Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Eve Plans

My Grandmother always said that whatever a person does on Christmas Eve, they will be doing that all the following year.  So she always planned it so that she would not have to do any laundry or cleaning on Christmas Eve.  In the spirit of my Grandmother, I have some fun things planned for tomorrow.  Cards with the kids, movie night, grilling burgers (less cooking for me), that sort of thing.

The knitting related activity is that I am going to go through all of my knitting projects in progress.  it has been so many months focusing on the baby blanket and teacher mitts, I don't even remember what it in the knitting bag anymore.  Some of it has been in storage for a couple months, since the move.

For this week, I have just been working on a random charity sock.  The first was nearly done, and I was able to decrease my toe and cast off last night.  As I live in perpetual fear of the Second Sock Syndrome, I dutifully cast on for the second sock.   Toddler socks are charmingly small, so I am already to the heel.  Then I realize, I didn't remember how to short row a heel anymore.  I admit that I have been rather lace-obsessed in recent years, but I have made nearly a dozen socks in my lifetime.  That is two dozen heels, all but the first four would have been short row.  How have I forgotten something so basic?  I guess I will be looking that up tomorrow too.

Today, it is all about the forgetfulness.

Friday, December 20, 2019

So, now what?

As usual, I significantly overestimated the time I would have to knit while on my trip.  While I did knit on the plane, and intermittently throughout the day, the mitts were the only thing that I knit.  All of the other things stayed in my suitcase the entire time.

Mitt update:  Three pairs of mitts completed, wrapped, and sent with my child this morning.  Well, only two were delivered today.  The mitts for my 4th grader are waiting on the table.  He had a fever yesterday and today, so no school.  if I had known, that, I would have waited on those and worked on other mitts.  I know my oldest was a little disappointed that I was only able to complete mitts for two of his teachers (out of six), but it is a small school, so I can catch those teachers next year, or the year after.  I DID forget to get a picture of the mitts before they left my hands.  (Face slap!  What am I, a rookie?)

This morning, I was packing my bag for work, and I didn't know what knitting to bring.  I have been so focused on the baby blanket and mitts for months, I need to decide what knitting slides up to the front of the queue next.  I grabbed a couple things, but I didn't really have time to put some thought into it.  This weekend, I will really go through the stack of WIP's.  I need to evaluate.  Am I stuck?  What is the barrier?  Can I get past the barrier? Do I still love the project?  Do I just need more knitting time in my life?  Well, I can't do anything about the last one, but the new year is a good time to reassess.  Life is too short and my time too precious to continue knitting on something that I hate just because I started it.

Today, it is all about the WIP diving.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

TSA: DPN's are not weapons

 I have an unexpected plane trip coming up this week.  The details are not important, but I am looking forward to a few days of warmer weather, and all of those knitting opportunities that air travel provides.

Some people fuss over what shoes to pack, or clothes.  I fuss over knitting.  And books.  And yes, I always overpack.  I have knitting stashed in my suitcase, in my carryon, and in my purse.  I have mindless knitting.  I have complex lace knitting.  I have dark yarn.  I have light yarn.  I have a couple balls of yarn with extra needles.

But there are so many things that can go wrong, and I don't want to be caught with nothing to knit, right?  A bag could be stolen.  TSA could decide that metal DPN's are dangerous weapons.  Yarn could break.  I could have pattern issues.  I could get bored with one project and want to work on something different.  

Naturally, the teacher mitts are at the top of the list.  Progress so far:  one pair finished;  one pair 5/6 finished, one pair barely started, three balls of yarn in the queue.  Then I am bringing a light pink lace shawl, a black lace shawl, and my placemats (with a couple spare balls for more placemats).  Seven projects in all.  That isn't excessive for five days, is it?

This actually isn't as crazy as it sounds.   There is not a local yarn store within a thirty mile radius.  Apparently, people don't generally travel to Nevada to knit or buy yarn.

Today, it is all about the fiber overpacking.    

Sunday, December 1, 2019

New school, new teachers, more mitts

Christmas time brings the new batch of Christmas teacher mitts to knit.  In addition to the baby blanket for Mandy.  (I really need to speak to my friends about having a baby around Christmas, it really puts a crunch for holiday knitting.)

Mandy is due next week.  My goal was to finish her blanket before Thanksgiving.  I did.  Though late Wednesday night hardly counts, since I wasn't able to give it to her before close of business that day.  I had court with her Wednesday, and the baby had not yet arrived.  She made no similar promises for Monday, though I am optimistic, because I haven't given her the blanket yet.  A baby can't be born before the blanket is delivered, right?

