Welcome to the blog of a young male knitter!



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Day Two

This spinning thing really is as addictive as they say it is, I've had my wheel for two full days -- today is the third -- and I've spun about 10oz. of fiber. This is getting to be a serious addiction. Today I sat at the wheel for a minute while I waited for my coffee to heat up. I spun while waiting for a phone call. It's getting out of hand.

While my wheel, now named Clara and will be referred to as such, still remains temperamental, I'm starting to learn how she works. 

On Christmas Day, I spun this:


That's 5 oz. of a nice Lincoln fiber. Great to learn on, and what's more, I actually like the finished product.

Here's yesterday's, and today's spinning.


Here's some merino top, that became this. 

Hopefully you'll see ply-ing tomorrow.

Spinning on a drop spindle is like knitting, it takes a while, and can be very difficult and hard on your arms. Spinning is much more like weaving, fast, but none the less magical.

Can't wait to play with Clara more.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Post Chirstmas!!

I hope that you all had as good a holiday as I did. I walk into my kitchen, and I am thankful beyond belief to think "Wow, how am I ever going to eat all this food." instead of "Where is my next meal coming from.

Moving on from that slightly heavy, but much needed sentiment, I'm here to tell you about the knitty side to my holidays. Or I should probably say, the spinny side of the day.
Any Guesses?
Yes, I am now the proud possessor of an antique spinning wheel. It doesn't work so well, but it does work, as evidenced by the hank of handspun that is drying about three feet away from where I write this. I would show you that, but I had some tec. issues. Still, I did spin 5oz. of Lincoln wool yesterday.

As a spindle spinner for most of my spinning "career" I am amazed by how very quick this goes. People always tell you how much faster a wheel is, but you never really see it until you actually try it. While it took me forever to figure it out (and I was a quick learner, thanks to all that work on the spindle)  I sat down yesterday, and by the time I was ready for bed, I had 5 more ounces of handspun for my (very small) collection of it. Today, here in about five or so minutes, I'll have even more. This stuff, I'll even ply it.

This could get very addictive, stay tuned.


(More about the holidays tomorrow. This was the big news, tomorrow you'll hear about the best reaction to any handknit present that I've ever gotten.)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Even I'm amazed

At how much knitting I can cram into a day. I think it helps when you DON'T STOP KNITTING. Really, I was feeling the burn that both A. Crazy people, and B. Knitters, both feel at this time of year. (Really, A and B are almost interchangeable, it depends on the knitter, and/or the crazy person.) Monday saw one present finished, Tuesday saw a pair of mitts finished -- and it was finished on Tuesday might I add, knitting late at night, party animal. Yesterday saw seems and button bands on the sweater, today it will hopefully see buttons, and woven in ends, (and the recipient RUINING CHRISTMAS*) I hope to do that in additions to weaving in the ends on one giant blanket. Add a few dishcloths to that, and I can call myself DONE. I'm not saying that I'll finish on time, but I'm saying that it doesn't really matter.
Monday, I knit a hat in about six hours, in addition to cooking. My mother guilted my into in by saying those words that she's forbidden to say this time of year, and I quote, "You know, so-and-so, would really like a hat." Well, push me right over and hand my my knitting. She later apologized for planting the idea in my highly suggestive head. Here's Monday's hat. A Prime Rib watchcap in bulky yarn. I got mine from Knitting without Tears. (Where else would I get it.) A little on the small side, but I crossed the finish line with about a yard of yarn -- living on the edge.
Tuesday I was very proud of myself though, because I knit those while doing a lot of my shopping, working a volunteer gig reading at the library (I got a few strange looks as I juggled a book and my needles) and mixing up the dough for several kinds of cookies.
Picture another hand, exactly like this, wearing another one, exactly like this. I did need one hand to operate the camera with.

Here's a sight to make you weep with pride. All the Christmas knitting (or most of it) freshly washed. I did my own then too though, figured while I was at it, right? 

Monday, December 19, 2011

The back of the Not-Jali Cardigan is done. (Of course, this thing is seamless up to the armhole, so it's a lot less knitting then it appears to be.) All I've got left to do on it is the front, (again, only from the armhole up) the button bands, which I'm modifying to make them smaller, and uh, actually close something. Then weave in a few ends, and wham, bam, thank you ma'am, this thing will be done and off my needles. I personally, even though this thing was fun to knit, can't wait to see it go. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I've been a little too faithfull to it for the past week or two. I'm hankering for a change.

I've added the potential for a few more presents to my list, because what's Christmas without knitting till dawn at least once. I plan to unvent some mitt-mitten flap thing that will sound like a total mystery to you until you see it. Plans are subject to change as always.

Tired today. Is it bad that at a quarter till ten I'm ready for a large nap. Thankfully I've got that no nap rule and a fresh pot of coffee . . .

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Please Work!!

(It's not the best, but at least it's something.)

(For those of you just joining this show, scroll down to the post from earlier today, and it'll explain everything.)

That Operation really did have a lot of benifits

As some of you will recall, this time last year I was flat on my back, bilateral casts from the knee down. While this had the benefit of straightening my feet out, it also made me lose weight (I grew, and I couldn't get out of bed to eat) and I got a huge head start on the Christmas knitting. (I also had an excuse to stay home a lot) You know you have got a lot of free time when you start the yearly round of presents in January. I digress though, and move on to today, and more specifically last night.

Even with all that added knitting, I still wasn't sure if I would make it. I had a lot of my mother's Christmas sweater still to do, and the ends on a giant blanket. So I decided to do what the Harlot (you know what Harlot) was going to do. Hit the knitting hard, and make sure that's it's still possible. And let me tell you something, I don't want to get to cocky, but boy, is it ever possible. While a week ago I was a few skeins short of losing it entirely, I am serene now. (Not to rub it in or nothing.)

Here's some shots of my mother's sweater, which will be finished on Christmas morning, hopefully without any manic midnight (or two or three a.m.) knitting sessions.

Sorry, computer issues, I'll try later today, or tomorrow. I'm really sorry. Suffice to say it's a lot bigger, and actually looks like a sweater, instead of a shapeless blob.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Surprise!!!

It's a Baby Surprise Jacket. I finished it up maybe Saturday night while reading a book. (Gotta love that Garter Stitch) Here's what it looks like unfolded.

A very colorful manta ray


Surprise!
 This was made up of mostly little oddments of this and that. Striped at random. I made a lot of mistakes with this, mostly due to my inability to read, and count. Let that be a lesson to all those who plan on knitting this in the future. Count and read.

I haven't sewn it up yet, and that's not due to laziness, or at least not all due to laziness. Tonight I'll be taking it with me to knit nite, and daring all who plan on making it to fold the Manta-ray into a sweater. I'll also be taking the formula (not pattern) for the larger sizes with me, as one of the knitters wanted to see them in the larger sizes. I can't wait to see the look on her face. (It is a lot of math for a Zimmermann. I balk at it if that tells you anything.)

Random thought on blogging, I hate the thought of doing it, but I like it while I do it. Odd as fish as the Harlot would say.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pictures!

Here's some shots of the knitting that I mentioned earlier this week.


