Wednesday, November 28, 2007

X-Moose Is Coming Part 2*

I have casted on the _______ for _______ in a yummy yarn leftover from ________ that I made several years ago for __________. Admittedly, this was destined to be a different gift for _______, but I screwed up somewhere and wound up frogging.

I have plans to cast on ________ in that ____ yarn for ________. I hope I can finish in time.

And that _________? Well, that's going to be ________ for ________.

Once I cast on a little something for Rowan, I will post it and progress pix, because I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog (yet).

And yes, those are Franklin sheeps cheering me on. They know I. Can. Do. It.

Yay! Me!

* With apologies to Habit (11/14 and 28) and Harlot who are also in the Throes of X-moose Knitting.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Countdown to X-Moose

Well, the one absolutely positively must-finish is done! Yes!!

Here you see it in the obligatory "bed shot" since the bedspread on the bed the Other Half, Sparky, and I share is pretty much the only flat surface (that isn't covered with other stuff) that happens to be a solid color in this entire house!

Actually, I think the denim shows off the Christmas colors well.

This is (I may have mentioned) the 6th incarnation of this particular pattern.

I have played around with the placement of the motifs, and this time, I took a gigantic leap of faith and converted the pattern to in-the-round. (It worked!)

The original was knit flat to the heel. Heel stitches were moved to a holder (piece of yarn), then the instep was knit flat.

Next, a pretty standard heel flap was knit (in suitable contrasting color) the heel was turned, then the sole was knit (flat again) . A quick look at the finished stocking explains that part--only the instep is patterned on the foot.

So, okay, once the sole is the same length as the instep, the pattern calls for a switch to dpns and toe knit in the round.

Then seaming the back and the two sides of the foot. Three seams!

Let's be fair. One of the choices of patterning for the leg portion is an intarsia deer. No way that's going to be stranded and knit in the round. Ain't happening.

(Okay, the very first one, I knit in the deer. Confession time: I stranded the legs. And the antlers.)

This time around, I knit the leg part in the round (so much easier than trying to purl stranded!) and the foot flat.

Two mattress stitched seams, not three.

Then I chain stitched the little guy's name on the toe, just like the one I made for his daddy 30 years ago and the one I made for his mom a lot more recently.

All finished and ready to hang on the china cabinet, stair rail, or kitchen chair with care. Because, folks, there ain't no mantle. Not in this house or the one the little guy lives in.


And in case anyone was wondering what happened to the hat from hell, here's how I rescued it.


It looks better than it did.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Scraps and Such

Today we made our regular trip to the Second Chance Shoppe, where they are always happy to see me because I come bearing bags for the bag sale ($4 for all you can stuff in a grocery bag!)

I encountered a bunch of yarn. Nothing special about it. All acrylic. Mostly baby pastels and worsted weight, but I snapped it all up.

When I brought it home, I went through and tossed the real scraps. (Who saves and donates 6" pieces of yarn?) Then I rewound the golf ball size (and hardness) balls into loose, center pull balls. I got my money's worth.

Okay. Those of you who have heard me say that I am planning to switch to washable wool and snub the ack, even for charity knitting are laughing and saying, "I told you so," but I am Not Listening. It was a bargain. La-la-la-la.

Yesterday, we made a trip to my closest LYS, Tucker's. I swear that they have never gotten rid of anything in all the years they've been open! I found yarn from mills that went out of business more than 20 years ago!

I found 13 balls of Sugar and Cream 100% wool (!) in a lovely hunter green that will become a sweater for the Older Kid. It replaces one he's had for a long time that is officially Beyond Further Repair. ::sigh::

And I bought Canadiana to make a Christmas stocking (family pattern) for the newest member of the family.

I've made this stocking 5 times already. This is Number 6. The first one was for Baby Rowan's dad's first Christmas.

This is the first time I am freelancing and knitting it in the round.

