Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stop the MADNESS!

"These would make great knee-hi's!"

Yes. That is the madness that came out of Stephani's mouth upon trying on her new Pomatomus.

Sara's first impression of my working Pomatomus was "They might make a good conversation piece" - causing me to keep knitting past her size 5 feet (meaning I could have been done sooner if she had showed just a bit more enthusiasm!) to the bigger size 8's of the rest of us.
Steph pulled them on her first morning home, declared them a gorgeous color and a perfect fit.
That would be when the madness fell from her mouth.

The actual madness is probably that my mind wandered off for a moment several times this week to wonder where one might add stitches to the pattern, keeping the design and yet allowing for some widening up the leg? Hmmmm........

I've slapped myself upside the head, so the wondering has stopped.
For the moment.

My 3rd felted bag is finished! I made it up as I knit along, but I'm not sure that the strap is sturdy enough. If much weight is put in I fear it will stretch long enough to drag to the ground. I knit it extra long to make up for the shrinking factor and it had the nerve to not shrink much?

I believe Steph has claimed this one for herself, as well? Although the strap design followed her suggestion of perhaps being a bit longer than the last one. So technically it was meant for her all along.

I'm finishing up my works in progress, sure but steady. By my next entry Sara's special requested Old Shale one color socks should be done. I'm just now turning the heel of the second sock, so it will catch up with the first. First sock is an inch or so down into the nothing but straight and (nearly) mindless knitting! A relief I can tell you after the K1, P1 pattern for the entire length of the pair of Pomatomus'!

I actually wound off the second skein of yarn for Sara's socks into 2 half balls so I could work on both socks at the same time. And then rewound the first ball so the color design was heading in the same direction. I may have the Knitting Sickness, but good? I'm almost ashamed to admit the number of sets of size 1 DPN's I now own. But if you have 3 pair of socks on the needles all at the same time and you continue to insist both socks of each set be started, so they might inch along together. Well you need a lot of needles. So it's a perfectly justified equipment stash enhancement?

I came across Eye Candy Friday photos recently here. Was so inspired by her Star Crust pie I went in search of star shape cookie cutters I could use for my own pie crust. Mine didn't come out quite as pretty as hers - but it was apple & it tasted good!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me. :)

For the hell of it I may upload a recent rainbow photo - a couple of weeks old now!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Um. Ta-dah?*

Summer of Amazing Lace Socks!
(Plus Saturday Skies on the coast of Maine.)

There's a month of my life I'm never getting back.
So why am I having Pomatomus withdrawal?

OMG! I should have 3 pair of these socks done for as many times as they were ripped out, started again; ripped back. Where do I begin again?

(Helpful note: when ripping out all 3 needles to tear back stitches, it would be HELPFUL if one takes NOTE of how many rows are being ripped out. Because one who can barely count rows, let alone recognize where they belong in the pattern - really needs to keep just as careful track of her UNKNITTING.)

Pattern is clearly marked

A little something for the seasoned knitter.
Daring but not exhausting.

Clearly, there were other words of warning, written right at the start of the pattern:
"somewhat vicious ... Stay alert..."

What pattern does NOT say:

Haven't knit in 15 years? THAT'S OKAY. A beginner could do this pattern!
Never read a chart before? No problem! Learn right here and now.
Had to google YARNOVER in May because you suspected you were doing it wrong? Well, you do it right now...most of the time. Right?

(Updated with less hideous picture of Pomatomus...along with my summer collection of "lace" socks. Plus ran spell checker just for the heck of it!)

Note * in subject title: Um. Ta-dah? was a subject title (still cracks me up!) of a blog I found recently - Dog Lovin' Knitter. Um. Ta-dah? deserves to be the new "Finished" standard for completed projects. Especially if outcome was uncertain right up until the end, previous skill level is admittedly lacking and you "like nothing more than a challenge (which may render me a bit unstable) to keep me off the streets." To quote a crazy chick with a goddamn hammer!!

Amazing Lace Challenge 6 entry posted here; didn't link it right on their sign-in page and now it has scrolled down several entries.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Rule.

Let's just clear up any misunderstanding HERE and NOW:

By the time I get to the end of this sorry little tale and fully explain
NEW RULE, most of you will declare this is not a new rule. It's a GIVEN. Unless you have a broken male X chromosome (they call it a Y?) you know this.

This would be understood without restating it clearly or even writing it down for all time.

