Thursday, January 31, 2008

Old Knitting Projects - part 2

Seems like everyone has middle of the night whiney pets stories. Bert's not alone. He must have sensed I was talking about him because that night he didn't whine and cry - instead he came up to me about 4:30 am and started petting my cheek. And petting - and petting - and petting. I would shoo him away and a minute later he'd be back petting me. Finally I gave in and gave him a good tummy rub. Two seconds later he was fast asleep.

More Projects

Time to continue the tour of old projects around the house.

Back when I was in 4th or 5th grade I discovered cross stitch. My girlfriend and I would sit around and make the stamped cross stitch. One know the ones. You used to get them at the dime store and they came with the fabric pre-stamped with the design and had the thread and needle in the kit. I think this is the first one I finished and gave to Mom. I know I made one for her that took me FOREVER to finish. It was titled "Give Me Time".

Shortly after college I was up to my eyeballs in crafts and couldn't possibly start another one. Mom started a needlepoint picture at a class and couldn't figure it out. So I read the instructions and taught her how to turn the corner. That of course meant I had to do a needlepoint project of my own. At the same time I found out we had a family crest so I sketched it out and made a needlepoint version. (Okay - now you know my last name and where the Jill's Chat came from...)

Yet another craft obsession. While at the Yarn Shed (friend's shop) I tried the frame looms and found out weaving was fun. So -I convinced Dad to make me a table loom from a pattern I found at the library and this lead to going to Siever's one summer for a week to take a weaving class. I bought one of their 4 heddle loom kits and had to build it in my garage. While I was at Siever's I made a sample of weaving designs. I liked it so much I entered it in the StateFair and this is one of my ribbon winners.

Here's another of my crochet pieces. I tend to keep crochet for the doily/ tablecloth type projects because I'm not real thrilled with how bulkier crochet looks. This doily was made to cover a small bookcase top I have.

I also quilt. Here's a couple wall hangings. The Christmas one is quite old a couple weeks ago it was replaced by the spring/valentine's hanging.

Last picture for this time around - I didn't actually make this project(it and several thousand others were made in China) but I was part of the design process. Every year Dayton's (a local department store now owned by Macy's) used to have Santa Bear. For a while it was Santa Bear, Miss Bear, and a short time even Bully Bear. In the summer of 1991 I was approached and asked if I could design something for a bear. They were very mysterious but it sounded interesting so I said yes. It turned out to be for Santa Bear, Miss Bear and Bully Bear (who got cancelled before I was finished because bullies aren't good for kids). Off I went. They gave me what they wanted - snow outfit - music - pocket for a cassette. I made what they asked for and thought it was too busy. I was right. The musical notes and pocket were just too much. The final design ended up being the bear below. It ended up using the snowflake I made for the hat as the main design element and no pocket. This was all complete by November 1991 but he was the bear for 1992. I spent an entire year not being able to tell anyone about it. The summer of 1992 I made outfits for 3 full size Santa Bear costumes. I'll hunt up those pictures some day and post them. Seeing giant bear parts laying around the house was a pretty bizarre sight.

Spell check isn't working so if you've found any bits of strange spelling - sorry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

3 AM Whining








What do you what Bert?


Bert, come and get in under covers. Chief and I are here in the bedroom.

Bert comes to the bed and silence reigns supreme.

The following conversation is a sample of a typical 3:00 am at our household. Why can't he just come to bed. Why do we have to go through the dramatic scene in the hall every stinkin' night!?!

Old Projects - New Pictures

This weekend I went around the house and took some pictures of my old projects for you to see. Some knitting, some other stuff.....
Let's go to the living room. Several years ago Knitters magazine came out with their cable sampler afghan. A couple patterns each issue. It was great looking but after making 5-6 squares I lost interest. I took a couple of the squares and made a pillow from them. The other squares are sitting around waiting for me to decide what to do with them. This is Woolease and I think size 7 needles.

Next up - this little guy was sitting on the coffee table from our knitting night. It's the Mason & Dixon baby sweater from their book. I never finished it cause I decided it needed a crocheted edge or something so, here it sits waiting for an edge and a closure. It least it was a good example of what garter stitch can make...

