Thursday, May 20, 2010

Trekking and Knitting

You know you're a knitter when you start getting up at 5:30 to get a few rows in on that intense project before the rest of the house wakes up.  And yeah!  I have 2 FOs this week, a baby hat and DDs socks but no pics as of yet.  Maybe later today.
You know you're a Trekky when all things in your life reference Trek.  For example, last night I was thinking about a crazy movie that I watched once, the name of which escapes me, where 2 young women were in abusive relationships and got out of them.  It's a black, black comedy with abuse (obviously) and drugs and what not and I usually steer 1,000s of miles clear of those kinds of movies because that stuff upsets me and those movies get into my brain, I thought, just like one of those grubs that got put into Sulu's ear and drove him mad.   Seriously, do you reference Trek in your musings even when you're not even talking to someone else?
You know you're spreading your Trekkiness when your daughter, who is in 1st grade at the time, gets to tell a joke in class one day in school.  "Oh," I said, "what joke did you share?" 
"I told this one," said DD. 
"Why did Captain Kirk go into the ladies room?  He wanted to go where no man had gone before."
Good joke, no?  But sad to say, the other 6 year olds didn't get it.  The teacher thought it was funny though.  Do you think my daughter will bring this up in therapy when she's 23?
Pics later, I hope.  The chillins' are waking up now so I must go play Mommy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

On Time and Monogomy

Lately I've had a couple of knitting fails. 

I made the first of the purple cable socks for my Mom but it seemed a bit big to me.  So although I started the second I wisely decided to wait until she tried on the first before I finished the second and boy am I glad I did because it was way too big around the leg and it wasn't going to work out.  I figure that took about 15 hours.  I haven't ripped it out because maybe I can think of someone with a big leg and foot that it would fit.

On Friday I started a pair of ankle socks for my 7 year old daughter.  I was on a school bus trip with my son - 2.5 hours of prime knitting time on the bus.  For 8 hours we were at an amusement park where I spent a good 3 hours knitting and watching people go by and guarding stuffed animals and wet clothes.  5.5 hours of knitting time on a sock for my daughter but before I finished the toe I decided to let her try it on and I'm glad I did because it was too small.  I ripped it out to start again on Saturday during a 2 1/2 hour car ride.

So here's my question.  What happened to that time?  On the one hand it's lost time.  Wasted.  Because the products I thought I would have at the end of those 20.5 hours weren't there.  Then again I do consider myself a process knitter and I enjoy the act of knitting so didn't I enjoy those 20.5 hours and gain some personal benfit from them?  So maybe they weren't wasted.  And as I sat in the amusement park I was chaperoning and watching all the people so by double tasking those hours I was still doing something and they weren't wasted.  And all that car riding was just car riding - nothing lost there.  But it nags at me.  All those hours of knitting with nothing to show.  All those stitches and my hands are tired and nothing to show.  Then again, isn't a beautiful thing that I could pull that second sock out and re-knit the yarn into a sock that does fit?  Isn't that just neat?  I'm not sure what happens to that knitting time but I suppose it will happen sometimes and it's not going to keep me from knitting of course.

On project Monogomy I have this to say.  I think it's a cool idea but I can't do it.  Not only do my hands get sore from working with the size 1s all the time and I need to switch to a project with larger needles for a while but I'm socked out for now.  I love lots and lots of projects going so I can pick and choose depending on my mood.  In fact, maybe I'll cast something new on after dinner.  So there.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lack of Proofreading

Please note:  Any proofreading errors in the following are not the fault of the writer and can be attributed to severe sleep deprivation and exhaustion.

One non-stealth stealth sock is done.  I kept thinking it was taking me forever and amazingly it is in fact a bit long but the recipient's foot is longer than mine so perhaps it will do.  Nonetheless, I left the toe without sewing the end in just in case I need to rip it out and make it shorter.  I hope to start the second sock as soon as the second child is tucked in tonight.  I'd love to have them done by Mother's Day but with my upcoming schedule I'm doubting it.  I have 5 hours of driving to do tomorrow which I don't begrudge at all but I haven't figured out how to drive and knit yet.  When will someone invent the autopilot car, please.  Or better yet the transporter.  Still, hope springs eternal.  When these socks are done I have about 348 projects I want to start and about 5 to finish.  Does that ever happen to you?

I'm really really really enjoying the Knitajourney podcast.  Every episode has some nugget of thought provoking interesting something-or-other in it for me and I love it.  First, I am a Knitter in Motion.  Something must truly come in the way of my knitting for me to stop - and leaving the house doesn't usually count unless it's today when I had to take 2 kids to the same Dr's office at 2 different times requiring driving all over the doggone county.  I couldn't take them both at once because there was State testing going on and my concientious son wouldn't miss his test for the world.  The Dr. did a double take when I showed up the second time.  However, I had a lovely luncheon at Pannera with my 7 yo and some shopping which was also delightful which is great because I usually hate shopping.  After shopping we stopped for a short visit and a friend's house.  She's also a knitter and about 6 months ago I taught her to knit socks and she's been on a big sock bender ever since.  Guess what, I had no knitting with me.  I think it was making her uncomfortable.

