Sunday, January 30, 2005
Purple hyacinths make it seem less like winter.
I have come to the conclusion, that unlike some of my fellow knitting bloggers, I don't read for the "literature", I read for the escape. I am so ashamed of myself (for about 10 seconds) that while others list all the really great fiction books they are currently reading, most of which are on the NY Times best seller list, I have a whole stack of "trashy books" by my bedside.
During the past couple of weeks I have finished the following:
Wet and Wild - Sandra Hill
Twilight Begins - Maggie Shayne
Seize the Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon
Crimson Moon - Rebecca York
Shifting Love - Constance O'Day-Flannery
Demon Kisses - Lucy Blue
Derik's Bane - MaryJanice Davidson
Bite - Laurell K. Hamilton and 4 others
Maggie by the Book - Kasey Michaels
Hello, Darkness - Sandra Brown
Gifts - JoAnn Power
There is a trend here. I like funny. I like vampires and werewolves. I like funny vampires and werewolves. I like to escape, not think, is my basic premise. Bite Me!
I do have The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon which is going to be the February Knit One Read Two book (flaked out on January's book) and Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke which is an adults Harry Potter sort-of. But at almost 800 pages does not lend itself to being toted around easily. Then too, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is due out in a few months also.
But my basic reading preference is "escape and laugh".
Audio books are becoming my friend. I am currently listening to Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde. If you enjoy books you have to read his books, laced/fulled/overflowing with references to classics in a fun way. Normally I don't say this, but this is one series you have to really read from the start or you will miss out on the premise of a lot of the things going on.
With a wonderful pancake and sausage breakfast prepared by me and eaten by Trumpet Princess (who pronounced it great) and me, it is time for morning nap!
Finished first sock. At least it looks somewhat like a sock.
Slightly burry truth that I can still stand on one leg and put my foot on the table and not fall over! Pretty good for a Sunday morning before coffee!
We escape the dreaded ice, power outages, etc. yesterday and early this morning. I was out "checking the weather" at all hours last night to be sure it wasn't accumulating much and just mainly rain. I have to laugh at the whole "checking the weather" because that is what my Dad would have done. And who says somethings aren't genetic! That, and being pre-menipausal I don't always sleep well. What else can you do at 2am?
Iced berries for the birds, at least this morning.
But this is really the extent of our icing here. North and west of us, there is more, but being the selfish person that I am, I am only concerned about me and mine....can me get mine car out of the driveway and get somewhere safely. Yes. Ok the world according to me is fine. However, I do have to feel for my co-workers....they are having to deal with people in/out of Atlanta that are stranded. Feel sorry for them and the travelers. Poor guy that I rebooked yesterday for today out of Atlanta who didn't get to go home earlier this week because of having his appendix removed. Now it looks like he will be stuck another day or two. At least he had friends in Atlanta. That's when you want to be home with "mommy", in your own bed.
This is the extend of the icing here in the Raleigh area---no complaints from me!
So we are fine here today. Actually the ice looks pretty on the trees. Since we are suppose to warm up to about 38-40 degrees today, it will soon be gone. That's how I like my "winter" experiences. Looks good for about 12 hours through the window.
Off for a refill on coffee and to check on the bread in the oven.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Failed Felted Bag
Actually this is the "good" side. I learned several things however from this bag which will now be a colorful "trash" bag by the knitting chair. #1---when you make checks and pull the yarns tight behind for color changes in order that there not be holes, you then need to decrease once you start knitting again. The tightness of the checks doesn't translate to the same gauge above and it makes for a very open, wavy top. #2---if you thing cutting and tying the yarn behind will be better than letting it lay across the checks---WRONG! The strands felted down where left alone.
But sitting in the doctor's office with Trumpet Princess to see if her jammed finger/bruised hand was just that or a possible fracture, I picked up my socks (ha---in real life socks don't get picked up much around here!) and started on them. I had stopped when I got to the heel and had to pick up stitches along the sides. Did it and am now on the straightaway for the foot (or just about).