Over on the other side of the room is my Grandma's table. It's a great old table but has a bit of aged look. So- it got a crocheted tablecloth. I made this one about 4-5 years ago. I can't remember the pattern but had to "show it off". On the table are a couple of my stained glass projects. No, not the lamp- the candle holder and the little box. They were a couple of the beginning projects we made in the class I took with my friend.

I keep my house pretty cool so over several of the chairs are shawls people can put on if they get cold. I've showed you the Victorian Shawl before so here's one of the others. This is a simple garter stitch on big needles shawl I made 20+ years ago. I think it was Reynolds Kitten but I wouldn't swear to it. The blue thing behind it was an experiment in my machine knitting shop days. I tried scanning an Escher picture and knitting it up. It worked out pretty good but it was just a long rectangle so I threw it over the chair so the cats sit on it and when company comes - the blue thing is put in the closet - clean chair....

You've seen Sam the Ram, you've seen the Grandma doll, well I like making dolls. What can I say. They don't need to fit your body. Several family members have some of these dolls. They're from Cottage Creations. The first one is Solveig. She's from the Sven Scandinavian booklet.
These 2 are Bridget and Paddy from the booklet of the same name. All the dolls are made from Germantown yarn. Bridget's hair was knit wool, washed and dried and then unravelled to get the curls. And, yes, you guessed it. I made them about 20 years ago.

Starting to see a pattern here? I knit a ton of stuff back then. From the late 70s thru much of the 80s I worked at the Yarn Shed Friday nights and Saturdays for a friend of the family and I knit whenever I was at the shop I knit. After that time period I did minimal knitting until I started managing a sewing/knitting machine store and eventually had my own shop. So, most of my knitting is the past 3-4 years or over 20 years old or machine knitting.

Next time I'll show you some of my designs from my machine knitting days. Until then, let me know how to convince Bert to just come to bed and not wake me up to tell him it's okay to come to bed. That darn cat!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Who Knew? - or I've got a bunch of questions

Little did I know that mentioning Poptarts would bring so many comments! Guess ya gotta give the people want they want - junk food. There were a few off line emails going back and forth today and the general opinion of everyone is the Brown Sugar Cinnamon (frosted or not frosted) are the best, Frosted Raspberry is a favorite but the Chocolate varieties are generally avoided. I hadn't had Poptarts for a while and bought the Chocolate chip cookie dough ones just for the fun of it. Don't bother. They taste very fake and have no real chocolate flavor. The other one I didn't like was the S'mores. Just not like the real thing. But - all in all - I still like Toaster Strudels the best. Any one else have a favorite - Poptart or Toaster Strudel and what flavor?
Indie Sock Yarn Question
Since I'm asking questions I've got another. I got All Things Heather yarn from my secret pal a while back - made some great socks and love them. When I made them they ran a lot. The water was changed many times till I thought I had them free of extra dye. Today I was washing my pile of socks and the water turned raspberry fairly fast. So - everyone got "out of the pool" cause the All Things Heather socks were peeing in the water. I washed them separate (bad socks!) and rinsed them several times. The rinse water still had a bunch of dye in it.

Some of the water after washing and 2 rinses - this time around.

Is this common? I haven't bought much indie dyed yarn and I've had minimal problem with dye after the first wash. What's everyone elses experience?

Socks after several rinses - still a nice dark raspberry.

Teaching New Knitters Question

I've been teaching my friends to knit for a couple weeks now. The 2 gals that came the first week are knitting. Bad tension, adding a lot of extra stitches but - they're knitting. One friend joined us the 2nd week and picked it up right away except for adding a ton of extra stitches. The guy that started the first week gets it for a while then totally loses it. They're coming over tonight again and I think I'm going to have him try crochet for a bit. 1 hook - 1 live loop. It might give him a success that we can turn into knitting. The problem right now is he'll drop a needle and pull the yarn or have such loose tension that his size 8 needle looks like he's knitting on a size 15 needle. We tried bulky yarn and larger needles but that didn't help. I just think he need to get a feel for tension before he'll be successful at knitting. Anyone have opinions on this? In the mean time the 3 gals are practicing: through the door - around the back - out the window and off jumps Jack (hey - don't laugh - it works!)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Read the Manual - if you've got one

We figured out who was making the Koolhaas hat. She did make the same mistake I originally tried to make. So - some day she'll make the hat again (it was already ripped out).