That's the not-so Jali Cardigan. I had a lot of issues with the body so I replaced it with a simple feather and fan. So far a lot better, even though it did take me an hour to knit one row last night. It's moving a lot faster now, and I was even able to knit more than one repeat during an hour this morning. Working on it whenever I can. (kind of.) 



 Here is the BSJ, working on it for a KAL. I'm going to do another one it January, this one it much more of a practice one. I'm going to write down where I ran into problems, and hope that it'll help a few of the less experienced, and less thinking knitters. The pattern isn't hard, but it is one that makes you think, and if you're knitting this for the first time, my advice would be to count your stitches often, and to read through the directions thoroughly. There is one point where she means "at the same time" but doesn't say it. You increase the back while continuing the miter increases. (Sorry for the knitting techno talk, rest assured it will help someone.)
Last but not least is a little top-down sweater that I'm making up as I go along. No gauge swatch, not really much of a plan, knit on the fly, I'm whinging it. Need to get back to this, but I have to work on the two shown above. About two more inches and then I'll be done with the body. I'm not setting a deadline for it, but let's just say I hope to ring in the New Year while wearing this sweater. (Party Animal)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Lazy Blogger

I need to haul out the camera and take pictures of the four (!) active things that I've got on the needles. But I'm to lazy, you know the feeling, where the camera seems so far away, and it seems like so much work to put pictures up on the blog. I'm sure you never get like that, only me.

Anyway, I'm resurrecting the BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket). It's sitting about a foot from me, which is a very dangerous place because I've got other stuff that I need to do. As a matter of fact, it's on top of the other stuff.

Do you remember the KAL that I was planning with the Wednesday knit knitters. Well, we decided to postpone it till January, and then we're going to work on it then, because we'll have a lot more people. Let's see . . . there should be six of us, seven if you count Ann (She moved to Florida, but will be knitting a-long.) I'm going to knit one now, and one then to make sure that I can help anyone who has problems, and then I'll knit one then. Schoolhouse Press should really like the boost in sales :)

I should take pic's of the Not-Jali cardigan's sleeves. I've got two, and hopefully I'll be able to start the body tonight. Need to work on that, spending a little to much time with my mother . . .

I also should try to remember where I left that sock I started for a little travel knitting. I think it's in with some Christmas presents, but I'm not sure. Don't ask me how I could misplace knitting, it could happen to you.

Then there is the sweater for me, which is almost done with the body. Moving right along with this one, the only one. It's really simple, so I can work on it while I do everything. Needs a few inches and sleeves.

Please heckle me to death if I don't have pictures of this by Monday. Call, comment, visit me personally and poke me with large sticks, whatever it takes.

Monday, December 5, 2011

More Reasons not to like the Tomten Jacket

(I'm wearing it now, inasmuch as I want to hate it, I love it.)

Racheal Herron (link on sidebar) wrote a book about measuring your life in miles of yarn. How what she was knitting at the time helped her remember what she was feeling at the time. This is a very interesting concept for me, the knitter who knits everywhere, and everything that I've made has got some memories in it. Whether that's knitting while watching Desperate Housewives, (Brie, don't do it, don't shoot!) or dying Easter eggs, my knitting all has feelings that are bound to it like glue.

This sweater though, it was a really quick knit. (Over looking the slough of despond era) It doesn't have a lot of memories in it. The only ones I can come up with are me knitting while reading Julie and Julia, in the last cool days of summer. I briefly remember cursing over the sleeve that I knit inside out (I did that on Baby Tomten Jacket too, oddly enough I fixed it this time.) There are a few memories of this sweater being knit on during Pan Am too, mostly because it was touch knitting, not seeing knitting.

I think that these memories are a bit of a done deal though. I can't create them when the sweater is already done, they have to be done while the sweater is on the needles. I create memories in the yarn, not the garment. Make sense to you, because I'm not sure it did to me. I'm a little sick these days, and I'm not sure if this is real, or if it's all a figment of my imagination.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Tomten Jacket

And me being done with it.

Yup, I finished my Jacket, though I really don't think that it really deserves the title of Jacket. The Tomten sweater? Nah, The Tomten Tunic? Not exactly Tunic-ie. The Tomten Bathrobe sounds about right, and to me at least, it feels right.

It might have something to do with the all cotton content, or the way that I can wash and dry it in the machine. I really think that it's the (unintential) 3/4 length sleeves. While I like them, I don't like them that much. Like I said, if they were tighter fitting then they would make me feel manly, a feeling that I don't get very often, or really care about.

I intended this sweater to have a very full collar so it would be cuddly. So I knit the sleeves the right length for the intended collar. The collar though, it turned out less cuddly, and more ruffly. The kind of sweaters that are very fashionable for women at the moment. So I stuffed it in the corner for a month or so, until I got the urge for another sweater. That came a few weeks ago, and I'm just getting to around to documenting it.


Here's a few shots. I like it the way it is I'm not going to fix it, mostly because I don't think there is anything wrong with it. This sweater is going to be for when I need an infusion of cozy, which it really is, without the infusion of heat.
Blurry No? Tomorrow, why I need to wear this sweater everywhere.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New/Old Addi

It feels almost foreign to not be blabbing my every thought on this page. (Not my every though, but it does get close.) One day away, and I'm beginning to think that I'm suffering from withdrawal, or something like that. While I may not really need to blog, I like to do it. I think I'll be occupying this space a lot more often, which could be seen as either good news or bad news.

I've got several things that I could talk about. There's Abby's sweater, which I don't think would make a very good blog, and because I don't feel like pulling out the camera and going through the million-billion pictures on it. I could show you pictures of the Tomten Jacket, which has seen new life with it's little collar and 3/4 length sleeves. (If they were a little tighter fitting I would feel like "Big Strong Man. So Big, Grow out of Sleeves" be sure to say that last part like a cave man, otherwise it's just bad English.) But the sleeves feel a little bit more bathrobe-y to me. Pic's, well later when the camera doesn't seem so far away.

Last Wednesday was an odd day as far as knitting goes. I pulled back the body on the Jali Cardigan because it was evil. Possessed, I swear it is. That sweater tried to plunge it's needles into my beating heart.  So, instead of the cable-lace body, it will be a simple Feather and Fan stitch (I love feather and fan). If this sweater was the bible*, the old body would be the Old Testament, all fire and brimstone. This one however is like the New Testament of knitting -- all love and forgiveness. Hopefully I'll be able to end on a lighter note than the bible.

Ripping out the hellish body knitting was really not that bad. It felt good, like I was getting revenge on my knitting. It was made up for when The Generous Knitter (or Sindy as she is known by day) decided that she doesn't like her Addi needles (Can You Imagine?). For muggle readers of this blog, Addis are pricey, but worth it needles. They've always been out of my price range, but I'm now the possessor of three new-ish pairs.

(Sindy really deserves the title too. That V-neck Aran in Cascade 220, that was her yarn. That and a lot more that is happily resting on my bookcase.)

How she distributed them was laying them on the table at knit night, and everybody dove in head first, trying to grab a pair of two. (I got three, ah, being the only male, and younger, I enjoy being a novelty)

As I later said to Sindy (different one) "If you EVER want to start a riot among knitters, that it how you do it."

