Tuesday, July 28, 2009

broken needles = NO LACE

I finally decided to jump back into lace knitting after seeing a friend's Fern Lace scarf last week. It was a simple pattern that looked absolutely beautiful, so I thought "I have all that sock yarn sitting there, might as well use it for something other than socks. . . " We were going on a trip to Houston, about 3 hours from our house, give or take 2+ hours for potty breaks, snack breaks, change the DVD breaks, feed the baby breaks, and find-my-toy-under-the-seat-before-I-pop-a-blood vessel-breaks (traveling with 3 kids is SO fun--NOT!). There was also one little stop for Momma at a yarn store I don't get to visit often, Yarnorama in Paige, TX. Great store, and she has sock yarn that my LYS doesn't carry (like I NEED more, but who can resist!! Tofootsies and Panda Silk, mmmmm). Of course I walked away with several skeins. But anyway, so I figured the Fern Lace was a simple enough pattern that I could tape it to the dashboard and, with the use of post-its to mark my place, knit it in the car. It worked great, and the colorway of tofootsies I used (an almost-solid lilac color) it was turning out beautifully. However, I made the mistake of stashing my knitting bag in the narrow space between the couch and the wall at the hotel, dummy that I am. With kids like mine, I should have known that the space was prime floorspace, great for looking out the window at 6:45 am in order to prove to your sleepy parents that the sun IS in fact out, and therefore it is wake-up time. When I pulled my knitting out later I was horrified to find that my needle had snapped in half and the lace was a mess. Luckily I was only about 7" into the scarf, because I never have been able to perform lace surgery and would have been a lot more upset if I was further into it. Made an emergency trip to a local Hobby Lobby (after explaining to my husband that no, it simply was NOT possible for me to just not knit.) I was unable to find suitable needles in the size I needed, so I got bigger ones and some cotton that matched out kitchen and started potholders. The good news was that I got 2 pot holders done on our trip and started a towel! The Fern Lace was frogged and re-wound onto the skein. ::::::sigh::::::

Then yesterday I went to my LYS and picked up some new Pagewood Farms lace yarn. Thought it would be perfect for a lace scarf for my mom, and found the Tiger Eyes pattern online. Started it last night and got 2 repeats done. I carefully stashed my knitting bag under the end table so that it wouldn't get stepped on. However, apparently it was on top of a much-needed toy and was thus removed from it's safe position this morning and relocated to the middle of the living room floor. Of course, when I pulled out my lovely scarf, the needle was broken. ARRRGGGGG. I love love love my knitpicks harmony needles, but apparently the smaller sizes are just too fragile for my household. While I have informed the short people living here that if one of my needles gets broken again, someone may die, I think I will be replacing them with something stronger just in case. If you know of any good metal ones that the coating won't wear off, making them sound like nails on a chalkboard when used, please let me know. Someone reccomended Aero needles, so I'm looking for those. I'm also waiting for knitpicks to come out with their acrylic ones this week, but I think those might only be available in interchangeables. For small stuff I prefer not to use circs.

Off to finish my towel. Good night!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

aliens are multiplying!

Remember how I said that I was having knitting mojo problems because of the heat? Well, I found a few projects that I could knit that didn't make me thing of winter weather. First, I started a lace bookmark. However, I didn't get very far on it because a friend passed along this pattern http://blog.fuzzymitten.com/2009/07/mini-alien-pattern.html Wow, these are cute. I thought "hey, I could make one for each of the older kids, they'd like them." Well, "two" has turned into "five" with no end in sight. At first my son didn't want one, and my daughter said she wanted a blue one. Made the blue one. Then she said she wanted a green one too. OK, no prob. Then my husband wanted a green one too. OK, sure. Then my son decided to join the craze and wanted an orange one. Lucky these things are quick to make. Then I made myself a purple one. Now my daughter is requesting a red one and the boy wants a multi-colored one. They take about 20 min to knit up and about 10 to complete (seaming, stuffing, adding eyes and mouth.) but they sure are cute! Hopefully I will finish them soon so I can start on other stuff. I do have a wintery project planned, but I think it will be easier to get into than other cold-weather things right now because it is for Christmas--I'm going to knit stockings for my family. Simple ones made out of Lion brand Homespun, red for the girls and green for the boys. The cuffs are all going to be white and will have everyone's name embroidered on them (probably in intarsia, actually) in the opposite color. Will be cute, I think.

Ok, off to knit some more little aliens!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No Mojo

I've got no knittin' mojo. Zero. Tonight was the first time I've knit in like, 5 days, and even then I only got about 4 rounds done on my tunic. It's not for lack of available projects, I have a whole closet full of yarn and needles and patterns. I just can't seem to find something that can keep my attention. I like the tunic but not the length of time it is going to take to make it. I thought about a pair of lace socks that I've been planning to do, but I didn't understand the pattern directions. I could probably figure them out, or at worst get some help from one of my fantastic knitting friends, but I wasn't up for that much of a challenge. I thought about doing another pair of socks but then I thought that it's too hot for socks anyway.

Hold on. Wait a second. I think I'm having an epiphany.

Yep, I understand now. I know why I can't knit. . .

