Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Nothing Much

Nothing much to talk about here. I'm working the heel on my current travel socks. I know I say this all the time, but it's true. No matter how many times I've turned a heel on a sock it's still magical to me. It just never gets old. Otherwise I'm avoiding my MS3. I did a little work on it on Saturday and ended up out of synch. Argh! I've tinked one row back and am going to try and sort it out, but I may have to tink another two rows. Argh again! But on a positive note I got the latest Yarn Barn of Kansas catalog. Can't wait to order some more yarn. Wait..I have too much yarn. But I need to insulate for the winter, right? Hmmm, this could take more rationalization than I originally thought.

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Bane

I spent the weekend working on my Cotton Cable socks. And I came to a difficult decision. Although I think they look pretty good, the cabling is 1) Too much work 2) Too difficult to execute, 3) Not stretchy enough, and 4) Just a bit too lumpy/bumpy to make comfortable socks. I think the pattern would do well in wool, but the cotton was just too unyielding. I decided that the effort just wasn't worth it for a guy who really wouldn't appreciate it and would possibly not wear them. So I ripped it out and will start again with my generic ribbed sock pattern. Seems like plain vanilla knitting is all my life can handle at the moment. Ah well, I'm sure the pendulum will swing the other way another time.

In other news, the Sons have both gone back to school. Older Son is a freshman at Pitt, and Younger Son is beginning 8th grade. (Does anyone else take pictures on the first day of school?) I had to take a picture of YS, it's required for his Science Fair project. That's right, the Science Fair. Bane of my existence. You would think, with two scientists (I'm chemistry and Dave is physics) in the family as well as a good mix of engineers and computer professionals we'd have it made for the Science Fair. Ha! The Sons have it in for me. And the school too. YS has the same evil science teacher OS had. And what do they need a picture of the boy for anyways? Sounds suspicious to me. I can't believe we have to do another Science Fair. This may turn my hair completely white. I should count my blessings, though, OS had to do two Science Fairs in three years. I'd hold out the hope that I've learned my lessons from those experiences, but there's no chance of that. Not only am I apparently a slow learner, but the boys are smart enough to think of NEW! and IMPROVED! ways to make my life miserable. I'm afraid it's going to be a rough year.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

In the Pink

Still not alot of knitting going on currently chez G. Therefore I will entertain you with pictures of more birthday gifts.
The pictures are of the yarn Celtic Queen got me for my birthday. She ransomed the Younger Celting with them this past weekend. The top is Socks That Rock Silkie in the "Walking on the Wild Tide" colorway. I admired it when CQ got it in her Sock Club so she gifted me with it! And also from Blue Moon is the lace weight in the yummy neutrals I love. (Looking at it I'm inspired to make a November shawl. The colors make me think of bare trees in November after all the leaves have fallen.) She was waiting for the lace weight to arrive to give me the gift. She wanted to get the lace weight because she figured I wouldn't make something for the guys out of it. And the Silkie had a bit too much pink for the guys. I have to tell you, growing up I was never a fan of the pink. I was too much of a tomboy (climbing trees, riding bikes, and hiking in the woods) and a bookworm to be really into the pinkness. Too girlie for me. But living in a house with three guys convinced me. Gotta love the pink. GREAT way to keep the guys off my stuff. My toothbrush is pink, my hairbrush is pink, my slippers are pink, my favorite cup is pink. Pink is the color for me. And there can be no feigned cluelessness. "This is yours? I didn't know."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Small Miracles

