Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Look at it...


Oooh...look at it being blocked.

I turned up the heat so it will dry faster...so I can wear it tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Feeling MASSIVELY productive

Okay let's go through the things I did tonight.
  • Sewed in edges on THREE projects
  • Packaged said projects and another gift
  • Mailed all five things--2 baby gifts, 2 christmas gifts, 1 birthday gift

I'm like SUPER NINJA JEN with KUNG-FU grip.

watch this space

For soon, it shall bear the fruit of the shawl I'm within 20 rows of finishing. I wanted to finish it last night...but at 4:30 am I was starting to lose it. And miscount stitches.

yarn over under upside down.

I was way way way too tired to knit.

But it's so freakin' close

then block

THEN WEAR

I'm so freakin' excited I may spew.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Irresponsible parenting

G is beside me right now. She's closer to her next bed time than the one she missed.

(okay it's not that bad...but it's not good)

We had friends over. My friend N gave me crystal stitch markers. So tonight G and I stopped by the store and got a button and yarn and made her daughter A a hat. I sat and just made it (how much do I ROCK)

Here's the pattern.

Omigosh so cute...and knits up in 4 hours...which is dang quick as I am the slowest knitter in the world.

A looked adorable in her new hat. Oh, I'm trying to convince N to start selling her stitch markers...they are so perfect...watch this space if she starts selling.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Funny Thing

If you know me and what I do, you know why this is so funny.
video

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Italians at Purl Harbor

I've started to think my knitting group keeps me sane.

I wear so many hats at once...working mom, wife, friend, etc. It's not easy...but at knitting, I shut down everything else and I talk yarn love. It's fun to just have a group that laughs together, talks together, and accomplishes things. It's lovely.

Today, A brought her omigod gorgeous swift and her ball winder so I could make some balls...oh, that sounds so dirty. I had 500 yard of alpaca, 200 yards of merino sock, and...something I forgot to mention to A...1400 yards of merino lace. A set out her swift (which I covet) and I got the alpaca done pretty quick...then I brought out the lace.

Thankfully A helped me do it. Lace is sooooo a two person job. Esp, merino lace--it tends to stick to itself. So we're in the midst of this and these two guys with Italian accents come by and say they've never seen anyone do this (esp at a Panera, I bet). They introduce themselves as from Italy, and ask if they can take a picture of us winding balls (okay that sounds dirtier). But so now Alise has a fan club in Italy--as usual I ducked out of the photo. I don't like pictures of me.

I also got a couple rows done on my shawl. It is so gorgeous. I can't wait to block it.

In other news, my college JMU won today. GLEE.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Coffee

Oh dearest coffee.
Beloved coffee

On a morning like this...I feel I must write haikus to your awesomenest

bitter berries brew
the caffeine makes me aware
of the day's promise

no bean could make you
too delicious for legumes
my berry of joy


Oooh, I could write an haiku about my knitting project

alpaca knit purl
estonian shawl alive
growing by a bit

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dear Longtail Cast-on:

These letters are always so hard to write. You never know if you say too much, too little. But I think it's only fair you hear it from me...on a blog...

you're not my favorite cast on anymore

I know, for so many years, you were the one I reached for. the one i knew and cherished, but we have our problems. You know what they are:

  • -I have to estimate how much i need and either I end up with one inch left to make 10 stitches or I end up with three feet to make
  • -You suck for anything that needs to have any give...like socks/lace
  • -When I make you I look like a drunken sailor having a fight with a skinny octopus

Knit on cast on and me have been getting closer, spending more time together. When I'm casting on 331 stitches...you just don't cut it anymore. Kniton and I have been working on shawls, sweaters, hats--and it feels really really right.

And kniton gives like you just aren't capable of.

Don't think of this as goodbye. I'm sure I'll still use you for things...like sweaters where I need some firmness of sleeves...you do a mean sleeve. In a way, we're not breaking up at all...

Instead I'll just be coming over to your house at 2 am when my new boyfriend is out of town.

Love,
-Jen

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Charity knitting

In college I was a member of Alpha Phi Omega--a service fraternity. I loved it. I love the friends I made through it, including the most-loved JLG. I like that we have this in common. We enjoy helping others, and it makes up for the really horrible things we do to each other.

A frat bro (who is a girl) contacted me because I knit, and asked if I would like to make some baby hats that her church was rounding up. SURE! Then I gathered up my FABULOUS knitting group that I love more than words, and EIGHT of us sat around making hats. Some for 5 hours. It was great and wonderful and amazing.

Just doing something I love for people who need it made me feel like I had paid a bit of my rent for my time on this earth....Plus I got rid of some stash.

Oh, and C threw away my plastic needles because I couldn't give them away...and I couldn't really get myself to do it. C did it...

THANK YOU to all the knitters--and to C for trashing the needles.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stuff I like that I didn't think I'd like but I guess I do.

I do not like lace.

Nope not me. Don't like it. Don't like shawls. Don't wear them. Nope.

So why am I so fascinated with this

It's called Forest path. Estonian Lace knitting. Pretty Righteous.

