Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nice day to stay at home and knit . . .

So I am. I am up to the basket weave portion of the bodice in my "Back to School" vest and I've gone out and bought fabric for a matching skirt. We'll see how that goes. I don't mind sewing but it just means . . . less knitting!

With my digital camera still in the middle of either a mid-life crisis or a death march, the photos of my Saturday Seven barely turned out. Basically, I weeded out the DVD shelves. I never liked the movie "Antz" - those ants are all way too sassy for my four year old - and the others are DVDs that just needed to live elsewhere. A friend told me about sending them overseas to military personnel - I find it hard to imagine how many of those guys are "Men who Knit" but perhaps someone is looking for a new hobby?

On a fun note, my copy of Crazy Aunt Purl's "Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair: The True-Life Misadventures of a 30-Something Who Learned to Knit After He Split" arrived today. She will be visiting the Twin Cities on her signing tour and I will be there! I really enjoy when people take something like knitting and use it to change their lives. It just makes change seem more possible. After all, taking up marathon running or ballroom dancing to change your life seems . . . too much like work. Knitting is one step away from taking a nap on the couch. It's nice to know it can shape your future. I wonder what the unfinished Poor Pink Sock will say about my life?

Laurie Perry - a Confirmed Stop!

Thursday, October 25, 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
118 E. Broadway, Mall of America, Bloomington, MN

Friday, September 28, 2007

When it all changes . . .

So I'm a big geek - want to make something of it? Weekends are back to being my favorite part of the week. You know, when you're in school and the weekend is prime goof off time? Not that I'm really breaking any rules or anything but . . . I do enjoy being left alone (or at least with a group of people who know enough to talk ONLY during the commercials!) to watch my favorite shows.

Usually, I just end up Tivo-ing them and watching them late at night so what happens at Torchwood stays at Torchwood! it is a bit more adult than plain old Dr. Who. Thanks to my daughter's technical advice, I've already watched all of Season One on YouTube but the episodes have been removed now and I'll just have to bite the bullet and watch them week by week again. I've also been to the online Torchwood lab AND figured out how I can make my own "Giant Torchwood T" window cling. See, you can learn a thing or two from Starfleet University!

Now, if I can only convince my husband that watching Torchwood = Happy Ms. Daisy just like watching racing = Happy Mr. Daisy . . .

Also on the home front - strenuous knitting on the "Back to School" Vest. I even took it to the Minnesota Opera on Tuesday - yes, I CAN knit in the dark - and sat knitting in the interval while the rest of my Opera Group went out for a drink. Foolish non-knitters! Unfortunately, my camera battery is winding down right now and it's affected the color. Think purple, not burgundy.

Minnesota-wise, I'm part of the planning crew for the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's Fourth Annual Knit Out on Sunday, October 7, 2007. It's been great fun sending out press releases to newspapers and magazines but even more fund sending them out to knitting Podcasters! We are listed on the Stash and Burn Podcast website and I got a reply from Guido at It's a Purl, Man, but we actually were discussed on Sticks & String! That David Reidy - what a gentleman for helping us out AND it turns out he's a big fan of Garrison Keillor and "A Prairie Home Companion." Yea!

Just in case you were needing to know more . . .

The Minnesota Knitters' Guild's very own annual fall Knit-Out, a day of knitting outreach and just plain fun, takes place this year at Brookdale Center on Sunday Oct. 7 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come for free knitting lessons, door prizes, hourly fashion shows, a fastest-knitter contest, and community-service knitting projects — not to mention the offerings of local yarn shops and expert knitters. This is the MKG's own event, not to be confused with the national Craft Yarn Council's winter "Knit-Out" (see Feb. 16–17, 2008). We've held it every fall since 2004!

See Here for directions to the mall. We welcome knitters of all skills!

See you 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Brookdale Center on October 7!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pumpkin, pumpkin, who gots the pumpkin?

I finally got around to adding the leaves and segment lines to my Giant Felted Pumpkin. Not quite sure if I did the lines the right way but they look okay - and I love the leaves and vines. I was working on my BTS Vest while watching Elizabeth Zimmerman's "The Knitter's Almanac" dvd but my eyes kept closing . . . must . . . stay . . . awake.

Well, I lost that battle for awhile but since my daughters are at a school dance tonight, I'll have to knit awhile while I wait for them to come home. Yep, we're those kinds of parents.

The Saturday Seven was a mixed bag. Some patterns and needles that I'm sending on to the Interim House Knitting Ladies, as well as some pants and a turtleneck that just didn't work out and a yoga mat bag. That really sucked because I spent about $20 on it but it just didn't hang right. I just ended up carrying my own mat to the Y. Ah, well, back to watching "The Phantom of the Opera."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Back to School" for me!