*I'm sorry if that offends anybody; I intended it for comedic purposes only.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December Plans (Idea stolen from Knitting on the Cam Mary)

Here's a few random musings about my plans for the upcoming months.

(And by the way, TODAY is the last day of Nablopomo. I'm surprised that I made it out alive. It really wasn't THAT hard, but I won't be keeping up this pace. Maybe every other day, something like that. We'll just see how it goes.)

1. I have to finish my mother's Christmas present. The red sleeve I showed you about a week ago, that's it. Considering that I've now moved on to the body, which is the front and back together, I'm averaging about a row per day, not exactly the speed of sound. Need to get a move on this.

2. I also hope to finish the top down sweater from a few days ago. This one however is moving faster than light. I'm already on the body of it, thanks to some great TV and equally great company. (Buffy and Abby, guess which one's TV.) I should have this thing out in no time, time will tell whether or not I will actually wear it.

3. I may need to knit up a few presents during this month, but I don't think I'll need them. Still, I've got everything ready just in case I need to turn out a hat at a moment's notice.

4. Weave in the ends on the BIG BLANKIE

5. Work on MY blankie.

Have a great Wednesday, and I can now say that I WON'T be burning in your eyeballs tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random Musing while Running

1. As I reached the round in the cul de sac I started thinking about knitting, which is a great thing to think about when your whole body is telling you that you need to die. When I was running all I wanted to do was grab some soft wool and start a huge pi shawl. Now that I'm home though, the current sweater is all that I need for entertainment. (That and season two of Buffy. Oy, what a show.)

2. When you run you are free from any suspicion. People look at you while your running and think "oh, just a runner, moving on." but if I were to go for a walk or something, people would look at me like I was pure evil casing out a robbery.

3. I don't have any socks on the needles. Odd that. I should correct that. I don't know about you, but I'm thinking larger gauge. (I told you, knitting and running, hand in hand.)

4. So far today I have had all the words to Dolly Parton's  "Working nine to five" stuck in my head. Things about pouring coffee, taking a shower, blood pumping, that sort of thing, and it's only ten o'clock. I guess it's going to be THAT kind of a day.

5. Now I have the urge to go off into a corner and boo-hoo my heart out. I guess that's what I get for listening to "Contemporary Christmas Carols for the Clinically Depressed"* There was this one about this guy who's girlfriend broke up with him on Christmas. And he's like all unemployed and can't afford food, and then he sold his only Christmas present that he got so he could buy her flowers. Just enough to push a giant sap like me over the edge. (Yup, definitely one of THOSE kind of days.)

*Made up name

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Gone To Far!

And it really has. This whole exercise thing I mean. Yesterday, I (and I'm not sure if the guy was joking or not) was mistaken for an anorexic. As in the eating disorder. Me. This was a day after I consumed my second several thousand calorie meal in a week. Me.

I guess I could quit doing this running thing. (Not happening, I, for some reason, love it.) Or I could break my years old practice, and have a glass of pop with dinner and ice cream afterwards. Oh boy, I feel positively decadent.

(Is is odd the way that someone insinuated that I have an eating disorder, and that gives me a happy feeling. I think that it's okay, at least I realize that it's a little odd, and a little unhealthy, but I don't really care. Thin!)

I really just love the way that I feel healthy now. For the first time I feel healthy and happy. And that doesn't really matter about your weight, it's more of a state of mind. And I'm in it! Sweet! Like this morning, I was running, in the rain, huffing and puffing, thinking I was going to die, but I was blissed while doing it. Don't think about that to much, it could cause an aneurysm.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here some yummy knitting!

Do you remember the sweater that I mentioned a few days ago? The top down raglan in the Red H***t from a certain decade that brought us Madonna, and Flashdance? That one, well, as scary as the yarn is (and I ain't lying, this stuff is barf worthy) I really like the way that it is knitting up. Striped with a quiet light brown yarn of the same fiber content it becomes quiet calm and lovely. To bad there won't be enough of that yarn to finish it, but I should be able to get enough for the yoke. The body and sleeves can be striped in another color.


Would you believe that this is about twenty-eight hours worth of knitting. Which, might I add was all done while preparing and cleaning up after a Thanksgiving* dinner for nine people, and getting nine hours of sleep. Hate me at will.

This is what I hope with be a sucessful attempt to knit top down. I've tried it on another sweater, but I got inpatient and started the body to soon. That was probably not helped by the way I didn't cast on enough stitches. The final injustice occurred when I found out that you can not rip ripping backwards, like they all say. It's really true.

Even the best knitters, (which is what all my knitting friends call me, I don't believe them though. The more you knit the more you learn.) make mistakes, and my only excuse was that I was on pain killers (prescribed) at the time.

*It wasn't on Thanksgiving. My parents love the leftovers, so they always make their own dinner the weekend after. I think it's quite a good idea.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Or is it just me?

Counting today, there are only four days left of Nablopomo. At this point I can coast along, just rambling on and on about nothing in particular, just talk and talk and talk, till you get so bored when you see my link on Bloglines, or blogger home page, you will weep salt tears and dread the day you got the bright idea to follow me.

Or is it just me?

Last night wasn't a big knitting night, as I, for the first time, made pumpkin pies from scratch. It was a little time consuming, but well worth it. You get such a thrill when you are able to get the skin off the pumpkin in one piece. You know me, I'll look for any excuse to use my hand blender.

The way I see it, making these pies from scratch is like making bread by hand. It may take a lot longer, it might be harder, you may get sore arms and a dirty kitchen, but somehow, they're just better. Like you know how much work went into them, and that just makes you feel that much better about the finished product. You don't see all it's defects, but you do see all it's attributes.

Or is it just me?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Good Yarn, Bad Yarn

My mission in life, (besides taking down Hostess snack cakes) is to prove, to all knitters, once and for all, that there is no such thing as a bad yarn. There are yarns that are sub-par, not fun to use, and that are really more trouble than they're worth, but I still think that ANYTHING yarn-y is great in my book. There are yarns some don't like to use, and some that are not appropriate for somethings, but nothing that is instinctively good or bad. Feel free to disagree with me at will.

Now I've done all the easy stuff, wool and cotton, and the like, have been proven to me, as you probably, as fun, and good for a lot of things. Those I didn't really have to prove much, but I still feel like they deserve it, at least in my eyes. You can do lace in cotton, and it makes for the drape-iest swishie-iest shawl that I've ever knit. Now I'm on to some less that desirable fibers.

You know what I'm talking about. Acrylic, mid-eighties, in a particularly garish colorway. (But really, aren't they all a little frightening?)

So, here after I get the bulk of the Christmas knitting behind me, (that would be finishing the afghan) I plan to start a little top-down raglan with stripes that will hopefully help to temper the "Copper Kettle" color way.

I hope to finish up that blanket tomorrow night, maybe? Not sure.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfull For . . .

Here we are on this day for giving thanks, or at least in this country. I for one have got many things that I'm thankfull for. There's the usuall stuff like food and clothes, then there are the other things like a good internet connection, the perfect cup of coffee this morning, and having holidays that fall in the middle of the week.

