Monday, April 29, 2013

It is going to be a long week...

My day started with a text to a couple of friends to find out if we were still meeting "tomorrow" morning.   I got a pretty quick inquiry from Kerri (the Ridgely wonder knitter) saying that she thought we were meeting on Thursday.   I was just about to send a message saying that since today is Wednesday, tomorrow would almost surely be Thursday, when I realized that today is Monday not Wednesday.   It is going to be a long week.

What you see here are Kerri's Ridgely (photo taken last Monday) beside my Ridgely (photo taken ten minutes ago).    As you can see, mine is coming along but at no where near the pace of Kerri's.   Even our partner in crime knitting, Michele, is further along than I am.   I have given some thought to what it is about this pattern that keeps me from just sitting down and getting the job done?   At first I thought it was the mystery aspect but thanks to Kerri, that is no longer an issue.   I have come to the conclusion that this pattern requires my complete attention.   I can listen to a book, podcast, or TEDtalk and work on it with  no problem, but I can not chat, or watch TV.   What is more, I can not be interrupted mid-row without dire consequences.    Here is the thing, apparently I live a life with very little uninterrupted time.   I multi-task like nobody's business and this pattern does not work for me under those conditions.   I am not saying that I am giving up, or that I am not going to complete my Ridgely.   I am just saying that seasoned knitter or not, I am going to be the last one finished.

Thank you to everyone who asked about Friday's fall.   I am mobile and knitting once more.   There is a light brace on my ankle/foot and I am doomed to flats while the ligaments heal.   My knee is still ugly and sore but that is because it got skinned.   There is no deep damage there for which I am grateful.  My wrist is much, much better and only twinges if I move it just the wrong way.   Knitting no longer hurts so I am taking that as permission from my body to get on with my knitting.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

And it all came tumbling down...

Hubby Sock 26Apr13
If you read my last post (here), then you know I was feeling pretty confident about Hubby's socks being well on their way to completion.   As it happens, I may have spoken too soon.

I was about an inch past the heel (toe-up) when I decided to listen to the nagging voice in my head that kept saying that no one's feet are that long.   I know that to be untrue because my nephew wears a size 13.5 shoe.  However, Hubby does not.   Sure enough, when I held sock against the bottom of his foot, it was an inch-ish too long.   Back to the frog pond went I, ripping back an inch of leg, the heel, gusset, and an inch of foot.   Stitches were put back on the needles and a new gusset begun.   That is when I realized that a stitch had dropped and run in the ripping/picking process.   The sock is in time out now.  I am feeling persecuted.

Even if I were inclined to work on the naughty sock (which I am not at just this minute), I could not.   Yesterday morning, I took one step out of my front door, fell off of my left shoe, spun, and came down hard on my right knee, apparently breaking my fall with my left hand/wrist.   My left ankle, foot, & wrist are sprained, and my right knee looks like it belongs to a toddler who should have been walking rather than running.   I did try knitting last night (not the offending sock).  It hurt, so I stopped.  I am hopping for better today.

One the other hand, with nothing to do and no one home but me, I am thoroughly enjoying BBC's "Call the Midwife".

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Sock That Never Ends

Look at this sock.   It looks pretty innocent doesn't it?   Well, as all knitters know, looks can be deceiving.   I first cast on Hubby's socks in October at our church's Zombie party thinking I would just whip them out in no time.   Ha!   The lies we tell ourselves.   In order to stave off boredom and balance the less than colorful yarn that Hubby prefers, I chose a more challenging sock pattern.   Hated that.   Turns out that a combination of lace and cables, does not make for good Zen knitting.   Besides, I started to worry that Hubby would find them too busy.   So, I ripped them out and cast on for my favorite simple sock pattern (SK-020 Basic Toe-up Sock), just wider to accommodate Hubby's manly feet.   I was almost done with them when I realized that I had made them an inch narrower rather than an inch wider.  I suppose I could have given them to someone else but Hubby likes the grey yarn and I like Hubby.   So, I ripped them out again.   This time I decided to try casting on the same number of stitches that I usually do for myself and the boys, but using bigger needles.   Rather than my usual 2.25mm needles I cast one sock on with 2.5mm and one with 2.75mm needles.  I knit each toe plus two inches, tried them both on Hubby's feet, and (YAY!) the 2.5mm ones fit beautifully.   Amazing what a small change can make.

As you can see I am pretty far along on the first sock (I will have to rip out and restart the second one).   The photo above makes it look like I am further along than I really am.   I have only just begun to turn the heel.   T2, whose foot is shorter than his father's, was kind enough to model for me.  I like him too.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Just asking...

