Blossoms and Books

I’ve got two things I want to share with you today.

One and two are for Silvia:

I’ve been meaning to get pictures of those for few days, but I always forget my camera. I’ll do better when the apples are in bloom.

 

And three is for me.  Last night I pulled this out of donation box, into my arms it went, and quick as you please, I slid it under the table. I love it when all that work finally pays off. The work might be hard, but I haven’t had to pay for clothes in a few years.

You probably can’t tell from the picture, but this is The Complete Book of Knitting by Barbara Abbey. Is this thing still in print? I may have to do a little research. And I think that this is the original cover too, printed in 1971. I’ll be thumbing through this in the days to come.

Happy Friday!

Knitting Juice

Last night I knit a few inches on the current sweater. That same sweater has been on the needles now for about nine months, maybe it’s nearing ten, I’ve lost count. Anyway, you can see from that, it isn’t exactly fun for me to knit. It’s a graduated stripe sweater (I’ll show you a picture later, need to get camera batteries, because, as I’ve said before, I remember nothing.) I’m really only working on it because I don’t have anything better to work on, and I don’t feel like starting something new. This probably makes me sound super lazy, but I really don’t care.

Still I am enjoying my sweater, to a certain extent. I haven’t been knitting much here of late. (I hate to write that sentence on my KNITTING blog.) Or you could say that I have been, it’s a way of looking at it. I still knit for an hour of two before bed while I watch a little TV, but lately I’ve just been doing that because I’m in the habit of doing it. TV without knitting is like have pasta without sauce, you just don’t do it. I just haven’t had any knitting zeal lately. It isn’t the warming weather, but something a little bit deeper than that. For the first time in a long time, I can’t think of what I want to knit next. Isn’t that sad?

(Just realize, that I know that in the grand scheme of things, this is not even a minor blip on the problems with humanity.) 

(And also, I have come to the conclusion that the only problem with humanity, is all the people.) 

(This is similar to me saying, “the only problem with politics is all the politicians.”)  

I think it is has to  do with the writing. I’ve been doing a lot of that. (Another reason why the knitting has been a touch slow) I have a well of creativity, and every day I have to take it out of that well. It so happens that all the writing is using up my daily allotment of creative juice, leaving my knitting parched in my wake.

I know that this is a temporary thing. It’ll come back, that knitting mojo. It will simply take a little time and a little yarn shopping.

You make me feel like dancing*

I’ve finally finished up the Moccasin Socks. Let’s have some few pictures, shall we?

(Any WordPress users know how to not show those pictures in a gallery? Thanks in advance.)

The bottom picture is the grafting, which, I’m pleased to say, went rather well. (Both the grafting and the pattern are due to Elizabeth Zimmermann.) The one that you see is the better one of the two, which oddly enough, is the first one that I did. On the second I got cocky and then I couldn’t figure out how to fix the mistake I made due to that, long story. Anyway, one of these socks now have a line of purled stitches going down the bottom of one of them. I could have taken it out and fixed it, but it would have been easier for me just to learn to live with it.

The yarn for the top of the sock is a handspun Alpaca spun on my own little Clara. The yarn for the sole is a self striping Berroco yarn that was left over from some socks knit a while ago. I held it with some needlepoint yarn (for strength!) and gave the bottom of the socks a nice frosted look.

These will definitely be a kind of middle-of-winter house sock. They’re thick, and warm, and devilishly soft.

My knitting now is a pair of socks I started so I could have a portable project. (To get this much knitting done you have to be versatile, and not afraid of knitting in public.) I also picked up an abandoned project for some stay-at-home knitting. It’s another sweater that was put aside for some reason which I fail to remember. I now know that there was nothing wrong with the sweater, only with my way of thinking. (Very long story.) So, I’ve got a finished back, two half-finished sleeves, and an almost finished right front. I’m on my way to finishing something else. I tell you, this finishing stuff it’s addictive.

And some good news. Once I’ve finished that, I’ll be very well on my way to not having any UFOs. (UnFinished Objects) There’s that sweater, another one, a hat and that blanket. Maybe one or two more that I can’t think of. Oh, there is that vest. But that’s it! Oh, I forgot about that shawl . . .

