A little bit of writing, a little bit of knitting...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Okay. I'm jealous. I started working on this shawl for Lisa, and now I want it. My jealousy is silly, since I have nowhere to wear a sparkly silver and white shawl, but I want it anyway. I want it. So now, as I knit away, I'm trying to figure where I could possibly wear something that's pretty and sparkly. If I can think of something, I'm definitely buying more Brilliant. I'm thinking a simple wrap would be nice, but I think I'd feel a little overdressed at the movie theater on cheap night. And I probably wouldn't fit in at the mall...or at the local pizza place, either.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dishcloths and Scrubbies and Flowers, oh my! Posted by Hello

Instant Gratification Weekend -- and a New Project

Every once in a while, I just need to have an Instant Gratification Weekend -- one in which I do nothing but knit dishcloths and scrubbies (which I can easily finish in no time at all). I love being able to add all those new FOs to the shelf in my closet -- the one that's stocked with dishcloths and scrubbies for Mom and my Aunt Karen (who hordes them in drawers in her house, but who always wants to buy as many as I can crank out), baby socks just in case I need a cute handmade baby gift, and a couple of hats that I've already made my brother for next Christmas (impressive, don't you think?).

Last night, after finishing my third dishcloth and third scrubbie of the weekend, I switched gears and started a bigger project -- a shawl for my friend Lisa's wedding. I promised to do it even before they got engaged. I've had the yarn for a month or two (she wanted white and sparkly, so I went with Patons Brilliant in White Twinkle). And now I've decided to stop putting it off and get it done -- even though the wedding isn't until September. Believe it or not, I decided that this time I'd do something ahead of time -- so I won't have to worry about finishing it the morning of the wedding.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Thursday night FOs

Last night, I finished the legwarmers I started on our trip. I tried them on and came to the realization that legwarmers make you look like you don't have ankles. Is that a bad thing? Who knows. But I'll try wearing them anyway -- I might just like them. I happen to remember liking them the *last* time they were in style. We'll see...

This weekend, Paul and I need to do a photo shoot. I have so many FOs that I haven't photographed -- and it's about time to start. I have one pattern that I'm submitting -- for a Monday deadline -- so I have to get that one in. The others I just want so I can post. But rest assured -- the pictures are coming soon!

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I was struck by a comment that I read somewhere this morning, and it's had me thinking about radar. Women seem to be born with built-in radar functions. For instance, women always know exactly where to find a bathroom -- even if they're in an unfamiliar mall in a strange part of the country. All we need to do is stop and let our radar kick in, and we're on our way.

The same is true for knitters. Knitters have a built-in yarn radar. It doesn't matter where you are or what you're doing -- if there's a yarn store nearby, you'll pick it up on the radar.

It happened to me on vacation. I had just flown into Phoenix, where Paul, who had been there all week for work, picked me up at the airport. I dumped my stuff off at the hotel, and we headed out for dinner. As Paul drove, I scouted. Sure, I was actually supposed to be looking for a Mexican restaurant. What I found was a yarn store.

"Oooh look, Honey! A yarn store!"

A couple of days later, we were driving through gorgeous Sedona, admiring the majestic rock formations that surrounded the city, when my radar went off again.

"Wow! Look at that one! Look at the colors!"


"Isn't that beautiful?"


"Oooh look, Honey! A yarn store!"

I can't help it. They call to me. I realize that non-knitters don't understand (on our vacation, my husband asked, "Do you really think they have different yarn here than they do back home?"), but I can't help it. I'm a knitter. I'm drawn to yarn -- to the people who are every bit as obsessed with it as I am. I'm drawn to the colors and the textures. And I'm especially drawn to the sale bins -- you never know what you'll find. It might be just the thing I need for that shrug I've been wanting to make...

I've also noticed that since I learned to knit, I've been especially sensitive to hand-knit items. I can't see a woman wearing a knit scarf without wondering if she made it -- without wanting to walk up to her and share patterns and tips and become knitting friends forever. And I can figure out the yarn she used from 50 feet away. It reminds me of another experience during our vacation. Paul and I went to a show one night. I dressed in black with a bright scarf in shades of red and my new sparkly felted purse. A woman in the row in front of us was wearing a fuzzy colorful shawl. "I wonder if she made that," I said to Paul, pointing to the shawl. "Looks like Cha-Cha." During the show, I often found my eyes wandering back to the shawl, wondering if it was something I should make for myself. I eventually decided against it, but I think it looked great on her. And if I were going back to Vegas, I might just make one.