I have talked a little about how hard it has been to find our place since moving to Florida and how finding our local UU has made a world of difference.   Finally, we have a place to go where we feel loved and accepted.

T2, especially, has come out of his shell since we found the UU.   In the last year+ he has gone from being painfully shy and introverted to an outspoken co-chair of his youth group.  We thought we could not be any prouder of him but it turns out that we can.

This summer our UU youth are planning a trip to NYC.   At first we were hesitant to let him go (Manhattan in the summer is killer on breathing), but after admitting that we really do trust the chaperons and getting the go ahead from his doctor, we have relented.

In addition to the usual Manhattan tourist things, the kids are going to be spending time with the UU delegation at the UN (UU-UNO).   How cool is that?   (They will also be kayaking, which is just odd.   Who goes to NYC to go kayaking?)  

This trip is an annual thing (The kids went to New Orleans to work with Habitat last summer)  Each year our kids and congregation try to fund-raise enough dollars to make sure that any child who wants to go can do so regardless of their families financial situation.   There will be a rummage sale, a car wash, etc.   This year, for the first time, we are asking for help from outside of our congregation.

Now we get to the "asking" part.   Please find it in your heart to follow this link to our "gofundme" page.   Once there pick an aspect of the trip that appeals to you and help us meet that portion our fundraising goal.    I truly believe that the ocean was filled on drop at a time.   Following that thought, please know that however much (or little) you feel inspired to give will be greatly appreciated.


Friday, April 19, 2013

One step forward, three back...

What you see here is the almost completed first section of Knit, Purl, Hunter's April KAL.   I would love to be able to tell you that it is mine, but that would be untrue.   This is Kerri's.   Hers is bigger than mine because she has actually put some time into knitting it.   I, on the other hand, have alternating between "I will get to it later" and "Poop!  What do you mean I have to rip it out again" (except that I don't usually say "poop").     At this point, mine looks only slightly bigger than it did this time last week.   Of the nineteen, repeats (at 12 rows each), I have only successfully knit one and a half.    For some reason, I can't really get into the Zen of knitting this pattern, but I will persevere (at least that is what I have told Kerri).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One cannot live on yarn alone...

Look what my tomato plant gave me!
I would have been excited just not to have killed it but this is really awesome.

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Good Yarn

For a good time visit A Good Yarn
After spending a weekend in Sarasota, a friend came home raving about this awesome yarn shop she visited.   This Friday, on our way to Fort Myers for the weekend, Hubby & T2 (T1 had dog duty) graciously acceded to my request that we make a side trip on this purported yarn heaven.

Friend Kerri did not exaggerate in any way.   As soon as I walked into A Good Yarn I was nearly overwhelmed with the eye candy presented by so many luscious colors and textures.   Visually, this is a lovely shop.   The people (staff and customers) were warm and welcoming.    I absolutely love when a shop's staff is knowledgeable and willing to help without hovering.    A Good Yarn hit that balance perfectly.   I know that we all have our favorite yarns.  For me, the offerings were perfect (Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Habu, Claudia Hand-paints, Handmaiden, Louet, Koigu and a lot more).   It was like having all of my favorite NY/NJ/Philly shops in one place.  I want to move to Sarasota.  At the very least we will have to visit my Godmother more often.

I did ask about online ordering and was assured that they are working on a new website (in the mean time you can give them a call to order).   If their online service is as good as their in-person shopping experience,  A Good Yarn could easily become my next go-to knitting source.

In addition to yarn, and needles (a pick up for Kerri), I could not resist another set of Namaste snap bags (they come in a set of three but I am already using two of them in my knitting bag), these really neat stitch markers called "Floops", and a pair of earrings made from sliced knitting needles (I am wearing those right now).   Sadly I got so excited that I forgot to take pictures of the shop itself (the one above is of my purchases).   You will have to pay A Good Yarn a visit to see for yourself just how awesome it is.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Get with the program

Ridgely KAL 10Apr13

Two thumbs down, a sad face, and a crying face, that is what I got (via text) when I admitted to my cohorts that I have not touched the KAL since Friday.

Apparently, I have been very, very naughty :-)

Monday, April 8, 2013

WIP diving rocks...

The Purl Bee: Linen Tunic

I realized the other day that I would need something other than the KAL to work on over the next month.   The weather in NE FL is finally warming up, which had me thinking of summer knits, specifically a tank top, maybe in linen, maybe blue.    Which brought me to the realization that I had an unfinished blue, linen, tank in the WIP stash.   A short dive later, and I had unearthed the Linen Tunic from The Purl Bee (one of my favorite LYS before the move).  

