Thursday, November 30, 2006

FO's: Starsky & Nephew's Raglan

Info: Starsky
Needles: Size US 10.5
Yarn:Knitpicks Merino Style
Color: Moss (color truest in top pic), 9 skeins
Mods: Buttons instead of belted
Info: Little raglan for newest nephew (now 3 mo. old!)
Needles:Sz US4 dpn
Yarn:KnitPicks Shine
Color:Cloud (I am not exactly sure how many skeins it took, because the yarn was from a failed attempt at a Somewhat Cowl.)

I started and finished both of these during the month of November.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On blocking and seaming

So ya'll know I blocked Starsky yesterday. I gently gave the pieces a handwashing... smooshed out the water, all the while being very careful not to stretch the pieces out of shape while moving to a thirsty towel. I rolled everything up and and pressed to get the extra water out. I then moved to the bedroom to block it undisturbed on my bed. When I unrolled the towel and laid out the sleeves I almost vomited. Ya'll, my sleeves went from being about 26" to 37". I looked in disbelief at those long, long sleeves and really wanted to cry. I may have even uttered a fuck or two. I looked again at the pattern to see how short they should be...I wa snot to happy to see the 21" measurement. So I smushed the stitches and patted, and smushed and patted and still they were long enough to fit monkey arms. Then I went a bit crazy and got my hair dryer. I planned to shrink those bitches. So I blew and smushed and patted and still they were nowhere near 21"-much closer to 26". I looked at my pattern again to see if somehow I misread my pattern, that is when I realized the 21" measurement was only to the did not include the sleeve cap. DOH. So I pinned everything down and left it to dry. A few hours later my whole room reeked of wet sheep. I had to spray Oust before I could even go in there to sleep, it was that bad.
Today all the pieces were dry and I settled in to seam. I want this sweater to be perfect and all my attempts at attaching the sleeve left them looking homemade-and not in a good way. I finally decided I needed bright light, quiet and a stiff drink. So I sat on my front steps and enjoyed the beautiful day while seaming my sweater. Mattress stitch never ceases to amaze me! The stitches came together as if pulled by an invisible zipper. After about two hours all I had to show for my efforts was one sleeve attached and one side seam sewn, but boy, oh boy, those seams are beautiful (if I do say so myself). I do think I will have this sweater finished by the end of the month, which was my original goal. I think it just might be my favorite knitted garment yet!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanks for the perspective

I have to start by saying a big THANK YOU to each of you for your kind words and advice in response to my last post. Reading your comments really helped lift me from my funk before it got the best of me! I am amazed how much better I feel just getting it out and having just a few people tell me that it is ok and even normal to feel the way I do. Ya'll are great!

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming....
I finished knitting Starsky last night! Woo hoo! Now on to the blocking and sewing of the seams. I cannot wait to try it on and show it off! Off to block!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thus begins the holiday angst...

Warning: If you are one of those "let's shop til we drop the day after Thanksgiving, then go home and decorate the entire house for Christmas" types, you may not want to read this....but I gotta get it out.

I admit it, I HATE the holiday season. From Thanksgiving until the New Year I am stressed, in a horrible mood and filled with guilt. The pressure to smile and sing christmas carols and shop for everyone, and their cousin, I could really do without. This goes back to my childhood I suspect. My parents divorced when I was 8 so I was ferried around to see all the relatives, a little time with dad, a little time with mom, not enough time with either, oh yeah, don't forget about all the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and other extended family we only see twice a year. The guilt I felt having to tell my dad goodbye on Christmas eve, knowing he would spend christmas morning without his kids. I spent a lot of time pretending to smile and be happy all the while wondering what the other parent was doing without me. Never really embracing the true holiday spirit.

Now I am grown, and have a family of my own, I still feel the crushing pressure to see everyone, but only for an hour, cause we have other places to be. I hate that christmas is a big gimmie gimmie holiday- a contest to see who can go the deepest in debt. I resent the fact that I can't just stay home with my little ones and drink hot chocolate by the fire. I resent the fact that I still feel the need to do everything everyone expects, all the while ignoring my own needs and wishes.

Now that I am older, and share custody of my daughter with her dad, I realize how miserable my own dad must have been christmas after christmas away from his babies. But he never complained, he never let us know how much he missed us, never let on how sad he was, how lonely. It has only been since I have had my own babies that my step-mom told me how depressed he would be during the holidays. How he really missed me and my brother. To this day he is distant, only lives 15 minutes away, but we never see eachother. I don't know what to do. I have no idea how to mend our relationship. I did not even talk to him or see him yesterday. Part of me just wants to let it go, but most of me can't. I love him despite it all. Last year, right around Christmas, he and my step-mom seperated and it kills me to think how lonely he must be. But still he does not call. I would love for him to come over on Christmas morning and have breakfast, watch the kiddos open presents, but then reality sets in. More than likely, one of my kiddos will be with her dad and his family, and her absence will be a blaring reminder of christmas past.

