Monday, January 30, 2012

More work

I'm not even close to being done with Sock #2, and I have 2 more projects lined up. Fortunately, one is a repair and one is finishing someone else's work. Both of these are slightly dangerous - the repair is dangerous due to the possibility of it coming out, and finishing someone else's because of gauge. At any rate, there are 2 more projects to get finished before March 5th.

I was hoping to have Sock #2 almost finished by now, and instead, I'm blogging and watching a TV music documentary (Metal Evolution, if you must know - this week's episode is on Power Metal. It's quite interesting and educational to be honest). Maybe later this week I'll have more progress and pictures.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


My project list just keeps growing. As soon as I get one thing off, or almost off, something else climbs on to take its place. I am hoping to finish sock#2 for the barter project, and then make the blue V-neck sweater for Little Man and finish Princess' cardigan. However, today, a new project jumped on my list. I'm not complaining - I like new stuff. It's just that I'd hope to see the list shrink a little, and then I can add my stuff to it.

I want to make Cloudy Day and Kiama for me. I also have the Bella dress to make. Then there's another sheep to make, and a couple more sweaters for the kids. Honestly, I'd love to get the sock, blue sweater, and cardigan done before the next cold snap in February (we usually have one of those about mid-February where it gets REALLY cold) and it would be nice to have some hand-knit love for the kids to wrap around themselves.

In reality, I don't know that I'll make that deadline. However, I do have a major deadline looming - the last 2 classes for my MBA will begin March 5th. I do think I can get them made by then. After that, the following seven weeks will be miserable, but I think most the major deadlines for school will miss the major deadlines for work. Which works out nicely. But it's going to be rough, since I'll be taking 2 classes at the same time. This has never been tried before (by me) and I am a little worried that I'm going to feel overwhelmed and like I'm sinking into the Pit of Despair. Fortunately for me, "the Machine" won't suck away more than one year of my life (name that movie - although, let's face it, I made it pretty easy) since the Prince shouldn't come down and set it to 50. With my luck, it is possible though. Prince Humperdink randomly shows up and moves things on my desk, so setting the machine to 50 wouldn't be completely out of the question. It's either him or a gremlin/goblin/mischievous elf. Maybe a desk troll would help that. Or some counter-spell. Or maybe I should just rake everything off into the trashcan and start fresh. Oh well. That choice is for another day. Today, I'm just going to work on sock #2.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I'm almost done with Sock #1 for the barter. That's good news. However, I messed up the toe, which is the bad news.

It feels like things are moving slowly, and yet too quickly.

My baby is now 5; it's hard to believe he's already 5. We had a party for him on Saturday, and all the kids loved it. I'm not quite sure about the parents, but I know the kids had a good time. That's what was important. And now I'm stuck with cake. Lots of cake. Chocolate cake. See, this is not a good thing. Most people would disagree, but when you are a stress eater, and you're under stress a LOT (read: all the time), this is actually bad. It would be fine if the stress wouldn't be constant, but it is. This is the bad part. Constant stress + stress eater = weight gain. Hence the bad part.

Stress is a whole new ball game. How much can one person take before they crack in some way or another? I think it depends on the person, and how you define "crack." Some would consider the stress-eating "cracking," but I'm talking about more serious issues. Depression, physical manifestations of stress, actions of stress. These things cause more problems than stress eating. How much longer? I don't know, so I knit. I knit to escape; I also read to escape. I received a new book for Christmas, The Scottish Prisoner, by Diana Gabaldon (one of my favorites); you can find out more about her here. For those of you unacquainted with Diana, she is a lovely woman from Arizona, who writes fantastic novels. These are not normal fiction - these are epics. Not only in size (they average over 800 pages; her "novellas" are 300-400 pages), but in story. They are some of the best modern fiction ever written. They have something for everyone - fantasy, science fiction, history, religion, magic, science, foreign language, romance - really, a little bit of everything. I have never found books that so completely fulfill the title of "fiction" before. I wish Hollywood would make her Outlander series into movies, although I doubt they could do the books justice. The first book alone would have to be an 8-hour movie in order to include everything, and you KNOW Hollywood won't do that. Abridged would be key, but it would have to be a good abridged version, like the one Geraldine James reads. Seriously, if you haven't gotten into these books, do so now. She's still writing them, which rocks for those of us who are avid readers. But I haven't read the latest. Guess what's getting started tonight? :) That should make my day better; that, and loving on my children.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting better

After suffering from a sinus infection, I am finally feeling a little better. This, just when I have a party for an almost 5 year old, is not a great plan. Timing is not a consideration for illnesses. In the meantime, I have finished one project this year already, and as soon as I can get the tripod and camera set up, I'll post pictures, provided I have permission. It's a test-knit pattern, and one that hasn't been released yet. So, I am moving on to project number 2 for 2012.

I am currently working on basic socks. The funny thing is, no matter what pattern I look at, nothing ever uses what I use to make a basic sock. So, once these are done, I plan on posting what I do for a basic sock. I've seen all kinds of "basic sock" patterns on Ravelry, and none of them use the same gauge as I do. It's odd - you'd think with so many sock patterns out there, there would be one that I could go back to time and time again. There's not. I always have to make it up as I go along. So, I'm going to write it down, and post it here. Then it will be here for all eternity. Well, maybe not eternity, but at least until the aliens come down and destroy the plant and suck all the energy out of it. :) Just kidding - the aliens won't come here; there's no intelligent life. :) Just kidding again.

