Sunday, February 28, 2010

I got Gold!

My Selbu mittens are finished, washed, blocked and now drying.

The backs, that the public will see most of the time. I think that is called a Norwegian Flower.

The palm side with the Norwegian flower on the thumb.

I'm looking forward to making more of this style of mitten. I received a few books at Christmas so I should be able to mix it up a bit. D keeps laughing about the fact that they are so pointy. "Just like Cowboy boots." They fit well and seem very thick and warm. Now I will just have to test them out on a walk around the neighborhood. When they're dry of course. I'm not sure they will be dry by Monday with all that yarn in them.

As thrilled with them as I am. I'm already looking forward to starting other projects. It is such a relief to have a successful project. It is a great high going into your next one with great feelings.

Oh did you hear that? My sweater swatch just called to me to measure it so I can cast on for a new sweater. Yes dear I'm coming, just let me get the tape measure.

Friday, February 26, 2010

My mittens have thumbs!

Yes my friends my mittens are finished with their knitting and sewing in of loose threads! Now all I need to do is wash them, let them dry and produce photographic evidence to you of how they turned out.

I told the ladies I work with that the mittens will make their debut on Monday. I also told them to lie to me if they are ugly. Tell me they're the most beautiful mittens you've ever seen. I don't think they will have to lie but I wanted all my bases covered. My knitting ego is very fragile.

D tried to hum the Olympic theme music to me but he misfired and had to really concentrate to get it back.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Three Things

I've been listening to a audio book for a while now in my car. Turns out those things take a while when your commute is about a half hour, round trip. It is the fourth book in a series. I hate it! I have vowed today to never read another book in this series. Which if you know me, you know that is a 50/50 chance of happening.

I've been trying to analyze what bothers me so much about this book as opposed to the first three. I will say I thought I enjoyed the first three, but this one may have killed that for me.

First identifiable issue: the characters have not grown at all. They're still complaining about the same things as the first book. They're making the same stupid decisions and mistakes as they made in the first book. Now it seems I've had enough of the "let's run away so they can easily kidnap us" thought process.

Second identifiable issue: I don't want to be in the situation I'm in regardless of how bad I wanted this situation 4 pages ago. Does not matter if I'm rich, I want to be poor. I'm a independent working person, I want to be a lady of leisure. I want to be on my own, You come get me out of this mess I've created for myself. Indecision drives me crazy! D stop laughing at me!

Third issue: I love him, I don't love him, does love me? I am a firm believer in LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH. Half of happiness comes from choosing to be happy. If that is your mate stop looking at others! Grass is always greener on the other side, especially when you just left that grass. Put your blinders on and chew on the cud in front of you.

So there are the 3 major reasons why I will not be getting the next book in the series. I'm sure there are more reasons but that third issue took all the thunder out of me. I really hate it when people are married and still looking for their soulmate. I just don't get it, obviously.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One thumb down one to go

I have a beautiful, wonderful mitten. I also have another beautiful, wonderful mitten that still needs a thumb. Last night I finished the thumb on the left mitten. It fits and looks good!

I'm sure it is not up to perfection standards but it sure as heck blows first attempt standards out of the water. Yes I am feeling very proud, thank you for noticing.

I don't have pictures but when I do man watch out. I really like that they are so pointy as they should be. Who knew I liked pointy mittens? I should have suspected because I like pointy boots so much, I just can't make my little 2X4 feet look normal in them. My hands encased in woolly pointedness look fabulous.

We had a huge snow storm come through and man did I want my mittens! Next time snow I will be prepared.

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Olympic Knitting

Ok I admit it I could not hack staying up late enough of cast on my project when the Olympic flame was lit. I went to bed, and I'm glad I did. So I cast on the next morning February 13th instead.

I did remember to take a picture later that day.

I've been working on them since then. I've been fighting my natural tight knitter instincts and have learned to stretch the fabric every 4 stitches or so, which should help keep the fabric from puckering up. (like dis)

The mittens and I decided today would be a good day for a picture field trip, or yard trip as our case was. They got a bit of snow and a bit of the late afternoon sun too.

The mitten on the left I had not worked with yet Olympic wise. I'd started the decreases to form the pointy top on the right mitten.

