Monday, January 30, 2012

Mitts and Miracles

Because I'd like to blog every knit a little more responsibly this year, I share with you some rusty red mittens made for the Aunt of Sophanne. They're from Ann Budd's pattern book- cast on 43 stitches with #6 needles and it's the right size when using Berroco Alpaca. The best surprise when making these is that I had the above number/yarn combination as a "note to self" in my Ann Budd book and DID NOT have to make 4 different mittens to get the right size. So be it that all future mittens are in ultra alpaca- there are worse things to knit.

Many of you are no doubt wondering how it is that my work table happens to be clear of postal debris. I got one of these.

It's a bill organizer. I'm 46 years old and I finally figured out that you don't store the paid bills (that create confusion)in there. Instead you just put the ones that NEED to be paid in their little slots to ensure you pay the right amount. Both the cable company and the water company will be glad that I will no longer be paying their bill three months in advance (just to be sure I paid it)

Also often found on this desk (and notably missing) are my meds, my eyeglass/contact supplies, and my makeup. Here's the trick. I practiced keeping them in little containers (still on the workspace) for a week. After I got good at that I moved the containers to a less conspicuous drawer. AND drum roll please... I've managed to maintain that little habit.

Hence- I has desk space. At this rate my knitting corner will be permanently decluttered and organized by the time I'm 92. I can't wait!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

You don't need coffee. You need to walk.

That is the caption of the picture below. She followed me with shoe in mouth until it was clear her message was received. She must have known that it was prime walking time and that the rest of the day would be rainy.

The white reading mitts found a home with lunchtime friend and schoolsecretarySandy. It was her birthday. What's a girl to do. This green pair has been committed to knitnightRuth. They are so easy to make and so delicious in cashmere. I have enough brown to make myself a pair eventually.

The laugh of the week came when I said to Mr. Sophanne "I have a headache. I think it must be menstrual" and he replied, "I hear that's going around.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mouths of Babes

These pictures are a part of a slide show I share with kindergarten after we sang a song about trains from South Africa. They are of me in 2002 when I spent 6 weeks of the summer there.

Here is what kids spontaneously said:

"You were beautiful then."

"You were so pretty"

"That must have been a LONG time ago."

Here is what I heard.

"Hey Mrs. Sophanne, you could stand to lose a few!"

"Wow, you got old fast."

They are only 6 years old. Still that did not prevent me from having the desire to shout to all of them "YEAH??? Well, I'm HAPPY now!!!!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sage Advice- Sage Socks

So I took the advice of you wise knitters and have put the scarves aside for a while. Making this a tad more difficult was Mr. Sophanne announcing to the father of the recipients that I've been working on them. Ugh. I ordered a different yarn and am not going to be so beholden to the color requests. Yea, you'll get some purple, yea, you'll get some blue. We'll just see how it goes.

While the scarves were being punished I picked up some cashmere that's been marinating for ages because no project is worthy (or the right size.) Susie Roger's Reading Mitts to the rescue. KnitnightClaire had made a pair and pattern and yarn came together in my head.

I also finished another pair of socks from the STR yarn. Here's what I'll say about that club. I don't need or want sock patterns. All of my socks are the same. Not interested in fancy socks. BUT... when it comes to some durable sock yarn that makes hearty but not too thick socks, I'm all over that Blue Moon Sock yarn.

These have beenon the needles since August so it was good to have them finished. Time to get another pair of socks on the needles.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Day Knitting Confessions

It is the first snow day of the year. A delay would have done the trick. I'm not complaining.

I have been knitting. I haven't been telling you about it. Two of the granddaughters of Mr. Sophanne saw me knitting over our visit and asked for scarves. I take their color order, go to the LYS in search of color and believe that this will be a quick and easy thing to do.

I should know that when I declare something quick and easy, it will turn into slow and stupid.

Specimen number 1: Purple, Black and White. My thoughts- plain stripes are boring. I'm going to make it a chevron pattern.

Stockinette chevron is good for sweaters- for scarves, not so much. Come to find there's a back side. I knew this and kept on knitting, pretending that the back was as lovely as the front. Until I finished it and realized that when I sent it to Switzerland (where they are currently living) not only would she be outcast for being "foreign" but also for being related to a senseless knitter.

Specimen number 2: Light Blue and Purple. Triangles using short rows. All garter stitch (old dog- new trick- check) I've seen these. I know it's possible. I search for a pattern. I find one and remember how to make garter stitch short row triangles. I toss the pattern aside with an air of "oh yea, this is what I wanted." Really, what could go wrong?

Short row triangles are a viable option if you read the directions. In this case, however, adding a triangle to the right side each time results in a big old square. With an eighth of a piece missing. I realized this on Wednesday as I began the third triangle. I forgot it again on Thursday as I worked several more rows until I realized it again.

When I cook I can make as many mistakes and unfollow directions as much as I'd like to because I have no expectations and never ever ever promise to cook something specifically FOR someone else.

When this happens while knitting-especially while knitting a project that many first time knitters use to learn-, it leaves a scrunched up aggravated swirly mad black cloud just above the base of my neck and behind my right eye, torn between doing it over to do it right or telling myself that they are probably just fine with the scarves they have and the ones I was making them didn't match the hats I made anyway.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why knit night was so awesome

So I don't have a proper picture of it. It's much nicer in person, but KnitNightMarc made and gave me a present yesterday.

