Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My TRUE Love

I don't know if you recognize the style of blankets we have going on.... the white one with the flowers... a quilt made by some lovely Amish women. It's applique, so it's not authentic, but it's still precious. The blue and white blanket was made by Oleana, you know, the Norwegian knitted goods company... you know, the REALLY expensive knitted goods company.

My cat has decided that these items are his... ALL his! :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am so very stupid

My husband and I work in the same office. In fact, we sit within 10 feet of each other when we're both actually in the office, and I'm actually sitting at my desk. (Instead of sitting at the desk of the HR Administrator, who doesn't actually exist except for when I pretend to be that person.)

Anyway, since we work together, we share a lunch bag. However, we have different hours, so we do not carpool. (My butt isn't even out of bed when he clocks in at 7am, so forget coming into work with him.) When I finally drag in (usually 9-ish), I am lugging our lunch box. I slip my car and house keys in the side pocket and go on with my day. I always leave before DH does. He is a workaholic, and I am allergic to work, so I am out of here at 5pm at the VERY latest. He stays on and pitches in until at least 5:30, usually 6, often later.

Today however, he had to change the plan. DH decided that he needed to work on my car and his grandmother's car, and he was going to do all this at his grandmother's house. (I'm guessing because he wanted food from her.) Anyway, he left work at 4:30 today, with the lunch box in tow. (He takes the box home, because he's usually here later, and might need a snack.)

Did you catch that... with the lunch box in tow?!?!? OMG, I am here at work without house or car keys. I can't even beg a ride off of someone, because I have NO WAY to get in my house! It's not DH's fault, I don't think that he's aware of where I keep my keys during the day.

Now, I know what you're thinking, just call him up and get him to come and get you. Here's the BEST part! My cell phone died yesterday. It's a touch screen that now won't respond to the gentlest of my caresses or the hardest of my pokes. It's dead dead dead, so I sent it to the people at Sprint this morning, and I am carrying my husband's cell. Ok, I know what you're thinking now, why didn't you call the house? Because we're some of those super cool people without a house phone. Yeah, I wanted to be high tech and just have cell phones. I AM SO STUPID.

Let me guess, you're wondering why I don't call a family member/friend to come and get me? Right? Well, I have no friends. Well, no friends in this state that I feel I can call and have come rescue me. I do have a sister-in-law that I could call, but I'll get to that in a moment. I also have NO family of my own in this town. ALL family members in town are my DH's family, and I just don't feel comfortable calling on them to rescue me. They're not my family, and I couldn't tell you half of their names. It's my job to deal with my family, and his job to deal with his family.

The glaring exception to that is my sister-in-law. She is the BEST. I would honestly consider her more my actual sister, or my best friend than my sister in law. She is the sweetest, coolest, smartest woman I know, and I just think she's the bee's knees. That said, she is a single mom of two gorgeous little girls. I did call her to see if she could rescue me, but she had literally just put dinner in the oven. I can't ask her to pull dinner out, ruin it, and come and save me. No way. So, that's out.

I also called DH's grandmother to see if he was there yet, but alas no. He's supposed to call me as soon as he gets there, but he hasn't and it's been WELL over an hour, so Lord only knows where he's at.

So, for now, I'm eating my weight in mints and gum waiting for my SIL to finish dinner or for DH to get to his grandmothers. I have tomorrow off since my mother is coming into town, and I'm surely going to need it!

House phone will be added next week, and I'll be getting a spare pre-paid cell so that when I do something like leave my keys in the lunch bag, I will still be able to leave work.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


My mom is coming to see me this weekend! I'm so excited, I could burst. :) She has a project that she needs my help with, so she's coming up here to do that. In addition, I plan on dragging her to the Korean grocery market that I've been raving to her about for a year now. I also fully intend on getting either some quality LYS (local yarn shop) or LNS (local needlework shop) time with her. It'll be the first time she's seen me since I dyed my hair brown, so here's hoping she likes it! :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Knit Free Weekend

