Friday, 31 October 2008

Several Scarves!

Well, hooray, I have finished 3 scarves in the past week. The first is for Heather, based on the Matthew pattern by Myrna Stahman. This is a wool blend and is about 36" x 6".

Next up is another one from the same green wool blend. It is a lace diamonds pattern stitch with moss stitch borders. This one ended up being 31" x 8".
Finally, scarf number 3 is from a navy wool blend that has little sprinklets of other colours just tossed in to make it interesting. I used a fishtail lace pattern for it with moss stitch borders also. It turned out to be 33" x 7".

I am going to move on to fingerless gloves and hats next. Playing with the patterns is really a lot of fun and keeps things from getting too repetitious. Plus, I have been listening to Lime & Violet's podcastswhile knitting which really makes the time fly by. I have found that my knitting goes along much quicker when I'm listening rather than trying to watch DVD's, which was my previous SOP. And, unfortunately, if I'm perusing my crafty blogs for inspiration, the knitting speed slows to something like the speed of slugs.

I didn't find a sincere pumpkin patch to hang out in tonight so I guess I'll be knitting at home. If anyone sees The Great Pumpkin, tell him I said "hey" and ask if he wants to place an order for a hat. :-)

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Are you blogging instead of writing?

If you use the excuse "but I'm blogging" as to why you aren't making progress on that book, short story, poem, etc. that is languishing somewhere in the recesses of your mind, you simply must take a look at this little gem by the author, Robin Hobb. (Many thanks to DD#1 for posting this on her blog, "Everything's Just Smooty").

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

On The Design Front

Just a quickie update while my brain is going in way too many directions. No pictures today, but here's what I'm sketching and/or brainstorming about:

Baby blankets
Fingerless gloves/wristers
Scarf/ascot/warm-your-neck thingees (yes, that is the technical term)
Slouchy hats (kind of like a beret, only more relaxed)

Note to those of you who read the Amelia Peabody series of books by Elizabeth Peters. I'm thinking I need something similar to her belt-of-many-purposes so I don't have to hunt down my various tote bags whenever I need to measure/cut/dig up a stitch marker/find the ibuprofen/count rows/etc., etc., etc. I mean, seriously, you just can't hang that many things around your neck without it being way too cumbersome. Even when I keep most everything for my current project in one tote, if I alternate amongst the many projects I have going, I really don't want to have to regroup just as I walk out the door because the "necessaries" are in another bag. Perhaps something along the lines of a carpenter's tool belt. hmm...

And, speaking of tote bags - the other night a friend of mine asked me why I kept my knitting in an insulated tote. I never really thought about it but, yeah, it is insulated. I just picked it out because it is squarish and I don't have to worry about it falling over all the time like most other bags. Sure, it doesn't hold all that much but it is perfect for the smallish projects that I seem to be concentrating on now. Also, it has a nice outside pocket to store my (apparently) shy cell phone which is always hiding at the bottom of any bloody thing I carry it in. I shall have to think of something witty for future questions though - perhaps my knitting designs are so hot that I have to guard against spontaneous combustion?

Talk about a strange segue - from knitting to spontaneous combustion. Only the brain of someone with way too much obscure info packed into it could pull that one off.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Easily Amused

So I had to go over to Knit Wars and post my accomplishments for the day. That would be lots of knitting, a bit more tinking than I would have liked (drat those two stitches that just disappeared without even waving "goodbye" - I hunted them down and found them about 4 rows back but it seemed more like 40), some KIP time at the Borders at Stonecrest Mall, and now I'm looking at the yarn for scarf number 3! Hooray - I'll start that one tomorrow.

So, what is it that has amused me quite so easily? Well, over on Knit Wars you accumulate some pretty nifty inventory as you amass points. I was perusing my "stash" and found the following:


Medallion of Good Playership, Golden Row Counter, Tome of Perseverance, Certificate of Guilt Free Stash Enhancement, Gift Certificate of Guilt-Free Yarnage, Crown What Says "Weird Fiber Lady" and 237 gold pieces.

Okay, the Crown What Says "Weird Fiber Lady" just got me giggling. I'm sure if my girls read this I can count on one or more of them making some wacky sort of crafty goodness that mildly resembles said crown. I mean, this is the gang that comes up with pipe cleaner creations like the one below...
This is the mouse in an exercise wheel that is supposed to be my pet substitute since I can't have animals here in the condo. Mary made it - it's in 3D and sits on top of my computer. I love animals that don't eat anything and you don't have to clean their cages or take them for walks. :-)

Whilst Knitting...