Have turned the heel and now on the straightaway so to speak, but when you wear size 10's that's a lllooonnnnggg straightaway!
But it was so soothing and relaxing I am putting everything else out of my sight and just sit in my chair with my heating pad and iced tea (it's the South here---iced tea is a staple regardless of the weather!) and listen to "Something Rotten" by Jasper Fforde on audio CD's.
Hopefully, Goth Daughter who went back to school today survived and will make it home ok. Trumpet Princess walked up to school just now to be sure she didn't miss anything (God forbid!) and I'm not talking just about schoolwork either.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
I haven't felt well (down in my back) and Goth Daughter managed to get both bronchitis and sinusitis at the same time. If you are going to go, go for the gold. So I really haven't felt like knitting since anything I take for my back, knocks me out. Ok, so I can lick a benadryl and fall asleep----I'm also a cheap drunk.
Pulled out the yarn for Market Basket Bag and realized I didn't have a size 8 circular needle. So then I pulled out the yarn for Flower Basket Bag and realized the size 19 needles would make a suitcase sized purse. Scaled it down to a size 15 needle and it gauges out fine. However, somewhere between the directions and my fingers something has gone awry. Will have to frog it all back and start over, at least on the pattern repeat.
So, until I feel a little better mentally and physically, I am not touching anything that is more than a garter stitch! Dishclothes here I come!
By the way, not to be left out of the "ailing", Trumpet Princess managed to jam a finger playing basketball and someone stepped on the same hand. Luckily it's her left. We are reserving judgment about a run to the doctor's until tomorrow. Doesn't look all that swollen, but might be bruising on the side of the hand.
Whine, whine, whine........I am going to bed and will enact the "Cone of a Wonderful Day" upon waking tomorrow morning!
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Pre-sleepover revenge and a nose warmer.
So here is the Goth Daughter, like covering her eyes will make her unidentifible modeling her nose warmer. It should look really cute with her kitty ears cap and her red gauntlets.
Yesterday was off running errands, getting ready for the "Belated Birthday Sleepover" which is this evening. I have the perfect project to keep myself confined to my room with. Purchased the yarn for the Flower Basket Purse that is in the Winter 2004/2005 Vogue Knitting Magazine.
Reynolds Lopi for Flower Basket Purse
Going to use Lopi, two-strands, instead of the Tahki Baby called for. I had debated about changing the roses to yellow, after all I am from Texas and they are my favorite rose color. However, staying with the red roses as in the pattern.
Colors a little off here. From left to right, black, leaf green, dark olive and raspberry.
I have noticed a trend on several blogs that they are exiting or entering or staying in the "Year of the Sock". I think I am in the "Year of the Felted Bag". Have one finished, one halfway through, 2 with the yarn purchased and dozens of patterns I want to try. Luckily, most of the bags I want to make a large. You can't have too many totes for projects. And most of my friends are needleworkers also, so they can use totes also. I am still fascinated by the whole process of throwing it into the washing machine one way and it coming out another. Simple minds are easily amused!
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Not much snow, only a heavy dusting in most parts of the area. However, school let out early and major arteries were stop and go, or mainly stopped, for hours. Made my 4 miles from work and 7am-330p hours really nice. Plus the girls are only 5 houses away from the school and walk home.
So came home on the back roads.....no traffic.....fixed a pot of homemade chili and proceeded to watch the news about all the miles and miles and miles of backlogged, sideways, tangled mess.
Oh, did I mention we only had the equilvalent of one guy and a wheelbarrow of sand to salt/sand the roads? The front that moved through was a complete surprise to all the weather people in this area. They are scratching their heads, trying to figure out where it came from.
Me, I pulled out some yarn from my stash because my regular teller at the bank complimented my scarf and mentioned she didn't have one. So it's on the couch, watching Catwoman until Lost comes on!
Monday, January 17, 2005
But I did finish up the second gauntlet today at work and they are tucked away now for Valentine's Day. A whole month ahead on a gift. What is the world coming to!
Finished red gauntlets. Lighting makes them seem really orangy-red, but they are more red-red. Hopefully, Goth Daughter will not realize that Trumpet Princess was the model here and actually had HER gloves on!
