Friday, August 28, 2015

My Little Nest

My two oldest and dearest friends both live on the coasts, different coasts.  I live in the middle of the country.  When I was planning my wedding, they were known as BE (Bridesmaid East) and BW (Bridesmaid West).  That makes for cute wedding nicknames, sporadic emails, and infrequent chance to see each other in person. 

So when Melissa (Bridesmaid East) told me she was coming to the heartland a mere 250 miles away from me on business, I started rearranging my schedule. I could drive out Wednesday night after work, spend the day Thursdsy, then drive back Friday. I had to clear my court schedule, and set up someone to care for my little guys in the morning (my sweetie leaves for work at 5am, so grandma to the rescue), make sure all the homework for the week was done by Wednesday, so all the laundry, and a hundred other things, and I was free for 36 child-free hours of girl time. 

I knew Melissa would have work obligations, so I packed solo amusements: knitting, DVD's, a book eyc. After Melissa left for her conference, and I made a little nest. 

As it was, Melissa was done before noon, let the friend time begin. A yummy lunch, a nice walk to the Arch (which at present was sadly a construction zone), while she went for a massage, I gave myself a pedicure, hotel room happy hour with her colleagues, dinner, then a quiet glass of wine before bed. All accompanied by a nonstop flow of talking.  

Today, it is all about the friendship perfection. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Stress Reduction

It has been a rough week. Two high-stress custody battles in two days, getting used to the homework routine, buying a new washing machine, it has all taken a toll. When my car started to bake a new noise, it was almost enough to push me over the edge. 

I was finished with court by 2, and never even made it back to the office. While me sweetie was fixing my car, I wandered around the house for an hour or two, then found the energy to knit. 

I have started working on the new baby blankie. Two panels down, one started, nine more to go. I am making good progress, but I won't be lured  into a false sense of security. 

I got complacent last time, and barely made the deadline. Not this time. 

Today, it is all about the anti-complacency. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

And That's the Way it is Done

Baby shower knitting finished, ends weaved, and wrapped, ready in time to be delivered to the shower today. I cut the edge one row short, because I was concerned about running out of yarn. 

For once, the knitting came together, to my glee and delight. I run low with the border white yarn on the last planned section on the morning of the deadline. Perfect. 

Today, it is all about the plans that stayed together. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Plan.

Ok, so i had a couple lucky breaks today. I had a full day trial today, but apparently there was a head count at the prison for a party in the case, so he there was a bit of a delay before he could appear telephonically. So, for forty five minutes, a pack of lawyers swapped war stories while I listened and wove in the ends on the car seat blankie. 

Then, the trial was finished by lunch. So I had the afternoon free to catch up on paperwork and do some knitting. 

Which led to the plan. I finished weaving in the ends to date on the larger blankie. I will finish tonight. For the next 36 hours, I will weave in as I go. The blankie is currently 36x30. When I run out of time, I will cast off and call it done. 

Today, it is all about how a blankie is as long as the time you have to knit it. 

T Minus 54 Hours

Start the countdown. The baby shower blankie has to be finished and ready for delivery by Saturday morning. This does not bode well.  I only have a few more inches, so the knitting is easy enough. Tying in all the loose ends is not unreasonable. 

Except that I have a full day trial today. So there won't be any moments of knitting at the office today. Tonight is Legion night, so that cuts into the evening knitting time. Friday, the kids are spending the night with Grandma, which on its face sound like prime knitting time, but my sweetie and I had already agreed that we are going to paint part of the kitchen after work on Friday. Then there is the greatest time suck of all: sleep. 

I am totally screwed. 

I have a back up plan: take the gift to the shower, then mail the blankies when they are finished, hopefully before the baby is born. The due date is the first week of September, so that buys me a few weeks. 

And while I am at it, I really need to get started on the second baby set. That due date is in 4 1/2 months. 

Today, it is all about the impatience of babies. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

One Step Away From Using Algebra

The Pink Lemonade baby blanket is almost finished, and too big to be very portable. 

I could start the next baby blankie, but I need the same needles as the other blankie. Yes, I probably do have another needle in the yarn cabinet, but the stair master is in front of it, and I would have to move it to open the cabinet, and . . . If you give me a couple minutes, I am sure I can come up with a few more excuses. 

So, I have started the planning stages of my Smittens: the holding hands mittens requested by my brother. I have measurements of the hands in question, and finished my guage swatch.  I have the numbers ready to cast on, except that I am not sure if I need the emergency stretcher yarn or not. When I found this yarn on clearance, there were five berry and three light gray. My brother's requested mitten is gray, so it is a bummer that the bigger hands are for the smaller number of yarn balls. As insurance, I bought a couple skeins of black yarn to go with the colors, but now I am not sure if I need it or not. 

