Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Confession Time

I have a confession to make. I have a sock drawer. And it is filled with socks. But on to the confession. None of them are handmade. All right, there is a pair of handknit socks in there, but they were made on a sock machine, but not by me. I even received 2 pairs of socks for my birthday, both store bought.

The funny thing is, I have taught sock classes, both top down and toe up. So where are my socks? I'm thinking in the yarn room waiting either to be finished, ripped out, or started. It's not like I don't have yarn to knit, because anyone who knows me, knows that is far from the truth. It may be that I am a sweater knitter and a lace knitter, and that is what I would rather be knitting. I don't mind the small needles, so that is not the problem, in fact I have some sweaters to knit on size 0 and 00. So, what is it? It may be the boredom of knitting the second sock after the first is done. It's definitely not a dearth of sock patterns, because I have patterns and books aplenty. And, it's not that I don't bring knitting along everywhere I go, because I am never found without knitting close by.

So, I have decided to set a goal. You see, my birthday was a week ago, and I was thinking about some of the things I would like to do before my next birthday. And one of them was to knit up some of that sock yarn. Into socks. Not lace, not gloves, but socks. And my goal is at least 12 pairs by next December 15th. So, I cast on a pair last night.

I have also decided to read more. I love to read, and knitting has interferred with the amount of reading I used to do. So, I am going to try to read a book at least every 2 weeks. So, 26 books by December 15th. I would also like to read the Bible in a year.

Lastly, I am going to take photography classes. My birthday/Christmas present was a Nikon D90. I want to become a good photographer. I have signed up for some classes at the local community college, and my camera also came with 18 classes, so I will be signing up for them next week. Colorado is God's country, and I want to take beautiful photographs of it. I also want to take better pictures of my knitting.

And, I am going to knit and finish sweaters. On Friday, a friend told me that I must have such a fabulous wardrobe of sweaters. Little did she know that I do, but they are in various stages of completion. I need to work on that.

So there it is. And it's time to knit!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Got Gauge?

A funny thing happened on the road of retirement. Or maybe it's not so funny.

My gauge changed.

I used to be a consistent knitter, having to go down one needle size usually when I knit a pattern. I could tell you what my gauge would be with different yarns. Not anymore. Now I don't know what the heck it is. So, now I'm having to swatch for just about everything. Yes, the dreaded swatch. I spent Sunday afternoon swatching Dream in Color Classy. Using, 6s, 7s, and 8s. Yuck! Not my idea of a good time. My modified Forecast sweater from Knitty, Winter 2005 is now being re-knit. Again.

Because, I have been ripping. And ripping. All the knitting I did at the High Fiber Diet Retreat - ripped out. Two half finished sweaters in Dream in Color Classy, ripped out. Two Malabrigo worsted weight sweaters, ripped out. I started four different sweaters for DH, ripped out. Seeing a pattern here? And it's not just worsted weight. So, do I have any sweaters finished since I retired?? Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

Welcome to the Frog Pond!

P.S. Leanne, don't even mention getting twice as pleasure from knitting the same yarn twice!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Julie and Julia

I just got back from the movies. Funny, I can't remember the last time I went and saw a movie that wasn't a child's movie. I thought and thought and frankly couldn't remember. I think DH and I went one on a day we had off from work, but it must not have been a memorable movie. Today I went with the girls - Patty and Laura and we saw Julie and Julia. I liked the movie.

Even before seeing the movie, knowing the premise of the movie, it had gotten me thinking. And after seeing the movie, I know how Julie felt, the feeling that you haven't really accomplished anything, and you have started many things, but not completed them. The need to set a deadline. And go for it. And it struck a chord.

Because I have seen some things that others have accomplished, and I have thought to myself I can do that. And I have felt some jealousy, and then I have told myself, they have gone after what they have wanted to do, and are now succeeding. And I also have told myself "You have Not!"

