If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

FO: Eagle Feathers Table Runner

Whoo-hoo! Finished it. And on time, too! We will be celebrating M's birthday tomorrow (even though it is actually today) so I'm glad to have this done and ready for her.

This is the Eagle Feathers Table Runner, based on the Eagle Feathers Scarf. M had mentioned a while back that she would like a lace table runner, and she really likes chevrons. This is kinda chevrony, so I thought it would suit the bill.

This is how it looks on my dining room table. My table's a bit bigger than M's, so I think it will fit hers really well. It's about 5 feet long.

This is an interesting pattern, and a really easy one. It just looks complex. Most of the pattern is like this:

You see? It's all the same pattern, just a couple of the rows are repeated several times. So the first time you repeat the pattern once, then in the next section you repeat it 3 times, etc, so the "feathers" get lengthened. The only part that's really any different is the first part, which is actually the middle part.

That part's really the most difficult part, too. Not that it's difficult. But there are some awkward stitches. Like P2togTBL, or Slip2,P1,P2SSO. Not hard. Just awkward.

I didn't make many adjustments to this pattern at all. I used the same needle size that was called for (#8) and the same guage of yarn. I did add an additional 8 stitches to make this a little wider. It amounted to one more pattern repeat. And I knitted 10 repeats of that first pattern section--the pattern said 10-15.

I blocked this, but it curled like a mofo, even with the seed stitch border. But, you know, that border is only 2 stitches wide, which really is not a big border at all. I ended up steam blocking the edges so it would lay flatter. We'll see. I told M she should just put it on the table and never touch it.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Clock Is Ticking Again

I promise you, I didn't wait until the last minute to start this. It just happens that every event falls at approximately the same time of year. So I am just getting started knitting for M's birthday present.

Actually, I started this three days ago, but I only really got a chance to work on it last night. It's lace, but it's knit on #8 needles, so it's going pretty quickly. The only issue with this pattern is that each section looks a lot like the other sections, written out. LOL. Have to pay attention.

Hopefully, this will be done in time to celebrate on Sunday.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

On Bullying, Depression, Self Image, And Parenting

I was watching CNN this morning--not because I wanted to, but because T already had it on when I walked into the room and sat down with a cup of coffee. (I don't know why I stayed there. But I watched for a while.) CNN is doing a series on eating disorders and one of the staff members was talking about her own experience with an eating disorder and why she developed one.

While I was watching, it struck me that this woman--who is a beautiful woman, by the way--was made to feel like she wasn't good enough. And that it's just not right. And who is to blame?

The other girls who said nasty things about her, sure. I think when you get to be about 3 years old, you know when you are saying something to hurt someone on purpose. So yes. Those girls knew what they were doing and they should be blamed. And the boys who laughed and said "Oh gross" or something to that effect when their friends said "You like her." Again: you know when you are being hurtful. They should be blamed too.

The media? Everyone wants to blame the media for putting out an impossible standard for girls (and guys) to live up to. So yes. They should take some of the blame too. But who made the media responsible for teaching people what is good and bad and right and wrong and how people should look? Why is it so damn important to look like a model? That is, by the way, a person who is professionally made up, dressed, photographed, and airbrushed by the time you see them. Sure, they look good in real life, but they also look real. They don't look like their magazine covers.

The media has always influenced opinion on fashion and body image. That's part of what it does. Think of some of the hideous fashion people have worn because it was "in style." I, myself, used to sport some pretty fantastic "wings" on the sides of my hair back in the 80's. But that's pretty harmless, right? I never starved myself or puked myself thin or took diet pills (Okay, I did do diet pills. But it was for the speed effect and not for the weight loss. That does not, of course, make it right. I'm just saying.)

I'm not saying there wasn't bullying when I was a teen. There was. Believe me, there was. There were the girls who made you feel like you just didn't even want to come to school any more. There were the boys that made you feel like you didn't deserve to be liked, would never be liked, and that was just as well with you because they were so horrible you didn't want to be liked by them anyway. There were the teachers and administrators and other adults that made it very clear, by their attitude and actions of thinly disguised contempt, that poor kids were a drain on resources because they would never amount to anything anyway. Heck, they made it clear with their words. A friend of mine, who was doing very well in school and was very smart, was told by the school counselor that he should forget about the college prep courses and just load up on the shop classes, since he would never be able to afford college anyway.

