Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Girl time

I've always thought of myself as a Tomboy. Which partly means to me that I relate more to men than to women. My cousins, my childhood best friends, were boys. In high school I was referred to as "one of the guys". I did not make girl friends till my guy friends got girlfriends. Then suddenly I was re-categorized and lumped in with the girlfriends. I can tell you I was not always happy with this situation.

Many times when being told a he/she said story I find my sympathies lie with the he side. Not so fun fact to know, never side with the man in a room full of spun up women. I swear one time I was almost voted off the island.

I've already told you that I have strong anti-social tendencies, not in the crazy way, more of a I really enjoy being alone with my knitting or book kind of way. I feel sometimes that I put on armor to go out into the regular world. I feel that I should be like the person people expect me to be. My family still treats me like the little sister sometimes, and it is easier to slip back into that role, rather than standing up and saying "I may always be the youngest in the family but I am not a kid any more." I worry that I might say something that is not "churchy" enough. We went to a church that did not seem to believe in women pastors. I remember the pastor spoken so well of in my childhood church was a woman. She was spoken of in such wistful terms 10 - 15 years later.

I worry that I am too liberal for the conservatives and too conservative for the liberals. I worry that people will not like me then tell myself that I really don't care what people think of me.

Tonight I went out to dinner with a great bunch of ladies, some of my knitting friends. I get to try foods that D would never even think of eating. I get to talk about things that are not work related. We seem to make it work. They have annoyed me and I'm pretty sure I've annoyed them, but somehow I seem to feel my most natural self while I am with them. It is nice to let your hair down with friends. Thanks honey for being understanding and encouraging when I need girl time. We both know how you have to push me out of the house from time to time.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One down one to go

In spite of all my new yarny goodness, I managed to finish a sleeve on my red sweater. Now I have one to go and the collar. For some reason I have set a goal of Oct 1 to have it finished. Now we know how much I hate deadlines but I don't think of this as a deadline just a goal. If I miss it oh well I will keep on knitting and finish it soon. I am a bit anxious to move on to another project. And of course the new yarn has been calling to me all day.

Happy thought of the day, my kitties love me so much the spontaneously formed into their heart shaped napping meld. D likes to call this their butt weld.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Resistance is futile

If you're wondering, yes I am a Trekie. Thanks for asking.

I went to the first annual Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival today. I was out the door on the road when I remembered I did not bring my camera, and I was going to get foliage pictures for you today too. Note to self add camera to list of things to take to Rhinebeck in October.

I ended up getting some things out of the ordinary for me and some things very much in the ordinary for me. Here is my haul.

I had an all artfully arranged picture then I put the soap in the center away and realized I missed a yarn.

OK normal things for me to buy are the two sock yarns from Holiday Yarns and the grey alpaca they are propped on. The soaps, multi colored bulky yarn and the brown mix of wools in front were out of character for me. They all called to me separately. I have no idea what I will be making from them but I am happy I got them.

The colors of the bulky yarn just called to me, I am thinking either a hat or mittens. This booth also contained the funniest overheard comment of the day, "She knits like she is mad". Well, when questioned what that looks like it turned into "militaristic". I'm not sure what militaristic knitting looks like, but it might be that you're trying to aggressively stab your knitting repeatedly. I can tell you that it did not look like fun.

I wandered around and I can tell you that I have no urge to learn how to spin fiber into yarn unless I am at one of these events. Every where I looked there were fleeces, as in wool off the sheep but not yet spun into yarn. I would say that about half of the venders were selling mostly or only fleece. I feel a bit like I am missing out on something but don't really want to join the club. Strange but true.

As I turned one corner I saw 3-4 ladies in habits, you know of the Nun variety. Turns out there is an order called St Mary's on the Hill that tend the animals and sells the yarns. "Prayer is the sisters' first work." I like that line sometimes I forget my first work. The proceeds go to support both locations, one in NY and one in Africa. I have no idea what I will make with this but I really like the reason why I bought it. Bonus it smells like cedar chips, no not the already sheepy kind but the pleasant moth deterring kind. I love the smell of cedar!

