Friday, March 30, 2007


The MD kntiwits knitting club has three members. Myself, Sugarplum, and Gran. At least someone showed up. I have a feeling that Sugarplum told Gran I would teach her to crochet without increasing every row. She came with a crochet hook and told Sugarplum that she didn't know she was supposed to bring "those sticks." Sugarplum knitted a row then traded "sticks" with Gran and crocheted about 12" of chain. Gran knitted some blue.

In spite or because of all of this, it was fun. I got 2 more inches of the postal bag finished and was able to separate the stitches so that I could begin the flap tonight. 19" of flap seems daunting at first but I must remember that I will get to purl and it will take less than half the time that the actual bag took. "Haste makes waste" says Poor Richard. "Have patience" says Sammy the Snail. "Don't wait around for us" say the Slowskies. A postal bag is no reason to wish your life away.

8 more hours and Spring Break begins-wishing your life away to get to spring break is a completely different thing.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The yarn, the yarn, the yarn...

The cashmere is missing. Was it abducted? Will there be a ransom note? I’m sure the metal knitting needles are involved somehow but they continue to proclaim their innocence. The first skein, now in the form of a partially finished cabled sock, weeps silently for it’s missing partner.

Remnants of pre-patterned sock yarns are conspiring to take over the new circulars in the form of a hideous lace shawl - apologies to the visual thinkers for such a startling image.

The acrylic and novelty yarns yearn to break away from common stereotypes to create a free-form knitting piece. Fearing ridicule, they grieve silently at the futility of their dreams. When questioned, they simply state, “We’re having trouble breathing.”

The skeins of sock yarn eagerly anticipating their fruition grow restless. If not used, they will tangle in protest.

No one has seen the LionBrand Homespun since it was placed in a Hefty Cinch-sak

And then there’s the single moth caught carelessly flitting out of the 4-ply wool. Will the stash test positive for moths? Will further procedures be required? What extremes will be necessary to relieve the community of this threat?

I once scoffed at the idea of the stash having a life of it’s own. Knowledge of these clandestine dramas now leads me to believe otherwise. Surely stash-life can be simpler than this. Popping the bubble that is the soap opera of these fibers would completely destroy any semblance of the reality to which they cling. What to do? Without intervention the stash will continue down the slippery slope of deluded self-importance. Only the Japanese Noro appears calm and relaxed. Surely the fact that it’s “Knitting For Peace” has helped but one can only wonder how taking the form of a “postal bag” will change it.

I tell you these secrets because you need to know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

blurry flair with flab

A better photo op was not possible- dear husband is engaged in some serious play station gaming and I could only step away for a few minute from my "backseat gaming duties" While I find playstation's Sly Cooper's Racoon Thievery frustrating to play, I am most excellent at spotting what is missed out of the corner of my knitting eye. Thanks to Denise's needles, the Spring Flair has been resucitated from it's previous use as a faucet cover. With a longer cord and the proper "stoppers" at the end I've discovered that it won't be so small and will likely fit nicely over a tank. The 3/4 length sleeves designed by Wendy will be just enough to cover the arm flab when I get to that point, so Flair is on the burner again.

So the NEW AND IMPROVED goals for next week (spring break)- Finish the felting project, get to the bottom of the flair, and get both cats to the vet and home without any major injuries.

What cracks me up about that is that on the calendar it says "Annabelle-4:00" on Monday and "Sophie-4:00" on Tuesday as if they have seriously important appointments to make. If that were the case I would say that Sophie is headed to the psychiatrist for her anxiety issues and Annabelle is headed to a talent agent to make use of her dramatic ways. Sorry about their luck. They should just be relieved that they aren't facing the fate of the last cat I took there... poor Kitty.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

taking the plunge

The postal bag adventure and the attempt at Flair has convinced me that circular needles will soon be a part of my regular knitting repertoire. Rather than making the many trips to the LYS or not so LYS's to figure out what size needle and length of cord I want when knitting-the combinations seem endless- I went on-line and purchased Denise's interchangable needle set. I was hoping for a set that included needles for socks, but it would seem that option isn't out there yet. I kind of like the bamboo dpns anyway. I feel like a "real" knitter using them. There has been a nightly examination of the how to design a sweater book and 2 pounds of Caron acrylic in "azure" (total cost $5.00) to play with so perhaps by the time Spring Break begins I will be finished with my postal bag and ready to venture into the design world. For the record I WILL be swatching and I WILL be determining gauge. NO MORE BLIND KNITTING!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

