Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I Can't Stop!

I'm still at it--sock knitting that is. All that Christmas sock knitting wasn't enough. Now I'm down to the toe on the first lime waffle sock (Koolaid dyed by friend Kris). Also, another pair of black man-socks. Click on the photo and look at the cool teal I knit into the ribbing. I had to do that to keep it from being so boring, and it is little enough. I used a teal/black varigated yarn to perk up the top of the socks. I mentioned to DH that I could also do the heel and toe in the varigated. He nixed the idea as being not masculine enough. Phooey! Men are so touchy about their socks--as if the top, heel or toe shows at all. He said, "What if I'm wearing them when I change from my golf shoes into my regular shoes in the locker room?" I told him that all the other men would probably stand up and applaud.

Christmas was wonderful, and the week between this year and that year is so far quiet and calm. Only one client meeting planned, and the rest is knitting/play time. I need all the rest I can get during this one week sandwiched between Christmas preparations, and the year-end reports due in the first month of the new year. But we come to the new year with a load of good vibes from a Christmas that was truly memorable. The grandchildren were all happy; we spent time with old friends; we ate the best of foods and didn't care about calories, and we finished everything off with a nice long nap. That's the best of the best. Hope yours was the same!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Partridge On The Needles

You know how the Partridge In The Peartree is the last thing in the song? Well, I've got a partridge on my needles--one of those oops, last-minute gifts I didn't expect to have to knit. My firefighter son asked me on Sunday (three days ago!) if I could knit him a thick, wooly pair of black socks to wear with his boots. Of course, they had to be black so I had to go buy the yarn on Sunday afternoon. But I decided to knit a little grey into the ribbing where no one would see it, but it would give them some character. I finished one sock last night, and now here it is Wednesday before Christmas and I have finished the ribbing and am starting on the leg of the second sock. I just might finish it if my accounting clients stop wanting end-of-year stuff. I say let's stop everything but knitting right now and catch up the rest of it after the first of the year!

I really didn't expect to be knitting anything else until after Christmas. I have gift wrapping to do, and baking to do, and Christmas plays to see, and visions of sugarplums to contemplate. Here's the thing...when a son asks for a special knitted gift, you stay up nights to finish it . It's so special and wonderful that one of my guys actually would cherish, and take pleasure in something that I made for him--you just don't say no to that. My greatest concern is that I will have to give him the second sock with needles in the toe. I swear I'll sit there Christmas morning and finish it while I watch everyone open gifts! It makes me realize that the reason we knit is to make ourselves happy by making others happy. Isn't that the essence of Christmas giving? Life is truly good!

Merry Christmas to each and every one of you, and as always, happy knitting.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hoorah! It's Finished....

Lest there be any doubt that I really knitted 12 bags, here are seven of them. Number 8 is blocking, and 9, 10, 11 and 12 have been mailed to Chicago. Yes, I did cheat by making the bodies of the bags on my Bond knitting machine, but seaming, handles, and felting were all done by hand. The Bond really helps with straight knitting. I've never played much with intarsia or lots of hand minipulation on the machine. I like hand knitting too much to jump into nothing but machine knitting. It is a means to an end--large quanties done fast!

I am so pleased with the things I have finished for Christmas.
* all the bags (12)
* son's heavy "snow trudging" socks
* itty-bitty sock earrings
* Gryffindor scarf/tie
* Snow Angel socks
* black fingerless man-mitts.
It makes me happy to share a bit of myself with my family and friends. If I had it all to do over, and had the time, I would do only one thing differently. I would knit the Griffindor scarf ( shown above) in the round, if that's possible. I'm going to have to investigate that possibility with Alison Hansel, whose pattern I used. The back of the flat scarf isn't as neat as I would like it, but it's still pretty and soooo fashionable!

It's not over yet. I still have shopping to do for stocking stuffers and special requests. But, I am closer than I have been since October, to being finished. Now I can sit back, eat too much chocolate and too many cookies, and wait for the big day. Wonder what Santa is bringing me?

Monday, December 12, 2005

And On, And On, And....

Son's socks are done, and the last gift scarf is about 12" from being finished. The itty-bitty earrings for DD are done--just have to put them on earring wires, and the last bag is being felted. What am I going to knit now? That's what a friend asked me today. I suddenly became tongue-tied. For a few seconds I really couldn't think of what I would knit now that Christmas knitting is almost done. I thought, "maybe that's it for me...the last hurrah, the final knit bit, the exit FO." Then it hit me, I have one lime green sock done and another cast-on, there is the sweater that will be a shawl if I listen to its pleadings, and there is the whirly-curly scarf that has been on the needles for what seems like forever. Yes indeed, there is plenty to knit after this! Boy am I relieved! My whole life passed before my eyes.

Have you ever thought about what you would do it you didn't knit? I really don't know what I would do. No, not crochet! Needlepoint maybe. Read definitely. But life certainly wouldn't be the same! How could I ever watch TV again? What would I do for socks? Buy them? Surely not! And most of all, what would I do with all that yarn. Yeah, that's it--it's the yarn that keeps me knitting, and if I'm going to keep knitting until I run out of yarn, I'm going to live a v-e-r-y long time! And that's okay with me.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

What Was I Thinking?

At least I can post a picture of the Snow Angel socks, because they are for a long-time friend who does not read my blog. In fact, she claims to be blogging illiterate. Once again, if you click on the pic you will see the snow sparkle. Now, isn’t that pretty?

So, that makes ten bags, three pairs of socks, two scarves, and a pair of itty-bitty sock earrings. I started in October and still it’s going to be close. I still have to finish one scarf, one pair of men’s fingerless mitts, and one more bag—an add-on for the same old friend getting the above socks. Then there is all the in-store/mall shopping for grandchildren to do, and a whole bunch of cooking. I said Santa was tired. Well now he has gone out for a drink and I don’t know if he’s coming back!

I know why we do this to ourselves! We love it! It’s fun and it produces memories that last all year. I still remember things from last Christmas. I won’t try, however, to duplicate them because this year will have its own outstanding memories that will stand alone—without parallel and without need to duplicate.

Well, I have to go. The phone is ringing. It’s probably Santa, and he wants more money. If I find out where he is—I’m there!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Feeling Photo Deprived?

Pictures are sadly lacking on this blog right now. If I post pics of all the things I'm knitting, my family readers will know what I'm knitting for Christmas. They have already started talking among themselves, "I know she is knitting that for me," "No, no, she is knitting that for me. The----is for you." Note to family: you better be good or Santa will sleep through Christmas. Santa is feeling really tired right now!

Why is it that life goes into fast forward during the last month of the year. I know it is a busy time by nature of the short time between Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. But sometimes it seems like work, preparations, shopping, parties, and closing EOY as we say in accounting jargon, all goes into overdrive. Well, my overdrive is kaput and my "get up and go" has "got up and went." A few days ago I said to DD, who was sprawled on my couch at the time, that I was feeling my age. She stared at me for a moment and said, "then I'm older than you." I think she meant that she is also feeling tired right now, but I decided to take it as a declaration of my youthful appearance.

Well, responsibilities, obligations and priorities aside, I have decided to not let it all make me enjoy the season less! This is a time to remember all the wonderful blessings that have been given to me--a time to thank God for a year, like many others, of beauty and light, of family love and support in all my endeavors. Busy or not, life is good.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Bird Is Dead

Yes, the turkey is well and truly done--stick-a-fork-in-it done. Also its bones chewed on a bit! We had a marvelous dinner (it's always better when you don't have to cook it). DS did an outstanding job of cooking as usual, and topped it off by having an elegant "sit-down" for all eleven of us--a real accomplishment! Now, as I write I am reminded that I STILL have not had the nap required by all turkey eaters. Yawn....

