Monday, July 31, 2006

Charity Knitting Knocks At My Web Door

Most of my knitting is done for myself. Why? Frankly because only I can fully appreciate the time, effort and thought that goes into it. Plus, I knit slow, so why waste my efforts on gifting to others when I can just go out and buy them another gift so much faster and cheaper and save the knitted items for myself.

But on the other hand, I've been feeling lately that I should be more giving. Maybe I should do some charity knitting? It was as if Norma was reading my mind! In her July 29th blog entry, she talked about knitting for charities such as Dulaan and CIC. Both organizations are constantly needing children's socks, hats, neckwarmers, mittens and other child-sized accessories. They need 100% wool items. (The wool is warmer than acrylic).

Then Catherine, over at Bossy Little Dog, started talking about how she'd spent the weekend knitting little baby hats for Save the Children - Caps to the Capitol. She knit a whole slew of little hats while I groused about the heat and struggled with making a present for myself, yet ANOTHER pair of socks (and in this decluttering effort we're undergoing right now here at the house, I've realized that I don't really NEED anymore socks, felted bags, nor any of the other mindless but fun projects I've been indulging myself with).

And on top of all THAT, Marguerite over at Stitches of Violet, who has LONG been a charity knitter and constantly makes me feel guilty with her selflessness and generosity, also started discussing the CIC socks she knit and sent in the mail the other day. In fact, she even has offered one of her patterns for use with CIC participants.

Are you girls all ganging up on my consciousness or what? I wonder how many other knitters you've inspired?

So in short, I feel guilty, spoiled, self-indulgent and extremely lucky to be living in a nice middle-class American existence. And maybe it wouldn't kill even SELFISH me, to knit a few pair of socks or hats for a child in an orphanage who doesn't have to worry about her socks shrinking, because there's no hot water to wash them in. And maybe a child's stocking cap that might take me a few hours to knit might just add to the comfort of a little kid in some far away place. Who knows?

So I started exploring the CIC, Dulaan and Save the Children websites. I even pulled out some Cascade 220 and started gathering together some patterns that might be suitable for this project. (Haven't quite cast on yet, but that's coming soon).

Even though I promised to make August UFO month and not to cast on any new projects, I'm going to bend the rules (just a little) to say only CHARITY KNITTING projects can be cast on in the midst of my finishing some UFOs for myself and some much-needed little warmers for those most in need.

If any of you feel inspired to do the same, let me know and we can gush over one another's efforts. Many of you already do charity knitting and are way ahead of me! But I'm finally inspired to look into it and to feel grateful for what I have.

I'm going to fix dinner. Have a great week everyone. This is my last week of freedom and I'm still cleaning and decluttering. (Fun, Fun).

Sunday, July 30, 2006

August = Finishing UFOs


ONE DOWN ONE TO GO - I've made a pact with myself and some other knitters to make August Unfinished Object month. Thanks for thinking of this Jeanie. Great idea and perfect timing! We are working on finishing up those as-yet-unfinished projects that have been hanging around, being left undone for one reason or another. As Jeanie wisely pointed out, it might be a good idea to finish up this old stuff before setting out on new knitting adventures for our Fall and Winter knitting. I know that personally, I have many knitted objects and patterns I'm lusting after for Fall, and as far as I'm concerned, Fall can't come soon enough! This heat is a killer.

But as we go through the "Dog Days of Summer" it might be fun to do some completion work. I've already made my list and it includes 1) My Simply Lovely socks. Yesterday, I finally finished the first sock and have started (a wee bit) on the second. 2) I also have another pair I started a few weeks ago, orange striped ones, that have one sock finished and the other not. 3) Felted bag "Mystery Bag" that I started in the past week or so that needs finished and felted; 4) The Dr. Who scarf I started last summer or fall and never finished. It's tedious, boring garter stitch. 5) The Crayon Box jacket that I started a year ago last Spring and have been lamenting about ever since. I don't like the pastel colors that I used for it. But I either need to finish the darned thing or get rid of it. That one has been a heavy weight hanging over my head (and taking space in my closets) for quite some time.

One thing I've determined is that I've knit quite a few socks this summer and I'm getting pretty tired of socks. But I will finish up the ones I've started. After I complete these two pairs in progress, I'm foregoing the socks for a while. I have enough already, jeez!

