Sunday, June 25, 2006

Heavy-Hearted Hands

My much-beloved father is gravely ill. Bill and I were over to visit yesterday, arriving not long after the hospice people left. I guess that says all there is to say at this point. Dad's been struggling with prostate cancer for almost 5 years. And the past few months have been hard--for everyone.

I guess everyone has their coping techniques... some people like long walks. Some meditate. Some shop. Some drink. I knit. Some people want not to think... but I need to channel that nervous energy, distract myself... fingering weight fair isle vest with steeks... in shades of blue and gray like a November sky, adorned with snowflakes. When I realized I was up at 5 a.m. and there was no way I was going to get back to sleep, it seemed like a good idea to really get down to it.

Wish us all well. Grant us peace and patience.



Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Knit Night

Last night (Wednesday) was Knit Night, and the ladies and I had a fine time. Here's a pic, with apologies to MJ of whom this is a rather unflattering shot...

We had a very productive night. Jennifer (first on left) is a relatively new knitter who is working on her first sweater--a cardigan for her young son. She's doing so well!! She came in last night with all the pieces done, bless her, and is now in the "sewing up and picking up buttonband stitches" version of Hades. I'm very proud of her. MJ is currently working on an adorable Mary Maxim kid's sweater with an intarsia teddy bear/pocket on the front. Very cute. She's kind of a fearless/crazy knitter who generally works on things so complicated even I just sit back and let her go. She's almost done with that irresistable/terrifying sweater/shrug from Vogue Knitting's Fall issue (cover project) Incredible. And Wendy (the red fluff in the corner) has been knitting a gorgeous wool/mohair jacket thing, but seemed very content to give that a break during the hot weather to work on our Lion Club charity baby sweater project. She seemed very relieved.

We had a good time and discussed all sorts of interesting topics, as usual... thanks, Ladies, I needed that!

I've been a little remiss on the blog lately, as I GOT A JOB!! Whoo-hoo! Part time admin in a local orthodontist's office. So far, very enjoyable. Today's a patient/clinical day, so that could change my mind! But I'm liking it very much so far.

In fact... gotta brush my teeth (mandatory now!) and get going.

Have a good day,



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there. I've had two of the greatest examples ever... my own Dad and my husband, Bill. Both are exceptional parents, and I thank them warmly, and genuinely for the wonderful men that they are.

I asked H what I should do for Bill for Father's Day, something that would show him how much I really love and appreciate him, and H said "knit him some socks." I said I was already doing that, but was nonetheless proud that my boy immediately thought of this! I've trained him well!

Anyway, I was thinking of my own Dad a lot today, we went for a walk over to the library on the spur of the moment, and the local Ham Radio group was holding a Kid's Day, and H was very interested and ended up on the radio happily chatting away with some guy on Mount Washington. They discussed movies, and their favorite colors... strangely, I had always thought Hams talked almost exclusively about the weather, but maybe that's just because I grew up in a house with an Amateur Radio guy who was also a meteorologist by profession. Apparently they also sometimes talk about road conditions, but that didn't come up in today's conversation.

Nonetheless, thanks, guys, for being such good people as well as good examples. Here are two pictures of the men I love best, the first is me with my folks (back in November--didn't we all look good??!! Although I am appalled by the condition of that sweater I'm wearing... why didn't I wear something light colored under it if I wasn't going to repair those holes?) And the other is of my boys in practice fencing gear, horsing around in what was my yarn shop at the time. No adults or children were injured in the taking of the photo, but yarn might be another story.

Again, Happy Father's Day, we love you guys bunches.



One Down...

One to go!

Got a lot done last night during Sci-Fi's Doctor Who marathon. Fortunately Bill and I had seen all the episodes a number of times already, so I was able to work on THE SOCK without worrying I'd miss something.

I knit around and around on the foot until it was 1.5" shorter than needed (luckily it was a hot night and Bill's bare lil' feet were readily available), then changed back to the Navy and stockinette and worked the toe thusly:

Decrease row: Needle 1, k to within 3 stitches of the end, k2 tog through back loop, knit one. Needle 2: Knit 1, k2 tog, knit to within 3 stitches of the end, k2 tog through the back loop, knit 1. Needle 3: Knit 1, k2tog, knit to end.
Next Row: Knit around.

Repeat these two rows until you're down to 8-16-8 on the needles, then skip the plain knit row, working just the decrease row twice, until you have 6-12-6. Then graft the toe via Kitchener-ing.


Bill was very pleased. "Perfect. Fits perfect!" So now I just have to make another one.

Then I think I'll make a pair for myself. I have some lovely Opal sock yarn kicking around.



Friday, June 16, 2006

Excuses, Excuses

I didn't make much progress with Bill's Sock no. 1 yesterday. But that's okay. H and I went to visit my parents, and we had a very nice time. It was a lovely day so Mom, H and I took a walk while Dad took a rest. H explored every ravine, drainage ditch, retaining wall, boulder and park bench. And what he was able to jump off of, he jumped off of. He also picked up a very beautiful... rock... from one of the drainage ditches. He very sweetly gave it to me and I had to carry it the rest of the day. And it wasn't exactly a pebble. But it does have some lovely mica formations in it.

