Monday, September 25, 2006

Don't tell Mom yet

Back in the spring, I mentioned that I was working on a secret knitting project. The knitting has been done for ages, but tonight I finally finished all of the detail work. I won't be delivering it until tomorrow, but I don't think the recepient reads my blog as a rule, so - Ta da!

It's a fuchsia sweater for a friend's baby girl. Look at those buttons. Aren't they the cutest?

The pattern is the Baby Garter Trim Sweater (aka Baby Yoke Sweater) from City Sheep at Creative Fibers in Minneapolis. The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca sport weight. (Warning: The pattern says it takes two skeins. The pattern lied. I went well into the third skein.)

I have long missed the "new baby" deadline, but the little miss cooperated with me by being early and tiny. I think she may be able to wear this now, or on into autumn.

Now, back to socks.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ready for Socktoberfest

As a rule, I don't do knitalongs, those things where a bunch of bloggers all agree to knit in something in some specified period of time. I knit to unwind, and to make the things I want, and I don't feel the need to go along with the crowd or threaten myself with a deadline.

But when I heard about Socktoberfest, I knew I had to join in.

There are no restrictions about what you make, or how long it takes you. It is simply a time to celebrate handknitted socks.

Do we celebrate them? Why, yes we do. Observe, from my bag o' active knitting:

Three, count 'em, three socks in progress. They are all second socks, mates to these three:

I need to get these babies off the needles so I can a) wear the socks, and b) free up the needles to make some different stuff. So that is my Socktoberfest goal - finish some second socks, kitchener those toes, and start wearing them.

Progress continues on the Stashbuster Sweater. I finished the back:

And started on the front:

I sort of regret that I decided to make it with The Yarn That Dare Not Speak Its Name, because I would like to see it in nice yarn, but I am not turning back at this point.

At least the pattern is easy. It makes perfect TV knitting. And what am I watching on TV? KnightStar and I used some discounts to procure seasons 1 and 2 of Star Trek, The Original Series. (The store did not have season 3 in stock, so for the moment, we are spared from having to watch "Spock's Brain".)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Back home from Winfield

I got back from Winfield, Kansas and the Walnut Valley Festival yesterday.

It was touch and go whether I would even be able to attend. My brother had to bail out, and with my eye all wonky, there was no guarantee I would be able to drive. Eventually, I talked Terry into going with me.

Terry has been there once before, and doesn't really like it - too loud and too crowded for his taste. I assured him that our current campsite was relatively quiet and off the beaten path. He spent most of his time hanging out at camp, and by Saturday afternoon confessed that he had achieved stresslessness.

My brother always says, "When I go to Winfield, it's summer, and when I come home, it's autumn." That was true this year, and I even know the exact moment the change happened.

It had been in the 90s all weekend, but on Saturday we heard rumors that a cold front was on the way. Sunday morning at 3:00 AM, a huge gust of wind roared in from the north. Within 10 minutes, I heard the first drops of rain. Once we had secured the windows, I went back to sleep to the sound of rain on the tent.

We awoke on Sunday to cool breezes and mud. Our mates are prepared for any situation, though, and we were able to get out of the muck with no trouble.

Back home, it is still cool, and in the last 23 hours, I have already seen signs of the leaves turning.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I can see?

I won't have official confirmation for a few more weeks, but anecdotal evidence says that my eyesight has been improving since I had the space-age laser treatment last week. I would rate it as "about where it was when I first started complaining that it was getting worse" - not back to normal yet, but considerably improved.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Vampire no more

As of this morning, I am free to move about in the daylight. To celebrate, I went to Sunday afternoon knitting at The Village Knit Wit. I worked on the Zebra sock, and am almost to the toe decrease. For being a boring pattern in a boring yarn, I am enjoying the knitting immensely, and I think they will be cute socks to wear.

In the brochure they gave me at the doctor's office, it said to avoid sunlight for five days, but different people on different days told me three days. I sincerely hope they are right and I didn't just cook all of my blood vessels.

I rather enjoyed my forced leisure these past few days. The weather has been temperate enough that I could keep the air off most of the time. I've watched DVDs people have lent me, read books that I was dragging my feet about finishing, and knit. It's the perfect vacation.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I haven’t told anyone, but I’m knitting a sweater.

A few weeks ago, I aired out the yarn stash, and I decided to gather up the pre-yarn-snob yarns and put them in one place. I saw that I had a sweater’s worth of one of the yarns, purchased when it was on sale at Hobby Lobby.

This yarn is much maligned by serious knitters, and with good reason. It is hard to work with, splitting and unraveling at every turn. It has the illusion of softness, but if you have ever touched baby alpaca, this feels like fiberglass. But I have it, and at 100% acrylic, it is never going to go away. I can’t even throw it to the moths as a sacrifice. The moths would throw it back.

At almost the same time, I was bouncing around the internet and rediscovered Bonne Marie Burns’s 3timesChic sweater pattern on Knitty. I always liked that pattern and could imagine myself making and wearing it.

And what do you know? It can be made with The Yarn That Dare Not Speak Its Name.

I made a swatch, and got the gauge the first time. At least I think I did – stitch definition is not one of the selling points of this yarn. So I cast on. I put it on the Denise needles, so I have had to make no additional investment in the project other than time. It’s all stuff I already had.

So my dirty little secret is out. When I’m not making wool socks on itty bitty birch needles, I’m knitting an acrylic sweater on plastic.

Even Katie, who is a bit of a yarn snob herself, seems to understand.

I’ve survived my first day of daylight restrictions, in the company of my faithful cohorts.

KnightStar took me out for dinner after dark, and then we went bookstoring. He thought I was a little bit down, so he surprised me with a Godiva Dark Chocolate with Raspberry bar. You know what? It totally worked.

It cooled down nicely last night. I turned off the AC and opened the windows, and had the best night’s sleep I have had in weeks. I’m now refreshed and ready to face another day as a recluse.