*Really, I’m the only one who gets this  song stuck in their head when they finish a pair of socks. Really, that’s just me? Only me? Please would somebody lie and tell me they sing disco hits from the seventies when they finish a pair of socks.

 

I can’t think of a thing for this title

There’s a lot going on right now, and that’s why that the posting, and the knitting has been a little bit minimalist. You see, I’m writing another book, I’m editing/rewriting another book, and I’m in the very, very beginning stages of another book, plus keeping up on all my other writings, short stories and comedic essays (if you believe that). I’m also studying for a really big test that is slowly taking over my life.

But I don’t want to dump all that on you. You come here for the knitting, not to hear my endless moaning about all the writing I’ve gotten myself into. I just thought that you would want to know why the knitting and posting has stalled recently. I’ll try to come here a little bit more, because I really love writing here. It’s calming and peaceful, and gosh-drun-it it’s fun. (Say that last little bit like Sarah Palin, it’ll make your day.) I dream of writing here as I stare out the window.

So, what to talk about? I’m sure you don’t want me to talk about what happened on the episode of Buffy that I watched last night, though it was amazing. So, I’ll use my tactical training, and turn to that never-failing fall back subject for when the talk turns to something unpleasant. (Did you just understand that sentence?)

The Weather!

And my, what weather it’s been. It feels like at least May, but it’s only March. We’ve got daffodils and the trees are budding, and oh, oh, the cheery blossoms. Remind me to share some pictures. It’s really wonderful.

Though they do come with a double-edged sword. It’s been a little hot, though today was cool. But the past few days have been a little warm. My bedroom is like a heat sponge, so even at night once things have cooled down, it’s still sweltering and stuffy. I’m not looking forward to working up here daily this summer.

But like I said, I’m not here to complain, though it is so easy and so tempting. I’ve got somewhere to say it, and a few people, maybe three or four people who will listen. I do like to complain too, it’s such a fun past time. I’m dreadfully behind on my complaining too, I must get caught up.

There are few moments thought that make me so happy, I can’t think of any whining I want to do. Like yesterday when I saw that huge cheery tree in bloom.  Or this morning when my mother told me that I’d lost enough weight. (I swear, I don’t try. I just ate a whole candy bar, and an hour before that I at a piece of pie. I’m becoming one of those people everybody hates because they can eat whatever they want without gaining weight.) Or that song that I just heard on the radio, one that I love, but can never remember the title or artist. The way that the light looks right now, faintly dim, but I don’t need a lamp yet.

What was I talking about? I’m rambling more than a teenage girl who’s just drunk about half a dozen cups of coffee. I’ll be surprised if this even comes out as a coherent post, not just a string of words that makes you wonder and think that I’m abusing illegal substances while on the internet. See, how did I get on the subject of drugs. Is that where my mind goes when I just let myself talk and talk and talk without thinking? I’m very sorry you just had to read what I just wrote — I’m half tempted to backspace it all out. I would, but I’d have to write another post then, and I think it would be even spacier and nutty than this one.

What is in an evening

Since you’ve seen me last, there hasn’t been a whole lot of knitting. I think it may have had something to do with the way I knit the airplane sweater so fast. (That’s a totally made up name, the sweater’s loosely based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Raglan yoke sweater, and it is thus named because it was knit so fast, like an airplane.)

Well, it was Wednesday I think that I last posted. Up until last night I had knit about half a sock in four days. That’s pretty slow. To be fair, I did rip out part of that sock four or five times. There were many days where I would knit, rip, knit and rip. I just couldn’t get it long enough, and I kept having to rip out part of it. The sock is Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Moccasin Sock, and I couldn’t get the top of the foot to be right, so that means that the sole wasn’t big enough. It’s a terrible cycle if I ever saw one. I’ve got it right now, and the bottom of it is just awaiting a little grafting.

(I need to say something here, please don’t mock me much.)

I, Garret Waugh, do herby swear that I will do the grafting on this sock in such a way that it doesn’t make both me and all knitters look like we are idiots who can’t knit if their life depended on it. I will look up directions and I’ll follow them to the letter. If I run into problems I will go to YouTube, that holy beacon to knitters in trouble. If it sucks I will take it out. I WILL DO IT RIGHT THIS TIME!!

