Friday, September 30, 2005

Here there be Sea Monsters

Or, so the old maps often read. Cartographers used to put that in at the "edges of the known world." It's one of my favorite parts of old maps, as often there are illustrations of just what type of horror would await someone daring to sail those uncharted waters.

So, what does this have to do with knitting? I've been thinking a lot about how many newer knitters I have heard say, "Oh, I could never do that!" when looking at a pattern, or, "I can't purl." or, "I wouldn't even know where to start!" They are stymied by their fear. "Here there be Sea Monsters," and no one wants to be gobbled up, so they knit, and knit, and knit. Miles and miles of garter stitch. Scarves, ponchos, little blankets for Kitty to lounge on. Now, don't get me wrong. Garter stitch has its place. When I was younger and learning to knit, I HATED garter stitch. To me, it wasn't knitting unless it looked like the smooth stockinette my mother's hands produced. I couldn't wait to learn to purl! And, possibly due to genetics (my great grandmother, I'm told, used to walk around the house knitting socks out of black wool, the yarn in the pocket of her apron) I learned quickly and moved on. I also set my needles down for years when it seemed that all the patterns out there were for crochet (does anyone else remember those years?), only to pick them up again while in college to make hats for a couple of friends. Did I have a pattern? No. Did I have appropriately sized needles? No. Did I understand the concept of gauge? Most definitely not. Did that stop me? No. Of course, the first hat would have fit over a small microwave oven, and the second, for fear of it turning out like the first, was vaguely envelope shaped with two, count 'em two pompoms. They were, however, graciously received, and worn at least once by each of the recipients. Something to be said for friendship, indeed.

Now we come to my own "Sea Monster." I feel confident that I can pick up any pattern I like and create the intended object, but I have been considering dipping my toes into design, and, I'll admit, it scares me a little. I know that I should just think of it as another step. I have experience with garment construction, I know how different knit fabrics behave, I should just stop hedging and fearing the jaws in the depths and do it already. What's the worst that could happen? Well, I'll keep you posted on that!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tink... Tink... Tink... Thunk!

Zigzag is now back on track after suffering a tragically misplaced yarnover which went unnoticed for two rounds. I spent the greater part of Sunday while the girls were sleeping carefully working back to the error with eyes that swear they are more than a mere 31 years of age. White yarn, grey needles, and arms that are much too short at times for my presbiopia. Time for new glasses, I guess.
I am getting dangerously close to finishing the skein of yarn I am using for this sweater. This would not be a big deal were it not for the dearth of yarn sources in Pueblo. There are two retailers who carry yarn, and one of them, the only one that carries what I will need to continue this project, WILL NOT get my money. Why, you ask? I refuse to support a company that is vehemently anti-union and shovels millions into destroying public education while making a big deal of their piddly "Teacher of the Year" award. Yes, Wal-Mart, I hate you. I really really do.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Whole Lotta Scarfin' Goin' on!

Well, my first ever time at a knitting group was pretty interesting. The woman who hosts this group had told me that they were "really having fun with all the new novelty yarns." Boy, she wasn't kidding! Garter stitch scarves, drop stitch garter stitch scarves. A whole lotta scarves goin' on and no needles smaller than an 11 in sight. I felt a little odd pulling out the 5's to start swatching. Nonetheless, it was nice to be away from the house for a while and among adults. I did get my swatch done and cast on for Zigzag from last fall's Knitty. No, I'm not using the yarn called for, nor am I doubling the yarn. I live in Southern Colorado, if I made myself a sweater that dense, eyelets or no, I'd never be able to wear it!

Here is the completed back flap.

I also finished my mom's afghan. Please excuse the poor quality of the photo and the back of child's head as she admires Nana's Big Blankie as it has come to be called. It was fun, and surprisingly quick, to knit. I know she will enjoy it.
So, wow! A whole post about knitting. Hmm... This may become a trend. Oh, if you're curious about yarns used for today's photos, you should really know better by now! Let's just say that they have no dye lot and are readily purchased at any non-yarn store (since I have no LYS) that has a yarn section. A-yup.

Monday, September 19, 2005


Today be National Talk Like a Pirate Day! Avast, ye scurvy dogs! Celebrate as you see fit.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Life is fragile

Just wanted to say that. The point was driven home in a rather harsh way yesterday. I won't go into details, but it should suffice to say that I am counting my blessings, even on a rough day when I've been flying solo with the girls since 7:30 am and got them to bed and may very well be in bed myself before DH arrives home (he went to the Maroon and White scrimmage up in Denver. Go Avs!).

