Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Is there a doctor in the house?

Because I have a major case of startitis. I have about five projects going, all of which I started in the past two weeks.

There's the rainbow yarn I'm spinning. I'm about half finished with that. Then there's the secert sock that I'm working on (or should say, started but haven't worked on in a while)

There's this sock that I started on the way to RhinebeckI'm actually planning on ripping it out because I am just not happy with the way it's turning out. I think it has to do with the yarn (Knitpicks Gloss) and the pattern (Sensational knitted Socks) not working together. To say the least I haven't worked on this sock since I got back from Rhinebeck.

Then there's this lace project I startedThe needle I'm using just isn't doing it for me so I'm waiting on some Knitpicks Options for it. To say the least, lace is not easily made with dull pointed needles.

Then there's these socks I started for my Grandmom for Christmas:It's some of the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck and the pattern is from Hello Yarn called Cable Twist Socks. I saw that Grumperina used this pattern and it just turned out so awesome that I thought it would work well with the yarn I got. Of course, I had to rip it once because it was a little too tight, but now it's perfect.

So what do you think, Doc? Am I gonna live?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rhinebeck this, socktoberfest that...

I'd like you all to meet Bernie:He's my new boyfriend. He directs traffic at Rhinebeck and I just think he's so dreamy. (ok, I admit it, I'm only using him for his Rhinebeck connections... can you blame me?)

So I'm still coming down from the Rhinebeck high. I really had a great time. I've already spun up a whole hank of yarn from that rainbow pencil roving.It was so much fun I just couldn't stop myself. And if I had more time there'd be two hanks there. Unfortunately it's not all fun and games here. I do still have school work I have to think about.

I started a pair of socks. I'm not totally forgetting that it's socktober just because I went to Rhinebeck. I wish I could show them to you but unfortunately the recipient just might see them here. You're just gonna have to wait till after Christmas.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where do I even begin?

I have so much to post about, it really isn't even funny!

I suppose I'll start with something that's last. I returned home from Rhinebeck to find a package sitting on my computer desk. Ellie sent me a care package!
Dark chocolate to bring out those happy-making endorphins (always a good thing!) Some very awesome stitch markers which I love, and a really sweet note.

I'm telling you if knitters (or fiber-loving people in general) ruled the world, it would be a much happier place. We all seem to care about each other even when we've never met! It just doesn't get better than that!

Thank you Ellie! I am touched by your thoughtfulness.

Speaking of knitters taking over the world (which they should) the knitbloggers meeting at Rhinebeck was enormous. I haven't got a clue how I missed it last year. I must have been looking in the wrong spot because 100+ women all gathered around like they know each other is hard to miss.

It was really nice to finally put faces to names, but I have to admit, I must read a lot of peoples blogs who don't go to Rhinebeck because I didn't meet even a fraction of the people that I read (I realized later that many of the blogs I read are midwestern knitters or Canadian knitters!) Despite all that, it was still very, very cool.

I didn't get to meet the Yarn Harlot though I did see her from far away. (I'm a bit of a chicken when it comes to approaching psuedo-celebrities!)

After the big gathering, I met up with my bestest knit buddies, Jill and Liz. We had a great time going through the buildings, drooling over fibers, yarns and all sorts of other goodies.Here's Jill and I... and some yarn.

So are you wondering what I ended up with? Well let me just tell you, this particular form of retail therapy was very sweet.DSCN3009
This photo is from my Flickr website. I've put notes all over it to show you know what all of it is. Just click on the picture to read the notes... I'll wait.

I may have mentioned earlier that I was supposed to go to Rhinebeck with Gabe's mom, Diane. Well, we still went together and I had the best time. She is such a sweet lady. In fact, she bought me the niddy noddy for my birthday! I really do love her and I'm glad that she and I are friends despite everything that happened between her son and I.

So, do you think I could resist spinning some of this gorgeous stuff as soon as I got home. You better believe I couldn't!This is the Northern Lights roving that I got. It's sort of like pencil roving but not quite as thin. What a ton of fun this stuff is to spin! I have a feeling I'm going to be spending all my free time working on this because of how fun it is and how awesome it's going to look when I finish!

You might have noticed there was a drop spindle there with all my goodies. It's a Golding drop spindle. I just could not resist. I've been wanting one of these ever since I learned to spin. I took it out for a spin (yes, the pun was intended and I've once again demonstrated what a huge dork I am) and I cannot believe how wonderfully this spindle works. I swear it spins forever! Look at what I've done so far with it.I can spin lace on this thing! Or at least fingering weight which is what it's turning out to be thus far. Absolutely amazing how balanced it is. You may wonder why I bought a drop spindle when I have a spinning wheel. Well, there's just something very relaxing about using a drop spindle. Plus is portable. I would never use it for big projects, just for something quick when I need a spinning fix.

Ok, I think that's probably enough for now even though I have much more to post about! I'll post again sometime this week to finish it all up.

Friday, October 20, 2006

So soon?

