Friday, March 30, 2007


I got the call yesterday. My reinforcement thread arrived. Two days. The nice office girl definitely deserves a big "atta girl" for that one. So the Secret Wedding Sock is back in action. 3/4 finished and 22 days to go!

Meanwhile, here are the finished After Bertha Non-Tube Socks. Ok, ok, NEARLY finished, but if all I have left is to Kitchner the final toe, then they should count as a finished object. The leg of the sock seems unusually skinny. I assure you, I don't have bird legs. It is just the ribbing. Really. I swear. (Note to self, take picture wearing the socks. Even I am having trouble with the ribbing argument while looking at the picture.)

Unfortunately, my knitting indecision continues. Just when I think I have decided, I skim the directions and halfway through, I am already thinking about another pattern. I'll decide over the weekend. I have my yarn, needles, and patterns all in the same place. I just need time to fondle the yarn, thumb the patterns, stare at pictures, and flip a coin. In the meantime, I have started a charity sock, specifically for Children in Common, the one that donates wool clothes to orphanages in Russia. Wonderful use for the leftover sock yarn, and two or three yarns knit together makes for speedy progress.

Today, it is all about the thread.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Forgetfulness and Indecision

Yesterday morning, I went rhough my usual routine. Make bed, get dressed, tidy kitchen, check email, write blog, go to the office. . . . Where I realized I FORGOT MY KNITTING! How did this happen? I realize I have a forced break from my Secret Wedding Sock, but that is no reason for a complete mental boycott.

(I know that some probably wonder why I knit at work. I hung out my own shingle last year. I like the flexible hours and independence, but the business is still a trickle in the door. I like to be in the office most of the day, so I can be here when the phone rings, but I don't have enough work to keep me busy all day. Knitting helps fill the time.)

The good news is that I remembered that my stash is mostly in storage at the office; the bad news is that my needles are not. What in blazes swept through my mind when I was moving into my sweetie's house and putting things into storage at the office? Yarn in one place, needles three miles away at another?

Which is not to say that I had NOTHING to knit, just nothing I WANTED to knit. It was a slow, long day.

Last night, I was feeling blah. (Probably from the lack of creative knitting earlier in the day.) I just felt like laying on the sofa reading and knitting mindless circles, so I finished the After Bertha NON Tube Socks. Yea! Finished project.

I have now given myself permission to start another pair of sock. This morning, I poured over my sock stash, and was struck by paralyzing indecision. Nothing sounded good to knit. Treking in a garter rib? Whatever. . . Opal in a basic pattern? I don't know. . . . Something lacey, something textured, something wild, something classic. . . Nothing was tickling my muse.

Today, my work bag contained three balls of new sock yarn with appropriate needles, two leftover sock balls (for sock charity knitting), the lacey Whispers scarf, Jaywalking and Pomotomus socks in progress, Interweave 25 Timless Designs sock pattern book, and my file of sock patterns. I am not taking any chances today. Maybe I left my inspiration in the office too. It must be somewhere. . . Where did I last see it?

Today, it is all about the inspiration.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Commandments of Lace Knitting

Deprived of my Secret wedding sock for the night, and momentarily bored with sock knitting, I picked up a not forgotten but long neglected ball out of my stash. I had fallen in love with this lone ball of Whisper in the clearance bin, and was assured that it would likely be enough for a lacy scarf, my first attempt at lace knitting. Branching Out from Knitty seemed like a reasonable first lace attempt. Challenging, but not insanely so.

I had cast on a while back, but encountered serious problems. After receiving two minutes of free knitting advice from the yarn store's knit doctor, I hadn't been able to bring myself to try again. The yarn is half mohair, and loosely spun, so I knew that frogging would be annoying, and the yarn wouldn't allow too many more mistakes.

Last night, I cast on again. A couple little errors, like a missing stitch on one side, until I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. (I think. Famous last words.) I finished one repeat, and stopped for the night.

However, after an incident or two, I feel the need to identify the Commandments of Lace Knitting, for all the non-knitters out there, my sweetie in particular.

1. If you see me working on this. . . . do not under any circumstances startle me. The needles are slick, the yarn doesn't stick, and if you cause me to drop a stitch I will take it out of your flesh.

