Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The First Step

Scene: Mother and daughter are seated on stools at the kitchen counter. Daughter is doing homework while listening to her iPod and texting her friends. Mother has 2 balls of rosewood colored yarn in a cereal bowl in front of her. Knitting magazines are strewn all over the kitchen, one of them open to the Farmstead Cardigan. Ravelry is up on her desk top and her iPad, and she's swatching, sniffing, petting, admiring what is obviously her first ever skein of Mad Tosh DK, which arrived in the mail just hours before.

Mother: This stuff is like crack, I'm addicted already.

Daughter: You need knitting rehab.

M: No, I don't.

D: (making rare direct eye contact) Mom, the first step in recovery is admitting you have a problem.

M: (holding swatch up to her nose and inhaling deeply) I don't have a problem.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Skewed results

I'm officially half way through a pair of Skew by Lana Holden.  Gotta love socks designed by a mathematician (mathmagician?).......who's named after wool!

The ingenious design creates a diagonal which looks really cool and swirly....
...and makes the teeny tiny cast on a perfect fit on the big toe.
Some increases, some decreases, some twists, some turns and Voila!
Worked in Steam Valley Fiber's Hand Dyed Fingering Sock Yarn in Rainbow.  I think a slightly longer color repeat might make the swirliness even more pronounced.   'Course this is just the half of it.  You'll have to wait for the mate to get the full effect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Will work for yarn

A typical day of finding this in my mailbox:

is made infinitely better when this is shoved in there with it:

The knot of colorful loveliness on the right will be transformed into Skew for a fellow Raveler. It's Steam Valley Fiber's Hand Dyed Fingering Sock Yarn in Rainbow, and it's scrumptious, and I'm already contemplating absconding with the socks upon completion. On the left is Luster Sox from Dye Dreams in Shades of Ireland. Every photo I've seen makes it look gray, but it's actually a luscious charcoaly green tonal, as its name suggests. This is my compensation in advance (mistake? See above) for knitting the socks, so it's mine, all mine to have my way with. I swear I won't use it till I've completed my assignment...probably.....well, I'll try. I think I'll stash it under my pillow for safekeeping and sweet dreaming.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Egad! It's already Tuesday!

Labor Day weekend set me back on several fronts - laundry, knitting, Bible reading, maintaining a sensible bedtime, and owning a desktop computer that works, to name a few.  Unbeknownst to us, our primary family computer, though still in the prime of its life, was in the final throes of what appears to be a terminal virus (pardon the pun).  Yesterday at 3:50 pm it succumbed - died on the table, so to speak, at Staples. A somber ending to a long weekend otherwise spent blissfully enjoying plenty of football, beach, friends, food, drink, fun and laughter.  A great, great weekend in many ways that count.
Friday Night Lights!  My son is the "O" in Vero :)

DD, DH & DF spectators at Skim Jam

Generally I do my household catching up on Mondays - a little bit of cleaning perhaps, a lot of personal bookkeeping and desk work, schedule appointments, find the laundry room floor, stuff like that - but since I woke up this morning to find Monday already gone, I'm already feeling slightly stressed and very behind and it's not even lunchtime on what I consider to be the first day of the week.  I'm managing, however, to stuff the rising panic and guilt about my haunting personal to-do list, and focus instead on my knitting-related to-do list.

I started the morning by sheepishly emailing a new client and asking her to resend the pattern I'm editing for her as I had saved it on, and only on, the one computer in the house that died over the weekend.  Very first pattern she's given me to edit.  Impressive, no?

Next I got started on a test knit that I'm really excited about.  Can't give it away, of course, but I'm always tickled to learn new techniques or constructions, and it's a bonus when I can use stash yarn to do so.  Out comes some brown and greens left over from last summer's twin blankies, and some more green from two summers ago.  The test is a cowl pattern which intrigued me enough to volunteer even though I have no earthly use for  a wool blend cowl in Florida.

It starts out with a crochet provisional cast on.  Now, my summer knitting made me quite proficient at a knitted provisional cast on ("front, behind, behind, behind"), which I used for Lente, and the Blue Hen Blankie, and Rad Vlad; but I'd not yet learned a crochet version till this morning.  Wish I'd taken a photo in process, but I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I crocheted a chain of 50 sts in waste yarn, then simply knitted into the back bump of each chain.  Voila!