Not too long ago, I picked up the "Fitted Knits" by Stefanie Japel because I had "favorited" quite a few of her designs on the web and on Ravelry. I even bought the yarn just in case I fought my way through some of the remaining "on needle" projects in my bag. Well, I gave up on the other projects. The pink sock sucks. It just looks bad and I think I might rip it back to above the gusset - that's where it's gone spectacularly wrong. Not just ugly but wrong! The bag - eh, it gets knit a few lines here and a few lines there. I might even break down and buy the really large Options needles for that project. The current needles are so blunt that it's like knitting with sausages. Brats, even.

So, I gave up and began the "Back to School" vest. Just a few rows into it and it is so soothing. Not dull or boring - just easy and NOT WRONG.

I spent a little time today with a recent Netflix choice - "Venus" with Peter O'Toole. His character is refered to in the past tense as in "He was a gorgeous man!" and yet, in a bony sort of way, he stll is. Now, it's the kind of good looking that looks better clothed but . . . most of us fit in that category! A good knitting movie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yep, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day . . . again!

So, what did YOU do to celebrate? I don't think reading, shopping and knitting really make the list but perhaps quaffing an adult beverage or two with a loved one counts as a celebration?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

More than enough for a pie . . .

I finally got a move on and felted my giant pumpkin. I was a little hesitant because I have a front loading washing machine and they don't always work well for felting. A lot of the techniques for felting in a machine (pausing the routine with a full drum of hot water, draining but not spinning the drum) just don't work with a front loader. But, it's only knitting so I just threw caution to the wind (and the pumpkin in a zippered pillow cover) and went ahead with the load. I sent it through twice with a break in between to shape and poke and that seemed fine. After spending an hour or so stuffing it through the teeny tiny hole in the bottom (plenty of time to watch "Torchwood!"), I sewed up the pumpkin and left it to dry. Once it is dry, I'll put on the leaf and vines as well as the traditional pumpkin "score lines." I think I'll skip the Jack O'Lantern grin, however.

Felting the leaf was really fun as well. I simply got it wet and soapy and then put it in a zip top baggie. After that, I carried it around and massaged it. Then I walked on it. Then I put it on the floor of my car (we had to go to the mall) and rubbed it with my foot as we drove around town. I think the ribbed rubber car mat did most of the work. Although, it did look a bit like someone's forgotten lunch . . .

The Saturday Seven continued the Halloween theme - to some extent. Five of the items are hand-me-downs from my daughters and, in the past, these always went from daughter to daughter. From large to medium to small - there was always a spot for outgrown clothing. Now, the girls aren't outgrowing anything but their tastes are definitely different. When one daughter wants to get rid of something, there isn't always a willing person to take it. So, off go the swim suit, polo shirts and tees to a local rummage sale. I've had the two "gold" necklaces since I was in college but I haven't used them in recent years except for Halloween costume duty. And, since we don't really trick-or-treat anymore - off they go to become part of some other little girl's Halloween costume. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for little girls dressed up as gypsy fortunetellers. Or mermaids. Or robots. Or cats. Now, I am living in the Boy Costume World of race car drivers and Spiderman. Sigh.

By the way, I hope all you out there in Blog Land have visited Knittymama's blog and read about her contest to raise money for the flood stricken organic farmers in southern Minnesota. She has only three steps for contest entrants:

"1. Make a donation to Sow the Seeds. You can donate online or send a check. If you are in the region you can can also donate at your local co-op. Donate $5 or $100, any amount will help!!

2. Send (her) an e-mail (knittymama AT yahoo DOT com) letting (her) know your donation amount so (she) can keep track of how much we knitters are collecting for the farmers.

3. Create a link on your blog to this flood relief contest so we can let others know about the need for help.

4. If you do the above three steps, you will, of course, be entered in a random drawing for yarn. (You knew there was yarn coming, didn’t you?)"

Her contest has been slow but steady and there is still much to do. The rewards (for the contest winners) are Fleece Artist and Spunky Eclectic Tough Sock yarns. Knittymama is also posting a running total so it's worthwhile to stop by her contest site and see how things are going. With regards to the work Sow the Seeds is doing with local farmers, check out their website for more information. Peace Coffee is also creating a "Sow the Seeds Blend" coffee as a fundraiser for their flood relief work.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ignore the wrinkles - it wore beautifully!

I had the Flower Basket Shawl all stretched and beautiful and ready to photograph . . . but I had to go to a party. A surprise 40th birthday party for a friend on a cool fall night - I needed that shawl! Luckily, it went great with a brown long sleeved shirt - the brown flecks in the blue yarn were a perfect match. So, the official Shawl Photo is draped on the wall - framed a little crookedly - and wrinkled. But I enjoyed it!

Team Lurid Yellow had to bail out of the Saint Paul Bike Classic on Sunday - with a crash. Oldest Daughter wiped out at about the 3/4 mark - pretty much the farthest point from the Start/Finish line - and since her scrapes were pretty uncomfortable, we rode the sag wagon back to the Ramsey Hill rest stop and visited the nurse. Her tights, jackets and gloves kept her from the worst but she has a pretty big owie on her knee as well as a few other scrapes. Next year, we are having lessons in crashing (keep your arms and knees in tight, hands on handlebars and let your thighs and arms take the brunt) as well as listening to your mother - "Slow down going around that corner, dear!"

Knitting wise - I went all Yarn Harlot and cast on for a Back to School U-neck Vest in Cascade 220 in a heathered purple. This pattern from Stefanie Japel's "Fitted Knits" just called to me from Ravelry - so I broke down and bought the book and the yarn. I'm also thinking of the Cozy V-Neck Pullover."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Saturday sights and sounds . . .

Pretty boring. It was a lovely afternoon but I didn't do anything besides run errands and clean house. I used to have a rule that all cleaning needed to be done on Friday afternoon so we all had a relaxing weekend but, now that the girls are all teens, we just can't fit it in. I hope that tomorrow allows for more knitting time.

Today's seven was mostly leftover books, some misplaced baby clothes and a tee shirt I just never liked. I gave away the girl-related books to GFM - she's got a daughter and she'll probably find a good use for the information.

Knitting-wise, I'm waiting for the Flower Basket Shawl to finish blocking and whiling away the time working on a little shopping bag as a gift. I have to admit, this Red Bag (Oat Couture's Stow Away Shopping Bag) is the second attempt. I tried it with another pattern and some linen and almost lost my mind! I think it's just the very blunt needles needed for the large gauge. It's like knitting with sausages.

I would love to find a pointy version of circular 15 and 1/2 size needles. Any ideas? I might see if the Knit Picks Options come in such a large size - I like the smaller sizes a lot.

I didn't like knitting with linen, either. This Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece is about as coarse as I am willing to go. I am such a wool yarn kind of girl!

Here's hoping the nice weather holds for tomorrow - it's the St. Paul Classic Bike Tour - and Oldest Daughter and I are skipping church to cycle the city. If it starts to rain, I'm pretty sure that there will be some praying going on!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Hallelujah, I'm done!

It won't be ready to wear for a little while and it isn't perfect - but I like it! I am going to have to sneak some peaks at similar shawls on Ravelry to see how mine measures up.

I didn't mention this the other day but my "unexpected knitting time" was the result of Youngest Child's first visit to the emergency room. He woke up at 4 a.m. with an incredibly stiff neck and was just miserable. So, while I was driving the other children to school, Mr. Daisy drove Youngest Child into the emergency room.

It turned out to be just a strained muscle in his neck but he was not a happy boy! Especially because he missed the first day of school. But, he is fine now and we have heard about a virus/cold? going around that includes a sore neck.

I just hope I don't need any more trips to the ER in order to finish the Poor Pink Socks!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Birthday noises can be good


Tuesday was Youngest Daughter's birthday and this photo shows off two of her birthday surprises - a manicure and an ipod. She also got some sewing related gifts as well - sewing is her latest craft passion - so she can turn out lots more of these . .

I'm not so "doll oriented" of a sewer as she is (I do curtains and clothing) but she's made quite a collection. Her aim is to get good enough so she can sell her dolls and buy - guess what? - a doll. A Super Dollfie from Volks.

I was able to use some unexpected knitting time today to finish my Flower Basket Shawl. I couldn't wait to block it before I took the photo so I used a nearby schoolgirl to model it for me. I'll get better, blocked photos later this week. That's my spinning wheel on top of the television cabinet - it looks funny there but it keeps it away from the dog!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Fair Child

We spent most of Labor Day at the MN Renaissance Fair and part of the fun was seeing things through the eyes of Youngest Child. He was amazed by everything and spent part of our visit stalking three costumed visitors (dressed in matching blue doublets and swords) whom he was sure were the Three Musketeers. We listen to a lot of "stories on tape" by Jim Weiss so he knew all about what musketeers wear! He wore the face paint to school today to meet his new teacher. While it was quite pleasant, I still missed the knitting time. I am down to the lace edging on my shawl - can't wait to see the finished project spread out flat!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

One last time . . .

I cleaned out my bookcase this weekend as part of my big Labor Day cleanout. It's funny but it always seems to be the best weekend for a good cleaning. I can remember cleaning and moving my living room furniture around the weekend that Princess Diana died. I actually didn't have much to remove but I did find a few items to weed out. Every one was a good read but it's time to pass them on. They'll be going off to the St. John the Evangelist big sale. It's lucky that they do this sale twice a year!

The rest of tonight I'll be watching "Breach" with DH and knitting on the Flower Basket Shawl. It's time to get that finished as well.