Taking me down a peg

No photo evidence today.
Isn’t it funny how sometimes you don’t learn to do a thing properly until you have failed miserably, twice?  After casting on for my Market Squares Bag, I had thought I had the entrelac concept down.  I had gotten out my reference book, How to Knit by Debbie Bliss (an indespensible resource). I did a practice swatch and thought I had it down. After ripping back twice now to the top band, I have learned to pay attention to all the directions. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do the entrelac, I was just not doing the pattern. I kept trying to do the swatch pattern. Okay, I am duly humbled. Tonight I begin again from the band and this time I will get it right. What kind of deranged mathmeticians are creating these knitting patterns anyway?

Now for the Good News, I am down with the knitting backwards thing. Maybe because I already knit continental, it was really pretty easy. Heck, I may never purl a row again.

Ready for the Bag-a-long!

Msbag_yarn The yarn colors I have been waiting for finally arrived at my LYS.  They are for the Market Squares Bag from the book, Bags, A Knitter’s Dozen edited by Elaine Rowley.  I wound the balls last night.  A bunch of the members of the Bag-a-long have already finished their bags, which was pretty fast since we weren’t supposed to start until January 15th.  I hope it will go as quickly for me.  I am considering leather handles for mine instead of the felted i-cord ones, mostly because I think they will stand up to wear better.  I plan to use this a lot.  The color inspiration came from one of my favorite Texas birds (South Texas to be precise), the Green Jay.

photo by John Delevoryas

If this one works out I may make a whole collection of Bird inspired bags. 

Today’s questions: What’s your favorite bird?  Where do you find your color inspiration?

Back to Knitting stuff

As for what’s on my needles, I am almost finished with this scarf.  Ch_scarf I know it’s an odd color mix as color has never been my strong suit, but the yarn is just lucsious.  It’s Classic Elite’s Attitude (85% pima cotton 15% mulberry silk) and the pattern is free from Lion Brand – it was designed exclusively for Country Home Magazine and it caught my eye when the new issue arrived in the mail last week.  You can purchase the kit from the magazine or you can go to the Lion Brand web site and download the pdf instructions.  It was designed using 2 shades of Lion Brand Wool-ease Chunky and 1 shade of Wool-ease.  In the specified yarn the scarf is 13 inches wide by 9 feet.  Yikes, that is way too long for a scarf!  I wanted to use up the odd balls of Attitude that I already had so it isn’t quite as wide and I used the gauge for the yarn rather than the pattern.  The interesting thing about the pattern is that each stripe of the repeat uses a different stitch pattern.  Well, I love texture.  I have striped the scarf semi-randomly, though I kept the stitch pattern repeat the same.  I like it, but since I didn’t use the yarn called for, I think I may need to block the scarf as one of the stripes is a bit of a rib so the scarf edges undulate ever so slightly.  Anyway, I am liking it and hope that the recipient will also.

I hate Winter!

I just hate it!  I know we don’t get real winters in Texas and that the last measurable amount of snow that fell was over 20 years ago.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m cold.  I hate the way my skin cracks and bleeds and my whole body itches from dry skin.  I hate the fact that I never seem to have enough warm clothes.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much I knit. 

Marilyn I hate the fact that I smoke, but not indoors.  Yes, I know it’s bad for me and that it’s not socially acceptable and that it’s generally just a very nasty, expensive habit, I know.  But I smoke.  I have quit several times.  The patch works, and costs almost as much as cigarettes.  Sitting outside on the North side of the house on the porch wrapped in a ratty blanket shivering, smoking while your family sits inside in the warm house, is just dumb, even if it only lasts about 5 minutes.  I usually quit in the winter.  But this year, I didn’t manage it in time.  Now I’m not ready.  Too many stresses and if I don’t smoke, I go off on other people.  Nobody deserves that.  So, I knit, and think about what I need to have a spring veggie garden and dream about opening the windows, wonder when the bluebirds will show up to claim their nestbox and if the bluebonnets will be good this year because we had so much rain and if the wysteria vine will recover from the neighbors goats foraging on it this fall.  And then I’ll take a smoke break.

Non-knitting News

Thinmints Hot news tip!  Girl Scout Cookies go on sale tomorrow!  I just had a teaser of Thin Mints.  One of my coworkers grandkids is a scout and they got the goods early.  They can’t sell them before tomorrow, but nobody said they couldn’t eat them and give them away.  I swear I can eat a whole box of them by myself – so long as nobody’s looking.  This has been a public service announcement.

Back from Sickville

The whole family came down with the same cold and nothing got accomplished for almost a week including blogging.  Now we are all better, Abby is back in school, I am back at work and Tom has started his classes at TSU

Sock2I did manage to do a bit of knitting in between tissues and cups of tea and soup.  I finished this sock and its mate is on the needles:
I went to buy my yarn for the Market Squares Bag-a-long and was only able to get 2 of the 4 colors I need.  They are expecting the others in a shipment this week, so I can’t start the bag till then.  I finished all the gifts going to Seoul, but did not put soles on the clogs for Jon.  I just felt too pressed for time.

WristletI whipped up a pair of Terri’s eyelet lace wristlets in front of the TV the other night and I love them.  They are made of super soft Baby Merino and I finished them just in time for the Austin temperatures to plunge into the mid-70′s.  Oh well, at least they are here when I need them next week.

It’s Dryin’ Time again

The clogs I felted on Sunday are still not dry.  I am concerned that if they don’t dry soon, they will mildew.  I am beginnning to think I should just send them as soon as they are dry rather than wait till I can stitch the leather soles to the bottom.  I wonder how hard it is to find a cobbler in Seoul who would do it? 

Clogs I really think this pattern is pure genius.  I think I cursed each and every one of the 35 rows and had to unknit and rip a couple of times because I got distracted by family and lost count.  But when these things felted up in like 15 minutes and looked so good, I was hooked.  I will only be able to do more pairs while the entire household is gone for the day, but I sure would like a pair for myself.  This pair is knit with Patons Classic Merino in Indigo and the collar was some left over miscelaneous yarn that I used on my Must Have Cardy.  It was the only contrasting wool of the right gauge I had, but I think it worked.  Now if the damned things will jsut dry.

I’m late, I’m late, I’m late…

I spent yesterday finishing and felting clogs and Sofie Bags for Christmas gifts (pictures coming when they are dry). Yes, I know I’m late, there is no way I could have finished in time and there is no way I am going to blow them off just because it’s after Christmas. My front-loading washing machine does a dismal job of felting so I had to drive over to Kandis and Rob’s apartment to use their top-loader. But it didn’t take long and it worked great! While they are drying, I am finishing a little hat to go with a little scarf for a 7 year old girl. I am going to attempt to apply leather soles to the Fiber Trends clogs as I think they will be safer and more durable. My friend Tami gave me some elk-hide from one of their hunting trips to Colorado and it is nicely tanned and seems supple enough.

My Bags book arrived on Friday for the Market Squares Bag-a-Long. I am torn between these two color combinations:
Green Jay and Wood Duck, each inspired by the colors natually gifted to these native birds of Texas.Greenjaybag  Woodduckbag

I think I am going with the Cascade 220 because of the wide color selection, but it might depend on the colors I actually choose.  Any thoughts?

By the way, I am still learning how to configure this blog, so things may change a bit next time you visit.