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, 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, 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!

Monday, July 18, 2005

What to do, what to do!

What will I do next? I was planning socks in Lorna's Laces Sunshine, but that periwinkle blue Misti Alpaca is calling out to me--"come and knit me." Then there's the Knit Picks yarn: Simple Stripes in Snapdragon, Sock Garden in Geranium, and Sock Landscapes in New England Foliage. OR maybe the Blauband that sits there and screams "Orange!!!" at me--it would make a pretty scarf or wrist warmers.

Nope, it has to be the Lucy's Diamonds scarf in the periwinkle Misti Alpaca! No, no, no...the Sunshine socks, errr, ummm, Geranium.... I'm going to do what Scarlet O'Hara would do, and "worry about it tomorrow."

Sunday, July 17, 2005

They should have called me for Michael Jackson's trial!

Beth asked what happened at jury duty on Wednesday, and I had almost forgotten about it. It was an incredible nothing! I went to the trouble of transferring my ruana from Addi's to Denise so I would be carrying plastic circs, and made sure I didn't have any socks on dpn's in my bag (I always have one or two socks in my bag). I would have tried knitting with drinking straws if I had thought it would get me in with my knitting, but as it turned out it was all wasted.

I put my big black knitter's purse in the tray, walked through the arch, and there it was on the other side of the xray machine. Both security guards were busy talking to some woman--just passing the time of day, so to speak. One of them picked up the bag and shoved it into my hands and never even made eye contact. I know that they never looked at the xray screen as the bag was going through, because they were both occupied!!! Maybe they suspected her of being a mad bomber, because they were both hanging on her every word. I felt a little left out.

I know that if I had taken the Addi's and/or the dpn's they would probably have stopped me and made a big deal of it. Who knows--maybe not, but the important thing is that I got to knit all day. I'm wearing that ruana (from Knitter's Magazine, Summer 2005) as soon as there's a cool day in Texas--or Hell freezes over, whichever is first.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Lace Madness--Here I come!

Well, I have finally decided, I have to knit lace! I have been watching the Summer of Lace project with great interest, becoming more fascinated with each passing day, and knowing that even though I have been knitting for the aforestated mmfmfg years, I could never ever do that!! I can't stand it, I have to try it! Now keep in mind, I am not a great frogger. I might even admit to HATING frogging. But it seems to me that when you knit those big lace shawls you probably end up frogging a great amount of knitting. I hope I'm wrong about that! I've read about lifelines, and the absolute necessity for bunches of stitch markers, so I hope that will keep me on the straight and narrow path! I'm leaning toward this pattern called Lucy's Diamonds. Seems a good idea to start small (as in scarf) and build to the big shawls. Wish me luck! After all these years I've been bitten by the lace bug--I hope I survive!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I Can't Take It With Me

I finished the first Landscapes (Knit Picks) sock last night, and cast on the second sock. But I found out that I can't take it with me to Jury Duty. "No sharp pointed objects!" is what they told me, but I am going to try to get in with my cotton/wool blend ruana on Denise circs, and see what happens. DH will be there, ready to take it home with him if they won't let me take my PLASTIC needles in with me. How silly is that? They worry about plastic knitting needles, but you can take a metal crochet hook in with you--yup, that's what they said! Oh well, I'll get #2 done and post both soon, and if necessary I'll just read and listen to music tomorrow--unless they decide that books and MP3 players are dangerous.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Who Are You Calling an Old Lady?

This just in, from Entertainment News..."Hollywood star CATHERINE ZETA-JONES has been impressing her celebrity friends with her knitting prowess, despite the hobby being associated with less-than-glamorous old ladies."

Who are they calling a less-than-glamorous old lady? I think I resent that! As a grandmother, I think I give knitting an extremely glamorous image!!! Who are these people who think that only grey-haired old ladies in bathrobes and carpet slippers sit around and knit? I am a hearty and spirited mrfmpg year-old who runs two businesses, works full days in the office, takes care of grandchildren, cooks, cleans etc. etc. etc., and knits on the fly as my younger counterparts do. What's unglamorous about that?

Here's the truth--knitters are a charming, polished, sophistocated group of lovely people, men and women alike! Let me tell you what's unglamorous--reporters who don't get their stories straight before they have them printed, and editors who let such junk get through their inspection.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

But I Want To Knit!

I wake up on Saturday morning thinking "Wow, I can knit on my blue lace sweater all day." But it never seems to happen. I do take my knitting with me everywhere I go, and I drag it around with me as I clean the kitchen, scrub floors and dust, etc. I have been known to stand at the kitchen sink with the water running, knitting a sock out of a little bag slung over my arm. My husband, bless him, just shakes his head in wonder, and mumbles something about water conservation.

On Wednesday I will have the chance to knit all day long!!! I've never been so glad to be called for jury duty--yes, all day with nothing to do but sit and knit (unless I'm called for a jury. They wouldn't do that would they?) I'm hoping there is no problem taking my knitting through security with me because they will have to arrest me due to the commotion I cause. I will take all precautions--Denise circs, no scissors just my round yarn cutter. For all I know, they don't even care! It's been a long time since I've been called for jury duty.

