Thursday, June 28, 2007

What to take, what to leave behind

"So, do you have a lot of carry-on space in there? What about a roof rack?"

What knitting do you take on vacation?

Like a lot of knitters, I get some ideas for my knitting from podcasts. Lime and Violet - very funny and a great resource for yarns. Knitty D and the City - once again, a very funny duo and some great stash management ideas (but I wish they would podcast more often!) Stash and Burn - what won't these ladies try! And Knit Picks with Kelley Petkun - she seems to have such a logical mind.

All of the episodes I've been listening to lately involve choosing what to take along when travelling. After my triathlon on Saturday morning, we are loading up the truck and heading to - Pennsylvania. Via, the Wisconsin Dells. A long family vacation which, when broken up into smaller bites, is actually something we all are looking forward to. I am hoping to get some napping done, early on, but lots of knitting later on! So, what to bring?

I have about five projects actually on needles right now (baby blanket, red bag, Pink Ribbon socks, Andy's sweater and a beaded bag. Ooops - and a shawl and a scarf. So, about seven pieces. I am on a deadline with the baby blanket - so it's going. I'd like to bring the socks because they are little and easy to carry about. The shawl is actually almost finished - only two more repeats to go and then the edging.

The red bag - I'm not loving that linen. And, since I've missed some important deadlines, it's officially now on the Christmas list. Same with the scarf. So, those are not going. The beaded bag, it's knit with a dark red Rowan chunky yarn so that can wait until fall.

The big project is Andy's brown sweater. So big, it has its own bag. So big, I keep putting it off. I think I was at this point LAST summer. Its got to come with as well.

Four projects should be plenty - and if it isn't, I've got some yarn stores to visit!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

No swimming - just a whole lot of learning!

I knew this day would come - I finally got a flat tire (the back tire - a pain to remove!) while biking this morning. So, I pulled over and stumbled through the steps I learned a few weeks ago at a MN Tri Club Flat Tire Clinic. Andy held the instructions for me and took this oh-so-flattering picture. He felt like he was getting dirty looks from other lady cyclists but I really needed to do it on my own. Twenty minutes later, we were on our way.

I was originally supposed to swim this morning but the MN Masters race day set-up would have taken my whole morning (arrive at 9 a.m., swim at 10:30 a.m.) and I didn't want to miss a ride with my honey. So, I skipped the swim and we had a great ride from the capitol, out the Gateway Trail and back on the Bruce Vento trail. We ended up at the Saint Paul Farmer's Market and I still got home in time to clean some toilets. Yea.

The Saturday Seven was an exciting six uniform shirts and a uniform fleece from my Youngest Daughter. She is going into high school next year (hard to believe!) and needs the older girls' uniforms. Off they go to the other family in our school carpool. It's odd to think we won't ever need the classic "Catholic Schoolgirl" uniforms again!

We ended up the day with a great long walk (not really a substitute for a run but fun anyway) and now its time to knit and watch the news. I am still working on the green baby blanket and the red bag. I did get the "No Sheep for You" book from the library and it has some great patterns. I am looking at a cardigan pattern using Queensland Collection Cotolino yarn but it seems like a hard to find yarn. Anyone know where to get some?

Pedaling off into the sunset . . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Socking it to the "Girl from K.N.I.T.T.Y"

These aren't my feet - they are the ridiculously large feet (she knows I love her!) of one of my daughters - but these are my socks!

Yes, just taking a "Dr. Who" break and ignoring my family's demands for companionship got my socks finished. Now, I am back to the "Miss Violet's Pink Ribbon" socks of yesteryear. Yep - I gave up on the "Pink Ribbon" pattern and frogged it all last night. I am going for a quick and dirty ribbed sock so I can get this finished before July. The sad thing is while I've knitted about three pairs of socks since the start of the L&V Sock Marathon, I just realized that I've added about FIVE skeins of sock yarn in that time. I've never been interested in running a marathon - I just didn't realize that there would be so many distractions and roadside attractions to slow me down!

I got a great glimpse into knitting with other fibers last night at the MKG meeting with Amy Singer. Yep, the "Girl from K.N.I.T.T.Y" as she called herself! I didn't buy the book there because there was a line and they all sold out but I am definately going to check it out. Her information about other non-wool fibers was really informative and it gave me a little insight into why my "1824" yarn had so much droop.

I THINK it's just too heavy for the pattern, even though it was from an 1824 pattern book, so I am going to wash it and check out the shrinkage. If that doesn't work, I will take off the sleeves and reknit them. If it still doesn't look good, then, I might just knit it again in another cotton. Or, maybe, make a pillow out of it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

I never thought I would have to stoop so low for my Saturday Seven but . . . here it is. Seven pairs of little boy's size 2-4 T underwear. I could never give away men's underwear (that would be gross!) but Youngest Child outgrew these in a wink and I know someone whose boy is toilet training. Here they are - good as new.

