Monday, December 31, 2007

"Hey, you're knitting!"

Yes, I have managed to start knitting again. A little. Two rows last Thursday, and four rows last night, all on my First Cable fingerless mittens (#2). That doesn't sound like an accomplishment, but believe me, it is. It felt good just to have the needles in my hands, even if only for a few minutes.

I still carry my knitting in my purse, "just in case". It used to be just in case I had to unexpectedly wait somewhere, but now just in case I find some energy.

In happier news, the little one had a first doctor visit, at which I was assured that my exhaustion (and whining, I presume) is perfectly normal, and will get better.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and looks with optomism for the New Year!

Today, it is all about the optomism.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The days of perpetual exhaustion and queasiness continue. I eat three lunches (10, noon and 2), and take two naps (mid-afternoon and early evening), and am in bed before 9. I am lucky if I can stomach a few bites of dinner. I can frequently be found moaning on the sofa, and at rare times, on the bathroom floor. I am starting to envy those women that throw up every morning then go through the rest of the day feeling fine.

And worst of all, my darling husband is started to wonder if I am "slacking". Ok, I realize the laundry is piling up, all flat surfaces are covered with unknown rubble, and we haven't had a decent dinner in two weeks (unless the frozen pizza counts. . .), but I assure you I am NOT slacking. If I were slacking, using the fact that my body is expending an incredible amount of energy to incubate our child as an excuse, I would be doing things I like to do. I would read or knit while I rested on the sofa. I certainly would manage to stay awake during a one-hour TV program.


And no, I haven't knit anything in two weeks. Not a single stitch. Nadda. Zero. Zilch.

So, dear, since you have a three-week holiday shutdown, what do you plan on doing after I leave for work every day?

This tirade has been brought to you by your local pregnant knitting society. Please note that tomorrow, I will be back to normal, or what passes for normal these days. T minus five weeks til the 2nd trimester and counting.

Today, it is all about the venting.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


205 stitches is the paltry amount of knitting that I have done in the past week. Three rows on my Branching Out First Lace attempt, and two rows on my Mother's socks. It isn't even worth posting pictures. I have, on the other hand, spent an inordinate amount of time lounging on the sofa staring at the TV or into open space. I just haven't had the energy for knitting, and that is saying a lot! It is a good thing that I am not knitting any Christmas gifts this year, or I would be up a creek.

Thank you to everyone who offered congratulations on the upcoming attraction in our house, and the source of my exhaustion. (Though I know the little one doesn't mean it.) I am nearly halfway thorugh the first trimester, so that means the downhill track for the queasiness and tiredness. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Tomorrow I have continuing education. A boring topic, but five CLE hours for only $70 is worth it. So maybe I will gather the energy to knit a little then. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Itty Bitty Knitting

The experiment started. A squirt of fluid onto the testing area. A timer, set to two minutes. Twelve seconds later. . . . that is definitely a "plus" sign. It would appear that I will have itty bitty knitting in my future. And in eight months, my husband and I will be welcoming the new addition to our house. I hope the cat isn't too jealous.

What this means is that I am a little queasy ALL THE TIME. Why do they call it morning sickness if it lasts 24/7? I am also tired a lot. I am doing less than before, and yet have less time for knitting and reading. I find that I am just staring at a television screen, instead of happily knitting away. I didn't know this would be cutting into my knitting time/energy! Well, hopefully things will settle in and I will have more energy again. Hey, don't laugh. It might happen!

In the meantime, while my sweetie was hunting last weekend, I was settled under a warm aphgan, watched DVD's of West Wing, and knit lace. Three more repeats on the Branching Out scarf. I feel like I am finally mastering the pattern, and hopefully the concept of lace. I made a couple of minor errors, but was able to identify and correct them quickly. Everyone is going to make mistakes. The real trick is being able to correct the mistakes.

And for anyone who was curious, no deer were harmed in the production of this blog during hunting season. My freezer is empty, and my sweetie disappointed. Next year, darling.

Today, it is all about the positive test.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Respect the lace

Third time turned out to be the charm with Branching Out. Sunday, I successfully completed a pattern repeat. And I took note of how many stitches I should have for each pattern row to make it easier to spot an error. (Why don't lace patterns already have this helpful hint?) So, fresh with my victory, but sufficiently humbed by ending the weekend with exactly the same number of repeats as I started, I knit on it last night. One successful repeat. Yea!

I think I just did not truly resepct the complexity and precision of lace. Yes, I knew that with a chart, I was obviously doing a lot more complex knitting than normal, but apparently I was just not paying close enough attention. All I can say is thank God for lifelines.

I had my first comment yesterday. It was nice to know that someone is actually reading, though it does put more pressure on me. Must be funny. Must post more pictures. Must keep my two readers (I am being optomistic and doubling the number) glued ooey-gooey to their computer screens.

My sweetheart went hunting again last night, and came home empty handed. He was thinking about doing stuff around the house today, but instead will likely be sitting in a tree again. He is counting the number of day left in the season, what with that pesky holiday in the middle, and doesn't want to waste any possible days.

And if my talk about hunting offends anyone, I apologize. I personally would not be able to hunt, because I am squeamish. I would not be able to do the job my mother did (running the heart/lung machine during open-heart surgery) either. When we were caring for Grandma after her surgery, the nurses teased me because whenever they came in the room to check the dressing or, well, do anything, I quickly ran out of the room to fetch grandma more crushed ice or otherwise loiter in the hallway. In defense of hunting, I will only say that I don't see a difference between venison and beef, just because deer are cuter than cows. And in Indiana, they have even raised the bag limit this year because the deer population is unusually high. Obviously, the hunters aren't at risk of creating an endangered species (which would be a horse of a different color altogether.) The only legitimate condemnation of hunting I will accept is from vegetarians, in which case I hope that we can respectfully agree to disagree.

Today, it is all about the respect.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Negative knitting

It is my husband's fault that I didn't post yesterday. Not that I post every day or anything, but yesterday I felt like blogging, and it was his fault that I didn't. He took the camera. Hunting. Why he needed the camera while hunting, I have no idea, but mine is not to question why. I assume that it was in case he needed to document the hunt, which as it turned out was not needed. He spent the day watching squirrels and chipmunks, which I guess can be relaxing in itself.

