Laundry Day

What, you can’t tell me that I’m the only one who dries their clean socks on the roof. It’s hot and sunny, not to mention that it makes you feel oh-so-quaint as you stick your stick your upper half out the window.

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Pay it Forward, Socks with Toes, and a new Project which I’m sure will commence taking over my life at any given moment

To  begin with, let’s get the business end of this post over and done with. I’ve signed up for some really cool bloggy thing, with the help of big blog supporter Pearls-Toronto(http://pearls-toronto.com/author/pearlstoronto/) (Click the link, she really is a pearl.) It’s called the Pay It Forward, and to me, it not only sounds like a lot of fun, but a really nice thing to do.

Here are the rules:
1.  I will send a surprise gift to the first three people to comment on this post. The gift will be handmade by me.  It will be sent sometime in the next 365 days. It will be a surprise.  We all love getting surprises in the mail, right?
2. To sign up and receive a gift, you must play along, too. Pay it Forward on your blog, by promising to make a surprise for the first three people who comment on the post.
3. You must have a blog. (That is regularly updated, as I will blog stalk you to find the right little something for you)
4. After commenting here, you must repost this or something similar to your blog in 48 hours.  If not, I will choose the next person who comments…
 
And so the madness starts, why do I have a feeling that I am going to regret this for some reason, as on April 28th 2013 I vainly search for an all night post office. Ah, won’t be the first time. And if I don’t have three comments, I simply plan to send something to Pearls-Toronto.
 
~Socks~With Toes~
Something else finished to report. I love finishing things, though there is always that little moment of sadness which is right before I start searching for something else to knit.
 
These are knit from a recycled Shetland wool, using my own pattern, knit from the top down, with a short row heel. (Which I must say, that miracle of shaping is quickly becoming my favorite.) I used some ancient embroidery thread I happen to have lying around, to give a little bit of flavor to what would otherwise be a plain sock. Tomorrow I’ll trot on up to the post office, and send them on their merry way, to a recipient who I know will love them, and even more so because they will be a surprise. And they’ll be a surprise in the mail. (Well, she knows what they look like, and has even tried one on, which was when she made me promise them to her. It’s a long story as to why I can’t give them to her in person. ) (To those who know me, it’s Hannah, of Abby and Hannah)
 
These have already been replaced by another pair of socks. I would show you a picture of them, but I’ve finished one, and I’ve yet to start on another one. I think it’s bad luck to show one sock, before the other has been cast on, so you may have to wait a day or two on this one. The first sock flew by in a little more than 24 hours. I was a little flabbergasted at this. Then yesterday, I measured my gauge, which I thought was around 6 or 7 stitches to an inch. (What, I didn’t swatch it was a toe up sock from a pattern I made up! Don’t look at me like that!) Yesterday, I measured and found out that I am getting 5 stitches to an inch. 5! On U.S. 3’s! Can you believe that. I don’t consider myself a terribly loose knitter, or a terribly tight one either. I’m like the baby bear, just right. But, after seeing this, well, I’ m not sure what I should do. Swatching more would probably be a start, that and collecting more needles in smaller sizes.
 
~A new Project which I’m sure will commence taking over my life at any given moment~  (Alternate title, my new sweater.)~
 
This is going to come as a huge shock to all of you, but I have started a new project. It is cabled, it is navy, almost to the point of blackness, but most importantly, it is another Zimmermann.
 
I am nothing if not predictable — almost to a startling degree. Anyone care to venture a guess. I’ll give you a hint, it’s knit flat. I’ll try again, It’s cables, and you HAVE to start with a sleeve.
 
I’m knitting the Hand to Hand Aran. The one from Knitting Workshop, which I always thought was pretty interesting.
 
Sorry for the bad picture, is there some kind of a trick to photographing dark yarns? If there is I don’t think that I’ve mastered it. I started this last night, oddly enough while listening to the radio, and it’s been my near constant companion since then. The yarn is a recycled wool-nylon blend*. I love this thing, everything about it. The feel of the yarn, the texture of the cables, the way that the little rope cables frame the twisty cables in the center of it. (Technical Terms.)
 
I think that’s everything. Imagine, I go one or two days without blogging and this is what happens. It’s a wonder I have a chance to get anything else done. I guess this explains for the big mess that is my desk.

