Monday, March 31, 2008

Stash Story

If you've seen my stash on Ravelry you've probably wondered like Dawn "How on earth did you accumulate so much?" Well, like many things in life it was partly luck, and of course, partly just a natural desire to own it ALL. Since I can't do that (discovering new sock yarns almost every day makes it impossible **sigh**) I had to take the drastic action of the self imposed yarn diet and I've been good for three months now! (pat on back! )

The luck part happened when a LYS where I live went out of business (a year or so ago). We have two locally and this one was my favorite by far. I admit: I get all crazy, panicky, stressed, when I hear "get it before it's gone!" I did. I bought some yarns then that I normally wouldn't have otherwise, simply because they were 50- 75% off. It was a blast and I did spend a few $$. It was hard because I kept hearing that any week "would be her last" soooo I'd innocently drive by - and the shop would still be open! Could YOU not stop by to see what was left?? I definitely know this is what pushed me into that crazy stash zone.

I was also a crocheter before I learned to knit, so I already had a "slight" stash, just not to the same degree (by far). Travelling ALSO bumped me up. Wherever we go we stop at a yarn shop. I have yarn from the CA coastline and central valley, from several shops in east, west and middle South Carolina, and TN. I've bought something from each and every one so there are several "Memory" yarns in my stash as well. And then there are the online stores....seeing things on other blogs gives me lots of ideas as well...the inspiration and desire is everywhere.

Since I began I've found that I'm often that knitter who buys just because I fall in love with it, not because I have anything in mind for it at the time. I have terrible short-term memory (and long-term come to think of it!) so I'm also often the type who sees a pattern, gets all excited, buys the yarn.... and it then sits in the closet with all the other stash yarns and I forget where, who, what, why, etc. I get distracted by pretty things much too easily!! So, I have several binders of patterns just waiting for their turn one day. LOL! It's crazy, but it's me. It's just how I am.

I know my crazy mixed up self is why I lose my Knitting Mojo sometimes too. It's partly the Leo in my personality. I'm very detail oriented, but sometimes go overboard (okay, more than sometimes), and perfection mixed in there makes trouble for me as well. If it doesn't feel "right" I move on. I wish I was able to relax and see where things go at times and not strive to have it perfect. Which also proves that Patience is also not one of my virtues. I hate waiting in lines, I hate being on hold, and I hate knitting something that takes too long (for me anyway). I think a break is good sometimes though. We all need to catch our breath and focus at times.

Your writing is an awesome creative outlet Anna!! I applaud you for that talent! I know knitting is supposed to be calming and beneficial, but at times it can be frustrating for me so I guess it's a good thing to back off at times and let something else in.

I've always struggled a bit with creative things, focusing on one thing for a time. Years ago I used to do shadow boxes, decoupage, (I was into lacy, victorian, and antique things) and then I found my love of crocheting again, and from there taught myself to knit.

It's been a heck of a journey but I HAVE to use up most of that stash before i move onto anything else! LOL!!

Me: "I never get any yarn packages in the mail anymore!" (My whine is spot on!)

The Big Guy: "I'll get some out of the closet and mail it to you".

I guess I asked for that one! Hmpf.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Two Cats for Sale =^o^=

This is what I found downstairs this afternoon, do you think they need some prozac or something? (Yes, we do change out the cardboard ring, this is a newer one, not that you could tell....)
I keep finding little pieces of toilet paper EVERYWHERE!! GRrrrrrr
They dragged this feather boa out of the "give away" bag that was in the girls closet (UPSTAIRS ) and brought it downstairs!! They'll SHRED just about anything. One of my poor plants was also chewed up a little today too. I'm ready to find these girls another home. I already have three other piggies to clean up after in this house, they've increased my workload, that's all I can see. It's lost it's "cute" or "funny" factor in my book!
That's Jessica's jacket also, they dragged it off the chair by the stairs and here it is in the kitchen/family room. Why do they do this at this time of the month? Do they want to be taken to the pound?

Cats for SALE!!!!! 95 % off!!

They don't look very worried do they? hmmmm Someday I'm going to leave the front door open....

