Saturday, December 14, 2013

Packing, Packing, and Oh Yes…Packing.

I’m surrounded by boxes. Lots and lots of boxes.

The good news is that they are mostly packed full of stuff that we probably don’t need but are hauling across town to our new house anyway.  Our house is finished and we are set to close on Tuesday.  It would have been sooner, but the bank has taken its sweet time and won’t be ready for the close until then.  But I’m not bitter…

I’m still working on Christmas presents that I can’t show you, although I’ve not made nearly as much progress as I’d have liked to.  Let’s just say things will be ready somewhere in the vicinity of Christmas. 

While going through the kitchen to pack some things this morning, I ran across this oldie but goodie:

I had forgotten I even had this little cook book that I used as a kid.  I remember gazing at the pictures and dreaming of making such yummy things.  Of course, the reality never really matched the dreams, but I enjoyed the dreaming, nonetheless.

This will probably be my last post until after the first of the year since we’ll be crazy with the move and with the holidays, but I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a happy, happy New Year!



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Turkey Day!

“Hello, my name is Lisa, and it’s been 20 days since my last blog post…”

I’ve emerged from my turkey coma this evening long enough to try and get a post up since the dust is gathering on this blog.  It’s been a very good day with The Husband and my daughter.  We feasted on the traditional fare of the day, eventually.  I say “eventually” because one tradition I never miss on this day is the annual “event in which the timing of Thanksgiving dinner is thrown completely off.” 

This tradition began several years ago with the very first Thanksgiving dinner I attempted to cook at my own home.  The short version is, my stove had been moved out from the wall for some reason which now eludes me, and when it got put back, the plug did not get pushed fully back into the outlet.  This gave the stove just enough juice to turn on the light that indicated the oven was on, but not enough juice to actually heat the oven.  Two hours later I still had a cold bird, hence the timing problem.  Throughout the years when I have cooked the meal, there have been various such events, all with the same effect of keeping everyone waiting to eat.

This year was no exception…

His best "I'm starving" look
This year’s “event” was due to my own poor planning.  I had two pies to bake and a cold dessert that is always made the day before and yet last night this particular bit of knowledge went missing completely.  This morning, when I realized what I’d (not) done, I started the cold dessert right away but then in a flash of stupidity, I put the pies in to bake before the turkey instead of putting them in after the meal was cooked (because really, who ever has room for pie until after the initial turkey coma has passed?) and the pumpkin pie stubbornly refused to get done.  True to form, we ate precisely two hours later than I had planned.  And we were thankful.  At least all the food turned out very good.

Our house is set to be finished by the middle of December, so things are getting a little crazy in trying to get ready for the move.  By crazy, I do NOT mean that I’ve actually packed more than a couple of boxes.  That would be way too organized.  Instead, I plan to pack everything in two days’ time in a frantic rush, piling things haphazardly into boxes that will be too heavy to lift.  And yes, I’m okay with that.

On the knitting front, I’m trying to stay focused on Christmas stuff in the limited time I have to actually knit and I have been only partially successful.  Two projects in the works, two more not even started, one is all finished but the seaming – will I be done in time?  Perhaps, as long as I keep my knitting out of the overstuffed moving boxes.

So here’s a little poetic rundown of what’s on (or soon to be on) my needles:

Something pink

And something blue.

Something for my mother, too:

Something orange, and violet,
<--Something not even started yet.

This day we give thanks for all
Our blessings, both the big and small.
Among their number are you, my friends
And this is where my poem ends.

Cheesy, I know, and yet I couldn’t seem to help myself.  Must be the turkey…



Friday, November 8, 2013

I’ve Got The Money vs. Time Blues

It’s Friday and I’ve got a little time before I have to head into work.  I’ve been thinking about how since I’ve gotten this job, even though I really like it, that I’ve had next to no time to work on my blog, knitting design, or even just knitting.  On the odd day that I do have some time, I have to catch up on other things or I’m too pooped to purl.  It makes me sad.  But what are you going to do when you need the money?  You’re gonna work, that’s what.  And dream of when you might not have to put in so many hours. 

