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February, 2008:

Yarnography Friday: Noro Silk Garden Salad

On the menu today is a salad made from delicious Noro Silk Garden, with raspberry and plum and tomato orange with a side of deep dark pumpernickel, all resting on a bed of healthy dark greens.

Noro Silk Garden, how I just want to eat you right up. This was an impulse buy, I must admit. It’s the first time I’ve given in to the temptation of Noro Silk Garden and it’s because I just couldn’t resist this colorway. I’m not sure what to make with it: a scarf, a hat?
The green stuff is my Stow Away Bag, in progress. I’m just starting on the handles, which means I’ll be done well in time for the Double Ewe String Bag Sale. I was originally making the Saturday Market Bag from MagKnits, but I didn’t like how it was turning out. I can’t entirely blame that pattern because I do think I made a couple of ill-advised modifications. But I liked how Mom’s Stow Away Bag was turning out and decided I wanted to make one too.
It’s Leap Day, it’s Friday, it’s the last day of the dreaded February. The sun is sort of shining and the snow is sort of melting. There are fresh tulips on my desk. Life isn’t bad. Hope you’re having a good Friday too.

Just reporting progress (and some not so much progress)

Ravelry’s Stash Knit Down 2008 Group issued a January Challenge to knit a mile, which I did (yea for me). The total for the group was reported by the group’s moderators, Angela and Karin, to be a whopping 66.21 miles!
I haven’t accomplished tons since The Challenge, but I did finish my Stow-Away Bag (pictured below) so I’m all ready to yarn shop at Double Ewe.

Finished Stow Away Bag

I also have a tear-out in my future. The project is a vintage Christmas stocking I’m trying to recreate. I think I’ve mentioned it before. It’s coming along but I have a mistake a few rows back and since I should really be using a smaller needle, I’ve decided to rip it out and start over. Sigh. I have the motif all figured out, which is probably the toughest part … or at least the most tedious. So now it’s just a matter of knitting it up. It’s been hard to get into it since it’s months and months away from Christmas. But I do have to return the stocking to its owner soon so I have to keep on it. More on this when I have something to show, and have had a chance to take some pictures.

Moms, this one’s for you.

I’ve been working on a simple cotton shopping bag. I worked on it during our Tuesday evening sit ‘n knit group. Andrea worked on her project. Other people worked on their projects.
Everything was going along nicely except that Andrea decided she really didn’t like the way her project was shaping up. I did the mom dissertation about how it was much better to just bite the bullet and rip it out. “It’s great yarn; you’ll be so glad you did … blah, blah, blah.” Can’t you just hear it?
I no more than got it out of my mouth than I commented, just offhandedly, that my pattern had something funky going on with it.
Andrea said, “Here, let me take a look at it … mom, you’re reading it wrong.” (She was right.)

Originally uploaded by AMK

Then I made the fatal error and said: “Well, it probably won’t be too noticeable and I can make some adjustments … blah, blah, blah.”
Quick as a heartbeat, the 14-year-old sitting next to me, not even my own child, murmured in a quietly mocking tone, “… it’s great yarn; you’ll be so glad you did ….”
Moms, those pearls of wisdom you dispense will come back to haunt you. If it’s not your own kid, it’ll be someone else’s!
I had it coming, I don’t deny it. So I ripped … and of course I’m glad I did.

Yarnography Friday: Sockotta + Ireland

I’m happy to report that after a week of pain, I finally feel like a human being again. I have no idea what happened to my shoulder blade/upper back area, but it was BAD. It’s still not back to normal, but it’s getting a lot better.
So I don’t have much to talk about, knitting-wise because I haven’t been up for doing much with my arms. I worked a little bit on my Saturday Market Bag for Kelly’s bag sale, but once I started casting off for the top part of the bag, I realized I hated it. The circumference of the bag opening way way too small.
Plus, my mom was knitting her bag, the Stow Away Shopping Bag and hers was so much better. So I have to go to Double Ewe and pick up the Stow Away pattern and rip out mine and start over.

, originally uploaded by AMK.