Hardly any knitting done today. I had a pretty stressful day all the way around. These stitch markers were made by Carly for me for my birthday. And since I got them I've seen two dragonflies!
Anyways, during my bad day today I prayed for some things to work out and you know what? They did. Which got me thinking about small miracles. Answers to little prayers in our everyday lives. Have you ever experienced a small miracle? I believe they happen all the time. When I was much younger, I believed that God didn't really answer prayers, or if he did, it was only in a vague, disconnected kind of way. Miracles were only for big things (if then) and didn't really happen very often (almost never). Belief was a matter of faith, and faith alone. But then I actually read the Bible. And you know what? God rewards faith with...Miracles! And furthermore, God answers prayers. He doesn't always give us everything we ask (I don't give my kids everything they ask for either) but He does it alot. In fact, miracles are the most common way He gets our attention and builds our faith. Always have been. So the next time you hit a snag in your life, try a little prayer. You could be surprised.
This yarn was another gift from Heather. (She has a hat on her blog today knit from some yarn dyed the same day.) I'm up in the air about what to make with this yarn -- I love it and want something I'll use all the time. Socks or fingerless gloves. Maybe both.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Out of Sorts

I have nothing much to say today. I'm feeling very cranky. I don't know if it's stress, the weather (very gray and rainy with lots of thunder and lightening), or something else. No one seems to be updating their blogs, so I'm feeling unconnected and just plain out of sorts. I think I've knitted a total of one round on my travel socks today. I'm struggling with MS3, and starting to feel weighted down by all the stash and projects lined up. I feel like I have to make some kind of progress to justify the amount of time and space taken up by this hobby, and it's just not happening right now. Hopefully I'll get a good night's sleep tonight (not sleeping well -- see stress/weather/whatever above) and be able to sit and do some work tomorrow and I'll feel better. Trying to be positive. In other news, I got some wool sweaters at Goodwill to felt up and make something out of. Maybe a blanket, maybe a bag. I want to make the round of some thrift shops looking for more felting fodder. Any takers? Call me. Oh, and I found out that I already have the Inox needles in 2.25mm. So I'm good to go. Yay me! I even have a needle sizer that differentiates them from my 2.5mm Inox needles (picked it up at Liberty in London). I'll be knitting cotton socks for the rest of my life. Nothing much else new. Older Son starts orientation for college tomorrow, classes for both boys start on Monday. I'm not ready.

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Little of This, A Bit of That...

Not much going on in the knitting front. I'm working on these Cotton Cable Socks which will be for one of the guys (we'll see whose foot they fit around). They're ok, but hard on the hands. I'm using my new Knit Picks sock needles which are a bit of a disappointment -- they are apparently about an inch too short for my big hands, and the needle point just catches me on the edge of my right hand while I'm knitting. I prefer my Inox needles. (Also available in a 2.25 mm size, but in a more comfy 8" length.) I got in only two (2!) rows on MS3 this weekend. I had to take Older Son to Pitt (we saw Steven on the bus. He really does have one big cast thing on his hand. He says it's not as bad as it looks, and I hope so! Best wishes for a speedy recovery.) We spent the day wandering around and getting OS's text books (almost $500 for books!). OS got familiarized with the bus routes and we got his books so I consider the day a success. But walking around wore me out! Saturday evening Dave and I went to dinner and a movie with friends, while the Younger Celting came and spent the night with the guys. (Hopefully they didn't teach him too many bad habits.) Hard to tell if he enjoyed himself. He's more reserved than his brother, but he seemed to enjoy playing Uno with Younger Son. Anyways, Older Son was "in charge", and between the two of us we worried enough for a half dozen people. Younger Celting woke up (briefly) at 5 AM, which woke up Older Son, who woke up me. I checked on YC who was fine (he told me he wasn't cold even though his mom didn't pack him a shirt) and who promptly rolled over and went back to sleep. OS and I however were up for the duration. Then Sunday evening we spent at my dad's celebrating his 86th birthday. Yippee, cake and ice cream! So all in all a busy weekend, but not much time for knitting (just a bit of sock knitting on the bus.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quality Time

After an exhausting day at the office spent holding down my chair, I was too tired to do much of anything (I was too tired to cook dinner, Dave picked up something on the way home. He had to stop and get milk. Again.) I didn't even want to go to knitting at Bloomin Yarns. So I spent some quality time at home with MS3 this evening, and made excellent progress. I'm very pleased with my work so far, the knitting is going much smoother. If I can put in the same amount of time tomorrow evening I should be back to where I was before I ripped. We'll call that a "swatch". If my counter curse is working, Celtic Queen will have to rip back (she's using life lines so it's not that bad) any time now, and will begin to feel a bit of indifference toward her stole. And in other knitting news, still working on plain ribbed socks and I didn't have to use my knitting needles to break into my office today, but I was prepared.