The good news is, we’ve nearly accumulated the money we need to have at closing on the house we’re building, and it’s looking beautiful.  We’re scheduled to close mid-December, so we’re almost down to a month.  And every morning when I go to leave the house we’re in now and I have to manually heft up the old, heavy garage door, back my car out of the garage, then get back out of the car and manually put the old, heavy garage door back down, I think to myself, “All this work is SO worth it…only a few more weeks until I have a garage door opener again!”

It’s the little things in life that make me happy.

On the oh-so-slowly-moving knitting front, I am close to releasing my second pattern (“close” being a relative term at this point – closer than 3 months, let’s say – and I’m pretty excited.  Two more test knits and some photos and I’ll be good to go. 

I did manage to finish the Holden Shawlette that started as a pair of socks with the Rowan Fine Art yarn I got in Indianapolis last summer.  I’ll get some better photos of it soon, but here’s a quick shot:

Definitely not a sock

I’m much more pleased with this yarn as a shawl than as socks.  I can’t wait to wear it out.  Speaking of which, I’m wearing a garment that I designed to work this morning and I have to say, I am nervous.  I think it looks great, but what it people think it’s horrendous?  I feel so…vulnerable.  Is this normal??

Have a day filled with loveliness,


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Varied Emotions on Variegated Yarn

I have developed a love/hate relationship with variegated yarn.  When I see it in hank or skein form, wound or not, it thrills my heart.  I marvel at the lovely color combinations.  Visions of lovely knitted goodies from said yarns pass through my mind.  It really is a wonderful emotional experience.

And then I try to knit with the stuff.

On my trip to Indianapolis this past summer, you know I picked up several skeins of wooly loveliness, including a skein of Rowan Fine Art light fingering.  It’s one of those gorgeous variegated yarns with black, grey, and dark browns running through it.  I envisioned a lovely, sophisticated pair of socks. 

  • Take 1:  I cast on a pair of socks and alas, by the time I’d done 10 rows of ribbing, the color pooling was awful. 
  • Take 2:  I cast on again and tried knitting from both ends of the skein (I’ve read about this on some blog or other…or maybe it was on Ravelry) and switching which end I used every other row.  Somehow I managed to create icky pooling in an alarmingly similar pattern. 
  • Take 3:  I tinked back to where I started the second end and tried to switch up the color patch where I began.  I managed to complete the ribbing in this mode, and then realized that although I’d tried to twist the yarns when I switched every two rows, there was a distinct ladder-gap-type thing running up the length of the rows where I switched ends.
  • Take 3.5:  For the sake of the time I had into it, I continued into the main pattern of the sock just for kicks (read:  in complete denial about the ladder/gap), and I produced something akin to clown socks.  Well, with the neutral colors involved, I suppose clown socks for a very depressed clown.  The stripes that resulted were definitely not what I would describe as sophisticated.  

This was a really horrific emotional experience.

There’s your varied emotions right there.

I gave up on the socks and decided to make a shawlette instead.  Thankfully, the yarn makes a much better shawlette than a pair of socks. 

I’m using the pattern Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes and I’m making it for myself.  Unfortunately, I was supposed to have used this yarn for a Christmas gift.  Now I’m short a gift, so back to the drawing board.  I’ve got some other sock yarn, but guess what.  It’s variegated.  Yay.

Also on my trip to Indy, I picked up a sweater quantity of Malabrigo Merino Worsted.  It’s variegated.  Since I seem to be disabled at switching the yarn up every two rows, I’m not sure how this is gonna play out.  I have a sweater picked out, but I’m not hopeful.  Yet, it’s Malabrigo.  Something has to work.

Love it.  Hate it.  But if you offered me a truckload of it, I’d still take it…



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Day Is It?

It’s HUMP DAY!  Okay, that little skit is getting old, but I couldn’t think of a better intro to my post today so…

I want to thank all of you who supported my first pattern release and have encouraged me so much!  I’m sending a whole lot of love your way.