It's stunning. It's made of entrelac lace knitting. It's like getting a doctorate in nanotechnology, while at the same time becoming a brain surgeon.

Someone, someone evil, thought "hey, entrelac is really complicated...so is lace. VOILA...ENTRELACE."

sigh. and I'm not this person.

Yet somehow, what I would buy in a store, and what i would spend hours upon HOURS of making for myself and then wearing...completely two separate things. Not even remotely related. WEIRD.



Like this.

I covet this.

I long for this. It takes every ounce of self-restraint not to beat on BLs door for some fingering weight yarn and make this RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

I've been practicing self control all week.

Must finish Christmas...when all i want to do is knit lace...

and i'm not a lace person.

except...i guess i am.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blocking

Okay, it's drying now

I used wires

It looks really nice. And smells all lavender fresh (suave is your friend).

However...new rule. NO BLOCKING WITH A 4-YEAR OLD.

"Why are you using those?"
"Why are they green?"
"Can I touch it"
"Why can't I touch it?"
"You're touching it."
"Why are pins sharp?"
"Why are they called pins?"
"Why is it called yarn?"
"It's really soft."
"Why do I have to stop touching it?"
"What are gypsies?"
"Why are you going to sell me?"

Soaking

Now for the scary part.

I am going to take the malabrigo lace...and put it in water...with shampoo...

I am terrified.

I've read everything on the internet I could. I've only done blocking once/twice....but this is going to be a gift and I want to do it really right.

I'm terrified.

Pray to the blocking gods for me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Knitting, Muffins and Dingly Danglies

Such a fun night.

Went to the knitting group at Panera last night. It was packed with some of my fav people--Alise, Candice, Bianca, Azar--and I got a lot of work done on the x-mas gift. Which is good because straight stockinette is starting to wear thin. Thank gosh it's awesome yarn.

So we're there and there are some new kids...Bethany...turns out it was another knitting group that just happened to be meeting same time/same place. We just merged seamlessly. We were telling yarn tragedies...like Vicki's yarn being stolen out of her cart at Costco...Alise washing a washable sweater only to have the three-needle bind-off come loose and ravel.

I told them of my trip to Hunt County yarns and my own horror.

So we go to HCY. Lovely store, and I'm walking around while A watches the monkey...At some point gwen finds a skein of rayon ribbon yarn in pink, orange and purple (this will be important). And she tangles the crap out of it. In fact, it's so tangled that I question if it was all gwen--or gwen is some sort of tangling prodigy. So I offer to untangle...how long can it take.

If you're wondering why I didn't buy it...because it was pink orange and purple. See told you important. It was seriously pretty dang fug.

It took an HOUR to detangle.

That said I did walk out with Knitted Lace of Estonia and some Zephyr lace weight yarn in sage.It's a wool/silk blend that I'm just in love with. I'm sure I could find it cheaper online, but dang it's pretty...

I'm totally loving this book, and it is by the strongest willpower imaginable I have not cast on ANYTHING. Yeah, I'm THAT good.

So I brought my purchases to the knitting group...where all oooheeed...and ahhhheeed. And at 8:00 when we had been there for 1.5 hours, they brought us free muffins! What could be nicer.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yarn porn

Knitting with Malabrigo lace is wrong. I am dirty for lusting after it. It is...most definitely...yarn porn.

It is the stuff that you go on the internet for after your person has headed to bed...and you just need some "downtime." It is what clogs your inbox and takes up MEGABYTES in your hard drive.
I ordered my new options needle case in the poppy fabric (LUST FOR IT)
Here's what the insides will look like:
Now to figure out what the remainder of my b-day will go towards. Oh, the joy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Casting off and casting on

I finished my scarf last night in the knotted pattern. Definitely needs to be blocked, which I'll try to do this weekend.

It's very long and very warm, and I'm really in love with it. It's so different, and just a great color. I don't know what I'll do with the remnant. I thought I'd keep knitting, but I was seriously verging on dr. suess territory with how long it was getting. Once fully blocked, it will be STUNNING.

Thank you to Alise who gave me a common sense guide to wet blocking. I had been doing the spray bottle kind. She uses..SHAMPOO and CONDITIONER. How smart. Obviously just for the natural fibers. After all, what's wool other than hair.

Andrew offered to help me block it last night, but I've got so much blocking to do. I'm just going to wait.

I cast on a wrap last night in the Malabrigo Lace--this yarn is obscene. It's like knitting with air, only soft and deliciously dyed air. I'm addicted. I want to make EVERYTHING using this yarn. It's for an x-mas gift.

That said. I'm a good 60% thru my christmas list. I've gotten A's entire family done, except for the project I have to finish...then I have a few friends done, and a few kidlings done. I feel pretty confident about this year--thank you etsy.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bad date with a new guy

I have learned that going to a new yarn store is kinda like a first date. You have really really big hopes (he will be the one, he will get my jokes, he will think i'm cute in that orange dress), and usually these hopes are horribly disappointed (unless you date my boy, then it all works out pretty well...that said, you date my boy and my knitting needles go thru your windpipe.)

