Wednesday, July 25, 2007

91 Degrees and Climbing

This is what I have been doing for the past two days:

And this:

Oh, and a couple rows of this:

Last night after collapsing onto the couch exhausted, I reached for my MS3 stole and started working a couple rows...then realized I was one stitch short. I tinked back one row. Then two. Still one stitch short! AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I couldn't find the problem and I was only 4 rows above my latest lifeline so I ripped it out...then spent the better part of an hour trying to get my needles back into the row with the lifeline. I was using a piece of dental floss...actually, the same piece of dental floss I had been using and moving since I started. 225 rows later it was pretty much falling apart and really not much good for trying to hold stitches.

Why didn't I just use a fresh piece of dental floss? Is the floss so precious that I couldn't spare 18 inches or so every so often? I would never characterize myself as frugal, but every so often it rears its ugly head. Dental floss, oh boy. Soon I'm going to turn into my mother, who buys a year's worth of bar soap all at once, unwraps them all, and puts them in the cupboard with the sheets because she read somewhere that the longer you let soap dry out, the longer it lasts in the shower. But you know what really makes soap last longer in the shower? Drying it out and leaving it in the shower as a cracked, brittle mess that no one will touch. Her soap lasted a long time but her kids were filthy. Not me, of course. I am naturally crystal clean and always smell like lilacs.

Ahem. Back to the knitting. I finally got the correct number of stitches back on the needles. Then I stayed up late knitting a few rows so I'm back where I started from before I made a mess of things. Ah, progress.

Now I have to decide what knitting stuff I want to bring with me for the move. We have to have everything packed up by Friday but we won't see any of our stuff for at least a week, possibly longer. I think I'm going to bring some yarn for some headbands I downloaded off KnitPicks and maybe some stuff to start a new pair of socks. Woohoo.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mad Scramble

I hate moving.

Actually, I love getting to a new place and starting over fresh. You get to explore new cities or new neighborhoods and find new favorite places to have brunch, go running, etc.

But I hate the packing. And the hauling. And the sweating. And not having time for the things you really want to knit!

I was complaining to The Brain the other day that I always end up moving during the hottest week of the year. He pointed out that maybe I should stop moving in July/August. (He may have a point, but I still think the universe is against me!)

Well, the felted purse for my mother was completed and delivered. The awful cotton shawl that I hated has been abandoned after my seven year old sister showed no interest in it. I am making steady progress on my MS3 but can't show any pictures today because The Brain took my camera to work today.

I will be absent for a while as I move and get internet access set up in CA. But then I should have more time for knitting and least until school starts up again and then I'll be lucky if I have time to eat!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Letter to a Lost Love

Dear Beautiful, Wonderful, Transforming Books,

By now you have probably noticed, without me having to tell you, that I have been sorely neglecting you of late. Perhaps the first clue was at the used book store when instead of spending all my time sorting through the film books for anything worthwhile and then wandering lovingly up and down the fiction aisles for two or three books to add to the "to-be-read-someday" pile, I made a beeline for the craft section and spent all my time there sifting through the small shelf of knitting books.

Perhaps you noticed something was missing when I stopped laying you next to my bed so I could roll over and pick you up on a weekend morning when I wanted to be awake but wasn't quite ready to get out of bed yet. Instead, my eyes would pop open as soon as I remembered that I had "something on the needles" and I would scurry to the living room to play with string.

I would return to you periodically, and even split my time evenly between you for a while, so I can understand why you may not have noticed the change until it was too late.

But now I am afraid it's time to face the facts: my inclination is to reach for the needles now before I reach for a book. I am ashamed to admit this. I didn't want it to be this way, and I never planned for it to happen. It was all so innocent at first! It's not my fault, really. I was seduced by all those colors and textures and patterns.

Even though we must part for now, I hope that you will still allow me to visit you every so often. Please try to keep an open mind about this. Perhaps one day I will come back to you entirely.

But don't keep your hopes up.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Uh-oh...Do They Have Yarn In California?

So here I am, knitting like mad to finish up the projects I promised to people before I leave (in less than two weeks...gulp!) and a thought occurred to me (well two thoughts actually):

Will there be any yarn stores nearby? I am lucky enough here in Minneapolis to have my pick of tons of lovely yarn stores. There are so many that I have several on my "favorites" list and several on my "the people who work there are so snotty you couldn't pay me to knit with their yarn" list. But...once I get out to CA will I be one of those people who has to drive an hour and a half to find the one yarn store within driving range and be forced to shop there whether or not I can handle the shopkeepers' attitudes? Or, even worse, will I be without any yarn stores at all?

