Thursday, November 29, 2007

Random update (Must read knit-speak to understand this one)

A tease, if you will...

Rainbow socks are being knit in a modified version of the "Fallen Leaves" pattern from Knitty. The original pattern is far too wide for my feet, so I cut 12 stitches off the sock. I started with Judy's Magic Cast-On, and increased to 30 stitches per needle (magic loop method). For the pattern, I centered two repeats of the pattern in the middle. Had 60 stitches total on the needles, 32 on instep and 28 on foot. I took the 4 stitches on each side of the pattern to do a mini cable/twist type stitch (k2tog, k through first stitch again, slip off needle) with a purl on either side. It looks very cool, and basically outlines the sides of my feet.

I made a mini-gusset sort of, adding 4 stitches to each side so the bottom of the foot had 36 stitches on the needles (original pattern number) before I started the short row heel. That way, I could knit the heel exactly as stated in the pattern. It was def. a different sort of short row heel, using YO's instead of the usual W&T method I'm used to. It worked, was interesting, but don't know if I'd do it again. Once I finished the heel, I decreased 2 stitches per row (k2tog on one side, ssk on other) at row ends until I was back to my 60 stitches. By this point I'd stopped knitting the leaf pattern, but kept the mini cable on each side. Now I'm working essentially stockinette stitch around, and adding the mini-twist in two spots in the middle. Then once I have about an inch or so of leg, I will do the cuff in the mini-twist pattern (p1, twist, p1). The twist is a 4-row pattern (twist row 1, knit the stitches for next 3 rows, repeat) so I figure I'll do a 12-row cuff. I plan on a sewn bind-off.

And now that you're trying to wrap your brain around all that, I'm going upstairs to finish knitting the sock so I can take a picture of it to share.

Awww... I feel guilty...

Here's the start to give you an idea.

Pretty Rainbow Sock

Those are Entrelac Stitch Markers there, by the way. Itty bitty ones I'm testing for Ana. I love them. They're pretty and don't get in the way. I hope she decides to make them for sale. I may ask her for more to use on some of the other stuff I'm working on. Only work up to 2.5mm needles (which is what these are). Awesome.

Now I'm really going.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Yay hooray!

I will now be able to blog much more easily, as my favorite blog-posting software (Semagic) works with blogger. Yippee yahoo! (no, not Yahoo!, just yahoo). Um, knitting related news...

I finished the first Anastasia sock. I'm going to finish Rainbow of Falling Leaves before I cast on the second, and my Father and Son socks that were for my step-dad are now for my step-dad-in-law since I found out step-dad is allergic to wool. Which reminds me, I need to call around and find Wick yarn.

Okay. I should knit. I have fuzzy feet to work on too. And my son's slippers. Yeah.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I found the *best* lighting this morning...

So I've been feeling generally cruddy lately. Betcha couldn't tell *that* from my blog post yesterday, could you? Well, it culminated this morning at about 3:40am when I woke up feeling major pressure in my chest and had a huge coughing fit. And there was some blood in the phlegm. Ick. Not a lot, mind you, but enough to concern me. Because, well, I had a step-uncle who died because a blood clot from his lung passed to his heart when we all figured he just had a nasty cold. So I'm a little paranoid about these things.

So I got myself around, remembered to grab the insurance card, woke hubby up enough to tell him where I was going, grabbed my rainbow sock in progress, and headed to the Emergency Room of my preferred hospital. Which, oddly enough, I pass 3-4 other hospitals to get to. But this is the one I like, and it's actually the Brand New hospital, open for maybe a month now. Great opportunity to check the place out. I got to the hospital, loving the new easy access from the highway and such, headed in, past security, and towards the triage area when I was stopped and it was pointed out to me that I was leaving a trail of yarn behind me. The ball had fallen out of my purse, and the sock was still in it... so I follow the trail all the way out to the parking lot where I picked it up, helped an innocent bystander get untangled, and re-wound it back through the lobby and ER waiting area. (Don't worry - the yarn was unharmed)

