Friday, September 26, 2014

Lacy Cables

I've made a little progress (with the emphasis on "little" on the lacy cabled poncho.  I wasn't sure how it would look with lace and cables, but I'm liking it so far.  I've frogged more rows than I've knit though.  I'm not sure why I'm struggling with it so.  I use this open lace pattern frequently because it's rather mindless & I can knit it in my sleep usually.  But not with this project.  I keep getting the yarn over rows mixed up with the knit rows.

Maybe I can't keep the rows straight because I've had something else on my mind...

Amazon has/had Inktense Blocks on sale.  A Serious sale with a capital S!  I've been wanting some but my lack of drawing skills just didn't justify the price.  This sale was just too good to pass up though.

Okay, so don't laugh at my tree.  Actually, I'm pretty excited about that tree.  It took all of about 5 seconds to scribble it onto the page.  Literally, it took me longer to get the color blocks out of the container than it did for me to scribble with them.  Anyway, I wiped a baby wipe over my scribbles to activate the water color aspect of the blocks and voila!  An autumn tree.

And, I may have finally taught Max to stop taking the used baby wipes out of the trash.  Look at his face -

He looks like he's been sucking lemons.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Bad Hair 2

Last week's TBT photo was my toddler version of a bad hair day.

Unfortunately, things didn't improve with age.

To keep this post knitting related, I'd like to mention that my mom knit the sweater I was wearing in that photo.  I LOVED that sweater!!  It was knit with the finest shetland wool.  It must have had a gazillion stitches in it, which of course, I didn't appreciate at the time.  What I did appreciate was how soft it was and how it didn't itch and how it was the creamiest yellow you've ever seen with tiny flecks of darker yellow, almost orange.  I would give my eye teeth to be able to knit myself an adult version with that same  yarn.

And of course, I'm sure my mom did not appreciate it when a goat chewed a giant hole in the sweater while I pet another goat at the petting zoo that came to the local shopping mall.  I don't remember Mom crying, but I sure did!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mad Skills

Have I mentioned how skilled I am at procrastination?  I have some serious, mad procrastination skills.  My to-do list is out of control.  It makes me shudder just to think about everything I need, should, or want to do.  So rather than actually accomplishing something on the list,  I just spent a little over an hour making fancy, scrapbook-worthy holiday to-do lists.  I didn't even write any tasks on them, I just made pretty pieces of paper to scribble on.  Good grief.

I'm even procrastinating with my knitting.

As you can see, I haven't gotten very far with the striped scarf.  It's a tad bit wider than I'd anticipated.  It's another of those lazy projects where I just grabbed a needle, some yarn & started casting on stitches.  No gauge consideration at all.  I simply cast on enough stitches that I could knit comfortably in the round with the needle that was closest to hand at the time.  And that means, my scarf is turning out to be 17 inches wide.  That's not a scarf, it's a sweater body.  Good grief.

Because progress on the striped scarf/sweater body was creeping along so slowly, I started something else.  It's basically a poncho but I hate to call it a poncho because the word makes me think of Red Heart yarn & the 1970's.  The funny thing is, I am using acrylic yarn.  Cheap acrylic yarn!  I guess I really am knitting a poncho!  I'd stopped in the local big box craft store for something totally not yarn related but.... this yarn was on sale for less than $2.00 for 678 yard skeins!  It's Loops & Threads Woolike in Teal Lake.  I stood in the store arguing with myself about it for quite some time.   The argument went like,  I could knit a lot of lace very cheaply vs. it's acrylic. How will it block? Will it block? vs It's acrylic.  It's machine washable.  Machine washable lace!  Finally, in the end, the fact that it was less than $2.00 won.  Who was I kidding?  I'd have even put Red Heart in my basket if it was less than $2.00.

Anyway, it's going to be a lacy poncho with a cable running up (or down, actually) the front & back.  My intention is to wear it like a light weight sweater, not huge gianormous 1970's style poncho.  And so far, I'm enjoying knitting with cheap acrylic yarn!  The knitted fabric is actually turning out to be very soft & it has good stitch definition.  Yay!

Ooh - see what it's sitting on?  That's my new knitting journal.  Which I'm totally in love with.  I've kept records of all my knitting projects for years & years but I've never been completely happy with any of the journals I've used.  They've been too small, too bulky, too ugly & even too expensive to write in & "mess up."  Yes, I have bought expensive, leather bound journals (yes, plural) that I've never written in because I might "mess them up."  Good grief!  Anyway, this one is perfect.  It's a regular old composition notebook (I got 8 of them for about $3.00 at the local wholesale club recently) and I simply glued scrapbook paper on the front & back covers and inside the covers to pretty it up.  The finished result is perfect!  It's the perfect size, it stays open when laid flat, it's pretty and super cheap so I don't worry about what the inside looks like.  I can't wait to cover the rest of them.  In fact, it's on my to-do list.

