Sunday, June 23, 2013

And Now for Something Completely Different

So like most people, I have a life outside of knitting. I know, what a shocker...

In my real life, I deal with some pretty rough crap. To put it mildly.

A few months ago, I was asked to guest blog for an organization that I hold in high esteem and was actually pretty honored at the opportunity.  They've since asked me to write another blog for them which I'm currently working on. This first blog was a bit of a coming out for me. Suicide isn't something I talk about when it pertains to me. But this was all about me and it was incredibly cathartic to write.

It wasn't until after it was published that I realized that the writing was as good as it was or that the piece had the power it held. I honestly have no idea how I didn't realize. I sincerely hope you'll follow the link below and read my other blog.

Hope you're having a good summer!  More on knitting to come...

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Naked Man in a Hat

So there's this new pattern up on Ravelry of a hat and the photo of the hat shows a man wearing NOTHING but said hat.

Yes, really.

And, DAMN, does he make that hat look good if you happen to notice the hat.

See what I'm saying?  There are 208 comments and counting on the pattern.  My favorite is something about downloading the free pattern and only getting a hat.

So this was my laugh for this morning.  I hope you got a good laugh out of it.  I need to go erase the photo from my computer before I get busted for having "pornography" on it.  If you want to go read all the funny comments, the pattern is called "Ola" by Eric Peguero.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

YAY!! A BABY!!!!

So I found out yesterday that some friends are having a baby.

Seriously, nothing makes a knitter happier than good friends reproducing.  There are just so many opportunities and options ~ booties, blankets, hats.....  WHEEEEEEE!

I've actually known these two since before they were dating.  I went to their wedding. Aw, it doesn't get sweeter than this. And have I mentioned that they are two of the nicest people in the world?

And I get to destash with this one.  They are having a girl.  So, I'll be making booties and a Be Sweet hat and a Nesting Squares blanket/playmat.  I already have the bootie and Be Sweet yarn.  I got the yarn for the blanket/playmat yesterday online.  Oh, it's going to be sweet!

Now, see, this is what knitting gifts is all about.  Making things for people you really like for occasions that really matter and that you know they will really appreciate the gesture.  Because they will.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sleep Deprived

As I write this I am missing out on precious sleep...

I think I love sleep more than just about anything in the world, or maybe I just crave it so much it just seems that way.  Weird how the commonplace things we one day take for granted become sacred commodities when they are no longer commonplace.

I work a weird schedule. I go into work at six am and leave at two thirty pm. It's not because I work at Starbucks although I am at Starbucks almost every morning - the old employment sign at Chipotle "You're here everyday, you might at well get paid" comes to mind. And it's not because I am a morning person although I basically am a morning person. It's one of those slippery slopes.

I started out working seven thirty to four and liked getting home early, so it shifted to seven to three thirty and then I noticed the lessening of the traffic in the morning, so it became six thirty to three. That's when I started to notice that the traffic lights are programmed differently before six.  You don't have to wait for the full cycles on most lights. And I really liked getting out early, I mean, REALLY.  So it slipped to six to two thirty and sometimes earlier. I like having the highway to myself in the morning. I admit it. I'm a freeway xenophobe. When there are other people cluttering MoPac I exclaim out loud, Who ARE these people?! And we all know the other part that goes without saying... (And what are they doing on MY road!?)

So I TRY to go to bed by nine so that when my alarm goes off at 4:30 I won't be completely distraught.

It's 10:04 right now.  Not doing a very good job, am I?

And I TRY to take naps during my enormous afternoons since my husband works a normal schedule.  But it's so much more fulfilling to knit or weave or run errands or cook or, alright, I'll be honest, get a mani-pedi. Damn, that was nice.  So, yes, tomorrow is going to suck big time. And I have no one to blame but myself and the Internet.

Crap, I'm really tired...

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Neverending Yarn Collection that Never Ends

I have a stash.

That's really an understatement.

I have enough stash for a baker's dozen knitters.

At least.

At the very least.

I've been knitting for 35 years; seriously knitting for over 10 years.  I have a problem with UFOs.  I'm a planner and dreamer.  And it just sort of happens.

I like to take advantage of sales or at least I used to.  I have learned to let them pass me by.  There will be other sales, other yarns.

You can't imagine how much Cascade 220 I have.  I'm not sure I can.

I suppose there's a little bit of hoarder in me.  Just a little bit.

My husband had no idea how much yarn I actually had until we moved a few months ago and these plastic boxes he had never seen before emerged from the depths of the hall closet and were moved to the depths of the new hall closet.  Have I mentioned that I love hall closets that wrap all the way under the stairs?

It all starts with the best of intentions.  It really does.

I'll have a pattern I like.  I'll get the yarn to make it.  It will get put in a queue somewhere and there it will stay.  For eternity perhaps.

Then projects come up. KALs or baby gifts.  Timely things.  Seriously, you can't put off a baby gift for a few years until you finish up a poncho from 2004.  Seriously.  Who would do such a thing?!?!

I've been on a yarn diet.  It's good for me.  I keep reminding myself of that.  It bears reminding.

