Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Just a Bit

Because it's late. I spent a wonderful evening with Heather (who still cannot post with the new "improved" Blogger). We talked and did a nominal amount of knitting. With Heather's support and the use of her ball winder I ripped out my LL sweater (again). There just wasn't enough ribbing at the bottom and it kept flipping up. I'm going to make a seed stich border on it this time. But the good news is the size was good. And if you've gotta rip a sweater out, using a ball winder is the way to go.

Also, Heather, since we talked about it, Blogger tried to get me to upgrade tonight when I logged on. I can sooo see how you got sucked in. There was no "Do you want to upgrade?" Just "Log in, you're upgrading." I was On the Ball, though and just closed the window, which put me here at my regular posting page. Whew! Dodged that bullet!

Tune in tomorrow for more on the LL Sweater and my Secret Project!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty

I wanted to get a quick entry in before Blogger locked me out again. I tried earlier and got a "Servlet not available" message. Right. They just figured out I dissed the "New Blogger" yesterday.

I'm still slogging along on my prototype for my "Secret Project". I may run out of yarn. I have to search the stash for another skein. Hopefully I have one. If not, I may need to finish with a bit of the same yarn but in a different color. I could buy another skein of this (it's Moda Dea "Sassy Stripes" in the color "Lucky") which would be ok in the Knit From Your Stash 2007 rules of conduct, but I don't like it enough to make anything else out of it and don't really want another skein laying around the house (I estimate I'll only need a bit of one skein). So Frankenstein Project it will be.

And my sources tell me the helicopter circling was a result of a drug bust in the area last night. I, however, am fomenting the rumor that they were tracking the elusive Carrick Mountain Lion. (We live right at the border of Carrick.) Actually, I have to credit Dave with this one. That's what he said when he came in last night with Younger Son. I've told several people I thought that's what it was all about, and they ate it right up. So if anyone asks you, you can tell them I told you.

Monday, February 26, 2007


Ok, I have issues with the new Blogger. I have been unsuccessful in leaving comments in two blogs, Heather's and Steven's. So I'm going to post my comments here. Actually, I suspect I may have been overly successful at Steven's blog and left 27 comments, he just deleted them all. If so, my apologies -- It kept saying it wasn't posting!! Honest! First off, my comment to you, Heather was that I haven't seen anyone who upgraded who did not have problems. The same problems you're having. So until I'm dragged, kicking and screaming by my hair...I'm not upgrading.

And Steven, about the moving stitches around on the needles when you're knitting socks. You are absolutely correct, this is a great technique and there's a reason you do it. It is to prevent a line of looser stitches at the needle breaks in your sock. Look carefully at the picture below:
See the very faint line in the center of the foot? (It's more noticeable on the sock on the bottom.) That's where my needle break was. You avoid this by shifting your stitches around on the needles every round. I don't do it because, well, because I'm a slacker (what can I say? The kid comes by it naturally) and also because these are just socks. The stitches should even themselves out after a couple of washes. And if not? Well, they're just socks.
Here's my Secret Project. So far so good, I'm pretty happy with it. If this prototype works out I'm moving on to the good stuff.

On the Local News front, there was what appeared to be a police helicopter circling my neighborhood for about an hour tonight looking for something. Older Son and I stood outside gawking at it for awhile before I realised that a police helicopter would be looking for someone and that it might be a good idea for us to get inside and lock the doors. I turned all the lights on too, so as to look uninviting to fugitives. By the time Dave and Younger Son got home from Boy Scouts the 'copter was pretty much circling over our backyard. It kept circling and looking, moving slowly off. I have no idea what it was all about. Nothing on TV or on any of the local news webpages. Maybe on the morning news.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Da Stash

Celtic Queen e-mailed me today and asked about solid colored sock yarns, so I mentally shopped the stash for her. These are all the wool (well, the Senso is wool/cotton) sock yarns in solids that I knew I could lay my hands on right away. There's lots more patterned/multi yarns. Also more colors, but those are cottons (all the colors in the Fairisle Sampler Socks.) See why I'm Knitting from My Stash? She's not sure about any of these, so I'm going to the yarn shop (Ewe Can Knit) in town tomorrow to check out their selection for her. And in the Good News category, while rooting around in the stash to get these yarns I came across a skein of my main color for the LL sweater that had rolled onto the floor by the stash bins. So I may have enough of it after all.
ETA: That next to the last sentence just says way too much about me. Stash bins? (As in more than one.) And rolled to the floor where I didn't notice it until now??

