Thursday, March 30, 2006

When knitting gets in the way of your life.

Or perhaps I should say, when life gets in the way of your knitting.

It's been a busy week, and it's just getting busier and busier from here on out. We've got plans with friends tonight and tomorrow - and Pea even took a rare Friday off. Then my aunt and uncle are coming down from Maine tomorrow night to stay with my parents until Sunday. They are so very much fun, and I really can't wait to see them and hear what we have planned for the day Saturday. I'm sure we'll come up with somewhere cool to take them. And then, on Sunday we have a big dinner with a group of friends from ballroom dance class.

Is it bad that, as excited as I am, a little piece of me is very worried that this new found social life is cutting into my knitting time? I even have a bit of animosity toward all these plans that will keep me from my knitting. Oh wait, it gets even worse. How bad is it when your excitement at seeing the UPS man at your door quickly fades when you realize he has your mail order meds instead of your new sock yarn? I mean, sure, I need the insulin to . . .well . . . STAY ALIVE, but it just isn't as fun as sock yarn. It's just a clear bottle of fluid. Maybe they could come up with Self-Striping Insulin. You draw it into the syringe and it makes pretty patterns. It could even leave a little pattern on your injections site, kind of like a temporary tattoo! Am I just too out there today? Maybe I shouldn't post before I've finished my coffee.

So, for the rest of the week, lots of socializing and very little knitting. Maybe it's for the best. If I don't have time to finish my Bestus Buddy socks until next week, I can use them to earn my KAL April credit nice and early. And I think the Sunrise Circle Jacket is giving me sunburn. I'm deep into the front increases, so each row gets bigger and takes longer. I've hit that funk in a project where you knit and knit and don't feel like you are making any progress, and you find you'd rather knit anything else than that darn project. Hopefully a little break from the sun will cure the burn-out.

Happy weekend (with lots of knitting time) to all. And I'll try to remember to take my camera when we're out and about, so at least I'll have some fun, scenic pictures to post next week!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Life is good

Things seem to be going really well today. Could it be that Mercury has come out of retrograde?? (Yes, it has, thank goodness. When Mercury goes retrograde it is notorious for wreaking havoc on us Geminis . . . I got that straight from an astrologer friend). And lookee here, that little red [!] is FINALLY gone from Bloglines and all is right with my blog.

At the risk of revealing what a big geek I am (but you already knew that anyway), I will admit that I was very excited that it was almost 60 degrees and sunny. And that meant I could hang laundry on the line!!!!

Oh my goodness . . . . what's that on the end of the line? Could it be . . . how did that get there . . . why what do you know, it's a finished sock!!!

Hurrah, one Bestus Buddy sock is done. (Gee, I hope the neighbors who moved in over the weekend didn't notice that the crazy lady next door, who they haven't met yet, takes pictures of her laundry drying. Hi, nice to meet you!!!!)

To be quite honest, that has the WORLD'S WORST short-row heel. I even had to frog it once and re-do. I'm not thrilled with how it came out, but I have faith that my second one will come out better and I will see the Short-Row Light. I will say this, I've never knit a sock so quickly before. I think I may have a bit of a problem. I think I'm a sock-a-holic.

And along with that comes the dreaded Sock Stash Binge. I added two more sock yarns to the stash this weekend when we went to a LYS to look for buttons for Sunrise. Which I found, by the way!! (That is the sleeve they are resting on . . . as you can see, the front is just a tiny flap right now.)

MelissaJoon asked in a comment "What do you call it when you are faithful to one or two projects, but you keep buying yarn for other projects . . . I am afraid that is a yarn-wh*re!!!!". I'm afraid she's right and I'm afraid I qualify. I bought more than just buttons and sock yarn on Saturday.

And the pull of a pretty cotton yarn from Knit One Crochet Too was too much for me to resist. I cast on and knit one petal for a Reverse-Bloom Wash Cloth from Weekend Knitting. It's just a small knit, right? No harm done. Come on, we all knew I couldn't stick to just two projects. But I promise, no more than THREE!!!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

If a tree falls in the woods . . . .

and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if a blogger loads a post . . . . and Bloglines notifier doesn't see it, does it ever get read? I believe the answer to both is yes!! So even though Bloglines and Blogger have been having communication issues since the Blogger problem with the filer my blog is stored on (along with some other good blogs like Knit the Classics), I'll keep on posting. Sooner or later Bloglines will see it. In the mean time, I know some of you click over every so often to check for posts too - thank you so much for that!!!