Pattern is from McCall's Christmas Make-It Ideas 1975. The Older Kid used the pattern to practice his scissor skils at some point. Fortunately, all the pieces survived.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

In Which


I liked this color in the store! (Truthfully, I found this color "acceptable" in the store. Or suitable. Yeh. That's the ticket. Not revolting and an able companion to the other two shades of blue. Nothing more. I used a few yards from the skein and committed the rest to the next Ship Support beanie.

But let me just say that I'm not feeling the love.

I was almost to the decreasing part and thinking, "this isn't so bad," when I looked again and realized, "um, yes it is!" and so, Dear Reader, I ripped back several inches and now I am adding some stripes, because plain, it really is soooo bad.

And I have hit a wall. There are things to knit. Knittig to be done. And I Can't Get Myself Motivated.

So there!

Today, the Other Half and I will not venture into stores (except for groceries), We need to hit the farmers market, the warehouse club place (BJ's) and the local grocery chain to be Mystery Shoppers (remember to ask me to Check Out Hunger? Win a prize.)

But first, we are off to have blood drawn. Fasting. And maybe fainting, too. And then breakfast out.

I can hardly wait!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mere Coincidence?

What do whales and sock yarn have in common?

Whaling season in the southern oceans is about to begin. In case the news has been quiet in your part of the world, the Japanese have increased their quotas this year, just as numbers are starting to improve. The claim that I heard is that "scientists want to kill and study" these whales including mature humpbacks. Um, most scientists don't kill to study these days!

At this time, with whales still at low numbers, it is inappropriate for any killing to take place. Maybe in time, there might again be enough whales that culling may be acceptable, but not now.
Please sign the petition here; let's show the world that this it isn't just the Australians being parochial.

And the sock yarn?

Why, you ask, am I putting perfectly good sock yarn on my swift?

It all started on Saturday. The Other Half bought a ginger ale from the vending machine at our hotel. Two Bucks! for 20 ounces! (I'm not amused! That would be 10 cents an ounce. You can get a two liter bottle for less at the Giant down the road. But I digress.)

Sunday, we are packing to leave when I notice that there's still 2/3 of the ginger ale in the bottle.

Being frugal by nature, I grab it (and the "free" bottled water that comes with the room) for the trip home and throw them in my knitting bag.

Stop at the CVS for some diapers (hey, when a baby comes early, all the needed supplies might not be at the house yet), reach in my bag and come up wet. Very wet. Sticky wet.

Please tell me why someone who drank only a couple of ounces from the very expensive overpriced bottle of ginger ale didn't put the %&$@$ cap back on tight!

(Then explain why I didn't think to check.)

So, all of the yarn in the bag (3 of sock, 4 of baby cotton, 2 of ack) are taking a bath. And hanging out in the shower to dry. The under construction hat and sweater will get their bath when I cast off.

And that, dear reader, is what whales and sock yarn have in common.

They both need saving, is what!


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Film at 11

Here are the promised photos of Baby Rowan. He's a tiny little guy, so I have cast on another sweater, His Size. I suspect that he'll get a week's wear out of it, which will be fine, because he can graduate directly to the others I made for him.

That's the Other Half with me. Older Son played the charm card and got both of us in the NICU at the same time for a hold of the bambino.

He's tiny. And strong. Like bull. And stuborn. Like his dad. Or a bull.

Here's a close up.

He had a really rough entrance.

Tried to come into the world ear-first. Ouch.

This picture is at about 36 hours.

Picture of him immediately after birth would get someone arrested. Think Rocky. Balboa. After Apollo. Creed.

And for perspective. My thumbnail and his ear are the same size.

And the good news is, he's home.

And the bad news is, so am I.


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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Heading Out

We will be leaving shortly for a less than 48 hour trip to meet and greet the New Grand.

He has a name: Rowan (like the yarn, yes. And also like the tree.)

In mythic lore, the rowan is sacred and protective and magical. He will be a magical part of all of our lives!

