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

Monday, July 25, 2005

Another review...

I had a crazy-busy weekend, but I managed to finish three projects (more about those later, since I'm getting ready to leave for work)...

But until then, be sure to check out my review of Viva Poncho by Christina Stork and Leslie Barbazette.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

It's almost vacation time again...

Next week is my birthday. In fact, it's a week from today. And I'm not even going to say how old I'm going to be because it still makes me panicky. Let's just say it ends in 0. That's it.

Anyway...since Paul turns that same age with the 0 three days after I do, we're taking the weekend off and getting away for a few days to the Smoky Mountains. (I can't wait!!)

But, of course, you know how it goes with me and vacations. I have two problems pre-vacation:

1) There's always a project (or two...maybe three) that I want to finish in time for the trip. This time, it's my poncho, which is totally knit, but I have to block it and sew it together. It's all asymmetrical and cool, and I kinda like it. The other one is the One Skein Wonder, which I just started last night when I went along with Paul to scope out hockey teams for the fall league. I foresee many an hour sitting at the hockey rink, keeping my hands warm by knitting.

2) I have to figure out which projects to take along. So far, it's my second sock, a dishcloth or two, a belt, a new capelet for me (in either orange or off-white -- haven't decided yet). I also need to start planning for something cool and lime green to go with the dress I just bought for a wedding in September.

3) I need to find yarn stores. Fortunately, I work in a yarn store, where the bosses own a little thing called the Store Finder. Jan has graciously agreed to bring her copy in, so I can find stores in Tennessee.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

I like to think of it as missionary work...

Saturday was Kids' Day at the store again. It isn't really the event that I originally suggested, but what the heck. On Saturday, we had three new kids come in to learn to knit. Two of them succeeded. The other was a four-year-old with a two-second attention span. Oh well...you can't win 'em all. But it was a fun (if hectic) day, and I definitely deserved a good stiff drink after it was over.

On Monday, after just one day off, I came back to the store for Kids' Summer Camp. The first ones showed up for my morning group (kids up to 11) at 10:30, and the last one left at 1. I was just about to sit down and grab something to eat when my first afternoon camper (ages 12 and up) showed up. And that was it until I left at 6. Four in the morning, two in the afternoon -- 60 minutes total without kids. It was an absolutely exhausting day -- but the kids have fun, and they get some time to knit, so it's worth it. It's my very own missionary work. I'm spreading the joy.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Stitch happens!

Due to our messed-up work schedule this week, I worked yesterday. As soon as I got out, I headed north to Delaware (the city -- not the state) to knit with the Delaware girls. And it was wonderful. I got myself an iced coffee (decaf) and a giant cookie (dinner) at the Mean Bean before heading to their upstairs room, where the girls had already gotten started. There were about nine of us -- three of whom I already knew from the store. Although I had planned to bring my "illegal" projects (i.e. projects made from yarn not purchased at The Store), I worked on a somewhat-legal project (i.e. my poncho made from yarn that I purchased at TNNA, while on Official Store Business). With all that gabbin', I hardly noticed how much knitting I got done -- but I did. I'd say I'm over a third of the way done. I'll have that puppy finished in no time.

The Stitch Happens group meets every other Wednesday, which Paul figures is perfect timing, really. He's planning to start playing hockey again this fall -- and he wants to join the Wednesday league. Or, as he told me, one week I can knit, the other week I can come and watch him play. Sounds fair to me. :)

Uma KIPs again!

Another Page Six piece has Uma Thurman knitting in public (or somewhat public) -- this time, in the back of an Escalade at IKEA while waiting for a friend.

Knit on, Uma!

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Rant about Knazis

Working in a yarn store, I get to see all kinds of knitters. There are the artsy ones, the sweet little old ladies, the social ones...and the Knitting Knazis. They're the ones who take the fun out of knitting. They're the ones who tell you that you're working with the wrong needles -- or that you hold your needles wrong -- or that you should never, ever tie a knot in your knitting. They're the ones who see themselves as the Ultimate Knitter -- and everyone else as the happy student who has everything to learn. These people drive me crazy. In fact, they're the reason why you'll rarely see me picking up needles in the store -- because I'm afraid that if they peer over my shoulder and tell me that my technique is totally wrong, I'll lose it (and that probably wouldn't be good for business). If you ask me, knitting is supposed to be fun. It's a hobby. I like playing with my knitting. And if it doesn't always come out perfectly, that's okay. I knit for the sake of knitting -- not for the sake of being the best knitter in the world. And I don't care if I'm not doing it in the Standard Accepted Way of Correct Knitting. I do it my way, and I like my way, thank you very much. And if I want your advice, I'll ask you for it.