I spent the day knitting, or at least attempting to knit. I decided since I was solo for the day, I would pick up neglected lace. I started Branching Out, well, a lot of months ago, and haven't touched in since. So I put on a movie, and went to work. I slid right through 8 out of 10 rows of the pattern repeat (half of which are purl entire row), and made the mistake of thinking "Ok, I am actually getting it. This isn't too bad." which should have been my first clue that something would go terribly wrong. Predictably, on row 9, I had two extra stitches at the end. I have reviewed row 9 eight times, and can find no error, so it may be that the error is in rows 1 through 7. Likely the patterned row before, since I had the correct number of stitches for that row, but I can't be exactly sure. Now, I am not working without a net here. I put in a lifeline, but you hope not to actually have to USE the lifeline. Just to make things worse, I noticed a dropped stitched a row or two before the lifeline. I was tempted just to tie a knot with a stray piece of yarn, and hide the ends in the lace, hoping that it would all magically disappear in the blocking. Now, I find that not only do I have to frog back to a lifeline, I have to frog back to the FIRST lifeline. Two whole pattern repeats. I only had three completed! I made a special point to lace knit yesterday (overcoming my odd reluctance to work on this scarf, which probably is based in numbing fear) and now not only do I have to remove everything thing I knit, but I have to undo TWICE as much as I accomplished yesterday. This is some cruel form of negative knitting! No wonder I dislike math.

My knitting time wasn't a complete waste yesterday. I worked on my second Pomotomus at Sock Club yesterday afternoon. I am almost afraid to look at it now, for fear I have to frog all of that too.

I also went through my knitting basket. I bought the basket while visiting my brother in Poland to hold my current WIP's. What I find is that it holds my current neglected and forgotten WIPs. The real ones are in my purse, workbag, on the coffee table, on the ktichen table, etc. (My husband is particularly fond of this.) So, I sorted through the basket, just to remind myself of what was in there. Not that much, actually. So either I am getting better about neglected WIPs, or I am finding better ways to hide them from myself. The search continues.

And since I recently posted my least favorite socks, I thought I would give equal time to my most favorite. (Is that a legitimate phrase? "Most favorite?") Behold, my Trek the Rib socks. Made from "Trekking" in the purple/blue colorway, in a garter rib stitch. I love these socks. I love the way the three plies gradually and randomly change colors as you knit. I love the simple yet classic stitch pattern creates a non-fussy, understated yet textured look. And for once, I was able to properly fit my own foot. I love these socks. I am wearing them now.

Happy Sunday to everyone, excuse me while I go frog lace.

Today, it is all about the negativity.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Next Step

I took my next step into blog-geekdom this week. I learned how to join webrings. Well, successfuly join rings, I should say. I attempted to months ago, but I experienced techinical difficulties, meaning I couldn't figure out how to attach the information to my own blog. Yet, EUREKA, I figured it out. When I finally sat down, it took about 90 seconds. Why did I put it off for so long, anyway?

Next week, we learn links and buttons.

Excuse me, I am going to knit now.

Today, it is all about the tech.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sea of Stripes

I have been hard at work this weekend on the Seafoam Stripes wrap. See? Oh, you don't notice a difference?

No, really. I finished a couple inches. You don't see it? Look again. You can't tell the difference between 36 inches in length and 38 inches in length?

Well, I am sure that it is just not visible in the photograph.

So, instead of arguing (with myself, mostly) about whether or not the two inches in question is visible in photographs, I am going to talk about a past project. Behold, my Fiesta socks. One of the first pairs of socks I ever finished. I am wearing them now, because my feet are cold on this rainy November Sunday, but I have never liked them. First, they were done with a basic stockinette sock pattern. I obviously made the socks waaaay too big, because they have a tendency to sag and slump around my ankles. Ditto for the bottom on my foot. I am also not wild about the pattern. It only took another pair or two for me to arrive at the realization that I don't like busy patterned socks. Nothing wrong with them, just not my cup of tea. I prefer more subtle, understated variations of color on my socks. And preferably those that actually fit my foot. I made the socks, and my foot was attached to the bottom of my ankle for the whole process, so I really have no excuse for not getting the size right.

You have to love blogs. Where else can you publically display your personal failures?

Today, it is all about the failure, er, I mean learning experiences.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cables and Punishment

I have been working on my as yet unnamed cabled fingerless mittens, and have hit a glitch. Maybe it isn't visible in the photograph, but there is a GLARING error about halfway through the motif. I don't mean that I crossed a cable the wrong way, miscounted stitches, or something like that. I mean that the entire row is wrong. It is like I mixed up my knits and purls.
I tried not to get dismayed, since this was a learning piece, never having attempted cabling before. And I learned. I was cocky. I didn't mark the chart with a postie note. I thought that it wasn't that large, I was working in relatively large blocks of time at a sitting, and I could just look at my work and know which row I was on. Perhaps not the best plan, in hindsight. Did I mention the glaring error in the middle of the motif? It is entirely possible that I did the wrong row on the chart.
So, I am left with a dilemna. I am almost finished with this mitten, but there is no way that I can wear it as is. That row would mock me on a daily basis, standing out with neon lights pointing at it, reminding me of my overconfidence. So, I have been trying to decide if I should just rip down to the start of the cables, or finish it and put it (with a mate) in the charity box.
Don't laugh, but I conducted a poll. Five out of five non-knitter couldn't even see the mistake, even when I pointed it out to them, pactically using charts and graphs. I think a knitter would instantly zero in on my glaring error, but apparently it is invisible to the muggles. This mitten is looking like it is charity bound, with the hope that it won't end up on the hands of a knitter who would notice. I can make the real pair after. I have plenty of wool. (Famous last words?)
So the real question is. . . . do I try to make the second charity mitten with the same error?
The learning has been good with this project. I am getting down the whole cabling concept, about 3/4 through the motiof, the concept behind the chart symbols tickled my brain, so I don't have to look at the instruction key with every cable. I feel that after I am finished with the second one, I will be able to say with confidence (coupled with appropriate humility) that I have successfully learned basic cabling.
Today, it is all about the learning.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Swatching doesn't count

I wasn't starting anything new. Honest. I have four socks and one wrap in progress. And that doesn't count the UFO basket that I don't admit to my husband that I have. I was just making a swatch. Swatching doesn't count. Really, I was just. . . . testing the needles. If you don't take them out for a drive once in a while, the tires crack, the battery goes dead, and the oil congeals in the drip pan. Honest!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Resistance is futile

I have been battling knitting ennui recently. I tried to fight it by starting those new cabled fingerless mittens, but became quickly bored by the wrist ribbing. Which didn't stop form me continuing, since I was equally bored with everything else I am working on. At least that was a newer project, instead of the sagging center of everything else. Second Pomotomus sock, Second Mother's Ribbed Sock, Second Pretty Petticoat, and the halfway point of Seafoam Stripes. I am in the middle of everything!

I started thinking that maybe I just needed some instant knit gratification. You know, a thicker than sock yarn project to make me see some speedy results and smile at my quick-moving project. I thought about resurrecting a too-long-neglected sweater that only needs sleeves, but oh no, I started thinking about yarns in my stash, and new ideas (or at least recycling old ones). Must. Resist. Finish current projects.

Then someone at sock club yesterday afternoon mentioned that she had 34 active projects (including two crochets) on the needles these days. So, really, I am far below her, and am probably screwing up the bell curve, right? I should cast on something new just to make her feel better, right? Right???? I brought some yarn home from it storage at the office, just in case. (You know, since I was downtown anyway for Sock club.) We will see what happens with dawn's early light today.