Have you checked out my WIP Progress Bars lately? Do you believe your eyes??? Only two projects on the needles! TWO . . . not TWENTY-TWO like you might have seen a few months ago. I think I've been convinced that monogamy is the way to go. That's right, I'm a fickle project tart no more. Not to say there isn't a good chance that the temptation of hot new yarns and s*xy new projects won't lure me away from project faithfulness . . . . back to the cheap thrills of a knitting "ten-row stand", and a love 'em and leave 'em recklessness. But for now, I'm a two or three project gal.

Here is the progress on my current two projects.

WIPsThere is the beginning of my Bestus Buddy sock - another inch or so and I'll be ready to start my very first short-row heel!!!! Sunrise circle now has a left sleeve, and I'm starting the increases for the raglan and left front semi-circle. (Yes, dork that I am, I forgot the Sunrise yarn ball is secured in my knitting bag . . . . thus leaving a very lllloooooooonnnnnnnngggg trail of yarn behind me as I carried it from the living room to the kitchen to be photographed).

Speaking of the living room, that's where I do most of my knitting. And since I've always enjoyed looking at the Where I Knit pictures on other blogs, I guess it's about time I posted one myself.

My knitting spotMy knitting spot is the right corner of the couch (or, if you're sitting on the couch, the left corner). That's the corner that has the best view of the TV, and since I was here first I had claimed it as my own long before Pea moved in. (It's also the most comfy corner!!) The lamp usually goes in the far right corner, but I need to pull it over when I'm knitting at night so my old eyes can see what I'm doing. My water cup is there on the coffee table - I obviously took this picture in the afternoon. If it was the morning, my coffee cup would be there!!! If you look really close, you can see Sunrise Circle resting where my butt usually goes, and my knitting bag on the floor to the left of my water cup. (You can also see the Swiffer duster in front of Pea's side of the couch . . . I was getting ready to do some cleaning when I stopped to take this shot!) One of my favorite things in the living room is the sign over the couch, which reads "To Thine Own Self Be True". I bought it right before I moved into my house, and I liked the sentiment because this was MY house, I was moving in on my own, and I felt that as I set everything up, I needed to only be true to myself. It was made from wood taken from one of the oldest churches in town during a renovation, so the wood dates back to 1787 according to the back of the sign.

Am I the last one in Blogland to post my knitting spot? If you haven't posted yours, please do. I'd love to see it!!!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Ever have a couple of really good days? Or on the other hand, ever have something really good happen, that makes your whole day seem great? I spent yesterday running around doing errands, and came home feeling exhausted and wondering why people need to be so snarky and mean to each other. Then I took in the mail, and realized that for the most part, people are sweet and good and thoughtful, and there are just a few who are duds.

The sweet, good, thoughtful person who made my day yesterday was my friend Ragan, who not only knits very well, but is a crafter extraordinaire!!!! Just look at what she sent me!!!!!

Stitch Marker BeautysHandmade pansy stitch markers and a lovely note!!! Seems she signed up for a stitch marker swap, and when she saw I wasn't on the list, she decided to send me some anyway so I wouldn't miss out on the fun. Isn't that sweet? And how ever did she know to send me the pansy ones? When I was little, my grandfather was a florist, and I would spend hours sitting in front of the shop looking at the pansies. And now that I have my own house, I plant pansies up the front walk every spring. It's like she somehow knew!!! Thank you Ragan, you really made my Monday!! Go on over and give her a big MWAH, okay?

First thing this morning, the second good thing happened. I finished up my Ocean Socks!!

Ocean Socks!!!

Thuja socks by Bobby Ziegler
Cast On: January 20, 2006
Completed: March 21, 2006
Knit on size 3 DPNs with Trekking XXL color 104

I had a lot of fun knitting these socks. They did get put aside during the Olympics, but I was so glad to get back to them because the pattern is so much better. I love the Trekking yarn, it lived up to every good thing I've heard about it.