nothing to hide pt.deux

In an effort at full disclosure, the "big city" will now be referred to as the "not so big ciy." I say this because my LYS carried many many vintage patterns. Only they weren't really there as vintage patterns but instead it was all they had to offer in terms of patterns at all. Perhaps I should refer to it as "Ye Olde LYS." I did get some nice, slightly overpriced sock yarn and the right sized needles for the stuffed toys. The spring showers became a spring deluge. With that much excitement, I came home to nap and knit- my two favorite weekend activities.

nothing to hide but...

I said I wasn't going to post this project until it was finished but I think I'd like to watch the change after it hits the washing machine. Right now it's about 8" tall. Another 12" and I will begin the flap and straps to make it feel like a mailbag pouch. Then it will shrink in size (or so they say) upon felting.

At the knitting class finale on Thursday, CC referred to some items in this blog that she could not have heard any other way. On Thursday evening I quickly searched it for any identifying content and material where I might have been less than impeccable with my words and hoped for the best. Yesterday morning I asked CC if she enjoyed the Thursday evening post. She seemed puzzled. I asked her how she happened upon the page and she said "it was just there." After scouring the evidence I remembered that I had 2 somewhat mischevious students in my room for lunch on Thursday (one from the knitting class but not CC) and there was about 10 minutes when they were in the room and I was not. Likely the site was up on the computer. BLoggers beware-your words are out there. As the title says- I've really got nothing to hide but...

Today I will travel to "the city" to visit any second hand stores I can find and possibly the LYS. This adventure was inspired by he March 18 post at
and photos from a vintage book called "Knitting for Fun." I'm too lazy to figure out how to insert the link, so copy and past the site and have a look. It's worth the effort. I also think that the recent forays to the gym and the improved weather (though rainy) have given me a little more physical energy to go out and about into the world. Why walk in one place when you can walk from store to store looking for treasures?

Also at some point in the last two weeks I realized that just because I love to knit doesn't mean I am obliged to do it with every minute of free time that I have. Yes, objects might be a little slower to reach completion but a little human interaction never hurt anyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

knitting class finale

It may have been the last day of knitting class but next week begins the knitting club- "MD Knit-Wits." I really couldn't go with MD Knit-pickers. It sounded too much like nose-pickers. We'll see what the sheep drags in.

Today was not without laughter. Twice, adults came in wondering what was going on. One thought it was a group of teachers laughing. I'm not really sure of the significance of that but she seemed to think it was meaningful.

AA had a great joke that made me laugh my head off and now I can't remember it. Tune in tomorrow when I ask her to remind me. MM managed to point out a zit on my forehead. I told her I got it by putting my hand to my head from kids driving me crazy. AA said, "You should do that on the other side so that they would match." CC wondered what to knit next after finishing a 2"x2" coaster. I suggested a bandage for my giant zit.

Then there was the conversation about the fact that kangaraoos are as much of a nuisance in Australia as deer are here. That led to some interesting road kill imagery. The mama helping out told the story of her sister who hit a deer and put it in her trunk and took it back to the slaughterhouse (the sister's family raised hogs) only to find that it was still alive and "kicking." In fact it was kicking her back seat out of her car.

CC also told of reading a news story about a turkey who sat on a particular car every Sunday at some church. The turkey was later found dead and the church wanted to have a funeral for it. I missed this news tidbit. I asked where all these people were at Thanksgiving and MM, who has had WAY MORE than her fair share of funerals as an eleven year old, began a eulogy for the unnamed turkey.

The mama helper took me aside to tell me a joke not suitable for the 11 and under crowd in a public school. A Catholic grandmother living in the South overslept for church on Sunday. As she hurriedly approached the church she asked the usher "Ismassout?" He said, "No, but your hat's on crooked." I guess it's one of those that works better when you hear it but after an hour of laughing m'ass off, it topped the afternoon.