With the blanket done, I can focus on Christmas Teacher Mitts.  With the move over the summer, my kids started a new school.  And for my oldest, sixth grade meant he started in the junior/senior high school, with six different teachers.  I told him to select one or two of his favorite teachers, and to find out their favorite colors.  He gave me three, then a day later, gave me all six, with favorite colors and in order of preference.  That is my annoyingly thorough child for you.

So, as of today, the mitt progress stands so far:  one pair finished, one pair half finished, yarn selected for five more, and the goal to finish as many as possible.  Each pair takes 8 to 12 hours of knitting, 18 days to go. . . I am doomed.

Today, it is all about the holiday deadlines.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Your Chauffer Has a Hobby

I have realized that I now have an unpaid second job:  I am a chauffer for my children.  I drive my children places, I wait 60 to 90 minutes, then I drive them home.  I have been doing this for a while, but the number of days seems to have increased, especially right now.  Monday is football practice.  Tuesday is Boy Scouts.  Wednesday is football practice.  Thursday is Cub Scouts.  Friday, I lay exhausted on the sofa.

That means that four days a week, I rush home, prepare and feed my family, then dash back into town for my chauffeuring duty, then come home around 8 or 9pm.  Those are some long days.  The only good part is that for the 60 to 90 minute wait, I usually get to knit.  Sometimes, I go to my office or run errands, but sometimes I knit during Scouts,  and I always watch the football practice and knit.

That is a lot of scheduled knitting time a week, and that is a lot of the progress that I have been able to make on my deadlines.  The hat is pretty much done, I just need to weave in the ends.  The Court hearing is next week, so that is a reasonable deadline.  I want to baby blanket to be a little bigger, maybe two more rounds, but really I can end it at any time.  Mandy is due at the end of the month, so that one is still a bit of a worry.

I only have one and a half mitts in progress/completed, but that deadline isn't until mid-December, the latest deadline of the bunch.  So I am just postponing the worrying.

Today, it is all about the Mom's second job.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Stash Diving

With all of the mitts and hats to be done, I realized one nice thing:  I didn't have to buy very much yarn for any of it.  When a hat was requested, purple, no black, no purple, maybe purple and black, didn't have to buy any yarn. I just went to the stash.  I bought them when River Knits was closing.  I didn't know what I would make with it, but the yarn was pretty and significantly discounted.  But now, i am delighted that I found the perfect project for the yarn.  As I have been knitting at the courthouse, I have gotten so many compliments on the yarn.  It warms the heart.

For the mitts, I pulled skein after skein from the stash, to match the favorite colors for the teachers.  I had to buy one skein, because I didn't have any yarn that was "jewel-toned green" but I was able to find the other favored colors in my yarn cabinet.

I have so much yarn right now, it delights me to put it all to good use.

Today it is all about stockpiling, and finding a use for it.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

All the deadlines

I am starting to feel buried under my knitting deadlines.  It started with the usual Christmas teacher mitts.  My kids started a new school, so I told them the usual thing when they started: find out your teachers' favorite color.  For my youngest, that was fine.  But my oldest is in 6th grade now, and has six teachers.  I told him to pick one of two of his favorite teachers.  He gave me three, then updated it with a list for all six teachers, in order or priority for mitts.  At first, I was only willing to do three pairs of mitts maximum.  But having the list of their favorite colors makes me feel bad for the others.
Then, my good friend is pregnant, and a new baby deserves a new baby blanket.  With her first child, she did monthly photos of her son, and in each baby photo, he was laying on the blanket that I knit.  A kind compliment for a knitter.  So now for her second child, of course, I am knitting another blanket.

Then, there was a hat request.  I have been court appointed to represent a troubled teenager.  A very troubled teenager.  The fact that the Judge was concerned enough to appoint her an attorney when she had no constitutional right to one is a huge indicator.  When I visited her in residential placement last week, she requested that I knit her something.  A hat.  She has gone a month without self-harm behavior, so how could I say no?  But she thinks of events on a short term basis.  I can't give her the hat in six months.

And last but not least, the Saint Baldericks event is coming up.  Last year, my knitting group knit a whole pile of hats for the kind souls that were getting their heads shaved in solidarity and to raise money for cancer research.  I donated three hats, and a shawl last year.  I have a baby blanket already prepared, but I don't have any hats yet.

So the final tally for the next four months:  three to seven pairs of mitts, one hat, one baby blanket, and however many hats I can finish.

Today, it is all about the pile of knitting, with deadlines.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

A Home for the Stash

I am officially feeling settled in the new house.  There is still a lot to unpack, but the yarn is unpacked and arranged.  It was a lovely process.  I wish all unpacking could be so enjoyable.  I literally placed every skein of yarn on the floor, then one by one, arranged into the cabinet and bins.