Some Mittens for Me

Here I am, with finished mittens too. I said I’d post this yesterday, but you know what they say, better late then never. I wanted to give the mittens some kind of blocking before I showed them to you. You can’t really call a project done till after it’s blocked. You can I suppose, but I always feel like I’m doing something wrong if I am. I feel like I’m lying to you. I would never lie to you. (especially about toes.) Maybe once or twice I would, you know, when I tell you that I wove in all the ends on that sock, or that I whipped that dishcloth out in an evening. But nothing big, and when it comes to knitting, what’s bigger than blocking?

See, I finished the under-the-sea-themed-hand-sweaters. I don’t know how I feel about them. I like them. I like the cute, whimiscalness of them, but I look at them, and I can’t help but see a lot of the mistakes. Like look at the fish at the top. The look they’re melting. That’s simply because the decreases had to happen at the same time as the fish. Still, I’m just happy that these things are done. Done, Done, Done. And I suppose that I do like them, I just don’t think that I’ll be able to slip them onto my hands, without noticing the mistakes.

Like that double orange stripe, where there should only be one. (It’s the giant strip on glowing orange) See, that is easily fixable, but I didn’t notice it till is was too late, and the only way I could have fixed it would be to rip out, which, while usually something I wouldn’t hesitate to do, I didn’t want to do on these. For some reason, I just wanted these to be done.

Still though, this is the first time that I’ve designed my own colorwork. (For the most part, the first time the project was ALL colorwork that I made up.) And I didn’t do that bad of a job. By pure reason of an accident, these fit me. (They were to be a Christmas gift for my sister with much smaller hands.) My gauge was off, and I didn’t feel like re-w0rking all the numbers and all the charts to make them to fit her. I just bit the bullet and made mittens for myself.

Now that they’re done, I’m feeling having a big sense of “now what?” All I’ve got on the needles is a sock. Just a little sock, and it’s almost done. I’ll be sorry to see it go, I love that little sock. I’ll probably work on socks, little things, till I find something big.

I almost hate to end this

I hate to say this, because this is the sort of feud that I hate to love.

These socks do indeed have toes. (Or this one, I’m knitting the heel on it’s mate.)

The toes even match the heels, with almost annoying accuracy. Just to prove that I’m not taking any classes on trick photography. (I guess I’m not above suspicion.) Here’s the heel and the toe. Happy?

The other pair though, well, the heel is giving me so many issues. (I’ve knit it several times.) that I keep accidentally typing “hell” instead of “heel.” Coincidence, I think not.  It will have a heel, even if I have to sacrifice my sanity and free time to do so.

By the way, I’m on the thumb of the last of the fishie mittens. Maybe we can have a little FO action tomorrow? Don’t hold your breath. (Boy, would you turn some funny colors before tomorrow.)

I’m itching to start something big, like a vest or a jerkin*. (You read that right.) But I’ve got a few books in the mail, knitting books. (Adding to the problem mentioned bellow.) When I get these books, I know that I’ll want to start something from them. One of them is Knit One Knit All. (I would link to Amazon, but I don’t like them, and I don’t like to feel like I’m trying to sell you something.) (That’s a lie, I’m just to lazy to link, sue me.) Elizabeth Zimmermann is in the mail, and she’ll arrive here soon. Those of you who know my rather eerie obsession with her, and if you don’t know, scroll down, are probably wondering why I didn’t get this book sooner. I love garter stitch, I love it when you get a good book that’s equal parts knitting and blabbing, it makes my day. What can I say, accept . . . .

I’m keeping my needles cleared for it. Doesn’t that count for something?

*A Jerkin is like a vest only a little bit more boxy and Medieval looking. Good, I’ll finally have something to wear to all those Middle Age Fairs I go to. (The funny part is I’ve actually gone to one of these with my mother when I was five. I just remember that it was really hot, and there were those really good roasted peanuts. There were also a lot of people who said things I couldn’t understand. I also remember getting lost on the way there and stopping at a MacDonalds to ask directions — in our Medieval garb. I am the only person I know who has eaten a MacDonalds Hashbown while wearing a dublet. I am oddly proud of this.)

Monday, Monday, so good to me!

Guess what! No, I was not bit by a radio-active spider, and I don’t plan to save Metropolis any time soon. (Though you never know.) (I do watch a lot of Buffy . . . ) Anyway . . .

