Monday, September 27, 2004

Catch Up

I haven't been knitting a whole lot lately, but having said that I may retract that statement because I do knit for about an hour each evening. I guess I feel like I'm not knitting much because I'm still working on the same Christmas projects and haven't started anything new lately. At any rate, I'm making progress with the hats and scarves for Christmas, and that's important to me! I'd really love to enter the actual Christmas season in December with all my gifts finished, rather than having to work until the wee hours every night the week before Christmas to finish everything, which has happened many times!

After reading a blog that's near and dear to my heart, since it's my daughter's, Threaded Thoughts (http://www.knitandpurl.com/blog/) and chuckling over her knitting "ladies night out," I decided to share a few laughs with whoever may read my blog regarding my fellow knitters from the Gatlinburg trip. Cathy is still having major problems and has only a few inches done on her scarf --- I'm not sure what the problem is other than she just doesn't want to knit enough to actually spend the time practicing.

Now, Sue, on the other hand, has caught on fairly well. She tried the fun fur and couldn't handle that, so she bought some Lion Thick Chenille and had me cast on a scarf. She had accomplished quite a bit on it until this past weekend, when she tried to teach one of her friends to knit and managed to drop the stitches on her own project and couldn't figure out how to salvage it! So now we have to start her scarf over and I think she decided not to try to teach anyone else for a while! Too funny.

Now, Linda, my start pupil, is going great guns and bought Bernat Boa and learned how to cast on from a knitting book. She called me at home and we discussed the yarn and decided she should cast on 18 stitches for her scarf, which she did, but the next day she showed me that she'd done about 4 inches and had managed to pick up stitches to the tune of now having 31 rather than 18! Golly jeepers - maybe I'm just not such a good teacher judging by the problems my students have! Anyway, we decided for Linda that she'd start decreasing back down to 18 stitches, and then close to the end of the scarf she could increase back to 31 and do another 4 inches. She liked that idea, so I hope it turns out okay! This could possibly be the dawning of a new pattern!

And, last but not least, Joan (fellow employee) knew how to knit but hadn't knitted in years and started again after I showed her some of my scarves about 6 months ago. She borrowed a hat pattern from me that is made on 10 1/2 circular, 16" needles with worsted yarn. Only problem is she bought Lion Thick and Quick and used a 29# circular needle, and her husband thought she was knitting a toilet bowl cover! So she brought in the 4 inches she had knitted and we figured out her gauge and the correct number of stitches, and started her over with 16" circular needles.

Ain't life grand!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Good Intentions

I haven't accomplished a whole lot knitting wise lately, but I've really had good intentions. I've been bogged down for a couple of weeks with GI problems and just haven't felt like doing much of anything. Although, I did manage to go away for the weekend with friends and "rough it" in a cabin way back in the hills of Kentucky - so far back that only 4-wheel drive vehicles or better can even get to the place. No running water, no plumbing, no electricity, actually not much of anything except for peace and quiet and good friends to laugh and talk with. We cooked outside on wood fires and had a wonderful weekend -- some of my friends are really into this stuff and we actually had fried chicken, biscuits and baked potatoes one night, and hamburgers and fresh-cut french fries another! I can't even do that well in my nice city home with all the modern conveniences! While the cabin didn't have any conveniences to speak of, it still had a loft where we threw mattresses down and spent the night with a roof over our heads, which to my way of thinking is a whole lot better than sleeping on the ground would have been! And for recreation we had a basketball goal, and horseshoe pit, and tire swings, etc. The cabin did have a wonderful porch along the whole front and a great swing at one end where I managed to do a little knitting with one of my friends. The others thought we were silly and much preferred to be out on the four-wheelers, but after an hour long ride the first night, in the dark, through the woods, over hills (mountains to my way of thinking), and through creeks, etc. I was very content to sit on the porch and knit a little! "Just a swingin!!"

KY Cabin Posted by Hello

I did manage to finish the hat I'm making for my son in Fixation tiger stripes, so I'm still on target for my Christmas presents. I've now cast on another Fixation hat for my grandson, and the second of the red and white striped Christmas hats, and 3 different scarves, just because I couldn't wait to see how the yarns were going to look. All in all, I guess I'm doing okay!
Our group, minus L who was taking the pic. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


I finally finished a Christmas hat - I know it's early, but since I'm a slow knitter, I figured I'd better go ahead and make one and see how long it takes. The Regia wasn't as bad to work on as I expected. The 4 x 4 rib looks really good so all in all I'm quite pleased with this little project. Now I only have 3 more to make, but at least I know what I'm in for!