Perhaps it's just obsession. Perhaps knitting brings enlightenment that just heightens the awareness of those who take part. But whatever the case, ever since I learned to knit, I see things that I never saw before...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Couldn't help myself

I met Paul for lunch today, and I took advantage of the time out to head to Barnes and Noble to do a little browsing and to work away from my computer over a nice hot mocha. I wandered over to the magazine racks on my way to the coffee shop and found the latest issue of Vogue Knitting. I tried so hard to walk away, but I couldn't... See, Vogue Knitting is often hit-or-miss for me. It's often either fabulous or filled with patterns that look cool but I'd never make -- or patterns that I couldn't make even if I wanted to. But this issue is amazing. I found so many things I wanted (like a little bolero jacket or a really cool wrap or pretty summer scarves) that I just couldn't walk away. So I bought it. Don't tell Paul.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Ode to the library

I love the library. Really. I do. Years ago, before I met my husband, I thought of the library as a musty, scary place where people with bad hair and thick glasses whispered about topics that I cared nothing about. But then I met Paul. Paul is a Library Guy, oddly enough. He actually used to *work* in a library. But Paul opened my eyes. He showed me that the library is a place where you can get movies for free (and not just those horrible educational movies they used to make you watch in school, pretending like it was such a *huge treat* for you to be allowed to watch Cipher in the Snow *yet again*). It's also a great place to pick up a few knitting books to casually flip through while waiting for dinner to be ready.

Last night, I had to pick up a few movies (I really don't make enough as a columnist to be able to pay for them), so while I was there (and the line was entirely too long to stand in, anyway), I headed on over to the knitting books section (we've only lived here a few months, but I'm starting to figure out where it is). You never know what you'll find when you head to the knitting books section. Some days, it's jam-packed with stuff. Other days, there isn't much left -- since the other knitters in town have picked it clean. Last night, I found a few old favorites. I also found The Knit Stitch, which I'd never brought home from the library before. And since I find it almost impossible to leave the library without at least one knitting book to flip through (and since I'd just brought two *really good* ones back), I took it home with me. I've already flipped through it a couple of times, and I think I may have even found a few patterns to try out -- you know...when I get the time. Or else I'll just bring the book back to the library again, keeping those patterns in this book in mind as I pick up another book that'll inspire me to keep creating for another few weeks...

I love the library.

Monday, March 21, 2005

(Drum roll, please...)

The cape is finished. And I must say, I love it. I intend to wear it all the time -- just as soon as it stops being so freezing cold (yep -- Friday's 60 degrees has dropped to Monday's 39 degrees).

There are no pictures yet, since I'm planning to do a photo shoot once I can wear it outside without getting noticeable goose bumps. And then I intend to submit it...somewhere.

Once I finished the cape, I moved on to legwarmer #2. Other projects on the horizon: 1) putting an edging on the tank I recently finished, so I'll dare to wear it in public, 2) the shawl for my friend Lisa's wedding, 3) restarting (again), the shimmery shawl I was making for myself before someone came along and put a disturbingly huge and unfixable snag in it. And, on the side, something fancy and felted and some dishcloths for my family, including my Aunt Karen, who hordes them.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Vegas Bag, Baby!

Okay, so I still haven't been able to edit my pictures, but here's the picture of my Vegas Bag, straight out of the camera. It's tiny -- just big enough to fit an ID and some cards and stuff -- but it's perfect for a night on the town in Vegas. I broke it in when we went to a show. I felt totally glam.

Vegas, Baby! Posted by Hello


It's gorgeous here today! Right now, it's 59 whole degrees. I looked outside this morning and saw that the little lavender flowers in the front yard had opened. This afternoon, I went out to read on the deck, and this is what I found:

Oooh! Look! Posted by Hello

Pretty purple flowers! I know there's a bunch of stuff planted here -- or at least that's what our neighbors told us. But we have no idea what's here. It's like Christmas! It's so exciting! It makes me want to knit a nice springy shawl.

Actually, I'll have a pretty orange cape soon -- I have only 6 rows to go, plus a bit of finishing... It'll be done this week (just in time for it to start snowing again).

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Still no pictures...

I finally grabbed the digital camera this morning and took some pictures -- specifically of the cool little felted bag that I finished just in time for my trip to Vegas. But alas, my computer has decided that it wants nothing to do with saving new pictures, so I'll have to try again later.