My sweetie finally finished the shed. It still needs inside work, shelves, etc, but we have started moving things inside. I am under the impression that this will somehow create more room in the house for my knitting stuff to return from its exile, but that hasn't happened yet. In fact, I am receiving lectures about not putting a lot of *expletive deleted* in the shed. Why is it that his stuff is shed-worthy, and my stuff is *expletive deleted*? A question to ponder.

Today, it is all about the ennui rehabilitation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

When the going gets boring

. . . the bored start something new. I have been working on the same three knitting projects for, well, it seems about forever, and I am starting to get a little bored with them. I need some instant gratification knitting! So I started this last night. Fingerless mittens. There will be a cool intricate cable on the back of the hand (my first cabling attempt), but for now, I am just ribbing.

I am bored with it already. Sigh.

Friday, October 19, 2007

And I even had time to knit

This was not a good week. It was a cumulative effect. Money tightness, mixed with rental issues, with a dash of work piles, topped with not enough hours in each day, and baked for one hour at 350 degrees. It was even that time of the month, making me more emotional and less able to deal. When I realized I had knit a grand total of two rows in four days (about 200 stitches), I added that to my list of complaints.

But I am feeling much better today. Hormones have stabilized. Paycheck deposited (not a permanent solution, but comfort for the day). Money borrowed to cover rental repairs (also not a permanent solution, but it will get me through until I can sue the little puke that did over $3,000 damages in six short months). A desk day made a gaping hole in the stacks on my desk. And I even had time to knit.

I zipped through a good 15 rows of the Seafoam Stripes wrap at the Legion last night. We probably would have left earlier, but Friday night's band did a few songs after setting up and soundchecking, and we stayed longer to listen. I figured I was about halfway finished. A wrap, of course, is whatever length you want, and I had been thinking along the lines of six foot. You know, long enough to wrap around my back and dangle in front of my arms. I measured this morning. 34 inches complete. Damn, I am good.

And in case I ever start to doubt the existance of a omnipotent, benevolant God, I was the unexpected beneficiary of two free tickets to Purdue football tomorrow. Thank you, God, I needed that. Nice way for my sweetie and I to celebrate six months of wedded bliss. Life is good. For today, at least.

Today, it is all about the good.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Incredible Growing Sock

I don't know how this happens. One night I am measuring the foot, thinking I have another inch to get to the toe decrease. Knit a few rows. Measure. Knit a few rows. Measure. Knit a few rows. Then suddenly, I am an inch over where I needed to decrease. How does this happen? Does the sock grow at night? Do my rows squinch together in my hands, and stretch later? Am I knitting faster than the speed of light? Am I that incapable of reading a measuring tape? Excuse me while I frog back several rows and decrease a toe. Sigh.
Today, it is all about the extra inches.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy foot

One Pomatomus down, one to go. Still loving the pattern (most days). I would love to make another, but there are so many other beautiful sock patterns to knit. This one may have to get in line again.

The Seafoam Stripes wrap is screaming right along. I now have a square that is large enough to cover one arm. Something tells me that I have a long way to go. I don't think that the cool weather will wait for me to finish. Maybe next year.
Today, it is all about the miniscule progress.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Queue Starts Here

In my spare moments, I have been wandering around Ravelry. It is the knit wonderland that I expected. Every click of the mouse displays beautiful pictures, patterns and yarns. It is an ever-flowing font of inspiration.

The only problem is. . . . .it is an ever-flowing font of inspiration. Since I can't quit my job and knit full-time, and the actuarial tables tell me to expect to live another 40 to 50 years, I don't know how I will ever knit everything in my queue.

My fear is that my new husband will divorce me, and I will be too busy counting stitches to notice. Or I might start losing pets (and someday children) in the stash. I have never had such difficulty exercising knitting willpower. I want to cast on a dozen items and knit them all at once. And here I have been so faithfully devoted to my active WIPs.

Today, it is all about the endless queue.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Reveling in Ravelry

Home sweet home. Mom is nearly moved. The goal this weekend was to move everything that couldn't fit into her car and needed the rented truck, or that had to be moved by my husband, aka "the muscle". God bless him. He was such a sport spending four days helping Mom move a mere five months after marrying into the family. .

I am (almost) grateful for the Nascar race and the semi-sober men that have descended upon my home to watch it this afternoon, now that we are home. While they cuss, swear and drink beer, I have been quietly scoping out the new world of Ravelry. Can I just say now that Casey and Jess are geniuses who should go down in the Top 100 Knitting Inventors of all Time? I hope that they are able to turn this into a money-making venture, because they deserve all the success they receive from this idea. What a way to gather knitters from across the globe to share resources!

Ok, I am done reveling, in public, at least. Excuse me while I explore further the wonders of ravelry.

Today, it is all about the exploration.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Murphy's Calendar

Murphy's Law strikes at me again. After two months of patiently (though I use the term loosely) waiting for my Ravelry invite, checking the list daily, keeping a log of the waiting list progress (ok, I am a little embarassed to admit that one, and probably kicks me out of the "patient" category), I am down to #342 on the waiting list. This should be cause for great glee and cartwheels. (If a mid-30's woman can still do them.)

Did I mention that in only a few hours, my husband and I leave to spend a few days moving my mother? That she has excruciatingly slow dial-up (I can show you the Top Ten List of Things to Do While Waiting on Mom's Dial-Up to anyone who says "pretty please")? That her computer is already packed into large boxes? That I will be too busy carrying boxes and supervising movers to get on the Internet anyway?

Is this some cruel form of medieval torture?!?! Give me something just as I am unable to play with it? [Insert stream of incoherant expletives here.]

My only hope is that Jess and Casey are really on the ball and knock out the last few hundred people, like now, and I can enjoy it for a few hours before heading out. Of course, I wouldn't get any of that pesky work thing done, but that is a small price to pay, in my humble opinion. My clients may disagree, but they don't knit.

Today it is all about the frustration.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I admit it. Before, I was managing to check the Ravelry waiting list only once a day or two. Now, I see that they have added over a 1,000 names in the last four days. Only 1,320 names in front of mine. I am checking every hour, sometimes more often. I admit it. I just leave that screen open on my computer, and refresh it whenever I think about it. 20 more names entered just in the last hour. At this rate, I will be ravelring in less than a week. Woo Hoo!

This past weekend had noticeable but non-picturable progress on my current WIP's. The Sea Green wrap is very soft, very coxy looking, and long enough to cover one shoulder. And I think I showed admirable restraint in not impaling my husband with a 14-inch metal size 8 needle when he asked if I was almost finished. I also worked more on the foot of the first Pomotomus while I was sitting between bands at the Indy Irish Fest. I was zipping along so nicely that for a while I wondered if I was going to have to start removing shoes to test the legnth on my foot. The muggles just would not have understood the concept.

Today, it is all about the waiting list.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Knitting is normal. Really.

