Finished a pair of socks today. I called them my Black Samurai Socks. The pattern is Samurai from the Knitted Socks East and West Book, and the yarn is Kells from Three Irish Girls in the colorway George Bailey, which is a really dark chocolate brown color. Just Beautiful.
I bought Tank a pack of those raw hide bones the other day. It was a pack of 3, and they are about 7 inches long. He's a 7 month old boxer, so they seem to be just about the right size for him. He ate the first one in the space of about 30 minutes. Just laid right on the floor and ate the whole thing. Then he wanted another. I was a little unsure about it, but I went ahead and let him have it, fully prepared to take it away if it seemed as though he was going to eat that one too. He didn't. He has been carrying it around the house with him for the last three days looking for a place to bury it. He's been really funny about it. He carries it up onto the bed, scratches at the edge of the bed (where the bed & the wall meet), sets his bone down, then tries really hard to push the covers up over it. Or he'll bring it up onto the couch, scratch at the edge of the cushion, push his bone down between the cushion & the back (or arm) of the couch, and try like hell to cover it back up. He did manage to "bury" it beneath some couch pillows today and ignore it for a little while, but when someone moved the pillows, he had to go get it. He has moved it from place to place all over the house for three days. And I have laughed at him over it. Today I finally felt sorry for him. He was outside attached to his tie-up line whining because he wanted to come back in the house, but I kept telling him that he is a dog, and that he can spend some time outside without actually dying. So I got the third bone out of the pack and brought it outside to him. Then I stood at the window and watched him. First he played with it. He was so excited just to have his bone outside! He would throw it up in the air and chase after it, then he would bark at it and throw it up in the air again. Then he picked it up and carried it around for a while, just walking around and around with it in his mouth. Then he realized that he was outside, and that there was dirt there, that stuff that he normally just digs in for no reason. Now he could dig in it and put his bone in the hole that he dug! So he started trying to bury his bone. He tried by one tree, then by another, then by the patio, then out in the yard. He could dig the hole, but either not dig it deep enough or wide enough or not be able to fill it back in afterward. This went on for a while. Then he saw me watching him. He stopped digging long enough to bark at me. I guess he didn't want me seeing where he was hiding his bone. I faked him out and pretended to leave, but I came back and saw him digging another hole near the edge of the patio. He wasn't taking chances either, he was really digging. He got a good sized hole, put his bone in, and covered it back up. Then he went and laid down in the sun. He was tired, after all. That was a lot of work. Don't worry, though, I won't let on that I know where his bone is buried.
Why does knowing that I have to get up in the morning make my insomnia worse? Technically I am still on cycle break, but I have a workshop to go to at 8 tomorrow morning. So why am I still awake? I've been in bed since 10, and I've taken something to try to help me sleep, but I'm still awake. Last night I went to bed at 11 and woke up this morning at 7, so really I should be okay tomorrow, but still. It just pisses me off when I know I NEED to get up in the morning and CAN'T go to sleep.
So, what have I finished since I last blogged? Well, I knit a pair of socks for the SKA (Sock Knitters Anonymous) April Challenge. The pattern was called Baudelaire. They were fun to do. I am now doing a second pair for the same April Challenge. This pattern is called Saltos. They are not as much fun as the Baudelaires were, but they will be nice.
My knitting friends and I get together once a week. Every Tuesday night at 6:30, there is a group of knitters in Baton Rouge knitting together somewhere. Most Tuesdays it is at McAlister's Deli where we generally get something to eat and drink then sit and knit while we visit and get progressively louder and probably scare the muggles in the adjoining room. (We do sit off on the side in a room known as "The Patio," even though it is closed in and air conditioned - this is Louisiana, after all) On the third Tuesday of the month, we get together at one of the yarn stores in town, and if there is a fifth Tuesday, we have a special dye and spin night at the home of one of our members. As with any group of people who get together on a regular basis, not all of us go every single week. Some of us do, others of us go as our schedules allow. And if we are just too tired to go, well, we don't go. There's no guilt. It's really very informal and very friendly. We range in age from college-aged to retirement aged, and we get along splendidly. We are always happy to see each other. One of the best things about knitting group is that we have show and tell. Anything that gets finished (or purchased) gets brought to knitting group to be shown off. And everyone is always genuinely impressed with anything that gets shown. Let me tell you, we do have some talented knitters and crocheters in our group, too! I went to knitting group tonight, and I brought 3 things for show and tell:
and this little guy who I had started and almost finished when I went to group (I finished him after I got home)
Everyone there oohed and aahed so much! They really make me feel as though I have accomplished something amazing. Really, though, I think the amazing thing is having friends like them. I love my knitting group.
