Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fire

Wow, I've not been here for a while!  Since I last posted Colorado had a fire...no, not the one we're enduring now....Waldo Canyon fire.  From where I live I only saw the fire on the television news like everyone else, but...I experienced as well as I was on pre-evacuation orders for a week or two (I don't remember how long because each day felt like it was a month long).  Because I live up against the mountain I couldn't see the flames of the Waldo Canyon, but we got all of the smoke, which was terrifying because you felt like the fire was next to you.  Several friends lost houses in that fire.

Flash forward to a year after Waldo Canyon and I'm puttering around my house and I look out toward town and see a plume of smoke.  I'm looking for smoke from a fire on the Air Force Academy, not for smoke originating in the Black Forest. It is about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, I'm thinking about taking my dog to the vet and what errands do I run.  I tell the kids "ohhhh, look at that, that can't be good"...I look online, the fire has been called in it's still small started over on Shoup and hwy83.  I take the dog to the vet, the fire has spread enough that a woman waiting with her cats starts to fret, the vet techs are talking about it.  I go home and look out to the west...and it's spreading....fast.  In the evening I find out that some friends who'd lost their home last year in Waldo Canyon and have been staying with their parents have been burnt out again.  A yarn shop that I frequent is on Shoup...we all feared that the shop has been burnt along with some other historic buildings in the area.  Information is flying all around as is misinformation.  As I type this 473 homes have been destroyed.  I, undoubtedly, have many friends who are now homeless...I know I have many who are evacuated.

This has been a knitting blog, so I will turn this around to knitting....Table Rock Llama's Fiber Arts, on Shoup Road is still there.  I know that they feel guilty that the shop is there when oh so many people have lost everything.  I hope they know how important it is that they are still there.  It's not about the yarn, fiber or needles.  It is that their doors will open up and everyone will be able to step into the shop and there will be a little piece of "normal".  Perhaps you don't knit, spin, dye...but you step in, maybe you go out to the big table in the studio and just sit.  Talk to the ladies in the shop, talk to the people who come in.  We are community.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Happy socks


I have been out of the United States once...well, except for a week or so in Hawaii, I've been off of the continent once...last year....when I spent a week with my friend and her family in England. This year, before my friend moves back here, I get to go and visit her again.

While visiting my friend I bought two skeins of Noro sock yarn (I know, I know....I, an American, bought Japanese yarn, in England....but I also bought yarn that was manufactured in the UK as well). I'd never knit with Noro before and, truthfully, I find the skeins to be rather itchy and scratchy and wasn't so sure that I'd want to make socks from them for fear that the socks would be...well....itchy and scratchy. My girlfriend assured me that Noro makes lovely socks and I've read many a review that says the same thing. So I cast on. At first I thought "hmmm, I'm not sure that this is quite my cup of tea. Oh well, I only have two skeins". But as I knit on and (I'm not a stripe kinda girl) the stripes are forming, I'm finding this to be a "happy sock". There is just something I find happy about both the colors and the yarn....like I'm harking back to my hippie (such that they are) roots. I am looking forward to a long happy relationship with Noro. (and I may even buy some when I go back to the UK)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Years Eve!


On my fb page this past year I kept track of all of my knitting projects. I should have done that on my ravelry profile, but I'm slower there to input projects....but whatever (as my kids say).

My last project was a plain vanilla pair of socks, in anything but a plain vanilla color. While visiting my friend in England I was admiring this yarn in a shop and she mentioned that she really likes the zauberball yarn. I'd never knit with it, but have seen it in many shops. I liked this green color and decided to give it a shot. Looking at the yarn I couldn't decide if I wanted to knit it up with a fancy pattern, or just a quick plain sock to let the yarn shine, so to speak. I decided to let the yarn shine, and I'm glad that I did. The plain Jane is a quick knit, no pattern to worry about, no fuss for holiday visiting while knitting, just knit happily away. I am happy with the end result and think they will be a favorite in my wardrobe (of odd clothes and socks). In keeping with my plan to track everything I knit this year, I finished them up this morning....a mere 16 hours before we ring in the new year.

Here is a list of my year in knitting:
11 fish hats
1 pair slippers
1 brooch
3 cowls
2 felted bags
1 felted kindle case
5 shawls
1 doll shawl
2 scarves
1 baby hat
1 baby sweater
1 beret
5 1/2 pairs socks (I ripped out that 1/2 of a pair)
2 vests (one child sized one grown up sized)
1 doll sweater
and about 1/2 of a sweater for myself

Happy New Year. May 2012 bring wonderful things.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not so much holiday knitting


I'm not a toe up sock person. I've knit a couple of pair and find the fit to be odd. I've done an afterthought heel and a short row heel and this pair has a gusset heel. I do think that the fit is better with a gusset, but we'll see. Perhaps my thoughts are colored by the fact that I knit my socks from the top down.