After being indecisive about some alpaca yarn, I decided to go back and look at some alpaca I had seen earlier. While there I recognized a voice behind me, two of my knitting group friends were there molesting, I mean choosing yarn to purchase. We each bought a sport weight 665 yard skein of alpaca from Times Remembered. Each a different color. Mine is a silvery dark grey. The other two I can not tell you, we waffled so many times. I am thinking a neck warmer of some sort, the office I work in can get really cold. I know that I am enjoying the feel of the skein here on my lap as I write this. Yarny goodness

We went to Bubbles and Baas and bought some soap. I got oatmeal and honey, eucalyptus and aloe, and wool bubbles that has lanolin in it. I am looking forward to having some soft hands. I do think I will pick up some knitters lotion when I'm at the NY sheep and wool at Rhinebeck. I saw a few today but I need to research a bit more and see what I will like. Maybe I just need to buy an unwashed fleece and soak up all the lanolin out of that. See that kind of thought is what puts you on the road to being a spinner.

My friends took off and I would have too but I needed a potty break. What we all need potty breaks? Then some sock yarn I had seen briefly started calling my name. Sock yarn does that to me a lot you know. While in the Holiday Yarns booth I experienced knitters deception. I was standing there with two skeins of yarn trying to decide when another knitter says "Ooooh those are nice, you trying to decide?" She asks if it will be for me. When I say yes she points to the reddish Chai Shadows colored one (on the right), instead of the brownish Cafe au Lait colored one (on the left). I stand there thinking, you know I don't make decisions quickly. When the owner says I will let you have both for $10 off. So of course I whip out my card to buy. The lady that had tried to help me decide asks the owner do you have any of the Cafe au Lait color left? I was buying the last skein. You know what that means right? She was trying to influence me out of buying the one she wanted. Knitters we're all a bunch of filthy liars when you're holding our yarn.

D asked me if I still want to go to Rhinebeck. Yeah I know he is a funny guy. Honey let me help you out here, do you still want to go to the super cool awesome bike store of all bike stores, on any given day? Rhinebeck is my super cool bike store that I can only go to once a year, so yeah I still want to go.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One foot in front of the other.

I am still plugging along on my sweater. I finished the body using a baby cable rib I found in my Custom Knits book. It came out looking better than I had hoped for, sometimes even I am a pessimist. I'm working on a sleeve and have managed a few rounds but that is about it.

I can feel the seasons change and see it even more. It is starting to stay darker longer in the morning. So my normal reaction to this is to sleep later and later. I make it to work in the morning but my breakfast and knitting margin have shrunk down to 5-10 minutes, which really means I have time for breakfast. The leaves are starting to change and I am determined to get pictures this year. Every year I meant to take a camera to work with me because I can stop on my way home and find some lovely trees. Every year it is December before I blink and all the leaves are sitting in an unattractive pile in my yard. They are leaves it is what they do!

I managed to finish a pair of socks this weekend but did not get pictures of them. Soon my pretties soon.

You know how I love lists, right? Well I listed all the immediate projects I wanted to start and came up with 15-20 projects. I still have 2 on the needles I'm trying to finish. I would like to have my sweater done by October first, I don't think that is going to happen. Maybe it needs to start following me around, so I would work on it. Of course that plan has not worked for the second sock of D's pair. I told myself I needed a time when I could concentrate to turn the heel since I was trying an unfamiliar method but I turned the heel 2 weeks ago and has been riding around in my purse since then. Poor sock it wants to be on his feet so badly.

One of the projects I want to start is mittens for D. One of his favorite animals are squirrels, don't ask me why maybe it is the tail. I found these mittens and thought of him. I thought they would be too funky for him to wear in public but I have been given the go ahead. I hope they look as good as they do in theory in my head.