Which leads me to another force of nature that can put me off my knitting - sleep deprivation.  Sing it loud folks.  I don't care how old your children get, when they're sick and up in the night you don't sleep much and you get just as tired as you did when they were infants.  Maybe I get more tired because frankly, I'm older too.  Proof of this is that I went out to buy them some shorts, t-shirts and jammies for summer in between Dr.s appt and discovered that the pjs were a size too big and the 2nd pair of shorts for my son were 3 sizes too small!  Further proof is that I left my house for a known Drs. appt, lunch, stopping at a knitting friend's house AND I HAD NO KNITTING WITH ME THE WHOLE TIME.

The stray neighborhood cat hacking up a hairball and howling on the deck outside our bedroom at 4:00 a.m. didn't help either.  Just sayin.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

No Attention Span

So I'm working away on my Mom's socks and knitting and knitting away and bang - I gotta work on something else.  Yes, I have the attention span of a flea.  It's too hot to work with acrylic and my hands are sweating so the yarn is sticky but we're watching a movie.  Seriously, you can't figure I'm gonna not knit, right?  I think I'll do a bookmark.  I'm going to try to sell some at the elementary school's used booksale to raise some money for the school.  This way I'll have a little something to do but it won't really take me away from the socks for long.  So . . . off to find a pattern and how to starch them.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hot Weather Knitting

(Spoiler Alert:  Mom - don't read this before Mother's Day - quick, look away . . .)

The hot weather is apparently here.  I sat in 85 degree Farenheit weather today at my son's ballgame with sticky hands knitting socks for my Mom which I hope to have done in time for Mother's Day next week.  The pattern is Cable Rib Socks by Erica Alexander from Interweave Knits Spring 2005.  Here's what it looks like so far.
I like it well enough.  I certainly like how it looks in the magazine.  I must have done something wrong with the split for the heel because the cables below the gusset don't seem to be 1 or 2 stitches off but upon reflection I decided I didn't want the cable to run all the way down the foot anyway because I think it might be uncomfortable inside a shoe.  So I just let it blend into the rib on the instep which I'm keeping because Mom likes them with ribbing on the instep.  If I end up not liking how it looks I'll rip back and re-set the heel.
I'm using the Bernat Satin Sport Solids again as that's her favorite yarn for socks.  I know it's probably sacrilege to most knitters to make a pair of acrylic socks but I swear she absolutely loves them!  She says they keep her feet warm and dry.  I should borrow a pair some to see because I bet they wear like iron and at $1.50 a ball on sale at Michael's (it does take about 1.5 balls for a pair) I really can't go wrong.

In other news, here's the picture of the Buttercup. Gets up slowly to go take picture . . . wait for it . . . lame photo shoot . . . loading . . . and BAM - the power of technology. 

And a close up of the lace around the neckline which makes this shirt so special.  That and the a-line fit.

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do with my angora/wool washable sock yarn that I got in VT on vacation.  It's sooooo darn soft.  The contenders are currently two pairs of socks, Hat Heels (rav link) or Skew (rav link) OR a hat and cowl which would be the Tamarind Cowl (rav link) and a slouch hat of some sort.  I'll keep thinking about it while I finish these socks.

And believe it or not I've been making good (in my opinion) progress on my Maplewing Shawl.  I've been getting up at 6:00 a.m. on the weekends so I can have a hour or two before the rest of the house wakes up to concentrate.  I'm all the way to row 26!  Hooray.  It still doesn't look like much so no picture but hopefully I can keep plugging away at it.

Work has been quite tough which is why I haven't posted in a while.  I'm enjoying the kids' spring sports and music endeavors and we're all looking forward to concert season.  We looked at the SPAC schedule for the Philly orchestra today and picked out 6 at least that we want to go to including Yo Yo Ma, the Ode to Joy and Porgy and Bess.  Our son is auditioning on part of Porgy and Bess next month for a percussion ensemble so he'd really love to see that live.  And the Saratoga Jazz Festival is at the end of June and looks to have a great line up.  We're especially excited for the Saturday which includes Al Jarreau and my favorite - Taj Mahal.  We're very lucky to live so close to such a world class venue. 

I haven't been reading anything truly inspiring lately but lots of fun stuff.  My daughter and I are reading Harry Potter.  We're on #5 and trying to finish so we can read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy over the summer.  My son and I have just started the Wheel of Time series (12 books I believe) by Robert Jordan which David Reidy of Sticks and Strings Podcast recommends.  I thought the first book was a little slow on the start but now I'm really enjoying it.  I also hope to read the Alexandria Quartet again this summer - a series I try to re-read every 7 or 8 years - but I'm going to wait until the school year ends to attempt that.  Last summer I failed at the Infinite Jest read-a-long.  The characters in it were too creepily, realistically mad for me which is in fact a sign of really incredible writing but it was too much for me.  The biographical critic would say that the writing made it obvious that David Wallace Foster had some real experience with depression and mental illness himself.  I gave the book to a friend to keep myself from going back to it but the creativity and the fantastic, amazing ideas in it and all the deep references would make it a great read if the psychic pain the characters were in didn't bother you.

Tomorrow is the first Greenmarket of the season!  Welcome summer.