Friday, October 31, 2008

Saw this on KmKat's blog and couldn't resist stealing it.

Ya'll know who I'm voting for, but if you're for McCain I'm willing to listen so post in the comments.

Sock troubles

So I thought that DD's socks were coming along well until I realized that there was something not right about the gusset on one side. I am not sure where I went wrong as I followed the book's instructions. I think I go over to Knitting on the Lamb where I bought the yarn and needles and ask for help fixing it. But in any case I have to say I prefer the two needle method to the 4 needle one I'd been using. But I'd like to see how it works with some bamboo or other wood needles. I love my Addis but I think they may be too slippery to make socks comfortably.

Major disaster was averted this morning. DD is wearing her costume to school today but when she put it on the zipper broke and the only thing we could do was to take out a bunch of safety pins and pin the thing together. So DD has a line of safety pins runnign up her back. She declared the repair a success professing to like the look. That's my girl she rolls with the punches.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Socks Finally

Last night I pulled out DD's socks and got started on them again. I am now on the heel flap of sock #1 we'll see how I do when I get to the gusset which was what I had trouble understanding from the Cat Bordhi book. Sensational Socks has a more step by step explanation so I think I'll have more success with it. When I bought the yarn for these socks I got two skeins but now DD says that she wants anklets and I don't really need both skeins. I will either make another pair of anklets or use the yarn for something else. Unfortunately I had the LYS wind both skeins up into balls for me so I can't return the excess. This was before I had my swift and could easily wind the yarn myself. I've got to say I love my swift. It's made my knitting life so much easier, DD especially likes it, as I used to kidnap her to hold skeins while I wound then onto my ball winder. Why I ever got the winder without the swift is beyond me. While working on the heel flap I came to a break in the yarn. I don't remember that happening when they wound it up. Tried to do a Russian join with the yarn but couldn't manage it with the thin sock yarn and my Chibi needle so I just tied a knot. I don't think it will be a problem, it's pretty much swallowed up in the knitting and can't be felt.

This weekend I am doing something I haven't done in ages. I am volunteering on a political campaign. A volunteer from the Obama campaign called yesterday and asked if I'd be willing to volunteer to call people in Ohio and Pennsylvania this weekend. I thought about it and decided why not? So I'm giving a couple of hours on Saturday to make calls. I guess I'll bring some knitting with me in case there is any down time which I doubt. But I think it's best to be prepared don't you? What I need is a small bag to carry socks in, I've seen a few cute ones on the net and really should buy one for myself.

Speaking of bags to hold projects, are you like me and find that you collect tote bags? When I see one I like I always want to buy it. Question is do they count as stash? :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Whine

I totally forgot that I was going to put some work in on DD's socks, and just never picked them up. They still sit alone and forlorn in their little bag, perhaps tonight, I've the house to myself and can really concentrate.

I was at work all weekend. Saturday 1:30-10:00 and Sunday 10:45-7:15. (the store closes at 9:30, or 7 opn Sunday, but we spend time cleaning up after that or at least they do on the floors that sell clothes. On the third floor we just stand around talking till it's time to punch out :>) This means that I am at the store for either lunch or dinner. Since I don't spend the entire hour eating I brought the candle flame shawl along to work on. Waste of time. On Saturday I spent the time fixing a mistake that I'd made on an earlier row. Today I saw that one of the Russian joins I'd made had become undone and that resulted in frogging a few rows with no time left to do any knitting. Arrgggh! It was, however, a decent weekend at the store because Captain Nice (my new name for my "wonderful" boss) wasn't in all weekend. I have a better than even chance of having to see him tomorrow but I am determined not to let him get to me this time. I also have to ask him to put in a personal day for me on Election Day. I have to work that night but I have plans to sit up watching election news all day on MSNBC (my favorite addiction besides knitting) so I am not going to go in. If he doens't give me the day I'm taking it unpaid. This is a historic election and I am not going to miss a thing if I can help it. (While I am on the subject I want to urge you all to vote. Vote for the candidate of your choice but vote. This is an important election and every vote counts. If you don't believe me ask Al Gore)

The crappish thing about this weekend was that my working kept me from a visit to see DS today. I miss him even though I talk to him almost every day, he's 18 but he's still my baby and it's not easy to have him away. Now I won't see him till Thanksgiving. At least they had good weather. They also made a great discovery. For years we have been fans of the fast food chain Sonic, which doens't exisit in this neck of the woods. Now Sonic is about the best fast food you can get if you have to eat fast food. Well today, DH called me at work to let me know that they had seen one in a town near where DS goes to school! This means regular visits to Sonic for us, we all couldn't be happier. Especially DD who has been known to shout "Why do you taunt me?" at Sonic commercials. :>

