before that I picked up a job to support my yarn habit and I started it yesterday.  In the last 48 hours, I've only managed to accomplish 24 rounds on my current Christmas sweater.  I've learned that, although when I was in my 20s, working all day did not curb my energy after 6 p.m., now that I am a couple of decades beyond that, my brain pretty much checks out after the work day.  Okay, it really checks out around 2:30 in the afternoon, but don't tell my new boss.  I think I'm feigning intelligence in the afternoon pretty well so far.

I'm really hoping that I will settle in to my new routine and things will become easier in the next few weeks.  So this post is all I could manage this evening, but didn't want anyone to think I'd dropped off the face of the earth.  If I ever do drop off the face of the earth, it will be because my ship came in and I've run off to some tropical island somewhere to lay on the beach and be waited on hand and foot.  For now, my ship is more like a dinghy and I have to go to bed now so I don't fall asleep at my desk tomorrow...  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tartan Trauma


Yesterday, The Husband and I, along with my daughter, went to the annual Highlands and Islands Scottish Festival held at our county fairgrounds.  For The Husband and I, this is the third year we’ve been in attendance.  We both have Scottish ancestry so I feel like it’s a special festival thrown just for us.  It would be rude not to attend.  They have a renaissance area, jousting (yes, really), pipe and drum corps, bands performing Celtic music, Irish dancers, booths for different clans, a lot of information on genealogy, plus Scottish and Irish goods for sale.  Then, of course, they also have food.  I pretty much operate on the philosophy, “If you cook it, I will come.”  This principle has served me well over the course of my life with one exception that I discovered at the Scottish Festival:

Haggis.

Now, I’m an adventurous sort.  The Husband and I have tried scads of different ethnic foods from your run-of-the-mill Mexican variety to Ethiopian (my personal favorite and yes, they DO actually eat more than rice and water).  There are very few things I refuse to try.  I’ve eaten calamari (squid), and escargot (snails – they weren’t bad, really).  I do draw the line at bugs or any kind of animal genitalia (that’s just disgusting).  So even though I’d heard lots of bad press on haggis (Google it – you’ll see why when you read the ingredients), I figured, “How bad could it be?”  So last year, I tried it.  Um…yeah.

It’s bad.  Really, really bad.

I took one bite of it and almost instantly gagged.  In fact, I think it should be called “gaggis” instead of haggis.  I spit the bite out and I did not take a second bite.  Instead, the haggis found itself a nice home in the trash can. 
The Dreaded Haggis

I have realized that this is perhaps one dish that owes its existence to stark necessity.  I mean really, the folks who invented this stuff must have been out of their minds with hunger.  I just can’t fathom anyone eating haggis unless their lives depended on it.  I can’t envision anyone sitting around thinking, “I sure wish had me some yummy haggis!”  If anyone tells you they crave haggis, they’re either lying or their taste buds and their sense of smell have become chemically eliminated. 

Anyway, I did not repeat the haggis mistake again this year.  I opted instead for a Scotch egg.  They are actually pretty yummy, especially with the requisite HP Sauce.  And we had a nice time browsing and eating anything BUT haggis.  When we got home it occurred to me that I didn’t see any booths featuring Fair Isle knits.  I may just have to explore this under-represented craft after I get through my Christmas knitting.  I’ve never done Fair Isle but it’s beautiful and I’m game.  

Speaking of my Christmas knitting, I finished my pretty top-down sweater a couple of days ago and I’m now making good progress on the Malabrigo sweater.  I’ve already divided for sleeves.  I am so impressed with the Malabrigo yarn.  And it looks like I might actually finish my Christmas knitting on time.  Next year, however, everyone’s getting an ornament…

Friday, November 9, 2012

Warning: Mush and Blubbering


**WARNING – the following post is more serious than usual, but I’d appreciate it if you read it anyway.  I promise, I’ll soon be back to the general tom-foolery postings you’ve become accustomed to.**