But, due to the current reading of Cold Mountain*, and watching Gone with the Wind yesterday, these days, I'm just feeling pretty thankfull that I don't have an invading army fighting a crutial battel right down the road. I'm pretty thankfull I don't have to pick cotton or worry about re-shingling the hen house.I'm very thankfull that I do not live in a time where the phrase "Fiddle De De" is socially acceptable. I'm thinking fond thoughts of synthetic fabrics and grocery stores, and my small yard.

*I always fall late on these reading fads. Cold Mountain was preceded by The Help, which wasn't too far off, and Eat, Pray, Love, which was, well, a while ago.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I don't even like them

Not a lot of time to talk today, because it is the day before Thanksgiving, and I have to help my mother make Apple Dumplings today.

I don't know why or how I got roped into helping her. It may because I'm a sucker, or a nice person, depending on how you look at it. Let me tell you a few things though. A) These things are such a pain to make, I would sooner lick my kitchen floors clean. B) The few times we do make them, we MAKE them. I'm talking a couple dozen, giving them to everyone we know. I probably wouldn't quite dread making them so much if we didn't have to triple the recipe. C) There are a lot more steps to making these things than you think there is. Making them is as complicated a dance as the Virginia Reel, everyone has to know exactly what their doing, otherwise the whole thing falls to pieces. D) They require you to use a rolling pin. The only time I like to use a rolling pin is when I have to whack an intruder upside the head with one. I don't have a chance to do this very often because I don't see a lot of intruders, and if I did, I don't think they would wait for me to rifle through the pantry to find a rolling pin and, E) I don't even really like the things. I don't get it and I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good-ish sweater, really bad mug

So last night someone got off work a little early, and was home while it was light out, a rare thing in these short days. They didn't even have time to pop out of their grubby uniform before a camera was thrust in their hands and pulled out onto the deck.


Here's a few photos of me having fun in Elizabeth Zimmermann's V-neck Aran. Knit in Cascade 220 (which conveniently has 220 yards in a hank.) In the color Permission. Call me unpoetic, and a bad writer as well, but to me it's just red, or maybe even brick red.

In that first picture I either look high or crazy, or a little of both. I don't really remember being either when it was taken. Odd that.

In the second picture you really see what I mean when I tell you about the messed up dye lot thing. Oh well, I should have checked it before I knit it, or noticed it while I knit it.

Feel free to make fun of what I'm wearing, the dye lot thing, the look on my face, my messy hair, and really just about anything you can think of.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spaced out, not in a good way

Without showing you the new inches that I've added to the current scarf, and the inch to the current sweater, I got nothing for you. I'm not one for the "Here's my inch" kind of posts, to me it just seems like you blogging because you feel like you have to, not because you want to. (We'll overlook why I'm writing today, when the blog well went dry long ago.)

Let's see, my fingers are cold today, almost to the point where they feel like typing is work. Each key is a lumbering motion, only getting better with each word. Slowly warming, but warming nonetheless.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have something, probably one of those posts showing you my new inches, but at least it'll be something. This is when a lot of people drop off of Nablopomo. You've just had all the blogging that you can, and another mention of the current knitting is enough to knock the will to knit right out of you.

(Sorry this post is so . . . spacey. I didn't sleep to well, and well, this is day 21. Down the home stretch baby, nine more days to go.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Here's a pic of the scarf that I'm knitting to go with the hat that was off the needles a few days ago. It's in the same yarn, done in a lovely Basketweave. I tried to do kind of a slanting cable, but after an hours worth of knitting I had ripped it more times than I care to count. Basketweave keeps turning up more and more on the things I knit, and I don't know how I feel about that. It's a good pattern, and keeps me busy when I want to just knit, but simple enough to where I don't have to pay attention to it if I don't want to. The two are a match made in heaven, and it's rare to find a stitch that does that.


I'm very proud of myself that I managed to pull out another day's worth of content. Thankfully I've been working on all the Christmas knitting, so I at least have a little something to talk about. I think that this might be the first year where I'm not knitting for the holidays in the month of December.

And am I the only person who thinks that Christmas is coming a little to early this year. I mean they always push it a little to early, but this year it seems ridiculous. It's like they went straight from Halloween to Christmas. We should still be thinking about pumpkins and Pilgrims, not elves and snow.

Call me old-fashioned but I think we need to have AT LEAST a month between The Monster Mash and Jingle Bells.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Here's what I'm knitting.

Here's a little shot of my mother's Christmas present. It's the Jali Cardigan from Summer 2010 Interweave. (the only reason I cancelled my subscription was because I didn't have the money, not because I don't LOVE their magazine. If anything, it really improved.) I'm making it in the smallest size, (I should knit more for my mother, she's conveniently small.) in a recycled cotton. A beautiful red color that seems to SCREAM Christmas.

Yes Abby, if you can read this, it is indeed the stuff you admired when you went to use the bathroom. I should never let you wonder the house alone. Though nothing has come up missing yet. (Hee Hee.)

In my master plan, and I do have one, I hope that knitting the sleeves first will make the lacy body seems a lot more interesting. Then, when I get to the other sleeve it will be like a release from the lacy. At least that's my plan. I do have one sometimes, but it's not always successful.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Here's a hat

Here's a little hat I knit up in the past few days. It's just my basic men's hat pattern, 88 stitches, work in 2x2 ribbing until you either get sick of it, or you feel it's long enough (usually one in the same) Then switch to stockinette and knit till it's the size of my hand. (Your hand is about as long as the bottom of you ear lobes to where you should start decreasing for the crown. Handy that)


The yarn is  Plymouth Encore in Worsted. Shade #455 (what an alluring shade name).

There is a story behind the purchase of this yarn. I went into Sally's Yarn shop here in town, and I looked at the yarn there. I hate how she doesn't label the yarn, so if you want the price, you have to ask. Then you have to either buy it or appear to be cheap (which I am, but that's not the point). So I don't go in there a lot. But she was having her yarn sale (half price) so I figured that I should go in and at least get the yarn for my father's Christmas present.

I buy a lot of yarn on the cone because it's a lot cheaper that way. I could get a sweater's worth of yarn for what this hat and it's matching scarf would cost. She didn't have a worsted on the cone in the color I wanted but she brought something out of the back that she thought would be in the right shade. She showed me the yarn, told me the yardage (conveniently covering up the label) I assumed it was 100% percent wool because that's what I asked her for. I bought three skeins of it, and headed out my way to find that this yarn is 25% wool and 75% fibers that shall not be named (hint: Wal-mart yarn, only a higher quality).

I could have taken it back, but I didn't want to because then I would have been the ass who didn't ask about the fiber content. Sigh, it does knit up nice, works just like a wool, but I know in my heart that it's not. Live and learn, but it still peeves me, It'll be at least six months before I am able to go back there.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Running From What?

Okay, here's the thing, my Physical Therapist told me that, in addition to the home program that I am already doing, (which is about an hour worth of stretching and strengthening) he wants me to start running.

