Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh knitting my knitting

What the Hell? I thought we had a deal knitting, I love you and you love me. I'm starting to believe that we're not on the same page so to speak. I am looking at all three of you current projects. You have been knit and reknit and reknit. I'm starting to think you have separation anxiety. I will still spend time with you after you're knit up. Yes, it will be different but I will love you more for your warmth. It is OK for you to reach your full potential.

I am at the same point on D's sweater I was a week ago except now I am wiser. Why is it wisdom always comes with a price tag attached? At least my inner knitter saved me some trouble. She whispered to me that I should not completely bind off the bottom cuff till I tried the sweater on D. It is just too bad that she let me get so far with the sleeve before we tried it on him. The wisdom I obtained from the sleeve was: yes it is possible to make a weird hybrid puffy pirate sleeve while knitting a sweater. Turns out if you decrease to quickly on a sleeve it makes the sleeve look "poofy". Yep poofy, just how D described the sweater to me. "Hey honey can you make me a poofy sweater?" Yep, honey I sure can just let me try to make a normal sweater and it will come out that way. Sweater knitting this is your official warning. I will put you in time out if you poof on me again. I know I did not listen to inner knitter but this is the fifth time I've made something like you I should understand the process by now. Remember sweater I'm watching you.

Don't worry I still think you're pretty, in a manly way.

Sock knitting you're on my naughty list too. Ok you're right I expected this of you. I cast you on not really knowing what I was going to do with you. I told you we were just trying things out. It was OK if I had to rip back. But then I decided what to do with you after the third ripping. What you did not get that memo? Sorry sock knitting. Are we good now? I really think you're lovely. I like you just the way you're working up. No don't say those things about sweater, it's not "stupid", that is not going to get you more time with me. There is enough of me to go around.

Shhh don't tell the other knitting but I think your colors are especially Christmasy.

Mittens oh mittens. Just because you're my first "real" colorwork project does not mean you should try to make me grow by leaps and bounds. We can save some of my learning for the next project. Right mitten, I've been thinking about it and I'm afraid I don't understand you like I should. You know what that means right? Yep I am going to rework you yet again. I'm sorry that is just the way it has to be. You know you're not like socks people will see you more and notice that left you and right you don't quite match. They will judge you harshly for this. They will say things like "home made" and "knit wrong", and they will not mean it in a good way.

Never fear mittens I will not allow that to happen. I want you to hear only good words like "beautiful" and "wow". I promise to stop thinking of you as "bad wool", I promise to see deeper than that, you're just "misunderstood wool".

I will endeavor to try harder with all of you. You did teach me yet again that I should not knit Christmas presents. We're both way to fickle to have such a large deadline.

So knitting do we have an understanding? Are we good? Don't make me knit something else because you know I will.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Invitation

I am the queen of going to and want to. I have great plans...I'm going to....I want to....
Since I am such a homebody at times many of my plans never make it off the ground, or if they do they're usually much later than planned.

Last year at this time I was sweating bullets. I was scheduled to make my first hop across the pond to England. I was nervous about everything: the plane trip, customs (going both ways), international travel, flying over water, the exchange rate, our credit cards not working, our passports being stolen. If there was a bad news scenario I came up with it. I had lists upon lists.

Well one thing that did not make it off my to do list was, start a blog to document our trip. I was going to, I wanted to. Now I'm very happy I did not. That would have been way too much pressure.

Now I had a brilliant idea. I'm going to go back in time and take you with me. Starting January 19th I'm going to blog what we were doing on that date the previous year. So on the one year anniversary we will relive all the excitement. Wait till we go to Windsor Castle. I was so excited to see it that I was surprised any of the pictures turned out. I swear I should have been blurry because I was so excited I vibrated the whole time we were there.

Luckily I did do one of the things I wanted to, a couple of years back. We try to keep a travel journal. The journal has gone camping with us (many a time), to Maine, and most recently to England.

Now I freely admit my entries are sometimes lacking but between the both of us we usually get the trip covered. Initially it was really interesting to see things through the other person's eyes. D would see something I would not or I would remember something he did not. It is one of the ways we keep our memories.

So I invite you to journey back in time with me, to see London through the eyes of a small town South Dakota girl living out a dream. Thank You D for making the dream come true. When can we go again?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm a selfish knitter

There I've said it, I feel so much better. When people find out you knit there is usually one of two reactions: "Oh?", backing away slightly while looking for an exit door because I might attack them with a horrible sweater that they must wear, or "Oh crap now I have to pretend I care."

We knitters, we're a relatively smart lot. We get that just because we like it you may not like it. It does not mean that we will force you to wear a scarf that only a third grader on crack would appreciate. We might be artsy or crafty but it does not mean that we're looking to give it all away.