I finished the tips of both mittens tonight. I must remember to turn them inside out and take some pictures as the inside is as cool looking as the outside. So now all they need are thumbs. I hope I will be able to make it but this seems like the truly delicate color work starts now.

Happy knitting

Friday, February 19, 2010

Life Lessons from Pooh

Sadly no, I don't mean the Pooh the bear. I will warn you up front that this post contains language that I try to avoid but it is needed for a direct quote.

First Lesson:
Picture it; yesterday I'm standing in line to pick up our lunch order at a local deli/bistro/whatever you want to call it. This couple is waiting in line behind me are talking about people they worked with. I've got to tell you that from the moment I heard the guy's voice I was not impressed with him. Do you ever feel the same? Right off the bat someone does something minor that just sets your teeth on edge? For some reason you don't like the person and you really can't say why.

I think part of the reason was that they both complained the whole conversation. She brought up how the boss' new phrase was "Stay Positive". A noble thought but maybe one that you can not continually live up to. Any time she went to him with a concern, problem or simple frustration vent he would say "Stay Positive". This lead to a discussion about how this made the boss an A-hole. Clearly defined as an A-hole not a just a jerk. A-hole, yeah I get it you do not like your boss and the way he is treating you.

Then the guy drops this little nugget of pooh wisdom. "You can't walk around everyday shitting rainbows." I almost fell over with the effort it required so not laugh out loud! So who do you think was standing behind me Aristotle or Socrates?

Second Lesson:
This one is older so I don't remember who coined it. I do thank the Hubby for bringing this one home from work. I think he was frustrated with what someone wanted him to do at work. I think they were asking him to put in hours of free labor on something that he knew would ultimately fail. The quote from the wise co-worker was "You can't polish a turd"!

People, I give you words to live by. Your Welcome

Monday, February 15, 2010

I am still here.

I am proud to say that I spent part of Valentine's Day watching my Hubby compete in a timed triathlon at the local YMCA. A timed triathlon is where you try to go as far as you can in a certain amount of time in each event. It was 15 minutes each for a swim, stationary bike ride and run. I wish that I could tell you how far he went in each but unfortunately he told me while I was making dinner and I did not suck the info very far into my memory. Darn you attention sapping Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili.

It seems that being a spectator is much harder than competing in our house as I was the one that needed a quick nap later. Yeah, I can not even blame my cheering activity, since I really don't cheer that much. I am a bad wife but a good cook.

My Olympic knitting is running along smoothly. I don't seem to have any snags yet. I keep telling myself it is because I'm doing the same pattern portion for the 5th time. I keep stopping myself and stretching the knitting so it does not get too tight and pucker. (Did anyone else hear the little crap from "The Little Mermaid" say "You gotta pucker up your lips, like dis"?)

I think the mitten looks good so far and that is all that matters. Man I hope they fit me, I want to keep this project. More to come later.

I meant to say little crab from "The Little Mermaid" not little crap, although I assume crabs have little craps since they're so small. Well at least I hope the do, for their sake.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am in!

I relearned how to knit in September 2006. I had learned as a child but somehow it never "took" with me at that time. I remember thinking it was fun but not being disappointed when it left. In the mean time I took up counted cross stitch as my hobby of choice. After completing several large pictures and having them framed and hung on all the walls, I became more receptive to another hobby. What can I say we were running out of wall space.

I accepted an invitation from a friend to come to a knitting group. Luckily it was the right knitting group for me. I was hooked. Since I did not really understand that much about knitting I started to go to the internet and books to figure things out. I found blogs and podcasts that I still love now. The first blog I found was the Yarn Harlot, and I went back and read old posts of hers.

I was so disappointed when I found I had missed the first ever Knitting Olympics. The concept is you cast on a project during the opening ceremonies and must be finished with the project by the time the olympic flame is extinguished. The really cool part is you decide what your project is. It should match your skill level at the time, not too hard, not too easy. It should be a challenge but not try to kill you. I fell in love with the idea. (Mom always said I was in love with being in love.) I was so bummed that I did not know about this when it went on. I was not even a knitter back then. (Perish that thought)

I made a promise that the next time the knitting olympics happened I would do it. Since the Yarn Harlot did not do the summer olympics I did not do them. Or at least that is the reason I gave at that time. As the Yarn Harlot points out knitting is more of a winter sport. I'm not saying you can't knit in the summer I'm just saying that it makes more sense to me to knit in the winter. Blankets, kitties on laps, it is just a whole other level of comfort I'm talking about.

