Monday, January 31, 2011

Under the Weather

So I've been pretty gross the past few days. It started nearly a week ago with a headache, but nothing a little aspirin can't fix, right? That was Wednesday and Thursday. I headed back from Thursday night knitting early and went to bed. Friday was spent on the couch moaning and sweating, drifting between waves of nausea and a ridiculously high fever. On Thursday evening, a couple of us had made plans to go to the Trading Post for a couple hours of knitting, and on Friday evening during a very hot bath my fever broke- so I was feeling pretty happy about that. Saturday morning came and I was a little achy and grouchy, but nothing those brave Thursday knitters haven't seen before so I took a couple Advil and went with it. Getting out of the house seemed like a good idea for an hour or two, when the headache got a lot worse and the sweating returned. I got home and went to bed. At 4 pm.

By Saturday my walk-it-off bug had turned into the bubonic plague, and I returned to the moaning couch with bad Saturday television, turned down very low so I could hear what was going on without disturbing the little gremlin in my brain that spent the last week beating on my temples with a gong. Saturday night I was convinced I was going to die, so I had a little cough medicine and suddenly it was Sunday morning, and things were a little better. I showered (and moaned because every single drop of water hurt my muscles which were obviously mad at me for something) and decided to try going to my Sunday knitting group with the help of my BFF Advil. I got there a little late, left a little early and the plague found me again within a few minutes of getting home. My neighbor lady (who happens to be a retired RN) and talked to me for a few minutes and told me that it sounded like Mono. I called and made a doctor's appointment first thing this morning, so here I sit, waiting for the call to tell me what the H is going on inside my head and throat.

So, on the positive note- things I learned from my weekend on the couch.

1. If you're planning on catching the plague, don't buy a curved couch. Laying in a crescent-shape starts to suck after a few hours.
2. Headaches and dark lace don't mix.
3. Headaches and socks don't mix.
4. Headaches and cat ownership don't mix.
5. If you are sick enough, you will eat Chicken and Noodle soup, despite being a vegetarian for 10 years (I did pick the chicken bits out but I'm still feeling really guilty about it).
6. I could have SARS and/or be bleeding out my eyeballs, but I will never be sick enough to try alka seltzer again. That is nasty.
7. I really need a dude who can throw me over his shoulder and take me to the doctor in the event that I am ever that sick again. I'll get on that when I stop sweating profusely and can stand in the shower long enough to wash my hair.

Here are some pictures of my weekend of very little fiber crafting... since it is a knitting blog and all.

Friday, January 28, 2011

the box and barter socks

A while- maybe 6 months ago- my mother threw out an old wooden box for the trash guys to pick up. The top was broken, some boards were cracked and even though it was in 3 pieces, I recognized it immediately as a box that my dad had made in probably 7th or 8th grade for his mom. She was an amazing knitter and kept her yarn in it, and I was a little bit appalled to see it broken and waiting to become trash. I scooped up the pieces and put them in my car.

At work that day, I was explaining the box (there are some very handy people that hang out in the warehouse) and Jo offered to fix it. Tight for cash, I nervously asked her price. "A pair of socks," she said, "just not pink." We agreed there was no rush- I didn't need the box the next day or anything, and I wasn't going to be able to even start the socks for a while, but the box went home with her. I made the first sock in November (the Farrow rib one that took FOREVER) and started the second one about a week ago. I got my box back on Wednesday and hauled it upstairs and put it to the best possible use I could think of... I filled it with sock yarn.
Once a yarn box, always a yarn box, right? My goal is for this box to one day contain ALL of my stash, which means I've still got a lot of de-stashing to do. I realize that there's a good chance this will never happen, but it would be nice if it held a good chunk of my stash- I'm fine with having a rubbermaid container in a dark corner filled with odd balls that are too nice to throw away.
So here's the box and the socks. There's 2 pictures of the socks, taken to show you exactly how slow they are going. The first picture was taken Thursday morning, and the second was taken this (Friday) morning, after working on them for about 3 hours yesterday. As you can see, there's progress but not much. I'd love to get them done by the time my Pi shawl knit-along starts (rescheduled to Feb 1st) so I can get them to Jo and cross them off my list FOREVER! Muahahahaha!
*the blue bin on top of the box is my never-ending sock yarn blanket, in case you were wondering. That's where all of the oddballs of sock yarn go when they die.
**when moving my sock yarn to the sock yarn box, I did a quick inventory. I have 65 skeins of sock yarn that aren't currently "tied up" in a project which stash is way down. Go me!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

the weekend of done

I have decided to devote this weekend to finishing things. I'm still waiting on my knit-along partner to get her needles in the mail to start our Pi shawl (I'm a little relieved, I would love to finish a couple more things before we start). Last night I finished the first of my crazy-pants awesome-socks and the last Harry Potter book. I read it when it came out about 5 years ago, and then saw the movie last month with my dad. He kept asking why this was a certain way and why this person couldn't do that...and I didn't have the answers. So I went back and re-read it so I'm ready for the second half of the movie to come out...whenever that happens.