I went to a new yarn shop. It was my b-day. I get to go. HA.

From the pics online, I expected massive amounts of selection, a smorgasbord of joy and alpaca, and undeniable things that would throw themselves into my bag in a frenzy of yarn lust.

Uh...no.

I think there was about 30-40 different yarn, and I'm being WAY WAY generous. Not a lot of color selection, and really limited on lace weight yarn. If you wanted to make a sweater, you're ordering. It did have a nice sitting area for knitting, and that took up a really large portion of the store--a REALLY large portion. I'm not sure how they pay rent. They had one TINY section of roving--if you're into that type of thing. It was like a revolving stand.

The people there were relatively nice. They didn't kick me. But computer illiterate. It took Andrew a while to check out because they had to put my name and address into their system. The woman doing so was using a hunt/peck method and she seemed to have short term memory loss. Because once she typed a letter--she was convinced it would NEVER be in the same place twice. So she started checking the entire keyboard again. From what I could guess, the prices were a tad higher than most places.

So it was a bad date. A very bad date, and I doubt there will be a second. And like every bad date, there is no getting around the good night kiss. No matter how bad it is...you gotta do the "oh...yeah...thanks...please please please don't use tongue..." kiss.

So I bought some lace weight yarn in a pretty blue color. It was the only thing there that I was pretty sure was a) cheap enough b) good enough I would use and c) I could make something with one skein so I don't have to come back and plead with the dye lot gods.

Though given my history with bad dates, I'm pretty sure the store is going to call me repeatedly and start dating one of my friends.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where I've been

I do not handle stress or anticipation well. I don't enjoy tension or surprises or waiting for an answer. I have often wished for a fast forward button on my life. It's just I want to skip ahead to the end. And once I know how it ends, then I'm more likely to enjoy the journey.

Thus is why I've been incommunicado for the last days. My free time was given over to the political will as much as possible. But Tuesday is over, and my life has calmed down significantly.

On Sat, we drove up to SO Original in Olney. The owner is married to a coworker and it was their grand opening. This doesn't explain the 18 skeins of yarn I bought, but let's pretend it mitigates the crime.

I bought 10 skeins of Berocco Comfort DK in beet red for a baby blanket I'm going to make. I also bought seven in cornflower for a sweater gwen wants. I think I'm going to do the sherwood pattern again...because while in the store it was the only one I could remember the amount of yarn I would need. Note: next time take the laptop so I can do an instant "ravelry" search. I may go and look at my options just in case.

I also bought Berocco Ultra Alpaca fine in this peat mix. Not sure it was at all necessary, but it's pretty and I like it, and BL SWEARS that lace yarn does not qualify as stash. This is rationalization at its highest form. Plus you put alpaca and lace together--my ability to resist is crushed. It really looks more bluish in person.

That said, I'm a third of the way through my scarf. It will definitely need some blocking. It's all over the place. The problem is i have new needles. And my needles are lonely. I must start 77 new projects. I MUST.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Needley goodness

My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here. My needles are here.

Okay they are at home waiting for me.

I feel like I'm running across a field to embrace their nickely goodness!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New LYS in Olney MD

My coworker’s wife just opened a new yarn store in olney MD…Like it’s actually opening this saturday (Nov 1)

http://sooriginal.com/default.aspx

SO Original
18165 Town Center Dr.
Olney, MD 20832
301-774-7970

Check it out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

BL: THANK YOU


Look what cool thing BL gave me. It's a tape measure and it's a kitty...and it's white. SOOOOO SUPER COOL.

Yarn Fumes Attacked

I've been a bad bad girl.

I do think it helps that I've at least been honest about my badness. On Friday, I thought a great learning experience for the monkey would be to take her to With Yarn In Front--a LYS just south of me. They had spinning wheels and I thought it would be good for monkey to see actual spinning. But they had yarn there.

I know...it was a surprise to me as well. I had NO IDEA...none none none


So I walked out with Jojoland Harmony in HC05--I have no idea what I'm going to do with this. It's a lace weight merino and about 880 yards. No idea what its going to be. I knew it was pretty and I wanted it. Self control and I have not yet met.

Mostly because I've avoiding self control's calls.


I also bought two skeins of this.

It's plymouth lace baby alpaca in a scruptious chocolate. It's stunning,

Again, I have NO IDEA what i"m going to do with it.

I'm thinking a scarf. (like always, because there's not enough for a stole). I just don't know.

I bought two skeins giving me about 880 yards.


In other news, I ordered my needle set!!!!!!

GLEE

GLEE

GLEE.

It's the nickel based one (I prefer metal) and I have sizes 4 - 17 (wooo) and 3 sets of cables. BL has been RAVING about hers. Honestly, with as much time as I spend knitting, I really need just a good set of needles. And this will keep me from looking at projects and wondering if I have that size needle.

Though I'll still need 0, 1, 2, & 3.

Oh and the last cool thing:

I've been putting off buying blocking wires. I don't really want to spend a ton of money on the blocking stuff--so I bought these, and I'm going to see if they work.