2. Do not move the directions on my lace in progress, and especially do not touch the postie note on the chart.

3. The little green piece of paper tells me where I am in the pattern. This is not trash.

4. Be very careful whenever in the vicinity of my lace in progress. (See #1 above regarding the slickness/stickiness issue.) Do not push it aside, remove it from the table or chair, in fact, don't even touch it at all. And I think avoiding spilling Mountain Dew on it goes without saying.

5. Offer words of consolation and comfort if I am forced to recount my stitches and refer to my chart 3 times or more on the same row. A foot massage may be necessary if you see me ripping out stitches.

6. Do not, under any circumstances, remind me that I can buy a scarf for less than $10 at Walmart, or ask why I knit. It is a process, and if I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand.

Please note that violation of any one of these commandments at any time the lace is actively in progress will result in numerous fingerprints all over the chrome you just spent hours polishing. Unusually egregious violations may also involve grease, oil, and water drops on said chrome.

Signed, the knitter you live with and love anyway. . . .
Today, it is all about the lace.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Curses, foiled again!

After taking a 24 hour break on the Secret Wedding Sock, I walked out to the yarn store (another lovely day in Indiana. Something tells me we will pay for this 20 degree above normal weather, one way or another), getting there moments after it opened. To my shock and horror, she was out of the charcoal thread. Black, beige, red, two blues, ivory and a pretty new green graced the wall, but no charcoal. Of course.

Elizabeth called her supplier (God bless her), explained the time constraints and thread needs. Normally it takes them three days to ship items, but the girl explained that she would do the order right then, and walk it down so it would hopefully go out tomorrow. (God bless her too.) Obviously, yarn supplier staff understand knitting emergencies too.

Estimated time of arrival: 3 days. So what am I supposed to knit on in the meantime? I have been so focused on knitting that sock, now I feel like I don't know what to do with myself. . . .

Today, it is all about the waiting.

Monday, March 26, 2007

"Sorry, we're closed"

I had a knitting emergency today. I was streaming right along on the Secret Wedding Sock, when I ran out of reinforment for the heel. (Insert expletive here) I knew that I was running low, but was hoping that I could finish the heel, and would have plenty of time to get more before I needed it again for the toe. No such luck. Fortunately my office is only a few blocks from my Local Yarn Store (how conveniently cool is that?), and it is a beautiful day, so I walked out there . . . only to encounter a closed sign.

Of course. The yarn store is closed on Sundays and Mondays. I knew that. I thought about pressing my nose up against the window, to see if Elizabeth randomly happened to be there, but I didn't think anyone else on the street would understand the existance of a knitting emergency; instead, I would just look stupid.

Ok, so I can pick up more reinforcement thread tomorrow, and in the meantime I will concentrate on starting a lobby to require all yarn stores to have an emergency hotline. While on the bike, of course. The sun is shining, the air is warm, and my sweetie has already texted me about taking the bike out after work.

Today, it is all about the disappointment.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Beauty of the 1/4 inch

Only a knitter can truly understand the beauty of a quarter inch. We detail in great accomplishments that measure in a fraction of an inch. We finish a row, stretch out our work to admire it, and marvel at the beauty of the extra quarter inch that we worked so hard to create.

That is the story I am going with today, at least. Some days, it seems like that is all I can get done on the Sequel Secret Wedding Sock. (Oh, if only I could think of an "S" word for wedding, my life, and alliteration mania, would be complete.) 5 3/4 inches down, too many to want to know to go.

Today, it is all about the quarter inch.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Slogging along

Slog, slog, one needle in front of the other, slog, throw yarn, slog.

I am slogging my way through the second Secret Wedding Sock. 4 3/4 inches down. 32 days to go.

I am slogging my way through the second NOT After Bertha Tube socks, aka my current decoy socks. 2 3/4 inches finished.

I am pseudo-slogging my way through the second Jaywalking sock. (Translation: I haven't touched them in a week. Ever since they were demoted, for a single day, mind you, from the decoy sock, I have ignored them.) Just turned the heel, or just about to, I can't remember, maybe I was in the middle of the heel. . . the sock is about halfway done.

I was started to feel very weird by all of these second socks in progress, with none near completion. Then I realized. When I finished one (or more) of these socks, I can cast on something new. I have wonderful, colorful, soft, delicious sock yarn just waiting, BEGGING, to be cast on and turned into socks. Happy dance with me.