I am officially addicted to sock knitting now. I've already cast on for my next pair with the same yarn I made the Olympic socks out of. That pair went to my best friend, so now I'll have a pair to match. Maybe I'll call them my Bestus Buddy socks . . . just to go back to that junior high mentality!! I'd show you my progress on them, but the camera batteries died after the Ocean Sock picture. I'm doing them on two circs and using this pattern so I can give short row heels a try. I'm so anxious to learn something new with each pair of socks I knit. I wonder what I'll try after the Bestus Buddy Socks are done. Any suggestions? What's your favorite sock technique or pattern?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Zeppole di San Giuseppe

Zeppole di San GiuseppeToday is St. Joseph's Day, a traditional day of Italian feasting to honor San Giuseppe. Among other things, the husband of Mary is said to have saved the Sicilians from a serious drought during the Middle Ages . Those yummy pastries to the left are Zeppole, which are a huge part of the feast and also given to men named Joseph on March 19th. (Custard filled on the left, cannoli cream on the right!!) Every year my grandmother would buy them for my father's twin, who is also my godfather, Uncle Joe. I had hoped to surprise him with some this year, but he was at a birthday party for my cousin - Joseph Jr. I hope someone remembered to bring the Zeppole.

To tell the truth, we never really celebrated St. Joseph's Day while I was growing up . . . probably because my father was Marco, not Joseph. But I'd really like to learn more about my Italian heritage (as well as the English and Polish, but I've always felt more Italian). Luckily, we live in an era when most information is a mere click away. Next year maybe I'll hit NYC for the festival with my Sicilian husband.

Viva la tavola di San Giuse!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Oh come on, who was I kidding?????

You all knew I was going to rip out the hemming on the jacket back and re-do it, right? Miss OCD . . . leave it not quite right . . . I don't think so. First thing this morning I took it out, wove waste thread to mark the line better, and knitted the hem into my bind off. It was a major PITA. I did a few stitches at a time . . . . stoppped and checked it . . . . took a break . . . did a few more stitches . . . and so on and so on. A long long time later . . .


Sunrise Circle BackAll done, lightly blocked, and modeling on the Spare Room bed!!!

It may have taken me four tries . . . but look how straight and even the top hem ended up!!!

Fourth times a charm!!!I am having so much fun knitting this sweater. I'll start on the left sleeve tonight or tomorrow . . . I can't wait to see how that shapes up!! As I knit this, I keep thinking of the only other sweater I've knit. I don't even wear that poor thing. It's weird and lumpy and doesn't quite fit right. But that makes me realize what a long way I've come since last year.

I know my blog has been down (Blogger problems with a filer that has my blog on it), but I'm hoping I can get this uploaded before the end of St. Patrick's Day!!! I wanted to share the little leprechauns that visit my coffee table and side table during March!!

Erin go Braugh

Thanks to Lolly for the tip on the Flickr mosaic thing!!!

If you look close, you can see the removable stitch markers in the top left shamrock!! I guess the leprechauns like to knit too!!!! HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The thing about plans . . .

is that sometimes they don't quite work out. My plan to get married outdoors . . . well, Mother Nature had a different plan, one that involved watering the gardens. My plan to start on a new career path after the New Year . . . well, I didn't exactly say which New Year, and things are going quite nicely here at home for now. My plan for Fettuccine all'Alfredo con Prosciutto di Parma on Monday night . . . well, I don't know what happened there, but the sauce looked more like something you would spackle your walls with than something you'd want to eat. That never happens to me, I think maybe I didn't grate the cheese finely enough. On second thought, maybe it's because I substituted fat-free half & half (when in doubt, blame the healthy ingredient).

My plan for today's post was to show you my completed Sunrise Circle Jacket back. Umm, well, maybe not. I am ALMOST done, but I'm running into a bit of a problem with my bind off. I'm trying to bind off and knit the hem at the same time. That was another plan that's not working so well. I made a bit of a boo-boo but am hoping it won't be very noticeable . . . the seam is a bit wonky. But my hair will cover it, and blocking may help it, and I really think no one will notice but me. Of course, now it's no longer perfect, but I really don't think I can fix it. So, I'm forging ahead. But it's very slow going . . . . because I want the rest of the hem to be perfect.

