Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I love lace!

It's a good day when I can get some major knitting done. Sunday was such a day. I finished a sock, and 42 rows of stole flew through my fingers, and the end is in sight. Not because it's close, but because I've got enough of an idea how the stole will block, so I know how much I have left to do. Rats, it's time to order another two skeins of yarn so I can finish the project. I'm using a pink preemie hat as my ball holder - did you know that 440 yards of laceweight will fit in a preemie hat? and I blocked a bit of the shawl Saturday night so Kerri could see what it's going to look like. I discovered that this is also a ring shawl, in that the entire width of the shawl will nicely fit into a woman's wedding ring, with space to spare. The shawl is going to be 5 pattern multiples by 30 repeats ... if only I were using whatever yarn the original was made in, I'd be almost done now! That one only took 3 multiples and 18 repeats to be 37x77". I'm aiming for 27x60.

I acquired 3 more projects to work on over the weekend. A Fair Isle vest for a friend, a scarf for an aunt, and socks for another friend. All fun to do, and relatively quick. Almost anything is quick compared to the poncho on my list, except perhaps level III.

And level III arrived! I am quite looking forward to beginning on it. I now know the technicalities of what I get to design, and saw the particulars for the swatches. They are going to be such fun! I'll be learning lots of new things, among them, double brioche stitch. Of course, when I saw that I had to get out my IK that had a section on brioche stitch, and think about what scarf I would make in it for practice, to learn the stitch.

This afternoon, between rows, I updated my photo album to include projects from July, August, and September. I forgot to get a good photo of the Golden Gopher vest, but there is one of it in progress.

School is going along well, my editing is behaving itself fairly well, and not much else is happening at the moment. The weekend will be busy, so that's a good thing. Watch for an update next week!

Friday, September 23, 2005


Today was Ladies' Craft Day, and what a fun day it was! I got a box of yarn from KnitPicks, which included a very early birthday present my mom told me to get for myself. All of a sudden, I am surrounded by delightful projects to knit ... might it be time to ration my internet usage so I get more knitting done? Perhaps!

I know I just made a list of things that I'm going to be knitting, but I need to think them through again, so here goes.
1) The Golden Gopher Vest - I've got the yarn, and plan to finish it tomorrow.
2) Kerri's Lace Shawl - 3 repeats of the pattern are done, perhaps out of 18. Goal: Oct 15?
3) Kris's Poncho - half the yarn arrived today. Will start when #2 is done.
4) Parade Socks in plum. 1 done, 1 to go.
5) Other Socks. Have yarn for 2 pair.

And for the 'have not yarns yet'
6) Scarf for Aunt Dolores
7) Dairy Queen hat for mom
8) Fair Isle vest (ooh, yummy!)

Oh, and there's that level III also. And my children wouldn't mind having mittens for this winter.

Writing this all down helps. It really does. If I work an hour or two a day on knitting, I can realistically finish off my 'big' projects by the end of November. Now, two hours a day may not be realistic on some days, but still ... the end of November is something to shoot for. Winter is coming (hooray!!!) and that always lends itself to more knitting.

Today I learned that Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy, may not have been written by John F. Kennedy. And that Elizabeth Zimmerman knit while riding on motorcycles as a passenger. For some time she did it without her husband (sitting in front of her) knowing about it. Doesn't that sound fun?

Monday, September 19, 2005

Level II passed

Good things come to her who waits. Finally, and at last, my level II resubmissions returned to me today. The letter was dated August 28th ... and it began with the word Congratulations. I've ordered the instructions for level III, and have no idea when I will begin working on that level.

For unto me has come this day, in the city of mine own, a boatload of work. True, it hasn't all arrived this day. And indeed, some of it is not yet here. But my plate is about to run over, and my cup is stocked with cocoa and my larder with tea, so I'm all set to be productive.

What's on my plate?
- files to proof for the next book in the CW series
- print copies for a forthcoming workbook in the CW series

- Kerri's shawl (OTK, but may get frogged, depending on what Kerri thinks of loosely knit lace. I prefer a tighter knit myself, but I think this is nice too.)
- Kris's poncho (not OTK, but the yarn is coming! See next item.)
- Marcia's vest, which is not exactly OTK, but neither is it finished. I'm about 3-5 yards of having enough yarn to finish the final armhole facing. So I had to order another skein. And so, well, I had to order more stuff to get free shipping, see ...
- Socks. The TwoStep socks are finished, and I'm almost ready to turn the heel on a pair of Parade socks in plummy colors.
- Level III, which is at the bottom of my priority list. I can say that now, because I don't have the instructions yet. I really do want a clear plate when I tackle this. I think.