Really started knitting on the socks yesterday and will work on them tonight while watching TV. Yes, I am one of those people who admits to watching TV. Extreme Home Makeover, then Everwood, then Medium. Of course, technically, Medium is past my bedtime of 10pm, but one night a week can't hurt!
Start of first pair of socks. Hopefully, these will be Valentine's Day Socks for Trumpet Princess.
But the "S" word is being thrown around here for the weekend. It is the weekend of Goth Daughter's Belated Birthday Sleepover. So we are making alternate plans in case the "S" hits the fan, or the streets, as it may be. I can tell I will be confined to my room again next weekend, but already have two books on CD lined up. Bless the public library system. Makes the cold I got from volunteering at the library book sale worthwhile since they are concentrating on books on CD's.
Sunday, January 16, 2005
The following is what happens when you confine me to my room, early on a Sunday morning, with coffee in hand........
Since the "sleepover" girls are in the living room, I am confined to my room until they awaken naturally. God forbid should I stir sleeping dogs (or since they are all girls---bitches---but they aren't in terms of the insult of the word). Anyway, I have been cleaning out my Favorites listing on the internet where I have thrown tons of stuff over the past year. And some things have come to mind I will share.
1. I enjoy writing. Underneath my arms as I type is a notebook for my "paper" journal.
2. Last week we were in the 70's. Friday, it was the high 50's. Saturday in the 40's. This
morning out my window I have watched it sleet for a few minutes, followed by a flurry of snow. Flurries of snow are all that I will allow. I have a Southerner's preference for "polite" snow. Snow that only sticks on the grass and trees, looks good for about 12 hours and then quietly melts away. You see down here, if you mention the "S" word, all the milk, bread, and toilet paper in the affected areas disappear from the shelves like we are awaiting a siege.
3. I have gone from being a cross stitch/needlework manic to a knitting one and I am enjoying the knitting more. Of course, we will not discuss the YEARS of projects that are in my closet, already kitted up and/or started. Not to mention the money involved. Yes, I figure for every project I have kitted up to cross stitch, I could knit a sweater. And from really nice yarns too!
4. I find myself enjoying my knitting more because it is much more portable. I find it much more tactile than needlework. Because of the oils on your hands, you aren't suppose to "fondle" your threads, etc. for needlework. Knitting encourages it. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it! You can touch, stroke, poke, rub knitting yarns and you can't with needlework.
5. Knitting is much more "useful". You can wear it. You can make something beautiful and creative and yet still be functional. How many pictures can you hang on the wall that you have cross stitched?
Now before all those who are great fans/lovers/practioners of needlework come to burn me at my stash, I am not trying to knock needlework in any form or fashion. I can still identify designers by looking at the pattern for the most part. I know what people are referring to when they speak of "cashel" and "Soie d Auger". And I won't forget them. I can still talk about what's new in the area of needlework with the average stitcher. Needlework has given me many years of sanity.
But in terms of satisfaction, I am finding knitting is giving me much more. Maybe it's because it sooths my Virgo soul more---practical AND beautiful.
Ok, deep thoughts over for the day. Have to refill coffee cup. Have the heel of my first sock to do and "Troy" to watch, stew to put in crock pot (God bless crock pots!).
Sir Helsing has decided that the pile of "stuff" from a dumped out bag is the "purr"-fect place for a Sunday morning lounge.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
First off, finished up last night one of the gauntlets. It is knit with Lion Brand Yarn Microspun which is fine to work with and feels great. Does have a tendancy to separate into all its individual threads if you have to rip anything out. But the gauntlet is knit flat. After completeing one and sleeping on it, figured there had to be a way to knit in the round on DPN's and get the same effect. Couple of changes to the pattern. So it is in mid-completion and we will see this evening if in fact it can be knit in the round with little impact on the design itself. That way no side seam. And I figured it out all by myself, including casting on 40 rather than 42 since there will be no seam.
Red gauntlet from the Knit.1 magazine.