I still have two designs in the wings (waiting for me to finish the pattern writing – if this were as much fun as knitting, they’d be done) and another design started, although I have to say that after I began this last design, I realized part-way in that I hated the yarn I was using.  Well, not hated the yarn, per se, but it’s variegated and while it looked absolutely amazing before knitting, it looks pooled-stripy-weird knitted up, so I will have to wait on some acceptable yarn before I can proceed with this one.  In the meantime, I’ve been working on my Christmas knitting.  I have one gift completed and another nearly done except for blocking and seaming (same principle applies here as to pattern writing – not so much fun).  Due to the mandatory Christmas secrecy, all I can show you of what I currently have in the works is this:

It has been strange, this not knitting 7 sweaters for Christmas this year.  In fact, the night before last I did not knit one stitch all day.  Not one.  I was at that awkward moment when I realized that the variegated yarn referenced above was not going to work, yet I had nothing in my queue that was ready to be cast on.  I was in serious withdrawals by the time last night rolled around, so I cast on another sweater for charity since they are easy to do, I still have plenty of yarn to use for them, and it feeds my knitting habit (plus, it's for a good cause - duh, I almost left that part out). 

On a very exciting note, we did our first walk-through of our house build last night.  Things are progressing very rapidly and it just gets more and more exciting as we see things completed.  Well, until I remember that at one point, we have to move all our stuff.  That thought kind of throws a wet blanket on the fire.  Meh…

Happy Hump Day!



Saturday, October 12, 2013


Finally, another blog post, right?  You all know I’ve been adjusting to working my new job and trying to get in knitting time and tackling Christmas knitting, so the posts have been random but I’m back today and I get to share some exciting (for me) news!  After weeks months of innuendo, I have finally released my first pattern on Ravelry!  And it’s FREE!  Yep, I got my act together this afternoon and I uploaded my first pattern, Stadium Upgrade.  And please, it’s my first design, so be gentle…

I designed this back in the summer but am happy to be able to release it for fall.  The scarf will go to my son as part of his Christmas (no surprise on this gift).  This design was initiated when I saw some lovely skeins of Lost City Knits Twin Canyon Merino/Silk Fingering hanging at the LCK booth at the Magnolia State Fiber Festival.  My son and I are both huge Ohio State Buckeye fans (he actually has a “Buckeye Room” in his house) and the colorway, Whirlwind, screamed “Go Bucks!” to me.  After looking for what seemed like forEVer to find a scarf pattern that wasn’t girlie and wasn’t all “foofie” (my word for fancy-ish) and not finding what I wanted, I decided to design a scarf myself.  I found a lovely Harris tweed stitch pattern (courtesy of Barbara Walker’s Volume 1) and off I went.

It is a simple knit, but the yarn really makes it more than just a wool scarf.  It works just as well on the ladies as it does the men and it can definitely go from the big game to a nice dinner out.  It’s a great accessory for those of you who live in a climate which requires such things.  As I wrote before, I do not, so I shall knit for those who do and will live vicariously through their wearing of wintery goodness.

So…I would greatly appreciate it if you all would take a moment and favorite my pattern on Ravelry and spread the news to your knitty friends about it.  Even if you hate it, please pretend you don’t and help a sister out, okay?  I promise, I’ll return the favor.  Really, I will.

A very special thanks to my sister-in-law, Angie Owens of Angela Owens Photography (here or here or here), who took these lovely pictures and to her son, my nephew Brevin, who I’m sure was not in the least thrilled to be a model for the scarf but graciously did so anyway and also to the other gorgeous model, Miranda Monk who really should get paid for being so beautiful, even when she’s not in front of a camera.  You are all awesome and I owe you one (or more) in favors, money, and/or wooly hand-knits.

*happy dance*



Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn (but not really)

So today is the first full day of autumn.  I have always loved the fall.  When we lived in Ohio, it meant fall festivals, the first chili of the season, and really lovely fall colors on the trees:

Since we’ve moved to Mississippi, we’ve had to adjust our autumnal expectations.  It is currently 69° F and will get into the high 80’s today.  They serve chili down here any time of the year because it’s almost never “soup weather”, there are festivals but they have nothing to do with fall, and the incredible fall display of the trees here looks like this:

I like green and all, but…

We moved south to get away from the harsh Ohio winters.  If you’ve never lived through one, you’re probably thinking, “Harsh winters in Ohio?  Yeah, whatever…” but anyone who’s ever lived north of I-70 knows what I’m talking about.  I don’t regret moving; after all, we’re building a home here which is kind of a permanent thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely do not miss shoveling 18 inches of snow every three days and weeks on end of temps under 20° F. There’s just one thing that gives me pause at this time of year.