Apparently not. So here it is:

someone - for the sake of argument let's say husband or as I like to call him: Spousal Unit 2 - of 26 plus years, gets up to let the dawg in at 10:38 p.m. and the dawg takes so long to cross the living room threshold that a neighborhood BAT decides to come along inside and fly from one end of the house to the other, proceed with the following steps:

Spousal Unit 1's head with the blankets. (Genetically X speaking, this would be my preferred "there's a bat in the house" position of choice.)
Get a broom and towel/trash bag for possible trapping needs.
Dispose of creature by whatever means necessary.
Let me know when it's over.

Simple. Obvious?

Instead the following incident took place: I watched 2 back-to-back episodes of The Gilmore Girls (I believe we're nearing last year's Season Finally, gearing up for the new Season Premiere) and went to bed at approximately 10 p.m. At which time I seem to have fallen into a deep and immediate R.E.M. state of sleep. I believe there was a full length feature film running through my dreams by 10:38. I know this was the time the film ended from the digital numbers in red on the nightstand that came into focus, just as someone flooded the room with overhead search lights. For all I knew in my still incoherent state these were the lights I was supposed to follow and heaven help me: I was being beaten with a broom?

Lord help me. Someone chose instead the following BAT elimination procedure:

Throw on every light in the house.
Grab a broom.
Yank every blanket
off Spousal Unit 1 and shout: GET A TOWEL!
Slam the broom onto the middle of the bed. (*)
Trap BAT against ...Or very near... My

I'm am not kidding nor making any of this up!

I should mention at this point the humidity factor is hovering at near 100% and I'm wearing very little. My dream
movie theatre has just been evacuated for some unknown reason and Spousal Unit 2 has trapped a bat against my ass. From here on he will be known as the fool - even though it's been done here. I think I will have earned some slight copyright infringement hereafter?

Now Sara and Will had arrived home at approximately 9 pm as
Prince William is leaving on Friday for his post graduate school in Minnesota. She has at least one more year of UMaine Grad school commitment left. There is most likely going to be a Time of Great Sadness for the next year of long distance relationships, but we'll deal with it as it comes. They were moving his computer desk & chair into Sara's room, rather than storing it in his family's attic. For all I knew they had settled into the living room to watch more Battlestar Galactica DVD or something. And the fool wants me to get him a towel?

William had actually left by then and Sara was aware of the BAT as it had circled down to her room multiple times. She had pulled the blankets over her head by now in the
Genetically X preferred "there's a bat in the house" position of choice.

(*) She does note this morning that she knows now what my ear splitting scream will sound like should our town ever be invaded by actual hostiles.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Generation (knitting) Gap

My youngest Next Generation is feeling a little left out of the Knitting Hands 3 Generation photo moment on Sunday. She'll be home from her summer Internship with Scholastic books in a few weeks for her Senior fall semester at UMaine.

Not to be ignored nor left out, she has sent me a picture of her creative use of the idle subway knitting needles. Since the practice ball of yarn is the same size as it was when it left many months ago, I'll assume it's safe to say I have not corrupted another knitting hopeful with my wonky style of knitting?

Miss you kid :) Will be happy to have you back home for a while. Soon!!

Amazing Lace Challenge #6

Challenge #6: Unlikely Model

The last Amazing Lace Challenge of the summer has been posted:

"You’ve laced all summer. Many of you have finished. Many are on the home stretch. It is time for your lace to be seen in all its glory; to be shown off to its best effect, to be unleashed upon the world, to be modeled by…well, by the least likely model you can think of.

Your challenge — your final challenge — is to post a photo of your lace being proudly worn or displayed by the strangest, funniest, or most unlikely model you can find. Maybe your model is alive; maybe it is an inanimate object. Maybe it is human; maybe it isn’t. It just needs to be clever and unexpected."

I give to you my first ever pair of blue lace socks, humble offerings laid at the feet of Lumberjack Paul Bunyan from Bangor, Maine.

This Cinderfella could not quite get my first pair of lace socks to fit. And the base Paul stands on is out of my reach so I asked a visiting (tall) tourist type gentleman if he would place my socks at the lumberjack's feet. He did it with a grin and then got them down afterwards!
(Blue socks are at the tip of that giant looking pencil/log roller thing.)


Go vote for my Garden of Gladiolia's & Lace Socks from Challenge 5...won't you?
Oh, seriously! Grinning ear-to-ear just to be a finalist. But I need some votes, too!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Knitting hands

Three Generations of knitting hands

Antics with the Menagerie have put out a random contest call for photos of knitting hands.
Not sure what they're looking for in the quest of perfect knitting hands, but pretty sure mine aren't it!

