Monday, April 28, 2008

Ummm...been a while...

How are ya? Soooooo...I don't have all that much to tell ya! What have I been doing? hmmm. Well, we have been busy doing yard work ( I am DETERMINED to have a nice yard this year; the past few years have focused on interior and structural renovations, so the yard went TO HELL). Spring cleaning, even. I know -- don't fall over. I said at the beginning of the year I was re-dedicating myself to my home. I meant it!
Lest you be worried that I have entirely gone to the dark side, don't be. It ain't spotless (yet?) and I have been spending equal amounts of time with the kiddos and the yarn. the little girl and I had the most amazing weekend the week before this last when daddy and J went on a sleepover on a battleship with the Cub Scouts. (Needless to say, they had a glorious time, but "sleep"over is a bit of a misnomer.) I gave R the choice of a sleepover at her cousin's (with mommy in tow) or time alone doing anything she wanted. She chose ME and didn't care what we did. Stay home, hang out. Get girlie. So that is what we did, with the exception of going to dinner. We hung out, snuggled, and she slept in my bed after a movie and we chatted and just spent time together. Best time ever. sigh I love that kid.
On the knitting front, I am still plugging away at the BRB (Big Red Blob) and have forsaken the vest for this. I am a bit sad about this, as I am anxious to cut those first steeks, but I really, really want the shawl done for NH Sheep and Wool. I think I'll be moving onto the final border leaf portion in the next row or two, so, provided the kids let me have the time (it is vacation week) I'll have it done in a few days. Then for the blocking and a vigorous de-hairing! My poor boy Chewie is shedding like crazy and his fur is ALL OVER this shawl. I still have not found just the right comb to help me harvest this furry goodness, either (yup, I want Chewie mittens).
I have been dyeing, and have a few fun new colors to show you. I have to say, tho, don't ever come here expecting to see too many calm or neutral colors. I'm finally embracing the fact that I just like. bold. color. CRAZY color. Seriously -- it's socks! why the heck not?? Sure I have some respectable colors (Gothic Rose, Black Forest Fudge and the new Black Pearl), but the wild ones really charge me up. Take Kismet, for instance.

Or maybe the all new Barbie Girl.

I'm tickled that camping season is on its way, so I also came up with this... (Campfire)

And the BSG inspired Eye of Jupiter (presently sold out on etsy, but you can order it here.

I cast on these socks in EoJ the night before heading down to WEBS to see the Lady herself.

I have had this colorway running around in my head since catching up on all th episodes I had missed during a Sci-Fi marathon, and Friday got down to it, knowing Stephanie was a fan of the show and wanting to bring her a little something. I know what a long day it is for her signing and wanted to make her smile the way she always makes all us knitters smile. She seemed thrilled. I hope she likes how it knits (tho I fear they aren't really her colors). In case you had any doubts, she was as funny and charming and wonderful as always. And a big thank you to Caroline for driving and to her, Chris and Ericka for such wonderful company. Oh, and Chris...YARN FIGHT!!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Kickin' in

Well, the antibiotics have done their job, and I am 98% back to normal and getting very restless now, anxious to get back to the dye pots and insanely trying to tame the carnage that has beset my house. I did five jumbo loads of laundry yesterday. I have been writing down new color ideas all weekend in anticipation of a big dyeing session -- or lots of them -- this week, but especially today, as I have folks waiting for yarn tomorrow night. And guess what? The boy is home sick. AHHH! possible sinus/ear infection. I'll get a lot of prep done today while he is home and resting, and probably dye into the night tonight. It just can't wait any longer!
As for knitting, I reached an impasse in the vest. As previously stated, I began the vest as a mindless, knit-in-the-round project for sick knitting. I was fairly certain at the time that when I split the project for front and back flat knitting I would be unhappy with the change in stripes, but I wasn't hugely invested in the project so just slogged on. As predicted, I didn't like it.

In actuality, I liked the stripes better this way, and considered frogging, but I knew I wouldn't cast on again since I'm really not super thrilled with the colors, so I ripped back and now...

I'm going to STEEK. What better project to try this on for the first time than one in which I'm not hugely invested? I did some internet research for the best way to approach the armholes and ended up deciding to put the "cast-off" stitches called for in the pattern on waste yarn and then casting on (backward loop) the same number of stitches over the gap before re-joining on the other side. I decided to work the steek stitches in purl to make them easier to differentiate and am working the armhole shapingas directed on each side. Fortunately, the pattern doesn't call for neck shaping to start until the armhole shaping is done, so I don't hav eot worry about all the steps at the same time. I plan to work the neck opening as a steek as well. I'm really excited to be taking this leap. I know some people blanch at the thought of taking scissors to their knitting, but really -- it's just yarn. Yarn is my friend. We can do this. And especially in this case, where I haven't spent hours and hours on an intricate Fair Isle design, I have no worries. I so thoroughly enjoy knitting in the round that I am simply thrilled at the possibilities this opens up for me. So, on with the knitting, and next time...the cutting! (And lest you worry, the big red blob has not been abandoned, but is being worked a bit at a time. The rows are getting much longer now, so progress seems so much slower.)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm still standing...and knitting

Well, it has been a week now and I am starting to get better in some ways, but the cough seemed to be getting deeper, so yes, I went to the doc, and yes, got anti-biotics to head off bronchitis, so let's hope for a big up-swing. I have yarn to dye! I haven't wanted to go anywhere near the dye pots, or rather the citric acid powder and dye powder as they can be respiratory irritants and even tho I have a new respirator, I don't want to prolong this any more than I need to. So, onward and upward. Oh, and THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for all your concern and well wishes!!
In the mean time, I have had little brain capacity for the big red lacy blob, so I cast on a nice mindless knit, a little cropped vest from Twilley's in some Universal Poems from the stash. This yarn was meant to be the Bar Harbor Bag, but I wasn't feeling the colors there, and quite frankly I'm not too thrilled with them for this project either, but I'm reserving judgment until the end. I'm hoping it will be nice w/ jeans, although the colors are a bit too dull and yellowed out for me. It is serving its purpose, nonetheless, as a nice mindless way to keep my hands busy while I rest. I am knitting it in the round, instead of flat, as called for, because, well, I just don't want to purl. It's my knitting and I'll do what I want to. :P
I also resurrected and old, old knit much in need of finishing. Nearly a year ago I began a Norberta for Jacob -- he picked out the yarn, and I bought many other color combinations for gifts, btw -- and it was knit, but the pieces never sewn. I dug it pout, grabbed some batting and gave it a go. He had no recollection of the project, but was thrilled ot get his new friend nonetheless!

He has been dubbed, fittingly, Spike, and spent his first night as a fully realized toy exactly where he should, in the arms of my boy. I love knitting for my kids.