The last couple nights I made a couple more preemie hats for the K3tog gals. They were a nice distractions to the oven trauma we survived this week. What trauma you ask, well, it's a doozie and falls in the "read the manual first" category of life.

Back a little before my folks left the house their refrigerator died and the stove was not in good shape. It was the same stove from when I was in high school (or earlier) We're talking 35+ years old. They kept that stove limping along because it was unique. I had 1 1/2 ovens and was 40" wide. Not a common stove in today's world. The place in kitchen fit it perfect. To put a regular size stove in there would look wrong. So - they they were with crummy equipment and I said - let me buy new appliances because I'll be moving in when you move and they'll end up being mine anyway. Parent being parents said Nope. I finally convinced them to buy a frig and I'd buy a stove because I wanted them to match and I found a 40" stove that I knew cost more then they would want to spend. we trouped over to Lowe's and special ordered the stove and bought a frig to match. They're both black. They were delivered. Mom and Dad used them (sort of) for a while and eventually moved out. Where were the manuals? No clue.

This week I decided after a year of pizza and other oven spills it was time to auto-clean the oven. Seemed like a simple process - Push the clean button the door would lock and magically the oven would clean saving me from manual labor and giving me more time to make preemie hats. HA! Not so easy. I pushed the clean button and the door lock button started flashing. It didn't seem to be doing what it should so I tried opening the door just a bit so see if it was locked. Nope. However, it did lock about a milli-second after I opened the door. Lock down - door open - not a good thing. I hit the clear button and spent the next 10 minutes trying to get the lock to unlock and get the stove to quit flashing F9 at me while it laughed at me in a taunting beep-beep voice.

I unplugged the stove - no help - Chief and Bert inspected behind the stove - no help. I hit the clear button again - no help. I raised my arm in disgust - no help.

I left it unlocked over night while I googled my model stove and looked for a manual. Big help - it said to reset the stove. Been there done that. Really don't want to call service for an open door. The next day I forgot to call service. I ate pop tarts for supper. Next day I forgot to call service. I tried plugging it in again - F9 - BEEP-BEEP! I decided to try something drastic. I hit the Clear button and then the clean button and then the clear button again. WOW! the door lock opened up and life was again good.

After all this I read the downloaded manual and surprise it told me to not try and open the door while the lock door button is flashing. If I read that before it would have saved 2 days of trauma.

So - your reward for suffering through my story is a couple kitty pictures:

I really like the new kitchen floor for stretching out but it's been kind of loud in here lately - Chief

I know! What's with that black thing over there making all the noise? - Bert

Little side note - some pictures you can really see the effects from Bert's Belle's Palsy. His poor little left eye doesn't blink good (or squint in the sun light) like the right eye.

Here. Now you can see both sides at once. I'm ready for my close up - which side is better? - Chief

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Big Red Apple

The Koolhaas Hat is done. Finished it last night and threw it on my head. Yup. I'm a big red apple. I found out a couple things making this hat. I like cable, I don't like putzy little "cables" that happen on every stitch. Way too much work. Every 4th row you're you're moving every single stitch with it's neighbor and heaven forbid you forget which row you're on. I did end up with one row that was half row 1 half row 3. Not a pretty sight and of course ripping back is slow because of all the stitch movement you did to get that far. (I don't frog cause I'm from the old generation of knitting that used to rip before frogging was invented, so I rip.) Back to the hat.

