Monday, April 28, 2008

Ahhhhhhhhhhh . . . . Tax Season

Well, I haven't had much time for anything but paperwork for the last week or so. At a couple of points, I've had two printers going at the same time & was still printing about 10 returns behind what I've actually done!! Tractor feed printers are sloooooooow but cheap to operate. Ink Jets are fast but expensive. What do you do?????

Haven't had much knitting time either, but I did have time to FROG. I thought my Gluttony socks were just a little big - but often socks can look a little big until you get past the heel shaping & actually get to try them on. The pattern for Gluttony had several errors in it so I chose to just knit them simply & let the handpainted yarn show off. They started off with 76 stitches which seemed like an awful lot to me since I normally use 68 for women's socks - well, 69 but I knit the first & last stitches together . . . so 76 seemed like an awful lot. But, I hadn't used this particular yarn before - superwash merino tightly twisted - so I went with the pattern recommendations. I frogged the socks on Wednesday. They were only to the heel shaping & the Wednesday Nite Nitting Gang agreed with me that they just were too big. I've only got the ribbing done at this point but I like them better already. With any luck, I'll get them finished before the next Deadly S(p)in package arrives early in May!!

Remember this?????
Seeing as how I needed something mindless but still wanted to knit on my breaks, I started a Danish Working Shawl - yeah, I know, I know, I'm not the shawl type - but it caught my fancy, it doesn't take much yarn & I wanted something light & warm for work!! My poor printer overheats from printing all day so I have the window in the office wide open to keep it cool . . . & I'm cold! I had those three big, fat skeins of koolaid dyed splotchy yarn that was begging to be used for something . . . . so I cast on for the shawl. It's a fast & easy knit - a couple of yarn over increases on each end as well as in the middle give it it's shape. Other than that, it's simple Garter stitch. I can understand why this shape is so popular in many places in the world - it's fast, it's easy, you can use any type of yarn in any color AND you don't have to measure, shape or even be a good knitter!! And one pattern can be sized up or down to fit anyone. You just keep knitting until it's the right size! This one has strings attached - or ICord - to each end so it can be crossed in front, wrapped around the waist & tied in back. You can tie it on top of the back point or under. Keeps the body warm & the arms free to work. It may just be the perfect office wear.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've been busy knitting socks again

So, Mother's Day approaches rapidly. My own mother only calls when someone in the family dies so I've adopted & been adopted by the BT's family. That doesn't mean I'm off the list when it comes to remembering all the Important Days though. Especially since I started knitting socks again. They just KNOW they'll get socks on the Important Days. And, well, what DO you buy the Parents Who Have Everything for those events???? Yeah, we all could use a new car or a trip to Tahiti but we're talking about the LITTLE events like Mother's Day - I mean, could YOU afford to buy your Mom a new car?? I thought not. So, we're back to socks.

I truly ENJOY knitting socks. They're fast, fun & easy to take anywhere. I started knitting socks for practical reasons - I've had cold feet most of my life. And now I don't. But, you can get too many socks - you should see my basket!! So I branched out. I'm slowly filling the BT's basket - I think he has a dozen now, his mom must have a dozen by now & his dad is getting there. Once everybody has a drawer full, I may start knitting fingerless gloves!
This is my last pair of Mexiko socks. I got half a bag of Mexiko on sale for a terrific price when the Chocolate Shop in Chilliwack closed. I'm truly sick of Mexiko in this colorway. I think I made a pair in one of the Denim colorways that was really nice but I haven't done anything else but THIS one since. I found the last two balls & these will go to the BT's MOM for Mother's Day. I know she's got a short pair which she really likes so I thought I'd knit her up a longer pair for those cold days when the wind blows up your pants.

And just to make things really good - I've even finished the 'girly' socks for the BT's Dad - his term, not mine - for Father's Day, well in advance of the event!! I bought this Confetti with the BT's Dad in mind because it's much paler than my usual choices. I really liked the softer colors in the ball. His Dad's taste runs to the MANLY colors of black, brown & navy - but, at least he's more adventurous than his son who wouldn't wear anything that wasn't WHITE COTTON until I knit HIM socks!!! I've introduced patterned socks to both of them which are more adventurous than they really like but neither have given them back - his Dad says they're under his pants so what does it matter??? But, I know he'd like some a little plainer. That's why I chose this 'calmer' yarn for him. Well . . . . it's calm to ME!

Now I have time to finish my Gluttony Socks. Remember them?? Well, I'm down to the K1S1 heel & I'm shaping the gusset stitches. There was a pattern included with the Gluttony Socks
but after the 4th correction was published, I decided to just knit them in all their colorful glory in my usual simple fashion with the Queen's heel that I so love. I think they're beautiful! And I've already been notified that the next SINful package is being readied for shipping at the beginning of May!! I am soooooo glad I signed up for this - it really is a treat to look forward to!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

This has been Birthday Week. The BT had his on the 12th & mine is on the 16th. Until I met him, I never bothered much with my birthday - hey, I'm the one who forgot about her own 30th birthday & went off on a caretak
er job for a week or so. My friends were really pissed because somebody, in an Instant of Insanity, thought they'd plan a surprise party complete with the requisite male stripper!! And then they couldn't find me . . . . But, I digress - everyone found me THIS week.