It was like visiting old friends.  I have so many beautiful yarns, some that I had forgotten I even owned.  I have Malabrigo Lace?  When did I buy that?  Ooo, this ball is prettier than I remembered.  I have ten balls of this silk bamboo?  I didn't remember that many.

It was only later that I realized that I missed an opportunity.  I should have taken a picture of each yarn and logged them into Ravelry.   Though, the internet does not get connected at the new house until tomorrow, so really we are talking that I should have taken a bunch of pictures with notes to add to Ravelry at a later date, when I may or may not remember what I am adding.

Today, it is all about the Sunday afternoon playing with pretty yarn.  

Monday, July 15, 2019

Country Life

We have successfully moved into the new house.  Well, out of the old house, and settling into the new house.  There is still a great deal of things in storage and my Mother's basement.  Including my yarn cabinet, sewing machine, and desk.  I was able to stake my claim to the fourth bedroom (though which one evolved over time), so these items will eventually have a home in my home.  Though, I did lose the closet to other requirements.  So now, my stash will be in the room, in my yarn cabinet and bins, in full view of the world.  The stairs are narrow, steep and difficult to maneuver, so my stash should be shielded from viewing by the random guests, for family's eyes only.

All in all, we are very happy with our new home.  We have one neighbor, with another three or four about a half mile away.  We are surrounded by corn/soybean fields, woods, and quiet.  My sweetie and I are looking forward to evening walks around our own land, instead of around the old neighborhood.

With all the packing, moving and unpacking action, I have hardly had a chance to knit at all.  During the closing, I was able to knit the whole time, to the amusement of everyone in the room.  But after that, I knit exactly two rows, forty stitches, in a two week period.  That is pretty bad, but I was too busy and active to notice.  I have a two week deadline for the Ravenclaw Scarf, so that deadline is weighing on my mind.  It doesn't help that I can't knit on that one at home, or at least, not when the kids are home.  Can't have my little Ravenclaw seeing his birthday present.

Once I am more settled in the new Mommy room, I want to really evaluate my WIP's, especially the long-neglected ones.  Some have been stuck in my Mother's basement for so long, I don't even remember them.  I also want to re-evaluate my stash.  With my LYS closing two weeks ago, I scooped up some really beautiful yarns, a lot of really beautiful yarns.  And like the WIP's some of my yarns have been outside of the home so long, I have no idea what I really have.  So stay tuned for those updates.

Today, it is all about the new home, for me, my family, and my yarn.  

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Yarn Room to Call My Own

My sweetie and I have been house hunting for a while.  Off and on for a few years.  He has certain things in mind, which is not always in line with our budget.  It doesn't help that the market for the type of place we are looking for is very hot right now.  VERY hot.  Anything in the county, with some acreage, for under $200K, goes on the market, a crowd of impatient buyers descend like a pack of sharks on the trail of blood.  We have gone as high as $10K above asking price, only to be outbid.

Finally, we were the early bird. We swooped in and made an offer before anyone else noticed it was on the market.  After all those times of disappointment and frustration, our dreams were finally coming true.

The reality struck.  Packing.  Moving.  Oh, my!  We haven't moved since we got married, twelve years ago.  And that was just me into his bachelor house.  We have had two children since then, and amassed a lot more stuff.  I know it will all be worth it, but there will be a lot of work in the next few weeks.

Sweetie is having dreams of the large barn.  (Larger than the house, actually, which I don't think is really fair.)  I am dreaming about the fourth bedroom, on the first floor.  Right now, it is cramped, with a miniscule closet.  We have future plans to add on the side of the house, to make it a master suite, with bathroom and walk in closet.  For now, I am dreaming of an office/craft room.  A place for my yarn and sewing machine.  For twelve years I have had these things in my mother's basement.  And when I bring work home, I use the kitchen table, glaring at anyone who gets chocolate milk too close to my laptop.  I may have to elbow the kids, who keep talking about a toy room, but I am still bigger than them, and I help pay the mortgage, so I like my odds.   As long as I can resist their pleas.

Now, I just have to figure out how to camouflage my stash for the move.  Really, my sweetie doesn't need to know how much yarn I really own.

Today, it is all about the dreams.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

That's a lot of yarn

The sales have started.  She has a table that rotates on a weekly basis that is 40% off, and the rest of the store is 20% off.  The sweet part about losing my local yarn store.  So, of course, I did some shopping, with an unexpected guest.

The first day of the sales was on my anniversary, and my sweetie and I were running errands, so he was with me.  I assumed that he would just find a chair somewhere, and play on his phone while I drooled over yarn.  Nope.  He browsed right next to me.  He pointed out things I might be interested in.  Or he might be interested in.  When I found one skein of something nice, he even located the second skein for me.