But I don't understand why the bullying, why the negative self-image, is so prevalent today. The internet, of course, makes it so easy to be anonymous or distanced from your prey. You might not say things to a person's face and risk them retaliating with words or fists or worse. You might not badger someone continually and risk being stopped by someone in authority or someone who sees that what you're doing is wrong. But you can troll someone online with near-impunity, can't you?

Still, it's not the internet's fault. The internet is a tool--for good or ill. It has no opinion one way or another. These people are to blame for their actions. They know better. And--this may be an unpopular viewpoint--the people who taught these people how to act are to blame. The parents.

Do you think if the parents had instilled strongly enough in their children a sense of empathy--or even a sense of right and wrong--these people would bully? No. They do it because they believe in their hearts it's kind of okay for them to do it. The lesson of how to act in society has not been clear enough to them. Don't misunderstand. They don't think it's a good thing to bully someone. They know it's wrong. They just don't think it's all that wrong.

I have seen this lack of parenting a lot these days. I see it in the kids (young adults) who blow each other up online with the most horrible sort of bully behavior. I see it in the people who steal things--this attitude of, if you can get away with it, the victim deserves to lose it. I see it in the way they treat each other and let each other be treated. And, I see this in their parents.

Let me tell you, that's the problem. Yes, sometimes good parents have kids that do bad things. But bad parents always have bad kids. I have no quick answer to this issue. I have only observations. What can we do? We can't make people empathize with others. We can't even make parents pay attention to their kids. (Let me ask you this... How does a kid build pipe bombs and collect an arsenal of weapons in their home without the parents noticing? I'm sure my kids did stuff I didn't know about--went someplace they weren't supposed to, didn't do something they were supposed to--but I cannot even fathom the amount of distraction it would take for me to not know if they were stockpiling weapons.)

The sad thing about this is, these kids/young adults are forging their own world. They will have to live in the world they created--a world of cyber-bullying and dishonesty and violence. Wait. No. That's not the sad thing. The sad thing is that there are people who don't feel or act like that and don't deserve that type of world. And still, they will be forced to live in it, too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Is Finally Here

Oh, Sweet Mabey Jabey! I might be finished with the Winter Is Coming Scarf!

Listen, I thought I was going to finish it last night. I thought it was possible. But as the knitting continued, the silver skein of yarn dwindled a little too rapidly, I thought. Several times, I stopped and held its weight in my hand--Is there enough to finish? You remember I wasn't able to find the silver color anywhere, right? So it was very important that there was enough of this to finish.

But there wasn't. I don't know why I would be surprised by that. That has been my luck for about 6 months now--everything I touch just turns to crap. (Seriously. I got in the car with R today and we drove about 100 feet before getting a flat. That's after a flat and a dead battery in my own car just in the last 10 days. Maybe it's not me per se, but I seem to be attracting some bad medicine this way. Take my word for it.)

Anyway, of course there wasn't enough to finish. I came up 10 rows short. How do you like that? And the ends need to be symetrical, so I couldn't just make the scarf an inch and half shorter, right? Ten rows short.

#*%! me.

The good news is, I was able to stop at Joann on the way home from work and--lo and behold--they had the silver color in stock! So, back home for some quick knitting while I listen to Alan Cumming read Dracula on Audible.com, and I finished it up in no time at all!

So, without further adieu, here is T's Winter Is Coming Scarf! (Only 2 months late for Christmas. I will just go sit in the corner now and eat dirt.) My dining room table seats 6, so that gives you an idea as to how long it is.

Still needs to be blocked, and I am waiting to weave in these ends to see if he wants a fringe or not. But yeah, basically done. At least I'm going to count it as an FO.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Project Update: Numerous UFOs

But this is not my fault, really. Well, okay. The Winter Is Coming Scarf is my fault. Should've started that thing way earlier. Still not finished with it. But I'm getting there. I've finished all the letters and now I just need to add the other dire wolf at the end. This is going to be a long scarf. Loooooong. Like Fourth Doctor Scarf long. But, as cold as it has been getting, that will be welcome.

Of course, I probably won't finish it before August, the way it's going.

I have also had to jump from project to project because of timing. R, M, Bre, and my brother all have birthdays in the same time frame. And then there's Valentine's Day. And R and Bre's wedding coming up. So it's not really my fault that I would have so many UFOs going at the same time.

