Thursday, October 29, 2009

Page 5

As many of you know, you can "Friend" people on Ravelry. Friends you know. Friends you would like to know. Friends who knit pretty things. Friends who are interesting. Friends who Friend you. There are always lots of Friends to be had.

I have 6 pages of Friends. Many of which I met through Flickr and met in person at Rhinebeck (hooray for FRIENDS!).

The funny thing about some of these that the ones I look up the most are on Page 5. What's important about Page 5? Well, when Ravelry pulls up your Friend page there are quick links to pages 1, 2, 3, 4...and then 6. To access page 5 you have to go to 4 or 6 and hit next or back respectively. OR you can go to the Hop button and drop down to 5. Page 5 requires some extra attention...high maintenance Friends? Just joking - they all rock it!

Some of my page 5-ers worth mention (in alpha order):

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Handknits a plenty...but now what?

Once upon a time all knitters were "beginners". We first learned knitting, purling, casting on and binding off. We made large wobbly rectangles and called them scarves. We made potholders for everyone we knew! And through patient practice we learned how to control our tension, test our gauge, work with different needle sizes and read patterns. We became honest to goodness KNITTERS!

As you know by now, I learned to knit back in the mid-90s. In the first year I made a couple basic items and even graduated to SWEATERS (possibly 3 or 4). But then I battled carpal tunnel - a combo of knitting TOO tight (beginners mark) and using the computer at work in a way that did not agree with me (THANK YOU, HUMAN SCALE, for helping me - love them - highly recommend).

When my family was heading to Martha's Vineyard in August 2006 I decided to bring some yarn and needles and make my daughter, then 9 months old, a sweater. After all, what else is there to do when everyone else is out fishing? Little did I know that I would knit every single day thereafter. Ok, not EVERY day...but pretty close.

In the past 3 years I've learned SO much about patterns, sizing, designing and adjusting fit. In 2008 I started making samples for a LYS and test knitting for some designers I've met along the way. I've traveled near and far for my craft. I've gone out of my way to find yarn shops while on vacation...instead of a souvenir t-shirt, I buy yarn. I've knit for charity. I've enhanced my stash (ten fold?) and I've tried to help others with questions and techniques. I am a happy and fulfilled knitter.

There are still a couple of tricky things I'd like to learn: steeking for one. Yikes it scares me a bit. But I'll get there...I have a pattern, I have the yarn, I just need the "free" time (the biggest challenge) and courage to conquer it once and for all.

What's really eating at me this week is: Now what do I do with ALL the things I knit? I have Knitty's Bobbilicious sitting at the bottom of a storage tub. I wore it every Fall weekend possible in 2006. But I've moved on to more practical sweaters - things I can wear on an every day basis...and mostly to work. Do I frog it and make something else in it's place? Is that what you do? Do you say, "We had our good times, but I'm someone different so lets make you into something different too?". Then there's my beloved Capecho that was knit with no attention to gauge (clearly) and which I made several modifications to along the way. It sits. In a bin. Lonely. Last one to note is my turquoise vest. I admit, I knit this when I was fresh back on the knitting scene. I'll also admit, like an addict, that I knit the top portion of this wrong...all the knit stitches were through the back loop because I had forgotten the right way and was too lazy to REFRESH MY MEMORY. Dumb. End result: I wore this vest once, maybe twice, and I hate it. It reminds me of my idiocy. It reminds me that I made something less than perfect. Should I keep it as a reminder - or frog it and move on.

What do y'all do? Has anyone else found themselves at a similar crossroads?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Secret project...revealed!

Test (almost) available

You may recall that I was test knitting some Lorna's Laces yarn and a secret pattern back in July/August. Well, the big reveal is here!

