Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm Mad At All of My Knitting

Let's hop down the list and see what on the terrifying list of 10 projects I should be knitting:

1. RavOlympics Sweater - I have to frog back to the beginning of the white on the sleeves because I want to join the new balls there and not where I am so I don't have to strip and carry yarns up the seam.

2. Pingala Shawl - sooo much stockingnette

3. Clock Shawl - sooo much garter stitch

4. Shawl that Jazz - being reknit at a smaller gauge - ground I've already covered

5. Daybreak - skewonkus edge, probably going to frog

6. Keefly Mittens - haven't worked on these for months . . . not feeling it

7. Wisconsin Heartwarmer - had to frog back to the purple because of a gauge change, am now having to tink back something like 270 sts per row because there is a mistake somewhere but I can't find it - had to put it down this afternoon before frogging in a fit of rage. Also I only have 10 weeks to finish this per my goal and I'm feeling the time crunch.

8. Stock Socks - sooo much stockingnette

9. Brother Socks - hate ribbing on sock feet

10. Here Comes the Sun Socks - need to frog - too small for feet

I'm a whiner, it's true. I have many projects where there's nothing wrong and I just want something exciting and new. I'm being a fickle child and should just knit knit knit something. I make these lists to convince myself to just get over it and get to work. I haven't finished anything in nearly 6 weeks!

It's spring break! Time to be productive!

Know What I Love?


Monday, March 29, 2010

End of an Era

Spoiler Alert: The end of this post contains a photo of the Notorious Sock Knitters' World Domination Tour Sock Club March 2010 shipment! If you don't have your yarny surprise yet, don't scroll down!

Sunday was my last day at the yarn store. I had been thinking about it for a while but finally got to the point last month where I just needed more time to myself. My other job has gone full time this semester, and after 27 days straight without a day off, I got to the point where I needed a break, so I gave my notice.

I am really, really sad to leave. I have been at Lakeside since February 2007 and I honestly believe I have learned more from working there than I learned in school. The textile program I was in really didn't focus on knitting and in the classes where I did knitting techniques I pretty much was designing my own curriculum. Working at Lakeside allowed me to rub elbows with other talented knitters, my coworkers, and of course the customers. I learned so much just from watching other people knit, not only about technique, but about what people like to knit and what is IN in knitting, and all of the yarns.

I'm going to be leaving Madison, probably for good, in August, as you well know if you're a regular. My husband has a post doc at the University of Texas in Austin, and so we're going to be moving south. There's also an outside chance that I'll be leaving sooner - I don't want to count my chickens or anything, but if everything I want happens I'll be leaving in June - and that's only two months away. I have so many more things to do on my 26 Things To Do in the Last Year List - I'm definitely going to need my weekends!

Got to shake off the gloom. Let's look at pretty pictures!

One of my friends at Lakeside gave me this as a going away present, it's Mountain Colors Bearfoot in Ladyslipper.

As far as my going away present to myself, I had to get a bunch of Claudia Handpaints Fingering. It's sold as sock yarn, though I wouldn't use it as such. I'm thinking baby clothes.

And as promised, the sock club shipment for March. I am very excited. At first I was not thrilled, but the photos in the patterns of this yarn knit up are gorgeous! And I love the name: My Wild Irishgirlie. I'm thinking this time I'll be knitting the Janet Laidmen pattern - I love the book The Secret Garden even though (reason #112 Why I Shouldn't Have a Knitting Blog) I personally hate to garden. I love the little flowers in the pattern. And I love that this is mediumweight.

I'm waffling about my Daybreak Shawl, by the way. It's all skewonkus on the edges and not nearly the nice big shawl I had my heart set on. I'm unsure about its future. Another thing I learned at Lakeside: If you don't like it, rip it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two Sock Day

I never explained about Two Sock Day last week! Last Wednesday I finished my Cascadia socks, from the January shipment of Socks that Rock Club:

The colorway is Happy Go Lucky - I love it! Sorry about the overexposed picture - these socks were extremely hard to photo.

And Jorah finished some socks he made for me during the Ravelympics in STR Lightweight Lapis:

The first time someone else has knit me socks!

Work has been rough recently, and sometimes you need a two sock day to lift your spirits!

In other news, I am finding myself completely consumed by the Percy Jackson series. I've barely knitted for the past two days because I've been devouring books 3 and 4. I can't start #5 until tomorrow though, because our landlords are showing our house and so I have to clean. I'll have to help Percy save Olympus tomorrow.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday Morning

I woke up, looked at the clock, and said, "OH NO!!"

Jorah, sleepily, "What's wrong?"

"It's my first real day off without plans in months and I woke up at 7:45!"

"Me too, but, you know what? We can go back to sleep. We have the technology."

Friday, March 19, 2010

Stuff We All Get

I am so blessed to have such beautiful yarn. Lately it seems like yarn has just been coming to me - appearing out of nowhere. That's not entirely true, but look at the pretties:

This is my amazing gift package for competing in the Ravelympics. Even though I didn't finish (injury due to running out of yarn) I was entered in and got one of the Courage to Compete Prizes on Team Blue Moon. UnravelingSophia, who has a blog of her own, was our team captain and sent me that package of yarny goodness.You see before you a skein of mediumweight Hollyday (a color I desperately wanted at Christmas but didn't get) a skein of Sockittome in Vermillions of Socks (I saw it and immediately thought, 'it looks kind of like ST-2!' I think of everything in terms of STR now). A very cool pattern, beautiful stitch markers, awesome key-chain gauge and ruler, Knitter's Hand Balm, and sock note cards. Amazing loot.