I noticed this weekend that the non-knitting muggles that I come into contact with on a regular basis no longer raise their eyebrows when I knit around them. At the American Legion, I am asked where my sock is. (I was working on my wrap, but proudly showed the sock in my bag, "just in case." At Nascar Club, a female member oooos and ahhhhs over how soft my mohair is. I hear "I have always wanted to learn that" more and more.

This just goes to show that knitting becomes less unusual the more often the muggles see it in public, even if it is just the same person over and over. They can be converted to accepting us without question, even if they all won't join us. Knitters of the world, unite! We can indeed take over the world!

Meanwhile, I have to decide what knitting to take with me to the Indy Irish fest this weekend. My favorite Irish band from California is deigning to come to the midwest to play. :-) Something mindless and compact. Hmmm, I hate to say it, but as usual, a sock just seems to fit the bill. (Sheepish grin.)

And I am still waiting for my ravelry invite. I am only checking the waiting list once a day, which I understand is quite restrained of me, judging by the comments on their news blog. Just under 3,000 ahead of me in line, which should get knocked out quickly as their new servers finally went online today. Over two months of waiting, I can't wait to join! I see a long queue list in my future, a lot of wasted time, and unfinished work piling up on my desk.

The bike is still untouched in the garage. My sweetie hasn't had a chance to rearrange everything on the handlebars that got whacked out of place with my inadvertant and abrupt connection with the ground. He has been hard at work on the shed, of course. It got the second coat of paint, which makes it photograph exactly like it did after the first, but I understand that is still progress. And he has been purchasing lots of things from Lowes, so I am sure that the shed is poised for more progress.

Today it is all about the conversion.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The good news is. . .

. . . .that I am OK. So is the bike. Mostly. Sunday was the local MDA ride. Beautiful weather, 100 miles of country roads, and shiny chrome as far as I eye could see.

It was a safe ride, except for me. I didn't notice an unmarked hairpin curve until it was too late to slow down enough for it. I overshot the turn, and went down. My sweetie didn't even bother with the kickstand or turning his bike off in his haste to make sure that I was ok, and not pinned underneath the bike. (Nice to know that I really do rank above the Harley. I wouldn't have bet the farm on that one.) I was a bit battered and bruised, mostly ego, but otherwise fine. The bike had a few things out of kilter on the handlebars and a few new scratches, but was otherwise fine.

Last Saturday was more fun and less painful. It was the monthly Sock Club thing. I was working on Pomotomus. Please excuse me while I bang my head against the wall every other row. I have just apparently completely forgotten how to knit this pattern. Still halfway through the foot.

For reasons, I can't explain, attending sock club created an insatiable urge to start something new. Something non-sock. It the fault of this light as air, lacy wrap that I saw hanging in the store. It called out to me. So I swung over to the office, just a few blocks away, (doesn't everyone have their LYS conveniently located so close to the office?) and started digging through my stash. Yes, I store my yarn at the office. We don't have room in the house. Accept this premise and move on.

So I shuffled through the plastic containers, and came up with three possibilities, all thin, fuzzy, mohair-y yarns. Without pausing the think or plan, I cast on. I had a vague notion of what I wanted, but was too impatient to practice or swatch. When I started the plain patterning I had in mind, it didn't look like I thought. Not that I bothered to check the book where I remembered seeing the pattern either.

So I backed up, cast on a smaller piece, and started testing a few variations on my mental theme. I think I have the idea mapped out in my mind, and am currently debating whether to practice to whole thing and eyeball it, or just blunder forward and see how it looks. Sorry, it would appear that she can't be taught.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I shouldn't have gloated yesterday. The knitting gods heard me, and smacked me down. I was playing judge in child support court yesterday afternoon, and getting the strangest assortment of cases. Instead of the usual whiny excuses and promises to pay better in the future if I would not throw them in jail, I had an arrogant, unrepentant man who thought it was perfectly acceptable to go months/years without paying anything, then pay large sums just before court, a lazy slacker who has twice applied and been refused disability (at the ripe old age of 28) but maintains he is unable to work no matter what his doctor says, and a bitter man who doesn't pay support on his older three children but saw no problem in fathering a fourth then claiming that he doesn't dispute the child support worksheet, just can't afford it or he would just have to not eat and die, and if I was going to order him to pay that much in child support then he wanted to see his child (as punishment to the mother for pursuing child support to begin with, I presume) and in fact wanted joint custody. I need a beer!

And the worst part, I couldn't even knit! I had brought Pomotomus with me, fully prepared to knit happily in pattern on the half side, stockinette on the other half, finish the foot, decrease the toe, and model my new wonderful sock. That was the plan. Instead, I realized that I had messed up. . . somewhere, and couldn't sit there in uninterrupted silence long enough to figure it out! Augh!

I am in court myself most of the day, and tonight is our usual Thursday night at the American Legion, so figuring it out today doesn't look promising. Maybe if I just leave it alone for a week to pout (the sock pouting, that is, not me) it will right itself and let me finish it.

Today, it is all about the humility.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Only two?

I realized this morning that I only have two active projects in progress. That isn't to say that I don't have several neglected projects in the basket, but I have only been working on two socks lately. Usually, I have the attention span of a gnat, so switch projects regularly. Only two in progress and one in the queue is kind of a record for me.

There is no way that I will publically admit to the flight of fancy that led to this tangled mess, but the good news is that I carefully untangled and balled it. Then decided that was sufficient yarn to make a swatch . (Ok, so I didn't come up with the swatch idea on my own. It is really more of a making lemonade with lemons kind of thing, but I really was concerned about choosing the right yarn for the right project.) The only roadblock: swatching is boring. Practicing, swatching, whatever you want to call it. Boring, boring, boring.
Actual knitting. Fun, fun, fun. Pomotomus. Well on its way to sock glory. Turned the heel, picked up and decreased the gussets. Just a few more inches of patterned knitting til the toe. Then I start over again, but we won't talk about that now. I am too busy basking in my upcoming glory.

And, of course, the mindless ribbed socks for my mother. Mindless knitting is good sometimes, especially when you are subject to interruptions or after a long day at work. Maybe Mom knew what she was doing by not adding anything complicated to my knitting plate. Also finished the heel on this one, and working on the foot.

And so my sweetie isn't left out, the project of the summer has half a head. For months, Indiana has been staring at the sky and doing rain dances, watching our lawns and crops struggle. When he is ready to shingle the roof. . . . it rains. Ok, our lawn thanks you, but he still needs a couple dry days in a row to finish shingling. Please?
Today, it is all about the feet.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I was MIA from pretty much everything briefly this week. After languishing for weeks on the waiting list, I finally picked up harry Potter #7 from the library. Trying not to be annoyed as I was interrupted by such mundane things as laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, and sleep, I still managed to finish it within a 24 hours period. Really, I was just trying to be considerate to the next person on the waiting list. My sweetie was very understanding and considerate of my single-mindedness.