So I think it is time to stop talking and start doing. Because I can't really think of anything I have tried hard for in a very long time, except passing the Colorado Bar exam. And I have some things up my sleeves that I want to try, so I need to try and if I fail, try again. Some I will blog about, and some I'm just going to keep to myself. For now :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I joined a new knitting group. The sweater club. We meet on Wednesdays at 10AM at String in Highlands Ranch. And, we knit sweaters. And we talk, and eat lunch, and knit and talk. This as my second time knitting with them. I found this group last week when I walked into the store, looking at the yarns for potential projects for classes to teach. Yes, that's right. After about 10 months or so, I'm thinking about teaching knitting again. So while I was in the store, I sat down and knit with the group. On a skirt. Oh well, I didn't have a sweater with me in the knitting bag. They are a nice groups of gals.

I went to Stitch and Pitch with the girls Friday night - Sharon, Sheri, Kris, Robin and Denise. And I saw Judy there, and Cathy (thanks for the book by the way!). I also saw people from the Denver Knitting Guild. We had a great time, although the Rockies didn't win.

I've been reading a lot, since I now have time. I have recently finished First Family by David Baldacci, Dyed in the Wool by Mary Kruger, and Back to Blosson Street by Debbie McComber. I have been going to the library at least once a week. I got in the habit when I was taking the boys to meet with tutors over the summer. And yes, I read while I knit. I use a book weight to hold the pages open.

As usual, I have many sweaters on the needles. I am hoping fall will bring many finished objects. Can you believe it's only 4 months until Christmas?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Where in Colorado is Mountain Purl knitting?

Where did you knit in public this past weekend? This is where I was knitting yesterday. Devil's Head fire lookout is in the Pike National Forest at an elevation of 9,748 feet. We hiked up to Devil's Head yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful day here in God's Country, perfect temperature for hiking. We had a little bit of rain, but mostly sprinkles. Gotta love Colorado!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

A Mile a Month

I've been thinking lately about how much I knit. Now, I know that there haven't been finished objects lately, but, I knit every day. Most of the knitting is doing a repeat on one project, then doing a repeat on another, and so on. So, there is progress, but not completion.

And, since I knit so much, I was wondering just how much I knit. And whether it would amount to a mile a month, twelve miles a year, or would it be more? When you look at it, a mile a month would be 5,280 feet of yarn a month, or 1,760 yards. Surely I knit that much. And if you wanted to knit at least twelve miles of yarn a year, it would be 63,360 feet or 21,180 yards. I think I knit a lot more than that!

So, I am going to keep track for 2009. But, I am only entering the yardage from COMPLETED projects. I counted it up. Right now I have only .49 mile of completed projects for 2009. That is pitiful!

I guess I had better get knitting!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sunday Musings....

It's August 2nd and I find that a little hard to believe. Because it's been three months since I retired but it doesn't feel like a quarter of the year has passed.

I have been busy. The boys and I have been together pretty much 24/7 since the last day of school on June 5th. And now, we meet with their new teachers on Wednesday and they go back to school on Friday. We have gone to the pool, and on many walks with the dog. We have been to Rockies games and have eaten out way to often. There were many baseball practices and baseball games, which all ended yesterday with the last games of the season. The oldest's team beat the only remaining undefeated team in the bottom of the last inning 10-9, and I'm proud to say he had 2 RBIs as part of that score. The youngest had his last hit sail into the outfield, and I was so happy for him. They ended up tying, but to 7 year olds, that's the same as a win!

We have been to some beautiful state parks this summer - Cherry Creek, Castlewood Canyon, Chatfield, Eldorado Canyon, Eleven Mile, Golden Gate Canyon, Mueller, Roxborough, and Spinney Mountain. Whether we will go to any more before Friday, I am not sure, but I had fun hiking with the boys and playing in streams and lakes.

Knitting. Well, I have knit, but I don't know if I have one FO to show for it. But that is okay. I bought myself some new tools, wonderful needles and books. I will have time to work on the projects that interest me the most. That is, if I get away from the time suck that is Ravelry. It's so easy to spend hours on the computer, and not knitting!

I also have started to spin. It's not perfect by any means, it's lumpy and bumpy, but it's getting better with each time I sit down at Bella. Bella, my wheel.

