Thursday, January 31, 2008

Here's a white flag

Okay, what is that poem, Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? That's today. Start with a two hour drive to work because of snowy streets, and end with a bus driver driving away when I was 20 feet away from the bus, and a LYS that was closed at 4:45.

So, here's my white flag. I surrender. You win, I lose. I'm going to go knit on something I like, listen to a podcast or two, and happily watch the backside of January 2008 fade away into the sunset. Good bye, good riddance, adios, don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out.

On a happier note, I close the month with two Finished objects:
Lady Eleanor
The Leaf Lace Shawl

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blame it on Ravelry

Okay folks, I am not taking the blame here. I have been following the rules. I have been good on the knit from the stash diet (though not so good on the buying new yarn bags diet), and really haven't bought "that much" yarn in quite a while. I have been sticking to the knit 2 projects of one type at a time rule, and am adding the cast on a sock on the 1st of the month, and cast on the second sock on the 15th of the month rule (maybe we will have pairs of socks in Mountain Purl's future, there is hope). And, of course, class projects don't count, because I need to work on them for my students and to have them for the LYS. But, I'm falling off the wagon.

So, number one, I am blaming it on Ravelry. You all know I can't sleep. So since I woke up at 1:30AM and there were 300+ others of you on Ravelry along with yours truly looking around. And I found a shawl. I wasn't looking for one. There is a knitter in Boston who has three projects in common with me, The Leaf Lace Shawl, Lady Eleanor, and Diamond Fantasy so I went looking at her projects which are very nice I might add. And there was the shawl. KIRI. And I read All Tangled Up, why I never saw this pattern, I do not know. And I have a ball of Blue Blood Red Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb that is perfect for it. And I know I could knit this baby in less than two weeks if I wanted to. So, needles, yarn and pattern are in knitting chair number one downstairs, waiting for me. So that will break the two lace projects rule. BUT, I only have 16 rows to go on the Leaf Lace Shawl. That's right, I am to the edging chart. So there will be some blocking in the near future, But, I am going to break the rule tonight. Soon. But I may be doing some edging lace first. Maybe.

Number two, podcasts and my lack of will power. Too many people said "Lace Cardi." I think I even heard it on What Not to Wear. So, what has been calling ever so quietly and then screaming in my ear "KNIT ME NOW?" The Katharine Hepburn Cardigan. And it's also been in my stash since last year when I had Cassidy order me the yarn. Louet Sales Jems Opal. In Cherry Red. I caved. It's been up, frogged (I am casting on in pattern and having major brain farts) , and is going back up. So there goes the two sweater rule. And I also need to put up one (Silver Belle) for a sweater workshop I'm teaching. Oh boy. I'm in deep knitting trouble.

Number Three. Red. I love red. These yarns are beautiful. I don't care that I mostly wear black to work, sans makeup. Pretty picture, no? Anyway, who can resist red? And Valentine's Day is 2 1/2 weeks away. Enough excuses. It's so pretty.

So I'm breaking the rules. I'm casting on.

FYI, I had margaritas last night. Just what the doctor ordered for this girl who has been sick since FOREVER!

Okay, what else? The Modern Quilt Wrap Knitters met yesterday at String. Oh my, too gorgeous. Marcia and Ann's are beautiful. I'm only on tier one. Lynn wasn't there but I want her colorway and I'm still looking for Erin. Everyone who saw these at String yesterday oohed and aahed. A must knit. You too can cast on.

Saw a lot of friends yesterday. Robin, Lisa (hey - did you have enough to finish the footies?) The normal String knitters, Tim, Kate, Diane, Dani, Jody and others. The store was so busy. Max is getting big. Cassidy has really cute hair. New classes are starting soon. There's some lime green lace weight mohair that has summer shawl written all over it. Didn't buy the new Noro sock. I want to feel someones after it's washed before I cave.

Sunday stash report. Nothing out permanently but very soon. Two skeins of green Lorna's Laces sock from Knit Knack. I also traded colors of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Blush pink for a peach which is in my colors, the pink really wasn't after I had my colors done (this is for Silver Belle). Two new size 0 Addi Turbos (Knit the socks Kath and you won't be needed to buy these!) A new Atenti bag was ordered from Dreamweaver Yarns - I know this was very bad, but look at Palms and Fronds and you will understand.

I think that is all. Chinese food for supper, yum. DH is on his way to pick it up.

I need to cast on.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I've been sitting on the bed for the past few hours, knitting on the Leaf Shawl and listening to pod casts. One of the things that caught my attention was that not only are we knitting and creating things, but we are knitting our lives together.

