Knitting (and spinning! The Good, the Bad, and the UGLY)

Friday, October 31, 2003

Happy Halloween!

I'm home from school and ready for the trick or treaters. My Halloween flag is out, my light-up jack-o-lantern is plugged in, my real pumpkin is outside the door, and my cauldron is full of candy. I'm ready. Once the first kids come by, Tiger is getting shut in the bedroom. He's not an outdoor cat (though he persists in becoming one), and I don't feel like chasing him around tonight!

In other news, my pansies are half gone. I noticed yesterday that they had been eaten and or completely sucked out of the earth. I have seen deer at my neighbors but none in my yard. I had planted yellow pansies a month ago in two spots near the front door, and they have never been touched. So, I figured I was safe in planting more pansies. Apparently, I was mistaken. Hrmph! The blooming white ones are all gone, and I imagine that when the orange pansies bloom, they, too, will soon become deer delicacies. Oh well. You live and learn.

On the knitting front, I still have to refelt my hat. This weekend, for sure. I have yet to find the perfect blocking instrument for it. Still searching. I have begun the free cable scarf pattern from Philosopher's Wool. It's going quickly, and I love how it's turning out. This scarf is a practice for the cul-de-sac vest I will do next. When Miguel saw the scarf coming to life, he claimed it. Now THAT'S a compliment. :)

I'll probably sit and spin (no, not THAT way!!) between candy consumers tonight. Put on the cable music channels, drink a beer, and eat some nice broccoli soup (too much candy consumed by yours truly at work today). Miguel figured he would by home by 7 pm to help pass out candy.

Tomorrow I'm going out with Maria and her buddy from Virginia Beach to a fancy-smancy restaurant. Maria has raved about Fogo de Chao since she first went with her parents. It's pricey, but I've heard it's well worth the expense. Daye told me to pace myself, and she also raved about the food. We had planned for Miguel to make our group total four, but as he has a playoff soccer game at 1:30 (think 2ish) I doubt he will be able to come. So, instead, I'll drive over to Maria's, ride with her and her buddy to her Mom's for the afternoon, and then hit the restaurant at 6 pm. Then, back to her place for poker and crashing on one of her guest beds will round out a wonderful day. I love going out to new restaurants with good friends. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2003

The tea yesterday was...Interesting. First, we only had four of us there. Last time I went, I believe there were around 12 of us. We waited outside for a few minutes while the Red Hat Society ladies finished up. Beth, the owner, loved my floppy, unfelted red hat which I had brought along for show and tell. She wore it to show it off to the ladies and apparently received inquiries about ordering some for themselves. Hmmm... I did tell the couple who came to speak to me that this hat was the prototype and I would wait to see how it turned out before I would consider knitting this pattern again.

That is the second time this week I have been told I should sell some of my knitting. The first was at my writing workshop on Thursday. I sat next to one of my friends from Johnson. She knits, too, and just loved my Booga bag. She told me I could easily sell those at school.

I don't know, though. First, they are not my patterns. I don't know about the legality of that. I could find out from Rob and Matt, though. I know they started out selling finished products. Then again, knitting might become "work", if you know what I mean. Anyway, it's something to ponder.

But I digress.

One of the ladies at the tea, ended up going to the Quick Care in Gainesville. We had been sitting at the table for no more than ten minutes when Marty calmly announces that her needle has disappeared. She thought it went through her cross stitch project and into her jeans. She hobbles slowly into the restroom to find it. After five minutes, she returns and announces that it is in her leg near her knee. She tells us that she can feel it, see the bruise where it punctured her skin, and she is unable to get it out. Her sister, who also cross stitches and knits, accompanies her to the restroom for a second opinion. We hear giggling drifting from the bathroom as they laugh about the absurdness of the situation. They come out, confident that the needle is indeed embedded in her leg, and we all admit the best thing for them to do is to hop over to Quick Care to get said needle out.

So, from four to two. Really small! But the two of us enjoyed chatting with Beth for about an hour and a half. I left at four fifteen with no word on Marty's condition. I will try to call this afternoon to see if she is okay.

After the tea, I ran to WalMart to buy a zippered pillow cover. Not easy to find, let me tell you. I eventually found it near the rubber sheets and shower curtains. I came home and felted my red hat. I ran it through the hot cycle twice. It's still on my kitchen counter between two bowls for blocking. It might still be too big, though. We'll see. I do love the fuzzy brim! It's wacky and totally different for me. :)

Friday, October 24, 2003

Friday already?

