Monday, October 29, 2007

Birthday yarn is always the best

This has been a very fun mail week for me! Kate, Sarah and Tammy were so sweet and gave me a gift certificate to The Loopy Ewe for my birthday and I spent it almost immediately!!! So what did I purchase?

This is Scarlet Fleece in Favorite Jeans. Isn't it beautiful?

And this is J. Knits Lace-A-Licious in San Diego. I don't know who J. is exactly, but J has a way with color.

Also in the mail was another package from my Secret Pal! She spoiled me rotten with a collection of 5 teas and a little tea pot shaped strainer that is so adorable. I've recently been looking for a tea strainer because I had ordered some loose tea and had nothing to strain it with. Never one to admit defeat, I rigged a strainer out of a heavy-duty rubber band and a tea towel. This is so much cuter and much less messy. Thank you, Pal!

Just so you don't think that I haven't been knitting...

These are attempt #2 at Ailish's new pants. I made 2 pairs of Alison's Baby Bell Bottoms and Ailish wore them all the time! I knew that I wanted to make them again, but with some modifications. The pattern is written that you knit one leg, knit another leg, join in the round to knit the body and then seam the legs. I thought that working in the round the whole way would yield a much faster knit because of the minimal finishing times, so I started at the waist with plans to work down.

Lesson #1 - If you're going to make a lot of changes to a pattern maybe try knitting it in a yarn with similar gauge so that there's one less thing to think about.

Lesson #2 - If you're going to make a lot of changes to a pattern maybe try reading ahead so that you have an idea of where you're going.

Lesson #3 - If you're adding short rows to the back of the pants to make room for baby booty, keep track of which side is the back.

Lesson #4 - At some point you'll have realized that you just knit up a 15" long, very oddly shaped tube that will in no way fit your child in the next 12 months unless you start prepping her to become a sumo wrestler. This is acceptance and it is a good thing.

Lesson #5 - After a train wreck of a false-start, pick up those needles and cast on again! Maybe this time do a little more prep work, though.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


I may not have a lot of time to knit right now but I sure do have a lot of beautiful yarn to look at and make plans for!
Colinette Jitterbug in colorway Sea Breeze

Berrocco Peruvia in color 7130...

which will become warm Winter pants for a certain little girl...

because she has completely outgrown these.

The weather has grown cool and I happily wrap Owen up in handknit love before putting him on the schoolbus. He can still fit into the brown sweater and blue, black and purple hat that I made for him in 2005. The hat, in particular, is a much loved piece of apparel and he refused to wear a store bought hat this morning and ran to get his hand knit one.

I'm getting the urge to knit warm, wooly items. I cast on for a pair of pants for Ailish using hand-dyed (not by me) Cascade 220. I'm thinking that I want to make Owen another sweater and am debating about what pattern to use. And this morning I sighed as I walked past the red shrug that has been sitting dejectedly in a corner. Ailish needs some mittens and a hat. Owen could use another hat, too. And I'm so close to starting toe decreases on Bryan's sock that I can almost feel myself doing k2tog as I type!

There's so much to knit and so little time! Where do I start? It is such a wonderful problem to have. It's a blessing to have so many loved ones!

And just to whet your palette, this is not the only yarn I've gotten recently! Next time I'll show off some birthday yarn and a gift from my Secret Pal that had me jumping around my kitchen.

Monday, October 22, 2007

That is the question

The big question lately has been "In the little bit of spare time that I have should I blog or should I knit?" You all know that I love you but the prevailing answer is usually to knit! In an email to my Secret Pal I told her that I'm someone who needs a bit of time in my day that involves being alone and being still. During that time I think, pray or listen to something inspirational and always knit. If I don't get that time in I find that I'm more apt to be a little short tempered. So consider it something that I do for my own sanity!

Since I'm not getting in much knitting time while at home I'm having to sneak it in here and there. My favorite place to knit at the moment is while in the parking garage before work. Bryan and I do the child/car exchange at his place of work and then I drive to work in his car and he goes home with the kids in mine. I usually have 20 to 30 minutes before I need to clock in and so I sit in the car and knit while I listen to something on my iPod.
These are some socks that Bryan has claimed for his own. It made me absurdly happy that Bryan wanted these socks. He more than tolerates my knitting, but I think it is mostly because it keeps me happy. Not often do I work on something that he loves. The last time that happened was when I was making the Log Cabin blanket for Ailish and he fell in love with the colors! So when Bryan says that he wants something that I'm knitting you can bet that he's going to get it.

Owen is pulling at me and asking to take play in the bath tub, but before I go here's a picture of a very old barn by my house that is finally giving in to the effects of time. There are a lot of old barns near my house and I love all of them. As sad as I was to see that this one is falling I think there is something still beautiful and proud about it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

This week I was surprised by another package from my Secret Pal!