It's Cat Borhdi's moebius cowl and it's awesome. It wasn't my birthday, Christmas has passed so it was just a present because he said the color made him think of me. I LOVE IT! After the full moon antics of the past couple of days (including throwing away a soprano xylophone and being accused of being a ne'er do well that has no business being around children), it's just what the Karma Doctor ordered!

Other highlights of knit night included no less than 3 knitted torso garments from fellow knitters- must take camera to knit night regularly- and learning about "lustre dust"

Cod weather is coming, I will be warm. The moon is waning. Perhaps the crazy-stupid will tone down. (Has anyone noticed that it seems the last 3 months of full moons have been mighty powerful? OY!)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

#8 continues because we don't know when to stop

So at lunch today I asked ChickenBob if he got his #8 plant. He said "not yet, but I'm going to need more dirt. I noticed that it settles and there's less of it if there's no plant in it."

SecretarySandy said "my grandma always said to put garlic in the dirt to keep it from doing that."

Me: (post spit-take) NO WAY!!! (I was so trying not to laugh at what was transpiring-so instead of going along I had to exaggerate my amazement) Then I asked "did she use fresh or minced?"

SecretarySandy said, "whatever you have around. fresh, minced- I figure grandma just used garlic salt, knowing her."

ChickenBob: I might have to try that.

I seriously hope that he's "getting us" as much as we think we're "getting him" because this is just too funny to be real.

Tonight was a great knit night but you'll have to wait until I grab a PICTURE of a PRESENT made for ME before I can reveal all.

Monday, January 09, 2012

PSA to all music teachers reading this blog

If the universe aligns and you happen to get a custodian who actually does his or her job, be warned NOT to use the garbage can as a stand for a primary line soprano xylophone set in C pentatonic. The missing bars and critical placement on the garbage can will lead the custodian to believe that it is indeed garbage and throw said instrument away.

This PSA has been provided to you by stupidity and foolishness.

Second graders tried to "make it better" by saying that the xylophone had gone up to that "big music room in the sky."

Sunday, January 08, 2012

First FO 2012

I've got several largish projects on the needles. Every now and then- given all of the instant gratification of 11 hats in 2 weeks- I need something that I can start and finish so that I can call myself a knitter.

The January Hat by Jennifer Adams (free on Rav) came to the rescue. Simple colorwork, cascade 220, easy pattern- except I always struggle with the twisty yet lovely braided thing. The bottom of the hat is a roll-y up mess. I got it working at the top and I'm o.k. with that.

Update on the #8 plant- ChickenBob was overheard talking to a grandma parent volunteer about getting a number 8 plant. She nodded and smiled and said "well yes, they grow quickly." She had a good laugh when I got her aside and let her in on the secret. As this is a woman who is still grieving the loss of a spouse, I'd say the subterfuge paid off- I haven't seen her laugh so hard in a long time!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Crack Me Up- the after school edition

Yesterday the office conversation somehow wandered into the topic of "gangs." Where the various gangs came from, where they've settled, how they've grown, etc. Ppal said, I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure the Crips (or the Bloods- one of them) got started in Bluefield, West Virginia. Knowing this to be wrong, I suggested that maybe he was thinking of the Apple Dumpling Gang.

Today at the end of the day, ChickenBob came in stating that he needed a "manly" plant for his house and it had to fit into a "Number 10 pot." Trying not to laugh secretary (who has no idea what he means by number 10 pot) says "what about a cactus." ponder. ponder. "No, I don't like cactuses." I realize it's cacti but he teaches physed- what can you do? So together without prior consultation we instructed him to go shopping for a "Number 8 Philodendron"..."be sure it's a number 8..." I wish I could be a fly on the plant shop wall.

Tomorrow we're going to share the "take a box of frozen corn and lay it in the plant" technique to stimulate plant growth.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The year in knitting... or not.

I was going to do a year in knitting post but it was a little bit a pain in the a$$. So if you want to see what I knit- go ahead and read the blog. Gardening months are sparse.

Instead I played with photoshop and put together a collage of my favorite knits of 2011 and my hopes for 2012/

It must be that after I finished Queen Anne's Lace and the Doublemasse (stranded hat) that I said "enough is enough." Although there is another Queen Anne's Lace in Lavold Silky Wool that has yet to be blocked or introduced to the world.

Five pairs of socks this year. Go Me. Enough for the week if I wear slippers on the weekend. Oh wait, Slippers? I has them.

I've got two lifetime log cabin blankets going on - one in sock yarn- the other in Cascade. I blamethank Yarnhog for her Noro Log Cabin for those.

Stephen West became a new favorite designer- someone who's patterns I'll actually spend time reading because I can and they are gorgeous.

The mailbox cracks me up. I wish I had more patience for those mochimochi knits. Perhaps it will come.

The simplest knits (the family of hats) ended up being the most rewarding and in the lower right corner is a top down v-neck in MadelineTosh ala Elizabeth Zimmerman- another 2012 resolution.

Given the pain in the a$$ of posting about the year, I'm refraining but offering this advice- go back and look at what you've done and be amazed. It feels good.