I'm still playing at dishcloths. I get unreasonably picky with them, always frogging and starting over. For the one I am doing now, I'm working on the Chinese Waves pattern. It's easy and makes a nice fabric. I have definitely decided that the washcloths are going to be part of a Christmas gift to my Meals on Wheels partner. I don't want to make this a big gift, she'd be uncomfortable with it, but I do want to give her something, and handmade feels right.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bad couple of days here. My boss and I kept butting heads on Monday and it just depressed me. I can't stand the guy and to make it worse the store is putting a lot of pressure on us to keep sales up. We keep saying that no one is coming in and they will just have to accept that the economy is doing lousy. But they keep harassing us. Some of the managers are sympathetic and let us know that they are just doing their job and it's not personal; but the situation is not good and I wish I could look for another job. I can't really do that now because this time of the year retail jobs tend to be only for the Christmas season and I need a job that's permanent not temporary. Another side of me says I shouldn't have to leave. I like the people I work with and I like my hours (6-10 on nights when I work and occasionally longer hours on weekends) It fits with my lifestyle very nicely. It's only my manager, who I don't always see, that's the problem. But in any case I am stuck here for the time being.

DD had a great time last weekend at a Girl Scouts encampment (she and her friends insist on referring to it as a secret cult they feel a little funny telling the rest of the kids they are in Girl Scouts) She's going for her Gold Award (think Eagle Scout only for Girls) and they got a whole mess of leadership hours towards that. I had a great time with Girl Scouts as a kid and am glad that DD has joined up again after a few years hiatus. This troop are a nice bunch of girls and their Moms are easy to get along with too.

On the knitting front I'm once again starting washcloths only to frog them. I am way to picky about how they look. One thing I've realized working them is that I have to learn how to make cables without using a cable needle. I have a booklet called Cable Needle Freedom that should be a help and I know of some sites on the net with good instructions for how to do the technique. Has anyone out there successfully ditched the cable needle? For someone like me who really likes doing them it would probably be good to learn. I am going to spend some time tomorrow trying to learn how to do socks on two circular needles. As I've said before I am not happy with the results I am getting from using double points and think that this will work out better.

Had a comment from Megan of Knitting Like it's My Job about the knitting groups she is a member of. It's a bit of a drive for me but once in a while, when I am not working on a Saturday, it might be nice to go. I'd love to go to the group that meets here in my town but it's at night and I can't usually make it on days they meet because of work.

Got to go and start dinner, "talk" to ya'll soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

And a Good Time Was Had by All

So as you can see from the pictures I did indeed go to see the Yarn Harlot at the Brooklyn stop on her current tour. I had a great time, even enjoyed the ride in as the woman next to me complimented my knitting. (always nice to be noticed!)

I got to Brooklyn early enough to snag dinner first and then get to the store in what I thought was plenty of time. Little did I know that several Brooklyn Knitters had got there even earlier but I was lucky and got a seat though there were few left and general agreement that the store didn't know what they were in for and should have given us more chairs. Everyone had knitting with them and I spotted a very nice Clapotis in the crowd right in front of me. Now that I've seen it in person I may just have to make it and get over my unnatural fear of dropping stitches on purpose. Everyone there, or so it seemed, was talking about going to Rhinebeck for the NY Sheep and Wool Festival. I wish I could have gone but the drive is just too long for me(I tend to get very sleepy behind the wheel and can't drive very long distances. Rhinebeck is about 3 hours away from me. Although when I said this to DH this morning he looked at me funny and said I should have told him I wanted to go as he would have been happy to spend a day in the country and would have driven there and back. Bless his heart, next year for sure).

Stephanie was funny, warm, and a joy to listen to. She spoke for a bit about being on tour and the experience of writing a book. Then she read an excerpt and signed books. I brought a washcloth to give to her and here I am on her blog holding it (scroll down for my picture you can also catch me looking down at my knitting in one of the crowd shots) grinning like an idiot. She said that she was doing something with all the washcloths she was getting but wouldn't tell me what it was I guess we all have to stay tuned to her blog to find out. I could have gotten a picture with her on my camera but I got a little flustered when she took my picture for her blog and I didn't ask.

It was a great day and I'm glad I went.

I finally fixed the dropped stitch on the sweater and got that going again. Now all I have to do is get moving on both pairs of socks I am making. I have said I am disappointed in the pair I am making for myself because one of the socks has a noticeable ladder on it that I cannot seem to correct no matter how I try. I've knitted this sock over so many times (it's the one I had been calling the cursed sock) that I just don't want to rip it out and do it again. I will just have to live with the ladder. I have given up on trying to figure out Cat Bordhi's directions for doing a sock on two circular needles and will try learning it from the Charlene Schurch's book so DD's are in limbo too. But I swear I am going to get to them this week. I have also been making dishcloths, not sure why or what I will do with them all, I'm thinking Christmas gifts paired with some home made melt and pour soap.
The Harlot signing books

A picture of Steph taking a crowd picture with the famous traveling sock.

