Sunday, September 30, 2007

Eye Candy for Fall

I love the Bay Area. Always something to do, great yarn stores, just wish it were not 3 hours away. This weekend the three Musketeers (Carey, Nolamom and I) went up to see a quilt show in Livermore and the TKGA yarn show in Oakland.

The Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore was decked out for fall. I love the pumpkins and fall flowers. Aren't they great?

The yarn show in Oakland is much smaller than Stitches, but this year it seemed even smaller than before. We took our time, but were done looking in the market after an hour and a half. I was happy to see Terilyn Needlecraft there, I got some of their laceweight yarn at Stitches at the Bay Area Knit Coop booth at Stitches, and that was what I used to make the Mystery Stole. This time I got some pretty green silk/wool that I am leaning toward using to maybe make the Forest Path Stole. I also got some silk laceweight at another booth that was incredible. Lace seemed to be the yarn of the day.

Since we were done early, we made a detour to Bake Sale Betty's (fab bakery and Betty has very interesting electric blue hair) and Article Pract. I was just there not too long ago, but managed to see some nice stuff. I really like their selection. It is probably a good idea that I don't live closer. I did manage to restrain myself pretty well.

Now all I have to decide is what to start first. I am working on another pair of plain socks ("sock"-er practice socks) and have a Twisted Flower to finish, but I'm ready to start a big lace project. Or mittens. Or a blanket. Decisions Decisions.

Doesn't Maurice look like he's guest hosting Blue's Clues?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

September Socks for School

I'm taking a complicated sock break. I'm actually cheating, since I need to finish a pair of socks in September and the Twisted Flower socks take so long I may be in danger of not finishing in time. I decided to finish up the pair of plain Koigu socks I started when I went to the Teacher retreat in August.

There is something very satisfying about plain stockinette after a run with lace and cables. Interestingly, I feel the same in reverse. I guess I crave variety.

These socks are on their way to be a silent auction item for Emily's high school auction fundraiser. Being low in self esteem, I'm terrified no one will bid on them. Not everyone understands the joy of the handknit socks from handdyed merino. Maybe I can pay Lisa or Tracy to bid on them just to save my ego. Don't you love friends?

In other news, today was the red-letter day for registering for next year's Stitches West. I was poised at the laptop at 7 am this morning and of course couldn't get through on the internet so was reduced to phoning them over and over until I finally got through at 7:26 on the cell phone on the way to school (my co-pilot Alex did the dialing). I signed up for classes from Cat Bordhi, Candace Eisner Strick, Melissa Leapman, and Lucy Neatby. Two full days of sock knitting classes, plus a half day of knitting backwards (totally cool) and a half day of knitted borders. Plus a ticket to see Vickie Howell. Plus, I got in at the good hotel this time. Total knitting heaven. I wish it were February now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Patience is a gift from God, so is a sock to knit

Does knitting make you a more patient person? I have read all the mystical spiritual things about knitting and agree with them for the most part. When I am knitting I am happy (unless I have messed up, then I may be uttering less than happy sounds) and even thinking about yarn or my next project can transport me into a better "place." Yes, I don't count sheep, I count balls of yarn. Close enough.

Anyway, I like to always have knitting with me when I have to wait. I seek out car trips (and hate to have to be the driver) and don't mind waiting for the kids as they are shuffled about town during their activities. I am very proud of the fact I have something productive to do, no idle hands, yada yada.

However, I have noticed that when something dreadful happens like I finish my project at hand and I have nothing to do, I am more impatient than ever. To the point of wanting to strangle the person responsible for making me waste my valuable time THAT I COULD BE KNITTING. Yes, I know it is my own fault for not packing two projects with me at any given moment, however I usually shove my sock du jour in my purse and heaven help me if I try to cram even more than that in the abyss of my handbag.

Anyway, today I was waiting at the doctor's office and worked on the toe of the Twisted Flower sock. Then I got sent to the lab and got down to the final stitches, and since I didn't have my kitchener cheat sheet and needle with me, I had nothing more to knit. I looked around at the other 7 or 8 people in the room all doing absolutely nothing but staring at the ceiling and waiting and I wanted to say "People, where is your knitting?! I know my problem, but how can you just be wasting your lives away like that?"