Miguel and I just got home from my school's rendition of "Pirates of Penzance"(sp?). It was wonderful, especially since I knew most of the kids performing. They did an awesome job, even with uncooperative sets and malfunctioning mics. We both loved the goofiness and professionalness of their performace. Well done!

I have not done much knitting or spinning. Wait, I did get the felted hat finished, but not yet have had time to felt it. I first would like to buy a zippered pillowcase so as to reduce the yarn being swallowed by my trusty washing machine. I should have looked for one at WalMart yesterday. Drats! Maybe tomorrow.

I do have the PINS meeting at the tea shop to go to. Anyone in the area is welcome to go. It's at the Purple Iris tea shoppe in Buford (just off the square) from 2-5 pm. It's $5 for munchies (very little!) and tastings of a few teas. We usually have at least ten ladies show up, and we have a great time laughing and showing off our handiwork. Please, come and introduce yourself. There are knitters, cross stitchers, and quilters. Bring a project and be ready for some fun!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I was right!

I switched my chiropractor appointment to earlier in the day, and the spinning wheel didn't come. Oh well. I did, however, replanted my front flower bed. The begonias were dried and shriveled, so I put out a flat of white pansies and mixed in a flat of orange ones. It looks much better! I'll try to post a picture tomorrow.

Today I finished the blue vest and wore it this morning as it was a little nippy! I have begun a felted hat pattern from Fiber Trends with fun fur around the brim. I saw this one and had to order it from Rob and Matt. It will be so cute when it's done.

The big news for the day....The wheel made it finally! I put it together in about half an hour. The instructions were good. It's a Fricke S-160 double treadle. The only problem I had was getting the leader on correctly. It didn't have any instructions on how to do that. I played around online and found a little to help. I finally got it through trial and error. I've got about half a bobbin of white colonial fiber. The results are a lot like when I first began using a drop spindle--uneven and a lot of breaking (and swearing inwardly). I do think, though, that I'm getting the hang of it. I do think that it has helped that I've used two wheels before (one at a spinning class and one up in Dahlonega) or I would have NO clue as to what to do. :)

Our Fall Break is now over for teachers. Tomorrow we have a staff development day. Half of it will be in a class at Gainesville College in a 6 plus 1 Writing workshop. The other half will be in meetings at school. Thursday I will be at the college all day, so my students will be having a sub. (Mwahaha...) So I will only see them Friday. Ahhh, a good week!

Monday, October 20, 2003

I'm afraid Murphy's Law will strike me down.

Let me explain.

Today and tomorrow are "Fall Break" days here in Hall County! Let me tell you, everyone has been counting down the days. We started school earlier this year than any other in the past, and we all have short fuses because of it. This break is new and welcome for all. Yippee! I'm home in my PJs. :)

Today, however, I have a chiropractic appointment at 4:30. UPS usually comes around the neighborhood around that time. If I go, my spinning wheel won't be delivered to me. I'm not sure if I have to sign for it or not. Maybe I'll switch the appointment to earlier in the afternoon. If I do that, it will have been in vain, and I will wait eagerly for nothing, I fear. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas to come. :)

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Happy Sunday!

I've been slowly decorating the house for Halloween. Here is my fireplace dressed up a little.I found this pumpkin at Hobby Lobby for $10. I love it!

I found these two cuties at Michael's for about $7 for the pair. I love finding good deals. Tonight I'm going to put some votives inside and see how much they light up.
My last decor picture is of my new fall mat, also from Michael's, that Tiger is inspecting. His coloring really matches the season!

I also have a couple of kntting pictures to share. Here is my before and after picture of my Booga bag done in Noro #74.
As I was knitting it, the yarn had much more hot pink and raspberry than I had expected. Yet, I love the way that it has darkened. I will be using this bag a lot this fall. It's just a little bigger than a brown lunch sack. I just need to get some kind of closure on it.
Here is my current (well, I do have many current WIPs. This is the one I'm working on. How's that?) WIP. It's in Wool Ease Chunky in Bluebell.
I love the yarn and it's texture. It's much softer than I had thought, and I'm expecting it to come out great. As you can see, the back is finished, and I've gotten about five inches of the front finished.
For my next magic, Daye and I will be doing the Cul-de-sac vest from the latest Knitter's magazine. I'm doing min in a medium blue. The LYS didn't have enough yarn for both of us to do it in red. I knew that Daye wants hers in red, so I found another color and had Angie hold the red for Daye behind the counter. It will be our first cable project, but Angie is going to work on it too and help us whenever necessary. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Two posts in one night? Am I feeling ok?

