Knitting Paragon

KNITTING: to make a fabric by looping yarn together with special needles. PARAGON: a model of perfection or excellence.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Orange & blue, soon to be felted, CLOGS

Boy B's clogs are finished (actually completed on Sunday evening). Boy A's is on the needles and I didn't knit on Monday at all. I have not knitted yet today either. Work was gruesome today. Fighting a dilly of a headache and waves of nausea (no, mom, I'm not pregnant), but settled down in front of the 'puter with a hot cup of green tea from this new member of our kitchen. She's a beaute.

Dear Husband started his plan with the ploy that he knew what he was going to get ME for Christmas. (typically he is good at keeping these sorts of things a secret, but within minutes of mentioning that, he just came out and told me). Days go by and he's spending time looking up info online and talking more about this gizmo. The final step to his plan was to contact my mom to put her on this shopping mission: Go to Kohl's on this certain day because they're on sale, PLUS you get a free George Forman Grill (incidentally we have the gy-normous Forman grill now)...WAIT, there's more! Because if you go on this certain'll get a senior citizen's discount too!

The shopping trip did not go off without a hitch, but the shortest version of the story is my mom and son-in-law talked back and forth and got all that they had planned. Mom quickly figured out that this would be DH's Christmas gift.

Clearly, this was his master plan. Not to get the gift for me for Christmas but to build it up enough that we all agree on how much we need it. Frankly it makes a damn good cup of coffee, latte, cappiccino and tea. I am not too proud to admit that.

Knitting content with pictures to return tomorrow.

P.S. anyone gone to one of these "knock-off purse" parties? My sister invited me to join her and mom to one of said parties and all three of us acquired something new. I got a Tommy Hilfiger satchel-type bag that is not so large it takes over the world, but large enough to carry my purse contents and some knitting (usually my sock-in-progress). It eliminates my daily carrying of purse, bag, and lunch bag to work. NICE.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sick child and a long weekend

We finally had to take Boy A to urgent care yesterday. Daddy took him while I stayed with Boy B. Not feeling all that hot myself, Boy B played outside in the unusually warm weather while I argued with him about the need for wearing shoes.

Boy A has an ear infection, but ate a good meal last night (DH made homemade mac & cheese). Boy A has been sleeping with mom and dad for three nights so we can be ready if the coughing fits turn into puking fits. Yeah. He'll be on the mend before we can blink an eye. So much for a extra long weekend to get a lot of knitting accomplished. As I mentioned, I'm not feeling quite myself, but have knitted a bit here and there and took a few pictures yesterday outside on the deck.

The second of Boy B's orange and blue clog is moving along. As I suspected, there will be plenty of yarn. I took a picture of his first finished clog with the tags from the yarn hanks. The blue yarn's tag is difficult to read. It is Bartlett Yarns and I have never used this yarn before. It seems to be the old scratchy wool I hated as a kid. But, rumor has it, it felts up nicely. It's should. The condundrum for me is whether I keep the left over hank or return it. Since it is so scratchy--a scarf it will never be. If it cannot be used for a wearable, what else could it be used for? Anything felted of course...but I have lots of wool.

Here is really the question: Do knitters return unused hanks of yarn?

A new knitter might not because they're building their stash and this is a good way to accomplish that. But a knitter who has a stash (and a conscience) might want to so as to purchase something new and different to make a specific item. That said, what will I do? When a knitter already possess wool for both felting and wearables and wants to make, say something with Koigu should said knitter return the one (or two) hanks of scratchy yarn?

On the other hand, the orange is a new Cascade (at least new to my LYS). Cascade 128. It is a bulky (although, not hugely bulky) and is 128 yards. I love that about Cascade yarns. What you read is what you get! Cascade 220 is 220 yards. It isn't that it is so clever, but it's that a yarn company was brave enough to simply name their yarn what it is. Love that. If you have never knitted with Cascade 220 or this 128. You must. Simply lovely I say. In fact, I think the 128 is even more "silky" than 220.

Do not forget that I have a surprise coming along. I might even have some pictures of it/them in the next week or so. Well, that is if I can buckle down and get another pair of clogs finished.

Friday, November 24, 2006

How cute are these?

A friend of mine sent me these for my birthday (which was back in October--this is not a reflection on my friend, but of me. She sent them to me on time, I am just this late getting a picture and to blog about them). I think these are darling. I have used the breast cancer awareness stitch marker (the one with the ribbon).

Thanks friend (you know who you are).

Turkey coma

I contained myself at the big feast yesterday. I did not eat so much that I was uncomfortable and yet had plenty and even had pie. My mother-in-law's turkey was awesome and my plate was primarily that with little bits of this and that.

The day after thanksgiving is known around here as "Black Friday." Not really sure why it has been coined that, other than those diehard shoppers are out so early, waiting for doors to stores to open. Long before the sun rises. Crazy Freaks.

I not only cannot imagine needing to get something THAT badly but cannot imagine why I would want to get up earlier than I need to for work every other day! Again I say, Crazy Freaks.

Now for some knitting. The following pictures of DH's felt clog (to be felted). I finished the second last night and started Boy B's orange and blue and am an hour or less away from finishing that and moving on to the second in his pair. THEN on to Boy A's red and blue.

Once a person can get a groove on with this ingenious pattern they really do just whip up in no time. Because I am your average dork when it comes to knitting, I had to start over on this first orange and blue one because I realized that I did not need to carry two strands of orange togehter (it is already bulky) duh. Even with this mishap, I was able to cruise through it. This is a love-hate relationship with the pattern. I will freely admit that it is ingenius and clever but it kicks my butt too! Must just be me.

