Knitting Rose

Just Knitting around

yarn2

Monday, July 30, 2007

Swaps and then All Alone

First I have to show my wonderful Vacation Swap!! I was sent on a cruise to Alaska by my swap partner!!

I got stitch markers, cell phone jewelry, dpn case, wine, spa goodies, a needle gauge, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, lotions, scrubs, a bag (made by a lovely knitterly friend Suzanne) and the most beautiful handspun that you have ever seen.

I am sooo lucky to have had such a great swap partner!

thank you!!!


ALL ALONE

I was alone this weekend, and I was NOT lonely.

The Big Texan and Betty Boop went to visit relatives (a mini-family reunion of Big Texans) and play in a washer tournament. I stayed home and took care of the pets. I also had some other church commitments that I couldn’t change and Navy Wife was coming into town, but we weren’t sure when and I wanted to be there when she got in.


I did manage to make the best of it.


On Saturday – I slept in until about 10:30 or so. Then I had to jump up and meet some Knitterly friends for lunch. We had lunch and went to a Charity Knit In. It was really a Charity Knit & Crochet In. It was put on by a very special group of knitters who make charity items year round. They make blankets, hats, and all kinds of necessary knitted items. I crocheted a couple of squares for blankets (because I am a LOT faster at crocheting than knitting). There were door prizes and the ladies were just wonderful.

Afterwards, my little Knitterly Group went to dinner. We had Mexican food and lively conversation.

Let’s just say I know how to feed fish in the Caribbean
with a banana in the top of my bathing suit
- I can’t say any more, and trust me, you don’t want to know.



After dinner I snuck (with another knitting friend) to the movies and watched Harry Potter (AGAIN)!! Neither the Big Texan nor Boop has seen it and I have seen it twice.
Gee,
I think I see a movie date in their future.



Sunday – I got up early and went to church and then came home and plopped my butt down and read. I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until Boop & the Big Texan got home. (ok ok – so I finished it – but I WON’T tell ANYTHING about it).



So basically I knit all day Saturday and read all day Sunday.
It was a great weekend!

Navy Wife did make it into town late Sunday with Sea Tot & Mini-Sea Tot.

Sea Tot - He was actually SAYING "CHEESE"!



Mini Sea Tot and the Big Texan!


So I am going to be very busy loving on babies!




Here are my latest FOs.



Booga Bag (for me)



Felted Purse (for Boop)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Finished Wrap

I finally finished my wrap! I like the way it turned out.

See?





Here is a closer image of the ribbon yarn.
(sorry about the poor focus)



I made this up on my own - so I am quite please with the results!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

C'mon folks!

First I have to say
“If you
think you are in a Knitting House –
then that is the Knitting House you are in!!

OK? This isn’t rocket science, it isn’t hard and fast rules, it isn’t “if I have such and such project then I don’t fit in this house”. It is all about where you fit MOST. But I promise you can only be in one house. Think about the people who you like to hang with – that will help. If you like to spin, but you are more carefree in your knitting – then what is the driving force for you? If it is spinning – then you are more AuNaturale, if it is not worrying about the knitting – then you are more AvantGarde. By the way, since I MADE UP all these houses, I can make the rules. I can even change the rules if I really want to… but I won’t. There is a ‘Sorting Sweater’ for those who aren’t sure. I have possession and you will have to post your information and I will let you know what house you belong in, OK?

Now – I have to say hello to one of my best friends, Karen! She lurks on my blog (never comments), she knows NOTHING about knitting and has to wade through all of my knitting slang to find out what is going on in my life. Of course WHY she doesn’t pick up the phone I don’t know! HAHA – but I have to say hello to her.

“Hi Karen! I have talked the Big Texan into going to NYC for a weekend – wanna come too?
It would be a blast!”

Last weekend I spent Saturday with some of my favorite Knitting People. I capitalized them because they are some of the FIRST KNITTERS I met in person. I hadn’t really been knitting too long and was trying to find people to hang around with. I had found my online friends and had signed up to a few Yahoo groups (see side bar). But I didn’t have ‘real’ people to talk to about knitting. I met them (and several others) for lunch one day and we went to a couple of LYS (Local Yarn Shops I am trying to educate Karen here – so bear with me). I actually parked my car in the parking lot and GOT INTO A CAR WITH A BUNCH OF STRANGE WOMEN. Yup – I know – Soooo unsafe. But these were Knitting Friends that I had talked to online already…

(ok – so now I sound like a 14 year old who is making friends with predators online –
thank goodness my Dad doesn’t read my blog!)