I wasn’t a knitter when I lived in Ohio.

Never mind the obvious, like it may not have been quite so unbearable during the winters there had I been knitting lots of warm, squishy sweaters and things to insulate me and mine.  Never mind that it is just weird that I didn’t learn to knit until we relocated to a tropical climate.  The big thing is, I have a serious case of sweater envy.  Each fall since I’ve become a knitter, I get these lovely magazines and see all the beautiful warm sweater, scarf, hat, and mitten/glove patterns and I’m…well, jealous of all of you who live in a cooler climate.

How sad is that?

In all fairness, there are a few days each year down here in what the locals call “winter” where a wool sweater and scarf would not come amiss.  However, I nearly suffered heat stroke trying on my recently completed Iced cardi.  The truth is it will be worn more often to insulate me from the overactive a/c down here rather than the cold weather.  This, it turns out, makes me a bit sad.

So for those of you who will endure frigid temps and lots of snow during the coming months, let this thought (along with your scrummy hand-knit woolens) warm your hearts:  you are really living in the heart of knitting heaven, and there are those who envy you greatly.


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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Non-Existent Cables, Poufs, and Bad Ink

This afternoon, The Husband and I have gone back and forth between an eternal marathon of “Call of the Wildman” and “Bad Ink” because it is Sunday afternoon, my beloved New Orleans Saints have already beaten the tar out of the Arizona Cardinals, and there is absolutely nothing on television.  It feels kind of unreal, like that one dentist visit years ago when I was not only numbed up but was also under the influence of nitrous oxide and I was caught in this perpetual drug-induced haze while the song “Mony, Mony” by Billy Idol was being piped into the room.  It seemed to last forever.  To this day, I can’t stand hearing that song. 
Show me the nitrous!!

I’ve been working on Christmas gifts and after many tortured days of browsing Ravelry patterns, I chose a project that I can’t mention due to the whole Christmas-surprise thing, except to say that it had cables.  Now, I’ve done a few cables before, but nothing extensive, and I must admit, I struggled a little to get them done without breaking a needle or a finger.  But hey, that was a while ago and I’m so much more experienced overall, so surely cables would be no big deal, right? 

How they are supposed to look.

First attempt:  stitches were way too tight -  this, a by-product of my previous cable experience where I was told that my tension wasn’t tight enough to close up the hole created by crossing the stitches.  After one row, my fingers were cramped into a semi-paralytic state.  As soon as I could feel my hands again, I ripped it all out.

Second attempt:  after having read some advice on cabling online, I relaxed and just knit.  After looking at the result, I was no longer relaxed and I ripped it all out.

Third attempt:  yeah, this didn’t happen.

So, any advice on cables?  Please?  Help!  I would hate to think that my knitting repertoire will never include beautiful and well-executed cables.  For example, Tanis Lavallee’s I Heart Cardigans pattern is in my queue and I simply must knit it eventually (because I totally heart it) so the cable thing has just GOT to work out for me. 

I managed to find another pattern I liked for the same type of garment to use my beautiful Terra yarn by The Fibre Company, colorway Ash for the Christmas gift.  All I can show you is this:

Love this color!

Something else I’ve been putzing around with is using up some more of my super-bulky Katia Peru yarn that I have in my stash.  I used some for my recent Iced cardi, and it reminded me that I have a ton of the stuff.  What better way to use up super-bulky yarn than to knit a hat?  I’ve been fascinated with berets so I chose an easy-looking basic beret pattern from Ravelry and went to work.  I got the hat done quickly but I have a question.  Why do I have a “pouf” in the back?  I’m thinking berets are supposed to be kinda flat on the top side, no?  Witness:

Who's the old broad??

Is this normal?  Is it the pattern?  Is this something that is flattened out with blocking?  How does one go about blocking a beret?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

 I know, I’m so needy today.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’ve almost finished the “orange sherbet” kids’ sweater.  I’ve had some of you express your appreciation for the color.  Unfortunately, it has not grown on me.  I shall be glad to have done with it.