Now as I was contemplating these UFO projects, it's not that I have a whole lot of them. Well, it depends on how you define "Unfinished Object." Is it 1) one that you started and are working on slowly but surely while you do other projects. 2) Or is it one you've abandoned for a while and need to get back to? If UFO is defined as #2 then I really don't have many. I do tend to work on several things at once to keep my interest.

But I need to get these items off my plate, in one way or another. My larger problem is that I have a whole CLOSETFUL of bags with the yarn, pattern and whole project already purchased and put together, already to knit. So it's like an old knitting que that I've already qued up but haven't yet done. I keeping buying newer, better, trendier projects and leaving the old ones in the closet. I either don't knit fast enough, or fantasize too much about the next bestest thing and buy way more than I can realistically do. What I truly need to do is to cull through that closet full of projects and objectively decide what I am truly wanting to do and what I wish to give up or use in a different way than originally planned. Some projects probably never will get done and may be best turned over to someone who can fully appreciate them. But I haven't determined that yet.

Another goal of mine this month is to declutter and get my house sale-ready. I've been doing that. It's a tough job, but it's high time I did it. Feels good now that I've started.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Un-Haircut



Remember the Uncola commercial from years ago? Well, I think that yesterday, I experienced the "Unhaircut."

I know we've talked about my hair before, and I feel rather self-absorbed to continually focus on it . . . . but . . . . but . . . . it affects me. So allow me a superficial post.

The daughter and I decided that I needed to spiff up my boring hair. My daughter and I BOTH went to the salon for a daring change. So I visited a Master Stylist while she visited a Senior Stylist, whatever the difference, my stylist was supposed to be better/more experienced than hers. She came away with a DARLING hairstyle that she loves. Yes! I came away with . . . with . . . this (see above result #2 shot). It's not bad, just "same old/same old."

Even though I brought in a folder containing several pictures of the sought-after hairdo, she managed to create --- no major visible change. She acted like I was blind not to see the huge difference, but I don't see it. Granted, she thinned the sides to remove a little bulk and she trimmed the ends. But other than that, can you see a definitive, dramatic or major change in style?

The stylist seemed upset that I didn't love it. Sorry lady, I don't hate it I just don't love it. Obviously, she and I weren't on the same styling wavelength. Because I wasn't thrilled, she insisted on not charging me. I wasn't there to get a free haircut, but whatever. Perhaps the universe was trying to send me message NOT to change my hair this time? Or maybe I just need to go to Emmy's less-expensive stylist. I'm not sure.

But I sure wish I could find the "hair God" that Catherine found somewhere in Florida. (See her April 8th entry). Guess it's too far a drive from Missouri. But I'm starting to understand why my friend Phyllis is willing to travel to other states to get her hair done. Good hair makes you fall in love with yourself in a girly but very satisfying way.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Guess What Manifested For Me Today?

A job!!! I'm happy. I feel I belong there. And tired. Goodnight, but not before I say "thank you" to God, the universe, etc.

Which means:

Basic Tarot Meaning

The Sun is ruled by...the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises the Querent their day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. This is science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy. And, yes, the child/children in this card can be taken literally if other cards in the spread seem to suggest it. Your Querent can be informed that a wanted and most welcome babe will soon be on the way. Likely a boy, or twins.

Well, the babe reference ain't happening folks! But the rest of the forecast is blessed and welcome. I hope it relates to the new career path.

Here's a link to a couple of tarot websites I enjoy: and

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gettting in the Gap - Or At Least Heading Toward It

One of my favorite spiritual writers and personal heroes is Dr. Wayne Dyer. I remember him from the 1970's, when I first started reading his self-help books. He's not just about pscho-babble, he really seems to BE what he believes. I long to find that sense of grounded-ness and authenticity myself.

Today as I was driving around town, I started listening to one of his CD series and books called "The Power of Intention." He's just fantastic. Nearly everything he said applied to my current attempt to be focused and make the best decisions possible for my confused mental state.

Right now, I feel like I'm trying to look for something at the bottom of the pond, and there's all this pond scum and surface debris that is keeping me for seeing what is beneath.

