I have been in panic mode over the idea that a day may come that I won't have the funds to fuel my fiber hobbies. Sock knitting in particular has been my main obsession as socks wear out often and make great gifts. You just can't knit enough socks to go around. Sock yarn is not cheap but Knit Picks sock yarn is pretty reasonable when you consider I spent $20 on one skein of Socks that Rock at the MD Sheep and Wool Fest last May. At the moment I am finishing up a pair in Imagination for a gift which I fell in love with, so I ordered a few skeins more for myself along with some inexpensive self striping yarn. Now that I have a sizable stash to last those hard post retirement years to come, I need to organize it all so I can find it.
Closing in on retirement age, I find myself hoarding my favorite things in anticipation of my departure from the workforce. I can't live without heaps of sock yarn and good tea. I found this 3 pack deal on Amazon during some midnight surfing this past week and low and behold it was here within days. Every afternoon I make it a point to sit down with a pot of this addicting blend and settle my brain. I've got plenty of the tea now. Enough that I don't have to worry for a long while. I even have a teapot warmer, but I have searched the world over in vain for a decent pot to brew it in. I have a Brown Betty, in fact I have two, but I am looking for a clear glass infuser type that lets me watch as the tiny flakes create the clear amber liquid that I just can't live without. All the ones that I have bought recently drip and I hate a messy cup and saucer as that is where I like to park my cookies. Now about that sock yarn hoarding, let me just say that I am expecting a package...
Being of a certain age, it seems that every holiday, I feel like Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by holiday spirits from the past-but in a good way. I have so many wonderful years to revisit in my daydreams that I never know where to start. The years when my grandparents were alive are among my favorite. My grandmother could put out a Thanksgiving feast that would knock your eyes out. Notice I said "put out" and not "cook". My grandmother, Meme, was no cook but she could shop. She brought home jars of strange things that I can't even name but that always looked so pretty in her beautiful cut glass dishes. She dabbed mayonnaise on EVERYTHING in such an artistic manner that you never even realized that you had just eaten mayonnaise on jello. She put out hors d'oeuvures with frilly toothpicks on those folding TV trays that my 12 year old self believed was the epitome of sophistication.
My goodness. I am really getting carried away with this and I have not even come to the point. The point being that I found this old, very old, magazine in my father's garage last month. It is the 1980 Thanksgiving issue. It was 59 cents. Reading it brought on a flood of memories and surprises. Inside the magazine, along with the ads for home perms and 8 track players, cigarette ads took center stage with giant 2 page ads every few pages.
Meme died in 1989 on Christmas Day due to complications from chemo during a very brief battle with lung cancer. I am going be thinking of her today as I always do when I top my orange jello salad with heaps of mayo. It's good. It really is.
This is my coffee table. Seriously. How long is it going to take me to figure out how to pack all this up for any Thanksgiving company that may come my way. Thankfully I am not expecting much in the way of family traffic as everyone has settled in their own little corner of the world for the time being. But some day someone may come visiting and I need a plan. Or another room.
That weird looking thing was the first of the two booties I needed to complete a baby set for a shower Daughter was invited to this weekend. It is a pattern I have been knitting for the occasional baby since the 1980's.
The sweater is knit in one piece from the neck down with raglan shaping. The lace pattern is easy to memorize as it is just a simple yarn over, knit and slip stitch. I wish I could give someone credit for the pattern but there is no name on it. I ripped it out of one of the popular woman's magazines way back when. It is a good thing that I am enjoying making these little things so much because I still have one more set to go. Daughter has ANOTHER friend expecting ANOTHER girl in January. And this one has to get all the way to Texas.
As I was knitting this thing I realized that it looks kinda like a knitted thong. Ugh. I know that is totally cringe worthy. Sorry about that.
I don't usually knit weirdly shaped objects so it was fun to just follow a pattern to see what turns out. I had my doubts for a while but it all is starting to make sense. Stop by tomorrow and I'll have it done.
You'll have to suffer these awful photos though, as the light is gone before I even get home. Dreary colors, dreary backgrounds all washed out by the big bad flash.
I was making fun of the Mister for bringing home a giant bag of grease from Outback this weekend but high cholesterol or not, his heart is probably in better shape than mine right now. Pulling the lace socks out of the bag resulted in this disaster. It is never good when a single needle comes out alone. NEVER. If I am ever found dead on the floor, look around for a lace project. There will be one close by. Probably missing a needle.
Thanks to a giant Saturday pity party, complete with tears and gloomy weather, I managed to get lots of couch time. Couch time equals knitting time so for once I have something to show for my weekend. The sleeves of the baby sweater are ready to go. The second Kaffe Fassett sock is done and the Falling Leaves match is on the needles. Whew. I even managed a tiny bit of spin time but the loom is still gathering dust with a project that really, really NEEDS TO COME OFF. Problem is I just don't have the energy to put something back on and I hate the look of it when it is empty.
Note to family members:That is NOT a sweater for the baby shower we have this weekend. I would NEVER make that mistake twice!
Two lonely socks in need of a match. Life just keeps getting in the way of putting those second socks on the needles. The will is certainly there. Just not the time. I've got high hopes for this weekend. But then again, I always do.
