Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ninja Blue Socks 3, Me 2

I may have neglected say what the name of the bloody blue socks I'm working on.  They are the ninja socks.  The definition of a Ninja is "a member of a feudal Japanese society of mercenary agents, highly trained in martial arts and stealth (ninjutsu), who were hired for covert purposes ranging from espionage to sabotage and assassination."  Am I the only one to see the irony here?  Sabotage?  I finished the heel flap today at lunch, giddly whipped through the picking up the gussets and starting to knit my way around...did a couple rows, lunch was over, and I looked at it.  And felt a wave of frustration run through me.  In my delight to finish the heel flap, I neglected you see?

It took me a moment and then I realized, in my giddy delight, I missed one step, rather an important step.  I did not turn the heel, looks silly and gangly.  Which means I must....wait for out two rows.  To get back to my heel flap with no gusset stitches picked up, so I can properly turn the heel.  Even the eternal optimist in me can not see past it.

Ninja sock 3, me 2.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The blue sock isn't done with me yet

First before I continue the duel between the blue socks and me, look at this...from my office window last Friday.  Snow, big fat flakes of snow, covering windshields and starting to stick on the ground...and it is still October.  This does not bode well for the length of our winter...and while it makes my knitting fingers happy, come February and March I will be muttering a different story...but I digress...the blue sock.

The last time we talked I was crowing, Sock 2, me 1, because I finally finished the first sock and cast on the second sock, this after knitting, ripping, knitting and ripping yet again because of operator errors.  But I felt confident that everything was crusing along nicely as I started the second sock.  Well now I'm starting to have those knitting needles jabbed into my brain again and while I'm at least aware of them now, there isn't much I can do at this you see? I'm just starting the heel flap, pattern is done (first time a success, ya me) ready to just cruise on the plain foot, but look at the size of the remaining ball of yarn that I have left...hmmmm that does not look like a lot....considering I have size 11 feet and need a LONG foot that really doesn't look like is going to be close, do I hear devious laughter from that ball of yarn? I continue to knit along, convincing myself I will have enough.  Well, shhhhh don't say this out loud, but I have a back up plan, I have not kitchnered (is that a word?) the toe on sock 1, which means I can easily rip back (AGAIN!) and use that yarn to hopefully complete the foot of the second sock and then use something complimentary to knit both toes to finally finish the torturous blue socks...I refuse to give the sock another point yet, I'm not defeated, I have a back up plan in place, if anything I should give myself another point!  And since I'm writing the blog, that is what I'm it is a draw, sock 2, me 2.  And now that I've waved a bright red flag in front of these socks, can't wait to see what happens next....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Weekend Wedding

My favorite nephew married his favorite girl on Saturday.  It was one of the most delightful days my family has had since the last wedding...oh yah, that was just in July.  smile...There was a bit of drama, my Emily was struggling with a bad cold Friday and Friday night, woke up and shortly afterwards had the first of two bloody noses, ramping up my stress level.  Think about it, putting your child into a white flower girl dress within 2 hours of having 2 bloody noses....yup, fun times.  But she made it through and we had just a wonderful day.  And when I got home Sunday afternoon, I realized I did not take one picture.  Not a one.  So hopefully soon I will get some pictures to add to this post.

I did hear from my sister that the newlyweds loved the giant gray blob of an afghan that transformed into the lovely Girasole.  I'm happy they like it.  Nothing better when a hand knit gift is warmly recieved.

So now I'm about 2 months to Christmas, let the Christmas knitting begin!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Big Gray Blob Done

It is done, I finished Girasole, the wedding is Saturday and it is done, ends woven in, soaked, and pinned out to block.  And I really am pleased with it.  The pattern done by Jared Flood is weel done, the charts easy to read and the end result beautiful.  I know my nephew Kyle and his Anna will enjoy this for many years.  Part of the gift is I'm tucking in a note saying I will take it each spring, wash it and block it out for them. 
We leave early Friday morning to drive to Milwaukee for the wedding.  Hopefully there will still be some leaves on the trees so we can enjoy the drive out.  I fear the fall in MN will be less than stellar this year due to the snow that fell the last two days.  While it is warming up this weekend, I'm sure most of the leaves will simply fall off the trees instead of turning colors.  When I lived in Texas, fall was the season I missed the most.  After living in Texas for several years I did learn to appreciate the subtly of its fall.  But how I longed for the cool crisp mornings, scuffing my way through the dried leaves on the ground, watching the geese heading south, while the rest of us prepared for the long winter ahead.  So this year not getting to watch the leaves change and glow in the sun will be sorely missed.  But one advantage of fall in MN vs TX?  Knowing that I can knit and knit and knit as many warm woolen things that I can manage and know that I still can continue to make more.  It will only get colder!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Finished Object

I finished two things Sunday night, the great gray blob of an afghan is done!  I need to weave in the ends and then block it, so pictures will follow after the weekend.  The wedding is a week from Saturday, so while not done too far in advance, it was done before I started to panic.

I'm happy with the results of the Emillia mittens.  I haven't done a lot of fair isle, but I really love the look and plan on doing more stranded knitting.  I used Julia yarn from Kristin Nichols' line and it is perfect for this.  They will be quite warm this winter.  And sad to say, the weatherman is predicting snow possibly by this weekend?  sigh....the second mitten still needs its thumb and the ends woven in.  So that better happen this week because a thumbless mitten really does NOT work for a Minnesota winter.