Another reason I've been procrastinating with my knitting is that I sorta gave myself a massive case of carpal tunnel.   At my job, I get assigned to different areas doing different things.  Lately, I've been assigned to one specific area that, in all honesty, only has about two hours worth of work over the eight hours I'm sitting there.  The rest of the time, I just sit, literally, waiting for something to happen.  During all that waiting time, I get to entertain myself with reading, knitting, playing computer games...  Lately, I've become obsessed with Zentangle.

Obviously I'm not an artist, but I really enjoy Zentangling.  The only thing is, hours & hours of Zentangle doodling is hard on my wrist.  It's even starting to affect my elbow.  And that is why I haven't been knitting as much lately.

As you can see, I'm slightly obsessed with circles.

Like I said, I am not an artist, but Zentangling is a great way to pass the time at work.

And on a bright note, it's fall!  Yesterday was the first day of autumn.  Yesterday morning, our air conditioning was still running but the weather man was promising an overnight low of 48 degrees.  By early evening, we turned off the a/c & opened the windows.  By midnight, I was chilly & had to get a blanket.  Today, I'm sitting here with my warm (more like hot) laptop in my lap & a shawl wrapped around me.   I'm even thinking about putting on socks.   I LOVE fall!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Bad hair days

Have I ever mentioned I have bad hair?  It's crazy thick, grows straight on parts of my head & curly on others.  It's even multiple colors.  Most of my hair is brown, or at least it was in my youth.  But there are splotches of blond.  And by "splotches," I mean it looks like someone splattered bleach on my head.  These days, gray is added to the mix (although I still prefer to tell myself it's white blond) and my hair is just a complete disaster.  I'm used to it though.  My hair has always been a disaster.  See?

Not only was it crazy thick, curly in places & straight in others as a toddler, but to add a bit more humiliation into the mix, my mom cut it herself.  With pinking shears.  No lie!  Pinking shears!

I knit myself a hat to cover up the bad hair.  It turned out to be a bad hat.

Do you see it?  That weird line running around the hat?  Sadly, it's not a weird light effect.  The broken rib pattern is broken.  You'd think I'd know my purls from my knits by now but alas....

I knit this hat while at work one day.  It was a very slow day work wise.

Have I mentioned how much I love my job?  How I get to play with money all day and if things are slow & there's no money to count, I can knit?  Right there, at my desk, in front of the boss!  It's fabulous.  As much as I complain about (1) having to go to work, (2) the hours,  (3) the uniform...., I really do love the job.  I just wish I loved to block knitting.  That hat obviously needs a good blocking.

I also knit this striped scarf.  It's shades of browns, grays & creams.  I love how the garter stitch blends the colors.  It reminds me of the granite stone lining our driveway.

Next, I knit an autumn colored cowl.

I LOVE the colors in this yarn, but that's about the only thing about this project that I loved.  The lace pattern was a simple 4 row repeat but somehow I kept getting my rows confused.  It may have had something to do with the fact that my daughter introduced me to a new series on Netflix.  Have you watched From Dusk till Dawn?  I suggest you don't if you are knitting "simple" lace that you don't have to pay a lot of attention to, because you won't.  On top of the lace issues, the yarn was super splitty (it was an unspun type of yarn & I was using very pointy lace needles which may have caused the splittiness) and the bind off was too tight.  All in all, it wasn't a very happy knit, but I do love the colors!

After the autumn colored lace fiasco, I went back to the left over brown, gray & cream yarns.

I had quite a bit of yarn left over after finishing the scarf & it just seemed easier to knit something else with the leftovers than to put them away.  I am definitely in lazy knitting mode these days.

Well, that pretty much sums up the knitting I've been doing  over the last couple of weeks.  Now, I'm off to see if I can't do something with my hair.

Friday, September 12, 2014

First sign of fall

I am so freaking excited!  Take a look at the view from my back door.

Do you see it?  No?  Take a closer look.

The leaves are starting to turn!  I am so excited!  I love fall.  No, that's not really accurate.  I LOVE fall!  Love, LOVE, LOVE it!  Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year.  I like it even more than Christmas!  In the fall, the nasty humidity goes away.  The days are still plenty warm but the nights cool off.  The green leaves turn into beautiful shades of yellow, orange & red.  The local farms' fields are filled with pumpkins and every store you go into has at least one shelf of candy corn.  Have I mentioned my love of candy corn?  And, while it may be too early to start playing Christmas music (although I'll admit I want to,) it's not too early to start thinking about Christmas.  I can make my Christmas knitting list (which I should have made six months ago but apparently I prefer total panicked pressure knitting.)  I can even start fantasizing about how this will be the year the house gets decorated like something out of a Southern Living magazine and how all of the baking will turn out perfectly without a single smoke alarm going off.   And as long as I'm fantasizing, let's say the candy corn is calorie free this year.