The Husband and I are very blessed.  Seriously, in our 13 years of marriage, we’ve had our financial ups and downs (okay, a lot of downs) but since we moved to the south from Ohio three years ago, it seems like we have had just too many blessings to count.  And when you’re blessed financially, you really have just two options.  You can think, “Whoopee!  I can go buy all the stuff I’ve always wanted to get myself!”  I understand this feeling.  It does feel good to enjoy the fruits of your labors, especially when you work hard and have done without for a good while.  My yarn stash is much better off because of our blessings.  Hoarding all your money falls under this category too – it revolves around you and yours.  With retirement getting too close for my comfort, I think about this a lot.  I have very little hope that Social Security will be solvent enough to help me out when the time comes.  My mom worked all her life and what she gets from SS is ridiculously paltry.  So, keeping what you earn for yourself has its merits and The Husband resides firmly within this option.

Thing is, I don’t can’t…

I am firmly committed to the other option:  “We have so much.  How can I help someone who truly needs it?”  I have a hard time describing this and I know The Husband doesn’t completely understand it, but my desire to help others out of our abundance is just something that is there, all the time.  It’s not only there, but sometimes I almost feel a physical pain at the thought of withholding help when it is within our means to do so.  It’s really a good thing that The Husband is not as burdened with this as I am, otherwise I’d probably “give away the farm”, if you know what I mean.  Nevertheless, my feelings on the matter are what they are.

So lately I’ve been asking myself the aforementioned question:  how can I help?  The possibilities are seemingly endless.  There’s a charity around every corner and many of them do incredible work with those who need assistance, both here in the U.S. and abroad.  But one option has been bumping around in my brain for months now:  child sponsorship.  I did all my homework on the different agencies and decided that it was good and right to just do this – to sponsor a child.  I chose to work through World Vision and just recently received my packet of info on the child we are sponsoring – a little boy from India whose family lives on less than $2 a day.  I spend more than that on one loaf of bread…

I just sent our sponsored child my first note, and I can’t believe how I’m feeling.  Now, I’m sort of an emotional dork anyway, crying at all sorts of random things, especially since menopause has reared its ugly head, but all I want to do right now is cry.  Seriously.  This little boy, whom I’ve never met, has completely stolen my heart.  Dorky, right?  And yet, reality…

But enough of that mush…

I know I am not usually anywhere near this serious and I probably won’t be again any time soon, but just in case any of you reading are also blessed and just in case you also reside in the second option, I wanted to let you know about one way you can indeed make a difference.  If you want to sponsor a child, just go to the World Vision web site.  It is incredibly easy to do.  If you’d like to know why I chose WV, just let me know, I’d be happy to email you and tell you. 

Since this is actually a knitting blog, I have something knitting and/or crocheting-related too.  Get this:  World Vision has a “Knit for Kids” program!  How cool is that?!?  They provide a simple pattern and you can use your stash for good and not for evil!  Not that I’m ever out of a good excuse to knit something but you really can’t top knitting something for needy children, can you?  

Oh, and on a side note…in case The Husband happens to read this, I need to state how incredibly joyful he’s made me by letting me take just a little of our blessing to sponsor a child, even though I’m sure he’s shaking his head about my having yet another thing to blubber about.  But hey, he married me.  He walked right into it, poor guy…

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Any stories out there about how helping someone else made you feel great?  Or made you blubber?  Or made you feel like blubbering?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sleepknitting


I’m awake!  I’m awake!  This news might not be all that exciting to you, but I am thrilled to be mostly conscious today after stumbling through yesterday on only 3 hours of sleep.  An extremely early Tuesday morning for The Husband meant that I got very little sleep and it showed.  I generally don’t require a huge amount of sleep, but 3 hours is sparse even for me. 

I did manage to drive the 20 miles to my LYS yesterday to pick up the yarn I needed to finish my pretty top-down sweater.  Unfortunately, since I wasn’t really awake, I didn’t get to just hang around and knit like I usually do when I make the journey.  I just kind of sat there for a little while, staring into space.  In a brief moment of awareness, I realized that nothing productive was going to happen, so I went home to try and sleep.  I say “try” because no actual sleeping took place, thanks to the six smelly dachshunds.  If I keep them in the house, they sit at the patio doors and bark at every random squirrel, bird, cat, and leaf that moves.  If I let them out, they bark incessantly at everything and nothing at the same time, which I’m sure annoys the neighbors (I know it annoys me).  So…no sleep.