One, I can find them really easily in a store.

Two, they are cheap: $1.99 for a big packet!

Three, I don't have to pay shipping.

I'll let you know how they work out. Hopefully well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Not about yarn


Just posting my dearling.

“Lead us not into temptation. Just tell us where it is; we'll find it.”

That's a Sam Levenson quote by the way.

So I went onto ebay to look for a gift for my nephew. How I got from Colts parahenalia to...yarn. Well I don't know. But I did, and I found this...

DO YOU FEEL THE LUST. If you could have walked away from 3 skeins of alpaca, silk, cotton yarn just oozing from the screen and ripping your soul from your body until you gave in...well then...you're a better girl than I.

That said, I only spent $9.50 on it, so actually...I'm the better person.

You don't have yarn...i do. Thus: me=better. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet, but isn't it just freakin' gorgeous. Omigosh. I'm thinking this...it's a lace sampler. BL is pulling for this. Hmmm i so don't know. Maybe when I see the yarn I'll be inspired.

I'm taking a break from Trellis to finish up JM's dad's scarf in the double drop pattern. It's looking really really nice. I'm also going to finish FINALLY ML's baby sweater (she also reads this blog now, so I better...she'll know when I'm not working on it.) I brought the scarf to the dr's yesterday (just a phys...so no biggie), but the doc comes in...mid row

Me: Uh...do you mind holding on ONEEEEE second

Doc: Oh no problem, my wife's a knitter...

Me: Ah, so you know the phrase "just let me finish this row."

Doc: yep sure do

That almost makes up for the two shots I got yesterday. Tetanus and flu. My doc says I'm vaccinated through my 50s! GLEE.


Monday, October 20, 2008

New yarn...

I need to become that hindu goddess, Kali, with like 10 arms. Sure all of them would be knitting rather than killing people, oh universal destroyer. But she's also the goddess of change...and what else is knitting/crocheting but change.

Last week, I realized that Monkey's swim class was right near Aylin's Woolgatherer--which of course is EVIL EVIL EVIL. I was quite good though, and limited myself to yarn only for things I knew I was going to make. Luckily, Boy doesn't know my project list and I can create projects instantly to buy yarn for.

"Oh that funky eyelashy stuff...that's for the shawl for JM...don'tchaknow."

Sure I had no plans to make shawl for JM prior to seeing yarn, but...it was pretty...leave me alone. I also bought Malabrigo yarn.

OMIGOD, it is so freakin gorgeous. BL had been raving about this yarn for weeks...just taunting me with it honestly. But she's right. It's stunning and lovely and feels so amazing. I can't wait to work with it. However, I'm waiting until my parents get in town this weekend, so they can order my new needle set. Could I be a bit MORE excited? NOPE.

I also cast on Trellis from Knitty.com. It's so lovely. I love doing cables. It makes you feel like a super knitter. They are so stunning all knitted and beautiful. I'm doing this for JF in Shine in the Mallard. This yarn is DEEELISH. So soft and warm and the cables just FREAKIN' POP. I want to use this for every project I ever thought of doing. I had the nightmare though that I had only ordered 6 skeins instead of 7. Next time I do this pattern, I'm ordering 8, just in case. Piece of mind is worth $2.49!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I should never listen to internal coward...

So when I voiced to Boy that I was unsure about going tonight, he told me wise words--"I rather you regret going, then regret not." So I went.

I am very very glad I did. I was a bit worried it was going to be a bit of a yarn sale...cuz with Jasper's need for insulin, my yarn budget is rather low. But per usual Laura (she's my capital yarn yarn dealer...she gets me the gooood stuff) was just lovely as could be. So really you should visit Capital Yarns. It's a fun place and they are holding these things semi regular.

C, L & S (L's daughter...who given how young L looks is obviously the result of some child bride marriage...must ask if L was married to Jerry Lewis...) showed up. C's daughter goes to daycare with the monkey, so we had a good old time chatting about daycare and yarn and such. Then oddly enough it turns out L knows a daycare family...so it's an absurdly small world.

I'm also massively in love with Berocco Comfort. Yes, it's acrylic, but it is soooo freakin' soft. It's unbelivable. Omigosh. LOVE. I'm also completely in love with Dune. If you could see this yarn (follow the link and you will). L was doing a drop stitch scarf with it, and it was just freaking gorgeous.

I'm thinking of using the pattern for JM's dad's scarf, cuz it's manly but it add some shape and pattern...I'm making it with Waikiki.

The big news however is that I FINISHED SHERWOOD

Just have to sew in the ends and that puppy is out the door. Glee. Frolic. Joy.

NO ONE TELLS ME ANYTHING

Things I did not know had happened that SOMEONE should have told me:

  1. Red Sox come back from a 7 run deficit
  2. Madonna divorcing
  3. Scary spice wore this
  4. Tea Leoni is separated

See, people, I don't ask a lot, but I do ask to be kept informed. A simple phone call would have been FREAKIN' nice.

