Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wouldn't You Think

That friends would tell a friend as they were all leaving knit night together that she was WEARING the knitting needles she had pulled out of a project?

Said aggrieved knitter went to Publix on the way home from knitting and bought Halloween candy...WEARING the aforementioned knitting needles.

She did not discover this until she arrived home.

Thanks guys.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Progress and Bad Boy Baxter

I've been knitting and knitting away, and finally, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am almost at the point where the decreases for the sleeves begin and I have knit the sleeves to that point also. Yesterday I got a bit cocky confident and knit so absent-mindedly that I made a mistake and had to take back one of the cables, AGAIN. I really need to pay better attention. 

I apparently do love knitting cables and watching them form; I keep choosing cabled sweater patterns to make and this is my third in the past two years. I have knit some lace and keep buying lace weight yarn and lace patterns, but never seem to get around to making them. I'm beginning to suspect that I don't enjoy lace-knitting. 

Now for Bad Boy Baxter.

Early last summer my husband built a tall gate so that Baxter could spend time on the deck and not escape. A couple of weeks ago, twice we thought he was on the deck, but we couldn't see him and assumed he was in the house. Hours passed and we would walk past the windows that overlook the deck and there he was! How on earth could we have missed him?

Turns out, we hadn't, because we finally saw this:

He climbs the gate! And then climbs down the other side and goes off on an adventure. Bad, bad Baxter! There are coyotes and foxes around here, as well as one orange cat that likes to fight and that had pretty thoroughly beaten Baxter up when he escaped a year or so ago. 

My husband has put a section of lattice, about four inches deep, along the top of the gate, at a 90-degree angle to the gate, and Baxter is so far defeated in his efforts to escape. He meows, rams himself against the gate, puts his head through the holes, but can't get out. 

We win! 

For now.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Do You Know a Knitting Wizard?

I do!  Her name is Anna, and she just saved me from having to rip out many rows of the State Fair Cardigan I have been working on, oh, forever.

After I thought I had repaired the wrong-way cables, I had some long strands of yarn that I couldn't figure out. Where did they come from? Where should they go? Anna poked around, pulled strands here and there, and diagnosed the problem. I had knit the new cables too tightly and the yarn strands really belonged IN the cables. So she ripped the six stitches back, got them started again with the correct tension, and I was able to work up the columns correctly. Whew....  I had even put in a lifeline in case I had to take the whole piece back about three inches. But now, thanks to Anna, I don't!

Do you see loose strands here?

or here?

No, you do not.  And that's because what appeared to be extra yarn is all back in place in the cables.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you Anna!

Last week at knit night a woman wearing a completed State Fair came into the shop. I recognized the sweater right away and it was nice to see it since I had only "seen" it in the Interweave magazine. The knitter said that she had made it in six weeks. 

Sigh.......I wish I were that fast a knitter.


Did you know that unwaxed dental tape works perfectly for lifelines? It doesn't break or shred as you pull it through the stitches.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Time on Your Hands?

Here you go:


It is gorgeous today, and I am lethargic.  I blame the flu shot I had yesterday.

Days like this---what the internet (and knitting) is for....

Friday, October 17, 2014

Why I Do Not Live in Texas, part 3

This spider, a Death's Head according to my daughter's biologist friend, is currently about the size of a silver dollar, and has built a web three feet in diameter.

It is building this web on my daughter's porch and she has enjoyed watching it work. Contrary to the recommendations on this spider guide:

she is leaving the spider alone.  She has named it Vincent, although it is probably a female.  

A large female. I bet it is waiting to have babies, zillions and zillions of babies.  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh, Sweet Mother of Purl

I have gone from this:

To this:

 To this:

It only took three size 1 double pointed needles, a crochet hook, two cable needles, a couple of pins, an OTT light, more time than I wish to think about, and nerves of steel. No wine allowed.    

The stitches are kind of stretched out, but I believe, Ah Believes, in the miracle of blocking.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

My friends all drive Porsches.  I must make amends.

No, they don't. No, I must'nt. (Is that even a word?) My brain is trying to distract me by putting Janis Joplin song lyrics in my head. Seriously. I am trying to figure out how to fix this:

And suddenly I hear Janis Joplin in my head.

Very weird.  

