Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Slowly but surely

My WIPs are getting bigger. Not much to see, but the swallowtail shawl is getting longer, as is the cardigan. Progress on the shawl is much improved now that I have a pair of the new Addi lace needles. I knew they'd be great for overall lace knitting, but I wasn't sure if they'd work for the nupps on swallowtail. I'd been using my 0000 DPN for the purl-5-together bane, but now I can use the working lace needle for that technique and it's much faster. Still, I really have to focus on each row, and I haven't had much focus time lately.

I spent a lot of time in a car over the holiday weekend with our trip to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, so the cardigan grew a few inches. Nice because until now, I'd only worked on it during American Idol, and during the season finale I realized that I might not finish the sweater. Between the boring stockinette and the horrible slippery cotton, AI was the only thing that made this thing bearable. The car trip was good for its progress, and now I can hopefully finish it during So You Think You Can Dance :)

I know I won't get much done this week, as our neighborhood garage sale is this week and we have a lot of preparation to do. I've committed with to nightly effort after the kids go to bed. Maybe next week I'll get to cast something off!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gonna knock you off your feet

I'm taking a big step today. Something I haven't done in years. I'm casting on a pair of socks with yarn from my stash. Seriously.

I'm really proud of myself. I even -get this- got over the little twitch in my eye when I realized I'd only have enough sock yarn left to make 11 pairs. I really like even sets of things - pairs, dozens, etc. But I wound the yarn and cast on anyway. Yay me!

Just a few minutes later, the mail carrier arrived with 3 more pairs of sock yarn. Instant karma?

That's a skein of Fleece Artist and 2 colors of Northern Sunshine Designs, a nice shop in Canada where I received excellent service, beautiful yarn, and some very nice sock patterns from Darlene (go to her site, she has some great free patterns too). Here's a close-up of the Fleece Artist:

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

I don't like Mondays

If by Mondays you mean mercerized cotton. This stuff is the suck to work with. It's so slippery that I have to tug every single stitch, which is impossible to do evenly every time. If I were in the round, that would be manageable, but since knits and purls slant differently, my stockinette stitch looks like crap. I have made some progress, past the underarms and nothing but st st for a good 10" more.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Two years in the making

I cast 64 stitches on for these simple ribbed socks two years ago. They were my first socks, and I used Koigu and US1 needles. The first sock took forever. I used to think ribbing was so difficult. (can you hear me whining in italics?) But when I turned that first heel, I fell in love with the magic of knitting socks. I've made many other pairs since then, for other people, but of course these socks for me have languished. Just like the fresh fruit that I don't think I am entitled to eat as it is for the kids, I'm also not entitled to hand-knit socks. NOT ANYMORE SUCKERS! I'm going to eat fresh strawberries AND knit stuff for myself and ~get this~ DRINK HOT COFFEE. All you kids can bite me cuz mama is hungry and tired and her feet are cold!

So we went to a gymnastics birthday party today for children from 3-5 years old. I know enough about gymnastics events to know that you have to take your shoes off (not going to be embarrassed about the state of my feet or socks at another one of those again!) so how fantastic for me to wear my very own pair of lovely socks? Yay!!!

I did show them off and mention a few times that *hey I knit these* but only one other knitter was there and she was nice enough to compliment me every time I begged for recognition.

Besides the wonderful feeling of putting these on, I really appreciate how much faster the second one was knit - I've really come a long way!

Friday, May 04, 2007

New Books!

No new yarn yet this week (some Mountain Colors sock yarn may have snuck its way in but I turned a blind eye, and hope you will too) but I do have 2 new books: the beautiful Poems of Color that I ordered directly from Interweave Press (Amazon had a 3-week delay, but was cheaper) and, from my LYS, Knitting Beyond the Basics. This little gem has lovely patterns that are interesting, challenging, classic knits. There is a beaded lace tank that is begging me to be cast on, and a great selection of sweaters as well. I just noticed that there aren't any reviews posted about the book on Amazon. Does that mean I am the first to buy it?!?

On a side note, I'd like to thank my neighbor for waking me and my sick kid up at 6:45 this morning. Not only do your dogs bark all day, and your teenage boys yak it up all night, but now you are mowing your lawn at 7am. It's great that you can cover all the time slots. Those pesky quiet periods were really getting to me. Silly old me thought I'd be able to enjoy fresh air and open windows between the hours of 1AM and 8AM!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The problem with too many WIPs...

is that they all move so slowly. No pics to post today, just a musing about why I do things the way that I do. I have stalled projects all over the place, and yet didn't even pause to cast on the Swallowtail Shawl from IK Fall 06. To have 2 lace projects going while also working a beaded bag with intense finishing needs and a looming deadline, not to mention the summer cardigan that must be finished before the season to wear it ends, add to that an unfinished sock, which needs about one inch and then a toe and then can be enjoyed with its long-finished mate, and OH! let's not mention the sock yarn, patterns, and lace-weight that just piled its way into my stash (if I put it away then I can forget that I bought it and don't have to feel bad about it), and my this sentence has gotten away from me... MY POINT: my knitting is all over the place, taking over the house, and nothing is being finished because new things keep casting on. My problem is not with that.

My problem is with my sadness over my limited knitting time... there are so many things that I want to make, to work on, patterns and books and things waiting for me to cast them on, and it seems a shame to be unable to do so. I sacrifice as much sleep as I can, and that gives me about 4 hours a night to knit, if I totally ignore my home, which I do. Some nights I get caught up on the Internet or shopping or pattern browsing and that limits me even further. I know that some day, my children will be old enough for me to knit with them around, or even for them to leave the house without me, and I will have a lot more time then. I don't want to rush their growing up - it's going so fast already with Jackson - so I must find a way to reconcile my desire to cast on and knit things with my motherhood role.

I am in love with the Silken Spencer jacket in this '06 fall IK. I think that may be next. After the beaded bag, summer cardi, and koigu sock. Everything else can bite me.