We had thunder storms here last night. Several systems went through. They were spaced just far enough apart for me to barely drift off to sleep before I was woken up by thunder and lightening (again). I'm pretty tired. Spent some quality time with the guys, too. While I was sitting in bed knitting MS3 both boys came in and sat on the bed, too. Older Son to use the laptop, and Younger Son to read (I think because it's coolest in here). Dave walked by on his way out the door to choir practice and asked "Why are you all sitting on the bed?" I said we were just chillin'. He just shook his head and left.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Knitting to the Rescue!

I finished the first of my latest Travelling Socks (nothing fancy, just plain old ribbed socks knit in a cotton/wool blend yarn) on the way into work this morning and then immediately cast on for the second. BUT, when I arrived at work I found my office door was locked! No, I don't have a key. I found my boss and asked her if she was trying to tell me something (she looked kind of panicked and insisted she wasn't). Apparently no one had a key, though, and she said building maintenance wouldn't be in for awhile. One size 1 dpn to the rescue! Once I looked at it I saw it was the kind of lock that just has a hole, not a key. So I whipped out my needle and was able to pop it open. Everyone was impressed with my lock picking skill (it was all those times my sisters locked me out of the bathroom when we were teenagers!) and that I had the perfect implement on hand.

Dave and I went out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory tonight. I'm stuffed, and I only ate half my salad (but most of my cheesecake!). Then we wandered around the bookstore for a bit. I was unable to locate any knitting books, even though this was the store that hosted Yarn Harlot's latest book signing. You'd think they'd have figured out the knitting market. Whatever. I was tempted by the latest issue of Craft magazine, but ended up not buying it. I'm really beginning to develop a burning desire to learn how to sew. Really sew. I think I'm going to have to dig out my old portable machine and get it cleaned and oiled and get me some stuff to experiment with. Goodwill here I come!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Release the Kraken!

I called Celtic Queen this evening to try to get a yarn fix (no go) and in the course of our discussion I mentioned that Ryan, the Handknit Lover had been voted to appear on As the World Turns. I chalked it up to the power of knitters. (The knitting angle was what got me to vote.) And then she mentioned that one of the political candidates should go for the Knitter vote, and I told her Zeeppo had just posted about that. (Apparently we're all on the same wavelength, too.) We think that Knitters are an undervalued voter block and the smart candidate would do well to woo them. (Seriously. Someone should point a political strategist to the whole "Represent" tour. We are Force to be Reckoned With!) But what would the Knitter's Candidate offer? Maybe a revision of the livestock zoning laws so I could get a couple of those cute little babydoll sheep. Fiber arts instruction in public schools. Tax breaks for stashing. Naming a Fiber Laureate. Tax deductions for your finished projects at the end of the year. Hmmm.

I re-started MS3 last night and have knit just over 20 rows. I'm happy with it. The silver lining here is that since I started over I can use my favorite double decrease instead of the one called for, which looks a bit better IMHO. (Slip 2 tog as if to knit, knit 1, pass 2 slipped sts over.) And, the counter curse seems to be working, because when I talked to CQ she was lamenting that she was at soccer practice and had forgotten her beads so couldn't work on hers. Ha, ha! (Oh, and go check out Heather's. Absolutely gorgeous!)

