Tuesday, February 27, 2007


2 things really have me thinking today - It's kind of strange how personal our blogs are, and how lucky we are to be allowed into another person's life. Even though we try (for safety's sake) to keep most of the personal details out of our blogs, we still create this little universe where we, and those who read us, and those we read live.
For example:
Today, I'm doing my blog rounds, when I go over to Knit Sisters for my usual visit. Only to find that Ellen's and Alex's cat had a cat vs. car accident over the weekend. I cried over a cat that I didn't really know who belonged to people that I don't really know, but who's death I felt deeply. I'm still so sad for Ellen, it's horrible to lose a family member, and anyone who says "it's only a cat" completely doesn't understand.
Then, once recovered from that, I go on my daily visit to the Yarn Harlot who has attracted a nasty troll who feels it important to prove how isolated and idiotic he/she is by correcting Ms. Harlot's spelling, which isn't misspelling at all, but Canadian variations on a common language, which is dynamic and changing all the time. All one would need to do to prove this is to look back at newspaper articles from the late 1800's to see that what we would consider misspellings were common spellings of words. One I was recently was "As they passed threw town. . . . " - which completely "threw" me for a loop until I remembered my first (and probably best-learned) English lesson - the English language is changing all the time. I am constantly reminding myself of this when I see newspaper articles written today by someone who clearly needs to repeat English 101, or some of the things they do on TV these days.
OK, I'll stop the rant now - there is no knitting content today, as I've been pouting and not knitting (I know, it's weird) for the last couple of days.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How to Knit at Work

I've done it for years. And, for the most part, nobody minds.
Start by knitting at lunch. Take your lunch and your knitting someplace that is NOT your desk/cubicle/workspace. Sit. Eat your lunch. Knit.
People will ask you strange (dumb) questions. Answer them as you see fit. I also find this is a great way to break into Knitting In Public (KIP), as you mostly know the people you work with, and it's easier to come out to friends.
Keep your knitting close at hand. Mine sits on my desk All. The. Time. When I get to work in the morning, I take my glasses, my cell phone, and my knitting out of my bag. If its here, then when I'm running a report that takes forever, or talking on the phone to the most boring person in the world, or whateve, I can pick it up, and knit a few stitches (or a few rows, depending).
One more quick trick. Open a really large file (spreadsheet or instruction booklet, or whatever). Knit as you read. Tell whoever asks that the knitting helps you focus (works GREAT when you follow up with "I have ADD, you know!"

What to say when busted knitting at work:
I'm still at lunch.
I'm on my break.
I'm running this report (point to computer officiously, and expect them to nod knowingly).
I'm thinking (bend head lower, and knit very quickly).

I can't remember ever actually being busted knitting at my desk, but I do it all the time, and I guess I must have. Most days I don't have time to knit, but when I do, it's right where I can get to it quickly. Everyone who knows me - or is vaguely acquainted with me knows I knit. I wear a lot of my knitted stuff, and whenever I wear anything knitted, I'm always asked "Did you knit that???" They always ask hopefully, like I have the keys to the universe or something, and I never have the heart to point out the difference between machine- and hand-knit. I just say, no, not this one. And move on.

Happy knitting!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

You might have noticed. . . .

that I was in a less-than-pleasant mood with my last post. I was. Hormones. Job. Stress. General I-can't-take-any-more-of-anybody's-crap. What I MEANT to say on the last post was this:
I love those gloves with an unreasoning passion. They are very retro-looking (think 1950's) with the totally 21st colors that Regia provided. And the buttons just are just sublime! I need to wash them, but I'm so busy wearing them that I can't. The one (and only) bright spot in all the cold and snow has been wearing those gloves.
The lace is coming along. I've almost finished ball #2, and I'm thinking that ball #3 will be at least half-way done before I decide to stop. As it turns out, I haven't finished the 20 rows that the pattern calls for, so I'm thinking an extra 10 rows will be really, really nice. That's only 5 pattern repeats.
I have my regular check-up appt this Friday. With a new Dr. The only reason I'm doing this on time is that my "happy pills" prescrip will run out the end of this month, and we just CAN'T do without the "happy pills" - ask the kidlet. Last time we tried it was just UGLY. So, new Dr - at least she's a she. Hopefully, I'll have time to discuss many things with her - I have a list, and it's growing. Stronger happy pills? Allergies? Other medications? And many things as yet to be determined. If I manage to have visible progress on the lace, I'll post pics - I'm also knitting on red gloves for my friend - got to get those done so she can wear them skiing at least once this year. Will take pics of those soon.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It snowed