This became even more frustrating yesterday. A couple of women came in in the afternoon and took over the entire front of the store. At 2:30, it was time for my afternoon kids' camp to start -- the first afternoon camp ever. The first camper showed up ready to knit -- but she needed a little help. She knew what she was doing, but she had a hard time casting on. She had learned one way before, but she'd had a hard time with it, so she came into the store, and Sallie (my boss) showed her an easier way. She demonstrated a bit, and I helped her cast on in a way that she could do by herself without a problem. One of the women (whom I'd had to shove over a bit just so I could sit next to the poor girl) looked over and said, "How are you casting on? Oh, you can't do it that way -- your knitting will end up looking all wrong." Her friend looked over and added, "Oh, you're doing it that way? No...that's totally wrong. Don't do that."

The poor girl was terrified. These horrible women (one of whom was a middle school teacher and should definitely know better) almost made her put down her knitting and never do it again. I, on the other hand, was proud of her for learning -- and for showing up to hang out with other knitters.

Shame on the Knazis. And thank goodness for those who encourage instead of knit-pick. If it weren't for them, knitting truly would be dead.

I think this is the last of it...

This is gone well beyond just shopping for yarn. This has become an obsession. A challenge, if you will. On Sunday, I ran right over to JoAnn to buy more Cotton-Ease, since it was 30% off the clearance price (that's $2.10). There was only one remaining Popsicle Blue, so I bought it. I also bought three skeins of orange. What am I going to do with this stuff? I'm still not sure. But I'm sure it'll be good.

Cotton-Ease Tally: 14 (5 Candy Blue, 6 Popsicle Blue, 3 Orangeade)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Knitting at the cottage

What a great weekend! After a long (busy) day of work on Friday, we headed up to the cottage -- and we made it there by 11:30. We spent the weekend hanging out on the beach, eating too much, ingesting too much caffeine, and shooting off fireworks. In short, it was a blast. On Sunday, I sat down for a while and started teaching my 7-year-old nephew, Nathan, to knit (and just for the record, he asked -- I didn't force him). He did a great job. I wasn't prepared to teach him (I figured I'd start pushing in a year or so), so I only had a pair of long bamboo 8s in straight needles -- but he did a wonderful job starting out, and I promised to buy him his very own needles and yarn in his favorite color (blue) for next time.

On Monday, after the kids went home, it rained all day, so I got to sit on the porch, watch the storm, and knit. I finished my shrug from Interweave, and I finished a sock (I made a point of starting the second one, too, to ensure that I'll actually end up with two socks eventually). I was going to start a top from Loop-d-Loop, but I realized I needed my 15s, and the 15s were in my felt bag, so I picked up the bag -- and I almost finished that, too.

On Monday night, we decided to venture out. It seemed as though the rain had stopped, so we decided to go for a boat ride. Mom, being a mother (motto: Always be prepared.), took a giant umbrella along, just in case. I, being a knitter (motto: Always bring your knitting.), took my needles and some yarn for a dishcloth. So there we were, enjoying the peaceful lake, me just knitting away, when the rain started. Mom put up the giant golf umbrella (in red, blue, and yellow). Dad put on the bright red hard hat with his name on it (he keeps it in the boat for times when he goes swimming...which, to Dad, is really just standing out in the middle of the lake, up to his chin, looking around...so the hat is to make sure that no boats run him over), and Paul put up his hood, and the ride continued. Somewhere during the ride, someone took our picture, which most likely appeared in the local paper, with the caption "The dangers of cabin fever." But it really was a wonderful ride (despite the fact that I eventually had to give up on my knitting, since wet bamboo isn't all that great for working with).

I had such a wonderful time back at the cottage -- I'm glad we live close enough to be able to make the trip. I'm hoping to make it up for another few days later this month -- for a little recovery time for my friend Barbara, who's recovering from surgery.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Loop-d-Loop Review

My review of Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop was recently published on NightsAndWeekends.com.

More post-holiday updates to come...

Friday, July 01, 2005

Packed and ready to go...again

Everything's ready for our trip to the cottage. I have to get to work today yet, but as soon as I get home, we'll be headed north. Last night, we finished packing. We've got a suitcase and a duffel bag for our clothes. I have one bag of books and journals. And I have four bags devoted to knitting (actually, five, if you count the stuff I'm going to buy today at work...).

I know. I can't help it.

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