I finished the Arwen Cardigan!!! Finished Finished. Seamed, ends woven in, finished! It is absolutely beautiful, too. It is a little short, though. I haven't washed and blocked it yet, so maybe when I do that I can stretch it out a bit. Even if I don't, I don't think it will be too short. DD is not that tall, and her torso isn't very long. It should be okay for her. I made my other DD try it on, and it fit her a little snuggly and looked like a cropped cardi on her, so I think it will be fine for DD#1. I will wash and block it tomorrow, let it dry, and send it off to her later in the week. I hope she likes it. :) While I was perusing patterns on Ravelry the other day, I ran across one for a Math Geek Hat. Knowing my DS#2 the way I do, I just know that he will love to have that hat, so as soon as I finished Arwen, I cast on for the hat. I'm halfway through the charted section, so it is knitting up really fast. I'm thinking I will probably finish it tomorrow.
My normal lunchtime routine goes like this: kids are released at 11:30, I go home (two blocks away,) check the mail, take the dogs out of their kennels & put them outside on their leads so they can get some fresh air & sunshine, go back in the house, fix myself a sandwich or heat up some leftovers, eat lunch in front of the tv, then knit until it's time to go back to work at 12:30. Two days ago, lunchtime started like usual; I went home, checked the mail, threw it on the table on my way in the house, took the dogs out of their kennels, took them outside, then, while I was tying them up outside, I noticed a package sitting on one of the chairs on my patio. I grabbed it on my way back in the house to fix my lunch. Before I could begin preparing a bologna sandwich, though, I noticed the return address on the package. Three Irish Girls! And it was a BIG package! Was this the large order I had placed in order to knit my oldest DD the Cardigan for Arwen? I grabbed a knife, tore through the tape, lifted the flaps, pulled out the brown envelopes (there were two of them) that the yarn comes in, and ... IT WAS! This was the beautiful green BFL DK weight yarn that I ordered hoping to make an Arwen out of! The green is a bit brighter than I had originally thought it was going to be, but I have enough of it for an entire cardigan!!! I immediately forgot all about my lunch, grabbed a skein of the yarn, ran over to my swift and ball winder, and immediately wound up a cake of yarn. Then I hunted around the living room until I found the pattern that I had printed out two months ago when I first ordered the yarn, located the needle size I needed, grabbed those needles, and ran to my room and my tv. I turned on my tv, found a show to watch, and cast on for the back of the cardigan. I didn't even swatch first! I knitted my lunch hour away just as happily as you please. That afternoon after I got home from work, I looked at it again and decided that if I am going to do it, I need to make sure I do it right. So I pulled yarn from the other end of the cake and swatched. You know what? I was DEAD ON!!! The gauge is perfect. I'd like the fabric to be a little firmer, but I think it'll be ok. (I hope, anyway - I mean, I do want her to wear it) So last night I was looking at the progress that I was making on the back and decided that I needed to blog about it right then because I was really flying on this thing. So I took some pics with the intention of blogging about it then, but I didn't do it right away and ended up going to bed instead. So now I'm writing about it and using last nights pics. To tell the truth, I haven't gotten much farther on it tonight because I had to go pick up DH from the airport and haven't really been home very long. But 13 1/2 inches in two nights is not so shabby, right? I didn't think so.