And I got to thinking about that, the different people I knit with on a regular basis, the students in my classes, the people I meet when I attend a class, or a retreat or a convention, and it's interesting to look at the different people and see what they have added to my life.

Some are constants, the knits and purls. They are always there building your garment. Then you have your traveling stitches. These people zip across your life, adding interest here and there, not always staying. But always interesting. Then you have your cables. These people come in and out of your life. You may see them once a year at a convention, or they contact you out of the blue. They add a great design and you are always happy to see them. It's like they never left. They make you smile.

Then you have your dropped stitches. Somehow this friendship didn't last, or you outgrew it, or it was only there for a purpose which is now over.

I might be labled an SSK or a K2TOG. I pick up knitters. That's how I have met the nicest people I know.

Love them knitters.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Another day in Paradise...

Okay, so I'm wishing I was in a hammock down in the keys sipping a margarita. A girl can dream right? But I'm at home, it's Martin Luther King Day, one of the 13 federal holidays so I am off of work for another day. House bound again. But DH felt bad for me, bundled me up like the Michelin man and off we went to Tokyo Joe's for rice bowls for lunch so I wouldn't go stir crazy. The boys are at school, DH is off shoe shopping, and I'm bored. Oh well. I get to go to work tomorrow so it could be worse. I will start slowly, a few hours a day until I feel normal again.

I'm feeling a little better, but the lungs always start hurting at night. The steroids never made me feel like I have energy. I'm just tired.

By the way, you know what I have been doing? Knitting and watching stupid, cheerleader movies on the Family channel, and What Not to Wear Marathons, and the Food Network, and football.

Knitting. It's been lace lately. I am working on two old projects. One lace project was started in 2005, then was forgotten and I brought it out at the end of December. This is the Leaf Lace Shawl which I am knitting out of Tahki S. Charles Ritratto. I'm thinking I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel on this one. I believe I need 22 full leaf repeats down the center back and I now have 17, so I think 50 more rows and then I can begin the edging. Yes, the end is in sight. This is very pretty. I don't know why I stopped working on it. I need to get to 427 stitches to start the edging, and I need to look at my beads to see if I am adding them or not. Decisions, decisions.

The other lace project is also from the stash. I bought this cashmere in Hollywood, Florida in 2005 or so at the Yarn Tree and when I picked the stole up I realized it was too wide. So it was ripped back at the end of last year, so I now am about six inches into this stole. This is being knit out of Jade Sapphire 100% Cashmere in Amethyst Haze, a lovely purple color. So these are my two lace projects. So no new lace projects until these are finished. And guess who signed up for 2008 the Year of Lace?

Class projects, still working on the mittens, the shawl, Lady Eleanor's fringe, etc. I tried to repair a friend's shawl this weekend and what a pain that was. All I can say is BE CAREFUL WHEN YOU BLOCK LACE!!!!!! Or at least let me help you the first time.

Okay, I'm tired, I think it's time for a nap. It's snowing again. Where's that beautiful Colorado blue sky anyway?

Whoops, almost forgot - Sunday stash report even though it is Monday. The new sock yarn came in from Hazel Knits and it's not scheduled for anything yet. The fair isle yarn for the Cat and Mouse blanket from England arrived (Alice Starmore). Nothing new was started except class projects - mittens. Nothing was finished. I am in the minus column, buying yarn vs finishing for 2008. Is anyone surprised? Okay. I need FOs.

Friday, January 18, 2008

What Makes a Girl Feel Good?

Okay, let's face it, the girl has been in the middle of her own pity party over here and major moaning and groaning and some tears were shed last night. Why you might ask? Because I don't want to take my medicine. One of my new medicines, I picked up four yesterday on the way home from the doctor's.

Okay, I know I'm a big girl, and I know this crap has been going on since the 4th, and I had no idea my lungs were in as bad as shape as I found out yesterday. But Prednisone? Who the heck wants to take steroids? I had a friend have a bad reaction to this same stuff. And a side effect is not sleeping. Just what I DON'T NEED! So DH asked me why I was crying and I told him 1. I was sick of this ___, and 2. the steroids. He said it's not forever and just do it.

So anyway, there are things that make a sickie feel better. I looked outside and saw that it had starting snowing during my nap, but then I saw a box on the front porch. And I thought, could it be? Possibly yarn? And I won't get yelled at by DH for sneaking out and going over to String and breathing cold air which the doctor told me I AM NOT TO DO? Oh please, let the box be for me.