I think I will save the rest of the list for another time. You can be sure D's sweater is right up there at the top. I have to deck him out in knitted wear while the decking is good. Sort of the knitters version of strike while the iron is hot.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I did it!

I talked D into going to NY Sheep and Wool festival with me in October! I am sad to say that I used the bike as bait. I told him he could bring her along and go for a ride if he got bored or did not want to look at anymore yarn. I know, strange thought who does not enjoy looking at yarn?

He did put the stipulation out there that I do not ask "Do you like this one or this one", "Which color do you like" or any other opinion related questions. Hmm I wonder why? You so know I am going to find a crazy yarn and ask "Does this make my butt look big?" Hey someone has to do it, it might as well be me.

I am looking for some specific things this year. Sock yarn, when am I not looking for sock yarn? This time I think I am going to try to find some lesser know brands, vendors or content mixes. I have been wanting to try bamboo yarn for a while, but I love wool so much that I can not resist its charms. Wait a minute did I just say that I want to try to find bamboo yarn at a wool festival? What is wrong with me?

I want to see some of the vendors that I always seem to miss. Can't think of them now but I hope to before we get there. I am buying a sweatshirt early this year and not waiting till they're all sold out. You can never have too many sweatshirts with sheep on the front. They make people notice you, and read writing on your bosom. Yeah that last part is uncomfortable. Not as uncomfortable as having someone point out (touch) light houses that they have been to on a shirt that your wearing! That conversation ended really quickly!

I have made a couple of sweaters now, so in theory I should feel comfortable buying for that now. I would like to get some yarn for the Hubby's sweater but I think I would cross over into the "questions not to be asked" zone. I will let you know how that all turns out. We know I'm going to screw up and ask at some point during the day. Think I worry too much?

Part of the fun going to these things is people watching, knit wear watching. You get to see stuff that other knitters have knit. The first year I went was sort of a bust for me. It was warmer than usual and I was a sock knitter only at that time, do you know how hard it is to show off knit socks walking around outside in October in upstate New York, I do it is very hard. The second year was cooler but I forgot my Fetching mitts at home and my first sweater was in the wash. So it occured to me that I need to find something to wear this year that will show my progression as a knitter. Yeah it is to late to knit something now. I started to think, well I can take one of my pairs of Fetching that I missed last year, Hmmm I could wear my grey cable sweater.

Not bad but I think it is rather plain. Does it look like I have a column of arrows pointing to my face? Oh it does, good *cough*I planned it that way, design element?

Then I remembered my first project that made me feel like I'm a good knitter. I give you The Christmas Party Shawl.

My first multi month project. I learned lessons making this. I learned how to knit when I don't want to. I learned how to plan out a project and make it work. I learned that I really like red and Alpaca is warm. I learned about project deadlines. I learned that deadlines take away joy from me. I learned that I can do something that I thought I could not do. I learned that I love the book Victorian Lace Today. I also learned that I want to make more shawls but I need to bask in the glory of the first one for a time. It has been almost a year now maybe I should pull that book back out.

So I guess you might be able to identify me at Rhinebeck if you're going this year. I know I am and I will have a date, unless the bike woos him away. Just make sure you leave the keys with me honey I will be loading yarn into the Escape throughout the day. NO really I need the keys....

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am still looking

Quick update I have not ordered any thing and I am still working on the same three projects. I think I am still enjoying them but who knows? I will enjoy them more when I am done with them and have things to wear. What can I say I am a product girl!

I drooled over a catalog at lunch, but managed to fulfill my yarnie urges with writing up a list. I am amazed how much I am enjoying the planning stage this time.

I am an odd person. Oh yeah I tried to replicate yesterdays knitting time trials and I could not reproduce my results. Does that mean I am not as fast as I think I am?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Time is on my side, yes it is.