I was nominated by Pearls-Toronto http://pearls-toronto.com/2012/04/23/a-feather-in-my-cap/ For a Kreative Blogger Award. Isn’t that cool? Please go visit Pearls-Toronto, not only because she is interesting, but very nice as well. It is this writer’s observation that nice and interesting rarely happen in the same person, so when you find someone like that, latch on to them like a leech. (I go for interesting, I’m sorry.) (And by the way, I’m slightly biased toward this person, she did link to me after all.) (If you want me to say nice things about you, link to me, and I’ll mention you all the time.)

In keeping with the rules, which I, due to my free-thinking hippie ways, want to break, here are seven random things about myself, I’ll try to make them things you didn’t know.

1. I greatly value my alone time, and there are some days were I would sell my soul just for a few hours. (Like yesterday) I know that if I were to be given nothing but solitude, it would surely drive me mad within a few days, but my heart is a fickle, fickle thing.

2. I consider Hall and Oates to be the greatest musical duo of all time. (Note: I said duo, not necessarily the greatest musical group of all time. I will not tell you who I think is the greatest musical group of all time, because it would make me sound like a twelve-year-old girl if I were to wax lyrical about such a fad thing like Maroon 5) (Whoopie, slipped out) (I feel justified in saying that I like the older stuff, back when people didn’t know who Adam Levine was.) (I feel so embarrassed now.)

3. Taped to the wall above my desk, I have a piece of Shakespeare poetry,which I’ve also committed to memory. It is as follows.

Sigh no more ladies,

Sigh no more.

Men were deceivers ever,

One foot in Sea,

And one on shore,

To one thing constant, never.

Then sigh not so,

But let them go,

And be ye Blithe and Bonny.

Converting all,

Your sounds of woe,

Into Hey Nonny Nonny!

Sing no more ditties,

Sing no more,

Of dumps so dull and heavy.

The fault of men was ever so,

Since summer first was leafy.

Then sigh not so,

But let them go,

And be ye Blithe and Bonny.

Converting all,

Your sounds of woe,

Into Hey Nonny Nonny!

~William Shakesphere, Much Ado about Nothing

And to those of you who missed that day in school, Hey Nonny Nonny! Was an Elizabethan term for merry-making. I also feel free to point out, that as a man, everything he said was true. I freely admit that to one thing constant I am never.

4. I am routinely irritated with people for just the slightest things. It could be the way the chew loudly, the way they pronounce the word supposedly (there is no B in it!) Often times, I will grow to loathe that person simply because of that trait, even if I like everything else about them. I also know that this is wrong.

5. I do a little bit of part-time work in a used book-shop. I love it there, mostly because I’m a reader and writer, so I fit right in. The other people who work there really love books too, and it shows. However, every week I bring home more books than I could possibly read in a week. This is becoming a bit of a problem, because I’m running out of room for books. I either need to bring fewer books home, or get rid of some. I don’t know which I want to do least. It also would help if I would read more, but I don’t see how I have time for that, considering that I’ve got a book in my hand every free second.

6. I love mail. I delight in getting and receiving letters with a childlike enthusiasm. Whether it’s an advertisement, the Marines trying to recruit me, (I’m flattered that they even want me) or a letter from someone I’ve never met, but have so much in common with. I love it all, and I can even get drunk on mail if I’ve got a few things with my name on it in the mail box. I am very good about replying to letters, and can have a reply out in a day or two.

7. I have written three books. None of them have been published. (Of course, it’s not like I’ve tried that hard) I am editing the second one, scribbling away on the fourth, and am in the early stages of the fifth. There is no sign that I will earn so much as a penny from any of the countless hours that I’ve put in on these books, but yet I still mean to keep on with it. I love to write books, there is nothing like writing the words, “The End” Then staring at it quietly for a second before bursting into on controllable giggles.

My, what a list. That was harder than I thought it would be. Here are my nominees for the Kreative Blogger Awards:

1. Joe at http://hookedontheneedle.blogspot.com/ What can I say about Joe? A funny blogger, who is, in my humble opinion, a pillar of the blog community. While he is a touch suspicious, almost to a fault (I swear there is a toe!) he does it with your best interest at heart. (How many toe less sock have you got lying around buddy?) I’m not just saying this because he comments here a lot.