Oh Hazel Knits, THANK YOU!!!!! Look what Wendee got out to me. Artisan Sock Yarn in Chocolatier and Lime Granita. Are we thinking Mint Chocolate chip mittens or gloves or something here? And to top it off, she sent me the nicest card with a stitch marker that matches my sock yarn. HOW CUTE IS THAT? Yep, I'm smiling.

And then there are two friends, Leanne and Nachaele. They know what they did, I know what we did. I'm not talking, but thank you.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Eating chicken noodle soup and knitting lace

No Kauni today. I ripped at least 6 rows out last night. That's over 1,600 stitches. I found that my tension had loosened up, so out the rows came and the Kauni is having a day of rest. Hmm, sick fair isle knitting is looser than normal. Interesting.

So today is a lace day and I think it is Wednesday, right? I feel like I have lost the first five weeks of the year and today is what day (had to go look at the calendar, the 16th). Wow, I've been 50 for a month already. I have lost all track of time with being sick. Enough already, I need to get some semblance of order back. So I am eating chicken soup - nothing else has worked. Every time I call my boss to let him know I am still sick, he's in Philadelphia, he gives me some new advice to try, today it was honey, yesterday chicken soup. Aren't men cute, they think they have all the answers when we are sick.

So today we are knitting lace. And lace that I have to pay attention to because I am placing beads, and I am also throwing the yarn on the resting rows to turn the stitches for the SSKs to try to gain a little speed. I am going to try to take a picture. Of course it's not blocked out or anything, but you get the idea. One bead in the middle of each diamond.

Today my friend Joanne was sworn in as a US citizen. I really wanted to go and am so bummed that I missed it. But common sense prevailed and I am sitting at home thinking about her and hoping she's having a wonderful day with all her knit friends. Yay Joanne! I hope the little something I ordered for you arrives in the mail today.

Well back to the lace.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I'm trying not to breathe...

First of all, this photo is for Joanne. I've been talking about my Kauni Sweater and hoped to show it to her tomorrow, but I don't know if I will be there, so here the beauty is. Not a great picture, but you get the idea, and you can see the stranding on the back which is looking good also. I hope to work on this today.

I am trying not to breathe, rather I am not doing anything that will make me breath in deeply or breathe in cold air. I have bronchitis, better than the walking pneumonia which was ruled out by two chest x-rays yesterday afternoon, but it still hurts. My lungs are on fire. So as long as I don't breathe too hard, or breathe cold air, they feel better. I have two inhalers of medicines so hopefully with today's rest and probably tomorrow, this will be going away. As long as I don't cough, the one medicine with a pain reliever seems to dull the fire a little.

So I'm knitting and watching TV and resting today. Since coughing woke me up at 2:30AM I actually saw Knitty Gritty this morning, too bad it was just scarves, and scrap booking, always good programs to knit to.

I am trying to post to Ravelry, but am having issues this morning. I am tired, so it just be me. Just a short post, need to get back to the couch and the knitting.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sheep, Chickens and Cows

Like my little friend? DH bought her for me at the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo yesterday. We decided to go at the last minute and took the boys to see the animals. I'm wishing we had planned it better because we missed the International Sheep Shearing Contest in the morning and apparently there were contestants from New Zealand, Australia and Canada that were amazing. I saw the fleeces later on in the judging area and said to DH I wish that was I spinner, and he said "YOU DON"T NEED ANOTHER HOBBY!" I was a little offended. Do you think he was talking about my knitting and teaching knitting?

We saw a lot of cattle also and birds. We saw varieties of chickens and roosters that I never knew existed. Big, puffy, outrageously soft and cute adult birds. Just amazing. All in all, I think everyone had a good time. The boys and DH went in the petting farm and pet all kinds of animals. I wisely had a beer in my hand, and you cannot go near the animals with food or drink because of health concerns. So I smiled, and watched, and drank my of course - Coors light. What else in Colorado at the Stock show?

Speaking of health concerns. This crud is now in my chest. I'm not happy. Ten days of antibiotics and it is not gone? I'm calling the doctor tomorrow. Last thing I want is pneumonia.

Knitting. Slow going on the beaded shawl. I dropped a stick and it ran like a silk stocking this morning. I have NEVER had Helen's Lace run like that. And I could not fix it. So I ended up ripping back about five rows which doesn't sound like much, but there were beads on two of those rows. So I'm re-knitting it.

