Monday, May 02, 2016

Still Breathing

Holy cow.  It has been almost a month!

Where does the time go?

If you are thinking that I finished that lacey scarf weeks ago and shoved it unblocked into The Abyss where it is currently languishing, well, you would be wrong.

I have chosen to let it languish, unblocked, in a basket on top of my yarn cabinet.


Without the comfort of other unloved unblocked handknits to keep it company.

I might be a terrible person.

Let me distract you with cute pictures of the Queen.

With this much toddler cuteness is it any wonder I can't seem to get anything done?

Thursday, April 07, 2016

A Return to the Old Ways

So I have a purple mess of yarn ends and untried potential to conquer

And a stack of hats just waiting to be blocked.

I was unusually efficient when I knit these hats.  I even wove the ends in as soon as I finished knitting each one.  It really is a quick soak and done situation.

But despite my previous efforts to be a monogamous knitter, to work on one project from start to finish without interruption, I have returned to my slutty yarn ways and decided to ignore my obligations and instead turn to the open arms of a new love

A little cake of unknown origin.

No ball band.  No idea how it came to be mine.  No information on fiber content, yardage, even yarn weight.

It isn't lace weight, but it isn't quite thick enough to be fingering.

Weighing in at 83 grams I'm not even certain it is an entire skein of yarn.  It might be someone's leftovers.

Who knows.

I just know I love its creamy/brown/blue goodness.

I must create something.

I'm feeling unusually scarfy.

Light, lacey scarfy.

Do you ever feel like you spend more time looking at patterns on Ravelry than you spend knitting?

That was me the other night searching for the perfect pattern for my mystery yarn.

Pattern after pattern after pattern.

Until I finally settled on a feathers and fan scarf.

I love feathers and fan.

Until the yarn pools in a weird vertical striping pattern.

And then I hate feathers and fan.

Back to Ravelry I go.

Only this time, in the interest of salvaging my ever dwindling knitting time, I picked the first "yeah, this could work" pattern I saw.


This could work.

I'm a third of the way through this yarn and the scarf is going to be very short.  Unless I can stretch it long when I block.  When I stretch it it is a perfect size.  The mystery fiber content feels cotton/nylon/acrylicy.  None of which are super awesome at holding a block.  I'm feeling pretty confident that this will stretch and be long and block perfect.  And the second I remove it from the blocking wires it will shrink back up into its previously stubby proportions.

But since I like to flirt with disaster I just keep knitting.

Plus if it shrinks up too short I can always give it to one of the kids.

But realistically I will probably knit this and then shove it into The Abyss to be forgotten and unblocked for a year or two.  Don't worry.  It will have all those shawls I knit last summer to keep it company.

Monday, April 04, 2016

The Best Laid Plans

I had such plans to blog on Friday.

I knit, and I took pictures, and I had things written in my head.

And then Queen Bean just casually walked up and poured a cup of water on my laptop.

I'm not sure I have ever moved so fast in my life.

The laptop was tipped to pour the water off, and towel dried, and turned off, and flipped upside down.

And then we left it alone all weekend.

I crossed my fingers, and wished, and hoped, and prayed, and wondered how much rice I would need to submerge my laptop in a garbage bag of rice.

I held my breath when I booted up my computer, still fearful that things would go wrong and somehow water on my computer would cause the entire laptop to mysteriously catch fire.

Mercifully no pyrotechnics ensued.

Just the Microsoft logo.

Everything seems to be running just fine, and in the end I'm not sure water ever even got past the outer case.  The mysterious inner working of my device may never have even been in any danger.

But we took precautions just in case.

And I was once again reminded that I really need to back up my pictures (which I should be doing now but I am blogging for you instead.  That's called priorities.)

So back to friday morning.

I finished knitting my two sleeves.  The final elements of my purple sweater.

And I then carefully removed all the safety pins I could find.

And just to be on the safe side I had The Greatest go over the sweater looking for the knitwear destroying pins as well.

When none were found, at 10 am, I once again submerged my sweater in anticipation of blocking.

