Sunday, November 30, 2008

NaKni Oh No!

Being the last day of November it's time to admit that I did not reach my NaKniSweMo goal. I attempted to complete not one but three sweaters in the month of November. Two were officially begun in the first days of the month but I wanted also to complete at least one sleeve on that Palette Cardi that has been hanging around since well, forever. I did manage to make decent progress on everybody but I totally over estimated the time I would have to myself on my 5 day Thanksgiving holiday. Sad to say, but holidays are about obligations not about knitting. Vacation Day 1 was all about cleaning and shopping. Day 2 was for preparing the feast and entertaining. Day 3 was Black Friday shopping- my very first ever. I just had to see what all the fuss was about. I was disappointed, it looked just like any other Saturday at the mall to me. No stampeding crowds anywhere, just lots of dazed looks and empty hands. Day 4 was dedicated to clearing out the stash room and today, a cold and rainy Day 5 has been for paying bills and blogging about how the month went so damn fast. In 3 weeks I will have the winter break to tie up all the loose ends so I'll stop whining and go find a quiet corner to knit in.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Giving Thanks

On this busy Thanksgiving weekend I would like to take the time to say that I am very thankful for being the owner of this room full of yarn and other assorted fiber goodies. I have spent the morning sorting and organizing a situation that could only be described as a stash explosion. I have been buying and then piling up my loot in their delivery boxes until it was no longer possible to get into my little craft room. I am also thankful for Tupperware. Their big plastic bins made it possible to hide all this stuff neatly out of sight. I have a birthday coming up and I don't want to anyone to think that I don't really need that Knit Picks gift certificate I have been hinting about.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

No Gobble Here

Our house is a turkey free zone on Thanksgiving. Even if I had not seen the unfortunate Sarah Palin interview this week, there would not have been a bird in my oven. For my family it is all about the chocolate chip cookies, fruitcake and Beaujolais. Add a grilled salmon hot off the outside wood stove, a few randomly chosen green things, the obligatory mashed potatoes and the feast is complete. The fruitcakes are baked early Thanksgiving morning, soaked in brandy and then wrapped carefully to be put away until Christmas. This year I was in too big of a hurry to get them out of the pan before they had time to cool and they broke apart. They won't be very pretty this year but I can confirm that they are tasty because I gobbled up the broken bits for breakfast.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Knitting at the Trump

Here she is. The queen of the knitting geeks, knitting away on the 24th floor of the Trump Plaza still on my Sunday morning post Madonna high. I actually made miles of progress on my black raglan in order to cure the intense vertigo I suffered when I discovered my room was on the top floor. I still can't believe my daughter actually talked me into getting this close to the window in order to get a good shot of the Trump sign behind me. In spite of the bad room location, the weekend was spectacular. I have not been to a concert since, well....Jerry Garcia was still alive, so I was very happy to discover I could still rock with the best of them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Rock On

Like all working mothers who are expecting holiday guests, I should be spending the weekend before Thanksgiving cleaning my filthy house but I am abandoning the apron and mop to travel instead to Atlantic City to attend tonight's Madonna concert. Daughter and I will spend the night at Trump Plaza before taking tomorrow morning's trip back to reality. I am taking along my black raglan as a travel project but knitting on a weekend where I am celebrating my inner material girl is just not working for me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Don't Laugh

Here is my very first scarf, hot off my new Ashford Knitter's Loom. I know it is really awful looking. Using my knitter's brain, I totally choose the wrong yarn for my first project. I wanted something with interesting color variations. I should have picked up one of the bazillion balls of sock yarn I have in my stash. Instead I picked up some ancient Patons hand-dyed which is a very lightly twisted wool that got all fuzzy when the shuttle passed through it. The warp actually broke when I increased the tension on the roller things. It seems you really need two different kinds of yarn to weave with. A strong slick one to warp the loom and something a little more textured to weave with. When I came to the end I remembered the loosey goosey way I wove at the beginning, so thinking I was being clever, I tried to replicate the look so it would seem like I did it on purpose. As you see, it looks terrible. This thing isn't going out the house anyway, so I should have spent the time warping the yarn I bought yesterday to make a real scarf.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Complete Beginner

Knitting to spinning to weaving. Seems like a natural (expensive) progression. For weeks I have researched all the rigid heddle looms on the market in order to get the one that would offer me the most options for future projects. I settled on the 20 inch Ashford Knitter's Loom so that if, one day, I am bored with making scarves out of my leftover bits of stash I could graduate to shawls. And besides, anything with Knitter's in the name can't be that difficult, right? The instructions state that I could make a scarf within a few hours of taking the loom out of the box. After several hours out of the box, I was feverishly looking for HELP on the web. Why hasn't ANYONE posted a video of someone actually using one of these things? We all understand the concept behind weaving. In and out, up and down, but tying 16 pieces of yarn onto the watchamacallits was making my brain hurt. It's funny how the words up and down can have so many meanings depending on what you are actually doing. There were also lots of other little surprises along the way. For example, you need lots of tables to clamp the thing onto which have to be a specific distance apart. Then you have to wrap the roller things up with a ton of copy paper. And then finally, when all is said and done, you need a friend to help you roll all that tied yarn up. Good grief. You need to be an octopus. I saw people on the web substituting soda cans. I used ankle weights. To make matters worse, I still don't really know where the down position of the heddle is and by the looks of my ugly little first project that is going to be a big problem. I don't want to discourage anyone from buying a loom. Right or wrong, I am having fun with it. Just be warned that it takes alot more than instructions and common sense to figure this stuff out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More Loot

I almost forgot to mention the things that I am the most excited to have bought this week-my Harmony wood buttons. They are perfect for my soon to be February Lady Sweater. At $1.99 for a pack of 2 they are a real bargain. I did not even know they existed until I heard someone talking about them on a podcast this week. They arrived with my Harmony Options circular needle set which I promptly put to work on the Gull Stitch pattern that makes up the body and sleeves of this sweater. I have to admit I am very nervous about this whole screw in needle stuff. I have heard horror stories about them unscrewing and leaving you with a lap full of loose ends but you can't beat the convenience of having all the sizes you need in one small bag. I am too impatient these days to go searching through the house for needles that seem to always be missing their partners. Of course there is no guarantee I'll actually keep these in their little zippered case either.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Spending Spree

My bank account took a tremendous hit this week. In some feverish fit of insanity, I bought a Strauch Petite drum carder, a 20 inch Ashford Knitter's Loom, the Harmony circular needle set plus two books of sweater patterns. I won't even mention the yarn. Or the roving. My debit card info is now BANNED from the same room as my laptop because all of this loot is from late night surfing while in a podcast daze. In my defense and in case you are a family member reading this who is thinking about tattling (yes, I am talking about you!) I had this money tucked away from my attendance bonus from work. Anyone who can make 180 plus days with a room full 6 year olds deserves a reward.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Road to Recovery.... paved with lots of Motrin. This morning I swallowed a handful of pain killers in order to get these socks finished. I blame them for my accident. If I had left for work at my usual time instead of finishing a few extra rows that fateful morning I would have missed the big pile up. I know I am being overly dramatic but just looking at them has been giving me the heebie jeebies so they had to go. I hooked them together to reduce any sliding action with a locking row marker and finished them in one marathon knitting session. I took my Ravelry FO photo and then shoved them way back in the closet. Way back. Didn't even block them.