Saturday, August 29, 2009

Paid in Full

After a successful and industrious day of knitting yesterday, I believe I have now filled all outstanding gift IOU's. Finally. I was feeling a bit of guilt.

This doesn't mean that I don't still have a gift queue going, just that all items in said queue are for FUTURE events! (Christmas, etc.)

This also doesn't mean that the people who are owed the IOU's have received their gifts, completion and delivery being 2 very different things.

Still, I have a great sense of accomplishment.


(Also, if you are currently holding an IOU...let me know...because at this point I have no record of it!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Little McBeanie

Little Mc, BigOne's younger brother, had a birthday.

He had a birthday a while ago.

I promised him a handknit, and gave him an IOU for a blue beanie.

The poor kid.

Birthdays of departing folk, impending births, graduations, and going-aways all kept cropping up...and I kept putting off his beanie. I felt bad, I really did. But, as I am sure you all know, I am the Queen of Justification.

Justification #1: Little Mc was not leaving the state anytime soon.
Justification #2: A beanie is winter-wear (regardless of JoNo's constant wearing of his) and this is summer.
Justification #3: He isn't pestering me like everyone else.

It was that last one that killed me. Little Mc was not making a stinker of himself like EVERYONE else always does. He just waited patiently, knowing I would get around to it. Why, I asked myself, should he be punished for good behavior when everyone else clearly is benefiting from bad? So, with much love, I set aside the nostepinde the last 2 nights and knit. I ignored all other projects and chores that called to me...I just knit.

And I finished it. It is ready and waiting to grace his head on Sunday. YAY!

(I actually feel even worse because I finished it so quickly...was I really incapable of finding a measly 2 nights of knitting time all summer?)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Winding Whiz!

I admit it. I was a little worried about how the nostepinde was going to work out...what if I crashed and burned as a yarn winder? A lot of the instructional websites warned that many people end up with oblong yarn balls, and that the stackable upright kind I prefer are hard to make.

It was with great trepidation that I embarked on my first winding attempt. I decided to use the Classic Elite Alpaca Sox yarn in "rose" that Mom and Dad got me for my birthday, since the nostepinde itself was a birthday present. (Come to think of it, the swift was a Christmas present from them as well...aren't they just a lovely pair of fiber-fanatic enablers!?!)

I followed the instructions I had found...and...Voila! A beautiful, upright, center-pull, stackable ball of sock yarn just waiting to be used!

I am hooked.

Not only does the nostepinde look like a magic wand, it makes me feel like a wizard!

So, last night I went ahead and wound another skein of yarn...this time Malabrigo sock yarn. I love having yet another "productive" activity to justify all the time I waste watching DVDs!

And, as long as the novelty hasn't worn off...I have scads left in the stash to wind: Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, 1000 yards of lace-weight Egyptian cotton, 4 skeins of mercerized cotton, Cascade 220, 2 different colors of chunky llama...I could go on...

Who knows, I might just unwind the balls I have done in the past, and rewind them as center-pulls...although, I should probably knit again at some point...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Only Thing I Did Do

I house sat for an entire week...

...and this is the ONLY thing I actually did do!

It is the sample for the children's beginning knitting program that I am doing in September at the library. An 8" long garter stitch rectangle posing as a bookmark!

And lest you point out that at least I was somewhat productive, I feel it is only fair to admit that I actually knit the bookmark a couple of weeks ago...and that I only wove the two ends in on Thursday night. whole week, and all I did was use a tapestry needle to hide a couple of 3 inch long yarn tails.


Friday, August 21, 2009

A Very Personal Thing

For my birthday, my mom and dad decided (after many not-at-all subtly dropped hints) to give me a nostepinde. A nostepinde is, for those of you who don't know, a Norwegian knitting tool that is used to wind yarn that is in a skein into a center pull ball. It looks sort of like a shorter, squatter wizarding wand. And like the Harry Potter version of wands, they come in a variety of woods, finishes, and carving intricacies.

