Thursday, August 31, 2006

OK, I forgive

I tried to post last Saturday, and between blogger and a really slow connection, I didn't get anything posted! So here's part of what I tried to post - I don't remember all of, I was probably unusually brilliant, and blogger couldn't handle all that wit and wisdom, oh well!
here's the tunic I've been knitting on:

It's been banned to its corner until it learns to play nice. I completely frogged it 3 times, and had to rip back 4 inches - I'm a little tired of it for the moment.
Remember this:
And this:

Well, both have been finished, and today I entered them into the State Fair. I've gotten some good feedback from knitters who've seen them in person, so I feel pretty good about how I'll do. BUT, this is my first time entering anything since I was in high school, so I have NO CLUE about how it will go. The fair starts the 8th, and presumably the judging is sometime before then (DUH!) I'm not sure I'm even going, so I guess I'll just have to rely on somebody calling me and saying - DOOD! You won - Yeah, right!
OK, I should actually be working, so that's all for now.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

When my mind wanders. . . . .

Sometimes, like when I'm driving, or trying to fall asleep, or watching something really lame on TV, my mind wanders off on it's own. Not a very smart thing to do, but then, given my normal mental state - everyone needs a break every once in a while.
So, here for your amusement are some of the things my mind wonders about -
Mostly the beginnings of things - like who *was* the first knitter? Was it some Egyptian dude that looked at reeds (or bamboo, or whatever) and the cotton plants, and thought "I bet if I sharpened these sticks, and made string out of that white, fluffy stuff, I could make something to wrap my feet in."
Or maybe it was a Scottish dude, watching his sheep, freezing his nether part off, who thought: "I bet I could make something out of that string they get from the sheep's wool and cover my freakin freezin feet."
Can you just imagine some guy with big, callused hands trying to use size 0000 needles to make stockings??? Keeps me laughing for days.
What about mushrooms? Remember, in school when they taught us about fungi? And musrooms are a fungi? And that the good ones we eat and the poisonous ones that kill you look *exactly* the same??? Who gets to test them? And, when he finds the poisonous one, how does everyone else know which one he ate? And, while we're on the subject of mushrooms, who was the lucky guy that got the 'in-between' one (you KNOW which one I mean!)?
And who the HECK decided that Brussels Sprouts was a food?
And who was the first guy to look at a cow, and think, MMMMMM, barbeque!!?????
And who was the bright one that pulled a turnip out of the ground and decided "I think I'll eat that."?
I have more, but I'll stop for now.
Have a great day!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Well, it's finally happened . . . . .

I've gone 'round the bend. Thanks to the shining example of Samurai Knitter I've decided to enter some hand-knit items in the State Fair. No, I haven't gone as wacky as she has - I'm not knitting a sweater on needles too small to see, but I do have some socks that turned out pretty cool, and a pair of gauntlets that I'm pretty proud of, so I thought I'd do a "sock" entry and a "gloves and mittens" entry. I'm so freaked out I can hardly stand it. The very thought of "experts" scrutinizing my work is almost more than I can bear. I don't know when the exact judging will be, but I have Aug 30, 31 or Sept 1 to get my stuff over there. They'll be awarding ribbons, and the "Best in Show" gets a one year membership in the local knitting guild. That could be kinda cool.
So, NM has gone from "the Land of Enchantment" to the Land of Sogginess. It's rained almost every day for the last 3 weeks. We keep getting flash flood warnings and I have a question. After 3 weeks of almost solid rain, when does it stop being a "flash flood" and become a FLOOD???? I mean, you'd think the surprise indicated by the word 'Flash' would have diminished at this point, wouldn't you?
OTN: finished the latest fingerless gloves and have started the lace tunic from Elann. If I could find the pattern on their site, I'd link to it, but they seem to have taken the pattern down. It's knit with their "Endless Summer Collection" Connemara - and apparently Summer is NOT endless. I had to frog it 4 times - the first 3 because I'm apparently hopeless at counting, and the 4th because the sizing was off. When/if they put the pattern back up, I'll link to it.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