Of course, I say this every time I go to graft and it has yet to work. Maybe this time it will work. Or maybe I can just staple the thing together Or I could just walk around with it still on the knitting needles.

But on the bright side, the very, very bright side. It looks like the second sock is taking a lot less time than the first. Last night I was knitting while watching Buffy and I more or less got to the point where you really have to think and concentrate. I was at the same point with Buffy. What to do, what to do. I threw forty-four stitches on the extra dpn’s I happen to have and then knit away while my eyes were glued to the screen. I worked on those socks for about three more hours. (I wanted to know what happened.  She was dead and then she same back to life . . . again!)

It is really amazing the amount of knitting you can get down when you’re up till two-thirty in the morning. I’m already on the top-of-foot on these socks, and I can’t wait till they’re done. But of course, the weather is warm, and I’ll probably not be able to wear them until . . . fall. But I’m not complaining. I’m writing this on the porch and I’m wearing shorts. I’m barefooted. It’s March in Ohio. They will still be there later.

(And I’m also wondering what the hell should I knit next. I don’t want to work on anything I’ve got started, and the thought of knitting another row on that blanket is making me vaguely sad.  My readers are all thoughtful, kind and well-knit, do they have any clue what should be next?)

Observations and a Blurry Sweater

I first must say that I really, really have no shame.  None, whatsoever, which is actually a pretty good thing, there are many times where shame is a bit over rated.

Take today for instance.  I’m editing my second book, which you may or may not know. You also may or may not know that this book is about a divorced woman who travels the country to “find herself.” (Aside, I hate that phrase, but I can’t think of anything else to say.)

So naturally, I need to find out as much about the places she went to. The best way to do this would be to visit those places myself, but if I’m going to do that, then I might as well write about ME visiting them. Makes sense right? So today, I call about five different states to request tourist information. Here’s what I’ve observed.

A. The man in California just sounded like he wanted to finish his shift and “hit the waves.”  This was the only person I actually told what I wanted the information for. I said, “I’m a writer and I’m working on a book and part of it is set in California,”

To which he replied, “Oooookay . . . ”

B. You know how we all complain about how people are being replaced by machines. Well, today I was very thankful for the City of Seattle for doing that, as well as Sonoma County and Milwaukee.

C. The man in Illinois was very helpful, if I actually were going to Chicago, I would have liked him quite a bit. This man couldn’t let me get off with an address and a have-a-good-day. This man just about planned my vacation for me. A vacation that I’m not taking. Thank God that he didn’t ask me to pre-pay for them.  So, there is a man who works for the Illinois Tourist Department who thinks that a man who lives in Ohio is going to Chicago this summer and he wants to fish on Lake Michigan (something I don’t want to do) and who is going to this theme park/carnival. I just wanted to get off the phone with him, so I was agreeing to anything. I did draw the line when he started suggesting that I may want to . . . . I can’t say it  . . . . Oh, I can . . . . watch . . . . watch . . . .  baseball!!  

So, if you need to do a little research for say a book or an article, that is a great way to do it. Whatever you do though, don’t tell them you don’t plan on visiting their state. Then  you have to wait five minutes, give them a fake name, and plan a fake vacation and pretend to be happy about it.

So, lets move on to the knitting, shall we?

Sorry for the blurry photo’s these were taken a little late, and by not exactly the best camera operator, you know what I mean?

This is by far the favorite pullover I’ve ever knit, and it’s even in the running for best sweater ever. I’m really liking the things that I’m learning about how to make a sweater fit, and how to make a sweater that I want. I’m even learning how to walk that fine line between “Interesting” and “wearable.”

Another Quickie

Just another quick post today because I still have to eat something and write two thousand words before leaving at one. Gulp. But I still promised you some knitting today, and as the say, the show must go on.

Sorry for the bad pic, better one to follow once I can get someone to take the picture. I was trying to highlight the oddly GREAT collar that I barely remember how I did. I was also trying to avoid glare from the window too. So please refrain from any less than kind comments about the unfinished walls. I’m starting to grow attached to them, and I know that someday showing the old glue on you walls will be HIGHLY fashionable. I’m just waiting for the day, which should come before these walls are finished.

BOY! Do I know my way around a good tangent or what? I swear, better soon.