2. StripeySpots at http://stripeyspots.blogspot.com/ Yet another wonderful blogger. Back at my old site she was commenting on just about every post I had, and I doubt I would be still doing this if it wasn’t for her constantly giving my ego a little boost.

Is two enough? I think so. Better to have two that you really mean, than to have a bunch that you don’t. Right? I think so.  And just to prove that rumor that I don’t have a head false, take this — 

I assure you that I have taken a better picture on occasion. And I also assure you that this is the pick of the lot when it comes to the 700 pictures I took in preparation for this. I am vain, very, very vain.

Somethings . . .

are made to be done in pairs.

Things like, Hall and Oates, Strawberries and Shortcake, Knitting and Tea, Peaches and Cream (or Peaches & Cream) (or Peaches and Herb) (or Peaches and Pie) (or Peaches and anything really). Peaches doesn’t look like a word to me anymore.

But one of the things that are usually, and done best, in pairs are socks. Am I right or am I right? You don’t hear anyone say something like, “I hate folding sock.” Or “I need to put on a sock.” Unless you’re in a horrific traffic accident*, you generally need two socks. A picture is worth a thousand words, so, if I post you one, does that mean that I’ve met almost my whole word count for today?

As you can see, I’ve finished the first done and began on the second. I’m maybe a third of the way to the heel. The yarn is a recycled wool yarn, and I held it double with some reenforcing thread for the heel and toe. (You can’t see the toe, but I can assure you that it is there, and that it really closely resembles the heel.)

(By the way, I’m dreaming up a new way to knit the toe on a sock, but I’ve yet to find a way that is better than the toe that I already use.)

Have a good weekend, and I wish you nothing more than at least  few good hours with your knitting needles. Knit something fun, Okay?

*If you were in a horrific traffic accident, and lost a leg due to that, first let me say, I’m very sorry to hear that, Second, I know a lot of knitters who would like you a lot.

How?

Did this happen?

I blog pretty frequently right? It’s not daily, but it’s pretty often, nothing to be ashamed of. I like blogging, it makes me happy, so I do it often. But something odd has happened. I don’t mean odd like I think that I’ve been abducted by aliens (again) or that I think I’ve seen God in my garlic bread. Just odd, as in a rare occurrence that only happens once or twice a millenia.

My blogging is behind my knitting.

I don’t know how this happened. It stared off so simple. I would talk about something else one day, and put of showing you that sock till tomorrow. I had a lot of work to do, so I didn’t have to time to show you that sweater. Something knitting related sparked my interest, so I showed you that instead of the row I done on this thing.

Where did it all go wrong?

The say that when you’re in a hole, stop digging. Then, you should start to fill that hole up. Here goes the first shovel full.

The Striped sweater is done, and just about ready to go into storage with all the other sweaters for the summer. (I have long sleeve shirts still, it’s still a little chilly now and then.) I’m letting it linger on the back of my desk chair for a while, because this thing was on the needles for a long time. (Like eleven months if I think about it) I worked on it on and off, stopping at the slightest mistake, putting it down for a few months, then picking it up and wondering what make me stop in the first place. It was worked mostly in short bursts when I had the urge to clean the house up, including all the knitting in it. I worked on this then, because I’d rather knit than clean, and working on this sweater made me feel like I was cleaning something.

I look really weird in one of those pictures. I look like a male version of Marilyn Monroe. And the other one makes the sweater look like an after thought — like I wanted to show you a great shot of my chest, again looking weird. But, I’m working on how to figure out how to use that timing option on my camera. Not half bad for a first attempt.

The gray yarn was a Caron number that I picked up, not because I really liked it, but because it was on sale. (Boy, am I Scottish!) I knit it into about four (no joke) sweaters, before I finally ended up with one that I wouldn’t be ashamed to wear in public. That is this one. The brown yarn was a nameless orphan that I rescued. (Read: bought at yard sale.)

I won’t tell you the pattern, simply because it was a poorly written one, wrought with mistakes, and I also heavily improvised on it. For instance, that was a pullover, this is a cardigan.

And now that this one is officially done, I’m going to go and work on that mitten. Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. I’m really just looking for a good way to end this. Honesty is the best policy, right?