I'm considering bailing on tonight. I'm worried about being the only one there. And no one being nice to me, and someone saying something political, and then I'd have to march out, and then someone being wenchy. It's all bad. Sigh. Under this extroverted exterior lies the heart of a coward.

I stayed up way too late last night. I finished the second sleeve of sherwood and decided...why of course I would finish the neck at 3:30 am. I ended up frogging the whole thing at 4:30 and heading to bed. I wasn't being patient (I know...SHOCKING) and I wasn't thinking it through, so it looked like @$$. Arghh.

Maybe tonight I'll fix the whole thing. The whole neck instructions are rather vague, so at 3:30 my judgement isn't compatible with vague. Like "do what you think looks best" hmmm. Uh... It's 3:30 I have no idea what looks best. So I went on ravelry and saw how others handled it and I liked. So KB prep your son...his sweater is comin!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Pics of the baby blanket




hours of yarny goodness

So I finished the book "casts off" yesterday. It's like an alcoholic's guide to the best bars (wow, was that un-PC or what?). The book made stash hoarding and needle comparing and all the other whankines of knitting just sound COMPLETELY NORMAL.

Of course...it's not.

I took yesterday off work. A much needed time away. MUCH NEEDED.

I spent it finishing a sleeve on sherwood, and shipping out two projects--a baby blanket and some thread crochet. So nice to have that gone. I feel all nice when stuff is out of my house. I'm also hoping to get another cat blanket done soon so that I can give more yarn away.

I find that I now take my knitting bag everywhere. I finally bought a needle holder, which previously had seemed so useless to me. It was on sale though for $2.99, so it was a bargain...And now I love it. I keep my ruler in it too. My big problem with these was that I didn't think they were stiff enough to protect my precious needles. Turns out they are just fine. You get enough needles together in a roll, and they are unbreakable. Wooo.

Add to that, hopefully I will stop buying 87 sets of size six dpns. My issue is that most sock patterns call for 5 needles. 4 to hold the stitches, 1 to knit. But many sets (esp the aluminum) come in sets of 4, so I have to buy 2 sets. And then I forget I bought two sets and I buy two more. So right now...I have about 12 size 6 dpns. Yeah. that's useful.

I also did something smart (and KB's son's little hand will thank me for it), I cast off using a size 7 needle, so it's much much looser. Yeah that's only really interesting to me isn't it? Oh well.

I'll be going to Capital Yarns tomorrow for a knit fest for 2 hours. Should be fun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Exhaustion

I'm coming off a killer project at work and I think i have stress-dump exhaustion. I am just done. Done. Done. DONE.

Yesterday, I was at Panera ALL FREAKIN' DAY. Not kidding. 9:30 am-8:30 pm The coffee is really good and the free wifi rocked. I brought knitting and I think i got a row done in the middle of stressing and fretting and worrying and being way way way overly caffeinated. BL thankfully stopped by around 4 to keep me company and gave someone to talk to/whine to/bitch at. So incredibly grateful.

(ever realized how weird "grateful" looks as a word)

She casted on her poncho with Andean Silk. Oh, the yarn lust. I shouldn't lust. I have so many projects right now, that honestly, I shouldn't be allowed within ten miles of a yarn store (and unfortunately, where I live, I'm about that from any yarn store...arghhh). Anyway. It was so lovely to have someone stop by...even to taunt me with yarn.

Sherwood is coming along really well, though you should not start this project without a TON of stitch holders on hand. I have NEVER had so many stitches on holders in my life.

On Friday, I'm going to a yarn store for a two hour eve with knitters. Just a nice little time away. It's kinda funny, I never thought of knitting as a social thing. It was something I did. Not something that lubricated my social life. Now I find that I love hanging out with knitters and talking yarn, and patterns, and what not. Ravelry has definitely helped...as has BL. I never thought I would enjoy knitting groups, etc. Turns out I love them. I love the comraderie and the fun.

Sure there's always one in the group that suffers from knowitallitis, and tells you exactly why this cast on method would be better, and why if you don't do it such and such way you aren't a serious knitter. (what is a serious knitter, and why would I want to be one?), but oh well. I just walk out with BL and we spend the car ride home imagining what we'd like to do with our needles :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Things I hate

I hate...

Sewing in ends. Omigod I hate sewing in ends. I hate hate hate. So why the f did I make a baby blanket made out of EIGHTY tiny granny squares. EIGHTY. At least it was join as you go...but still. Eighty times two...160 ends to sew in.

It had been done for months. MONTHS...but i hate sewing in ends. OMIGOD i hate sewing in ends. So I put it off and off and off. As it laid there...staring at me with it's fringy ends beckoning my hate.

Add to my hate...i had to pick up stitches along an arm opening tonight. Right up there with sewing in edges...but I'm picking up stitches...the same freakin' night. How the heck do both hit on the same night...

When exactly did I piss off the yarn gods? And why when I have TONS of projects waiting for my needly magic, do I still want to buy new yarn and needles and hooks. How can the yarn fumes be attacking me from afar?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stash busting for a cause

Last night we went to the pet store to get Jasper a new tag that says "diabetic"--incase he gets out or something...so someone doesn't try to feed him sugar cookies or something.