I'm in the process of knitting something for M's birthday now. I won't mention what it is or show a picture, just in case she's reading this. But I think she will really like it. I still have quite a bit of work to do on it, though. I don't know why, but it seems like my projects lately have gone much slower than ever before.

I'm also working on Bre's gift which, again, I won't mention what it is because she might read this.

And, don't forget, I still have to order the thread for the wedding gift and knit it. (Oh, and also need to finish up the Ringbearer Pillow.)

All that seems like a lot of knitting, but I think I can get it done. The end is nigh. Believe me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

February Swap Ornament Is Here!

Aw yay-ah! Looky here! My swap ornament has arrived! All the way from Australia!

I was so excited (I love getting presents!) I could barely open it. Excitement made it difficult to open. And the tape covering the end.

But look at what was inside! Two--two!--beaded angels for my tree! These faceted beads are going to be catching the light very nicely, too. Fantastic! Thank you, Julie!

I have to say, though, these little candies she sent along are very pretty and have a nicely satisfying crunch. But they taste terrible. I don't know if it's the difference in American and Australian palates, but I found them very bland and plasticy tasting. I swear, it was like eating an actual button. I barely made it through one of them.

I think I will save the others, in case I have some little children visiting sometime. Kids, especially the really little ones, won't have such sophisticated tastes and they'll gobble these up.

At any rate, I'm enjoying this swap very much. It's nice to get mail that isn't a bill or an ad for Tempurpedic Matresses (why am I getting these?) or (gadzooks!) some solicitation from AARP--which, at 29, I'm way too young to be getting. And it's fun to get mail from various parts of the world. I like to think about how these little angels were made by hand by Julie and then travelled to the other side of the world to be held in my hands. That's incredible, if you think about it, right?

But also, I like to see everyone else's crafting. Not just the project pages on Ravelry, or their Pinterest boards, or blog posts. But actual, actual crafting. It's like you were sitting across the table from someone, sharing something you both enjoyed. In this case, that table is 15,630 KM long, but still.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dollar Tree Yarn Score!

Dollar Tree gets yarn from time to time. Usually, it's novelty yarn. (I've been known to buy novelty yarn. There is a time and place for it, no matter what some of the yarn snobs say.) But, I have bought Wool-Ease, Bernat, and Caron there, too. I keep my eyes open, just in case.

So, last week, when M and I went to the Dollar Tree, we found this big bin, right up front with yarn in it. There was some blue eyelash-type yarn, which I resisted--although I have a blue eyelash yarn scarf and it gets tons of compliments, even though it's a garter stitch novelty yarn scarf--and some of this:

It's Bernat Knit or Knot. Now I guess that's technically novelty yarn, but I have been wanting to pick some of that up for a long time because I like the combination of a bunch of different yarns. I think they will make very cool-looking, highly textured scarves. So I picked up 4 of them, even though it says 1 skein = 1 scarf and these are all the same color. I don't care. Three people will have the same scarf I have. So what?

Anyway, we swung by Michael's after that and I snapped this picture:

Same yarn. Same color. $7.99/skein vs. the $1/skein I paid at Dollar Tree.

I call that a good deal.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Riddle Me This, Batman...

What has thumbs and can eat her weight in Girl Scout Cookies?

It's one of the best things about February... Girl Scout Cookie month. Oh, and let me tell you, those little girls know my house. I get hit by a couple of girls at the house, a couple of girls at the store, and then they're all over the place when you go shopping. Well, at least the places I shop, like Kroger and Joann. I ordered cookies for me, Trefoils (the best), and for T (Samoas), and for all the kids, according to their preference. I was told there would be gluten-free cookies, which is good because that would be Bre's preference.

Of course, I didn't get any GF cookies or my Trefoils in any of my orders, which upset me unreasonably and sent me on a search for those to the ubiquitous Girl Scout cookie booths. And I did buy my Trefoils, which is--of course--the important part of this story. Listen, me without Trefoils in February is like...

Yeah. That.

But it turns out that there is only one flavor of GF Girl Scout Cookies available in this area, even though there are two different kinds of GF cookies! What's up with that, Girl Scouts? Do you realize how many people are gluten-intolerant and would really like to have some Girl Scout Cookies? Sure, you gave them one flavor. But how would you like to just have one flavor of cookie to choose from? (I guess then the choice there would be cookie or no cookie, now that I think of it.) I mean, what if the Girl Scouts came knocking on your door, asking if you wanted cookies, but the only thing you could choose was Thin Mints?

