Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Found a mistake that requires ripping out a whole row to repair or my pattern count will be incorrect. Discovered it at work at the end of my lunch break so there was no way to correct it. Needless to say, I was discouraged and distracted the rest of the day. Hubby called me toward the end of the day & noticed I was distracted. He intuitively knew it was knitting-related and not work-related and teased me mercilessly. Wretched hubby!

After work I had to get out a cloak I started years ago and figure out where I'd stopped. He's got to have it for tomorrow, so it looks like TWO days in a row I won't have time for knitting. Thankfully all I have to do is attach two (already cut) sleeves to the existing finished cloak and let out the hem to fit him and viola! Simple enough, maybe if I hurry through it I'll have knitting time. In theory, anyway.

This has to constitute spousal abuse, right? I'm pretty sure of it.

How am I supposed to concentrate on my JOB when my knitting has a found-error in it?


In happier news: The baby blanket was received warmly at the baby shower. My girlfriend says it was the only hand-made item that her friend had ever gotten for any of her children and she absolutely loved it. Girlfriend said the lady was actually teary-eyed over it! And what's more, it happened to be the exact color pink of the car seat that she picked out and so it matched perfectly. I suppose that makes it easier to give up the blanket. Not that I needed it or anything since I'm not having any more kids and I don't have girls and it would have been completely useless to me in any other application... but I treasured it and it was snuggly and warm and beautiful and I couldn't keep my own hands off it. I was sad to see it go, but very glad that it appears it will be cherished by its' recipient. I hope it keeps her little girl very warm and wrapped in love this winter.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Knitted and Lined Baby Blanket

My friend from work requested a baby blanket for a baby shower that's coming-up this Sunday. She picked a lovely soft acrylic yarn from Hobby Lobby with loads of soft girly pastel colors in it. In my opinion it is much too hairy a yarn for a baby, even though it's so soft to the touch that it's like a whisper. I quickly completed the knitting and decided to line it with flannel both for extra warmth this winter and to keep the little one away from all that nasty "hair". I got a really good deal on the flannel from JoAnn's in two colors of pink with tons of little hearts all over it!

Unfortunately, the floofy hairy yarn won't work under my sewing machine so I had to blind-stitch the backing on and then I had to hand sew a seam around the border to keep it in the proper shape. That's TWO hand sewn seams! I am a great embroiderer but a terrible seam maker so I wasn't too pleased with the way the second seam turned-out (although my first one, the blind stitched seam, turned-out flawlessly if I do say so myself).

The blanket is so wonderful and warm, I'm sure that it'll be treasured and used often. In fact, I wish I had a larger one for myself. Hubby is a large fella so he doesn't like warm things on the bed even in the middle of the frostiest weather. I, on the other hand, don't like when the temp drops below 70F. *sigh*

I think I will make a double knitted lap blanket for my Dad for Yule and line it with either flannel or fleece, and make him a pocket at the bottom for his feet to slip into. That way he can snuggle-up in his recliner in front of the tv in the evenings and keep toasty warm no matter how cold their old farm house gets. I don't make many things for my Dad, so that might be a nice way to show him that I haven't forgotten about him this holiday. Everything I make usually is for myself or my Mum, like the mittens & socks I just knitted for her birthday on the 12th.

I also need to get on the ball now that cold weather is here and make mittens & hats & scarves for all my boys! In my head (despite the time constraints) I have planned to have a whole box full of warm things for the kids to grab before going outside this winter. But here it is winter and I haven't made anything for them yet!

If I can manage it, this weekend will be for finishing my cardigan and frogging the one toe-up sock that I know I'll NEVER make a mate to and preparing to get into some of my planned winter projects because the cold weather is definitely here already and I'm unprepared as per usual. *sigh* Added to that, I've got that fabulous Kingfisher cape that I've got to FINISH before I'm going to allow myself to get into all the new projects that are on my to-do list!

I carry my knitting everywhere with me, but I rarely get a free minute to work on anything with my hectic schedule and my internet addiction. I keep telling Hubby to get a more lucrative job so I can knit more, but he doesn't see the humor I'm afraid. :)

I'm off to work!

