Monday, January 30, 2006

Letting Go

I finished the Fairisle Pullover. It's done -- the last of the 2001 projects. My oldest "knitting" ufo is now only what 2 years old, if that. What was it that held me back? The ends? Was it such a monumental task that I took several months to even start? Maybe. Was it the holidays? A good excuse. Last week I asked my daughter if she'd like to wear it this week. She said yes! So I started. One night, one side, the next the other. I could have finished it in time for her to wear it to school on Friday. But I didn't. I skipped working on it that night. Picked it up again the next to finish tucking in the ends of one sleeve then one more night to do the other. Why? Why couldn't I finish it by Friday? Because -- I was afraid. Afraid she'd wear it to school only to casually take it off and leave it on the playground (she's done this before). I was afraid of the days ahead where I would check the lost and found and wonder if it would ever come back (the last item did -- and yes it was handknit -- a poncho). It was safe in my knitting basket. Nothing would happen to it with it's ends free. With ends neatly tucked in the sweater was ready to be worn and not by me. It was ready to leave my care. Saturday she wore it to her ice skating lesson. I watched both her and the sweater. They seemed okay. No one got hurt. Then Monday came and my daughter emerged from her room wearing the sweater. "You're wearing that to school? Promise me you won't take it off -- no matter how hot you get (it's cotton!)". And with a kiss she promised. I didn't think about her or the sweater until they both came in through the front door, safe and sound. Here it is now, hastely thrown aside in her rush to get her ballet togs on -- I didn't pick it up though -- it's no longer mine.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Add one more to the pile!

knitting olympic entry Posted by Picasa

Yep I'm doing it. I'm taking the YarnHarlot olympic challenge -- see the button in the sidebar for more info. This is my entry. The Very Luminary Vest -- I picked up the yarn at a new store that opened up in Los Altos during one of their sales. I'm using Dale Fauk (w/ teflon!) and Karaoke for the slip stitch color. I figure I could do this in 16 days -- no sleeves. We'll see.

I am making progress on Noro Mavis. I finished the back and started the front. However, I've done nothing with any of my "old" projects. Nope, not even the stupid fairisle. It's still cold here -- but I'm willing to bet I'll miss my window altogether and it won't fit anyone by next winter. I can't believe I finished it last September and still haven't wove in those ends! Maybe that should be my olympic entry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Is this me or what?

I was surfing knitting blogs -- don't ask me how I do this -- it's pretty random. I did a quiz and check it out -- it had me pegged!

You are interchangeable.
Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every
eventuality covered and every opportunity just
has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and
every day is a new beginning. You are good at
so many things, it's amazing, but you can
easily lose your place and forget to show up.
They have row counters for people like you!

What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, January 09, 2006

And so it begins

The retreat was wonderful. My aunt joined us this year and she and I started the yarn crawl at Commuknity, raced down 17 to Gayles for lunch and met the rest of the crawlers at The Yarn Place. We then split up again and several went to Swift Yarns while we went to The Golden Fleece. My aunt was on the hunt for Brown Sheep worsted for the Color Party Parka in Sally Melville's Book 3: Color. She had enough to start though. We all met again at Luminous Threads and then proceeded to our destination. Set high up in the Santa Cruz mountains we were well away from civilization as we knew it. For me this means, no diet coke, no computer and no TV, the latter being of no consequence whatsoever.

Like I said in my previous post I brought several projects in progress, but alas, made none on those. They didn't even make it out of my basket. I also brought a spinning wheel, but it never made it out of my car. I did however get a good start on Mavis from Naturally Noro by Jane Ellison.

Most of the knitters at the retreat are ladies in my guild. Some though are those that I see only at the retreat which is usually twice a year. So I do a little visiting and a little helping -- we all do our bit to answer questions and offer advice -- knitting or otherwise. Plus we have this elaborate gift exchange that takes a good part of one afternoon.

The real reason I didn't get much done was this swatch on the left, which is not a swatch but the umpteeth attempt to start the Vogue Twisted Float Shrug. So there I was with a friend who was starting it with me. We cast on, knit a row, then started the rounds -- but something went wrong -- I mean doesn't that sound wrong? If you're knitting in the round wouldn't you cast on, JOIN, then knit a RND? Then we were suppose to be working on the WS, you start with yarn B, then join with yarn A, so B has to be hanging around ready on the WS, however both of us had the yarn on the right side -- see the hole? You think you could get a ball of yarn through it? Frog. Start again (something was definitely wrong with row/rnd 2). We persevered and got about this far each and went on our merry way. Except the next morning I wasn't happy with it. Besides the bad start my stitches were too loose. Plus it was worked with 2 colors but the second color doesn't come back into play for several rows rnds so you have to carry it up and I didn't like how I wove it in at first. So I stopped working on it, actually, I frogged and restarted several times before I finally gave in. We packed up, had brunch (the food over the weekend was fab, btw) and finished the retreat with a final yarn crawl to Knitting Arts, who by the way was having a HUGE sale! I found a few yummy things -- my aunt found more -- and Brown Sheep to boot! But the best part was they had a completed Vogue TF Shrug. Seeing it in it's full glory made me want it more -- it also made me want to rip my meager start and start over. When I got home it occurred to me to check for errata -- sure enough there was a mistake for row/rnd 2. To the frog pond I went and this is the result. I went down a needle size and see and I even like the way I'm carrying my 2nd color (the hot pink solid) -- yup that's the wrong side you're looking at.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year

chocolate cake anyone? Posted by Picasa

I have nothing so I'm trying to distract you with this yummy chocolate caramel cake. Saw a picture in a magazine and commited the thing to memory. All you need is chocolate cake mix, chocolate frosting, caramel frosting and an assortment of caramel/chocolate candies (mini twix, mini milky ways, ghirardelli caramel squares, heath bar bites, rollos, and caramel kisses). Frost the top and middle of the cake with the caramel and the side with chocolate. Fair warning, it's one thing to see this in a magazine, it's quite another live in your kitchen beckoning you to eat it. In a word? Delish!

I baked (duh -- see the cake) all Christmas, cookies mostly but not nearly as much as Cris. I finished the scarves and necklaces on time. No final pix though, you'll just have to take my word for it. I only worked a little on the current socks (on the foot of the 2nd now), plus a few rows on the jester scarf. I'm taking the fairisle to do the ends to my daughters sing-fest tomorrow night in hopes of getting that done. I've got 2 new projects I'm packing up for this weekend's knitting retreat (the Vogue shrug and a Noro sweater) and I'll be taking 3 of the current projects and a ball of sock yarn (Trekking XXL) in case I feel like starting a new pair of socks.

The new year really doesn't start until the "retreat". This is an annual pilgrimage, if you will, with my knitting group (we meet every month on 4th Thursdays at a local yarn shop), and it's set in a rustic lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains. We start the weekend with a yarn crawl and we spend the weekend well...knitting. Someone cooks our meals and there's a staff that takes care of everything else. Besides the 6 knitting projects I'll be packing my walking shoes and a book or 2. It's meant to be stress free so I'm looking forward to it!