Here's a fuzzy picture of the Button Gloves from "Not Just More Socks" or "More Not Just Socks" or whatever the hell it's called:

And an old pic of progress on the lace. I've since discovered I was doing it wrong - started doing it right (fug it, didn't want to rip back and start over, it's now a "design feature".

Monday, February 12, 2007

How I learned to Knit

The short answer is - My Gramma.
When I was about 8, my grandmother decided that I needed to learn to do all the things she did. Knit, crochet, tat, embroidery. Gramma's house was filled with the fruits of her labors - her dish- and bath-towels came from boxes of Duz detergent, but she had crocheted edgings on each one, as well as the wash cloths. She had crocheted bottle covers (for the booze) that looked like poodles. She had toilet paper covers that were crocheted, some were cut out of some kind of plastic. She had embroidered pillow cases and table cloths, and had either crocheted or tatted edgings for all of them. I don't remember ever seeing anything knitted - never really thought of it until now - but knitting was the first thing she taught me. She never really liked my mom (probably cause she married gramma's one and only son, and had absolutely NO INTEREST in doing anything "homey"). So, she decided that I needed to learn to knit. I'm left-handed, and Gramma wasn't and I remember this was of great concern - she didn't want me to learn "wrong" or get confused, but my parents had made it VERY clear - I was left-handed, and left-handed I would stay. (They'd heard that trying to make a leftie a rightie made the child stutter. Don't know if that's right or wrong, but I'm mostly ambidextrous, and very grateful that for that part of my life, at least, my parents let me be who I was.)
Anyway, Gramma bought me a pair of size 10 1/2 aluminum needles, saying that the only way to learn was on large needles. I still have them, and they still have the teeth-marks where my gauge was so tight, I had to bite the ends of the needles to get my thread to move down. Pretty tight. I don't remember what the first thing I knitted was, but I remember starting and never finishing stuff for years. I learned to crochet and embroider - finishing most of those projects with no problems. Then, my senior year in high school, they offered a knitting class. AHA! I thought, an easy A, since I already know how to knit! Great plan, except I had to create AND FINISH a garment. As it turned out, it was as easy as I thought it'd be, and my first experience Knitting In Public - when I was bored in my other classes, or nothing much was going on, I knit on the sweater for my knitting class. It was a "classic" Aran sweater. Pullover, with a hood, and a center pocket. I made it out of 2 strands of worsted held together, light blue and beige. It turned out pretty good. I have no idea what happened to it - lost in a move someplace. At one point, one of the boys in my class asked if he could knit on the hood for a while (1X1 ribbing, which I HATE to this day!!). After he convinced me that he could, indeed knit (hyper kid they taught to knit to calm him down), he added at least 2 inches to the hood in one class.
I started knitting again in college - knitting mostly afghans for presents for family & friends. I was "scared" to knit socks or intarsia, or anything that was difficult, because I still thought of myself as a "beginner". Then one day, I decided that I'd try knitting one of those really ugly horse-head sweaters for my step-brother for Christmas. Gramma was gone by then, and I had no one to ask how to do it. I had a friend who lent me her pattern, I bought the yarn, and knit a sweater (first Christmas project that had me up till 2AM finishing, starting a long-standing Christmas tradition in my family). Then, I bought a kit from Herrschnerrs, or Mary Maxim, or one of those companies, and knit myself a bulky sweater with a sort of southwest design in it in 3 days - 3 days in which I didn't move from the couch - and no one had told me that color knitting was hard - didn't know it was the same as intarsia. Then one day I decided to try knitting socks, and for *MONTHS* I knit single socks, using whatever yarns I had, using whatever size dpns I could find. You have no idea how many single socks I still have - never will have matches, cause they're mostly ugly, but they were learning experiences.
So, that's it - I'm mostly fearless, mostly self-taught beyond the basics, and knit mostly from published patterns - adapting them to what I want them to be, rather than knitting EXACTLY as written.