I think I know where the other knitter (wish I could remember who it was) may have had problems with the decrease rows. The first decrease row starts out "*P1, knit next 2 sts through their back loops (k2tbl), p2tog......" and continues. The first time I started this row I was watching Deal or No Deal and they were into the Million Dollar Challenge. The garage man (one of New York's strongest) was picking off the low numbers and it was getting exciting and well - I wasn't reading the pattern as well as I should have. I started knitting - purl 1 - knit 2 together in the back loop - purl 2 together - etc. Got about 1/3 of the way through the row and knew I wasn't going to have enough sts left on the needles. So I re-read. AH! It's purl 1 - knit 1 in the back loop - knit 1 in the back loop - purl 2 together. That worked out the way it should.

I hope this was the problem the other knitter was having and that somehow she reads my blog and can finish her hat. It's a great looking hat and I'd hate to thing of someone making it to 10 rows left and not finishing! The other thing I'd change - I did 4 repeats. The pattern calls for 4 or 5 repeats depending on for a guy and gal. I should have done 5 repeats.

When I took the picture I was stunned at how grey my hair looked. I have some grey hair. I have since I was 29 years old. It's a fact of life but, most of the time the massive quantities of grey on both temples is kind of hidden in all the dark brown hair. Not in this picture. I did a lot of cropping to get rid of the grey. But with all this I'm still not ready to dye my hair. Too much work. I take a shower, wash my hair, towel dry , run a brush through and call it a day. If I had to think about touching up roots I'd die (no pun intended). Even my cousin started "highlighting" her hair. Am I the only one who isn't into all this fussy stuff?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Intertwined Kitty Parts

Bert really likes his big brother. Chief likes Bert a lot too. Which is good because Bert likes to walk all over Chief, find a comfortable spot and plop down for a nap. This time was Chief's head. So- what did Chief do? Put his arm around Bert and give him a hug. - good kitty!

There's a request for preemie hats from K3tog and I had a major case of "no way I'm going out in that freezing cold weather" this weekend so I knit. I got 4 preemie hats done. Two are in sport weight and two in worsted weight.

I have a major problem with needing to figure out the unknown, problems, challenges. Last week someone mentioned in their blog they were working on the Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood. Once this person got to the decreases they had problems. Which I could remember whose blog but I can't, sorry. Anyway- I had the magazine this hat is in -Interweave Knits Holiday 2007 so I decided to give it a try. I'm using some red wool I had hanging out around the house from another project. What I can tell you about this project so far it - It's a slow go. You knit in the back of the knit stitches to get the twisted knit and every other row is a 1-1 cable stitch on every 2 of 4 sts. Cables vary between k-p and k-k cables. I'm not up to the decrease yet so I don't know what problems might come but it's an interesting hat to knit so far.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Where did Wednesday go?

Yesterday I posted pictures of old Christmas sock - pictures of old Cable scarf, pictures of new yarn and needles but - no Worldwide Wednesday. It's been such a week that I totally forgot about it until last tonight. Sorry. I'll try to be better next week.

Today went much better - sort of. At least no Mom problems. One of the things I do at work is give webinars to customers out of our city on a web based management system our company provides to the sites we manage. Don't worry I won't go into boring detail. Anyway - I've done a few training sessions at a college in Iowa and every stinking time I set up a training session something goes wrong with the webinar set up. Last week the server was being reset and I couldn't get on for 10 minutes. This week the meeting center wouldn't let me start up the webinar for anything. I HATE when that happens.

At least the rest of the day went well. Tomorrow night the friends are coming over for a second knitting lesson and this weekend I'll stay inside as much as possible because the weatherman says we're in for another ice age in Minnesota. BRRRRRRR!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

20 Year old Christmas Sock

Well I survived the second day of Mom's surgery stuff. Today was fill in the pothole on her face day. She got a skin flap put on and it ended up taking a long time. I planned on 2- 2.5 hours away from work but it took 4 hours. But - we're done other than keeping it clean and getting the stitches out in a couple weeks.

So- here's the pictures I promised for several days.

1. The Christmas Sock - I started this about 20 years ago and just had the foot to do. It's a bulky wool - I still can't remember the name. Size 9 needles. There may have been a pattern at one point but the heel and foot were just me horsing around with patterns. After all -it doesn't have to fit.

Here's the 20 year old part of the sock. It aged well.