There's homeless kitties there. I get all sad about homeless kitties. I want to take them all home, and it is by luck (and the fear of a home visit) that keeps us a 2 cat household. Kittens are just so freakin' cute.

Well, while looking at the little cats and their towels...I had a brainstorm.

So far I've made two blankets for the kitties using my old yarn that I wasn't planning on using and was just using space. I'm using only washable yarn and crocheting in alternating rows of dcs and scs. I brought over the two today (made using Lion Homespun) and they seemed appreciative...plus i got 2 skeins out of my stash...the kitties looked pretty cute wrapped in the blankets.

GLEE

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Yarn, Cat Pancreata & BL

So the bad news.

Kitty has diabetes. I am very very very sad. I cried on the way to pick up monkey. Then, weirdly enough, explaining it to monkey made it better. Like because I had to put it in positive terms to her, I had to accept there were positive terms to put it in. I'm not looking forward to the shots, but I'm looking forward to being with my cat for a long long time to come.

BL came over for knitting. She brought over Andean Silk from Knit Picks. LUST LUST LUST. I want to dream of what I will make with it.

That gets me to the book I'm reading...castoffs by the yarn harlot chick. Of course I'm actually listening to it on tape (or really on these cool portable audio books the library has) because then I can knit at the same time. There are two kinds of knitters...process and project. Sure there's grey area between (and yes blogger.com, I spell grey with an e...suck it up). BL is a project knitter. She wants the stuff. I am a process. I just like the knitting. I learned thread crochet without even liking doilies. Assuming i finish this lace stole, it will be the first thing I've ever made for me. I want to do it. I want to take this here ball of yarn and make it into something with my bare paws...and I love that I can...and I'm not that interested in keeping what I've made.

Oh and I also learned how to wrap and turn for short row shaping...I am THAT cool.

Off to take monkey to bed. Keep Jasper in your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Knitty Kitty

So I'm still working on all my projects. I got a book from the library--thinking I want to learn to knit right, but again my gauge. I was thinking about trying continental. And trying to actually doing English. Heck I am an anglophile. My big worry is about my gauge. I got it so dead on right now. But I feel like such a deplicted knitter. Like I'm riding the knitting shortbus. And I'm just waiting for the knitting guidance counselor to tell me maybe I should look into "safety schools."

The funny thing...is that i'm watching promos for knit & crochet today...it's a pbs show that I didn't know about...i'm in thrill. So i'm watching the promo for the chick who does felting on the show (i've never felted...i'm always like six years behind the curve)...So this woman who OWNS a knit shop...she knits just as deplicted as I do. GLEE...I'm not the only loser one!

All this knitting is keeping me decently distracted as I deal with an illness in the family...namely my cat. He's been drinking a lot lately, so we took him in for tests. They were supposed to come back today. They didn't. I think I called the vet 5 times. They were nice every time, and they understood that Jasper is my furry soulmate. (That link is when Jazzy was cat of the day 8 years ago...I just found out...he had fan mail)

So I'm going to go to bed now...listen to a book on tape and try to fix a hole in my lace...with some picked up stiches. UGH.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My cool set of needles


Because I love these... Aren't they cool? Size 10 custom needles. Etsy.com
Here's a link to her shop.


Two Down...seventy to go

So after much trial and tribulation, I finally got two whole repeats done of the lace scarf. Thankfully there were enough sports on tv to get me through.

Side note:
As a punter...aim AWAY from Reggie Bush. It shouldn't take you two times to realize this.

I don't know how I feel about Reggie. He's a great runner, amazing player...but he'd do an ad for the local Rita's if they asked (the new Peyton?) and he's dating Kim Kardashian...which makes me wonder about his intellect.

So back to the scarf.

I think I frogged and recast on at least 5 times. I was telling BL about how I had to frog repeately last night and she asks "oh, didn't you use a life line?" I had to admit that i frogged at row 3. There was not life line. SIGH

I also ran out and bought stitch markers late last night, as I figured out if I put it at various points in the pattern, I wouldn't be so lost. So far so good. The guy at Mike's stared at me when I told him it was a marker emergency. There is such a thing ... REALLY. And all I had were these HUGE ones and that doesn't work with lace.

So I'm starting to feel guilty about not working on my other projects. So I put in some hours on Sherwood with renewed confidence. I also completely organized my knitting bag. Goal of the next couple weeks. GET PROJECTS OUT OF HOUSE.

Monday, October 6, 2008

"My name is Jen, and I'm a yarnaholic."

I'm such an easy mark. I go to my new fav yarn store, Capital Yarns, to get ONE THING. ONE ONE ONE. A set of size 7 pony anodized aluminum needles. If you haven't tried these, they are great. I prefer to knit on metal. Because I'm a deplicted (is that a word) knitter, and the metal makes up for my slow-poke-itis. They are SOOOO much better than the susan bates or boye needles (no they aren't getting a link) you can get from Michaels or ACMoore (which I pers believe is better than mike's at the get go). For one thing...they are filled. I have a sweater pattern i love, but it's on size 2 needles. I was going thru about a set a month, because I was putting the needles in my bag, and within a couple days they were bent, by week 3, they were unusable. People said to find wooden needles--yeah try that in size 2. The pony ones are filled and just really nice to use. I recommend highly.

