Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In Like Flynn on a Schwinn

Hip, hip, hooray! I'm a proud new member of the Knitting Blogs webring. Welcome to any new visitors. It makes for a great 4-month knitaversary (March 14) and 9-month birthday for Malcolm (June 14).

All day I've been thinking about what this means for my blog and how I want to use the blog, what goals I have for it, etc.

The main purpose of my blog is to open myself up to the connections between knitting and motherhood and creativity. Knitting and motherhood are such tactile experiences. You have to be persistent, willing to learn and able to switch horses in midstream if something's not working. In other words, you have to be creative.

The good thing about knitting is that you see results a lot faster than with motherhood. I want to set up a photo gallery like some other blogs have to keep track of the FOs. I'm not a total photo whore, but I do love me some knitting pictures. (Goal #1)

Speaking of other blogs, I do have to give a shout out to some of my inspirations. I want to grow up to be just like: Stephanie, Kathy, Laurie, Wendy, Ann and Kay, Lolly and Franklin. Goal #2: A blogroll, which will consume my knitting time, but I do love reading them.

I need to stay in touch with the creative force, especially on days like the last few, when Oren's working a lot, the baby is restless and the dog has to be taken out more frequently (too many chicken bones scammed from the sidewalk will do that to you, Mia). Sometimes I feel like the tedium, the routine, the mundane is close to overwhelming me. And I wonder what difference I'm making in the world.

But then I figure out a new technique (whoo-hoo, I-cord!) and I can feel the juice running through me. Or I Meet Delores, and I can't stop laughing. And ideas for writing and knitting and traveling and photographing start running through me, too.

I find the more I write, the more I read, the more I knit, the more I want to do it all. I want to take that urge to create and teach Malcolm that it is the most important thing he can do. I want to be creative in showing my love to him, to Oren, to my family, to my friends. I want the creative force to overwhelm the destruction in the world -- the destructive lure that always calls.

I'm going to use this blog to inspire myself and to remind myself that I am a creative person. As long as I keep affirming that, I can stay focused on the present moment -- on mothering, on writing, on knitting, on loving, and on creating with all my being.

Knit on.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Terror on the High Needles

Have been watching Blackbeard: Terror At Sea while knitting. The excitement is very conducive to fast knitting, just not accurate knitting.

I've had to rip back at least 14 rows on the sweater while watching, 6 of them twice. I forgot to put two selvedge seams outside the armhole decreases. Then I tried to go too far with the yarn at the end of one of the balls. I now need to add two new balls (I'm "striping" the yarn to get around having two different dye lots), so I decided to take a break.

The Blue Sky bulky is so soft when it's knitted up. The two dye lots make the body of the sweater look like a jewel with slightly different colored facets. The only problem is that moving the bulky yarn over Size 19 Addis makes my hands hurt after a while.

I finished Mary's faux suede rose-colored belt. I like how it turned out, and since I have quite a bit more left, I cast on for a kerchief to match. I'll have to start Laura's next. It's in the fuschia colorway. I think I'll post pictures when both are done.

Solution to sock dilemma: My saviors at the LYS. Karida is teaching a toe-up sock class next week, and I'll be there. Once I learn the basics of socks from the toe up, I'll tackle the top down, including my dream project: Nancy Bush's Norwegian Stockings.

Tangent on Blackbeard: I've been fascinated with Mr. Teach since I was a little girl and my dad took us on the long ferry ride out to Ocracoke Island. Ocracoke was Blackbeard's hangout and the place where, legend has it, he died. His quartermaster, William Howard, settled on Ocracoke, and the Howard's Pub is still the cornerstone of the island.

I had forgotten about the history I had learned of the island when Oren and I first went there. But it was part of the attraction when we decided to get married on Ocracoke in 2003. Wouldn't it be cool to have a knitted pirate hat to wear next time we go there?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Mohair Is Back

You are Mohair
You are Mohair.You are a warm and fuzzy type who works well with
others, doing your share without being too
weighty. You can be stubborn and absolutely
refuse to change your position once it is
set, but that's okay since you are good at
covering up your mistakes.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I think I may have the sock dilemma solved.

F-ing Sock

The title pretty much sums it up.

F-ing sock.

If anyone can tell me how the hell not to end up with an ankle hole that is half the size of what it should be, please let me know. It seemed like everything was going okay, the short rows (I had a little help from Interweave to figure out the wrap-turn thing) were working, but then I finished knitting back to the gusset increases, and didn't freaking work.

Now I've pulled out so many stitches, I have no idea where to go from here. Did I pull out the gussets? No idea. Is the heel gone? Oh yeah ba-bee.


It does not help that I am generally feeling what one would term "malaise." I don't feel like cleaning, budgeting, laundering, dusting, sweeping, etc. It takes all the energy I have to play with and take care of the baby. Why? I don't have a daily job, which used to be the focus of my nervous energy.

Maybe that is the answer. I would be neurotic no matter what the circumstances. Ha. That's funny, huh?

Oh yeah.