To those of you who only run to chase the ice cream truck (I miss those days) this running thing is a lot harder than it looks. After about maybe three minutes of running my whole body (or just my lungs, which should be pretty damaged, spending as much time as I do around smokers.) was screaming stopstopdearholyheavenstop!

Still though, the things I do for feet. I really want to be a runner. I want to be one of those people who get up before dawn, drink their eggs, put on their specially designed workout clothes and go jogging around Philadelphia.

Let me tell the whole story. I was raking leaves today for about an hour today. That was about one giant tarp load of leaves. Not really what I would call an hours work, but I spent a lot of the time today screaming "No! No!No!" as the wind blew my tarp across the yard. I spent a large amount of time failing on it shouting. (and the neighbor guy in the back, he just stood on his porch and watched me attempt to stay sane and rake leaves at the same time.) But I did get a load of leaves out to the curb, and I hope to get another one tomorrow, actually tomorrow, if I can wrangle someone to help me, I hope to get them all out. Dare to dream, I know.

Sorry, got a little sidetracked there. But as I hauled the leaves out to the curb I saw one of the neighbors go running by. He's one of those eggs for breakfast before dawn types. I figured that the best way to become a runner was to start running. He also made me remember what the Physical Therapist told me, which I worked very hard to forget. (I also forgot that he wanted me start jumping.) So I go in, lace up my running shoes (which are my everything shoes) put on the closest thing I have to running clothes, and set off.

I got back a few minutes ago. Gone for about twenty minutes, ran for about ten of it. Not to bad of a start. It beats raking leaves, though the grass might not like it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Still not yet

No pictures of the V-neck Aran yet, at least no modeled shots, Here's one of it lying on the ground.


 While the sleeves might be too long, and the zipper too short, I still love this thing so much. I washed it up on Monday, and it is now buttery soft and sweet. Smells like shampoo too. I should be able to get a few modeled shots of it later today. I really do love this sweater, and I've worn it the past two days.



Here is a little hat that I've been working on since yesterday. I've gotten a lot done, which kind of surprises me. That's about three hours of knitting, mostly done while reading. Knitting while reading still remains one of my most favorite tricks.

I bought the yarn for that hat yesterday, so all the knitting in the meantime was on an Afghan that's been on the needles since January. Almost done, and you can see it then. It's pretty much four giant mitered squares made out of left over yarn. Have less than half a square to go, wish me luck!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What to do today

Today will be a busy day for me. I plan to go yarn shopping for the approaching holidays (1 point for planning slightly ahead.) I hope to find some green/grey wool on the cone. Enough for a hat, scarf, and a sweater (don't worry the sweater isn't for Christmas). Then I have to go to the library and copy some pages out of an Itailian phrase book (things like bathroom, I will have, and many swear words to make learning a language culturally appropriate) (You may not have noticed, but the Itailians are very gutteral people.) Then I have to work my shift at the bookshelf (a measly three and a half hour one). And I also need to make some time today to ponder the absurdity of life, and write it down. All while maintaining my pleasent demenor. (I hate people thinking I'm nice, I really wish I could be mean, I just don't know how.)

I  got up kind of early for me this morning. And if I have time I need to write a letter. (Also have to buy stamps today, check.) Of course though, now I'm not at all in a productive mood. I don't want to write, I don't want to ponder the absurdity of life, in as much as that sounds like fun. (And when you think about it, isn't life itself a little silly?)

Geez I'm whine-y today. Haven't been sleeping to well, maybe that's why. Or maybe I should change my name and my identity and move to New England where I'll operate an old fashioned ice-cream parlor. Nah, I'll stay here.

(By the way, how's my spelling in this post, spell check says I'm good, but I don't believe them.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Peeved but Appeased

Yesterday evening was one of the longest evenings of my life, (I've been having a lot of those lately) This was not due to any outside influence, as these things usually are, but it was one of my own doing, and I personally would love to know what the hell got into me. Oh yeah, it was the desire to finish this sweater, once and for all.

The weaving in of the ends went oddly quickly, which is unusual, because I usually procrastinate a lot on that (I only did it for like a day with this sweater, if that tells you anything about the fever I was in). It took about three hours to sew in the zipper, a freaking 14'' zipper. Yup, I highly doubt that I'll be doing a lot more sweaters with zipper. Though after this I should have a lot easier time of sewing in zippers because I have a little experience. It'll be a lot easier now that I've learned that it's not a good idea to sew the zipper to the inside of the sweater. And that you should use little stitches, so they don't come out an hour later.

Oddly enough, for as many pains as this sweater gave me, the way that I kept giving and giving to it, and the way that it gave me crap back, I really do love it. Sure, the way that the zipper was about three inches to short peeved me (I can live with it, the zipper was free after all). I may have been irrigated by the way I forgot to phony seam the too long sleeves. That one diamond that I forgot to cross might make me bitch, but really, who cares. I can even live with the way that the upper back and one sleeve is a different die lot than the rest. (Again, I would complain, but this was a free yarn as well.) (Ah, the joys of being a young broke, great knitter with generous friends, I haven't bought yarn in forever. Will remedy that tomorrow, need to finish the Christmas presents and my father is a bit picky.)

So, about an hour and half after finishing the sweater I started the next one (it is the holiday season). It's from Summer 2010 Interweave Knits. The Jail Cardigan in a red cotton for my mother for Christmas. I think I can have it done, she is conveniently small. Just a few inches of a sleeve, but last night, which usually is great knitting time, I did a bunch of stuff during the commercials. And you know how it is when you start a sweater, you think you get everything you need, you think of ten things that it would be impossible to knit without.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Sweater, but Huggy Coats!

Still haven't woven the ends on the V-neck Aran. Don't ask me why, but I haven't felt like fooling with it. Odd, a beautiful sweater needing maybe an hour of finishing, but I still don't have the urge to finish it. I hope to wear it Tuesday, so I had better get on that.

Of course I really don't have the time to fool with that today. Wish I did, but I really need to get some writing done, and I have done my physical therapy since Friday (Oy, I skipped one day, shame on me.) I could do it tonight during the THREE hours of TV I plan to watch. Ah, Sundays, for some it means church, for others football, but for me, it does, and will always mean (say it with me) Desperate Housewives.

Now it's time for me to try and put a funny spin on baking bread, while every so often banging my head into the wall for no apparent reason. Does that sound like the actions of a mentally deranged person? Don't answer that, I'll just wait for the nice people with the huggy coats to take me to a quiet place.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Bread a pleanty

Last night at about ten o'clock the last stitch (or at least I hope so) for the Elizabeth Zimmermann V-neck Aran was cast off. You may or may not have heard the shout of joy that erpupted from my living room at the time of finishing. I warn you that if you heard this muffled cry that you should prepare for another one this weekend, when I finally sew in the zipper and weave in the ends (of which there are few, gotta love a wool yarn). I should have pictures maybe Monday, we'll see how tomorrow and the next day goes.