So for now, why don't I show you the progress on my Thuja socks? One is done, and the second is started!!!

Ocean SocksSo far I seem to stave off Second Sock Syndrome because I'm too excited about actually having a PAIR of socks to wear not to cast on for the second. Since my Olympic socks were a gift, the only other hand-knit socks I have are Socklings. I wear them every night (and morning) with my jammies . . . . then throw them in the wash after a few days . . . . then start wearing them again as soon as they are dry. Those poor little Socklings, they are really pilling like crazy. They need some more hand-knits in the rotation to help take some of the strain off them. I plan to finish this pair by the end of March (to earn my M), and hopefully this plan should go off without a hitch. And I think I'm going to call them my Ocean Socks, because the colors remind me of the Caribbean ocean on our cruise!!

The plan for tomorrow - Sunrise back. Oh, and lots of green. These little guys are in my living room getting ready for tomorrow's celebration.

The rest of their friends will be in tomorrow's post. And no, I'm not Irish at all . . . . but don't they say we're all Irish on St. Patrick's Day??

PS: I also planned people would actually be able to read my post . . . but Bloglines has planned differently and doesn't see my blog feed. So much for all of today's plans!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Knitting with other knitters!!!!

I spent this morning knitting. Not unusual, you say? Well, actually it was. This morning was the first time I knit with other knitters!!!! Wow, I feel like a real knitter now!

Jennifer at Major Knitter was kind enough to invite me to her SNL (Saturday kNit Live) this morning. I tend to be very shy in groups, so I was a little nervous, but that quickly faded away as soon an I entered her beautiful house. A cozy group of gals (including the always clever Purl Needlemeyer) were knitting . . . and so much more! People played show & tell with projects of all kinds - WIPs, FOs, ideas and knit-related projects. Everyone was so friendly and supportive of each other - but in a down to earth real way. Trust me, if you start knitting something butt ugly, these girls will smack some sense into you before you waste any more time on it!!! No You Knit What?s going on here!!!! And yes, that web-site was discussed. These are my kind of people.

Bad blogger that I am . . . I didn't take any pictures. I wish I had, because there were so many beautiful knits being passed around for inspection - it was really amazing. I think my personal favorite was a pair of beaded socks knit by Betsy. She made them for the Six Socks KAL and we all just marveled at how beautiful they were. Best of all, she said they are machine washable!!!

The sock bug had bitten a few of us, and I did some work on my Thuja socks. I also did a few rows on Sunrise Circle. I still feel like I don't have any exciting progress to post, but since many of you have been asking for a picture - here it is . . . all 8 1/2 inches - one ball of ten knit!

The sun in starting to rise??I'd better go knit some more, so I've got progress to show next time I see everyone!! Oh, but first, don't forget to send your left-over little balls of sock yarn to Jennifer for Half of the proceeds go to a great charity!!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Slow week

Yikes, has it really been five days since I've posted??? I guess things here have been quiet and mellow - which sometimes is not necessarily a bad thing, right?

I did block my Lopi Lace Scarf and have been wearing it every time I go out. I really love it, it's just the perfect length, the pattern is so pretty and feels great after it's Eucalan wash.

Lopi Lace Scarf

Lopi Lace Scarf from Weekend Knitting
Yarn: Cascade 220 colors Celtic Green (9410) and Silver Grey (8401)
Cast on: February 15, 2006
Completed: March 1, 2006

This was a really fun knit, and the only reason it took me two weeks was because it was during the Knitting Olympics. I could only knit it when I was too darn tired to do one more round on the socks.

Thuja SockSpeaking of socks, my Thuja socks also got cast aside due to Olympic pressure. Now that I'm free to work on whatever I want, I've been knitting on these again. I turned the heel and am almost through the gusset decreases. I love the Trekking XXL!! The color changes are reminding me of the Caribbean ocean on our cruise, which is always a nice memory to have. The sock looks thin, but it's super stretchy and, as far as I can tell, will fit me fine.

I've also started the Sunrise Circle Jacket and am about half-way up the back. I'll wait until there is more exciting progress before I post a picture of that.