Today, it is all about the second socks.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Stolen hours

My sweetie picked up some overtime and is working all day Saturday. You know that this means. . . . all day (or at least until 2) to work on the Secret Wedding Sock #2. Well, to work on that and do enough around the house that is visible so it doesn't look like I was sitting around on my tooshie all day.

I past the first milestone on sock #2 yesterday. I finished the ribbing for the cuff, and moved onto the body of the sock. Of course, I had forgotten to bring the finished sock with me to the office, so I was going strictly off the tape measure and memory to get the length of the 1 by 1 ribbing correct. I couldn't measure the whole finished sock properly despite four (or more) attempts, but now I was just going to eyeball the start, and magically know that it was correct. Suuuuure. It was. Kill me now.

Second milestone: I finished the yarn that was wrapped around the band. You know how when you try to pull out the center of the ball, you end up with a big glob of string coming out that just gets wrapped around the band for lack of a better place to put it? Well that center blob is gone, and I am now pulling straight from the center. Woo hoo!

Tally for the day. 4 inches finished on the Secret Wedding Sock #2, one batch of Snickerdoodles made, two bathrooms cleaned, 195 Hershey kiss roses bundled into 65 bouquets of 3 (the favor for the wedding), and two Diet Cokes consumed. Not too bad. I still don't think there is much of a chance that I will have the second sock finished in time for the wedding, but with some luck it may resemble a sock.

Today it is all about the deadline.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I hate knitting

There are some days, few and far between, but still present, when I hate knitting. This is one of them. I sat down and had a long talk with the Secret Wedding sock. I explained that when I said "If you loved me or my darling, you would fit" I didn't really mean it and it was just displaced anger and frustration. That I was truly happy with these masculine looking socks, and delighted that they would be part of my wedding present to my darling husband to be. I apologized for calling it a mangled pile of wool, and asked nicely if I could measure it just one more time. 10 3/8 inches. I thanked the socks, and proceeded to figure out the Kitchner stitch, which I have never attempted before, so begged the socks indulgence if it took some time.

After successfully completing the Kitchner stitch, I stood back and admired the beauty of the completely finished sock. Then I measured: 10 3/4.

I want to cry! I hate knitting! I am choosing to believe that maybe his toe was slightly bent when I measured his foot last night (while he innocently dozed on the sofa, and I am almost certain that he believed my story about the spontaneous foot rub when he caught me carefully removing the (hand knit of course) aphgan from his feet). His toes must have been slightly bent. His foot was probably a little arched. I couldn't reach the bottom of the heel. Whatever, but I am sure that the extra half inch won't matter.

$10 says that when I try to duplicate the second sock, I will make it 10 1/4 inches exactly.

I have started the second Secret Wedding Sock, but there isn't much to look at or photograph yet. In the meantime, I worked on my new decoy sock last night. The NON After Bertha tube socks, since this is the one where I forgot to start twisting the rib and didn't notice until inches later.

Today, it is all about the tears.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Is it weird?

1. That I ate my lunch at 11 am yesterday? Breakfast was at 6am. I got hungry. Whatever.

2. That I blame the Secret Wedding Sock for being too long for my sweeties foot? If it loved me, or him, it would have been the correct length no matter what I did to it.

3. That I seem to be the only one in the house that can empty or load a dishwasher, and I dream of teaching the cat to do it?

4. That I blame my needles for not finding their way into my work bag, so that I could safely store the first Secret Wedding Sock until I cry, um, I mean, decide what to do with it, and still start the second Secret Wedding Sock? I am sure the needles just had difficulty escaping the pastic container.

5. That I feel the narcissistic need to write all these uninteresting musings in a public (theoretically speaking) forum? As if inflicting such thoughts on my oldest and dearest friends weren't tragic enough, I have taken on the whole world as my victim, um, I mean audience.

6. That I have placed the first Secret Wedding sock on the two needles minimally necessary to hold the stiches so I can cast on the second one immediately isntead of just waiting until I get home from the office? I am on a knitting deadline. Time is of the essence! I can't afford to waste half a day, even if I don't really have time to knit at the office.

7. That I realized after casting on the second Secret Wedding Sock that while I may be able to cast on a sock with 2 needles, I can't knit with just two, so had to transfer the first sock onto two sides of a circular needle currently in use with my Jaywalking Sock. I use Jaywalking as my "knitting decoy" in case my sweetie wanders too close to wherever I try to secretly knit. I justify this as a knitting emergency, and with the knowledge that even if I want to/need to knit Jaywalking, I am doing the heel, so that half of the sock is not officially in progress at this moment. I am ignoring the fact that my emergency move has rendered the Jalkwalking sock no longer fit for it's decoy duty.