At the end of the week, I realized that my hands were a little sore, mainly from all the typing I did last week, so I decided that I needed to give my fingers a rest for the weekend. I managed to resist knitting until Sunday, when I cast on another double bump washcloth. I'm REALLY enjoying making these. I think that I may use that same pattern for some of the charity scarves I'm making. I think that it'll make the scarves pretty, without being too feminine or masculine, so I can use the same pattern for two different groups. (Christmas at Sea and Handmade Especially for You) They serve very different groups of people, as the Christmas at Sea is for mariners and the Handmade for you is to benefit battered women. I'm still such a new knitter, that I know I'm going to prefer one pattern that I can do really well. I want to give each group my best work, and I think the double bump scarf is going to be the way to go.

Friday, March 19, 2010

All Things Local Swap Q&A

  1. Are you a knitter or crocheter? a totally newbie knitter... no crochet at all yet

  2. What is/are your favorite projects to create? so far I'm into dishcloths and scarves (did I mention that I'm a newbie? lol) I'm getting pretty adventurous with what I'm trying to make, but nothing circular yet.

  3. What is your favorite yarn type (wool, cotton, etc?) Any yarns you don’t like to work with? I love all the natural fibers, cotton, wool, silk, bamboo. I've been trying to like acrylic for the cost savings, but it's not going well.

  4. What is your favorite color ? Least favorite? I love jewel tones and easter egg colors. I can't stand neon and orange.

  5. What is your favorite thing about the city you live in? That I can go from a super fancy, gourmet grocery store (that I can't really afford) to a down and out Asian supermarket with all the freshest and cheapest veggies, within 10 minutes. Plus, I met my husband here, so that helps

  6. What is your favorite thing to do when you visit a new place for the first time? I love hitting the library and the grocery store. At the library you can usually find out about groups meeting around town, so I can meet new people, and I love seeing what local foods are available in the stores.

  7. Do you have any other hobbies, besides fiber craft? I'm a cross-stitcher as well, does that count as fiber craft? I use fibers... just a different kind... so if it counts, then no, I have no other hobbies :)

  8. Do you collect anything? No, I live in a TINY apartment with a husband and a cat, I have no room to collect anything

  9. Do you like sweets? I love sweets!! I'm a fan of chocolate, but my real loves are coconut and mango flavored things.

  10. What are your favorite scents? Lavender and Vanilla

  11. What is your living situation (married, kids?) Do you have any pets? 1 husband, and 1 cat, who are both little divas, although I try not to tell them that! lol

  12. Is there anything important your pal needs to know (pet allergies, food allergies, etc?) I'm not allergic to anything, but I quit smoking 4 years ago (yay me), but am still VERY sensitive to the smell, and it really grosses me out.

FO's and New Starts

I finished a little set for my sister-in-law. She and I went to JoAnn's and she picked out some REALLY pretty Sugar n'Creme yarn, so I knitted up two dishcloths (one garter stitch, one "double bump" to show off the stripes.) I also made her a little holder for her Starbucks. It was the first time I made anything quite like that, and it's pretty pathetic. So, I promised her that since she's stuck with the first one, she'll also get the first 'perfect-ish' one that I make. :)

I found the Seaman's Church Institute, so I will be starting on a Mariner's scarf to donate as soon as I can get some manly yarn. All I have that isn't pink is a silk bamboo yarn that is just NOT right. I also learned of a charity called Handmade Especially for You, which donates scarfs to women living in shelters. It's based out in CA, and I'm thinking that the green silk/bamboo might be perfect for that! I have one skein in green, and one in pink, so I'm thinking about making a scarf using the double bump pattern that is exactly half green and half pink. I bought them because I thought that they looked nice together. It's the kind of thing that I would like to receive, so hopefully someone else will enjoy it as well.

I'm currently looking for a group of knitters to join locally. I've been looking through the Ravelry groups, and there are two that I'm going to try. One is really close to my sister-in-law's home, so I'm thinking I can drop DH over there, and then head out to knit! (Maybe once a month or so.)