I did something odd today, I mean even odd for me. I timed my knitting pace today at lunch. I knit 44 stitches in a minute on this sock's partner.

That equated to half of a round. Which means I can knit 2 rounds every 5 minutes. Now I don't think that makes me a speed demon, but it is nice to know what I can do. I always wondered at lunch time if I had enough time to get to a certain point, say finish a row. Well now I have an estimate.

I felt sort of strange doing it and luckily I ate outside so there was no one to witness my foolishness. At least I did not see anyone watching me. You think there is someone blogging about how they saw a crazy lady timing her knitting rate today.

In other knitting news I turned the heel on D's sock that I stopped working on to start my sweater. Shh don't tell D that is what I did. Of course the quicker I get my sweater done the quicker I start working on his sweater. I would like to give him a new sweater for his birthday but I really don't think that is going to happen.

Right now I am in a serious planitis phase, you know when all you see is projects that you want to knit and you keep visualizing how you would knit it. I have three on the needles now, with another ten in the one and two slots of next to be knitted list. I am fighting the urge to buy things like yarn(always), books(most of the time) and knitting tools(only when I need them). The knitting tools urge is confusing me, if I have lived without a tool for this long in my knitting career why do I "need" anything new now? Really I don't need anything, but I would like to try some new things. And lets face it I am fairly fiscally conservative, I might just have learned to live without tools that would help me but are not an absolute must have.

I am putting together a mental order from knitpicks now, even though I have 3 socks worth of yarn still not knit up from my initial order. Does this mean that I just need to learn to knit faster or that I finally found my mojo that was missing earlier in the summer. Or does it mean the a winter is around the corner and my body knows it.

My sweater has hit sort of a boring part. It was great when we were camping and I sat and knit on it in the dark in front of the campfire. I am still thinking about that project too. I don't want to do plain ribbing for the hem, cuffs and collar. I think I found what I want to do in Custom Knits. I like a small cable twist in the ribbing, so I am thinking of trying it out. I will let you know how it turns out. Just promise me that you will not tell me if it looks funny. I am not sure I can take honesty in my knitting yet. No that is not right I would rather someone told me it looked funny, rather than wear it for 10 years and have people think I look more of a dork than I normally do. Seriously I wonder that all the time, does this make me look more dorky?

Well I think I have rambled on enough about knitting for one evening, I will try to think of more for tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

What I did on my Labor Day Weekend

You know the funny thing is I've never had to do a report on what I did on summer vacation.

We went camping! First time out this year. It has been a rainy summer and time just flew by. Of course I still am counting D's charity bike rides as mini camping trips. You're up early, trying to figure out where you're going, once you arrive in the designated spot you have to sign in, everybody has special equipment everywhere and I've packed a huge bag of things to entertain myself. Sounds a lot like camping to me, in theory anyways.

This weekend was a lesson in me giving up control of the situation. I love to plan things and that did not happen this trip. I only found out where we were going the Saturday prior to Labor Day. Luckily my brilliant Hubby and I had most stuff arranged in Rubbermaid tubs so we are mostly packed at any given time. I did not have the energy to go grocery shopping before hand so we decided to buy it all there. It seemed to go well except for some urgent texts I received while shopping as to what the beer status was. Apparently in progress is not a good enough answer, when you've kept them waiting for an hour.

We tried to find the beer on Friday night when we were picking up stuff for breakfast. This store must have thought that beer was like gold because they hid it in a back corner behind the floral department. Or maybe that was by design for dudes that are trying to get out of the doghouse, flowers to get you out, beer to console yourself if the flowers don't work.

That is the happy Hubby making the sign for camping. You can see we do not go camping without our morning starter of tea in the black and gold tin. You should also note the lovely cup cozy I knit for outside tea enjoyment. It worked pretty good, but maybe I just drank the tea before it could get cold.