Anyway, back to Yarnography Friday. Two very lovely things in this photo: sock yarn, and travel books for Ireland. Yes, Brad and I are going to Ireland in April for 12 days. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. I’m picking out sock patterns and I’m going to buy some sock yarn so I have plenty of socks to keep me occupied during all that travel time. Plus I think it’ll be cool to have some “Ireland socks” to remember my trip by. Here are some possible socks I’m thinking of making:
- Chevrolace Socks from Knitty
- Naive Socks (because they’re cabled; I’ve gotta make some cables if I’m going to Ireland)
- Aquaphobia socks (could be a good use of some of the Koigu I’ve got stashed)
- Marina Piccola (I just love this pattern, especially with blue yarns as shown)
- And of course something from New Pathways for Sock Knitters (not sure which one, yet, but I’m intrigued to try at least one of her new sock constructions)
This weekend some serious trip planning needs to be done! April is coming up exhilaratingly fast. Happy weekend, everyone!

Saturday, February 16

It was a great day for just hanging out with Andrea, balmy almost. We’ve had a pretty cold winter here (it was -5 degrees this morning, brrrr). But Saturday it actually got above freezing!! We (and I hardly dare whisper it) left our coats in the car while we shopped!
First, we went yarn shopping at Double Ewe, a yarn store near where Andrea lives that I had never been to. The owner, Kelly is very sweet and helpful. It’s a smaller shop but nice – go there if you get a chance.
Stow-Away Shopping Bag
This is the yarn I bought from Kelly. Today we have our after-work sit n’ knit, and I’m going to work on this. I love the colors, and the cleverness of the stow-away pocket design.
After Double Ewe, we headed for Mall of America – the 2008 Knit-Out was there last weekend. We watched a round of the speed knitting competition. The fastest person there did (I hope I’m remembering this correctly) 170 (stockinette??) stitches in 3 minutes. Andrea said the winner is someone famous …?? Andrea (or someone), help me out here, please, who is she?
2008 Knit-Out
On the subject of speed knitting competitions, I saw in the August 2007 issue of Knit ‘n Style (given away at the Event) that Lisa Gentry completed 209 stockinette stitches in some competition, and does 2 stitches a second in garter stitch. That’s 120 stitches a minute … 360 stitches in 3 minutes! That’s flyin’! I see she also broke the Guinness World Record “Fastest Crocheter” in 2005 … now, that’s being an over-achiever! She was apparently at the Knit-Out event but I didn’t see her.
And while at MOA we bought a little something for Steph … I can’t talk about that, though, in case she reads this post. So even though she’s way out in Boston, we were hanging out with her, too, in spirit if not in fact!
Finally, we ended up over at my house cooking Andrea’s vegetarian chili, which has now become my favorite chili recipe.
It was a really fine, fine day.

Too burned out to even think of a title for this post

I’m going to have to pass on today’s Yarnography Friday. Something is wrong with my shoulder blade and I’ve been in pretty excruciating pain today. I actually think it might be repetitive stress injury from working too much in a non-ergonomically-correct computer setup for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been a bit frantic with a deadline at work.
But who wants to hear about injuries and work and stressful deadlines, especially on a Friday? And especially when there’s a new edition of Yarnival to read?
This month’s Yarnival is edited by Miz T and it’s chock full of interesting links, the vast majority of which I still haven’t gotten around to look at. And my very own Mom has her zipper tutorial linked to in it, so that’s cool. So welcome to anyone who’s come here from Yarnival!
Tomorrow, I’m going to introduce Mom to the wonders of Double Ewe Yarn (she wants to get in on the string bag sale). Then we’re probably going to head over to the Mall of America for the Knit Out and Crochet, which is supposedly going to be the biggest gathering of knitters and crocheters ever. If we get there by 2:30, we’ll be able to see the fastest knitting/crocheting competition. I just think it’ll be funny to see the Mall of America overrun with knitterly type people. I can only imagine what the tourists will think.

February, continued

I baked cookies Sunday and sent them to Steph in Boston. They should arrive today so she has them for Valentine’s day. I took a picture of them before shipping so if they arrive in crumbs, she can read the love in the photo.
Happy Valentine's Day!
This a knitting blog, so I feel obliged to give you a knitting update. We rescheduled yesterday’s after-work knitting night to next Tuesday. I finished another pair of wrist warmers over the weekend (just like the navy and light blue ones but these are dark green and gray, pretty). And I’m working on replicating what I would consider to be a vintage Christmas stocking for a friend. More on that as it progresses.
In my world, it’s still February. Last night, while I was on the phone with my pharmacy ordering up blood pressure medicine (which, believe me, I sorely need), my husband yells from the kitchen, “Barb, help me, quick …!” I rushed in to find him desperately supporting the middle shelf of one of the upper cabinets. I grabbed plates and moved them to the counter top. He finished gathering together his snack, grabbed a beer and said “Well, I’m going to go watch the Timberwolves.” And walked away from the mess. I called the pharmacy back. Like I said, I need that blood pressure medicine.
Update on the kitchen light fixture: After work I’m headed to Menards to get supplies to repair that cabinet, and to return the light fixture I bought last week. Well, here’s the update: I bought the new fixture, called the handyman to come by and install it, left work early to meet him at the house. I got there, he got there … he changed the light BULB in the old fixture, I paid him $15. Done. It works. What can I say, it’s February.
And after Menards, I’ll go pick up that prescription. Which I sorely need.