On the bright side, Monday evening (before exhaustion set in) I actually accomplished quite a bit.  After my blog post that night, I ended up going crazy with the Malabrigo sweater I had started.  I managed to do the three needle bind off (thanks YouTube), although for some reason I was missing a stitch when I picked up from my provisional cast on.  I’m not sure what went wrong but thankfully I’m at the point in my knitting experience that a random missing stitch doesn’t scare me anymore.  Anyway, I did the bind off on the neck and then picked up stitches for the yoke and got a lot done.  While missing a stitch here or there doesn’t bother me, I do seem to have a definite disability when it comes to picking up stitches.  Either I can’t fit all that I need to in the allotted space or I have to pick up more than required in order for there to be no gaps.  For this project, it was the latter problem.  I used the designer’s ratio, but I still ended up needing four extra stitches to make it look right, although I’m not sure how subtle my decrease of the extra stitches in the next row are.  I mean, I can tell where they are but maybe it’s just because I know to look for them.  Thankfully the area in question is at the back of the neckline.  Plus, the sweater is for my daughter-in-law who has long hair.  So in addition to the tag that spells out how to care for the garment, I will be including an additional requirement that she only wear the sweater with her hair down.  See how easy that problem was solved?

Last night, after I got what I won’t go so far as to say was my second wind (more like a pathetic little breeze), I did finish the body on the pretty top-down sweater and started a sleeve.  It was interesting though, when I transferred my sleeve stitches onto two circulars, I must have studied the thing for at least 15 minutes, trying to remember how to knit.  O_O  Seriously, it would have been comical if it weren’t so sad.  When I finally figured out how to start, I got two rows done and then gave up and went to bed at 8.  The knitting kingdom was much better off for it.

Today is a new day and as long as I remain alert, I should get a great deal done.  The status on my Christmas list is now two sweaters done, two others more than half done, another started, and three more yet to begin.  Plus a blanket.  Oh, and I picked up a day job that I start on Monday.  I really didn’t feel like I was under enough pressure to get things done by Christmas, so I decided to remove 40 hours of my time each week from my knitting schedule.  That’s just how I roll.  Actually, I needed the job to support my yarn habit.  At least I’m not out stealing copper…

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Do you have any tips for picking up stitches?  Don’t be greedy, share them…

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Knitting Superhero


Okay, I SO meant to put up a post yesterday because 1) in a fit of insanity, I registered for NaBloPoMo, which I’ve obviously blown, and 2) because I have some fabulous news to share regarding my previously reported knitting disaster.  My only defense is that I actually went to bed around 6:30 p.m. last night, was asleep by 7:30 and slept the WHOLE night until 6:30 this morning.  Granted, I had a nagging headache all day and couldn’t seem to keep my eyes open from about 3 p.m. on.  For the record, The Husband thinks I might be over-doing it with the sweater-knitting for Christmas.  Naw…can’t be…

Lady L - My New Superhero
So, there emerges from my knitting disaster story a superhero of epic proportions:  Lady L.   You all know that in my despair I was searching anywhere and everywhere for a skein or two of discontinued yarn to salvage my “nearly completed but out of yarn” Christmas gift.  Well, because Lady L. is awesome, after she received my desperate cry for help, she did a search and found THREE (3) skeins of the yarn I need in the shop!  (and the angels sang)  When she told me what she’d found, she made a joke asking what I was willing to pay for them (you were joking, right??) and I did a happy dance and replied that I would pay with blood if necessary or would rough up anyone who might be giving her problems (I was totally NOT joking).  So Lady L. has now qualified for superhero status, at least in my book.  I’m thinking I will knit her a cape just as soon as I get through all this Christmas knitting…

On a side note, when the designer of the pattern (Thea Colman) heard of my predicament with running out of yarn, she sent a gracious message to me and offered to do what she could to make things right.  She also revised the pattern to up the required amount of yarn so it wouldn’t happen to anyone else.  How cool is that??  Yep, she’s earned a fan for life (besides, her designs are beautiful).