Dr. Dyer's series is fantastic, and hearing this CD reminded me of another book of his called, "Getitng in the Gap" - it's about returning to that authentic connection between yourself and your Source. It's a type of meditation technique (Japa) that involvs getting in a space BETWEEN your thoughts to find a peaceful place that is really sacred. So by going within, if I can somehow hear that Source again, my decision making surely will become more clear. At least I want to emotionally and spiritually open myself to hearing the answers.

Dr. Dyer says, "The secret to manifesting anything that you desire is your willingness and your ability to realign yourself so that your inner world is in harmony with the power of intention. The way to establish a relationship with spirit and access the power of the creative principle is to contemplate yourself as being surrounded by the conditions you wish to produce."

In recent months, I've become hectic, disillusioned and lost track of that inner trust in myself and the Ultimate Source. Oh yea of little faith? Right?

So a refocus is definitely prescribed - like an eyeglass prescription, I need a new mental vision prescription. I'm putting on my "happy, prosperous" glasses now and envisioning a much brighter future for all concerned. Yes! Everyone, put on your happy glasses. What are we grateful for? A lot. And I hereby envision many other happy things to come.

Enough spiritual mumbo-jumbo! On the outer world, I have a second interview with a company tomorrow. Wish me luck!

Oh and I haven't been knitting much at all lately, because I've been studying (and I passed the test incidently), I've also been job hunting and starting to declutter the home environment. But here's my progress on the bag I started last week:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Finding My Inner Compass


I received a weird message in a fortune cookie the other day. Since I couldn't EAT the damned fortune cookie, I paid particular attention to the advice inside. I'm desperately looking for guidance now, and this fortune cookie just happened to have a message that hit me nearly as intensely as my own desperation.


Good, that's good. But how does one do that anyway? Rely on the inner compass. Right now, I don't know if I can even FIND my inner compass, what's more follow it.

I've been meditating on that for a couple of days now. While in the midst of my ill-fated job search five months ago, I tried making lists of the "Pros and Cons" of each job choice. Obviously, I ended up selecting the wrong one. So now what? How do I go about choosing this time? I have less options at the moment, but two possibilities are pulling at me. There's a lot of fear coming up for me. I feel teary and scared. Why?

I'm very scared of making another mistake. I'm middle aged now. I should know what I want to be when I grow up already for God's sake. I should "be it" already damn it. I'm too old to keep floundering.

I'm also feeling a desperate need to declutter my house. It's such a mess. The basement is piled high with crap I don't know what to do with. Maybe if I get rid of the clutter, I'll become clearer about what direction to go in. I've never been this messy and disorganized in my entire life. Probably the outer environment reflects in inner turmoil.

I'm studying for an exam right now that I need to take for one of the job possibilities. So I need to put the knitting aside. Put the blogging aside, get away from the computer for a while.

One thing that occurred to me in meditation this morning is that I need to move forward. Maybe not by deciding quite yet, but by physicially moving and walking. After I study for a few hours, a visit to the park and the labyrinth in my "peaceful place" will help me walk through some confusion.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Here We Are Again - Sip and Knitters That Is

The more knitters we attract - I think today we had 9 altogether:

Sometimes we spin (not me, don't worry, they will NEVER draw me over to "the dark side." Besides, if I took up with another hobby, my husband would kill me:

But what is crazy is I keep taking photos and I never get in them, both with the Sippers and in family photos. It looks like I'm never there, but I really am. I just always arrive late! That's either due to my personal style; or possibly to my busy life. Not sure which.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What in the World Is It Anyway?

Besides a very messy dining room table with mismatched placemats, what do we have here? My lastest project, of course. What in the world -- is it a giant chastity belt? Perhaps a flimsy jump rope? A bra for a Rhinocerus? Who's to say? Not me, at least not yet. It's a work in progress and I'll let you know if this progresses or gets frogged.

Meanwhile, at last the unbearable heat has finally ended. I am so happy. It was a cool, lovely day today. It seems that everyone was out, on the road and in the stores. But it was nice. Mom, Emmy and I trekked off together. We had lunch at First Watch. We shopped, we drove around and did errands.