Also, my extra yarn to finish my Ravelympics Sweater has arrived and I couldn't help but throw in a skein of Lover's Leap Mediumweight. I admit to being a little disappointed - I thought from the interwebs that I was going to be red. Fortunately pink is one of my other favorite colors (certainly in the top 30). They were going to be My Vampire Boyfriend socks though, and I don't know if Spike wants me to knit pink socks to remind me of him . . .

On my first day off in 27 days I went to the Madison Knitters' Guild Knit In with a friend. We showed up at 7:30 am (marketplace openned at 8:00.) We were also one of the first cars in the parking lot - as I said to Kj - it's good to know that we're only the 19th and 20th craziest knitters in Madison. We cruised the marketplace, went to class, (Kj had Photographing Your Fiber with Franklin Habit, I had Two End Knitting with Carol Rhoades.) Did more marketplace, saw Ann and Kay of Mason Dixon Knitting, did more marketplace.

My Two End Knitting class was amazing! When Kj came to get me after I told her I felt like my brain had exploded. I am all over this now. If I ever finish anything in my lineup of 10 WIPs I plan to go a little crazy with the Two Ends. Also, I need to buy a book.

Ann and Kay were very good - very funny and I had a great time. My favorite part though, was intermission, when we got to go up and feel all of the garments. It made me stiffen my resolve to knit this, and this, and this!

Surprisingly, the only thing I bought was this:

Briar Rose Fibers Wistful
, a delicious 50% merino, 30% alpaca, 20% silk blend. I have 1,000 yards. I think it wants to be a gigantic scarf.

And then, just to give you a taste of the projects I mentioned in my last post -

Daybreak, in STR Mediumweight, 24 Karat and Sugarplum and

Stock Socks, in Dream in Color Knitosophy Superhero. I love them both.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Work In Progress Run Down

In no particular order:

1. RavOlympics Sweater - currently stalled waiting arrival of more yarn, started February 12th

2. Pingala Shawl - my own design, started in January

3. Clock Shawl - my own design, started in February

4. Shawl that Jazz - started last week

5. Daybreak - started on Thursday

6. Keefley Mittens - started in December

7. Wisconsin Heartwarmer - started a long, long time ago, sleeping for months

8. Stock Socks - started on Thursday

9. Brother Socks - re-started in December

10. Here Comes the Sun Socks - started in September

I don't have any new pictures for you because my sainted camera is being wonky. It's suddenly decided to stop working all of the time. It'll take pictures fine for a while and then - nothing.

Hm. I think I have too many works in progress. What am I going to do about this?

Also, I think I need a win. I'm a little down and I need something to pep me up. Daybreak is probably closest to being finished, even though I started it so recently. And I think I'm just going to frog the Here Comes the Sun Socks - they don't fit me anyway.

Then I'll just have 8.

Okay, going to go watch a Poirot and knit on Daybreak. Polite man makes people take responsibility for their actions, and STR Mediumweight. That should do the trick.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kid Books

Not a lot of knitting going on here recently. Ever since the Olympics I've pretty much just been fussing with things. I'm getting there on my Rockin' Sock Club socks, which is good and I've even started Magic Looping them, which I love, but other than that I'm really just picking at shawls. I don't want to start something too big, because I don't want to get really invested in something and then have to leave it to work on the sweater when my extra yarn comes in.

Instead I've spent the last four days reading kid books. We went to the bookstore on Friday night and I bought a knitting book, two knitting magazines, and The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I spent much of the rest of Friday night, and any time I wasn't at work on Saturday reading like a voracious hound. Verdict: I loved it.

I was in such a groove that afterwards I picked up a book I bought a few weeks ago but hadn't gotten around to yet. I just finished Thirteenth Child, by Patricia C. Wrede, one of my favorite authors from childhood and someone I got to meet a few years ago. It was also great (by also great I mean awesome.)

I love kid books at this level - I also love picture books, of course. One of the reasons I didn't start Thirteenth Child right when I bought it was because I was in the middle of reading A Series of Unfortunate Events again.

One of my favorite things about my mom is her love of reading. When we were kids, one of the most important parenting promises she made to herself was that anytime one of her kids wanted to be read to she would drop everything and do it. I have memories of sitting next to her on the kitchen floor when I was four years old while she read to me.

I know I've written before about the peace of mind reading gives me. I had a rough adolescence - who didn't? - and reading is one of the things that got me through it. Sometime along the way I really began to be able to stop the whole world while I read and see and think about nothing else. It's almost exactly the opposite of what knitting does for me - while I knit my mind is cooking the whole time - when I read I am almost always completely gone.

I loved these two books - I'll definitely be getting the sequel to The Lightning Thief next time we swing by the book store, and I'll keep an eagle eye to see when the next Frontier Magic book comes out.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Not a Solid Plan

I'm cold.

Solution: knit a shawl.

Reality: I've cast on for three shawls in the last few weeks.

Result: No shawls.