Bored yet? Yeah, this post is even putting me to sleep!!! I guess I'll go put on a load of laundry and start dinner. See, that's what this slow week has been like around here. But I talked to my old boss today - she was all stressed out, no one helps with the work, they still haven't hired my replacement, and nothing there has changed. I'm so glad I got out of there. Give me this slow, quiet life any day!!!!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

IT'S A BOY!!!!

Okay, the new mom and I were wrong about the girl . . . .but who cares!!!! Camden arrived about an hour ago via an emergency c-section, weighing in at 4 lbs, 7 oz. He and mom are both doing just fine, and brother Zachary is thrilled the have a little brother (he did not want a sister). And there is now a baby to gift Baby Raglan to!!!

Thank you all for your sweet comments and reassurances. Obviously your thoughts and prayers worked like a charm. I'm off to knit some soft blue things, shop for more baby yarn, and plan a trip to New Hampshire to see them all!! (I do have e-mails to answer, but I think I'm too excited to give them the attention they deserve. Please forgive me if I put them off for one more day??)

Friday, March 03, 2006

The baby is coming!!!!

The official due date is end of March. I just got off the phone with my Best Friend-In-Law (aka Best Friend's Husband). She being induced right now. It's early, but her blood pressure was continuing to rise and pushing her into preeclampsia (I don't know what that is, but I know it's bad. I'll go look it up when I'm done). They said it's safer to give birth now than wait any longer. I'm a mix of so excited and a little worried. So please, if you could, keep them in your thoughts.

**** Okay, I just looked up preeclampsia, and it's some scary stuff. Any healing thoughts and prayers (what ever is you thing) would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I cheated on my husband Tuesday night.

Well, not really, but I feel like I did. Tuesday night I had a dream that I WAS KISSING John Zimmerman. Okay, even in the dream, I wasn't really cheating on Pea. John and I were doing a photo shoot and we had to kiss for that. His wife was right there with us, and it was all very innocent (except even in the dream, I really really liked it - so maybe not 100% innocent). I felt so guilty all day yesterday, I actually had to confess to Pea at dinner. He, of course, just laughed at me. It's not the first time I've had skater dreams, and I'm sure it won't be the last. (Usually I just dream that we're all friends - no kissing involved). He also pointed out that it was probably due to the fact that I've been stalking this eBay auction. Oh, if I wasn't jobless, the bidding I would do!!!

Gratuitous Hot Guy in Leather Pants Picture!!!!
Photos © Andrea Chempinski

Ugh, I just looked out the window and noticed it is snowing. YUCK!!!! Good thing I wasn't planning on going out today.

Anyway, it's a new month. March is very exciting, because it's the kick-off to Project Spectrum!!! This month is red and pink. I'd like to complete at least two projects each month, one knitted and one using another craft medium. My knitted project for March will be my Sunrise Circle Jacket, which is currently in swatching mode. I'll probably cast on tonight, while (hopefully!!) watching his hotness win Skating with Celebrities. (You do know I mean John, not Carson, right???)

My second project this month will be sewing some new fleece pajamas. I got THE CUTEST fabric at Jo-Anns!! I just couldn't resist the sheep. I haven't done much sewing in quite a few years, and I'm so glad Lolly gave me the kick I needed to get back into it. THANK YOU, LOLLY!!! Pajamas seemed like a good project to start on, because it's okay if there are a few mistakes. I'm not going to wear them in public or anything. Although I have been known to wear PJ's to our friend Barb's house on New Years Eve!!!

I did finish my scarf yesterday, but the progress bar remains at 99% because I need to block it. So my next post should have a FO picture!! I've decided to try to keep my WIP list down to four or less, so maybe I can actually finish things. Next up is the square for Comforting Jef. I borrowed 100 Afghan Squares to Knit from the library for inspiration. I didn't think a book like this would interest me because I never thought I would want to knit a whole afghan. This book is making me change my mind!! It is so wonderful. There are tons of fun and pretty afghans, and I may want to knit one after all. The patterns are very clearly written and charted, and I'm hoping to some day make this book a part of my own knitting library. Isn't it fun when something far outweighs you expectations??