Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gone to the Dogs

I found myself in a strange position this morning. I went to my knitting group with the supplies to get started on that vest I mentioned in my last post. But turns out the yarn won't be here until Monday. No problem, I thought I'll just work on my socks. But I hadn't brought the socks. I was at my weekly knitting get-together with no knitting! I really didn't want to buy yarn to start something, so I concentrated on hanging out with dogs.

For most of the morning, I got to hold Alison's Maude on my lap. Maude is the awesomest Chihuahua on the face of the planet, right up there with Ren Hoek. She sat there patiently in my lap while I stroked her fur and pretended I was an evil genius. Maude wasn't really behind that plan, but she did leap into action when I dropped a few crumbs of Snowden's yummy key lime treat in my lap.

I also got to hang out with Hank, my favorite yarn store dog. He's getting heavy! But still oh so cute and lovable. I really enjoyed just listening to the conversation and hanging out with the canines. It was a good thing.

Speaking of Snowden, the knitwear design genius of the decidedly NOT evil variety, she's working on a little design and she's going to use ME for the example/model. I'm quite excited. Don't want to say too much because I don't now how much she wants to reveal at this point, but she'd like to make it out of this.

Great things in the works!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Fever

Work continues on the Morning Roast Socks. I'm making these on 4 dpns rather than doing the magic loop method, which has been my favorite recently. I'm not sure why. I'm pleased with how these are turning out -- no pooling at all. Stephi did an awesome job dyeing this stuff. I think I'm at a point where I'm ready for my brother-in-law to come by and film me working on this sock for the small screen. Don't want to say to much more about this, because I don't want to jinx the process. Stay tuned.

I've been experiencing a kind of knitting restlessness this week. I've got a few things queued up in Ravelry to tackle, but the time didn't seem right. I felt sweater-ish, but the lovely weather just wasn't calling to me. Then I remembered a vest pattern that I'd considered from the book Guy Knits when I decided on the Perfectly Plain Vest. So, another vest, this time Herz & Baum (I assume the ampersand is pronounced "und") by Diane Zangl. Although this model looks decidedly librarian-y, up-close he's a little frightening looking, and I don't think the little earring works for him, either. The pattern is intricate, and it's worked in the round with steeks (eek!) at the sleeves and neck. It won't be boring, that's for sure.

Mine will be made from Cascade 220 Superwash in a color called Turtle. I can hear Jene laughing as she reads this. I've got it on order at The Knitting Nest, and hopefully, I'll have it by next week.

More social knitting this weekend with several long-distance out-of-town guests. Several friends brought cameras and snapped pics -- really, it was kind of like being on the red carpet at the Oscar's at one point. They're starting to show up on Flickr. Melissa took this one. I don't know what I was laughing at, but I sure was having fun! I don't think I got much knitting done, but I did get to eat my fill of breakfast tacos and cake balls.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Knitting Social

I just love getting together on weekends with fellow knitters. Sometimes we knit at yarn stores or various eateries. Sometimes at our homes. Jeff and I hosted this weekend and it was a blast.

Everyone brought a little somethin' to chow on and we ate and drank our way through the morning, discussing everything from knitting to anatomy, pets, drug use, television, you name it. Rarely do I get together with the Ladies of Knitting that I don't laugh so much that tears stream down my face. Today was no exception.

Sometimes I wonder what brings us all together. Our ages span two decades. Some of us are married, some not. Some are cat people, some are dog people. Some straight, some gay. But what we do have in common is a passion for knitting (and crocheting!), a quirky sense of humor, and an endless capacity for listening to each others' triumphs, gripes and problems. What more could you ask for?

Getting together with these women is one of the highlights of my week. I was so glad to have them over. There were a few who couldn't make it -- moving is a pretty good excuse -- and I hope to see them soon.

And to top it all off, I still have a few cookies left over...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

C is for Cookie

And, C is for coffee. Delicious and oh-so-medically-necessary coffee. Here we have some new caffeinated socks that I'm making, using Spinning Colors sock yarn in the colorway Morning Roast, hand dyed by my knitting buddy and talented artist Stephi. Isn't this stuff awesome? This hank of yarn has given me the jitters -- in a good way!

I started to do a fancy pattern from the newer of my two Charlene Schurch sock knitting books, but after a dozen or so rounds, I realized I was once again making my classic sock knitting mistake -- coming up with a pattern that competes with the yarn. So I ripped back and decided to stick with a k4p2 rib. The perfect combination for showing off the cool dye-work and keeping the socks from sagging down around my ankles.

These socks may be destined for the small screen, so I'm very excited about them as a project. Stay tuned for more details...

In the background, and featured here in all their beige beauty is a batch of homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. In my opinion, nature's perfect food. I just use the recipe for Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from inside the top of the Old Fashioned Quaker Oats box. The only change I made was grating in a little nutmeg. I'm expecting guests on Saturday, and I whipped these up this evening as part of the preparations. I just hope a few of them last until then.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Spring Knitting

I seem to have shaken some of the cobwebs out of my knitting and made some real progress. Yesterday morning I got together with some of the gals for breakfast tacos, fried chicken, waffles and knitting. Don't laugh 'til you've tried it. I did the tacos, but I'm thinking of waffles next time. Man, they smelled god. Many of the women I knit with are accomplished photographers as well as knitters -- Meg took this picture of me. I thought it was quite flattering, and since I can never take a good picture of myself, I'm including it here. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning.

Afterwards, I got some serious yard work done that needed doing. Leaves were raked, blown and sucked, weeds were whacked, edges were edged and grass was mown. I could barely move afterwards, but it was necessary. It was terribly windy last night and today too -- so it doesn't look any leaf removal took place yesterday. Sigh.

I finished Johnathan's baby blanket this morning. Here it is pre-blocking, looking kind of lumpy. Staci has extra stitches bound off from within other stitches to mirror the pointiness of the cast on edge. A little tricky at first, especially since it involved purling into the back of stitches, which I don't think I've ever done, but I got the hang out of it -- toward the end of the row, of course. Of course, the cast off edge doesn't look quite like the cast on. I bound it off pretty loosely (or so I thought), but it's still a bi more "uptight." I don't think the difference is too detrimental to the overall effect.

We have a bit of a clutter issue with the guest bed where I normally block things. A range of boxes, letters and other miscellaneous things have managed to take up residence there. So I had to get creative. Enter the dining table.

I knew I couldn't put pins in the dining table, but I figured I could use blocking wires and then find something heavy to hold them in place once I'd stretched the blanket out. For the most part, it's working well. Luckily, there were a few bottles of wine sitting around that could do the trick. I didn't know we had so many bottles in our wine rack. Looks like we got some drinking to do.

But not until the blanket dries. My next mission is to figure out whether the baby has arrived yet.