I'm a little hesitant to knit the second crazy-pants awesome-sock because my yarn cake is surprisingly small after finishing the first sock. Plus that whole second sock syndrome thing. I am going to take a little break though and finish a scarf and another pair of socks before I get back to the second sock, so that should help.
I've also got some serious sanding to do this weekend. Here are some of my unfinished resin projects that I would love to finish and post on my etsy shop this weekend. The buttons just need sanded down on the edges and holes drilled, but the itty bitty sock blockers need sanded (a lot) refinished on the dull side (3 days of curing) drilled and filled with the appropriate hardware to turn them in to keychains. Unless these things really take off, the itty bitty sock blocker phase could be short-lived. I do think they're super-cute though and would love to try to take them to a fiber festival someday, but that day is not today so I'll get there when I get there.
And I'm going to try to deliver the not-prayer shawl to my Aunt Cathy, since it's been finished and clean since the night of the funeral but still undelivered because I'm a terrible person and she lives clear on the other side of town. But today is errand and finishing day, so I'm doing it. And then I'll clean my kitchen. And then my hottie Chiropractor's scarf is going down next.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

totally doesn't count

So I thought I'd show you all my awesome new yarn...and then tell you why it's awesome. Ready? It's awesome because it totally doesn't count as stashing. I also don't have any real knitting to show you since all of my knitting time has been spent making new yarn. Well- one little knitting project. Just a little one.

1. Fiesta Yarns "La Boheme". This is my fabulous gift from Francie from the Sunday-group gifty-switch that happened a few days ago. I destashed nearly 1,000 yards of yarn that day and am thrilled with my gift! It's so pretty and fluffy and I love the colors. It's a mohair/rayon blend that's two yarns spun together. I think it's going to be a cowl because I have a coat it would match perfectly.
2. Patons Classic Merino. This color used to be off-white. Then it was celery green. Now it's Emerald and Mallard. It's going to be part of a new crochet project, which was started during a weak moment and will be explained at a later date. But the point is that it doesn't count since I didn't buy it, I only changed its color.
3. Handspun! This totally doesn't count because I'm not ADDING to the stash, I'm just moving things around. I've got 2 and a bit to show off today and should have more soon- I've been getting loads of spinning done since I moved the wheel back downstairs. The first is an art-batt that I bought last time I was in Sarasota. It's got tons of different wools and lots of sparkle, which normally drive me nuts but the lady at Batts in the Belfry does it in a way that just makes me want to spin 4 ounces in one sitting. But that's a lot of spinning so I try to break it up a little.
The second is from The Shepherd's Wife, my favorite vendor at the Feast of the Hunter's Moon, a historical reenactment of when the French voyageurs discovered the Lafayette area while floating down the Wabash. It's a great time if you're a history buff, bead-junkie, foodie, or fiber-enthusiast like me. But anyhoo, it's 4 ounces of Border Leicester in a fantastically subtle blue/green mix. I think it wants to be a hat or mittens.
Lastly, I've got a little bit of a mystery yarn from Abbie's class I took back in September. I've still got tons of little bits of fiber hanging around from that and have been trying to spin them in to little sock yarns for my blanket, which is feeling all neglected right now. I'm really just trying to clear up my fiber stash, as it appears to be breeding. It used to fit nicely in to a basket, then a slightly larger basket, then a tub, and now it's a fiber-jungle upstairs. I'm working on it... I'm also considering throwing in some birth control pills to see if that stops it from breeding.
And finally my knitting! It's my super-bowl scarf which is slooooooowly getting a little bigger. Last night there was super-scarf knitting at the Creation Cafe downtown and it was very fun. I highly recommend the house white wine. It makes you blush a lot and tell people holding cameras that you are a knitting superhero. Back to knitting. I'm not sure what to do with this scarf, you see. I know the end result- finish it and give it to the super-bowl committee to give to a volunteer, but I'm not sure if I should put the nearly-finished scarf on hold for a month until the next super-scarf meeting, or if I should finish it and be done with it and then cast on another in a month? Decisions, decisions.
In unrelated news, my Christmas Cactus is actually a Thanksgiving and MLK day Cactus. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

a round tuit

Today I was sitting with my G-pa, watching TV and saying that there's this scarf I really need to finish for someone...but I'll get around to it when I get around to it.
I should probably get knitting.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I have a strange living situation. I live in my parents' house, but they actually live in Florida. They're home for the summer to make sure my brother doesn't get in to too much trouble, and they're here for the holidays, but normally it's just me, Tubby and Madeline, and various houseplants. I love living by myself- the house is quiet when I need it to be, the only smelly shoes all over the place are my own, and if I want a thousand knitting projects strewn about the house, there's nobody here to tell me to do otherwise. That being said, I kind of like having my mom here- she brings her cheetah-kitty, Lacie and she and Madeline play-wrestle all day, and there's normally food in the fridge. I also have someone to watch Castle with when she's here.