Sunday stash report. I was good when I was at Knit Knack earlier this week and didn't buy anything. I did get a skein of cashmere in the mail this week, but that was needed to make the lace gloves the length I wanted. I pulled some yarn out of the stash - 2 skeins of Southwest Fibers Karaoke. I threw a pair of mittens up on needles Friday night after trying to locate a copy of EZ's Knitter's Almanac at two other stores and finally finding one at A Knitted Peace. (I'm thinking I have one upstairs in the yarn room too, although this might be the book I left on a plane coming back from knitting camp!) By the way - what customer service from Marcia at A Knitted Peace! She told me she would keep the store open until I got there - for an $8.00 book! Can't beat that. Other stores should take note. Though my kids were a nightmare in the store - sorry Marcia! Anyway, I am debating teaching EZ's mitered mittens for a winter class, and the Karaoke yarn stripes so well. I just am not sure about the thumbs, because they are after thought thumbs. Hmm. Everything else I worked on this week was already started and part of the two project plan, so I doing good with it.

Well, that is all for this post. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Do you face West?

As I was driving to the park and ride this morning, again I was reminded about how glad I was that people that DH and I have hired in Colorado have done their jobs. I’m talking about our realtor. You see, we live on a street that winds a bit for a half mile before you get to a main road. A main road meaning it will be plowed if it snows. Now sometimes they will take a grader down part of my street but not always. So during a good snow, you can get a build up of 3 or 4 inches of packed snow and ice on the street.

Anyway, being a girl who lived in Florida for 18 years and California for 11, and only had purchased a house in California, I was not aware of the importance of how your house faced. My priorities of house facing were - where was the master bedroom, and was the sun going to wake me up in the morning which is not a good thing for this light sleeper. So our realtor enlightened us about west and east facing driveways. (Though I wish he would have said something about how steep mine is – I’ve slid sideways down it on many occasions when there is ice under the snow when I am trying to shovel it during a snowstorm!) If yours faces east or west, the sun will melt that snow and ice so much faster and you will not have that ice jam in front of your house.

So as I was twisting and turning my way down the road this morning at 5:45AM, going from dry road to ice slick, I was thinking thank you Don, I am sure glad my house doesn’t face that way. It’s dry in front of my house.

Anyway, knitting. Cast on some lace yesterday. Actually cast it on, didn’t like the openness, ripped it out, went down 2 needle sizes and now am on row 48 of the Diamond Fantasy Shawl. I’m using some of my favorite lace yarn – Helen’s lace that was in the stash, but I can’t figure out the color way. It’s not Chino and it’s not Firefly. It’s this golden color and I am putting a cubed gold glass bead in the middle of each diamond and at the end of each point just like Cara at January One did. And I’m not breaking the two project rule because this will be a class sample for a spring intermediate lace class. And it’s so pretty already. I’m thinking this is going to be a quick knit for me, the only thing slowing me down is trying to bead on the bus and train while not spilling beads, or my purse, or my yarn bag, or my Ipod, or my water. You get the idea. Though, I need to switch to Addi Lace needles to be even faster, though that would involve moving them out of another started project….

I’m thinking I may be getting yarn in the mail this weekend. The Princess and I have twin projects. Besides the sweater we are making absolutely stunning cashmere gloves. Wait till these are done! And I think there’s yarn coming from England any day now and some Jamison from Canada. But I am sticking to the two projects of one type rule, so I could only start the project from England, but that is major Fair Isle, and not until my Kauni Dale is done will I even attempt another fair isle (so she says).

And I should have an Aventi bag coming from Dream Weaver Yarns. Birthday Present to me!

I’ve got work to do. The fog is starting to clear from feeling so sick. Its Friday my friends. Pretty day out there!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Looking for my old self....

Actually, I just want my head back, to clarify that, the left side of my face and all the sinuses lying underneath it. I hate sinuses and sinus problems. They have plagued me for years. I can forecast the changes in weather. I can tell you within 24 hours when it is going to rain. Because I get sinus headaches and migraines. I also get sinus infections and they usually are pretty nasty. I hate it when I get one, because I know it, and the doctor always tells me, you will probably get a migraine or two. So I have this baby since Thursday. Feeling like the left side of my face has been broken by a full out hit in the face with a swing of a baseball bat. And if it's not gone by Thursday I get my head scanned, and I hate lying still in that tube. I hate it. I have a little bit of claustrophobia when it comes to that and going underground.