Ah, but today it's Saturday, and even though I woke up thinking I would knit all day, it isn't going to happen. I can dream!!

Friday, July 08, 2005

London We Love You

I knit to relax and not think about the day-to-day problems, but it’s impossible to do that today. All I can think about is the pain and suffering of the people injured and dead in London, and about their families. I usually knit along with soft music playing in the background, or with the TV flashing—unwatched as I turn the heel on my latest sock, or finish the ribbing on a sweater that has taken forever to knit. At such times it is almost impossible to believe that there are some in the world who would take lives, injure or maim, in the name of whoever or whatever! Then, we get hit square in the face with a kind of hatred that defies the grasp of human comprehension. I feel really sad and sick from it all.

My prayers are with all our British friends, and especially the people of London. We stand shoulder to shoulder with you against the terrorism that took your loved ones yesterday! We, as Americans, will not forget you in this time of pain and sorrow! WE WILL NOT FORGET!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Green Socks and Lace

The green socks are finished and grey lace slipper socks started. I love the lace, even in its considerably heavier state from using two stands of yarn. Also a cozy for Izzy. Izzy by the way is (whispered) a Rave MP3 player. Izzy thinks he is an IPod--hense the name, Izzy he an IPod or Izzn't he?

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Confessions of a Yarnaholic

This blog is so new I guess I don't have to worry too much about a lot of people reading it (if anyone). So I can make a confession without fear of being trampled by a crowd of angry yarn fanatics. Here goes--I love all kinds of yarn! I read a statement just today by someone who says she doesn't allow acrylic yarn to enter her home. If I did that, about half my stash would be gone--poof! I like some acrylics--no, no, I must be honest, I like a lot of the acrylics! There are acrylic and wool blends that are yummy, and soft, fluffy acrylics that create beautiful lace shawls, and I don't care what anyone says, I love Lion Brand Homespun!!! This said, I also confess that I am currently knitting socks with Knit Picks 100% Merino wool sock yarn (Landscapes), and a summer sweater in a sky blue cotton/wool blend. Yup, that's what I said--I love it all! Anyone who says they have never touched an acrylic has missed out on a whole yarn world, and the ability to knit fabrics that perform differently and wear differently, but are still beautiful and, most of all, loved by the knitter! 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Toe Up or Top Down--That is the Question!

I've tried and I can’t make a toe up sock fit! I’ve been knitting them from the top down for so long that I’m in a rut. So, I picked up some beautiful yarn in a pumpkin color and tried it from the toe up. Didn’t work! By the time I got to the heel it was all misshapen. So I frogged it and tried again—with fewer stitches this time, because it had been so big. Still wasn’t great, but I did get past the heel and around to the ankle. By the time I was ready to go into the ribbing, it still didn’t fit the way my top down socks fit. Ripped it all out again and started over with another yarn—this time a pretty sunshine yellow with a tennis sock pattern. That one yellow tennis sock is in my knitting basket, awaiting a mate, while I knit a top down pair with Knit Picks Snapdragon sock yarn, and finish the green monster from yesterdays post. I will try again! I hate to be beaten by anything, especially a sock! Until then, I’m happy with my old tried and true method.

Monday, July 04, 2005

By George I think I did it!

Happiness is posting your first photo!!

Day of the green socks

The lime green socks were created as a test of knitting socks with something other than sock yarn. This is plain-old baby yarn from Wal-Mart, bought because the color is pretty. My daughter has claimed them as her own, acrylic or not! You may not be able to see what I’m talking about because I can’t seem to get the photo entered, but will keep trying.

When it comes to computers I am totally self-taught. I greatly admire the people who have studied computer sciences, programming etc. The first computer I used in 1958 was an IBM bookkeeping machine that covered my whole desk and had “innards” in another room. Even then, it took me a long time before I got the point of “desktop computer.” The next computer I used ran on a CPM-3 operating system, and had no hard drive. I saved Lotus 1-2-3 and WordStar files to one of those huge old floppy disks. But I did learn DOS programming from it, and now even that is obsolete. This blogging stuff is a whole other thing!!! Forgive me if I flub-up, and I hope someone will feel free to tell me when I’m doing something wrong.

My point, and I guess it would be nice if I got to it, is that knitting reminds me of all these high/low points in life. We put it together, stitch by stitch, and there are a lot of boo-boos, flub-ups, do-overs, but for the most part it’s just “head-down data entry.” How’s that for knitting philosophy 101?

Sunday, July 03, 2005

July 3, 2005

Knitting Thoughts will begin posting within the next few days--in other words, this is brand new! Until then, if you want to read some of my knitting thoughts, you can find them at

Have a great Fourth of July, and I hope you get lots of knitting done during the holiday--that's what I plan to do!