I see that Others feel the same way I do about knitting, and what it brings to life. And Steven I had already started the second sock, but will keep your suggestion under advisement for the next time I make gloves.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My Lucky Day

It's late and I'm tired, so I apologise for no picture today. I finished my travel sock. I had Younger Son try it on and it fit, so the pair will be for him. My dilemma is, do I cast on tomorrow for sock number two of the pair, or do I use the needles to start my Secret Surprise item. It's a toughie. Too bad I only have one set of size 1 dpns, or I'd have started both tonight. No work on the LL. It just hasn't been the same since the orange juice.

Two bits of excitement today. First off, I got a call at work from the Assistant Principal at the Sons' school. He began the conversation immediately with the statement "No one's in trouble." (He's responsible for discipline at the school.) Turns out Younger son won $50 in the school fund raiser contest. He wanted to ask about getting the money home. Since Younger Son has had trouble in the past getting home from school, and since everyone at the school knew he had A) Just won $50 and B) Dawdled around and walked home alone; I did not opt for the cash to him immediately option. They're cutting a check tomorrow (made out to me.) Second excitement (and a big relief) was the notice that Older Son was accepted to college. Yay! Hope you get some good news too!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Knitting Blessings

I was sitting on the bus today chatting with my friend Janice about my knitting group (Barnes & Noble at South Hills Village, every other Friday @ 7:30, next meeting this Friday Feb. 23) and it occurred to me that alot of good things have come into my life because of knitting. First and foremost, some wonderful people. My good friend Heather, Janice (with whom I was speaking), Steven, Carly, Taylor, Dee, Stacy, Beverly, Holly. All of whom I met through knitting. Also, some great experiences. I met and learned from Kathryn Alexander, got a handwritten card from Meg Swansen, chatted with the Yarn Harlot. And knitting has even helped my career! One evening the Senior VP stopped on her way past my desk and asked for some knitting advice for her daughter who was learning to knit. I obliged, and shortly thereafter I both got a bonus and was promoted. Coincidental? I don't think so. And patience. Knitting has given me patience. I don't mind waiting, I feel productive at all times (of course, this isn't always a good thing. Like when I should be cleaning the bathroom instead of knitting). And finally, knitting gives me a tangible and lasting way to show I care. It's like a hug the recipient can walk away with. They might not always think so, or appreciate it, but I know it. So what has knitting done for You?

It's rainy here. My roof is dripping. Last night the giant icicle that was as big around as a small boy crashed to the ground, waking me up and making Dave (who was downstairs) and I go on a wild goose chase looking for what broke. It took us about 5 minutes to figure it out. It's very warm out, and it smells like my neighbor is grilling steaks. Grilling! Can summer be very far away?

Here's my LL sweater. It's dry and just slightly crunchy from its unfortunate collision with Dave's orange juice. (Did you think it was the boys?) After the incident as I was carrying my knitting upstairs to dry he remarked "Oh, I'm making the blog tonight!" I told him I should get him a tee shirt that says "Yeah, I'm that guy from the blog."