We get through everything, get chest x-rays, and as I was waiting for the doctor to return, I knit at the sock a bit. Then I tried it on my foot. And held the foot up in the air to look at it a bit. Because hey, there is a MASSIVELY bright light in the room. And you know what? I didn't like it. At all. I love the pattern, love the yarn, they just were not meant to be together. So, then and there, I frogged it and re-wound the ball. Tucked my DPN's away in my wallet and was happy to see they fit. About then the nurse came back with an inhaler, a couple prescriptions (steroids and antibiotics - woohoo!), and my discharge instructions. And then I was on my merry way. I have a sinus infection and viral bronchitis. Lovely.

So I got my prescriptions at a 24-hour pharmacy on the way home (was still roughly 6am) and got back in time for house to wake up. Ugh. Haven't been able/allowed to go back to bed either. Because if I slept all day, I wouldn't sleep at night. But hubby has been forcing me to knit, so it's not all that bad. 2 1/2 rounds of Monkey pattern plus a toe, and I'm done with the pair! I even managed to save what was pulled out without losing my mind, and knit it back up in record time.

So if I seem a bit more off than usual in my posts for the next week, I swear, it's the meds. And also, thank you to those who read my blog and commented on my last post. It did make me feel a bit better to know I'm not the only one. Zyllah - honestly, when I get on here and post, I kinda just type what I'm thinking, let it all out. I do a bit of self-censoring (many things that do *not* need to be shared) but I think the strong emotions I felt yesterday had to be let out to an open audience. Thanks for reading. Sometimes I almost forget that people look at what I type here. :)

Oh, if you're wondering about the future of the Rainbow Yarn, I'm considering being daring and knitting the Rainbow Socks out of October's MagKnits with it. Fee says it's her pattern, but her yarn is still on my desk. :) At least until next week. Okeys. Enough for today.

Friday, November 9, 2007

In which I generally whine about things...

Personal ad: SAHM iso bosom buddy who can be physically present at a moment's notice to sit and listen to her whine and rejoice, who will do things like help plan surprise parties for her and go out and shop and knit and do other good-friend type things for her. Reciprocation of friend-type activities guaranteed.
I realized last night that my best friend in the world has been dead for over two years. In that time, I've had no one to take her place. I have 3 people I consider good friends. Two of them are moderately local but have definite other people who they consider to be closer friends, with whom they go out and do things and plan things with etc. The third lives farther away and has her own social group there. I'll call her and we'll talk for hours, but it's not the same. I have not a single soul who is close enough to be able to come hang out with me at a moments' notice, who would call me before anyone else when she needed something or had news to share, or anything of that nature. Kellie and I hadn't seen each other in several years when she died, but we still kept in touch like that. While she had other friends, I was generally the one she contacted when she needed to talk to someone who knew the real her.

I have a wonderful family in general. My husband works hard and is an amazing partner... but there are some things he just doesn't understand. My kids are great, but they're kids. My mom and I get along fabulously but again... she's my mom. And even there we have the issue that my ex has been living with her for about a year and a half now (when his stay was supposed to be limited to a few months). I don't even want to get into that...

Since my husband is a truck driver, that leaves me more or less alone with the kids all week long. Which is kinda okay. But lately I've been feeling the need to have some sort of social outlet... find somewhere I can go to meet someone who is also looking for that really good friend, who has also been deemed an outcast by other parents at the school, who generally would be willing to go out of her way to help when the need arises. I've considered trying knit nights at a semi-local LYS, but that would require finding a sitter and such. And even then I'd feel like an outcast because really, I have NO friends around here.

I used to be so good at making friends. I don't know what happened. Somewhere along the way I seem to have forgotten how to be social. I love where I live, I love my family, but there is just no opportunity to meet people without feeling like a total yutz who is trying to weasel into someone else's life. I feel as though I'm in a constant state of jumping up and down yelling "Hey! Look at me! Pay attention to me!" when I'm truly very good at listening and being an incredible friend. Paranoia sucks.