I sat down to watch the new episode of Grey's Anatomy with the grand plans to lay the sweater out when the episode was over.  And entire 47 minutes later.

But when the episode was over The Queen needed something, and then I had to run to the store, and then I needed to make lunch, and then the kids came home from school, and then I had to make dinner.  And it goes on and on and on.

I finally got down to the business of blocking at 7:00 that night.

Nine hours later.

Mold and rust free.

The sweater is blocked and dried and waiting for the moment of truth.

I need to try it on and see once and for all what I have created.

Did I finally achieve the perfect Grown Up Girl sweater I have dreamed of?  Or is it too small?  Or are the sleeves too long?  Or are there crazy textures stripes between the different kinds of yarn?

I'm feeling a lot of pressure for this sweater to be a win.

Pressure from where?  Who knows!

But the pressure is there, and I am not ready to fail yet.

So I'm going to let the sweater sit for a little longer before I take the chance.

In the meantime I knit four hats over the weekend.

But that is a tale for a different day.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Self Sabotage

So another round of a tummy bug = lots of knitting time!

I swear I've had more illness this winter than the rest of my life put together.

I know it is because I am just so run down.  My body is all out of fight.  A germ enters and my immune system simply surrenders to it.  Queen Bean is inching towards sleeping through the night on a regular basis.  We will get there.  But in the mean time I am exhausted.  I told The Greatest that I'm starting to think this is just my new default setting.  Even if I were well rested I would feel this way because my body has accepted this as normal.

But on the bright side lots of knitting time means my purple sweater is looking a lot like an actual sweater.

Random notes

  • I've already knit the pockets and ties rather than waiting until the end.  I was hoping knitting the pockets early, before the full weight of the sweater was on the needles would help prevent stretching of the bottom stitches.  I'm not sure it helped, but it is nice to know once I finish the sleeves I will be done.
  • I knit reverse stockinette stitch for four inches before I divided for the sleeves.
  • I wish I had knit reverse stockinette for an inch or two before I knit the back cable panels.  I'm afraid they are sitting a little low now.  But not low enough to make me frog back and fix it.
Did anyone catch this in the picture?

Why yes, that is a safety pin marking a row on the sleeve.

As a matter of fact this sweater is full of safety pins

Marking rows, holding yarn butterflies where I added new balls.  I'm pretty sure there are a few safety pins thrown in there just because I want to set myself up to fail.

It is like I have learned nothing from my previous knits.

This sweater really doesn't want to be.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Oh Crumb

So it turns out

Queen Bean looks even cuter in my ears than I do.

Even with a chocolate covered face.

Sock Monkey!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Little Bit of This and That

I was going to get things done Thursday morning.

I was going to do laundry, and pay bills, and block some things, and run the vacuum and possibly wipe the fingerprints off the appliances.  As my friends would say:  I was going to adult.

But then I realized that Amazon was offering season three of Orphan Black free to Prime members.

Good bye good intentions.

Hello marathon knitting!

And did I ever knit!

Only 3/4 of an inch until I switch to reverse stockinette stitch.

Because I need to keep a record of what I'm doing somewhere for I will never remember the details later:

  • I am knitting the third size.  
  • I used size 6 needles for the garter edge.  
  • I did two extra rows of garter stitch for a total of 22 rows and then I switched to my size 7 needles.  
  • I am not slipping the first stitch of each row, because I'm a rebel.  
  • I can still see where I switched between the yarn for the original disaster of a sweater and the "virginish" yarn that has been used once but never blocked.  I waffle between being cautiously optimistic that the lines of demarcation will block out, and being positive that this will always show and this entire sweater will be an epic disaster.  But I am too lazy to try to figure out what to do about it now.  I'm only 3/4 of an inch from the switch to reverse stockinette.

In general life news it is Easter Weekend, and I've got my ears on!

I kinda want to start wearing them every single day.  I love them so much.  I was going to put them on The Queen, but I tried them on and now?  They're mine.  I'm not sharing.

