Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Out of the Haze

It's been a rough couple of weeks.  I reported that I'd been sick with a cold...boy if I knew that phase 2 was around the corner, I wouldn't have said anything about feeling better.

Last Monday I woke up feeling awful.  Headache, body aching and very scratchy sore throat.  Of course, that turned into the laryngitis that everyone else around me had, and I was sick with that for over a week.  I felt tired, unable to think and mostly just wanted to hang out at home in my pjs, with kitties piled in my lap, knitting in my hands, and my audible book playing.

Luckily I got to do that this weekend, and finally woke today feeling almost normal.

But, over the week last week and the weekend, I finished a pair of blue socks, the re-do of Alyssa's hat (it was too small, now it's perfect) and got started on my Peregrine sweater.  I'm using Malabrigo Rios for the yarn.  It's sumptuous and lovely and all I can think about during the day.  I want to dig my fingers in that yarn and work away the entire time I'm at home.  I can hardly wait to wear it!  So soft and lovely...and silky even though there isn't a drop of silk in it.  I think the folks at Malabrigo work a little magic into their yarn...The color I chose because it was the only color there was enough of to make my sweater was Jupiter. It's a lovely pinky, maroony, red-dish color.  Variegated, but since it's in the same color family it looks more like a deep, rich color rather than a mish-mash of a bunch of colors.  From a distance anyway.  It's beautiful, and I already have 6" or so of the body started.  It's knitted in one piece (apart from the sleeves) so that's some pretty considerable progress...can't wait to see how much I manage to get done over the weekend!  I'm excited.

Today's picture is of the lovely blue socks.  They are quite thick and warm and pretty.  The ones on the left are out of a color called "bella coola" and the ones on the right are "blue brick wall" (you'll notice the gold flecks in the one on the right).  They are going to my friend Jeff after I wash them up this weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Knitting Dreams

Every great now and then I'll have weird dreams that really stick with me.  They are usually induced by stress, but not always.  I have "theme dreams"--you know, the ones where you dream the same thing over and over.  I dream of tornadoes, having to go back to take an English class in high school, driving in the "spaghetti bowl" in a big city and running out of bridge (that one is terrifying), losing my teeth, or getting married to someone else and having to figure out how to tell David that I'm doing this.

Lately, I've started dreaming about knitting.  Sometimes, I'm just sitting and knitting and really enjoying myself.  Other times, I'm battling with the knitting and feeling incredibly frustrated.  One time I was knitting this incredibly beautiful fabric (I don't know what it was for) and was astounded at how good I'd gotten.

Last night, however, I dreamed that I was knitting the ugliest little scarf from this really thick blue yarn.  I'd chosen needles that were too small and the fabric was incredibly dense...not very "scarf-like" at all.  I decided it was time to bind off and I looked at the remaining yarn I was sad.  I only had about 6" which isn't nearly enough to bind off.  I was upset, and started to unravel a  row when I realized that my "scarf" (which was hideous to begin with) was only about 12" long.  I decided at that point that I just needed to unravel the whole darn thing and call it a day.

Today's picture is of the hat I'm knitting for Alyssa.  It's a "cloche" so fits close to the head and had a ribbon around it with a button.  It'll be adorable.  You cast on at the crown (which is why it looks like a little baby hat right now) and that was a major pain in the rear.  I had to tweak it and do it "my way" but it turned out ok, I think.  If people are staring at the top of Alyssa's head (which they might seeing that she's so short), then I guess they might notice.  I LOVE the yarn and am thinking I need to order enough to make the awesome sweater I decided to make a couple of weeks ago.  It would be perfect.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Back in the saddle

I'm trying to get "back in the saddle" after being away from work for a couple of days.  I caught a cold over the weekend...a strange little beast.  It never settled in my nose the way colds normally do, but got in my throat and ears and is now making my eyes run.

(I wrote this yesterday and was never able to get back to it...guess I fell out of the saddle!)

I've been knitting a lot, though, and have finished a giant pair of man-socks (see pic below).  They are really quite lovely, thick and warm.  I hope they're not too big, but I say that about every pair of man-socks I make.  Men have big feet, btw!