Have I ever told you that we went to see her in a tiny bar in Schenectady, New York, just a couple of weeks before she died, and a week or so past my due date for daughter #1? Well, we did.  And that my husband thought that if I went into labor during the show, we should name child (if it was a girl, of course) Janis? And that that is my name, although I spell mine differently?

Well, it's true. But I vetoed it. (You're welcome, H.)

Anyway, back to the problem at hand. I am struggling with fixing this. It's many, many rows of cable that I had crossed the wrong way, and now I have to figure out how to knit them back correctly, crossing them on the correct rows and ending up on the same row as the rest of the stitches. And my mind is taking detours.

Maybe the solution will just come to me in the lyrics of a song. It's as good a way as any I can think of at the moment.  

Just as long as it's not Llama, Llama, Duck. Yes, it's knitting related, but it would not be helpful.  

I'll wait for delivery, each day until three.

Just stop!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

But Wait!

There's more!

annnnd....I see a mistake. No, a design element. 


Nope.  It's a mistake.  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Major Concentration and No Wine

That is what my knitting friend, Lucille, told me a few minutes ago when she saw what I have gotten done on the back of H's sweater so far:

It only measures about five inches in length, but it took ages to get this far. The cables are tricky and it took me awhile to figure out a system to keep track of what is what. 

Tip #1

This is the stitch guide:

There are TEN, count them -TEN- different cables in this pattern. Yikes! They use anywhere from four to six stitches apiece, some with all knit stitches, some with knit and purl stitches, some where three of the purl stitches are done into what had been three knit stitches, and some increasing a stitch IN the cable (WHAT???). Sorting out the cables was confusing. At first. Then I wrote in the number of stitches each type of cable requires so that I don't have to look through all of them to see what the pattern calls for, and from then on, Bob's your uncle.

Maybe.  Do you have an uncle named Bob?  If so, I must be psychic!!!

Say Hi to Uncle Bob for me.

Tip #2

Have I ever mentioned that I love, love, love Knit Companion?  Because I do.
The chart for the cable pattern is tiny, but with Knit Companion and my iPad, I can embiggen (official internet word) the chart on the screen, and then scroll up and down, back and forth, do the hokey-pokey, and see where I am working.  No magnet boards, no magnets, no writing on paper, no losing paper, no misplacing of pencils....

All I have to do is remember to keep the iPad charged.  

There are 68 stitches in the rows of this cable section, and I just scroll to where I need to be, and it's simple, YO!

When dH gets back from his bike ride, we'll have chili for dinner, but I don't think I want wine with that. I'll have a beer, which IS, after all, alcohol, and so that precludes any and all major concentration.  

No more knitting tonight.

Sorry, H.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Year Ago Today

Exactly one year ago yesterday was my youngest granddaughter's fifth birthday.
Exactly one year ago yesterday, while I was in Texas to celebrate her fifth birthday, I fell and broke my ankle.  Ouch...

Exactly one year ago today I went, on crutches and with a plaster cast on my ankle, to Hill Country Weavers in Austin, TX to buy this yarn:

Shelter by Brooklyn Tweed
It is sold in very few places in the US and no place in the Atlanta, GA area, so I HAD to go to the store in Austin, no matter what the doctor at the ER had told me. I hobbled up the ramp to the store (Which came first in indoor living? Ramps or stairs? I bet ramps. A ramp is a wonderful thing.) and the saleswoman took me directly to the Shelter yarns. I had planned on a neutral color, but when I saw this Thistle color, with the help of my daughter and the saleswoman, I changed my mind.  Pick the color you love, one or both of them said.  And I did.

SO, would you like to see the sweater I bought the yarn for one year ago today?

So would I.

This is all there is so far:

In my defense, I have knit two zillion things---well, maybe seven or eight things---since then, and I am working on another sweater at the same time.  

But it WILL be finished some day, maybe by the first of the new year.

More importantly, however, this itty bitty baby girl:

born five weeks early six years ago yesterday,

is now a very sturdy, lively, completely charming six-year old!

Good things come in teeny packages!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Now I Have to Learn to Crochet

How did we knitters and crocheters miss these? From the 2014 Spring/Summer Men's Runway Show in London:

But wait!  There's more!

I must not have been travelling in the right circles during the 2014 spring/summer season.  I never saw anyone wearing these creations.

(dH says No thanks.)