Finally, inspired by Alton Brown Younger Son has made some ice cream. Not just any ice cream, he informs me, but Premium ice cream. It's yummy. (And I consider myself lucky and take it as a sign that he loves me that he was willing to share with me.)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It's a Mystery

A rare weekend post to show you this:

The current state of my MS3. I debated not showing you this, but decided to be truthful. I had a problem with my stitch count, I tinked, still off, I tinked some more, and then more, and I just couldn't seem to get it right. So I ripped. I guess I need to consider a lifeline every 50 rows or so. But the day was not a total waste. I finished the Striped Cotton Socks for Dave. They are seen here before their inaugural trip through the washer and dryer. Dave says they're a little loose, but I'm hoping once they're washed and dried they will turn out just right. Then I started again. This time on some cabled socks (also for Dave -- By the size of that cone, he may end up with enough grey socks to last the rest of his life.)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


With the help of my new knitting aids I've knit 6 more rows on MS3! You can see how much bigger it is. And, as I predicted, my lost row counter showed up this morning. I just looked down while I was getting ready this morning and there it was, laying in the middle of the floor. The elves must have put there. I hope to get more MS3 done tomorrow when I take my dad to see his doctor. (Think good thoughts!) I have to say I'm not loving the knitting of MS3. I want a pattern with a rhythm I can get into for zoned out knitting. This having to follow along on a chart is a bit wearing for me. I wouldn't say it was difficult, it's just more effort than I normally put into my knitting.

Oh, this has been a long week already and it's only Wednesday! I cannot wait until Friday and knitting. I may sneak over to Bloomin Yarns tomorrow after I drop my dad off, if I feel up to it. But then I'll be tempted to buy more yarn. Who am I kidding, I will buy more yarn!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm Serious

I decided it was time to get serious about MS3. (I admit Celtic Queen made me feel guilty). So I took a page from her book and got some supplies. This was supposed to just be a few errands, it wouldn't take long (I had to get milk, too. Younger Son has been drinking approximately a half gallon a day). I was gone for two and a half hours. Couldn't find stuff at the store I was at, then the register went down at another store so I had to wait until someone got it fixed. I had to talk myself out of buying yarn to make Heather socks. It was green (both -- I considered two different socks). But it was cotton, and I know Heather doesn't enjoy knitting with cotton, and I've got too much else on my plate right now (see yesterday's post) to be knitting socks for someone else (especially when I'm unsure of the reception, we'll have to talk.) Maybe Mrs. Claus has a few spare minutes. Anyways, I got my stuff(and the milk) home and in just a few minutes --

I'm good to go. My row is all highlighted, I have a new row counter (I lost the last one when I threw MS3 aside. Now that I've replaced it I've guaranteed I'll find it tomorrow.) and my pattern is all protected. And look! Just flip the page over
and I have the second side of the pattern. I feel so organized. I'll really be able to go like wild! Now I'm exhausted, I think I need to go to bed.

Monday, August 06, 2007

It's Monday

Celtic Queen e-mailed me today and said "I can tell it's Monday because everyone here is getting on my nerves." That about sums up the day. On a happy note, though, I did manage to get caught up on all my Tivo'd shows this weekend. And what knitting did I accomplish while watching 16 hours of Star Trek?
Some Cotton Striped Socks. I'm closing in on the end of sock #2, having gotten off to a bad start which involved me forgetting what I was doing (I could have sworn those were 4 row stripes on the first sock!) requiring that I rip out after knitting past the heel. I sorted myself out, though, and am almost to the toe on these socks (which are for Dave). They are pictured here with their cones of yarn next to my normal TV watching seat (occupied by Dave at the moment -- when I'm watching TV I get the seat on account of my gimpy knees so I can elevate them when I sit). And I could tell it's Monday because I had to scrub the bathroom. I try to give myself a break on the weekends, but it all catches up on Monday. But then, the day's alreay shot, you might as well go for broke and clean the bathroom.

I'm feeling the beginnings of a bad case of Startitis coming on. I want to start a new baby sweater, or two, and maybe some mittens, and more cotton socks (maybe with cables), and then there's the lacey Leafy Heather, and the fingerless mitts, and those sweaters for a couple of small boys, and all that back to school knitting, and maybe a vest for me (with that navy tweed from Paris), and some more socks, and a cardigan for me (maybe the one on the cover of the new IK). See what I mean??? And that's just the tip of the iceburg.