IT'S TOO FREAKING HOT. It is hard to even think about things like scarves and sweaters and wool socks when it is 104 outside, every day for 2 weeks. Even holding the yarn makes me warmer, something I'm trying desperately to avoid. OK, now I understand. I'm not having knitter's block afterall! I'm just having, hmmm, what shall we call it? Summeritis? Sure, that works. I have summeritis, where I don't want to do anything that isn't summer-related, anything that would be reminiscent of cooler weather. Because in cooler weather you want to be warmer, and I REALLY don't want to be any warmer right now.

OK, I feel better now. I was getting worried, concerned with how long this horrible condition might last. At least now I know. I'm sure when it starts cooling off I won't have any problems thinking about nice warm items.


back to your regularly scheduled blogging. :-)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's my birthday and I'll knit if I want to

(knit if I want to, knit if I want to. You would knit too. . . ) OK, do you have the song stuck in your head yet? LOL.

Today is my birthday. I'm officially 29. For real. I'm not pretending to be 29 when I'm really older. However, I have decided that I am STAYING 29. I will still celebrate my birthday because, hey, I love presents and cake, but I am not going to get older. Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. . .

Anyway, I'm hoping for some knitting time today in between feeding the baby and doing laundry and (hopefully) getting a shower in some time. I finished a blanket square last night at my knitting group, which sadly took me 3 days to complete. I used to be able to finish them in an hour or two. Oh well. After it was finished I began knitting a hanging towel for my kitchen. Very simple projects. I'd like to say I'm doing simple projects because I'm going back to my beginner knitter roots and re-learning techniques to improve my knitting skills or some crap like that, but I'm not. I would LOVE to start the Aeolian (sp?) shawl that everyone at my LYS is doing, but I know I'd screw it up somehow or lose track of where I was because a kid would take the post it note, or else it would take me 8 months to finish and I'd get bored and forget it. So for now I will recognize my own limitations and knit simple items that can be finished in a reasonable amount of time, thus giving me some satisfaction. And hey, simple can still be cute and functional!

I've also been strangely monogomous to my knitting, which is rare for me. Usually I have 8 projects going at once and about 10 more on my list of "next in knitting!" but lately I've been focusing on one thing at a time, maybe 2 at most. I kind of like it, I get things done quicker than I would if I were knitting multiple things at once, but it still seems weird to me. After I finish the kitchen towel I'm planning on dedicating myself to my tunic.

Well, off to browse the web a bit more then hopefully knit.

Monday, July 6, 2009

re-organizing, AGAIN

Ok, it's no secret that I HATE to clean. I especially hate organizing, mainly b/c I'm no good at it. Really, I'm terrible. I get sidetracked far too easily, and a simple 1 hour job ends up taking me all day. Plus I've been having hip problems since having our daughter 2 months ago (WOW has it been that long already?) which makes bending and sitting on the floor painful, thus making organizing lower shelves virtually impossible. My office has been a mess for, well, longer than I want to think about. I have a habit of kind of throwing things on shelves instead of taking the time to put them away where they belong, and yarn was piling up behind my door because my yarn closet was scary. I mean, open-the-door-and-stuff-falls-on-your-head scary. Like the can of slinky worms that when you open it they all pop out. Yep, that was my yarn closet. So recently all my purchases (and there have been, um, a lot) have wound up staying in the bags and stacking behind the door in my office. It made getting to the light switch a bit difficult, but being the slob that I am I just stepped over them. :-) However, as they saying goes, opposites attract; I am married to a neat freak. A SERIOUS neat freak. He has a hard time sitting down to eat until the kitchen is cleaned up from cooking. He's nuts. And I say that with a lot of love. Well, we reached an agreement yesterday--he could have the couch from my office (which he has been coveting for months!) if he helped me organize my stuff. It was my idea, but he jumped at it. I think the mess was about to drive him insane even though I kept the doors shut. He KNEW the mess was there and that was enough to eat at him. So while I fed the baby and helped him a little, he pulled all the stuff out of my yarn closet, sorted out the stuff I was going to give away, put away the rest neatly, then took my couch out and rearranged my office. I had to do most of the organizing in there because he doesn't know where I want stuff, but I will admit it is a lot easier to move around in there without the couch. The room seems a lot more open.

I still miss having somewhere comfy to sit besides my computer chair plus when someone comes over or when my kids are in there I want an extra seat, so tomorrow we're going to IKEA for a small armchair. Maybe a new computer chair too, this is his old one since we moved my PC to the living room and my computer chair is out there. His old one is HUGE and I don't like it. I love IKEA, great stuff (if a bit too modern for my tastes sometimes) and cheap!

Since my room was nice and organized, I was able to make this:

A little treat container for my friend Dawn, who's going on an extended trip to vist family. Inside was a few cookies. This container is a recycled baby formula can. Since we go thru a lot of them, I save them to stamp on. They make great piggy banks, just cut a slit in the top. Or treat containers, as seen here. I'm thinking I could make something really cute for Christmas gifts. I've been trying to stamp more, since knitting has kind of taken over. I love knitting, and it is a lot easier to do around the kids, but stamping is a lot of fun too, and since she refuses to knit (I'm still working on her though!) stamping is something that my mom and I enjoy together.

As for knitting, I finished 2 pairs of baby socks and. . . that's it. I started a lace tunic from the book "french girl knits" (GREAT book BTW, lots of nearly seamless knits. Cute stuff.) but I'm not progressing very quickly on it.

Well, off to feed the baby and put her down for the night. Hopefully she sleeps thru the night, we're still hit and miss on that. Good night!