Who knew?  His transformation as a knitter husband is complete.  And now I have a lot more yarn in the stash.

Today, it is all about the growth.    

Friday, April 26, 2019

A few finishes or nearly finishes

I may not have been blogging much the past few months, but I have been knitting, and I have a few pretties to show for it.

The first is my Wirbel.  The pattern was easy to reduce to the size of a postie note.  And I still love the colors.  All in all, I am pretty pleased with the overall effect.  Another shawl for my collection at the office.  
 Second was another matching set of mitts and ear warmer.  The ear warmer turned out to be more narrow that I intended, so I have actually started another, much wider one.  After it is done, I will decide which one I like better.  Another colorful accessory, one that will go nicely with my gray winter coat.
And, last, but not least, my pink charity blanket.  I am down to the third and last ball of yarn.  I received the yarn (and a lot more) free, so I felt like I should use at least some of it for charity.  I am liking the pattern, but I think it is too much of one color.  I could see having the squares alternate with a solid contrasting color.  Next time.

Today, it is all about the showing off.  

Sunday, April 14, 2019

The Evolution of a Local Yarn Store

There once was a knitting group.  It started with a couple friends who met at the local Barnes and Noble once in a while to knit.  They decided to make a regular schedule, so others could join.  I was one of those others.  As the group grew, we moved to a small ice cream store on Main Street.  Inside that shop, they had shelves. Shelves that artisans would lease to sell their wares.  An idea was born.

A few knitters combined their resources to buy some wholesale sock yarn, to put on one of those shelves.  At first, I think they just wanted to ensure a supply of quality sock yarns for themselves, and sell the rest to cover their expenses.

The sock yarn sold.  More yarn was purchased wholesale, and more yarn sold quickly.  And a yarn store was born.

Sixteen years later, that yarn store is closing.  Beth's children are grown, and she probably wishes to enjoy her retirement.  It is the end of the era.

At first, I was sad.  Then I realized that there would be sales.  Many, many yarn sales.  A few weeks ago, I told my kids that I could not buy yarn for ten years, and still be able to knit the whole time.  But how can I resist deep discounts on yarn?

The discounts on everything start Saturday.  20% off nearly the entire store.  Plus weekly pop up sales.  40% off a type of yarn, all grouped onto a table.  This week is mohair, all weights.  And I love me some mohair.  Lofty, whispy mohair.

By the time this store closes its doors for the last time, I may have twenty years of yarn.

Today it is all about the beginning of the end.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


I can't believe that I haven't blogged about my knitting in several months.  I mean, I can believe it, because the dates don't lie, but still.  The same with my Ravelry page.  Not updated at all lately, not with past projects or new ones.  So today I was determined to remedy.  I plugged my phone into my computer, so I could download all of the pictures I had taken, to start updating.  Except there weren't any photos,  not for months.  Seriously?  I have been knitting, but haven't updated a single photo, yarn, pattern.  Nothing?

Ok, so I have to do better.  Even if the three people that actually read the blog weren't depending on me, this is how I keep track of my knitting.  When I start things.  When I finish.  What issues I had.  How I solved those issues.

I really have to do better.  I took some pictures tonight, and I will take some more tomorrow.  I will start blogging, and logging the progress on Ravelry.  Stay tuned!

Today, it is all about the resurgence.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Blame it on the Brain

Last week, I was ice skating with the Cub Scouts.  This was the second time that I have gone ice skating in the past 25 years.  Apparently, that is not enough, because I slipped on the ice, and smacked the back of my head on the ice.  Twice.  The second time left me rather dazed.  As I was at work the next morning, it became apparent that I was not well.  Mid-morning, I was able to get out to a doctor, who confirmed that I had a mild concussion.

She gave me a long list of things to avoid:  texting and otherwise looking at a smart phone, emailing and otherwise looking at a computer screen, reading, writing, and anything that requires concentration.  Specific to me, no knitting.  That is . . . . pretty much everything I do in a day.  A forced day or two off from work wouldn't be a bad thing, but less fun if I couldn't read or knit.  I literally had to be a couch potato.

After a day or two, I risked some easy knitting: a placemat.  Garter stitch, in the round, hardly any pattern type of knitting.   I thought I would be safe.  I. Was. Wrong.  Apparently, I had misplaced one of my stitch markers.  There are four stitch markers, forming the four corners of the placemat, and I increase a stitch every knit row on either side of the marker on every knit row.  Easy  peasy, unless you lose a marker.  Ten rows later, I noticed my mistake.  Now I am tinking every row that I have knit the past week.  How discouraging.

Today, it is all about following doctor's orders.