But anyhoo, she headed back South this morning. Within a few hours of her leaving, there was crochet in the kitchen, dyeing in the sink, resin in the laundry room and spinning in the living room. Plus the usual cross-stitch and five knitting projects that migrate back and forth from the office, the kitchen table, and my knitting basket.
The house is mine again- at least until we start showing it in a month or so. Then it turns in to a museum where nothing can be touched for fear of fingerprints and I have to Windex myself out every morning on my way to work. I hope this thing sells quickly. I think...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


This week has been good: I've finished two projects so far, bought a new pair of shoes for salsa dancing, had a pedi with my mom and tonight I treated myself to a massage! (Don't you love gift certificates?) I think it's about time to touch up my roots too- so I might need to take my freshly-groomed self out on the town this weekend after I gets my Nice and Easy color 111 on.

But you're not reading a knitting blog to read about my sparkly pink toenails and how I can move my shoulders after having the knot beaten out of them for an hour. (My masseuse must think I'm the angriest person in the world- she's always curious as to how those knots got that big in the first place) But yes...finished projects.

I finished my Snuggle animal bed and will add it to the pile of Snuggles to take to the humane society. I just need to be in the right mood. If I had gone today to drop it off, I would have probably come home with a Pit-mix and a one-eyed cat with diabetes because I'm a sucker for animals like that. So I'll get the Snuggles to the humane society...eventually. Or tell someone else to do it for me.
In bigger news: I finished a filet-crochet doily for my neighbor lady! She's super-nice to me and my kitties and I figured that nothing said "thanks" better than her last name in lace. Well, for her at least. I was so relieved when she confirmed that I got the spelling right- I kept thinking that a 7-letter last name surely required more than one vowel.

That's it for today. I'm hoping to finish a cross-stitching project still before my Saturday cast on for the Pi shawl, but we'll see...cross-stitching always takes a lot longer than you think it will.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project Porridge

Ever have one of those weeks where none of your projects seem to work for you? I'm not have lace issues or crazy-gauge or anything, I'm just not totally in love with any of my projects right now. Winter blues maybe. I have three projects (one cross-stitch, two crochet) which are uncomfortably close to completion, but I can't really be bothered to finish any of them. None of them seem just right- this knit is too heavy, this is too bland, this is too complicated, this is too blue. I have a knit-along coming up that starts on Saturday* but I haven't even been motivated enough to go out and buy the needles. I gave my mom a written description of what I need and have told her that if she wants the Pi shawl, then she needs to hit up the yarn store for me. I simply can't be bothered right now.

So here's a little list of things that I'm working on or have finished in the past couple weeks...

1. Comfort shawl. Thanks to Jaclyn for a proper definition of a prayer shawl (see comments of last post). I tried to finish (and wash) it by Saturday, which was the day of the funeral. That almost got done, but it's done now and hanging in my laundry room drying. I'll get pictures when the light is better.

2. Purple sparkly hat. Totally a Twilight pattern even though I'm not a Twi-hard. I just think that Alice Cullen is da bomb and I want a hat like hers. But purple. And sparkly. And a little bit different from the actual pattern. It's made from Kraemer Sterling and Silk sock yarn, held doubled on size 8 needles. It's way too big for my head but otherwise totally awesome and it will be going on to my etsy shop later in case you're interested...
3. Dooooooily. I am making one of those filet-crochet name doilies for my neighbor who feeds my kitties so I can go to drunken knitting night. When I told her back in October that I planned to make my mom a doily for her birthday, she led me on a doily tour through her home. I've been planning her doily ever since. I took this picture a few days ago and have managed a few more letters since then- this is one of those nearly-finished projects now.
4. The Christmas Tube! I finished this a while ago but only got the picture yesterday. My G-pa Darling is a little nuts and collects things like galvanized steel buckets and free yardsticks from the state fair and home shows. He's been joking (or is he joking?) about which of his children or grandchildren will get his yardstick collection when goes- and I figured that I'd put my name up a little higher on that list (because I totally need 27 yardsticks) by knitting him a yardstick cozy. I thought it was the best gift ever (if you knew him, you'd understand) but shortly before posting the yardstick cozy on my blog, I found out that he occasionally reads- so I held off. The yardstick holder was a very funny surprise Christmas morning and would have been the best handmade Christmas present ever....but he's totally allergic to it. Yup. Did not count on that mohair allergy.
5. Crazy-pants Awesome-sock. Need I say more?
6. Snuggle for homeless pets. Every once in a while I pull together tons of little oddballs and crochet them in to little beds for animals in shelters. I have quite the collection now and promise to actually take them to a shelter....after I finish this one. I'm really close though- I swear!