I started off knitting a couple of things for others and quickly learned that my time and friends are too valuable to waste disappointing both of us. Most people use the words home made and cheap interchangeably. If you make it yourself it must be because it is cheaper. I can not tell you how many times people have smiled at me and said why do you make socks is it cheaper? NO, it is not cheaper, only about a gazillion times better. I pay for my socks what some people pay for dinner out on the town. It is not cheap but way more entertaining. I spend a lot of time with my socks before I even get to wear them.

Yep, that is what I call a gratuitous socks shot. What store could I go and buy socks that actually fit my little 2X4 wooden block shaped feet? I knit because I love it. I can create something that fits, is warm and the color I like. You think I am going to go out of my way to knit you something you don't like when I know what to make for me? I don't think so.

First thing my husband asked for was a sweater, I told him no! He did not own a sweater and I don't think I've ever seen him in a sweater. Why would I spend all that time and effort on something that would sit in his closet? Well as you can tell he has proved himself sweater worthy. Once I proved to myself I could make a sweater that did not look homemade, I knit one for him. He wears it, he likes it and he tells me so. That is how you earn another sweater in my house.

I received a stellar compliment from a non-knitter last weekend. While attending a friendly get together, one of D's bike buddies asked me what I had made recently. I was wearing this sweater.

Disregard blanket background, please. So I said I made this sweater. His reply was "You did not!" I did my standard twirl and said yes I did. He even came back to the topic later and said he would have never known, it looked store bought. It was a big compliment for me.

That is why I'm a selfish knitter, I know what I like and I knit what I want. D, you're my other half so I knit for you too. Hope you still like it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I ran into my first what the heck is wrong with me and this pattern? After 15 minutes of me making frustrated noises D says "Maybe the pattern is wrong. " Which would be a brilliant solution if I was not knitting from the corrected pattern at that moment. I'm knitting Selbu mittens from Folk Mittens.

I knit the left mitten up where I will start the decreases to close the mitten, then I froze. I read the directions that stated something about doing a "flat" decrease. What am I to do? Should I go buy a can of soda and leave it open around the mitten while I knit decreases?

So I start to worry and fret for a bit and a voice says, put this one on hold and start the second mitten. That way when you figure it out you can do both together. Brilliant! That way I will not forget what I did in the process of knitting the second one.

I cast on the second mitten yesterday I merrily knit the single colored cuff up. I start the color part and get a round in and the color changes for the last stitches don't work. I count, yep right number of stitches. I look at how it is set up and see I've moved the start of the knitting by one stitch. I rip back to the cuff. (I'm not totally stupid just inexperienced.) I move the stitches to proper needles and start again with the colorwork.

Again the last few stitches don't work out. I go a couple of rounds to see if magically it will all be correct. It was not. Sigh. So I do what I think is best and put the knitting away for the night. Nothing like a little "Time Out" to show your knitting who the boss is.

Yep, you guessed it, it is still not working. I ripped back tonight and restarted the two color part. Same results. So here is my plan, I'm mentally moving over a stitch in the palm color work section. If I know what I need, why not make it work? Anybody else see a massive knitting related cursing session coming? Don't worry I will try to keep it down, and use less offensive words like SUGAR and FIDDLESTICKS. But I am not promising anything.

When I finally finish these mittens, how long will it take D to pry them off my hands? I think I will want to wear them all the time everywhere. Friends do not let friends wear wool knit wear in June (unless they live in the southern hemisphere).

You ask about D's sweater? How it that coming? Will it be ready for Christmas? I don't know either. I better have it done before January 1 2010 or else he is liable to throw me out in the snow and keep a half finished sweater. Oh we got snow! Snow, snow, fabulous snow.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

At the bottom of a very long hill

Last week was a tough one for me. I'm a person that can handle a lot of down time. Conversely I can not handle a lot of up time. I blame my anti-social genes.

Tuesday night was a dentist visit. Wednesday was supposed to be choir practice. Thursday the house and I had a date with Mr Rooter. Friday was our company Christmas party. Saturday afternoon was spent with some friends distracting a pregnant lady. Saturday night was spent with friends I've not seen in quite a while. Sunday was to be choir at the early service and a meeting after.

Poor choir got dropped like a hot potato in that schedule. Turns out I needed to convert it into sanity time for me.

I like to feel wanted as a friend but this week was a bit much. Even the cats thought so and put me down for a nap this afternoon.

On the plus side I found a new handbag. It was even on sale! I'm still adjusting to it. Takes me a while to work with new items. As you can tell I don't do "change" very well. I don't like to think of it as a rut just that I have very well established patterns and methods.

