Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Well - Monday is the first week of the new year and it is also the day of my (finally) foot surgery. About 6-7 years ago I had heel spurs removed from my left foot. The Dr did not remove all the calcium build up so that foot still has a bit of a bump in the back but I can walk and that was the main thing. Fast forward to today and my right foot followed and grew a boatload of icky heel spurs. Over the years I also developed a few other problems. Seems I have a bunionette. Doesn't that sound cute? It's not. When you have a bunion its on your big toe. When the little toe decides to grow the wrong way and have its bone stick out, its called a bunionette like its not going to hurt as much. WRONG! That puppy hurts a lot. I've spent many-many years not being able to wear normal shoes.
So- I have heel spurs and a bunionette but my foot likes to overachieve and I also ended up with a hammertoe on my 2nd toe. Are you impressed with my ability to have a deformed foot? Monday things change. I won't go into the details of the surgery but the Dr & I decided to go for broke and get everything taken care of at once. The surgery he is doing on the heel will get rid of all the extra calcium but it means I'll be off my foot for a month. One month of not being able to go to work or do much of anything but sit and knit (and take really good pain killers). Followed by another month of an aircast and not getting around a lot other than to work and home.
So- I've been getting ready for my convalescence. Stocking the freezer with easy to prep meals, getting Netflix set up on the TV instead of instant watch on the laptop, getting a knee walker (a very cool devise!), but most importantly - getting knitting projects into bags with the pattern-needles and everything needed. I may not being blogging the first week of January because I've told myself I won't post until I can make sense talking. You don't want to see what strange and bizarre things come out of my brain when I don't edit myself a bit. Trust me!
If I don't get back here until after the 1st. Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Anyway - This cute little hoodie is made from Mexican Wave yarn by Elle. I used 3 skeins to make the small size of the Divi Hoodie.
Baby's Mom and her Grandma (a fellow knitter) were impressed with the sweater and loved the yarn.
Speaking of the Grandma - she made baby the absolutely cutest dress for Christmas. It was red with a white collar and the yoke was ribbed. The hem was so cute. Many little prairie points. The only problem of the day was that I forgot where I put my camera for safe keeping so I didn't get any pictures of it. Maybe cousin will see this post and send me a digital pic (hint-hint).
Being a knitter cousin knows I enjoy a wee bit of yarn. She brought me a fun present.
It's a Yarn Wonder Ball. It came wrapped and obviously "handmade". The little note on the side explains what this is -
"Different yarns of many colours and lengths are manually tied together to create a surprise yarn ball of wool blends, textures, small amounts of cotton, and surprises. Popular in the 1800's, the wonder ball was given as a gift at Christmas. As the person knit, and used up lines of yarn, small gifts inside the ball would surface. The knitter could not fast forward to see what the next trinket, surprise or yarn would be. The ball of yarn embodied the spirit of giving, as the gift continued to reveal presents, and the knitter produced a lasting gift or either a scarf or wrap."
Here's a better look at the side so you can see some of the different yarns. When I took it out of the wrapping to get a picture I could feel some things inside. I can't wait to get knitting on it and see what is hiding inside. I hope I can manage to hold off knitting it until after my surgery Jan 4th and I can have this as a special recovery present.
If you're interested in this fun little present the paper with patterns inside the wrapping says it came from Threads and More. Their website is: www.threadsandmore.com.au
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Take lunch this week. I go out for lunch every day for a couple reasons. It's my chance to escape work for an hour and read a good book. I go to good fast food places and have a routine. Each week I hit Panera's for soup and sandwich. They have great food. I also love Panchero's - fresh wonderful burritos. LeeAnn Chin's - good Chinese. Noodles for Mac & Cheese. Dino's for falafel sandwich, and a few other places. I don't feel guilty about spending extra for lunch because supper is often some ice tea and crackers or something else equally cheap/small.
So - back to lunch. I went to Panera's and got my meal, found a table and sat down. Halfway through my sandwich a lady with a phone glued to her ear sat next to me just in time to say (quite loudly) "Was the stuff that came out of his nose green and slimy?" GIVE ME A BREAK!!! I do not need to hear about someone's nose discharge during lunch. There are several other topics I'd prefer not to listen to during lunch or in public but really - body discharge? What made this lady think anyone in the restaurant would want to listen to this while eating?