After all the last few months, a "surprise" vacation seemed in order, and that's where I've been the last week. Mom came to visit, and it was slow at work, and I needed to take kidlet to register for school, so it all came together at once, and I was able to take a week's vacation. Had a really swell time with Mom - reminding me once again why I don't live with her anymore. Got to do some back-to-school shopping, took my sister to Village Wools, where I bought more sock yarn, and she bought some needles (which turned out to be too short for the project she was starting). Mom's favorite thing to do is go to the movies, and since I've been too broke to go for a while, we went to see Pirates of the Carribean & The Devil Wore Prada.
I also obsessed over the new Vogue Knitting magazine, and after HAUNTING Borders for 3 days, finally found it at Barnes & Noble. I hate being so obsessed, but I HAD to have those sock patterns. Now that I have them, I don't know where to start, but I'm thinking of the toe-up socks (scroll down, bottom left). I got a really pretty yellow & orange colorway that I think will look wonderful with this pattern - besides, I've never knitted toe-up. So, we'll see. I finished the sock from Not Just Socks - they turned out really, really well - even down to matching the stripes - I'm thinking they might be state fair material, but that would mean I can't wear them until after the state fair - can I stand it????
I started another pair of fingerless gloves from Not Just Socks - they're turning out kind of cool - the hand-painted yarn is making some kind of cool designs in the gloves - pics when they're done.
OK, gotta go for now - back to work on Monday.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Oh F*(&@!!

Well, it happened. After approximately 6 weeks (I lose count, I'm easily distracted) I finally, FINALLY got - - wait for it - - my period. For those of you just joining us - I'm not a big fan of euphimisms. Don't like "Aunt Flo" or "my little visitor" or any other cutesy, let's-not-talk-about-it phrase used to discuss what is, for most of us, a normal bodily function. Messy and disgusting, yes, but normal, none-the-less.
Let me just say here, that I've never had a peaceful, happy relationship with my period. In high school, I missed 1-3 days every month, laying in bed, alternating between wishing I was dead and sleeping the drugged sleep that only narcotics can provide. Prescribed, you dorks, not illegal ones. Imagine my wonder and surprise several years ago when they came out with the news that Darvon could cause uterine cancer! Guess what I took for cramps??? Yep, the one and only! Life is good. NOT.
Anyway, I did some calculating several years ago, and figured that between puberty, menopause, peri-menopause and pregnancy, a woman only has about 5-6 really good years when her uterus isn't causing some sort of problem. That's not much, people, and most of those happened before I even knew I had a uterus! So, one of the great things I discovered (which they don't tell you, probably because if most women knew this, they'd either off themselves or their uteruses) peri-menopause is much like puberty in reverse. Think of it - periods that show up when (and if) they decide to, with no discernible cycle, mood swings that would give you whiplash if not careful, and leave even the most sympathetic female scratching her head (forget it, guys, you will never, ever understand, quit trying), and hormonal rushes that make Mt. St. Helens look like a baked alaska. I love it - what else would I do for entertainment?
So, yeah, today is crampy, tired, leave-me-alone day. At least it's Friday, and I'm off all next week.
In knitting news, I finished the sock last night (in a fit of hormone-induced mania), and started the second one. However, in a very uncharacteristic attempt to match, I'm going to rip out what I've started, and try to start sock #2 in approximately the same place (yarn-wise) I started sock #1. It may or may not work out, but I'm going to try it (and not get too anal about it, if it doesn't). When both are done, I'll post a pic, and we'll all see how close I came.
OK, I'm going to go lay over a desk or something, in the hopes that the pressure will make my uterus stop its complaining. It's going to be a FUN day.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the rain has stopped