I even neglected my knitting. Still work on the first Pomotomus sock, just ready to start gussets, which I haven't done in a few years after I learned how to short-row heel. Mom's sock is about ready to start the heel. And I am drooling over possible lace patterns. I found this super thin wool on ebay, about a million yards of it, and I am looking for something to turn it into. I have not decided yet, but I am leaning towards this montrous, intricate shawl. (Whose name eludes me for the moment, and I am in the office so can't check.) When I say that I haven't decided, that really means that I really want to do it and just haven't convinced myself that I am not crazy. Also, I want to make sure that the yarn is right for the pattern, so I am actually SWATCHING. Practicing the pattern, which is surprising not all that complicated, and I want to see how the yarn behanve in washing and blocking. I don't want any surprises. This whole practicing thing is very foreign to me, as usually I just blunder my way forward, too impatient to plan properly. Yes, she can learn.

Today, it is all about the practicing.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Back on track

I finished the toddler sweater. Had some yarn leftover, so I decided to make a hat. Then I was afraid that the hat was too big, so used the final bit of leftover yarn to make a second hat. And gave to the intended toddler the day after her birthday, when we next saw her parents. Everyone ooo'd and ahhh's appropriately, and it appeared that the sweater would be the perfect size for her around the time that it was cold enough to wear it. And I forgot to take a picture. My humble apologies. All permanent record of this adorable sweater set is lost forever. Mea cupla.

I am nearly finished with the gray shawl. Halfway through casting off the few thousand little stitches at the top. A nice stretchy and mindless bind off. I love the way that the yarn drapes and feels. Except. . . . .I screwed up. In my defense the directions mentioned the side border, and head a special section labeled "BORDER", which I thought was the same. Several other triangular shwal patterns I had looked at added the side border at the end, after the body section was complete. So, it was not completely unreasonable for me to think that is what the "border" section was, right? Well, it turned out that the notes for what to add on to the sides were mentioned in the notes of the directions, and the "Border" instructions only covered the top border. That left only one row of little loops instead of three. So I made the adjustment on the top to match the sides, and continued on. EXCEPT. . . . I forgot about the curling nature of stockinette. One row of the border may not be enough to flatten it out. This may block out, but as I have limited experience with blocking (Ok, none), I am not optomistic. The yarn is from Poland, so I have no idea what the content is. Time will tell, I guess, but it makes my first shawl attempt a lukewarm victory.

In other news, I am back on track with the Pomotomus sock. Not only have I worked past the little glitch, but I think I can now recognize an error as it happens and correct as I go. I am really loving this sock, even it it takes a tad more concentration than my previous socks.

My sweetie is out on the bike today. Hooters was hosting a parade of bikes and bikini contest. That sounded like a ride that would be better done with his buddy than with me. I am staying home and knitting. Don't worry dear, I will have dinner ready for you when you are finished gawking at silicon-filled bikinis.

Today it is all about the little victories.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Just a couple more rows . . . .

Am I finished yet? For something like this, it is so hard when to call it done. I suppose I could take the shawl off the needles and onto scrap yarn to try it on more accurately, but that sounds like too much trouble. It isn't like shawl size is especially critical.
What most amazes me is that I am still on the first skein. I was thinking about calling it an end soon, to make sure that I have a little bit more of the yarn left. I have two skeins left of this yarn, and want the extra for swatching. I am thinking a light, lacy tank/shell. . . . I have been doing a lot of thinking/dreaming about new projects. I have been finishing a lot lately, and I feel a case of startitis coming on. Cough, cough.
The shed has been stalled for the last couple weeks. Partly because of money, since we need to save more of it to buy several more supplies, but this isn't as good of an argument as it sounds like. We have plywood, shingles, and tar paper, so he COULD do the roof before more supplies must be purchased. What is a better excuse is that he has been picking up so overtime, which is going to help pay for those new supplies. So he is off the hook.
This morning, I have been a whirlwind. My first appointment isn't until 11 am, so I have been busy at home. Two loads of laundry, boiled chicken breasts to remove the bone, made chicken salad, packed an overnight bag, updated the budget, paid some bills, and tidied up a little. . . all before 9:30 am.
Today, it is all about the whirlwind.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The middle of the middle

I am in the middle of my gray shawl right now. Except, not really. The bummer of a trangular shawl is that even though I am about halfway finished with the desired legnth, because the things gets four stitches wider every other row, I am probalby more like 30% finished with the whole thing. I am sure that there is some math that would give me the actual percentage, but I choose not to be be anal-rentative about the exact numbers. In the picture I also notice that the center line does not look perfectly straight, but I am CERTAIN that is only an error in the photography. Or maybe an optical allusion. Yeah, that's it. A trick of the camera's eye. (Meanwhile, I am drooling over lace weight yarns and complex lacey patterns for my next attempt. Gotta keep your eye on the ball.)

My sweetie is working today, so I did grocery shopping early and spent my morning making homemade soup. Yes, I know this is summertime, but I love this wonderful soup recipe, and who knows the next time he will have Saturday overtime while I have nothing that HAS to be done. Seize the soup. Of course, his kitchen is smaller with less cabinets than my previous one, so my giant stock pots are in storage, and I am forced to make my usual giant pot of soup in two crock pots. So I am doubling the recipe, only to divide it in half between the two pots. Somehow I think I was doing more math that I needed to. Laugh if you want, but I am certain the soup won't taste the same.

What I am not doing today is reading Harry Potter, much as I would like to. I am on the waiting list at the library, and am exercising admirable restraint in not purchasing the book to spent the next 48 hours unmoving on the sofa reading it. I can wait. (Or at least that is what I keep saying to myself.) Somehow, I think I will discover Harry's fate before I get my Raverly invite. Apparently slow on the draw for this (no one ever tells me anything!), there are over 8,000 people on the list ahead of me. At the current rate (so smart of them to have a page to check the list progress) of invites, I should be receiving mine in about, oh, 6 to 12 months, according to my math. See, this is why I hate math.

Today, it is all about the math.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No pictures needed

No need to post new pictures today, as little visible progress would be detected.

The dove gray shawl looks exactly like it did earlier this week, except a little bigger. It is basically about the size of a hood. That is a lot of rows to go. The discouraging part is that each new row takes just a little longer than the one before it. Then there is that pesky work thing that just cuts into my knitting time.

No noticeable progress on the shed either, but that is not relaly my sweetie's fault. It hass been raining off and on the past couple days. Desperately needed for the lawn, but apparently they still haven't invented a power tool that can be safely operated in the rain. I think there is a whole neglected area of power tool invention, new opportunity for rainy day projects, but that isn't my department.

This makes me want to start a new pair of socks just to have something new to write about, but I remain steadfastly devoted to the gray shawl. I am just loving it's drape and feel, and am having blind faith in the powers of blocking, and can't wait to actually wear it on some crisp fall evening.