Then this morning I "figured" out how to add some "stuff" to my sidebar. I am probably the most inept at this type of thing, but getting there. Who knows, one day I might have pretty pictures and everything on the sidebar. But one day/thing at a time.
But I have been exiled to my room since Goth Daughter has Goth Friend over for a sleepover and scary movies. I will listen to my book on CD. Listening to Diana Mott Davidson's "Sticks and Scones" right now. Our library system is really pushing for audio books since they are now primarily on CD and it makes sitting in my room and knitting very relaxing. After Goldie (the character in the book) and I solve the murder, I will then be listening to "The Rule of Four" which is suppose to be the lastest "DaVinci Code" style book. Really nice to listen and read at the same time!
Then, I found out that they opened a new Hollywood Video near us and the rentals are 99 cents and good for 5 days. Their opening special. So "Troy" is on the table, awaiting the Goths to leave the area and then Brad Pitt and I will knit together. Probably will be my Sunday morning thrill.
Oh yes, have had chocolate today too! Can this day get any better?
Friday, January 14, 2005
The item on the left is the start of the red gauntlets for Goth Daughter for Valentine's Day. The project on the right is my first pair of socks being started and are for Trumpet Princess for Valentine's Day. I will be altering the sock pattern a little as TP prefers anklet-type socks, so I will only make the leg part about 5 inches rather than 7 as the pattern calls for. Unfortunately, in my family we women have a large foundation on which we stand. Size 10 in middle school. Luckily for them, they have a wide range of choices of shoes. In my day, the days when the world was in black and white as my oldest says, I had a choice of Keds, and Keds only. Remember when Keds were the only tennis shoes you could get. And you were grown up when you wore a pair without the rubber across the toe. Now they are a fashion statement.
Saddle oxfords were the other choice, as was penny loafers. So I basically had two shoes, Keds and loafers. Saddle oxfords never graced these size 10 narrows! Or you could wear 2-3 inch high heels. Not approriate for junior high!
Anyway, making a nice amount of progress on the two progress, swapping out as I get tired of one. With the girls gone I can leave me "stuff" out on the couch. I am fortunate my cats (3 of them) feel messing with my yarn is beneath them. If I leave it out they don't mess with it unless it is to lay on it. On occassion, the oldest will "kill" a skein and I will hear these strange mews coming from him, but he has never bother WIP's.
So back to the couch and knitting and Matrix. What can I watch next?
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Goth Daughter is going both Friday and Saturday nights for sleepovers and Trumpet Princess will be with her dad. My decision is bed or couch....or kitchen, couch, then bed. Will put the old roast in the crock pot and coffee in the pot and sit and knit and what movies on the DVD player all weekend. And only things that don't make me think. Brain is resting this weekend.
But I want to start on socks....never made any before, but want to get started on some.
First set of socks will be done out of this. Perhaps in time for Valentine's for the Trumpet Princess?
Then I want to work on a pair of lacy gauntlets from the Knitting 1.1 magazine. Have a bright red Microspun and will make those for Valentine's for Goth Daughter. She will wear red with her black.
Then I would like to finish my second Marsupial bag and work on Clapotis.....is there enough time in the weekend or will I have to give up a nap or two? This could get complicated.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
But they are all great girls and since they are not boy crazy (BIG SIGH OF RELIEF) I can take an evening of cutting up and giggles.
Start of second Marsupial Bag. Am trying for checks.
All the colors that I am going to try and put into the bag.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Anyway, worked 10 hours day. My 8, another hour, 45 minutes so someone could go see their house in process of being built and another hour, 15 minutes just because......So I get home. Luckily I only live 4 miles away from work, which really helps. My oldest met me at the door in her Japanese garb, hugged me and announced she was tired and going to bed (only 630pm) and I needed to eat and go to bed too. Nothing like being told your bedtime by a 14 year old.
Did get some knitting done at work today. Am almost to the "straight" part of Clapotis. And hopefully soon I will get some pics made.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
So off we went to IHOP for breakfast.....ok, ok, everything can't be too highbrow here. And then off to the museum. Since she can't walk and stand for long periods of time, my admission to the exhibit for me pushing her around in the wheelchair. Don't you just love friends you can push around!