Since I'm complaining about people's public habits - we have a few people at work that way over use perfume/cologne. Men and women. You know they are coming before you see them and know where they have been long after they leave. I have very good smell and it is connected to my brain. Strong odors = headache. My "favorite" perfume habit is the bathroom trick someone at work uses. After she has used the bathroom for "those" needs and created a bit of an odor, she feels the need to spray a ton of perfume in an attempt to cover up "that" smell. Let me tell you - perfume and "that" smell do not make a good combination. The perfume does not cover anything up and only makes the entire bathroom smell 10 times worse.
I better quit complaining now or I would come up with a list so long you'd think I was the crankiest person on the planet. So - what's the one thing people do in public that drives you crazy?
Knitting or cats next post - I promise!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It left California Dec 7.
Took 4 days to get to Wisconsin (Dec 12)- half way across the country. Where it hung out for a day - must have been taking a little sight seeing tour of the Milwaukee area.
The trip to the Minneapolis area must have been a tough one - it took 2 days (Dec 13-15) to make a 5 hour trip.
Once in Minneapolis my package was so excited to see our part of the country it decided to take advantage of some down time because the web site shows it is expected to be delivered Dec 18!
So to recap it takes 4 days to go approximately 2250 miles and 6 days to go 350 miles.
Something is wrong here!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Monday same thing. The board remained clear.
Tuesday things started to happen. Every time Chief would walk past the board he'd put both front paws up on the board and check it out. He'd then walk away.
Tuesday night he finally found out it was a horizontal surface.
Well, here it is Wednesday. This new kitty rest is JUST right! Thanks Mom. - Chief
Sunday, November 29, 2009
When I downloaded the pictures I realized I still had some pics from work in the camera so I thought you might like to see one of the old printers my team uses to create black & white booklets, brochures, etc.
The left side where the guy is standing is the paper trays along with 3 more trays just to the right of the "bump". This printer can hold 9 different types of paper. Different size, color, weight, tabs, etc. So if you have a book that has a cover, tabs, color paper inserts, etc. - this guy will print is all at once and spit it out complete.
The bump is the printer.
To the right of the extra paper trays is stapler. It staples and loads the finished copies in the window area.
Next, is a stacker. When you do all those tabs, chapters, colored inserts, etc. and its done - it ends up in the stacker waiting to be taken out.
Finally, the last big unit is the booklet maker. It takes finished copies staples the whole thing together, folds it and then trims off the extra edge you get when you fold it.
So - There you have it. An older but still very functional printer. Next time you get a booklet that was printed with a colored cover and the rest black & white it may have been printed on a machine like this one.
A while back I finished a shawl out of Mini Mochi. It's simple and lets the yarn do its own thing. The lace edge is Cascade Hertiage Sock because I felt the lace pattern would have been lost with Mini Mochi.
The full size picture is closer to the actual colors. The pattern is Eliina shawl. More info is on my Ravelry site.
I also finally blocked the Alita afghan. This was made from a lace doily pattern with Woolease yarn. My hope was to make an afghan that was a bit special for my couch when company goes because I like to keep the house cool. It needs to be kept away from the couch until then so it remains fairly cat hair free.
And - yes - I block with the iron. Lots of steam, a bit of heat and a light hand. So far I have yet to kill the yarn and things come out looking great.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
My one problem with blogging is I can't answer people directly through blogger because it hides email as unknown. Many people have commented on my blog that I'd love to reach out to and be more friendly but blogger just won't let me. But for now - I'll enjoy the friendship I get anyway I can get them!
I'm not going to tag anyone for this but I'd love to here from those that read the blog and suffer through the endless Chief and Bert pictures. Maybe one of these days I'll even get the afghan and 2 shawls blocked so I can post pictures! Then of course there's the patterns I've been writing up, I really should finish them. Some day........
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Oh - I made the doctor promise I'd be good to go by April so I can enjoy Yarnover and all my net friends that will be coming here. I must be good by then!
Friday, November 6, 2009
My big thing I need to change is my wardrobe. I think its time to make a new night gown. This one is over 15 years old and looks everyday of it. Mom is probably rolling over in her grave seeing me wearing something this raggy!
I may not have made a new nightgown lately but I have made progress on some knitting. I found a Lace Edge Hat pattern I liked and made it out of Malabrigo. It's yummy and wonderful. After I made the hat I decided to come up with some gauntlets that would match. First one is done and of course I didn't take any notes on my increases and such so I've been going a little slower making the second one. Turns out I have enough Malabrigo to make a small scarf also. Once I get the scarf finished I'll write these up and share them with you all. I'll also hunt up the hat pattern source so you can make a complete set.
