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Friday, September 30, 2011

Tight, knitting that is.

Another week at work down. Whew. Now I can relax a few days and get some knitting, cooking, and cleaning done. I know, the gall of some people. Do they really expect me to earn my keep? Sheesh.

Now that I have some spare time I'll get some more posts up here. Just what everyone wanted, no? Yeah, we all have our delusions, let me keep mine.

I got a bit of knitting done this week. Two sets of the needed eight pairs of Christmas socks done. I'm making them out of Cascade 220. It's a really affordable wonderful wool yarn that comes in a great color selection. It can feel stiff while knitting but it really softens up with a washing when it's all done. It's almost as great as their Eco Wool. I'm knitting these things so tight that I'm actually wearing out the tips of my bamboo needles. I'll be switching to my metal circulars and using the magic loop method to finish the others up.

The two that are done are for two of Bob's brother-in-law's. The yarn beneath them are the other colors I'll be using. The blue will be for another of his sister's and her husband in the same reversal of colors as the two sets that are done. The dark green will be for my uncle and the light sagey green color for my mom. The middle green is for another of his sisters and the brown is for my brother who is always trying to showcase his masculinity. I figured I was safe with a simple brown. If not, screw it. I figured I better make him a set of thick socks since his wife is getting this...

Well, I better get dogs out for a romp and get to chopping veggies for dinner. Have a great day everyone.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Up To No Good

Well, actually I've really just been up to knitting. Some of it's not all that good, but some of it is decent if I do say so myself. All most all of it recently has been Christmas knitting. Yeah yeah, I'm not normally this prepared but I decided to try giving preparedness a try this year.

First, I was able to get the Echo Flower Shawl completed. I now have a drawer of Christmas Shawls done. It feels weird having such a drawer full of large knitting projects actually complete. Well, before a week prior to Christmas anyway.

The shawl was done using a Bamboo/Cotton blend from The Great Adirondack Knitting Co. It is a very soft and drapy item though it's not wanting to hold it's blocking well. I'm going to have to re-block before giving time and add starch I think. I aggressively wet blocked it and steamed it the first time. Any suggestions?

Oh, and on the note of suggestions, I played with my settings again trying to get comments to play nice. I was speaking with some friends at knit night that also blog on blogspot and they to have been having some issues. Anyway, shoot me an email at gmail if you still can't leave comments like many of you have.

Back to the warm fuzzy's though. I can only discuss electronic world issues for so long before the irritation rises. I'm also making thick socks for some other members of the family. Those that aren't getting shawls. The guys side of the family are ranchers and this spring there was a conversation regarding frost bitten toes so I thought I'd give thick socks a shot to see if they help at all. If they are well received and seem to help I will probably give thrummed socks a shot next year. The first set of socks will probably be done today, and I will just have four more pairs and figure out something else out for my own mom and brother.
The pattern is from Elizabeth Zimmerman. I believe it is titled "Huntsman's Socks". I have her book The Opinionated Knitter has the original publication of the pattern. It's a simple sock on a larger gauge and as most of her patterns go, it's wonderfully adaptable to different gauges, yarn types and variation. I would suggest, and may use it as a beginning sock pattern for anyone who would like to learn sock knitting. They go fairly fast and is a straightforward easy to follow pattern. As usual EZ, you were a leader in the woolie world.

I hope you all have a great day. It's time for me to go shower and pretend to be motivated today. There's a wide world out there just waiting for me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tired Texting?

Early Tuesday morning round about two-thirty I sent out the following text message to a group of friends. “I really hope we all turn our cell phones down at night because… I swear this is NOT drunk texting. And I know this because as I sit here watching the Glee episode ‘Blame it on the Booze’ and drink directly from the wine bottle, there is only a glass worth of wine left over from Sunday’s Dinner and it is my first and last drink of the night, no, this is one of those moments where I pause in my knitting and think, ‘Is this sad? 32 and drinking from the bottle with my faithful muttley crew and the lone puss of the house while watching a show aimed at teens?’ Then it dawns on me that perhaps this is more appropriate for my blog. Have a good day everyone!”

First, don’t rag on me about watching Glee. I still don’t know why I love this show as much as I do. The truth of the matter is that I bought the entirety of season 2 last week so I could get caught up before season 3 starts since I actually have cable these days. But considering the amount of women I know who sport “Team Edward or Jacob” T’s and some of the horribly inappropriate comments I’ve overheard coming from both middle aged women and men about a certain Justin Bieber I don’t feel bad about enjoying Glee. I don’t lust after any of the characters or their actors. I truly just enjoy the story line(s). A lot. Maybe it’s the musical theater and broadway numbers. I do fall into some of the stereotypes… Let’s not get into the stereotype conversation. covered those great last week.