I suppose, much like the fact that I believe there's a lifemate for everyone out there, I believe that there is also that "perfect friend" for everyone. I know I had mine in Kellie. I just hope there's another for me somewhere, because I'd hate to live the rest of my life without that.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My first missed day. And a ramble on yarn presentation

See, I missed blogging yesterday. But I'm not giving up, because much like your typical diet, slipping up once does not mean one gives up entirely. So I'm on again today. I had a good reason to not blog yesterday. Right about the time I was sitting down to post, I remembered that a good friend had gone to a funeral. So I called her to see how her day went. It was her best friend's mom who had passed, someone she called mom. We talked for nearly two hours. So I think it was time well spent, and a good reason to miss a blog post.

And I'm back today.

I'm on the heel flap of the Short Monkey in a Prom Dress sock #2. And once the heel's done, finishing the foot is nothing. 5 pattern repeats and the toe decreases. Easy peasy. It's getting past the heel that's the challenge (and getting through the gusset). So hopefully I'll get through that tonight.

I finally settled on something to do with my Bearfoot and Schaefer Anne. I was originally gonna use the Bearfoot for hubby socks, then for a hat. But I have a better idea. I'm making myself a pair of convertible gloves holding both yarns together. Should be very warm and toasty and classy. Because the Bearfoot is pure black, and the Anne is a black/brown/burgundy mix that looks much nicer in a ball than it does in the skein.

Which brings me to a major pet peeve. I really don't like it when dyers don't re-skein their yarn after dyeing. Because looking at the yarn and seeing the individual colors all separate as they were when dyed does not come close to showing what it's gonna look like knit up. I've become accustomed to Artsygal's yarn that is always re-skeined before she takes pictures of it. And I seriously think it gives a MUCH better idea of how the colors will all blend together and how it will knit up. Much more visually appealing. One of the reasons I've yet to purchase any of Lorna's Laces is because I hate the way her yarn is pictured. It's sitting in lumps as if someone tossed it to the corner and didn't care how it looked. The skeins aren't even nice and evenly skeined. Seems like the yarn was just dyed, dropped on a table, and picture taken. Awful presentation. At least Blue Moon Fiber Arts, home of the ever-popular "Socks that Rock" makes their skeins look decent. They re-skein theirs, so you can see the blends next to each other, instead of looking at a mass of color.

My Shaefer Anne was like that too... a very short skein that was in its original dyed state, with all the colors separate. It just wasn't appealing. I was considering selling it or trading it until I saw a picture of the same colorway in a center-pull cake. The colors blended together so well, and it just looked wonderful. And that's when I could see just what the colors looked like together, and decided on my glove project.

So dyers out there, both commercial and indie, take this as a word of advice: If you want your customers to be happier with their yarn purchases, please take the time to re-skein your yarn. We'd really appreciate it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Knitting In Progress!

Okay, so that was the shortest delivery-to-knit time I've ever had for ANY yarn. Except maybe the cashsoft, but that yarn was bought for a specific pattern, and it's not socks, so it doesn't count. Anyhow, as soon as I got off my computer yesterday, I took the yarn upstairs and started winding it. I wound it into two 2oz balls. Which both miraculously ended at the purple. So I'm knitting toe-up and the rainbow will cycle through and end with purple at the toes. If I'm good, I'll bind off at red. That would be cool.

I finally settled on the Cloverleaf Eyelet Cable pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Only I'm making them toe-up. I'll decide on a heel when I get there. So far it's absolutely incredible. And as soon as I find batteries that cooperate with the camera I have, I'll take pictures. I promise. But this is cutting into my knitting time, so away I go!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Rainbow Yarn!