On a cheerier note, those of you who have been waiting with baited breath to LICK MY HOUSE get those lickers ready! The deal has been closed, and any day now the workers will arrive to enclose our lead encrusted abode in top quality siding with the styro laminated to the actual siding and overlapping backings to reduce airflow and an R4 insulation rating! (When did I become a siding geek?) The yard is another story entirely. But, we're really excited about the siding.

Monday, September 12, 2005

I guess cronyism isn't all it's cracked up to be...

Mike Brown has resigned. Surprising? No. Enough of a hollow gesture to get us not to notice the continuing douchebaggery of this administration? Not even close. 'Nuff said.

Caught the film WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception last night on IFC. Good stuff. Scary and enraging, but very good stuff indeed. A lot of great analysis of the "media" as of late. Made me sad though, to be reminded that the US military invaded Iraq right when my daughters were born.

Oh, wait. Isn't this supposed to be a knitting blog? Sorry. Sometimes I get a little too wrapped up in my rage at the powers that be. I promise to post more stitch, less bitch soon! I'm designing my first ever sweater. Unfortunately, it will probably not be all that photogenic. The friend who will receive said sweater wanted a black cardigan. Kinda boring, but I'm hoping to add some little details to make it a bit less of a tedious project. We'll see. So, I have that in the works, and I am about 25-30" into a reversibly cabled afghan for my mom. It was supposed to be for me, but Zoe informed me it was for her Nana, and since it matches Mom's couch, who am I to argue?

Friday, September 09, 2005

A Little Too Little, Too Late!

Mr. Brown is stepping down. Not as head of FEMA, no. He's been "relieved" of overseeing Katrina relief efforts. Apparently, he's done such a hell of a job that he needs a little break. So it's off to the dog and the wife and some margarita's. I bet the thousands of displaced people he's been, um, helping so much? Is that what we're supposed to believe has been happening? Well, I bet they feel great that he can now publicly turn his back on the situation, if only for a day. This administration is full of morons (I'm sorry, am I playing "The Blame Game?"). There are just no words.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

How far out of touch?

Not to get all political, but WTF Barbara Bush? It seems that in the first mama's eyes, the displaced citizens of New Orleans have it pretty good, since they were poor to begin with. So let's all pat ourselves on the back, I guess. I'm sure those who made it out alive and have lost everything are thanking their lucky stars that they can now camp out in Houston. Shame on you, Babs, and a pox on your house! It's been a long time coming, but Karma will catch up to you!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Some more FO's and an NO (night out)

These are the hats I made for the twins. I decided to emphasize the MC by knitting four rows between wedges instead of two. I think they turned out cute, and wow, were they a quick knit!

This sock is another from Knitting on the Road. I had to kind of fudge the toe shaping and shhh! (it's knit from Bernat Sox yarn!) I am very pleased with how it came out and look forward to casting on for its mate.
Yeah, I know, not only is it acrylic, but it's an orphan, too. Pity the poor thing, eh?

This is the hat for my best friend's mom. After making seven of these, I now have enough leftovers of Bernat Boa yarn to knit a Muppet! I'm actually brewing up some fun hats for the girls, since I have a nice range of colors now.

In minor celebratory news, I actually get to go out to dinner tonight with no kids! A friend has offered to sit for us, and we are gettin' all dolled up and hittin' the town on a school night! I'm so excited!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I guess lead is the least of my problems.

Meth lab.
Across the street.
Busted two days ago while I went about my business feeding my kids, etc.
I'd like to think that the Police or Fire Dept. would have informed me if there was any danger. Seeing as they didn't, I'm choosing to believe the situation was entirely under control. Yeah. Of course it was. I'll just go on believing that.

In knitting news, I cast on and finished the 6th in a series of Bernat Boa hats requested by various friends. I'm not a huge fan of the eyelash yarn genre, but I do love my friends and if that's what they want... I also am making two little baby hats inspired by Tychus from this summer's Knitty for a co-worker of DH who is having boy girl twins due in October. She is still teaching, and was a little freaked out when she hit 32 weeks, since that is all the farther my girls agreed to gestate. She did have the summer to take it easy, though, and that should help tremendously.

Will post photos of FO's at a later date, plus, the "Turkey Viking Hat" adult-sized version of the Chicken Viking Hat, once I get a photo from the lucky recipient!

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