Today, it is all about the everlasting middle of the project.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Disposible stitch markers

I solved the little glitch with the gray shawl. Apparently, I hadn't slipped the marker, so it was stuck in the row below, and on the needles. No problem, I snipped the marker, fetched a new one, and went on my merry way. I had to do this once more last night. This is why i don't invest in expensive stitch markers. Apparently, I am slipping impaired.

Still, the shawl is progressing nicely. Very soft. Nicely drapey. And almost big enough to reach around my neck. Hmmmm, the shoulders are quite a bit larger than the neck. I obviously have a ways to go. I am barely started in the first skein, so no worries about running out of yarn. In fact, I am already thinking of what else I can make with the yarn.
My sweetie is still progressing along, though I think the progress has slowed. Shhhh, don't tell him I said that. He finished the siding over the weekend, and the roof plywood is halfway up. We are getting closer and closer to the point where the shed can actually be used (even if some trim sort of stuff will still be undone.) Every time we have to trip over or wander around something in garage, we repeat to ourselves that the shed is almost useable.
Today, it is all about the anxious middle.

Sunday, July 8, 2007


With two finally full-functioning bikes in our possession, my sweetie and I went out on the bikes today. Our first group ride for the summer, our first ride together, his first group ride at all, the day was full of firsts. And we have the sunburns to prove it.

Our American Legion Riders was joining two other Legion posts to sponsor children from an orphanage on a trip to a local amusement park. The kids ride their buses for a couple hours to get to us. (We had to ride 45 miniutes to get to them, but something tells me we had more fun.) They eat lunch, cooked by the wonderful ladies of the Legion Auxillary. We sweat profusely trying to corral 50 bikers and 100 kids into a group photo, and handed over the check funding NEXT year's trip. Then the bikes (accompanied by a police escort) lead the buses through town, and into the entrance of the park. Apparently, in past years, the bike escort has been as big of a hit with the kids at the park itself. After doing our civic duty, the bikers return to the Legion for our lunch, then hang out for a while before proceeding on our merry way. Pictures may take a while, since I was using the last disposable camera leftover from the honeymoon. You know, the kind that you have to go to have developed, AFTER the roll is finished. We are barely halfway through.

On the way home, my darling husband and I took the long way home to stop off at his grandfather's house, to say hello, he said. I personally believe that he just wanted to show off our shiny chromed two-wheeled wedding present. Grandpa used to ride himself, in his younger days, and hadn't seen the Harley yet. Between our two families, we both ride, as did our parents, our grandparents, and assorted uncles. . . Our child are doomed to be uttering from their strollers: "Vroom, vroom, potato, potato." (That is the sound of a Harley engine, for the non-bikers out there.)

With swelling pride at the outpouring of charity I witnessed today, it is with heavy heart that I acknowledge Indiana has sought to limit biker charity. Biker frequently do "poker rides" for charity. We choose a worthy cause, whether something large and organized like MDA or small, local and personal, like benefitting the family of a recently fallen fireman. Plan a route, set a date, and hope it doesn't rain. The rides include five stops, when each rider picks a card to form a poker hand. Highest hand at the end of the night wins cash, which is frequently donated in part or in whole back to the charity. It is an enjoyable day to benefit charity, and you have a one in several hundred chance of winning some money. . . .and as of July 1st, the State of Indiana has determined that this is illegal gamlbing and outlawed poken rides. Neglected and abused children cases are doubling every three years, real issues could be considered, and the State chose to prevent charity poker rides. I am so proud. Are there any other forms of cahrity to stomp out? Does everyone in the Indiana legislature think that all bikers are a pack of local "Hells Angels" drug-dealing, hell-raising type of people? Don't they realize that we are good people as normal as any of your neighbors, who happen to ride two wheels instead of four as we try to live our lives, raise our children, salute our flag, and try to make the world just a tiny bit better than when we entered it?

Today, it is all about the pride. . . . and the shame.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Instant Gratification

I have been knitting with microscopicly thin sock yarn for so long, I have forgotten about the instant gratification found in chunky yarn. Just a few days ago, this was little skeins of yarn. Now look at it. Two mere sleeves away from a toddler sweater. And I was chiding myself for starting this a mere couple weeks before a 1st birthday party. Two days of knitting. 4 rows to the inch. Take that, knitting deadline!
And while I was digging around in the stash anyway, I also unearthed a sweater for myself. This one has been in progress for a couple years, I think. All it needs is sleeves, which I have started and ripped out several times. I loved the colors and texture in this yarn, so didn't want any kind of pattern to compete with it. So I just wanted a classic sweater, which I couldn't find. So with the hubris that only an advanced beginning knitter can understand, I took an existing sweater, put it on Lizzie (my dressmaker's dummie), and used it for a model, shaping as I went. All good, until I got to the sleeves, which giddy from my successes I decided to do top down, set-in sleeves, before I even knew how to do short-rows, mind you.
Well, the good news is that I THINK (famous last works) I have finally found the correct formula to pick up and decrease for fitted set-in sleeves. Now I just have to keep decreasing appropriately, and create the twin sleeve, which would require remembering what I did the first time. I am bound to get it right eventually, right?
Socks? Shawl? I don't know what you mean. I don't remember any socks.
Today it is all about the sleeves.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday America!!!

The mid-week celebration of the 4th is somewhat of a bummer. Both of us have to work early tomorrow morning, so staying up late enough for fireworks isn't as easy as it sounds. It doesn't get dark until nearly 10, and then there is the show, and the traffic getting out. . . . 6 am comes pretty early, and my sweetie has to be at work before then. Poor lamb.

I am still stalled on my dove gray shawl and Pomotomus sock. Not that I think the problems are unsolvable. I sure it is just a matter of looking hard at my stitche patterns, count a few times, and make a relatively simple correction. I just haven't sat down to do it yet. I will. I love the Pomotomus sock, and just the other day my sweetie stroked the shawl and commented on how soft it is. (I have a mental picture involving the shawl and. . . . well, the rest doesn't need to be posted for public consumption. We ARE newlyweds. Suffice to say I just came up with new motivation to work on that shawl.)

For now, my solution to these stalled projects. . . is to start something new, of course. I started on the socks for my mother. I was thinking about doing some rear increases up the leg, to custom fit my mom's ankle and calf. Something fancy, but nooooooo. Mom wants plain boring socks with a cuff that can fold down. I tried to convince her of the magic of hand knit socks made to your dimensions, but I am amking what Mom wants. It is a little frustrating that an artist must defer to the purchaser. But I do want Mom to feel comfortable and wear these socks, so I defer. Maybe the next pair.

As a break from itty bitty sock yarn and needles, I also started this: a toddler's sweater. I realized that a friend of ours has a baby turning one at the end of the month. I haven't knit anything for her since she was born. How time sneaks up on you! So I started a sweater, hoping to get it done in time. I had forgotten how quickly size 10 needles moves along. Look at that! Halfway through the body in one night! Still on my first ball of yarn, too. I have 5 (found in the clearance bin), so I will probably have enough to make a second toddler's sweater in the future.