Monday, October 22, 2007


WH (Wretched Hubby) has just informed me that if I don't watch out, he's going to have an knitting intervention for me. Our roommate agrees.

Anyone want to buy a husband? He's house-trained, he holds a job, he's very good looking... but he's a knitting-hater. I'll consider swapping him for some good stash yarns, send offers to Avversiera in Ravelry.


He won't let me take my new Aktion (limited edition) sock yarn into our bedroom to stroke and daydream about on my way to slumberland. He says that's taking it TOO FAR.

He actually took my beloved new Aktion yarn hostage earlier today in order to secure dinner for himself! As if he didn't get dinner EVERY SINGLE night without taking my precious stash hostage!

He hid it from me in the cleaning supply closet, but I outsmarted him. I found it right away. Silly man. If he hadn't wanted me to find it he should have hid it in the washing machine or behind his XBox 360.

He won't let me knit when we go out to eat. He won't let me knit in movie theaters. He won't let me knit while riding in the car. He won't let me knit in the bedroom, even when he's not in it!

*sniffle sniffle*

Now the Evil Roommate (ER) is siding with the WH and the UC (Ungrateful Children).

Has any other knitter ever been so abused and mistreated?

This all began directly after my latest meeting of the Small Business Support Group (I hit a sale at my LYS). I have the meanest husband in the South.

Seams and Joining

Am I the only knitter who truly loves the kitchener stitch and seaming my garments together when they're finished? I've heard a few people mention that they like the finishing process, or that they're not terribly opposed to it at least, but I love it. I mean, I REALLY LOVE it! Everything's done and you finally get to wear your masterpiece - or what you've finished at least. That is possibly the best part for me.

Granted, I'm not the most experienced kitchener-er in the world or anything. I've seamed together a little girl's A-line dress for my niece (I need to get pictures of it up on my Ravelry site already), I kitchenered a few sock toes and seamed half my cardi but I tell you, I loved that part best of all. Even better than the delightful blissful knitting that preceded it. In fact, I may possibly only knit so I get the chance to seam afterwards. How silly is that? I'll have to consider it more in-depth and get some more knitting under my belt before I decide to make that my official proclamation or anything.

I'm a third of the way through my potentially beautiful Kingfisher cape and there are no seams to look forward to. Already I'm dreaming of what I'll start on next, when this is done. I want to do some more socks, on eensy beensy little needles, but I also want something I can seam together when it's all said and done. I'm thinking of putting my cape on hold and working some more on the last sleeve of my cardi so I can wear it now that it's getting chilly and Fall-like weather-wise. Hubby is going to laugh at me because I can't decide what I'm doing from one day to the next, but I don't care.

Speaking of the wretched Hubby, he's taken my sock yarn hostage. That's right. I came home to a ransom note on the computer. It said something to the effect of "Bring the husband something good to eat at work or you'll never see your beloved sock yarn again." Sure enough, the empty bag was pinned to the top of the computer desk under our digi-cam. He's closing tonight, working until 9:45 or so. I'm debating whether I'll grease the front steps or actually take him something to eat... Maybe both. I can't risk debilitating him before I have my precious back in my hands. *mutter*

He goes out of town Wednesday morning, making the trek down to Ft. Benning in GA to see his brother Bobby graduate from boot camp or whatever military thing Bobby's been doing this time around. I've already made plans to meet my friend Bonny at the yarn store for emergency supplies Wednesday after work. :) By the time he comes home from his trip it'll be too late to return my purchases; they'll already be secreted away in a safe place. That'll teach him a lesson or two about holding my precious yarns hostage! Dirty thieving savage.

Never again

I hate cub scouts. I hate being an assistant leader. I hate leading the pack when the leader is away. I will never EVER EVER repeat this evening again - not in my memories or in real life.



Not for love or money.

That is all.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Body & Back done

It doesn't look like much, I was expecting it to be a little larger by now, but I got through my first little ball of the cashmere blend and I finished the back & neck part of the cape.