Hey, did you see? Yarn Harlot will be here in Pittsburgh on March 30th! We're the first stop on the Representation tour. We can't let New York outdo us. So let all your knitting buddies know. Celtic Queen and I have been making plans. She wondered if we should let the bookstore know what they were in for. I said no, the publicist would have warned them. If they didn't listen, that's their problem. (But I plan to get there early, just in case.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Wilderness Fare

Here finally is the remainder of my loot from the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. I bought two needle cases, one for dpns and one for circs. Also, a hair stick, just because. At the top is the reworking of the LL sweater. I'm a bit further along, but that project is on hold temporarily due to an unfortunate orange juice accident. (I was not the culprit.) I rinsed immediately and the skein and sweater are now drying in my bedroom. Which frees me up a bit. So I decided to start a Stealth Project. The prototype will be for me. The final design is for someone kinda special. That is, of course, provided it works out. So I was off in search of some dpns. Since I was going through the stash I decided to sort them all out to put in my new case. I have 4 sets of #4 dpns, but only one that all match. Go figure. A couple sets of #3s also. The zipper in the case broke (immediately) so that was a bit of a disappointment. I was able to fix it with some pliers, but still.

In other news, Younger Son is giving a presentation to his class tomorrow on "Wilderness Survival Food". Here are his samples to hand out to his classmates: Mixed greens and blackberries and ground toasted pecans, apples, and honey. Everyone gets a taste in their own little baggies. It's not really "wild" food anyways, I got it at the supermarket. (I told the teacher I would, I didn't want any parents breathing down my neck about what I fed their kids.) But he's got a presentation board with pictures of foods that can be gathered in the woods. Most of which are greens, nuts, berries and fruit.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


All the progress on the LL Sweater of yesterday is gone. I took it off the needle (I had suspicions about its size) and measured. WAAAY too big. (Which is a good thing. I'm willing to reknit a skein of yarn for the knowledge that I'm not quite that big around.) So I ripped and cast on a bit more than 20% fewer stitches and I'm off once again. I'll keep you posted.

We're in the midst of a frigid spell here. I wore my Ugly Fairisle gloves today and I can definately vouch for the stranded warmth of them. If I were making them again I'd opt for an even smaller needle size (probably 0) to tighten up the stitches just a bit. I think a denser fabric would be warmer. But these are plenty warm enough for our weather here (which is not, after all the Arctic although some might disagree.) I also wore my own handknit socks today, which turned up in the laundry yesterday. They were definately an improvement over the wimpy store bought ones I had been wearing. Holly sent me the yarn. I had many fond thoughts of you today, Holly! Thanks again!

To my fellow knitters -- have you seen this site?? What a great idea. I'm so tempted to do this myself. This is all the greatness of Elizabeth Perry's Woolgathering but with knitting!! I wish I'd thought of it. Genius, sheer genius.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

It's That Time of Year, I Guess

Another early dismissal today! And again with the good bus karma. I was standing and waiting and thinking, of the three buses I can take to get me home, this one would get me home quickest. And then one pulled up! A little bit further to walk home (and it was cold) but so worth it.

And the knitting. Completely mindless, it's like a balm to the soul after doing something that requires concentration. All the way home was just one long "Ahhhh" of contentment. And I got to watch two Tivo'd episodes of Star Trek (super great early ones) when I got home while I worked on the LL sweater (this one's for me).
Here's my progress. That's a picture of the sweater I'm working towards, as well as my color choices. (If you're a long time reader you may recognize this combo. They're leftovers from my Olympic Entrelac bag.) No patterning at the waist, though. Let's just say that's not a portion of my anatomy I wish to draw attention to. I'm a little concerned about yardage. I'm going to finish up this skein and measure. I may either need to purchase more yarn (of the main color) or revise my patterning. I'm sure I have enough yarn, there just may not be enough of the main color.

Just a bit more on the bullying. This one is a social bully -- someone who is antagonistic and nasty and counts on others' politeness to get away with meanness. But coincidentally, the blog reference above shows we were having bully problems this same time last year. Weird. Maybe it's something with the weather or magnetic fields or something.

And Patricia - If you know anything about VBA email me your resume. I'm interviewing (with no success).