And lest anyone thinks that my sweetie has been slacking. . . The shed is starting to close in on itself. Back siding, and studs on the top triangle near the roof (I am sure that area has some sort of a name), so that can get siding too. He keeps talking about getting the roof plywood "soon", whenever that is.
I just noticed that no one (read: me) has made the bed yet, and I am just itching to fly along more on that little sweater.
Today, it is all about the patriotic birthday.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bad knitting karma

Ever have one of those days when you were just not meant to knit. The planets align, the stars move in the sky, and you somehow miss the message to ignore all forms of knitting for the day. Still basking in my success of two finished pairs of socks this week (INCLUDING the Kitchnered toe, thank you), I decided to work on some too-long neglected projects, only one of which is a sock. During my lunch hour, I knit a bit on the dove gray hint of lace shawl. It isn't that difficult, just the occassional Yarn Over at the ends and the middle, creating a mostly stockinette shawl. How hard can that be, right? Apparently, hard enough for me, because I stopped halfway through the row, after I realized that I knit my lone stitch marker into the shawl, and have no idea where the center yarn overs are supposed to be. No picture, since I left it at the office, knowing I would be too frustrated to work on it last night.

As we were getting ready to leave for the usual Thursday night at the American Legion, I remembered that I hadn't planned on what to knit. So I quickly grabbed Pomotomus. I hadn't worked on this one in quite a while, even though I am really enjoyed the pattern. Had to scrounge for a pen, and my postie note was so longer sticking so I had to improvise a baby's legos to keep track of which line I was on in the chart, but I was making nice progress without too many snags. Knit a few rows. reposition needles. Knit a few rows. Oh, extra stitch. Make correction. Wait a minute, now I have two extra stiches. Make correction. Ok, back on track. Knit a few rows. What the. . . . ? That would be the time when the wheels fell off the wagon. I can't even blame the alcohol, since I only had one beer. I am not sure where I went wrong, since my sweetie though that when I was counting stitches to try to figure things out was a perfect time to start rattling random numbers in my ear. Fortunately (for him), I can't backhand him in public, and simply put my kntiting away for another day.

So all this leads me to wonder, is it safe for me to knit today?

Meanwhile, my sweetie is progressing nicely on the shed. Cool temperatures and low humidity have him vowing to finish making a roof this weekend.

Today, it is all about the karma curiosity.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

I haven't been slacking, really.

Ok, so it has been over a week since I posted. I have just been very busy. See?

Second trekking sock, nearly finished!

Shed, has the beginning of a roof!

MIL socks, finished except for. . . . .Yeah, ok, whatever.

I am starting to feel like I am in a knitting rut, since all I seem to knit these days is socks. I can't help it! Socks of perfect summer and/or portable knitting. No huge aphgan making your knees sweat. (Learned THAT lesson the hard way. My knitting tip #32: always start an aphgan in the summer, so it is short for the hot weather and long for the cold.) No large bag stuffed with yarn, etc. Easy to stop and start when interrupted. Socks are just ideal.

And the best news of all lately. . . . . the Harley is back, and seemingly functioning properly. Just in time for us to go out of town again to help Mom get her house ready to sell.

Today, it is all about the no-longer whining husband.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Nature's sprinkler

We finally got a touch of rain in my corner of Indiana. So now my sweetie can stop fretting about the lawn, and I can stop fretting abut water conservation and our water bill. For a while at least. . . .

My sweetie and his buddy were hard at work on Friday and Saturday on the shed. I felt almost a little bad to see them all sweaty in the steamy heat, while I stood in air-conditioned comfort inside. Not bad enough to go outside, of course. I had my knitting and a list of cleaning to do. (Don't step on the wet kitchen floor!)

Saturday's motorcycle ride was a bit anticimactic. We were excited to take both bikes to Nascar Club (don't ask). I got to the end of our street, and my bike cut out. No reserve tank, should have still had gas, but dry as a bone anyway. Okaaaaay, one would think that the shop would have splashed a little in the tank, or at least tell me that it was driving on fumes, but maybe that is just too much to ask. A few grunts and swear words later, we got my bike back to the house and filled a little from the gas can. The gas station is just down the street and we were off. . . . Except that my sweetie decided to top off his tank, since we were there, and realized that in the 40 miles he had driven since he picked it up from the shop, he had used 3 gallons. Ok, I have a hard time believing that a motorcycle gets the same gas milage as his pickup truck: 15 miles to the gallon. Plus, it was riding rougher and rougher with every mile. So, his bike goes back to the shop today, as obviously SOMETHING is wrong. Some part isn't talking to another part properly, and it is running worse now that it was before the repairs. [Insert string of explatives here in my sweetie's voice.]

On the plus side, I am finished with my MIL socks. Well, except for, you guessed it, the Kitchner toe. I meant to bring it with the to the Father's Day thing, but, of course, I forgot. Well, she doesn't need wool socks in this pseudo-August weather, anyway, right? I was just too focused on bringing my second trekking sock, WITH reinforcment thread, through it turned out to be overly optomistic with that. Just a couple more rows to go til the heel . . . .I said that all aftenroon. Sigh.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Apparently, confession is good for knitting too.

After baring my knitting inadequancies in the vast world of the Internet, the guilt finally got to me. I sat down and Kitchnered three socks. (Sweetie, I am sorry that I snapped at you halfway through the second sock. It is just that you were talking to me when I was concentrating. And I don't blame you that that sock ended up with three extra stitches on one needle. Well, I don't entirely blame you.)

So, there are one COMPLETELY finished pair of charity socks, and one COMPLETELY finished Mother-in-Law sock. I am nearly finished with the second MIL sock. And since I was exercising my guilt muscles anyway, I realized that I had knit my new MIL socks before my own mother. We were going to Mom's for the weekend, so I started picking balls from the stash she might like. Ooo, this one is pretty, maybe this one, Mom loves blue. I brought the whole blessed container. Then, get this, she ended up picking the ball of Opal I first thought of a few weeks ago for her. Doh! Do I know my mom or what?

And in construction news. . . . The shed has three walls. Three socks, three walls. I better get back to work on that MIL sock.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I am almost embarrassed to admit this. I thought this post would be full of my finishes and nearly finishes. I finished a pair of charity socks for Children in Common (except for the final seams), and am nearly finished with the MIL socks (except for the final seams) and am halfway finished with the second Trekking sock (first one finished, you got it, except for the final seam). . . . I couldn't believe it when I realized that I had four, count 'em, FOUR socks, finished except for the Kitchnering, and one more only a short-row toe away.

Kitchner stitch is complex, but not debilitating. What is my problem? I just had a flaskback to the time when on a snowy afternoon I wove in the seams on FIVE pairs of socks, that had been otherwise languishing in my basket. This realization makes me feel every inch the procrastinator that my sweet husband accuses me of being. Particularly since he is going like gangbusters on the shed. Three walls and a floor up. He is hoping to frame the front wall tonight, so he can start hanging the wood siding and provide some rain protection for the floor while he works on the trusses for the roof.