Yarnography Friday: Felt. Yum.

It’s Yarnography Friday and darn it if I didn’t completely forget to take some luscious yarn shots this week. So here’s an oldie but a goodie.

, originally uploaded by AMK.

This is some Jamieson’s 4-ply shetland wool that I used to make a felted bag for my sister for Christmas. Good stuff.
This week has pretty much kicked my butt. Work stress (deadlines, bah humbug), Spinning class injury (I wish it was yarn spinning, but it was cycling spinning. Although I wonder how I could injure myself spinning yarn. Maybe I don’t want to know). General exhaustion.
The only knitting I managed to fit in all week was to finish the last bit of the St. Mawes sleeve. And the instant I finished the knitting, I managed to spill most of a bottle of beer all over my couch. The perils of drinking and knitting! At least the knitting was spared, and I guess those cushion covers needed to be washed anyway, right…?
I want to start working on the Saturday Market Bag this weekend. Double Ewe Yarn is having a string bag sale – knit a string bag using yarn from their store and then bring it in during the sale in March and any yarn you can fit in the bag is 20% off. What a great idea!
Here’s hoping you (and me) have a work-less, injury-less, relaxing weekend!

February … ugggh!

I just finished a pair of entrelac wrist warmers. I know, it’s not much but it’s something. And I like them. And they keep me warm. And it’s February and I need that.
wrist warmers
I need it because February is a dangerous month. Cabin fever sets in every February and it’s sort of a literal thing for me, cabin fever. I hate my surroundings in February. I’ve done some really questionable things in February. Like tear cabinets off kitchen walls without a plan. Things like that. I have come to understand and guard against February but even acknowledging I’m crazy in February, I still struggle. Right now, for example, I have a kitchen light fixture that isn’t working. It just doesn’t turn on. It’s not the fluorescent bulb … it’s not the ballast. Every morning I get up and walk into the kitchen for that first cup of coffee. I hit the switch. Every evening, I walk into the semi-dark house after a day at work and … you got it … hit that switch. And every time I do, morning or night, my gut clenches. It feels physical. I resent it. If it were, say, June and this happened, it wouldn’t seem so serious. I tell myself that. But it’s not June, it’s February!
And it seems that I’m the only person in my world that finds any of this a problem. So I’m going to have to man up and take care of it myself … and I know that’s dangerous in February.
Oh, and I also have a burned out bulb in the dining room chandelier. And I’m out of that style of light bulb. And it’s February and I apparently have no control over darkness.
So anyway, it may not be much, but the wrist warmers are nice. I like them. They give me some comfort against February.

Let me look into the future…

Last time I thought I was almost done with St. Mawes, I was in for a rude awakening. So let’s say I’m cautiously optimistic that the end of St. Mawes is in sight. I finished all but about two inches of the re-knitted sleeve during the Superbowl yesterday. So I finish my sleeve cap, bind off, and start sewing. And then if I have been a good girl and I’m not due for any more bad karmic payouts, the thing will actually fit Brad. I hope.
Speaking of the Superbowl, this is the first year I’ve ever been into it at all. I paid attention to the last few playoff games (I’m not really sure why… I guess because there’s nothing good on TV these days?). I predicted somewhat flippantly quite a while ago that the Giants would play the Patriots in the Superbowl and nobody really believed me. Maybe because I know nothing about football and because I wasn’t basing the prediction on any fact or knowledge whatsoever? Possibly.
My precognition ended there, however. I predicted the Patriots would win, and they lost. I also predicted I’d be done knitting the St. Mawes sleeve by the end of the game and I didn’t make that either.
Ah well, I tried.
As long as I’m talking about the Superbowl, this was by far my favorite of the ads: