Thursday, November 22, 2007

thank you all

we were supposed to go to some dear friends house for thanksgiving supper with 40+ of their closest friends and a tour of their vineyard. but last night i discovered nothing i ate stayed with me and i couldn't seem to get warm. and though this morning i was up and ready to go, i really didn't feel much better, so my sweet friend and i slept the afternoon away.

coming from a family of non-meat eaters, we had pasta with homemade marinara sauce and steamed cauliflower for supper along with peppermint ice cream and low fat pumpkin custard for desert. my cute husband and i then watched casino royale, with the guitar strumming son and room cleaning daughter wandering in and out.

it was a wonderful day. though the boys were a bit bored, we all cracked jokes, watched tv, took care of each other, ribbed and teased each other and generally had fun.

it is a lot to be thankful for and i am very grateful. so thank you for stopping by to visit. may you be well.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

so close

i have been working on the flying v scarf out of exquisite little knits since last christmas season. it was a last minute knit for the department christmas gathering. and i have to admit, for the most part it has been at the bottom of the knitting pile. but i recently dug it out and have been taking it with me everywhere so i could knit it whenever i got the chance with the hope of finishing it before this christmas season.

i was so close to finishing it that i started to get worried. worried? yes, because the more i knit, the wider the scarf got. i thought my tension had changed; i thought i had loosened it dramatically. until i had the thought of counting my stitches. the last 15 rows of the scarf pattern depend on having a certain number of stitches. so i counted the stitches. and found instead of the 32 stitches i was supposed to have i had 46 stitches. this is why the scarf was wider. my tension was fine.

so i frogged...and frogged...and frogged until i reached the needed 32 stitches which resulted in the scarf looking like this:

it seems i forgot to do the middle SKP stitch on a regular basis. which meant i had an extra stitch on a regular basis. which, in turn made the scarf wider on a regular basis.
so i will start from here and knit it all again, in hopes that i can finish it sometime soon and be comforted by the fact that at least there will be fewer stitches to knit!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

a nearly perfect weekend

so i have been alone this weekend. the big guy is at school and my cute husband and sweet friend are at a ymca conference for three days. i had the whole weekend to myself.

and i nearly did all the things i wanted to. i got some material to make more knitting project bags; i picked out new lip colors; i bought a waffle iron; i stopped by the LYS for the first time in weeks; i made myself turkey meatloaf; i knitted; i slept in; i made buckwheat waffles; i cleaned the house a bit and did a bit of laundry; i took a long walk; took pictures of my stash for ravelry and baked bread. and believe it or not, the list of things i did not get to is longer than those i did. but that's ok. i did whatever i wanted to and did not feel pressure to do more.

and i got to bake one of my favorite breads, pioneer bread. it was a baking staple when i was single. the recipe calls for cornmeal but i would substitute millet. since there wasn't millet flour, i would buy millet in bulk and grind it up in a spare coffee grinder in order to bake with it. maybe it was the name, maybe it was the fact i had to grind up the millet to make the flour, but the bread always reminded me of something ma ingalls would do. so i always appreciated baking day.

but this time i got to use the new bread pan. which is cool, but may be to small! who knew my bread loaves were hefty size?! so the bottom of the loaf did not brown like the rest of the bread(s). the recipe also has eggs in it which makes the bread very soft. the first few slices were quite wiggly. it may have been because it was hot out of the oven! but it is very good. and it made a mean turkey meatloaf sandwich!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

i had to do it...

my first knitting book was cheryl oberle's, folk shawls. this book offered 25 shawl patterns gathered from around the world. shawls being of various difficulty knit from an array of yarns. the one that caught my eye for a first knitting project was the garter stitch prairie shawl. it was simple, something i would use and ma ingalls would think it practical. the pattern was as the name implies, garter stitch with a yarn over border. at the time, the most challenging stitch for me was the KFB.

but it was the book and the project that started me knitting. i would look through all the beautiful shawls, struggling with deciphering the various stitch patterns, keeping a list of which shawls to knit some day. though i still want to knit half of the book, my ideal was the bird’s nest shawl from the himalayas. this is a 80”x20” shawl with a relatively (now) easy lace pattern. the pattern calls for the shawl to be knit out of pure cashmere…yarn held double while knitted. lust as i may, buying 2,267 yards of pure cashmere is not in my budget.

a few weeks ago i received an email from knit picks announcing a yarn sale. and though i had secretly vowed not to buy any more yarn until the beginning of the year, i thought i would just look. but there it i was perusing the alpaca cloud, one of the suggested patterns for this yarn was the bird's nest shawl. i audibly gasped. for a fraction of the price, yarn for a bird's nest shawl could be mine. and, because of the secret vow, i thought about it for a couple of days before actually purchasing it.

the yarn came a couple of days ago. i chose the moss heather color. and it is really lovely. both my cute husband and sweet friend said, oh, yarn came for you if you need more. but i don't care what they think. i can knit a bird's nest shawl.

Friday, November 02, 2007

the holes change shapes

today is dia de los muertos, or day of the dead. 14 years ago, while vacationing with my sister, my cute husband called to tell us our father had died. the bottom fell out. pop and my sister were very close so for her not to be with him when he died was awful for her. but we got through it. my boss back then, who had lost quite a few family members in a short period of time, told me that sometimes the black holes would be very small and i could maneuver around them and sometimes the black holes would swallow me up. and i feel that way to this day.

and so on this dia de los muertos, i light a candle for my pop in hope that he sees its light and knows that i miss him.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

yay! another one!

i have been concentrating on knitting the pashmina cowl from last minute knitted gifts for the last few weeks. it is a rather simple knit, garter stitch in the round for 12.5 inches. it has been traveling with me everywhere i go in a little pouch so i can knit a few rows whenever i get the chance.

i kept thinking i had a way to go but, while at work the other day, i pulled it out to do a quick ruler measure just to see how long it was. lo and behold it measured 12+ inches. when at home that night i remeasured it. it was 13 inches long, a half inch longer than it was supposed to be, which was fine by me since i had no plans to unknit it. so i finished it up and voila! ce fini!

of course, i did not make it out of pashmina, i used ry cashsoft dk in the donkey colorway, #517, and it is really soft. this yarn is 10% cashmere along with merino wool and some microfibre. i started it on the plane to nyc in april and it is so soft it melted into a tangled mess in it's pouch. i spent close to a half hour trying to untangle it. our hotel room looked like a spider web gone awry. i ended up having to cut the yarn and roll it into smaller balls. i think it took about a ball and a half to make the cowl.

but it is finished just in time. the mornings are getting cooler and i love having something warm around my neck. the cowl can be worn at its full 12.5 length or folded in half. though i like to wear it unfolded, i discovered it folds into odd shapes when worn like that. if i fold it in half, it holds its shape better. probably because the yarn is so soft it needs some heft. and did i tell you it is warm, soft and snuggly?

if i were to make this again, i would make it about an inch shorter than it calls for. and though i would like it to be smidge tighter around the neck, if it were, it would not fit over the head. but i like it. and so does my neck.