Tuesday, May 27, 2008


My husband just got back from an extended research trip. You would think that with him gone, I would be free to knit or sew well into the night and that this week I'd have gobs of finished objects to show you.

You would be wrong.

I did do more cutting out than I might have had he been here. I managed to cut out 40 seven inch squares of denim, and about 20 seven inch squares of flannel. But instead of knitting I read blogs--lots of blogs. I should have updated my blogroll (but didn't), and I should have written more entries (but didn't). I did no sewing, although now I do have some things to sew. I did a little reading of books, but not as much as you'd expect from someone who has to be told to put the book down and go to bed.

You would think that the several warm and sunny, play outside all day long and get your first sunburns would also have hindered the knitting.

You'd be wrong about that too.

The only real knitting I did was on the patio while my girls ran and played and laughed. I took frequent breaks to run and play and laugh too, but I managed to get all the rest of the panda pieces knit (4 ear pieces and a nose) and a good chunk of the (I only have the ears and tail to do).
knitting heaven

Really, all I need to do now is sew the animals up!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I can't believe it has been over a week since I last posted. You'd think that would mean that I'd have a ton of finished projects to show off. But really, I'm plodding along, working my way through the longest part of the pig pattern, slowly looking for my purple yarn so I can finish the panda's ears (I thought I ran out of black, approved the color sub with my daughter, found more black while searching--fruitlessly--for purple). Even the yoga sock, while progressing, is not quite done.

What I have been doing is dreaming. Dreaming of future projects.
I decided that even though I surged all those fabrics (and still fretting), that i didn't have a clue about what to do with them yet, but I did have a bunch of old jeans and a jeans quilt would make a nice picnic blanket this summer. And heck, I have enough to make a few of them! So I washed a bunch and cut off the tops (hopefully one or more can be made into a purse or something) and have this huge pile of jeans. I found some dark blue flannel and so now, I guess I just get cutting.
jeans and flannel

Then for mother's day, my husband took the girls to not my favorite yarn store (the one he can find though) and let them each pick me out a skein of yarn. They ended up with Ella Rae bamboo silk. In two different colors. Colors you must see to believe:
Ella rae bamboo silk
Purple and green! Or apple and plum as the labels say. Since each is 90 meters and while they go together, but need something else to offset them, I've been planning a purchase of more yarn. I have a frequent buyers card all full at said yarn store (I know! and they aren't my favorite! but it took me about two years to fill). I've spent a gob of time looking at ravelry and checking out patterns at my favorite LYS. The idea, the one I think will work anyway, is to buy two or three skeins in a cream or white (2.5 is what my full card will buy--sans tax) and make a shrug that either has stripes on the sleeves or one sleeve edged on purple the other in green. I've never made a shrug before, but it can't be hard right? I'm kind of envisioning something lacey. Suggestions are appreciated.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Hole in my socks

I've been knitting socks for almost exactly two years. I've knit in that time, with only two brands of sock yarn (although the yoga socks are in a third brand): Lorna's laces and Tofutsies. I've knit 6 pairs (and 2 sets of baby socks). I've been wearing the first pair every week since I finished them two years ago. I knit my daughters each a pair of socks when they were 3. One daughter wore her socks every time they were clean until she finally grew so far out of them, that it was uncomfortable. All of these were Lorna's laces. None of them ever developed a hole.
I've knit two of the six pairs in tofutsies, The first pair--which I must have finished a year ago (but I don't know exactly), and worn about like the others now has a hole!
a hole!

I'm a little beside myself. My husband suggested I "fix" them. Except I have used every single yard of that yarn up, in fact had to finish the second of the second pair of socks with a different yarn! I have no idea how to darn socks.