My parents looked at many many nostepindes, and decided that the choice was WAY too personal. They priced them, determined how much a nice one would cost (including postage), and just gave me the money to buy my own.

After a lot of thought, and a false start when the first one I ordered was out of stock, I finally selected this one (#12):

It is made out of Jarrah wood, which is a type of Eucalyptus, and is coming from a yarn shop in Australia!

In fact, not only is it is here! I got the postal pick-up order in my mailbox this afternoon. Now I just need to go to the post office to sign for it tomorrow! WOOHOO!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Not Gonna Happen

I am being taken down by technology.

I am house sitting this week for the wonderful folk that I lived with all of last year.

They have cable.
They have guitar hero.
They have a Wii Fit.
They have wireless internet.

Now, they had all of these things while I lived with them, and I was still able to get plenty of knitting done. However, having gone without them for 3 months, I am in a state of techno-deprivation. I can't seem to put down the remote/controller/laptop/fake Gibson and pick up a pair of needles.

So, although I brought Les Tuileries and a few small projects with me, I have the distinct feeling that I am going to accomplish absolutely nothing over the next several days...

Monday, August 17, 2009

Speaking of Knicks...or Knickers

(A conversation typical of my life)

Cast: Super Knitter, Matador, Broseph

Setting: Preach and Psych's Living room. Super Knitter is sitting on the floor, knitting the acrylic rainbow bookmark for the kids' knitting program at the library. Matador is also on the floor leaning against the couch. Broseph is reclining on the couch.

Matador: What are you knitting?

Super Knitter: A bookmark for the kids' program I am doing at the library.

: That's gnarly yarn. (pause) Hey, can you knit me a coat of many colors out of that?

Super Knitter: Yes, I can. But can and will are two very different things.

Matador: Why not?

Super Knitter: Because you are over 6 feet tall and it would take forever, for one thing.

Broseph: Can you knit me some boxers?

Super Knitter

(Seriously...eew. I would totally knit Matador a 3 piece suit of many colors before I ever knit a pair of boxers for anyone!)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

In the Knick of Time

I finished Blondie's Satchel in time to send it to Florida with her parents!

I forgot that they were leaving a week later than she was!

Frabjous Day! Calloo Callay!

I was really not wanting to ship it!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lucky Find

There are advantages to working in a library.

There are advantages to being someone who knits in public and works in a library.

There are advantages to being someone who knits in public while working in a library.

I was down at the reference desk today, when one of the Library Foundation members walked down carrying a book.

"You knit, right?"
"And you like old books, right?"
"Yes..." I look askance at her.
"Well, I found an old knitting book in the donation room, and I thought you might like it. I thought I'd give you first dibs." She smiles.

Immediately visions of ill-advised 80's and 90's knitting pattern books flit through my mind.

"Well, thanks. I usually don't get older knitting pattern books because the designs aren't current. But I'll look at it. What is it?" I hedge.
"Here. The patterns are old, but the book looked kinda neat." She hands me the book.

It wasn't at all what I had feared.

It was a treasure.

It was the Complete Guide to Modern Knitting and Crocheting by Alice Carroll. Published in 1942. The patterns were old, but actually surprisingly fashionable. I am thrilled.

Totally worth the $1 that I had to put in the Foundation Donation box.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Knitted Jewelry

Blondie's birthday present included (in addition to breakfast and a sisters only slumber party) one handknit of her choice.

Since I was already making her a satchel for graduation/going away, and since she is going to college in Florida where it isn't super cold, she decided to go with knitted earrings.

I used the Bijouterie pattern from Knitty. They were surprisingly simple to make. (Although, at first, the wire kept breaking, and it came off the spool in a horrible twisty slinky-like mess.)

I gave them to her at her going away party on Sunday. Here they are in her ears!

(By the way...she made that face on purpose)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mad Skills

I have apparently impressed my brother with my mad knitting skills.