Back on track though. I did have one of those self pity moments. You know the ones. Those, “Is this really it” moments. I think, well, I hope anyway so that I don’t sound like an overly whiny person that I’m not alone in having these moments every once in a while. In fact I know others that have them much more regularly than my every 6 months to a year. And as usual. I just needed a moment to think “And if it is, is this really so bad? I mean, I am enjoying sitting here knitting and watching Glee aren’t I? And should this be it, I have a several great friends, a few of them I would not have met should I not have moved to Casper WY. Two of my muttley crew wouldn’t be among my pack, and I probably wouldn’t have the guy in my life. Granted there may have been other good, or even great things should I have taken a different road, but lets not count on things that I have no way to know of. All I can measure is the here and now, and sitting here knitting on Christmas projects and enjoying a good show, with great music and occasional touching moments with the furry monsters who are just as willing to cuddle as they are to go for a hike and a group of friends who I know will either laugh at my ugly hour of the morning texts or at least shake their heads and think, “That’s our Q” is pretty damn good in my view. Here’s just to hoping that the friends didn’t get them until they awoke of their own means the following morning.

 Now, I'm off to walk some dogs before crashing. Hope you all have a great day.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


So, last night there I was flying away at this darn shawl that feels like it's never going to end. Seriously, I got done with the edge chart and started the border. Well, more than started, I got the border half done. And there I sat thinking as I looked at my work, "That looks good, I should be finished by tomorrow! Damn I'm good." That's right, I got cocky/smug/egotistical or what ever term you would like to use for being a smarmy ass. And of course, that's when I saw the error. No, not error, errors. Yep, the knitting gods and goddesses smacked me down back to the level of mere mortal where I belong, even if I only accrue demi god knitting status in my own head.

So, here I sit ripping back wondering how I could have for got not just one nupp (which I still would have felt the immediate desire to fix, but multiple nupps, ruining the whole line of them that the pattern calls for. Yeah, that's right. I forgot a whole truck load of them. Some people. Can't take us anywhere.

I decided in my defense that with Bob out of town, and myself in the middle of seven 12hr night shifts in a row, that perhaps I was just to tired to knit. You see, with four dogs and Bob out of town, I tend to have trouble getting time in for sleeping. I don't know how parents of actual human children manage much of their lives. At least I can kennel mine, tell them to shut it and go to sleep when the need for zzz's overpowers all other desires. I guess technically I could do that with kids but it's generally frowned upon.

You see, my day consists of getting up around two thirty or three int he afternoon, walking the mutley crew before coming home, scrounging up food for both myself and them, showering and heading to work. I get home, feed the monsters, have a good long morning walk before falling into bed if I'm lucky somewhere around nine am. Let's just say that luck is rarely with me. But I strive for it, hoping to at least get 5 hours of sleep. But wait, I have to get up between eleven and noon to feed the Great Delay a lunch since I'm not home at night to give him a before bed meal... Oh, and all the other errands and pieces of odd pieces of life I need to take care of occasionally. So, like I said, I'm just tired. Babe, I do miss you for a whole heap of reasons when your out of town, but sleep is pretty high on the list. But your cars oil is changed and tires rotated as of 16:04 this afternoon.

I know, your thinking, "Excuses excuses, maybe you just suck at knitting?" I truly hope you're not right on that note, but I'm also going to use this as an excuse as to why I haven't blogged. Granted, blogging is also a way for me to get things out of my head and relax, just like walking the dogs is, but when it comes to making a time management choice between dog walking and blogging I'm going to have to go with the one that also wears out the kids.

On that note, I need a shower. Hope you all have a great week, see you at the end of it.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Afternoon Quickie - Quick Posting That Is

I figured there was time for a quick post this afternoon. I myself slept in this morning, walked my monsters then hit the stores (Let's just pretend you care about my daily schedule, okay?).

The first thing on my list were new needles. You see, I've been working on this Echo Flower Shawl with a pair of the square knitting needles in the circular style.

This is supposed to be a quarter turn counter clockwise. I have no idea why this thing sometimes won't keep picture formatting.
As for the needles themselves, I have no qualms. To be honest a size four is small enough that the fingers don't really notice a big difference with it being a squared off needle. But the cable... Simply put, it sucks. It's like knitting with a limp noodle. It turns itself out between your stitches, doesn't want to feed through the stitches as you work. In general, it's just a pain in the tookus. Unfortunately, the yarn store didn't have what I was needing. The good thing is the more I get on the needle as this shawl grows, the better behaved the cable is. But if it were up to me the whole darn thing would go away.

It's actually a very good pattern. If you decide to look into it, read the pattern carefully as you review your charts. Once they all fit together in your head it's quite simple. I am finding it a bit tedious but I think that's largely due to the needles and the fact that I haven't been allowed to work on it as much as I would want to. Truly, any frustration I'm having towards it is mostly self derived. I would recommend this pattern to anyone who wants to give it a shot. You can get it free on I'm making the larger full size shawl version myself.