I did some spinning last night, the hot pink roving from yesterday's post.  It is amazingly soft stuff and I hope the yarn turns our as squishy as I want.  Emily wants me to make it into a hat for her.  I have a pattern I'm thinking about with lots of texture in it.  I need to see how the yarn actually turns out before I commit totally to the pattern.

And not to end on a sour note, but last night I spent over 2 hours looking for a dress or skirt to wear to my nephews wedding on the 17th.  I looked at 3 major name stores and 3 smaller clothings stores.  What is going on here, the primary color of the dresses/skirts were black.  I love black, most of my wardrobe is made up of black/grey/brown pants.  But I really don't want to wear black to the wedding. There were black sparkly dresses, squeiny black skirts, shimmery black jackets, even solid black outfits with embroidery.  Wehre were the browns, greens, rusts?  I was surprised that there weren't more fall color options.  I did try on a couple outfits at one place, they would have been ok, but there really didn't make me feel special or pretty.  I kept searching, found a jacket at one store, but nothing to go with it.  Found a skirt at another store, but it wouldn't go with that jacket.  Just very frustrating.  So that means this weekend I'll be heading to Mall of America.  That is where I found my two dresses for the July wedding and loved them.  Hopefully that will happen again. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

A spinner's life

When I dreamed of getting a spinning wheel I alternated from thinking I was crazy to want something that would help me make yarn to the thought of bliss when I could make just the most perfect yarn that only I would have.  Sure I could buy any yarn from my local yarn shop or from big box stores but it wouldn't be that special yarn.  I yearned for a wheel. I bought a hand spindle and started to learn to spin that way.  A slow but soothing process.  Although I never could get the hang out of letting it go for long, I continually had to trap it between my knees and then work the twist up.  I couldn't explain my longing for a wheel to many folks.  I waited a full year from when I first started thinking about it to when I decided I was going to get one.  I bought books and subscribed to Spin Off magazine, all to try and learn before I actually ever sat down at a wheel. 

My family understood, my sister and I have been crafters from the ages of 10 on.  You should see my sister's house.  It is filled with magnificent quilts she has made.  Her work is stunningly gorgeous and last year she bought herself a machine that helps her quilt her colorfull quilt tops into truly works of art.  She understands the longing of that one piece of equipment that will further your desire to MAKE something by hand.  My mom, though more puzzled, doesn't question wanting things like quilting machines or spinning wheels.  She has seen us both labor over projects and appreciates the time and effort they take. 

So last spring I found a way to buy my first wheel.  I've loved it since.  In the last few months I've churned through a pile of roving and am beginning to create yarn that looks like YARN!  So much to learn but that is part of the fun I think.  I"m hoping to take a class in November from the Weaver's Guild here in Minneapolis so I can learn exactly how much I don't know!  But in the mean time, this is what I do.

I'm going to make Emily a hat and mittens out of this hot pink roving.
So I continue to spin, to the point where when I come downstairs from "working" up stairs, my mom tells me to brush off the doghair from my pants...ummm that isn't dog hair, it is bits of fluff and roving.  Darn, she figured out I wasn't cleaning the upstairs like she thought, instead I had plunked down at my wheel to just spin for a that bit turned into an hour and a spindle full of singles later....but such is the life of a spinner.  Next....

Friday, October 2, 2009

My crazy life

My life at times is weird. I say this knowing it is my life. And I'll keep it thank you. But sometimes, I'm shaking my head at what passes as being normal around here.

I have two daughters, one is almost a teenager, that opens many doors that I prefer to stay shut, but also realize I'm not going to be able to keep them shut. Or keep her at home, with just us, instead she will be going out more and more into the "real" world. She was invited to a birthday party tonight, a slumber party, no big deal, she has done many in the past. But this one is at a hotel. A hotel I'm not staying at. That is hard. But she is ready. She is responsible. She is smart. So after checking out logistics, who is attending, etc., good chaperons, I said yes. My fear is tamped down with the glow in her eyes. I trust my girl. It is just the rest of the world I don't trust.

Then we get to my mom. We all live together. It works out more good than not good. But while I'm at work and the girls are at school, my mom is home. Thinking. Thinking a lot. More than some things need to be thought about. Like garage floors. I have washed that garage floor more than I have EVER washed a garage floor, because really people, it is a GARAGE floor. The van is out there, my old saggy, drippy, solid, drippy, van. It has left its mark. A mark that even with scrubbing is not coming off a basic plain garage floor no matter how many times you wash, how you wash, or what you use to wash it. Those marks are still there. And when my mom thinks all day alone and there is a stained garage floor near by, that is not a good match. But before I totally throw my hands up in the air, our handyman arrives, looks at the floor and tells my mom, it is clean. A really clean floor, for a garage. And short of painting it (painting a GARAGE floor?) it is fine. So what does my mom say? Oh good, thanks. I really need to keep our handyman's number on speed dial so he can repeat things I've said that apparently don't register to her unless it is spoken by a man's voice! smile...

And while the weirdness of my every day life swirls around me, I knit and spin. sometimes I spin in my head, but I really like spinning on my wheel....look what I made...

I think for only having my wheel for less than six months, taking no classes, and spinning sporadically, I'm making pretty decent progress. I'm still a bit inconsistent, but overall this is pretty usable yarn.

And just so you know? Sock 2, me 1