When I was packing for a trip to Virginia, I knew enough to bring plenty of knitting with me. I knew that I was close to finishing my two Ravelympic projects, so I brought along a ball of Noro yarn that I was planning on making into a scarf and a pair of socks that I had started before Ravelympics. The scarf I made in two nights and left for Carrie to use because I figure that she might need it more that I will since she's up in Virginia where it usually gets a bit colder than Louisiana. (And I forgot to take pics of it - I'll see if hubby will get some before he comes home Wednesday) I finished my two Ravelympic projects and packed them and the needles away in my suitcase that I was planning on checking for the flight. That's just a little less that I have to carry on to the plane, right? So, everything goes smoothly - I arrived at the airport in plenty of time, my flight is on time, no problem checking my suitcase, security goes smoothly (I did get patted down, though, which is something that had never happened to me before), then I found my gate and settled in to wait on my flight. I pulled out my ipod and my extra pair of socks that I was knitting, found where I was in the pattern, and got ready to start knitting. That's when I noticed and remembered that I had borrowed the needles from that sock project to knit my Ravelympic sock project. And what did I used to hold the place on those socks? A circular needle that had one good needle and one broken needle. I. AM. SO. STUPID! Failure to plan, or notice, or remember what I had done. What do I do now? For a normal flight it would not really be a problem, but for this particular flight, I have a 3 1/2 hour layover in Charlotte, SC. So I'm sitting in the Charlotte airport updating my blog and lamenting my stupidity instead of knitting.
Since I'm updating my blog, I might as well go ahead and update about my Ravelympic projects. I finished my Skew socks yesterday around noon then wore them the rest of the day. They're okay, they fit well enough; they could have had a bit more negative ease, but I didn't really have a problem with them sliding around in my shoes or anything. I don't think I'd make them again, just because of the weird construction. I also finished Tank's Shrug last night around 9:30. I don't know that he'll wear it, though because it does look a bit like a sweater for a girl dog (hello ... it's a SHRUG, Stephanie; that could've given you a hint) Anyway, they are both done, and done before closing ceremonies of the Olympics, so that goal was met. I got so sidetracked with other projects, that I wasn't sure whether or not it was going to actually happen. At the last minute though, I just gave myself a pep talk and then a kick in the butt and got it done.
Now that I titled this post, it doesn't seem like much at all, but it certainly seems like it is. One of my ravelympic projects is halfway finished. That would be the Skew socks. I have one of them done and have started on the second one. I have also started on the sweater for Tank, but I have no pictures of it to post yet. So, update on the Skew socks: The cast on started at the corner of the big toe which is immediately a little odd because normally you start toe up socks in the middle of the toes. But if you think about it, your big toe is the one that sticks out the most (on most people, anyway, certain members of my family are exceptions). Then you kind of work diagonally up your foot area, so until the heel graft (another oddity on these socks), it just looks really wonky. Once you get to where your longest side is appr. 1 1/2 " less than the measurement of your foot, you start adding on stitches for the heel. And you add a lot of stitches.
Then (trusting the pattern directions) you slide the first 15 stitches onto 1 dpn and the second 15 stitches onto another and graft(kitchener) those 30 stitches together. Believe me, that took some trust because it did not look anything like a heel at that point, and I could not even begin to visualize what it was supposed to look like. But after it was done, it looked a lot better. Then you ignore the heel and begin knitting in the round again (still on the diagonal, though.)
Once the long side of the diagonal leg get to the length you want, you work short rows to bring the other side up to meet it, then do a bit of ribbing and bind off. It ends up being a nice fitting sock, but it is such an involved knit, that I'm not sure I'd do it again. Then again, I may find a handpainted or self striping yarn that just screams "SKEW" at me and have to make these socks again. Normally a 2-at-a-time sock person, I did this pair 1 at a time because I wasn't sure how involved they would be and whether or not I would need to move stitches around very often (I guess I could have read the pattern beforehand, but that would have required reading the pattern beforehand.) As it turns out, there is only one point in which I had to move stitches around, and I think I could manage that with 2 pairs on my needles, so if I do ever decide to make these again, I think I will do them 2 at a time. In other news, after I finished the first sock, I suddenly decided that instead of working on my ravelympic projects, I NEEDED to make a toy for our dog. I started out trying to make Kate, the kitten in britches, which has (as you can see from the picture) arms and legs. I got the body made and attached the ears, and brought it out to show it to my DD.
Tank decided that he had to have it right then.
My DH remarked that it looks a lot like a weeble (if you are of a certain age, you may remember those cute little egg-shaped toys that would never fall over). This toy has since become known in our home as Weeble Kitty, and Tank does seem to like it.