I think my husband is just so grateful to have someone to give his tools to that this would be a perfect Father's Day card for him. In celebration of the day, we are cooking out tonight and the Girl Contingent is making cookies for dessert. That and listening to the Backstreet Boys in the kitchen. VERY LOUDLY. They are all goofballs - but they're the fruit of his loins so Husband Dear loves them all madly.

Happy Father's Day, dear! And Happy Father's Day to my own Dad who is on a trip to Scotland and Ireland and who should be on a flight from Edinburgh to Belfast right now. See you soon, Dad! Take lots of pictures!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Row that boat ashore . . .

Like many of my projects, I've put off this project to the last minute. The Minnesota Knitters' Guild is collecting hats and slippers for the Ships Project. I put off knitting my hat until absolutely the last minute. Hence, the two inches of hat on my knee! I probably will finish this tonight but . . . that depends how much ice tea I drink!

I am really looking forward to the next MKG meeting - 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 19th - because Amy Singer, the editor of Knitty will be the speaker! She is going to discuss her new book, “No Sheep for You: Knit Happy with Cotton, Silk, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo and Other Delights,” published by Interweave Press. I am not allergic to wool or animal fibers but I am not very comfortable knitting with other fibers. I am hoping to pick up a few tips on inproving my skills.

I got to meet a few other twin cities knitters last week at the Twin Cities Knitting and Crafting Moms play group. This is an offshoot of the Yahoo Groups' TCKnit Message Board. Youngest Child loved playing with the kids and I got a little of my baby blanket worked on. A very little!

After my fun-but-not-so-thrilling showing on Sunday at the Manitou Tri, I've been trying to run, bike or swim almost every day as part of the final countdown to the Lake Harriet One Mile swim on the 23rd and the Minneman Triathlon on June 29 and my knitting has really been suffering. Generally, I've been asleep ten minutes after I hit the chair.

Sunday's time? 1:54:48. That's about 20 minutes slower than last year but it was 26th for my age group. The scoop on the swim was that it was about 200 yards more than marked. I knew it seemed long! And the worst part? I finally came down with swimmer's itch. Yucky red welts. I am officially Bubonic Sally.

There was no Saturday Seven - I have a pile of stuff, but no time to sort it. We'll have to have the Sunday Seven instead.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Knit where I can, when I can

Well, I generally knit wherever I go. Participating in Saturday's World Wide Knit in Public, won't be that hard for me. I take my knitting in the car, to school meetings, the dentist, to friend's houses, the park - wherever.

On Saturday, I will take my knitting along when standing in line to pick up my pre-race packet for Sunday's Manitou Sprint Triathlon. I'll take it with me to the graduation tea at Trinity School at River Ridge (I'm the tablecloth person) and I'll take it to the library as well. That is basically my Saturday!

All I am working on is - oh, please, oh, please - finish the green sock! Yes, there is a baby blanket and, yes, there is a shawl - but I really just want to FINISH THE SOCK!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

From socks to swimming . . .

Looking over my photos recently, I realized that I haven't been posting very many pictures of knitting. I've been so busy with family visits, swap sewing, the end of the school year, school events as well as ramping up my training for the first tri of the year. I'm afraid that I've been using a lot of my "Free" time for sleeping!

Today I swam a mile in White Bear Lake and then biked the 14 mile course for the Manitou Triathlon. After lunch, I did laundry, took kids to the library, got dinner together and will be leaving shortly for two back to back student evaluations. I'll finally get to sit down and knit after Youngest Child goes to bed - I have a date with "The Return of the King" and my green socks.

In the meantime, I thought you'd enjoy seeing Oldest Daughter's first completed sock.

It just killed me that she used so little of the Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn - she chose to make anklets - but she said, "That way, I'll have lots of yarn to darn with!" Can't argue with that logic! Now, she just needs to finish the next sock - she must be related to me.

Here's the swimming photo - my Tuesday Efficient Swimming class took their act on the road and hoofed it to White Bear Lake. I started off in my wetsuit but found it was much easier for me to swim without it! Maybe next spring . . .

Friday, June 01, 2007

Okay, this seemed smaller on the page . . .

When I first saw this pattern, it seemed small. In fact, I worried that it wouldn't be big enough. No problemo - my sock partner could have six or seven socks in this bag.

It started out inside out - the grey is the lining . . .

The black stripes are the sides and handles of the bag . . .

Ta Da!

As for the Saturday Seven . . .

I could joke and say it's the "Bottom of the Barrel" for me - seven pairs of pants, shorts and skirts. What's the point of having clothing that you are physically unable to wear - not now or even 20 lbs ago. They are in good shape and someone can use them. Off you go, little (very little!) pants, fly free!