Today is pay day at work, and since I'm officially the Payroll Assistant, that means it's my time to shine. Due to the fact that I'm unofficially all things HR, it means that I'm getting ready to be bombarded with questions about other HR stuff, which in all actuality, can wait until Monday when there isn't a line of people waiting for their paycheck. (I've already got everything ready, and am just waiting for the 1pm bell to ring to start handing out the checks. I hate handing them out early.)

Well, I probably should make sure everything is really ready, at least before the onslaught begins. I brought some stuff to make dishcloths, so I can keep my hands busy when the line dies down. I can't actually get any WORK done, since I've got people walking in and out every two minutes.

The old HR person had me stay until 9-10pm on payday, and then again on Saturday mornings if payday fell on a Friday. I would end up spending a lot of time just sitting. Since he was let go, I've found that by making pay hours just from 1-5 on payday, I still get to see everyone, but the whole thing just goes MUCH faster.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chippy's Blanket

I finished Chippy's blanket, and my niece couldn't be happier. Of course, her sister is totally jealous, but she knows that she's next on the get a knitted item list. I let her know that scarfs take WAY longer than a little doll blanket to make (and they do for me at least), so she'd have hers as soon as I could get it finished. Probably in July. Did I mention that we all live in Texas, so a wool scarf will be REALLY useful right about then. LOL

My sister in law and I went to JoAnn's over the weekend, and as a reward for not killing me while I took FOREVER, I let her pick out some Sugar n'Cream yarn for her dishcloths. She chose a really pretty self-striping yarn that is in seaside blues. I did one for her with a plain garter stitch, and it actually is pretty cute. Next I'm going to make a Moss Stitch cloth for her. I really enjoy making the Moss Stitch dishcloths, and I think that the yarn will look nice in that pattern.

Today, I'm sick sick sick, and I can't wait for my boss to arrive so I can ask if I can go home. I went home early yesterday, but as I've already finished all my work for the day, it shouldn't be a big deal. I'm really a part time employee, but until they find a replacement for my supervisor, they are asking that I put in more hours in case another employee has a question. (I work in HR.) They were supposed to have someone here in the middle of February, but they haven't actually gotten around to hiring anyone yet. Not that I'm complaining. How many people can read/knit/blog at work, and still have a job, and actually be paid? I guess, professional knitters probably get to do that. Also, maybe people who work for knitting publications... but other than those lucky few, how many? So, I'll enjoy it while it lasts. Once they get a supervisor in here with me, then I'll go back to afternoons, which also isn't so bad. I'm still in college, so it'll give me time to work on school things.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Apparently I'm not to knit while DH is driving. How on EARTH am I supposed to stay busy on trips? He wouldn't be so worried if he didn't drive like a maniac.;)

Friday, March 12, 2010


I finished my dishcloth last night. I would post a photo of it, but the photo I have is TERRIBLE. So, I'll wait. Suffice it to say, it looks a lot like the one I posted yesterday, just bigger.

My husband's stitch markers arrived yesterday. Just in time for him to give up knitting. I refuse to use them, hopefully it'll guilt him into knitting again. I found them at knitoramaa's Etsy Shop. (http://www.etsy.com/shop/knitoramaa) My husband is a huge Big Leibowski fan, so when I saw them, I just knew he had to have them! I however, am NOT a fan of the Big Leibowski. I, however, LOVE these stitch markers, and will have to purchase some for myself. I'm thinking that I need the Buffy ones. (Really look at knitoramaa's photos though. I snapped mine with my camera phone this morning, but it obviously was super dark, and don't do the markers justice.) They say "The Dude Abides."