I tend to sit at the computer and read lots of blogs whilst I am knitting. Mostly the blogs are about crafty things, which is pretty obvious by my list in the right-hand column. Occasionally, somebody will post something fun that I just have to try out because it's know. So, here's the latest bit of flotsam that floated my way.

You are The Empress

Beauty, happiness, pleasure, success, luxury, dissipation.

The Empress is associated with Venus, the feminine planet, so it represents,
beauty, charm, pleasure, luxury, and delight. You may be good at home
decorating, art or anything to do with making things beautiful.

The Empress is a creator, be it creation of life, of romance, of art or business. While the Magician is the primal spark, the idea made real, and the High Priestess is the one who gives the idea a form, the Empress is the womb where it gestates and grows till it is ready to be born. This is why her symbol is Venus, goddess of beautiful things as well as love. Even so, the Empress is more Demeter, goddess of abundance, then sensual Venus. She is the giver of Earthly gifts, yet at the same time, she can, in anger withhold, as Demeter did when her daughter, Persephone, was kidnapped. In fury and grief, she kept the Earth barren till her child was returned to her.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Saturday Wrap-Up

The past couple of days have been interesting. Let's see - on Thursday, I went to lunch with my former boss and had yummy Mexican food. We've been trying to get this lunch in since - let me think - last winter, perhaps? Afterwards, I wandered over to Atlanta Sewing Center and bought a new foot pedal for the Bernina. It will be so nice to be able to sew on a good machine again! I have only used the Golden Touch and Sew (circa 1972) for emergencies and it's really not running well. It will be nice to retire it again and let it sleep in the dark recesses of the sewing machine cabinet until we need to resuscitate it once more.

The new foot pedal is much more sleek and compact than the old, clunky one (which was about twenty years old). Considering I've had this machine since about 1987 and the death of the foot pedal is the first problem I've ever had with it, I'd say my $500 investment has paid off big time.

I've decided to tweak the scarf pattern a little bit and hope to use it as a prototype for some Etsy offerings. Watch for an announcement when I'm up and running with that project. Also, check out my stats on Knit Wars - I'm up to a level four Shaman already - totally cool!

Yesterday, most of the gang went to lunch with Grampa to celebrate Squirrel's 22nd birthday. Here's a picture for your enjoyment:

Here's the birthday girl exiting through the famous red door of the Dwarf House in Duluth.

And here are the squirrel pajamas I gave her.

Changing gears, I would like to point out something we considered absurd today whilst hanging out at ye olde Mall O'Georgia. I wish I had taken my camera to illustrate but let me attempt to draw you a virtual picture. Outside the mall, there is a fountain which is often inundated with small children in the searing summer Georgia heat. There is no wading pool, just geysers of water with a walkway that goes through the middle. Kids run in and out, splashing wildly, which amuses those of us who are not daring enough to make fools of ourselves (even though we are secretly wishing we could cool off similarly).

Now, picture a lovely autumn day without said children running around. Things are peaceful and calm but your eyes are drawn to a nearby sign which reads...No Lifeguard On Duty. Okay, folks, are we really talking about a drowning hazard here? And, let's face it, if a child slips and falls is this any different from the possibility of doing the same thing should the floor in the mall be wet? On rainy days when people are tracking water into the mall, should there also be a sign saying the lifeguard still isn't on duty?

Perhaps we have warped senses of humour...okay, I will admit that we definitely have warped senses of humour...but still...several of us thought this was a tad bizarre.

Here's one last picture in front of the Dwarf House, one of my mom's favourite places to eat with the kids.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Finally Finished!

Last night was a Kill Bill-athon. We watched both movies and I knitted for about 4 hours. So, around 2am or so, I finally finished my socks and promptly slipped them on, was grateful for the chilly weather, and slept in them. Lots of sock-y happiness! And, lest we forget the reason I knit more often socks of the toe-up category, let us take a look at the amount of yarn left over from this venture.I kid you not - this is how close I cut this. I had originally planned on 6 rows of ribbing, but changed it to 5. And, since I always have problems getting the bind-off stretchy enough, I used a needle several sizes larger to see how that would work. Lo, and behold, I got a perfectly stretchy finish. Those of us with less-than-svelte ankles appreciate a truly elastic-y top to our socks.
On the scarf front, let's take a look at how far along I've come. I think I worked on the scarf through Kill Bill I and the socks through II. I didn't want to slight either project, you know.

My Knit Wars status certainly took a leap during that knitting frenzy but I am becoming quite obsessed with making sure I keep accurate records of my time. Last night, I even pulled out the stopwatch. Can we say OCD much?