On the walking front, we're expecting rain today so I didn't go after school because it was getting darker and darker by the minute (spooky). Tomorrow we're off to visit my husbands parents and his Aunt & Uncle who are visiting them as well. We'll take a nice long walk around their area. They have a great neighborhood to walk in, just enough inclines and such to give you a nice workout. Their hills aren't nearly as steep as in our neighborhood and they don't have construction trucks FLYING up and down the roads either. It's really nice, VERY quiet, and peaceful! I wish I lived there!! Like I said Julie, you're so lucky you can just walk out your front door and go around the blocks there!! (I never thought I'd miss having sidewalks so much in my life) I miss Fresno So much sometimes... you really should take advantage of it!! I'm gonna call you and check! LOL! I really think walking is the best way to start getting back into the swing of things.

Report cards came home today, the girls both did very well again. They're just growing too fast, if we could just slow that part down I'd be happy. We made some homemade playdough today too. It's still chilling so we'll see how it turned out later. What a mess (the pan)! I don't think I'll do that again anytime soon.

Know what else? I'm burned out on knitting. I know, I'm stunned too . I'm just at one of those crossroads where I can't decide for the life of me what I want to knit!!! My mind is spinning!! No decisions are coming forth! I'm stuck. just. stuck. Even Ravelry isn't helping, if anything it almost makes it harder, so many choices. PMS time is hard enough for me without all this pressure I put on myself! I keep pulling a few things out of the stash but end up putting them back. It's probably best to put some plain socks on the needles I guess, that always calms me down a bit. I just lost my mojo but it'll come back soon. Gulp.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Steppin Out

This is where I was for a bit today, and last week as well. (This trail gives you a glimpse of how all our roads are here in East TN! (Dranamine anyone?)

My latest goal is to try to walk a couple of days a week for now. This one trail is about 3/4 of a mile and it's only a 5 minute drive away from our house. I sold my treadmill last year, it was old, took up a lot of space, and I really prefer to walk outside which is why we sold it. Since I don't get to sleep until the wee hours of the A.M - and don't seem to get out of the house any earlier than to pick up my daughter from school - we decided to go after school. She's a great walking buddy (she holds me to it), and we have so much to talk about after school. Third grade politics are very sensational at times! Plus we're able to get home before my oldest gets off of her bus. This is my second week (I hope I'm not jinxing myself by saying that this is what I want to do). But it's really something I have to do. I'm not a very "healthy" eater, (probably because I can't cook!), but I need to involve more movement in my life than just cleaning the house. Lately I don't feel like doing much of anything, so I hope some sunshine will help that as well. Wish me luck! Maybe I'll get to feeling like I want to use my exercise ball and band set instead of just letting the girls roll all over the floor on it. It could happen.

Of course, it doesn't help your waistline when your hubby brings you this (pecan fudge):

But it sure can make a crazy woman sane!! He's no dummy!!

I also saw this in my latest issue of Creative Knitting:

They're using the same colorway of that Soxx Appeal sock yarn that I did! I like this childs pattern and will get around to making those for my youngest one of these days. They stretch and I know I can get two more socks out of that last ball. I think I knit more patterns out of Creative Knitting than any other magazine I get. I love the range of patterns they put in each issue. I always find at least a few things I'd make (and have) compared to say, Vogue, which I don't think I've knit anything from. Not that I don't like Vogue, I just haven't found anything I'd knit from the patterns they offer.

Gotta go make my Ice Tea (decaf btw). I think we're actually cooking tonight (it's a miracle I know!) and I have to make pilaf as well. Happy Knitting.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

This is what you get when your kids are dying eggs and your Auntie calls you long distance (her birthday is tomorrow too!) and you can't pay attention to what they're doing...
We had such pretty, blue, yellow, green and orange. Then they started the "mixing".
So we'll be having Green Eggs & Ham (really!)
to all My Blogger Friends.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Knit Nite

The Third Thursday of the Month is my Panera Knitting Nite at one location (we also have another one on the 1st Thurs. of the month at a different Panera). Funny, the three of us that make it to this one haven't been able to make it to the other one. They have good reasons, mine is just chicken-ness some of the time but sometimes there have been valid reasons: sick kids, school functions etc. In any case, this one is a LOT closer for me and since I hate driving in this town - (especially to jump on the interstate in 5:00 traffic) I always take this one chance to hook up with the ladies. We have a lot of fun, there are about 6 of us total, but only three of us showed this time.

Here's Beth inserting and fixing the twisted cord pulls on my Volute Purse. I'm lucky to have the ladies, this had me frustrated beyond measure. Beth is one smart lady (seriously) and she figured out in about 30 minutes what took me hours (okay, weeks.)