So, Ravelympics begins tomorrow, and I have not decided yet what I want to work on for it.
What are Ravelympics, you may ask? Well, let me tell you. Ravelers, members of the knitting and crochet group, Ravelry, choose projects to work on during the 17 days of the official Winter Olympics. Projects cannot be started before the beginning of the opening ceremony and must be completed by the end of closing ceremony. Knitters and crocheters all over Ravelry are joing teams to show support for their favorite groups, causes, cities, podcasters, etc. I have joined Team BRRS - that's Baton Rouge Red Sticks, which is the name of our knitting group here in Baton Rouge. There is also a Team Sasquatch, which is a team for fans of several podcasters. I am thinking about joining Team Sasquatch so as to not have to split my loyalties between all of the podcasts that I listen to. I would have far too much to knit if I tried to join a team for every podcaster that I listen to. I listen to a LOT of podcasts! So Team BRRS and Team Sasquatch would be two teams. I could probably swing two projects in those two weeks. But WHICH two projects? I'm thinking about doing these socks and maybe this doggie sweater because Tank sure does hate to go out when it is cold outside. Or maybe I could do this vest. After all, it uses chunky yarn and big needles. That's do-able.
But, whatevver I choose, I'll be casting something on tomorrow during the opening ceremony of the Olympics. What will you be doing?
The best Christmas gift that I received this Christmas was a new camera. It is a great camera and takes really wonderful pictures. I was so very excited to receive this camera because now I can take pictures of my knitted items and post them on Ravelry and here on my blog. It takes much better pictures than my cell phone. And it does really neat things too, like cropping the subject before taking the picture. I was so happy with this camera that I immediately began taking pictures with it. I bought an SD card and carried that camera around with me everywhere taking lots and lots of pictures. It isn't a rechargeable camera, though. It takes 4-AA batteries, and it has a little compartment where the batteries and the SD card go. Not long after the New Year, I hooked the camera up to the computer and downloaded the pictures that I had taken while "playing around" with the camera. I then unhooked it from the computer, turned around, and DROPPED my brand new camera, my favorite Christmas gift. Son of a BITCH I though (or probably yelled) - please don't let it be broken. I picked it up. It was all still in one piece. The lens was still there and not broken - that's good - but the batteries were scattered across the floor. I gathered them up and re-inserted them into the little compartment. Then I closed the compartment and pushed the power button. Nothing. Crap. Am I really going to have to tell my husband that I broke the gift he got me? I couldn't understand why it wouldn't come on. My daughter, who had watched all of this happen, said, "the door's not closed." Oh, I thought I had closed it. Ok. Close it again. The door would not stay closed. The teeniniest piece of plastic that serves as the latch on this truly awesome camera had broken off thereby not latching the door and not holding the batteries in. I shed a few tears and set the camera aside. Then I told my husband about it when he got home. He looked at it and couldn't fix it any more than I could when I had looked at it two hours earlier. So the next day he called the company and told them about it then packed the camera up and sent it back to them. For the last six weeks I hae been berating myself for being so stupid and careless with a gift that I was so excited to receive. There have been many times that I have wanted to use that camera in those weeks. I have finished several knitting projects and just have not been able to bring myself to take pictures of them with my cell phone because if I hadn't been so stupid, I could be taking pictures with my camera. Sigh. But it is all better now, because yesterday the mailman brought me a replacement camera! It is exactly the same as the one I had gotten for Christmas, and I cannot wait to start using it!
I have joined a SOCK CHALLENGE for the months of February and March, 2010. I signed up to knit the Vintage Knee Socks pattern out of the Closely Knit book. According to Ravelry, they are an under-appreciated pattern, which means that there are fewer than 15 projects being worked on using this pattern. I don't know why. They are really, really cute socks. Anyway, I started them on 1 Feb and have until 31 Mar to finish them. I don't see them taking that long, really. Like I said, I started on them yesterday (evening, btw) and am now past the cuff and into the patterning on the upper part of the leg. The picture above is just after cast on. Probably round 2. More pictures to follow soon.
I have been married for 22 years to a great guy in the military. I have 4 wonderful kids aged 25, 21, 20, and 18. My oldest 2 are both in the military, and my youngest 2 are both in college. (GO TIGERS! LSU!)