I was a little hesitant, but only because they were so outrageous! I turned on the GPS in my phone (hey – I am not a complete idiot), and called the Big Texan and told him what I was doing. He was ok with it – so off I went. Well, we spent the whole day together going from LYS to LYS (and even getting a little shoe shopping done). I wasn’t very talkative yet – but they were lively and full of fun. At the end of the day they told me they were going to the Highway 80 sale (this is a big flea market on the side of highway 80 that goes from Dallas all the way out to Arkansas – lots of people – lots of fun).

Well, not being afraid to go out in the country with a bunch of
strangers (in their car) and without a way back home
if I got stuck somewhere–

of course I said OK.

Yeah – the Big Texan was NOT that thrilled about that one – but he did agree after I promised to call him every two hours.
Yeah – I am re-reading this thinking “What kind of an idiot am I?”

Well, we bought candy cigarettes, root beer, and hit the road! It was so much fun. Tasha said she was going to post pics about it on her blog, but I don’t think she ever did. We bought jewelry, tutu’s (yes, I said tutu’s) and so many other things. I know Liz got a pirate ship for one of her nephews. Tasha bought some WWII medals for her hubby. Becky bought… - hmmm what did Becky buy? She was driving – so she didn’t show off as much as the rest of us did. Anyway – we had a wonderful time and I got to know some great people.

So anyway –

Last weekend I spent the day with Liz & Tasha. You can go to Liz’s blog and see what exactly we did. But I have to say that when we got home we did some dyeing… Ok – I have dyed with food grade dyes and they are wonderful. But she had some acid dyes….OH MAN OH MAN. They are sooo worth the hassle. I will wear a mask and get special pots and all that - for these colors….

They are OHMYGOODNESSWONDERFULLYBEAUTIFUL.

Yes – I think I have to do this type of dyeing.

I have been so good about not buying too much yarn – even though I am not on a yarn diet or anything. Which Tasha was – but now is NOT! (Yeah for her)! I am trying to just knit from my stash. Not for any altruistic reason – but just because I have some really beautiful yarn. Really beautiful. When I finally get on to Ravelry (Not sure when that will be – I am still waiting for my invite), I will post my yarns (and you will know that I am not into anything Half-A**).

I am still working on Betty Boop’s blanket. It has gotten really big. I am loving it and work on it every day. I am also working on my Autumn shawl. It is coming along – but I am so excited about the blanket! I have finished my Ribbon Wrap – and I am in the middle of fringing it. Of course it should have been finished last night – but I ran out of ribbon yarn. So I am going to my LYS tonight and will see if they have any there – and if not – then I will have to pull some of the (already done) fringe off and re-distribute it. Then – MAYBE I can get a decent picture of it. I tried it on last night and I just LOVE the way it hangs.

Once I have completed it – I am going to cast on a LACE SHAWL!! I haven’t decided which one yet. There are two that I really want to make.

I want to make the rainbow one because I adore the way it looks, but I also don’t want to screw up my rainbow yarn – so I am thinking I need to practice on something else first. Of course – I don’t want to get sick of doing a shawl and then not want to do the rainbow one after I finish the other one. See how hard it is for me to decide what to knit next? And that is WHEN I HAVE a pattern in mind.

I also want to make another pair of socks. I have decided to design a pattern to go with the
“Yarn that wasn’t Monkey socks”. It will be simple enough to show off the yarn – yet interesting enough to add a little punch to it. I know there was a pattern that came out with the yarn (and I have it), but I don’t want to do that pattern. Hopefully they don’t become the
'horribly ugly - how can you knit those' socks.

I want to make this adorable toy set of a snake and a mouse. The mouse fits inside the snakes mouth – it is AWESOME! I want to give it to Mini-Sea Tot and Sea Tot. See – so many things and so little time.