8. That when I noticed my sweetie dozing on the couch, I found myself tiptoeing towards him with a tape measure in hand. When he woke up, had to come with with a good excuse about why I was removing the aphgan from his feet.

9. That I became mad at his feet when they had not mysteriously grown and extra inch since I last measured them.

10. That I worked the first row of the second Secret Wedding sock anyway, only to realize that I had been doing it in the 3 by 1 rib of the body, instead of the 1 by 1 rib of the top.

11. That I realized as I completely ripped out the second sock that this was really a blessing in disguise, since I will indeed have to rip out the toe on the first sock, and I can't do that with it on the temporary needles.

12. That I refused to even look at either Secret Wedding Sock for the rest of the evening.

Today, it is all about the weirdness. . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Playing and Punishment

I played hookie yesterday. I closed up the office after lunch (being the boss, I can do that). It was 70 and sunny in mid-March, and that just doesn't happen very often in Indiana, so I was not going to pass up this opportunity. The open road was calling. I met my sweetie when he was off work, and we took the bike out. His bike, since mine is still experiencing electrical issues that haven't miraculously healed themselves in the past week. (I have decided to not to bother with fixing them until after the wedding. Just one more thing to worry about and pay for, so it can wait until May.) However, this was the first time that I have really ridden as a passenger since I got my own ride. It was an interesting experience.

Now, I knew that there would be a price to pay. I knew that I would have to get to the neglected work on my desk first thing this morning. I didn't know that feeling the sun on my cheeks and the wind in my, er, helmet, would exact knitting retribution. I finished the first Secret Wedding Sock last night. Everything except Kitchner-ing the seam. Except. . . I measured it, and it is an inch longer than my sweetie's foot. I briefly considered trying to put the sock on his foot to verify while he slept, but abadoned this notion as I would probably wake him up. I had already measured his foot, and should trust my measurements, right? Except that I obviously couldn't trust the measurement of the sock that I swear read 8 1/4 inches before I started the toe, and now somehow reads 9 inches. (insert scream of frustration here)

So the plan for the day: attack the files on my desk, put the nearly finished sock on hold on extra needles while I figure out if I am going to rip, start the second sock as planned, and slip something into his dinner ("No, dear, you eat, I will just have a salad tonight") so I can try the sock on him in a futile attempt to not have to rip out four hours of work, then, um, rip out four hours of work.

It was worth it. . . . .

Today it all about the playing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Knitting Judge

The Secret Wedding Sock is almost finished. I am halfway done with the toe, and after that will just need to Kitchner the ends, and one sock will be finished. Of course, I need to glance at short row heel instructions and learn how to Kitchner first. Then I can start the second sock. However, with just over five weeks to go, it is looking less and less likely that I will have the pair finished in time. At least he will have one warm foot. Can't have him getting cold feet before the wedding, right?

I was Judge Pro Tem yesterday, which meant that the usual judge was unavailable so I was sitting in her place. "Stop whining, pay your child excuse, and don't bother me when I am counting." It was a light afternoon, so I was able to work quite a bit on the Secret Wedding Sock, to the amazement and amusement of every lawyer that walked into my courtroom. I am here, I am being paid $5 ah hour, I will knit whenever I am able. Deal with it!

Today, it is all about the toe.

Monday, March 12, 2007

So Many socks . . . .

. . . . and none that I can work on. While being subjected to Nascar yesterday (Didn't we JUST finish Nascar season? I mean honestly, who else has a NINE MONTH SEASON? Is this a sport or a pregnancy? And we won't even mention the fact that they just drive in circles really fast.) I figured that knitting would make the hours not totally wasted. Unfortunately, the gods of knitting conspired against me.

I worked a little on my Jaywalking socks, but then realized that it was time for the heel, and I was nearly out of ivory reinforcing thread. Well, surely this three feet that I have left is enough for the heel. (Maniacal laughter.) Suuuuure. Three rows later, I am out of reinforcing thread. Well, any excuse to go to the yarn store, right? TOo bad they are closed on Sundays.