While this cold didn't really knock me out, I did feel crummy for a few days.  I couldn't think straight and just wasn't all "there" if you know what I mean.  I feel like I'm slowly getting back to myself, but in the meantime:

  • I've been craving coke--not giving in, it's been almost 2 years and I'd hate to undo all that patience and perseverance because I'm needing a sugar and caffeine fix.
  • I've been dying to drink coffee.  Considering how much it hurt my tummy the last few times I drank it, I've refrained (plus I didn't have the energy to go to the store and buy any!).
  • I've been eating a lot of chocolate.  For several days it's all I could taste.
  • I've been knitting quite a bit (as I said).
  • I've been dying to get back in my car and listen to my book on tape (definitely making the commute go by faster and easier).
  • But mostly, I've been wanting to feel better.  I think today I'm close.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My feet

My feet have been bothering me lately...not as you might think, but because they're so strange looking.  In honesty when you take a look at a foot...a real do notice it's kind of weird.  And each person's feet are very unique.  We all have things we like or don't like, and in the end we notice how funny they look.

Some people love wearing shoes on their feet--either because they like their feet, they really don't like their feet, or they have a sense that shoes somehow make up for the weirdness of feet because of all their fashionable glory.

I, however, like socks.  Ever since I can remember, I wanted to wear pretty and stylish socks.  Shoes had to be comfortable and fit my socks.  In the 80s, I can't tell you how many socks I had, and when my college roommate tore up a pair of my favorite socks running around in the parking lot, I was fairly upset (she bought me a new pair of socks, but they were never the same.)

I had always been fascinated by hand-knitted socks, but I always imagined that I couldn't knit because I couldn't crochet (Grandma M told me so) so I never really tried.  I don't know exactly what the "thing" was that spurred me into gritting my teeth and figuring out the knitting thing, but I'm so glad I did.  I LOVE knitting socks, I LOVE wearing hand-knitted socks, I LOVE sock yarn, I LOVE looking at my hand-knitted socks all folded up in drawers, I LOVE thinking about the next pair of socks I'm going to knit.  I'd definitely say I'm having a love affair with hand-knitted socks lately.

And apparently it's contagious because everyone I know wants me to make them or someone they love a pair of hand-knitted socks.  I'm going to pace myself because I don't want to burn out, but right now I'm knitting a beautiful pair of blue socks for my friend a lovely thick squishy yarn.  I want to keep them except his feet are a size 13 men's and mine are a size 9 women's and that just won't do...

Today's picture is of the yarn for Jeff's socks all wound up into "cakes."  The  top two are for him, actually, and the bottom one is for someone special.  And they're different, though not appreciably so.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Finishing Makes me Happy

This weekend my studio had a distinct "barn" smell going on...I had to wash the happy feet (pictured below) socks that I finished (yea!) and also wash my other 4 pairs of hand-knit socks.  I can no wear my socks every day of the week, and I find that to be very exciting indeed!

The new pair of socks, the ones I'm calling "happy feet" are indeed very happy.  They are so bright and cheerful that they inspire smiles.  I'll want to wear my pants slightly short so people will see and ask questions.  I really need to buy a pair of shoes that will better show off my hand-knit socks that will also be comfortable and stylish enough to wear to work...must think about this.

Now that I have all that out of the way I'd like to talk about how finishing makes me happy.  There's something extremely motivating about "finishing" something.  It's quite satisfying and makes me want to start something new.  I like showing off what I've completed.  The sense of accomplishment at finishing things is really quite nice.

I realized yesterday that I only have a couple of projects "in progress" right now.  I have my black and white scarf that I've brought up to work on during lunch.  It's one of those projects that I abandoned a while back because I was so bored with it... I realized on Friday that I really don't have that much left to do on it...finishing it will be a piece of cake...and then I don't know what I'm going to bring up to work on during lunch because the only other things I have in progress are a sweater and blanket and I don't really think either of those is appropriate lunch-time knitting.  I'll have to give that some thought.