Anyway, I will pick up the yarn I need tomorrow and hopefully finish my pretty top-down sweater project in a day or two.  Since I’ve been at a standstill with that project, I cast on yesterday for the next sweater I’m knitting for Christmas.  I am using a Malabrigo Merino Worsted yarn.  I’ve used Malabrigo before, but not the Merino Worsted and I must say, I couldn’t be happier with it.  It is absolutely yummy.  I’ll be spending the rest of my knitting time today working on the cowl neck for the sweater, which is knit in a different direction than the rest of the sweater and requires a three-needle bind off.  Since I’ve never done that before, I’ll be taking it with me tomorrow to my LYS and getting some much-needed direction from my newly-christened superhero.  I’m dangerous enough with two needles, let alone three (Stitch Niche ladies – consider yourselves warned)…




Sunday, November 4, 2012

Disaster Confirmed

Well, it is now confirmed that I do not have enough yarn to finish my pretty little sweater.  I have contacted the person on Ravelry about her lonely skein for sale and I am waiting to hear if it is still available.  I've also asked Lady L. to see if there is a random skein of the color I need that I may have missed in the shop.  Now all I can do is wait and hope.  Best case scenario:  I find another skein of it somewhere and I wait for it to get here to finish the gift.  Worst case scenario:  I cannot get my hands on any more of what I need and I have to frog the entire sweater and start this gift over with another yarn.  I've thought about giving the pattern writer a piece of my mind, although there aren't many pieces left and it wouldn't change my predicament anyway, so what's the point?  Sigh...

On a brighter note, I believe I've found a suitable lace edging to dress up a pattern I'm making for another gift.  There aren't a lot of knitted lace edgings that I like and, although I learned to crochet as a kid, when I looked at the patterns for some beautiful crocheted edgings, I found that I really don't speak "crochet".  I never knew that much of the language to begin with.  At this point, I'd need some tutelage and I don't really have time for that with all of my many projects I need to get done before Christmas morning.

Now, it's after midnight (even though we roll the clocks back tonight) and I'm exhausted.  So I'm off to bed and hoping that tomorrow brings me good yarn news.


Friday, November 2, 2012

My Worst Knitting Fears

There have been very few things since I started knitting that scare me.  As far as patterns go, I've pretty much operated on the na├»ve  assumption that I can do whatever I set my mind to, which has worked remarkably well for me so far.  I've made mistakes that required some long hours to fix, but I never really considered throwing a project out the window.  I once lost two days of work because of an interchangeable circular cable that became unscrewed from it's needle.  I didn't notice until the resulting hole was large enough to toss an orange through (hey, it could happen to you).  Even then, while I was aggravated, I was not reduced to tears.


There are, however, a couple of situations I can imagine that would certainly drive me to the edge of either terror or insanity.  One of them is coming home to find one of my smelly Dachshunds wrapped up in and chewing on my latest project.  This has not happened to date - a testimony to my vigilance in keeping my knitting stuffs up out of their possible reach.  It helps a lot that their legs are really short. 

There is also another situation I have previously envisioned that would cause me to quake in my fuzzy slippers; a situation which I have come face to face with this evening.  Tonight, I am peeking over the edge of the virtual knitting cliff of doom.  I am on the verge of a very serious knitting meltdown.  The gray clouds of disaster are moving to encase me as I type this (okay, maybe I'm being just a tad dramatic).  But here's the deal...

This evening, I am looking at my pretty top-down sweater on which I have made serious progress since my last post.  I finished the yoke, divided for the sleeves, and have been working madly on the body which is nearly half done.  Then it's just a quick no-fuss stockinette for the 3/4 sleeves and I can cross another Christmas project off my list.  I should be doing a happy dance right now, but I am most definitely not dancing.  In fact, as I gaze at what has consumed the better part of my last 48 hours, I am beginning to get a horrible knot in the pit of my stomach.  What could possibly be dire enough to create such anxiety?  A knitting problem of nightmarish proportions: 

I don't think I have enough yarn to finish. (insert "Psycho" shower scene music here)

How did this possibly happen?  The pattern stated the yards required outright, so I didn't even have to calculate it out (a good thing because math has never been my strongest subject).  I should have some to spare.  And yet, when I look at what remains to be done and then at the sad-looking little skein and a half of Sailor Blue #0007 Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK, I am terrified at the thought that there's not enough left to finish.