So I picked up another pair of socks in progress. Measure. Try on. Oh, this one is ready for the heel too. Look at stash of reinforcing thread. Black, charcoal, navy. . . .and the one I need to match this lovely lavender and ivory with blue and yellow accents? Ivory! (Insert expletive here.) The irony is that these were originally supposed to be After Bertha tube socks, but I just kept knitting the rib and didn't notice that I had missed the part where the rib was supposed to start twisting until I was four inches past the point. Well, I wasn't going to rip out four inches just so these could be tube socks. So, now I couldn't work on the heel of socks that weren't supposed to have one to begin with. Oh, the irony.

I couldn't work on the Secret Socks cause they are a surprise wedding present for my sweetie, just in case he gets cold feet before the wedding.

He was around yesterday, after all, why else would I be watching Nascar? Of course, he was mostly watching in the garage, but the living room Tv had to be tuned to the race, just in case something exciting happened when he wandered inside. Also, as I am now an active if relucant and barely interested member of his Nascar club, I now have skin in the game, so to speak.

So I turned to my Pomotomus socks (probably a horrible mispelling of this masterful sock creation from Knitty), but those are a bit too complicated to do with the TV on. I am just learning this whole design-in-socks-things, and am still terrified of making a mistake that I can't correct and having to rip out to the beginning. So I only work on it when I am in the mood for concentration, which is why this wonderful sock is not even half finished, the first sock that is.

So I reach deeper in the basket, and pull out. . . . Huh? I have four socks in progress and can't knit on anything of them? Are you kidding me? I had resolved NOT to start a new sock until at least one pair was finished, but what was I supposed to knit?

In the end, I found a test sock that I started a year ago to practice some new heel/toe techniques and didn't finish because, well, I learned them; and I was able to do a few inches on the Secret Sock while my sweetie left for a bit. Leaving me to entertain his buddy's Nascar loving, foul-tempered girlfirend. Limited knitting, Nascar, unwanted company, I just hit the jackpot yesterday, didn't I?

Time for me to go look like a lawyer.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Sounds of Spring

The snow drifts melting. The birds chirping. The grass growing. The rumble of a Harley engine. The silence of a Honda engine. While I was slaving away in the office yesterday afternoon, my sweetie took his bike for a spin around the block, and tried to start mine. Emphasis on the TRIED TO. Dead battery. Oh, right, we were having electrical issues. Well, since I am not going to be upgrading THIS year (no matter how much I drool over the new Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Low), I guess we will have to get it fixed. Plus a new rear tire that it desperately needs. &^%^#%#

So today, I knit. Current work in progress (one of many) for the day is the Jaywalking socks, knitted in Opal's Petticoat yarn.

I have not been wild at the pastel colors (though that leads to the obvious question why I bought the yarn to begin with), and the zigzig look is cute with the stripes, but not very elastic. I can get the socks on, but it is like trying to squeeze into your skinny jeans. But, I have the second sock halfway finished, and want to free up the needles. Not that I don't have more sock needles, but I have four socks in progress right now, and just can't justify starting another. This was the only pair that was on the second sock. I have a deadly fear of the Second Sock Syndrome, so always start the second sock immediately after finishing the first. So I am knitting on a pair of socks that I am already not wild about, so free up the needles for yarn that is whining from it's plastic container. Such is the life of a knitting addict.

Friday, March 9, 2007

The beginning

March 09

The Beginning
I have decided that I am not busy enough. I started my own law practice last year. I am getting married in six weeks. I daily care for a dog, a cat, and a darling soon-to-be-husband who seems to think that dinner magically bubbles itself in my pots and pans and all I have to do is sprinkle a little pixie dust for clothing to fly from the hamper to end folded on the bed. Between the pesky obligations of home and office, I find time to indulge in my two passions: knitting and riding my motorcycle. (Well, my sweetie is also a passion, but I think that one shall remain private.)

So in the too-early hours of the morning, I decided to start a blog. I can complain, er, I mean write about my (public) passions, and whatever else happens to be on my mind at the time. I usually just email two friends, but now I can share my thoughts with the world, or at least the three people who have nothing better to do at 3 p.m. while their boss's back is turned and stumbled onto my site. Having recently decided I have mastered the art of facilitating communication between the camera and computer, I will be posting pictures at times (ie. when I feel like it and/or remember).

So strap on your helmet, cast on your needles, and hang on!