DD couln't get a word in edgewise, MM didn't have her needles or her yarn and was using some extra to pretend that she was knitting. This was the second time out of 4 classes that she didn't have it. Did I mention this was to be a knitting class? I can't imagine what the looser structure of a "club" will bring.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

oh the possibilities

This book was ordered in a fit of manic on-line shopping when I thought the credit card only had $100 on it. I think there are many possibilities here and lots of laughing. If nothing else there are projects that take less than 100 hours and don't require a swatch and measurement to determine whether they will fit or not! It's either these or the knitted egglplants.

I'm secretly working on a felted bag of a "mailbag" sort from the book Knit For Peace but no pictures until it's all said and done. The trademark mistake happened early on so I'm hoping for smooth sailing until the end.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

rosy outlook

I don't always love it when I visit a knitting blog and people talk about their lives-relatives-children-etc. However this evening after talking to my mom I realized that there are relatives checking out my knitting progress that may or may not realize we're related- and the roses are blooming in such a lovely manner I wanted an excuse to put a picture up of them so I could look at them at school. Welcome to the world of knitting cousin and aunt!

Throwing in the Towel?

It may be time to frog and start over again. Wishing that this were big enough to be a comfortable fit will not make it so-at least that is what I was thinking on Saturday. Today it sits in punishment upstairs-banned from the holy knitting area. Will it be another lesson re-learned about knitting swatches and checking sizes? Only time will tell. How far am I willing to trust blind faith as I battle against the amount of time this thing will realistically take to complete? On a side note, this in no way reflects the quality of the yarn or Wendy's Flair pattern- both of which are nice. Instead it is a reflection of my continued experimentation with letting go of denial of the way things are..or not.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Bob Delivers!

Three years of happy marriage for us- If you look closely you'll see he says "I'd get down on my knee again for you" Inside it says "I just might not get back up." It could have alo said, "And while I'm there I'll pick up a few extra yarn scraps."

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Gossie needs Red Boots

I found these gems at Barnes and Noble Wednesday night for under $15. Gossie is a gosling who loves her red boots, wears them as she walks, loses her red boots, searches for her red boots, finds them walking on Gertie's feet, Gertie says, "nice boots," Gossie wears her red boots almost every day except for the days that she wears one and Gertie wears the other.

A teenie pair of red boots for Gossie will knit up in no time. Those k'ers are just going to say "awww...can we hold her?" and then each one will have to take a boot off and put it back on. Yikes- what was I thinking.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Pure Genius

or so CC's shirt says. She took the piece that she bound off last week and made herself a cute little bag full of a miniature glass menagerie. A new designer is born.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

casting on and binding off

Oh how I had hoped to snap a picture of our knitters this afternoon. CC finished her washcloth. MM forgot her knitting but practiced casting on and off. AA is making progress. DD seems to be working on some spiral action, wrapping the yarn around the work before "running around the back." There was too much learning going on to afford any time for pictures.

However, there were a few conversation gems-

DD- A horse walked up to an apple. The apple said "Why the long face?"

DD- A horse walked up to a snowman. The snowman said "Why the horse face... I mean long face?"

Me A three legged dog walked into the saloon and said "I'm looking for the guy who shot my Pa(w_

AA- (holding up her hand)...paw...

Joke time at knitting class. Every now and then someone would knit a stitch. I think that's as it should be.

Monday, March 12, 2007

always check gauge

Gauge for the Flair pattern:

18 sts and 22 rows = 4” (10 cm)
in Stockinette Stitch (St st)

My gauge-
9 sts and 11 rows =2"

and yet its just feeling small- I must go forth failure or not.

It still seems kind of small.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Spring Flair

With my new respect for the March "Season of Crankiness," I will try to keep these posts as forward thinking as possible. Wendy's Flair is coming along nicely. If you look closely, you can see the raglan sleeves as well as a few daffodil buds. This green was not the color I thought it would be when I ordered it on e-bay from the Cucumberpatch but I am slowly growing fond of it. I have some daisy buttons from a previous ufo that I may try. They're not really my style but if you're looking for "non-knitters envy" at a conservative West Virginia school, they're just the thing.