Maybe they were praying. Maybe they noticed the woman who finished her purple sock and was sitting with them with a crazed look in her eye. Or maybe they were counting balls of yarn in their mind's eye. I'll never know.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Has it been a week already?

I'm sorry for the lack of blog entries. I'm swamped. No excuse I know, but something has had to give, and I'm not keeping my head above water very well. Love the job, but I am a busy mama!
In my spare moments (uh huh) I have been trying my best to make progress on the Twisted Flower socks. I have thrown in the towel for making the fair deadline with them. The Waving Lace socks will have to substitute. I have made progress on the TF sock, but it is slow going with the cables and twisted stitches. My new revised goal is end of September.
I did block the Mystery Stole, and persuaded Tracy to be my model. I am pleased with the results, although I probably wouldn't have made this pattern if I would have known about the asymmetrical part. I love the wing, and wish I had matching wings at each end. Ah, such is the chance the mystery presents. Oh well. I did learn a few things, and this is by far the biggest lace I have attempted. I now feel pretty confident with lace, and will come back to it again soon.

Tracy was a sport for posing. I tried to crop out as many body parts as possible, but I think she makes a fine stole model. I'll use her again. (She needs an agent to negotiate a better price next time).

Stamping humor

OK, Tracy asked for stamping humor. Here goes:

At the end of a very long life, a dedicated stamper and scrapbooker passed away.

She awakens to find a glorious craft room filled with every imaginable scrapbooking item: Papers of every color, texture and design, the latest in gadgets to make the most attractive pages ever. She finds eyelets, punches, stickers and ribbons in every color. She finds templates and scissors and ink pens of every color. The best part is it is all organized and labeled! Her work area is pristine, just waiting for her to create cards and scrapbooks for the rest of eternity!

She says to herself: Ha! See, it didn't matter that I wasn't always the most nice person and that I didn't do anything for anyone else but me! It didn't matter that I never set foot in a church and that I cheated on my taxes! Ha!

And then she realizes.... there's no adhesive.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Knitting humor

Here's a joke for you. (An old standard, but a good one.)

A highway patrolman pulled alongside a speeding car on the freeway. Glancing at the car, he was astounded to see that the blonde behind the wheel was knitting! Realizing that she was oblivious to his flashing lights and siren, the trooper cranked down his window, turned on his bullhorn and yelled, "PULL OVER!" "NO!" the blonde yelled back, "SCARF!"

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sock in Progress

I finally got going on the sock.

I'm using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Blackberry, which corresponds nicely to the Project Spectrum colors I'm supposed to be using. I finally got with the program, yes I did!

I'm knitting the Twisted Flower sock by Cookie A., my favorite sock designer ever. This is not a speedy sock. This represents my work for the day. I have a deadline of Friday, September 14 for this sock, since fair entries are due that day. I need the knitting fairy to add some speed to the needles. I'm back to magic looping these, and I noticed that my Knitpicks Options circular #1's are not straight anymore. I know I tend to bend the wooden dpn's, but I didn't realize I was so forceful on the metal needles.

I have very little else on the needles right now, except for the few hibernating projects that I am getting close to forgetting altogether. I still need to block my mystery stole (yes it is done!!) but I'm saving that for tomorrow morning. I am wishing I had bought those blocking wires I saw at Imagiknit.

Tuesday I start teaching Arts and Crafts as an elective to the junior high. I will have around 10 kids, not all girls, so I am trying to come up with some non-sexist crafts projects for the young teen crowd. I think friendship bracelets will be a good starting place. I had actually never done the weaving kind, and it is kind of fun. I'll go to the store tomorrow and buy some appropriate beads and then will try the macrame kind. From there the class will move into paper art, with a few stolen projects from Good Things, like the paper bag book, and maybe the Altoid tin card in a box thing. That will give me a good excuse to buy and eat several tins of chocolate altoids. Yummy, however, rather dangerous eating in this weather.