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Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Ever-Widening Expanse

Do you remember that sweater I was making for myself? The one designed by Carol Feller that was just waiting for me to sew buttons on to be finished? You do? Great. So, the good news is, I finished it today. It looks great. Here's a pic:
Iced by Carol Feller

I don't like the buttons as much now that they're attached as I did when I picked them out, but they'll do. The sweater looks nice. It's warm. It'll be great if it ever cools off enough to wear it down here. There's just one problem. Notice how the picture I shared is of it laid out on the table. There's a reason for that. Apparently, I should have knit the next size up because I can't get the thing to close around the ever-widening expanse that is my midsection. *sigh*

People who know me always "pooh-pooh" my griping about the weight I've gained since moving south. Yes, I've always been skinny. Yes, my ankles and wrists are still ridiculously thin. But folks, let me assure you that even if a person is thin/small/weighs under 125, if they add two inches to their waistline, their clothes will no longer fit. They will, in fact, get a "muffin top" over their so-tight-they-can't-breathe trousers. They will worry that injury will occur when the button from their pants flies like a projectile toward someone they love. And they will be depressed when they knit a sweater for themselves in a size that USED to fit.

I was able to keep my midsection under relative control when I worked out every day. My last workout was only, uh...about a year ago. I keep deluding myself that I'll get back into the habit soon. Yeah... Until then, I finally bit the bullet last night and bought a pair of trousers for work that I will not have to lay on the bed to get fastened. I am elated. But not really.

In the meantime, I will just not fasten my sweater. In fact, I may remove the buttons altogether. Either way, it looks perfect from the back.

*** *** ***

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Up And At 'Em...

Well, at least I’m up.  Not sure about the “at ‘em” part.  It’s just after 4:30 a.m. and I’ve been up for an hour.  On a Saturday.  When I don’t have to be.  Yay…(sound of crickets)

I’ve actually been awake since 3 with a headache, which I still have, but after lying in bed for half an hour trying to ignore it, I decided to get up.  Good news is, since we don’t have the idiot dog anymore, I can actually rise early and not incite a doggie riot.  For this, I am truly grateful.  So I took pills and am swilling coffee.  For this, I am also truly grateful (especially for the coffee).  The Husband and I are supposed to join some friends in New Orleans later today and coffee is probably the only way I’m going to last through possibly 2 or 3 p.m.  After that, I’m not guaranteeing anything.

The new job is going well and I love it, although yesterday was a long and incredibly busy day that really exhausted me.  Last night, all I could manage on the knitting front was to cast on and do just a few rows of ribbing for a sock.  My eyes felt like I’d not blinked the entire day.  It is possible that I didn’t.  I can’t remember.

Last weekend was the Labor Day holiday weekend, so The Husband was off an extra day and I actually had a 4-day weekend because I didn’t work Friday.  My daughter was off too, so we had some fun.  We managed our own little Labor Day barbeque.  The Husband grilled and I made some yummy potato salad and enough baked beans to feed our entire block.  After lunch, Cassie and I played Phase 10.  I never, ever win this game.  Except for Monday:

Granted, it was only by 5 points (the lowest score wins), but hey, it’s still a victory.  Cassie was not thrilled.  Here she is, giving me the stink-eye after I won:

She'll hate that I posted this.
She must have forgiven me though, because later she went out and brought me my first pumpkin spice latte of the season from Starbucks.  Such a good daughter, I almost felt bad about winning.  But not really…

On the knitting front, I have finished the Iced sweater except for the buttons.  Does anyone else have trouble getting finishing touches like buttons done?  The poor thing’s been languishing on the blocking mats, long since dried, with the buttons laid on top of it.  It came out rather nice.  I’d post a picture of it but since it’s still dark out, I’ll have to wait for more appropriate lighting and for motivation to sew on those buttons.

I have been working on a second sweater to donate through World Vision’s Knit for Kids.  The yarn is some acrylic I ordered online for a washable project, but once I received it, I decided I could not handle the color.  Maybe it’s just me, but this is so orangy-peachy and “sherbet-esque.” 

My hope is that some little girl will love the color.

Well, I’m getting sleepy again.  Can you believe it after 2 cups of coffee?  Maybe I’ll try and catch a bit more sleep before The Husband gets up. 

Have a great weekend!