Pictured left is the first thing I have knitted for the little guy, post delivery. Like Rowan, he is a little guy.

Pattern here. Scroll past the cat sweaters.

Yarn is leftover Encore. It took only a very small amount. Size 4 needles. Time to complete. One evening and part of this morning.

And now, I must shower and throw clean underwear in a bag and head out the door.

Baby pix when I return.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

A Player Yet To Be Named

He's here!

And they are still deciding on names.

No length or weight yet.

Older Kid reports that he is "a big boy for being early" and that The Dear Daughter In Law is doing well.

Baby was whisked to NICU because he "had a little trouble breathing," so keep up the good thoughts, please.

We will be leaving early tomorrow morning to see him and them. Returning Sunday.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Little Entry About Little Stuff

Now, don't get me started. This needs to be short because I will be putting on my Game Face again tomorrow for the 4th time this week! (Yes, I know it's only Tuesday!)

A girl needs her beauty sleep.

I just had to post pictures of these adorable hats that I just finished for the current Afghans for Afghans campaign.

This one's for the babies and if you are disinclined to follow the link, they need Warm Wooly Hats, Socks, and Blankets for newborns.

Oh, heck. Follow the damned link. Can you spare some animal fiber? Baby things are so tiny and knit up so fast.

The striped hat is the Top Down Bonnet w/Anime Character in a strangely lovely sock yarn called Reggio Exclusive. The red one is In a Flap Cap in Panda Woolbale.

I'm betting if you dust off your googling finger you can find those patterns in a flash. Please do, because I am too tired and lazy to link 'em for ya.

Smiling all day takes a lot out of you, and I get to do it all again tomorrow.

By the way, these are being sent in honor of the Once and Future Grand who should be arriving ver' soon!

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Saturday, November 10, 2007


There! That ought to catch the attention of the search engines!

This is not a long scientific paper on the value of Rapid Eye Movement (sleep), but rather a short discussion of the syptoms the lack thereof produces in one individual--me.

For the past week or so, I've been waking up about every hour for no apparent reason. Clearly, I am not getting in the dream time I need! And I'm here to tell you that I am dragging!

I managed to sleep about 6 hours last night, waking only once that I remember. Maybe things have turned. (I can only hope!)

I realized yesterday that it's been a while since I posted a photo of the current UFOs. That might be because I have been (mostly) serially monogamous all the while knitting for the up-coming Grand Entrance (soon, very soon!) and so, except for the two projects whimpering over there in the corner, there haven't been a lot of UFOs to speak about.

That's changed, too.

When I dragged them out, I noticed that the pile had grown somewhat! For your viewing pleasure (left to right): the reknit sweater front, the scrapghan and a baby sweater in shades of blue (yes, I really am going to stockpile a few!), the current red/white/blue afghan square, Mrs. Santa (finished) in the basket with Mr. Santa (unfinished), soon-to-be first completed entry for Fair 2008, and the Bear Claw Blanket (not even 1/2 finished).

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

No, Really, Thank *YOU*

My good friend Rabbitch is working on her spinning and dyeing and entrepreneurial (is that spelled right?) skills and has herself a nice business on the side (as if she wasn't already working hard enough, but nevermind).

Today, I got this lovely skein of yarn in the mail from the on-line store that's carrying her limited editions. It's her famous Toe Jam Sock Yarn in a colorway that she named Penny after You-Know-Who.

I know that it will make a lovely pair of socks (there's 440 yards! More than enough), but for the mo, I think I'll just keep it here by my side where I can pet it.

There was another package, too. My friend Lolly-Of-the-Private-Blog asked me if I'd be interedsted in some Merino/Cashmere blend that she had kicking around. (Lolly knows that I knit wooly things for Kids In Cold Places.) You bet I would!

She sent me these two cones of English wooly stuff. It's begging to be dyed wonderful colors (remember all the egg dye I bought on clearance!?) and made into something warm.

I can't wait!