Since I left her dad, I have always let the Girl Wonder decide where she wants to go for the holidays. I have told her to spend time with who she wants and not feel guilty about her decision. I refuse to let extended family lay a guilt trip on her when she is not where they want her to be. She usually spends more of the holidays with her dad, he is still single and The Girl Wonder knows he needs her, she knows how lonely the holidays can be and she does all she can to fill his with joy. For this I am truly proud. I want to protect her from the guilt, the back and forth, the too-many-holiday-feasts-in-one-day that I had to endure. I want to let her enjoy the season that is meant to be filled with joy.

I feel like the grinch, and then feel guilty. My kids deserve a happy momma during the holidays... they love the decorations, the songs, presents, all the family and yummy deserts. I wish I could just see christmas through their eyes, and feel the joy they feel, instead of the dread and disgust with it all. It seems like such hypocracy- celebrating a holiday for a religion I do not even believe in. Simply because it is a tradition. I realize I am very fortunate to have such a large and loving extended family, fortunate to have so much to eat, so much of everything. I appreciate it, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it is just too much for me. Too much noise, so many expectations and I constantly feel like I am failing miserably. I don't get joy from shopping for things that are expected. Last year, I asked my family to donate to a charity instead of shopping for one did. How can I ask for what I really want?- a quiet day at home, no hustle, no bustle, no one expecting me to be cheery and eat yet another holiday feast. I can't ask for that, it would be too selfish, and I realize that, so I just put on my fake holiday cheer, and pour myself another martini. Bah humbug.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here is wishing ya'll a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

This has to be the best cake ever! I should know since I have made three this week. It is as tasty as it looks, and the family has requested I make it for every family gathering.

Just a few thing I am thankful for...
love of friends and family, health, a warm home, great food, refreshing beverages of the adult variety, and of course, knitting.

knitting content to come soon!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Starsky is coming along quite nicely. I stopped using a cable needle after the first pattern repeat on the back. Instead I am just slipping the stitches to be cabled off the needle, twisting them, then knitting or purling (based on where I am in the pattern). I was going crazy picking up the cable needle every few stitches and it was really slowing me down. Now the stitches are flying off the needles, pleasing me to no end! Back is finished, front right has two inches to go! At this rate I will be casting on for the sleeves by this weekend! I plan on working both sleeves at the same time. I am also entertaining the idea of putting buttons on this instead of knitting the belt. I will have to see how it looks after the front is finished to see if it will be possible. Any Ideas?
After seeing my adorable newest nephew in a snuggly cotton sweater last weekend I decided to use the Shine I had on hand from the frogged Somewhat Cowl to make him a little raglan. He has a giant head for such a little young'un (41cm) so I decided to put a few buttons at the neckline so it will be a little easier to put on. I am not using a pattern for this, nor did I measure him, so I am just kinda hoping it fits. I am going to babysit him tomorrow while his mama goes for a job interview so I can try it on him then. I have to admit it is a bit fun knitting this little sweater on dpn's...
I have abandoned all hope of knitting a complex blanket for this same little guy, and he is going to have to be content snuggling this boring garter stitch blankey instead. At least there is love in the stitches.

On a non-knitting related note I watched Click last night with The Gaming One. I love Adam Sandler movies and this was no exception. Some parts were quite touching and I had to reach for the tissues more than once. Mr. Sandler is all grown up (ok well, almost all grown up-he retains his childish sense of humor) and shows a bit of his range as an actor. It led to some snuggling and a sweet exchange of words between The Gaming One and I. Do yourself a favor and watch it with your sweetie (especially if you have kids).

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thank you Socktoberfest!

Without you, Socktoberfest, I may have never gained the motivation to finish these socks!
Pattern: Universal toe-up sock formula from Knitty.
Needles: us size 1 dpn
Yarn: KnitPicks Essential sock yarn colors Grass and Cocoa
Thoughts: I was consumed with Second Sock Syndrome, as the first sock took about a month to knit. However, since I am a joiner, I figured the last week of Socktoberfest would be the perfect time for me to crank out the second sock and it was! I finished binding off when I woke on Nov 1 (Halloween seriously cut into my knitting time!) Although The Gaming One would not have picked these colors for himself-I think he referred to them as either Dr. Seuss Socks or Willy Wonka Socks because of the colors- he really does love them! The yarn did soften considerably after washing (machine wash and dry-I will hand knit socks for him, but there is no way I am handwashing them!) and did not shrink a bit. I knit them a bit short, since he always pushes his socks down, in plain stockinette stitch. I finished with a 1" 3k1p rib cuff and a sewn bind-off for an extra-stretchy opening for his giant feet!

I cast on for Starsky this past week and am loving it so far! After knitting solid for a week on Sz 1 needles, the 10.5 I am using for this makes it seem like the stitches are flying off the needles! It is a nice change to knit 10 rows and add two and a half inches to my work instead of the measly inch I was getting with the sz.1. I am using KnitPicks Merino Style color Moss and it is heavenly! So soft, so cuddly I can't wait to wear this one! My only gripe about this pattern is that the leaf pattern does not grow from the ribbed section beautifully. It seems that there is no "flow" from one to the other, but the chart is easy to follow, mistakes are easy to see and fix. I am really getting the hang of finding a mistake in my knitting and instead of frogging back to the mistake, I knit to the mistake, unravel the ladder of stitches until I get to the problem, then pick the stitches back up with a crochet hook. Easy peasy! I hope to have this finished by the end of November...