***  ***  ***

Friday, August 30, 2013

Time Stood Still

Okay, time didn’t really stand still, but it felt like it.  I decided before I began my Christmas knitting this year, I’d knit up a quick bulky cardi for myself that I’ve been planning to do since last winter.  I love the pattern:  Iced by Carol Feller.  I’ve done two of them before and given them as gifts.  The sweater is a simple knit and goes very quickly with bulky yarn.  I have had some Katia Peru* in my stash that I got a real deal on at the shop quite a while ago and I had earmarked some in green for my very own Iced. 

Even the sleeves knit up quickly on this thing but then I got to the part where I needed to knit on the collar and front garter-stitch panels.  The panels need to be knit to six inches wide.  I swear, I spent as much time knitting the front panels on this sweater as I did on all the rest of it.  You think, “Garter stitch…piece of cake.  I’ll have this done in no time.”  Maybe it was just the monotony of constant garter stitch that slowed me down, but it took me for-EVER.  I don’t remember the same problem with the two I did for gifting.  Hmmm…

The good news is, I finished the thing, even though I stayed up until midnight last night doing it.  It’s in the sink for a good soak at the moment so I can block it and finish the buttons in the next day or so.  The Katia Peru feels nice, but I did not notice when I bought it that it has some alpaca in it.  I like alpaca, but it sheds.  A lot.  I have several more skeins of this in some neutral colors that I’ll have to ponder what to use it for.  Any ideas? 

I have planned nearly all of my Christmas knitting already, and I’m proud to say that I am able to knit every single gift this year out of my stash.  Since The Husband and I are still packing away funds for our new home, I’m continuing my self-imposed yarn embargo.  Thankfully, my trips to the fiber festival in May and my yarn shop tour in Indianapolis last June have proven to be more than just boondoggles.  And I plan to have a lot less stress this year since I’m only knitting one sweater/top.  I certainly learned last year what ambition on steroids can do to you, and when it comes to Christmas knitting, time definitely does NOT stand still.  Have you started your Christmas knitting?

I feel like I’m finally getting my bearings after having started my job three weeks ago, so I’m sending off some things today to my sister-in-law for her to work her photography magic on.  When I get the photos back, I’ll have lots to share, including three patterns I’ve designed and will release over the next several weeks.  So exciting! 

Thanks for sticking with me through my blogging stutter over the last few weeks.  Now that I’ve got my groove back (if I ever really had a groove – I’m unconvinced), I hope to be posting regularly.


*Since Peru is super-bulky, I adjusted my needle size.

***  ***  ***

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bad, Bad Blogger

Wow, is it really past the middle of August already??  I am sorry I’ve been a very bad and noticeably absent blogger for weeks now.  I’d like to say I have an excuse, and I do.  But it’s not a great one.  Not really.  But I’m hoping you’ll forgive me when I distract you by sharing three fantastic things that have happened over the last few weeks.


Fantastic thing #1:  The Husband and I finally managed to pay off our last credit card.  This is a HUGE deal for us because we’ve had a balance on this beast for the life of our nearly 14 year marriage.  It wasn’t because we kept spending all willy-nilly, either.  I mentioned before (I think) how we had endured three bouts of unemployment due to lay-offs over the first ten years of our marriage.  The Husband is diabetic (Type 1 since childhood) and insulin doesn’t grown on trees, you know.  When ya gotta have it, ya gotta have it.  So we got it.  But that made paying off the credit card challenging.  And yet…TA-DA!  That’s right:  balance = ZERO.  Woot!

Fantastic thing #2:  I finally picked up that job I’d been looking for!  I’m still trying to get back into the habit of being up and together and to work every morning, but I’m gonna love this job which is a gigantic step up from the last one I tried.  I’m sure you remember my traumatic experience with the last job that involved a potential HAZMAT suit and a poisoned rat, right?  Not this job.  In this job I’ll be doing actual office work.  No poisoned rats.  Although…while training in a different department last week, I did find this:

This is Ms. Jackie’s pet rat.  You can see he’s angelic (note the halo) and he has a purpose (holding the clip).  He’s also not hazardous to my health.  I’m grateful.  Oh, and Jackie rocks.  Seriously…

Fantastic thing #3:  WE FOUND A HOUSE!  Well, let me re-phrase.  We found a lot (on a lake, no less), and a plan for a house (that The Husband and I agreed on - miracle), aaaand it’s in our budget.  What?!  You heard me.  Great lot + great house plan + in budget = AWESOME!  In around six months, we should be in a brand new house!  