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I couldn't stitch on Chippy's Blanket last night, I just didn't want to. So, instead of sitting there like a bump on a log, I started a dishcloth, using a Moss Rib pattern. (Blissful Moss Rib Cloth Pattern by Terri Lee Royea, which I found on ravelry.com)It's very soothing, nothing but knit and purl. I am slipping the first stitch of every row to see if that helps my ragged edges. Also, I kept having to get up to stir dinner while I was casting on, so that edge isn't the best. I was planning on keeping this for me anyway. I like the colors and plan to use it as my new face scrubbie.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

To Knot or Not Knot

I came to the end of my first skein of yarn last night! I had knitted 47 rows using my multi mauve. Well, not 47 rows exactly. I was paying MUCH more attention to Gibbs and Abby on NCIS than the amount of yarn I had left, and it ended about 20 stitches shy of the end of the row. I then sat through most of LOST trying to decide if I was going to frog the row and start with my new skein back at the beginning, or if I was just going to... tie a knot.

Oh, I know, the horror of a knot!! On something I actually MEAN to give away!!! After 45 minutes of LOST (well, really I was mostly watching the show) I decided that I'm ok with being a lazy knitter. I was not going to frog a perfectly good row just to avoid putting in a knot. My niece won't know that it's a 'bad' thing, she's only 6. (Her mother won't know either since she's not a knitter.)

I just can never mention this to my Mom. Not that she's above a knot, I'm sure that she's used them before. Just probably not on something that she means as a present.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Right now I'm working on two things. First, I'm working on Chippy's Blanket. Chippy is my niece's favorite stuffed animal. He's a little Chipmunk, and he is very loved by her. He recently was married to Sammy, another of my niece's stuffed animals. I think the wedding might have been touch and go, because I'm pretty sure he had another girlfriend in there at some point.

I've always loved knitted afghans, and of course that was the first thing that I wanted to make. But, I know myself, and I know that if I started a full sized afghan as my first project, it would end up sitting somewhere with holes ripped out by the cat, completely abandoned. I feel bad for abandoned projects. I worry sometimes that they feel unloved. (I worry that makes me sound insane.) So, I thought a doll blanket would be the best. I managed to get the top 5 of Chippy's favorite colors from my niece, and I've started on a "Feather and Fan" pattern that I found at Ravelry.com I'm using some Superwash, because I thought that meant it could be thrown in the washer. Instead, this superwash says it can be washed by hand or dry cleaned. My sister in law is going to kill me once she realizes that the doll blanket has to be handled with extra care. :)

The second thing I'm working on is a scarf for my grandmother. I am using some yarn that I already had, but totally hate. It will make a LOVELY scarf, it's the working with it that I object to. I've put it to the side for the moment to focus on Chippy's Blanket. I pick the scarf up to mess with it every couple of days or so, but end up frogging just about everything that I've done. I just got a box of needles from my mother, and I think one of the reasons I haven't enjoyed working with it is that I've been using bamboo needles. I really like working with metal instead. So, I might just give it a switch to metal needles and see if that helps. The bamboo is just too sticky. I learned on plastic needles, but even they are too sticky for me right now. I love the slick feeling of the metal.

How I Came to Knit

For Valentine's Day I gave my husband knitting lessons. He didn't really want them, and has now sworn to never knit again. (Well, once he finishes the scarf he's knitting for my mother.) Normally I would be distraught over the fact that a present of mine was a colossal failure, but instead I'm feeling pretty good.

My mother is an amazing knitter. She learned to knit from my grandmother (her mother-in-law) on a trip to Israel. Mom and Dad hadn't been married overly long when they set out to go and visit his parents. I believe it was 1979, we'll say 1979, because it's a good year. They flew over and had lot of adventures dodging bees, military personnel, and a Frenchman with a bad attitude regarding eggs. While there, my left handed mother attempted to learn to knit from my right handed grandmother. At the end of their time there, my grandmother sent Mom off with a pair of needles, a ball of yarn, and no idea how to bind off. Mom spent the hours flying knitting, knitting, and knitting until she would run out of yarn. Then she'd frog, frog, frog, and wind, wind, wind and start all over again.