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Weather or Not

We had Weather here in the 'burgh today. I got an early dismissal from work (Yay!). I thought that the bus ride home would be interminable, but I had good bus karma. I walked out of my building and onto the bus, which (surprisingly) made its way out of town in a very spritely fashion. There was a sticky bit at the bottom of the Slopes where we were delayed for about 10-15 minutes by a jack-knifed tractor trailer, but after that we were golden. The ride was, in fact, just long enough to finish a pair of ugly gloves. I wore them off the bus. I can definitely vouch that stranded knitting is warmer than single layer knitting.
I've since cast on and started my next commuter knitting, a very plain pair of socks in some self patterning yarn. I can't wait to get to some absolutely mindless knitting. Speaking of which, I've also cast on my next big thing, a Lopi-Like (LL) sweater for me. The yoke pattern I picked is a multiple of 6, so I'm doing a 3 X 3 rib to start. I'll knit some more and fine tune my gauge (might have to rip out) tomorrow when I'm in the stockinette.

Other musings, I'm thinking about bullies. I hate them. I try to understand that they're misunderstood, that there's no such thing as a superiority complex, that they're really crying for help. But you know what? I'm just about out of patience. And here's something else -- I've had it up to here with people in authority who push the victims of bullies to "Just stand up to them, they'll back down and leave you alone." This is a cop out, people. Every time I hear it I think, "So, they've gotten to you, too." And hello?? This attitude is what makes little kids get guns because they think that's the only way to stand up to big bullies. My least favorite are the people in charge who admit (admit!!) that they're aware of the problem, but that they won't intervene because the bully needs to learn from the victim(!) that they can't push them around. No, they need to learn from everyone that this behavior is unacceptable. Starting with the person at the top. Sheesh. Ok, someone help me down of this soapbox before I break something....

Monday, February 12, 2007

It's Late

Very late for me, since I get up at 5 AM (to clean!) every morning. Just a quick check in. No photos, even. The Ugly Fairisle glove is almost done, just have to finish off the pointer finger and then do the thumb.

Just wanted to say quickly that I enjoyed the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival. (But I'm not sure if I enjoyed it $15 worth. Most of the vendors were either local or ones I see at MDS&W, so why pay the money?) I did not buy any more yarn, still a member in good standing of Knit From Your Stash 2007. I did purchase two silk needle cases to organize my needles (hopefully a pic tomorrow) which is what I went for, and a hair stick/shawl pin, just because.

I saw Patricia and invited her to our Knitting group for crochet lessons. (You should definately come! It'll be fun!) And Steel City Knitter who I did not say hello to, because although I've seen her once and read her blog, I've never been formally introduced so I don't know her name. I do know the names of her girls (who were both being extremely well-behaved I might add) but to start the conversation there would have just been creepy.

Oy, I've got to get to bed. More tomorrow and pictures!

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Moving right along, I've managed to make some progress on most fronts. I've only taken 1 (one) Aleve today (instead of the 4 I was taking.) Maybe none tomorrow, and my knees are feeling a little better. I'm thinking it may have been some exercises I was doing. I stopped and the pain has been subsiding since. I managed to knit a bit more than 2 rows on the Ugly Fairisle glove today. I'm about to put the thumb gusset on a holder. My car will be out of the shop next Wednesday, my dad says he's doing ok, Older Son brought home the paper he needs signed to further his application process at college, and Younger Son finished his homework (at least as far as we can ascertain.) My company has been bought out(they announced today). I'm uncertain whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. And my boss is buying us all lunch next week (again, not sure good or bad). I made chocolate cake, though.

Still thinking about my next project. Noro? More cables? More Fairisle? Plain, regular blue? Mindless? Complicated? I'm thinking something for me, so that's the Noro or the Lopi-Alike. And some socks. The Boyfriend Socks? Jaywalker? Hmmm. Gotta get the Ugly Fairisle glove done first to clear the needles. Maybe I'll finish this weekend.

Speaking of which, Celtic Queen and I along withHeather(I hope) will be at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival. Also there will be Steven, who is teaching children as well as performing with his 102 foot scarf. If you see us (CQ has red hair, and we'll be the rowdy ones) say Hello. I'm pretty shy in "real" life, but persevere and you can be rowdy too. (Now I'll be walking around all day Saturday saying "I said we'd be rowdy, do something rowdy.")

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Don't Worry Be Happy

Do you worry? I tend to worry a lot. Sometimes justifiably, sometimes not. Today I've decided to list a few things I've been worrying about lately.

