Saturday, January 31, 2009

You otta be in pictures

I did it!
I took pix of the projects. (No not the ones I live in but the ones I'm knitting, lol)

First, the finished Gwen Slouch, by Lauren Nell Roy. I really loved knitting this pattern. It was really well written, easy to tweak, and the lace pattern was a breeze to follow. In the second photo my oldest son was kind enough to don this chapeau so I could get a better shot of it.
Of course as soon as the hat hit his head he started to complain that I was messing up his hair. Oh geezzz!! This yarn was lovely to knit with.
It was so springy and so light. It's also very comfy to wear. For this being my first experience wearing a slouch I must say I like it. I usually wear it much like a snood, tucking my hair up inside. One reason I like it is that it really doesn't give me that "hat hair" effect. Which I must admit I appreciate.

Second, is the Juliet Sweater, by Sarah and Rachel. I started this pattern last year some time and finally took it out of hibernation. I was a little intimidated to start the lace pattern, since my Mum had such a time of it. But I have found it fairly easy to do and fairly forgiving if I get my count off. I'm using Elann's Highland wool.
I believe the color is considered a dark teal. This yarn has also been lovely to work with.

Last, but not least is the Over the Knee Socks, by Cindy Taylor. I started these using Peer Gynt, in ivory. As I worked on them I decided that I would
really prefer these in a black. So I purchased some of Elann's Sock it to Me.
I have some concerns about them staying up so I did a knit along in the ribbing with some elastic thread. Being frugal I used what elastic thread I had on hand, hence the tweedy look towards the top of the stocking. I did this in the ivory stocking too, you just don't notice it as much. I had thought about frogging (well of course) the ivory ones. The yarn seems a little wonky and the stockings are coming out quite thick. But then I look at them and figure, oh what the heck why not just finish them.

I also have another Tulip doll, by Katie Park that I have yet to finish. I was going to take a photo of her as well but felt like I was imposing on her privacy. You see she doesn't have her face on, and hasn't been to the hair stylist yet. And actually is sitting around in her all together except for her stockings. I keep wanting to work on her but just lost some of the inspiration to complete her, right now. I've been trying to finish the Juliet by Tuesday, February 3, for an appointment I have. I keep thinking I have it long enough. Then I try it on and think oh I'll just make it a little longer. I only have two skeins left. One I just added on, and the other one I need to use to finish the sleeves, so I'll have to accept the length I get with this last skein. That being said I think it's time to turn in and wake to start another day of chasing the Wee Ones. Ta =)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New President, new hope

Well today was the day of the inauguration of the 44th President. Oh don't be impressed by my knowledge of which president it is. I have always been notoriously horrible with American history. Pitiful, I know, but it is something I am trying to improve.
I missed the actual swearing in of this new President. I did watch a video of it on CNN. I also saw Elizabeth Alexander's reading of her poem:
Praise Song for the Day

Each day we go about our business, walking past each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.

A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."

We encounter each other in words, words spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other side; I know there's something better down the road."

We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain, that many have died for this day. Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day. Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen tables.

Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy self."

Others by first do no harm, or take no more than you need.

What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with no need to preempt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything can be made, any sentence begun.

On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that light.

I found it interesting while she was reading this poem, that I was conscious of how it was being read. It seemed at the time to be read void of emotion, and the rhythm very measured. But I realize maybe that is why this poem has stayed with me all day. Quiet echos bouncing off my mind. I feel that it sums up how I feel at this time in history. A strange thing I find myself saying, "this time in history". It is probably this first time in my life that I have the acute feeling of history and taking part of it, even if it is as a simple observer. I wonder if "observers" during the Civil War felt this way. Or say at the time of the abolition of slavery. Or even when the first ally forces walked into the first of the horrific concentration camps in Europe.

I just hope that all this feeling of making history makes a difference really soon. I think that there are a great deal of people in a similar situation that my family is in, trying to find a GOOD job at GOOD pay. I just hope....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

No clever title tonight

Sorry I just couldn't come up with a clever title tonight...Well I was able to figure out which yarn to use for the the Gwen Slouch, though. Whew! Boy am I glad. It was driving me bonkers. It actually turned out to be yarn that I had on hand. It's this one, Francis Patrick silk and merino, colorway mountain spruce. I'm only using one skein. The yarn is a dream to knit. It has loft, and is so soft. It made me start thinking that I would love to have a couple of skeins that are luxury yarns for small projects like this hat. The pattern is just grand too. The lace pattern is a breeze to get to know and so forgiving. I have had a couple of oops, but I have corrected them easy enough and not to the detriment of the pattern.

The Wee Ones were in rare form today. Well actually just the smallest of the Wee Ones. He woke up in a bad mood, and it never really improved much through the rest of the day. He ended up spending quite a bit time with DH, which gave me time to sit and knit. Sounds like no big thing but for me it is. I am unable to knit while the Wee Ones are up and running, because of that exact reason, running. I usually am the one doing the running though. Just trying to keep up with them and keep them out of trouble or from tearing the place apart. Of course all Daddy has to do is make a brief appearance and things immediately quiet down. Until he leaves the room and then the two of them wait a tick or two and then they are back to their regular antics. While he was hanging with Dad and the Boy the middle Wee One would go from visiting with them, to checking on me, to watching a movie we had put on for him. It afforded me the opportunity to work on the slouch pattern. So nice =)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Next, a haunting

