Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween?

I've been robbed. It has been 9 days since my accident and I still can't manage to do anything using both hands at the same time. My hair looks like a rat's nest. My knitting basket and spinning wheel are covered with a thick layer of cobwebs. I did manage to painfully type out my credit card numbers to order this cheap, tweedy black yarn to knit up a replacement for the sweater that did not survive the crash. I have no idea how I am going to hand out candy tonight. At least I won't need a costume this year. I already look like a ghost having a really bad hair day.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Big Ouch!

No, I did not steek the arm of my favorite black raglan pullover. The guy in the ambulance did. I was in a car accident on my way to work Wednesday morning. I was stopped on the highway behind another accident when someone plowed into the back of my little Mini Cooper sending me crashing into the steering wheel and fracturing my sternum. Yes. I had my seatbelt on but I learned the hard way that if you are hanging over your steering wheel instead of sitting up straight the belt offers little protection. I loved this sweater. I made it at least ten years ago. I wore it all the time. My body will heal, my car is being repaired but my sweater is totaled.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Prayers for Summerilla

I finished my daughter's prayer shawl last night. I tied on all that lovely fringe while watching Desperate Housewives. It took FOREVER and when I looked at the first shawl I made I realized that I was hooking them on one by one this time instead of putting several pieces of yarn together. As a result there is a massive amount of fringe on this thing. It needs to come with a warning about open flames. I have visions of her cooking over the gas stove and going up in smoke. I am going to be praying that this prayer shawl doesn't give me something to pray about.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Swear It Followed Me Home

I think I have lost my mind. Seriously. I am suffering from a severe kit addiction. I LOVE the idea of someone else putting all my materials together for me so that all I have to do is pick up the needles and go. I hate picking out colors and choosing yarns as I am well aware (and constantly reminded by my daughter) that I have no taste. You have to admit, it is a gorgeous bag. I have fought the urge for weeks to buy it since I already have an over abundance of knitted bags that I never use. I have put it in my cart and taken it out several times. I visited it regularly. We bonded. Then one dreadful night I knew I had to have it. Underneath its little picture were the dreaded words available soon. I stalked that website until I got mine. Here she is safe and sound from the dreaded back order or even worse the discontinued.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Dog's Breakfast

This week's Knit Pick's Podcast challenged lace knitters who blog to show just how ugly lace looks while it is being worked on in hopes of preventing newbies from abandoning their projects in shame. Lace knitting is a rather secretive business. You say you never work on lace in public because it requires intense concentration but the real reason you don't take it out in public is that you really don't want anyone to think that you are actually making something so damn ugly. It takes a long hot soak and a fierce stretching to be able to see the intricate patterns that are hidden during the knitting process. This of course is what makes lace knitting so addicting once you get the hang of it. Blocking is like giving birth. Maybe better. Surprisingly, even beginning knitters have the skills to knit lace as the actual knitting is not at all complicated. It's counting stitches and keeping track of where you are that drives you mad. This is my Seasons of Mist and Mellow Fruitfulness (yes, that is the pattern's actual name) scarf-to-be. We were having a great time together until a naughty little yarnover got away unnoticed and required a painful tinking back this week. I now have resorted to lifelines (knitted-in threads that mark your place) every so many rows to repair my sudden lack of confidence in my ability to count to ten.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crazy Fleece Chronicles Part Two

Later that day:
I could not resist playing with the giant wad of smelly wool (and neither could a very bad little dog) so I picked out some small, dry bits, took them outside and carded them. The VM that flew out of the stuff was everywhere but at least it was coming out. I was starting to have my doubts. After several cardings, the white and black turned into a lovely gray. I made a very sparse rolag and then tried my hand at spindling the stuff. I was able to make a decent little sport weight, 2 ply yarn. Then I knit up a small swatch without soaking and drying it just to see what it would look like. It feels like a fuzzy version of Lopi. I can see mittens. Lots and lots of gray mittens.

Crazy Fleece Chronicles Part One

Through a lot of really hard work the big $4 BAG of smelly wool has now been transformed into....a big PILE of smelly wool. I spent my entire Saturday scouring the stuff in everything in the house that could hold hot water. I started out in a tub outside but the water would not stay hot long enough to do its job so I had to carry it into the house for a soak in my bathtub. After all that washing and rinsing and washing and rinsing it still remains a very dirty pile of wool. It was not much fun trying to keep it all from slipping down the drain and spinning the excess water out in my little salad spinner took FOREVER. I can't believe how much wool this all turned out to be. It arrived here in a shoe box and now is spread out all over my living room floor to dry. My entire house smells like a barn. Keeping the dogs out has not been fun either. Every time I turn my back I find a dog toy in the middle of it. Sad part is that I am going to have to repeat this process again as I can clearly see now that all the grease was not removed. I am NOT however, going to try it again with the whole pile. I am going to pick through it and keep only the good bits and break it up into smaller bags so I can spread out all this fun.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It Fits!

OMG! I actually knit something that fits. The Calorimetry hat/headband thingy is a very popular pattern for people who have way too much hair to fit under a hat. In order to cover my head in winter I either have to choose to have a lumpy head or let my hair hang down a la Morticia Adams which at my age is just not an attractive look. Sure it fits but I am not completely happy with the look of the thing. There are a series of holes that run down each side where the short rows are turned that look like mistakes in my wonky handspun yarn. My knitter's pride is having a hard time accepting these apparent flaws in the knitted fabric. I know they are supposed to be there but anyone else looking at my head will not. I have read there is a way to avoid those holes by wrapping the stitches so I suppose I am doomed to casting on another just to prove to myself it can be done.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Money Troubles

I recently joined the 10 minute a day spinning group on Ravelry in order to inspire myself to finish a half bobbin of pink stuff that I started a very long while ago. I use up my obligatory minutes watching the news each night where I am taking a strange delight in the financial woes of the world. While I am greatly effected by the high price of necessities and the lack of any salary increases this year, watching these big banks tumble has been deeply satisfying. After spending years writing checks to these f@#*ers to pay off high interest rates that came from them claiming to have received late payments that we all know were not real, I am enjoying every minute of watching them squirm in front of the congressional hearings that should have taken place years ago. My immediate reaction to any personal financial troubles that may lie ahead was to economize- by buying a BIG smelly 2 pound bag of raw fleece off ebay. This monster pile of wool was a real bargain at $4.00! Now I only need a $400 drum carder in order to process the stinky stuff.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

This One's For You Pete!

I apologize in advance for what I may say today because I am writing this in a Benadryl induced fog. My eyes look like Heather Locklear's in her mug shot. In the spring when everyone else is sniffling and sneezing I am fine. When the cool weather finally arrives and the first leaves begin dropping, I am a miserable MESS. The idea of picking up anything itchy is unbearable. Wool is out. Even the softest of the softest natural fibers give me the heebie-geebies and send me running for a tissue. My spinning wheel will be gathering dust until I feel better. That is a shame because I am all excited about learning how to Navajo ply. I have a bobbin filled with pink lace weight that was going to be my next shawl project. It will just have to wait. To keep my hands busy I began another prayer shawl in that icky acrylic Lion Brand Homespun that was so horrible to work with in the hot summer months. Now that crappy yarn is a blessing because it gives me a reason to use my GORGEOUS new Harmony wood needles. The large sized needles are really spectacular with all those layers of colors running through them. I also owe Lion Brand a big apology because I actually love, love, love the shawl I made this summer from the nasty old stuff. This one is for my daughter and it is in lovely shades of greens and browns. What you see here is only three nights of TV knitting so it looks like it won't be long before little Pete will be getting one of her own.