2. The Mitered Washrag. This is the Sugar 'n Cream stripes cotton. Size 7 needle. The basic miter square. I think I started with 70sts. I tend to throw stuff on the needle and just wing it so I'm really bad a details some time. I like the way this yarn stripes. Looks like I did more work than just knit!
3. Which way is up Cable Scarf.

Back over a year ago ( I was still in the other house) I saw a reversible cable scarf in a shop and thought - I can do that. I didn't have any time to really look at it other than to see the cable was done with k1,p1. But driving home I thought about it and figured the body of the scarf would need to be reversible "flat" stitches with a little bit of variety so. I work on it here and there and here's what I have so far.

Sorry the picture isn't better contrast. The basic pattern is:
CO 36.
Start with 6 rows (3 ridges) garter st.
3 garter st, k1, p1, 3 moss st, cable ([k1,p1]x4), 4 moss st, cable, 3 moss st, k1, p1, 3 garter st.

Do a left 4x4 cable every 10th row keeping the k1, p1 pattern.
Knit to desired length.
End with 6 rows garter st. I'm using Woolease on size 8 needle.

Final set of pictures is a present to myself. I ordered some stuff from KnitPicks during their move and it finally came. Yup, that's another sock book. Can't have enough even though I NEVER use any of the patterns but they're great inspiration.

I got some Options needles and cables. I didn't buy the full set because I have so many needles and I have the Boye Needle Master so I just wanted a few of the basic sizes. I also got the size tags.

I got some yarn. Wool of the Andes. I have absolutely no idea why I bought this. If I had a project in mind I can't remember. These aren't my usual color choices for stash so - got any ideas?

Once everything got out of the packing the Box Inspector got busy to be sure it was made to the proper specs.

Yup. Looks like we'll need to inspect this further. - Bert

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pooped out

Long day - really tired - no pictures -

I got up - called Mom to get her up and get her ready for in office surgery on a basal cell "mole" by her nose. This surgery is little short bits of surgery followed by 1 1/2 hours of waiting for the cells to be processed to see if everything was gotten - followed by another short bit of surgery. Rinse and repeat. We got to the office by 8am after losing her purse, finding her coat, introducing me to EVERYONE (again) as we left her place, hitting McDonald's for breakfast, dealing with rush hour. Then the long day in the office with some knitting while I waited. We were done at noon but - surprise - lucky me - we get to come back tomorrow to do the reconstructive surgery and put a skin flap on the dime sized hole on her face. So I have to reschedule a few appointments tomorrow. After the office we went to lunch and I got her back to her apartment to be introduced again to the same people and try to find her purse. Seems Mom has been putting her purse in her mail box lately. Her world is very creative.

So - I finally got done with Mom for the day and went home for a couple hours before heading out to the dentist to have a tooth worked on and prepped for a crown.

Here it is, 9:30 at night. I've been home for an hour. My mouth is still numb and I can't drink my tea very well. I'm tired of coping all day with health things and I just didn't feel like getting pictures of the Christmas sock and other things. Maybe tomorrow...
at least I have the boys to cuddle with. Here Chief.........

Sunday, January 13, 2008

More old Projects Bite the Dust

Friday night was great. I ended up having 3 friends over to learn to knit (a couple are still having things going on so they can't come yet). Each had varying amounts of success but all left with at least 3 rows knitted. Some knitting looked more like knitting than others but - it's a learning process and the basic steps to making a stitch were drummed into their heads and now we'll work on gauge and having the hands in a good place to create a good looking stitch. But most important - they were interested enough to want to come back next week. Hopefully, by then the others can join us.

One small set back in the evening was Chief deciding to chew on my cousin's yarn. The cousin with cat allergies. Few people want cat spit yarn but someone with allergies - that's a big no-no. L was a good sport and just laughed it off. They all left with needles and yarn and a willingness to practice at home. You can't ask for more than that.