As for the bread, well, for the past few days I've had a hankering for fresh bread. I love homemade bread, almost oddly so. I love the tast, the crustyness, the smell, oh, the smell. I even love making it, and I'm not the mamby-pamby bread maker type; I don't even use a mixer. The sensation of kneeding the dough, to feel the slightly warm lump between your fingers, slowy adding enough flour to bring it to what it should be. It's a very (forgive me) sensual experince. It's primal, it's simple, and the way it rises, magical.

This time though, I kind of wanted to do something that was a little sweet. So, I made one loaf normal, and the other I twisted, put on a cookie sheet, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. That one didn't work out so well for me.

I failed to take into account that this bread was more flat and less round. Therefore, I should have lessened the temp, and the cooking time. Yeah, well. It's not really sweet enough, the bottom is as black as the Grinch's heart, (it is that season after all) and there just is something that is not right about it. Ah well, better luck next time.

Here's a shot of the bread's good side. It sure looks tempting. Not to bad. Maybe I'll go give it another try, don't want to be to quick to judge . . . Ah, I'll just have some ice cream if I want sweet.



Friday, November 11, 2011

More Sleeve

While I know that I will never be one of those bloggers who post daily, I really like this new regime of posting daily. This month might be just enough motivation to get me to this page daily. They say that you have to do something twenty-one times in order to make it a habit, that should establish a habit of blogging daily. But I don't think my life is interesting enough to post daily. I imagine you don't want to see the before and after pictures of my doing the dishes. But this is really a lot of crazy fun, and I do love both of those things.

Anyway, before I went way off on that tangent, which isn't unusual, I was planning on showing you how very far I've come on the V-neck Aran sleeve. (Really need to think of a better name for that one.)


I just realized after uploading this picture that I really did show my natural state of untidyness. See those socks. I finished those, sitting here at my desk, at least two weeks ago. They made it about seven feet across the room to the radio, where I thought they would keep getting in my way, thus prompting me to take them upstairs with the rest. No such luck, oh well.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sleeve Two and Berries

I'm about a third of the way done with the last sleeve of the V-neck Aran. I love it so far, and like when you do something twice, the second one usually goes a lot faster, and a lot better. The wool supply is holding out great (second sleeve, and I still have well over a skien left. There is nothing better than wool leftovers, I can felt guilt free) Smooth sailing, and I should finish this puppy in a couple of days.


Almost to the elbow! YAY!

I must say that to avoid missing any more needles I have taken to cableing with a stick that's leftover from a stick of incence. Needless to say that now I'm prepared to lose them, I still have the exact same stick. This is one of those times where I really want to flip off the universe, but I don't, because then I will lose this little green stick, and then not be able to find the other sticks.



And here is some photographic proof that every million years (give or take a few), an Asparagus Fern will have berries. I've had this one for several years, and this is the first time that I've seen berries on it, I wish now that I had only had the presence of mind to take pictures of the little white flowers that it had this summer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I Vant to Knit

And that really is all I want to do, knit. I suppose that after a few days I wouldn't mind returning to my current status as the most productive man alive, but I would like to take a temporary sabbatical from that. You know, for health reasons.

I may not be the most productive person alive, but I really do want to cuddle up and knit something. Especially with this weather. (I do think that Khaki season has passed, sigh.) I did manage to start the sleeve of the V-neck Aran last night. It is such a great feeling, being on the last sleeve. It's a sensation that I both love and hate at the exact same time. Love, because, well, the last sleeve never takes me that long because I can't wait to meet the finished sweater, so I always rush to get it done as soon as I can. Hate, because, with knitting two of anything, you're knitting two of it. Don't ask me why I knit so many socks only to know that I will need to of them. On socks the second one is also rushed because I can't wait to meet the pair.

I haven't worked on the BSJ for a week, because I wanted to give Tracy a while to work on it, and I wanted to make sure that Denise was in on it, I haven't seen her for a couple of weeks, so she doesn't know that we're all knitting it. So that's a little hard for me to do. I want to stay ahead of Tracy in case she runs into any hitches, but I want to wait for Denise.

But I must say, that when I finish this sweater, I will have maybe two weeks where there isn't a whole lot on the needles. After that two weeks, I'll be withdrawing from society even further, trying to knit mittens for everyone I've ever met.  As Mary from Knitting on the Cam (link on sidebar) pointed out yesterday, we Americans are lucky in the respect that we have Thanksgiving between Christmas and Halloween, where Canadians don't. (Their Thanksgiving is in the beginning of October.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sleeve one has landed

I repeat, sleeve one has landed.

And it's even been sewn in. Am I an over achiever or what? (Over look the fact that I still haven't started the next one. I'll do it today, right after lunch.)

Here's a few terrible shots of it with one sleeve. It's so hard to take a picture of yourself, and other people look at me funny when I want them to take a picture of me wearing a half-knit sweater.




All it needs now is a sleeve, some odd collar thing-y that I haven't quite decided on yet. (I'm thinking the Norwegian collar. It's in a lot of EZ's books. Essentially a flap with the ends sewn down. I'm sure it looks a lot better than it sounds.) A few ends to be woven in (I do love a wool yarn, for many reason, but one of which is the spit felting method of dealing with the ends.) And then, I should have a perfectly fitting cardigan.

Good News: Considering that I have more than a ball of yarn left for the sleeves and collar, and the first sleeve took less than a ball of yarn, I will have enough to finish. Such a good feeling, and now, I can do as EZ suggests, Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises. I must say that this is a lot easier to do when you don't when you are confident that there won't be any crises.

I love the fit, the drop shoulder really doesn't look to bad on a man (sorry ladies). It's easy to knit, and if done right, quite good looking. I managed to avoid the winged arms look, by stopping the sleeve increases when I thought I should be done. I love how well this thing was seemed. So neat looking, so clean and tidy, and . . . so not me.

Monday, November 7, 2011

So what to talk about today?

I'm kind of running out of ideas. I've told you about my plans to learn a language that is only spoken in one county. I've told you about Project: 333, and how I'm not doing it. You've heard about my knitting, and how I've got only a few rows till I'm done with sleeve one on the V-neck Aran. (I should have come up with a better name for that one.) Desperate Housewives last night lacked the magic that it usually holds for me.

So, in short, I've got nothing. No insect has endangered my life so far. There have been no revelations, whether they be minor or major. I haven't decided to go on a life changing quest (or I haven't decided which one to go on). And I don't think you want to hear my views on whether or not the U.S. really went to the moon. (Which last night's Pan Am really helped me concrete my views on this. The U.S. government will do anything to get ahead.)

So, I'm just going to go (I may be posting more entries, but they are a lot shorter.) Hopefully I'll live to blog another day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Project 333: and why I'm not doing it

You may or may not have heard what is going on over at Yarnagogo Rachael's place. (Link on sidebar.) She is doing Project 333, which you probably haven't ever heard of. Basically it's where you winnow down your wawardrobe to 33 items, and where them for three months. This excludes things like jewelry, underwear pajamas, ect.

I like the idea of this. I like the idea of only having clothes that you like. It seems really noble to me, but I have got a couple of reasons for why I'm not doing this.