I also had another job interview, by phone. It went well. I was scheduled for a second interview with that company for next week. The job search continues. I was offered one position, but it's a "nah" definitely not. And there are a couple of others in process and a few possibilities off in the horizon. But nothing definite yet.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chocolate Mint Bag

Ta da! Finally! A photo. Yes!

My New Bag

Time flies apparently, even when you are NOT having fun. Well, it's been hot and I don't know WHAT I've been doing - the time has been flying, but I haven't been very productive. Job Hunting, obviously. And not successfully yet (so far). But I'm plugging away. Sure hope I find something soon. I'm kind of getting bummed about it, but trying to hold onto a positive attitude.

When I'm working full-time, as I usually do, I always insist that I need more hours in a day and that my work is the reason I don't accomplish all that I want to on the home and knitting front. However, I must say, I've been off a couple of weeks now, and don't have a lot to show for it. Sorry to say, my house isn't even shining with cleanliness yet. What's up with that? I've become a lazy slug. I'll blame it on the heat, but there's more to it than that. Evidently, I manage my time less efficiently when I feel I have "all the time in the world."

One thing I did finish last weekend was this cute little Buttonhole bag from Mason Dixon knitting. You can get the pattern here: I did, however, find that there was an error. It's on the row where you are starting the handles. The pattern instructs to, "K8, BO 10, K8, Sl marker, K11, BO 10, K11" (the impt thing is to keep it centered between the markers.

Instead that line should say, "K10, BO12, K10, Sl marker, K10, BO 12, K 10."

I realize this Buttonhole bag has been making the blogosphere for quite a while, a couple of years, maybe? While I DO consider myself a "trendy" knitter, I'm behind about two years or so on the trends. It takes me that long to decide if it's a trend worth following. Two years allows time for the pattern to be debugged and sometimes even modified - for the better! By then, I figure most of the errata has already been worked out, and I've gotten inspirational ideas from everyone on the net.

One such continuing source of inspiration (and envy) is Leslie and her "Whimsy" (Whatastitch) blog. (Scroll down to the bottom of her June entries to see the green and brown bag I'm referring to.

Leslie constantly inspires me with her creative ideas, elegant taste and eye for selecting projects that, I too, want to work on. So pardon me, Leslie, for playing "copy cat" by whipping up my version of your Green and Brown Buttonhole Bag. I loved it! Mine isn't exactly the same, but as close as I could get it! I simply LOVE green and brown together, two of my favorite all-time colors.

And this bag reminded me of Ande's Mints at a time I can't EAT Ande's Mints (on my low-carb diet doncha know). But I can satisfy my chocolate mint urges by knitting on this bag. And now it's done. I'm happy with the results.

The flower and ribbon were not part of the original pattern, but were done on Leslie's bag. I did it by just casting on 20 stitches, then knitting into the front and back of each stitch on the 1st row, doing the same on the second, then binding off. I shaped that "curly cue" into a flower and sewed it together with just a stitch or two, then felted the flower, along with the bag. Then I pinned the flower on the bag and tacked it down with a few stitches, again, just so it wouldn't be loose. That's it. A funny, easy bag you can knit quickly.

Really a quick fun project. (And pretty cheap, too, it uses 2 strands of Lamb's Pride Bulky Weight yarn - and I used 2 skeins of green and 1 skein of brown (using both ends of the brown).

All right, I still can't get this darn blog photo to post, but when I do, I will post it. Arggh!!!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hotter Than A Matchstick

Yes, it's hot. Been hot all last week, all weekend, and now we're in line for more. Ugghhh!!!! It's 100+ degrees and an even hotter heat index. My car doesn't have air conditioning. I could tell you about how fun it is driving across town to a job interview in this (full corporate body armor):

And the subsequent fun of dashing into a restroom to do a damp paper towel bath pick-me-up before heading into the interview. But we won't go there, at least not in any more detail. But anyhow.

It doesn't make me feel any better to know that other people in other parts of the country are just as miserable. I just returned from St. Louis and it was just as hot there. In fact, in the late afternoon at my Aunt's house, we lost power entirely.

Speaking of my aunt, well actually she's an aunt by marriage, but she's a most adorable, energetic attractive woman who went on the Atkins diet 4 years ago and has kept it off ever since. I was on Somersizing (another low carb diet) in 2000-2002, and lost 22 lbs. but I eventually fell back into my old eating habits, so of course I'm fat again. Ugghh!! Why do we stop doing something when it's working? I don't know.