So I went in for that ONE ONE ONE THING.

yeah.

That worked out.

Meet my new yarn --the color is really more a pure purple. It's freaking gorgeous and beautiful and i love it. Omigosh I love. It wasn't too bad. $17.00 for 100g. Not bad really. And it's so warm...Glee and I'm making something out of it for ME ME ME ME ME ME. ME. ME. ME.

For the record, I have yet to benefit from my knitting. I don't wear scarves much, yet I have a ton, and i'm always doing some other project. And making myself a sweater includes a tape measure and destroying the gossamer weight string that ties me to the illusion that I'm at my pre-baby weight. If you didn't have to measure yourself to make a sweater, I'd have a closet full. As it is, I am staying far far far away from that tape measure.

What I don't like is casting on in a lace pattern. You have to do a provisional cast on, so you can pick up the stitches later. Welp, that whole "invisible cast on" may not be beyond my abilities, but it is beyond my patience. So I'm using this method instead. Taking full advantage of my massive crocheting skills (note sarcasm).

That said. I ended up frogging the night away, because obviously I'm incapable of counting. Or reading a chart. Or really anything beyond drooling and occassionally blinking.

I can prove this, as yesterday, I walked into a tree. A real tree. Walked straight into it. I have scratches all around my left eye...and lets just take a moment and thank God for eyelids....and prolly glasses too. They fought a brave defensive war against the onslaught of the twig forces.

In other news, I emailed the designer of Sherwood pattern (i'm sorry but if I put this link up again, I may puke)...she told me the line that was confusing me was just weird and an editor had put it in...I was free to ignore. GLEE FROLIC JOY.

She's now my friend on ravelry. And here's her blog. She lives in Italy. Join me in my jealousy.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lace, you evil temptress

So I got another lace book from the library

SIGHHHH

don't these books realize I have 47 baby sweaters to knit, 35 baby blankets, and quite a few afghans.

I went searching on ravelry for lace patterns. If you're not on ravelry...why not? It's knitvana. Anyway...so I'm looking up lace patterns and I'm seeing what people do.

You know what doesn't work when making a lace pattern? Using worsted weight yarn...then the person is like "don't know what it doesn't look right..." Well...hmmm...could it be...YOU USED THE WRONG FREAKIN' YARN.

So I'm having an issue with Sherwood.

I'm confused about a line in the pattern, and since no one else is having the problem...I'm pretty sure it's me.

I found the designer's blog and I wrote her an e-mail, so cross fingers that she writes me back. I'm so lost.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Crab stitch

Real quick: I love the crab stitch for edgings and such. It's lovely and adds a really nice corded finished look.

Here's a tutorial from gocrochet blog. It's a cool stitch...you CANNOT stitch into it, so it's ONLY for edgings...

This is the crab stitch on the edge of an aftghan I made for my friend JM. I've been capping a lot today. Must be my innate need to scream.

My bag

I have a large collection of knitting bags. I keep hoping for the perfect one. I have two I really really like. I keep separate projects in each and a few conf bags I've accumulated over the past few years.

I think knitting bags are almost like yarn. You must have. Even if you do have, you must have more. There should be a "bag stash"

So my first love:


I actually have it more green and brown dots...called "soothing dots" by the manufacturer...Knitpickers. DO NOT CONFUSE WITH KNITPICKS (which is my one true love)... It's very roomy and comfy and holds a lot. Has a nice pocket for stuff. If I don't like anything about it, it's that it doesn't have as many pockets as I might want...but it's a tote...that's what totes do. I got it as a gift from a dear dear dear friend who is quite dear. It makes me smile to look at the bag because it's from my friend.



My second love is Eagle Good to Go Bag


It's freakin' huge. With 6 pockets on the outside. What I love best is the steal I got on it. It's listed for $40. I found it one day at Tuesday Morning for ...


Wait for it.


$12

It has TONS of pockets, though it is REALLY REALLY BIG...and canvassy...but I love that it has little elasticas to put my needles in. Plus the 6 pockets hold bottled water perfectly. :) Knitter get thirsty dontchaknow.


My other WOO HOO moment of the day is that I found on ebay.fr the doll my daughter lost. Assuming I win the auction: JE SUIS UNE NINJA.


Sure I had to figure out how much it is in US dollars and I have no idea how long I'll have to soak it in bactine...but.. Gwen will be so happy.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Amateur Hour

I'm not the worlds best knitter. One, I knit completely wrong. Yeah...it's not pretty. And I know I should learn the correct way, but by now, I have my gauge completely right and I just don't want to take the time to get that down again. It's just a pain. I also don't know how to do intarsia so all of you waiting for argyle socks from me...keep waiting. I don't read charted patterns well...though I am learning. I also don't know how to splice. (warning this is kinda gross and includes lots of spit). (KB...i did not follow these directions, your son will not have a spit soaked sweater).