But the exhibit was great. I would have been a great model 50-100 years ago. No ribs showing on those women!! In fact, there were a couple of Matisse bronzes that looked just about how I look getting out of the shower---some people would view that as a scary thought....but see, it's art!
I bought some postcards and notecards as my memento of the day. Will send a couple to my grandmother over the next few weeks with a hello, the rest go into my journal.
Carol got this for me from Starbucks where we went afterwards to try the new "Chantico". Don't think dropping $3 at Starbucks is what is meant by prosperity, but it sure did taste good!
Went to Starbucks to get a Chantico that someone had mentioned they were offering starting the 8th of January. Suppose to be like a melted truffle.....ok, new addiction! It was good. They had some neat mugs, and Carol and I are both suckers for mugs.
I need about a gallon mug for it to do any good here!
So now back home with the princesses from their dad's. And back to reality. I have started on Clapotis and will try and get a pic of progress and yarn. Using a 65% cotton/35% acrylic yarn that is really soft. I am aiming to use it during the summer at work. They keep the building cold and I can protect from air conditioning drafts with it. So far, with about 6 inches done, it is fun to do. I can see I may have to do several just for the fun of it.
Waiting to find the new Vogue Knitting on the news stand. I looked at their site at some of the items in there and I am really intrigued by the felted flower basket purse. Could we say birthday present in September to my mom who is a garden club member?
Well, off to start the potato soup and knit some on Clapotis.
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Purchased the yarn for clapotis yesterday after work and started on it a little last night. Will post pictures a little later.
Going to the art museum on Sunday. The exhibit is sold out this weekend it turns out, so I am glad we bought pictures in advance. It is for the Matisse/Piscasso exhibit. In exchange for pushing Carol around in a wheelchair, she bought my ticket.
Poster from the Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris exhibit at the NC Museum of Art.
Need to learn more about "blogging". Want to add links and buttons and do it all up like others, but guess that takes time.
So off to get coffee and continue by day. I have to be the one to bring in the frappachinos today from Starbucks.
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
So, here I was searching for some size 0 dpn's that I just knew that I had. And I pull down the basket just to check I had not thrown the needles in there and see what was looking back at me. Eyes.....dozens of eyes......
Gators, gators everywhere and it's 70 degrees outside!
Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Knitting in the movie theater, while possible, is not really doable. But reading a knitting magazine prior to the movie starting is.
Took Trumpet Princess to see Lemony Snickett tonight. What the previews of upcoming movies showed was an upcoming movie with Steve Martin (who I like for the most part) in THE PINK PANTHER.
.....Which leads to pet peeve number 234,842,984.....
I have the original Pink Panther movie collection with Peter Sellers. Loved them all, but the first is the best. Pet peeve.....The DIAMOND in the first movie is the Pink Panther, not the Inspector. The "P" on the gloves was for "Phantom", not Pink Panther. How can you have a movie called the Pink Panther when it does not have the diamond in it?
Ok, over my rant...
But for a future knitting on the couch afternoon.....Phantom of the Opera which Trumpet Princess made me take her to for her recent birthday. Already awaiting it coming to DVD.
What would you knit on for a movie like that? Couldn't be anything too modern looking. Lacy...Shawl perhaps....Delicate fingerless gloves
Do you knit to fit the your mood? Do you find yourself switching out what you are knitting on based on your feelings at the time? Or am I just weird?
Monday, January 03, 2005
After two weeks off for vacation, which was lovely with the family in Texas, back to reality. And reality bites a big one. Although I got more knitting done at work today than during vacation---go figure.
Anyway, back to the Flower Bloom washcloths from Weekend Knitting.
Sunday, January 02, 2005
Goth Princess agreed to model for me. After all it is "black". Blaze (or Fat Cat) had to get his picture made also.
Wrap is done in black Lion Brand Chenille from a free pattern....very quick and easy. The pin is a brooch from Carol's mother old jewelry stash.
