Monday, May 26, 2008

Stars and Stripes.

In honor of those who have served, I found this pretty little sock, which I though very fitting.

The pattern and more on how they came up with the pattern, please click here.

I love it when things mean something! I live in a very big military town, I myself was in for four years, and my daughter's father is in for life. In some respects, the military cost me my marrage, but I also know that in good conscience, I could have never asked my ex to pick one over the other.

Those that make the commitment to serve, and to serve to the best of their abilities, deserve our constant respect and admiration, no matter what we think of the President or the wars they are fighting in.

My kiddo was 3 going on 4 when her dad went to Afghanistan. She couldn't understand what was going on. She was used to him deploying, but not for 8 months and she could really sense that something was different. The best way that we could explain it to her was that he had to go and take care of the bad guys so that little girls like her could have a good life and their families would be safe. We did the same when he went to Iraq when she was 6 going on 7. She was so proud of her daddy! She told everyone she could "My daddy is trying to keep little girls safe and I miss him, but it's ok, because all little girls need to be safe."

Although we are not together, I am so very proud of him still. He went through so much, and lost so much that I can't help but be proud.

My very close friend Frankie is in one of those places right now, and I pray every day for his safe return. Without him, my life would be very, very empty.

Myself and Frankie Summer 2007

Monday, May 19, 2008

Learning Through Frog-osis

After this weekend I have determined a few things:

1. One ought not to attempt life too hung over. That includes knitting projects.

2. There is something to be said about understanding different types of yarn and what NOT to use them for.

3. I have an extreme dislike for the North Carolina School System.
Let's address the first one, shall we?

Sangria. Good while you are consuming it. Not so good the next day when you try and accomplish various household tasks such as laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, vacuuming and overall straightening up. Out of these 5 things, I managed to accomplish 1.75 items. Dishes - they count as the 1, and the .75 comes from laundry. Although it's clean and dry, it's certainly not put away.
I'm going to shop for nourishment after work. For some oddball reason, Monday night is "Fish Stick" night in my house and once I pick up Madelini, we're heading to the store. For whatever reason, she enjoys grocery shopping Mondays after school. I try and hit the store during lunch, as there is a sweet little grocery store behind my office, but I'm out of motivation at the moment.
Hangovers allow for work on dishcloths and that's it. Now you all know why there is a constant stream of them flowing off my needles.


In my last post, I talked about the psychotic amount of silk yarn I had purchased for a lacework scarf. I made it six rows into the thing and stopped. Although I had managed to get the stitches down pat, there was no way my pretty silk was going to work for the pattern. I need something I can soak and block to make it right in the end, and that's just not gonna happen with silk.
So I frogged.
And through frog-osis, I learned the following:

One can be a skilled knitter, but if you are not skilled in the art of picking out the appropriate yarn, you can kiss your pretty little FO good bye. I sat down and thought about this at length, trying to determine if it was the elephants playing jump rope in my head or just overall disappointment with the scarf itself, and after a cup of coffee and a banana, I realized it was the scarf.

Why go blind over a scarf that won't be what you want it to be?


North Carolina has 3rd graders complete End of Grade testing. It starts today. The state mandates that all 3rd graders pass this in order to advance to the 4th grade. Well, friends, the school has hammered this point so hard into my poor baby's head that she cried and refused to leave the house this morning because she's so scared about not passing.

"Mom, I'm just so stressed out" (Now picture tears the size of raindrops and a quivering chin)
WTF???? I know, and I'm sorry for the foul mouth.

It's a sad day when an 8 year old has had so much emphasis placed on one event that she cannot even remember the successes she has had over the year. She struggles in Math, as I did when I was her age. She may not pass that portion of the test, and that's ok. Her teacher and principal will over ride retention, as she is a straight A/B student except for Math.

I can't tell her this, though... And trust me, I have considered it, just to try and stop her from being so freaked out and miserable, but I just can't do it, because then she wouldn't give it her all. Poor thing. Tonight we shall dine on two of her favorite things - Velveeta Shells and Cheese with Fish Sticks and discuss how good our lives are. Life ought not to be measured by tests and grades, but instead on how you live it and what you give to others through your own personal blessings.

Who knows, she may surprise all of us. She has been a barrel of surprises for the last 8 years, so why ruin a good thing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Is it possible to suffer from knitter's block?

I'm here to tell you that it is.

Ok, I've been quiet lately. Me being lazy along with frustrated with knitting and life in general have caused me to over look sharing my current life events with all of my favorite readers. You poor, poor people! I know you have been crying buckets full of tears, so I'll correct the injustice and ramble on and on today!

Yay for you!

First, where have all my pretty stitches gone? After my last few projects I felt relatively capable of taking on any project that came my way (minus sweaters, of course). So I decide to start a few things, and have spent the week frogging my arse off.

First - Reversible Lace Ladders Scarf. It's super pretty. You can find it on Heartstrings. I ordered silk lace yarn from my friends a the Loopy Ewe, and have determined a few things. Wanna hear about it? Good.

