Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I Need a Scarf for Winter
I can't find my winter scarves and gloves which is kind of unfortunate since the weather has turned. So I've started an entrelac scarf. I got the pattern at Stitches East and the yarn at my LYS--I'm using Noro Silk Garden. I just love the color variations. Not so sure about picking up all those stitches or the way it appears on the reverse side. I'm hoping blocking will smooth it out.
In other news, I'm going to my parents' house for Thanksgiving. I usually cook because my sister and her family go to the parade and then they come back here. But since my knee surgery, I'm not able to keep up with all of that. I'm taking a pile of UFOs with me and spend a few days finishing them.
I really should come back and work on my home organization. I enjoyed the help of a professional organizer but she seems to misunderstand--I don't actually want to participate in this process beyond saying "yes" or "no." Well, things are too busy at work to worry about it so I'll ignore it and knit away. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Alpaca Hat for My Nephew
My sister has in-laws on Martha's Vineyard. I asked for alpaca yarn since I know there's a farm close to their house. One rainy day they visited the farm and purchased one skein of rich brown yarn. My mom is currently working on a hat for me.
Meanwhile, my nephew, who is 10, very very bright and a really nice young man too, asked for an alpaca hat for himself. He didn't really specify style or color however my sister was very clear--the hat needed to match his black ski jacket. So off to my LYS I went. I picked up several skeins of Frog Tree Alpaca in sport weight. I started with two strands of black then switched to black and charcoal. Then two strands of charcoal. I think you can see the variations if you look for them in the photo. Next will be a strand of charcoal and a strand of flannel grey, then two strands of flannel and then flannel and ecru, if the length is short of what I need. The decrease rows with be red, perhaps with thinner stripes in reverse order. I hope to finish it before Thanksgiving so I can give it to him.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back in the Groove
My knitting progress seems to ebb and flow...I'm not sure why although I suspect it's related to how much pressure I'm under at work. I think one of my New Year's resolutions needs to be to channel the energy and anxiety more productively--whether it's knitting, writing or another craft. I had signed up for the NaNoWrite November novel writing challenge. The goal was to write about 1700 words per day so you end up with a full length work at the end of the month. Well, here it is, November 18 and I've written 87 words in total. My TMJ is raging these days; I've seen a new dentist referred me to an oral surgeon who uses Botox to help relax the jaw muscles. Worth a try, I imagine.
I also bought the special stop-snoring pillow from Brookstone since I've been recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. I'm hoping this helps improve my level of fatigue, especially because I don't want to repeat the sleep study using the CPAP machine (this is a whole OTHER story).
The good news is that I'm rev'ving up and have made some headway on a couple of key items. This project will be a sweater for me. It's baby alpaca knit in a K6 P2 pattern. I'm actually designing the sweater based on the lessons I learned from Sally Melville and Lorna Misner at Stitches East. And, to tell the truth, I'm designing it around the buttons--I got the buttons at Stitches Midwest back in August. The yarn has been in my stash for a year or so--it was originally intended to be part of an afghan but I had so many different gauges going on, I divided up the yarns for other projects. Hopefully I'll have enough for sleeves too, otherwise this will be a nice vest. I'm using a modified set in sleeve from Lorna's class which should make seaming a whole lot easier and the lines smoother.
My parents visited today. My mom had been joking that she wasn't going to buy any new yarn until we worked through my stash. She had made a cardigan for my niece but the sleeves were too short. She said she was going to use bulky yarn and I happened to have pink chunky baby alpaca in the stash. I'm not sure what she'll do with it because she thinks it's too dear for a child's sweater. It was with very little regret that I deleted the photo of the yarn from my stash folder. She's also going to try the Christmas stocking hat pattern I picked up at my LYS "The Skein Attraction." I'm generally a loose knitter, but have been increasing sizes and still can't get gauge. Hopefully she'll have more luck.
I've found two new patterns for which I may need additional yarn. So far I've been very good about NOT ordering more--I still have more stash organizing to do and hope to uncover some suitable candidates. Although I'm making an entrelac scarf with Noro Silk Garden and I love it......
One funny story. The Professional Organizer I'm working with suggested that I finish one project before starting a new. I laughed and said "You're not a knnitter, are you?"

Friday, November 09, 2007

When's the Anesthesia Wearing Off?

Ever since I had my knee surgery, I've had a very short attention span, little interest in knitting (or food) and a craven desire to sleep. It's been 10 days! I should be over this, shouldn't I?

I have so many projects I want to work on--I need to finish that novelty spiral hat and the entrelac scarf because it is getting cold here. I also want to work on the Elsbeth Lavold cashmere collar I picked up in Dallas and a couple of the other hats from Stitches. And there is a very pretty sweater in the newest issue of Cast-On that I want to start on. It's knit 3 rows, purl 3 rows so I think it's the perfect commuting pattern. I'm just trying to make sure I stick to stash yarn for that.

I'm a little depressed being so far behind on the SOTS and Mystic Water KALs. I haven't even made a dent in my cable knits either. And one of those projects includes some yummy cashmere.

I tried to talk my mom into sewing the Tilli Tomas sweater together...we'll see what happens with that.

Oh, well. I'm hiring a professional organizer to help me straighten things out at home--perhaps that will be the boost I need.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mystery Swap!!!
It's Christmas in November. My mystery swap gift arrived last week but I couldn't retrieve it until my parents kindly ferried me around to run errands while my knee recovers. What a wonderful surprise. The themes I gave were cats, spa and holidays. All my gifts were individually wrapped in Christmas paper and how wonderful they are! Tofutsie sock kit and some lovely Regia--it's a black/gray mix which matches everything I wear. There were needles, darling holiday stitch markers and stockings filled with candy and a holiday bracelet. There were also a Christmas ornament to knit myself and reindeer antlers--my Swap partner could not have possibly known that I typically wear some kind of holiday headband when decorating for the holidays. Well, there was also a lovely CD of holiday tunes to listen to while I knit away. Everything was so thoughtful and creative and a lot of fun. My dad teased me that he was relieved there was yarn in the package because he was worried I didn't have enough (LOL). Can't wait to get started...neither can Indie, as you can see.
Meanwhile, I have gotten started on an alpaca vest I designed myself. It's actually pretty simple--button down with a K2 P2 rib and then a K6 P2 pattern. I bought great porcelain buttons that look like cats a while book--this will be a great showcase. It's going pretty quickly (of course I started today and didn't have anything else on my agenda) so I'm excited about this too. Photos to follow.