But then Three Irish Girls had their special sale for colors they were retiring.  Last chance to get these colors.  Not to be missed.  Have to get two or three skeins of certain colorways.  This is definitely an exception to the yarn diet. Right?  Right.

Special Downton Abbey yarn and KAL at Jimmy Bean Wool.  Another exception? OF COURSE.  Like you really need to ask...

And yarn for weaving doesn't count.  That's like a completely different stash.  Get real.

I am in so much trouble.  It will never end.  Lucky for me the one who dies with the most yarn wins.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Knitted Gifts, Guilt and Why We Don't Resist

So someone recently read my blog and emailed me on and told me how much she enjoyed it. That got me thinking that I really ought to blog more. That's not what the guilt part of this post is about. Not to worry. That's just my little explanation about why I've suddenly come out of hibernation. Thanks, Deb. I needed to get back to this.

Like most knitters, I knit a LOT of gifts. I mean, please, I live in Texas, how many scarves and shawls and cowls could I possibly wear???

And baby stuff is so darn cute and seeing as how I don't have a baby... well, you get the picture.

But have you ever been guilted into knitting someone a gift?

I mean, really, think about it.

Have you ever had someone who you were kind of friends with just compliment the crap out of your work until you felt like you just HAD to make something for that person?

NO? Seriously?

You're lucky.

I'm currently working on a what I'll refer to as a "scarf of guilt."

It's a "gift" for someone I'm not super duper fond of, but who has hinted over and over that she'd really like a knitted gift. She probably lacks the social graces to realize the position she's put me or maybe she's more of a master manipulator than I give her credit for.

Regardless, I do enjoy giving away my work and I know she'll appreciate it so it's not an entirely selfless act.

I suppose you're wondering what a "scarf of guilt" looks like? Do I find the cheapest acrylic crap and just knit up a simple knit number that the earliest beginner could pull off because chances are she'll never know the difference?

No, totally not my style. I select three skeins of Noro Kureyon in her color pallette and knit up a feather and fan pattern. I'll post a picture when it's finished. It's a scarf I've made before and I wear myself quite often. It's simple but has a kind of grace to it.

Which brings me to why we don't resist... It would be easy to say that I'm a pushover but that would a lie. I like to give gifts, that is definitely true. But generally that falls to people I really like.

I guess I feel a duty to share a skill that I have; to spread the joy, so to speak. I used to knit hats for NICU babies. That seemed like a noble cause. I did that in the years after my nephews were born for the hospital where they born. It was my little way of thanking the universe that my nephews didn't need that kind of care. I think we all use our talents to make the world a better place in some way.

So now I'm knitting a "scarf of guilt" to make someone else happy and in turn that will make me happy. What goes around comes around.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Frogging... Ah, Crap!!!

A friend and I had this great idea to do a knit along (KAL). Isn't that how it always starts out? Well, I should have known this was cursed from the start.

We chose the all-(north)american hoodie from Knitting Green. (A great book, by the way) You can check out the pattern here on Ravelry. And since we had a hard time finding the yarn it called for ~ when do you EVER find the yarn a pattern calls for without spending an arm and a leg??? ~ we decided to use Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton. You hold it double stranded and use big needles, or so we thought. (See where I'm headed with this? Cursed project...)

So, we cast on with our #10 needles and whoa, mama, it's freakin' huge!!! Time to start doing swatches. I know what you're thinking, should have done the swatches first. Yeah, but admit it already, no one does swatches unless they have to or unless they've had a bad experience. I finally hit gauge with #8 needles. Hurrah! Recast on and start all over again.

Continuing on, I work on this sweater for a month or so and I can't help but feel like it's well, HUGE. But, I'm knitting at gauge. I did the swatch. Right? I'm cool. But still it's eating at me. WTF? Why is this thing so damn big? Did I just chose the wrong size? But I just keep going along.

So finally yesterday in knitting class I mention to my knitting teaching that I have this sinking suspicion that my sweater is ginormous. Well, those weren't my exact words, but it was something along those lines. She gets out the tape measure and guess what? It's 56 inches around. Let me describe myself for you just so you can get an accurate picture of this. I wear a size 8 or 10. So yeah, I could wear the sweater with a friend or perhaps when I'm 10 or 11 months pregnant. Oh, wait, you give birth at 9 months, scratch that last one.

Bugger! Almost two full hanks of yarn knitted. And I'm going to go rip it all out. Does anyone else cry when they frog something??

I mean this is completely my own stupid fault. I should have measured it WEEKS ago. I don't know WHAT I was thinking. Obviously, not thinking...

Then, feel the excitement in my voice, I get to start all over AGAIN. My knitting teacher thinks the needle size is right, but I should just cast on the smallest size on the pattern. Bright side? It should go much faster with so many fewer stitches?

What do I really want to do? Scrap the whole thing for now and start on a Madelinetosh project. But did I mention that this is a KAL? I need to be K'ingAL. And my knitting buddy is the nicest person on the planet. She's offered to help me knit the sleeves to help me keep up on the KAL. I know, NICEST person on the planet.

Nothing left to do but get frogging and recast... And for god's sake measure the damn thing!!