Oh wait a minute. I was directing that at the Girl Scouts, right? So obviously the Girl Scouts wouldn't come knocking on the Girl Scouts' door. But you know what I mean. Get on the stick, Girl Scouts. This is an excellent opportunity to teach girls about supply and demand. And isn't that what the whole Girl Scout Cookie business is supposed to do?

Anyway, I do enjoy my Trefoils, although I have limited myself to half a sleeve at a time.

Because, you know... What has thumbs and can eat her weight in Girl Scout Cookies?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birthday Crafts

R's birthday was the 11th. But since we all had to work on that day, we decided to get together tonight to celebrate. (Sigh. Is that the way of things when you get older? You have to work instead of having a birthday party? Boo.)

First, I want to show you this cake I made. Here's the story: R wanted a cherry chip cake for his birthday. But 1) No store seems to carry a cherry chip cake mix any more. And believe me, I've looked. 2) The cake needs to be gluten-free so everyone is able to eat birthday cake. But good luck finding a cherry chip GF cake mix.

So I bought a yellow GF cake mix (and used Crisco instead of butter because Bre and M are both dairy-intolerant) and used egg whites instead of whole eggs because Bre can't really eat those and besides, the yolks add a yellow tint to the cake mix and with all the cherry I would be adding, the cake would end up being orange. And who wants an orange-colored cherry cake, right? Then, the thing that always gets me about GF cakes is that they are never moist and light. They're always so grainy textured and heavy and dry. So I added in half a package of cherry Jell-O to give it some moisture. And, since we needed some cherry chips in this cherry chip cake, I also added a 10 oz jar of maraschino cherries, chopped, with the juice (instead of the water the mix called for).

Needless to say, it turned out to be a bright pink cake. Which is fine, but I wanted to do something that reflected R's personality and I just couldn't think of what to do with a pink cake. My first thought was TARDIS. But nobody wants to eat that much blue food coloring. (I remember a certain Colts superbowl cake that made everyone poop blue for a few days.)

So I asked M. She suggested an Anti-TARDIS. It's not a blue TARDIS, it's white. We joked that it also stays in one spot and only exists in this time.

Don't mock my free-hand, from-memory cake decorating skills. It tasted great, at least.

T and I collaborated on the gift-making, too. I found this quote and Gallifreyan script (At least, the internet says it's Gallifreyan. I am not a Timelord, so I couldn't tell you for sure.) and Photoshopped it onto a starscape and had it printed on high-quality photo paper. Then T cut the mat and we framed it.

Haha. Pay no attention to the reflection of my hands taking the photo.

T also repainted this candle holder. I wish I'd taken a before picture. It was just a black metal frame, with visible silvertone welds. T first painted it copper, then added a layer of verdigris color. Then we added the 3 glass candle holders and 3 vanilla ice cream scented votives. I think it looks fantastic.

I also made another gift for R, but sadly didn't get a photo of it in its finished form. I guess I'll post that later. It's a hand-bound leather journal. It's the first one I've made and it turned out really nice, I think. (Although, the glue was maybe not quite dry by the time the party rolled around.) It did earn the comment of "Nice post-apocalyptic skills. This means we can still have books after the Zombipocalypse."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentines Day!

After the not-finishing-the-Christmas-gift debacle, (Which, yes, I still haven't finished. But you can just keep your comments to yourself because I will finish it. Eventually.) I decided I was not going to let Valentines Day slip away without doing something for T. The trouble is, he definitely doesn't need another diamond-encrusted toilet seat or gold-plated nose trimmer. So, what's a girl to do?

And, given the fact that his knitted Christmas gift is almost two months late at this point, I opted for the sentimental route.

This is a picture of the two of us this past summer, when we went to an apple orchard on a rare day off. I popped it into Photoshop and washed out all but the center of it. Then I found this site, which lets you turn words into a heart shape, and I laid it over the photo.

The words, by the way, are Gerry Rafferty's Right Down The Line.

I cut this red mat myself, and framed it in a store-bought frame.