Because, if you notice, since I brought something else up here to work on during lunch, that means that I finally finished the cowl that I've been working on for mom's birthday.  She has been quite patient in waiting on it, and I'll put it in the mail tomorrow.  It's quite pretty all bunched up around a neck.  I think she'll really enjoy it.  And while that thing was driving me senseless with boredom while working on it, finishing it left me with a "hole" in my left me wondering what I could find that would be easy enough to work on during lunch and still capture my attention enough to want to work on it everyday.

Finishing the cowl also brought to mind a couple of other one round per day adds up.  How when it's time to be finished with a project I'll just dig in and be done with it.  How when I'm finished with a project that has been around for a while (so long that I'm sick of it), the finishing of it leaves me wistful...wondering why I'm missing it even though I couldn't wait for it to be over with.  How completing things is so very satisfying that I immediately cast on a new project.  How using my creations (or seeing other people use them) is probably the most satisfying thing around.  How much I cherish my creation time and enjoy being able to make things.

Finishing is just plain wonderful...and as case in point, I want you to look at how happy my feet are in this picture!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cakes, and other things that make me happy

I guess I'm working with a theme here...thinking of things that make me happy, maybe will make me happy.

It isn't that I'm unhappy, but things have been so stressful and hard to get through that I'm having a hard time remaining steadfast and positive.  I have wanted to give up in exasperation so many times recently, and that's just not like me.

So, I've determined that I will make myself happy!  The Happy Feet socks have helped go a long way into kicking my rear in that direction.  But they will be finished soon, and I'll need something else to make me happy.

So, I think of things that I enjoy doing and one of those things is winding yarn hanks into cakes.  Yesterday I showed you a picture of my beautiful bright sock yarn in its "hank" I'll show you the picture of it wound into a "cake."

Isn't is pretty?  It's just sitting there waiting for me to pull that center yarn out and start working...which I did about 2 seconds after I took this picture.  In fact, I may have already pulled out the first length of yarn before I took this picture...that's why the center yarn is draping over the back...but I don't remember exactly.

Tonight, my work-friend has brought me some yarn of hers to wind into cakes.  I told her I enjoy doing that. I think people think I'm a little wonky (but I know that to be I don't care if they think it or not!) that will make me happy.

I like other kinds of cake.  Chocolate, cheese, coconut.  Cakes in general are happy things.  Maybe I should make a particularly decadent chocolate cake this weekend.  It has coffee and kahlua and creme de cacao in it so by the time you've eaten a slice you feel very satisfied and happy--life is grand.  It's a thick and rich and delicious cake (and worth about 1/3 of my daily WW points, but that's's worth it) and makes a wonderful breakfast to boot.  I think I've talked myself into that cake.

Cake is definitely one of those things that makes me happy...

Monday, October 1, 2012

A little obsessed with happy feet

I was in a great position Friday night.  I was getting ready to finish up the sock I was making for my friend to give her mother for Christmas (featured in the past couple of blog entries).  Only 3 more rows to finish when I got home on Friday, so I sat down to finish those three rows and bind off the sock.  I was completely prepared to start knitting the socks for my friend Jeff as the yarn had come in on Thursday and I'd already showed him a picture of the hanks.  They are beautiful yarns and look so pretty together.  One is all blue and the other has some gold in it, but the blues go together so nicely.   I was even about 90% sure about the pattern I was going to use...


...I opened my package from Jimmy Beans Wool that had my new needles in it.  I always buy some yarn when I but the needles because you get free shipping if you spend $75 at JBW and that's just too good to pass I threw a few skeins of yarn in the "basket" and then sit and wait until they arrive.  I have a very short memory when it comes to the yarn I just throw in the basket because I usually see so many that I want, that picking out one or two is when they arrive it's always exciting.

This time I actually squealed!

Isn't is bright and cheerful and absolutely beautiful and wonderful? I can't tell you how far it went to cheering me up after some very very stressful weeks.  I immediately wound the yarn into a ball and cast on some socks. I finished the first one last night and was wearing it just because I could.  OH MY how cheerful these socks will be.  And amazing how quickly they are knitting!  I even brought them to work on today at lunch.