Ive spent this weekend so far working on OLD projects. Remember the white mitered mittens I finished after 20 or so years? Well, that box had other projects. A couple have been returned to there original form (balls of yarn) but I'm working on a few others. I finished a Christmas sock I started in the early 80s. It's about 15 or so inches long out of a bulky wool. Can't remember the name but it was a popular yarn at the shop back then. Knit on size 9 needles. It just needed the foot but- no pattern. That didn't stop me. I drew a snowflake and a holly leaf and knit up the foot. One more project done. The camera is hiding at the moment so pictures will follow.

I've also been working on the 3-1 rib socks for SIL. I swear these socks will never get done. I'm bringing them with me Tuesday for Mom's surgery so hopefully some progress will be made then.

I found some self striping Sugar 'n Cream that I hadn't seen before so thought I'd give it a try. I made up a wash rag to see how it looked and I like it. It's in shapes of blue and made a great looking wash rag.

In other news - the basement still hasn't been finished since I had it waterproofed. There's a 18" "border" all the way around that the tile was removed to do the waterproofing. This border needs to be repaired.
There's the problem, The tile down there is 9" square 60 year old commercial grade tile. It's not made anymore. I managed to find tile that same type but 12" square. Now I have to figure out if it's worth putting a tile that doesn't match around the outside as a border to level everything off and put a "good" floor on top of everything or just get a border on and call it a day. The tile down there right now has 60 years of use and could definitely use being replaced but - it take time and money. Such decisions..... which is the reason I haven't finished it yet. I'm busy being decision impaired. Help!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Packages are fun!

I never get packages. Well, that's not literally true. During the Secret Pal 11 (Hi Nerd Girl!)I got all sorts of wonderful packages. But - most of the time - nothing. I get lots of mail addressed to my parents asking to donations. There's no way I could use every address label that has shown up with Mom's name the past year even if they had the right name on them. You know the type - here's some address labels now, you should feel guilty enough to give us money. Or there's the gift of a little rosary (hello, we're Methodist. Rosary-not a big thing around here.) Lots and lots of "recyclable paper" comes into the house but few packages. Until today..

3 - count 'em - 3 packages were waiting for me when I got home. A feast of packages!
The white one is clothes from Blair - you don't get to see those. A couple tops and couple pair of pants - boring stuff. But- the other 2 packages are my books from ebay. Both came today. Both are in wonderful condition and I have some good reading this weekend!

I also have my friends coming over for knitting today. Last night ended up getting cancelled totally because one friend ended up in the hospital this week with breathing problems, another had lots of homework for the kids and needed to help, and the others had already changed to tonight because of schedules. So - tonight the Knitting Feebs begin. (Long story, I'll tell you later..... stay tuned)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Worldwide Wednesday - what a world we live in!

This week I reached out to the world and it said "YOU WON". I'm very happy. Somehow this little win (actually 2 wins) makes the world a happier place. I did the dance of joy and sang my little "life is good" song. This week I did something I haven't done since 1999 and I won.

Do I have your interest? Are you just biting your nails with excitement to find out why I'm a winner? Okay - I can only draw out this so far before I let you in on my thrill of victory with no agony of defeat.

I never try for things on Ebay but I was looking around for the heck of it and saw an Alice Starmore book that was coming due in a couple hours. A few hours later I was the proud owner of "Fisherman's Sweater".
I was feeling rather proud of the new book and the low price I paid for it so I checked out a few other Alice Starmore books and saw "Celtic Collections" up for bid and a really low price to that point. I put in a bid - was beat out - held my breath and put in another bid closer to closing time. I got Celtic Collection for $31. The best price I've seen at Amazon is $66. I'm a happy camper.

So what does all this have to do with Worldwide Wednesday? It's a stretch but here goes -

Back in the 70s when I first got back into knitting the world was fairly small. You may go out of town for college but flying someplace for vacation was rare and you definitely didn't go places for knitting workshops. The Internet didn't exist, very few knitting magazine existed, and the only way to get yarn and supplies was at your local five and dime store or a craft store like Lee Wards. You used what you could find. You didn't know any better.
Over on Ravelry in the Nifty Fifties group we were talking about our granny square afghans in acrylic. It seems all of us crocheted one or were gifted with one. Choices were few and yarn for the most part was "plastic". I was lucky because a friend of our family opened a yarn shop (The Yarn Shed in Robbinsdale for those oldies that might remember). I worked Friday nights and Saturdays for several years to help out and the knitting world grew for me. I met Elizabeth Zimmerman in books and then in person, I discovered wool yarn. Found out I could design pretty sweaters. Learned how to teach what I loved. But - through all this the world was still fairly small. We would get customers complaining because they had to drive 3 whole miles to get to the shop!