Monday, February 05, 2007

How I spend my Day - by Peanut

This is Peanut:

She is the smallest being in my house - she maybe weighs 2 lbs. The perpetually 6-month old kitty. She was the runt, given to us much too young, she never grew very big, even though she was well-fed and MEGA-pampered. You can tell from the pic that she knows EXACTLY who is in charge in my house - and it ain't me!

This is what Peanut did today (photos courtesy of the kidlet, who got home before me).

This is a kitchen drawer that was closed this morning, with a "Warm Delights" and a very sharp butcher knife and a plastic bag added in for good measure.

This is another view of my kitchen, including the drawer with the knife in it. There are 2 more pulled-out drawers, grocery bags on the floor, and a scrunched-up rug to add to the ambience that is now my kitchen.

The dishwasher was closed (but not locked) when we left this morning.

Fortunately, I decided to bring my lace with me today, rather than leaving it on the couch where Peanut could get it - this is one of her favorite yarns, and I've taken it from her many times - she's even swiped it with knitting needles sticking out!

I can only imagine the chaos my little Precious caused today, and the sheer joy of the other pets when kidlet opened the door this afternoon.

One added note:
Peanut is the smallest, but not the youngest animal in my house. I have a Lhasa Apso named Fritzi who is about a year old. Yesterday afternoon, I was watching the Super Bowl and playing Solitaire on my phone, getting ready to go pick the kidlet up from work. All the dogs in my house have crates that they sleep in, and when Fritzi has had enough, she lets everyone know - she's got the weirdest yips! Anyway, she was pitching a fit yesterday, and I wasn't going to let her out because I had to leave in like, 10 minutes. There was this HUGE crash from her crate. I thought she was doing sommer-saults or something. Next thing I notice, she's sitting right in front of me with the biggest grin on her face, and asking me "See what I can do? Aren't I clever?" She was bouncing around, smiling, tail wagging - I swear I could hear her laughing! I went and checked her crate - nothing was broken, the latch was still in the closed position, but the door was standing wide open!
So, between the dog that can open her own crate, and the cat that can open drawers and put knives in them, I'm almost afraid to go to sleep at night!

YAY!!! LACE!!!

Just a quick update and pics!! Thanks for all the good thoughts and mojo this weekend - I definately felt y'all with me as I determinedly re-started my lace. Sheepish Annie - there were plenty of "those" words - it's amazing how the properly-place expletive just seems to make that recalcitrant k2tog do what it's supposed to do. Julie - It's not the yo's that give me fits, it's the counting. And Debby - I tried to email you, but it bounced back. Will try again.
OK, the pics:

This is a shot of 2 of the pattern repeats - there are 20 in all. Julie, thanks SO MUCH for the suggestion of placing markers at each repeat. As much as I HATE moving markers, this saved my sanity!!!

This is a shot of about half-way through. It's a really simple lace pattern, 12 stitches repeated 20 times across the row, and a 14-row repeat done twice. I'm almost done with the second repeat, after which I switch to the circulars, and do the lace edging. I forget the page number, but it's the Opera fichu (I think), it's pink in the book - you can see it (a little) in the background of the second shot. I'm hopint to move to the circs tonight - will let you know how that goes!

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Lace Weekend

This weekend, I'm GOING to become a lace knitter. I went to Village Wools yesterday and bought 2 new pairs of size 3 needles. One pair is Crystal Palace Bamboo, and one is Prym. I have several sets of dpns from Crystal Palace, but I've never heard of Prym. I liked the points on both sets, so I got both sets. I also got Addi Turbo circular in size 5, 32". The pattern starts on the 3's and move to the 5 circs. So, I'll either be craz(ier)y by the end of the weekend, or a full-fledged lace knitter. There's a good argument that I might be both. Guess we'll see!
More on Monday.