Here's how I wanted it to look, just like the picture in the pattern book: With the tassels hanging down when the bag is cinched up. I'd never worked with twisted cord before so it was kind of frustrating until I realized once they were threaded thru I'd have to cut the other end of one cord and tie the two ends together (makes the tassel fuller as well). No one told me that. In the pattern it just says to make two, weave them in opposite directions and that's about it. Hmmm, I get very little sleep on a regular basis and need a little more help with what seems "simple" or basic to others.

All that drama and headache for this: Miss J got the purse and now it's Mr. Somebody's (I can't remember his name!) house. For now anyway. Later she'll fill it with all kinds of "her stuff". She has all her bags full of something or other. Of course, now Miss C is upset she doesn't have one for her Mr. Somebody (forgot his name too.) I have to get started on the other one soon.... at least they make me feel wanted!

Below you can see that Tracy is the only one who got any knitting done!!! She can talk and knit at the same time!!! Amazing!!! Beth's pattern was tough, (she's making a toy dog) there were rows that weren't even accounted for in the instructions so she just put it away and we jabbed our jaws.

Here's what I did:

And I didn't even cast on the right number. And that was after about 4 tries. I'm telling you, my mouth gets going and I lose all focus.

Note to self: Next time, CAST ON BEFORE YOU LEAVE HOME!!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Panda Cotton Socks...ehh

I know these pictures aren't the greatest but I'm really tired and rushing to get ready to leave soon for my knitting meeting. I wish I had more to blog about to keep people around, lately not a lot has been going on with me (like there ever is! LOL!). But these socks gave me a little something to talk about....

The culprit: Panda Cotton Yarn in Strawberry-Lime

I used my size 1 Harmony circ.

My rating: From 1-5 probably a 2.

I had the hardest time getting these worked up . Lately I've been trying to use "different" yarns from the stash just for fun. I'm so used to grabbing my Lorna's Laces and just going to town with my regular cast on etc. It always WORKS and I'm always happy happy with the results. But this beautiful yarn tested my usual ways.

I tried a free pattern online with a 68 st cast on. It's a cute pattern but after a bit it was easy to deduce that they were going to be HUGE around the ankle. So I went down to 64.... then 60. I finally ended up going with a 56 stitch cast on. On the flip side, this is a really soft yarn (that's why I gave it a 2), I liked knitting it with my harmony circular needle (smoooooth), and it has some elastic in it as well so I figured I'd be okay with the give from the elastic and my smaller c/o.

This is a fingering to sport weight yarn and needle size varies. The ball band says 6-7 sts for guage and mine worked up at about 8-9. I had read somewhere on Ravelry that someone's finished socks stretched out a LOT so I didn't want to already start out with a huge baggy sock. (Like I said, with that 68 st cast on, they were already HUGE). Pondering this, I decided to use a simple baby cable rib pattern hoping that would give some ease and they'd stretch for wear.

The Verdict: I'm not sure if they'll be too small for me yet as I washed them yestersday and they're still wet. Maybe I should've put them in the dryer for a bit. It makes me wonder how they'd feel if you have warm feet already? Do they retain that much moisture for so long? hmmmm. I'm still concerned about the leg/ankle part stretching out too much once I put them on...I'll have to post later on any changes and they may go to one of my daughters after all (who are the best and brightest kids ever cause they want everything I knit!)

My conclusion is I'll use the other colorway I have of this (Roses) for something else, maybe a little scarflette or something but not for socks. I liked the baby cable rib pattern stitch though. It's a nice simple pattern for socks that doesn't look too funky.

We're not doing much for spring break this year, we've stayed home mostly just puttering around the house. Monday we cleaned and vegged. Tuesday I had a massive headache all day (must've been the cleaning! LOL!) Wednesday the girls and I dashed out to a walking trail in between the thunderstorms and had a nice walk. It was so pretty outside (I wish I had had my camera with me!!) but a bit on the humid side because of all the storms. We still haven't adjusted to living here in the south I guess, we're in light jackets and had to tie them around our waists and other people were out there in shorts. One day it's literally freezing here and the next day you need a shower as soon as you step outside. Crazy. Tonight is knit nite. Hope the others can make it, if not we're going for a walk at another park. The girls love playing outside but the back yard can get kind of boring after a bit.