Stefanie is such an awesome woman, mom, knitter, person, friend...I was thrilled to be involved in such a great children's pattern

Friday, October 23, 2009

Well, Friday didn't come soon enough

An enormously looooooooong week full of exhausting days and nights and I'm sooooooo thrilled it's Friday that I'm putting lots of exxxxxxxtra letters in my wooooooords (ha ha)

On Sunday hubbins and I cleaned the house from top to bottom as best we could because my sister and her kids were going to be visiting us the following afternoon. Nothing like visits from family to get your house clean! By the time we went to bed our home was a long would it last?

With a family visit my plan was to work 4 hours on Monday and take a half vacation day to be home around 2:00pm. But on Monday morning there was something wrong with the Amtrak lines running in and out of of Penn Station. And our train sat and sat and sat some more. Lucky for me that I signed up for transit alerts on my blackberry because they, at least, provided information that the conductors did not. We continued to sit. By the time we got to Penn (8:40 - an hour late) I had to make a work or not to work. If I went to the office I wouldn't have been able to stay 4 hours without disrupting the Master Plan for the afternoon. So I made the call to head back home. I took a delayed 8:50 train and was home around 10:00. Peanut was delighted to see me and but a little confused as to why I was there. She curled up on the couch and settled in for a cozy nap. I, on the other hand, got down to business and cranked away for a couple hours doing work. Ken came home around 1:00 and we ate lunch while he worked on his laptop. It was kinda cute. My sister and her kids came over later than expected but we all had a wonderful visit...and another exhausting day came to a close.

The girls and Matt

Back to work on Tuesday and I hit the ground running. By the time I got off the train that afternoon, I felt a spasm in the left side of my back. When I got up to go to bed, I could barely straighten up. I slept with my heating pad...which seemed to help...but had an awful nights sleep. I dreamt that I was in some snowy place and was tired and just wanted to go to bed. As I was falling asleep in my dream it was time to get up. And then it was...

Wednesday. Brought more of the same rushing around, organizing, and exhaustion. A woman I met on Ravelry had invited me to her knitting group a while ago. Because it was summer and we were heading on vacation I missed the early September dates. I missed the earlier October dates due to our Vineyard trip. So I vowed I would go but needed a bit of reassurance from Ken that he would not complain to me about it later. He's supportive...but he also likes to instill guilt on occasion. So I changed into some jeans, grabbed my bag and off I went. What a GREAT group of ladies. I'm not sure how often I'll get to go, but I would love to see some of them again. Ran to B&N afterward to get the new IK Holiday issue. Cashier said "Gee, that's a lot for a magazine" - thanks guy. Went home and Ken rewound Glee so I could watch it from the beginning. Gawd do I love that show! The inner dork in me hearts it so much. However, another night of heading to bed after 10:00pm.

Wee-hours of Thursday found me jolted up in bed listening to the following...
"Matt, what are you doing?"
"Matt, what were you doing downstairs?"
"Matt, are you ok?"
"I don't know what I was doing"
"Okay, just go back to bed"

Matthew is a sleepwalker. This isn't the first time it's happened, but it's the most disturbing because he actually left his room, moved the gate at the top of the stairs which keeps the dog from going down during the night and getting into trouble, was downstairs doing who knows what, and came back upstairs, moved the gate again, woke Ken and then had the above conversation. It kinda freaks me out. More than a little bit. When I went downstairs to leave for work the kitchen lights were all on. We still don't know what he was doing.

Having slept with the heating pad on my back again, I woke up from a bad nights sleep and had a headache. Is it my allergies? Did the heating pad break up a bunch of toxins in my body causing the headache? Was it just a culmination of everything? Who to work on Thursday.

Our friends from VT are in NJ and came over for dinner last night. Around 6:00 Matt tells me that he volunteered to bring cupcakes in to school for a mini-going away party for their substitute Math teacher who has been with them for several weeks while the regular teacher was getting medical treatment. At least he told me at 6, instead of 8:30 like the last time. So I'm organizing the muffin trays and Ken said "Oh, I need to bring cupcakes to work tomorrow" and I look at him, more like glare, and say "Really? What's going on at your office?" "Well, it's Friday and Friday's are good days for cupcakes and I haven't been laid off this week so that's a good reason." Seriously, this is my family. So 50 cupcakes and a couple hours later...I'm more exhausted and haven't been able to relax (per my internal plan) or knit and am slightly grumpy. The grumpiness caused a wee argument with Ken and in a moment of anger (it's not easy being a step-parent sometimes) I tossed my knitting bag on the dining room floor. After talking through the issues, we went to bed around 10, again.