I also have a sock knitting machine that needs attention. And my new sewing machine that is still in it's box, yet to be unpacked.

But it's all okay, because I soon will have time. For me. Time to work out, time to read, knit or do whatever I want, even lay by the pool. Drive my new car. Because school starts Friday. I love my boys, but, oh boy August 7th! Who's counting the days?

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Nothing to show for it!

I just got back from a walk with my dog. And, it kind of made me want to burst into a rendition of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning," but then it would not have been a beautiful morning when others heard "my" singing. However, beautiful the day is. That gorgeous Colorado blue sky, only 58 degrees, no one else was out on the trail except a runner. I didn't run into any coyotes this morning. And I saw 4 hot air balloons out over Chatfield lake. Yes, a beautiful morning. And the house is still quiet, but I am sure not for long...

I have been retired for 2 months and how time has passed that fast I do not know. I have had the boys now for the past almost 4 weeks 24/7 and, well, that has been an adjustment for me. To go from working full time to all these years, to having kids around, who do not do what I say immediately, well, let's just say, mom has been "pissed." And my workout routine has gone out the window, and the knitting time has decreased immensely and I feel completely unorganized. I guess that sums it up.

So, I have nothing to show for my knitting time. No FOs. I know I have been knitting. I have been knitting on a pair of socks, a shawl, another shawl, a sweater, a skirt, and who knows what else. But there is not one FO and frankly, I don't remember my last FO. It might be a shawl. I did join a group on Ravelry - WIP Wrestlemania 2009. You try to finish as many of your WIPs in July. I have high hopes, but it's the second of July. Let's see if I'm smiling on July 31st!

On another note. I have a new acquisition. Her name is Bella. She is my new Schacht Cherry Matchless spinning wheel. Whoo Hoo! I had my name down on a waiting list for one of these wheels and they finally came in last week, so I picked mine up on Saturday. I start spinning lessons this month up in Boulder.

Well, the house is starting to wake up. Happy July everyone!

Added at 6PM. Oh, my goodness, you just have to check this out! Just don't have anything in your mouth when you do, just saying!


Monday, June 15, 2009

Musings on a Monday

Boy, it's pretty outside. A beautiful, almost summer morning. Can you believe it's almost the first day of summer? I for one, am tired of all the thunderstorms we have been having. Very unusual. I just went out and examined the garden for hail damage and of course, the big, beautiful Hosta is shredded. And there is some damage to the leaves of the vegetables. Oh well, it could be worse. I think though, whenever I'm thinking the Hosta is looking great this year, that's a cue for hail.

The boys have been off from school for a week, and we have started our summer exploration. There are 42 state parks in the state of Colorado, and we are trying to see how many we can visit during their vacation. Last week we started with Eldorado Canyon, which the boys really loved. We saw Prairie Falcons and mountain lion tracks. The boys waved to the rock climbers as we hiked along a trail. The next park we explored was Golden Gate Canyon after we went to Lookout Mountain and visited Buffalo Bill's grave. We had a great view of the Continental Divide from Panoramic Point and enjoyed hiking until rain chased as off the trail. The last park we explored last week was Chatfield Lake. The boys had fun in the lake until another thunderstorm came up and we raced for the truck. We have more exploring planned for this week.

We went to the Estes Park Wool Festival on Sunday. The oldest fell in love with the Jacob sheep and the youngest wanted a Vicuna. I bought some mohair from Neota Designs in the colorway Purple Mountain Majesty for a shawl, and bought some beautiful grey alpaca from Paradise Valley Alpaca Ranch for a scarf for DH. I'm thinking the shawl will knit up fast. We ran in to Joanne at the festival - Hi Joanne!

Well, time to figure out what we are doing today. Have a great week everyone.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Happy June 1

Okay, where did May go? I know I for one thought I was going to get SO many things done in May, including finishing many knitted items. So where did it go, because, I'm looking around and I'm not seeing ANY FOs!