Our lake

Want to know the best part?  I’ll have a ROOM of my OWN for my yarn stuffs (breaks out in Ren & Stimpy’s “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” song while dancing a wee jig).

Life is good.

***  ***  ***

BONUS:  Fantastic thing #4:  My subscription to Vogue Knitting that I thought had expired, actually hadn’t.  I got the latest VK today.  This definitely qualifies as a fantastic thing.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Heat Wave

Happy August!  I'm sitting in the local Starbucks waiting until it's time to go get my hair cut.  I'm starting to look like a chia pet.  :o)

Since my blogging mojo hasn't really returned yet, I'm forcing myself to spend the next 30 minutes writing, and I have actually made some progress on some stuff.

First, I keep alluding to design work I'm doing.  If I were you, at this point with no proof, I'd stop believing me.  But I really have been busy at it.  I have one project completed and ready to be photographed.  If it hadn't been so bloody hot here lately - heat indexes in the triple digits - I'd have had the pics taken and the pattern released.  Last thing I want to even think about doing in this heat is putting on another layer of anything.  I'm hoping I can find some guts to just do it this weekend.

I have a second larger design project I've been working on for some time, and I'm not ready to share it yet, but I'm getting very close to finalizing the written pattern.  I had no idea how much tweaking and swatching and ripping out were involved in design work.  And then you have to write it all down so’s it makes sense to someone who doesn’t live in your brain.  Because I can only think about math and tech editing for so long at a time, I have been working on some other things I can share with you.

My Endpaper Mitts are coming along nicely now that I've gotten a little better at handling two strands of yarn.  I think these are going to be very cute and they are SO soft in the alpaca.

Remember the now infamous yarn with the colorway I love?  Well, I used it for my first go at the larger design project, which came out okay, but because I realize the colorway is not everyone's cup of tea, I knit the revised version out of something with a bit more appeal to the general knitting public.  But I did have some of the favorite colorway yarn left over.  Two balls, in fact.  So, I decided since it is sock yarn, I'd make a basic ribbed sock from what was left.  Unfortunately, once I'd gotten past the heel turn on the first sock, I became bored with it and thought that maybe I would wear the socks but maybe I wouldn't and hey, maybe I should knit something shawl/scarf-like instead (KADD, anyone?).  After looking through the patterns available online and not seeing anything for free* that struck me, I decided to cast on another Glam Shells Shawl.  I've done this one before in a different sock yarn, and I enjoyed making it immensely, so I took the second ball of what was left and started it.  I have not, however, pulled out the sock that's nearly done.  Now, I'm in a quandary.  Should I continue with the shawl, or with the socks?  What do you think?

Le Sock?  Or...

Le Shawl?

I've also continued to work on the kid’s sweater for charity, inspired by a fellow blogger, Una over at Great Balls of Wool, who seems to have magical ways of knitting vast quantities of knits for charity in record time.  I'm much slower, but am still excited, nonetheless, to be putting my knitting to good use.

What are you working on?

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*I was looking only at free patterns because we are still on a budget, trying to save up our down payment for the house that we haven't found yet and/or can't build yet.  I've even been avoiding my LYS so that I don't spend any money there which is great for my wallet, but not so great for my general welfare and happiness.  *sniff*

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monkey Business

Could someone please come in and take over my every day life so I can find time to blog?  Thanks…

Seriously, I’ve had trouble getting my blogging mojo back ever since I made the trip to Indy in June.  Even when I think about stuff to write, I can’t seem to find either the time or the motivation to do anything about it.  Maybe it’s because I’m kind of at a standstill regarding being able to bring you any news on the previously hinted at design work I’ve been doing (my kingdom for a great local photographer and a model other than me).  It may also be due to the fact that the only thing I seem to be able to finish these days are these:

Prototype I

I’d had this on my list of things to knit for a while now.  The picture isn't actually the best one, it's the first one and I've modified the entire thing since this one.  It took me a while to get the ears looking like I want them.  I'll update the pics for this on my Ravelry project page eventually.  Once I completed one of these, it was so darned cute, I decided to knit several more and try to sell them (working on that down payment for a house*, you know).  I even opened an Etsy shop (which looks incredibly sad right now because I’ve had no time to promote it, dress it up, or put anything else there online to sell).  I figure I will go down to the local Starbucks and sit there with a monkey on my cup, hoping someone will want one – if I ever find the time, that is. 