There is also a cotton sweater that I want to make…

I have the yarn just sitting there…

Then there are all the other projects that I have already said I want to make…

Yeah – I am going to start something new…or even a couple of things…



SPECIAL NOTE TO ENID** - I lost your email address - please email me! I was just in Lubbock two weeks ago!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What kind of knitter are you?

The Harry Potter movie comes out today and it has gotten me to thinking. So many knitters are Harry Potter fans and many of us call non-knitters "Muggles" or as one of my knitting friends said "Knuggles".

OK - you have to follow me here;
if Non-Magical people are Muggles,
then Non-Knitting people would have to be KNuggles.

You can stop laughing now - I think it is cute.


There are different types of knitters, just like there are different houses for Potter & his friends.
  • Finis house - the knitters that fall in this house are always FINISHED!! They are speedy knitters, interested in how many projects they can complete in any given period. They make scarves, socks, hats, booties, washcloths and lots more. They aren't as particular about the type of yarn they use as they are in all the things that they can make. They will use almost any yarn and will have a small to medium stash, simply because they knit so fast. A lot of charity knitters are from the Finis house. These knitters will inspire you to knit many more things than you will ever have time for. These may design their own patterns or not - but they WILL know where are the Free patterns are located!!

  • AuNaturale house - these knitters are NATURALISTS!! They not only knit, but they spin, dye, design and know every step of the knitting process. They love their fiber in any state. For them it all about the 'spirituality' of the finished items. They may make only one garment a year, but it will be HANDMADE!! They are more interested in 'Fiber' than yarn. Some the more extreme members will spin anything from dryer lint* to pet fur. They usually have a very small stash (if they have any at all). Others are awed by these knitters dedication. These knitters are quite perfectionistic and will tink or frog till they get it right. These knitters are usually designers as well because they already have in mind what they want to make.
(*Please note: I do NOT recommend this, dryer lint is HIGHLY FLAMMABLE - I am just saying I have known folks who do this).

  • NotMe house - these are perfectly competent knitters who think anything other than a scarf is 'beyond' them. They will try to make sweaters or socks, but only after they are SERIOUSLY prodded. They are always surprised that they completed the item and it doesn't always fit on the first try -but they usually persevere and get it right. They will go back to their comfort zones many times before realizing they CAN knit anything and they will often say it is a fluke! It takes at least four sweaters before this knitter thinks they are able to knit a sweater. They are interested in the durability of their yarns because they will make lots of washcloths, scarves, socks and even an occasional afghan. Once in a while they will buy expensive yarn and then wait at least a year before they will attempt to knit with it for fear of messing it up. Their stash is usually manageable because they keep their knitting manageable. All of their knitting friends know NotMe's are more capable than they realize and we love them for their insecurities. Like the AuNaturale house they also will TINK and FROG until they get a pattern correct. These are a majority of our KAL knitters. They are generous and will design a pattern and then share it with the world.
  • AvantGarde house - these knitters will try anything. It doesn't matter if they are highly skilled or novice. They will knit a sweater as a first project. They will knit a sock before someone tells them it is difficult. They will teach themselves to knit backwards "just because". These are fearless knitters who think of yarn as a medium to be molded. They will make anything from an Einstein coat to a washcloth. They don't take their yarn or projects too seriously. They will NOT Tink to fix - they will just add/remove a stitch when they find they have made a mistake. They may have a large stash simply because they want to try EVERYTHING! You have to watch these knitters because they can put down their needles for years at a time and then simply EXPLODE into knitting again. These knitters LOVE Knit A Longs - but hardly ever finish them on time (if at all). They may design patterns, but won't usually write them down.

These houses are not 'strictly' defined. You may think you belong in one house, but you really belong in a different one!! If you aren't sure which house you belong in - ask your friends, they will know.

Then there are the individual knitters that everyone knows.