Today, it is all about the guilt.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Are we done yet?

"Is the shed done yet?"

No, but I am working on it."

"Is my mother's sock finished yet?"

"No, but I am working on it."

Unfortunately, Indiana has been plagued with intermittant rain the past several days. Great knitting weather, but apparently you can't use power tools in the rain, so not great construction weather.

Meanwhile, my sweetie was whining last night that his Harley is still in the shop. Apparently, the fact that it was raining all evening and he wouldn't have been able to drive it home anyway was irrelevant.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

One down, one to go

My bike came home from the shop yesterday. New electrical gobblygook, and a new tire. I am choosing to believe that the shop legitimately did forget to put that new tire on, and not that they thought they were dealing with a woman who couldn't tell the difference from a new tire and a slick one. The coupon they let me use was almost worth the extra hour I had to wait while they put the new rear tire on. Then I rode her home. My first ride in an eternity, or last August. It felt good!

My sweetie's is still in the shop. He was hoping to have it home for the weekend too, but alas, it was not meant to be. I kept reminding him it was supposed to rain anyway, but he was unconsolable.

Otherwise, I am still stuck in the sagging center of knitdom. Four socks and one shawl still in active progress. Sigh.

Today, it is all about the vroom!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dark tunnel

Oh, things look dark right now. Grim. Ominous. I am too near the beginning of too many long, dark, seemingly endless tunnels.

This is a shed. Well, it will be a shed. My sweetie and I just brought this very large (and heavy, I assure you) stack of wood home this past weekend. (Thanks again Mom!) My sweetie and I have decided that the two car garage is no longer big enough for two motorcycles, two bicycles, power tools, and yard equipment, so we are building a shed in the back yard. Well, he is, I am helping by fetching, carrying, and feeding any random slaves, er, volunteer helpers, that show up.

This week, however, our garage is plenty big enough. BOTH motorcycles are in the shop right now. Mine was planned, and will be hope hopefully before the weekend. Then while I was driving home from the office, I happened to notice my sweetie, in a parking lot, staring at his bike with a dark expression. Two more phone calls later, the Harley store was picking up the bike. Who knew they did rescue work? So now we have two repair bills instead of one, and I have to figure out how to pay for it all. Mabe we can just give up eating this month.

Even my knitting seems a bit of a mess these days. That indistinct mess is four socks and one shawl in progress. Three out of four socks are the second half, so maybe the knitting tunnel isn't as long as I first perceived. For the moment, I should finish getting ready this morning, grap a random sock, and head to the office. Every tunnel has an end, you just have to take enough steps, even small ones.

Today, it is all about the small steps.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Stuck in the middle

That's right, I am stuck in the middle of Knitdom. I am working on the second trekking sock. I and working on the second MIL sock. I can't say that I am in the middle of it, but I am working on the gray Poland shawl. I am in the middle of everything, and have no good reason to take pictures, show anything off, or discuss anything new.

I am Judge Pro Tem again this afternoon. Great knitting opportunities, though the $25 for the afternoon pay leaves much to be desired. I don't usually work for minimum wage anymore. Really, I just do it as a favor to the judge and for the honor. I could just go broke with all this honor.

Oh, yeah. And my bike? It is being taken to the shop today. So I guess it is at the beginning of being fixed, but half the battle was getting someone to answer the freaking phone so I could schedule the repair, so I am calling that the middle.

Today, it is all about the middle.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Swatch you

Although I admit to the logic and usefulness of swatching, I hardly ever do it. So far, I have mostly knit socks (and I already know what needle size I like to use with basic sock yarn), and sweaters in which I didn't have a pattern and instead just winged it with a needle proper for the yarn I was doing.

For my next project, however, I wanted to do a shawl. Another step in my quest to learn lace knitting. I knew the basic shawl pattern I wanted to do (stockinette with your yarn over inceases of 4 per row) and I knew what yarn I wanted to use (this pretty shimmery dove gray yarn I bought in Poland as few years ago), and of course, guage is not really important to a shawl because you just keep knitting until you run out of yarn or the shawl is the size you want (hopefully the latter and not the former), but. . . . . I didn't know what size needle I wanted. I want the shawl to be soft and drapery, not too tight, but not too gapey, either. Three swatches later, I am still not sure which size needles to use. This is not that difficult a decision, is it? Pick one, and start knitting. I am tempted to go up one more needle size, but, well, I only had three balls of the yarn, so I would have to frog one of the others first. Hmmmm.

In other news, one skirt nearly finished. Only the hem to go! Already sorting through the delicious materials and dazzling patterns to choose my next victim. I have some great linen blends that I bought years ago, and those can be made into something fit for work.

I am playing judge again. Every other time, I have done child support court, but this time it is Juvenile Court. I am dealing with deliquents and children who have been removed from their parents' care. It feels like I have graduated one more tier up the judge ladder. Not that I want to be a judge by any stretch of the imagination, but it is interesting to get another perspective on these cases, since I am usually a lawyer in them.

And of course, in the downtime, I knit. Socks in progress, swatches testing, don't look at me like I am crazy. Haven't you ever seen your judge put down her knitting to begin a hearing before?

Today, it is all about the swatching.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Garage knitting

My sweetie and I had a garage sale this weekend. So while manning our wares, I was busy knitting. I have to admit, I don't think I have ever knit in a garage before. I was working on my second trekking sock, and a new sock I have started for my mother-in-law. Not to be finished by Mother's Day, of course, a "just because" sock. (Though, now it occurrs to me that I have never knitted a sock for my own mother, so maybe I should start one for her as well, so they can at least be in progress at the same time.) Anyway, the MIL sock is in Opal, something I bought years ago. I am a little frustrated that I am only 1/2 stitch in 4 inches off guage, so of course, the pattern only works part of the time. Note to self: never bother buying a complicated jaqcard patterning yarn again.

Not as frustrating as the necessity of selling some of my stash in the garage sale of course. My craft room is now down to more of a craft corner, so some things had to go. I hade a whole table filled with sewing patterns, yarn, cross-stitch leaflets, pillow forms, and so on. I watched in horror as one by one, things disappeared for a fraction of the original cost. I was, however, comforted by the fact that I still have a LOT left, and it now leaves more time and attention for the remaining cream of my stash.

In addition to picking up my cross-stitch again, I have started sewing clothes again. I dug out a skirt in progress, and started working on it again. I had stopped before with the lining, because working a sewing pattern twice is ten times worse than a second sock. So now the lining and the skirt match, and all is left is the waistband and hem. In pawing through my patterns to decide which ones to sell, I found so many lovely ones that I can't wait to make, most of which I already have material that would suit.

In closing, in addition to my own and my in-law, happy mother's day to all the mothers out there. We had joked that it would have been nice to gift our mothers with a grandbaby on the way, but we have only been married three weeks, and we are still practicing.

Today it is all about the mothers.