Even better is that the cast on is followed by quite a few simple rounds of reverse stockinette ribbing, so I can catch up on the past several chapter of Gulliver on Cratlit!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shifting Gears

It's May, and every mom I know in Florida, where we're down to the final three weeks of school, is bracing herself and just hanging on for dear life while the roller coaster of year-end activities careens downhill at top speed toward its eagerly anticipated screeching halt, the last day of school.  This year I have double the anticipation because my last day of work is fast approaching as well.  (I've never had a last day of work since I had children, because I never had a regular-outside-the-home-job until this year.)  So to add to the whirlwind of parties, proms, AP exams, finals, and concerts, all amid making plans and reservations for summer vacation, I'm also tying up loose ends at work (translation: typing up detailed instructions for my successor specifying exactly how to do my job....as if it wasn't getting done long before I got there...and won't get done without me.....)

Anyway, this afternoon the school nurse called with wonderful news.  Eddie, who went off to school this morning coughing and cringing but armed with Alka Seltzer Plus Daytime and a pocketful of cough drops, was in her office with a fever just over the 100 degree mark.  Off I went to collect the poor kid, and we were home by 2:30.  Now, I recognize a gift when I see one - this was two full hours that I had assumed I'd be at work.  I'm not going to waste it on "shoulds" (I should switch around the laundry, I should do the floors because company's coming tomorrow, etc.) Eddie flopped on the couch, and I plopped in the chair and I cranked out a few rows of my Blue Hen Blankie:

I'm down to less than a month left to complete this for my friend's daughter who is graduating from high school (gulp, four weeks from tomorrow) and headed off to the University of Delaware in the fall.  I just have a handful of pattern repeats to go on the center panel, then I'll start adding in the yellow on the border.

I also got the wild hare to finally finish my languishing Sweet Patootie Poncho.  It's been occupying my favorite knitting tote for no good reason for weeks and weeks now, needing only, as it turns out, a mere 30 minutes to seam it up, edge the neck, and weave in the ends.  A few more minutes, and I had Babs modeling it for the camera, and before I knew it my ravelry page was updated and BAM! another finished project.  I love another finished project.
Alas, my found time has dried up and disappeared, but not without something to show for it.  Off I go to switch around that laundry and do the floors for company tomorrow and drive the girls to tumbling class... Somehow I don't so much dread it now that I've enjoyed an unexpected fix in the middle of this crazy ride.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Picked this up at Publix the other day

Newest issue of Knit 'n Style -

Couple things in here caught my eye.  Jack Lewis' column, "A Knitting Tribe" compared the knitting community to surfers, and as a member of both I could relate to his observations.

This month's "pattern I'm most likely to make" is the Cuff to Cuff Jacket by Julie Farmer.  I think the subtle vertical striping and drop sleeves would make this a good option for my petite/size 12 (I'm a living oxymoron) frame.  I'd substitute yarn to suit my year-round summer climate, and I predict it could be a very wearable addition to my wardrobe.

Other items of interest to me include the Oak Leaves Shawl by Vero Sanon,

the English Garden Wrap by Patti Subik,

and the Lace Panel Tank by Sandi Prosser.

Guess it's no secret now that I'm drawn to purples.

Lorna Miser's how-to article on mosaic knitting makes me want to cast on right away, and she provides a sample pattern to do just that.

The Day-To-Date-Time Shawl also caught my eye.

Finally, winning the "wow-this-is-gorgeous-perhaps-in-another-lifetime" award (see reference to body dimensions above) is the cover pattern, Cables & Lace Duo.  Yowza!

Time to put down the magazine and pick up the needles.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I almost didn't go....

...for my walk.  I was tired.  If I skip just once it won't matter.  It's not really doing any good anyway.  I've worked all day, I deserve to just flop on the couch.  I'm getting bored with the same thing every day.

My reward was hands and pockets overflowing with treasure.

Mission accomplished.  Spirit renewed.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bizarro World

Purple ocean?  Yellow sky?  Black trees?  What?!  It's not often that I venture out of the house first thing in the morning.   

Typically I'm up frightfully early but go about my business, which involves multiple cups of coffee and several checklists, in my jammies, robe and slippers.  But just before 7:00 this morning I glanced out the kitchen window and glimpsed a sky that looked like an evening sunset.  Is this going on everyday and I just haven't noticed?

So before it got away I grabbed my mug and my camera, steeling myself to hold my head high in the event I encountered a fully-dressed, briskly-walking, "Oh-my-God-I'm-up-and-exercising-and-you're-out-in-public-in-your-bathrobe-do-housewives-really-still-do-that?-where-are-your-curlers?" pedestrian taking a lap up Beachcomber Lane.

Up the street I went, investing just a few moments to take in this fleeting masterpiece.

Now off I go to the next thing on my list, all the better for having stopped and smelled the sunset, if you will, and whistling "When Morning Gilds the Skies" as I fold the laundry.