Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another Class To Plan

Miss-A has asked me if I would be willing to do another knitting program, but this time for elementary school children (second grade and up).

I agreed, but with one caveat:


There is just no way on earth that I could teach more than 10 elementary schoolers to knit at once. I told her that if the program was a success, then we could schedule subsequent dates as well.

There was also a little concern over the project. It would have to be simple garter stitch. That part was easy enough. But it would also have to be faster than a scarf, since the kids might not have enough patience for something that long. Dishcloths, the ultimate in fast, would not interest the kids either. I came up with several ideas (such as a pencil pouch), but they all required sewing skills. So, I went home and flipped through my pattern binder. I came across a pattern for a bookmark that I made Mom one year. Perfect. The program is in September, and bookmarks are school-ish. We are even providing the yarn (red heart acrylic rainbow variegated), so all the kids need to bring are needles.

I am working on a sample as we speak, or you read.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why I Do Not Particularly Enjoy the Beach

I live in California. The land of sunshine. The land of orange groves, strawberry fields and earthquakes.

And yes, the land of beaches. (I mean, the Beach Boys classic "Surfin' USA" only mentions beaches in California.)

So when all of the young people were trying to decide what to do for Memorial Day, it was pretty much a no-brainer. We would go to the beach.

The problem is, I don't really enjoy the beach. There are several reasons for this:

1) I don't go in the water because I don't like fish...or rather, I am pathologically afraid of being in water with fish.

2) I don't like being in a swimsuit in public. (Modesty reasons, not poor body image)

3) I don't like to tan, because I don't like to be burned and there is a history of skin cancer in my family.

Still, I am a good sport...usually...and agreed to go along.

There would be a lot of time where I could just sit there. I love to just sit. Why? Because just sitting means I can knit, right?


New reason for not liking the beach:

4) It is pretty much impossible to knit without sand getting in your yarn. I had taken along a ziploc bag, and thought I had totally beaten the system. But, no. Broseph, as a joke, piled sand in my chair while I was up doing something. Granted, he did not purposefully aim for the yarn bag, but it happened anyway. ARGH! Luckily, it was only a dishcloth, so I was able to shake it out. It appears to have come through without permanent damage.

To be honest though, it was a lot of fun. It ended up just being me and the boys. I spent most of the day playing photographer, and actually got the entire dishrag done. I would honestly consider going back.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Knowing What Really Matters

I spent a good part of yesterday with my friend Sushi looking for an apartment. I had been hoping to move the beginning of July/August.

We went to a very nice complex and talked to the management, picked up a rental application...and most importantly toured a vacant apartment.

There were several things that I definitely needed to know, such as: does it include a washer and dryer? is parking assigned? what utilities are included? is high-speed internet available? the end...I knew what really mattered:

Would the closet hold all of my yarn?

(Turns out it I went ahead and rented it. Now instead of mid-summer, I am moving next Saturday! My stash and swift will finally come out of storage!)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dishcloths, Dishcloths, Dishcloths

The adult services librarian at work has asked me to plan an adult version of my Get Knittin'@The Library Teen Program since so many adults were disappointed to learn they weren't welcome at the teen one. (Well, of course you're not...what fun would that be for teens if old people showed up? Hence the title: Teen Program! Anyway...)

I agreed, and we chose a night in June. I have made up the flyers and supply sheets. Since it is the summer, I thought that a scarf would not really be appealing. Instead, we are going with my old standby: the dishcloth. Fast, fun, AND functional. What more could you want?

While I have several in the gift stash that I could have used as samples, I realized that most of them were stitch pattern swatches. Since I am only having the ladies garter stitch, these could have been construed as false advertising. (distraught student: but I thought my dishcloth was going to be lacy/multicolored/heavily textured. sheepish teacher: nope...I was just too lazy to make a proper class sample.)