Last night Sis-In-Law and I were discussing some requests she has for handknits. We also talked about some of my current projects. I mentioned I was knitting earrings for Blondie.

"What? Earrings? How?" Sis-In-Law asked

"They are made out of wire and beads." I explained.

She turned to Brother. "Did you hear that? Super Knitter is knitting earrings!"

Brother looked up nonplussed. "Of course she is. She's Super Knitter. I wouldn't be surprised to hear her say she was knitting a computer." He made twiddling motions with his hands. "Knit knit knit...How much RAM did you need?"

(The only question I had was which would be easier to knit...a MAC or a PC?)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Keepin' On Keepin' On

Blondie leaves on Sunday night.

She is going to Florida for college, and won't be back in NorCal until Christmas. (She is spending Thanksgiving with her brothers on the East Coast.)

Her going away present is a satchel. A hand knit felted satchel adapted from the pattern in Hip to Knit by ???.

I made myself one a couple of years ago, that I came across when unpacking for the apartment. I love it, so quickly started using it again. Blondie saw it, loved it, and asked if I could make her one in emerald and forest green. (Mine is teal and turquoise.)

I of course agreed...I am a push over, and she was VERY sick at the time. I just can't seem to tell the kid "no"!

Now I have 3 days left to finish it. (including felting)

And I am not done.

The problem with felting is that you have to knit the pre-felted item a lot BIGGER than it will end up being. A satchel is not a small thing. The pre-felted pieces seem to be going on and on and on and on and on and on and get the idea.

Its not even hard knitting. There is just a lot of it.

I am starting to hate emerald green!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Post Script to JoNo's Hat

I meant to post pictures of JoNo's hat after I added the green ties.

I ended up going with a green that was more lime than neon...mostly because it was what I had in-stash. (I love the kid, but I am not buying yet another new skein just so I can add strings to his earflaps...)

To make the ties, I cut 6 lengths of yarn, approximately 24 inches long, and threaded three through the bottom of each earflap, so that 6 ends hung down on each side. Then I braided them (2 ends per braid segment), knotted them off, trimmed them, and fluffed the ends.

I forgot to take a picture, but it ended up not mattering. JoNo wore the thing all night, and several times over the next week or so, and happened to post oodles of pictures of himself on facebook. So I stole a couple:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Celebrating 26

I spent my birthday with Brother and Sis-In-Law yesterday. It was grand.

I extended the celebration by one day when I went to the store to take advantage of the 20% birthday discount.

I had to go on my lunch break, since they are only open 10-6 on Mondays, and I work 9-6.

I went in with a plan...a great plan...a plan that I had every intention of sticking to:

1. I was only going to spend babysitting money, all other funds have to go toward living expenses. (check)

2. I would only buy yarn for specific projects, none of this buy-now-figure-out-what-to-do-with-it-later business. (check)

3. I would be very selfish and only buy yarn for projects for me. After all, it was my birthday!(check)

4. I would NOT buy sock yarn since I have scads of it. And had received a lovely skein of Alpaca Sox as part of my birthday present from the parents.(ummmm....)

5. I would NOT buy anything Noro. I don't need Noro. I need to branch out. (double ummmm....)

Well...3 out of 5 isn't bad!

Here's the swag:

The noro will go toward a coffee cup cozy for me...since I currently use one that I just never got around to gifting.
The sock yarn will be used in a sock pattern from Knitty.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Close Call

I look forward to my birthday every year for many reasons.

Not the least of which is the discounts I usually get at yarn shops/quilt stores/restaurants, etc.

My FAVORITE LYS offers a 20% discount on your birthday! Woo-Hoo!

...except, my birthday is tomorrow...which is Sunday...when the shop is closed...

Sorrow. Disappointment. Frustration.

So I called them up and asked how to proceed. I was told, and I quote:

"We realize that people are born on days we aren't open!"

This astute observation means that I can come in the day after my birthday (when they ARE open), show my driver's license, and still get my discount!

Joy! Excitement! Anticipation!