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

Missing... 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!