Yes, I am. I am inspired by Jerry's mention of this article, Real Men Knit. Take a sec to read it; it's cute!

The article got me thinking about when I knit at school. I've had a lot of kids come up to me and ask me about what I'm knitting. Sometimes they tell me that one of their relatives knits (or croquets). Many times they want to learn how to do what I'm doing, and they stick around for a few minutes while I'm knitting at my duty post to see how I make the stitches. I would estimate that 75% of the students who approach me are boys. They want to learn how to knit. They aren't shy or embarrassed if they are with their male friends. It's been very interesting, and I admire their confidence in speaking to a knitting teacher.

Next semester, Daye and I are going to begin a Fiber Club and teach those who want to learn knitting, crocheting, and spinning. I plan on having them make preemie or chemo hats or scarves for those in need. I know we'll have a great turn out, we'll have fun, and I know we'll have a great mix of young ladies and young men. Ooh, more fiber fun!

I'll keep you posted!

Happy Tuesday!

Yesterday was good and bad. Bad because I was home sick. I had been feeling out of sorts all weekend, but I felt sick Sunday night and didn't sleep well at all. I found a sub and stayed home all day. I knew if I had gone in, I would be ill and cranky--not a pretty sight at all. The good news is that becasue I stayed on the couch all day, I made this. Yes, I did it all in one day. It's in Wool Ease Chunky and done on size 13 needles. I even got to wear it to work today! Everyone who knows me as a knitter asked me about my vest and was amazed that it only took a day to make (10 hours). Here is a close up of the neck and arm ribbing. The pattern is from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. It's a great book because it gives "Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges". It fits great, and I got a lot of compliments on it. :) The next one, I think, will be made in Cotton Ease.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

It is such a beautiful morning here. No, it's not sunny; it's raining, dark, and damp. The yard can use the rain, and I love being able to stay home and enjoy the quietness of the day. Hubby left for work, so it's just me, the cat, and some coffee in short order.

After school yesterday I went to Beef O'Brady's with Maria and John, the Spanish/French teacher at my school. I invited him along for two reasons. First, he has agreed to take the stats for the football games. He lives in the next county, and I figured that it wouldn't be worth it for him to go home and then have to turn around and come back to Oakwood for the game. Second, he's a great guy! I has interesting classroom practices, he's older, and he has a ton of great stories. Maria and John have met before at my wedding shower. He called her an anal English teacher (he is married to one of those), and the fun began! They can hold their own, and I really like both of them because they are so similar in nature.

So, it was the three of us at dinner. We told funny stories about school, college, our respective families, ate some great food (get the onion rings and potato skins!!), and chatted and laughed for about two hours. We all agreed to get together again for Friday food.

As for fibery news, I can't wait for the spinning wheel to come!! As for my sweater, I'm a little worried I'm going to have to rip out some of the sleeve. At the end of the sleeve instructions, both it and the accompanying picture said it should be 17". I had 19". I followed the directions exactly. Here's how I know I did. I make a graph on a note card. I label every other row as a R(ight side). I mark the inc or dec. As I knit, I put a slash through that box so I can keep up with inc/dec/etc. When I had finished--19". I did start the shape cap and will pin it on to see if it is correct or not. That is today's project along with beginning the other sleeve.

Besides all the fun stuff, I've got to go to Wal Mart to pick up some more Damp Rid for my closets (I can really tell I need more!) and return that garden hose with the messed up nozzle. I also have some laundry to do and some mopping of floors.

The rain makes it a good day to do all those things. :)

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Time for a post!

I've been working on the pink sweater now that homecoming is over. Everything went well (thankfully!!), and things are slowly returning to normal. I have the front and back done; now I'm 3/4 of the way done with the first sleeve. (If I weren't so lazy I would charge the digital camera and add some photos....)
I found out a day or so ago that I will be getting a little money in. It just so happens that it is nearly enough for a spinning wheel! Yippee! I bid on this this morning and payed for it just now. Woohoo! I think it is a Louet with the style number, and I think I got a great deal. It is double treadle and has a lazy kate, both requirements I had been looking for. I can't wait!!