  • "I Know" Nelly - she knows how to do absolutely ANYTHING. She will offer to fix any project, and help on any mistake that you have made. Just be careful - if you hand her your knitting, you may have to frog the entire project when you get home. She is well meaning and knowledgeable, she just has poor execution skills.
  • "Help Me" Hannah - she always needs help on her project. She actually knows how to do it, but is terrified of messing up. She will watch while someone else knits and then will try to do it herself. She is sweet and kind and usually brings cookies to meet-ups.
  • "Teacher" Terry - she runs knitting classes for many yarn shops and will help you at any time. She will put down her own knitting to help her friends. She will help you fix your project and then tell you how to prevent the same mistake from happening again.
  • "Organizing" Ophelia - She always has a project on the needles and will help organize any knitting event from a Meet Up to a Knitting retreat. If you need help with your charity projects, she will get you the volunteers to complete them!
  • "Whirlwind" Wendy - She LOVES to come to Meet Ups! She hardly ever knits while she is at one, and if she does, she will have to frog the project later. She is a whirlwind of activity and entertainment. Bring your camera if she is going to be at a Meet Up - because you will want pictures!
  • "TMI" Tammy - This is a FUN girl. She knows everything about everyone (and then some). She will spill all the good gossip. The trouble is that she doesn't have boundaries. You will learn more about her Ob-Gyn appointments then you ever wanted to know. She doesn't realize that YOU have boundaries and will ask ANY question that pops into her head. You can't help but love her though, she will always be there when you need a ride.
  • "PI" Patty - She is the private investigator of the group. She may sometimes get confused with Tammy, but she is different. She knows everything about everyone because she keeps lists. She knows who is having a birthday (or an affair). She is the BEST friend that you can have because she DOES know all the secrets and yet she doesn't judge!

Now - I don't KNOW any of these people.

AND I am EVERY ONE of these people at one time or another.

If you resemble any of these people -

WELCOME to the club!


Oh and if you love hand-dyed yarn - please visit the KNIT-CLINIC on etsy! It is wonderful.

Normal

Last week was what I call "Normal" in my life. Marine Man & his wife had their church wedding. It was beautiful and wonderful. Now that he is home from Iraq, they are able to plan their lives together and they are so happy. They went on their honeymoon and are planning to drive out to their home in California this week.

I also had to put my 13 year old dog to sleep. She ruptured a disc in her back and was partially paralyzed. Up until then, you could only tell how old she was by the gray on her muzzle. She was always happy, active and lively. I couldn't take that away from her. I couldn't let her be in pain. She has been at my side, when I am at home, for the last 13 years. I loved her and she loved our family. I never thought of her as a 'dog' and I KNOW she didn't either. She was a member of the family.

"Normal" is happiness and sadness. "Normal" is up and down. "Normal" is life.

Monday, July 02, 2007

What to knit now?

I have been knitting but I haven’t made a lot of progress! I guess it is a good thing that I am not trying to ‘finish’ everything and am enjoying knitting! HAHA.

I have been working on the ribbon shawl. I like it a lot and think I am going to sew it into a off shoulder poncho wrap.

ok - again - you can't see the detail - but I swear this is a LOT prettier
in person. I guess
I will give up on the pics until it is done.

It is fun to picture something in my mind and then try to make it happen with my hands. I have a few other ideas that I have been mulling over as well. There is a sweater in my mind that I want to make, a bag that I am considering, and a tank. I may just try all of them without using any patterns. I don’t know if I am that brave, but the worst that can happen is I don’t like it and frog it. And that happens to me with patterns too!

I want to organize my stash. I have so much yarn and I WANT TO USE IT! I am not one of those who buys yarn because I need to keep up with other folks. I buy yarn because I think it is beautiful and I want to make something with it. I don’t tell a lot of folks about my new yarns because I don’t want to be thought of as frivolous
(and I am a little ashamed of all that I do buy).
I spend a fair amount of money on yarn – but I was figuring it out the other day and I don’t spend NEAR as much on yarn as I used to spend on cigarettes. And if I figured in the new prices of cigarettes – I could allow myself to spend more
(see the justification process here?)
.

And at least with yarn – I have something to show for it besides some kind of creepy black lung pictures. Yes – I have been smoke free for almost two years now.
To know me now – you wouldn’t realize that I was a smoker
– you would NOT picture me that way at all.
But in the past, If I didn’t have a "Coke & a Smoke" – then I wasn’t awake.
I was a huge Diet Coke drinker too. But I have also given that up.
I haven’t had more than a sip or two of Coca Cola in almost two years.


