Thursday, April 28, 2005

A Difficult Week

This was a hard week for me. I recently accepted a job just because I thought I'd get it not because I thought it was suited to me, or because I wanted it, or even that I thought I'd be good at it. I had doubts about it from the start. I was a merchandiser before, which is what this job entailed. That means you go into stores, set up displays, and make sure the product is out for the consumer. This company had been represented to be as a garden and lawn products company, then I find out that a lot of what they sell is insecticides, things to kill termites, and such. I was being asked to put this stuff out, (which gave me the creeps especially when something leaked on me and I was told don't worry about it) and to tell people how to use it. Now I am someone who doesn't kill things. I take bugs outside, I don't step on them. I try to eat vegetarian as much as I can and would likely do it all the time if DH would come along with me. Well anyway I was unhappy. I also had to do way more travel than I thought I'd have to do, the boxes were way heavier than I thought they were going to be, and they expected me to work alone sooner than I felt comfortable. All around I felt stuck and over my head. Then out of the blue comes a call from this store I'd applied to. I thought I'd lost out on the job from them but apparently I was wrong. A lifeline in a dark night! Of course I grabbed at it. Now I feel bad about quitting Job #1 so soon, but better for all concerned if I go as soon as I realize it's not working I think. I hope that this new job works out for me, and I think it will. A nice high end woman's clothing store in a mall near my house. More my speed.

Knittingwise I haven't gotten much done the last few days as you might imagine. I've worked on niece #2's baby blanket, did some work on my socks, and did some swatching on the red sweater I want to make for myself. DD has declared that she doesn't think a moss stitch sweater will look good, I'm still not sure. I'm divided between moss on the whole thing, moss on the body, stockinette on the sleeves, or stockinette on the whole thing. Roll neck , garter stitch bottom most likely. Opinions?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Continuing Tale Of The Sock Needles

I was so proud of myself for coming up with a solution for the lost needle wasn't I? Well the knitting gods punish the proud. Not long after posting that entry I promptly stepped on the needles and broke one. I ran out to try and find a new set before picking up DH at the train, but the Michaels I went to had hardly any DP's. So on the way to dinner we went to AC Moore and I got two sets one for each sock so I could work on both at the same time. My family didn't complain one bit or think I was crazy at all. Just Mom being Mom.

Did the swatch for my sweater and boy do I love this KnitPicks yarn! So soft and nice to knit with. Though I realized this AM I will not be able to do too much on the sweater this week. I haven't done much on the baby blanket lately and really have to make a push on it. The baby is due in June and I want the thing done well in time for the kid's arrival. There may be a shower after all and I'd like to be able to give the blanket at the shower.

My DD has been envious of Aibhlinn and wants one for herself. I have some Tahki Cotton Classic in my stash that may work for it if she likes the color. I figure I'll cast on 2/3 as many stitches, make it shorter, and do the same stitch pattern. It can't be too hard to work out. I don't think that Aibhlinn is a very difficult pattern at all. I know a lot of other knitters have had trouble with it, but I found it to be fun and easy to do. Sure I tinked it a couple of times but that was really about it, save for one small incident getting it started. Cotton Classic is a cabled cotton yarn, mercernized, it should look like nice and drape well. Best of all is I have no memory of buying this yarn and have no idea what I got it for.

Not to be out done DS has asked for socks, and ought to be interesting to knit for since he has huge feet. Boy is only 14 and has size 11 feet. I have a ball of Magic Stripes in the house I was going to use for him and as I type this realize that for size 11 one ball may not be enough I ought to get another just in case.

Friday, April 22, 2005

How I Know I'm Obsessed

DS goes to a boarding school for special needs children. When he comes home for a visit I meet him at Penn Station in New York and go home on the Long Island Rail Road. Like any good knitter, I was certainly not going to let all that idle time go by without a project in hand so I took the socks I'm knitting for myself right now along. When I got on the train I discovered, to my horror, that I'd lost one of the needles. I was so upset. Two hours of train time (one each way) with no knitting. What was I going to do? Then I remembered that I'd left the larger needles I'd started the sock with in the bag (I cast on and do some of the leg in a larger needle than the rest of the sock to allow for calf shaping). So I found the end of the second skein, the one that hadn't been started yet, cast on, on the larger needles, and was happily knitting away in minutes. Lucky me the needles I am using come in sets of 5 and I knit in sets of four so I can now go on with sock number one as well. Of course this means I need to get another set of #1 needles so I can do both socks at the same time, but what's another set of needles right? (and lord knows what else by the time I leave the store)