7. Handspun! This is my one super-happy project! It even spoke to me when I was working on it. Somewhere between the chunk of blue glitter and the crimson curl, it whispered "mittens...mittens! And a matching hat if there's leftovers!" and so the yarn has spoken. It's a crazy art-batt, and I'm really excited to see it when it's finished!
But until January 15th, I'm going to knit/crochet/cross-stitch furiously to finish as many projects as possible to start my Pi-shawl guilt free!

***IF you'd like to join in on the knit-along, we're doing it on Ravelry as part of the Alpaca With A Twist group. You'll need 2 skeins of Fino. The pattern is Firmaments by Bonnie Sennot but we won't kick you out if there's another pattern you prefer.

Friday, January 7, 2011

the hug

As knitters/crocheters/weavers/overall fiber crafters, we've all felt the need to keep people warm and comfortable, even if it's 90 degrees with eleventy-billion percent humidity. It's just our way of saying that we love people and we're here for them. This week I've been maniacally crocheting a prayer-shawl for my kinda-Aunt Cathy, who lost her husband on Monday night. The shawl itself is nothing special, it's a crochet shell-stitch with Patons Decor- the same yarn I used for my first Harp-woven project. I mentioned this on Ravelry and got the question, "what is a prayer shawl"?
I don't know. Sometimes a shawl is called a comfort-shawl, and sometimes a prayer-shawl but I prefer to think of them as big wooly hugs. There's tons of hugs and comfort after you lose someone as everyone hovers around, but after days and weeks and months pass, the shawl remains. The shawl is something physical to hold and people say that helps. I'm not overly religious and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be praying while making the shawl, or if she's supposed to wear it while praying...but I think the message is the same: the shawl is here for you always, and part of me will always be there within it.

*On a side note here's a picture of the two projects side by side from the same yarn. I'm always amazed at how you can start with the exact same materials and end up with something so amazingly different. But that's the beauty of fiber arts, n'est pas?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Resolutions....I guess.

All across the blogosphere there's a lot of posting resolutions. I normally joke that I'm going to give up chain smoking and steak (I've never smoked in my life and I haven't touched meat in 10 years) but I'm going to try to come up with a few, knitting related or not.

1. Join something. Meet people doing it. Stay joined in that something.
2. Work on letting go of things...sometimes I get angry. Sometimes I stay angry. And then I get this knot in my shoulder that makes knitting uncomfortable.
3. Work on finishing things. This is everything from knitting projects to not being sidetracked while cleaning the kitchen. And books. And tubes of chap-stick.
4. Become a cleaner person (this is a repeat). Just to clarify, this means be tidier, not shower more. I don't stink. At least I think I don't stink.
5. Smile more. I'm getting frown-lines.
6. Be more creative. I'm not quite sure about my plan of attack on this one, but I think weaving is going to help me branch out and put things together that I normally wouldn't. Only time and warps will tell.

So now that's done... I've started the new year off well (I think) with resolution #3 and resolution #5. I really need to work on #2. Stupid rugby boy.

Let's start with the smile.... (New Year's Eve in Broadripple with BFF Frank)
And 2 finished things already! Last night I took my first scarf-thing off my new loom! And then about 20 minutes later, I finished a chemo cap! The scarf-thing is a little wider than I had intended to make it and not quite as long. I got progressively tighter throughout the weave, starting at 8 weft-threads per inch and ending at 13 weft-threads per inch. The yarn is mostly acrylic and pilled while I was working on it, and there's a mistake halfway through and the sides get tighter and looser throughout the whole thing. And you know what? I love it anyway. Because your first weaving isn't supposed to look perfect. I still need to wash it and trim the fringe so it's a consistent length, but since I was able to remove the loom from the living room floor, I'm calling it done for now. (Sorry for the sideways picture, the computer refuses to believe that it really needs to go the other way)
I also finished a chemo cap that was requested. It's my usual Socrates held doubled hat recipe, which I think works really well since it's a great yarn for hats and there's normally enough yarn leftover at the end for a few squares on my blanket. I think the pattern is called Claudia- it was really kind of a pain since you're doing itty-bitty cables with worsted weight yarn on size 4's, but after you get the little lattice-bit done you decrease a whole bunch and go up to 8's, and then you're done before you know it.
So that's my year so far...howabout you?