Well, I do know that I did not spend as much time knitting as I thought I would. I am still trying to get into some sort of routine. I have gone on school field trips with the boys. I am trying to work out more. I have spent a lot of time out in the yard. The bush beans have come up and are now about 2 to 3 inches high. I have yellow flowers on the tomatoes. The squash and zuccini have new leaves. The cucumber is very slow growing. I have not seen anything yet of the sun flowers or the corn. Hmm, I wonder why? And, the new rose bush is in, all the rose bushes have been fed, and all but the new one have rose buds. So, we have progress outside.

The knitting, well, that is another story. I have knit on my Sasha skirt. The inner lining is a stockinette tube, which is I think, 190 stitches around, and goes forever since I am making the 30 inch skirt. So, I knit on the lining for a while until I want to poke my eyes out. I have knit on some lace. I have knit on a couple of sweaters. And, I worked on some toe-up Monkey socks.

Okay people, WHY AM I SO PICKY ABOUT SOCKS? They are just socks for goodness sake! I hate the heel on these. I've turned the heel and thrown the sock down. Disgusted. I haven't decided if I will rip the whole thing out or just put another heel in and just rip this heel out. Right now the heel has me IRRITATED!

I am going to organize the yarn room this week. I need more room. I'm also drooling over an Elna 7300 sewing machine. Guess why I need more room?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


You know, knitting blogs should have knitting content. And it's not like I haven't been knitting because, I knit every day. But, was there something to write about? I have something today.

Meet, Olivia, my new dress form. Quite attractive eh? I have been wanting a dress form for the longest time. I have been knitting on sweaters and not finishing them. I have a list of UFOs that would make you run away screaming. And most of that is due to the fact, that I have gotten so particular about my knitting, that the sweater MUST fit the way I see it in my mind. And I am short waisted. Probably at least an inch shorter than most commercial fitted garments are made. And most knitting patterns are written. So things just do not fit. So, for the past 2 years I have been searching for a dress form. And, I debated the duct tape method of making one. I also debated having a dress form made. Now, I wasn't deterred by the expense of having one made, but, you were stuck with the size. So to alter it if you lost weight, or heaven forbid, added a few pounds, good luck. Enter "My Double" Deluxe. The size small, which I purchased has adjustments for bust, waist, hips, back waist length (Can we say Hallelujah?) and neck. So I added a bra and some "padding" to get the right cup size, and DH helped me measure her and set the stand to exactly my height and I'm ready. And, I'm going to start sewing again, because now I can alter patterns and things will fit! This model even allows you to fit pants and skirts. Cute summer cotton skirts are in my future. And you know the best part? I had a 40% off coupon and a gift card, which knocked a lot off the price. So, now I can knit my coats to fit. And my sweaters. And if I get in better shape, I just change the adjustments and off I go. Yes, I'm a happy girl! Oh man, I just thought of something, I can now knit my Ann McCauley dress to fit. So cool.

So, what else is new? I'm retired. Yep! As of April 30th. What am I doing? I'm SLOWLY cleaning the house, bit by bit. I planted a vegetable garden with summer squash, zucchini, early girl and cherry tomatoes, bush green beans, cucumbers, corn and some sun flowers. I have planted stargazer lilies and anemones and 3 other flowering bushes in the garden. I am waiting on a new rose bush to arrive, a gorgeous lavender rose, Sweetness, which is the 2009 Grandiflora rose of the year, which will replace a rose bush I lost over the winter. Oh, I love lavender roses!

I bought a sock knitting machine. I haven't played with it yet. But I have LOTS of time. And, lots of sock yarn.

I'm buying a spinning wheel. A Schacht Cherry Matchless. I don't know how to spin. But I will. I'm going to take classes from Maggie Casey this summer.

I'm knitting. Mostly on linen and cotton right now. I bought lots at Stitches South. Oh, did Leanne and I have a GOOD time! So, I have cast on some new Maggi Knits in her Maggi's Linen. And, I cast on a pair of socks on Mother's Day at the Rockies game. I need to work on those socks.... And, I have sweaters to work on :) The boys started baseball practice this week. Four practices a week for now and then the games start. A lot of prime knitting time.