But she really inspired me to go back low carb again. The hardest part of it is giving up caffeine. I'm okay with giving up potatoes and corn - pasta is harder, but doable. Giving up coffee is a whole 'nother thing1 I simply adore coffee. And I don't like decaf coffee and tea. Those are the big sacrifices. And mainly, I just need to focus. Now seems like as good a time as any to get back in shape. I also need to exercise.

But I have a slight caffeine-denial hangover this morning. Iced tea, I want REAL iced tea. I've been drinking water until I'm ready to float.

I've been knitting too. I'm making progress on my lace socks. They are cute but boring. Like a bad date, I'm trying to stick them out, but they lose my interest fast. I'm whipped up a Buttonhole Bag. I'm knitting the flower now. After I get this baby felted, I'll post a picture.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Knitting Learning Curve

I realize some people have different reasons that they knit and most folks have different projects for different moods or circumstances. Some people knit to relax and do mindless projects. A few people will literally knit potholders or dishrags all their life, using the same pattern. (Not that there's anything wrong with that . . . different strokes ya know). On the other hand, some people (like me) are easily bored and never like to knit the same thing twice. We also have way too many projects going at once, as mentioned before. I think that's part of my driven personality. If I can't learn something new from a project, I'm less inclined to do it.

Don't get me wrong, I always have those mindless/easy/fast projects on the needles for those times when I'm wanting to watch tv, talk, etc. But as a rule, I also need a more mentally meaty project to keep it interesting. In fact, I feel DRAWN to learning new skills and challenging myself. Then when I challenge myself a wee bit too much, I whine and make myself annoying to others.

Last night's knitting class was a prime example. I've been just sailing along quite nicely (though slowly) on this Interweave lace socks pattern when all of a sudden last night, when I had to switch my stitches to the profile mode, I hit a brick wall. For about a year now, I've been knitting socks on 2 circs, but I never do that profile knitting thing some people do. When I get to the gusset, I usually just use DP needles until I can get back to the "normal" part again and get past the gusset.

To me, the gusset is always the challenging and least favorite part of the sock. It's represents the transition, the difficulty, it feels awkward to me etc. You have to readjust the stitches and you feel like you have way too many, etc. But I decided to challenge myself by doing the profile knitting thing. For some reason, it totally threw me for a loop. I was downright frustrated as I often am when I push myself to learn something new. I began to hate these socks, this class, and wished I'd just stuck to the old "tried and true" method I usually use. But I didn't. And this morning, as I wake up and face the socks with a fresh mind, the whole thing seems clearer to me now. That feeling of learning something gives me a feeling of mastery that is hard to find in any other area of my life.

Granted, figuring out this gusset doesn't solve global warming (Have you seen Inconvenient Truth? It's disturbing but amazingly impressive). Figuring out this sock won't solve the frighteningly tense Middle East situation, which is only escalating. But somehow, if I can push myself enough to get over the hurdle of figuring out this sock, something in me has a "cha-ching" feeling that eases my worries over everything else.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sit Down, Take Your Shoes Off

The photo above is a picture of the porch area of The Elms, a hotel in Excelsior Springs that we visited for a most relaxing pleasant Sunday outing last week. I'd had such a bad week last week that we just went for a relaxing drive in the cool weather last Sunday. We stopped at the hotel, walked the grounds and had a really serene afternoon. I look back fondly at that overcast, cool day, especially now that we're cook'n again in the mid-90s. Did I ever mention I hate summer? Well, definitely. So my mind wanders back to that cool day and heaves a sigh of relief just thinking about it.

Today I went to a Job Fair for sales people. It was a good chance to meet face-to-face with several prospective employers. It's hard to tell, of course, with such brief interviews, but I think there were a couple of different companies where I really hit it off well with the managers who were interviewing. Hopefully there will be some opportunities that will develop into something. I already got a call-back from one place and I have two interviews scheduled for this week. That makes me happy. I want to start working again soon. So it's been a good day. Thank you Lord. (Thank you, thank you). I could use more confidence-building days like today.