Continental style knitters are most wanted over there. I'm definitely not. We only have the action shots. If they see anything that really catches their attention, perhaps one of us will get a call back for the hands only photo shot. Yeah...okay. NOT!

Top picture is Mom; she explained that her mother tried to teach her to knit when she was very young, but mom is left handed and it didn't go that well. She taught herself later in life.

Middle picture is me. I will admit to having a funky knitting style (probably) all of my own. I've decide to blame it on the fact that a left hander taught me to knit. There is NO wrapping of yarn around fingers for me...ever. I pinch yarn between finger & thumb and it runs down into my palm, where I keep it tightly held for tension. Too tight, probably. Did I mention I knit tight? ;) I let go of the working needle completely while wrapping the yarn and then I push needles with tips of fingers while completing the stitches.

Middle picture is the What NOT TO DO While Knitting example, sure to be in the next Knitting for Dummies booklet.

I tried teaching both my daughters the basics of knitting and Sara is currently working on what she claims will be a scarf. Around 2010.
P.S. That yarn wrapped around Sara's finger of bottom photo is her pretending she knits that way.

I tried teaching Stephani when she was home on a break from NY once. She thought it would be really cool if she could knit on the subway. Didn't work out all that well. (I can still hear her long ago hissing pre-teen voice, "You are such a terrible teacher!" whenever I tried to teach some craft of the moment.)

Our conclusion of the day was this: ANYONE who knits as queer as I do, has no business teaching others how to knit. They deserve to learn from a qualified instructor.

(And I should do no further damage to the knitting world. ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006

I have built a great wall!

A Choka wall.

Choka: The Latest 35 Couplets

Turtle War? Wonder who won.
Just give peace a chance?

Turtle trek'd through my garden
Perhaps just to mock?

Trekking Yarn makes hiking socks
Something to knit next

Trek bikes in the Tour de France
Floyd won. Didn't he?

I'm a big fan of Star Trek
Next Generation

My favorite Floyd is Pink
Will I build a Wall?

Reagan said 'tear this wall down'
Will we build our own?

New Homeland Security
Terror alert RED

Fair and Balanced News blames me
War on Democrats

I'm doing 12-step program
Crazy politics

Watch less news.Learn to knit socks!
2 dozen pairs made

Learned to knit socks 12/05
Program working well

Pomatomus socks underway
Bang my head on wall!

How many socks does it take?
Get socks in word wall.

Not even halfway there yet
Until now that is?

What good is half of a wall?
Harder than it looks ;)

Should I go back to my socks?
Choka Wall virgin

How fast must I think couplets
Before duck awakes

Knitting socks might be faster
but I knit slow, too

Would a socks wall gain some fame
How about Red Socks :)

Baseball's red socks make men cry
Lost 5 in a row

There's NO CRYING in baseball!
Watch a Field of Dreams

Watch Kevin Costner movies
Water World is near?

What are we doing to Earth?
It's our only one.

Greenhouse gas effects us all
Unless science lies

Bury heads in desert sand
Just to steal their oil

Renewable Energy
Patriotic war?

What would John Lennon sing now?
Imagine a dream

The REAL night our music died

Googled John Lennon and socks
And there was a hit!

"...gonna be sellin' my socks
like Judy Garland...

...I hope that they get a good price."
More socks for the wall!

Will my wall be defeated
Submission Failure?

Are there knitters, knitting socks
Waiting for my wall


At last! My wall is complete.
UNLESS? The Lorax. ;)

All me :) Now go write one with the word socks in it if you can. Remember it has to fit!!
Ha! Socks that fit!!! I slay me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Treasury of Knitting Patterns

And other things


I had serious relinquishing issues with the library's copy of Barbara Walker's Treasury book 1.
I suspect the fine for losing a Library Interloan program book is steep - in addition to replacement costs. Well it should be. It was WRONG of me to consider even for a moment what it might cost if I their book. Even for a nano second. Even if I would never in a million years really do such a thing. Just reading the fine print to see how much it would cost: WRONG.

I now own used copies of Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns - Books 1 & 2!
I put in a bid on Ebay and then gave up. That hardcover copy of book 1 went above $36. I googled "used books" and found this Fetch search engine. I paid $15 & $17. Smug grin here.