I know, I know - we need the rain, and I do feel ashamed for bitching about it, but REALLY. I live in the DESERT SOUTHWEST for a reason. Ok, lots of reasons, but one of them (a really big one, actually) is the lack of humidity. I HATE HUMIDITY!! I've lived where they have it, and with HUMIDITY comes nasty things. Things like "heat index" and "chill factor" and other things. Like creepy bugs that fly - they shouldn't, but they do. So, it's been humid the last few years days, and I'm tired of feeling wet all the time. No, it's not really all that hot - only about 80-85 or so, and I'm really, really sorry for those back east who are melting. Really. But I live here for a reason. I LIKE single-digit humidity. I can't breathe in 84% humidity, and if it's not raining at 100% humidity, there is something seriously wrong. My rugs in my house feel like I've got a leak somewhere (I checked, I don't) and all my clothes feel like they just came from the washer. It's nasty. And knitting?????? I told my favorite LYS owner that I was not knitting anything larger than a sock until this weather goes away. And I meant it! To wit:

The totally loverly, totally hideous sock!!!! I love the colors, and really, who, but me, would wear orange and red socks?? My mother would say 'no one'. I'm not sure she's completely right, but it's the first sock I've done in about 3 years, and except for the instep decreases, I like it! Oh, and the bucket-o-soda? I forgot how big Panda Express's large is! Enough for me and ALLLLLL my friends. So, if you're sweltering, and need a little pick-me-up, I've got PLENTY o' Dr. Pepper!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oh, yeah! I remember now!!

I remember what I don't like about knitting socks. It's not the heel flap, it's not even turning the heel. It's those damned instep decreases!!! I'm knitting the first pair of socks from "Not Just Socks", and I swear, I had to rip the damned instep out twice before I overcame the ADD and got the decreases right even on both sides. So, now I'm doing the boring part - knitting the foot. The only thing that makes this bearable is that it heralds the end. Then I have to do another one.
Ok, onto more worrying things. As all both of you know, I've been knitting a really long time. I've never designed (at least outright) anything. I've always "adapted" patterns. There's just something in me that WILL NOT allow me to follow a pattern from start to finish exactly. From buying the exact yarn to using the exact needles to finishing exactly as it says. I've done that so seldom, that it stands out in my mind as something "new and different."
BUT, when it comes to actual taking-the-string-and-making something designing, I'm like the buzzard in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon: "Nope, nope, not gonna do it, can't do it, duh, nope, nope......"
Until now.
Let me start this particular part of the insanity by saying that I love entrelac. My first introduction to it was when I was in high school. "Woman's Day" or "Family Circle" or one of those "ladies' magazines" had a pattern in it for a dirndl skirt. Unfortunately, I lost interest before I finished it, and lost the magazine with the pattern in it.
So, lately, I've been doing the entrelac socks from "Knitter's Magazine", and wondering if I could make an entrelac skirt that I'd wear, and that would look way cool ("way cool" being a user-defined term). Then, I looked in one of my (many, many) knitting bags and found an old project. It's a sweater made with mitred squares, and lots and lots of colors. I have a bunch of partially used skeins of yarn in lavendars, pinks, purples & scarlets. So, my mind has been spending all my sleeping hours working on this (unbeknownst to me).
This morning, on the drive to work, my mind went:
TA DA!!!!!
And presented me with an almost complete design for an entrelac skirt.
From the waist band, to the first row of triangles, to increasing both needle size and block size until the skirt is the right width/length.
Now, most people would be scared, or at the very least, startled by their very own mind springing something like this on them in the middle of traffic. But not me. You see, my mind can't keep a secret. And, one or two of the other little inhabitants in my head sort of let it slip that I was trying to work out how to do the waistband. "Waistband?" I asked voice #2. "What waistband?"
"Oh, nevermind, just think about it."
"Well, ok. I guess it would depend on the gauge, but figure about 7 or 8 stitches per inch, measure your waist (HORRORS!!!!), multiply times 8 (to be safe), cast on that number, and knit in st st for 1 inch. Then, purl on the knit side, then go back to st st for another inch. How's that?" That's when the TA DA!!!!! happened!!!
So, I'm seriously trying to remember what I did with the graph paper I had years ago, what size and how many circular needles I have, and what the color combinations are going to be.
Stay tuned to this space - something just might happen.