F-ing sock. I blame it entirely.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Serious Start-itis

Along with visits from Indiana, New York and L.A. relatives, the Chinatown bus ride, MoMA, and the wreck of the Orange-mobile, I have been stashing away yarn and developing a serious case of Start-itis, as recently diagnosed by the Yarn Harlot.

I just finished Stephanie's book, right around the time the Knitting Olympics wrapped up. Kudos to her for a brilliant idea, a wonderful book and general all-around knitting greatness. She's got good Yarma.
On to my Start-itis. Until recently, I had 5 -- count 'em, 5 -- projects on the needles. A summary:
1. The Warmest Spoil Me Sweater of Buttery Goodness in the Whole Wide World (TM) with the Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky in teal and orange duotone. Love the yarn texture, don't love the way I have to bully the yarn around the needles. Back is done, front is half done. I really need to push on this.
2. Elizabeth's Baby Blanket in TLC Cotton Plus white. I cast on the long edge, so even though I have three box repeats done, I've got 6 more to go. I also figured I needed to buy another skein, but it's in another dye lot, so I'll have to see if I can stripe it to blend it in.
3. A SOCK. Let me repeat, A SOCK. In Patons Classic Wool Merino in deep olive, which I bought a while back to attempt socks for Oren. I had been intimidated by the DPNs until now, and then one evening as I was drooling over sock patterns online, I stumbled onto this pattern, realized I had the same wool and dpns, and cast on. Actually, I think I had seen this pattern before and bought this yarn because I wanted to learn how to do a toe-up sock. Then promptly forgot about it. Serendipity is sometimes how you create it. I'm at the gusset increases.
4. Nifty Knitted Belt V.1 in Lion Suede's rose colorway. (I also bought fuschia.) On "my" show, they had this belt pattern, and I thought my youngest sisters would like it, being hip and all that. I love the drop stitches but for reasons of not paying attention, I haven't been able to stay on pattern as well as I ought. Still it ought to be my FO #8 soon, though.
Wait, wait, wait, Ginny, did you miscount? You've only posted 6 FOs on your blog.
Well, #5 on the WIPs list has crossed over to the win column.

5. As modeled by the boy, Spiral Top Down hat knit with Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora from less than one ball. I guess one double point project wasn't enough. I used Brittany Size 6 Birch needles, which could not be more comfortable. I love me my Addi Turbos, but wood needles feel so natural and yummy.

The yarn, while soft and washable, did get on my nerves a bit though. It does not hang together like wool, so I kept sticking my needle through the middle of the strand, which meant some snags developed. Then, once I was done, I found this review. Hmm. I originally found this yarn on sale at Stitch DC in the cream and red, then bought some more red at the Georgetown store's anniversary sale. I still intend to make Malcolm a sweater from the 7 balls I have left. Just have to find a pattern.

So the hat was originally supposed to be for the boy. However, as you can tell, Monsieur Pumpkinhead is right at the limit for the hat. I used the calculator and his head measurement and everything, but I guess his head is bigger than I measured. Since he can't wear it, I believe I will gift it, maybe to my cousin's new baby.

Will update on my stash enhancement next...

So Much to Say

Meanwhile, a picture worth a thousand words, as they say.

This is my Safta. My very first, my one and only Safta. Safta is Hebrew for grandmother, and it's true, I actually have four grandmothers by blood and marriage that I love very much. But Sonia is my only Safta.

As soon as I met her, the week before my wedding, she treated me and Oren just like family. Which Oren is, to a degree. We finally tracked it back to determine that Sonia's late husband's grandfather and Oren's great-great-grandfather were brothers.

But family is how you find it. Sonia and the rest of the Garins are our cousins, pure and simple. And when I started the Feather and Fan pattern scarf from Scarf Style out of the ripped remains of my first abortive attempt at a scarf, I thought it might be nice if I could get it done for Sonia's birthday.

I had plenty of the two Rowan Kidsilk Haze colors I used, but soon ran out of the Manos del Uruguay wool because of the width the scarf turned out to be. After harassing my LYS for a couple of weeks, I finally found it at my other LYS (the benefits of living in a big city). Truth be told, Springwater has a giant selection of Manos.

So in the week before her birthday party, I knitted like crazy to be done with Sonia's scarf. All she wanted on her 86th birthday was for her two children, three grandchildren, two in-laws and cousins to show their creativity. I started working on this scarf before I knew that, but it fit perfectly.

And of course, it wasn't done when I got there. So listening to everyone's stories and songs, I stitched the final few rows. Stitched in love and warmth and family togetherness. My mom and stepdad were in from Indiana too, and they just added to the gathering.

My sixth FO is one that I will never forget. Not only was it the first yarn I ever purchased, but it was my first repurposed project and first lace stitching. And it was given to my one and only Safta, with love.

Will try to post more later about the rest of the excitement over the last few weeks...lots of visitors, traveling and one car wreck.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Turbo-Charged...and Back

turbo charged
You are "turbo" charged.Fast moving and classy, you get things done with
power and grace. Your expensive tastes can
be deceiving, since what you really value is
quality and efficiency. As you're careening
around those corners in life, finishing a
dozen knitted objects each month, stop and
smell the roses. Don't miss the beauty of

What kind of knitting needles are you?