23 April 2010

Roller Coasters

My daughter (the one with the 3 1/2-year old and 9-day old) told me that she felt she was on a roller coaster. Up and down, lots of screaming, and sometimes it helps if you close your eyes! That's just how I've been feeling the last, umm, 22 1/2 hours.

Last evening I was sitting here, calmly eating my tangerine and chipotle tofu (don't snicker) with green beans when I thought someone had fired a gun near me. No gun, just a golfer, trying to muscle his golf ball onto the 8th green, but getting our window instead:

For 14 hours we were trying to convince the golfer that it's best to call his home owner's insurance company. (FYI - accidents like this are considered "third-party liability" and don't carry a deductible. Call your insurance agent.) This window is above our air conditioner unit and we're expecting severe weather tonight and tomorrow, so it needed to be covered before the glass fell and damaged the unit. Finally the golfer realized he couldn't "fix" this and called his agent. So, now we have this:

until the window is ordered and replaced.

Just when I'd had enough and started day-dreaming about the vodka bottle this arrived in the mail:

and, suddenly, the birds were singing, the sun was shining (seriously), and I poured myself a Diet Coke. My liver thanks Elisabeth of Wolles Yarn Creations for rescuing it! Too beautiful for words. Elisabeth offers this yarn on Etsy. Color Changing Cotton yarn, 4-ply, 480 yds/100 gr each ball of lace-weight perfection. This color that I grabbed is called Lights and Lights II - balls wound in reverse directions. I can't wait to swatch!

So, now that the little grey cloud over my head has cleared...and I get to pack a suitcase so that I can meet my new grandson tomorrow!

P.S. Elisabeth tops it all off by adding the Original Gummi Bears with the order. Way to go, Elisabeth!

Update: So much for shining sun. Now under Tornado Watch. Whee!!! Down the roller coaster we go!

18 April 2010


Just half an hour ago, I had all sorts of "mental wandering" thoughts in my head. Since then I opened a friend's email with the Chocolate Calculator game, and now all other thoughts have skittered away. (Thanks, Debbie!) If you haven't seen this game floating around on the web - and I've been told by Dave that it's been around for a while - you might want to look it up. I just Googled for Chocolate Calculator Game 2010 and came across many sites. I'll let you find one, since there are so many and none seem to be the "Official" site. It is fun. This kind of stuff always amazes me, even though I know there's a mathematical reason. It's like magic tricks - you know there's a logical explanation, but you want to believe what you "see".

Ah...now I'm starting to come out of my pre-breakfast chocolate fixation:

1. One of the coolest things about knitting is that your mind does wander to many interesting spots when it's released into that Zen atmosphere. I've heard many people talk about being able to sort through issues and solve problems while knitting. Just this morning I was sitting here, knitting in my hands, one dog by the fireplace (cool mornings), and the other dog asleep on my feet, when so many ideas and answers were popping around my head like last night's popcorn. I find that early mornings are best suited to the simpler projects. I'm currently working on a dishcloth (yeh, yeh, yeh, but they're great for using up bits of cotton, and it makes me smile while I'm cleaning pots and pans. And that's always a plus!) from the Monthly Dishcloth group on yahoogroups.com. Check it out sometime. Two cloths a month, 10 rows a day, perfect to wake up the fingers!

2. So, I (we) wander. Many times I'm asked, "Where is home?" Hmmm. Where do I live at the moment? Where was I born? Where did I spend most of my youth? Where is my heart connected? (Omaha, Germany, New Jersey, where the kids are) At times I envy my friends who have grown up and lived their lives in the same area. They seem to have such a connection to their surroundings. But, then, just think of all the interesting places we've lived, and all the interesting people who have crossed paths with us.

3. (Connected to #2) I'm designing a pair of socks for Twisted Yarns and their sock club. I've chosen to make socks with cables. Every time I work on the pattern I think of the cables as representing the paths crossing.

Yikes- This is getting too mushy and deep for a Sunday morning!