I think he was pleasantly surprised. He said it was the most awesome thing ever.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Those Old Ladies Are Onto Something

I keep losing my glasses. Like, three times a day. I take them off whenever I have to bend over for something, like to help Gengen in and out of the house, or to make the bed, or to take something out of the oven. I usually take them off and tuck them into the neckline of my shirt. But that doesn't always work. The problem is, they fall out and I don't notice it. I can't tell you how many times I've searched for my glasses and found them between the sheets of the bed that I made hours earlier.

So, on Friday when M and I were out, we stopped at the Dollar Tree and I bought one of these:

Yes. It's a granny chain. I'm wearing a granny chain on my glasses. It's so stylish.

I swore I'd never use one of these things. But it's so useful! I've been wearing it all weekend and I haven't lost my glasses once! And so, even though I promised M I wouldn't wear it in public, I'm so going to wear it everywhere!

Sunday, February 08, 2015

FO: Swap Ornament

I've finished my swap ornament for February. I can't show you yet, because my swap partner hasn't seen it yet. It will go into the mail tomorrow, so it shouldn't be too long, though.

This one is pretty cute too, I think. I tried to choose ornament patterns that embody my sense of humor a little. (Or maybe I have a little sense of humor.) Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

FO: November Cabled Hat

I've finished the November Cabled Hat. It's a nice pattern, really. All the trouble I had with it before was totally my own doing, and not any fault of the pattern.

You've got to love a bulky knit hat for a quick finish project. This is Bernat Alpaca in Tundra, held double, on #10.5 needles. The deep cable is a 8 row pattern, and the decreases at the top of the hat are done almost invisibly.

The only thing about this hat is that I think it might be too small for a man's head. The designer (in the description) says it fits her husband, and it certainly will stretch wide enough. But you can see it's not very deep on a man's head. It barely covers Alpha's ears--a dealbreaker for the guys I know.

I may have to knit this again and add another few rows in the ribbing.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday Shopping With M

M came to visit today. It was really good to see her. With her work schedule being generally very early and mine being generally very late, and since she moved north, we don't get to spend as much time together as we used to. We got to do a little shopping together and then go to lunch.

Of course, one of our stops was Michael's, where I was able to get the jingle bells I needed and the beads for the Ringbearer Pillow. So, with any amount of luck, I should be able to finish both the swap ornament and the Ringbearer Pillow this weekend. Hooray!

I also picked up the Dark Grey Heather yarn I needed to finish the Winter Is Coming Scarf. I'm not really worried about the dye lot of the yarn. I purchased the original skeins over a year ago, so I knew there was no way I was going to get the dye lots to match. My plan is to alternate rows of the old yarn and the new yarn to "blend" together so the change is not so noticeable.

Sadly, Michael's didn't have the Silver Heather and neither did Joann. I'm not sure if I will need the silver heather to finish the knitting, but I'll definitely need it for the fringe. I may end up having to order the Silver Heather online. And then, going forward, my rule will be to buy an additional skein of each color whenever I buy yarn for a project.

Anyway, I'm going to try and finish that scarf this weekend, too. Let's see how far I can get.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Dude... Resides In A Cold House

It's cold. It was already cold, of course. It's February. But then that front moved in last night and temperatures dropped to subarctic ranges. (Not really. But it did go down to single digits and I'm going to just say that, after a certain point, it doesn't really matter how far the mercury dips, it's just too damn cold for normal humans at that point.) Man, do I not love the cold.

Let me tell you how cold it is... It's so cold I'm wearing socks. (Sometimes.) Listen, when Madame Hot Flashes is wearing socks, it's cold. And I'm drinking hot drinks in the evening. Like tea. A lot of tea actually.

By the way, look at this little teapot I got a while back at Goodwill. It's so cute and it makes about 4 cups of tea, which is about what I drink in the evenings these days. I'm going to have to knit a little cozy for it. Something whimsical that will lift my spirits when I'm thinking "Good God! Is this winter going to last forever?!"

That's not the tea I'm drinking, by the way. Pumpkin Brulee Oolong Tea? I'm not a hipster. That's R's tea. (He's not drinking it now, either, since I accidentally ground up his diffuser in the garbage disposal.) I just put it in the picture because I thought it looked good. This is what a more honest picture would look like.