Project number 3 and 4 are sweaters for the kiddos. Little Man has asked for two. One will be a plain blue V-neck sweater; again, one I have to create, since there are no actual patterns like what I'm working on. The second is actually a Pirate Sweater, and I'll have to get the yarn for that. I'm going to have to increase the size, because the pattern only goes up to a 3-4T. Unfortunately, although he's not the biggest kid in the class, he's bigger than that. So, more math. The sweater for Princess is one that I can follow a pattern for. It's the Playful Stripes sweater from Never Not Knitting. She has terrific patterns. I also want to make the Yoked Cardigan for myself and Princess. This one is by Hannah Fettig, and it will also actually be worked from the pattern. Imagine that; me actually working from a pattern!

This year also holds lots of promises in designing. I am consistently having brainstorms (unfortunately, this usually happens while at work) about new designs. I hope to have time to working on them, even just in working out some math before actually knitting them. And, not all of them are knitted. I have several crochet designs floating around as well. It all just takes time. Fortunately, I keep an idea notebook around and write down whatever ideas come. I try to make them as detailed as possible so when I do get back to them, I remember the original idea and can try to recreate it in fabric. I'm also trying to organize my projects on Ravelry, along with my queue. It actually doesn't take long, just a few minutes here and there. Til next time, which probably won't be too long! Can you believe I've already posted 4 times this year? What does that tell you?! (Probably that I should be cleaning, but instead, I'm blogging!).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So many knits, so little time

Since my last post, I was reminded of another project I have to undertake. I have also finished a project. One off, one on. Slowly, I hope to take more projects off the needles than put on. Right now, this will be project #2: a plain pair of socks. They should go quickly and easily. I think I'm just going to cast on 56 stitches, knit about an inch of ribbing, then go into the leg. After that, a quick round about the heel, and down the foot to the toe. Plain and simple, fast and easy. I hope.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

New beginnings

This is a new year. New beginnings seem to be a requirement for new years. Everyone wants to start fresh and make this year better than last. Sometimes it works, sometimes it's less effective than hoped. This year, we're making big changes. There are big projects in the works, and it's going to take a lot of effort. I'm hoping to start here, with the blog. I want to keep it updated more, and look! My second post of the year already. I'd like
to post once a week, more if possible, but my goal is just once a week. I hope to always have some sort of progress to show.

I have 3 projects on the needles currently. Well, okay, that's not technically true. I have more than that on the needles. And in actuality, I only have 2
of the project that I consider "active." There is a super secret project that I'm working on; it's a test knit for a book. I haven't asked to give a sneak peek yet, so I can tell you that I'm working on it, that it's close to being done, and that I will ask to post pictures of the finished object. It will be done this month, since I need to have the notes to the designer by the 15th. I'm just a little over halfway through, so I think I'll make it. The second project is a sweater for Little Man. He requested a V-neck plain blue sweater, so that's what he's getting. You'd think it would be easy to find a pattern for that, but it's not. Most pattern
s have something extra; the wrong neckline, a cable, intarsia, or a knitted pattern. This one is going to be one of those great mindless knits, once all the math is done. It will be a great Knit Night project, or a great one for sitting in front of the TV. Not much to think about, and it should go quickly.

There are two other projects that are close to being finished, but are waiting because of the above projects. One is a cardigan for Princess. For those of you who don't know about Princess, let me share a picture with you:
Isn't she adorable? That's my baby girl at Halloween, where she was a precious ladybug.

The other project is a pair of Fiddler's Mitts from My Grandmother's Knitting. If you haven't looked at the book, please do. Find a copy in a store and browse through it. It has some lovely projects in it. Here's a picture of the Fiddler's Mitts:

Sorry; the picture is bigger than I thought it would be. But you can see the lovely pattern. The colors I selected are close to those in the picture: a kind of dark teal and a medium pink. I can't wait until they are done.

Here's to a new year, and new projects.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Post Christmas and New Years

Remember this?

Well, here is the recipient enjoying it:

Sorry for the bad shot, but you can tell she's excited. And these:
were met with joy as well:

The other two handmade gifts were also met with warm receptions, but I didn't capture those on film. I just took pictures before the gifts were wrapped.

The top picture is Kid Silk Creation, crocheted scarf (pattern on the label). The bottom is the Triplicity shawlette from Skacel's knit-a-long on Knit Purl's website. All the gifts were fairly easy and fast. I didn't get to make a couple of others I wanted to make, but I think this next year, I'll make one here and one there, and then by the time Christmas comes around, there won't be a rush. The Yarn Harlot this year did the same thing, and it turned out pretty good for her. There wasn't a huge rush to buy gifts or make them, because pre-planning happened. That's the goal for this year. It's New Year's, so that's my resolution. Pre-planning. It's a good resolution, right? I have some other plans in progress, and am really excited about them. When the time is right, I will announce the plans here, but for now, just let me say that they are BIG and exciting. You'll like it when I tell you.