Saturday, November 29, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

We had a lovely holiday. I'm thankful for so many things, but mostly I'd say for my family and the abundant love they bring into my life. And by family, I mean the ones I was blessed with by blood AND the ones I've been blessed with by choice in the way of friends.

And a special "THANK YOU!" to Grant, who gifted us with a new (to us) computer when he got his new-new computer. Thanks, Dude. You don't know what it means to me to not have to rely on Sluggy, my old laptop, any more. I'm going to have the kids come into your store and do special interpretive dances for you to show our appreciation and gratitude. Did you realize how awesome this machine was when you just GAVE it to us? Wow, you blow me away.

Both my pregnant sisters, by the way, are having girls. The good sister is naming hers Regan and she will be rewarded with many hand-knit treasures. The bad sister is getting coal. Good sister is due April 20th. Bad sister? Who knows for sure, she's sure not sharing with ME! Coal, I tell 'ya! I might THROW the coal at her too! Good sister is VERY good this year! Bad sister is working on some kind of new record for badness. :(

I'm off to knit more on my Monkeys. Mom will be in town tomorrow to spend the night. I'm not doing anything to the house, if it's clean enough for my babies and my friends it's clean enough for Mom too. More time for knitting!

Oh, and one more thing. We've got this GREAT Buck Stove wood heater in the "man room" basement of our house. We've maybe spent $30 on wood so far this year, but one burn will keep our whole house at about 74 degrees Fahrenheit for between four and six hours. It took us a little playing to get the hang of it but this stove has got to be the most kick-ass part of our already totally awesome house. I'm SO thankful that we get to live here with our kids. There's no place like home...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Adolescent-Male Yarn Snobbery

Monday night, I taught three pre-teen boys to knit. Actually, to purl. Their request, I assure you this wasn't a method of emotional terrorism on my part. One wanted to learn and it snowballed from there. Monday night they didn't want to stop knitting to go to bed. Tuesday morning they ALL got up & ready for school in record time so they'd have time to knit before the bus came. Keep in mind, they all get up at separate times, never see each other in the mornings. All three independently complained about the way the acrylic felt on their needles.

After I got off work, we went & got needles & 100% wool yarn for each of them and they started their first projects, scarves! Thankfully, I have the BEST LYS in the whole world, because she stayed open for me after I explained about the yarn snobs I've accidentally raised.

Above is the youngest with his scarf in Cascade 220, that's about an hour's work done Tuesday night after dinner. He just turned 10.

Below is my first lace sock, Monkey. I started this last Thursday, the 13th, at Knit Club. I love this pattern! Unfortunately, the sock is too large around the ankles and I didn't realize this until I got nearly TO the ankle part so I've got to rip it all back. A week's worth of stolen knitting minutes and lost sleep. See below, it looks relatively normal along my leg and the cuff fits just the way I like it, not tight but just enough to stay up.

But when you pull it down just a little bit, you realize that it's made for cankles. My ankle gets slimmer and the sock stays calf-width. I know I'm a slack-knitter, but this is WAY too large to be able to "fudge" it and keep going. See what I mean below?

This has become my sock of broken dreams. I've got a couple of sweaters waiting for minor adjustments, so it seems wrong to rip the socks back first when they've been languishing for so long. I'm going to compromise by ripping & re-starting these socks tonight, and then taking my Tangled Yoke sweater to knit night tomorrow night and working on my button band. Peer pressure, don't fail me now!

This ripping is going to require some wine... and some whine...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proof I DO Finish... what was I saying?

So really, I HAVE been busy. Knitting, anyway. I have actually finished some projects for myself and my children in time for us to get some use out of them this winter. Unfortunately, my Tangled Yoke Cardigan is just a buttonband away from being one of those finished projects.

I finished a hat for Keegan. It's bright red so there's a slim possibility that he won't lose it as quickly as he does other items of clothing he takes outside when he's playing. Cascade 220. He loves it, says it doesn't make his head itchy to wear at all. It's lovely & I've squeezed it to death while making it. Something about the K2 P2 rib makes it so puffy and satisfying to cuddle. I love Cascade! Plus, he snuggled me the whole time I was knitting it, asking questions and being really interested.

I've also made myself a lovely hat out of an entire skein of Noro Kureyon. I feel like a gay sunset wearing it. Hubby says it's colorful and it suits me. I love it madly! I love him madly too!!

I have 4 squares (makes one block when assembled) done of my sister Gwen's baby blanket. I'll need 4 blocks to make the baby blanket. These really go quickly, once you get to making them. I can turn one out a weekday (knitting on my breaks & before bed) but I've had to divert my attentions to making warm things for the family since winter is upon us.

The blanket squares are made of Berroco Comfort, worsted weight, and they're a pale buttery yellow. I've said it before, perhaps not on this blog, but this yarn is so delightful I just can't begin to explain it with mere words. I made my neice a pinwheel cardigan out of it and it took all my strength to turn it over to her when I was done. She's two... it's not like I was going to wear it. It's just THAT soft and wonderful. Just go buy yourself a skein and make something, you won't regret it.

The Cherry Tart hat below is also for Gwen's baby and also in Berroco Comfort, worsted weight. I haven't tacked-up the "crust" edges or you'd be able to see the bottom of the hat. Gawd, but it's cute! It's small too, so hopefully the little nibbler will be born without her Father's fat head & she'll be able to wear it for a few days. (I love you, Lua! You know I'm just kidding about the fat head. I haven't been able to tease you in SO long!)

Below are three of my wash cloths. I've got an addiction, I'm just admitting it right up front. A friend made me a dish cloth just like it. I refused to use it for the LONGEST time because it was just so beautiful (and you're NOT supposed to do that with precious handknits!) but she got mad at me so I decided it would be more of a travesty to use it than to alienate the giver of knitted goodness.

Turns out the damned thing is the best at everything. I've used it until it's nearly colorless. I've machine washed & dried it umpteen times. It's what I reach for no matter what I need to do in the kitchen. Ok, so she sold me on it there. Then another friend made me a face cloth in pinks in a different pattern. Hubby came down with a fever and insisted that he liked her wash cloth the best for over his forehead. Since then it's become the coveted wash cloth and no matter where I hide it, it disappears. The dratted kids won't even use the other wash cloths, they'll go hunting for that one. *mutter*

I've tried a few different patterns, but it seems I prefer to make the one shown below because of all the nifty little holes along the sides. And maybe a LITTLE bit because it's mindless knitting that can go anywhere without having to worry about a pattern. It's easy to hang on hooks in the kitchen if you're using it as a dish rag. It's easy to hang on the shower rack hooks in the bathroom, it's easy to hang EVERYWHERE. They are indestructible, those little ridges are amazing for scrubbing glass, pots and pans, and delicate faces. Don't ask me how that works, just go try one for yourself. Super-simple to make & perfect for every occasion. I've got two miles of cotton yarn in all my favorite colors. Both my pregnant sisters are getting a pile of these in with their baby-goodies.

There are other things I've made, but can't get pictures of right now due to them being in an inaccessible location (school locker) at the moment when my camera gear & computer are both at hand & cooperating with one another. Hopefully I'll get the chance to blog with more pictures of knitted goodies before this time next year.