Anyway, I'm a tea-drinking, sock-wearing popsicle today. So you know that T, who is not actually suffering menopausal hot flashes like someone else in this house who shall remain nameless, is really cold. So that prompted me to ask if he wanted me to knit him a sweater. (Full disclosure, he has not actually worn a sweater since the late 80's.) I thought that would elicit a laugh, since the last time I tried to knit him a sweater was a full-on disaster.

To my surprise, he said yes, he would. I must have had a look of disbelief on my face, because he said it again. "I think you should knit me a sweater. I'd wear it."

So I quickly pulled up The Dude on Ravelry and asked shyly, "Like this one?"

But he really liked it. So I think I might be knitting T a sweater this year. Of course, you know it's going to be 90 degrees out by the time I finish it, right? Oh well. It's not like Winter isn't coming...

Oh. Now I feel bad.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

I Fought The Hat... And The Hat Won

Some of the knitters over in the Thrifty Knitters group on Ravelry are having a Hat Knit-A-Long. Well, it's an Any-Hat-Or-Sock-Or-Really-Anything-Else-A-Long. So since, I have several hats on my Christmas knitting list, I thought, "That's for me!"

I decided to cast on the November Cable Hat using some Bernat Alpaca. That's a bulky yarn and should be pretty warm with the natural fiber content. (Keeps the alpaca warm, right?)

First, I decided to go down to a 10.5 needle because I'm a loose knitter. (I love to say that. It seems so dirty. Ha! Why does she have so many projects going at once? [Sniff. Disdainful look] "Well, she's just a loose knitter.") But, I couldn't seem to find a 10.5 circular anywhere. But then I remembered I had these 10.5 wooden dpns. And they're long, for hat making! Huzzah!

And, I decided to try this new cast on that I learned... It's a variation of the cable cast on, but it's a ribbed cable cast on. It looks great because it makes the pattern start right from the cast on row. (Instead of that weird cast on row you get normally.) I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn something new and then I could take pictures along the way and share with you.

But... After casting this on in a 1X1 ribbed cable cast on (which I forgot to take picture of, but don't worry, it didn't look like much because I hadn't knit the first row yet), I glance over at the pattern to see what the first row is. And it's 2X2 ribbing.

So I ripped it out. That was frustrating, because let me tell you, the Alpaca yarn does not want to work with wooden needles. It's too "catchy" and it's not fun to knit. I decided maybe I should run some wax paper over those needles so they wouldn't be so tempted to grab my yarn. But, I couldn't find any wax paper. Actually, I just got tired of pulling boxes of Ziploc freezer bags out of the cabinet. (That's a long story. Best not to get into here. Suffice it to say, I got a good deal on Ziploc freezer bags.)

So I went to the yarn horde storage shelves where I keep my UFOs and pulled a hat-in-progress off a set of circulars that looked like #10.5s. Don't worry. I wasn't going to finish that hat. It was a black fun fur hat that I had cast on many years ago because all my friends loved the way the fun fur stuff looked more than the stuff that took time to knit. (Non-knitters. Gotta love 'em, right?)

So I took these needles and (luckily) they were #10.5s. And I cable rib cast on 2X2 ribbing. But, it doesn't seem to work very well with a 2X2 rib. Of course, I didn't know that until I cast it on and knit a row. And then I realized that the first stitch--the slip knot--was actually a purl stitch. And when I knit my 2X2 ribbing on row 1, I ended up one stitch off.

Ugh! So I frogged all that out and cast on again. This time, I thought, I'll just make that first cast on stitch a purl, and then the next two will be knits, etc. And, when I join, I'll just move the round marker over one and no one will be able to tell the difference, right? Except... The cable cast on looks awful in a 2X2 ribbing. Boo.

So I ripped that out (And by this time, I've moved beyond the normal lexicon of swear words. I'm at the point where I'm making up new swear words. Actually, I'm just putting random syllables together at this point. Random, angry syllables. It frightened everyone in the room. Poor cats.) But then, I cast on with a regular ol' cable cast on. And knit a row. But that seemed really tight. (Although it looked good.) So, my choices were to:

A) knit a hat with a too-tight brim

B) rip it out and reknit it

So... How many times is this now? I don't know. At this point, it's just me against this hat. And I'm gonna win. So I ripped it out and just did your basic cast on. And I knit the first 10 rows of 2X2 rib in less time than I had spent in total trying to cast this damn hat on.


