Thursday, December 31, 2015

Resolutions

So here we are again, at the verge of a new year, staring into the Black Hole of 2016. I'll bet most of us are making Resolutions that we'll never keep. Oh, some of us will keep them for a week or two & some for a month or two but in the end, they all fall by the wayside.
I've never been much for Resolutions. Oh, I made some minor ones like resolving to  change to brown rice because it's better for me. And yes, I did keep the rice one. Even though I'll never love brown rice like I do white, sticky rice, I can now make it well enough that I don't actually hate it.
My resolution to spend more time spinning never happened because I ended up knitting more, instead. Knitting what, you ask??? Charity knitting. Oh, hoodies, socks & hats that all went to people who needed them. I think that's half the fun. But I didn't spend any time spinning which was my original goal.

So this year, I RESOLVE to make no Resolutions at all. Why stress myself out trying to achieve a goal that I'll never meet??? Life gets in the way. Sometimes it gets in the way in the most interesting ways. While the rest of you are Resolving to lose weight & are shelling out for gym memberships, yoga pants & exercise equipment that you'll seldom use, I'll be learning about my gut.

My GUT??? Yup. A healthy gut means a healthy body which means a healthy, happy person. I'm taking a FREE class with COURSERA on 'Microbes & the Human Microbiome' to exercise my brain cells. 'The little grey cells' as Poirot used to say, need exercising to stay healthy too. One should never neglect the mind or it will become saggy & weak like an Accountant's ass. Besides exercising my brain cells, I'll also be learning about how the gut affects every other part of the body. And you thought your Brain was in charge???


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Knitting the Days Away

The Pile Grows Taller
Christmas is days away & my poor old car is in the garage. It's been there for almost a week now, ever since the Anti Theft Device discobooberated itself & locked ME out. After setting off the alarm FOUR times in a row, I gave up & called for help. I'm sure all my neighbors were thrilled when I stopped playing with it. No one, including the mechanic, knows if it can be unlocked. That's what I get from the ungrateful hunk of tin after babying it with a Winter tune-up, tire rotation & full gas tank in the last couple of weeks. I should've left it to suck air through a clogged filter & run on watery gas.


Meanwhile, back at the basement, I can't go anywhere so I might as well knit hats while I watch all the oldies & marathons they put on the tube this time of year. It's a good excuse to stay home in my jammies & knit over the holidays while avoiding line-ups, tie-ups & road checks. A nice friend brought me a gift of two pounds of sharp cheddar - sliced to boot!!! And I loaded up on Wasa crisp bread at a sale just before the car died. So I'll be munching on cheese & crackers & drinking some of that lovely Shiraz I made several years ago while I knit.


When I run out of all the single skeins, odd balls & leftovers I scrounged up to make hats, I might even get to finish the Aubergine sweater I started for myself before hats took over.  It's the "Lace Frock" from Cabin Fever. I still haven't decided whether to put sleeves on it or not. My first thought was to put cap sleeves on & wear it like a vest over long sleeved shirts for the winter but I don't have to decide right away. I was worried about having enough yarn to knit long sleeves but I've only used two skeins so far out of the nine I bought so I've got lots of yardage to complete the lace skirt & sleeves if I want them.
                                           

Saturday, December 12, 2015

LUST DENIED

I still have my little pile of balls on the table where I can see them but, other than a
small swatch, I haven't done a thing with it except look. And I still love it. I loved it even more when I cast it onto a circ that was handy & tried knitting a few rows in garter stitch. Then I knit a few more rows in stockinette, then went up a needle size or two & did it all over again. I really like the yarn. It's acrylic but knits a crisp fabric that just feels good. I like it with the 4.5mm needles. The yarn itself looks like a fine chain & feels cottony in the swatch. How come it took me so long to try this yarn??? I love it & now it's being discontinued. Story of my life. I could create a whole wardrobe in the colors in this yarn - I'm crazy about the hot pink & the steel grey in the first place but together??? Oh yeah.

Got sidetracked with the warm hats thing. Since they're to go just after Christmas, I've been trying to knit as many hats as possible in the short time I have. Thanks to a yarn donation, I found several balls of a really, really soft, worsted weight yarn that knits into terrific hats!! I've got little ones, medium ones & even a couple of adult ones to stuff in the bag. Oh, & one pair of socks from a test knit I did for the Snakes & Ladders pattern by Elizabeth McCarten. They're way too small for me but the pattern is very attractive. I know they need to keep another pair of feet warm this winter so they're going into the bag too.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

LUST

I swore I wouldn't give in to the Black Shopping Monster & wouldn't even open an email ad that came my way. I have enough stuff in bins piled in the living room to make me look like a Hoarder. If I buy any more, chances are, I'll be found dead someday, under a pile of sock yarn bins. But, in the middle of the night I clicked on one Black Hole email & got sucked in - straight into the Yarn dimension. Yup. Me. The Anti-Christmas person. 

I have to say I didn't do it on impulse because I could've piled it high in my 'basket' & ordered it then & there. I thought about it for a while. And I checked it out once more. Then I thought about it some more. And emailed a friend who orders on-line. Figured if she wasn't ordering, I wouldn't order. But she was & I did. WHY did I do it??? I fell for the colors. Hard. Yup. Sucked right down into another dimension, hot & cold, right in the gut, OMG, instantaneous, LUST. The kind of thing that happens when you lock eyes with a certain kind of stranger across a room - the Bad Kind. But Lust with Yarn is a much better option, I figure. It's safer, cheaper, hangs around longer & benefits you in the long run - especially if you get right down & make something with it! I bought enough for an afghan for my bed. I love the colors, did I say that already??? Maybe a cocoon sweater to wear in my office? Maybe I should check & see if it's still on Sale & buy more??? I really, really do love the colors. It's the Acrylic Multi from Knit Picks in the Fashion color.

A knitting bud is gathering hats, mitts, scarves etc for Refugees in the Middle East so I decided to make some touques. I have some nice yarn in an acrylic/wool blend so I'm making woolly hats. I handed off a bag with hats & socks last night & forgot to take a photo!!! But here's one that's just started. The yarn is Pittsburgh, it's worsted size but so soft that it knits to a DK gauge & it's easy on the hands. Just 68 sts on a 6.5mm circ knit in a twisted K2P2 rib(Knit in the back of the knit stitch instead of the front) all the way to the top with the yarn doubled. I close the top by purling the P2 together on the first row & continuing the twisted K2. Then a round of twisted K2 , P1. A round of twisted K2 together, P1. And another round of twisted K1, P1 & a final round of twisted K2 together. I leave a long end & pull it through all the stitches, draw them closed & sew it down on the inside. Makes a nice snug, warm hat that won't fall off or blow off when you bend, run or lift. I make this one for the guys who change tires, fix  cars & work construction.