Also, I've made it down to the heel flap on the socks. The holes don't show up much in mine, because it's Cacade Fixation. But I like the effect. Here's my sock in

I'm feeling much better today, folks. Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. Woody Allen has left the building, at least for today.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Help I'm Becoming Woody Allen

I'm feeling really lost, and frustrated with my "lostness." Yes, part of it is that I need to find a job and I hate job hunting and the whole starting a new job thing. I'm not in the mood for it right now. Sorry, some of you may not want to read today's entry because it will probably come across as kind of negative. But I'm needing to vent and reflect, and this is as good a place as any to do so. I may decide to delete it later - yeah in true neurotic Woody Allen style, I'm second guessing myself, even on my blog entries.

Blessings: I have a wonderful husband, daughter, mother and life in general. But I find myself dwelling on the "hangnails" of life - mainly, I need to find work that isn't too stressful, but not too undemanding either, and ideally would be close to home so I don't have to drive an hour a day each way. I just need to get back in mental swing again so I can look perky for job interviews. It takes a certain frame of mind, don't you know.

I think I really need to meditate again to get centered and focused. Probably should have gone to church to Unity today, because that always helps whenever I get this lost feeling. Though I'm officially Jewish, I feel am a spiritual hodepodge. Unity is my spiritual "homeplace" - especially Unity Village. But I didn't go. I made breakfast and spent time with my family which also was nurturing and felt good.

But back on the "lost and scattered" theme, my knitting life reflects the real life, as always. I have way WAY too many projects going. It's making me feel unsettled. I crave the quick, get-it-done-now projects like dish rags, baby kimonos (even though I don't have a baby), everything in the Mason Dixon book, as well as Buttonhole felted bags (another Ann/Kay design). What is up with me? I crave fast and easy projects just like I craved salt about three or four months ago. Weird! But then again, I also have a few long-term projects that need tending to, that I really want to work on again, but feel too scattered to get much of anything done.

I read the other day that the average knitter completes 15 projects per year (both small and major ones combine). Since January 2006, I've completed 7 so far (3 pairs of socks, 1 sweater, 1 hat, 1 baby kimono and bootees and 1 scarf), which isn't bad for a slow knitter like me - and we're about halfway through the year, so I'm "on track" - not that I need to be. Gosh, this isn't a race is it? Only in terms of how my knitting projects are reflective of my whole life.

Projects currently on the needles in "active" mode: my orange-striped Trekking socks (one down, one to go), my Simply Lovely Lace socks (barely started), a buttonhole bag.

But then again, I've got several long-term projects that are still "in process" and more in limbo than in process - i.e. the 63-square "Learn to Knit" afghan (I'm on square 7 of 63); the Crayon Box Jacket that I started a year ago last Spring (maybe 1/4 done - 72 squares altogether); the Freeform vest that I started this Spring and really want to finish by Fall because I like it.

So how many projects does a sane person have going at any one time?

Not sure, but I felt a supreme sense of guilt when I was taking the Crochet class at the Studio yesterday and found out that two of the people in it were also in that original Studio Crayon Box Jacket (CBJ) class - plus my Mom was there too and she's in the same boat with CBJ. Of the four of us there 3 of us had NOT completed our jackets and 1 had. The one lady who finished hers, the teacher (Deb) said that she finished it by making herself do 2 squares per night before she could work on any other project. Does she have self-discipline or what?

Here's a link to the main CBJ Jacket from the designer's website

All 4 of us still like the jacket itself (though I'm regretful of the pastel colors I selected). Mom and I are tempted to take it up again in late August, when the Studio offers another class on it. August 29th. It's funny because I was seriously considering ditching that CBJ jacket a few days ago. I almost threw it in trash, but I held back. Ahhh!!!! The frustration of it all.

Most likely, I'm neurotic and am living inside my head too much, kinda like Woody Allen. That may explain why I'm also craving old Woody Allen movies. I'm loading up Annie Hall, Hannah and Her Sisters. "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," my favorite song of all time, best describes my mental state. Ack!!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Simply Lovely Lace Socks

I don't know if these socks technically count as lace or not. (There's an excellent discussion of this over on Knitting Curmudgeon - see her March 2, 2006 essay on Knitting Lace vs. Lace knitting). If, as Marilyn says, lace knitting has patterning on every row vs. lace knitting having plain row(s) in between, then this pattern would be lace knitting. It is a really simple 4 row repeated pattern, and you're only making yarnovers on the 2nd row of each repeat. Pretty fun so far.