If you are wondering about the picture above, it is Tah-Dah! the size #0, #1, and #2 Comfort Zone double pointed needles. This is what they look like without the color added, and I just got my hands on them yesterday for testing. I have been promised some of these little babies with color on Monday. I will be adding them to the Knitting-On-The-Go website tomorrow, along with the size #7, #8, #9, #10, and #10 1/2, also new to the CZ line-up. In all my years of knitting I have not been as happy with knitting needles as I am with the Comfort Zone needles. They have kept my hands from cramping during hours of knitting, and the residual hand aches and pains, that once were a constant annoyance, are gone! Don't know what I would do without them--especially since I am addicted to sock knitting. If you are interested in adding to your dpn collection, or just trying the best of the best in double pointed needles, you can reply here, email me at knittykat@sbcglobal.net, or go the the website link on the left to order. I am told that Comfort Zone Circulars are next!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

It's A Done Deal

We finally bought a car--a Chevrolet Malibu Maxx SS. It's a fun car to drive with good pick-up, great breaking, all around airbags and curtains, and lots of goodies we hadn't even thought about. Best of all, the ride is so smooth that I can knit without being jostled about.

So glad that's over and I can get on to more important things like knitting, and Thanksgiving! I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. Ours is not going to be on Thursday. We have a family of nurses and firefighters who all have to work on Thursday. The rest of the family is in Chicago, and while I wish we could be with them or they with us, I guess it's not going to happen this year. So here is the meeting and eating line-up: Friday we have dinner with SIL's father and his wife, and Saturday our Dallas son is making a gourmet dinner, which he does every few years. What a treat!!!! I don't have to cook at all!!!! (Yes, that deserves three blog's worth of exclamation points!). I plan to sit in front of a roaring fire with feet up and knit--in between helping in the kitchen, and helping to serve and clean up. Some things never change.

You all know that it's not about the food. It's all about family. Although the food becomes about family very quickly. I was telling a friend today that my Mother always made fruitcakes for Christmas. She would make them in early November, wrap them and pour whiskey all over them, and let them "steep" until the week before Christmas. We would all joke about the fact that we hated the cake, so we would wring out the whiskey soaked wrappings, drink it and throw away the fruitcake. But the truth of it is that right around this time of year I start craving fruitcake--and I hate the stuff. I guess what I really crave is time with Mother, baking and joking, and waiting with anticipation for Christmas with the family. This time of year life is better than good--life is spectacular!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

And Another Thing

This is something I didn't plan to add to my Christmas gifties, but I will now. I found it stuffed away, 2/3rds done and just begging to be finished and given to someone. I don't even know what the yarn is--maybe Lion Brand Imagine, which I think is a mohair blend. It's really pretty and so warm I would be tempted to keep it if I still lived in Chicago. It makes me feel good to pick up and finish something I started umpteen years ago. I can't even remember why I didn't finish it then. It was probably too warm for Texas and I had socks to knit instead. I think (hope) it will be liked by the person who receives it. Christmas knitting is coming along!

We spent the day driving new cars. We really liked the Ford Five Hundred. That's how it's written on the car, not Ford 500, but FIVE HUNDRED, and for that they charge you a whole bunch more money. It's an SUV pretending to be a sedan--unique and totally plush. Still, it is a lot more than we expected to spend. Then we drove the Ford Escape, sort of a mini-SUV and again, a totally pleasant driving experience. Our son insisted that we try the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx, another mini-SUV with good performance and a five star safety rating. The safety rating is more important to me than to the guys (DH and our two good cop, bad cop negotiating sons). I have a real need to be in an M-1 A-1 Abrams the next time someone comes out of nowhere and involves me in their accident. The bottom line is that it only takes money. Add to that the fact that car salesmen just don't understand "We can't afford that," and it makes car shopping the pits! This too shall pass....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Woe Is Me

It happens to a lot of people...you're driving along, finishing your errands for the weekend, looking forward to curling up on the couch with your knitting. Suddenly, BAM--CRASH!!! That lady in the other Toyota crosses three lanes of fast moving traffic and appears right in front of you. You lock up the brakes, brace for the impact and wait for the slap of the airbag. That was my Saturday morning. How was yours?

My DH did a masterful job of driving, but our poor little Toyota is toast. So, it's off to car shopping we go. I really don't need this right now with all the Christmas knitting I have to do, but at least I can sit in showrooms and the back seat of test cars and knit. Can't you see it now, "How do you like this one dear," he says. "Oh it's nice. The ride is smooth enough for me to knit in the back seat. I'll have to try it in the front." "Do you like the color?" he asks. "Hmmm? Color? Oh, it's okay too." Do you get the picture--that I don't care as long as it will get me to the yarn shop and back? The most important thing that happened this weekend was that we all (the two of us and the people in the other car) walked away from what could have been a really bad accident. New cars can be bought, but not new lives! Life is good!

Speaking of knitting (yes I was!). I'm finishing the "sock savior" socks for a sockless pal, and they are beooootiful. The sixth bag to be felted is coming off the machine tonight (only three more to go), and #2 sock for DS is well underway.

Friday, November 11, 2005

H-M-M-M-M ! ! !

Something on my mind--knitting groups. I have my pet groups, the ones on which I contribute and learn equally. I also enjoy the ones I lurk on, mostly because there is good information and the knitters are generally on target and sometimes even brilliant. Some of them are so good and so real, that to add anything would be only to concur and say "yea, you're great!" The information is good and the ideas stimulating.

THEN, there are the ones that seem to constantly put people down because they don't "stay on subject." The contributors can't seem to say, "it's a nice day" without the moderator saying "stop it, you're not talking about knitting." I've read two today in which the contributor made a statement about her wrists hurting from knitting so much, and another on a sock knitting list group about something other than socks. In both cases, the moderator slapped--so to speak--the writer down for not staying on subject.

I don't know about the rest of you, but knitting is part of my life. It's impossible to talk about knitting without talking about life in general--my family, my dog, the weather (bulky or lace weight?). I would like to see every knitting group share life, which includes knitting, whether it's socks, lace, machine or...just life! Idealistic? I guess so. Impossible to manage? I don't think so. Would I have to start my own group to prove it could work? Can't! Life would get in the way!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

This is the first documented case of Bird Flu in the United States.... (I had to look at that for a few seconds before I realized what I was looking at). This was sent to me this morning and made me laugh so I wanted to share it.

I haven't posted for a week, and the way things are going posts will be scarce between now and Christmas. We all get so busy around the holidays. Why is it that work seems to speed up at the same time? I guess everyone wants to get everything cleared up before the end of the year. So I have been working and knitting, then knitting and working, then knitting some more. I am making progress though, and I am starting to think of the things I will knit after the holidays.

I was asked to knit socks for a sock pal who didn't get socks. I am so excited--and making great progress! I am turning the heel on the first sock and hope to finish both socks by next Wednesday. I won't tell what they look like now, but will post a picture when they are finished and mailed to the giftee.

All in all, I guess things are going okay, and any time you can say that--well, life is good!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Snow In Texas

Click on the pic to enlarge it and you will see the sparkles. It looks like freshly fallen snow, glistening in the sunlight. I love this yarn so much I went back for three more skeins this morning. Don't know what I'll do with them, but when I think of it they are in the old stash-a-roo. I'm once again knitting the Super Sock, because they keep my feet warm, and because I never seem to get tired of knitting them. I'm also turning the heel of the second Pansy. I have some Opal Zebra calling out to me from the knitting room. The yarn is talking to me again--"come and knit me!!" Help!
Speaking of the stash calling out to me, only one more day to this work week, and I get to play in the knitting room all weekend. There are no plans, except to play among the yarn balls, and finish another bag. I'm making progress on DD's scarf, and DS's socks too. Knitting's great--life is good!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Getting It Done

Yes, I do knit two different pairs of socks at a time--just not on the same needles. I've tried the two circs, and don't even get me started on Magic Loop! I am so ...u-m-m-m- crazy that I knit two different socks on two different sets of dpns. I get bored easily, just doing round after round. So, even if there is a pattern I often just have to look at another color for a while, and switch socks, sometimes a couple times during a knitting session. Then, when I get really tired of going 'round and 'round, I head to the knitting machine for a real diversion. Hense, the bag (yet another). I am so happy with these bags, which are Wool of the Andes from KnitPicks done on the Bond USM and felted. I can't seem to stop knitting them, so everyone I know will have one before long.