Speaking of new magazines, I still have not received the new VK. I'm in a bit of a pique about it too. I just renewed my subscription at the beginning of the summer (and they cashed my check, too.) Hmmph. I suppose one missed issue in the 15 years or so I've subscribed isn't too bad (although there was the year they doubled my delivery instead of extending my subscription when I sent in an early renewal through the school's fund raiser.) I'll dig out an old issue and try to call them tomorrow.

OK, this is getting old. Is anyone else having problems publishing to their blog? I click "Publish Post" and Blogger says it's published, but when I view my blog it's not there. But when I go to "Edit Posts" at the Blogger Dashboard, there it is. I have to edit and republish and then it shows up. (Maybe. If I'm lucky.)

Friday, August 03, 2007

The Postman Always Rings Twice

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I placed two catalog orders this week as well as shopping at the local yarn stores three times. Both of my orders have been delivered. The first was just some more 8/2 cotton for socks and some fiber reactive dye (I have a ton of cotton/hemp yarn in natural begging for some color). Not really picture worthy. But this stuff.... Oh yeah, Baby! There's the Lost Lake Heather lace weight yarn for the Leafy Heather shawl swatching. The Knit Picks sock needle set. I'm totally excited about using the 2.25mm needles for socks. I'm a real fanatic about tight sock gauge. I can hardly wait to dig into the Selbuvotter book. I'm planning on having it as my bedtime reading all week. Knitting mittens is, after all, my Super Power. Meanwhile, Celtic Queen continues to knit circles around me. I think she's invented some kind of time/space warp. This would explain how she has now caught up to me in age even though she was born nine years after me. CQ and I were both caught in the same traffic jam last night after leaving knitting. We were talking on our cell phones (I called to warn her about the traffic jam so she could go another way but was too late) and waving out our car windows at each other. The car full of teenage girls behind me didn't know what to think of us.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Three Bags Full

I've been yarn shopping three times this week. Alot of it was secret stuff, but I did buy some things here and there just for me. (Spotty Alpaca yarn!) And, I placed two catalog orders over the weekend. I haven't been going out to lunch at the new job. More $$ + $$ Saved = More yarn!!

I went to the knitting group at Bloomin Yarns for the first time tonight. I had a good time. (And bought more yarn! Spotty Alpaca!) Celtic Queen showed up with her Peapod Revisited (which is way more beautiful in real life than the pic). She sold me on it -- I'm going to make one in the same yarn for a friend who just found out she is expecting. IMNSHO, it's just about the perfect gender neutral baby sweater. CQ also showed off her humongus MS3. I'd better check on the Celtings because I'm sure they've been neglected so their mom could knit on her shawl. My own shawl, meanwhile, remains a demure genteel size.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back Again

Back to back blog posts! How can you stand the excitement? Especially since the sum total of my knitting since yesterday has been 5 rounds on this sock. Boggles the mind. I did do a bit of shopping at the yarn store today (What? I had to kill time while I was waiting to hear that Dave had managed to find Older Son in Oakland) but it's Secret Stuff, so I can't show it here. I did manage to talk myself out of spending $160 on Fiesta Yarn's Watermark for a sweater (and that was at 20% off!). It would have made a beautiful sweater, but the yarn is not light weight, and it's definately not next to the skin soft. The decision was made when I thought, this is going to be a heavy sweater I have to wear a turtleneck under. How often would I really wear it? Yeah. Maybe if I lived in Alaska.

OS is now registered for classes this fall at Pitt, he has only to attend Orientation at the end of the month. Dave was to pick him up after his faculty advisor's meeting. Turns out that as OS exited from one side of the building to await Dave, Dave entered on the other side and proceeded up to the advisor's office to wait for OS. So it took them awhile to get it together. Guys. In other news, I've finally turned on the AC in my bedroom. Younger Son and I are lolling on the bed and enjoying the comfortable coolness. YS is even willing to read a book (the condition of his entry to my room) to get in.