Last night, I headed out to Starbucks for the local knitting Meetup. I have to say it was a bit disappointing. It was just me and the fearless leader, Gwennis. Not that Gwennis isn't a great person -- and a very daring one for agreeing to be the group's organizer -- but I really was hoping for more of a turnout. I was bummed because it was my first real outing since moving to Columbus. And again, nothing against Gwennis or anything, but I was hoping to go out and meet a whole bunch of friendly knitters. Oh, well... Maybe next month.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

It's Wednesday already...!

Time flies when you're getting back from vacation!

Our trip was a blast! We spent a couple of days in Arizona, seeing the sights and climbing some rocks. Then we drove through Sedona (gorgeous!) up to the Grand Canyon (wow!) and across to Vegas (!!), where we stayed for a few days, basking in the sun and taking it all in. I'm not much of a gambler, but I did win myself dinner on the penny slots one night. :)

I didn't have much free time during the trip, but I did manage to knit a scarf on the flight to Phoenix. And I finished a leg warmer (just one -- the other one has yet to be started...but that's coming up).

We got back on Saturday evening, but our bags didn't make it until Sunday afternoon (between my husband getting his bag destroyed on the way out and finding his clothes dumped out on the baggage carousel, the horribly unorganized insanity on the way out, which forced us to wait in line for well over an hour before running to make it to our gate *just in time*, and the fact that we didn't get our bags until almost a day after landing -- on a direct flight! -- I'd have to say that I won't be flying America West again anytime soon). So we spent a lot of time sitting around and trying to recover from our jetlag. I had started a cape before leaving, and I picked it up when it got back -- and I'm almost done!

Tonight I'm going to my first Columbus Meetup. So far, I think only one other person is supposed to be there, but I don't care -- it'll be fun anyway. And maybe...just maybe...I'll finish my cape over a cup of tea at Starbucks...

Friday, March 04, 2005

Packed and ready to go...

I think I've actually done it. I've finished packing. The important stuff: two skeins of cotton for dishcloths, some scrap wool and novelty yarn for a mini bag, and a skein of some orange stuff for leg warmers. And two books. I also threw in the leftovers from my tank, which I finished at 11:30 last night -- I'm still trying to decide if I want to add an edge to the bottom to make it longer and less roll-y.

But now...I'm off to Vegas, baby!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Pre-vacation panic

The pre-vacation race is on. I leave tomorrow afternoon, and I still haven't finished my tank. I'm so close -- I just have to finish one last strap and then sew it all together (and, actually, maybe knit a band around the bottom). I should have it finished tonight, though it may mean giving up something else -- like doing my nails. Or washing the dishes. Or cleaning the bathroom. Who knows.

I also haven't figured out which projects to work on while I'm gone. I'm thinking I'll bring some tulle so I can knit up a few dish scrubbies. And I'll take some cotton and work on dishcloths. And maybe I'll bring some wool scraps and improvise... Or leg warmers! I got a great new skirt yesterday, and I've got some orange yarn that might be fun... Who knows. I need to go through my stash before I leave...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Just playin'

Paul left for his conference in Arizona yesterday, so I was left to hang out and knit and watch American Idol. I spent the evening working on fun little projects. I finished off a practice felted coaster out of the tons of wool that I got out of a recycled sweater. Then I made myself a flower -- I got the pattern out of the first issue of Knit 1. It was originally meant to go on my blue bucket hat, but I decided that it was a little too big -- so I have other plans for it. In fact, I was just thinking that I'd like to make a couple more.

When I finished the flower, I started swatching for a new cape that I decided to make -- out of a bright orange Microspun. It's soft, and I know it'll have an excellent drape. Now I just need to figure out all the math.

Before I went to bed (later than usual, since I was alone...), I forced myself to try on the tank that I've been working on. I was a little nervous, since bigger projects rarely work out for me. But I needed to try it on to see if it was good enough to continue -- I've just got the straps left. And guess what -- it fits! I have a few adjustments that I might make, but I like it. Yea me!

So I've hit that pre-vacation panic. I realized that there are so many knitted things that I'd like to add to my wardrobe before I hit the Southwest. A nice shawl would be good. And a pretty shrug. And some leg-warmers to cover up my ghostly-pale legs when I wear my skirts. And more flowers! And I want to finish my tank and my cape and a new felted bag. That's all.

Think I can get it done in three days?

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