The black thing on the bottom of the picture is my laptop. I can handle Chief on the right arm of the chair, Bert on the left arm, the lap top of (of course) my lap and knitting in front of the computer. What else do you need!
Life is good around here if you ignore my nightgown!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
He's never had a seizure before that we know of and in the end everything turned out ok but, ER trips are not fun and you just never know. I'm unfortunately getting a bit too good at this routine. I grab a book, my knitting (something mindless), and a can of pop on the way out the door because ER trips are always 4 hours or more. This one was only 3 1/2 hours so I guess I was lucky.
CT scan showed no change from one about 1 1/2 years ago and the ER doctor is similar thinking to me - don't add a ton of meds on older people unless it's needed. So- our orders are for the nurses at Dad's place to watch him and the visiting doctor will check him out again Wednesday on regular visit day. If seizures happened again, then we'll talk drugs.
The knitting I worked on? I was smart- I brought some blue Malabrigo with me so I'd have something soft and cuddly to work on. I worked on a hat from a pattern I found on line - Lace-Edged Women's Hat. Unfortunately I saved it on my computer and don't know the website. I'm guessing it's on Ravelry if anyone wants to do a search. There's a one inch lace edge instead of a rib and the rest plain knit. I decided a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves would look great with it so I started a pair using the lace edge and the rest will be plain knnit to match the hat. I haven't gotten too far on the gloves yet but I'll post pictures when there's something to see. In the meantime, let's hope today is less scary than yesterday!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Mom, I don't think this thing is big enough to be a scarf or shawl yet. Guess you have to keep knitting and letting me sleep in your lap. - Chief
Yup, Chief has been very good at keeping me company while I knit billions and billions little sock yarn squares to make a scarf or shawl or ??? we'll see what this thing grows up to be one of these days.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
While we were waiting for it to start I was telling Coz about the gathering next April of some of my Net friends here in Minneapolis. I told him I call them Net friends because it's easier then trying to explain these are friends I've never met- they're all knitters- etc. Coz decided they should be called "Knit Nets". He thought this was a great idea then decided the place we met is the Knit Net and the people are Knit Netties. I should also mention this is the same cousin who couldn't decide if Knitting is a hobby or a cult. Whatever if is he supports my obsession and has even gone so far to hunt up a book about knitting culture for me after seeing a review in the paper - "I knew you'd like it." - What a guy!
After the concert we headed to a vegetarian Indian restaurant for more conversation. Food was okay but I like "our" Indian restaurant better. When I got home Chief gave me his official review of my supper.
You see, Chief has this bizarre habit of having to smell my breath after I eat. His review of my meals consists on how many times he has to smell my mouth, the more sniffs the better the meal. Tonight's Vegetable Korma got 1 sniff. I think he was excited because he could smell the korma but, at my restaurant I get Chicken Korma, tonight no chicken smell. It may be a bizarre habit of Chief's but at least he's never tried to get his nose in my mouth!
For the record - chicken korma at my favorite restaurant gets 3-4 sniffs easily. Chief has good taste.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The pattern isn’t my normal "completely written out" pattern. You will need to fill in a few blanks on your own. Read through – make a few decisions and make your own version of this scarf. I think you’ll like it if you try it. I made mine in grey planning on giving it to a guy as a present when finished – maybe someday….
Yarn: worsted weight. I used 2 skeins Woolease so far. I think that will be enough to make one long enough
Needles: size 7. Next time I would use a size 9 to make a softer (less stiff) fabric.
Basic design- moss stitch border at ends, garter stitch border with 1 added knit st at edges, background to set off cables in moss stitch, 2 cables worked with k1-p1 base.
Cast on 36 sts. Work moss st 10 rows.
Row 1: k4; p1; moss st 3; cable (k1-p1)x4; moss st 4; cable (k1-p1)x4; moss st 3; k1; p1; k3
Repeat row 1 every row except – every 10th row work a cable row.
Cable Row (10th row): k4; p1; moss st 3; work cable (place next 4 st on holder in front, k1-p1-k1-p1 next sts, work sts on holder k1-p1-k1-p1); moss st 4; work cable; moss st 3; k1; p1; k3
Repeat the 10 rows to desired length ending with 10 rows of moss st. Bind off.