She's back........................................

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Now you know....

Well, two people in less than a week asked me about my blogging, and I have to admit I have been remiss about sitting down and writing. There are several reasons for the lack of blogging but a few main ones.

The first one is Ravelry. Because I go on every day and talk to people in a few groups I’m active in, I forget to blog. Or, I feel like it’s already been said and that blogging about it is repeating myself. The second reason is, I forget to blog. I went into Blogger a few weeks ago to try to make some changes to my page. The changes were not working and I got frustrated and just logged off without making an entry. And then I forget about my blog and get busy with something else, and weeks go by.

The third main reason is that about a month or so ago, DH and I came to the decision that it is time for me to retire from my job with the Federal Government. Stick a fork in me. I’m done! I had reached the point where I didn’t want to go into to work in the morning and would lie in bed when I woke up trying to think of excuses not to do so. I have worked 50 hour work weeks for over twenty years. Throw two kids and a husband in the mix and I finally reached the point where it was too much. I was leaving the house before 5 in the morning and picking the kids up from after school care at 5pm. Then it was a rush home to either do homework, or eat and off to swim lessons or baseball practice or football practice. And along the way, I became a mom who easily lost patience and yelled. So, enough is enough and I will be retiring on April 30th.

Along the way I have been knitting. I am trying to finish sweaters this year. And I am buying a sock knitting machine. And I’m thinking about teaching knitting again. I haven’t taught in over six months.

So now you know. Big changes this year. And I’m celebrating my upcoming retirement at Stitches South. Anyone going?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January and the Damn Sweater

It’s been a while and I have meant to post, and have even written the posts in my head, but just haven’t sat down to write. And now January is almost over, one month of 2009 already gone and it’s been a month since Christmas. Time sure goes faster when you are older, doesn’t it?

I’m now eligible to retire. It’s nice having that bullet proof feeling. That I can walk out the door when I want. I wish the economy was better, and that I could find a part-time job during school hours. So for now, I wait and figure out what is best for me, yet I know I am tired of having 12-hour days when you add in my commute to my 10 hour work days.

Knitting, oh, let’s talk about knitting. And the damn sweater. Have I told you about this sweater? Well, here goes…

I’m trying to remember when this started. You see, I started dating DH in 1994 and then we broke up and then got back together, and sometime in that period between 1994 and 1998, we bought some yarn in a store which no longer exists, called Placerville Yarns. It was a lovely yarn store, in a mountain town on the way to Lake Tahoe that I used to stop at when I lived in California whenever we went skiing. Anyway, I told DH I would knit him a sweater and he picked out some Lorna’s Lace’s Shepherd Sport in a lovely color way Pewter, and a complicated aran pattern which was to be knitted on size 4 needles. (To tell you how old this yarn is, Lorna still owned the company and dyed the yarn at her home in Placerville!)

Enter the problem. The pattern has errors. This is a raglan. Knitted in pieces. The pattern of the cables does not match up when the pieces are knit. There are cables that run up the front and the sleeves that look like arrows and they are to merge into each other. I think it only works in one pattern size of the instructions. I have knit and ripped out this sweater more than once. I have changed it and knit it in the round. I even asked Meg Swansen for advice about this sweater. So it gets knit again, and banished again, and knit again and banished again, back to a closed closet in the yarn room. And I know it’s been over a year since I re-knit it for the 4th time. And stopped again.

So, Saturday morning. I frogged it again. Yep, the WHOLE THING. This is a man’s 44 inch sweater. Knit 4 times. Frogged again. All the yarn had a day-long bath. It is now dried. Sunday, I cast on again, after converting the whole mess to a top down raglan, using the charts from the original pattern. I think the sleeve charts are the problem from the beginning.

I don’t like it. Back to the Frog Pond. Number 5.

I’m looking for a new pattern. I surrender.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Florida Gators are again the National Champs!
It's Great to be a Florida Gator!!! It doesn't matter that I graduated from Florida a long time ago, I'm still an obnoxious Florida Fan!