I know people in CA knit because I belong to a Yahoo group of (what seem to be from this distance) fun and fabulous knitters and because one of my favorite blogs (Knit and Tonic) is based in CA. But...when I get to Newport Beach what will be waiting for me? I do purchase a lot of stuff online, but sometimes you just gotta touch the yarn and see the colors and pet the more expensive stuff before you turn your eyes away and go home with the tried-and-true worsted wool that you can afford.

I have done a few Google searches but nothing really close came up. Nothing that would truly qualify as a LYS anyway. Ah well, I suppose I'm willing to make a few sacrifices for the chance to live a mile away from the Pacific coast. Yes, this is a big thing for a landlocked Minnesota girl!

And on to my second thought:

2) What do people in CA even knit??? I have been trying to wrap my head around it and modify my thinking for a month or two now (easier to do when it's a sweltering summer). I guess a lot of tanks and tees. Being relatively new to knitting and living in Minnesota, I confess that all I've ever knit with is wool. Oh, a couple of alpaca shawls, but they weren't for me anyway. I did start a project with mercerized cotton but I hated it so much that it's been sitting on the needles for months now. Anyway, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for some lighter, more appropriate knitted things.

Wow. I've been blabbing on so long that I forgot to talk about my actual knitting! I finished the replacement baby blanket on Saturday and delivered it to my parents' house yesterday. They will make sure it gets to my sister next time they see her. No pic, since it looks exactly like the progress pic from my last post, but 25% longer.

I also knit up the bag for my mother yesterday:

It turned out to be a bit more on the purple side than either of us expected. She wanted it to match a garnet/black shawl she has, but the yarn was quite deceptive! I showed it to her and she's still pleased, so all I have to do is knit up that danged i-cord for the handles and felt it all.

I haven't started clue 3 yet for the MS3, but it has put me in a rather lacey mood (and everyone else in the knitting world, it would seem). I signed up for the Hanami KAL and even went out to one of my favorite LYS yesterday for some more Malabrigo. Lace-weight, this time:

Have I mentioned that I can't get enough of the Malabrigo? And I am loving this lace can get so much more yarn for so much less money! I'm really not a shawl person, or even a lace person for that matter, so I have no idea what I'm going to do with all these lacey things. But I like making them and it's never a problem to have a few nice things around to give as gifts. I just wish I knew my MIL better so I would know whether or not she would like/appreciate/use things if I knit them for her!

And finally, since the MS3 has made me appreciate how pretty beads can look in your knitting, I made a final run to my local bead store to stock up on some 8/0 beads for future projects.
Since I can't seem to locate any yarn stores near my new place I have even more doubt that I will be able to find a bead store either. I picked out some of my favorite colors to take with me if I need them. I'm not sure if the Hanami stole needs beads or not but I got some in pale pink and some clear just in case. I'm really not a pink girl at all so I'm kind of hoping to get rid of the pink ones on this project! (Sorry for the bad pic - my camera ran out of batteries immediately after taking it.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Holy Time Warp, Batman!

Wow, I had no idea it had been this long since I posted last! Well, that's what family weddings, baby showers, trips back to college, etc. will do to your time. Oh yeah, and I have also been frantically working on several projects too.

My sister's baby blanket is about 75% completed, and it's lucky for me that she still hasn't popped the thing out yet because that gives me time to finish it up before she does. Progress pic:

I also fell down the rabbit hole and joined MS3 (before it even started, actually...I read about it on someone's blog). I even convinced my college-age brother to join! (Yup, he's getting into knitting too. LOL) Luckily for both of us, since we're both broke students, I had happened across a bead/yarn store that was going out of business last month and had everything at really steep discounts. I picked up some Misti Lace Alpaca because I liked the colors but I didn't know what to do with it. Voila! The perfect project for my stash!

I am using a sort of brownish-green with olive/metallic beads from Bobby Bead:

The Brain and I also had to decide on a place to live when we move in 2 and a half weeks, which we did yesterday. Now there's a mad scramble to get different moving options to give us quotes and get them approved, start packing, etc. I haven't started panicking yet...just give me a week.

And before I leave I have to knit my mother a purse out of some chunky Malabrigo (LOOOOOVE the Malabrigo!) because she saw the purse I made for myself and wanted one just like it to match a shawl she picked up in Rome last spring.

On the left: my purse, made from 2 balls of Classic Elite Desert. On the right: 3 hanks of Malabrigo chunky, all balled up together. Beautiful!