Car accidents -- I hit a deer last Friday, so does that make this one justified?

Older Son -- He's showing no concerns about getting into college.

I think I'm addicted to Aleve -- Really. I've looked online and there's nothing written about addictions/dependencies, but I can't live without it. I've tried stopping and I'm in so much pain I can't stand it. Which leads to..

My knees -- the surgery was an unmitigated failure.

My job -- I think I'm going to be fired -- but I've felt that way all along. I'm worried about dozens of things at work, and about the possibility of finding a new job.

Younger Son is still not doing his homework -- I keep telling myself OS was the same at the same age, and he snapped out of it. But then again, see #2 above.

My dad. He's 85, his health isn't great.

Now that I've gotten all of that off my chest I have to say I don't feel any better. I've got to think about something else so I can get some sleep.

In knitting, I'm still plugging away at the Ugly Fairisle Glove. I got 2 (TWO!) whole rounds knit today during my commute (almost 2 hours). I'm hoping the pace picks up a bit as we go along. Still undecided about what's next. I've got some Noro waiting in the wings. I want to make a cardi out of it. Along the lines of the Plain, Regular Blue (Not Really) sweater I made for the Younger Celting's last b-day. I'm planning vertical panels, starting my balls at different spots. (Kinda like Rosedale but smaller panels and more regular.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Cursed Gloves

It's these dang gloves. They're cursed! I procrastinated making the first of the pair before Christmas, now I find myself dragging along knitting up the mate. I'm just not feeling the love. Apparently, fairisle gloves are not really my 'thing'. Or maybe it's black and grey? Who knows. But I will soldier on, albeit slowly. I'm trying to decide on my next project. Also, I finished the Spidey mittens, but they made it out of the house without a picture. I'll try to snap one if I see them in use this weekend. Hopefully the Younger Celting will be happy with warm hands.

Cold! Cold here! But either someone's been messing with the thermostat, or the furnace has gotten its second wind. The house is surprisingly warm. I don't want to see the gas bill next month, though. But being cold burns up lots of calories! I've been training for this cold snap for months! And can I take a moment to sing the praises of wool? I walk to the bus stop in my wool coat, wearing my wool gloves (hand knit) with my big wool scarf (a very long not so wide Clapotis) wrapped around my head and I'm warm! The only fly in the ointment is my feet -- I need some wool socks. Maybe even (once the stash knitting is done) some qiviut ones. Although I do have enough dog hair (from Mulligan, my sister's dog. Does that make him my dog-nephew?) to make a pair of socks in the fiber stash. Dog hair is warmer than wool (I forget exactly how much.) Hmmmmmm.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Just Around the Corner

in just-

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far and wee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and



balloonMan whistles

e.e. cummings

This poem is in honor of the day, and spring being "Just around the corner." I love this poem -- this is the poem I think of every spring. Mud-luscious! What a powerful image! e.e. cummings is my favorite poet. And spring is just around the corner! Phil says so!! My contribution to the Silent Poetry reading.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I'm a Bit Needled

Older Son's Fuzzy Feet are knitted and are waiting to be felted. I will try to do that tomorrow night, so they'll be ready just in time for our frigid sub-zero temps over the weekend. He'll be thrilled (or not). In celebration I have cast on some mittens. I spent 20 minutes this morning searching for a set of size 4 dpns. I found 3 of the necessary 4. About 15 minutes into the search it became apparent to me that the current method of needle storage:

just wasn't doing it for me. So that is my goal at the upcoming Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. Find an appropriate needle storage system. I was a little concerned, because I wanted to support the festival by making purchases, but I couldn't buy yarn (Knit From Your Stash 2007). So now I have something to buy (along with some gifts). Oh yes, I finally settled for a (mismatched) set of size 3s for the mittens.

Maybe he doesn't want to toot his own horn (clack his own needles?) but our own Zeeppo is featured in a recent press release. Also mentioned are The Judy and appearances at The Galleria (last week) and the upcoming Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. Check it out!