So, now I have yet another project to add to the queue. Luckily, I have plenty of yarn just lying around. At least when I get these finished I will be able to toss them into the gift stash. Or, now that I think about it, if I make them the right color, they can be my wedding gift for DEA and Songbird! Hooray for multi-purposing!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hindsight is 20/20

I took a picture this morning of my feet in the orange DC socks.

Upon closer examination, I wish that I had made sure to start the second sock at the same point in the variegation pattern as the first sock.

Mr. R pointed out that they are just socks, and that the pattern is meant to be random...but still, it bugs me.

On the plus side, I can tell the right sock from the left sock. As long as I can remember which one was supposed to be which!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Second Sock

The second sock in the pair I was making from DC's Christmas gift skein is done!

They took longer than normal, even though they are the easiest/most brainless/boringest pattern I have, because of the flood of baby gifts I have been making.

I think they are very cute, but am glad to be done with them so that I can finally get going on my Rivendell pair from Eclectic Sole. (I have changed my mind about which yarn to use for these at least 3 times...but I think I have finally come to a decision...we'll see when I actually cast on.)

However, before I cast on I need to cross at least 2 other things off of my queue.

I am going to be responsible...if it kills me...and it might!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

If Only I Had Some Cotton...

I was sorting my stash during a school lecture today, so that I could take a chunk of it back to the storage unit.

While sorting I came across enough cotton to make dishcloths for an entire subdivision and burp rags for an entire maternity ward:

I think I can put the kibosh on cotton purchases for a good long while.

On the other hand, I am teaching another knitting class at the library in June. This time it is for adults, and this time we are making dishcloths. So, see? These aren't impulse buys, these are work related purchases! (Isn't justification a wonderful thing!?!)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yet Another One Bites The Dust

Yet another completed baby gift to cross off the project queue:

This one is for Red. She doesn't know what she is having, which kind of limits me. She was on the burp rag list. I had the yarn cast on and everything. Then while surfing around for patterns for Niece or Nephew, I came across one for the Bunny Blanket Buddy. (I would link to it, but you have to be a member of the Lion Brand club to access it.)

It was an incredibly speedy knit, and a little cuter than a burp rag...although it can serve the same purpose. It is also knit from Scoubi Du, only this time in the yellow stone wash.

As we speak it wings its way to the Midwest, where Red is NOT awaiting it, since she doesn't know it is coming!

Her oldest daughter Twilight, on the other hand, is expecting something in the mail...I should probably go work on finishing that, too!

(By the way...did I mention that a week or so ago I recieved news that yet ANOTHER friend is expecting? Or rather, his wife is? As a guy friend he can just take the burp rags and deal with it!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Super Knitter...CROCHETS!!!

Fact: It is faster to crochet a baby blanket than it is to knit one. (I don't crochet often...but like to since I have a WICKEDLY COOL CROCHET HOOK!!!!)

When Blessing was a baby, or rather before she was born, I crocheted a spring green baby blanket for her. Actually, to be technical, I crocheted a spring green baby blanket and put it in the gift stash until SOMEBODY had a baby to give it to. But BFF loved it, and asked for it, and so received it. (In addition to a custom designed quilt and sundry other gifts...the advantage of being my BFF is you get TONS of handmade stuff.)

Now that BFF is expecting again, I needed to crochet another one. I discussed in a I'm-trying-to-be-sneaky-but-you-know-good-and-well-I-am-making-you-something sort of way what colors BFF wanted to do the baby's stuff in. To my surprise she said she wanted the same green that Blessing's blanket was.

This posed a conundrum. I don't like to do the same thing twice, but unfortunately I am pretty much a one-trick pony when it comes to crochet.

Solution: Instead of the double crochet pattern I used on Blessing's, I did a giant granny square. Also, instead of a solid green like before, I used a variegated green that had bits of blue, turquoise, and purple in it.

I brought the blanket with me to Denver as a preliminary gift, and can put off the quilt until this summer!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Been Too Long

I haven't seen BFF since September of 2005. We keep in touch, and are pretty good about calling and writing, but it just isn't the same!