Woke up this morning and HALLELUJAH it's FRIDAY! Except the week wouldn't be complete if I just said TGIF, right?

Alarm clock failed...possibly a user error...internal alarm was kind enough to go off while I still had plenty of time to get ready. Getting ready to leave for train, forget I left my coffee mug in said knitting bag from yesterday...oh crap, did i also have a little coffee left in it??? Picked up bag, no puddles...phew, lucked out. Washed mug, refilled with new and off I went. Followed morning routine...get regular seat, take off coat, open bag, get makeup, apply makeup, check emails, wonder if there's anything to panic about, all good, move on to knitting time. Reached in the bag and felt my BRAND NEW IK Holiday issue...and cried a little. There had been coffee in the mug. It had leaked. My IK is now soaked with coffee. Its depressing. I try to peal the front page away from the next one and a big hole appears. I can't think. My brain is officially toast. I'm SO done with the week. I move on. My NG Men's Sweaters booklet is also damaged - though certainly not as bad. My Lady February printed pattern is trash. My sweater, on the bright side, is completely dry. But it's washable so I kinda wish it had been soaked instead of the printed materials. I pulled out the sweater and knit more of the 1x1 collar ribbing. I just kept knitting. A conductor comes on the IC and delivers an incoherent message. A couple minutes go by and my bag vibrates...a new message has come through. Sure enough...NJ Transit delays of 15 - 20 minutes! Lovely. Turns out that there was a person walking on the tracks so the trains ran single file or some nonsense. I decided to take a moment and reevaluate the magazine. Slowly and carefully, I separated each page from the last until I had a pile of fluffed up and moist edges. I felt a pang of hope emerge. I slipped it back into my bag and it's now laid out on my desk drying out with some TLC.

Arriving 15 minutes late wasn't so bad but I didn't have time to stop and get a DnD coffee (my occasional Friday treat). The best co-worker in the world emailed me while she was on her way and asked what she could get me at DnD- she's such a good friend she can read my mind! I am gleefully drinking my large French Vanilla lite and sweet and my optimism has sprung up out of the shadows.

More importantly...tomorrow is Saturday and I can sleep late for the first time in WEEKS (that is, unless it doesn't rain, in which case we have to get Matthew up to be at the school by 6:30am so he can go to his track meet). Please PRAY FOR RAIN!!!


Monday, October 19, 2009

Rhinebeck Withdrawal!

Two days later and Rhinebeck withdrawal is setting in. OMG how great was it to see everyone?!?! Forget the yarn...ok, well I bought two skeins, a mug that I had coveted since last year and two pins...but seeing all my Flickr/Ravelry friends was just out of this world!

Not to mention being/feeling stalked the entire time - but that's what I get for running a contest called "where in the festival is choo choo knits?"! All the winner's were fabulous - sorry I didn't get photos with everyone - and please, the gal I kept running into...PM me when you get a chance!

Here are some photos to reminisce...

Birthday cheers with Alyssa!

One of the contest winners...

Ann, Elspeth and me

Hooters!  Me and Kim

Emily, me and Mai

Gleek and me

Nothing keeps this girl from eating ice cream


Me and Jenn T

Me and Dora

Friday, October 16, 2009

Less than 24 hours....then RHINEBECK!!!

Howdy all! The prize bags are filled to the brim with goodies galore - SUPER THANKS TO STEFANIE JAPEL AND KALEIDOSCOPE YARNS!!!

If you haven't signed up for my Rhinebeck contest yet...get a move on!

I'll post pix over the weekend - pray for sunshine and not rain/snow!

See you there!