Well what is new in my knitting world? Nothing. D's sweater is still moving along even though I hit a few bumps and had to rework the start of the bottom ribbing 4 times. They are not ruts I tell you just extremely well established patterns and methods.

I also yanked back the sock and restarted it twice. I think I have figured out what I would like to do now and expect to move along on that front too.

My poor mittens have stayed in the bag for far too long now they have not seen the light of day since Thanksgiving. I'm at the point of starting the fingertip decreases and I need to concentrate on getting that right. No time to concentrate I'm a busy bee.

The sad thing is I've not even started my Christmas shopping. Man my whole schedule is shot. Maybe I should just knit more that should make it all better?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What a Squirrel and Moose do on Turkey Day

I love my husband, you know how I know? I was up and dressed at 7 am on Thanksgiving Day and I did not have to cook this year. We did our first turkey trot this year. By we I mean of course he ran it and I "supported" him.

I blame #823. He introduced D into the joys and agonies of running. Well I'm not sure if that is a true statement maybe he did not introduce him but he sure as heck is enabling him. #823 is super cool because he gives really good advice about things that D is becoming interested in, biking and running. When D said he was trying out a couch to 5K program, 823 said you should try a turkey trot that is a 5K. When D sprained his ankle he said worst case scenario you could walk it. 823 is an evil genius that way.

This is them walking to the start line. There was much discussion about if they would run together or separately. They choose separately which I think took all the pressure off both of them. D could run at his wounded beginners speed and 823 could run at his normal speed of Mach 2. OK I exaggerate, it is only Mach 1.

You can not really see it here but that is the whole street, under the green lights, full of people running in a turkey trot. That is a lot of trotters.

I did not get pictures of 823 finishing the race because I blinked and he was standing beside us. Dude is seriously fast.

I love it when I finally see him coming in at an event like this. Makes me all gushy in the knees and proud. My man has some seriously sculpted legs. I think I might be falling for my man in tights.
Do you see it that look of satisfaction? Yeah I see it too, I think I'm a runners wife.

I know I'm a knitter. My Selbu mitten is coming along very nicely. I did not have time to knit at the trot but I worked on it later in the day and am up to where I start the decreases for the finish. I am so excited to be able to do color work. I am totally in love with this mitten.

I will leave you with the funny story of the day. Mrs 823 and I walked down to Starbucks to get a Chai tea before the trot. Yep, Starbucks was open. When we walked in the door the guy behind the counter yells out to us "I love You, You get Free Coffee!" Now I'm thinking to myself 1) I'm feeling pretty good about you too right now mister and 2) they must have been bored and were betting on whether or not certain people would come in. Nope I was wrong on both counts. I was wearing the Iowa Hawk-eye sweatshirt that D's brother had given me for Christmas one year. The dude behind the counter was from Iowa, he was so happy to see something that reminded him of home that we got free chais. Mrs 823 kept thinking the cops were coming for us because we did not pay. I could not figure out why this would worry her so much till I realized she does not get the whole "midwest" thing. We midwesterners will give each other free stuff just so we can talk about home. We look at license plates and smile when we see one from home. I've even had conversations with random people that have Mt Rushmore T shirts on. Home will always be home to a midwesterner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I'm so cute

I'm burning up the yardage on D's sweater. At this rate I will be done with it before Christmas! Which is funny because I've thought that all along. I finally placed his Christmas present order today. For me, I'm totally behind on my Christmas shopping. I have to send gifts back to South Dakota since both sides of the family live there. So I tend to get my out of state shopping done early, then I have a mad rush for the local shopping a couple of days before.

Oh back to the sweater, I'm almost done with the body then I go back and knit each sleeve and the collar. I figure a week per sleeve and a day or so for the collar. I took the sweater for a little outing today. It came to the dentist with me, so I could knit while I wait, for you all know I'm a bad waiter. So I'm knitting along and they come into the room and ask 'Are you knitting? That's so cute.' Yep I got called cute by a guy I'm pretty sure is younger than me. Note to self don't argue with the guy that has access to power tools and your teeth at the same time.

I am sad to report that I frogged my sock that I was half-heartedly working on. But really it was not a sock yet in my mind. I was really doing a sock shaped swatch to see how the yarn colors melded with the cable pattern I want to do. I tried a couple of things with the cable section that I would not have been able to reproduce on the second sock, so she is back in the planning process. Ultimately she will be better, faster and stronger, or just more pretty.

The Christmas lights are going up in my neighborhood, how about yours? I have a confession I don't get the people that put up lights and a spotlight. Don't they just negate one another?

Well my brain is fried so I think I will listen to Gus and "COME TO BED NOW". Cats what are you going to do?