  • 1100 yards of yarn for $40 sounds like a freakin' steal. When you get it home and realize that it is thinner than embroidery floss, you realize that the joke is on you. Trying to wind 1100 yards of dental floss is not fun or relaxing. I managed to wind about 75% of it before I had to stop. (I am currently dreaming of my own ball winder)

  • Because the yarn is a bit finicky (to put it nicely) I decided last night to practice on larger yarn. The pattern uses a funky little technique for it's yarn overs. For a yarn over in conjunction with a k2tog, you bring the yarn to the front and knit through the back loops. Reverse it for the purls. My stitches look like utter crap-o-la. Seriously.

  • I emailed the author to see if she thought I could use traditional YOs in place. She said yes, but that the size of the YOs will be different.

  • I came home today and tried large yarn and managed to do ok. I think my main problem is how the stitches look... I'm going to figure this one out even if I go blind doing it!

Wanna see? You know you want to....

Oh what a party pooper I am!!! Actually, I just couldn't get a good picture, so I figured I would show you the big cards I had to make so that I wouldn't get lost in the pattern. Yes, it's only two rows, but for some reason, I couldn't keep my place... So I wrote it really big.

Second, I've been working up a mesh lace pattern with some chunky weight linen. I just wanted a nifty item to run along the top of my shower curtain, and because my bath is done in red and green, it's going to be perfect. It's such a simple pattern and I can't get more than three rows without messing it up!!

What the hell is wrong with me??? I've spent all week cursing patterns and needles, and there has got to be something wrong with me, for real. Now the scarf I can get, but the mesh?? Come on!! I've lost my mind and and it's been replaced by knitter's block.

And work? Yeah... There has been some restructuring in my company, and we have all been re-aligned in one way or another. Not too bad but when someone tells you that you are going to do someone elses' job, including your own but offers no guidance on how the process should go, it's frustrating as hell. Like stabbing at yarn in the dark....

Kind of like how my recent projects are going. Blindly stumbling around trying to figure out what in the sam hell is going on!

Can you tell I have really lost it? My work and my knitting are becoming parallel universes! I'm going to have to get my stars back into alignment somehow. I think there is a bottle of wine in the fridge....

Monday, May 5, 2008


So I was thinking yesterday...

If I don't knit a sweater, does that make me less of a knitter? I just don't have a big urge to knit one. I suppose that part of the problem is finishitis. I just have a sneaking suspicion that what has happened with the Bellini Shawl would happen with a sweater.

My mom states that it absolutely does not make me less of a knitter. I'm an accessory fanatic - why not continue my fanatacism into my hobby? I figure that there will come a time when I just know I am ready for a sweater knit by myself. And I don't think I'm going to feel like less of a knitter until then. I've done some very complicated lace work that is absolutely beautiful, and I am quite proud of my accomplishments. I'm not going to let a sweater take that away from me!


Moving on, I frogged my Crest of the Wave scarf. Yup, I did it. I saw a scarf on a well known blog today and it was a much better match for my yarn. and I think I will like the pattern on the whole much better. I'm still going to do a Crest of the Wave scarft, but I'm going to use a yarn that is much better suited to the pattern itself.

Until I get it started, go over and peruse Mason Dixon Kitting. Then think about my yarn, and you'll see why the Crest of the Wave had to go! (Those ladies are my heroes by the way.)

I love yarn and the fact that you can completely rip out what you did and start over if you need too and in the end, no one would know the difference.

Remember - Forgiveness is key =)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Where have I been for a week?

God only knows, people, God only knows. I have, however, been knitting quite a bit!

Let's discuss, shall we?

First, let's look at my version of the Crest of the Wave Scarf:

My camera does the yarn no justice. I'm using Shibui Knits Sock yarn in "Orchid". The pinks are what you would find in a star gazer lily, and the green is a vivid chartreuse. I put all the information, plus my changes to the pattern on Ravelry. (I'm MsKnottyKnits there too)
Oh! In lieu of a good picture, here is the yarn on the Shibui Knits website. I love it so much. When I got the yarn in the mail, I made sure to pet it and rub it on my cheek. I might have even shed a tear of joy over the whole experience. Please go and look at the yarn - share in my delight.

I've been slogging along to finish the Bellini Shaw:

This shawl is for my ex mother in law. It's from Morehouse Farms and the colorway is "Monet's Garden". This is an easy shawl, but it's stockinette... The whole thing... (Yawn) It's been hard for me to continue with this one, friends because it's very non-stimulating. Notice Two Fingers is not impressed either and looks at me in that "when-are-you-gonna-finish-that-thing" sort of way. Love her.

Simple and easy, I did the nine patch dishcloth from Mason Dixon. I love my color choices. I gave it to Ms. Wendy because she's such a great person. I finished it while she was doing my hair this weekend! Yay!!! New hair color. (Pictures of that to follow)

Obviously, the picture is taken of the WS, which is quite depressing because the mitered corners in the variegated yarn are delicious!!! I was in the very long line at the McDonald's drive thru so I decided to knit a bit on it. Ms. Wendy was tickled pink.

How fun am I?? How fun are my color choices??? Doesn't it just make you want to jump up and down and bust out your box of 64 colors???? I'm so happy with colors lately.

Now if only I could finish that darned shawl some time this century.