But I had reached an end of a ball and was looking at a lot of ends...and so I spliced. Following directions I found in a really gorgeous book I borrowed from the library...I did my first splice...GLEE.

I also realized that late at night, I don't follow directions very well.

I had completely ignored part of the pattern. This affected about 8 stitches 3 rows down on both sides. So I could frog.

Or I could fix.

I chose fix. At one point I had 4 needles in my hands as I tried to create those crossy stitches only without knitting and without losing everything. I did lose my temper when Boy tried to get into bed and nearly TOUCHED the bed while I was trying to do this. I think I started to cry at one point.

But it's done. And you can't tell really where I totally screwed up. Somedays I wonder if I've been knitting 12 years or 12 days.

Oh and the book...now all I want to do is knit lace shawls...SIGH...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Frogging in the a.m.

Last night, after coming home disgruntled from my board meeting (actually being disgruntled isn't that unusual), I stayed on until the wee hours chatting with people and having yarn lust.

I went to bed in the wee-er hours thinking...I'll just get a couple rows done on the Sherwood sweater I'm working on in CotLin Nightfall for my friend KB's son. I'm working it on turbo needles (thank you BL), and it's quite lovely. It's in the round...so right now it appears I'm making a coke bottle cozy.

When I left off, I was in mid row. Thankfully I have a row counter that I jimmied together of a reg rowcounter and teeny stitch holder. (I actually went out and bought the right kind...but I haven't had a chance to put it on). So I got confused which row I was on, and I needed to do the one with tiny cross over stitches and i didn't do them. So I frogged.

In my stupor, I thought I only needed to do only 3 instead of starting the two new section of cabley goodness on each end (i have no idea how to explain this without charts and a power point, so you're going to have to trust me). So I got to the end of the rowish area. Oh CRAP...So I frogged.

Third time was the charm and then I just stopped.

So much for productivity.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My buddy BL

When you go a long time feeling like you're the only knitter in the world...and certainly the only one who isn't 80...and by far the only one you know...you get kinda used to the comments.

"oh, i could never do that"
"omigosh where do you find the time..."
"I tried, but i lost interest"

Sure i had the occasional knitting group, and the random "oh that's pretty" but nothing really clicked. I had no knitting soulmate.

Enter BL.

We don't knit the same, we don't do the same projects, and we don't like the same things all the time. But we can wax poetic on yarn, we can run over to get new needles...we can sit and knit (or not) in starbux (and outside it) for hours and hours.

It's just nice to have someone to share new projects with, to discuss needles with...to have knitting fun with. Someone who doesn't look at me when I bring my project bag everywhere I go and think I'm super weird. I really haven't had that before. And it's really nice.

Oh, and she makes fun of people too...sigh, her needles are stuck right through my heart. :)

Knitting angst

So I went to my hoa meeting tonight faboo knitting bag in hand

Not A FREAKIN' STITCH

not one
not a single solitary one.

And honestly my HOA is getting so freakin' annoying that I might just puke. It's exasperating to say the least. To say the most, it's horrible and not fun and awful.

So bad enough, I have to be there. Even worse, I get nothing done...on my knitting.

These are a few of my favorite sticks


A good hook or needle can totally change whether you want to finish the project or throw it away. I just finished an afghan and then a stole. I used my nice wooded crochet needle from turn of the century...oh how i love.
I only have a few of these, but they are lovely and not horribly priced (about 14 for a hook)

I'm not a needle snob. Not even a little. That said. I hate plastic. Omigod I hate plastic. Plastic hooks and needles are just gross. To the point, that I am in the process of throwing all of mine away in anger. They stick to the yarn and my hands cramp. Plus my fingers stick to them. It's icky and gross. Lion brand only makes plastic. And they suck. SUCK SUCK SUCK

My lovely wooden one is cocobolo I think. It's light and easy to hold and it's just so pretty. Makes me feel all artistic and crud.

Virka-Sticka

So I was inspired...my friend BL has a knitting blog...and I really covet...so I thought I'd start one.

I have a blog on my space that is so underused it's pathetic, but there it is. I used to be more inspired maybe. But knitting and crocheting has become massively important to me, and I've refound my passion for it. Helps that a good friend knits with me.

so why virkasticka

Virka--swedish for crocheting
Sticka--swedish for knitting

Thus virkasticka! I'm actually kinda proud of this.

On my sticks
Baby sweater for bonny...former coworker...but either I finish it or I throw away the yarn. Sockotta bought from Patternworks--love that store, hate their catalog. Why they have to make their own code for weights is beyond me...like I'm supposed to remember the color-codes you arbitrarily assigned. WHANKERS

Baby sweater for KB...it's sherwood from knitty done in nightfall cotlin from Knit picks

Scarf for JM's dad...It's in a loose garter stitch on size 13 needles...but I'm thinking of frogging and redoing in seed.

On my hook

Nothing...yeah, I'm as shocked as you.

Waiting for finishing

Baby blanket for Ron/Kim
Baby sweater for michelle

I need to get off my ass.