- The average household stuff ... teach children, keep the floors clean, walk the dog, feed the household occasionally, clean the clothes ... plus keeping up with friends and family.

So you can see, I have no excuse for not being productive. Doesn't that sound lovely?

'Scuse me while I go proof a manuscript.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Happy Birthday Patrick!

Finally and at last, Patrick's birthday has arrived and the sweater which I have been covertly knitting can be revealed. The back has Carson Palmer's number, and our surname. The sweater fits, has growing room, and looks pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself. The only drawback is that it's not washable acrylic. I've told Patrick that if he throws it in the wash, it will become a felted back about the right size for our dog.

And here's one of our photos from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. I kinda like it (the photo, that is. Of course I like the zoo.) The Sun Bear was looking for a spot to hang out, high up (see the hut roof under the bear's neck? That's ground level, give or take a few feet) and happened to be cruising right past us.

While we were in Omaha, Mom went to her 50th reunion, we did touristy things, went to a YARN STORE!!! and had a grand time. I got a book on knit wraps, and convinced my cousin to pick one that I could make for her. She has excellent taste, and picked a cashmere poncho requiring 3234 yards of worsted weight yarn. If I can find enough of the same color on sale, the cost would be just under $700. Budget-conscious soul that she is, she decided that a simple wool would do quite nicely.

Here's one of the Parade Blue socks that I knit last month. My current project has obtained the nickname of the Gopher Vest. Just think of the blue/white Snowflake vest in Golden Gopher colors, and you'll be right on. It's going well, but if I ever want to make this size again, I think I'll use sport weight or DK yarn. The vest isn't stiff, but its not far from it either. I think a lighter yarn would have a nicer drape to it.

My projects OTK are the Gopher Vest, and the first Two Step sock. Projects-in-Waiting are Kris's Poncho, Kerri's Shawl, and socks socks socks. All in all, a lovely situation to be in. Still haven't gotten back my level II resumbissions, but they should be arriving one of these days, and then I can either re-knit a swatch, or order level III and smile at it while polishing off some large projects. I have, however, almost decided to definitely make a Fair Isle sweater, and a cable hat. Unless I do it the other way. Or maybe I could do two sweaters and two caps, and then pick which combo I like best?

School is going well. We're going to have FOUR DAYS of school this week, hooray hooray. And maybe even four days next week? I've drawn up a rough schedule, and now comes the testing, trying, and making sure if fits our family. TOG is going a bit by the wayside, but I do hope to pull on it for some directed readings and discussions. Ds is designing a map, akin to the map project from week 1, but he's doing it with the cities of Workbook, Math, and Greek, with Homework Lake and Desk River.

I've been reading quite a few children's books lately (funny how that happens when you have children around), but have picked Profiles in Courage by JFK for my seriouser reading. The introduction is a small political education in and of itself, and I'm looking forwards to learning about the senators JFK selected.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Checking in

What a week this has been. The flooding in New Orleans and Katrina have been a whammy that I can't comprehend. Minnesota has mosquitos and blizzards, but those are relatively easy to deal with. Hunker down, know where the nearest woodburning stove is if the power goes out for a while, and toast marshmallows. Or knit.

Speaking of knitting (and you knew I would), the Parade Blues socks are finished, and I frogged the Two Step socks, one of which is back on the needles. They were just too snug. I suppose I could have found someone with a smaller foot ... but they were also a bit lengthy, and that combination of food would be hard to find. I've got 4 seams to go on the sweater, and all sorts of nice yarn sitting at my feet that is waiting to be used. I suppose I'll start the burgundy/gold vest (like the blue/white one I made earlier) first, but the lace yarn is calling my name.

I would like to proudly report that I have taught our dog the 'down' command. We have a ways to go yet, but if we're in a quiet room, and nothing is going on, and I tell him 'down', he lies down within 30 seconds about 80% of the time. I also may have solved the problem of him telling me where I should be. One squirt bottle of water! In past weeks I've been putting him in his crate 3-5 times a day for unacceptable behavior (aimed at getting me to do something I'm not doing.) That number has been 0 the past two days, and the squirt bottle isn't getting used much. Twice the first day, then once yesterday ... and may the downward trend continue!

We'll be out of town next week, but I'll try and update after we get back.