The yarn in use is the replacement bamboo fingering I was sent from the Great Andirondak Yarn Co to replace the yarn I had previously had disintegrating problems with. It is truly a soft and beautiful yarn to work with, even if I'm not caring for the way the color is knitting up. Once again though, that's due to my own OCD issues with variegates. Many people have petted it and cooed over it so I think the recipient will adore it.

The other items on my shopping lists are simply because I'm a bad uncle. I didn't realize the youngest of my nephews birthday was on Monday until last night while plotting out my schedule on the calendar. Then while talking to my Mom I discovered the older nephews birthday was in August, not October like I was thinking. Like I said, bad uncle. So I scrambled to get a couple more things for the items I had already accrued for birthday boxes so I could pack them up and ship them.

Now... I get to knit!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Whew... As fun as it was to head south, I can honestly say I'm glad to be home. The best part was the temperature in the low 70's. To be honest I was really enjoying the 50's near Park City as I headed East from Salt Lake City.

Over all, it was a wonderful trip. I enjoyed it immensely. It was downright hot but we made the best of it. Even after our long hike through the back areas of Devils Garden I managed to not get a sun burn! That is a rarity but I'm glad of it. A sunburn would have made the rest of the trip not as fun.

Just spending today sorting through pics, putting gear away, and catching up on life. Since I was the driver for the trip I got absolutely no knitting done. I met my friend Stef at her families place in Salt Lake (That lazy bum was still asleep!) I myself woke up at 0130 and couldn't fall back to sleep so I got up at 0200 and was on the road by 0300. I sent her text from Rock Springs to give her the 3hr heads up... But alas.

From there we drove South the Moab. I have to say, I'm not a city kid. Freeway driving, though not difficult, just isn't my thing. We arrived in the afternoon and spent the next two and a half days playing in Arches and Canyon Lands.

I threw in some pics Just for good measure.
Delicate Arch

Landscape Arch

Devils Garden Entrance

Double Arches

Park Avenue

Darkling Beetle

Another National Park Beggar

That's about it for me. I'm not going to gripe about the other drivers and all the tourists that kept getting in my photographs (oh wait... I'm a tourist in that sense aren't I?). Oh.. one thing. Signs for campgrounds should have reflective writing so they can be found in the dark. Not reflective tape above and below the actual name so you can't actually read the name itself. Us trying to find the correct campground in the canyon from the long string of other campgrounds at 1000 in the dark was on the edge of hilarity. Of course, I didn't feel like laughing much at the time, but come dawn's glowing hours I could see the humor in it all. Needless to say on the way out that morning to the parks I made a point of getting the mile marker number and some other obvious land marks.

TTime to romp dogs again before heading to knit night.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vocabulary Lessons: FO - Finished Object

Now I know you non-knitters were thinking, "FO?" What happened now. Nothing, I promise. I just learned this acronym myself earlier this year. You would think with the time I've spent on knitting websites I would have known FO and WIP. For those trying to come up with another answer to the acronym game, it's Work In Progress. Not Wickedly Itchy Podiatrists or Worshiping In Panache. Yeah, that's the best this tired brain can come up with.

But back to FO's. Last posting I had a little on blocking. After I got that all done and posted and happy with myself I realized I screwed up the edge. Why didn't I take the pictures of the final products downstairs with me you may ask? Who knows. I tried to do some doctoring but I wasn't horribly successful since I blocked that pointed edge rather aggressively. I'll try playing with it some more, but here is the actual FO.

I also finished this project.

I'm really not happy with it but after tearing out again, don't ask for that final count, it's depressing, I decided that colorwork just isn't my thing and to move on. The one on the bottom is the original I was given by a coworker. It's her daughters who now has a baby boy of her own. The one on top is the re-creation of the original. Did I mention colorwork isn't my thing?  Anyway, I'm not charging for this piece at all. I'm very unhappy with the final results. I'm just going to give it to her and slink off before she can open the box. The original had some repair work that needed done. That I can happily say went much better. Under Santa's beard on this side was falling apart due to what looked like may have been mouse damage. The other side had the lettering also falling apart. I went back through with secondary yarn and re threaded the areas in question and they came out quite nice. I was tempted to fix Santa's eyes because... Well, he looks like he has down syndrome. I decided it wasn't asked of me though so I let them be.

Now, a WIP.

This is the Echo Flower Shawl. I started it this week and it's kind of slow going. Mainly due to distraction on my part. I've been planning my escape to Moab this weekend with an old school friend. We've known each other since the 2nd grade and graduated together. We're going to be rambling around Arches National Park without the dogs so I can actually get on the trails. Poor Bob has a wedding to attend this weekend so he gets to stay home with the critters. I'm thinking about staying the night in Salt Lake Monday. Are there any fun activities going on Monday night for Labor day?

Ah, the work week is done and I'm running away! I hope you all have a great weekend.