So I stayed home today and I am pumped full of guaifenesin and antibiotics waiting for the dam to break. And I had time to knit, but these things pretty much kill any knitting desire I have. I think I have knit 3 rows on a shawl today. I hate losing good, quality, sick knitting time, to a head that just is about as worthless as a used Kleenex. I finished a good Monica Ferris mystery, "Cutwork." I like her books, they are set in a needlework shop in Minnesota.

So I downloaded some knitting pod casts. Not sure if I will be getting into listening to them on a regular basis, but I thought that I would give it a try. I really dislike talk radio no matter the topic, so this is a big departure for me to listen to a podcast.

And I tied knots while watching good old Martha Stewart on DIY (Please tell why Knitty Gritty is now on at 3 in the morning?) Lots of overhand knots. Many knots. On one side of Lady Eleanor. I will show you a picture, oh she is very pretty (sorry the picture is blurry). I still have to fringe the other side. But there are a lot of knots, very boring knots..... But she needs to be finished, so I need to fringe.

I need to work on the two sweaters in the active pile. They are badly in need of attention. Leanne told me she is almost done with her back, so I had better get knitting. Now which knitting bag is it in, in which room? Hmm...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Okay, Okay, I know I should be upstairs lying down!

I went home sick. Rather, I have been sick since Thursday and I went to work today. You see I had a court appearance this morning , and the Chief of Criminal was going with me, so there was NO WAY that I wasn't going to show. So I went, made my appearance, the judge said I did a good job (first time in her court room, she has been known to yell at attorneys), who knows, could always do better, went back to my office, walked back to my other office, grabbed my knitting and my purse, a Christmas present for Kris of the Lunch Bunch, walked over to where they were, said hello for 10 minutes, met a new knitter - blanking on her name, grabbed Robin's shawl to do a repair, got on a bus to catch my train and went on home. Whew, I talk like that too, as Renee at work says breathe Kath Breathe!

Anyway, why am I not taking a nap yet? Because I need to drink a boatload of water with one of my new meds I picked up at the pharmacy or as I was told I will be VERY SORRY! So I am slowly sucking this down. A half glass to go.

See this? You should see beautiful mountains between the two houses across the street from me. I see nothing. I can usually see five to seven mountain ranges from that window. What you see is a rapidly moving snow storm. I watched it roar down the foothills as I was driving home with my meds. I took that picture about 10 minutes ago and it is now snowing outside my window, just some tiny little flakes. Here we go again!
Sunday stash update, a day late. Not much knitting happened this weekend, you know I am sick when I don't knit. Two additions to the stash that I received in the mail this week. The white is Black Pearl Cashmere, just lovely, in jasmine pearl for some lace gloves. The other is a gift, which I haven't thanked the gifter yet, but I will. Beautiful yarn, straight from Germany. 574 yards of beautiful Rohrspatz& Wollemeise in the colorway Suzanne. Oh so nice, and from a very nice person I might add! Knee highs perhaps? My own design? This requires thought.
There are also finished items on the horizon for the Sunday Stash report, not quite there but close. But no more time for blogging. I am done drinking the water. The meds have a left a horrible taste in my mouth. I must now eat some chocolate.
Off to bed! Holy Crap! You should see the size of the snow flakes now! Oh well, the shots through the window weren't too good.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Fast Knitters

As I was knitting on my Kauni sweater on the train ride home from work yesterday, I was looking at how the colors were coming together. I am now to the “Gator” section; for you non-University of Florida people - one ball is feeding orange yarn and the other blue. And I was thinking about how I couldn’t wait until I got to the other colors and wishing I would get there quickly. Quickly just doesn’t seem to happen soon enough when you are knitting a sweater with 258 stitches per row.

So as I wishing I would get to these color changes, I started to think about fast knitters. Now, I happen to think I knit relatively fast. Now, I do not put myself in the category of the Lenes, Eunny Jangs, Anne Hansons, Lilly Changs or Karen from a Knitted Peace, of this world, but I do knit along at a fair pace. And I do remember a woman named Carole from my old knitting guild in California who could knit really fast, although I can’t remember her speedy nickname. These women’s fingers really do fly.

What I was wondering, do they get the same “buzz” or relaxation or whatever you or I get from sitting down and picking up a piece of knitting? Being at such a different pace than you or I? Hmm? Could be. It might be that it’s just the act of picking up the knitting and working on the project at whatever pace you want is enough. I don’t know.

There’s a beautiful sunrise of blues and fuchsias going on outside my 9th floor office window and a great old Hall and Oates tune on the station. Enjoy your day!