So I wasn't planning on posting today, but a little something happened I think you'd all be interested in seeing.

I ran a bunch of errands today, never fun when it's cold and rainy, but they needed to be done in preparation for Rhinebeck. I still had a few hours till I had to go to work so I popped in a movie and knit for awhile. When the movie was over, this is what I saw:That is my poor car covered under at least two inches of snow. And yes, it is sticking to the roads and yes, I do have to drive down to my parents house tonight because I'm leaving from there to go to Rhinebeck. It's coming down in big, fat flakes. Definitely the kind of snow I like to see in... December, January. Not so much what I like to see in OCTOBER!!! Looks like I'll be pulling out the winter gloves for Rhinebeck!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A quickie before Rhinebeck

I finished my brother's socks. So there's a huge end that needs sewing up, whatever. I still consider them finished! I really liked working on these. The yarn is the new Knitpicks Gloss. It's really nice, it has great drape, but I wonder whether it's ideal sock yarn or not. I'm interested to see how they hold up. They're merino and silk... I guess we'll just have to see.

Today was an interesting day in class. We got to shot dart guns into a cardboard cutout of a deer so that we could learn how to tranquilize an animal from a distance. We were working with the real thing too. Real darts, real needles. To say the least we had to be careful. Here's me loading the tube with the charged dart.I'm all business.

And of course the shooting picture.Little did I know that I'm actually a very good shot. I've never shot a gun... ok, I take that back, I've gone skeet shooting once and never hit a single skeet. Not one. With the dart gun however, I hit exactly where I was supposed to. We had to aim for the rump because that's where a good bit of muscle is. I was so proud of myself. Dead on, both times.

Sometimes I really do get to do some pretty cool things.

Well, for those of you going to Rhinebeck, I'll see ya there and those that aren't, I'll be thinking of you and wishing you were there too!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Three more days people!!!

Wow, thank you. Thank you all a million times over. The support has truly been amazing. I particularly wanted to thank 'Anonymous' who left me some amazing insight (from a man's point of view no less!) Ladies, you really should read it!

I am doing a million times better. Once I mourned the loss of the relationship, which turned out to be more the loss of what I thought the relationship could be and less of the loss of him, I felt so much better. Those first few days were rough. I didn't really think I'd be ok again for a long time, but here I am, not even a week later feeling back to normal and ready to move on with my life.

In the spirit of moving on, I'm 100% ready for Rhinebeck. I was going to post about a little something I made for it, but then 'the incident' went down and I never got to. Please don't laugh, I realize I am a huge dork, and I mean huge. I think I had seen some other blogger do something like this awhile back and I thought it sounded like a fun idea. So without further ado, I present to you my Rhinebeck blog bag:Ever since someone posted, I think it was Grumperina, about freezer paper stenciling I've been wanting to try it and this bag gave me the perfect opportunity to do it! It really was so much fun! I highly recommend it. So I'll be carrying this baby around with me at Rhinebeck (hopefully it will be overflowing with fiber purchases!) I just thought it was a great way to put a blog name with a face, you know?

If you have the time between now and Rhinebeck, try it! The bag was super cheap at Micheals, as were the paints. All you have to do is trace the image on to the non-waxy side of the freezer paper, cut it out with an X-acto knife, iron it on and stencil. Super easy and lots of fun. I think the total cost for all the materials was something like $10. Cheap, cheap, cheap! (I'm an enabler, what can I say???)

Three more days to Rhinebeck!!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Thank God for Moms... and Anger

My mom in particular. What other person in the world would be willing to stay up with you on the phone at 1am while you drive down to their house because you and your boyfriend broke up? And then once you got there, would stay up with you, comforting you, until you were able to fall asleep?

Yes, you did read that right. Gabe and I broke up. I have to say, I was completely sideswiped. I had no idea he was feeling the way he was. That is to say, I had no idea the "C-word" would rear it's ugly head. Commitment that is. Had I known he was so terrified of any sort of commitment, I never would have emotionally invested myself the way I did. But on the other hand, I was given nothing but postitive cues. After all, it was he who said "I love you" on my first trip out to Colorado and it was he who invited me out there to live with him for the summer.

Until this moment, I had never truly understood just how helpful an emotion anger can be. In the right situation, namely this one, it can actually be a healthy outlet for the emotions I've been feeling. Anger, when I let it, drowns out the pain.

One thing is for sure. I'm tired of dating children who don't know what they want but who are willing to drag you along until they figure it out. Even if figuring it out means they've figured out they don't want any commitment (or in someone else's words "aren't willing to share their lives fully with someone else and just want their independence." Selfish and egotistical don't even begin to describe it). I'm tired of boys... what I want is a man.

Don't worry about me though, I will be fine. After all, I've done this before. I know how it works and I know that I will eventully heal. I will also not let this ruin the fun I plan on having at Rhinebeck.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's all about the socks.

In honor of Socktoberfest I've created a slideshow of all the socks I have pictures of. I can't say that these are all the socks I've ever made because I know for a fact there are quite a few that never had their pictures taken.