I have good news to report. I am once again among the employed! Yes folks I finally got a job. The second one that I mentioned came through and a good thing as it is for way more money that the first one I went after. I think it will be a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to it. DD is a little upset, but I told her I will most likely still be home in the afternoon, as I will be starting work early in the morning. (the only draw back) Her main concern is being picked up from school the one day a week she is there late for a club. She hates the late bus.

As I said DS is in for a visit as it is Passover. It's so nice to see how well DS is doing. Everyday he grows, gets better, more mature and in control of himself. Having him far away at school is hard, but it's the best thing we have ever done for him. In so far as Passover goes, we don't make too big a deal out of the holiday. DS reacts badly to change and if you observe Passover strictly you have to make a lot of changes. Mostly, we just have a nice dinner on the first two nights, see friends and such. A quiet time to be together. I am being smart, courtesy of DH's aunt. We are getting dinner brought in from a Kosher Deli in the area. We did this last year and the food was fabulous, best of all I didn't have to spend days in the kitchen getting things ready. I still have to make one or two small things but most everything else is done for me. This folks is the way to live, a big family dinner with no fuss at all.

My KnitPicks order came today. I am soooo happy with the yarn I got, although I now realize I should have gotten a little more and will probably have to do the sweater at 5 sts to the inch. I'd rather go for a finer gauge but this will be just fine. I totally love the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, and while the Cable Needle Freedom book is really a booklet, and pricy as a result, it's a fascinating technique and I am a technique whore so it's OK. The yarn is going to be a modified drop shoulder sweater with a rolled crew neck. Simple, as I've not done a sweater in years. Also I want to get to know the yarn. I've not decided if I will just do a plain stockinette stitch or perhaps a seed stitch instead. Most likely I'll keep it plain. For some reason I am nervous about the sweater. DH tells me that if I can do socks I can do a sweater, so do my knitting friends. I guess I will just have to trust myself.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Aibhlinn is finished! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Holding Pattern

I am still waiting to hear about that job. The people at my old job have not called back the woman at the new one yet. Honestly I don't know why they haven't and why she doesn't try calling them again. But the good news is that I may have another job at more money before this one comes up. It's doing something called merchandising which I've done before. You go to various stores and set up displays, educate the people in the store about the products and then move on. Nice thing is that you make your own hours and are really your own boss. We'll see what happens.

At least my knitting life is not in a holding pattern. I've got 2 1/2 inches to do on Aibhlinn before I have the edging. Thanks to everyone for all the nice comments! You people make me blush. knitnana bugged me for a picture now I'm bugging her! I want to see your Aibhlinn the heck with the life lines! Yes Rebecca I am very excited about the KnitPicks order. I have heard so much about this yarn I cannot wait to get it into my hot little hands. It has been years since I've done a sweater and I am looking forward to doing this one. You are responsible for this one, at least in part, you know. After hearing about the Knit Red Along from you at SnB, I decided on doing the sweater for it. I got a shade of cranberry red just for it. I plan on a simple drop shoulder with a roll neck. The item, aside from the yarn, that I most want to see from this order is a book called Cable Needle Freedom. It's a self published book that teaches you how to do cables without the cable needle. She starts off with swatches then goes to a hat and also has socks and a sweater in the book. I am really excited about trying the technique and yes Rebecca I will bring it one Thursday to show to Justin.(who is obsessed with cables)

Speaking of Justin, who is the sole male member of my SnB group, he sent an interesting message out that I'd like to mention here. Someone on the net is trying to get a World Wide Knit in Public Day started. Sounds like a fun idea and I thought I'd pass it along. I've put the button on my site. You may take it if you like, put please don't link to it.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Here's how Aibhlinn looks now Posted by Hello


I applied for a job the other day and yesterday had an interview. It went very well and they all but offered it to me. Now I just have to wait for them to call my last job and check my references. I am sooooo nervous. I don't see any reason for the last job to say anything bad. I always did my best and left on good terms. This new place is very nice, a clothing store (I considered the Michaels nearby but the pay stunk LOL) and the people are just lovely. What is truly sick is while I am sitting there, I look at the lockers, where the workers put their stuff, and calculate which of my knitting bags will fit in the locker. Now if that's not one for the Yarn Harlot's book I don't know what is. (if you don't have this gem yet go buy it now!)