I think I have done as much as I can, but a fresh start to the day may produce a clearer choice. 

Today, it is all about the algebra almost being used. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Surprisingly Insightful

I only interact with other knitters every other Monday night. On a regular basis, that is. I look forward to Knittervention every time. Not only as two hours of child-free knitting time, but a chance to bounce ideas and input from other knitters.

The other twenty-eight days of the month, I am stuck with my three male muggles. 

Last night, I was asking color advice. I am planning baby blanket set for cousin-in-law #2. I have already bought a pastel rainbow of colors and selected a pattern. The pattern calls for 12 sections, so six colors. I bought pink, yellow, green, blue and lavender. It wasn't until I was home I realized a color was missing: peach. I checked online, and yarn company makes a peach. So I went to the three local yarn stores, and came up empty. I found white a silver gray, but no peach. Online, the single peach skein would cost $6, which is reasonable, plus an additional $6 for shipping, which puts it close to unreasonable. 

So I went to my Council of Male Mufgles. How should I complete my rainbow? Overpriced but correct peach, white or silver?  The two  Muggles that DONT pay the bills advocated for peach.  My husband woke up from where he has fell asleep on the living room flooring enough to say "white". I don't think he put much thought in that. My bad, wrong time of night. 
Today, I swatched the new yarn for the Lovers Mittens. For lack of anyone else, I asked my sweeties opinion about the swatches. He was surprisingly perceptive. He knew which was "tighter", ie knit with the smaller needles. I actually feel like I had a semi-informed opinion on needle size. 

I should have asked him about the rainbow colors again. 

Today, it is all about the man who has actually picked up a few things about knitting, and the woman who loves him. 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Rebel at Heart

I must have a latent rebel spirit. I don't know if it is my American ardor, or my 1/8  Irish ancestry. (Certainly can't credit the 3/8 French Canadian.) Rules get set, and I just help but break them. Even if I set the rules, I break my own rules. 

A couple days ago, I wrote about the great big ol' list of knitting that has to be finished in the next five months. Then I promptly started working on . . . something else. 

I don't know why. I just did. I saw a neglected project that only needed a repair and a few more rows. I had cast off  the Circle Charity blankie, then realized that I had screwed up. The edges curled unattractively. I knew what I had to do. I had to frog back the cast off, do a few rows of something that wouldn't curl, then cast off again. Not difficult, but the blankie sat there for a good month. I set up a schedule, and feel compelled to deviate from it. 

Hmmm, maybe I can use this in the future. Recognize the neglected project, set a schedule for something else, work on neglected project . . . 

The good news, I have finished those three rows of non-curling seed stitch, and casting off (while watching the first presidential debate). 

I need more wine, if not for the knitting, then for the politicians. 

Today, it is all about the schedule or anti-schedule. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

And Back On

What's worse than casting off hundreds of stitches around the circumference of s baby blankie?

Casting off, then realizing that the edge was unattractively curling, and frogging back those hundreds of stitches back into the needles to correct the glaringly obvious error. Apparently, after 25 years of knitting, I still have not learned that stockinette curls, and requires a border that does not curl by nature. 

There was another questionable lapse in judgement last night. Not my lapse, another regular at Knittervention. Casey had dug into her stash and discovered buried treasure: a lone skein of merino wool gifted from Russia.  She selected her pattern (a slouchy hat) and cast on. A little later, she tesluzed that she had kept casting without counting, long since having passed 72 stitches. 

When I made a joke about checking her guage and measuring her head before ripping out the fifty or so extra stitches. So she did, and realized guage was way off. I looked at the pattern, and realized the problem. The pattern called for Aran weight, and her yarn is more like fingering, sport at best. No problem, just add a few repeats to the lace, and recalculate. 

This was a recipe for disaster. Casey was asking me to do math! After a cider!  I think we got it right, but I still have this sinking feeling there was a time bomb ticking away in our numbers that will bite Casey in the bum later when I am not around. 

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

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Setting Up The Schedule

I have been reviewing the projects for the next four months:

Baby blanket set#1; deadline: September 5th. (Though, you really can't count on babies to mind the calendar. )

Two sets of fingerless mitts for teacher Christmas gifts; deadline: mid-December when school lets out.

Baby blanket set #2; deadline: December 28th.

Optional: Lovers mittens; deadline: none, other than I told my brother that I would, and it is the first time that he has ever requested knitting from me.

Is it just me, or is that a lot of knitting?

Today, it is all about the long list.