What a great Mail Day! Yarn diet be damned!


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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Just Updatin' the Sidebar

Wow! I didn't think I had made any dent in the ol' stash this month but Woo Freakin' Hoo! Down a pound, a mile, and 10 balls!

Don't tell anyone, but I think it's because I gave some away (Prizes. Mittnz.)

And I'm not counting that fun fur up on top. No siree bob.

So, in addition to the Warm Up Box (which now contains tea bags and soup mix along with the hats), I am celebrating by knitting squares for Ship Support this month. I'd like to make one a day (30) before the end of the month, but I got a late start and I have finished only 2.5.

Will I make it? (I'm giving it my best shot.)

Will I post daily? (Not on your life!)

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

A Couple of FOs

The Younger Kid and I both survived the shopping trip and his new furniture will be delivered tomorrow.

Of course, a trip in the car required a small amount of conversation along the lines of, "I need to get some bibs or a little hat or something. . .baby gift."

Upon hearing who the happy parents are, I offered a trip to the Shoppe of Mom which was accepted.

Of course, there's nothing suitable in the Shoppe at the moment seeing as how the Older Kid's Baby's shower last weekend cleaned me out but good of Boy Things.

Being a good Shoppekeeper, I threw some leftobers together and voila, there was suddenly 24 hours later, a little hat (you've seen the pattern here before) and a pair of mitts.

I believe that I had better stockpile some of these in a variety of colors. The population, she is exploding!

And in episodes of Car Knitting, I have managed to finish 2 hats. Red Heart Classic "Spice" on the left and "Mexicali" (I think that may be derogatory) on the right.

I've already mailed to Ship Support this month so these will either be held until January, or will go in the Warm Up Box.

There are no movie reviews. (Haven't been for several weeks, do you miss them?) We're trying to catch up on TiVo.

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Sunday, Sunday

Today I: got up at 3:30 EST to drive to work to check on a "motion alarm." Mark went back to bed (he wouldn't let me go alone!) but I stayed up, so I am working on my last bit of energy at this point. Three hours' sleep is not enough! But if I nap, I won't sleep tonight.

Then, we had breakfast and went to BJ's (Costco-type) and got light bulbs and cheese. From there we went to Ollie's (sort of a downscale K-mart clearance center-type place. I found nothing.

Yesterday, I took the 28 year old homeowner son furniture shopping and had him beg for an opportunity to shop at the Store of Mom for a baby gift for a friend, Unfortunately, I had nothing in "boy" colors, so I am making a tiny ear-flap cap and mittens in stripes of colors no troop would wear (cornflower, lime and goldenrod). Just the ticket!

I also put away the laundry and ironed 5 shirts.

Now, I am waiting for the leftover spaghetti to heat up so we can have dinner. I think I will be in bed by 6.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Another Drive-by Post

I've started the 2007 Scrapghan. This one is for the Warm-Up Box for the Reservation.

As with all of them, I started with a cast on of 8 stitches on 4 dpns. Move two stitches to each of 4 needles, join and knit one round.

Increase at each end of each needle every other round. Throw in a purl round for texture or a k2tog/yo round for laciness (I'm not doing this on this one), change colors at will (stagger the changes).

Switch to circs when the dpns are crowded.

I am using 10.5s and two strands. One strand is white baby weight ack. The other is a combo of various odds and ends, mostly worsted weight, including all of the machine washable yarns from my Elann "sample" skeins.

Scissors for scale.

I can get a couple of rounds out of each of them. They add some interest.

And now, I'm heading out the door to go furniture shopping with the Younger Kid. Pray for me.

Shopping with him is never a good experience. He's a Guy Shopper: Get In, Get It, Get Out. I hope that we don't come to blows.

I am flattered that he asked me to help. (I have years of experience in furniture--first job out of college, for 6.5 years before "retiring" to have and raise children.) We've measured and drawn the room to scale. We know what will fit. I suggested moving the TV, but some things are sacred.

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