Boy A is down with a little fever and terrible cough and runny nose. Surely Boy B will have it before too long. Boy A wanted me to make some pompoms this morning so we sat together with some yarn, a pompom maker, a blanket and a box of Kleenex to make a few fluff balls. Those fluff balls have got me thinking of what I might use them for. A little surprise I'm cooking up...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving to all

As I write this on the evening of Thanksgiving, I have the pair of giant clogs for daddy finished. Photos to come (need a little sunshine for a good pic).

Aside from a few blips here and there, I think I could finish one clog in about 5 or 6 hours if I had that kind of a block of time! Tonight the first of one of the boys' will find the needles. Boy A wants me to start with his. My plan is to felt all three pair together.

Once they're finished I am thinking of those Christmas stockings once again. After all, I joined Poormissfinch's knit-a-long (Mistletoes...or see my side bar) and really should apply myself to what I committed to.

Gotta go knit. Happy Turkey Day everyone and let's really remember those who spent the day without family or friends.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Golf club covers, orange pompoms and boys

My self-imposed deadline of Thanksgiving is achievable. DH made the three orange pompoms last night (leaving little shards of orange acrylic yarn all over the living room--that he vacuumed this morning).

These photos of the boys were taken Saturday evening. Boy A is lounging in my favorite knitting chair while Daisy is reaching across him for her beloved tennis ball. Boy B just posed nicely.

How lucky and blessed am I?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

One down, one to go

Miyoshi waiting for me to sit next to her and knit the second giant clog.

I have not mentioned having a cat...We have two dogs too. Leo and Daisy. Leo is a black and white Shih Tzu who is about seven and has been with us for most of our marriage. Daisy, well, she's a Golden Retriever and a hairy monster. She will be two in the Spring and was Dear Husband's (DH) Father's Day gift last year. Despite a few mishaps (by mishap I mean she helped herself to just finished homemade goulash) with food from the counters or dining room table, she has been a good dog. Miyoshi tolerates them both. Frankly, Miyoshi tolerates US. Just as only a cat can.

My needles have been clicking with the two other golf club covers that will be delivered on Thanksgiving; my self-imposed deadline. Once those are finished the second clog for DH is started with the first row knitted. Once that is completed, the two pairs for the boys will be cranked out so that all can be felted happily together (note to self, buy a few zippered pillow cases).

In the meantime, my brain keeps thinking (by thinking, I mean dreaming) about all of the other cool things that could be had from the significant stash I have been quietly acquiring. Socks are becoming more of an interest again.

I have the second to this shorty sock on the needles and am making progress. A few hours with the inlaws last weekend enabled me to knit the heel flap, turn the heel and get into the gusset.

As for the winter knitting dreams, I saw a great video clip from Philosopher's Wool that definitely intrigues me. (Look for the few free patterns there too.) The cute little sampler purse is darling and looks like great practice. How about those felted purses? Yeah, I'm thinking I need one of them too!

Christmas stockings are also nagging at me to. Ugh. Well, not ugh. Knitting is knitting and the plans are as important as the process.

On that note...I think I'm going to have to make myself another pair of the felted clogs. Mine are coming up on a year (Christmas Eve was the first night I wore them) and the first layer of the heel/bottom is starting to disappear. I would like to make myself another purse. Any purse really. Feeling the love of another Sophie bag. I have some wonderful Paton's Merino to make some cute stripey number.

With my birthday gift certificates to this fantastic store (a local favorite of mine), I bought some fuschia and that great lime/grass green Cascade 220 just because I liked the colors. And! I bought one dark charcoal grey ball of alpaca that told me wants to be a lacy cowl. That ball of yarn ranks as one of the most expensive single skein of yarn I have purchased. (The sock yarn seen above is a Lorna's Laces and those were the most expensive thus far.)

Dreams are good. Plans are good. And the process is very good.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

You know what they say about a guy with really big feet...

Yeah, that their wife has to knit really big slippers! What did you think I was going to say??

This felted clog pattern from Fiber Trends is nothing short of amazing. That being said, this pattern kicks my butt every time I attempt it. I have mentioned this before. This pattern is my nemisis. While I made myself a pair last year I worked very hard to get them done. The first 7 rows are intense. With W&T, M1, k1, etc. bouncing back and forth. Thank goodness there are some straight knitting rows in there to let my brain cool off. This is one of those patterns that I cannot have the boys awake, cannot watch TV or carry on a conversation. Nevertheless, the results are worth every ounce of blood, sweat and tears.

I bought yarn a few days ago to make the boys each a pair. Boy A wanted red (for the primary color) and Boy B wanted orange. Once dad's are finished I will start the boys'. The nice thing about their birthday being only a few weeks after Christmas, if the knitting plans I have made fail, I have a few more weeks to finish up!

I mentioned a while ago that I finished a pair of mittens to match the Sprout (seen on this page--scroll down a bit) and a scarf using the Harlot's (scroll down to Oct 12) clever pattern for a teen to match a rib hat. These were all part of the charity knitting that left here weeks ago.

The Christmas/Birthday list consists of the following:
Finish the Fiber Trends clogs for DH
Make a pair for each boy
Finish golf club covers for mother-in-law (actual self-imposed goal of Thanksgiving)

While that is not as long a list as most serious knitting is rather daunting to me. (Refer to second paragraph in this post. I will have to make 5 more using the nemisis pattern!) I will find the zone.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Who was that masked man?

A little late on the Halloween costume pictures, but better late than never. Boy B is Batman and Boy A is a dinosaur. Heeee. They just make me laugh.

And just for some fall fun. Here are a few shots taken today. Playing with a "hovercraft" found in our yard a few weeks ago.

Knitting content to come. Have a beautiful fall weekend everyone!