My first impression of this yarn is - it's fantastic! I love the double-knit part of the selvage stitches on either side of the yoke, it's soft and cushy. I want a whole blanket of simple double-knit in this cashmere. Maybe the Knitting-Enabler will obtain some more of this luscious stuff for me in the future so I can make myself one. (hint hint)

In just a few minutes I'm going to start on the body & lace part. I wish I could throw this over my shoulders right now and try it on, but it's on a very short 24" circular so that's not working really well for me just yet.


If only DH would get a better job so we could afford a maid and I could just knit all weekend and not worry about laundry and cleaning. *sigh*

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cinderella's Kingfisher Cape

Two days ago I re-CO for Cinderella's Kingfisher Cape, pattern by Huan-Hua Chye. The picture above was from the first CO which I subsequently frogged to re-CO in a more satisfying manner. Nothing but perfection will do, y'know! See my nifty Tamagochi stitch markers?


I found this pattern during a online search for some random thing I'd seen in the past but not favorited and was unable to find again. Providence, my friend, because I found this pattern instead and WOW it's more fantastic than the one I was looking for originally. What a beautiful story, what an amazing pattern. I definitely have designer's envy. Of course, I'm a new knitter - not even a designer at all - but I still have the envy. :)

Guess what? The designer is on Ravelry and she's totally sweet! We've talked several times and I tell you, I couldn't be more star-struck from meeting Hillary Clinton than I was to talk to this lady. Of course Hillary doesn't knit that I know of so I probably wouldn't be all that impressed with her anyway.

I showed my Mum (the knitting enabler) this pattern and told her what yarns I'd scoped-out for it online. How I was going to have to save-up for them. How I couldn't wait to have it on my needles. She said my colors were fantastic, then went out and got me some more random yarn that she fell in love with that had nothing to do with this pattern. Her yarns are a beautiful cashmere blend, ten balls in a dark charcoal grey and three or four in black as accents. Once again, my Mum is somewhat psychic. The yarn she chose is exactly the right weight/ texture/ size/ whatever to give me gauge in this capelet pattern! Plus, it has the added benefit of being a more useful color than what I'd chosen. In other words, it's perfect. I'll be able to wear this all the time and I'm thinking it will be just as beautiful in grey and black as it is in royal blue and gold. I'm going to look for some jet frog-buttons when I'm done knitting the masterpiece.

The Enabler is psychic. I've said it before (more often when I was young and trying to sneak out of the house) and I continue saying it to this day. Somehow the woman has the uncanny ability to provide me with EXACTLY what I need, when I need it.

All my other projects have been put on hold. Even the baby blanket that has to be done by next Monday for the baby shower. Even the cardigan with one sleeve missing that I've been working on for nearly a year now. Even the lovely socks I so desperately begged DH for the yarn for...

DH made a joke last night that for Samhain (Halloween) I should be a UFO and dress in all the things I haven't finished yet. The one-sleeved cardi, the one sock, the half a hat, the one mitten. I'll be WIP-girl.

I wonder how many men actually get maimed by knitting needles every year. Oh, but then again I treasure all my needles so I'd really have to use something else to harm him, like the Waterford crystal glasses we got for a wedding present that are completely useless for knitting. Yeah, I'll use those.

Now that I think about it, I'm not so sure I'm comfortable with that man knowing all the knitting lingo and using it to mock me! In fact, I think I'm mad! And to think, last night we went out to Chuck E. Cheese with our youngest son to celebrate his EXCELLENT report card and I only knitted for a few minutes. The rest of the time we played alien-shooting games. HOURS of precious knitting time wasted by flame-throwering innocent aliens and pumping grenades and ammo into them when I could be a third of the way closer to done with my precious cashmere cape instead! Only to have him mock me with my own slang later that evening. There has never been a more hateful or treacherous man alive.