She sent a supply of yummy bath items which included body cream, organic soap and some bath confetti. My pal also made me a hand towel in neopolitan colors and sent a little zippered bag to keep it all in. Thank you!

Lately, I've felt like life is too short to knit something you don't like. This has caused me to take a few things off the needles! Allow me to show you...

Here we have the Mason Dixon Moss Grid Hand Towel. I started this in July and up until last week had only worked about 4 inches on it. For various reasons I never wanted to knit on this project! This week I knit 3 more inches on it and cast off, creating the Moss Grid Hand Towelette.

I have most of a skein left over from this project that will find a new home with whomever wants it. It is Tristan, a wool/linen blend in a kicky fuschia color. Leave the first comment claiming it and it is yours!

Lastly, the Jaywalkers in Regia Silk Color. These were made Magic Loop, toe up and two at a time. The yarn is beautiful and feels fantastic, but was a bit splitty and I don't think my Addi Turbos were sharp enough to handle the increasing and decreasing.

By the time I got to the end of these socks I didn't want to look at them again. Trying them on only to find that they were a bit snug and that I didn't like the fit of the heel only sealed the deal. They found a loving owner in my Mom who had way too much fun modeling them around the house. Seeing her with them made me so happy.

We'll see where my knitting takes me now!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

For what it's worth...

It is another week of the CRAZY work schedule. Monday I worked until 10pm and then had to be at work at 8am on Tuesday and today I'm at work at 6am. I'm not naturally a morning person so waking up at 4am does not sit very well with me.

The CRAZY work schedule has also meant that I'm going to bed super early (8pm, anyone?) so that I can make sure that I'm well rested for the next day. This does not lend itself to hobbies such as, I don't know, knitting. Oh, but I'm itching to spend some time with my knitting.

What has been fabulous about this week so far has been my bag. Kate and I have been eyeing the each other's Namaste bag and decided that we'd give them a test drive by doing a short swap. Kate is now carrying my chocolate Messenger bag and I'm carrying her black Everyday bag. Can I just say that I adore this bag? It carries everything I need and more and looks fantastic!!! We swapped bags on Sunday and I've already received several compliments on it. This may be premature but I think I know what I'll be asking Santa for this Christmas.

Friday, October 05, 2007

It's Friday again!

I'm really loving my new job and forgot how much I truly enjoyed working in a medical environment. I don't think I actually mentioned what my new job is, but I'm working for a large hospital in Springfield in their admissions department. My job entails a lot of things but for the most part I'll be working Labor & Delivery triage as well as Bed Control, both fast-paced and high-stress areas. Unlike my last job, there is no down time where I'll be knitting! However, this job already feels fulfilling. I go home at the end of the day knowing that I helped people and that's a great feeling.

Because I'm still technically in training my hours have varied so that I can do my training rounds in the different departments. This irregular schedule has messed with my internal calendar and I spent all day thinking it was Friday only to be reminded that it wasn't every time I went to enter a date in the computer or on paperwork. Darn. So it's Friday again and I couldn't be happier because my brothers are spending the weekend with us!

My brothers are incredible with my kids and the three boys play so well together while sweet baby girl is happy to watch them and bestow smiles and giggles graciously and generously. With the kids busy entertaining themselves I'm hoping to sneak in a little knitting time here and there. I've been working on a shrug that's knit in one piece and designed by little ol' me! That's what the red yarn and swatch from the last post were for. I did math!

Here's what it looked like about two weeks ago. I've finished one sleeve and am currently at the middle of the back. The outer edge of the sleeve has 4 quatrefoils that I think will look better after a washing and blocking.

A close up of the quatrefoils for you. Also, the color in this second picture is much more true to life than the first one. I'm not one for garish colors and the red is much more muted than what that first image portrays.

This shrug is going to be perfect for the fall and winter but I'm not too concerned about finishing it right this second because it is going to be 88 degrees today. The past couple days have been so warm that I've brought back out the toe-up Jaywalkers to work on. I'm turning the heel on the second sock and after that it shouldn't be long before I can finally call these socks done! Sarah invited me to join the Socktoberfest group on Ravelry and I did so with finishing these socks as my only goal!!! If I don't achieve that goal it would be very sad, indeed.

Finally, what good is having friends if you can't brag about them? Our local 417 Magazine did an article on knitting in the Ozarks and interviewed Sarah and Kate for it! There's even a fabulous picture of Sarah and Tammy working on their socks. Kate designed a beginners hat pattern that the magazine published and she brought the sample hat with her to our girly movie night on Saturday. Look who modeled the hat for us on Saturday?

"It was very nice of my favorite Kate to make this hat for me. I look great in hats.
What do you mean this hat isn't for me?"

"Oh well, I'll still model it for you. This is my contemplative look
that I've been working on recently. What do you think?"