Very short post! I got my Artsygal Sing Me a Rainbow yarn today! It's all deeply saturated colors that just cycle through the colors of the rainbow starting at red that drifts into the orange and then to yellow and slowly becomes green then blue and then purple... which just blends back to red. No drastic changes, almost imperceptible color changes. Aaaahhh... The color sections are roughly 3" long, the whole cycle takes a little over 60". Whee! I must go wind and start knitting!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Strange Days

So the time change was last night. Which meant when I woke up at 8:15am, it was really only 7:15am. Which was quite nice. Because it was daylight. So at least for a little while, the kids will have light to walk to school by.

So I set about being Useful and made coffee and breakfast and prepped the sauce for Butter Chicken that was for dinner... All was going well.

All was still going fairly well into the afternoon. Until about 2:30pm. At that point it felt like something had invaded my head. Completely and utterly. My whole body ached, my throat hurt, my ears burned. It was excruciating. I took a couple decongestants and Ibuprofin and curled up into the fetal position on the sofa. And managed to knit at Monkey for a while. Amazing.

Of course, this is the part where hubby decides it's time to play with the kids and be incredibly loud and obnoxious. Screaming children, loud husband, stupid movie on TV. And me, wishing it would all go away. The goof even started throwing macaroni at me and stealing my blanket. He's lucky I was so weak, or he may not have survived.

About 3 hours later, I started feeling semi-human again. It was the strangest thing. Because really, that's too long for me to say "Well, the meds kicked in". But it was rather brief for the kind of pain I was in. So we'll see what the next couple days bring. If it happens again, I'll go see the doctor. Otherwise I'll chalk it up to my body doing what it's supposed to do - fighting the infection and (hopefully) prevailing.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

In which I lament my lack of organization...

So tonight hubby and I will be sleeping on the mattress on the floor in the living room. Why? Well, I'm glad you asked.

See, I have ONE completed Monkey in a Prom Dress sock. It's taken me forever to get to the second one, because at first I lost my size 2 DPN's. Then, I got a set of Knit Picks Harmony sock needles, and at that point I couldn't find my yarn. Here's the already knit sock...

So tonight I was determined. I tore my room APART. Took stuff and threw it on the box spring of the bed after taking the mattress off so I could see underneath the whole thing. I finally found the darned yarn... between the dresser and the wall. Go figure. But my room's completely trashed. So I just put the mattress in the living room on the floor, because I am not in the mood to clean it up.

So now I can finish monkey.

Except for one thing...

I can't find my pattern printout. Mind you, there's nothing preventing me from looking it up online. But I am currently lacking printing abilities. So I get to write the flippin' thing out and work on it from there. Gah.

Anyone got an HP inkjet printer for me?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Short but sweet

NaBloPoMo day two! Just a quick post because I'm getting ready for hubby to come home. I did knit a bit on socks last night. I'm enjoying it quite a bit, and remembering what I love about socks. On the other hand, I am suddenly itching to work on my stole. We'll see what I feel like doing later (if I even have the opportunity to knit this weekend). Posting on weekends will be a challenge with hubby home. Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

NaBloPoMo day 1

So it's November 1. I have so many things OTN right now, I'm gonna endeavor to finish a bunch of SOCKS this month. Yes, that means my SotS and my sweaters are gonna languish briefly. I need to finish at least one or two pairs... which also means finding my other ball of Prom Dress yarn. I could get that other Monkey off my back quickly with that.

Kidlets had a blast last night and brought in much loot. half of the total filled my biggest bowl to overflowing. We combine everything and put it out of reach. The elder kids get to keep their school loot separate. That way we're able to avoid the whole "S/he got more than me!" deal, as I distribute it regularly. It also means mum and dad get their share of the loot. Which is more than fair, as I carried Caleb's big butt around all night. Rick was home to take us out for the first time in three years. The kids thought that was cool, because he grew up in the town we live in and knew where to go for the good stuff (including a stop at his step-dad's house where they were giving out full-sized candy - 3 bags/pieces together in a baggy!).

All in all, a good night, and a good start to today, because waking up with hubby is always a good thing, even if it's at 4:15am. At least I got to go back to sleep. Heh.