Entire length of hat Posted by Hello

Christmas Hat - Finished 8/24/04 Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Lost My Mind in San Francisco

I recently visited my daughter in San Francisco and had a wonderful time, but I didn't realize I'd actually lost my mind while I was there. I did realize it when a package came this week from her with yarn in it that I'd ordered with her one day when we were checking out sock yarn online. We saw a really pretty wide-stripe Regia sock yarn that was red and white, and talked about what pretty Christmas hats it would make for my three grandsons for Christmas. She did remind me that it was sock yarn, but as I had just made a hat on #5 needles for my infant grandson, I said I could handle making some more hats with a #5 (I usually prefer about an 8 or 9 needle). Anyway, when I opened the package and saw the red and white striped "string" I almost cried, and I knew that I really had lost my mind. What ever possessed me to buy 6 skeins of this yarn for hats for me and the boys?

Regia Sock Yarn Posted by Hello

I swatched it with #5 needles and there is just no way. So then I tried #3s as the mfg. recommends 2s or 3s with this yarn. I decided I could get buy with the 3s so I cast on the 140 stitches necessary for the 18-mos to 4 yr. size hat, and then decided that rather tha do a 2 x 2 rib with this string, I'd do a 4 x 4 rib, and at least that would seem a little faster. So I proceeded to knit and purl the first rib row of 4 x 4 and got to the last 4 knit stitches and realized I'd goofed again -- where is my mind these days! So then I had to rip it out and cast it back on with 4 less stitches to make the 4 x 4 rib work out right! I've only done about 2 1/2 inches now, but I think it will be okay, just not very thick! I hope everyone doesn't have as hard a time as I do with their knitting projects!

Regia Christmas Hat Posted by Hello

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Trouble in Fixation City

I was so excited about making the Christmas gift scarves and hats for my son and grandson that I decided to go ahead and start the hat even though I hadn't finished the scarf yet for my son.

Fixation yarn doesn't have a dye lot to match, so I felt safe in buying the yarn at 2 different stores since neither had enough for both projects. Unfortunately, there does seem to be a huge difference in the colors of the yarn, as you will see in the picture below.

Fixation hat and scarf - in the works! Posted by Hello

I was also amazed at how different the scarf looks from the hat because of the stitch I chose. The hat is a 2 x 2 rib and the scarf is a 2 K x 1 slip rib, so over 3 stitches rather than 4 like the hat The stripes look so different in the hat and the scarf that it's hard to believe I'm using the same yarn for each. I am a little disappointed in this difference, but I don't think I'm disappointed enough to rip either out and start over! And, since the colors seem to be so drastically different, I don't know how much difference it would make to do the scarf over in a 2 x 2 rib to match the hat. I really have tried to talk myself into ripping the scarf out and just starting over, but I think my laziness outweighs my disappointment today. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel more ambitious!

Monday, August 16, 2004

Gatlinburg Trip

What a wonderful weekend it was. I went to Gatlinburg, TN with the girls from my office, and we had a ball. We shopped and ate and drank bourbon slushes in the hot tub and really had a relaxing, fun weekend.

I had already begun to teach Cathy and Sue how to knit, and Linda learned this weekend. And, I mean she learned. Within 15 minutes of teaching her the knit stitch, she was ready to do the purl stitch, and from then on she was happy as a lark.

We sat down to knit and watch Cold Mountain about 10:30 pm after our hot tub session. And, by the way, I can’t personally recommend Cold Mountain to anyone because we all felt it was just depressing and violent, which still wouldn’t have been too bad the ending had been great, but, unfortunately that wasn’t the case in our opinion. So, not to discourage anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but if you want something uplifting and in the realm of happy, forget about this movie!