The socks are one Sock Gardens Pansy colorway, and one WoolEase fushia. I love them both and can't wait to finish. These are for me, and since it is cooling here in Texas (although they say it will be back up to 80 next week) I wore my blue Super Socks yesterday and my feet were toasty all day. Get my feet warm and I'm a happy camper! That's my knitting report for the day. What's happening in your neck of the woods?

Monday, October 31, 2005

I Am What I Am

"You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes."

Have you ever answered the questions on one of those quizzilla thingys? I took a test to see what kind of wool I am, and I knew I was merino wool before I took the quiz. Sure enough, it said I am just that--but the reasons it gave were really off...easygoing and sweet? Anybody who knows me will tell you that ain't so! And yes, people like to keep me close, not because I am calm and gentle, but so they know what I'm up to. The only thing it got right was that I love to be warm! Today we are having a typical Texas Halloween--chilly rain and dropping temperatures. I would love to curl up with an afghan and a good book tonight, but all the little munchkins will be ringing the doorbell. DH and I take turns handing out candy, while the other controls Macy, who loves all kiddos no matter how they are dressed. Her scared--no siree!

OTN: One Pansy sock is down to the toe, and the other has been cast on. A new bag has been started and the Harry Potter scarf is started. Christmas is moving right along.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

One Done - One Started

Purple waves are done, and Field of Flowers started with KnitPicks Sock Garden in the Pansy colorway. The Pansy color is so pretty that I decided to just knit a plain sock with no lace or pattern, so nothing detracts from the beauty of the colors. Then, last night I selected the next "sock makings." (Gotta have the next pair ready).

Moving right along--I am also knitting the Harry Potter tie/belt, and working on another bag as previously reported. I'm making up for the two days I didn't knit at all--catching up on Christmas before I get so far behind that I'm knitting on Christmas day.

How about those White Sox!!!! (Yes four !!!!) Living in Texas and calling Chicago home makes it hard. I can't say "yea" for the Sox on the street for fear of being mobbed. The last two games were really fun to watch, and I'm a happy Sox lover! Go White Sox.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Pup Fashions

This was just too cute to resist. Macy the Jack Russell Terrier has a new sweater--a gift from friend Kris. For a big bad hunter type dog she sure is prissy! She loves to have a sweater on, and wears her bandana everyday. This month's bandana (which marks her as a working dog) has little ghosts and boos all over it. I wish I'd made this sweater, or at least I hope to be able to make some like it in the future. I've never knit a dog sweater (I have to get control of this sock mania). But if I knit them, she will wear them!

OTN - I cast on for "Fields of Pansies." Knit Picks Pansy color with purple, yellow, lavendar, and almost black is beautiful. I finished DD's purple waves (pic next post), and what a pretty design. I'll have to use that design again--there I go planning socks to the exclusion of all other knitting. Someone stop me or I'll have to borrow feet to knit for. I did cast on and start the Harry Potter tie/belt, so maybe I can put the socks down for a while. Sure, that's going to happen!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

New Toy

No knitting going on here today (or yesterday). I've been playing with my new BlackBerry toy--no, not really playing but trying to figure out how to use it. I've owned a Palm PDA for a long time and a cell phone since they were as big as shoe boxes, but put them together, add the internet and email, and you have a whole new ballgame. AND this is not a game I recognize. Not only does it do things without my asking (like type in words I haven't yet told it how to spell), but it gets together with my computer and coordinates my days and organizes my tasks like two office assistants I didn't know I'd hired. I hot-synced that puppy with Outlook, and it promptly told me I have a meeting tomorrow that I'd better not miss. Have you ever wondered if these high tech gadgets own us or do we own them? We shall see!

So, when I do get a chance to knit, I will be starting the Harry Potter tie shown in the picture. It's from Alison Hansel's Blue Blog, and so cute I know I will have to arm wrestle GD for it. I did some stash enhancement yesterday. In addition to the burgandy and gold WoolEase for the tie (which can also be worn as a belt), I bought plain navy sock yarn, red wool for a felted hat, and emerald green Fun Fur for a cute hat band. I'm good-to-go if I give up trying to figure out Trixie the new gadget, and just start letting it run my life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Especially For Linda

I've had a request for the "I Love This Sock" (also known as Super Sock) pattern. This is the Knitty Gritty pattern, and it's so easy you won't believe it--and fast too. The worsted weight yarn knits fast, and it's really nothing but a few inches of ribbing, a heel, and a foot--done!

*I used Lion Brand WoolEase, worsted weight but I think any worsted weight yarn would work.
*US #5 dpn's. (I cast on using #6 needles to give the top more stretch, but #5's can be used throughout).

Cast on 40 stitches and distribute evenly over four needles.

Knit 2 1/2 to 3 inches of ribbing. I used knit 3, purl 2 ribbing because it give you two sets of 3 X 2 ribs per needle. I'm lazy and I don't like to purl across two dpn's. Plus, I think this is a substantial and pretty ribbing, so I use it often.

Heel Flap:
At end of ribbing knit one row plain and begin heel flap as follows:
Beginning with a purl row, *Slip 1, purl across remaining stitches on the purl side.*
Knit row: *s1, k1* repeat across the knit side
Continue this pattern for 2 to 3 inches (depending on the required depth of the heel flap from ankle to floor).

Turn Heel Beginning on a purl row:
Row 1: S1, purl to midway plus 2 stitches more (10 stitches + 2), p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 2: S1, k5, k2tog, k1, turn
Continue across each purl and knit row, purling or knitting to the gap created by short-row turn, then purling or knitting 2 stitches together across the gap (k2tog or p2tog). Purl or knit one more stitch and turn, until all stitches on the needle are finished. When the heel flap and cup are completed, start the gusset.
Finish the heel on a knit row, and begin to pick up a stitch under each of the long slipped stitches along the side of the heel flap. Starting with end with the live yarn, pull a yarn loop through each of the long stitches created along the side of the heel flap by the S1 stitch at the beginning of each row.

Knit across the 20 stitches on the two front needles. When you reach the end of the front row, pick up at least the same number of stitches along the other side of the heel flap with your extra needle. You should now have 10 stitches on each of the front two needles, and something more that 20 stitches (the original stitches plus the picked up stitches) combined on the heel needle, which you can now distribute evenly over two needles.

GUSSET (Instep decreases):
Round 1: Knit across front two needles with 10 stitches each.
On needle number 3: K1, SSK, and knit remaining stitches.
On needle number 4: Knit to within three stitches from the end of the stitches on the needle, K2tog, K1.
Round 2: Knit plain around on all needles.
Repeat these two rounds until there are 10 stitches on each of the two heel needles. You should now be back to 40 stitches altogether. Continue to knit with no further decreases until the foot is as long as you want and you are ready to decrease for the toe.
HINT: For foot length – measure your foot from base of heel to end of big toe. Begin toe decreases two inches from the length of that measurement. (Mine is 10 inches, so I knit the foot for 8 inches before beginning the toe decreases).

Toe: Use the same decreases you used on the heel gusset, except now on all needles.
On needle number 1: k1, SSK, knit to end of stitches.
On needle number 2: knit to within 3 stitches from the end, and k2tog, k1.
On needle number 3: k1, SSK, knit to end of stitches.
On needle number 4: Knit to within three stitches from the end of the stitches on the needle, K2tog, k1.

Knit plain around.

Continue these two rows until only a few stitches remain and you can no longer knit decreases.

Cut the yarn, leaving enough of a tail to thread through the remaining stitches. Pull the threaded yarn tight and knot on the inside of the toe. Weave in ends, both top and toe.

I hope I haven't left anything out. If you have any questions please let me know. It's easy to knit a sock you have knitted a half dozen times--harder to tell someone else how to do it. But it really is easy and soooooo comfy.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Riding the Waves

I was going through a book of patterns and out fell a slip of paper I had written a stitch pattern on some time back. Hmmmm, waves...could be neat. So I tried it and here is the first four inches. I think it is very pretty, so I've decided to keep it, and continue on. At the same time I started another pair of Super Socks in hot pink just because I love that sock. You may be able to see my purple #3 Comfort Zone needles in the picture. I'm using pink #5's on the pink (WoolEase) socks. I love having needles in a complimentary color. It's so Zen-like. Before I even pick up the knitting to start, I look at it and say a-h-h-h-h-h.