Who would have thought that an onion would be the cure for the ills caused by the H1N1 plague? Last night I happened upon a French blog, written by a desperate mother, who had relieved her daughter's residual swine flu cough by the old home remedy of cutting an onion in half and putting it under the bed. Supposedly the chemical that makes your eyes water helps stop those horrible, dry, hacking, asthma-like cough spasms which are very common among H1N1 victims. I was reading her post, in desperation myself, as I was gasping my way through yet another miserable, sleepless night. Armed with $50 worth of useless Walmart OTC cough remedies, I was ready to admit defeat. At that point throwing an onion under the bed at midnight just made sense. Sort of. It sounds crazy but low and behold, I had the first complete night's sleep in over 3 weeks. When I woke up with my alarm, I seriously thought I might be dead. I was afraid to move. No morning choking hackathon. No morning laryngitis. No gasping for air just trying to get from my room to the bathroom. It was weird. Very weird. I am not completely cured but progress was made in the right direction. Coinky dinky? I dunno but I'm sure putting another one under my bed tonight.
My new Golding La Fleur and I have begun to bond very nicely. It usually takes me a while to get used to a new spindle weight but this one is like an old friend. I bought her a ginormous bag of Merino roving to keep her company on the way home from Rhinebeck and although that will certainly keep her tied up for a very long while, I am still piling up quite a stash in her little queue. I have been tempted to buy her a twin sister from the Golding site but keep reminding myself that MD S&W is right around the corner and I should be able to avoid temptation until then. I already have 7 (yes 7) different spindle projects going at the moment-not counting the unholy mess on the new Russian Spindle and the 2 wheel projects. I fear I may be suffering from FADD. Fiber Attention Deficit Disorder. Someone stop me. Please.
I finally figured out that if I go down a couple of needle sizes on this lacy little top down raglan pattern, I could get the size and drape I was looking for. My first attempt was all loosey-goosey and large enough for a 6 month old. No 6 month old baby would stand for wearing something so fussy, so it was critical that I get the newborn sizing just right. The whole idea behind the layette sweater is that it gives baby shower attendees something sweet to coo over-not neccesarily something that will be useful down the road. First time mother's have no idea what a real baby would do to something like this. I'm not telling them. They'll find out soon enough.
I don't have a photo to share today but if I did, it would be me scratching my head in disbelief.
I learned a painful lesson this week and it has NOTHING to do with yarn. The ancient flower child in me still loves a good protest so I made the mistake of trying to enlist fellow Ravelers in my fight to send Ebay the message that making fun of knitting and homemade gifts in general was not cool for a business that supplies crafters with craft materials. I had visions of millions of us hand crafters storming the Ebay castle with torches and pitchforks-but that is not exactly what happened.
Apparently, I am a giant crochet hating hufflebutt with no self esteem or sense of humor. The fact that I even saw a commercial because I watch TV leaves my intelligence suspect. And those are just some of the nicer comments I got.
People can sure be mean.
This week Ravelry welcomed their 500,000th member and that could have been quite a force to be dealt with if the urge to fight Ebay was as strong as the urge to snark at each other. I have no idea how I became the bad guy in all this but I do know one thing: I am NEVER going near those forums again. It's a time warp back to high school. All name calling and hair pulling. Too bad.
I suppose Ebay knows the knitting demographics better then I do. You don't launch an expensive ad campaign without doing your homework. They knew who to attack and what the outcome would be. So I give up. If people start sniffing your handmades to see if they smell like church-you can't blame me. I tried.
Let me apologize in advance for the amount of times I am going to use the word crap and its many variations in this post. I will explain....
Tonight while crashing on the couch in my usual after work stupor of TV surfing, I came upon a holiday commercial from one of my favorite online sites that left me completely dismayed. A guy is holding up a hand knit pair of mittens with a knitting granny in the background while pissing and moaning about the crappiness of handmade gifts. Now come on ebay, you sell me a lot of the crap I use to make those crappy handmade gifts. I was going to buy something from you tonight but I am taking my business to Etsy until you apologize for your crappy commercial.
So now what am I going to do with all those crappy socks I have been knitting as gifts? Ebay, you just ruined my Christmas, for crap's sake.
I have been too sick to do much of anything fiber-wise this past week and since I am still in my post "Rhinebeck got ruined" funk, I went and bought some more pencil roving from Fiber Optic over on Etsy. I still have my gorgeous Fiber Optic Autumn Leaves pencil roving sitting here-unspun but when I saw the Black Coffee colorway I knew it needed to be MINE. ALL MINE. I have plans for it all but for now I am content to just look at it. It is so pretty.
Halloween equals homemade doughnuts around here. Several Halloweens ago and only days away from her deathbed after a brief battle with a mighty evil leukemia, my mother managed to stagger out to the kitchen to whip up a plateful for the family that were gathering for the last goodbyes. Lingering swine flu or not, yesterday morning I hauled my semi-sick butt out of bed and managed a small plateful that tasted mighty good with a hot pot of cafe au lait because I knew she would expect me to. Love you, Mom. And if you were watching from somewhere out there, I hoped you noticed that I did NOT forget the fresh ground nutmeg this year. It does make all the difference.