Update 2/16/2013: This page has had just short of 63,000 hits. I find that totally amazing beyond belief! I've ignored this post other than to come here occasionally to see how many people have looked at it but now - I see the pattern just isn't going away. You really like it so, I will be working on writing this up as a more traditional pattern in the coming days and post a note at the top of this post when it is available. The new pattern will continue to be free.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Those of us that are bigger have a major handicap when it comes to handcrafts. We like to knit, sew, crochet – whatever the chosen craft but it becomes a more time consuming, more costly hobby. Take the example of making a sweater. Let’s just pretend that the sweater is made just like an afghan – one big square. Makes my example and the math about to happen a lot easier.
So – you’re a normal size and you need to make the sweater/afghan square 36” around and 24” long. Your gauge is 5 sts/in & 7rows/in. Your project is going to be 180 sts wide and 168 rows long. That makes a grand total of 30,240 stitches to make this project. WOW! That’s a lot of stitches.
But you’re a bigger person. You need your project to be 48” around and 24” long. Same gauge. This project will be 240 sts wide and 168 rows long. Grand total? 40,320 sts. That’s 25% more stitches. 25% more time. 25% more yarn. 25% more cost. One other problem with this project you want to make. Chances are real good the pattern doesn’t come up to your size so you can either forget about it or try to convert it to your size. Converting isn’t as easy as enlarging everything. If you did that the neck would be huge and armholes bag down way too far. Not everything on the body grows at the same percentage when someone goes from a size 8 to a size 18.
I know the “easy” answer is to lose weight and then the cost, time, pattern select all becomes better. But that’s not going to happen in the next few minutes and we big folk have to deal with life as it is. So here’s the deal. If I were a yarn shop or pattern maker I would look at the charts. (The charts say over 50% of women are size 14 or over.) I would think about making profit. If I as a yarn company had patterns available that were fashionable and flattering to the bigger folk of the world I would sell more patterns because there are a lot of bigger people. I would sell more yarn because it takes more to make sweaters for these people. The bigger folk would do happy dances about my company; my employees would have more work to do because we’re selling more yarn and patterns. I may be crazy but this sounds like a win-win situation to me.
Well, that would happen in my world. In this world I knit a lot of non-fitting things like shawls and hats and mittens because I don’t always have the ambition to create a sweater for myself. Maybe I’ll get the calculator out and design something for myself.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Some of the gang said they were going to come. Sometime during this weekend it became a very real thing and the party is on! I'm having some of them staying at my house. We're talking other things to do before and after the Yarnover. It's totally taken on a life of its own. YEA!
Now - here's the problem. I have 6 months to get the house into the shape that I think it should be for people to stay who will probably never see the house again and this will be their only opinions of my homemaking skills. I know - they'll all say, don't worry, it'll be fine. But - I was raised by an obsessive hostess/must do for everyone else kind of person. It's been drummed in my head to be the perfect hostess. This is the reason why I rarely have people over to the house - I live with my mess and a lot of cat fur hanging around the house (see last post).
Time to make a list. Paint the bathroom. Set up the loom. Clear the crap from around the studio. I can do this and still maintain my life and sanity because - unlike my Mother - when I fail to get everything I think should be done complete -I'll still have everyone here, I'll enjoy myself, and I'll make some self deprecating jokes about what a terrible housekeeper I am and that will be that.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Layla joined the family this summer and we all got together Labor Day to meet and greet at her Aunt's house. She is 7 weeks in this picture. Our family always seems to do things in a big way. Layla is currently at the 98% in height and weight for her age. I'm guessing she'll graduate college on a basketball scholarship when she's 7 or 8 years old at this rate!
But she is beautiful, sweet and will be raised very well by her fantastic parents. Best of all her grandma is a knitter so between the two of us (mostly her grandma!) she will be covered in cozy knits while growing up!
Speaking of "covered in" I have a problem in my house that I try to ignore. Bert is not a big cat. He is only 9 lb. He is a short hair cat. But- he is a British Shorthair which means a very thick coat. Apparently that breed also means the thick coat regrows itself daily. I get tons more hair off Bert with short hair and only 9 lb then I do off Chief (a Ragdoll) with long hair and a big 18 lb. Go figure!
This morning I combed Bert's back. Straight back from his neck to his tail. Didn't comb the sides. Didn't comb the belly. Nothin' but back. Every stoke of the comb brought up more fur - lots more fur.
Here's a shot of the fur taken off Bert's back this morning. I'm sure I could have gotten more if I kept going.