Ah, I love my fantasy life.

Sadly, I'm not living that fantasy life at the moment.  Yes, this is a knitting blog without knitting photos.  That's because my house is so messy & gross there's nowhere to photograph my knitting.  There literally isn't a clean, junk-free space big enough to set Mr. Creepyhead so that I could take pictures of the two hats I finished this week.  Janet, the mannequin, is wearing clothes I haven't gotten around to hanging so she's not available to show off the scarf I finished and the dining room table (where I always lay my blocking mats) is still too covered in junk to block my Allegro sweater.

That's going to change though.  I am going to get this house cleaned up.  Right after I knit another round or two on the cowl I started last night.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Throwback Thursday - First Day

In honor of all the kids heading off to college...

Freshman moving-in day at Radford University, September, 1980.  That's me on the left with my arm in a brace & my sister on the right.  It's funny, I don't remember having a single plant in the dorm room.  I do, however, remember how frustrated I was with that arm brace.  I'd torn the muscles in my shoulder playing corner tag (corner tag was taken very seriously at that pool!) and had absolutely no use of my right arm.  I am COMPLETELY right handed.  I can't even wave properly with my left.  I was totally helpless for six weeks.  Not exactly the best way to start off a college career.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Yellow watermelon.

Tastes great, but oh, so wrong.

But since this is supposed to be about my knitting....

Besides that nasty Cash Control bug I caught, I've also been suffering from start-itous lately.  This will be a scarf (or maybe a rectangular shawl depending on attention span & motivation) in thin stripes of various grays, browns & creams.  Since taking this photo, I've knit a few more rows & am loving the effect so far.  It's single rows of color knit in garter stitch.  The colors blend together & it looks like granite.  The  yarn is mostly Knit Pick's Palette with a few other miscellaneous yarns thrown in.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How you spin it

It's all in how you spin it, right?  The last few weeks have been horrendous with one disaster after another.   Not major disasters like level 5 earthquakes or deaths in the family, just little mini disasters.  And I'm choosing to focus on the "mini" factor.  I'm staying positive because it could have been a whole lot worse.  I'm also choosing to document the positive spin so that I'll remember to focus on it rather than throwing myself a(nother) pity party.

Remember the missing camera?  I found it.  Then misplaced it again.  On the positive side, it was found long enough for me to charge the battery so that when I find it again, it will be ready to use.

Remember me getting a new (to me) car?  Someone smashed into it in the employee parking lot & didn't stop to report it.  I can not tell you how angry I am.  I'm not sure who I'm more angry with - the fellow employee who didn't have the guts to admit what they'd done or Security who acted like it was just way too much trouble to write up the report.  But, to look at it positively, my daughter has recently gotten her learner's permit.  If she wrecks the car while learning to drive, oh well.  She won't be the first one to do so.

I found another snake, a teeny, tiny baby one, in the garage.  Google tells me that, based on it's size, it was recently born & there could be nine more just like it somewhere close by.  On the positive side, it was not poisonous & Google also tells me they eat bugs as well as mice.  I'm having a hard time accepting the possibility that there may be nine more bug & mice eating, non-poisonous snakes out there, but at least it wasn't a copperhead.  That's the true positive side of that story.

Our household a/c died but the brother-in-law came to our rescue.  When I got home that night, it was so cold in the house I had to put on a sweater & socks!

I caught the Cash Control Creeping Crud disease that we've been passing around at work.  It's a nasty, nasty bug.  It's the worst possible cold you can imagine times about ten gazillion.  My sinuses were so stopped up & sore I couldn't even put lotion on my face.  Even my teeth ached.  My ears felt like someone was shoving cotton balls into them with an ice pick.  To add to the fun, I kept tipping over because my balance was off from the ear congestion.  I had weird Frankenstein type lumps sticking out of my neck and I used more than two rolls of toilet paper blowing my nose over the course of one day.  (We never have tissues when we need them.)  On the positive side, I had no appetite & lost a pound or two.  I also didn't seem to spread it to anyone else in the family.  Thank you, Jesus!

The house took a direct hit from a bolt of lightening.  The noise was deafening & it felt like the house had been knocked off it's foundation.   On the positive side, we are not deep charred crispy critters.

The a/c is broken.  Again.  Of course, it's also the hottest day of the year.  (Which in itself is weird.  We are having our hottest day in September instead of July or August.)  On the positive side - think of the electricity we are saving by not having the a/c running.

And the biggest positive of all.... The theme park where I work "closed" for the season yesterday.  I say "closed" because it's still open on weekends for special events.  But, I have my weekdays, at least most of them, off now.  Yay!  Freedom!