Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Shin Splints

So, I think I've given myself shin splints.  I decided I needed more yarn purchasing power so I decided to get a job for the summer at the local theme park.  Yesterday was my first day & let's just say that being on my feet for 8 hours, on concrete, uses a totally different set of muscles than sitting on the porch swing knitting for 8 hours.  Despite the fact that my lower legs feel like they may shatter with every step, I really like the job.  The people are great, the atmosphere is fun, and the work is simple but fast paced.  And best of all, I lost two pounds yesterday!  Weight loss beats shin splints every time.

As for knitting news, I hope I haven't made a grievous mistake.

An unblocked Christmas tree skirt that is knit using Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pie R Squared shawl formula, except I knit it flat instead of in the round.  I KNOW I did it correctly, except after looking at it off the needles, it sure does look like I only made half a pie.  Boy, I hope the magic of blocking works on this one!

I also knit this shawl using Sparkle from Haute Knit Yarn.  The yarn, my swift & my ball winder had a bit of a disagreement but all parties report it was due to user error, not material error.  The fight did leave me spending almost 18 hours untangling knotted yarn & winding it by hand, but again, it was user error, not the yarn's fault.  It's also a testimony to the yarn's yumminess that I spent 18 hours detangling it rather than simply tossing it in the trash can.  I really did make a mess of it.  It was the first time using the ball winder since I'd moved it from one side of the swift to the other.  Much to my dismay, I discovered, after winding probably 100 yards, that I didn't have the yarn feed thing latched into place & as I wound, the yarn feed thing was pulled closer & closer to the forming ball of yarn.  When I noticed it & attempted to properly lock it into place, I couldn't because it caused the yarn being fed from the swift to rub against the skein being formed.  Okay, that probably makes no sense, but trust me, it wasn't going to work.  I took the little skein I'd created off the winder & attempted to wind it from the opposite end of the loop of yarn hanging out on the swift.  All that did was cause the little skein I'd already created to wrap tightly around the base of the swift.  Next, I attempted to unwind the the second little skein I'd created & rewind it by hand but all that happened was a horrible, tangled mess.  Eighteen hours of horrible, tangled mess.  But again, the yarn was so pretty I stuck with it and spent those long 18 hours cursing and detangling.

Currently, for the first time in probably 30 years, I have nothing on the needles.  Well, nothing that I actually plan to finish that is.  I knit the last stitch on the Christmas tree skirt just minutes before I had to leave for the new job yesterday and since I'm working the night shift and didn't get home until almost 3 a.m., I didn't start anything new last night.  But today is a whole new day.  Which means, I'm off to play in the stash pile.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cap Crazy

I've been cap crazy lately.  I knit 5.9 hats over the past week.  I finished the gray one knit with Palette.

It was a fun, relaxing project.  Just enough pattern to keep me from going bonkers from solid color knitting.  I'm not sure what to call it.  I'm not sure I can call one yarn over & a decrease lace or faggoting, but....


A brown on brown striped slouchy hat.  That one is knit from more Palette & some other self striping, brown variegated yarn I had in my stash.

This one started off being a chevron scarf but I wasn't thrilled with it so I went frogging.  I like the yarn as a hat much, much better than as a scarf.

Next up, I went cable crazy.

I found a large skein of this natural color wool in the stash pile ended up knitting several hats with it.  The one above is the first.  The second hat had a few design issues.  It turned out way to pointy & looks like a nicely cabled dunce cap.    I didn't even  photograph it, although I probably should have just for giggles.  The third is the ".9" hat mentioned above.  I failed to photograph that one too, but it's more, but different, cables with the same yarn.  I've started to decreasing so it's almost finished.  Thankfully, so far, it's not looking very duncey.

A lot of other stuff has gone on over this past week besides knitting.  I've been in an ongoing argument with myself about next year's homeschool bowling league.  Was I or was I not going to run one.  I'd been leaning heavily towards not, but I've decided to go ahead & do it and do it in a much bigger way.  We won't just be a bowling league.  We'll have classes going on all day long in the bowling alley's conference room as well.  It's going to occupy a lot of my time, but I'm pretty excited about it too.

In between knitting & homeschool planning, I also managed to catch a mean case of poison ivy.  Thankfully, it's not spread all over my body, just my right arm and left hand.  But it's got that horrible bee sting itch thing that WILL NOT go away no matter how much Benedryl, Calamine or Rhuli Gel I use.  It's making me extremely cranky.  So cranky in fact, yesterday felt like six Mondays, Friday the 13th, April Fools Day & Murphy's Law all rolled into one.  There was the annoying poison ivy itch.  The cicada invasion has hit & they aren't making their normal noise.  I sorta like normal cicada noise.  It  brings back many happy childhood summer memories.  But this, this noise is horrible!  It's like some kind of weird mind control noise & it's driving me absolutely mad.  Madder than the poison ivy itch is driving me!  On top of that, I dropped Mr. Freaky Face (my hat model) and now he looks like a scarred tough guy with a freaky white face.  Some how, the button on a pair of jeans got stuck in the dry vent thing, the dryer continued to spin & the pants were spun to death.  Or at least the button is was ripped off.  In the process of listing four new hats in the Etsy shop, I accidently deleted six other listings.  And of course, I don't know which ones they are so now I've got to take inventory & compare what's actually on Etsy to what should be on Etsy.  And worst of all, I forgot to watch Vampire Diaries last night.  Argh!  I'm not sure there are enough yarn fumes in the whole world to help me recover from that.

I'm not going to let it get me down though.  I'm going to go apply another layer of Rhuli Gel, refill the coffee cup, hope & pray that I can find last night's episode of Vampire Diaries online somewhere & finish that third cabled hat.  After that, there should be enough yarn for one more!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hail to the Redskins!

I'm not feeling overly creative at the moment, we are having a massive thunderstorm with dime sized hail and I needed a blog title so....

Hail to the Redskins.

Although I freely admit to being a yarn snob, I couldn't resist Red Heart's Team Spirit in Redskin colors.  That's Mr. Freaky Face modeling the hat.  He's very happy to have ear flaps because they cover up the dent in his ear from where he recently took a tumble off the shelf.

I haven't made much progress at all on the latest chevron scarf.

I wasn't feeling the love & quickly put it down & started another blanket instead.

I got the idea from a rug I saw in a magazine.  I'm using Fibonacci's numbers (the Fibonacci number?? not sure how to word that) for the stripe sequence & solid color scrap yarn for the stripes.  I like it & hate it at the same time.  It's bright and gaudy and tacky but oddly, the bigger it gets, the less gaudy & tacky it seems.  Is that what they mean by "growing on me"?

While working on the blanket squares, I watched Once Upon a Time on Netflix.  I started noticing all the different hats the characters wear which got me thinking about hats and how much easier & quicker they are to knit than a blanket and...

Voila!  The beginning of a hat.  On my screen, it looks like slate gray yarn but it's actually a dark gray.  Palette's "Ash" to be exact.  I chose the yarn simply because it was within reach & I had two skeins (wasn't sure one would be enough.)  It doesn't look like much yet, but it's going to be my version of Red's hat, only in gray.  It's also going to be slow going because once again, I'm using fingering weight yarn & #2 needles.  I really should stop complaining about that.  With the exception of that Red Heart hat up above, I don't think I've used anything but fingering (or worse, lace) weight yarn for the past year or two.  I think it may be time to give in and admit that all my projects take me a while.

Well, the hail has finally stopped and the thunderstorm seems to have moved on.  Think I'll go see if the newly planted tomato plants survived.