So I have decided to tackle a project I have had waiting around for about 3 years. It is Cindy Taylor's pattern Over the Knee socks from the book Handknit Holidays: Knitting Year-Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice. I am using Sandes Garn Peer Gynt in a ivory/natural. I would really like to be working on both of them at one time, but do not have two sets of US#3 dpns. And I'm not really in on the whole magic loop concept or the two circular needles thing. Call me old fashion....I'll wait..... When it came to the ribbing I used an elastic thread as a knit along. Hopefully this will help keep the socks up and not give me the wrinkly ankle thing. Nothin' worse than having one's thigh highs end up being one's ankle lows. Funny thing is I'm not sure what I'm going to wear these with after I get them finished. I'm sure I'll come up with something , just ab fab. Lord know's I'll have plenty of time to figure it out.
I seem to be going really slowly on these and the reason why is this pattern: the Gwen Slouch hat. I am being haunted and tormented by it. I am having a heck of a time finding the yarn to do it in . I think I have narrowed it down to Sanguine Gryphon's Campine. It's a sport weight yarn and I'm hoping that 285 yards will be enough for a hat that has good slouchyness to it. It's hell when a pattern haunts you like this one is doing to me. It taunts me during the day when I am chasing the Wee Ones. It calls to me late at night when I am trying to concentrate on the socks. I have even been tempted to go to the stash, close my eyes and just pull out a yarn to knit a "sample" out of. I mean this is gettin' bad. But for some reason I hesitate to order the yarn. My dh has even weighed in, giving his opinion on which yarn to use. He doesn't know what pattern it's for, other than it's a hat for me. I do know I want a yarn that has some color variation. Nothing bright and loud, just something that will go with most of my wardrobe and my black, brown and navy jackets. Oh sure, you know, just 'thee perfect yarn'. Hopefully thee perfect yarn will find me. If for nothing other than to have this little bugga boo of a cool pattern to stop chasing me around. Maybe I need to take some silver circular needles, skewer them with garlic and then wear them around my neck. Wait garlic is for vampires. Oh heck!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Snow, snow, snow

Okay, enough is enough already. I enjoy a lovely white blanket of snow covering the ground just like the next person. But when the lovely white blanket becomes this thick and oppressive, the beauty and poetry goes right out the window. And now it's snowing again...sigh...But I did get out for a wee bit of time today with the boy and played.

This is what we did, and then we went inside to thaw.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Sometimes I could just SCREAM. My Dh and oldest son spend a great deal of time together. While this might illicit a series of oooo's and ahhh's from onlookers, I assure some of the time it just seems to be a time bomb ready to explode. Part of it is that the boy is only 14 years old, and as 14 year olders go he's really pretty good, but he is that whole 14 year old thing. The other part of the situation is that my dh is a confirmed, card carrying, major asshole. This is not name calling it is something that he admits to and claims. Sometimes too proudly, if you were to ask me. So what happens is the "14 year old" becomes sensitive and the "asshole" doesn't know it because he didn't see the smoke signals. And we all know that where there is smoke there is fire and then....BOOM! Usually I am completely unaware of the simmering situation until the BOOM occurs and I am left scrambling for cover. No not literally, just figuratively.

Tonight it wasn't really a big BOOM, it was just a little bang. I found myself inadvertently walking into a tense situation, in which my dh explained to me that the boy had decided, yet again, that the very world was here for no one else but this 14 year old boy...ahem yeah right. I actually found myself getting riled and having to try and explain my take on the whole situation. Not just to the boy but also to my dh. Surprising enough my dh allowed this to occur. I say he allowed it, because often times he doesn't like to see me get riled. I assure you I am not some spectacular sight to see when I am angered, it's just that dh doesn't like to see me upset. Sweet? right? Yeah right.

So now I have said my peace and I'm sure by tomorrow it will be back to the same ol' same ol'.

SIGH...oh well...I guess I'll just start on my pair of socks and go back to my tranquil knitting journey to enlightenment..or at least to try and not let all this crap bother me too much.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year...New clothes..?

Well she is clothed now. All ready for a sparkling New Year.

It's hard to tell in the photo that her dress is not a solid green it actually is chartreuse, hunter green and orange. It comes out very woodsy looking. Her shoes, in kind, are actually very deep, dark purple with slight red highlights. The yarn started out as a medium gray. It was interesting to dye over a yarn that did not start out as white/natural. I wanted a muted color, hence the use of the gray yarn.

I am working on a friend for her. I have all the body parts knitted. I just need to stuff and assembly them. The second doll has come out smaller. I wanted a tighter knit and so subsequently knit it on smaller needles. I also chose a tan yarn. I like the result far better. I still need to get some other color felt for her hair and I think that I might make her a sewn outfit for her to wear.

I also am still working on my sweater. I must admit I'm a little disillusioned with it as this point. I'm a little stumped on how to lengthen the sleeves. So right now it's resting. Not full on hibernating...just resting (ahem).

The dolls are easy and quicker to make right now. At the end of the day, after dealing with the wee ones, I really don't have much stamina for trying to figure out any sweaters.

Today some wonderful goodies came in the mail. One was a book I purchased from a person on Ravelry. The History of Fair Isle Knitting. I've been wanting this book for some time. This person was destashing for $10 including shipping. Such a bargain. My dear aunt also sent some books. One was The History of Handknitting by Richard Rutt. This book is currently out of print. I checked on Ravelry to see if anyone has expressed interest in this book. Several people have. It is selling on Amazon for $75, as used (obviously). SO now as silly as it i try and see if anyone would want to purchase this from me on Ravelry for about $55 and apply that total to the Yarn Buying Fund ( form here on refered to as ybf) or keep the book and reap the benefits of it interesting information. Hmmmm....I'm not sure yet. If I do sell it I figure I should sell it before it is reprinted, which Ravelry chatter has mentioned. I'll think about it this weekend and try to look through it to see if it's sometihng that I would use or pass on to someone else that might be able to appreciate it more.

Not that anyone else has read this blog... but for the powers that be... I do hope that this is a good year for everyone.