Anyway – I do have a lot of yarn. I love it and I love looking at it. I think it is beautiful.
I have it in display cases and cabinets.
My darling Big Texan doesn’t mind. He likes the yarns too.
He thinks they are pretty
and realizes that I have the best of intentions about knitting
everything up
.

I have heard a little about a place called Ravelry and from what I hear it is a great internet place to organize and catalog your stash. I have tried to join – but have not been accepted yet.
But that is ok – I think I would rather not know exactly
how much yarn I have until I have it all organized.


I realized the other day that I have to go through and settle everything up in my stash because I was looking at some yarn and had NO IDEA what I was going to make with it.
You see – I ALWAYS have a project in mind before I buy yarn.
If not – then I won’t buy it.

That may be the reason I have such a love for sock yarns.
I can always buy it and say, “I am going to make socks with it”!

But with other yarns, I have learned that I need to have a project in mind.

Otherwise I will have beautiful yarn that just sits there. Or I will want to make something out of it and whamo I don’t have enough of it.
I actually have some lovely Cherry tree hill sock yarn – but I bought it before I had my rule.
So I just bought what they had (it was on sale and they were leftover skeins).
None of them match – and they don’t really color coordinate that well. So I don’t have any idea what to make with them.

Oh wait! I just got an idea! I could make these adorable flipflop socks
that I have been wanting to make FOREVER.
They were once featured on ‘You knit what!?” blog and
I LIKE THEM!! I don’t care that other people
think they are ugly or weird or useless. I LIKE them.
They are one of the first ‘internet inspired’ projects for me.


This pattern made me realize that I could probably find ANYTHING I wanted to make on the internet. Before that I thought I had to have a book for all patterns. I don’t know why- but I thought that internet patterns were below par. Funny huh? I had the old adage stuck in my head ‘You get what you pay for’.
And sometimes that is true – but I have found far too many patterns for free on the internet that are absolutely wonderful.
It is like having hundreds of cousins who knit
.
And there are patterns that I find on the internet that I am more than willing to pay for. Some of the best patterns that I have gotten are through the internet and NOT through my LYS.
(Although Wanda has a great shop and if I can buy it from her
– I do – she is also a dear friend).


I have been progressing on Betty Boop’s blanket. It is coming along just fine. I cannot believe how much time I have put into this blanket.
(don’t worry – I am not going to pull out my math again)
.
I know it is a lot of time and it has been fun (even though long). She loves it and will sometimes walk by it and grab hold of some of it’s folds, rubbing them between her fingers when she thinks I am not looking.

I have given up on my last pair of socks. They were with a chunky yarn and I hated knitting them. I have one done and am going to frog it and use the yarn for something else. What happened is I have a sock group – called EasySocks and it was our pattern for the last two months. It is a cool pattern, but I just don’t like knitting with that heavy of yarn so tightly. If I am going to use a chunky yarn - I will make a poncho or sweater or even a bag. But NOT socks. I felt so guilty to give up on them – but I realized that I was putting that knitting in the ‘job’ category and wasn’t putting it in the ‘enjoyment’ category. If I can’t enjoy – I am not going to knit it. Life is too short to knit something you don’t like.

Actually life is too short to do ANYTHING you don’t like.

Don’t get me wrong – there are some necessary things that
we have to do –
but you have to weigh if the reward is worth the trouble.


Example: I don’t like to pay bills – but I much prefer paying bills to
living in a ditch –
which is what would happen if I didn’t pay my bills.
See? The reward outweighs the dislike.


However when it comes to knitting - having these socks was not worth the dislike of knitting them. I did feel a little guilty about not knitting something in my own yahoo group – but then I realized that the GROUP was MY idea and I didn’t want to be ruled by it.

Plus, if it was a member who said
“Hey, I don’t like making these socks.”
I would tell them NOT to make them.
(And I am a member)

So I basically followed my own advice. See?



Silly, I know.

So now I have this chunky yarn and need to figure out what to make with it.

And I am back to my question, what to knit now?

What would you make?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

OMG- am I tired!!

Marine Man is off on his honeymoon.

He and his wife were officially married last year before he was deployed to Iraq. But they finally had their lovely Church wedding on Saturday.

I am pooped.

I haven't seen him this happy since he got home and it was wonderful.

More to come later.