Both came in the mail on Monday (different sellers through Amazon). Opened the packages and Book 1 was HARDCOPY! Listed as a paperback when I bought it. Seriously happy, whatever the reason! Shown with the library copy - both marked @1968. Different covers?
Book 2 cover has a little more damage than indicated in seller's description, but pages look like they've hardly ever even been opened in either book.

Happy, Happy with my Knitting Library acquisitions. Even if I can't try any of the patterns out until a couple sock projects get finished.

And another thing:
The STUPID KNITTER fairy must be watching over me. I cast on 64 stitches for my second Pomatomus sock while waiting for mom at one of two doctors appointments she needed me to take her to yesterday. Forgot the pattern print out, so sat in the second waiting room with nothing to do after 3 rows of p1, ktbl rib.

Only problem is, there was supposed to be 72 stitches cast on. The entire 10 rows have been ripped out and done over. Guess it was a good thing I didn't have the pattern with me at the doctor's office. They may have tried to have me committed when I realized the error of my ways.

I apparently can neither count, read or follow directions when I do read them. I deserve to have my knitting needles & yarn taken away, as unworthy. I will fight the one who tries it though!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Out of control

How did I end up with 3 different sock projects underway?

There were to be NO knitting UFO's in my Knitting Bucket! My pledge for finishing one knitting project before starting another was working out pretty well.

Socks were being done in pairs.
Being that everyone I know has two feet and generally wear socks on both of them. At the same time. Most of us even try to match them up, although there was the trend setting kid in fifth grade who dared to be different. The Punky Phase.

Longest on the needles currently are my design-a-sock pair, using Barbara Walker's Treasury book #1. Both are growing at a good pace, but they're not exactly traveling socks. There's no knitting these while riding in the passenger seat of the Wrangler. No bumpy roads while trying to keep two 6-repeat patterns & a 16-repeat pattern in correct order.

Then I decided to try the Pomatomus while spending a day at the lake, but it turns out that's not a pattern I can take my eyes off of for even a moment, either. No traveling knitting project there at least until I've gotten used to this pattern. It's now been Unknit 4 times. Not sure what pattern I was following, but turns out my glorious lake day knitting sock only had about 8 rows of the 22 that I did that followed the actual pattern?

I'm blaming it on the CHART! Once I typed up the instructions long form and stopped looking at the chart, things went a little better. And it's not as if the long form took up much more space than the chart. I may never be a chart knitter - without translation!

On Thursday we went for a rainy day ride. Visited an elderly Aunt in Unity and then poked around used book stores and thrift shops along the way to Waterville. So I shoved a set of needles and yarn for another Old Shale 2 Yarn Socks project into a totebag. Just in case!

3 sock projects - plus a felted bag that just needs half again as much strap as I've managed. Ran out of yarn with so little left to do and had to buy another skein. Really need to finish that before starting anything else!!

It's 2-weeks of vacation time now so there's been a little traveling. Price of gas is a crock; oil companies just make stuff up since the hurricane season is taking it easy this year.
help us when one does hit. ;)

Reading Da Vinci Code - a must read for women in defense of the Sacred Feminine. I have to say it's reading very believable and the religious call to boycott it sort of proves his point the Church will do anything to retain their male dominated control of power?

And did you know that our knitting goddess of patterns wrote feminist books as well? I just got Barbara Walker's book, Feminist Fairy Tales through the library interloan project!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge # 5

Where's Waldo?

The next Challenge for the Amazing Lace is posted:

"In honor of that slightly crazed I see lace everywhere mental state that'’s a symptom of obsessive lace knitting, your challenge is to post one photo on your blog in which your lace is a hidden or unexpected part of the picture."

Can you find all of Waldo's Lace Socks?
(5 pair finished since Memorial Day!)

For the longest time I could not stand to look at a Gladiolia. My only sister was killed by a drunk driver in July of 1983 and Glad's must have been the funeral florist's flower of choice; it seemed as if they were everywhere.

I hated them.

Several years ago I put a rock garden out beyond my kitchen window. An angel was placed on a stone bench next to a sun dial type arrangement of rocks.

And then I made peace with the humble Gladiolia.

When I dug up the ground for my new vegetable garden there were a lot of rocks! Big, heavy rocks just crying out to be important enough for their own garden space. The idea was this was to be an asparagus patch and the flowers would pretty it up. The asparagus were a miserable failure . . . but look at my pretty flowers!

The blue ones are quite exceptional this year, don't you think?