I was reading a survey the other day that asked if you can even think about knitting in the summer heat. If I didn't, I would never knit in Texas. I like to knit year-round. I don't understand the seasonal thing. How can anyone who knits, NOT knit all year? I know I'm obsessed. So much so that I dream about knitting, think about it a lot of the time, and when I'm not knitting or thinking about it, I'm shopping for yarn. I love playing with new and interesting yarns, expensive and cheap yarns, thick and thin yarns.... I've been trying alternative yarns for socks lately. I've tried microspun, worsted weights, baby yarns, doubled lace yarn, etc. They're all good. If it's yarn it's good--it will knit. So I challenge all of you to try something new. Don't sell acrylics short, and try something other than sock yarn for socks. It's fun!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

New Name-Same Sock

Now known as Dashing, we see the completed pair frolicking in the ivy. Friend Kris of Knitting Little Bits renamed this dashing design, and it stuck. The pattern has been added to Knitting-On-The-Go web site, here. Now on to DD's purple socks.

I placed a big order with Knit Picks, my favorite place to order yarn online, and can't wait for the sock yarn even though the order was for the last of the wool to knit Christmas bags. Don't know how that sock yarn got in there, but it's sneaky stuff. I have to watch it or it will sneak into every yarn order I place. The bag wool is going to finish off the Christmas knitting nicely--fog and mist with a smidgen of daffodil thrown in should be pretty.

I had a call from GD#1 last week. She is a journalism major at Winona University, Minnesota. She, more than anyone else, got me interested in blogging. I read her online journal as often as possible, and now I hope she reads my blog. Not that she is at all interested in knitting. I can't get any of my grandchildren interested in the art--they are all too busy. Jessica is working at the newspaper there and studies hard to keep her grades high. She is a talented writer who started writing beautiful poetry at a young age. One day I'll post one of her poems here. All that and she is beautiful too. Oh to be young again and have the world at our feet--able to do anything we set our minds to. You can tell I am living vicariously through each of them. What a blessing grandchildren are!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dashes No Dots

Beginning the second "Dashes No Dots" sock. This pattern came about through sheer lunacy. I wound my new yummy yarn into a ball, and got my dpns. Then I cast on, knitted two inches of ribbing and realized that the pattern that I was going to use was in my office. Since I was sitting on the couch with the dog and the knitting in my lap, and well into a recorded episode of Firefly, I was not going to go get it, especially when Mal was sitting on a rock in the desert--well--um--naked. So I created on the fly, knitting the first thing that came into my head. It didn't turn out so badly.

My "creations" run about 50/50. Half the time I wish I had done something else, and the other half I'm amazed that I produced a fairly interesting object. Actually, I guess 50/50 is a stretch. There's that small percentage of the time when I end up asking myself, "What the h*## was I thinking?" It makes life interesting--all those times when we flub whatever we're doing and know that we are among the ranks of thousands who are messing things up at the same time! Yup, one more time..."Life Is Good."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

All Good Things

All good things must come to an end. The Hollyberry socks are done, and these socks were a joy to knit. Now that they are finished I can't wait to start the next pair. I have a pastel pink and green varigated yarn that I want to start, but DD told me yesterday that she needs something with purple in it. I'm planning to do a lace heart pattern down both sides of the socks, and since the design won't show to full advantage with the varigated yarn, I am on the way out now to buy purple. Purple and hearts??? I guess it could work. I also have some WoolEase in white with a bit of glitter added to make another pair of the "So Cute Super Socks" that I love so much.

Lest you think that I am stuck on socks again, I finished another bag. So there. This one is the bluebonnet blue and hot tulip pink (pictures after felting). It's really pretty, but bright. I haven't quite decided who it will live with--me, me, me. No, no, no she says, these are for Christmas gifts. Me, me, me doesn't get one until after the gifts are all done!

Just have to say that I am truly impressed with the way JoAnn's is improving their yarn assortments. The wool yarns available, and the fingering yarns that can be adapted to sock knitting are getting much better. There is still a big gap in the true sock yarn, but if we all send email messages about "more sock yarn" it might help. They seem to want to adapt to the market--and the nice thing is that almost everyone has a JoAnn's within driving distance. It could become the next best thing to online yarn ordering. Okay, I can dream can't I?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So Many Faces, So Little Time

This is by far my favorite face cloth so far. I have one more to knit--well, really two because DH said this morning that he thought he could use "one of those cloth things." He likes the masculine colors and designs on the ones for the guys in the family (dark green with a deer, red with a maple leaf, grass green with a frog, etc). When I tie them up with a glycerin soap of the same color, and dump them into the toe of their Christmas stockings, I hope they will think, "Wow, that's different--and really nice!" Isn't Christmas knitting fun?

I am about to post the pattern for the ribbed hollyberry socks on the Knitting-On-The-Go website. Thanks to all of you who have made such kind comments about the patterns already there. The comments indicate that it is nice to have simple patterns for hand and machine knitting, that can be adapted to an endless number of variations. The ribbed Christmas socks (KnitPicks Hollyberry is a red and green merino wool) are simply knit two, purl two ribbing from the top, all the way down the foot. But you can try different heels and toes, or maybe putting the knit side of the bottom of the foot on the inside for sensitive tootsies. Instructions for all will be given.

It's a beautiful day in Fort Worth, Texas! A cold front is moving in this evening, and it is already cooling from yesterday's 91 degrees. It's too pretty to work--wish I could sit on the patio, drink coffee, and knit all day. I wish you all a day of knitting.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The So Cute Super Sock

They are so cute that I want to make several pairs. This is the Knitty Gritty pattern, and is extremely easy. You just knit ribbing for two 1/2 to three inches, knit the heel in your favorite method, and sail to the toe. Both socks done in two evenings using #6 dpn's--how easy can it get? Because they are done using Lion Brand WoolEase they are very warm and cozy. Winter is coming and I need warm and cozy for my feet. I tried them on with sneakers and they felt great. Then, I tried them on with ankle boots, and they were even better.

So, I bought red WoolEase, and yellow sport weight WoolEase, and started making some in heather green for my son who walks to work from the train station in downtown Chicago all winter. It took one skein of the marine blue for the socks shown, but I got two skeins for the much longer socks I'm making for DS. I'm making his socks with an eight inch leg, including two inches of ribbing. Still, it only took one evening to knit the leg and heel, and get about an inch into the gusset.

I'm starting a pair of pink lace socks now (sock weight yarn and #2 needles), but I can't wait to get back to what I'm calling the "Super Sock."

Friday, September 30, 2005

Ladybugs All Wear Sunglasses

I didn't know that ladybugs wear sunglasses until my 9 year-old GD Samantha told me. During a stop at Starbucks with her Dad, she won a discussion about whether Grandma needed a bear disguised as a ladybug, and I became the ladybear keeper. But before she brought her much loved gift to me, she had to scare up a pair of ladybear sized sunglasses, because as everyone knows, they all wear them. (How else can they stand to fly around in the sun all day, or find their way home)?

Samantha is our little actress--a member of Fort Worth's Kids Who Care group. They travel around the city and all over the US and world, performing in "happy" plays that make you feel like singing yourself. I have never seen a more talented group of kids. Of course, being Grandma to one of them, I cry everytime Sam comes on stage!

I know that knitting is the subject of this blog, but at one point or another I will have to talk about my beautiful grandchildren--one by one so I won't totally alienate any readers. Grandchildren are the greatest thing in the world. I adore each one of my children, but the grandkids are clearly why we have them in the first place. We have seven of them and each one is so unique and talented in their own way. As I watch them grow I have to repeat my mantra--life is good! Ah yes, so it is!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Love This Sock

I really do love this sock. It is the pattern from DIY's Knitty Gritty program on sock knitting. I used Lion Brand WoolEase in Marine blue and cast on 40 stitches. Knit a 3 x 2 ribbing for 2 and a half inches, and start the heel flap. It took me around three hours to knit this sock--so easy and so fast. I could do a bunch of these for stocking stuffers. Like I need something else to knit for Christmas, but I could do it. I'm going to knit the second one tonight and cast on for the second American flag sock.