Today's knitting world is so amazing. We can order yarn from all over the world. We can meet up with knitters from all over via the Internet. We can blog and post about our accomplishments and problems. What an amazing world we live in. We can even buy books from a seller across the country and never have to go into their store. I like it!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Knitting in the ER

Monday half way to work I got the dreaded call - "Hi Jill. This is .... we had to send your father to the ER." Great way to start the day. Before I get any further - Dad's okay, he fell in the early morning and his back and neck hurt so they sent him to be checked out. Back to the knitting part of this story.

I turned around and headed to the hospital. He was in one of the rooms looking frail with a neck brace but in good spirits. A wonderful nurse came in and explained things and said - an ER visit usually takes 3-4 hours. I felt the halls closing in on me in - NO! I'm here with nothing to do for 4 hours and Dad sleeping... That's just so not fair!

But then I remembered, I had stuck a ball of Woolease and needles in my purse last week to show a friend how to knit but never used it. I WAS SAVED! I spent the next 3 hours knitting. We went over to the CT scan area and I knit. We came back to his ER room and I knit. During the knitting times I was approached by several hospital staff asking about what I was doing, was I knitting socks for him. For the record, I was knitting a diagonal afghan square which looks about as much like a sock as I look like Twiggy. Sorry, that's funnier than you realize because you've never seen a picture of me. Anyway, just as I bound off the last stitch the nurse came in and released Dad. Perfect timing.

One thing this event reminded me (beyond the obvious how frail old people can be) is how good it is to knit in public. Being able to do this takes a wee bit of planning. You need to figure out what you can knit without the pressure of looking at a pattern often. You also need to have a knitting bag of some sort to carry the yarn and needles in so it doesn't get dirty. But it's worth it. People love to see what you're doing. You keep your sanity during boring waiting times. You get more knitting projects finished sooner. It's a win-win-win situation.

On the home front I finished the blue pair of mitered mittens. I'll get pics up next post. My SILs 3-1 rib fire socks are coming along really slow because I'm bored with them. The Maizy likes to split, the color is not my favorite colorway, and 3-1 rib YAWN! But I will keep working on them because they're for the SIL who is an LA County Fire Captain and she desires the best.

What else - The Green Soft Shoulders sweater is coming along. I'm about 4 inches into the second body piece (front and back are the same). Afghan squares are getting knit when I need to knit a non-thinking item. I also knit some washrags during the non-thinking times.

Thursday night starts the "Teach the Friends" era. I have several friends (guys included) and a few relatives ready to learn to knit. Seems I've been knitting in front of them enough to get their interest. Some of them can't come Thursday night so I'm doing a repeat lesson Friday night. I won't get much knitting of my own done this week but, what a great reason. I got multiple balls of Woolease in lighter colors and several types of knitting needles (straight, circular with different cables) so they can try things out to see what feels right for them. I also have what I think will be good needles for them to start with. I like to let people try different types out once they've got a few good rows in knit finished for two reasons. It lets them see what type needle they like but more important- it lets them see what needles are bad for them. It saves money and effort in the future. I have a Susan Bates circular (the silver looking "quick" needles) that I love the needle but it's one of the worst cables I've handled - wasted money.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Lots 'o Pictures

Warning - there's a lot of pictures ahead.....
First the White Mitered Mittens. After I finished them Thursday night, I started another pair in denim blue - bigger needles so they'll fit me.

Over Christmas I gave away all my dish rags so I started to build up my new supply.

Finally, I've been making stitch markers.

While trying to get the photos of all these items today, I had a little bit of "assistance".