That does it, for Christmas I'm going to knit him half a pair of socks.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


This weekend was and wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I cried my eyes out, but I wasn't expecting the camaraderie and fellowship to be more powerful than the majority of the sadness. I have been to several funerals of people I have been close to and close family with, but they were all older people - not new babies. My niece was about to be six months old. It's not like losing Gramma at a ripe old age, it's indescribable pain and loss.

I'm known for my inappropriate humor at the worst of times. I'm one of those people who cope with pain by laughing when it's possible. I tried my best to STFU during the funeral but my mouth overcame my better judgement and I started cracking (small) jokes with my sister after the preacher stopped his blathering. If there was only one good outcome of me going into debt to get out there, it was that I was able to lighten Gwen's and Jonathan's load for a couple of days. I'm grateful I was given that opportunity. The whole story of me getting out there and back is... special. I'll share.

I took the Greyhound bus from Nashville to Knoxville, with no small amount of trepidation I might add. Prior to this trip the only experiences I'd had with them was from picking Lua up there a couple of times and those weren't pretty experiences. I was prepared for the worst the criminally-toothless had to offer. My boss dropped me off out there, in my work finery, and I miraculously wasn't accosted or mauled by the scary hobos there. In fact, I found one older lady who was a knitter and I spent my hour of waiting-time until departure talking-shop with her and her husband. DH told me the best spot was near the back of the bus so that's where I settled - about three rows up from the latrine. Later, I discovered that was a HORRIBLE idea and I vowed to ride in the front seat on the way back. Pheeeewwweeee!

I had an interesting seat-mate for the first leg of the journey. His name was Jimmy. He was wearing a lovely blue "scrubs" top and some new blue jeans. He had a scary scull tattoo on his arm and I naively commented on it after a couple of minutes. Turns out he got it in prison (gulp). Even more special, he had just gotten out of prison and was on his way to his parents'. His SECOND time in prison. First was a 10-year stint for murder, from which he was released early and the subsequent term was shortly thereafter for a parole violation from drugs that sent him back to serve the last three years of his sentence. I was a little frightened but since he seemed friendly I spoke freely with him for the remainder of the ride.

I learned a couple of interesting things. 1) Anal raping is more of a hollywood and news rumor than it is a reality. According to Jimmy, anyway. 2) Prison is much worse on the folks who miss you than it is on the inmates. He said it wasn't so bad being in even though it's not a storybook existence either. 3) Jimmy agreed with my opinion that it's not a real punishment for criminals or a deterrent for anyone who's committed to breaking the law. He assured me that jail is much more harsh than any of the prisons he was ever in. After lengthy discussion (we had nearly two hours) we decided that unless you're sentenced to die (and you should be killed quickly, not left to leech off the government teat for decades) then you should be sentenced to hard dangerous labor until such time as you die or are released. Like the salt or coal mines...

Upon reaching Knoxville, I wandered around getting my bearings and looking for Lua, who was NOT there to pick me up. I was disappointed and grouchy and not a little bit hungry. No food was close outside of the tiny and questionable establishment inside the station. More toothless and unfriendly people were waiting there than were in Nashville. I quickly found the smoking "hole" outside where it promptly began raining. I discovered that everyone was grouchy because Greyhound had overbooked and some of them had been there over 24 hours with no hope of leaving before that same time the next day. All of a sudden I understood the grouchiness and that made it much more bearable. Sure, I was potentially abandoned in Knoxville while my forgetful twin did other things, but I at least had a way out whereas most of those folks were just stuck - broke and hungry and uncomfortable. Ouch.

A nice man came and began a conversation with my glum self while I was in the smoking hole. His name was Don. He eeked the first smile out of me and it was uphill from there. He told me he had just graduated from Seminary school and was on his way somewhere when he got stuck here. He'd been without his heart medicines for going-on five days at that point and was completely broke and starving. My discomfort paled in the face of his misfortune and his good spirits despite everything that was happening to him.