I also started blue and hot pink bag--boy am I stuck in a rut. Bags and socks, bags and socks. I did get a new sweater pattern from Patternworks in the mail yesterday. I'm looking forward to knitting its fitted raglan yummyness ASAP.

So, is there anything else going on in my life other than knitting? Well there's hubby, grandchildren, family, friends, work, and more knitting, and more knitting, and more knitting. Yes, I'm stuck in a rut, and I like that way.

Friday, September 23, 2005

What's Next?

There's another bag on the knitting machine. They are all turning out beautifully, and slightly varied from bag to bag. I've made them big and small; round and square; with handles and clutches without. I'll post pictures when I have handles on the last two. What's on the needles:
1. One American flag sock is all red, white and blue stripes down to the toe, which will be blue.
2. The second Hollyberry Christmas sock is ribbed to the heel, and ready to start the heel flap.
3. The sixth face cloth is half finished. It's baby blue in a lace pattern. That is what is now on the needles and in progress.

So, what's next?
1. Four more face cloths, the next one in red, with a maple leaf--for my Canadian SIL.
2. Some lovely hunter green wool and silk blend for a Clapotis.
3. Anklet socks in orange Blauband.
4. Knee socks with shamrocks for my Irish dancing GD.
4. Three more bags--the next one in marine blue, tulip pink, and periwinkle.

The big question is, will I finish before Christmas? October is looming, and I am feeling the pressure. But it is such sweet pressure. There's a big difference between saying "I have to do three months of data entry to put together a set of financials for a client by next Monday," and saying "I have to knit." BIG difference. One is stress and the other is, well, really nice! If only I didn't have to work. (Sound familiar?)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

More Knitting Thoughts

I think about knitting a lot. I wake up thinking about patterns, yarn, needles and such. I go to bed thinking about things I saw at the LYS. I do accounting and word processing, all the while thinking about that great yarn I just bought, or the pattern that has been rattling around in my head. I know for a fact that my DH does not understand my absorption/obsession with all things knitting related, but he is accepting of that which he cannot change.

So, I wonder if I am all that different from others who knit. I know a few who are as obsessed as I am, and a few who are downright looney on knitting. There are others who can take it or leave it--see, I just don't understand that! How can you NOT love knitting, and love it so much that you are looney on the subject? This passion for knitting is an amazing thing. I guess I'm going to have to think about it some more....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Is Bigger Really Better?

This is DD#1's bag before felting. I mentioned before that she was about to grab one of the smaller bags I have finished, but I encouraged her to let me knit her a really big bag. Well, this one is really BIG. I don't have the handles on it yet because I don't know what kind I want to put on it. And, I think I have to line it too because if she fills this baby up with junk it will be stretched out of shape (and she will need a cart to carry it in). But she needs a huge bag since she does carry a lot of junk.
Over the years I have pared down the contents of my handbag. It started with my back hurting and advanced to "just can't pick that thing up again." So now I carry a large "knitting" bag with a wallet on a strap thingy inside. I leave the big bag in the car and put the wallet over my shoulder so I don't really have to carry anything.
There has been a trend to smaller bags in the last couple years, but it still amazes me the things women carry in their bags. Every now and then a family member or friend will empty their bag in my presence and I wonder why they are carrying half of the stuff that was inside. Some of it is habit and fear of not having something with you that you have carried for so long. It took a lot to break myself of that, and I was a hard nut to crack. I used to carry a big handbag AND a briefcase. Now I'm all for women being good to themselves. Too many of us carry the weight of the world--in our bags and on our backs. My new motto is "The less stuff the better!" Be good to yourselves ladies.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Random Thoughts

Berroco has a new pattern out for a Suede Knitting Tote that I have fallen in love with. I figured what it would cost in the Berroco Suede at $9.99 per skein plus handles etc., and it's more than $60. Since I wouldn't go out and pay sixty bucks for a ready-made bag right now, it follows that I need to find some cheaper suede yarn. Lion Brand suede yarn runs about $7.50 a skein, but contains more yardage, so it would only take 3 skeins instead of 5 Berroco skeins. That's cheaper, but I'm still looking. I'll make a trip to Michael's later today.

DH asked why I don't just buy a yard of microsuede at JoAnn's and sew the bag. I looked at him like he was crazy--sew? "Did you say sew what is supposed to be a knitted bag? You still don't get this whole knitting thing do you?" He admitted that he doesn't, and we went on making plans to swing by Michael's later. I can't complain though. DH never argues when I say I have to buy MORE yarn. He never whines about me knitting at times when he probably wouldn't (like movies or waiting to be seated in restaurants). And, he stops by the chair where I knit every now and then and says "That's pretty." He is a jewel in many ways. I prayed for my daughters to find husbands who were as calm, loving and easy-going as their Father, and they did (Thank you God). So, as I've said many times before, life is good! Now if I could just find that suede yarn....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Two Down and Eight To Go

Another felted bag finished, and only eight more to go--that is if everyone who walks through my knitting room will let them alone. This one I filled with tissue and deposited in a plastic bin with "don't touch" on the top. Also, my Christmas Central sign is up and visitors are no longer allowed in the knitting room. Santa's Elves can get really testy if you annoy them!

I love doing these bags! They are so easy on the knitting machine, and so pretty. I ordered two of almost every color KnitPicks has in Wool of the Andes, so the color combinations are going to get interesting! The next one I do will be the mail carriers bag with a flap and long/wide strap. I not only love knitting these bags, I love starting Christmas in July or August!

I also finished another face cloth in Bernat's Cotton Tots. It's so soft. This one is for GD #3, and is pink with hearts on it. Don't you think they will make great stocking stuffers? I'm going to try soap sacks for the guys as well. My Canadian SIL's will be red with a maple leaf on it. What fun!!!

Friend Kris sent me a box with lots of Cascade 220 in it, to make scarves for Katrina victims. We have 10 to 12 kids in each of the schools around us, and the Chamber of Commerce has asked for hats and scarves and other clothing items to be delivered to the school for them. I made one in a pretty violet color and a lacy pattern. Some little girl will enjoy it I hope. I'll knit a hat to match before I go on to another in a more masculine color. Yup--Christmas in September makes me happy!

Sunday, September 11, 2005


...in action! It's been an odd week. I can't believe it is 9/11 already. Mixed thoughts today. Where was I when.... What was I doing? On the other hand, happy thoughts, my sweet DIL Michelle's birthday, my dear Mom's birthday this week--I miss her so much!!! Add to this mish-mash, I've been sick all week with a fluish bug, and am just beginning to feel like me again. Top it all off with the unbelieveable amount of work I will have waiting for me at the office when I get back after a week away. HOLY COW!

On the knitting front--I finished another face cloth. This one is in navy and has a rooster on it (as in rise and shine!). It's for GS Christian. I started another one in white with a big center flower. Finished a pair of socks (pictures next time), and another bag on the machine. This bag is in red, orange and chocolate. Daughter, ER Nurse, Bethany walked into the knitting room and saw it a few days ago. She goes in there to scrounge for new socks, and this time she got lucky. She saw the lime green striped Parade socks and said, "Oh beautiful! I'll wear these to work tomorrow." Then she saw the bag blocking and was reaching for it when I convinced her that she needed a bigger one. She carries more junk in her purse than anyone I know! I think it's time for me to put up my annual sign on the knitting room door, "Christmas Central. STAY OUT!! The penalty for entry will be coal in your stocking."

So, it has been quite a week, but I can accomplish anything now that I feel better. FO pictures next time, and until then cheer up everyone--Fall is coming!!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I Think I'll Take A Nap

I've been working on the knitting machine today. I'm still making the machine knit and felted tote bags. I guess I shouldn't have been working on Sunday or something, because it's been anything but smooth! I attached a different color yarn to the umpteenth row and didn't clear the yarn from the bottom of the knitting plate. Those of you with USM's know what that does. It drops all the stitches off the needles and the whole thing lands on the floor. So I picked it up and ran a circular needle through the stitches--rehung them on the needles, and started again. Yep, that's right, I did the same thing a second time. Wouldn't you think I would have learned to clear the yarn--but NO! So I picked it up again and this time some of the stitches had ripped back about four rows. So now I have one circular needle through the ripped back stitches and another through the upper stitches. I put it on the work table and decided to try again tomorrow.