1. I live in Ohio. This means that during the summer I need a lot of cool clothes, because it can get pretty hot here. But it also gets freezing in winter. So I need to have an extensive supply of both sweaters and shorts. I would be find now if I were to keep the sweaters and get rid of the shorts, but what about in a eight months when it gets hot out? Then I won't have anything to wear.

2. I like most of my clothes (or I do now, keep reading). If I look through my closet I see mostly things that I like. While they might be a little outlandish, (At the moment I'm wearing jeans, a cardigan with suede elbow patches, and an "I'm with Stupid" shirt.) I really do like them all.  There are some that I don't wear a lot, mostly because I don't have the occasion to wear them a lot, but I do like all of them.

3. There are days where I feel like dressing differently than others. I have some days where I like to cozy up in sweaters and feel like a collage professor. There are times where I like to dress like other people my age do (to an extent, I hate conformity) and there are days where I like to dress like a free loving hippie. It varies based on my mood.

Still though, I do like the idea of this. So yesterday, I carved out a couple of hours and got rid of the stuff that I don't like. The dumpy last resort sweatshirt went, as did the drop-shouldered monstrosity that is older than I am. I got rid of the tight cut-offs that made my legs look like sausages. The stuff that doesn't fit me went, and the stuff that weighs me down went too. Clothes should lift you up, Right? (Hell, clothes should fit.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A love affair with all things Italian

In the past few days, my mild obsession with all things Italian, has developed into a raging case of consumption with all things Italian. I've always loved the country (At least the people, the government, a touch unstable) but due to a few recent book reads, and just me being me. I want to know everything about it.

I'm going to start learning the language. I already know a little, mostly gleaned through media, but that's still a start. I want to start taking classes in it soon, I just need to find out where would be a good place to do that.

Sure it's impractical. Sure, only one country speaks it, but you have to figure, at least it's not like the time I wanted to learn to speak Finnish. At least one country speaks this (most Finns use Swedish). And this is an easier language to learn, because it's based on Latin, like English. And this will make learning other Latin based languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese (sic) a lot easier.

And it's so pretty.

In other news, I finished the body of the V-neck Aran. Pic's tomorrow. I really like it. Always a plus.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Aran Update

 Is there anything better than knitting in the middle of the workday? Don't answer that, just enjoy the calm, the quiet (not really, my neighbors are getting a new roof. I keep thinking that someone is knocking at the door.).

This is Elizabeth Zimmermann's V-neck Aran. Knit in Cascade 220, in a lovely shade called Permission. I would call it red. If I was feeling particularly descriptive I may say 'brick red'. Another inch or two and I'll be able to say that the body is done. WOOT!

That's the sleeve there. The first one, about halfway done. I'm so happy that on this one you're able to see the cable pattern. See the way that each diamond is filled with a different stitch, that's on purpose. So much fun, deciding which one is next. You can see it a little on the body, but not very well.

I changed the pattern a little bit, nothing major. She wants you to knit the sweater in the round, and while I can see that if you're making a pullover, or doing colorwork, I can't see it for an Aran like this. Sorry Elizabeth. But I am knitting it all in one piece, with Phony Seams (so much fun). I need to go do a little math, and see how long the sleeves need to be. Love this knitting.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Issues

More than one, hence the "s"


1. I am trying to write a book, this is my third. I have yet to intrest a publisher on any of them, but I have yet to try and intrest a publisher on any of them. Today, since I over slept and have got other stuff to do today, I let my self do only 500 words today, instead of the usual 1,000. I'm at about four hundred now, and that's taken me as long as the usual 1,000. This may be related to the twitch over my eye.
2. I don't think I can upload the sock pictures. This may be the fault of my camera, my computer, or blogger, or some combination of the three. (We are ruling out operator error on this one, my mental state is fragile.) I'll try, hold on one second.

WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(It was operator error, leave me alone.) Okay, I figured out what I was doing wrong. Okay, you know how when you want to add a picture to blogger you have to click that little add image button. Well, I clicked that and I tried to upload photos, but I couldn't see them on that page. But then today I just clicked the add images button, thinking that it may work or something. I don't really know what happened, I may have blacked out for a few minutes, who knows.

I guess that takes it down to one issue, or at least one that I can think of. There are probably a few more, but I'm going to ignore them.

(Let me know if you want the yarn and the pattern, more than happy to help, but only if you want me to.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More needles than a Pincushion

Last night I lost a knitting needle between 10:22 and 10:25. I was knitting away on the sleeve for the EZ V-neck Aran, when I decided that I should finish watching that episode of Body of Proof upstairs. I planned to get up early today and get a jump on the day. (That didn't work so well.)

Somewhere, between the chair I was sitting in, and bed, I lost a knitting needle, and one that I really liked as well. A green metal DPN. Now I only have three of them. I managed to replace it with a Harmony bamboo DPN of the same size, but that still peeves me. And we all know that there is a huge difference between an aluminum DPN and a bamboo DPN. Oddly enough I prefer the metal, which totally negates the whole hippy-cruchy thing I have going.

I swear, this sweater is eating knitting needles. I've lost almost a whole set of the Harmony bamboo DPN's, and that's just from cable-ing. I think that's probably because I only need them every ninth round -- just enough time to lose them. Sigh.

You'll have more entries to look forward to like this. Nablopomo, you are one cruel, cruel mistress. Ask me why I did this and all you'll get is an icy stare, and a poke in the ass every time you sit. (Knitting needles are pokey)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nablopomo Day one

I figured that what with Today being November 1st and all, that I may want to start posting for Nablopomo now. I must say, doing this crazy blog daily stuff, well, it sounds a lot better in October. I also must say that this will most definitely not help that twitch over my eye.

Let's see if my computer will cooperate enough for me to get pictures of some socks on it . . .
No! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

I think I better go run the defrag, maybe that will help. It may also help if I take a minute to knit and drink coffee. Or maybe I could go to websites and look at pictures of new computers, you know kind of scare mine into submission.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Halloween Miricle

I have got great news. Really great news. Some news that makes me weep salt tears of joy. This sweet, sweet, joy. (Really, if something this small gives me joy, I can only imagine what I'll feel when I get offered my dream job as a book writer. Joy in the small things)

I finished the Christmas socks. Let's have us a crappy little look see. (I lost a camera war) (I think I may need to learn a few new war tactics.)

Never mind. My joy was sucked up by my computer's inability to do what I command it. I don't know if this was machine error, or operator error. Probably a little bit of both, Sigh.

I swear, I just get a little bit ahead and then the universe smacks me like an overcooked pancake. Grr!

But on the bright side, whether or not you were able to see them, the Christmas Socks our done (if only the word socks could be the word knitting).

So tonight I will be casting on for a little knit a-long that I'm doing with some of the Wednesday night knitters. We're all making the Baby Surprise Jacket. (I apologize to those of you who grow tired of the Zimmermann. You may want to stop reading, I think I'll be on this for a while.)

I'm a touch short on babies at the moment, but Tracy (one of the knitters) isn't. She is awash with babies. Tracy is one of those knitters who aren't really sure of themselves, so I'm knitting it along with her, just in case she runs into trouble. She was fairly certain it would happen and asked me how late at night she could call me. Ann is having a grandchild, so she's making a boatload of baby stuff this is just a drop in the baby knitting hat. Denise is knitting it too; she's also short on babies (who's fault is that?) but she likes to have fun.

