Sunday, March 29, 2009

There has been knitting!

Since I got back from vacation, life has been hectic! First of all, you know what it's like when you get back to work after a week -- even if you've been keeping up with email, it's usually crazy. Then on Tuesday afternoon, I had to go home to wait for the power company, who decided that I needed a new gas meter. And I left work at about 2:30 Thursday to attend an all-day midyear board meeting for the Midwest Chapter of MLA on Friday, in suburban Chicago. So, basically, I had three days at work.

There wasn't a whole lot of time for knitting until Friday. A couple hours into the meeting, I decided to break out the knitting. The Artful (Baby) Afghan is really, really mindless knitting, perfect for meetings. While I can't knit in meetings at work (long story - it's not really entirely forbidden, but I've decided that smart thing is to not knit), this wasn't work, so I got quite a bit done.

Baby Afghan

This afghan is knit from the center outward. I've got just a couple more rounds of the light blue, then I'll move onto the Azalea (skein in right front) then Violet (left front - in reality, it looks more like periwinkle to me). I'm enjoying knitting with the Cotton Ease and can imagine using it for a sweater of some sort for myself. (Note that most of the colors I'm using aren't listed on the Lion Brand site.)

This weekend, I've been working on my Bougainvillea sock again, and have gotten through the turn of the heel on the first one. The pattern continues down the heel, which I just love.

Bougainvillea sock

That's the back of the heel in the lower right corner. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Cranberry -- one of the the not-quite-solids I'm currently crazy about.

Oh - and it snowed again yesterday -- I'd say we probably got about an inch and a half. Most of it is gone now, so I guess it really is Spring!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Back from Spring Break

I really meant to blog while on vacation, but I didn't. I also didn't take a whole lot of pictures.

I went to San Antonio with my mom, brother, and 12-year-old niece for Spring Break. I got to see lots of old friends (knitting and not), go to some of my favorite places, eat some of my favorite food, and shop at a "new" yarn store. What could be better?

The first whole day we were there, I got to see "my knitters." I have to say that although I've met lots of nice knitters here in Iowa, I haven't met a group that matches this one!

San Antonio Knitters
Around the table from the left: Kim, Claude, Enid, Michelle, Debra, Mary, Amy, and Courtney.

Hiding behind Mary is Jody.
Jody and Mary

This is a nice segue, because another thing I did was spend some time with Jody's cat Gracie.


Isn't she cute? She's also a little devil. She's the first real "attack cat" I've ever met. Simon occasionally hisses at someone he doesn't know, but Gracie attacks. If I were a thief breaking into Jody's (very cute) house, Gracie would probably scare me off!

To return to knitting -- I visited the Yarn Barn's new location. It's very cute, and carries some nice yarn.

Yarn Barn haul

At the back is two skeins of Shibui sock yarn (colorway 1797 a.k.a. red), in front of that is a skein of J. Knits sock yarn in Palm Springs, and then in front of it all, a skein of Hand Maiden Camelspin in Rose Garden. And off to the side there, in that little striped bag, is a set of Lantern Moon size 1 ebony Sox Stix. (You can never have too many size 1 DPNs!)

I did non-yarn related stuff, too, although I didn't take pictures of it all. A lot of it seemed to involve food! Like -- eating lunch with former co-workers. One day, about 25 people got together at Thai Taste (best Thai food in San Antonio, and sometimes it seems like there's as many Thai restaurants as Tex-Mex in SA), and another day, there were just three of us at a Tex-Mex hole in the wall. Like -- visiting my friend Pat in her gorgeous new house. (I can't believe I didn't take pictures!). Like -- going to Gruene (say "Green"), eating at The Gristmill, and visiting Gruene Hall, the oldest dance hall in Texas.

The whole family went to the King Ranch Museum in Kingsville, then on down to Corpus Christi and Port Aransas, where we ate at another favorite, Snoopy's, right on the water. Then we went on down to the beach, where it was chilly but it was the beach!

Port Aransas

Obviously, it was a busy week, but I had a great time. I also kept forgetting that I don't live there anymore!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Remember how I said I had to make the Fountain Pen Shawl? And how I said I might even spring for some Helen's Lace to make it?

Guess what came in today?

Helen's Lace in Blackberry

That's Helen's Lace in Blackberry. Home Ec Workshop ordered it for me, and it is beautiful! I think I'll wind it up tonight...

Helen's Lace Blackberry on the swift

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Several days ago, I promised actual knitting content. Well -- it's here!

I finished the Nereid mitts, and are very happy with them. They're longer than most mitts, with the hand part coming almost halfway up my fingers, which I like a lot - my hands are frequently cold.

Pomatomus mitts

These took longer than they should have, because I reversed the pattern on the second one. To do that, you can read the chart backward, or flip it over in your Photoshop-type program, which is what I did. Then I replaced the K2tog TBLs with plain K2tog's. The pattern on the second one doesn't look as smooth as the first one, and I'm sure there are further modifications I could have made to make them better, but I'm happy! The yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Pink Blossom -- I think I'll buy more and make a pair of matching Pomatomus socks!

I also started a baby blanket for a co-worker and his wife, who are expecting a girl in June. My suspicion is that they are people who would not be inclined to dress their little girl in pink daily (unlike me!), so I'm limiting the pink.

Cotton Ease

I'm making the Artful (Elegance) Afghan, which you may have seen on Chris's blog. (If you buy the pattern from the Lion Brand website, beware that, even though PayPal is listed as a payment option, you have to use a regular credit card for patterns, even though putting $2.50 on a credit card seems crazy!) I was going to use Wool-Ease, because of its washability and, um, cheapness, but my Michael's was out of most of the colors. Right next to it, though, was the Cotton-Ease -- also washable, and not scratchy -- and I just loved the colors, so I went with it. Luckily, knitting with cotton doesn't usually bother my hands.

Artful Baby Afghan

I'm using fewer colors than called for, obviously, so I spent some time last night figuring out how many rounds of each color I need to knit. In theory, you could just knit until you're out of a color, but since this is a gift, I figured I should plan a little! So far, I like it -- there's enough going on that I don't get bored, but it's easy enough that I don't have to think too much!

Have you noticed all the sales in the knitting world right now? I guess it's a sign of the times, but I"m trying to be a combination of economical but supportive (or at least, that's what I'm telling myself!)

Lexie Barnes had bags on sale (half price), plus there was a code on KnittyBlog for 10% more off, so I indulged and purchased the Lady B in Diablo, which I had looked at many times. I actually see using this as a laptop bag, not a knitting bag. And it came with the tiny bag leaning in the front!

Lexie Barnes Bag

Grafton Fibers also had their Darn Pretty DPNs in red on sale for Valentine's Day, so I ordered a couple of pairs -- I can never have too many size 1 and 1.5s!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Word is "Hope"

I like this -- it really is me. Pessimism depresses me and although I'm afraid some people see me as a Pollyanna, I really do believe that most people are basically good.

Knitting content tomorrow...

Your Word is "Hope"

You see life as an opportunity for learning, growth, and bringing out the best in others.

No matter how bad things get, you always have at least a glimmer of optimism.

You are accepting and forgiving. You encourage those who have wronged you to turn over a new leaf.

And while there is a lot of ugliness in the world, you believe that almost no one is beyond redemption.