Holiday knitting has pretty much come to an end around here. Of course with Christmas staring me in the face about the only thing I'd be able to finish in the next couple of days would be a book mark...and only if it were a small bookmark. We've had snow days around here and some delayed starts to the school days. I have had my girl child at home with me the past couple of days, which really throws a wrench into things. She loves to stand next to me coughing and hacking and asking if she can help. Only from afar.

Happy Holidays to whoever may see this post. Enjoy!!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Those odd skeins

One of the LYS's I visit on occasion has an "orphan" basket of odd skeins near the check out. These are usually discounted 15 or 20%. Often, being a lys and all, these are very nice skeins that just happen to not have enough yardage to pull off a very big project. Often these are skeins that do not have enough yardage to be featured in a "One Skein Project" book. You just don't see a whole lot of patterns dedicated to that odd 50 gram 195 yard skein of sock yarn. Faced with a couple of these "50 gram not enough yardage for more than one sock" beauties I decided that I would find something to knit with them. Something useful, something to throw into the one small skein pattern pool, which is how I came up with my "Dainty Chevron Cowl", which I do plan to figure out how to publish as a pdf instead of how it is here as a blog post.

So I dug through the orphaned skeins and found a lovely skein of some Mochi stuff. I'd never knit with it but a friend loves the stuff and soon will have a lovely cowl of my own (since I wrote up the pattern and have knit several of the cowls I thought it might be nice to have one of my own).

My limited Christmas knitting is done. I don't knit a lot of gifts. I find that knitting gifts is a complicated thing. If people don't knit they may not appreciate the amount of time and effort that went into the project. Then there are those who think that the whole home made gift thing is a way of being "cheap" (quite the opposite actually). My very own mother will say "but why would I knit you something? You knit beautifully and can knit anything that you'd like" (but I can't knit the hand knit gift from you, my most precious knitted items are not the ones that I've knitted for myself, but the ones that are gifted to me). If anyone besides myself reads this post, you and I both know that hand made gifts are lovely (and perhaps I've just been lucky, but I've appreciated every hand made gift I've received).

Happy Friday blogland. I didn't think I'd enjoy having my work day rescheduled today, but it's been nice to slow down a bit....even if I should be doing the holiday craziness!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Christmas knitting


I don't know about you, but for me Halloween marks the true rush toward Christmas. Oh, I start thinking about Christmas knitting mid summer. We'll be sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows and my mind may idly wander to if/what I will be knitting for gifts especially if we pass by a yarn shop on our wanderings. The spousal unit doesn't put any thought into the holidays until December 20th (tho, it did surprise me when he picked up a watch yesterday and said that perhaps that would be the perfect gift for one of the boy children we have around our house).

I'm picky about who I'll knit for. There are two gift recipients in my family who enjoy hand knit socks. (One of these recipients will actually send me sock yarn hoping for socks). This year I have several requests on wish lists for hats. This time of year is difficult for a lot of knitters (or at least it is for me, you'll have to speak for yourself). Back in July if I said "I'm knitting this as a holiday gift" I was looked at as if I had a screw loose. I'd hear "but the holidays are half a year away!" Come October I find people asking me "Can I pay you to (fill in a craft here, in addition to knitting on occasion I also sew), I'm thinking of giving (fill in gift) to (fill in recipient) for Christmas.....oh, and I need it in time to mail". Rarely do I "hire out" to knit/sew/cook gifts. My general rule is, if you want me to knit your dear old dad a scarf, I should know your dear old dad. And I do have a list of the things that I will willingly knit for gifts. That said, and as snotty as it probably sounded, I do knit for my younger children's school senior luncheon, Santa's breakfast and the Giving Tree. Most years I donate a knitted item or three for door prizes. One year I donated a lace scarf to be raffled off for the PTO. My charity knitting is my favorite and yes, I'm lucky enough that I will pass up a paying knit job to give my knitting away.

I'm not sure what the point of this post is. I'm here with my cup of coffee in hand, working on this lovely beret for my girl child. I am hoping that I can scale this pattern down, or write one that will work so I can knit a matching one for her doll. Then there are ear flap hats to knit, and socks and a scarf and and and. There's always something waiting in the wings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Frog Pond


I dutifully knit up a swatch for the "Henley with a Twist"(after starting it and ripping it twice). I cast on after swatching and deciding that I should have not ripped out one of my false starts. Then, I've proceeded to cast on and rip it out another 4 times, prompting the husband to ask "What is wrong with it NOW?" So, rather than making myself crazier than I already am, I have set aside the lovely "Henley with a Twist" to rest for a bit while I finish this little lovely "Estonian Lace Sampler" from my hand spun wool. So, I'm going to try to get myself and my projects out of the frog pond and back onto my needles.

Fall is in the air. Labor Day came and suddenly fall/winter was here. My garden is winding down and the thought is of sweaters and baking and knitting. Perhaps the frog pond will freeze over for a while :)