“Adios, mofo”

Sometimes it’s hard to be a Texan and hold your damn head up.  I try not to do this very often, but some things just demand a response.   The only thing more embarrassing than having President Bush be from Texas is when he opens his mouth.  It appears that our current governor is afflicted with a similar disorder.  And if you like that sentiment, you can buy the t-shirt.  We can only hope that those are the words Governor Perry will hear when he leaves the Mansion after the 2006 election.  Of course, his most recently announced opponent is an even bigger cartoon figure herself.  But Texans should not despair, though we have no Democrats willing, worthy or elligible to run with a prayer of a chance, we do have an alternative.  Kinky Friedman is running for Governor of Texas as an independant.  And, it isn’t a joke.  If you think it is, read his blog.  He hasn’t said one thing yet with which I disagree.  He is honest, candid, intelligent, humorous and absolutely serious about this campaign.  And I am serious about supporting him.  I want to be proud of being a Texan again.

Hey, Gov. Perry, adios, mofo.

First Lace Socks

Latvian_lace_sox I cast on for my Sockapal2za sock pal’s socks over the weekend.  I have made lots of socks, but mostly just plain stitch self-striping socks or ribbed socks or cabled socks.  I have never made lace socks.  I decided my sock pal had to have special socks. I dug out my Folk Socks book and picked the Latvian Lace socks using that strawberry colored cashmere/merino yarn I got a few weeks ago.  I am amazed how quickly these socks are moving, and on size 0 needles!  I have never used 0′s either, mostly 1′s and sometimes 2′s for my socks depending on the yarn.  I broke one of the little toothpicks on a k2tog and had to wait till Monday to get another set.  I had no back-ups.  Now I can break 4 more before I need to buy another set.  The pattern/yarn combo makes a firm fabric, not nearly as flimsy as I assumed lace socks would be.  Also, I only knit 9 of the 10 repeats before starting the heel flap because it was beginning to look long and my sock pal has dainty feet, so I figured it might be a knee sock if I went to 10.  I am doing the pattern heel flap, even though it isn’t one I would do for myself and I am considering not doing the star toe.  It looks like it might be uncomfortable.  I have a couple of different toes I prefer myself, I just don’t know if I should foster my biases onto my sock pals feet.  Any thoughts?

Family Weekend

Since my mom and aunt were visiting this past weekend, there was very little knitting.  Mostly just showing off my FO’s.  I did get a start on the socks for my Sockapal2za pal, BUT broke one of the size 0 needles on a K2 tog which vexed me no end because I didn’t have a back-up set.  Taking care of that today at lunch.  It was still a nice weekend with family.  They don’t knit, but they were very kind to ohh and ahh over my creations and the endless patterns in my queue as if they completely understood. 

My oldest, Kandis, has a new dog we all met this weekend, Millie, and she is really sweet.  I snuck the chainsaw into the van on the way to their house and managed to reduce the stump I left behind to a mere memory after doing a down and dirty job on their Ugly Tree Removal the first time.  Yep, "I’m a lumber jack and that’s okay."  Tom doesn’t like me to use it because he thinks I will hurt myself.  Well, I did break a nail getting it started, but that’s the worst of it.  I love power tools. 

I swatched for the Eyelet Cardi, but it looks like I am not done swatching yet, didn’t get gauge with the recommended needles.  I have been stalking all the Tuesday Mornings in the area buying up Cotton-Ease.  Still haven’t found enough of the good colors, but I haven’t made all the stores yet.  I can’t believe they discontinued this yarn,  It makes no sense.  There is no junky novelty yarn that can replace it.  Cherry Red, Sugar Plum and Bubblegum are on my list and they seem to be on everyones list – ’cause they’re gone.  Kandis likes this yarn because it’s cotton and washable.  She doesn’t like wool and wouldn’t care for it if she had it.  So, my hunt continues.

See my knitting?

Here is the progress on the Bookworm Vest from Folk Vests:

Bookworm_vest Vestmess This vest is longer than I thought it would be even though, yes, I do own a tape measure, but still.  From the second photo you may be able to tell, I don’t own but 2 stitch holders, so I have improvised using all manner of items to handle the job; extra circs, waste yarn, etc.  It’s a little discombobulating to work on the last bit of the vest body with all these oddments dangling about, but I keep telling myself, it’s only temporary.  Once the garter stitch bands are on the front, neck and armholes, and the pockets are finished, this sucker will be done cuz the only seams are little ones (8 stitches) at the shoulders. 

My oldest daughter says my color choices are bland, but I like neutrals – I can’t help it.  This vest can be warn with virtually anything in my wardrobe. 

I tried to be a bit more daring with my next choice for this:

Mariah_start Recognize it?  Yep, Mariah from Knitty.com by the talented Jodi Green.  I chose Patons Classic Merino in Leaf Green.  It’s a little funkier green than you can see in this photo.  Okay, it’s still a neutral, but I love it and I think the color shows off the cables nicely.  I have to admit that I have ripped this about 3 times.  Sometimes I have to screw up to get the pattern down and be able to read the stitches and because I read charts poorly.