Tomorrow the gang is off to the Smokey Mountains. I'm going to get some rest (seeing more deer isn't as exciting to me and I really need the sleep). I just realized why I didn't sleep last night, it was the real Pepsi I drank yesterday. It's so good but that caffeine had me WIRED! No wonder why I was up until 9 am this morning. I'm a sleeping institutes worst nightmare. They'd be exasperated with me.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Must Hold the Title

of the "World's Most Boring-est Knitter".

Behold yet ANOTHER pair of socks on the Knitpicks Harmony fixed circular (size 1).

Even though I had problems knitting with the Harmony DPN's (I thought I was going to snap them in two), this fixed circular makes me happy-happy beyond words. I think it's called love.
(magic loop is soooo addictive)

Here's part of a sweater that I'm working on now.

It's from the same yarn that I was using for the Sitcom Chic (which landed in the frog pile, things just weren't working out). I decided on a different pattern but I have to wonder if I'll ever finish it. Seems like miles and miles of "knit 2 purl 2" and I'm still on the back. It could be years before it's ever done, but I'm not in any big hurry. This has turned into my relaxing TV knitting for now. A couple of rows here and there and I'm feeling good. This project's been one of those ones where I measure and have 7 inches, then I knit for a couple of days and measure again and I have......7 inches. It feels like I'm in that Groundhog movie where I keep reliving the same moment over and over. Then I do one more row...measure....and suddenly have 10 inches!! Crazy!!

We found out Thursday that my youngest does need braces for sure. I know I knew it already, but it's going to be for the long haul, probably around 36 mos . (I think I physically drooped when he said that). What mainly concerns me as a Mom is any pain she'll have to endure. I can handle my own pain, but when it comes to the girls, it's tough for me, very tough. Turns out it's a good thing that I'm on my "yarn" diet this year, since my pocketbook is going to be feeding her Orthodontist for a bit now. I just got another catalog from Webs in the mail today and it's sooooo hard to not peek inside and drool. I have to remember that I'm very fortunate that the stash is so well stocked. I better think about going back to work someday, these kids should come with an estimate before you have them! .

I'm thinking of getting back into the doctor soon, my blasted gallbladder is acting up again. I'm scared silly at having any type of surgery, (and even more about a low-fat diet) but man, this pain is bugging the heck out of me lately. One night last week I had some pizza and I've been in pain ever since. I hate getting old and falling apart! How I wish I was 20 again....

Spring Break has arrived so the girls will be home driving me batty next week. It's going to be fun when I get them cleaning the house with me! hahaha! They just LUV that. We don't have any definite plans but we're going to try to get out and enjoy the springtime in between the thunderstorms.

Back to my regular scheduled knitting program... socks and K2P2.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Socks and Snow

I finished my Soxx Appeal Socks and they're quite squishy & "sproingy". I've used Cascade's Fixation before (which has elastic in it also), so I didn't have a hard time adjusting my tension for these. These feel almost like Fixation too, they're sort of nubby, it's just fun to use something different once in awhile. I bought this yarn mainly for the colorway. The jury is still out on how well I like it worked up, but I think they're growing on me. (edited to add picture that you can actually see! LOL!)

Magic Loop Size 2 - Cast on 56 - Soxx Appeal by Knit One Crochet Too in Oceana

Another note: Look how far ONE ball of this got me (Note: It isn't your eyes, just my blurry self taking blurry pictures....):

I just used a "smidget" of the other ball to finish the toe on the second sock. I could easily get another pair of anklets out of the second ball. I made these in a womens' small size 5-6. I don't know that I'll use it for more socks though, I'm thinking of other accessories like ipod cozies or headbands or such. Someday....

Saturday morning we finally got a "little" more than a dusting of snow. We have a huge hill behind the houses on our street so the girls and their Dad hit that as usual. There was just enough for that, so they had a good hour out there and got totally wet & dirty. They loved every minute of it. It was soooo cold. We ran errands later and most of it was gone all over town by then, but the icicles were everywhere. I was just waiting for one to end up stabbing my head!

Jenna loved it too. She wishes she could be running with the sled dogs in Alaska! You should see her go!

And that's about it. More socks on the needles, I'm so's to a good week ahead.

PS. Thank You Anna for making me laugh about my grouchy post. It's good to know that even when you're a total bummer, you still have friends. You cracked me up, I'm forever asking my husband "do you smell that?" too!!

PSS. Miss Dawn, get well soon!!! (as in Please Go to the Doctor!) and thanks too for calling me even when you were so sick!! Sending Get Well Wishes & Hugs your way.....