So I tell you all that to announce this: I am a participant in the 2010 Knitting Olympics!!!!

I don't know if my project is technically eligible for olympic status but it fits the challenge portion. If it does not fit the letter of the law, it fits the spirt of the law.

My Selbu mittens have been challenging me from the start. I have restarted the right one 4 times now. Ironically it is the one on the left in the picture below.

The astute knitters among you may be able to tell why that mitten will be ripped out and re-cast on tomorrow night. I was knitting along worrying about whether the stranding is too tight and will make the mitten pucker in places when I noticed something is missing. That little bit of white yarn halfway up the mitten on the right is where the thumb will go. I forgot to put that in on the other mitten. Craptastic!

This mitten has been pushing all my buttons like a 4 year old in need of a nap time. So it goes into yarn stage again tonight and we start all over on it as my Olympic challenge. All those other times were training. Now we get serious, now we go for the GOLD! You and me mitten we will be whole and glorious in 18 days or one of us will be in little pieces on the floor. I'm not saying which of us but I know where the scissors are and have the opposable thumbs to use them.

Oh yeah, my team (of one) name. Sheep Junk! Go team Sheep Junk!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm on a roll

Finished sweater with a picture to boot. Hubby is wearing if for the second time this week. Funny thing about knit items once you finally finish them they're the only thing you want to wear, even if you did not knit it. Hubby seems pretty happy about it. I think this is the same color as my car. Hmm.

I even started a new sock for him too. I think my plan to cover him in wooly goodness is moving along nicely. See the more finished items he sees the less he will notice new yarn walking in the front door with me.

What do you mean he reads this blog and is on to my plan? Well that is poor planning on my part. A distraction I need a Hubby distraction.....

Look Honey, Scones you like scones.

Note to anyone who reads this, pineapple scones are not as good as you hope they will be. Not bad just not as good as cherry scones. Next week we will try plain old apple scones. I will let you know how we feel about those. Tomorrow we will return to a proven scone taste, either blueberry or cranberry. I'm only up for experimentation one day of the week if it turns out an "meehh" product.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I blame my sister

Well it had to be somebody and I've already blamed the Hubby before. Ok not for this but for something.

When I was home for Christmas my sister and I started talking books. She loves Robert B Parker. He does a couple of characters but the one I remember from TV is Spenser. Spenser for Hire was a show that I now remember little of, except for the fact that I liked it.

So when we got home I thought what the heck I will give him a try, but I did not go to the library. Then I read the author had passed away suddenly and thought how sad I will read one of his books out of respect for his passing.

When you find an author who is advanced in their career, in what order do you read the books? Do you go back and start where they started and read them in chronological order? Or do you pick the most recognizable title? Or do you just pick one at random.

I went through the same thing when I started reading Agatha Christie. I choose books based on what audio books the library had available. I picked at random, mostly. Once I researched the order in which they were written, I've been trying to stick to that. I don't really know why I do it that way, most of her books are not dependent on the previous books. Well that is not true, some of the books reference previous cases for the detectives. Since she is no longer a contemporary author it is not like I will be confused or missing out on current events story lines.

With Robert B Parker it is a different story, so to speak. He was a contemporary author. I'm not experienced with him enough to know if it is important to read them in the order they were written.

I did end up doing a combo book choice method. I picked the oldest audio title they had available, back story. It is very different from what I usually listen to, but I really like it.

Now I am faced with a different dilemma. Finding a great author later in their career is a double edged sword. Because you have access to so many it is easy to go into author hangover. You know like when you open a big bottle of wine. You think to yourself I'll just have a glass, then boom you've had the whole bottle and the world looks so lovely. But then the next day you don't remember anything specific about the night before except you think you enjoyed it.

New author overload works the same way you read a story and like it so you naturally move on to the next story and the next and the next. Then you start to realize you don't really remember anything about a specific book. You remember that you liked it but not why.

I think it is better to consume both wine and new found authors slowly. Savor them and enjoy them.