Why is it that some days nothing works. We are the same people from day to day, same intelligence, same vision, same manual dexterity, even the same stresses. But some days I can't think past the end of my nose, and forget doing anything requiring keen thought and sharp reflexes. The next day I wonder what could have been wrong with me. I guess we all say and do things so completely out of character that we later wonder who that person could have been. It's like some force is directing us to do totally dumb and clumsy things. So, I won't wish for the "force to be with you" today, because I've had enough of it for both of us!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A Pixie is Always Right!

Just received a comment from Pixie who suggested donations to Red Cross. She is so right! They do wonderful work, and need all the help they can get. DH and I have already donated to Red Cross, and will again during the days and weeks ahead. This is great advice for anyone and everyone--please give what you can to Red Cross and volunteer in any capacity you can. There will be plenty to do!

And--thanks Pixie for the reminder!


I've been watching TV, crying a little, praying a lot, and knitting these little babies. I guess I should be making something besides face cloths, but for the life of me I can't think where to begin! The people of Louisiana need so much more than afghans, sweaters, SOCKS--maybe that's it!!! Their going to need socks I think. Am I the only one who feels so helpless? There is so much devastation and pain. I'm glad they are being moved to more secure, dry and clean places, being fed, but that just isn't enough. I know this helpless feeling is going to go on for a long time, and we will have the chance to contribute for a long time. This is just the beginning for all of us. But, we are Americans! We pull together and come through things like this fueled by our spirits and our love of all Americans. People of Louisiana we are with you. This fight belongs to all of us!

Monday, August 29, 2005

It's In The Bag

Betnat's Lana bag--machine version of the Booga Bag. This took about two hours on the machine (Bond USM), plus seaming and felting time, and left to go to my SIL's Mom in Canada today. I love it so much I want to make a dozen or so of them for Christmas gifts, and one for myself of course! While it was felting in the washer I was knitting a cotton face cloth out of Bernat's Cotton Tots. It seems I'm keeping Bernat going at the moment. The cloth is so soft and the honeycomb pattern is a pretty design. I also cast on for the green Parade sock and got the ribbing done. I'm ready to start the cables. I'm knitting lickety-split.

Don't know if we will get any storms from the hurricane, but it is cooler here in Texas today. I'm praying for all those people in New Orleans, Gulfport and Biloxi. I sat out a hurricane (Carla) there 40+ years ago. It was scary stuff. I hope by morning Katrina will be downgraded to a tropical storm as it goes inland.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

It's Not All About Socks

Proof that I do knit other things--not just socks. I love knitting socks and have to have one of a pair with me at all times. I knit them in the car because they are so easy to carry, and I even drag them around the office with me so I can knit a row or two whenever there is a lull. Socks are the perfect mobile project. This scarf, however, is not so bad in the mobility category. It hasn't gotten so large that it won't fit in my bag (as the big, blue sweater/shawl has). It's going to be pretty with the green Swarovsky crystals I bought for it dangling from each of those points. The green in the yarn is pooling on the left, and under other circumstances I would do something about that. In this case I think it gives it character and mystery.

Other projects include the wool tote to be felted that I have on the machine. It will be a surprise for my SIL's Mother, as she makes a stressful move from one city to another. I am knitting multiple cotton face cloths for Christmas stocking stuffers. For a bath lover friend I'm doing a group of pink, lavendar, and purple cloths to be arranged in a big crystal dish with soaps and other stuff. So, a'knitting we will go!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Three To Go

I guess I have a triple case of "second sock syndrome". I finished one Hollyberry sock, one of the green Parade socks Kris started, and one infamous pink front cabled sock in the dreaded Katrina. Now, how do I decide which to make a mate to first. I love the Hollyberry, but I'm probably not going to wear them until closer to Christmas. I've had enough of the pink monster, soooooo, I guess I just talked myself into finishing the green pair first. Those I will wear right away, and they are really pretty shades of green.

I am also knitting a lace scarf for a gift, and it is coming along beautifully. I will take a photo of it and post it with a link to the pattern. I am also working on one of a number of fingerless mitts (TUGGS) for Christmas stocking stuffers. It seems the ladies in our family can't get enough of them. My firefighter son has also asked for a black pair. Back to the knitting.....

Monday, August 22, 2005

Happy, Happy, Happy

I wish I had a big smiley face to paste here. Blogger support came through for me. They pretty much told me that I caused the problem myself by putting two photos side by side. It made the column too wide and pushed the sidebar down to the bottom. It is sure nice to know what to do if that ever happens again. Guess I'll stick to one photo or two thumbnails. Thanks Blogger Support!!! I appreciate the help, and I promise to get better at this.

Now, back to knitting.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


I'm having big problems with this blog. Of course, I started out with absolutely no knowledge of how to manage a blog, and today--I still don't know how it all works. I've managed to get some links into the sidebar, and a button or two with a lot of help from my friends. NOW, the whole sidebar has dropped down to the bottom of almost gone. Yup, the sidebar is down there at the bottom if you care to page down, and down, and down, to find out who I am and what I'm linked to. I've had help from a PoohBear and a Knitting Grandma (thank you both so much!), and I thought I was perking along okay when this happened.

So here's what I am going to do. Unless one of you dear knitters can tell me what to do about this problem, I am going to pop to a new template and start over. Only, this time I am going to save a copy of the template when I get it the way I want it--at least I've learned that.

It's not like I'm writing the great American novel here, but when you care enough to share thoughts with others who care enough to read them, it's hard to wipe the slate clean and start over. Also, the older I get the more I resist change! So I guess I'll see you on the other side of .................

Friday, August 19, 2005

Two At A Time

Wow! I ran flat out all day and when I got home I started knitting on both of these socks at one time. Somebody stop me please!
I picked up the red and green (Hollyberry) sock first, and after I took the picture I finished down to the toe. But before I took the pictures I picked up the half finished (by Kris) green Parade sock and knitted most of the foot. This is the test sock for Kat's Front Cabled Sock that Kris was kind enough to try for me. Then, she didn't like the color and sent them to me--I love the color. Thanks Kris!!!

Now, here I am blogging, and still going strong. I'm going to collapse any minute--I'm sure of it. Tomorrow is Saturday and I can sleep late. I sure need it because it has been a wild week. Isn't it terrific that we can knit and bring some calm and relaxation into our lives. I keep telling DH he should try it, but he's so laid back that knitting would only put him to sleep. Those of us with a high degree of nervous energy need to c-h-i-l-l-l-l. Knitting does it for me, and a lot of other people it seems. I think it's because we can only knit one stitch at a time, and the process puts everything back into the proper perspective--life is all about one stitch at a time!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Going To "Throw" This Out There

I love Knitty Gritty, and the quick tips I pick up. I record all of them, watch each show, and delete the ones I don’t want to keep. Last week Vicki Square (The Knitter’s Companion) was on the “Getting Started” show, which for the most part was perfect for any beginning knitter to watch over and over. THEN, Vicki Square got her mouth running before her brain was in gear. When Vickie Howell asked her if she had always used the Continental style of knitting and if so why, she replied, “Because I like to finish more than one garment per year.” Will somebody escort that lady from the building!!

I, the dyed-in-the-wool (pardon the pun), ultimate, never going to change, English Thrower am offended!! I have tried and no matter what I do I can’t get used to holding the yarn with my left hand, so I throw. AND, here’s the thing, I have finished five pair of socks, a sweater, two scarves and a shawl since January 2005. That’s all hand knitting, and doesn’t even include the machine knitting. It follows that the English Throw style is not so annoyingly slow that Vicki Square should mock it on TV. It was a lot like the sort of inane drivel people utter when they have had too much to drink. The difference is that others DO remember it in the morning!