I could just cry.
ETA: I checked my Ravelry page and I entered them there as having finished them in July of 07. Should Handknit socks last more than a year?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

stress relief

I knit, a lot. In fact at the book club, there were three people who professed to be knitters (one I knew from having taken a how to knit sock class with her), but I was the only one knitting. I knit nearly every night after my girls are asleep, and sometimes I even get in a bit while I watch tv with them. I do this to get rid of the tension that builds up every day. The click click click of the needles, the row upon row of stitches soothes me.

Except for the big stress.
No, for the big stress (death, illness, hard decisions) I need sewing. The wiggita wiggita of the machine as it stitches along is the only thing for a big crisis. When my grandmother was very ill and my mother was calling every day to tell me if grandma had made it through the night, I sewed. I quilted a large quilt for the guest room bed and I worked on a baby quilt for my cousin. I cried over both of these quilts, as the machine chugged along. I swore when needles broke, when thread tangled and when I put together the pieces wrong. But mostly I let my brain take in the rhythmic ka-chunking that seems to help me achieve a sense of peace.

I have no large sewing projects looming, no baby quilts to make, no unfinished objects demanding my attention. But I have the sort of big stress that requires sewing right now. My answer is this: Last fall, I was given 2 large boxes of fabric, pulled from an aunt's stash. In those boxes, were enough "milk paint" colored fabric to make quite a splendid quilt using color gradations. All of it had never been washed. I usually prewash all my fabric, but first I like to serge the edges to keep the fraying to a minimum. The serger wiggita wiggitas with the best of them. So, this is my plan--serge the fabrics until the stress melts away. Then start planning something wonderful.

Monday, May 05, 2008

You should always have a sock going

I should know this by now. It is always good to have at least one sock in progress. And not just any sock, but something simple, easy to memorize.


Well, when you have a simple sock going, you can throw it in your purse and whip it out whenever you have a few spare minutes to knit. You could carry it to a book club for example. You could (and I have always always wanted to do this) pull it out when you are in a meeting that you don't need to do much note-taking for. You could knit a sock in the car on a long car trip (when someone else is driving). I even manage to knit on small stuff that I don't need a pattern for while I watch my girls play outside.
Sweaters are hard to pull out of your purse (heck hard to get IN your purse). Scarves are similar, although I suppose they aren't as bad as sweaters. A hat might work. I suppose a mitten or a glove might work too. I suppose a dish cloth wouldn't be bad--if the needles were short enough.

Coincidentally (or not) all the small projects that fit in your purse, are also the things people swear they enjoy making in the summer, when the heat makes working on a sweater or afghan seem impossible.
So, why as the weather turns very spring-like, did I not have a sock going? especially when I have a book club meeting coming up --one in which I'd like to have a small auto-pilot project to pull out.
I'd point to the panda I'm working on, the pig I'm obligated to knit, the monkey socks for my mom that are in the queue. I'd point to how my ice queen is almost finished and how I don't like having more than two projects going at once. But the panda isn't portable--as I need to follow what is turning out to be a very detailed pattern. The ice queen isn't either--although I took it outside--primarily because of the beads. I haven't started the monkey socks, and didn't like my chances of memorizing the pattern before 7pm tonight.

So, I pulled out my single skein of Felici--which is not enough for a pair and now the color is sold out--and cast on for "yoga" socks. Basically an anklet without a heel or toe. I can't claim this as my own design, as I've seen a pattern for sale for this type of sock, but this will be my own interpretation. I'm thinking the 2x2 rib will be enough for me to work on while we talk books. If it gets the 3.5-4 inches long, well--no heel flap to work.
I may have to expand the old adage that says--sock yarn doesn't count for your stash to include, socks don't count as works in progress, because everyone should have a sock going in the summer.
yoga sock

Friday, May 02, 2008

I did not win the knitty contest. I am recovering.

I am debating, about this one issue. Is it ok to bring a small item to knit, say a simple sock, to a book club gathering? If it is your first time at said gathering? If you are missing knit night for it?
Perhaps I'll throw a sock in my purse and if it feels right, whip it out.