I had a vacation scheduled to go visit Sister in KY, but that ended up falling through. So, with Southwest offering insanely low prices, I decided it was time to go to Denver. (We all know how much I LOVE plane much knitting time!)

I got in Thursday afternoon, and it was amazing. It was as if I had seen BFF just yesterday, nothing has changed between us.

What HAD changed was Blessing, BFF's daughter. There is a large difference between a nearly 4 month old and a nearly 4 year old.

Blessing was shy at is weird to have your mommy's invisible friend turn out to be a real I did what I normally do:

I woo-ed her with handknits!

I had knit a felt-able purse for her (same pattern as Angel's). I used a chunky yarn that was uncolored. Then we made quite a mess dying it with kool-aid Friday morning while BFF went to a doctor's appointment. We followed the method I got from Knitty. When Blessing had it colored the way she wanted, I sewed on the bangle bracelet handles, and we felted it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

So Cute It Hurts

One of the seemingly zillion pregnant friends I have is Macchiato. She is an interesting friend in that we have only actually met in person twice. However, we get along splendidly and keep in touch online. Also, I taught her how to knit...and she really took off. (There is a special place in my heart for each and every one of my "disciples"!)

Anyway...Macchiato needed a baby gift. (Go figure.) And I was all prepared to do the sensible thing and make her burp rags. Burp rags are fast. Burp rags are brainless. Burp rags are what I do.

Then I found a pattern. A cute pattern. A pattern so cute it hurts. Not only is it a sweater, it is very definitely a girl sweater. I had to make it, but I had to make it for someone who would a. appreciate the work that went into it, b. like the style, and most importantly c. be having a baby GIRL.

Macchiato fit all three! So, when Single Shot is June I believe...she will be able to wear this:

I used one of my favorite yarns in a purple stonewash, and lucked out with the buttons (found them on clearance at Joann's of all places). It actually looks to me like a miniature short sleeved version almost of my February Lady sweater.

Anyway...I got it packaged up and sent off this morning. With any luck it will reach Macchiato by Mother's Day or shortly thereafter!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Knit Old Woman, Knit Like The Wind

Ok, so I'm not old...but still.

The pressure to finish projects in a timely fashion is starting to wear on me.

Why can't I just be like a normal person and give a note and a gift card?

The trials of being a knitter, or specifically of being KNOWN as a knitter by those around you, are never ending.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Getting Ready for Aunt-hood

This weekend I went to Sacramento, to Brother and Sis-In-Law's house, to help them get the baby room ready.

Since they are adopting, they don't know what gender their baby will be, when it will arrive, or what it will look like. Those are a lot of unknowns for a knitter like me who does not deal well with uncertainty. What am I supposed to knit? What color should it be? When is my deadline? AAAH!!!

Baby will be my first niece or nephew, so NOT knitting something is not an option. Neither is waiting until Baby arrives, because NO niece or nephew of mine is going to go a day without a hand knit demonstration of my love!

I am overcompensating. I have yarn to make a girl sweater and yarn to make a boy sweater. These will wait till after the arrival. I have also started a crocheted receiving blanket.

Until then, I am falling back on my old standby...BURP RAGS:

Friday, May 1, 2009

Angel's Birthday

Angel turned 2 today. I generally give kids books rather than hand knits on their birthdays. (Partially because I want to encourage literacy, and partially because, when you are small, hand knits are not exactly exciting to get.)

I made an exception for Angel.

I made her a felted bracelet purse in hot pink. The pattern is from the book Drunk, Divorced, and Covered In Cat Hair. It was very cute (the purse, not the book, although the book is funny...but I digress.). I put in pink kleenex, a mirror, and sparkly lip gloss.

However...even cuter than the purse was the bodysuit I ordered for her:


(Confession: I also got her a book...she loves Fancy Nancy, and they just released a book called Fancy Nancy and the Dazzling Book Report in which Fancy Nancy goes to THE LIBRARY!!!! Honestly, how could I pass it up?I mean, it WAS on sale...)