Picture of Stephanie just after she walked in. Sorry it's not better but I was using DD's camera and didn't know how to zoom.
More crowd pictures.
Here's a picture of the crowd waiting for Stephanie to walk in. It was like being at a guild or SnB meeting. Nearly everyone knitted while we waited.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Well I finally got the washcloth done plus another one that depicts the map of the state of New York that I made for the Yarn Harlot. As I said people tend to bring washcloths to her appearances so I thought that this one would be a good choice. Hopefully I will actually be able to give it to her.

This afternoon DD and I went to the mall (not the one I work at but another one nearby. I try to avoid going to the mall I work at on a day when I am scheduled to work. I feel that one trip there a day is enough! :->) and I bought a sweater at Coldwater Creek. It was really soft and I got DD laughing when I insisted that we find the content label to see what it's made out of (to shock it was acrylic.) I was not going to buy it unless I knew what it's content was. I've become a fiber geek, it's official.

Tomorrow is my trip to see the Yarn Harlot, to which I will try to bring a camera. My plan is to arrive at the store about 1 1/2 hours early so as to get a decent seat. I have to be on the 3:11 train leaving my town so I have enough time to navigate the NY City subway system down to the store where she is appearing. I'll just bring a current WIP to work on while I wait I doubt very much that I will be the only one doing that. :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Slowly Driving Myself Insane

The last two days I have been playing with dishcloth cotton. Notice that I didn't say knitting with it. That would be because every time I may some progress I decide I don't like the design or I make a mistake, or the thing is turning out too big or too small. I'm looking for a simple uncomplicated pattern that will work up into decent wash cloth. Ah well, at least I finally got a crochet hook to use in fixing the sweater.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Rambling Along

I have realized that the shawl I am working on will require more yarn than I have on hand. That's what I get for jumping into this without considering the yardage needed. So I will have to place an order to Knitpicks this week. (twist my arm why don't you :>) Not sure how much I need but I'll over order just in case. Of course the dye lots aren't going to match but that's OK I don't really mind.

But in the truly exciting news the Yarn Harlot is coming to New York to Brooklyn specifically. It's on a day when I don't have to work so I am going to go and see her! Up on Ravelry I was told to show up at least an hour early if I expect to get a seat. So I'm going to get on an early train, eat something in Brooklyn and hightail it over to the bookstore with my knitting. I am considering starting a couple of washcloths so that will most likely be what I bring with me as it's small and lots of people seem to bring washcloths to Yarn Harlot appearances. I could bring a pair of socks but I am not happy with the ones I am working on for myself and have yet to get the hang of the ones on two circulars that I am making for DD.

Tomorrow is Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement when Jews are supposed to fast and consider their actions over the past year, repent of sins, and ask forgivness of others (as well as give forgiveness. In fact if you don't forgive you will not be forgiven) I have long since stopped following the exact rules of the day. I can't fast due to having to take meds that cannot be taken on an empty stomach, and I am not so sure I believe in the sort of God that asks that of us anyway. Buddhism is much more my thing. But we do at the least have a dinner the night it starts. I am supposed to go to work tomorrow but I've already told my manager that I am not coming in and just have to tell my co-worker that as well. Technically I shouldn't work on Thursday either but since I'm not religious I don't really care and have not real problem going in. I have tons to do tomorrow, I am still doing my Meals on Wheels run, and I have to cook dinner (there's a traditional dinner the night the Holiday starts before you fast) for DD, DH and I as well as bake a Challah. I had a lot of success with a recipie that I got off of the King Arthur Flour site. It's a Challah that is stuffed with apples and it's just delicious. Seems funny to focus on food for a holday that involves fasting.

Big news about the sweater that had the mistake in one of the cables. I found the dropped stitch! So if I am careful with a crochet hook I may be able to repair it without frogging. I haven't got a crochet hook that's an appropriate size in the house so I will have to go out to the store and get one. Or maybe I'll just add it to my Knitpicks order. I should have one around for just this sort of repair anyway.

Lately I've been spending time up on Ravelry. Lord, what a time sink that place can be! Last night I sat down at the computer to check on a few threads I'd been following there and before I knew it an hour had gone by. It's like eating peanuts or potato chips once you start it's hard to stop. One thing I haven't done is enter my stash. Frankly I'm embarassed by the amount of crappy acrylic that I have. A while back I asked people where I could get rid of it. You know, a charity or something. Unfortunately, the people I contacted at the charity never responded to my email so I am still stuck with the stuff. I should knit it up into things for donation but a lot of charities ask for wool now because it's so much warmer. I'd almost be willing to just dump the lot of it but that seems extreme (My fiber obsessions must have rubbed off on DH and DD over the years because they were both horrified when I suggested doing that). So I ask you all once again any ideas for getting rid of or using up my stash of junky acrylic?