I don’t understand what the big darn hurry is about! I knit to relax and enjoy the process—what’s the rush? There was recently a lot of blogging about a sweater knitting race that was to prove which participant was the fastest knitter. I admit that I was caught up in the excitement, and if that was fun for them then it’s okay. But don’t go talking bad about my style of knitting, implying that I should knit faster just to join the race. I think everyone should use their own style and their own pace. The important thing is to enjoy the process. No matter how fast you finish, enjoy it! Vicki, that was a no-no.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

New Sock & New List News

Pardon my blur! I took this picture every way I could think of and it still came out dark and blurry. I guess it's dark because the yarn is. This is Knit Picks' Sock Garden in Hollyberry. They are going to be my Christmas socks. Two by two ribs all the way down the leg and top of the foot, and an inverted toe (purled around to put the knit side on the inside). It's a simple pattern, but a decorative one, and this yarn is so sweet! I love Knit Picks, they are just the best. I've been more than happy with all the yarn (a lot) I've ordered from them, and no one can quibble about the price!!! I just ordered some of their Palette--100% Peruvian wool, to make the American Flag socks here. Can't wait!

On other news fronts--there is a new sock knitting list, Sockit2um. Fun talking about, mmmm, just socks. My friend Kris started it and hopes all you sock knitters out there will join in and share tips, problems, FO's, and patterns/links. I'll put a button up here as soon as they have one.

I haven't blogged for the last few days because I've been involved in a major accounting project. I still have my knitting basket beside my desk, and only receive mild disapproval when I pick up my knitting during a meeting. It's who I am, and I am nothing without knitting in my hand!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Macy The Knitting Companion/Dog

I don't know how I've lasted this long without posting a picture of my little Macy. She is a two year old Jack Russell Terrier, and a great knitting companion. I know that a lot of knitters have cats who usually love to curl up in the middle of a knitting project. Well, so does Macy. She likes to be in my lap, under the knitting while I work, and gets only mildly upset when I accidentally stick her with a needle. She is very sensitive to my moods, and if the knitting isn't going well (as in the case of the alpaca lace shawl) she climbs up and puts her front paws around my neck and rubs her little face against mine. A-w-w-w-w! I guess you can tell by now that she is our baby. The thing about Jack Russells though is that they shed fur 24/7, 365 .

And so it seems that everything I knit has little white "Jack" hairs in, on, woven into it. Still banded skeins of yarn in my stash, wound yarn I'm working with, FO's all contain white fur. Someone asked recently on one of the knitting blogs how to get dust off stash yarn. The answer was to vacuum it. Done it! Done it lots! Still have white fur. So anyone who is gifted with, or falls heir to any of my finished projects will get an extra gift. That's just part of who I am! I just tell myself that cat owners have just as much shed hair around. That's right isn't it--cats do shed?

Monday, August 08, 2005

No, No, I Won't Go!

It's so funny how yarn behaves sometimes. I had a comment from Kris of Knitting Little Bits about her yarn talking back to her. Mine digs its little heels in sometimes! The Picture is of a cabled sock I started some time ago. It's my own pattern and I really want to finish it because I want to post the pattern. But n-o-o-o! This yarn refuses to cooperate. It's Patons Katrina--92% Rayon and 8% polyester. It is very stretchy, and I bought it because a knitting friend had made a bikini out of it and it was wonderfully pliable and soft. So here's the prob, it splits when I try to pick up a stitch, the stitches have to be very loose, and trying to cable evenly with stretchy yarn is difficult. So I put the sock away, but the pattern haunts me. I could start over with a nice undemanding, less mouthy sock yarn, but I think I would live under the shadow of the pink Katrina fiasco. What to do--what to do. Oh well, Kris you're right! Some yarns just have no manners, and they think they are the boss. And they're right!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Growing Up

I said I would write more about this baby. She didn't know what to be when she grows up. This started out four months ago, a glimmer in the eye of the knitter. The original thought was to make a summer sweater. Then summer sweater seemed not to be logical due to the fact that the yarn is Paton's Decor--75% acrylic and 25% wool in periwinkle blue. Not light weight by any stretch of the imagination.

So I picked her up the other day and she spoke to me, "I want to be a shawl." I said, "You start with four inches of ribbing, that says sweater, not shawl." She argued with me, "My ribbing will mold around your body and keep you warm this winter. Besides, my lacy body is shawl worthy, and you have enough yarn to make me at least 5 feet long. I am a shawl." We all know that you never argue when yarn speaks to you, so shawl it is! We went shopping this morning and finished six inches while sitting in the food court. She is already starting to get around. AND, when someone asked what I was knitting, I felt her nudge me so I answered, "A shawl!"

Friday, August 05, 2005

Tis The Season

Busy, busy, busy--I've been going 60 miles an hour for three days, and it occurs to me that it's going to be this way until Christmas. I worked past 7:00 pm last night, and still managed to finish the second TUGG fingerless mitt, finish the ribbing on the Baltic sock, and begin the first lace pattern. I also decided that the blue cotton/wool blend that was going to be a summer sweater is going no where, and that the back that is already started is about the right width for a lacy shawl if I just keep knitting straight. (More about this later).

Do any of you do that? Do you change your mind in mid-stream and instead of frogging to reclaim the yarn decide what else this 12 inches of knit that you have finished can be used for? Maybe I'm the only one who is that lazy, but with my schedule as wild as it has been, I'm looking for all the shortcuts I can find!

As I said, Christmas is coming, and not only do I feel the need to knit gifts, I have friends and family who are beginning to say things like, "Can you knit me some heavy wool socks for Christmas?" or "I really need a pretty lace scarf to wear in the evening." All those requests and gentle hints put a lot of stress on all of us. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I resolve to find the time, between now and then, to knit all the requests and some extra things I have in mind as well. Knitters are suckers for people who love our completed projects, and want them for their own. It is a validation we can't resist. Knit on!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Others Kinds of Knitting

This evening I spent some time knitting on my knitting machine. Mine is a Bond Ultimate Sweater machine--rather a "super Bond" because I have two of the machines put together to give me 200 needles, and the ability to knit wider fabric. I am working on a shawl as a Christmas gift, to be followed by bunches of fingerless gloves, leg warmers, and hat/scarf combinations. The machine gives me the ability to knit a lot faster, and finish many more projects. But it doesn't mean I stop hand knitting when I use the machine! I have also cast on for the second Baltic sock a couple days back, finished the lace top of the grey slipper sock yesterday, and cast on with leftover Lorna's Laces Sunshine for a pair of wrist warmers to match the Baltic socks today. Top that off with 8 hours in the office, and I can sing "I am woman, W-O-M-A-N."

Just today a friend asked if the machine took the fun out of knitting. The answer is no, because I always add some hand edging, or have to do some seaming on the piece. Also, I try to combine unusual yarns and colors to make it not just any old machine knit object. The knitting machine offers a different kind of relaxation. There's something calming about the swish, swish of the carriage as I move it back and forth. My grandson once said that it made him sleepy to listen to the sound it makes. I guess it is no different that combining hand knitting and spinning. One doesn't take the fun out of the other, and they fit together in a way that only knitters would understand!

All in all, I don't think there is anything more relaxing or enjoyable than knitting in any form. But then, I'm addicted to it! If I were required to go to rehab for my knitting and yarn addiction, I would have a lot of company--A LOT of good company!

Monday, August 01, 2005

One In Sun Done

The whole sock, and as seen from the front of the leg.

One Baltic Sock is done in Lorna's Laces Sunshine, and I'm having a giant case of second sock syndrome. It looks beautiful just hanging around, but looks like any other sock on the foot. I think my problem is that I just received two skeins of Knit Picks Merino sock yarn in Hollyberry, and I want to knit Christmas socks for me, me, me. But I'll be good! I lovingly put it away and wound the Sunshine to start the second Baltic Sock. All those little swirls and swishes are a lot easier now that I read the lace knitter's blog about making an Excel chart of the pattern and making as many copies as there are pattern repeats. I wish I could remember who came up with that because she is a genius!!! I highlight the row I just finished and throw away the page as I finish each repeat. It goes much faster. Okay, I talked myself into it--I'm ready to start the second sock.