I'm taking this as a "Project class" at Yarn Shop and More where we're working on these Simply Lovely Lace Socks from Interweave Knits - p. 64 Spring 2005 issue.

Just what I needed, another new project, right? Hmmmm. Yeah. I'll talk more about my scattered-ness in the next post. But I started the Simply Lovely Lace Socks on page 64 of Interweave Knits. The pattern is by Karen Baumer. Here is what we're aiming for:

And here are my efforts thus far - I'm using Cascade Fixation in Celtic Green:

Ta Da! It's Done - Thank You Laura

A public "thank you" to Laura. I'm sorry to overdo the point for those few blog readers I have out there. But I can't overdo it enough - thanking Laura for making me the vest. And it's done - ta da!!

This is not a very good picture. But it's a start. Later today, when Emmy gets home, I will have the child take a photo of me wearing the Gimme 5 vest.

Laura busted herself getting this done in time to meet me last night at the sock class. In fact, I think this speed knitting is what gave her a migraine. I wore it all night! (Even though it wasn't color coordinated with the bright lime blouse I was wearing). Again, let me say, you are a gem.

One thing I learned from Laura about this type of large drop-stitch project is that the imperative thing is blocking. Yeah, yeah, we've all heard of wet blocking, steam blocking etc. But apparently finger blocking (which she demonstrated while I was wearing the half-blocked vest last night) is something that is crucial to a large drop stitch project such as this. It makes an amazing difference in the finished product, just as wet/pin blocking does on a lace project. Basically, you just stick your fingers into the stitches that have been dropped and "comb" the stitches into place by gently pulling at either end of the long drop until they slide into place.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Sometimes All You Bring is the Stone . . . .

Okay, I'm all for the global village, the stone soup knitting method - you know, learning from others and all that. (If you don't know what Stone Soup Knitting is, then go read my post about it on June 18th). We'll wait.

Sometimes you begin to feel like you may have taken advantage of a friend's FRIENDLINESS, SKILL AND TALENT. That person would be Laura from my SSK group.

Who has been kind (or crazy) enough to do my Gimme 5 Vest project:

for me. Can you believe it? It seems I have a problem, a big problem with dropped stitches, especially when they come on size 13 or larger needles. I can't tell what I'm dropping from what should stay on the needles. Those slippery Addi Turbos were to blame, not me. Yeah, let's blame them.

So Laura has kindly taken this project on because I was about ready to give up on it. At least for the time being. I admit, the Hip Hop yarn is lovely. And the vest is very attractive. However, I think I've turned this stone soup into a major project for her. This time she's contributing everything - even the stone and the pot to make it in. Eeks!

I feel so bad that she's donating all that time, effort etc. to me. I wish I could pay her to do it, but since I'm unemployed again, I can't afford to pay her. I told Laura that we can SHARE the vest. Will that work? We can do like Emmy did when she was in 4th and 5th grade. She and her girlfriends actually shared some favorite stylish and expensive outfits with one another. Of course, it occasionally created havoc when one of them lost it, or spilled something on it, or when both wanted to wear it on the same day. But Laura and I won't fight over THE VEST. I promise. We'll play nice.

Some More Photos

Summer Sweater that Sherre knit herself - hey that girl is quiet. But she knits up a storm. Here's her lastest effort:

Yarn Shop and More's version of the Baby Kimono:

Monday, July 03, 2006

Baby Bootees to Match

Well . . . . to go along with the cute little newborn kimono, I wanted a matching pair of lime bootees. Used the pattern for "Classic Cashmere Bootees" from the Erika Knight book called SIMPLE KNITS FOR CHERISHED BABIES. The bootees were a snap, completed in probably less than 3 hours for both booties.

Easy Peasy (and cheap too - I made mine out of Sugar and Cream Yarn Instead of the cashmere):

Confession: Here is some more Sugar and Cream. Cheap and instant gratification just looking at these pretties. And suprisingly, this Sugar and Cream (though cheap to buy) knits up very nice.