As to the gym- it's been a three-day a week event so far and while not as much as I had hoped, I was able to change from the "fat wedding band" to the "thin wedding band." Those of you who have a collection of "fat clothes" in your wardrobe clearly see the significance of this.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

another day of learning to knit

It's another day of MD knitting. MM asked if we could have a Mason Dixon knitting club and call it the Knit-Pickers. She said "there's just too much to learn." I'm game if they are. She learned about David Reidy's "tongue knitting" today. That's knitting that's so tricky that you have to stick out your tongue to do it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


sNo school today. Reason given- weather conditions. Winter took offense at yesterday's post and chose to prove it could have it's own bluflu. I will knit guilt-free all day and into the evening.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The first shrew is in. Teachers are out. No kids due to work stoppage (but not my own.) Strike vote after school today set for March 14. Spring has Arrived

Monday, March 05, 2007

What to Blog

While exploring blog-land, I've discovered that the ones I enjoy the most have quirky stories, strong opinions, and fabulously staged photos. Others have a plethora of quizzes to determine various personality traits and collections of buttons that have no real meaning (that I can see) other than decoration. My only statement is the George Bush countdown and that seems to be going slower than the treadmill as I travel through the 18-30 minute time slot. (Today it went a little bit quicker when I pretended secretly that I was racing the guy on the treadmill next to me- I won.)

The "Flair" from an earlier post is on the circular needles. I'm still having some trouble imagining that it will really evolve into a sweater although I can see sleeves forming and it reminds me of the evolutionary picture of the fish walking out of the ocean. Perhaps in another billion years, I will have a sweater.

I keep casting on various socks just before bedtime and then start the heels before they're really long enough to be anything more than booties and then don't finish them because they're not right. Must meditate more on patience.

I went a little yarn crazy on ebay but lately I've been hating the drive and the employees at the LYS's. Maybe not so much a knitting addict as a yarn addict. The good news is that the total ebay cost was about $2.50/skein- much cheaper than anything at the LYS for the quality. I think I'll try to figure out how to knit the vest on circulars. That fabulous purple color will be the first on the needles- Rowan calls it Turkish. Ahh.. a Turkish V is for Victory Vest. Just for a quirky anecdote- the other colors are squirrel, sludge, midnight, holly and fern.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

knitting addict with addicts knitting

Another Saturday night at the "club" and another willing victim. The fellow above had some tension issues-though you wouldn't know it to look at him. I tried to encourage relaxing the hands and the yarn and all I can assume is that he was relaxed. He did agree to take it with him this time to work on.

New knitter number two was delighted to pick it up and perhaps would have gotten a good bit more done if she hadn't been so chatty but her eagerness to embrace life after 17 months of being heroin free was uplifting.Having crocheted before, it didn't take her long to figure out how it all worked. She planned on calling her mother as soon as she got home to tell her what she had learned.

This brings the grand total of my knitting contribution to the planet to 8. Lilybel-the grandbaby- is learning in school as well and I'm looking forward to seeing the knitted chicken I've heard so much about. Hopefully I'll remember the camera on knitting Thursday- would that there could be sound which would include dd singing.

Teachers in the county are lobbying for a "blue flu" on Tuesday. School may be cancelled for students. Not being represented by any organization, I have no intention of joining them but I may indeed bring the green spaghetti in circles sweater if there aren't any kids!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Get Outta Here

They tell me that this will make a sweater without having to sew up any seams. Sometimes when I read the directions I don't understand them until after I have done them wrong. I'm not going to set my expectations too high. I'm also bidding on some dark green yarn to make another vest out of. I haven't taken V is for Victory off in 3 days!

We Hate it When you Knit

The cats before the needles come out...

The cats after the needles come out.

V is for Victory.. part 2.

In through the front door
Run around the back
Peek through the window
Out jumps jack.

With that little bit of a learning aid, there are 4 new knitters on the planet. The parent who offered to come in and help taught the 6th graders and I tackled teaching the third graders. Oh how glad I am that I didn't try to teach them to cast on. Mostly it's so easy for them to figure out that they learned in 10 minutes and spent the rest of the time trying to find the best position for their hands. I'll have to remember to bring the camera next week.

MM wanted to learn so that she could do something her grandma couldn't. CC wanted to learn because she's a perfectionist and she can do everything. Only once she got going, she started enjoying it. AA (one of the 3rd graders) plowed along trying to get a word in now and again with moderate success. DD -who's capacity for learning had me a little worried- picked it right up and was less likely to put the rh needle in the wrong door than others. There really couldn't have been a sweeter thing than her wrapping some yarn and singing "Scotland's Burning."