And in the next few days I will probably cast on some new socks for me. I'm thinking large weight, and heavily cabled.

The V-neck Aran is at the armhole, and and the right one is done, and the left one is almost done. I'm loving this so much that I don't even care if it fits. Except that I do, and I hope it does. So far all signs point to yes, but I'm not holding my breath. You know how it goes. You knit till you turn blue, and then it doesn't fit. Sigh.

I'll try again with pics tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One that's working and one that isn't

I'm here to tell you the news that I have developed a new obsession, and I love it. While these compulsive feelings are nothing new to me, this sweater is. I knit it in little bit here and there when I wanted something fussier than the Tomten Jacket. (We will get to him and his doomed fate in a little bit.)



That is the new obsession. It's Elizabeth Zimmermann's V-neck Aran. (I am nothing if not predictable) I got this in the Opinionated Knitter, and I love it. The yarn is Cascade 220, and it bears no resemblance to the color in the picture. (sorry, the light  here is so bad, it's the middle of the day, and the lamp is lit in what is usually a well lit room. Ohio has become one lightless gray mass) Now that the Tomten Jacket is more or less done, I am free to work on it all I please.

Except I am not free to work on all I please, because Christmas is coming. (I originally wrote Christmas is knitting, which is so true.) I must get to work on my presents. There is surprisingly little to do, but I have a feeling that I'm lulling myself into a false sense of security.

Here is the Tomten Jacket, and it is now stuffed under my desk till I either A) get an urge to finish anything, or B) when I get tired of looking at it.

There are a lot of issues with this little puppy. For starters the collar drapes in a rather feminine fashion. While I think that is a great look for a lot of women, I don't think that it is that great on a six foot tall man. I wanted the collar to be . . . cuddly. (I think that six foot tall thing was just compensating for the cuddly) So I knit a lot of collar. Now, I'm going to have to rip back the collar, re-bind off it. Then that means the sleeves will probably be to short, so I'm going to have to rip out the (sewn) bind-offs on those, and knit about three more inches. I still have to put the toggels on this, and then weave in the ends, then I should be done.

I need a break from it, I'm sure you understand. Just drop me a line every now and then so I don't forget about it. Hopefully one day I'll finally be able to put this sweater in it's place once and for all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday Morning Yarn

This Sunday was one of those days. Those days where I wake up prior to the crack of dawn, and my brain just screams "YOU'RE AWAKE!! GET UP AND DO SOMETHING!!!"

Those kind of days tend to be very productive days. I am usually done with all my usual work by maybe . . .  eleven? It depends on how much I have to do, so those days, I have a whole day to play with. (I made up for it today with my crappy alarm clock and staying up till all hours that night watching Pan Am.)

So yesterday, I made use of my extra time by winding and washing an old sweater that already was missing its seams. The sweater was procured for free, (I heart volunteering!) and I am now in possession of a sweater's worth of 80% wool, and 20% nylon. If it matters at all, the yarn was from Abercrombie and Fitch. It practically reeked of men who had as little sense as they did shirts. I think that's why they let me take it. (Or because it had more pills than a pharmacy.) Now it smells like Dawn and dawn.

Sorry, I didn't get a pic of the original sweater. I don't make it a habit to think that far ahead.

My yarn pre-wash


My yarn drying in the morning light.

And after it started raining.
The Tomten Jacket suffered a painful rip back, because I knit one sleeve inside out. Funny, the same thing happened to me when I knit my baby Tomten Jacket. The directions pick up and knit WITH THE RIGHT SIDE FACING YOU can't really be stressed enough. ETA: Got about four inches left on the sleeve. I've been knitting like the wind today. Give me a minute, and I'm cranking out a row. Please don't ask me how that's different than normal, somehow I'm getting more done, I'm going with it. Woot!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sleeves and leaves

Here is a quick peak at the progress on the Tomten Jacket (the word Tomten is harder to spell than it really should be).

Getting a good picture of this thing is like getting a good picture of bigfoot. You are pretty sure that it's something else.

Really loving this thing as a project. I have the urge to carry it around the house with me. (I also have an urge to put a D in the word urge.) Oddly, this thing is entertaining me to no end. But, the little slip stitch socks bore me to tears. You would think that would be the other way around.

I really love this yarn which is a recycled cotton. The "string-y-ness" of it really appeals to me. And I should have some leftovers. (Rather shocking, I wasn't sure I would have enough to finish it.) Can anybody say "Dishcloths?"

In other news, I have decided to do Nablopomo this year. Just like I did last year. For those of you who don't know, Nablopomo is where the author of a blog posts to their blog every day for a month. Aren't you just jumping for joy at the thought of knowing what I'm thinking at every possible moment. What can I say, It'll be an exercise in narcissism. (Try saying that five times fast.)

Here is few shots from my walk yesterday. Like I said before, I really missed out on Autumn last year, so I have to make up for it this year. A lot of the trees here haven't fully changed, so you'll just have to take what you can get.





I would entitle these pictures "I need to get a better camera." (My apologies to the little-camera-that-could. You know I love you.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winging it.

The title is a long story, but suffice to say that I am winging it more than I actually know what I'm doing.

I've been reading a lot lately, and I've learned a few things about myself. (Self realization, always startling.)

1. It's okay for me to not always read the intellectual crap. When people see you reading a book, they generally assume that you are a smart cookie. (Usually) I don't have to plow my way through an Austen every week in order to maintain my bookish exterior. Now, I find myself drawn to the kind of books that I actually want to read, and  . . . actually reading them.

2. When I have a good book, I read it. A few months back I was yaking about when I first saw the movie Julie and Julia. (Watch it, you won't be sorry) Well, I just now got around to reading the book that it was based on, and I read that book in about thirty-six hours. It was that good. Better than the movie, and that's saying something.

3. When you don't have anything that you feel like reading, go out and buy or borrow a book that you do want to read. All of our time is too valuable for us to spend it with our nose in a book that is boring us to tears. The librarians will not kill you if you leave unfinished books around the house. (Provided they aren't library books. That's the reason I have to go book shopping. I never have enough money at one time to pay my library fine.) (I go to a charitable used bookstore though, it's for a good cause.)

4. Don't be ashamed about what you're reading. I recently read a book called Lipstick Jungle. (Let me know if you want a link.) It was kind of like Sex and the City turned into a book. Only with a lot more heart. (Both the books are by the same author, that might be why.) It wasn't the sort of thing that I would go for, but I loved it. Made me think about the value of friendship, and the value of a good career.

5. Like the post-it on my desk tells me, LIGHTEN UP! HAVE FUN! (I know it's bad that I have to remind myself to do those things.) And if we apply that to every aspect of our lives, we will be just fine. (Reading, knitting, family, all within limit though, like all things.) I always say, (not really) we are not in this life for toil, anxiety, or stress. We are here for fun and happiness, let your life, in all it's aspects, reflect that.

Jeez, I started talking about books, and then I segway into how people should live their lives, sorry! Didn't mean to do that.