And where exactly is the time going?  I have no blooming idea.  I’m not producing mass quantities of knitwear, so it’s not that.  I’m not reading vast amounts of books (been working on Catcher in the Rye for like, a year).  My house certainly isn’t anywhere near spotless, so I’ve not been lost in cleaning.  I think I’m in some sort of time warp.  Where is Dr. Who when you need him?

What will I accomplish today?  One blog post.  This one.  Ta-da!

*House?  What house?  We can’t find one.  Well, we found a floor plan we love but have no place to build it.  That fact may not change for a year.  I am officially stressed.  So I’ve decided to live in denial and just keep putting away our down payment as if we actually have a plan.  Works for me…

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I’ve discovered a new psychological disorder:  Knitting Attention Deficit Disorder.  I can’t seem to focus on any one thing long enough to make any progress.  It all started after I finished my Basket Weave Rib socks:

LOVE them!  They came out beautifully and they fit very well.  Plus, working with the Malabrigo Sock was a dream.  When the weather here turns from sauna to tolerable, I’ll be showing these puppies off.

Then, my knitting world all kinda fell apart.  The following all happened last night after 6 pm.

Remember the Endpaper Mitts I started (like, three times) a little while ago?  Well what was this yesterday (plus a few rows of actual colorwork):

Now looks like this:

Backwards?  Yes indeed.  I thought things were going well, but then I got turned around on the color work (again).  I tinked back a row, fixed what I thought was my only mistake, then a row later I realized that wasn’t the only mistake.   A rational person might have simply tinked back again and fixed things.  After all, it’s not like I was working with 200 stitches.  But I am not that rational person lately.  I guess I’ll be having a fourth go at these.  Eventually.  Color work, why do you look so beautiful and yet cause me such grief??  I need a support group. 

To make myself feel better, I cast on another pair of socks.  This time just a basic rib sock in the variegated colorway I’m in love with.  

But after a few rows, I felt something more challenging calling me.  In hindsight, this was a terrible mistake.

Remember that pink alpaca lace I did battle with (and lost) several months ago?  After nursing my battle wounds, I had bravely cast on the Summer Blooms Shawl (all 417 stitches – yes, that’s right – 417) back then and managed to do one row with beads without screwing it up. 

I had only done the one row because I was determined to take my time with it and do it right.  It got pushed to the back burner.

So I get the bright idea to pick it back up last night and managed to screw it up while simply purling across.  Wow.  I’m so “spe-shul”.  Being the mature adult that I am, I quickly stuffed it back into the bag from whence it came and pretended it never happened.  Lace shawl?  What lace shawl?

After briefly considering casting on the Endpaper Mitts again (a thought which I hastily disposed of), I thought, I know what I need.  I need a simple quick project so I can recoup my confidence as a knitter.  I wanted something I could use a regular old circular on, since I’ve been residing in DPN-land for quite a while and although I’ve made friends with them, I don’t want to spend every knitting moment with them.  I’ve had this skein of Cascade Yarns Eco Duo sitting around for a bit that keeps calling me because it is SOOO soft and squishy and I had a simple cowl pattern in my queue, so I started casting on for it, but quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to use a circular after all – I don’t have a 16 inch cable.  I pulled it out and tossed it back into one of the three knitting bags sitting on my loveseat in my living room. 

And then I pouted a while.  I’m not exaggerating.  Ask The Husband.

But I can only pout for so long, so after I couldn’t stand it any longer, I picked up my DPNs and the Eco Duo, cast the cowl on, and spent what was left of the evening working on it.  

Tom's Crossed Cowl

There are cables involved, which I love the look of even though I am not too fond of doing them, but it’s coming out okay so far.  I’ll probably finish it today if I get the chance to work on it any.  Unless my KADD kicks in…

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