Face-off (Someday)

Pooh-Bear asked if I am also revamping the face of the blog. Boy, don't I wish! I'm finding Blogger a little unforgiving. I asked for help from technical support to place buttons in the sidebar. They replied that they don't support that sort of thing, and that I should learn some html code. I'm just a simple accountant, and I don't know nuttin' 'bout no html code! I did manage to get my links into the template, and even kinda got the Knitting Bloggers button into the sidebar. But the picture won't show up even though I have tried many times. Yes, I did insert the location of the picture into the line where it says "image url here" but it still didn't show it's face. You notice Blogger has THEIR button in the sidebar, so I know it can be done! Maybe someone will read this and try to help me with some easy instructions. Oh please, oh please, oh please!!! I won't give up! Life is all about learning and growing. When that stops, I guess it's all over. So, I'd better get busy on the html code thingy. Anyway, the Knitting-On-The-Go web site looks great and I would truly like the blog to look as good. Thanks for asking Pooh-Bear!

BTW, today is my birthday, and I can happily say that life is good! I feel good and look pretty good for my age (unless Stacey and Clinton show up today with a plastic surgeon in tow). That could really bring me down.

Friday, July 29, 2005

New Beginnings

The first fingerless mitt is finished for my first pattern to be posted on the Knitting-On-The-Go web site. I call them TUGGS. It stands for TUscan Garden Gloves, from an old photo my Mom had hanging in the living room when I was a teen-ager. It was of a beautiful woman tending flowers in a Tuscan garden. She was wearing lace, fingerless gloves. These aren't lace (that's the next pattern), but they are comfortable little hand warmers that fit any occasion. The pattern is simple, and can be completed in one evening. I guess that's why I have umteen pairs. My hands are always cold, so these gloves offer a little added warmth while not getting in the way of typing or work requiring manual dexterity. Best of all, they don't get in the way of jewelry. I made these from Lion Brand Imagine, which is 20% mohair and is really soft and cuddly. I have also made them from merino wool sock yarn, both superwash and 100% merino, and from Cascade 220 (cold water hand wash only, although one day I am going to make a pair large enough for felting).

As I said I will post the pattern on the Knitting-On-The-Go web stie, but it will be tomorrow because the site is down for revamping and beautifying. I can't wait to see it--more important, I hope I like it. You never know when you turn designers loose on something just what you will get. But at least it won't be something that can't be changed if necessary.

Now, onward and upward to more patterns. I'm converting the same pattern to machine (it's on the machine now) and hope to finish that today. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

What A Day This Has Been...

...what a rare mood I'm in. Why, it's almost like being...no, no, no, that's not the song I should be singing. It should be something like "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen." Nah, that's a little dark, but closer to reality. The last few days have been long and tiring (accounting-wise) due to the end of the quarter reports stacking up on my desk. Add to that a final, all-out effort to get the web site optimized and gorgeous, several beginning Christmas knitting projects, and finishing two patterns I want to post on the web site. My head is spinning!

So, today I took some time during the lunch hour to work on the Baltic sock. I finished the last lace pattern repeat, finished the heel flap, picked up the side stitches, and was four decrease rows into the gusset when I realized--yep, you guessed it, no heel turn. How can a little thing like that cute little cup just disappear like that. I'm sure it was there somewhere. But not on this sock. I had to rip it all the way back to the heel flap, and just got the stitches all picked up when I had to get back to WORK. Can you imagine, I own the place and they still expect me to work!

Well, I guess the moral of this story is--haste makes waste--slow down and live--anything that can happen will happen--something like that. I've got it--live, love, laugh and be happy. I like that one!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

I Think I Can

I guess I really can knit lace. These are the Baltic Socks in Lorna's Laces Sunshine. Such a pretty pattern, and so easy. I'd like to keep these socks, but I'm so far behind on my Christmas knitting that I may have to use them to fill in! I guess I'll have to make up my mind before I get to the foot. AND, of course they are on lime green #3 Comfort Zone Needles. I could never knit anything this intricate without the comfort of my wonderful, flexible dpn's. The manufacturer has promised the size 1's and 2's soon, and then on to circulars and straights (circs first!).

Back to knitting. The ruana is moving along, the Sunshine socks require one more pattern repeat before the heel flap, and the second grey slipper sock is cast on with five rows of ribbing completed. Knittin's good! Time out for a Subway sandwich, and then back to it.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Day Is Done

Play's over, dinner's done, and I'm back home to work on my ruana. The photo shows how it will look when finished. It's from Knitter's Magazine, Summer 2005. And look at the cute little hankerchief bag I bought to hold my yarn. Whenever I put yarn in my bag to take with me, it would become entangled with everything in the bag...keys, hairbrush, etc. The knitted object itself never seems to get tangled, so I started putting my yarn in a plastic ziploc bag. Then I saw these bags at Hobby Lobby and bought two of them. It's sure a lot prettier than a plastic bag! And, the ruana is going to be fun to wear!

The play was great fun!!! So many talented kids in one place. It blew me away when this little girl who was about 7 years-old, (and if she was four feet tall I'd be surprised) came out and sang so beautifully I got tears in my eyes! Of course I tear-up everytime Samantha is on stage, even when she is just singing with the chorus. Yeah, grandma is a softy! All in all, it was a wonderful day!

Friends and Family

My friends Kris and I send a box of goodies back and forth between us, and this scarf was in the last box I received. It's made from superwash wool I sent her in a previous box. She had problems with this wool unraveling when it was washed, so I picked up the stitches on each end with the off-white yarn and attached a tassle. It's so cute I can't wait to wear it! Thanks Kris--I love you!!!

What's happening today.... My little GD Samantha is in a theater production of "The Kite". What a cute bunch of kids! We get to see it again today at 2:00. Then we'll have dinner out with the whole crew. When I say crew I mean it! There's mom and dad, brother Chris, grandma and grandpa, two uncles and an aunt. We take up most of a row of seats. There are nine of us for lunch every Sunday, and when the rest of the family is here from Chicago, there are 18 of us. AND, believe it or not, they all love being with each other. I guess that's why we do it every Sunday. I realize more every day how very important friends and family are...no, important doesn't describe it. Essential-maybe; crucial-certainly; life-giving, that's it! Without friends and family there is no life. I'm nothing without them!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Socks and other finished projects

Finished socks--what a sense of accomplishment! I'm also finished with trying to knit with Misti Alpaca. Someone could have told me that it was horrible to knit with! Someone could have warned me. Okay, so I told bunches of people that I was going to knit Lucy's Diamonds with the Misti Alpaca, and no one said a word--like "Ha, ha, ha, it can't be done!" Or, "Let me get this straight, this is your first lace project and you are going to use Misti Alpaca? You're insane!" If I had known then what I know now, I would have run hard and fast away from any mention of lace weight yarn! Well, I tried it and I didn't like it. But I DO like 100% Merino sock weight yarn. So, I pulled out the Sock Garden Geranium and started the lace project all over again. It was okay! It went good for five rounds. I'm not afraid to pick it up again, and maybe even finish it. Plus, the mixed red and green colorway is charming! I can live with this--I can even picture it draped over my shoulders as others ooh and ahh over it.

So, some things can be finished, as in completed, and some things are finished for good, as in knitting with lace weight yarn!! I'm relatively sure I won't try that again for a long while. Life is just better that way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Not just any old bag

I have to make another one of these bags. It's huge and holds two plus knitting projects (shawl and socks, etc.), and lots of extra yarn, needles, and accessories. I made "Super Bag" from yarn a purchased at a cute little yarn shop in Taos, while everyone else was skiing. Who needs skiing when you can fondle yarn and watch it spun and dyed too. It was rather pricey, but well worth it! So, I'm thinking that I need to go back to New Mexico and bring a whole bunch more of it home with me. It would make great Christmas gifts, and would also be a good excuse for a trip. Real simple pattern! Cast on about 80 stitches and knit 45 rows. Pick up around the rectangle with a circular needle (US11), and knit until the bag is at least 20 inches high. Knit slots on each corner (sides and ends) for I-cord strapes (make 2), and use an I-cord bind off. I added a ball of cranberry wool I had to the top for color. Felt and you have a great new knitting bag!

Since I can't leave for Taos tonight, I have decided to use the Misti Alpaca to start Lucy's Diamonds AND cast on for the Sunshine Lorna's Laces socks. That's decisive isn't it? That's my motto--make a decision even if it's wishy washy!