I measured Aibhlinn last night again and it's got about 6 inches to go! I am so excited. I think if I push I can finish it this week, but more likely next. I still have some Children in Common socks I want to get out before the week is done. This is a very worthwhile organization I really urge you all to check out. They are always looking for knitted items even in between trips like the one they are a just about to make. Please consider making a donation.

I am biting the bullet and ordering 16 skeins of Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks this weekend. At Rebecca's suggestion (why didn't I think of this) I looked through the catalog and found a sweater I thought would fit me and went with that recommendation. The thing with the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns is that they assume you already have the yarn and you are looking for a pattern. There is another companion thing that has suggested amounts of yarn for various projects that I am now getting as well. I really do love this book and I am even getting the one the same author has for sweaters. I suggest it to everyone, as I use it for small things all the time, it's wonderful. You can just take a gauge swatch, go to the book, look up let's say, mittens under your gauge and viola a pattern. So the Knit Picks order is going to be the yarn, the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements, and a book called Cable Needle Freedom that teaches you to do cables without the cable needle. I was able to do all of this, (plus a ball winder from another source) because I sold a pile of books on Amazon and magazines on eBay. Lesson? Go to your shelf and see what you have that you don't use. Maybe you've got some gems on there. I had a couple of Alice Staremore's that were simply never going to be used and I sold them for a lot of cash, it was worth it for what I got. Amazon will take a commission but they take the headache too.

A photo of Aibhlinn follows the post.

Friday, April 15, 2005


Ok, so here's my problem. I want to order some yarn from KnitPicks, but I have no idea how much yarn to order. All I want to do is get enough to make a very simple crew neck pullover for myself. I'm getting the pattern from the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and so I don't have specific amounts already in hand. This book works backwards. You give it the gauge and it spits out the pattern for you. Thing is that I don't have the gauge if I don't have the yarn. So how do I estimate how much to buy? It's making me nuts. I want to do something for the Knit Red Along, it's been years since I've done a sweater and this just seems perfect. Can anyone in the blogosphere help me here?

Thursday, April 14, 2005


It's amazing how much solace I get from my knitting. After a long time out of the workforce. I started looking for a job this week. Not an easy thing to do even though I have experience. I have a gap of over a year and people have moved on from places where I've been before so it may not be so easy to get references. I am hopeful that I will have something soon. (I work in retail these days part-time although my degree is in accounting.) Knitting really helps me on days when I am tense and unsure of myself. The repetition is like meditating and sets my mind at ease when it is tense. I don't know what I would do at a time like this without it!

Last night I measured Aibhlinn and found I was a drop more than halfway done. I was a little surprised as I have been working almost exclusively on Children in Common socks lately. But this pattern works up so fast it's easy to put a lot on without realizing it. I've had to tink a couple of times but even with that I've made good progress. Today I'm going to wind up the last skein of the yarn I bought for it so I'll be ready to use it. Pray for me would you? This stuff tangles if you sneeze on it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005


My thanks to Laura over at Knits for Sanity for alerting me to the fact that my blog was set to accept comments from blogger users only and then telling me how to fix it. What a wonderful community we've got here on the web. Anyone can now leave comments on this blog without having a blogger account!

Monday, April 11, 2005


This morning while knitting I began to feel some tingling in my fingers. I did the smart thing. Put down my needles at the end of the row, took some Advil (for the inflammation) and stayed away from my knitting for several hours. Fortunately the tingling didn't come back so I think I am safe for now. If it does I will go to the doctor. Please folks if you feel symptoms like these do not treat them yourself for too long. I had a bad injury to my wrist back in the early 80's and it's no joke I can tell you.

Every Monday DD has a group that she attends and I go to a Borders nearby to drink coffee and knit. While there I found a mistake I made in Aibhlinn. Now I can handle this in one of several ways. I can lay in a lifeline, frog down the piece, and put it back on the needles; I can frog without the lifeline first marking the first stitich which really matters on this pattern, or I can tink the piece after marking the mistaken stitch. I am tinking. It's only one row and part of another. I hate frogging. I always manage to drop stitches and haven't gotten used to lifelines yet. OTOH, tinking I don't mind. Each to his own I guess.