And then, the really "sick" part of the weekend, first Christmas present of 2005 finished! Actually, now that I have the idea of felting down (first project) and have the yarn out, will do a second bag with more striping, some squares maybe. I may not be original and design my own patterns, but, by George, give me an existing pattern and I am not afraid to alter fibers, colors, whatever.
Marsupial Bag (without baby bag) complete. Goth Daughter and Trumpet Princess think it is neat.
Off to eat dinner with friends before heading back to work on Monday after a two week vacation.
I have to say that I have never been this "organized" before. I have already finished one present for Christmas 2005 and it is only day 2 of the year. My sister wanted me to knit the Marsupial Bag from Stitch and Bitch minus the baby bag attachment. So it is done. As soon as the light is right I will take a picture of the finished product.
This is the SnB Marsupial Bag minus the "baby" bag before felting. I forgot about the twisted stitch at the corners of the bag until about 10 rows into it.
This might be the final Christmas present until December! But hey, at least I'm trying.
But to tell everyone in the world about me......
I am a recent convert (the past year) from cross stitch to knitting. I had learned about 20 years ago how to knit and had piddled with projects on and off for the past few years. 2004 became the year I kicked it into high gear, pretty much dropping needlework in favor of knitting. I am fortunate enough I can do this at work (helps to keep from going postal) and knitting is much more portable and can drop it and pick it up far more easily that cross stitch.
I am supported by a Thursday night Stitch and Bitch group that was meeting before SnB became popular. However, we are more of a "stitch and solve the world's problems and what did she think she was doing group". They are very tolerant that I knit rather than cross stitch, but then they are a great group of women.
I am a single mom of 2 lovely girls, 14 (just turned) and 11 1/2 years old. When they are not bugging each other, the oldest is semi-goth and looking for a kilt-wearing vampire; the youngest, is into Nintendo DS and trumpet playing in anything red/white/blue. Could I get more opposite? But they support their mom's fiber habits, even to the point of allowing me an hour in a LYS before going to see Phantom of the Opera for her birthday.
Anyway, my goal for 2005 is to swatch and be more organized. I have started a knitting journal and will record what/when/how and where I am doing and remember to swatch before starting.....Most of the time.....Maybe.....Ok, ok, I will.
Off to see what housework needs to be done before starting on a second Marsupial Bag. Since the wool is out, why not have it done already!
Saturday, January 01, 2005
UNDER MAJOR CONSTRUCTION
Two weeks ago I put in my "manual" journal that I wanted to blog in 2005. After reading all the wonderful knitting blogs out there, I just HAD to do it myself. Besides, without a blog how could I participate in all the secret pal fun?
Anyway, since the girls are still comatose and I have 2 hours until the Tournament of Roses parade, I thought what the heck.
I will be knitting on the Marsupial Bag from Stitch and Bitch during the parade. I had several skeins of Cascade 220 I had purchased for a sweater from Twisted Sisters and decided it wasn't exactly what I wanted to knit the sweater in. So I will use for bags for my sister's Christmas 2005 present (isn't that sick) and one for me. We will see how felting turns out. But it will be very stripey and colorful, or at least that is my hope.
Anyway, I am also going to stitch some "thigh high" stockings for my girls for Christmas stockings next year. Fortunately, I will be using them as Christmas stockings, so that only means one each. And I have plans to do stockings for my parents, so my sister and I can stuff with with little goodies.
Also on the "to do" list....
1. Charlotte's Web - finish up one for Carol and start/finish mine
2. Several Reverse-Bloom Flower Washcloths from Weekend Knitting
3. Three adult and 2 child size Later 'Gator Mitts from Stitch and Bitch Nation (awaiting
more yarn from LYS)
4. Participate in the Sockalong group
5. For myself, Gisele from Berroco Sweater Girls #228
6. Also for myself, Shoalwater Shawl from Fiber Trends
7. Clapotis for Knitty.com (still have to get the fibers for this one)
But still have a lot of work to do on this blog, such as getting pics on it, etc and then we will be all set for 2005!