Socks are one of my most favorite things to knit. They're quick and easy and when you're finished you get something awesome to keep your feet warm. This is definitely a plus when you live in a climate where it snows before Halloween (yes, it's suppose to snow this Friday...)

I wasn't always good at knitting socks. Like every new knitter, I was terrified of the idea. They just looked so damn complicated that I wanted to stick to things I knew how to make... like scarves. Then I started working at a yarn shop. I was told in no uncertain terms that I'd better learn to knit them because not only would there be customers coming in asking for help on how badly they screwed up their sock, but I'd also be expected to teach a class on sock knitting. I was given a pattern, a pretty basic one as sock patterns go. I remember it called for worsted weight yarn so you can imagine they were super quick... if you knew what you were doing.

I remember after I'd finished my first sock that they really weren't as complicated as they seemed. Even the dreaded kitchener stitch wasn't nearly as terrifying once the rythmn of it became clear and I could see what it was doing. Many aspects of knitting are this way. It all appears complicated, but everything is just a variation on either a knit or a purl... simple as pie.

Even though I'm now a sock knitting veteran there are still so many techniques I've never tried. It seems with socks the possibilities are endless. Just yesterday I bought this book.
(I couldn't believe they had it at A.C. Moore and that they'd let me use a 50% off coupon on it!) Leafing through it is enough to inspire even the most beginning knitter into wanting to make a pair of socks! In fact, it makes me want to abandon the pair of socks I'm working on so I can start a new pair out of the book. It's funny that the prospect of a new pair of socks is enough to make me want to quit the pair I'm working on, but I digress. There is a downside to sock knitting and this can be a real problem if you're as indecisive as I am at times and that's choosing a pattern out of the thousands of possibilities! Decisions, decisions.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm seeing green...

As promised, I have a green cabled sweater to show you. I spent some time last night blocking the pieces which started off looking stiff and rolled up and ended up looking quite a bit better if I do say so myself. The wonders of blocking never cease to amaze me. The fabric really softened up after I blocked it and the pieces drape really nicely now.

Today was the first day of October break for me. My school gives us a little four day weekend for Columbus Day. I'm sure you can imagine how much I needed this. Despite the fact that I have to work every single day of this break, I am still going to take full advantage of it and treat it as the vacation it is! Going along with that, I spent the entire morning sewing up my new favorite sweater.I love it. It came together so well and it fits perfectly. The modified sleeves are the perfect length and they fit into the sweater so nicely. I just might have to wear this little beauty to Rhinebeck.

That's right folks, I'm going to Rhinebeck. I am so looking forward to it this year. I'm actually going with Gabe's mom which I'm excited about. She's such a fun lady. She's been to Rhinebeck in the past and was all about going again. (Who wouldn't be about going to one of the best fiber festivals in the country?) This year I plan to make it to the knitbloggers meetup there. I missed it last year and I certainly don't want to miss it this year. However, I'm out of the loop as to the details of when and where it's going to be. If anyone happens to know, fill me in please!

Now that it's October, Socktoberfest is in full swing. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten, but I'll save my sock posts for later! After all, with such a cool sweater to show off, how could I resist posting about it?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Notice anything different?

So I've made some major changes around here. I'm sure you've noticed. I've been wanting to for awhile, I just never got around to it until just now. I hope you enjoy the new look of the blog. I plan on making some additions in the future as soon as I can find some more time to fiddle around with it. Stay tuned because I'm really close to finishing the green cable sweater!

Please bear with me while I change some things around here.

A great big thank you!

Once again, I'm so happy to be a part of the knit blogging community and the knitting community in general. I've never met a more generous group of people in my life. Alex, one of the knitters I met out in Colorado was kind enough to send me a little care package with a sample of hemp fiber in it.
She's been taking spinning lessons (how envious am I???) and as a result got to try lots of different types of fiber. I mentioned in a comment that I've never tried spinning hemp and so she sent me some. Thank you, Alex, you're awesome!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Where have I been all this time???

So, I've been out of the loop... I realize I'm out of the loop regardless considering I live in a town with no LYS to speak of unless you count the Michaels... which I don't. But I am in this wonderful online knitting community so you would think that I would have discovered this along with the rest of you. It's been out for more than a year and I've been clueless. I'm speaking, of course, about Cast On.

Why hasn't anyone told me about this?!?! Or maybe I had heard of it, but just didn't think I had the time to listen to an online radio show all about knitting. Well people, I was wrong. I sooooo have time for this. Even if I don't have time for this, I have time for this. What could be better than doing something you love while you listen to someone talk about the very thing you love so much. I've only gotten through two episodes and I'm already smitten.

Sometimes I want more than watching TV while I knit. Well this is that something. This is what I've been looking for! And for those of you wondering, I have been knitting. I'm on the second sleeve of my green cabled sweater and I'm so close to being finished. I'm hoping within the week I'll be modeling a brand new sweater for you!