Nancy takes gorgeous pictures of yarn and knitting for her blog and she gave me some tips on composing my photos.  Unfortunately, I invariably choose the wrong time of day(lighting) or I am in such a hurry that I don’t set up my shots well, but I will learn and I do appreciate her suggestions and will work on it.  The camera is still an issue, though.

As much as I appreciate good photography and think it is one of the things that makes a good knitting blog, I sometimes pause and consider the visually impaired knitter.  Because accessibility is a big deal at work with regard to ensuring our site is accessible to those visitors using assistive technology, I think about these things alot.  I have known blind knitters.  I have been fascinated with not only that they knit, but how they knit.  Most of us in the sighted community don’t ever think about how someone who cannot see or has limited vision might do some of the things we enjoy doing.  But they do.  So, in case you are interested or know someone, here are some links to resources for visually impaired knitters:

As much as I enjoy knitting, I have had to overcome very few real obstacles to be able to pursue my passion.  Think doing cables is hard?  Socks?  Lace?  No, these knitters have it hard, but they do it anyway.

Random Summer Life

I have yarn pictures to show, but first you have to sit through my naturalist banter:

Leafhopper Abby wouldn’t get in her pool this weekend until I evicted the leafhopper claiming her floaty.  He was a big one – about 2 1/2 inches in length.  They are related to cicadas, that make that wonderful hot weather buzz that I so associate with summertime in Texas.

Stickerbur While Abby played in the pool, I knitted under the umbrella.  At some point I looked up from my knitting and I spied the ghastly spores that can spoil the best summer days outside; The dreaded Sticker burs (common sandbur)!  I started picking the the little fiends one stem at a time until I had pulled 2 plastic grocery bags full – that’s when I realized THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!  So I got out the lawn tractor and put the blade on it’s lowest setting and mowed the crap out of the yard.  I know it’s not going to get rid of them, that will take some doing, short of the nuclear option.  I am going to have to attack them on several fronts and over several seasons, but I want my lawn back.  How did this happen, you ask?  Well, last year the mower crapped out and we weren’t able to mow regularly after having dirt work done (i.e. septic field installation) which disturbs the area and makes it nice for the burs.  These beasties hurt like the dickens when you step on them and will dry out and hang around in the yard well into the winter.  They are legendary in Texas, perhaps the entire south and Texas Monthly has a story about them I can really identify with.

June_haul Now, lawn issues aside, I got my Ebay yarns this week and I am all jazzed about starting new projects.  First, I so loved working with the Everyday Cardy sweater for my sister out of Jazz, that I jumped at a chance for a good deal on another colorway of it – 7 skeins and they are big skeins so pretty much whatever I want to make, I can do it.  Then just because I can’t seem to get enough wool and alpaca blends, I got 10 skeins of Cascade Lana d’Oro in a gorgeous dark pine.  I am thinking of making the copycat ribbed raglan from the Handy Book of Sweater Patterns Strawberry_cashmerebut I need to check the yardage again.   Lastly I could not resist the Strawberry fingering of Cashmere/Merino and it is a huge wad of yarn!  I am thinking of doing a lace shawl, don’t know which one yet and then socks from what is left over – 2100 yards!  Now I have to stop buying yarn for a bit, but I am sated for now.

Oh, and Alison opened up the Sockapal-2-za again and I got in – so I was a little too quick to whine about it the other day.

Stuff going on…

Things have been a bit busy lately and I haven’t been very regular about posting, but I am still here and still knitting.  Abby started a new school this week – Montessori – I have never been an elitist so I am trying not to feel wierd about having her there, but she seems to like it and was ready for a change. 

Tom made the Dean’s List!  I am so proud of him.  Not too shabby for the first semester after 20 years.  I don’t think I even know anyone who made the Dean’s List before – I must hang out with slackers.  Anyway, it’s pretty cool.

MIL found a new PT job – always a good thing, I hope she doesn’t hate it.

I went a bit crazy buying yarn in the last week or so.  I really need a keeper when it comes to late-night eBay cruising.  But they are very cool scores so I will have photos once they all arrive.

I actually pulled out the cutting table and cut out 5 summer outfits to sew for Abby last weekend.  I haven’t done anything more than curtains since she was born, but I let her pick the fabric and it might be fun to sew clothes again.  But I will never do it for money again.  Okay, maybe window treatments, but no suits or formal wear.  I don’t have a sewing room anymore and have to re-arrange furniture just to cut something out.

I didn’t make it in to Allison’s Sockapal-2-za and I am bummed about it.  I’m just lame and I don’t even know why I am bothered about it.  I have plenty of knitting to keep me busy, and I already makes lots of socks.  I guess I just didn’t want to be left out.  oh well, at least I can read about it on Tuesdays.

Oh, and I am selling the Grace Yarn on eBay and I’ll use the proceeds to buy some Provence.

Now I gotta run – a baby shower to attend.