When Mom came back to the US, she had someone teach her how to bind off, and basically hasn't looked back since. I cannot remember a time when my Mom didn't have some sort of knitting going on. For a long time, I don't remember her actually finishing anything. (Not that she didn't, I just wasn't all that observant.) I do remember on driving trips, Mom would take a ball of yarn and knit, knit, knit and then frog, frog, frog and wind wind wind all over again. Just to keep her hands busy. Mom always has to have her hands busy, which has led her to be quite accomplished in a lot of different areas. When you're always doing something, you have a lot of time to get good at things. She is known literally world wide for her: conceptual sculpture, cooking, knitting, sewing, and recently soap making skills. She's notorious in three states for her needlepoint, weaving, and and soon knife making. I've watched her fix phones lines with a Swiss army knife, teach her spouse and child the finer points of hospital corners on the sheets, and create the sweetest bunnies for infants.

I think my Mom can do anything. I know all children, while still young, feel their parents know everything. I never grew out of that stage. Of course, having a mother who can put Martha to shame, while welding a sink stand, tends to make you really believe it's true. My whole life I've stood in awe of my mother. In the past decade or so, I've set out to at least match her in certain areas. I've vastly improved my cooking skills. (I'm no Julia Child mind you, but I've fooled ALL my in-laws into thinking I'm a master home chef.) I have also tried to find some sort of needle art at which I can excel. I've been a cross-stitcher for years, and to be honest, I'm pretty good. That said I like to work on tiny things, and I just don't have the light for it to be fun.

So, I moved from stitching to quilting. That lasted about 2 months. I did try and make the transition while I was also planning my wedding. It didn't go well at all. My husband and I live in 600 square feet of apartment hell. Quilting takes up ROOM. Lots and lots of room. You have to have room to create those perfect cuts. You have to have room to lay everything out, you have to have room to piece. Most importantly, you have to have room to store all that damn fabric.

We have no room. I also like to take my projects with me. I've taught my nieces how to cross stitch. We're working on embroidery as well. They became interested when I would bring things over to work on while we visited. If you've ever tried to travel with cross stitch, you'll know that it's a freaking safari. You need your pattern, your scissors, your needles, your threads, your frame, the project itself and something to hold the whole thing together. And that if you're travelling light.

After the wedding, I just couldn't get started with anything. I didn't want to stitch. I sure as hell wasn't going to quilt. I needed something I didn't really have to focus on while I was doing it. I just didn't know what to do. The weekend after Christmas, my long suffering (at this point we'd been married for 3 months, but had been together for 4 years) husband and I went to visit my parents in Houston, TX. While we were there, my mother showed me needlepoint. Oh, it was LOVE at first sight! I went to a class with her at her LNS, and just loved everything about it. Also while we were there, I watched Mom teach Daniel (my husband) how to knit. As much as I love needlepoint, and boy do I LOVE needlepoint, that set my toes to tapping.

We came home and while I worked on my needlepoint (a very sweet Valentine's heart), Daniel worked on his knitting. Mom had shown him how to cast on, knit, and purl. No bind off. She'd also sent him home with a pair of needles, and a ball of purple yarn. I finished my needlepoint, and drove down to Houston. Mom and I went to another class, I turned in my heart to be finished, and I selected a new project. I was glowing when I came home. Needlepoint is just such a beautiful thing! I chose another heart, and this time had 4 new stitches to work with.

I came home and promptly became TOTALLY stuck. Apparently the leaf stitch is NOT something that I can do. I kept trying to go to my LNS, but the only time I can get there is on Saturdays, and they're just too busy to sit down and try and teach a stitch to me. If I could get there at any other time, I know that they would LOVE to help me, but I just can't seem to make it. (The horrors of a full time job.)

So, I was back at square one. I couldn't move forward with my needlepoint, it hurts my eyes/head to cross stitch, and my hands were idle. All the while, I was looking at my husband with what was starting to feel like jealousy. (Me, jealous of knitting? As if, I didn't even want to learn!)