I think it's too airy. As it is, this is not the kind of hat you'd wear to actually keep your head warm. At least not the way this is looking now. It needs more bulk in that bulky guage, if you know what I mean. So, I think I'm going to (ugh I can't even say it)... I mean, I have to (oh, it hurts so much)... There's no other choice but to (NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!) frog this thing and start over with either a double strand or a bulkier yarn.

Eff this. I'm going to bed.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015


Unless you are the boss, and you work alone, from home, like me. Then, it's totally safe for work, right?

So, here is the Fuck the Cold Cowl, from the Fuck the Cold Hat pattern. Pretty quick knit, especially for colorwork. Not sure what this yarn is. I thought it was black, but I just changed the bulb in my lamp next to my couch and now I see it's actually navy blue. It's a remnant from some other project, so the label is long gone. The white is Red Heart Super Saver in Soft White.

Obviously I made some mods, since this is a cowl made from a hat pattern. So, in addition to that, here are my mods:
1. Stepped down to a size 5 needle, as per my usual, because I am a loose knitter. Thought this would give me guage, but I probably should have gone down to a 4.
2. After the second chart, I knit one row black, one row white, one row black, then left off the third chart altogether.
3. Instead of decreasing for a hat, I knit 10 rows of 1X1 ribbing to match the cast on edge and then bound off.

Finished this just in time for the cold, snowy weather expected tomorrow! But don't worry about me shocking all the old ladies and choir boys I come in contact with. Only I (and all of you, of course.) know the secret message. This is what the unsuspecting see:

Monday, February 02, 2015

New OTN: Gothic Lace Cowl

I am sad to say I'm still stalled on the WIPs. Still have to get to Michael's for beads for the Ringbearer Pillow. Still have to get to Joann for another skein of silver and another skein of black yarn for the Winter Is Coming Scarf. Still need jinglebells, too. Faced with that, one might think I'd go dig out another UFO and finish it.

But no. Where is the fun in that?

Seriously, doing that would require me to make some major moves of boxes, since I've started trying to pack things up for the move that will take place in the spring. (We finally did find a realtor who seems to be doing a good job. So, hopefully, we will be moving in the spring.) So, while it's possible to dig out an old UFO, it's just easier to start something new.

Which I did. I did, however, make it something that I would be gifting for Christmas. This is the Gothic Lace Cowl from Tin Can Knits. Funny thing about this cowl, I downloaded this pattern when it first came out, but didn't queue it at that time. I suppose I thought it was something interesting, but not something I was itching to knit.

But... then I saw it on Pinterest. And it's the same picture, mind you. But on Pinterest, I absolutely loved it! I pinned it and hearted it and thought "Man, I gotta make this!" But then, I didn't. I don't know why. Maybe because of timing. It came out in the summer and summer is my really busy time at work.

But then... I was doing some cleanup on Pinterest and saw this cowl again. I thought, "Why am I not making this right now?" And, since I had no answer for that, I started it.

It's funny how that works, isn't it? I can think of a few patterns like that--ones where I originally thought "That's nice." and then later liked them so much more. Sometimes I think it's just a matter of mood. Like, maybe you just finished the most difficult beaded lace, so when you first look at some beaded lace shawl, you think "Meh." But later... you realize it's a pretty awesome beaded shawl. Or maybe the first time you see a pattern, you've had a particularly stressful day and you're super tired and maybe a little irritable. Then, you see the pattern and your mood is just so down that you can't appreciate it at the time.

At any rate, I'm glad I downloaded the pattern for this cowl, because it's just beautiful. I have some wrapperless yarn that I got at Michael's that time they had the "Homeless yarn, please help" sign on it. It looks like Red Heart Unforgettable. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with this pink/purple yarn because those aren't really my colors, but as I started to knit this pattern, I really started to love this. There's just enough color change and just enough halo to this yarn. It looks really good.

This yarn is pretty fluffy, too, so the cowl feels pretty lightweight. I'm going to have to get some lightweight buttons for it, that's for sure. I think I'd also like to try this pattern in a regular worsted weight. (This yarn is also worsted, but it's more of a roving style yarn.) I think a smooth yarn would give it an entirely different look.

The lace pattern is super easy, too. I actually started knitting this during the Super Bowl and didn't make any mistakes. I didn't get a whole lot of it done, but that's beside the point.

Stay tuned.

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