How do I know that DH is not a knitter? We had the following conversation. I commented that I just had to replace my plastic #7 double pointed needles because they were too stiff and had no give to them. Unlike my lovely wooden or bamboo dp's that I use for thinner sock wool. (I'm using the 7's for the Children in Common socks I've been doing) All innocent, he asks me why I don't just go and do it. "Because they don't have them at Michaels or AC Moore in that size" I answer Then he points out the several LYS nearby. Go to one of them he says. I look at him in disbelief. "I can't do that" "Why not?" "If I walk into one of those stores I will not just come out with the needles I will come out with stuff" "Stuff?" "Yarn, and more yarn" I explained. He stared for a moment shook his head and walked off. Only another knitter would understand.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Charity Work and More about Autism

I haven't been able to get much knitting done the last few days. We've been having a new roof put on the house and the contractor has been driving me nuts. He's been doing a decent job, but the guy is a character and things keep happening. I was able to finish my second pair of Children in Common socks and start on a third. These little worsted weight socks go so fast it's wonderful. I hope to get half a dozen pairs done in total if not more. I was hoping to get a hat done for Afghans for Afghans as well, but don't think I'll be able to work that in for this collection. Perhaps for next time. Can you tell I am a dedicated charity knitter? It really gives me a good feeling to do it. I do it all during the year, but a couple of times a year I push everything aside and just do charity knitting and little else. Please consider doing some charity knitting yourself. You will not regret the decision. I've put in some links for charities I support on the blog, check them out.

April is autism awareness month. Did you know that Autism is more common than childhood cancer, cysitic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined? 1 in 250 babies will eventually develop some form of it. On the sidebar you will see a link for NAAR the National Alliance for Autism Research. A wonderful group that raises money for scientific research into this puzzling condition. NAAR runs Walk-a-Thons in many local area around the nation. Please consider lending one of them your support if you hear of it. I'll be mentioning more about autism all month. As the mother of a child with high functioning Autism, (my 14 year old son) this is an issue close to my heart.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Do Not Adjust Your Set

I've changed the look of the blog because certain things weren't loading right with the background that I had before. I wanted to shift my blogroll to bloglines and for some reason it wouldn't display right with the green screen I had before. I like this new clean look better. What do you all think?

Thanks to Donna, Samantha, and Dani for stopping by and for the kind words about the socks, especially after all my whining about socks lately. (I will spare you all today's disaster suffice to say it involved much frogging and yelling) Samantha, I would love to learn to do socks on two circs. People tell me it's a lot faster and I am too slow on dp's, much as I like them. (yes I am crazy) One of these days I will get a copy of Socks Soar and teach myself. Dani, I will impart what small amount of wisdom I have when I see you, I will also bring an earlier model of the sock for you to see, as well as my favorite sock book. (came out too small DD will not part with the others)

There is a new button on this site, a ribbon made of puzzle pieces. This ribbon is for autism awarnes. Clicking on the ribbon will bring you to a site that will get you more information. Take the time, if you can, to learn more.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Socks, socks and more socks

Finished my first pair of socks for Children in Common today, haven't been working on much else besides this project. I am going to try doing some different things with the socks, carrying the ribbing down the instep. Maybe using a pattern stitch on the instep. I've got the pattern down in my head now and it's time to play with it. As I said in a previous entry I am going to make it my business to break out of the rut I am in. Got to stop being afraid of taking chances with the socks.

Kelly d made such lovely comments about my Aibhlinn that I blushed! Thanks for the compliment Kelly. You wanted to know the yarn I'm using it's Knit1 Crochet2's Second Time Cotton. The yarn the pattern suggested. I decided to give it a try as I liked the look of it. It's recycled if you can believe it and that appealed to me too.

I've been having fun with the RAOK ring the last couple of days. So happy to be part of the group. Nice group of people and I've already been the recipient of RAOK's twice! I'm going to send out a package or two early next week. Got to Pay it Forward!