Valentine's was coming up, and I watched my husband struggle with the purl stitch. Plus, he didn't know how to bind off. He needed to learn so that he could show my youngest niece how to use a knitting kit she had received as a Christmas present. He was frustrated, so I started looking online for knitting classes in our area. I found a LYS called The Knitting Nook. It wasn't overly out of the way, so I dragged my sister-in-law with me to check them out and purchase the Beginner's Knitting Class. It was a series of 3 Saturday afternoon classes, each two hours. The ladies at the Nook were very kind, and mentioned that last month there had been another man in the B.K.C., so I felt more at ease. I bought the class, green cotton yarn, and a pair of needles.

One weekend later, on February 13th, I was set to drop my husband off at knitting school. I was at loose ends that day, and planned to just go home and nap or something until he was done. My husband hates for me to be a loose ends. [Each weekend, if he's off working on his true love (a 1971 roadrunner), he drops me off with his sister. I adore my sister-in-law, but sometimes I wonder if he trusts me on my own. (It's probably that he knows that I would end up spending the afternoon shopping if left to myself that makes him take such measures.) ] Instead of turning my purse and I loose, he asked if I would like knitting classes for my Valentine's present. Well, it certainly sounded more interesting than window shopping for things I wasn't supposed to buy, so I said 'Sure.' We walked in and asked if there was room for one more. There wasn't really room, but the teacher, let's call her Rose , said that she could accommodate us. I purchased coral yarn and some size 9 needles, and sat down to learn. By the end of two hours, I was casting on (using the knit on cast on), knitting and purling. To my surprise, I was kind of not terrible. No one in the class was hopeless, and I wasn't even the worst. (Daniel was the best, but I was trying NOT to compete.)

All was bliss for three weeks. Daniel and I would come home from work in the evenings and knit. We would practice our new skills we were learning in class, and we each made several dishcloths. We learned the long tail cast on, and we both started playing around with making ribbed swatches. I even made a basketweave dishcloth for my mother. It didn't turn out square, but she seems to like it.

I restrained myself, and only made two yarn purchases. I bought some sock yarn that was on DEEP discount, and 4 skeins of superwash merino (worsted weight) to make a doll blanket for my niece. All of our knitting supplies are in one basket, one that was already hanging out in our living room, so there's no fighting for space. (I knew that if I actually brought in anything that didn't fit in the basket, we'd have the there-is-no-room-for-anything fight again. I always lose that fight, so I try and avoid it.)

Then, all of a sudden my husband refused to continue knitting! WHAT?! I though you liked knitting? You're the one who got us into this, and now you're just going to quit? What about all that grief you gave me about quitting quilting? You bought white yarn for a specific project, are you just going to waste it? I asked and asked and asked, why are you quitting? After a few days of stupid answers, he finally coughed up the real one. "Squishy, you love knitting more than anything. You're always knitting, and you're really good at it. I want people to think of you as "the knitter" in the family."

Other than that being the DUMBEST reason on earth to quit something, I have to say it was an awakening. He was right, I love to knit. I don't mind that I'm not perfect, which is usually an issue with me. (I have to be perfect on my first try, or I won't try it again.) With knitting however, dropped stitches are just funny, and extra stitches can be simply fixed with a k2tog. (At least until I get to something that requires fit.) Knitting is compact, so I can take it anywhere. I just need two needles and a ball of yarn. I don't have to focus on it, so I can watch TV while working on it. It doesn't make my eyes hurt. I'm totally relaxed about the whole thing. Amazing....

All that said, my husband really should knit as well. I liked the fact that there was something that we could do together that didn't involve me having to try and understand car speak, and him coming home smelling like transmission fluid. He seems to be a natural knitter. He's pretty quick considering he's a novice, and he has great tension control. His stitches are all nice and evenly spaced. Also, for some strange reason I don't feel the need to compete with him over knitting. He has his strengths, and I have mine. (Mainly that I have more time to knit, so I look like I'm getting a lot more done.) I had a moment where I saw us knitting together, making sock and scarf sets for Christmas presents. I was really looking forward to some knitted goods for our anniversary. I have to think of a plan to get him knitting again.