Not only did I find it in short order but apparently I abandoned it in nearly finished condition.   Were it not for the fact that it had slid off the needles and run back a bit, I could have started on the armholes right then and there.   It was a bit fiddly getting the stitches back on the needles, and working them up (including the last set of decreases) but by Saturday night, the deed was done and I was on my way.

I remember working on this the summer before we moved.    It is knit from the bottom up and  love, love, love the picot hem right at the beginning.   For the life of me, I can't remember why I put it aside.   Possibly it is just another casualty of our move.   In any case, it has my attention now and I can't wait to wear it.

Friday, April 5, 2013

On your mark, get set, knit!

As noted before, I think we are finally settling in.   One sign of that is how much I look forward to knitting on Thursday morning with a couple of friends.   We knit, we chat, we drink coffee.   I love it.

We agreed months ago that we would all do Michelle Hunter's April knit along (the Ridgely Shawlette).   The yarn (CoBaSi) was purchased months ago.   The waiting was hard but we survived.   Now finally the day is here.  The first set of instructions was posted at 9:30 this morning.  

Due to a work conflict we will not be getting together until tomorrow.   There was talk of not peeking until then but I could not commit.   I started peeking a little after midnight (wish I had know about the 9:30 thing).  

My yarn is wound, and I have put the lace pattern onto index cards (my preferred way of keeping track of lace rows).   My KnitPicks Harmony Options have their cables firmly attached.   I am so ready.   Is it tomorrow yet?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Look what I found...

Earlier today, while searching my UFO bins for a past project (more on that another day), I came across this lace capelet.   I remember making it and I remember that it was supposed to be a birthday gift for a NJ friend (before we moved to FL).   What I don't remember is why it never made it to the intended recipient.   The only thing I can think of is that in the craziness of the move I just forgot.

All I had to do was weave in the ends and I had a lovely bit of handmade goodness to wear to a committee meeting tonight.  It looked very nice indeed over black knit pants and a black tank.   So nice, in fact, that I want another one in blue or maybe turquoise.   The only problem  was that, while I remember knitting it, I don't remember where the pattern came from.

Enter Ravelry.   It took a bit of time and multiple searches but eventually I came up with the this:

The Sea Swirl Capelet that I am almost certain matches mine.  Since we moved in 2008, I could not have gotten my original pattern from the source listed on Ravelry,  I suppose I could have the wrong pattern but I keep looking at the two photos and they look the same to me (it even calls for the Euroflax Linen that I used).   In any case, I do have the listed source (2010 Pattern a Day Calender), so getting my hands on it was not a problem.

There are a couple of things I have to finish first.  Plus, I want to take my time picking the color. But, before too long, I hope add at least one more of these sweet capelets to my wardrobe.

Monday, April 1, 2013

A good time was had by all...

How was your Easter weekend?    Ours was just wonderful.

Soon after we moved to NE FL, I found out that Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote "Uncle Tom's Cabin" in Jacksonville, just  NW of where we live, in an area that I drive through at least once a week.    It turns out that her father was a Unitarian Minister and she was living with him in what is Mandarin/ Jacksonville, FL while he served at a church there.   Today the building is the Mandarin Community Club and when we heard that they were hosting an art fair this weekend, we knew we wanted to go.

Consistent with the times, the building itself was rather small and simple but it really was a treat to go inside and see where such an influential American author spent her an important part of her life.  The children's art was showcased inside.   It was fun to see what kids can do when their creativity is encouraged.

The art show was awesome.  The weather, which had been a bit chilly of late, has warmed up nicely.   It was a perfect middle weather day to wander around outside.    I thought it was going to be an art show but it was really more of an upscale artsy craft market.   There were no kitschy craft items, no hair bows, etc.    Each item was one of a kind and unique.   This is the kind of show I grew up going to with my mother and I loved it.   Even Hubby was impressed enough not to hurry me along.    For budgetary reasons we brought home only a couple of things (including kettle corn for Saturday night's Dr. Who premier), but everywhere we looked was eye-candy making "window" shopping a real treat.

This morning dawned bright and warm.  Hubby put out favorite candies for Easter (he is such a sweetie).   We all (even T1, who usually sleeps in) spent the better part of the day at the UU.   First for a lovely, inclusive Easter/Ostara service and then a potluck lunch with our friends.  .It was so, so much fun.  T2 and I were talking the other day.   We agreed that it finally feels like we are settling in here and we have the UU to thank for that.  Holy moly, what a difference a year makes.