Another one of my obsessions is blog reading. My list here is by no means a fraction of the ones I follow - rather like the neverending blogroll. Of course, when I'm visiting someone's blog, I have to take a look at who he/she reads, and then I might end up reading five or six new ones and...well, you know how that goes. I'm almost afraid to put my actual list here because it might be longer than my blog posts. There are so many incredibly talented people out there that I just can't resist looking at all those fantastic creations. Thank goodness I can knit while reading them all...and thank YOU for reading my blog.

Monday, 20 October 2008

What I'm Up To Today

I am happily (make that hysterically) listening to the Lime & Violet's Daily Chum podcast whilst updating my blog and working on Heather's scarf. So, I thought I would post a couple of pictures of my latest projects. I was planning on just working on the scarf, but I may be laughing too hard to actually follow the pattern correctly.

So, let's start with the scarf. I found the pattern which I am kinda/sorta following but not totally because, yeah, that's just me...ooh, look a castle...snaps fingers okay, I'm back now. Yes, the pattern. Well, here's the story - several years ago, when Heather was in college, we attended a play called "The Laramie Project" which was based on the events of the 1998 murder of Matthew Wayne Shepard. About a week ago, I was noodling around on the Net and I found two patterns that were designed in Matthew's memory. I, of course, sent the link to Heather and asked her if she would like me to make her one of the scarves. She picked the pattern called "Matthew" and expressed the opinion that it was probably too hard and I shouldn't really bother...which, of course, I took as a challenge.

So, here is my version of the Matthew scarf. I am constantly reminded of the kids who performed in the play and the story of Matthew so I am dedicating this scarf to the memory of all of you guys...whether you know it or not.

The other WIP that is amazingly nearly finished is my socks. (cue Daffy Duck saying "Mine, mine, all mine!") This is a cobbling together of several patterns, of course, because it's just too boring to use only one when 2 or more will do, right? The yarn is Cervinia Calzetteria which I got from Smiley's Yarns a couple of years ago and is 70 percent wool. I can't wait to finish so I can wear them now that the weather is turning colder. These are knit toe-up, which is now my favourite way to make socks. Heels and toes are garter stitch but the pattern stitch is (I think) from Charlene Schurch's second sock book, More Sensational Knitted Socks (can you tell I started these quite a while ago?). I can finally see the end of the skeins so I must be nearly finished. Happy sock dance!

Well, I have to go pick up my artistic daughter, Mary, who has been spending several days with an equally creative friend, wreaking havoc (I'm sure) on said friend's house. The first night they were together, they painted the glass in the French doors to look like stained glass. Oh, and I guess I should mention that they did this in the wee hours of the morning because these two girls are major night owls. She is having such a good time, I'm lucky she's actually letting me bring her home. I had to bribe her by offering to let her paint my French doors which I'm sure she will want me to post here. I'm hoping to get my SO to drive to pick her up so I can work on Heather's scarf. We shall see!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Project Update

What in the world am I working on now? Well, let's see...

I just started a scarf for DD#1 from green Woolease. I'm finishing up a pair of socks for myself (Really...they are for me. I am not going to give them away. Even though I'm pretty sure they would fit one of my daughters, I am going to hang onto these...uh huh...right.) Then there's the swatch/scarf of celtic/cabled patterns that I'm experimenting with to see what I'll end up using in baby blankets.

Now, for quilting, I have so many projects started that are over at Melissa's that I am not even going to count them (out of sight, out of mind) but I have a duvet that I am refashioning into a king-sized quilt at the top of my list of WIP.

Last week I finished up a baby blanket and matching hats which are pictured here.

That's just the abbreviated version of my To-Do List. I'm also reading about 5 books and studying medical terminology. But I made time for DD#1 today which we spent at Borders for coffee, Joanne's for cross stitch supplies, and then brunch at the IHOP. Now that I have ingested a few cups o'caffeine, I'm ready for an evening with my knitting.


I just discovered Knit Wars! Whist perusing the neverending list of blogs that I follow, I found a kinda/sorta role-playing game for those of us for whom knitting, crocheting, or spinning just needs even more addicting qualities. Stroll over to Lime & Violet's Daily Chum and check it out. I just registered as Wombat of Doom (who is really surprised at that?) and can't wait to get started.

Friday, 17 October 2008

In Which I Introduce Myself

My name is Patti and I am a dabbler.

Okay, I prefer to call myself a dilettante or, perhaps, a Renaissance woman. The fact remains, however, that I am spread way too thin and can't choose just one area in which to specialize. I love too many things and there just aren't enough hours in the day in order to do justice to each of my creative endeavors. Thus, my dilemma - rather like the old Lay's potato chip commercial and not being able to eat just one.

I hope those of you who follow me are similarly affected by this disorder and we can reach out to each other in acceptance and support. There's no 12-step program for this malady but who cares? Are we having fun yet? Of course we are.