We celebrated Easter Sunday on Saturday because The Greatest is working Easter Sunday and I am not dealing with five sugared up children all on my own.  I haven't slept through the night in over two years.  I'm simply not doing it.  We weren't paying attention to the calendar and accidently cooked a ham last weekend, and subsequently ate meals made with leftover ham all last week.  So no one was in the mood for even more ham.

Except Bird.

She really loves ham.

But I was over it.  So we decided instead of ham The Greatest would smoke a brisket for Easter Saturday.

Smoked brisket and pie.

Lots and lots of pie.

As I was making pie the children were sitting around the table eating Easter Candy and playing "Old Bunny" and "Go Chick."  I didn't know that Easter Miracles are a thing that happen.  Well, beyond the obvious rising from the dead Easter miracle.  But Easter miracles must be a thing, because none of the games ended in fighting, tears, or physical altercations.  They giggled and swapped candy and were the delightful children I know them to be.

Easter Freaking Miracle.

Today we've had a relaxing morning eating candy, painting nails, and playing video games.  We've eaten leftover brisket sandwiches and had more pie than is healthy.  My neighbor seems to think that blaring bad rap music in her backyard and swearing at her children is the proper way to honor Christ's sacrifice.  So I am playing Beethoven symphonies inside my house to drown out the noises from outside the house.  And my soul is so happy. Why did I ever stop playing classical music?  Beethoven IS life!  I need to fill my home with symphonies more often.  It needs to go to the top of my "ways to cope with stress" list.

In a sad related note, I was looking through our big binder of cd's and Meaty, who is 13 (I know, how did that happen), asked what I was doing.  I told him I was looking for my Beethoven CD.  He cocked his head to the side, scowled, and asked "So you listen to these?  You don't watch them?"  My children are far more digital than is healthy.  I should find and old record player and really blow their minds.

And on that sad note I am going to go find my disc of piano concertos, and eat some more pie.  Concertos and pie are good for the soul.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Why Hello There

Hello Dear Blog!

How I've missed you.

I know I've ignored you lately but life has been so busy.  You've been in the back of my mind the entire time.  A tiny voice running commentary whispering "You should blog this. You should take pictures of this so you can blog this.  You should have taken pictures so you can blog this.  You need to create time to blog.  The Queen took an extra long nap today, you should have used the time to blog.  You're up at 2 am with insomnia, you should get out of bed and blog.  WHY DON'T YOU BLOG???!!!!!"

Blogging started to feel less and less like a fun creative outlet.  A way to tell storied and share my knitting and keep those far away in touch with my family.  It felt like one more stressful stone of life that was drowning me.

In a recent evaluation of things that are causing me stress and what can we do to remove some of the stress from my life blogging was chosen to be an obligation I  could discard in favor of showering more often.  One little stone I could remove from my neck and toss aside.  I could silence that nagging voice forever.

But then I took a farewell tour of my blog.  And in doing so, as I reread page after page, post after post, I remembered how much I love my blog.

I wish I could quit you.

But instead I want to devote myself to you once more.

I want to write.  To craft words into sentences to tell well written stories.  I want to create.  To knit beautiful things from my own two hand.  I want to take pretty pictures to share my creations, and my children, and my life.  I recently picked up my camera and it had been so long since I have taken pictures with my camera, that I've basically forgotten how to use it.  How to change the setting to take pictures to the best advantage.  How to adjust the settings to accommodate lighting, movement, focus.  It was truly sad.  I want to be passable at photography again.  I want all this in my life.

I guess I'll be giving up showering.

It's all about priorities.

Is this the vow renewal ceremony that so often seems to proceed the divorce?  The last ditch effort to save the relationship?


But even if this is the beginning of the end I've enjoyed the ride.

In the meantime I knit a sweater.

(Side note:  See what I was saying about crummy photography?  It is truly sad.)

This sweater has quite the tale, and it isn't complete yet.  Someday I hope I get the chance to tell it's story.

And my little walk down memory lane has inspired me to once again cast on for Girly Girl in my purple yarn.  I know I made some pattern modifications, but I didn't keep a record of what I did, so there is no telling what I will end up with.  But hopefully whatever it is it will be rust free.