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

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Happy Sentimental Stripes Day!

I sat down at my desk this morning and changed the date on my Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendar, only to find that September 25 is Sentimental Stripes Felted Tote Day! Yea!

So if you happen to be stopping by the blog today because of the calendar, howdy! And if you happen to have any questions about the pattern, feel free to contact me at kdk-at-nightsandweekends-dot-com.

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Monday, September 24, 2007


No, I will not be writing about perfume today. Really. I’m talking about knitting. You wouldn’t know anything about knitting obsessions, would you?

Maybe it’s just me.

You know, like my latest obsession with knitting blankets. Something like that. (The latest blanket, by the way, is getting there—I ran out of yarn when I was at the store today, so now I have to dig through the house to find the other 1 ½ skeins that I know are here somewhere…)

So last week, when I was hanging out at the store kidless, I became totally obsessed with Beth’s latest project. Apparently, a bunch of the girls from the store have been doing a knitalong—and they’ve been working on the Victorian Shoulderette by Sivia Harding. So I saw this particular shoulderette—and the gorgeous Mountain Colors that Beth was using to knit it, and I decided right then and there that I had to have it. I went running home to order the pattern, and then I tried to figure out which yarn to use. All it takes is 250 yards of fingering weight, and I figured I had to have a ton of that, since, at one time, I thought I was going to knit socks—and then I tried a couple, and I changed my mind.

As it turns out, though, I don’t actually have any good fingering weight yarn. So when I got to the store early today, I started digging around the fingering weight, looking for the perfect yarn. I looked and I looked and I looked, but I didn’t really find just the right thing—so I’m thinking I may have to go out and buy some natural yarn and dye it myself.

Okay. So there’s Obsession #1. At the moment, I’m going back and forth between writing this and looking at KnitPicks for the right dyes. And, actually, now that I’m looking at the pattern, I’m thinking maybe a light DK would work well.

So…after I’d been wandering around for a while, obsessing over fingering weight yarn, Miss A arrived to knit. She’s currently working on her second knitted babe—this time, a boyfriend for the girl she made earlier this year. He’s a little bit lighter in color than she is, so Miss A has decided that her knitted boy is going to be goth. I love Miss A.

While Miss A and I were hanging out, Barb came up front to show me her latest project. She’s working on the most gorgeous sweater ever. It’s the Cherie Amour from the latest Knitty, and she’s using some beautiful Araucania wool. And it’s going to be absolutely stunning. So, of course, now I’m obsessed with that. I must make that sweater. And I think it has to be in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky Hand Dye in Yukon (though I’m not sure if I can wait all the way until the end of October, when that colorway will be available. Sure, I probably won’t have the time to work on it before then—but I don’t want to have to wait, either).

So while I was obsessing over bulky yarn, Miss S arrived. Miss S is the chattiest kid alive. Seriously. I don’t think she took a breath at all during the entire time she was there. Okay…maybe once or twice. But then she’d realize that there was a break in the conversation, and she would fill it with a totally random story. She’d just go on and on and on, and she talked so fast that I didn’t even know what she was talking about most of the time. But I said, “uh-huh” and “oh!” at the times that seemed appropriate, and it worked out just fine.

We had a fun yet totally uneventful time this week. Next week, however, is special. Miss A has decided to knit her mother a collection of dishcloths for Christmas, so next week is officially Dishcloth Week. So if you have any favorite patterns to share, please do pass them my way.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blanket Pictures...

As promised...a couple of pictures from my recent (and ongoing) Blanket Phase.

As you may recall, my Blanket Phase started when I knit up my first log cabin blanket. Once I finished it, I realized just how fun it was to knit up log cabin blankets. They're fabulously brainless without getting boring -- because once you get sick of knitting one color, you can just bind off and start another. Brilliant!

I also realized that Chandra was due to give birth to a little boy in a matter of weeks. At first, I considered giving Chandra the first blanket (even though, after I finished it, my mom looked at it and said, "Maybe you should just keep that one for yourself."), but it wasn't Chandra's colors. Chandra was doing browns and blues.

So I ran out to the store to by more yarn and ended up with this:

After I finished the blanket for Chandra's little guy (who's now known as Brooks), we went to Toronto to visit the in-laws. While we were there, we found out that our friends, Dan and Amber, are expecting their second in January (their first, little Hazel, is the cutest little girl I have ever seen). So, on the way home, we stopped at the yarn outlet, where I picked up a whole bunch of something in yellow and blue. Since it was in the Factory Seconds bin (for 35 cents an ounce), I don't really know what it was, but I think it may be Berella. Whatever it is, though, I absolutely LOVE this yarn. It's soft and squishy, and it's great to work with. And it makes a pretty cute blanket, too. This time, I decided to try something other than the log cabin blanket, so I went with a big stripey square:

When I was at the outlet, I wanted to make sure that I had enough yarn to make a blanket. I didn't know what gauge it would work up to or how much of everything I'd need, so I just grabbed five balls of each. I decided to shoot for about a 30" square blanket -- and it took me less than 1 1/2 balls of each color. So I had a ton left. I figured I'd just make two more blankets just like it, but my mom told me that I really need to use the blue to make myself a vest or something. So when I started the new blanket on Monday, I decided to make it all yellow.