Anyway, back to the knitting. Cathy started practicing her knitting with me about 2 months ago, only the knit stitch, on size 11 needles with Jiffy yarn in a pretty light pink variegated color. Sue had her first lesson about a month ago, but hadn’t had time to practice since then. She is using size 9 needles and the Jiffy yarn in a green/purple/black variation. I brought Linda size 7 needles and the Jiffy yarn in a purple/blue variation. And, as I said, Linda just caught on lightning fast, which made Cathy and Sue a little green. They started calling her “teacher’s pet” because I was bragging on her. So then I had to turn my attention to them, and Sue was doing very well, just taking it slow and easy. I offered to teach her the how to purl, but she decided that knitting was enough for her to handle at this point, and she just wants to make fuzzy scarves, so we will soon be starting her on something different. For now, she is content to make a scarf with the Jiffy. Cathy, however, managed to get drop two stitches in the 30 minute or so time span that my attention was diverted by Linda and Sue. By the time she told me about it she had a huge mess and, since the dropped stitches were several rows back from the row she was knitting, I decided it would be best to start over! She started to rip out the 3 inches already knit and couldn’t even get them ripped out because the yarn was so matted together in places. (She doesn’t call it dropping stitches; she just says she has a “hole” in her knitting.) We were all laughing so hard by this time, as you can imagine, and continued to laugh when she decided that the reason she is having so much trouble learning to knit is because Sue and Linda have prettier yarn than she does. So, I agreed to give her the extra skein of purple/blue variegated I had brought along if she would knit 10 rows on the 15 stitches I had just cast on for her. Well she really tried, but she said the “pressure from trying not to get holes” was just more than she could stand. So, after she got 3 rows done, I gave her the variegated and cast on 15 stitches so she could make a "pretty" scarf.

It really was hilarious, and I just wish we had it all on video tape, but I did manage to get a picture of the three of them knitting – oh, and I forgot to mention we were all in our pj’s! Cathy was much happier with her purple/beige variegated yarn and managed to get at least 5 rows done before giving up for the evening. Sue had worked diligently and had knit a couple of inches on her scarf, and Linda, my star pupil, had knit about 6 inches by that time. I didn’t get much accomplished on my hat and scarf for my son, but we had a great time, and that’s what’s really important.

Flossie Chicks Knitting Club Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Wishful Thinking

Well, I'm new to this blog business, but I like the idea of being able to put my thoughts down in writing, even if no one else ever reads them. And, I do enjoy reading the blogs I've stumbled on, so maybe this will be the beginning of a whole new life phase for me!

I am at the moment wishing I could be home knitting rather than sitting here in the office at my desk attempting to get some work done. I have started a hat and scarf for my son for Christmas out of Fixation yarn, the tiger stripe, and I'm really enjoying working on it even though it seems to take forever with the size 7 needles. Lately I've been doing scarves with 13s and 15s, so the 7s seem little, but surprisingly enough, they do give me more satisfaction; I feel as I'm really knitting - don't ask me why. At any rate, I've decided to knit a hat and scarf for my son and for his almost 4-year old son for Christmas. I've knitted stuff for my grandson before, but never for my son, and while I feel sure he will really like the special effort, I think he will be more likely to actually use the hat and scarf if it's a father-son deal!. My grandson loves wearing what I knit for him, and it really makes you feel good to hear him tell a stranger, 'My gramma made this for me." I'm actually planning on making red and white striped hats for all three of my grandsons for Christmas this year. I'd like to make them for the boys and their parents, and me too, but I'm not speedy Gonzales when it comes to knitting, so that might be a little too ambitious. I'll stick to hats for the boys to begin with, and maybe then can branch out to a matching one for Gramma. That would be a cute Christmas picture I think. If I actually get the hats done, I'll put up a picture.

This weekend I'm going on our annual "girl's weekend" with some other women in my office. There will be 5 of us in a chalet in Gatlinburg, TN and I'm really looking forward to the time together - 3 of us plan to knit, and I think one more might want to learn how, so I'll probably take something extra along just in case she really does want to follow through. At any rate, I hope to get some real knitting done on these gifts, hoping of course that the Bourbon Slushes that one of the girls is going to make won't cause any long-lasting problems with my scarf and hat! I'm really looking forward to the shopping, and eating, and just lying around time with the girls. We all look forward to this once a year trip. Just a time to get away from all the normal demands of life and think of no one but ourselves. Some may call it selfish, but I just call it good sense.

Well, I guess I'll actually get back to some of this paperwork, I'm the office manager in a busy dental office, and there's always something that needs to be done yesterday.