"Oh, no problem, just get another skein.  It will be fine."  Sure, that would make sense.  But not only did I purchase the yarn on sale, I bought the last skeins my LYS had, and it turns out that this particular color has been discontinued - knowledge gained from a frantic online search. 

Well, of course it has...     (and the "Psycho" music continues)

At this point, if I do run out before the project is finished, my only hope is one single person on Ravelry who appears to have one single skein of color #0007 that she is willing to sell.  May her blessings be multiplied and may her stash increase. 

Now where did I put that Valium…

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Tell me about your worst knitting nightmare.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Morning Glory

Some of you will inwardly moan when I make the following revelation, but the truth of the matter is…I’m a morning person.

Yes, that’s right.  I’m one of those people who can actually be cheerful in the morning, at least after I’ve had a sip of coffee (before that, my language is a bit garbled and unclear – more like grunting, really).  I can hit the ground running at 7 a.m. and accomplish a multitude of tasks before noon.  I. Like. Mornings.  I like the quiet, the idea of beginning fresh, and I simply have more energy and enthusiasm for even difficult or distasteful things at the crack of dawn. 

This was not always the case.  In my younger years, I could sleep until 2 p.m. with the best of them.  In fact, when my kids were little, my son used to have to come push me around a bit to get me out of bed.  He would have to do this even though my alarm was screaming 18 inches from my head (sad, right?).  I used to be able to carry on entire phone conversations in the mornings while sleeping.  I know this only because others would reference a conversation we’d had on the phone “the other morning” that I had absolutely no recollection of.  Thankfully, I never said anything that contained blackmail material.  Then something happened when I hit my mid-thirties and it all changed.  Now, the sun barely peeks over the horizon and my eyes spring open, even on Saturdays – even on vacation!  So unfair…

Anyway, you would think that my being a morning person would be a real boon for my knitting.  Alas, it is not so.  Because my thought process is so much more astute in the morning, I am forced to do other things with my morning hours that require concentration.  Fascinating things like reading through all of the documents outlining the annual changes to The Husband’s major medical plan so that we can make an educated decision about our choices for the coming year.  This is what I did this morning.  If I had attempted to do this after noon, the result would have been an unscheduled nap rather than an informed decision.  If there is something I absolutely MUST get done on a certain day, I have to do it in the morning or it doesn’t get done.  This morning I also had some phone calls to make.  It nearly killed me to wait until 9 a.m. to make one of the calls because I knew I couldn’t call earlier than that.  Yes, I am that neurotic…

This all leaves me wondering how much more knitting I could accomplish if I could just head straight to my knitting as soon as I’ve had that first sip of coffee.   I think my Christmas to-do list would be quite a bit shorter at this point.  Unfortunately, each morning I find certain obligatory tasks waiting for my complete and focused (read: awake) attention.  Sure, I could slide some knitting in, for example, while waiting on the clock to hit 9 today, but here’s the thing:  once I’m knitting, it’s all over.  It’s like my mind goes to “Knitland” and there’s no leaving until I’m too tired to keep going or my guilt gene kicks in reminding me that I really should feed The Husband at least once a day.  Good thing for him I have a guilt gene. 

I guess I will just have to continue to make as much progress as I can during the hours that I am generally not as productive.  Even though my intentions were good and I stayed up late, I did not manage to get the yoke done the night before last on the pretty top-down sweater I’m making.  I’m still 5 rows away from dividing for the sleeves.  See?  This is what happens to my brain after 12 p.m.

It’s nearly noon now.  Time to load up on some coffee and hit the sticks…

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What time of day are you at your best?