4. I'm also tossing around ideas for Stitch Play Studio. This is a new on-line knit and crochet magazine - the brain child of Lynn Burdick. (I sure hope I'm correct with the last name! I've misplaced the email where we discussed the fact that we both have the same first and middle names - different spellings.) I'll have something in the October edition. (Can't tell you what, though. You know, if I did...well, it wouldn't be good for you.) Anyway, check out this mag...the fiber community always needs new activity.

5. Yesterday I finished the Twisted Yarns sock club sock for April:

It's from Lisa Knits and is called "Sock of the Month - April". Appropriate. Dave felt them and said, "Yummy, " or the guy equivalent. Two hours later I have 4 balls of Cascade Yarns Cash Vera DK - guy grey, color 029. (Twisted Yarns sent Rowan Cashsoft Baby DK for their socks, but my LYS, String of Purls carries the Cash Vera - almost identical fiber content.) The yarn will become a very basic sock. I'll put the free pattern on my blog and Ravelry when the socks are completed.

6. (Connected to #5) I know that some people would just as soon go to their major discount store to buy a pair of men's grey socks, but for sock knitters it's the process and thought put into the socks. Don't we, as hand-knitters, try to explain this to non-knitters when they suggest that we could buy a sweater like the one we just spent $200 for on yarn, and used the last 7 weeks of our lives knitting? Process and thought.

7. I need to wander to the coffee maker for a refill.

13 April 2010

Adam Taylor

May I present Adam Taylor White-

born today, April 13, 2010, and weighing in at 6lbs, 12oz, and 18.25" long. (Baby Blue was designed and knit for him.) Mom, Dad, and older sister are all fine...Grandma is exhausted from a sleepless night waiting to hear of his arrival!

Off for a nap!

06 April 2010

Gremlins in Knitting Instructions

Good morning, All! I have my steaming-hot cup of coffee by me (and, yes, I really do use my French Press Foulard), so I feel strong enough to share the next photo with you.

This, my dears, is my friend and student for my Eighteen Fair Isle class at String of Purls, Karen, cutting away the top half of her vest. Not steeking, but actually cutting half of her knitting to remove it from the other half! She did say that having the rest of the class with her gave her the courage to do this without crying and saying naughty words.

I am very impressed with Karen's fortitude and willingness to complete this project, gremlins and all. They struck the first time while Karen was purchasing her yarn, changing the words Fingering to Sport on the ball band. She was well into her vest, nearing the armholes, when she discovered the gremlin mischief that had caused her to use fingering-weight yarn for the background color and sport-weight for the contrast colors. (The pattern calls for all sport-weight, so this was going to be a peculiar vest!) Karen huffed and puffed just a little bit - in public - and took the project off the needle. (She plans on using this piece to make a felted Fair Isle bag, which I think is brilliant!)

Karen, then, cast on again, and we all know how deja-vu-ish (in a negative way) that can be, got through the armhole and v-neck steeks before she realized that the gremlins had visited again and changed the words in the instructions from "decrease one stitch at each side of neck steek on the next 8 rounds" to "decrease one time each side of neck steek every 8th round." This was going to create a neck line that would resemble a slit more than a V.

When I walked into the shop yesterday morning for our final class, Karen was running a life-line through a pattern row just below the steeks. She then cut the top away, a few rows above the life-line. While this was drastic, it seemed more plausible than unraveling all those rounds with 7 colors.

How were the other students feeling during this unnerving display? Check for yourself:

No beads of sweat on their foreheads!

The color combinations have been fabulous! I offer 3 choices in the pattern. (Doesn't Captain Jack Sparrow say something about guidelines more than rules?) And these ladies have taken off from there. Here is Ro, modeling her just-completed vest:

I love the vibrancy of the purple/orange/gold colorway she created! And for me, it's happiness beyond words to see someone wearing a garment that started it's existence in my head...and she's smiling!

Moral of the gremlin story: This has happened to all of us, and no matter how brilliant we might be, read carefully and don't allow the words to be altered all willy-nilly!