Monday, April 04, 2005

I Couldn't Resist This Quiz

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Charity Knitting

I spent some time knitting for Children in Common yesterday. They support orphanages in Russia with supplies, and money and deliver hand knit items whenever they go on a trip. So I decided I'd be part of the current sock challenge to be completed at the end of the month (you can knit any time you want but doing a challenge is fun I think). I tried a pattern I got off the net for toddler socks and really didn't like the shaping on it so I'm going to try the pattern in the Knitter's Handy Book of Pattern's for the first time. I am using some Lion Brand Fisherman's wool that I not so successfully Kool Aid dyed. (it's not too bad for a first time) Children in Common requires that the items be made out of at least 50% wool and this is an inexpensive 100% wool yarn. I may also do a vest for the group but will most likely stick to the socks as I will be able to do more that way.

Thanks to knitnana and ruinwen for your comments on Aibhlinn. I am really enjoying making it and find that it is going very quickly. I've been putting a lot of time on it lately as well, I want to have it done for the end of this month if I can. I see this as a three season garment because of the yarn being used. I just wish it didn't corkscrew so much, I am always having to let the thing hang down to unwind.

Thanks to Tina for linking to me. I am trying to put together a good comprehensive list of knit blogs as I come across them. I may actually set up a webpage one of these days with reviews and links. But that's for the future. Lord know I have enough to do right now!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Lost in Sockland

I'm about to start a pair of socks for myself but am hesitating because I'm not sure how to handle something. I'm going to use the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns and they call for using a smaller needle on the foot than on the leg. To use the patterns in this book you have to have a gauge swatch in order to know what part of the chart to work from. Problem is that I have no idea which set of needles to pull my gauge from the bigger (#2) or the smaller (#1)? My guess is the smaller but I am totally paranoid. I put a note up on the Socknitters message board about it and hope I'll get an answer, but in the meantime I'm afraid to start. This is the same thing that keeps me using a basic sock pattern and stops me branching out into more interesting territory. Using this less specific pattern is my way of breaking out of the mold a bit. I am considering using a Seed stitch for the instep even though the yarn is a pattern yarn that makes stripes (Fortissima Colori Disco). But if I like the pattern in this book I may just do that with some single colored Kroy I have in the house. Don't know what it is about socks that scares me into this little box, but they do. Much as I love making them. I am making it my mission to get out of the box.

As promised here is Aibhlinn in progress. Not the best picture but the best I could do. There will be more as time goes on. It's being done in the yarn suggested in the pattern. Nice drape, good hand but splits easy and breaks easy too. Posted by Hello

DD's compleated socks done in magic stripes yarn. Not a perfect match, but close. She has hardly had them off since they left the needles. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

Busy Bee

DS has special needs and we were unable to find the right school for him here so he goes to school out of town. (about 2 1/2 hours away) He was in for a week for spring break so I was not really on line enough to update the blog. It was wonderful to have him home and great to see how much progress he has made. It's hard having him away, but we do get to talk to him daily and see him as much as is possible. Sad that the educational system could not make a place for him, but the school he is in is amazing.

On the knitting front I finished DD's socks and could not get her to take them off for a couple of days :). Nice to be appreciated. I will put up a new picture of them as soon as I get a chance. I want to thank everyone for the nice comments about my work and for stopping by to see the blog. Kitt wanted to know what stitch I used for the blanket, it was feather and fan stitch. I like to use it for baby blankets especially if they are for summer babies as this one is. (Sympathies about your blog Kitt I wonder what happened) I am now working on another baby blanket in the same stitch but in cream for the other pregnant niece.

I promise to put up a picture of Aibhlinn on the needles ASAP. Fun piece to work but you really have to be careful with it. The spiral rib is deceptively difficult. You really have to pay attention or the whole thing can be thrown off. I've had to tink from time to time, fortunately not too much. The yarn I am using is a bit of a pain. It's the recommended yarn for the piece and while it has a good hand and lovely drape it splits like mad and corkscrews constantly so you have to keep hanging the work to let it unwind.

I had gone to the Meet-up website to see if there was a knitting group near by me and found that there was a Stitch'n Bitch about 30 minutes away so I tried them out last night. Tons of fun and a great group. Got a few ideas for new projects, had lots of laughs, lots of knitting and a new group of friends I think I will be back.