D is holding my ingenious converter that turns a camping coffee pot into a teapot. We've tried to find a method that works as good as at home. That is the upper aluminum portion to the percolating basket for coffee. I used some handy dandy cotton yarn to hold it together and we were makin' tea. That was my third method and methods one and two leave you with a lot of tea leaves in your pot which makes it way to strong for me. I'm starting to believe that D could drink tar if you made it smell like Lapsong Souchong. Who am I kidding I would at least try it too.

This was the path that we took to get to the beach! Yeah it was a nice campground.

Yep that is the before mentioned beach. We got to spend some time there on Sunday and I did not even get sun burned. Sunday they had a beach party, bonfire and fireworks over the lake. It was our first time at a beach party. Hey what do you expect we grew up in South Dakota, not that many beaches there. That and the fact that I am at my heart a fuddyduddy. Is that how you spell that?

So all in all a good time was had. Not the most rest full time but a good time. I did finally learn to get over loud campers this weekend so I can say I grew a bit.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So you never know

You never know how an evening will turn out. Tonight I took a risk and stepped out of my antisocial box.

I've been wanting to learn how to make kilt hose since before I knew how to knit. I think that is why I took to socks so quickly. It just made sense that you would put wooly goodness on your feet.

Tonight in our local book store I went to check out the knitting books and saw a woman knitting, not just knitting but knitting kilt hose. Now I know divine intervention when I feel it. When would I ever come across a situation like that again. Someone I could talk directly to and see what she was working on at the same time right in front of me. Now as you know normally I do not talk to strangers and I barely talk to friends. The hand of God walked me over to her and forced me to ask what pattern was she using. Sadly it was her own pattern but she offered to show me how she does it.

Now the truly lovely thing is she is from Ireland. So all the instructions were given in a lovely Irish accent. I love accents! She discussed various things with me and D. Irish history and food, doctors without borders and knitting. We played a game of I'll show you mine if you show me yours. Magical is how I would describe it. I have her cell phone number, can locate her on Ravelry and have a crazy story of how I can come out of my shell if knitting is involved.

So I am one happy knittin' kitten. Or at least I will be when I make my first pair of kilt hose.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


When I was a kid I loved only summer. I grew to enjoy spring because it meant that summer was on the way. It took living in the south for a couple of years to make me appreciate seasons other than "HOT".

The thought struck me as I was driving home today that I really have learned to love the change of season the most. It seems so full of potential. Will the winter be long and cold or surprisingly short? Will the summer be a scorcher or full of relaxing rain? As much as I usually fear change, it is what I look forward to with the seasons.

I had always seen the pictures of fall foliage in all the calenders when I was growing up. I thought they were OK pictures but as a person that dislikes orange and yellow they were lost on me. New York has opened my eyes and senses. I've lived through eight falls here and I love it so much. I hate cleaning up the leaves but I love to see the colors and feel the crisp fall air. It is like awakening from a lazy summer nap. Summer drains my energy with its heat, fall energizes me with its crispness.

Winter has a place in my heart now too. I have never seen snow as beautiful as in this state. I experience feelings of calm and security unlike any other when it's snowing and I'm safe in my home or car. The white snow comes down and covers all the dirt and grime. It gives softness to edges and quiets the noise of life. It does not hurt that this usually means my cats will burrow in with me and create a awesome heat pocket. How could I feel less than secure with all that going for me.

Spring is the awakening and renewing. Spring has buds and flowers that call to my farmer's daughters heart. Can't tell my dad used to plant winter wheat hmm? Spring allows my bones to thaw and my heart to rejoice. Windows get opened and birds start singing.

Summer means freedom and more time. Freedom from the indoors, enclosed spaces and school. Time to stay up late, to dream and to cook outside. Freedom from coats and gloves. Cold beer and relaxation. The smell of grilled food and fresh veggies.

So which season is my favorite? All of them. The seasons are like my taste in music, I can find something to love about each of them. But mostly I like having all the choices.....