No pictures of the new blanket yet -- because there isn't much to look at. It's just a 11x11 yellow square. But it'll be something soon enough...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007


So yesterday was Monday—which meant that, at precisely 4:00, I made my way to the store for another afternoon of knitting with the kids. It was a pretty slow summer, meaning that I was often left kid-less—or perhaps with just poor, faithful Miss A. It’s a good thing Miss A is so much fun—because we spent a heck of a lot of time together this summer.

So anyway, I got there at 4, expecting an army to be waiting for me. Last week, I had six kids, several of whom spent their time wreaking havoc on the store. And they all promised they’d be back next week. But when I got there, the place was empty. So I set down my bags and took to wandering the store, feeling hanks of yarn, as I often do when I’m waiting for kids to show up.

In the back of the store, I ran into Beth. I hadn’t seen Beth in for-freakin’-ever, so I was thrilled to hang out and chat in the back for a while.

“You haven’t been blogging much,” Beth noted.

“I know,” I sighed as I plopped down in a chair. “It’s on my to-do list every single day. I even have some pictures ready. But I’m just so busy…”

Then I explained that there’s another reason: “I just don’t have anything good to show.”

You see, I’d been a bit frustrated when I showed up at the store. The whole thing revolved around this particular top that I’d been working on. I bought the yarn last summer, and the top I had started was a disaster. So I frogged it. This spring, I got an idea for something different—my own design. So I slowly got to work. I was very careful about the design and the shaping. I tried the stupid thing on about every other round (which was why it was getting nowhere fast). Yesterday, I decided to try it on again. And I hated it. I have no idea what happened, but it fit one day, and it looked all weird the next. I was speechless. And totally ticked off. So I took it off again and left the house for knitting.

So what’s the solution, you ask? Simple. I set the top aside (again). And I pulled out some soft, bulky yellow yarn and started another brainless blanket.

Thank goodness for blankets.

This time, I even went up to 10½s instead of 10s, and it’s flying by. Oh, how I love my blanket.

Before I knew it, it was nearly 5:00—but it was so nice to just sit and knit with the girls for a while. It had been one heck of a Monday, and I needed it. But that’s when Sallie went up to the front of the store and called back for me to brace myself. I had kids, who were showing up a whole hour late—and it was the crazy kids. My two boys.

The boys are a ton of fun—especially Mr. A, who is a totally happy little knitter. He was there, working away on a sweater, when my mom came to visit. So Mom always calls Mr. A “My Little Boy.” His little brother, Mr. T (who’s not nearly as big but just as energetic as the original), is a handful.

This week, though, the guys were pretty beat—and midway through sitting around and trying to figure out her new sock pattern, her mom realized that she’d missed lunch (something I can totally relate to)—so they didn’t last very long. Mr. A worked away on a new stuffed animal that he’s making, and Mr. T decided to work on Mr. A’s sweater for a while. That lasted approximately 6 stitches. Then he came over to the couch by me and hung upside-down from it while discussing things that, I’m pretty sure, only make sense in his little world. But I make sure to smile and nod and “uh-huh” and “oh!” at the appropriate times.

Mr. A was intrigued by my blanket, so I explained the whole thing to him. Then he asked who I was making it for.

“I don’t know,” I told him. “I figure one of my friends gets pregnant about every other day, so I’m just kinda working ahead.” When his mother told me that was a really good idea, I told her it was kinda like a pre-emptive strike. I like to be prepared.

When the kids were getting ready to leave (15 minutes or so early), Mr. T seemed very concerned. He looked at me (from his place, upside-down on the couch) and said, “But will you be sad if we leave you here by yourself?” How cute is that? I told him I might—but there’s always next week.

So despite the knitting headache that I had when I arrived at the store, I left feeling cheery and rested. I’d gotten to chat for a while, I started a project that I know will work out (and go really really fast), and the kids didn’t make me want to go home and drink. So it was a good Monday.

I still have some pictures sitting on my hard drive, waiting to be uploaded so I can show you all my fabulous array of blankets. And I swear I’ll do that soon. Really. I’m not kidding. I’ve already gotten to the point of taking them from my camera and putting them on my computer, so that’s a start. I’m working in baby steps here, but I’ll get there eventually.

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