It's no wonder I have a coating of fur on everything I own. I actually went shopping for pants the other day and ended up with cat fur on the pair I tried on in the dressing room where they had never even seen Bert. It's sad but I do love my little boy and a bit of fur isn't going to stop me from stritching his back whenever possible. But this doesn't answer why he is always laying around with his belly and feet in the air. He must be so hot with all that fur!
Being a knitting blog I should throw in some knitting. Here's a red cabled vest I've been working on. It's done but I haven't had the time to write up the instructions or block it. The picture is kind of bad on purpose - I don't want to give away all the details until the pattern is ready. It will be for larger sizes because there just aren't enough things that go over 48". If I can't find what I want - I'll make it and hopefully find time to write things up and share my designs with fellow biggies.
Today - off to hunt up yarn to finish a shawl I've been working on. Wish me luck!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Over the years we haven’t always seen eye to eye on things but we respect each other’s choices. A few months ago he totally surprised me by giving me a book. He had seen a review of a book written by a local person in the Sunday paper and knew I’d be interested in it. So, he went out, bought it and gave it to me. “Knitting the Threads of Time” by Nora Murphy.
This isn’t a book about knitting as much as it is a book about our fiber history. Nora spent a winter knitting her first sweater for her youngest son and took that project to reflect on the beginning of textile creation and how it has changed through history. She works for a multi-cultural group writing grant requests and in the process has been introduced to many friends of many cultural backgrounds. One chapter may talk about the beginnings of weaving in the Americas while another talks about the embroidery of the Hmong. It’s an interesting look at our shared history and gave me good reading other many lunch breaks.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Having all these choices really can be traumatic. I wanted to go to Stitches Midwest but decided I couldn't get enough time off to make the trip to Chicago worth it. Now I've got some friends from Ravelry trying to convince me to go to Rhinebeck. I really want to go, but finances in these current times are tight. Rhinebeck is a huge gathering and would be great to go. I know I'd have fun. I really want to meet up with my net-friends. Will the airfare fates be kind to me? Looks like I have some serious airfare hunting and thinking to do this weekend.
Another yarn gathering coming up this spring is the Minnesota Knitter's Guild's annual Yarnover. Every April this group of volunteer's gets teachers from around the country for a one day event. It's held at a local high school and includes a vendor area. The keynote speaker this year (April 2010) will be Cat Bordhi. Other instructors include: Beth Brown Reinsel, Carol Rhoades, Cookie A, Edie Eckman, Franklin Habit, Gayle Roehm, Ginger Luters, Jared Flood, (aka Brooklyn Tweed), Judy Pascale, Lily Chin, Lucy Neatby, Margaret Fisher, Romi Hill, Susanna Hansson, Meg Swanson and Amy Detjen. (list is from the Ravelry Yarnover 2010 group). Pretty impressive for a local gathering! If you join MKG for 2010 during the month of December you get first pick at classes. This is one event I will not miss and I'm hoping some of my net-friends will be able to come and enjoy it with me.
Friday, September 11, 2009
There are many cabinets of sewing. This native garment caught my eye because of the beauty and the uniqueness.
On to crochet - some of the crochet is just plain cute
and some is very small, beautiful stitches. This was a huge piece but I wanted to get a closeup of the work.
We'll end with the cabinet of afghans. Every year there are a ton of crocheted afghans. They're all wonderful and show a lot of crafting time.
Hope the past several posts have given you a feel for our State Fair's Creative Activity building. I'm always impressed with the level of crafting that happens in our state (I know other state's have great crafters too but - I'm a Minnesotan and have to brag up my own state!)
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Polymer cray - here's a major award winner. The owls are really cute. I just wish the pic showed a bit more detail.
Basket weaving - just a few samples.
Weaving & a few more baskets. We have a very active Weaver's Guild that meets in the same building as the Knitters Guild - The Textile Center.
Hand spun yarn.
More wood work. The clock (yes, its a clock) is absolutely amazing. I'm guessing its probably 4-5 feet tall at least. The clock is in the center set back a ways.
Another part of the Creative Activities building is education. There's an area where fiber crafts share the display/teaching area. Each day a different group (or 2) is there to share with the public.
Around the corner in the next section was a lady set up with a 4 heddle loom working on what I think was place mats.
Tomorrow I'll post a few more craft pics but thought I'd leave today's post with a few fun places. Right outside the entrance to the Creative Activities building is - SPAMVILLE. Yup - if you can't make it to the Spam museum in southern Minnesota you can visit a smaller version of it right at the fair.