The Wednesday Nite Nitting Gang made sure I was coming & brought cake! Thank you Kathy. Gail slipped a little something dyed in Neon Pinks & Chocolate - above - into my knitting bag & Karen blessed me with another lovely set of handmade stitch markers - you can NEVER have too many of those!! Inside each of the black beads is a tiny little pink rose - they're sooooo pretty!

I got some of this very same roving a couple of years ago from Gail for my birthday. I spun it up right away but never made anything out of it since there wasn't enough to really do anything but socks, a hat or scarf. It's much too pretty for socks & I don't really wear hats or scarves so I hung the two skeins up as art! I really liked the colorway & was only recently - like Tuesday when my hands were freezing cold at work AGAIN - that I started thinking about making some fingerless gloves with it when I suddenly got MORE for my birthday!! I think I might actually have enough for a working shawl - especially if I knit it on slightly bigger needles!! Karen recommends a Faroese shawl which is fitted to the shoulders so it won't fall off. And, no, your eyes don't deceive you - there's a little turquoise in one skein - I think it was already ON the bobbin & ended up coming off in the skein when I wasn't looking. I kind of liked it there, so I just left it.

Thursday Nite, I got another big surprise. The BT called me on Wednesday to go out to dinner for my birthday but I said no, it was Nitting Nite!! So he called again on Thursday & we trotted out to dinner. Apparently he got a couple of KEG cards for HIS birthday & thought it only fitting that WE should celebrate together. So, we scarfed down Prime Rib & garlic mashed spuds & washed it all down with beer. We were so stuffed we could barely walk out the door. It was a hellova birthday.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I was surprised

Yesterday was the BT's 50th birthday.
You all know how the usual 50th goes - it turns into a big drunk with morning-after consequences. Well, this one started on Friday nite with the arrival of buddies from out of town - with BEER. He called close to midnite to tell me his place was full of people with sleeping bags & BEER. I called yesterday around suppertime to ask if he was hungry but his local buddies were picking him up to party at the Cloverdale Legion. I've been there on MY birthday & the shooters don't stop coming . . . . . . I did remind him that if he needed a ride home to just call & I'd get him. I've always had this pact with friends & their kids - if they call, I pick em up! At 8:50 the phone rang. He asked me to pick him up. You could tell he'd had a few but he said he was tired of the party, the booze & the drunks & would I please come & get him. I did.
My BT has finally grown up.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How the Time Flies . . .

I've been soooooo busy but not too busy to do a little shopping. I filled up my old van last week & the gas was still pumping after it hit $100. I freaked out, turned it off & got away from there as quickly as I could. I decided the Van Must Go. So I put the word out to all my buddies on Monday that I was in the market for something a little cheaper to feed. And I informed the Guy who wanted my Van that he better make space because I've filled it up for the very last time!! On Wednesday I looked at another Van but a smaller one - mmmmmm. On Thursday I called a bunch of guys on Craigslist. Had my eye on a Jetta or a Toyota. I tended to look at all the ones under $500 . . . . On Friday I went to see this Mazda & bought it on the spot. And dropped off the Van to the Guy - with most of a tank of gas. I should've driven the silly thing for another week or so till the gas was low but I found the Mazda. Oh well . . .

I also did some other shopping - I fell in love with this purple Marble yarn. Yeah, it's acrylic but I wanted acrylic for it's washability. I'm making the Wonderful Wallaby with this Marble -and suddenly everything I'm buying is some shade of purple. Dunno what's going on. Menopause??? While in the store slobbering over the Marble, I spotted this sock yarn in the bin - the dark parts are all deep purple!! Well, gee, it just got up & followed me home!! Honest to Gawd!!

And Gail, I went down to Knitopia before work today & put some money down on that Majacraft spinner I was admiring before I found another reason why I shouldn't. Now that I've got a smaller car, I really DO need a folding wheel!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Oh I just love Weird Things

I'm not a shopper as a rule
- oh, I love the Big home
improvement stores & Really Big Plant stores & quite often cruise the aisles of office supply stores but I'm not a Mall Rat. I don't shop as recreation. But, this morning I went to Wal-Mart. I figured if I had to go there, I might just as well have a good look around & see if there was anything else I needed. In the 'craft' department I found Nut Beads. Not sure what I'll use them for but I think the "acorn" type on the left might work well as Toggles. The Rings at the top are extremely light while the big nuts on the right are heavy. I just couldn't leave them behind!

While there, I also found some discontinued items that also looked quite interesting. The stars are plain silver while the rectangles are antique looking. And I splurged on a bag of Ladybug buttons for a sweater. If I ever get the Arvik sweater finished, they'll look great on it's mottled grey.

And I've been working on socks this week - not much time to really do anything else since it's tax season. I've started on the second color in my Gluttony socks & am just starting the gusset increases for the heel. I wound the four skeins into 4 balls so I'm doing the by guess & by golly method of dividing the yarn between the two socks. The yarn is a tightly twisted super wash merino in four colorways. I didn't use the pattern that came with the yarn since it has quite a few errors in it & I didn't really like it anyway. I think the yarn is beautiful enough without a pattern & look forward to wearing these socks when they're done.

At the same time, I've been working on the pale Confetti socks which I'd earmarked for the BT's dad. He wasn't quite sure if he liked it or not when I first started them but decided they weren't quite as 'girly' when I got a couple of inches knitted.