I commented on a lovely turquoise ring he was wearing and he told me the story of how it came to be his. This led to him showing me something he had created himself and the amusing and interesting things he'd used for its construction. It's a jewelry box made from folded bits of small chips bags. It's absolutely amazingly constructed, but it's also obvious that he either learned the skill at camp or in prison. Lets not kid ourselves, I knew immediately it was a prison-skill. *sigh* He'd done seventeen years in Arizona for murder, where he'd subsequently developed his heart condition. He was Italian, Don something. I wish I remembered his name, because he was a lovely person. I gave him nearly all the food I had on me. Mostly granola bars and cheese & peanut butter crackers.

I hope he got where he was going without further strain on his heart. He gave me the jewelry box I admired so much. It will forever remain one of my most treasured possessions. Especially since it took him 50 hours to make and he gave it to me for nothing but a smile and some conversation. God and Goddess bless you, my friend, wherever you are tonight.

The funeral the next day was funerial. I stayed with Gwen afterward, much to Lua's dismay, because he wanted to take me around to show me all his friends. Gwen needed me though, so there wasn't any contest. She and Jonathan, her husband, drove me to the bus stop in Knoxville the next afternoon. Unfortunately, none of us remembered the time change so I missed my bus. They waited with me, afraid to leave me lest I get stuck there all night on an overbooked error like the people I'd originated with. I did make the midnight bus, so that was lovely, but I was savagely tired. The bus was overfull so I had another seat-mate. This one was named Juan and he was a Mexican seasonal laborer who'd been coming over here for years every fall to work tobacco. He gave me his pillow to use because my head kept knocking into the glass window and he felt sorry for me. I may have drooled on it once... I'm terribly sorry for that, Juan. And wherever you are now, I hope the God and Goddess are smiling favorably on you as well.

It's late and I'm tired from recounting all my shortcomings and my couple of brief successes. I'll post pictures when I've got some charity work done, and when I can add a picture of Don's beautiful jewelry box.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Smitten Mittens

I have a funeral to attend in NC this weekend. Today, as a matter of fact. Tuesday evening I made an emergency stop at the Stitchin' Post in Nashville for a yarn project. Mrs. Pat who runs the store was out of town and had left her wonderful husband Mike there and he was kind enough to rush through the store with me (seconds before closing-time) helping me select yarns and needles for a knitting pattern I hadn't even decided on yet. Knitters will understand how that works but non-knitters just think we're screwy. Mr. Mike, as a well-conditioned longtime crafter's husband, was more than patient with me and I got some lovely Patons 100% Merino wool in a color called Peacock. I'm smitten with it, it's beyond beautiful.

I had originally thought it would end-up as slipper-socks for my Patient Mum (PM) but I couldn't find a project that suited me so it has become Peacock Smittens instead. I chose a simple pattern from my new Weekend Knitting book and have edited it slightly to be longer up the arms and convertible. I made them in the largest size because Mum's hands are a little bigger than mine but I'm using a smaller gauge yarn than recommended. I figure if the mittens are a bit too large then I'll lightly felt them which will make them even warmer for Mum.

I also got three skeins of yarn when only one would have sufficed, because KerstinGermany from Ravelry has a NIFTY hooded-scarf design that I'm anxious to try-out.

I knitted for an hour at the Greyhound bus station. I knitted for the four-hour bus trip. I even knitted after we got to my twin, Lua's, house. (Lua is a boy, it's his nickname, his real name is William. My nickname is Lahlah. We don't ask why in this family... we just answer to what we're called.) I've got the first Smitten nearly completed and took some pictures. After the funeral I'll knit some more and maybe I'll have one entire Smitten to go with my one sock and my cardigan that's all done except for the one sleeve...

Does this seem like an unfortunate theme I've got going on?

Anyway, the Smittens are for my Mum, who is blonde and is going to look exquisite in this color. I can't wait to give them to her for her birthday next week! I've got some serious knitting to do between now and then. Bless her heart, she asked for house slippers to keep her tootsies warm this winter and I've gone and deviated into mittens and a hooded scarf. I'm a bad daughter. I'll blame it on Lua and Greyhound! And Mrs. Pat at the Stitchin' Post who went on vacation when I needed her most!