By the time we got home, I was pretty pooped from the driving, the kid-wrangling and lugging the rock. I managed a few rounds on the sock, but I don't recall Bill's feet being this big... it's taking forever! However the home stretch is ahead, and I'm trying very hard not be be distracted. He deems them "very good" and "I'll wear them" which is the best any knitter can ask for.

Although, I found a big boo-boo last night, a yarn over hole... I stared at it and fiddled with it and poked at it for about half an hour last night (it's in the leg portion, even before the heel turn) then decided I could live with it and Bill would probably not notice it (like he always notices "dropouts" and other weird video jitters on the TV I never see) and why am I even being a perfectionist about this?? Why does this bother me when little boo-boos never bother me?? Then I realized it's because I feel guilty that I never knit anything for Bill... he's been waiting for a sweater for about 12 years, and I want the socks to be PERFECT. But I'm human, incapable of perfection, and Bill knows me too well to see perfection. So there.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Empire Socks Back (Pt. 2 of sock trilogy)

Well, Bill had a meeting to video tape last night, so I made a lot of progress on sock no. 1. After knitting to the desired length (one of my hand-spans, in this case) I worked the heel flap in Navy over 30 stitches for 30 rows. I turned the heel thusly:
Row 1: Knit 15, (halfway point) knit 2, slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, knit 1 turn.
Row 2: Slip 1, purl 5, purl 2 together, purl one, turn.
Row 3: Slip one, knit to within one stitch of THE GAP, slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, knit one, ,turn.
Row 4: Slip one, purl to within one stitch of THE GAP, purl 2 together (across the gap) purl one, turn. I ended up with 18 stitches.

Repeat rows 3&4 until all the stitches on either side of THE GAP are eaten up.
Returning to the Main Color (tan/camel) pick up 16 stitches on either side of the heel flap. Divide 9 stitches from either end of the heel needle amongst the picked up stitches (25 stitches on 2 needles, instep still holding 30) and work one row around (keep instep stitches in the rib pattern )

Gusset: Knit across the first needle to within 3 stitches of the end, k2tog through the back loop, knit one. Rib across the instep stitches. On third needle, knit 1, knit two together (just regular) and knit to end.

Next Row: Knit one row with no decreases.
Next Row: Repeat the gusset decrease row again.

Repeat these last two rounds until you have 30 instep stitches and 15 on the other two. Now you're back to the original numeric configuration of 60 stitches. I'm now going on until this baby's 1 1/2 to 2 inches shorter than Bill's foot. The boring part. This is usually where I end up getting distracted by some other project, like anything else. Then you have to cough up another sock to match the first one.

With any luck I'll have the thrilling conclusion tomorrow. Or Saturday. Who knows.



Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Bill's Socks

Well, Bill's socks are progressing nicely. I'm doing them in a two-tone... Navy blue trim (Silja sock yarn) with a sort of tan/camel main color (Wildefoote). I'm knitting them in a three/one rib, because I think it stays up better without being bulky.

I started by casting on 60 stitches on size 2s in the navy, worked about a half inch in the three/one rib; then switched to the Wildefoote. They're looking very nice, don't you think? This is my favorite sock pattern, and one I've used so many times I can't even remember how I came up with it. It's a little tedious remembering the rib, but the nice thing is there's no cuff changeover. I just do the whole thing in the k3, p1 rib right down the instep to the toe shaping (which is just stockinette) and the bottom of the foot (heel and sole, etc) are just done in stockinette as well. It also reduces bulk and also avoids the annoying corrigated tickly foot problem which annoys me so much.

I'll post the rest of the pattern as I progress. Right now the cuff needs to be one hand-span (mine) to be the length Bill wanted... of course I'm now at the point where that's only about another inch, but I keep knitting and knitting and knitting and after an hour it's STILL an inch. Hopefully I'll be able to work on the heel by this evening.

All for now. Ta.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This is me. And my kid's teddy.

Watch out. According to H, the bear can shoot lazer beams out of his eyes. So be nice.



First Post

Okay, well, here I am now with a blog all my own. Aren't you all excited? I know I am. Something about myself, I'm a currently unemployed former yarn shop owner with too much time on my hands and no money. I'm broke. Yep, not a dime to my name. Thankfully my husband is gainfully self-employed and able to keep the internet connected.

So, obviously, I'm a knitter. I also crochet, spin, do some beadworking... lately I've been making little plaster gnomes for the garden (and annoying my husband, who really is a treasure, even if he doesn't like gnomes). Yeah, if I don't find a job soon, we're all going to go bonkers.

So, what else am I working on? Two pairs of socks. A purple Bartlettyarn/Peace Fleece cardigan (for work, should I ever find a job), a lace shrug, although I don't know why as I'll never wear it. And about a million other unfinished things that are cluttering up my already cluttered home.

I'll let you know if I ever finish any of them.

Ta for now,